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.