Friday, September 16, 2011

The End is the Beginning

  A couple of weeks ago, when I first learned that my Dad planned to sell his house- my house- our house, I was dumbstruck. I hadn't heard any mention of this plan until the plan was in place. I haven't lived there since 1996, but it will always be my house. My Mom and Dad built that house from the foundation up. That piece of mountain property was bare when they bought it. No plumbing, no electrical.
  Suffice it to say, it's very dear to me. I spent two thirds of my life in that house. When I learned it was going on the market, I couldn't sleep that night because a flood of memories overwhelmed me. Everything about growing up in those mountains suddenly sprang to life. Climbing those trees. Riding my bike down those sunflower lined dirt roads. Learning to drive. Helping my Dad build additions. Filming countless movies there. I could literally write you hundreds of pages. That place was always supposed to be there. It was always supposed to be somewhere I could go. Now, it won't be.
  I'm in Albuquerque now, picking up a car I bought. I'll be leaving in a couple of days to drive it back to LA. Today, I drove out to the house to remove anything that belonged to me as the house is readied for sale.
  The drive up was amazing. I haven't seen the mountains looking so green in years. Wildflowers were everywhere, fields were alive with life. The air even smelled better. It was like taking a trip back in time.
  Dad and I spent the majority of the afternoon working on a couple of mechanical problems with the car, and then I went into the attic to get the last remnants of my personal belongings. I had taken most everything important or practical out of there years ago, and now all that remained were my toys and some other things from my youth. I gathered it all up and put the dusty old boxes in the trunk of my new car.
  My friends know that I like to collect rocks from places I've been. Usually from far away places, famous places, or places I may never get to go back to: Kilimanjaro, St. Helens, Stonehenge. Tonight, I took a rock from the ground outside my old bedroom window.
  And as much as I enjoyed seeing the mountain green and alive again, I also loved being there to watch the sun set, and hear the night come alive with crickets. It's a sound I remember very well from warm summer nights with my bedroom window open.
  I said my goodbyes, closed my trunk and started off down our long, sloping driveway. As I pulled into the road, the first song to come onto my iPod was "In My Room" by the Beach Boys. It was the perfect goodbye.
  Driving down that familiar stretch of dirt road, a thought occurred to me. My greatest dream growing up, and my first love, was to be in film. Now here I was, grown up, and in many respects, leaving home again. I was driving to LA to make my life as an actor. I thought about that little kid, growing up in the mountains with such big dreams.
  And I smiled.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago

  I was a newlywed. I was unemployed, having just quit my long career in retail. I lived in a small apartment in Albuquerque, and drove a red Corvette. I had no aspirations of working for the Government, or moving away from New Mexico. I had no formal training as an actor. To say things were different on that early September morning in 2001 is a massive understatement.
  Things were different for everybody, really. For the nation as a whole, I expect. There was an innocence that will never be regained. The night of September 10, 2001, I was at the airport, helping a friend to shoot some footage for a documentary. I went through security, into the boarding area (remember when you could do that?) and then walked down the jetway into a plane. I walked right into the cockpit, and nobody stopped me. None of us knew just how drastically things would change in a few short hours.
  This isn't an entry written to detail that awful morning. Just my own personal ruminations on how incredibly different life is now. My wife and I since divorced; she was remarried and then lost her husband fighting in the very war that attack spawned. I have moved to two other states, worked almost a full decade in Government/Military service, and lived in another country. I have fallen in love, had my heart broken badly, and I have seen things and gone places I never could have imagined.

  Wonder what the next ten will bring?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Adventures in GPSing

  Driving home from way downtown this morning, my GPS decided that traffic on the 405 was a bit backed up (I know, I was shocked, too) so I was re-routed. Via the magic of crazy satellite technology, our GPS units have become almost self-aware, and sometimes they frighten me. I was taken on such a ridiculous route, that sometimes I wondered if the thing was just messing with my head. How much should we trust these damned things? Will they take over the planet one day? Here's a typical drive home for me:

GPS: Keep right ahead.
ME: But the freeway is to the left. That's strange.
GPS: Now, turn right, then turn immediate left.
ME: Uh, okay. This is a residential area. Sure the freeway's not faster?
GPS: Turn right in 20 feet, then-
ME: That's a parking lot.
GPS: Please don't interrupt me when I'm speaking.
ME: Uh...okay.
GPS: Continue through the parking lot and enter the Arby's drive through. You look hungry.
ME: Actually, I just ate.
GPS: Arby's.
ME: Okay. Uh, do you want anything?
GPS: I'm a GPS, moron. After you finish your curly fries, turn left and proceed through the field for one quarter mile, then turn right.
ME: Pretty sure that's just illegal.
GPS: Do you want to get home or not?

  Technology, people. Be cautious.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm a Deviant.

  But we've all known that for years, haven't we?

  Truth is, I am a deviant, meaning I now have an account at DeviantArt. What is it, you may ask? Why, it's a site where artists can upload their works, be it photography, illustration, or digital brickabrack. On the site, folks can also purchase prints of these works (for which I get a small cut). I don't have any aspirations of becoming a paid artist, but it couldn't hurt, right? Please check out my gallery by clicking this link .

  I'm also putting a link to the gallery in the right hand column of this blog. Feel free to check in from time to time for new works!