Phase 2 – We are Groot


2013 was starting out as one of those forgettable type years. I had been let go of a job I had, so for a while, I was unemployed. Things weren’t all that great, until I applied for the Short Film Corner for the Cannes Film Festival. We had made a short film called “The Last Dance,” and, well…we got in. I, along with my sister, Sandy, were on the way to Cannes, France.

What a great, great time. My second overall trip to France. This one, the south of France, and honestly really amazing. Met a lot of great people, did a lot of fun things. Least fun, was the fact that everything closes around 5pm on Sundays. Even the bus service.

I had to walk 10 miles in dress shoes back to my hotel. Not a great evening. Luckily I remembered how to get back.

Iron man 3 came out in 2013, right before I left for France. It was and is much better than Iron Man 2. I find myself watching Iron Man 3 more than the other two. This was about the time where my now tight knit group of friends started amping up plans to really meet and hang out together.

August of that year, my now sister in law started hounding me to talk to her sister. I was in no place to date, and she was 2700 miles away, so nope.

No photo description available.Thor: The Dark World came out in November 2013. One cool thing that they do not do anymore, AMC used to hold screenings and give out movie sized posters. You could watch both movies and get some pretty cool merchandise at the same time. They stopped, but, it was always enjoyable. This is about the time I got an offer to travel overseas for a trip to the Ukraine, Austria, Spain, and London. It was a work trip. It happened to coincide with a war going on at the time.

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We really had a good time. Made some lifelong friends on that trip. Hurt my back, that sucked. Was laid up for two months afterwards.

I started talking to my now wife in March 2014. A simple facebook message, which led to texting, which led to dating, moving in, then a marriage, a family, and a baby.

Image result for the winter soldierThe same week the defacto best MARVEL MOVIE came out, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I will not accept your thoughts on this. It’s the best. This is the Russo Brothers first entry into the MCU. It will not be their last, or even their best. It was so gritty, and unexpectedly great. Knowing the comics, I knew who the Winter Soldier was, but still, c’mon, they pulled this off. The MCU took a dramatic, amazing turn after this. One that rippled through the TV show (Agents of Shield) as well.

May 2nd, my now wife, asked me to be her Boyfriend. Was cool. Amazing. I was in the back seat of a car, heading to Vegas to witness the wedding of what has now become, my Marvel Brother. We had one of the first “paloozas” as on his wedding night, he and I went to see Spider-Man 2.

My Wife and I met for the first time in person in June of that year. She came to Phoenix. Then Jordan and I flew to New Hampshire later in June. Straight up thought that we were going to be Get Out’d. This was before Get Out came out by the way. Texted everyone I knew my coordinates at all times, just in case.


Guardians of the Galaxy came out August 1st 2014. Natasha and I moved in together about that time. I moved across country. It was an adjustment for both of us, but one of my favorite things ever.  Guardians of the Galaxy was great for many reasons. The first time Music was central to the story of an MCU movie. The Soundtrack, is fantastic. The movie is as well.

I use the title “We are Groot” because it’s from one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie. Again, all hope seems lost. The Guardians, a ragtag bunch of “losers” have banded together to try and take down Ronin, who has the power stone. Only its not going as planned. The team is defeated. The ship that they are on is crashing. Groot, who has only said “I am Groot,” the entire time, has extended his plant body around the team, to save them.

Rocket: Why are you doing this?

Groot: We. Are. Groot. (We are family).

It’s a fitting line for this Phase 2. Besides Jordan, I really didn’t have much family. This movie signified a new beginning in my life. I had Natasha, Jordan, the three girls, and my soon to be brothers in arms. It was and is one of the most memorable times in my life. It was just, amazing.

I went to London that fall as part of the trip I had earlier in the year, and also back to Spain. Still an amazing trip.

In March of 2015, my short film “The Tent” got into the Phoenix Film Festival. I flew back to Phoenix to attend.

I lost two friends in 2015. There comes a point where you just get tired of people’s BS, and when you call them out on it, they become defensive, and those aren’t the people you want in your life. Best to cut the cord while you can before it becomes toxic. I have never had a problem with that. So, peace.

It was about then that our “Paloozas” started. 4 guys with a love of marvel movies, flying to each other’s cities for food, movies, hanging out. Families became incorporated. And as a result, we have become one big family. We met in Phoenix for Avengers: Age of Ultron.  There was an idea, and the four of us pulled it off. We’ve been inseparable since. Well, three of us have, but more about that in Phase 3.

2015, I will admit it, at the time I didn’t think Avengers: Age of Ultron was good. Hindsight, if you watch it now, it’s pretty good and is secretly setting you up. Them: chess. Us: checkers.

Ant-man is honestly the funniest Marvel movie, at this point. It’s one of the most rewatchable movies, and underrated movies in the MCU. Paul Rudd is a treat. The whole cast really. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it.

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In August 2015, I asked this woman right here to be my wife. Of course I asked her father if that was okay, first, then the girls, then her. I was so nervous, I almost dropped the ring off the pier into the ocean. That nervous. Cool thing was, after I asked, and she said yes, a group of teens who had congregated on the pier at the end, cheered. It was pretty great. One of my favorite memories ever. From there, we moved back to Phoenix in October of that year. A whirlwind year to be honest. For now, Phoenix is home.

Monday: Phase 3  Part 1: Higher, Further, Faster, Baby.

Tuesday: Phase 3 Part 2: Whatever it Takes

May 2nd – Phase 1 – There Was an Idea…






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