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A third attempt at this blogging business.
WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - See you in March!



After 380 entries and over 17,600 views, it was time to retire "Who Do I Think I Am??. Expect more of the same shenanigans and troublemaking you've come to know and love from me over the last few years. Tell all your friends, warn your family and hide this from your neighbors...this isn't your average blog. *Wink*

A Paint reflection.

A fair warning.

Blogging Bliss Newsletter Forum  (E)
Discussion of ideas and suggestions about blogs and the Blogging Bliss newsletter
#1911857 by Wordsmitty ✍️

Thanks for stopping by and showing your support!
*Peace2* *Heart* *Delight*

Continue along on my journey over at "Still Figurin' Out Who I Think I Am.
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February 20, 2014 at 5:23pm
February 20, 2014 at 5:23pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Hey folks...sounds like that was quite a finish in Canada's and the US' women's hockey game. I knew I should've watched it, but I spent a chunk of the morning and early afternoon with my internet randomly dropping out every couple of minutes, and that's not an ideal situation when you're trying to stream live video. When I finally had a stable signal, I was able to follow what was happening on Facebook...if there's a reason to ever have so many friends from all different points in your life, it's to follow live events as they happen. Even if 5% of your friends are following something as it happens, and you've got 200 friends...you can see where I'm goin' with this. And all I'm gonna say about it is good game, Canada...see ya tomorrow when the US and Canada square off for the men's gold.

As for the "30-Day Blogging Challenge Blog Mob, we've been keepin' this body alive without a head now for nearly two weeks. There are eight days left in February...what are the odds that our bOSS (with an uncapital B), Brother Nature , shows up by the 1st of March? And speaking of March, who's down for the next official round of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge? As a group our Mob has raised over 60,000 in gift points this month for the "30-Day Bloggers Group so far, and for no apparent reason at all besides spending quality time with a fictional monkey. Imagine if we actually put our heads together during these non-official months and came up with a way to raise funds that actually made sense? We could easily top 100k, even during the really slow months. But I can't thank you guys enough for the outpouring of support...the 30DBC is one of my personal favorite contests, and I look especially forward to the rounds that count every other month. It's always fun, and it's rewarding when you get to the last few days and you realize you've been blogging all month. So no matter what happens from here on out, kidnapping Andre The Blog Monkey was a success because hey, normally only a handful of people show up during the non-official 30DBC months, let alone tries to raise gp's, so the Mob's done quite well.

And what'll become of Andre after all is said and done? I think we've all learned a little perspective (whether we needed it or not), and he'll eventually return home to Joel a changed man monkey. Further proof we can do anything we want! *Laugh*

BCF PROMPT: "If you had to choose an animal to represent yourself, what would it be?"

That's a tough call, because it's never been something I've considered in the past. It'd be easy to say "lion" because that's my Zodiac sign...or a monkey, because I've always found them to be cute in strange ways (all references to Andre aside). I'll resist the urge to be represented by the buffalo even though it's where I'm from...sorry, the buffaloes native to the region nowadays are the cast-iron ones local businesses purchased a few years back as some kind of charity fundraiser or something like that.

So I've got options in the animal kingdom, I guess. Can I pick a goldfish? I don't see why not. I can swim around in my bowl (I don't need a big tank, and I don't intend on sharing my living arrangement with other fishies), see out into the world, and not really be affected by my surroundings. Plus, your dinner rains down on you! How amazing would that be if, like, you knew at a certain time every day hot dogs or burritos would just fall from the freaking sky, and you'd be hungry enough to eat about as much as you can...and whatever you couldn't eat or didn't get eaten by everyone else just magically dissipated into the surroundings, so you didn't have to worry about cleaning it up? That's a win-win-win for everyone!

Sure, I'd have to deal with the occasional kid bangin' on my bowl with his or her greasy fingers, and I'd literally be shitting where I eat, but I'd be a fish...obviously if I swim in a bowl all day I can't be too concerned with my intelligence level. And I don't have to worry about heading off for slaughter where I'll become someone's dinner, 'cuz nobody eats us stupid little goldfish. I float and I eat and if I live a year or two, great...anything more's a bonus. No worries...just point me out in the direction of a little sunshine in the morning, and we're cool. When I'm belly-up, I'll have had a full life, so it won't matter if I'm flushed down the toilet or buried in the backyard; it's not like other fish are gonna visit my memorial...after all, you wouldn't leave a dead cat hangin' aound anywhere, right? Be humane...that's just weird. Do whatever you want, but don't leave my rotting carcass in a bowl, especially if your intention is to replace me.

But yeah, other than that, I'm good. If I had to be anything, I'd just want to be simple...and it don't get much simpler than a goldfish.


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You could almost replace "Public Enemy" with "Nirvana" in yesterday's entry and get kind of the same feeling. I was 13 or 14 when I first heard PE (maybe even younger), and by the time I was 15 Nirvana came out with "Nevermind" and like so many other kids, I became interested in how that would affect me going forward. There was this band that was part of a larger group of bands and artists singing about teenage angst in a way that felt new and raw. Where in the sixties and seventies guys would sing about girls and heartbreak, it was now fashionable to come right out and say what you were feeling. Sure, "I hate my folks" or "I'm alienated from society" weren't concepts that were foreign, but it's the way it was presented.

When you get older you can kind of see through some of the bullshit you're fed when you're younger. But that first wave, or that first blast...that tends to stay with you longer. Maybe it's the way it resonates, or how it feels relatable, or how it doesn't stop growing on you with repeated listens. After high school I'd gone back and picked up their first album and their b-side collection, and nearly every live recording I could find. I've read Kurt Cobain's Journals, which is a haunting collection. It's my opinion that had he managed to survive the nineties and his heroin addiction, he could've done anything he wanted musically at that point and it would've been pure genius.

I don't say that lightly either; there's not many who've died or are living today that I think deserve that high an accolade. The reason I can say this is that when Nirvana's "Greatest Hits" cd was released (album: Nirvana {link:http://www.amazon.com/Nirvana/dp/B00006V9A0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392931729&sr=8-1&keywords=nirvana+greatest+hits}), it was known to contain the last (or one of the last) vocal sessions of his life, and it may be one of the best overall songs he ever wrote between the combination of his lyrics and the music behind them. That song is "You Know You're Right" (lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/nirvana/youknowyoureright.html), and I'm glad we got this as a bit of closure. A fitting end to a career and life taken too soon. Kurt would've turned 47 today...I'll probably slip into some sort of Nirvana binge when I'm done writing this, checking out YouTube clips and letting myself get sucked in to all kinds of interviews and concert footage with crappy sound. More so than Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, or other bands from that scene, Nirvana's my reference point for that time.


*Guitar* It's crazy that it'll have been twenty years in April since Kurt Cobain passed. Rolling Stone ran one of the last interviews he gave on their website this morning...I can still remember buying this issue when it came out and scurrying up to my bedroom to read it. I loved the look on Krist Novoselic's face, and contrary to all the rumors after reading this article I thought Cobain really was dealing with fame better than he had in the past, and that he'd be ok eventually, even if he wasn't the same. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/kurt-cobain-the-rolling-stone-interview-1...

*Medical* Then I came across this blog post, from a person who clearly knows the situation playing out at my previous employer from an insider's perspective. Yes, these things detailed in this entry have all happened within the time the author suggests at the largest pharmacy chain in America. I saw a lot of this going down, and what I didn't stick around for I knew was coming soon enough. I'm glad I was able to get out when I did, even if it wasn't under the best of circumstances. From my understanding the conditions there are even worse than when this article was originally posted. http://thetruthaboutcorporations.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-greg-wasson-has-destro...

*Hockey* Looks like I'm gonna miss what hopefully is Team USA's gold medal-winning performance tomorrow. The game starts at noon but I've got an appointment to meet with two of the advisors regarding this program I'm involved in that'll hopefully give me a better idea if I'll be able to go back to school in the fall. Then I've got a therapist session, but I'm not sure if I'll be back in time for that...we've already rescheduled it once because he was out of town, and I didn't know about the other appointment until after I'd made this one. I'm finding out something people like to do in this town (maybe it's not just this town; I dunno)- they'll be more than happy to send you something in the mail telling you they've scheduled you for a doctor's appointment or to meet with advisors, but they don't wanna call you to confirm because it's less trouble for them and nobody tends to care if you've got other stuff to take care of. Twice in the last week it's happened; I get a letter in the mail telling me to be somewhere at a certain time...and one place that usually calls the day before to remind me of an appointment didn't, so now I've got to remember to call them and uuuuuuugh. I hate that...too much to remember.

I think that's all I had going on for this afternoon. Might make myself an early dinner, catch up on some late-night tv reruns (I'm interested to see how Jimmy Fallon does in taking over The Tonight Show) and get to bed at a reasonable hour...I've been going too early, so I've been waking up ridiculously early, and I feel like that's been throwing me off mentally (not that I'm ever really on mentally...but, you know). Peace, things have never been so swell, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 19, 2014 at 4:09pm
February 19, 2014 at 4:09pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

What's up, fancy people of WDC? Not gonna lie...I started this entry around 6am, took a nap, and it was gone. Love that "forced refresh" feeling. Glad I didn't have anything groundbreaking to say this morning.

I'm feeling a bit better after my tumble yesterday...at least I can stand and walk. When you live in a building full of people you don't like, and your only interaction with them consists of "You ok, bro?" after falling over yourself because the five steps to the bathroom are too much on a compromised shit-kicker (because is there ever a more opportune time to poop?), resting is a comely cure-all. Glad I don't have to go anywhere 'til Friday.

Your boy Andre The Blog Monkey has had a bit of a better go-'round this month...I'm anxious to see how well-behaved he's been as we enter the home stretch in this unofficial month of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge Blog Mob extravaganza. The bOSS (with an uncapital B), Brother Nature , has to be pleased with the turn of Andre's fortunes. At least I think he'd be pleased...I'll just keep tagging Joel in my entries until I hear otherwise. *Smirk*

BCF PROMPT: "Mark Twain says 'Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.' Do you agree or disagree? What's the last humorous thing you can think of that made you feel wicked good?"

I've often found that humor can be a fickle thing...I understand that what turns my fancy may register as insignificant to others. That's ok. I don't laugh as much as I should in obvious situations given my taste in comedy, but I do laugh at more stuff; call it a case of quantity over quality, I suppose. But I'm not here to debate that today.

I don't have much to add to that. *Laugh*

I guess I can find humor in wiping out yesterday at a street corner in front of traffic, since I wasn't seriously hurt. Uncomfortable? On many levels. But if I can't laugh about it now, what purpose did it serve? I didn't end up in a hospital, and outside of a few panicked emails, nobody's the wiser. Hug up a little tighter on your functioning, wigglin' limbs, y'all...'cuz it sucks when you can't feel them.


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What kind of list would I be curating for myself if didn't include Public Enemy? I feel like I grew up in a golden era of music, and hip-hop was my punk rock. It was rebellion in an accessible form for my generation, but I knew if I was making a choice to stand out from the mainstream, I had to be smart about it. I veered toward socially conscious rhymes over sonically challenging beats...I didn't want commodity; I wanted substance. If I was gonna upset people with my choice of music, it had to have heart and a solid meaning in its message.

That's why it chaps my ass when people disrespect rap, and I take it personally because that's the music I raised myself on. You can't tell me what The Bomb Squad did with beats and samples isn't "real music"...you have to be a genius to architecturally structure music that makes you think as much as it moves you on a cultural level.

While it doesn't have the same impact as "Fear Of A Black Planet" or "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back", "Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age" ({link:http://www.amazon.com/Muse-Sick-N-Hour-Mess-Public-Enemy/dp/B0000024IB/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392841268&sr=8-1&keywords=public+enemy+muse+sick-n-hour+mess+age}) still manages to challenge listeners by sending a message that it's not ok to accept what's being sold to you, whether it's clothes or food/beverages or music...you have a right to seek out alternatives to everything being pushed at you commercially, even if it's not the popular course of action. And I could've picked a handful of more influential PE songs that relate to who I am, but "Give It Up" (lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/publicenemy/giveitup.html) best articulates the points I just made.


*Football* So this happened this morning:

Awesome new Twitter follower.

It's a pretty great day for humor when the parody account for an athlete with a legendary background, who also balls for your hometown team, wants to follow you on Twitter.

*Headphones* I should've shared this yesterday as part of the "comfort food" prompt, because it's pretty impressive that a chef could/would do such a thing...http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/radioheads-kid-a-and-10-barmy-menus-for-other.... One more browser tab I can close.

Well, I think I'm done for today. If you've made it this far into this entry, thanks for humoring me...and if you don't mind, I have another nap to attend to. Peace, nuffattackin', brain's a-rackin', clock tockin', Chuck shockin', Flavor Flav ain't never shavin', and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 18, 2014 at 5:26pm
February 18, 2014 at 5:26pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Good day, kind readers. You can't hide from The Mob, even when The Mob tries to hide from you. Personally, I'm growing tired of the charade induced by this whole thing...I'm shiftless and aimless without proper direction.

At least your boy Andre The Blog Monkey is in good hands today, getting a piano lesson with The Blogmother blainecindy. I myself am fighting off the urge to nap some. Don't be sleepin' on me! Even if I want to.

BCF PROMPT: "Let's take a stroll down memory lane. Tell us about a comfort food that makes you feel nostalgic or sentimental when you eat it. Who made this special dish for you? Do you ever fix it for yourself if you are feeling blue?"

Please, no, and never, right? I don't want to be a hostage endebited to particular food stuffs. But I won't front; the kid within me loves Spaghettios. With meatballs, or franks. No joke; they're amazingly tasty and simple on the budget when you have no budget to speak of.

I'm also a sucker for Triscuits. The Sea Salt and Pepper originals run a close second to the Brown Rice, Tomato and Sweet Basil. If there were ever a "Thin Crisp" flavor, I'd be all over that. Crispy crackers with cheese and pepperoni? Hi, I'm here...where do I sign up?

But my end-all-be-all comfort food is Bison French Onion chip dip. You can sweat a snowstorm 'til your pretty eyes bleed, but you'll never find something quite as taste-bud appealing as http://www.yelp.com/biz/bison-french-onion-dip-buffalo?ob=1. I'm mad lucky I have a store close enough that sells the Bison brand. and I don't have to scratch the Earth's surface to find it. There are many French onion chip dips out there, but there is only one made by Bison. Accept no substitute.


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Well, I've hit that snag in "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge where it's become necessary to repeat an artist. I didn't think I'd have to (I've got a pretty good list going so far), but I can't think of a better tune today and I really don't feel like wasting time trying to.

The simple rationale behind anyone's choice to name "Misunderstood" by Wilco (album: Being There {link:http://www.amazon.com/Being-There-Wilco/dp/B000002N7G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392754667&sr=8-1&keywords=Wilco+Being+There}; lyrics: http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/101487/) as one of their "biographical songs" would be too easy for anyone given just the title of the song. It's almost clichè for one to consider his or herself "misunderstood", but everyone has their reasons. Personally, I identify more with the poetry of the lyrics, and I have the outsider perspective that not everyone gets what you do or why you do it. The world chooses to see why you're not like everyone else as a downfall more often than not. It's a hard thing to try and reconcile with when that same world is screaming at you to be yourself.

I'm glad I got to see Wilco live twice; they put on as good a show money can buy, and they're not the kind of band Buffalo normally attracts. They closed my first concert experience with them by playing "Misunderstood", and they punctuated the closing rant with "thank you" over and over instead of "nothing...nothing", which really added to the ambiance and significance of the evening.

I've put this song on mix-tapes for friends and family members before, not only so they could experience different music they weren't accustomed to but to let them know they weren't alone in feeling not like everyone else. It validated my own feelings of alienation and personal separation from society's norms. "I'm ok, and so are you, whatever you are" was the major point. Whether or not this song has succeeded is not for me to judge.


*Snow1* So I woke up this morning thinking "Gee, wouldn't it be great to have more snow?" and then hoping I'd damn-near faceplant while attempting to avoid a slush puddle during my daily romp. Stupid god-damned "good" ankle gave out on me while trying to cross an intersection. Sonofabitchin' thing hurts to stand on, not to mention the bruised ego that comes with wipin' out in front of traffic. My gloves still stink of snowy pavement and puddles. Yet I'm still trying to decide if it's hospital-worthy. A nap during the creation of this entry wasn't a good enough indicator, but crippling my way to the bathroom should be...I don't need another broken leg. Not now. Not today.

*Eat* Just when I think I'm ok with reppin' my hometown, this happens, and suddenly everyone is batshit crazy again: http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/local/2014/02/18/woman-charged-with-dwi-after-hit....

*Partyhatb* And then I'm kinda ok with this stuff: http://www.tickld.com/x/21-rules-that-men-have-number-7-is-so-true. So help me god, make the pain go away!!

Dear ladies, gentlemen, and others who peruse this shit, please understand my not being WDC-relevant the next few days. Collapsing isn't in my daily planner. Peace, back in your old neighborhood, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 17, 2014 at 6:45pm
February 17, 2014 at 6:45pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Hello, and what is up?? Thanks for taking a few of your day's precious minutes to see what I'm up to...and believe me, there's not a lot going on today, in part due to it being a holiday, and small little towns like mine shut half of everything down on days like today. It's only annoying because I've got some things I wanna get out of the way, like making appointments and rescheduling others.

Andre The Blog Monkey isn't having those issues though. Looks like tomorrow he'll be taking piano lessons with blainecindy. Now that he's exhibiting a bit of worldliness and some manners, I think he'll be in for a delightful time with Cindy...maybe she'll even take him on a guided tour of "Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise after some ivory tinklin' ("ivory tinklin'"...*Laugh* I'm thinking that had an entirely different meaning to Andre a few weeks ago).

No sign of the bOSS (with an uncapital B) anywhere. I think he's avoiding us, but that's my opinion. These Mob types...you never can tell what's really up.

BCF PROMPT: "Tell us about your writing space. Where do you write your blog posts?"

Interesting...a few days ago I had an idea that sort of mimicked this exact prompt. I was gonna make a short video using the camera on my laptop and the one on my old Blackberry that featured the little area I live in. Obviously, since you're not watching it, I haven't done it yet...but it's in the pipeline. I just need to find the ambition, and I want to make sure I get some Saturday morning footage of the anti-war hippies that protest on the corner of my street.

For now though, you'll have to take comfort in what I say my conditions are. These entries come at you from the foot of the bed I sleep on in a tiny little place known in Cortland as The Gable Inn. The room is seriously about as big as a parking space...it's a bed and a dresser and not much else. There are probably jail cells bigger than where I live, but I'm not complaining...it beats being homeless and sleeping in parks or laundromats. The bills are included with the rent (even Wi-Fi), and once a week someone comes by to clean and change the sheets. I wish I were making this up.

But I'm fine with the setup for now. It's a far cry from Briarcliff, 542, or even The Ruckushouse (which was torn down a few years after DMFM and I moved out), but it's made enough of an impression on me to almost want to embrace this place. I won't grow old here- no, I've seen old and it's not pretty here by any stretch of the imagination. And I'm not one for growing old as much as old grows on you, anyway. I've still got time to figure a lot of things out, including where I want to live...and I've lived with myself for too long to know that luxuries like roommates aren't for me. It sounds weird, but I'm happiest when I'm lonely. There's a certain comfort that comes along with knowing you're best when not bothered by anything or anyone.

I've written a ton of blog entries...that's a fact. And I've written a few good ones here and there, in many different environments. I choose to live in the "here and now" because, well, that's where I am. It doesn't always lead to exciting stuff, but I think I'm over trying to be sensational. I just want to be. Right now, where I'm at...this is my vehicle. I'll drive it into the ground, burn it up, and figure out what's next when that time presents itself to me.


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No doubt there's a stigma attached to your personality when you tell people you enjoy writing. It runs the gamut between mock supportiveness and downright ugly persecution. Well, fuck all that, because the same people who say shit are gonna be the ones who pay money for your words. Being made fun of is part of the plan, whether they care to be part of the process or not.

I thought I retired this song many entries ago, but I'll be glad to repost it again under the guise of situational personal neediness. In lieu of saying anything else, I love this song and my preferences should never be questioned because, well, me...and that is all. (album: Just Enough Education To Perform {link:http://www.amazon.com/Just-Enough-Education-Perform-Stereophonics/dp/B00005B1GY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392710481&sr=8-1&keywords=stereophonics+just+enough+education+to+perform}; lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/stereophonics/mrwriter.html).



*Watch* Haters gonna hate.

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*Plug* Mad props to drifter for the nearly spot-on review of "At Least That's What I Heard. Writers never get enough reviews, so I can't begin to say how thankful I am.

And I'll leave you fans of this crevasse of internet delectability a kindly reminder of my headspace:

I learned a new word today.

Peace, why don't you tell it like it always is, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

You can do this, on a level you never knew you had within you.
February 16, 2014 at 3:07pm
February 16, 2014 at 3:07pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Good morning folks...took yesterday off from WDC stuff because I wasn't feeling great, and the thought of sitting in front of my laptop trying to string a few sentences together wasn't appealing enough to me, so I did the next best thing and sat in front of my laptop watching two Charlie Brown Valentines Day specials on Hulu, with a halfway decent nap sandwiched in between. All in all, a restful and relaxing day...didn't even leave the house.

It appears Andre The Blog Monkey is having quite the weekend. After zippin' around the galaxy with ElaineElaine yesterday, dude's goin' halfway across this planet. Seems to me that during reflections upon his newfound sobriety, he's decided to champion a few causes as a way of "giving back" to the world he took so much from, so he's going to Sochi to cheer on Team USA in the Olympics.

But our bOSS (with an uncapital B), Brother Nature , is Canadian, and rumours to the north say they met and were associates for years in the British Columbian underground scene "running numbers" as far back as the early days of the Brian Mulroney administration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Mulroney). So what gives, Andre?

Turns out Andre wants to protest Vladimir Putin and Russia's homophobic policies and behaviours, so he'll be picketing outside the Bolshoy Ice Dome before every Olympic hockey event wearing his customized Team USA jersey (you can do that kind of stuff when you're not throwing money away on booze, loose women and smoking paraphernalia). And after the US' amazing defeat of the home team yesterday morning, he's decided to jump on the bandwagon and root for the national team representing some of the kind people who have held him in captivity taken him in while trying to figure out Joel's whereabouts. Godspeed, Andre!

Andre's goin' to Sochi.

BCF PROMPT: "How does the weather influence you and your activities? Do you just go with it? Or do you change your plans to meet the day? I don't know about you but I am so over all of the crazy weather and changing my plans."

Well, I saw this prompt and immediately began swearing to myself (I get your comment now, Lyn *Laugh*...NSFW = "not safe for work" *Wink*) and I envisioned myself taking up a few megabytes of space cursing cold weather and snow. And if you know anything about me, you'll know that I have a very pronounced disdain for all things related to the struggle winter weather is often associated with.

Part of my anxiety/depression issues are seasonally associated, so I have a tendency of shutting down mentally in the winter if I'm not vigilant when it comes to monitoring my symptoms...and even when I've gotten them to a manageable place, I still prefer not to go anywhere because doing so would just be the realization that I refuse to admit to myself that I really have a problem with where I live, yet I don't do anything about it.

Why?? Please, why??

I should be thankful I suppose for living somewhere that's pretty much devoid of other natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes, which have been crippling other parts of the world since the dawn of weather. The flipside of that is we're so accustomed to blizzards, so we've developed ways to work around them and we're so advanced that a foot or two of snow no longer is a big deal, and stores and schools stay open and we're expected to shovel ourselves out and still make it to work on time. The screwy part of having lived in Western New York for so long, with Buffalo huggin' up on the shores of Lake Erie. is the lake effect phenomenon...meaning, some areas will get absolutely pummeled with inclement activity, but go twenty minutes in any other direction and there's barely a dusting. That's the big problem...when you live in one community, your boss lives in another, and you work somewhere in the middle. "What do you mean you can't make it to work? The roads are fine!" Yeah, because you live in the area that doesn't get the same bands of snow and drive a gigantic SUV, whereas I live where there's been 2" falling an hour since I went to bed and drive a tiny little Saturn, which is buried in the garage because the snow has drifted up to my neck and the county plow stacked another hard-packed foot at the apron of the driveway...yet I'm supposed to be sympathetic when schools close because it's five below zero out and still made it to work but the boss can't because they closed schools. Yes, these are conundrums you face when you live in places like I have.

So back to this prompt...since it's just me and I don't have to worry about going anywhere important, as long as I've got enough food it's not a big problem. And I don't know if I'm lazy or stupid or both, but since I live across the street from a store it's not a big deal to me to come to the realization that I might need provisions and tough out the 30-second trip there while wearing the shorts I've been lounging around the house in. Makes no kinda sense to me to put on six layers of clothes just to waddle across the street, and then spend another half hour when I get home trying to undress and get comfortable. Plus, I hate feeling "bundled up"...I need to know I can freely move my arms and legs in any direction at all times, or a claustrophobic anxiety sets in, and not only am I not comfortable from limited movement, but I also want to start screaming about it in a muted, wild banshee-esque murmur that's quite unsettling to strangers.

This winter in particular has been especially cold and snowy, enough to the point that I've cancelled a few appointments because they weren't close enough to sensibly justify waiting for a bus or even leave the house. The "Polar Vortex" was a pretty solid inconvenience...one can only take so much before realizing that going outside for any reason is pretty stupid, and once wind chills hit a certain low point it really doesn't matter what the actual reading is because you know it's so cold that you can start feeling your sinus cavity constrict while the snot in your nose freezes all up in there. It's like Mother Nature (not related to Brother Nature) has determined her own threshold of common sense, and that's the determining factor that advises you to stay indoors.

I will grudgingly accept this season, because I know in some years we've gotten lucky. I've seen Decembers where the average temp is 60 degrees, and people begging to get throat-punched are complaining that they won't have a White Christmas...the same jerk-offs who complain in July that it's 85 and sunny and too hot like sweat and favorable conditions for outdoor activities are the end of the freaking world. Some people are never satisfied and can't seem to reconcile their feelings one season to the next. Sorry, but until we all get our own temperature-controlled bubbles to live in, suck it up princess...you're in <your deity here>'s country, so deal with it. Ain't like you weren't raised up on this stuff, and just like you, I had that same realization somewhere around the same time I learned what responsibilities were that snowstorms aren't fun days off from school and snowball fights and cute snowmen. Sure, I didn't choose to be born here, but it's where I'm from; show me an environment that's free of natural disasters, and I'm there as long as I can take all the cool (not cold) parts of Buffalo with me while leaving behind the people who bought and paid for pretty days ('cuz those people tend to be jerks about it anyway). Otherwise, let's party May through September, and we'll reconvene next year.


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I'm gonna double-up again today because tunes don't take a day off in my little world. I'll start with a story, because everyone loves stories. My first drugstore job had corporately-purchased Muzak (as many stores do) and there was one song in particular that always seemed to grate on my nerves because it was run so many times that it became almost a running joke between a few of us musically-inclined listeners/coworkers. "Weather With You" (lyrics: {link:http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/crowded+house/weather+with+you_20034420.html})...we didn't know or care who sang it, but it was the snarky version of "Have a nice day!" when one of us would punch out for the day ("Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you *Smirk*..."). A few years later, I bought my second iPod (my first was rendered useless by a cheap aftermarket desktop speaker system),and I'd went to a local library to add to my collection. I'd grabbed Crowded House's greatest hits (album: Recurring Dream: The Very Best Of Crowded House {link:http://www.amazon.com/Recurring-Dream-Very-Crowded-House/dp/B000002U5B/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392573927&sr=8-1&keywords=crowded+house+greatest+hits}) because I'd loved the MTV hits "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Something So Strong". Somewhere down the road I'd had that iPod on shuffle, and "Weather With You" came on...I didn't know whether to puke or be excited to realize that it was Crowded House; I fell in love with the song I guess because having heard it sooften before, I could now place a favorable name to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dlt9GkD_oI

For my second choice...well, I love that I've forgotten how many artists/bands I enjoy. Hawksley Workman is one of my absolute favorites...perhaps the only man I will ever claim to be "sexy". His wit, charms, looks...all something any man should aspire to be, and the fact that he's Canadian means little to me other than his albums can be hard to come by in the US unless you're familiar with http://www.maplemusic.com/. I came across HW strictly by accident; my sister and I were going to Buffalo's legendary "Thursday In The Square" concert series, and Gord Downie (lead singer of The Tragically Hip) was headlining- I was a fan of Downie's solo stuff, and no one in my circle of friends cared for The Hip...going to "The Square" was just an excuse for so many people to get downtown on a Thursday and drink and socialize because who came for the music?? That'll always be a peeve of mine...nobody went for the bands, but for the scene/to be seen. Even when Gord came out for his first few songs wearing a Gil Perrault Sabres jersey, few cared more about his songs than that bit of homage to the local hockey scenesters. He was playing songs from his solo debut, which was paired with a poetry book, both titled "Coke Machine Glow" (http://www.maplemusic.com/product.asp?dept_id=367&pf_id=365-41.

But Hawksley as an opener...totally stole the show. His theatrical presence and his lurching steps while playing guitar were absolutely mind-blowing; this wasn't a guy in a band playing the hits for the locals at a sweaty dive bar over and over. His original compositions were on display for a crowd that didn't know him and didn't care, but he put it out there with comfort and ease. His personality won us over quickly.

"Almost A Full Moon" (album: Almost A Full Moon http://www.maplemusic.com/product.asp?dept_id=41&pf_id=40-60) is not my favorite Hawksley disc, even though it contains a couple of my favorite songs ("Claire Fontaine", "Common Cold", "3 Generations") he created. I believe that album could stand alone as a Broadway play or musical of some kind; it's that amazing in its depth and emotional bearing as a concept album undertaking themes of winter and family. And I'm not a big fan of soup in any form of the food groups, but when it gets nearly unbearable outside I can't help but replaying this in my head.


*Books1* Hawksley Workman's book, Hawksley Burns For Isadora {link:http://www.amazon.com/Hawksley-Burns-Isadora-Workman/dp/1550225162/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392577684&sr=8-1&keywords=Hawksley+Burns+For+Isadora} will always be required reading for anyone who wishes to know me entirely more personally. Conceived as classified ads to a Toronto newspaper, it speaks volumes to the romanticism one can hold within and dare to share with a world that is otherwise blind and jaded to feelings. I've given the book as a gift a few times and extolled its virtues to many before. I don't have very many books in my personal canon of recommendations, but this is one I'd suggest to everyone who has ever been in love or wants to be in love, or thinks they know they're in love.

*Hockeyskate* Let's all celebrate US Hockey for a moment...TJ Oshie ripped up Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in Olympic shootout rules, and that's great and all. And Team USA is moving on to the medal-contended round, because in no small part of Ryan Miller's efforts this morning. As a Sabres fan, I want to know how many times in his career he's lost a shutout because he let in a goal in the last two minutes of play for his team. I'm not sick over it, but it's something I've been forced to be giving too much thought to over his career because that seems like a trend. "Game's in the bag...oops, there goes my shutout!". But it's cool...rather it be a win than it not be a win.

Ah well, I had more to add but I've probably said enough for today. Gonna hit up a nap and try to catch as much of the Olympic news as I can on http://www.nbcsports.com/. Peace, let's make some soup, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 14, 2014 at 7:22pm
February 14, 2014 at 7:22pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

What's up, friends, lovers, and everyone in-between? Happy Valentine's Day to all you fine people...now that the niceties are out of the way, I have a list of gripes a mile long I've got the rest of the afternoon and evening to get into, so if you don't mind I'm gonna have at it. Disclaimer: Nothing I have to say in today's entry concerns the fact that I won't be upset if you choose to wish me "Have a nice day!" instead of the traditional February 14th greeting reserved for those with better hearts than me (more on that later...).

Anyone heard from Brother Nature , our Blog Mob bOSS (with an uncapital B) lately? I'm guessing he's joined the Witness Protection Program in an effort to avoid Andre, who looks like he's making a concerted effort to be a better person monkey ever since his unfortunate kidnapping at the hands of our Mob. As Lyn noted in the comments section of my entry yesterday, we may be seeing a role-reversal of sorts...is Andre becoming more cultured and esteemed in Joel's absence? Will Joel be showing up randomly at 3am, drunk off banana schnapps and demanding access to our keyboards while leaving piles of crumpled and balled-up sheets of loose-leaf paper strewn about as blog entries deteriorate into hastily sketched notes via MS Paint? Is anyone else concerned by Joel's not-so-sudden disappearance, too consumed by thoughts that maybe shadows are just Hitchcockian silhouettes of the man himself while love songs of the Canadian prairies murmur in the backgrounds of our very souls? *Shock*

I defy you to prove me it isn't so! *Laugh*

BCF PROMPT: "What is your opinion of Valentine's Day? Has it become too commercialized?"

I want to say yes, but upon further examination maybe that's not the case. Oh, don't get me wrong...that "holiday" has been sold out for a long time. But it's really just part of the over-commercialization of everything. Days like today used to mean little more than remembering to do something just a bit extra-special for someone you care about (usually involving chocolates and flowers and other feelings things that are quickly consumed before the reset button on snarkiness is hit normalcy returns). Now, sub out "Valentine's Day" for any other square on the calendar that has some pre-printed labelling on it, and Hallmark's already had a section set up in the local drugstore three months ahead of time just in case you need to remind any segment of the population how insignificant you'd be without their presence on their special day. Pretty soon we'll be celebrating everything from the person who stocks the local gas station with energy drinks to the genius that came up with the life-altering decision to market t-shirts that don't have tags in the back. But I digress...

Yes, stores are guilty for pimping out what used to be simple celebrations of our fondness for certain people and our forays into the natural selection of romantic interests. But society's just as much at fault for allowing that to continue in exponential excess year after God-forsaken year. You shouldn't need to take out a small loan to purchase/deliver a greeting card, but because some jerk-off can't properly express gratitude to his wife/girlfriend/mistress 364 other days of the year, that's what it looks like the world has come to...and because that same wife/girlfriend/mistress won't shut up for weeks about how that dude totally topped himself this year, the bar gets raised and expectations skyrocket, and every commercial becomes a variation of "Every kiss begins with Kay (Jewelers)" whenever the mere notion of a gift-giving occasion arises. Whatever happened to "Love Will Keep Us Together" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G0sOA6hTg0) and "You're All I Need To Get By" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqbpZvtIQZ0)?

So before all y'all get crazy tryna outdo the next man (or woman), take a step back and think about how you can celebrate love on a daily basis instead of padding a corporation's dirty pockets with more of your hard-earned dollars and sense just because your sweet-ums should have that heart-shaped whatever as opposed to the regular-shaped whatever you can buy on any given day at any time. And if that's not enough, then learn how to come to terms with you not being enough for that person, and start thinking about maybe trying to come across as someone who is to someone else who thinks you are. Don't say I never gave you some sound advice. *Wink*


** Image ID #1970900 Unavailable **

It's hard for me to believe that I'm hitting the halfway point in "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge and I'm just now dropping my first Wilco track, yet here it is. And there are way better songs I'd mention if I were to undertake this same proposition in any other month (although there might be one or two more that make this month's cut), but contrary to the words I sometimes string together and the emotions that lace them up, "I'm Always In Love" (album: Summerteeth {link:http://www.amazon.com/Summerteeth-Wilco/dp/B00000I5JS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392415611&sr=8-1&keywords=wilco+summerteeth}; lyrics: http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/132770/) sums up a little of what's going on in the randomness of everyday situations and observations I have/encounter. I can't help it; I think a lot of things and sometimes I can fall in love with the idea of love itself before I've heard a person ruin it by talking (among many other reasons a person can wreck the initial attraction, and I'm sure I've done it myself a bunch of times).

When I was going through my Wilco discovery phase and buying up albums from before my origin point, I found certain simple aspects of this song to be somewhat inspiring...I managed to let its influence creep into my own writing at the time. No joke; last night I spent some time digging through old notebooks because one of my personal favorite lines (in anything I've ever written) is "I'm a silly boy in love with bein' in love"...and not only did I find it, but it's actually in an item buried in my WDC portfolio ("Sarcasm in its ugliest fine form). It's far from the greatest thing I've ever been lucky enough to compose/commit words and internet space to, and it's more about the state of the relationship I was in back then than anything else, but it's also not the worst idea or summation of love I've ever come to either. And unless you're some crazy, creepy, psycho-stalkerish individual, there's really no harm in subtle feelings kept internally when they're held for someone else and you can't/won't/don't do anything about them.


*Mic3* Best thing about today? If you're already down with A Song A Day on Facebook ({link:https://www.facebook.com/asongadaycuzIcan }), then you know that legendary hip-hop group De La Soul is giving away their entire catalogue for free today in advance of their 25th year together. That's notable because due to their pioneering use of sampling techniques, you can't get a lot of their music on iTunes. This has me excited, because I finally get to own a non-cassette version of "Me, Myself And I" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJEzEDMqXQQ). Why wouldn't you want to own some groundbreaking stuff? http://gawker.com/de-la-soul-are-giving-away-all-their-albums-for-free-152282789...

*Heart* Remember what I said at the beginning of this entry about those who have better hearts than me? Well, who had the EKG this afternoon that proves some of you might not? *Pointright*This guy.*Pointleft* And that's about where the great news ends.

*Medical* So yeah, I had an EKG at my doctor's appointment this afternoon, and the doc said it "looks perfect...as healthy as it can be"..."well, there's this little dip here but it's not important, so yeah, it looks great!" Only next month I have to go for pulmonary testing to determine "the age" of my lungs, which is common knowledge (to me, at least) that the numbers won't be favorable. And then they tried to draw blood, for some "preliminary" tests...after having been pricked in both arms, they couldn't come up with more than the drop that ended up on the bandage. But dammit, you can bet that if I grabbed a newspaper the wrong way I'd bleed for a painful eternity from a paper cut. On top of that, I'll need to see another orthopedic doc for x-rays on my once-busted, twice-operated on ankle to determine if that's the cause of problems I've been having with my back and hips when I stand or walk for more than 10 or 15 minutes. And he looked at me- eye contact, and that's not my strong suit- when he said "arthritis". As in, "Your soreness? It's very likely that it's arthritis." So he's pulling me out of work for a month...plenty of time to see the new ortho and visit my local hospital to get the blood work done. What does that all mean? In math terms, me = <*Smile*. I'm thirty-fucking-eight years old...aren't I too young to be arthritic? I can say with every bit of certainty that I'm definitely not mature enough to be handling all of this right now. But hey, on the plus (no pun intended) side, I haven't gained nearly as much weight as I thought I did! *Pthb* Guess I'm just wearing it less favorably than I prefer to.

*Eat* And I'm supposed to avoid salt, because the bottom number of my blood pressure is higher than normal. Not by much, but enough for the doctor to basically say (in not so many words) "Don't eat, because you're shlubby and there's salt in pretty much everything you eat, even though you haven't touched a salt shaker in half your life". Glad I chose a handful of stale pretzels to snack on last night to fight off hunger before going to sleep...which probably contributed to my stone-dry veins as well this afternoon (because the nurse taking my vitals and trying to get me to bleed into a needle got me to realize that I hadn't ingested much of anything in solid or liquid form today, save for a few sips of an energy drink that somehow froze in my fridge overnight before I left the house this afternoon and thinking I'd want to stop and eat after my appointment...yeah, I was in no mood for that).

So, balls on top of balls, if I may be so explicit when rendering what today's prompt has been to me while also attempting to reconcile within the unstellar day I've had so far. Don't send me a card and contribute to the world's gluttony while I ponder what my own has done for (and to) me. Enjoy your loveliness, lovelies. Peace, why I wonder, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 13, 2014 at 9:10pm
February 13, 2014 at 9:10pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Good evening folks! It's another one of them snowy nights...seems like there's been way too many of them this year. I heard on the radio this afternoon we're supposed to get 6-10" overnight, with it tapering off by daybreak. And it better, because I have plans in the afternoon that require going over to the other side of town and I don't want to be bothered any more than I'll already be by having to leave the comfort of my warm bed.

It looks like our Blog Mob is managing survival, and Andre, the bOSS' (with an uncapital B) Blog Monkey, is still out and roamin' around. Brother Nature even pitched in 10k to not take him back right away, which means he trusts us to do the right thing...whatever the "right thing" is with a monkey. People ask me, "Yo, what's the deal with the monkey?" and I'm all like, "Man, I don't even know! It's all bigger than me." And it's true...at this point, I have no idea what Andre's purpose is anymore. As long as he's not shootin' smack under a bridge somewhere in Skaneateles, he'll be fine. Although I'm pretty sure if he was, you probably wouldn't be able to pull him out of a police lineup with all the other junkies.

That being said, I think it's time to talk about me for the rest of this entry. Because you > me > monkeys > dope fiend monkeys. In case you were wonderin'.

BCF PROMPT: "How did you meet your current/most recent romantic partner? If you have never been in a romantic relationship, how would you like to meet 'the one'?"

*Laugh* I love how this prompt kind of (and I'm sure that's not the intent, but I can't help to see it like so) implies that if I'm not with "the one", then I obviously haven't met that "one" yet...sort of glossing over that nowhere land where your life remains incomplete by staying forever alone. I know it was in a book or a movie or something, but it bears me asking in my "incredulous" voice, "Who says my life has to be defined by me having someone else to share it with??"

I don't break out the bold font very often y'all, but if ever there were a time...*Wink*.

I suppose if I really wanted to relive the months (months!!) I spent trying to catch a date with the lady that would've eventually became the most recent ex-girlfriend, I'd be wasting all my remaining breaths rereading "I'm Studying You while sitting next to a box of tissues wearing only pajama pants and Cheeto dust on my fingers. And while I'm thankful that through that experience I gained readers, encouragement, and life lessons, on the whole it's not something I care to relive...all that time (nearly four years) to get to this point is plenty for me, thanks.

That's the mythic idea of love that I don't comprehend; that you have to be in it to share it, and vice versa. I don't buy it. It doesn't work that way for me, but then again rarely do things turn out under the premise that they're supposed to under certain terms. And while I understand that there are some things only a lover can provide, it's not like I can't live without them or feel any less complete not currently having them. I've had them all before, so I have the frame of reference; it's not like I lost them because I've learned to go without, but there's a very real sense that destiny thought better of my plans than even I did. I'm totally ok with that, and if you don't like it or think otherwise, well, walk a few blocks in my Adidas and tell me you're dying because you can't be with the person you feel like you're so meant to be with.

Sure, sometimes I miss all the fun stuff that couples share, but I don't feel like I'm missing out. I don't have to be responsible for another person's feelings, or take into consideration that all or some of my decisions have ramifications beyond me. I'm not forcing my will or living for two or pacifying. I have a hard enough time making myself happy as it is; I can't imagine having to please others as well anymore.

And if that makes me sound selfish, well, it wouldn't be the first time anyone's called me that *Smirk*. The line forms to your right (my left). I'm not saying I'll never date again as long as I live, but right now the idea that when I eventually leave this world I won't be leaving anyone behind means more to me than any of the alternatives (romantically speaking)...and if you happen to work in a drug store of any sort in my neighborhood, this is especially good news. I've had three significant (longer than six months) relationships in the last ten years, and all three of those women happened to work in that particular segment of retail industry...maybe I do need to get out more *Rolleyes*.


** Image ID #1970900 Unavailable **

I'm gonna double-up and pick two songs today, because I managed to miss a day earlier this week. Both revolve around a time in my life, oh, maybe fifteen years or so ago, when I was coming out of a relationship with a girl that I absolutely thought was my "one". I was sooooooo in love with her, and sooooooo oblivious to the fact that she was not in love with me, that it's comical now to think about it. But wow did it suck...especially considering that all of my friends knew that she was seeing one of my best friends behind my back, but nobody wanted to be the one to break the news to me.

I won't include a video for the first song because I'm pretty sure there isn't one that's just the song, but it's how I dealt with it on the outside...I felt I was the better long-term choice for the girl than my friend, and I wasn't gonna let anyone see how hurt I was by their relationship. I got to be pretty good at hiding my real feelings behind humor and sarcasm, which wasn't healthy, and even though the guy's name wasn't Gary I could listen to "Dysentery Gary" by Blink-182 (album: Enema Of The State {link:http://www.amazon.com/Enema-Of-The-State-Blink-182/dp/B00000IPAX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392341627&sr=8-1&keywords=blink+182+enema+of+the+state}; lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/blink182/dysenterygary.html) on repeat and blame that dude for just about everything wrong with the world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3VfFmQHL7w

The other song, "Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down" by Scott Weiland (album: 12 Bar Blues {link:http://www.amazon.com/12-Bar-Blues-Scott-Weiland/dp/B0000062RU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392342192&sr=8-1&keywords=Scott+Weiland+12+bar+Blues}; lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com/lady-your-roof-brings-me-down-lyrics-scott-weiland.ht...), was definitely a better indicator of how I was handling everything internally regarding this same girl. I felt like I was doing everything right by going along with her whims (when she wanted to be with me, I made myself available...when she wanted space, there was space), yet I couldn't match expectations in the long run and it felt devastating to a clear extent. The whole cd is pretty amazing actually, but this song in particular nailed how I felt from an emotional perspective.


50: Too freakin' young to die. Rest in peace, Maggie Estep...I can't recite any of your words by memory, but I can definitely count myself among the generation inspired to pick up a pen by your performances on MTV and as part of Def Poetry Jam. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/13/arts/television/maggie-estep-slam-poetry-perfo...

*Piano* So while I was watching the Scott Weiland video before actually thinking of an entry to write around it, my internet dropped out...and if you want to see what a heroin addict looks like, I suggest pausing the video at the 2:44 mark (which is right where the video stopped for me). Tell me there are no similarities between Weiland and Jim Carrey at the beginning of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g-4ClI2HvQ.

Well, I'm out of tales to tell this fantastic evening, so I'm gonna pretend like I don't see ya comin' with the hope that you blindside me. Peace, when today I thought there was some, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 12, 2014 at 5:23pm
February 12, 2014 at 5:23pm
[So, about the worst time you can ever have an internet outage is when you're in the middle of doing something, right? I had about 90% of this typed up last night, and then...nothing. Read this while I play catch-up...]


February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

'Sup y'all? Before I tear into today's entry, I really need to thank the members of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge Blog Mob for their part in the successful kidnapping of Andre The Blog Monkey. His captivity has raised over 11k in gift points so far for the "30-Day Bloggers Group, which is really awesome...especially considering I really didn't think anyone would want to take him on. I'm pretty sure the bOSS (with an uncapital B), Brother Nature , will be more than pleased to see what his Mob has been up to when (and if) he returns.

There comes a time in a man's life when he believes he must take a stand. He must go against the grain of the ideas once laid before him...he must show the world that what he once believed in should now become a rallying point for changes that sweep across many platforms. We must rise above our oppressors, and show those in control that we will not function as a body without its head. Where is our leader? We're lookin' right at you, Brother Nature , but we don't see you. So from the very same mouth that I once commanded "Kidnap The Monkey!", am I offering a peaceful plea for his safe return (once everyone has spent time in his charm, I'm sure).

~~Image #1976764 Sharing Restricted~~
As in "release from captivity", and not "low-cost alternative to reptiles".

If I owned a street corner, I'd have a tent set up where I could sell these out of the trunk of a car. In fact, I'm copyrighting and trademarking that idea right now, WDC...if anyone wants to sell virtual t-shirts as a fundraiser, remember, I came up with that first *Smirk*. As soon as I can come up with a legit way to make, protect, and distribute, I'll turn our little Mob into something other than a place for people to freely associate. That's the overall purpose of mobs, isn't it? To turn shady activities into prosperous endeavors?

BCF PROMPT: "Are you watching the Olympics? What do you think? Did Russia meet the expectations placed on the host? {Especially with all the hype that was made in the news before the games began} What's your favorite event? Why? "

I actually have yet to watch one single Olympic event, but I think that has more to do with me not owning a television than anything else. Men's ice hockey hasn't started yet, and that's the only winter sport I'm really interested in. Most of the other sports have a tendency to fly squarely in the face of what I stand for and believe in: staying warm, dry, and inactive.

I'm almost surprised by the lack of press Russia's anti-gayness has received since the games began as opposed to the hype it was generating before, but maybe the real story is where it should be: on the athletes and their performances in their respective fields, and not their preferences off the field. The Olympics is a celebration of Sport; all else should remain secondary. When discussing the Super Bowl or the World Series, the host cities get a mention and a bit of a profile; the teams and athletes involved are discussed; culture is merely one aspect of a much larger event. In the end what is (and should be) remembered most is who won. It's not about which underground gay bar is the coolest, or which black coach/trainer is the toughest, or who serves the best pad Thai. It's about who triumphed. Maybe I'm not reading the right news sources, but Bob Costas' eye infection seems like a bigger story so far than Vladimir Putin, and that could be the best thing so far during these Olympic games as far as avoiding controversy goes. Once the medals go around the necks, then let's talk about who these athletes are as champions and as people, and let's respect them as both regardless of their lives outside competitive arenas.

Whew...I didn't mean for that to turn into a rant or anything. It's just...there're so many bigger things we could be talking about, and Russia hating gay people feels so much like 1984 (the year, not the Orwell novel) for some reason, like shame on the US and our taboo society while you get all Ivan "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygQvB6OjHOU" Drago on us. Anyway...

Like I said, I prefer hockey because it's the only winter sport I'm a fan of that I can say I've actually played to some degree (minus the cold and skating parts). Figure skating doesn't excite me. Skiing? See: figure skating. Curling? Reminds me of shuffleboard, only with a bigger surface and larger pieces; if one thing in this world is truly ass-backwards, it's curling, and I'll tell you why. Shuffleboard is primarily a senior citizen thing, right? (Go along with the stereotype, for the sake of my argument.) Old people need things enlarged and magnified, like books and texts for example. Hence, if curling is similar to shuffleboard, yet it's bigger, it's the opposite of what you'd expect. There's a point in that mess somewhere, trust me.

Now, where was I? Winter sports...yes, are there any others besides what I mentioned? Probably, but those are just the first ones that come to mind. I think the very reason, and this is how much the internet has ruined society changed how we view important worldwide events like the Olympics, that I would tune in this year has already happened and will probably not be topped throughout the entire duration of this year's Olympiad: the meme face, or more specifically, "The Bullshit Moment" (http://deadspin.com/ashley-wagners-bullshit-moment-is-the-first-meme-of-15192921...). I could probably watch that over and over and over, and feel more empathy for her each time, without even knowing the actual outcome of the event she's clearly upset about. That, my friends, is the essence of my Olympic spirit. USA! USA!


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Growing up in and entering one's teenage years the 1980's was a very weird and surreal time. One minute everything was bubblegum and new-wavy, and then we were pseudo-adults with all this misguided angst and hatred...but somewhere in the middle there was this, uhhhh, I don't know what else to call it, besides an era, where life was ripped jeans and teased hair and girls writhing around on the hoods of muscle cars to ironically-titled heavy metal ballads. I was not immune to this moment of MTV grandeur. I think everyone chose sides in the hair spray wars, where one or two bands were your absolute favorites (mainly because you liked girls who idolized those same bands) and everyone had an opinion, but basically it was a bunch of douchebags with scarves coming out of every pore doing everything you wanted to do to captivate the attention of the fairer sex. And for me, that band was Mötley Crüe (album: Theatre Of Pain {link:http://www.amazon.com/Theatre-Pain-Motley-Crue/dp/B001EN1R36/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392243285&sr=8-1&keywords=motley+crue+theatre+of+pain}; lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/motleycrue/homesweethome.html). I can remember hangin' out at a cousin's house with friends, and we'd all pick different parts and become our own air-band whenever they were on tv. And no matter how much hip-hop or grunge would ultimately impact me the most in life, there will have been a little too much time spent being a closet metal-head (even if this stuff nowadays hardly classifies as metal).


*Medicalblack* Ok, the best Mötley Crüe song is actually "Kickstart My Heart", but for all intents and purposes related to today's entry, "Home Sweet Home" is the better choice.

*Mail* Y'all know I hardly ever interrupt myself when I'm composing an entry to check my email, but I'm glad I did just now...it seems the bOSS has responded to our hijacking of his beloved monkey, and has surrendered to most of our demands decided to make Andre into a pawn of some sort ("Andre! Where are you?"  )...I don't know if anyone's gonna be willing to cough up that kind of loot to give up Andre. But I'm still keeping the t-shirt idea for myself.

Ok, well, since it looks like I've got internet access again, I'm gonna try and figure out what I've missed since last night. Peace, I'm on my way, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 10, 2014 at 9:52pm
February 10, 2014 at 9:52pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

What's up everyone? Hopefully we're all relaxed from the weekend...it's certainly been eventful with the blognapping of a particular monkey and the Blog Mob's involvement. I'm looking forward to seeing where he turns up and what kind of trouble he gets into hearing about all the fun he has.

Speaking of the Blog Mob, the bOSS (with an uncapital B) was around for a little bit this afternoon, and he's aware Andre's gotten loose. Hard to tell whether he's genuinely concerned or mildly relieved. I'm going with neither. *Laugh*

BCF PROMPT: "Imagine you're opening your own writing-themed restaurant. Name it and provide a list of signature dishes. Be creative!"

Buried deep on the list of things I'd like to do in my life is to one day open up a simple little sandwich shop. I've always liked making and eating creative sandwiches...why not share that concept with others in a friendly setting, with some coffee, pastries, and music?

I'd name it after myself (Norb's) because I'd be too hesitant to want to turn it into some silly pun or make it really corny-sounding. It'd basically be a make-your-own-sandwich kinda place, with an assortment of meats, cheeses, breads and condiments, served alongside soups and salads. With a dill pickle...all great sandwich shops offer a dill pickle.

A small sampling of the menu would look like this:

The Sam-I-Am: A fried green egg with a thick slice of ham on French bread.

The Turkish Gambit: Roast turkey breast, bacon and Munster cheese with Russian dressing served warm on an oversized, toasted English muffin.

The Fivesixer: Chopped up slices of ham and bologna, fried with green peppers, onions, Swiss and American cheeses, with mayonnaise and horseradish mustard on a seeded, toasted Kaiser roll.

There would be more of course, but I'm low on patience lately and typing any of this up so far hasn't exactly turned me any profits this evening.


** Image ID #1970900 Unavailable **

I very nearly posted a Tragically Hip song that I've shared at least 257 times before, but I'm gonna switch it up because so many of their songs are interchangeable in that they don't suck. Plus, you can't be from Buffalo and not know who they are. I've only shared this one around 118 times, but it's the first song of theirs I became familiar with. I'm still amazed that they played this on Saturday Night Live around twenty years ago, or at Woodstock 15 years ago. "Grace, Too" (album: Day For Night {link:http://www.amazon.com/Day-Night-Tragically-Hip/dp/B000024FY4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392085253&sr=8-1&keywords=the+tragically+hip+day+for+night}; lyrics: http://www.thehip.com/albums/index.html?CheckIT=5_44&SongID=44&AlbumID=5&LyricID...) will probably always be my "go-to" T-Hip song, and is probably the one song of theirs you've heard of if you've barely even heard of them. (And if you have nine minutes to waste, watch this later: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8CvMDkwqfQ).


*Eat* This may be the most ridiculously comprehensive food website (non-pictures division) I've ever seen, if not known to man: http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodsandwiches.html#club.

*Thought* And then there's this, which begs to ask "Why can't all logos be so awesome?": http://www.sporcle.com/divertopia/brands-and-honest-slogans/.

And that's it for tonight folks...my laptop's doing weird things like not showing words and symbols when I type them, and I'm just frustrated in general today, so I should probably just post up before I decide to wear this bit of electronics like a hat or something. Peace, I come from downtown, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 9, 2014 at 8:37pm
February 9, 2014 at 8:37pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

What's up y'all? Looks like the "30-Day Blogging Challenge Blog Mob is gonna be without its bOSS (with an uncapital B) Brother Nature for another day. Word on the street is someone's come after his beloved Andre The Blog Monkey, and they're holding him hostage. They've requested the Blog Mob's help, and I say we take them up on their offer.

For The Blog Mob.
Email or IM me for the passkey if you need it.

Each day, one of us is gonna take possession of Andre...but he doesn't come cheap. He'll need some maintenance, and you'll have to try to show him a good time. For your effort in hiding him from Joel, a donation of 1,000 gift points should be made to "30-Day Bloggers Group. If you wish to keep him for longer than a day, it'll only cost an additional 500 gp's. And if you're given Andre but wish to decline him altogether, we still ask that you pay a 100gp transfer fee donation. It's not much, it goes toward this very group that we're participating in right now, and it's a freakin' blogging monkey that's been kidnapped. What more do you want??

And when you're with Andre, please tell us of your adventures with him. Did you take him somewhere and he caused a scene? Did you guys get drunk and pass out at Taco Bell? Maybe he was flirting with a lady in the produce department of the local grocery store because she had bananas. Just...keep an eye on him, whatever you do.

And if Joel's so inclined to want his beloved monkey back, it's gonna cost him dearly as part of his punishment for deserting the mob the last few days...I've been told for 5,000 gift points (donated to the 30 Day Bloggers Group) and the review of three Blog Mob members' blogs, Andre will go back to where he belongs. If Joel even wants him. {e;smirk}

BCF PROMPT: Since it's Sunday and there's no prompt, I think me and Andre are gonna chill and try to see if I can stream some of that special on CBS about the Beatles' 50th anniversary of their arrival in America. What are the chances of hearing this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCE0z4V3USQ?

After that me and the monkey will take a trip around Downtown Cortland, where it's snowing like hell so maybe that'll help him feel like home a little. Not sure what else we're gonna do yet but I can almost smell the trouble...yep, he flung poop at a neighbor already. Time to get outta here...


** Image ID #1970900 Unavailable **

Like I said, this week's the 50th anniversary of the Beatles landing in America. I wasn't around for Beatlemania, and after yesterday's entry I got a message from my mother saying she didn't own any Beatles LP's, but both of our memories could be spotty. There definitely was a lot of time spent listening to "the oldies" growing up though, and The Beatles were always in rotation on the radio.

As I got older I could hear their influence on so many other bands, both of their generation and in music that came after them. I would buy their cds and trace their growth as musicians. You can't do that with a lot of bands these days; people want bands to keep making the same music, and then get pissed when they realize all their records sound alike. Society is too fickle.

I think we all know the story behind "Let It Be" (album: Let It Be {link:http://www.amazon.com/Let-It-Be-The-Beatles/dp/B0025KVLV0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391994240&sr=8-1&keywords=beatles+let+it+be}; lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/beatles/letitbe.html: Paul McCartney wrote this about the passing of his mother. Nearly twenty years ago my best friend, the brother DMFM, was watching his mom go through a battle with cancer that would ultimately claim her.

We were all at the funeral, a big row of friends...if you knew Dave, you knew his mom. She was the sweetest lady. She meant the world to so many people. Dave has mentioned one of his fondest memories is that day, when he turned around, seeing all of us there for him and his family.

After paying our respects and having brunch, I had to go to work. I hadn't realized what cd was in my car's radio; I just turned it up and sang along. "Two Of Us", "I Dig A Pony" and "I've Got A Feeling" are great songs when you're zippin' down an open stretch of road at 55mph trying to clear your mind of the day's events...and then "Let It Be" came on, and I lost it. I'd been strong all day- I don't get very emotional in public- but something about being alone with my thoughts and that song...I bawled the rest of the way to the mall I was working at during that time. I composed myself in the parking lot as best I could, and it was only a four hour shift, but it couldn't have ended fast enough.

Even to this day, whenever I hear the song, I get a little feeling of sadness inside. Cheers and RIP to a great lady.


*Vinylb* Rolling Stone had a nice article recently about the Beatles coming to America and our country's original perception of them. I came across this earlier today, and it's interesting as well...http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/beatles-musically-article-1.....

*Hockeyhelmet* Andre's already gotten himself into some mischief.

~~Image #1976448 Sharing Restricted~~

I'm gonna wrap this up here and now because I've been screwin' around all evening on this and managed to lose an entire blog entry in the process, which is never fun. Peace, there will be an answer, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

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