Monday, May 4, 2015

Ride Or Die

It was the first movie set I almost walked on.

A story led me to a nondescript set of buildings in suburban Louisiana in search of an actor.

More than a year before his death, Paul Walker had been filming "Hours" in the Bayou State. The movie, a story of survival during Hurricane Katrina, would be one of Walker's final entries.

His Brian O'Conner character in the "Fast & Furious" franchise, however, remains a rite of passage for me. The first movie came out in 2001, the same year I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. And, every other year or so, especially after the "2 Fast 2 Furious" Miami sequel, the series became an integral part of growing up.

Unlike the superhero movies, the "Fast & Furious" cast did not have special powers or particularly defining roles. Rather, their strength lay as a unit, something anyone can relate to.

And, beyond the fast cars and women, the franchise sped into this sense of family and belonging, which is why news of Walker's death cut on equal levels of nostalgia and shock.

I never ended up interviewing Walker after visiting the movie set for my story on Louisiana's still booming movie industry. He had been busy filming all day.

But, despite Walker's passing, his on-screen departure in "Furious 7" goes back to that sense of belonging. I watched it twice, tears flowing and the recurring "See You Again" single still on repeat.

"Fast & Furious" will always be wired in my life's steering wheel. Ride or die, right?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Don't Look Down

Always shoot for the moon, always.

Even where there are unexpected challenges or hurdles, it is easy to look down but harder to keep one's head up.

Discouragement is like a disease, it affects your thought process and tries to stop the momentum of daily life. Not for me.

I leave nothing on the table every day. That means a head cold, a negative message or even a looming, deadline day story can't make me look down.

There is no sense in aiming low either. I like to root for the underdog. The team that doesn't look like they have enough firepower to experience to get over the hump.

Not looking down is a way of life. It allows me to channel complete focus as I grow as an adult.

So, when the true praises come in, I'll be ready.

Don't. Look. Down.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Masterpiece

The "picture is worth a thousand words" adage is overstated, but there has to be a point in one's life where everything just flows like paint on a canvas.

I am almost there.

Whether it is a powerful investigative story or a trip to somewhere never ventured before, I think I am on the verge of a masterpiece. A place where colors, ideas and expressions collide to form a sort of bliss. Where the blowing of a car horn in traffic or the actual traffic is alot less frustrating than it was before. Where moments of impatience feel like paradise.

The consistency of a paint brush is like the consistency in my own life. The ability to do powerful journalism and spend equal amounts of time on the other side of the work coin.

This piece is abstract, purposefully so, but it represents a breakthrough of sorts. Where I am now is stoking a masterpiece, mixing primary colors, coming up with new angles and rearranging my perspective, likening my journey to a work of art.

This year has been as smooth as a paint brush so far, from all sides of the easel.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stand And Deliver

Despite the wait, there is always the excitement of the next step, the next look around the corner and even the lesson that provides context.

The latter is true when it comes to beat writing. Beyond the basics of a story, how does the topic compare historically or with similar events?

Context is also important for those other moments. I could turn the corner tomorrow and see the woman of my dreams. Then, you'll understand why I blog about "her" so much!

The anticipation is the best part (for now). It's the build-up to the unknown, the dropped math book that could spark a conversation and the windows-like eye contact
Shakespeare referenced.

The moment, or moments rather, have a sense of timelessness until one passes through that fuses the journey.

The moment that delivers the all important context to a journey that is still pending delivery.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Legendary

Wait for it.

Barney Stinson, Neil Patrick Harris' character on the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," ran through a gamut of rules, plays and patterns over the show's nine seasons.

But, legen - wait for it - dary, arguably his most notable trademark, by some accounts, was an act of faith. It did not always work out for Stinson, often leading to heartbreaking, although sometimes humorous events.

Still, waiting for it, or patience rather, is a recurring theme.

I recently accepted a full-time job offer with the Florida Keys Keynoter, the McClatchy newspaper down in the Keys. Stinson would probably call it "dary," before leading with "the second half of that word."

You see, even though I have secured a job, I am still waiting for the second half, my better half - a significant other. Not to sound like a broken record, but it is not easy to wait. 

I suppose muttering "legendary" does not have the same effect without the "wait for it." And, it is probably why I have purposefully held off on watching the end of "How I Met Your Mother." It may sound silly, but I want to complete the series when I am closer to "The One."

Of course, the sheer curiosity and eventual spoilers (so far, so good) may lead me to cave in early. But, both halves of that word will mean true completion.

It's going to be legend - wait for it - dary. Legendary!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Waiting Game

Games usually have a clear cut winner and loser. No one wants to play for third place (sorry Brazil), but rather, try their best and win.

But, waiting has no winner. I cannot control the outcome. There is no deadline or indication of progress, at least so far, either.

However, the end result could be glorious or the consequence of impatience. I struggle with waiting, I want to meet the woman of my dreams and secure a full-time job with benefits, like yesterday.

Still, I understand the glory that comes with it. I will appreciate the initial job offer even more after sending multiple resumes a day and follow-up emails to former editors. The same goes for a future significant other, as past failures will become the building blocks needed to thrive in that golden partnership.

Life is not supposed to be easy. The tea leaves are difficult to decipher too, as many South Florida sports fans found out this week.

It is my turn to roll - and, I will wait.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

24

Every time I watch "24," one thought pops up, how can I be as productive as Jack Bauer?

If my hours were as rigorous as the rogue, terrorist attack preventer, I would probably have a Pulitzer Prize by now.

All joking aside, my summer schedule, so far, has been going to class, doing phone interviews, reading through documents, taking working lunches and repeat. To frequent blog readers, I do not have any out-of-town trips planned.

It is just me, in South Florida, working.

My social media feeds are filled with sand, flip-flops and gobs of sunshine. Dress shirts, ties and lofty office windows complete my setting.

Nonetheless, there is a benefit to having a running clock. In the last month, I have learned how to make infographics using Photoshop, code a motion chart in Google Playground and weave in reporting tools like DocumentCloud.

I like a good challenge, too, a sense of pressure. So, naturally, I am balancing a couple tight deadlines between work and school. Not to mention sending at least a resume a day to a potential employer.

Every second counts.