Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Old Year

Wow, I've really fallen off the blog-train haven't I? Funny thing is, I don't really have an excuse. Sure, the month of December has been a pretty busy one for me as I've started focusing on the design for my work's YouTube channel and future website, but I've just gotten back from a 5 day Christmas vacation where I did primarily nothing. I spent more time jumping around aimlessly as dictated by Xbox Kinect than I did doing any creative writing. Hey, at least Eddie received a workout.

Anyways, let's get to the point of this post: How superb 2011 really was. Without a doubt, 2011 has been the greatest year of my life. I've taken more steps forward professionally than I ever thought possible coming out of college and I've consistently been around some amazing people. Every workday pushed me even further and every weekend was an adventure. And how could I forget the fact that my last semester at the University of New England was spent with some of the most incredible people I know? Hell, I'd say that partaking in senior week with you schmucks rivals any other week throughout my life if I could actually remember what we were up to.

Oops, I'm suppose to keep this blog professional aren't I? Eh whatever, how can you maintain a blog if you can't be yourself? That's what made 2011 so great. I had all the room in the world to be myself at work, in class, and with friends. And I loved every second of it. Sure, I had to deal with a fair share of problems along the way, but I wouldn't be writing this post if I hadn't. Problems are nothing but motivation. And motivation is what has led to great times and an overall amazing year.

This really encourages me to find out what 2012 has in store for everyone. It's funny because I remember telling myself the same thing as 2010 came to a close. "Such an amazing year, but it can only get better." And it has. So I'm going into the new year with a positive attitude and high expectations. Because as of now, I have no idea where I'll be physically and mentally come next December... and I love it. Unpredictability is bliss.

So happy New Years to the 4 and a half of you reading this post. And of course everyone else apart of my life. You're all great.

"California Brain"
It's been a long time comin'
Gonna get what I need
Got my sights set high
and I'm pickin up speed
Come inside
Free your mind
You will find
Your California Brain

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let's talk politics...

If you know me well then you know how much I hate getting into political debates. My family tree is crammed with multiple politicians so I let them do all the talking, and to be honest, I usually have no urge to even step anywhere near the topic. So for me to go on a politically inspired rant takes a bit of push. So let's cut to the chase and get to exactly what is bothering me: I can't understand why anyone would think that we should be jubilant over the outcome of the Iraq war.

To begin things, let's figure out our primary objective. Well I first thought we were over there because Iraq was a potential yet unproven threat and we had to eliminate the weapons of mass destruction. In fact, that's all we talked about... until we never found any. So naturally rumors started to spread that the main objective was collecting oil, but sadly my stolen barrel has yet to be delivered to me. And there has always been that underlying goal of taking out Saddam, which thankfully we accomplished... almost exactly 8 years ago. So now it's become about making sure the Iraqi people have a new democratic nation so that they can live better lives etc. etc.

Well, let's hear what the people have to say:

"The Americans are leaving behind them a destroyed country," said Mariam Khazim of Sadr City. "The Americans did not leave modern schools or big factories behind them. Instead, they left thousands of widows and orphans."

So what exactly did we accomplish? The war has kicked our economy in the groin, no one feels any safer, and the people of Iraq aren't even happy with the outcome. Hell, there's a chance we've even inspired a whole new batch of children who are going to develop into the new replacements for the American-hating Hussein family.

Don't get me wrong, bringing troops home is exactly what I want. But it's not too much to get excited about when the war in the Osama-less nation of Afghanistan rages on. And shouldn't we have something to show for the 4,487 American soldiers who gave their lives to this country to defend this "cause" in Iraq?

Maybe it's a little too early, but as of now I don't see anything. All I see is mistakes that mirror America's tainted past.

Goooooood morning Afghanistaaaaaaan!

Charles Hamilton
"November 10th"
Don't take a day for granted, granted
Every single day you been handed, can get
Crazy but you need to manage
And it's how God's see's you're the last man standing
Live everyday like it's your birthday

Monday, December 12, 2011

Accomplishments Diminished by Cable Providers

Well, I reached another professional milestone last night. It's nothing close to the pinnacle but hey, it's a start.

I wrote previously about helping out with a shoot back in October about the inspirational Taryn Davis for the awards ceremony CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. She started the American Widow Project, which is a network of wives who have lost their husbands during times of war. I only spent a day on set but it was one of my favorite experiences I've had so far due to the optimism of these ladies. And overall, I had an amazing time and learned more than I could have asked for.

But let's get to the milestone. CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute 2011 aired for the first time last night. This marks the first shoot that I've assisted that has reached the entire nation as well as other countries all over the world. I wasn't the one behind the camera but it still felt great to mark that off the long checklist that builds more than it completes.

Yet there is a negative aspect to this accomplished goal... I wasn't even able to watch the ceremony. Because Eddie is still living in the stone age without cable. A little embarrassing but anything to save a buck, right? Plus Netflix is just so much cheaper. But saving that buck has cost me that excellent moment where I would have been able watch the show and say to myself "Hell yeah! I remember that shot! I was hiding behind that sand dune while they were lighting those lanterns!" or "I remember that woman! I gave her a piggy back ride to a hammock because she didn't want to dirty her feet but accidentally dropped her on her ass because I didn't realize how shallow the hammock actually was!" Yeah that actually happened. I'm a man of many nicknames but Piggy-Back will always be one of my most cherished just thanks to the memory.

Taryn Davis didn't win the "CNN Hero of the Year", but she as well as the whole group of widows I met are all still an inspiration to me. And I've never been more unprepared for a shoot than that one. I just showed up to a beach in Kennebunkport, found a guy holding a camera, and started running after these talented crew members with all types of equipment. I had no idea I'd be in the cold ocean waters with my jeans rolled up as the widows learned to surf and we captured it.

I wish I could find the footage of everything we captured, but CNN hasn't uploaded the individual videos. But I did find a great interview with photographer David Holloway who I worked with on the shoot. It includes a bunch of pictures that he took during the experience, which came out beyond great:

As a young peasant in the business, I can't reiterate enough how much I enjoyed this shoot. There's always ups and downs during any production day, but the time spent with this small crew and these ladies was smooth and professional. Couldn't have asked for anything more. But now it's time to reach that next goal: To be the actual one behind that camera.

If you want to learn more about the American Widow Project, you can find a link to their website on this page under the "Eddie Supports" column.

Modest Mouse
"The World At Large"
The days get shorter and the nights get cold.
I like the autumn but this place is getting old.
I pack up my belongings and I head for the coast.
It might not be a lot but I feel like I'm making the most.
The days get longer and the nights smell green.
I guess it's not surprising but it's spring and I should leave.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Delicious Little Grease Demons

I've been through a lot throughout my life, but there has always been one nemesis who never fails to thwart my evil doings. He's the Captain Planet to my Pollution. His name... Eating Healthy.
A little more fitting to my future physical situation.
Anybody who even slightly knows me quickly understands my love of food. And this isn't a love of that good green stuff... oh no. Pizzas, steak, french fries, and chicken wings are the main occupiers of my quintessential food pyramid. A pyramid that isn't built by any Egyptians (or aliens depending on your level of gullibility). It's built by a grease addiction that goes back to my early childhood.

Gross, I know. But it's sad when I get cooking inspirations as I watch the guys over at the viral YouTube sensation "EpicMealTime" put together their fatty creations. It's even more sad how excited I became when I found out that you can put a McChicken in between the patties of a Double Cheeseburger from McDonalds.
It's a real thing... look it up.
Am I disgustingly obese? Well, not all the way there yet, but I am without a doubt unhealthy. I can just feel it. I'm even hesitant to donate blood because I'm scared I'll get mocked when the needle enters my vein and fills with ranch dressing.

Okay that last part was an over-exaggeration, but you get the picture. So I've decided to start eating healthier. Will I be able to drop all those delicious grease demons entirely? Hell no, but I can at least bump up the carrot intake and pray for a few additional years to my already pinched life.

So if you're out partaking in a food coma with me, witness me chowing down within a random dirty restaurant, or even see me mumbling sweet nothings to the drive-thru lady, I want you to make me feel like a complete barrel of filth. Call me any disgusting name you can come up with until I cry a milkshake, because my diet really needs to change. That's an order.

... Alright, this whole post is a lie. This motivation will last about 3 days and then I'll fall into a Kentucky Fried Chicken Doublicious binge. Hey, at least I tried.

Fake Problems
"Tabernacle Song"
Even in the kingdom of heaven
I'll be asking the question,
"What's it like in hell"?