2015 and The Boy Who Waited.

It seems that I take moments from Doctor Who in more reflective times, but it’s an accurate summation of 2015 for me.

It feels like this story, this chapter, really began in 2014. It’s when I started to fight back to reclaim my feeling of self-control, reground my world, and refocus what it means to be “me”.

It started happening with my cross country trip to explore Texas and the East Coast again, and reunite with my family after 5 years of not making it back home. Then again with my high school reunion, which I was glad to attend, though the process in getting the “green light” to go was convoluted. Financial troubles and stress hit hard, and I ended up in the hospital. This is the cliched “It changed everything” moment, but ultimately, it did. Perhaps it was the waking up moment that I had needed. I committed myself to my life more than ever, and after years of being together being “good enough”, Jen and I finally got engaged.

It’s those steps that led me to wanting more. Wanting to be more. I started restructuring ties, breaking with those that either only called me when they “needed” something, or made it clear that they honestly didn’t care if I lived or died. The ones that broke my heart because I couldn’t help them fight their demons. I changed my routine. Changed my job. Changed my goals. I didn’t know what 2015 was going to bring, but I was willing to see it through.

And so, I did the following, in no particular order:

* Celebrated my 10 year anniversary with Pirates of the Caribbean.
* Celebrated my 20 year anniversary with Mortal Kombat.
* Worked the Billboard Music Awards again.
* Met David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Michael Bolton, and George Takei.
* Reunited with childhood friends Jeff and Aaron during their visits here, perhaps two of my most influential/cherished friends during my youth.
* Gave ghost tours around the over a century old Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings.
* Saw the Riviera Casino close its doors.
* Camped out for another Forgotten City.
* Visited San Diego.
* Visited Lake Tahoe for the first time (via business trip).
* Visited Reno for the first time (same trip).
* Visited Disneyland for their 60th anniversary.
* Hugged a cow.
* Explored a bayou.
* Went parasailing for the first time.
* Turned 40 in the company of family and friends in Texas, New Orleans, and Pensacola.
* Shot military grade weaponry from a vehicle in a below ground bunker.
* Visited Mt. Charleston for the first time, and had a snowball fight.

Not all of my year was perfect, however. I had my credit card stolen, which shut down my bank account just before my trip. Frodo had a cancer scare, which fortunately turned out to be benign. Over the summer, I was partnered with this strange old guy that was obsessed with Delaware, Judge Reinhold, and his birthday on Halloween.

Poor Judge likely had no clue of the obsession taking hold.

Poor Judge likely had no clue of the obsession taking hold day after day.

My car also broke down badly, and the repairs never took hold, draining the money I was setting back to get married, so Jen and I didn’t in 2015. It’s set for a 2016 date now that we’re trying to narrow down. I also tried to work on some of my book ideas, but I suffered a creative drain when it came to my writing, and couldn’t seem to finish (or in many cases even start) anything. And other financial matters that were set to help me never materialized when I needed them to, so I was left waiting.

And I waited a lot for things to take hold that never did. Promised and planned for things.

So it was frustrating not finalizing wedding plans or getting funds in time, but that’s what 2016 will be for. The funny thing about waiting is something that a friend recently told me: If you spend all of your time waiting for things to be perfect, then you’re never going to get anything done. And I am a perfectionist. I need to “Just do it” when it comes to a few things. You can’t do all of the weird shit that I do and not be particular in a few areas.

And 40?

Not so bad, I suppose. I did it on my terms. I never actually thought I’d see this age. It seemed a lifetime away. Still does, in some ways, but other than a few dings in my personal fender (and a more cautious eye on my health), it’s not so bad. My visits back to my original home helped as well. You can’t live in your past. But you can still learn from it. You can still find things of value hidden in there, reminding you, or waiting to be rediscovered. And those visits have started restructuring my future as well, though that is a story for another time.

I’m nearing a point where my “waiting” is said to end soon. I’m ready to be on the next adventure than to sit idle. I don’t plan to do 2016 with any of that “New year, new me” crap, because I’m still the same person, and always will be. I’m the boy from Corsicana. The video gamer. The San Diegan. The actor. One more face in Las Vegas. I’m all of this, and I prefer it that way.

Waiting won’t add any more titles to my life story, however.

2013 Ends.

On New Year’s Eve, I find myself sitting down in front of my computer writing. However, this is one of the rare times I’ve been able to do so for myself.

I did manage a few adventures since my last writing, including getting back into the Downtown scene. The new Container Park opened up, and will undoubtedly be another place for me to spend a weeknight once my schedule gets under control again.

Just like Burning Man.

Just like Burning Man.

Thanksgiving came and went, in my own signature way….

Googly eyes makes everything funny.

Googly eyes makes everything funny.

And work outside of writing non-stop has been just as busy. I’ve entered back into the “museum” field, having joined up with the Neon Museum. To be honest, I missed the museum life, and the new place has been treating me very, very well. I actually have felt rejuvenated after my last run in this line of work, so in hoping for a promising future, I look forward to becoming more settled in this new role. I did the American Country Awards, where I stood in for Trace Adkins.

Another show under my belt.

Another show under my belt.

He told me to lay off the steroids.

There were other social obligations during the course of the month. Another trip to Disneyland:

With the Pumpkin King.

With the Pumpkin King.

Santa Rampage:

Gabezilla.

Gabezilla.

And various other acting, Burner, museum, and friend gatherings that popped up throughout the month. I had to carefully schedule my days to fit everything and everyone in. I started feeling like I was more playing Tetris.

It wasn’t all work and play this month. A dear friend of mine, Tom Deishley, was killed this month. Someone broke into his home and took his life.

Tom and I in 2008.

Tom and I in 2008.

Tom worked as General Motog the Klingon in Star Trek: The Experience. I was fortunate enough to stay friends with him once the Experience closed. In character, he was gruff and honorable. As a friend, he was kind and inspirational. I greatly respected him, and was devastated when I read the news of his passing.

At the wake, family and friends came together to remember Tom. A lot of the Experience actors were there, as well as others from the many facets of Tom’s life. It was bittersweet seeing so many familiar faces together again, but it reminded me what I loved the most about the Experience: It wasn’t the costumes, or the various alien species, of the food or drink (though the Warp Core Breach remains high up there), or the souvenirs, or the rides….

It was the people.

It was the people that kept me coming back, made me feel welcome, and made STTE one of my favorite places to stay. It too became a family. One that even passed around a Warp Core Breach for good measure as we laughed, cried, and remembered. What I loved the most about the Experience then still goes on now, and will never truly go away.

The official Star Trek site did a lovely tribute of Tom.

And so Christmas came. And it was a weird one.

Perhaps as weird as this.  Who can say?

Perhaps as weird as this. Who can say?

From a carsick Frodo, to a broken out of box Wii U (got it fixed), the whole experience, coupled with a rush-rush-rush feeling that didn’t allow any real enjoyment for holiday left me wondering if this year was going to be a bust. But the day did regain control, and I ended up having a relaxing holiday.

Which leads me to now. At the end of another year. 2013 has been a year of great loss and reclamation. I lost my best friend this year. I’ve had to reevaluate friendships. And career decisions. I got some things restored to default. And to somehow try and find an ordinary life within a never-ending influx of work for the past three months.

And now it’s time for change.

I thought about that even as the Doctor Who Christmas Special came to an end, and the Eleventh Doctor made this little speech:

“But times change and so must I. We all change when you think about it, we’re all different people, all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear.”

I’ve worn so many titles in my life. Held so many faces. I’ve lost a number of inspirational souls this year. I’ve been disappointed by others. I found a little furry friend that helped me heal. And I’ve stopped for a moment to take stock of who stood by my side when I needed someone there. But now at the end the 2013, I am ready to let go of some things that have held me back so that I can face 2014 as a new man. Still very much the same at the core, but a little more of a “factory settings” version of me… with a few all-new perspectives.

But I’ll never forget the parts from this year that have made me who I am….

Farewell, my friend.

Farewell, my friend.