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



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

A Paint reflection.

A fair warning.

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Continue along on my journey over at "Still Figurin' Out Who I Think I Am.
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June 4, 2014 at 4:51pm
June 4, 2014 at 4:51pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Do you think playing violent video games and watching violent movies makes people more violent in real life? Were you allowed to partake in these activities as a child? If you have children, did/do you let them have violent media?", courtesy of Charrr 🌈 .

Good afternoon folks...it's been a busy morning for me but I'm home for the rest of the day, hopefully to relax and kick a few words witchya, so let's see how this plays out.

Honestly, the last quote-unquote violent video game I played with any regularity was NHL '96 for the Sega Genesis, and I think by then they'd already outlawed fighting and showing blood when an injured player fell was laid out by a hit and vibrated in a seizure-like position on the ice. I don't feel like doing the research right now about when these facets were taken out of the video game, but they're immortalized in Hollywood's legacy via Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Ron Livingston, and some pansy in a white L.A. Kings jersey   (and not the sharper, more thuggish-looking black one...so dude probably had it comin' anyway).

I played that game with my buddies, who were, like me, in their mid-twenties by then, and also with my youngest brother, who came along 14 years after me. And ya know what? None of us went out later in street hockey or rec league games and wanted to hit someone so hard they were laying on the street at the corner of Gould and Kokomo, or waiting to be shipped out of the YMCA on an ambulance. Granted, Swingers   was a little out of our reach as far as comparisons to Buffalo bars and clubs we'd attend on weekends, and the violence in EA Sports' franchise games never quite mimicked the reality of actual games they simulated anyway (which even kid brother Bro Mike could figure out before turning nine years old).

But that's just me and my little group of people. A small percentage of a smaller percentage of demographics. For every putz playing video games instead of doing cool shit, like, I don't know, entertaining loose women, there is a subset of certain types of people who think that because you could control a maniac driver going on a Tony Montana-esque binge during Grand Theft Auto, it's ok to pay no mind when smackin' up a prostitute. And I have to admit, as the video game industry got more realistic and life-like, the possibilities do seem more influential. Back when I was of an impressionable age, the most hardcore game we had for Atari was Combat  , which hardly inspired many kids of my generation I'm sure to want to drive tanks.

Video games are more like interactive movies now, in a way (if not really a way). And there's a lot more violence in them that has gradually become acceptable in society along with PC's and more complex gaming systems. Along with generational rebellion associated with kids growing up without easy access to violent movies or parents more willing to restrict their children's activities regarding TV, computer use, and gameplay, I think there are countless other diversions now for kids to get caught up in as an escape from reality...but I'm hesitant to lay blame solely on movies, video games, music, or any other form of entertainment that exists with an enhanced wide-scale presence. It boils down to values, and what you think is appropriate for your children. The basics of right from wrong, and the line between absurdism and reality. Unless you talk to your kids and know what they're getting into, or you're content with them plopping themselves down in front of Call Of Duty for four hours a night, you don't deserve the right to complain about how boo-hoo violent the world is and how a company could issue a movie/game/program and not expect kids to gain some kind of influence from that.

Look, you can't police the world from putting out materials that might be considered objectionable. That's happened in society since the dawn of the written word; creative people tend to push boundaries, because they have a stake in their art being accepted and acceptable. Parents have a responsibility to raise their kids how they see fit, and that includes actually being a part of their kids' lives. Sometimes you have to make hard choices or take on the task of explaining things so they'll have a better understanding, instead of expecting the internet or television to babysit your kids while you unwind from a hard day at work. And that's where society dropped the ball...as families became more reliant on bigger and better things, there was a price tag attached. And as that price tag got bigger (once more parents got on board with the idea what they "had to provide more for our kids than we had"), you saw dads taking second jobs or moms being out of the house for longer periods of time, and the easy out was just to leave kids to their own devices because there just weren't enough hours in the day for successful or even competent parenting. And the easiest way to make kids happy is to give them what they want, as long as it gives the parent a little peace as well and a few minutes of rest. Basic supply/demand, really. Until someone shoots up a school or a mall or a movie theater, and the armchair activists come out with their own guns ablazin' with theories and want to blame everything on the entertainment industry but have no freaking clue about the actual in-house situation of the person at the helm of said disaster. And the parents who say "We did all we could!"? Naw man. No. I don't buy that if "doing all we could" is pacifying your kids with all the toys your parents were smart enough not to let you have and them some, just because your lives are more important than actually being a family unit and talking- not texting, but talking- to one another regularly.

Kids don't necessarily need to be on the same page as the parents (as far as mommy and daddy's day-to-day realities), but parents need to be overseeing the life book their kids are starting to author.

BCF PROMPT: "If March winds bring April showers and April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring in June?"

Well, it ain't pilgrims anymore y'all. That's for damn sure.

I know probably 84-87.6% of respondents to this prompt will likely say Junebugs, but that's not a scientific nor calculated guess...it's the first thing that comes to mind. The realist answer isn't June Lockhart, June Cleaver, or that girl from the movie Juno  . It's mawfuggin' June Bugs.

And I don't need to stand on my front stoop of the building I live in for you to know that you know, they're a damn problem. To my knowledge, ain't nothin' good or nice or lady-ish about them. They're just pissed that you're involved in their light during the evening time, say, when you're outside on the porch with the light on, havin' a smoke. They have no concern about what part of your face they'll fly into. They're nature's ultimate IDGAF, uhhh, thing (for not knowing how else to put it). They're cool with wanting to use your eyebrows as a dance floor complete with your mirrorball glasses, hanging out on the screen of the door for a few minutes wondering why you left them, and then dying on the porch in a totally selfish display of absolute defiance regarding how you rejected their initial come-ons.

You've probably been there. I don't need to go there ever again, because I typically tend to try to fight them as soon as they're all up in my grill. No one creature on this planet needs to get within arms' reach of me (unless I'm actually allowing it). Plain and simple. I have boundaries. Strict boundaries. And if you're gonna Junebug in my face, I'mma drop the mic and walk away and not think twice about your clandom (or whatever it is groups of 'em are called...and please don't tell me if you know, 'cuz I'm not terribly interested) mourning your loss over our fallout in the morning, because I know they won't have the sac to. And I won't lie; I'mma do it again if your crew of june buggers keeps up at it. They'll know for a year or two to step off of me. And by then, I'll be gone in a clockwise direction. Jerks. That's what they are...straight up jerks.


There are women who might find this romantic. They're sure to be the ones who'll press charges once you attempt to do this. Or bitch about the mutual teeth loss.


*Sleep* I'm, ummm, having health issues again. Good news: I'm being taken off Ambien. Bad news: I'm being put on something else for sleep but I won't be able to pick it up for a few weeks. Badder news: I need to make an appointment with my PCP because I might have allergies and/or sleep apnea. But my PCP kinda sucks, and I'm limited on insurance and providers who are trustworthy in my local area. I need to make a choice soon about whether I wanna live with feeling like I'm choking before I go to sleep because my nose and sinuses feel absolutely constricted to the point it's causing my gag reflexes to engage, and then waking up at 4am and not getting a fitful night of sleep because that's not an easy time to try and go back to sleep (because it's then that I'm entirely susceptible to nightmares, dreams I want to try to control but can't, and overall restlessness), or taking something stronger than Ambien that will stay in my system longer but could cause prolonged morning drowsiness. Can't win for being sleepy and wanting to sleep but can't, yet can't feel functional when sleep isn't an option. The whole "can't breathe" thing is kinda scary too, but it may be allergies...my MH doc is cool like that in telling me he takes a lot of stuff for his, and yeah, we kicked it again in his office today for awhile (he's so much more approachable than my therapist), but he also doesn't want to pile on the meds. And I don't want to be piled on with meds. But if these are the least of my worries, I guess I'd be doing ok. And that's all I have to say about that.

*Drbag* Last PT appointment tomorrow, and then I need to figure out if I can go back to work again before my ortho on Monday wants to clear me. I don't know, because I'm not in the field, and I'm bored a lot not doing anything so it'd be nice to get out and make some extra money, but the organization I'm working for wants me to be 100%, and I can't guarantee that, but if a doctor tells me to "just keep pushing through", while PT says "it's hard for us to work with you when you're shot once you walk in", well, then what? It's not like my job is physically taxing, but, well, fuck. It's so confusing and conflicting and I'm hungry, so I should probably eat something and think more about it when I've got a full belly.

*No* Oh hell, I can't go without mentioning this. This happened recently in the town I grew up in- a first-ring suburb of Buffalo- and this   still happens? And don't get me wrong; I don't think this doesn't still happen everywhere in America. It does. I'm not sure what I feel sadder for...that she went full-blown trashy mom in front of her kids, dropping eff-bombs and n-words all over the place while she told the guy in the car she knew where her kids were as they were using the crash poles in front of the store as a gymnasium and cared more about where her coffee was, or that she actually screamingly said to her husband on the phone, "Do you know how many cops I've stripped for?". I get it, Dude started his car, his music was too loud, and it startled one of her kids. Since when did that become a license for someone to spout screaming racial diatribes atomically, complete with n-words and eff-bombs and "I know where my kids are" when clearly, she didn't because she was more concerned with her coffee and then telling her kids to not play in front of the store's automatic doors? But it gets better. The woman had her say this morning on WBLK, Western New York's primary source for hip-hop and R&B music  , and didn't make herself sound a whole lot better. Blaming mental illness for hurtful attitudes isn't a coping mechanism, and teaching your kids to say hateful things as an example of your own behavior is probably a good way of getting local Child Protection Services involved in your situation (let alone the "stripping for cops" remark, or "I'm not racist; I have a black cousin", which may as well be "I'm not racist; I have a color TV"). So because I have a depression diagnosis, it's all of the sudden ok for me to get pissed and start spitting racial epitaphs once I perceive you have attempted to hit my child with a car, although from the video it's clear I've made the effort to come well out of the way to leave my kids otherwise unattended and get up in your window so I could tell you how much of a "nasty n*****" you are? God bless America for that right *Rolleyes*. And it doesn't stop there, my friends...the one radio station, out of the many in Buffalo, that would actually give this woman a chance to speak her mind (but clearly didn't have to offer that opportunity), so she could clear the air on the whole thing (and instead used that time to basically shit upon the chance to do so), offered up later on the Top Ten Racist Tweets From Stripper Mom Janelle Ambrosia  . I don't think her life is as over as she thinks it is. Maybe her black cousin will forgive her. I don't think my hometown of Cheektowaga will; but at the same time you're getting paid to take your clothes off while trying to raise kids with a Bi-Polar diagnosis, so something had to give at some point.

And with that, I'm cuttin' y'all short 'cuz I have food to get and there's mail to answer and reading to do and other things as well. Peace, don't hate, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

June 3, 2014 at 6:26pm
June 3, 2014 at 6:26pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Springtime Fever", from sunnystarr.

Hello again! If you're wondering about today's prompt, Sunny asked me this afternoon if I'd post it for her since she was running out of time on her break, so there it is. It's short, quick, and open to all sorts of interpretation. Glad I got the chance to catch Sunny before the rest of you guys in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge forum started a revolt or something. Charles Charrr 🌈 , I'll expect a timelier prompt tomorrow morning. *Wink*

So springtime fever. That's a thing, right? You guys get it? I don't. I get Seasonal Affective Disorder  , and I can barely shake myself out of it long enough to realize it's summer and I've already wasted half of it, setting the chain of funk back into motion for another ten months out of the year.

"Chain Of Funk"...that should've been the name of a really popular band from 1978 that played a speed metal version of disco, with three guitars, two drummers, a horn section, a key-tar, and backup dancers. I should Google that and see what comes up! A Fleetwood Mac remix, various listings for "Chain Of Fools", and- oh! Turns out a band like the one I described exists...only they ditched the backup dancers, added actual keyboards, and called themselves The Roots. Well, now it all makes sense...thanks Google! *Thumbsup*

But back to the matter at hand. Like I said, I don't really get "springtime fever" anymore. Sure, the smell of the air changes and I feel like I wanna play basketball and bust out my old Public Enemy   tapes, until I remember I can barely walk and I don't own any of my cassettes anymore.

What really frustrates me is rain, mainly because I got stuck in the rain today after a physically grueling session of PT and I still can't figure out the weather patterns after living in Cortland for a year and a half. The sky was all gloomy lookin' today, and right before the ultrasound session the sun started to peek out, so I breathed a little sigh of relief hoping that I'd be home before the rain hit, even if that meant cutting my grocery shopping trip a little short in order to do so. Nope. No chance...by the time I made it to the store it was raining, which turned into a torrential downfall, The kind of rain that would be fun to play around in, say, if you didn't have obligations or life happening or stuff. Try waiting for a bus in that mess...especially with confused masses who aren't sure if they should try to make a break for it to their cars with bags of groceries or start singing Kumbaya in the lobby while turning down the store's offers to shoppers of an umbrella-assisted escort to their cars. It's interesting because I've lived all my life through terrible winters that everyone trudges through like there's a badge of honor waiting for them at the other side of their destination, -30 wind chills be damned, but throw a midday thunderstorm on them and everyone turns into pussies. Remarkable.

And here's why the weather's so weird here: it's disgustingly humid for a few days (to the point of marinating inside your own flesh), and then it rains for thirty minutes to an hour, and then the sun comes out and you're Sahara hot again. Whereas in Buffalo, if the day's gonna be shitty rain-wise, it's shitty all day. It sprinkles off and on but the clouds just refuse to move. You're not sure if you can trust the sky, but you're not worried about your life getting stuck in a parking lot flood because it's raining like the world should be ending and the disaster awareness people will find you dead knowing everything you bought was exactly the opposite of what your doctor has advised you against.

So yeah, I should've tried to drag out my grocery store trip for as long as possible today to not have to walk a few blocks in a mess of cumulus cloud rage, but I just wanted drinkable water and the chance to get home and relax as fast as possible. I'm confused as to why it's called a rain shower when, immediately after being trapped in one, you feel like you need to take a real shower with soap/body wash afterwards. I kinda was pissed when I got home that I woke up early enough this morning before PT to take a shower, only to feel exponentially more disgusting three hours later.

BCF PROMPT: "What was/is your favorite TV show?"

I know very recently I was having a discussion with don't call him Charles Charrr 🌈 about something relating to telling the same old stories again in a blog...and I know I've talked about TV watching a bunch of times before. But since that's what we're being prompted with, I'll comply again.

There's too much truth to the fact that I hate watching television, because how much of the programming we're stuck with choosing from is something you can actually relate to? If it's not something I can sympathize with, then I feel terrible about dedicating my eyes toward an experience I'll never be able to recapture. I have a nearly nonexistent attention span as it is (let's not even talk about movies), and I prefer to do things at a pace that isn't dictated by advertising or ratings or the whole fast food "get it now" urgency that society has become. I do things when I want to do them, and not because it's nestled in the cushy "Thursday at 8pm" time slot.

Having said that, obviously I'm typically late to the party when it comes to television. I don't even own one, for fuck's sake. And I don't want one. I don't wanna be a slave to The Man. If you're only keeping me in your social circle because you think I might have something interesting to say about a show you watch, then we won't be friends for very long. But I will cop to being fans of two shows..."Friends" and "Arrested Development".

"Friends" came along at around the same time I was their ages as characters, but it took me a long time to get into it. I was dating a girl who would always watch the reruns, and my laptop was situated next to the TV because that's where the open phone jack I could use for dial-up internet was. And it seemed like, for awhile, I was watching the same damn episode over and over. I don't remember how I got sucked into it- maybe it was my sister watching it one day and I started taking more of an interest; I don't know- but somehow I loved the characters and it was sorta something I could relate me and my friends to. I have no problem admitting that I cried at the end of the final episode, because there was no longer a "them" and I knew we'd all be sadly affected by the outcome.

"Arrested Development", on the other hand, is flat-out comedy genius. Some people go for quick laughs and cheap humor, but this is challenging stuff. The cast worked you for the laughs because the payoff was that much better. The premises were so far-fetched and unrelateable, but that made it funnier than shows that attempt to mimic what "real world adults" go through because, quite honestly, how many of us actually go through life like we're on "Scrubs" or "How I Met Your Mother" or "<insert legal drama here>", or "Friends", for that matter?

Besides late-night shows like Jimmy Fallon's and Seth Meyers' (and occasionally Jimmy Kimmel's) or SNL, I really don't care what's on TV. I can fall asleep to ESPN's SportsCenter, wake up, and it's still the same damn show. News? My building just got rewired for internet access recently, so it's not like I'm unaware of what's going on in the world (plus I still read the occasional newspaper). What doesn't the internet do? Besides make me omelets? When your TV can do that you can shove it up your ass Text me when that happens.


This is why I need The Roots as a part of my everyday life. More so than Rock You  .


*Cart* Ya know, as if it weren't bad enough that I had to deal with rain earlier today, I got to see a good old fashioned instance of public confrontation. Now, if you've read me for awhile, you know I have issues with motorized shopping carts in supermarkets (and I don't feel like finding the link to that series of entries 'cuz it doesn't matter that much in relation to this episode). I see this woman driving around the store in one, and I'm patient about it like no worries. As I'm waiting for the bus to come, she pulls up and her friend takes off to get her van she came in with, leaving her to plug in the electric cart for the next person. And she's strugglin' (and this is where I'm a giant a-hole, 'cuz I was too near panic-attacky and concerned about my own level of comfort to help this woman move her motorized cart into a position where she could easily park it next to an outlet to charge it while being out of the way of the entrance. And oh did she fail. She got it plugged in alright (which, having had to rely on them before and them quitting halfway through the store, I was thankful for), but it was sticking so far out from the wall it was blocking the inside entrance to the store and if you came in pushing a cart, it'd require a significant amount of remaneuvering to get around aside from the fact that the plug and cord were very easily trippable on. But no matter; she did her thing and I know some people prefer to be left alone in that situation; so I minded my biz until the bus came...which also happened at the same time her friend had pulled up in front of the store with a handicapped-accessible van. A woman, who I can best describe as being older than me but somewhat around the same age as the other two women, promptly lost her shit with a strong British accent and went off about how it was a terrible place for her to park and it's inconsiderate and it's raining and boo-hoo poor her, while the driver argued back that she was driving her handicapped friend. I'm not gonna lie; I watched the British lady walk into the store and hoped she'd trip on the outstretched cord of the cripple cart before I got on the bus, and I was disappointed when she didn't.

*Drbag* So I mentioned about having a tough time at PT today because the therapist worked my ass off. Here's a hint for all you potential bone-breakers: If you tell a therapist, who isn't your regular therapist, that you're having trouble with something, she'll make you work twice as hard on something you absolutely hate. Case in point: after being put on the spot by her regarding activities I'd like to resume once I'm presumably healthy and responding with running (something I haven't done regularly in over twenty years), conversation got awkward and I had to explain to her how I broke my shoulder (which was the reason why I ran so much twenty-some odd years ago...I couldn't participate in contact drills with the wrestling team, so I ran and then did conditioning work). And somehow that led to me admitting I have a real hard time walking stairs right now, which in turn prompted her to make me do step-climbing exercises. Lots of them. My knees, back, and hips are swearing at me right now; forget the damn ankle I'm supposed to be rehabbing.

*Cake3* Hey! Go on and wish BIG BAD WOLF Is Merry! a happy birthday today, and send him a merit badge too while you're at it. In my travels last night I saw he'd mentioned getting like 50-100 of 'em today, so light him up!

I'm inappropriately sweating mad legit right now due to the sun's position versus mine, so here's where you and I part ways for another day while I ponder whether to close the blinds and take a nap or catch up on the "30-Day Blogging Challenge entries from yesterday I missed. Peace, baby don't worry, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

June 2, 2014 at 1:52pm
June 2, 2014 at 1:52pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Prompt for June 2nd."  

What's up folks? Before I start my entry (or reading anyone else's take for that matter), I wanna apologize to anyone who thought this prompt sucked was difficult to write to. Even I admit it's kinda lame. Coming up with prompts wasn't exactly in my Cutco Skill Set. If anyone wishes to take issue with it, that's fine; I can handle it. I'm notorious for being somewhat outspoken when I come across a prompt I don't care for...Sister Mary Muggingsworth didn't brand me a "complaining male" because we exchanged pleasantries over tea and biscuits, ya heard? *Wink*

So with that being said, I'll address the "unwritten rules of blogging" portion, which sounded like a good idea at the time but I've since started to dislike the notion of it. Who am I to say there should be rules or that things need to be done a certain way? I don't tell you what to write, primarily because I wouldn't want anyone else to tell me what is and what isn't acceptable. It doesn't matter how many times you've won the "30-Day Blogging Challenge, or how many times your peers voted you Blogger Of The Week in the "Blogging Circle of Friends ...you don't go into someone's house, kick their dog, and demand they make you a salami sandwich, so it would behoove you to not really care too much about the way you or I or him or her smash up words together and call it an entry.

With that in consideration, there's still a few things that should be off-limits (and you probably won't find this in the Tips-N-Tricks section of The Blogging Bliss newsletter that comes out at the end of each month):

*Bullet* As is true in other facets of life, you shouldn't make fun of someone's mother. Unless you're this lady  , in which case you probably deserve all of the verbal abuse you're getting from just about everywhere.

*Bullet* Also, be respectful. Be honest, but do it respectably. Or lie...I kinda don't care what you do. But lie respectably.

*Bullet* Blog-On-Blog crime is a low-riding epidemic that could spin out of control down the road unless we take steps to prevent it now. Being a hater in the blogging community might seem like fun at first, and maybe it'll spike your popularity for a time being, but that's temporary. Your words can hurt, and that lasts a lot longer. Can't we all just get along?

*Bullet* And finally, acknowledge your sources and give credit where credit's due. This is where a simple working knowledge of WritingML can go a long way. If you're referencing something you read in someone else's blog, include a link to the entry. It's polite, helpful, and draws interest to your fellow writers, plus you cement a little credibility of your own. It's like a virtual handshake and a tip of the hat.

I know this list is far from complete and it's not meant to be definitive, nor is it meant to be biblical in its nature of rights and wrongs. What works for some may not always be what's best for others, like if you're a guy who makes money off of trashing moms. But for most of us, blogging doesn't pay, so tread that line carefully if you choose to walk it.

BCF PROMPT: "In June wedding bells ring, roses bloom, and drivers seem to go nuts. Pick one or all of those items and write a story or poem about it."

Here's a weird bit of information: there does seem to be a ton of weddings in June. Yet according to the random quiz I was given yesterday at "A Trivial Challenge, more births occur in July and August than any other months. If June and July are popular wedding months (one look at any newspaper's Nuptials section can tell you that), how do July and August figure in being a popular month for squirting out kids? Surely not all brides-to-be are eight month preggers, and is it really common once you're married to put off full-on babymaking for a few months? I've neither been married nor had kids, so someone needs to educate me on what's proper under these circumstances.

Roses? They bloom in June 'cuz that's a nature thing. I'm no scientist or botanist, and I can't speak for the entire global population, but June is generally when the weather is consistently nice, and that's more conducive to plant life blossoming in their natural habitat, or something. Even on different sides of the planet, where weather patterns run opposite of their correlating positions on the globe, June just seems to be the universal "not too hot, not too cold" month where everything is awesome for thirty days, no matter where you live. Unless you're in prison...then every day is grey with a chance of sun peeking through the bars on your window. Do I have readers of this blog who are currently incarcerated? If so, please send us a weather update.

And I don't care what time of year it is...every day is "drivers are going nuts" day. It's not like the world woke up one day and suddenly learned how to be courteous and patient when behind the wheel. I don't wanna hear about how I can barely walk right now...that's no excuse for people to cuss me out from behind their SUV-that's-too-big-for-them-to-drive-'cuz-it's-not-a-car when I'm not crossing the street fast enough even though I've got the right-of-way because the little guy walking on the electronic street sign thingey says I can go. Yeah, fuck those people good and hard in the headrest.


Rest in peace Ann B. Davis  , who played Alice The Housekeeper on The Brady Bunch.

"I'm like Sam The Butcher, bringin' Alice the meat."


*No* I feel the need to revisit the initial prompt of this entry, which referred to lines being crossed in blogging. It reminded me of a Facebook status I came across about a year ago, from someone who I will not name but was a friend/co-worker for a company I was employed with once, and I supported his ambitions of being a drummer in local bands. It was shortly after I'd posted a link to a blog entry where I'd gotten particularly liberal with the use of "swear words" (which, "swear words" sounds so childish and funny, but that's a whole 'nother entry for another day), and his status was something like "People who swear in blogs are stupid." I didn't comment on it at the time, but it bugged me and obviously has stuck with me for awhile. I'm gonna address that now...A) I'm not stupid; B) Yes, I swear a lot but in normal conversation around people I'm comfortable with I swear a lot as well, and it is not a reflection on my intelligence nor anyone's intelligence as long as they're doing so in a creative fashion and not just sayin' "fuck" just to say "fuck"; and C) This isn't something I'm doing on "company time" and I don't have to worry about upsetting sponsors or losing business (although it would be awesome if, like, Mountain Dew or Nike wanted to pay me for my thoughts in a blog format, but I'd have to negotiate a few eff-bombs into my contract). Truth is, even though I share this blog with the public and anyone could read it, I'm not concerned about whether maybe a potential future employer could see it, and if they're basing their opinion on hiring me over the contents of this internet dipping sauce. They'd be lucky to have someone who's as passionate and dedicated as I am. Simply put: you want me on your team because you don't want to be battling against me. I understand professionalism and tact, and neither of those traits interfere with what you winding up seeing on a website dedicated to fostering creativity and expression. I ain't sellin' shoes or soda or insurance...this is a part of me; one of many pieces. This is a product. If you like it, great. And if you don't, that's great too. I won't die because nobody reads this. There won't be a backlash and a rebellion against the public image of a company because I got loose with my tongue. The only brand I'm doing anything for is me, and if you're unsettled by my occasional dysfunctional language, then we should just agree to amicably and mutually not do mental business together.

*Drbag* On a different note, let's all wish Princess Megan Rose a speedy recovery from the procedure she's having today ("Day Before Eye Surgery)...she's a great friend of this spot and I hope she can enjoy the summer she has planned for herself and her family free of complications. Can't say a bad word about her, and I know many of you, if you haven't crossed paths with her, would feel the same way.

Well, I've had a long morning and I'm itchin' to see what's been written so far about probably the worst prompt I've ever come up with in the (weak) history of me having to create a prompt for everyone else. Peace to 30DBC Creator/Founder for having me along on this 30DBC unofficial experience, peace to you for readin' it, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

June 1, 2014 at 2:12pm
June 1, 2014 at 2:12pm
30DBC PROMPT: "June 1: (Dare Day) A Challenging Day by Prosperous Snow

Good morning kind readers! Welcome to an "unofficial" round of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge...where 30DBC Creator/Founder is once again runnin' thangs and an esteemed veteran of The 30DBC, Snow, has cranked out an excellend lead-off single to start the rally this month. Anyone else going over to Brother Nature 's festivities this month at "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar? I dare you to join me down there for some of my personal stash of Fivesixer's Magical Elixir...I'll be the ominous-looking dude at the corner of the bar with his hat tucked low, trying not to start my face on fire from a fresh pack of menthols.

In case you haven't gone and done the work to see what today's prompt is, let me save you a few steps (while judging you silently for being lazy): "I Dare You to write about a double dog or triple dog dare you accepted. What happened? If you have never encountered either of those dares then I dare you to accept one of the writing.com challenges listed above...[Ok, here's where you have to actually look at Snow's entry to see what she's talking about.].

I'll get the easy part of the way...I took The StoryMaster 's "A Trivial Challenge because I like trivia and I'm already writing this entry as part of a challenge (don't tell me it's unofficial; I'm not hearin' any of that). Give me a minute and I'll tell ya how I did...oh man. Terrible. Five out of ten. I was impressed with the ones I got right though...and I can't say much more about it because if you were to take the quiz now, or tomorrow, or next week, the questions wouldn't be the same. I should just try to take the quiz over and over 'til I can score eight or higher, so I can tell you I'm smart or something. Maybe another time.

But the point of Dare Day is to also relate an experience, and I'm gonna be honest...I'm not sure I've been prodded to do something in a long, long time with the words "I double-dog (or triple-dog) dare you!" This is probably because you don't have to tell me twice usually to do something crazy/outlandish/borderline unsafe, merely for the sake of the entertainment of others. If there are laughs involved and I'm convinced what you're asking me to do is remotely possible, chances are I'll probably do it. Now, I'm not stupid; if I know something is absolutely outrageous enough to the point that death is an option, I'll pass. I'll risk safety and legality and sobriety, but death isn't something you should toy with. I'm human, not a daredevil, and there's probably not more than pride or a few bucks on the line, so no, I won't swim in a pool of sharks wearing a dress made of meat. [Fun Fact: The "blood" you see in a package of raw beef you get from the butcher isn't actually the animal's blood...it's a chemical used in the processing of the animal to preserve it for sale. Or so I heard.]

So what have I done? I can't remember if jumping over the bonfire the night I broke my ankle was actually a dare or just an attempt to prove my athleticism at age 37 (which I still had, and should've quit after the first few successful passes). The last time I dropped trou (which is not French for "unfastening your jeans in public and letting them fall past your knees") in a crowded bar was definitely not a dare. And I don't think I ever asked a girl out on a date because someone dared me to. No...wait. I did, once, but that was a bet more than a dare (and I did get her phone number, which won me $50, but we never actually went out on a real date...good enough money to hide my disappointment).

Everything else is kid's stuff...throwing snowballs at cars or rocks at trains, ringing a doorbell and running, swearing at the nuns who're trying to kick you off their lawn when playing football. Things mature responsible functioning adults don't bother with. Why? Because these things generally end badly when you're a grown-up. I've seen people lose jobs and otherwise healthy relationships over choices made to satisfy a dare, which to me isn't worth the risk anymore. The words "it was just a prank" don't absolve the feelings of ill will perpetrated by the actions. Sure, when you don't have much to live for other than the repercussions, it doesn't matter as long as it's a fun story to reminisce over weeks and months later. But even then that gets old when you're known as the guy who "chugs your friends' drinks when they go to the bathroom" or "draws phallic symbols on your passed-out friends". Not that I personally ever was that guy, but maybe you should take your drink with you next time we're out actin' like fools chillin' over a few at the bar.

BCF PROMPT: "'There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.' ― Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Write an untold story that you think needs telling."

I know it's Sunday and there's no Sunday activity going on in the "Blogging Circle of Friends , but too bad. I'm blogging, and there was a prompt yesterday, and today I feel like talking about it. I used my "rest day" up yesterday. You'll have that.

It's hard to come up with a story of my life that's been untold for a long time. My blogging history is littered with at least a hundred of them in the 700+ entries I've created over the years...enough to write a suitable biography if one really wanted to comb through all of the pieces and craft a narrative out of them. Even now, I struggle to try and think up something I've never touched on before, but I also don't remember all of what I've put down over the years and seldom do I reread my posts after they've gone up and I've done the last-minute edits on them. I see some prompts and think, "Damn...I'm gonna hafta tell that story again" and figure out how to make it interesting enough without bullshitting so that you can say, "Hey! I remember that!" without rolling your eyes like you've heard it a million times already and can't possibly bear to hear it once more. That's more the struggle I face these days than anything else when I'm puttin' these joints out for public perusal.

"Agony" is a strong word too, in this sense. If there was something I was burning to admit that I haven't already, well, I probably already would've spit it out there by now. My secrets? I've done it.

And that's where the dance on the fine line starts. I don't write fiction; everything, even if it's slightly tinged upon, is drawn from experience. I know I've made people uncomfortable at times- you don't put out the volume of work I have and expect it not to find people troubled or upset- but it's that much harder I imagine for people who know me to understand the depths of what I've been through, especially when they only see a side of me that doesn't lend itself to emotions or perspectives other than what they're accustomed to. I'm still trying to make peace with information versus perception and persona. Another aspect is that people only want to hear so much before they've made their judgments, and don't care about the finer details (even when they're more important and can provide a clearer picture of certain situations as a whole)...they know what they see, they process that with their own filters of reality, and everything left over at the end gets shoved into a box they no longer want to deal with. And that's fine. I won't beat anyone's head in with the truth if they don't want to deal with more than first impressions.

So I blog. I deal with life the way it has dealt with me. It's the supplement to the handbook people make when they come across me, and it's there if you want to see it. And if I have to be concerned about what you think, then I probably shouldn't trust you enough to tell you more than what our obligations in front of us need in order to get through another day together. If there is something you need to hear from my voice, you'll hear it in my words; if I wrote something concerning, and I think it matters enough for me to expound on it more in person, we will...until (if) the biased nature comes out. If something in my past offends you, and my initial reaction/discussion about it doesn't satisfy your curiosity enough, then I'm comfortable with where the situation isn't heading. You'll think what you think and if my explanation isn't good enough, we'll move on amicably. But talk shit about me without the facts, and we'll swiftly see a resolution to your quote-unquote problem. I have better things to worry about, even if I have nothing to worry about, than how we'll play out. My concern has moved on.

Sorry for getting way off the course (even if the *Stop* is up over at the BCF). I'm more focused on rebuilding life and having more opportunities to share new experiences. I know the past is in the past and that's where it belongs...dwelling on it now only brings up the group of negative feelings associated with anything that didn't fit in my recollection of the previous points in my life I may have passed over. That's for me and my therapist to work through...he's gotta make a buck somehow, right?


If there's one thing I'm sick of talking about (and even thinking about) it's past relationships. I don't do it much anymore because even I get sick of myself rehashing details and the past. Some girls, even friends, you can't say certain (or simple) things to without them getting all upset about or flustered about them, even with the simplest of intentions...and that's given with the understanding that they pretty much initiated the train of dialogue. It's maddening. But just because I think I've said all I ever needed to say, doesn't mean that I'm immune to the occasional pining for an ex (whether I come out and say it or not). And in the instance I'm thinking about, I had an exchange recently with a friend (yeah, there's a history there) where she said something, I echoed the sentiment, and she sorta flipped her wig on me about it, so I backed off because I don't need that trouble in my life. And the ironic thing is that I was thinking about someone else longingly and lovingly while having the conversation, so maybe I subconsciously tainted the proceedings. Either way, it doesn't matter. If someone loves you, and you love them back, I believe you say so (whether it's "mutual friend" love or otherwise). But that's absolutely not the point I'm not trying to make, because I really don't have a point.

The only first musical example I have that was inspired by Maya Angelou (which on one level is sad, because I know she inspired so freaking many people) is a bitter diatribe about how a woman can wrong a man and yet he doesn't say anything until he unleashes something so violent and encompassing about his feelings, and then he's perceived as a misogynistic psychopath without feelings, but you don't know the back story or what led him to be so full of anger and disrespect. We always feel for the victims, but nobody cares about why the offenders made that move. And I'm not advocating violence at all, in any respect. I feel like men make mistakes, learn and suffer through the systemic patterns of dating, make changes, and meet another woman who changes the rules of the game to make the past failures obsolete enough to open up a new set of things men are now predestined to fail at when failure is all they know up to that point. They're hit with something else during the relationship- something they maybe haven't dealt with before, and while the pain of the last set of mistakes is still fresh- and either the men become more damaged from learning to internalize everything, or the whole thing just falls apart because they're too worried about not making the same mistakes that the new mistakes become more pronounced, and then panic sets it. I don't know. I'm not a relationship expert (thought I probably should be at this point)...and that whole last few sentences will probably need some edits once I get away from writing this and start reading it for those purposes. I don't think this is what Maya Angelou had in mind when she wrote it, but she inspired someone to do this, and in part made others aware of her work. May she rest in peace.

Clearly this was not her intentions, this bird
nor Ms. Angelou's.
And just because I promote this song here that shouldn't make me anything.


*Flower2* I nearly dropped RZA's Unspoken Word   on this entry because because the poetics   nearly fit my narrative on a whole, but I couldn't keep Atmosphere out of this entry either. What a life when you can't decide what hip hop songs you're gonna include on your entry about untold stories, dares and (unintentionally) what I bring to the table and why. *Rolleyes*

*Ribbonb* I'm up next tomorrow in the "Follow The Leader" version of the unofficial 30DBC...and I don't know what I'm gonna do about it. As if I didn't already have a hard time comin' up with prompts for you cats to ball out on, I sure as hell know that even if I do come up with somethin' between now and later I'm not writing another entry today. And I've got stuff to do in the am Monday as soon as I wake up, so my entry might not be up 'til at least noon tomorrow. I nearly wrote an entry without Snow dropping hers because I didn't wanna wait and I was ready to get down to mine, whatever the topic was that ANN Counselor, Lesbian & Happy posted (it's "Invalid Entry, and yes, I'll be reading that soon after I'm satisfied with this thing I'm trying to write). I'm kinda relieved that I didn't have to follow Ann's, because she's straight-up killin' her words and convictions (and I enjoy her for that entirely...as you should be too).

*Twitter* I won't go as far as giving you my phone number, but if you're so inclined you can follow me on Twitter at @fivesixer if that's your thing. I don't use it a lot but I do sometimes post blog entries there as well, which I'll probably do today (and hey The StoryMaster , since I tagged you earlier in this post maybe you can tell us again for the people who read this page why the Tweet option at the bottom of entries was removed? Via ShareThis. I think that's what it was called, and it was great for me...I've been less inclined to use it now that it's under the "SHARE" icon menu). I don't mean to bother you- we've been through enough together- but that was super convenient when I could edit an entry and then Tweet it out immediately from the icon below the words. Now I've actually gotta try (ok, maybe I'm being a baby about it) to use the Tweet feature. I promise I won't get all campaigny on you about it. Just sayin' I miss it and maybe people would use that feature like I did.

*Facebook* And hey newbies to this little internet nook you maybe haven't seen before...like A Song A Day   on Facebook if you want to see interesting songs or links to stories or pictures you might not be familiar with. Yes, it's a shameless plug for music I like, but you might be surprised by your next favorite artist.

Well, put it in the books. Day one of the unofficial 30DBC is complete by my standards and it's on to better things I could be wasting my Sunday away with. Let's see...I've already done some shopping, been infuriated by Candy Crush, and informed your masses of my reasonings. I'll call that a good day and stare out the window a little. Peace, my beautiful bird has gone away, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

"You deleted expletive."
"All females make like that." "No? That's a pass."
Thank you, Alex. *Rolleyes*
May 29, 2014 at 8:11pm
May 29, 2014 at 8:11pm
30DBC PROMPT: "You are given two days to complete your most important tasks, assignments, or roles before you move to the next sphere of life. What would these tasks be?"

Hello again, friends. We're meeting at the all-important stage of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge- the not so serial portion- so why not now than a better time to pretend like I care about stuff? *Smirk*

Here's where I say to our man 30DBC Creator/Founder , "Don't front...these prompts are serial-related no matter how much you spin them". It's all good though. It's not like I have to bare my soul these last few days of May in hopes that I might swing the "30-Day Blogging Challenge in my favor. As much as I'd love to spit game about not being a competitor, yes...yes I am. And I want to be better at this blogging thing than you. But I promise I won't act all butt-hurt and crazy if that's not the end result.

So about this two-day thing where I'm supposed to accomplish things...yeah, I'm having a hard time with that. I'm in a phase of life where everything that's important is out of my hands for the time being. My obligations have been fulfilled. I don't like the fact that I need to wait on others to figure out my next moves, but nobody said life was meant to be wasted waiting on jerks taken idly, or something along those lines.

If I knew in two days I wouldn't have to worry about physical therapy for my ankle anymore, well hell, sign me up! I'd immediately start plotting my return to the nearest basketball court so I could show off my smooth jumper and my crazy crossover dribble/headfake skills. But don't quote me on that...please don't quote me on that. I'm not 19 anymore, or 25, and neither are you (according to this here blog's stats and demographics).

Everything takes time, from what I've learned, and patience isn't one of my virtues. I'm still waiting on my transcripts to be sent over from my previous attendance at a location of "higher learning" to my new intended place of "higher learning". Again, this is now out of my hands...the wheels have been greased, but two days means nothing and frankly, shit's getting ridiculous regarding that. I have all the freakin' time in the world, until the end of June...and that's when everything goes to hell as far as going back to school is concerned. If everything out of my control goes wrong, I'm eff-you-say-can-you-se'd, with a hard ck at the end. Worrying now is a waste of a good worry though. I suppose in two days I might have other concerns, but it's unlikely. Minor stuff, maybe...but let's be real for every day since I thought writing was fun the time being. Two days aren't shit. Unless you're trying to make ends during the "30-Day Blogging Challenge. Then maybe you need to do some preparing, like, say, maybe in the 28 days before. Just a thought...from a guy...who's done this before...

BCF PROMPT: "Have you ever been in a natural disaster? Tell is about it. If not, tell us about someone else's storm story that fascinates you."

I don't wanna hear shit about tornadoes or hurricanes or anything else. Yeah, that's unfortunate and all, but when you live somewhere that is predestined for snow anytime between September and May, and the storm still shuts your city down, well, STFU and let me bend your listening ear again about the October Storm.

Here's all you need to know about this calamity  .

I know I was on my high horse, dealing with my girlfriend at the time who wasn't receptive to whatever bullshit I was currently spewing. I resorted to sleeping on my couch at 542 (instead of the heated waterbed in my room, where I remember waking up). It was a Thursday night, and I hear throughout the day the weather was gonna get bad, but that's not an excuse for texting a different ex during a Sabres game and then passing out on your couch but waking up in your bed the next day when it's payday.

Girlfriend hates your ex, because, well, that's life. There was a significant amount of booze passed around between us all.

So I wake up in my bed hoping to collect my paycheck, unsure of what the damage from the storm was to my big little hole in the world at 542. It was a heavy, wet snowfall that caused havoc all over. My power was out, as it was in many other places. I didn't realize the full effect of the storm until I tried to drive to work and my car got stuck twice within blocks of my house.

When I finally made it to my store, it was like no one had been there at all...no plows, no people; just a foot of snow not worth trying to drive through. The entrances to the lot were full of wet, packed-in snow from the plows that came by to take care of the streets anyway, so I just kept goin' until I hit a parking lot I could actually access. My boss was on a two-week Hawaiian vacation and technically it was my day off, but being the assistant manager of an Eckerd pharmacy I felt obligated to check up on the woman in charge that day. She was snowed in her townhouse complex without electricity, so it looked like the store wasn't opening that day.

Saturday the roads cleared enough to get to the store, even though power hadn't been restored. I let myself in to grab my paycheck, and did what any other red, white and blue-blooded Buffalonian would've done...I grabbed batteries and a battery-powered phone charger, and a couple 30-packs of beer, and stuck 'em in my trunk. At this point, who would've known how long we'd be without power? And no power meant no registers or security cameras. Even the backup batteries in the alarm and emergency lights were dying. And nobody would miss those beers but me once they hit my belly.

The biggest problem was the freezers. Since the electricity was out, that stuff was gonna go bad. I had to inventory it (I had help from another keyholder and a pharmacy tech), clear out a path to the dumpsters, and get rid of it. In all, we lost over $3,000 in frozen food alone (at cost, not retail). We got that done and I headed home, where by Saturday afternoon I at least had power...many parts of WNY went as long as a week without. I checked up on the local store in my neighborhood, which was being run by an assistant manager at the time with a major drug issue. She showed up in decidedly non-work attire (she was a tiny blonde who dressed well below her age...over 40 but living a lifestyle more suited for a college kid, but the suspected meth use hadn't worn on her well). Behind the cash register was a large plastic bin...full of her pet snake. Like four feet long. You don't keep them in The 'Lo unless you're somewhat batshit crazy, as far as I'm concerned. She was more worried it might freeze in her house than she was of the condition of her store. I think she was grateful I showed up, and I probably could've romanced her a little given the circumstances, but she was weird and spacy and not the type of tiny blonde I'd normally go for mentally. Besides, I had a girlfriend and some beers waiting for me at home.

Sunday morning came and went. The streets were passable, but gas station lines were outta control. I hadn't heard from my girlfriend in a few days (so maybe I shoul've nailed the creepy assistant from the other store), so I drove past her house and her car was there and her lights were on (hello red flag! She's ignoring you again!). But she wasn't answering her phone so I let her be. Seems like everyone cares too much about themselves and then throws it back in your face when you don't, in their eyes, show that you've tried to give a shit. This should've been the unraveling of the relationship, but it wasn't...and that's on me from that point on, We should've broken up long before that, actually...between our combined infidelity, her kids, and mismatched behaviors, we were a toxic mess. Good thing I quit that job and was old by law enforcement not to contact her again after her later indiscretions.

Sorry for that ramble. I got off point, but you'll have that. Natural disasters suck, steal beer if you can, and nail dirty broads if you hafta 'cuz who knows what's gonna happen if/once the world is gonna end. As for my boss, well, she came home to a treadmill floating in her basement. Serves her right for trying to have nice things while the rest of us had to deal with broken tree limbs, power outages, and terrible weather.


I always associate this cd with the October Storm, because it was in my car while I was stalking checking up on my girlfriend at the time. It's greater than this piece of...no wait  ...Bloodhound Gang rules 3.14x more than Neil Diamond.


*Sleep* I have to admit I quit writing this entry halfway through it last night because it bored me and I needed some sleepytime. I'm not proud enough to feel great about admitting that, but then again it's not easy to cop to stealing booze from a former employer or wanting to cheat on your girlfriend (on the same forsaken day). If anything learned me to become a stable person, that was a good place to start.

*Baseball* I'm not ashamed of being a Mets fan. Regardless of how bad the team is, I'll still rock them because they're not the Yankees. MLB is better when the "other" NY team is competitive, and baseball knows no better mascots than these two. Plus, blogging helps when you have a natural rival you can talk shit with when there's a game involved. I'm looking at you, Julie D - PUBLISHED! .

This obligatory exchange won't end well for either party.
Is it wrong that I think if they'd fight,
it'd be better than the games played
between the teams?

*Drbag* At least I'm not pregnant...according to the ultrasound I had yesterday on my once-busted leg-piece. All I know of ultrasounds is that they're done on preggers. I don't have that joy, and I also don't know why I had an ultrasound (other than my physical therapist wanting to see "what's going on in there"). I don't know how it went, other than to assume it went ok. She worked me good afterwards...I overdid it during the weekend between standing and more standing and not enough not standing.

*Carb* I did manage to get back to WNY last week. We had a garage sale at my mom's to get rid of some of my grandmother's and uncle's things, and it went very well. Froze our asses off Friday, but had good weather over the weekend. Got to see some old friends along the way and overall it was a good time.

Well, I think that's all I have to say for yesterday/today. I'm now 150 entries in to this blog (I know! *Balloons* *Balloon1*) and recently flew past 9,000 views, which is pretty incredible and I can't thank you people who read this enough. You keep showin' up and I'll keep findin' a way to entertain you...that's how this mutual arrangement works, and I think we've done fairly well with it so far. Peace, heavens no, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

Oh, the things you can find on YouTube.
May 19, 2014 at 10:34pm
May 19, 2014 at 10:34pm
30DBC PROMPT: "We're open to the greatest change when we hit our lowest point."

Hey you! Welcome back to the happiest most comfortable place this side of the internet! Hard to believe it's been three weeks since I last showed up here, but let's not get bogged down with details and minutiae, dig? Circumstances happen, but all is now right in the world for the time being and you're here and I'm here, so let's just do this. *Wink*

I don't know that there's a truer statement than the one our man 30DBC Creator/Founder has proposed for today's installment of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge. When you're on your last legs and grasping for anything to keep you going, you not only find out what you're made of, but you're also more willing to try something- anything- to keep you going. Sure, there's principles and stuff like that that you swear you'll stick by through hell and high water...until you're actually dealing with both; anyone with even a shred of common sense would understand that desperate times should open up your thinking and take you to places you might not normally turn to.

Like a lot of you, I've had my share of ups and downs...if you have a soul they're virtually unavoidable. I could go on a rant about how unfair life is, but that'd be doing a disservice to all the times I've had the shine of good fortune fall upon me.

A year and a half ago I was faced with some tough choices. I lost my job and my girlfriend of three and a half years, was having full-blown anxiety and panic attacks, and had absolutely no idea what to do about them. The future was, for lack of a better term, uncertain. Ever found yourself homeless? Spent a night sleeping in a park or a laundromat? Been there. It's not fun...especially when you wake up and find that you've been robbed of what little possessions you managed to keep. Long story short: I had an opportunity to move across the state I've called home my entire life, so I took it. Even though I've traveled all over the country on vacations, I was a WNYer through and through...it was always home, and as far as I'm concerned it always will be, even when the area didn't seem to want me anymore.

So I ended up in Cortland, just south of Syracuse and about four hours from Buffalo. I could reboot life and establish a new foundation of being. I knew all of one person here, so I wouldn't be lulled into the complacency of knowing people everywhere I went. It was "starting over", like a character in a sitcom getting spun off into a new show. But this ain't Hollywood, and you don't just stop being an asshole once your zip code changes.

I'm not perfect; never claimed to be. I still have indulgences both physically and mentally. I've been challenged, sometimes by myself and in spite of myself. Every day is another in the chapter of a book I've finally started trying to understand. I'm not out of the woods yet, but finally learning how to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia through means other than self-medicating has been a solid step in the right direction. I won't say I'm quite satisfied yet, and I often wonder if I'll ever be...some days are still a struggle to wake up and take pills to function only to pass time before I get to go to sleep again, and the side effects aren't aesthetically pleasing, but I suppose that's the trade-off for exhibiting less self-destructive behavior.

And I haven't yet felt like I'm acclimated to the area...Cortland's a tiny little college town and I've been told on more than one occasion I'll have to get used to country music (which I will steadfastly refuse to do at all costs, for a bounty of reasons...I may always make questionable choices regardless of my tastes and preferences, but I don't see why I should endure something I associate with horrible memories), and I'm more familiar with metropolitan settings and bigger and better and faster and more. Of course, destroying my leg and having to deal with that wasn't part of the plan and it hasn't helped in the grand scheme of integrating with my new community, while presenting its own set of challenges. But you never know quite what you're capable of until you're faced with adversity.

That's the point...sometimes you need to be shaken out of your comfort zone and accept a different reality than what you dreamed of. Everything becomes knowledge and experience, whether you like it or not. Gotta use your resources and make the best of things, even when it sucks. All of this has led me to wonder...at what point will the circumstances in my life become so freaking awful that I'll willingly choose to enjoy country music as if my very existence would become dependent on it?

BCF PROMPT: "Write a story or poem beginning with 'At the old swimming hole...'"

Do I have to? Of course not. I don't have fond recollections of "swimming holes", mainly because publicly-funded community pools were a lot more common where I grew up than the random pond in the middle of hickville. Sure, I could drop a few lines about swimming at Boy Scout summer camp, but looking back, I didn't enjoy that much because the lakes or whatever those bodies of water were known as were absolutely disgusting and I'd prefer not to be reminded of them again. Not because I have any specific memory attached to them, but because they were filthy and probably contaminated with years of hatred and misspent youth and the tears of sadness and grief shed by mermaids who've recently come to understand that they will never be loved for anything more than their bodies and not their personalities.

I'm not even crazy about swimming in someone's own personal, private, disease-free pool. Don't get me wrong; I love summer and being outdoors and having fun, but having to achieve that by going swimming just seems like a hassle that I'm not into. Good on ya if you're one of those status-seekers who has to have the pool everyone wants to crash as soon as the mercury hits 85, and I'll hang out there, but please don't treat the whole thing like it's something I should be grateful for with an undying affection...that's not very comely.

Seriously. I'd rather bathe in a lather of my own sweat for five hours and then take a shower than worry about how many times your bratty kid peed in the pool. Now I'm wondering what I loathe more...swimming or country music?


Since I've allowed my mood to devolve, I believe this to be a fitting interruption.


*Tv* So what have I been doing with my life the last three weeks I've been almost non-existent on WDC? I've been busy filling my addiction to tv shows from the past...my recent viewing has been Good Times  , which I vaguely remember watching syndicated reruns of as a kid. Amazing what you can find on YouTube these days.

*Drbag* I've also been doing the whole physical therapy thing again with my stupid leg, and trust me when I say don't ever break a bone in your body. Twice a week and a daily regimen of exercises isn't the ideal way to go through life.

*Tools2* I need to hop back on my horse and get to judging the first full week of the "30-Day Blogging Challenge...I've started and read some of the entries, but I'm procrastinating and that's not right.

*Car* Another reason I need to get movin' on the whole 30DBC judgin' thing is that Wednesday I'll be heading back to WNY for a few days to visit with my mom and brother...they're having a yard sale that I'll be helping out with. It's my understanding that some of the items for sale will have belonged to my late uncle, so I'm hoping for the best.

*Pencil* Finally, I recently heard that a long-time friend of this space (and several strands of DNA-removed personal twin), Julie D - PUBLISHED! , has been thinking about firing up her old blog. I hope that she does...she's a fantastic writer and an even nicer person. It's no secret (or maybe it shouldn't have been, at least) that I've been looking forward to her returning for quite awhile...she's certainly been missed and if you haven't read her before I know you guys will enjoy what she brings to the table.

Well, that's all I've got for tonight. It's been too long and I've missed you people, but I'm pretty spent and I'm taking the rest of the night off. Peace, I should take care, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

April 28, 2014 at 8:05pm
April 28, 2014 at 8:05pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar

Images for Andre's

Hey folks! Where is everybody? Haven't seen a soul in Andre's for a few days now. Must be this fly northeastern spring weather we've got goin' on, or somethin'. My windows are open, the breeze is subtle, and I even hobbled a few blocks to run take care of some errands (once I realized my napping wasn't happening).

I think that since there won't be a May "30-Day Blogging Challenge, "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar should consider opening up a patio bar. That way we can have our imbibements, enjoy each others' company in the fresh air, and mock hipsters who only tend to come out this time year dressed like it's November. Or not...maybe I'm just oversensitive to the fact that I haven't worn pants in awhile.

BCF PROMPT: "It is Meatless Monday...what is your favorite vegetarian recipe? Does it hold any fond memories for you?"

At the risk of sounding ignorant, where did "Meatless Monday" come from? Never heard of it. Is it a Great Depression thing? Is it comparable to the "Gas Crisis" in the seventies, where the lines to fill up were super long and only certain cars on allocated days were allowed to get gas? I almost feel bad for not having to live life in a forced (or obligated, reader's choice) abstaination of meat, like I should know just that much more about suffering and not having things I want.

That makes me sound like a bad person. I love animals, I really do. I'll forgo the "yeah, for dinner" joke because that seems, ahem, tasteless. *rimshot*

Obviously, I do not have a vegetarian recipe, nor the fond memories that go along with what I assume having one should. Everything I like comes from animals...bacon, beef, eggs, cheese. Substituting them has proven to be less than ideal. Although I did have some ramen noodle soup for lunch, and it was "roast chicken flavored" with tiny little brown nuggets of something that weren't vegetable or mineral, and probably weren't chicken either. Oh, food technology...how you deceive me, and yet I still love you.

I wish I had a horse in this race something to add to this conversation, but I really don't. I've had to accept too many things in this life that I didn't want to, and subbing out meat for something else is just something I'm not ready to do yet. Sorry not sorry.

Because "best friends" should be synonymous with "forever".
I'll bet tofu never understood this kind of relationship.


I thought about going with "Meat Is Murder" by The Smiths, but as much as I love Morrissey we're gonna have to agree to disagree. Besides, this kinda weather puts me in a beats-and-rhymes frame of mind.

Totally NSFW.
Unless you're a white girl with cornrows.


2x: I ain't even mad about losing the first part of this entry to Internet Explorer issues...it's my fault more than anything. Here's the breakdown: I read "Note: For those folks still using MS..." after basically ignoring this article   about it. Then in the middle of originally composing this unsymphonic entry for the internet masses, while determining and fixing the stupid cow/pig picture I was gonna add to it, IE flatlined and revolted against everything I was doing under the premise that "Internet Explorer updated with a new Adobe Flash plug-in" or something that refreshed all my open tabs...which came right after I'd learned that there was a fix in the works  . Of course, after consulting people via Facebook and wondering aloud via the WDC Newsfeed, I'd made my decision to do the Google Chrome thing, but I just had to write a blog entry first that outlines how stupid I am, again so I could take on this change unencumbered and ready to accept it. So fingers crossed, I'll be joining the exodus from IE in the not-so-distant future. (I hope I didn't offend anyone by using a word like "exodus"...even though I have a disclaimer already at the head of this frickin' thing, nobody reads that stuff and everyone wants to express how butt-hurt they are by all the stupid little things they don't like 'cuz it's not like them.)

*Document* If you're not a subscriber to The Blogging Bliss, what are you waiting for? April's issue, "Invalid Item, has hit inboxes as of this morning and I recommend you get on that if you haven't already. And if you have seen it, you'll understand that we're looking to fill an editorial slot with our beloved Emily moving on to pursue, well, without a better way of saying it, life...again, with all due respect from this tiny space on the internet, thanks a ton Em. You will certainly be missed and cannot be merely "replaced". If anyone (or you) has ideas for upcoming Bliss features or wants to be a part of the team, get at Wordsmitty ✍️ or me, or drop a friendly hello in the "Blogging Bliss Newsletter Forum. We're always looking out for talented writers and interesting blogging-related items to pass along, so join in the conversation!

*Shield2* I don't have a vested interest in this, because honestly, everyone else is involved with it and that triggers my anxiety, but if you're a fan of the show or anyone involved in the activity, please do take a minute (or more) to check out "Red Wedding updating . And if you don't, no need to worry; someone else will remind you.

Because I can.

That's about all the time I have for tonight...so much for it being nice out like it was when I started this entry. Time to close that window and see what else the world has in store for me this evening. Peace, sad and funny, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

If it looks that painful to eat/enjoy,
well, then that's where I can draw the line.
April 26, 2014 at 3:47pm
April 26, 2014 at 3:47pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar

** Image ID #1987816 Unavailable **

Good afternoon folks! Looks like a quiet Saturday at Andre's...I hope Lyn took care of the recent bee infestation I've been spreading rumors hearing about. Seems like there hasn't been too many people stopping by since my man came by to try and put the bees in their trap  .

No new prompts either...I get it that I was a few days out already when I posted about Magical Musical Monday on what turned into Whatever Works Wednesday for me, but there's still a few days left in April to make something happen. And since I just found out that there's not gonna be an official "30-Day Blogging Challenge in May, that just leaves the door open for extended hijinks. What say you, Brother Nature ?

Because I have nothing else of interest or importance to add currently, I'll be moving on then...

BCF PROMPT: "Do you have a cellphone? Has it actually made your life easier, or harder? Are you addicted to your cell phone? Studies indicate that adults are more dependent on their cell phones and social media than teens...do you think this is true?"

[Full disclosure: Years ago I worked for a local consumer electronics retail company that had an exclusivity agreement with a major cellular provided, and I ran their flagship locations cellular department. Of course, that was like, 10 years (or more) ago, so what I'll have to say about that probably means little now.]

I have a cell phone...like pretty much anyone who isn't in preschool these days. I was one of the first of my friends to get one, and once I started living on my own it became the most reliable way of keeping in touch with anyone. Why should I pay for landline phone service if I was barely home to begin with, when I had this thing I could carry around with me? I could ditch my pager and its need to make sure I always had quarters on me so I could stop and make a call at the nearest pay phone. Made sense to me.

And like everything else, the cell phone evolved. I remember getting one of the first phones in the area that was capable of ringtones and text messages. I was trying to explain it to DMFM when we were roommates...it was a Sunday afternoon, and one of my co-workers from another location sent me a message offering to meet up for dinner at a restaurant across town. DMFM was there, witnessing my messaging, but couldn't believe it until we actually showed up at the restaurant and there was my co-worker. We don't get many of those "a-haaaaa" moments very often anymore with technology...probably because we now expect it to do things that were impossible a few years prior.

Because I was a phone geek and I held the position I did, I always had the latest, greatest, coolest phone. Until I no longer worked for that company, and really didn't care about a phone being more than something I could communicate with. And once I got a new job, I upgraded my phone because I think that's become a natural tendency...more money, better phone. It happened to be one of the first with mobile internet, which was awesome because nobody else I knew could write a blog entry without having to get out of bed. It was incredible. It was a Windows-based, pre-Android gadget that slid up to expose a keyboard, and that thing was amazing. I even had a picture of a certain gorgeous WDC member who shall remain nameless on my home screen (she was the person I talked to the most, so it was ok), and to this day it was still the best phone I've ever had by far when it came to internet usage...until it fell out of my pocket as I was closing a car door.

Then I switched over to a Blackberry, which was fun...until it was time to upgrade and downsize my bill; luckily I was able to get another Blackberry through a different provider. All the things it could do! Great price on a small, pocket-sized flip phone with unlimited talk, text and data. The thing was a champ. Until I went batshit crazy and lost everything...the perfect girl, the steady if not well-paying job, the life. Hard to say what I miss the most...not the job, because I would've lost it anyway due to the company scaling back management positions; the girl, well, I'll never find someone who cared for me the way she did, and I'm ok with that because I really don't need to be in another relationship; the service I got from my last Blackberry though...impeccable. I still use it to take pictures on occasion, even though I've got a 10MP Sony camera that takes better pics. Maybe I'm just used to the feel and the way it works...I'm not very receptive to change.

My phone now? Worst phone ever. It's one of those free ones (it pisses me off when people call them "Obama Phones"...it was George W. Bush that actually signed whatever law it was allocating the funding for these phones in the first place) with 250 minutes a month. And it sends/receives texts. And that's it. No internet, no pictures, no bullshit. Which sorta makes it worthless, in my opinion. I rarely make calls, I hardly text anyone, the phone itself sits on silent 99% of the time, and it's my alarm clock for the days I need to wake up more than anything else. It gets left at home most of the time I do manage to go anywhere. And there've been instances when I've hoped or wanted it to work when it hasn't, but the company that supplied it doesn't want to hear about that. I ain't mad...I'm just sayin' this product sucks, but then again it's free and I shouldn't expect great things.

It's no joke that adults are so much more reliant on cell phones than teens. It's a generational thing, I'm convinced. People older than me didn't have much and they wanted to make sure their kids could have more. And we got that, and it's cool, but it was more than we bargained for, and could probably care less. Kids these days...they're sick of social networking because it's all they know, and to an extent I'm guessing they're feeling more trapped by having a cell phone "as a necessity" than actually being able to go out and being kids. Personally, I rely on the internet over anything, which is probably comparable to someone like my dad having access to cable TV thirty years ago. He could sit in front of the tube and zone out for hours...at least I can learn something from the internet once in awhile, and do it without the constrictions of a programming guide or time slots. With the internet, I could pretty much live without a cell phone. I'm a pretty bad keep-in-toucher as it is and sitting around while trying to make conversation is one of my least favorite things to do. Could that change? Maybe, but there's no incentive in it for me to do so.


I don't even have a witty intro to this...mere words would just do this video an injustice.

One by one I'll knock ya out.


20: I didn't realize it until today, but one of my favorite albums turned 20 (20!!) yesterday...I must still be of the age where things being around for twenty years are a big deal. Blur's "Parklife" was released on April 25, 1994...I swear, it doesn't feel that old. It didn't occur to me until I was reading this article about Britpop's place in music history  . Oasis may have been the more popular band in America, but Blur (strictly from a music standpoint) was the more interesting of the two.

*Hockey* Strange things tend to happen when I throw my support publicly behind a team in any sport- strange things like losing- but this has to be the weirdest thing I've seen in quite some time. Teams collapse in the playoffs all the time, but St. Louis losing this year after being considered by some as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup would be considered a pretty big upset, and I'm pretty sure this is the first time in the history of ever a team's posted lines like this in consecutive years.

A comparison between 2013 and 2014.
Photo courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/TSN

*Gift3* Congrats to Prosperous Snow (3rd place), Charrr 🌈 (2nd place), and Cobe (1st place) for winning March's "30-Day Blogging Challenge!! Still makes me a little sad that there's not gonna be an official round in May, or that no one as of yet has signed on to take over for the lovely and talented Emily .

I don't think I've got anything else to add...I made the mistake of taking a bit of a break halfway through this entry because I was starving, which led to me overeating, and that led to me taking a nap, and I mention that only because when I woke up roughly 1/8th of what I'd written was rendered useless and dated by the time I came back to this (and the nap kinda killed my momentum). At least I remembered to save what I had written up to the point I decided to eat *Rolleyes*. Peace, so many people, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

April 25, 2014 at 11:32am
April 25, 2014 at 11:32am
30DBC PROMPT: "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar

Images for Andre's
Enjoy responsibly. Or don't.

Whoo hoo! What up? Now the Fivesixer Magical Elixir comes in bottle form and is ready for your consumption! Looks like this party's about to get turnt up, like all the kids you don't know seem to be sayin' these days. *Confused*

It's Friday! Which means kinda little to me right now, but I'm sure it's an exciting day for you 9-5'ers out there with real jobs and actual responsibilities and whatnot. That's cool...bottles will wait for you and if you catch me in the corner of Andre's, I'll be sure to raise my glass and acknowledge your presence.

I think it's about time I have my own smartphone app to go along with my beverage...any developers out there willing to take a stab at it? I don't really have any ideas, and I have no clue how one would go about obtaining such a thing, but how sweet would that be to have a little icon of my ugly grill on the home screen of your Apple or Android or Blackberry that takes you directly to this nugget of internet in sundae form (nuts and whipped cream are extra, but the sauce is complementary)? Would it be worth paying $1.99 for? Or a monthly subscription? What does the market have to say about this? Hopefully I'll know better once I start classes in the fall and learn maybe how to take all of this on myself. Screw the 2-year degree; I wanna take my brand global in ways the "normal" internet can't go. *Smirk*

Meanwhile, Andre's seems stuck on Magical Musical Monday...and I'm not complainin'. There are worse things than a piano takin' up space with a belligerent monkey passed out on it while the jukebox plays on and on.

BCF PROMPT: "Are you a fan of Shakespeare or not?"

Awww man, I don't know. Wasn't it like "National Shakespeare Day" or something earlier this week? And what's not helping me is that I'm reading the prompt in an angry sort of voice, like how parents would yell at little kids who are runnin' in and out of the house all day..."Are you in or out?" like there's no grey area. I know that's not the intention of Mr.CJ Reddick and that's not how he means it, but still it's chuckle-inducing to me.

So here's where I stand...I was one of those kids in high school who kinda liked Shakespeare in part because he tore language up and dropped it on its earhole. I'm completely ok with that, because it makes me think that if you really wanted to figure out what all it means, you would, and if you didn't then it's clearly not for you. The trouble with that is two-fold: it's hard finding enough peers that enjoy Shakespeare at that age to make liking him a legit group that could challenge the haters and those bored completely off by his works; and he's so out-of-date now that even trying to update his works for modern times is a chore...and hardly anyone seems down for either attempting it or partaking in the viewing of it. Plus, I haven't read him since probably my failed attempt at college back in '94 or '95, if that even.

But I respect him. How many famous contemporary authors do you think kids will be studying 500 years from now? Or even 100 years from now? And with that begs the question, "What makes a work of literature a classic?" What will resonate with leaders, educators, and students alike down the road? Has education slipped into a moratorium where we can only learn about certain authors and books, forevermore? How long does a book have to be atop the New York Times' Bestseller List to merit classroom discussion in twenty or fifty years, or decades and centuries from now? Who will be the next Shakespeare, Poe, Dickens, Kerouac, etc.? I've worked in a few bookstores over the years and became acclimated to the scene for quite awhile, and I'm still struggling with who I think might have that opportunity. Dan Brown? Stephen King? Stephenie Meyer? I don't know. Perhaps they're too genre-specific to appeal to a broad classroom audience...then again, wasn't Shakespeare himself? Weren't all his plays originally acted only by men? Did the adaptations truly appeal to an audience beyond devotees?

All worthy questions to ponder. And here's where I admit my bias toward quasi-contemporary literature...I'd rather read Beat Poetry any day over Shakespeare, partly because I don't feel compelled to extoll the virtues of Shakespeare as much and partly because I feel Kerouac and Ginsberg are a shit-ton more relatable than 16th-century culture. That's not meant to take anything away from him; there's a reason his words are still prevalent today as a means of studying the history of literature, its evolution, and his involvement.

I guess, in summation, I'm a fan, but from a distance. I'm inactive in my search for his deeper meanings. I have plates with more on them in front of me, I suppose. But I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't want blogs to be studied years from now the way we were forced given Shakespeare as a means of cultural relevance back when I was a student who didn't know any better, and it'd be an honor to earn consideration among the greats of yesterday and today (but that's probably an entry in itself for another day).


I believe this video is from around the same tour I saw Radiohead on in Toronto, but I'm not positive and I could be wrong (and I don't feel like digging out the t-shirt that lists dates on the back). This song originally appeared on the "Romeo *Cross3* Juliet" soundtrack (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117509/soundtrack?ref_=tt_trv_snd), and also as a b-side to "Street Spirit (Fade Out)". (http://www.greenplastic.com/radiohead-lyrics/b-sides-and-other-non-album-songs/t...)


*Partyhatr* I neglected to mention my recent fast-food experience in my last entry...if anyone's been paying attention to any little subtleties (or otherwise) I've made mention of, I have a thing against McDonalds. But they're just too damn cheap and convenient to not eat there. So while I was hangin' around last Friday while waiting for my brother to make his way to Cortland, I got hungry. Not wanting to cause any out-of-the-way dilemmas, I just suggested McDonalds and kept it simple. I wanted the cheeseburger with two slices of cheese on it; not the Dollar Menu fake-out one slice double burger. But I don't know their actual menu names, so from the passenger seat I said, "The double cheeseburger with two slices of cheese on it." Don't get me started on what kind of society we live in now that "double cheeseburger" doesn't mean "two slices of cheese". Got my drive-thru order and discovered there was not one, but two sandwiches in there. And neither one was particularly what I ordered; one was their stupid little $1 double burger/one slice of cheese, and the other was a plain (no condiments besides their reconstituted onions) cheeseburger with two slices of cheese. I may have also asked for bacon, which one came with, but that's not the point. You can't get what you ask for anymore, and even when it's more that what you wished for, there's a certain feeling that comes along with getting what's right. More doesn't always equal better, in that instance.

*Partyhaty* And speaking of my distaste for functionality at McDonalds (please reference "This one's about 12 staples and no sauce.), it came to my attention yesterday that your boy Ronald McDonald is getting an update on his looks and is taking on a social media presence as well (http://www.aol.com/article/2014/04/23/ronald-mcdonald-takes-to-twitter-gets-make...). While he'll be charged with "bringing the fun back again" or whatever, his wardrobe will still be out-of-date, because McDonalds spokespeople claim it took "two years to get him" in gear. I wasted no time getting at one of the many "official *Check4* verified" McDonalds Twitter accounts, and of course, like the average American voicing his or her concerns to a giant corporation, I was subsequently ignored.

There are unwritten rules.

*Thumbsup* It's not often in this space that I trumpet the words of others, but this is something I can get behind and I hope you'll read it and feel similarly incensed as well. My thoughts are in the comments section of lizco252's entry "Invalid Entry. This is a really important thing...corporations are gonna start taking over your internet, and that's friggin' bullshit (I apologize for the harsh combination of letters). You want that content that you already pay too much for to be delivered to you faster? Guess you'll have to pony up even more dough...meanwhile, everything else internet-related gets shoved into the dial-up lane like it's 1997 all over again. Computers and the internet aren't TV and cable, regardless of what providers think. I shouldn't have to pay more to get some sites to work faster or to ensure their compliancy with my expectations. I can't pay more to expect content shown on cable TV to come up faster or without interruption...why should any article I read on any given website be sacrificed because I'm not paying more for "faster speeds"? There's duplication of payment all over the internet already for access to certain features...and now this is a problem because an already terrible-yet-unregulated service should be sanctioned by the government in ways that make big companies even more money? Unreal. I'm gonna take a deep breath and not let this ruin my day...but the more people we get thinking about it, the better.

And with that, I'm gonna grab a bite to eat and maybe catch a nap (probably not though), since my sleep cycle is still a little shady from surgery and travelling. Peace, come and find me, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

April 23, 2014 at 5:39pm
April 23, 2014 at 5:39pm
30DBC PROMPT: "Talk about your personal relationship with music; this is not about who your favorite artists and songs are, but more about...what types of music affect you in what ways. Also talk about your own musical talents...do you play any instruments? Can you sing? Do you sing anyway? Have fun with it. Then join blainecindy in the forum post titled, 'MAGICAL MUSICAL MONDAY'. Share your blog entry with us and post whatever musically themed materials you think others might like to know about."

** Image ID #1987816 Unavailable **

What's up people? I'm holiday'd out for the time being...I understand the prompt in "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar is for Monday, but I have a good excuse (besides me just doing what I want). I was out of town, chillin' at my mom's in WNY over Easter weekend and didn't really feel like spending the whole time on my laptop. You'll forgive me, because you don't really have any other choice if you're continuing to read this. My blog; my parameters. Glad we understand that. *Wink*

And who's that dashing fellow seated on the far right next to the fine ladies? Good to know my corner spot's being kept warm by my likeness. So all y'all had your Piano Bar Magical Musical Monday at Andre's, which is a day typically suited for a kid like me. Wish I could say I was celebrating it with you, or that I was too busy gettin' my Polish on in Buffalo for Dyngus Day (which you can learn about here if you're inclined: http://www.dyngusday.com/...basically it's the day after Easter every year, and it's sorta like the Polish version of St. Patrick's Day, but with booze and squirt guns and pussy willows and booze), but I was glued to ESPN for most of the day while I was riflin' through my mom's and brother's cd's for stuff I could add to my digital collection, because that's what I do when I'm doin' nothin' in different places.

If you know me and/or have been reading this area of contained internet congestion for any given amount of time, however, you'll know that I love music. There's something to be said when the right combination of instruments, lyrics, and emotions hit you in a way that tantalizes your senses, sparks thoughts, incites masses or otherwise increases the instances of pleasure between your ears and your brain. You can't fake it (though it's often tried), and trying to capture those sentiments within the boundaries of the written (or typed) word is often futile...like trying to cut down a tree with a butter knife.

Music isn't just entertainment- no. It's release, it's motivation, it's a process. It's a conversation not necessarily spoken, but felt. It's engaging. It's life.

I don't play any instruments, but I wish I had learned at least one when I was younger and could take to it more easily the way only children can. Some of us, like blainecindy, have had the chance to take one up later in their adult lives, but I don't have the resources, the discipline, nor the patience to want to expand my guitar or drum wizardry beyond Rockband for Xbox. My real talent (if you can call it that) and preference has always leaned more toward the lyrical side anyways. I'm more than ok with that. I have a much better time putting words down to melodies in my head than I can try to explain what those tunes should sound like outside of my imagination and translated by actual instruments.

I also have a bit of a natural tendency to want to be entertaining in certain situations, once I'm comfortable in whatever the setting is. That's not to say I can sing- let's not confuse effort with actual talent. I'm, ahem, not a good singer, but that won't stop me from shredding eardrums and mic stands on karaoke night. Throw me a few beverages and watch me menace a microphone for the entertainment of strangers. I'm not afraid of strutting, gyrating, flailing, kicking, or looking like an absolute ass. If your boyfriend laughs or your wasted girlfriend understands where it's comin' from, man then I've done my job for the night. I'm just a slightly different vehicle the songs ride in on their way to you. Maybe not the ideal or preferable way of gettin' around, but neither was your first car, I'm guessin'.

BCF PROMPT: "Write about anything that works for you that others might find helpful. It can be anything that you find helpful in your daily life from writing to cleaning or anything in between."

Huh. I'm not good at this, yet I kinda am...I can tell you a million insane little things to make your life easier, but damned if I'll follow my own advice. You could always Google "Life Hacks" and pull up 5.82 billion articles in ~0.045 seconds (depending on your internet provider, of course) full of the same 30-40 tidbits/tricks to simplify your everyday living. However, none of them are anything I'll ever remember when the rubber hits the road and I could be putting them in play...like that stupid little cut-out notch on the side of plastic wrap and aluminum foil packages meant to keep the roll in place, or the "single serve" dimple thingy on the underside of the lid of a box of Tic Tacs. I don't actually remember the last time I purchased Tic Tacs...there's so many better breath mint options out there anyway; poor form on my part there.

I don't know if this counts as a skill or not, but it's helped me on more than one occasion and it might for you too. Manufactured confidence. You have to bullshit yourself into believing you can do something you (and others, if applicable) know you might not be up to. If you can overturn personal objections and convince yourself that you can overcome whatever obstacles are in front of you, and make that pull seem stronger than the alternatives, you can at least attempt to do/be anything you want. Have I done this with success? Yes. Have I failed miserably? Also yes. But in the end I can let experience be my guide should my intentions of not doing something asinine get overridden by my fantastical desires. [Side note: There are reasons why I'm on prescription medications for anxiety and depression, and more reasons why I've been unable to walk properly on two legs for the better part of the last year and a half, so maybe I'm not the best example to follow.]

Tricking yourself isn't easy, and no, I don't have a surefire method of rewiring a thought process. There's a time and a place to trust your gut instincts and give in to them in the name of "playing it safe", and then there are times where the only way you're gonna get anywhere in life include shoving the safe douchebag within you into a pocket while you traipse along the rotten-fruited pastures of America's well-hidden underbelly. Take a chance; live and learn. Like Hunter S. Thompson once said, "Buy the ticket, take the ride." The operative part of what I said two sentences prior is and learn. If you fuck up and you don't learn, all the confidence in the world (fake or otherwise) isn't gonna mean a damn thing to consequences. But I'm veering off the point a bit. Part of life is about knowing yourself, and that comes through risks and bucking conventional wisdom occasionally...even if it means going against what you know deep down is the path of least resistance. Nobody became great by being average. At least not that I know of...if being great's your thing. And who likes regrets? I don't wanna be old and wondering "What would've happened if I'd only had the grapes enough to...". However you've gotta do it, the truth is you've gotta do it, and whatever works for you...more power to ya.


Let's forget for a minute that I've posted this video 10's of times, or have shared this mini-story almost as often. I was no stranger to the karaoke lifestyle in WNY. It's been a source of many good times, as well as some embarrassing moments. But the greatest experience I ever had was singing this on a Friday night in a bar packed full of people who mostly didn't know me...they nodded and clapped along, fists were pumped, and I felt like I was one with the crowd of maybe 25 or 40 or so in attendance. There's nothing better than nailing a moment with music.

Life is Too $hort so love the one ya got
'Cuz you might get run over or you might get shot.


*Hockey* I think I watched most of at least six hockey games over the weekend on an actual TV (as opposed to my laptop). Maybe more. You don't front on playoff hockey...it's real. Need to tie this entry up before the start of what could be a contentious Game 4 between Chicago and St. Louis. At first I was torn between the two teams...the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane is from South Buffalo, and the Blues have ex-Sabres Ryan Miller, Steve Ott and Jordan Leopold. Then I remembered that Kaner was kinda a dick to a Buffalo cab driver after his team won the Stanley Cup (http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Kane-arrested-after-allegedly-a..., http://deadspin.com/5334113/patrick-kane-reminds-you-why-you-should-never-take-a...), and I bought a Blues jersey nearly 15 years ago when Wayne Gretzky was traded there (and it still fits! At least it fits better than my Tragically Hip "World Container" jersey does.), and all the sudden I'm a fan of The Lou again. Hockey plays hell on your emotions when your favorite/local team finishes last in the league sucks and it's the NHL Playoffs the advent of tourney for Lord Stanley's Cup.

*Basketball* I even managed to watch an NBA game this weekend, because I've adopted the Brooklyn Nets as my favorite basketball team (although it's easier to hate the Knicks instead)...but that was more because there wasn't hockey on at the time and I wasn't willing enough to get off the couch for anything else. If there's anything Brooklyn, I side more on the Beastie Boys over Jay Z (one-time part Nets owner) because "Hello Brooklyn" is hands-own better than anything in the Hova catalog (with the exception maybe for "H To The Izzo" or "99 Problems", but you can't tell me otherwise...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM32R91KMDc). My man Rob Ford even had something to say about the Nets-Raptors series, offering to oblige in a music trade (see how this all ties in? *Wink*)...http://www.torontosun.com/2014/04/22/mayor-rob-ford-seals-raptors-nets-cd-bet. The dinosaur on his chest has likely never screamed as much in his/her life as it did once Ford filled out that jacket. Godzilla may never have roared so much as that waistline or the well-intentioned civic pride behind that blow his, ummm, intentions.

*Music2* So I see all these writers on WDC doing their thing with, like, real writing and stuff, and dropping links off to Facebook diversions and whatnot, so it's time again for me to ask you to like this, even if we're not Facebook-official friends: http://www.facebook.com/asongadaycuzIcan. Nearing 50 "likes", and I don't know what comes with 100, but I don't have anything more to entice you with other than it's me blathering on sharing music-related info and other fun stuff.

I don't have much more to add, and I'm kinda hungry, so I'm drawing this in for the day. As always, the benefit was (hopefully) mutual. Peace, it's a hell of a town, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

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