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Rated: 18+ · Book · Personal · #1939270
A third attempt at this blogging business.
WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - March Sign Ups Open Now!

30-DAY BLOG CHALLENGE WINNER FOR SEPTEMBER 2011 AND APRIL 2012!!



BLOGGING CIRCLE OF FRIENDS "BLOGGER OF THE WEEK"
MAY, SEPTEMBER, AND NOVEMBER 2013
JANUARY, FEBRUARY, AND JUNE 2014


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.


 
FORUM
Blogging Bliss Newsletter Forum  (E)
Discussion of ideas and suggestions about blogs and the Blogging Bliss newsletter
#1911857 by Wordsmitty โœ๏ธ


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

THIS BLOG IS NOW CLOSED.
Continue along on my journey over at "Still Figurin' Out Who I Think I Am.
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July 8, 2014 at 10:18pm
July 8, 2014 at 10:18pm
#822109
30DBC PROMPT: "Today, talk about someone who gave you a hard time in school or college. It can be a teacher, a fellow student, anyone at all."

Good evening blog fam! I'm happy to announce that I'm in a much better mood today than I've been in the last couple of days...I kinda called it; I just had to get it out of my system and let the anger run its course. I don't think I'll be demanding to kiss babies anytime soon, but at least I laughed a little in my weird "I know it doesn't sound like a laugh and it's more like I'm opening my mouth to say 'haaaa' at a pitch slightly higher than my speaking voice, but I really did find you/it/that funny" sort of way. I find being able to do that at least a couple times a day makes me less likely to want to thunder-punch someone and attempt to justify it in neanderthal terms.

And hey, we've got a celebrity guest judge this week in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge! Say hi to Jack-check out 7YS , whose credentials I believe include winning third place in a 30DBC about a year ago. Go easy on him...this might be his first time judging (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), and if you've ever judged this competition before you know it sounds like it's gonna be fun and easy. Which it is...until it's not (Pro Tip: Don't wait until the last possible minute to try and judge a whole week's worth of entries unless you're looking for a reason to swear off reading and blogging for a good long while).

So anyway...this prompt, right? I think everyone, no matter what kind of student or person you are, goes through this with at least one teacher or fellow classmate. Some teachers/professors just don't want to be bothered with anyone and are clearly doing their job not because they're interested in your grasp of the subject material, but for the paycheck and the summers off. And there are always gonna be those jerks who can't stand the nicest people, because "they're too nice" or some other weak-ass, shitty excuse they can use to project their own inadequacies on the otherwise unsuspecting. I think these are like laws of nature or something, but I'm not sure because I was never really good at science, and I think they're related somehow.

And why wasn't I good at science? Could be many reasons, but I like to blame my 8th grade science teacher, Mr. Pearce, the most (forget for a moment that I've always found science to be somewhat boring, probably because at least in English class certain things are open to interpretation, and math had numbers most of the time, while science is...science, which is patently indisputable). Pearce was, for lack of a better term, a prick. He was primarily a physics teacher, which meant he typically taught seniors in my school. I think he felt slumming a few classes with the junior high kids was beneath him.

Like a majority of my classes, I sat in the first seat of the first row because my last name starts with "A". In most classes, that's about the only guarantee...in Pearce's class though, it meant more chances for me to earn his ire. That, coupled with my occasionally smart mouth and my unsmart scientific mind, led to a few head-to-head battles I don't recall undergoing in any sort throughout the next four years of my high school career.

There were a few occasions where I would slouch in my chair and stretch my legs...and as Pearce would pace in front of the class lecturing us, he would forget to watch where he was going and trip over my feet. If you ever want to make people like you, trip the bastard that rules over you like the old man who's constantly yelling at you to stay off his lawn, even when you're nowhere near it.

Another time, he asked a question to the class while he was erasing the chalkboard. Nobody answered him, and I don't remember exactly what I said but I snapped off a smart remark, thinking he wouldn't hear me...oh but he did. He didn't like it, and he threw his eraser at me. I was stunned that he'd actually show so much emotion, so I reacted in the only way I knew how: I threw it right back at him. I think he was even more surprised than I was.

But the classic Don Pearce story is this: on the day before Christmas break, he gave us a test. Yup...while all the other teachers were basically letting us blow off the day, he was making us work. And his policy was such that once you finished the test, you brought it up and placed it on his desk, and sat down at your desk to start studying the next chapter. I don't know what came over him, but on this occasion when you handed in your paper, he presented you with a candy cane and pleasantly said "Merry Christmas!" So very unlike him...until it was my turn. "Mr. Aikin, I've got a special candy cane just for you!" He reached into the box, pulled one out, and proceeded to smash it twenty or thirty times against his desktop...and then looked at me as if to say "You may sit down now." I scooped up the pieces of my pepperminty confection and trudged back to my desk; my face looked like I'd just seen my puppy get hit by a car. And after that, he was sweet ol' Christmas Cheer Pearce, doling out his candy canes like he was trying to, for one day at least, get back into God's good graces.

BCF PROMPT: "Head to your favorite fellow blogger's blog. Take the third sentence in their post, and work it into a new post of your own. This could go in many directions depending on whose blog you ventured into."

This is awkward, because I had a couple more notifications than usual when I opened up WDC this evening, and I'm assuming some are related to this prompt (which kinda makes yesterday's entry all the more funnier in retrospect)...I'd feel bad picking one of the blogs I read regularly as a favorite because I like a lot of what I come across and it doesn't seem fair to pick one over another. I think what I'm gonna do is pick a random entry from yesterday's "Blogging Circle of Friends contributions and hope for the best.

Lavender , "On this day I gave birth to my second child but first daughter." Yeah, ummm...no offense Andi, but I just don't see a way I'll be able to turn that into something I can work with. Beautiful story and all, but...no.

Princess Megan Rose , "A day I can shop all day and not have my sinuses, leg pain or GERD acting up." Megan, I don't think I can do this either. I don't know what GERD is, and with my luck I'd probably turn it into something offensive if taken the wrong way by someone. I'll play it safe and try again.

Cobe , "A week into vacation, I'd already dealt with cramming our gear into a borrowed car after our Ford Expedition died on the side of the road 30 minutes from home, altitude sickness, cooking dinner over a campfire in the rain, pink eye, no cell phone reception, a power outage while taking showers, a bout of norovirus courtesy of a bus full of Japanese tourists, camping in the snow in June, and a rousing chorus of drunk neighbors peeing on my tent." Wow...there's way too much going on there. I'll admit though it's tempting to want to take on the rousing chorus of drunk neighbors peeing on your tent. *Laugh*

Charrr ๐ŸŒˆ , "Saturday night I was with a couple guys." You almost had me, Charlie...ahhh, what the hell? I'll give it a go, mainly because I'm sick of this game already, and although I was not with a couple of guys on Saturday and this sentence is probably ironically the least-harmful sentence in "Closed Lips, Cool Days, and Moving On Up, I think I have the right combination here (just don't ask me what the formula is...'cuz science and stuff).

So it sounds like Charlie had a rough night Saturday with a couple of friends of friends. That's always an awkward situation, even when you've known the FOF's for awhile, because usually you've got that buffer of the common person that knows the other parties better than they might know each other. I find that to be helpful in situations where the conversation stalls, or if something is brought up unknowingly that might be offensive or upsetting.

Could you imagine- I'm sure I reference this every so often, especially during official 30DBC months- if a group of us bloggin' folks lived in a reality show-style situation for a month or so, and had to all get along and adapt to the others? Here we are, a week into June, fairly familiar by now with each other...as we're sitting around a table having an informal breakfast, down the stairs trudges Charlie. We knew he was out late the night before, but we weren't gonna judge him 'cuz he's a likable kid...only he looks like shit and he's moving gingerly, like he spent half the night gettin' his ass beat by two dudes. We'd all be exchangin' sideways looks at each other, summa y'all would be rollin' eyes, and Charlie would slam the cupboard door like the world was imploding because one of y'all ate the last of his cereal. I'd be concerned, so I'd hafta get up and be like "Hey bro, you ok?" and he'd give me this cheesy, whiny bullshit about how someone ate all his Fruity Pebbles, but deep down you know somethin's up and he doesn't wanna get into it. Then he'd brush past me and go back to bed for six more hours, while everyone else is too busy staring at what just happened to continue eating the most important meal of the day. Later on Charlie would come back down and act like nothing happened, everyone would be kinda weird about the whole thing, and eventually he'd end up confiding in one of us that he was forced to throw down with these fellas last night, and he's not sure what to do about it because he thinks it might affect his friendship with the go-between buffer friend. Being the amazing group of people that we are, it would get brought up in a community setting and we'd offer advice on how to handle the whole thing.

On the next episode, we'll find out what happens when Charlie talks to his homie about everything, and ponder the mysterious disappearance of Brother Nature (is it a coincidence that he hasn't been heard from since Cindy vacated WDC abruptly? Hmmm...). See what happens when people, ummm...start living together, and get really real.

MUSICAL BREAK!!

There's an excellent lesson to be learned in this song; however, since it has "Science" in the title I'm immediately half asleep and not paying attention after the first minute.



THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

Blog City image small


*Questionbl* "What is a lesson in life that took you way too long to figure out?"

Man, I really hope I answered the right prompt...how great was it that Mitchopolis and Charrr ๐ŸŒˆ sent out prompts within minutes of each other? I guess having two prompts beats having zero prompts (my fellow June contestants in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge will back me up there). When I saw that, I was like "Let's see how this plays out..." and then it kinda didn't. So I'm going with the last bit of actual prompt-based communication, since both Mitch and Charlie were like "Naw man, disregard mine and use his." No anti-fighting, boys...if we can't play confusingly we're not gonna maybe play something else later.

The answer to this question posed by one of the two fine gentlemen of "Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise actually came to me fairly quickly for a change...things get done a certain way for a reason, and usually that's why they're always done a certain way. It works, it gets done properly, and everything runs smoothly.

I always used to think I could get away with doing things how I interpreted them, rather than paying attention to how the other, more successful people did them. This was most evident when I was the assistant manager of a chain drugstore <that's no longer in operation so they don't merit the promotion>...I wanted to stand out and be good at my job, but I'd find myself getting hung up from time to time on certain tasks mainly because I didn't like doing them and was convinced there were easier and/or less mundane ways of achieving task completion (a fancy, official-sounding term I just made up). Turns out though I was dead wrong, and in order for everything in the big picture to run smoothly, sometimes you've gotta suck it up and follow certain protocols because that's the way things have always been done, and that's because whatever that system is, it's worked for a long time. In reality though, the very first step in anything I did for that company should've been to realize I was not cut out to be an assistant manager in pharmacy retail.

*Drbag* I have a little confession to make...I've blown off my last two physical therapy appointments. Last week it was because I was legitimately not feeling good; this week it was because when I'd scheduled the appointment I failed to take into account that the work meetings I'd been going to on Thursdays had been moved to Mondays, and I somehow didn't realize this until it was too late. But as long as I don't do anything crazy, my ankle doesn't bother me that much (although I've been staying off it a lot)...that makes me nervous about going back to PT, because they're gonna tax it. Maybe I really do have to start looking at a way to mentally deal with the possibility that I'll never run again. I mean, the thought's always been there, but in more of a "What if...nah!" kinda way. I also don't wanna be the guy who limps whenever he walks, so I'm feeling slightly conflicted.

*Eat* I'm not sure what's more disconcerting: the almost complete abandonment of normal sleep, or my absolute lack of hunger. I sleep for an hour maybe, wake up to the point that I can open my eyes but not so much to physically want to move the rest of my body beyond tossing and turning, and after another hour or two of that I might sorta fall half-asleep but I'm so paranoid the sleeping pills will actually kick in and I won't hear my alarm go off. The appetite issue is new though. I'm not the kind of person who can force himself to eat. If I'm not hungry I'm not gonna try to shove something into my system because that's a good way to make myself sick. I'm thinking they might be related somehow, and that once one returns to normal so will the other. I've got no other symptoms or indications that there's something drastically wrong, so who knows. At least I'm not in a super-cranky mood...maybe tonight's my lucky night.

And with that I think it's time to post up, edit this, and see what the rest of y'all are up to this evening before I decide on how to proceed with the attempt of sleep since I don't have to wake up at any certain time tomorrow. Peace, I'll sing along, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

July 7, 2014 at 10:01pm
July 7, 2014 at 10:01pm
#822039
30DBC PROMPT: "Drowned By Betrayal and a Ladder To Heaven."

What's up y'all? It was bound to happen eventually, and quite frankly I'm a little surprised that it hasn't happened sooner...I've pulled three lemons on the prompt slot machine (and no, I'm not a gambler, so please don't make it inadvertently worse by saying it's rather common in Vegas to line up three lemons). I realize that I don't have to participate at all, but since I'm already here for the "30-Day Blogging Challenge, I may as well spread around my own special flavor of joy among as many groups as possible tonight. *Smirk*

Maybe it's me, but I can't be the only one who read "Drowned By Betrayal and a Ladder To Heaven" and thought "Really? Really??" Y'all know me...that's a fiction/murder mystery/goth poem prompt. Ain't a blog prompt. And it could just be the mood I've been in lately, but I really don't have the gumption to wanna be creative and bullshit my way through something I don't believe in (yes, admittedly I'm somewhat miserable today for no good reason, but still...). Wanna write a short story? Cool...go join one of the (estimated) 486,812 short story writing groups on WDC. I don't believe I can draw on anything from my nearly 39 years of existence in such a way that it would resemble an honest-to-goodness blog entry that I would feel comfortable with sharing, unless you're expecting me to say something like "the Jesus-peacers talked a lot of shit about me behind my back once that wasn't true because I was tryna hook up with their princess, and then they knocked down my ladder to heaven right before I was about to level up and save the kingdom". 'Cuz that happened to me once (minus the sweet video game scenario in the last part of the previous sentence). But y'all don't wanna know about that...you're here for the fictional version of "Drowned By Betrayal and a Ladder To Heaven".

Well, I'm not gonna do it. Sorry not sorry. If you were relying on me to enliven your day by twisting a prompt around to provide some kind of comic relief, the well's empty today. Come back another day. Too bad about your luck. Gotta get your entertainment somewhere else, 'cuz I'm not gonna always keep bein' that guy.

Only two more prompts to go! *Wink*

BCF PROMPT: "Write about a Great Day."

Whatchyou know about great days? Tell you what...ain't been a great day today in what's lookin' like a month of ain't great days. And I know..."Cheer up!" "Think positive!" "Be thankful!" And I'm all that and then some, but aren't we allowed to have a stretch of days that for some reason or another don't mesh with the overall plan? It's not like trying to put myself in a better place mentally is gonna make me wanna upgrade my mood eight hours earlier from "borderline homicidal" to "surprisingly pleasant and approachable", dig?

Wait...I better not say "borderline homicidal", because I don't need suspicions or allegations. I just had to overhear a woman today talkin' about how she made some kind of off-handed remark like that to her dentist about having work done, and sure enough he reported it to authorities, and Child Protective Services wanted her kids, and I'm sure there's way more to the story than what this woman of Cortland was letting on to, I'm not sure I even know how to go "homicidal"...wouldn't I need, like, an arsenal or something for that? I haven't even played a video game that promotes violence of that nature in years...I'm sure the homicide scene has probably changed a lot since then.

A great day would be the absolute opposite of my mood right now...being unjustifiably pleasant and understanding why. Details aren't even important...hell, I could be shoveling a parking lot full of burning monkey shit and if I'm happy, it's no big deal. But hand me unlimited amounts of money and piles of bacon, massage me with the vaginas of every Miss America Pageant winner, and show me all of my favorite teams winning championships consecutively...if I'm miserable, I'm miserable and that's the end of that. The only known cure for a severe case of the "hate-it-alls"? Sleep. When I'm sleeping, I'm not angry or upset or stressed (regardless of what I'm doing in my subconscious mind). I'm asleep; I can't be anything else, and I'm not responsible for what happens in my dreams or to my surroundings when I'm under.

A truly great day would be sleeping so much that I don't have to deal with idiots, loudmouths, other people's "private" conversations on public buses (especially when they're one-sided screaming matches full of fragmented sentences that hardly make sense in any context), meetings where people infer that something is dramatically wrong and don't wanna talk about it (but are more than happy having other people bring it up for them, in gory details), people who are paid to do one job and suck horribly at it, the New York Yankees, Bon Jovi, making phone calls, making phone calls and leaving messages that aren't returned, expectations, therapists, or any member of the insect family. But I'll settle for spending more time asleep any given overnight than I currently spend tossing and turning in an effort to get back to that state of rest I spend the first hour or two each night in.

MUSICAL BREAK!!

I'm having another terribly indecisive day, coupled with the complete lack of an attention span, so I'm posting this video for the umpteenth time so I can get on with the rest of my evening. When I can start having consecutive days where I only have good things to say, I'll embed less-snarky songs.


"I'm only serious."
Lyrics.  


THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

Blog City image small


*Thought2* "It was a stupid thing to say..."

...And that's why I keep my mouth shut a lot these days, because sometimes no matter how hard you try you can't stop something reckless and embarrassing from seeping out. I feel like my biggest fear lately is being one of those people who sends me into an internal rage when I'm out in public and I can hear their conversations, which almost always consists of something I wish I hadn't heard and probably wouldn't have if they'd known how to speak at a reasonable volume. I think the cell phone has ruined society's concept of "the inside voice", because too many people feel like the person on the other end can't possibly hear them talking through this tiny little device they couldn't get any closer to without swallowing.

I don't answer my phone unless I'm in a private setting. It's not because I wanna be shady, but because the person calling me wanted to talk to just me. If I felt like announcing my business to an entire three aisle section of Kinney Drugs, I'd make sure I stood on some kind of podium and demanded everyone's attention before I took a call. I know how to use intercom systems in stores...perhaps that's an even better idea.

Television is probably equally to blame, because we're so used to reality fodder and 24/7 access, so the catch-up wannabes don't wanna be left out...instead of calling someone back because you were busy shopping/dining/at the doctor, there's some kind of twisted personal validation attached to letting someone know in the moment what you're doing. It's almost like we're saying "This is how important my mundane life is...I couldn't bear not talking to you during these precious moments, such as when I'm deciding which brand of tampon is more beneficial to my immediate health and finances".

It's not that I'm anti-cell phone, or anti-conversation (I used to be a damn good cellular salesperson, back in the day). I'm all about common courtesy and STFU when you're in public. Nobody wants to hear it. Some of us have just as many, if not bigger, concerns, and we'll address those through such things known as "the proper time and place for everything"...which for damn near everyone else, is probably Facebook. *Smirk*

*Mugy* In the process of Googling things (yes, sometimes hatred and angst need online clarification), I came across this Charles Bukowski   quote and I feel like it has summed up my day if not perfectly, then quite well...

*Baseball*...which led me down a weird rabbit hole on Twitter, where I ended up at this gem   (that I have to post as a link because it's a WDC sin to embed tweets and trying to shrink it down to fit the unrealistic parameters that is the WDC image creation matrix would render the text practically unreadable). And don't ask me if I'm watching the Mets/Braves game, because I know it's a crucial series and Mejia just blew a potential save situation. That's my nightcap, folks...thanks Twitter. *Rolleyes*

*Clouds* And speaking of Google, while I was grasping at straws regarding the 30DBC prompt, "ladder to heaven"   isn't just a thing, but it's actually an episode of South Park that I've actually seen. Who knew?

Well, the good news in all of this is I think I'm turning a corner mood-wise, and all my short-term frustrations should be out of my system very soon. The bad news: is it a corner, or a really distorted curve? Guess we'll see tomorrow. Thanks for putting up with me this evening; you're all lovely. Peace, it's everything you could ask for plus more, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

July 6, 2014 at 10:09pm
July 6, 2014 at 10:09pm
#821894
30DBC PROMPT: "Review your peers and your posts. Share your best blog post from your own posts and two from your peers."

Good evening, dear readers! 30DBC Creator/Founder , what's the deal here? Back in March it was determined that nobody really cared for the "Sunday Review", so it was suggested Sundays become a day where we pick a news story and talk about that. Now not only have you done gone and changed it back, but you've also made it even more difficult because instead of going the and/or route and talking about one blog entry that resonates with us and just straight free-write bloggin', we've got to talk about one of our own, and two of our fellow competitors' entries! What kind of chicanery is this?!

Ok, I'm done with my little rant. We're cool, Earl...it's just, well, I clearly didn't see this direction comin'.

I don't even know where to begin today, in part because my head still feels somewhat compressed and fuzzy, making it hard to concentrate or remember between all the different entries I've read this past week. I'll start with mine because at least I can scroll down and not have to open new tabs every couple of minutes. Since I'm having trouble deciding (it wasn't one of my best weeks overall, in my opinion), I'm picking July 1st's entry ("This one's about forgettin'...) and July 5th's ("This one's about existential crises.). Reasons being: "Forgettin'" was very biographical, and the nursery rhyme prompt got me feeling creative in an "on the spot" kinda way; and "Existential Crises" because it was the first time all week I felt like there were similar themes running through all three groups in a way, and it's most reflective of the week's entries as far as what I like to do when I set out to write a blog entry I'm fully satisfied with.

Now, for the hard part...on to two entries that really resonated with me from all the "30-Day Blogging Challenge submissions this week. Can an entry really be considered as having "resonation status" if you still have to look it up and eventually wind up reading a bunch of other entries in the meantime? I have a terribly uncooperative memory as it is, and of course throughout the week I never manage to write down the entries I like the most...I sound like a bad friend that way, but you'll have that.

Anyway, enough complaining/stalling...here goes. I'm choosing for my first pick ANN Counselor, Lesbian & Happy 's "Invalid Entry. Keep in mind that this isn't necessarily about "favorites" or whatever criteria you wanna pick out of a hat; it's about what sticks with you. It's not often I'll remember too many emails I'll read once I've taken my sleeping meds (which is why I'll seldom respond to them after a certain time), but Ann's response to my comment was something that stuck with me, and not necessarily in a good way. I said (something along the lines of) the generalization of different groups of people who don't believe in the same thing as you doesn't make them to be evil, liars, or attention-seekers that are only looking to start negative, fear-mongering debates. I've since deleted her rebuttal, but it started off with something like, "See, this is exactly what I'm talking about" and then it proceeded to get confusing in a roundabout synopsis of all the beautiful things God (or his spiritual presence) created, and it ended with an "I don't want to debate either", so I'm not gonna push the envelope because I don't need the beef. It makes me sad that there are so many examples of perfectly fine people in this community who don't have religion (or refuse to talk about religion), but can know and understand love...and other people (especially some who are older, wiser, and have seen so many changes in society and how people from all walks of life have gained acceptance for who they are rather than having to face persecution) still choose to hold on to simple (yet damaging) stereotypes mainly because they don't see the same side of the coin. And that's all I have to say about that, because it's getting close to bedtime and I don't wanna carry this unnecessary frustration with me another day.

The second entry from this week I'd like to talk about that resonated with me enough on a Sunday evening is Noyoki 's "Invalid Entry. The imagery of a little girl who's unable to swim suddenly floating out to the middle of the lake on a raft was (and I'm sorry because I'm sure it was scary at first but now you can look back and laugh) comical...and I should really say the imagery in the entire 30DBC portion of her entry was very well done. The angry people jumping and yelling; her flicking at the water and pretending to help...I don't think we see writing like that often enough in blogs, but that's just my opinion. And Noyoki's entries are always a treat to read.

I think we're off to a good start this first week of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge...can't wait to see how the rest of the month plays out.

MUSICAL BREAK!!

I almost feel like I'm mentally a day or two behind, even though I haven't really done much of anything the last couple of days and I haven't needed to go anywhere. This song came on this morning (I got it a few years back as part of a magazine compilation outlining the influence Neil Young's career had on artists of the current generation) and it kinda fit my mood...today's Sunday and I'm there physically but that's about it.



THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

*Speaker* I feel like a bad fan for being unaware of this, but one of my favorite radio stations when I'm back in WNY is actually one that comes out of Toronto, CFNY, 102.1  , and on Sundays they run a program called Spirit Of Radio Sunday which takes a look back at the early days of CFNY. All morning their Facebook page had been running plugs for the show, saying they were gonna have a tribute to Martin Streek  , one of the DJ's I always remember hearing commercials for...he would do live shows from clubs,spinning music you'd never imagine hearing in some of the quote-unquote clubs in Buffalo (who always stuck with trendy bubblegum pop and dance songs). I had no clue he'd passed away five years ago today...he was like a Canadian Casey Kasem for the punk and grunge generations.

*Choco* On a happier note, also on this day occurred the release of the movie Forrest Gump   back in 1994. I saw it the same year on my birthday, and I think it was the last movie I saw in a theater that actually generated enough emotion within me that I cried a little once it was over. Truly one of the greatest movies I've ever seen...I can't imagine it any different, but these 15 Things You Didn't Know About Forrest Gump   definitely shed some insight on how it could've looked. John Travolta and Ice Cube playing two key roles? I think then you've got a totally different (and maybe not as universally acclaimed) movie.

That's about all I've got the patience for tonight, folks. Hope y'all had a kick-ass weekend, and are ready to face whatever the week ahead brings ya. Peace, no idea who you're talking to, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

July 5, 2014 at 8:56pm
July 5, 2014 at 8:56pm
#821777
30DBC PROMPT: "Atheists deny God because they have no proof of his existence. There is no proof as to WHY we fall in love; should they deny the existence of love likewise?"

What up y'all? Definitely an interesting prompt...because of the diversity that exists in the "30-Day Bloggers Group (and site-wide), I'm sure there's bound to be a variety of responses. It should make for some interesting reading and maybe some potential clashes of opinions. It's been a good long while since we've seen some of that in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge! *Smirk*

I suppose I could argue, as someone who's had plenty of experience falling in love   before, that the beholder has all the proof as to why they've become smitten enough with someone do consider doing things they'd never imagine doing. Even if we can't explain it, we still know...whether it's "the spark" or "the undeniable chemistry" or "she makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches ev-arrrhh", I counter that there is, in fact, proof as to why we fall in love, and it's not the same in every relationship. Maybe because science can't pinpoint some algorithm related to the beating of hearts or special brain waves, and we're a society driven by statistics and meaning, we choose to consider the lesser truths as dismissive and lacking real validation.

And on the other hand, you can take in to account the idea that if we can't see or feel something, are we therefore so determined to deny its very existence? Millions of people believe in God. I don't believe in any one religion's idea of a deity, but I can't flat out deny the existence of some kind of spiritual presence within the universe. Don't ask me to explain it, because I'll tell you I know enough of the basics to say that putting all your hopes on the idea that some mystic force is gonna lead you to the promised land is somewhat foolish (to put it lightly). Praying for love, as an example, is about as fruitful as the idea of you liking some anonymous kid's picture on Facebook so it'll cure his cancer (so long as you share it with all your friends, and they share it with all their friends, and so on, until all you've really "cured" is keeping your name off some spambot's email list...good luck with that).

Similarly, because right now I don't really care about love, or who's in it (or isn't), and I have no interest in ever finding it again, I'm not gonna stalk the streets wearing a sandwich board on my chest and back that says LOVE IS DEAD. Just because it is for me doesn't mean there's none left in this world. It just means I'm actively not searching for love, and that's all...just like because I don't believe in a Catholic God or a Jewish one or Hindu or whatever, doesn't mean your beliefs are invalid, or that spiritualism can't be obtained in other ways. And honestly, I think comparing atheism with love is kind of pointless. I mean, I get the general gist of the idea, but it's apples and oranges because I think there are plenty of people out there that believe rigidly in their religions and in love, and there are some that don't wanna be bothered with either, and some who can know one but not the other. You can't just say (MATH ALERT!!) that if a=b, and c=b, then a=c...these situations don't quite work on specific parameters like that for all of us.

I'm not here to say anyone's right or wrong, and I won't judge you for seeing the topic differently than I do. Maybe 10 or 20 years earlier I would've had a slightly different opinion than I do now...age and maturity and hindsight will do that to you. Or so I've heard. *Wink*

BCF PROMPT: "When you look in the mirror...what do you see? Who do you see? Are you happy with the image?"

I stopped looking in the mirror awhile ago...probably because I don't like what I see, yet I can't do much to change it. That's not to say that the problems I fail to acknowledge don't exist, because they very much do. I just don't like to be reminded of them.

Like anyone who's ever suffered from any type of affliction, or felt the curse of a flaw they can't control, I never asked to be in some of the situations I've faced, and I never said "Please, let me wake up with severe anxiety and depression". Nobody wants that nose that everyone thinks looks like a beak, or can afford braces to tame their buckteeth, or can prepare for all the side affects associated with medications. I don't like all that I see, but I have to deal with it because it's now a part of who I am.

It doesn't help that I've always had a low self-esteem and a negative (or at least very skewed) perception of body image...even when I was at my athletic peak. I'd never been the classic "good looking" guy, and when you hear how unattractive you are for so long, it tends to stick more than all the times people say nice things. I have a hard time taking a compliment...not because I don't believe you, but I don't believe me. That's how I'm wired. And frankly, I don't wanna know any better because it's taken me long enough to get comfortable with how I feel...one person isn't gonna change that for me overnight.

But I know there's always time to make changes and blah blah blah...maybe I'll eventually get back into a more comfortable, athletic body, or I'll give up on the idea that I can grow dreadlocks, or I'll get sick of this incredibly ridiculous beard that's at three inches longer than it should be. And even if I did all that, there's no guarantees I'd become happy. There's always room for improvement, even if it's just in one's mindset. That's probably the first place 95% of us need to look when we see something we're unsatisfied with.

MUSICAL BREAK!!

If this didn't provide a solid answer in the decade that was supposed to know all the answers, I don't think we'll ever know.


"And maybe love is letting people be just what they want to be..."
Lyrics.  


THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

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*Flaggr* "What was the most important thing that happened yesterday?"

You mean on a personal level? If you've lived under a rock the last few days, then I guess you wouldn't know yesterday was Independence Day in the good ol' US of A; likewise if you're new to this space of internet indulgence you'll not be familiar with how much I don't care. Poor lambs...it's not totally your fault.

I could make a list of important things that didn't happen: I didn't leave the house, I didn't use my phone, I didn't feel very well, and I didn't sleep all that great either. All of these occurrences are pretty much more meaningful than anything I could've done instead yesterday (all the things I've snarked on ever since we started talking about July 4th).

To make matters worse, all of the shows I generally watch on Hulu as I try to fall asleep most nights haven't ran this week...Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, SNL. This is problematic for me because of basic Hulu's limited selection (as soon as I can spring for Netflix again, better believe I'll be hittin' that). However, they were advertising episodes for the first season of a show I'd heard interesting things about, so I decided to start watching Drunk History   from Comedy Central. I'm not a history buff of any kind- I've always considered it very boring- but I know what it's like to be drunk, and this is actually pretty funny. The premise is people telling their version of historic events while they're drinking...pretty self-explanatory. I think I can get behind this show...there's nothing like it on television (at least that I'm familiar with). Might be my go-to choice when damn near every late-nite talk show host goes on vacation at the same time.

Of course, this also means my life is pretty sad right now,when the most important thing that happened was the discovery of a new show somewhere just around midnight. *Rolleyes*

*Man* Speaking of the unhealthy body image thing, I've had virtually no appetite the last two days. I dragged myself down to the local farmer's market this morning for some homemade cinnamon rolls and a little box of strawberries, but I'm not in the mood at all. I'm currently living off a Slim Jim I picked up at CVS this afternoon, along with a handful of Triscuits I had yesterday. And nothing even sounds appealing. I don't mind being sick like this on the weekends, because there's no pressure to go along with having to show up for work or appointments, which would only drop a panic attack on top of feeling shitty. I'm hoping whatever it is passes soon.

And I think that's where I'm gonna tie this entry up for the evening...I'm feeling that lethargy starting to kick in, which means it's a good time to quit for the night. Peace, why should I mind, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

July 4, 2014 at 8:11pm
July 4, 2014 at 8:11pm
#821663
30DBC PROMPT: "What funny things I remember on this date?"

Hello friends! Happy birthday, America! It's Independence Day, where I'm bracing myself for an evening of loud noises because what better way is there to show love for your country by blowing stuff up? *Rolleyes*

I'm not particularly festive for the occasion...I'm sure I've alluded to the fact the last few days that I'm not exactly fond of fireworks displays, and since I still don't really know anyone in this town I'm not going anywhere (which I'm completely fine with). Hopefully most of the excitement will have died down at a reasonable enough time when I want to try and get some sleep.

I'm having a bit of a hard time trying to recall any funny July 4th events. Nothing of note jumps out at me. The first year I was with my ex, I procured some fireworks from kids in my neighborhood for her sons, and we blew up some of their stuffed animals...we did a number on the poor little Taco Bell Chihuahua. That was a pretty fun time, as well as a good bonding session. Other than that, I think I've managed to mostly stay out of trouble. I've had fun, but nothing to the extent of "Remember that one Fourth of July where we...". I dunno. I feel like I'm forgetting something though, like I really should've done something more exciting than shoving a bunch of firecrackers into a stuffed dog.

Nope...I got nothin'. I'm a little disappointed by that.

BCF PROMPT: "There is no prompt for BCOF, have a safe, happy holiday! If you do not recognize the 4th have a great day free writing. Prompt will be posted for Saturday as usual."

Well, that takes care of that! It's probably good that there's no prompt, because apparently July 4th has become one of the more boring days in my existence.

MUSICAL BREAK!!

Fortunately, there's a song named specifically for today!



THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

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*Boat* "What was your favorite family outing? Did you go somewhere? What made it special to you?"

I know I've written about it in the past, but probably the best family vacation I've been a part of was going on a cruise. It was with my stepmom's extended family...aunts, uncles, cousins, husbands and wives, almost everyone. And she's got a big family...she was one of eight kids, so there were a lot of us.

Going on a cruise is probably hands down the best way to take a vacation. I know there have been some stories in the news recently about horrible conditions and terrible experiences, but I think those are so few and far between. I have nothing bad to say about our cruise...the food was great, the service was excellent, and everyone had a lot of fun. We went through the Bahamas, where the weather was gorgeous nearly the entire week, and there were so many things to do that you never felt like you were stuck with the same people in a hotel room like some vacations tend to end up.

I think the highlight was getting ready for the Captain's Dinner...a bunch of the ladies went to one of the islands that afternoon and got their hair braided. One of my aunts is Korean, and for some reason she wound up looking hilarious. It was such as shock...as we were assembling to go down for dinner, I turned around and she was right behind me. I was like "Oh my God! Who invited Coolio  ?" My cousins thought that was pretty funny. There was also the night my youngest brother and I were wandering around the ship at 3am with a bottle of champagne, causing trouble. There was a group of students on our floor...they were on some class band trip or somethin', and their chaperones gave them a curfew. Apparently when everyone in their group was accounted for, they'd run masking tape over their doors...so we thought it'd be a fun idea to rip all the tape down. Needless to say we could tell there were some pretty pissed off people at breakfast the next day.

Overall though it was a really nice getaway. Cruisin' is the way to go.

*Thumbsup* Here's a feel-good story from my hometown...a kid with Asperger Syndrome   graduated as the valedictorian of my old high school recently. Makes me proud to say I'm from Cheektowaga, NY.

*Balloon1* And today is also Jessica - 14 years on 2/24! 's birthday!! Whoo hoo! If you see her around, send her some nice thoughts and stuff.

Well, I think it's time for me to bust outta here for another night...I haven't been feeling well most of the day and as it's starting to get darker I'm really not looking forward to dealing with the bombs bursting in air and whatnot. If you're out and about, stay safe and have fun...try not to blow any fingers off. Peace, I still remember your sweet everything, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

July 3, 2014 at 9:02pm
July 3, 2014 at 9:02pm
#821577
30DBC PROMPT: "Imagining a new way to read; one 3D-printed book...see this link for more info  .

Hey folks...what's goin' on? Interesting prompts to deal with today, so stick around awhile and let me take up some of your online time.

I think the idea of 3D printing technology is incredible, and I love that it's being used as a tool to help handicapped kids enjoy books on a much greater level than they originally would have. I've actually read a few different articles related to 3D printing (I used to work for a consumer electronics company, and I guess you could say I've kinda got a techie fetish), and it's refreshing to see that the capabilities can be used in a positive manner...many of the bits I've read seem to include information regarding the manufacturing of functional parts for guns, which disturbs me because it feels like we're creating something useful that's intended to aid in the process of killing. I'm not so naive to think that people won't find ways to exploit something fresh and new and potentially very helpful, but it's nice to see that there's a true, legit purpose that can enrich lives.

3D printing has the potential to expand a largely stagnant medium in books. Yeah, e-books are great and all, but what about those who can't use Kindles or Nooks? And isn't an e-book basically the same thing as any book you could purchase and handle from a bookstore or borrow from a library? This technology could revolutionize books in the same manner that the VCR and video cameras reinvented how and what we watched on television. Imagine your favorite story brought to life in a much richer visual format...you can only do so much with mere words, but accessorizing them with colorful physical accompanying imagery could breathe new life into a wide range of subjects.

How about encyclopedias? The internet has pretty much put the defining research tool out of business...but a 3D printer could create something much more vibrant and interactive. Romance novels, biographies, how-to guides, hell, even comic books...having the capacity to print out a "deluxe edition" at your leisure is just the kind of jump start the publishing industry needs. If this technology were available ten or twenty years earlier, maybe companies like Borders or Media Play or even Circuit City wouldn't have gone out of business...given the right transitioning plan, there could have been a lot of money/profit in 3D versions of literature. It's true that consumers like extras (and will sometimes pay more for added content). and with this new capability to add different dimensions to existing works, we can get future generations excited about classic literature in a whole new way.

I think it's incredible, and the possibilities are limitless in a completely different direction than what we've been accustomed to since the dawn of bookmaking. I hope this field is thoroughly explored within my lifetime, because I'd love to see it thrive.

BCF PROMPT: "Tell us about a movie or book scene that you relate to on a personal level."

Wouldn't it be great to see your favorite scenes from beloved books enacted via 3D and holographic printing? It'd add a completely new and more engaging layer to works of literary art. If I could find a way to print up a copy of this blog and take you back visually to sights and sounds from my experiences, you'd totally buy a copy of it.

I feel like there's a void in my life because I'm having a hard time recalling any particular scenes from movies or books that I feel like I can truly relate to, where I can say with full confidence "This really speaks to me." It's so much easier for me with music...especially emotional songs with lyrics that cut to the chase in three-to-four minute bursts. Movies and books require more time and a certain amount of dedication...a slower build to a less-rewarding payoff.

That said, one of my all-time favorite movies is Major League  . Basically, a team of has-beens and wash-outs is constructed to make up the Cleveland Indians, and the owner hopes they'll suck so much that she can lower the attendance enough to justify moving the team to Florida. SPOILER ALERT: Her plan backfires when the team becomes so good that they wind up winning the World Series (a scene that still gets me a little misty in the sockets).

The turning point of the movie is when the players realize their team's owner sucks as a person, as evidenced by this scene  . The realization of having to "win the whole fuckin' thing" is a great and powerful thing...indulge me the relation of this memory, if you will.

When I was 21 or 22, I went in to work at the local Arby's and there was a flyer on the bulletin board for a free bowling party. Me and a couple of the guys decided to check it out, and we had a good enough time that we allowed them to rope us into joining a bowling league. I'm not a very good bowler. Doody was pretty good, and Verno had some muscle behind his ball...DMFM was pretty terrible but it was a good excuse for him to get out and hang with us.

It was a six-team rec league...nothing serious, so it's not like there were professionals involved. It was basically an opportunity for us to get out, spend time together, have a few beers, and do some keglin' (as my boss would say). My sis and some of her friends would come out to support us, and it was usually a good time. Because we weren't very good, we had a high handicap...which somehow worked in our favor. If we bowled bad one week, our higher handicap would benefit us the next week, where we'd wind up bowling our asses off.

Mind you, most of us were in our early 20's...DMFM wasn't yet of legal age, but sometimes we'd sneak beers in for him. The alley caught on when they realized they were taking in a lot of Honey Brown empties, but the bar wasn't selling any. It's no coincidence halfway through the season they scheduled our matches on the lanes directly in front of the customer service desk.

Because we were young and didn't give a shit, obviously we had what is considered "poor bowling etiquette". We sat on the backs of chairs, became aggressive and highly competitive, drank, smoked and swore, and were basically a collective bitch to deal with. We particularly raised the ire of a team consisting of two married senior citizen couples, who hated us enough to talk among themselves regarding our behavior. Eventually we overheard them, probably on one of our more expressive nights. As we were discussing what we'd heard, were we sorry? Nope. I was sitting on top of a chair and it clicked in me..."You know what we've gotta do? We gotta win the whole...fuckin'...thing." Four guys who'd barely ever bowled competitively in their lives suddenly had a dream and a reason, plus some enemies.

And sure enough, at the end of the season we were on top. A bunch of a-hole punk kids, sticking it up the ass of the rest of the league. It was beautiful and glorious...everything a championship should be.

MUSICAL BREAK!!

It's not about the song so much as it is about the visuals.



THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

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*Clouds* "Honestly, evaluate the way you respond to a crisis situation. Are you happy with the way you react?"

Nope. I'm a pussy (cue Charlize Theron's character on Arrested Development saying that to you adorably in a British accent). I haven't been, fortunately, involved in very many public crisis situations. I know I'd love to be the hero- who wouldn't?- but I know I probably lack the internal fortitude to actively manage a full-blown crisis kind of event.

When I was working at Walgreens a couple winters ago, I was coming off my lunch break and was about to head outside for a smoke when I saw the lobby looked like a car wash. There was some sort of heater malfunction that set off the sprinkler system, which in turn set off the fire alarms...a sound cue to evacuate the premises. I skipped my cigarette and clocked back in (you know a brother's gotta get paid for this shit) and jumped into action, which required me telling people they needed to leave the store.

And people are so stupid sometimes. Fire alarms going off at an eardrum-piercing level, and urgency in our behaviors...y'all need to GTFO, especially because we can't see the fire, but we're not gonna be liable for your dead ass if the store burns down. This one lady was like "Ok, I'm just waiting on a script, so I'll be out of here soon". One of my managers was like "NO...there's a fire in the building, so you need to leave now." Seriously...what the fuck is wrong with people??

It's funny because at Capco Wednesday during our training luncheon we were prepped on awareness for the emergency exits, among other details. Because the weather was turning and there was a tornado watch in effect, the other regular asked what we should do in the event of a tornado. It raised a good point, because we probably should have a disaster plan in place. Turns out there's a couple people who are trained for such purposes, and if something were to happen they'll know how to respond. Which is all well and good if they're there in the unlikely event severe weather should impact the surrounding area...but if they're not present, we're kinda screwed.

But back to actual crises, naw man. I'm not a swift reactor. I take cues from others, which means I'll probably never be a hero or save lives. I don't wanna know though...I'd prefer not to be in a situation where I have to act out above and beyond. I'd be more worried I'd make a bad situation worse, and then have to deal with "wrongful death" lawsuits or some other bullshit. Things should just always go as planned, without hitches or d-bags pushing some random agenda that never affects me anyway. Life would be so much easier without the lingering notion that there might be unnecessary drama.

*Bookstack* I got the call this afternoon that my transcripts from ECC   have been verified and are now considered "official", along with an invite to move forward in the process of becoming a college student again. This is good news...one less thing to worry about, but a whole 'nother wave of anxiety and excitement and anticipation awaits. I'm doing it, and it's a great feeling...but I'm nervous and scared and Charlie Brown auuuugh-ing at the same time.

*Shirt* I like my Capco boss, but she's a low talker. Her volume is quiet. I spent a good amount of time working directly with her today, and yeah...she's hard to hear. I don't want to be rude and keep asking her to repeat herself, but double-you tee eff me right in the noggin...we could be all about gettin' along better if I could hear her when she talks.

*Flower6* And again at Capco, this morning I was tasked with working with an older gentleman (probably old enough to be my dad...not cripplingly old, but old enough). We were to wash out buckets so we could eventually plant flowers. Peter used to work for IBM, and they'd fly him all over the place, so it's not like I was dealing with some kind of degenerate. He's smart. But he lacks a ton of cognitive skills...he thanked me before we even formally met, and he definitely had instructions fall through his grip. I don't ever wanna be that guy who thanks someone in the middle of doing something like "cool, maybe I'll see ya around" like we were done with unfinished business. Peterface needs to become a word, and sooner rather than later.

*Quill* We're only just three days into July and already I'm super behind on reading other blogs. I also keep forgetting to send my three-prompt entry fee in to 30DBC Creator/Founder ...I actually came up with some prompts I can feel alright about putting my name under. I'll never argue the people who can righteously claim I'm wicked lazy.

I probably had a few more things to add, but I'm exhausted and I've been fighting sleep the last few nights anyway. If I don't get back to you soon, at least I've got all holiday weekend to do so. Peace, better straighten up the attitude, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!


Always hits me right in the feels.
July 2, 2014 at 7:29pm
July 2, 2014 at 7:29pm
#821485
30DBC PROMPT: "While walking in the park one day... Who do you encounter? What memories enter your mind?"

What up y'all? I've got a full belly from free pizza and wings at work today honoring us people who show up and deal with a less-desirable segment of the population, and it's taking all I've got to resist catchin' a nap in this super ridiculous heat and humidity...this might be one of those entries where I wind up dozing off about halfway through it if I'm not careful. And if I bore myself, I can only imagine what you, the reader, must be going through.

There's a tiny little memorial park a couple blocks from my house. It's mostly just open green space with a fountain and some benches. I haven't been to it yet this summer, but last year I went a couple times just to read while catching some sun. On a day like today it's nice sitting by the fountain, because when the breeze hits the fine mist blowing off feels incredibly refreshing. I love how there's a "No Swimming" sign...I wonder who had to be the first idiot that was caught trying to use a six foot in diameter times one foot deep fountain as a pool. How can that even be comfortable? And why am I even surprised, given some of the characters I've come across so far in this weird little town?

I don't even know that I'd consider this park to be a true park...there's no playground or picnic tables, and although there's a pop-up amphitheater there on occasion, it has the feel more similar to a vacant lot than anything else. I guess it's peaceful; I've never really paid attention and I've never been bothered by anyone, but I'm also a bit on the antisocial side when I'm out in public these days. I think it's bad form trying to talk to someone whose face is buried in a book, even if it's just to remark what a lovely day it is.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I lied...I stopped at that park on Monday to have lunch before an appointment. Sandwiches are portable and awesome like that.

I don't have much in the way of memories regarding parks other than the typical stuff...of course the minute I hit send on this entry and proofread it and never read it again I'll be hit with a flood of images of all the cool stuff I did and the things that legends are made of. I always get an itch around this time of year to shoot hoops; basketball courts always used to attract girls- the kinds of girls who could get away with ogling and flirting if you had mad baller skills (which I used to have). Some chicks dig a nice swish (or whatever you'd call the sound a ball passing through a net made of chain without touching the rim would make).

I think in almost every car I've ever owned I rolled with a basketball in it. Because you never know when you're gonna feel the need to pull over and run a quick game of 21 on your boy. Back seats looked more like locker rooms in the summer. I could drop a beat like super-old Public Enemy   or A Tribe Called Quest   and be ready to drain threes on you instantly, as in minimal warm-ups. I'd be that kid pullin' up in the nine-trey Cavalier with my Jason Kidd Mavs jersey and my Kurt Rambis goggles, gettin' picked last for full-court five-on-five because I was the shortest, goofiest-lookin' chump out there until I started runnin' the point...and then I'd be the first pick in every subsequent game the rest of the afternoon. I'd run with kids who played ball for school, and they'd ask me why I never went out for the team...I never gave myself a chance to, because in gym class kids were unforgiving and the really good players wanted to show off in front of inferior competition. Plus I was a wrestler (and I was better at that), which would've conflicted with b-ball season. And organized sports are always way more technical than street games...well-honed instincts and skills trump most playbooks, in my opinion. Just give me the ball and let me create somethin' outta nothin'...ain't no time to draw things up and hope for execution when you can just make things happen.

Man...now I really wanna pop some j's. There's a court right next to the CVS across the street from my building. If ever there were a drawback to breaking your leg, the lack of basketball in my life during the hot summer months would be it.

BCF PROMPT: "Celebrating the 4th of July."

I'm gonna come right out and say it: I'm not a fan of Independence Day...the movie   and the holiday. Fireworks? They bore the everlovin' outta me. Why must we think we have to crane our necks toward the sky for a half hour each year in order to celebrate the fact that the United States is a nation free from Britain's rule? The only thing dumber than staring at a television hoping for something meaningful to happen is watching fireworks. I totally don't get the attraction. The only thing you're left with after it's over is the mess.

Back when I was living at 542 and I'd just befriended my upstairs neighbors' kids, their friend from down the street got a bunch of fireworks. The next morning you'd have thought Penora Street was the scene of a massive ticker-tape parade, what with all the stuff we blew up. It was a jolly mess for days. But any sorta-decent human being can blow things up in their backyard pretty much whenever they want, as long as they're careful.

And why must we insist on using explosives made in China to celebrate America's independence? Seems counter-productive and hypocritical. Are there no reliable fireworks manufacturers stateside? It's bad enough that in NY you have to go to Pennsylvania or Ohio to get them, where they're about as available roadside as farmers' tomatoes and strawberries.

I don't plan on doing anything out of the ordinary this year for the fourth. Since 90% of this stupid little town will be closed on Friday anyway, I'll probably sit up in my room and hope the booms end fairly early and that if anything does manage to go wrong, it's catastrophic rather than just mildly annoying. I don't wanna hear about some kid blowing his hand off with an M-80; I want a low-flying, poorly executed bottle rocket setting off a chain of fires that wipe out city blocks and half the idiots that live on 'em. That kind of destruction would get me excited for Independence Day. And because I know it's not gonna happen, I'm a little sad.

Must be Caturday.


MUSICAL BREAK!!

*Burstb* Still the all-time best song that references fireworks...it's called "Fireworks", and it explores those youthful moments where it seems like they should be going off in a manner relevant to whatever is going down. That moment you kiss someone for the first time? You got the job? Your divorce is final? Boom...the fireworks that are going off in your head should be the theme song of the day.


Lyrics.  
*Hockey*"You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey
and I never saw someone say that before..."


THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

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*House* "You are locked in a room with your greatest fears. Describe what is in the room."

I don't think I have a lot of fears, honestly. I used to be afraid of the dark, and I was paranoid as a kid that I'd die in a fire because I wouldn't be able to escape. But even the nightmares I get from time to time (yes, I'm an adult...and yes, I still get them regularly) are more about minor inconveniences gone horribly wrong than they're concerning any deep-seated fears.

I fear cancer, but it doesn't worry me so much that I'll quit smoking or give up the occasional Diet Mountain Dew.

But if you had to scare the living shit outta me, lock me up in an ordinary room with someone who refuses reason and has it out for me with undesirable consequences. Pit me against someone who in no uncertain terms thinks I've done something horribly wrong, and every interaction with them becomes an uphill climb that freezes me in my tracks  , as innocent as I am.

I've always felt like an underdog, and that I've had to battle my way toward respectability in almost every venue of my life. Like I'm always forced to prove preconceived notions about me wrong, or I have to overcome some seemingly insurmountable challenge that would break normal people (because let's face it, "normal people" don't get themselves in situations where others have justifiable reasons to doubt them). Lock me in a room with that motherfucker who doesn't care what I bring to the table or how prepared I am to get out of it. Let me go through the psychological hell of pushing myself beyond my capabilities, only to be told it's not enough. Lead me through a gauntlet, only to lead me to another and yet another before you finally decide I'm not worthy. Because I never had anything handed to me and I'm used to working for appreciation, tax me that much more. I can take it...but I can only take so much, and one of us will crack eventually.

I don't want to know what could potentially happen were I ever to be the one who cracks first...and you probably don't want to either.

*Bug* From The Department Of Gross Things: So this just happened...the sun in the afternoon shines crazily in my room, making all things hot even hotter (and if you're wondering how I could get any hotter, well, I'm a work in progress *Wink*). I've been enjoying tall cans of chilled beverages this afternoon, but once they sit for awhile they get warm- nae, hot- toward the bottom. Since I've been keeping the windows open all the time when I'm home, I've seen two majorly huge flies circling through my premises. I noticed they stopped being pestive, but as I took a final pull from the giant Mountain Dew can there was clearly something that wasn't a beverage in my mouth. My gag reflex immediately engaged, and out I spat a giant fly. This has FML   written all over it. I'm so super glad I didn't expectorate all over the damn electronics, but now I'm paranoid that I didn't clean up enough.

*Pizza* I'm convinced there's no pizza like true Buffalo pizza. You can't go anywhere in WNY without stumbling into a goddamned corner mom-n-pop old school pizza parlor...and they make the best wings. Don't get me started on Anchor Bar   or Duff's  . Out here in Cortland there's a decent place that makes an alright NYC-style slice, and another joint makes something close, but there ain't no pizza like a Buffalo pizza. The place we got it from today...the crust was weird and spongy, like a chemically mistreated Pizza Hut Pan Pizza, minus cheesy goodness even. Word up Pudgie's  ...I'm callin' you out on your weird imitation of pizza. And your wings...are gross. Bake 'em or fry 'em...but not both. Crispy is better. But your boneless BBQ wings are amazing...that sauce reminds me of Molino's (which is now closed) on Union next to the Dunkin' Donuts (which I don't know if it's open anymore or not, but it's probably not). Tangy and flavorful. But your pizza sucks balls, straight up. A free lunch provided by the organization is always good, and I love me pizza long time, but #thanksnothanks...y'all let me bring in some real local Buffalo-area stuff, and you'll make friends for life.

*Man* *Woman* I'm sharing this because I've been excited to read it, and I'm hoping to get to it really soon. It's Jessica - 14 years on 2/24! 's essay regarding body issues, "Baby Doll Self Esteem. It peaks my interest because of all of the weight I gained between depression/anxiety meds and being stuck with a majorly broken ankle...my waist/appetite outgrew most of my clothes, and I have to wonder now if I'm gonna settle at being who I am currently, or if I'm willing to fight to get back down to the more comfortable weight I used to be. Being short yet muscular was kinda cool; now, I'm more like a cannonball blob. I don't love physical me, which doesn't help me mentally. I'd rather be attractive enough to turn people down and justify my "no relationship having" that way, rather than being all like I'm fat and ugly and I have nothing to share. I really do have issues.

Alright...I'm wrapping this up because I'm totally feeling napstuff coming on. Y'all can discuss the merits of doing things differently somewhere else. Peace, no inhibition whisperin' over your shoulder,and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

July 1, 2014 at 9:26pm
July 1, 2014 at 9:26pm
#821403
30DBC PROMPT: "What does forgetting mean to you?"

Good afternoon, amazing readers! It's the first day of another official month in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge, and I'm as excited as I'll ever be to get this thing started...good luck to all the challengers, the judges, and to you, the person who's willing to put up with this for another month.

What does forgetting mean to me? I totally knew what I was gonna say about that this morning, but I was so preoccupied with getting ready for work that I never got a chance to write it down...and the more I think about it, the more I get the feeling I'm drifting further away from whatever it was I had in mind. *Laugh* *Rolleyes* True story...the last thing I did before I left the house this morning was pick something for lunch and shove it in my bag. By the time I got to work five minutes later, all I could remember was that I grabbed a spoon, and for the first half hour I was there I couldn't for the life of me tell you about anything food-wise that I have that would require such a utensil (besides cereal). By noon I was thoroughly lost regarding my lunch, so I treated it like it was a surprise to myself (as much as a microwaveable bowl of Chunky soup can be). It's becoming more and more evident that my short-term memory is getting shorter and shorter the longer I live.

I don't know if it's a product of getting older combined with the stress and damage I've done to my entire body over the years, or the immediate preoccupations involved with having to get up and get ready to go to a place where I'm required to be functional beyond the pace I've grown accustomed to over the last two years, that's caused me to feel like I've lost a step or two in the thinking department, but it's slightly concerning because even on my worst days I used to be a lot sharper and quicker when it comes to recalling information and following routines. I think it's troubling because I know I used to have a much faster mental reaction time to so many different situations, and there are times now that I feel like there's something I could be doing or saying, but it hangs like a webpage that's no longer responding once you've submitted the info.

As I'm sure it's case with a lot of people as they get older, I think I'm at the point in life where I'm starting to forget more than what I would've remembered at, say, age 17 or 25, and from this point on I'll probably forget even more than many will ever remember. I'll be 39 in a few weeks...is that the cutoff demographic where pertinent memories of a life well-lived (even through many ups and downs) start to fade as it becomes more important to focus harder on what lies ahead? Times that have been key ingredients shaping who am I up 'til now...are they purged because I need to remember more of the basic day-to-day things we all have to do? I don't want to let go, but I also want to be productive. It's another inner struggle I'd rather avoid, but it'll probably happen before I can even do anything about it (which kinda makes me wish I would've started writing a book around the same time I got the notion to write a book).

The funny thing about this short-term memory loss is that it almost serves as a reminder of why I'm even thinking about how I've ended up in this quasi-predicament to begin with. If you follow sports even just a little bit, you know that concussions are becoming more and more of a story. Football, hockey, and any contact sport basically...from a young age you're taught to be tough, hold your spot, and get up after every shot. You don't wanna look like you've just got your bell rung...shake it off, and get ready for the next play. If you can't go, someone else will be more than happy to take your reps or your spot. There was no science or technology to say "Hey, maybe you need a day or two to recover"...not only did you have something to prove to your teammates and coaches, but injuries were often looked at as physical and tangible. If you can't see something as being broken, it's not...and nobody could predict from seeing you get clocked on the dome a gang of times that it would take years before the effects started to show.

How many concussions have I been treated for in my life? Two, I think...one definitely. But how many have I had? More than I can remember. Between pickup and organized football, wrestling, pickup basketball, and rec league hockey, I've had at least ten easily. I'm not a big guy, so I've always been going up against people that have been bigger/faster/stronger. I always had "a high motor"...it basically took running into a brick wall to stop me. And when you're in an invincible mindset, you think you can break that wall- sometimes you do- but that's not always the case.

I can remember two big hits I received that knocked me clear outta time and place. I was driving the lane once playing basketball, and I turned my head to fake a pass so I could go to the basket. The guy covering me didn't bite, and as I swung my head to start my drive he repositioned himself...the impact of his shoulder hitting my head was like a bat hitting a baseball; I spun into a 180 with my head going one way and my body wanting to go the other. I was loopy and a tangled mess of thoughts for two days after. The second time was during a floor hockey game...I was a defenseman joining the rush, and right before I took a pass I glanced down to make sure I was onside (which I know is a huge no-no). When I looked up it was smack dab into a guy who laid me right the fuck out. Center court. Again, same bat-on-ball analogy. I wasn't right for a few days.

What we know now about concussions is so much more than we did five, ten, or fifty years ago. Too many can cause tau deposits on your brain, which is a protein fluid buildup and is a known cause of depression, early-onset Alzheimer's, and other psychological traumas (like forgetfulness, depression, and anxiety, as well as a higher disposition toward substance abuse). The sad part is tau is easiest to detect once you're dead (although breakthroughs in treatment are slowly happening where traces of it are now measurable in living specimens), so it's not like there's a readily-available cure for something that we can't just see. Studies have been done on deceased football players' brains that can at least shed some light on their plight, but that alone doesn't offer any sort of preventative measures in the meantime.

So yeah, when I'm having a day where my brain feels like it's in a fog and can't get started on goin' where it needs to go, most of that is likely due to me gettin' the crap knocked outta me while tryin' to be some kind of athlete (or the affects too many of those hits had on me down the road). I'm still transitioning, and learning that my body can't take the same abuse it withstood years before. I'm recalibrating, and it takes time...unfortunately, remembering my lunch is something that gets sacrificed in that change. Like many things that trigger memories, forgetfulness is the trigger for my stronger, youthful days.

BCF PROMPT: "Take a nursery rhyme and create a new story. I believe you can do better than the black plague..."

I don't know if I have the capacity to do something like this that isn't Andrew Dice Clay or Ice Cube   (NSFW).

Humpty Maybe

Humpty Maybe was playin' the wall,
wantin' not to be bothered by anyone at all.
Society doesn't like loners one bit
and they wanted to break his shell
         so he'd fit in.

Humpty Maybe knew himself better
and didn't wanna run with trend-setters.
He got fed up and lashed out
at the fakes who didn't think it'd matter
         what his intentions were about.

Humpty Maybe moved off the wall
and found himself in the middle of trials
he didn't want to associate with.
But his new friends didn't call
         when everything became petty nonsense.

Humpty Maybe fell too far
away from his safe place along the wall.
When he realized it was time to heal
his people ditched him because he was too far gone to remember how to care for himself anymore, so he skipped town because if no one remembers a Maybe there, they're not gonna remember a Maybe anywhere, especially if he's got mental problems and can't be trusted or relied on because he likes the drinky-drinky more than he likes all the king's horses and all the kids' bullshit...that Humpty Maybe sure was a bitter egg, for too many reasons that the moral of this pseudo-fable can't get into legally (but if a book ever comes out about it he'll see if he can cut you a break on the cover price).


Just remember, prompter...you asked for it. *Wink*

MUSICAL BREAK!!

*Leafr* Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian friends...Brother Nature , In Your Dirtiest Pants , Carly , ~Lifelessons~ (you're in Canada, right?), and everyone else north of the US border. Thank you for giving us some great musicians that, no matter what, never seem to suck ever.


Lyrics.  
"Is life just forgetting
another word for frivolous?"


THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

Blog City image small


*Heart* "In your opinion, what is the best 21st century romance film and why? (If you haven't seen a romantic movie in the past 14 years, then use a 21st century book - and get out to the movies soon!) [Note: I am going against the grain by picking romance films - extra credits for Mitchopolis.]"

Y'all know I don't do film, right? And no kinda prompt is gonna encourage me to run out and see a movie in a theater (for reasons I've wasted too many words on over years I'll only learn to apologize for maybe someday). Mitchopolis , who exactly are you hoping to score points with from this prompt? The people who give you movie night ideas for you and your wife, or your wife? I think some of that "extra credit" you're lookin' for should be dispersed if it leads to a fancy cuddle-date with your significant other. We should get some sort of "hey, yo" credit for the lovin' up on you based on our responses, if you're gonna be like that. *Smirk*

I can't even say I've read romantic books lately...since I've been in Cortland, all I've read are "classics" and biographies. I don't think Neil Young's incredibly vapid tome Waging Heavy Peace   is gonna get your lover in the mood...unless you wanna hear endless tales about his cars and his dreams of a high-end subscription music service/player (which seems as of now to only work in his custom ride).

I guess the last movie I saw in a theater, Clerks II  , sorta has a romantic twist to it, but it's not the ideal sort of experience us regular people should aspire to attain as far as relationships go (but then again, isn't damn near every movie relationship built on seemingly impossible premises??). I don't even remember exactly how the movie ends up or which character gets to spend some happily-ever-afternoons with Rosario Dawson's character, but if I'm gonna be told to get my a-double-ess to a cinema then you can suck it while watching every Kevin Smith movie twice, including whatever crap he put out after Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back   and Zack And Miri Make A Porno   (both of which feature some romantic under-plots, and that's my word). Get some laughs with your underdog romance tales...that's a recipe for late-nite, "kids are sleepin'", a-dult themed good times, yo. Guys...make her laugh, and she's yours. Girls...make him, ummm...breakfast? Yeah...he's yours too, until you can get a restraining order (but please, don't make life too hard on him...he tried, and it didn't work, but he probably really liked you a lot more than he let on because guys are tone-deaf like that, and the next step toward mutual acceptance is the removal of all doubt in his head that he's got any say in anything, which leads to batshit craziness when he's wrong and has left his trust in your unstable palms because eggs are just better when cooked by the person who wants them. Never question someone's egg preferences, because they'll never fit in that omelet, and if someone busts your over-easy yokes, who knows what else they're gonna fuck up in your life).

Eggs, not hugs or drugs, players. Write the right script and I'll star in that movie about romance. Until then, be sadly complacent in your life with your siggy-oth, dreaming of multi-millions on a screen ten-bazillion times bigger in front of exponentially greater audiences than any tv you're used to in your folk's basement.

*Balloonbl* Hi! I't's me, and today I've been a member of WDC for 13 years! Please don't get all "special" about it. All it means is that I've seen some things...like this  . Some of those links are still active and most are not. I'm happy being a supporter of a site I've grown with, changed with, and has been a part of most of my days since I joined back in 2001 when I was bored because my roommate wanted me to go to UB (his school) to watch fireworks. Fuck that and fuck fireworks  ...I immediately found a community that liked me for what I liked, and if you've seen one display you've seen them all. It doesn't excite me one bit. But yay me for one day...and this one thing doesn't have to go away.

*Leafr* I'm pretty sure this is not what happens for most of us when we're trying to make a life out of things and Canada is a part of it...I've never wanted to die in Canada, if that's any consolation to my Canadian I don't talk like that. If I'm in your country and I keel over, it's on your flag I had a boss time partying with your finest, but I will not rock Brother Nature 's rain gear. I think I'd still survive.

What happens when you Google dying in Canada?


Well, I don't even know where to quit and I'm not sure I've even begun. Thanks for comin' along for the ride, and I hope to see y'all soon. Peace, the one thing I remember, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

June 30, 2014 at 11:06pm
June 30, 2014 at 11:06pm
#821321
30DBC PROMPT: "What is your most controversial opinion? Why do you stick by it despite its unpopularity?", courtesy of Charrr ๐ŸŒˆ .

Hey folks! What a day...I feel like my timing is all off because I've had appointments shifted around on me and errands to run, and mornings are starting to become a blur of half-sleepiness and full-on disregard for my alarm, which I hope isn't becoming a trend. I also don't have much of an idea about how I want to address these prompts, so I'm just gonna dive into them headfirst and see what happens.

I'm not trying to sound like I'm some sort of blog snob or anything, but I don't think my opinions come off as being controversial. Don't get me wrong...I know there are plenty of people don't agree with what I say all the time, and don't always like it, but there's a clear line separating the offended population and a blatantly shit-stirring response to a prompt. I honestly believe that more often than not I tread somewhere in the middle of the road on most topics...if I can be bothered to care at all. It's been a long time since I've written something that anyone's tried to debate or challenge my viewpoint of; so long in fact that I can't remember when it's happened. Maybe I'm forgetting something, but I think if it was that important I would've remembered it...and maybe my definition of controversial is somewhat skewed, because I remember feeling while I was writing "This one's about feeling the best go down. like I was gonna hear a lot of backlash because my opinion doesn't jive with the average American's ideal patriotic sense, but I was instead met with unexpected support- so much so that I won "Blogger Of The Week" in the "Blogging Circle of Friends that particular week on the basis of that entry (I wonder if that's what Wordsmitty โœ๏ธ was referring to in his entry today, "Mid-Year Opinon, where he said people can do no wrong referencing me and and that I'm held up as an example...hell, I'll take a compliment any way I can get it, backhanded or otherwise *Laugh*). I guess what I'm saying is that if I've written something that someone doesn't agree with, they're more apt not to leave a comment and probably stop reading me altogether rather than engage in an intelligent discussion about how and why we feel the way we do. Which is fine with me, because that tells me maybe your convictions aren't as strong, and I really don't care for conflict (especially regarding matters of opinion).

So instead of spending forever this evening trying to come up with a controversial opinion of my own (yes Smitty, I'm totally copping to that today *Wink*), I figured I'd discuss a controversial subject in today's headlines: the Supreme Court's decision   to allow certain corporations the right to not cover contraceptives under ObamaCare. The face of this ruling is a chain of for-profit stores known as Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts outlet which happens to be run by a very deeply religious family...so much so that they're closed on Sundays so their employees can "spend more time with their families". They put on a good front for a public that doesn't seem to know any better.

Yet this company also wants to control what their employees can and can't do with their bodies when they're not on the clock, and I think it's gonna set a really awful precedent. Sure, like most places, employment is at the discretion of the company, and if you don't like how they do things you can go work somewhere else...the scarcity of jobs means you can easily be replaced without a second thought. But the idea that companies can dictate to women through employer-provided (and employee-financed) insurance policies how their bodies should be maintained, based on the premise of "religious freedom", seems archaic at best and could encourage potentially worse scenarios down the road.

Let's say for example a college-educated woman in her twenties is having a hard time finding work in her chosen field, so she takes a job at Hobby Lobby because they offer full-time hours and benefits (minus birth control). She has a healthy sexual relationship with her long-term boyfriend, even though she'd prefer to be on the pill because it's an extra layer of protection and it also lessens the impact of her menstrual cycle on her overall health. But we all know that things can happen, and condoms aren't always 100% effective...so eventually this woman gets pregnant. She can't afford to support a child on her minimum-wage salary at Hobby Lobby, so now she has to look at all of her options and alternatives. There's also an interesting article on xoJane.com   about other potential examples where all kinds of religions could butt heads with this ruling...it's worth checking out regardless of where on this issue you fall.

I'm sure the religious right will scream "Premarital sex is a sin!" and "Idle hands are the devil's tools!" and all that, but come on. Sex is a very prevalent part of our culture, and it seems like every generation sex is looked at as being far less taboo than the ones before it saw it. And when two people share a mutual desire for each other that is stronger than the pull of their parents, their jobs, or their religion, good luck at trying to separate them.

And speaking of alternatives, there's also this little tidbit of information about Hobby Lobby: they invested through 401(k) plans in abortion and contraceptive products  . I'll give you a minute to let that sink in...the same zealots who won't let you practice safe sex are profiting off of the very the means used to prevent birth and kill fetuses. I think the term we're looking for here is hypocrisy.

Personally, I've never cared for Hobby Lobby anyway. I've been in one of their stores...I didn't find the staff very pleasant, and for an average weekday afternoon that wasn't very busy I thought the store was kinda messy and cluttered. Something about it just didn't feel right. And while they don't blast you over the head with religiousness, you can't help but feel the air of spirituality wafting through their aisles. I don't see the Supreme Court's ruling as being good for business either...the majority of their clientele are women, and the last I checked most women don't like to be told what to do in regards to their bodies. To penalize female employees by not offering certain services (regardless of what you as a company invest in) that other employers would not only seems unfair and borderline demeaning, but it also sets a bad example regarding the notion that government wants to have a hand down our proverbial pants.

I realize I may not have presented this quite the same way I'd initially planned (sometimes I get distracted by my own typing), and surely not all of you will agree with my point of view. I'm completely ok with that, and I welcome any mature, informed discussion regarding this or anything else, for that matter. But once you start with the name-calling and the generalizations, I won't hesitate to pull the plug...respect is a two-way street, and you must give it to get it.

BCF PROMPT: "June 30 is Meteor Watch Day. Write a story, poem, opinion, or educational piece about a meteor. Have fun."

Cripes...I didn't know this was a thing. I don't know much about meteors, other than some sci-fi stories start with a meteor destroying a planet, and some sci-fi stories are predicated on preventing a meteor from destroying a planet, and sci-fi bores the everlovin' outta me. I'm not crazy about astrology either. Stars happen, and some are brighter than the others, and some nights you can see more of 'em, and my days of wishing on them have long passed me by.

But hey, if you're down with watching the sky in hopes that you'll see some celestial fireworks, more power to ya. We've all got our somethings that make us who we are, and far be it from me to try and take that away from you. It's not hurting anyone, and as far as I know there are no sins involved in the basic staring up at a dark sky. It's just that I have better things to do, or it makes me feel kinda like some of you feel the minute I start talking about hockey. And since talking more about it is solving nothing, let's agree that our minds won't budge on the topic and move on.

MUSICAL BREAK!!

It's virtually impossible nowadays to find an undoctored version of this video anywhere...it was once banned by MTV for its violent and graphic images, yet it also won a Video Music Award in the "Breakthrough" category for the techniques used during filming. Basically you've got a severely mentally ill man, walking through a car tunnel. He gets hit repeatedly by cars, who don't stop to assist him. The original clip was slightly longer, and the cars aren't covered by tarps...there are also a few more disturbing accidents that are edited from this version, such as the part where he gets hit and run over by a second car while he's down. You can barely hear the audio, but really it's secondary (if you want to hear it, you can listen here, with lyrics  ) to the amazement and raw beauty that happens at the end of the clip (although it's so much more dramatic in the original version). It's definitely one of the most controversial videos of all time...but also one of the most powerful and moving.



THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

Blog City image small


*Clapper* "These are my final words. In many movies characters are given that moment right before they die to say their final words. What will be your final words? Optional Bonus: What are the circumstances of your dramatic demise?"

Prompts like this kinda scare me, in that I'm afraid of foreshadowing, or that in the wrong set of judgments someone could take this the wrong way and turn it against me. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but you're seeing more and more of these stories where these people lose their minds and start shooting up schools or malls or movie theaters and then they trace it all back to something they wrote on social media, whether or not that's actually the case or admissible as evidence. I also have a mental health diagnosis, which could easily lead some to believe that out of context these are actually my final words (they're not). I've been close to that edge...closer than many of you have only imagined even in hyperbolic terms. So I think I'm gonna skip this one after all...it feels like it hits a little too close to home, and I also don't believe there would be any words uttered at all...no reasons, no motives, no explanations. If my number's up, I'll go quietly. That's not to say I won't go down without a fight, but you can bet it's gonna be messy and certainly far more traumatic for the survivors.

*Trophyg* Congrats to all the "30-Day Blogging Challenge participants this months who managed to blog all thirty days! If it's your first time, be proud of yourselves...it's a big accomplishment! I also want to congratulate the winners of May's official 30DBC round: The_Cavity has wisdom teeth! (honorable mention), Ash (3rd place), Charrr ๐ŸŒˆ (2nd place), and Mitchopolis (1st place). Great job everyone...I hope to see you all in July's competition! And if you don't wanna participate, there's a few slots open for judges as well. Contact 30DBC Creator/Founder for details about that.

*Document* Also, it wouldn't be the last Monday of the month without me pluggin' the latest issue of the "Invalid Item. If you like it, or have any comments about it, let Wordsmitty โœ๏ธ and his staff know by stopping by the "Blogging Bliss Newsletter Forum. Elle has written a very informational piece about WDC's ratings system, which is worth looking into if you've ever found yourself questioning whether or not you should be changing the way your blog is rated. Plus there's the usual Editor's Picks, Tips 'n Tricks, and other useful info you've come to expect from the Bliss team.

And just like that, I've managed to kill almost another whole evening...how exciting am I? (Don't answer that.) Might just try to make it an early night, since I've gotta do that work thing all day tomorrow...peace, Christian suburbanites, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

June 28, 2014 at 10:47pm
June 28, 2014 at 10:47pm
#821114
30DBC PROMPT: "Procrastination: a fatal flaw or a necessary evil?", courtesy of Fivesixer .

'Sup y'all? It only took me 28 days, but I finally came up with a halfway decent prompt...you have no idea how long it took me either. I finished my entry around midnight, posted it to the respective forums, didn't even bother to proofread it, and then opened up the 30DBC Group Mail template and just stared at it. The forum says I posted it at 1am...but I assure you it felt like it took much longer than an hour.

The topic of procrastination has been kind of a big deal for me lately...mainly because I seem to be doing it with more regularity (or at least more often than I'm accustomed to). With me, there's no middle ground: I either do something right away to get it done and over with and out of the way, or I wait until I'm down to the last possible remaining bit of time before I realize I haven't looked at Twitter in the last day or two, and there's these articles from this morning I haven't read yet, and I need a glass of water but I also haven't eaten in awhile so should I have a snack or something more like a meal, oh eight more Facebook notifications, and how is it 10pm already? It's, like, bedtime, and I really wanted to write that blog entry this afternoon, but then what would I do the rest of the night? What may look like procrastination on the surface actually plays out more like a structured lifestyle...or so I keep telling myself *Rolleyes*.

The truth is, when it comes down to procrastination, it's both a fatal flaw and a necessary evil. I'll fully admit that I'm a ginormous (wait...Charrr ๐ŸŒˆ and Jessica - 14 years on 2/24! ..."ginormous" is a word? My spell-check seems to think it is...all this time I thought it was a made-up word. I think there's a conspiracy afoot.) procrastinator based on the principle that (I'd like to believe) I do some of my best work up against the pressure of a deadline; however, if there's something I'm waiting on someone else for and there's plenty of time before it's required, I'm that jerk who has 75 panic attacks when I see you doing something other than what I've asked of you. It's a vicious double-standard I've got goin' on...I never seem to think about the poor folks waitin' on me, but I hyperventilate over the thought of trusting others that things will be taken care of when they're not done immediately upon the making of a request.

I look at it more as a necessary evil though mainly because I try not to get myself into situations where either my own or someone else's procrastination will lead to unwelcome circumstances. I know people are human and being let down or letting others down is a part of life, but the more avoidable it is, usually the better off everyone involved is. You can argue that having something (for example, a term paper) done and ready early allows you the opportunity to revamp and make changes if necessary; I'll counter that having too much time to consider such measures can in fact be a bad thing and sometimes you've gotta trust your gut rather than trying to doctor a finished product with new avenues and thought processes. You can't adjust the recipe once dinner's on the table.

And chances are, once you've outed someone as a habitual procrastinator who continually burns people with the lateness, you're devising ways of moving on from their presence in whatever it is you're up to. When you have to start taking things like someone's track record on certain projects into consideration when it comes to setting deadlines, it's safe to assume that it's their character that's flawed...how you choose to let it affect you going forward is what determines whether or not it becomes fatal. If you like so-and-so enough to tolerate their occasional tardiness, so be it...but if that same person is an incredible douchebag and winds up costing you time/money/business, or generally makes you look bad, they should suffer appropriate consequences.

Clearly, I've been thinking about this in my subconscious for way too long, because I think I shot far past the finish line.

BCF PROMPT: "Youโ€™re stranded in a foreign city for a day with no money and no friends. Where do you go; what do you do?"

I find it kind of difficult to write about something from a hypothetical standpoint when that situation has actually happened (if you consider Canada a foreign country). That ordeal (which is covered in more detail here: "This one's about road trippin' and parents/teachers.) involved being separated from my friends and my glasses at a large outdoor rock concert, and I had no money on me either as night fell over the venue. Had my friends not seen me as I followed the crowd toward the exits, I honestly don't know what I would've done. It was 1998, and not everyone had cellphones (and even if we did have them, it's unlikely our U.S. service would've worked in Canada back then) or a GPS. To my knowledge, Molson Centre in Barrie, Ontario is surrounded by nothing, so I would've had no idea where to even go to try and get help (assuming security would've been of little assistance). I really did get lucky that night...I knew my friends wouldn't have just ditched me, but I'm surprised at how they were able to find me out of all the people there.

I was also stranded at New York City's Penn Station once...I'd made a trip up there to see a girl and it started off well but it ended badly. I'd gotten to the train station early and was allowed to depart on the train before the one I was scheduled to be on, but soon after all the outgoing trains were cancelled. Turned out there was a fire in one of the terminals, but being that it was NYC around five years or so after 9/11, they weren't gonna screw around. They tarped off all the entrances, so no one could enter or leave Penn Station. I'd at least had a cell phone, but I was running low on cash and wasn't sure how I'd be able to get home. Eventually they bussed us to another station just outside of NYC, but we had to wait for a train to come through and get us. So instead of showing up at noon to catch a 1pm train and be home by 11pm, I got there around 11am to take the noon train so I could be home by 9:30pm, only to be stranded at Penn until around 8pm so we could be bussed over to some other place, where a train picked us up around 1am so I could get home at 7am (and I had to be to work at 8:30am that day).

Because of technology advances though, I don't think it'd be too difficult to be in a foreign country these days by yourself. I mean, you got there somehow, and who goes to another country without telling someone? All you'd need to do is find a person with some internet access, and you should manage alright before you're rescued. Unless you're kidnapped by the government and dropped literally in the middle of a country's wilderness that also doesn't let you access American websites. If that's the case, I think you learn how to communicate with animals then and get accustomed to the ways of the local creatures...they're your new family now.

MUSICAL BREAK!!

This used to be considered a rare song in the Pearl Jam catalog. I'd had it on a soundtrack to a movie that I guess wasn't very popular, and I'd also heard it on a couple of unauthorized bootlegs in the mid-nineties. The story was that they used to play this song to close their shows all the time before they got huge, and when they started headlining they retired it from their sets. It's always been a favorite of mine.



THE DAILY BOX SCORE:

Blog City image small


*People* "Differences and similarities: which divides us more?"

Differences. Totally. One has to look no further than two of the most richly debated topics out there: politics and religion. Could there be anything more polarizing? You wanna talk about some people who absolutely can't stand anyone who disagrees with their point of view, you can't have a discussion without political extremists. I see it all the time on Facebook; you can't have an opinion that differs the slightest bit from some of these zealots without getting flamed or branded as "stupid" or "an idiot" or some other form of hate-speech. It's sickening, and were it not for the fact that it doesn't matter which party is in charge of what or is actually in the right (or wrong)- most of the news and decisions made by politicians don't affect 99% of the population anyway- people like that would've turned me off from politics a long time ago. And religion...y'all know already how I feel about that. Yet what some people don't understand is that if you're a deep-seated religious fanatic among a group that's largely apathetic toward any/all organized religions, some people will have a hard time responding to you. I'm not talking about anyone on WDC; it's just something I saw posted on Facebook this morning...someone had made a comment on a thread in a group that was primarily atheists and non-believers, and someone responded with the standard "If you know Jesus to be your savior, all your problems will go away", or something like that. And the discussion turned away from trying to help someone into this whole argument over "my faith can beat up your faith", which was so far from the point it was almost disturbing. What kind of religion says to their followers "If someone needs your help with something but they don't believe in the same God as you, screw 'em...they're on their own"? Religion might be the most divisive topic of all.

Conversely, don't you tend to unite more with people who you share some common ground with? Isn't that more the hallmark of a solid friendship? Look, I get the whole "opposites attract" thing, and it makes for a nice story, but eventually don't you get sick of dealing with someone who feels like they're constantly right about something you feel completely different about? Would that get old quick? You feel comfortable most around like-minded individuals, where you can share the same beliefs and ideals. When an outsider joins your little group, don't you find yourself practicing some kind of informal vetting process to see if they're worthy enough to be a part of your clique? What about the new guy at work? You kinda test that person to see if he's cool or not. Is he a fink for the boss? Or does he want to fit in? It seems childish, but being a grown up at times is almost an extension of the same ideas...everything tends to boil down to popularity contests and likability. Fall short of either and suddenly you're on the outside with your differing views and opinions.

But like I find myself saying a lot these days, it takes all kinds to make this world go 'round. Life would be pretty boring if everyone agreed over every little detail, wouldn't it?

This prompt totally reminded me of a picture that still gives me a little chuckle every time I see it:

I appreciate this view on religion.


*Document* Well, my experiment with using Lazarus is officially over, at least for the time being. See, my laptop tends to run a little slower if I leave it on for a few days, and it'd probably been over a week since the last time I properly shut it down, so I did so this afternoon just to give it a rest. And when I turned it back on, Chrome wouldn't load the Lazarus extension because "it's not in the Chrome store" (I imagine hearing that in my head in some kind of whiny four year old's voice). So I tried uninstalling it and reinstalling it, and Chrome wants no part of it. There's even this article   about Chrome extensions you should have, and Lazarus is the first one! But nope...my laptop doesn't want it. And I just remarked to CJ Reddick something about me finding a way to screw up Lazarus...well, that didn't take me that long now, did it CR? *Laugh* *Rolleyes*

*Sleep* So somehow I managed eight hours of sleep last night (which, trust me, I'm not complaining). I woke up this morning, diddled around the internet for awhile, went down to the farmer's market for a few minutes, picked up a light lunch (tuna sandwich and some cookies), and proceeded to take a solid two hour nap. I was nodding off trying to catch up on some reading, and boom...out. Talk about a waste of a good day...but that's what I get for staying up late and getting up kinda early a few times this past week.

Well, I think that's about all I have to say for myself today. Hope you're all doing well and enjoying your weekend! Peace, I tried to explain, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!


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