Archive for June, 2009

New Blog

June 8, 2009

“Oh hey, I’ve been traveling down this road too long
Just tryin’ to find my way back home
But the old me’s dead and gone
Dead and gone”

T.I., Dead and Gone

A few reasons for starting a whole new blog:

  1. I noticed when trying to write that script story, the spacing just didn’t work out well.  In additon, when posting those videos, the right end is cut off.  Here, it seems to be a lot easier to manage those items.
  2. Eventually this will transform into a full on “All about Jeff Spain” site.  But for right now, it’ll stick with a blog.
  3. WordPress has a lot more advanced features than Blogger.  As the transition develops, this will also for things to happen easier
  4. This reason goes to the lyrics above.  As many of you know, my life has changed for the better.  A choice was made about a year ago that I’m sure I will write about at some point.  It’s a choice though that has vaulted me into a new stage in life.  Legally, I couldn’t talk about anything related to the divorce or that part of my life in the old blog.  But believe me, the writing will continue to be the same, positive, funny stories of my life, but I will not live in the shadow of the past anymore.

The old blog (click here to go to it) will remain for the time being as I transition items to this site.  Eventually, over the next couple of weeks, it will come down though.  It won’t be sad to see it go.  Positive things are happening, life is changing, doors are open, and we’re going to need to chat about a few things.  No limitations this time.

Thanks for reading…

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Jeff vs. The Hurdle

June 4, 2009

The events that transpired this morning may just have given me the opening scene to the movie about my life. Here’s how it would go in script form:

EXT. COLLEGE TRACK- DAY

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who is playing in the background of this scene. (If you don’t know the song, here’s the YouTube link you can play in the background as you read below)

Very early morning. Sun is bright at a low angle as it has recently risen. Temperature is brisk outside. Dew is still on the grass. Camera pans down to a group of 20 people spread out at the far end of the track. They’re warming up for their upcoming boot camp exercise class.

WORKOUT TRAINER
Ok, let’s get started

Individual/small group shots of the various people working out are shown. Most are in distress, having a look on their face of “Why is she doing this to us?” Some are troopers and fighting through the pain. Random comments and groans are thrown about the crowd.

JEFF (V.O. (voiceover))
I am not a morning person. Will never claim to be. Sure, at 6 AM, there have been moments of alertness over my 30 years of being on this earth. But after jumping jacks, running planks, bleacher climbs, and endless squats, alertness, clarity, and well, just about every ability related to my mind goes out the window.

JEFF is still not seen as the camera continues to pan through the increasing pain. The WORKOUT TRAINER demonstrates with ease the different exercises she wants the group to do. The WORKOUT TRAINER only counts in two sets of 10 as if she’s enjoying the fact that once she gets to 10, she starts over again at 1. Also along the way, the WORKOUT TRAINER is very supportive giving good comments to the group and individuals.

JEFF (V.O.)
We’ve all been there. You’re barely awake but there’s still an enjoyment in the air. The sky holds some broken, sweeping clouds. Birds are chirping in the distance…

Camera pans to WORKOUT TRAINER in the middle of the voiceover.

WORKOUT TRAINER (in the background but still audible)
Sidesteps around the track!

WORKOUT TRAINER demonstrates three of four sidesteps

WORKOUT TRAINER (in the background)
Watch out for the hurdles!

The workout group staggers out onto the track. The camera starts a large pan into the group.

JEFF (Continuing V.O.)
… you know, one of those moments where you look up at the sky and think, ‘This is a beautiful day.”

The group continues their side steps. Some get ahead of others. The camera gets closer to the group. It slowly starts at the back and pans through different people’s faces.

JEFF (V.O.)
You know, I probably shouldn’t have put that much thought into the sky or the birds or the clouds. Especially at 6 in the morning. Should have paid more attention to reality…

Camera centers in on JEFF who doesn’t look too winded, sidestepping along with ease.

Camera steps back to see JEFF suddenly sidestep onto the crossbar at the bottom end of a hurdle. He looks down, not fully aware of what’s happening. His feet start to get caught up. With full force, his body starts to fall into the hurdle as it falls towards the ground.

Writer/Director note- make sure that the song is exactly at 7:46 for this next part.

Camera freezes on JEFF’s face midway through his tumbling towards the earth. It’s a face of surprise with signs of angst.

JEFF
Hi, my name is Jeff, and this is my life.

JEFF continues to not exactly know what is happening. His feet become tangled. His body twists towards the direction his force is moving. He puts his hands up to try and stop the fall. They do a fairly good job of absorbing the impact. But his face smacks flat into the track with his mouth literally becoming one with the track gravel. His head bounces off the track.

JEFF puts his hands underneath him and pushes himself off the ground. Other workout people start to come to help.

JEFF (V.O.)
One random event after another. I swear there have about 100 random incidents in my life where, if there were a home video camera on me, I’d win that $100,000 on America’s Funniest Home Videos. You’ve just witness number 101.

JEFF continues to get up, checking for blood near his lip and nose. He also checks the fake front tooth he has to make sure it wasn’t broken. It’s fine. Some of the workout group assure him he’s not bleeding.

JEFF (V.O)
The things that go through my head I also wish could be recorded. Take for example that the only thing I was thinking as my head ricocheted off the ground was, “Wow, that track is pretty spongy. I barely even felt that faceplant“.

JEFF continues to dust the red gravel off his hands and knees. His face not only becomes red from embarrassment but also from the red gravel he picked up as makeup as he made out with the ground.

JEFF (smiling)
I’m ok. Just a little scratched up.
JEFF continues to sidestep on.

JEFF (V.O.)
Oh, and as you’ll learn, I’ve had a ton of great jobs. From wearing a Tiger costume to docking boats and pumping out their, wait, knowing my life, this is a PG rated movie. I bring this up because I’ve just picked up another job, removing the hurdles from the track before workout class.

END OF SCENE

Much more editing that needs to happen but it’s a first draft on what was an interesting morning:-)

Thanks for reading…

Chris and Stacy’s Graduation

June 4, 2009

4 years of Law School. To me it seems like yesterday that the family was sitting on the Loyola Marymount lawn watching him graduate from undergrad. But here we are, 4 years later, and Chris is officially a lawyer.

But let’s not forget the Kobe to his Shaq, the Joe Torre to his Derek Jeter, the Jim Halpern to his Michael Scott, the Oprah to his Rachel Ray… Congrats to Stacy for graduating too! Also, a big thank you for her help in supporting/coaching my brother through these past four years!

This year though,there was an added bonus. Each year, two students are chosen to give the student reflection speech at graduation, one from the day section, and the other from the night section. This year, Chris’s speech was selected from the evening section to address the graduates.

No words really to say other than it was a hell of a speech. Video below with a brief glimpse of the after party with Chris and Stacy’s friends and family.

End of Another Year in Residence Life

June 4, 2009

A big thank you to the students that I was able to work with this year in the apartment area. Special thanks to the Community Advocates who are graduate students living and working with me in the apartment area.

Each year in May, there is a large banquet to celebrate the accomplishments of the staff and to award those who have worked hard to connect and enhance student life. In addition to these awards and acknowledgments, there is also a “Res Life by the Numbers” in which funny and sentimental numbers are provided on the work all the staff did. This year myself and the great Matt Colaprete stepped up to the mike and did our best. Below is the video taken by Uche Okereke, one of the CAs in the apartment area.

Thanks again to the students and staff for a great year!