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.
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A New Life Quote

One of the many things K has done for me, is introduce me to Rev. Run. Not face to face, but before that I only knew of Run DMC, I didn’t know who they were. Rev. Run is a good guy. He’s a father, an entertainer, a preacher, and a pretty stand up guy. He has been sending out a daily email with motivational and supporting messages for years now and just recently joined the Twitter revolution.

Remember this.. Youre not obligated to win… but youre damn sure obligated to keep trying EVERYDAYRev. Run

I love this quote. It’s something I’ve struggled with. I hate losing. Or even I hate not winning. This quote reminds me that we all lose sometimes and it matters more that we keep getting back up after we get thrown down. Good stuff.

Pursuing Happiness

It’s not hard to be happy when life is good. The real task is to be happy when life isn’t good. Like this economy. Stress, frustration, the feelings of helplessness combine to make a formidable opponent to happiness. I’m a happy guy, and so far I’m doing okay in this economy, but I’m lucky. And I know it.

What weapons do we all have to find happiness? Continue reading “Pursuing Happiness”

A Few Things I’ve Learned

Losing your job affects you. It makes you question your comfort, your skills, it makes you ask is this type of job right for you, whose fault was it, what can you do better next time?

I’m a confident guy, I’m not perfect but I am the perfect example of someone who believes they’re Superman and cannot be harmed.

But when Databanq let me go, I was rocked and it took me several weeks to figure it all out and then soon after starting the job hunt again MindComet found me and it’s now been over three months. Here are a few things I’ve learned from MindComet and about myself.

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It’s been a year

This weekend makes it a year since mom died and the week has gotten progressively more and more difficult. It’s coming on the back of working 16 out of the past 17 days (including weekends) and so my body, brain, heart and soul are just exhausted.

Tomorrow K and I will make our way up to Atlanta for a family gathering, we’ll pick up my grandmom on the way and we’ll be there through the weekend.

If you’re a friend in Atlanta, it is possible that Saturday night I’ll be looking to go out but more than likely this is a weekend wholly devoted to family and I won’t see any of you. My trips into Atlanta seem to echo this trend frequently and I’m sorry, but this more than others holds true to this meaning.

Sunday will be a memorial service and the actual burial of mom’s ashes at a plot in Roswell. It is just a family event, so no details are forthcoming.

Thank you all for your support over this past year.  It’s been tumultuous and has had many highlights, of which K has been a shining star, I don’t know how I would have survived this past year without her by my side.

That being said, I still miss mom each and every day. Many many times something has happened and I’ve wanted to pull out my phone to call her, only to remember that I can’t.

From a character came a whole world

A few years ago I devoted a great deal of time to developing a fictional world, complete with language, history, characters, politics, geography and much more. I still have most of the documents on my computer, though I haven’t looked at them in a while. It’s a hobby which comes and goes depending on my time and moods.  I don’t know if I’ll ever return to the first world I created, the stories petered out and all that was left was to continue to trudge through my lexicon as I attempted to make more and more words.

Much more recently, I’ve had a world blossoming in my head, all from the simple concept of a character. The setting is “Steampunk,” a term used to describe a world without the internal combustion engine, when steam power provides all. Sometimes that world involves magic, but not always. Usually clockwork and steam power has advanced such that it can now mimic much of today’s technology. It’s often Victorian or maybe western in settings, but not always. With this setting in mind, I came up with a character named “Silas Strauss.” A young, barrel-chested man. As my image of him came into a more clear focus I realized that Silas worked in the blue-collar realm, not a Prince or nobility of any sort – he worked and enjoyed it.

His work though eluded me for a long time. Did he work onboard an airship? Or on a train? In a factory? What was it. Eventually I realized he worked either shoveling coal or laying rails for the trains to move on. And from there the world exploded around him, it’s amazing when you discover the key element how much more can come to you. I quickly had to grab a pad and scribble notes to myself.

“Silas Strauss – Burly and barrel-chested. He is the Serviceman of the 7th Rail Squad for the 4th Battalion in His Royal Majesty’s Exploratory forces, his duties alternate between laying railroad and shoveling coal on board one of the engines.”

Imagine the times when we had to first lay railroad rails across the US, exploring into the deep unknown. But imagine if the land was even bigger, what if it had been the size of Asia? One railroad track would obviously be too few as the forces would be huge, laying track for multiple trains only made sense! If your kingdom was big enough and you had the supplies, you could lay two, three or four tracks simultaneously allowing trains to run supplies and keep the forces mobile. Your supply line would be crucial for this large of an exploratory force.

And Silas is a small cog in the machine for these forces. How would life be? He’d work day in and day out. He wouldn’t suffer the fear or questions explorers on the high sea might, the tracks would always be behind you, meaning you could always find your way home. But you’d also know just how far you’d be from home.

The world grows more and more in my mind, my notes in the Google Docs folder are piling up. I guess a story might come out of this. At the least, I’m hoping to put together a steampunk costume for D*Con.

Daily Show is Gen Y’s SNL

Looking back over the history of comedy, much of the great US Comedians came through specific channels. Working at a comedy theatre has opened a door to understand the channels which most comedians flow through. Please note that I say most not all. There are always people who buck the system and make their own route, but the large majority of comedians went through various institutions.

For the previous generation, the large selection of comedians went through SNL before breaking out on their own but today it seems as if the talented proving grounds is the Comedy Central show with Jon Stewart, “The Daily Show.” They’ve had Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, John Hodgmann is up and coming, and a small handful of other comedians who are working their way out. Sure SNL has put out a few as well, but in terms of relevance I hear people talking about The Daily Show a lot more than SNL.

This could be attributed to the fact that The Daily Show is, well, daily. And SNL is only weekly, but I honestly only know a small handful of people who watch SNL and talk about it. I know some friends who dream of breaking out as comedians and so they watch it, but other than that, I think SNL is appealing to our parents and our older siblings.

The Daily Show has its spin off, The Colbert Report, which has proven to be meteoric in its success, but it hasn’t produced the comedians that Jon Stewart’s show has. Yet.

So watch out Lorne Michaels, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are gunning for you!

Remembering

Yesterday I was hit with an intense but short lived blast of stage fright. Today I was hit by something I already knew. It was something that has flashed through my head dozens of times, but today it took center stage. The show on Monday is going to miss a very important person in the audience.

Mom.

Yes, I know she’ll be there in spirit. But as good as that makes me feel, I still wish I could look into the audience, past the stage lights, and see her there grinning and waving to me. I wish it with all my heart, with all my being.

There was no greater joy than to be on the field playing Football in high school and to look up in the stands and see mom there waving at me. She and I talked about it during my freshman year and that I couldn’t wave back to her, the coaches wanted our heads in the game, so I told her that I would grab my face mask and “adjust” it as my way to wave back to her.

And so every game I played, sometime during the first quarter I would look into the stands and find the parents, then mom would see me looking and wave eagerly, and I would grin up behind the face mask, gripping the plastic coated bars and shift them visibly. And there we would share a moment, a bond between us.

God I miss her. She would be so excited about Monday. I can imagine her telling her friends, she’d be eager and excited to see it, to see what I could do. That was her joy, seeing her children accomplish things. Man, this is rough.

The show will go well on Monday, I’ll push these thoughts out and I’ll perform like I would if she were there, but until that point I’m embracing my memories of her and working through the emotions that come with it.