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.

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But when I am, I try to write stories the old fashioned way.

This is what I did today during one of my classes that had to take a midterm. That goes to show you how bored I was. I was also not capable of using a computer at the moment because I didn’t want to sit there in a silent room with me pounding on a keyboard the whole time. That’s right, I’m a nice guy.

My handwriting clearly needs help. It looks a lot like an old form of Klingon. I’m not sure if you can really see this writing up close but it’s mostly a ugly hybrid of cursive and print. Each letter only resembles those found in the English alphabet. And it’s very tiny. Like Hobbit tiny.

One thing that does sort of make me proud is how straight the lines of text are on the unlined paper. I’m pretty impressed with myself. Usually when I try something like this it looks like half the words are sliding off an invisible shelf.

And if for some reason you’re trying to read what I wrote, please stop. That’s my next little project/goal. If you want to keep it a surprise don’t look at the answers. Oh, I guess I should tell you what that goal actually is…

5,000. 

Yup. 5,000 words is my goal. I think I can accomplish it. I think I could kill it. I just don’t know if I can hit 5,000 and still keep it interesting to read. I’m starting to think I have a short attention span when it comes to writing because I have pretty short attention span when I’m reading.

When is it going to be done? Whenever I decide it’s ready…that’s when. I’ve had the idea for about a week now, but yesterday I actually planned out what’s going to happen (most likely, things can always change later).

I wrote a lot (for my standards) last month. While I thought it was great, I want to try something that I put a little more effort into. I also want to allow myself to be lazy. I did a lot of work last month. So far I haven’t really stopped that pattern, but I don’t want to get my hopes up that it will continue only to have it all fall apart in a couple of weeks.  So I think pacing myself will be for the best.

Oh, and I think this story is going to have some Elvis impersonators. Because what story doesn’t get better when you read about overweight and uncommitted Elvis impersonators?

So I guess you’ve got that to look forward to.

I’ve got a teacher work day tomorrow…but no work. So that means I’ll probably end up writing a little while I’m there. I’ll probably listen to music and make my coworkers wonder what’s wrong with my musical taste…

THHHEEEE HIIIIILLLLLSSSS ARE AALLLIIIIIIVVVVVEEE WITH THE SOUND OF MUUUUUUSSIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCC…..

D.A.

With the sound of muuuuussiiiiiiccccc….

Yes. I’m singing. And yes, I do sing like Julie Andrews singing the title song to the movie “The Sound of Music.” It’s that really old musical/stage play that features Nazis chasing around people and nuns. People sing. I’m sure there’s a romance or two involves. It’s considered to be very important in film….

I’ll be honest…I’ve never watched it. But everybody knows that song!

Why am I singing it?

Austria, of course. I have put four marbles in this beautiful country. They rest in the hands of a charming human being known as Katrin.

Why does this special person get four lovely marbles? Mostly because she asked…

But also because she wants to drop the marbles in Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, as well as her home of Austria. (I spelled Lichtenstein correctly on my first try.)

As for photographic evidence…I’ve got a plenty.

This is what Austria looks like by the way. Very lush and European. Also there are mountains. Amazingly beautiful mountains.

And here’s the lucky winners of a cheap cargo flight to Central Europe.

I know what you’re thinking. This person collects old cameras. You are right to be jealous. They are a super cool person. The marbles are now even cooler than when they left here.

So I thank her and all her marble-loving qualities so I could get four steps closer to realizing my goal.

Thanks Katrin. You’re awesome.

And now I make a quick vanish. I have something funny to show you tomorrow. Okay, it’s probably not that funny. But at least you now know I have something planned for you. So that’s good. Rest well knowing that.

D.A.

A Letter (if you will)

March 21, 2012

I live in the southeastern U.S. 

When you’re driving down the road you can really tell. Not only are we incredibly flat and chock full of pines/oaks/and scrub brush (I speak for Florida), but we have some common roadside attractions. You can’t really go by many major intersections where you don’t find somebody trying to sell something (beef jerky is very common). You also find a Publix grocery store on most corners. BBQ restaurants are a common (and delicious) site. One may also noticed that they will drive by a huge number of churches.

All the church denominations are represented, but Baptist/Southern Baptist/Church of God are usually the most common.

Many of them share something else in common.

The signs out front.

As a Christian I see what they’re trying to do. Reach out to anybody who just manages to pass by. If you see something funny written (or an attempt at humor) then maybe you’ll think they’re a church full of funny people who will make you feel welcome if you walk in through the doors on Sunday morning. Or maybe you’ll scare people into thinking that they need to consider where they’re going to go when they die.

This is advertising. And I have a problem with advertising church. Not because I think it’s a crime against what God wants for us to do. Advertising isn’t inherently a bad thing. I just think it’s so ineffective that it ends up hurting a church more times than not.

But we live in a culture where advertising is so common place it rarely fails to make any clear impact on people who view it.

Some churches have the mindset of “Let’s reach out to the non-Christians and show them the way.”

This is the group of people that will put up a sign that says, “Live this day as if it were your last.” or “The end is nigh.” (I’ve never seen that last one, but you get my point). This group believes that they will only reach out to people if they point out that they are sinners and should be inside this church getting saved. (Ironically enough there is nobody inside the church at the time you pass this place by because it’s not Sunday or Wednesday, so good luck getting help with that)

The people who put up this sign probably think they are making an impact in the world. They’re not. I think they have the same mindset as the soapbox preacher.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that churches that advertise like this are only reaching out in this way because they didn’t have a congregation member brave enough to stand on the street corner.

It all boils down to the idea of preaching hell fire and brimstone, of which I’m a staunch opponent.

I always thought that the bible tells us to share the gospel to those who don’t believe. The “good news”. Nobody wants to here that they’re going to die and then be tormented for eternity. And they especially don’t want to hear anything about this if they don’t believe it to be true anyway.

What’s the solution? Well I’ll tell you.

Try actually talking to people.

Getting to know them.

Advertising on a sign isn’t the way to spread the Word of God. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get.

Do good things church. Just go out there and do good things. Lots of them. Not enough to stretch out everybody’s ability to do them. Do enough to make an impact.

Signs on churches should read: “Free dinner every weeknight from 5 – 7 p.m.” or “Food bank open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Everyday.” and maybe “Need somebody to talk to? Somebody is here from 1 – 3 p.m. every day.”

Somebody may actually read that and put themselves in hands and care of a church. Then the church can do exactly what it was ordained to do. Help those in need. Reach out and care.

Like I mentioned above, I have a problem with people advertising church. I don’t have a problem with people advertising what a church can do to help you out. It’s advertising a real service the church is providing for the community around it. Something anybody could be interested in, even if they don’t believe. Even if they’ve already been burned by a church before.

Now all we have to do is make sure churches are healthy enough on the inside so they can be capable of doing these things to edify the Church….

I’m done ranting,

D.A.

P.S. – I probably misspelled “churches” every time I tried spelling it. Today I learned that I have a problem of putting “r’s” before “u’s”.

For the Doubters

March 16, 2012

The fruits of my labor.

:::Takes deep and satisfying breath:::

The marble I have sent to Sweden has officially made it’s debut. The photos you see are courtesy of a Swede named Alba. (I think this would make a very good band name). She’s both a Viking and a ninja. That mixture means she is capable of a lot.

As a matter of fact, you should check out her site at http://elarra.tumblr.com/.

She has sent me some photos that I am allowed to share with you.

Check it out.

And another.

Yeah. That’s a marble on a frozen lake. And yeah, it’s thousands of miles away from where I live.

And just in case you are still doubting. I live in Florida. We don’t have many frozen lakes. So there.

:::Sticks out tongue:::

I’m so proud of this little marble. When he was growing up he was always talking about “making something of himself.” His father, the Marble King, had always treated him poorly. Even in front of distinguished guests.

Well I guess he finally got up the courage to take flight and leave the nest. He now resides under that very bridge in Sweden. (Only rarely does he complain of the troll neighbor).

Okay, none of that is true. Really though. Look at that. I sent a marble to Sweden and it actually made it.

I’ve sent out a number of marbles as of today and I hope I get photos that are half as awesome as these two.

Thanks again to Alba for allowing me to show the photos of my first marble to the European continent!

I guess this is as good of a time as any to inform you of the new page I’ve added to the side bar thingy over there —–>

It’s called “Marbles”, appropriately enough, and it will keep a running tab of the marbles I sent around the world. (As I get more pictures and goodies I’ll share those with you on that part as well.)

I should also mention that I am currently on Spring Break. And we all know what that means.

NAKED. ALL. THE. TIME.

Just kidding.

It means I will start to go stir crazy as I try to figure out what I’m going to do over the vacation period. Unlike most people, I don’t make plans too often, so I just end up doing whatever pops up. I will start to lose it when I realize I have nothing planned…and…I will get bored…

This brings up an odd point about vacation, but I’ll speak on that at a different time. For now I just want you to bask in the fruits of my labor. (That labor includes writing emails/letters/buying envelopes. Not much work really).

Still, it’s so cool.

I should also mention that the ramblings on this site should be picking up in quality and topic over the next…9 days…Because my job will become doing this. I will be living off of my laptop for social interaction.

Which brings up another topic about me being a introvert… but that’ll likely be another post sometime…

Maybe I’ll finish that lamp…Or that explanation of my views of religion and science…or that choose your own adventure novel…

Oh yeah…I guess I could write for my own book as well…

I guess we’ll just see what actually happens around here.

Now continue basking!

D.A.

Sunny Sunday

March 4, 2012

It direct contrast to what the title is, I should mention that I was woken up by a storm this morning. I have a metal roof so it is significantly louder than what you might expect. The noise was almost like the sound of thousands of pennies in a cardboard box that are sliding around. Also, the thunder helped to wake me. And the lightning. And the whipping winds that kept the plants outside of my window cry out in pain.

Rarely do I wake up in the middle of storms, but when I do, I usually awake in a panic. Not because I hear plants scream my name in pain, but it just seems like the world is ending. And when it’s 5 a.m. and still dark outside, it’s almost like the earth is just getting the jump start on you. When we sleep we usually expect the weather to sleep as well.

Stupid weather…

:::too-low-to-understand-grumble:::

I always get a little jazzed up because of rainfall. My heart rate increases. Sometimes I start to feel clammy. I usually have a knee jerk reaction to look out a window and inquire what destruction is happening outside. (I also pulled out the old computer and looked at the radar to make sure that there wasn’t some tornado hiding outside of my door.)

But this morning I was super tired, and went right back to sleep despite my increased heart rate and clammyness.

Weird stuff.

***

Changing gears here:

So this is the seventh post I’ve made in a row. Yay for me. This is probably the first time I’ve successfully attempted and completed this little achivement in several months. (I’m guess early Fall or late Summer was the last time).

Why is this an “achievement”?

3 Reasons:

1. I’ve been pretty busy since I got hired in the fall. I’ve always wanted to make sure that I’m writing, but I’ve also grown to enjoy trying to type up something that somebody is going to read later. It’s something I really enjoy and I have felt like I’ve neglected that for a long period of time.

2. My ability to keep up a good pace on this thing may be a sign that I’m officially adjusted to the workload that I have week by week. It’s hard to really adjust to things, and I think I’ve overcome that hurdle. Now I just have to make sure that the work I do isn’t in vein…

3. It’s just hard to write everyday.

One thing I learned over and over again since middle school was the idea of creating or breaking a habit. I was always told it take “at least” 21 days to create a habit. 28 days is reccomended, but 21 can usually create it.

Writing is something that I’ve always wanted to be apart of my daily life. So, now that I have the venue to make this a common occurance I should utilize this as often as possible.

New goal: 1 Post a day throughout the month of March. 

Considering that today is the 4th, I’ve already gotten those days done. So…yay me again. That’s 27 more days for consecutive posts. Aren’t you excited?

What will I write about? I have no idea. What the benefit of doing this? Not totally sure, but it’s a short term goal that I think can be accomplished and may boost my confidence.

I have begun work on what will be my first novel.

Mind you, this is only the very beginning stages of writing this novel. I am going to try and implement some of the strategies I have learned over the last year. So far this is what I’ve done and this is the order in which it has occurred.

1. Come up with an idea. I can’t believe it, but I settled on an idea. It’s taken some time (several months) but at least it’s happened.

This also includes the design of the characters that are going to be running around doing this whole thing.

2. Write a plot “skeleton”. I’m not sure of how else to describe this. I am writing, sort of a time line, that includes all the events that are going to occur in this story. Plot line? Order of Events? I don’t know what to call this. But I have done this.

3. Adding meat onto this skeleton. I am going to build scenes around each of these events (or maybe have multiple events occurs in single scenes. This is where I currently am in terms of getting things done.

I still have to pick locations/minor characters/quirks/arguments/dialogue/small dilemmas for the scenes and the real fun details that would make this whole thing interesting to read. This is probably going to take a lot of time and after I start writing I may not even following these details.

This is one thing I’ve learned. No matter how much you plan, it’s still not writing. You will never be able to plan ever detail to a story before you write it. At least I will get a pretty good idea for where I want to go.

After I pack all this meat onto the skeleton, I will judge if it is a deformed malnourished creature build only to survive in the depths, or if it is a well built and hearty beast that can flourish in the rain forest. Only time will tell.

So, I haven’t been wasting my time completely while I’m not blogging. At least I’ve begun working on one of my life’s biggest goals.

This is just a quick little update to let you know about it. As I progress I will end up actually telling you more about my thought process as I’m going through everything.

D.A.

 

That’s what it usually looks like when I try to type the word ‘necessary‘. In most occasions I just end up typing something somewhat similar and just hit the spell check option. Still, it’s quite a problem in my everyday life.

For example. There is no spell check program while you’re writing on a whiteboard in front of 30 kids. This usually results in great discomfort when they point out to you a spelling error.

No joke, today, I had about 10 kids tease me for misspelling the word homozygous. HOMOZYGOUS for Pete’s sake!

They didn’t even know what that word meant, but they knew I spelled it wrong!

Come on man! 

Necessary is one of those words that I have to put effort into actually memorizing. For some reason I never learned to spell some pretty common words.

Like the word minute. Like, you know, the word you use just about every instance you reference time? The one you were supposed to learn to spell in 2nd grade?

Yeah, until this year I couldn’t spell it on the first try. This means I would commonly just abbreviate the word or just ignore it completely.

I’m a little surprised that all of my friends never caught on when they kept getting text messages from me that said “I will be there in a few moments.” I never use that word when I speak, let alone in writing. Still, nobody suspected a thing.

Also, I have a hard time remembering how to spell the word “amount”. I always want it to have two “M”s. Ammount just seems so much more important of a word. Don’t you agree? Okay, I guess it does look a little funny.

Another point, I always end up having to second guess myself when I use a word that ends with the suffix “el” or “le”. (That may not even be a suffix, but whatever, I’m not teaching English usage to you, I’m even admitting I can’t even spell right now). Words like apple I don’t really have any problems with, but more uncommon words I do.

Example:

“Example”. I want to say it “EX-am-pell”. That’s how I pronounce that word (wrong or right). I always end up going for the old “exampel”. Then I realize I’m a moron and quickly erase it and put “le” at the end.

But nothing will erase those terrible feelings of never winning a school spelling bee…

Why am I telling you this?

Two reasons really. The first being that I want to make clear that I feel like my lack of putting effort into spelling so many common words correctly has affected how I write. And the second would be that I really want to know if I’m alone in my plight.

So, do you have any commonly misspelled words that you just can’t seem to shake?

D.A.

By the way… I’ve been hard at work trying to write my views on science and religion. And I realized that it’s very difficult to put so much thought into so few words. Right now I’m at 1700 words and all I’m trying to do is explain something that makes a lot of sense to me… So it’s going to take a little while to get this thing done. But I promise, I will post it and make all of you very upset/confused at my ideas on this topic.

Housekeeping

November 9, 2011

I’m writing something.

It’s going to be long and will likely be posted in parts.

No, it’s not a story. Sorry. And no, it’s not a list of my account numbers and passwords so you can access those freely.

It’s actually going to be my take on the whole science versus religion issue. (Very exciting, I know)

Most people have a already have a set opinion on the issue so they probably don’t want to hear my two cents. But my opinion stems from my firm beliefs in being using science for what it is and religion for what it is. Most opinions you hear are from somebody who is either completely one or the other.

I guess the reason I want to write it is because I’ve always wanted to write something serious like this. I should also mention that this particular topic means quite a bit to me. I’m even willing to venture that my thoughts on the issue would be considered rather different than what most people would expect.

Or, maybe, it’s not a real big deal at all.

I dunno. My brain is all wibbly because I’ve been thinking about it since I got home.

Until the release of my Manifesto of Boredom I will do my best to try to entertain you until then.

Must sleep now,

D.A.

That’s right, I’m in my room and beginning the process of creating a “fun and successful learning environment”. Yeah, that sounds good.

It’s actually a pretty cool room in a nice part of the school. I’m next to a lot of really helpful and kind teachers. I know they will be willing to help me out of a bind and keep me going toward realizing my goal.

Here are a few poorly taken photos of my poorly organized and bare classroom.

This is looking at the back/lab area

This is more of a middle of the room / gratuitous shot of the fume hood

 

 

This is the front of the room, taken from the entrance into the class

This is the view "from the trenches".

(Wow, upon reading my comments to my own photos, I realize how much of a nerd I really am)

Oh, it’s gigantic. I have 25 seats in the front for “instructional purposes” and eight lab tables in the back for “more in depth instructional purposes”.

Pro: It’s all mine.

Con: Not much else in there to be mine. The storage room is bare.

Pro: There is a dishwasher to wash beakers, cylinders, containers and cups.

Con: There is no hot water because students may burn themselves.

Pro: It was given to me in relatively clean order.

Con: It doesn’t have anything in it for it to be dirty.

Pro: I have my very own office.

Con: No desk chair/printer/cables/wireless internet.

Pro: Other teachers are nice enough to offer me plenty of lab materials if I need them.

Con: Will not be dissecting cats this year…bummer. (Not that I have anything against cats living)

So it looks like my year has a few bumps already but I’m sure those will smooth out in no time. (I put this sentence in here so I can read it later and feel a little better about myself.)

My main concern is in regards to making lesson plans that meet up with state standards and still having a big “fun” factor. I want this to me my idea’s and actions that make this class unique. I don’t want to steal/borrow lesson ideas from everybody, but I guess I may have to make accommodation in that regard. I mention this because today was my first day of “pre-planning” week.

For those of you not in the know, “pre-planning” week is where teachers come back before students. Then they have a lot of meetings and gripe about whether they are going to even be prepared for this upcoming year. I guess it’s an old tradition around this profession. But to me it’s not a tradition as much as it is a real concern.

I’m not ready for this at all.

I on the other hand am not too busy talking about my small paycheck or my very “disruptive” class last year. I’m not too worried about who took my pencil sharpener or who is telling me the wrong things about meetings. That I will leave to those seasoned veterans of the teaching force.

I am much more concerned about not having a complete meltdown within the next week and a half.

College never prepared me for anything I have been doing in the past two weeks…

So, I hope I can pretend that I know what I’m doing for long enough until I actually figure it out.

I guess if they learn that I’m not really all I’m cracked up to be then I’ll get plenty of spare time to work on that silly lamp of mine…

Wow, that really takes me back. Back in the days where I was free to grow my facial hair and build goofy lamps. Yeah, sweet memories.

Sucking his thumb while sleeping tonight,

D.A.