No, I’m not moving physically, I’m just moving virtually. This site has taught me a lot and I don’t see a reason to take it down but I’m no longer going to be posting here. From now on you can find me at www.nerdangel.com. This should be fun.
Ugh. This is difficult. I have plans, I think anyone who has been reading this blog knows that. I have grand ideas of where to go and while I may not lay out specifically how I’m getting there these plans exist. Allow me to pull back the curtain just a bit: I’m creating a new blog, one that is so much more “me” than this one has been, as well as creating another website that is devoted totally to my photography. Why am I mentioning this now? Because creating these websites IS DRIVING ME INSANE. I just spent the last few hours trying to figure out how to get WordPress.org to work on my Mac. It involved all kinds of programs that I have never used before and things really hit the wall when I found that I had to change things using Text Edit. Any deep computer users out there should know what that is. If you don’t, count yourself lucky.
I’m not a programmer, but I’m learning to think along those lines. I’m not a web designer, but I’m learning to think along those lines. I’m not a business owner, but I’m learning to think along those lines. Creating the future that I want for myself is pushing me to try/learn/experience so many new concepts that it’s all a bit overwhelming. But I won’t stop. Nope. Take a look at the title above. This post isn’t a, “I give up” sort of thing at all. This is a turn of the pressure valve. It’s almost 2 AM and I’m still at my computer trying to figure things out. I plan on spending the majority of tomorrow working on the layout of my photography website. This is how I work, a little here, a little there. I have to push through things in order to make them work. I can’t just think and sit and plan and organize my ideas perfectly. I don’t work that way. I have to try, and fail, and push through, and get frustrated, and hate life itself, and YELL, then get up, and try again.
But I won’t stop.
Wish me luck.
*koff koff* or, I suppose, *cough cough*. Whatever. Excuse the dust around here as it does seem to be pretty bad. Everything I see is covered with the soft shading of neglect (like this blog) or the much more welcome dust that is kicked up when someone is hard at work. I wish I could say that I saw an end in sight but I really don’t. The work that I’ve been doing, which is a combination of my day job, preparing for next weekends trip to Seattle for Sakura-Con, trying to build not one but TWO new websites for myself, and maintaining a regular P90X workout schedule is just exhausting. After next weekend I can knock one of those things out but considering that I’ve been beating myself up for not putting more effort into those websites I’m not sure how much more I will be posting here.
Please don’t misunderstand my intent for this post. This is not a so long and thanks for all the fish sort of thing. I don’t plan on quitting my blogging. Which just sounds terrible grammatically, but that’s not the point. In fact, one of those two websites I previously mentioned is an all NEW blog that will replace this one. Mostly. You’ll see what I mean.
But oh! The legwork required to get things started! Learning new programs, buying domains, setting up layouts, all the details involved to make something fantastic are just exhausting! But it will be worth it in the end, so I continue. I just wanted to give a little update to anyone who was interested.
I’m not dead yet, so of course, there is work to be done.
I don’t really hate you. Not in the way that you or most people think of “hate” as an emotion. But this message does contain a bit of something very like hate and it’s directed right at you. You, who always have something to say. No matter the situation you always feel the need to open your mouth and destroy what was almost definitely a great moment. It’s not that I’m in any way above having casual conversations. Hell, I love that sort of thing on a daily basis, whether I’m at work or just out and about enjoying the weekend. The person I’m talking about, this Talker, is one of the most frustrating people in my life. I’m of course referring to the bastard who talks to me as I’m reading.
I’m here to tell you right now: shut the f*** up.
If the building is on fire or there is some other pressing issue that you have to discus with me then sure, by all means, interrupt what I’m doing. I honestly won’t mind (and in the case of a fire I’ll probably thank you). But do NOT under any circumstances interrupt me to talk about the weather. Or sports. Or something that can wait. Or (unless you’re quite attractive and this is an opening line of some sort) to ask me what I’m reading. You probably won’t like it and if I know you and your tastes I’ve most likely already talked to you about it so just keep that trap shut and go on your merry way. It’s so amazingly frustrating to be interrupted when I’m engrossed in a story. I don’t care if you see me reading a voluminous tome that resembles War and Peace (which it probably won’t be) or just the latest issue of Esquire. If I have it in front of my face there is something of value in there and I’d like to continue exploring that, not talking to you. Rest assured that what I’m reading is important to me and it’s most likely more interesting than you.
I love reading, as most geeks do, and I slip in bits of it whenever I can. I read before bed, on lunch, on breaks, in the afternoon, in the middle of the day, before I even get dressed in the morning, or whenever else I can find the time to stick some words in front of my eyes. Magazines, books, comics, I’m probably in the middle of at least 4 different things at any given point and I do not wish to put these things aside to hear about how warm it is outside today. I’ve been out there and you’re right, when the sun comes out it gets warm. You powers of observation are not more astounding then the text in front of me. Kindly piss off.
Despite the venom here I don’t hate you. These interruptions do create a spike of…that thing that’s like hate, but not hate. Maybe we can call it annoyance. Although, it is also a bit frustrating on top of that annoyance. And it does seem to give me a quick spike in blood pressure, which just sounds unhealthy. Then there’s the after annoyance of trying to find my exact spot on the page after I’ve managed to pull myself away from whatever RIVETING thing you just had to tell me. I suppose, all things considered, it should just be called hate.
So please, don’t interrupt me. Don’t ask me about my weekend, or “what’s going on”, or anything else if you see that I’m in the middle of something. I don’t want to hate you but you must understand that if you force my hand by assaulting my ears then I will just have to. It can’t be helped. It will pass quickly so we can always be friendly and civil but for that split second there’s a decent chance I’m going to wish for your death. Just remember that I can go from zero to blinding hate in the span of one interrupted sentence.
It doesn’t happen every morning but sometimes, by the grace of whatever you want to believe (up to and including biology/science), I find that I can follow my mind out of my dream. As I start to wake up I’m still actively dreaming but I suddenly realize what is going on. Every situation that had been floating willy-nilly through my brain is still there but now I’m in control of it. It’s like an odd day-dream but more real since my brain created that situation without my active input. I can never hold this for very long since the act of recognizing it is the first step to losing it, waking up, and having to settle for “thought”.
It’s as if every time I go to sleep my brain creates a video game inside my head and plays it on some sort of brainy auto pilot. Like a programmer, my gray matter constructs characters, landscapes, and situations for some imaginary game time. This is how my dreams seem to manifest and it only seems logical that this is how all dreams should work. Even the ones outside my mind. Just to bring the writing up a few bars, let me quote someone who was much better with words than I am:
I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. – Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau had a way with words didn’t he? He dreamed, he made things happen, he was the programmer of his own life. For a while now I’ve been working towards being the same. Books, websites, endless loops of similar information, I poured all of it into myself to try to figure out how to make my small dream happen. I want to will become a business owner. I’ve discovered that I don’t like business but I love photography. That love will carry me through.
I’ve created a business plan, which was a bit weird. It felt very odd, putting down what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it. I’ve never had to plan things so far ahead and even though I know that it’s not an iron clad contract it still feels like it sometime. I’ve learned (and applied for) the appropriate licenses. I’ve picked up some new things on the web which I’ll be revealing very soon (OMG NEW STUFF!). There’s still so much to do but I can’t help but be proud of the parts that I have done so far.
As my unconscious mind puts things together while I sleep I’ve been working to put things together while I’m awake. That wrinkled organ in my head makes dream building seem so easy. It’s not. It’s been a pain in the ass. But the rewards, the game, that I’m creating will be worth it. So here’s to dream building!
It’s time to press start.
There aren’t many things I remember from my childhood. The memories I do have come in bits and pieces. While some people can remember the names of their earliest teachers and childhood friends I’ve never had such an ability. At best I get a feeling here, a small recollection of a trip there, just enough to assure me that my childhood did happen. Here’s the story of one such snippet.
There was a summer during my elementary school years when I had a great morning routine. My sister was taking care of my brother and I while mom worked and every morning it was wake up, get breakfast, pop in a video. Our apartment was a place of joy and wonder as each morning I got to spend some time with my favorite animated movie. It was the summer of Aladdin, which also makes it the summer of friggin’ awesome. I loved that movie and watched it over, and over, and over, and over. Eventually I grew up, became a man, and bought Aladdin on DVD so I could watch it over, and over, and over. This happy time led to me being able to recall at least 95% of Aladdin word for word. Every song, every scene, all of it. If you’ve ever wondered why I proudly call myself a geek I give you exhibit A.
Aladdin and The (equally as awesome) Lion King hold very special places in my heart. While they stand as the cherry toppers on the sundae of my childhood my whole past is littered with scoops of goodness with one consistent label: Disney. I love Disney. Or as the kids of today would say, I <3 Disney. It was with this love that I came to be interested in a new documentary titled Waking Sleeping Beauty.
(Image from http://www.entertainmentgeekly.com)
There was no way I could have known about the issues plaguing Disney when I was a kid. I didn’t care about anything beyond the stories and songs. Beauty and the Beast, the aforementioned Aladdin and Lion King, even The Little Mermaid, my love for Disney in its golden era (which I believe it was) runs deep. Through interviews, home videos, and many other first hand sources Waking Sleeping Beauty shows us the drama behind the magic. Have you ever wondered what Michael Eisner or Roy Disney thought about their work? As a kid I didn’t. As an adult, hell yes.
So who wants to go to San Francisco with me to see this? Documentaries aren’t exactly known for their widespread theater distribution so knowing that I am only two hours away from a screening fills me with glee. March 26th can’t come soon enough. <3
At first, I was a bit annoyed. I love comics and graphic novels and I try my best to follow the great examples of the genre. Sadly, so many things fall in the shadow of Marvel and DC that I am bound to miss out. When the Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists came out I was amazingly excited to see that they instituted a new graphic novel category. Here’s where the annoyance came in: I didn’t recognize anything on there. Fantastic.
This feeling quickly gave way to the awesome possibilities in this list. Now I could go out and start reading some amazing work that I had no preconceptions about and that had already proven to some pretty trustworthy people that it was good. With that in mind I found myself at Borders last night and picked up Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life. Although the nomination was for volume 5 of the series I wasn’t about to start in the middle. In case you didn’t pick it up from the title (you unobservant creature you…) all I could say about this thing was wow. No, scratch that: WOW!
When I first saw the cover visions of Powerpuff Girls ran through my brain. This was a good sign. Within a single page I was already laughing. The characters, a fun gathering of Scott’s friends, family, band mates, and special guests adversaries, are instantly believable and interesting to read about. O’Malley found a way to bring me into the fold and make me care about the people faster then I can ever remember. I was hooked.
As the story progresses we get to see Scott try to figure out some of the most common things in his (and the readers) life. Intimate moments in his life like a date with his (sort of) girlfriend, who is a 17 years old and still in high school, are wonderfully illustrated and come across with a tenderness that is hard to find in the other books. And then they throw in super powered fights and evil ex-boyfriends. Believe me, it works, seriously. Funny, thoughtful, sweet, awesome, and addicting, this series has so much to offer. Anyone who is a fan of great writing in general and graphic novels specifically should go out right now and pick this up. You know what, if I know you, talk to me and I’ll lend you my copy. I hope to spread the greatness of Scott Pilgrim as far as I can.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you may have read this post. In it I related my deep love of animals in general and dogs in particular. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats as well. And rabbits. And birds of all sorts, whales, otters, mongoose, horses, lions, tigers, bears (oh my!), giraffes, deer, monkeys, hippos, etc. All of those are well and good but come on now, there’s nothing like a great dog. Man’s best friend. The companion, the partner, the protector. There is something different about dogs that try as I might I can’t fully put my finger on. Perhaps this is why I can’t stand to see them sad.
As I said in that previous post I can handle seeing cats in a shelter. I believe I could handle, as much as it would be heartbreaking, seeing other animals in captive situations. Yeah yeah, I know, zoos are captive situations, but that’s not what I mean here. What I can’t stand seeing are dogs in a shelter. They weren’t hurt or in any danger when I saw them. On the contrary, the SPCA does a fantastic job considering how many animals come through there. But it was the look in their eyes. These are intelligent creatures who thrive when free. They can be trained, they can do so many things, they can spend a lifetime showing you unconditional love, yet there they were reduced to sitting in corners waiting for someone to come along and show them something different.
Well someone did. No one can help all dogs in need but Andrew Grant has done an amazing thing for the ones in his area. Pure chance gave him an opening to use his talents to show people the personality of dogs. Using the power of photography he helped move people and as a direct result of his efforts some amazing animals have found great homes. Come on, who could say no to a face like this?
That’s just one of the faces you’ll find in Grant’s book, Rover. 200+ pages of doggy awesome. With a portion of the sales going to shelter animals Rover is making an active difference in the lives of these awesome pets. Thank you Grant.
And a big thank you to all the great dogs I’ve known or been close to in my life. Duke (pronounced Dookie because of a Spanish accent oddly enough), Chispita, Osito, Bubba, Palomo, and Fabio. I love you all. <3
“On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.”
As much as I love 1,000 different parts of this movie I have to disagree with this one line. Silly places, like Camelot, are exactly where I want to be. I am a silly bastard. For sure. I love it so very much.
If I were forced on pain of death to choose my favorite thing to do in the whole wide world I would say I love to laugh. Nothing is better than a really deep laugh. The kind that comes from down in your gut. The kind that makes my abs hurt and the muscles in my face sore from the force of my smile. It looks something like this.
So of course when I find something nerdy AND amazingly funny I just have to share it. In the grand tradition of Monty Python And The Holy Grail, with its watery tarts and such, and countless games/books/D&D-ish dorkiness I bring you Doraleous and Associates.
I’m in pain right now. From my shoulders to my thighs and everywhere in between I’m suffering an unholy ache the likes of which I’ve never known before. It’s like there is an army of demons inside my skin furiously yanking on my muscles, laughing maniacally the entire time. This feeling, as harsh as it sounds, is pretty much exactly what I expected when I started P90X. From the official website:
P90X is a revolutionary system of 12 sweat-inducing, muscle-pumping workouts, designed to transform your body from regular to ripped in just 90 days.
Now, their sales pitch writing style aside, I’ve done three days of their workouts and they are even more intense than I thought they were going to be. I was able to get through the first day pretty well and I felt like I had a great workout but I didn’t think, at that time, that it was amazing. Until the next morning. Until the pain set in. A dense fog of “effing OUCH” rolled over my body and that’s when I started to realize what I had gotten myself into. The second day was the plyometrics portion that consisted of jumping and squats. Then more squats. Then different squats. My legs (and, by extension, all of me) wanted to die. I figured that my background with running regular miles would have given me some leg strength I could use to get through this. Which it did! But it wasn’t nearly enough. This workout kicked my ass in a whole new way and I knew then that if I could stick with this program that I would see results.
I’m not naive enough to think I’m going to get one of those ripped bodies that I see on their website. I started with a good deal more spare in my tire, if you know what I mean, then most of those people with “before” photos on the P90X website did. What I am looking for is increased muscle mass and a way to kick-start some serious weight loss. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life and various programs have helped me along the way to get down to the size I am now, which isn’t horrible, but it’s not great. It’s not what I want to be. I strive for more for myself and to help reach that goal I’ve thrown open the door to this pain. If you got the impression that I was complaining about how my muscles feel right now that’s not true (not totally at least…) since this pain also tells me that it’s working. This is the ache of progress. As twisted as it may sound this pain puts a smile on my face.
I’ll let you all know how it goes.