Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Danielle does Disneyland


Danielle, Mommy, and Daddy took a whirlwind tour of Los Angeles, which served as a business trip, vacation, catch-up time with old friends and new, and a recon mission to see where (and if) we might want to live in L.A.

We answered the "if": the answer is yes, we're going, barring serious unforeseen disaster. Nevermind the foreseen disaster. Life is short, and we've been broke before, so there ya go.

As for the "where", we got lots of help from old friends, and new friends, like Dad's friend Cliff. In order of preference, it looks like:
  1. Santa Monica
  2. West or North Hollywood
  3. Burbank
  4. Glendale
  5. Sherman Oaks
  6. Silverlake
  7. Eagle Rock.

Meanwhile, Danielle's new favorite uncle and Disney Benefactor, Reagan Brown, scored us free admission to the Magic Kingdom. Danielle wasn't quite sure what was going on, but she was out of her mind with joy. I was amazed at the logistical precision of the place. Danielle was amazed at how many kids there are in this place!

I've created a photo album of some of our favorite pics here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ready for L.A.

Big D is asleep. Mary and I are up late, packing for an 8:30 a.m. departure to L.A. tomorrow. Will be interesting to see how Danielle handles the flight! Yikes...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Horns spank Mizzou; brunch with Cita & Lizzie

Sunday morning, the day after the UT Longhorns consolidated their grip on the BCS #1 ranking by dismantling the Missouri Tigers, Cita treated us all to brunch downtown at Pecan Street Cafe. Lizzie, Mary, and I took turns walking Danielle around so the rest of us could eat, until we figured out that Big D really loved the "fizzy" sounds that jelly beans make when you put them in water with lemon. The waiter loved us. ;-)

Danielle had a blast, and insisted on a two-arm swing ride from Aunt ZZ and Momma to cap off the morning. Then we dragged her off to a bunch of appointments and errands, including Daddy picking up his new baby: iPhone 3G. Yeaaaaaaah, baaaaabeeee. Momma inherits The Original.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New blog

In the interest of not overrunning our family blog with my sometimes grim-sounding financial journal, I have moved all my economy-watch posts to a new blog.

We'll save this one for stuff that really matters, like Danielle in her cute "Rock Star" t-shirt.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008



There. I'm done fiddle-farting around, as Dad would say. I'll find a way to make it work. Even in the midst of the next great depression.

If it doesn't work, takes too long, or generally bores me, well, at least I'll know that, too, and can move on in a new direction.

I said I'd keep you posted.
I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.
-Everett Dirksen

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Danielle and Zach visit

Yay! Daddy finally remembered to get some video and photos for the blog!

Well, sort of. Actually, it was Mommy who remembered. But hey, who's counting?

Aunt Lizzie and her boyfriend Zach came over for dinner, and thoroughly entertained our daughter Danielle, who was jamming to "Wheels on the Bus". Zach just moved to the ATX- welcome! - and Aunt ZZ just completed her freshman midterms at UT. They're both feeling out the city.

Z got a scary taste of Life in the Big City last weekend when a crazy redneck with a gun started acting up at a popular eatery on the Drag. Fortunately, she's packing Dad's pepper spray! I told her I would give her self-defense lessons, if she wanted.

We did grab some video of Danielle rocking out with her Aunt. If you listen closely, you can hear her say "ZZ" and "Zach". We were so glad they came over. Hope to see them again soon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One thing at a time

Patience has never been my strong suit.

That's a trait of Guilbot men, I've observed. I like my problems fixed, fixed now, and fixed clean, dammit. I'm with that Microsoft exec who had the sign on his desk: "Decisions in ten minutes or less, or the next one's free."

So, it has been torture, absolute friggin' torture for me to go around and around in my own head about
  • stay on our half-acre plot of land and remodel our cool modern house, OR buy/build a house;
  • move to L.A. OR stay in Austin;
  • pursue an acting career full-time, OR do it part-time;
  • keep working a boring corporate gig, OR devote a lot of time and energy to being an author and speaker (or actor);
  • what is success? a comfortable middle-class existence, or financial freedom via crazy dedication to a goal?
I still haven't figured it out, but now there is a happy new variable in play. More on that later...

But what I have figured out is that the answer is not likely to be clean and easy. It's going to be messy and hard. Not like, climb to the top of the mountain, obtain the wisdom of a guru, execute said wisdom. More like throw a bunch of spaghetti at the wall, and see what sticks.

Looking back at my life, I have realized some things:
  • I bounce back from poverty pretty darn well.
  • I don't suffer fools easily.
  • I like relatively short-term projects with a sense of accomplishment at the end. I get bored easily.
  • I have a lot of interests, a fair amount of talents, and can make money in many different ways.
  • I have made the most money as a consultant in the corporate world, getting paid in relation to some big information technology (IT) project.
  • I have made a LOT more money as an actor than as a musician, and in a much shorter time.
  • I seem to have a natural talent and affinity for writing and for performing- acting and public speaking in particular.
  • I like the lifestyle and control of an author better than that of an actor or consultant.
  • The incongruity of making money at one thing while aspiring to do something else full-time bugs the crap out of me.
  • I dislike being poor.
  • I am not very patient.
So these are clues, anyway, to point me in the right direction.

And direction is really the key. Once I have decided what target I'm aiming for, all the rest follows suit. But maybe instead of a nice, clear bulls-eye, I will, for now, have to settle for a general direction. In the words of Captain Kirk, "Out there. That-a-way."

I'll keep you posted.