Monday, August 31, 2009

So Done... So Very Very Done.

This home selling/buying thing is really old now. I know we chose the worst possible time to put our home on the market, but we were trying to seize an opportunity - and that opportunity is now no longer an option.

So this past weekend, we entertained a low-ball offer on the current house while searching for a backup to buy. And by bedtime last night, we were cranky, tired and I had these really neat abdominal cramps. No stress here.

I'm still not going into any detail here, as nothing is a done deal yet. We countered the offer, and we found a viable property that, while it's in a perfect location and has much that is perfect for us, there are a few really key attributes which are less than ideal.

No wonder I only buy a new house every 15 years or so.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Happy Birthday, little bro. You would have been 39 today, and life would have been markedly different.

The passage of time isn't relevant. I still miss you.



Sorry to be so cryptic. Right now it's time to strategize, and keep those babies in the air.

More later, I promise.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Domestic Bliss

I snore.

Oh trust me, I'm well aware of the fact. When you have the build of a linebacker, including a giant resonating chamber, sometimes silence is just not an option. However, it definitely follows certain patterns: congestion adds to the problem, as does alcohol, as do the extra 5 to 10 pounds I trade on and off when I'm happy and spending more time watching HGTV with my sweetie instead of walking like I should. Breathing through my nose (sometimes with the aid of BreatheRight strips) while side-sleeping in a fetal position helps quiet the beast.

So it's not a chronic problem, but when it happens, it means a less-than-ideal night's sleep for TFMD. And I feel really bad when those nights occur. But before you pity the poor girl too much, let me mention how she unconsciously gets her revenge...

First, there's the marathon running. I don't know what she's dreaming about, but there's a lot of travel involved. Her legs go on extended strolls in place, and it's difficult not to imagine all sorts of cinematic possibilities. I'll bet she's running from vampires. Or ninja. Or ninja vampires.

There's the vocalizations, of which I too am guilty. It'll usually be a body shift and a sigh, or the last part of a conversation. Dane Cook has a funny routine on this very subject. But honestly, the sighing and half sentences are pretty cute and not nearly as disruptive as my impersonation of Mount Vesuvius erupting.

It's when she punches me in her sleep that kinda throws a damper on a restful night. Last night in fact, it was the trifecta: escape from the ninja vampires, roll over and poke... pokepoke in the arm, sigh, humph, scoot scoot, rinse and repeat.

It's ever so amusing when we trade habits as well. Sometimes she'll snore, and I'll flee the ninja vampires. Once I actually elbowed her in the eye (didn't live that one down for a couple weeks). I'm sure we both occasionally question whether the spooning is worth it.

But learning (and putting up with) each other's sleep acrobatics (or sleeprobatics) is part of any long-term relationship. Whether snoring the house down, fighting ninja vampires or sleep boxing one's partner, it's all part of the greater whole (heh... he said "greater hole"). It's all part of what our therapist calls The Dance. So she wears earplugs and I give her plenty of sprawling space. And we go merrily on.

Downing-Marsh, 2
Vampires, 0

Yessir. That's love.

Monday, August 24, 2009

That Was Fast

Honestly, where did the weekend go?

I think a combination of factors made the time fly particularly fast. Kayleigh's last weekend of The Music Man run, prepping for an open house (and then the actual open house), prepping for Kayleigh's Oregon trip, loads more wedding stuff accomplished (shopping, cake, etc.), blah blah blah.

I don't think I've mentioned District 9 yet. Kayleigh and I went with Steve & JD for the former's birthday a week ago, and I will freely admit that it was just borderline-too-intense for K. Now, she'd wanted to see it, she totally followed the story and characters, and only hid her eyes a couple times during some pretty intense sequences. Although there were a few parental second thoughts here and there, I was not sorry she got the message of the film, which is totally analogous to how displaced ethnic populations are treated by governments and/or corporations. And afterward, she grinned, proclaiming, "that was the best action movie ever."

Not one for hyperbole, that girl.

There's been some movement on the home sale since the open house. I don't want to jinx anything, but I had a nice, warm "calm" wash over me after I spoke to our agent yesterday. More as it happens.

Friday, August 21, 2009

General Update

Summer is almost over. TFMD and I were watching one of the many HGTV programs we've become addicted to, and caught that great Staples back-to-school commercial. And we chuckled. It's funny 'cause it's true.

I also just moved my car insurance from GEICO. Screw the cavemen and the lizard and the creepy stack of money with the eyeballs. I'm actually saving money by moving to State Farm. And once TFMD and I are married and have the home and car policies together, we'll be saving a ton more.

We've been pretty frugal for the past week, getting ourselves into better habits. After meeting our cake lady yesterday afternoon, we chilled out at a restaurant bar in Ballard and had our first adult beverages in a week. We also had some happy hour nom-noms, which appeared not to agree with me, for by the end of my production meeting with Dan, I was feeling pretty nauseous. Came right home and fell into bed. Some Tums and HGTV later (have I mentioned we're addicted?) I felt a bit better. Really ready for the weekend.

This morning, I watched TFMD's ex's girlfriend's daughter for about half an hour while they sorted out schedules and carpools and doctor's appointments. That's right. My fiancee's ex's girlfriend's daughter. THAT'S how friggin' secure I am. Most of the time was spent dressing Kayleigh's Barbie dolls and harassing the cats with the laser pointer. Raechelle is extremely jealous of my (cat + laser = hilarity ensues) time with the 5yo darling. It was actually funny to see the juxtaposition of the little pixie with her insect book and her wide-eyed glee at Elvis running up a wall to catch a laser, and my almost 12yo tween stumbling up the stairs half asleep with bed head. Ah, they're fun at any age. And challenging. I'm constantly reminded of that.

We have some events on the social calendar this week, but nothing too hard core. Kayleigh's last weekend of The Music Man starts tonight, and The Woman and I are considering a trip to Southcenter to see if she can find any swimsuits for Kauai in November. We figure we need to get 'em now, on clearance, before the fall fashions come in.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

The medium of web delivery and concepts of viral marketing and micropatronage have made a fertile field for the return of the classic adventure serial. I've been watching the development of The Mercury Men with great interest. Looks like a great homage to the classic serials, but with high production values and a decidedly non-camp approach. Here's the trailer - enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Curb Appeal

The last week or so has been an exercise in beautification for the front of the house. My stepdad came down from Bellingham twice to help me get a porch rail and banisters constructed for the front porch. We also poured a new concrete step and spread bark in the planter areas in front of the house. Once the painting is done, the curb appeal of the place will go way up. Just having the railing on makes the place feel more secure and focuses the flow up to the front door.

Our greatest challenge turned out to be when we discovered there wasn't a square angle on that old porch, considering the posts are 80 years old. So we started square and then fudged on the side of visual appeal, realizing that if we made the new construction 100% square, a) it wouldn't match up; and b) it would accentuate to older non-plumb angles. So at least the new construction looks like it belongs on a restored 1922 craftsman home.

This last weekend was also the opening of The Music Man. I'm so proud of Kayleigh. She's in a bunch of the show, singing, dancing, acting her heart out, on her cues and really in the moment. This will be her last show with the younger kids. From now on, she will be in the teen groups, which she's looking forward to. Soon she'll be getting lines.

I can't say enough about the show. The performances are all terrific, and there's no lack of vocal talent. My buddy Raff was made to play Professor Harold Hill, and he owns it throughout. And once again Travis steals the show with his Chaplin-esque town magistrate.

Things have been settling into a groove on the wedding and home fronts. It's a welcome change, and it's made the relationship with TFMD quite a bit more comfy. We've been making time for the occasional dinner or cocktail date. She's less stressed, I'm less stressed. And lo and behold, we have more energy and focus. Go figure.

Sunday was the rescheduled Duo: Issue #0 shoot, and it went off pretty flawlessly. It was a joy to be working with my OA crew again (Anthony, Dan Humphrey, Eric Riedmann and Trish Loyd Heinrich). It was my second time being on set with Dan Heinrich, and the experience cemented for me the necessity of working with such a competent, creative counterpart. It was also momentous because Khanh Doan and I had not been on a set together before, and she'd been cast in the role five years ago. Aside from one scene rehearsal prior to shelving the Duo feature in 2005, she'd had no outlet for her character. So it was truly great to finally work together.

It should be noted that just prior to the Duo shoot, Eric Riedmann had auditioned for a featured role in an episode of Leverage with Timothy Hutton. After we wrapped, he got the word that he got it, and he's currently in Portland on the Leverage set, working opposite Hutton and Jeri Ryan. I have to say that's pretty cool. Nice work, Mr. Eric.

Life is good, and I am grateful for it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

RIP John Hughes (1950-2009)

"Life moves pretty fast.
You don't stop and look around once in a while,
you could miss it."

- Ferris Bueller

I feel like I've been kicked in the gut. The man who created so many cinematic touchstones of my adolescence and young adulthood died today of a heart attack.

Still, artists have ways of remaining immortal. Of course many people know him from the Home Alone franchise, or from Planes, Trains & Automobiles. But for me, Hughes will live on in his iconic 1980s films like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science and She's Having a Baby.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What She Said

TFMD did a pretty good job summarizing the weekend. It was really good and REALLY productive.

The production meeting on Sunday was to get Ben Andrews on board with both Duo and Ordinary Angels (DVD now on sale for $12.99), to introduce our people and his people (and generally increase the number of our people). We have a Duo shoot this Sunday, making up the one we canceled back in May.

I'm putting together a couple Deep7 products for PDF sale. Should have the Island Nations e-book up by tomorrow. The fans have been bugging me about it for awhile now. Bad game designer. No biscuit.