Sean's blog

Nosing around

I went to a local car dealer and nosed around the lot today after church–I dunno if it’s more a way of reminding myself of what kind of car I want to someday have or what.  I just like nice cars, I guess.

Anyway, I got to talking with a fella who used to work there, and he reminded me of an area of the dealership where they put cars that will go to auction.  Cars they don’t want to do anything with.  Cars one can get for a little cheaper than the cars on the main lot.  Thing is, those cars might have stuff wrong with them, might need some work, so it might be better to focus on cars that don’t, at least at the time of sale, already need work put into them.

One other thing the guy filled me in on was that the E-class Mercedes tend to be more reliable than the C-class I was looking at and that the S-class is in the shop all the time.  Perhaps the S-class has a bunch of new tech on them–more stuff to go wrong?  Anyway, it shifted my focus onto the E-class–like the E350 or E250.  That’s above what I call the “starter” Mercedes (which is something I would not turn down, either, if somebody were giving me one.  Nope.  Not me.  I’d smile and thank God and them for it and enjoy the car– “starter” or “entry level” or not, it’s still a Mercedes).

Still, the Lexus seems to take the cake as far as reliability goes.  There was a Lexus GS350 on the lot that the guy had his eye on.  I am a fan of that line as well–I saw one outside a local convenience store out of which I was coming, and I drove past it to see the model number–I thought it was an LS but wasn’t sure–but it was the GS350.  Handsome, handsome car.  Black (I’d prefer off-white, especially because it’s hot where I live) with a tan interior and a wood grain steering wheel.  I’ve always liked those wood or wood-like steering wheels and accents.  Wouldn’t trust a wood-spoked rim unless it was on something that probably wouldn’t go over 40mph, like a carriage, though.  The car certainly didn’t have wood rims, but just saying…

I remember when I stopped dreaming of cars so intensely–when I sort of gave up on getting a really nice one:  when I got laid off from a job.  I didn’t see any way of affording one anymore, so , regretfully, I just kind of crossed them off the list for awhile.  But God has ways of getting things to us, and that one job wasn’t the only way to get stuff.  He has been providing for me for years past that lay-off.

The only thing I’m concerned about is whether I put too much importance on a car like I fantasize about–the Mercedes or the Lexus.  The thing to watch out for is looking for it to be a life-changing experience, drawing validation from it.  I’m “valid” because now I drive a Mercedes or I drive a Lexus.  Even worse, if I were to start thinking I was “better” than somebody else because of this nice thing I now have.  That sounds right now like a great way to shoot yourself in the foot.  Better to just enjoy the nice thing for what it is and get something sufficient that you won’t be pining after the next model when that inevitably comes out.

Even better: appreciate more what I have now.  Learn that habit.  Then carry it forward to whatever else God has for me.

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Babble, babble, froth and babble

As is often the case when I’ve nothing else to do and am at Starbucks with coffee and technology, I thought I’d write up another blog, this one probably about humility and lesson-learning.

See, I’m often on Twitter (@seanfrost49), and it’s kind of a kick to see how many people engage with the tweets I put out.  Or there’s the anticipation of that anyway.  And then I look at the engagements.  Eek.  Pretty low.  Like between 4 and 20 on average unless I link in somebody else.  Point is, on my own, I don’t get much engagement, but if somebody famous retweets it, then I’ve gotten over 60K looks.  It makes sense–they’re famous and I’m not.

It’s also a great way to keep from getting a big head if I get, say, 100 engagements (at my level, that’s a lot).  An average tweet from me might connect with 12 people and one from person X will get over twenty thousand times that.

Wow.

Now, I’m not jealous, but a little gobsmacked until I realize how long this other person has been around, what they’ve done and how popular they are.  And if I want to be well-known (I’m debating that), all I need do is look at what they did:  stick in for the long term, put out good product and be smart about marketing.  Am I willing to do that?  Yep.  In theory.  Thing is, they followed through, and I haven’t.

I talked with another well-followed person, or at least the husband of one:  the big thing they did is come up with a good product and follow through on it, supporting it, expanding it, improving it.  They didn’t just shove it out the door and let it flop around on its own.

Detecting a pattern here:  put out good product, whatever your product is.  Support it. Keep at it. Keep getting better at it.  Your best now, if you follow through, will look below standard when you’re better, but you still have to put out whatever is your best now.

They say when working out that the biggest key to success is consistency.  The body will adapt and improve, but then it will level out until you throw something different at it, pushing it to get better.  I think that sort of applies in getting attention for your work.

Then maybe the engagements and so on will come–not that the engagement are the end goal; they are a side effect.

And engagements or no engagements, being consistent, always doing better and following through on whatever you’re doing (hopefully good stuff) seems like a good path to success.

Back again

Haven’t written on here in some time–a few months.  Since December 2017.  You can check out what’s been happening by following me on Twitter or Instagram, both at @seanfrost49 .

A few months ago one of my writing partners presented a challenge to me–or an opportunity that was a challenge:  an idea for a feature romantic comedy.  I didn’t want to disappoint her or refuse an opportunity (try it; you’ll like it).  I took it on.  This is the benefit of being the first writer:  you get to craft much of the story, even if the essential story is already set.  You get to fill in the details, at least as long as you get the basic stuff right.  Cut to this weekend:  first draft of my first romantic comedy done.

I kinda want to do more.

This from the science fiction/fantasy/thriller/spy guy.

Who knew?

Doing the work

So it’s a few months on, or a couple anyway, since I moved into my sister’s house.  It’s going okay, but it’s an adjustment going from the autonomy of my own place to the perceived restrictions of sharing a place.

And it’s only going to get to be more–once I move to L.A., I don’t see having my own apartment, at least for awhile.  I don’t know if I’ll ever live alone again, actually.  It might be roommates and then, if I get married, a wife.  I don’t think I appreciated that autonomy as much as I should have when I had it.

I love being alone, especially in public.  This is partially just the attraction of zigging while zagging, which I equate to having my cake and eating it too.  Example:  sitting in a coffee shop with headphones on.  People all around me, but I don’t really have to interact with them.  I can just be by myself…with others.

One thing I noticed also is not getting a lot of computer work done as I don’t spend as much time at the coffee shops, mostly because of money.  I’m so used to doing the work in a coffee shop, though, that it can be hard to do it in a different setting, i.e. at home.  Just doesn’t feel right.  Too many distractions at home, or at my sister’s, methinks.

The thing is this:  one should not have to have a certain environment, to have things a certain way, in order to get this work done.  Writing at home feels a lot different from writing in a coffee shop, sure.  It comes down to how badly the work needs to get done.  Circumstances will not always be ideal.  Do the work anyway.

Moving, part 1

Well, I moved out of my apartment and into my sister’s house to save money for the move to Los Angeles.  She’s been very welcoming, which I thank God for (not that I expected anything else, knowing her).

So I think to get about 2500-3000.00 and move out before the end of the year.  Not an easy thing, but a lot easier with fewer expenses here.  I had thought that I wouldn’t feel comfortable here, but I’ve gotten used to it pretty quickly, considering I moved in, like, Thursday.

I’m looking for substantive stuff to say in this blog.  Mostly it’s just been me talking about me, but that’s not enough.  It’s cool to relate, but when it’s all me, I’m not being very inclusive.  I need to work out something I really like to talk about.  Maybe a companion blog to the “Acting, Writing and Directing” podcast, but I don’t even know that I’m going to continue that. I kind of did what I could for relying on the word of mouth only.

More later.

Two days after WrestleMania 33

Watched some more WWE.  Not stopping any time soon–will miss Undertaker, but things move on.

The Retirement of The Undertaker…?

So I just watched Wrestlemania 33.  Spoiler alert:  looks like The Undertaker is retired.

I started following The Deadman 17 or so years ago, when the WWE, the WWF at the time, came to Tulsa and my sister bought me a ticket.  The Undertaker was one who I saw put as much effort into that house show as I saw him put forth at televised shows.  One would think, or I would have thought, at the time, that one would relax at the non-televised shows.  Undertaker didn’t.  Others there didn’t, either–like Stone Cold Steve Austin or Bradshaw–they also put forth full effort.

Undertaker stood out, and it was then that I became a fan of his.  Not a rabid fan or a superfan or whatever–just an admirer.

Approximately 17 years later, tonight, it looks like The Undertaker has retired with honor and distinction, as he deserves.

Thank you, Undertaker, for, for me, about 17 good years.  It feels right, and I feel a peace about it.  I do hope to hear you on some podcasts now, like those of Steve Austin and Jim Ross, but if not, then it is what it is.

Undertaker was the last of the old guard that I followed with the passion, the interest, that I did.  I don’t see Kane much anymore, nor Big Show–not that they’re not there, just that I don’t get to see them as much.  Time moves on, though, and if Undertaker isn’t there, then as much as I like the new crop of folks (congratulations to Roman Reigns, by the way), I’ll still follow, and I think I’ll always be a fan, but it’s just not the same.

Should it be?

It feels like a chapter in my life is over.  Fondly and with affection, turn the page, but don’t close the book.  On to the next chapter, the next section–and things look bright for the WWE.  That’s partially because of you, Undertaker, I think–thank you for helping leave the WWE in very good shape.  I’ll do and always will love professional wrestling/sports entertainment, I’m always a WWE fan, and you had a very big hand in that.

Once again, thank you.

What have I been doing?

So I’m sitting here late at night under the beautiful light of an LED bulb given to me by one of my sisters–a bulb tuned to “daylight”.  I never had any idea that the thing could be so beautiful, nor that the switching out of one thing, the light bulb, could make the apartment feel so like a new place.

Change.

Been going through a lot of change recently.  Loss of a long-held job, mostly.  Navigating unemployment, recognizing the opportunity God’s given me, being overwhelmed by the grace and generosity of others–living in interesting times.  I’m not sure if I mean that more in the Chinese curse sense or not.

It’s been hard, looking back at where I was twenty years ago, about to finish graduate school, and looking at where I am now and not think I’ve been wasting my time.  Nearly half my life, actually.  But what if I’d taken a different track?  How do I know I’d be in a different, better spot?

We cannot change the past; all we can do is learn from it and not make whatever mistakes in the future.  Everything else, as Solomon might say, is “useless”.

It’s times like this I need to count my blessings.  I live in a nice apartment in a nice area of town, I have people who love me, there are possibilities on my horizon, I have good internet (never underestimate the value of that) and a great computer.  Soon, there will be more unemployment money coming in.  I have skills that I think I can monetize–acting and writing.  It’s just a matter of making people aware of them.  It’s a matter of not being as lazy as I have been, of, as my friend Will said, not wanting it enough.  What I didn’t tell him was refrain that has been in my mind for over twenty years, a line from “The Untouchables”, starring Kevin Costner and Sean Connery:  “What are you willing to do?”

A lot more than in the past.

Hope

Somebody asked me today what I write about.  I said “hope”.

After spending the day with some long-unseen family and looking over my situation of having just been future-endeavored by a company for whom I’d worked for some time, I see a lot of that for me.  For the first time in some time, I feel released.  Free.  Not that I wasn’t before, but I’m seeing this time as an opportunity to use what I learned from my past to get to a better future.

I’m seeing in stark relief why my pastor says it’s important to always have at least two streams of income–if one dries up, you still have the other.  Why it’s important to give, and why I really should tithe–as my pastor also says, “tithe ten percent, save ten percent and learn to live on the rest”.  I haven’t been tithing, but eventually I’ll start again.

I’m blown away by some of the generosity of time and gesture I’ve seen from some of my friends.  One guy bought me lunch.  It was pizza (really good pizza), which one may not think is such a thing, but it was the gesture and what we talked about over lunch–some creative stuff might get done between us.

Mostly, though, I just thank God for the kick in the pants.  Sometimes, that’s what it takes to get back on track.

Muse-y

It’s Sunday after church, about 1:21pm, and I’m at a local Starbucks.  It’s the best one I’ve been to yet, as it’s darker and more urban-looking than the ones to which I usually go.

I’ve got my coffee, the environment is excellent, and I’ve got great music on my iPhone as I’m typing on my beautiful 2010 MacBook MC512lla.  I got here early, as I have a coffee date at 2:30p.

But it’s this moment.  Right now.  That I don’t want to get over.  It’s everything, but it’s mostly the song that’s got me in this mood.  Music affects me like that.  Pink Floyd in this case–“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” off of the “Wish You Were Here” album.  For those who don’t know, an album is a collection of songs, usually somehow related, not all necessarily singles.  It’s like a book with a bunch of chapters, some of which could stand as their own short stories.  The best albums tell a musical story, a musical novel.  The best at this that I ever found was “Operation: Mindcrime” by a band called Queensryche.  I haven’t listened to it in years.  Don’t even have it.  But an interesting story musically told.

I wonder if music affects a lot of others in quite this way–where their mood changes with the song or the type of song being played.  There’s an old saying about music soothing the savage breast.  Or beast.  Either way.  David would play music for King Saul when the king was in a bad mood.  One time he got a spear thrown at him by King Saul anyway, but most of the time it worked.

Myself, I think music is one of the greatest gifts God’s ever given us.  It’s hard to imagine the world without music.  I think eventually the sounds of nature, of the planet, would provide our music.  Sometimes the low moan of a winter wind is beautiful to me–reminds me of nights back in college when i would have the window open just after a snow and that wind was all that remained of the storm.  It reminded me that I was safe and protected from the elements not two feet away from me.

Even the planet itself makes some kind of noise that could be taken as music.  God loves it that much, I think.

I wonder what the universe sounds like?

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