joshford

Hey Cancer, F**K You!

Most things that I create (film or write) I do it with the intent of making someone happy, creating new thoughts, or sparking imagination. This post is a little different. Below are two different writings. I was dealing with some stuff in my life and thought I’d take a moment to write about it. It's more of a spewing of thoughts, a stream of consciousness even. If nothing else, I hope at least one person will find this helpful. 

December 10th, 2014

It’s December 10th, 2014 and I’m scared shitless. In October my mom was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast Cancer - HER2 positive.

My initial thought: Okay, stage 1. This sucks but we have many reasons to be optimistic. There's 4 stages. This was caught early. We'll just remove the problem and be done, right? Sort of right. 

There's this HER2 thing, which apparently is a protein, and because of this protein, she needs Chemotherapy. Since October we’ve had more doctor visits than I’d like to remember but the major milestones was the Mastectomy… another small surgery… and now the chemo journey. The first treatment was yesterday, and now, I sit in my mom's home, fucking confused as to what my mom, sister, and I are getting ourselves into.

It should be noted that I live in California, my sister in Colorado, and my mom in Wisconsin. The travel has allowed me to enter the elusive A PLUS program offered by Southwest along with a companion pass for the next calendar year - I’ve flown a lot. My distance is what scares me. The unknown scares me... How is my mom going to handle this when we’re not around? My father passed away a long time ago and that’s the short way of saying she’s by herself.

Like every single human in the entire world who's dealt with this - when we found out my mom had breast cancer it was a shock. She’s healthy, what the fuck? Now we’re pumping her full of shit. Shitty fucking shit. I hate chemo and I hate all of the drugs she has to take. Just today she took steroids, anti nausea something, and Claritin, yes, fucking Claritin. Why? Well, it will help blah blah nausea blah blah blah.

Eh. I can’t compute anymore. I thought I’d have a holistic solve. I don’t. We’re left pumping my mom full of garbage.

Here I am. Confused as ever. Really scared. I’m writing this in hopes to follow up when her final chemo treatment is done. Maybe beyond. I hope to look back so I don’t forget how scared I was, even though no amount of words could do justice. I’m also writing this to maybe help someone else at some point, because all I want right now is some kind of help or guidance.

I wish I could find someone just like me and talk to that person and just hear them out. I want a son, from out of town, who is dealing with his mother’s small tumors but hey, it had a protein (HER2) that elevated my mom’s estrogen and forced chemo into our lives. I want to find that someone. It sounds sick but if there was a MATCH.com for people like me seeking other people like me, I’d be on it so fast it’s scary. I just want to talk with a version of me.

I guess I’m just worried. Scared. I can’t say it enough. I’m writing this fully knowing I’m showing my emotional hand, but at this moment, this is what’s helping me. This is what feels good. This is what I need to do. The truth is, I don’t know if i’m going to post this. I have this website for posting thoughts and feelings. I also release other content online. I release videos and short films of stories and thoughts. Staying guarded about my personal life, but trying to crack the door open juuuuust enough.

When I come back to this document it will be after my mother’s next 5 treatments of chemo (6 in total). I’m optimistic, mainly because every doctor told us to be, but I’m still worried.

I’m going to leave this document to collect dust for a few months, then revist, and I hope I can help someone like me at some point. I hope this will relate to at least one person. I hope that someone may read this seeking answers and will reach out to me to talk about life. Most importantly, I hope that when I come back here it’s with positive news, I’m sure it will be.

Fuck cancer. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Off to have an emotional breakdown...

April 8th, 2015

It’s April 8, 2015. My mom’s final chemo was two weeks ago. It’s weird how time flies but on the same hand it slogs along. That’s what the past 6-7 months have felt like - slow, yet fast.

I was hesitant to write this and post. At this moment I'm kind of "done" talking about all of this stuff. In other words, I'd like to pretend like everything is okay and compartmentalize. Also, as I mentioned above I tend to stay a bit guarded with what I release and truthfully this is offering up more than I thought I’d ever post about myself.

-Pause-

Just for the record… I’m not some guy who thinks people are going to flock to read random things I post on a blog. I know where I stand in the world of the internet, I’m not a fool, but at the same time you never know what will come back to haunt you down the road. People need to be careful when posting online. 

That’s a message for the kids. 

-Un-Pause-

I was thinking about when I first started writing this and it was when I was very confused and very lost. I needed someone to talk to, I was aware of that. I have my wife, family, and friends to vent to but I needed something more. Not saying I needed a therapist but I wanted a dude to relate to. Maybe I did need a therapist?

Secretly (or maybe not so secretly) I wanted me from the future to tell me what’s going on. Okay, so I needed a DeLorean. I think it’s safe to say that I hate uncertainty, specifically when it comes to issues of health. Yet, here we are, dealing with uncertainty and still moving forward. I wish I could just say “hey, we’re in the clear” but my mom still has a road ahead, however after the last 6-7 months I think I can say with certainty we can handle this.

My heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with this shit, especially when cancer isn’t caught early…Hell, even when it is caught early. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone. I truly believe it’s the devil and not in disguise, it’s showing itself and blatantly fucking with you. Which is the worst.

If you can relate to anything I just wrote and you find yourself in a similar situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. All I wanted was someone to talk to and I can’t say it enough. If you’re finding yourself going crazy and want to vent, rant, email, skype, facetime, share stories, whatever, I am here for that. I’d be more than happy to express any thoughts or just talk about things. I'm no therapist, not by a long shot, but I am a dude who can lend an ear.

This is my email: josh@thebigshoe.tv

My mom’s situation isn’t nearly as dire as others, the outlook is positive, and I'm fully aware of how fortunate my current situation is. But I can't deny that this single experience did a number on me mentally. It re-calibrated my thoughts and gave the “life is short” reminder. By the way, the “life is short” reminder shouldn’t ever actually be a reminder, it should just be a way of life. I’m ashamed I actually need something massive to remind me. Fuck it, no dwelling on the past, life is short. Remember not to waste your time on bullshit (easier said than done).

There you have it. That’s it. Hopefully I can pay something forward from this (currently ongoing) experience. When I’m done writing this I'm going to take a moment to appreciate life… and then follow that moment up with saying, “Fuck you cancer." I seriously hope cancer gets cancer and self implodes.

Good luck to everyone dealing with the devil.

Hey Snapchat, I Think I Love You (for now).

Yeah, sure, I may be too old for it but I'm loving the story aspect of Snapchat. Truthfully, I thought Snapchat was used by teens for shit I could care less about. I'm sure that's the main use of it actually, BUT, I'm a story guy and I'm a guy who likes to film. This is a perfect combination.

In case you don't believe me, I made a video about it.... If there's a video that means you have to believe me. Of course, if you'd like to follow my stories on Snapchat, my username is: TheJoshford

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkbU2zq_yRQ[/embed]

Complaining About The Weather

I'm sure weather complaints have been a constant of mankind. I can't imagine any period of time where people didn't bitch about it. Honestly, sometimes, you just have to sit back and say "Fuck this weather." I may not like when people do it but I understand it, and because I understand it, I give you this: A video bitching about the weather --

[youtube=http://youtu.be/LTCLwGid4y0]

Never Get Off The Bike

I was recently involved in a hit and run... aka: an old dude hit me in a crosswalk and I'm still really pissed off about it. I tossed my bike into the closet due to some form of anxiety, but now, I think I need to get it fixed and get back on it. Made a video that's intertwined with Snapchat. I give you...  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLcAloeGjoU

 

To see more Snapchat stories, my username: TheJoshford

 

Return Of The Post.

To say that I’ve been absent from posting on this site may be an understatement. Seems like I stopped writing posts and transitioned solely into occasionally posting videos. Then the videos tailored off, and now I’m left as the guy who used to write a blog. Arguably it’s bad enough having a blog, let alone a blog you don’t use. However, it’s been for good reason. I’ve been held up writing (excuses!!!). I’m going to do my best to get back on here, as a matter of fact I’m going to cheat and have another post following this one… a video about writing… which, is a paradox of this joshford website.

I’m stepping away to contemplate story ideas and life. Trying not to overthink life more than I already do.  Also, I’m off to watch the Packers VS Patriots, I’m already stressed.

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers Matthews belt This will be my last desperate (and maybe pathetic) attempt to push the Green Bay Packers into the throats of any football fan. I’m well aware this is Seattle / Denver week, and I’m also well aware that I’m partially delusional to hold the Packers on such a large pedestal as I currently do. Lets be real, they’ve been getting their asses kicked for the last three years. Oh wait, what a perfect segway!

But first, a disclaimer: I love the Green Bay Packers. I really do. I have professional football love for Aaron Rodgers, and did I mention I love the Green Bay Packers. That’s why it kind of kills me to write this…

There aren’t many players in the NFL with distinct badass football moves. When I say moves I mean celebrations, not jukes, or hurdles that running backs do. We’re talking very specific association with one action and one player. The few that come to mind are Colin Kapernick kissing his dumb bicep, Cam Newton doing his Superman thing, and… wait. Is that it? I think it may be. But there used to be one more and it was Aaron Rodgers doing the “Title Belt” which somehow is now associated with State Farm Insurance as the “Discount Double Check” and this really pisses me off.

I hate to say this but, Aaron Rodger sold the fuck out (and not in the good way). Not only did he sell out but he stripped us all of seeing him toss a fake WWE belt around his waste for the next god knows how many years. We’ve lost the arrogance that any good celebratory move has. If you were or are a wresting fan you know how important “moves” are, it’s a calling card. It’s a moment for all of us to say, “oh shit, Aaron Rodgers is about to do something crazy”.

The mind blowing thing about all of this is that the Aaron Rodgers was literally set up to be stuck with the “Title Belt” association forever. If we recall, Clay Matthews draped a fake WWE belt over his shoulder when they won the Superbowl (picture above). He was primed to be stuck with it! What happened!? Why’d he sell it to State Farm Insurance!? Why’d he just give away the rights to something so great!? WHY!?

Was it the money? Maybe, but two years after he became associated with the belt he got the best contract in NFL quarterback history.  He had to know something big was coming, right? Or is that naive of me? Was it the fact he didn’t want to be associated with the WWE? Maybe, but I doubt it, because he wouldn’t have done the belt gesture in the first place. Was it the fact that he was hooking up his buddy at State Farm? No, probably not.

You know the worst part about all of this? It’s that he doesn’t even do the move anymore, he just stopped. He allows some moron on TV to do in front of him. He literally sold out, and I don’t know if he expected so many people to pick up on this but they did, and it sucks because we’ve been stripped of happiness, and I feel deep down he wants to do it. NAY, not think, he does want to do. Just watch his reaction against the Bears.

So what’s the deal? Why’d he go State Farm? How did this happen? Is it a coincidence that once he stopped the “Title Belt” they’ve been going down hill? God, I just can’t get into that.

Aaron Rodgers sold out. But not just sold out, he sold a longterm move, he sold an association. He stripped millions of kids around the world doing something awesome when they score a touch down on the playground. These kind of things come along once every so often so to see it is special, especially when it happens organically - that’s even more special. Dammit it pisses me off.

Go Packers.

Oh God, I just found this and it break my heart: Shit!

Predicting The Future: Screenwriting

Welcome to the first ever installment of Predicting The Future. I imagine these posts will be random and sporadic… Like the future!

I had a conversation with my friend about screenwriting. I said, “Remember when people didn’t have the internet or computers to write screenplays? 

I proceeded to think about the time and effort that once went into researching screenplays. I bitch and moan when my internet is running slow or the batteries to my keyboard are low. After that I poured a little out for the trailblazers who used pen to paper or fingers to typewriter. 

A second after that I started to think about the future. There will probably be a future-ish me thinking, “Man, remember when they had computers and had to type everything out to write screenplays?” (Hopefully future-ish me will pour a little out). I got to thinking about how I think screenwriting may evolve, and this is what I got… 

Future screenwriting programs will be able to understand what is being typed, and based off of just the little bit that is typed, an algorithm will kick in and the program will generate thousands of options regarding where a story can go. Meaning, I write my first act and my program will then say: 

“Josh here is the options for the next 10 pages…15 pages…. 30 pages….” 

Essentially the computer becomes the writer in some regards. I imagine there will be different options as to how far this could go. Does the computer generate the entire story? Does it get a sense of how you write and then take over? Does it tell you what is most marketable? Does it tell you what is least obvious? The possibilities are scary.

Also, the other obvious prediction for writing screenplays is eliminating the writing altogether so you’re speaking screenplays. I wonder if this period of time is the last hurrah before “writing” is actually eliminated? The machines are taking over. I just poured a little out. 

Packers VS 49ers: The Aftermath

NFL: NOV 01 Vikings at Packers Well, that was painful. Not sure I want to go through that every again. I started the game telling myself that I’d do a liveblog because I wanted to document my ups and downs. It only took about half of the first quarter to realize there was not a fucking chance I’d be able to multi task and things weren’t looking great for my Packers. I turned my computer off (grabbed my phone) and stared at my TV screen while pacing and being a fan from the Midwest. Wait. Shit. This feeling sucks.

I can’t think. I don’t want to write. I don’t want to think about Jim Harbough on the sideline, Colin Kapernick running, that dude Hyde who dropped a 4th quarter interception, Colin Kapernick running, Packers injuries, Colin Kapernick running, dropped balls, the entire first quarter, and Colin Kapernick.

Damn. This one stings. Fortunately I’m a *tad bit older and wiser and I won’t go into a shit fit like I would've done a few years ago. The Packers took one on the chin, again. Kapernick owns the Packers and it kills me to say it, but I won’t hide from the truth! I can’t. I’m about to cry.

Fuck it. It’s just football. Onward 2014.

—————————————————————————————————————————

Actually, just one final thing: I had a text thread going with a few people. Specifically my good friend, DJ. This was his final text to me:

Bad play calling in the first quarter came back to haunt us. Dumb, stupid, conservative McCarthy play calling. 

Can’t say I disagree with that. Honorable mention for his text that came an hour earlier:

There is something to be said about pre-mixing Micheladas for Packers games. 

Can’t say I disagree with that either.

Packer Playoffs and the return of Lost Hope.

Coffee (check), Packers socks on (check), plopped down on my couch (check), attempt to figure out how to Live Blog on wordpress but couldn’t successfully do it (check), lucky Twitter picture ready to be reposted if need be (check), nervous (sort of check), anxious (check check check). 

Packers game starts in about 30 minutes and I couldn’t be more excited. All of my irrational thoughts throughout the season lead to this game, I love it. That’s the beauty of sports. The fact that we can get a “winner” and “loser” is always the best kind of conclusion. There is definitely a finality to the world of sports, and I’m okay with that. 

I’m not totally sure if it’s the coffee or my nerves but I’m having trouble focusing on this post. Maybe a combination of both. However, I’d like to just express and come clean that there was one point in the season where I lost hope. It happened right after the Lions blew out the Pack on Thanksgiving. I specifically remember telling my friend they should rest Aaron Rodgers and call it a day, there is no way they’re making it to the playoffs. Well, shit. Here we are. I feel like a loser, a man that for a moment became the emotional sports fan that I am. 

I wanted to admit that. Clear my soul of all impurities pre game. I wanted to acknowledge that the hope I once lost has returned and I can't be a stupid fickle loser fan who leaves his team when they're down. I should have never doubted life. 

I feel good about this game. Oddly. Whatever the outcome of this game… I really hope Colin Kapernick doesn’t go berserk on the Packers. I don’t know if I can live through that again. 

Go Packers.

Life In 2014

The new year is an interesting time. I feel that this time along with birthdays are the times that people become the most introspective. We reflect on what the hell we accomplished… or didn’t accomplish. But more importantly, we look forward and think about what we want to do, or what kind of person we want to be. I’m not sure if it’s just me but ringing in a new year seemed like a bigger deal when I was younger. Something about it was so great and if I’m being honest, I felt that I could actually reset the past and wash away my sins. It’s as if the previous year didn’t exist and all is forgiven. Now that I’m older I think I just pray to anyone who will listen that, that’s how I’ll feel when I know in my gut the changing of a year doesn’t mean shit, it’s just another day in the world of time. Thankfully I’m not time, I’m man, and I ignore logicality.

I fucking love new years, sure I may have some internal conflicts about what it really means to me. However, I am certain it does mean something and I love what that something feels like. The scary part is when it wears off. When we hit April or May and everyone is back in their swing again saying to each other, “Oh my god, I can’t believe it’s basically summer.” Reverting back to the tendencies you don’t like is never fun.

So how do you capture that something? How do you hold onto the optimism and clarity when going into a new year? Do we voice out our ambitions to other people? Write down our goals and constantly look at them? Have a friend hold us accountable? I guess it just depends on the type of person you are. Also, how do you account for the variables that seem to change our thinking? Of course, these are all rhetorical questions. The only right answer is what works for us individually.

If you figure out a way to maintain the feeling right around the new year and keep it steady for an entire year you have to let me know your secret. Or don’t. You’ve basically captured lighting in a bottle. I feel like I’m getting close to figuring it out. I always do… but then April or May hit and I look myself in the mirror and say, “Oh my god, I can’t believe it’s basically summer.”

London: One Week Later

Image

I was in London last week and during my trip I intended to film it and update this blog with regular (but brief) entries. Very quickly I knew that I wasn’t filming anything, and not so quickly I realized I wasn’t going to be doing any writing or entries. Why? Well, a few reasons:

1 –I didn’t film because I had friends in town and I didn’t trust myself carrying my camera everywhere. We’d leave the flat for long stretches and I didn’t know if I could confidently say, “I won’t lose my camera.”

2 – Drinking.

That pretty much sums it up.  Let me digress and give a one-week-later London reflection.

It doesn’t help the situation that I’m from the land of beer (Milwaukee) and I was staying with my friend who also was from Wisconsin, and who happened to be hitting a 3-day work hiatus. Also, I had two of my best friends (also from Wisconsin) come visit for two days. When the four of us got together it was as though we could all see into the looking glass and what we saw were pints and hangovers.

Do I wish I had better self control, yes, of course. But my self-control ties into a larger issue with being in London – people like to drink, a lot. There is a pub on nearly every corner. It was as though every stereotype that has ever been said about London was true. I guess stereotypes exist for a reason. Also, I can’t help it if drinking and fun occasionally go hand in hand. I can’t help it that I really like to talk to people and when you’re in a pub getting shitfaced (whoops, excuse me, getting “pissed”) people become more talkative. I can’t help these things. I can only experience them, and that’s what I did.

My drinking experiences directly tied into my lack of motivation to write or do anything. There was one night when I was laying in bed and whipped out my laptop, started to type and this is the actual entry:

Man, what the F d over am I

Yup. You may notice that doesn’t make much sense. There may be a child sitting in preschool somewhere who is going to write the same thing in about 30 minutes. The beauties of drinking. For every great night of conversation there is an incoherent phrase waiting to be muttered.

Moving on from the perpetual state of drunk – London is pretty awesome. I’d be lying if I said that I knew where I was half the time; I couldn’t get my bearings. I kept asking people which way north was and half the time people didn’t know. Of course the monuments and landmarks are beautiful, outside of the city is peaceful, the culture is interesting, the curry was great… The world is fucking awesome.

That’s my takeaway.

That’s always my takeaway when I go somewhere I don’t know. Even if I hate the places I go to, I love that I hate it. I love knowing there are other experiences in the world. There is no substituting experience in life, you either have them or you don’t.

This is it. This is my one-week-later London refection. Pretty in depth, right? I kind of wish there was more to this but I think I need to blame the drinking for lack of substantial memories. There’s just a lot of fragmented good times, and really, how do you express fragmented good times?  The best way is probably through video…

Shit.

London Adventure: Need Advice

http://youtu.be/Zgt3C9IT3mo If my blog post yesterday wasn't enough I went ahead and followed it up with a video. Heading to London, any advice on what to see would be appreciated. I also became "ask-for-help-on-Twitter-guy" in this post. Not something I'm totally proud out, but something I'm coming around to.

Off to London...

Image I’m going to London to meet up with a group of friends. I’ve never been, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to it. Aside from the fact that I like to see people close to me, I also like to get out of the house and explore new territory, and truthfully, I don’t do it enough.

I’m going to cut the shit and get to the chase here because I’m on the verge of walking down a road reflecting on friendship and how life takes us in a new direction and blah blah.

I’m writing this is because I’d like some advice on what to see and where to go in London. I’m not talking about the basic things, i.e.: Big Ben, London bridge, London eye, Windsor castle…  or really anything I can find on the internet in 30 seconds. I’m talking about off the road hole in the wall historic landmarks that I wouldn’t be able to find unless I pleaded for help on the Internet.

Also, and I mean this – If you’re reading this and will be in London over the next few days please don’t hesitate to connect. The best way is to email me: Josh@thebigshoe.tv or twitter: @JoshuaHallman

(Just became that dude asking people to tweet me)

Only reach out if you want to have a drink and talk about life, movies, sports, adventures, conspiracies, travel, and writing. Hope to talk with someone somewhere, it would be cool to connect... I think.