Irony Is…

Setting your blog to “Blackout” and breaking the site record for most hits & views in one day!

Thank you to my readers who have been patiently letting me vent my spleen about CISPA for the past few days. If you happen to also be following me on twitter, I will be resuming my usual, lighthearted and random tweets and promise to stop bombarding you with my CISPA- hate.

Although, rest assured, I WILL be tracking the bill through legislature. If I start pulling my soapbox back out, you have nobody to blame but those silly politicians who insist on trying to take our privacy rights away.

In the meantime, I think it’s time to lighten the mood around here, don’t you think? One could even say it’s time to “Levitate.” This dancer goes by iGlide. I think he could teach us a thing or two about the subject.

Dare to Dream

Sometime around mid-February, Terry and I were out having a nice dinner and good conversation. I was telling him about an author’s bio that I had read earlier that day on Amazon (I REALLY wish I could remember who it was!) and how inspired I was.

You see, in her bio, she told the story about how one day, as she was driving home from the job she hated, she realized that she couldn’t do it anymore. She couldn’t stand to be in her dead-end, unfulfilling job, climbing a ladder to nowhere. The feeling was SO overwhelming that, on a whim, she picked up her phone, called her boss and told him that she quit. As it happens, she was driving a company car home, so she also parked at the nearest Starbucks and told him where he could pick up the car.

Then, she made a second call to her husband and asked him to pick her up at the Starbucks. When he asked her if her car had broken down she replied, “No, I just quit my job and need a ride home.”

BAM! Just like that.

As I was reading her story…I knew that I yearned to do the EXACT same thing. Well, obviously, not in regards to the company car, but the quitting my dissatisfying job, jumping off the cliff and reaching for my dream to become an author.

It got me to thinking about all the times I’ve made big changes in my life and I realized something about myself. All of the changes, up until this point, that I have made in my life have been made under duress or due to a stressful situation. They’ve been a reaction to something.

Most of those somethings have usually included whatever man was in my life at the time and either getting into or out of a relationship. The only other catalyst that has inspired me to make a major change is when I’ve moved or relocated somewhere- which have also usually been due to the man in my life.

I want to fix that. No, I NEED to fix that. My birthday is coming up in April and I’m fast approaching the end of my 35th year on this world. If I don’t start having the courage to pursue my dreams now, when am I ever going to?

So, that’s what I’m going to do. At the end of this year, I’m going to quit my comfortable, well paying job and try my hand at becoming a full time writer. Terry and I decided that it would be best to wait until the end of the year so that we have some time to do last-minute saving.

What’s even better was how supportive and understanding Terry is about this! He’s embracing the idea and backing me fully. Granted, we’re very lucky to be in the position where we can live off his salary alone. In fact, I can’t think of a better time to try something like this, since it’s just the two of us (no kids will be hurt in this experiment) and our mortgage and bills aren’t so high we can’t afford them.

The minute it was decided this will be our plan, I felt such a sense of relief and excitement wash over me. It was like getting that first glimpse of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.

That’s not to say I’m not a little anxious and nervous. I mean, what if I can’t produce? What if nobody likes what I write? What if this whole attempt ends up being a giant belly flop?

However, when given the choice of facing those fears or years more of this drudging, uninspiring nothingness that I’m currently feeling- I’d rather at least try!

In the meantime, I’m not going to wait until the end of the year to start thinking of story ideas, characters and whatnot. I’m going to try learning some discipline with my writing.

I’m also going to give Nanowrimo a shot this year. I first heard about it a couple of years ago, but hadn’t really gotten up the courage to attempt it. I figure, I can use it as a dry test run. The timing will actually be perfect, since it’s in November and will be right before our plan will go into action.

Incidentally, I ran across this little video since making this decision. I think it perfectly captures how I’m feeling right now.

The Avengers (Movie Review)

Last night Terry and I went to see The Avengers in IMAX 3D and it was fricken AWESOME! Holy shit, it was so good. Anybody who has been a fan of Marvel comics, or the individual movies, is going to be satisfied. Joss Whedon, the director, did a great job of making sure each character had their screen time and was given due respect. He also did a good job of making sure they all had a chance to interact with the each other.

The story line was clean and engaging; the dialogue snappy and humorous. The action scenes were incredible- fast, crazy, impressive and super-sized! They did a really good job of blending the special effects.

One of the things I was most impressed with was how Whedon seemed to really understand how to use 3D to full advantage. I’m one of those people who isn’t totally won over by the 3D craze. Sure, there are some instances where I can see it would be preferable, such as with the large budget action films. However, this whole fad of going back to old movies and revamping them to be 3D (hello, Titanic) seems kitschy and unnecessary. Really, it’s just a ploy to get more money out of my pocket, and I’m not buying it.

That being said, THIS is the kind of movie tailor made for the 3D IMAX experience! Joss Whedon used camera angles in new and refreshing ways. I’m thinking of one particular scene where he switches to a view inside a taxi, looking out over the dash. Then, the entire taxi gets rolled over and the audience feels like it’s being flipped inside the car. As it makes impact, the whole windshield shatters right in front of the peoples’ eyes. Such a seemingly simple perspective, and yet it really worked well with the 3D to fully immerse the audience into the action sequence. I’d like to see more director’s grasp the full range that these tools can be used when shooting a film.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the film were all the jokes and humorous bits thrown in just for kicks. Once again, Whedon gets the comic book, geeky, counter-culture. The movie business finally got an insider to tell insider jokes. What was really awesome was sitting in a packed movie theater surrounded by like minded people all getting and laughing at them! I know they say that the movie industry has been struggling lately. Now that people have so many more options for viewing content, ticket sales have diminished. It was nice to be reminded how going to the movies can be “An Event.”

This is the line waiting for the 8:15, IMAX, 3D Avengers movie. (Notice our place in line? I’ll be happy to report we lucked out and got two middle/ middle seats! Woohoo!) Once we were seated in the auditorium, everybody comfortably ensconced with their snacks, beverages and goofy glasses…it was like we were all gearing up together. People were cheering and shouting during the good parts, exclaiming and reacting to some of the gotcha moments, and the entire viewing became a community experience. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a movie create that kind of feel good buzz in the theater.

So, go see this movie and spring for the extra bells and whistles! It’s clean enough to bring the kids, no worries there. Also, be sure to stay for both fun little scenes at the end of the credits.

Downhill Babes Maryhill Freeride 2012

These two skaters are Anna O’Neill and Chiara Poscente and they were riding on Rayne Longboards. The video was shot by Lee Gilmar.

This is just incredible! My hands were sweaty the whole time I was watching this. I kept thinking, “One wrong move, one bad shift of weight or random rock in the road…” I can’t believe they did this without any protective gear on besides helmets!

My main question is how the heck do they stop? The video conveniently fades to black before we are shown the answer. I truly hope these two ladies didn’t get a serious case of road rash.

It looks like they’re in Maryhill, Washington, which I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Maryhill happens to have a full-size Stonehenge replica, which is actually pretty cool. I went ahead and uploaded the few photos I took while I was there to my Flickr feed. They’re not the best pictures because they were taken from my phone, but feel free to click through if you’d like to see them!