The times, they are a-changing…so let’s get some updates out of the way.

Website: I’ve been sprucing the old place up a little bit. The mold has been cleared and some new curtains have been hung. I ripped out the carpet and replaced it with bamboo flooring. I even remodeled an entire room. (But the smell of Fritos and toenail clippings is still hanging in the air.) Also, the Thing that was Living in the Fridge wanted me to tell you that he’s learned to speak English and he’s hoping you all are doing well. (Then he went outside and ate another stray cat or two).

To share something completely honest, I’m not the most tech-savvy of the bunch. I’m not sure if those of you who “subscribe” to this blog get updated whenever I change anything on a page…but if you do get updated, then please forgive me for changing things and then making you think this site has been more productive that it has been, then you get hit with a post that also updates you on things you’ve already been updated on.

If you don’t get updated then shut up and listen because it’s about to go down.

I’ve deleted the page that was called “Comics”. It featured a bunch of little doodles in the form of comic strips that I thought were funny at 3 in the morning about two years ago. They were bad. Like…really bad. Not even cute bad. So bad that I when I looked at them for the first time in over a year, I started to question what I was thinking. And I mean really question my mental health. I looked at these things and I reacted like they were photos of experimental surgeries during World War II. I think I’m going to get subpoenaed to testify in some war crimes court at The Hague.

Sooo…I killed them. They’re dead and will never bother us again.

Until now…

From this page’s ashes has risen another creative outlet. It’s called “Art”.

:::puts on beret and dark sunglasses:::

That’s right guys…I’m artsy…

I’ve been dabbling in watercolor for the past year. I’m not very good. I am not well educated in the media nor the idea of what makes art…art, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. I feel like I’ll share with you some of the stuff I’ve painted in the past and anything else I might paint in the future as long as I don’t think I’ll get too ridiculed by myself in two years when I look back on the content of this page. (On a side note, I’m not sure if Double Jeopardy is a thing in International Court.)

Here will be the first piece I share with you. It’s called Robot on a Building.

It's art, man

Robot on a Building

I know all of you have questions, so allow me to knock a few of those out of the way for you.

Q & A Time!!! (Where I ask the questions and I give the answers)

Why is that the name of the painting? Because it’s a robot, and he’s sitting on a building. If you think of something better, let me know, I’ll change it for you.

What’s the idea behind it? I thought about drawing a robot sitting on a building looking like he was bored from destroying the city. Then I got the bright idea of put the itsy-bitsy little girl with a balloon at the bottom looking up at the robot. Now it just looks like that robot is really bored with this little girl. Like, maybe the whole world has hidden and only this simple little girl with a freaking balloon and bad parents went out to reason with this robot. He is not entertained and is probably thinking about using his giant antenna to catch the last half of the ball game he’s been missing doing all this busy robot work.

Is the city supposed to look like it’s on fire? No. I was trying to make it look like a sunset was happening in the background…but if you want to seen it as a burning city behind him, go for it. Heck, it even makes it look like it was planned when you think about it. But no…I’m not that smart.

Why are the buildings crooked? Because I  can’t draw straight lines.

Why is their some sort of dial on his chest? Are we supposed to suspect that he can somehow look down on his own chest and tell what the reading is? Come on guys…calm down…it’s just a drawing. It looked really robot-y in my head and made sense when I drew it.

How long did it take you to make this? I think it was close to 3 hours. like…maybe 1 and a half to draw with a pencil, erase everything at least 3 times, and redraw it at least 3 times. Another 30 to go over everything with a pen and not make straight lines with the buildings on the side. And the last 30 to paint and all that jazz.

When are you going to get better? Shut up…

END OF Q&A!!!

So on the art page you’ll find this painting as well as two others. I know…I’m forcing you to visit the page in order to see what they are. I know, how could you be so lucky? Right? Because as moderator of this blog, I’m a tyrant, but a benevolent one.

Reading: I’ve been reading a lot lately and it feels wonderful. I’m about halfway through the book Wizard and Glass. I’ve been really thinking a lot about the book, so expect my next post (Wednesday) to feature a very long-winded synopsis and analysis on how I think it applies to my life (and maybe your life despite you not reading it).

Writing: Friday’s post will be a short story. It may or may not be called The Thing that Lived in my Fridge: A Love Story. Prepare yourself.

Now, it’s Monday morning, so you’re probably groggy and tired still. Maybe you’re perusing this site while sipping on your second cup of coffee. You might be reading this during your lunch break. Thank you for wasting your time with me. (I’m still on vacation, so I’m going to taunt you while I can).

But remember: People aren’t paying you to lollygag. Get back to work.

BAWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahaaaaaa,

D.A.

 

 

Irish Breakfast Tea with an preposterous amount of sugar in it.

That’s what’s hitting the spot right now.

Yesterday was a pretty good summer day. I went to work (seriously) and got some planning and such done. Then I met up with some friends and bought some acetone. (Nothing suspicious, I promise). Then I played about 3 hours of disc golf with the local club. I shot poorly and was attacked by gnats from the onset but it was still nice.

While driving home I saw the sun cast off light at those low angles that seem to land on your heart and not your skin. It was late in the day when the air decides that it can’t keep holding the heat inside and the temperature finally starts to drop. (Below 1 whole “Frick” unit). When the searing humidity drops you can smell the fresh cut grass and the magnolias in bloom. The sea breeze kicks up a little from the east and it carries the sounds of mockingbirds to your weary ears.

You know that feeling.

It’s got me in quite the introspective mood.

Oh, and that earth-shattering conversation I had with a friend a few days ago.

One of my closest friends called me only an hour or so after hanging out with me and began chewing me out for being a jerk the whole night toward him. Apparently my words (and they were few) were only filled with contempt and disdain toward him. He also pointed out to me that I had done this all night, not just to him, but in front of many of our other friends. He felt embarrassed, ashamed, and confused. When he called me I could feel the anger boiling through the phone.

So, what happened between us? Did he do something towards me and I felt I had to retaliate in some childish way? Nope. Did I make a decision to oust him as one of my closest people in my life because of a certain level of jealousy between us? No. Did I feel like ruining his life because of a weird and twisted love triangle? Not that either.

You want to know what lead him to telling me he was mere moments from never speaking to me again?

My sense of humor.

I know text doesn’t translate well into actual speech. I know personality doesn’t translate well either. You might assign a voice in your mind to my words. Maybe you imagine I sound like a cartoon character. A good humored and friendly voice that has a twinge of youth. You can tell I have a joke oriented presentation with an emphasis on self deprecation. Heck, with what you hear in your head, you might want to have a beer with me. And in certain groups, this tends to be true. (Except that beer tastes like fire urine)

But when I’m with people I’m close with, I take a more cynical and darker edge. I make some pretty dark jokes that can really catch the unsuspecting off guard. I’m also an expert at delivering everything with a straight face and a level of dryness that would make the Sahara look like a wading pool. It comes off, more times than not, as a cynical douchebag acting like…a cynical douchebag.

I was making fun of my friend (which only included a few dozen carefully chosen words) and it broke him down into a raving mad man. And I didn’t even say anything that would be considered offensive or outright unbecoming in terms of content. It’s how I said it.

The biggest problem here is that I didn’t see the effects my words were having. I had no idea. My best friend, whom asked me to be with him in his wedding, to help him grow as a human being, and to keep him level when things were shaky, was at wit’s end with me. I had spent countless hours with this guy, and I couldn’t even tell I was irking him. I couldn’t even tell he was upset when he left. I even thought he was joking when he called me and started destroying me with the truth.

Wow.

Some friend I am.

Since that conversation both me and him have patched things up but I’m still ashamed of what I have done. I can’t really look him in the eyes. What if he’s not the only one? What if I’ve been alienating all the people closest to me for years and just didn’t see it? What if they’re too afraid to say anything to me, fearing that I’ll just be extra crotchety towards them?

Would this explain why people around me don’t seem to stay around me? Does this explain why I’m considered a person that’s “hard to get sometimes”? Does this mean I repel people as they try to get closer to me?

But I think of one questions more than those.

“What kind of person am I and what kind of person do I want to be known as?”

That’s what keeps running through my mind.

I know what the advice is that you’d throw at me. “Hey, stop being a douche.”

I know, man…I know. It’s simple, it’s poignant, and it’s likely the course of action that needs to take place. I need to figure out other’s feeling before I blurt out “humor”. I need to check on people and make sure they know when something was a joke. (I’ve noticed sometimes I’ll say a “joke” and nobody laughs.)

So I’m working on it. I’m probably going to make some rounds to friends whom I fear I may have alienated. I might find out that I have been a jerk toward a lot of them and they can forgive me. I might find out that my buddy had a really off day and took a lot of stuff too personally. I might find a mixture of both.

Either way, I’m adding something to the Summer To Do’s List…

Be a Better Friend By Not Hurting People’s Feelings. (Yes, this sounds like something a kindergartner would have to write in an apology letter for pushing Timmy off the steps of the slide during recess but that’s just the situation I’m in right now.)

Now, on a lighter note, allow me to reiterate the pooping of the pants if the U.S. of A. can more forward in the World Cup today. Hopefully Ghana and Portugal tie with double goose eggs and the U.S. and Germany realize they’re BBF and just have passing drills for 90 minutes on the pitch. When the whistle blows they’ll trade very not sweaty jerseys and then they’ll have milkshakes afterwards.

I should also mention I’m going to buying paint for my new place in the next week. I’m pretty lost on how to chose those things…so any ideas are highly appreciated.

D.A.

Summer To Do’s

June 21, 2014

Thanks to humanity’s understanding of planetary motion and geography today marks the official beginning of summer. 

Huzzah!

Now, I’m not a typical summery kind of person. For instance, I live in Florida, where’s it’s summer 9 months out of the year. So if we were to break this down into formula (heat+humidity)/tolerance = insanity threshold. (The unit of measurement is a “Frick”, or “F”.) So when the insanity threshold reaches a full Frick unit we all start to say things like “It’s way too fricking hot to do anything outside.” 

So…yeah…I like it when it’s a good deal cooler. 

But this year, that changes. This year I’m going to be actively more engaged in going outside and doing things. And while I’m at it, allow me to throw together all those things in one of those old fashioned lists of things I say I’ll do but never get around to doing.

Heh, maybe I should get my named changed to D.A. DOESN’T…

You get it…? 

It’s because I’m lazy…

So, here’s the summer to do list:

  1. Read: During the school year I’m working hard. My brain is fried like the golden batter of a eight pack of nuggets from Chick-fil-a…(drools). Since we’ve last spoken I’ve pretty much only read 4 books. Some of them were read completely; some were not. (I feel ashamed, I do). I did a little non-fiction kick at the beginning of the year (which I will certainly make a post about later) and I’ve delved deeper into the Dark Tower Saga from a guy named Stephen King. (This guy is going somewhere one day, take my word for it.) Right now I’m on the book Wizard and Glass which is the fourth book in the series. I plan to have book five done before the middle of August. I’m trying to be realistic because I might get sidetracked into reading other books. Also, two books is a lofty goal for my addled brain right now, so if I fail on two books and one read one…I still win. Or maybe I lose because it is not Ka-tet and I will have forgotten the face of my father…(OooOOooOOoo…seewhatididthere?)
  2. Write: This should be number one…but I didn’t think of it first when I wrote this, so it’s holding down the deuce. I plan on using the increased use of this site to ignite the pyres of words hidden in my mind. I’ll likely publish those shorts here as they pop up. Let’s go ahead and say…a story every 2 weeks? Seem realistic? sure…sure…why not? I’ll also try to limit posting here on the blog to a few times per week. You know how pacing helps you win the longer races. 
  3. Move: I’ll be moving this summer to a house. Like a bonafied real house. With windows and doors and neighbors that aren’t sharing walls with you and have very strange noises coming from behind those said walls. I’ll have a backyard and a front yard (that I must mow). And I’ll have big empty spaces that I can play guitar really loudly in without disturbing the already disturbing neighbors. 
  4. Play Music: And do it loudly. I’ve even contemplated purchasing a new amplifier for this noise making endevour. Hopefully people will come over and play music with me also, which would be nice. 
  5. Do something about my laptop: This is a very tricky area that I may just allowed to happen organically instead of forcing the issue. My only computer is this laptop. It’s not that old (maybe 4 years) but it most certainly needs help. I’m considering buying a new battery and just gutting the whole thing. Maybe that means buying a portable hard drive and backing up the important stuff, resetting to factory settings, deleting bloatware and see how far that gets me. I’ve also entertained the idea of changing the operating system to Linux. This is a little unnerving because I really don’t know much about computers and have grown up only on Windows. So to pull away and do something different (but still well supported as I understand it) is a hard thing to do. The nuclear option will be to purchase a brand new shiny thing which would be more capable of some of the other goals I might have down the line. (Maybe even join the desktop community).
  6. Plan for the next school year: I really want to try getting a good deal of work done BEFORE the kids come back and I got to do the whole thing again. I always like to get better at things. Every year I’ve taught I change at least half of what I did previously. My goal would be to get everything for the 1st quarter planned (in the newly required format), assignments copied, new strategies thought up, and create a new method of sharing content. That method of new content delivery would preferably be shooting some fun little videos that give kids content and also make it fun. (think Bill Nye meets poor high school teacher). I’d like to have units or certain topics that could become “flipped classroom” content. More on that later.
  7. Design a board game: Well…that’s not totally true. I plan on re-theming a board game and then focusing on some of the key mechanics of that game. Then I will tweak that game until it comes out with a more unique playing experience that is wholly different than the game it was based on. What game is that? It’s going to be based on the game Lords of Waterdeep but with a theme of shopping on during Black Friday sales. It’s a pretty fun game that I think could be a little bit more fun with a bit more satire and or humor. (But honestly, if you’re into board games, check out the reviews on boardgamegeek and consider playing it, it’s quite a bit of fun despite everybody’s reluctance to want to be roped in with the DnD crowd.)
  8. Play more disc golf: Yeah, I somehow got hooked on playing disc golf a few months ago. Is it just a kick that will die out shortly? Is it a long term habit of forming new friendships and skills in a hotter than Venus environment during the summer? Is it a way to get easily frustrated when you lose a disc in some unholy thicket full of barbs and thorns that forbid you to enter and retrieve your molded plastic you paid $10 for? I’m not sure…but I do know I like it right now…so I’m going to be doing a good deal of that. 
  9. Paint: I want to paint more. Because I’m elegant and crap. I’ve had some ideas strike me that I know I will not turn out the way I want them to, but man…I’d still like to try. Also, I paint watercolors now…sorry if I haven’t mentioned that as part of what’s happened in the past year…my bad. (don’t worry, I’m not some hidden savant of the brushstrokes, I just found it pretty neato and was something I tried.) 
  10. Poop my pants if the U.S. moves out of group stage in the World Cup: This would be sudden and unexpected to occur, but if it does happen, the stinkies will happen.
  11. Clean pants if that happens: See above.
  12. Try eating Kale: Because that’s a thing now and I want to judge for myself before I start badmouthing its trendiness. 
  13. Learn a new skill: I don’t know what it is. Could be knitting or cooking like a pro with a wok. It could be learning the basics of finance or learn to canoe. I’m not sure what it is, but it would be nice to learn something new every once in a while. Add some extra flavors to my life. (Which may or may not taste like Kale) 
  14. Stretch: In high school I won the class award for “least likely to be confused with Dr. Richard Reed AKA Mr. Fantastic”. With that honor came the great inconvenience of not being able to fully expand without something popping inside of me. Most people liken the sounds to that of a submarine diving deep and the hull crinkling due to the pressure. 
  15. Buy some new music: Yes, I’m one of the 26 people on earth who actually still purchase all the music they listen to. Why? Because morals. That’s why. Because I want to give my money to a band to support them. That’s why. Because I’m a little dated. That’s why. So deal with it. 
  16. Climb Mount Everest then jump to the moon while on fire and winning the world cup with the sweetest bicycle kick in stoppage time: Because who DOESN’T have this goal? Right?

So there you go. Another list of lists to end all of the other lists have have surely popped up in your reader feed today. Thanks for reading. Actually, what I’m more willing to be is that you just sort of looked at the title of this post, saw that it was a guy who wrote more than 200 words and said, I will click follow so maybe he clicks follow. If I did that, dear friend, then we’d all be followers…right?

If that last statement offended you please keep in mind I still have this powerful stench of bleach in the air from cleaning out this place from yesterday. The plummer is coming tomorrow. To add to that, I discovered what went unchecked in the fridge. It’s currently sitting on my couch eating old hot dogs and learning to speak English by watching T.V. commercials. 

As for you, what do you plan on doing this summer? Travel? Meeting up with friends? Carving a image of yours truly into a stump of a tree with a chainsaw? I’m just asking. I’m not trying to encourage any odd behavior like that. 

But, if you do…make sure you get my eyes right. People always mess up the eyes. 

D.A.

I used to call this blog home. Then I left on a weekend trip and said I’d return shortly. But then my car died on the way back and I had to catch a plane instead. But the plane had to get rerouted due to some dude pooping his pants on the flight (the air marshal thought he meant something different what he said he’d “dropped a deuce”). When we landed I was stuck in customs forever and they said I couldn’t enter the country. Apparently I had boarded the wrong plane and ended up on another continent. I eventually broke myself out of that prison of a terminal (a la’ Shawshank style). Then I was captured by pirates and held for ransom for over 14 weeks. They demanded that Paula Deen be put back on the air, and until her recent internet channel/program announcement, that’s where I’ve been.

And you would think those pirates knew how to cook anything with all the devoted watching of her butter soaked recipes.

But here I am. I’m back. But what’s happened to the place? Mike said he’d watch it while I was gone.

I had to kick away some buzzards who had taken up residence at the entrance. Apparently they were eating the mice in the overgrown yard and must have been trying to make some abstract art using their fecal matter. (In all honesty, it’s not too bad). The front door had police tape strewn across and had a moldy patina on the edges.

When I finally got my key to fit in the lock I opened the door the smell of old toenail clippings and Fritos. The blinds were askew but small slits of light ignited the dust particles that floated in the air. The wallpaper was peeling in one dark corner and all of the furniture was missing except the mini bus sized couch. May book collection was partially toppled from their shelves and the legs on the bookcase cracked.

I turn on a light switch only to hear a loud pop and the smell of burnt plastic. One of the bulbs glows dimly, flickering as its coils feel electricity for the first time in years. I drop my bag of hotel soaps and bathrobes from my last stop at a Motel 8.

I flop down in the center of the couch and let the slightly damp cushions hug me. I close my eyes and try to remember the good things that happened in this place.

I remember this was a place of comfort, a place of dreams and goals. This was a place for me to be open and up front. This was a place built by myself and for myself.  I remember the poorly written jokes and the even more poorly written stories that were crafted here. These walls soaked in all those ideas and kept them from escape. They kept them safe from storms outside and the nosey neighbors around.

I take in a deep breath and open my eyes.

There is a fate for this place. Most would have it condemned and demolished; some would just torch it and take the insurance money. Some would pull out a hotplate and sell ramen noodle soup from here claiming it was a new and hipster “gastropub” experience.

I, on the other hand, feel too much nostalgia. I can’t possibly let this place continue to decay. This place can return to its once red moonlit glory. It can once again be a place full of life and goals. I can post banners of failures and banners victories all about. Everybody can once again enjoy the life, writings, and failures of D.A. Bancroft.

So, there it is folks. I think I’ve come back to the old digs.

Yeah, maybe a gut job is required. I might even need to do some work on the foundation. I know the plumbing is full of earthworms and the wiring might have shorted out completely. I’m pretty sure I even left stuff in the fridge… there might be an entire microcosm in there by now. I’ll fiddle with that later.

But at least this means I get to reimagine what the space can be used for.

A good cleaning, some new furniture, and a splash of paint can go a long way.

Yup…home sweet home…

So…

Here I am…

If anybody is still out there…come on by. Maybe bring me a bottle of bleach and some home baked cookies. I could use both.

D.A.