Facing 2014: One Of The 365 Days At A Time

final ny

Taking my inspiration from Dallyn Pavey (who has been doing a wonderful 365 photography project), I’m going to steal her idea but adapt it to myself and my own talents and tools as a method to forward focus my life in 2014.

Dallyn Pavey’s 365 Photo Project

I’ll have a blog post up tomorrow that looks back on what everyone I know has meant to me in 2013, but my top New Years resolution is to follow Dallyn’s lead and write one post a day on my blog, instead of sitting back and blaming the lack of a daily muse on things that happen around me, on the shadows in the corners that I fear instead of confront. All of then will not be earth moving, some may simply be what strikes my fancy, others may be composed with great care and planning, but they will be a reflection of me, I hope and honest and exciting reflection.

However, when I look at from January 1, 2014 onward, I hope each blog post, as each picture Dallyn takes, will show even the tiniest bit of growth, of forward, and most definitely of the world and friends around me.

My blog next year will be about us. Maybe I can’t even call it my blog anymore because I intend to make it so dependent on all of you to make it come to life, to be about “something”.

secondlooks

I’m also going to invite others to contribute their own flights of fancy to both this blog and a new offshoot I will be starting called SECOND LOOKS. This related blog will be a way to take a fresh look at anything on my life that deserves a fresh look. It could be something I’ve taken for granted, something I never gave the proper attention to before that deserves much more of the spotlight, or simply something that will give me and you a second wind.

My friend on Facebook and Twitter , Catherine Rodriguez (@djcaterina), has already kindly written for the SECOND LOOKS project.

So, thanks once again to one of my favorite muses, Dallyn, for getting my damn mind back on track and looking forward again.

See you next year.

1241910_E4qejexzmftxWPz9exmAqRosNx4majOs77TbKvP6VgI

WHEN C-17 MET A-19: TALES IN MY POCKET

gettoghether1ink

If it hasn’t been obvious by my Twitter and Facebook feeds, I am passionate about what I am passionate about. Sports, film, TV, bad jokes, my family, my friends, my doxys, Philly and especially music. Nothing in this world can take you back to a time and place and change your mood in a flash like 3 minutes or so of great music. Because the best music doesn’t waste time or take hours or weeks to develop, it has the power of immediacy , the power to grab you at the outset, and the power to get stuck in your head, be it amazing or kind of corny (thanks, Ylvis and your damn fox sayings).

But every so often, out of that music comes something more. That is exactly what has happened recently. Elsewhere on this blog, you’ll find posts about why I am where I am professionally and health wise, along with a piecemeal history of what I was able to accomplish before my professional life ended with my lung disease.

boardaward One of the things from that past life I’ve missed has been the chance to create and promote, to spread the word and ignite the same passion I felt for a film or project. I look back with pride on the two dance marathons for Muscular Dystrophy I created at Villanova University in the 70’s, the events I organized for a national trade association that focused on home video retailers, and the various promotions I held over the years at my video stores in Ardmore, Conshohocken, and the Philly area. I am especially proud of what I accomplished in the promotional area when I was with TLA Video (one day I’ll go into more detail of why my time with TLA Video was a sometimes frustrating time of my life, yet it was my greatest accomplishment).

My favorite promotion is still when I was able to attract almost 700 people to my 4th and South Street store for an in-store appearance by the great director JOHN WATERS, closely followed by a Chestnut Hill in-store World Series party with the Phillie Phantic.

dmi 055I also took great pride in meeting challenges that allowed me to interact with others in a common effort, such as the SEPTA road construction project in Chestnut Hill that severely limited access to our video store and other businesses for months. I wound up helping to lead an ad-hoc group of businesses to develop emergency business plans and promotions to minimize the impact during construction and come back strong when Germantown Avenue finally reopened.

So, when I now meet and follow someone who does promotion, I always am thrilled to spot even a little of the same passion I used to have in my work. I don’t have that outlet anymore other than the old “word-of-mouth” method, and I think I’m damn good at that.

However, I can vicariously experience the old thrills watching others still actively involved in PR who truly love the project or event they are promoting, not just working the press for coverage and then moving on to the next supposed big idea. Recently, I’ve met someone who does just that, even though she is involved with businesses that I have not had professional experience with, but for which I retain passion about.

I’m talking about Dallyn Pavey, owner of DISH PUBLIC RELATIONS


There is more to read. Just click here.

New Posts Coming Soon… Very Soon.

Yeah, it’s been a little while and I have about five posts in varying stages of completion.

Sorry for such a long break between posts but I truly want to make sure that what I write it 1) relevant, 2) entertaining, and 3) thought provoking. So, hopefully, what I post over the next few days lives up to the lofty goal.

In the meantime, come chat with me on Twitter Adrian’s Twitter Page ~ @adimike55

…and Facebook Adrian’s Facebook Page.

And I promise you will be much happier than my Swiper Doxy was.

IMG_2815

My Brother Tommy On His 43rd Birthday..Stop Growing Up So Fast

I have been hearing about August 11th 2013 from my younger brother Tommy since August 12th 2012.

That was the day after his 42nd birthday. Yep, Tommy loves his birthdays not only because he is the center of attention (not that he isn’t the other 364 days of the year) but because the attention comes from so many people who know and love him..

I wrote a bit about him on his 41st birthday and you can find that blog post here…

BIRTHDAY WISHES 2011

Plus, take three minutes and give a listen to Tommy at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. As you will find out, the music of Barry Manilow has meant so much to him as he has grown and dealt with all his life issues. We went to Williamsburg in 1991 and he wanted to do the Karaoke Studio that was there. He picked this Barry Manilow song, sang it totally from memory and frankly, knocked it the hell out of the park. This is personally so amazing and beautiful to me…

Tommy Hickman singing I MADE IT THROUGH THE RAIN by Barry Manilow

And if you are so inclined, you can wish him a Happy Birthday on his Facebook page here…

TOMMY’S FACEBOOK PAGE

He will be paying more attention to his Facebook page since we bought him his own Samsung Galaxy Tab3 Tablet. He won’t have to wait for a computer any longer and he definitely won’t wait.

Tommy means so much to me. He is both my brother and my joy. He is the reason that I laugh, cry, get mad, get glad, worry, smile, celebrate, dance, laugh, and love. He has been through so much in his life, so many medical issues that have affected his development and almost took him away from us. So much challenge and yet all he gives back is love.

Instead of gushing on, I’m just going to post some of my favorite pictures of him. Indulge me as I shed a happy tear watching my forever brother grow up.

adijultombaby

Tommy at about 1 year old, I am about 15 and my sister Julie (who still wears that coat) is about 7. You have to love my fine hair and my fine loud shirt.


There is more to read. Just click here.

SECOND LOOKS : Made You Look…Again

Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993)

I’m currently working on a series of blog posts that I am grouping together as “SECOND LOOKS”. The concept comes out of both my recent medical issues as well as things I discover after the fact. In other words, it is about you or I viewing or listening to something that we didn’t pay attention to the first time and finding it to be a great discovery.

I’ll explain it more in my first blog post but I would love to make this about more than just me. I’d like to throw it out to people who I come across, who I know, who friend me in social media and who friend me in real life. I’d love to know some of your favorite things that took you a while to find out about, even though it was available before you tried it or watched it.

I’m not talking giving something a second chance. This is not about a redemptive process, this is about looking at something that you once chose to ignore and finding it to be well worth the second look.

If you’d like to add your voice to these posts, please use the comment form below to send me your e-mail contact and I’ll send you more info.

And thanks in advance.

The-Neighbors-ABC-season-1-2012-postersearchingforsugarman1secondlooks_apt_678x230_042920130335

FALLING SKIES s3e9: Journey To Xilbalba: Bridge Over The River Volm

994261_718678931491492_1038072954_n

Sometimes, you have to take the fight to the enemy.

Back in Season One, the 2nd Mass fought from a defensive position, spending most of the season holed up is a makeshift camp in John F. Kennedy High School in Boston. While sojurns were made out into the field, much of the season was spent discovering what they were up against and protecting the civilian population under their wing.

The 2nd Season was nomadic, almost biblical, as the 2nd Mass traveled to Charleston, the promised land that they had heard about. While they holed up in a hospital for a couple of episodes, the large portion of the show was on the road, on the move, but still defensive.

As the 3rd Season unfolded, the 2nd Mass once again was centered in a camp, albeit a much larger one, the city of Charleston itself. This time, while living underground gave them protection, it also gave them the ability to take the fight to the Espheni.

However, it also increased the inner conflicts. No longer was the biggest danger a Skitter attack or a tense stand off between Tom Mason and Pope. Now, you had factions that worked both with and against each other. The Bostonians had to co-exist with the Charleston residents, and then the other President and his Keystone camp were thrown into the mix. Add in some new aliens in the Volm, and the level of distrust was ratcheted up big time.

22727_008_0043_r

Now, Falling Skies is down to one episode for the third season. The final episode must not only complete the 3rd season in a logical and exciting way, it must allow the show to proceed into new territory for the 4th Season, to be a bridge to the future.

As we’ve seen in this past weeks episode, Charleston is not the best place to hide and fight from anymore. This is thanks to one person, one person who would never be expected to be able to pull off a “one person wrecking crew” of a mole persona. Lourdes has been busy. She has not only taken out or affected just about every figure in power, but she has also managed to destroy the infrastructure of the camp itself.

Falling.Skies_.S03E09

jpeg

While so much of what she has done up to this point has been behind the scenes, clandestine, it has mainly involved espionage and assassination. For the first time in the series, the mole became a pure terrorist. Possibly because the walls were closing in on her, she decided to bring those walls down. Yet, as with most undercover dangers, she was her own worst enemy. The pressures of the hunt for the mole as well as the knowledge that Tom had escaped and that a confrontation was coming with the Espheni, she became sloppy.

Her own need to be “Lourdes” tripped her up as she offered her condolences for Tom finding Anne and Alexis dead in Boston. The problem was that no one outside of a trusted few knew where Tom had been and where he had seen the cocooned bodies. As she ramped up the havoc, she also ramped up the sloppiness that led to her capture. Yes, all of the 2nd Mass now knows that Lourdes was the mole. However, does the 2nd Mass know if the mole is the extent of the subversiveness going on in Charleston?

22727_008_0120_r

The Mason family dynamics also come to the fore in this episode. While the boys are glad for the safe return of their father, his journey and discovery, as well as the potential dangers, are forcing them to confront fears both long suppressed and newly felt.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the “walk and talks” between Ben and Matt. Ben has developed a maturity and a soberness for the situation, but Matt Mason is the one being forced to grow up much faster than he ever wanted. He believes that the only chance to destroy Karen rests with Ben, and while the possibility of losing Ben scares him, he begins to understand the sacrifices sometimes required of one person for the good of the many.

For his part, Ben began to feel the loneliness that an absolute power like he has can bring. While he could defeat Karen, if Matt is correct, it could be with the possibility of casualties among those who he loves most. While his survival would seem to be more likely than the rest of the Masons and the 2nd Mass, what good would that survival be if it meant being alone.

Burgess-Meredith-Time-Enough-at-Last

In an excellent Twilight Zone episode, TIME ENOUGH AT LAST, Burgess Meredith is the lone survivor of an atomic bomb. While not an exact parallel to this Falling Skies episode, the moral of the story is the same. In the Twilight Zone episode, Burgess Meredith loses what matters most to him, his glasses. Because he has bad vision, he needs the glasses to make it through life, to read, to see, and to learn and understand. In effect, the rest of the Masons are Ben’s “glasses”. Without them, what would be the purpose of survival. Without their ability to show, to teach, to help Ben understand, super powers begin to look very lacking in importance.

It’s almost the reverse of the conversations that Ben and Danni have been having, about their fear of returning to previous nerdy state. They decided to keep the harnesses despite warnings of a short life span rather than to return to their previous normal state of just being a kid.

Of course, this is where the mole situation becomes complicated. Knowing that Lourdes has essentially been medically involved with every person in the 2nd Mass, you have to begin to doubt any advice or treatment she has given over the course of the season. In particular, you have to look at what effect she has had on Anne and Alexis, and whether Alexis is alien by birth, by genetic tampering by Lourdes, or if this is pure psychological mindplay.

In addition, you have Lourdes telling Ben and Danni about the dangers of living with the harnesses. Can you now trust anything she said would happen, or was she trying to scare them into removing the harnesses and in turn, removing one more effective weapon against the Espheni?

Add in that Lourdes knew how to get the eyeworm out of Hal, as well as the fact that Lourdes herself suffered a traumatic loss last season when Jamil was killed by alien spiders, and you begin to want to rewatch the entire season to spot the clues

Falling-Skies-Season-3-Episode-9-Recap-Journey-to-Xibalba-Cochise

Her attempt to assassinate Cochise is one more escalation that has led to her downfall. As the possibility of battle approached, so did the need to be the “enemy inside”. This leads to the destruction of the compound which is meant to create total chaos, not just body count.

And I’m still not comfortable that Lourdes has been acting alone in Charleston. Are there others? Have some of them been killed because they knew too much or had served their purpose? Knowing that the Volm gun was already destroyed, what would be the reason that Lourdes would need to kill Cochise? Does he know something about Lourdes that she does not want out, or does she not need him anymore.

As does the chaos surrounding the destruction of the Volm gun. This not only seriously wounds Cochise but also seems to wipe out the rest of the Volm. However, it also introduces an element that calls the Volm itself into question. Cochise shows the ability to regenerate and heal what looks to be fatal injuries. While it is assumed that the rest of the Volm are dead, it is not unrealistic to think that they too can regenerate. That makes me wonder about the scene of Cochise and Tom looking at the ruins of the gun in a fatalistic way. Can we be sure the Volm is gone?

seriable-00996-710x400

And even more important, can we be sure of the Volm’s intentions. After all, we have never truly seen and heard why the Volm are here and what their motives are. Can we truly believe they are here to save earth or is earth simply potential collateral damage in their battle against the Espehni? As we found out a couple of weeks ago, the use of the Volm gun, if it did not work, could destroy all organic life on earth. If that was the case, what is the point of fighting for earth knowing the casualties would be grave? Is there something in the earth’s structure that either side needs? With all fife gone, all that is left is mineral and water.

Just as Pope doesn’t trust Tom, and Weaver at times trusts no one, I’ve never trusted why the Volm has suddenly arrived to help the humans. Add in the four city points (Boston, New York, Chicago, and Jacksonville) on the Espehni power grid, which seem to cover the mineral rich Eastern US mountains, and you wonder what the true purpose of the intergalactic battle really is.

In any case, this “bridge’ episode worked well in getting many of the storylines from this season to move toward the climatic episode tonight. While much went on, including the struggle to free Hal and Maggie from the sealed off armory, there are still many questions yet to be resolved. The Volm’s intentions, the true dangers of the spikes in Ben’s back, what Karen will do next, and how the battle now expands again. I still wonder the true purpose of the President Hathaway storyline, especially since he and Cochise flew off together when the keystone was under attack. What did Arthur Manchester know or find out that was reason to kill him? Marina herself has come into question as to motivation. Can she now be trusted fully or will Weaver still doubt her?

More questions arise that I’ll reserve to see if they get tied up tonight or remain lose. Though we can be confident that the train has left the station and that Season Four will once again expand the terrain.

And if you believe that Anne and Alexis are actually dead, I have a bridge I can sell you somewhere.

For My Dad: On What Would Have Been His 90th Birthday

Below are links to previous blog posts about my Pop. Please read at least one to understand why he was so special to me and why, as I battle both a progressive lung disease and the aftermath a my radical nephrectomy for kidney cancer, I’ll always turn to my Pop for reasons to keep laughing and keep living.

If you hear me say something or see me do something, chances are I learned that from my Pop.

outback005

That’s my Dad. You can call him “Rich”. His co-workers called him “Dick” but my mother always called him “Rich”. I called him “Pop” or “Dad”. For some reason, I don’t remember ever calling him “Daddy”. I never felt that word was strong enough for my Dad.

Calling him Dad was a real sign of respect from me, at least in my mind. When I would introduce him to people or talk to others about him, I always used “Dad”. “Pop” was more playful, more casual, more personal.

“Hey, Pop, do you want to go to the diner?”

“Hey, Pop, did you see the Phillies game last night?”

“What do you need at the store, Pop?”

“There aren’t any Christmas movies on TV in September, Pop. I checked.”

“Yeah, I can reset your watch, Pop.”

“You have to push the ‘TV’ button, then the “cable” button on the remote to make it work, Pop.” (Usually said with exasperation over the phone as I tried to work while he was mystified by the cable remote.)

“Tommy needs you, Pop.”

“I need you, Pop.”

“I miss you and love you, Pop.”

“Forever.”

One Year After My Dad

Dad’s Last Best Year : For Father’s Day

Dad at 15 days

Father’s Day Salute, to mine and yours…(updated for my dad’s 87th Birthday)

My Dad And Veterans Day

Dad and Tom at 1997 VSDA Convention

dadmomdance

10520_1231348312648_1497335472_30642892_3942_n

DSC00509


There is more to read. Just click here.