2007 In Review

Ain’t got no regrets
And I ain’t losin’ track
Of which way I’m going
Ain’t gonna double back
— Lou Gramm, Midnight Blue

Yep, as you might expect on New Years, this is a chronicle of the major events in my life from 2007.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a year that was this eventful really.  Read on 🙂

2007 Part 1:  Building Up

In 2006 I lost everything.  My house, car, business, marrage, etc.  The TV Station I had been working with on the TV Show had gotten bought out at just near the end of the year, so, no more TV show even.  About all I had was my health and a small amount of posessions.  As luck would have it, I ended up with a replacement 2007 In Review 1car for free (woohoo!), and a Land Cruiser that required electrical work.

I had picked up employment with an ex-business partner building a resteraunt.  As in, swinging a hammer and running construction.  Problem is, he often had money problems too – the only way I managed to have any money for Christmas was my father. (Which is why I was so god damned pissed off this year about it.)

 Oh my god construction was a perfect way to start the New Ye2007 In Review 2ar.  I’m no stranger to the ways of a hammer, but, doing it at a professional level and running all the trades, well, that’s playing at a way different level.  I loved every minute of construction. I didn’t care for the trades though (trades = tradesmen = people who do work outside of your particular discipline) – mainly because I didn’t hire all of them.  Robert hired a number of them, and he’s got a couple major faults.  One is that he’s easily fooled by a slick talker (you would think a slick talker would be immune to the effects of other slick talkers), and he doesn’t think a situation through far enough to see what the actual effect would be in the long term.

I take a lot o2007 In Review 3f pride in my work there.  For a while my forearms were DENSE muscle (not so much on the rest of me, but the forearms… I still haven’t lost my hand strength from it.  My hammer was a 28 oz. framing hammer with a curved oak handle.  Swingin’ that sucker properly for a while does cool things to your hand strength :-)  I felt good – almost every day something new was built, or another second completed, or another peice began.

I was making $5.00 / hour.  NO, I’m not shitting you.  I was making less than minimum wage.

In the middle of this I was trying to asess my life – where was I, mentall2007 In Review 4y, physically, emotionally, and financially.  I had to find what it was that was going to keep me sane, and not result in me putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger.  To say I had bad days sometimes was an understatement.  But one of the biggest factors of keeping me sane was Meredith, Erin, and Lance.  If I would have lived alone, I can almost garantee you I wouldn’t be here now.  Seriously.

On January 23rd, an event occured that would redefine a part of my past, and change the course of how 2007 was going to run…

2007:  Wildest Dreams

“Once upon a time
Once when you were mine
I remember skies
Reflected in your eyes
I wonder where you are
I wonder if you
Think about me
 Once upon a time
In your wildest dreams”
 — Moody Blues, Your Wildest Dreams

Every time I heard that song for years, one person would come to mind:  Tammy Gray. 
2007 In Review 5
She was one of my best friends in High School, and… well, friends with benefits.  LOTS of benefits.  And there was a bit more to it than that really – I didn’t realize it until I saw a picture of her one day online on a dating site.  I had the most WTF?! moment when I saw that picture.

Basically, in High School, if ya asked me about relationships and marrage, the answer was NO to both.  I could get laid pretty easily, and why bother with marrages – they just cause anger, shouting, and holes in sheetrock walls.  After I got outta High School, my opinion slowly changed, but, it was too late – Tammy and I had already moved apart.

Anyway, I found her, but, didn’t get any reply.  So I screwed up some courage, and sent her a an email with the lyrics to Wildest Dreams by Moody Blues, and an explenation that every time I heard it, I thought of her.

“I wonder if you think about me, in your wildest dreams?”  The answer ended up being a yes – we both thought about each other.  Seeing each other in person for the first time in like, what, 16 years I think it was, ended up being a fucking magic moment.  No, seriously – it’s one of those moments that will always stay with me.

2007:  A Plan Begins

Some form of sanity was returning to my life – I knew how much I was in debt.  Around $60k (ends up I’m off on that figure, but I’ll get into that later.)  With that sort of info, well, it gives me somewhere to work from.  But damn, at $5/hour…. that’s a big god damned hole to work out of!!!

I also set the beginings of my goals.  Now, I used to have a long term plan for life at one time, then I lost it.  I had been slowly trying to weed through what to keep and what to toss from those plans.  I set down my first set of goals:

(February 25, 2007 – so techically all three aren’t failures YET, but I don’t forsee the second two being fulfilled before then.)

1) I’m going to be doing R & S BBQ’s for the next year (or until the owner runs out of money to build new ones.) I like what the extremely active work style is doing for me, both in mind and body. It’s a lot of fun, and how often do you get the chance to essentially get PAID to get in shape?

Job Accomplished.  He’s done building R & S BBQ’s – he managed to build up one plus a second “slap together” one.

2) In 1 year, I’m going to buy the land out in the country, and build an extremely small house to start with. I’ll build what I really want later when I have sufficent cash, but, I need to start working towards that goal.

*BZZZZ!*  Fail – lack of money.  Damn.  But that’s ok.

3) In 1 year, I’m going to complete 3 movie projects. Not sure WHICH three. I only have one full script (that’s being re-written) and one partial. I have some other thoughts, but no clue if we’re going to go that way with it.

*BZZZZ!*  Fail!  (But I’ll get into that one more in a bit)

One outta three?  I suppose I could get down about it, but I set my goals sky high there.  I’ve also had some interesting little stumbles on my part along the way that prevented them from occuring (all of ’em my fault).

But the reason why I’m not upset at achieving them – setting those goals were a part of me getting my footing, and climbing up outta the pit I dug for myself.

I started doing Website like WichitaMayor.org (The shitty photo on there isn’t mine.  I took a professional one, problem was, too many people felt it was too severe looking, so they handed me a new photo. complete with really bad reflections on the glasses, and poor framing.  I worked with what I had.  Though I loved the logo and banner work I did!)  I haven’t done a ton of them, but, one here, one there.  Not the volume I would have hoped to do.

Then the big one hit…

2007:  Kenosha Trip 1
“Leavin home, out on the road
I’ve been down before.
Ridin along in this big ol jet plane
Ive been thinkin about my home…”
— Steve Miller, Jet Airliner

Towards the end of R & S BBQ, Dominic up in Kenosha and I started planning my trip to Kenosha, WI.  No more $5 / hour – this was the big time, $35 / hour! ;-)  My trip to Kenosha allowed me to do 2007 In Review 6a couple of things – pay off some bills, and buy some equiptment I needed to accomplish other goals.

It also set things up – it had been a while since I was in Kenosha, so they started looking at what needed to be done on a more long term basis, and start planning bits and pieces that they wanted me to do.  The scope of this continues to grow with time thoughout the rest of the year, as I made 3 trips grand total to Kenosha this year (I was hoping for 6 – that would have been PERFECT.)

It also got me out on the road for a while.  I got to unwind and start thinking behind the wheel (something I love to do).  More planning, more exploring my life, its successes, but most importantly, it’s failures.

And the work was good too – it put me back under my control.  While doing R & S BBQ I was in charge of the job, to the point of telling Robert the site is mine, and it’s his when I’m damn well done with it.  But with the contract gigs, I’m the guy in charge.  Tasting2007 In Review 7 that freedom again is good.

Around the same time I start doing some work at Spirit Aero.  THE most fucked up place to do automation work.  I’ve never seen a group move slower in my life.

Some might think it odd that the final book in a series would rank as a major even for me in 2007, but it did.

2007:  Child Rowland to the dark tower came
“The moment is a masterpiece, the weight of indecision’s in the air
It’s standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that’s me
It’s just a travesty, towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see”
    – Kansas, “The Wall” (Not to be confused with Pink Floyd’s The Wall)

When I said a final book in a series, you probably thought of the Harry Potter series.  Yeah, that was big for a lot of people, and I read it straight through in one setting when it came out.  But The Dark Tower series… for me, that’s… well, to start with it’s my favorite author.  The first book was published in 1982, and I’ve been following it since 1987.  (OK, I’ll admit it – book 1, The Gunslinger, was too slow paced for me.  But the images he painted with words were amazing, even if his writing had room for improvement.  Book 2 is what really got my attention.)  Now you might find it odd that I didn’t read it the minute it came out.  I passed on it – it came out in 2004 in hard back, and in Nov 2005 it came out in paperback.  Oct 2005 was End Game for Gamer Zone, the house, and my marrage.

Simply put, I wasn’t ready to read it when the paperback came out.  Yes, I’m putting a lot into reading a stupid book.  But the damned thing was important to me.  How the FUCK was he going to wrap up such an epic book series?  I mean, not only did King write 7 books in the series, he mixed in a huge number of his previous works, and wrote a number of stoies that wrap into that universe.

There was no ending that I could be satisfied with.  It was going to be a disappointment.  Which would leave me disappointed with my favorite writer.  And I suppose, well, in November 2005 I didn’t need any more disappointments.

The Wall, by Kansas, was the song that started playing in my head when Roland sees the Tower – it was great.  And the end?  Wow.  I never imagined it.  Didn’t even really see it until the last seconds before it happened.  It was… it was both a King ending and a perfect ending.  With my expectations of failure being so high, I was elated with how it ended.

Yes, a stupid book was a high point for me.  It was nice to not be disappointed 🙂

2007:  I Wanna Be A Producer

“I’m sick and tired of the damn TV
I’m gonna make my own movie
I wanna star in a late night show
And all I need is my video”
– Def Leppard, “Action! Not Words”

I did 12 episodes of a TV show on video games, and I was hooked.  I wanted more.  Let’s face it, I’m a limelight sort of guy – I love being in the middle of things, I love being noticed, and I love being an egomanic ;-)  So after KTQW was bought out, the logical conclusion was to start doing movies instead.
2007 In Review 8
Oh, wait, well, maybe not the LOGICAL conclusion.  But my idea.  And of course, I managed to find some people interested in the same thing.  Once the Kenosha cash finally rolled in, I did it:  I bought a Canon HV20, filters, a Beachtec adapter (professional audio equipment for attaching to less profesional video equiptment), and professional mikes.

I started doing script writing, and managed to pass out the first draft – it was ugly, hacky, but had an interesting core.  By god that version will never see the light of day.  I’ll kill anyone who obtains a copy 🙂

Slowly I began re-writing the script over and over, and writing a second script (which I like a whole lot better.  “Write what you know…” applies here – the second one is a fictionalized version of some real life events.  And it has one hell of a great ending!)  And um.. yeah, the first script is a romanic comedy.  The second one is a much more straight up romance.  Yes, you heard what I said – I’ve written a romanic comedy, and a romance movie.  Yes, it’s a strange world we live in.

So we started laying plans for how to do it.

At the same time, a couple of friends were interested in doi2007 In Review 9ng an Adult movie company.  I had the equiptment, they had some people willing to do it (but not enough yet, and no start up cash, and no… well, you get the idea.  Resources were still lacking for them).

I used the camera for a short bit, getting used to it’s features and abilities.  Throw a circular polarizer on the thing, and outside shots (still and video) are FUCKING AMAZING.  Hands down, the best video camera for the money.  Sure, it’s no Red One ($17,000), but it was incredible.

After a photo shoot with Tammy, the camera setup was stolen.  And never recovered.  Eventually I’ll replace it, and we’ll get back to work on doing the first short.  Oh, and uh, INSURE IT this time.

2007:  The End of R & S BBQ

2007 In Review 10
So R & S was completed.  Woohoo!  Now, I’m supposed to own 5% of the company.  And if 2007 In Review 11he did any amount of business like he planned, I’d be all over that.  As it is, Brandon and I have both noticed a distinct lack of serious customer base there.  Which means… while the job might have been over, there would be no more R & S BBQ’s for me to construction (pitty, if he would have pulled it off, I had negotiated a very sweet deal ahead of time on payscale, how things would be done, etc.)

Keeping in mind, I just had a business fail, so I suppose I’m not an expert.  But I can say this:  DO NO REPEAT YOUR2007 In Review 12 MISTAKES.

It’s an easy lesson.  I told him what not to do, and what mistakes not to repeat from his past.  He did ’em anyway.  So while I take deep pride in having done R & S, I can say that distancing myself from his choices is a good idea.  And I did – I haven’t talked to him since.

But that slow income had let me survive until Kenosha, and that2007 In Review 13 got me a good run into getting things done.  It also laid to rest Gamer Zone in a lot of ways – Robert tried a million ways to convince me to try again.  I said no every time, and explained why (and often explained why this particular scheme or another of his wouldn’t have worked anyway.)

2007:  Slow Groove

Slowly life started to get into an interesting groove.  I spent a lot of time chatting with Tammy or hanging out with her, and doing odd automation jobs here and there (and a website from time to time.)  Not nearly the pace that I needed for work, but, enough to survive (except when customers would slow pay – then it would be broke time again for a while!)

That’s not to say there weren’t any shakeup along the way.  July 4 I tried to quit smoking.  Ug.  Failed at that.  Multiple times now.

Heather emailed me one day saying her and Nick were getting married.  Talk about a mindfuck of a moment – my ex-wife is emailing me saying she’s getting remarried.  I SHOULD be angry, or hurt.  But I wasn’t.  Problem is, I just can’t harbor a grudge easily to start with – what little anger I had about our divorce blew over quickly.  And I was honestly happy to hear it – she found what she was looking for, and as a bonus, so did Nick!

Of course, they actually did get married – speaking of which, I still have part 2 to post one of these days.  Meredith mentioned I hadn’t blogged in a bit (compaired to the usual at least once a week postings I do), and we were chatting and I remembered I had most of that written on a post in my computer.  I’ll finish it off and post it, just for the hell of it.

Congratulations on your first New Years as a married couple, Heather and Nick!  Hey…. if Morgan and Michael for Morchael, does that make Heather and Nick “Nither”?  Or better yet…. “Hick”? B-)  (Nick is so gonna hit me next time he sees me.  And then Heather is gonna seriously beat me 🙂

As a side effect of “Hick” marrage, (yep, they gonna kill me now), I managed to reconnect with long lost friends.  I also got a reminder from Heather’s mom Darlene (a wonderful person) that I’m not a bad person because I got a divorce from her daughter.  Yeah, might sound stupid, but, that was something that weighed me down a bit in the back of my mind unti2007 In Review 14l she told me.

I shaved my face.  My mustache and goatee look had been on my face for over 10 years (with the exception of the time I did some work for General Mills, and had to shave.)  That was a big deal for me – I don’t like change, and that was radical change in my opinion.  I took it off as an experement,2007 In Review 15 and well… in the long term I decided I liked it (except for the fact that it hid a double chin. Fuck.)

I ditched my laptop and bought a MacMini.  This was the first of two major computing device purchases.  The Mini ended up with added benefits I didn’t expect.  For three of the contract gigs I’ve got going at the moment, I have to have two incompatable software packages loaded at the same time.  No problem – I run two copies of Windows at the same time on my Mac.  Problem solved.  In fact, after dad gave me a Christmas present (a new 7200 RPM 320 GB SATA external drive, that I hacked to act as an internal boot drive on the Mini), it boots the first copy of Windows in (get this) 5 seconds.  And the second in 11 seconds.  They run the software faster than any of my fathers machines do.  (Which is really an unfair comparison – my versions of Windows XP Pro -vs- his machines is kinda like comparing a dragster -vs- a station wagon.  No, my machine isn’t faster strictly speaking, it’s that my copies of windows only run ONE software package each making them a single focus copy of windows, just like a dragster doesn’t have a radio, air conditioning, etc – it’s single focus is to go straight down the road at high speed.)2007 In Review 16

The Mini has gone through a lot of slow evolution over the year.  Well, not the Mini it’s self – all the accessories.  IT started as a computer loaded up in a box and an external screen.  After a trip like that, I integrated the screen into the case, and mounted things inside – no longer was it a computer in a box, it was a luggable workstation.  I added external USB ports (for instance, my webcam plugs in just above the monitor, USB flash drives plug in on the side of the case (instead of having to reach inside the case), etc.), the 7200 RPM drive, wireless keyboard and mouse, etc.  Basically, slow improvement of the portablity of my work environment, and slow improvement of the tool chains that I use to make money.

(OK, a somewhat random aside here…)  A new keyboard is on the way – has been for a bit now.  I have a major problem with modern keyboards – I don’t type nearly as accurately or well as I used to, and they aren’t as comfortable as the ultimate keyboard.  No, nothing like the Mac thin keyboards (they keys are too small for my fingers, and the keys are flat) or the Microsoft ergonomic keyboards.  In fact, this keyboard has none of the modern conveniences that you see these days – you know, volume controls, dedicated keys for email, etc.  This is a modern IBM Model M.  Never heard of the Model M?  Here’s the deal – IBM was producing a lot of office PC’s at that point, and their IBM Selectric typewriters were being replaced with IBM PC’s in offices.  But everyone hated they keyboards.  So IBM created the “Clicky” keyboards – spring loaded keys that made the keyboard feel like a a typewriter (My high school typing class was on an IBM Selectric, so that might factor a lot into why I feel the Model M is the perfect keyboard ;-).  They are noisy, but for a good reason.  When you type on a modern keyboard, you press the key down until it impacts the bottom of the stroke.  I type hard – I have to feel the keys mush against the bottom to know they engaged.  A clicky keyboard doesn’t work that way – half way into the stroke, they “click”. The key had been pressed, and your fingers feel the click, and you move on.  In other words – you never bottom out the keys, so your fingers take a bit less stress when typing, but you also don’t have to move your fingers as far for each press.  Aditionally, the key layout is slightly curved, improving your response time for reaching to keys like 1 through 9. 

I never owned a TRUE IBM model M keyboard.  I used a LiteOn knockoff that used the same spring design for quite a while.  I went through a couple of those keyboards – problem is, the knockoffs weren’t quite as well designed.  I could still own a model M if I wanted to – you can still buy one new, in box, never used.  For $300.  No, I’m not shitting you.  Old school programmers love ’em.  Well, Unicomp bought the patents from Lexmark (who had bought them from IBM), and now produces a modern (IE, USB) model M.  (OH, and you can buy a used Model M keyboard for around $50 – $60 for the non-rare models.  They weigh 5 lbs, luckly Unicomp has improved a bit on that part :-)  I’ll miss my volume controls on the keyboard, but, having a “real” programmers keyboard again is gonna be awesome, and should2007 In Review 17 help improve my accuracy again (stupid flat keyboards with cramped little keys is driving me nuts these days!!!)

I’m sure I have more things that I’ll add to the Mini’s setup over time.  I hacked out the lighting from the external SATA drive case, and added it to the bottom of my monitor – I now have a built in keyboard light.  Might sound silly, but, on rare occasion I’ve wished I had a small bit of task lighting when on site at a customer’s place.  Eventually I’ll probably add a touch screen overlay to the LCD monitor ($150 – ouch), mainly because a lot of my interface development work I’ve been doing (and I’ve got more of ’em coming in the future for Kenosha too I think) are for touch screen environments.  Being able to emulate the environment closely helps cut down on the number of “test and edit” cycles. You haven’t lived as a programmer until you’ve had to program an interface for something that only has a 6″ touch screen display, but the target device wasn’t even setting in your office to test on! 🙂

The second computing purchase was the iPhone.  A life changing product.  Along with the cool factor (I still on occasion have people ask “Is that an iPhone?”), the things that run on it change how I work.  I have remote control software on it so I can support my customers anywhere, anytime on any platform, reguardless of if I have my real computer with me.  All my accounting is done on the iPhone, so I keep a good idea where my recievables are at, what is due, what is past due (SIGH), etc., etc.

Never mistake the iPhone for a fancy cell phone.  It isn’t.  Even though Apple doesn’t sell it this way, it’s really a computer in your pocket.  The programming API comes out in February, but that hasn’t stopped hackers from coming up with some kick ass shit.  Sure, I expected to see a Nintendo NES emulator on it, and stuff like Solitare.  I didn’t expect to see a Playstation emulator on it (it works – the fucking phone does 3D.  Holy shit.)  Or haptic interfaces for2007 In Review 18 photo manipulation (think Minority Report where he puts on the gloves to manipulate data and pictures.  Same thing – the shot that’s got a couple o’ pictures askew on here is actually a screenshot from the application on the iPhone – interesting to rotate and scale pics in a very natural fashion.

BTW – no matter if you like or dislike the iPhone, better get used to it’s functionality.  Every major cell phone manufactuer has a clone coming out.  And the effect it has on interface design is major.  If I had to pick two things that will have the most effect on computing for the next 3 years, it would be the Nintendo DS and the iPhone (more than just the touch interfaces, but how they are executed.)  Computing everywhere will probably be a reality soon more than the clunky ass Windows CE based cell phones (er Windows Mobile.  Er, Windows Powerd…. oh fuck you get the idea, Microsoft could never actually stick with a single naming scheme for that particular product.  But it was a product that was a good idea, so-so execution.)

Anyway – I’ve used it A LOT as a computer, and it’s changed my workflow considerably.

I also made up my mind on my direction in life.  I know where I’m going.  I’m going to take one of the hardest possible courses doing it though 🙂

My goal in life is my collection of “T-Shirts” (IE, Been THere, Done That, Got the T-Shirt).  Well, I won’t get ALL of them that I want to get before I die.  That’s unfeasable.  But I’ll have a fuckload.

I want an irresponsible life where I can go get another T-Shirt whenever I feel like it.  Except, well, that irresponsibility?  It’s an illusion.  Underneath I still have to have a solid foundation, and sometimes I’m going to have to forgoe or postpone a T-Shirt while I finish other T-Shirts or core money work (hey, what – think I can live off T-Shirts alone?  No.  Even when I get things to the point I have a solid foundation and no bills to pay, I still have to make money for incidentals, new cars, expansion of the house, blahblahblahblah.)  Simply put – it will be a lot of work to be irresponsible. 🙂

But don’t get me wrong – at the same time, there’s no a whole lot random about those T-Shirts I pursue.  There’s less whim there than you see on the surface.  When I pick a T-Shirt, often it going to be to pickup a skillset that fits in my much grander, unspoken plan in life.

2007:  Moral Delima

Anywhere, you`ll be there
Like a whisper inside me each and every day
If I win, if I lose
You will always play a small part
Like a flame, you`ll remain
In your own little corner of my heart
— Blackhawk, Your Own Little Corner Of My Heart

Now, there’s a part of the story about Tammy I haven’t told.  And I wont.  Only a couple of people know jack about this, and some day I’ll tell the whole story.  After the statute of limitations wears off.2007 In Review 19

Tammy and I kept intertwining our lives closer and closer.  Problem – she’s… um… yeah.  I’ll put it this way – she’s in a less socially acceptable line of work.

I don’t have a single moral qualm with it.  Those that know about her understand me well enough to know why I wouldn’t have a problem with it, even if more people would.

But back on the core subject – Erin absolutely adores Tammy.  I got a bit involved with Tammy’s line of business, and slowly got more and more involved (picked up one of those T-Shirts I mentioned along the way, but, without saying too much, not the one you’d expect in that situation.  Yes, fuck you, I’m being cryptic ;-)  I’ll tell the whole story some day.

I’ll admit it – Tammy makes my heart go pitter-patter like no other has.  We kept discussing relationships between us.  (BTW – dispite the fact that we used to have a lot of sex without a relationship between us, that was one line that never got crossed.  Which means it’s a bit shy of a year since I’ve had sex.  So all you married types… fuck you, I hate you. :-)  But her… choice in occupation presents a major problem there, even though she’s discussed quitting a number of times.  It’s just not gonna happen.

But ya know… while time won’t let me wait forever, I could stick around a long time waiting patiently.

2007 In Review 20 I got deeply involved in her business, and one day Meredith presented me with a radical idea about it, and I thought it sounded good… and then said I couldn’t do it for moral reasons.  Basically, me being an influence in Erin’s life.  Which now deepened my delema.  I was already deeply envolved in that business.  If I stuck around the way I was, eventually Erin was gonna find out about Tammy’s choice in occupation.

Jesus fucking Christ.

On one hand, I have someone who lights my soul up just texting me good morning.  We know each other’s buttons like you wouldn’t believe (we play “The Game” quite often – basically, who can catch the other person off guard and turn the other one on to the point they can’t speak.  Surprisingly, a game were we both ended up on even footing, and we both had a pretty equal number of “wins”.)  I could go on and on.

On the other, a 16 year old who I’ve made a comitment to remain a permenant fixture in her life.

In the end, my choice surprised me a bit.  I’m self centered.  Sure, I do things for others, and I go outta my way to help people.  But it’s in many ways because I enjoy it, and I feel it’s the right thing to do.  But the welfare of a young girl is much more important to me.  I’m not a good role model.  And I never will be a good role model.  But I can’t put myself in a situation where I could accedentally contaminate Erin with Tammy’s moral code (well, actually, business code – Tammy’s moral code is much stricter than her business code, which will slowly be the death of her.  Not much of an exageration there either.)

So I’ve extracted myself from the sitation.  I can’t put Erin at risk, and I refuse to exit her life for a second time (thus proving the undependability of people who say they love you – bad idea 🙂

Now, typically when I say I’m done with a sitation, I walk away, never to be seen again.  But with Tammy, it’s a little more middle ground than my usual extremes.  I still talk to her from time to time.  I’m just not involved in her life, and I’m not pursuing her romantically (or at all).  We talk from time to time (she txt’ed me at Christmas, and I txt’ed her for New Years tonight.2007 In Review 21  She said she missed me.  *DEEP HEARTFELT SIGH*)

Someday, things might change for her.  Who knows, it’s not impossible.  Just improbable.

She’ll always have her own little corner of my heart, just like Heather, Meredith, and Jess. (Alright, even Jody has a little spot in there.)  And I’ll probably get misty eyed every time I hear the begining of Your Wildest Dreams – because there’s a good chance she’s thinking of me too.

2007: Work Ends With A Bang
” I don’t wanna work,
I just wanna bang on these drums all day!”
— Todd Rungren, Bang The Drum All Day

So I head off to Kenosha again, and come back.  Wait on check.  Then start working for Dad – he got hit HARD with work.  Too many projects at once to handle, so he starts shuffling them off to me on the MMI and AutoCAD side.  I worked Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve day (not including working Thanksgiving in Kenosha – I’m a mercenary at the moment, I don’t give a fuck what day it is if someone’s offering money 😉 In fact, I FINALLY got ahead of him – I have today off (then I’m back on Wensday).

I started the year at $5 / hour.  I’m ending the year at $45 / hour.  Now hows that for some fucking pay raises? :-)  (The first project I was doing for Dad was at a deep discount.  Now that we’re past that project, I’m closer to my regular payscale, which is $55 / hour.  Hey, family is worth a discount 😉

I wish this pace would keep up for a good 6 months.  If that were to happen, I’d be setting pretty – I’d have all my bills paid off and put the money down on my land.  Life would be good.  Not counting on it to happen though 😉

2008:  Goals

“I’m through with standing in line
to the clubs i’ll never get in
It’s like the bottom of the ninth
and I’m never gonna win
This life hasn’t turned out
quite the way I want it to be”
— Nickleback, Rock Star

These are NOT in order of importance – actually, they are in reverse order.  Work is actually at the top of the list, followed by a new place to live.  They just arent as “exciting” as the other things that appear at what should be the bottom of the list 🙂

T-Shirt – Movie Producer (I already have TV Producer)
T-Shirt – Actor (I already have TV Show Host) (And note I said Actor.  That doesn’t mean my goal is to be a movie star.  I never will be, and you’ll never see my name up in lights.  These are independent films 🙂
T-Shirt – Movie Director (Note that’s director, not Director of Photography.  The DP is why you can be an actor and a director on the same show.)  However, that will only happen if we actually pull off 3 movies for the year.  Since there are only two scripts, probably not gonna happen.
T-Shirt – Writer

Quit Smoking and Get In Shape.  Makes it easier to pull off that second T-Shirt successfully.

Release my “Secret Project”
Finish and Release the other “Secret Project” I’ve had in the works for, what, nearly a year now?
Get the Fucktard Awards running smoothly for the entire year.
Get my own place (be it an appartment or actually buying a piece of land. The appartment is more likely, and probably gonna happen around the end of February 🙂
Advertise for more work! (My usual mistake – not marketing.)
Work 1 week at minimum per month at my standard contracting rate. (As long as I do that, I can do anything I damned well please.  That whole working hard to be able to be irresponsible thing 😉

Well, there ya go.  Boring list, with a lot of things to do on it 🙂

There’s where I’ve been… now it’s time to go do the things that get me to where I’m going…

Typically a post this big would take like an hour to write.  It’s taken 6.  I kept stopping and thinking about what things affected me most over the year.  It should be noted that one thing isn’t mentioned on here much at all – Meredith and Lance letting me live with them for over a year now.  I can’t state how important that has been to my recovery in life – not just financially, but in just about every other way.  Without them, I wouldn’t have been nearly as far along in my fiscal recovery, and I’m not sure where I’d be at mentally without their companionship, and long chats with Meredith.  Seriously, if I had to pick one thing and only one thing that I was thankful for this year, it would be that I have friends that truely care.


Footnote:  Clayton wins the contest for most photos for the year.  After I got my first camera phone (a Motorola L7c) and then the HV20, I took almost 3,000 photos for the year (Much of it though was stuff only of interest to me – proposed locations for R & S #2, pictures of the insides of panels and computers in Kenosha, shit like that).  Clayton took 12,000?  Oh, it’s on buddy, it’s on.  You’re goin’ down in 2008 😉

Footnote 2:  I said it took 6 hours.  Well… I wrote it, then went to bed.  I wanted to throw pictures in there (why? because I wanted to.)  Didn’t mess with it again until the AM on Jan 2 🙂

Footnote 3:  Who the fuck puts footnotes in a blog entry?  I mean, besides me now apparently.

Talk to me (and everyone else) by commenting!