500 Words Every Day

Posted on | October 1, 2014 | No Comments

500WEDSo I saw this challenge on Twitter. #500WED. 500 Words Every Day.  It looks intriguing.  Everyday you get a writing prompt and have to write 500 words based around that.

I’ve tried things like this in the past.  I’ve started NaNoWriMo several times, never completing it.  But I do like blogging and really like have prompts such as Rory’s Story Cubes.  I’ve even used Rory’s Story Cubes with students at work to draft stories and inspire creativity.

So yeah. When I saw something like 500 WED I decided I should try it on my blog.  I’m a storyteller by nature.  I can make up stories on the spot, reasons behind different things, and various lies.  Plus I have a ton of different stories from my own past that I love telling to anyone who will listen.  So yeah, #500WED.

Writing doesn’t come as natural to me as drawing or doodling does.  Writing my blog entries take time.  I usually do them in the mornings when I have some spare sitting time (although lately I’ve preferred to sleep in as oppose to get up and write… but that has to do as much with work stress versus productivity at home).

As someone who likes to create things writing is something I’ve always wanted to do but never been too successful at.  In college I kept a few journals.  I found these unrolled composition notebooks at the college campus store and took a few as journals to write down my dreams and thoughts.  Sadly after my sophomore year they stopped carrying them and I stopped keeping a journal…. although I always kept trying to get back into it.

My blog is my writing tool now.  Even this I do on and off spurts though.  I’m not too good on following through on things over the long run.  I’ve tried NaNoWriMo, P90x, Daily Drawings (although that one lasted the longest, just over 3 years strong before I stopped), and others.  But this, maybe with daily prompts I can manage to keep it up.

Arggg.  337 words and I still need to keep going.

So I guess this will be a good stress reliever from work as well.  Work has been long and stressful lately, certainly more than last year at this time.  I leave for work at 6:45am and leave from work at 5pm or later on a daily basis.  It leaves me beat at the end of the day.

So that’s why I’ll be trying 500WED (damn… if only I spelled out Words Every Day I’d have more words here).  Hopefully the writing prompts are slightly better than this one.  Day 1: Write your story: Who are you? What brings you here? That is, write what makes you want to say, And so I write.

I’m looking through previous writing prompts, because they do these writing prompts every month, and I’m not sure they are going to be motivating enough to stick at it, so maybe I’ll mix the writing prompts with Rory’s Story Cubes when I get stuck.  Some of the prompts would kill me to have to spend 500 words on.  “Apologies and Forgiveness.” “How do you feel about mixing memoir and fiction?” “Branding.”. They might make me struggle.

“What’s your theme song?” That’s a prompt I could write a lot on.  I’d have fun with that one.

But I guess the goal is to have fun with all of them.

I’ll work on it.

Sam’s Birthday

Posted on | September 27, 2014 | No Comments

On Thursday, September 25th, Sam turned 30. I got a plan going in my mind a few weeks ago to celebrate.

I took a personal day and didn’t go to work, but didn’t tell Sam I was taking the day off. I got up at 5:45am, like any other work day, showered, got dressed and left for work. I picked up a slew of pictures I had printed at CVS, drove to the Giant Eagle to pick up some ingredients for birthday cookies and cake, hit Target and Staples for some tri-fold board, a card and markers, and hit up a florist for some flowers.

After about two hours of driving around Sam had left for work and I returned home. I got right to work on cookie dough (using our awesome Kitchenaid Mixer). After putting the dough in the fridge, I started on the apples for the cake. I sautéed up some apples on the stove with sugar and butter, hand mixed some dough up (since the Kitchenaid bowl was in the refrigerator) and put the dough in the oven.

Next I got to work on her card. This idea didn’t hit me until I was actually at Target (hence the trip to Staples). I cleaned off the kitchen table and laid the tri-fold board out. I decorated it, threw some pictures on it and added a nice birthday message. Wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but thought it was a good idea.

After the cake was set aside to cool I put the cookies in and cleaned the apartment. By this time it was getting close to 11. My original plan was to surprise Sam as they were walking out of the office to head to lunch but that wasn’t going to happen. It was a 30 minute drive out to Sam’s work and cookies hadn’t finished yet and I still needed for finished the glaze of for the Toffee Apple Cake. So the new plan was to surprise Sam where they were for lunch. I finished up the cookies and took the flowers out of the water I had set them in and packed everything up to go surprise Sam.

I drove out to the east side of Cleveland, and I knew Sam was going out to lunch with her co-workers at Olive Garden, so I looked up the closest one to Sam’s work and headed out there. I parked right out in front of Olive Garden and gave Same a call. She didn’t answer, instead sending an auto-text back ‘Can’t talk right now.’ I wasn’t deterred. I sent her a picture of the front of Olive Garden and a text that said “You should at least come out and kiss me since I’m outside right now.”

About ten minutes later I got a “Wait… Are you here?” text back and she came out. I opened up the card and gave a her a big kiss. Ate lunch with her co-workers and hung out at work with her for a bit before coming back home.

It’s her 30th Birthday. She deserved something special. When she got back from work we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant, came back and caught up on some Doctor Who while eating birthday cake and opening her last present (a gift subscription to LootCrate).  That was in addition to some Daniel Closes books, a candy thermometer and one more thing that hasn’t arrived yet… although that might become a Christmas present depending on when it arrives.

Sam was amazingly surprised.  The right amount of surprise she says.  She not a big surprise person, which made me debate whether showing up with flowers, a giant card and White and Milk Chocolate cookies would be too much or not.  But it wasn’t, and I scored boyfriend points with all her coworkers (woo boyfriend points).

White and Milk Chocolate CookiesApple Toffee CakeTri-Fold Card

Another Dream

Posted on | September 13, 2014 | No Comments

Space BoyI love my dreams. They are weird, vivid, and usually have a storyline that runs through them.

Sam says her dreams are never as coherent as mine. When I was in middle school I used to try and tell myself what I wanted to dream about as I was falling asleep. I do recall it worked sometimes. Just a random experiment.

So last night, I had this dream that I was an astronaut on the first mission to the moon. Not NASA – Neil Armstrong mission to the moon, but something different. We were in a big, huge, massive auditorium. Pack with people, press and all the equipment for the mission to the moon. We were launching from right there on stage.

Everything in the dream was modern too. This wasn’t a 1960’s dream, it was modern day.

In the auditorium the lights were down. The rest of the crew and I were laughing and talking with all the fans and press about how great this was. There were four of us going on this mission. We were treating it lightly even though everyone kept saying how historic it was. As lift off was closing in, we all went our separate ways to get prepared. I kept looking for my spacesuit and couldn’t find it. The rest of the crew were all dressed up in their clear bubble headed spacesuits and ready for lift off. I was the only one not prepared.

I ran around the dressing room searching for my spacesuit. I tore clothes off racks, ripped through drawers that were way to small to fit the suit, and was screaming at the top of my lungs. Someone told me it could be in the coat rack and I ran to the back of the auditorium, a spot light following me the whole way, but my suit wasn’t there. I eventually accepted that the mission had to go one without me. That everyone else was ready, I was preventing launch and had to just give up, which I did.

I didn’t watch the launch. I went back to my dressing room and collapsed on the bed in there arms splayed out to my sides exhausted. All I was saying was “Someone hide it” while really thinking I just wasn’t ready for it. Didn’t prepare for launch the right way. Everyone else was ready way before me and I took it too lightly. That’s why I wasn’t on the launch. It was my fault.

Someone came in to fight me. Really. This was part of my dream. Someone came in the dressing room wanting to fight me. One of the launch crew on the ground said “You really don’t want to fight with him right now. He’s pretty mad,” and I was. I was mad and angry and blaming myself for not being on the something as historic as the first mission to the moon.

_________

And that’s how I woke up. Not sure how, why, or where this dream came from but there it is. A solid tale of randomness and fiction that my brain created to entertain me last night.

Sock Pebble

Posted on | September 11, 2014 | No Comments

robotsocksEveryone has had it.

Where you get a pebble or something small in your sock that irritates your foot with every step.

That was this morning.

I spent about 4 minutes taking on and off my sock trying to locate whatever it was that irritating my heel.

I didn’t locate it, but after taking the sock on and off three times it was gone.

I had to turn the sock inside out and sweep the whole of it with my hand before it felt fine when I wore it.

Robots did not help.

Doogie Howser

Posted on | September 10, 2014 | No Comments

Don’t ask me why, but I woke up with the Doogie Howser theme song in my head this morning.

The Last Gasps of Skunky

Posted on | September 9, 2014 | No Comments

Skunky Angelo doesn’t do so well with being alone.  So Skunky is essentially his best friend when Sam and I are gone.

Skunky has been around for a few years now.  He is a cat toy, obviously shaped like a skunk, that squeaks every time Angelo touches him.  There were nights where I would be woken up by Angelo batting Skunky around the apartment for what seemed like an eternity.  Other nights Skunky would be in the bed next to Angelo, and in the morning I would find him in the living room.  Did Angelo move him… or is Skunky a magical toy that moves himself?  I’ll never know, but my heart tells me its the latter and Skunky is doing it to mess with Angelo.

Sunday night Sam discovered Skunky was losing what made him Skunky, his loud squeak.  It’s going away.  I won’t say it sounds like crying…. its more like he’s going hoarse. Sadly his batteries aren’t replaceable.

Last night Angelo discovered it.  I was sitting on the living room floor and Angelo came up behind Skunky and gave him a good slap on the back with paws.  Like how old friends would greet each other with a slap on the shoulder.  When Skunky didn’t make his loud squeak, but instead his low whiny gasp Angelo looked almost offended.  He just sat there, and turned his head to me for explanation.  While I tried explaining it to him, he looked disinterested.  Just walked away, with his head hanging low and leaving his best friend Skunky alone on the carpet.

Essentially setting Skunky free and knowing it was the right thing to do.

Angelo in the morning

Hand Pies

Posted on | September 4, 2014 | No Comments

20140904_062721_AndroidSam created some Apple Caramel Hand Pies last night.

She worked til late into the night (past 10 pm) baking them, but she was determined when she got home.

And……

They are amazing.

Labor Day gives me weird dreams

Posted on | September 2, 2014 | No Comments

batmanSo I spent my Labor Day weekend getting outside each day, and also including some lazy time each day.  So I think it qualifies as a success.

Sam and I went picnicking and played chess, saw a Robin William’s Triple Feature at the drive-in (although we left a little into the third movie…  after Jumanji and Hook…. Patch Adams couldn’t hold my attention enough to keep us awake), slept in and played some video games before running around doing a little shopping, and getting to the park to see the Blue Angels and the Cleveland Air Show.

However…. most interesting was the dreams I had last night.  There were three…. all were superhero related.  However I only remember details of the first two.

In the first I am Batman.  Or some Batman like character (which makes sense…. Sam and I played a lot of Lego Batman 2 lately.  Its a game we could both play and pass back and forth to each other.  Also this weekend I picked up Batman Arkham Origins).  In it there was some gas released by the Joker, and the only way I escaped was by diving through this lake and coming up in the Batcave.  But the Batcave was actually my parents’ house.  I got in there and locked all the doors and went to sleep.  When I woke up (or at least when it was morning) I went to check the doors and the first one I looked at was open.  But I didn’t think anything was wrong because the screen door was still closed and locked.  I assume I, or someone else not around had opened it, not the Joker.  After looking through the house though I realized that every door and window in the house was open, just had the screens down, and that it must have been the Joker.  I hid in a large closet, but then heard a rustling behind me.

Then I woke up.

So yeah…. Batman dream.

The second one I was Hawkeye, or Spiderman or some sort of normal superhero.  The dream started without me in it, which is weird.  I can’t recall ever having a dream that I wasn’t part of the whole time.  Anyways it starts with some female spy sneaking into Bruce Banner’s house to steal his secrets.  But she is stuck on some locked floor.  I come out of nowhere and break open a door or wall or something and we grab a disk drive and hide under the couch.  Literally that was the whole plan….. we grab the disk drive and hide under the couch.  Solid dream spy stuff.  What happens next is that someone sits on the couch.  Someone huge.  The couch is squishing us.  From the voices we know its not Bruce Banner, but his mom.  She looks under the couch (and its all weird to be looking out from under the couch), and tells us to just leave.  We leave scared for our lives, but when we exit the house I see its my grandparents house in White Hall, NY.  We are running scared for our lives that the Hulk is going to kill us down the street for my car.  When get there I can see my car being towed away by a tow truck.  A cop is still there and we ask him for help, or a ride to my car, or a hotel or something.  He laughs and says, “Are you kidding?  This is Whitehall.  I’m not giving a stranger a ride.”.  As he’s saying this I can see the grocery store across the street on fire and people looting it.

And the dream ends there.

Bizarre superhero dreams.  I kind of like it.  Nice way to end a long weekend.

A Cure Morning

Posted on | August 30, 2014 | No Comments

Last Saturday I got up, picked up the living room (as I’m apt to do on Saturday mornings) and put on a record.

Most weekends when I get up I put on some background noise of some sort.  Usually a TV show while I read the news, clean, or futz around on the internet.  Instead of TV last weekend I thought I should put a record.  I have a nice leather bound Califon record player.  Its pretty ancient.  I saved it from a dumpster when I was in college at Niagara University back in 2000.  Originally it was going to be a gift for my dad, however it grew on me and I kept it for myself.  It’s a Califon 1430k Solid State Phonograph.  What all that means is a loss to me… what I do know about it is that it plays records well, looks good open or closed, and sounds as good as I’d expect my records to sound.

So last weekend I listened to Beethoven.  I have a 7 record collection of Beethoven’s Symphonies that I picked up for three dollars a few years ago.  I got through four records that morning while drinking a French Press of coffee with Sam.  It was a nice, lazy, relaxing way to start the weekend.  We went out after that to the zoo, got some food and just enjoyed the day.

Standing on the BeachToday it is the Cure starting my weekend.  I have a few Cure records, but chose their greatest hits album Staring at the Sea.  Actually its called Standing on a Beach.  Interesting fact I did not know about til today (and it shows how closely I looked at the record when I bought it), on vinyl (record) and tape cassette it was called Standing on a Beach.  On CD it was called Staring at the Sea.  Ahhhh Wikipedia…. you teach me so many things.

For a long time I considered the Cure my favorite band.  Smashing  Pumpkins competed with the for top spot in my musical tastes for all of my formative music years (late high school and college).  At one time I owned more Cure cd’s than all of my other cd’s put together.  Granted it was like 22 out of 40 total cd’s I owned at the time, but I was that interested in all things Cure.  I bought all the singles I could find, t-shirts and other memorabilia.  Aside from Wussy, and maybe Patrons of Sweet – that’s right Matt… you count – the Cure are the band I’ve seen most in concert. But that doesn’t say much, as I don’t go to too many concerts… particularly bigger names.

The Cure have been out of my listening rotation for a while.  I’ve been on a Wussy, Guardians of Galaxy Soundtrack and Angel Olsen kick. Yeah… The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack is as good as everyone says it is. Angel Olsen I found after Google Play suggested her on some playlist.  A quick view to watch her Tiny Desk on NPR concert and I was hooked.

Anyways… yes.  The Cure is a great way to start my weekend.  Up until Wednesday I actually thought we had school on Monday.  But we do indeed get Labor Day off.  So yeah… Long weekend.  I can dig it, and the Cure are setting it up as a good one.

The first week of school….

Posted on | August 29, 2014 | 2 Comments

Hey I.....The first week of school is a long one…. and usually only has three days with students there.  So it’s good that today is Friday.

However this week has been full of bizarre dreams.

Last night I had a dream that Pat wanted to go to Germany.  And we were at an airport (my titanium set off a metal detector).  I got through scanners and caught with Pat only to tell him that I didn’t actually buy a ticket, and wasn’t going to Germany with him like he had hoped.  I”m pretty sure I had never said I was going, Pat just assumed that if he was going to Germany I would be too.  Pat, Sam and I then drank at an airport bar for a long while.  And this was a real airport, not some Portland, Maine Jetport (that thing is tiny).

Not sure what made it so strange.  It could have been the part where we were short 1 penny of our bar tab, and we had to jump in the dumpster behind the airport and search through the trash to find a penny.  It could have been that Pat was able to pick up the giant dumpster with one hand.  Or that despite being a huge airport no one was there but Pat, Sam, the bartender and myself.

Whatever.  It was a dream.  Pretty good one.  Seems like the shenanigans Pat and I get into on occasion.  Sam didn’t seem to mind.  That’s what makes her awesome.

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