What it Takes

A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a break through in therapy. I was talking about depression like I’ve been doing for the last four years and Byron pointed something out to me.

“Kevin, I’ve been seeing you for over ten years now and in the last four you’ve talked more about depression than ever. You used to talk about your problems and now you just blame depression. Do you know when this started?”
It was a pretty direct question for him.
“When?” I asked.
“No” he said. “You tell me.”
“When my father died?”

Now, what Byron was pointing out was that I wasn’t over my father’s death. What I realized was that I’d been dwelling on the depression and seeing it as an outside thing and just accepting it instead of trying to get over it. To use the metaphor, I was feeding the wrong wolf. I was feeding the thing that was destroying me instead of actively trying to get better.

So it’s been a few weeks and I find myself actively fighting against the dark thoughts. If I start downing myself I ask myself why I’m doing that or if I would do this to someone else. If I feel down, I try to find the root cause of it. If it’s something I can control I work on it. If it’s not, I accept it and move on to things I CAN control.

For the first time in my life I feel like I have what it takes.

DHL is the Worst Company in the World

Sometime back in September I went to my Square dashboard and ordered a pack of stickers and a small cardboard table stand to take to conventions to get the point across that I take credit cards. It’s free so I figured why not. The delivery date turns out to be two days after the convention so I figure “Ah well. I’ve got it for next time.”

Cut to a few days later when it ships. The shipping method is DHL. I break out in a cold sweat. I know where this is going. I’ve ordered multiple things and had them shipped via DHL. I have never received those items. Part of it is our local DHL is literally some guy with a van that delivers when he gets around to it. The other problem is that DHL is the most inept company I’ve ever dealt with in my life. We have issues when I worked for GreenTree Properties and I knew I’d have them now.

So the first package started in Texas. It traveled to Jackson, Mississippi which is more or less where I live. It then traveled to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and went out for delivery. Since I don’t LIVE in Truth or Consequences it went back to Texas where it stayed.
I contacted Square about this and they were very apologetic. They shipped me another one right away. This one shipped from Florida, traveled through Jackson again and went straight to the same town in Texas where it promptly vanished from tracking. I contacted square again and this time received no response. That was by the end of October. The package had originally be ordered in mid September. A small envelope of stickers.

After this I decided to try an experiment. SURELY this was somehow because I was an individual. If I ordered one for a business they’d use a real shipping company. So I bop my way up to the gallery since we use Square there, log into the console, and order another package. This shipped via DHL from Florida, passed through Jackson BACK to Florida and was delivered somewhere. I don’t know where, but it was delivered according to tracking. It was at this point I gave up. Again, the end of October.

About a week ago I received a package in the mail that looked like it had been devoured by Satan’s asshole and sure enough, there inside were what was left of my stickers and stand. This was the first package. A week later I received the second package. This one partially damaged but the contents were fine.

This week, near the end of November, I received our package from Square at the gallery. The one that had been delivered. “Well” I thought, “at least this is over”.

Today I received a second package at work with more stickers. I’m now expecting to never stop receiving them.

So yeah. Don’t deal with DHL. I don’t know what the hell’s going on with those guys but they suck. Hard.

Changes From the Move

So a lot has changed since the move. The following is a list of things I can think of right off.

  • I can now take hot showers for the first time in nine years.
  • The wireless internet is as fast as the old wired internet and the wired internet is amazing.
  • When it rains I can flush the toilet without it flooding the bathroom.
  • When it rains I can take a shower without it stopping up. (also, a hot shower as previously stated)
  • When it rains I can get to my car without having to take a change of socks due to flooding.
  • Speaking of, the yard doesn’t flood. The old yard completely submerged after any amount of rain.
  • We don’t have bookcase that is important to the structural integrity of the house.
  • The house is larger than a third world shanty.
  • It’s REALLY quiet at night.
  • Did I mention the showers are hot and the toilet flushes?
  • Domino’s Pizza will actually deliver pizza to our neighborhood.
  •  The neighbors are friendly.

So yeah. That’s all I can think of right now. Thanks for listening!

Movin’ On Up

Some time last year it was really driven home to me that I needed to get out of my home of thirty-two years and out of my neighborhood. Maybe it was the loud music during the day. Maybe it was the fact that the house was in terrible shape. It was definitely the fact that I was getting way too used to gunfire.

Since after my mom died the sound of gunshots had become more and more frequent. Maybe once every few days or weeks. Shortly after my father’s passing it became every few minutes. The worst was the night there were three shootings next door. Mike and I both lept out of bed and hit the floor and crawled into the hallway. I’ll never forget both of us laying there and one of us, I don’t remember who, saying “We need to move. Soon.”

It’s easy to say but not easy to do. Part of it’s money. Most of it’s the fact that it’s one of two homes I remember living in. It’s hard to really let something like that go. I grew up in that house. It was home for all those years. Even now I can feel my parents in there. I didn’t even have an idea of where to go so it wasn’t much of an issue.

In 2015 my boss asked if I wanted to buy his old house in Clinton. I did, but honestly I couldn’t afford it. Then Warren, his son, decided to rent it. We helped finish up some of the work on the house and moved in at the beginning of February this year.

A word on this house. When I first met Warren he and his family were living in this house. I coveted that house from the moment I saw it. It’s amazing to a guy who’s lived in tiny shacks his whole life. It’s got four bedrooms, two baths, a giant den and a basement that’s bigger than the old house. Needless to say, when the opportunity to live there popped up I had to.

Another reason for the move is Kit. Kit and I have been together for eight years now and we have never been able to find work in each other’s area. Well in December Kit found a job here and moved in on Christmas day. I can tell you right now things were cramped. Especially with her cat thrown into the mix. Mike and I had to make room for her essentials with a mind to eventually get out. The house wasn’t made for three grown adults.

So here we are, starting on our second month and it’s been amazing. I never knew a place could be so quiet at night. I’ve never had to wave at so many people before. I never knew my life could be this, I don’t know, quiet before. Maybe now I’ll have more time for writing and drawing. We’ll see.

Live, Die, Repeat, Run C:/ Tom Cruise.jpg, Title, ETC.

A little while back I saw “Edge of Tomorrow/Live, Die, Repeat/what should have been All You Need is Kill” and I have to admit I rather liked it. I’d go as far as saying it was one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. It had a hell of a lot going for it, despite some story concerns I have. Let’s dive in.

First, if you’re not a Tom Cruise fan, then this it the Tom Cruise movie for you because you’re going to see him die. A LOT. In fact, this film is a bit different from your normal Tom Cruise movie I think. He plays a coward, and a fairly unlikeable character for the first part of the film. Like Groundhog Day, though, by the end he’s grown as a person. By the end of it, you realize this guy isn’t so bad. Or at least, he isn’t any more.

Actually, let’s get something out of the way before we go any further with this movie. It IS Groundhog Day but with an alien invasion. I sort of kept expecting them to hang a lantern on it and have someone MENTION Groundhog Day but it didn’t happen. I did though. Several times. That being said, it’s still a fun movie in its own right.

The movie is like a comedy of errors that still manages to hold on to the drama of the premise. The character scenes are fun and surprisingly deep and the battle scenes remind me of a Danny Boyle film. Especially once we get inland. The best part is this is that it works together as a cohesive story. The humor and the drama don’t clash and instead compliment each other and support it as a whole.

The problem I have isn’t really with the movie. It’s with the marketing. It kept coming off as a dramatic military version of that Bill Murray movie I’m tired of mentioning, but it’s actually quite funny. The fact that the studio wasn’t willing to go with the original Japanese title, All You Need is Kill, shows that they really didn’t know what to do with it. The changed the title to Edge of Tomorrow and then when it got released on DVD/Blu Ray they changed it again to Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. Frankly, the whole story is so nuts they could have just stuck with All You Need is Kill and I would have got to see it based on that alone!

So yeah. If you haven’t seen it and were on the fence, I highly recommend it. It’s a fun romp with some deep thought and character.

An Ending and a Beginning

I’ve posted this on Facebook and Twitter all ready, but I need to speak at length some where.

On Friday my girlfriend was keeping me company and we had plans for lunch. After work we were going to drive out to hospice and visit my dad. He’d been in for a week and had become lethargic and restless by turns. He wasn’t really aware of where he was or what was going on. Shortly before noon I had a call on my cellphone. My father had just passed away. The next few minutes were a blur. I made phone calls and hit the road.

I got to the hospice around noon and went back to his room. I asked Kit to wait outside for me. I went in and saw my father. He was pale. He was still a bit warm. I kept thinking he’d open his eyes and turn his head to speak. I cried. I cried for a good while. I smoothed his hair and spoke to him. I apologized for not being there. I kissed him on the forehead and began packing his things. My finally words before leaving were “Be good.” We drove to the funeral home in Morton that afternoon and met my Aunt Betty Faye and my cousin Danny and we began making arrangements. That night myself, Kit, Mike, and Warren went to Jeff and Tiny’s and spent time with friends and ate. Far too much food for two men was sent home with us.

Saturday was a blur. I think we spent most of the day at home. Paul and Emily came out, Mike got off work, and we all went to the visitation. I saw some relatives and my friends kept my spirit up. I saw my dad again. The funeral home did wonders with him. When he died my father looked terrible. Laying there in the casket he looked like he would sit up and ask why they didn’t have a TV in the room and when was Pawn Stars coming on. Afterward, Warren, Mike, myself and Kit headed over to the Indian place back in Jackson.

Sunday was the funeral. My cousin Glenn performed the service. My friends and Danny and his son were the pallbearers. My friends have actually now put both my parents in the ground.

It’s been rough the past week. I don’t know what I’d do if it weren’t for my friends and Kit. They’ve practically carried me through this.

I find myself coming in the living room and when I don’t find him there it hits me all over again.

It’s gonna be a long rest of my life. . .

Cropping Movies To Fit The TV Screen: A Movie Buff’s Perspective

My friend Greg has just started blogging about film and the entertainment industry. The guy’s pretty bang on so go check him out!

Greg on Film

A little over a year ago, after completing a screenplay and pitching it on VPF, I got a fairly big production company to read it. As you can imagine, I was quite happy, I even posted about it on Facebook. Not a good idea. It took them almost a year to decide they didn’t want to make it. Although the didn’t say it, I suspect it had something to do with a certain colossal bomb starring Johnny Depp that came out this past Easter.

It was certainly disappointing. But there were reasons to look on the bright side. Most of their movies actually have a made for cable quality to them as opposed to cinematic. Also, they have a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Why is this bad you ask? Because WB loves to crop movies shot in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1, as well as IMAX. to 1.78:1(16:9). And…

View original post 461 more words