#Pete30Before30 Wrap Up: Part 3

A few more of these, two days before my birthday. Scanning what is to come I see that I failed on a few of these, ugh.

14)    Have Some Class
I’m going to take a class in something I don’t know about: parkour, basket weaving, candlemaking?!  No, but something cool.

Since Ash and I had our second child during my 29th year we took a childbirth class with a doula as a refresher but I certainly learned new things. It was empowering and it led to an awesome birth experience (you can read our birth story here). And it's not like I'm taking a class in producing my audiobook right now but I am learning a ton as I'm doing it.

15)    It’s Time for the Percolator
I don’t know how to make coffee.  That, paired with not knowing how to work a multi-line phone is what made me a terrible production assistant, glad I’m (fingers crossed) past that stage in my career.  But I’m still going to learn how to make coffee.  Maybe I can take a coffee making class and kill two birds with one stone.

So I didn't learn how to make coffee BUT I learned that I am an iced coffee man. I would like to make my own cold brew at some point, but I haven't yet. This is sort of a fail but I definitely have enjoyed searching for the best cups of iced coffee, cold brews, etc.

16)    En-capsule-lating Our Lives
I can’t remember if I’ve ever done a time capsule, which means it wasn’t memorable if I have, but I know Christian hasn’t done one.  So we’re going to do one, or maybe a couple so we can bury them at his grandparents’ houses and dig them up in the future and laugh at how we used to have cell phones instead of the brain implants we’re all assigned at birth.
17)    Guilding the Petey
I’m going to join the Producer’s Guild solely for the end of the year screeners.  I mean, health care options, awesome panels, and such will be an added bonus, but yeah, just for the screeners.
18)    Be Preachy
I was asked to potentially officiate the wedding of a friend, I’m going to get ordained!  I’m not sure what this entails, I even had to Google ‘the guy at the wedding who says the stuff’ to even see that the correct word was officiate, so this is going to be a long process.

I did not do ANY of those three, and I have excuses, sort of. There's no excuse for the time capsule one, I should have done that but as far as the Producer's Guild we were saving money this year for when the baby came so I didn't feel like spending the money and time to join, but I do still want to do that. I also didn't get ordained because no one asked me to marry them, so I didn't have to, the jury is still out if I'll ever have to do that one.

19)    Fading In and Out
Going back to a similar theme as the seeing the classic movies goal, I’m a screenwriter and I seldom read screenplays, so I’m going to read (at least) 30 of them.  I’m in love with writing so I should check out what my peers and heroes are doing on their pages as well.

I didn't get to 30 screenplays, but this was an awesome one. Super educational and very fun. I hope the movies I read turn out being as good as the ones I imagined while reading them. The only movie that I've seen that I read the screenplay for through this was The Cabin In The Woods and man that was an enjoyable read.

20)    Cyberspace-lift
My website, www.PeterLHarmon.com (#Pete30Before30) needs to be redone (and it already sort of has, still some tweaks though.)

I actually fully did this! I have more ideas for the site too! A "Book Buzz" page where I have reviews and such, more blogs posts, etc etc. Stay tuned!

21)    Lose Weight
No, not like that!  Every time I travel with the fam we’re in the airport stressed, our bags are too heavy, it’s a whole ordeal that makes me hate traveling.  So I’m going to practice traveling light.  Maybe I can go on a trip with just a backpack full of essential clothing, we’ll see.

I didn't do too much traveling this year but when I did I tried this, especially during my quick trip to Maryland. However, now that we have two kids and a dog, I'm dreading our next flight... 

22)    Get Jumped
Thankfully I’ve never had to know how to jump start a car, but I’m going to learn now, it’s important probably.

OK, this is going to sound bad because I didn't do this one either (lay off alright, we have two kids!) BUT my car didn't start once this past year and I found out how to get quick service that's covered by my warranty and a guy comes with a battery box thing and starts the car in two seconds, so why risk me doing something wrong and blowing up my car when I can get the guy to come do it for free? That sounds smarter to me (but I know I sound like the worst...)

Let's go out on a high note tonight: 23)    Smile Like I Mean It
Because I had a cleft lip I’ve had difficult teeth that have required a lot of maintenance, and I kept up with it pretty well.  But over the past couple of years I stopped going to the dentist regularly because I work so much that I didn’t want to take off to go, and then I finally went earlier in the year and I had some work to do.  So, from now on I’m going to take care of this group of friends in my mouth that I call a smile.

I did this! Thank God for dental insurance, I put some money where my mouth is. AND I floss and brush twice a day and now I use mouthwash and I wear TWO retainers at night. I did the heck out of this one.

Phew, more coming soon!


#Pete30Before30 Wrap Up: Part 2

I'll discuss a few more of my #30Before30 things now, one week from my 30th birthday!

6)    Play it for the first time, Sam
I went through a bunch of ’30 movies to see before you turn 30’ lists and put together a set of movies that I should have seen already.  Classics that not only as a former film student I am ashamed that I haven’t seen, but I’m ashamed as a human (cough, The Godfather, cough), so uh, yeah, I’m going to watch those, so I don’t have to smile and nod when people are discussing horse heads in beds and offers people can’t refuse or whatever.

OK, well I didn't keep track of this as closely as I should have and unless Training Day (which I rewatched the other night) counts as a classic movie (which I would argue IT DOES!) then I think I'm more than a few shy of 30. I did watch: Annie HallChinatownDefending Your LifeGlengarry Glen RossGoodfellasGrease, and Philadelphia to name the ones I kept track of. This was also a learning experience though. I don't think I could power through several classic movies in a row. I need a wide variety of older movies, dumb movies from my past (I'm looking at you Mortal Kombat: Annihilation), and the best of modern day movies (Ex MachinaStar Wars: The Force AwakensThe Revenant... and that's just great movies with Domhnall Gleeson in them!) So yes, I did really love watching the classics, but I have to keep abreast of what's happening as well. I am going to try to incorporate more classic movies into my diet though.

Speaking of a variety of movies, you've got to check out my friend Joe Frank's debut movie Sweaty Betty, now available on Amazon on DVD or streaming.

In a cramped row house on the border of Washington, D.C., two stories of big dreams take place. Floyd and his family have raised a 1000-pound pig in their backyard, and are determined to turn her into the team mascot for the Redskins football team. Floyd puts his plan into motion, but the pig, named Miss Charlotte, draws unwanted attention. A few blocks away, Rico and Scooby, two teenage single fathers and best friends, are hanging around the neighborhood. As they scheme up a plan for a better life for themselves and their children, they are presented with an unexpected opportunity. Based on a true story! From the Producer of Straight Outta Compton.

"The great discovery of this year's SXSW festival" --Eric Cohn, Indiewire

7)    Kiss the Cook…
I love to cook, but I return to the same things over and over.  I need to add some new dishes into my life and maybe try some baking.  Plus, who doesn’t love pictures of food on instagram!?

I most certainly did this. A couple standouts were: banana and egg pancakes (that's it, those are the only ingredients! you can add vanilla or blueberries or whatever, but they're so good and easy), black bean burgers, a buffalo tofu and bleu cheese panini, and many, many more. I tagged them #Cook30 on my Instagram. I'm going to try to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into my life because in general meat in America isn't handled well. It contributes to pollution in a major way, the animals are treated cruelly, etc. BUT, any time my brother in law Josh kills and prepares deer meat I'm in because he hunts his own meat, stores it, and uses it to feed his family and lucky others. 

8)    And Food for Thought
And in the same vein, eat better!  I eat fairly healthfully now, but I can do better.  No soda, no artificial sweeteners, etc, so that I’ll see the next 30 years, or 300, who knows with technology advancing the way it is these days.

I gave up soda and diet soda, I stopped using Sweet N Low and switched to Raw Sugar, I drank more seltzer water and less drinks with calories in them. I generally ate pretty well... However, I didn't cut down on caffeine or alcohol, if anything I doubled down, haha! Those are still areas where I could improve but I love a good buzz going up or down. I am going to go all out on my birthday, but I could probably take some time off afterwards.

 must have...

must have...

9)    Adventure Time!
I’m going to take my family on 30 adventures this year.  The beach, a new museum… San Francisco maybe?  Christian loves to learn, Ash loves to travel, and I love to walk around new places drinking caffeinated and/or alcoholic beverages, so let’s combine that into some amazing trips and new experiences.

Some notable family adventures: going fishing, Street Food Cinema, Santa Barbara day trip, Palm Springs, Sriracha Chili Grinding Festival, Krispy Kreme's Talk Like a Pirate Day, Christian learning to swim over the summer, Big Bear, the LA Zoo, Bro's Mornings, Sky High Trampoline Park, and of course, the biggest adventure of all, having another baby, yowza!

10)    Investing in Myself
I’m going to start saving for my retirement.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to work, to a certain extent, but some day I’d like to not work, so I gotta get on that, I’m almost 30 for goodness sakes.

I was not able to do this, in fact, I'm looking for a new gig right now so if you hear of anything, let me know...

However!!! I was talking to a good friend the other night, Marc E., editor extraordinaire and person of frequent mention on blogs across the land, and he was talking about another gentleman who said you should have a way of making money that makes money for you instead of you making money for someone else... whatever, I'm butchering the concept, but anyway, writing my book was another stream of income that will hopefully become a way of making money while I make money at my other job, you know? So far I've spent way more on marketing the book than I've gotten paid in royalties, but someday hopefully that tide will change or the book will get optioned to be a movie or what have you. And I'm going to keep writing books and keep making that "mailbox money" as one might say.

Did I mention buy my book?!

11)    Let Them See You Sweat
Exercise for (at least) 30 minutes a day, (at least) 4 times a week.  Straight up.

Check.

12)    Take a Stand
Yep, I’m going to be ‘that guy’ at work with the standing desk.  I haven’t done too much research into the whole ‘sitting down for however many hours a day is going to kill you’ thing, but I know people who have looked into it, and I trust them.

I did this at work for 1 out of 3 jobs last year, so not the majority, but I did it at home too though. After Calvin was born my go-to move for a couple weeks was to wear him in the Baby Bjorn while I wrote at my stand up desk, pretty sweet.

And the last one for this batch, lucky 13)    Worth a Thousand Words, But What’s That in Dollars These Days?
I’m going to take and post a picture on instagram every day, #Pete30Before30, because there’s beauty all around, even in the mundane, and I need to take more time to stop and recognize all the wonderful… just kidding, I need more social media followers so that I can sell more books, haha!  The other stuff is true too though!!

You can see all of my picture-a-day posts by searching the hashtag #Pete30Before30 on Instagram. I did indeed increase my social media followers this year, on Instagram I have more than double what I did last year and I know that I have made book sales directly by posting on my social media accounts, so onward and upward.

Alright, more to come later, thanks!!

#Pete30Before30 Wrap Up: Part 1

It's almost here... I turn 30 years old in 2 weeks! It's been an incredible year and I think that a lot of that will come out as I wrap up my 30 Before 30: 30 things I wanted to accomplish, watch, even buy, in the year before I turned 30. This is just Part 1, I'll do a couple now and a couple more until I've covered all 30.

So here we go!

My original post will be in italics, then I'll type up my summary in good ole' normal type.

1)    Save Face
I was born with a cleft lip, I donate money to Operation Smile to help kids less fortunate than me get the life changing surgery that I was blessed enough to get when I needed it.  Over the course of this year I’ll donate enough for one surgery ($240), please join me in donating if you so desire.  I set up a OneSmile page where you can donate along with me here:
http://tinyurl.com/PetesOneSmile

I have indeed donated my $240 for one surgery (which I'll do every year by the way). I set another goal to raise donations for another $240 for another surgery and a bunch of awesome people donated and we raised an additional $300!! I'm going to try to push for another $180 on my birthday so that all in all 3 kids will have had their lives changed, but even what we did already is pretty cool. Thank you to anyone who donated.

 

2)    Don’t Run in Place, Run at a Place
I’m going to run a 5k!  Hopefully a fun one that involves beer or inflatable obstacles or mud or something.  This will be probably pretty tough for me and I’ll have to do some training for it.  I’ll keep you posted on which one I do so you can come along.  Maybe I’ll run for Operation Smile and raise some more money!

Man, this one was pretty cool. First of all I was able to raise money for Operation Smile through running the 5K. I ran the LA Harvest Festival Pumpkin Run and at the end I got a pumpkin! Another cool part about this goal was that I hated running but through training for the 5K I kind of got into running and now I run a couple days a week, so this was a life changer.

 

3)    Let Me Upgrade Me
I use my laptop computer every day at work, I write scripts and things on it, I’m writing this on it currently, right this second.  I got my MacBook before Facebook was invented…  It’s old.  I need a new one.  I’m going to do the damn thing and invest in a new laptop.

All I have to say about this one is... bling blinggg (and see picture below).

 

4)    A Novel Idea
Here’s a big announcement…  I have a deal with a publishing company to publish a novella I wrote.  This is beyond a dream come true, it’s a dream that I never knew I had in me really, I didn’t think it was possible.  I will write about this in length as the different steps happen.  So excited!!

In June of 2015 my first novel The Happenstances at the Yellow County Community Swim and Racquet Club the Summer Before Last was published by Koehler Books, it has been such a cool experience! I've been working hard to try to get the word out about the book. I've bought ads, been a guest on some of my favorite podcasts, and really hit the social media hard. In fact, if you still haven't bought the book you should go here: www.tinyurl.com/TheHappenstances and get the paperback or kindle version, what are you waiting for!?

AND, I'm working on a follow up novel to The Happenstances... where we'll pick back up with the Yellow County crew a couple of years later. Look out for that in probably 2017.

Here's a picture of me when I first got to hold a hard copy of my book:

 

5)    Be a Sport
I like sports, I like to play sports, but I hardly watch sporting events.  I’m going to make up for my total lack of sporting knowledge by watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries.

OK, this will be the last one for today, and we'll end this group on a failure... I only watched 8 of these (list below) but every one I saw was excellent and I learned a ton that I didn't know before. I am definitely going to continue to incorporate these and of course other docs into my life. There's nothing better than a well-done documentary.

So those were my first five 30 Before 30 goals and how they turned out. Stay tuned for the rest of the list...

 

Am I normal?

Today I heard two opposing views on approaching life.  One, a coworker, who I know is passionate in another area besides the thing he gets paid to do for 10+ hours a day, 5 days a week, the other from a celebrity who is a top performer in her sport.

The coworker was bemoaning that possibly next week we'll probably have to stay late to finish a project.  He said that he has other priorities, he hopes he gets paid overtime, and at his age (not very old at all) he has lost the edge that he once had for going the extra mile, building his reputation, etc.

The celebrity, she's an athlete, said that literally she wants to be the best at her sport ever, and pays a team of people to take her out of her comfort zone daily in order to reach that goal.

I'm not sure if either of these viewpoints would necessarily have made a huge impact on me separately, but they came in such rapid succession that they really hit me.

Hearing my coworker I thought: I get it, it sucks to not get to see your kid at night, it sucks to work overtime and lose sleep, it sucks to have a passion in something and not get to make your living in that field.  

But that's natural.  That's normal.

Hearing the celebrity-athlete I thought wow (besides every single rapper) I've never heard someone say "I want to be the best ever" and be serious and not actually be that far off arguably. 

It made me want to work harder at my day job, my writing, being a daddy/husband, being healthy.  Because like I said, the former viewpoint is normal, but being willing to sacrifice is abnormal.  

I think I want to be abnormal.

#Pete30Before30

I turn 29 years old today, which means next year I turn 30.  Damn, that’s intense right?  I mean as much as you want to say age is just a number or 30 is the new 20 or Orange is the new Black, and so forth, it’s still a milestone.  
And as I thought of what kind of 30 year old I’m going to be, on the one hand I’m feeling good: married, a child, a good job in a cool city, etc etc, but on the other hand I thought, how could I be better?  Or what haven’t I done so far that I should have?  What do I not know that I should?  
So I put together a list of 30 ‘things’ that I am going to try to do/eat/watch/learn before I turn 30.  I thought this was a pretty original concept, it’s not, I Googled it and many 29ers have embarked on similar journeys.  And I’m another one!
Here’s my list, in no particular order, I’ll be tracking it on social media as #Pete30Before30

1)    Save Face
I was born with a cleft lip, I donate money to Operation Smile to help kids less fortunate than me get the life changing surgery that I was blessed enough to get when I needed it.  Over the course of this year I’ll donate enough for one surgery ($240), please join me in donating if you so desire.  I set up a OneSmile page where you can donate along with me here: 
http://tinyurl.com/PetesOneSmile
2)    Don’t Run in Place, Run at a Place
I’m going to run a 5k!  Hopefully a fun one that involves beer or inflatable obstacles or mud or something.  This will be probably pretty tough for me and I’ll have to do some training for it.  I’ll keep you posted on which one I do so you can come along.  Maybe I’ll run for Operation Smile and raise some more money!
3)    Let Me Upgrade Me
I use my laptop computer every day at work, I write scripts and things on it, I’m writing this on it currently, right this second.  I got my MacBook before Facebook was invented…  It’s old.  I need a new one.  I’m going to do the damn thing and invest in a new laptop.
4)    A Novel Idea
Here’s a big announcement…  I have a deal with a publishing company to publish a novella I wrote.  This is beyond a dream come true, it’s a dream that I never knew I had in me really, I didn’t think it was possible.  I will write about this in length as the different steps happen.  So excited!!
5)    Be a Sport
I like sports, I like to play sports, but I hardly watch sporting events.  I’m going to make up for my total lack of sporting knowledge by watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries.
6)    Play it for the first time, Sam
I went through a bunch of ’30 movies to see before you turn 30’ lists and put together a set of movies that I should have seen already.  Classics that not only as a former film student I am ashamed that I haven’t seen, but I’m ashamed as a human (cough, The Godfather, cough), so uh, yeah, I’m going to watch those, so I don’t have to smile and nod when people are discussing horse heads in beds and offers people can’t refuse or whatever.
7)    Kiss the Cook…
I love to cook, but I return to the same things over and over.  I need to add some new dishes into my life and maybe try some baking.  Plus, who doesn’t love pictures of food on instagram!?
8)    And Food for Thought
And in the same vein, eat better!  I eat fairly healthfully now, but I can do better.  No soda, no artificial sweeteners, etc, so that I’ll see the next 30 years, or 300, who knows with technology advancing the way it is these days.
9)    Adventure Time!
I’m going to take my family on 30 adventures this year.  The beach, a new museum… San Francisco maybe?  Christian loves to learn, Ash loves to travel, and I love to walk around new places drinking caffeinated and/or alcoholic beverages, so let’s combine that into some amazing trips and new experiences.
10)    Investing in Myself
I’m going to start saving for my retirement.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to work, to a certain extent, but some day I’d like to not work, so I gotta get on that, I’m almost 30 for goodness sakes.
11)    Let Them See You Sweat
Exercise for (at least) 30 minutes a day, (at least) 4 times a week.  Straight up.
12)    Take a Stand
Yep, I’m going to be ‘that guy’ at work with the standing desk.  I haven’t done too much research into the whole ‘sitting down for however many hours a day is going to kill you’ thing, but I know people who have looked into it, and I trust them.
13)    Worth a Thousand Words, But What’s That in Dollars These Days?
I’m going to take and post a picture on instagram every day, #Pete30Before30, because there’s beauty all around, even in the mundane, and I need to take more time to stop and recognize all the wonderful… just kidding, I need more social media followers so that I can sell more books, haha!  The other stuff is true too though!!
14)    Have Some Class
I’m going to take a class in something I don’t know about: parkour, basket weaving, candlemaking?!  No, but something cool.
15)    It’s Time for the Percolator 
I don’t know how to make coffee.  That, paired with not knowing how to work a multi-line phone is what made me a terrible production assistant, glad I’m (fingers crossed) past that stage in my career.  But I’m still going to learn how to make coffee.  Maybe I can take a coffee making class and kill two birds with one stone.
16)    En-capsule-lating Our Lives
I can’t remember if I’ve ever done a time capsule, which means it wasn’t memorable if I have, but I know Christian hasn’t done one.  So we’re going to do one, or maybe a couple so we can bury them at his grandparents’ houses and dig them up in the future and laugh at how we used to have cell phones instead of the brain implants we’re all assigned at birth.
17)    Guilding the Petey
I’m going to join the Producer’s Guild solely for the end of the year screeners.  I mean, health care options, awesome panels, and such will be an added bonus, but yeah, just for the screeners.
18)    Be Preachy
I was asked to potentially officiate the wedding of a friend, I’m going to get ordained!  I’m not sure what this entails, I even had to Google ‘the guy at the wedding who says the stuff’ to even see that the correct word was officiate, so this is going to be a long process.
19)    Fading In and Out
Going back to a similar theme as the seeing the classic movies goal, I’m a screenwriter and I seldom read screenplays, so I’m going to read (at least) 30 of them.  I’m in love with writing so I should check out what my peers and heroes are doing on their pages as well.
20)    Cyberspace-lift
My website, www.PeterLHarmon.com (#Pete30Before30) needs to be redone (and it already sort of has, still some tweaks though.)
21)    Lose Weight
No, not like that!  Every time I travel with the fam we’re in the airport stressed, our bags are too heavy, it’s a whole ordeal that makes me hate traveling.  So I’m going to practice traveling light.  Maybe I can go on a trip with just a backpack full of essential clothing, we’ll see.
22)    Get Jumped
Thankfully I’ve never had to know how to jump start a car, but I’m going to learn now, it’s important probably.
23)    Smile Like I Mean It
Because I had a cleft lip I’ve had difficult teeth that have required a lot of maintenance, and I kept up with it pretty well.  But over the past couple of years I stopped going to the dentist regularly because I work so much that I didn’t want to take off to go, and then I finally went earlier in the year and I had some work to do.  So, from now on I’m going to take care of this group of friends in my mouth that I call a smile.
24)    Media Multitask
In the past I’ve not watched a show or read a book because I was already involved with another show, book, etc.  But I want to multitask with my media.  Maybe I’ll be reading 3 books at a time, or I’ll toggle between “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards”.  I think it’ll be good for me because sometimes I’m not feeling the particular single book I’m reading at the moment and then I won’t read for weeks, so now I’ll have a couple options to jump around to.
25)    Throw Out the First Pitch
They say to love what loves you back, and Reality TV has been good to me.  I would love to be a full time television or feature film screenwriter, but until then, I should develop some reality TV pitches, so I’m going to do one.
26)    Man of a House
We already moved into our first single family home, so I kind of already crushed this one, BUT with a great house comes great responsibility, so I’m going to be on my house-game and get in some good practice for when Ash and I can buy our own house in the future.
27)    Fresh Ink
I’m going to get a half-sleeve of tattoos before I turn 30, then I can always say it was something dumb I did in my twenties.  I won’t have that excuse next year, so I gotta get it done.
28)    Have a Spec-tacular year
I’m going to write a new TV spec script, which for those who don’t know, is one of the ways you get hired for a TV writing job.  I wrote one for “Up All Night” (you can read it here: http://tinyurl.com/UpAllNightSpec) a year or so ago, but that show was canceled, so even though it’s a good sample, it’s not a great sample.  I need a fresh one of an airing show.
29)    Paint the Town, Or At Least a Wall, Red… Or Some Other Color 
I’ve never painted a wall either, so I’m going to do that.  Probably an accent wall in the aforementioned awesome house that we live in.
30)    Keep doing ME!
And also, hey, I’m not doing so bad being my damn self.  Remember the things I mentioned at the top: married, child, job, etc?  I’m doing a lot of things right and I’m super blessed.  I’m going to stay true to my work ethic and creativity and what makes me me and continue living live 100%.