Originally published on Trevor Trove on July 13, 2016
A couple weeks ago, I debuted new feature intended to highlight friends who are doing cool things. The first Trevor Trove Tribute showcased my friendship with the “Brit Who Won’t Quit” (TM) Tom Hawkins. It was a bit of reciprocity for his decision to honor me on his show, which in turn helped inspire the segment on my end. So with the tone set, it only makes sense to me to continue by honoring the guy who helped start all this nonsense: Alex O’Neill (of Irrational Passions).
Now I have sung Alex’s praises many times over the last year or so, so I apologize if you’ve heard some of this stuff before but here it goes.
I first met Alex in a Facebook message
Sean Pitts was helping to organize hotel sharing for the first Kinda Funny Live event last year and I had let him know I was open to people joining me. He ended up finding a cheaper alternative outside of town so we went our separate ways and that was that until Kinda Funny Live week.
The first community event planned last year was a meet up at Wing Wings. Sean and I, after hanging out and touring IGN that day, hung out in the hotel lobby waiting for one of Sean’s friends to join us before catching an Uber over. I didn’t realize it at the time but that ended up being the very same Alex (I don’t remember if I connected the dots that weekend or sometime after the fact that we had almost roomed together). Anyway we met (well Alex and Sean knew each other from Beyond 300 and PAX East), met another Kinda Funny Best Friend Jacob Leightley, and all squeezed into the Uber off to Wing Wings.
From that initial car ride over we all hit it off immediately. And we pretty much ended up spending most of the rest of the weekend all hanging out together. This culminated in a sense while waiting in line for Kinda Funny Live itself. One of the highlights of the first event was, of course, the presidential debate between the Miller/Moriarty ticket and the Scarpino/Gettys ticket. There were murmurs throughout the line that Alfredo might throw his hat in as a 3rd party candidate (did not end up happening as he was running around as Cheetos with Nick and Tim). But Sean, Alex, and I started joking about the idea of Pitts/O’Neill 2020, with me serving as the Leo McGarry-esque Chief of Staff. So Sean and Alex, who seemed much more at home among the crowd after events like Beyond and PAX, wandered up and down meeting new people and mingling. And I tagged along. When it came time for my picture with the Kinda Funny guys at the end of the night, I basically insisted getting it with Sean and Alex in there, too.
At some point throughout all of this chaos, Alex mentioned this thing he was doing called “Don’t Break the Chain” where he took time to write something every day. He was beating himself up a bit because he’d been doing really well and then missed a day so he was only around day 50 or something instead of day 100 (I’m probably way off there but it was over a year ago and he’s up day 489 now – I texted to check). Anyway the idea stuck with me, especially as I read through his recap of the weekend to realize I’d made an impression with him as he had me.
And then I did nothing for a bit.
Trevor Trove had once existed as a blogspot but I’d mostly gotten away from writing. The day after Kinda Funny Live though I spent most of the morning writing up everything that had happened (just as I did this year) so the seed had been planted to get back into it.
Fast forward a couple months to Rocket League‘s release. I played it. I enjoyed it. And when Alex put out a call for guest writers, I submitted something to him for it. And a little bit after that, while I was waiting for an oil change, I build this site. Then, starting in November, the real fun began.
Alex was writing something every day and everyone with advice for getting into the industry says “just do it” so I decided to push myself to do just that. Combining Alex’s “don’t break the chain” idea with a modification of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month where novelists aim to write a novel in November by writing every day), I made the decision to write and publish something every day. Just for the month to start but the hope was always that I would keep it going. And I’ve kept it up. There have been a couple days where I couldn’t publish (either because internet was down or Squarespace lost all my work before saving) but in those instances, the following day featured a double post.
Tonight marks day 255 of my own chain.
My friendship with Alex has only continued to grow. He was kind enough to invite me on as a Guest Top 10 for Irrational Passion’s Game of the Year shows. I’ve been of the Irrational Passion Podcast (Episode 271). At PSX, we hung out at the IGN Up At Noon desk. At PAX East, we both made strides toward one day attaining our dream jobs (and I got him super drunk with my free drink wristband at the IGN party). And at Kinda Funny Live 2 I got to spend a week hanging out with him once again.
Alex has become one of my dearest friends in the world this past year. He produces amazing content on his site and just celebrated the 6-year anniversary of Irrational Passions. I am incredibly blessed to consider him a brother-in-arms in our efforts to break into this insane industry. And I know that if either one of us is fortunate enough to get the call up to the major leagues, neither one will rest until the other is right there beside.