Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Growing Up

"It has been my observation that parents kill more dreams than anybody." - Spike Lee

That quote is somewhat true, but I would change parents with adults/adult hood.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist for Disney or comic book artist for Marvel more than anything. I was pretty good at drawing. I took a ton of college audit classes when I was 12-14. I was well on my way.

And then computers came into the world, Pixar took off. Cartoonists were being laid off everywhere and getting jobs designing graphics for companies. Marvel was just about bankrupt.

Even as a young child, I knew my prospects were slim. I was good, but not great at drawing and it seemed the industry was moving toward using cheap Asian labor or eliminating artists all together.

Then as a teenager, I started playing guitar. I soon learned that being left handed put me at a huge disadvantage, I was already behind peers of mine, and I couldn't keep rhythm while playing guitar. My fingers seemed to be much more clumsy that others.

My brief flirtation with the rockstar life style died when I went to college and realized that just about everyone had a guitar. Not only was I not unique for knowing how to play, but I wasn't even in the top 30 percent of song writers.

And now I'm brewing and cooking. I'd love to do it professionally. It's when I'm most happy.

But the realization is hitting me, unless I open my own place, no one is going to bring in a guy that hasn't worked in the industry in almost 10 years at this point.

My knee won't allow me to stand for 10-15 hours at a time. My back isn't going to allow me to sling 50 lb bags of grain across it. It's a young person's game.

It sucks. It really does. I never wanted to become a 9-5'er. Come home, watch TV, repeat.

But I'm coming to terms that likely writing is my defining factor. And I've been doing it more and more.

It's not the worst thing in the world. I like my job a lot. I just don't have a passion for it. But, having this job allows me to pursue my passions. I can buy brewing ingredients because I have a paycheck. I can go and get a full duck because I wanted to learn how to cook it.

I had always hoped that I would be able to make money doing what I want to. And maybe that is still in the future. But, I'm at a place where I'm comfortable knowing that it might not happen.

And don't take this as a declaration of giving up. It's definitely not that. It's more of my readjusting some of my expectations.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Childhood Adventures and the Cell Phone

Last week, Sal and I watched the coming of age classic, "Stand By Me." These are some of my favorite sort of films. Teens going on an adventure and by the end of the movie, they have had a major change in their life.

I started looking for some good coming of age stories like Goonies or Now and Then. I couldn't find much that was made in the past decade. Why is that?

Cell phones. It's got to be cell phones or technology in general. It's also the reason why it's hard to make horror movies work anymore.

If you want to make a story about a bunch of kids that go off the grid on an adventure or a horror movie where a bunch of teens are about to die because they did drugs, you have to spend at least a scene setting up why their cell phone doesn't work, why they don't have access to a computer, and why they don't have a GPS device.

It really takes away some of the magic of these sort of stories. Can we build a coming of age story set in the modern day or will they always have to be set pre-2000?

One of the first novels I wrote in college is going to require a complete rewrite just to account for this. I either need to speak about it as if it were the past or I have to bring cell phones in.

I don't know, this is sort of a ramble. I just feel really bummed out about it. I've sort of been anti-technology the past week or so. Feel like I'm getting sick of it. Maybe this weekend, or even for a day, I'll just turn my phone off. See how it goes.