After Nana

My grandma passed away Monday. It wasn’t a surprise—she had been in hospice since the Wednesday prior (I found out at AGDQ), she was in the hospital over Christmas, and hell, she was 86, turning 87 in February. My grandpa, somehow still alive, just turned 92. And just like my Mom’s side of the family, everyone, the entire extended family expected my grandpa to pass well before her. All the preparations for transferring knowledge of finances, family upkeep, responsibilities, etc., were slanted toward those expectations. Instead, today my grandpa is going back home to a property he settled in 1949 without Nana for the first time.

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Con Productions

After keeping them unlisted for a bit, I’ve decided to give up on being normal and just get these convention video productions out there. Because I like them! Even in the span of three years you can see how much more versatile a tool the iPhone is for making video.


Conventions by your 30s become predictable and sublime. Enjoy.

Some slow-motion iPhone 7 video of the snowy Sunday at MFF 2016!

34

As is now tradition, here are 34 semi-random topics and thoughts after 34 years of life. I started writing this a couple days before my birthday (10/22) and, as the tradition states, I have to put it off and iterate on it needlessly for months before posting it. Thanks as always for reading!


Birthday: Sticking with what works, my celebration day was:

  • a 15 mile bike ride to and from breakfast at a rural diner,
  • a sprint of effort to finish a list of improvements to the new house before company,
  • a few hours of genuine Halo LAN,
  • and a fantastic, rich Italian dinner…
  • …finished off with a birthday cannoli.

I wouldn’t trade that Sunday for anything; thank you to all who made it memorable!


This Old House: Despite all of the drama surrounding the sale of our previous house, we accepted a similar offer in early October and closed on November 1st. Just like that, it was over—money in the bank and one less string attached to Central (and all of) Florida. We’re all moved in at the new rental, mostly settled, and reaping the rewards of downsizing.

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Open House

My soul is redlining these days but I’ve discovered a few breaths and a few minutes to write. Thank you as always for reading and affording me an opportunity to be better understood.


My House

Life’s been moving fast since I last wrote. This whole moving-on scheme took off really quickly. Erik closed on his house while we met with a local realtor and got our house on the market and looking fine. My brother came down for a fun garage sale the day it was listed. We quickly got a bunch of showings and a couple good offers. While on vacation in middle America, we eventually signed a contract on our house for a cash buyer (that was a pain to negotiate with). They dropped ten grand into escrow and had their inspection on August 15th, which was uneventful. Their realtor assured us everything was fine and they were planning to move forward.

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Opportunity

Work has been a bummer for me lately. Trying to help out, I took a position last August that has essentially taken away my ability to contribute. I thought supporting others would be a way to expand the impact of my passion; I was wrong. It turns out passion is rare and fragile. Through all the re-organization, cost-cutting and inequity, I lost my motivation and purpose at UCF.

One morning my passion fought back. This was not what UCF had been to me. I met many of my friends here. I lost almost 100 pounds with a smoothie diet at this walk-able campus. UCF gave me room to grow, demonstrate my value and find my confidence. UCF stood for opportunity.

For weeks I’ve been exploring campus and visiting colleagues, filming everything. I woke up for sunrises on the top of empty garages. I stalked cats, squirrels, raccoons and sandhill cranes. I interviewed peers and clients. I pulled weather cam footage and swam in fountains. In all, I shot and compressed 700+ clips to a single production, a surreal memoir of my UCF experience.

Nothing in recent memory has made me happier or has been as fulfilling or rewarding. Seeing old friends, comrades, wildlife, and the hidden beauty around campus has been overwhelming. I sincerely hope everyone reading this can feel as strongly about their purpose and passions as I have felt producing this video. Please enjoy. 🐾

Mario Maker 2: Inaugural Jam

Last Thursday (our typical game night), instead of fireworks and flags, we took advantage of the release of Super Mario Maker 2 to host a little game jam! Ever since the original Mario Maker on Wii U I’ve had fantasies of having little game jams where we all create level designs with some constraints. For our initial attempt at a jam, we gave three randomly-assigned traits (game type, level type, style) to each participant and broke for an hour to create levels.

Once the timer sounded, we uploaded and validated our creations and took turns trying them out. Below are each of the levels and their codes:

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What’s the Haps: Summer 2019

Hey friends! I tend to write really structured updates and the temptation to do that this time is totally there! Instead I’m just going to write about what’s on my mind and fill in the details where I can.

Work Work Work

Work blows. I’ve been a Scrum Master since last August and it’s on par with the terrible internship I had with Orange County back in the day. Lots of theoretical responsibility and a bunch of people too disillusioned and/or busy to really care about Scrum, Agile, technical quality, or me. Most days I have literally nothing to do. I’ve filled the vacuum by taking on large, team-wide server and database migration projects, team satisfaction surveys, trying to keep on top of strategy and momentum, but it all just screeches to a halt the second I have to rely on anyone outside of my office. It’s depressing as hell and leaves me feeling like a useless member of the team (and questioning my own value). Even worse, gaslighting in the form of “we’re all doing a great job” and “Scrum is so important to our success” makes me feel like I don’t even know what reality I’m in half the time.

You’d think having all this “free” time would be a godsend for me, but the cognitive dissonance is not something I’ve shown any aptitude in handling. I’m at work to do work stuff and I go home to do my stuff and I just don’t know how to flop those two. I’ve tried to take advantage of the downtime in a lot of ways: hiking (mostly successful until the heat kicked on), reading, writing (hello!), a video project (incredibly fulfilling and fun until it got down to editing 500+ clips together), working on therapy homework (pretty difficult to do in a work mindset), and most recently, playing my Switch. It works sometimes, but most of the time the feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, and worthlessness kind of push out any room for motivation or enjoyment. And there’s always that chance I could be needed or work could crop up—just enough to leave me paranoid and checking Teams / email every five minutes.

I hope it’s clear that it’s not a good time for me! I can’t complain about being paid semi-well, having vacation and getting health insurance, but this can’t be what my life amounts to.

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