Monday, March 29, 2010

Last week was kind of crazy, thus there were no posts. I slipped into facial hair mode for the book and really dedicated myself to getting some chapters done. I haven't grown a beard to write in a while and for a couple of days it was worth it. I know Julie hates it, but I was feeling like an "artist." Besides the long nights writing, we were prepping for the Cure finders walk at the kids school that took place on Friday. Each year this is an emotional day as you stand around and watch 300 kids walk around the school cheering to find a cure for CF, and it's all because of your son. Even writing that sentence gets me a little misty eyed. As the week went on, Julie sent out her CF letter and I finally wrote mine.

I realized this weekend that I didn't write a letter last year. I think Julie wrote it and we sent it out, but I didn't give much thought to it. When I don't write my own letter I somehow don't feel as connected with the fundraising. I'm glad... very glad that I wrote a letter this year and was able to send it out the past couple of days. In addition, Julie put together a wonderful... really, it kicks ass... video montage that we have on youtube and included with each email. We're hoping to raise $3000 by the end of April. I think it can be done.

Why, you ask? Because the students at Emblem school, where Sophie and Jake attend, raised $4660 in one week! And since BJ's restaurant will donate an additional $1000, the kids raised $5660. Incredible!

Friday's Cure Finders Walk was a great time and I managed not to cry. Close, but it didn't happen. Thank you Emblem School.

By the way, I woke up this morning after another late nighyt of writing and was disappointed in myself for putting on 5 lbs. Resorting to the old ways of beard writing kind of made me resort back to laxidazical feelings about what I eat and exercise. I need to run. It makes me feel good about myself. It also opens up my mind to new ideas. I don't want to turn back into the loafing 30-someting Malchus again.

I'm a writer, damn it. I don't need growth on my face to write.

The beard came off this morning.

Aloha

Friday, March 19, 2010

I've been in a funk all day. This morning there was an honor roll assembly and we attended because Sophie, once again, made honor roll. After the awards were handed out some announcements were made, including one about the CF fundraiser next week. For the third year i a row the kids' school will raise money all week for the CF Foundation, concluding with a mini-walk on Friday.

For me it is always makes me very sad when I hear people talking about combating a deadly disease and that "a child at out school has cystic fibrosis" and that child is mine. I sat still, fighting back tears while Julie addressed the parents throughout the room. After that, I couldn't shake the sadness all day. Even now, at 10:25 PM, I can still feel the lingering effects of this morning and all I want to do is sob my eyes out.

I have watched Julie do so much and I feel inadequate in her presence. All I've ever done is run. Perhaps that's why I am toying with the idea of doing a 10K the same weekend as our Great Strides this year. I need to feel like I'm DOING something and not just being an observer.

I hate this feeling. I hate this fear.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Julie has just about completed this year's Team Jacob Great Strides video. She has done a wonderful job editing photos and some short video clips together. Jacob wanted to use Springsteen's "Working on a Dream" as the song plain underneath the video and I think that it makes it very powerful.

This afternoon was rough for Jules and the kids as Sophie started watching the video and lost it. In school today she was asked to talk to her class about CF and even though she was reluctant to stand up in front of her classmates, she did it anyway. Watching the video with Julie made her sad and she began crying after just a couple clips.

Sophie is one of the brightest kids I know. At any time she could look up some info on CF and I am afraid that she will be overwhelmed with the information out there. I know we should talk to her soon, but when is the right time? Additionally, and Julie has pointed this out to me a couple of times, it would be a huge burden for Sophie to carry if she knew how fatal CF could be and Jacob did not.

Alas, the time is coming. I can feel it. And I dread it, oh how I dread it. As Julie said earlier this year, we want the kids to believe in Santa Claus as long as possible.

I'll post the video when it is complete. Again, Julie did a kick ass job. Her filmmaker husband had very little to do with it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I've spent a good portion of my day typing revised pages from the book. Why is it that I think that most of the stuff I write is crap? Do all writers suffer the same lack of self-confidence? Well, not all do. I read an enlightening article about Nicholas Sparks that pretty much said that he's full of himself.

Then again, the guy makes a shitload of money selling books and those books get made into successful movies.

My goal in the coming weeks is to complete the latest revision of the book without getting sidetracked. Each time I set aside time to work on it, something comes up and weeks go by before I'm able to jump back in.

Still, the most important thing right now is to complete a new CF fundraising video and start asking for donations for this year's Great Strides. Some families have been at it since February and are already doing so well. I always feel like we're behind and I always feel pressure to raise a lot of money.

The years in which we don't raise a lot of money I feel inadequate, as if we haven't done our part. I hate that feeling.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why is it that my bones creak every time I get off the couch. Ugh.

Sophie and I watched the second Harry Potter movie tonight and it was... okay. Better than the first, but the pacing was still slow and at 2 hours and 40 minutes, there could have been some additional edits that would have erased those awkward pauses when the kids were getting fed a line reading.

Sophie liked, though, which is the most important thing, so I shouldn't whine.

Progress is being made on the book revision. It took me a couple of weeks to write new chapters that will open the novel. Unlike 90% of the original draft, which were based on a screenplay I wrote 15 years ago (man, has it been that long?), these new chapters were entirely new material, so it took a little longer to feel comfortable with the writing and confident in what I wrote. I don't know what I'm so worried about because I know I'm just going to rewrite them again before submitting them to be read. Man, this is a great and crazy process.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Basement Songs: Eddie Vedder with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, “The Long Road”

During my first year at BGSU, I saw two motion pictures within a span of nine months that shook me to my core. When I entered college I thought I was in touch with my faith, even considering the possibility of becoming a minister. Movies won out, though.

Click here to read the rest.
Toward the end of last year Sophie and I began a journey into the wonderful world of Harry Potter. I was surprised that she would want to read any of the books in the series as she has always shown an aversion to scary subject matter. However, she quickly fell in love with Harry, Hermione and Ron. Ron is her favorite.

I had never read any of the books, either. When the craze began Sophie was not even born; and by the time the movies started getting made, she was too young to go see them. I am not a big fantasy reader, so my desire was nil and since the first two movies were directed by a director I find rather, er, bland, I never had a desire to see them, either.

When Sophie tore through the first book, I decided we should read them together and then see each movie after the two of us had finished a book. We both completed the first book before Christmas and watched the movie after we returned from Ohio. Soph then sped through the second book and has been waiting patiently while I made my way through book 2. I finally finished this week and we're going to watch the second film, Chamber of Secrets, tomorrow night. Meanwhile, she's just about done with the 3rd book.

I have to say, I love these books. LOVE THEM. The writing flows so wonderfully and each character is so rich, I can't put them down when I'm reading. Yesterday one of my co-workers gave us every single book (but the first) in hard cover. I am so excited because now we will have sturdy copies of the books that will be ready for Jacob when/if (I hope when) he decides to read them.

I never would have thought that I would get caught up in the Harry hysteria, but now I want us to finish all of the books before the final film is released. The last book, Deathly Hallows, has been split into two movies, so I think there is time. Although, I guess I'll have to read a little faster.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I used to love the Academy Awards when I was in college through the early years of our marriage. I dreamed of walking up on that stage someday and having an acceptance speech ready. I imagined what it would be like to thank my friends and family and then be able to look out into the audience and see Julie's huge smile and bright blue eyes that would have stood out in a room full of fake smiles. There would have been tears (because I'm a crybaby); I would have thanked my parents and possibly recounted the VCR story. And then our lives would have changed for the better. We wouldn't have had to worry about anything.

That all changed when we moved up here and Jacob was diagnosed with CF. The priorities changed and being popular wasn't as important as making sure we had health care and that Jacob and Sophie remained healthy. In essence, I compromised.

And I would do it again in a second.

I watched the Academy Awards tonight and I did not feel the pangs of envy or the desire to be sitting in the audience. I was entertained, sure, but I was not invested. Perhaps I'm a little jaded from watching how an Oscar campaign is run. And it is a campaign. Trying to win an award is political. It is about who you know, having the right PR people getting word about your movie to the right people, and often it is about the timing of the release of a movie. If you're missing any of these elements, it doesn't matter how good your film is, or how many people like it despite the flaws, if you're missing one element, your chances of getting awards notice are more difficult.

Maybe turning 40 has given me new perspective after all. I came out here to tell stories. It's what I always wanted to do. It's when I decided that I had to be an artist, that I had to tell stories with meaning that I sort of lost my way. Took me ten years to feel like a writer again. I have the book to thank for that. Whether or not it ever gets published, I am still happy that I wrote it.

As for the Academy Awards, I don't care whether I'm ever even invited. The only awards ceremonies I want to attend anymore are the ones honoring my kids. those are the only awards that matter.


Friday, March 05, 2010

I have a number in mind

and that number is 20,000. I figure that once I have 20,000 songs on my iPod, I will settle in and listen to the device without adding anything new for a good couple of months.

Only 3,000 songs to go.

I need help.

Did you miss me?