Hello dear friend…I’ve missed you.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m sorry I’ve been away. Life has been crazy busy. I let everything else take priority and you got pushed to the side. I feel really cruddy about that. Hopefully, someday, I can make it up to you. Let me start by feeling you in on everything that has happened since we last spoke in February of this year.

  • Our baby was born!
    • Since the birth, we’ve had some health scares with the little one. A good handful of ER visits. At least one several night stay at the hospital. But Peanut is doing good now.
  • I started a new job!
    • This job is pretty awesome but requires a lot of my time between May and August. But the rest of the year it’s pretty chill filled with team building, planning, and leadership training.
  • Surprisingly, I haven’t seen very many films this year. I think maybe two? That’ll change in the off season but besides a select handful, I think my summer blockbuster viewing will be taking a hit.
  • We’ve had a run of bad luck over the summer; our little one’s health, then our health, then the car went out, and then our basement flooded…twice! But we’ve kept our heads up, looking at the positive, and pushing through.
  • I am sooooooo close to being done with the edit of Dead Hearts! I just need a day or two to wrap things up. Yet, I can’t find the time due to the previously mentioned issues as well in addition to the time parenting and the new job takes. In a few weeks my work season slows way down and I’ll finally be able to take two days off in a week, back to back, and that’s all I’ll do.
    • Once I finish the final cut, I’m sending a copy to everyone who helped with it. I’m going to book a private screening for everyone to attend. I’m going to apply for a bunch of film festivals. I can’t wait!
  • I have a bunch of new ideas for my next film project, but before I just dive in to those I’m doing some self education. Working on learning the 3 Act structure, what rules to follow (or break), adding depth to my writing, etc. Once I have that down, I’ll feel more comfortable and confident on actually putting my ideas in a script.
  • I’m working on several podcasts with various folks that hopefully will premiere later this fall! More details to come!
  • I’m back on track with my health; I have a pretty solid routine where I do the same stuff throughout the morning and mid-day. Oatmeal w/1 tablespoon of PB, vitamins for breakfast. Apple for first snack. If I’ve been active, I’ll have an Elevation bar (from Aldi.) Lunch is a Lean Shake w/some string cheese. Afternoon is a protein bar and/or apple. Dinner is where I struggle. Sometimes I rock it, others not so much. But I had my food prep containers arrive this week so I’ve prepped several nights in a row of chicken and green beans. All I need to do is pop them in the microwave and viola! Dinner is served. I like this routine I’ve started because that means I only eat meat in the evening, for one meal. I’m trying a “reducetarian” approach to my eating (click the link for more info.)
    • I plan on including 3 days at the gym with daily walks w/the fam and dogs to help improve my overall health. I also hope to run a 5k at the end of October. I do miss those!
  • With the flooded basement, we’ve kind of kickstarted redoing our house. We were going to wait a bit but we feel now is the best time to do it, while we have the momentum (even if it was spurred on by a horrible incident.)
    • We have plans for each room, with themes for each. But before we do anything inside, we have to protect the outside. So we have to re-grade the dirt around our house, put rocks down to keep it there, pull a bunch of foliage/shrubbery from the fence, tear down the fence, put an new fence up, etc. Once we complete that we’ll move to the inside.
    • On the inside, the thing I’m most excited for…we are doing a theater room downstairs! After we’ve flood proofed it of course :D. More deets on that to come!
      • One cool thing we’ll do down there is we’ll adorn the walls w/alternative movie posters. I got a few in mind I’m gonna put up but I to do like a rotating thing where every few months I switch out the posters. If we host movie nights w/friends we’ll put up relevant posters. Lots of things we can do with them! I’ve really started to dive in to that art/design scene and the wife said we could go to MondoCon next year! Can’t wait!

That’s about it for now old friend. Don’t worry though, I’m not leaving ya. I have a feeling things are about to change. You’ll be seeing me a lot more around these parts pretty soon. See you soon!

Keepin’ it Geeky,

j

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Been waiting 30 years for this…

So today is an odd day for me. I am going to be partaking in one of my favorite events with my wife for the first time (a KC Chiefs game) and have had a great weekend filled with food, board games, friends, and family. I have no complaints about anything. Except for…

Today is the day I turn 30. GASP! SHOCK! I know right? Today is my birthday and I always figured this would be the one that felt odd. It would feel like I’m finally an “adult” ya know? Like I would wake up and want to buy some khakis, get a mortgage, start an Roth IRA, and observe the market for stock trends…but then I realized that I’ve already done all of those things. I’ve been adulting for a while it seems.

So why does 30 seem like a such a big deal to me? I’m not sure to be honest. Part of me thinks it tied to my sense of mortality and my fear of death; for a good number of people who did not take care of their health at a younger age (like myself), 30 can be the midway point of your life. This could be “middle-aged” for me. In 30 years time I could possibly be lying flat on a morgue slab, having shuffled off the mortal coil. That scares the hell out of me. I’m not going to get in to specifics or religion mumbo-jumbo right now, but no matter what my views of life and death are, dying is the scariest thing in the world to me.

And because of that fear, I feel I’ve missed out on some things. I’ve spent the last two years in mild depression, neglecting my health, relationships, and pursuing my dreams. I was so worried about turning 30 soon that I forgot that I was currently 28, 29. It was infuriating being  constricted by the irrational fear of something that could come in 30 or 60 years, hell it could of come that very day. So I focused on doing what was expected of me; throw all of my energy in to a career/job that I only had mild interest in, come home miserable from the grind, maybe get off my butt sometimes, and try not to upset Mrs. Harris with my whining or depressed mood.

It wasn’t until part of the way in 2015 that I finally started listening to what Mrs. Harris had been saying for some time; she kept talking that she knew that I needed to chase dreams. It was now more important than ever. She didn’t want me to be filled with nothing but regret 5, 10 years from now. After listening to her say this on repeat, I finally agreed to take the plunge. I’ll chase my dreams or maybe fail, but at least I would have no regrets. During this time of transition, while we would get stressed about finances or unsure what the future holds for us, I started to feel the depression slip away. I felt the stress I had carried with me for years dissipate. The growl and scowl I always had was no longer around.

I was realizing that going after my dreams was worth it. Which I was able to do because my wife kept saying “Why not? Why not chase your dreams? We only have one  life, might as well make it worthwhile right?” She could not have been more right. So thank you Mrs. Harris, for believing in me. For enduring my unrelenting complaints and word vomiting of anger, my difficult depression, for believing in me, for pushing me to finally get off my ass and to do something with myself. While today may be my birthday and you have given me a bunch of great gifts, the best gift you gave me was your never-ending belief in me. Succeed or fail, I’ll be happy with you pushing me to go for the stars.

Thanks for the great 30th birthday Mrs. Harris. I don’t know how you can top this 🙂

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

NSV – Non Scale Victory (WBWed)

So today was my weekly session with my personal trainer, J. The man puts me through the paces each week and is just an overabundance of information on healthy living. He’s become my captain in the rocky seas that are my health. Today I achieved a NSV (that’s Non Scale Victory) that literally made me want to fall to my knees and cry tears of joy. But first…let’s go back.

It’s fall of 2010. A few months prior I had moved to my new store as a manager in SE KS. One weekend I went out of town to visit one of my favorite ladies in the world, my grandma. It was a double bonus because my brother and sis-in-law would be joining us as well. I had a lot to look forward to. It was during this visit that my brother would sit down and have a major heart to heart with me, letting me know his fears about my health. It was a tough talk, it stung (a lot), and I went home feeling pretty low about myself. Yet the more I thought about the talk we had, the more I realized that what my brother had done was finally get me in to the right mindset to make a change for myself.

The next week I joined a local gym that was very family friendly and not slightly intimidating (plus they had a great smoothie bar.) I hired a personal trainer. I was there at the gym almost every day. Minimum five visits a week. 30-45 minutes of lifting followed by an hour or so of basketball and running. Over the next year and few months I would drop 120 lbs. It was great.

Then Mrs. H and moved to CO. That’s when it all changed.

While living in CO, we would have a lot of life experiences in a very short time. Some great (our wedding, buying a house) and others not so great…some where downright life altering. All of this insanity mixed with being so far away from our family and friends (we had a few close friends and some amazing extended family there in CO, but most of them led busy lives so we didn’t get to see them that much) led to slight depression for me. During that time, my health suffered greatly.

Now, almost two years removed from the atmosphere, my wounds have healed and my mind has been course corrected. I’m back in the frame of mind I was back in late 2010. So that brings us to today.

This morning, as J and I were getting to the end of another hard workout, we hit the bench. He likes to superset two exercises together in a way that rests one part of the body while working the other. So I would do a set of 10 reps on the bench and then hop up and do five single leg squats on each leg. For the second rep he put on the weight (we always start with a warm up set that is just the bar) and I repped’em out. Then leg squats. I turn back to the bench and he’s upped the weight again, more than I’m used to doing for 10 reps. But I was in the zone, so I decided to go for it. I repped out 8 of the 10. Pumped I was able to get the weight that many times, I jump up to do my next set of squats.

I then blurt out “I wonder…d’ya think I could beat my one rep max (1RM) on bench?” J, who smiles the cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, says, “I don’t know…what do you think?” The challenge has been made. He wants me to test my determination and my strength. So I tell him to set the bar for 5 lbs below my 1RM. He does and I get set. I knock out four lifts. That was a first. I tell J “put my 1RM on…let’s do this.” He sets the weights and I slide under the bar.

I lift the bar…

1 rep…

2 reps…

3 reps…

I rack.

My mouth is agape in joyful shock that I was able to do that. I turn to J and he says “You know what this means right? We keep going!” For the next five minutes (we had to make sure I rested to regain my strength) we keep pushing it.

When it was all said and done, I had added 15 lbs to my 1RM and the best thing about this? I could have kept going! I am still riding the afterglow of achieving a goal I could never dream of reaching just a few months ago. Achieving what I did today has made me reflect my health journey over the last several years; it hasn’t always been consistent and hasn’t always been that great, but I’m determined to make damn sure I get to my goal weight and ideal body shape at the right pace. No shortcuts, no magical pills. Just through good eating, hard work, and perseverance. Watch out Chris Pratt, you’re not the only lovable doof who’s about ready to go from tubby to “OMG TAKE ME NOW!”

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey