Monday, September 24, 2007

So...what do I do in my spare time?

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Used to be a time when I would come home from work and unwind with an episode of General Hospital. Now, weather permitting, I don't even get to GH until after a good dunk in the pool! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh........

This weekend hasn't been good for pool time as we have had a lot of rain come through the area. That makes most of the water cold rain water and no sunlight to warn the water makes for quite a chilly swim. Not as if that has stopped me much!

Believe it or not, I was even upset at the nasty weather this weekend which stopped me from mowing the lawn again. Yes.....I WANTED TO mow the lawn.

There goes my father laughing at me again. You'd think he'd get tired of that!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I that every time I go to Orlando I come back talking about some sort of epiphany I have. Well...tonight is no different. Tonight I met one of my heroes. I met a guy I wish I were. I guy I want to be. I met voice actor Billy West.

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Billy does about a million voices, most notably Fry on "Futurama" and Ren from "Ren and Stimpy". He had done work on the latest project at The DAVE School. (More on that later) As we waited to get into the theater I was introduced to Billy, gave a basic fanboy response and then said, "I think I have the same genetic defect you do because I want to do what you do!" He smiled, laughed and then dove into a 10 minuet dissertation on just the defect. We spoke the same language; and it only got better as he talked about the greats of today he works with; Rob Paulson, Maurice LaMarche and others. Google the names if they don;t ring any bells. For Billy and me, we were talking about some of the most creative and talented people on the planet. And it was just him and me. My idol, Dawes Butler, dies almost 20 years ago, but if I had had the opportunity to meet him I am sure it would have felt much as it did as I sat there talking shop with Billy West. He was attentive, funny and, most importantly, encouraging of my interest in getting into voice acting.

To add to this whole thing, the graduating class project I was there to see was a mock episode of "Tofu, The Vegan Zombie". This is the project which my friend at the DAVE School is trying to sell to Nickelodeon.

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To see the characters come to life along with a killer theme song was just another adrenalin boost to the evening. The possibilities for this seem even clearer and clearer. I know not to get my hopes up as there are hundreds of pilots pitched every day but the energy and momentum building on this seems too good. A toy of Tofu will be in the stores by November and there are negotiations brewing for a comic book. The next step is a trailer for the show which will include my character. More on that as work progresses. Tofu may be coming to a TV near you soon!

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Last night was the prefect counterpoint to the funk I've been in over work at Shawshank recently. Billy talked about sitting across the table from people with absolutely no ideas in their head and then being around and working with people who had some of the most imaginative ideas possible only made me think of Shawshank. Each time I pass my hand through the hand scan time clock I mutter, "Nickoledeon". With every mindless business email I get I whisper, "Tofu". While it doesn't make it easier to suffer through a day there it does give me hope for the day I can finally shake off the mausoleum dust of that place off of me and do what I am feeling more and more that I was meant to do.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The sound you hear is my father laughing!

I have just finished mowing the lawn. I have not mowed a lawn since somewhere in the 1970's. Granted, it was a little easier with Jason's self-propelled mower. Although, we didn't have the 30 degree sloped swails in my yard or the 90 degree heat either! I figure it's a fair trade for staying here rent free.

Yes, the one thing that made up for it all was being able to drop on the pool as soon as I was done.

The reason I'm doing this is one of the other bits of news that has happened since my move.


She is a 27 year old single mom who works in my office. A few weeks ago we started talking and I finally got up the never to offer my phone number which she happily took. We have gone out to lunch once so far and she is supposed to come over for a swim sometime today.

It's very early on and only something very casual at this point but I still had to make the place presentable to make an impression. Speaking of which....I have some dusting to do.

DAMN! There goes my father laughing again!!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Today is something of a significant day for me.

#1 I am officially no longer residing in my trailer in Jensen Beach.

#2 It was ten years ago I started working at my current job.

The reason I have not blogged in so long is that I have finished moving into my friend Jason's house. My landlord made me stick to a strict 30 day notice for moving so I was paid on the rent until today. I had spent 6 years and 15 days in that trailer. As I took a last look around I had memories flood back. The Christmas mornings with my son, friends visiting, evacuating from the hurricanes...yes, as usual, I got nostalgic. OK, so I won't miss the water damage from the hurricanes, the cockroaches or the occasional ignorant neighbors. Overall, it was a nice place to be and, if necessary, is on my list of possibilities when my stay here is done.

My son, to prove his genetic link, walked in to the house with the last box, set it down, looked around the living room as big as the old trailer and said, "Nah! Dad, let's take all the stuff back. This place ain't good enough!"

To further prove the genetics, I had the opportunity to meet his girlfriend, Sara. I shook her hand and said to her, "You let yourself be seen in public with him?!"

She turned to him and said, "Why does everyone say that to me?!"

She is very pretty and they seem to have a really nice relationship going. They have been dating for almost 6 months; a lifetime at 16.

I had a hell of a time with the phone company during the move. They didn't get the service transferred when they said they would and left me without a phone over the Labor Day weekend. They also left me without DSL. Even though I had DSL and Jason had DSL because of the limited availability of nodes in the area as soon as both of our services were moved I was effectively put at the back of the line of a waiting list. So, I now have DSL with a local cable provider and am about to switch my regular phone over to Vonage and tell Bell South to kiss off.

I have made the place my own by putting put my pictures and nick nacks. I have spent time in the pool every day. The house is about 5 times the size of my trailer and I thing I spent an hour my first night here just walking back from one end of the house to another. I called Jason after my first night here and told him that I had already decided he can't move back!

My 10th anniversary with my company is a little bitter sweet. It is nice to have been somewhere for so long but with the way the company had changed its not the celebration I had thought it should be. I had my annual review right on the day of my review and there were subtleties in there that proved my point.

In the same breath that I am praised for always offering suggestions on improving my job I am berated for taking too much time in making those suggestions and taking away from my production time. "We want you to make suggestion but we don't want you to take the time to do it!" There was a time when I really enjoyed my job and I'm not sure I can say that anymore. As I looked through my past evaluations I can see that I did the best when there was an element of training involved. So, in an effort to try to salvage my career there, I will continue to steer myself towards the training department.

Of course, I will keep on hoping for Nickelodeon to come though!!!!!!!

Speaking of which, I am headed up to Orlando again Wednesday for another DAVE School graduation. This will give me the opportunity to hound the people working on the series they are pitching to Nick. Also, I will have the opportunity to rub elbows with someone who is doing what I want to do, Billy West. He did the voice of Ren on "Ren and Stimpy", Bender on "Futurama" and about a thousand others. I am dying to have the chance to pick his brain about breaking into this kind of work.

For now, though....back to the pool!