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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1939270
Rated: 18+ · Book · Personal · #1939270
A third attempt at this blogging business.
WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - April #SaferAtHome Unofficial Month coming up!



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 8, 2014 at 9:03pm
February 8, 2014 at 9:03pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Happy weekend friends! What's the situation? The "30-Day Blogging Challenge Blog Mob has now had about as many days with as bOSS (with an uncapital B) as it's had without, and that's kind of troubling. What kind of Mob is this? We look like the least-organized organized writing crime outfit there is. Ok, we're probably the only organized outfit of our ilk, but we're not the best (don't ask me how I think that's actually possible) and we've gotta do something about it. Who's got suggestions? I'm not great at comin' up with this kinda stuff.

BCF PROMPT: "Today is National Boy Scouts Day (Girl Scouts Day is October 31st). Do you feel Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are helpful organizations for today's children? Do they still meet the needs of our children in this electronics-focused world? Were you a girl scout or a boy scout? If you were share an adventure you had in scouting."

ALTERNATE BCF PROMPT: "What organizations exist where you live that are focused on children interacting and doing activities together? Did you belong to one of these groups when you were a child? Tell us about it."

Believe it or not, I spent a few years in the Boy Scouts Of America. I learned at lot, but I think I eventually outgrew what the ideals of the organization were to an extent (I know that sounds kinda egotistical, and maybe "outgrew" was the wrong word to use, but too late...I said it). Coincidently, I think that happened around the same time I was getting more involved with organized sports in school, as well as my discovery of girls.

Long after I left the organization, I still had plenty of respect for the BSA. I treasured the skills I gained, the friendships I forged, and the wholesomeness in general. But what the hell did I know? I was just a kid, doing what I was told and respecting people and ideas out of blind faith. I was living life based on what a book that was written 75 years earlier (at the time) wanted me to be; when you're 12 or 13 years old you don't know what else or how else to be. When you're naïve and impressionable, conformity comes easily.

I will say that the leaders of my troop were pretty decent guys for the most part. One in particular had a large music collection, and would always offer to dub whatever I wanted onto a blank cassette for me.

Nowadays, that troop doesn't even exist anymore. There are just way too many other options for kids. And then there's the whole "BSA frowns upon gay marriage" thing...sure, BSA has the right to enforce whatever codes or policies they want, and people have the right to choose what group or groups they want their kids participating in. I think they're making a huge mistake by sticking to their antiquated stance, and it's not helping their cause at all in a time where sports leagues, video games, and other dominant areas of culture are rapidly cutting into what was once a staple of America's youth. I don't know how they'll manage to get around all of the negative publicity they've generated, but it's clear that the BSA is not the same strong organization it once was. Maybe it's a reflection of society today as opposed to the values of decades past; I don't know.

As I got older I did become more involved with the local Boys & Girls Clubs (http://www.depewlancasterbgc.org/) in my area. Besides the fact that they were open to both genders equally, a lot of the activities were similar minus the pressure of having to attain ranks and badges. Plus, they were open almost daily and you weren't stuck doing something you didn't feel up to participating in.

A few years back (while I was still living at 542), my upstairs neighbors' kids and their friends were members at the Club, and I was asked to write a brief letter of recommendation for one of the boys. My man Winkz went on to earn the "Youth Of The Year" award, which made me proud.

Just over a year ago, the Club in that very same neighborhood was the scene of a pretty substantial fire. It saddened me; it felt like a bit of my teenage years and young adulthood went up in the smoke as well, and there was nothing I could do about it (having moved across the state). I shared a video on Twitter at the time regarding their plea for donations so they could rebuild...a lot of the same people that were members when I was going there are leaders now, and it's still a little sad to think about.


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Like a lot of us I'm sure, I spent plenty of time mining through album collections of parents, relatives and friends...that's where all the good stuff was. Three bands stick out the most from my earliest days of discovering music...The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Monkees. I could be wrong, but those are the three groups I seem to remember my mom having the most records from (and she had a lot), and they were the ones I wanted to listen to the most.

And I think if you really wanted to boil down the majority of music that's been popular over the last 50 years, you can trace it back to those first two groups I mentioned, without question (and I'm sure I'll pop off a song from them each at some point this month). But here's an interesting fact about me: my first concert ever was The Monkees, with "Weird Al" Yankovic opening. It was during their mid-eighties resurgence (minus Mike Nesmith), in an outdoor pavillion with a rotating stage. I believe it was the summer before I started sixth grade, so I had probably just turned 11. Every summer my brother and I would visit our aunt in Connecticut, and that was one of the many things we did that year.

Anyway, MTV and Nickelodeon were always showing reruns of The Monkees, and I thought it was great that there was this band that also had a tv show and that it was popular and successful, and I could never figure out why there weren't more bands doing that or why there weren't that many episodes of The Monkees. Like I mentioned earlier, when you're young what the hell do you know?

It's hard to pick out a favorite song by them, or one that specifically equates me and them and the time period...even now, looking over their discography via Google it's not easy. "Daydream Believer" and "I'm A Believer" are great, and there are so many other memorable, catchy pop/rock gems...I'll go with "What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round" (album: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. {link:http://www.amazon.com/Pisces-Aquarius-Capricorn-Jones-Deluxe/dp/B001230Q6C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391908179&sr=8-2&keywords=monkees+pisces+aquarius}; lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com/what-am-i-doing-hangin-round-lyrics-monkees.html) because I feel like there've been plenty of times where I've caught myself saying that same sentence in my head, and then bolting as soon as the opportunity struck under many different circumstances. You know how when you feel like something really isn't right but it hits you at what seems like is the worst possible time to get away from it, and you do that regardless of how you look when doing it? I've felt that way a lot of times.


*Blush* I'm not ashamed to admit I owned a few "Weird Al" cassettes once. You try being a dorky little kid in the '80's and tell me you wouldn't have some of this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcJjMnHoIBI) in your collection.

*Guitar* Ok, I know this is a bit weird, but the conspiracy theorist in me is poking out a little...the WDC emoticon for guitar is modeled after the Monkees logo: truth? The angle is slightly off, and the body in the logo is bit more defined, and yeah, I know, all guitars share the same basic shapes in general, but c'mon, please?

A simple comparison.

*Mailb* What's wrong with Microsoft Outlook, Windows 8.1, and me? Let's start with me. Yes, I still use Hotmail/MSN/Outlook/Live/whatever they're going by this week as my primary email account...and admittedly, I do not check my email very often. As in, I know I should check it daily, or at least a few times each week. And it's been a few weeks. But that's not the point. I've been doing the work thing, coming home, blogging, and going to bed. That's my life in a nutshell (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKMK3XGO27k). So, just now I get a Windows 8-type notification that I've got a new email from a contact from back home that I regularly correspond with but haven't since the beginning of the year because I'm a slacker when it comes to holding up my end of things sometimes...and when I open up Outlook, there's 400+ new messages in less than three weeks (and that doesn't include junk mail and whatever else gets directed to other folders). And yet for some reason, while I'm in "desktop mode" no less, I have just today received word that I have one new message from a friend. Out of 4-frickin'-hundred. Thank you Microsoft, for always keeping me in the loop. *Rolleyes*

And since only a few of us in our Blog Mob have come out to play today, I guess I'll wrap this up and concern myself with paring down those messages to a more manageable number (once it gets over ten, my anxiety likes to think "ten is too much" and then I shut myself out of email entirely for weeks...it's a sickness). Peace, I should be on that train, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 7, 2014 at 8:36pm
February 7, 2014 at 8:36pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

What's up y'all? Still no sign of steady life from the "30-Day Blogging Challenge Blog Mob bOSS (with an uncapital B), Brother Nature ...has he just gone AWOL now, or is he lurking in the shadows, too afraid of having fallen behind to catch up with his syndicate? One can never be so sure.

Well, I'm not takin' any chances with nothin' among this group...it's hard to tell if we're evolving or if it's just the opposite. Until I figure that out I'll just keep stirrin' the pot. In the meantime, Lyn has created a promotional clip featuring herself and I to raise awareness of your need to have a say in this year's running of "The Quill Awards...in order to do so, head over to "2013 Quills Genre Voting and feel free to pick the authors you want to take home virtual awards in the categories listed, and tell 'em The Mob sent ya.

Vote for your favorites in the Quill Awards!

It feels good to be able to plug Quills-related stuff without having to add the "THIS IS NOT CAMPAIGNING" disclaimer...if ever there was a perk of not being nominated for anything this year, that might be it *Wink*.

BCF PROMPT: "If you had the choice, would you forget the worst thing that ever happened to you and all of its repercussions?"

I think it'd be easy to give a stock answer like "All the horrible things I've gone through in life have made me who I am today", and for many people that's a very accurate statement. In fact, I'd never argue that if you whipped that line out at me from your pocket at a dinner party. But personally, I don't know if I'm ready to answer this prompt in a way that provides some clear-cut relief. Allow me to explain without getting too serious.

Whether I want to admit it or not (and whether you wanna hear it or not), I'm probably still going through the quote-unquote worst thing that has ever happened to me/all of its repercussions. Normal people get over this stuff after awhile, mainstream media tells us. Rational people will point out that all of my problems stemming from the circumstances in my life are my own fault, and they wouldn't necessarily be wrong. And yet for every day I believe I'm over and have moved on from my last relationship, I probably spend two or three more dealing with how the fallout from it has affected me. "Recovery" is a word used in 12-Step programs a lot to signify how much you've changed since whatever it was that got you needing a book to tell you how to live has no longer been a part of your life; were that necessary for me I'd need an entire season of Dance Fever with Deney Terrio (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXIPNynpM00) to help me figure that out and do the "moving on" thing. Oh Deney, where are you now?? *Smirk* Hosting these, of course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXarp2rkWX8.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm still a work in progress, but eventually I'm gonna need to stop building because I'll have to look around and assess how far I've come. I'm just not ready to yet. I don't want the option to make that choice right now; there's still too much loose filling underneath me to accurately say whether I'd rather have something stricken from the past or not. Maybe I'm holding out for a bigger challenge, or that I'm never satisfied...it's hard to say. I suppose either way I'll know once I've reached a more certain destination.


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When one of the true masters of the Blogging genre tags you in a Facebook post that links to one of his entries, you definitely pay attention. Reading "Choosing sides by Kåre Enga, P.O. 22, Blogville got me thinking about choices, behavior and life, and it reminded me of what seems to always be a recurring theme in the background of my own existence.

It's been a question I've pondered before I'd ever even heard of Moneen, and since the moment I've heard this song the pondering has grown exponentially. If I say that sometimes I sorta have an answer for it, what I'm really saying is I don't have an answer, which can be construed as a negative thing...even if that's really not the case. That is, I may not always be happy, but don't tell me I'm not happy if you're not willing enough to let me figure that out on my own or wait until I can draw that conclusion. I've probably lost a lot of people over that way of thinking throughout the course of my life, but that was probably how it was all supposed to be in the first place.

So today's song for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge is "Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?" by Moneen (album: Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now? {link:http://www.amazon.com/Are-Really-Happy-With-Right/dp/B00009NH6A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391814014&sr=8-1&keywords=Moneen+are+we+really+happy}; lyrics: http://www.plyrics.com/lyrics/moneen/arewereallyhappywithwhowearerightnow.html). I'll never forget seeing them live with my boy DMFM at a tiny club in Buffalo...there could've been no more than 100 or 150 people there. The lead singer was standing about 10 feet from us next to the sound board, watching the openers. As they finished the last song of their set, he yelled "Group hug!!" and the four members hopped off the stage...the crowd literally formed into one giant embrace. Not a mosh pit- no pushing and shoving or anything close to aggressive behavior. It was pretty cool.


*Vinylr* After our Moneen group hug, one of the many pieces of merch we bought (DMFM probably dropped over $100 that night on hoodies, cds, stickers and beer alone) was a vinyl copy of their album The Red Tree, which we agreed to keep joint custody of. Why? Because I owned a turntable at the time, having stuff on vinyl is great from an audiophile's standpoint, and *Rolleyes* there was like, some 30 second bonus track or something on it, which later on we discovered on the cd if you hit the *Buttonrewind* before the first song started playing. Plus it was $10 and it was on white vinyl with red swirls. We saw the singer and guitarist hanging around and we got them to sign the record. I kinda wish I still had my old Motorola Razr, because there were pictures of all of us on it...but there's always this:

3/07 Autographed record by .moneen.

7: Seven days so far of "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge, and I haven't plugged A Song A Day on Facebook yet? Maybe because I haven't actually updated it in the last couple of days. Changes need to be made. https://www.facebook.com/asongadaycuzIcan

*Tv* This list kind of brought back some memories, although it's missing The Heights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csATriX8Ed0 if Alternative Press expects me to completely take this link seriously: http://www.altpress.com/features/entry/12_tv_show_only_bands_we_wish_were_real/P... (but bonus points for Dr. Teeth And The Electric Mayhem).

*Mugbr* Ok...like I said in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge forum, anyone (or multiple peoples) who donates 50k in gift points toward blainecindy's reconstruction of "Invalid Item as per " Feb. 7th Forget, Song, Mob Mischief will obtain the exclusive info straight from the caged bird that sings what Lyn 's secret item she can be bought and bribed with is. Don't ask me how I know this; ask yourself why you don't know it. *Smirk*

Ok, well, I think that's enough rambling on from me for this evening. I've got some unofficial "business" to tend to on my way toward finishing up this evening with some episodes of Saturday Night Live from this season that I haven't seen yet, so I better be on my way. Peace, you said you want it, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

Line dancing...the worst trend of its time? I think so...
possibly worse than Brian Austin Green's music career.
February 6, 2014 at 10:32pm
February 6, 2014 at 10:32pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Good evening dear readers...what's goin' on? It's been a relatively quiet day in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge's Blog Mob's forum as compared with the last couple, and I'm not sure how to interpret that. Is it because rumors of our bOSS (with an uncapital B) Brother Nature have surfaced regarding the return from his getaway, one way or the other? Are we to trust each other now that Lyn (aka "Red") has claimed to have seen traces of his virtual existence, yet no one else will confirm nor deny it? I've yet to receive a decapitated horse's head under my pillow, so am I safe? Too many questions, and not enough time to care answers.

Besides Red's mysterious claim about three hours ago, Elle calling my Chips Ahoy cookies with Reese's Peanut Butter cups "crazy" in the comments section of "The mob wants cookies!! yesterday, and ANN Counselor, Lesbian & Happy forgetting who the authors of the last entries she's read are, life around these parts has been tamer than I expected an organization going by a nickname like "Mob" should be. I keep thinking anywhere between now and ten minutes after I finish this entry, Joel's actually gonna resurface for real, and this whole entry will have been pointless. There's nothing like taking your sweet-ass time to do something and then finding out just as soon as you're done it's about as relevant as a PC extended warranty plan.

I think I'm just gonna move on and see what else I can come up with for the "Blogging Circle of Friends and "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge instead.

BCF PROMPT: "After spending 12 hours without electricity, I am wondering what other people do to preserve things in their homes, stay warm and keep their family members amused. If you live in other places around the world, does this happen often where you live?"

I just deleted the entire direction I was gonna go with this prompt because I didn't feel like having to explain how it felt living for a few months without electricity...plus I'm in a really cranky mood and I'm not in the frame of mind I should be in to discuss those circumstances. How screwed up is life sometimes that you'd rather talk about the last time you lost power for almost an hour while living with your ex and her kids than you would the adventure of living by yourself in a spacious apartment minus refrigerated food and hot water? Anyway..

I know I shouldn't have been surprised, but after about ten minutes of largely being without any devices that have a connection to the world outside of the one directly in front of you, the first thing you notice is how much time as a family you haven't been talking to each other in months. Conversations that were just shreds and tatters suddenly have details and life, as if the mute button stopped intermittently cutting off entire trains of thought and tangents.

Well, for a little while, at least. Then I realized I was the only one with a smartphone and could still go on Facebook...which is about the same time you learn people you haven't seen in anywhere from five to twenty years live in your neighborhood also, and they too have grown tired of listening to the people they live with suddenly discover that sentences can be more meaningful than "What's for dinner?", "Can you drive me to so-and-so's house?" or "Mom's not home, but she said she'd give me money and I don't see it out in the open right in front of me so give me yours!!". Not only are we now trying to figure out what the hell has happened in our neighborhood to the electricity, but where we all live without coming right out and saying "the house on the corner with the awful, sun-faded fake grass covering the porch".

It used to be that you'd light candles and tell stories and bond. Nowadays, I wouldn't be as worried as much about preserving the meat in the freezer as I'd be trying to preserve my sanity. It's almost as if the loss of something that's taken for granted tends to amplify how much you really need that electricity restored so you can go back to trying to escape from society...it's easier to acknowledge our divides through lenses of social media and video games than it is to confront them because we don't know what else to do. I can say that because sometimes I feel like I've got a Masters degree in awkward conversation with a minor in being a jerk.

I can't imagine having to spend 12 whole hours like that. Especially in the dead of winter while it's snowing and temperatures are well beyond reasonable, acceptable measures of cold. You know what that is? That's love. That's devotion. And that's knowing in advance to have a lot of wine in the house and having the wherewithal to make it last. *Smirk*


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Six days into "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge, and I'm breaking out one of the few bands I absolutely love that I haven't seen live yet, Modest Mouse. In fact, on the very first date said ex from the BCF portion of today's entry and I went on, we danced (albeit not appropriately in accordance with the tempo of the music) to a Modest Mouse song, and on one of the next few dates I discovered the cd that the song I'm gonna share today happened to be in her car, which was weird because they were one of those bands that nobody I knew at the time would listen to.

"Dark Center Of The Universe" (album: The Moon And Antarctica {link:http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Antarctica-Explicit-Modest-Mouse/dp/B00138EW16/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391740550&sr=8-2&keywords=modest+mouse+the+moon+and+antarctica}; lyrics: http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/32509/...although they don't entirely match up with what's being sung, the comments after are kinda insightful) fits me on days like today when I'm full of piss and vinegar for no good reason and/or everything seems to not be going the way I'd expected them to. I have to remind myself that while I can be a complete ass and come off as hurtful, disengaged and aloof at times, deep down I'm not entirely a bad person just because I'm prone to arguing misinformed points occasionally or falling into the random lapse in judgment.


*Shirt* Ok, so the first day at the new work-type thing (CAPCO...http://www.capco.org/) wasn't actually bad, although I really shouldn't have stayed on my feet for as long as I did. I understand why some of the volunteers there only do it for an hour or so at a time. I did it from 9am-4pm with a half hour in the middle for lunch, and my legs and lower back were burning by the time I got home. I never thought I'd be finding myself looking forward to Valentines's Day next Friday (particularly being single and not minding), but it's more the doctor's appointment (another thing I never could imagine myself saying) than the companionship I'm longing for. But CAPCO...yeah, so that. Basically, people come in either to drop off clothes they'd like to donate, or pick out items for themselves. If they're giving, I have to log it and put it out on the racks (and write up a form so they can be mailed a receipt if they want to claim it as a tax deduction); if they're "shopping" I have to look them up in a database and make sure they're taking no more than ten items a month. Not totally taxing work mentally (like I said, it's the "on the feet" part that's killing me), but I did kinda get into it with this guy who kept mumbling when I asked him for his last name. Is it my fault that he had a hyphenated last name, and both parts sounded like snooty "guy who has a first name that sounds like it should be a last name but it's not" names? Plus, he totally sounded like a bitter drunk who was unhappy to be searching through racks of donated clothes at 9:20am (yes, 20 minutes into this gig and I've already had one negative run-in with someone) with his equally dissatisfied baby-momma as he attempted to repeat his name when I asked him to spell it, and then (as nicely as I could manage) told him he didn't have to yell. His tone of voice was definitely betraying him.

That's it for fun stories today...I really need to stop typing because every other word coming out is wrong and it's hard for me to concentrate when that's happening. It's bad enough I noticed about twenty typos after I put up yesterday's entry...I'm sure today's is worse and that's just with correcting what I've seen as I've gone along. Peace, it took a lot of work, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 5, 2014 at 9:35pm
February 5, 2014 at 9:35pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

What's up y'all? I dunno about you, but if you're somewhere in Canada or the Northern third of the US and you're anything like me, you're done with the cold weather...and you know I'm not one to typically waste my day complainin' about it, but here I am, thoroughly frickin' over it. I say that because I had to partake in a stupid task that I'll get into a little more later on, mainly because I was too lazy earlier in the week to do it because "it was too cold". As usual, my procrastination has led me toward anger that should just be directed at myself and forgotten about. Instead I'll project it a little bit...spoiler alert: don't feel sorry for me.

Today in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge's Blog Mob our bOSS (with a uncapital B) Brother Nature told us he wasn't gonna be available for the next day or so. Sounds like he's got a situation on his hands that only he can be a party to, which I can understand. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with this or not, but I wouldn't blame him for being on the run...

guess what happens in the Blog Mob stays in the Blog Mob.

In his absence Joel's left nobody in charge, but threw down a bit of a warning that if anyone got too out of hand, I wouldn't be afraid to step in. It's probably because of that afternoon I spent locked up in jail cell...when you've been cuffed and stuffed in the back of a cop car you almost always come out a changed person. For me, that change was in my sick time at work because I had to waste my phone call explaining why I wouldn't be coming in that afternoon.

Anyway, what Joel doesn't know is that courtesy of Wordsmitty ✍️ and Lyn we've got our own super-secret Blog Mob mission planned, and he doesn't even know about it. Maybe he better sleep with one eye open tonight...word on the street is that Lyn somehow managed to slip out of her cement shoes. As soon as I get done here I'll have to assume my position and...well, let's just say he will not have seen it comin'. Never turn your back on a mob that's had too many rum balls once the cookies ran out. *Smirk*

BCF PROMPT: "Who is your favorite and least favorite celebrity? And why?"

I've got an idea...let's play "Remember When...?"

Remember when I said I don't really care for movies because I don't have the patience or the attention span for them? Guess what goes hand-in-hand with that notion (in my little world, at least)? Celebrities. I don't watch enough tv or movies to have the proper frame of reference to answer this question. I tend to get more attracted sometimes to the roles they play, because I know 99.4725% of the people behind them wouldn't give me a second look in real life, so it's just better for my mental health to 1) like who they're portraying more; and 2) not get caught up in a relationship with a fictional character, 'cuz that's just crazy.

So yeah, I don't have favorites. I guess if I'm watching a particular tv show for a few seasons, I might become slightly enamored with a particular actress...but then my rules governing my attraction towards famous people (from the previous paragraph) kick in and I go back to being "single guy living on his own" from "single guy living on his own who's unreasonably attracted to the latest in Hollywood's darling-actress-of-the-month club". Sorry guys, I just can't do it today.


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I went from having no idea what song I wanted to use today for my pick in "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge...and then I had three. I chose this because I think it's too early in the month to be repeating artists (although I read a really good article about them that maybe I'll share on another day...and it was more about an album of theirs rather than a song on that album, so picking one would've been a little more difficult).

There's not one line or set of (NSFW) lyrics that stands out to me on "Trying To Find A Balance" by Atmosphere (album: Seven's Travels {link:http://www.amazon.com/Sevens-Travels-Atmosphere/dp/B007LNJ690/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391647254&sr=8-1&keywords=atmosphere+seven%27s+travels}; lyrics: http://rapgenius.com/Atmosphere-trying-to-find-a-balance-lyrics), but it's the overall point that it's not as important to be liked or admired in someone else's eyes if you can't be happy with what you see through your own. Also, there's this idea of "celebrity" that I think is conjured up by society...lavish lifesyles, money, eternal happiness, etc., but the reality of that can be entirely different. Ever met someone you consider "famous" and they were a total douchetool to you? Maybe their week wasn't as good as yours...you get to go home and post up about how you met someone famous; meanwhile, they're going home after another long day of meeting twenty-eight other people just as obnoxious as you (or worse).

Personally, I make no secret of the fact I struggle with self-confidence a lot more than it seems. I don't take compliments very well and I often hide behind self-depricating humor to hide my insecurities, even when others might see it as not being necessary. I'm still learning that it's ok to feel good about yourself once in awhile, and that it's possible that although you've heard certain things in your life for so long that are more hurtful than true, that doesn't mean those words have to hold you back or stay your reality.

From the Atmosphere song.

It's been said before (and I believe it) that you have to have balance in your life in order to appreciate it. You have to take the good with the bad. There's no peace without war. Stuff like that. It's an easy concept, but it doesn't always present itself that way. I know I'm still trying to find balance in my life; I don't want to know what happens when I stop looking.


For a blog entry about Atmosphere.

*Mic* I know I've dropped this picture and that song in during more than a few blog entries in the past, but I'll throw it at you one more time because I've only seen a handful of famous or sorta famous people up close and in person, and this might be the only time I've ever had my picture taken with someone who's toured the planet and put their arm around me. Slug couldn't have been the nicest guy...while we were waitin' in line to get into the venue he was just outside, greeting everyone as they came by. He cracked a few jokes with me and my friends, and told us to "have a good game out there", which was kinda funny at first until he looked at my boy Winkz' girlfriend, and then we knew he meant just as much for us to protect her in the crowd. That night was easily one of my top five favorite concerts.

6/12 Was waiting in line at the Atmosphere concert when we were greeted by Slug.

*Sleep* What's the point of taking medications designed to help you sleep when a truck is plowing snow in the lot adjacent to your bedroom window? Why would that wake me up at 3:30am, and not let me go fully back to sleep? I know I kinda fell into some weird dreamland place that wasn't entirely pleasant, but it certainly wasn't restful either...I swear I could still hear the plowing in the background of my nocturnal trip through time, yet I couldn't shake myself from it even though I knew I wanted to...I absolutely hate that feeling.

*Snow1* And speaking of snow, I had to go to the my local Department of Social Services building today for a few reasons...one being to finally get the voucher for my February bus pass. Should I have gotten it Thursday, Friday, Monday or Tuesday, when it was cold but not snowing? Sure. Did I? No. Because I'm an idiot and never really look ahead at weather forecasts and just assume it can't be any worse than it's been. And was I absolutely screwed today? Yup. So did I take the one remaining bus token I have and use it to ride the bus? No. What about a dollar? I had a buck on me, which is what a one-way fare costs. Would I spend it? Nope. Because as I've complained about before, the bus system in this town doesn't have a route that actually takes you directly to the bus station, where you need to take the damn voucher to get the pass. Oh sure, you can get on route #4 and tell the driver that's where you wanna go, but it's a whole different story if he'll remember to go out of his way to take you there. So, like an idiot, I walked there, and it just snowed and snowed. On a more positive note, there's a grocery store around the corner from the bus station that has some of the most ridiculously inexpensive prices on deli meat (albeit not a great selection), and they've got a free little "help yourself" coffee station set up, which definitely took some of the sting out of it being crappy out.

*Down* Just in case you were wondering about your state, http://www.mandatory.com/2014/02/05/the-absolute-worst-person-from-each-state/1. I'm pleased to see none of us is listed in the accompanying diagram.

*Facebook* And from the ever-changing land of Facebook, a look at one of their biggest problems...http://mentalfloss.com/article/54890/evolution-facebooks-pronoun-problem. That's your "Champions Of Literacy" link of the day.

Alright, well, it's time for me to head off and start my super-secret mission that's so super and so secret that I can't really share it with any of you unless you join our Blog Mob (and if you're in the Mob already then you know what it is and I don't have to worry 'bout not telling you, 'cuz we're cool) first; otherwise, you'll have to wait a day or so to find out how (or is it "what"? Hmmm...) we did. Peace, nowadays everybody knows how to get fresh, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 4, 2014 at 8:27pm
February 4, 2014 at 8:27pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Hey people! Looks like the Mob Boss aka Brother Nature aka Joel has cooked up a legit activity for us today in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge Blog Mob, and it's actually a nice little bit of community exercising by reading and commenting on entries that have no comments. I kinda thought this might be a little harder than it looks, partially because I can't remember the last time personally that I've written a blog entry that hasn't been commented on (although I'm positive it's happened many times).

I went over to the list of Mob members and I picked a couple I hadn't read in awhile (and one who's relatively new to WDC). It's always good to stretch out your reading palette from time to time, and I couldn't have come up with a better way to do so than at Joel's suggestion.

And in an odd coincidence, the first entry I read that didn't have a comment had one by the time I went to leave one...hope that's not a problem. It was Sparky 's entry, "Roast Lamb and vegies...ahhhh. And gravy; worthy of an entry from "Shouts From Down Under , and somewhere between the time I opened it up and clicked on "View Comments" Elle had already stolen my thunder beaten me to the punch. I mentioned how good his roasted lamb looked and a discussion broke out between Elle and myself over pumpkins and potatoes. Did I say too much just now? Was that against the Mob's bylaws and stuff, for going over the limit for what we're supposed to say about our comments? And so what if it is? I do what I want. *Smirk*

Then I dropped in on sketch_a_dream's port and hit up "Invalid Item. Since it's not in WDC's book/blog format I couldn't leave an actual comment, so I wrote a paragraph in her notebook saying I'd read her item and I too was sick of the cold. I also mentioned that she's got a cool story to reminisce with friends down the road about the weather and how she wound up having to get a hotel room while travelling in a snowstorm.

Last but certainly not least I went over to ElaineElaine 's blog, "Fragments of Being 2. Her most recent entry was "fun for a cold February and it's a short promo encouraging people to join up with our Mob as part of a larger mission of staying warm. I made a creepy-sounding remark about body heat, decided not to delete it, and then suggested maybe blankets would be a better way of keeping warm than all of us huddled together. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have said anything and just nodded in agreement with her post, but I'm trying to fulfill some requirements here, and I'm from the school that thinks every blog entry should be commented on at least once. All the views in the world don't matter unless someone acknowledges the author in some way.

Now I've gotta figure out the rest of this post before I go into reading everyone else's entries for today (another Mob function...is it ok that I said that? So many rules...I'm not good with keeping track of all that stuff).

BCF PROMPT: "What do you think of television modesty these days? Where do you think it is headed?"

I went with the "alternate selection" instead of "What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial?" because I really didn't pay that much attention to the ads this year. Honestly, Super Bowl commercials are kinda anticlimactic anyway because so many of them are purposely leaked beforehand as it is, and I was more interested in checking out Twitter during breaks in the action. The ads, well, I suppose I can YouTube them whenever I want or go to a company's website if I'm concerned with their means of promoting brand or products, but I kinda don't care. That, and I was watching a Canadian feed, which from what I heard sounded like half the spots weren't relevant to me because I don't live in Canada. For all the ways it seems like Canada and the US are similar, watch an hour of CTV...totally not the same.

So this modesty thing. I think it kinda ebbs and flows. There's often some sort of slow moral decline that reaches a peak where the bottom just drops out on decency, and then everything becomes bad and/or censored for awhile, and then modesty begins another descent into decay and questionable decisions. I think you can point at the Super Bowl Halftime show as an example of this...it was this wholesome affair for so long, until the NFL started to take more chances while trying to keep their viewership and ratings up, and then Justin Timberlake juggles one of Janet Jackson's boobs for a split second and everyone loses their minds. The NFL goes back to having aging rock stars and septuagenarians as their entertainment, and people complain about how terrible they sound until the league goes back to someone younger, and again people start whining about "how such-and-such generation is so disrespectful" and "I wish they'd stay off the damn lawn". It's definitely a cyclical thing.

Like in so many other places in life, boundaries are gonna get pushed and there's always someone who goes a little too far. The people that likely weren't meant to see whatever they found so offensive of course are gonna yell the loudest and demand that changes be made to ensure standards are adhered to. That's what happens when people see something they don't like or understand, and surely if they're offended by it then everyone should be offended. It's just as much a part of our human nature as Starbucks or McDonalds being on every other corner and pretending like they're doing nothing but positive things for the world (which is probably an entry in itself for another time). That's one of the beauties of this life we're livin' in...we're never all gonna agree on what's right or wrong 100% of the time, or 90% or even 70%, which keeps things interesting.


** Image ID #1970900 Unavailable **

I wouldn't say that Radiohead's song "The National Anthem" (album: Kid A {link:http://www.amazon.com/Kid-A-Radiohead/dp/B00004XONN/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391561579&sr=8-1&keywords=Radiohead+Kid+A}; lyrics: http://www.greenplastic.com/radiohead-lyrics/kid-a/the-national-anthem/) is specifically biographical lyrically, but if there ever becomes a way for people to have theme songs or entrance music when they walk into a room, I want this to play for me...mainly the horns at around the 2:15 mark for the next 40 or 45 seconds.


*Balloon1* A hundred entries in this blog already...that came up kinda fast. Who brought the cake? *Laugh*

*Carb* If you read anything else the rest of the day, read this article (even if it's just for the opportunity to see phrases like "moron ballet" and "disease with legs" for your own two eyes, as clear as the internet's day): http://www.trendingbuffalo.com/life/uncle-steves-buffalo/taking-fresh-look-unfai....

*Quill* And if you need some of your faith in humanity restored, you can glance at these quotes and feel better about life for awhile: http://thoughtcatalog.com/cody-delistraty/2014/01/the-13-wittiest-literary-lines....

30: Minutes I spent this afternoon at CAPCO, when I was expecting to be there for three hours. On the plus side, they'll be giving me enough shifts that I won't have to do the Cortland County Work Experience program anymore, which means no more trips to The Church Of The Fifteen Hungry Senior Citizens, or waiting on the bus in sub-zero wind chills so I can spend an hour mopping a floor. The woman in charge at CAPCO seems nice and appears to know very well what she's doing, which is a huge plus. I think I'll be liking this opportunity a whole lot more.

With that I think I've said about all I'll need to for today (it's ok that I said that, right?) and you can go back to whatever it was you were up to before you decided to join me for a little bit this evening. We'll meet back here tomorrow for more Mob-affiliated behavior, and you can tell me how that makes you feel. Peace, everyone is so near, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 3, 2014 at 4:24pm
February 3, 2014 at 4:24pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

What's up everyone? In the "30-Day Blogging Challenge's Blog Mob forum, we were instructed to write an introduction for ourselves, which I did (and it's rather tame..."My introduction..."  ). Regular readers of this thick slab of internet cheddar already have a pretty good idea of who I am, and if you've recently started following along, almost any entry I've written for any of my three blogs on WDC will catch you up pretty quick. I'm not gonna go on and on about that, because they speak for themselves (and I'm not great at speaking about me anyway...most of the time *Wink*).

So yesterday was the Super Bowl, which was a good game for about five minutes or so total. When I don't have a vested rooting interest in either team, no matter what game it is, all I'm really hoping for is a close contest...and yesterday's game was not that, right from the start. I had more fun on Twitter during the game actually...other than NHL Trade Deadline day, I don't think I've ever sent so many tweets on a given day. Not including retweets, I dropped almost 20. That's ridiculous. Nobody should tweet that much in a week, let alone a four hour period. A handful of them were kinda funny though. If you're remotely interested in that kinda thing and you're not already following me on "The Twitter", you can still read them here (I think): https://twitter.com/fivesixer.

Back around the beginning of the season, I took it upon myself to make some bold predictions regarding the 2013 NFL season ("This one's about your 2013 football preview.). Now's a good time to see how I did. I'll do a little copy/paste thing, and then add my postseason analysis after each one, with some help from ESPN's Stats and Info (http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/category/_/name/nfl). Here we go.

*Football* Peyton Manning will throw for more touchdown passes in week 1 than the Oakland Raiders will rush for the entire season. (Ok, so I know this is cheating just a little bit because Denver played last night, but c'mon...the Raiders are gonna be historically bad this year. Wait...which idea was more obvious again?? *Confused*) Well, I'll admit that this might've been one of the dumbest brashest things I've ever committed to the internet. Oakland was pretty bad, but not as bad as I thought they'd be. In all, the Raiders had 16 rushing touchdowns...not a great total, but this run by Terrelle Pryor might be the best "bad team" highlight of the year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vntGrg_p0ns.

*Football* I wish we could go one year without people hearing stories in the local news about Bills fans getting caught in the act of making love on the bleachers during blowouts when half the crowd has already left to finish gettin' smashed in the parking lot beat the traffic. I think people sell squares and start office pools based on which game will be the first one this becomes newsworthy. Well, since I'm not a subscriber of The Buffalo News anymore, thankfully I'm unaware of anyone having gotten arrested for public fornication this season. Not saying it didn't happen; just saying I'm glad I didn't have to read about it online.

*Football* Adrian Peterson of the Vikings will go over 2,000 yards rushing again this year (if he stays healthy), because his quarterback will be playing for a roster spot as next year's third-stringer somewhere else. AP didn't come close to 2k in yardage (1,266...or what most would consider a great season) and he wasn't totally healthy all year. The Vikes totally mishandled their QB situation, although it's not unlikely Christian Ponder is done with the team and will be a third-stringer (if he's lucky) on another team next year.

*Football* When injuries start piling up, some NFL team is gonna sign Tim Tebow. But he won't play a down this year. At least not at QB. Totally got that one wrong. The only shot Tebow got was as an analyst on ESPN's College Football Gameday team. And while he's got an out in his contract just in case a team wants to sign him, his career as a player is done.

*Football* I wish the rash of injuries this preseason (especially with knees) we saw was just a fluke. But more teams are starting to err on the side of caution as well when it comes to noticing injured players (especially those who have suffered concussions), so expect numbers on weekly injury reports to rise...but that's not necessarily a true indication of an injury's severity anymore either). Let's face it: football's a violent sport. I don't know the actual numbers, but reports tend to say things like "it's not as bad as everyone thinks". Furthermore, I think the media overdramatizes certain injuries because of big names and the graphic nature of the really bad ones. Nobody wants anyone to suffer something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UkcsiY-19E, but when they're showing it over and over, you can't help but think someone's overdoing it somewhere in the press box or behind the scenes (and for the record, I could only watch the first 30 seconds of that clip before I'd had enough...it's that gruesome, and I don't feel good about myself sharing it any more than the FOX producers should for airing it repeatedly, although it happened at a critical juncture of the game).

*Football* AFC Division Champs: New England, Cincinnati, Houston, Denver. Wild Cards: Indianapolis and Baltimore. Nobody saw Houston being as terrible as they were all year, and I didn't anticipate Baltimore being so mediocre either. On the flip side of that coin, I knew KC would be better, but not that much better. Truth is, the AFC had a down year...the Wild Card "chase" was more like a struggle to see who didn't want it less.

*Football* NFC Division Champs: Washington, Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle. Wild Cards: San Francisco and Detroit. I totally whiffed on Washington and Detroit...both were in divisions that felt like nobody wanted to win. I'm glad the championship came down to San Fran and Seattle, as they truly were the class of the conference and feature up-and-coming talent all over their rosters.

*Football* All four NFC divisions are gonna be tight races, and the four teams in each division are really gonna beat up each other. At least one fourth-place NFC finisher would be in contention for a wild card spot if they played in the AFC West. Again, I didn't think KC was gonna be unbeatable throughout the first half of the season, and San Diego taking a Wild Card spot was almost unthinkable. As for NFC fourth-place teams, I wonder what St. Louis would've done playing the same schedule KC or Denver had.

*Football* The NFL will have a serious push-back in at least one city from fans regarding its new policy regarding what kinds of bags can be brought into the stadium (ladies, this means no purses...and all bags must be see-through, without being bigger in size than roughly a gallon freezer bag). I read an excellent blog post from a woman's perspective about this a few weeks ago...http://thebroadsside.com/2013/06/26/491/. Another issue that seemingly became a non-event, at least not that I'm aware of. Wow...so far my predictions really sucked!

*Football* The New York Jets' starting QB in December of 2013 is not currently on their roster. Their head coach in September of 2014 is not currently employed by any of the league's 32 franchises. Another whiff. Somehow the Jets put together a halfway decent season, Rex Ryan kept his job, and Geno Smith in all probability will start the 2014 campaign as their starting QB.

*Football* I wish the NFL would drop their wet dream about having a franchise in a city that doesn't love it, Los Angeles, and announce during this season that it's fine with where all of the teams are located. Except Jacksonville. You might be a great city, but your support for an NFL franchise sucks. If the league ever wants to establish a minor league system, you'll be considered. But until then, please move your team to someplace else, where people actually want to see your team play, and preferably with an NFL-caliber quarterback in tow as well. And please, do something about your dreadful superhero wanna-be outfits uniforms. Serious, this design http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/21215/uni-watch-analysis-new-j... actually had competition and was selected because it was better than something else? You should be able to do better than that, Jacksonville, and the NFL knows it can too. Nope...the NFL still wants to play ball in Los Angeles. The Rams' owner just bought a chunk of prime stadium real estate (http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nfl/story/_/id/10380150/st-louis-rams-owner-stan-...), and that situation is worth keeping an eye on. And my apologies, Jacksonville...you weren't the worst team in the NFL this year (but your unis are still God-awful).

*Football* The Bills will finish the season with somewhere between four and seven wins, but they'll look a hell of a lot better than their stretch a few years back where they finished 7-9 three straight seasons. Finally, one prediction I got right. Buffalo went 6-10, but some of those six wins were gutty, and a couple of those losses were damn close. Things might actually be on the up-and-up for my team.

*Football* The 49ers will beat the Broncos in one of the top three lowest-scoring games in Super Bowl history, primarily because it will be played in New York during a snowstorm. More people will be watching to see how corporate greed reacts in inclement weather rather than just to see the commercials. At least at the beginning of the season I picked the Broncos to lose in the Super Bowl (although yesterday I thought they would win). Low-scoring and a snowstorm? Totally missed. At least the halftime show wasn't half bad.

Well, I think it's fair to say that I'm not very good at predicting things. Good thing I don't gamble, lest the actual Mob came after me to collect quite the huge debt I would've created for myself.

BCF PROMPT: "What do you think of competitive sport? I know some members of our circle are avid sports fans, but do you think the obsessive following of sport is overrated?"

Well, obviously I'm one of those members that happens to be an avid sports fan. If I wasn't, then what the hell have I been doing the last hour or so?? *Smirk*

But truth be told, yes, I think obsessive behavior is a bit overrated. When your life revolves around your favorite team's activities (the Buffalonian in me is throwing up a little in my mouth as I'm typing this), maybe it's time to, you know, get married or find a hobby or something.

It's not really a bad thing when your team is winning (I actually paid real money in high school to have the Bills' logo shaved on my head as the they were going to four straight Super Bowls). But when they're not doing as well, some things are just pathetic. Wear a t-shirt or a hat on game day, but drawing attention to yourself in an overly-supportive manner for a terrible team just reeks of something veering toward loneliness and stupidity.

My best friend in high school once made a great point regarding football...look at the horrible teams one year, and in 2-3 years they'll be among the best. He was so very true...the Cowboys became dominant, and eventually so did Indianapolis. You know you're buying into the idea of a team being great when you purchase a winter jacket for a team that's located outside of your market. Of course, when that same team beats your hometown team twice in the world's biggest football game, you tend to look like an ass for wearing that same coat. However, later on in life that Cowboys Starter jacket served me plenty of times as a de facto chest protector in many street and ball hockey games when I was the goalie, because I didn't see the need to buy a real chest protector when that thing was so thick and padded. But that's not the point.

I say "Sing when you're winning", and hide when you're losing. I'm not a "bandwagon" fan by any means, but sometimes it helps to know when it's ok or right to step off the gas pedal, or lean on it appropriately.


** Image ID #1970900 Unavailable **

I'm not crazy about tearing too deep into my soul, and this won't be easy to write, but hey, life's never easy either, so that kind of lessens the process involved with sharing this song as part of "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge.

My love for The Get Up Kids is probably fodder for an entirely different entry, and it took me a long time after my brother DMFM encouraged me to check them out. I'd even bought a couple of their cds while we were roommates, but I never really got into them until a few years later. And when I did, I fell hard for them. I guess I should start going into some details...I've chosen "Stay Gold, Ponyboy" today (album: Four Minute Mile {link:http://www.amazon.com/Four-Minute-Mile-Reissue-Kids/dp/B0047YQ1BW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391457683&sr=8-2&keywords=Get+Up+Kids+Four+Minute+Mile}; lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/getupkids/staygoldponyboy.html).

I had a family member (not gonna name names or be very specific) that I was super close to for a long time...even though we weren't nearly the same age, we shared a lot of varied interests together and he became one of my best friends over the years. As days, weeks and months got on we'd lose sight of each other...we're not good people as far as keeping in touch goes. It was shocking to hear he was going to drug rehab; nobody had a clue. I made sure to let him know I was going to support him in any way I could, regardless of my own separate issues all over the place. My only contact with him for months was writing him letters and sending them through scrutinized mail...a far cry from this internet era. Eventually I got to spend Saturdays with him as part of his transition. I'd meet him at a local community college where we'd sit at his mandated AA meetings, and then I'd take him out for lunch afterwards...usually to Mighty Taco. Then I'd go back to my life and he'd go back to his, and we'd write letters back and forth.

I'd turned him on to a lot of different music over the years, but we bonded over The Get Up Kids in a way few people can. His definitions of punk were dictated by the radio, and mine were informed by other sources. TGUK was a great starting place toward middle ground.

I'd taken an extended lunch break from work so I could be with him as we learned of his circumstances, and somehow I'd had this cd in my car on the way back to work (which was a very short drive from where we met). Upon hearing the lyrics, I burst into tears during my realization that I wasn't keeping up my end of our relationship. I looked like a hot mess going back to work, but that's not the point.

This song stays with me. Even as families disintegrate over time like ours did, I can't help but remember everything...the good and the bad, all that went into that moment. I still get a little teary when I hear this song and think about the moments where I should've been the best person I could've been for him. And as he's grown and become a successful person in his own right, we've drifted apart again. I don't think he'll read this, and I'm not holding out hope for any kind of reconciliation moving forward anytime soon, given all of our lives' circumstances, but I love that kid with all of my heart and I always will. Even if I've been a bad example of what to be when you grow up or less than what I was expected to be.

"Old enough to know better...young enough to pretend."


*Facepalm* Ok, I'm finally at my breaking point regarding opinions voiced on message boards. "Your an idiot" must be the greatest response the internet ever created. It doesn't take a Grammar Nazi all that long to figure out how admirably ironic that sounds, nor does it stop one from discrediting the point the person initiating a conversation with those same words is trying to make while finding fault in another's opinion. It's taking all I can to keep myself from breaking the internetesticles any freaking time I see those three little misguided but well-intentioned words.

And with that, I've written enough for today. I'm so far behind on what I want to do that it's infringing on what I need to do. Better step to it, I think. Peace, I hope you find it, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 2, 2014 at 5:03pm
February 2, 2014 at 5:03pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Welcome back, friends! It's the second day of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge's Blog Mob, and it looks like I'm a little early for whatever Brother Nature has in store for us this fine Sunday. Either that or the Mob's got a day off *Confused*...I've never known a mob of any sort that wakes up in the morning and says, "Ya know, I'm not really feeling like being a mob today" or calls in sick for its shift of random gathering and menacing. But watch...with my luck, as soon as I've finished this entry and expended my resources an actual function will be posted for today in the forum, and I'll be wondering if I should just skip it or come up with something for it.

The whole point of me trying to come up with an entry right around now was so I wouldn't have to worry about it later while I'm watching the Super Bowl...I know myself and my superior procrastination skills, plus I have a hard time doing more than one thing at a time, so I figured it'd be best to bash out a post on this keyboard before I got too sucked into anything else. Sounded like a good idea to me, at least.

Here's how I know I'm amazing at procrastinating...every few minutes I keep refreshing the tab I have open for the 30DBC, just in case something should change. But is that really due to my wanting to put writing this entry off, or is it because I really don't have much more to add to yesterday's post regarding what I think our mob's message should be? Ponder that amongst yourselves while I come up with something clever to say.

Yeah, it's not happenin'. Not right now at least.

I will share this, however: http://news.msn.com/us/mass-mobs-fill-pews-lift-prayers-at-ny-churches. Right from MSN's homepage this morning. I really hadn't planned on reading the whole article, until I noticed it was about churches in Buffalo. Finally, my hometown makes nationally-distributed headlines for something other than sucky sports teams, snow, and chicken wings! Last time I recall Buffalo getting mentioned in an article that was featured as one of MSN's top stories? It had to do with a friendly neighborhood woman who was running a major drug ring from her house, and nobody suspected a thing. We're talkin' proud, Buffalo...*Rolleyes*. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jeNULOcTd8

Flash mobs at churches. Thank you, internet. Back in the day, we called it "going to mass". I guess it's one way for churches to remain relevant in society amidst the "reorganization" (as in, consolidation and closing numerous historical landmarks and schools...again) of the Catholic diocese in Buffalo. I haven't been to a church in probably twenty years unless it was for a wedding or a funeral. I'm just not that churchy. And the idea of people showing up somewhere at random is a little frightening to me, probably because if I were to partake in something like that it would set my anxiety pinging like a smoke alarm in a burning building. Anyway, yay Buffalo.

Still no update on today's Blog Mob business. Maybe in the meantime I should be trying a li'l harder to promote the group or come up with a better slogan. Too bad "Talkin' Proud!" is already taken. How's "Join the Mob, because it's like church, only it's a Mob"? Or " Blog Mob, where the only illegal activities are crimes against words"? Nope...I'm still not good at this slogan thing. Didn't expect that to change overnight.

BCF PROMPT: As I'm sure many of you are aware by now, the "Blogging Circle of Friends doesn't operate on Sundays. Since I don't know how to enjoy a day off sometimes, I guess I'll just use this space to discuss openly my week. Because six other days of me doing that seemingly isn't enough.

The Cortland County work experience program...doesn't disappoint when it comes to delivering at least one fiasco a week, and this week was no exception. When I realized my supervisor was taking me to a work site that wasn't the one he'd said he was taking me to, he kinda tried to laugh it off immediately by saying, "Oh, jeez, I'm a bad drunk...what was I thinking?" Well, I don't know, because you have a clipboard with this stuff written down on it regarding where we're going and what we're doing, and you don't appear to be the least bit intoxicated. Try again. I can only imagine what's gonna go through their heads when I start my volunteer position on Tuesday with CAPCO, which will take the place of having to do time with the work experience program. It's bad enough that you have to remind them almost daily of everything you've got going on that coincides with their schedules...it's hard enough for me to remember everything I have to do (and I have to write it all down or I will forget), let alone trying to keep them abreast as well, especially when they can't recall 24 hours later what you told them.

A fine example of both me forgetting about things I don't write down and CCWE's lack of accounting: back in December I was scheduled to attend a workplace safety seminar before I started the program. Totally forgot about it, even though I had the letter confirming the date stuffed in its envelope in the spot where I keep all the important things out in the open. Seeing as how they like to send me to places like the county's highway department or "nutrition sites" where we serve senior citizens hot lunches from church kitchens, you'd think that safety would be a priority...the chemicals alone I come in contact with in either setting are dangerous enough. Yet at a group meeting where we went over job search requirements (again), when the supervisors asked/assumed we'd all been to the safety seminar, I raised my hand and said I hadn't. They looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. And sure enough, tomorrow morning I'll be in attendance at 9am for the next one. These are the same people that want you to report every papercut you get because they don't want lawsuits (I just typed that line while noticing the cut on my index finger I got while scrubbing the inside of a heating table last Thursday), and harp on you every chance they get about people with restrictions on walking/standing/heavy lifting, yet don't seem to mind having you wait in single-digit temperatures nearly half an hour for a bus just so you can mop a floor for an hour and come back.

Don't get me wrong; I understand the purpose of the CCWE program, and I get that they are dealing with around 20 or so different people a day. But man, if ever there were a situation screaming to be run better, with more accountability and a streamlined process, I've never seen it. But that's enough of my complaining...hopefully once I start at CAPCO I won't have to worry about CCWE anymore.


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I don't think I've ever felt more relieved to get to this part of a blog entry...and I write these things! Today's song for "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge is "On Your Own" by Blur (album: Blur {link:http://www.amazon.com/Blur/dp/B000000WDA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1391372902&sr=1-1&keywords=blur+blur}; lyrics: http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/4470/)

I came across this song by a happy accident; I joined one of those record clubs where you get 12 cds for a buck or something like that, and because I'd already loved a lot of '90's Brit-pop (Oasis, Radiohead) I figured I'd grab Blur's "Greatest Hits" cd. I was only familiar with "Song 2" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSbBvKaM6sk), which I think is the song many people who've heard of Blur in this country know, and "Coffee And Tv" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oqXVx3sBOk...and I've seen this video tons of times but I just realized the lead singer's shirt says "Buffalo, New York" on it, and I got chills *Bigsmile*...a highly entertaining video too, might I add). I really wanted "Song 2" in my collection, so I was willing to take the risk on a band's best-of collection to get it.

And I hardly listened to that cd, but for some reason I burned it onto mini-disc (yes, I was a huge fan of the format...working for a consumer electronics company had that much impact on me, and it truly would've overtaken cassettes if Sony hadn't been so proprietary about it...this unit was perhaps my favorite purchase from my time there: http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MXD-D3.html) before going on a cruise with extended family. While aboard the ship I listened to my portable MD player a lot, and I really got into that Blur compilation. It was so diverse, hitting so many different genres it seemed. You couldn't peg it to a specific category. "On Your Own" stuck out so much...I was just a single guy dating an adorable but crazy girl (we were a bad match...we brought out the best of each other's worst behaviors) and it was my first time away from her since the time we established ourselves as a couple (coincidently, while I was away on a "guys road trip" to Cleveland).

This song reiterates feelings about myself and eases some of my self-confidence issues, mainly in the chorus: "So take me home/ don't leave me alone/ I'm not that good/ but I'm not that bad". It's chock full of little references that to me felt relatable, and the video is a trip to watch...some British dude rockin' a Kangol and coppin' hip hop poses, and near the end he's surrounded by a mob of people who're enjoying what he's doing. I can't describe it other than it felt like a home to me. I know I've posted the video a few times before, but I'll never get sick of this song (although the remixes are rather tiresome) or the feeling I get from it.

"I dream to riot, oh you should try it!"


*Kiss* I don't hand these things out freely, but I suggest everyone check out participate in "Invalid Item as much as possible. I gave though to being in one of the booths, but then I had to sleep (I know, who does that?) and I missed my opportunity. Well, that, and I don't let just anybody have a chance at my puckers, but that's besides the point.

*Delight* I did manage to find myself in the rabbit hole of internet that is Cyanide & Happiness this morning after realizing I was too late to open up a kissing booth. And I don't care what you say...this is the sickest, most disturbing humor you'll secretly find funny there ever is. You won't tell people about it, but chances are they'll know too, and are hoping beyond hope you'll bring it up first so they can nod along and then share their stories of how awesome it is and how they're so glad it exists. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWXCrItCF6ZgXrdozUS-Idw. And yes ladies, there are reasons why I'm still very single and in no hurry to become mated...

*Pizza* ...And this is one of those reasons. Whether it works for or against me is probably another story for another time.

It doesn't hurt to stand out.

*Football* I'll stop short of forecasting today's Super Bowl score, but I think the Broncos will beat the Seahawks. Seattle has a nice defense, but I think Denver has too many weapons on offense that Seattle has to contend with. Peyton Manning will fin a way to pick the Seahawks apart. I can't wait to watch the game...I may reconsider taking a nap (since it's taken too long for me to actually bust this entry out) today and start immersing myself in the pregame overkill festivities. Plus, I'll need some time to digest the outcome before I tackle my preseason predictions in the "This one's about your 2013 football preview. recap.

And with all of that out of the way, I may run across the street to CVS and grab some last-minute snacks before I GTFO of here and act like it's no big deal. Peace, #steadymobbin, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

February 1, 2014 at 1:46pm
February 1, 2014 at 1:46pm

February 2014 Blog Mob - Join or ...

Good morning, and happy February to you all! That means only one thing: it's an unofficial month in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge the Blog Mob is here for 28 straight days of behavior associated with large crowds and somewhat unruly behavior, or as I like to call it, "grocery shopping when the sale ad comes out". Looks like we've got a solid cast of characters this month, and I'm excited to be a part of it.

Our first order of business? To stimulate mob growth by attracting more participants. A bigger mob is a better mob, a wise man (so I've heard) once said, and I've done my part so far by inviting the people who've read my entries the last few days to join us. But that's not enough, so I offer these researched-based examples: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiTXuZds99k. Someone has to step forth and lead, and that's what Brother Nature has been called upon to do. As one of his charges, part of my duty is to offer up a slogan for the cause.

Blog Mob Thought Bubble
"It's fun to stay at the Y...no Don, Y. It's a Y, not an I. Y. Like this."

I'm not good at creating catchy slogans, mainly 'cuz they come off as being corny. When it comes to propaganda, I tend to be more of a feeder than an initiator. I'm better at wearing t-shirts than designing them. But because Joel's a great guy, I'll give this a shot.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you are free! Free from the daily prompts associated with official blogging groups. Free to think on your own! Free to be who and what you want. Join us, and be free!"

Like I said, I'm not real good at that kinda stuff. I'm more content ridin' shotgun (no gangsta rap pun intended), so if our Mob comes up with something better, I'll stand behind it. As far as any issues I'd like to see us take a stand on or tackle, well, again, I'm not good at figuring that stuff out. Be nice to each other. Support us and whatever we decide as our purpose. I may not agree, but I'll fight to the death for your right to be free...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMF5MjzgJrM.

BCF PROMPT: "National Freedom Day celebrates freedom from slavery, and recognizes that America is a symbol of freedom. National Freedom Day was established in 1948 to remind us that America stands for, and is a symbol of, freedom for all people. The roots of this special day come directly from the end of slavery and the signing of the 13th amendment outlawing slavery. Celebrate this day by reflecting upon your own freedoms that you enjoy by being fortunate enough to be in America. Millions of people in the world are not free. Tell us how you feel about the freedoms we have. Do you believe we are really a symbol of freedom? There are many people believe that America has lost its ideals, what do you think?"

I generally try not to wade too deep into these waters; some people believe very strongly one way or the other regarding freedom and what it means to America in 2014, for a multitude of reasons. Personally, I can do a pretty fantastic job of alienating people with my sense of humor alone, without a prompt to guide me. I also recognize that while I live in America, there are plenty of people outside of my country and continent that will read this but aren't enjoying the same type of liberty I know and can speak easily of. That doesn't mean they're not free people; we just speak it in different ways.

Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly: two points our Blog Mob could easily adhere to, no matter where you're from or what you believe. As far as I'm concerned, this blog has no borders and welcomes everyone regardless of beliefs...don't push yours, I won't push mine, we accept each other, and we'll all get along. It's that simple. Don't like it? Somewhere on your screen is an X...click on that and this goes away while you preserve your rights and I retain my words.

Now, having all sorts of liberties doesn't always mean how you exercise them is correct or proper. I know we're not always gonna agree on things, and that's ok as long as no one acts all butt-hurt because I wore a Vanilla Ice t-shirt in high school or your grandma burned her bra because "Women's Lib!!" or what have you. The point is, we've got just as much a right here to do what we want as the next person, and so what if what they do isn't like what you do? In the grand scheme of things, as long as no one's getting hurt or killed, what difference (other than a differing of opinions) does it make? The fact that people can stand up for whatever they want shouldn't make them less of a person; in fact, I respect people more for having something to believe in than just not caring about anything at all...just because Lyn is a Flyers fan and I'm a Sabres fan doesn't affect my opinion of her, or because pinkbarbie and LostGhost: Seeking & Learning live on the other side of the planet doesn't change the fact that they're strong people with great ideas, intentions and opinions.

Americans can be very self-absorbed at times. Our two-party political system, despite either sides' (and their supporters') best efforts to point out how right they are and how wrong the opposition is, must look like a train wreck sometimes to other parts of the world...especially to the people who think Americans on a whole are too liberal regardless of political affiliation. To us, all we seem to care about sometimes is us and how wrong everyone else is for not being like us. And that's just how we think of people in our own neighborhood! That doesn't even consider a global scale of reasoning (or lack thereof). We're too concerned with being the authority on everything to care about what other people think. Sure, if you're American maybe that's not what you believe, but I think that's how we're perceived as a country and that always tends to trump personal beliefs until you really get to know someone and have the ability to change their mind about you and a people.

I think I wandered a little off track here. Time to circle back to the prompt a little.

I'm grateful for what we have, and I'm thankful for being American. This country isn't the same as it was (obviously) 200+ years ago. Evolution as a society is what happens when one of the key principles of discovering new territories is religious freedom. I think people nowadays take stuff too literally and hide behind their beliefs rather than face reasonable facts (and yes, I'm well aware that everyone seems to have a different definition of "reasonable"). The world changes at a pace that's nearly undetectable by the naked eye, and most of us somehow manage to keep pace without even knowing it. We have to trust that those who're ahead of the game know what they're doing so that we don't wind up like the small percentage of those who have failed to embrace times as they evolve.


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Here's today's song, as part of "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge: Beastie Boys, "Pass The Mic" (album: Check Your Head {link:http://www.amazon.com/Check-Your-Head-Beastie-Boys/dp/B000002V1I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391275564&sr=8-1&keywords=beastie+boys+check+your+head}; lyrics: http://rapgenius.com/Beastie-boys-pass-the-mic-lyrics)

Why I chose this song: The first four lines, "If you can feel what I’m feeling then it's a musical masterpiece/ If you can hear what I’m dealing with then that's cool at least/ What's running through my mind comes through in my walk/ True feelings are shown from the way that I talk", are the epitome of me and what I do both when I'm writing and how I live. There are so many little touchstones and references that make this song a perfect fit for me...it always puts me in a good mood. The bravado is light but on point, the live instrumentation adds realism to the words, and its serious tones but playful nature all but nail who I am.


*Baseball* Once, I was the catcher for a slow-pitch softball team known as "Lynch Mob". Our hats said MOB on the front, and on the back were our nicknames and jersey numbers. Mine read JESUS 41 because I showed up at the first practice with a beard, long hair, and sandals (can't drive wearing cleats), and someone said, "Who brought Jesus?". That was the last year I played an organized sport; I was a decent second baseman in my late teens and could put the ball on the ground, legging out infield singles with my speed. Age caught up to me though, and because I'm not very strong I couldn't muscle the ball out of the infield in my 30's. I did have an amazing play behind the plate though to secure a victory one game...the relay throw came in high from the infield; I had to jump to catch it. The ball snow-coned in my glove and I spun in mid-air to tag the runner out at the plate. It had to be the best play I made all year. The rest of the season, you could catch me at the beer cooler yukkin' it up with the rest of the J-Bag$. One of our many Mob mottos was "I'm not drunk, I'm just drinkin'!!". My bat was an Easton model, with "Black Max" in bold written on the barrel. That bat lives on in infamy via this picture taken at 542 by my boy Winkz, and enhanced by the bro G-Stamm...

G-Stamm turned my softball bat, Black Max, into a lightsaber.

*Cross1* Anyone that knows me and my sense of humor will understand how I feel about life and viewpoints on a wide variety of topics under a large scope. I don't judge, and neither should you.

I appreciate this view on religion.

*Football* Coming up on Monday, I will have my recap of Super Bowl Sunday, including how I fared on my predictions for the 2013 season (noted here: "This one's about your 2013 football preview.. It's not too late to follow @fivesixer on Twitter for in-game analysis during critical points during the game (and the commercials). I'll be watching online via one of the http://www.wiziwig.tv/ links, so I hope there's some better commercials than the regular season ones (and hopefully they're all in English, as opposed to some of the European feeds I've seen). So yeah, stay tuned for Monday's "Who do I still think I am?? entry, because it should be epic and humbling and baller and intense, even if you don't like football or my stupid humor. *Delight*

I think that concludes today's attempts at blogging and satisfying both the need to get things out in the open and the prompts/activities at hand. Now I can spend the rest of the day bashing out responses to emails, napping, and fading into the relative obscurity that Saturday blogging can be at times (and a place that's befitting of me, not having much to do in a town that offers even less). Peace, #steadymobbin, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 31, 2014 at 9:01pm
January 31, 2014 at 9:01pm

What is up?? January's "30-Day Blogging Challenge is officially over (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lc4TnopiuzQ), and now we wait to see what the judges have to say. I've probably given some version of this speech every month that I've ever managed to finish a 30DBC, but it bears repeating...there are tons of talented authors registered at WDC, and I'm privileged just to share some bandwidth and server space with them. Through events like these we learn a lot about our peers, and ourselves. Some people spend money collecting fancy things. Others train to run marathons. We write. We participate and prepare just like everyone else does when they're involved with something they enjoy...we just use our fingers and our wits.

That said, as competitors all we really have to do is show up and do what we love to do. Well, that, and be somewhat decent at it, and read a few of the other entrants' entries along the way. We have the easy part, whether we're writing a paragraph or 10,000 words. It's the judges who really have the toughest chore...they have to not only read every entry in a given week (or month), but then apply The Colonel's Secret Analytical Metrics to each one, grade them out, and tally 'em up until the winner's shaken out. I know firsthand that it's not a easy gig...and especially with this crop of writers from all over WDC this month- a robust mix of big names and newcomers, from nearly every category and stage of development- a lot of hard decisions have been and will be made before the winner of one of this site's best contests is announced. That person knows one thing...they're not lucky; they're deserving. It takes a special kind of discipline to take on anything for thirty straight days, let alone also having the skills to carry that weight for this long at the highest level. Ok, maybe there's a bit of hyperbole in that there are people who might be better bloggers and certainly there are those who get paid to act like it, but in my opinion, the virtual arena we have here at WDC is the most enlightening, most enjoyable, and most entertaining level of blogging there is. Why do I say that? Simple. None of us are experts on every topic, and we may not be the greatest at what we do here- there likely aren't any paychecks at the end of this month for any of us- but we have a certain tenacity that goes along with our hearts, minds and souls that is unmatched by any other community there is. Search Google, Yahoo, Wordpress, or any other site that offers the kind of information you'll find in an official 30DBC round. Who's the winner? We are.

The key component in my sentiments? Something I've learned and seen throughout this month, believe it or not...we all make each other better. Sure, it's a "competition", and nobody enters a competition hoping not to win, but you'll never be amongst a stronger group of supporters than the people who are writing along to the same prompts as you are, day-in and day-out. These people see you at your best, and they know when you're operating at something less than that. They're the first ones to know what you're going through, and they're going to lend you advice, support, or just a shoulder if they have to. We start out on Day 1 mostly complete strangers...as days turn into weeks we're a lot closer and comfortable with each other; much like anything else in life, such as taking a new job, moving into a different neighborhood, or starting the first day of a new semester at school. Eventually we're more familiar and that helps us open things up.

I read things once in awhile from writers who say the blogging community is dying. That couldn't be further from the truth. One only has to take a look at the forums for any of the blogging groups out there on WDC to realize the we're not just surviving, but thriving. It's a great time to be a blogger on WDC.

BCF PROMPT: "What is your opinion of classic literature (Sophocles to George Orwell, and everything between)?"

There are all sorts of clichés at play here..."you can't know your future unless you know your past"; "things aren't like they used to be"; "today we lay the foundation for a brighter tomorrow", etc. And they're all worthwhile. People remember them for a reason. They endure. Just like the classics...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnAXdhQ_PDQ.

I used to have a part-time job in a bookstore, and there's a reason that certain types of works have sections of their own. Everyone still buys them, even if they're hundreds of years or mere decades old. There's something about them, whether we're forced to read them in junior high, or they're recommended by your cousin randomly, or you overhear someone discussing a passage on the news triggering your curiosity, that is captivating and meaningful. They've been read millions upon hundreds of millions of times, yet some of them seem to speak to you in a way that suggests it's just you and that book on an island for the rest of time, and you're getting along famously.

But what I really know about classic literature is that I don't make the rules. I didn't determine what constitutes something published being worthy of that designation. And there's no hard and fast rule that says if your favorite author's book sits atop the New York Times' Bestseller List for x-amount of weeks, it's guaranteed to be considered a classic. I just know what I like, and I happen to like a good amount of what would be classified as classic lit.

What I find interesting to think about is how will some of the biggest-selling books of the last decade or so be remembered in fifty or 100 years' time? How well will the Harry Potter, Da Vinci Code or other titles/series age? Will we speak of them in the same sentences as works of Shakespeare and Dickens? Will they be studied as deeply? And how will self-publishing and the internet affect the way we look at past and present literature? Will we forget over time the "legacy brands" of yesterday? I don't know.


The end of one month and the start of another...I feel like today is a grace period of sorts. Tomorrow will signify the start of a few subtle changes to the aesthetic of this slab of verbal internet chicanery as contests and group involvements change, and one of the forums I'll be posting in daily as of Feb. 1st will be "The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge. If ever there were an activity on WDC that was made for this specific segment of "Who do I still think I am??, that'd be the closest one.

This song isn't a part of what I'd consider the soundtrack of my life, but I remember a few years back I was standing outside of the apartment of the girl I was dating at the time having a smoke. I had been around WDC for a little while and was starting to come into my own as both a person and a poet (with some encouragement), and I was giving thought to how I wanted to approach writing going forward. One word popped into mind: timeless. I may struggle at times trying to get there, because not everything committed to the interwebs can be great, but that's what I hope for. I used to say I wanted kids to study me in their English textbooks someday. It's probably unlikely, but who knows?

"I'm everywhere you've never been and better than I've ever been."


*People* There goes the neighborhood! Looking forward to the Mob starting tomorrow as well...go over to the "30-Day Blogging Challenge and get you some details! #steadymobbinFeb2014

*Medalgold* Go on and wish Jeff a hearty congrats for winning "Invalid Item (sponsored by the "Blogging Circle of Friends ). Another great Blogging Community Event, expertly run by lazymarionette. Lyn and I had a great time reading all of the entries, and there was no shortage of exceptional talent on board. I'd love to see something like this happen quarterly, with all four winners meeting up once a year in an even bigger "Winner Take All" sort of thing. It's an idea worth considering, if you ask me. Congrats are also in order for the semi-finalists, blainecindy, Brother Nature , and Annette for their effort, and I want to thank all the entrants for the opportunity I was given to read their works. It was a great experience and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I don't really have a lot more to say...thanks to the writers, the judges, the academy, the anonymous support (today especially *Wink*), and most importantly, if you're reading this, you. Without that we're just people lookin' at computer screens, amusin' ourselves. Peace, looks like we made it, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 30, 2014 at 10:37pm
January 30, 2014 at 10:37pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Give me your best advice when trying something new. On the first day (yesterday), tell me the story of when you tried something for the first time and failed. What did you do after that? On the second day (today), tell me about a future plan to try something new (a New Year's Resolution perhaps?). We all know writing down our goals can help in motivating us to achieve them - so don't delay! *Wink* Your blogging peers will support you!"

Welcome back to the "30-Day Blogging Challenge's January "Serial Prompt" fun, kind people! In honor of today being the last official entry of the first official month of 2014, it brings me great pleasure to announce to you that I have nothing special planned for today.

I think I mentioned earlier this month that I might have the opportunity to go back to college and actually earn a degree. While it doesn't seem like on the surface that it's "something new" I might be trying, I'd love to argue the point that some things should have a statute of limitations (of sorts) put on them where they may not be considered a "new experience" per se, but because what they entail has changed so dramatically over time that large gaps between their occurrences can in comparison look very different and feel as if they are "new".

If that sounds like a really awkward and wordy sentence, let me try rephrasing it: attending college in September of 2014 at age 39 is probably a completely different thing than attending college in 1994/1995 at age 19. And a couple different things have to happen in order for me to confirm whether I'll logistically be able to go back to school or not, but for the sake of this entry I'll assume everything falls into place and I'm accepted as a student at TC3 (Tompkins County Community College, http://www.tc3.edu/). Let's briefly explore this train of thought, shall we?

The Internet: Back when I first went to college, the internet barely existed and certainly didn't resemble what it is today (as evidenced by the video embedded in this article: http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2007/07/12/this-is-what-the-web-looked-like-in...). We still did the bulk of our research in encyclopedias (remember them?). Email was primitive; almost a one-dimensional outline of what most providers offer these days. The world as a whole is so much more reliant on technology, especially as a tool of learning...in 1994, technology to me was having enough quarters so I could use a pay phone every time someone wanted to get ahold of me by sending me a page through my beeper.

The world is a different place: If the internet changed how we access the world, it's just as important to understand how the world itself has changed. I'll resist the temptation of turning that last sentence into an entire blog entry on its own, and just leave this link here instead as sort of a reference point: http://mentalfloss.com/article/54792/8-super-bowl-commercials-defunct-companies. Most of the eight ads featured in that article are approximately 15 years old, and none of the companies exist anymore. A phrase like "the dot com bubble" meant nothing in '94...now you can take classes from your living room that study just the last couple decades of history. And twenty or thirty years ago, the concept of "night classes" was still in its infancy; today, information is available 24/7/365 and changes/refreshes at a much fast pace than it did in the past.

A maligned sense of urgency: When you're 19, obviously your priorities are in a much different place than when you're almost 39. It's easy to look back on my first attempt at higher education and say "Maybe I didn't take it seriously enough", even though that's not entirely the case...not only was I working full-time after school, but my daily commute to the college was around two hours each way. I'd also received a lot of financial aid that year; because I'd worked so much and my living situation was different, I wasn't eligible for any grants were I to have gone back the following year (plus I'd just bought my first car after my second semester, and had to start paying off that loan as well). I guess back then I always figured I'd have plenty of time to go back to school whenever I wanted to...but life happens and sometimes you can't. Now, I'm looking at what could be the last "best" opportunity to successfully complete a degree program and apply it toward a career that can take me into retirement. Assuming I'll be working until at least 65 or 70, that'll give me somewhere in the area of 25 years to make use of that diploma...a time frame that seems a lot more finite now than it did as a teenager.

Like I said, a lot has to happen in my favor before I'm ready to say with certainty that I'm going back to school. I know that I want to, and I know a lot of that decision from this point on isn't exactly in my hands. I'm also sure that the experience will be a whole lot different than it was twenty years ago, and it will seem like something new and unfamiliar (at least at first). I know I don't have the same perspective or mindset that I had regarding education that I had in the past, and I mean that in a positive way. As for right now though, all I can do is wait until I find out if I'm eligible for some of the programs I've looked into as far as assistance and support. Fingers crossed; this could be a great opportunity and I'd be foolish to waste it.

Oh, one other thing would be different: instead of majoring in Communications and wanting to be on tv or in radio, I've decided that if I can go back to school it'll be for Graphic Design and/or IT work...I'd like to be involved with something computer-related, although I'm not quite ready to completely give up on my longstanding dream of working for a newspaper.

BCF PROMPT: "What is your zodiac sign? (See http://www.psychicguild.com/horoscopes_explained.php) Do you notice any similarities between the description and yourself?"

I'm a Leo through and through according to what that website had to say here: http://www.psychicguild.com/horoscopes_zodiac.php?sign=Leo. When it comes down to me versus how I'm defined, I'd say it's about 90-95% accurate. I have leadership qualities, I share on some levels the "soul-evolution" traits, and when I commit to something, I'm almost always all-in. I also tend to agree with the statements about pride and criticism, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I lean in complete accordance with the exact generalizations.

How do I disagree with the definitions established by this website? I don't believe that I'm very "clingy", and I certainly can "bear to be alone"...it's fair for one to think almost the exact opposite in that I prefer to be alone and not have to depend on others for anything.

While I stopped reading my horoscope years ago, I have to say that when I did they were fairly right more often than not. It was when I started dating a girl that I'll refer to as "the crazy ex" that led me to reconsider how I viewed horoscopes altogether; she'd read ours in the mornings sometimes (she was a Pisces) and would just assume that whatever it said was as true as gospel, thereby ruining a day before it was really even spent together. I guess to her sometimes being "almost right" once in awhile trumped "for entertainment purposes only".


Key-tars. Oingo Boingo. Rodney Dangerfield. Two out of those three things are very possibly firsts in my long, storied blogging existence.


*Glassesp* I'm gonna ignore the fact that one of my supervisors at work today said I was going to one job site and then took me to a different one (although both are equal parts in "the middle of nowhere"-land), and instead focus on the baffling notion that senior citizens can often be oblivious to themselves (and I say this with all due respect to anyone who reads this that is considered to be a senior citizen...I'm well aware that there are more than a few involved in both the "30-Day Blogging Challenge and "Blogging Circle of Friends ). I happened to be seated at a long table in between two groups of seniors as we were all eating our lunch, so I managed to take in two different conversations that were equally, ummmm, let's just say they weren't exactly appropriate topics of discussion during a meal. The beauty is that these people absolutely did not care that discussing in detail the surgical procedures they've witnessed on animals (or better yet, have had done to themselves) while eating could be considered inappropriate. It's almost adorable how old people can be so oblivious to the fact that they're oblivious, which is only compounded by them actually not being oblivious by talking about gross things while others are trying to eat. They're all like, "We had a cow once that was trying to give birth to a calf, and it had a twisted uterus, so I held its stomach in place while the vet was twisting her around, and the calf came out fine", and I'm all like, "Mmmmm...Spanish Rice today" *Sick*. All I know is if these people were my grandparents, and I talked around a dinner table like they were, I'd not only get the stink-eye, but I'd probably get whapped a few times with a leather belt as well.

*Cellphone* Speaking of working in the middle of nowhere, I've mentioned before that when I'm at some of these sites, I get no reception on my phone. Oh, there's some kind of cellular reception out there, but not from my provider, and I'm not switching so one day a week for a few hours I'll have service. Once I got home, the stupid little voicemail indicator came on...but since I had no signal earlier, I couldn't see who the missed call was from...and the voicemail itself was about 10 seconds of someone who must've butt-dialed me while driving because it sounded like talk radio was playing in the background. That's fairly aggravating.

*Orange* I've had that feeling all week like I'm starting to come down with a cold, and when I get that way I usually load up on orange juice. So what does fate have in store for me today? This article, which I came across through another article I read via Facebook: http://chicagoist.com/2013/02/10/simply_orange_is_anything_but.php. It's unfortunate because this particular brand of juice was one of my favorites; now I'm left feeling like this:

How something with "Simply" in its name isn't exactly that.

*Pencil* I hate it when I remember something I wanted to share in this entry, and I have a notebook sitting next to me which has some notes I've made before I started typing, and I didn't write down what it was I wanted to add to this piece. That's the worst bit of self-inflicted frustration I can think of.

And there it is y'all...one 30-day consecutive streak of blog entries, in the can. Now it's in the judges' hands, and perhaps I should maybe pursue other things with my free time, like finding a suitable website that has access to Sega Genesis games like NHL '94. Thanks for comin' along for the ride this month...it's been more fun than I remember it being. Peace, come find the mob before the mob comes and finds you ("Note: The 30 Day Blogging Challen..."), and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

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