If You Build It, They Will Come.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Dudes, dudettes... I'm even impressed with the way the Twelve Page Paper DVD is shaping up, and I'm never pleased with my own work.

The DVD's will be released after the premiere which still isn't officially announced. When I'm up for the premiere, we're going to record the audio commentary track, and I'll add that to the DVD.

If you want one, leave a comment or email me at CoughDogPics@yahoo.com with your name and address. Sorry, but unless you were one of the main actors, I'm going to have to charge for it. The cost of production of the disc and shipping. I don't know how much that is, we'll just say $10. I feel bad, because a lot of people helped out with this, but I came back to Ohio to pinch pennies, and buying blank DVD's and getting color copies of artwork made and shipping adds up really fast. Jason, Jamie, Chuck, you guys are covered, you guys are the stars.

Anyways, I suspect it won't be much longer now. I'm getting giddy. As giddy as someone who works 3rd shift can get. Ask Marcy, that's actually pretty giddy.

Now I debate. I work a 1st shift tomorrow, meaning I have to be at work in about 6 hours. But then I work 3rd on thursday. So do I deprive myself of sleep so that I crash after work tomorrow and sleep, waking up at about 9pm and being back on my 3rd shift schedule, or do I go to bed now and worry about it later?

Hey, Conan's on.


Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I feel like I walked into a damn soap opera. Aaron Spelling's "Citgo." Day 1, store meeting. Everyone yelling at everyone else about what they do and don't do. It's perfect. There's the High School Girl, the 45 year old burn out woman, the schemey gay guy, the fat bitchy one with the burning temper, the 65 year old woman, the 35 year old virgin, the quiet woman, the know it all chick, the boss who you can't tell whether or not she's good or evil, and the nice one who is temporarily on crutches after her 16th surgery from a drunk driver hitting her 17 years ago. And then me, the new guy thrown in mid season to boost ratings. The fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench.

Today is "orientation." I call it "orientation" with the "s because I work at a gas station, and "orientation" is in an office building 15 miles away.

It's a job, it's 40hrs a week, it's insane, but I think when I'm on 3rd and no one else is there, it'll be a lot nicer. It sucks, I was starting to enjoy this early to bed early to rise crap. Oh well.

Time to get going to "orientation." Why is the root word of Orientation "Orient?" Doesn't that mean "east?"


Monday, March 29, 2004

A new study shows 60% of women lie at least once in a ten minute conversation.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

The email address for the website is TheCoughingDog@yahoo.com I just checked it, and I have 972 unread messages, all ending up in the bulk folder. I haven't checked it for about two weeks, as no one but spammers ever send anything to it.

I get about 45 spam messages per day at that address. I'm not clearing them out though. I want to hit 1000 unread messages.

I'm using CoughDogPics@yahoo.com from now on.

I start work tomorrow morning. Yippee.

I've been working on the film all day today. Just working out all the little problems in it. Working on a DVD intro movie. Mapping out the DVD. Adding sound effects. I got a lot done. Mark and I are going to finish all the sound work.

There's a small problem though. There are two shots that I'm missing. At least. I feel confident that I can come up with something to fix the problem. It might take a little creativity, and a lot of slack from the audience.

Well, back at it, I'm on a roll.



Friday, March 26, 2004

So, I got a new job. I'm working at a gas station. 3rd shift. I start monday. At least it's something to do.

Lola, thanks for all the updates. Yes, I'll be at the bachelor party, I doubt I'm invited to the bachelorette one.

I saw "Jersey Girl" today. I really liked it. It's a bit of a departure from the normal Kevin Smith movie, (ie no Jay or Silent Bob, no stoner jokes...) It's a lot like Chasing Amy, but without the lesbianism. The girl, Raquel Castro, was pretty good.

Then as I was leaving, I saw Sam. Sam is a guy I knew in high school. He had a band that was, how to describe it... ok, remember how "Can't Hardly Wait" was about the class of 98, and we could all name the people who fit the stereotypical characters in the film? Well, Sam's band, Circle, was Loveburger... except uglier. Anyway, he comes up to me after the movie and starts talking about how he went to California and lived in Orange County, but couldn't stand how fake and conservative it was, so he came back to the middle of Ohio. Then he told me about how he's recording a solo album in Virginia. Apparently his bandmates all were tired of not making it, and went on to other bands that were "going somewhere." Then he rattled off all the "underground" bands he knew that I didn't to try to describe his music. When I didn't know any of them, I'm sure it brought warm feelings to his heart. I let him have his little moment.

Then I came home and read a letter to collegehumor.com, and it was highly ironic.

Dear Joe College,

I have a problem with people in my dorm and their taste in music, I am open to all types of music but they aren't. They are convinced that any music that isn't underground is terribly bad and talentless, Or they only liked that famous band BEFORE they were famous, and now that they are famous they must suck ass. One night there were two kids that shot underground band names back and forth trying to stump each other for an hour straight. "OH, you know whos good? The Jeffery walks and talks while he groove's town project!" "Yeah, man, I've seen them like 4 times, but you know whos better? The Yonder LLama eats grass on the misty hill confessional" And so forth. How can I explain to them they are idiots?

Dear Andy,

Oh, I love the Yonder Llama. “Suicide Pantyhose” is easily my favorite song. But their first album was way better than their second, because people actually bought their second album, and their first is only available through the Vietnamese Black Market and certain locations of Best Buy.

Sorry, sarcasm hairball.

Now that that is cleared up, there is absolutely no way to explain to these people that they are idiots, though you can take solace in the fact that most people in the world are on your side here. The one suggestion I have is to tape record their idiocy. When they go back on their word in two months, play it for them. But don’t tell the indie kids it’s a recording of them. Say it’s your favorite new underground band, “My floormates are a bunch of poser assbags.”

Anyway, it's time for bed. Night y'all.

Six seconds away, pretty close. So now it's friday. Hey everyone! Happy friday! Check out all the posts I did on thursday!

Time for bed, goodnight.


Thursday, March 25, 2004

Do I have time for one more? I want to hit 11 59 59.

One more!

Here you go, Lola. More frequent posts. This is the fourth today. I told Rob to tell you to post more as well. I keep going to your site to see if you are giving out details about grad school in New York, but all I keep seeing is "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?"

I don't know what's up, I'm in a posting mood now. It'll pass. Although I've been doing good keeping up on this site. I'm proud. Go me.

I saw Mark's band Heathrow play in Ashland tonight. (Check out the site. I need to learn flash.) The sound guy sucked hardcore, and you couldn't hear anything. Then the next band came up. They were okay, but I had to go because it was all too damn loud. Am I old? I don't think so. Sometimes it can be too loud. My ears are still ringing. Not in that good way, not in the, "I just saw my favorite band that rocked and damn my ears are still ringing from all the rock" type of way. More in that, "Damn the sound guy for this band I've never heard of has all the levels way off and there's really loud feedback on the lead vocals all the time for my friends band, and I'm kind of sleepy so I'm not ready, nor willing, nor able to rock." type of way. Oh, I gotta post so this goes on today. Later!

One time my cousin Cammi told me a joke.

There was this little girl in her room trying to fall asleep. It was dark and scary in her room and she was having a hard time sleeping. Then suddenly she heard a voice from her closet say "I got you where I want you, and now I'm gonna EAT you!" The girl got really scared, and she hid under her covers. The voice said again, "I got you where I want you and now I'm gonna EAT you!" Terrified, the girl screamed for her mom. The mom came running in and the girl screamed, "Mom there's a voice in my closet, and it keeps saying "I got you where I want you and now I'm gonna EAT you!" The mom walked to the closet and opened the door, and inside was a monkey picking his nose.

We were like six when she told me that joke.

To me sister, it seems sad that you feel it's easier to pretend I don't exist, rather than deal with me. This is your fault now. I want to patch things up. I want to talk through this. You on the other hand are trying hard to convince yourself that since you're now with your new guy, that everything before never happened. I'm part of your past. I used to be your friend. Call me callous and vain, but it's your fault that we're not friends anymore. I want that back. But this is the second time this has happened between us. I'm starting to wonder why I even care.

Not that you care. You like to run. I'm upset. No, I'm really fucking pissed. We were pals through a lot. For a long time. And one day your write me an four line email saying that you don't want to talk to me ever again. You throw it all out, like that. If that's all I ever meant to you, if I'm that easy to toss away, then fine. Screw you. I misread you. I thought you were better than that.

We had our shit. We had our rough patches. And yeah, I deserved some of what you threw at me. But this is too much. Look at yourself and tell me how good of a friend I am. At least when I got a girlfriend I didn't do everything I could to kick you out of my life. Twice now. Don't tell me that's not what's happening. You think I'm not listening. In one ear, out the other, right? I don't accept what it is that you're saying. I don't buy the reasons you've given me for shutting me out. Especially because this is the seond time you've done it.

Why do I care? Why am I even trying with you anymore? It's been two years since you've talked to me, my life has been okay. I miss you, but I've been okay. So why do I care?

Maybe to me you're not just some girl I knew from high school. Maybe you're becoming that, though. Some girl I knew from high school that flaked out and thought she was above me. Fine. Be that way.

I hope you're happy. I really hope you are. But if you keep this shit up, you're going to be very, very lonely.

Am I weird? I think I'm unique. I think yesterday I realized that my difference of opinion with the majority of the world isn't a flaw, which is kind of nice.

Yesterday, Brent was watching Pardon the Interrupton on ESPN. If you haven't seen it, it's a show where they come up with topics, and then give two sports writers one minute to yell incoherrently at each other. At any rate, yesterday they came up with a board listing sports events, and ranked the top five best. Here were the contenders.

The World Series (Major League Baseball)
The Super Bowl (Pro Football)
The BCS Title game (College Football)
The NCAA Tourney (College Basketball)
The Daytona 500 (NASCAR)
The Masters (Golf)
The Olympics
The World Cup (Soccer)

Now... does anybody notice anything missing? The first World Series was in 1903. The first Super Bowl was in 1967. The first BCS title game was actually in 1998. The first NCAA Tourney was 1957. Daytona's first race was in 1959. The first World Cup Tourney was 1966. The first Masters was in 1934. The Olympics are very very old. But there's another championship that's been around longer than all of them with the exception of the Olympics that didn't even get a stupid little card to put on the board. The Stanley Cup. First awarded in 1892. What I think is even odder is that the playoffs start in two weeks, and they didn't even mention it.

So here's my board.
The Stanley Cup
The Superbowl
The BCS Title Game
The Olympics
The World Cup

The World Series doesn't even deserve it's own little card. The only reason I watched at all last year was to see the Red Sox and the Cubs. Once they were out, who cares.

Daytona? Cars turning left for three hours? Nuff said.

The Masters. It would be sixth on my list. I just can't watch golf for an extended period of time, but at least it isn't baseball.

People go nuts about the NCAA tourney. March Madness. I don't like basketball. Mainly because of the classlessness of some of it's primadonna players. Not just in the NCAA, in fact, much less in the NCAA as the NBA (which the NBA Playoffs didn't get mentioned either). Also because it's kind of boring, and if it's close and exciting at the end, everyone ruins it by fouling each other and calling time out.

I feel like I've ranted about this before. Oh well. I'm gonna get some breakfast.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

You know what they don't tell you? Carbs are what make you feel full. Now, I am constantly hungry. Even if I eat a big steak or something and can't eat any more, ten minutes later I'm hungry again.

I'm about to go out to eat. Maybe I'll call Mark. I'm not sure where to go, everything is like 20 minutes away. Except Bucks, which is awesome, but if I can't eat carbs, I can't have their awesome spaghetti.

Filmfights is going to have a paranoid thriller category in the weeks upcoming that I think I'm going to enter. It's just a quick 3-5 minute film. I can use this house, which is rather big. I think I'm going to make it a guy home alone and he keeps hearing stuff or something. Any ideas? Leave a comment.

Ok. I'm starving. Later peeps.


ps. I'm thinking of starting another community blog like the 3Pimps site. If you're into this idea, let me know in the comments section. If not, it would be futile. That way since everyone is moving everywhere else, we can all keep in touch. Let me know.


Sunday, March 21, 2004

It's strange, but every room in this house is freezing cold, and I'm the only one who thinks so. Maybe I'm sick.

Seven days.

I may be starting to lose my mind.

I'm bored to tears at times. I feel bad because I think my mom thinks she needs to entertain me. She doesn't. I was bored when I lived here last time. I should call Mark.

All the time bored has given me tons of motivation to finish the movie. In fact, I've been working on it pretty steadily. It looks good. I'm going to see if Mark wants to help out with the sound and then I finish the rotoscoping, and it's done. Although, I'm missing some unnecessary shots, but I really want them in the film. I'm wondering whether or not to drive back up to shoot them. The funny thing is that it'll take all of 5 minutes to shoot what I need. When I finish rotoscoping, I'm going to throw a party. For me. Or, something.

I'm taking a break right now to update this, as the film is rendering right now. It should be done in an hour.

Congrats Broncos on making the tournament. Too bad you couldn't stick around longer.

Congrats to Lola on making grad school in New York. I only know this because Nopa posted it. Email me, tell me all about it. I think you're the only one who reads this page anymore.

You and Marcy.

Anyway, I'm outta here. I'm reading "The Da Vinci Code." It's really freakin good and I'm only 7 chapters in.

Take care kids.


Friday, March 19, 2004

Per Lola's request, I plan to post more frequently. The problem is that my computer no longer has an internet connection. I have to use my parents computer, which isn't so big of a deal, it's just an extra step. Well more like fifty extra steps to get here from my office.

Yes, friends, I have an office. It's basically my old bedroom without the bed. And there's a Bowflex in there. All it's missing is a small couch or something to sit on.

I'm five or six days into my stay in Lexington, and I've already done everything there is to do. I've been getting on a normal schedule again, in bed by midnight, up between 7:30-9ish. I'm trying the South Beach diet which is like the Atkins diet, but... from South Beach. At any rate I lost about 5 pounds in the first three days. I'm also at the YMCA every morning. I walk on a treadmill for about an hour. Today my brother Brent came home from OSU, and we played racquetball. It's funny, I seem to remember being good at it, but he handed my ass to me over and over. I guess I'm out of practice.

Western Michigan University is playing in the NCAA tourney today. I'm hoping they get past the first round. Just making March Madness is pretty sweet, I guess, but I hope they get to stick around a little.

Other than that, there isn't a whole lot going on. My dad is at a conference in Orlando, so he took yesterday to check out some apartments I sent him listings for. I think he's on the phone right now with my mom.

I realize that this post is not the usual "Joe's weird thought" type of post, and more the "What I'm doing today" type of post. I'll go back and forth, I'm sure. At any rate, take care peeps. Adios.


ps, I just got my first interview call a second ago for a gas station, 3rd shift. So it's a damn good thing I got back on a normal schedule as opposed to staying up until 7:30am everynight on Kickapoo.

Thanks... that's nice...

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I'm here. I'm not sure how I feel yet. We'll see.

Thanks again guys for the nice party, it was perfect. Just us chilling, you know.

So, for those of you who were at the party I have a funny little story for you. I left for Ohio at about 2am. I got here at about 7:30 this morning. I stopped in a little hotel that gave me a room, and then kicked me out of a room like five minutes later. That's another stroy, and not a very good one, so I'll tell the better one. Around 3:45am I'm in Ann Arbor and my cell phone rings. I don't recognize the number, but I pick it up anyway, as I am on a long trip with no one to talk to. And it was Amber, the girl from the note that the giddy girls left on the ground at Rob's place. We talked for a little while, then she asked where I was, and I told her I was on my way to Ohio, and then to Florida and all that, and she was like, "Oh, crap, well if you're ever in Kalamazoo again, give me a call."

All I can think is that this figures. Two years without even a date in Kalamazoo, and someone's finally interested in me an hour and a half after I move out.

Anyway, I've got my computer set up again, but no internet (I'm on my mom's computer). Hopefully we can get that working. I've got my own little "office" downstairs, so finally I have a working area separate from a sleeping area. It's a nice setup down there too.

I've got to get up at 7:30am because I'm going with my mom to the Y tomorrow. So it's time for bed.


Saturday, March 13, 2004

I just noticed some Twilight Zone crap. Okay, remember how a few posts ago I said that I lived in Britton 313, LeFevre 313, Concorde 3B which looked like a 313, and had parking space 313 in Jefferson Commons? That the number 313 keeps coming up for me in Kalamazoo? Okay, I'm moving out today, it's my last day in Kalamazoo. What's the date?


Alrighty then. I put this up on the 3Pimp site back in august. Why? Who knows. Actually, I think it's because I've felt this coming for a long time. At any rate, I want to thank everyone for the great party last night. I want to thank everyone for the nice things that they said too. I'm going to miss you all. But like I said, I'll be posting here as much as I can, so we won't lose contact. Thanks for everything over the last six years too. So much has happened. I'll probably get into it later, as I have got to get packing here. But I'll leave you with this song from the Muppets Take Manhattan. My favorite muppet movie.

Bye guys.

Saying goodbye, going away
Seems like goodbye's such a hard thing to say
Touching our hands, wondering why
It's time for saying goodbye.

Saying goodbye, why is it sad?
Makes us remember the good times we've had
Much more to say, foolish to try
It's time for saying goodbye.

Don't want to leave, but we both know
Sometimes its better to go

Somehow I know, we'll meet again
Not sure quite where and I don't know just when
You're in my heart, so until then
It's time for saying goodbye.

Somehow I know, we'll meet again
Not sure quite where and I don't know just when
You're in my heart so until then
Wanna smile
Wanna cry
Saying goodbye

Friday, March 12, 2004

So, here's my list of shiznit to do todizzle. Yeah.... my day is going to be like an episode of 24, without all the guns, and terrorists, and like action, and Elisha Cuthbert.

3:34am: Write post about stuff I need to get done.
3:40am: Go to bed.
5:30am: Fall asleep.
8:00am: Wake up.
8:10am: Shower.
8:40am: Get a ride to an ATM.
9:00am: Pick up Uhaul truck.
9:15am: Clear truck with WM Woods.
10:00am: Begin the Laundry process.
10:05am: Continue Packing.
2:00pm: Organize all shots for the day.
3:00pm: Round up all materials for shoot.
4:00pm: Napoleon VHS tape for 2nd Unit shot.
5:00pm: Begin finishing all primary photography.
5:30pm: Shoot Jon's Apartment.
6:30pm: Shoot Ryan's Apartment (2nd).
7:00pm: Shoot library scenes/Jon's death scene/Sarah&Charlie in the parking lot.
8:30pm: Going away party at Rob's house.
10:00pm: Going away party at the bar across the street.
12:00am: Be intoxicated.

It's now 3:47am. I'm already behind schedule. My last day in Kalamazoo is going to be a busy one.


Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Lola.... you're beautiful. You know I love you. Even though you cheat at Clue.

-Professor Plum

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Jon thinks I've given him too much credit... Let's see shall we?

Without Jon, I wouldn't have met Laura or Jackie. Nor would I have met Jason, the lead role in 12PP. I wouldn't have met Jes and Marcy, who were my roommates last year. I wouldn't really know anyone except BA, my suitemates for life Chris and Nick, and Charlie and Jamie. Now, let's keep going.

If I hadn't met Jon, I wouldn't have met Marcy, and I wouldn't have introduced Marcy to a guy I know from work named Adam and they wouldn't be together now. If Jen had not met Jon, she wouldn't have ever met Ryan, and they wouldn't be together now. If Yerty hadn't met Jon, he wouldn't have met Laura and they wouldn't be together now. If I hadn't met Jon or Rob, chances are I wouldn't be pursuing a career in film, you guys have both kicked me around and given me the guts to do this. I mean if not for Jon, I wouldn't have met Jason, Rob, Jes, Laura... my whole cast for the first project, I would've never even tried to make a film in the first place. If not for Jon, I would've never learned the words to "Gin and Juice." I would've never met Mike, and we would've never had that wonderful wonderful story. I wouldn't even have the Jimmy John's story (...shhhhhh).

And not to get too mushy pal, but I'm glad I met you not for all that's come of it, but because you're a helluva guy. You've been there since day one, and you're still there on my way out six years later. I'm really gonna miss you, Nopa. But I think you and I are definately going to keep in touch. We've got that rare, "We haven't talked in a month or two, but now we're talking and it's like no time has passed" thing going. It's totally sweet.

At any rate, no I didn't give you too much credit. I can't give you enough. Without you, my life would've been completely, totally, all-encompassingly different. I am really really lucky to have met you. A lot of us are.

Mush over.


Okay so anyway...

This is my last week in KZoo. Holy crap. It's been six years since I came here. A lot has changed in all those years... I remember when this was all farm land as far as the eye could see... ol' man Peabody owned all of it... he had this crazy idea about breeding pine trees....

Okay. Not true.

I was 17 when I first arrived in KZoo. A noble young buck still wet behind the ears, looking forward to all he would be learning in his college career. I shortly thereafter learned college was a lot like high school, only with more walking and more homework. Here I was thinking that I'd be able to specialize in what I wanted to learn about, however, not only did I not know what I wanted to learn about, I STILL had to take the other lame classes that had nothing to do with what I needed to know. (ie Fairy Tale Classification, Greek Mythology, and How to Graph and Arguement.) So, disillusioned, I changed my major from CompSci to Psych within four months, and tried my best to ride my college career out. But it was in a very confusing calculus class that I met a young Jon Kameya. The rest, as they say, is history. Jon introduced me to Laura. Jon's suitemate Kazou was dating a young Marcy Bross, who is now my roommate. We both met Robbie at the Cafe in LeFevre. I met Jason through Jon at open mic nights. I met Ryan through Jon, I met Jackie through Jon, Jackie roomed with Jen, Ryan met Jen through Jackie, it's all very confusing. Believe me, if it weren't for Jon, none of this would've happened.

So now I'm 23. I'm packing up and leaving. I've just recently (june 03) met Jamie and Charlie, and I'm a little bummed we didn't get some more time together, but I guess that's how these things happen. I'm wrapping a feature length film on friday. In six years I went from a 17 year old CompSci major, to a 23 year old filmmaker. I never would've seen that coming.

I lived in Britton Hall room 313 with BA, LeFevre hall room 313 with Stojak, Concorde apt 3B (which a B looks like a 13 scrunched together) Jefferson Commons 308 (Parking Space 3-13), and now here on Kickapoo, which has nothing to do with the number 313. I've seen friends get together, friends break up, I've seen friends come and go, I've seen friends get married, I've seen friends get engaged. I've had four different jobs, three of which sucked, the fourth I got fired from. I've had my heart broken, I've broken hearts, I've hit two deer, had a car broken into, gotten a sweet new truck, and then destroyed it in a serious car accident. I've jumped out of a plane. I learned to play racquetball. I trained a rat to turn on a light. I got accepted to a film school. I got some new family members, I've lost some family members. I won eighty bucks (canadian) at a Casino.

But sadly to be honest, I've felt this coming for a long time. It's time to close this chapter, and move on to the next. It's not all sad. In fact, I think it's pretty exciting. I mean if I did all this in six years, what's coming up next? Who am I going to meet by chance in Florida? What wacky adventures lay ahead for Joseph Parcell... tune in to this page to find out.

Keep in touch hombres.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Why do you do this to me? You've kind of ruined my mood here. My whole life you've acted like this to me. Look, I've got responsibilities here. I've taken up about eight months of other people's spare time. I can't just walk out on them. I know you're helping me out more than you have to. A lot more than others would. I appreciate it, I really do. I know I've let you down more than my brothers. I'm sorry about that everyday. But look, these are my shoes, and I'm the only one walking in them. I know I've hit bottom more than I should. I know I've disappointed you more than I've made you proud of me. I know I'm not done disappointing you. I know from your point of view I'm a child and I've never learned how to be a responsible person. I've never gotten the respect I feel I deserve from you. But I don't blame you. You can't see me. Or you don't see me. Either way, for the six years I've been here, I've been letting you down. Hell, for the ten years before that I've been letting you down. But you and I are very different people. You see figures, you see numbers, you see A+ and F. I don't. I see that I failed my last six weeks of Mr. Bowman's calculus class my senior year of high school. You got upset about that. I didn't. Is it because I didn't get it? Yeah. Is it because he was a terrible teacher? Yes. Is it because I really didn't care? Yes. Because I look back on that fateful marking period six years ago, and realize that had I put in the hours and hours of life it would've taken to ace that class, I'd still be here. I'd still be in Kalamazoo, I'd still be getting ready to leave, I'd still be who I am, and absolutely nothing in my life would've changed. Other than my high school career would've been a lot more miserable.

So even if you aren't, I am proud of myself. I'm living how I want to. I don't want to be poor, and I could remedy that by getting a factory job and working 16 hours a day and 8 on the weekends. But what would that get me? A hell of a lot of money, and a life I hated.

And if seeing my 3rd grade teacher, two classmates, a cousin, and countless relatives leave this world throughout my life has taught me one thing, it's to value what is truly important. When I die, I don't want to look back and think how much money I made by working overtime, because that doesn't really matter. I want to think of the happy life I had.

I just wrecked my truck. Under slightly different circumstances, I could've died two weeks ago. Under slightly different circumstances, I could die today. And if I did, I'd be proud of the life I've lived. I wouldn't be thinking of my lack of money or my grades in Mrs. Johnson's class, because none of that stuff matters. Nobody cares. I'm going to think that for a few years, I got to do something I truly loved. Some people go eighty years and never get to say that.

I understand you're my dad. I understand it's your job to kind of keep me grounded. I appreciate that, and I welcome it. I'm not saying I know everything. Far from it. I'm not saying that I don't live with regrets. I have only two. Few people can say they have only two. I'm not implying I haven't done stupid things. I'm saying that I've always done what I thought was right. I may have been incorrect in thinking it was right, but at the time I thought it was right. Except twice. Two times I've knowingly gone against my conscience. And those are my two regrets.

For every other time I cannot damn myself for doing what I thought was right. It would be like calling myself an idiot for believing in Santa when I was three. Hindsight is 20/20. I've made mistakes. I don't regret them. Except two.

I'm not trying to start an argument. I know I can't win. We fight on different fields. You're very logical. You see D- and think I've done something terrible. I don't see that. I see that I've passed a class about something that doesn't really matter, like classifing fairy tales, and in two years, no one will remember the marks I got, just that I passed. Maybe that seems half assed. Maybe it seems like a cop out. I'm terribly sorry about leaving WMU without a degree. I know you spent a lot of money on me and got no results. I know that's how it must seem a lot for me. You put a lot in and get nothing back.

All that is going to change now. When I move to Florida, I'm going to have to work on sixteen different films in the first two months. I'm going to have a seven hour class every friday. I couldn't be more happy. I'm going to impress them. I'm going to make my mark. I'm going to be sucessful. I'm going to work every waking moment of my life for the entire time I'm there. I'm talented. I'm good at this. I'm very good at this. I care about this. I'm passionate about this. And I've never felt this way about anything. Not elementary school, not junior high, not high school, not psychology, not comp sci, not karate, not soccer, not tee-ball, not golf, not basketball, not hockey, not my band, not Babbages, not Gamestop, not Select Comfort, not stamping car parts at GM or Vogel. I have never craved something like I do this, I've never wanted to learn absolutely everything about everything about this business.

And all I ask is your support, which I know I have, and your respect, which I don't know I have. I'll take care of the rest. You'll see. It may have taken some time, some patience, some frustration on believe it or not, both of our parts, but I've finally found what I'm looking for. I've finnaly found something I'm good at. I've found something that I can be proud of my life for doing. Something I love. And I'm proud of me. If you aren't then I'll have to live with the fact that I can never be what you want me to be.

And I'm sorry to tell you that for this, I can live with that. I hope to god that I don't have to.

You have this way of talking down to me that is really annoying. I wish you'd talk to me as if you respect what I have to say. Today on the phone, "We shouldn't be spending money on the movie right now." That really urked me. You said that like I was five. And in one sentence you patronized me, you trivialized the all the work I've done for the last fourteen months, and you trivialized the work everyone else has done over the last eight months. So now I'm upset. But it made me realize all this and now I've written it down. Maybe you'll read it.

The funny thing is that I knew what I wanted to write when I started. And it was just the first two sentences, and that was it. And now it just keeps coming. I guess I have a lot to say.

Maybe you don't think I have an opinion. Maybe you're wondering why I haven't said any of this before. I can't blame you for either assumption. I don't talk to you in person. I have a hard time talking to you on the phone. I'm sure you heard me. I studder, I get nervous, I get shaky. I say things that make absolutely no sense, and then go back on it a moment later. You scare me. Maybe scare isn't the right word. Intimidate. All of us. We've never yelled back growing up. We've never said anything in anger towards you while you're there. When the conversation hits that level, we all just get quiet. You can be a scary guy.

So I'm sure I seem flaky. I have an idea, you call and say it's bad, and I immediately agree with you. Truth is I've never been able to defend myself against you. It's frightening to me. I mean there was the one time in the garage at the riverhouse while you were cooking steaks. I don't know if you remember it, but I do. The one time I got the courage to try to defend myself. And if you do remember it, I'm sure you remember how good I did.

So I'm writing it here. Because here I can't see that look you get in your eye. I can't hear that silence, or that tone of voice. I'm not mad at you, not at all. I love you very much. I just want you to know that sometimes it's really hard talking to you. Sometimes it feels like I can't win. Sometimes it feels like we're not even living in the same universe. On some plains you and I are very different people. On some we are not. I just want your respect. That's really all. I wish I could tell you this to your face, I wish I wasn't so afraid to do so. I hope this doesn't seem like a way to say something and run and hide. It's not. It's just the only way I could say it.

Okay, I'm all done. Time to get working.


Call me the king of failureaphobia. But right now I'm not scared. To quote Rounders, "You can't lose what you don't put on the table... but you can't win much either." So I guess at this point I'm all in. And I think I'm sitting pretty with aces over jacks.