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    • 001- Mad Max
      In a postapocalyptic future, jaded cop Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is ready to retire. But his world is shattered when a malicious gang murders his family as an act of retaliation, forcing a devastated Max to hit the open road seeking vengeance. As he travels the Australian outback's empty stretches of highway, he tours the bloodstained battlegrounds r […]
    • 002- It Follows
      After young Jay engages in what she thinks is a casual sexual tryst, her life takes a mysterious and sinister turn as she suspects that somebody or something is tracking her -- a malignant presence able to take any form it chooses.
    • 003- V for Vendetta
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    • 005- 1984
      This movie adaptation of George Orwell's eerie, dystopian tale -- filmed during the year for which it's named -- follows the "reeducation" of two people who break the law in a totalitarian state by falling in love while Big Brother is watching.
    • 006- The Bride with White Hair
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    • 007- Whiplash
      Driven by his demanding music teacher, drummer Andrew is determined to succeed as a jazz musician -- even if it destroys his personality. Under the shadow of his father's failed artistic attempts, Andrew practices until his hands bleed.
    • 008- Blue Jasmine
      The high life leads to high anxiety for a fashionable New York City homemaker in crisis who finds herself forced to live a more modest lifestyle in San Francisco. Woody Allen directs an ensemble cast that includes Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin.
    • 009- Into the Woods
      Woven from a collection of revered fairy tales and characters, this enchanting musical mash-up focuses on a childless couple who venture into the woods hoping to end a curse put on them by a vindictive witch.
    • 010- Masters of Horror: John Carpenter: Pro-Life
      When a scared 15-year-old girl goes to an isolated clinic to end her pregnancy, her anti-abortion activist father and brothers arrive, heavily armed and determined to force their way in and stop the procedure.


Posted by Kyle Sundgren on August 22, 2015

My work just started a 90 day weight loss competition. $10 buy in and the winner gets all the money and some other prize stuff that the hotel throws in. 2nd and 3rd place also get prizes. I was told there was a total of 27 people that signed up and that the hotel would up the grand prize total to $400. I was one of the entries. It’s about fucking time.

This is the longest stretch in my adult life that I’ve ever gone without attempting any sort of diet or exercise. Easily over two years. I have antidepressants to blame for that. Before I was on them I would often get down on myself for being overweight and would start and stop exercise and diet regimens to mixed results. Since being on them I still see an overweight body staring back at me in the mirror and I’m still aware of the negatives I’d be doing to my body with what I was eating, but I just didn’t care. La la la, eat more food, what are you gonna do about it? I recently had a physical that revealed, to no shock at all, that my cholesterol is too high and so is my body fat.

So I joined the local gym. Today was day two in a row of going. Yesterday I did about 30 minutes of cardio and did a tiny bit of weight lifting. At the moment I don’t know jack shit about proper weight lifting so I’m going to stay away from them for a little bit. Luckily my friend Mike said he would work out with me, and that man knows A LOT about lifting weights. He transformed his body from a skinny bean pole to a hulk of a man and he’s kept it that way for many years now. He’s going on a cruise next week though so I’ll have to wait til he comes back.

Today as soon as I walked in the door of the gym I was greeted by one of the trainer/employees asking me if I was ready for me free fitness assessment. I knew what he was pitching me couldn’t possibly be totally free, but I knew that I need some guidance on what to do and more importantly not to do so I accepted the offer. He sat me down and had me fill out some info about my height, weight, eating habits, workout habits, and goals. Everything he said at this point was again, not too shocking. He then told me to hop on a treadmill and go at a moderate pace for five minutes to warm me up. Five minutes turned into 15, but I was handing it just fine. He then lead me to the…room…with the mirrors and they do classes in there and such. I don’t know what it’s called. He laid down a yoga mat and had me do a whole slew of leg lifting core exercises. Needless to say I was wiped out exhausted pretty quick. With each new workout he had me do I was getting more and more exhausted. I just knew it was going to happen. By the last leg lifting thing he had me do I was flat on the ground sucking in oxygen like I was drowning. It was almost certainly going to happen. I stood up and he lead me out of the room and I walked by a petite woman just starting her workout. She sees me knocking on death’s door and says to me, “Yeah, it’s hard!”.

He then leads me to a weight lifting machine. The one he wants to use is in use so he tells me I get an extended break while we wait for it. As I’m sitting there still sucking oxygen like a broke crackhead sucks cock it is now a sure thing; I’m gonna barf. I tell the trainer I need to go to the bathroom and I think he can see in my face I’m serious and not just looking to stall my workout. I get in the bathroom, crouch in front of the toilet and do a whole lot of dry heaving. Nothing comes up though. I sit on the bathroom floor, which is always pleasant, crouch some more, stand with my entire body weight leaning against the wall. It takes me a good ten minutes of just doing nothing before I’m able to exit the bathroom. I find the trainer and he asks if I’m alright. I tell him I am and can do a little bit more if he’d like. He promptly decides to stop our workout right there. You know you’re extremely out of shape when a guy that gets paid to make people exercise suggests you not exercise.

We go back to his desk and he starts going over their workout and diet plan. This is of course where the no such thing as a free lunch comes in. He’s about a third of the way through his presentation when I have to stop him because once again I’m bordering on barfing. I quickly get up and head right back to the bathroom. I crouch in my same old spot and this time I do barf up all the water I had been drinking. To my surprise despite eating breakfast no food came up. When I finish my recovery, which doesn’t take as long as the first time, I go back to his desk. I announce to him and the trainer sitting next to him, “Good news! I’ve already lost some weight!”, which cracks everyone up. They might be able to school me in anything physical, but when it comes to humor I can run circles around those meat heads!

So he finishes his pitch and gives me all the pricing options and neither of them are in my current budget. It does seem like exactly the type of program I need though. I tell him that perhaps in a month I’ll be making more money and I’ll take them up on the offer to meet with a trainer at least twice a month (which would be $60. Does that seem like a good price?). We shake hands without me spending a penny and I leave the gym. And that’s the story of me throwing up at the gym today.

After only two days of working out though I FEEL fantastic! It’s the identical feeling I had when I first started taking the antidepressants. The pink cloud has returned! Stopping on the way home to get gas I was striking up conversations with everyone I encountered. There was a girl who was two people ahead of me in line inside that I was going to talk to and ask her number. I didn’t end up doing it because she had a boyfriend with her who was waiting at the car she returned to, but I have no doubt in my mind I would have done it if he were there. I was sweaty, unshaven, wearing a white t-shirt that is the opposite of flattering for my current figure, and minutes removed from puking in a public restroom but I felt invincible. I asked the cashier how to pronounce her name and then told her it was a pretty name. I NEVER do that shit! NEVER! I asked another girl about her phone. I love this feeling!

Tonight I’m going to the A’s game. They’re playing Tampa AND it’s Star Wars night with a Star Wars firework show after the game! I’m getting there two hours before the game starts. You better believe I’m striking up conversations with everyone I find interesting, which will be a lot considering the theme for the game.

Do me a favor and check in on my weight loss status now and again. I know it’s easy to be gung ho when you first start anything new. The real results happen with consistency though, so keep tabs on me. Thanks for reading!

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The Colonel And The Secretary

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on August 16, 2015

I think a lot of things about the two leading Democratic contenders to be our next President. If the election were left completely up to me I’d pick Bernie Sanders without thinking twice. That doesn’t mean that I think the man represents a perfect candidate or that I have nothing good to think about Hillary Clinton.

I don’t normally like to listen to or cite Ed Schultz but I caught a clip of him at the top of his radio show recently and he tapped into something I’d been thinking for a while in the Sanders vs. Clinton debate. When you ask Bernie Sanders about anything, he gives you a straight and definitive answer. I can’t recall a time in the past decade that I’ve heard an unfiltered straight answer from Hillary Clinton. Whether it be when she was Senator, Presidential hopeful, or Secretary of State she has mastered the political non-answer. Of course that’s in some ways a good thing. She wouldn’t have been able to rise in the political ranks based solely on her last name. She knows what it takes to get into power. The thing is, I’m tired of it. America is tired of it too. Which makes Bernie Sanders all the more appealing. He stands for things that mean something to Americans who care. It’s not true, but the perception of Hillary Clinton is that the only thing she stands for is wanting to be President with an undying passion.

Of course the thing that worries me about Sanders is, goddamn there is absolutely nothing sexy about him. He’s an old ugly white dude who would look more in place as a Muppet model than a powerful politician. Obama was sexy as hell. Good looking, the kind of guy you want to have a beer with, a father of two beautiful daughters that genuinely love their Father, a husband to a gorgeous and intelligent wife. Plus legitimately supporting and voting for the black guy made my fellow bleeding heart Liberals feel wonderful (admit it!). Man oh man I’m getting hard just thinking about 2008 all over again. Bernie Sanders has none of that. Sure he’ll inspire some far-left boners, but to the general public he’s the caricature we think of to keep us from cumming too soon. Clinton’s got some of the sexy needed.

There’s a lot of talk from economists that say that in their opinion a Sanders Presidency would demolish our economy. I want them to be wrong, but I’ll have to admit I have a feeling they’re more right than wrong.

Let’s pretend the unlikely happens and Donald Trump wins the GOP nomination. We’d have a debate with Trump against Sanders or Clinton. Sanders would no doubt hold his own with facts and logic, but a big bully like Trump would win any sort of public opinion as to who LOOKS more like a President with that head to head comparison. Now, no doubt he would bully Clinton too and she would hold her own against him without any problem. The difference here would be that Hillary Clinton does look like someone who could be President and public opinion would overwhelmingly be a little grossed out by a big ogre of a man bullying a woman.

The older I get the more I realize I’m a pessimist when it comes to the things I care about most. I’ll be voting for either Clinton or Sanders next November. I’m just saying right now I’m feeling not as secure as I’d like to. I suppose having over 15 months ’til election day can only help at this point though!

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Posted by Kyle Sundgren on August 5, 2015

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You bet your bippy

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on June 20, 2015

My life is really quite different than it was mere months ago. Besides the obvious I’ve been genuinely busy. For the past month it seems like I’ve either been working, driving, watching a Warriors game, or sleeping. Often times all of those would happen on the same day. What’s most surprising about it though is that I actually kind of like it. In my past when I would be this busy I would constantly be aching for some time to just veg out in front of my computer or television. Two days ago I had my first day off in a long while where I didn’t have any plans to be out of the house. It was nice to finally have a chance to do laundry and tidy up my room, but after a few hours I was over it.

They say your body/personality/soul/whatever changes completely every seven years. I don’t know how much science is behind this, but I’ve heard it enough to comfortably say that there has to be something to it. No doubt it’s a small evolution and not merely a light switch that gets flicked every seven years and BOOM you’re a different person. This year has got to be a huge leap forward in my evolution as a human. I’m constantly being reminded of things that would have greatly bothered me in my early twenties that now I really don’t give a shit about. Good things though. When I lived in Los Angeles I was there when the Lakers won their most recent championship. Right around the playoffs suddenly it seemed like every car had a Lakers flag flapping in the wind as they drove around. Before the playoffs I maybe saw one flag, now every third car had one. As I’d make my way to work each day I’d just be filled with rage. Fucking LA! Bunch of band wagoners! No one gave a shit about these Lakers until the playoffs, this is NOT the way you do sports. Cut to today and out of nowhere every third car I see has a Warriors flag (this has to be a strategy of the NBA that works really well!). Of course it was the same situation of having seen maybe one flag before the playoffs. It doesn’t bother me at all now. It’s probably helped by the fact that the Warriors are from my neck of the woods and that I too can’t deny jumping on the band wagon (although for the record I was on it a couple months BEFORE the playoffs. I got an early ticket on said wagon!). I have a feeling though that even if I had as much interest in the Warriors as I did when the Lakers were making their run (which was just shy of, “none”) I don’t think the flags would bother me. Every single team in every single sport gets band wagoners when the team gets red hot. That’s just how us humans work. And, for the love of science, it’s just a piece of fabric blowing in the wind. Why would I continue to let that bother me?!

Also I can’t remember things anymore. Names of people and objects in particular. This really frustrates me. Alzheimer’s and Dementia does run in my family which makes it all the more frustrating when I’m taking big pauses to try to recall the name of a baseball player that I otherwise have never forgotten until just now.

There’s no other way to describe most people’s hate for Hillary Clinton than sexism. Of course there are some that hate her only for being a Democrat just as much as they hated Obama for the same reason, but the degree to which a lot of her haters dislike her absolutely stems from her being a powerful female. This doesn’t translate to the Democratic party. I’m sorry if I sound like a douche claiming that my party is better, but it just is. Yes, there are female politicians that I can’t stand like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, but I would have scorn for any male politician that shares their same narrow-minded backwards thinking. Democrats are all about big Government a regulations (something I’m all for, despite some obvious flaws). That rubs a lot of people the wrong way, understandably, and coming from a woman…boy oh boy does that ruffle some feathers.

Just two weeks ago when I was in my training classroom the instructor made reference to the ’60 Minutes’ interview that Bill and Hillary did as Bill was campaigning for his first term. All of a sudden in the middle of the interview a light came crashing down and narrowly missed hitting Hillary and causing what could have been a VERY serious injury. When the teacher told us about it missing her head the guy sitting next to me very audibly and with no tinge of sarcasm or humor says, “Damn!”. I’m sorry, Democrats don’t do that shit. I don’t want  Bachmann or Palin to experience the pain of a red hot light crashing down on their heads that could easily kill or paralyze them. I have no problem with them being female and in power. I want them to exit politics because their Democratic opponent got more votes than them, not by a freak accident causing them extreme pain. Let them retire to a ranch in Wyoming. I wouldn’t even make a joke about them going through something like this. I’ve gone on record a few times claiming that Hillary is not my first choice to be the Democratic candidate, but I would love to see her win just to piss off the sexists in this country.

I don’t really post on social media anymore. I still check it somewhat regularly to see what everyone is up to. I reply to other people’s stuff and make likes now and again. I just don’t see the point in posting, “At work” all the time.

My brother and I switched cars. I dunno if it will be permanent, but it will be at least for the duration of my time living in Brentwood. His car gets such better gas mileage. I was bleeding dollars before with the Lexus SUV. Truth be told I am filling up just as often, but his tank is so much smaller that I’m spending $25-$35 less each fill up. I’m always surprised at the dollar amount it ends up on when the pump stops. My new car is a Nissan Versa. I forget the year. It’s 6 or 7 years newer than the Lexus I was driving. Despite it being older I do miss some of the features the Lexus had. Maybe it will be mine again some day. This just further proves that I really don’t care much about what car I drive as long as it runs and gets me to where I need to be.

It’s been brought to my attention lately by more than one friend that I need to get better pictures on my online dating profiles. I have too many mirror selfies and shots of me making weird faces. I don’t disagree, but I don’t have many other options. Logic says to do a photo shoot, but that just seems weird and forced. I know that’s the sort of thing I have to do if I want to date someone and I’m just making excuses though.

Speaking of cars I’ve been meaning to look into what it takes to be an Uber driver. I could use the extra money and I like that I would have the flexibility to work on my days off and only during the hours I choose. I know I need to do some research, but does anyone wanna fill me in on the basics?

Ladies be crazier than a box of hotdogs.

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What’ll I Do?

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on May 20, 2015

David Letterman has taped his last show ever. In a mere three hours it will broadcast here on my coast and then that’s it. What’ll I do tomorrow, and the rest of my life without David Letterman? For as long as I’ve existed he’s been on television five nights a week. Tonight absolutely feels like a lifetime friend is dying.

I’ll never forget what made me a fan of Letterman. He was taping a week of shows in Los Angeles some times in the mid-nineties. My entire family was watching the episode and he did a bit where he was driving around in a convertible. He went through a Taco Bell drive-thru and ordered something like 500 tacos. Cut to seconds later Dave’s driving down the street with a car full of tacos. In one shot he’s seen throwing a taco as hard as he can into the open window of the neighboring car. When this happened my Dad absolutely cracked up! I thought it was funny too, but I didn’t know if it was OK to laugh at this. You’re not supposed to throw food out of your car! I was young and still learning about humor. Seeing my Dad react in this way convinced me that this Letterman guy was the real deal. I will follow him for as long as I can. And I have.

David Letterman was important to me. It’s always been so much more than just a chuckle in the evening before bed. He was a goofball from Indiana that won over Hollywood and in doing so won over America. Or at the very least, he won over COOL America. The greatest litmus test to find out if a new person in your life was worth hanging around or not was to find out if they were a Letterman person or a Leno person. I’m not going to say that anyone could host a late-night talk show, say things in a funny tone, and ask celebrities questions, but Jay Leno made it seem like more than half of the population was capable of turning in this bare minimum style of hosting. Dave hosted for the real people simply by being himself. Sure he softened up in his later years, but you could tell he wasn’t taking notes from the network brass about what comedy works and doesn’t work for them.

The one trick I can most consistently rely on when I have doubts in myself is I can be funny. It’s helped me in so many situations. I have no doubt if I never got into watching Letterman that I would be a human being without a well-defined talent. With 100% assurance I can say that I’ve never watched an episode of “The Late Show” and not laughed. Absolutely the show’s writers and producers deserve credit for the show being so funny too, but when it all comes to it those jokes and premises don’t mean shit if a dolt is out there delivering.

Alan Kalter, Dave’s announcer for the past 20 years (who I just found out shares the same birthday as me from looking up his wikipedia!) has me in stitches with his goofiness. He’s got a golden throat and a comical confidence that keeps me hanging around every time he throws to commercial for his absurd one-liners. I loved the remotes Dave would send Biff and Rupert on. And of course Paul Motherfuckin’ Shaffer. He was perfect for Dave. I’m going to miss not hearing his signature cackle and the out-of-left-field questions and statements he’d make in between Dave’s desk pieces.

Dave was a man with integrity too. Every Medal of Honor recipient from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has been on his show to share their story with the world. Every fleet week the entire audience is completely members of the US Military. After 9/11 Dave was the first talk show host to return to air after the attacks. He’s owned up to his mistakes and apologizes without any hesitation when it is needed. After his open-heart surgery he had the entire medical staff on his show to thank them publicly for saving his life, and he did this every year on the anniversary of his surgery. During the writer’s strike a few years back he paid his ENTIRE staff out of his own pocket the exact same salary they always got. This went on for months too. I have to imagine it cost him over a million dollars but he did so without a single complaint. It was well documented that Leno only started paying his staff when the media got wind of Letterman doing this and asking if he was doing the same.

Now that Leno’s off the air I can say I genuinely have some varying degree of interest in all the remaining late night talk show hosts. I’ll watch them now and again when there’s an interesting guest on, but I don’t see any point in continuing to be an every night late night talk show watcher. They’re all funny, but NONE of them are David Letterman funny. THAT is a fact.

Watch Conan O’Brien give his heart felt goodbye to the man who left such gigantic shoes to fill as his successor to NBC’s “Late Night”.


Try not to get emotional while Jimmy Kimmel bids adieu to his comedy hero

Even Norm Macdonald gets choked up when talking about his love and admiration for David Letterman

He single-handedly changed the boring format that talk shows were turning into. There would be no Jimmy Fallon playing wacky games with celebrities, there would be no masturbating bear on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel would never have a chance to get a large group of celebrities to sing about him fucking Ben Affleck, Craig Ferguson wouldn’t have a venue to do ANYTHING that his show ever did, Stephen Colbert could never ask a Congressman the dumbest questions ever right to their face, and Jon Stewart would never deliver a satirical news story.

And that’s precisely it; David Letterman has always been so much more than just a goofy guy to have some laughs with while he talks to your favorite movie star. He represents true talent. He speaks for all of the underdogs out there. The man sitting behind that desk is exactly what we want to be and is doing it exactly how he wants to do it. Only he’s the only possible person in the entire world who could pull it off so well.

What’ll I do with only memories and old youtube clips to keep me funny? What’ll I do without a reliable good time waiting for me at the close of every weeknight? What’ll I do when my hero is gone forever?

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Posted by Kyle Sundgren on May 19, 2015

I used to think that every female that I would see on any sort of regular basis was interested in me. From the age I figured out that most girls like boys and for the next 20 or so years I thought this. In the back of my mind in some microscopic corner I would know that in reality there’s no way that all these women want to date me, but I would joyfully push those thoughts away and enjoy the much preferable scenario where I was hot stuff! I’d make both rational (she has a boyfriend right now that she met before she even knew me) and ridiculous (she’s just waiting for her period to end and then it’s a guarantee that she’ll be begging me to go out on a date) reasons as to why we never were currently dating. I clearly remember writing about this in my Myspace blog circa 2006. I was fully aware of how silly it was, but I was also completely of the mind that I had all these women fawning over me.

As I was driving home on my commute the other day I just remembered that I used to do this. Something that dominated my thinking for literal decades hadn’t crossed my mind in almost another decade. When did I stop thinking this way? More importantly, why did I stop thinking this way? You’d think as I matured I might scale it back from ALL women being into me to just a couple or one at a time, but recent years I find it baffling that anyone would have the slightest interest in me.

I miss the feeling of having a crush. I’ve had plenty of interests, but there really was no better word than, “crush” to describe the all-encompassing feeling of a woman annihilating everything in your life just by existing in yours. I recall an evening in 1999 being in the midst of a top-notch crush. The season had just changed over to Spring and it was absolutely in the air. I stood at my window and inhaled as deeply as I could, over and over for what must have been an hour. With every breath my lungs filled with the wonderful smell of Spring time and full-on love.

Was I naive back then, or was I more optimistic? Has old age turned me bitter? Why can’t I feel this way anymore? Will there ever be another woman to grab me by the horns? Why haven’t I been able to shake these memories from my mind lately? Does this shirt make me look fat?

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My Latitude is Long

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on April 10, 2015

I thought I would write to update you all.

-I bet you’re wondering about my new job. It’s pretty great. The first week I was completely overwhelmed mentally. All of a sudden I am expected to remember AV vocabulary both in general and as it pertains to the hotel, where certain things are located in the hotel, new employee names, and how to set up/tear down each different piece of equipment. Also I was getting acquainted with the long drive and how to get to and from work and re-learning what it’s like to drive in traffic (which is like a totally different language than the ‘around town’ driving I had been doing the last 5 years in Ridgecrest.). By the time I would return home each day my first week I was completely fried. I started to really doubt my abilities as an AV equipment guy. Then by the second week I just kinda, got it. The first week I had done a lot of watching and listening to other people do work while I made mental notes while I stood there usually doing nothing. It was a lot to take in. When I was forced to do these things on my own I was able to fall back on my schooling, production experience, and things my co-workers had been telling me. That’s not to say after three weeks now that I’ve mastered it all. There are still certain setups that I haven’t done and wouldn’t have the first clue on how to do, and the things that I do know how to do I do very slow, but I’m pleased with my progress.

My first week I was working morning shift which put my commute both ways right in the middle of rush hour traffic. That’s just about as ball lick as possible. Since then I’ve been the closing shift guy and it’s shaved a good 45 minutes off of my drive time each way. With traffic the drive from Brentwood to San Jose was at least two hours. Since I’m closing now it’s down to a smooth sailing 1 hour and 15 minutes. My boss and longtime friend Chris told me that eventually I’m going to be transferred to another hotel. If I were to stay at the hotel I’m currently at eventually there would be a struggle for me to get decent hours. And with me living the furthest away from the hotel it made all the sense to transfer me to a closer location. So some time in the next month or so I’ll be working at a Double Tree that’s still in San Jose. The city is pretty big. The hotel I currently travel to is on the furthest part of town from me, where as this hotel is more North and would shave another 15-20 minutes off my commute.

-I’ve been on a cycle of getting really serious about online dating and then not giving a rip. I’ve made this complete circle about eight times since moving back. Call it yo-yo online dating. What I’ve been doing, and I know it’s not very effective, is I search for people that are local and in the age range I’m looking for. I pick a few nominees based on their basic info that comes up on the search page. Then I look at all those to read their profiles. That whittles it down usually to about 1-3 candidates. I’ll send them all a message introducing myself, noting something about their profile and how I think this would make us a good match, then say…I dunno something else. This has gotten me NOWHERE! Sure sometimes I end up inadvertantly contacting someone who no longer uses their profile but what most often happens is they read the message, check out my profile and then never respond to the message. This can only mean two things; they think I’m not physically attractive and/or something in my profile turned them off to me. This exact scenario happened just two days ago with a lady I was certain would lead to something. She was a big Pearl Jam fan and seemed to have a great sense of humor. I made note of those things in my message to her. After checking out my profile a few hours after I messaged her…radio silence. So needless to say I’m currently at the part of the cycle where I don’t give a rip about online dating.

-I’ve been thinking about my Little League baseball years a lot lately. I played four years total. The teams I played for were The Orioles, The Reds, The Phillies, The Pirates, and The Giants. I remember quite a lot from my first year as an Oriole. Nothing really basebally though. During one game my team was at bat and I was the runner on 3B. The guy playing 3B for the other team extended his index finger, poked me in the neck with it and told me that my team sucked. This was the first time I had ever heard this expression. Being that I was 5 or 6 years old then I took the term literally; as if to suggest that my team did a lot of vacuuming.

As a member of the Phillies this was clearly the best team I ever played for. My friend Garret was on the team and he was by and far the most athletic guy I knew. I remember one game my Dad volunteered to be the 1B coach for my team. When I came up to bat I hit a stand up double and my Dad was so lit up with glee when I ran to first and he told me to run on to second. I was good for a double each season I played. Then a lot of walks and strikeouts.

When I was a Pirate it took place my first year living in Brentwood. I was pretty much the new kid in everything I did that year. What stood out for me this year was the best hitter on our team was named Dan Pitino. He was your cliche white trash kid who never really knew his Dad, and his Mom showed up to all the games but never without a beer. Toward the end of the season he got a hot streak at bat and would hit a solid double every game. Thing is he wouldn’t know when to stop when he was ahead. Some of the hits he could maybe get lucky and make it into a triple depending on how the throw to third ended up, but no way were any of his hits in the ballpark home runs. Well, he tried to make them all HR’s. It’d be like clockwork, we’d cheer him on as he easily rounded first, about half of us would shout to stop at second, but as he rounded that base we tensed up as he made his way to third. By the time he made his way home we were all shouting, “STOP! GO BACK!”. The ball would arrive at third a half second after he left that base so the third baseman would always easily throw the ball to the catcher and he’d be tagged out at the plate. Then also like clockwork Dan would start loudly crying. He clearly had some demons that now I can look back on and sympathize with his desperate need to be the best, but at the time he just pissed me off.

The next year I was a Giant. On the first day of practice the coach had us all form a line behind first and one at a time we were to run and slide into second. When it was my turn I failed to raise my hands over my head and ended up dragging my wrists on the ground as I made my slide. It really hurt! It was a different kind of hurt that I hadn’t felt yet. When everyone did their slides the coach had us move on to some other activity. I approached him and told him that my arm hurt since I did my slide. He told me to sit out the next drill and to shake my arm in the dugout. That probably made what ended up being a fractured wrist worse. My time as a Giant lasted all of about 15 minutes.

Now you may be asking yourself what about my time as a Red? This was my second year of baseball. The crazy thing is I don’t have a single memory of playing this year. Not even like a second’s worth. I find this to be baffling as I’ve clearly been able to remember something about all the other years I’ve played. Isn’t the brain wacky?!

-That’s enough for now.

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…As I Know It Now

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on March 10, 2015

It’s very likely that this won’t be the last post I make about my new life back in Brentwood. You know how much I hate to be predictable so I’m gonna really need you to not keep track and not predict anything about this blog!

Today marks one week that I’ve been back. I don’t recall how long my longest visit home was since I moved away, but I gotta imagine I’m getting close to surpassing that mark within the next few days. It hasn’t really felt like a vacation thus far though. There’s no wondering what is going on back in the town where all my stuff is. There’s no ticking clock in my head to see all the people and places I’d like to see before I leave again. Neither of my brothers are here. There’s no holiday or special event (although there are only 10 more shopping days before my 31st birthday…) for me to attend. Yes I think it’s safe to say that I am home and it feels that way too.

So what’s my day to day life like? Pretty damn chill, haha. But, that won’t last much longer. I unofficially got a job already! The only thing that would keep me from getting it is something coming up in my background check, which there won’t be any issues with. It’s approximately a two week process to get all that taken care of and then I start. My first day will either be the 23rd or the 31st. Details on the job later in the post. ‘Til then life isn’t too different from the many days of not working in Ridgecrest. I go to sleep and wake up whenever I want to. I go back and forth from milling about on the computer to milling around on the TV. Everything is amplified though. There are more television options (with On Demand and more channels), the internet is faster, there’s more food in the kitchen (although it’s decidedly healthier), there are more things to do in town (that I also can’t afford to take advantage of right now), and the house I’m doing all these things in is much bigger. The only difference is there’s a dog and two other people sharing that space with me. If this was my future for the next few months I’d be drowning in pessimism. Since I have a job waiting for me in a few weeks I see it as a nice way to slowly transition into a new lifestyle and recover physically and emotionally from very abruptly leaving my old one. I think I may have dropped a few pounds already too. Nothing drastic. The labor of moving heavy things and eating less crap surely has had some sort of effect on me. I brought my scale with me but it obviously got screwed up in the move. It’s a digital scale and now when I step on it it says I’m about 75lbs lighter than when I was in Ridgecrest. Even though I’ve stepped off and back on to it many times by now there’s absolutely no way that’s accurate. I and anyone else who sees me would constantly be remarking on how quickly I shed so much weight! I’d guess I’ve dropped more in the 2-4lbs range! Still, it is nice to see that pleasant number for my weight even if it is a lie.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get the check engine light on my car diagnosed. I’ll be doing it in Tracy so while they’re scoping out the issue I’ll tool around in the Tracy Mall for the first time since I saw ‘Kill Bill Vol. 2’ there. I’m really hoping that the food court smells the same. I’ve never experienced that smell in any other mall, and it fills the entire place like a fog! It will take me back to the thrills of being a late teenager driving out of town. I’m really hoping the issue with my car is minor. It doesn’t seem to handle any differently while I’m driving it.

I’m probably going to have to be the man that cried, “New York!” twice and didn’t actually go either time. It’s not for certain yet, but it’s looking unlikely now. Since my job won’t start until after we would finish the trip I’m not going to have any real income until probably mid-April. My parents have offered to cover my spending expenses on the trip and add it to my very quickly climbing debt to them. I just don’t think I have it in me to take any more for them. Who knows how much the car will cost me tomorrow and soon I’ll need to mooch more for gasoline to work (about 140 miles round trip five days a week) and a Fast Pass for the toll bridge. I’ve accepted that this doesn’t make me any less of a fan of David Letterman if I never end up seeing him do his show live. Of course it’d be nice, but it’s looking like it just wasn’t meant to be.

Alirght, so the job! My long-time friend Chris Pagan is in a managerial position for a company called PSAV (Presentation Services…something something. Audio Visual maybe?). They set up mostly audio and occasionally video equipment for hotels that are hosting speaking engagements and presentations in their building. I would drive to the hotel every work day and take care of setting up and tearing down in the various spots. It is in San Jose, aka the heart of Silicon Valley, so you know they have high tech lectures coming through there all the time. It pays better than any job I’ve ever had and offers great benefits. After many months when I’m able to pay off my debts and then save up to get my own place it would make great sense for me to move out to that area. Maybe not San Jose specific, because I imagine that’s an expensive city, but there are a lot of places closer than Brentwood some 70 miles away. And then there’s my movie which may start playing in film festivals this summer which could get me started on my dream job.

Lastly I’m very encouraged my the singles scene here. By here I mean online. Way more choices and women who seem to have shit better figured out. I’ve sent messages to a tiny handful so far, but to no response. I’ve been wary of diving right in since I’m still broke. Once I figure out my schedule and income I’ll go head first.

And that should get you all caught up!

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Move It Like This Pt. 2

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on March 6, 2015

As I pulled into town it was some time around midnight. The GPS was now off. Of course I’ve visited Brentwood 2-3 times a year the past decade that I’ve been away, but I hadn’t done a whole lot of driving. I would always fly or take the train home and depend on friends to pick me up or now and again borrow a family member’s car. It felt pretty grand to make my way all the way down Balfour Rd. When I was leaving Ridgecrest, where I had spent the vast majority of my last five years I wasn’t able to spark too many significant memories. Entering Brentwood, proper, for the first time in a decade the memories just came flooding back to me. There’s the gas station that used to have that cow that would moo at you when you entered, there’s where my old house is, down that street is my Jr. High, that’s the Chevron station Bernardo and I would buy Skittles and laugh like idiots at the outdoor tables for hours. I mean no disrespect at all to Ridgecrest, but suddenly this felt right.

My Mom stayed up and waited for me. The dog obviously forgot who I was so she barked her head off at this stranger that just entered her house late at night. We all went to sleep 15 minutes later. Of course I slept terribly. It was a combination of having so much to think about, my legs being incredibly sore from all the physical labor I did, and I wasn’t about to go rooting through the truck to find my warm sleeping clothes so it was damn chilly.

Needless to say I was way grumpy the next day. As I started unloading from the truck I wanted to find out what in the guest room that was now going to turn into my room can be removed and what my parents would like to remain in the room. This quickly turned into an argument that probably could have been avoided if I wasn’t so sleep deprived and I figured out later I am not used to having my house-related decisions questioned. I did not react well to this after four years of just doing what I want to do with where I place things and why. After catching up on sleep I realized both how dumb and irrational I was being and everything’s fine now. All my stuff has a place and all my parents’ stuff does too. I texted some of you my frustrations that day. Just know that that was me in need of a nap haha. By the end of the day everything had calmed down.

The next day I removed the last few things in the Uhaul, took a bunch of things to storage and then made an impromptu trip to the dump. After my Dad and I removed the dreaded couch from the truck and got the fucker all the way to my storage locker he decided it would be a better idea to just load it back in the truck while we have one and take it to the dump. I agreed that it wasn’t the world’s greatest couch but whenever I do move out it will be nice to be able to have a couch ready to go. Plus even though it does have some appearance issues I still find it very comfy. Hell, as most of you know I slept on the dang thing for 97% of my time in the bachelor pad. My Dad made goods points though about getting rid of it now while we have a truck because the couch is only going to get worse over time and how great would it be NOT to have to move the behemoth that it was. There were some cons to this idea, but at that point the pros were winning and I agreed. So we walked the fucked all the way back to the truck to send it on it’s green mile.

Another reason why I didn’t sleep so well was the pillows that were in the guest bedroom were so flat they might as well have been bookmarks. On my second day I retrieved my wonderful pillow from the truck and decided to give it a wash in the washing machine. When the wash cycle was complete I open it to find that the machine had ripped several large holes in the pillow rendering it completely useless. You don’t understand this magic pillow. It was both soft and firm. It was big, yet able to be condensed when I wanted it to be. No other pillow I’ve ever experienced in my life has had this feature. It would take months of breaking in to get something close.

Now consider this; you know how much I am like the Princess and the Pea when it comes to my sleeping arrangements. All within 48 hours of uprooting myself from the figurative comfort of living on my own and having very little responsibilities, I lose both of my literal comforts of my bed and pillow. Sure there’s nothing wrong with sleeping on a couch, but how many married or men with girlfriends do you know that WILLINGLY sleep on the couch night in and night out? There’s also a metaphor for my old lifestyle and the one I’ll be quickly changing to buries not very deep at all that I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure out.

Once the big moving was done I’ve just spent the day driving around town getting re-acquainted with the roads and setting things up in my room. By the end of this weekend there will be no trace of boxes or scattered wires to be seen. I’ve been pretty lucky to have an amazing job offer already too. I really don’t want to talk about it yet, but rest assured I will talk about it eventually. It seems to be a great fit and pays better than any other job I’ve had before. It involves being a hooker. Come on, you all know that’s where I was headed!

I’m back in my beloved Bay Area. I can watch every 49er and A’s game on TV. I can GO to A’s games (and 49er games if I am a REAL good hooker). Seeing an independent movie is not something I have to plan a weekend trip around. There are more than the same eight faces on the local dating sites. It’s not all wine and roses for sure, but this came at a good time in my life.

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Move It Like This Pt. 1

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on March 6, 2015

I’ve spread this out over two posts so you don’t have the excuse of, “too long, didn’t read” and therefore not commenting. Oh, there will be comments!

What a fucking week! I didn’t think I’d ever actually pull this off to be honest. Ever since my movie was completed it got real difficult to justify living in Ridgecrest. Even if I still was making good money it would be hard to have a good reason to remain there. Of course I was making the opposite of good money since late last November. Let me walk you down the time line of my last few days.

Monday morning I had to wake up early to do what would be my last day of work in Ridgecrest. This was a day of work planned well before I knew I would be moving. When I found out I would be leaving I was given the option to not work that day, but I knew it would make things more difficult for the others and who am I to turn down a full day’s worth of work these days? The day was a full eight hours (which was about equal to all the hours I worked in January!) but went by quick. By the time I got back home that evening I was a little tired. On any other day I would just make dinner, eat it, and veg out on the couch. Of course this wasn’t a normal night though. This was the night before I was going to move 450 miles away and clean four years worth of living. I had done maybe 10% of what needed to be done prior to this point. By the end of the night I did maybe 10% more, which took me to about midnight. I would have wanted to have more packing and cleaning done by then, but I was just too overwhelmed. I was tired from my work day and cleaning so damn much, my brain was overwhelmed at the thought of all the things in my house that in less than 24 hours would have to either be in the garbage or in a truck, and I was sad as fuck to be leaving. I should have done at least another hour’s worth of work, but I was fucking fried and had to stop.

The next morning I awoke at 8AM. First thing I did was drive my car to the Uhaul location to pick up my truck. Shortly after I returned with the truck Braxton arrived to help me move the big stuff that I wasn’t able to move on my own. There were only three things I would need him to help me transport. My mattress/box spring (which wasn’t heavy, just big), my dresser (which is heavyish), and my couch (which is a motherfucker. Fuck that couch. Every fucking time I move it I hate life!). We decide to just get the worst part over with right away. Sure enough it was just as shitty as every other time I moved it.

If you’ve been to my house you know the distance we had to carry it to get to the parking lot. I’d approximate it at 35-40 yards and then up a Uhaul ramp. It took a long time to catch my breath when we finally finished. We walked back to my place and both of us drank about two gallons of water which turned out to be a mistake for me. Immediately after finishing our water we then started moving the dresser. We made it in one non-stop transport but by the time we got there I was quite sure I was either going to barf from over-exerting myself or just die. Luckily it was the former, but barfing still sucks. All that water I just gulped and the entirety of my breakfast came up. Luckily I made it to the toilet in time. The last time I barfed in that house :(.

Not too long after my need for Braxton was done. I wasn’t gonna make him deal with my four years of clutter and not good cleaning. It was just a shitty shitty six straight hours of packing and cleaning before the place was finally empty and about 85% clean. I reached a point where I didn’t give a fuck anymore and just wanted to get on the road.

I turned my keys in, wrote my last rent check, and headed to my last stop again at the Uhaul location to load up the trailer which will be carrying my car the entire way.

I lived in Ridgecrest for five years. As I made my way to the Uhaul location on the edge of town I made my final trip down China Lake Blvd. I tried to soak up as much as I could. I forced myself to acknowledge certain restaurants I went to. No real emotion connection there. I didn’t really pass the places that I made real memories. Parks I took the kids to, houses and places we visited, school functions of their I attended. I did however come close to losing it as I passed the mailbox in front of the USO building. Christopher and I would always play a game where we’d walk in a circle and every time we hit the mailbox we’d shout, “MAILBOX! GET OUT OF MY WAY!” and he’d crack up every single time. There really isn’t an English word I know of that comes close to describing the sorrow of realizing I’d never get to play that game with him again.

I lucked out and ended up with a truck that had an mp3 input so I played my Zune the entire seven hour drive. I only made two stops the entire drive. Pretty much the entire drive I had entered some sort of Zen-like mindset where time just flew by. I’d have a podcast playing on the stereo and my eyes on the road, but my mind was just in the moment. No wishing the drive was over or calculating how much longer I’ll be stuck in this truck. My guess is that I had exhausted my mind so much up to this point with all the moving, planning, and cleaning that it just went to sleep and only offered up the functions that were necessary.

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