Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Xmas Fatigue

Yes, there is such a thing because I have it. After all the spending and visiting, I'm eager to get back to my boring ass life. The one filled with chilling out and being a complete dullard suits me just fine. I don't know, Christmas hath crossed the treshold from being a joyous holiday to being a chore of tolerance and wallet gutting. I enjoy spending my money on some people more than others - I guess that's a good way of putting that. Grinchy as it may be, I am happy that Christmas is one whole year ahead. Gives me more time to avoid it. Funny though, since my wife really enjoyed it this year round.

My glasses decided to self destruct last night, snapping on the top of the rim again. This is the third and final snap, having been welded back into place by a shop the last two times. Yes, the whole "spectacle" probably cost me about five hundred bucks, between the initial cost of the glasses and the two weld jobs. So I'm certainly sticking with contact lenses.

Because of some misinformation, I ended up keeping Metal Gear Solid for the PS3 and with a gift card and a sale, also ended up picking Ninja Gaiden and Fallout 3, which I gave up after renting it because it was becoming too much work. We will see if this time I develop more of a fondness for it. Anyway, all those should be keeping me busy for quite some time.

Well, I'm literally falling asleep in the midst of the kids bickering and yelling over Little Big Planet. Stopping here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Waiting for Brown

As I wait for the UPS truck to arrive, I'm realizing that I haven't blogged in a while. And despite my total lack of interesting tidbits to share, I'm going to write anyway. Because I owe it to you.

Anyway, I am waiting for Hdmi cables, component cables and a HD indoor antenna to arrive from I've heard about them strictly from podcasts but they have been known chiefly for good prices and decent quality. Which pretty much sums me up, I'm decent quality. Nothing really impressive that will knock your pants off, but likely someone you wouldn't mind pointing to and refering to as "my acquaintance".

Work has been a little interesting lately, I've been requested and also assigned to help in other parts of the company, and it's been interesting. It's a mix between gratitude that I'm doing something different and slight boredom. Mostly because I'm taught enough to color by numbers, but not really knowing what picture I'm coloring or why I'm choosing those colors.

Bad analogies aside, I actually had to tell one side that I had a previous commitment with the other, and they could have me for half the day. The punchline to all of this, of course, is that I don't know what I'm doing. I'm way underqualified for the new position, but they're doing a grand thing and taking the time to explain everything to me. I wasn't offended that he mentioned that it would be two weeks before I could do anything productive - rather I saw that as a good thing. But we'll see how that goes.

I haven't had much time to enjoy the new tv, although it is noticeably more awesome than the last. Widescreen is my friend. Gaming on it is a ton of fun, though playing Burnout on it close to blew my brain apart. High speed and big screen equals mind blown. And hooking up my meager computer speakers to it just enhances the squishiness of mass chaos while playing Prototype.

Was slogging through the damp grass when I realized that this was Daisy's first winter. She was born in April, so she's still a puppy by definition.

Ok, I'm yawning from all this blogging. I'm out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cloudy and cold

There isn't anything terribly important to note, just spending my day off listening to intermittent Christmas songs that plays between my regular songs on the iPod. We are watching our budget so staying home seems to be a pretty good solution, although it does drive Elaine up the wall. It doesn't bother me quite as much, because from Mon to Fri all I ever do is to work, and then linger with exhaustion until bedtime so I could do it all over again. Elaine took Zoe to World Market to window shop a bit, and I'm just hanging out at home with the boy. While he's playing Legos, I'm on the iPod tapping out a blog entry.

November came and went, and now it's weeks before Christmas and it's hard to fanthom. We are maybe seventy percent complete on our shopping, and for me only one more paycheck to go. Elaine and I are both exempt from gifts, since we both got our gifts early with the TV and the couch. We are cutting down on kids presents this year, being how their toys have such a short life cycle, we decided to instead save that money for a trip to Disneyland instead. Of course, none of that money is there anymore, but I suppose sometime in March or April we will go.

It is a little tough to think of myself as a college graduate, and everyday I go to work I get reminded of that everyday. I have to swallow chunks of my pride everyday, when people with less schooling running the show. I dunno, I'm having this mid-life crisis whereby I don't know what I want in life anymore. My ambitions got smaller and now it seems that my short term goal is to make it to the weekend, and my long term goal is to look forward to the next holiday. My imagination is stifled by stress, fatigue, and constant refereeing. In a lot of ways, I am content with the life I have, with a wife who loves me and sticks by me, two good kids, and a pretty good dog whose worse moments comes when she's bored. Hey, if I could chew on walls, there's no guarantee I wouldn't do it either. But in a lot of ways, I'm sad as well. I don't know what I'm contributing to my legacy. Even my wit and smartassery isn't documented, so it's not even like I could coast off that. I don't write anymore because I'm making excuses, and indepent filmmaking slips further from me. My equipment is old and falling apart, and my willingness to work with actors was lessened with the last project. I just don't know what I'm doing most of the time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

McD reflections

Making it through this week is a bit of an accomplishment, since there's still a fair amount of modeling clay in my respiratory system. Sometimes I would exercise my child like fascination, looking at my expectorate and marvelling at its structural integrity, wondering to myself how something like that managed to come out of me. I've also been avoiding speaking in general, everytime I try to utter something resembling a sentence, my throat would itch and I'd end up coughing. I imagine most people do not find coughing appealing, especially since the flu scare has probably got everyone ingesting Purell just to keep themselves sterilized. So I just figured I wouldn't talk much, so that I couldn't cough. Somehow being anti-social sat better with me than being diseased.

So my National Novel Writing Month has bombed so far, kicking off with a week long flu and then just wallowing in general fatigue. I've been going to bed so early this week that I've qualified myself for dreams again. Usually my brain doesn't get to go into REM state, it just naps before it snaps to conciousness again like an angry bulldog, looking for something to do for the whole day.

After some thought today, I'm thinking of switching my novel to a play format, because I've been having a little trouble making my book effortlessly funny. Also, I think it'll work slightly better as a play anyway, since novel writing isn't my strength. We shall see, since we are talking about rewriting a whole two pages or something. Bah. What a terrible writing schedule. I used to write so easily and now it's a chore and an experiment on my ability to doubt myself.

Have a few hours of work tomorrow, going to a training class that someone enrolled me into. Not quite sure who decided that I should take a class called "Value stream mapping", even joked to my supe that maybe they needed a gnome to fetch coffee so they decided to sign me up. But glasses have to be half full for me, I have to look at it as an opportunity of sorts. I'm sure having taken this class is sure to bump me up somehow.

Been listening to the Creative Screenwriting podcast and it's just amazing. Listening to their work process and knowing that it's a lot of writing and rewriting, a lot of patience, and a while lotta luck that gets people where they are. But it's just work. Breaking down the story to see what works and what doesn't, and tearing away scenes that you love because they simply don't serve the story. Probably the best ones so far are from the writers of Watchmen and Walle. These guys have spent years and years, rewriting and writing. It's just humbling to know that they have to work as hard as anyone else to make the story work.

Well, fatigue and the antics of the McDonalds playground are distracting me, so that's it for me. I've counted five kids crying so far. It's like a brutal gladiatorial ring of sticky-fingered midgets trying to trounce each other.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Weak week

Well, last week was a complete travesty. Between high fever, bad headaches that would conjure up nightmares of brain damage and dark places of my soul, and my insides feeling ravaged and destroyed, I think I'm finally getting better. Went back to work on Wednesday thinking that, but when I woke up Thursday morning feeling like I was sledgehammered in the head, I called in and had to lose a day's pay. Such is the consequences of being stricken with the flu. I don't know if I wanna be all dramatic and call it H1N1, but I've never been so sick for so long. Usually it's a three day affair the most. It wouldn't surprise me though, if I did get H1N1, since this strain of flu had floored me so badly.

Other than the lost hours of work, I also lost about a week to write, which really sucks. I couldn't concentrate long enough to write, couldn't even look at the screen for long. And now that I know I'm behind, the incentive is even less to keep up with their schedule. But I'll get back onto it. Just have to keep my own schedule.

There's also a constant hunger I have in my stomach, this weird feeling that I'm hungry although I'm pretty sure I'm not. I can taste any food right now anyway, my palate has been reduced to very basic sensations, like salty, sweet, and poop.

And I used to be so witty.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Today was the first for many things, although it isn't as exciting as it sounds. It was mostly comical and sad, if anything.

The first day of my illness marked the day, after bein surrounded by sick kids and sick wife, it was plainly inevitable. I haven't quite had it bad, just an irritable throat that makes me cough here and there. Not like my wife, who's bound to cough up a major lung sometime soon. But I fear the impending misery that comes with the illness. Still not sure if I'm still going to work, but most likely I will. It's the only way I can get better it feels like.

The second first is the the first day of National Novel Writing Month. I have to report that I'm really nowhere close to the minimum amount of output, mostly because it's so damn hard to find a quiet moment to myself, and after having found it, to not indulge in the awesomeness that is Uncharted 2. That game is quite fun, although I've spoilt a bit of it from watching way too many reviews. I've got the beginning of the story started at least, and it reads like a scattered first draft. It has a small fraction of the comedy I'd like in it, and it seems like all the characters have seemingly the same voice. But I'm forging ahead, and I can fix the bulk of it later. Still can't decide if I want to adopt the traditonal third person narrative or adopt a journal like retelling of the story.

The last dubious first is Daisy's first day of dog training school, which I shall now refer to Embarassment school. While I didn't expect Daisy to be the perfect little princess, I didn't think we'd be stuck in the corner with a barrier draped with blankets. We had to bring the dog in the car a few tomes because she was barking and frantic so damn much that it was distracting the other dogs. She would spazzing while in class, whining and barking and lunging herself into the air trying to sniff all the other canine ass in class. She acted like a dog on crack cocaine and speed, and I couldn't look anyone in the eye. Yes, that's my dog trying to dominate or intimidate your dog. I dunno, I was embarassed and couldn't take too much of it. What a grueling experience.

Gonna get some uncharted on. I have some semblence of control over that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Quite possibly a false perception on my part, but it is rather disconcerting to see progress in your peers while your own life spins in the mud, burrowing deeper into stagnant muck. I take very slight comfort in my age, thinking that the lower thirties aren't quite a lost cause, but nevertheless a call for concern. Looking into my bag of tricks isn't encouraging, there's really nothing beyond the usual card tricks or a string of multi-colored hankerchieves that most employers have not already seen done or done better, so I'm basically starting off at ground zero. I'm not better than a recent high school grad, except there will be this cavervous gap that I'll have to account for whereby my career stalled in the wrong lane, seemingly oblivious to the other open available lanes next to me. I can't help but be frustrated and guilt-ridden at my desire for more. It isn't more money, or a glorified position, but rather finding my place in this world doing something that I'm gifted at. My great hope is that November is a month of obligation, that even a shoddy first draft will be enough to warm my blood to yearn for more inspiration. I have to write to stay afloat from drowning in my pool of utter despair.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Writing Style

Been writing in a blogging conversational style now for so long I'm not entirely sure if I can write an actual story now, let alone a novel in one month. November isn't even here yet and I have tangible anxiety about the deadline, but I guess that's what National Novel Writing Month is all about. Self imposed pressure to put pen to paper. I had a couple ideas for outlines but really nothing concrete quite yet. I think the biggest obstacle right now is just starting. Deciding a tone, characters, and just trying to figure out which foot to start out with.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Short Fuse

Ok, it's not like I'm about to blow the gasket anytime soon, but the pressure gauge is needling in the red. There seems to be a lot of tension in me, from both the busyness of being a family man, and the inertia of being a man stuck in a job that's going round on a short track. So like the many promises that I make and break on a weekly basis, I thought blogging might spark the brain a bit, to keep it from gathering moss or rusting away.

It seems like I'm being over protective, but when I hear about some of the shennigans going on at the kids school, I can't help but want to intervene. Protecting them from life is impossible, I know, but I'm still going to voice my opinion about how they expect to be treated by their peers. Logan is chasing after Zoe and throwing pine cones at her? I'm about ready to confront them at the busstop and inform his parents that the next thing that is going to be thrown will be Logan if he doesn't knock it off. Having grown up and being picked on as a kid, that shit doesn't go over well with me. Until the kids grow up and develop their own crazy coping mechanism, I'm going to interfere because it is my business. I guess I'm old school like that.

Comtemplating getting a bigger vehicle now, since Daisy has to go everywhere with us because she can't be left home alone - see exhibit A, chewed up photo frame. The kids are getting slightly cramped back there as well, because their short little stumps are sprouting. So yeah, it's not like we are thinking of upgrading because of a dog, it's something that we've been ignoring for quite some time. When grandma goes anywhere, she's packed in there like a sardine withou seatbelts, which really ain't cool. But sad reality is that we don't have much capital, so even if we can put some money down and trade in my beloved Honda, we will probably be tied down to a loan with some horrible interest. So that idea might just have to chill for a little bit.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The short weekend

I look forward to my three day weekends because during my weekdays, the 40 hour workweek is compressed so tautly into my life that there's barely room enough for me to breathe. Friday had some overtime, so the week is shorter than usual and some bug is threatening to gain the upper hand over my body. Today is a little bit of a disaster, having to take Daisy to Bellingham because she's still too young to be home alone. She's going slightly bonkers, too many other animals to contend with. She's her own special brand of crazy right now.

Finished Season 2 of Californication and I have to give mad props, as the hipster palance goes, for being an enormously entertaining show. It features really good writing and it's got the kind of raunchy humor that makes my day, but is also quite smart. Season one is streaming on Netflix, and we just finished Season two on DVD.

Friday, October 2, 2009

September was a big bank bust, after the birthdays, the iPod, the PC replacement, the dog adoption... We should be eating top ramen for the rest of the year.  I was adding up Daisy's cost, and between the adoption fee, the vet, and the pet supplies, it's another huge expense.  I guess it's a good thing she's not stinky or anything... Oh wait. 

Since she was spayed a day before we picked her up, we're not supposed to give her a bath so that her stitches can heal properly.  So now she smells so much like a dog that we are smelling like a dog house.  Phew.  So, more air freshners and open windows for us.

This week has been a challenge, with dog training taking up most of our free time.  We can't really go on normal walkies yet because Daisy is so keen on chasing everything.  Has been feeling more than land skiing than anything, our shoulders slightly out of place from all that yanking.  That said, she had already learned to sit, shake, and lay down within a week.  So that's pretty good if you ask me.  Daisy has still got the cold, so she's hacking like a senior citizen who's been smoking all her life.  It's a little disconcerting waking up to that sound, halfway expecting a pool of vileness to follow the horrid sound.  But it hasn't happened yet, thankfully.  She's also a rather poor bedmate, sticking limbs in our backs and occupying open spaces with her body, disabling our ability to toss or turn.  This morning, after I took her potty at 6:30 am and failed to fall back asleep, she even decided to snuggle up with me by placing her head on my shoulder.  It would be tremendously endearing had not her doggie breath occupying every breath I drew.

But if it hasn't been evidently obvious, we are smitten with this terrier.  She has been...

Well, she just peed in the house.  Better go reclaim our scent back.  Grrr. 
We decided to head back to the Bellevue shelter regardless that we've been here the last two days and we looked at two different animals, Tina, a beagle mixed with terrier maybe, and Barney, a dashund.  Tina has a good personality, very playful, and a tad big for the kids when she's on her hind legs.  We were worried about that primarily, because the kids seemed to be frightened of her.  Barney was more easy going, but she was a Dashund and I guess I had some kind of biased, in that a pet should never, by default, look ridiculous.  No disportionate body parts for me, thank you very much.  


I'm just gonna skip right ahead to the results, since I don't want to write as if it were just happening, since it has already been a day.  We ended up getting "Tina", the terrier even though the kids preferred the Dashund.  Tina actually scared the kids a little because on her hind legs, she posed a big licking threat.  Ultimately it came down to this, we needed a dog that would outlive the current novelty of having a small dog.  Right now a small dog is good, but when the kids are older, they would be stuck with a dog that can't run fast, jump much, and would be mortally wounded by a frisbee.  We needed a dog that the adults would like because it's not a kids plaything, it's a family pet that the parents would be primarily responsible for.  So we went for the terrier.  Shortly after we left the shelter with her, it was already decided that her name would be Daisy.  It didn't even take a few years, but later in the evening as the kids are running with the dog, I knew we had made the right choice.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Sitting on a bench wondering if Leah is going to be the right dog for us. There is another couple currently checking out the dog and I imagine they would probably adopt her. We had a early candidate but since she was a pitbull mix, her criteria didn't quite fit ours so she was disqualified based on her breed, pretty much. So if Leah isn't available, we might just stop by another shelter and seeing what happens.


Well, we met with Leah and she was a little big and a little too active for the kids. Alex was making excuses when he was clearly not comfortable when she was on him, licking his face off. Zoe did a lot worse, she was pawed and licked and she started crying. She was mostly just frightened because on her hind legs, the dog could take her down. We went to another shelter but they only had 4 dogs, no keepers there either. So we will just have to pass, might check back later in the week and see if we can find a suitable addition to the family.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Voluntary Layoff

Don't worry, this has nothing to do with me personally, just that it's a term that's floating around work with the contractors. First things first, it does suck for them. I don't disagree with that whatsoever, because some of them have been contractors for well over a year, and it sucks that there's no horizon to look forward to. The company can't hire because they are not seeing their own horizon very clearly themselves. However, with that said, some of the attitudes that I've been encountering has been aggravating me quite a bit evidently, because I kind of blew up at work during break at my co-workers.

I won't get into too much of the details, but basically these employed individuals want to be laid off so that they could collect unemployment, and then go to school. For someone who has always worked and schooled at the same time, it rankles me to no end because they are capable, human beings who basically want to be paid to go to school, under the impression that they have no other choice, that they cannot be employed otherwise.

I have benefited from public aid myself, having to be on WIC as well as using grants to finish college, and I know that there are millions who are unemployed, because of the depressed economy and the lack of open positions. But when someone tells me that they want to be "laid off" so that they can collect unemployment? That really bothers the hell out of me.

So I brought up that I'm a taxpayer, that old argument that always seems more self-serving and self-righteous than anything, but here's the bigger reason why I have a big chip on my shoulder about it. Never mind that unemployment wages are paid by taxpayer money. What about personal responsibility? What the hell happened to pride in yourself? Before public aid was available, and you didn't work, you just got kicked out and became a bum. You just suffered and had to struggle. Now evidently, you just have to march down to the unemployment office and make some life adjustments and still "get paid." Seriously, MAN UP. If you've got a family to support, WORK. If there was no economy and we had to depend on hunting and survival skills, and if you didn't go out there to hunt, you and your family dies from starvation. Shouldn't that same urgency and will to survive carry over to this industrialized nation? When you collect unemployment or abuse the system, don't you think it tips the balance of those who are willing to contribute to the public good and those who cannot because they are truly unable to?

I'm just getting mighty pissed at people who abuse the system to take advantage of Unemployment and Disability pay. I would love to sit around and bitch about how life isn't fair, or love to get something for nothing, but goddamnit I have pride in myself. My children look up to me, and I have to be able to stand by my words and actions. Anyone can cheat the system, get something for nothing, but at the end of the day, after I've woken up at 4:30 in the morning, going to a job I'm overqualified and underpaid for, and hoping that something better does come my way, I can still say that I'm a good man. That I earned every penny honestly. That in the end, I contribute to my community, to my society. I did my job, and it feels good to have done it.

Now I'm going to get off my soapbox. That I paid for with my own hard earned money.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


There's been a lot of new things happening lately, I suppose that's just the evolution process in action, really. Just last week, I had a chance to show off some of my video editing skillz at work and it seems like even though I've been talking about my filmmaking degree, nothing really sinks in until they see some footage for a project we were working on all last week. Then it's like, wow, didn't know you could do that. Didn't know you had the talent. Anyway, not quite sure where any of this might go, but it's nice that I got some kudos for my project. It's one of these things that go under the radar for so long and then suddenly it seems like a brand new surprise.

Haven't spent a lot of time on the new PC, although I am using it right now to type this. Have been, in fact, spending most of my time playing with the iPod Touch, it is virtually a mobile Wifi device that continues to surprise and fascinate me. Usually I get something and there are degrees of excitement followed by a humble letdown, like the browser on the PSP, the game resolution on the DS, or the Nikon's level of difficulty. But the iPod Touch for the most part has delivered in its surprises and thrills. I've nothing but praise for this piece of metal and glass and a big fat brain. Interestingly, I've spend most of the time playing with the apps and discovering little things about it, and not really using it for its primary function much, which is to play music and podcasts. The week long project I was in didn't factor too much podcasting in, so I just had to play with it at home. But man, I'm just wowed by this gadget. I even took it out today, and while we were waiting for our food in the restaurant, I played Scrabble with my wife.

The PC has been doing pretty great, except I'm having a bit of trouble registering for my Windows 7, and so far I haven't had any real problems with it. I've gone a little open source with the Open Office and the Gimp, but other than that the PC hasn't had much installed in it. Welcome to the age of Google, I suppose. Everything can live in the cloud, and is likely safer up there.

Well, got dishes to tend to. Maybe more Spaced after this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Big Sigh

Well, the big week has come and gone, I've gone through the whole career mode of Rock Band Beatles, and now have to wait for the rest of the DLC to make my experience feel complete. The iPod touch is in the mail, or should I say, shipping from China, and should be here by next Wednesday or so. But somehow I'm still feeling a little jilted in a way.

The touch has been broken down by other websites and it seems to have been designed for a camera in mind, there's even a spot reserved for a camera. But for whatever reason they just left the damn thing out. But I got one before the blogs and websites started their chatter, and since there's no ETA on the camera equipped Touches, I just got one anyway.

My honeymoon with Apple got worse when my Mac Mini flipped me the proverbial bird and now is lagging like a mofo in molasses. It even failed to boot last night so I'm looking to the dark side today, shopping for PCs. The Mac mini has lasted me 3 plus years but the idea of putting a new hard drive into a machine that isn't even fast enough to run hulu or youtube seems ass backwards. So I'll have to check to see what's available for me.

The kids have accustomed themselves to school rather easily, and having them share their adventures and lessons from school makes me smile. They seem to be getting along just fine at school, and doesn't seem like being in the same class is a problem for them. They play separately if they want to, stick together if they need to.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Self-Eval, apparently.

Had a relatively short week since I took Monday off for Zoe's birthday, but it still felt like a long week regardless. Work was slow and there were a lot of moments whereby I thought about an alternative career, like garbage collection. At least they have the satisfaction of staying busy.

Was listening to Stephen Fry's podcast about language and how it doesn't really matter what form of language you communicate with and how good your grammar is (mine infamously isn't) but the idea is just to use whatever language you're capable and accustomed to and just express yourself in whatever form you choose, which inspired me since I often discount myself as a mediocre writer, and a barely capable screenwriter. Even my blog entries are passably entertaining, otherwise nobody would bother with it at all. I remember a neutral party describing the blog as "simple, but effective." I should maybe write brochures or pamphlets.

Am really trying to be a good boy and not spent every paycheck I get on games, and it sure is tempting to do so especially when you can shop from home. Even at the store, they had "Saints Row 2" on sale and with all the discounts it would've been about 17 bucks, but I had to resist. September will soon be upon us and I will surrender a chunk of charge to both Harmonix and Apple, with their Beatles Rock Band and the Abbey Road DLC, and of course the 3rd gen iPod Touch. With Camera. That's the rumor anyway. And though it may not offer eternal happiness, it should suffice in giving me the illusion of fulfillment at least for a while.

I should probably address this emerging anti-social behavior that I'm developing. I don't really know why, but I've started weighing social interaction vs. personal enrichment, especially at work. I've been ignoring co-workers in favor of podcasts and portable gaming because I find that I gather more information and entertainment from the latter, and though my co-workers aren't boring per se, they're just less rewarding than the podcasts or the games. I know, it sounds like absolute snobbery and stuck-up butt face behavior, but there's such a premium for free time that I'm willing to face the stigma of being a stick in the mud. I guess it's no secret that often I find socializing to be a tedious affair, mostly because I know that most people find me utterly dull and difficult to talk to. I can be entertaining but robotic and impersonal in my conversation, lacking the attention or apathy to be involved in other people's lives. And often anything that comes out of my mouth is either a joke, a story about someone else, or strangely open and revealing, like an oral blog with no filters. That scares people, from what I understand.

Alex just punched Zoe in the gut to see how tough she was. Guess who's on a time-out?

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I know, it has been an obscenely long time since I've posted anything, and I think Facebook has spoiled me rotten. The short posts, the instant feedback, the audience... it becomes way more gratifying to stick a thought into Facebook than to compose drivel on the blog and have absolutely no dribble of interest from anyone. But I have remedied that little problem by tying my blog to my Facebook! Unabridged Nicky!

I'm coming to accept that Diego Mcnamara might as well be my second name, since there's virtually no anonminity to that name anyhow. And when my personal blog, my flickr account, my youtube account uses that name while my face and name is plastered all over, its moot to keep it any secret at all. Ignoring the advice of many tech journalists, my online life is pretty much an open book. I don't know, I don't think people really care enough about me to do anything about it. I guess I'm apathetic about my privacy like that.

Did a little bit or reorganizing to my desk area, and finally gutted out the area of junk that has been accumlating in the entertainment center that hasn't been very entertaining in a long time. It became junk central, just a storage dump where all my electronic crap went. A bookshelf now sits there and I still need to sort out the particulars in the contents, but otherwise it looks a load better.

I continue into my musical awakening not by learning an actual instrument or diving into music history, but by buying Singstar for the PS3. We have been captivated by ABBA's collection of 70s pop and boy, they have some of the funnest songs to sing, even if I'm not completely sure what I'm singing about. My singing voice is a cross between a nasal croak and a 60 year old smoker with retracted genitals, but at least my pitch is pretty good. Good enough to fool the game that I can carry a tune! I see it as good practice for Beatles Rock Band, because I can tell you now I'm going to sing the feces out of that game for sure, probably while playing the guitar as well. I love me some Beatles.

Thinking about "Spaced", a 2 season comedy from the early 00s that had Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in roles, as well as Edgar Wright directing episodes. That's right, the guys that made "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz". It's now streaming on Hulu, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is into absurdist comedy like I am.

Well, we will see if this links to Facebook. I guess I do miss being droningly boring in long form after all.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm generally not one to listen to my own advice - my famous last words would probably be, "I thought it was the other pit that was filled with spikes and acid," or "told you that musket was loaded." So it served as no surprise that after I had warned my co-workers to never tell his spouse whether he would work overtime or not until he left the building, I broke the same rule and emailed my wife that I was, indeed, off work tomorrow. They mentioned we weren't needed, and there was no work. So I told my wife, no work. Within 20 minutes, while I'm still on lunch, my lead asks me to go to the warehouse in Bothell, and to do work there tomorrow as needed. Now this wasn't so much a punishment than a compliment, so I said, sure. I needed to pad my measley 32 hour week anyway.

I carpooled with Sergey, an Armenian guy that I work with quite frequently. He's a nice enough guy, although sometimes he's quick to frustration because of misunderstandings. But an okay guy. We drove in his car and although it was a short drive, we did get lost and I was about to hurl by the time we got there because I was getting carsick. It was right after lunch and Sergey kept turning around, making quick jolts with his wheel, and I was a shade of green by the time we got there.

While there, we just looked at some numbers over and over again, checking lot codes and making notations. Nothing exciting really.

But when it came time to go home, we got lost again, I don't really know how, and I was always late getting home for the changing of the guard with the kids.

So there you go. Lesson of the day, never ignore your own advice, and never be a passenger in a car. And stay away from pits reeking of acid.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

After today's Fourth, I could apply to be the entertainment director of a cruise liner. This is the only slow moment of the day, just us sitting on a bench outside the mall watching the park traffic empty out slowly. The streets are still clogged, with cars trickling out of the mall.

We started out relatively early, left the house at around 3 and came for the mall. We took care of purchasing movie tickets first, then walked over to the California Pizza Kitchen, had a Thai Chicken and a Garlic Chicken pizza, then headed down to the park where the kids found some inflatable goodness to enjoy. After gawking at some juggling fools and getting some weird swag, we went to see Star Trek.

The movie was pretty good, and I was actually a little miffed at a few of the comments heard on Filmspotting, about how they thought the story was servicable and that the villian was a throwaway. I thought the story not only bridged the old and new fans relatively well, but also managed to pay tribute to the old Trek while ushering in the new. How all the crew members get promoted into their roles seemed a little goofy, with a lot of off-screen folks buying it, but overall it was a fun ride.

Right after the movie we hustled down to the park, even though we probably didn't have to. We found a spot and gambled on it, and worked out perfectly. People were extremely pushy and inconsiderate but we enjoyed ourselves. We waited for the traffic for about an hour before heading out.

Monday, June 29, 2009


There was a kid at the playground playing with Zoe earlier, by the name of Madeline or Madison or Maddening... something to that effect. At first she seemed like a nice girl, older than Zoe or Alex but somehow patient enough to play with Zoe. Before things got weird.

At first, it was just Madeline hanging upside down on some bars, and my wife was being polite, saying that was pretty cool. Then she got talkative on us, telling us that she went to school at a circus, and then she could do a lot of tricks and magic. Which was fine for a while. I was blogging on the phone and watching the kids when I realized that after she finished an act or made a statement, she would look at us for confirmation and acknowledgment. We would smile politely and then focus on our kids, but Madeline was persistent. Like a kid vying for attention.

She disappeared for a while with her mom, and while I was pushing Zoe on the swing she reappeared. Zoe was done and wanted off, so Madeline climbed on and as Zoe and I walked away, she looked at us and yelled, "Push me!" I ignored her, telling Zoe that her mommy needed to push her, and grown ups don't handle other peoples children. When we went to the fountain, Madeline demanded at the top of her voice to know where we were going.

Although we got a hitch-type attachment for Alex, whereby its like a tandem type deal that he could ride behind me, Zoe is still in a bucket seat that attaches directly on the bike. Zoe is petite enough to fit in the seat, but ever since we got Elaine her fancy new bike, Zoe has less room than before, with the bucket seat closer to the rider's seat.

When it came time to leave, we set off on the bike and Madeline saw us.

"Are you leaving?"
"Bye!" says Alex.
"Yes! Bye!"

As we rode away, she must have noticed the proximity between my wife's behind and Zoe, because she offered this nugget as we rode away.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's been a rather disturbing weekend, with 50 something year old celebrities dropping off the face of the earth. Kinda makes one think about their mortality, and if I punch the ticket at 50, would I have much of a legacy to leave behind? Well, that's a rather disturbing thought, on to something else.

Alex is a bit of a gentle giant. A couple weeks ago Alex was walking up to us to tell us something when a smaller kid who was running ran into him and bounced right off him. Alex just glanced at him, slight annoyed, then continued talking to us. Kids at the playground can pick on him or lean on his comfort zone and all he ever does is take it with a nervous smile. We have to intervene often, telling him to express himself instead of being mowed over.

The hardest part of being a parent for me is trying to preserve the children's innocence as long as I can. I do this to a certain extent, I do warn them of strangers and things that endanger them, I'm mostly worried about the other stuff, like their emotional well being. How children decide their heirarchy amongst themselves, and how it seems so unfair at times. Its probably the natural order of things but it doesn't mean I'm comfortable with it.

Feeling rather lazy today, either I'm suffering from the allergies or its just a Sunday thing to do. Don't feel like doing much of anything right now, save relaxing and thinking about not much. Have this overwhelming urge to snack, but I really shouldn't.


So here are some rather random paragraphs that I was drafting for my "memoir", before I decided that my life after all, was decidely rather dull and uneventful. Interesting I suppose, to some people but largely stinking of being normal. So here it is, free of charge, on the blog. I better get working on my fictional story then.

A co-worker who was breaking down boxes saw me passing by, and stopped me. "I have some feedback for you," she offered. As I placed my hand on my holster, she went on and expressed that the popular opinion, from what she gathered at least, was that I was a nice guy. I was always helpful, very considerate, genial. I thanked her, and as she walked away wondered what her name was.

I have a rather adaptive type of personality, which partially explains what I'm a Jack of most trades, Master of none whatsoever. Shifting the blame to that traumatic move to America, I realized quickly that it was either adapt and become communicable with the people around me, or jump off a bridge, which is considerably tougher since I didn't have a car to drive to a bridge and was too lazy to figure out bus routes. My accent was an awkward British-based, Chinese accented mish-mash that folks in my country dubbed Singlish, which stood for Singapore English. At best, the language sounded like a well-educated businessperson from China. At its worst, Singlish was nearly unbearable, with its Hokkien and Cantonese roots inflecting through the broken English to create a sing-songy, stringy tone that warranted the back of the someone's hand to whoever was emitting that sound.

It took a lot of over-the-air tv reruns of Bewitched, Hazel, and I Love Lucy episodes after school to soften my accent, although now that I think about it, I probably sounded a little old-timey to my school mates, saying things like, "Gosh" and "Fiddlesticks." Ridding the accent also required quite a bit of listening to what I needed to emulate, the language that circulated at lockers, classrooms, and the local Jack in the Box.

The accent got better through time, and even though my family members still have that discernable accent of a Singaporean TV reporter, I've morphed my accent well enough to fool friends who are unaware of my country of origin. When I was still doing weddings, I often wondered when they booked me if they thought a peppy blonde girl might be doing their videography, but instead this Chinese guy shows up.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Not entirely sure why I'm still blogging, seems like everyone I knew who blogged just stopped, either out of boredom, out of time, or just gave up due to a lack of audience. For me, Facebook has replaced it slightly, but of course that's not really a forum to air out everything. In a way, Facebook is a great social tool for keeping in touch, but also a soapbox for trivial information about people. Everything you never cared to know about someone, now on Facebook!

Finished reading "Manhunt", which chronicles the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth after the assassination for Lincoln, and it was just a fascinating read. This isn't some stodgy retelling or a fictionalization, but rather a painstaking account gathered from thousands of sources before that paints a detailed procedural of the 12 day pursuit. It is actually quite amazing really, that Lincoln was so easily accessible, that Booth was so ill prepared after his deed, and how his leap onto the stage ultimately played such a hugh part of his demise. And I also didn't know that assassinations were also in play the same day for the Vice president and a semi-failed one for Seward. It was just a really good read, and I hadn't read a book since Alex was born. Next book on the list is "When you are engulfed in flames" by David Sedaris. Yup, after all my gadgets I'm going to the paperback. What a weird turn of events. Perhaps the best thing about this reading business is that its inspired me to think about writing again. Certainly not at the level I've been reading but anywhere is a start for me. Maybe I can self publish and get enough people to take pity on me and purchase a few copies.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It can be slightly confusing when there's 2 versions of the same movie out, especially when one is in 3D and the other isn't. We had to move things around because the 3D version of "Up" had already started, and we showed up for the 2D version. Despite that's it was actually 4 bucks cheaper, our screening is now at 1:50.

This weekend turned out a lot cooler than expected, since earlier in the week it had been record setting heatwave freaking us Northwesters out. Which I suppose is a good thing because that temperture, while it was nice, was a little crippling. So I spent most of the weekend being a uber geek, watching Ghostbusters on Roku, finishing up Resident Evil 5, a superb game with great cinematic moments, and doing the super geeky act of hooking up my Roku player to my Location Free unit. In laymen's speak? I can now what instant streaming Netflix movies on my computer (which was too slow to stream) and my PSP. Netflix on my PSP, dude.

Now with Facebook, I've had more interactivity with people and more audience with that so I don't blog as much. Facebook forces me to use brevity so I don't go on these long rambling tech babbles, but the ability to write about crap I like is still nice. The primary audience in all of this is still pretty restricted to me and my family. Although reading "Manhunt" got me thinking. People in the past wrote in great prose, choosing words rather carefully, and here I am, writing in disregard of grammar or spelling. I really should word my blogs with a little more care. It would certainly form better writing habits.

I was letting the children jump all over me yesterday on the bed and I think they sprained something of mine. Alex has gotten so big that I forgot he's something of a grown boy. When he jumps on me, he does cause some measurable damage to my weak physique. Now my shoulder feels out of wack and my neck feels like I've been in a badly executed chokehold.

Well, gotta go eat some Pho and see "Up".

Friday, May 29, 2009

Vacation Continued

We've returned from Packwood but that doesn't mean that the vacation has ended. After reluctantly putting all our crap away, doing some grocery shopping and putting that stuff away, we retreated to the back patio, put a couple lawn chairs up, and let the kids be one with nature playing with their golf set and water pistols, while I read a little, watched some video podcasts, and tap away on the sidekick.

Its been really relaxing, other than the fact that the children have destroyed half their toys due to rough play and general chaos. But they're having fun, even if they are out a golf set.

Was at Freddys and saw inFamous on the shelf and was deathly tempted to get it, but I'll have to wait and pretend to save a little in order to purchase that. Played the demo and its a pretty amazing game, and I wouldn't mind supporting that game because is a pretty neat original IP, is exclusive for the PS3, and above all, fun as hell. There is nothing more fun than doing some free running/parkour in an urban setting, then using your electrical powers to blow stuff up.

Also downloaded the Rock Band Unplugged demo and that's a no-brainer. It has got a slightly different gameplay and while the single instrument warmup would've been fun, the track switching aspect of the gameplay makes it a true Harmonix game, one that's fun to play, tough to master. I look forward to rocking out on June 9, and I'm not even paid to say that.

Got 3 more days of this, and thankfully so does my wife, because even though she's been off since last Thursday, there really hasn't been much time spent together because we were constantly surrounded by people.

Should contemplate dinner shortly. Something about a balanced diet that sustains my childrens' health? Hmmm.

Thursday, May 28, 2009



"Camping" has officially begun, and we are at a visitors center somewhere in the pass. I don't really even know what pass this is, but we are probably halfway to Packwood. There's no reception whatsoever. We stopped for the restroom and we're off again...


Here at the shed, at around 2pm, so it was pretty good time. We didn't even get lost, which is fairly rare for me. The lot is a little overgrown, but not too bad.


So I guess twice a year, Packwood has a flea market event whereby the food vendors and antique dealers come out and peddle their overpriced food. We spent 10 bucks for 2 corndogs and 7.50 for 3 sno-cones, one of which was actually a replacement for Zoe because gravity had claimed hers. Afterward, Alex looked like he had feasted on Smurfs, with his blue face and lips and streaks of blue running down his arm. We walked about a little and looked at all the stuff before returning to Carla's. We'll be here for the night and be helping out tomorrow at the lot and the yard.


We decided maybe to skip the hotel and just stay at Carla's so that we can save on some costs. Besides, Carla has a microwave and a fridge so that's a major plus. Not quite sure what we have planned for today but it might be a leisurely day. Tomorrow we will be cleaning out the RV shed and maybe doing some yard work.

Been trying to do a little bit of reading, maybe some writing , or maybe catch up on some podcasts but I'm trying awfully hard to be socialable as well. I'm not the chatty type, I'm usually secretly hoping that nobody sits by me at work so that I could be by myself. But I suppose a small part of me is grateful that people don't mind sitting with me, so I just surrender to my social responsibility.

The sun has cleared the morning fog and now Mt. Rainier is framed brightly with the morning sun and the forestry around it, and the morning air is brisk, a little cooler than what's comfortable, but I'm sure it'll be a nice day today.

Well, maybe i'll go snap some photos.


After a detour of two due to roads being closed, we ended up picnicking at a mound near a scenic stop, which was alright. We also spent a little bit of time hanging out at La Wis Wis, this little spot where the glacier runoff streams past you. So we hung out there for a while before heading back to the lot.

Later in the afternoon, the kids and wife went swimming while I took some video and watched Garnette intermittedly. I was the killjoy that didn't want to swim but it was nice to get some videos of the kids in the kiddie pool and being so proud to be in the big people pool with floats. They just had the best grins on so it was worth it.

After a steak dinner we sat about the campfire for a little bit before I took the kids back to the house. The kids fell asleep to Hello Kitty cartoons and Jael and I had a really nice talk, probably the longest talk we've had ever. She's grown so much since she's left and it was nice to see that chatty side to her, and really seeing her adoration and love of Garnette come through her words. She really wants the best for her daughter and it really shows. So we talked for about an hour and a half, then Elaine joined in for another half hour or so before we got tired. I really did enjoy talking to Jael though, because she really opened up and it was nice to hear about the going ons in her life.



Today was project day, and I pretty much accomplished what I wanted to today. I admit to not being the handy type whatsoever, I'm a bigger nerd than anything, and I have a relatively low tolerance for mechanical obstacles. Fortunately, the project today was clearing out some of the junk in and around the RV shed, so I can do hard labor just fine. We cleared out odd things like spare parts, rotten wood, even an electrical meter out of the back and made a big pile for the dumpster. The project took less time than I anticipated, and was a lot easier as well. After that we just chilled for a bit, before we split up and some went swimming, while Carla, Rocky and myself went driving balls at the range. Seeing how the last time I went I was four years ago, I did ok. Nothing impressive, just happy with getting some straight shots into the 100 yard territory was good enough for me.

After that, I went back to the house and had some quiet time, watching podcasts and dozing off on the couch with the warm afternoon sun. It was kinda nice, Carla read her book and I just watched watched silly little vids about games and such. It was just a nice break.

So now I'm just waiting for pizzas, and then back to the RV lot.



We headed down by the river to play around, take some photos and just enjoy the time. Back at the house, sandwiches were had and then Rocky and Ramona were on their way, and the rest of us went down to the driving range again. Then I finally pinpointed where my aches were coming from, it was actually from swinging those clubs, and not bad food like I had speculated. After that it was more swimming, where I got some good photos and videos of the kids splashing about. I returned to cook some burgers and we just spent the rest of the evening chillaxing.



After cramming all that junk back in the trunk, we headed back to reality. Strangely enough, all night I didn't sleep very well because I kept having stressful dreams. About overspending and not being able to access my bank accounts to balance it. Having things due but they weren't ready... all sorts of stress related shenanigans. And indeed some of it was rather prothetic, I did end up bouncing a couple transactions because I had forgotten to check the accounts when I left.

Since I've gotten home I haven't been able to relax. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

5/11 post

I am either getting less sensitive and forgetting all the major holidays, or I'm just majorly lame. Anyway, Mother's day kinda crept up on me and here I am, sitting in a diner I'm reluctant to sit in, but the kids are late for dinner and at least they seem to be having fun decorating their fold-up plane with stickers while I'm sitting here mentally balancing my checkbook.

This afternoon we did break out the bikes and went to Marymoor, which was kinda a nice day for it. I used the trailer bike for Alex, which all in all wasn't too terrible, except there were a couple times when the balance in the back was so off that I almost dropped him. There's likely something still not quite right about my assembly, because sometimes when I take a sharp turn, the trailer grabs my bike seat and twists it off to the side, and suddenly I'm facing at a 45 degree angle while riding forward.

Took my Flip UltraHD to the park and captured some video, and although there is still an obsence amount of camera shake, the color quality is really quite good. It has a good color separation and the colors are rich and vibrant, and even the subtle colors show up as they should. Nothing is too washed out, or the camera doesn't focus on giving one color too much attention and undersaturating the others. It performs really quite impressively.

These past few days I've been feeling a little under the weather, just feeling like someone performed surgery on me and left like a cell phone inside of me. My body temperture is completely out of wack, my body is often too cold and my head is burning up. I've also been afflicted with some major dull headache, also with a little fatigue. But you know, nothing weird coming out of me so I'm assuming that its just allergies and fatigue.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thunks in my head

Truth can be such a relative concept that I often have to accept the notion that there has to be several versions of the truth that makes up a whole story. Yesterday I was challenged to add to a story with preexisting facts and they contradicted in a semi-grand scale. I spend some time wondering if indeed some lies or rumor might've made its way to my ears but I think that ultimately, they're probably all a little true. Sorry I can't be more specific, but I never really know who my audience is, but I'll say this much. It is about a relationship.

Getting the general feeling that I should be spending more time reading and writing. I'm by no means a very good director, just a capable one. I'm a good editor - whenever I get around to it. Editing to me is something sacred, in that the conditions have to be perfect whenever I start it, but easy when I get to it. Its rewarding when its all done, but I dread the road to completion. Writing I'm not that hot at, my vocabulary isn't that verbose, and I've been told that my grammar sucks donkey anatomy. But my storytelling skills is somewhat intact, even if it is subconsciously tainted by the many plotlines that I've already seen. I don't know, maybe i'll take a stab at writing some short stories. Perfect for someone with my attention span.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The One Where I Feel Old

This post is going to make me sound old, and I suppose that's the reality of it. So on Friday I decided to get a new camcorder, and yes, that sort of makes my camcorder count to about 4, but I decided that that cheap Aiptek camcorder was too much of a weakling to handle any of my life's memories. There was terrible lag so the audio was never synched. So I was looking online and saw that Flip, which was something I was looking at when I looked at the Aiptek, had just released a new HD version going for 200 clams. And so after much thought, I went and got it at Best Buy on Friday.

So here's the old person part - I have a Sony VX2000 which is a high-quality, feature rich camera that I shot weddings and films with. It did break a little more when I did my film festival thingy, but I was just thinking about how I was just missing out a lot of life stuff because it's really awkward to lug around that monster to anything. So I opted to get a camera that was compact, and easy to use. Seriously, just two buttons and you're recording. There are only three options - set date and time, tone or no tone, and light or no light when recording. That's it. There's a laughable 2x digital zoom, but other than that, it's completely featureless. But I love it. Even though both my computers are too slow to play a 720p mp4, I still love it. My PS3 can handle it and I'm thinking forward. So yeah, I'm old because I opted for light and easy instead of heavy but high quality.

The second thing that made me feel old is one of my old co-workers in Bellingham, her daughter got married today and I don't quite know if it's because she's marrying young in my mind or that I'm just too damn old, but I remember filming her sister's wedding years ago. Like 5 years or something. She was like 14 at the time and now she got married. So that made me feel ancient.

The last one made me just sad.

I have the one that's in the back middle, the hamburger that turns into a robot. Alex plays with it now, for some reason he's attached to it quite a bit. So I was telling him that that's not like a toy I had, that is actually a toy that I have that he's playing with. It was from my childhood, came over to America with me. I was trying to frame it so I looked at the bottom of the toy and it said 1987. The commerical says 89, but there you have it. The toy is 22 years old. I have a toy that's older than the girl in the previous story.

Well, with that, I better go to bed. Us old people need our rest.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Perhaps doing a time sensitive film project at the end of two weeks of overtime laden work was not such a good idea after all.

So after months of anticipation, I walk away from this experience slightly crushed, because I didn't really pull it off, at least not to my standards. The film was not complete when I drove it to a destination I didn't know how to get to, and when I saw the signs on the freeway that delays should be expected and I had 15 minutes to go, I just turned around knowing that it would be a disservice to everyone to submit the incomplete film. So I had the heady task of telling everyone that we didn't make it. And now I'll be spending some time reediting it as well as punching it up with some bloopers and such before posting it online and sending DVDs to folks.

Seriously, in that time frame I was up for almost 40 hours straight with only about 4 hours of sleep. I had to work in the morning at 5:30, went to bed after finishing the script at 1am, then woke up at 5am again to pack and move out. Didn't get back to bed till about 10 something at night. Needless to say, I was fatigued and mentally exhausted.

But I did meet some nice folks, most of which may not even want to work with me since I missed the deadline, but I'd like to work with them. So we will see. Dave asked me if it helped motivate me to begin doing creative things again, and the short answer is yes. Mostly to do something that improves on this one, which was restricted by time and theme.

This weekend it should be all edited and done, so hang tight...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Story from my Wife from Last Week

Alex lost his speck today
Where it went we cannot say
A piece of paper round and small
From his hand it did fall

Oh little speck where did you go
This little boy he loves you so
We have to find this little speck
If we don't I'll sure get heck

This day is ruined we cannot play
Cause Alex lost his speck today
Little boy will sit and fret
Because he's lost this little speck

This is a true story. He found a little piece of paper which he lost and he was really worried all the way home because the windows were opened and he didn't wan't the speck to get out.
Silly boy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One thing that's good/bad about Twitter and Facebook is that I do a lot of microblogging, so the guilt of not writing on the blog is slowly dispensed through my phone 147 characters at a time. So the need to blog is cut down quite a bit, which can be unfortunate for my wife, who's such a fan of my writing that often she shuns the real me to see if I wrote on my blog.

Anyway, been working entirely too much lately, since Monday it would've been 60 hours or so, which is really quite crazy since last week and next will likely be the same. It culminates in the 24 hour film festival on the last day, so we will see if fatigues claims my brain and my story idea would just be, "Yodeling in tights" or something completely unoriginal.

Not sure if its the work or not, but the kids seem to be on some hidden agenda to drive my wife and I to the brink of sanity. Alex got upped his obsessiveness to 11, and Zoe's got more attitude and sass than her tiny self can contain sometimes. The kids bicker back and forth and the soundwaves that emit from that is actually turning my hair gray. I'm actually sporting a balding pate on my head but a well placed rug conceals my shameful hair loss.

My Rock Band Obsession keeps growing, even though the news trickles slowly and some of it isn't even really news. For instance, Paul McCartney performed at Coachella recently and he's got possible RB Beatles footage behind him, and it looks cool. Also, the other thing I found out today was a "Jukebox" mode in RB, which is basically letting the game perform the song with the in game characters without actually playing the instruments. Basically, a music video jukebox. A lot of the songs on the game is music I'd listen to anyhow, so that's a really good feature to mess around with.

Today I just realized Eeeny Meeny Miny Mo is a complete setup. It's an illusion of choice. What a disconcerting revelation to my childhood.

Anyway, gotta chill now. Have to go back to work tomorrow. Sigh.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Couples Who Drum Together, Stay Together

Life in 3D

Alex just asked me why I was in 3D.

So we went to "Monsters Vs. Aliens" and we had a pretty interesting experience. Alex's history with 3D pictures hasn't been great, since the last venture involved IMAX and dinosaurs, it ended up with him at the back of the theater hiding behind walls. So there was a lot of coaxing this time round, showing him how it looked through the lens without putting the glasses on him, and also some candy to distract him. After every trailer, he would take his glasses off, thinking that the movie would start and would scare him, but in the end he just left the glasses on because the movie wasn't scary at all. It was fun but man, it was fourty plus bucks even though it was a matinee.

Last week I was simply close to death from fatigue because I had two 50 hour work weeks back to back, and then a busy weekend of Bellingham and anniversary, so I took Thursday off of work, since there wasn't anything to do at work anyway. So now my schedule feels completely off because I have 4 days off and I only really needed some extra sleep is all. Today feels like Saturday even though it's only Friday.

But for our anniversary, we went to the Gold Class Cinema in Redmond and got a little pampered, which is another word for awkward, really. It was a traditional multiplex that was converted to a poshy movie-going experience. So you pay 32 bucks or so per person for a ticket, and you get to reserve your seating and order some dinner. When you go into the theater, you sit in the lounge area and have some drinks, all of which gets charged to your tab. Elaine had a Bud Light and I just sucked on a Diet Coke and popcorn. As the movie times got closer, we got nervous a bit due to old habits, but our waiter escorted us into the theater. There were big comfy recliners in the theater, four seats in the middle, 2 on each side, and about 6 or 8 rows I suppose. The recliners had push button reclining action, and compartments for stowing away your coke stash or whatever you brought with you. There was also a call button for waiters and such, and blankets could be requested if needed. The movie "Duplicity" was not a bad movie, but perhaps not particularly noteworthy either. It's a nice treat for sure, once you resign that you're going to spend about 70 bucks for a movie experience for two, and kinda be aware of what you're going to order and not go bananas over the menu. Definitely don't order that 300 dollar bottle of wine for your first date.

Yesterday I decided to get a second drum set for Rock Band. I'm still trying to get a good setup so that I could hook it up through Garageband and have me a fake drum set, but there are some latency issues and lag that makes it a little ineffective for actual practice. But we played drums together today and I gotta say, nothing cooler than playing with your wife in unison. Talk about playing together.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary and Etc

Happy Anniversary to my wife first of all, to whom I've been married to for six years now, but have probably loved my whole life. Just didn't know her before that. She's my best friend, the better half of me who fills up all the deficiencies I have and patches all my insecurities with her love and trust. She truly loves me in all my core whether we be living in a mansion with exotic pets and nude sculpted man servants or in a tiny little bungalow with a magazine and half a couch. I'm happy that she's my one and only and like I told her in the car, it's really like I was supposed to marry her because it just would not make any logical sense for me not to.

We don't have much planned for today because we were out yesterday at Bellingham and I worked a super full week, 50 hours of joyous awesomeness, but we are going to a fancy movie. That is, a regular movie in a fancy theater, where there are only a group of twin seats, with dinner and probably nude sculpted man servants as waiters, serving up exotic pets. Who knows. But we'll be spending some time together and having some couple time, since my mom's kind enough to watch them kids. It should be fun.

Yesterday was a good day as well, because we got to go up to Bellingham and my wife got to see her girls pretty much the whole day, the kids got to play with each other, and I got to play Rock Band. We didn't get home till 1am, which was a bit of a treacherous journey, since on the way back it actually snowed hard between Bellingham and Burlington, somewhere in there. The freeway was whited out almost, and it was like driving in warp speed with all the hard snow flying at us. We were actually chugging at 40mph and slipping a little. Insane.

Between the awesome Chinese food, the mind numbing RB, the really good Papa Murphy's pizza, perhaps a rather dubious history making tidbit is to be entered into my autobiography. Jake had purchased a moped and he was silly enough to trust me on it, so I took my first moped ride yesterday. Went up and down and street and completely fogged up the helmet with my nervous pants, but it was fun. Wouldn't get one for myself anytime soon though, I got really cold just from going at a leisurely speed.

Well, better get to the anniversary plans.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This will be my positive post, since I bitch about everything all the time and struggle on a daily basis not to be bummed about something or another.

So I am hyped about Dansen visiting from Japan and dropping by to see me, possibly even to help with my 24 hour film project. And we definitely will have to do one podcast together, at least one, at the same location, which is just wild. We were talking about it after the podcast and its crazy because dude's never even seen my kids in person, only through photos and the miracle of skype. I've known dansen for 9-10 years now and I think through the podcast, I've come to appreciate him a lot more than I had when we were both in college. He used to be the crazy wacky friend with hordes of friends but now I realize he's just a passionate, canny, curious, intelligent and stubbornly fair (if not slightly warped) person who really has a pretty big ticker. If anything, the podcast really laid us out to each other. Its funny though, I think Pizza Bento is less entertainment than confessional, since we really just talk about ourselves for an hour and just not worry about content or such frivolity. But yeah, totally psyched about him visiting for sure.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I sure love me some Loco Rocco 2. Got it yesterday and its one of those things that just makes you smile. And I relate to the yellow blubbiness of the whole affair too.

We were at Arbys this morning and Alex asked about a bag that was sitting next to me, and I thought he was asking if that was me on the bag. But what he actually inquired was whether the Asian man wearing glasses on the bag was me. I think he was just being silly, but I do wonder if he would mistake someone else for me.

Something I was thinking about recently, is my look. I've tried a lot of different looks throughout my life, and I think its just different degrees of nerdiness I've come up with. I never got past that, and really shouldn't attempt to. A lot of people seem to "discover" that I am a funny guy, or a cool guy after they spend some time with me. They never say, wow, you sure lived up to my expectations based on how cool you look, but rather, you're not as big a nerdbag as we thought you were. But I think I'm okay with my appearance now, being how I'm a dad and husband now. More important things to worry about.

Worked 50 hours this last week, likely the same for this week, but that's ok. A little OT gives me a little bit of Loco Rocco.

IMG00146.JPG, originally uploaded by diegomcnamara.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Something the act of consuming is just an empty rush that I can't help but partake in it.
Man, the kids are being a little tough right now. Alex didn't get to play more video games so he broke into tears. Then Zoe couldn't wait till tomorrow to open an old present so she burst into tears. Then Alex just up and leaves the dinner table without asking if he can be done. Sigh. At least its my Thursday. I think the kids are going to bed on time tonight.

This weekend is probably the last peaceful one before work gets ballistic, so I'm going to enjoy the crap out of it. If fun isn't oozing out of its orifices then I'm going to make it.

Sigh, I'm bored.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

With work possibly ramping back up next week, I'm both grateful and fearful of what that means. Happy that i'll be racking up some overtime again, so Disneyland is returning back to sights as our financial padding gets a little cosier, but I know that the more I work, the more my personality and charm, what little of it, dissipates along with the fatigue and momentum of the work week. But it should only be temporary, which is a good thing. After that it might stay busy but the emphasis to push as many units out should slow down.

I've been doing a little more of Killzone, and rather enjoying myself here and there. Whatever it is, this game manages to balance a little more out, so that the emphasis is as much teamwork as well as personal improvement. Its a little like golf, except guns and grenades are in place of clubs and balls. I just achieved my medic badge, which I'm a little fond of. I'm the sort that prefers to aid than to destroy, but mostly because I'm better at the former.

I'm getting pretty pysched about the filmracing deal. Though no actors have been finalized, I do have a handful, maybe about 10 people who want to do it. So that's encouraging. Now I just have to figure out what to do with them all.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rambly McRamshackle

There's a lot to talk about, but the concept of structured prose is escaping me currently, so I'm just going to spill rhymes like a sick poet, yo.


So, B and M came down to spend the day but since the icy conditions impeded their way home yesterday, they stayed the night and got their Rock Band on. Is always nice to see them, and Kieran is one happy little baby, smiling at everyone who glances his way. The kids no doubt had fun too, staying up late and partaking in recreational drugs.

B and I went to watch Watchmen yesterday, and I got exactly what I wanted to see, a live action version of the comic. Actually, I never did read the comic, just the animated version that probably skips a lot of details. The film skips even more, but its a vivid recreation as far as I can tell. I'm also fairly impressed with the action, though the skinny dude who plays Adrian has the kind of face you'd rather see on the side of a milk carton than on a movie screen. But Patrick Wilson, the guy who plays Rorshack, and the guy who plays the Comedian are good. I don't know how to perceive it as a film though, kinda wish I went into it completely fresh and see how the film would've worked without prior knowledge of plot or characters. But still, glad I got to see it.

Well, did put up some notices on craigslist on acquiring talent for the 12 hour film fest, and the response has been better than expected. About 10 acting interests so far. I don't really know what I'm planning to do quite yet, whether to be selective of my cast or simply cast everyone and have a giant esemble piece. Who knows. I think the awesome side effect is that I meet these people and I can use them for later projects. I guess I'm a little versatile that way, I can write things that fit people, rather than have it the other way round. I suppose I'm playing up to people strengths in a weird way, instead of challenging them to step outside themselves. But I got another week to go to review these "auditions", then I'll have to come up with something.

Had no idea today was daylight savings. Kinda lost an hour. Sigh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Picked up "Killzone 2" for the PS3 at Best Buy today, and they were selling generic 42 inch Plasma TVs for 600 bucks. We were this close to getting it but my conscience, who I sometimes call my wife, decided we should probably wait till the next holiday season, which I didn't mind since I'm really on the fence either way.

Having a relatively relaxing weekend. In between watching Blu Ray, fragging on Killzone, and having too much sleep, not much going on. The night before I did dream about sleeping too much, sorta like a movie within a movie type experience. Which might explain why yesterday I had a tremendous headache, because my brain was fooled into thinking that I slept for much longer, like the ballpark of 15 hours.

This morning I popped in Ratchet and Clank and didn't realize that I was only two levels away from finishing the game. So after almost a year, I finally finished the game. Its a good series though. Now I just got the other games to finish. I really gotta stop acquiring new titles.

Wife and I were talking yesterday about Alex and how hard its been lately. There were a couple of incidents in the past week whereby he openly defied my wife and I by pulling away from us even though we told him he couldn't do something. I guess in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't amount to much but we just feel like we've never been those parents that encouraged that type of behavior. We thought we usually curbed it fast enough to not be an issue. Perhaps its just a matter of contrast as well, in that Zoe is always wanting our company, always wanting to socialize and please whereas Alex is just concerned about what he wants, when he can have it, and we are just obstacles in his quest. We were even talking about how we have to be careful about what we say so that we don't get him worked up. For instance, if we see a plane in the air, we have to think: If we point it, will he be able to see it before it gets out of view? If he doesn't see it, he will obsess about it incessantly, whining about how he really wanted to see it. Just yesterday, we left the hair salon and my wife opened the door and Alex said, "I want to open it!" Even when my wife said, I already opened it, he pulled away from her and pushed the door further. It just confounds me a little that he is so aggressive about his impulses.

Anyhow. Feeling a little bloated from Dim Sum. Time to tackle bills now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meet David.

See that man in the photograph? The Fat American?

No, not that Fat American, the other Fat American, the one pacifying his hunger with a corndog.

You don't know him, but his name is David.

Actually, it's Charlie. His name was David, before he changed it after his divorce in an attempt to reinvent himself. He also shaved his head but if he had known that half of it would never grow back, he might have resorted to something less drastic. Like buying a new hat.

This is the 9,669th photo ever taken of him, and because the primary subject of your photo is of you and your lovely family, posing in front of the inflatable cow at the fair, I'm not sure if that counts. He's a collateral artifact of your otherwise well composed photograph, but I suppose you get what you get when you ask strangers to take snapshots for you.

He'll have 1,339 more photos taken of him, before he ironically falls to his demise due to a corndog, much like the one's he's finishing in the picture. But set your natural assumption aside, because it's not the all-beef, lightly breaded foodstuff that kills him. A sizable chunk does lodge in his airway, but it's the sharp blow from a bystander that sends him tumbling headfirst into the sidewalk that ends him. His brain will bleed internally from the impact, and he never gets a glimpse of the Former Special Forces retiree who does him in.

"It's just instincts," the man explains to the cops. "I figured a sharp chop to the neck would send the food sailing out of his maw." He skirts prosecution because of the Good Samaritian law, but would sometimes break down into tears when he gets a visual trigger. His grandson's fifth birthday will be commerated by Grandpa frantically snatching corndogs out of little hands, pitching the barely eaten joy-on-a-sticks into the pond, and then some heavy heaving in between sobs. Children and Koi will not be amused.

Five minutes and 33 seconds before David was immortalized in your photo, his moral core was tested. While entering the bathroom stall, he spotted a wallet sitting on the dispenser. He swung the door open, looked to see if there was anyone was searching for something, then closed the door behind him. He opened the wallet, sifted through receipts and found 4 $20 bills and a handful of singles. He found a driver's license and studied the face on the photograph. Seems to be doing okay financially. Glancing at the toilet, the decision came easily. He had no problems taking from a man with that face and doesn't flush. He exits the stall, deposits the wallet into a trash receptacle, and heads toward the bathroom at the opposite side of the fair.

But first, he thought while fanning through the bills in his hand, a corndog.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I'm in it. Hope I will have a better, more productive week next week. Feel like I'm not maintain or making any connections. Sigh.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Two quick observations at the dinner table. Alex asked me if people kept growing, if we all ended up like giants. I told him we capped out at around 18, and we get older, but not taller. Just fatter.

The kids looked at each other. Then burst out laughing. Alex then stuck out his tummy to pretend to be a fat boy while Zoe pointed and laughed.


So Alex finished his dinner and wanted some Valentine chocolates, and Zoe said, "You finished your dinner fast! You're like a squirrel!"


This morning after breakfast, the kids wanted some of the chocolate that they had given each other. Zoe has a hollow chocolate dog and Alex has a chocolate fish, which was alright I suppose. But then Alex requested the head of the fish, and Zoe wanted the dog's nose, so my wife snapped the head off the fish, then took a butterknife and proceeded to stab at the dog's face, chipping his nose off for Zoe to consume. Now there's a slightly disgruntled snoutless pooch on the table staring at me, plotting my demise.


So following the extensive incriminatory playlist from Rock Band that I posted, I had actually purchased some new music before my wife's unspoken comment about how I should quit buying new music for a while. Never heard them before, but I decided to preview them on the Music Store, and they sounded pretty good. Just caught my attention. So I bought the 3 pack and now I'm a fan of The Fratellis. And because I care, here's are the videos of the songs I bought.

And the Third Video isn't embeddable, but here's the link.

Awfully fun to play as well, just haven't sung or played bass. Drums are fun on those...


We've been going through a rough patch with Alex lately, and it's not easy to really describe because we don't honestly think that he's misbehaving to get attention, or he has ill intentions, but he just always manages to get himself into some kind of disagreement with us. One day it will be arguing with us when we tell him to do something, or not listening to instructions, or sometimes he would just do something so inexplicable that we just don't know what to do with him. So we're constantly having to balance ourselves between being sensitive to his needs, but also not letting him get away with everything. If we were too sensitive to his needs, we risk enforcing and enabling his behavior, which means that he'll stay developmentally behind, doing things that he should've grown out of a while ago. If we are too harsh, we risk alienating him, making him feel inferior and unimportant. So this balancing act is now a constant with us. Making him feel included but giving him room, being firm on his behavior with compassion. This parenting gig is tough, man. The kids have been hinting at a dog and I can't even fit that into my life. There's a guy a couple years older than me at work with 5 kids, one on the way, and I just think he's flipping nuts. I can barely handle two with an imaginary pet.


So part of their Valentine's gift was a promise from Christmas to get them Build-A-Bear creatures, and we just so happen to make it to the mall yesterday when I remembered. So we went in, and 60 some freaking dollars later, we have Stella in a stunning pink evening gown, and George in some casual cargo pants with a T-Shirt. The kids have been as attached to their new friends as the boxes they came in, and they seem to really form an attachment to them because they were created right in front of them. At least that's what us parents want to believe to keep from losing our poop for spending all that money on stuffed animals. Well, there's a first and last time for everything.


So listening to Smodcast, and being an avid surfer of the internet, I know a lot of things because I'm twisted like that. So I was talking to my wife in the car and it went like this:

Wife: So did you guys use to do Valentine cards in your school when you were young?

Me: I was at an all boys Christian school. I don't think that was something they wanted to promote.


Me: So I said to Dansen, the premature guy would be the King of the circle jerk because he would never have to eat the cookie and for once, he would feel good about himself...

Wife: So did you use to play that?

Me: What? No! What the @#$!%$@...

And then I went on for minutes talking about football, Jessica Alba's ass, and cars. Then I clubbed a seal to death with my bare hands and then fornicated with with the carcass. Manly, manly stuff.

Except I think the seal was a female.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Random Listing of Property

Because no one asked in particular, here's a list of my downloaded Rock Band Songs.

Amazing Journey
Ashes to Fire
Baba O'Riley
Burn You Down
Can't Stand Losing You
Casey Jones
Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)
Crazy Tuesday
Creepin' Up the Backstairs
Database Corrupted
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Die, All Right!
Dune Buggy
Excuse Me Mr.
Feather Pluckn
Get It On
Gimme Three Steps
Give It to Me
Going Mobile
Good Times Roll
Headphones On
Hey Baby
Hitch A Ride
I Wanna Be Your Man
I'm Gone, I'm Going
If I Ain't Got You
Just What I Needed
Leaving Here
Like a Fool
Living' at the Corner of Dude & Catastrophe
Magnetic Baby
Message In A Bottle
More Than A Feeling
My Best Friend's Girl
My Sharona
No Regrets
Peace of Mind
Prequel to the Sequel
Promised Land
Rock and Roll Band
Rock Rebellion
Something About You
Sons and Daughters
Space Cowboy
Still Alive
Sugar Magnolia
Sunday Morning
Synchronicity II
Take the Money and Run
The Feeling
The Joker
The Perfect Drug
The Time is Wrong
Truth Hits Everybody
Uncle John's Band
Who Are You

71 downloaded songs, with 55 songs from Rock Band and 84 songs from Rock Band 2... 210 songs total. I think my wife just made me feel guilty for buying 50 songs... Um, yeah.


I am completely smitten with this game. I could spend hours doing this. Best 10 bucks ever.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dreading the return to work tomorrow, but at the same time it'll be a nice distraction. Sometimes being at home is an exercise in self control, because I can't really do what I'd like to be doing, namely playing bloody first person shooters, watching any assortment of movies, and sleeping countless hours irregularly. Instead I have to regulate everything so that my kids don't grow up to be such a passive consumer like myself, and in a way, its probably better for me if I don't constantly flood myself with media.

The kids would look at me for entertainment, asking me what to do, if they can play video games and such. So I render myself duller than normal, bringing out a magazine and just planting myself in the living room. So now I'm around, not doing anything interesting or fun, and the kids turn to each other for entertainment instead. Then I remember that I have a phone and I can be a chatty blogger, and so here we are.

Took Mom to Ranch 99, the Asian supermarket in Kent that always smell a little off, but always is packed with people. Today was no exception, with more people than usual. While my mom shops, the kids and us usually just stall by the arcades and quarter vending machines, so we bought about 2 dollars in crap, half of which is already broken. But the kids are contend, then we go to a Japanese restaurant and I fix me up some udon and California rolls. Life is pretty good but the mango smoothy was the tops.

I wonder now what my mom used to do or think about when I was a kid. Was she busy with her life while just keeping a watch for me or waiting for me to go to bed so she could do whatever she really wanted to do? I guess a big hurdle for me is I can't render myself too oblivious and I tend to read too much of a situation. I think about how to be a better Dad much more often than what a good Dad I've been. Same goes with how good a son I've been, what I've been doing with my life, how my career is stacking up... I do too many self assessments. Detrimental more than constructive too. Damn, I wish work was swamped so at the end of each day, I would feel an enormous sense of accomplishment instead of this feeling of perpetual waiting. Waiting for orders, waiting to move up and to do something more productive, waiting for things to happen.

Well, there's always some sign that needs replacing at work.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Work this week has been a testament to my sanity, there's absolutely nothing to do but we have to look busy, especially for our much esteemed visitors from the Federal government. So this weekend has a welcome change whereby I'm intentionally doing nothing.

And nothing it has been, we are trying not to go out too much because our budget is being monitored, but at the same time I've never been a big fan of going out just to get out.

Right now we are watching Inspector Gadget on Roku, and I really should stay away from this series because I used to be real big on the cartoon, especially the theme song. Used to sing the darn thing like it was my birthday song. Now in perspective, its actually a sweet little show because they got Gadget for his gadgets and comedy, but Penny's an awesome role model for the girls because she's always taking care of business, even though she does delegate a lot of the stunts and labor to Brain, her male dog.

Other than that, I managed to hook up with Kenneth in Singapore to get some gaming in, and now that I've basically pressured him into the Rock Band universe, the music has taken over and he is now losing hours of his day to the game, very much like me. He does have a social life to offset that though, so he's more normal than I am. I'm contend to stay home and chill.

I wonder if the kids notice the quality difference in the cartoons? Inspector Gadget versus something like Mickey Mouse clubhouse, which is all CG and shiny big budgeted educational material. They don't seem to mind I think, plus cartoons of yesterday always have a tinge of wrongness to it. Something smoking, carrying a gun, or making a joke at the end of an episode that no one finds funny.

Well, shows ending and my wit's drying up faster than...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Getting Ready... For Hell!

Somehow while I was getting ready for the day, I was thinking about what a freewheeling code of ethics that I have to live by. In a way, I do envy the religious folks who have a predetermined path to follow in life, that even the consequences are spelt out for you. Was listening to This American Life a while ago about this pastor who stopped believing in Hell. Still loved and believed in God, his Word, the way of life... just not eternal purgatory. He didn't believe that God would cast innocent children who never even had the chance to read the Bible into Hell. I'm sure there was some footnote about Innocents, but that was akin to the line of logic I've subscribed to, in that the judgmental, exclusive sinning Christians will still get a free pass as the decent Middle Eastern merchant who believes in a different God but had lead a righteous life will be cast into Hell.

My original point is that I find myself constantly having to determine what the right thing to do is, since I didn't have a father nor a religious background to guide my actions. I try to follow the straight path, and of course it forks into some casual indifference, some selfishness, even some ethically gray spots, but I always have to catch myself and snap back to what I perceive to be the righteous path.

Then I washed my face and hair and was back to worrying about how my hair looked.