Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Benevolent Creator

Thanks, Dave... that's a really cool and insightful test.

You are a Creator

Your imagination, confidence, willingness to explore, and appreciation of beauty make you a CREATOR.

You are independent, and you enjoy your self-sufficiency.

Defying convention, you are very innovative, and you have a vivid imagination.

The look of things is important to you, and you have a keen eye for aesthetic beauty in multiple arenas.

You have a strong interest in what is new and exciting—and that includes forging ahead with new ideas, not simply discovering what is already out there.

Your eagerness to seek new and varied experiences leads you into many different situations.

You're not set on one way of doing things, and you are creative when it comes to finding novel solutions to complex problems.

You trust yourself to be innovative and resourceful.

Your confidence allows you to take your general awareness and channel it into creativity.

You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.

You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute.

Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

If you want to be different:

Appreciate the earthly, practical elements of things—there is beauty in form as well.

While you are good at thinking abstractly, focusing on details a bit more may help you discover things about the world.

You are Benevolent

You are a great person to interact with—understanding, giving, and trusting—in a word, BENEVOLENT

You don't mind being in social situations, as you feel comfortable enough with people to be yourself.

Your caring nature goes beyond a basic concern: you take the time to understand the nuances of people's situations before passing any sort of judgment.

You're a good listener, and even better at offering advice.

You're concerned with others at both an individual and societal level—you sympathize with the plights of troubled groups, and you can care about people you've never met.

Considering many different perspectives is something at which you excel, and you appreciate that quality in others.

Other people's feelings are important to you, and you're good at mediating disputes.

Because of your understanding and patience, you tend to bring out the best in people.

You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.

You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute.

Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

If you want to be different:

You spend a lot of time taking care of others, but don't forget to take care of yourself!

Sometimes you can get overcommitted, and when you sacrifice spending time with those close to you, it can make them feel unimportant.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Things We Do For Our Kids

For once, Tyler actually wanted to go see a movie as a family. I figured, "Hey! That doesn't happen very often - what a great thing this is!"

So he picked Epic Movie. (Cue wah-wah trombone.)

OK, I was somewhat entertained. It made me chuckle in parts, and it made me squirm in others. Some of the shtick was so lowbrow my shins were sore when it was over. It's like a 90-minute version of a MAD TV sketch gone horribly awry. But I guess it's aimed at Tyler and his peers, so what did I expect? Oddly enough, when the lights came up, Tyler remarked, "That was like a really long Flash movie," referring to the copius amount of hastily drawn and animated random comedy 'toons made with Flash and floating around the interwebs.

I cleansed my palette by watching Waiting..., which came in this week's crop of Netflix. Which was like gargling with toilet water to get the taste of toilet water out of my mouth. Actually it was better than that... I like Mac guy and Blade 3 guy and The Office guy. And Dane Cook is amusing as a pierced and tribally-inked cook. And the lovely and talented Jordan Ladd is always a treat. The script is okay overall, but the basic premise that a bunch of restaurant staff actually hang out together 24/7 is a bit odd. I know when I worked in food service, you could not PAY me to hang out with my coworkers. And when Sam worked as a hostess at Lyon's, she couldn't WAIT to get home every night.

Anyway... super psyched about the Deep Mosey thing. And Scott from Autumn's Grey Solace answered my email, saying that they were interested in licensing Cold Sea for the opening credits of OA. The sound editor is coming by this afternoon to finalize some stuff. We're counting down.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Had a lovely pizza/movie night last night. Ron came over bearing Boston cream pie. Trish from Ordinary Angels and her husband Dan brought a bottle of wine. We crowded into the family room with the kids for Over the Hedge, then the kids dispersed for various computers and art projects, and the adults watched Clerks 2. It was as crude and sick as any Kevin Smith film, and we all laughed throughout the entire movie.

This morning, Ron drove me around the industrial areas around the Duwamish River and Port of Seattle so I could shoot some kinetic footage for the OA opening titles. Then we grabbed lunch with the kids and watched the latest Dane Cook concert DVD.

The real highlight of my day came when I received word from Kirsten of Deep Mosey, allowing me to use their track "Freed From the Finite" in the closing credits of OA. I'm ecstatic! I've loved them since '99, when we were both artists on MP3.COM.

Getting close to sending the rough cut into SIFF and the London SciFi Film Festival.

Tired. I sleep now.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Angels Pics

I've scanned a bunch of photos Thatcher took on-set and posted them to my Flickr site. There are also stills from the actual video.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I'm very tired, but seem to be coming through the most recent wave. Keeping busy with projects and the founding of a new film production company, which will absorb Despot Pictures. The new entity consists of Ordinary Angels producer Sally, production accountant Justin, editor Dan and myself, and we've latched onto the name D Constructed Media. The D is of course a reference to the fact that all four of us have names starting with D (either first or last), and deconstruction means to strip down to the basic elements. It also points at the philosophy of deconstruction, which is a form of textual analysis. But the basic meaning is that we, "D", constructed this media.

Going out to Dan's tomorrow to take a look at the color correction for the film. And Wednesday afternoon I'm meeting with the sound designer to do some element recording and listen to his mix thus far.

I got my brother to come over to watch the kids this Wednesday so that I can go back to my Gilda's group. I've missed it.

I think this last wave was a lot of coming to grips with the fact that my old life is gone, and for better or worse I am on this new path. I mean, it's been this way for quite some time, of course. But it was the saying goodbye to any illusion or fantasy that Sam would be calling from the hospital, saying it was all a big administrative screw up, and could I pick her up? It was the acknowledgement that I've put the past in the past and the future in the future, and the two are separate and distinct. That's the sense of "goodbye" I mentioned a couple posts ago. THAT'S the sadness. The admission that I'm actually moving forward and not just in a holding pattern, waiting for the Universe to shake out. Because that's not going to happen; the Universe doesn't shake out. We make an active decision and the Universe adjusts accordingly.

Sam's would-be 40th birthday is in a couple more weeks. I think that might be hard. Then we've got Dad's would-be 63rd, and then Sam's deathiversary in April. That's something I'm really not interested in observing as much as her birthday, but I know the brain will continue to mark the date for awhile yet.

An old high school friend of Sam's & mine put me in touch with a friend of hers who recently lost his wife to sudden cardiac arrest (she was young and at the peak of health), leaving him with two kids to raise (approximately the same ages as mine). I sent email and started to walk him through some of the initial stuff I remembered from my experience, and it looks like he has his situation as well in hand as anyone can. It feels good to make contact with someone a similar age in a similar situation and help them out. God knows I'm only standing today by the kindness and support of others. Feels good to give back.

Friday, January 19, 2007


We're the casualties
No one tells you about us
You'll hear stories
But you have to live to believe

We're the bodies
Piled up by the roadside
You'll smell us burning
It'll give you bad dreams

Don't run away
We're a cautionary tale
Walk softly, and take heed
Don't offer us your sympathy
You don't know what we need

We're the spineless
The skinless and the broken
You'll be a crutch
Cause we can't stand on our own

You'll gather round us
To comfort and heal us
But the nature of our pain
Will remain unknown

Don't come to me
For happiness
I'm an open pit, and you will just fall in
Don't ask me what my problem is
I wouldn't know where to begin

I get so tired of holding on
I get so cold that I am chilled to the bone
I cry so hard it knocks me down
I just don't want to be alone

We're the lost and the forsaken
Screaming just to hear a voice
A sound to fill the empty spaces
A hand to hold and still the shaking

We're the wasted and the weary
Giving up and falling down
We're the needy, sick for your love
A drug to take to stop the aching

- Red Delicious

I excised some of the repeating chorus parts, but the meat is there. If ever there was a widda anthem, this is it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Sometimes it just happens.

You could have the most productive day, everything going right... and BAM! The wave just hits you. I don't think I've had one for a few months. Not like this. Not sitting in bed until 4AM crying 'til dry and sick to my stomach.

That's one of the reasons I haven't posted all this week, and why this post is so short. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it. It felt almost like I was forgetting what Sam felt like, or something... like I wasn't feeling her presence anymore. It felt like goodbye. And it was horrible.

Stuff is happening, life rolls on, and I think I may have just passed another milestone. But I don't know for sure. I want to talk to some of my widda pals and see if this has happened to them.

The Dining Room DVD is finished. The full assembly of the Ordinary Angels rough cut is finished. And Randy was able to find a lot of our old music in his archives that I no longer have (or even had in the first place). And I did this.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Let it Snow, Part II

Took a nap this afternoon, the weather clear and cold. Woke up an hour later to big, fluffy, dry snowflakes coming down in buckets. Within a couple hours, West Seattle was a winter wonderland and hilly streets were being closed.

I walked down to Westwood with Kayleigh so that she could get her hair cut (to be closer in length to her long bangs. Meanwhile, I went next door to Toshi's and picked up some teryaki, and ended up bumping into one of my actors from Ordinary Angels. He lives about 2 blocks from me, and was over in the mall looking for some gloves at Marshall's. I invited him up to the house to check out what we had of the rough cut - he loved it. Speaking of which, Dan just handed off the last scene of the rough cut. We're conferencing with the sound designer tomorrow, and then Ron is driving me around to get some footage for the opening titles on Sunday (hopefully after the snow melts!!).

We've got about 3" to 4" solid on the ground now, and an expected 4" to 6" expected overnight - it's still coming down in a steady blanket. Snow day tomorrow, for sure. I will likely make the kids play in the snow for a great portion of the day.

Coordinating with Steve Fox (drums) and Jason Parker (horn) to session for me on the And Tears Fell tribute CD. It's coming down to the last few needed bits, and the drums will especially be a huge part of that completion for me. In association with that project, Randy talked me into remastering the original two ATF albums and one EP, and put them up on Cafepress, not for general public consumption, but for friends and family who want to be able to have that archive. I thought it was a worthwhile suggestion, so now I'm doing more CD artwork, based on the original cassette J-cards, but metric assloads better in quality.

Some of these recordings are pushing 20 years old, and they were not pro quality to begin with, so I have mixed feelings about having them available to the general public. However, reason dictates that: a) they had merit enough for a record label to want to release them back in the day; b) we must have felt they were worth hearing at some point. So, for historical value if nothing else, the three titles Sidhe, Circe and Angry Odin will be showing up at my currently evolving Cafepress emporium of Toddness. Lord help us all.

I do like the And Tears Fell T-shirt design - you know, I was And Tears Fell before Samantha was the vocalist, and I may very well push ahead with new material, but I think it's entirely appropriate that Sam's image be the default logo for the band. She named it, she believed in it, and she gave us a solid identity. I firmly believe she'd love what we're doing with the new recordings - heck, she'd be in the studio with us if she could (and maybe she is anyway).

Monday, January 08, 2007

Riding the See-Saw

Imagine a wound that had been slowly healing over two years, strength and mobility returning after months of numbness and atrophy.

Now rip the scab off and start poking in the raw tissue.

Caroline was a friend of Sam's. Caroline had what I understood to be an aggressive lymphoma, for which she'd undergone every possible treatment, and had even been previously in remission. Caroline's husband was in my family support group at Gilda's, and Caroline was in Sam's wellness group. She was a woman who refused to give up - who always dressed fashionably, makeup done, hair (or wig) in place, traveled, laughed, lived and loved with gusto. She certainly didn't look middle-aged, even in the midst of horrible chemo. And she always inspired Sam in her own fight. Often we'd come out of our individual groups and on the drive home Sam would tell me how uplifting it felt to be in Caroline's presence, despite how heavy the group sessions got. I thought, if ANYONE can beat cancer, Caroline can.

Caroline passed away last Wednesday.

And I can't stop crying.

I've said this before, and I will say it again, without apology for the colloquial profanity...


This whole thing was really driven home yesterday when I took Kayleigh to Build-a-Bear to spend her Christmas gift cards. While I stood by and observed, she passed from bin to bin, carefully weighing the decisions. Ultimately, she decided on a big floppy brown bunny and a white bear with blue patches of fur. She dressed the bunny in a striped blouse, jeans and sandals. The bear got a fleece pullover, khakis, tennies, and a baseball cap.

She named the rabbit Samantha Kate Bunny. The bear was named Grampa Bear.

So... yeah... kinda sad today.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I Think I Just Peed.

This. Click this link now. You must.

It's that funny.

Well, it's that funny if you grew up watching Speed Racer like I did.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Dredging the Past

Within the past month, two women from my childhood and/or teens have contacted me out of the blue. It's been really nice to get reacquainted, and gives me a nice sense of stability in the midst of this emotionally enigmatic headspace. One of these old/new friends actually new Sam before I did, and was a fellow artist/extrovert at Paly. We're probably more similar and have more in common now than back then. BTW her husband is a freakin' eletronic music genius whose mash-up of Eminem - Without Me and Yes - Owner of a Lonely Heart must be heard to be believed. Unfortunately, she didn't know about Sam's death, and we've been doing a lot of commiserating and catching up online until the wee hours, which means I have not been getting any sleep, so now I'm fighting a cold. Bleh. She's had her own life touched by cancer, so there's another point of overlap. Sigh - this goddamn disease. Seems like it leaves nobody untouched.

Also been sharing some music with my Jr. High theater "sweetie". We were in a gawdawful melodrama where I played the Li'l Abner-esque bumpkin hero and she was the poor damsel in distress (hence the kiss). Funny, I think I forgot about our stage kiss because the play was so bad, not because the kiss was forgettable - I've had relatively few in my (not-so-) distinguished acting career, so you'd think I'd remember it. It's actually pretty funny and has become a point of jest between us.

Speaking of theater, I took Kayleigh to the afternoon performance of Amahl & the Night Visitors, at Youngstown. Great production, possibly the best Amahl in the group's history. It was great to hang out in the Samantha Downing Control Booth for awhile and chat with Sara (the tech director there), and watch the show from the top row. They packed a full orchestra and chorus into that relatively small space, and pulled off a really delightful performance. Mike T., our Tevye from Fiddler, was in fine form as Balthazar for his, what, tenth or so year in the role (?).

Dan keeps feeding me finished scenes from Angels. I think we might actually make it for the SIFF deadline! I have a meeting tomorrow with one of the producers, the production accountant and Lieutenant Dan to figure out what our production entity is gonna look like.

Tonight, however, there is evil that needs a good smiting in City of Heroes. Vanguard II is on the case, and hopefully the usual suspects will be logging on to do some good. Recently Ron, Hans, Tyler and myself have been voice conferencing as we play. Beats the hell out of typing, "Look out behind you - there's a big dude with a.... nevermind."

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy GNY

...or, Gregorian New Year. It was a quiet affair for me and mine. Tyler had a last-minute invite to his best friend's house for a family party, and Kayleigh stayed home with her dad. We toasted with some sparking cranberry juice and I tucked her in bed with Wiley at her feet, and minutes later crashed out in my own bed.

Perhaps it was the exhausting schedule of the holidays, but she slept in until after 1PM today. Tyler didn't take his meds with him to his overnight, so I'm having to watch him like a hawk tonight. If I keep him focused and occupied, he usually does okay. Just sent him on a mission to QFC for some sour cream - we're having homemade soft tacos tonight.

I don't usually make New Years resolutions. I am of the opinion (like Will Smith) that doing so means that you're neglecting something in your daily life. But I will say that 2007 represents a sort of mental milestone for me, and that I am going back to the gym after having been slammed for three months by schedule and projects, and that the dating moratorium is over (but so is the man-whore phase I went through last year). I'm done with serial dating. If the real thing happens by, great. But I'm not re-joining Match or Yahoo Personals. Hats off to those who find true love through dating services, but it's too contrived for my liking.

Dan has been kicking ass and taking names on the rough cut of Ordinary Angels. He's over halfway done. I'm very excited. It's looking great.

Kayleigh goes back to school tomorrow and I get to finish Tyler's enrollment at WAVA. And do a bank run. And submit my city business tax forms. And follow up with the insurance company. And talk to my lawyer. In other words, back to the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Cheers, loyal readers. Here's to a much better 2007!