Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life Support

My computer crashed, seemingly. It won't start up, but it turns on to at least think about it. I've tried every one of Apple Support's suggestions.

Most of my things are backed up. Nothing from SF, although a lot of that is on flickr, facebook, or youtube. I emailed my screenplay stuff to myself a while ago, and have only made minor changes since. My music is gone. Thousands of songs, hundreds of dollars of music. And so many programs I have downloaded. And all of my summer school material. Good news there is my paper was due yesterday and I already submitted it.

Maybe it can revive itself. I was hoping to pay off my car loan. Looks like I'm getting a new computer instead. Luckily Michael has a computer down in the studio here for the meanwhile.

Upset, but calm.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On Brett Favre

I love you Brett Favre. Nobody knows me and doesn't know that. But on your recent indecisiveness, oh man.
It kills me so much to say this, but you need to be done. Your legacy is in Green Bay. Your reputation as the potential greatest, your humility and your honor all lie in this debacle. You retired. After years of "will he or won't he?", you hung it up. You came back many times after the critics told you to sit down. You fought through injury, through personal grief, through steel defenses, and you proved that, even at 38, you could be the best. And you damn near won another Super Bowl this year.
And coming off one of your best seasons ever, you said "That's it." You could have come back to the cheers and support, but you bowed out gracefully. And now you're giving the young kid a shot. The kid who was the 2nd QB drafted three years ago, who has played just a few times underneath you. Good for you, good for him.
But now... you regret retiring! After all of it, after making this monumental decision that was upon you year after year after year, you want to come back? And since Green Bay is ethically doing the right thing by supporting Rodgers, you want to be traded?! To a different team!? Your legacy is here. Your antics are tearing apart this team, this community, and dampening your successor's start. Please, Brett. You are my idol. But you need to sit down and shut your trap.

I want to remember you like this:


And not like this:


...much less in another team's uniform.

Your legacy. Your poor, poor legacy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

MASSIVE update (Life is Good)

Welp, this one's overdue, and only a reminder of why I'll be done blogging for some time after summer. You just wear of it. I feel like my life is back in regular, forward motion. No more dreamworld like Europe or the start of San Francisco. Adventures are always a part of life, but the ones now are not detours, and it was the detours that seemed blogworthy.

Lots of pictures in this post. It's a mess, so I'm apologizing now.

Here's the panoramic from the rooftop of our house in SF. It's the highest point from the bay up to that point, so it's just a fantastic scene. Getting up on the roof is one of my favorite things lately. Just nursing a beer, iPod in ears, reading my homework or contemplating. It's like that James Taylor song. Speaking of James Taylor, I'm seeing him on July 27, thanks to Aunt Amy. We'll be catching him in Berkeley. How terrific.



The Chaunce-factor came for my birthday/the 4th for a little vacation. It ended up being a vacation for the whole family as we turned this city inside out. We did what seemed like everything San Franciscan, and it was the week that I will remember most fondly about the summer. Chauncy gave me some sort of revitalization in my summer. He's got an honest appreciation toward life, and I think my attitude was turning south for a few weeks. I'm feeling quite optimistic lately, and have been branching out more this past week since his departure. Not letting homework always be an excuse not to go out. I went to Berkeley to meet up with a friend on Friday, met up with some Kansans last night for an evening that went until 4 a.m., and woke up at 9 for brunch with a work friend. Just trying to enjoy these last few weeks differently than the first two months. TWO MONTHS. Wow, it's been that long? It's gone fast, because the work week goes fast once it's broken by my two different internships. I've been very reserved socially until now, which I do not regret. It's what I needed, a small detox. But now I'm all about keeping as few excuses and enjoying the scene while I have it.
Here's Chauncy, the twins and me on my 22nd:

He and I took to the roof for a brewsky. Apologies for the incredibly lame pose, but not apologizing for the stellar jacket I found in the relatives' closet. Woooooo. This scene extends to the right of the panoramic above. Yeah, you can see just about everything from that roof.
On the 4th, we dangled out the windows looking toward the bay, watching the fireworks. Well, it was so foggy that it ended up looking like Bombs in Baghdad, as Chauncy cleverly noted. Which made the fact that I backdropped the scene with Ray Charles' "America the Beautiful" all the more ironic. But it felt very cinematic, you know? It was a terrific moment to experience, all of us sticking out the open window, the hazy fog rolling in and illuminated, with dozens of neighbors out on their rooftops, hearing the faint sounds of Ray Charles celebrating out nation.


Oh yeah, and the family took me to the pride parade a few weeks back. It wasn't as eye-opening as I expected, but there were the occasional crazy people, which made it a great afternoon. Here's a goofy character biking down Market Street.


It was also Alcatraz round 2 when Chaunce was in town. I had just as much fun as the first time I took to the island. It's a great experience, and what a wonderfully-preserved place. The guest author on the Rock that day is actually a friend of my Study Abroad teacher. She moved to Lawrence after leaving Alcatraz; her dad was assistant to the warden when she grew up. Neat stuff, how our world is so small. Even isolated islands like Alcatraz provide connections.



You can't leave SF without a good dose of Chinatown. Check out the seafood and live animals. This doesn't even show off the turtles, frogs, eels, carved pigs, lizards on a stick, etc. Sheesh. Hard to stomach, any of that food... but eye candy nonetheless.



And ever wonder how they make fortune cookies? This video cost me a 50-cent donation, so the production value is infinitely higher than the others. Definitely watch it, make my investment worthwhile. Perhaps my first produced film? Ha!



So on that topic--producing--that's a relevant turn. I'm looking into that avenue of film a lot more. It plays to my natural and educational skillsets, and it stresses me much less than screenwriting. Of course, I'm still very much into screenwriting and I'm keeping the hobby up, but I think I'm going to let my future in the industry take its own shape. See where it leads me, trust my instincts. That being said, I still think Grad School is a viable option, and it will be heavily considered, but I also have faith that I can tackle things myself. I've been stressed a lot less lately--almost not at all. I'm 22 years old, for Pete's sake. By the time I'm 50, I'll have had 28 years in the industry, ideally. I'm not even 28 yet. And I feel good about the people I will meet, the work I will do, the ethics I will carry. It'll be fine. It will be.

To show how stress-free I am lately, here's me holding rats. Yes, rats. The twins have 2 rats that I was not particularly fond of at first. But they're growing on me, save for the time they peed on my khakis and pooped on the couch when I was holding one. They're wily critters, but friendly and pretty fun. Here's one that crawled into a tube sock after we played "Laundry Sock Go-Fish" to help Amy find mates for each of the dozens of socks on top of her drier.


And here's Estelle imitating the rats. She's in North Dakota with Eddie right now, and they call every day asking to talk to the rats. The rats- Herb and Mo- aren't entirely talkative. Mostly just hungry and jumpy. Good for....

...letting them crawl in your shirt! It tickles. A lot. And sometimes they inadvertently scratch you in the process, but it's still a trip. We did some family Olympics with the kids when Chauncy was here, and one of the events was standing on one foot with rats in your shirt. Chauncy and I squared off in the final, and neither of us cracked, despite laughing fits. We called a draw.


Uncle Mike asked how we could make Chauncy remember his last day in the city, to contrast it against the rest of the eventful week- we had done a Giants game, all the city sights, a comedy show on my birthday (thanks Ma and Pa!), Napa country, Alcatraz, et al. Well, Chauncy and I took Eddie and Robert to Hooters down by the bay. Nobody ordered milk or chicken breasts (hold the chicken), but it was still a fun time watching the little guys act like big guys. It was my first time ever at Hooters, and our waitress certainly was memorable.

Well, to truly commemorate Chauncy's last day, Michael picked us up after Alcatraz in the Rolls Royce. Yeah, he's got a Rolls convertible stored away in the garage. Man. You should have seen Chauncy and me, trying not to make eye contact with pedestrians and other drivers, but hoping they were staring, gawking, or eying us jealously. That. Car. Is. Delicious. Here's us driving around the town, toward the GG Bridge or through the rolling hills of Pac Heights and the woods of the Presidio. Chauncy will definitely be remembering that afternoon, as will I.







So there it is. Things are going great. Internet classes are boring, but everything else falls into place just fine. I've now officially less than 3 weeks left on this sojourn. It's surreal. Kansas looks like death right now. But it's only 4 months, and the golden life lies just beyond those rectangular months. I'll be appreciating my last semester just like I'm enjoying these last few weeks here. Life is always good. There is always goodness, even in downturns and disbeliefs.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

For Donna

Is it possible to adore someone you haven't officially met? This post is for Donna, because she is one great Mom, one great woman, one wonderful human being. She is Amy's mom, and when Amy and I were in Europe, Donna and I had a few Skype conversations. She's been a good reader, a nice reassurance in my life, always looking out for me like I was her own.
Well, Donna, the fact that you would trust my favorite book and check it out from the library... just the icing on the cake! You deserve a shout out in a blog that needs an update. I guess eventually, an update on life will be due, especially since my cousin is in town for my birthday/the holiday, and I've had an outstanding weekend, with more adventures to come. There are a few changes in my personal life, too, in what I want to accomplish and in what I foresee this upcoming spring.
But in the meantime, for Donna, here: I love you just as I love your charming, beautiful daughter, and I'm not afraid to say it about the both of you!