Fine Dining, Ghost Cars, and Childhood.

Spring is slowly starting to creep back to Las Vegas, meaning that I am not having to wear the requisite 2,783 layers of clothing outside anymore. And no “Death Flu”!

But it’s that time of year again: “Gig Season”. This means that I’ll be back to doing conventions, award shows, and auditions again. Trying to balance all of that with work, the search for more freelance writing work, remodeling the house, and revitalizing my social life can be a little taxing, but that’s just part of my usual litany of odd jobs, and the life that goes with it

Due to work, I had to sit Valentine’s Day out, or rather, postpone the event until later. Undoubtedly, Hallmark was crushed that I had to delay the becarded festivities, but it all worked out in the end.

Jen and I went to Pamplemousse Le Restaurant, an off-Strip dining place that I’ve been wanting to try for years. It’s one of those “old school Vegas” places, looking like something out of another era, when Vegas was more than ferris wheels and shopping centers.

The food was… well, I’ll let my review on Yelp speak for itself. Nestled in this little alcove, we had a five course meal of various French delicacies, all served to us by our waiter, Keifer.

Post-Valentine's was way better.

Post-Valentine’s was way better.

It was about as good as it got, and perhaps one of my “Top 3″ restaurants in Vegas. Gifts weren’t too bad, either. I got Jen a book from Frankie’s on how to make their Tiki drinks. I got a copy of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. I’m an easy sort to make happy.

With all of the life upgrades, it’s also been time to get my car fixed. A shorted out headlight and a few weird noises from the engine. I finally had free time to fix the car, and so when I took it into the shop, all noises and defects stopped. Of course they did. This left me unable to prove the phantom noises, so I’m waiting for everything to return so that I don’t get confused looks from car mechanics.

I don’t talk a lot about “celebrity deaths” on my blog, because it doesn’t relate to my life, but one happened yesterday that deeply affected me: Harold Ramis of Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day fame passed away.

Groundhog Day is a personal favorite of mine when it comes to films as I like the concept of doing something over and over again until you get it right. Not only just the act of “perfecting” a day, but the lessons and improvement of one’s self. I personally would love to have one day to relive repeatedly to get all trivial issues out of my system, or to sit down and have the time to really master a craft. Or several. To have the chance to work out the best and worst of oneself until I could become the person I want or need to be is appealing, as is the time granted to do so. I admit that I am not the best in using my own time, and more than once would I have liked a “do over”.

Ghostbusters found its way into my life when I was eight years old, and has remained since. As a kid, it was at want of being a hero and exploring dark and spooky places with a giant laser strapped to my back. As I grew up, it became the finely crafted use of wit and humor. As I got older still, it became more of a question of what else is out there. To be honest, it’s hard to say what’s to believe, but that’s not to say that I don’t want to. There are simply too many weird and unexplained out there to rationalize everything as natural phenomenon. For a brief time, I even joined a paranormal investigation group until they abruptly shut their doors. In any case, I find it presumptuous to assume that life as we know is the only form of existence there is. I may try that form of answer finding again when I find a group of more like-minded individuals.

Harold Ramis has done a lot of brilliant work in the related field that I also call my own, but these two films made me think about something more than just myself. To find stories that make one think about the life we have now (and life beyond) that is told in a very humorous way is something I hope that I can one day capture with my own voice. Losing Harold is losing a part of my childhood. He was one of my heroes growing up, and I regret that I’ll never get the chance to meet him.

You will be missed, Harold.

Good-bye, Harold.

Good-bye, Harold.

Tomorrow is a day that I have to come to terms with every year: The anniversary of when my Father passed. To this day, Dad remains one of my best friends. He was a funny, kind, caring man who sometimes carried a facade of a gruff exterior, but was an old softie at heart. As I’ve gotten older, I realized that I’ve unintentionally embodied a lot of qualities of my Dad, which tends to be comforting and isolating all at once. It’s funny that one would think old wounds would eventually heal, but some never do. But I can look back and say that I was very grateful for the life that he did give me.

Happier times....

Happier times….

You never forget those that touched your life the most. I went out to Lake Las Vegas to have a little bit of personal time for myself. It’s still beautiful out there, but it was disappointing to see the casino closed again, among several other shops. All the more reason to appreciate the moment that we are in.

The Road To Recovery.

Despite last month’s onslaught of flu, I have been recovering.

It’s a good thing, too. “Cabin Fever” was hitting an all-time high, and I am ready to get back out there and start making the most of those few moments of free time that I get.

That’s largely been setting up plans to socialize, getting my chest to heal after its injury (far better today), and going back on my plan to “get healthy”, which was ironically derailed upon that declaration. It also means taking care of the backlog of personal responsibilities that I neglected for the last month (Hello, Christmas Tree!).

On my path to recovery (and hiding out from the cold elements and other people), I’ve been playing my new Playstation 4 (ID: GuyCC75). I always have certain memories associated with any console, be it the Atari 2600, NES, or Dreamcast. The PS4 has been no different. I certainly will never forget my initial exposure to “Playstation Live”.

Sure, you can watch game streaming videos with live commentary, but that’s not where the action is. To date, I’ve seen one half-naked guy dance around with a loaded gun in his hand while stopping to take occasional hits off of his bong, watched people having sex online, or people dancing as some sort of hip-hop Spider-Man…. Forget Duck Dynasty and the Kardashians, THIS is true “reality TV”. And reality is fairly cringe inducing at times. The future of video gaming is a strange creature.

I also worked on a movie within the last week. NDA prevents me from disclosing all of the details, but I did have a nice speaking role in it, and the following wrap party was a nice return to civilization.

Fortunately, now that the weather is improving and my outside clients have been quiet for the moment, I have been spending more of my time outside, and renovating the house. A lot of house changes and improvements, and me getting back into gardening and landscaping the backyard.

Assistant 2.0.

Assistant 2.0.

That also means extra free time to actually go do things like watch movies (Lego Movie was fun), and update my blog(!) for a change. I had another entry on one of my other blogs lingering for weeks because I was either too sick or too busy to finish it.

In any case, the “backlog” is starting to push again, so I must push back to get caught up. Hopefully, this entry marks a return to writing for me.