Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas fun

On Christmas, when I was 14, I did what I always do and went to my father’s house to spend the day with him and my stepmom (and her family). See Christmas Eve morning was time with my mom, and the evening was with my dad's family, but Christmas day was always reserved for my stepmom's family. He met me at the front door and we went out for lunch instead of going inside the house. At lunch he told me that I was no longer welcome as part of my stepmother’s family, and since he always did Christmas with them I would no longer be welcome in his home on this day. Not going to lie, it crushed me. I felt like my world had ended because my stepmom’s family had been the only stable family I had known my whole life.

Then my dad dropped me off at my mother’s house with a brand new laptop and $500. I called Tyler and I hiccupped and cried my way through the ordeal that I had just been through and he was at my side immediately with Trip and Jane. It was decided that I needed to do something to cheer up FAST. So we all piled into Tyler’s new Christmas Audi and we went to Disneyland. Despite feeling like absolute shit, I laughed, I smiled and I had one of the best days I had ever had in my 14 years on this planet.

And that was the beginning of our Christmas tradition. Every year after that, no matter what was going on, we got together and did something spontaneous just so I wouldn’t be alone on Christmas. The following year we went to Mt. High, the year after that we went to Rosarito Beach in Mexico, the year after that we went to Bear, the next year we went to Magic Mountain, then it was Vegas, then Santa Barbara, then San Diego, then Laughlin, then San Francisco, then the Madonna Inn, then Solvang (we wanted chocolate), and finally this year we came full circle and found ourselves back at Disneyland like we did when I was 14. And that’s when it hit me, I have the best friends in the world.

What is so amazing about our trips, at least for me, is how long we have continued this tradition. 12 years of us banding together and celebrating Christmas as a family because I didn’t want to be reminded that I was alone. We have lives, jobs and families that have taken us all over the world, but for Christmas no matter what, we are always together. Just trying to even imagine all that my friends have sacrificed for me over the years is incalculable and completely overwhelming.

People always wonder how I was so lucky to turn out the way that I did when they look back at the life that I have lived. The broken homes and abuse, the drugs and alcohol, the abandonment; stronger people than myself would’ve given up a long time ago, but I never did. I never gave up because I always had my friends at my side and I KNEW they would never let me fall. I don’t know why or how I came to be this lucky. I guess it’s not for me to figure these things out. I just know that without them in my life I wouldn’t be the kind of man I am so proud to be.

I know this can’t last forever. One day we are going to have husbands and wives, then kids and grandkids. One day we are going to have to give this all up and just look back on all the good times we had and smile. But for now, they are my world and I love them more than I could ever put into words.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My favorite song...

It’s funny how a single song can mean so many different things as you go through life. I remember the first time I heard this song. I had picked the CD up at this small record store in Hawaii the summer of 2000 while I was training. I popped the CD into my Walkman and pressed play. The second it came on I froze, it was just so haunting and beautiful. I never felt lonelier or more vulnerable than I did in that moment.

“Everyday I wake up alone because, I’m not like all the other boys…”

Right there. An indictment on everything I was just mocking me and calling me out within the lyrics of a band who was going to explain why it’s always raining on me. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to this song, ALWAYS focusing on that opening line. Sometimes while listening I would notice that there were tears coming down and I had no idea why. But there it was, a song about my loneliness and my hopelessness and proof that I was going to always be alone and hopeless.

Eventually my obsession over this song faded and I somewhat forgot about it. It wasn’t until a few years later after Eddie and I broke up that I found this album again. Hearing this song years later with a completely different worldview and a whole new perspective on myself and life in general, the message had changed…

“And ever since I woke up I felt the net, was lifting me out of the sea…”

And there it was! HOPE. Hope that one day maybe I wouldn’t be alone or misunderstood. One day I would be happy and stronger, and one day I would find somebody who could be all those things for me and I could do the same for them. This song no longer made me feel sad, it made me feel so warm and happy and ready for this future where things were only looking up!

Again, the song went away and I forgot about it until last week when I found myself humming it absentmindedly. So I grabbed my iPod and went through my extensive Travis library until I found the version of the song I wanted to hear. And there it was. My new message, my end to this journey I have spent the last 11+ years on.

“And ever since a long time I felt the rain, and there was NO danger, and NO MORE strangers. As you are…”

I was finally able to understand the whole message because of you Bradley. I am so happy and there’s no way things could possibly get any better between us because you’re everything I always wanted or needed and so much more. I know it sounds corny and cliché, but with you by my side I feel like I could do anything. Whether it be climbing the tallest mountains or fighting the fiercest armies, I could do anything with you by my side. I want to be with you forever, and that doesn’t even scare me in the slightest because I KNOW you and I KNOW what’s in your heart. I guess all that’s left to do is ask you to marry me so we can begin forever with each other.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


A few years ago I wrote this blog post called “Hapa Pride”. It was a crass, stereotypical and narrow-minded indictment on Asian/Caucasian relationships, which I still completely stand by 100%. Over the years this blog post has completely taken on a life of it’s own. 3 years later if you were to type in “hapa pride” into your google search engine it will be the first entry. My words here have really made a much deeper impact than I ever really imagined they would.

On occasion I have been known to write things here on my blog where I have lost readers, gotten strongly worded hate mail, and even received death threats. This never really bothered me because this blog is where I go to vent, pontificate and be myself. I don’t do this so that I can have a million readers, I don’t need the hero worship and I don’t need people to like me ESPECIALLY if I am never going to meet them!

The thing about this one post that is so different from anything else that I have ever written is how it’s just getting more and more popular! From this one entry, I have been quoted, cited, and published other places: college essays, internet articles, ENTIRE FUCKING BLOGS WHERE THIS ONE POST IS THE ONLY REASON WHY THEIR BLOG EXISTS, etc. Recently I was even contacted by my Alma Mater asking if I could reveal myself to them and if I would be willing to come in for a little campus discussion on the matter. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE!?

I am completely at a loss for words. Firstly, the only reason why there’s so much anger on this subject is BECAUSE I AM RIGHT! Everybody getting their panties all up their ass really just need to take a minute and seriously take an honest look at the weirdo in the mirror looking back at them. I am not making you into something that you aren’t, I am just saying what everybody else is thinking. Don’t jump on my dick because you don’t like the truth.

WHAT THE FUCK IS ONE DOING WITH THEIR LIFE WHERE MY FUCKING WORDS CAN AFFECT THEM IN SUCH A DEEP AND INTIMATE WAY!? I get around 150 unique visitors a day and about 100 of them are all directly linked to “Hapa Pride” seriously people, WHAT THE FUCK!? Its BASIC COMMON SENSE! Your parents are socially inept and frail and weird, guess what YOU ARE PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE SAME FUCKING WAY!!! It has nothing to do with the fact that your dad is white and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that your dad’s JUST A BIG FAT ANTISOCIAL LOSER! Get over it! It’s not my fault! LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Irreconcilable Differences...

As you think, so shall you become.
- Bruce Lee

I guess it’s easy to look at the way things are and accept them. SLOWLY things could even be interpreted as getting better. Off the top of my head I can think of 5 primetime TV shows with an Asian series regular and only one of them has the kind of racist stereotyping that makes me want to punch a bitch (2 broke girls, I am talking to you!). I get that there are definitely people working within the industry to create a more robust and less stereotypical view of Asians in the media and I am grateful for that effort. But the very idea that Eddie has thought about this and dismissed it as something he should help with INFURIATED ME!

Throughout middle school and high school, I always loved to read and write. As an undergraduate going through my extracurricular literature classes, I became aware that the characters and stories I liked most (and wrote about) revolved around only white Americans, you know, like Aryan Jesus. Somehow, embedded inside my mind was the idea that white Americans were the better characters to read and write about because as long as I could remember, that’s what the world had me believe.

After I became aware of this fact I went out of my way to make attempts to find literature outside the white dominated culture but is still American. It’s so frustrating trying to find a character to relate to when they are all described with blue eyes, light skin and the such. As I began to delve into the wonderful world of “minority literature” the one thing that became EXTREMELY apparent to me was how few books and even fewer movies out there fit into this category. I think that was the first moment where I realized this was only going to change if people like myself were going to put in the effort to actually change it.

This was all stuff I tried to explain to Eddie as we sat down for lunch and tried to work through our issues. It just frustrates me so much because if anybody was going to understand how I felt about this, I would’ve assumed it was Eddie. He grew up with Amy Tan (one of America’s most well known Asian Authors of all time!) as one of his mother’s oldest friends! How could he not see the importance of carrying on the fight to create and be recognized after growing up KNOWING one person could make that difference!?

After I was done, Eddie apologized for letting things get so heated between us before. He told me that he completely understood where I was coming from, and has spent his entire career feeling guilty about this very argument we were having. But in the end he wasn’t going to change his ways because no matter how he tried, creatively, certain paths are just closed to him.

I could see it in his eyes. He wanted me to say that I was okay with it all and that I accepted what he was saying and was ready to move on. As friends, I was completely willing to accept his point of view and not hold it against him, but as his creative partner I was not. I don’t know if I want to pursue a life in film, or if I want to be a painter, or a sculptor, or even a cartoonist. All I know is that creating with Eddie really isn’t an option anymore because he and I are on very different paths now. He’s always going to be one of my best friends on the planet, but when it comes to matters of the imagination from now on one of us is always going to be holding the other back.

I feel like I am coming off a lot more rigid than I am actually being! It’s not like I want to start casting an Asian person in every role we have from here on out. It’s just the very idea that an Asian actor isn’t even an option JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE ASIAN really bothers me! I have fought too hard my ENTIRE life to be so much more than some token Asian guy, and to actually be a part of anything that’s going to reinforce this idea I fought so hard against… I just can’t do it! So I am not going to.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bonding time...

Last night Brad was feeling depressed and overwhelmed with being injured. This one injury is affecting his future in so many different ways and he can’t stop thinking about all of the possibilities that have just disappeared into the ether because of it. These are feelings that I can relate to so much that I can’t help but hurt for him because I know that I’ve felt almost everything he’s going through. We stayed up all night and talked, cried, and held each other. It’s so hard to see him like this. All I want to do is make everything better even though I know I can’t. The irrational part of me feels so helpless, but the rational part of me knows that being there for him is not only the ONLY thing I can do for him, BUT the BEST I can do to help him.

When the sun comes up I just can’t sleep; it doesn’t matter how tired I am, I just can’t do it! So I left Brad sleeping in bed while I went downstairs to make myself a large cup of Earl Grey. Brad’s mom was in the kitchen already with her pot of coffee brewing. She looked as tired as I felt and I knew that she hadn’t slept much at all that night either. I am really frustrated with the fact that I can’t figure her out! But she finally is starting to look like she might be ready to share whatever it is that’s going on in her head. So I let her know that Brad’s going to be out cold for at least the next 3 hours and I would really appreciate it if she bought me breakfast.

Brad’s mom and I never really had a lot of bonding time like I have with the rest of his family. It’s not that we don’t like each other; it’s actually quite the opposite! It’s just that up until now she’s just been so busy with work, or taking care of her sick daughter that we’ve never really had an opportunity for some one on one time. I felt like the majority of what she knew about me had come from Brad, his siblings or even her husband. I couldn’t help but feel a little suspicious that a large reason for her visit was to give me a thorough once over.

The second we got into the car she began to talk. It took her the entire trip to the restaurant, our meal, and our trip back to the house to say everything she had to say! A few times she got really emotional as she was sharing, which of course got me all emotional and it took everything I had to not start crying in public with her. It was a lot to take in, and to be honest I am still processing most of it.

Of course she had Bradley on her mind. Before Brad’s mom began, and every few minutes during her 3 hour dialogue she would stop and let me know that if I think she’s overstepping I should feel free to stop her. Of course I would never do that, but at least I was able to process that she'd be overstepping at some point! She told me how she always knew Brad was different from her other children from the moment she first held him. He’s way more sensitive than he will ever admit, he’s stoic to the point of it almost being mistaken as coldness, and he is just so brave. Brad told his mom he was gay when he was 13, but having raised two boys before him she’d already known for years. Her only big worry is how hard Bradley is on himself, which is actually a HUGE worry for her.

Brad doesn’t take failure well at all because he seldom ever fails. He put his entire life on hold so he could pursue a goal that he can now no longer achieve; obviously he’s not doing so great right now. But the thing that really surprised me was how much better she felt brad was coping with this disappointment than she thought he was capable of. She attributed his positivity and progress to me, which made me blush. The only thing she felt like she could compare this level of loss with was when Brad and I broke up for 6 terrible months.

I remember how that entire time I just never felt right because a piece of me was missing. It’s strange how just the memory of those events makes my heart ache all over again. Bradley has basically told me this was the most difficult time in his life too, but hearing it from somebody else makes me feel like a terrible and immature person for not staying and trying to work things out when clearly we were meant to be together through all of this anyway!

By the time she finished I didn’t feel like I was being judged anymore. I actually felt refreshed, renewed, and confident in myself and what I contribute to my relationship with Brad. All she wanted to do was thank me for the honor of watching her son become a man and let me know that I was the catalyst for his transformation. Yeah it was strange and a little bit too emotion-y for my taste, but it felt good to hear none the less.

I spent the rest of the day taking care of Brad and thinking about everything I had learned. He and I have been through so much together, and now we are stronger as a couple than we have ever been! Brad and I are about to go through a lot of changes. We’re moving, he’s got a long road to recovery, and he’s starting his grad program in January. I guess that now more than ever I want him to know that I intend to spend the rest of my life with him. Laying next to me at my right, this is my future husband and partner everything. I feel like when I inform him of these things, he's just going to roll his eyes and tell me he's been waiting a very long time for me to get here with him.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The houseguest...

This year Brad and I decided that we were going to stay home for Thanksgiving instead of heading north to spend it with our families. We were planning on spending the day in bed eating take out and watching bad TV until we couldn’t deal with it anymore, then we were going to watch bad movies! Unfortunately we both have huge ass families that wouldn’t really let us do that…

Our original excuse for not being able to make it up for dinner was because Brad was in no condition to drive 5 hours both ways. That was when Brad’s parents decided that they would bring Dinner to us so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting up to Santa Barbara. Our next feeble attempt at an excuse was that we’d given the cleaning lady that whole week off to take care of her family and with Brad incapacitated and me in PT 5 days a week there would be no way to get the house ready for the whole clan. That’s when Brad’s mother took it on herself to show up a week early and stay until CHRISTMAS so she could help take care of her convalesced loved ones.

Brad’s mom is a sweet lady with a whole lot of energy. At 55, she’s a newly retired Dermatologist with too much time on her hands and still unsure of how to utilize it. We love her to death, but she’s driving us crazy! Just look at that picture of the inside of my fridge and you will understand exactly what I mean! Seriously, I woke up this morning, opened the fridge, then slammed it shut, then opened it again to make sure I actually saw what I ACTUALLY SAW!!! Between her and the cleaning lady constantly trying to out-clean each other and fighting over who’s doing the laundry to the constant over attentiveness, Bradley and I are about to have a complete mental breakdown!

The problem is neither of us are very used to being doted over like this. His mom worked 70hr weeks while Brad was growing up, and my mom was too busy dating and marrying strange men to ever be THIS CLINGY! We know she just wants to be helpful because she sees that the two of us aren’t at our best, and with intentions like that how could we be mad? BUT STILL, it’s only been two weeks and we’re already plotting our escape from our own home!! We’re pretty certain that there’s no way we are going to last until Christmas. I MEAN COME ON! LOOK AT OUR GOD DAMN FRIDGE!!! WHO THE FUCK LABELS CLEAR CONTAINERS!?!?!?!?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's my birthday!

I have been having a rough month. I got in a HUGE fight with Eddie a few weeks ago and I may or may not have blown it out of proportion. Usually we see eye to eye on everything, and the things that we don’t, I can easily get him to see things my way. It’s a gift of mine…

What happened was a few weeks ago Eddie and I (I AD on the majority of his projects) had a meeting with an actor who had a screenplay he wanted to produce and star in and was in search of a director. This actor has been in quite a few HUGE blockbusters over the years. But you would NEVER know it because even when he has lines, you NEVER see his face! Its really strange because this guy is quite handsome, very charismatic, and he’s also a pretty decent actor. The big hurdle that this guy had to clear was the fact that he’s Asian.

I looked over the script and it wasn’t terrible, Eddie actually really liked it. What Eddie didn’t like was an Asian actor in the lead. He passed on the project and we got up and left. In the car I asked him what the problem was. He told me that he just couldn’t imagine any situation where he could insert an Asian principle actor without making it feel forced and artificial. THEN he added that this was also the reason why he’s never directed anything with a gay character in it either!

This really frustrated and angered me for a plethora of reasons. Usually when Eddie and I have disagreements, there’s a very specific preordained series of events that happen. First we disagree, then I argue my point and he argues his, promptly afterward I say something snarky and pointed to which he usually acquiesces UNLESS he feels very strongly about it. At this point I concede because this only happens once in a blue moon and I know this is important to him if he’s going to risk my wrath.

This time things did not go according to plan. I just felt so betrayed by his words. When he said those things about Asian and gay characters and staying away from them, all of a sudden I felt like I didn’t even know who he was anymore. This was the guy who taught me what pride is all about! When in reality he has more internalized homophobia in him than a fucking ex-gay Christian! What the fuck is that about!? BUT even more than that, he’s the most talented and creative person I know, and if he can’t see a solution to this imaginary problem, THAT’S REALLY FUCKED UP!!

I think I realized things were getting out of hand when I realized that we were actually yelling at each other. I don’t even know what we were saying to each other, I was just so shocked by the whole scenario and how things were unfolding. As I am trying to describe what’s bothering me, this whole thing sounds ridiculous, but it’s not! This is a big deal because the only way to effect change in the world is to BE THAT CHANGE!

What I love the most about being a filmmaker is that we have the ability to create entire worlds in our minds that we can actually share with people that don’t live in our heads! James Cameron can take us to a world where there are 10ft blue people who commune with animals through a magic braid in their hair, The Wachowski’s can create a reality where all of mankind has become the energy source for millions of self-aware machines; however Eddie can’t envision a single scenario where it would be acceptable to show a gay or Asian person onscreen!?

I always thought of Eddie as this badass rebel who never gave a shit about what other people thought or said. He created how he wanted the way he wanted to and that’s what made him amazing! And now I know that I was wrong to think those things about him. He’s just a follower too scared to make ripples or step out of line. It’s just so sad and pitiful which in turn just makes me sad and pitiful for building him up so much in my mind to be something that he so clearly isn’t. At this point I don’t even want to associate with somebody who’s basically the definition of Uncle Tom.

Bradley says that I am being ridiculous and kind of an asshole right now for making a big deal over this. A part of me (probably the rational part) completely agrees with him, but this other side of me doesn’t want to let it go. I just can’t be creative with somebody who has such a limited imagination. I expected so much more from him and he let me down completely.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Baby RGB was a badass too!

Johnny showed me this picture a couple weeks ago when I flew out to stay with him. His grandmother found it and thought it would provide him with a little inspiration and motivation while he was training. He keeps it on this huge ass bulletin board at the gym he trains at for all the other fighters to see! We were 9 in this picture in the middle of a Hapkido practice match. Obviously today Johnny is 10 times the fighter I am, he does this professionally! But this picture reminds me that there was a time when I could totally kick Johnny’s ass! And in the end, isn’t that all that matters?

Monday, October 24, 2011

More camp tales

I know a lot of you guys are going to be sick of me ranting about summer, but I am not even close to done talking about it! Especially now that one of my summer interns has now become a permanent fixture in my life as an intern during the school year too, I gotta write the origin story, right?

I guess (at least at the beginning of the summer before our crazy economic disasters) the economy must really be getting better because this summer my program grew way larger than anybody ever thought it could. None of us were prepared for it and because of that, we lacked the staff to deal with the numbers coming in. My class alone went from 25 students the first week (the previous summer averaged 14 a session) to 40 for my other session AND they added 2 more sessions so I was teaching EVERY SINGLE WEEK!

At first I was nervous but I quickly realized that this was the kind of situation where I really thrived! I love chaos and planning things on the fly! I wasn’t going to have the time to hire and train any new staff for my sessions, so I requested I take on a couple of “interns” from my current class and have them help out since they already learned my teaching style and the basic curriculum.

When I asked for interns, I had already decided on the ones I was going to take with me. Things really started snowballing pretty fast way before I even asked them if they were even available for the entire summer! Obviously I asked the two guys that I have mentioned previously in my camp posts, the gay guy (who will now be known as Allan) and my partner in insomnia (Ben). They both had an entire summer full of plans, but they also both realized that they’d be stupid to turn down the opportunity that I was offering them! University credit and the honor to be in my presence, who the fuck could say no to that!? Obviously nobody, that’s who! At which point, I had me 2 new interns.

3 days after our session @ UCLA ended, the guys were spending the next 4 days at my house to get ready for assisting me and teaching my intense course load! Brad was in SB visiting family so we had a good time getting prepped for all the craziness that was in store for all of us without bothering him. It was awesome knowing that I had a great team where impressing me was their top priority! By the time our first session as a team had begun, registration had been capped at 64 students and the main office had hired 4 more guys with editing skills to assist with my class. I have NEVER ever EVER taught such a large class in my life! We were so HUGE that we needed to have the classroom in an auditorium instead of a normal classroom! Even then, 70 computers in one location was so difficult to set up that it took an electrician and half the UCSD tech support team 3 days to get everything set up.

I am not going to lie; it took a few days before I was able to find my rhythm. The thing that really shocked me was how awesome my interns were! Both Allan and Ben were not only great leaders, but they were also so knowledgeable when it came to technical issues about skating, filming and editing! I originally chose them because I KNEW they were smart, charismatic, and great leaders, but the most important thing was that I genuinely liked spending time with them. I knew they were going to excel at this, but I was just really surprised at how fast and organically it all came together.

Allan really was the superstar of the summer though. From the very first moment we walked into our massive lecture hall, he was in his element. While I was busy freaking out in the corner, he was starting icebreakers, meeting students, and getting a feel for the experience and skills of the students. By the time I got my nerves in check, he’d taken notes on dozens of students that really helped me break down the class into smaller more manageable groups. After an hour Allan had become completely indispensable to me.

There were a million things that could’ve gone wrong that first week. With 64 students there’s very little that could actually go right. But thanks to Ben and Allan I was able to achieve all of the goals I set for my class and myself. At the end of our session I after I was finally able to exhale and really take in all the craziness, I really began to appreciate everything that they were able to contribute and how in a lot of ways they made it all better!

It was in that moment where I stopped looking at Ben and Allan as my students and I began to appreciate them as my peers, my friends. And that’s when I did something I wasn’t expecting myself to do. I invited them back to my house for a special dinner to meet Bradley. I make it a point not to discuss my personal life in detail with my students. It just doesn’t seem appropriate to me.

I hate how no matter how I try and present this I always feel like it’s some kind of HUGE production. Everybody is just always sooo shocked that I like to stick dicks in my mouth that it always comes off as a much bigger deal than it should be! Ben played it cool, but Allan, not so much. Gays can be so freakin dramatic sometimes. Allan just felt a little upset because he’d spent the last month confiding in my about being gay and such and I guess he thought I should’ve shared that I was too.

Obviously after Allan stopped acting like a drama queen he was actually pretty excited. Sometimes being a butch gay guy who likes to surf and skate and spit and scratch inappropriately can be lonely. Not because we don’t exist, but because identifying each other is pretty much next to impossible unless we are constantly announcing it to everybody who walks by. So in moments like these where we can actually connect with each other, its really special.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The thing about Eddie...

Eddie was my first love. I met him 16 years ago in middle school in art class. From the moment I saw him I was in awe! Aside from being the most creative and talented artist I have ever met in real life, he just always seemed so cool and aloof (that’s a horrible word for what I am trying to describe, but it’s the only one I can think of right now!). All through school we were never particularly close because we had a VERY VERY different set of friends, but I have always had a whole lot of respect and admiration for him because he’s just that awesome!

It took 11 years for me to finally make the first move on him. And after that it took less than a week to know that I had fallen hopelessly in love with him. He came back into my life in a time where everything seemed to be falling apart. He taught me to love myself and he showed me that it was possible to be gay and be happy. We had a year and a half of absolute bliss together, then I broke his heart. I was 20 and I had finally accepted that I was gay I wanted to go out into the world and be gay and do gay things and I couldn’t do that with Eddie. But even more than that I realized that I thought of him as my mentor more than I did as my partner. I have spent my entire life looking up to him and learning from him; being gay was just something else he taught me how to do really well.

Even after I ended things he loved me enough to let me go and he became one of my best friends. I whored around for a year and I even told him about some of my more unbelievable and exciting exploits, and he listened. Then I met Bradley. My love came a lot more gradually this time, but when it did the first thing I thought was how I could never explain this to Eddie. Even though neither of us had ever said it out loud, we both thought that after I got all this out of my system I would come back to him.

Obviously I eventually bit the bullet and told him. As I did I actually got to watch his heart breaking as I stupidly tried to gently explain that I was in love with somebody else. That was almost 5 years ago. It took him a long time before he started to put himself out there again. When he did, it was never anything serious. Then six months ago he met this guy. By the third date I could tell that things were different with this one.

At first I was relieved that he’d finally moved on and this was his chance to be happy again! He really deserves happiness because he’s the most amazing guy ever! Then out of nowhere I started to feel these mild pangs of jealousy. Eventually I really started to dislike this guy that was stealing Eddie from me, and these feelings really started to confuse and upset me. Intellectually I knew that this was a good thing because not only did Eddie deserve to be happy, but also I had no desire to be in a relationship with him, so there’s no reason to be jealous! But emotionally I AM JEALOUS!

Everything about this guy pisses me off! From his overly macho cocky ex-marine attitude to his stupid snarky sense of humor, all I ever want to do is pick the hugest fight with him and then knock him out! It’s really hard to hate this guy too. He has a great personality, he makes an effort to be friendly with me (even though I can see that it kills him to do so) because he knows how important I am to Eddie, and most importantly he makes Eddie happy. How can I hate anybody that makes Eddie as happy as I know he deserves to be!?

But still, I AM JEALOUS!!! What the fuck is wrong with me!?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cuz I'm nuts like that!

This last month has been pretty intense for me. Last minute (because isn’t that always the case with me!?) I was asked if I could volunteer my time with this special needs summer camp. The person asking was a very good friend of mine, and the organization she was asking for, I could never say no to either. How could I say no to kids with cancer!? I think that would make me some kind of evil super villain! So despite being physically and emotionally exhausted, would three more weeks really kill me?

Short answer: ALMOST

This summer camp was for entire families to come and enjoy the outdoors and really bond with each other and people in similar situations. The big challenge in this setting is trying to include everybody in good old family fun without it being overly cheesy and completely awful for everybody involved. All the activities were chosen long and the whole staff was all set to go well before I was brought into the mix. What they needed from me is to be the big personality that tied it all together and brought some fun and excitement to situations that really needed it. In case you guys didn’t know, I am really good at that!

I felt a lot of pressure to make this experience special. I miss those summers where I looked forward to all the amazing experiences I was about to have and all the fun and exciting people I was going to meet. I mean to an extent, I still have those things to look forward to, but now there’s so much more that goes along with it! These days I need to worry about the big picture. Pacing, logistics, liability concerns, and a million other things that the 18 yr old me didn’t even know were actual worries. On top of all this, these kids were all fighting life threatening illness and it was up to me to make sure that they had fun.

I don’t know what to say about my 19 day ordeal. I did it. It was awful for me, but I did a fucking fantastic job! I went into this with a game plan. I was going to keep EVERYBODY at arms length and be the most awesome MC anybody has ever scene. Keeping people away was impossible! Everybody was just so special, unique and so unbelievably happy! I can’t even describe how amazingly amazing it was to just be allowed to be around these kids.

But then I would go back to my room at night and think to myself how some of these kids weren’t even going to survive the year, and I’d just break down and be an absolute mess. Now matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking all these morbid thoughts, which was doing these kids such a huge injustice! These kids weren’t dying, they were living! I just couldn’t stop thinking about my brother and his death and it just made me so much more morbid than I had any right to be.

Trying to stay positive and happy when every fiber of your being is telling you to be the exact opposite is exhausting. All that faking has made me a million times more depressed than anything that is normal or natural. After I got home, I didn’t get out of bed for days. Then when I finally did, I didn’t leave the house for almost a week. I felt so lethargic and nothing I did really seemed to shake these awful feelings.

Then Brad came home. I don’t even know how to explain it. He just wrapped his arms around me and I felt all those negative feelings just dissolve. All he had to do was be there, and he made everything feel so much better. If this isn’t true love, then FUCK TRUE LOVE! I would take whatever this is any day of the week, EVERY day of the week.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Break Through

It took a long while before I finally began to feel ok about feeling ok. Even while I was enjoying myself, my heart still hurt. All during that first week, I would have these small moments where things were great but then I went right back to feeling crappy again. Every time I had a free moment, I was on the phone with Bradley on the verge of tears or bitching to Tyler. My brother had died only 6 weeks earlier and every smile or happy thought that overcame me felt like a betrayal to his memory. It was just so hard to let myself be happy when I know my little brother died miserable and alone.

So during the day whenever there were eyes on me I smiled from ear to ear, I cracked jokes, and I was more charismatic than I have ever been in my entire life. Then night would come and I would cry myself to sleep. I decided to follow through with camp because I have always believed in the age-old remedy of “fake it ‘til you make it”. But 3 days in and I was already completely burnt out from overcompensating way too much! On that third night I just went into my room and sat in my bed unable to sleep or cry or really do anything! I was actually starting to worry myself because there’s no way that this could be normal.

Around 1am there was a knock on my door. It’s really disconcerting answering the door to a 19yr old kid on the verge of tears when normally said kid is walking around with a cocky smirk on his face acting like the king of the world. I guess that’s when it first started to sink in that maybe I am not the only person in the world who is currently suffering. I could tell immediately that he didn’t want to talk about what was bothering him, but at the same time he didn’t want to be alone. I could relate to that, so I suggested that we go for a walk where awkward silences would be a lot more tolerable. At first he tried to apologize for bothering me and suggested we go back to the dorms. But I explained to him that I was just as sad as he was and he pretty much just saved me from a night of staring at the wall trying to stop the tears from coming.

Everybody knows that misery loves company, so that night we started a tradition. Every night after everybody else had gone to bed, we went around exploring the campus and had some deep conversations. During that first week we never really got into why we were both sad, but we did silently acknowledge that we were, and there was a lot of comfort in it. UCLA is MASSIVE and I know it well, so it was a whole lot of fun showing him all the cool things there are to see, and reminiscing about all the different ways I used to get into trouble!

One night on our way back to the dorms he told me why he was upset. When he was done it took everything I had to not start crying right along with him! But I didn’t, I was strong, and I just gave him a firm hug and let him cry until he couldn’t anymore. After he’d sufficiently recovered we’d both decided that there was no way we were getting any sleep after this break through. So being the couple of amnesiacs that we were, we grabbed a couple of surfboards, jumped in my car, and went down to my favorite beach. Somewhere between catching our last wave and some early morning chocolate shakes at my favorite diner, I told him all about my little brother. I don’t know how I managed it, but I didn’t even shed one tear. The thought of breaking down in front of one of my students just didn’t seem right to me, even though at this point I had started to think of him more as my friend.

As the sun began to rise I felt myself smile without guilt for the first time in a very long time. We got back to campus just in time to make it look like we’d been there all along. That whole morning I felt amazing! It wasn’t like I was magically better. My heart still ached and I still missed my brother, but I also finally started to feel like it was okay to be happy again.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's been awhile...

God damn I have been gone awhile haven’t I?!? This summer I have been all kinds of busy and I can honestly say, I haven’t had this much fun in a VERY LONG TIME! I have sooo much I want to talk about! So much so that every time I go write about it I get SO overwhelmed about all of it that I just can’t seem to get the words out! So here goes my first attempt…

At the end of May I selected a university sponsored film camp I have worked for over the years, but only for a couple weeks a summer. This summer I signed a 10 week contract for sessions on 4 campuses (UCLA, Harvard, Stanford, UCSD), as an instructor some weeks and an overnight director for the teen students the whole time.

The first week was the hardest. I had spent the previous few weeks going back and forth on whether this was something I could actually do. Smiling seemed to physically hurt me, but I did it anyway and at some point pretty early on, I really started to enjoy myself. What I like most about this program are all the international students we get to attend. That first session I had students from 12 different countries and it was a really awesome learning experience for everybody there! It’s so special to be a part of such a dynamic situation where there’s a free exchange of ideas from all these different cultures.

I specialize in action sports cinematography obviously, so the majority of my class time is spent at the skate parks and OBVIOUSLY all my students are skater/BMX/surfer douche bag teens. Something that I decided to address VERY early on is homophobia. This was something I went back and forth on in my head before camp started, and all through the first day of camp. Boys get frustrated and I completely understand screaming out a good curse word to ease the anger. In fact I have been known to ejaculate a good curse now and then too. I just feel really strongly about homophobic slurs being taboo. EVERYBODY says these words (ESPECIALLY athletes in these sports) and mostly nobody means it in homophobic way, at least not on purpose, but I feel like it’s also really important to educate these guys the best I can about these words and the effect they have.

In my head the whole first day I am going through this internal struggle on if and how I an going to confront this issue. Every time I hear one of the guys scream out “FUCKING GAY!” or “cocksucker!” or “Stupid faggot!” I feel like punching them in the face! But I bite my tongue and swallow my anger instead because I still have no idea how I am going to tackle this issue in a way that I can actually make an impact and get them to think about it.

We get back to campus, shower, cuz we’re all sweaty and disgusting, and I decide to order a few pizzas instead of going to the café, so we can have some good talk time. We talk about the awesome tricks we pulled off, the awesome shots we got on film, and the things that really frustrated us or the things that just didn’t work out the way we thought they would. For awhile I let this go on because it’s putting everybody in the mood to really listen to this exchange of information and opinions. While one of the boys was talking about his big fail of the day he says “fucking gay!” to describe his situation, and I use this moment to push my gay agenda...

RGB: Hey guys I need to have a serious talk about something very important to me. You guys are all here to learn from me, and I am SO PSYCHED that all you are here and all so eager to learn from me! But more important than learning from me, I want everybody here to have a fun and positive experience. It’s only been 24 hours, but I already see a bond forming between all of us and it’s awesome! Still, I think there are a couple of issues we can definitely work on. I want to talk about all these homophobic slurs all you kewl kids have been throwing around all willy nilly.

Instantly there’s a cacophony of righteous indignation and flat out denial of my claim from the most egregious offenders. So I do my best to plow right through it so I can get through it all before this devolves into a bunch of accusations and denials.

RGB: Chill guys! I am not going around and calling each of you out individually, but just in this last half hour, I have heard the words “cocksucker”, “faggot”, and “gay”. No matter how you slice it, that’s homophobic. Right?

This leads to a very quick debate about how nobody is using these words to put down gay people, they are just saying them because its what people say when they are angry and frustrated.

RGB: I totally understand that! But would you guys be using those words if you knew the person sitting next to you was gay? Of course not! So think about this, 1 in 10 guys is gay, and there are 25 guys in this room. Chances are there are at least 2 gay guys right here, right now. Think about that, and then think about saying those words again. We all have the same interests, and the same passion for our sport, and because of that we were all able to become friends really fast! You guys have all made it clear that none of you were saying these words to be mean, and I think that’s awesome. BUT if there are 2 gay guys in this room right now, after all the things we’ve said, do you think they've had as much fun as we did today?

It got really quiet after that. I could tell that the guys were honestly thinking about what I'd said. That alone was way more than I could’ve hoped for! A lot of the guys owned up to their behavior and promised to make an honest effort to filter what they say from now on. A few of the guys even made an apology to the anonymous “2.5 gay guys in the room” and promised they’d be more careful with their words. It was all very sweet and something I was very glad I decided to confront. But the coup de grâce
came much later in the evening when everybody was getting ready for bed. One of the guys walked into my room and thanked me, he told me it meant a lot to him that I brought this up because he’s gay and because of what I said he felt comfortable sharing this with me. I let him know that my door was always open if he ever wanted to talk, and I went to bed with the biggest smile on my face. There were 25 guys in the room and 2 of them were gay! Statistics don't lie, do they? I really do just want every one of my students to walk away from this experience with nothing but positivity and in that moment I knew they would.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My little brother

I have 2 little brothers. One is my youngest brother and he’s the baby of the family. He and I are pretty much attached at the hip because we are so much alike. We surf together, we draw and paint together, and we have even been known to check out guys together. But being so similar to me also means he has a lot of the same flaws that I do. He’s loud, cocky and sometimes he can be a little insensitive to how he affects the people around him. He’s a HUGE slut and he will stick his dick in anybody who will let him. He struggles with boundaries and he NEVER knows when enough is enough! And the biggest problem is that, a lot like me, he gets away with it all because that’s just the kind of guys we are!

Even though my youngest brother and I are so close and SO SIMILAR, doesn’t mean that I don’t love my other brother just as much. He had a really hard last couple years. He spent a lot of time struggling with a way to be his own man with everybody around him telling him he wasn’t good enough. He had two brothers that the world always compared him to and he always seemed to be lacking in the eyes of “the world”. It wasn’t fair! Everybody always seemed to overlook all the things that made his brothers fucking awful.

He might not have been able to ace every test and join every after school club or sport. But he was an amazing person all the same! He had the common sense and common decency that his two brothers will never know. He was the most sensitive and caring man, always willing to go out of his way to help out the people in his life. He was funny and intelligent in a way that most people were never really able to appreciate.

These last couple of years he really lost his way. He started doing drugs and getting into trouble with the law. In rehab he figured out that he had a lot of resentment for his two brothers and how everybody always wanted him to be just like them. But still he was never really able to quite figure out how in so many ways, he was already a better man than his brothers could ever hope to be. Still when he came out of it, he was able to build a relationship with them in a way that he’d never been able to do before.

The road to recovery was a slow and painful process, and along the way there were more than a couple of setbacks. BUT he always was sincere in wanting to change and get better, so his brothers were always there to make sure that he got back on the right path. The last 6 months things have been going so well for him! He got into a very prestigious college to study music, and he was really coming out of his shell and becoming the man his brothers always knew he could be. They were so proud of him and really admired his strength and determination to make these changes.

On my 20th 2011 my brother overdosed and died, he was 17 years old. I have spent the last few weeks being angry and sad then angry all over again. I am pissed at my mother for being a raging Christian bitch! I am mad at myself for being so far away and not being there as much as a brother should. I am also so overwhelmingly sad and I just miss him so much. I will never get to see the man that he could have been and all the ways he would have changed and shaped the world around him. I love him so much. I have never experienced this level of hurt. Its been 21 days and I still can’t imagine my life without him in it. I just want to freeze this moment in time so I will never have to figure this out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Foot in mouth

Over the weekend I made Bradley sad, which really sucked because we are both already sooo stressed out that this was just another thing that we really didn’t need to deal with! Bradley and I have been crazy busy scouring San Diego looking for our new home. Unfortunately I have been super duper busy juggling 3 projects, 2 interns and copious amounts of time in the gym while I agonized over my summer plans. All the while Bradley is super busy with his school requirements, and super preoccupied with getting his bachelor’s degree in a few weeks.

In our very nearly nonexistent free time we’ve packed up all the nonessentials and given away a shit ton of things we would rather replace than attempt to move. Sunday Brad and I spent our afternoon cleaning out our storage unit for all the new things we were planning to fill it with. It was basically 4 years worth of junk we should’ve just thrown away in the first place, but for some reason didn’t. There were a few piles of outdated textbooks, entire boxes full of old tests and papers we’d written, awards, trophies, other markers of honorable mention, in summary, just a whole bunch of shit that nobody could ever really want or need. I really just wanted to unload everything into the dumpster, but Brad insisted on going through all of it!

Then I opened a box with a couple of weird looking ragdolls in it. I can’t remember my exact words, but I made a “humorous” comment about how they looked a lot like the dolls the social worker used to bring over so I could demonstrate how and where my step parents were beating me. It was a completely inappropriate emotional reaction and I KNOW this! I have done this a few times over the years in a bunch of different scenarios and I always feel like such an idiot for the way some of these things come out of my mouth. There’s just this weird disconnect between my emotions and my recollection of the past. It’s really weird because I can remember my stepfather beating me and it doesn’t really spark any real emotion, but then if I were to think about how he used to beat my mother in front of me, I am ready to put my fist through a wall. It makes no sense, and it’s probably very unhealthy, but its just the way my brain works.

Of course Brad knows about my past, but every time I bring it up I feel like it hurts him more imagining it than it does me remembering it. He stopped what he was doing and looked over at me. His eyes were already watery and he was trying really hard to not show how upset he was after hearing what I’d said. I really just wanted to step back in time 5 seconds and slap myself just before I started to speak those words.

Bradley walked over to me and apologized. Then he told me that he was just caught off guard and didn’t mean to make this a big deal. Then I apologized for being stupid still not even sure why I said what I said. I make poor decisions when it comes to the things I allow to fall out of my mouth. Making jokes about child abuse is NEVER funny and ALWAYS in poor taste. I feel like such an idiot right now and I honestly can’t stop wondering what the fuck is wrong with me!?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Being back in San Diego has been very good for me in terms of my sanity. But in order to stay down here and not have to travel as much, I had to take on a lot more fx editing jobs. For the most part it’s fine, but little by little I was drowning in work and spending way too much time on my fucking computer. This is when I decided I needed a couple of interns to lighten my load.

The thing about interns is they can really be hit or miss. Putting up signs at my local university wasn’t going to get me the best crop of slaves to do my bidding and posting an ad on craigslist was a headache that I didn’t even want to begin to deal with! So I did what I do best and I called somebody I knew who would be able to help me out perfectly in this situation.

A friend of mine just so happens to be a professor teaching Maya at a university in SD. I let him know I was looking for a couple of super duper talented minions to do my bidding for little to no money BUT have the opportunity to get some real life industry experience as well as some pretty decent connections for later. Lucky for me there aren’t that many opportunities like this for aspiring animators and editors so I basically had my pick of mostly all of his students! My friend suggested 5 and I picked the 2 I felt would be able to deal with my crazy ass the longest.

One of the guys I hired had a very distinct voice, and the second I heard him talk I felt like I’d known him for a long time. But no matter how much I thought about it I just couldn’t place how I’d known him because I didn’t recognize his face, just his voice! Towards the end of his interview he used some strange phrase that I can’t quite remember now, but then it came to me! A few months ago I was having HUGE issues animating dynamic hair; at first I couldn’t get the hair to look real, then the values kept failing when I went to render it and then the computer would crash and I would start crying! Anyway I’d watched and rewatched a bunch of this guy’s videos a whole mess of times to try and help me out! It was totally a meta moment, you guys don’t even know!! I kind of wanted to jump across the table and full on mouth kiss him for taking the time to make those youtube videos that helped me out in my time of need.

I feel so grownup now that I have my own little workforce of slave labor! They have really been soo helpful to me. I feel like everybody should go out and pick up a couple to take care of all the litte odds and ends you just don't want to deal with. I have interns, a home office with 4 workstations, an awesome boyfriend who’s insisting on paying my rent (because his name is the only one on the lease), and enough time to relax that I am not hating life nearly as much anymore. I don’t know what else I could possibly want at this point. Well except maybe a few million dollars and a house on the beach somewhere between Santa Monica and Malibu… Oh yeah! Also a hoverboard like the one from Back to the Future.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Coachella post...

This year I have struggled with a lot of my decisions to do things that I have always done. Its not that I no longer want to do these things, its more that my body really isn’t up to letting me do them. I can’t go surfing, I can’t practice martial arts, and I can’t even go skateboarding anymore because my asthma will act up or my frail ass body will just give out on me again! It’s true that slowly I am getting better. Last Thursday I ran a mile in under 10 minutes, which is something I haven’t been able to do since this time last year (even though this time last year I would probably be very close to completing a second mile in that amount of time!).

I haven’t gone surfing in 10 months. I haven’t gotten on the mat to spar with a buddy in a year. I haven’t picked up a skateboard in so long that I am not even sure I still no how to ride one! I didn’t even get to go snowboarding during one of the best winter seasons of my entire life! Everything I do that makes me who I am, I can’t do it anymore, so who the fuck am I!? I know that to a lot of people this all sounds ridiculous. I have so much going for me that it’s pretty much disgusting how I can’t be satisfied with what I have. I am in love, I have the best friends in the world, and I make money being artistic and creative. I have a great fucking life and I KNOW that I should be satisfied, but it’s just not enough.

I needed some kind of return to normalcy! I didn’t care how small the gesture was, I just needed to do something that I have always done and get through it in one piece. Enter Coachella. For anybody that’s been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I have gone to this music festival EVERY SINGLE YEAR it’s existed. It’s what I do. For a few years I worked for the festival, for a few years I worked at the festival, and for a couple years I just went to enjoy the festival. This year was going to be all about enjoyment.

On Thursday morning Brad and I packed up the SUV and headed for his uncle’s house in Palm Springs because there’s no such thing as a vacancy in Palm Springs during Coachella weekend and this was a last minute decision. Friday I got a little overzealous running around the fields to the different bands and by 6 I was in soo much pain that I just laid down right where I was and didn’t move until around 8 (but from where I was I did get to see the LEGENDARY Ms Lauryn Hill, she still has it!). After that I refused to leave because I still had to see The Black Keys, The Aquabats, break for some Heineken and a few friends in the dome, and then finish the night off with some Flogging Molly.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling like I had been trampled by a mob the day before. It was 12 before I got out of bed and 3 before I finally started to feel somewhat human again. We headed for the venue around that time, got there and parked ourselves in front of the main stage and just sat there the whole day. It was pretty nice and relaxing and I got to see about 80% of everybody I wanted to see that day anyway, so it was nice. We even called it an early night and left after Animal Collective around 10:30. I really wanted to see the Scissor Sisters but I knew I shouldn’t push it because I still had another day of this bullshit and I had to make it to the festival crazy early because I had a friend performing pretty early in the day who would KILL me if I wasn’t there onstage off to the corner.

Sunday I woke up and KNEW I was done! Even my hair hurt. I took a shit ton of pain meds and called a doctor friend of mine for a cortisone shot. This whole thing was turning into the worst kind of endurance test EVER! We got there just in time to watch my friend, as always he really was truly amazing. The fucker is so talented it kind of makes you want to punch him in the face even though he hasn’t done anything wrong! At that point I was done though. I like The Strokes SO HARD it’s not even reasonable. They have one of the top 5 the hottest drummers in rock music! Plus I love their new album. But I just didn’t have it in me.

Coachella kicked my ass. I really can’t do anything anymore. Intellectually I know that I am still in the process of getting better and becoming stronger, but I still can’t help but feel so defeated after a weekend like this! Its just really hard to think about how much work I have put into getting better and then realize how much more I have to do before I am where I want to be. I am just feeling sorry for myself and I really need to get over it, I KNOW!

I am being a spoiled rotten brat right now! I had a good weekend. I got to spend a lot of quality time with my boyfriend and a lot of my good friends like Tyler, Johnny, my little brother, and a whole lot of other people. I saw dozens of amazing performances that a lot of people will never get the opportunity to see. I laughed, I recreated and I enjoyed. I am going to focus on that and then deal with the rest later…

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Reunion recounted

So my oddly timed 10 year HS reunion happened over the weekend. I guess the thing that was most abundantly clear walking into event was that I had no idea who 90% of the people in attendance were! Unfortunately the inverse did not seem to hold true. Every two seconds my personal space was being invaded by some vaguely familiar stranger jovially screaming my name. There was way more people here than I ever imagined there would be.

Most people weren’t even wearing nametags so I had to give a whole lot of “Hey you’s!” to random people walking up and greeting me. For the most part it wasn’t too bad because I walked in with Tyler, Jane and Brad flanking me and they mostly provided a decent buffer from all the humanity that seemed to be coming at us from ever direction. Jane has this creepy memory where she can recall every single person in her homeroom class from all four years of high school, so she had no problem identifying all these strangers.

The first truly awkward and mostly terrible moment of the night happened almost right after we walked in. The girl I lost my virginity to (and she to me;)) walked up to me and gave me a HUGE hug. As we untangled she reached over to give Jane and Tyler a hug, then she looked at Brad and commented on how he looked much too young for this crowd… Moment of truth! So I introduced my 22 yr old boyfriend of 4 years to her… Her jaw hit the floor. She smiled and quickly walked away, didn’t hear from her for a few more hours as she took the time to really soak in this new info… We laughed heartily about that for the next few hours until she came around again.

Bulging eyes and awkward silences became the theme of the night as I introduced people to Bradley. It was really funny because nobody was being rude or offensive or anything like that, they were all just genuinely surprised and caught off guard with this new information. The girls were the best because they ALL did this thing where their voices went up several octaves and each time I was worried a window would shatter! Most of the guys just made crass and inappropriate sexual jokes about Brad’s age and his muscles and stature. All in good nature of course.

At the far end of the hall there were all these pictures on this massive display. There were all the different sports team shots, and candids during different events, etc. (standard yearbook crap) Brad had a lot of fun spotting me all over and commenting on my hair, clothing decisions and general cocky demeanor that seemed to ooze from each of my pics. And I really was all over that wall! Varsity Surf, Vasity Golf, Varsity Tennis, Class VP junior and senior year, Academic Decathlon, peer counseling, beach cleaning organizer, Asian/Pacific Islander Leader of the year. When the fuck did I ever find time to sleep!? Seriously looking at that wall made me feel like such a lazy underachieving loser! What the hell happened to me?

I don’t really know what the point of HS reunions are. I had a good time in HS, but I just don’t understand the point of reliving it. The people I still wanted to remain friends with are still my friends, the ones I wasn’t interested in back then, still not so much caring about them now. By the end of the night most of the people were pretty drunk and making out with each other all over the place. It was pretty sad and extremely uncomfortable to witness. All these people acting like teenagers when they are all closer to 30, it was all just really lame!

Eddie (HS classmate/former boyfriend/current colleague and very good friend) had the right idea avoiding this disaster like a twilight movie! I thought the night pretty much sucked, but Tyler and Jane really enjoyed themselves. Maybe I have a mild case of late onset autism setting in rendering me incapable of recognizing a good time. Maybe I had a lot of unconscious anxiety about coming out to all of my former peers in such a large setting. Maybe the whole event was just as sad and pathetic as I thought it was. Whatever the reasoning, that was such a waste of a perfectly good Saturday night!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Best Friends Forever

Tyler and Jane asked me to make a short video as a tribute to Trip for our HS reunion this weekend. They shipped over like 6 hours of raw footage for me to work with that luckily for me, Jane had the foresight to digitize first. Going through all these memories has really put me through the ringer. Of course Brad insisted on watching all of the footage in its entirety under the reasoning that we needed to watch all of it to know what I wanted to use.

We laughed, a lot! I got to tell him a bunch of stories about my teenage years that I never really got around to sharing with him. We laughed some more. I took notes and began to pick out my favorite clips. By the end of our day long viewing party I had a pretty good idea of how this was all going to come together in my head. I proceeded to spend the rest of the night editing in my living room, and just as the sun was coming up I was finishing up my masterpiece. Our entire friendship was summed up in 2 minutes and 27 seconds.

I ended this video with Trip reciting his favorite quote, which I found oddly ironic yet completely appropriate for the occasion.

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

Then he grabbed his stereo and started blasting “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies. It was sooo perfect and completely Trip in every which way it could possibly be!

This morning Jane flew in from DC and Tyler drove down from LA to check out what I’d done and get in some solid hang time. We watched it together and had a really good cry and for a moment it kind of felt like we’d lost our best friend all over again. But then the sad feelings kind of just left us as fast as they came and we felt better again. There was a moment today during all of our afternoon shenanigans where it dawned on me that in 40 years after we are done raising our families there's a huge chance we are going to come together and find ourselves doing the same exact things we are doing now. We've been friends for almost 20 years, and we are going to be friends forever!

Monday, March 21, 2011

In SD for awhile

I shot a music video in San Diego almost two weeks ago. Obviously I stayed with Brad during the production, but after I was done I found myself not wanting to leave. Then Brad asked me to stay and it was all the reason I needed not to go. I miss living with Bradley so much that being around him THIS much literally makes my heart ache!

Being home with Bradley has been so easy! I don’t even know any other way to explain it. Everything just fell into place so perfectly. We wake up in the morning and go to the gym. Then we come home and eat breakfast together. Bradley goes off to class and I spend my morning editing and working on fx. He comes home around 3 and we spend the rest of the day doing our “homework” and distracting each other until it’s time for bed, then he goes to sleep and I stress out over work for a few more hours. It’s so perfect that I never want to leave.

I currently have about 7 projects that I am working on simultaneously, and I ABSOLUTELY HATE WORKING ON EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM! Every time I even think about what I am doing I just want to kick the shit out of myself for being such a fucking loser/sellout! Without Brad keeping me sane and making this BULLSHIT tolerable I have no idea what I would do.

Lately I just feel so defeated dealing with all these businesses and advertising firms! I work so hard to make something tasteful and interesting and then they shit all over it with loud ugly nonsense AND IT DRIVES ME NUTS! Re-shoots, new animations, logos spinning in the wrong direction, clouds not fluffy enough, not enough gaudy flashing epileptic crap flashing all over, FUCKING MOTHER FUCKER GODMAN SHIT!! AHHHHHH!!! Little by little, it’s all slowly driving me insane.

My agent says I am feeling frustrated because I haven’t really set any clear career goals for myself. If I have something to work towards, it makes doing all this bullshit to get there a lot more tolerable. The idea of a future in Hollywood makes me sick to my stomach! I am just doing this to pay some bills and then I want out! I love film too much to ever really want to truly be a part of it; I hate actors too much to ever want to ruin my love of film.

I guess that the most frustrating thing of all is how easily I can make this whole nightmare go away. All I would have to do is call my dad and ask him to take care of it, and he would. I could go back to leisurely working on my art and designing surfboards and skateboards and just having a gay old time all day. But I am too proud to ever do a thing like that, so instead I suffer. I beat my head against the wall and I miss the love of my life because I am 100 miles away doing something I hate.

It’s time for a change! I just need to figure out how exactly I am going to do it…

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Just a little complaining

Another late night in the office and it’s really kicking my ass! Tyler turned 29 over the weekend, so you better believe there was A LOT of drug and alcohol consumption taking place! It all started and ended with a $3,000.00 bottle of cognac and the rest is pretty much a blur... It’s been two days but my kidneys still ache, loud noises make my cringe and my eyes still can’t deal with direct sunlight! I am getting too old to be partying like this! Not to mention the fact that by Sunday morning, I had to be back in the office editing.

Being over $310,000 in debt from medical bills has really instilled this insane work ethic in me that has kept me working nonstop for months! All this work also just seems so fruitless because no matter how much money I make, I still owe sooo much goddamn money! It’s been almost 4 months and after my agent takes his cut, I’ve accumulated just over $22,000 to pay my extensive medical bills with. At this rate I am going to completely burn out by June at the latest, at which point I will have to consider faking my own death to avoid the creditors!

Working for a non-action sports related production company has been a HUGE adjustment for me. There was a lot I had to learn in terms of the process from inception to execution, its sooo different from shooting an action sports vid. Music videos, commercials and film projects are all just so rigid and structured, and the job of a director is a million times more detail oriented and requires a certain level of anal retentiveness that I am still not sure I am capable of!

I have found myself spending a lot of time in NYC shooting for a few different projects because a lot of my contacts in advertising and music are out there. What’s the deal with NYC producers!? Ever since my first shoot, I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in the outward appearance of my producers from the opposite coasts. In LA my producers are always slightly overweight unshaven white guys in oversized hoodies and baggy jeans. In NYC every producer I have worked with was impeccably dressed for a day in the office, and sexy as all hell! You’d think people would be more vain about their appearance in Hollywood than they would be in NYC, but I have come to realize that’s just not the case.

I miss NYC and all the pretty people in their fancy clothes… I want my apartment back! I would also like to win the lottery so Bradley and I can just live our lives in peace at the beach, surfing all day and screwing all night. When you’re rich, you don’t need to sleep!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Relationship stuff

Brad and I have never really had a normal relationship. From the first day we met we began living under the same roof, and for the next two years that’s exactly how it continued! The day I chose to move out, I basically felt like I had to learn how to survive on my own all over again. Going to the grocery store became a mess because Brad always made the shopping lists. Fuck shopping!! I couldn’t even cook anymore because Brad was my prep chef preparing all my meats and vegetables! And sleep, forget about it! My bed became the loneliest place on the planet and to this day I spend half the night just staring at the ceiling unable to fall asleep without Brad wrapping his arms around me.

Writing these things down, I cannot believe how codependent I have become! But it gets even worse! Even when we were broken up, for the longest 4 months of my life, we still spoke on the phone almost daily. No matter what is going on in either of our lives we always make time to call each other. Something we also do almost daily (this next part I have been told is really weird and I should probably see a professional about it, but I HONESTLY feel like if this is strange to anybody they are the ones that have an issue because they are most likely dead inside!) is video chat. At first we talk about our days and what’s been going on, but then we just leave it on and go about doing our work, watch TV, do laundry, we even have friends come over expecting to see us on the computer screen. I have no idea how people survived long term relationships before high speed internet!

Brad is in a 5 year program to get his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. If everything goes as planned, he will be done in a year and a half. The thing is life is already getting in the way of this 5 year plan! There’s some VERY SERIOUS talk of Brad being a real contender for the 2012 Olympics, which of course would mean time off from school. I don’t know if I can be away from him that long. He says the same, but I tell him we need to be strong and soldier through this. Everyday I think about packing up my stuff and moving back down to San Diego to be with Bradley. There’s nothing going on in my professional life that I wouldn’t give up in a second, to be with Brad. But I don’t! Because I hate the idea of being THAT guy! The needy clingy loser that couldn’t even take care of himself for a short time, while the man he loves took care of himself like he should be doing!

I am hopeless when it comes to Brad. And he’s hopeless when it comes to me. In most ways just knowing that he feels the same way I do, makes all this pain and longing from being apart, a little more bearable. But it’s also really scary that he would even consider giving up some of the opportunities he has before him just to be with me! The idea of me holding him back from his full potential kind of makes me feel like somebody ripped my heart out of my chest and showed it to me. It’s times like this that I wish we were both a couple of underachieving losers who couldn’t figure out a way to get our acts together. We could spend our lives in a dirty studio apartment somewhere in the valley living off our parents money and getting really really fat!! We would be poor and miserable, but we’d still have each other. Oh man, that would be perfection…

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just the 2 of us

My high school reunion is coming up in 5 short weeks; which means two things: 1) I am old and 2) Life just got about 75% more annoying. I had 34 new facebook notifications in my inbox this morning. 34! Just take a moment and really let that sink in… 30 fucking 4!!! All of them were something along the lines of “OMG, SO EXCITED CAN’T WAIT TO SEE EVERYONE! WE’RE SOOO OLD! Well not you so much, but definitely the rest of us! LOL!”. Look, this is exactly why I got rid of my facebook account in the first place and EXACTLY why I am 2 seconds from shutting down my account again! I’m not trying to be a party pooper here. I plan on going. But can we all just slow our proverbial rolls for one hot minute? Elsewise I might end up murdering someone. And then how will I pick up my award for bringing the sexiest arm candy of the night?

Speaking of Brad, as usual he and I had INSANE schedules and neither of us had any time to properly celebrate VD with a crazy day AND night of sex and spooning that the day truly deserved. I was stuck across the country and Brad was cramming for midterms. So we skyped for a half hour and then we both went back to work. BUT we totally made up for it over the weekend with a 3 day trip to Palm Springs. We stayed at this amazing… I don’t really know what to call it… the brochure says “a Mediterranean-style romantic retreat unlike any other.”, which I would have to agree with whole heartedly!

I do have to say that I felt WAY WAY WAY out of place at this fancy resort. I felt like I was about 10 years too young to be anywhere near a place like this, but I manned up and dealt with it like the grown-up I am! We stayed at this amazingly beautiful bungalow, and it was like we were in our own little world. It was such an amazing space to just lounge around in, and enjoy each other next to a massive fireplace. We really needed it too. I had no idea how much I was missing Bradley until it was just the two of us and I really had the time to soak in the man I love. It’s been 4 years and its only getting harder to be away from him. Sometimes I can be such a fucking chick! Sorry about that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What I know

There’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
But I’m too tough for him.
I say, stay in there, I’m not going to let anybody see you

There’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
But I’m too clever to let him out
At night sometimes when everybody’s asleep
I say, I know you’re there, so don’t be sad.
Then I put him back,
But he’s singing a little in there,
I haven’t quite let him die
And we sleep together like that
With our secret pact
And it’s nice enough to make a man weep.
But I don’t weep,
Do you?
Charles Bukowski

In my eyes, my dad could kick the shit out of batman and steal James Bond’s girlfriend right off his arm all in the same breath. If I am brutally honest with myself, I can admit that my dad's opinion of me means more than the air I breath. I have never done things the way he wanted me to, but I have always done them in a way he could still be proud. Because even though I would NEVER admit this to him, I want to be just like him when I grow up.

In December I flew into LA for a couple days because my sister (my dad and stepmother’s daughter) was having this HUGE party for this massive award she'd won. She’s a senior in HS and an even bigger over achiever than I ever was! Growing up, she and I have never been particularly close, mostly because of her mother (my stepmother) wanting to rip my eyes out and my father taking her side. But in the last few years my sister and I been able to grow closer and connect after my dad decided to finally become human and let me see my sister.

The thing that I have come to realize is, even though my dad has allowed me to see my sister, he’s never really let me back into his family. Walk into his house and the proof is in every direction you could look. Family pictures, school pictures, family trinkets, search as hard as you want; in my father’s house, I do no exist. Even after we reconciled that never changed and I did my best to pretend I didn’t notice.

Right now my dad and I aren’t on speaking terms. It has nothing to do with the gay thing, and everything to do with everything else, but for my sister I showed up because she asked me to be there. I walked into my father’s house for my sister’s celebration and gave her the biggest hug a big brother ever gave because I was proud of her. I shook my dad’s hand, and I even gave a small wave to my stepmom before she disappeared into the crowd.

I hadn’t brought anybody with me and I was immediately uncomfortable in my isolation. I haven’t been a part of this family for over 12 years and everything about it was completely foreign to me. This is when people started walking up to me and introducing themselves.

“Hi we’re Mr. & Mrs. WASP! How are you!?”
“Hello, I’m RGB. I am doing well, how about yourselves?”
“Good, good! How do you know the family?”
“The host of the party of there; My dad.”
“He has a son!?”

I had that conversation 3 times with different people before I was practically in tears. I guess the thing that hurt the most was remembering all the times he told me how proud he was of me over the last few years, and the realization that he’d never meant it. I don’t know why I cared so much. My dad always says all the right things to me to make me believe in him, and he always lets me down. Every time he does I am always completely shocked.

I don’t know why I have such a hard time excepting that I am just his dirty little secret. His pubescent indiscretion that ruined the rest of his life. I can't ever be anything else to him. I really need to stop lying to myself and think things can be any different than how they are now. Why do I have to look up to my dad so much!? Why couldn’t he just hate me for being gay like my mom does? It would make things so much easier on me. Then I wouldn’t have to live with this reality, that there’s just something inherently wrong with me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Busy as F*CK!

I am EXHAUSTED! If I were to add up all the hours I spent on an airplane last month, I would be too depressed to even function anymore. HI, CA, and NY. I had been traveling non-stop from one place to the other, THEN BACK, and I had such severe jetlag that I found it easier to just take little power naps every few hours than just to try and get a full 8 hours because I just couldn’t get a handle on timezones for the ENTIRE month of December.

What the shit is up with people always trying to talk to me in airports and on the airplanes!? I have a laptop, and a WACOM tablet and the most intense look of concentration plastered (read meanacing scowl) across my face, and people still take this as an invitation to BUG THE CRAP OUT OF ME! I don’t fucking care that your sister, uncle, brother, or next door neighbor use final cut, photoshop, or maya! I honestly couldn’t care less that you think the 5 seconds of compositing I just finished was the coolest thing you ever saw! I’ve got shit to do, deadlines to meet, and I haven’t slept for days, SO LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!

In NYC I shot a music video and a commercial, then I met with an ad agency for this new project a friend recommended me for. Back in LA I had to drive down to SD for Bradley’s big award dinner, and then back to Long Beach for my sister’s big award dinner. And in HI I was put in front of the camera to host a webshow for a couple of contests that were happening out there in December. The problem was that the way everything was scheduled I ended up getting on an airplane almost every 4 days until Christmas!

As always my holidays were hectic, awesome, depressing, exhausting, and amazingly fantastic. December in general was a pretty difficult time for me. Not only because of the endless travel and impossible list of things to accomplish, but actually just being able to deal with my life, family, and friends slowly took it’s toll on me. By the time I finally made it home for Christmas I was ready to lock myself in a room for a week so I could sleep, cry, scream, and punch the walls.

Lucky for me, it was December 23 and with all my family and friends expecting me to be around for the holidays, I had to push all that bullshit aside and celebrate properly. Being around everybody I loved was exactly what I needed! I finally was able to crawl into my bed and sleep for 2 days after 3 days of Christmas, and when I woke up I almost felt human again! I have got a lot on my mind, and now that I finally have a moment to really take it all in, I realize how hectic things have actually been for me. I have a lot going on in my head, and some free time to actually deal with it. The verdict is still out on whether or not this is a good thing...