Thursday, March 29, 2007


This last week has been a blur. Looking at my Outlook calendar, I see at least one meeting every weekday, some on weekends, and several projects being juggled simultaneously. The upside is that it's all stuff I want to be doing... well, mostly.

The stuff I have to do is a bit less fun. Like re-enroll Tyler in Seattle Public Schools, then immediately appeal the automatic placement back at his former school. Or get my tax info together. Or get my health insurance sorted out. Bleh. Gotta do it, but... Bleh.

We're now a week away from the Ordinary Angels wrap party & screening. Going to the editor's new place on Saturday to do a final mix of the dialogue and music. Was supposed to go out to dinner with Sarah, but that seems to have fallen through, so I will go to Muriel's production of True West instead, and that will free up Sunday afternoon to make an appearance at the Emerald City ComiCon. I wish I had OA movie posters ready, but we haven't finalized the D Constructed corporate ID stuff yet.

Had coffee with my co-producer Darlene this morning, supposed to meet with Jason Parker this afternoon to go over a horn part for the And Tears Fell CD, then tonight is Gilda's Club. Tomorrow I get to take Tyler to the doc's for a med check. He's on a very small dose right now, but I totally know when he misses one. Tyler got a hamster last weekend, the lovely and talented Wolfgang Amadeus Hamster. He is pretty focused around the little guy. It's good to see.

Must be off - grab some lunch before my afternoon meeting. Will check in after the weekend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Busy Bee

Sorry for the days sans posting, but I've been finishing up the film and fininshing up the CD art for Full Life Crisis, as well as getting Tyler re-enrolled in school and getting our health insurance sorted out. And getting my taxes together. And starting a new media company.

You know, nothing much.

In other news, I got back to the gym today and had a great 1-hour cardio workout. Yay, me. I started feeling the "settle" again, and decided to head it off at the pass. I feel so much better when I'm getting exercise - with such a sedentary job, a good sweat does wonders. And the body remembers... after a week of this, I will tighten right back up again. And the ol' endorphins have kicked in and despite an achy ribcage I have a ton more energy today.

Gotta get down to the storage unit to grab 3 cases of Red Dwarf RPG to ship to my distributor in CA. Which reminds me - I have to do the Q4 royalty report too. Get in line. Hmmm. Anyone wanna buy a used publishing company? ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This is Gonna Hurt Like Hell

Wow - this takes me back. I was watching a mediocre documentary on the marvelous Sarah McLachlan and was reminded of when she kicked off the US leg of her Fumbling Towards Ecstacy tour at the student center at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Sam was extremely pregnant with Tyler and the concert promoters very generously let her sit on a comfy sofa on the side near the front of the stage. Lucky us (hey - I'm the dad - I get to sit too, cause I'm like, with the band- I mean, the pregnant woman).

She actually got everyone in the packed auditorium to sit on the floor so that everyone could see.

Trite as it is, Sarah McLachlan provided much of the soundtrack to my relationship with Sam as we started married life, moved to a new state and raised a family. She'd been one of precious few vocal influences when Sam was singing with And Tears Fell, and we always felt like we'd been in on a really cool secret because we'd been fans since the first album.

Anyway, this song resonates with me, for pretty obvious reasons.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Have You Ever...

From Ali's & Lisa's blogs... my 150 in red

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink - My friends were the only ones in the pub at the time
2. Swam with dolphins - only at a distance... been much closer to otters, stingrays, baracudas and sharks
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula - our Boss Game Studios office mascot, Kirby
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone you love
8. Said "I love you" and meant it - If I say it, I always mean it...
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris - why Paris specifically??
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea - been in the middle of one, at the helm... pretty effin' scary
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg - it was a glacier, but yeah
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper - often
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne - often
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger - about a year ago, the night after our fire... can you say "insecure"??
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster - grew up going to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Great America
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day - British and Australian, both as acting exercises
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer - only TWO??
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country - no, but got drunk with strangers in a foreign country, and might've danced, but can't recall
44. Watched wild whales - California grays, orcas and minkes
45. Stolen a sign - I didn't steal it, but I am in possession of a sign that may or may not have been procured by a friend as a wedding gift
46. Backpacked in Europe - rode in a backpack through Europe as a wee lad
47. Taken a road-trip - SCA member for a decade... road trips galore!
48. Gone rock climbing - Pinnacles National Park
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland - honeymoon
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow - cousins had a dairy farm
56. Alphabetized your CDs - it never lasts... now I group by genre
57. Pretended to be a superhero - as a kid, I had two alter-egos: Rainbowman and Dart-Man! Evildoers, beware!
58. Sung karaoke - Just Like Heaven by The Cure
59. Lounged around in bed all day - in the golden days before children blessed our lives
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving - former NAUI certified skindiver (i.e. everything but the tanks)
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business - since age 14, I have been involved in at least a dozen start-ups
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken - is that even possible??
69. Toured ancient sites - American Southwest, UK, Ireland, Greece
70. Taken a martial arts class - Heian Karate, back in Santa Cruz
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight - 6 hours?? Pussies. We did marathons throughout high school and college that went 12 or 14 hours in a stretch, totalling 24-36 hours in a single weekend... and I can say it proudly, knowing I was still getting laid (in fact, Sam was often in the game group) - and D&D is soooo junior high... we'd moved on to Cyberpunk, Call of Cthulhu and Star Wars by then
72. Gotten married - you know it... best day of my life (aside from being there when my kids were born)
73. Been in a movie - several
74. Crashed a party - and they were all the better for it
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice - the gondolas in Venice are a friggin rip off... water taxis and water buses are the way to go
80. Gotten a tattoo - Samantha's winged heart icon, right calf; India ink pen dot, left thumb (long story)
81. Rafted the Snake River - not the Snake, but the American, Colorado, Stanislaus, and Rogue.
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage - holy Jeebus, yeah
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music - again, holy Jeebus, yeah
87. Eaten shark - tacos pescados on the wharf in Ensenada
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish) - that's just crazy
89. Had a one-night stand - it was a one-day stand, but yeah...
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house - same one I'm living in now
92. Been in a combat zone - no, but I live 3 blocks from White Center (unincorporated King County, whose major exports are heroin, crack, $2 blowjobs and murder)
93. Buried one/both of your parents - scattered my dad off Santa Cruz, CA
94. Been on a cruise ship - Alaska, 1999
95. Spoken more than one language fluently - first spoken language was German, but my fluency has declined terribly... wie schade
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children - still a work-in-progress... check back with me in ten years
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over - Seattle, 1991... a decision we never regretted (and I still don't regret)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge - used to cut school and drive up to San Francisco... that was a good day
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking - in fact, I cranked the window down and gave the snooty bitch a free concert
103. Had plastic surgery - cyst removal, right shoulder... and of course, the then-common infant male cosmetic surgery (but I didn't have a say in that)
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived - about age 2, went head-on into my grandfather's windshield (don't hold a toddler on your lap, people!), put a huge spiderweb into it, should have done terrible damage to the poor noggin, yet didn't even break the skin (but might explain some other things); age 14, hit-and-run while riding my 10-speed bike (by a woman in a Mercedes - to this day I will not drive one), threw me out into oncoming traffic; about age 14, riding with both siblings with my dad in his MG (don't cram 3 kids into a 2-seater sportscar, people!), hit passenger-side by a speeding cadillac, threw our car into the air to land on the sidewalk almost 360-degrees, miraculously no injuries; age 21, on the way back from Mexico, rear-ended on the freeway by an ex-con doing over 90 mph in a "borrowed" car with no insurance... we could have easily been flipped into the neighboring lanes, but Randy is an awesome driver and recovered quickly - then we chased him down and made him wait for the cops (how about that adrenalin??)
105. Written articles for a large publication - "large publications" in the game industry, sure
106. Lost over 100 pounds (45.5 kilograms)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback - held Samantha when she was having a bad shroom trip
108. Piloted an airplane - my cousin's Cessna, for about 5 mins
109. Petted a stingray - up close and personal, Virgin Islands
110. Broken someone's heart - not my best day ever
111. Ridden a bike - I grew up in 1970s & '80s suburbia... remember the kids in E.T.?? That was us!
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone - finger & toe fractures only, nothing major
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol - all of the above
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild - many varieties eaten with meals at B&Bs all over the UK, plus some psilocybin in high school
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had surgery - impacted wisdom teeth, subdermal cyst removal, hernia repair
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states - wow, I guess so!
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days - rafting on the American
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and the Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - just fish, nothing with legs
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language - used to work landscaping with Mexican day laborers
139. Been elected to public office - don't think VP of the high school Thespian Club counts somehow
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care - readers of this blog sure know the answer to this
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ - in college, some friends and I were collectively known as the Music Fascists
148. Shaved your head - almost... pinfeather marine buzzcut for South Pacific
149. Caused a car accident - driving a delivery truck I couldn't see out of (no injuries, thankfully)
150. Saved someone's life - stopped a horse from trampling a kid at summer camp; treated a woman for shock at the scene of a remote car accident in the Oregon mountains

Future Echoes

Today's title comes from the immortal Red Dwarf television show. The episode in question deals with the crew encountering visions of themselves in projected future events. Which is pretty much what life has been like for the past week. I don't know whether it's the lack of sleep or the mad juggling act I'm performing 24/7, but I have been experiencing a lot of what can only be described as reverse deja vu. Everyone has experienced deja vu - that feeling you've been there and seen/heard/felt/said that before. This feeling, on the other hand, is distinctly precognitive in nature. A weird feeling like, "I know X, Y and Z is going to happen like so..." and within a day or so, it does. The last time I experienced this phenomenon was shortly after my grandfather died, but it was in the form of lucid dreaming. In this case, I'm fully awake and just kind of suddenly aware of the short-term future. Weird.

I guess my perception of the temporal stream has shifted during the past week because I've been going through more boxes. Almost all of Samantha's clothes have been parted out - some are being kept by Kayleigh, and the rest are going to the Twelfth Night costume shop or a local women's shelter. I also ran across a lot of old artwork, my high school and college newspaper comic strips, and a lot of band art and photos (including the photo of yours truly, circa 1985, from a Things Fall Apart shoot). Ticket stubs from Love And Rockets and Amnesty International tours (where we saw Sting, Peter Gabriel, U2, & Lou Reed among others).

Note: Sam & I had already been together for a year when the photo of that kid was taken. Talk about perspective.

Dan has done a phenominal job with the opening title sequence on OA. He's layered a bunch of the gritty footage I shot with Ron a few weeks ago, and combined it with a crunchy song from our old label mates, Mute Angst Envy.

The school I was trying to get Tyler into rejected his application on the grounds that they would not be able to provide what he needs. It's a safe decision. Not the right decision in my opinion, but at this point the question is moot. So it's back to the public schools - in this case, a middle school not six blocks away with high academic standards and a combined-learning curriculum that resembles college lecture/lab work. Ever onward.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Further Along

Tyler is asleep on the family room sofa, as he was up late playing DROD, the puzzle game series in which he is heard as the voice of Halph, the precocious nephew of main character Beethro. He was then up early, cooking scrambled eggs for me and a grilled cheese sandwich for his sister. The head of Tyler's intended school should be talking to his counselor at Highline Mental Health, and will hopefully render a decision as to his enrollment this coming week. He has been trying to help out a bit more around the house, as has Kayleigh - I think they feel badly about having run me ragged over the past week.

We had the Bergs over for pizza and movies last night. You may recall my mention of Mike Berg, who played bass on the And Tears Fell Requiem CD. He and his wife have 2 little girls, the eldest of whom is one of Kayleigh's best friends. We watched the remastered Swiss Family Robinson, but were unable to finish Flushed Away before they had to go. Played Mike the rough mix of Devil's Lullaby from Requiem, and he's pleased as punch. If only he was as good-looking as punch... (you know I love ya, Mike!)

As I type this, the soft tones of Kayleigh's clarinet practice wafts through my office door from the living room. She has a great command of her practic music, with only the rarest squawk to be heard. I even walked in on her in mid-practice yesterday, lecturing Tyler about quarter notes and eighth notes as he looked on in awe.

She got full marks from the music teacher for last semester too. Meanwhile, she plays Samantha's old recorder (which is much like the clarinet in terms of technique), acoustic guitar, bass, and sings aloud to her i-river whenever she can. Not only do I see the natural music talent coming through, but I also see a real commitment to musical study. While I have a modicum of natural musical ability, I never had the patience or perseverance to study it properly - thus everything I have done has been without benefit of reading sheet music; it has all been by ear and memory.

Which brings us back to the Requiem CD. I just got back from Brian's studio, where we spent about an hour and a half going through each song and making a grid of what still needed to be done. I am pleased to report that most songs are actually good to go - all the elements are there. There are two tracks that require a vocal redo by Muriel, one that requires a short acoustic guitar riff, and one where we are going to strip out the drums altogether and just to a shaker & tambourine to make it more smooth and intimate (sorry Steven, but you knew that was probably gonna happen). So the project as a whole is a lot more "done" than I had thought!

Meanwhile, I showed Brian the CD package design I'd done for his band, Full Life Crisis. They are about to release their debut CD, and I offered my services in exchange for Brian's production on my project - I only hope it ends up a fair trade on Brian's part, because I have the feeling I'm getting the better deal.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Wow. After I pried Tyler and Kayleigh apart for the second day straight, things settled down somewhat. Tyler fell asleep on the sofa last night as I watched The Illusionist (which, by the way, gets full marks from me as a very satisfying and beautifully made cinematic experience).

This morning I awoke at 6:40AM to find that at some point during the night, Kayleigh had crawled into bed with me and Wiley was poking his head up over the side of the bed, looking very much like he was trying to will us awake with his incredible Doggie Psychic Powers. Within moments, Tyler arrived next to the bed, spatula in hand. "I made breakfast!" he announced.

At first I remembered the last cooking fiasco, which included forks and/or dry Hamburger Helper in the microwave, and my teeth clenched a bit. I forced myself awake, and we all trundled upstairs to find that Tyler had researched a recipe on the Interwebs and was making a stack of French toast. It was DELICIOUS, and I told him so many times over.

Got Kayleigh on the bus. Gonna get into my track pants and head to the gym while my video is rendering, then tonight is Gilda's. I lead the glamorous life.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Kids For Sale

What is it about some days and siblings?? It's like they can't possibly be in the same room together, and yet they wail and gnash their teeth if I dare separate them. Tyler was nipping at my heels all day pretty solidly, and once his sister got home, it was a one-way ticket to Crazytown. At one point, I just kicked them out of the top floor of the house - take that energy downstairs or face the Wrath of Dad. And when Dad gets serious and starts talking really quiety, you KNOW he means business.

I finally got to sleep about Midnight, and was promptly awakened by Kayleigh at 4AM. Got her back to bed, and just as I was drifting off, I was awakened by the sound of Wiley scuffling about on the downstairs floor (he's usually asleep in Tyler's room at 4:30AM). Wiley being the Harbinger of Short Sticky People, I was not at all surprised to hear Tyler upstairs, banging around in the kitchen.

Some parents might go all gooshy when recalling their kids' tween years, but honestly from where I'm standing, I won't miss this phase. I don't know how other single parents do this. Sometimes it just feels like I'm totally in over my head. Add into this the whole WAVA admissions disaster and the painfully slow process of admissions at other local schools, and I'm about ready to go find those Visigoths.

I had a great coffee date with the singer of a local band on Sunday. Ordinary Angels is in the home stretch for post. We've booked the screening. D Constructed Media continues to evolve. Got the rough mix of Devil's Lullaby from Brian, including Steven's live drums. I sent it to Randy and I think it freaked him out a little. "This is weird," he said. "You've never had live drums before." Well, yeah. Live drums are gonna make it all a lot more organic sounding.

Excuse me - I'm about to be attacked by a vicious nap.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Can't Sleep

It's after 4AM and I can't sleep.

I was just drifting off at about 2 when Kayleigh came in suffering from another nightmare. In this one, I'd been electrocuted. I cuddled with her for a little bit, then put her back to bed, explaining that when someone you love dies in your dreams, it means your relationship is changing. And as my little girl will be hitting the double digits in age this year, one might say that's a pretty safe bet.

Heavy night at Gilda's too. Three new members, one of whom lost her husband to leiomyosarcoma. That made three of us in the room who'd lost someone to LMS, one of the rarest cancers of all. The nice thing about new group members is that we all get to tell our stories again. And as anyone in the counseling field knows, telling one's story is a powerful healing tool.

My stepmom finally sold Volant. That Ted Brewer-designed steel-hulled beauty was their home for almost 15 years, and took them safely from Florida up the Eastern Seaboard to Canada, through the Caribbean and across the Gulf of Mexico to South America, and had even made the journey through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast to Canada (on a Dutch transport ship) before arriving back home in Seattle. It was her home with my dad - THEIR home. So I fully support her decision to sell Volant as a means of moving forward on her journey. And I know my dad does too, wherever he is.

I've recently been moving into a pretty peaceful place, emotionally. The recent grief mega-wave crashed over me and finally washed back out to sea, leaving me in a good position to move forward on my own journey. I have clarity as to where I'm at, where I'm going, and that I'm ready for something more substantial than a bunch of casual dating. The part of me that has been dormant for the last 2 years has reawakened - and although progress might be a bit tentative at first, I have no doubt the right circumstance will bring about a wonderful transformation. You're not following this at all, are you? That's okay - I'm not sure how coherent it is anyway. Suffice to say, I have a coffee date on Sunday, and I'm very much looking forward to it.