Well hello there…..
It is time to summarize this 2010 year in photos I have taken all year. It was a big year and a busy one!! I think I had a much fewer number of photos this year because work at Terminal Reality was intense and took some long hours to tackle. The biggest and best news of the year was that Denise and I are engaged to be married April of next year. We are both very excited and maybe next year we will do this blog together as a married couple. So with all that said it was still a great year filled with good times and lots of memories that Denise and I will not soon forget. So let’s get to it….
I have become friends with Greg of Bean Pot Toyz out of San Antonio. He’s a great guy and has inspired me to start a photo project of my collection of vinyl toys. I started the year with some of the toys in my collection and have worked in very small chunks through the year. It was not a ton of progress but enough to get me excited about have a project like that in my back pocket.
If it is not obvious enough and if you are reading this blog you know I’m a geek and making video games only puts the gold seal on that fact. So when the phrase “comic con” are said I will make an effort to be there. That phrase has been said for a few years now and I’m there to be among my people. I love searching for things that remind me of my childhood and there is always a chance to catch some shitty movies that I could add to the collection. It’s like at a garage sale run by people who are dressed as the toys being sold at said garage sale!! These pictures are from the Dallas Comic Con which happens twice a year so this was the Winter edition.
February rolled around this past year and no one in Texas expected the 3 feet of snow that fell in one night!! We were about to head to a wedding in Colorado at the end of the month and thought we would be in for a lot of snow. There was enough snow to shut down work and build a six foot tall snowman which was lots of fun. Winter went long this past year and looks like we might have another one this year as well.
The Ticket is a radio station here in Dallas that was one of the first sports stations in the country. I never though that talk radio would be my thing but the format used by these guys is great and something I have now been listening to since 1998. I listened to them during art school when the Dallas Stars won a championship and even during the events of September 11. It’s hard to explain unless you listen but they are very much a staple in my life now. Simple guys who work well together and since I do a Podcast with my friends there is a lot to learn with The Ticket. Every year they do Ticketstock which is a large “con” if you will in which fans of the station come to watch live show, try food and hang out basically. The great snow storm was melting away and Ticketstock was being held within 5 minutes of the house so I had to check it out
With snow melting away and work busy as usual, on one Sunday night Denise made some delicious spaghetti and the reason I remember that night was that in about a week I would ask her to marry me. Obviously she didn’t know it but I remember sitting there eating awesome foods and thinking about us and our future together. I took a few photos for her food blog and this one was for us.
Denise and I flew out to attend the wedding of our friends Roger and Cynthia in Steamboat, Colorado this past February. We have been friends for a good while now and I was happy that they asked me to photograph the wedding. Honestly I was pretty nervous even though I had worked weddings before but since these are friends who we care about, it was important to capture the moments that will be there forever of that day. The other thing running through my head was the fact that the next day I would ask Denise to be my wife and I had not really decided how I was going to do that. I had the ring but no grand plan of how I would do it so the next day when we went skiing and since we have never gone skiing we had some issues with our boots and other equipment. Denise was having some issues with her boots so I got down on my knee to have a look and……well I hit the button to engage and there you have it. The only person who knew I was going to do this was Roger so when it went down a few folks with us who saw this didn’t see the box and were yelling “Hey what’s the hold up!! You proposing or what!?!” I replied with “Well….actually….”
One of the places I learned to work on my photo skills over the past few years is at the Dallas Auto Show. You have great subjects and lots of shapes and colors to work with. It was on a Saturday and my brother and I headed own to the convention center for the event. Not a ton of cool new stuff but lots of vehicles that are good on gas and things to help cut costs to family during the tough economic times. It was cool to see some old classics as well to let people know that even if we are hurting in the pockets that there is some great art to be seen in our country’s history of cars
So I enjoy going to Cons, period. They just have a good vibe because it’s a place that geeks and nerds can feel safe. They can be themselves and have a beer to go along with all that. All-Con in Dallas is great because they pretty much said “The hell with it, let’s just combine all these things together and have Star Wars, Star Trek and whomever else feeling like joining us”. It’s great to meet interesting folks and artists who build costumes with great care (sometimes not such great care but that’s ok too) because folks at cons really enjoy having their picture taken. The other great thing is all the toys and discussion panels at cons so All-Con is no exception to this. A few great costumes at All-Con this year…enjoy
So there are lots of great things in the Dallas area but sometimes you have to get out and look for them. I tell this to people all the time who complain about how Dallas isn’t cool because it’s not someplace else other than Dallas. I like it here and I like that there is lots to do which hopefully this blog is showing. Something new I got to check out this year was roller derby thanks to Austin whom I work with. His girlfriend plays with the Suicide Shifters and it is a lot of fun to check out. Grab a beer and some pizza and check out some chicks kick some ass on the rink. This is the real deal and the ladies on the rink went balls out and really showed the crowd that roller derby is a real sport. I guess it got a lot of attention because of that movie Whip It but if you have a team in your area you should check it out and support them.
So right near the mid-point of every year is one of my favorite events, Texas Frightmare Weekend. It’s maybe the best run Con in the Dallas area and there are so many cool people there. I love movies of all genres and I have that special place for horror movies since I was a kid. The con is a weekend event and this year Denise and I decided to get a room near the con so we could spend the weekend there as our little vacation after a busy first part of the year for both of us. TFW starts with a Zombie Walk and tons of great guests and panels. We really enjoyed this year with our hotel room and being able to come and go as we pleased. I know that some people think it’s a bit of a waste to get a hotel room when we live near by (30 minutes near by) but it was a lot of fun and we really look forward to next year.
This past summer was a long one and a hot one. We took a break one night to enjoy Video Games Live. Music is one of my loves as my entire family has been involved with it in some shape and form. From being a percussionist, mom and dad in band booster and my brother teaching percussion at Forney High School. With me as I create video games I love to listen to music and I love when the music for the game I work on comes online it really ties everything together. Video Games Live celebrates the music of video games over the years. It’s a lot of fun and got to hear music from pac-man to Halo and since I worked on Halo for the PC it was awesome knowing I was a part of that. If you have not been to Video Games Live you should check it out when it comes to your town.
We really enjoyed roller derby this year that we went to two different bouts this summer. Lots of great action shots to be had at these events and again beer on hot nights always helps makes things better. I really liked the shots I was able to capture and hope to get some more next year
Alex is the art director at the Dallas Observer and every now and then he sends me out to do some photo assignments for stories around the Dallas area. This time Alex needed me for a little more than just the random assignment, this time he needed a shoot for a cover. Time was tight so we were able to work together quickly to get what he was needing for the week’s edition. The story had to do with a local vendor who sold items that were maybe a little bit on the strange side to some as they were items that some could consider superstitious. The business was being forced out of the community so it could be replaced with something more cool and trendy. We had some of the items from the store and the goal was to photograph them as if it was in a medicine cabinet and Alex would do his magic from there. It was about a 3 hour shoot but was fun and I’m glad I was able to help out with the fast turn around
The fall version of the Dallas Comic Con was interesting indeed because Edward James Olmos was in attendance and with many of us fans of the Admiral in Battlestar, we looked forward to this con. There were lots of great costumes and toys to be seen but maybe the best part was the Q&A with Olmos. It was much like watching a sermon to the world as Mr. Olmos had lots of opinions of the state of the world and the issues with race in our country. He believes that there is only one true race, the human race!! He also talked about saved Los Angles during the riots in ’92 by being a clean person who cleaned the streets with a broom. It was a lot of fun and I got his autograph to add to the collection of great Admirals of our time, Admiral Adama and Admiral Ackbar.
Denise spent this past year working on making a career move to being a chef. She took some cooking classes at the community college but also took some cake decorating classes outside of school. This also came along with an internship at a bakery, and she used those skills to bake a cake for our friend Emily and decorate it as well. I was making sure to photograph her creations for her portfolio and here is a small sample. If you were wondering, yes the cake was delicious
This Halloween was a time to relax and have some fun. I was getting to the end of a crunch period at work and Denise was on a roll at school making some delicious food so for the first time in some time we played dress up for Halloween and made some treats. With The Walking Dead making it’s way to television on Halloween night we decided to go as survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Parts of that is a weapon that is high powered and a weapon that doesn’t require ammo to use. It was a lot of fun that night and again the treats that Denise and Nikki made were great.
I’ve been so proud of Denise as she has taken the leap into the world of culinary arts. Anyone who has made the decision to chase your dream knows how scary that can be especially when you know that the field is very competitive and many people are out there trying to compete for the same dream. Well Denise is living that dream and working hard. On this day I was lucky to be invited to enjoy the class project which was making awesome food and presenting it to family and friends. Denise’s team had the best food that day and not just because we are getting married do I have to say that, it really was the best. So if you want to help the cause then come over some time for dinner and find out for yourself
The year ended with the company party and rocking out that night with some Rock Band and tasty food. Free gifts and fun all around. After the paty we had a chance to catch up with some old friends from my Gearbox days and it was so great to catch up and have a drink and talk about old times. I really miss those guys but it is also nice to build a new relationship with the artists at Terminal Reality and I look forward to years ahead with them.
So what a year it was. Lots of things happened around the area like the Rangers making the World Series and Denise and I starting up a garden in the backyward which produced some vegetables for us. We got to ski for the first time ever and make a few trips to the drive-in to watch movies over clear skies. The Hijinks Ensue Podcast kicked up again and we are in the process of moving into a new house that will be our home as we start our marriage this year. I will be shipping a game this upcoming year and best of all I will be getting MARRIED!! So many smaller things that happened this past year but this blog is just an overview of it. I was happy to see so many friends and made new ones and I miss those whom I have not seen enough. This will be a great 2011 so let’s get it started and I look forward to it and seeing all of you there.