I Slipped

I suppose I should start out by saying that I finally weighed myself the other day. It said that I had gained about twenty-pounds. I’m not surprised, I’ve become more self-aware that I realized that I started going the wrong way. My clothes weren’t fitting quite like they used too. However, I’m not going to let that keep me down. I know what I’ve been doing wrong, as even if the pandemic has hampered some of the things I had been doing, I do realize that I have been, and will be doing all that I can to correct my path and get on the right track.

The hard part is that I’ve let the situations in life distract me from my goals. I know that the last couple of weeks seem to be testing me, but I’ve not let it keep me down so far. I need to get that focus back, and I need to not let life hold me back. I know it’s all about how I react to the situations in life. With me finally getting off of the nightshift, I feel that I’m starting to get back on track to that motivation that I need. Crazy part is that in the beginning, the shift took a bit to get used too, but I was doing well. Even with the bum ankle that I had for the longest time I was going strong.

Then I came down with a case of food poisoning. It took me out for a week, but on the bright side, it did give me the time to fully heal my ankle. The shitty part was that it seemed to take forever to get that motivation back. This was also during the first part of the pandemic for Covid-19. I kept working though, just couldn’t seem to keep getting my motivation going. It would seem that I had all-the-time-in-the-world, but the truth is I got distracted by other things. I got involved with a situation that started to put me into a depressive fog.

The issue with that depressive fog was that I didn’t realize what it was at the time, and it really lasted for way too long. The pandemic also ended up limiting my time with my personal trainer, and again, I wasn’t as motivated to work out. These things combined; and I’m just not being as active as I could be. I could look at this as a failure and say that I feel like giving up, but that would be too easy. I’m not going to let this hold me back.

Update: Since I started writing this blog the other night, I had gone to the emergency room, thinking that I might have had a kidney stone, however after seeing the doctor, he thought that I should get my gallbladder checked out. I haven’t gotten the results back since I just went in on Monday, the twelfth. I discovered since my lowest weight, I’ve only gained a little over eighteen pounds. I know that it could have been far worse than it was. Like I said before, I could let this keep me down, however I choose to allow this to be a teacher, and I’m getting the focus back that I need to continue on to my success.

One of those things about the weight loss journey is that there are many companies that want you to think that it’s a complete slope going down hill once you lose weight. As a matter of fact, many companies tend to market off this idea, to “sell the illusion” to convince you to buy their product. People tend to gravitate to the idea, as a quick fix.

I’ve struggled with weight my whole life, and to say that I’ve never tried one of those fad diets would be a lie. I mean they do work, to some extent, but the whole concept is too keep you on “their” diet plan for as long as possible. My journey hasn’t been a straight down slope, as a matter of fact, I’ve hit a plateau for a long time. I didn’t let it keep me down, however, I do need to get that focus back. The positive is that I’m not starting over, and that I have a place of reference now, more than I ever did before.

The strange part is that I saw this coming, and I knew how it happened. The incredible part is that I’ve never been so in touch with my own awareness. For the longest time, at my heaviest. it felt like I was having an out of body experience. I felt like I was trapped in a body that wasn’t mine. Could this have ben a result of some trauma from my past? I think I might hit up one of my professional friends for some insight into this.

I think that this is part of that whole taking power back, and I know that I can do better, and will do better. I admit that I want to say that it feels like I let people down. I guess part of the transparency is the fact that we all slip and fall. The lesson is to get up and keep going. To quote the greatest storyteller of our time, Stan Lee, he would always use the word excelsior. If you look up the Latin meaning, it’s meaning is ever upward https://www.dictionary.com/browse/excelsior.

I think about the man, Stan Lee, and how his stories have impacted my life. It’s excelsior that seems to be something that’s hitting me more and more these days. I mean look at The CK Project, it’s about mental health, weight loss, improving one’s self. It’s about ever upward. It’s about pushing yourself in a forward direction.

I’m surprised that it hasn’t hit me as hard mentally as I would have expected, but then again, I think the fact that I’m staying busy keeps me from having those stupid thoughts from coming in. Don’t you hate it when your mind tells you those negative things? I have had this conversation recently with people that I care about. It sucks that we tend to self-sabotage ourselves of our potential, of our happiness.

I will say that it felt good to get a podcast the other day for The CK Project, https://open.spotify.com/show/0Zy347qxMYe8Py7W3eVIAA. We addressed World Mental Health, as it’s something that still isn’t always talked about. Plus, what ever we’ve been dealing with behind the scenes, is helping pump up my motivation, and we’re trying to set some new, reasonable goals. It’s all about finding a way for our work flow to be more effective.

Keep finding those things that make you thrive. Too much in this world seems to want to keep people down from living and being happy. Some people want to say that working and making money is living. I say that working and money is the way to survive. Being a motivational person, and a filmmaker is the way I live. For so long I let other people dictate to me what living was all about, and right now I can say that they’re wrong. You want to know the secret? Passion! That’s the thing that people should discover for themselves to survive, what they are passionate about.

I’m working on being more effective for those who follow my stuff, and I’m trying to diversify what content I do bring unto you. I know that we are making some strides in places that’s going to lead to some of the most incredible stuff that we can provide. I can’t wait to share all those plans, because next year is going to be a productive year.

As always, thanks for checking out the blog. Please like, and subscribe. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

That Light At the End of the Tunnel

So, I had to call off work today for a few unexpected family things to take care of. All I’ll say about the first thing on the list, was that it was an easy enough fix. The only problem is that I found out about it while I was trying to take care of some paperwork to get a raise at work. So, I’ve had a few things going on today, but nothing incredibly major…

As I was getting the paperwork, I get on to Facebook and see that my half-sister posted that my maternal mother has come down with Covid-19. I had known that my mother had been in and out of the hospital for probably the better part of the last year or so. I had also known that she was getting taken care of in a nursing home, yet somewhere in-between, I don’t think that I was expecting this.

I’ve been in contact with that side of the family for the last eleven-years. It was my sister Barby who had reached out to me on Myspace. Remember when that was the thing? So long ago, huh? It was at this time that I had started to get to know her, my mother, and my brother. I tried to connect, and I tried harder to be a decent big brother, since that was something I’d never done. That’s not completely true, I did take on a big brother roll for Sarah’s siblings, and I tried to treat them the best I could. Yet it was in this situation that things were different.

I do love my half-siblings, and I try to be the best big brother that I can, but as we’ve lived very different lives from each other, I sometimes have found that it was hard to relate to some of their troubles. After all, I was raised by my dad, and step-mom, who’d been the only woman that I was ever known to call mother. Even from a young age, I was aware of who my maternal mother was, yet we never actually connected until I was already thirty-years-old. I’d already lived a good part of my adult years, and have had my own opinion on life without her influence.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s bad, however, I am saying that it makes life a bit different on how I react to things. I’ve made it no secret that I don’t get along with many members of my family, as it is. Though there have been cousins on my dad’s side who’ve come into my life and have shown such love and support, that I’m grateful. These people are showing an uplifting love, and it’s not something I’m used to.

I had a conversation with my half-sister, and I told her now was the time to get closer to family. As I was speaking it to her, I think that I was also speaking it to myself as well. Her, my half-brother David, and some other relatives on that side, I’ve had contacts with. I’m going to do my best to be closer to them. As I was explaining to my sister that I’m not the best staying in contact, especially since I’m creating content, getting an education, and working full-time, as well as trying to be a family man, and maintaining my health. So, I’m aware of how busy I do get.

The strange part is that sometimes I don’t feel like I’m doing enough, and then I get those looks of people who think that I’m slightly crazy because I’m constantly doing something, and I help take care of my family, and their health issues. I’ll admit that I have those days where I just spend time playing video games. I think that’s the time for me to not sweat everything. Sometimes it interferes and causes me to procrastinate. The worst part is that I view movies, television, and video games, as a distraction, and honestly, a waste of time. With that being said, it’s usually something I indulge in after work as a way to relax and unwind…

What’s even crazier is the fact that I am a filmmaker. I just feel that if I indulge too much on watching something or keeping myself distracted, I’m wasting time. I don’t even know if that’s part of me trying to keep myself care in check as well. I feel that there’s too many times that we get distracted from the end goal. While I’ve been trying to get to an end goal, I know that I’ve let little things in life distract me.

However, I’ve been doing somethings lately that I feel will take the things I’ve been working on, to another level, and soon. It’s crazy to know that consistency is key. You hear that all the time through coaches and trainers. I hear it from my buddy AJ Jackson all the time in his Instagram posts. He’s a successful personal trainer, and a talented musician as well. Well, what’s stopping me, you may ask?

As my last blog was about the fear of failure, I think that sometimes I get in my own mind about how success could also change me. The truth is, I struggle with my own insecurities, and at this moment, I finally have hit a switch that has me running on full cylinders, and I’m charged for what’s going to be coming out.

Covid-19 has put a damper on some of the plans we’ve had as a film company, however, we’re in meetings every week. We’re coming up with ideas so that we can come out swinging as soon as restrictions are lightened up and this pandemic ends. The plan is too be busy during my time away from work. With that, I’m expanding my team, so that we can have more time to focus on other areas. I’ve made contact with someone who has an interest in editing, and I hope to make good friends with him, and be able to teach him something about the tricks to editing. That way I could concentrate on the writing and filming, while the editing can be done at about the same time.

That means more time to film, that means more time to create, which in turn, equals a faster turn around to bring out content. The other thing I’m trying to do is add people to the team that would be in the various stages of the whole process. I need some people to take some of the reigns during pre-production, and be involved with out the rest of the production, but I also need people for the specifics on the various stages. I hear my friend and brother Ed in my head, and he keeps telling me to get rid of some of my hats. That’s been difficult to do, because it’s been hard to get rid of certain hats that I don’t want in the first place. I think that I’m going to be finding the right people for this as well.

Getting back onto the topic of what’s going on with my family at the moment, I just would like to remind people that life really is too short. A given example is that my oldest child is nineteen, my middle is almost fifteen, and my youngest is twelve. Where the hell did all that time go? I know that my depression kept me from living life to the fullest for the longest time, but I’m gonna do my best to make it up. As for connecting with the rest of those family members that do wan to have me as a part of their lives, I will do my best to be available and I will be there the best that I can.

As more of the details come forth, I will keep everyone updated. Good or bad. That’s the way I’ve always tried to roll with my audience. Thank you for taking that time out to read the “going-ons” in my life, and as always, I hope that you find some value in what I write. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Winning with Failure

I recently applied for a job, that I thought I had in the bag. I was told why I didn’t get it, and I accept that. I had this feeling that it might not have been the way for my life to be headed. I was looking forward to working with one of my best friends, however, I think that I have to pressure other avenues.

I know that rejection is one of the hardest things for anyone having to deal with it. It keeps people from growing, and trying new things. The fear keeps people trying to keep things the same. People who have depression probably have it the worst, especially since the “darker times”, self-worth is at it’s lowest. I’ve been there.

Some people can’t handle criticism either, which is different than rejection, yet can at times feel the same. I know that from my own personal experience, I prefer criticism over rejection, as I’ve found that criticism makes for a great teacher for improvement. I guess that rejection can end up being the same kind of teacher.

At times, criticism can be hard to handle, especially if it’s something on the character of a person. I’ve had issues hearing about how stubborn that I can be. I mean, I know that I’m stubborn, I just don’t need it pointed out. All joking aside though, it’s about self-improvement. I think that my over compensation of insecurity by having an ego, was perhaps one of the hardest pills to swallow. I think this is my biggest downfall, as I’m stubborn, and usually don’t want to hear it.

All these criticisms and rejections can be a bit much to handle, yet as one to try and find a silver lining in most situations, I suggest turning the perspective around and really see where the improvement can be made. I was fortunate enough to know the person doing the job interview, and I didn’t take it personally, I just wanted to know what I could do to improve. That person told me, and now that I will do much better when I decide to pursue different avenues.

Remember that life has so many opportunities to grow. I’ve spent the better part of the last six-years trying to become someone better than I was. For the most part, I think that’s true. I still have my moments of doubt, which is funny because it hits a bit different now. I think the biggest thing that still gets me is that I have those days where I see myself at that four-hundred-and-thirty-pound person that I was.

I think that we are our biggest enemies. We criticize ourselves into thinking that we’re not good enough. We reject the notion that we’re worthy of anything good. I think that is where an inflated ego comes from, at times. I know that I went on doing that as a way to shield myself from the way I truly saw myself inside. Self acceptance was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

The way we think and realizing that we need to find a better way to view things is even harder. Our relationships, not only with ourselves, but with others can often be affected. I know people who “can do no wrong” and that “it’s everybody else’s fault”. That’s often the hardest type of person anyone can deal with. I’ll admit, that while I’ve grown to accept myself, I’ll even say that my relationship with who I am has improved, I wouldn’t want to actually hang around anyone completely like me. I have those friends, who do enjoy my company, and I’m thankful for that more than they’ll ever know, because I drive myself crazy at times.

I think that’s why my oldest and I clash at times. She is her “daddy’s girl”. I love her, because she’s smart, kind, and I feel that she’s probably a better person than I’ll ever be, but God damn, if she doesn’t frustrate me with her stubbornness. It’s her razor sharp wit that gets me. I find it to be one of the greatest things, yet I get frustrated because I would respond the same way at things. She’s got a passion that drives her interests in her life, and I couldn’t think of anything better.

I hope that by my example, that my children can learn to turn rejection and criticism into something positive. I hope that from my mistakes as a parent, they can become better than I ever was. I think that’s a desire that most parents have, to have their children become better, and do better than we ever did.

Coming back to the point of rejection, another way it cam be positive, is by rejecting our past selves. I reject the fact that I was an addict to self-medicating with food. I reject that I was close minded to other ideas and thought when I was younger. I get into my own head more often then I care to admit, but I reject being a prisoner there. I did so much damage to myself with an environment that tried to break me and end my life. The environment was inside my head. Yes, there were more factors coming from external negative energies, but I had to learn to process what was going on.

Update:

Since I started the final cut of The Driver Episode One: Handle Your Business, Mr. Ballenger(2020), I realized that failure really is something that can make us all better. I’m not saying that I failed at bringing it out, on the contrary, I just see that what I can do better, and we, as a company can do better. I believe that’s the way things should be no matter the circumstance that might happen in life. I call it finding the silver linings, I know that it might sound a bit of a cliche, however it’s the best way to help survive.

I know that’s how I’ve been coping with our current situation in life. I’ve heard so much about how people feel oppressed, and we should be able to do whatever we need to do for our own sanity and economy. I look at it like this. I’m not looking at the negative, I look at it like this: I’ve saved so much money since I’ve had to stay home. As a matter of fact, I’ve been able to pay off some of my bills during this time.

Yes, I miss going to the movies, and I miss going out of town to do window shopping or getting things that I can’t in my town, yet I have saved money. To me, it’s about finding where the priorities lie. I have family members that compromised immune systems, and I put my focus into other things, that have helped me tolerate my time at home.

I think working the nightshift helped me not worry about most of this pandemic, because I had not been wide awake most of the time being on a nighttime schedule. However, I had experienced some relaxed restrictions and did take a trip out of town a few weeks ago. It felt weird, and in a way that made me think that it wasn’t going to be normal in the way we used to have it. I think we’re into a point where we’ll be having a new normal once all is over.

In the end, we all need to look at the opportunities, especially the negative, and see if we can find a positive answer to all that we can get from this. Remember, I commonly use the ten-percent to ninety-percent ratio on how life’s out of your control, compared to how you react to it. Once that point of view is taken into consideration, it seems that life becomes that much easier to handle.

I know that the blogs are still lagging a bit, but I’m going to attempt to bring them out more often once again. This is the director and that’s a wrap.

Life Gets Busy

I was working on the nightshift for the last eight-months, and for the last three-weeks, I’ve been fortunate to be on a better schedule with work. I like the swing-shift because it’s the only shift that doesn’t deal with four-in-the-morning. I hate that hour, and my son has referred to it as the farmer’s hour. He says that there shouldn’t be anyone up at that time of the day…unless you’re a farmer.

I get my full weekends back and to me that’s a glorious thing. Work goes by so much faster, and I’m getting back on a living schedule. My workouts are starting to get back to where they need to be, and I continue to study to get my personal trainers certification. I am busy.

As with everything else in life, things have taken unexpected turns, here and there. I had recently lost a long time associate of mine to Covid-19 related complications. She was my former pastors wife. Yeah, I have friends on both sides of the aisle when it comes to the opinion of if Covid-19 is real, and yes I’ve heard both sides of how deadly they think it really is, but the truth is, those who’ve said they don’t believe, haven’t had been affected by it themselves yet.

I don’t mean that contracting it is the only way, but by a family member. I’ve seen people change their opinion once something like that has happened to a cousin, or a grandparent. It’s sad that is what it all comes down to sometimes. Welcome to a reactive society, That’s not to say that I’m not at fault for being this way at times as well.

I hate going to the hospital, getting checked out. It’s inconvenient and honestly there are times that I’d rather not know. I’ve gotten better over the years about going when I have to, and not just tough it out. I also realize that I’m getting of the age where, I’m going to have to get more check-ups and have the more uncomfortable examinations done. I guess that’s part of the price for getting older.

I accept the fact that I’m getting older, after everything I went through, I’m a survivor. I almost wasn’t here six-years-ago. I almost took my own life. Why? Because I hated myself, and I had all this negative energy around me that I couldn’t breathe. Back then, I didn’t really believe in energies like that, but as I’ve gone on this journey, I’m believing in a lot more now than I ever used too.

That’s why I want to be positive. I’ve heard quoted often, What you speak, you put into the world. I don’t want to be negative, and I don’t want to be that guy who talks shit about people. I want to be better, and there are times that I’ve fallen back into bad habits, however, I try and continue to strive forward with growth.

One of those ways, was that I found a love of education, knowledge is something that helps me to continue on the path of personal maturity. I figured that with getting my personal training certificate, that it’s another notch that I can add to the CK Project. It’ll help me, help others, and I know that I want to specialize in bariatric weight loss. I kind of do that anyway, since people have been looking at the changes that I’ve gone through over the last several years.

I can’t believe that I had my surgery almost three-years-ago. It’s crazy on the journey that I’ve taken, so much has changed. Besides feeling better physically, mentally I’m better. My goals are more in focus, and confidence is up. This was the win, and yes, I would do it all over again if I had too.

That’s not to say that it hasn’t had down times. I mean I think that the recovery of my surgery was mentally one of the toughest things I had ever gone through. Honestly, even today, I have noticed that I’ve fallen back on a few bad habits. I think the biggest thing there, is the fact that I’m more aware of it, and I’m trying to break myself of those old habits.

I think the year 2020 has been a bit more of a train wreck for the world than most years. We’re dealing with a pandemic, a virus that not much is known about, and political/social events that’s changing the way I personally view people.

I know that we’ll come out of this, and we’ll get some sense of normalcy that people seem to be in desperate need of. I just don’t think that it’s going to be the normal everyone seems to be looking for. Why would I ever say that? Why would I wish that things wouldn’t go back to everyone’s definition of normal?

Remember I said that what you speak, you put into the world? That doesn’t mean that I’m trying to doom anyone to being stuck in this strange new life of social distancing, and “oppression”. I’m just trying to be realistic with my expectations. I know that this isn’t something that everyone wants to hear, yet that’s my feeling on the subject.

Life goes on, that’s something people should find comfort in. Even if this pandemic continues on for a bit longer, it will eventually be something that we’ll be able to deal with in a more productive manner. This has been a great time to reflect and get things done that needed to be done. Also with the odd things that have come with being stuck at home, it was a good time to try new hobbies that people might have wanted to learn. I know that I decided to get back into writing and developing things, and becoming busier with learning about the sciences behind personal training.

That’s something that I’ve been enjoying, yet it’s caused me to put my focus in several directions, and I don’t feel like I’m getting anything done anymore. Some of the stuff that I am learning has been kind of surprising that I should have already know some of it. The big thing is that finding out the different training styles to get the right effects for the training.

Side note: This blog has taken me a few days to get finished, and I’m not going to lie, it feels like I’ve used the whole life gets busy thing before. I’m going to try and not be like that from now on and keep posting. I’ve been struggling with getting everything in order since I got off the nightshift, and I’m still adjusting to the idea that I can get things done again. Eight months was so long to with the nightshift, and I’m still trying to used to actually getting content out as I will be getting more stuff done.

I’ve got a podcast on the brain, unfortunately, it seems that even our weekends have kept us from producing them. I will be doing on as soon as I can, I promise.

I think that I want to say a few things that we do have coming up with the content. As you all may know, I’ve been working on a project that I call The Driver, well it’s still in post production as I’ve been a bit busy with other things, and it’s not like we can really do a whole lot during the pandemic, however I’ve been meeting with my team, and we’ve been coming up with somethings that we think will have people entertained once we get the go ahead to producing. One of the projects is going to be a radio show that’s got off-the-cuff humor with improv, and while we’ll be putting it out as background content for our shared universe, we’ll be giving episodes out like a podcast, and we’ll keep the uncensored stuff for a Patreon type deal.

With that being said, this blog was long over due. The podcasts are long over due, so this is the director and that’s a wrap.

What’s Been Up?

So, I’ve been MIA for a bit longer than I really wanted too. I’d like to say that it was just because being on the nightshift is what’s thrown me of schedule, but it’s been way more than that. While I would get into detail, some of it has to do with family, and with respect to them, I won’t be discussing that part of it. However, I will discuss some of the effects that has been in the way of how I’ve been.

For the last several months, I’ve been in a depressive fog, that’s kept me unmotivated, and uncreative. I’ve felt the affects of that on more sections of my life than I would ever care to have be affected by something like that. Did I want to kill myself? No, but there were times that I was angry and I didn’t like the frustrations going on in my life. My workouts suffered, my content suffered, and my work moral suffered as well.

Now, perhaps you’d like to hear what’s the change in things? I’ve taken several steps in a new direction, one of those are that I’ve enrolled in the International Sports Sciences Association Certified Fitness Trainer Certification courses. This was something that I had been thinking about for awhile, and I think that the CK Project going in this direction is the right one. So that means that I’ll be official to train others and make money as part of what I’m doing.

This also means several other things, like the fact that I’ll be learning the details on how I can break the plateau that I’d been on for what seems like forever now. It also gives me the chance to sit down and learn about the sciences of working out, and how that does change the body, which has been interesting to learn about so far. Now I’ll be able to talk more about it and have science to back my claims. It’s funny on how spot on I’ve been on a few of those points since I came into certain realizations.

Getting back into the swing of studying hasn’t been easy, after all, it’s been a few years since I was a student, and now with me working on my brands, it’s dividing my attention, and my family seems to think that I can give them most of my attention, even when I’m squeezing it in before I go to work.

One of the bright sides to work is that I’m just a week away from actually being off of the nightshift. While my intention was to get a bit of extra money to help pay off bills, which it has, as of the last several weeks, it’s seemed to be a struggle to get through. After next week, I will be on the ideal hours that I like. The other advantage that being on nights is that I was less exposed to the potential of getting Covid-19. Did you know that the nineteen is because that was the year it was discovered? Though I also had to take off almost two-weeks because I thought I had contracted the virus for a bit. I’m glad the test came back negative.

The pandemic has put some restrictions on us, and my eating habits had gone a bit down hill. My exercising motivation had gone down hill a bit too. Yet here I am, getting ready to get back in the game and return to kicking ass. Here are a few observations that I’ve picked up over the last couple of years: I rather do my exercise and training in the mornings. It helps get me going through the rest of my day that way. It helps that it also gives me time to recover throughout the day. It doesn’t make the rest of my day go easier though, as I push out my best efforts in the morning. I’ll just have to get back into the swing of things and not let myself have those late night meals that have kept me going this year. Plus, I’ll finally get back to a schedule that I’ll have a better sleep pattern. Since being on the nightshift, I’ve honestly slept like shit. Four-hours-a-day is about what I’ve been averaging, and that’s including my weekends as well.

Now here’s the kicker about my observations, I notice that I’m most creative when it’s evening time. I think I start getting more creative around five-o-clock. I remember working the dayshift, and coming home to eat dinner, ignoring television, and getting to work at my desk. That’s my outlet, and believe me, I’ve got more to say on that subject, especially with the latest project I’ve been working on.

The Geekultural Experience has probably been the one brand that’s suffered the most this year. I mean without being able to actually go to see the movies at the theater, or going to comic book conventions, it’s really limited our interactions. Quarantine hasn’t helped either because our large get togethers haven’t been able to happen. Although we did see Bloodshot on demand and it was a decent movie. I’m happy to support superhero movies, especially when it’s not Marvel or DC. Valiant has some decent titles, and I would love to see their brand get a bit more exposure.

Now, while we’ve got certain restrictions placed on us, surprisingly enough, Luckey Bom Films has actually had a pretty productive summer. While we were supposed to originally be filming Unexpected Side Trip, quarantine has prevented that from happening. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to do anything, and with my motivation down, we didn’t do much at first. Then I came up with a no-budget idea, and decided that we would work with an even smaller crew and film something easy. Once we did that, and I had gone over the footage, I had decided that we should redo it and and make it better. We made a short called The Driver, and it was something that put me in front of the camera as well, as behind the camera stuff as well. The family was involved, and they did well on their parts, while Sarah was an assistant director on that, we were a team.

The thing about this project, was that it was originally supposed to be a one-weekend-deal, and we’d put it out. I had edited the original as a concept so that people could see what it was that I had been working on, and it’s been received quite well. Yet, I wanted to continue, and as we reshot it and I rewrote it, I just wanted to produce something better. We did well with a small team, and it was a great way to get the practice in for when we do bigger productions. I’ve turned this one-weekend-project, into something that’s going to continue for several stories, and turn it into a web series.

Now that things have gone differently than I had foreseen, the depressive fog has lifted, and I’ve been going full speed with so many things. We’re building on the brands, I’m trying to get myself in a better professional position while I’m trying to make the brands legitimate businesses. I’ve also seen some of the film crews talent grow and find unexpected positions in their jobs, that will make things flow so much better in the end.

I wish I could have said that this was a smooth year, and everything was great, but it’s been kind of rough on everybody, and I’ve seen an ugliness come out of people that I thought were better than what they had shown. It’s a sad part of life, but it’s a reality we all must face. At least I’ve not given up, and I sure as hell hope that you’re not giving up. We got this!

Any way, I’ll try and not be so long away again. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Wear Your Damn Mask

So, I had been feeling very tired for the last week, and my breathing has been a bit labored. Yesterday morning, I got tested for Covid-19. As someone who’s not gotten very sick since I lost so much weight, that this was concerning. Unfortunately, I have to wait ten-to-fourteen-days until I get my results. The reason that I had noticed anything was that my eldest had mentioned to my wife that she had lost sense of taste and smell.

As I thought about it, I had noticed that I had been tired while getting closer to the time that I would go to work. I thought that it was just because I sleep like shit anyway. That’s been something that has been going on my whole life any way. Nightshift doesn’t really help anything as it is. Then I started noticing other things like a headache on a regular basis.

The other thing that got me was that I noticed that my breathing wasn’t normal. You know how it feels different breathing while you’re sick? That the air just doesn’t seem to go through as easy? Well, that’s exactly as I’ve been feeling.

Now the sad part is that this pandemic is very real. I’ve known several people personally to have had it. People at my work as well, but the real issue is that somehow it’s become political. While I usually try to avoid politics, when I involve the CK Project, I do have somethings to say on this subject. The sad part is that I have people on both sides of this argument.

Look, I get that wearing a mask “seems” to infringe on your “freedom”, but let’s face fact, all the conspiracy theories and how you’re not going to be a “sheep”, just makes you come off like an asshole. Seriously, doctor’s wear masks for hours at a time in an operation room, you really think a thirty-minute trip is going to kill you?

Oh yeah, it’s a political ploy so by November, it’s just going to disappear. Look, the numbers aren’t exactly matching up, and it’s “not that bad”, and I get that, but it’s still early in the process. Hell, we’re probably close to a year into the exposure to Covid-19, is it comparable to the Spanish Flu? Well, that did last over two-years, so those stats are final, this isn’t.

The worst part about all of this is, are that mistakes are being made and the numbers aren’t to be trusted. Why? Again because it’s political, and I’ll say that money being involved with the stats, kind of keep it political as it is. I mean, the “mighty dollar” is what runs everything. So, we’re getting fucked because of it.

I’m scared, and not for myself, but for my family members because their immune systems suck. My oldest, probably got it, and it wasn’t like she was out being stupid about things. I know my kid, and she’s gonna do all she can to stay safe. Yet you have people pulling their masks down and coughing without covering their mouths(and yes, that’s a jab at that old guy at Walmart who coughed like that as I walked by).

I get why people have doubts though. It’s easier to deny the unknown, and let’s face it, people aren’t very good at dealing with life and death matters as it is. It’s so much easier when someone doesn’t have anyone they know involved, however, that narrative is starting to change. I’m seeing people start to give the warnings a bit of credence. The sad part is that if the ‘self-entitled freedom fighters” would have listened in the first place, we probably wouldn’t be dealing with the epidemic anymore. However, people are, well they are self-interested. I’ll leave it like that.

So here I am, off work for fourteen days. I tried to avoid coming in contact, however I had to get things during this time, and it was a matter of time with working during this whole thing. On the bright side, I was able to work on post production for The Driver.

It’s only test footage at this time, and it’s been great practice for myself and my crew. Visually, it’s helping me mold my character, and the visual part of the storytelling. We’ve reshot this so much and it’s been fun, and now that I can see that it’s helping me mature as a filmmaker. It’s giving Sarah sometime behind the camera as assistant director, as I’m doing both directing and acting. I’m having fun with it.

So, I’m doing all that I can to make the best of what I can, when I’m not sleeping that is. I’ve slept so much since I’ve been off, it isn’t even funny. My sleep schedule is even more shitty as it is. I’ve been averaging about three hours a night, when I go to actual bed.

With that being said, I think that this will be it for now. This is the director and that’s a wrap.

“We’re All Going Through Changes”

Change is happening all around us at all times. Change is constant, and yet it seems like something that people fear the most. With change, brings something different, sometimes better, and sometimes not. Why fear something that’s inevitable?

I look at my children, and am reminded that as they grow older, they are changing. Their personalities aren’t the same as they were as where as toddlers. They are discovering their own likes and interests, that aren’t always influenced by their parent’s tastes. Yet at the same time, I see Sarah’s and mine influences on some of those things they do like.

I’ve been going through changes, especially since I had my gastric sleeve done. My attitude has gotten better, I feel more active, more alive, and I appreciate things so much more. I think the biggest change that’s really come for me, is the self realization that the way I treated people, and the way I allowed them to treat me, wasn’t okay.

I use humor in almost all aspects of my life. The people I joke with, I know that I can have a viscous wit towards. It’s sad that if I like someone I tend to joke with them, and treat them  kind of shitty at times. If I don’t like someone, I just don’t associate with them. To those friends that I might have gone too far with, I apologize. To the one’s that I love, or have loved, I am sincerely sorry for the hurt I’ve caused in your lives. I wasn’t always the best mentally, and you’re the one’s who’ve suffered the most for it.

Regardless of how my journey goes, I have some of the best people in my life. Sarah has always been a constant reminder of the love and dedication I can find in one person. For that I’m always thankful for.  She’s always going to be a big part of me, no matter what happens in life.

Saturday ended up being a day that really caused me to reconsider so much of what had been going on. Little Chris had a seizure while we were out of town and I got so worried about him. My biggest fear is that my children pass on before I do. I think that, as I also know, that is most parent’s biggest fear. I’ve witnessed this happen to good friends of mine, and it’s the hardest thing to witness.

I know that the last several months have put perspective in my life. I want to say that the quarantine had something to do with it, but it doesn’t. I’ve been one of the people deemed “essential personal” or as some people joke, “expendable”. That’s just added more stress because I’ve got family members in my household who’ve got weakened immune systems.

At least things are semi getting back to normal. I was able to actually go back to the gym and work out. It was nice to feel myself putting in the same effort as when I had to stop. I just know that now I need to get really serious and start dropping this last stretch of weight that I’ve been holding on too. Being stuck to my own devices, and I slacked. At least I’ve stayed fairly consistent with my walks.

This year has proven to be an interesting one to say the least. I’m sure that I’m not the only one to have had my mental health tested, time and time again. Do you know what I mean? I’ve seen it on in my kids, and my wife. This hasn’t been the most pleasant experience.

Another thing that has been an eye opener, is the fact that with the Black Live Matter movement, I’ve seen the ugly come out of unexpected places. People that I would have never thought had those kinds of opinions, have shown me the substance of which they’re really made of. I’ve seen some with whom I expected to come out racist, show that they are strong allies, and I’ve seen those who, I thought were more open minded about people, show their opinions.

My thoughts are this: We are in a time where more people are “woke” to the way that the world is run. The whole thought process on the Black Live Matter movement, I wasn’t sure what I would say about it. The rioting, I had an opinion, then I saw someone stay something else, and I decided that I would listen, and try to understand that point of view. So that’s exactly what I did. When the players in the NFL kneeled at the National Anthem, I had an opinion, but then I listened. if there’s anything I can say, is that if you feel strongly one way or another, try and listen, and see if you can understand things from a different point of view.

Racism is wrong, that’s not something up for debate. It’s an old train of thought that should have died out with the Civil Rights Movement. Yet, here we are, seeing it on the news, and internet. I find it a ridiculous concept, and I’ve been discriminated against for my weight, and my economic class. I think the behaviors of the hatred I’m seeing is sad, and I’m disappointed, because I expect better of people.

This is the world we seem to live in, a toxic society that promotes hatred, and judgement, and the media tends to play both sides. I agree that police reform must be made, but that doesn’t excuse the way people come off entitled in society and think that can just be disrespectful towards authority. Again, the whole system needs to change, but it’s not that one side, there needs to be both sides trying to fix the matter, and the communications are fucked up.

We should hold each other to a higher standard, and not just because people are watching, and yes, people are watching, but because we as a people need to be better. I experience entitled attitudes at work. I experience and witness these same attitudes out in the public, while shopping. Why? Because you’re not having it your way? Because you feel inconvenienced?

Customer service is one of the most stressful jobs in the world, because you’re constantly treated like shit, and it’s usually beyond your control. I’ll go further, being a geek, I see the same common issues in the geek community. “You can’t have a black storm trooper”, I mean come on, and you fucking kidding me? As a people who’ve been discriminated against, what gives us the right to tear our people down, or show that hatred towards others?

This is why so many people are struggling with mental health issues, because someone always seems to want to tear down someone else just to feel bigger, or more important. It happens in all walks of life, LGBTQA+? Bisexuals are often discriminated against, but why? Shouldn’t we all be accepting of each other, just for the fact that we are human?

I know that this blog might not sit well with some people, and while I would hate to lose followers, if somehow I’ve offended someone that bad, I guess that’s the way it has to be. I’m gonna try not to judge anybody who’s offended, but I’m gonna also ask that if what I say has offended anyone, before you totally block, delete, call me out, try and look into yourself, and find why it is that you’re offended. Not only that, if there’s something about the situation that does offend you, please research it out for yourself, and see if you can find something more than assumptions on the subject. You might just be enlightened by what you discover.

Part of the problem I’m seeing is that we’re being lied to from all sides. The media lies, the lessons in school can be misleading. All I say is that research, and take time to actually listen to what’s going on. I don’t want anyone to be hated because of a difference of opinion. Often times I see healthy debate, degrade down to simple adolescent name calling, and that’s not getting us anywhere as a society.

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

 

I’m Fighting Through

Okay, so I know that it’s been awhile since I’ve actually provided any sort of content. To say that we live in difficult times, is an understatement. Myself professional, and personally have been met with some rough times. Some of it has to do with some major self-realization. It’s the self-realization that’s been the hardest part.

Emotions have been high, as well. Those who know me, and the things I do to make money, know that some of the current events of the last few months have really hit close to home for me. Some of them have gotten me to question my own views and beliefs that I’ve had for years. With that, I can say that listening, and reflecting on what the message really is, goes a long way in understanding the situation from another perspective. It may even make you question if you’re part of the problem without realizing it.

I realized that I felt a certain way about the kneeling at the national anthem when it happened. I had the gut reaction of how wrong it was. Yet, then I listened, and I realized that there was something more than the media was saying going on. I felt a certain way about the Black Lives Matter movement, but I began to listen. That was the same way with the rioting and looting, while I don’t necessarily agree with those actions, I now understand the frustration behind it. I also understand that there are opportunist out there, looking to get away with doing illegal actions.

The point is, I listened. I tried to understand why these actions had been going on the way they were. I wanted to understand the frustrations of the people protesting. I did it for growth. I listened for understanding so that I could myself grow from not paying attention like I should have.

I know that people have said that this year was even worse than last year, which most people seemed to hate how it went anyway, but I’ve found this a particularly enlightening year. Like I’ve said in most years past, when everyone wants the fresh start from the new year, I feel that it doesn’t really change anything. It’s all in how you react to the situations at hand.

I hear so much complaining about what’s going on, i.e. work, earthquakes, or weather conditions, and yet there’s never any solutions given in that same set of breaths. The truth is, unpopular opinion is that most people seem to complain, just to complain. If you hate the earthquakes, and think that they need to stop, the best way to do that is move. It’s not like there’s anywhere else that does’t have its own set of  natural disasters. Just pick your poison and endure. Don’t like your job? Get a new one. I know that it isn’t always that simple, however, unless you’re willing to try and change the scenario, stop complaining. Most people don’t really care for the complaints.

I try to keep real with everyone, especially for my own details. I know that some people have felt that I’ve been complaining, but my intent has always been to keep truth involved, both the negative and positive. I know I’m known as a pretty positive person, but even I have doubts, and depressive episodes. It’s not something that I suffer alone, because I’ve had other’s reach out and thank me for being brave enough to share my struggles.

As I’ve grown, I’m viewing some of my past actions as unacceptable. I’m also realizing that the way I’ve allowed others to treat me, is also unacceptable. The truth is, people can be ugly to each other. I know that my sense of humor can be very mean at times. I know that the snide remarks made towards my weight, has done more damage, then I would have let on. I’ve hurt people that I call close, and that I love. My realization is that I can do better, I can be better, and I will do better.

Mentally, things have been taxing lately. There has been so much going on in the world, and it’s affected me on a professional and personal level. There have been days that I felt like I wanted to give up on things. Yet, I keep on going, I’m trying to look for that motivation deep down, but at this moment it hasn’t seemed like I can find it. My motivation has been down for doing things most my time off. My creativity has been suffering the most.

I know that this year has been a rough one for most people. I know that we’ll all get through this ordeal, but we need to be cautious, and we need to be diligent in keeping ourselves safe. I know that there are people who don’t believe that the Coronavirus really exists. I know five people who’ve had it, and most of them I actually know personally, and can say that I’ve never gotten the vibe that those individuals would have any alternative motivations, then being truthful. As I’ve said this to some of the non-believers, I’ve watched their faces change drastically.

One of those things that I can say about the Coronavirus is that I don’t really know how sever it is going to be if it affects my family. The people that I do know who’ve had it, have survived. I think one of the biggest things about all that’s been going on, is that it seems that the professionals don’t even know what it’s all about, and I understand because this is new. Yet it’s frustrating because things seem to be contradictory from the various sources that are keeping up with the epidemic at hand. The one thing that I’ve picked up on is the fact that as everything opens back up, and the group settings keep going, things are going to get worse. Please be careful, and mindful.

While things are looking to be getting worse, things will get better. We should remember to treat each other so much better than what’s been shown lately. I have faith that we can all be better humans, and I wouldn’t expect anything less. I’ll be honest, after what happened to George Floyd, I’ve seen an ugliness in people that I expected better from, and that’s a bitter pill to swallow. This is the director and that’s a wrap.

Quarantine Mother’s Day

They are the first person we ever have a connection with. They are they first person that we find trust and security in. They are the hardest and most under appreciated workers that we’ll ever meet. As the title says, I’m thanking and appreciating the mom’s.

Through out my life, I’ve known some of the most amazing mother’s out there. The woman who raised me being one. The woman who risked her life to provide me with my two favorite humans. The compassion that these woman have shown, as well as other mother’s in my life, is inspiring.

This year is a banner year for many mother’s this because of epidemic that the world faces. What is often taken for granted is for once looked upon as a morose time because not everyone is able to see their mother’s. The event’s of this year has brought light to many things that we had often took for granted.

Going back, I have a mother, with whom I reconnected with about ten-or-so years ago. It was nice to actually talk to the woman who had given birth to me. We have common interests, and I was also able to meet my half-siblings. It was my sister who had reached out to me through Myspace and we had started a relationship. I’m not close to any of them, and I’ll be honest, I feel that it’s been more on me than anyone else. I have tried to be a good big brother when they had gone through issues, and I’ve tried to be a supportive son. Unfortunately, I’d been living my life without them for so long that it gets hard to put into perspective my emotions about how I feel.

I do think about them, and I know that I should reach out more often, and I think at some point soon, I will do exactly that. It’s just hard when certain realities start coming into the forefront of how things might have played out in the relationship between my parents. That’s something that I’m not going to get into though.

I have the step-mother who raised me. Truth is, she’s my mom. I’ve known her my whole life, and then she’s the one who was there through my accident, my dark times, and my good times. She taught me what it was to be a decent person. I have so much gratitude for this woman, who’s also loved my dad for her whole life.

For Sarah, the woman who I’ve spent most of my adult life with. I have so much that I can, and need to say about this woman. She picked me up when I was a broken shamble of a man. She helped me heal from one of the worst relationships that I had ever had, and she saw me at my lowest. She’s also seen me at my best. She’s been the woman to decide that I would be worthy enough to have not one, but two of the most awesome children that I’ve ever known.

She’s the one person who seems to know me better than most. Often times, I find her frustrating because of that, but at the same time I’ve been blessed to have her by my side throughout the years. One thing is that our relationship has gone through some rough waters, and the dichotomy of our relationship is evolving. Now, as I’m getting better, her health has been failing, and I’m constantly having to learn how to “up my game” in support.

That’s one thing that I’ve always tried to do, support her, in every endeavor that’s she’s wanted to do. I support her love of photography, and have always wanted to see her flourish in that as a profession. As we’ve been doing films, she’s come to find a love for special effects make-up, and she’s really good. The proof is in the fact that she put a bruise on her arm and I’m getting a message asking if I had hurt her. The proof is in the fact that when we’ve done test footage, I’m getting questions asking about what happened to me, and if I was okay.

She’s the toughest woman I know, because she stays by me, even if I don’t think that she should have. She’s learning to deal with her deteriorating health, and still be a good mother, and wife to me. All while she’s trying to get her professional certificate in behavioral science.

I’m just a father, I know that isn’t something to sneeze at, because I’m a decent father, but I don’t feel that I’ve had to put in the effort for the demands that the kids put on her. If they need something, she’s the one they call on. As a husband and a man, I’m certain that I also put the same demands as the kids do.

Again, I’m a father, I feel like I’m the fun one. Yet at the same time, I know that I’m the one looked too to keep discipline in the house. If the kids cause trouble, I’m the one who has to the attitudes in check. There had been many nights that I had been texted with emotions on not being home and the kids misbehave. It’s been pointed out that it’s unfair that is what happens most nights. I see the frustrations in her face, and in her voice when Little Chris has gotten over stimulated, and had a melt down.

I can’t even begin to imagine how it is for the single parents. I tip my hat, because child rearing is one of the most difficult, emotional, often times frustrating things to do in life. So for those who end up pulling double duty, I salute you. It’s hard enough being a father, but when having to take the responsibilities of what mom does is a challenge.

I know that there’s been times that Sarah was sick and I would have to take on the chores of keeping the little humans alive. It’s difficult, and she makes it look easy. I did alright, I mean I still have all my children. It just makes me appreciate the fact that a mother’s job is a lot of work. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this adventure.

If you still have your mother in your life, give her a call and tell her that you appreciate her for everything she’s done for you. If you have a wife, or a significant other, who does the child rearing, let them know that you appreciate everything they do for your children, and for you. It usually goes hand-in-hand.

Anyway, thank you again for all that you do, moms. I remember a quote from the movie The Crow(1994) and it goes, “mother is the word for God, on the lips of children”, and how profound a comic book movie could say something like that. It’s a great movie, and has some great lines like that. “Mother is the word for God, on the lips of children”. That line has always stuck with me, and I think that it applies more weight now, that I’m a father, and I see how my children are towards their mother.

It’s not always easy to have a family. There are often fights, tears, emotions, that come with raising children. Parent’s aren’t always going to see eye-to-eye, but this has been an amazing journey and two-and-a-half of the best decisions I’ve ever been apart of. Thank you for coming to my TedTalk and we will get through this difficult time in life.

I’m the director, and that’s a wrap.

March Dragged, April Flew

It’s crazy how the events of this year has gone so far. With the Coronavirus epidemic, March seemed like the longest month ever. Mentally,  I think society was put to a test that nobody had time to study for. Every workday for me felt like Monday, and there were meme’s that echo’d that same sentiment. Life became more stressful than was expected, and my concerns for my family had hit an all-time-high.

In contrast to March being the longest month known to man, April just decided to run off and be done in like two weeks. It’s crazy that May is already upon us. This year has already been interesting and more testing than I think anyone would care to admit. This is going to be an interesting year. I know that I’ve said it about one-hundred times, but it’s true. I want to say that this may be that situation that’s become a survival of the fittest. That’s a shitty way to look at it, but it seems to ring true.

I know that one of the things I’m doing is I’m going to do that No Zero Day May challenge like I did last year where, the object was to have at least thirty-minutes of activity everyday. I’m not going to actually ask anybody to join me in this challenge this year, well, because of the current circumstances, I don’t feel that it’s going to be appropriate too. If you do want to join and share on the CK Project, I won’t turn it down. I’m just not going to be all about it for others at this time.

Mental sanity is important, and I’m feeling that I’ve been in the right mindset for it, mostly. I think that the night shift is wearing on me, and while I’m working towards the fourth month, of my six-month rotation, I don’t foresee us changing shifts in July, like we would normally do. The Coronavirus also makes looking for work a bit more difficult, as I’m looking to grow professionally.

The stay-at-home-order has caused issues for many people. Some feel that they are being oppressed. Some of the complaints I’ve heard seem a bit like first world problems and it makes me sad. Look, this order isn’t about you. It’s to prevent the spread of something that could affect others. I might feel different about this because I know people who’ve actually contracted it. I’m glad that they’ve survived and it gives me hope that if I happen to get it, and accidentally contaminate my family, they survive as well.

That always adds to the mental health, stress, anxiety that tends to come around. I know that this doesn’t just apply to myself, but others as well. Just know that it will eventually get better, we just need to learn to be patient while this continues on. Truth is, nobody really knows what will happen once we open the country up. I mean we can predict and I’m in the thought of it’s just going to get worse, before it gets better, however, I also hope to be wrong about this.

Talking with my father, he said he heard that this won’t be over for two-years. I had to sit back and think about it. Cabin fever is a bitch, and I can’t imagine what would happen to our society if that’s the case. I mean the last time something like this happened was in the early parts of the nineteen-hundreds with the Spanish Flu, the biggest difference is that technology has greatly improved and made communications better.

Writer’s note: I started this blog a few days ago, I read something to add to this.

So, we’re getting ready to start easing back into a more fully functioning society. With that comes a whole new set of anxieties and stresses that come with it. Yes, I know that people are looking forward to getting back to a sense of “normalcy”, but the truth is, I don’t think there’s going to be “normalcy” for a long time. This will even be more true if history repeats itself and this turns out to be like the Spanish Flu. The second wave ended up being more fatal than the first one, and the number of deaths were quite a bit larger.

I’m not saying that history will repeat itself, however, history has a sense of irony that way. If this whole ordeal has taught us anything, is that we’re being lied too from all directions, and it’s unprecedented how much information is either false or misleading. So, can we check this off on another reason that anxiety is running high? I think this is coupled with the argument that people who seem to be supporting the “facts”, generally choice to listen to what fits their views and narratives. So that brings to question, is that really what’s defined as facts? Just because it fits the narrative that is being pushed?

Sorry, I went off in a different direction than I was expecting. It might be because of a conversation that I read online, or something. I try to stay away from talking religion and politics, because it generally brings out the worst in people. This is learned by spending way too much time on social media. This can also bring on another level of anxiety as well.

My social media has evolved into my brand work, and that’s it. I figure that if people are motivated to push their opinions and sometimes be mean to each other, that I can just scroll on. Guess what? It works! This is how anxiety can be reduced, by not focusing on the negative. I know people who I wish would do that, but it doesn’t happen, yet here I am, scrolling past, because it isn’t worth the stress and anger that tends to dwell within these things.

Remember the ninety-percent rule: The things in life that you can’t control are about ten-percent, while the other ninety is how you choose to react to it. I can’t remember where I heard this, but it’s something that’s stuck with me for so long now, and I agree with it. It’s seemed to make life easier to manage that way. I don’t always abide by that rule, remember the meltdown of 2013? Yeah, and it’s made me better for it for sure. The focus is where it needs to be.

Remember that life is surprising, and there are nuggets of randomness that comes at us. The epidemic is just one of many things that show us who we are. How do we want to be seen after all of this is over? Do we continue in the current journey’s that we are traveling, or do we look to grow and become better from it?

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