Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last Post Today, I Swear

The OA series production meeting has been rescheduled. Bummer. But at least that gives me another week to work on the pilot script.

Just finished watching Stay during my lunch break. Amazing piece of visual skullfuckery in the vein of Jacob's Ladder, including [spoiler alert] the ending. Director Marc Forster weaves a bizarre tale of insanity and temporal distortion and makes use of every visual trick in the cinematography book. Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling are intense, ably supported by Jeanine Garofalo and Bob Hoskins. It's a bit disturbing in places, and I'm not sure I'd ever want to watch it again, but it sure was interesting to see once.

Okay, back to work.

Look Ma, I'm a Nerd!

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Musician

Doo doo de doo waaaa doo de doo! (<-- That's you playing something.) Everyone appreciates the band/orchestra geeks and the pretty voices. Whether you sing in the choir, participate in a school/local band, or sit at home writing music, you contribute a joy to society that everyone can agree on. Yay! Welcome to actually doing something for poor, pathetic human souls. (Just kidding.)

Drama Nerd
Literature Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Social Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Whoops, Where'd Wednesday Go?

Oh, that's right. I was too busy HAVING AN AWESOME DAY to post anything.

Got some office crap done, which is not the awesome part, obviously. Had a very good counseling session wherein more of that stuff got squared away. Played some guitar with Kayleigh - we're working on some chords. Raechelle showed up after work and got her laundry started (yes, she's officially bringing laundry over - this must be serious). Then the woman, the girl-child and I headed down to the Swell for dinner with Dave Alpern, a guy I've known online for almost a decade, and whom I've never before met face-to-face. He brought his brother-in-law along, just for extra muscle, in case I turned out to be a psycho (I mean, I am, but that's never stopped me from having friends).

It wasn't a long get together, for sure. But it was good. We chatted about John Steakley (for whom Dave has been running the officially endorsed fan site for about 12 years), parenthood, brewing, and then we listened to a bit of Erin's set. By then Kayleigh was bored out of her skull, so we took off home.

Had a great informational download with Raechelle [mushy alert] and fell asleep in her arms. Awwwwwwwwwwww. [/mushy alert]

Woke up chuckling to Marty Riemer's show on the radio. There may have been a guffaw involved. Saw the girl off to work, and now I'm planning my day:
  • Get Tyler to summer school (just today and tomorrow left to go).
  • Finish assembling the insurance docs.
  • Work on the OA pilot script so I have something more to show Dan & Trish at tonight's meeting.
  • Make sure I have spaghetti makings for said meeting.

In closing, the vacant lot at the corner of 24th Ave SW and Henderson is no longer vacant. A Washington-built certified green home just arrived in two halves, and is being assembled right now. While cosmetically it doesn't really fit in with the 1920s craftsman homes on the block, neither does it detract as much as a bunch of cookie cutter townhomes would. Blessings counted.

Oh, and I just ran across these teaser trailers from the sequel to The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So... Very... HAPPY.

I've waited years. YEARS, I tell you. Now it is mine.


Granted, Freakazoid! isn't everyone's cup o' tea. But for its time, it shattered the constraints of Saturday morning cartoon format. Freakazoid! is silly, sometimes stupid and often brilliant. This show (along with the Animaniacs) was as close to the vibe of the classic Warner Brothers cartoons as we've seen. And the free-reign enjoyed by Paul Rugg and the writers in creating this stream-of-consciousness animated series paved the way for cutting edge animated fare like South Park, Family Guy and Robot Chicken.


Monday, July 28, 2008

The Birds, and Better Know Your Todd

As most of you know, I love summer nights at Alki, if only because I obnoxiously point it out every thirty seconds. So when Kayleigh asked if we could go get some dinner at Pegasus and then feed the birds, I said, "hells yeah!"

Here's the trick: go during the week, when it's not crowded. On weekends, you can be assured of a complete absence of parking spots within four or five blocks of your destination.

So we had daddy/daughter time at Pegasus and then took our leftover garlic bread out to the waterfront and started tossing pieces on the concrete. Within seconds, we had an Alfred Hitchcock scene in our hands. A horde of pigeons (yes, I know a group of pigeons isn't technically a "horde", but they kind of resembled invading Mongols, so I stick by my terminology), and a gang of tough seagulls moved in, getting quite animated over the scraps of bread. Just the sort of thing Raechelle loves only slightly more than having schools of fish nibble the dead skin off her feet at a fancy spa.

Hung out with Tyler a bit and watched some TV, then folded laundry (on my recently cleaned downstairs countertop). Got a call from Dave Alpern, whom I've known for almost a decade and have never met. He's in town with family and we'll be getting together Wednesday night for dinner and Erin McNamee at the Swell. Raechelle will be staying out here anyway, and she happens to like Erin, so it's a party.

And speaking of the girl, I've been made aware that some of her folk aren't all that sure of what I do for a living. So I thought I could cover the basics real quick like:

1) I run Deep7, LLC, a publishing company that I founded with Samantha and Ron in 1999. We have over 30 published titles to our credit, including the official Red Dwarf roleplaying game.

2) I do freelance graphic design. Keep in mind I haven't updated the portfolio site since the week before Samantha died. Sometimes I do CD packaging for bands, or posters for plays.

3) I'm transitioning into full time film direction (having several screenplays and a number of short films like this one to my credit, as well as a feature and television series being pitched or in development).

I've been making money in art since I was 14 and published my first 'zine. I've been paid for both acting and voiceover work. My first full-length film (directed as a junior in high school) was featured on a PBS young directors series back in 1986. I spent a decade in the videogame industry as a concept artist and art director before getting my soul back. My work has appeared in titles from Microsoft, Sierra and Boss Game Studios. I wrote, directed and voiced animated shorts for multimedia innovators Hyperbole Studios. I once wrote full time for a year and a half, selling some short stories to various genre magazines and getting a novel optioned by Warner Books. I authored a comic strip that ran in newspapers and later on the web. I co-owned a geek boutique at the West Seattle Junction. I recorded 3 albums for an indie record label in the SF Bay Area and a bunch more on my own label. Chances are, if it has to do with the commercial aspect of art, I've done it at some point.

I think that about covers it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quick Bullets for Sunday Night

  • Raechelle came over on Saturday afternoon. We walked to the store and got a few things for her marvelous baked spaghetti.
  • Tyler was hanging at Gavin's, so the girls and I watched the SNL Best of Alec Baldwin DVD, followed by 50 First Dates (my favorite of Adam Sandler's romcoms, probably due to the presence of Drew Barrymore, Sean Astin and Dan Aykroyd), and then Airplane!. Chuckles akimbo.
  • Had a good heart-to-heart with Raechelle, and I'm happy to say we're back on the same page. It's good.
  • My stomach was still bugging me late Saturday night, so I pinged Ron to tell him I'd be a no-show for Sunday morning coffee and had a late sleep-in instead.
  • Cleaned a bit, played some guitar for Raechelle - I'll be able to accompany her on "Angel From Montgomery" with a bit more practice. I love playing and hearing her sing along with me.
  • Played her some New Model Army from their (IMHO) best album, Thunder And Consolation. Almost have "Green and Grey" worked out on the acoustic.
  • Took Rae & the kids to lunch at Red Robin at Southcenter. Tyler slept in the car (he's on his own food schedule). Then we went and saw WALL-E. Pixar does it again. Great job, Mark! I swear each of these films gets more technically brilliant, and never loses Pixar's hallmark character design and story development.
  • Came home, took a short nap, got Raechelle packed up and on the road. Had a low-key Sunday night with the Simpsons & Family Guy.
  • More plans for the week, but not feeling as much pressure to cram the schedule full. Raechelle will probably be here one night during the week and then we have Friday night plans with a visiting Texas friend and a day trip to Bellingham on Saturday.
  • But first, let's get the week handled...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

RIP Randy Pausch

Fair Winds & Following Seas, Randy Pausch.

You fought the good fight. Thank you for sharing your wonderful perspective.

I'm With the Band

TJ Sherrill @ Hotwire North

So after dealing with a full day of stomach issues (yet still somehow able to do a load of laundry, a load of dishes and get Tyler to and from school), I decided to brave another live music night.

This time, I would be taking Raechelle and Kayleigh, an all-ages show and not ending too terribly late. I almost canceled, but thought it would be a Good Thing (TM) to get out there and support my friends. Picked Raechelle up at her place and headed up to Shoreline in the rental car. Had a quick dinner at Shari's. Even though I was starving, I could only eat a small portion of the giant plate of comfort food. I did drink about 4 Sprites, which helped settle me some.

Mmmmm. Leather chairs.

Got to the Hotwire North just before the show. Talked with Kyle about Duo and not only his track but also about him producing Raechelle's song for the soundtrack. Saw Brian Meredith and his 8yo daughter. After a few songs by TJ Sherrill, we switched seats and ended up next to the stage in a couple leather chairs. Kayleigh climbed up on my lap and we cuddled through the sets. Raechelle snapped a pic of us with her phone...

TD & his little girl

Kyle Stevens @ Hotwire North

TJ and Kyle are similarly-styled singer-songwriters (the difference being Kyle also fronts a rock band). They are both talented, and really own their instruments on stage. Kyle has a bit more energy, moving around and really rockin' the ol' acoustic. And he did a cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" that rocked our balls off. Amazing cover, really.

The Hotwire Cafe, being a coffee/internet joint, provided the customary noisy, boisterous environment you'd expect, however TJ and Kyle had enough presence that I was really able to ignore the hiss of the espresso machines and coffee orders being called. It was a fine, energetic acoustic set.

Dropped Raechelle at her apartment and headed home immediately. Kayleigh collapsed in her bed, Tyler in his, and I popped online long enough to check my girl's blog (as she mentioned doing a post last night), and was happy to see this. Went to sleep calmer and more serene than I have been all week, and before my bedside clock said 10:30. Slept straight through 'til 7AM with no disturbance.

And this morning I get to drive back up to Shoreline to pick up Sportacus. Damn squirrels.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bullet Time

  • Had a great evening yesterday. Brought Kayleigh to swim at Katherine's, watched her ever-improving aquatic skill.
  • Went to Raechelle's. She cooked us dinner, we had some wine, it was nice.
  • Walked down to the Sunset Tavern to see Casey Neill play, but were early, so we went for a drink at the Matador.
  • Watched some good bands, heard some good music, even Raechelle's ex, Steve, was there. Fortunately that's all cool.
  • Got home about 12:20AM, apologized to Gavin & Michelle. Stomach was rebelling and I didn't get to sleep until 2AM.
  • Had a crazy dream about Samantha. She was imparting some wisdom and basically talking me down from a bad emotional place. Felt more peaceful after that.
  • Woke with a start at 4AM and couldn't get back to sleep (stomach). Took some Tums, drank some water, dozed off and on a bit from 6:30AM until 8AM.
  • Got Tyler up and ready for school. Grabbed a fruit smoothie and drank it down with a couple more Tums. Solid food held no attraction.
  • Went back to bed and dozed off and on with the laptop on the nightstand so I could respond to urgent/business emails.
  • Picked up Tyler, we went grocery shopping. Kids ate, I had half a homemade cheese quesadilla and a can of Hansen's Pomegranate. Carbonation felt good.
  • The kids immediately started in on each other over something inane. I stood in my disaster area of a kitchen while the back and forth escalated and tried not to collapse in a puddle of useless goo. Sometimes it's just too much to deal with, when all you know is dealing with it, all day, every day.
  • Had to get out of here. Took Kayleigh to the Junction and picked up Raechelle's ring. They did a nice job on the resizing.
  • Came home. Gonna take another snooze. I'll need it if I'm gonna go with Kayleigh and Raechelle to see Kyle Stevens and TJ Sherrill at Hotwire North tonight. It's an all ages free show, and the only time I've seen Kyle play live was at ECC when I shot the acoustic set he did with Gigi.
  • I know I'm losing more weight. It's not a huge issue at this point because I have plenty to spare, but I'm not sure it's the right way to go about it (the Emotional Roller Coaster Diet).
  • Still no word back on Sportacus.
  • Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Will leave you with today's horoscope, which is so right on it's eerie.

4/20 - 5/20

Why are you trying to be everyone's friend? It's admirable that you want people to like you, but it is simply not practical. Sometimes, people get on your nerves, and sometimes (believe it or not), you get on theirs. It's not the end of the world. Conflicts, arguments and tension do not mean the end of a relationship. You need to start rolling with the punches and understand that sometimes going through rough patches makes you appreciate the smooth road all the more.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Best Drunk Blog Post


Thanks, Dad Gone Mad!

Alas, Poor Sportacus!

Took my rig up to the dealership at the appointed time, shuddering all the way up Aurora Ave. The shop was backed up, and as of this post, I have yet to hear how serious it is. My most basic mechanical instincts tell me it's bad, but these new Korean engines are impossible to open up (and even if I could, I wouldn't want to invalidate the fine print of my warranty).

So since I'm a busy dad-about-town, I got the dealership rate on a rental (Kia will end up paying for it if the engine trouble is covered). A sporty little Chevy Cobalt (appropriately enough, cobalt blue), with zero power anything (manual locks, manual mirrors, manual windows, manual seats - the bare basics). It's like stepping back in time. Way back in time, considering that my first car was an '81 Olds Cutlas Supreme V8 diesel with power everything (including sunroof).

Usually when I deal with Enterprise, I get a twentysomething former fratboy in a shirt & tie, trying to find his way in a depressed job market while trying to pay off a ton of debt and still show off his gadgets and nice clothes, hoping to score as many chicks as possible before growing a paunch and losing his hair. So imagine my surprise when the dealership service door opened and in walked "Cindi" (not her real name, but it did end in "i"), a twentysomething redhead in a pushup bra, ass-hugger slacks and heels.

And not knowing I had my daughter with me, she'd come to pick me up in a 2008 Mini Cooper. She instantly knew she'd made a mistake, and tried to justify her choice, which went something like this:

"So I saw we got one in and I said 'oh my GAWD I need to drive this' - isn't it cute? - it's totally cute - I drive a bug - mint green - yeah 'cause I'm a girl and my friends ask me how it runs and I tell them 'I dunno but I look adorable in it' kinda like shoes like if I wanted to wear shoes that were comfortable I'd wear tennis shoes all the time (right?) but I like to look good so I wear heels all the time and when I go out dancing with my girlfriends and they complain their feet hurt I tell them 'just have another drink - that's what the first few drinks are for - to help your feet go numb' so I live in [Seattle neighborhood] in my single girl apartment where do you live I'm from Yelm and so any commute less than an hour is cool with me so what do you do oh that's so cool I have a friend who publishes textbooks and how-to books it would be so cool to be your own boss..."

30 minutes later.

"...and the cop yelled at me for chasing them down but y'know I caught 'em they totally rear-ended me and so I chased them down and they turned too fast and lost control and hit a wall nobody was injured thankfully but yeah the cop totally yelled at me and I'm like 'it's cops like you who let crime get out of control here in [Seattle neighborhood]' and he asked me 'is there any damage to your vehicle?' and I said 'no' so he said 'get out of here' so that was cool anyway we should have you all ready to go here pretty soon..."

I couldn't wait to get into my teeny stone-age rental car and get out of there. I'm so glad not to be dating in my twenties. The caliber of dateworthy specimens seems to drop sharply around 30 and younger (no offense to my high-caliber twentysomething readers - I know you exist). And I still can't wrap my head around the fact that she was a redhead and not a blond - there's equity for my blond friends after all! Chin up, you guys - redheads can be just as vacuous, and I've seen it!

The dealership just called. Apparently we have rodents in West Seattle (shocking, I know). They've chewed through my spark plug cables. And since Act of Squirrel is not covered by warranty, I get to shell out $300+. At least it's not more serious engine work (although I'd almost prefer more serious engine work if it meant I didn't have to shell out the geld for it), and they should have it done tomorrow.

Are you exhausted? I know I am.

Now to prep the kids for swimming in Ballard.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

At Last!

Something to be joyful about.

Happy Birthday, Dan Heinrich.


More Joy.

This morning, out of the blue, as I was about to take Tyler up to summer school, I started up the engine to find a blinking check engine light, a very rough idle and lack of power on the throttle.

Fortunately, I already had an appointment for tomorrow to take Sportacus up to the dealership for a few small warranty things. Now they get to take care of a potentially big warranty thing. Just hope he makes it up to Shoreline okay.

We love powertrain warranties. Whee.


So apparently, I'm not supposed to sleep at all tonight. It would be funny if it weren't so terribly sad.

Let's back up...

Had a bad case of crossed wires with the girl tonight. Turns out to be a mutual misunderstanding, but it meant disrupting normal evening activities for the both of us (apologies to Jamie, Tyler & Kayleigh). Unfortunately it also left me with that "unresolved conflict knot" in the pit of my stomach.

Of course it didn't help that as I was driving home from Raechelle's, I saw a streaking man (as in bare-ass nekkid) finishing his run around the block to the crowd of howling men and women at the bar. So that was imprinted on my brain.

In terms of getting to sleep, strike one.

Just as I was relaxing enough to drift off, a handful of guys decided to make a bunch of noise in the Westwood parking lot, sounding like they were throwing wood pallets against the asphalt and yelling about what a cool thing they were doing.

Strike two.

Fortunately a patrol from the Southwest Precinct rolls through every hour or so, and the group seemed to disperse. And just as the noise ceased and I started to drift off again... I heard the unmistakable whine of a mosquito above my left ear.

Strike three.

So I'm wide awake with the light on, having already done several close examinations of all the walls and ceiling expanse in a fruitless search for said mosquito. The noisy bunch outside has dispersed, but I still have a small knot in my stomach and I hope the issue with the girl will be resolved without major trauma (I think it will). Probably a good thing I have a packed schedule tomorrow... er, today. Some time offline to think and process.

And the noisy bunch has returned. Come on, SPD. Some of us folks gotta get up in a few hours.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dinner From the Garden

Katherine came over this evening and pulled a huge harvest from our garden...





Stir fry over rice. Yum.


What's on my singer/songwriter playlist currently:

Love Brendan Perry's 12-string and haunting Sinatra-on-Quaaludes vocals.

Duncan Sheik, formerly supermodel hot and perhaps taken less seriously, now scruffy, wiser and just as talented.

Colin Hay (former Man At Work), still an amazing songwriter.

Recently watched Donnie Darko and was reminded how beautiful and sad this Tears For Fears cover really is.

Was introduced to Scott Matthew's music via Shortbus. Is it just me, or does his voice sound quite similar to early David Bowie?

Pink Vespa & Imperfection as Desirable

Two things, completely unrelated:

1) I just saw a fortysomething woman on a pink classic Vespa. With a pink helmet. And a matching pink leather Euro-style long motorcycle jacket. The all-pink Vespa lady. So that was awesome.

2) I had the option of spending slightly more on a brand new replacement ring from Ireland and waiting 5 days for arrival, or have the local jeweler insert a small... well... insert in the current ring, as the knotwork is too delicate to stretch up in size. Which would mean there would be a small break in the knotwork (which can easily be worn under the finger, palm-side). But it would be the original ring, and it would symbolize the fact that no relationship is perfect, and they take work. I kinda like that. Plus, it'll be ready for the weekend and I'm an impatient bastard.

No, wait. Three things:

3) Looks like we're going to California for a week in late August.

The Doctor Ain't In

Last night was a first. I had a friend drop by to vent, and for the first time in forever, I found myself unable to really offer any comfort or guidance. As a male, my first imperative is to fix the problem (and I'm damn good at fixing problems). But I couldn't. All I could do was listen. And maybe that was all my friend needed, to externally process, like me.

But it still feels like I failed him somehow. I know that's not the case. The good news is that I was able to offer at least some small amount of validation, and that seemed to be accepted gladly. But it didn't get to the root of the issue.

Probably still feeling the raw-ness of having dusted off the "skeletons" and put them away last weekend. You don't just wake up the next day suddenly no longer vulnerable. That, and Tyler had a bad day yesterday which immediately sapped me of all energy and put me in a foul mood.

Hopefully today will run a bit more smoothly.

Monday, July 21, 2008


It's another gorgeous summer day here in Seattle!

Had lunch with my friend Carrie from the old Gilda's group. She's looking and doing well, in a LTR and raising a darling daughter. I've referred a few people to her for mortgage brokering. She bought lunch. :) It's nice when I see an "alumnus" of the old heavy grief work days doing well, smiling and embracing life again. One reason Carrie and I connected back at Gilda's was that our stories were so similar: married to high school sweetheart for many years? Check. Children? Check. Widowed in thirties? Check. Even came down to the same kind of cancer. So yeah - she's doing well, I'm doing well. She's thrilled as all heck for me.

Ran into Mary and Kathy from Twelfth Night sitting outside at a cafe on California Ave. as I was walking to the jewelry store to get Raechelle's ring resized (she told me one size as per her old measurement, but apparently she wears a larger size, and I'm certainly not sending it back to Ireland for resizing when I can have it done locally with a faster turnaround). It was fun to catch up with the matriarchs of the theater group. I have to get them a CD with a bunch of the ads and program graphics from past years, so I'll probably drop it by rehearsal tonight.

One of the boxes I went through in the purge yesterday happened to contain a bunch of CDs, mostly rare, obscure, limited edition indie stuff (or friends), which I'm now ripping for safety. I'm surprised to see what survived a fire that made my speakers melt on the wall.

It's kinda surreal to be listening to music I'd stored away and hadn't really listened to in a decade or more. But very very cool.

Quick film aside: Raechelle and I watched John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus last night. As with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, his visuals and music are stellar, but I felt with this effort that he skimped on the substance and overcompensated with the non-simulated sex. I watched the special features, and I understand somewhat what he was trying to go for. Unfortunately I don't think he achieved it very effectively, as it's difficult to fully enjoy a film when you can't identify with or care about at least one character. That said, it's a beautiful film with top-notch production design and a great score (Scott Matthew is especially brilliant) that left me with a "WTF??" look on my face.

Born in the Wrong Decade

Apparently my 1930s self is doing quite well...


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dark Knight, Bright New Day

Friday wasn't exactly a promising opening act to a wonderful weekend. Rae was still feeling dark and moody, but perked up when I handed her a glass of wine and a promise ring (of sorts) from Ireland. Tyler had already opted to spend the night at Uncle Gavin's, so our nuclear family was short one neutron. But then Dan & Trish had their evening cut short and called to see if movies were still on the agenda (well... YEAH), and so they arrived with pie.

Raechelle happier, Dan & Trish bring pie - weekend just got better.

After showing Hellboy, the Heinrichs left, Kayleigh went to bed, and Rae and I talked late into the night, mostly about the stuff I mentioned in the last post. It's amazing how valuable a very detailed discussion like that can be. So now she knows my history and understands me more fully, and it's much easier for me to break it down and put it away this time, because I've already done it once before. So that's good.

Raechelle and Todd back in sync - weekend got even better.

Saturday was a whirlwind of activity. Up for coffee and croissants at Starbucks, then we all piled into Sportacus and looked at three houses in the local area. It was kind of a primer, a dipping of the toe in the pool. We're in no hurry, but if we find the perfect home in this soft market, I want to take advantage of the opportunity. Our agent is a woman from the local Keller Williams office, whom my mom referred. She's also Dan & Trish's agent.

Looking at houses with my kids and my girl - better and better.

Then a quick lunch at Subway, and over to Gavin's to drop the kids for the afternoon and evening. They had their regular Star Wars RPG going on, and Kayleigh was invited to join in, so they were quite happy to ditch Dad for the day. Raechelle and I headed back up into north Seattle for Milo's 1st birthday party. He's a cutie, for sure. And it was cool meeting his parents and a handful of folks from Raechelle's crowd. Met The Ex (Steve), which was not nearly as awkward as it could have been, as we'd already done some preliminary handshaking through email, and the fact that his girlfriend lives blocks away from me and knows my son's school principal socially certainly didn't hurt matters.

Meeting The Ex not turning out awkward or messy - better and better.

We hung out for an hour and a half, then came home to change and head downtown to grab some Mexican at Mama's with JD, then over to The Big Picture for a showing of The Dark Knight, with alcohol. Good movie - no, great movie, in that it took Batman out of the comics and made a solid action movie with compelling characters and a decent plot. I kinda thought it ran a little long and ended too many times, but I see what they were trying to accomplish, so really can't fault the production too much. I still think Iron Man is the best comic book movie made to date, but The Dark Knight is probably the best "break out" movie based on a comic.

Mexican food + Batman + alcohol = better and better.

Came back and got the kids from Gavin's, then came home and everyone crashed hard. Let Raechelle sleep in while I went to grab coffee with Ron. Came back to find a couple cute chicks (one of them a hot brunette I've been dating and for whom I brought a latte) making French toast in my kitchen. I partook of the goodness.

Hot brunette making me French toast - so much better.

I could tell Raechelle had a plan. She gets this look in her eyes that says, "I'm going to organize something." Well today it was my entire downstairs hallway. Some of you who have followed the old blog may remember that it had been lined on either side with fire salvage boxes and culminated at the giant pile o' laundry. In four hours with the kids at friends' houses and/or grandparents' swimming pools, she and I totally transformed the lower hall, reduced the number of boxes by about 95%, and decimated the laundry pile.

My girlfriend is a cleaning/organizing fiend, and it inspires me - just gets better and better.

We took a break from the cleaning and went back up to Ballard, as we had to pick up Kayleigh and drop by Rae's so she could get some clothes for work tomorrow. Because she still had a project to do at my house and was taking another step by staying an additional night... a work night.

She's taking steps - better than better!

Took Raechelle and Kayleigh to dinner at a newish Italian place in Ballard, headed home to fold laundry and finsih R's organizational project, and she finally declared herself "done". Then she went to take a well-deserved jacuzzi. I'm tired out, but sooooo very happy at how we transformed my downstairs in a single day!

Yep, this just keeps getting better and better.

PSBTW (that's "P.S. By The Way, a fun little redundancy we throw around down our way), I realize the prior post was full of emotional whatever, and I want my readers to know that a: I'm doing great; and b: I'm not going to be spilling my emotional guts on the Life 2.0 blog like I did with Rhymes With Drowning. RWD was my therapy blog. Life 2.0 is my What's Going on in Todd's Life Right Now blog, and from here on out I intend to stick pretty much to the simple facts.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Friggin' Skeletons Won't Die

This will be short and totally not graphic, but it will help my readers (friends and family especially) understand what's up with me recently.

Some of you know that, aside from the loss of my wife, father and home within a one-year period, I also had some childhood trauma (the details of which I won't go into - those who know are supposed to know). Suffice to say, it's bad (like there's a good kind of trauma). The kind that can really do a number on you if not dealt with. This is all stuff that I'd worked on and gone to counseling over, and done really well - decades ago - squaring away. And I had squared it away (or thought I had), with the help of my wife and Best Friend (TM), Samantha.

But now with Samantha gone, and my father (the one other person I could talk to about absolutely everything because it had happened to him too) gone, I don't have an outlet, except for the counselor, which will work for the time being but obviously isn't the most ideal.

So, on the one hand, I've lost the two people in the world I absolutely didn't need to self-censor for, at a time when I really need to not have to self-censor. And since I process externally by actually "using my words" and verbalizing my thoughts, you can see this puts me in a bit of an uncomfy position.

Then we have the fact that because I'm more emotionally invested in this relationship than any since my two-decade relationship with Sam, some of these old skeletons are popping up from the dead and making me just a tad miserable. Because without the uncensored outlet, I tend to go quiet, brood, stew and internally beat myself up. And I know that's not the right way to heal, which is why I'm in counseling, and why I'm glad Raechelle really wants to be that Best Friend (TM), like I want to be for her. We're just not there yet.

It's nothing anybody needs to worry about. There's nothing wrong between me and my girl. It's just that we've gotten to the point of ripping off the old bandages and showing each other the scars (and I have some pretty big scars), and sometimes they didn't heal quite like you thought they did, if that makes sense.

So if you're in regular contact with me and feel that I've been a bit moody, distant, angry or in any way off-balance, that's why. And it will get better over time.

Moving on...

Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela

90 years old, and still fighting the good fight.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yes, I've Always Been Hilarious

I had a nice phone call with my mom today. It's a good way to get grounded without it meaning that I can't go out with my friends for the weekend. I was discussing the birthday gift I'd purchased for Milo (gee, I hope he's not reading this - he might find out what it is), and she reminded me of an early incident in which I proved how wry was my wit.

I was an early reader, solo by age 4 but well into the basics before that. The incident in question occurred at age 2, according to my mother. Remember those magnetic letters made out of colored plastic that you learned how to fling at your little brother like a ninja shurken spell your first words with (usually across the fridge door)? Yeah, those. I took one of them, the letter T, and inserted it into a little cup. Then I triumphantly approached my mom and offered her... "a cup of T." I believe there were witnesses - I always loved performing for an audience.

That episode of course leads me to one afternoon a decade later, about age 14. I was heading out with some friends and my mom asked me to "flip off the light switch on [your] way out." So of course, I approached the light switch in question, gracefully extended my middle finger in the gesture I'd been practicing since 5th grade, flashed a cheeky grin and held for applause. She may have thrown a pillow (well, what are "throw pillows" for, if not for throwing?). I don't remember much after that, so heady was my sense of superior comic timing. Or maybe she really nailed me with a pillow and gave me amnesia.

And I wonder where my kids get their seemingly innate sense of wry sarcasm and irony. Must be all that Simpsons and Family Guy they watch.

I'm On a Roll (and It's Not Even 10AM)

This Your Bra?

Will the owner of a black Maidenform bra (size 36, no cup size given) please get in touch?

While doing laundry yesterday morning, I ran across this little boob-hammock. I told Raechelle that she'd left her bra at my place and asked if she wanted me to wash it with Kayleigh's. She just looked at me funny, saying that all of her feminine support garments were present and accounted for. Which of course led to the hilarious discussion of where this thing had come from.

Oh yes, there were questions. In retrospect, since the rebuild was finished, two women had been de-bra'ed within my home in a romantic context. But the last one was back in November, and I thought I'd gone through the geological strata of my laundry pile at least once or twice since then.

Then I remembered. It hadn't been discovered in the laundry pile originally. Some time ago, I'd found a bra in my upstairs half-bath and moved it down to the laundry pile. So it must have come from a friend who changed in my upstairs bathroom and left it. Which, in further retrospect, could have been any of a half-dozen actresses during the Ordinary Angels shoot.

So Dan, if this belongs to Trish, it was totally work-related. I swear.

Epiphanies, Breakthroughs and Beer

Yesterday began with getting Tyler to school, and it didn't let up until I crashed at 1:30AM this morning.

Got email correspondence and some graphics hunting done, the latter for Gavin's first project management gig with Deep7. Exercised and showered. Made a bank deposit. Got sushi at the new and improved QFC deli, where there is now a dedicated (and actually Japanese) sushi chef on hand. Two sushi trays and two green teas were half what I would have paid at Subway for sandwiches. And since both Raechelle and I have spent way too much this month on dating and generally going out, half is a good thing... and it made her happy.

We had a nice picnic out by Lake Union. Too brief, but baking in the sun ain't exactly the best idea for this Celtic warrior. Grabbed an Italian soda at Uptown Espresso by the West Seattle Bridge, as I had a few minutes to kill and didn't want to drive all the way home and then drive all the way back to the bridge for my counseling appointment. Got a text from Dan about the Duo pitch. No news to share yet.

Had a really eye-opening counseling session, just one on one. Much to ponder and process, all of it very encouraging. Raechelle and I will have a few things to discuss this weekend. Came home and checked email, made an appointment to look at a couple houses on Saturday. Dashed off with Tyler to the Charlestown for dinner with Mom, Bob & Gavin. After that, we drove by one of the houses on our list and took a look at the outside. Even though my mom isn't our agent (she referred an awesome lady in the local office), she's keeping pretty hands-on with pulling possible homes from the MLS reports.

Then Tyler and I headed up to Ballard, with a brief detour down First Ave to the El Gaucho, inside which is a cool little 21-and-over movie theater with a full bar where they run first run films (The Big Picture). I got two of the last four tickets for the Saturday night showing of The Dark Knight. Raechelle and I are double-dating with JD and Alison.

In Ballard, we picked up Kayleigh from Katherine's place, where she'd been hanging out all day, swimming and cycling. We dropped by Raechelle's apartment and hung out for a few minutes.

Once at home, the kids took Wiley for a walk. and by the time they got back, I could tell all hell was going to break loose. Screaming, whining, provoking... flip-flops were thrown, tears were shed. Tyler and I had words. Tyler was proactive and called Gavin himself so that he could be removed from the house and get a breather. I got Kayleigh ready for bed, had a couple beers and vented on the phone to Raechelle, who was incredibly supportive and soothing. We hung up and I went back upstairs to finish up for the day.

More email, more beer. Crashed at the aforementioned 1:30AM. Awoke at 6:30AM. Gah.

Today should hopefully be calmer, since Tyler is usually somewhat contrite after these meltdowns. And there were three aspects to this one that made it easier than some of the more extreme ones in the past: 1) it's been some time since his last removal to Gavin's house; 2) he initiated it, which shows that he is more self-aware regarding when he needs a break; 3) it was quite a bit milder than previous outbursts.

So that was my day... that, and something humorous and bizarre which requires a second post.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Today's Horoscope


The energy that is growing between you and another person is giving you two a lot of power over your surroundings -- are you guys ready to use it? Unleash your dynamic-duo-ism on the world today! Dive right in and get more involved in things. You have the time to bend things to your will -- and you definitely have the influence. The more you immerse yourself in the situation, the faster you will gain a deep understanding, so hurry up and get your team in motion.

* * *

That's great. I just wish this dynamic duo was more in sync... Lest I leave that on such a cryptic note, never fear. We're simply hitting the first of the relationship speed bumps, and one of them comes from the girl and I each being in a different headspace. The good news is neither one of us is going anywhere. The further good news is that I got a counseling appointment this afternoon and can start working on my "stuff". So yay.

* * *

Took Tyler to summer school today and talked with one of the administrators. Because Tyler had been evaluated at or above 9th grade level and therefore will not be held back next school year, he took that to mean he didn't need to attend summer school anymore. The administrator and I told him that there was a difference between knowing something and doing the actual work. He had a glazed look until the administrator used Bill Gates as an example of someone who was smart, but if he just sat around and did nothing, he wouldn't be successful like he is now. That did it for Tyler. He cheerfully went to class.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One of Those Memes


Todd is just cause my parents liked it. Edmund is my dad's name and his dad's name. Had I not been born with outdoor plumbing, I would have been Emily Brooke.


I just answered this on a MySpace meme - I can get misty over just about anything. Widdahood changes you that way.


It's the block printing of a longtime cartoonist, and is very legible and neat. Cursive and I never got along.


Turkey, which is especially sultry if there's bacon involved.


Thing One and Thing Two.


I'd wonder who this giant dude with the sarcasm was, but we'd knock back a few beers and probably end up friends.


See above.




Why? In all seriousness, when you've had someone die in your arms, daredevil shit like jumping off bridges and out of planes somehow loses its luster.


Honey Bunches of Oats, with some sort of fresh fruit on it.


I usually untie them before putting them on again.


Yes. In more ways than one.


I like a lot of different kinds, but I'd have to say I most like Breyer's strawberry.




Depends on what you're talking about. If it's a clothing thing, then red.


I didn't get my dad's hair genes.


That's an unfair question, given the fact that I've lost three of the closest people in my life (brother, wife and father).


Not really. Just post it on your blog.


No shoes. White socks with gray toes.


Fresh rolls and chicken satay from Vatsana's with an actor buddy. We hung out and chatted with Vatsana for quite a while.


My "Sundays & Friends" playlist - right now it's Jenn Grinels - Crutch.


Either Raw Sienna or Burnt Umber.


Fresh grass, a gravel road after the rain, pumpkin pie baking.


Dan Heinrich.




Football, fencing, diving, X-games (for the train wreck aspect)


Yes. All of the above. Seriously. I usually looks somewhere in the dirty strawberry blonde spectrum, but it's really made up of black, white, blonde, brown, red.






I mostly subscribe to the Italian peasant diet, but my comfort food is a good shepherd's pie or venison pasty with a pint of ale. I'm an unrepentant Celt.


Seen enough horror to last me a few lifetimes. Happy endings give me hope.


The Time Machine (George Pal, 1960)


Black. What's new?


Winter. Definitely.


Both! Who could choose? (and I would like to add some very inappropriate groping and gyrating)


If caramel is involved, sign me up.


I didn't send this to anyone, so whoever reads it and posts it on their blog.


Those who don't do these.


I think Raechelle left her copy of "How To Talk To A Widower" at my house, so I'm gonna try that next. Been a long time since I've actually completed a book (except for "The Power of Intention" by Wayne Dyer).


I have no mousepad. I have a graphics tablet for doing artwork, and it has a wireless mouse.


Part of a Home Improvement rerun before we put in The Time Machine.


My kids cracking up. The cutting of a sailboat through the water under full sail. And other sounds made in intimate settings.


Depends on my mood, but usually I'll go Beatles before Stones.


Athens, Greece.


Too many to list. Even the clean ones.


Heidelberg, (West) Germany, in a US Army hospital.


Nobody's. I look forward to comments, though.

Everybody on my blogroll, consider yourself tagged.


It helps matters that it's not winter. Hard to stay down when you live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth and it's sunny and blue skies with a mild breeze and pixies dancing outside my office window...

Man, I gotta lay off the Absolut.

Actually, after being cooped up in the office most of the day, it felt good to go grocery shopping, make some dinner, kick back on the sofa with a beer and watch George Pal's The Time Machine with Kayleigh (who absolutely loved it, PSBTW). My inner concept artist loves loves LOVES the design of the time sled used in the film. It's a beautiful example of Victorian steampunk functional elegance. Beautiful.

We did make deviled eggs. As my British friends are so fond of saying, they rocked my bollocks. And if they aren't fond of saying it, they should be. Because it's cute and funny.

Tyler brought home a math test with a big red 100% on it. He's a sharp kid, that one. All kinds of awesome when he wants to be.

Had a nice long chat with Raechelle later, and that always works wonders. Having such a positive, profound relationship fall in your lap after being a certain way for so long can be a little freaky, and it's good we can communicate the little fears along the way, and address them together.

We negotiated a new Wiley custody arrangement at bedtime, and Kayleigh insisted on leafing through Sam's & my senior yearbooks. Not sure how I felt about her reading about all the girls writing suggestive and/or downright pornographic comments on the pages of my yearbook. She thought it was funny, but I was more in shock that anyone other than Sam was into me - although I was directly propositioned by no fewer than three girls during my senior year, so apparently I was a chick magnet without realizing it. Sigh. Young love. How blind I was. And so very into my girl (which I really don't see as a character flaw).

Been neglecting to mention the DVDs I've been crossing off my list as they come to me in their little red envelopes.

Saving Silverman
: Meh. Cute in places, but the story is just a showcase for dumb characters I don't care about. Amanda Peet's character was especially annoying and poorly written.

Film Geek
: Cute and worth seeing for its indie charm. Extra points for having a main character more annoyingly obsessed with film than even my most geeky friends. However, that also works to its detriment, as the character is sooooo socially retarded it's hard to have any sympathy for him. Add to that a potentially cool female character who ends up just being a shallow ho. Worth a DVD viewing for a "different" sort of film.

Spiderwick Chronicles: Got this more for Kayleigh, since she read the first book. Looked to be a fairly intense CGI romp, although I slept through most of it. Kayleigh enjoyed it. We got more bonding out of watching The Time Machine and joking about the blonde Eloi. And, dude - The Time Machine has Mr. French in it!

Monday, July 14, 2008


  • Got a hold of the health insurance rep with the county. He took some info, and is sending the applications. We're on the road to becoming insured again.
  • Got the grocery shopping done for the week. And I remembered to bring my huge canvas bag full of more canvas bags.
  • Spent the entire day either on the phone or in email exchanges.
  • Boiled the two-dozen extra eggs we had left over after Katherine's last visit. I made egg salad and had a couple hard boiled for lunch. We'll devil the rest.
  • Feeling overwhelmed and not in the most benign frame of mind. This, in direct contrast to my public persona. I'm thinking once we're insured again, some intensive one-on-one counseling would be a good idea. I left Gilda's because the group thing was no longer valuable, but have neglected the single therapy due to the fact that I systematically put my own needs aside when running my household, raising my kids and engaging in a relationship. And I need to not do that.
  • My left pinky-toe has been fractured and stubbed so often throughout my life that it has a tendency to spontaneously split the nail (regardless of contact with any foreign surface; the nail bed is just that damaged). So I have two halves of a toenail, both anchored to the nail bed, but also flapping about. I need to bandage it up and wait for the nail to grow out enough to pluck the bad half from the nail bed. Until then, it just hurts like a sumbitch. Amazing that often the tiniest wounds cause the greatest aggravation.
  • Right now, I would love to rent out my kids and go off to the Pacific coast for a few days to decompress alone. Split pinky-toe and all. Just rest and get my head in order.
  • Did I mention overwhelmed?
  • Trespassers William is not the best music to listen to when feeling dark and/or melancholy, but screw it - it's cathartic.
  • Boo hoo bitch whine moan groan.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

There Will Be a Test...

blog readability test

There you have it. Junior, leave the room.

Sunday Wrap-Up

Saw this great sign outside the White Center Bartell's on the way to pick up Raechelle from the airport on Thursday night. Apparently the price of food is skyrocketing. Two cashews for $500, EBT accepted. We were wondering if they have a layaway plan. Because really, you'd want two nuts and not just one (that's true in most every case imaginable). They must be really good cashews, like made of diamonds and sex.

Hung out with Raechelle pretty much the whole weekend. It really made up for the time apart. Friday we ran some errands, did some shopping, ate some food, dropped the kids with Gavin for a few hours and just chilled by ourselves awhile, watched some Firefly.

Saturday we had a late lunch, Trish & Dan stopped by with pics from their first West Seattle house-hunting expedition, I picked up Rae's vacation photos at the very Bartell's featured in the pics above. If you remember, she left her digital camera at my place before she took off to WV, so she returned with a little disposable box camera. I burned her a photo CD so she could use 'em in her forthcoming recap blog post. We hustled down to the West Seattle street fair, met Rae's friends Daniela and Sergio and their (extremely cute) boys. Listened to some bands, then went to Mashiko for - wait for it - sushi. As many of you know, I'm not a huge seafood fan, nor can I actually have any kind of mollusk or crustacean - bad results, always. But damned if I didn't actually have four Alaska rolls (salmon) and another four avocado rolls. Unfortunately, the avocado rolls shared a plate with a bunch of other shellfish, and this afternoon I started feeling it.

We got home in time to pop in Batman Begins for Raechelle, as we are going to go see The Dark Knight and she wanted to have all the background. Our eyes severely heavy, we trundled off to bed.

Today was brunch at the Charlestown Cafe with Gavin and Michelle (plus the kids, Raechelle and I), then home for a badly needed rest before heading back to the street fair to catch about three or four songs from Carrie Akre's live set. Then we moseyed down through the fair, people-watching while the kids munched Hawaiian ices and read the ubiquitous Chick tracts some dude was handing out. We ended up at Elliott Bay Brewery for dinner, where I promptly felt the stored up effects of the shellfish-tainted avocado rolls. We moseyed some more, this time to Husky Deli for the ice cream the kids wanted but which we didn't get Saturday night due to a prohibitively long line. Back home for Raechelle to pack and head back to Ballard while the sun was still high in the sky (for once).

We had many in-depth discussions and even some friction over the weekend, and we're still feeling really good about this thing. As we head in on two months of actual couple-hood, we both have a lot of hope for the future of "us".

I was hoping to hear the official word from the school psychiatrist, but it appears that Tyler took some evaluation tests and scored at grade level in math and much higher in reading and composition/writing, so much so that there's really no way they can justify holding him back a year. Looks like he's going to high school after all...

Good weekend. No, dare I say it: GREAT weekend. Off to a new week!

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Weekend Begins Now

Raechelle is back from WV safe and sound. It feels wonderful to wake up next to her.

It seems, despite the absence, we hit the ground running. And things are good. Our plan this weekend is to not make too many plans. There are some movies to watch and a brunch on Sunday. Other than that, it's whatever. Which is a nice change.

Struggled with Tyler again this morning before school. He's pushing to make sure I'm there to push back. And I am. He didn't fight yesterday, but maybe with the girl's return he needs to know I'm still going to hold firm on the boundaries even with a relationship happening. And I am.

Like all families, it's a work in progress.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Did I Actually Skip a Day??

Had a BBQ on Tuesday night with Katherine, Gavin & Michelle and the kids. Sara and Zadie arrived from France and shared some pictures and experiences, then headed home.

Wednesday was another action-packed adventure. Wrestled Tyler to school (not literally, thank God). Found out I can make bank deposits at the Alaska Federal Credit Union in my local QFC and don't have to drive halfway down California Ave. to the BECU kiosk. Which made me happy.

Caleb made an appearance in the afternoon, and we had a nice catch-up. He's taking a bartending class (which, I must say, is just the most perfect vocation for that man - the well-read poet/bartender). Let's hear it for an English degree!

Katherine came over to work in the garden. We have spinach and broccoli, among other wonders. Kayleigh was supposed to help, but she was caught up in watching Red Dwarf with her brother. Went up to Raechelle's apartment and grabbed her cough medicine for the weekend, as she doesn't anticipate sleeping there until Sunday night. Got back in time for Tyler to head to bed (at 6:30PM), and the girl called at around 7:15. We had a nice chat. She's ready to come home. I'll pick her up at the airport tonight, and this weekend we're just gonna chill. No big plans, except to take Gavin & Michelle out to dinner as a thank you for all the childcare they've been providing so we can actually date. There's more development on the Gavin/Deep7 front, but we can't make any announcements for awhile.

Yard work today, and a good hosing-down for Ruby, who has been parked in front of my house all week and is a bit on the dusty side.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I love that Coldplay put a song on their new album that happens to be the answer to life, the universe and everything. For all you Douglas Adams fans, you know that is 42.

Tyler is off at summer school. He put up a small battle this morning, but he went. He knows I'm not going to do his education for him. He knows if he doesn't go, he will have to repeat the whole year of 8th grade (doubly embarrassing since his little sister will be going there in September). I'm sick of the fighting. He knows I care, and he knows I will hold his feet to the fire, but he also knows that he will ultimately sink or swim on his own. And as a parent, I have to hope Sam & I gave him a good enough foundation to succeed. I think we did. I think I've done a pretty good job as a solo dad for the last three years. And I think having an alpha female around is helping balance him out.

I just went into his room to help him find socks this morning. Hadn't been in there in days. Oh. My. God. I don't know how a human being can live like that. At the height of my teenage rebellion, I was never this bad. I was about to wonder where he gets it, and then I remembered that when I met Sam, her room was like that (sorry, babe - it's true, and I still have the photos you took to prove it). Which illustrates how much like his mom Tyler really is - both the positive and the negative. He's super smart, tactical, funny, good-looking, generous and often loving... and at this point in his life, he's also not concerned with the cleanliness of his body or his environment. I can only hope this too shall pass. Please discover girls please discover girls please discover girls.

For this reason, I got a citrus-based odor-absorbing pot for his bedroom. I actually got a second one for the kids' bathroom next to the cat box, which should illustrate what his bedroom smells like. Oh well, at least I know where 50% of my dishes, cups and utensils are.

Raechelle called again last night. She'd eaten some lasagna with beef in it, and her system (which is mostly attuned to tofu and fish) rebelled. So she spent most of yesterday sleeping. Apparently this time apart is catching her up to where I am on the whole relationship/emotional spectrum thing. That's really good.

My sister and niece get back from Paris today. Those of us in Seattle are converging here for a homecoming/BBQ thing this evening. Looking forward to seeing them. Also talking over Deep7 stuff with Gavin.

Dan called yesterday and informed me he was going to try to set up a meet-n-greet with the main guy at Titan, so he could see who he's dealing with on Duo. At this point, it's just a question of Titan matching an investor with the project. Fingers crossed. Fortunately there is a plan B (and C, D, E & F) if Titan is a no-go. Still, fingers crossed.

I'll leave you with a bit of 42:

Those who are dead are not dead
They're just living in my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well

Time is so short
And I'm sure
There must be something more

Chris Martin, get out of my brain!

Monday, July 7, 2008

And on Sunday, I Rested... Not.

Went up to dinner at Doug & Ann's Saturday night. Played some Guitar Hero Aerosmith Edition, played some real guitar, ate some fantastic food, visited with said Doug and said Ann, plus Ann's twin sister, Amy, and her daughter, Veronica. In the middle of dinner, I got a call from the girl. She's doing fine, hanging with the family and reveling in her bumpkinization for the week. And yes, I think bumpkinization should be a real word if it isn't already.

[mushy alert]
The phone call illustrated an interesting situation for me. Separation anxiety. Now before you wave your hand and label me a clingy boyfriend, hear me out. I was with a woman for over twenty years. She was imprinted on my entire emotional makeup. And she was taken away. Imagine my surprise when the woman I'm dating leaves for a week and I start feeling some of those familiar "where'd she go?" feelings (which I've never had in three years of dating, post-Sam, thankyouverymuch). So, in my mind, that's very encouraging. She ended with "I wanted to hear your voice and tell you I love you." That's also encouraging.
[/mushy alert]

Sunday was back to coffee with Ron (after several weeks of interruption with family obligations and dating), and what do you know? We picked up right where we left off, as if no time had passed. It was awesome. We chatted about new movies, his new pro digital camera and blossoming photography career, Duo production, etc.

I got home at Noon, and got the kids ready for swimming in Ballard. Tyler opted out, so Kayleigh and I went up to Katherine's to do a bit of swimming. I brought along Raechelle's digital camera so that if she couldn't get pics in WV, she could at least see what was going on back home. I swam some laps and got a bit of color (well, as much color as this Scottish lobster actually gets). Kayleigh is really advancing in her swimming. We had a quick "lunch" at Katherine's apartment and I got a very tired girl home.

We picked up lots of produce at the QFC and made tuna salad (like an actual salad with tuna on it) for dinner. Kayleigh had been wanting to see the first Highlander movie, so we put that in. She enjoyed the cheesy '80s action fantasy - like The Beastmaster, it's a campy, crappy-to-mediocre film which has become a geek cultural icon. How many conversations did Marc Hochman and I create completely out of Highlander dialog back in college, or soaked in rum and floating around the Virgin Islands on a sailboat? And it's not stuff you can repeat in a blog, because you have to do it in your best vintage Connery or your Christopher Lambert what-the-hell-kinda-accent-is-that voice (which sounds eerily close to Peter Lorre). Anyway, Kayleigh thought the fact that the actor playing the Kurgan (Clancy Brown) is also the voice of Mr. Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants (and a host of other animation voices, including Lex Luthor on the Superman and Justice League series) was pretty freakin' funny.

Tyler had Miles over for dinner and games, and after Miles' mom picked him up, Tyler was off to bed. I put Kayleigh to bed and crashed.

And here we are, another week.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Message From Beyond

In watching the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra Thursday night, I was reminded of the hilarious series of webisodes produced by the same folks: Tales from the Pub. I'm a sucker for abstract, random humor, and this example asks a very poignant question: can geese be named collectively?

All three gentlemen in this episode are were from Lost Skeleton. The guy on the right with the "message" is Larry Blamire, writer/director. The guy on the left is Brian Howe, an accomplished TV character actor who also had roles in films like Evan Almighty and The Pursuit of Happyness. And our host, Truphen Newben, is Andrew Parks, aka Kro-Bar the space alien.

I was aware that Blamire's follow-up to Skeleton was 2007's Trail of the Screaming Forehead, which is currently doing the festival circuit (we've been itching for a DVD since the trailer first hit). What I didn't know was that there is a sequel to Skeleton in post-production, and another genre parody in production! Awesome!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

Got various Asian foods for dinner last night. Tyler actually awoke to eat. Raechelle arrived with her vacation suitcase in hand and a bag of last-minutes from Target (one of them being a new case for her digital camera). She wanted to stay up late in order to be able to sleep better on the plane, so we popped in The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (another must-see for film geeks, as it's such a great parody of cheesy sci-fi/horror flicks of the late '50s/early '60s).

Then I put in some Extras. The girl seemed to like 'em. It's like The Office, but for the film industry.

Note to self: sharing a bottle of wine = good. Sharing two bottles of wine = bad.

Ended up getting about 2 hours sleep, then woke up and got Raechelle to the airport. Halfway there, Raechelle realized she'd left her camera in its new case at my house. We joked that "it's not really a vacation unless you leave something at home." I suggested she get something specifically travel related that she could leave at home on purpose in the future.

Came home and was too wired from having driven to the airport to go back to sleep. Poked around online for awhile. Then went downstairs to collapse, only to have my cell phone start blowing up with texts. Family plans, sister pinging from Paris, friends and their dreams.

I tossed and turned until about 10AM and decided to give up. Plus, I hadn't had anything to eat yet. Still haven't. I'm in a "grrr" place right now, and I'm not sure if it's because I'm hungry, tired, or sans girlfriend for a whole week. [shrug] Well, two of those I can do something about, so here goes.

Oh, Dan got a revised Duo budget off to Titan yesterday - we'll see what they think.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Check out this amazing shot from Susan Grossman who caught the image at about 1:45AM last night from Alki:

More info at West Seattle Blog...

A Bullet List for Thursday

Things I Am Pondering.

  1. Those pics from the dual 40 birthday party make me look fatter and balder than I perceive myself to be. Crap.
  2. I don't "feel" what 40 is "supposed" to feel like. As Raechelle is so fond of saying, "I love my sixteen year-old boyfriend," whenever I say something sophomoric or raunchy. Which is often.
  3. I have always felt no older than about 25. That's when time stopped for me. So I've always felt "younger" even before I had a 33 year-old girlfriend and despite having the life experience and wisdom of an 80 year-old. People usually tell me I present younger than my chronological age, too. It seemed like I didn't even think of going gray before Sam died. Then it was like life caught up with me for a time, and I've spent the last three years beating back the clock as best I can.
  4. Other fortysomething friends have told me that this is usually the prime time, when age and wisdom meet the physical body (and as long as you take care of yourself, it can be very rewarding). I can get behind that.
  5. In two years, Tyler will be the same age I was when Sam & I got together.
  6. I will miss Raechelle while she's in WV for a week, but I'm so happy where we're at right now, and the time apart will be great perspective.
  7. The Duo stuff should be making me quake in my boots, but it's not. I feel challenged, but not intimidated.
  8. I'm getting weird hits on the blog from places like Dubai and Indonesia, as well as France and China. I know where the Australia hits are coming from (hi, Ali), but I know nobody in Dubai.
  9. I'm also getting multiple daily hits from an IP address with a masked location. Ah the intrigue!
  10. I was considering leaving a note for the blog-stalker from Raechelle's past who is now hitting mine, but I won't waste the energy (except to say "Come on, dude. Move on. She has"). And that's all I have to say about that.
  11. I want Randy to fly up and hang with us.
  12. I want to hear about my sister's trip to Paris when they get back next week.
  13. I love thunder.
  14. Wiley is being obnoxious.
  15. I need a shower. Stinky man.
Peace out.