Flipin’ Friday

March 2, 2012

So…I did something pretty cool today. I actually became one step closer in my goal of trying to put a marble in every country around the world.

BOOOOYAH!

Freakin’ Sweden shall possess one of my marbles! The land of ice/Ikea/friendly people/LARPers/and a king that will likely get some strange mail very shortly.

How did this marble end up over there? I sort of met a Swede here on the internets. For some reason they thought it would be a good idea to support my cause (Which really isn’t a cause at all).

So…I guess the marble list has crossed off Canada, the United States, and Sweden. That’s 193 more to go.

Things are looking good.

I can’t help but notice that you’re contemplating something…

It … it… it seems that you’re wondering about this odd goal. If you’re kind of new to this blog you may not have heard this before. Well…I have a goal to put a marble on every continent on the planet…Lofty goal, I know, but I might as well try.

Nothing special about the marble. It’s just a marble. Made from cheap glass. I think it cost me a dollar for 100 of them. But the idea of putting something so tiny and worthless in places that could make them kind of important is a really cool thought to me.

And that’s really all there is to that.

It…seems….that you also want to participate… Interesting… I will have to help you do that.

If you live in a strange and far away land (other than one of those listed above) and would like to receive a very not-special marble from a very not-special person…then do I have a deal for you!

Then send me a very non-creepy email…and we’ll talk about it. If you don’t freak me out way too much…Maybe we can give you a marble. What’s my email? Oh, well… you should click the ‘about me’ section of this blog and find out.

D.A.

P.S. – I’ve actually posted on here for 5 days straight…Will he meet his goal by sticking with it through the weekend? Stay tuned to find out.

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Therapy

September 7, 2011

Therapy. We all need it sometimes.

That’s because we all have those days when we just need to chill. We need a breather. Our minds end up worrying about things that don’t really matter. Hey, even sometimes our minds worry about things that really do matter, but we just can’t handle worrying about it for too long. It’s just not healthy.

Some find help in meditation and relaxation. Some people seem to release their stress out while working out. Others believe that they can just talk it out with a friend or relative. A few might even enjoy doing something creative.

My therapy is playing guitar.

Yeah, I just pick up the old git-fiddle and pluck away. Well, I guess I don’t really think of it as plucking, more of a strumming or brushing manner. Some picking could be involved…but never a pluck.

I have played guitar for many years, but I havent’ really been playing all that much until I have been getting stressed out lately. Work is keeping me pretty busy and I need a release from time to time.

I really do enjoy music. But I’ll admit that my guitar skillz (purposly spelled with a “z” at the end to indicate how sick guitar skills are) really aren’t that flashy. I don’t “shread” or “groove”, I just play. I don’t plan it, it just happens. But the music is really the reason I play.

I do it because it physically hurts to do play. That’s right, it physically hurts me to play guitar.

Why?

I haven’t played this much in such a long time.

For those of you who don’t play guitar, allow me to inform you of the inconvienances of guitar playing.

Callouses. You need them. You really need them. And the only way to get them and keep them is to keep playing. I have been lacking in the maintinece department and have been paying for it ever since.

If I could just play 30 minutes everyday for the next week or two I’m certain my previous dexterity and strength (as well as pain tolerance) would be fully restored. For now, I only end up playing for a few hours every few days. Not nearly enough to build back those callouses.

When I used to play in high school and my early college days (Ha! It’s looks funny to see me type a sentence like that) I had some pretty incredible hand strength. This is due to my previous playing style.

For one reason or another I used to be in a metal band. While I’m not going to comment on the whole band thing (I’ll save that for another post one day), I am going to say this. We played really fast and really hard. I played bass with my string action set waaaay too high. But I liked it that way. I played so hard that I needed that little extra room over the fretboard so the strings wouldn’t bash against it too often.

In short, I could play harder without having to deal with unwanted distortion or “boinging” in my tone.

This meant my hand had a grip that could crush a cinderblock. (This is a very big lie but you get my point).

Now-a-days I end up whining to myself when I play. But that pain reminds me of the past. And I really like that.

I think of how my wrist would get so stiff toward the end of the set. Memories of how I used to get nervous about playing music and not messing up. Daydreaming about the number of hours I would devote to making something sound “right”.

Then I snap back into reality and think…I’ve got a ton of papers to grade.

There it is. My therapy sessions are playing guitar and remembering my glory days.

What about you? What do you do to relieve the stress?

Plucking Picking away the stress,

D.A.

Forward I Say!

August 7, 2011

The whole purpose of this entire little blog is for me to have an avenue to allow me to write.

A plan was put forth that call for me to implement, esentially, two steps. The first is creating a blog that allows me to write and get feedback on. And after I do this for some time I’m sure that I will end up a little more skilled in the words department. Secondly, the plan is to write a book. Bookforme is the name of the blog after all, and my ultimate goal is to do just that, write a book for me.

Or myself. (I still need help in the words department as you can tell).

Well…I think I may have just begun/talked my way into writing a book. Again. Sort of.

(This is a long story, that will be shortened, and certain areas will be emphasized for dramatic effect. Oh, and there’s spoilers.)

Just like any story begins, two years ago me and a couple friends we sitting around just chatting.  And we got to talking about authors and stories that we love. Then it popped up that some of us had tried writing before and some of us even had a file full of ideas for books. (No, I was not one of them). Then a few things were said and we all decided that we should write a book together.

That’s right, I said friends. As in plural. Three of us.

We got together and went through that folder full of ideas and found one we all felt could turn into a really fun story. We even planned out a lot of characters and plot points and actually attempted to write some stuff down. As it turns out, the two of them are lazy bums. (It should be noted that I am also a lazy bum but of a different caliber than these other fellows). And we only really got a ton of ideas down, but very little writing actually completed.

I was totally for it though. I had never done any writing up to that point. After I attempted my first real writing session, I ended up walking away feeling quite wonderful. I even put a lot of effort into doing that. I mean, I worked really hard over 2500 words when the other guys were barely putting out 500. I felt like I could totally do this. And that was the moment I thought to myself, “I want to write a book before I die.” The seed was planted.

But then us bums were bums, and nothing came of it.

School. Internships. People in and out of my life. Family. More school. Laziness…

Still, that seed wanted to grow.

The decision was made that blogging would become the water for that seed.

And I’ve been watering it pretty consistently for the better part of three months or so. I knew that I wanted to write but wanted feedback to help me learn. And that’s what I did. This blog has really become a part of my life. I really do live on the internet in a way because of this pixelated hole-in-the-wall. I have the freedom to come up with stories and explain life events in a way that is totally unique to me. And I like that.

Here is where the conflict of the story shows up.

I’ve never told anybody about any of it.

Even my “Two Step Plan to Totally Own Some Book Writing Skillz” is a secret. The existence of this blog is a secret. My passion for wanting to write is a secret. Heck, just my writing itself, is a secret.

I never let anybody read my writing other than those two fellows mentioned earlier. And they only read the stuff that I knew they had to read because it was supposed to be in the book that we were making together. I still worked on other things that have been hidden away for nobody to see.

Why then would I decide to start publishing little stories on the internet for all to read? (It’s actually more like maybe a dozen people).

Because I think it would help me get past the fear of letting people see my creativity and judging me for it. Yes. Because I could get feedback in a personable way that would encourage me to keep writing. Yes. To make me think about the audience I was writing for. Yes. To just feel free. Yes. People won’t have any preconceptions about what THAT GUY is writing. Yes.

Still, to this day, my friends, family, and coworkers do not know of my blogging double life. And I don’t plan on letting that change.

How do I keep my secret from those closest to me?

:::Spoiler Alert:::

My name is not really D.A. Bancroft.

GASP!

I know. A real surprise. It’s a pen name. It’s a pseudonym. The proverbial cat is out of the proverbial bag.

(Wait…what do you mean you already suspected/knew this?)

This was the best way to make sure my secret passion was never revealed. Yes, i’m sure somebody could find out if I have an internet presence if they really searched hard enough. And yes, I know people on the internet could probably find out who I really am. But that’s kind of the fun behind it I guess. They could know…but they don’t. How long can I keep this going?

Now, I take you to only a few days ago…

After a while of being lazy bums, those two fellows have decided to “reignite” the whole writing subject.

Here are a few points, both positive and negative, that are placed before me.

* I already have writing commitments on this here blog. I mean, yes, I could just post my progress on this book as my writing for this blog (and it may come to that), but I still want to write much more original material before I really write anything very big.

* I do still want this blog to remain “secret” and will think that me publishing any “group book” work on here would dangerous. There will be words and thoughts involved in this story that will be veeerrry unique. And if any of those showed up on this website, I’m sure that a simple google search would pull off the covers, so to speak.

* I am now a full time employee, and my students will come first before any writing. So I may not have a lot of time to devote to that whole story over there. I will still place my blog before any shaking book idea.

* How do you write a book with more than one author? I know it can be done. I’ve even read some books that were quite good despite them having multiple authors. And these guys are my friends. We know each other. We know what makes each other tick/laugh/cry/sneeze, so i’m guessing we can agree on the direction a story takes. .

* This multi-authorship will also mean that this book is not going to be my complete vision for something as grand as we are planning. It will be full of compromises and shortcomings. It will be our vision. I still want to write a book that is all mine. MY universe. MY decisions. (Call me selfish)

* This project has stalled out before and it could likely stall out again. Now, I don’t plan on being the one to cause no progress to occur, but I fully expect very  little contribution from the other authors unless they light a fire under their butts and get to work. So all this concern may be over nothing.

Still, things will continue here unabated. I think. Progress will go forward.

So there it is. You have my origin story. My big secret. And my dilemma. All in one post at that!

This kind of makes me feel like a super hero…

I am – the batman…

The not really, but still going to use it,

D.A.

I will be giving you a very short post tonight. 

This is because I am going to be playing Diablo II online until the wee hours in the morning. And I mean wee.

It will be short, and full of blood. Sort of…

Recently I’ve noticed that I have this weird complex when it comes to killing bugs.

I don’t kill mammals. I don’t kill fungi (because I hate mushrooms). I don’t kill reptiles.  I don’t kill humans.* But I kill lots of bugs.

Spiders, palmetto bugs, beetles, scorpions, moths, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and centipedes seem to make up 20% of the biomass in my rural home. That’s counting me, my family, and pets as biomass.

A real problem

This is a Palmetto Bug. It's basically a 2" roach.

Why do I kill them? 

Because one time I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. (By the way, I spelled excruciating correctly the first time I wrote it right there). I woke up with my ear drum rapidly expanding and flittering. It was disorienting and painful. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. After I tried to make sure that I wasn’t losing my balance (even though I was laying in bed) I got up and then practically crawled to my father’s room.

I pleaded with him to look in my ear. He tried looking in there with a light. Every fifteen seconds another flutter of pain and severe vertigo would take grasp me. I was begging for relief.

If a doctor would have been on hand right there, I would have been crazy enough to tell him to cut out the right side of my head. If there is something in there, you may use a drill, take it out.

It never got that serious, but it could have…

After a very awkward late night ear draining experience, a moth fell out of my ear.

A MOTH!

Now every time I see a similar moth, I kill it with swift vengeance.

When I see one, I stop what I’m doing and break out into hunt mode.

My eyes slit. Time moves slower. My breathing becomes silent. My footsteps are swift and certain. Eyesight and hearing become sharper than ever. Thoughts allow me to become a MacGyver in terms of weapons.

Did you know that a Swifter style mop is one of the most effective killing machines of our generation?

Well now you do…

Now, you entomology expert you, I bet you’re wondering why I kill all the bugs, even when there are good bugs that would do the killing for me.

I’ll tell you why.

Because every bug/insect/arachnid wants my blood. I’ve killed too many of their own for them to allow me to live. If I were one of them, I would make life long plans of retribution. I would tell my children of the menace to our existence and his crimes against our freedom. I would be seen as a giant devil in their eyes. Stories are told through the generations of a giant white demon with a flip-flop in his hand.

I’m certain, that if I had a powerful enough microscope, I could find a very tiny wanted poster asking for my head. (

I kill them because I want to wake up in the morning.

Now I will venture off into the interwebs,

D.A.

*Isn’t this a scary place to see an asterisk?