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.

Struck By Motivation

So, I decided that I was going to make my 10,000 steps today. My current total is 13,054 steps for the day. Which means I’ve traveled 5.8 miles and burned 772 Calories. Not bad for a Tuesday. The one thing that I noticed today is that I’m feeling a slight pull in the back on my right hamstring. I think that I need to stretch it out, and I hope that helps.

With life going at such a fast pace, I’ve felt that I had a few weeks of lost motivation. I know that it’s a normal response to lose motivation. You can’t always go 100% all the time without a bit of fatigue. I was there creatively as well, but I’m finding that extra motivation to continue to work on that as well. The lack of motivation was just a phase, but it was a habit that I had been comfortable with for a long time.

As I sit here and write this, I think about how I would come home and just play video games, or watch television. I don’t really do those things like I used too. It’s funny to reflect on how I was at this time last year, and to see where I am mentally now. I like to create, that’s something I’ve been a fan of most of my life. Music, stories, poetry, I’ve always had a hand in something creative. Maybe that’s why I’m coming into a place in my life where I’m feeling fulfilled with the things that I work on.

My team should have some stories out that we can look at shooting, and I’m excited to see where this newly formed machine is going to take us. While it’s true that I’ve worked with almost everyone in some form, the relationship of this team is still relatively new. This both excites me, and makes me nervous, because I want this to succeed.

It’s not just that I want the production company to succeed, I want this team to prosper as well. Sometimes I start to fear that ego might get in the way, and that is something I’m trying to avoid. I have enough self-doubt that crosses my mind every so often. Yes, I know that my depression tries to sabotage me, and I have to get reassurance that everything is okay. I guess that’s the emotional side of me. I do try and keep it in check though, and I hate when the creative process seems to be hindered. At least what we’ve done so far, has helped put the team on a better level of understanding.

I know one of the projects that I need to start is to work on an outline for The CK Project. With me down over 110 pounds, I think that we need to start documenting the rest of the transformation, and get some motivational words on video. It’s an idea, that I’ve had, and I did a few small videos before the surgery. The only after surgery videos have come out on Facebook and Snapchat. Part of the goal is to impliment them more as well.

 I’m finding success documenting the weight loss journey through Instagram, and I’ve made several contacts with others on this journey through social media. These people have my full support, and those who I’ve talked too in the real world are getting behind The CK Project. As soon as I get the next prototype for the shirt, if I like it, I’ll be getting them availible to the public, and I know my trainer, Sam Basco, is one of the first customers.

Speaking of Sam, I took my kids too one on his youth grappling classes yesterday, and they seemed to enjoy themselves. I get such a joy watching my children do new things and have fun with social interaction. I find a fasination and pride watching them try their hardest. I think that’s how most parent’s are. I look forward to seeing where my family’s relationship with Flawless Victory MMA  is going to go. The coaches are great, and very supportive in the growth of physical health and the MMA profession.

Sam is also going to help my wife rehab her arm, and get both strength and range of motion back into it. We spent several hours in the emergancy room, just to get meds, and no real examination. I feel that it’s kind of frustrating, when you would expect a medical professional to take the time to examine the problem, but instead say that it’s common, give us a perscription, and send us on our way. That was a huge waste of five hours of our time, but at least she did get something to help.

Professionally, I think that this or next week, I’ll start hearing from the moves that I’m trying to make. I’m really excited about this because, I’m ready to move on and grow into new things(That is why I went to school). I’m trying to keep positive about everything, and while I’ve faultered at times, I do think that the pay off’s going to be big, and I’ve got an eye in three different places for the same kind of job.

Anyway, things are really looking up. I had a rough moment this weekend, but feel better as my point was made. I just need to learn to control the emotions behind it a bit better. So, this is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Thoughts

The heat has been in the high ninety range this week, and my spirit felt drained today. I even thought about not going to my personal training session because of it. Though, I’m glad that I went, even if I felt that I could push that 100%, I still tried to give it that 100%.

After the mental mess of the last couple of days, I’ve been able to regain my composure, and everything seems to be going right again. Creatively, I wasn’t aligned, and that dragged me down. Also, life seemed to be holding still, and if there’s anything that I can’t stand is for my momentum to end up in a lull.

I’ve heard news from the professional angle, which has been good news, just not the words I’ve been waiting to hear. That ended up being part of my problem as well, because I’ve been trying to be so patient for so long. It’s hard to learn that I might just have to wait that much longer. I’ll get that patience back, because there are worse things I can deal with.

So, I’ve decided to expand the team and have asked a friend to utilize her wood working skills to work on building sets, and get her into set designing. This is a prospect that excites my creative mind. I wonder how elaborate we can get the sets.

I’m excited that we’re taking a hike for Mother’s Day. It’ll be great to get them steps in, and it’s something different to do for the wife. A nice day to hike and picnic. I’m looking forward to doing this with the family.

As I set up my pedometer to twelve thousand, I found that it was hard to even reach that, so I went a head and went back to the ten thousand. It’s all finding the balance at the moment. I feel like I’m in a continual flux of trying to find that balance in life.

Not only with my weight loss journey, but other aspects too. I’ve done so much with the project, and getting back into being creative, there’s a balance that I’ve been trying to have. Family is also the other factor in my life. The give and take of being a family man sometimes also throws the balancing act off kilter.

I think that’s the key to balance, an even distribution between mind, body, and spirit. Every day, I find more and more balance with my body. The exercise has helped my body, not only do I move better, but I feel so much better. I think that it’s been helping me mentally, as I have to focus on something real, and the chemicals from working out, gives me that “high” of feeling good.

Spiritually…. that brings up something interesting. Jesus said, destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days -John 2:19. I find this quote more interesting now than ever before. Temple’s a described as a person’s body in instances. Maybe with all the fat, and toxins that I’ve done to damage my temple, is finally being purged by my exercising. Could this be part of my where my spiritual being is being fixed up and rectified? I never really thought about it before.

Before I forget, I want to thank certain people for spreading the word for me. I’d like to thank the Bombshell Betties for following me on the various social medias. These ladies are apart of our local Roller Derby, and they seem to be very kick ass about their sport. I’ve been in contact with some of them, and have had talks about maybe doing some promotional work with them. Here’s their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bombshell.betties.rollerderby/. Give them a look, like them, and tell them I sent ya.

I also want to send a huge shout out to my friend Sam Basco. He’s been working me out for over the last month. He’s a good friend, and wise in the ways of weight training and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. He trains with fellow trainer Antoine Hood at Flawless Victory MMA. Here’s their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FlawlessVictoryMma/. Also give them a like and tell them I sent ya.

Well, this would make the third day in a row for me blogging, and as always, this is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

Disneyland-Pushed Twice As Hard

So, my wife and I decided that we would make up our sixteenth anniversary, which happened in July of last year, by going to Disneyland, without the kids. Yes, I do realize that seven months is a long time to postpone our celebration, but I was working on a movie at that time, and we just ended up being busy with life through a lot of that. It’s nice when we get some time where the two of us can just be a couple. Having kids, that gets hard to do, especially when they tend to be needy.

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So to say the least, I got my 10,000 steps before eleven-o-clock. I best part is that I made it so long without having to take a break. I didn’t really slow down until about four in the afternoon, by then I think I was around 15,000 steps, but it was so worth the effort put forth. I can’t believe that I had made almost ten miles, it’s crazy to think that I made it that far.

In contrast, today I’ve only gone about 5,945 steps. I think that I deserve a break from that kick ass effort from yesterday, but I do plan on challenging myself like that again soon. Perhaps during a long hike or something, but then again, I might need more time before I do that.

The biggest highlights of yesterday was that I didn’t struggle to get through any of the turn styles, or on the rides, I wasn’t uncomfortable. That’s a big win, and I ate very well. We went to The RainForest Cafe for breakfast, where I had scrambled eggs, and a piece of bacon, with a few pieces of home potatoes. Lunch, I ate a Cauliflower patty, and a few fries. I finished with dinner of Claim Chowder. So, I was trying to be smart with my choices for meals. I didn’t really seem to enjoy any of them though. Another win, since food has always been a pleasure for me. I did have a few sips of Vietnamese coffee that Sarah got from the Lunar New Year booth. It was the first coffee I’ve had in months, and it was okay(I did also have a small cup this morning at home of instant). I think my journey with coffee is pretty much over, at least I’m okay with that.

It felt good to take this new lighter body out to something that would normally tax my body, and have this energy to just do more. I would have to take a break before we would get to the entrance of the park, the last several times we had visited. Amazing! We got in the rides that mattered to us, and we just had an over all great time. Sarah keeps telling me that she’s proud. It’s always better when you can have a great support system behind you. People really need to hear that they’re doing a good job. This doesn’t just go for your personal life, but getting that type of recognition of doing a good job at works, helps.

Since everything happened in a relatively short span, I’ll update everyone on a weight update next weekend. I think every other week tends to work better for me because there shows a noticeable change. It gives me some extra time to hit that 10,000 steps anyway. Besides, I still haven’t been cleared to go beyond light workouts still. Though my walks do feel like I could almost be pushing it, but they’ve been the easiest part so far.

Now, to change the subject, I’m currently trying to learn more about the various programs that I use for my filming, and continue to develop those skills. I’ll also be doing a few professional freelance videos in the next couple of weeks. I’m excited to get this experience under my belt, and I think it’ll help me out with some extra money to help get the equipment that I need to get a full production studio going.

Another subject that I’ve decided to focus as an area of study is Spanish. Living in California, it’s really handy to know, and besides that, bilingual is just another skill set that helps make myself more marketable with whatever profession I do. Right now, learning and adding skills, certs, etc…. is something that will help me better myself, and wasn’t the point, to improve myself?

Anyway, this looks like the end of another set of thoughts, so this is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Twelve Years To The Day

Today is my son’s twelfth birthday, and while I sit hear and reflect on the years he’s been in my life, I thought that I would dedicate this blog to him, on his day. I’m proud of the man he’s becoming, and I’ve loved watching the growth within him as a person. Here’s to the awesome person that he is:

At this time in my life, I was a young and recently new Realtor in the real estate business. I had gone on to get my license and thought that this was the what I was going to do the rest of my life. Sarah was babysitting and we were doing okay financially at the time. Autumn, my eldest daughter was an independent three year old, whom I was I thinking might be our only child. I would have been okay with that because, she’s an amazing kid, and I love her with all my heart.

Being new, maybe a couple of months in to starting my new career field, Sarah had told me that she was sensitive in her chest, that was when I told her to be careful for a few days and see if that issue would go away. After several days, we decided to go ahead and get her a pregnancy test, which was ended up positive. My good friend Terry had been hanging out with us that day. So, he got the news at the same time that I did.

Now, Sarah had hyperemesis, when she was pregnant the first time with Autumn. In layman terms means that she had nine months of twenty-four hour pregnancy sickness. We thought that this was going to be different, but Murphy’s law came into effect. I mean, why not? It wasn’t like we were trying to get our lives together and my career was already set, but yes, it was worse than the our first pregnancy. Sarah ended up losing her job, and I was at the hospital with her almost the whole time. What a training regiment that ended up being for me as a Realtor.

Fast forward to January 28th, 2006- At around midnight we get to the hospital and by five-twenty-four, our little boy was born. That was the fastest birth I’d ever witnessed, and he had come six weeks earlier than expected. He stayed in the maternity ward for three weeks. This was a hard time in life, but I was glad to have my son, and Autumn got to go in and hold her baby brother as well.

Another jump in time, and I’ve got to say that Christopher Alexander Keeling II is a special boy. No, it’s not just because he’s my son, but on his own he shows so much more than I could ever expect from a young man. We discovered that he was Autistic when he was six years old. That explained the quarks we didn’t think anything of at that time in his life. He also has a learning delay, yet, he has a brilliant mind. Some of the things he says blows my mind that a kid his age would even think about.

One of the things we share is a love of music, at the age of two, he was into Sinatra and the whole crooner thing. He also has a love of Queen, which was something he reacted too while still in the womb. He loves his video games, wrestling, and super heroes. His favorites are the Flash and the Hulk. Very different characters, from the opposite sides of the spectrum.

What I personally think is awesome is how supportive he’s been, especially in my well being. He makes sure to check to see if I’m eating okay, reminds me to exercise, and he’s been supportive of my school journey as well. He’s even fascinated with wanting to help with the film company, which he’s ran the camera for me on a few little things here and there. He even filmed a shot for Nash Gray.

Sure, we play video games together and, enjoy our music and movies. However it’s the fact that he’s so health conscious that really fascinates me. He doesn’t eat a lot of junk, and he’s giving up on soda. He really is a supporter of his dad getting healthy and living a long life.

Even though he has Asperger’s, he’s well liked among his peers, and our family friends, think he’s awesome. I’m proud of the man he’s becoming, because he show’s concern for other’s, and I’m amazed by the progress he’s gone through in his academic life. I love my children, and I’m glad that I can celebrate his day with him. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.