2017: Track

2 Jan

tracks by The_JDM, on Flickr

tracks” (CC BY 2.0) by The_JDM

One of the few things that has continued on with this site, as the blogging/journaling has almost completely dried up and my writing work now mostly lives in other places, is this annual tradition of choosing a word for the year.

It what I instead of a full resolution, less a goal and more a tone I want to set for the year and a vibe I want to achieve.

I don’t always remember the word itself as the year goes on, but it’s usually tied to a larger set of ideas I I want to pursue. I’m bad at five-year plans. But I can pick a word that I want to represent where I want to be.

Guess what the word was for 2016. Just take a guess. I’ll hang out for a second.

Would you believe it was “Joyful?”

Funny, right?

I have some friends who started businesses and wrote books and got married or had a kid for the first time, and they would tell you that their year was pretty great overall. But for most of the rest of us, 2016 was kind of shit on toast, and not the nice 12-grain toast that absorbs butter like a black hole, I’m talking about some hardened, stale, crusty Melba toast shit.

No one close in my family or circle of friends died, though there were a few close calls. But I suffered the same hurt feelings over pop culture heroes falling left and right. And politically, of course, it was just an ugly, brutal year for truth, for decency, for us to wonder how the fuck we got to this point. As the year wore on, it was clear that for a lot of us, we were going to remember it as anything but joyful.

BUT!

But, I remember that post and the feeling of going into 2016 wanting to be less in my own head and more out there experiencing things joyfully and in the moment. And in that regard, it was kind of a great year. I made a conscious effort to go to music concerts and not watch them from behind my cell phone screen shooting photos or video. I took a trip to Las Vegas where I did a bunch of stuff I’ve never done before like indoor skydiving, betting on a professional sports game (I won!) and seeing two professional stage performers twist their penises and balls into interesting shapes. If that’s not living joyfully, I don’t know what is.

I saw a really good life coach toward the middle of the year who opened my eyes to some things going on in my life that needed to stop and that I’ve been in the process of cutting out. I stopped selling myself short on certain things that were wedged in my brain and I stopped caring about things that I know won’t matter in a few years.

There were some setbacks I had, just like everyone else, and I definitely ended the year feeling drained and a little lost and uncertain. But there was lots of surprising joy in the year and instead of allowing myself to wallow or hide out, I spent a ton of time with my kids during the winter break and reminded myself why I’ve made a lot of decisions that have kept me close to them (instead of, say, traveling all the time or taking a job that would keep me from seeing them so much).

So “Joyful,” in a weird way, did work itself out.

Along those lines, I’ve been mulling over my word for 2017 and here it is (this won’t be a surprise if you’ve already glanced at the title of this post):

Track.

This is a little bit of a cheat because it’s a word I’m using in a few different ways (why not just choose three words of the year? THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS!).

“Track.” Mostly what I mean by it is that I need to do better about keeping track of things in my life, something I used to be great at sometime in my major GTD phase, where I was making tons of to-do lists, labelmaking the shit out of everything in my house and work desk, and being militant about not letting things fall through the crack.

I won’t blame it on age, but I’ve mellowed on a lot of that stuff and some of it just doesn’t make any sense anymore. Meticulously filing thousands of emails? Unnecessary. Keeping all my old paper story files? Even our electronic archive at work is incomplete and that stuff matters more. I find myself wanting to hold on to that stuff less and less.

But the stuff I should be keeping track of, such as following through on personal goals, on not letting myself off the hook on benchmarks (writing this post, for instance). That’s stuff I need to track much more strictly after a few years of just letting my off-hours writing and project work fall by the wayside. I mean have you seen how much good shit there is on TV? Have you played Overwatch? Gotten into a fight on Facebook? There’s always other fun and engaging stuff to do and I’ve taken it way too easy on myself to just opt out and not finish things.

Track is also being used here as in “Get to the track” and exercise more. I started running this last year, something I’ve never, ever done, even when I was seeing a trainer two years ago, and even though my body is totally not built for it (chunky legs, bad breathing habits), I’ve somehow learned how to jog without stopping every two or three minutes. So I’m keeping on with that. And following some kind of regular path. Or track, if you will.

Tracks, incidentally, are what I’ve been thinking of as I file a bunch of my CDs (still have them!) into a giant folder and get rid of shelves and shelves worth of jewel boxes. I’m going through all of this music, a lot of which I never bothered to transfer to my computer or phone and thinking, “Where has that song been all this time?” Yes, almost all of it is on Spotify, but I forgot how much music I used to own and just completely lost track of. There are some great songs I haven’t heard in a very long time.

And one more use of the word: I’d like to keep track of my friends a little better. One of the things I do when I’m stressed or having a hard time is just to disengage with everyone, to hide at home or behind a keyboard and to just withdraw from everything. Starting the podcast (still going after three years!) was one was of forcing myself out of Hermittown, but as fun as it is, it’s not enough. I need to do that in my personal life too and devote more time to reconnecting with friends and family I haven’t been paying enough attention to.

I have some work/creative/project goals for the year too, but those are super boring if you’ve not me, so I’ll only mention for now that I’m excited to be performing again with Latino Comedy Project after a nine-year hiatus and that returning to the San Francisco Sketch Festival later in January is already looking like a huge highlight of the coming year.

I’m not going to promise more blog posts here because that never seems to happen, but I do plan to write a lot more this year one way or another and I hope some of that stuff ends up here.

What’s your word for 2017? What are your plans? Let me know. I really miss hearing from you.

Testing, for out there

3 Jan

Panning for gold in the backyard of your brain for online riches

Is this still a thing?

Are we still blogging?

Or what was once online journaling? Has it passed on to a new generation, a group of up-and-coming writers who are still writing about their lives on top of the Tweets, Instagrams, Snapchats, podcastings that also serve as to give them voices above the din?

Or is the din the point?

I have a friend, Tolly. We do a podcast together that’s really become my main creative outlet for the last two years, the place where I get to be myself and talk in a very similar way that I once would have blogged here. We both have let our blogs lie asleep for six months or more (for me, my 40th birthday back in April appeared to be the excuse to just stop), and we both recently said to each other, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great to blog again?”

We do. We blog a lot. Just not in our home spaces.

And it frankly shocked me that in 2015, I wrote two blog posts here. Two. That’s it. And one of them was short, and just marking time, and searching for a reason to keep at it that, obviously, never came.

Is anyone out there anymore? Listening? Reading?

It sure doesn’t feel like it. It’s felt beside the point and a drag and that’s why I stopped. It didn’t feel joyful, or spontaneous, or like an outlet anymore, it felt like an obligation, a thing to do that had to be done, a void to throw the most personal stuff that was never going to get seen anyway. (Or, if seen, to be misinterpreted and twisted, as has happened before. At least on social media, you can come right back with a response and turn it into a conversation. An ugly comment on a blog post feels like a drive-by water-ballooning. You’ll probably never see that hateful balloon thrower ever again.)

This is a test, I think. A preview, maybe, or just a call out to say, this still exists. It’s still a thing, at least for tonight.

To the right of this, there’s a blogroll, what we used to pull together to link to the sites that we liked to read, the ones we’d exchange links with, to shout-out friends and people we admired. So many of them are either gone, dumped in digital graves, or simply suspended in time, stopped a year ago or two years ago or more.

Is it the end? I don’t really know. The 15th anniversary of this site’s birth came and went in October and I didn’t even notice. Once upon a time I would have celebrated it like an actual birthday, making a big hoopla for the anniversary. Now, I wonder if it matters, even to me as more than just a repository of old stuff, a filing cabinet of old ideas and passions and words that every year seem a little more like a foreign language or musings out of a different brain.

I think I tried, in 2015, to stick to my word of the year “Cohesion,” my goal of aligning my home, work and online selves more closely to each other, by just cutting out the things that weren’t working, or adding value, or bringing me satisfaction anymore. The things that I figured I could get back to someday, but that for the time being were just dragging and pulling and weighing on me. This year, my word is “Joyful,” to enjoy more moments as they’re happening, to seek out the stuff that makes me happy and fulfilled rather than just the stuff I feel I ought be doing out of habit or obligation. And I think I’m very careful judging whether this thing that I worked very hard to build into something a very long time ago, still fits into the equation.

I think a lot of bloggers who’ve stopped are doing the same if they’re considering keeping at it at all.

Flip a coin, maybe? Send out a distress signal? Nuke it and start anew?

I don’t know, honestly. But I hope it’s not another seven or eight months before an answer presents itself.

40, 20, stuck in the middle

20 Apr

1995

1995

I got a call a few days ago from a student reporter at OU’s Oklahoma Daily newspaper. I don’t ever turn down those interviews; I worked there for four years in college and I’ll always credit the paper with giving me my career start. The interviews never take very long (student reporters, for whatever reason, have three-to-four questions and that’s always it; never more, never a longer conversation than that), and they’re always cordial and flattering.

I’ve become accustomed to getting that call before landmark anniversaries of April 19, 1995, the day of the Oklahoma City bombing. At five years, 10 years, 15, I’m pretty sure I did an identical interview about what it was like to be a student reporter in the middle of such a giant story. But the questions are less urgent now, especially the ones about not having had Internet at the time. It seems like ancient history now, a world without a live feed for everyone, and maybe it is.

The second or third question in the interview started with, “Most of our students either weren’t born yet in 1995 or were only a year or two old” and that stopped me cold. Yes. Of course. That makes total sense. This was 20 years ago. These students are 18, 19, 20, 21. They weren’t here or they weren’t aware of it as it was happening. Total sense, but it blindsided me anyway. We’ve hit that point, have we?

April 19, 1995 was only two weeks after my 20th birthday. The 20th anniversary, on Sunday, was two weeks after my 40th and the bombing itself is now right at the midpoint of my life. It’s a marker in so many ways, of change and sudden, unwanted maturation and of how little I knew that I had to learn very quickly.

And I’ve mostly been avoiding that marker for a lot of years, mostly out of guilt. Not survivor’s guilt; I was not close enough to the tragedy to claim it as anything close to my own. But something like reporter’s guilt. The sense that once the stories were published, this was no longer my story to tell or share anymore. The story belonged to the families and to the reporters who stayed in Oklahoma and continued covering the trials and memorials and anniversaries.

It belonged to people like my friend Carla Wade, who is both a television reporter and someone who lost her father in the bombing and has written poignantly about the ways it destroyed parts of her life. She is a survivor. I was a distant bystander.

Even writing about it now feels weird and selfish. After it happened and I wrote about it, I got a series of internships that I’m positive were landed because of that reporting. Part of me has always felt strange about that, on the way 168 deaths opened career paths for me. Sometimes I feel gross for it and wonder if I would have earned those opportunities without the bombing coverage. It’s the same twinge I get when I wonder if affirmative action allowed my unusual name and brown skin color to get me into doors that I wouldn’t have been good enough to pass through otherwise. It’s not a good feeling to carry around, so I mostly don’t think about it. Or look back.

Maybe I should. I’ve never been to the memorial in Oklahoma City, though I’ve been back there a few times over the years. The closest I’ve come was visiting the 9/11 Museum in New York last year, where I got a weird feeling of déjà vu. First responders, fire, death, loss, reflection. The scale and the reasons were different, but the despair and horror identical. It’s possible to live with memories and feelings and to recognize how much of yourself was shaped by an event without actually processing it and to feel like you have no right to owning any of your role in it at all.

2015: Cohesion

2 Jan

Overconnected

This will be short because it kind of has to be.

My word for 2015 is “Cohesion.”

Last year it was “Outside,” part of a goal of getting outside of my own head and being a greater part of the external world around me. That happened, to a large degree. I helped get a podcast launched that now puts me across a table from a great friend and a different guest every week and the conversations we have are wonderful and perspective-changing for me.

I haven’t gotten to travel as much as I’d like, though there was a surprise trip to New York City in the summer and more road trips than we were ever comfortable taking in the past with the kids. I got outside, though a big chunk of my time is still spent inside, nose to my phone, reading or connecting or Tweeting. That’s a habit I’m having a hard time breaking, though a lot of vacation time in December got me out of my usual habits.

Cohesion.

Here’s the thing: I’m doing fine, everything’s great, but writing-wise, I feel like I’m kind of a mess. I did a lot of writing in 2014, maybe too much and not all of it as high a quality as I would have liked. I wrote a lot of things in a rush, I wrote a lot of other things antsy and not wanting to be sitting and just feeling my attention drifting constantly.  I don’t have the patience to sit and write for hours like I used to and that’s caused all kind of problems with bigger projects.

Mostly, I’ve let my work stuff affect stuff I should be working on at home and stuff I’m working on at home distract me from getting enough rest to focus and adequately tackle my weekly workload. I perform well under pressure, but that’s been requiring constant panicked pressure, and of course that gets exhausting.

This blog is a good example of the breakdown of that cohesion. It used to be essays and personal reflections and over the last few years, it’s become a dumping ground for links to all my work projects and writing elsewhere.  And since the last few posts, I literally wrote so much stuff for work and did so many podcasts that I couldn’t physically even list them all here. Even a bulleted list of all that stuff seemed too overwhelming and I spend several weeks of vacation just dancing around the idea of doing that instead of actually doing it.

And I’m kind of glad. I shouldn’t have spent my free time stressing like that. And maybe I’ll get to that now that I’m getting back into work mode, but what if I don’t? Would it be the end of the world if I didn’t deliver those blog posts to the only person who really cares about them at this point, me? Why am I such a demanding boss to myself? Can I give me a raise or something?

Bottom line is that I’ve had work/life balance issues, and not because of anyone but myself. My workplace is incredibly supportive and lenient about my work hours, work-from-home days and how I meet my deadlines. So much so that I’ve become my own worst critic, calling myself out for stuff that seems fine to everyone else and feeling guilty for not pushing myself harder on personal writing (like this blog).

So for 2015, starting from this first day of the year, I want to have better cohesion of those separate parts of me. Of Work Omar1 and Freelance Omar and Dad Omar, to make those guys work together instead of compartmentalizing and putting them at odds with each other. Am I the only one who feels like he’s wrangling different selves? Should I not have watched “The One I Love” right before bed?

There used to be a very clear line in my business between home writing and work writing and pretty organically, those lines have largely gone away. But I haven’t allowed myself to embrace that instead of creating more lines.

So, “Cohesion.” 2015.

That’s my word of the year.

And maybe I’ll get to those other catch-up blog posts, maybe not. I’ll let Complete Omar decide on that soon.

1

I hate when people refer to themselves in the third person. That’s Douche Omar talking, sorry.

The Fractured Week-Long Blog Post Pt. 1: The Steady

17 Nov

Credit: Clipart.comThings went awry.

The plan with this blog, what it has come to, is me telling a little story, a mini-essay maybe and then launching into all the stuff I’ve been working on since the last blog post. This blog started back in 2000 (!) with the intent of just being the place to put all my online stuff so I wouldn’t have to go hunting around the web for it later.

It still serves that purpose, even after all the changes to the online world, from online journals to blogs to microblogs to whatever the Hell it is we’re calling what we do on sites like this these days. I still need a place to park all the things I want to be able to find later if I need to find them. And if I can entertain or Say Some Stuff along the way, all the better.

But this blog is not my main gig, not even close, and hasn’t been for a while. If I lost my job tomorrow, you can bet it would be my first rallying point of retreat. But I’ve been a bad combination of busy and lethargic, manic and exhausted, barely hanging on with some deadlines, way far behind on other important ones, and it’s easy to get paralyzed and discouraged and Why Bother/Who Cares? about it all. I don’t like that and this blog was making me feel that way because of a post I’ve been working on, quite literally, since September.

And it’s not even like a great blog post, not a “Wait till you read THIS shit!” masterwork manifesto. It’s just a blog post full of links and stuff I’ve been working on and cute photos and that sort of thing. But here’s the thing… that blog post kept growing. And growing. And every week, as I wrote more stuff and recorded more episodes of Statesman Shots, this work-in-progress blog post couldn’t keep up with the stuff I wanted to put in it.

So I feel behind. And further behind. It got to where it was basically Lucy and Ethel with the chocolates conveyor belt. I used to think that bit was kinda funny. Now it haunts every waking moment.

Rather than continue to try to whip up this gigantic thing that has built up into an impossibility in my mind, I’m going to take the easier route and try to GTD this shit into submission.

The blog post, this gigantic thing I have been afraid to tackle in anything more than feeble late-night attempts, is going to be broken down into its core components. Will it be complete as I wanted? Who the fuck knows? Will it all make sense? MOST LIKELY NOT! Will I be a little saner doing it this way, spreading out the labor over a few nights? I sure hope so.

How will it be divvied up? I think tonight’s post, the first of four or five posts this week, is going to be the little mini-essay I was working on. That’s coming up here in a sec. And after that, I’ll probably do a post just about all the stuff I’ve been doing at my day job (exciting!) and about some news I want to share about some radio stuff I’ll be doing soon (also exciting!). I want to do a post about Statesman Shots because these blog posts have sort of been sort of serving as an episode guide in lieu of one on our actual blog/site.

What I said earlier about having a place to park all my stuff? One thing I have learned from being in a big media company that lives on the web is that you can’t trust that stuff will always be around. Things you worked so hard to get online have a way of just disappearing before you know it, and I’ve always taken it upon myself to catalog it all here, even if the links may one day rot and dry out.

I’d like to do a photos post because in these two months, everything from Halloween to Wurstfest to The Daily Show in Austin have happened.

And I hope that by the end of these few posts I figure out how I’m going to do this in the future (or if I’m going to) because clearly my current model is unsustainable.

But enough complaining. Here’s the thing I wrote a few weeks ago that now feels oddly distant, like some other dude wrote it and asked me to edit it. And I guess that’s really what it is; Past Omar is asking Present Omar to take the wheel and get this thing published.

So I’mma do that. And then post a bunch of other stuff in the next few days that has been building up.

That first post follows:

 


 

Credit: Clipart.com

It’s hard to say where my head is these days because I’ve done such a good job distracting myself by being really busy.

I don’t do well with inactivity, and I know that’s a little bit of a problem, but I swear I sleep better, eat less and overall am less anxious when I’m busy with things I not only have to do, but want to be doing.

And some would call it overextending, but I rarely get in over my head with stuff when it comes to writing assignments. I may stress out a little, but I always remind myself that I’ve been here before, under the pile, typing my way out at full speed.

But despite the being busy, I’ve been a little out of sorts mostly by proxy. I have one friend whose marriage is very close to ending and I’ve been asked for advice on a subject I really am no help on except as a cautious voice of logic and safety. I have another friend who is leaving a job they are closely associated with and although there are happy faces put on the situation, I know there’s a lot more to the story and not all of it is good. And then another friend was hit with a sudden breakup. Maybe it’s the fall shifting into winter, but I was seeing a lot of sudden dissolution all around me.

I don’t like involving myself with other people’s dramas. I don’t seek it out and it certainly doesn’t give me a thrill like it might have in my 20s when other people’s personal lives were fodder for the imagination and got the writing wheels in motion. These days, I mostly just hurt for the people I care about and hate to see them going through bad stuff, especially when it’s past the point where anything can be fixed or salvaged and they must move on.

It’s different in that these are friends who specifically sought me out to talk (and trust me, it’s nobody you know so I’m not spilling any secrets here). As much as I worry that I could make things worse with bad counsel, I think I’m at least a good listener and that’s probably what’s needed most in all three situations.

These  situations, though, made me aware of how little interaction I typically have with friends about these kinds of things. When a friend gets divorced or engaged, I usually hear about it on Facebook. When a co-worker is going away, I learn in a staff email. I’m not really plugged in to gossip channels anymore, but more than that, I find I have very few friends who confide these kinds of things in me anymore. I’ve wondered if people think I’m too busy to listen (a valid concern) or that I’ve just drifted too far away from friends who once considered me a confidante.

It’s not like I stopped making friends when I turned 30 or something; I have new creative partners and friends who I discuss things with. I’m not a hermit, I don’t shut myself out from the world.

But I’m not too old to remember a time when it felt like I knew so much about the private lives of my friends and co-workers. Way more than I really wanted to know, but certainly enough to feel connected to the comings and goings of people’s lives. I wasn’t always so out of the loop.  Or maybe I was listening more intently back then.

The CD Revival, Mayoring And Carson Daly

10 Sep

CD Project

I guess it would be just at 10 years ago that I started a weird little project (in my 20s, I was always starting weird little projects; I guess I still do that but the stakes are a little higher now).

I had an online journal that would become a blog soon but I was still in the habit of publishing pretty regularly on this site. I would post entries, pretty planned-out essays and updates, three times a week, which today just makes me want to go take a long old man nap. There must have been more caffeine in the water back then.

The site never had a huge following, but it did have readers and enough of them that I felt pretty confident that a mix CD project, where people would PayPal me $1 to physically mail them a CD of that year’s best music tracks (at least ones I had bought and had access to), made perfect sense.

It didn’t make perfect sense. It was kind of a pain in the ass, actually, the cutting the labels and finding the perfect plastic disc holders and the laborious burning of the CDs (so much time at the computer, sitting; how am I not dead of a heart attack already?). But it was also really gratifying to get feedback on music I’d chosen, years before we could share iTunes playlists or play DJ in a virtual room (that has already come and gone in that time). So I did it two more years. There was an ’04 mix, an ’05 mix and an ’06 mix (2004, 2005 and 2006, not 1904, 1905 and 1905 young smartasses).

I think the reason I stopped doing it after 2006 was that we had a baby in 2007, which made everything non-essential pretty much impossible, but also because people were already like, “CDs? Really?” even by that point. People were downloading their own music, legally, even, and it was just easier to tell people where to find music online than mailing them something physical. So I stopped doing that project.

About a week ago, a woman emailed me asking about the CDs and whether the list of those songs was still up somewhere. I dutifully sent her the links to find them. She also asked if I was ever planning to convert those lists of songs into Spotify playlists, something which just had never even occurred to me. I mean, I’ve put Spotify playlists here on the site that I still update. But this was a long way back to reach.

I wrote back and said that was a neat idea, and it would be great if somebody could do it (hint hint), but I was too busy to work on that myself.

And then I went on Spotify to see how much time it would take. About 10 minutes total for all three CDs, it turns out.

I listened to them again for the first time in years and except for a few bad-in-hindsight choices (James Blunt, that U2 song that isn’t really that great, too much Franz Ferdinand), I really enjoyed digging those songs out in order. I have them all on my phone, I can listen to them individually anytime, but having them by year in that time-capsule form really speaks to me. Maybe I’m just remembering the careful curation that went into those CDs and the satisfaction I got designing those labels and shipping them out in flat brown envelopes. But whatever it is, the magic still works on me.

So here they are, the three playlists. There were just a tiny few songs that aren’t on Spotify (the Pixies song, for instance, you can easily find on iTunes or elsewhere). In one or two cases, a live version has been subbed in for something that’s not on the service. And if you really want that Islands “Flesh” song, you can probably do a Google for it or drop me a line and I can point you in the right direction, probably.

Thank you to that reader for reminding me how much fun I had doing this and for bringing some joy back to me that I thought had link-rotted away on the Internet, a thing I loved that I believed was just digital dust now.

Terribly Happy Mix 2004
Terribly Happy Mix 2005
Terribly Happy Mix 2006

Work/Statesman stuff

Photo by Thao Nguyen for the American-Statesman

Photo by Thao Nguyen for the American-Statesman

 

Let’s see… since last time, I wrote a column about the great Intergalactic Nemesis series and how it’s expanding its metaverse into more digital areas such as podcasts, webseries and digital comics. More on that below where I talk about Statesman Shots.

I did a grab-baggy column reviewing the Tablo TV box (which lets you record over-the-air broadcast to a DVR) and discussing a new show from The Daily Dot and Rooster Teeth. I wrote about that on its own blog post as well.

And most recently, I wrote an essay about some things I think are happening on Facebook (and maybe soon on Twitter) that really came out during last month’s protests in Ferguson, Missouri. I wasn’t looking to write a Ferguson think piece, but I think there are even larger issues happening on social media and this was one clear warning sign of where we’re headed.

Other new stuff: Digital Savant Micros about whether you should use a password manager, what Instagram’s “Hyperlapse” app is all about and about Samsung’s new Note Edge device.

Also talked about Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead coming to SXSW Interactive, which just made the fest even more relevant to me.

And on Tuesday, I did a little bit of coverage on Apple’s announcements of the Apple Watch and new iPhones.

Statesman Shots

Shots is moving along and we got the Mayor! Very exciting time as we’re kind of ramping up what we’re doing and have gotten comfortable enough with the production side and being on mic that we’re able to think a little more long term and have even more fun with the show.

Episode 31 with Jason Neulander

 

Episode 31 with Jason Neulander on The Intergalactic Nemesis — Jason and I had crossed paths a couple of times before and I have friends who’ve been cast members in “Nemesis.” We had a really great conversation for a story I did and as we were talking it clicked that he would make a great guest on Shots. So we booked him. And he brought sound effects. And they were awesome!
Video: Foley artistry with Jason Neulander (choo choo!)

Audio:


Episode 32 with Mayor Lee Leffingwell

 

Episode 32 with Mayor Lee Leffingwell on Austin’s many changes — I still kind of can’t believe this happened, but we had been saying a while how great it would be to have the Mayor come on and as we were ramping up, it just didn’t seem realistic, but then it suddenly did and all it really took was a call from me to the Mayor’s office, a few emails back and forth to let his very nice press person Reyne know what the show was about and what the topics would be and we were scheduled! The Mayor turned out to be really, really game for what we were doing, relaxed and poised, and just way more fun than we could have expected. I like to think we were probably a welcome break from the more serious stuff he has to deal with from day to day.

Video: What’s the Mayor’s going-away party going to be like (Please watch, this might be my favorite video we’ve done)

Bonus blogs: A more textual version of the going-away party conversation and a Q&A the Mayor did with our listeners/readers (this one won’t be live until Wednesday morning).

Audio:

 

Other stuff

Please allow me two cool media things that happened in the last week.

First, a dumb Tweet I wrote/drew about a Facebook outage got some attention.

 

It actually was mentioned by Carson Daly in a Today Show segment:

 

And then, this week, I did a TV segment with FOX 7 locally about Apple’s announcements. You can find that here:

So that’s it for all the big updates! Now here’s some random photos.

 

Carolina, dancer
<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-6074" src="http://terribly-happy.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_3965-500×666 peut on prendre du viagra.jpg” alt=”Mmmm Torchy’s” width=”500″ height=”666″ srcset=”http://terribly-happy.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_3965-500×666.jpg 500w, http://terribly-happy.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_3965-180×240.jpg 180w, http://terribly-happy.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_3965-262×350.jpg 262w, http://terribly-happy.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_3965.jpg 1224w” sizes=”(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px” />
GROOOOOOT!
Aztlan Dance Co.
Kids in cars
Before wakeboarding

 

Oh yeah, about that last one. I went wakeboarding at the Texas Ski Ranch for the first time. That’s a fun story I’ll have to tell you soon that involves lots of water splashed in my face.