Superhero Shirt Day: The Birth of Something Bigger

Oh boy, where to even begin? Damn, I can’t believe that it’s been over a year since the world lost a big geek. James, I see or talk to your parents almost daily, and I know that they miss you more than ever. You left a huge hole in the lives that you impacted, and things wouldn’t be the same. It was good to know you kid.

Tomorrow is your birthday, you would have been twenty years old. I think you would be proud of the things that are being done in your name. There’s so much that I personally wish I could have shared with you, and I think the things that Sarah and I have done with your parents, would have gotten you excited to join in with as well.

Your birthday day has become a day to remember the parents who have lost a child, and I’ve had the unfortunate experience to see it happen to a few people I know, but their children are honored with you. Thank you for being a bigger light then anyone could have ever thought you would be.

Superhero Shirt Day brought along the birth of the Geeks of The IWV, and it has really brought people together. I never expected this to become such a big part of my life, hell, I’m producing content with its own channel because of the Geeks. It really fills that passionate side of me. Thank you Kim for letting me run with the Geeks on Geek concept, it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and I think James would have loved this concept too.

The Geeks of The IWV was something I agreed to start because I thought it would help my co-creator coupe, and it’s seemed to have given her that, and given her more. It’s even given me more than I thought I would have dreamed of. I knew that I was heading towards this anyway as an avenue that I wanted to pursue, but its also given me inspiration to create content with the other geeks that I know, and I can’t wait to start producing more content in the name of the Geeks.

So, to my followers on WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter, I ask that you wear something with a superhero as a shirt, or even something geeky, to help support this day. Help honor the parents of the lost children, and fly the geek flags high in the air. Happy twentieth James, we love you, and hope you’re smiling down upon those who honor your memory. This is the director, and with geeky pride, I’m calling this a wrap.

Sixteen Years and How the Hell Is This Working?!?

So, yesterday was my sixteenth year being married to Sarah, and instead of the usual love note of how great I think she is, I think I’m going to reflect on the experience on how I survived the same person putting up with my mischievous ways. I hope this shows a how our bond works, and helps show others that it’s possible to do.

First on the list is communication, yes it’s cliche, but it’s also the truest fact in making anything work.  If you’re not going to talk about what bothers you, then how’s it going to get fixed?  All the bottled up feelings do is cause bitterness, and that’s not positive progress.  Honest communication is the only way to go.  If you don’t like something, say it. If you do like something also say it.  Too many people are negative in this world as it is.  Showing your partner that you appreciate the things they do, is a great way to say I love you.

Secondly, have a sense of humor. I realize this might sound strange to some people, but laughter is the best medicine and a great way to enjoy each others company.  Sarah will say that it’s my fault that she has all the laugh lines on her face, but I guess that’s what you get when you marry someone with a strong sense of humor.  Besides laughing’s always a fun time.

Third in this list is sex.  There is a bond between a couple who enjoy the physical contact that they share.  I’m not going into the science, but there are plenty of articles about the benefits in sex.  Yes, it feels good, and yes, it does help you relax, but it’s always great to bring you and your partner back together as one, maybe that’s why orgasm’s also referred as the big O? One, orgasm…something to ponder.

Now it gets to the more tricky parts of a union.  You’re going to fight, and do it many times throughout your journey, that’s just a fact, people have opinions, and sometimes those opinions are assholes about it.  At some point if you look at the arguments, you realize that most of the time, their over petty little things, but they do generate the most heat.  It’s the bigger fights that get concerning.  I know that there have been times that I’ve wanted to call it quits, but if you can endure the rough times, you can make it.

When being in a relationship as  long as I have, you really do get to know the person, and in my case, I know my wife, inside and out. Sad part is that isn’t even a cliche or a joke.  We went through some rough pregnancies together and I’ve seen her insides.  Ultra sounds, X-rays, you name it, and I’ve seen it.  I’m thankful that we made it through those times, and have two great children. They are a pain in the ass, but I love them regardless.

Speaking of children, this will move on to the next point.  You have a partnership, either marriage, civil, domestic, etc… and some times you have kids. When child rearing, you really need to be on the same page, or total chaos. Mom says no, dad says yes, then you have kids swinging from the ceiling fan in total anarchy.  Really, get on the same page, then the kids don’t get away with their evil ways, which also doesn’t lead by to my point from two paragraphs ago, about fighting.  And yes, there will be plenty arguments about the kids along the way.

A convenience that should be on the list of things you should have, two bathrooms.  I know that not everyone has that, as we don’t currently, but I live with three girls, and with my son and I, dude, we could use that extra bathroom.  With bathrooms, people also start to see the less pleasant habits of the partner.  The tooth paste being squeezed from the middle(you monster), hair in the sink, clothes strung everywhere, the list can go on.  I’ve learned to leave the toilet seat down after I’m done, as not to get into an argument.  It makes life easier to give that one to her that way.

I hope you’re finding things insightful, or at least entertaining so far, because there is so much more to talk about, like responsibility.  When you have a relationship, mine being close to seventeen years together, you learn that the best way to work is to help each other. Build your partner up, support their passions, in the end they chose you to spend their lives with. I don’t know how the hell this woman, who is beautiful, supportive, caring, strong, and talented, would ever pick up this average, egotistical, loud, foul mouthed person to want to stick around for such a long amount of time.  She builds me up, and supports my crazy ideas.  I try to support her, but I faulter in my own arrogance.  I do try to support her. She like photography, and wants to do that for the rest of her life, and I try to support that.

The other ugly truth, nothing is equal.  Truth is, she has physical things that calls on her demand, remember the rough pregnancies?  They took a toll.  I have mental illness that also takes special demands.  Then we have kids that have their needs as well.  So nothing is equal, and you have to just except that.  Cliche- mother is care taker and father is disciplinarian. Where’s the equality in that? Mother stays home and takes care of the kids, and father works, where’s the equality in that?  Just except that having a relationship and family isn’t something that ends up being equal.  Sure there are times that the dynamic changes a little, but in my family, mom is needed for everything, and dad is the protector.

One more thing, that I forgot to mention earlier- if you find someone that you might want to possibly start a life with, don’t rush the family part.  Sarah and I got together, and Autumn wasn’t that far behind, so almost our whole relationship has been as parents. I wouldn’t change it, and to be honest, I’ve got the most awesome parents who’ve given us the chance to have time so that we can just be a couple. So, spend time being a couple, learn each other, see if that’s who you truly want to spend the rest of your life with. Once children come into play, everything changes. I know couples who rushed into the family part, and as the kids have grown up and moved out of the house, the parents don’t know how to be a couple.  That’s why communication, honesty, knowing that person is important for a successful relationship. While children are a blessing, they become the main focus while they are young, and sometimes people forget how to be a couple.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

Forward March

Wow! In seven months I get to call myself a graduate from Film School.  I will have my Bachelors of Science in Digital Filmmaking, and I’m about ready to have an office, since plans kind of fell through with the other place.  Life is good!  All I need now is a few more shots for my B-roll of my documentary, and it’s been suggested that I might consider applying for a Film Festival.  These are the moments that I love.  It seems like a validation of all my hard work, and I couldn’t be more excited on what the future has in store for me.

I have some friends, who are about to deal with the one year anniversary of their son’s tragic death… things have really changed in this past year.  I think I appreciate the people in my life more.  Even if we aren’t close, I seem to wish that they have safe travels and hope that they arrive back safely.  Life is too short to let negative things get in the way, and if there is anything I’ve learned, it’s too treat people better, because you never know how they may change your life.

We started this local Geek group called The Geeks of the IWV last August in response to the celebration of his life.  I thought it was a good way to help my friends mourn, and to help deal with their grief.  I never thought that this whole process would change me as well.  I feel that I’ve become a better person, a better friend, and more positive about life.  I love my kids so much more than I ever thought I did.  I love my wife more because she’s supported me.  My friends have also seen a difference in the way I handle things.  With this group, I’ve been able to network so much better than I ever thought possible.

I think tragedy can become triumph in the end.  The tragedy itself never goes away, and I in no means, say that to cheapen what’s happened, but I think it can lead to self discovery.  When I had my suicidal melt down and work, I needed help, and I was able to find that help through a professional.  The tragedy that hit me at the time was that friends, and family members had suffered suicide in their lives. Around that time, there were five people that I had heard committed the act.  I knew one of the people locally,  he was a hip=hop dance instructor  at the gym I was going too at the time.  When I found out what happened I became morose because I felt like if I had the chance to talk to him, he would have known that he wasn’t alone.  We connected over our fondness of hip-hop and talked about trying to choreograph some dance moves to a Michael Jackson song or two.  His death really impacted me.

Human connection is important.  I try to pay attention to what people wear when I see them at my job, and it often times leads to conversations, and friendships.  I’ve become acquainted with so many people by noticing the lanyard they wear around their necks.  If it’s a sports team, we’ll start talking about sports, and we talk about favorite players, and teams that we like.  The one that gets the most attention is when someone wears either comic book characters or video games.  Those usually spark the best conversations  and I’ve made a good set of friends because of it.  It’s funny what you can learn about someone if you pay attention to what they wear.

I had a conversation with my little brother today, and I think that I finally summed up my goals in life.  I told him that it’s hard work building an empire, and that’s what I feel like I’m doing.  I want to do movies, music, podcasting, and on top of all of that, I want to have the accessibility to show that I’m there to support those who can’t handle mental illness. Sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be any options than to end their lives.  All I can say to that is- I’m here, you’re not alone, I love you.  Don’t let the darkness be the answer, because there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.  I know that it doesn’t seem like it, or that the light is too far to see, but endure, fight through it…you’ll come out stronger in the end.

These are things that I’m more passionate about now.  I’m getting the tools to help lend a voice to the unanswered, and I plan on using it to help.  My creativity is there to help entertain and maybe even be thought provoking at times.  Life’s hard, and I’m the first to admit that I’ve wanted to quit.  I almost have, more times than I would care to admit.  My depression hit me hard because I felt like I was stuck in a spot that I wasn’t happy in.  I had set plans to leave everything behind because I couldn’t deal with being stuck.  Life was closing in around me.  Now I’m moving forward to a bright future.  I’m not stuck anymore, and the momentum is carrying me along a new path.  Somedays it moves very quickly, than other days, I wonder if I’m still moving, but forward is always ahead of me.

While I’m not going to mention names of my friends who lost their son,  I do want to leave a thought on the eve of the anniversary: I love you and your family.  My heart goes out to you in your time of suffering.  I’ve seen growth from both of you in this past year, and I think you’ll learn to manage with your loss better as time goes.  Your eldest left a giant hole in the lives of everyone who had the fortune of knowing him.  I wish that I could have known him better than the chance that I had.  By the time my family and I had entered into your lives the way we did, he had already became a working man who was busy with school and work.  The time I did share with him was great because we geeked out about the same things.  Just know that there isn’t a day that you two don’t cross my mind, and I’m always going to be here for you.

 

Friends

So, Sarah and I took our friend Alisa with us to a SCA event down in Dun Or, or Lancaster, Ca for people who aren’t into the medieval reenactment group. It was their 25th anniversary and Sarah’s second time being the youth activity officer. Alisa went to be her helper, and I went to support our local barony.

One of the things that I like about being a member of the Society is that I’ve made friends with some amazing people. This is also the most open minded group of people that I’ve ever been around. I’ve met several people who are like minded and enjoy the geeky things that I like.  So, I was talking with my usual group of people at events, and I we had a great time.  One of my friends, also introduced me to a long time friend, who helps run a geek internet radio station.  She was happy to introduce us, because she wants to see my creative endeavors sprout up and become something bigger then it is.

As the event came to an end, my friend, her family, and my group of people went out and had dinner together. The best part was, that I realized that I enjoyed being around these people far more than I ever realized. They are good people, and also intelligent as well. So, dinner took way longer than it should have, and without having our kids with us, it was nice to spend time with adults that we share a passion for geeky and possibly crude humor.  It was a wonderful night, and I look forward to actually hanging out more often now that we realize how much we enjoy each other’s company.