Three Years

She is at rest.


Earn Your Body

I’m not going to lie. And it’s all stuff I’ve said before, but I’m overweight. I’m fat. This post is going to be a string of consciousness post laden with pop culture references and quotes. Buckle up.

Go home, take a paper bag, cut some eyeholes out of it. Put it over your head, get undressed and look at yourself in the mirror. Really evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses are. And be honest. – Joan on Mad Men

The sentiment here is clear, you have to be objective. If you look at yourself, you see you, but when we look at others – people we don’t know, we judge them. We judge them based on how they look. The bag on our head, even the metaphorical bag, enhances your ability to disassociate yourself with your body and look at your flaws, and your strengths.

The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body. You understand that the second you look in the mirror and you’re happy with what you see, baby, you just lost the battle. – Perry Cox on Scrubs

Change only happens when we have become so dissatisfied with the current state of things that we must change. I left the comedy club due to a single staff member who made my working there unbearable. And thanks to him I doubled my salary, then doubled it again the next year. All because I worked with a class-A raging asshole. Now, I must find that equivalent in my body and use it as leverage to cause change.

Here is the thing though, you cannot take a leap of faith without knowing where you’re aiming to land. Otherwise you end up being one of the characters in Super Smash Brothers where you fall to your death, fall forever and never reach your goal.

A goal is akin to a dream. Separated by a thin veil. Dreams require we admit to what they are, and risk to ourselves that we may not realize this dream. Like asking a woman out on a date, chasing a dream exposes ourselves to danger.

I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
– W. B. Yeats

I first heard this in the movie Equilibrium, and then I looked up the poem. Powerful stuff. It finds another risk in admitting our dreams, that others will crush them. Children dream of Santa, and it falls to parents to one day tread on that dream to educate them about the world. If my dream is to have six pack abs and a body of a god, then there are hundreds of people who will tell me it’s impossible, I’d never get there. And here is where my resolve, determination and bullheadedness come in. To them I say: Fuck off. It’s my damn dream so get off my cloud! This post is what happens when I stay up late watching Fight Club and coding PHP.

Earn your body.

I do not know where I heard this quote, I apologize to whoever said it and came up with this great truth. In so many ways I’ve spent my life taking the “free demo” of my body. Even during high school sports I struggled to push myself and earn it. For a short while after college I was earning my body. Daily workouts. Eating well. And I was earning it, seeing the pounds slip off. Then I didn’t fall of the wagon, the wagon exploded around me and my body slid backwards to the worst shape of my life. Here is a simple truth: Your body wants to be fat. Fat = sustenance and in famine it means you can live longer. But unfortunately for your body, your goal is not to survive famine, it is to survive time. And science shows that time is conquered by not accumulating that fat. And so it’s time I begin earning my body again.

This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time. – Narrator, Fight Club

The time is now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. I need to start earning my body. Tonight. Aside from the desire to look appealing, it has become more and more apparent that my future requires I make these changes. Both of my parents have fought disease, my dad is a cancer survivor and my mom died from her disease (forgive me for not going into more detail, I don’t need to delve deeper than I already am.) My family has history of heart disease, diabetes, alcoholism, and more. A clear sign that I should get moving and stop wasting time. So what stops me? Fear.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Fuck fear. Simply. I’m able to do this if I become dedicated and stop cheating.

I’m going to earn my body.


PHP to Assign Secret Santa

Because I’m nerdy I decided to write a quick PHP script to handle the assigning of people for my family’s Secret Santa. It’s short, simple, and not-error checked or bug proof in the least.


//Build the two arrays. I could in theory use a single array and double it but I was lazy and just defined it twice.
$giver = array('Rudolph','Donner','Blitzen','Santa');
$receiver = array('Rudolph','Donner','Blitzen','Santa');

//Randomize the two arrays

//We're going to iterate through the giver array for the individuals.
foreach ($giver as $g) {
	//Make sure that the giver and the receiver are not the same person
	while ($receiver[0] == $g) {
		//Shuffle the array to randomize it.
	//Grab the first person off the receiver array
	$r = $receiver[0];
	//Echo out the result
	echo $g." - ".$r."
\n"; //Remove that first person from the array, so we only have ungifted people remaining. $receiver = array_slice($receiver,1); }?>

So nerdy. Maybe later I’ll do it as a javascript snippet.


My Kryptonite

It’s not a secret, and yet when it comes up I am met with any variety between shock and amusement. It’s true: I don’t watch scary movies. Almost ever. I walked out on the Scream movies. I avoid haunted houses. And generally I find no desire to see what I’m missing.

blair witch project
Creative Commons License photo credit: DanielaNob

When the Smoke Clears…

Row boat
Creative Commons License photo credit: wsilver

Life has a funny way of rocking the boat at the most inopportune times. To lose my job two days after proposing to my fiancee is something out of a TV show. However, what it turned out to be was a wonderful opportunity to pursue a job damn close to the job of my dreams. No, it is not perfect, but it is awesome.

Katie and I had hardly realized that we have been engaged for a month. We’ve been so distracted with the new life and adjusting to it, that we both realized late in the evening while we were checking out at a Publix.

Distraction is a frustrating thing. So often I get distracted and forget what I was doing or saying. I have been so distracted by my new life that I didn’t realize just how long it had been since I took a leap and snagged the love of my life. And, when the smoke cleared, from it, from the lost job, from the proposal, from the new job and the travel – I realize that I’m extremely happy.

Love is knowing that you can’t live without the other person. And I can’t live without Katie.


Two Days on the Road

For the last two days I’ve been on the road with two of my bosses at the new job. We’re on the way to Indianapolis for GenCon, but the biggest value for me coming on this trip is that I am being immersed in the business. We’ve had nearly 24 hours on the road, of which the vast majority of it has been spent discussing the business, how and why things are done, and for me to question, explore and poke around in the process to learn as much as I can.

We’ve discussed it from the top down and from the left to the right. It feels like what I imagine an intensive foreign language course feels like. I catch myself letting my mind wander and losing track of what is being said only to snap my mind back to focus and frantically try to fill in the blanks of what I missed. By the end of the day my mind is exhausted and I go to my hotel room with it swimming with terms, processes, ideas and questions.

One of the greatest things is that they actively encourage me to question them on processes or choices they make. They explain why they chose to do something, or if it is an idea they hadn’t considered they are quite willing to explore it and possibly test it.

I’m the second “real” developer they’ve brought on, and so Dave (the CTO for Cool Stuff) is already getting excited about having some help on managing the website. We hashed out a roadblock he’d been facing with an idea that I came up with, and so that will make it easier to do a new process that has been needed but not implemented due to the roadblocks.

I had a restless night last night and so I decided to begin setting myself up for some organization framework I knew I needed. I setup a Google Calendar to list out the ManaNation episode schedule, the Magic event schedule, and my travel schedule. I have a few other things I’m going to be putting on there as time goes by, but this is an excellent starting place for keeping myself focused and aware of what is coming down the pipe.

Like, right now, October is going to be a busy busy month. That’s definitely going to be interesting.


New Media Director

money money money!
Creative Commons License photo credit: ineffable_pulchritude

I am the New Media Director for Cool Stuff Inc. Cool Stuff has been the sponsor of ManaNation since 2008 and I am now working for them! I will be working on ManaNation for them, as well as other video and podcasts, and putting my skills to use to help them develop their business using some new digital avenues. I’m very excited about this opportunity.

So, remember that rollercoaster week where I proposed to Katie and then got fired? Yeah, let’s scroll back a few days before the proposal. The Thursday prior to proposing I went to Cool Stuff and met with them to discuss the possibility of selling ManaNation to them. I wrestled with this idea, but the bottom line was that at the time work had picked up and ManaNation was suffering for it. So rather than let the show die, I was looking to sell it and let a company that was able to – take it over.


The Proposal

I feel like a secret agent who has had his secret identity revealed. As if a weight has been lifted and I am able to finally reveal the Jason Bourne-style secrets to the top secret mission which I have been working on for the past several weeks. So I apologize if I’ve been distracted for the past week or so when we’ve interacted, I’ve been thinking about this a great deal. I had to make sure that this went off without a hitch, and I think I can say “Mission accomplished.”


Become a Bone-Marrow Donor

My mom was given an extra 9 months on her life through a bone marrow transplant, and with it the potential to continue her life even longer. My mom had a disease called Myelofibrosis where her bone-marrow was slowly being replaced by scar tissue and with it other problems were arising with her health. She had been fighting it for much of my life, and in 2006 she had her bone-marrow transplant. In fact, her transplant took place on July 11th, 2006. It gave us another 248 days with her on this earth, which looking back was very valuable time indeed. Through out the final year and for a few months before, my mom kept a blog online. Something I’ve kept up and managed for her:

Like donating blood and platelets, people can donate their bone-marrow. Bone-marrow transplants (BMTs) are becoming a more routine medical treatment and so the need for an expansive registry is becoming more and more important. I just recently joined the registry, and in doing so I made a five minute video explaining the process (all done from home) to get myself added to the National Bone-marrow Registry.

Want to see what bone-marrow looks like? Below is a photo of the bone-marrow mom received in her transplant.


A Hospital is a Shocking Thing

It shocks you into realizing that something isn’t right. Often this results in fear, uncertainty, anxiousness, and eventually exhaustion. That all hit me yesterday when I took my dad to the Emergency Room. I had been at work for two hours when he called and said, “Son, I need you. I need to go to the hospital.” He had blacked out three separate times at home, resulting in a very large bump on his head, what we learned was a bruised rib, and a handful of scratches and bruises to show for it.

The problem is not the handful of injuries, but that dad blacked out three times. It turned out that his blood pressure is dropping quite dangerously whenever he stands up. So they admitted him to the hospital to see what is going on.