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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pardon Me While I Stagger Around the Place for a Bit...


So there's this about it...

I've dealt with loss before, when my brother Bryan's ride ended in 2000. I know that, at least that first week, it was hard to see the world carry on like everything was normal, when my world had stopped. I mean, "screeching brakes, slam head-on into the wall" kind of stopped.  I remember getting soooo mad that first week or two, whenever I heard someone laugh, or turned on the news and heard typical news stories, signifying that life was proceeding as normal for the rest of the world. I figured, if my world came to a halt, why didn't it come to a halt for everyone else? It seemed disrespectful... hurtful, almost...

Nevermind... Look, just take a moment and look at that picture I posted at the top of the post. Can you imagine actually being there right now? How amazing would that be? I wish I was there right now, instead of sitting on my lazy behind, in front of my computer, watching Breaking Bad on one screen -- a show I don't even like -- writing a new blog post on the other monitor, just to bump Laythe's face down a post, so he doesn't look at me every time I pull up my blog...

Where was I?

OK, yeah, time to force some usual goofy Daveness and pretend everything is ok in the world. Because, hey, life goes on, right? It has to go on. If the world stopped every time someone "lost" a loved-one, then the world would never be in motion. Nothing would get done. "'Tis true, 'tis common; 'tis common 'tis true..."

But, hey, you didn't come here to be made to feel guilty, or depressed, right? You wanted to be cheered up, right? "Hey, Dave, entertain me! Cheer me up! Post funny stuff, take my mind off my day-to-day nonsense! Don't depress me with talk of death and loss... I get enough of that on my own, thank you..."

So, yeah, here you go...


An otter reaching for an ice cream sandwich. There, now all is well in the world again!

I can only assume this week has woken up things in me that have been dormant for a while... things Bryan-related that have never really been put to rest... well, cool, here they are again. Tonight I win the award for Post Most Likely To Generate Extreme Levels of Awkwardness! Or maybe the Post Most Likely To Alienate Any Lingering Blog Readers Who Have Popped In Here for a Laugh or Two to Take Their Minds Off Things For A While...

How's this..?



A bulldog pup rolling down a hill! How funny and/or cute is that?! That's what I'm talking about! That's what you came here for! Actually, that's what I came here for, too... I think I need to watch that clip several times...

And this...

Cat dance... Go kitty! Go kitty! 

OK, fine, I'll let it go now. Well, not really, but I'll stop plastering my angst all over this post, and lock it back up where no one can see it. Heck, you've likely browsed away by now in any case. I know I would have.

Look, here's a 6-minute single-take shot from the HBO show True Detective. From a "craft" standpoint, this clip amazes me. I've seen single-take shots that have been primarily dialog before, and trust me, that's impressive enough... but this shot is 99% action... the amount of work that went into staging this shot is staggering to me.

WARNING: Look, just mute the audio, ok? There's not much dialog, but what there is is primarily profane in nature, and hey, I'm a nice Christian boy, so it goes against my image to come across promoting anything "yucky", like F Words...



Can you imagine the preparation that went into staging that scene. McConaughey is amazing to me. This is "His Time"... he's doing great work across the board of late. Can't wait to catch the show.

I did see two spots where they could, conceivably, have spliced shots together. Specifically, the helicopter shot and the "laundry on the wash line" shot... actually, also the shot where the camera goes into the room with the gang bangers prepping weapons...

Still, amazing film making, if you ask me, which you didn't...

Had our first cast read-through tonight, with everyone that's in Episode One of the web series. We're about three weeks away from filming, if things go according to (the latest) plan. I tell you, it's a surreal thing to sit in a room full of actors, listening to them all read words I've written for them all. I was almost afraid to allow myself to feel proud, to enjoy it. Plus, I embarrassed myself a bit by laughing at all my jokes I'd written... hey, I think they're funny, what can I say?

And I need a good laugh lately.

For everything there is a time and a season and blah blah... LOOK OUT! FLYING SQUIRREL!

"Tower to Squirrel Airlines... Cleared for landing on runway 3..."

So let's see to what lengths I'll reach in order to find something else to talk about here.... hmm....

Oh! I got my oil changed yesterday.

That's it. I've officially reached the bottom.

Nowhere to go from here but up!

Adios for now.

Dave the All Over the Place

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

William Laythe Wilson 1993-2014


This is going to be a difficult post to write. And likely, a difficult post to read.

This is Laythe Wilson. I've known him since he was a kid. I got to watch him grow. As a kid, he was in my Sunday School class that I taught. As he grew, he spent lots of time upstairs in the video room at church, with Yanni and I. We talked about many things. We played games together, at LAN parties and online (he's the one who introduced me to Minecraft). We shared about fantasy books we'd read, and recommended books to each other (we went to an author signing once --  Rothfuss, Weeks and Sanderson, in the same day!). I watched him go through a remarkable physical transformation as he prepared to enter the military. When that fell through, for reasons beyond his control, we discussed it at length.

He had a good number of struggles, but I watched him rise above them all. He was one of those friends that I just always assumed would be there.

Sunday night, I received news that I was, in every way, unprepared to hear.

I was on the way home from a meeting I'd had, in reference to the web series that has been absorbing me lately. "Call Mrs. Jo when you get home. Something has happened. She doesn't want you to hear of it while you're driving."

Uh oh. That's not good.

It was a long drive home. My mind, being what it is, couldn't help but speculate. Someone got hurt. Someone died. That has to be it, right? But who could it have been? For better or worse, my mind assembled a list of possibilities, and how I would try to handle it. Yeah, it's morose, I'm sorry, but I felt I wanted to be prepared mentally.

Never once, in that long, tense drive home, did the possibility of Laythe being mentioned enter my mind. When I got home and Mrs. Jo told me Laythe took his own life, I was wholly unprepared to hear it. A sledgehammer to the chest would have been less force.

Laythe, with the gang at one of our LAN parties.

It's been very difficult to process. I cannot get my head around it. In the last 48 hours, I've run through the gamut of emotions, tried in vain to come up with reasons and explanations, and I'm learning some things about myself in the process.

I've always kind of pictured my heart to be like a room, with shelves on all of the walls. On these shelves are little figurines, each one representing a person in my life. I keep the ones that mean the most to me at eye level. And they're always there, as though rooted in place. To me, I can go long stretches without even interacting with these pieces/people, but I take comfort in the fact that they are always there, a prominent place on my heart shelf. Laythe was one of those pieces. And this leads to a brutally honest bit of soul-searching on my part...

I'm wired in such a way as to be a relative loner. I don't need constant nurturing to maintain my friendships. Once a person has earned a place on a Shelf of Honor in my heart, that's their spot, forever. I don't need constant communication, or risk losing them. It's set in stone to me. Add to this fact the idea that I hate feeling like I'm bothering people (so I rarely feel compelled to contact people outside of normally-scheduled interactions), and you get a recipe for distance.

I'm sure you see where I'm going with this...

I can't help but wonder if I should have done more to be in contact with Laythe. If he was a good friend to me (and I assure you, I held him as such), then why wouldn't I be in contact with him more? I don't think "I didn't want to bug him" holds much water, especially in light of what has occurred. There had to have been red flags going up that would have signaled something was wrong. I should have seen it.

So it's making me question how I handle friendships.

God, if I could just talk to him again, real quick. Even just a minute.

I've also noticed this past 48 hours or so, that when the pain gets too intense, some of it breaks off and morphs into anger. How could he do this to his family? I'm not saying this anger is in any way justified -- in fact, it's likely merely a sign of my own immaturity. The whole Wilson family means a lot to me, especially the kids. And to know what they're going through right now, how torn up they are... I've tasted that red-hot pain before, I'm sure many of us have. This week especially will be their own unique brand of hell on earth. And it will take months -- years -- for it to simmer down into a steady, dull, barely-tolerable ache.

Laythe and His Sisters...

I can only assume Laythe had a darn good reason for putting them through this. I wish I knew what it was. Not that it could change anything at this point. But that's a reflection of that anger I mentioned before. As much as it pains me that he's gone -- and that there's nothing I can do about it -- I have to force it to make sense. I'm definitely not going to ask the Wilson's what they think the reason was, and I can't for the life of me come up with it on my own... and so it's driving me a bit batty. I need to know why there's a Laythe-shaped hole in my heart right now when there shouldn't be.

He was supposed to always be there, on my shelf. And now his piece is missing, moved without my permission to another shelf -- a shelf that it hurts to look at. And it's really doing a number on me.

The Wilson boys...

So the memorial service for Laythe is this Saturday. I have the honor of creating the memorial slideshow for him. I get to look at tons of photos of his smiling face, add cute little motion effects, set them to music, and have my heart ripped out. But I want to do it, with everything inside me.

I may never understand why he decided to pull the plug. Knowing Laythe, I can assure you he gave it plenty of thought. Which again triggers the guilt. I should have known, on some level. Granted, I know, he was a grown-up and could make those decisions on his own, and it's kind of nonsensical to take that responsibility on myself, even in part. But that's my head speaking. When my head and heart argue over this, my heart wins, every time. I should have been a better friend.

Well, perhaps I can start being a better friend to the rest of the pieces on my shelves.

Wow, this was hard to write. I'm grateful for the forum to express this. I don't think I could get up on Saturday and say this to people in person, but I needed to say this.

RIP Laythe.

Dave the Deeply Rattled

video

Monday, March 3, 2014

Drop the Chief!


March is here!!! Yay!

You know what that means!!! OK, everyone, stand up. Form a line. We're going to march around the blog facility. Come on, I've decorated the place nicely, let's take a look! I mean, when was the last time you saw all of the rooms in here? I mean, yeah, you've seen the entryway, pictured above (Obviously you've seen it! It's the only entrance... other than the 17 emergency exits and the fireman pole to the Secret Dave Cave...), and you've seen the auditorium here, and the grand ballroom... some of you have seen some of the side rooms, where I keep the cool photos, like this...

I'm so sick of love...

And my always-popular "funny animal - slash - obscure movie reference" pics, like this one...

Points if you guess the movie...

And of course, there's the Landscape Gallery, where I post cool lanscapey shots like this...

Hmm... a little too black-and-white.... Contrary to what "they" say, things are not always so black and white!!!!1!

Or this one...

Gah!!! My eyes! The green! Make it stop!!!!1!

OK, forget the landscapey shots...

Come on, y'all, March in here for a minute... this is where I keep my funny videos... of course, my humor routinely trends toward the juvenile... but I also appreciate a great story-teller... occasionally, these two elements meet to form a perfect storm of entertainment...

I give you, Olan Rogers... NOTE: Please PLEASE don't stop watching after the lame "compact neighborhood" joke at 0:17... Keep watching! Trust me... this, you will love.



If you liked that one (which means pretty much all of you!), then watch Ghost in the Stalls as well... always a classic...

And here's a video of an "extreme sport" that, for the life of me, I cannot understand why I'd never contemplated before...



Why? Why have I never even fathomed "extreme ice skating" before? Now it seems so obvious!

OK, fine, so you didn't like the videos... well, let's see what's in this room over here?

Whoops! Nothing to see here!

Hmm... ok, well, let's see what's in this closet over here..?

Gah! I forgot about the birds in here! Oh, crap!

Let's see... there's the massive Arcade Room, full of vintage coin-operated videogames from back in the day (there's an air-hockey table in there, but I lost all the pucks, so I use a urinal cake instead).... there's the parking garage, full of my obscenely-expensive supercars (McLaren MP4-12C for the win!).... there's the indoor roller-coaster (Minecraft-themed, of course)... there's the Starbucks, of course (every blog needs its own Starbucks)... Hmm... there's my Dirty Sock Room, but you don't want to see that (trust me - it stinks in there)...

And I can't show you my Treasure Room.... you are unworthy.... although it can't quite compare to the US Army's treasure room... still, my Treasure Room is impressive... I mean, for a room full of boxes of beef jerky and cases of Red Bull.... whoops! Wasn't supposed to let that info out! Now I'll have to torture you until you forget I said it...

Fortunately, I've researched the more effective methods of torture from the Boy Scouts Manual...



MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

OK, fine, Blog Tour is over. Stop marching and sit back down in your seats...

Wait! Where are you all going!

NOOO! Come back!!!

Fine... Come back next week! Or I'll drop the chief!

Adios for now,

Dave the Goof