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.

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Nevermind

April 2, 2012

Jessie quit.

Just like that she just up and left. It’s a real dissapointment. That means I will cancel my whole book deal and have gotten my job back as a teacher. The book is being pushed back indefinently. Sorry to disappoint all of you like that. Maybe next year.

Also, I’m not really named Philip Dalton. Or was it spelled Phillip? I don’t really know. It’s not my name…

So I’m back here running things. So let’s just pretend nothing even happened yesterday. Deal?

Let’s start of the month by showing you all another one of my goodies that I have received from my Marbles-Round-the-World project. (You really need to come up with a catchy and easy-to-say name for this project, cause’ I’m no good at it.) Today we will look at a marble that I sent to Malaysia.

CHA-CHING! That’s money in the bank! (Okay, it has nothing to do with money, but that’s just what came out…)

This little guy traveled further than any other marble thus far. It now has a lovely view of some very lovely buildings that are all stuck in perpetual winter of what seems to be glitter. A real sight to behold.

In other news,  I had a dream about taking a plane trip to Canada. I didn’t have a passport so they held me and kicked me out of the country. Luckily for me the plane had landed just inside the Canadian border. And I mean just inside. Like 50 feet from the border.

Weird…

Right now I’ve got a writing prompt to work on…so… go do something cool.

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.

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.

A list post informing you of the goings ons of things that are, you know, going on.

1. Remember that lamp I was building? Ha! Me too! Yeah, totally not done, but all that really needs to be done is the wiring and trying to find a lamp shade. I have thought about scratching the lamp shade, but I’ve already glued together this thing under the idea of it having a shade. Have you tried pulling apart PVC that’s glued together? Not easy.

2. My contest from many weeks ago was completed and a winner was declared. That winner has informed me that he has received his rewards. No, the reward wasn’t a disembodied head or a small tracking device. It was a marble and some other garbage.

Still, I’ve put a marble in a foriegn country! So, if you live in a country outside of the U.S., Canada, and possibly Brazil, feel free to comment on here and ask for a marble. I’ll send it to you, and then you can enjoy personal time with a very inexpensive marble.

3. I start work on Monday, and I’m pretty nervous. Still, it’s before students show up, so I have time to put things together. It won’t be until Friday that I actually get to go in my classroom. I guess we’ll just wait to see what happens then. (Watch me learn that I’ll be teaching out of an old cardboard box this year).

4. I make the world’s best tuna melts. No joke. I didn’t realize this until last night when I made them. I mean, I knew I made great tuna melts, but last night – wow. THE WORLD”S BEST. I know I can’t convince you that this is true, but allow me to tell you how you would feel after ingesting one of these heavenly creations.

When you take a bite you become overwhelmed. The best feelings in the world come rushing into your mind.

Remember how you feel after a hard day of yard work?

You have been working under the sun for hours on end. The heat is just sweltering. And after all that labor you get to look around and you and see what you’ve accomplished. Pretty flowers of all colors catch your eye, their sweet fragrance filling your nose. The bite of fresh cut grass and potting soil mixing with the summer breeze. You can feel the grit of healthy earth beneath your finger nails.

You then sit down on your porch and look around and notice the little things. Hummingbirds and bees. The dust that is caught in the setting sun. How trees seem to take on a special color of green that you haven’t noticed before. You contemplate the world around you and decide that it could all be forgotten as long as you are allowed to enjoy the peace of your little slice of our planet. Your own secret garden of goodness.

Remember your first kiss?

How nervous you were. The excitement. The rush. During those few seconds, when your lips met theirs, time stood still. You forgot you were standing, not floating. You didn’t even realize that your eyes were closed. Your heart skipped more than a few beats. In that moment you think to yourself, “I wish, of all wishes, this never ends.”

Or how about when you get moments to yourself?

Those cold nights when you’re just alone with a book. Sitting underneath an old quilt that you dragged out of the closet. It smells like mothballs and your grandmother. You remember the old chocolate chip oatmeal cookies she used to make. The way their warmth would hit your belly and cure every wrong.

While under your blanket, you lose yourself in a fictional world. The heat from the fireplace warms your face, its light flickers across the pages and you feel like the book is breathing. Like it has a mind of it’s own. There is no author, no reader, just the story. The vanilla aroma of the pages tickle your nostrils. Every once in a while, you remember the real world and take a sip of your hot cocoa.

There is no meeting tomorrow. No guest to worry about. No family to take care of. You have no plans. You are free to commit to nothing.

The world you care about rests in your hands…

YEAH, THAT’S EXACTLY HOW MY TUNA MELTS MAKE YOU FEEL.

(and that’s just after the first bite).

What’s the secret ingredient?

Time.

5. I have a family member who is not doing to well. He is probably going to die soon. It you would like to give him your good thoughts/prayers they would be deeply appreciated.

6. I think I’m going to try and get another short story in before school officially starts back up. I think it will help me relax as well as remember the whole purpose of this blog. I know I don’t write too often on here but I would just like to make sure that I keep trying and working toward my goal. Also, I still expect to write this blog while I’m working, but hey, maybe i’m being an optimist.

And there you go. A six point rundown of things as they stand.

Were there any emotions/experiences I forgot to mention in my wonderful description of my tuna melt sammiches?

You tell me if you got any more.

D.A.

Okay, okay. Just keep your pants on. Don’t flip out. I’ve had another project besides writing and doing this blog.

Actually I have a few. I know, you’re mad. You’ve been wanting to read some D.A. Bancroft material for some time. But hey, things is things, and they are how they are. And other isms people say.

These projects are:

1. Social Life

2. Short Term Art/Fun Project

3. Long Term Art/Fun Project

4. Writing

You see, I’ve recently read something that said, “If you want to have an interesting blog, you need to have an interesting life.” Since I’m a very vanilla pudding kind of guy (actually I like chocolate), I’ve decided to spice my life up a little bit. That means good things for me as well as good things for you. So now let me explain some of these projects I have in mind, and you’ll see your interest level in my life rise. Maybe…

1. Social Life

Yeah, I need to keep this in the list because if I neglect it I lose friends. While it’s nice to have you (anonymous stranger) looking into my life, I have to make sure that “real” people are around me and making fun of me. It not only helps keep my head level, but prevents me from feeling like a droopy blob of unfun antics.

2. Short Term Art/Fun Project

I’ve never made art before. Unless you include those macaroni necklaces I made in 1st grade. These weren’t very good. So I’ve decided to try again and make something with my hands. Now I’m not really that talented with my hands, so this could be catastrophe, but I’ve settled on making a “steampunk” styled lamp.

Why steampunk you ask? I guess I’m a fan of the genre. I’ve read a few books (including some Mr. H.G. Wells) and I like how people can rewrite history in a sense. Also, I think it would look reeeaaallly cool if I do a good job. Not to mention, I haven’t seen too many lamps that look how I imagine mine will look. So there you go.

[Now for all you steam punkers out there who will read this and say “Guffaw dear sir, you are not a steam punker, nor are you a cyber punker. You have no right to claim such and your work will be considered buffoonery.” I will retort by saying, “Uhhh…”. This will be said because I do not make any claims that I am a steam punker.] 

I’m making it out of CPVC tubing (I know it’s NOT very steampunk) and I plan on painting it either brass or copper. Maybe I will throw on some doo-hickeys on there to make it look a little more stylish, but I’m not going to spend $600 on making a lamp. Heck, the lamp kit was $10, and that was pushing it.

I plan on updating you all on the progress of this nice little thing as I plug away and learn more about it.

3. Long Term Project

Remember in my contest how I told you about the prizes? Here’s a nice reminder. Well in there I specified that I was going to give the person who won a very important marble and I would talk more about it later.

Well, later has come, and here it is…

I plan on placing a marble in every country in the world.

Yeah. Every. Single. One.

Why?

I dunno, seems like it would be fun. Just a cool thought I suppose. There’s something about taking something so valueless, unwanted, and unremarkable, and making it do something awesome. Am I wrong in this? Plus, the item is small for shipping, easy to be obtained (just in case I need more, which I don’t), and pretty (in their own way).

So the winner of our contest is named Peter Fulton. He resides in a very strange and backward country named Canada (I’m not sure how to spell it). Anyway, since this kind man/poet/comedian/Canadian/human (who has a blog that you should totally start reading and subscribing to as soon as you finish reading this) won, he will begin the Marble ‘Round the World Project. I will be sending his prize(s) shortly and then I will scratch one country off the list.

If you too live outside of the United States (or Canada) then please get in contact with me and I will be more than happy to obtain your address and send you a marble. What do you do with the marble if you ask for one? Whatever you want. As long as it stays in the country you live in I will be happy. You can throw it away, put it on your mantle, give it to a very confused child (be wary of choking hazards), or you can cook it and serve it to a family of 5 (choking hazard).

So, let me know if you want in on the fun.

(I also have a friend who will be traveling to Brazil at the end of the year, so…I think she’ll be taking one for me as well.)

4. Writing

Yeah, I haven’t been doing this (as you can tell), but I need to make sure I am actually working on something. So here comes a personal challenge for myself. By next Monday, July 4th (‘Merica!) I will have posted a story. What’s it going to be about? I have no idea. But I’m going to try and make sure that it is complete, edited, and doesn’t have anybody dying in it.

Just a personal goal.

Now that you’re done reading this very long and optimistic post, please read more from Mr. Peter Fulton on his blog. (I totally told him I would promote his blog, so…BOOM, did it twice).

Until next time,

D.A.

Really, I’m having a contest to see who can make me giggle.

You in?

Allow me to tempt you further.

The winner of the contest will receive this plethora of incredible and significant objects:

Best Prize Ever?

And there’s more. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

So allow me to explain myself and the rules for the contest. If you don’t want to read the explanation, and want to get right on to the rules for free stuff, then skip the next few paragraphs.

I’ve noticed a very strange theme through all of my stories (all 3 of them).  A lot of my characters seem to die. They usually die in some out of the ordinary manner or circumstance. I do this because I think it’s funny, but there is the chance that I could just be mentally disturbed…

Since death is considered by many people to be a very serious topic, let’s have some fun with it. All you have to do in this contest is tell me a funny story or situation where you are grieving the loss of something silly. You see, crying over your long lost granny is sad. But crying over your ice cube tray named Otis, that died in a tragic skiing accident, is funny. So let’s aim for funny here. Let’s try to make death a “not too serious” problem we can poke fun at.

In return I will give the winner a sympathy card and handwritten note expressing my condolences for your loss as well as the items listed in the picture above. Now here are the rules.

Rules for “In Sympathy” Contest

  1. To enter this contest you must post a comment on this particular post’s comment thread. Your comment must describe a very silly and made up event that would cause you to grieve for a loss of something. Your odds for winning go up if they are in a story form but they don’t have to be. Just be creative. (If you decide to post your story on your own blog, then provide a link to the blog in this comment thread).
  2. It must not be about anything real. It must be SILLY and MADE UP. Remember, we’re going for light hearted fun, not painful reality.
  3. I will pick the winner one week from today. That means you must have your comment posted by 12 p.m. (eastern time) on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011. I will inform the winner via email so I may obtain their mailing address.
  4. You will then win (in no particular order): A card and handwritten note of sympathy for your (very funny and made up) loss. A paper clip. A rubber band. An old guitar pick I don’t use anymore. And a marble of average size and of great importance. (More on the marble on a later date).
  5. No, I will not send you anything creepy or weird (other than the listed things above). No, you may not send me back anything creepy or weird. No, my hand is not included in the contest (even though it was in the photo).
  6. If the winner will not accept the prize, then it will be forwarded to the second place. If they refuse, then third place, etc. If nobody accepts the prize, then I will be happy to keep the marble for myself, and the rest will be destroyed.
  7. If you want to enter multiple times, (I’m not sure why you would), then feel free to do so. Just make sure each one is unique.
  8. Have fun.

Remember, the most creative/silly/made up event will win the contest. This means you can tell me a story or just describe something silly. Take your time with it. Treat it like a writing prompt if you wish. And try to make sure your story makes sense.