Summer To Do’s

June 21, 2014

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

Huzzah!

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

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

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

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

You get it…? 

It’s because I’m lazy…

So, here’s the summer to do list:

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

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

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

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

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

D.A.

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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.

 

 

Ho Ho Ho

December 12, 2011

Today, I rushed to send out my package for the Reddit Secret Santa Gift Exchange…thing… I signed up for this year.

I’m sending a complete stranger 4 books.

I feel good for doing it. And if you had signed up you would know my joy. I’m spreading the cheer with strangers around the world.

Next year you should do the same.

You better or else i’ll…

 

Also, I have not gotten any shopping done for people in my life that are actually important in my life. But I think I keep putting it off because I keep thinking I’ll find everything in a store. This is simply not true. I need to order off the internet and time is slipping away.

In completely unrelated news I would like to inform you that I have begun trapping my thoughts.

By this I mean that I purchased a very nice journal/notebook for my ideas. Just ideas. Nothing formal. Nothing pretty. Just ideas. If I want a grocery list in there, BAM, grocery list goes in there. If I want to write down an idea for a story, BOOM, idea for story. If I want to remember an important date, SQUEEK, important date remembered.

I’m not sure if this will increase my productivity but it sure does make me feel fancy and important.

Every time I imagine seeing somebody writing in a nice black notebook I always picture them riding a train. They look smart and sophisticated and are jotting down those important musings that will be so important to their lives later on. Maybe that little black notebook is the only thing their lover may find of theirs after their death. Then they will read it and realize how thoughtful and vunerable they were.

Well, in my case, people could read about my silly idea for an old puppet T.V. show that was cancelled after 3 seasons. It went down in history as the most unorganized show in production.

Really, that’s a note in my little book.

I’m sure other’s will show up too.

D.A.

Be A Man! Man!

September 15, 2011

So I’ve had this conversation a few times with some friends.

I think men today are, as a whole, much less manly than men in the past. Of course this is true of the men who lived in 1897. In those days men were known to go to fisticuffs with any random bear or moose that they crossed paths with. Today, men are limited to working in office cubicles and “killing” people using virtual bullets online.

Since I’m fairly qualified to speak on behalf of unmanly men in my generation, allow me to list the things that I’ve never done.

  1. Smoked a cigar
  2. Skinned an animal
  3. Hunted for food
  4. Hunted anything
  5. Gotten stitches
  6. Broken a bone
  7. Been in a bar fight.
  8. Drank a beer
  9. Ordered a burbon.
  10. Grown mutton chops
  11. Played in a contact sport
  12. Worn a pair of suspenders.
  13. Camped in the wilderness.
  14. Cooked a fish over a fire.
  15. Found something tasty in my beard.
  16. Used the word “carburetor” in a sentence that I knew what I was talking about.
  17. Solder or weld anything together.
  18. Replace a battery in a tractor.
  19. Fell a tree.
  20. Farmed anything.
  21. Complained about “those fellows in Washington.”
  22. Tame a wild animal.
  23. Build my own house.
Yeah, that’s all I can think of at the moment. But all those things are something that every man 50 years ago would have had a very good shot at doing. Even 30 years ago most guys would be able to scratch most of that off their list. Today, not much.
I think the manliest thing I’ve ever done would be when I did some landscaping.
But it wasn’t like it was cool or anything. I spread mulch and dug trenches for a few days.
Why should this concern you?
It probably shouldn’t. Unless you’re a man that’s living.
Anyway, it’s just a thought. Carry on.
D.A.

And it turns out that none of you, with the exception of a dog that can miraclously use the internet, gets on WordPress during the weekends. 

I’m going to view this as a very good thing. It means that you either were too busy interacting with real human beings during this time period, or you were purposely neglecting to participate, in which I warmly shake your hand.

Why?

Because you a crafty enough to avoid appearing on the internet as “having no life”. Now the joke is on me because of my lack of life has caused me to ask a silly poll question involving internet usage.

Well played…

In other news, my feet feel terrible. I am standing on them for hours at a time and they don’t seem to like that. I’ve been contemplating whether or not to graph some old scissors I found in the lab storage room to my feet. So far the only thing I could use to help me do that would be some yarn. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.

Still, even if I did do that, it wouldn’t make much sense at all.

How would scissors on my feet help?

They wouldn’t. I am simply writing this despite the lack of sleep and higher order thinking skills. This may also explain the swing in thoughts you just experienced back there. So… sorry about that.

And I think I’ll leave you with that,

D.A.