Time To Relax

 Family, Life, Random, Work  Comments Off on Time To Relax
May 302011

Image credit: audi_insperation

Things have been so exciting working @gravity this year and I am amazed at how much we have accomplished in the last few months. All of this excitement and hard work has worn my not-twenty-something body out just a tad and my family has become quite used to my MacBook on my lap during weekend afternoons.

So…. How nice it is that we all get a 3-day weekend to relax and spend some quality time with those people (and/or cats) in our lives that do not work at Gravity? I have also been able to work on this blog once again. After a nice day out with the family on this beautiful spring day, I found myself curious about what I needed to do next… NOTHING!

How great is that? I was really dumbfounded for a while until my brain chimed in with a wonderful suggestion: Relax! Well that is just what I am doing right now.

Here’s to having a moment to relax and accepting it! Hope you get a moment or to yourself.


Spring and the Renewal of Life

 Life, Random  Comments Off on Spring and the Renewal of Life
Apr 102009

For years I've actually dreaded the arrival of spring simply because of the effect this season has on my allergies. This year however the season comes at a time of welcome changes in my life. Is it that these changes are fresh in my mind that the season seems to be in tune with my life or could it be that my life is truly linked to nature's cycle of life? Whatever the relationship may be, I feel it and it is refreshing.

We recently moved into an apartment not too far from Robin's Mom's house. We were living with her Mom temporarily while we were trying to both rent out our Yorba Linda townhome and find our own apartment here in our hometown of Culver City. All of the stress such a situation can bring was pretty high and constant. It was a relief to have another caring member of the family to help out with our kids and we were blessed with such an opportunity. The stress was primarily caused by the need to simultaneously get someone renting our place and solidify our own housing locally.

The new apartment is located on a street rich in families with children and so many of these children are close in age to our own children. We now find ourselves surrounded by an urban village of friends, playmates, and support. This has enriched our family’s life and allowed more moments that Robin and I can do activities together without the kids. I’ve longed for such a village for so long that I cannot even remember when such a wish was born. Our two girls are adjusting well to this new environment as well. I was beginning to think that some of the things that made my childhood great just aren’t possible anymore in today’s world, but now at least they can bounce from house to house after school and on weekends. Each household provides for which ever children enter into. If three neighborhood children are over playing and I’m making dinner for my own, I’ll ask each of them to check with their parent if they can stay over to eat. The same goes elsewhere, and even though we’re months from July, we’ve had at least 3 BBQ’s with our neighbors.

children at play

So this year I welcome spring and the new things in my life. I’m looking forward to how things will blossom and grow from these beginnings.

25 things you might not know about me

 Life, Random  Comments Off on 25 things you might not know about me
Jan 272009

Stephanie tagged me on Facebook, and so here I go with this task. Since Facebook FAILed to save my completed “Note” (why they don’t call them blogs is beyond me) I’m doing this on my on blog and it’ll get sucked into my notes via RSS.

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with
25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose
25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I
tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these
instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag
25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

  1. I used to have such a speech impediment in the 3rd grade, that my best friend would translate for his mom when I’d visit.
  2. I sang tenor, baritone and bass (not at the same time) in my church choir from high school through Junior College.
  3. I was in the bell choir for one year in my church as well. a regular ding dong ya know.
  4. My first job was at L.A. Gear in 1989. I was basically a slave to any clerical task.
  5. I have eaten Balut before. Seems so wrong, but I used to work in a warehouse with many Filipino, Cambodian and Vietnamese co-workers and they gave me one for my sending off party when I left Office Depot.
  6. The first music that I ever purchased was Van Halen – 1984
  7. In 1985 & 1986 I attended a two week performing arts camp run by Jane Fonda called: Laurel Springs. This is what propelled me into instant fame and popularity within my family only. I found my comedic balance and timing there working with sketch comedy and improv workshops. It was a lot of fun. My most surreal memory from this camp was one night I was feeling depressed about my parents’ recent divorce and my cabin mate noticed my tears and ran to get his mom to help console my sobbing. That may not sound too strange, but the boy in my cabin that ran to get his mom was Troy Garity and his mom was (and still is) Jane Fonda. She happened to know about kids and divorce and was very nurturing.
  8. I barely squeaked by in High School and Graduated with a whopping 2.75 GPA. If it wasn’t for the make-up courses that I took the summer before and the extra periods my senior year, I wouldn’t of made it.
  9. My favorite show on TV in High School was robotech. And seeing just the opening from the video I linked here makes me miss it a lot. This show sooo kicked ThunderCats‘ ass!
  10. My first geeky passion was not computers, but instead audio/video. My family couldn’t afford a computer of any kind until I was out of High School. I used to love to make mix tapes and remember hand twisting one side of the cassette to get just the right gap between songs. My dad had lots of old stereo components and I would wire them all up to make a monstrous sound
  11. One of the stupidest things I can ever remember doing was once in High School me and my best friend got up before dawn to ride to the beach and watch the sunrise. I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life and to this day don’t know how we missed one tiny obvious detail… the sun rises in the East! I mean we planned that trip for a couple days. Well… the cool pre-dawn bike ride was nice though.
  12. When I was in the 2nd grade my sister and I would come up with roller skating dance routines in the court yard of our apartment building. I remember them being with music, but sadly I know we had no portable radio, so it must have been us singing along as well. In my defense, the Ice Capades were huge in the 70′s!
  13. I’m obsessed with my online presence and work (probably too) hard at maintaining it.
  14. I go to great lengths (sometimes heights and widths as well) to find a new and alternative way to look at something. I question just about everything. I also try to find humor in everything (which has gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years). If I could sum up my take on the world as described by comedians, they would be: George Carlin, Bill Maher, and Stephen Wright.
  15. If I had an unlimited gift card for Jamba Juice and they remained open 24/7, I would never go hungry. I am a total Juice nut and cannot resist the yummy goodness that their twenty-something blender wizards spin up each day.
  16. I have seen (the original) Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) over 200 times and I surpassed 200 before the age of 13. We some how got a copy of it on Betamax when I was about 9 or 10 years old, and well… I just could not stop watching it. ;)
  17. Even though I work @ MySpace and have become quite the fan boy, my MySpace Display Name was at one time: “Robbie Hates MySpace” …and for the record, I changed my mind about the site before working here and in fact before my call for an interview. ;)
  18. previous to the 8th grade, I was extremely shy. I used to do the sets and lighting for the theatrical performances in my Jr. High school and never thought I would have the guts to be on stage with the lights on me. Not sure really what happened, but now you can’t take a mic or spotlight away from me. lol.
  19. I never took the SAT. I was even more arrogant back in High School than I am today. It just really made me want to challenge such a lame system. I won… sort of… It took me many years to return to college and finally get an education that I wanted, but it’s done and w/o the freakin’ SAT.
  20. I once bought a 1-900 number that provided fortune telling. I think I should have called the number before signing the check, because they may have been able to tell me it wouldn’t earn me squat. Taught me a lesson in advertising though. Not in me doing advertising, but instead it taught me more about not believing in the advertising you see.
  21. I went to the Philippines in 1986 with a group of High School and College kids from my church. We went to help support our previous pastor who had been involved with the revolution that was just coming to a close there in Manila. We were there for 2 and-a-half weeks and visited sites that tourist tours never go to. The biggest thing we did was build a gated playground for a nutrition center located in a squatters’ area along the RxR tracks in Manila. At first I didn’t think we were doing anything too helpful. I mean, these people had a lot of core needs that were pretty obvious. Then I learned that the children became so accustomed to the train tracks, that they built little cars to ride and play on the tracks. There were children dying every week from the freight trains that would speed by. The playground was a success. We put in a basketball court and a high wall and fence around it to keep the children away from the tracks. I wasn’t much of a worker, and ended up playing and singing with the local children. Some really good memories there.
  22. I used to think that the entire Wizard of Oz film was in Black & White. My family’s only TV was a black and white one. We didn’t get a color TV until I was at least 10. So when Dorothy stepped out of the house and into the land of Oz… yup… still black and white on our TV. The first time that I saw it on a color TV I made a remark to a friend that: “I can’t believe they colorized this classic film. It looks so fake.” lol.
  23. Between the ages of 9 and 13 I used to listen to Dr. Demento on KMET while lying in bed to go to sleep. I used to have nightmares (previous to the musical dementia provided by the Doc) and my mom suggested I listen to music to fall asleep to. My favorite station at that time was KMET and Sunday nights was Dr. Demento. It may not have really done anything for the nightmares, but I sure do remember asking my mom a lot of questions about the off-color things I was learning in my Sunday night bedtime routine.
  24. I didn’t learn how to swim until I was in Junior High. I was terrified of the water and rightfully so as I had almost drowned three times before the YMCA that I attended day camp and numerous summer camps with forced me to take lessons. They told me that I could not go to any more camps until I took lessons and was able to pass the deep water test. I was 12 for Christ’s sake! This lesson taught me more than how to swim, it taught me how big something can become in your head if you put it off due to fear.
  25. The first complete novel I ever read was The Da Vinci Code in 2006. I never really liked reading and would constantly fall asleep mid-chapter any time I tried. How’d I get through school you may ask…? Well besides my #8 above, I would take Theater classes that covered most of my English requirements. Now the most reading I do is for Thing One and Thing Two. A common scene is me sitting with one or both of them as I read some stories and as I start to dose off, one of them will yell: “READ!!!!” and open up my eyes with their fingers.

Here comes the sun… dee doh dee dah

 Life, Random  Comments Off on Here comes the sun… dee doh dee dah
Oct 042008

Here comes the sun Things have taken such a positive change in my life recently and I just wanted to share that tidbit. I felt it deserved more than just a status update. Even more than a micro-blog tweet.

Yup… full blown blog!

So, for those of you in my life that have been so supportive and offered me anything from a place to hang, to a dinner break, to even some drugs that I’ve never heard of (you know who you are)… Thanks!

The road ahead is brighter even though it may get bumpy, but I know that “It’s all right.”

doh dee dah – doh dee dah – doh dee dah dah…

Back to School

 Life, Random  Comments Off on Back to School
Aug 262008

back to school This is a big time for my family this year. In fact, it is bigger than it ever has been before because we have three out of four members returning to school. Robin has finally been able to return to school now that both girls will be in elementary school. Thing One and Thing Two will be starting at a new (to them) charter school, and this will be Thing Two's first time in a five full day format now that she is entering kindergarten.

It is really exciting and a little bit stressful. The charter school that we found this summer is the closest thing to our desired philosophy than we ever thought possible to find in this country. It has a great community feel to it and sort of brings the village back to the equation (like the proverb of unknown origin says: "It takes a [whole] village to raise a [single] child."). This new school is one of the exciting parts. The other, is that after about eight years, Robin now gets the opportunity to return to school. We never really thought it would take this long because our plans involved only the first child (which was on the way during the planning).

The stressful part… number one would be "the unknown." (interesting article I found in researching this post). For Thing One, this is a new school with new teachers and new… well everything. Thing Two gets the same along with the added "I will go to school every day…?"

For Robin I can only imagine. It was about eight years that I was not in school before returning back in 1999. It was Robin that encouraged me to return and she was the one that ultimately made it a reality. I was one hell of a procrastinator and she did not let me slip by my usual "I guess I forgot…" excuses because she was always there to remind me of cut-off dates and what needed to be done to get enrolled. She then went on to support my bachelor's degree even after our first daughter was born, and double did for my Master's while our second daughter was born. She has a lot to offer the world education and I'm so happy that she can finally get her turn.

So how can I be the supportive one this time around? I will be driving the girls to school everyday, and also take vacation days their first week to be there the whole day. I will be changing my work schedule a bit to allow Robin to get to her class one evening a week. I will also try to provide her space and time to work on her projects.

Writing this blog was a nice experience for me. It allowed me to process the upcoming changes in our household as well as land on some interesting articles and photos online. I'll leave you with one last funny that I came across.

what do you want to be when you grow up?