Dr. Phil’d

April 27, 2013

Tonight I drove home stuck in a very thoughtful mood. 

Actually, I drove home and ended up thinking about things I don’t usually think about too often and sort of talked about things (not out loud) that were going on in my life. I think I was my own little psychologist.

I guess you could say I Dr. Phil’d myself in the car. (And no, that’s not a euphemism for “I pooped myself while driving”; though it should be.)

I’m not sure if you get these moments as well.

This isn’t a super rare occasion for me either. Periodically I’ll  find myself feeling incredibly aware of how things in my life really are while I’m just cruising around by myself.  It’s sort of like getting a progress report on your life for that 20 minute car ride. Or maybe it’s my brain’s way of saying “hey, you need to download some updates right now.” It just helps me stay aware of who and what I am.

After that little drive I feel like I’m conscious of why I make/have made/will make the decisions I do/done/will do and it feels good. Makes me feel like I’ve still got autonomy in my life. I think I get some clarity at those times when I wasn’t really expecting it, but it’s greatly appreciated.

Overall, I felt that things were okay. I like my job. I don’t have any major health concerns I’m aware of. I get along with the people in my life. My closet doesn’t have any grotesquely large skeletons inside (except, of course, those of my enemies whom I have slain in battle), and I have money. Those things alone put me in a much better position than so many others.

Now, I’m not saying everything is perfect. Honestly, who could? I still wish my job stability was much more solid (teachers in the sunshine state are only hired on yearly contracts with no obligations to keep said teacher for any period of time beyond that contract). I would like to buy a house but I’m sort of dependent on that job situation. If I try to buy a house and then I get “bumped” from one school to another, would I even want to live in that home anymore if it was far away from my school? What if I simply don’t get rehired and I can’t find any open slots anywhere?

Another byproduct of the quiet ride home is looking as some of those more… troubling aspects of my past. I really look at those whom I’ve lost over the years. There are even some who just aren’t lost (meaning they’re still alive) they’ve just moved on in life to other places.

Still, considering those things, I’m happy. I’m glad I don’t have to walk 3 miles to the nearest “clean” water source. I’m thrilled I have a car that gets me where I need to be. I’m proud I can say I could potentially become a homeowner. I’m even joyed in the idea that I can live a simple enough life that I can share my little moment of existentialism with strangers staring at glowing screens from all across the globe.

I know that’s all kind of general and sappy, but it means a lot to write that down. Thanks for reading it if you did, fellow human. You’re special.

So what about you, where are you when the thoughtful mood strikes you?

D.A.

 

Distractions

April 25, 2013

One of my biggest distractions has been my reawakening of my love of guitar. I used to play primarily the bass guitar, but since I’m not in a band anymore, it’s sort of hard to keep myself entertained with just that. So I decided to play acoustic guitar a little more often, and quickly found myself obsessed with the idea of finally becoming the owner of an electric guitar.

After 11 years, I finally did it.

Say hello to the newest member of my family.

my newest addition

my newest addition

It’s an Fender American Special Stratocaster and I think it’s puuurty. I also believe you owe me a round of applause because I’m only posting the one photo. You could have gotten a very long album that featured a really creepy amount of photos with an inanimate object.

Want to know more about it? OF COURSE YOU DO! WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS THING?

It’s an easy guitar to play. The radius on the neck is perfect for my tiny hands and helps me bend strings without any effort at all. (This is something new to me because my acoustic guitar was just a turd to try to bend with).

WANT ME TO BLAB ON FURTHER?!

It also sounds fantastic. It came with Texas Specials inside and “upgraded pots” which allow me to enjoy fiddling with those knobs and it doesn’t lose anything.

MORE THINGS!

It even comes with a groovy 7o’s style headstock. Looking at it makes me feel like I’m back on the road touring with The Who and Led Zeppelin.

I AIN’T EVEN DONE!

The finish is spiffy as well. A natural wood look with a sunburst feel. Not too dark, not too light. Just a golden honey appearance makes you feel like they grabbed a honeycomb and just buffed it for a couple of hours.

Am I sounding like a advertisement for Fender guitars? I hope so! I really hope they decide to reward my loyalty by giving me a Telecaster…free of charge. (I’d take it in a natural tone, much like this. Not begging, just asking….)

So what has this guitar done for me? It helped me write my second song….ever.

Yeah, so what…

And it has fed the obsession with looking at guitars as beautiful and artful things. Which only makes me want more and different ones.

Now I just need a decent amp…

Jealous? Thought so…

Now I’ve got crap to grade/not grade.

D.A.

 

 

 

I Fell Asleep

April 24, 2013

While writing this post last night, I fell asleep.

What does that mean for you?

Not much. As in, you’re not going to read much of what I’ve written because, well…there isn’t much to read. Just this for now.

So yeah. Thought I should tell you that.

I can practically hear your disappointed sighs. (They’re the kind of sighs people make after they let somebody pick where they all will go out to eat lunch and they pick the “deli shelf” at SevenEleven.)

Don’t worry. I promise this won’t smell questionable and won’t make you sick three and a half hours later. (But if you do get sick shortly after reading this, please call your physician and follow their instructions.)

D.A.

THE List

April 23, 2013

And yes, I wanted to make this clear that this isn’t just any list; it’s THE List.

This list will include items that I’m planning on adding to the docket for this summer. (That’s the 8 blissful weeks that I will not be working and hopefully making a full recovery from the school year.)

I shall also use this opportunity to explain my scheduling methodology with all of you. Feel free to use it.

It’s called … Pencil and Ink.

When things are penciled in it means they are scheduled to occur, but if something else comes up they can be shuffled into another time slot to fit my need. This means they have a 50% chance of occurring at their scheduled time, a 40% chance of happening at another time, a 9% chance of not happening at all, and a 1% of becoming the basis for me hurting myself in some embarrassing accident.

In no particular order:

1. Play video games. Urgency: Pencil

In particular I would like to purchase Bioshock Infinite and just spend a day exploring that world and probably getting frustrated/terrified. I would also like to find a day where I could get the largest number of people together to have a good old fashioned Halo LAN party. (If you’re in Florida, feel free to offer your Xbox/T.V./original copy of Halo)

2. Read. Urgency: Ink

That’s all. Just read. Hopefully lots. But reading is a must. It’s just got to happen. Hopefully every night before bed.

3. Sleep in. Urgency: Inky Ink.

I don’t even really have to plan this. It’s a certainty. You can bet the farm on this one.

4. Writing. Urgency: Ink from a permanent marker that was left in your pocket that you accidentally left in the wash. (You’ve been there)

It’s gots to happen Cap’n. Word? (Obviously I need to get back into the habit of writing in clearly written English as opposed to my life-on-the-streets manner.) But I would like to write (besides this blog) for at least an hour every day. Heck, I might even follow through with a promise I made to myself earlier in the year and actually do that summer version of NaNoWriMo. *But remember yesterday’s post about lies…*

5. Guitar Urgency: Ink from a squid

I recently purchased my first electric guitar and it is a dream come true. I’ll post some bragging photos of it soon enough. I should also mention that this purchase has helped me write my second song ever. That’s right, played gitfiddle for over 10 years now…and have only just written my second song. Sad? Yes. But we’re all weird in our own ways.

6. Magic: the Gathering. Urgency: Number 2 Pencil

This could happen just once over the summer and I’d be thrilled with it. It’s like brain food for me.

7. Board game night. Urgency: Golf Pencil

Because who doesn’t like board games?

8. Decide if I’m going to buy a house or rent for another year. Urgency: Still don’t know but I suppose it has to be Ink.

Put this hear almost as a reminder to myself for a later date.

9. Buy new music. Urgency: Pencil (likely not sharpened enough)

It’ll happen when it happens. But every summer has a distinct sound for me. Some albums help to define what that year will be remembered as. Maybe I’ll write another time that will tell you what each season is represented by in my car’s CD player.

10 Spend one whole day in my underwear. Urgency: Pencil

Why? Because I’ve never done it before. It’s a personal challenge to myself to make me think I could actually pull this off. Stop judging me…you know you want to do the same.

11. Make some silly videos. Urgency: Pencil but underlined in ink.

This is just too much fun for me and I’m sure me and some friends will end up doing it at some point. Just hope they will have the same amount of free time as I will.

12. Apply for a passport. Urgency: Ink (but possibly the erasable kind)

It’s something I should have done long ago. I’m not sure how I’ll end up traveling all around the world without one. Especially when I’m going to be hired as the new personal assistant to the Secretary of State. I’m positive he wouldn’t mind if I spent a whole day in my underwear either.

13. Move some more marbles. Urgency: Pencil (but could be a colored pencil)

I’ll try trumping them up here soon enough. (But seriously, if you live in a country outside the U.S. I might be interested to mail you a marble for the sake of mailing you a marble.)

14. Exacting my revenge. Urgency: Ink

This is already happening. To whom is a non-issue for you. Unless, of course, you are the person in which the vengeance e will be coming to. In which case I highly advise that you get to cover and start praying. Oh…if you only knew of my plans.

15. Preparing for next school year. Urgency: Disappearing Ink

This is a must in the summer. I need to prepare better. If not I will likely drown by November.

16. Take my Pops out to the movies. Urgency: Ink

People should be nice to their parents more often, right?

Annnnnd….that will probably be my entire summer.

So what are you penciling in or inking in this summer?

D.A.

No I Didn’t

April 22, 2013

Anything you read here was a lie.

That sentence works both ways if you think about it too much. (Like I’m about to do for you.)

The word “read” could be written in the present tense. That means anything that you may read from this point forward on this blog is a falsification. An untruth. A deliberate misleading of what is correct.

The word “read” could also be written in the past tense. That means anything you have read on this site previously (but not necessarily currently) is an intentionally misguiding detail. An dishonorable utterance of the written kind. 

Late Edit: I think the original sentence uses the word “was” which may conjure up the idea that the word “read” must be read in the past tense (like that one right there). If I had substituted that word in question for “is” then maybe it would suggest the phrase is written in the present tense. Quite frankly, I haven’t taken an English class in some time, so if you have a recommendation on how to correct my ignorance, I would gladly accept your feedback. (But for now lets just pretend that I just said something witty and funny. Please return back to your table to your friends who don’t know me all that well and tell them that I’m just the best person you’ve met tonight and they should come my way. )

 

(Also, I should mention you’re buying into my fantasy that we’re at a fancy dinner party right now and you’ve come over to talk to me about my stunning top hat and monocle. You’re even pretending to be impressed with me.)

But in all honesty (which may or may not be real honesty based on our previous information) I haven’t blogged in a long time. It’s really felt like I’ve traveled through time in the ***four*** short months. It’s just happened so fast. 

Too fast.

So I’ve decided I need to start this thing back up again because it allows me to get some of that self reflection I really need. Also, it might give me the kick in the pants to help me reestablish my fingers into the metaphorical dirt that makes up this garden of life. Makes me feel like I’ve got things to contribute to this world.

See you shortly. (But that could mean 3 and a half weeks for all I know)

D.A. 

Dig it?

Sorry…these little jokes aren’t coming as easy to me as I had hoped.

Anyway.

:::Takes a Captain Morgan-esque stance:::

Onward!

 

 

I haven’t made one of those retrospective New Year/End of Year posts yet.

So, let’s just pretend that I did and move on with business as usual.

Today I read a book. A whole book. At 12:30 this morning I tried reading a book to help me sleep but it only served to keep me awake until 4:30. I only went to sleep because I knew I needed to be awake at some point in the morning (I work up at 11:59 a.m. to be exact). Tonight I finished the novel while I put the Sugar Bowl on the background with the sound off. It’s not cool to see the Gators losing to Louisville but hey, this season went a lot better than expected and it was a fun ride.

So the book I read was Agent to the Stars. It’s a book by John Scalzi and it has accomplished two things for me.

1. It left me entertained by a book unlike some of my more recent readings.

2. It made me a little jealous.

Why the jealousy? Because the man states that this book was his “practice novel”. His practice novel was very good. A little sluggish in some of the details (I think he likes to let the reader know the logic behind his decisions for his characters a little too much because he also knows sometimes he puts in some wonky science to keep things fun.) Overall a solid read. And this was just…practice.

Dang…

Well I guess that means I’ve got a lot of work to do so I can produce a “practice novel” as well.

So, I’ve made myself a nice little glass of chocolate milk and grabbed a pen and pad for jotting down those precious ideas. I’m going to sit down tonight and bang out a few ideas. Maybe give one a whirl with a nice little rough draft. Then I’ll sleep on it. Let the miniature people that live in my gray matter do their work of repairing the damage from the day. Wake up and give it an edit and have a small existential crisis…then post it here for all to read.

That’s the plan.

Now I’m going to watch the final seconds tick away on the game clock for the Gators and then get to work.

D.A.

Characterization of Myself

December 31, 2012

If I were to appear as a character in a novel (or any other work of fiction for that matter) I think I would be described as wearing one T-shirt.

It would be this one:

jademeridian 009

That shirt right there defined me for about 7 years of my life. By my gross estimation I have probably worn it over 700 times. It’s now gotten to the point where the material is thin and the art is faded. The shirt has shrunk about half a size in the arms and stretched nearly half a size in the torso. Its solid blue hue is stained with areas of favorite meals and exciting trips. If my memory serves me correctly there’s probably a hole in the right armpit.

I knew it had to be retired after it started to develop a smell. The moment any water touched it it made me smell like a sweaty teenager just getting back from 4th period gym class. So I gave it a permanent home in a nice little T-shirt case where it will rest in all its glory for ever and ever. (That is, if I can find a place I would like to hang it)

There were times when this shirt was worn as a badge of pride. There were instances when it was worn as a jersey for a soccer team. I think I even let a friend borrow it once. No matter the manner in which it was seen it is very important for you to understand that this piece of cloth was my identifying characteristic for so long.

If I were a cartoon, I would wear this every episode.

So what’s the story behind it?

It’s a T-shirt from a band called Jade Meridian. Haven’t heard of them? I hadn’t either until I saw them play about 45 minutes before the band I really wanted to see went on stage. So I listened to them and applauded…only hoping that it would make them feel like they had done a good enough job to finish up and start things up with the next band.

The band that followed them was called Zao. You don’t need to know much about them other than this. It was basically the same band. It had the same people on drums, guitar, bass. Only difference was they had a different lead singer (guitarist just sang). They also didn’t play the more hardcore metal Zao did and stuck with more of a sorta indie rock thing.

It was my first real “show” I had been too. (The quotes have been added because if ask any youth of today they don’t say “concert”, they say “show”. It’s hip. I’m hip. So I use those words.) It was actually the first metal concert I had ever attended. I was thrilled. I was confused. I was tiny in a sea of humans that wear at least 6 inches taller than me. I was a little terrified of the pushing that was happening and there wasn’t even a song playing.

The noises…the crowd…the all-around coolness of everybody involved with the “show”. The thoughts are flowing back to me and I’m getting shivers.

I about pooped myself when Zao (my favorite band at the time) finally took stage. They destroyed our senses in more capacities than I realized they could and went away. Our bleeding ears and watery eyes thanked them.

After the near-pooping experience was finished I did what any newly indoctrinated metal fan would do. I went to go buy “merch” from the band in their little kiosk area. (Yes, “merch” is also the cool cat version of saying “merchandise”. And since I’m a cool cat I use the phrase. Liberally.)

So I made my way over to the kiosk and get to say the same thing that everybody else was telling those sweaty musical gods.

“Hey man…great show.”

Yeah, we weren’t very creative.

Their response was just as enthralling.

“Yeah. Thanks.”

So I find some shirt I want and try to hand the guitarist my money. He turns on his salesmanship and begins telling me that I would save money on the Zao shirt if I also purchased a Jade Meridian shirt. This didn’t make sense to me, but since he had just melted my face off with his sick guitar chops (the hip lingo returns and you know why) I couldn’t really bring myself to disagree with him. I also didn’t want to tell him I didn’t really want a shirt from a band I didn’t particularly enjoy.

I knew they were just guys that were trying to make a living doing something I admired and wished I could do. I also felt like they were really good at it. So why not? Right?

So I bought both shirts.

I bought the blue one. And the blue one just happened to have guitars (Gibson Flying V guitars) in a shape that resembles the Walt Disney logo. (I should also mention that one of my least favorite guitars is the Gibson Flying V).

Despite all these factors working against it…I wore that shirt. I wore it more than I should have. And I don’t really regret it.

I think I was one of my most commonly worn shirts when I played my own “shows” with my own band back in the day…(That’s right, I got to be the same guy  that got to sell “merch” at his own band’s table. I got the same chance to have the riveting conversations of “Hey man, great show.” followed up with the “Yeah bro, thanks.”

Ahh…the circle of life.

So here’s the part where I tell you the whole lesson behind the story of the shirt.

My shirt represents how decisions you’ve made that may not be popular could end up being decisions that define who you are. They can sometimes stick with you the way an old T-shirt clings to you. It’s familiar and comfy, but only after you’ve had it for a time and broken it in.

Yeah…that’s sounds good.

So, do you have any neat stories about anything you’ve acquired in your life that just seem to stick around and help define you? If you do, then you know what to do. Write your own post about it. Make it better than this one. Also, you could comment down below. If you don’t, then I suggest looking up a local band in your area and buying a T-shirt. It might just be worth it.

D.A.

 

 

A Surprise Party

December 29, 2012

That’s right! It’s a party!

Woo-hoo!

I’m back!

You’re probably wondering where I’ve been.

 

I’ve returned from the harsh wilderness during the unforgiving winter that has choked this land for what has seemed like ages. I’ve done things to survive that are so extreme  they would make Bear Grylls question his gender. Shall I list some for you? Of course I will.

1. I killed a caribou with a golf pencil.

2. I met up with natives of the frozen tundra and they made me their chief.

3. Those same natives and I fought a war against polar bears using a pair of nail clippers and some green tea bags. (You should have seen all the rugs we made afterwards)

4. I learned to speak salmon. I became so fluent that I even made up my own catchphrase. I can’t really type it here though. They’re still working on getting a written form of their language.

5. I went ice skating wearing only leggings made from the intestines of foxes. (And ladies, let me tell you, these things will be very fashionable in the future.)

6. I climbed Mt. Everest twice (the second time was because I forgot my phone charge on the summit)

7. I drank coffee with Canadian Mounties and we talked about our favorite forms of hatwear.

And there we plenty of other things as well.

So now that I’ve finished up that whole…event…now it’s back to the internet to show them all what I’m really made of. Mostly posts about nonsense. Posts that I’m sure you’ve missed.

So let’s move on with business as usual. And in the mean time you can help yourself to some hors d’oeuvres. I’ve got some roasted caribou antlers with guacamole and some polar bear paws toes dipped in a tasty almond butter sauce. Feel free to put on a party hat as well. They’re in the corner next to the bowl of punch.

Help yourself.

D.A.

 

 

I Feel

October 16, 2012

I’ve been so busy lately I’ve been getting very frustrated.

Imagine a buffalo in a suit and tie driving a compact rental car. He’s stuck in rush hour traffic just wanting to go home.

That’s how I feel.

Why a buffalo?

Don’t ask me. I’m just the guy who writes things from time to time.

D.A.

New Hobby

September 20, 2012

There is something very interesting that I’ve come across in my readings.

(That makes it sound like I’m a research scientist that commonly reads peer reviewed articles all the time. Or it makes me sound like I could be a wizard that reads old tomes for new spells in my arsenal. Or maybe I’m just a nerd for pointing this out.)

In some of the comics I’ve been reading lately the writer has decided to do something very interesting with changing the perspective of the story between two characters.

The comic is called The Unwritten. (It’s fantastic by the way and you should be reading it) Somewhere around issue 30 the author decided to speed up the story by releasing a new issue every two weeks. For comics, every two weeks is insane. Once a month is the standard throughout the industry (and still even popular titles get delayed from meeting this goal from time to time.) So what’s happening here is insane on some level involving logistics and timing.

But the story-driven purpose behind this move is to see the story through two different characters’ eyes. These two characters are the protagonist, a reluctant hero thrown into a situation not of his own doing, and the main antagonist, a very evil man that is immortal and relentless in reaching his goal. On issues with a whole number we learn what happens next to our hero. On issues that have a “.5” after the issue number we get to see more of the baddie’s story.

I don’t think I’ve ever read something like that before that also managed to flow quite so nicely.

While I won’t be able to do exactly the same thing I think I would like to give something like this a shot for my NaNoWriMo novel. I think I’ll incorporate the antagonists story as well. Could be a lot of fun. (I also recognize it could be a massive headache.)

With that said, I think I already have laid the foundation for a story that could potentially work out on this. My short story The Man in Blue could be fun to try and expand upon. I think there’s a whole lot to be said for our poor hero. I think there’s even more to said for our mysterious antagonist.

This is not an official statement on “this is the story”, but it’s a thought that I think could work. I’m also leaning toward my story about that one guy waking up in his underwear and traveling to another dimension. Or I could just totally come up with another idea that will haunt me forever.

Alrighty…that’s all for now.

Sleepy time she comes,

D.A.