Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Batten Down the Hatches! Or At Least Something Approximating Such A Thing!


I don't care how heavily-doctored that photo is... I love it.

As in "love"....

Man, for all the strengths the English Language exhibits, it is sorely lacking in properly expressing the various facets of the word "love"... other languages capture the shades so much better....

No! I will not launch into an uninteresting diatribe on the various facets of the word "love"! You've heard them all before, I'm sure. So let me just admit that I "love" that photo and move on...

So, I did it. I finally, after 43+ years, smoked my first cigarette...

That's me, in character... not me in "real life".... Gads, I hope I wouldn't be that ridiculous in real life...

My character in the Web Series is a smoker. I need(ed) to learn how to do it... All these months dreading it, and I finally just went for it. And you know what? It's no big deal. I smoked it, and it was no big deal. I didn't cough or wheeze or anything out of the ordinary... I even did my lines, in character... thought for some reason it would be difficult.... it wasn't. The good news, I won't need to smoke again until we film. The bad news? Man, what a stinky habit. One cigarette and I couldn't lose the smell. Gross. I showered, brushed my teeth, rinsed with mouth wash, and still I reeked like a wonderful combination of ash tray and butt. Lovely. How anyone can get hooked on this is beyond me....

So, yeah, that.



Next!

I know a guy named Dimitri.... I've known him since he was a wee lad, toddling around the church. He's a grown man now, and guess what he's done? He's been training for the past couple of years to enter the Navy SEALS... and he has just completed the infamous Hell Week portion of the SEALS training. Do you have ANY IDEA how difficult and impressive that is? of the 200 men that started the training, only 36 survived Hell Week, and Dimitri was one of them. I am so friggin proud of him, it isn't even funny. He isn't even my son, and my chest feels like it's going to burst. So amazing. He DID IT.

Of course, the full training program isn't over yet... but Hell Week... that's the part that makes or breaks a potential SEAL candidate. He nailed it. I'm so proud of him, it almost hurts.

If you'd like more info on it, read the book Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell. The first part of that book covers the training, including Hell Week. Also, a series of Discovery Channel DVD's (which I own, wut wut!) called BUDS Class 234, which goes in depth into what SEALS trainees face... in fact, I had loaned those DVDs to Dimitri back in the day. Maybe that somehow helped, eh!

Bottom line, he's awesome. I envy him the camaraderie that he is experiencing, and will continue to experience if/when he makes it to full-blown SEAL. Something I'll likely never get to experience myself.

Nuff said.

And now, something else I find impressive... this guy does a quick tour of the British Isles, doing the accents of the region...



You might have seen that already. Either way, I wish I could do that.

It's been an interesting time for me, on many levels. Personal, financial, spiritual and marital. Kinda hard having them all Perfect Storm on me like they have. It drives me to simply cling to whatever I find nearest and hold on for dear life. Good thing I have good books to keep my mind occupied, eh? Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobbs is a behemoth (880 pages!), and is almost entirely character development... which I would have avoided had I known... but fortunately, she has done such a wonderful job, I'm thoroughly hooked. I'm about 75% through it right now, and am loving it. Expect a book review soon...

What a selfie!

My kids have been singing songs from the movie Frozen non-stop lately... it's driving me BATTY.

I guess nothing else needs to be said on that front...

In fact, I can't think of anything else to say on any front... so I'll be signing off for now.

If you still haunt this blog, I appreciate it. It's therapuetic for me to simply write and post stuff... but if someone actually reads it, it's even better... so thanks!

Adios for now,

Dave the Holding On For Dear Life

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nothing To See Here. Move Along...


Wandering... wandering... you can't tell, but I photoshopped my own face on that dude in the desert there...

Kind of sums up how I've felt lately. Last couple weeks, in any case. Lots of stuff to deal with. Oh, well, no sense complaining about it. Even though my last name is "Whiner"....

What? It's "Wagner"? Oh, ok... well, close enough...

Been here before, I'll be here again, I'm sure. "Some flowers only grow in the low places..." OK, fine, I'll look for the flowers.

I've been wondering again lately, how a person with so much going for him (read: me), could feel so spent. It's like every area of my life is just so tiresome, I want to, literally, walk away from it all. But where to? Nowhere to go. And no reason to, to begin with. It's like erosion at the sea shore, I guess. The waves, individually, don't amount to much. Given enough years of steady drubbing, the effects can be pretty stark.

Church, work, home life, acting class, the blog, my hobbies (gaming, reading, music)... about the only thing that doesn't feel like all the juice has been wrung out of it is the BTI web series... it's like my lifeline at the moment. Nothing else makes sense any more. Nothing to do but ride it out. Ebb and flow, eh? Again, been here before. Have to find the lessons and move on. Still, you should see me, lol, sitting in my office on the floor at 2am, staring at the wall like some kind of zombie, hoping the ball of fire in my chest subsides long enough for me to drift fitfully off to sleep... it's kind of pathetic, in a way.

So I tell myself to grow up, grow a pair, stand on my feet like a man and move forward. "Quit whining, you putz. No one wants to hear it. It makes you tedious to be around." I get it. It colors everything I do lately. Even if I don't say or do anything, but just sit there with a fake half-smile plastered on my face, it leaks out. No one wants to hang out with a downer like that, and I don't blame them... as much as it's hard to stomach being in the company of someone like that, imagine "being" that person... no escaping that for me...

Still, there's no denying something is going on. Not sure how to deal with it. Ignoring it does nothing. Berating myself about it also doesn't help. Praying about it doesn't help. Sleeping helps! I wake up in the morning, and the edge is off it. Of course, it doesn't last long before it's back again. Honestly, I don't know what to do.

My friend J. tells me to quit feeling sorry for myself. I can certainly respect that advice. And again, I wish it was that easy. To me, it's like having a broken forearm, and cradling it, trying to decide how to handle it... and having someone say, "Shake it off, dude. Come on, quit whining. Look, my forearms are fine! See?" I get it, I should be fine... from the outside, I don't have much I should be worried about. Life is good. Still, trapped in here...

Forget it...

Here, check this out...



That dude painstakingly recreated a classic painting in a 3D computer program, and was able to make that amazing video clip. Man, I wish I could do something like that...

Having my dad restring my guitar for me. Maybe getting back into playing guitar will help.

I'll figure something out. Maybe once we start filming, things will fall into place. I enjoy it.

That reminds me... I'm going to wax theological for a moment. I'd pretend to open it up for discussion in the comments section, but I don't think anyone reads this blog anymore, much less anyone willing to discuss it. That's fine. I still type here, like a diary of sorts, whether anyone reads it or not. Not that I don't love or appreciate your occasional patronage, I do... I just want to vent... since it sort of ties into my current mindset of late...

So this idea of "denying yourself"... it's making less and less sense to me. So God gives us abilities and interests and gifts... but if we're spiritual, we deny ourselves instead? Tell me the logic in that. Does He give us these interests and abilities to enjoy and use? Or to despise and deny? How is it a spiritual act to "pour out" a drink that God has set before us? In other words, are we supposed to enjoy life, and the things He's wired us to enjoy doing? Or deny ourselves and treat life like a slog? How is denying oneself spiritually beneficial? It used to make sense to me... now, not so much. Maybe I'm tired of feeling guilty for wanting to enjoy life... acting, writing, watching movies, playing Minecraft, reading books, listening to a variety of music, drawing, hanging out with people... if I enjoy doing these things, does that somehow mean I'm less spiritual, as opposed to "denying" them instead? I'm tired of having to view life as a day-to-day breath away from disaster. At church, our Pastor has been saying for decades now that "war and bloodshed and disaster is right around the corner! Prepare! No time to be frivolous! Pray! Live "wire-tight" before God!"

Why?

In the interim, years and years go by, looking around like a prairie dog, waiting for some dreadful thing to happen, praying to be spared... and all this stuff I could have been doing and enjoying the whole time is undone. Deny yourself! I'm not saying I should "indulge" myself, like some glutton or hedonist... but why squirrel myself away, waiting for the shoe to drop, feeling guilty for enjoying something simple and fulfilling? Why is it more mature to take a gift God has given me, turn right around and give it back, saying I don't deserve it? Why is "denying myself" preferable? What's the fruit?

I'm probably making a mess out of my thoughts here.


Here, a velvet-covered Ferrari. Now all is well again.

Well, believe it or not, all this barely scratches the surface of what I'd like to talk about. This isn't even the Short Version. But I'm going to stop. Not because I'm afraid I'd bore you - that ship has passed long ago, I'm sure. But because I'm ambivalent. Once I post it, it's out there, in the ether. Not sure how comfortable I am with laying open why I'm yet again contemplating ending my marriage (for example). Don't think I'll end it, ultimately - I think ending it would (literally) kill me, actually... "til death do us part," eh, lol? But I think perhaps some internal struggles should stay internal. It's nothing I haven't wrestled through before. Might be nice to have someone to talk about it with, though...

OK, I better end this post before I set the world record for blogging awkwardness...

Adios for now.

Dave the Dave

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Write What You Know... or Just Fake It... Who's Gonna Know, Eh?


Why, yes, I'm sleepy... why do you ask?

Well, it has been a difficult, weird week, which I will now go into here, in excruciatingly tedious detail....

Kidding.

See, it's April Fools Day today... so, yeah, I pranked you by threatening to unleash a tsunami of personal minutia upon you, when all you did was pop in here to read some fart jokes, right?

You can relax, I'll pretend all is well!

Here come the fart jokes!!!

Kidding again.

Yeah, I'm tricksy like that. Double-pranked. Don't you feel foolish?

I know what you're thinking... "Will Dave try the nearly-impossible triple-prank on me?"

Answer: No.

I'm a tool... but not THAT big a tool...


Trying to decide if I should play hookie from Acting Class on Thursday Night and instead go to the Captain America Double Feature at the local cinema... I haven't seen the first one, so they'd both be new to me. The second one is getting stellar reviews so far, from what I've seen. In fact, my favorite YouTube movie reviewer Jeremy Jahns gave it this year's first "AWESOMETACULAR" rating... which is, of course, his highest accolade...

I invited a good friend from church (Lloyd! You are The Man!), but now I'm having doubts about going... not because of Lloyd (who is The Man, by the way...), but because my attendance record at acting class is perfect! For just over a year now! Heck, I've gone to class even more than Steve, our instructor! I've even showed up on two occasions when there wasn't even class! Once was a holiday, and the other Steve was sick and they couldn't find anyone to fill in for him... so I had class by myself and did improv the whole night!

Fine, I pranked you again... those that attend class with me may recall how thoroughly I despise doing the improv exercises in class. So, there...

All that to say, I may cancel out on Lloyd and risk the wrath of The Man... and go to class instead, like a good boy. We'll see...

And now, Alive, by Pearl Jam...



Dividing my time lately between script-writing and Minecraft... hey, two different types of "building", but both creative. I think I get credit for them both! Sometimes there's nothing that helps me unwind like working on my Creative Plot on the Epikcraft server, listening to music. Helps me take my mind off the various shades of nonsense I get pummeled with daily. Some of the nonsense is my own doing, some not. Either way, there it is. Minecraft is better for me than rum.

Although sometimes a little rum hits the spot as well...

All I'm saying is that I will be happy to be on the other side of Tax Day... man, I'm getting destroyed this year. But I have options. None of them fun. But, hey, who said being a grown-up was all sunshine and roses?


What am I reading, you ask? Well, let me tell you!!!1!

First, a fantasy novel (surprise!) by authoress Robin Hobb called Ship of Magic. It's a mammoth book (880 pages) and the first of a (completed) trilogy called the Liveship Traders Trilogy... she focuses on characters almost entirely for the first 20% of the book, with very little that actually happens... didn't think I'd stick with it very long under those circumstances, but actually, the characters are quite interesting, so I'm plugging along. Perhaps a book review will follow, when I've meandered across the final page...

The other book I'm reading is called The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA by Antonio Mendez. It's a non-fiction retrospective written by a dude who used to be a CIA guy... it's part of my research for the web series. Man, I've bought a lot of books for the project... I wonder if they're tax deductible, lol... never even thought about it... I should ask my tax guy... I've bought books on test pilots, WW2 flying aces, spycraft stuff, space-military stuff, private investigator stuff, and a book called "Spy the Lie", about techniques to tell if someone is lying to you...

"Write What You Know", right? Isn't that the saying? And if you don't know it, learn it and THEN write it!

That "math doodler chick" is back, with a new video rant about how PI is over-rated...

Take a look, eh!



I still think her video on Fibonacci Numbers is my fave of her series...

The past couple posts have gotten no comments! I feel so unloved! If you leave a comment on this post, I'll love you forever! Alright, fine, I went a bit overboard there... leave a comment and I'll greatly appreciate it...

There, how's that?

Adios for now.

Dave the April Fool

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Owl-less In One Derland


Well, hello everyone! Spring is here, eh?

Dave the Angsty has been put away, along with Old Man Winter. Dave the Goof is back on display, for your enjoyment. Let the inanities begin!

Cool... "inanities" is a word... wasn't sure it would fly, but hey, no red squiggly line underneath it, so I press on, undaunted!

First off, a man performing magic tricks on sweet little doggies...



Who says you can't... uh... trick an old dog with... new tricks...?

Actually, that's a bit cruel, don't you think? Looked like the Rottweiler was about to go for his throat, lol...

So, what's the latest, you may ask?

Watched a movie today, called The Grand Budapest Hotel, with a couple friends from acting class. It's directed by Wes Anderson, and has his trademark look and feel, with quirky characters a'plenty... but, frankly, it was a little boring. From a craft standpoint, as far as the film-making itself, it was very well done, and visually stimulating... and stuff was happening, it wasn't all dialog... but still, I watched the end credits wondering "what just happened?" Maybe it was because I was the one that picked the movie, so I wanted it to be excellent, so that the friends that came would be glad they came, and not feeling like they wasted a couple hours...

Anyway, the cast was solid, there was some great dialog, and the visuals were great. I guess that's good enough, eh? Not sure if I'd ever watch it again, though...

Man, I haven't been to the theater in forever...

OK, here's a song for you to ignore... actually, I'm hoping you'll listen to it. It's called Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem, by Peter Murphy. A haunting, beautiful, moody piece. Reminds me of high school...



I've been to remarkably few concerts in my day, not being one of a particularly social bent... but my friend Jason and I did go see Peter Murphy when we were in high school. We stayed about half-way through, and then we left. My problem with it wasn't the music... I like to sit down and enjoy the show... but everyone else was standing on their chairs... so from my seated position, all I could see were the fannies of the people in front of me, as they strained to see what was happening on stage.

Needless to say, that got old fast.

My friend Jason agreed to leave, but for a diametrically opposite reason. He claimed he saw demons swirling around inside the place... not sure what that was all about, but hey, it gave us a reason to skedaddle... I didn't see no demons... just fannies...


I've got rubber bands in my face now... last trip to the ortho, he gave me rubber bands to stretch across my teeth in a certain orientation, supposedly pulling my teeth into a more proper position... I can only assume it's working... it's sure weird, having to put them in and take them out... man, it's getting to where I can't wait for these braces to come off... and I realize, I'm kind of a pansy about it... I mean, I've only had them in for a year or so, and have another half-year to go (give or take), and other people I know had to wear them three, four years... sheesh.

I'm sure it will be worth it. My theory is, the straighter my teeth are, the more my wife will love me. So I've got that going for me... which is nice...

And now, one more video... it's a classic from Improv Everywhere... I give you, Where's Rob?



Come on, admit it... that's great...

Did you admit it? I don't know, I couldn't hear you... over the sound of how AWESOME I AM!!!

OK, fine, I'm not awesome.... but someday I hope to be... someday...

Gotta go. It's about 2am, and I'm spent. I need to either go to sleep, or power down some coffee and stay up all night, playing Minecraft... if I pulled an all-nighter, then tomorrow I would, like a horse in a field, be unstable...



I choose sleep.

Adios for now,

Dave the Blogging Blogger-Type Dude