2020, You’re Really Trying Me

As my last blog talked about my adventures in Pennsylvania, I need to continue on what some might consider a bit of a shit sandwich. As I was coming home from the airport LAX, I was graced with the news that my dog of eight-years needed to be put down, because she was sick and wasn’t getting any better.

What a way to capitalize an already emotionally charged time in my life. Ever wonder how much one person can endure? I swear that this year is just trying to break me, but I’m gonna be okay. I did cry a bit today as I was finishing updating my social media. Looking at a pic that I took of Smush a couple of weeks ago really got to me. This could be because I’ve either not fully processed everything, or it’s just now starting to hit me.

I know that I’ve still kept myself busy since being back. I don’t feel like I do a whole lot most days, but when you break down the stuff that I do keep involved in, I guess that I do keep busy. For example, I finished the blog that I had started on Friday, published it. I did a live video on Facebook, then I also worked on costuming for a character that’s premiering on a comedy that we’re writing. Plus I dealt with other movie business as well.

I don’t feel like it’s a whole lot as I didn’t study any of my personal training stuff until today, and I finished the chapter that I had working on for what seemed like weeks now. At least I have ten-days at home to concentrate and get some stuff done. That’s the price I had to pay, just to travel all across the United States.

Before I get off track, I should mention a bit more about my pug, Smush. She’s been my dog since we got her over eight-years-ago. I was the human that she claimed as hers. I’ve never had an animal that seemed so loving or dedicated as Smush. There’s going to be a place that seems to be missing in my heart. She was the best little pug, though a pain-in-the-ass at the same time. I’m going to miss her.

I swear to God that my keeping busy isn’t a way to avoid anything, but I feel like anytime away from trying to be creative seems to be a waste anymore. I play video games as a way to relax, or wake-up. I do the same with movies, unless I’m doing some studying as a filmmaker. Is it crazy that I still don’t feel like I’m doing enough? Has this become an unhealthy obsession?

I know that I had five-days-away from doing anything, besides family things, but man I feel like I’m either making up for lost time, or maybe I’ve got a renewed vigor. I know that as my group gets more and more into the projects that we’re developing, I want to do this as a full-time thing. I’m even excited that I’ll eventually be training people to become healthier, and I figure that at some point I won’t have to depend on other entities to be my boss.

That was always a goal I had in mind since I was old enough to figure out the kinds of things that I wanted to do when I became an adult. It used to be about me having my own music producing company, then it was on to having my own film company. These are blurring and becoming more like reality.

Everybody grieves differently, or so I keep getting told. Could this be how I grieve? By creating? By letting my ambitions to lead me in a different direction? I guess that I could have other vices that could be more destructive, yet here I am, choosing to create. I’m trying to make life more fulfilling. I’m not saying that what I’m creating is necessarily beautiful, but that’s in the perspective of the beholder. I’m just here to entertain, and enlighten. I’ve been told that I do both decently and I continue to improve, that is the goal over all. To improve.

I’m choosing to use the loss of my mother and my dog, as a way to inject something into my creative process. I’m going to show their love through whatever it is I’m doing. It’s my way of taking the negative and turning it into something positive. I feel that this shows where my personal growth has gone. As I’ve strived to improve myself, I find that the way I would react to many things have changed over time.

This Covid-19 pandemic has proved that I’ve changed my perspective on things. I’ve had friends complain on how this has inconvenienced their lives, and how they wish that live would quickly get back to normal. The way I look at this is that this has turned into an opportunity to grow, and learn. I’ve been fortunate to still be working, and it’s a blessing because I’ve taken the time to pay off debts, and right now I think that’s where a good focus is, because I’m trying to build something, and I need to make decisions that could potentially stop this type of income from coming in.

The risk versus the reward, has been something that’s been weighing on my mind for sometime now. Even today with the pandemic becoming bigger and more serious, it weighs on me even more.

Side note: This blog started several weeks ago and I am now getting back to it now twenty-days later.

Things have been crazy since I started this blog. One of those things that have been heading in the right direction is the fact that movie business has picked up an opportunity to have a place for a creative base for at least the little bit. Yet, November has just seemed to go by, and I took a bit of a mental break the last week or so.

With that break though I find myself getting back on track today with completing a couple of quizzes for my ISSA personal trainer certification. I’ve done twenty-two out of thirty-one quizzes so far. I need to have my CPR certificate, and I realized that I updated mine last year. So things are starting to look good again.

I should say that I’ve been changing the way that I eat, and I’m starting to feel better about my weight loss journey. This is the one thing that I’ve been struggling with. I’m not sure why I let myself get back into some of those bad habits, because I do feel better not being as big as I was. I’m not trying to let my mental state use food as a crutch, I promise that I’m not.

I guess that I should address my mental state a bit, because since I’ve been back to work I keep getting asked the same question everyday, by what seems like, everyone. “Am I okay?” I honestly don’t know how to respond more than I’m fine. I mean there’s been so much that has gone on over the last month, and even most of the year, I feel like I might have just skated by and gone through the motions. I really am in a place where I just don’t think that I’ve completely processed the events that have gone on, but I also just don’t feel like I really have anything to say to anybody. I don’t mean to seem like a dick, or that I’m ungrateful for the concern, but I just don’t feel like talking about anything, except to a few people and those people aren’t really any part of my usual circles as it is.

Truth is I’ve found something that has spoken to me, and I feel that it’s trying to lead me to a path somewhere on the opposite side of our country. I don’t know how to explain it, but Pennsylvania spoke to my soul. I connected to a part of my life that I never knew was missing before, and I’m eternally grateful for those who took time out of their lives to let me in, even for a brief time, or better yet, opened a bit more of a bond then just through text.

I have my goals here, that I’ll continue to pursue, but I also think that I want to take part of that and build it in Pennsylvania as well. I’m going to leave with those words, here, and now. I also want to say that while things haven’t always looked the best, and that I’ve tried to keep that silver lining going, I do have plans to show where my success is starting to show, it’s just going to take a bit of time, but all will be revealed.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.

Too Late To Say Goodbye

I was in the air. My phone was on airplane mode. The flight was delayed by a hour, and I just couldn’t make it to say goodbye. There were things that I wanted to tell her before she passed, sorry that I wasn’t a better son, I wish I would have tried harder to have a relationship. I guess in the end she got something she wanted, her three kids together.

A family member of mine, whom I was meeting for the first time, said that she felt that my mother heard and knew that I was coming. This family member also said that she felt my mother tried to hold out to the last minute, yet I landed forty-three minutes late. Sorry that I couldn’t be there for you, mom. I’m sorry that I wasn’t ready to have a relationship with this side of the family. This happened Friday night, October twenty-third. The night I lost the person I had only really known as the woman who had given me birth. She was the mother to a half-brother and half-sister I didn’t really know.

The happened when I got here to Mechanicsburg, PA on Oct. 23, 2020. The following is about my time here being present with family:

When I got here, I was picked up by my brother’s ex, and baby mama, Jessica. I hope that if, and when she reads this, that she’ll know that she’s an amazing woman, and I will always be grateful for the kindness shown, and the character that she has towards me, who’s a bit of a stranger, and towards my brother, who honestly needs someone like her to be there for a support and want for him to succeed.

It was close to midnight when I had gone to the front of the airport, and saw her. She told me about my mother’s passing. She had said that she didn’t know how or when would have been the right time to tell me. The thing that stuck out was that I told her that she was taller than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I was saddened by the news of my mother’s passing, but I guess that I wasn’t surprised, and if I was to be honest, we’ve already had built a friendship over text, and I was glad it was her to tell me this news.

As we got to her house, her oldest daughter, Abby was still awake, and seemed like she wanted to meet me. She’s no blood relation to my family, but I had considered her my niece, and I was glad to meet her. The thing about Abby is that she was putting a Stevie Nicks vibe to me and I had mentioned that to her. She got a loving and kind personality who has a passion for gymnastics. Now I bet you’re wondering why I would talk about people other than my mother, I promise that I’ll get to everything in a minute.

Abby had volunteered to give up her mattress to bring it down to the living room so that I would have a comfortable place to sleep. I was appreciative to this eleven-year-olds generous heart. I even took her to get a treat because she became my buddy. She’s a child that I see will be successful wherever she decides to go in live.

Not to be out done by that, the next morning I got to meet my niece Elena. She six, red hair, and a feisty attitude to built. She comes out and pretends to be shy and gives me a card. She says that she loves me and wants me to move in. This girl is too cute, but also a vicious attitude to boot. Before the end of the day, I’ve already named her my saccharine valkyrie. I think she’s going to be an intense fire as she gets older. Plus she’s cute, and that’s a dangerous combination.

I was fortunate to meet my brother Dave for the first time. Dave and I have similar interests, and I also know that we’ve not always seen eye-to-eye, but I was glad to meet him. He’s as loving to those two girls as anyone I’ve ever seen be dedicated to a small human. It makes me proud to see him be a good father, even though life hasn’t been easy for him. I attest that his love is a reflection of how our mother was as a parent. I had found humor and enjoyment of watching him interact with Abby and Elena.

I think the humor came in the form of how much those little girls have “daddy” wrapped around their fingers. Elena’s fiery spirit is as Dave tells me, much like how our sister Barby was at that age(I’ll be discussing her soon). Through my brother, I can see how the girls will always be taken care of and protected by him.

Out of all of my actually family members, Dave was the one that I spent the most time with. We got to enjoy each others company, and we got to do little projects with the girls. Our time was family time, and a way that we could connect with each other and as well as the ladies who run his life.

We went over to my mother’s house for a sort of get together, and I met an aunt and some cousins, as well as my half-brother, and my half-sister(which I actually have much to say about her). It was nice to meet them and hear the stories of my mother and her love of life. It was nice to meet a few cousin’s that I had only talked too through Facebook. It was nice to know how much she meant to so many people. I had the distinct disadvantage of not really having any of those root connections to my mother, and I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb.

I was afraid that people were going to have issues with me being there, as I was the child who was never around, or seemed to make any effort to actually get closer to the family. I was pleasantly surprised that I was welcomed without drama, and that Dave wasn’t having any of those negative vibes going on that day. I also started to get things filled in for me that I never knew, and I walked away from that experience feeling a bit better about going.

I know that as I had left the airport the day before, that my stomach became queasy and that I was starting to feel a bit nervous about this encounter, but the initial meeting was better than expected.

Now, I need to talk about that other important person, and the one I felt that I learned the most about how much I was important to my mother, that would be my little sister Barbra. She four-years younger, and one of the most free-spirits that I’ve ever known. She’s the one that I’ve video chatted the most and honestly connected the most with. In part with a strange and special connection that I’ve not felt before.

Jessica, Dave, and I had got to Milfinburg, to pick her up and take her with us to do the funeral arrangements, on Monday, but it was that hug on Saturday that was what was special. I never had been hugged so tightly by anyone in the world like that. It was that hug that said, “I love you big brother”. She’s interesting with her views on life, and mom’s death hit her the hardest, however, she was staying strong, and I’m glad that she’s done well with keeping herself together. Mom was her best friend, so she felt the loss the hardest.

Monday after we had finished with what errands that us kids needed to do, I had decided to stay back at mom’s place and spend the night getting to know my sister. I don’t exactly know how to explain what the connection was, but Barby and I just seem to connect on a different level than anyone I’ve ever been around. I was glad that she would share her experiences with me, and tell me how much mom loved me. She even showed me writings where mom would talk about how much she missed and loved me.

I don’t know if I deserved that love, or if she deserved the way I ended up keeping my distance from that side of the family. What I do know is that regardless of what may have gone down in the past, I feel a bit more complete, and I think that it’s the next chapter in my life, where I’m not just the only-child anymore. I have a younger brother, and sister with whom I care about. They matter to me, and now we have that connection.

I know that we’re planing on doing something next year, where there’s like a family reunion, only doing it as a post celebration-of-life thing in remembrance of mom. It’s going to be a way off because I’ve got my own herd to take across the country, and well it does cost money, but it will give us a chance to actually get things organized and ample time to provide for everybody in the family to come as well.

Will it run smooth? Will there be drama? I would hope not, but like most family ordeals, those things tend to happen to some extent. I just hope that all things will be done with the remembrance of who my mom was, and the impact that she seemed to have on the family as a hole.

This is the director, and as I say that’s a wrap, I find that there are new things developing for me, and I find that the last five-days in Pennsylvania has somehow altered the course of my life.

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.

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.

Fourteen Years Of What?!

Today’s my son’s birthday. In the fourteen years that he’s been in my life, I’ve learned so much. There was so much unknown about how he would turn out, being for pre-mature, and everything has been a lesson in itself. Watching him in the first few years, we didn’t realize that he was different.

Autumn, being born four-and-a-half-years before was a far easier experience. She was mostly independent, and such a loving and smart kid. Chris, while loving, has always depended on us for so much.  As a parent, it’s striking to see how very different these two would be at such a young age.

Little Chris was born six weeks early, and between the two pregnancies, his birth seemed much quicker than his sisters. He just ended up spending so much more time in the hospital, because he was jaundice. Three weeks, and Sarah was having fits about not having him home. 

At the age of six, we found out that Chris was high functioning autistic. We also discovered that he has a slight mental delay. This made since because it explained why it was so difficult to get him potty-trained. Before we knew this, I just thought his stemming was a quirk. Frustratingly, hearing the professional say that my son was mentally retarded was a difficult thing to hear. I mean, who wants to hear that about their children?

With that being said, watching him in the proper educational environment has proven that he’s smart. Yes, he can be a little slow, but he’s brilliant. Just spend time with him, and listen to his views on life and other things. Sometimes he speaks and I wonder where he got the observations that he has.

Autumn, was my first child, and she makes me so proud with everything she’s overcome. I know that we don’t always get along, and that’s the fact that she’s way too much like me, but I love her to death, and I will always be there for her.

Chris and his special needs have tested me in patience and understanding. He shows me a love and loyalty that makes me want to be an even better person. I’m proud to have seen how much he has overcome as well, and continues to mature and become his own person. 

We do so much together, and it’s fun that he actually likes hanging out with me. We play video games together, and he works for me when I film. It’s amazing to see how fast he’s progressed in the last year, I was always afraid that he was always going to fall so far behind and never catch up, but the last several months have shown that he has the aptitude to over come those things that life has thrown at him. When he started out this school year, he was technically in seventh grade, however due to his special needs, he was only at a third grade, middle of the school year level. As of his last report, as of a few days ago, he’s up to a fifth grade level in most of his work.

Think of the things he accomplished. It’s something that we all should take into account when it comes to life. If the deck is stacked against you, you can overcome it with motivation and determination. Too often in life, we find it easier to quit and not put in any effort. Sometimes, it’s easier to try and put the blame for our problems on other people. It would be easier, but that doesn’t mean that it’s better. 

This kid has been there every step of the way, just like the rest of my family. He does everything to make sure that I keep honest with what I do, and he tries to keep me motivated in all aspect of this weight loss journey. Often times, he’s the one who goes on walks with me, and we talk about various aspects in life. The most common subjects usually revolve around professional wrestling, or superheroes. We’ve gotten into discussions about politics and filmmaking. I love to hear his thoughts and opinions on these subjects. I’m always fascinated by the fact of what he learns about these things.

He is fourteen, and it blows my mind just how short of time we actually have to enjoy these little creatures, before they become adults. I mean, my oldest is already half-way to her nineteenth year. She’s now an adult and looking to move forward in her life. She’s looking for a job and going to school for a career. 

I see that they both have general ideas on what they want to be when they grow up, and how they want to impact the world they live in. I wish I had remembered that I had some sort of direction on what I really wanted to do back then. Autumn wants to work for Disney and my son wants to have his own restaurant. I love to see them start to explore their chosen paths.

In contrast, the things I wanted to do was be involved with entertainment. I wanted to be a singer, and own my own record label. Life got in the way, and I discovered that I preferred acting to music, even though I have a deep love for performing music. The truth is, I find that being a visual storyteller seems to fit me way better.

If he ever gets to read this blog, or, I know his mom will. I’m going to leave some imparting words to my second born: Christopher, we’ve been through so much as a family. I see that you’ve struggled, and have been frustrated with the difficulties put into your life. You’re stronger and smarter than I could ever give you credit for. I’m proud to see the man you are becoming. Truth is, you’re inspiring not only to me, but those around you. Your love of music matches mine, and it’s always great to see that you have a love of crooner music thatI find fascinating. Keep shooting for the stars and reach higher than you think you can. People aren’t always going to root for you, but your parents will and we can’t wait to see where you’re going to go through this journey in life. 

As a side note: I knew from about the age of twelve that I would want children. I don’t know if it came from the fact that I was raised as an only child, but that feeling of being paternal was there. I’m just fortunate to find a woman like Sarah, who decided that I would be worthy enough to build a life with and have two of the best kids ever. I kind of pictured having three, and while she’s not mine by blood, our niece Lily is that third child that I wanted. While she has had a rough life in the beginning, I can only hope that she has learned and taken to heart the lessons that I’ve tried to provide her. There’s always a better way in life. 

With that, this is my team, they’ve been there all the way since I started to turn my own life around. I’ve got the most loving children, even if they’ve picked up on my humor, and have become assholes in their own way. I love them and wouldn’t change much about how things have gone. Why, you might ask? Because the positives are good to have, but the negatives are the necessary to traverse to become better humans.

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

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Nineteen-Years of Love

Today, September twenty-ninth, 2019 is the nineteenth anniversary of mine and Sarah’s first date. That day we got together and haven’t been apart since then. Usually I would talk about how good it’s been, and how I wouldn’t ever see my life without her. Yet, I think that this should be more about the acceptance that’s had to come over the relationship.

While I do love my wife, there are things that we’ve both had to come to accept about each other, for her it’s about how unorganized I am. For me, it’s how stubborn she can be about doing everything. She’s very OCD’d with house work, and it has to be her way. As these were our problems in the beginning of our relationship, we took several years to figure out that we both sucked at communications. Now, it’s not as bad.

So, we’ve grown as people and as a couple, and I think the biggest challenges have been met head first on many occasions, but the last few years have taken us in a different direction. One was the fact that she had to handle me going through the weight loss surgery and adjusting accordingly with the dietary requirements. It’s always been nice when we could do things as a couple because that’s been something that’s kept us as close as we have been.

Yet, with all these changes and personal growths, this last year has probably been the most challenging. Sarah was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. While the news hit us almost a year ago, it’s taken time to get things figured out. Things that we are still in the process of figuring out and manage. Now we’re waiting for another appointment to happen in November so that we can figure out how to proceed to a specialist for her joints.

That’s one of the bad things about Crohn’s Disease: the fact that it attacks the joints and I have to see her suffer from that. I watch her get frustrated at the fact that her hands don’t always work the way they used to. Then there’s the fact that she’s sits a certain way for the whole time I’ve known her, and I see that it brings on a pain that makes it difficult to move. I hate the fact that I can’t really do much to help her through these times.

This is were I find myself dealing with the fact that I have to be the strong one in the relationship. That I have to be the one that steps up and be the strong one. I know she hates it, but it’s just a fact in life. I don’t always feel that I can be as strong for her as she has been for me, but I do try my best. I guess that self-doubt is the enemy in this situation, as I feel helpless watching her cry and suffer from her Crohn’s.

It’s been a common feeling as I’m not able to make the situation any better, and the side-effects from her medicine isn’t the most pleasant experience for her. I have felt this way with watching my children suffer from depression. I try to reach out, but find that words can’t be said, more than an  I know how you feel, or an it will get better. This is where I feel that I fail as a father, and as a husband. Now I also watch Sarah deal with depression, and until we know how to manage her pain, I’m not sure it ever will get better, and I don’t know how she’s going to deal with it. Hell, I don’t know how I’m going to respond to the way she ends up dealing with it.

I know that this is piled on top of other things like her wanting to grow professionally. Since she doesn’t have a degree, and that my schooling is costing us a bit of money per month, she’s scared to take that leap, and she wants to find something that would be easier for her to do that will help elevate the pain she gets when doing her current job.

In the end, I know that we’ll find a way to manage. I know that we’ll find a way to over come what has been thrown in front of us. It’s just without all the answers, it’s a scary time. Fear of the unknown is rampant in my head right now. I can say that she feels the same way about her situation. Has Crohn’s put a limit on the time table on her life? Will I be a widower before my time? These are things I constantly think about, and I wish I had some sort of solid answer so the I could prepare myself, and the family in what’s to come.

I love my wife, I always have, even when I wasn’t the best person at loving her. I will love her for the rest of my life. With that being said, this is the director, and that’s a wrap.

The Position Changes

There are things that happen in a relationship that can change the dynamic. I know that a I’ve talked about how the ideal relationship that’s supposed be fifty-fifty isn’t usually the way things are, and my relationship has never been that. The most beautiful part of my relationship is the fact that I have this wonderful support system that’s been formed as a part of it. I have the most loving and supportive wife, and a great set of kids that do the same.

As I’ve had my struggles with mental health and being overweight, the brunt of a lot of our relationship has been placed on her. No, I don’t think that it’s fair, but it happened that way. Now that I’ve been in a better place, things have come up that have caused me to have to pick up the slack. Sarah was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in November of last year, and we are still discovering everything that is related to her health issues.

We discovered that she doesn’t have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so that is a check in the win column. There were other things that came up in her results that had left me more questions then answers. I also know that we are in for a long journey to get her to where she can deal with her issues in a better manor.

One of the great things is that I do have a support system, and they’ve reached out to me, too help be a support system for her. People that I’ve known longer than I’ve known her, have talked to me personally about it, some who have to deal with Crohn’s themselves. That was the most touching thing that happened while at work.

Relationships, aren’t fifty-fifty, and I think that when the majority shifts in the other direction, that’s what shows what a relationship is truly made of. You see these examples all over Hollywood. Look at Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, as soon as the popularity switched, they were done as a couple. If you explore the net, I’m sure you could find so many more examples, I just don’t have time right now.

Back to the fifty-fifty though: I’m not sure how I’m doing with this change in dynamic. I want to say that this has been the easiest transition, but it hasn’t. It’s been hard to deal with the frustrations that come with Sarah’s problems. I get frustrated because I can’t do much to help her as her joints ache and her body swells. She can’t grip things like she used to and then the frustration of that gets projected on the rest of the family.

I understand her being pissed off because her hands don’t work as well as they used too. I understand that most of the time she doesn’t feel well. I’m frustrated and pissed off for the same reasons, but it’s hard when that energy gets directed in a different direction. I’m trying to be strong for her, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

It’s put some insecurities on me, but I’m overcoming any traces of depression. My frustrations with the situation has caused me to want to quit. I haven’t because I view it as a pretty shitty move, especially since she’s been there for me through everything. I want to help, but most of the time I feel helpless because I know that I can’t just make everything better.

I think that the recent switch in shifts is going to help out so much. I know that it’s helped put me in a better mindset, and that with recent news not going the way I was hoping, I’ve been able to handle everything fairly well. I’m not letting this stuff keep me down, and I hope that all her news won’t keep her down.

I know that while we are dealing with this, other things in life tend to get in the way, i.e. children going through puberty and getting attitude with the hormones. Me, not getting the promotion, us still dealing with the aftermath of the Earthquakes and the aftershocks that keep coming. Yet, we remain vigilant. We will overcome.

John Lennon put a line in his song, Beautiful Boy, and it says that “life is what happens to you, when you’re busy making other plans”. I’ve quoted this line before, and it’s probably one of the most relevant things ever to speak to me, and it’s so true. In the end, we will overcome, we will survive. I’ll do my best to love and support my wife for as long as we are allowed, I just know that it isn’t easy.

I remain diligent on my weight loss journey, and my self care is just as important as it ever was, because if I don’t take care of myself, I’m gonna be useless to my family, even with their own issues.

I leave you with this final thought: We all have a journey that we take in life, we all represent something that we stand for. Some people take this serious, some don’t care for how they represent themselves. My own representation has evolved over the years, as I was toxic to myself, more than others. I had close minded ideology, and I needed to change. I now represent positivity, and stand for physical and mental health. The uplifting of others is how I choose to present myself to others as well.

As always, this is the is the director and that’s a wrap.

Fireworks in The Air

Aww, the sound of colorful gun powder blowing up in the air! A day that seventeen years ago, fundamentally changed me as a man. The fourth of July is a day of celebration, for many it’s a day to recognize the independence our country got. To me, it’s the day that my oldest child gains another year of life on this earth.

Let me take you back into time, before I really needed to go on the weight loss journey, before I turned into the man that people know today. As a matter of fact let me take you back to the year 2000….

At this point in my life, I was separated from my soon to be annulled significant other. Sure, we’re only married for 6 months, but my experiences with her makes her a significant part of my life. I had been in my new job, at the time for just over a month. We’re seeing more money than ever, but her problem was that I was always gone out of town for work.

A good part of my job was the fact that I got to work with my father. This was a great experience, because I really got to know him, and bound with him with the many hours on the road, going from job to job. It took us from this small town to places like Bakersfield, Ca, which wasn’t really a stretch, but it took us to Seattle, Wa and Denver, Co.  See, this is were the ex was having problems, and needless to say we ended up splitting up after all was said and done.

One of the things that I didn’t completely realize at that time was that I ended up becoming broken in this abusive relationship. It was mostly verbal, and on both sides. When it was all said and done, I was a suffering in a way I couldn’t comprehend.

Sure, we tried to have kids, but the mental games that were played just didn’t help when she had told me that she “miscarried”. At this point, I was just numb to everything that she would use to try and hurt me. This incident happened on my first trip to Seattle. I had gotten a cell phone and was using it too call her. When she laid the news on me, but I didn’t feel anything since this was the umpteenth time that something like this was used to hurt me.

Court wasn’t pleasant, but afterward I had found comfort and safety in the arms of my now wife Sarah. She got with me, helped put my pieces back together, and somehow we ended up creating this wonderful child, who is both my pride and joy, and the pain in my ass. I love her though.

The good thing about Autumn is that she is a smart girl, and she doesn’t go out and make poor choices. The bad thing about Autumn is that she’s a smart girl, and has a time or two called me out on my bullshit. This can be frustrating at times, since she’s seen me at my lowest point as well.

No matter where we are in our complicated relationship of father and daughter, I will always be proud of her being my child, and I’m even more so about the woman she’s becoming and the goals that she’s setting for herself. It’s incredible to see her evolution as a person. Finding her place in this world, watching her “fan girl” over anything Disney. The child that matches me in wit and challenges me to look at my own self.

As she reaches into her seventeenth year, and starts the last leg of her high school years, I’ve been trying to think of what advice I would give her(if she reads this). Remember that you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, trust your instincts. Figure out what you truly want to do with your life. Go with your instincts. I spent too much of my life listening to what other’s thought would be best, and it took me too long to go for what my heart desired.

I love you, yes I know you think I have to say that because I’m your dad, but it’s true. I have you and your brother, and you two are the most important people to me. You’ve filled my life and helped to give it purpose. I’m sorry that I haven’t always been the best dad, there’s no instructions on how to be spot on every time. Know that even in my darkest of times, I’ve always wanted the best for you.

So with that, I wish my kid a happy seventeenth birthday, and will be happy to celebrate it with her. This is the director, and thinking of were the hell did the time go? That’s a wrap.

Outside’s Gonna Melt Your Face, But I’m Feeling Fine.

The summer heat is cooking, and with this weather last year everyday felt like the scene from Raiders of the Lost Art,  in where the Nazi’s open the Ark of the Covenant, and their faces melt off. However, I’ve come prepared more for the heat this year then I have been in the past several years. Where being on the job in years past, my back would be a sweaty water fall, it’s now just a trickle. I do still think that the heat sucks, but at least I don’t feel like I’m about to die everyday.

I did my two week weigh–in on Friday, and discovered myself down another three-point-one pounds. I’ve discovered that that’s about what I’ve been averaging for the last few months, is about three to four pounds every two weeks. That’s not bad considering that one to two pounds a week is what would be classified normal. Looking at pants sizes of the biggest at fifty-four, and looking at the waist of a forty-two, is a big difference.

That brings my total down one hundred-twenty-one-point-two pounds. I joke and say that I’ve lost my wife in weight. It’s about true, and I’m good with that. I still get those moments of being nervous of being caught in a stall. Especially since the hundred-plus weather isn’t helping my motivation at all. I also went for a walk on Thursday after work, and discovered that I had burnt the top of my head on the walk.36329976_2091643187757945_3984035268909858816_o

I took the above picture on my phone on that Thursday around six-thirty in the evening. I like how the shadows give a bit of a serious look. As I walk, I think about anything and everything. I realized that this is my meditation, as I’m always in my head when I walk. I guess you could say that this is my time at “church”. A time where I have conversations with God. I know that it gives me the chance to just walk, and not think about the physical activity that I’m doing.

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This is the best I’ve felt in a long time. I took this for my weigh-in update photo for the social media. When I saw the scale read three-hundred-eight-point-seven pounds, it’s truly a great feeling. I haven’t been this light, since my oldest child was born, and that was seventeen years ago. The changes, both physically and mentally are incredible. My body is getting closer to my self-image.

It’s incredible to think that as I get ever closer to my fortieth year in life, that I have finally taken control back of who I am. It feels that I let most of my twenties and thirties kind of keep me down, and dictate my uncontrollable self. A feeling of helplessness and hatred for the decisions that I was making. I was lashing out at myself because I let myself get a certain way. I have that control now. I’m not letting life pass me by. I’m finding that strength and happiness that I deserve as a person.

Speaking of goals, I have a few updates about the other parts of my life. One, we are almost ready to go full ahead and film our short The Reunion, that’s the official title of what was previously known as The Dialogue. I’m excited to be working with the casted individuals, as one of them has worked with me, and for me in other projects before. Plus the new blood joining us really seems to be like a good guy as well. I can’t wait to get started so that we can get this one in the “can” and continue on with the other things we’re planing on doing.

The other news, is related to the Geekultural Experience. I’ve been talking to a writer on Tumblr about checking out his Manga and this will be one of those I’ll do a review on for my geek media. I think this is the start of something that could help boost his, and our brands together and I look forward to seeing what other connections that I’ll be doing through the various platforms of social media.

As a reflection of the what’s going on in my personal life: My oldest child will be seventeen years old this Wednesday, and I’m both proud, and surprised by this fact. She’s grown into a beautiful person, and she’s made me very proud of the accomplishments that she’s set for herself. She also makes me feel incredibly old because she is turning seventeen, but I look forward to spending the day with her and watching the fireworks, because she shares the day with the birth of our country’s independence.

Well, this is the Director with another blog, and that’s a wrap.

The Half Way Mark

So, I was at work yesterday, and I realized that if I lose another 118 pounds, I will be at 193, and that would be about the goal weight I want to be. It’s amazing that almost seven months since my surgery, I’m at the half way point of my weight loss journey. I’ve come so far, and yet I have so much more that I have to do.

I finally got into a different pair of work pants this week. I’m in forty-two/thirties now. That’s a size that I haven’t worn since Sarah and I started out as a couple. Man, I’m feeling like I’m batting a thousand, and I’m happy that the weight loss journey is going so well. I’m also considering getting my personal trainers license. I think it would add a bit of credence to the CK Project, and part of the whole idea behind that is self-improvement.

I’m excited because I should be getting my second prototype shirt next week. If it’s the look I’ve been looking for, I’ll be ready to launch them to the public. I’ve already been told by a few people that they have an interest in supporting the brand and I’m excited by that. Next will be to get my production company  merchandise going. So much to do in so little time.

So, we did the casting call for The Dialogue, last weekend. However, we also had a couple of people do a read through last night. I really liked the way it went, but I have one other interested, and I want to give him a chance to read. Then I will have a few meetings with the various actors who tried out and see what chemistry might be there.

This process is different than when we did Nash Gray(2017). I was told that no two productions are the same, so. I look forward to the challenge that this is going to present itself. I’m also going to be going back and re-editing Appreciate What You Got, it was my first short, and the editing could have been done better. This project will be addressed again at another time for sure. I have my actor still interested in re-shooting it.

Looking at this weekend, the family and I have to go back to LAX to pick up our oldest, who’s coming home from her trip to Florida. She’s seemed to be having such a great time down there, however she is missed. We’re also going to kill two birds with one stone, because it’s the youngest’s birthday that day, we’re going to do a bit of shopping in Burbank and look at film and prop stores in the area. It’s part of the research for the film company.

Going back to the production company, we’ve got two more projects that are ready to go into pre-production after we finish this short. Plus, I’m working on getting a few more going, as I’ve started working on a few more scripts that have come my way. I’ll be working on those as I continue to get these projects going.

It’s summer and it’s crazy hot outside during the work hours. My advice is to stay hydrated and take care of yourself. This summer seems like it’s going to be hotter than usual, and I’ve been one to have been a victim of heat stress, twice, and it’s no joke. I do find that my surgery has made it harder to get all that water that’s recommended in. The heat motivates me to drink more, yet I have to be careful because too much water at one time tends to make me feel a bit sick.

The heat is harsh, and it seems to suck the energy right out of me, which has caused my motivation to struggle a bit. I mean who really likes to go out in 100 degree plus weather to get their exercise on? Though my personal training is improving as I’m pushing heavier weights now. Success!

So this is the director, and that is a wrap. Be good to yourselves and each other.