Husband, father, son, writer, fixer, artist, maker, baker, man – these are some of the words I use to describe myself.
I grew up on the Main Line, a string of burbs just outside of Philadelphia. As a young kid, I rode the train 20 miles to school every day, wore through lots of LL Bean shoes and Izod shirts, and played lacrosse and soccer. In 8th grade, I peaked out, captaining the lacrosse and soccer teams, and becoming the class valedictorian.
High school changed a lot of that. It was the beginning of the 80s. Music, girls, and partying quickly overshadowed more productive pursuits. Through it all, though, I was always doing something creative. When it came time to think about college, writing and photography were two of my passions, so I career in filmmaking seemed like the perfect plan.
I graduated from Boston University with a degree in Broadcast and Film, moved to Taiwan for a short time, then out to the West Coast where I live today. I like to say my career has been made at the crossroads of technology and entertainment, but reading that back it sounds like a pitch for a TED talk that I probably couldn’t do justice to, haha! It’s true that I have produced lots of games and other products, many of which were based on well-known film, TV, book and toy properties, so that description is not a complete exaggeration.
I mentioned Taiwan above, and while I have not been back to the island since 1989, I have taken many manufacturing trips to Mainland China in the interim. In fact, Chinese culture has become a major theme in my life over the years, and not just through business.
In 2004, I married a Taiwan-born Valley girl and now I not only know what jook is, I make it twice a week for our two Hapa daughters. When my wife wants to poke fun at me she refers to herself and our kids together as my “second franchise.” I also have twin teenage daughters from a previous marriage. If you’re keeping score, I have four bright, incredible daughters.
At age 51, I can say honestly that my parents are a bigger part of my life (in a good way) than I think my 16-year-old self would have expected them to be by this point in my life. My wife and I have talked many times over the years about how different Chinese and Caucasian American cultures are about parental relationships. Whereas Chinese culture is by-and-large very clear on what is expected of adult kids, I did not grow up with strong cultural ideas about these relationships.
In a strange twist of happy fate, my dad is now my next door neighbor here in Los Angeles (also a story for another time). My mother has lived in South Florida for the last 40+ years. Where my relationship with my dad has settled into a very amicable and simple affair, my relationship with my mother is more, eh, complex.
The complexity primarily stems from her diagnoses with Bi-Polar II Disorder (manic depression) when I was about seven years old. In her mid-seventies now, she does not suffer from the annual episodes of mania and depression that I remember growing up. The tendrils of the disease are long and messy, however, and they have touched every part of her life, and by extension have greatly colored mine as well.
In recent years I have become a dog lover, and the kibble of my eye is a my buddy Bailey. He publicly razzes me on Twitter – you can find him @LazyWhiteDog, or check out the feed on the Home page.
So that is the miasma from which this blog is being drawn. I have tried to impose some order on this site if only so I have some buckets to fill and so you know what to expect. It is likely that I will wake-up one morning and completely reorganize the deck chairs. Regardless, I hope they are always comfortable and provide you dear reader with a good view as we steam toward, uh… okay, I just realized this metaphor is doomed. Skip that.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
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