Pancakes, Pucks, and pH

Friday night I had dinner with a former co-worker at Hooters. We caught up on a ton of things for a few hours and I generally enjoyed myself.

Saturday, Alex and the kids met with me for breakfast at Tampa North, who was having a pancake breakfast to support the Civil Air Patrol chapter that is based out of the airport. I took the kids down to the flight line to see the planes and we all went over to see a helicopter that came. Generally, I think it was a great turnout, as several pilots flew in for the event.

Alex invited me over to watch the Lightning game that night (the first of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bruins), so I ended up hanging out all day in the Luts/Wesley Chapel area. I flew, went shopping, and had some great pork chops at Primebar. Around 7:00pm, I got to Alex & Nel’s. I brought a couple presents for the kids, including a couple of books I got that show how to draw comic book characters. Alex and I had talked about how Brandon needed to evolve to the next level of drawing, so I got the books that I had used when younger. I think he’ll learn a lot from them and Alex said he’s going to work with Brandon to learn the techniques outlined in the books. We had some beers, pizza, talked a lot and watched the game. I love hanging out there, and it’s been a while. Had a tone of fun.

Today was work, work, work. I did take a little time out to pop Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune into the PS3 adn finish it. Overall, great game.

And speaking of games, I added the video games section of the Museum up here. Yeah, I’m rebuilding all that from the old site.

Did the usual to the fish tank today by swapping out five gallons of water from a jug Arn gave me Thursday night. I tested the pH from his jug, and it came out to about 6.0, which is pretty acidic. However, my tank has been running around 7.4 lately, and I was hoping the new infusion would balance the pH naturally. It did: 7.0.

To The Semis

While working on Allie’s project tonight, I listened to the Lightning game on the 620 WDAE internet stream and was really happy that our team is advancing from the quarterfinals to the semifinals. They nudged out the Penguins 1 to 0 to win the series 4 games to 3. The last two minutes of the game, I was literally sitting at my desk intently focused on every word that came from Dave Mishkin‘s mouth, hands sweating.

So Begins The Fitness

I’m going through a phase of my life right now where there’s a lot of crappy, negative energy all around me. I need to right the boat and get myself back into a cohesive mental state. Energy is being spent all over the place and I have no order to things. The correction is two-fold: make a better mind and make a better body. I’ve gone down this road in the past and know how to do it, and I must start doing it again. To balance my mental state and gain clarity of thought, I have decided to begin studying Tantra again. I was a practitioner for years earlier in my life, and it brought me to a place where I could enjoy life and see things for what they were without losing my place in reality. I don’t practice from a religious perspective, but I use the philosophical and mental disciplines to my advantage, mostly through meditation. I believe inner peace can come from this, and that through such balance my creativity, thought processes, and most importantly, love of life will begin anew.

My second task is much harder for me, but I will conquer it; that of physically correcting myself. I have many things that will help me obtain health. One is that I must begin to eat properly. This I’ve started several days ago with the help of a good friend during the day, and continue to do so during evenings and weekend time. I am beginning to work out again as well, and am about to head into the gym as I type this. Lastly, I need more than running and strength training to satisfy my urge to be physical, so, as of this coming Wednesday, I’ll be playing hockey again at least once per week.

Part of this website is for you, part is for me. So, I plan to journal these things up here as much as I can, even if it’s just private blog posts that you’ll never read. One thing that will keep me going is an old idea I used to abide by: Effort=Results=Satisfaction. The real trick is to put enough Effort into things to make Results occur. However it is equally important to analyze the Results so that it may produce Satisfaction which, ultimately, fuels more Effort. Hence an endless upward trend.

I went out and picked up a helmet, stick, and a few rolls of both black and white friction tape yesterday in preparation for the practice on Wednesday. I’m sure I’ll be sufficiently sore on Thursday, but I’m going to try to minimize that with the workouts over the next few days.

While out yesterday I stopped in at the theater. There’s no better way to start the summer then strapping in and letting some blockbuster movies take a hold of your senses and send you into imagination land. Yesterday I saw Iron Man at the theater down the road. And man, I gotta tell you it was really good. Smart, funny, and full of action. Robert Downey Jr. played the best role I’ve ever seen him in. Go see it. Tell your friends to see it. Next on the list is Indiana Jones.

I also picked up a copy of Roger WatersThe Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking album on CD, which I’ve heard is really good. I’m ripping the CD now. Also been watching a lot of old Battlestar Galactica lately, trying to get Shauna caught up to season 4.

Time to go stretch out and hit the gym.

Sick Thought of the Day: Pliers on the spine. Squeeze; the tearing of membrane, the oozing of puss. The body goes limp.

Oraganizing and Updating

I’ve been busy at work here in the studio. I’m not really doing any SCS work, per se, but I’m getting things organized, cleaned, fixed, etc. I’ve been shredding a bunch of old paperwork that means nothing to anyone anymore. That, along with organizing the paperwork on my desk, should put me in a much better mood today. I hate clutter, especially in my work area.

I reorganized the closet in the studio and got all of the 1K lights back in there that I leant to work while our new office was being built. Other than being a bit dusty and having a little paint on them, they’re all still in great order. I’ll find time at some point to clean them up; most likely by the time I have a new production about to be shot.

After years of using the application, I finally purchased DVD Profiler today. I got the unlimited registration for $29.95. I’ve updated the database with all of the DVDs I own and published it to their online service for everyone to see. The most recent DVDs added are from Christmas: Spider-Man 3 (with Bonus Disc), The Last Unicorn 25th Anniversary Edition, and Doctor Strange.

In about an hour I’m going to make some jambalaya with sausage and listen to the Lightning game on WDAE’s streaming internet radio.

Fun, Then Not So Fun

Late Thursday afternoon I was invited to go to the Lightning hockey game. The owner of my company had an extra ticket, and a bunch of the executives and administrative people were going too. They had tickets to the AFS club, which is this nice area of the Forum where you get in, sit in comfy leather chairs (think along the lines of airline first class) and have unlimited food and beer at your disposal – no shit. So, I went home and changed clothes, got ready, and jumped in the car to meet everyone at one of the executive vice-president’s house. I got there a few minutes after 6:00pm.

People started to slowly show up there for the next 45 minutes, and when all were accounted for, we jumped into a couple of vehicles (we only had two parking passes, so we had to cram in), and headed off towards downtown Tampa.

We get there, get in, and make our way to the AFS club area. As we’re walking through, we’re flanked by these chrome-plated serving trays with roll-top-type covers, all filled with food. I end up grabbing a plate of rice and broccoli chicken stir-fry. We end up camping around a couple of tables for the next couple of hours, laughing, having some beer, and eating some food. At one point I stopped watching the hockey game on the big-screen TV they had in there and walked the 30 feet to the seats to watch it in person.

The free beer was coming in waves, as our waitress, Jill, was trying to keep all the execs happy – well, I guess she was trying to keep everyone happy. She was dropping off trays of 16oz. cups of beer. I have no idea what kind of beer, but I’m sure it was mostly Bud, Bud Light, Miller, etc.

Here’s where this mundane story gets interesting. At one point during the evening, I realized that I lost track of how many beers I’d drank. After 16 cups, I just drank. I was eating some food here and there (aforementioned stir-fry, some turkey, and some baked ziti), and I’ve never gotten drunk before. Those of you that know me most likely know the stories I’ve told on how I drank a ton of vodka, etc. and only got a buzz going. So, I’m thinking to myself, “Self… This is just gonna be another one of those nights where the buzz will wear off in a couple of hours and I’ll be fine.”

So, back to the Forum. Drinks are going into me like there’s no tomorrow. The game finished (Lightning won), and one of the ladies that does the sales for XO Communications (who had met us earlier on in the night), escorts us all down to the XO Club, which is this really exclusive VIP club at ice-level. We get in there and we all start watching the Virginia Tech game and the Sox/Colorado world series game on the big screens. Laughing, hilarity, fun and, yes, more beer ensues.

At the end of the Virginia game, the manager of the XO comes out and says that they’re closing and that we have to leave. We do, and we all decide to head to a bar somewhere downtown. Since I wasn’t driving and don’t know the area really well (and am normally not a bar-hopper), I don’t remember where it was or what it was called. I think it started with an “M”.

We leave the parking garage, the owner ahead of us in his Mercedes, and we notice that there’s a parking cone jammed up under his car. We all start laughing and one of the guys hangs out the window of the truck we’re in and starts calling the owner “Conan” (as in “Cone-an”). Yeah. We were drunk at that point.

We get to the bar and I end up having a couple of vodka and tonics and I finished the evening off with a Guinness (yuk – I hate that beer).

We all leave and go back to the VP’s house. I get in my car, a little buzzed from the drinks, and head home, which is really only about a five minute drive. About half-way there, I get this insane pain in my gut – like the kind you get when you have a really bad shit brewing inside and you need to dump it immediately. I think to myself, “Ugh… Here’s that burger from this afternoon and all the stir-fry coming out.”

I park the car, run upstairs, plant my ass on the toilet, and erupt like a South American mudslide. The pain eases, and as I sit there with my head in my hands (it was freaking painful), I contemplate how long it’ll be before I can get up. I was spurting in waves, stomach feeling bad the whole time.

I lifted my head up at one point and realized that I was dizzy. The word “drunk”, for the first time in my life, entered my personal vocabulary. My head was spinning so much that I leaned forward and hurled burger-stirfry-turkey-ziti-beer-vodka sludge into the sink in front of me (while still sitting). Then I did it again. And again.

I finish my business on the toilet and decide that it’s just nice to sit on the floor. So I prop myself up against the cupboards and sit there, watching the tub tilt and yaw in every direction. I puke in the toilet. At this point, I decide that sitting on the floor is just good sense, as I’ll probably break bones or valuables if I try to stand up (I’m too proud to crawl) to make my way five feet to the bed. When I came home, Shauna was awake but in bed, so I’m sure she was listening to the entire disgusting ordeal from the next room. All I needed to do was to crawl into the bed at that point, smelling as I did (just imagine), and inflict that sort of nasty on her.

I fall asleep on the floor of the bathroom. I’m not sure how long I slept, but it felt like 30 or 60 minutes. I woke up, realized where I was (and had one of my legs asleep), brushed my teeth, gargled, washed my hands and face and went to bed. A short while later (maybe 15 minutes?), I ran back into the bathroom and threw up again (the bed was spinning, you know). Repeated wash cycle, crawled back into bed where I stayed until the next morning.

I woke up with a headache (hangover! YAY!) on the right side of my head near the back. I stood up, and realized I was still dizzy. I think I got home at 1:00am and eventually fell asleep around 2:30am or so. When I woke up it was about 8:00am. I used the restroom, shaved, and got in the shower to get ready to go to work. For some reason, half-way through the shower, I decided that I needed to take a bath. So, I sat down and drew one. Then after about five minutes of soaking, I realized “Shit, I forgot I need to go to work.” So, I stood up, emptied the tub and continued with the shower. After all that, and realizing I was still dizzy (read: drunk), I decided it wasn’t a wise idea to get behind the wheel of my car, so I ended up staying home Friday although I was online via my laptop and did a bunch of work remotely. It wasn’t until about noon that my headache went away, I stopped feeling dizzy and I started to nibble on some food.

So, that was the craziness of Thursday night. I will never do that again. I now know my limit is somewhere north of 20 cups of beer. As Shauna said, “that will be the sickest you’ll ever be in your life.” I think she’s right.

Sick Thought of the Day: Cleaning the bathroom sink.

Lights. Camera. Action?

I went to a lighting shop in town today and got four new 250 Watt, 3200K tungsten floods for Suncoast Studios. I also picked up another aluminum case and tear-apart cube packing and have built out the carrying case for all of the bulbs I have. I also tested them all to make sure that they’re working fine. These bulbs are great lights, but only last 20 hours each and the color temperature starts to change after only three hours.

I’m currently sitting in the studio sipping a Diet Coke blogging, taking a break from working on the Tangible Entertainment project. I think I’ll have a 95% correct version by the end of the night. After I ship the low res animatic off to them and get approval, I’ll render it out at full 2K film resolution.

I may be doing a shoot all next week. I’m not 100% sure if it’s still happening, but I may be hired to shoot a bunch of training seminars and master them down to DVD. I think the project is a go, but I’m not sure when it’s supposed to start, so I have to test all my equipment and make sure it’s ready for whenever.

I ordered a new director’s chair today. In two weeks, I’ll get it embroidered with my name or the word “Director”. I’m not sure which yet. I’m such a fucking egomaniac. I need to buy some more DV tapes.

I’m also going to make some nachos tonight and watch the Lightning game.

Sick Thought of the Day: Grab the base, tug the neck, pull out the worm.

Nachos and Hockey

Thursday night I watched the season opener game between the Lightning and the Thrashers. Tampa’s new goalie, Marc Denis, was great in net even though he didn’t face many shots on goal. Ultimately, the Lightning rallied from a two point deficit and came back to tie it, forcing the game into overtime then into a shootout. Vinny Lecavalier won the game for Tampa when he was the only scorer in the final shootout.

On getting all riled up over the Lightning’s win on Thursday, Shauna and I decided to get tickets for the game on Saturday. I ordered them Friday afternoon, and got the nosebleed seats (which we happen to enjoy a lot). The game on Thursday was Tampa’s first of the season, but was an away game in Atlanta. Saturday would be their first game at home against the Bruins. On top of that, the St. Pete Times Forum was celebrating their 10th anniversary. So, we knew it’d be a special night.

Thursday and Friday nights I ate tons of nachos. Anyone that’s ever been fortunate enough to be at my place when Shauna and I make nachos knows that this is a big deal. We usually have a huge batch of food cooked up with all the fixin’s: refried beans, melted cheese, shredded cheese, seasoned ground beef, diced tomatoes, salsa, hot sauce, jalapenos, shredded lettuce, olives, guacamole, and this time we did steak and onions and peppers, and also cooked up some black beans with corn. All this plus chips and tortilla shells.

After my bout with all the nachos (usually two huge plates each night), I had trouble getting to sleep Friday night. My stomach ended up being quite upset (surprise!), but I wasn’t on the shitter at all yet. I finally make it to bed around 1:30am. I toss and turn in my sleep. Around 4:00am, I wake up with a feeling that can only be described as some 300 pound man standing on my stomach and intestines with army boots on. Not wanting to have an accident in bed, I promptly stand up (although hunched over from the poop-pain) and hobble into the bathroom, trying not to step on cats or run into anything in the dark. I enunciate each thing in my head, trying to make sure I don’t mess this procedure up:

Close door.
Turn on light.
Squint (from brightness).
Drop trou.
Flip lid.
Hunker down.
Release (explosively).
Grope sore stomach.
Squint (from pain).
Grope stomach.
Grab Wizard magazine.
Sweat profusely.
Wrinkle nose from smell.
Flush again.

Mission accomplished! Man, I felt giddy after that. By the time I got out of there it was almost 5:00am. I was amazed that I had been grunting for an entire hour. I think I remember seeing a lot of corn in the toilet out of the corner of my eye. Of course.

So, anyway, there was a bit of a sleeping problem Friday night which resulted in me getting up around 11:30am on Saturday. Shauna and I batted around the idea of going out to run errands and then going to a restaurant in Tampa before the game. We ended up deciding on just staying at home and watching the Star Trek:TOS marathon on G4. We then got ready and headed up there around 5:00pm. I stopped for gas and we hit the highway. We got there, paid the parking attendant the $10 fee, and walked to the Forum. We went in and walked around for a bit. It was about 6:15pm when we walked through the doors, and the game was to start at about 7:15pm so we had time to kill.

We walked around then eventually went to our seats. Not kidding about the nosebleed comment earlier. These seats were in section 327, row R. Row R is the last row at the top. Shauna is afraid of heights (although she’s been getting a lot better about it over the past few years). We emerge from the tunnel, past the usher, and out into the stadium and it immediately starts bothering her. We make it up to our seats and decided to wait there until the game begins. She had gotten a brewsky and hotdog, and I had a diet Coke and a hotdog. After about 10 minutes being totally weirded out (there were very few people in the stadium at that point, making it feel higher than it was for some reason), Shauna got used to everything. When the people flooded in, it made it even better.

Attached to each seat was a bag with several opening-day goodies in it including a 2006-2007 program and roster book, a large magnetic schedule for the season, boom sticks (for the uninitiated, these are long plastic tubes you blow up and bang together to make noise), and finally a necklace with a “Hockeytown USA” logo pendant and, when the button is pressed, it blinks via a healthy LED light in the pendant. Shauna and I put our necklaces on and began to blink profusely.

So, the lights go down, they do all the opening night ceremonies, and I look around the arena and see thousands of blue and white lights blinking everywhere. It was really cool to see that in the dark. It worked really well, as the Forum was shining all these white and blue spot lights all over the place as they called out the players names. Ultimately, that all stopped after the national anthem and the game got underway. After the first period, I went out to the commissary and got us more drinks then Shauna and I sat and watched that rest of the game. The Lightning eventually lost 3 to 2 to Boston.

To top the evening off, we drove home, got some Taco Bell and watched Scary Movie 4 on InDemand.

Sick Thought of the Day: Grab the squirrel. Grab his balls. Massage. Massage more. Place squirrel’s wiener near mouth. Wait for creamy surprise.