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A Day Without Me

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on January 27, 2016

Today has not been a good one. There’s been too much piling up and I’m tired of it just sitting there. I don’t want to just retreat to the corners of my mind and hope it just gets better magically anymore.

To all the bosses and co-workers I’ve had over the years; I am sorry. I don’t know what it is about me that makes me so incompetent. It’s been too long since I’ve had a job where I’ve not been chewed out by a boss for fucking something up. Please know it’s never been on purpose. I just need to know better. My definition of acceptable work needs to be much better. I have set the bar too low. I need to make conscious efforts to be better at my jobs. I give it my best when I’m on the clock, but often my best isn’t good enough. Some of you have shown me tremendous patience, more than I’ve deserved, and please believe me it is beyond appreciated. I know I have strengths and I know you’ve been able to recognize them. I’m too old to be this incompetent.

To all the ladies I have had an interest in over the years; I am sorry. I have a history of on first impression being an extremely appealing and interesting guy. Some of you just wanted to turn that into a new friendship and nothing more, but some of you I know I blew it with possibly turning it into a relationship. Like clockwork it only takes a couple weeks before the high intensity beginning of our friendship starts to die down as I just become too much. I ask you to go out and spend time with me way more often than a sane person should. I’m TOO nice to you. I’m so nice that it gets uncomfortable for you. You can’t help but feel bad. I then find some way to childishly act out when I don’t feel I’m getting the attention I want in return. I hate this cycle. I’ve ruined some potentially great relationships and definitely some friendships by doing this. Please know that all my actions have NEVER been an act though. Every kind gesture I’ve made, despite how over the top or repetitious it might have been, absolutely came from my heart. I’ve never though to myself, “If I do this, or if I buy her that then she’ll have to like me more.”. They’ve always been things I’ve genuinely wanted to do because I like(d) you and wanted to make you happy. I now know there’s such thing as too much though and I need to find where that line is.

To my friends; I am sorry. I’ve done a lot of maturing over the years (as anyone would by the age of 31) but in my younger days I had my moments of being an ass. I have way more instances than I care to admit to of going with some of you to parties or events and just being a social wet blanket. For whatever reason I just wasn’t, “feeling” the atmosphere and I would shut down. I’d put a burden and worry on you to try to see what’s wrong and cheer me up, which I would offer no relief to. I’m better at handling these situations now, but I can’t say for sure that it will never happen again. I know I can also come off as abrasive when I feel I need to be critical or deliver harsh information. It’s an unfortunate part of any social relationship that you’re going to have disagreements and sometimes when I know I’ve been right I can be a dick about it. Sometimes I’ve not realized the consequences of things I’ve said, be it serious or in jest, and I did a poor job of letting on my true tone. I have confidence that with all of my friends, be they close or casual, that my pros far outweigh my cons, but I’m not too happy with how I’ve pulled off my cons over the years.

I write all this so I can forgive myself. No one can love me until I love myself, and I can’t love myself if I’m always thinking of where I go wrong. I can’t get better at my job until I move on from my mistakes and work on how to be better. I have to let these things go instead of fester in my head. I know everyone has their faults and really I’m no different for having mine. Some people let theirs just roll off their back. I have forgiven myself and am ready to better my life.

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My Top 10 Movies of 2015

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on January 25, 2016

Hey we made it. So what are this year’s exceptions? The only movie I’ve not seen that I think might have had a chance to make the cut is, ‘Carol’. I’m going to guess my opinion of the movie is that I really liked it, but it didn’t stand out as extraordinary. Similar to my thoughts on the well-acted and all around, “good” movie ‘Freeheld’. A glaring omission is probably going to be, ‘The Revenant’. I have not seen it and I just don’t want to either. I know it’s probably going to win Best Picture and Director Innaritu has never let me down, but it just looks completely uninteresting to me. Too outdoorsy. I know this makes me sound like a dum dum, but that’s how it goes! I’ve disqualified Michael Moore’s new movie because after doing some research I found out that it technically was released in 2015, it only ran in a couple LA theaters for a week to be eligible for Oscar consideration (which it did not get) but won’t be released wide for another three weeks. I’m not waiting that long, but I’m sure I’ll love the movie. Of the 10 Best Picture nominees I have seen 4 of them. So here are my personal picks!

10) The Big Short
Big Short
Directed by Adam McKay
Written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

I really couldn’t tell you with a straight face that I completely understood all the plot points of the movie. That’s kinda what the movie tells you will happen though very early on. Wall Street likes that the vast majority of people get immediately turned off by financial jargon and therefore leave them the fuck alone. That’s what has caused things to get so out of hand. We turned a blind eye cuz of big words and everything came crashing down. What I liked most about this movie was how Director Adam McKay chose to tell this story. This wasn’t the comedy guy trying a new genre. It was a damn good director doing one hell of a job directing a movie. The counter and accept everyone’s blind spot for financial understanding he would, in more than one scene, have someone (like a supermodel in a bathtub, or Selena Gomez!) explain things talking directly to camera in simple terms and with examples we can all understand. For you hardcore film buffs, McKay’s choices for the mise en scene are pretty inspired and often funny too. Also, Ryan Gosling is pretty fucking funny in this and remains my man crush.

9) Straight Outta Compton
Directed by F. Gary Gray
Written by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff

Not much more to say about this other than it’s a really good biopic! There were moments where the script was hokey, like any time someone had to come up with a name (“I wanna call my record company, “‘Ruthless Records'”!) or key figures are introduced (“Hang on Tupac, I gotta talk to Suge Knight”), but it’s hard to avoid those sort of things when writing a biopic. This movie’s like the longest and best episode of VH1’s Behind the Music.

8) Inside Out
inside out
Directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen
Written by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley

An instant Pixar classic. I hope they make a sequel or two to this one. I rank this right up there with ‘Toy Story’. Bing Bong! Bill Hader and Lewis Black were born to lend their voices to their respective characters.

7) The Hateful Eight
Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Lots of dialogue, lots of blood, out of sequence story telling, and plot twists you never saw coming; this is classic Tarantino right here. I was lucky enough to see it in 70mm and it was a great experience. Personally I think it’s Tarantino’s greatest screenplay too. It’s too bad the Academy didn’t give this much love. I think this is vastly superior to ‘Django Unchained’.

6) Spectre
Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan, and Jez Butterworth
Directed by Sam Mendes

I’ve said it before but I seem to often find myself in the minority opinion when it comes to Bond movies. Everyone was gaga for ‘Skyfall’ while I thought it was sort of bland with flashes of brilliance. I LOVED ‘Spectre’ and while I really haven’t heard any bad reviews of it, the movie seems to have been unfairly forgotten. Yeah, there are some silly things in the plot, but it’s James Bond! You gotta throw your reality out the door! Christoph Waltz was great as Blofeld! Out of all the Daniel Craig outings I put this one second and for all Bond movies I rank it 5th. Believe it, cholos!

5) Anomalisa
Written by Charlie Kaufman
Directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman

It’s a new Charlie Kaufman movie, what else do I have to say?! And, it’s one that certainly wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for my $5 contribution to it’s Kickstarter a while back! You’re welcome. As this movie goes on and you figure things out it gets better and better. The less I say about it the more you will enjoy it. Just know if you’re into any of Kaufman’s previous movies this one won’t disappoint you in the least. Let me know when you see it I’d love to share thoughts!

4) It Follows
it fol
Written and Directed by David Robert Mitchell

There was a bit of confusion for me as to if this one would be eligible for inclusion on the list since it technically came out in 2014. It did not get a wide release until 2015 though so I say it definitely counts. Just when you think there will never be a new idea in the horror genre we get this masterpiece! I love how the movie breathes. Characters are allowed to grow. We don’t have to be bombarded with loud crashes and explosions to be entertained. We can just let teenagers sit around and watch TV doing next to nothing and still get the shit scared out of us minutes later. The respect that Director Mitchell gives every aspect of this film is very much appreciated and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for his career.

3) Room
Written by Emma Donoghue
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson

Any time I thought I had an idea where the plot was headed or what was going to happen next I was proven completely wrong. This is a very artistically created movie but not in the way that it drowns you in, “art”. It keeps things simple and lets the actors handle all the hard work. Man oh man do both leads just do phenomenal too. I’m glad Brie Larson is the favorite to win Best Actress, but I thought her son in the movie, Jacob Tremblay, did even better! I sure hope he has a happy and successful life and is able to avoid all the trappings of being a child actor.

2) Creed
Written by Aaron Covington and Ryan Coogler
Directed by Ryan Coogler

I think about this movie way more often than almost any other movie I’ve seen this year. On paper, it sounds like a dud; Stallone just going back to the well AGAIN. Could a Rocky movie that’s not about Rocky doing any boxing actually be entertaining? This answer is a resounding, “hell yes!”. Absolutely give Stallone the Supporting Actor Oscar! I hope he keeps playing Rocky the trainer until he dies! Ryan Coogler sure has a way of taking your expectations of a movie a knocking it all around.

1) Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
star wars
Written by Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt
Directed by J.J. Abrams

It could have gone either way with this one. Either #1, or the most disappointing movie of the year for me. I make no apologies that the top movie of the year and now of all-time is also my favorite. It was just fun! I like all the improvements made to the saga over the abundance of lameness we were given with the prequels. It’s the only movie I saw twice in the theater this year. I don’t need to tell you anything about this movie!

And now, a look back at previous years’ lists as they appeared at the time. I sure do want to go back and change some of these older entries, but I won’t!

1) Whiplash
2) Boyhood
3) The Lego Movie
4) Top Five
5) Inherent Vice
6) Birdman
7) Gone Girl
8) Two Days, One Night
9) Foxcatcher
10) They Came Together

1) Blue Jasmine
2) Afternoon Delight
3) Frances Ha
4) The Place Beyond The Pines
5) Dallas Buyers Club
6) Fruitvale Station
7) Anchorman 2
8) Her
9) Nebraska
10) Gravity

1) The Master
2) To Rome With Love
3) The Comedy
4) Les Miserables
5) Flight
6) Argo
7) Wreck-It Ralph
8) Killer Joe
9) The Cabin In The Woods
10) Wanderlust

1) Drive
2) Melancholia
3) The Skin I Live In
4) The Tree Of Life
5) Terri
6) Red State
7) Martha Marcy May Marlene
8) Bridesmaids
9) Ides Of March
10) Paul

1) Blue Valentine
2) Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
3) The Social Network
4) Black Swan
5) The Fighter
6) I Love You, Philip Morris
7) Inception
8) True Grit
9) Somewhere
10) 127 Hours

1) Inglourious Basterds
2) (500) Days of Summer
3) Bruno
4) Los Abrozos Rotos
5) Black Dynamite
6) Away We Go
7) Adventureland
8) Sunshine Cleaning
9) Up In The Air
10) Outrage


1) Dark Knight
2) Snow Angels
3) Synecdoche, New York
4) Religulous
5) Burn After Reading
6) Rachel Getting Married
7) Milk
8) The Visitor
9) The Wrestler
10) Redbelt


1) There Will Be Blood
2) Lars and the Real Girl
3) Knocked Up
4) No Country For Old Men
5) The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
6) Into The Wild
7) Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
8) Once
9) Sicko
10) Unreasonable Man


1) Little Miss Sunshine
2) Stranger Than Fiction
3) Babel
4) Borat
5) The Departed
6) Casino Royale
7) For Your Consideration
8) Clerks II
9) Science of Sleep
10) Little Children


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Protected: The 2015 Return

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on December 29, 2015

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Protected: Dorf

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on December 27, 2015

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Weighted In Injustice

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on November 23, 2015

I finally got the results from my weight loss contest that was being held at work. I legitimately didn’t get first place (although I cry conspiracy since the guy taking down all our numbers turned out to be the winner!). For the grand prize they split it up between male and female. To my surprise they did not do this for the 2nd and 3rd prize. The 2nd prize went to a male that lost the same amount of weight that I did and 3rd prize went to a female that lost WAY less than I did. I should have tied for second or had 3rd place all to myself!

I’m thinking they gave third prize to the next highest ranking female so as to keep things even between the number of male and female winners. Bunch of bullshit. There’s a chance I’m remembering my starting weight incorrectly and I didn’t lose as much as I think I did, but there’s no way I remembered it so wrong that I shouldn’t at least have third place all to myself. I am fairly certain I lost 19.5 pounds so far which would tie me for second. The person that got third lost 12. There’s just no way I lost less than 12 pounds and have a terrible memory.

If you didn’t see my post on Friday I was supposed to hear the results last Friday at 4 PM. When that time rolled around it was announced they would hold off until the following Monday so that HR could be involved in announcing the winners. I’m quite certain that if I wasn’t involved in the contest that there would be no need to wait through the weekend. Ahhh! I’m angry! I better at least get an explanation from somebody.

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Hurry Up And Weight

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on November 17, 2015

Last night I did a sleep study. One factor in what got the ball rolling on my health kick was a physical exam I took back over summer. I was a heavier man then and have been told I snore by more than one person. Couple that with the sleepwalking phase (that has since stopped on it’s own) I went through around then and it made all the sense in the world to do a sleep study.

For a recommendation made in July it took all the way to yesterday to get the damn appointment. I sleep horribly as it is when I’m forced to sleep in a new place so I was a little anxious about adding the fact that someone would be watching me the whole time and I’d have a bunch of wires strapped to me. Oh, and they asked me to show up at 8:30 PM; a time I’ve not fallen asleep at in well over a decade. AND when I arrived I found out they would prefer I sleep on my back, which is not my preferred sleep position.

But it had to be done. Luckily they did say they’d give me an Ambien when I arrived. Sure enough right after I got there I popped the pill. It took a friggin hour to get all the cables attached to me! They stuck to my legs, chest, face, neck, hair, and in my nose. When that was all done the technician explained to me that the protocol was that if I stopped breathing 10 or more times he would wake me up and attach a CPAP machine to me. Before he left the room he let me test out the machine with both the nose and mouth breathing apparatus’. I was both impressed by it’s capabilities and baffled as to how this barbaric behemoth was the best we could come up with in 2015!

Finally he leaves the room and he tells me I can watch the TV in my room or read. No rush to fall asleep. I channel surf for a half hour then attempt to sleep.

It was far from a restful sleep. I woke up many times. It was one of those sleeps where you don’t realize that you have fallen asleep so it feels like you’ve just been lying awake for numerous hours. At one point the technician came on the intercom in my room and asked me to try to sleep on my back. I had inadvertently turned on my side. I switched over to my back and about a half hour later he came on the intercom again to tell me I was free to return to my side since I obviously wasn’t going to be falling asleep in that position.

He woke me up the final time at around 4:45 AM. To my surprise he didn’t need to attach the CPAP machine to me. That’s almost certainly due to me not getting a deep sleep, but I’d like to think my improved health had something to do with it too. He did say despite no apnea problems I was snoring, which we all know comes with a litany of concerns. His unofficial diagnosis, since he wasn’t THE sleep doctor I originally saw, was that my doctor will probably want to focus on calming my legs down (apparently I was doing a lot of kicking in my sleep. Not the first time I’ve been told I do this) before tackling any possible breathing issues. I’m no doctor (did you know this?) but that makes sense to me. Despite snoring I don’t suffer from being overly tired during the day like friends and relatives I know who have been prescribed a CPAP machine to sleep with. Perhaps continued consistent exercise will be the eventual solution to my sleep honking. Doesn’t this make you want to sleep with me?

Speaking of weight loss, this is the big weigh in week! If you don’t remember I signed up for a weight loss contest at my work. It was a $10 buy in and the winner got all the money. There turned out to be an overwhelming response so it was divided into male and female participants, the prize money was increased, and prizes will be given for 2nd and 3rd place as well. The top prize is $500! Second prize is $100 and third gets $50. Who am I to turn down $100 or $50, but that’s a huge decline from first place. I’m told each place comes with some extra chachkies as well.

Everyone that entered weighed in when the contest started back in August and the deadline for final weigh in is this Friday by 3PM. Understandably everyone is waiting as long as possible to do the final scale visit. Personally I’m not scheduled to work on Friday (and I’m not about to drive all the way to San Jose just to step on a scale!). I am scheduled Thursday, but not until 7PM. I’d have an entire day’s worth of food and drink in me by that time. I’m very seriously leaning toward submitting my final weight tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. My shift starts at 8AM. I was thinking of leaving a little earlier from my house and not eating or drinking anything and weighing in as soon as I arrive at work. Then once I’m officially on the board go and get some breakfast before starting my work day. It might be wishful thinking though. With the traffic that will be going at that hour it could take as long as two hours just to get to work. Doing that without any food or caffeine in me so early in the morning could prove rage-inducing and not to mention dangerous. I thought about having just a 5 Hour Energy to get me through the drive, but having one of those on an empty stomach is just plain dreadful (and will most likely lead to me pulling over to the first food establishment I see and ordering the largest pile of lard I can get my hands on to quell the intense jitters I would be having. We’ll see what I decide.

As far as my odds of winning, I think I have an OK chance. If I remembered my starting weight correctly I should be down about 20lbs. If I were to be honest with myself I think first place might be a long shot. I don’t know every guy that entered the contest, but the few I do give me reason to worry. One guy in particular I think is a near-lock for the top prize. I could see myself getting 2nd or 3rd though. Honestly a runner up prize would be more of a point of pride, where as the top prize would be like, “Fuck yeah! I’m gonna buy some stuff I don’t need!”. Oh, and unlike previous workout programs I’ve done that had a finish line/goal I have no desire to stop working out. I’m actually enjoying it and seeing the results (I have muscles! Whoa!). There are only like two or three lifts/exercises that I despise (fuck you, dead lifts!). Plus it’s done wonders for my social life. On top of getting to see Mike 3-5 times a week Mariah recently joined our workout routine and she’s pretty goddamn awesome. Plus there are other regulars at the gym I’m comfortable nodding to and talking football with on occasion (they’re 50somethings that thought I was absolutely hilarious when I said I should start at QB for the 49ers over Kaepernick. Not my best joke, but you would have sworn Richard Pryor came back from the dead by the way they laughed at it! Good guys!). If I could just stop occasionally being a dingaling about certain things life would be pretty near-perfect!

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Protected: You Should See Polythene Pam

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on October 25, 2015

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Remember Blogs?

Posted by Kyle Sundgren on October 5, 2015

-I love how football allows us to be a pretend racists. To me the Aryan race consists of 49ers and their fans. I’m kind of a more tolerant racist though. I think as long as you stay where you belong and you don’t try to influence my kids with your gross lifestyle we’ll be fine. I know I’ve said it before, but if you come from the city (or somewhere close by) that one of my rival teams comes from, I think you should like that team. I honestly would think someone who grew up in Wisconsin would be weird if they were a 49er fan. Which is why I continue to be baffled by the plethora of Packer fans in California. No doubt in my mind less than 5% of them have ever actually set foot in the state of Wisconsin. They are the GREEN BAY Packers, not just, “The Packers”. Go back to where you came from (or most likely didn’t come from!). Here’s a true story; the other day I saw a couple walking down the street holding hands. One was wearing a Raider jersey and the other was wearing a Niner jersey. My immediate thought in my head was, “That’s just wrong.” Then I laughed to myself because that’s the exact thought a real racist has in their head when they see a mixed race couple together. Of course there is nothing truly wrong with a 49er and Raider fan dating, but it is fun to tap into that neanderthal part of my brain that’s been planted there over billions of years of evolution.

-Here are some things I just don’t feel like looking up. I don’t really know what Bankruptcy is. I know it’s usually a bad thing, but sometimes it’s good? A company can declare bankruptcy and then still be a company that makes money? I think? Something to do with their debt? I dunno. I’m not sure I completely understand what Dogma is. Perhaps I do know what it is, but I’ve never had my thoughts confirmed. I’ve looked up at least twice what a red herring is and yet I’ve forgotten and still am pretty much at a loss as to what it means or refers to. Don’t feel obligated to tell me what any of these things are. I’m not asking. Although I won’t discourage you if you really want to. I know there are other things that fall into this category, but these are the ones I can think of right now.

-Why don’t I want to watch John Carpenter’s “The Thing”? I’ve never ever heard anything close to a negative review of it. You all know how much I love the original “Halloween”. Carpenter’s work on that movie is among the best in history of cinema. For this reason I’ve watched other movies of his expecting to love them just as much. I was bored tremendously by, “The Fog” (except for the last two minutes, THAT was badass!). “Escape From New York” and “The Prince of Darkness” never got a complete viewing from me due to boredom. I’ve never seen, “Assault on Precinct 13” or, “They Live”, but I kind of want to. “The Thing” though…I just don’t know why I can’t get myself to watch it. Almost across the board everyone calls it his other classic after, “Halloween”. When people find out how much I like classic horror movies but that I’ve not seen, “The Thing” think I’m in fact a giant dum dum. Every October I tell myself this is the year that I’m going to watch it. A few nights ago I got it in the mail from Netflix and watched maybe 20 minutes before turning it off. To be fair my dog was driving me crazy and I wasn’t giving it my full attention, but if it interested me more there wouldn’t be those problems. I just can’t put my finger on it.

-Do you remember love? I ask this because I know at all times you are going through the exact emotional journey I am. I used to go all crazy for it! I wonder what happened to stop my love affair with love. The other day I remembered a blog I wrote back in 2009. It detailed the series of events that went down when at work we had an unexpected break and I was going to get an opportunity to talk to the cute girl at work. First of all, I knew then that she had a boyfriend. Second, her and I were friendly but to say we were anything more than work acquaintances would be a leap. Yet I was so freaking NERVOUS about standing in her presence and even worse possibly talking to her. I was actually dreading an opportunity to talk with someone I found attractive. That seems so far away from how I currently am with my thoughts on attractive women. Current me would love a situation like that. But also, current me wouldn’t put much weight in a situation where I’d be talking with a girl that had a boyfriend.

I recently joined a co-ed softball league a friend started up. Every one of the ladies on the team is way hot! Old me would both be over the top nervous about being near them but also head over heels in love with them. It’s nice to know that I can simply participate in conversation or crack jokes with them and the rest of the team and not be concerned with collapsing due to an aneurysm.

All the same though, maybe that’s what I need in my life. I’ve not felt any real interest in a lady in over a year now. Sure I’ve moved to a new part of the state and started a new job, but the amount of exposure I get to ladies has stayed about the same if not slightly increased. I’m sure this can all be chalked up to maturing and learning from past experiences, but I don’t want it to be that simple. I did have some RIDICULOUS crushes over the years. Most of them had boyfriends or husbands and yet my devotion to them was on par with a perfect soulmate. I’ve learned to take the news of an attractive woman having a bf/husband as a sign to not get attached. Part of me fears I’ve subconsciously given up on love. I never thought I’d accept that I’d never have kids, and now I’m kinda content that it just won’t happen. I’m not all that bothered by it. Will it just be a matter of time before I feel the same way about a serious relationship and marriage? Basically what I’m saying is my confidence around women is at a personal all-time high, but my drive is at a personal low. This kind of is prime time for me. The second round for women my age is in full swing. The divorce paper ink has dried and some have even entered marriage number two. I’ve not given up yet, but I’m alarmed at how little I think about it.

-The 49ers are terrible.

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Posted by Kyle Sundgren on September 27, 2015

Yesterday sure was glorious. It was a much needed day of relaxation for our family. I, experiencing the least amount of stress and anguish, just got done with a bear of a work week. At the hotel there was a dinner from the Sandals travel group that I and many others spent many many hours setting up, working on, then tearing down. Here is a picture of what HALF of the ballroom I set up looked like.


Screens, pipe and drape, and so many damn banners! Just a lot of lifting and going up and down on a scissor lift with and people getting stressed out and turning ugly. That was my work week.

Kent, my older younger brother was recently laid off from the job he’s been at for many years. So technically he had the least amount of work to do going in, but one can understand the shitty situation he’s in. Thomas, the youngest younger brother was recently dumped by his first real girlfriend that he’s been with just over a year. She’s what turns out to be a horrible, selfish person so the breakup was good in the long run, but yeah he’s had a pretty rough couple weeks. As if college wasn’t enough stress to put on someone!

And our parents are just wonderful hard working people that deserve any amount of fun they can get their hands on. Needless to say when there as an opportunity to have us all together having a blast in San Francisco/Oakland for a day we all jumped at it.

The plan was for Tom to come home the night before. In the morning we left Brentwood to pick up Kent on the way to Oakland at his place in Martinez. We parked our car outside the venue where we would be seeing Chris Cornell perform an acoustic show. Then we called an Uber to take us across the bridge to San Francisco to attend Oktoberfest.

The Oktoberfest was held on Pier 48 which is just off of McCovey Cove of AT&T park. What was supposed to be a German festival turned out more to be a gathering of the hipsters. My annoyance at the amount of, “ironic” outfits and spoiled brats disappeared with every beer I had. So many beers. So, so many beers. I know I ate food too, but the emphasis goes on the beers.

Oktoberfest was a blast. It was loud from the large amount of people in the building and the German band playing. They hailed from Chico which is where everyone in the family except for me went to college. All we did was simply drink beer and stand around and talk, but that’s all we needed. It was just fantastic. I got to catch up with my brothers and share laughs with everyone in the family.
I am for sure the shortest of the bunch here, but I promise you I was crouching. I’m not THAT short!
I’m German dancing!
The guy sitting next to me in this pic made the balloon I’m wearing on my head. I asked him if I could take a picture while wearing it and he said I could if I contributed to his college fund. He might have been kidding, but I drunkenly gave him $5, cuz that’s what you do when you’re drunk.

All told we were probably there 3-4 hours. Great times.

After the fest we took another Uber back to Oakland to have dinner. We had planned on going to the newly opened Oakland Tribune Tavern. Here we are outside the front entrance.

Mom, Dad, Kent, Katie (Kent’s girlfriend), Tom, and me. Once again I felt I had to crouch for some dumb reason!

My Mom’s Dad (or Papa to me) passed away when I was two years old. He worked for over 30 years as a photographer for the Oakland Tribune. He’s got some incredible historic photos of people like JFK, RFK, MLK (he loved famous people that were assassinated and were famously known by their initials!), and so so many Bay Area sports stars just to name like 0.5% of his pictures. I would love to share some here, but of course since his pictures were taken in the 1960’s-1980’s they don’t yet exist in digital form. One day they will, and you can bet I’ll post them at that time.

Anyway this tavern that sits at the bottom floor of the building just recently opened up and this would be the first time we came here. Here’s what the outside of the building looks like (I didn’t take this picture). tribune-tower
After we got to our seat my Mom asked the waitress if there was an owner or manager in. She wanted to know if anyone remembered or knew of her Dad and wanted to share her experiences with the Tribune. The owner came over and was very nice. He didn’t remember Papa, but knew some other people that knew him it turns out.

The owner leaves and we soon put in our food order. We sit around a little bit longer and then the owner comes back to our table. He asks us if we’d like to take a tour of the 20th floor observatory! Hell yes we would like to do that! Seconds later we’re on the elevator and he uses his magic key to get us all the way up to the top. And there we were looking out over the Bay Area from the building that my maternal grandfather worked in for three decades! The view was incredible.

Underneath the flag that sits at the very top of the building.
The hands on the clock, from a side view.

He let us stay up there and take pictures as long as we wanted to. I think Papa would be pretty proud if he could see that moment. His daughter with her husband (who he loved), her three sons (two of which he never met) and his grandson’s girlfriend all getting a VIP tour of a building I’m sure he was incredibly proud to be associated with.

After dinner we walked just a few blocks to the theater to see the Chris Cornell show. I was completely blown away at how great it was. It was just him and an acoustic guitar. A guy on Cello played with him on maybe 4 songs, but the rest was just him up there belting out songs like no one’s business! Every song had a new interpretation and arrangement that was refreshing. Much more so that the fact that it was an acoustic version. Here is the setlist from the show.

  1. (Bob Dylan cover) (a rewrite of the Bob Dylanmore )
  2. (Soundgarden song)
  3. (Led Zeppelin cover)
  4. (Audioslave song)
  5. (Audioslave song)
  6. (Audioslave song)
  7. (Soundgarden song)
  8. (Soundgarden song)
  9. (Soundgarden song)
  10. (Audioslave song)
  11. (Prince cover)
  12. (Mad Season cover)
  13. (John Lennon cover)
  14. Encore:
  15. (Soundgarden song)
  16. (Audioslave song)

It was a great day, what else can I say? I love my family and the fun we’re able to have together. Thanks for reading.

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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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