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Life: Older 2014

Posted in 104, anniversary, awesomeness, bad ideas, blame society, comics, family, happiness, inspiration, life, relationships on January 20th, 2014 by Hannibal Tabu
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hannibal tabu 2014

Once again, I stand poised on the precipice of change, winds of possibility buffeting me as I wonder at tomorrow.

The last year has been interesting, from my first health crisis to moving to winning the Top Cow Talent Hunt to a host of other opportunities, challenges, amusements and foibles. I got into Eccleston’s Doctor Who. I saw my wife’s design business expand. I got an iPad upgrade. I DJed the LA County Fair after parties again, plus a number of other fun private affairs. I had enormous challenges in my professional life. I got to see more of my little girls becoming little people, their personalities gelling and becoming what they will be. I cemented a new tradition of birthday karaoke, low stress, fun times, no drama.

I’m still standing. I’m still here. I’m grateful and determined and sleepy and moving forward.

I’m showing off art from an Eisner winner, made from my words. I’m in a long term partnership with a brilliant independent from my home town.

I’m not afraid, most of all. It feels good, especially since I spent most of my life believing I wouldn’t survive my 40th year, like Malcolm or Martin or many others.

On the other hand, Stan Lee allegedly created Spider-Man when he was 40, so let’s see what’s next, shall we?

Should be fun!

Playing (Music): “As” by Stevie Wonder

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Life: Older 2013

Posted in life on January 20th, 2013 by Hannibal Tabu
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“… I tried to be perfect
it just wasn’t worth it
nothing could ever be so wrong
it’s hard to believe me
it never gets easy
I guess I knew that all along

As the clock ticked over to start my fortieth trip around an impossible ball of gas explosions, I sat in a run down bar in Torrance, California, bracketed with commentary on Doctor Who and reminiscences over a fallen friend. One of my best friends stood on stage, maybe twenty five feet away, finishing up strains of “The Ballroom Blitz.” The songs I sang on the eve of this milestone will provide punctuation for these musings.

“… there are many thing that I would like to say to you
but I don’t know how …

On one hand, I have a laundry list of accomplishments worth noting. Edited a national magazine with a circulation of 200,000 by the time I was 21. Guiding hand in the construction of five multi-million dollar websites. Two novels published. Poetry published in a number of anthologies and journals. Talented wife, wonderful children, steady job at a company investing in growth.

“… off in the night, while you live it up, I’m off to sleep
waging wars to shape the poet and the beat
I hope it’s gonna make you notice
I hope it’s gonna make you notice

… someone like me …”

I have my share of demerits and disparagements against my name. A failed marriage during the first Dubya presidency. Financial catastrophes. Car accidents, almost dying four or five times … in the vernacular, “sh** got real,” too.

“… a heart that’s full up like a land fill,
a job that slowly kills you,
bruises that won’t heal …”

Through out my childhood and my twenties, I had a recurring dream that in September of 2013, I would be run down in the middle of a street by a yellow Ford Gran Torino. It was as crystal clear in my mind as any memory. I don’t seriously believe it will happen, but let’s just say I am going to be very conservative in my movements in September, and likely to drive right up to anywhere I’ll need to be.

“… it’s the terror of knowing
what this world is about
watching some good friends
screaming ‘Let me out’
pray tomorrow gets me higher high high
pressure on people, people on streets …”

One of my strongest beliefs was that a brother younger than 40 in a Cadillac was begging for trouble. I imagined the birthday would come and I’d magically transform — grow gray tinted dreadlocks, ditch the t-shirts and jeans for button shirts and slacks with a mean crease. You know, look like a grown up.

I find the all-purpose style I’ve had since college still holds up, that I can dress it up with a button shirt and take a meeting, but in general, my Nissan Altima’s a more innocuous (and cost effective) choice, that even a week’s worth of hair on my head feels so hot and itchy that it’s simpler to get my latter-season Ben Sisko on. I don’t wanna be somebody different, not like that. Just a more effective me.

“… even the best fall down sometimes
even the wrong words seem to rhyme
out of the doubt that fills your mind
you finally find
you and I
collide …

I say all this to say that I could go in any direction. I could toil away my days like the beleaguered protagonist of The Police’s “Synchronicity 2″ or I could become the Black George Lucas, or hit any point in between. All my best laid plans lie shattered on the road behind me, diminished from the second they made contact with the harsh light of reality. I honestly don’t know where I’m going, or what’s next, but I’m at a point where I care a lot less about it.

“… don’t give up your independence
unless it feels so right
nothing good comes easily
sometimes you gotta fight …”

What I do know is that I’m finding a balance to know what’s right for me. I tweeted this past year that every minute for me is stolen from one of you. That’s fine. It’s not every minute, and I do a lot for others. There’s a space between the vile jackass I once was and the non-stop normal guy I could become where I can take care of business while still furthering my own star-shattering ambitions.

“… nobody said it was easy,
girl it’d be a shame for us to part
nobody said it was easy,
no one ever said it would be so hard

I’m going back to the start …

So, this is 40, with apologies to Judd Apatow.

Playing (Music): “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

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Life: Older 2011

Posted in 104, anniversary, awesomeness, baby, blame society, daughter, family, fatherhood, gratitude, wife on January 20th, 2011 by Hannibal Tabu
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After a long, quiet year, I am back on social networking and a year older.

One more time around the sun

One more time around the sun

As I often tell people, despite all of its challenges, aging is considerably more appealing than the alternative, the icy and inexorable grasp of the great unknown. My predominant emotion these days is gratitude.

Admittedly, exhaustion is a close second.

This year away from you all has given me a great deal of things. When I left, I had done 11 of the proposed 20 chapters for my third novel. As of this moment, I have done 19 and a third. I’m so close I can taste it, but researching some last details have slowed me down a bit.

In the same vein, I’ve had parts of this blog written in my brain for weeks, yet I’m posting it late on the night of my birthday. C’est la vie. The best laid plans of mice and men are just as likely to fail.

Negativity and frustration are not my reasons for sharing this today. I stand with appreciation for all the people whose support have allowed me to rise above the challenges of this wicked, wicked world. First, foremost and with the most enthusiastic of cheer would have to be my wife, who is a flawless combination of striking beauty with crass vulgarity, remarkable talent and extravagant panache, limitless compassion and sassy statements. She has been my guiding star this year, my constant (apologies to Daniel Faraday) and to her I owe so very much.

I’m also greatly appreciative for the people I work with, people who’ve made it possible for me to do things that could be considered amazing. Tony Defazio and Alex Kitay of (respectively) Starlight Entertainment and Singing For Your Supper Entertainment, whose employment allowed me to retire two years ago as the karaoke host for what was named the best bar in the South Bay by the Daily Breeze. I hosted a karaoke show with no cover that, on multiple instances, had a line out the door waiting to get in. None of that could have been done without Alex and Tony’s support, nor could it have been done without the things I stole learned from Mikey de Lara, Michelle Velasco, Dana Walker Inskeep, Levi Strauss and even Percy Souder Jr.

With my day job at MIMCO, I’m more conservative with identities, but I’ve worked with some amazingly talented people who have taught me and challenged me and helped me and sang with me and laughed with me and generally made working a 9-to-5 more than tolerable and sometimes even enjoyable.

There’s friends who’ve traveled with me for decades and ones as loyal as if they had, despite only knowing me after “Obama” became a household name. There’s people who have enjoyed and supported my work financially and spiritually, people from across the nation and across the world. There’s even a “prayer group” that taught me lessons I may not have wanted to learn (especially in losing one of their number way, way too soon), but surely grew from.

Finally, I have two very special people to appreciate. One is seven years old, she’s an aspiring actress, she’s produced two of her own songs so far (one a cover of Prince’s “Starfish and Coffee,” the second a self-penned pop ditty) and is among the cutest danged people in the whole world. The second is one year old, and gave me a new lease on life, inspiring me to smile and sit still at six o’clock in the morning and just watch her experience everything for the first time. My daughters “Fuss” and “Mooch” are, in a word, amazing. I thank them last but certainly, never ever, least.

It’s 2011. In eighteen months or so I hope to be tweeting from my keynote at Blogworld 2012. I don’t think I can make SDCC again this year, but I do think I’ll be at BlogHer with my wife. Every day is another chance to make something incredible happen. Now that I think of it, I have one more bit of “thanks” to issue forth, and that’s to you. Thanks for being here, thanks for reading, thanks for however your life intersects mine.

Let’s see what happens.

Playing (Music): “It Ends Tonight” by the All-American Rejects

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