Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Favorites Right Now: Top 9 Movies

Keeping up with a recent series, "Favorites Right Now," Top 5 Songs and Top 10 Children's Books, I've decided to tackle my favorites right now for movies. Granted, it's a huge spectrum to delve into, but I'll break down by genre, specifically science fiction, at a later time. This movie list represents those that currently replay a lot in our home, stand out from somewhat recent releases, or all-time favorites that never get old. I'll even throw in quotes from some of the movies. Now, on to the list:

  • Monsters, Inc.
      • Plays all day, every day; option #1 in this house
  • The Proposal
      • Favorite date night movie - "You can tell she's a good dancer by the way she drinks her soda pop."
  • Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring
      • An all-time favorite (AATF)
  • Man On Fire
      • AATF; possibly the favorite of all favorites - "I wish you had more time."
  • Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
      • AATF
  • The Shawshank Redemption
      • AATF - "I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it."
  • Interstellar
      • Recently watched and rewatched
  • The Avengers
      • Mix of comedy and action makes this my top comic book movie right now - "I don't see how that's a party."
  • Minions
      • All day, every day; option #2 in this house

What do you think about this list? What are some of your favorites right now?

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Thoughts On Felicia Day's Book...FYI - It's Amazing

I don't know if any of you know this, but my wife and I are trying to buy a house. Not a specific house, yet, but hopefully very soon. During the stresses of trying to sell your current home, and also trying to find and ultimately buy a new home, the wide world of stress tends to build. I started reading Felicia Day's book, You're Never Weird On The Internet (almost), a few weeks ago and I just finished it.

I must say that it is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I think it does deserve a single line by itself to recognize its amazing quality. I know you guys are thinking, "Dude, we know this already. Where have you been?" Well, the past few years have not left me much time to read. Generally, I find time to read between December and March. Why? Because I work at a university in Maryland, which provides time off for winter break and I usually read a few books during that time, and eventually lose steam somewhere around the spring break time.

Anyway, the past few years I've been fortunate to have an amazing boss to work for at this university. She understands my passion to become a full-time writer one day, and now I write and edit for our department routinely, which is a pretty huge factor toward hitting that ultimate milestone. Now it's a good thing to have my work world spinning constantly, trying to see how many things I can juggle in the air at once; you see how I avoided using a particular word there...there would've been a joke there for sure.

As my life spins at work, I also have a very satisfying home life. My wife, Meghan, is my partner in crime; my peanut butter to my jelly (oh, no); my Crusher to my Picard. Yeah, that's right. And we have two amazing kids. One is three and the other will be two in another month (or so). In my home world, I am always thinking and thinking and thinking. Are we doing everything right with the kids? Am I being a good husband? Am I being a good father? Do I have time to write? Do I have time to edit the fourth book in my series...the one I finished writing a year ago...well?

In both worlds, I feel satisfied that I am heading toward my ultimate goals. One, helping my wife raise two amazing children and providing for them what they need and hoping they're happy along the way. Two, being professionally satisfied with what lies ahead and always keeping this writing (slash) editing (slash) creative train moving. It's not easy, and I don't know if I've ever felt it to be easy. I am always hyper-critical of my choices and work.

I understand that things can't be perfect, but I think that somehow I still have that programmed somewhere deep beyond the periphery. I know you're probably thinking, "Who cares? We thought you were going to talk about Felicia Day's book, which we already knew was awesome."

I know. It probably doesn't matter what I write in the big world of the internet. I'm just some random dude who has this dream of writing creatively, and has enough guts to think he's decent at it, but knows that many if not all don't give a hoot about it. It's hard not to throw an owl reference in there; my kids love owls.

So what does this have to do with You're Never Weird On The Internet (almost)? It's that it makes me feel like a certain part of my life makes sense. It makes me feel that the little kid who didn't know how to make friends, or the teen that didn't know how to be vocal in school, or the guy who just generally grew up being quiet, it's okay. It is okay.

I'm not saying it is easy to have those feelings of, "Would it make a difference if I wasn't at this party?" I'm saying I truly, 100% appreciate the words poured out of Felicia Day and into her book. I was trying to describe it to Meghan and I couldn't find the words other than to say that I feel like I can relate to her story. I guess that makes me feel happy to know someone is willing to share so much despite the personal cost of those that would choose to denigrate the very thing that would seemingly be meant to inspire.

Like I said, this is just some guy who seems to be living full-speed all of the time, and trying to find time anywhere in his day outside of work and family, to do the thing he loves; to be a creative genius that will be successful enough at it to be a full-time creative genius. I said creative twice (and now three times), perhaps I'll go back later and edit [check synonyms later].

If you don't know Felicia Day, I think her story is a very interesting one. I don't even recall what led me to Geek & Sundry when it initially was created; it was either The Flog or Tabletop, I can't remember. But since then, I have felt a connection with my geek (slash) nerd (slash) weird (slash) dork side that has always been there. I guess sometimes there are moments when a person wonders if the professional path they're taking is the right one, even when that person knows being a writer is THE thing to do. There are moments of, "How am I going to find time to write?" "How do I even unscramble my brain to figure out how to say, 'hey, I'd love to write for you or your company; I'll even start cheap; did I mention for free too just for the networking?'" "How do I find time to eat?"

Yes, I find time to eat eventually. And I also realized today that although I'm sad to have finished her book, because I wanted it to go on and on, I am also so happy to know she did it (not a joke). I love to write, which is why I sometimes blog to make sure that my writing flow has some forward motion [yeah, I had to rewrite that last sentence once or twice].

I don't know if writing this ultimately matters to anyone, but I know that Felicia Day writing her book matters to me. And maybe if I can share that with someone, and by writing something personal about myself (which isn't always easy), then maybe it makes even more sense for me because it might make sense for someone else too.

So, here's a cheers to You're Never Weird On The Internet (almost), and to the person who wrote it. You made sense to some things and I appreciate and admire what you do even more (even though I didn't think that was possible, because being kind and being a positive influence, all while building an empire of fun, will always make sense to me).