Sunday, June 15, 2014

From the Inside Looking Out.

Hey everyone! We're getting colorful today!

So I have a story, but in order to tell that story, I need to tell you another story. This is a rather personal story that has no real merit and it won't change your views on me, but I think it is still a story worth sharing. Here is the first story to help describe the actual story I wish to tell.

When I was 21 I rented a house with a few roommates. It seemed to us that it was a rather large house, two bathroom, three bedroom home. A large portion of the backyard was extended for a separate "dining" room that included a bar, which connected directly to the kitchen, which connected to the living room and old dining room. Basically, it was one large room with hip high separated walls. Anyway, during our time there we had several parties, acquired some beat-up couches that friends had donated, they were upgrading and I just took what they didn't want. It provided a great area for drunk friends to sleep at. At one point I owned five couches, two entertainment centers, two desks, and a dining room table, and that's before heading into my master bedroom. Needless to say, I thought I was doing great, until I needed to move out into a friends spare bedroom. See, I was a very materialistic person at the time. I needed to acquire things and I couldn't let these things go. I had decided to rent a storage unit until I got a house again. After all, what is $40/month for all this stuff! 

However, I did the smart thing and talked to my dad about the idea, and he gave me one of the most insightful advice I had ever received up until that point in my life. He told me to throw it away. 

Now, I was very much against the advice at first. I didn't yell or anything, but that little person inside my brain (not the angel nor devil, more of like the accountant counting my stuff) kept telling me I needed it. Sure, it was beat up, sure friends gave it away for a reason, sure there may have been tears and stains and smells, but it was mine. And I had a lot of it. But, I had always trusted my dad before, and he hadn't let me astray yet (still hasn't), so I brought my roommate out of his room and together we threw away the beat up couches, gave away the spare entertainment center and desk, gave away the spare couches that were only worn. I gave the dining room table back to my family and was left with very few things. When I moved out of my house into my spare bedroom, I had a bed, desk, dresser, and my newer entertainment center, but it was taken apart and under my bed. And I felt free.

It was nothing short of amazing to me. The freedom of lack off stuff. That accountant who was on my shoulder just quit his job.

Now, please understand I have acquired more stuff now than those few items I listed in my story. But also understand that I wouldn't be sad if it were gone. I collect Captain America (CA) stuff like crazy, with a $280 Jacket replica, $100 metal shield, $70 sweater. I have CA stuff hung on walls, I have a CA mouse pad, I have CA glasses still in boxes, two CA coffee mugs and an assortment of CA action figures. But if there ever is a moment a kid looks at this stuff in awe and says he wants one of his own to play with, he'll probably be walking out of my office with a new toy. If I ever have a friend say that we should drink from said boxed cups in celebration of something. You bet your ass I'll be tearing those boxes apart for some memories.

Anyway, back on track. After that day I made two rules that I try my hardest to still follow today.

1 - Never keep stuff you don't need or want. Only have stuff that you use. This rule has been the one rule that allows myself to feel free. Since I made this rule, I've given many things away, including my bed, CDs, Mp3 player, games, books, and a bass guitar. And even if it is not actually in the rule, I always give it away. I don't sell it. I am well enough off to not pander it off to the highest bidder. I give it to someone who I feel wants/needs the stuff.  
Side Note: Unfortunately for some, listening to this piece of advice in the strictest sense leaves you without many sentimental items. I don't care about sentimental items in my life. I have people, friends, family, and pets. This hurts some people, but they love me anyway. 

2 - Take advice from the person who's Outside looking in - This is the hardest of all hard things to listen to. Giving away my stuff was one of the most mentally straining decisions I ever have ever done. But it was probably the best decision I had made at that time. I have since sold my small dog Joey against the love of the guy, broken up with girls who I had strong feelings for, and got rid of my Charger despite the roar of the engine. This is stuff I did not want to do, but family and friends told me to make it. I trusted in their decision over my own brain screaming "No! No! NO!" And it has worked out so far.

Knowing this, this brings me to my actual story. A very recent one actually, yesterday, at dinner. So Kristi took me to a surprise dinner at Oregano's, which ended us at The Spaghetti Company because we decided not to wait an hour and a half. We ordered food and talked for a bit. Mostly about the different projects we have going on in our life. I say projects and not Project, because Project is something specific that you know if you've been reading my blog for a while. ANYWAY, we're talking about our projects in life, her diet, my workout schedule, the Project (there it is!), and then my other video projects that I have rattled around in my head. I keep those projects (lower p) to myself and let them stew for a while. I share them with Kristi out loud so I can hear it being said, and she's kind enough to say nothing opinion-related until asked. So, these are some of the video projects that have been stewing, so you can be where she is at right now:

The Project: Cardisia - Wrote almost two seasons worth that I go over constantly and re-edit to make sure it flows. I will be having a second editor go through them very soon.
Time to completion - Months - Ongoing process with the wonderful group.
Effort - Lots, but enjoyable

Fit For a Hero - Video series of me becoming a superhero. That's right. Working out, working hard, and devoting some screen time to the wonderful heroes of comics.
Time to completion - Weeks - Video Recording, Working out, Challenges, Video editing...
Effort - Lots, but I need to work out anyway.

Hero Days - Another video series my friend and I are throwing around. Crossing Universes between Marvel and DC, just ranting about the other heroes in our Universe while highlighting what is actually going on in the world of comics. No Time frame or effort yet made though.

Vlogging - I watch many vlogs and I enjoy them, and I started thinking instead of this written blog, what about video-blogging? eh?! EH?!
Timeframe - Short (video would be 5 min long), but weekly.
Effort - Minimal, just little edits here and there.

Reading John Green's book "The Fault in Our Stars" - So, I understand this book is fairly popular to the outside world, but I only caught sight of it after watching John Green's Youtube channel. I enjoy watching him rant about feel-good things. He wrote this book called "The Fault in Our Stars" and it became a movie. After I told Kristi about it, she saw the book at the store and I purchased it and read it in two-three days and loved it. So I thought, what an interesting thing to do. I know one person does it on Youtube, so why not I? I loved the book, it wouldn't take very long I don't think, and I could get some followers.
Time to completion - Short (reading requires only a little editing as I have a script)
Effort - Minimal. I have my script. I sit. I read.

So all of those ideas in red are ideas I came up with and talked about with her at one time or another.
When I told her about Reading John Green's book, she said nothing, but silently shook her head. I asked for her opinion, and this is what she said:
"I think when you are considering doing recordings for Youtube, you get nervous and want to start copying ideas instead of doing your own. "Fit For a Hero" is a great idea that you haven't started and you seem stuck in the planning phase, you just keep coming up with different ideas that aren't yours to do. People already Vlog and people already read books on Youtube."

And that's when I grew silent. I was silent because I wanted to argue with her. She asked why I was silent and I told her I was thinking, which I was. I sensed that "No! No! NO!" voice in my head, just disagreeing with everything she said to me. Even though she is completely right. I have decided to take her advice over the screaming brain that just wants to keep my delusion that vlogging and reading books were my idea.

I am scared. I am scared I am no good, scared to ask if I can record in the gym I go to. I'm scared to write something that I can't pull off and get frustrated. I am scared of the work and the effort I would need to put into it. But waiting around isn't going to get it done. It's time to start. Be bad if I must, and improve.

So, I love the few readers I have. And I only share on Facebook and Deviant Art now (One person read from the Ukraine!) But I am legitimately curious how many views I can get in a week. So I have a request. If you enjoyed this colorful blog, share it with a friend. This isn't for Youtube points or reddit points, or anything of the sort. Just my curiosity. Thanks!

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. - Herman Melville

Thursday, June 12, 2014


So, before you read this. Be aware it is a rant. After watching some videos online I decided I needed to get more internal fears out onto the digital pavement that I have been given. I wrote it once and haven't edited it in the slightest. When I thought of a another fear, I added it, so it might seem a bit broken up, but that's OK with me.

As I'll say below, this isn't looking for sympathy or empathy or anything of the sort. This is for a more personal reason that I decided to release. I wanted it out of my system. An excerpt of my mind-diary.

Side Note: I felt this needed to be said, but this isn't about the Project. The Project and it's crew are going smoothly and we're working on storyboard and colors right now. This is about other endeavors I plan on taking, and I can't get over that stump of "starting".

I'm afraid of the camera. I think people will judge me, they will cringe, they won't watch my videos. I have an online social anxiety of being identified by something other than a good person. My several video ideas are related to comics, I have thrown the idea around of vlogging just to get used to the camera, but I dunno. I am too hard on myself. I expect perfection. To be ignored means I wasn't good. And I'm afraid of that.

It isn't just the recording, it's editing. I am not good at it, I don't like doing things that require more practice. Despite my age of 24 I feel like I am almost too old to go back to school for anything. Everything is self-taught and therefore self-pushed and self-criticized and self-failure. Listening to my voice as I edit bothers me. Deciding that it could be better and then feeling like I need to redo it. I know logically that it wouldn't be something most would catch, but I catch it, so it now matters.

Asking people to help is something seem to be OK with, but I hate asking. I hate asking because I don't have anything to give in return. Whether it is to participate in videos, hold the camera, edit the footage, view the footage. I don't want to annoy those around me.

It's all about the prep work. The prep work is hard. I always tell friends that I could head to the gym every day, if I could just have my gym clothes on during the start of the day. If I could wake up and be there I could do it. But it's the getting ready, setting my music, driving there, knowing my routine, and then finally getting to where I want to be. And that's working out.

The same goes for video making. I built my studio, I have everything I need, it just isn't together. My laptop and cords and camera need to be moved into that one room and set up. I need to find a clean shirt, make up some dialogue, know my dialogue enough. "Don't say 'Uhhm' too much." And don't have too many takes, because if you can get your computer to the studio and set up the studio and record and move the computer back into the office, you'll need to edit. And editing is just prep work for posting. It's mind blowing how frustrating prep work is to me.

It's the first video that's the hardest. That's what I tell myself. I tell myself that because I am hoping after this struggle of finding out what I would find interesting in hoping others would find it interesting too it will become easier.

I think of when I am already popular. My mind doesn't have that milestone of "work hard to get there" it is "when you get there" and I think my brain tells me I am entitled. This would be nothing I would think myself, but I always think of "series 2" instead of focusing on Series 1. With this thought process Series 1 becomes prep work for what I should be doing. And, unfortunately, prep work is irritating.

I don't write this for sympathy or empathy or for people to tell me it'll be Okay or to make false promises in watching my videos that I plan to post. I just want to be able to have my fear recognized.

I am lazy and I hate being lazy. I hate being lazy but I am lazy because I hate chasing my dreams. If I catch my dreams and my dreams become reality and I realize my grass is, in fact, green, I will have to continue to take care of it. Letting it die and envy "the other side" where the grass is greener is just easier.

It is easier to wish on a star and have it not come true because that's what we are taught when we are children. To wish on a star and realize you are already a real boy and everything else is hard work.

It's easier to lose myself in Netflix or Hulu or Youtube. To not think for those few hours through the day before work where I can wish to go home "to be productive" or sleep where I can set my alarm to get up early, only to sleep in again and again. The moment I can get past the prep work though...

I am open minded, but I don't take advice well. I tend to think that I know better at what I want. I try to remain open to suggestion but it doesn't work well often. And I don't know why.

Thank you for listening.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” 
Frank Herbert, Dune