Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Years Eve!!!

I'm not a big party person and don't enjoy going out for New Years Eve. So I put out a tweet and facebook call for friends who wanted to join me for a nice quiet, but fun New Years Eve non-party party. Several friends took me up on this offer. As I mentioned in my previous blog, Jes, Jen and Aaron arrived last night. We got up around 8am and I made breakfast for everyone. After we ate we played a new game, well it's not new to me as it's one of my games but it was new to the group. It's called Waterworks, and we had a blast. After a few games of this we were going to play Flux and I mentioned that there were several variations on the game of Flux like, Star Flux, Zombie Flux and Pirate Flux so we opted to go to Target to see if we could find any. Unfortunately Target didn't have any Flux but Aaron did pick up a Apples to Apples travel game. So when we got back home we played many games of Apples to Apples.

In between our Apples to Apples game I made some BBQ hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch. Lydia showed up to join our non-party party and we continued to play Apples to Apples. Then a surprise guest showed up.. Rupert, who had not mentioned that he was going to join us and come to find out he was actually going somewhere else and as he was traveling there he changed his mind and made a detour for my place. So we continued to play Apples to Apples a few more times before we sat down to watch some of my screeners.

Lydia went through and selected the ones she would like to watch and I noticed she selected The Artist. I had heard a bit about this movie. I knew it was in black and white and was a throwback to silent films. I wasn't sure how this movie was going to play out. How could they do a modern silent film in 2011. Well they pulled it off. The movie was pretty great. The acting was flawless, as it needed to be because the actors needed to portray what they were doing through their facial expressions and movement. The music that accompanied it was perfect and all in all everyone really enjoyed it.

Now I must admit that I started to make dinner (spaghetti & meatballs) while this movie was going and missed things here and there but even so I really enjoyed the movie, so much so that I plan to sit down and watch it again so I can say I saw the entire thing.

After dinner and The Artist we opted to watch Bridesmaids. Now three of us had seen it but three had not and the three that did see it was up for seeing it again for sure. Bridesmaids ended at 11:45pm and we all moved to the kitchen to get our glasses of campaign/apple cider and went back into the TV room to watch the ball drop.

We all counted down as 2012 arrived!!! What a great way to bring in the new years. A day of awesome fun, sharing it was great friends.

Thanks Jes, Jen, Aaron, Lydia and Rupert for making the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 FANTASTIC!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sleep Over

Tonight several of my friends Jen, Jes and Aaron come over for my non-party New Years Eve party. Since they all have a few hours drive to get to my place, they all decided to come the night before. Everyone arrived about the same time 8:30ish. We watched the Doctor Who Christmas special and then The Best Of Doctor Who Christmas special before heading to bed and getting ready for a fun New Years Eve non party party.  This weekend is going to be AWESOME!!!

Alien Nation Podcast

After four months of planning my brother Michael and I finally were able to get together and record our new Alien Nation: The Newcomer Podcast. My brother has been on baby watch and as you all know my niece was born a few weeks ago so he was free to come over to my place to record. It's been a few years since I watched the entire series and it's been many, many years for my brother. We started off with watching the 2 hour pilot and then we recorded our first episode.

My brother guest host with me on my "stolen" SDCC podcast and caught the bug so when I decided that I wanted to do an Alien Nation podcast he was my first choice. And I'm happy to say he's a natural, must run in the family. We had a great time recording our first episode, as expected we had instant chemistry.

After we record our first episode we watched episode two and then proceeded to record our second episode and again we had a lot of fun. We had planned to do 3 episodes but since the first episode was two hours we only got two done. But we are only releasing one a month so I have January and February done. I hope to get this first episode edited and uploaded within in the first week of January.

Help with my LOTR Tattoo

So I'm still trying to figure out what kind of Lord of the Rings tattoo I am going to get next month. I do know I want the elvish script of "One Ring to Rule Them All" but I'm not sure what style to do it in. I searched the web yesterday and found a few examples of tattoos that I like. Let me know your thoughts on these.

With the picture above I like the ring look.. but I'm thinking of putting something in the middle of the ring. Since I love Hobbits I was thinking of doing some Hobbit Feet (but that might look weird having disembodied feet in the middle of a circle, or maybe The Shire. (rolling hills with Hobbit holes in the side of the mountains). But that might not be a big enough area to get some good details since it's going on my upper right arm. I was also thinking of putting Samwise's face in the middle of the circle since he's my favorite character from LOTR but again like with The Shire I'm not sure the area is big enough to create a very detailed looking tattoo.

I was also thinking of doing the ring of elvish script and putting J.R.R. Tolkien's initials in my middle of it. (inspired by my buddy Josh's tattoo). I found a picture online of what that would look like.

Those were my ideas... but I came across a very cool picture that I'm now very interested in getting tattoo on my arm.. it's the actual ring itself with the Elvish script.

I like them all and in the end it's my choice since it's going on my body.. but I would love to hear what you guys think of my ideas.. or if you have a "hobbit" suggestion of what to put inside the circle of Elvish script. I hope to get this done mid January and I'll for sure post pictures when it happens.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Life is Strange

So I've been out of work now for almost 3 months. It was a conscious choice to take at least 2 to 3 months off after all the stress I had endured on my last gig. During this time I had planned to really reassess my life, to find a new direction, a new focus. It's a process trying to understand where my life is going next.. but I think I'm slowly figuring it out.

I'm single after eight years, I'm older and I think a bit wiser about life. I'm finally happy with "who" I am as a person and a human being, could I make improvement.. of course, but it took me years be okay with the way I look, being short, the way I talk, going bald, realizing that I'm never going to be "thin" and the big one (at least for me) being a gay man. Now that I'm in my 40's I realized that half of my life is over and what do I have to show for it. Now I'm not saying that I didn't have a great first 40 years, I did. But I feel like I haven't lived my life to it's fullest. I've gotten better over the years but I still don't think I've accomplished that goal.

I've come to find out that it really takes a lot of effort to enjoy ones life. To not be depressed, worried or consistently thinking about the things you don't have and to really look at the things you do and appreciate each and everyone of them. You can't focus on work and money as a means to an end. Yes work and money help you obtain those things that you want but it's not the driving force that propels you through life. What propels you are family and friends and the memories you make together. Because without love, companionship and friendship what's the point of living on this planet.

My goal for 2012 is to live in the now, to appreciate all that I have now. Don't worry about the future because honestly today might be my last day on this Earth. A question I like to ask myself is "If I died today would I die a Happy man".. if the answer is not 100% yes then I'm not living my life properly, or at least the way I want to live it. It will take effort to stay in this frame of mind and I'm sure I'll fall back into a funk here and there but from here on out I'm going to try and live my life to it's fullest so when that day comes and I'm no longer here, I will know that I died a happy man.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hanging with Josh

I was looking forward to today as I was going to be hanging out with one of my favorite people, Josh. I mentioned in a previous blog that Josh and I became friends on twitter and facebook this year and there was just something special about him.. a Kindred Spirit. We finally got to meet face to face a few weeks ago during my Christmas party and that bond of friendship was there the moment we saw each other. It's so rare to find those kinds of people whom you just instantly bond with, as if you've known them your entire life. So I was extremely excited when he invited me over to his place today.

He lives about an hour and a half away from me so I left my house about two hours before we were to meet up as I didn't want to be late. Well I didn't take into account the "work" traffic and it took me just a bit longer then expected, but when I got there he was waiting with one of his incredible hugs. I also got to meet his girlfriend Nicole, whom I've been friends with on facebook as well and was looking forward to meeting. He took me into his house and introduced me to his parents TeriAnn & Michael, both who are extremely welcoming. His father and I chatted for a bit but as I was late already and we were trying to catch a movie I didn't get to spend much time with them.

Our first stop for the night was Red Robin where we enjoyed some yummy burgers (well Josh had a wrap) and fun conversation. I got to know a little bit more about how Josh and Nicole met.. good times.

Since I got to Josh's a bit late we were crunched for time as we had planned to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol at 7:15 but there was no way we were going to be able to make that so we opted for a later screening leaving our night open. After dinner we headed over to a local mall to check out some cute puppies and walk around a bit. We then went to Rite Aid to grab some ice cream (which I didn't not partake in... my whole lactose intolerant thing) and walked around Rite Aid.  After Rite Aid we headed back to Josh's house to hang out but by the time we got there it was time to head to the movie theater.

Josh works at this movie theater so we got in for free and got some free soda and popcorn. We had about a half hour to kill so we sat in the theater chatting and having fun.

Now I'm not a huge fan of Mission Impossible movies.. as I've only seen the first one and probably wouldn't have seen this one if it wasn't for Josh but I'm so happy I did see this.

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol was an action packed, extremely intense and fast paced movie. And to experience it with Josh and Nicole made it even better. I was sitting next to Josh during the movie and his reaction to what was happening on screen was priceless. We kept glancing over at each other with looks of "OMG.. did they just do that" or " Holy Cow!! That was AWESOME". It was one of my more enjoyable movie experience.

After the movie I got to meet Josh's brother Justin, who also works at the theater. We chatted with Justin for a few minutes before he had to get back to work. So we headed back to Josh's house. I had suggested going to Vegas (and I was serious) but Josh had to work the next day. So we hung out in the car in front of his house and chatted, sang, laughed and had an all around awesome time until 3am.

I said my goodbyes and got another incredible hug from Josh (this guy can hug) and headed home. I got home around 4:30am and went to bed by 5am.

It was a very memorable and fun evening and one that I will remember for a long time.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Editing my MASHcast

Nothing much going on today.. wanted to work on some podcasts and actually did get some work done on my next MASH 4077 Podcast as it's due to be released at the beginning of the year. Still have to work on my next Knights of the Guild and Confessions of a Fanboy.  Other than that it was a pretty lazy day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Movies with a Friend

Finally someone took me up on my offer to come over and watch some of my screeners. My friend Jen drove up from the Anaheim area to spend the day with me. We ate some yummy pizza, buffalo wings and chocolate truffles and watched Bridesmaids, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, A Dangerous Method, attempted Carnage and finally ended with The Adventures of Tin Tin.

We started with Bridesmaids which I never saw in theaters but heard how great it was. It's funny, extremely raunchy and had a nice story. It's unusual to have such a raunchy "chick" flick but man some scenes were hilarious.. Jen and I would look at each other and say.. OMG.. did they just do that... it was awesome. We kept saying.. well this must be rock bottom for the main character.. but nope she would drop further down. I was introduced to a new actor who I just adore Chris O'Dowd. I loved his character of Officer Rhodes and it doesn't hurt that he has an Irish accent. Overall a fun movie, could I watch it over and over again.. probably not but once in a while when I need to laugh.. for sure. I give this movie a solid B+

Next up was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Of course I heard all the buzz but I wasn't interested in seeing this movie, but I'm glad Jen choose this one. I've been watching so many sci fi/fantasy and occasional comedies that I forgot that there are some other genre films that should be checked out. This is one of them. A murder mystery isn't my cup of tea but I really enjoyed this film. There were moments when the actor on screen would look at a picture or something and then get a look on their face like.. yes.. I figured it out. And I would look over at Jen and say.. did you see something and she'd be like.. nope I didn't see anything. Maybe we weren't suppose to see it but they did that a few to many times for my taste. Over all it was a good movie and I'm happy that I saw it. I wouldn't watch it again, one time is plenty for me. I'd give it a B-

We then moved on to A Dangerous Method which I had heard nothing about. It's a look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis. Would not interest me at all but again I'm glad Jen requested this one as it was a solid movie. Some great acting, the best was Keira Knightley towards the beginning of the movie. Jen turned to me and said if she doesn't get an Oscar nod for this role then there is something wrong with the system. I agree, Keira's acting in the first 20 minutes of this film is incredible. Watching this movie took me back to my collage class on Psychology and all the Jung/Freud stuff I had to read. Like Dragon Tattoo, I won't ever see this again but I'm glad I saw it once. I'd give it a C+

For our final movie of the night we wanted to pick something lighthearted after two very dramatic and depressing movies. I had heard that Carnage was a comedy, but that's all I knew about it. We knew it had some big stars like Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and John C Riley and we found out that it was co-written and directed by Roman Polanski . Well here's a quick synopsis "Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the evening into chaos." And that is basically what it's about.. four people in a living talking for 80 minutes. We got through 15 minutes before Jen and I looked at each other and said.. OMG they are going to stay in that living room the entire movie... and sure enough we fast forward though the movie and they never left or cut away from the living room. It's based on a play and you can tell. It just wasn't what Jen and I wanted to end the night with so we turned it off.. I can't rate it.

So instead we put on The Adventures of Tin Tin, which I already saw but I knew it was a fun ride and a good way to end our movie marathon. I'm glad Jen enjoyed it and was just as impressed with the animation as I was.

After Tin Tin Jen planned to head home, it was now 10:45pm and she has an hour plus drive home, but instead we talked till 1am.. it was AWESOME!! Got to know a little bit more about each other. It was a fantastic day. If anyone else wants to have a movie marathon just let me know.. I'm out of work and free at the moment.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Woke up early on Christmas Day, I was at my brothers so I could watch my nephew Kenobi open presents. Our plan was to open his presents and then open our presents after before heading to my mom's for lunch. Well Kenobi was so obsessed ripping the wrapping paper and then putting in the trash piece by piece and playing with his new toy that it took us a few hours to get through all his gifts. And then Mike (my brother) gave him his big present, a motorized cop car and that was it. He had to go out and drive around, which he did for about 15 minutes before we had to pull him off so we could get ready to head to my Mom's. Needless to say we were not able to open our gifts and would have to do it when we got back home.

Kenobi got a new lightsaber so of course I had to put in my
hands of my 13 day old Niece Molly :)
Got to my Mom's around noon and did our typical family thing. Opened gifts, ate a yummy Christmas lunch and then visited for a few hours. My step dad Chuck took Kenobi sailing. Kenobi just loves the water.

After Mom's we headed back to my Brother/Dad's place for Christmas Dinner. We were joined by Lora's (sister-in-law) sister Wendy. It's always nice to see her. We also finally were able to open our Christmas gifts.

It was a nice Christmas, in years past my family would go overboard and buy a ton of gifts for everyone, but now that we have "little" ones we focused more on them and less on us. I still gave a few gifts to family members but nothing like I have done in the past. It was great to see Kenboi's face when he first came down the stairs and his parents proclaimed that Santa was here and to look at all the gifts. He's 2 1/2 and kind of understands Santa (or as he calls him Ho Ho). Can't wait for Molly to be old enough to understand what's going on.

I love Christmas and not because of the presents. It's about family and friends coming together to enjoy ones company.

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

More Movies & Christmas Eve

Today I continued my movie watching marathon with 50/50 and Happy Feet Two.

I wanted to see 50/50 when it came out in the theater, like most movies but at the time I was in the middle of a lot of crappy stuff (work). Previews and commercials kept tauting this as a comedy and though it had elements of humor I think I cried more then I laughed. I mean the story is about a young man who finds out he has cancer. I enjoyed the acting very much, the story was good and not complicated at all. Watching the main character go through the process of finding out he has cancer, chemo, finding out it's not working and then surgery reminded me of my Dad and how alone and scared he must have felt when going in for his first chemo treatment. My only complaint if you can call it that was the main character not breaking down or crying sooner. He eventually does and it's a huge emotional moment but I think it came a bit too late in the film.. but then again I guess to each his own. I'd call his a Dramady and give it a solid B rating.

Next was Happy Feet Two. I had seen Happy Feet in the theaters and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the first movie. And I have to say this was a pretty good follow up. I don't think the songs were has catchy as the first but I enjoyed the "simple" story and the interactions of the characters. I think if you enjoyed the first movies you'll enjoy the second movie. I rate this film with a B-

After the movies I headed over to my brothers where I would be spending the night since I wanted to be there in the morning when my nephew Kenobi (now 2 1/2) would be coming down to Christmas after Santa was there. This is the first year that he actually kinda understand about Santa and gifts. So I opted to go down tonight and stay over.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Catching Up On Movies

Though I had other things I should have been doing today I sat down and watched three of my DVD screeners.

First up was Puss in Boots. I wanted to see this when he came out in theaters but just didn't have the time. I enjoyed the character from the Shrek movies so it was nice to see him get his own film. I really enjoyed this movie. It was fun, whimsical and had a good story. A very nice addition to the "Shrek" universe. I give this movie a B

Next up was The Help. Again wanted to see in the theater but didn't. I was really excited when I got the screener even though it had been out on DVD for a week or so. Anyways I loved this movie. I thought the acting was fantastic, the character were engaging. I loved the "good" people and hated the "bad" people. Every time I watch one of these movies set in the "civil rights" era it amazes me at how horrible human being can be. This was just over 50 years ago. I know there are still bigots out there, especially in the southern states but how could anyone treat any human beings that way... it just makes me sick to my stomach. At least they showed that not all "white" folks were bad or racists. Wonderful movie a must see for sure. I give this movie an A

And finally I watched Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, which actually opens on Christmas Day. This is the Tom Hanks/Sandra Bullock movie about 9/11. Well it's really about a boy who loses his father at the World's Trade Center on 9/11 and how he deals with it. This was very dramatic, lots of emotions. It was heart wrenching at times but also heart warming. It would flash back and forth from 9/11 to one year after 9/11. I love both Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, though Hanks really doesn't have a huge role in this. The movie really relies on the son and he's a very troubled boy (may have Asperger’s), to the point where it's sometimes hard to watch. This is the actor Thomas Horn's first movie role and I think he does a pretty incredible job. Though I can't watch this movie over and over again I'm glad I saw it and I can see it getting some Oscar buzz. I give this movie a B+

So all in all a pretty great day of moving watching. As I've said before if you wish to join me for a movie or two let me know. I have lots of the current movies in theaters and always welcome the company.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Confessions of a Fanboy #5

Spent the day editing and posting Confessions of a Fanboy #5

On today's episode we have the Confession of a Fangirl, Rachael Berkey. Here's a quick bio on Rachael. She has a great blog that you can read HERE , you can also follow her on twitter @bookoisseur, where she shares her musings on books, Star Wars and whatever TV show she’s currently obsessed with despite her lack of cable. She is a writer living in New England and learning the ins & outs of trying to get a book published. Don’t get her started on her favorite book; she may never stop talking.

So take a listen as I chat geek with Rachael.

Download  from Itunes: or listen/direct download

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dating... Again

Wow.. never thought I would be doing this again.. but after eight years I'm getting back out there in the dating pool. I hate dating, I've always hated dating but it's a necessary evil to find that person whom I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. The scary thing is I'm currently 40 pounds heavier and have less hair on top then I did eight years ago and I had a hard time then finding someone to love me.

Upside is I'm much wiser and more determined to find that special someone whom I will spend the rest of our lives together. I know what I like and what I don't like. I've learned what I can live with and what I absolutely can't live with. I know now if I see "red" flags, I need to pay attention to them and not ignore them like I've done the past.

It's always tough finding people to date since I don't do the bar scene and most of my gay friends are taken. I do have some straight friends who tell me they have the perfect person for me and then send me a link to their friends facebook page and I read what they like and we have nothing in common, other then both being gay. So I'm not opposed to being set up with someone but please make sure that we have something more in common then just being gay. I may go back to online dating since that is how I found my ex eight years ago.

So wish me luck.. there has a be a geek out there who will love me for me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Trailer

So they just released a full on 2 plus minute trailer for the first half of the new Hobbit movie. We knew it was going to be playing in front of Tin Tin which starts tomorrow but a few hours ago the buzz started popping up on twitter that they were going to release it at 7pm PST on Apple Trailer website. And about 6:45pm it was up and I spent the next hour watching it 15 times and reading all the very excited buzz happening all over the social media. From the first music note I had chills and by the time it was over and we hear that now famous word "Precious" I was in tears. It's going to be an amazing film. I'm so glad Peter Jackson took control of the movies as they have the same look and feel as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and that is AWESOME!!! Here's the trailer is you haven't seen it yet.

PGA DVD Screeners

One of the big benefit of being a member of the PGA, Producer's Guild of America is that I get movie screeners towards the end of the year. Every year I get about 25 to 30 movies. Most years I would say that about half of the movies I get are ones that I know very little about and really aren't movies I would normally watch. But this year has been a pretty good year and I've gotten some top notch screeners. Of course I can't loan these out to anyone (against PGA rules) but I'm always open for doing movie nights at my house or your place if you want to see some of these. Let me know if you're interested in watching any of these.

The Help * Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 * Rango * Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close * Kung Fu Panda 2 * Puss in Boots * The Descendants * Bridesmaids * The First Grader * Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides * Cars 2 * Like Crazy * The Adventures of Tin Tin * Young Adult * Hugo * Super 8 * A Dangerous Method * Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy * Happy Feet Two * Carnage * Rampart * War Horse * Moneyball * Midnight in Paris * The Ides of March * Warrior * J. Edgar * The Tree of Life * Contagion * The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo * 50/50 * My Week With Marilyn * The Artist

Monday, December 19, 2011

Geek Love

TLC's "Geek Love" aired two half hour episodes of what could be a new series depending on the ratings. When I first saw the preview I wasn't sure how they were going to portray us Geeks so I was a little tentative when I sat down to watch both episodes. After 2 minutes I was loving it!!

The premise is cameras follow Ryan Giltch, founder of a service called Sci-Fi Speed Dating and these two episodes take place at New York Comic Con. They focused on 3 people in each episode. The characters are endearing, maybe it's because I can identify with them. With the first episode there were 2 guys and a girl. One guy was your average geek, was into video games and comic books. The second guy was really into Star Wars but was extremely socially awkward (he talked mostly in wookie) and the girl was in between having never been on a "real" date and she was 22. When watching this they really make you want these guys to find love.. and by the end when 2 out of the 3 find a date you really feel bad for the one who did not. They then follow those who found dates on their first date and it's cute to see them connect and really hit it off.

The Second episode followed 2 girls and 1 guy and like the first episode you instantly care about these people and want them to find true geek love. One of the girl brought her mom with her to con and there are a few awkward moments when the girl and a guy who connected with her during speed dating are trying to have semi-date walking the floor of comic con with mom by her side. The other two people they are following actually meet and go out on a date and there seems to be real chemistry there.

I hope they pick up this series as I think it's a really cool concept. Yes it shows geeks at their worse (extremely socially awkward) but it also shows geeks at their best (just die hard fans). It shows a wide variety of geeks and that not all of us are basement dwellers with very little social skills. I actually saved these two episodes as I will be watching them again, as there is something endearing about this series that really touch my heart.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kenny's 1st Annual Christmas Party - Day Two

I was up around 7:30 but stayed in bed and wanted to wait for the majority of the folks to get up. Around 8:30am most folks were up so I went into the kitchen and did a little clean up so I could have some working space to make breakfast.

For breakfast I made eggs, hash browns, sausages, bacon and toast. While I made breakfast folks played a few games of the card game Flux. Breakfast took me a bit longer then it normally does as I was making double the amount of things I normally make. But we finally ate breakfast around 10am.

After breakfast a few of the ladies left leaving 10 people to continue the party, Chris, Josh, Jes, Anthony, Doug, Kevin, Luis, Aaron, Rupert and of course Me... we voted on either doing a hike at Vasquez then coming back for a Christmas movie or doing a movie first then a hike at Vasquez Rocks. Well hike first won out so we jumped into several cars and drove over to Vasquez Rocks. Once again our fearless leader Chris took us on an adventure. We had seen a cave on our previous hike and he wanted to hike to his cave today. We had brought plenty of water this time so I was all for the hike. About halfway to the cave we lost one member of our party. Actually Luis wasn't feeling so hot so he opted to sit and rest while the rest of us continued. We told him we would make our way back to him on our hike back. I didn't like the idea of leaving someone behind, especially since he wasn't feeling good. But he was sitting on a hill that we could see while we continued to hike.

We made it to the cave and hung out there for fifteen minutes or so before starting the trek back. I noticed that we weren't going the same way back and inquired about picking up Luis. Chris informed me that Luis texted him and said he not feeling well and was going to go back to the car himself... yeah I didn't like this idea. Anyways we made our way back to the car and the trip was pretty uneventful. As we were getting close to the car Josh says.. Hey there's Luis, who was just getting back to the car as well. Thank goodness as if we would have gotten back to the car and he wasn't there I would have panicked and called in the national guard to search Vasquez Rocks. The hike was a success and we all had a really good time and as always Chris is a fantastic navigator.

After the hike we headed back to my house to watch a Christmas movie. Again we opted for two movies A Christmas Story and Scrooged. We voted and A Christmas Story won out. So we all gathered into my TV room and watched A Christmas Story. After the movie it was lunch time and as tradition calls for we went to Islands for lunch.

Once we were back from Islands the party was officially over and folks started to pack up and leave. A few folks stayed behind as we were exchanging gifts. I had made extra special homemade gifts for my friends Chris, Anthony and Josh. And I also bought some Star Wars gifts for my buddy Chris. Chris got me some AWESOME Star Wars 12 inch figures in great display cases, there were three C3PO, Redeemed Anikan Skywalker and Aurra Sing. And the final gift tonight was from my buddy Josh who hand made me a golden snitch from Harry Potter.. it was incredibly beautiful and a perfect way to end this wonderful weekend.

I just want to thank Chris, Josh, Jes, Anthony, Doug, Kevin, Luis, Aaron, Rupert, Jen, Anne, Nicki and Kim for making my 1st Annual Christmas Party Extravaganza a success. This has been an incredible year of ups and downs for me but finding you guys (my friends) and celebrating one of my most favorite holidays couldn't have been a better way to end this year.
You can see more pictures from this fun weekend HERE

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kenny's 1st Annual Christmas Party - Day One

Homemade Christmas gifts - Snowman
Woke up early as I normally do as I can't sleep because of the awesomeness that is about to happen today. First thing I did was try and wrap my home made Christmas presents. Well that didn't go as planned so I opted to just leave them be and place them under the Christmas Tree. Since everyone was getting the same thing I figured it didn't ruin the surprise.

The only thing I had to do before the party was get propane. Luckily for me the gas station down the street from my place sells propane so I grabbed my empty tank and headed over. But there was an issue, I was trying to use an older tank and I guess the valve rusted shut and we couldn't open the tank. So I had to jump back into my jeep and drive back up the dirt road to my house and grab my second propane tank and go back down the hill. That one worked so I filled it up and now everything was ready for the party. When I got back to my house my 2nd guest Rupert (Jes being my first) showed up. From 10am to Noon other folks started to show up. We prepped snack foods and drinks and the party official began.

We started off with a few games of Flux (if you don't know what Flux is, it's a pretty awesome card game). I then started to BBQ, after a few grill issues which Anthony and Chris fixed, thanks guy.. we got cooking. While I cooked the gang got a game in of extreme bocce ball. I'd run out and watch and take pictures but had to keep an eye on the BBQ and get everything ready for lunch.

One of the best things that happen this weekend was I got to finally meet Josh. We started as twitter friends and really hit it off. He's one of those rare people that you just know you were meant to have in your life. I found him on facebook and we friended each other there as well and our friendship continued to grow. Anyways long story short we tried to hook up several times but timing has been off and I totally forgot he RSVP'd for the party so when this guy drove up on a motorcycle I couldn't figure out who it was. As I got closer he pulled off his helmet and had a huge smile on his face and it hit me.. OMG IT'S JOSH!!! It was like two long lost friends seeing each other after years of being apart. We hugged and hugged I couldn't contain my excitement in finally meeting/seeing him in person, best Christmas gift EVER!!

I finished up prepping lunch and called everyone in. We all ate lunch and chatted. Once lunch was over the gang split into two groups. One went to play extreme bocce ball while the other stayed inside and watched some "Christmas" movies. I went out and played bocce ball. As we were playing it started to sprinkle but we continued until we finished the game before heading in.

We then started to decorate the delicious Christmas cookies that Anne had made. That was a lot of fun. Anne brought all the things you need to decorate, half of use decorated while the other half visited or watched us. It was some good times.

After cookies Chris and I drove over to Pizza Hut so I could pick up dinner for the night. Got back and everyone ate. Chris and I also did a shot as I was holding off on drinking as I knew I needed to drive to get the pizza. Everyone socialized for a bit. I had mentioned to Chris last time that I consider most of these guys really good friends but I really don't know much about them. He suggested we play a drinking game called "I Never". If you don't know what that is, one person says "I never went skinny dipping" and those who have must drink. Got to find out a few interesting details about my friends... but as we say "What happens at Kenny's parties, stay at Kenny's parties"

 We split again, half went to watch Die Hard in the TV room while the rest of us moved on to a drinking game that we were introduced to at the last movie marathon weekend.. Asshole. That was loads of fun.. well maybe not for everyone, but the majority of the folks seemed to have enjoyed it. Around 1am folks started to get tired. Unlike last time folks started to drink early so they were wiped out. I did my best to find a place for everyone to crash. This was the most we've every had staying the night.. 14 people. Luckily I have a king size bed and surprising can old 3 people. I think I finally fell asleep around 3am.

So day one comes to an end. Didn't get to watch as many Christmas movies as I expected but then again I really didn't want this to be a movie marathon and more of a fun social party which is exactly what it was. And we still have lots of fun things planned for tomorrow.

You can see more pictures from this fun weekend HERE

Friday, December 16, 2011

Party Prep & Dinner

Today I spent the majority of the day getting ready for my Christmas Party weekend. I had to go food shopping but the big thing was that I had to finish about 20 of my handmade Christmas gifts as I was giving one to each person who was coming this weekend and they were far from being complete.

Spent the majority of the day working on my Christmas gifts, but atlas didn't get them all done. I did get my food shopping for the weekend done and managed to clean my entire house. I'm in good shape.

Also during the evening I made some dinner plans to hang out with some old friends that I don't get to see as much as I would like to. We met out in Burbank at a place I had never been do Granville Cafe. I got there first and managed to find a place to park. The other guys were not so lucky. Bruce showed up next followed by Tom and finally Ervin. The place had a great atmosphere and the food was good, but my favorite part was just hanging with these guys. We use to get together on a weekly bases for a TV night every week when I lived closer but now that I'm live a bit further away we don't get to see each over very often. But when we do it's like no time has passed. Thanks guys for a fun evening.

I got back home around 10pm and my friend Jes who was coming to my Christmas Party Weekend arrived early. She live up in the San Fransisco area and drives in the night before for these events. We visited for about a half hour before she went to bed and I went back to work on finishing my Christmas gifts.  Around midnight I finished everything except wrapping them which I will take care of tomorrow before my guests arrive.

I'm very excited for this weekend.. I love my friends and can't wait to spread some holiday cheer with them.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Disneyland & Star Tours

After my trouble with my Jeep I was happy to be on my way to Disneyland. My buddy Andrew and I planned to ride Star Tours the entire time. We arrived at the park around 2pm (a few hours behind schedule), we grabbed a few corn dogs for lunch and then walked over to Tomorrow Land where Star Tours is located. When we got there Andrew wanted to get a picture of us in front of the Star Tours sign. So we asked a young girl to take a picture of us. As we stood there a Disneyland employee walked over to us and said you look like a Star Wars fan ( I was wearing my R2D2 Mickey cap). She asked if we did the ride yet and we said no. She put her hand into her pocket and pulled out some fast passes and said "here, this will get you started". At first she gave us a pair then she gave us seven fast passes that were good all day long since the times were 9:30am to 10am.

We couldn't believe our luck. We knew having these would be a huge help today. And the cool thing was that we went and got another fast pass for 6:30pm so we had four fast passes each and one extra. So we opted to use a pass first as the line was pretty long. And after that we would stand in line then use a pass if the line looked too long. We did this all night. We stopped a few times for bathroom and food breaks but we rode Star Tours a total of 10 times before we called it a night. The cool thing is we saw every scenario after ride number seven. Also Andrew was selected during our 5th ride as the Rebel Spy.  I also tweeted after every ride with what we saw... Here are those tweets.

"Star Tour ride #1 - Stormtroopers, Tatooine (podracers), Admiral Ackbar and Naboo. In line for ride #2 #StarToursMarathon "

"Star Tours ride #2 - Stormtroopers, Tatooine (podracers), Princess Leia, and Death Star. In line for ride #3 #StarToursMarathon"

"Star Tours ride #3 - Darth Vader, Hoth, Admiral Ackbar, and Coruscant. In line for ride #4 #StarToursMarathon"

"Star Tours ride #4 - Darth Vader, Hoth, Admiral Ackbar and Coruscant. In line for ride #5 #StarToursMarathon"

"Star Tours ride #5 - Stormtroopers, Kashyyk, Princess Leia, and Coruscant. In line for ride #6 @andrewseely rebel spy #StarToursMarathon"

"Star Tours ride #6 - Stormtroopers, Tatooine (podracers), Admiral Ackbar, and Naboo. In line for ride #7 #StarToursMarathon"

"Star Tours ride #7 - Darth Vader, Hoth, Yoda, and Coruscant. 7 rounds & we've seen everything, even been a spy. #StarToursMarathon"

"Star Tours ride #8 - Darth Vader, Hoth, Princess Leia, and Coruscant. Plan to go back for a 9th time.. Possibly 10th. #StarToursMarathon"

"Star Tours ride #9 - Darth Vader, Kashyyk, Yoda, and Coruscant. In line for our 10th and final ride tonight. #StarToursMarathon"

"Star Tours ride #10 - Stormtroopers, Hoth, Princess Leia, and Coruscant. We did it!! 10 times in 9 hours. BEYOND EPIC!!! #StarToursMarathon"

It was a pretty incredible day. Never thought I would go to Disneyland and ride one ride all day long but it wasn't has hard as I thought it would be. We could have gone more times if we had time but by 11pm we were spent and we accomplished 10 times, which felt great. It was a great experience and one that I will remember for many years to come.
Download from itunes or listen/direct download

Show Notes

Kenny Mittleider from Knights of the Guild, Alien Nation: The Newcomers Podcast & Confessions of a Fanboy Podcast, Simon Meddings from Waffle On Podcast, & Al Kessel from Tales from the Mouse House, Fast Forward & Just Because Podcast discuss one of the most successful and longest running television series in history.. M*A*S*H

Today we cover Season 1, Episode #22 - Major Fred C. Dobbs
Directed by Don Weis
Written by Larry Gelbart & Sid Dorfman
Production code J320
Original air date March 11, 1973

Set during the Korean War in the 1950’s

Plot Summary: Hawkeye and Trapper's latest scheme succeeds where no other one has; Frank has finally demanded that he be transferred to another unit. But when another prank embarrasses both Frank and Hot Lips over the P.A., she also demands a transfer. However, when Hawkeye and Trapper discover they will be assigned double duty until replacements are found, they decide to trick Frank into staying by convincing him there’s a fortune in gold to be found near the camp.

Hope you enjoy it,
Kenny, Meds & Al

Jeep Woes

Today I got up early and was really excited as I was going to Disneyland with my buddy Andrew. I was driving down the 14 and almost got to the 5 when I was going up an hill and noticed that my acceleration was decreasing even though I was pushing down the gas harder and harder. I knew something was wrong and made my way to the side of the freeway and parked. As I stopped my jeep smoke started to billow out of the hood. I jumped out and opened my hood and saw some sort of liquid all over the engine. My first thought was I blew a head gasket and that it was oil all over the place. There goes me trip to Disney today :(

I called AAA and as I waited I swore to myself that I wouldn't put anymore big money into this jeep. I would have to buy a new car, which in turn would mean I would have to cancel my England/Ireland trip. I was hoping it wasn't the head gasket and something much more cheaper. About 10 minutes passed when the tow truck arrived. The guy gave it a quick look and noticed that one of my hoses was off and that's were all the liquid came from. That actually made me feel a bit better. He also mentioned that it was my transmission line and not oil, which makes sense why I lost acceleration. Now the only question is did I cause any internal damage getting over to the curb. Luckily I didn't drive more then a few minutes after the issue happened.

The tow truck to me to a local repair shop and after a two hour wait, they replaced two hoses and gave my jeep a clean bill of health. Only cost me $125 which isn't bad, compared to what I thought it would cost. So England/Ireland trip is still on and I'll continue to drive this car until it's next big repair.

Also since it was only a few hours I continued on to my friends Andrews and we headed to Disneyland (that will be my next blog).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Visiting my 3 Day Old Niece

Today I went down to visit family. Had lunch with my pops and then went Christmas shopping with him and finished all my shopping (with exception to one person). The plus side of visiting pops today is Lora and Molly got home from the hospital today. So I go to visit with my 3 day old Niece. And my Mom was visiting as well so I got to visit with my entire family which was great. Molly looks to have lost a bit of weight but she's still as adorable as ever. I got to cuddle with her for a bit which was great. Spent about six hours visiting.. it was some good times.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shipping Presents

Well it's a little later then expected but I finally was able to ship out presents to my friends in other states as well as other countries. Friends in other states will get their Christmas gifts in time for Christmas. Friends out of the country might not, as I missed the guarantee deliver deadline by one day. :( But they did say that it will more then likely get there before Christmas. It's crazy expensive to ship things internationally. I sent three packages to England/Ireland and each one cost between $35 - $40 each to ship. Luckily I love the guys I sent them too so it's all good. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Addition to the Family

Got I call from my brother at 8:30am this morning. He informed me that Lora (my pregnant sister-in-law's) water had broken and they were off to the hospital. It didn't come as a surprise as she is due and was actually going to go in next week to give birth (C section). He told me not to rush over as they weren't sure when she would be actually giving birth. I had stuff to do around the house so I took care of all that stuff. It was pouring rain outside and I really hate driving in it so I kept putting off leaving hoping it was lighten up a bit.. well it didn't and around noon I headed over. It's normally a 2 hour drive to the hospital but with the rain it took me about 3 hour to get there. I actually got there about 15 minutes before my brother came out with his new daughter Molly Skye. She is 8 pounds, 10 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long. She's perfect in every way. Got to spend about 2 second with her before she was whisked off to the nursery. Went back to the waiting room with my Mom, Chuck (step dad), Vicki (Lora's Mom) and Wendy (Lora's sister). About a half hour later Mom and Chuck left and Lora was moved to a temporary room so she could be watched. We were able to go in one at a time and visit her. I spent about five minutes in there to see how Lora was doing. She was feeling great and happy that Molly was finally out. After another hour they moved her to her room (she's staying in the hospital for 2 days). I popped in and said goodbye before heading home. Again it took me about 3 hours to get home and it was still pouring down rain. So I spent 6 hours on the rain soaked roads but it was totally worth it to welcome my new niece into the world.

Happy Birthday Molly Skye Mittleider!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Well it actually wasn't a Lazy Sunday as I did edit my next MASH 4077 Podcast and made some more Christmas gifts but for the most part I really didn't do as much as I hope to. But I do have an excuse as I'm still not feeling 100%, this stupid cold is holding on. I started to feel better for a few days then I'd wake up and not feel so hot.

Another good thing about Sunday, so much good TV is on. My most anticipated show this season is Once Upon A Time.. I say it every week.. I LOVE THIS SERIES!! If you're not watching it you're really missing out on something special. It did really well in the ratings when it first came out but the past few episodes the ratings have been a bit softer. I'm hoping it's because of the holidays and when it comes back in January the rating will get back up to the numbers of it's premiere. It did get picked up for a full season (22 episodes) so that makes me happy and it's still the #1 new Drama on ABC. As for the show I'm loving the story, the back and forth from "real" world to "fairytale" world is so well done. I'm a huge fantasy lover and I'm really enjoying how they are envisioning these fairytale characters. Now it's on it's holiday hiatus and will return early January.

Another show I really love is Amazing Race. This is the 19th season and the finale. This season has had it's ups and downs and the finally really was so loop sided as one team really pulled ahead and never lost the lead. I'm happy with the winner, they ran a great race and really deserved to win. Now I have to wait for season 20, which I know they shot just not sure when it will premiere.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

LOTR - Fellowship of the Ring - 10 Year Anniversary

Today is the 10th anniversary of the release of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Can't believe it's been 10 years already. I remember going to the midnight showing of Fellowship and just being in awe. I saw the movie 3 times during the opening week and a few more times before it left the theaters. Fellowship is my favorite movie of the trilogy, I felt it was more of a buddy film then an action/battle movie like the other two. This entire trilogy is in my top ten of all time favorite movies and I'm really excited to The Hobbit.