Writer's Block: Father figure

What's the most memorable piece of advice your father has shared with you?

My father gave me many valuable pieces of advice growing up but two things always stuck with me that hold true...

1. When I was in my mid teens and got my first job he told me to choose a bank, establish a credible history with them (which I did through car and school loans) and when I'm older that bank will give me whatever I ask for without hesitation.

2. "Keep this in mind when raising your children one day. Kids will never do what you say but they'll do what you do".

Another great night with a cool friend

Saw my man Sonny tonight and Snot killed it!! I was basically up on the stage most of the night and got some good shots. A lot of energy and a lot of fun....some at my expense lol. About halfway through the show Sonny decided to pull me on stage, gave me his guitar while he took my camera and took a pic of me lol. I was laughin and cheesin' way too much so there's no way in hell that pic is making it's way on here lol. Sonny introduced me to the band. They're pretty much just like Sevendust...all down to earth, friendly guys. Tommy Vext was cool and very soft spoken (which was unexpected considering his reputation lol). The lead singer of Bobaflex was a real character. Actually there were two leads switching off but I don't know their names. I think his name was Shaun. He was a cool guy that made me laugh. Reminded me of a cross between Ozzy and Billy Idol lol. He took me and Sonny into his van to listen to part of his new album.

The highlight of the night for me was when Snot did a cover of "New Noise" by Refused. Sonny knew it was a favorite of mine and I went crazy when they started playing it.

Another one of those awesome nights.

Sevendust had a concert in Cleveland last night and I pretty much made a last minute decision and ditched work for it. I hadn't seen the guys in a long time and I really needed to unwind anyway. It was also Lajon's birthday and I figured that would be a great time to show up and surprise him. I was pretty sure that he forgot that I moved up north and still thought I was in NC so he would be shocked that I was there. Catherine stayed behind so I could really let loose this time and go nuts. I had never been to Cleveland before and the traffic downtown was a freakin nightmare. They had lanes criss-crossing all over the place and I really didn't know where to go so I was just choosing lanes lol. After a few wrong turns I finally showed up at HOB in Cleveland (great place with a very intimate atmosphere) and was happy my pass still worked because I had no tickets for this thing.

So during the concert I was rockin out up on the balcony and LJ stopped mid-song and looked directly at me. I could see he had this perplexed look on his face and he mouthed "AJ?". I nodded and smiled and then he really got into the song with a lot more energy which was cool to see lol. After the show was over we pretty much partied on the tour bus all night long. Heaven forbid Catherine sees this but it was groupie heaven lol. All the HOB girls showed up as well and it was just a REALLY fun night. I stuck with my no-alcohol rule and just soaked in the atmosphere. Their bus is awesome. It's like an apartment on wheels. It used to belong to Beyonce and they bought it from her...big screen TVs at the front and back, three refrigerators loaded with stuff. I could get used to this lol. If I were single I would love to just tour with these guys. Catherine called around 3AM angry and worried about me but LJ got on the phone and apologized as only he could lol. He promised that I wasn't getting in any trouble (which I wasn't considering the circumstances lol). She calmed down after that (but was angry again when I got home after 6AM). It was one of those nights where I didn't want it to end. I'm still on a high and will probably still be on a high for the next week.

Chillin' on "the bus"

Much needed therapy

Once again it's been a long time since updating this thing. I've had a lot of things happen (good and bad) the last 2 months which kinds of sums up this video. I didn't think I would ever go back to this movie to make a video but I had been so stressed out lately that I was basically spiraling down a familiar dark path and had to once again use The Crow as a crutch to deal with it.

The Terminator compilation

It had been forever since my last edit. With all the circumstances of relocating, dealing with a new (and stressful) job, getting to know the area and house hunting I haven't really had time for much. I really just needed to get back in the swing of editing and was inspired by the song "Inside" on Sevendust's new album. The intro of the song just had a "Terminator" feel to it as did the lyrics so I went for broke lol.

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Star Wars: Skywalker Legacy

It's rare that I do videos for fun but this is one of those exceptions. I've been on a big Stars Wars kick lately and I've always wanted to do a tribute to Luke. I thought the LOTR "Ascension" video could be my last since I poured my heart and soul into it but I've been feeling pretty good since then and thought I would try a video just for the hell of it instead of being an emotional release for a change.

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Sevendust, live music...the best therapy

I'm back at my hotel mentally and physically exhausted but in a good way. It seems this past month has been non-stop travel for me. Sevendust couldn't have rolled through my area at a better time. I had been speaking with Sonny about what had been going on the last month and he said live music is a great healer and he was absolutely correct. I met the guys in Myrtle Beach again and as usual they put on a killer show full of energy once again cementing their reputation as one of the best (if not the best) live bands out there. I got my customary call out from the stage that had me beaming. No matter how many times that happens I always get that rush and feel like a kid again lol. Hanging out with the guys after the show was nice. They stuck around for a couple of hours afterwards even though they had to be getting to Greensboro. Sonny and Lajon both gave me encouraging words that nearly brought me to tears (it actually did on the way home when I was reflecting on what they said). Both guys have been through their share of adversity and are very spiritual people. I had that positive feeling back that was sorely missing and even if this feeling lasts just for a couple of days it was worth it. I can't begin to express how much gratitude I have for these guys and their music.

Lord of the Rings "Ascension" (possibly my last video)

The last month has been a very difficult one for me emotionally. Members on both sides of the family (mine and Catherine's father) have fallen ill. I learned that a friend (and another acquaintance) died in Iraq. They were basically kids in their very low 20's. I trained these guys and their peers in a Hazmat course at Camp Lejeune and had grown attached to them. They were a great group of people and these two particular guys hadn't even begun to live life yet. My fiance and I should have been married by now but we keep putting it off with all the circumstances and I'm getting the feeling she's starting to think I don't want to marry her (which couldn't be further from the truth). When things get like this I need a release and it culminated in this 8 minute video...my longest ever. I poured everything I'm feeling (sorrow, anger, fear, anxiety, etc) into it which is why it probably feels a bit schizo. The song "Burn" by Sevendust is pretty much all over the map in tempo and feel which is how I've been feeling lately so it was the perfect song.

Featuring "Burn" by Sevendust.

LOTR Ascension - (Youtube)
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The best birthday ever

Sevendust gave me the best Christmas ever a few months ago and then they turn around and gave me the best birthday ever. I was invited down to see the "home" show in Atlanta this weekend and I was told it was a show I wouldn't want to miss and I'm glad I didn't. I don't have the words to really do it justice. I thought Myrtle Beach was energetic (and it was) but it just didn't compare to the ATL show. Everything was increased tenfold. The crowd, the atmosphere, the stage antics. Afterwards I was soaked in sweat, bruised and dead tired (after protecting Catherine from the moshers lol) but feeling damn good. Lajon sang Happy Birthday to me backstage and introduced me to his girlfriend. She says he talks non-stop about me and calls me "the director". I had to remind them that I'm just an editor lol. No one was in any rush to go home so we hung out backstage for a long time and I was meeting all kinds of people from the opening bands to total strangers who somehow knew who I was lol. I was so tired I actually fell asleep on the couch back there. Thanks to Sevendust for another great show (understatement), the shoutout from the stage and once again treating me and my fiance like family. Also it was very nice to meet Big E, Matt, and Samantha as well as others from FOS. I'm sure I'll be seeing you again in the near future...the very near future if possible.
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