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The catch-all for items related to and/or inspired by the music that shaped me.
Music has played a role in nearly every situation of my life. This is where I'll be collecting items inspired by those moments- poems, lyrics, blog entries- the soundtrack of me.

I may also contribute blog-style entries here from time to time:

Pursue the Horizon  (13+)
30-Day Poetry Blogging Challenge - Begins March 1
#2076114 by Cinn

And this month, I've decided to take part in...
30-Day Blogging Challenge  (13+)
WDC's longest-running blogging competition is back! Can you write 30 blog entries a month?
#1786069 by Fivesixer ☮

Soundtracks of Our Lives  (E)
Sharing the music that makes us original...
#2144947 by Lyn

Best Blog
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January 9, 2018 at 4:40pm
January 9, 2018 at 4:40pm

*Glasses* "Write down a list of observations from scraps of dialogue you overheard, images you encountered, and thoughts that crossed your mind. Shape your observations into a poem, story or simply your blog entry."

What's good, people? I'm afraid I'm taking the easy way out today, and forming my observations into the shape of a blog entry, for simplicity's sake. Which doesn't sound very interesting, but I'll try anyway.

I had an appointment this afternoon with my Mental Health doctor. No biggie; just a checkup regarding a med change from last month. This was the second time I've seen her; my previous doc left this office because he wanted to work closer to home and took a position making more money. Good for him...I got along really well with him, I trusted him, and I felt comfortable talking to him and listening to him.

This lady? She's nice and all. Certainly means well, I think. But she's...a little dippy? Can I say that about someone? I said it so whatever. I can overlook certain things about people given their situations, and she's been overbooked because Cortland County didn't really give a shit about filling the vacant MH doc's position for months on end. And she's more of a Nurse Practitioner, trying to figure out why my previous doctor has prescribed this or that and what for. My medical history is slightly complicated I guess, but I'm fairly open-minded so I'm willing to see things through with her for the time being.

I waited a half-hour past my scheduled appointment time. It's bad enough I get anxiety about waiting around all morning for these things and I usually show up early because I hope that means it's the start of the whole process ending. I'm glad I didn't show up early today. She comes out and meets me in the waiting room, squinting down at a piece of paper going "Robert? Robert, right?" Those of you who know me know that is not my name. I politely corrected her because my only other default setting might have been nervous assassination on the spot. We proceeded to go upstairs to her office, and along the way she began introducing herself and why she was there in a manner that suggests she's never seen me before. No less than twice did I tell her we met last month. Nervousness and annoyance is not a pleasurable cocktail, my friends...but I'm keeping it together because otherwise I'm gonna get shouty and stupid real fast, and I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt.

My main reason for being there? I needed one of my insomnia meds refilled. I placed an order through the online patient portal a couple days ago, and now I'm totally out. Otherwise, I may have just cancelled the appointment because my anxiety has been making me fucking trip lately and I was in no mood to put on a performance for anyone...I was content to just wallow. But let's not worry about me...this is about her. After about ten minutes of jibber-jabber and her asking me if I remembered why she cut my Ritalin dose in half and me fucking panicking out of not remembering right away why, she finally snapped and was like "Ohhhh, now I remember you!" *Confused* *Facepalm*

Why is this an issue? Because I truly believe this fucking woman has no clue how any kind of technology works. She hasn't looked at my chart or file or whatever because I don't think she wants to admit that she can't use a computer. Half of my two appointments with her have consisted of her seriously mock-typing on her keyboard like a Muppet and then muttering how there's "something wrong with the system" and it's not "letting her in", but she "probably saw my request and probably approved it earlier"...which is bullshit because "the system" alerts me when the request I make is sent to prescriber and when prescriber has sent request to pharmacy. And actually, this is a step up from the last visit, when she looked at me like I was asking her to shove the business end of a hammer up her ass upon my mentioning that I use the office's patient portal for medication refills. Don't fucking ask me what that is, lady, when there are signs all over the doors and reception area touting the portal.

To recap: this woman, who isn't even really maybe not quite my mom's age, doesn't remember me and is technologically deficient...and also, I had kinda no reason to be there when I especially didn't wanna be there but kinda needed to go anyway. And thank fuck I did, or else I probably wouldn't have had much to go on regarding observations for this entry. Also, still no confirmation from the clinic or the pharmacy that I'll have one of my insomnia meds refilled by the next time I'll need to take it. Sweet *Rolleyes*.

*PenR* "Talk Tuesday! In Sally 's entry "Jan 8th Writing, her use of the term 'writing kit' had me intrigued. Do you have a physical set of tools you rely on (certain pens/pencils, notebooks, etc.)? Different websites you rely on for particulars? Maybe even mood-setting accouterments like music or candles? What's your scene?"

I ask because I'm curious, and I know that to probably most of us blogging is a side-hustle when we're not writing stories or poems or drawing or taking pictures. And like most athletes have certain brands of gear they prefer or carpenters stick with a specific tool-maker, so do we have our own things we like to keep around when we're doing this thing.

Awhile back some of us participated in a WDC Live  -type of conversation that we forgot to record *Laugh* where we took turns reading a poem that featured plenty of words that have multiple pronunciations (I forget what it was but I'm sure Elle or anyone else who was there remembers and can link it), and it made for some hilarity. And like these things go, we spent some "off air" time bullshittin' around and chatting with each other...at some point I had a mini freak-out on I think Gaby about notebooks and the amount of them I have within arm's reach of my laptop (answer: a sick number *Laugh*). I'm not one to just stare at a computer when I'm ready to start anything (I did that once and ended up with "The Computer Age, which isn't bad but it's not my preferred way of working). I need the physical hard copy first. Let's start with pens, because I'm a nerd.

These are great pens from Staples (they're a big-box office supply store in the US, for the unfamiliar). Nice grip, writes smooth. I'm pissed cuz the Staples in Cortland closed, and I don't remember if the one in Ithaca is still open but at least we pass by it on the way back from my mom's. I'm probably not gonna be pleased if I have to resort to buying them online once I go through my current stash.

Then ya got notebooks...looking around, I see at least four different notebooks and notepads within five feet of where I'm sitting. One's the hard copy of "World By Design- a CVS-brand college-ruled, spiral-bound thing probably 6"x9" with thicker pages that almost feel like writing on a thin sheet of stone, and one's a little "Fat Book" (no seriously, that's what it's called) from CVS- a 5.5"x4", 180-page more conventional notebook for titles and fragments and whatnot to work from. There's a composition book (those elementary school, marble-colored covers) I use mainly for 30DBC stuff and for other contests and things like that. Then I've got a thin little Moleskine pocket notebook for day-to-day things, like grocery lists that never make it to the store *Laugh*.

Haven't gotten a desk yet- not sure how that's gonna fit in the apartment- so for now I've got my laptop on one tray table and notebooks and various crap on another off to the opposite side of me. Works for now, so there's no urgency in finding a better solution.

When I wanna do this blog thing, I open up all the tabs I'll need in the order I plan to use them...almost as if it were an outline. I get it...it sounds weird and maybe some of you just sorta fly by the seat of your pants and answer the prompt with whatever comes up because that's what works for you, but I can't do that because I forget things and need to be organized and that's my preferred way of doing it. And even then, in the course of my own pants-seat flying, I'll think of like six different other things I wanna throw in, and then I've gotta work those in. I've got two YouTube tabs at minimum up, the Genius.com tab for song lyrics, the Daily Box Score stuff no one reads, plus all the WDC stuff I'll need for an entry. I don't fuck around *Smirk*.

Otherwise, nothing fancy over here *Laugh*.

Soundtracks of Our Lives  (E)
Sharing the music that makes us original...
#2144947 by Lyn

*DoorBr* The thing about most of the "WDC Live" appearances I've made is that they took place in the room I was renting around the corner from my apartment building...big enough for a bed and a dresser and me. You could probably fit about three of 'em in my living room now, and my apartment's not all that big either but at least I don't have to eat on my bed (if I don't want to). But I'm struggling to fill up all the open spaces I suddenly have. I don't wanna have things just to have them, and I don't know how long I'm gonna be here, so I don't wanna have too many things in case I wind up moving again after my lease is up.

Sorta the same with ideas and options. Don't wanna have too many, because "no limit" is often limiting at times. I find it not always easy to concentrate when I'm not organized and have too many things to work from. Sometimes scaling down the ambition is the best thing you can do...whether you're writing a novel or a poem, choosing what to wear for the day, or going on a bank-robbing spree.

"Fell In Love With A Girl/Little Room"   -The White Stripes

"Well, you're sittin' in your little room, and you're working on something good.
But if it's really good, you're gonna need a bigger room.
And when you're in the bigger room, you might not know what to do.
You might have to think of how you got started sitting in your little room."

*Computer* Anyone else use Windows 10? Apparently I saved an article from last year claiming Windows 10 is gonna force users to buy a new computer   in early 2018. Something about a block on certain processors that won't accept updates. I got this laptop right when Windows 10 was launched; it's entry-level like the article refers to, and came with 8.1 I think? I don't remember; that was like 2.5 years ago. It still updates from time to time, so I guess that's good. Last thing I need right now is having to go out and get something new.

*Quill* Passing this along for the freelancers out there, because I'm a little bit of a big fan of McSweeney's Internet Tendency   (one of my all-time fave books y'all have probably heard me talk about too much is Created In Darkness By Troubled Americans  ): Tips For Getting Published On McSweeney's  .

*Candy1* And finally, oh hey Jack White...heard ya got a new single comin' out tomorrow  . Thanks for making a commercial for it that's basically a commercial of a commercial.

Done here. Done with you guys today. Tired as fuck. Body feels dead, and it's not the usual dead arms; it's everything. You people are wearing me out *Smirk2*. Don't worry; I still love all y'all. Peace, it's really good, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 8, 2018 at 4:51pm
January 8, 2018 at 4:51pm

*Monster4* "Isabel Allende says in her novel, Maya, 'Our demons lose their power when we pull them out of the depths where they hide and look them in the face in broad daylight.' What do you think of those things Allende calls demons? Are there any such demons you can think of that are hiding deep inside you or in someone you know that could inspire a story, novel, or poem? How?"

*People* "Musician David Bowie, born on this day in 1947, once said 'All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience. My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it.' How true (or false) is this about your own writing? What's more important: pleasing yourself, or your audience?"

'Sup you guys? I love it when two prompts can kinda be tied together into one seamless entry. Let's see how coherently I can do this *Laugh*.

I have an admission to make...I like David Bowie just fine and all, but a lot of his songs just don't really resonate with me emotionally. By no means is that a knock on him; he's got an immensely enjoyable and deep catalog...it's just that outside of "I'm Afraid Of Americans"   (which I've probably written about more than a couple times), he doesn't do a lot for me other than basic entertainment. And there's nothing wrong with that, and maybe that wasn't his intent anyway (and maybe I'm just too emotionally needy and demanding *Smirk*). You could probably rattle off the names of dozens of others who offer great entertainment value but little in terms of emotional, gut-punching power. Or maybe I'm overthinking everything (which is a real possibility).

I don't think it's a stretch to say everyone has their demons, even on simple levels and terms. Creative types especially. Bowie had his, I have mine, and you know you've got some (whether you choose to acknowledge them or not). He spent the majority of the 70's skiing Cocaine Mountain like it was his own personal theme park. I've got Severe Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, a difficult-to-tame insomnia streak, and a dramatic off-again/on-again love affair with cheap beer. Maybe yours is chocolating yourself to excess, or your folks left you in a supermarket, forgotten and alone, for an entire afternoon. Demons are part of who we are; the key to taming them is figuring out how to use them to our advantage. That's why we write/sing/paint, or eat 'til we can't feel feelings, or push strangers in front of moving buses. Humans are fun and complex like that.

Putting our demons on display only works if we know what we're after and why we're doing it. Are we asking for help or change that we can't finagle on our own? Are we trying to acknowledge something that plain rational thought can't, in order to shame ourselves back into a correction we're unsure of the way toward? Is "putting them out there" a means letting people know you've got some things you need to work through? There are more reasons for them than demons themselves...no shame in that.

There are probably thousands of think-pieces out there as to why Bowie came up with the Ziggy Stardust persona, and if I've read or seen any interviews he gave on the subject unfortunately anything he imparted hasn't stuck with me. I'm sure he wanted to create something he thought his audience would dig. He sold millions of records, so he did something right whether his audience knew it or were considered as part of the creative process. And much of what I'm trying to work out about myself is hopefully going to be reflected in my current work-in-progress, "World By Design. Maybe I'll get there, maybe I won't. I know who will probably read my stuff, but I don't know the majority of people who will/might...so it's hard to direct your output with a specific demographic or set in mind, when the reality is that it could be much wider than you'll ever fathom. My audience is the same and as different as we all in the "30-Day Bloggers Group are, basically. Trying to please every single one of you with each blog entry or poem would be fucking impossible...all you need to know about that is take a look at some of the prompts I'll send out where half of you love it and the other half of you are confused af by it *Laugh*.

Writing is one way I have to make sense of what's in my head while trying to reconcile it with my life experiences. I need to know that I'll be able to live with and stand by the things I say/said before I can put them in front of people. I've found that only time offers the greatest sense of detachment for me...that's why it's taken me years and sometimes over a decade before I'll feel comfortable adding certain poems or collections to my WDC port. I often have to be emotionally ok that my demons won't terrorize you as much as they have me, while also not reliving that same terror myself years after the fact.

Soundtracks of Our Lives  (E)
Sharing the music that makes us original...
#2144947 by Lyn

"Modern Love"   -David Bowie

"It's not really work. It's just the power to charm.
I'm still standing in the wind, but I never wave bye-bye.
But I try...I try."

*Tv* Like many of you around my age, this is my era of introduction to Bowie...seeing a well-coiffed gentleman making easy-to-dance-to pop songs fit for the early MTV generation. I was eight years old and had no idea the concept of love could be defined as "Modern" (or "Endless" or "Tainted" or "Big" or "Secret" or anything else musicians much older than me sought to color it as). Love was Love...until it wasn't, and you have to go through a lot more livin' to see that when it's not (when it's something more, and when it no longer is), only then do you really know how to talk about it in more specific terms. I don't know what my point is, other than it was around this time I was first warned that love could be terrifying, and useful, and both iterations didn't hafta be mutually exclusive.

*Football* First, thanks to everyone who offered kind words and condolences regarding yesterday. I'm not ready to talk about it yet, beyond it being a great ride that not many of us imagined at the onset of the season...we feared the worst, but making it to the playoffs was huge and I'm not gonna let a loss bring down the pride I have in my team and the fan base I'm a part of. #BillsMafia

*Lock* Funny how once you hear a phrase or learn about something, you're suddenly more aware of how it changes. Like "Modern Love" as a concept (rather than just a song). What it was in the 80's isn't what it was 50 years prior, nor is it the same now. Even the way we change as we get older changes our own perceptions. Like, I'm much more guarded now and keep myself locked up a little tighter than I was in my 20's in a lot of ways (says the man typing into his blog that's available to the general public *Rolleyes*)...so here's nine ways guarded people show you they love you  .

*Countryus* Like I mentioned above, I've probably used the Bowie/Reznor counter-anthem "I'm Afraid Of Americans" in a shit-ton of previous entries, because it's the song of his I relate to the most and has the most emotional resonance with me...here's a great article from last January about its correlation to the Trump presidency  . Wish I could say I was shocked about some of the premises and premonitions (if you can call them such) claimed about White, Middle-Class America and "Jonny", but...I'm *Sad* not.

*Dog1**Cat2* And finally, this love story between a dog and a cat   is maybe all the Modern Love we need in this day and age. I'm not a big "pet person" but dammit, good for these people *Heart*.

Ok...time for a snack-turned-into-a-meal maybe, a shame nap if that's the case, and then I'm off to see what y'all have been up to. Peace, things don't really change, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 6, 2018 at 3:36pm
January 6, 2018 at 3:36pm

*Wand* "Good news! Your blog is being turned into a novel! But the publisher chose this as the cover picture, and it's in your promotional contract so you can't pick another:

Your job today is defending this decision by giving your potential readers the story behind it."

What's up you guys? Ok, lemme get this out of the way...sometimes coming up with prompts is hard even though I've got a cache of them the size of War And Peace. And then, other times I come up with a good prompt and it's not the right time for one reason or another to drop it on the "30-Day Blogging Challenge, so I save it...only to forget about it for awhile. And this one fell into the "forgotten" pile for months...until yesterday, when all I had to do was find an image just weird enough to go along with it *Laugh*. You know a prompt is good when you get an email reply like 30 seconds after you post it that simply says "The fuck???" *Rolling*

And here again is another example of the creative power the members of WDC share with each other...I don't remember where exactly I saw it (or else I'd cite the source), but there was a thread of convo between I believe Cinn and Joey says here we go! Again where I made a usually otherwise disposable remark along the lines of "'The 14th Fuck' would make a great title for a poem!" and left things at that, comfortable enough to see where the day would go, but not planning on actually writing that poem.

That is, of course, until I came across the pic you all see at the top...and then the wheels started turnin' and the black smoke began to billow from the chimney of whatever decayed remains in my mind ignited, enough so that there was gonna be a poem for this picture/prompt. Wanna hear it? Here it goes:

The 14th Fuck

We don't talk enough
about how important
the 14th fuck is.
It's unlucky
to get stuck on
13 for too long, and
we all know
each given fuck
isn't created equal.
There really isn't
a roadmap for it,
but is that necessary?
You're only using
landmarks anyway,
like a Patron Saint
Fucks-Giving Fairy
whose wings you ride
to rid the burdens
of irritation
from your damned soul.

         -"The 14th Fuck, from "World By Design

Also, I've come to the realization that I don't use enough image prompts...so be prepared, if you are or become a regular of the 30DBC. You will likely see this prompt again (maybe not in the same round), but with a different picture. I hate that it's taken me this long to figure out that Image Prompts and Creation Saturday were made for each other *Facepalm*.

Soundtracks of Our Lives  (E)
Sharing the music that makes us original...
#2144947 by Lyn

"Man Of War"   -Radiohead

"When you come home, I’ll bake you a cake...made of all their eyes.
I wish you could see me, dressed for the kill."

*BootL**Bootr* I know I said I would try not to talk about songs I've used before, but fuck it...this is an exception because I've waited like 20 fucking years for this song to come out, and forgot that it did over the summer until last night when I fell down the usual Radiohead YouTube rabbithole I probably find myself in at least once a month or so *Laugh*.

Extended snippets of this song showed up in the 1998 documentary Meeting People Is Easy   and was often credited as "Big Boots". They recorded it for the '97 album OK Computer but were never satisfied with it, so they just sat on it. And every time they put out another album, a reworked version of an old, forgotten song would make it...and I was always hoping for "Big Boots" because lyrically it's ominous and paranoid, while musically it shifts similarly (delightfully ominous to menacing paranoia). And when it came time to ready up a 20-year anniversary edition of OK Computer, the newly-retitled "Man Of War" was one of three previously unreleased songs (the other two I'd already had on compilation cds I'd made back in the Napster days *Wink*) as part of the package...and we also got a video for it, which is an incredible souvenir from the "freaked out, world is burning" paranoid Radiohead era of the late 90's.

*Guitar* Speaking of Radiohead, I am completely here for this definitive worst-to-best ranking of every Radiohead song officially released  ...in case you're looking for me later and can't find me *Laugh*.

*Thinker* Also, I wanna be here for this list of songs about depression  ...but it seems like there are a lot of songs by Twenty One Pilots on that list. Not that I don't like them, because I kinda wanna like them, but I saw them on Saturday Night Live last season and...I think maybe they confuse me, if anything? Like, there's two of them; a drummer and a guy holding a guitar. And during their performance he maybe touched his guitar like five times in each song. I know there's tv studio trickery goin' on and all that, but it's distracting af to me when I guy holds a guitar and doesn't play it for longer than like an intro, or 20 seconds during a song. I don't get it.

*Graph* And finally, since many of us are a little more introverted than others, or care to admit, and the topic of maths came up in I think Char 's comments section the other night about how cool it'd be to have some advanced stats for our blog that could track how many times we say "fuck" in an entry, let's start off with some word problems for introverts  . Don't forget to share your results...preferably on a dry-erase board in your kitchen that only you will ever ever ever see *Smirk*.

Whew...ok guys, I'm done here. About an hour to go before the NFL Playoffs start, which gives me time to not do anything before I sit in front of the tv, doing nothing *Laugh*. Peace, stop all the taps, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 4, 2018 at 6:41pm
January 4, 2018 at 6:41pm

*Snow4* "Hi, how's it going? Let's talk about what's happening in your neck of the woods. Here... well guess you'll just have to find out in my blog entry."

Today is straight trash, homie.

People in charge of things not directly involving words shouldn't also be in charge of naming the things they're good at. Like, meteorologists. Apparently, I live in the area that has been targeted by a "cyclone bomb", which is terrifying enough given that I heard that term around the same time Trump was tweeting about "having a bigger button" and taunting North Korea again, but it turns out it's just a name the National Weather Service gave to a pattern of snow brewing over the northeast this week. And I woke up today to find the bomb has been dropped (and is still dropping). No lie: I'd rather be hit every surrounding building in my neighborhood's fallout from an actual nuclear strike than have to go out into a snowstorm.

But nope...shittiest, snowiest day of the week and I've gotta go places. The bank...ok, that's around the corner. Coulda done that anytime over the past couple days, but nope...Greyhound has to start sending the guilting emails that I haven't booked my trip yet that I've been looking at and they're threatening me with the "you're not gonna have a seat" tone. I was low on smokes, so the little bodega I get 'em from is around the corner from there. Fine. And the therapist is just down the street...so everything's kinda in like a three-block radius. Which is fine, were it not for this "bomb cyclone" or whatever other bullshit they're calling it ("snow genesis" is another term I came across)...why does shit have to be like this? When I was a kid and a young adult all we had were blizzards. This is a fucking blizzard. Not an apocalypse. Not twenty fucking adjectives greater than the sum of their parts combined into three words to make all the old ladies believe this is the worst thing they'll ever see in their lives. They'll truck out to the convenience stores, buy up all the bread and milk and toilet paper, crank their heat up to 85°, and go back to watching Murder, She Wrote for the eighteen-evelenty-hundredth time without a hint of panic...weather reports are their Pavlovian bells. Meanwhile I'm over here like "Does my therapist deliver?" *Think*.

Winter is bullshit. If my biggest fear is slipping in the shower, cracking my head on a grab-bar, and bleeding out while simultaneously drowning, #2 on my list has to be slipping on the sidewalk that maybe was shoveled/maybe it wasn't an hour ago during a snowstorm, smashing my dome on a fire hydrant, and bleeding out while simultaneously asphyxiating on the snow forcefully being blown all up into the nostrils and gasping maw. I hope everyone who's dying to tell me they miss snow gets punched in the face by several thousands of 1,000-lb. snowflakes the size of nickels, and no one stops to help them up cuz it's too windy out to get out of their cars.

*Globe* "'If I ruled the world, I'd __________...' Fill in the blank with some whats and whys."

Ya know what? Call me crazy (it's ok), but I'm down with brainwashing. Only for legit, moral purposes though...I swear, I wouldn't use it to my supreme advantage or anything, like convincing some actress on a tabloid cover who's dying to have a baby that I should father it by initial actions only, or throwing sporting events so I can wager on them and win a metric fuck-ton of money. As fun as having that power would be, the guilty conscience I should be continuously medicated for wouldn't allow for that. Instead, I'd like to offer these, because it's bullet point time!

*Bullet* You wanna stereotype people so they fit/don't fit into your worldview? Let's taser that the fuck outta you.
*Bullet* The term "global warming" never happened; you're gonna learn that man has created technologies out of wasteful resources that are seriously altering and obliterating all the data science has collected on weather patterns in general, and not just "oh, well, it's a little hotter now" or "brrrr, snowing, need some o' that good ol' 'global warmin' stuff'". Nope. GTFOH with that.
*Bullet* Cable companies, satellite providers, and internet services are gonna be forced to compete on a more reasonably affordable level. None of this "one or two options in your area" bullshit, where they're all terrible and also ridiculously expensive. This might actually be job #1.

And that's just the start of things. I probably have mentioned a slew of other ideas here and there in other various "King Me!" types of prompts, but the reality is I just don't want the job, and don't punish me for not taking it by giving it to someone gross above me instead. You can fault an "either/or" system as the problem, but really it's because any other third party never has its shit together enough to make any sustainable difference for the better and ends up splintering to appease their desired masses.

So it is; so it shall be. When the bright light shuts off, I'll snap my fingers and you'll be the bestest version of you you ever imagined, only it'll be the same one everyone wants you to be too in accordance with the common goal of Don't be a dick.

Soundtracks of Our Lives  (E)
Sharing the music that makes us original...
#2144947 by Lyn

"Live And Let Die"   -Paul McCartney and Wings

"You used to say live and let live (you know you did, you know you did, you know you did).
But if this ever changing world in which we're living makes you give in and cry,
say live and let die."

Truth. Call me whatever you want (I don't care at this point); if you can't let people live the lives they want to live, then you gotta go. And chances are, the only ones who'll miss you will be the first ones following you out, if ya know what I'm sayin' *Wink*.

I've loved a lot of people in my life- friends and family alike- for various reasons...but wasn't it the late, great Maya Angelou who one said "When someone shows you who they are, believe them"? And yes, I know full well it goes both ways and I've said/done things to people who loved me unconditionally that made them question it, but in the end everyone does what they think is best for them. That's why people stick with like-minded others over blood relatives, for good and/or nefarious reasons. That's why you can still love people who hate your insomnia, and hate the person who feels like your only friend because he steals your insomnia meds (true story for another time, although I've probably mentioned it once or twice years ago and don't feel like looking those entries up right now).

It's easy to say "live and let live" when you're young and optimistic and the world hasn't ruined you yet. I believe in the good of all people...but I don't let people get close to me often enough anymore to prove to me they're good or bad; usually they do it on their own (either way). I want everyone to be happy and comfortable, and I'll surround myself with those who want to do the same; I'll align myself accordingly, with as little judgement as possible...but when the judgements start taking on lives of their own and keep piling up and pulling me apart by internal organs dragged by horses, I will cut ties. And I don't cut them with scissors. I will bail strong, hard, fast, and with no sentiment or worry that you'll ever creep back in. When I'm gone, you're dead to me.

*Quill* Hey! This is always open, never ending, cool as hell, and needs more entries! It's one of the only contests I enter anymore with any bit of regularity, because I'm paranoid and have a fear of new things *Rolleyes*.

Shadows and Light Poetry Contest  (E)
Do you love the challenge and creativity of free verse poetry? This contest is for you.
#1935693 by Christmas Angels in my Ear

*Up* Speaking of which, I entered "I Have Questions. this time...but I also added "Pocket Annie and "Complications from the current project. Yes, I'm attention-whoring now.

World By Design  (GC)
Poems exploring the theme of whether or not we create our world, through past reflections.
#2141761 by Fivesixer ☮

*Questionp* And finally...OMG today is #NationalTriviaDay   *Shock* *Delight* and my gawd I'm a sucker for any Mental_Floss article   with a header of Lego people in all kindsa regalia just minglin' in peace together with one another, unaware that any single one of them could inflict pain on a gottdamm human being just by being stepped on in the cold, dark night.

Alright you sad clowns   from Char 's kingdom...party over here, fuck you over there!   Amirite? /douchebaggery Anyway, I gotta get outta here so I can go look out the window some more and shake my fist at the sky like it'll mean something. Peace, got to do it well, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 3, 2018 at 5:09pm
January 3, 2018 at 5:09pm

*News* "What do you think are three things we're going to be hearing about a lot more as 2018 rolls on?"

Man...all I'mma say is y'all knew what ya signed up for, or at least should've *Smirk*.

Existence exists and persists in part because we have to navigate the things that make us uncomfortable. Wasn't sure I was gonna bother writing an entry today...I've felt like shit all morning but it is what it is, and the world doesn't stop just because I don't wanna go, and it's the same with news cycles. Not wanting to be oversaturated by overwhelming news cycles doesn't make them go away; it's how we manage our intake that determines how and to what extent we react (if at all). So I dropped in on a couple entries already (since I was tagged in 'em), and it confirmed at least the notion that what I was likely to lend to this discussion wasn't gonna be much different than what anyone else had to say. On the surface, many of us have similar fears and opinions of the world we're facing. The connectivity we have as a world community makes a lot of what we know harder to avoid. But not talking about things doesn't make them go away; in fact, sometimes commiserating with like-minded individuals over similar thoughts often makes them more bearable. You feel less alone, knowing someone's heard your unique voice on the subject.

There are things we're unfortunately not gonna be able to run away from this year. Remember, in the grand scheme social media is still relatively new and entering adolescence, along with how we maneuver in this climate. It's not the same environment our parents grew up in, where there was no other adjective besides genre-defining ones maybe before the word "media". We have more options, and thus more control over them. Not total power; there'll always be some asshole in the street you can't help but overhear, crying about something he or she knows/understands maybe 10% of but wants you to know they're 125% butthurt by it. And while it's practically impossible to know every slant and every detail on any given topic, ya gotta know something in order to know what to let slide and who to sit beside when everything's as terrible as your fears inevitably lead you to believe they are.

Ok, all that said, here's three things we'll be dealing with one way or another, whether we like 'em or not...

1) President Babyhands will not get off his bullshit. No man has ever craved attention or drawn so much attention to himself as this guy has. He's got the ultimate platform and he's not afraid to use it. Because of his position, the media won't not cover him...the problem lies with our expectations of how a President is supposed to act. Elect a carnival-barkin' con artist, get all the decorum of lunchlady gossip. The news reports things they deem newsworthy; their first job isn't to say what's right or wrong but to inform, and your first job is parsing their credibility with your opinion and going from there. Having a place to start from is crucial to understanding this godforsaken year.

Anyway, Trump is who he is at this point, and many of us tried to warn you, but until he seriously murders someone or gets us all to learn to love nuclear winter, we're stuck with him. He'll say some dumb shit, the news will report it, and millions will be generated in ad revenue from clicks on the thinkpieces that sprout up. Lather, rinse, repeat. And he's not going away (until he is), and the only good thing is when he does how much worse can it get? He's eroded civil discourse and public decency to all-time low minimums...me farting in a pastor's microphone would be a step up at this point.

2) Sexual Harassment isn't some new phenomenon. More names will come out, hopefully in more industries too...and yeah, I said "hopefully" because if this shit's gonna keep happening then people need to start being held accountable for it. Fucking words and actions have meanings. These jagoffs get a little power and a little money, and just can't seem to be content with that, and all the sudden it's a problem when someone won't roll over for them like someone else did...nope. And I get it...it's hard in many industries to know of a true and level playing field, but it's gotta start somewhere, and yes, there will always be those who work harder at trying to get around equality rather than putting in the work and accepting that things don't always go their way. The shitty actions of a few will always, unfailingly, ruin things for others...but until you understand what the victims had ruined for them, is it still going to continue to shock you when more names get named? I don't want this to go away because it's systemically ruined way too many lives for much, much longer than anyone's needed.

3) Things will actually start getting better, in general. I mean, they have to, right? Law Of Averages, and all that happy hoo-ha. As we start getting worn down and fatigued by all the bad things we're consistently being shoveled, our natural tendencies to self-correct will shift us in the direction of good news. We'll search out things that make us feel good, or at least better about humanity...and ideally, we'll appreciate them that much more because of all the dark shit we've seen and tried to run from. Curate your time to finding more positive things going on in the world; think of it as the last minute of the local news (before the weather recap) where they struggle to crap out something heartwarming, like animal adoptions or athletes visiting sick kids. Surround yourself with more outlets like that, and give of your time and energy when you can to promoting them.

Like, the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs this year for the first time in 17 seasons. A lot of things needed to happen going into the last game, including an underwhelming Cincinnati Bengals team beating another outside-looking-in team, the Baltimore Ravens. And yet, the Bengals pulled it off! So how did the legendary #BillsMafia   celebrate? They've donated over 170k so far   to Andy Dalton's charity foundation (he's the Bengals' quarterback). That's some shit to feel good about...to make you proud you're a part of humanity.

Soundtracks of Our Lives  (E)
Sharing the music that makes us original...
#2144947 by Lyn

*Lion* Working out more details of eventually a long-term home for us displaced Soundtrackers (we miss you, Beth), but in the meantime Lyn has stepped up for us. And I'm gonna try to talk about songs I haven't talked about before...like this one. It came up on the laptop while I was waiting for an app to load on the tablet, so it's a good place to start. Sure, it's a variation on a common thought in life: "If you're *obsessing about some bad thing*, then *it's happening right now*"...but it's something I think about on at least a semi-regular basis. There's a lot of shit in life I've resisted out of fear and chaos and pain and uncertainty, only to go through with it and do it and find it fine, if not pleasurable even. Fear and anxiety kill you. They kill your dreams, your ambitions, your future. They rob you of decent, normal day-to-days...selling them to the highest bidder on Craigslist so they can turn around and make someone else's life more miserable (and for a higher profit). But when you stay informed, keep yourself plugged in, and start to understand the whys and hows of the outrage segments of the population might have at different things on the news- educating yourself and having some empathy- then you're already one step ahead toward a solution and one moment saved from dying in isolation.

"If You Fear Dying"   -One Day As A Lion

"Why would we ever let a few white Christian fictions
shape our tomorrow following them?
'Cause tomorrow got a gun to its head?"

*People* So, um, welcome to the "30-Day Blogging Challenge, ♥HOOves♥ ...#sorrynotsorry. Sometimes comments sections like the one in "Crystal Bull just happen, ending up miles away from where they started. Part of why the 30DBC is consistently the bestest buncha bloggers on the planet *Heart* *Cow*.

*RibbonG* Also,

I...I don't know what else to say. That's all the entertainment I can share with you for now. I can't top that and trying to will only humiliate me, I think *Laugh*. Peace, have the mic or the heater but you can't hold both, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

January 2, 2018 at 2:47pm
January 2, 2018 at 2:47pm

*Partyhato* "What is/was your favorite part of the New Year celebrations? Fireworks, music, highlights of the past year, getting together with friends?"

What's up you guys? Welcome to 2018! Let's all stop and give thanks for a moment that the year hasn't been ruined yet by something petty and useless *Laugh*. One foot in front of the other.

My NYE was...quiet. I'm pretty sure in fact that I was asleep before midnight, which was amazing because that means I slept through whatever fireworks the town decided to blow off (assuming they did, but it was like single-digit frigid here). I think this is the fifth New Years I've lived in Cortland, and I tend to forget that they do the whole fireworks and ball-drop downtown, even when I lived pretty much on the opposite corner of where they do it.

Also, fireworks suck. Fight me.

Also also, remember how 2016 sucked because of all the cool people who died and America turned into everyone's racist uncle who isn't even trying to hide it anymore? Turned out Cortland saw it coming, because we weren't even two days into the year and the 2016 sign was already broken.

But that's neither here nor there. I wanted to be pretty much left alone, and I got it *Delight*. Besides, most every news show and publication and website rolls out their yearly Best Of lists by like Thanksgiving now anyway, which is for me like the second-best part of another year falling into the abyss. By Christmas I've got "year-end fatigue" and I'm sick of reliving it. Where does the time go in between "This is gonna be a good year!" and "Shit, it's over already, and it was not a good year."?

This all might sound like I'm miserable, but I'm not, I swear. And now I don't know if I'm trying to convince you, or me *Smirk*.

*DragonflyY* "Tell us what annoys you most about yourself."

Man, I don't even know where to begin. This is what I get for coming up with a prompt before I let others convince me that I should be joining them in the "30-Day Blogging Challenge fun. Which, it bears repeating: This has gotta be the best round ever in terms of people who have won or placed in previous rounds. When I saw the signups coming in I was awed...like a family reunion and you're all the cool cousins I don't get to hang out with anymore cuz of my shitty racist uncle, Life, that I was talking about in the previous segment. Ok, niceties aside...moving on...

Yeah, pick all the different annoying things and write them on any wall in my apartment and spin me around, and the first wall I walk into is probably what's up my ass that day. As if walking into walls isn't annoying enough *Rolleyes*. Yesterday it was my terrible relationship with food. The day before, it was my inability to socialize coupled with my hatred of almost everybody. Today, it's the fact that it's not even 2pm yet and I've already given up on the day pretty much, cuz I had things I wanted to do but it was snowing and dreary out and saying "fuck this" was a lot easier when I woke up than actually waiting things out with any degree of optimism.

And the thing is, I don't think any of you are judging me over the shit I get annoyed at myself over; I just can't help it. Like, before I went to my mom's for Christmas, I cleaned out my fridge because I didn't wanna deal with skanky leftovers once I got home...only, I forgot about the lettuce I had in the vegetable drawer and thought of it a few times while I was gone. I've been home since Thursday. And by now that lettuce probably looks like Frosty The Snowman took a dump in that drawer and went merrily on Christmas-ing everywhere else. What am I doing about it? Telling you about it. And I'll probably forget about it the next six times I'm up and poking around in the fridge, only to remind myself about it once I'm safely tucked into my bed for the night. Why? No idea. Not like some of y'all don't have science experiments goin' on in your refrigerators! But I'm outraged, and also outraged at my lack of doing the right thing about it.

Why are we so flawed that we get upset at ourselves about things 99% of the people who love us wouldn't give a fuck about? Maybe we're good people most of the time, except for that one time we didn't realize we weren't, and yet that's all we remember? Now I feel like I'm living in a cycle of perpetual self-annoyance, which is also this annoying thing I do to myself. Thanks a lot, you guys *Rolleyes*. Glad to be back with all y'all. *Heart*

"No One Loves Me & Neither Do I"   -Them Crooked Vultures

"And I said, 'no one loves me, neither do I'.
It makes perfect sense, so I never ask why."

*Bird* Ok, I know it's not true so don't remind me. Maybe it's just a "current mood" type of thing. Also, it's probably a good thing I'm seeing my therapist this week *Laugh*. Nothing makes you question the questioning of your self-diagnosed deficiencies like a trip to the mental health clinic!

*Books3* Current reading: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck   by Mark Manson. Cuz oh, ya know...just sittin' here workin' on myself *Laugh*.

*Mailb* Guys! Go bid on stuff here! All kindsa cool stuff...like, I just moved into an apartment in November (kinda a big deal, that) and my walls are pretty bare, so I'm angling for some artwork this time. But you can get handwritten poems and stories, cards, physical MBs, books...all from WDC friends!
The Snail Mail Auction  (13+)
Do you like snail mail? Always wanted a signed story or poem by a WDC author? Come on in!
#2104680 by Kittiara

*Confettip* And finally, if you're neurotic like me, let's all laugh at our anxiety   like the insane bastards we (probably) aren't.

That's enough outta me for today, you guys. I swear I'm not really that miserable. I just don't know to what degree yet I'm also lying about it *Laugh*. Thanks for playin'! Peace, you're gonna lose control, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

October 24, 2017 at 8:03pm
October 24, 2017 at 8:03pm

*Tv* "As Seen On TV: Write a script for a late-night infomercial — where the product is your blog. How do you market yourself? What qualities do you embody that other 'products' don’t? What are the benefits of reading your blog?"

Ah, you guys! My people! How's everybody's days been? Good I hope. Not that I can do anything about that, but what the hell...I'm here and you're here, so we may as well give it a shot, right?

Because I sorta like most of y'all, I'm not gonna lie...I kinda like me a good, trashy infomercial. Having insomnia and no cable in the pre-internet days meant limited 3am television viewing options, so it made sense for me to get acquainted with the likes of Billy Mays and Vince Offer and the boys. These cartoonish nutjobs, doing their best to be men who've had it doing menial tasks the boring, old fashioned way, took it upon themselves to hawk a contraption meant to add more steps make life even easier, all for a low, low price as long as you CALL NOW!! That's good time- and brain-killing tv watching, y'all...BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!!

And the hook was always that...get a second one of something you don't need for half the price, using money five minutes prior you hadn't intended on parting with! Shipping, of course, pretty much ate up that difference, but who cares? Now you've got two   buttscratchers   for the price of IDGAF. I'll betchya that when Jesus and the GOP invented the tee-vee, they never imagined a day when programming of questionable quality could be combined with products of questionable quality in an effort to divorce you of your hard-earned Lincolns and Jacksons (those wages gained no doubt from employment at the Buttscratcher Factory and after paying your Local 069 Buttscratcher's Union dues).

But here's the thing (there's always a thing): Writing a script? I'm not in the mood for it right now, to be honest. I love this prompt but my head's in a million other places right now. I could totally see myself hawking some silly blog all "Infomercial Guy" style, with one of those cheap hands-free headsets talking to a studio crowd, waving my hands like I'm putting out imaginary fires to my left and right simultaneously, and taking a *wink wink* volunteer out of the studio audience for random hi-jinks...all in between prerecorded testimonial footage about how some old lady read my entries to her comatose husband and they snapped him out of it, or little Susie down the street using it to coax her cat out of a tree (thus giving the firefighters more time to put out those imaginary fires I was just talkin' about), or lordy be could you imagine that Howie the Hobo from the dumpster behind the 7-11 turned his life around once he read all the advice I'm not qualified to give out and started going out with new women each night  ? Good christ, if I actually felt like writing a decent script, I'd say there's half of it right there! One half-hour of an insomniac's wet dream, ladies and gentlemen...that's why I'm a Premium Member of WDC (free shameless plug for the imaginary partner here *Wink*).

What else? Let's see...this product will basically last forever, with no upkeep on the user's end. Like, literally for-eeeevvv-errrrr  . You can't front on that. And as anyone who's familiar with this fat slab of internet bacon can testify, the benefits of this product are multi-fold, which is a fancy way of saying numerous that I'm sure wasn't an expression at all three-point-six-nine nice minutes ago, and is also curious relating to something that is physically impossible to fold once, let alone multi times. Wow, this might be one of the most ridiculous paragraphs in all my too many years of blogging...let's move on and wrap this segment up.

I'm tellin' you guys...there's no shame in wasting some time watchin' infomercials. There's always some cool-ass shit that makes you feel dumb for not thinking of it first so you could be the one makin' stupid money off it, and the three weeks that product actually works after you've bought it are seriously the three best weeks of your life (says the man who has never been married or had kids *Laugh*). What I'm trying to say to you- what I'm really trying to do here- is this: Lower your expectations. You're not watching this garbage to learn something or enrich your social status or somethin' like that; you're watching this because the four other channels out of however many your television provider offers you that you normally watch have something even less interesting on, and you're really hoping your life isn't so bad that you fail to accomplish the simplest of tasks   in a reasonable manner, or don't look so incompetent and flustered when you do.

*HeartBroken* “Hearts are breakable," Isabelle said. "And I think even when you heal, you're never what you were before.” -Cassandra Clare, City of Fallen Angels "How true is this quote? Do you think total healing isn’t possible once your heart is broken?"

Huh...ya know, all this time I just thought we all assumed we knew once we got our heart broken, sure it'd heal and all, but nope nope nope, there's no goin' back to who we were before. You can't unring a bell, or put the toothpaste back in the tube, or any other metaphor for attempting to glue back together a shattered glass after you dropped it on the floor and expect to drink out of it without swallowing some shards and dribbling the cheap Merlot you bought to drown your sorrows all over your clumsy stupid hand.

As a veteran of several broken hearts, I can assure you once and for fucking all that this Cassandra person is 1000% accurate. It's basically that "Butterfly Effect" that you've heard mentioned before, and this is for the people in the back who are looking at each other like "Huh, Butterfly Effect? Whaaaat?!": Basically, if a butterfly lands on an elephant's nose in Africa and it sits there for five seconds instead of eight, the elephant gets angry and chases off the prowling lion. The lion runs into a less-wooded area, where it gets shot by Donald Trump Jr. and his rich scumbag trophy hunter buddies. You hear this on the news in the US, causing you to pause an extra two minutes in front of the tv before heading out to the bar to get shitfaced with your homies, and the news horrifies you and makes your disdain for humanity as a whole that much darker and deeper...and that two minutes spares you of the car that was gonna hit you once you stepped off the curb because of the driver's recklessness. When you arrive at the bar you're sullen and chicks dig sullen guys until they've decided three minutes later your sullen, shitty attitude is no longer attractive, and you end up dying alone just like all the houseplants you've forgotten to water but are too lazy to get rid of.

See? Everything counts, one way or another. You can't undo all the memories you've experienced with a person. You can throw out belongings and burn pictures and scratch over their phone numbers in barroom bathroom stalls, but the imprints etched on your soul are there forever to some (often varying) degree. Like infomercials in the previous segment, they're there and you can't really do much about 'em; it's up to you how much of you you're willing to indulge them with.


"I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand,
walking through the streets of Soho in the rain.
He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook's;
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein.
Aa-hooo! Werewolves of London!

"Werewolves Of London" -Warren Zevon  

*Leafo* "It's up to you to tell the rest of the story; I can't wait to read what happens next."

First, let's refresh ourselves:

Werewolves are shady, in my opinion. Possibly the shadiest of all the stereotypical Halloween-type creatures (and save your Teen Wolf   nostalgia nonsense for someone who isn't grounded in reality *Smirk2*); they'll talk a good game while they're pickin' your pockets, I'll bet. They're probably ridden with STDs and have banged all your friends except the one who really wants to hook up with one, and all your friends have warned you about them but you don't listen because you're stupid and have worked the blatant art of making mistakes into your daily lifestyle to the point where you can no longer function unless you're wondering how it is you constantly fuck everything up like a mayor. So when he (and why are werewolves always a he? Someone needs to research this and/or introduce some lady werewolves into modern-day folklore, because men deserve having their hearts ripped to shreds by them too) offers to meet you at a nice-but-not-too-nice Chinese restaurant, your dumb ass is literally trippin' over your trimmed-up landing strip of pubes to say "Yes, of course, and have all my half-werewolf babies, you sexy-ass sumbitch!"

And that's when it starts. He *finger-quotes* forgot his wallet, so you have to pay for dinner and drinks (and yo, him ordering piña coladas   shoulda been your first red flag, buuuuut...). By then your defenses are down, and you become *that couple* makin' out at the bar at 9:30pm on a Tuesday like silly horned-up teenagers. When it comes time to get out of there because his instincts are kickin' in and your hormones are a 13 on a scale of 1 to 10, he suggests your place because he *again, finger quotes* hasn't had time to properly clean up and didn't expect a lady to be comin' over, and you gummily accept his self-imposed invite like a complete, utter dolt. There's nothing more pathetic than a lovestruck fool who's too blind to the consequences of their actions.

You get back to your crib and you're goin' at it as soon as the door clicks shut behind you. Everything feels soooo...familiar. The scents, the breathy grunts and sighs, the way everything he whisper-says sounds like a sneer, the placement of all the silver bullet scars from the many attempts on his life...but you don't care. Craven you needs the comfort of a familiar touch. And it's been too long.

The next morning you wake up and before you can even open your eyes, the last evening blurs through your mind as you attempt to piece it together from fragments while your head pounds and your breath feels like sand going down your throat and into your lungs. The last remnants of familiarity with this creature expose themselves with each choked-out snore. You attempt to gather yourself mentally as he rolls over, and when his eyes slowly open all you can say is "Good morning, sweetie...would you like some coffee?"

"Sure," he says, "and bring me the newspaper. I need to call and cancel that personal ad I took out for you to meet me at the Chinese place, like in that 'Piña Colada' song...what a dumb song! Catchy though; I can never get it out of my head. And while you're up..."

The toilet flushes and you realize why it is you want him out of your life so much. "And while you're up, you need to clean all your god damn hair out of the drain! Every friggin' day, I swear-" but you're interrupted by a blast and a shattering of glass, followed by a large thud. "They finally got him," you think to yourself, and exhale a little, "and it's about damn time. For all the money I spend on silver bullets and snipers, he shoulda been dead 13 times over already."

But as you walk in on a dying werewolf, you can't keep your heart from sinking into your stomach. For all his faults and flaws (and there are too fucking many to list in this blog entry, which is long enough as it is already), you loved him. You really, really loved that hairy bastard.

And then like the soulless twat you are, you shrug and think, "Eh, it's October...there are plenty of other werewolves out there lookin' for this hot piece of ass!". After smacking yourself on the rear end for effect and reminding yourself you still got it, you decide this weekend will include a "girls night" so you can find his replacement.

*Smartphone* I'm posting this mainly for Lyn because she runs "Love Shouldn't Hurt, which is an amazing group dedicated to giving a voice to victims of all types of abuse...I've read a couple articles already about Rupi Kaur, who's basically an Instagram poet (speaking of which...I've just joined that place recently for no good reason and I don't understand it or me, but if you wanna follow me they call me Fivesixer   over there too), and she's recently published a book   of her meme-poems. Personally, some of them are pretty basic and aren't great, but there's definitely a market for them out there...and as someone who has written about pain and abuse   she has opened up a lot of people to her work by exposing it in non-traditional means first (obviously through social media and stuff). So Lyn (and anyone else reading this), check her out if you haven't already, because you might find her interesting.

*Clapper* And finally, it's funny how earlier in this entry we discussed the As Seen On TV aspect of blog promotion...I was going through my Pocket app looking for cool stuff and I recently saved this Mental Floss article   about the ShamWow guy, Vince (*Laugh* more proof I need to stay off the internet- period- after I've taken my late-night "Get Yo Ass To Sleep" meds). He...is not a good person, actually, but that's another story for another time (or a previous time, as I'm almost 94% sure I've written about him before, but I'm too lazy to look up the entry right now *Laugh*). But M_F can always be counted on for useless tidbits of info like that...that's what I'm really tryin' to say *Wink*.

Wow, soooo...this entry got a little crazy today. #SorryNotSorry y'all...you'll have that, minus a money-back guarantee. But thanks for playin' and be sure to tell all your friends. Hope you enjoyed this as much as I'm wondering if I should've bothered. Peace, I saw Lon Chaney, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

October 19, 2017 at 6:15pm
October 19, 2017 at 6:15pm

*Lightning2* "Bloggers unplugged...sometimes, we all need a break from those little glowing boxes. How do you know it's time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?"

You guys!! It's been so long since I "plugged in", I've forgotten what it feels like to have the want/need to unplug. But I keep telling Kittiara I'll write a blog entry again at some point, and almost did the other day (that's what I get for promising myself things right before going to bed *Rolleyes*...cleaned out my inbox and specifically did not delete a prompt I wanted to use and then...forgot *Blush*). But I figured since this thing people like reading when I actually do write in it was nominated for some sort of important thing ("The Quill Awards: Nomination Form), it's high time I start padding the stats making it worth somebody's- anybody's- worthwhile *Laugh*.

And what better way to start than by discussing how to do the opposite of start? *Laugh*

Any number of reasons can trigger this need to unplug. Time constraints, real-life situations, lack of feeling fulfilled, and every excuse in the book- you name it. They all contribute in some way, and I'm no different. I get all those things, and I get all those things. Sometimes I'll see a prompt I like (y'all know I'm heavily prompt-dependent *Rolleyes*) but don't have the time to write an entry the way I'd prefer to write one...I'm, ummmm, well, I'm not a perfectionist, but I have standards when it comes to this, and if I don't feel like I can live up to them or do the prompt and my response justice, I'll move on with my day/life. That's it in a nutshell  . I sorta accidentally made it my life's purpose when writing to be entertaining; sometimes it comes easily to me and some days it simply does not...when I was blogging more frequently I used to have to work pretty hard to make a prompt work for me, and supplement it with fun, entertaining shit. I've learned that if I can't do that quickly, you and I are both better served by me not bothering.

Real life nonsense...that too can totally interfere with your mojo. It's funny how I seemingly think I have all the time in the world, and it might even look like I do...but I don't. I'm not working and not going to school, so where the fuck does my time go?? I wish I knew. I don't have a good answer for that. I'm a creature of routines, and when blogging slips out of that routine and gets replaced by real life bullshit, sometimes it's hard to get that stuffed back into the mix. Like, my time's about to get cut sort again real soon if things go my way and I end up moving next month (yep, next month, as I just learned today...actually, more like a couple weeks)...might be a few days without internet, plus setting up a new apartment and all that happy hoo-ha. Yay on one hand, nay on the other. For reasons I don't need to get into right now, but necessary. I can blog all the hell I want, but if I can't get online, that's like leaving the Ferrari in the driveway with an empty tank of gas. Or something. I don't have a car, so that's a stupid analogy. But you (hopefully) get where I'm goin' with that. Ugh...terrible word choice, again *Think*.

And burnout...holy fuck is burnout real and alive and passionately hellbent on me not enjoying things I once lived for! Right around the same time I was feeling like writing a blog entry was exhausting me mentally, I won a freakin' Quill Award for it. So let's circle back around to expectations...when people like what you do, naturally they want you to keep doing more of it. But when what you do is wearing you out, you have to fucking treat yo'self to the word "no". You are always going to be your best advocate, and when something is working against you- even if it's your own head- you need to back the fuck away. Hilarious (to me) side anecdote: just as I started typing up the beginnings of this entry, I got an IM from ~ Aqua ~ Turning a New Page about a poem, and I was like "I'm just about to start a blog entry..." and she was like "You're the blog-*somethingsomethingIforgetmaybemaster*, after all..." and in my head I'm like "Ain't wrote a damn blog entry in like five months or so...*Think*"...but that's how a lot of people know me. Boggles my mind! But here's the thing: You have to block out other people's expectations. My mom would ask me, "You're not writing in your blog anymore?" and Kit would subtly try and cajole me from time to time. It's not about what other people want; it's what you're up to, and what you know and feels like is your capability of doing it, when you want to. I have very real days where I just can't, not the way I want to, or the way I've set myself up to doing it. Knowing yourself is a huge concept/concern...there's a state of love and trust   between you and your readers, and between you and your work, and you don't want to violate either. It's not so much a conscious decision where you're like "how do I fill the void"- you'll find a way- but sometimes you just come to a conclusion where you simply cannot be present in the current time/place. In dating terms for all you millennials out there, you just ghost the scene. After all, blogging is an intimate act made public for the masses to pick over at their choosing...and if we're lucky, we know when it's time to walk away before the choice is given to us.

Like anything in life, blogging can be very fluid and temperamental. Words that seemingly flow endlessly one day for something we know nothing about can dry up on our favorite subjects; sometimes it's our choice and sometimes it is not. I know this: It is harder to start back up than it is to stop, and you can put that on my last dollar.

Also, blogging makes me realize how disgustingly filthy my laptop screen is. I'm looking at the ends of words like there's a punctuation typo, but it's literally just fucking dust, and if my backspace key could talk that's probably what it'd tell me *Blush*.

Naturally when I saw "unplug" in this prompt my brain went to the MTV Unplugged series from the 90's...and hardly anyone remembers 10,000 Maniacs, right? They were a group that was big in the late 80's-early 90's College Radio genre, and were from Jamestown, NY (not terribly far from where I grew up, but was too young to enjoy as a "local band"). Some of you might recognize Natalie Merchant (the singer) from her successful post-Maniacs solo career (plus OMG she's adorable *Delight*)...I'd totally forgotten they'd done an Unplugged episode until this past summer when I came across the cd in a Dollar General store by my mom's, and then I was like "Ohhhhhh yeah, they did that" and it's mostly some cover tunes that got the airplay but yeah, they did some decent originals too. And it's the closest anyone from the Buffalo area who isn't annoying (hi, Goo Goo Dolls *Wink*) might get to being on MTV again until they really commit to playing some music. And you might be asking yourself "Norb, what does this have to do with the prompt?", but I can tell you...like I said, sometimes you just have to not unplug, and give 'em what they want.

"Candy Everybody Wants"   -10,000 Maniacs

"Well... Who do you want to blame?"

*Grave* Still getting over the loss yesterday of one of my greatest influences, Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip ("Note: "Let's get fr..."). I'm not gonna go into it all now; it's still too fresh and still a lot to process, even though I've written about him/them plenty of times. I just wanna share that CTV is airing a documentary   about The Hip's last concert tour tomorrow night, and I will be watching with a fresh box of tissues to contain my inevitable, long time runnin'   tears. And I'd saved this link of the Definitive Ranking Of Every Tragically Hip Song   in my Pocket app awhile ago, for no reason other than to peruse at some point, and I can't think of a better time than very, very soon. *Cry*

*Pencil* But now I gotta shout out some friends, and Lorraine is doing awesome things that need your attention. I'm a fan/substitute (poorly *Blush*) judge in the one, and a donor in the other, but you should probably get on board with both because I said so and they're amazing. I'm going to be working on a new poetry concept project in the coming months that I haven't told anyone about yet (not even Kit *Shock*) and I'm sure I'll be using some Daily Poem prompts as a loose guide.

The Daily Poem  (13+)
Think you can write a contest winning poem in 24 hours? Test yourself now!
#2133562 by Lorraine

Hats and Spats  (E)
A raffle where you can buy tickets for items donated by the community!
#2076147 by Lorraine

*Alien* And I love Nixie (she made me admit that once *Laugh*), who has threatened/offered to Nix-ify people if they do not help with this (re: "Note: It's lonely out ...") and while I kinda wanna know what that entails, this "Nix-ifying", please don't let her force the rest of you into finding out in case that winds up being not your thing *Heart*...also, I'll be tickled if you make it even more worth her while and beneficial to the Power Reviewers if you up the bids on my packages *Laugh*.

Starship PR Lost in Space Auction  (E)
Closed. Please fulfill packages. And thanks for the Quill Nom, whoever you are.
#2131996 by Nixie

*Guitar* And finally, before I unplug for a bit (and by that I mean "plug my laptop back into my tv and a power outlet and make me a sandwich" *Laugh*), in this age of social media and everyone able to being exposed to all kinds of new/different/fun things, let's take a moment to be responsible   with our music and our choices. #DefRescucatt

Thank you! And thank you! And you! And...ok, you too I guess *Think*. And you! And also you. Peace, love tastes so sweet, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

June 30, 2017 at 8:58pm
June 30, 2017 at 8:58pm

PROMPT: "If a 25-year-old asked you advice about dating what would your recommend? Date younger, older or the same age? Who should approach who? Has the dating scene really changed that much?"

What's up you guys? Yup, it's Friday, and it's the last day of the month, which means I'm gonna have to find something else to do with my time. You might think I make this blogging thing look easy, but I've got a team of malnourished hamsters in a series of interconnected cages who run in wheels day and night churning out potential topics and tidbits of information...which I promptly shred and use to pad my own personal mattress with to lay upon while I watch them work past exhaustion *Wink*. They're not gonna know what to do with themselves either once the blistering heart from my laptop's fan eases into a cool July breeze.

And what's up with people always wanting advice from me, like I'm some kind of legend or guru? I'm probably the last person anyone should be asking for dating recommendations. The prompt should probably be the other way around, with me asking 25-year-olds advice on how to enter the 21st-century dating world. See, back in my day, we met face-to-face and got sloppy drunk together before hookin' up at my place. Like a real man! Not this "stare at the phone and swipe" bullshit. What a waste of time. Can't have sex with a drunk iPhone! (Unless you have, in which case, please stop reading my blog. Thanks.)

And how should I know who should do the approaching? I'm insecure and awkward, so if I were to approach someone at best I'd come across as a meddling toddler who thinks he's a big shot (and at worst probably be mistaken for someone on a sex offender registry). I'm a bad combo of things...if it can be combined with anything, when it hits me it's an experiment gone awry. Remember that time you wanted to make "big changes" so you frosted and permed your hair? I'm that, but I also made you bald.

What doesn't help is that every relationship I've been in has always been just quirky enough to be different from the average relationship, and yet that's like one thing (among many reasons) that adds to why it's been doomed. The main reason though has always been me, and my paranoia/neurotic tendencies/anxiety/depression/flat-fuck weirdness. I ruin perfectly good, alright, doable things. And sometimes I cannot help it.

But you're not here for my sob stories, and I don't want your pity. I have Kittiara and she's great and I love her to pieces and I'm determined not to ruin that, and also she's like thousands of miles away right now so it's easier to not break what you can't touch. No, you came for advice and as a former 25-year-old, I can only speak from experience. Be young. Have fun. Bang as many chicks or dudes or both as you want. Break some hearts, but don't be afraid to get your heart broken...it's the only way you're really gonna know what you want. And by the time you figure that out, you'll likely have also realized it'll probably never be attainable again, so start the process over. Be young. Have fun...

And dating isn't just swapping cash for food, goods, and services with someone you like in hopes of maybe making out with them later...it's also the trading of ideas and ideals. It's give-and-take. It's the learning process, but it's been thrown into the fire...sometimes you end up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and sometimes you end up with first-degree burns.

The last poem I've written for this year's "30 Day Image Prompt Contest - CLOSED kinda touches a little on the fear and trading of ideas aspects...in a perfect world there are a certain amount of equals between two people, and things we may not totally be on board with but can live with, and stuff we just won't go for. You date to see how many equals you have with as many people as you can until you find what you think is the most, and then you try and try and try and hopefully along the way get married because in both your eyes, that person is your equal-est (fact: that's a made-up word). Or, conversely, you just find someone who you can have amazing sex with, and pray that neither of you wants more amazing-er sex with other people. Wait...I think I was talking about the poem and got off track. You kids out there, don't be afraid to give of yourselves. Everyone you meet is giving you a piece of themselves, and taking a bit of you with them. Sometimes, you're gonna get hurt, and that's alright. Don't be like me and swear that's the end and you'll never date another person, no how no way forever-ever; let it build your resolve to love without fear or shame. Stay who you are; be the person people want to love. My therapist says he thinks* chicks dig that (*he didn't really say that; I'm saying it now for effect, and it's probably not really as funny now as it might've been had I not said that I said it and not my therapist).

Or whatever, date or don't date, I don't care what you kids and your stupid dating apps do. Just stay off my damn lawn  . Enjoy this corny, sing-songy lyrics-y thing and do whatever makes you happy, in whichever way you see fit.


I don't know how long you can insist
that "nobody wants to see me like this"
as if you're some kind of insult on
bachelors in cargo shorts and flip-flops.
You're never gonna unimpress me
or alienate the alien within me.
You don't have to do a thing to see
that the key to being is to let go and be.

Why is it that we always insist
"nobody's ever gonna understand this"
when it's us that never seems to get
we command and much as we comprehend?
The world's proven it's big enough for you,
and I can show you there's room for two.
There's semantics and then there's proof
that when you're a giver, you'll recoup.

Don't look, just give...it'll come back to you.
Don't judge, just trust...there is nothing to lose.
Don't hate, just love...you're so long overdue.
Don't look, just give...it'll come back to you.

And don't listen when the world insists
that nobody cares what you think about this.
You're a bird that's learning how to fly
and even if you fall you won't run out of sky.
One answer doesn't end all the questions
and one failure doesn't cancel future missions.
You're only as good as you're giving.
Share your love kindly and share your life freely.

Don't look, just give...it'll come back to you.
Don't judge, just trust...there is nothing to lose.
Don't hate, just love...you're so long overdue.
Don't look, just give...it'll come back to you.

         "Give from "Also Mutants.

Awwww yeah, my favorite Canadian band, on the eve of *Countryca*Canada Day*Countryca*...last weekend I had the pleasure of enjoying a long-distance date night with Kittiara , and we watched the worldwide rebroadcast of their last (and most likely final, ever) concert from last summer. She was barely familiar with The Tragically Hip; I'd seen them live five times (six, if you include a solo gig from the lead singer). And she sat through the nearly three hour show, and loved it. That's devotion...not me paying hundreds of dollars in cds and merch and concert tix over the years, but her investing that kind of time to spend with me over a band she's hardly ever listened to *Heart*. And this is absolutely an underrated song about dating perhaps, maybe falling in love eventually even.

"Fly"   -The Tragically Hip

"Love is to try, and die trying."

*Bulletgr* *Female* As always, the hamster staff and I here at "Soundtracked Media*Copyright* are always looking for ways to reach a diverse crowd, and use a various set of means to accomplish this. That's why some days men may find my entries more appealing, while other days they cater more to women. There's nothing wrong with that, young and aspiring bloggers...it's ok to try and please as many people as you can. The other day I was talking to Kit and I found a link about vaginas and I shared it with her and we had a good laugh; one of the jokes in that link nearly inspired a line that unfortunately didn't make it into the poem I was working on that day ("Yellow Smog), and now I can't even find that link anymore, dammit...something about a vag that "puffs dust", which I thought was truly hilarious. And now that the secret's fully out that I'm a full-on fucking weirdo, have some memes that people with vaginas will find funnier   than people with penises will.

*Bulletgr* *Teddy* Ok, to prove that I'm not totally unromantic or hate relationships or anything grumpy or mean or whatever derogatory epitaphs were hurled at me yesterday because I don't watch television much, there's a book coming out in which the main characters are involved in an interspecies romance  ...annnnnnnd cue all the folks who questioned if people marrying their dogs   was what was gonna happen once the US legalized gay marriage. I'm all for books and not stupid people.

*Bulletgr* *Mugbr* And finally, allllllllllriiiiiiiiiight you got me, I'm kinda definitely a bit of a romantic, and I've been saving this story in my Pocket app for months just in case I decided to blog again ever, and now I have, and even though it's not Christmas and it's fucking Sahara-hot outside right now I'm sharing it anyway just to prove to you that I love love: this dude sat in a coffee shop and live-tweeted watching a girl tell her coworker she's got feelings for him  . Jerry was the hero we needed at the end of 2016 to carry us into 2017 with hope after a year of heartbreak and despair...may we all one day be so lucky to witness such a beautiful story playing out in front of us, and if not, may we always have Jerry to tell us one.

That's it for me folks...it's been a hell of a ride this month, and I'm glad you came along. Come down and join me in July at the "30-Day Blogging Challenge where I provide some non-picture prompts and you can compete for kickass prizes...all the cool kids hang out there when it's too rainy to go swimming, and you also don't have to wait a half hour after eating to join the debauchery. Peace, I might turn a broom into a tree, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

June 29, 2017 at 8:40pm
June 29, 2017 at 8:40pm

Ugh, you guys...I don't even wanna write this entry today, for realz yo. It's gonna be full of all kindsa craziness that I know nothing about, and I'm not sure how well I'll be able to stand behind everything that goes down in here today. But I hafta start somewhere I guess, so let's get the obvious out of the way with what's now seemingly become over the last couple years my official summertime tantrum/motto/advice tradition-like substance:

Now an even bigger meme in 2017!
Just like the game.

And by "obvious summer advice" I don't mean "bras are not wallets, ladies" *Rolleyes*...you don't like boob sweat and I don't like your boob-sweaty money. Anyway, no...I mean JFC it's "Game of Thrones season already around here?? It's all over the newsfeed...like seeing Christmas stuff in stores before school starts in September. Has everyone finished recovering from the last one yet? I mean, with the percentage of WDC members playing last year hovering around 83.819%, surely someone's still bound to be locked in a food- and sleep-deprived basement somewhere in middle America, reviewing something I last wrote and looked at in 2003. I don't watch the show and kinda don't care, but you can't be on WDC and not know what it is, so the best I can do is help you get caught up   before the game here and the current season on whatever platform it's on begins.

Anyway, here's my annual (ok, every-13th-month) plea: Please do not ask me to join your team or house or franchise or timeshare. Also, I will not sponsor a house, organization, beer league softball team, or recovering beer league softball alcoholic in AA. I will not cheer your house, car, boat, or the New England Patriots. I'm not buying flags or armor or shields or girl scout cookies or your excuses. Don't ask me for advice or clarification on the rules, because I have never once bothered to try and figure them out. Consider me a persona non grata in whatever fictional country your fictional game is happening in. In accordance with previous years, I am responsible to only one person that month- Gaby - and I have a job to do, which is read and judge. Or something.

tl;dr: Don't ask me shit cuz I ain't playin'.

Seriously. It's not cuz I don't like you or have somethin' against you or I'm lookin' out for somebody else. It's just that I legit do not have any interest in it, but I will help out a friend who happens to be running an event. And that means not taking part in it. I may as well be of use somewhere, right?

I will share a helpful tip though...know what GoT has taught me over the years? Make sure your port is in good reviewing order *Laugh*. Now's a good time to get it organized, and set all the things you don't want reviewed or read to "Private" *Laugh*. And stay hydrated. Oh, that's a bit of summer advice *Wink*.

Honestly, I really don't watch that much tv at all; I don't even have cable, and have probably lived half of my adult life without a television, actually. Nowadays, just at night as I'm falling asleep I'll stream some stuff...and it's probably like the same five or six shows over and over *Laugh*. Seems like whenever Game Of Thrones or The Walking Dead is on, that's all people know and wanna talk about. I'm over here like "I cured cancer and won a water polo championship and translated all of Trump's tweets into a polite words your grandma can read and understand with no disgust!", and all y'all are like "OMG dude Negan and Daenerys, bruh!! They were totally making out on top of that unicorn thing last night! Until they got shot and set on fire and winter and RAAAAAAAGE BOOOOOOOOONER!!" and that's when I walk away because I hate you all.

Which, dude, I don't even know what compelled me to get into trying to write some kind of zombie poem today, speaking of TWD. And it's not even just a zombie poem; it's like a zombie hook-up poem. Because once I start digging a hole, I seriously do not know when to stop. The neat thing is that once I had a kinda cool title, I started riffin' on it...and what came out was totally, absolutely unrelated to the picture prompt I wanted to use, or the other picture, or the title, so I changed the title and it became "Fine, which you should totally read cuz it's kinda alright and I'd totally enter it in today's "30 Day Image Prompt Contest - CLOSED over basically the zombie Tinder I invented a little bit later on. I know probably even less about zombies than I do GoT, other than my baseless opinion that zombies are probably the dumbest, clumsiest characters out of all the villainous horror creatures, including bats. And all I know about GoT is whatever I learned from some of these memes  , until I got bored and didn't feel like scrolling anymore.

New Sleeps

I'm not here
for my looks          or your brains.
I'd rather be alone, but since
you're in my way          I guess
I'll have to figure out
a place where you can
stay and sleep          with me.
And you don't have to tell
but if anyone asks, say
"He's not the undead; he's just
making room          for the
new arrivals and he
needs a hand." I can
almost live with that          and you.
But if I find
you're taking up too much room,
it'll be you          moving the stones
and          breaking in the new sleeps.
I might not be able to
undo the undead, but          I can
get you almost all the way          there.

         "New Sleeps from "Also Mutants.

Again, finding a song was kinda a pain in the ass for some reason! Had a few options that just weren't good enough (not that I actually have standards, but still...) and then I looked up this song and found a really cool cover of it instead, which includes the lead singer of Deftones so that's a win for me. And I also love that the song itself is basically from the perspective of an infant rather than that of a zombie (in fact, this song has nothing to do with zombies). What it is, it's a good excuse to put Faith No More in a blog entry though, is what it is! *Laugh*

"Zombie Eaters"   -Ill Niño w/Chino Moreno

"I begin to see through your eyes...
all the former mysteries are no surprise."

Image #2014498 over display limit. -?-

*Bulletgr* *No* Not gonna lie; having social anxiety can almost turn you into a zombie, especially on occasions where you kinda hafta interact with people and they catch you off guard no matter how well you think you're prepared and have convinced yourself that it's gonna all be smooth encounters...fuck that, they almost never are. And honestly, I've done or felt a lot of these things   before; some even as recently as this week. That's just life, for me and for a lot of others. It doesn't mean we don't wanna be invited to your party or spoken to like a normal human being...we just, uhhh, we're running continual software updates while trying to simultaneously open and close eight tabs on two laptops, and can't figure out which one of them is playing audio *Laugh*.

*Bulletgr* *Cat2* As you may be aware, I'm not really much of a cat person...so maybe I'm gonna need Kittiara 's input on this. I'm not sure what's more terrifying...zombies, or zombie cats  . I'm going with zombie cats, for the record.

*Bulletgr* *Grave* And finally, I'm convinced (also baselessly, like my other zombie opinions) that zombies are the risen victims of serial killers, coming back to Earth to finish the job of their master/demon/murderer-person-thingy. Seems plausible, right? And ok, not that I would, like, actually advocate violence, but if you're doing any of these things then here's how I know you're a serial killer  ...and if you're doing #5 or #8 especially, maybe you need to be taken out by a serial killer. Jus' sayin', y'all.

Alright...hey! Whaddya know? One day left in June and the "30 Day Image Prompt Contest - CLOSED, and I've got in fifteen entries to qualify for this month's running of "The Bard's Hall Contest, with a day to spare! Not bad for probably having all of fifteen entries total in the year previous *Blush*...but you'll have that. Guess I should take a look and see what else is goin' on around here...peace, wipe my butt, and GOODNIGHT NOW!!

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