thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
Henchgirl and I give you a massive 11 lbs bundle of win now officially named Harold (Hal) Tiberius Hefner.

A couple people assumed we'd name our boy Harvey, but even I'm not that cruel and/or stupid. Even still, while we love the name we've chosen and think it's better than any other name we could come up with (it offers up a ton of options, including "Harry" and "Ty," and maybe he'll even be a "Hef" as well), it's a bit weird not to think of him as anything other than "Baybeh." And no wonder, considering that we call each other "Boy" and "Girl" and refer to my cat Giorgio as "kitty."

And yes, you read that right. Eleven fucking pounds. Some people haven't found this uncommon, but the hospital certainly did. Two hours after delivery, random doctors and nurses kept popping in to see the Giant Baby for themselves. On top of that, he's 24 inches long, making him too big for newborn clothes. Also, did I mention that Henchgirl didn't have a C-section? Because she didn't. Yeah, bow down before the most hardcore goddamn fangirl in the world.

There's a whole story to go along with the birth, and if I had the energy, I could seriously have whipped together a tense and frighting scenario of fears and complications which eventually resulted in the delivery room being flooded with about eight or nine scrambling doctors and nurses working against the clock. A couple different nurses on separate occasions later told us that the delivery was the event of the day, and that this baby was one for the record books.

The important thing is that we're all okay. Exhausted and cranky, but okay. Oh, and did I mention that I'm performing my multimedia-heavy solo comedy The Road to Nowhere at the Capital Fringe Festival THIS FRIDAY? And that's not even counting the tech rehearsal on Thursday! Tech rehearsal! With lines, and where I have to make sure that all the equipment works! HAHAHAHAHA.

But it'll be okay. If Henchgirl can bring this guy into the world, I can survive the next couple weeks. Well, months, counting Indy Fringe. By that point, I imagine that our family situation will start looking a little like this:

Fucking hell. I'm a "Paw."

I can do this. Now, time to make sure the sleep works, make some diaper, change the pediatrician's office, call up to make an appointment at the projection equipment, and make certain to catch a few hours of baby formula. Monkey banana raffle. 4 //. Itchy. Tasty.


Okay, maybe some of that stuff can wait for after a bit of sleep. I gotta take it when I can get it now, after all.
thehefner: (Default)
I think that one of the reasons I became a writer (as if it was an actual choice and not an ingrained compulsion) was due to a lifetime of feeling like I'm unable to communicate with people. Even now, I'm struggling to explain how I've struggled to explain for as long as I can recall. It's like having writer's block in your everyday life.

When you're a kid, you don't have the perspective to really convey how you're terrified by things which seem inconsequential to others. Adults can't read your mind, and others kids are little sociopaths who don't give a shit anyway, so you struggle and fumble and feel utterly impotent to get them to understand what you simply cannot put into words. In some ways, I feel like I haven't grown out of that.

I've gotten better, sure, but I had to go through alternate outlets. Being a withdrawn child who was extroverted only to those interested enough to offer their attention, I think that I pretty much gained the entirety of my socialization through movies, comics, and The Simpsons. I don't think I'm the only one to work this way. Geeks have a hidden language all our own, where we can hold whole conversations with other people's quotes.

Like many geeks, that still meant that I was still socially lopsided with everyone else in the world. That part still hasn't changed. Put me in a room with non-geeks, and I'll still gravitate towards some corner or find a way to vanish entirely, even if it's within myself. I've always identified with the song "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago, and there are often times when I feel like that's not such a bad thing.

Maybe it just happened out of necessity, but I came to enjoy my solitude. I mean, as long as I had the internet, where I can lurk and hide and then choose to make myself visible on my own terms. But that's been getting harder and harder of late. The geek landscape is changing into something that's as socially alien and unwelcoming to me as any neighborhood block party or distant-family reunion. For months now, I've been trying to explain the sense of loss and detachment I feel from comics and geek communities, how I increasingly don't recognize those who should be my kind, how my safe space has been renovated and redecorated when I wasn't looking, and co-opted by people who are only superficially my peers. Maybe it's always been like this. Maybe I've only noticed it now that I have the courage to reach out and try to mingle, rather than keeping to my own corner of geekdom.

...Damn, that's what I've been doing, isn't it? Keeping to my corner again. Dash it all, I liked my corner! It was safe, it was fun, it was a place to put all my issues (ha-ha, pun)! But I can't go back. I've gotten too big for it.

So I tried to go out and make a new corner, but this one would be in real life (well, theatre life, so only halfway real), and might actually make me money. Fringe Festivals have been amazing experiences which have forced me to interact with people, to summon up the courage to face a machine-gun blast of rejection whenever I hand out fliers for my solo comedy to a group of people lined up for an experimental dance show, with the hope that maybe one person might be interested and then I could afford dinner. It's been great, and I'm dedicated to doing it as long as I can.

But I still haven't quite learned how to turn off the invisibility switch. Four years in, and I'm still struggling to get audiences. It's not because my shows are bad, as I've gotten way more positive than negative reviews. Every festival seems to have another handful of audience members who love my shows and do everything in their power to talk me up to others. So yes, I'm very well-liked... when people actually see me. The problem is getting the interest in the first place. Four years, and I'm still flying under the radar. Lately, I'm just feeling weighed down by the utter lack of interest in anything I have to offer, and I don't know how to market myself better. I've learned so much, and yet it seems like Mr. Cellophane is too ingrained.

But I still perform. I have to. Garrison Keillor said it best: "If you're lucky enough to stay in it for a while, you realize that [storytelling is] a performance art in which the purpose is to gain intimacy with people whom you will never, ever know. To become intimate with strangers." To me, those words felt like an uppercut of truth. Thing is, Keillor meant it for older people like himself, saying that intimacy was "easier" for young bucks like me. God, I hope not. Don't tell me that this gets harder.

And it is hard, harder than I can get anybody to fully understand. Like, I so need to communicate what I've been going through over the past year, to cleanse myself of all these events with words, preferably funny words. But to do so, I'd need a book's worth of words to describe the whole picture. I've been trying for months now to explain how tired I've been, and the exact WAYS I've been tired. Trying and failing. It's not just the pregnancy thing, and even that alone hasn't been your typical experience for impending parenthood. There's the traveling, the RV situation, the moving, the writing, the not-writing, the death of a pet, all these things which most people have some experience, but not ours. Not mine. And if I can't get them to understand, I feel like I have no one to blame but myself.

... Oh, duh. God, I'm so stupid. Of course this is yet another thing that goes back to being the child of an alcoholic and mentally ill parent, isn't it? The inability to get people to understand something in which they have no basis of comparison. The desperate, burning need to communicate with a language that no one speaks. Not unless you've been in the area.

So thank god for Henchgirl. She gets it. She gets it better than I ever thought anyone else could get it. And I mean, all of it, everything from the parental stuff to the geek passion and all the invisible, intangible things that fly under my own radar, but are still there, still present, still represented. She gets it. Regular geeks speak the same language, but Henchgirl and I speak the same dialect.

We're the sole survivors of the same neighborhood in the same city in the same country of the same planet. And over two years, we've experienced the same way, suffered the same way, laughed the same way, complained the same way, been bored the same way, freaked out the same way, gone delightfully BONKERS the same way, and loved the same way. We've carved out our own little corner, but now--against all odds and reason--we're trying/having to make room for a third.

Don't get me wrong, it's fucking scary to bring someone else into our corner just when it seemed like we get everything just the way we wanted it. It's terrifying, and sometimes don't even seem fair. But even corners aren't meant to be static. Even if you try to keep everything as it was, you just end up like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Your corners change with you and they change around you. And you can have more than one corner, like I have at least one for comics thanks to [ profile] about_faces, and like I shall continue to cultivate at Fringe Festivals for as long as possible. And eventually, you find someone else to share your corner, someone who likes the decor and digs the atmosphere enough to stick around. Then, if you're really lucky (at least I think it's luck), you can create your own corner together.

So that's what we'll do. That's what we're doing. That's the only way I can really describe it without photos, pie charts, PowerPoint, a few hundred thousand words, and probably Smell-O-Vision. So we'll continue to develop our corner and try keeping up with how it develops around us. And in the meantime, I'll keep trying to learn the language of strangers.
thehefner: (Default)
Life these days is a series of situations that are all relatively easy to deal with on their own, or even two at a time, all coming at us at once. I'd post about them more, but I can't help but feel like it'd be a whole lotta complaining about stuff that we're already on top of combined with the stuff that's out of our control. So I'm going to cut this post with images of owls with stupid expressions on their faces, just to make it all go down easier.

For my part, I'm tired. More tired than I've ever been, more tired than I was trying to pick up the pieces after Dad's death. And that tiredness has made dealing with my everyday neuroses just that much harder. And I was never that good at handling them in the first place! But after yet disappointing another Fringe Festival (and like all the disappointing Festivals over the past year, there have been entirely logical reasons WHY they were disappointing, but that doesn't help my emotional state), AND the moving situation, I'm wiped out and not really looking forward to doing CapFringe and IndyFringe this year. I've never been one for regrets, but I do so wish that I could go back a year and plan this all out better.

As for that moving situation, we're currently living at the beach while the Cabin John house... my home... is on the market. It's been repainted and rearranged to the point that it's effectively no longer my home anymore. It looks depressingly like... like a NORMAL person's house! Ew! But we can't stay there, since it's on the market, thus we're in Delaware. This means that we'll have to drive a couple hours to the hospital once she goes into labor, which should be within, what, a week? Two weeks? More? Any day now? We're just waiting, and we have to wait here, because our actual home has to be clean and free of people. Hard for prospective buyers to impose their vision onto a property with a fanboy and a pregnant Henchgirl squatting in the living room.

We're staying at the new house Mom bought in Delaware, which will be our main base of operations once renovations are completed by early next year. We're by Broadkill Beach, near Slaughter Beach. I fucking love that. In reality, it's not so much the site of a boobtacular slasher film as much as the nation's site for Horseshoe Crab Orgies. So, almost as good, right? That almost makes up for the fact that we're going to be living in Delaware.

In truth, living at the regular house in Rehoboth Beach is great, as we adore that place. But unless you all come to see my show at CapFringe in a couple weeks, and bring your friends and family and pets in people costumes so that they can be charged as adults, that beach house will be my sole source of income. Did you know that we're still renting it out? Because we totally are still renting out the house in Rehoboth Beach!

I guess what it all comes down to is the fact that we have a lot to do, all of which costs a LOT of money and causes a lot of stress, onlt some of which might possibly make us some money in the process. What I'm saying is, if you want a piece of Hefner, you have options!

Want to own the house where Hefner lived? Well, you can! Want to just rent a house where Hefner lives? You can do that too! Want to rent Hefner himself for an evening (I mean, as a performer? I mean, as a non-sexual performer? I mean, to talk about himself for an hour with jokes and slides?) Here's your big chance! And if you still want a piece of Hefner's creativity but aren't able to travel, well, I'm finally starting to post the Harvey Dent novel, chapter by chapter. For those who've read it already, I've changed a lot and I'll be changing even more after the acid hits. It's gonna be a whole different story by that point, and with Henchgirl as my editor, I'm going to finally finish this for good.

That's about it for now. Back to life. Mine, hers, and the brand-new little one that's about to arrive. Any day/week/minute now.
thehefner: (Iron Man: Life is Empty w/o GIN)
Wherein I too become one of the many absent people I've seen pop back onto LJ to write an "It's been a while since I've posted anything here, hasn't it?" post. I'm genuinely ashamed that I'm becoming one of those people who posts more about their general lives up on Facebook than here. No offense to those that do, but damn, I miss the thriving days of this place when people actually posted stuff and had something to say! Kill me before I break down and get a Tumblr account.

Right now, I'm savoring this brief moment of downtime to check in here while things ramp up to crazyland over the next few weeks. In less than a month, I'll be performing The Road to Nowhere at the Orlando Fringe Festival. Hard enough that I'll be trying to fill a hundred-seat venue for seven performances, but as Henchgirl may not be able to tag along (eight months pregnant and all), I'll need to master the tech for the projector. Which I need to do anyway, since I'll be flying solo for when I perform at the Capital Fringe Festival this July. Which, of course, will be the day that the tech finally explodes!

But until Orlando, there's plenty of other shit to do, mainly involving getting ready to sell the house. This means--gasp shock horror--actually cleaning my room. I just we just found Hoffa's body, so that's progress! Maybe we'll sell it for a quarter at the Garage Sale this Saturday. Anyone want to come to a Garage Sale? It'll be here! At least, I think it's happening this Saturday.

And of course, it's only in the past few days that I FINALLY feel ready to work on the Harvey Dent novel again. I made some great progress, actually. The first chapter is greatly improved, and with Henchgirl's strict editorial help, I'm finally ready to finish this bad boy. Given the suicidal manner in which DC Comics is running itself these days, I'm thinking that I might just suck it up and post it all online. At least that way it'll reach an audience, which is more than can be said if it ever did get published.

Of course, that's going to have to wait. God knows till when, since childbirth is imminent, following by moving to Delaware. Even for the immediate future, I don't know how much time I'll have to see any friends. Lord knows that I can't spend a whole glorious day with [ profile] themadhatter26, driving Baltimore microbrews and playing Portal 2. At the very least, I'll try to make it a point to keep y'all in the loop, for those interested in loop-related subject matter.

If nothing else, you damn well bet I'll be throwing a going-away/baby-having party before we go. I'll keep you posted.
thehefner: (Me: White Background)
I've known about it for months, and yet it's only now sinking in: I'm moving. I'm actually leaving the DC area.

Maybe it's because I only started telling people about it a few days ago. It was the same when Henchgirl got pregnant. It was one thing to know about it, to be aware, to plan for the future. It was something else entirely to tell others, to deal with their reactions, to hear their questions and often fumble with your response, whereupon you truly realize just how much you don't actually KNOW.

So yeah, we're moving. Me, Henchgirl, baby, Mom, the Captain (who will be down here at SOME point, dang it), all going off to live around Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Mom's already bought a new house, in addition to the beach house which we have for renting out. She'll be selling our current house soon, and I imagine we should fetch a decent price for it, even in this economy. For a myriad of reasons (many of which are beyond my understanding), this HAS to happen, and it HAS to happen now. I understand that. Fact is, when Mom had the house built--her dream house, which she has planned and designed for many, many years before it became a reality--we knew we'd have to sell it. It was simply too costly to maintain. We were damn lucky to get eight years there. Damn lucky.

To quote [ profile] box_in_the_box: "And yet... and yet..."

More and more, I realize that I don't want it to happen at all. It's probably just fear of change. Of the few friends I actually have in the area, I barely see anymore. Most others have scattered to the winds, gotten their own lives, or are internet/Fringe friends who already live far away. What will I miss about the DC area? Not much. Mainly regular visits to California Tortilla and Big Planet Comics. Clearly, I don't exactly embrace all that the DC area has to offer.

But I've lived here all my life. No matter how much I've traveled, no matter how much I've preferred hiding away at the Rehoboth Beach house, I've always called the nebulous area of Bethesda/Potomac/Cabin John my home. But there's no good reason for me to stay. Another reason to leave would be to fully separate myself from the ghosts of my past, mainly concerning Dad.

But when I think about the fact that I won't be driving past Glen Echo Park on a daily basis anymore, somehow that doesn't seem like comfort enough.

It has to happen. I am an impoverished actor with a child on the way, going where the whole boarding house family unit must go. Rehoboth Beach is a good area, with pretty much everything we need in the area. Everything except a comic shop. Hopefully that's not a bad omen or anything.

In the meantime, what can I do? Start selling stuff on eBay, clean and pack stuff, and most of all, prepare for the baby. Oh, and three more Fringe festivals (Orlando, DC, and Indy). A lot of changes are coming my way, all at the same time. Sometimes, I think it's the frivolous fan stuff I do at [ profile] about_faces which keeps me healthy, and gives me mental breathers between thinking about the big stuff.

If I sound morose, it's only because I'm exhausted from having spent the day doing Two-Face posts and editing pages on, trying to establish cred as a geek authority there. I promise, I'm actually in way better spirits than this! I just needed to let that all out a bit. Carry on, we now resume your regularly scheduled geekery, already in progress. :)
thehefner: (Default)
On Tuesday night, [ profile] fiveseconddelay and [ profile] tommx were awesome enough to treat me to a Boys Night Out* which, somehow, had the unspoken feeling for all involved of being a "last hurrah."

Thing is, I only have a few days left of having no life before... well, before life gets to have me, following by me quite literally getting a life.

Soon, we'll have to prepare for the journey to and from the Rogue Festival in Fresno, CA, to perform The Road to Nowhere, which we'll also be taking to Orlando Fringe in May. Along with the baby's due date as June 30th, and there's talk about us moving to Delaware permanently. There's going to be so much more preparation, and there's going to be so many things for which I simply don't know how to be prepared at all. My days feel distinctly numbered.

But it's not a bad thing. Speaking purely for myself, I'm ready for my life to change. At least, as ready as I can be. I just don't know what to expect. From ANY of it. I just feel adrift, knowing that land is finally in sight and ready to set foot there, but uncertain of what I'm going to find waiting for me.

Five years ago, I'd have been scared shitless. Now, I'm just waiting to see what comes next. No matter what, I think it's going to be great. I'm certain that the best years are still ahead. I just don't know, and it's the uncertainty that I'm feeling most right now.

Soon, I'm going to do two posts. The first will be to announce I'm accepting 2011 reservations for rentals of my beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. As I'm doing less Fringes than usual this year, my income will be largely reliant on rentals, so I have to get the word out.

The second will be a list of baby-related stuff we'll be needing, if any of you family folks have extra stuff left over that you're willing to pass on. Henchgirl and I are compiling a list of what we have, what we'll need, and what we can get ourselves. Economy, naturally, is key here.

Will post other stuff too, hopefully featuring the glorious return of my sense of humor. :)

*I can't believe I'd never heard of Sidebar in Silver Spring, but dear lord, it's my new favorite bar ever. Although I probably won't feel the same way when 1.) I'm paying, 2.) I'm driving, and 3.) it's crowded like it's supposed to always be. So seriously, thank you again, [ profile] tommx and [ profile] fiveseconddelay, for a great time out and letting me get spectacularly drunk on amazing gourmet cocktails I may never get a chance to drink again.

Except for the bacon whiskey maple drink. I don't care if it's ten bucks, I AM getting that again.


Nov. 30th, 2010 04:54 pm
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
Scene: on the bed at 3am, as Henchgirl--dressed in sexy lingerie--attempts to wrest her boyfriend's attention from the Nicktoons channel


ME: Mm?

HENCHGIRL: A-hemmmmm.

ME: Y'know... there's something I've been wondering for years now.

HENCHGIRL: Mmmmyyesss?

ME: How the hell does Catdog poo?

HENCHGIRL: (pause, violent lurch)

ME: Does poo? Do poo? Is it singular poo or plural poo?

HENCHGIRL: Not... not the sort of question you should be asking your nauseous girlfriend. I literally almost threw up in your lap right now.

ME: I think it's "do."

HENCHGIRL: ... How you managed to get me pregnant, I'll never know.

thehefner: (Me: White Background)
Thanks to everyone for the comments, congrats, warnings, comfort, and jokes send my way in response to the whole "Hey, my girlfriend is pregnant, how about that?" post. The response has been so overwhelming that I simply don't have time to respond to many or even most of them, but know that I read and deeply appreciated every single one.

It's funny how, days later, some friends here or on Facebook are still catching up to the news, as evidenced by the exasperated phone call I just received from the great [ profile] fishymcb (who, incidentally, runs a great blog dedicated to old Topps baseball cards). For a long while there, it felt like he and I were the last bachelors of our old college crews, with pretty much everyone else either in a happy relationship, or married (but all still childless, as of this date).

I figured that Fishy'd be the perfect person to try out a joke I've been bouncing around for a couple weeks now. I said, "Hey, at least I beat all those college friends in one way!"

To which he replied, "Yes, it's true. You went bald first. I'm sorry, that was really mean."

Oh Fishy, you magnificent asshole, I miss you so.

Thing is, I'm actually getting less flailingly insecure about my hair loss (no matter how much my Mom keeps trying to push the idea of me getting a transplant so I can still possibly get lead roles in plays) ever since I learned of the pregnancy. Baldness doesn't seem so bad when coupled with fatherhood. It's like I already have an excuse, even if it's the Homer Simpson method.

What I'd really like to stave off is the process of "Shackroyding Out," as Henchgirl's dubbed it. Look, I know I'm gonna go the way of Dan Ackroyd and William Shatner eventually, but thanks to the psychosomatic hell that is sympathetic pregnancy, I'm getting there wayyyyy sooner than I would have expected.

Seriously, we're just waiting for the ninth month, when [ profile] surrealname decides to rub my belly instead of Henchgirl's, and ask me when it's due.

So off to the gym with me. And then maybe I'll actually have something new to post here, at some point. Thanks for the support, folks. I feel like there should be a weight-gain pun there, but eh, I'm hungry and phantom-nauseous.


Nov. 14th, 2010 09:35 pm
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
So there's this.

Spoilers behind the cut )

I'm creating a new tag for the first time in a long while. The mood icon is the best approximation of what's going on in my chest right now, only with a lot more fluttering and caution.

September 2012

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