41

So I turned 41 last week.

It was the first time I have worked on my birthday in, well, I don’t remember the last time I have done so. And to be honest, I didn’t really mind. I think that was due to a couple reasons.

We had plans for a fun weekend at WonderCon, so I had the day after my birthday off, plus I knew we would have a blast. Check out our pictures from the convention here:

 https://krisfreedain.exposure.co/wondercon-2015

https://krisfreedain.exposure.co/wondercon-2015[/caption]

Also, I actually love my job these days. Not that I hated my previous, just that I was getting a bit bored with it. Now, I genuinely love what I do and feel like I learn every day I’m there, while still being helpful to my team with all my years in the industry.

41 is just a number. I’m both a young man, and an old man. Sometimes even a grumpy old man.

That’s all, just a few random thoughts for now. Take care.

Personal Direction for 2015

This isn’t a list of ‘resolutions’. I have nothing against them, I just feel like I already know what needs to be done. 2015 needs to be a year of change. A year to improve. A year to pay more attention to what needs to be done. A year to complete things.

Take my wife out on more dates.
Remember, we were a husband and wife before becoming parents, and, we were boyfriend and girlfriend before that; make an effort to date like we used to. Yes, I put this first in my list for a reason, she has been one of the most important people in my life for more than half of it.

Write more often.
I need to make an effort to write as much as possible. I enjoy writing the majority of the time, and honestly, Medium offers a platform that makes publishing online an enjoyable experience. I also need to figure out a place to write thoughts that will not be published. Maybe even a book draft. Thoughts and input are always appreciated.

Continue to minimize what I own.
I’ve long known that my tendencies lean towards being a pack-rat. I’ve also long known that I hate that tendency. It bothers the heck out of me. Last year I started to become more and more interested in a version of minimalism that will fit my life. I even started writing about it (see my Medium collection ‘To Minimize’). This year I intend to make major progress on this.

Digital de-cluttering.
I have way too many different sites, accounts, listings, apps, you-name-its. Something interesting comes out almost daily and I tend to sign-up just to check things out. Due to this, I have accounts all over the place, many of which I don’t need. This year I plan to whittle these down to a manageable list.

Learn something new.
Arduino. Social Media and Marketing. Build Mandalorian armor. Elder Futhark Runic alphabet. All interests of mine, and all topics I feel the need to move forward with.

Meditation
I meditate every day without fail and have done so for years now. I feel that I could benefit from a few retreats this year. Even if it just turns out to be 1 day personal retreats where I hike into the woods and sit under a tree for a day. Or find a remote spot on the beach and sit on the shore all day. Either of those options sound fantastic.

Strength Training and GPP
I enjoy strength training. There is something about heavy deadlifts and squats that I cannot really put into words. When I am consistent, I think I have been able to push myself to move some respectable amounts of weight. I need to focus on that consistency.

I hate cardio and conditioning. I always tell people to call the police if they see me running; that means someone is chasing me. However, I know how important it is to get my heart moving on a more consistent basis. I need to find the right balance and be more consistent with it.

Read more
My love for reading has fluctuated for years, but in 2014 I think I’ve found more enjoyment for it on a more consistent level. 2015 needs to be a year to get through my stacks of books and lists of things I want to read.


Comments and suggestions are always appreciated; leave me a note if you feel so inclined.

I’m sure there are a few more things to work on this year — I may update as I go.
Thanks for reading; watch this space.

Constant

Driving home the other night, I looked over at my wife as I have countless times in the past. Again, I realized how fortunate I am to be able to do so. She’s been there for nearly everything I can remember from my life.

I am not great at being romantic, but I try. I am not great at surprises, but I try. Heck, I’m not even sure I am great at paying enough attention, but I give it my best. I must be doing something right since I can still look over and see this beautiful women next to me.

Xmas 1992

We met when we were 17 years old. Two young goth kids with shared interests in music, clothes, and sense of humor that fell in love very quickly. We have been inseparable ever since.

I still remember the first few concerts (of the 100’s) that we have attended together. Sisters of Mercy at Irvine Meadows; luckily we had friends with cars as neither of us drove yet. Front 242 in Hollywood; first time we had driven alone to Los Angeles, and easily still the loudest concert either of us have attended. I thought I would be permanently deaf when we walked out of the venue.

Our wedding 1997

Years later, I was lucky enough to convince her that we should be married. We had an amazing wedding attended by family and friends at our favorite restaurant.

I remember a comment that one of our friends made a few weeks after the wedding regarding our first dance:

“It was so intimate that I felt like I was intruding, the way you looked at one another.”

All we could do was smile.


We shared a number of years of marriage bliss. Concerts, having friends over, Comic Cons, horror conventions, and a couple trips to other parts of the country.

Being goofy together at Comic Con

Our similar interests provided a solid foundation for our lasting relationship. Luckily we also have always had enough dissimilar interests to keep it interesting.


In 2003 we added an amazing little man to our little family. Trips to Disneyland quickly became a family favorite.

As the years progress, our weekends become a time of coaching soccer, being a team mom, and owning a minivan. Hacker Guild meetings, cleaning, and random adventures. Life changes.

Throughout all this, we still know how to party! Every year, on our favorite holiday, (the one we based our wedding date around to enable us to be in New Orleans for Halloween) she throws a wonderful party. As with anything that turns out well with the three of us, she is the driving force, I’m there to help.

She has never ceased to amaze me. I am in awe of how much she can accomplish, and will always be the first to tell you, any of our successes as a married couple, and as a family, are a direct result of her efforts. I’m just lucky to be able to have her call me husband.

This weekend we celebrate 17 years of marriage. Our vows to one another are now as old as we were when we first met. I can proudly say I have been married to my best friend for more than half my life.

I’m still a goof, she is still my constant reason to do my best.

I love you Dawn. Happy Anniversary.

That Time I Proposed to Siouxsie Sioux

Many, many years ago, I proposed to Siouxsie Sioux over the phone on live radio. It’s a story I look back on and smile.

Superstition had just come out, and ‘Kiss Them For Me’ was being played on every radio station I listened to, as well as a few I did not. It was Siouxsie and the Banshees first ‘Top 40′ hit, odd as that sentence sounds in every sense. I had been a fan of the band ever since I bought Tinderbox on cassette and nearly wore it out listening to ‘Cities in Dust’ over and over and over again. I was utterly infatuated with her voice and her beauty.

My then girlfriend Dawn and I were both fans actually, so when she found out about the radio station event at Disneyland with Siouxsie, we made plans to go. Luckily we were also annual pass holders back then.

The event was a radio call-in with Siouxsie and the DJs were broadcasting live from Tomorrowland Terrace. It was the usual radio event; giveaways, trivia, and an environment louder than you thought possible. Truth be told, neither Dawn nor I actually liked the radio station hosting the event. It struck us as funny that they even played Siouxsie’s song on their station. But, it was a Top 40 station and ‘Kiss Them For Me’ was everywhere.

A few minutes before the call, the DJ called out to the audience for 5 people to ask Siouxsie questions during the call-in. Dawn and I were 2 of them; I have to believe we ‘looked the part’.

Dawn knew I had a little crush on Siouxsie, heck, I don’t know many Goth kids that didn’t. The proposal was actually her idea, her dare to me even. In our excitement talking about what we would ask when our turn came up, she smiled at me and said “Why don’t you propose!?”. I quickly agreed and in hindsight maybe I was a little braver than I remember being.

The stage was set with 5 of us lined up a few steps in front of the crowd, the DJ talking to everyone in the audience, and the technicians patching in the phone call.

Siouxsie was talking to the crowd, and it was my turn to ask her a question:

DJ: So, we have another fan here for you with a question.

Siouxsie: OK

me: Hello Siouxsie. I was wondering if you were already married, and if not, would you marry me?

the crowd and DJ react WHOA! Dawn lets out one of her precious giggles that has been music in my ears now for as long as I can remember.

Siouxsie: (after a genuine laugh; you could hear her smile even) I’m sorry hun, I’m already spoken for, but thank you!

I have a smile from ear-to-ear now. I genuinely have no recollection of the rest of the day at this point, but that moment has stuck with me. Of course I knew the answer before I even asked the question. But I asked.

Dawn and I are still together, now as wife and husband, mother and father to an amazing boy. We have shared so many adventures over the years that I look back on. This is one in particular makes me smile.

Ian’s 11th birthday party — Minecraft LAN party

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The big man decided this year he wanted a Minecraft LAN party. 10 crazy people jammed together in the living room, armed with Wi-Fi, laptops, and plenty of snacks. It got a bit loud from time to time (as you can imagine) but it was a lot of fun. Dawn and I ever had time for a few games of chess in the kitchen. Ian had a great time with his buddies.