Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Being Reflective

I went into my 30th year on this Earth with no grace whatsoever. If it weren't for the beer, I would've spent my birthday rolling around on the dried out grass, in the 101 degree summer heat, balling my eyes out, and in between sobs saying, "I'm not 30."

I still feel like a child most the time. It's a hard realization when I think, "Dammit, I've been out of the safety of school for seven years now. I'm a freaking adult with a mortgage."

But, the thing that makes me feel better, is also the thing that made me feel better when I was 25, and what will probably make me feel better when I'm 40.

It seems like no matter what age people are, they always reflect back 5-10 years as these great years.

Marc Maron was talking about his 40s like that. Chris Hardwick thought about his 30s that way. And I too, think about my mid-20s that way.

To be fair though, if I was still 26 I would still be able to run long distances. (Not that I loved doing that) I would still be able to drink a few glasses of wine without waking up with a headache. I would still have a glorious, non-grayed beard. I could pound a double bacon cheeseburger without the fear of heartburn.

But I would also be making less money. I wouldn't have a majority of the friends I have now. I wouldn't have a high-def TV or be getting ready to go to Europe. I sure as hell wouldn't know how to cook good food. We would still be eating spaghetti and mac and cheese every night.

I guess what I'm saying is, I know there will be plenty of great things ahead. Things that when I'm 40, I'll think, "Damn, 33 was pretty good. And you know what, 36 too."

But as part of that, I need to take care of myself now.

I don't go to the gym because I expect to have a six pack. I go to the gym because I don't want to have a ton of back pain and no flexibility when I'm 60.

I contribute more to my retirement fund than most of my peers. Because I want to be able to retire by the time I'm 70 and not worry about money again.

And I wear sunscreen or just stay out of the sun dammit. It's bad for your skin and eyes. And that glowing ball of death is only poking through our atmosphere more and more.

So live on and look forward people. There's some rad stuff to come.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

True False 2015

Sal and I survived another True False film fest. This year was the biggest bust, but still incredible fun.

Since we're going to Germany, we went with the cheapest pass rather than the next tier up this year. We only booked 7 films before they sold out. And of the 7, only 3 ended up being good. Usually we can queue for other films and get in last minute, but it seems like the festival has become too popular. When we queued an hour before the film, we were still 160 people away from getting in the doors.

It seemed to be a sentiment shared across the festival. We kept hearing murmurs of people saying they were unable to get into films. It's sort of a bummer, but something I've expected for years.

You hear about how nice Sundance once was this small festival in the mountains. Now once a year, thousands of the Hollywood elite attack the peaceful mountain town to pretend that they are being "Indie." We've been going to True False for 7 years, and each year it seemed a little larger. People started coming from further away.

This year, there was easily over 50,000 people in Columbia. And not only were there that many people, but there were definitely more people talking with their nose up in the air.

Among the things we overheard was, "I bought the most expensive ($800 a piece) pass because I like to support the arts." Every time this lady said, "I" she extended it out and turned it into "IIIIIII" with plenty of emphasis on it.

We also heard a developer's genius idea for a business he was starting. "You see, it's guitar lessons with an instructor. You do it over the internet. That way, if you have a webcam, you can hook up with an instructor 24 hours a day. And the best part is, there's no overhead, so I can expand nation-wide immediately." While his friends clapped at this genius idea, I couldn't help but think two things.

1. Not only is this not a novel idea, but the website that I get my guitar music from already offers this service.

2. There's plenty of overhead. Servers, bandwidth, a website, marketing... yeah, this stuff doesn't just blow up.

The time change made things particularly fun. We had a late movie Saturday night and didn't get to bed until 1 am. We needed to wake up by 7:45 am in order to pack our things and make it to our first film.

Our phones updated their time overnight.

I get a panicked wake up from Sal saying it was 8:15. We jump out of bed, throw everything we can into our backpacks, skip showering and head for the car.

As I grab my phone, I notice it says it's 9:22 am, meaning there's no way we make this film. Sal's phone now says 8:22 am. We assume since my phone is an hour later, it updated and Sal's did not. So at this point, we're trying to think of where we want to get breakfast since we missed the film.

Jump into our car, and that clock says 7:24 am. So now we have no idea what time it is. We also can't remember if our car is some sort of smart car that can set it's own time. So at this point, I start driving toward the venue while Sal Google's "What time is it in Columbia MO?"

Turns out, we were only running 20 minutes behind and we made the film.

The feel of the festival is changing. I think that would be overlooked if we had more films. Which next year, we will probably just buy the next tier pass again since we basically ended up spending the money we saved entertaining ourselves with food and drinks.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I suppose in different situations, some of the other 7 deadly sins might be considered the worst. But the one that seems to rear it's ugly head the most in my life is Envy.

I won an award last year. It's a prestigious award. But it wasn't a hand out. I earned it. I was voted as the recipient by all of technology management. 

A guy on my team lost out to me. The year before, he lost out to another guy. This guy is known to have a temper, but I've never really been on the receiving end.

So this guy finds out that he didn't win the award again this year. I had called him for something completely unrelated... you know... work stuff. He started venting to me about how angry he is, blah blah. I listen for a solid 30 minutes. 

I feel bad for the guy cause he did work really hard this year and the only reason he probably didn't get this is because the person that did, who is on another team, has much more interaction with the Technology Managers. 

I feel bad for him. I tell him so. I offer a little advice, but not too much. This seems more like one of those, "I just need to rant." And then the angry envy monster rears it's head.

So as part of this award, you get your picture up on the wall at Wells Fargo for a year, you get a mug, a cash value prize, and a nice plaque.

So this guy starts saying, "I can't believe I got beat by someone on this team in their first year. Sometimes I think about it and get so angry I want to come over and smash that damn mug. I've been busting my ass for an entire year and have little to show for it. I might as well just coast for now on."

He then spends the next 10 minutes dressing down people on our team, partners or our team, the maangement, etc. I guess sometimes you need to just rant, but it was hard as I like everyone I work with pretty well.

It's an award I won a year ago and somehow this guy is making me feel bad for it?

I guess my fuse just isn't that short. It takes a lot for me to actually flip out about something.

Anyway, I looked it up and stats / project-wize, I destroyed this guy last year. I probably would've won the award again if I hadn't just won it.