Monday, January 30, 2017

The kids have a teacher work day, so I'm just taking it easy working from home. Usually not very productive, since there are thousands of distractions just clicks away, but since I did so much work yesterday on a Sunday, I feel like I'm ok if I veer off course here and there. I can't wait until 2 though, that's my unofficial stop time. Then I'll get back to Rise of the Tomb Raider for more exploration.


Yeah, I'm not sure if my gaming preferences changed over time, but I tend to get more invested in games that have an overarching storyline, like Uncharted, Tomb Raider, or GTA. Shooters are fun for sure, but it does get repetitive and somewhat samey after the first half hour. Overwatch is still tremendously enjoyable, but does have limited mileage after a while. Perhaps it's the graphical fidelity whereby now I don't mind spending some time in a world that's rendered beautifully. In the past it was about the gameplay but now there's an additional advantage of just being fun to look at. Uncharted has some amazing vistas to just marvel at.

After years of feeling like I shouldn't be playing any more video games, I think I've finally accepted that I'm a gamer and I love doing it because it makes me happy, and I should attached minimal guilt to spending a few hours a day just doing that.  It's a passive, consuming activity that doesn't yield anything productive, but it makes me happy.  I think that should count for something.  There are many ways of self-improvement, and I feel like doing something that makes me happy is a way of improving my self-fulfillment.  I'm supporting a creative industry, can't be all bad, right?  Right now between doing my regular job at work and being a family man is already my way of making my mark in this world.  I feel like that's good enough.  I may never discover land masses or pen something mind-blowing, and I'm learning to be ok with that.  There are lots of talented people doing those things, and I shouldn't feel like I'm not.  My writing has its audience, and my contributions to society are just fine.

Last week I decided to stop paying attention to social media, since Trump's administration has been causing so much distress for so many Americans.  It's a bit of looking away from the car crash, but the constant headings, social media shares, and being generally reminded of our standing in the world.  Luckily, the world in general seems to be pretty understanding that it's Trump specifically and a small subset of the American population that seems to be addicted to close-mindedness and racism.  It's an ugly side that's probably prevalent in all walks of life, but it's happening to us right now.  We got complacent and look at us now.  Now we've got to fight for what we took for granted for a very long time.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gunning for some Gunnars

I've been trying to get computer glasses for a while now, first starting with cheap knockoffs from Amazon that didn't fit my giant head, then trying for Gunnars. Now I have two pairs downstairs that I'll have to send back to this AV House place. Because they're not Amazon, the shipping back isn't free, and there's a bloody restocking fee on top of that. Fuckers. I'll be out about 30 bucks or so and still not have any goddamn computer glasses. Why is this so hard? I definitely would not be able to get any prescription glasses over the mail. Not with my giant noggin anyway.

As glad as I am to have this new laptop, I'm still pretty peeved that a bunch of stuff doesn't really work on it. I can't get the ODBC connections to work on it, so I can't do queries on it for work. The wireless adapters like to turn off when I close the lid or put it to sleep, so I pretty much have to reboot when I want to use it again, which is also quite silly. But I am still enjoying the laptop. The full keyboard that lights up, the brilliant display that's a nice 16:9... I guess I have to stay at the job so that I can keep my paws on this laptop. Part of me want to make the kids happy by installing Minecraft on this thing for them. But no, it's my work laptop. Installing Minecraft is a little too obnoxious.

It's been an interesting week. Started off Monday when I went to Mom's to drop off some corned beef that I had made up on Sunday evening, and after a slight delay, she opens the door and she's been crying. She tells me that my aunt, her younger sister, had passed. The details that came out were a little sad, that my other aunt had come home late from work and found her on the floor, dead. They wouldn't be doing an autopsy because either it's a cultural thing or maybe in their minds, it wouldn't matter anyway because she'd still be gone, and it wouldn't make that big a difference. Kinda a bummer though. I've been feeling rather bad for my mom, because that's her youngest sister.

The homework thing continues to be a struggle with Zoe, but I'm going to try to not let that dictate our whole relationship. I've been a little cruel when it comes to that, not enforcing it unfairly or anything like that, but letting that become the focal point of our interaction. Everytime I talk to her, it's always about remembering to hand shit in or how much screen time she won't have. It's really not making her my friend and I'm honestly pretty sick of hearing my own voice bumming everyone out. At least the weekend's here and I get some respite and Alex gets his video game time.

I've been thinking about writing, and filmmaking, and I think it's finally dawning on me that if I really had wanted to do something about it, I probably would have done it by now. It feels so terminal, that this will probably be the job that I'll do for a really long time, and that filmmaking is now so out of reach that it exists in my mind only to torture myself for the time that I squandered away. But like I said, if I was ever going to do anything with it, nothing would have stopped me from doing so. In a way, when I had kids, I grew more vulnerable and afraid to fail. I miss the old me. Having only been in a couple plays and I go out and write and put on a whole play. Something so fearless and foolish about that. Now I just do the bare minimum because I refused to accept this reality as mine. I keep waiting for something that will never come.

Yeah, I should probably move on to something else.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Take Your Kid to Work Day

So today was take your kid to work day, and Alex tagged along with me to work because we finally organized an event for this annual thing that has been going on for 23 years. Zoe had overdue assignments and since she needed to recognize that good grades equals rewards, she didn't go. Overall, it was a pretty good day because he got to do some CPR, play with some AEDs, and got to spend some time with me as well. It was actually a pretty sweet day because I got to spend some time with him, and he was having fun laughing at the various spillings of liquids on my black polo shirt that he had borrowed. The downside of today was the complete lack of productivity on my part. Between ducking in and out of those sessions, having a brand new laptop from work that isn't set up properly to do much of any work, and Mom needing me to fix the phone and scan some documents, I've barely gotten anything accomplished. I was under the false assumption that I would be able to do a little work from home before I realized that I had never really used this laptop to remote into work before. Even a little tweaking from the co-worker didn't help matters. There's so much to do and I'm crippled by my shiny new laptop which has no ODBC connections or remote functionality. I still haven't figured out what the hell is wrong with my old Nexus, but at least Mom has a working phone now. That's most of it right there, her having the means to communication. If the phone doesn't come back to life I'll just install the apps back on her old phone. Meanwhile I'm thinking if it does come back to life, I'd like to use one of the phones for Google Play Music again. Listening to the old songs on my iPod is ok, even though I end up skipping most of the oldies and weird music selections that I usually don't accommodate. Well, would like to type more but I'm pretty wound up right now. But damn, this is a good looking laptop with a crisp display. Just wished I could do some work on it.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Vegas 2012 (posting the draft)

We've been back for about a week now, and I still get back on routine. It feels as if as suddenly as I was placed in Vegas, I'm back in my old routine which feels foreign and not very exciting. But some very great memories came from this vacation. Here's are my highlights. I was going to do a top ten but felt like I would either have to inflate my list or reduce my list to fit the format, so here's to arbitrary lists in no particular order! The Beatles "Love" show. I didn't really know what to expect, but my expectations were certainly heightened. Elaine didn't even know that it was a Cirque du Soliel production until we were seated - she was under the impression that it was just four guys in wigs all along. Stepping into the theater, I was a little concerned about the nosebleed I would getting from the distance of the seats. The view seemed a little strange, obstructed and partitioned. Then the show started. There's a burst at the end of "Get Back" I think, when the stage literally explodes with action, light, and my heart just exploded right along with it. Tears just streamed out of my eyes because I was just overcome with emotion. Here was the music that I love and here were people who loved the music much more and had reimagined the song with a show. It was almost like seeing some odd alternative footage of the Beatles that I've never seen. I was listening to the album at work and it occurred to me that there were portions of songs whereby I don't even remember what happened on stage. I was just so entranced and elated that it was just a life event that took all the analysis out of me. AdventureDome We pretty much hit the midway and the AdventureDome throughout the week, but one of the days we got the kids wristbands because it would just end up costing entirely too much money to pay for each ride. The adults cheaped out since we weren't going on too many rides anyway, and half the rides would just be too small for the adults. The kids did their usual kiddy rides but Alex and Zoe actually braved the little roller coaster with smiles on their faces. It was by no stretch of the imagination a scary ride, but it was unexpectedly and uncharacteristically brave of them to pick the little coaster ride. In our eyes, they grew a little older that that. The lines were shorter as well, so they basically got off, and went back on again. Along with all the other stuffed animals they had won earlier, Circus Circus was truly a great choice for our family.

A Good A Time to Restart This Thing.

I think thinking about Tumblr to get more of an audience but really, the only person that I need to be writing is still myself. It's a therapeutic practice that allows me to express myself without feeling like a drone. But the trick of it really is to dive right back into the details that don't seem interesting - at least not for the time being. Years from now I'm sure that it'll be interesting. So here's the uninteresting bit of my life. The financial honeymoon has finally leveled out, and it's rather harsh. We are house poor, having sunk a lot of the savings into the house (ultimately a good thing, don't get me wrong) and having almost half my paycheck go toward mortgage every month. It's not like I can avoid it, if I wanted to stay in this area. It's just expensive having a 3 bedroom house with 2 dogs in the state of Washington. I bet the neighborhood has a lot to do with it. I am living in a fancier neighborhood than I deserve, but it's a good thing. I just have to worry about rich kids bumming my kids out with their privileges and iPhones. That isn't too bad of a thing. But back to the point. So when we moved in with my mom, we didn't pay rent - just the utilities, our food, and helped out whenever we could. The rent was covered, so we were doing ok. My mom started to push us out so that she could sell the house, and incidentally around the same time I got a much better paying position, so that was grand. Then my wife's stepmom passed and the inheritance came in, which helped with the repairs to my mom's house, and to get set up on our new house. But once we got a new car, paid toward the house, and took all the family to Disneyland, we're now back to level. There is no extra money floating around anymore. It's just what I earn, and what the wife earns. It's been harsh. Having to drastically alter our spending habits to be frugal again has been a tough lesson. We're recovering, but it's slow. The kids have changed in the few years I've stopped blogging as well. Currently the crisis is regarding the boy's attitude and the girl's motivation. Alex has been pretty good, keeping up with the homework to earn that screen time that he so desperately covets. He has to bear the injustice that his friends are able to play M rated games while good old Dad insists that he keeps to the Teen rating, unless he's playing with me. It's really not a real issue - I keep plenty of good games to keep him interested, but he wants what he can't have. The attitude comes about when we stand in the way of his video games - when he butts up against the rules because he's got a late assignment, or a grade below B. Then it's like a low grade conflict whereby he's passively upset that he doesn't get video games. He lashes out at my wife more than me, probably because he knows that beneath my mild irritation can be a furious hothead. It's not like I resort to hitting or demeaning him, but I do lay into him if I think he's having an attitude problem. But overall, he's doing well in school. He's trying hard to get my attention and I'm not trying hard enough to give it to him. I call it just clashing personalities. I don't know how girls are supposed to act, but I have an impression of how boys are supposed to act. And I have these incorrect expectations on him. It's not fair. I'm working on it. The girl has an interesting predicament in that she's not really indifferent when we're talking to her about late assignments - but her actions say exactly that. She had 11 late assignments over Spring Break, which she spend a good chunk of her time during Spring Break making up, and then proceeded to not hand in any of those assignments in the week she was back at school. It was just baffling. Like making a meal and then hiding it from others. It's elevated to my wife making Zoe write lines over and over again, how she should not hand in late assignments or something to that effect. I feel more distant with Zoe than I'd like, but she's just growing up. Needing me less. Getting interested in boys, as far as I can tell because she's chatting about them with Erica. The thing they never tell you about parenting is that keeping them alive is relatively easy, but making sure that they grow up to be responsible, humble, empathetic human beings is the hard part. And it's not even like they'll get rewarded for having non-selfish behavior. It just makes them better people overall. At least in my eyes.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Kidney Stone

Well usually there's not a lot going on in terms of life changes, but since this is the first time I've had an adult type ailment, thought I might as well document it for the sake of being thorough. Something like that. It kind of started off as a weird one off thing - it was Thursday night and after dinner, I just started feeling a little off, my stomach was starting to hurt. After I put the kids to bed, the pain became much more crippling and I was just laying in bed trying to be comfortable and to ward off pain. The guess at the time was that all the corn that I had eaten in the prior two days - five ears of delicious corn - had failed to digest properly and was now clogging up my intestinal tract in some manner. Because of my son and stepdaughter having a similar type situation, that's just what I chalked it up as. It was painful, and took a few hours to subside, but it was enough to make me cautious and work from home the next day. The next day was pretty uneventful, other than the fact that I work terribly from home because of my lack of self discipline. But nonetheless, no pain episodes, it was all good. On Saturday we were going to pick up Mom and make it to the Ramen restaurant by Crossroads, and so that was in place. We headed out there and I was a little tired to begin with, for whatever reason I didn't sleep very well and was still quite tired with a headache. In retrospect, this headache should have been a very big clue of being dehydrated. But we as we looked into the restaurant, it was still quite packed so we went to Barnes and Noble just to kill a little bit of time. While in there, the abdominal pain got to affecting my walk, so I tried sitting on a bench but it wasn't real comfortable. After a while, I just sat on a comfy chair and the pain escalated to a level of strong discomfort. I told the family to go ahead and eat without me, since we were already there anyway and I didn't want the others not to eat on the account of my pain, so I just sat at Barnes and Noble, trying to look normal as I was wincing and taking short breaths. The pain in the abs were one thing, the back muscles spasming was really painful. When Elaine came to check on me, I suggested just sitting in the car so I can have my suffering at least in privacy. So we made it outside and she was going to drive the car closer to me, and I couldn't really cover much distance in the state I was in anyway. After an initial attempt to locate the car, she did finally find the car, I got in there, and she finished lunch with the family and it was off to Urgentcare. There they proceeded to not give me anything for the pain, make me wait far longer than it was really necessary, and come away with a diagnosis of having a kidneystone about 6mm that I was going to have to pass. "It's comparable to the pain experienced during childbirth", she said, as I kept shifting in the uncomfortable patient chair. When we got back to Mom's, I thought that maybe if I just tried to nap it off, the pain would subside but no such luck. Her place was cold and it was causing the pain to be amplified. When I went to the bathroom to attempt to have a BM, ended up throwing up - which actually made me feel better. I just wanted to be home at that point so poor Elaine had to drive home in the dark. The next day, I was fine. Nothing major happened, but I did send the boss a note about what happened. Just in case last night happened. At around 3:20 am, I woke up in pain and begun a long night involving severe abdominal and back pain, labored breathing and sweating, and lots of throwing up. Like an obscene amount. I tried to keep my pain from Elaine since she had to work, so I went into the office to attempt to be comfortable. As she tried to lay down with me in the office, I moved back to the bed and it was just hours of shifting around, moving to the couch, back to the bed, to the toilet to throw up, and I didn't feel anywhere close to human until 1 something in the afternoon after I had gotten some decent sleep. And after that, I still have some pain but it was more manageable. It wasn't crippling me. So now I sit up in bed, extremely worried about what lies ahead for me. I've eaten very little today, drank a lot, and took a vicodin before bed. The pain is so palatable that I'm actually afraid to go to bed. We'll see what happens I guess.

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's been a while.

Haven't thought about blogging for a long time. I think I held off for a while because I just didn't have anything new to say. The kids are fine, I'm frustrated about my life choices, and work is stressful. It had become a cycle of routine of banality and patterns. But recently, a couple Christmas ago, I started on a path that allowed me to revisit the reaches of my imagination. There was less and less of "stop daydreaming and more and more of "this is happening now." It was a reawakening of the way I used to let my mind shoot around without the consequence of probability. And suddenly, I gained new perspectives, got more comfortable with the truth, and am starting to reach some level of understanding that was only hinted at before. We are all searching for the truth in many different ways, but for some it's focused on different things. Some of us find truth in our relationships, some our jobs, some our religions. I find truth to be very freeing and very intimate. I seek to see the truth within our people but they are unwilling to open up to me. And perhaps wisely so, since I approach it in a more obtuse way. I just now started to realize that there was something, after all, to pass on to the kids. It wasn't learning how to fish, or fix a car, or anything like that. It was my passion and I had two eager children who are willing to put in the time to learn this odd hobby of mine of making believe and making little videos. I still don't think I'd be able to pull of something good a lot of times. I just don't have the kind of conviction it requires from start to finish - at least not anymore. I lost the foolishness of my youth when there was a monthly mortgage to pay off so that my children could have shelter and food. I still don't have the organization that is needed to tell a good narrative. I just have bits and pieces, and my skill level will stall out a little pass mediocre. It's never soaring above the rest so it would be noticed and marvelled at, it will just rise close to the top. One of the photos that I really want to get at some point is one of me and Zoe holding hands, just being Daddy and Zoe. In a couple years, that may disappear. Like forever. Well, perhaps until I get older and it would seem okay to hold your father's hand again and he mopes around unwittingly. Really right now I still enjoy that Zoe wants to hold my hand. When we get out of the car, I'll even expect a tinier hand to slip into mine without fail. When my hand doesn't get gripped, I would instinctively wonder where she was. The hand has gotten bigger over the years, but it's a familiar bond that I'll cherish for many years to come. And I have to get that photo before it stops happening.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Unmotivated

Here I am with a little free time on my hands and I should be working on my story, but as always, I'm a little stuck on words and the feeling that my story outline isn't quite complete is bugging me.  The tone isn't quite right so I keep doubting myself, and my mind isn't quite on track to focus on a story right now.  I don't know right now what it would take for me to get going on the story, but I'm not about to solve it right now.  Right now I'll just jot something on the blog and call it a day.

Taking an extra day to burn off some PTO, which has been kinda nice because I've been a little burned out from work.  Not that it's hard or stressful, just very routine and uninspired.  I can't complain because it does pay the bills and the roof of which we're under.  Different things inspire me than what my work offers, which aside from the customary monetary compensation, also offers the good karma of being a lifesaver.  Which is barely passable because I'm not entirely sure what I do have a direct effect of somebody's life being saved.  Nonetheless, the thing that inspires me the most is perhaps the power to inspire others, to invoke emotion through the medium of writing, or photography, or video.  That truly is my muse.  The entertainment industry would get me working for next to nothing because it fills that void in my soul that none of the other jobs I've done can.  But until the house is paid off, this is what I'm doing, I guess.

One of the things I've been struggling with of late is my incessant multitasking, and I don't mean that in a productive, awesome way.  I mean that in a distracted, destructive manner whereby I have to fill every waking second with some data intake of any sort, whether it be news or reddit on my phone, or audiobooks in the car, or podcasts at work.  My brain does not get a calm moment to cultivate a thought in my head because I'm constantly bombarding it with information.  On Saturday I had to just step outside into my backyard with my ukelele, strum a few chords and just lay on the trampoline and stare at the clouds.  Yes, you could argue that's still doing too many things at once, but it was exactly the thing that I needed.  Something that did not benefit anything.  Just to be present in my own world. I need to do that more in order to be productive.  To force my brain to vacate once in a while.  Because even when I sleep, my brain often goes into overtime, formulating dreams that always result in me waking up and being mentally exhausted.

On Saturday we also went to see Star Trek Into Darkness, because after our accidental viewing of Iron Man 3, I found that I actually do enjoy going to the movies.  Except we just saw the 2D version of Star Trek because I didn't want to spend 60 bucks seeing a goddamn movie in 3D.  I'm all for technological progress but ever since the 3D craze reemerged a few years ago, I honestly can't say that it has enhanced my viewing experience.  I still remember going with my wife to see Superman Returns in IMAX and what a big deal that was.  And only sections of that movie was in 3D.  

I think I'll go read now.  That sounds relaxing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Tree of Death

Was trying to conjure up an interesting title about the tree incident and the Terence Malick movie came to mine. That silly movie about evolution and a bratty kid in the 1950s. Okay, the movie wasn't really that bad, but it was a wee bit frustrating. Anyhow, I had previously written an entry about this incident but I had accidently deleted the whole thing with one swift keystroke. Then I was so annoyed that I just put it off till today. So a few days ago, I was standing there with Elaine, looking out our porch window at the trees at the preserved area next to our house. This preserved area has a swampy feel to it, with a wild growth of different scrubs, tree, and growth all over it. There's really nothing appealing about the area, but our concern was with a couple of bare trees that were tall and menacing. We were debating about its reach - whether or not if it fell, it would make any contact with the house. Later that night, I was in the office messing about with the computer when there was a snapping sound, following but a massive crash that sounded dense and dangerous. I ran downstairs and Elaine asked if I was alright, but I said it was an outside thing. We stepped outside and she was startled by the big log on our back porch. I looked at the fence but couldn't see any damage, and there didn't seem to be any damage to the house, so I couldn't quite figure it out. Turns out the tree had actually fallen against the neighbor's house, chipped off a portion of the roof, and then the top bit of the truck flew off, slammed against the side of our house and dented the down spout, and bruised the paint job a little. After helping the neighbor clear the debris from her driveway, I was out of breath, drenched, and a little in shock. It was a little strange all that stuff happened in such a short time, and we had to react so suddenly. This weekend I've got some hatchet shopping to do because a simple saw would just take too long to work through the truck. But yeah, it the span of three months, we've had two minor house issues, with the roof leaking and the murderous flying tree of death. Hopefully this next year we shall see nothing else.