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No Resolutions

Every year I fall in to the same trap as everyone else (no..not the trap of generalization, although I know we all do that one, too)....no...the trap I mean is that of doing one or both of the following as the year comes to an end:Making any kind of "OF XXXX List" (best of, worst of, most annoying boy band comeback of)Putting down a list of resolutions I have no intention of keeping through the month of JanuaryI'm sure I made resolutions as 2010 started crowning. And I may or may not have stuck to some of them (SPOILER ALERT: I didn't, don't bother looking through last December's posts).
This year, I've decided to go with simple precepts. And while not 'religious' in nature in the strictest sense, they do possess a spirituality for me. When I do these things, I do feel more connected to my core.
My precepts for 2011 are fairly self explanatory, short, and easy to do intentionally: LaughLoveLiveJamShootWriteFilm And, I know that by doing those with gre…

In the Temple of the Butchered Cow

1990-1992 was a very jacked up period in my life. I'm not even gonna lie.
1990 I graduated. My HS girlfriend decided to break things off and I was introduced to the concept of 'casual sex.'
Fall of that same year while away at college I drank from the Devil's teats and tried my first taste of alcohol (And second, third, fourth, etc). Winter of that year I pledged a fraternity and later got Walking Pneumonia. Later that winter I got one of the lowest GPA's of any student at DePauw whilst still being able to remain a student at DePauw. I finished out my turd of a freshman year in Indiana and got set to come home to Ohio and go to school at THE Ohio State University.
But to get a sense of what really went in to the making of 'ITTOTBC' you have to go back to 1988 when I got my first guitar (well, probably earlier, but this isn't really an autobiography, now, is it?).
I got my first 2 guitars approximately the same time. 1 was from my grandparents. A Lotus ac…

Politics...as usual....

I've been eligible to vote for about 20 years now...and for the most part, I have.

Last night (well, actually this morning) as the results from yesterday's mid-term elections came in, I realized that...for the most part WHO is in office is somewhat irrelevant. As long as the SYSTEM stays the same, it doesn't matter who plays the role. It's the system that's failing the people. And anyone put in the role will ultimately wind up being both a temporary hero and a scapegoat.

I think I figured out the actual 'flow' of politics. If you'll indulge me here...no fancy charts or anything, but here goes.

*******************************************************************************
First start with SOMETHING...doesn't matter what it is...but we'll call it X for now.

Next, enter a candidate. This candidate will either try to get us to embrace X or if they are of the opposing party, they will tell us all the reasons we should be very very afraid of X.

Now, enter …

Euh...I suck at this

I have been sorely neglectful of my blog. If the 4 of you that used to read this have abandoned hope of me ever posting again, I really wouldn't blame you.
My mind has been spaghetti lately...and not the good kind. It's been the shitty Chef Boyardee in a can spaghetti. And that's no good for anyone. Least of all the one that was using this blog as an outlet so shit didn't rattle around too long in his head (that would be me).
I just got done reading 'The Last Lecture'...holy shit. If there was ever a book that felt like a mental kick in the ass to live my dreams, it's that one. Shortly after reading it, I registered my domain (www.ipaintwithmylens.com)--don't click the link, there's nothing there yet (I'm still in 'baby steps' mode it seems...why is f*cking beyond me at this point, I'm not sure what (a) I'm waiting for or (more importantly (b)) Afraid of.
My hiatus as video guy at the church ended 2 weeks ago..so I'm back on tha…

The Facebook Experiment (Pt. 1)

I think, in no uncertain terms, the Facebook experiment, while having seemingly positive benefits, is actually turning out to be an epic suck of mass-epicitude.
It is, for me, a time-suck. There is no way around it. It feeds in to my amazing lust for instant gratification. In less than 420 words and mere minutes, I can get instant feedback on how witty, clever, inspiration, funny, and douche-baggy I am. It's almost real time.
It's the illusion of being in a room with all your friends (or a bunch of people you think are your friends, or wish were your real-life friends..or..whatever, you get the f*cking point)...so, you're in this 'room' (which in reality is everyone sitting lamely in front of their pc, or reaching for their smartphones every 20 seconds to see if someone responded to their witty, clever, inspiration, funny, and douche-baggy post.
Only the rub is...people bullshit about stuff they would NEVER say if they were actually in the same room with the person. …

WTF, Todd?

Well, for the 4 of you that have bothered to check this blog in the last 5 months, I’m sorry. I ‘m a pretty shatner-y blogger these days. I joke about not being able to string a thought together for more than 420 characters, and damned if it isn’t coming true. Thought I’d break things up a bit. Shit. I really don’t have any thing else to get in to right now. I REALLY need to get this attention-span thing fixed.Soon. Not tonight. But soon.

Happy Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day I thank my Papaw...I thank my Gramps...I thank my Dad. All of these men served our military...put themselves in harm's way and lived through a hell I will never know. Just so I could sit here in the land of the free and bitch about how tough life is (it isn't).

These men are my personal heroes. And to all the men and women who have served or are currently serving our nation, Thank You. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed nor are they unappreciated.

-AT

Shooting for the Moon

It's been a stupidly long time since I've updated and I feel like a sh*t ton of stuff has happened in my life since then...the Mexico trip (and all of its ensuing life/mind altering changes)...and just some other overall massively cool stuff.

And, as I'm at work right now, I don't really have the time to go in to all of it (the Mexico experience is at least 4 or 5 posts themselves).

How's that for a tease?

Suffice to say that I'm feeling blessed...maybe no more than normal, but perhaps I'm looking at things a little differently now and things I used to take for granted are really appearing in my life as blessings...I guess that's the key, isn't it. To recognize and accept and be thankful for the gifts we are given...every day (because we are).

To hold you over, a couple of pix from one of my favorite photo-subjects taken just last night:




Have a great day!!

-AT

Webix

So, I’ve been head over heels for the strip over at Questionable Content-even though apparently I’m like 3 years past the curve on that one. And through that site, I’ve found some other web comics (or ‘webix’ as I like to call them) that have been quite entertaining, too.There was a time I wanted to draw cartoon strips (I’ll gladly thank Bill Watterson and Scott Adams for that).So for a while I dabbled with it. I have drawings here and there in journals from various stages in my life. But it was just funny…I got to thinking….What would happen if I tried to do that again today? I mean, what if I decided I needed ONE MORE HOBBY??? LOL.  And this is what happened at lunch today.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first episode of ‘Well Defined’I’m not quite up on the lingo, so I’m not even sure if ‘episode’ is the right word….or issue….or panel….or what.This is OBVIOUSLY a rough sketch. Although I really like the idea of calling something ‘Well Defined’ when clearly, it isn’t.And I see…

What the French Toast

This truly was a crazy weekend. Friday night started with euchre and adult beverages and went in to the wee hours of the morn. Came home, crashed on the couch (didn't want to wake anyone). Then somehow, I woke up to my phone flashing (yes, it was on silent). So, I had to head over to the church to let them in for their meeting (apparently I was the closest on the 'key chain' for people who had access to the building)....headed out to my car only to find....

Driver and left back door were open (push closed against the car, but not latched). Thought it a bit odd....figure I may have been trying to get something on my way home from the euchre-fest. Upon closer inspection I realized that my car had been tossed. Can't really say it was broken in to, but it was tossed. Everything from the glove box was on the front passenger seat....the altoid tin was on the floor. That back seat was messy (no change there). The GPS was on the front seat. I tried to figure out what was missi…

F**k You, Murphy

Few things make me unhappier than unexplained hardware failure.

Here's how it happened...about 6months ago...my wife got a virus on her laptop (this was the Averatec that had been my primary laptop/editing computer for many years). Thought I got it cleared off (I didn't). So the game plan was to wipe it and do a system restore. That kept failing. So, I set it aside with the intent to come back to it with a fresh head.

Then Sammy Chews-it-all came along and chewed the tip off of the power adapter, so that kind of ended that. I had a spare laptop set up and gave that to Nancy. I had the netbook by that time-life was good. I didn't give it a thought.

Until the Mexico thing happened. Then I got it in to my head to sell the netbook, get a new AC Adapter, get a new harddrive, and get the Averatec up and running so I would have something I could write on (like the netbook) AND something I could do edits and rough cuts on while we were in Mexico (which the netbook would NOT be able t…

Not a Good Place Right Now

I am finding it increasingly difficult to sit around and watch people act in selfish and self-serving ways. The irony of that, is that there are some very selfish impulses that I am, myself, fighting off.

There are times when I just want to pack up and go wandering...with whatever that may bring. Go somewhere...anywhere. See how long I could live off the kindness of strangers and friends. There are flaws, of course...that whole 'married with a family' thing...and a job...and bills--all of those responsibilities that make up my daily life.

So, at what point does sacrificing self for the sake of others cease to become noble and just become a reflection of a sad shadow of what you could have become if you'd only saved some of that love for yourself?

My mind and soul seem to be in a state of flux right now...searching for only God knows what. It's not a very comfortable place to be. What if through the searching I find that I've been doing it wrong? That the path I'm…

Release the Kraken!!!

Before you read this, you should know 2 things.
I am not a movie critic, reviewer, or skeptic. I'm a fan.Clash of the Titans came out when I was 10 years old. It was quite possibly one of my all time favorite childhood movies (next to Star Wars).If you're expecting a review based on...well, anything, then I'm sure there are other sites that will accommodate you and tell you that this camera angle was wrong or that bit of mythology didn't match up to the REAL mythology. I ain't that guy.

I'm gonna give you my 3 word assessment of the 2010 re-tread of Clash of the Titans.

IT WAS FUN.

Yup. Fun. It could have easily 'sucked' (and based on what some of you have said after you saw it, it did)...but to me it was a blast.

The basic elements were the same, but the best part of this was there were only a few times in the whole movie where I found myself trying to remember how the story went in the original. The update had a good feel...they kept the whole reluctant h…

Damn You Bryan Adams

So...I've heard a few guitarist talking about playing until your fingers bleed..and then taping them up and playing some more (I'm sure Ian or Darrin can fill in a name...it's one of those metal guys I think)...but because my Metal Dictionary is severely abridged, my only reference to 'playing until my fingers bled' was 'The Summer of '69' by Bryan Adams. Yeah...stuff it...I know, ok?

(the top picture is more 'rock and roll'...the picture immediately above is more 'reality TV'...either way...the isht is sore.

I didn't notice it bleeding (didn't even notice that it split) until well after we were done practicing. I have 3 songs to work on and pretty much the same chords in all 3. The Journey song we're doing is down a key (to D) instead of the key was learning it in. And all the meedly bits I thought I would have to learn...I didn't have to. So...yeah...but at least that helped get the callouses back (Which had to happen any…

Weekend at Thrifty's & an Answer to an Age-Old Question

Alright, first off, I want to just say that the new blogger editor is kind of annoying. There's a rant in the making, but it's really nothing that matters other than to me...when I can't find the cursor. Or the pictures upload wonky.

Now that that's out of the way....
This weekend was bananas (insert Gwen Stefani here if you must). Friday I was slated to hit my local-within-walking-distance-brewpub with some friends. That didn't happen. I'm on call this weekend, and lets just say I got called....put in the equivalent of an additional workday Friday night, came home, slept for 4 hours then went right back in at 6AM the next morning for a couple more hours and leave it at that, shall we?

Saturday afternoon, though, THAT was the event. Darrin was slated to hit Casa Del Skaggs at about 1 and we were gonna head up to Waldo for the World's BEST Bologna Sammich. But he was out and about already so he landed here earlier and we hit the road.

And we hit Waldo. And had b…

My Legs Hate Me Right Now

Hit the bike again tonight. 15minutes this time. Didn't even make it up to the 20 minutes I hit last night. I was a little disappointed, but my legs were like, 'guess what dude, we're done.'

I was hoping for a longer ride. But it's cool. Worked out to be about 3 miles. Got about 25 pages in to "The Portable Film School."


Jen needed tissues for school (extra credit to help bring up the Algebra grade which seems to have hit the obligatory 3rd quarter slump), so I let my legs off the hook with the bike...but they wanted VitaminWater (as did the rest of me...) so I said 'fine..you want it, we're walking to Kroger.' They didn't like it (and the rest of me really didn't like it when we found out it was rainy and windy. But I pressed on).

It's all about motion these days. It's about saying I'm gonna do something then doing it. It's a good feeling for me to be able to cross things off of a list as I finish them.

Ride...check.
W…

ESL

So...this morning the alarm did NOT go off (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!). I think I only threw the rest of the house schedule off by 10 minutes-not TOO bad.

Got ready, dropped Jen off at the bus stop and swung back around to pick up the work recycling (I'm on the green team, don't ask).

Took it to the Kroger near work, only to find that they did Newspaper and Magazine recycling only. Suxorz!  So to console myself I hit the McDonald's drive-thru where the following exchange took place:


FEMALE CAUCASIAN VOICE (shut up, I can TOO tell): Welcome to McDonald's, would you like to try a hot something something mocha?

ME: Nope. I want a number 10 with a diet Coke and an Egg McMuffin, please.

MALE LATINO VOICE: melmome mica donna, ma'i hep you?

ME (slightly confused as I just GAVE my order): Yes, I'd like a number 10 with a diet Coke and an Egg Mc Muffin, please.


MALE LATINO VOICE: you juan nummer ten? Will there anything else?

ME: Yes, an Egg McMuff…

Fly Fat-a$$ Fly

If you're on my FB friends list, this first bit will be a bit of a re-tread (can't be helped, didn't feel like limiting this to 420 characters AND it fills my other daily goal of writing...something).

So, if you've been following along, you'll know that in May I'm going to Mexico to help a friend make a documentary. I'm super excited about it.

I turned in all the stuff for the passport card on Tuesday. So that's all cool.

And starting on Monday I had down 2 new things on my daily planner; "WRITE" and "RIDE:30-45min."  I don't normally finish all the things on my planner, but I figure if it's on there, I'll at least think about it.  And yesterday I wrote a new blog post. Not a chapter of a novel or screenplay or anything, but it was writing (more than my flurry of FB status updates that spew forth like a freshman at their first intergalactic kegger).

Tonight, after folding the laundry (also on the list), I threw on my snea…

Mexico-A-Go-Go

So, things are falling in to place.
I got my travel itinerary. What I thought was going to be a Monday-Thursday trip is in actuality a Sunday through  Saturday jaunt south of the border. We fly out the evening of Mother's Day and are back the following Saturday evening.

In addition to the filming of the surgery (the actual point of the documentary), we will also have some time in San Diego and we will also have a day or so at the Mission in Tijuana. This is the mission that ICC is going to be partnering with this summer when we send people down there for ICC's first ever out of the country missions trip.

I have been getting mixed reactions when people learn why I am going down there. The first is "Do you KNOW what's going on in Mexico right now?!?!" Followed by "Why's he going down there to get surgery?!?!" The short answer is-wait for the documentary-that's one of the reasons we're making it. (well it answers the second question, not so muc…

OLE!

So, if you've hit this page from my Facebook page, you may have seen a status update about 'the center buying the movie' and about me going to Mexico to make a documentary.

And yeah, I'm pretty jazzed about that. So here's the skinny on it (so to speak).

One of my friends from church is a larger dude (as am I, but that's a story for a different time). He's gone through all the tests, poking, prodding, medical hoops that his insurance has asked him to go through before they authorize the bariatric surgery (or one of those stomach surgeries) on him. And all his isht looks to be in order. But they still denied it. (Think we don't need health care reform?? Think again). So, they're denying this surgery that pretty much everyone EXCEPT the insurance company thinks he has to have. Which means it'd be paid for out of pocket. And I don't know if you've priced that stuff....but it's about the price of a nice car...on up to a small house. My man…

Bleeding

I bought a notebook and a couple of new pens Saturday night before the Pub Crawl (I don't like to be ill-prepared if inspiration strikes.) I'm on the fence about the pens, but the notebook will suffice. Composition book format with quadrilled ruling. Works for me.

Been a long time since I just carried a paper journal. I have notebooks all over the house...dozens of writing files on jump drives....but the pen and the paper feels like...

home.

Just feels right for some reason. At this point I have no f**king clue what I'm going to write-lyrics, movies, stories? Who knows? The point of it all, though, is just to write.

write.

Bleed out on to the page. Whether the words are poetry or prose...lyrics or scripts. They must be bled. The writer must bleed.  Those words may seem beautiful to anyone else that reads them, but to the writer they are poison.

The longer the writer keeps those words inside, the more he dies...a little bit each day...until  the unbled words kill him.

Words…

Counting Blessings

Apologies in advance (and retrospect,actually) for the sparseness of the posts thus far.  It's not intentional. OK, actually maybe it is.


This really isn't any huge earth shattering kind of update (sorry if your hopes were up). This is more of a declaration of intent.

I have set myself up to have 2010 be my year to 'finish' things. Said "things" include the Crapumentary, various other shorts I've written but not shot, short stories, manuscripts, things at ICC that I need to get finished. This also includes jamming more....finally taking guitar lessons...shooting more photos...writing more music/songs...MAYBE getting back in to some kind of band scenario. It's my year to finish things.

I need to close some chapters before I plan on opening any more 'big things' (because there are a ishtload of things on my 'big plans for the future list'). It may take 2010 AND 2011 to finish these things-heck maybe even 2112 (assuming the Mayans were wrong…