Twenty Six

I turned 26 years old on August 28. In honor of this age, I am going to name a favorite thing of mine for every letter of the alphabet.

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Apricots a delicious fruit, I’d eat them every day
Bananas will make me smile, the yellow peel is bae
Classic cars are always a great sight to see
Dogs are way better than cats, much more loyal to me
Eminem is one of the greatest rappers in all history
Football is the greatest sport, wife is in misery
Girl will you run away and marry me?
Hot summer days, kicking up to 90 degrees
Icecream slowly licked, melting in my hands
Jello vodka shots, only two I can really stand
Kisses from a loved one, great for my vibes
Leaving for a new city, so glad to be alive
Michigan, my state born and raised
New hat, new shoes, leave them quite amazed
Online video, can’t get enough
Peanut butter an addiction, licking my fingers of the stuff
Queen, one of my all time classic bands
Running in the rain, no umbrella in hand
Salty rimmed margaritas, quench my thirst
Toffee flavored coffee, hot and first
Underwater pictures, a new world to see
Volcanos, how I love the lava heat
White tender chicken, juicy and irresistible
Xmas still my favorite holiday, better with people
YouNow, my favorite livestreaming app
Z is where I’m at right now, think I’ll take a nap

Valentine’s Day

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Is this the real life or is it just fantasy?

So I am finally coming home from Kansas and what a great week it has been. It was my sister’s birthday on the 12th (she turned 21), where we ate at Texas Roadhouse and a really authentic Italian restaurant called Zio’s.

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I think I may have found the one this year but I may be fooling myself and setting myself up for some heartbreak and disappointment. I probably won’t see her again for many months and who knows what would have changed by then. At this point it is a silly little love story that hasn’t had nearly enough time to kindle into something greater. I’ve known her for only four days and there seemed to be some something special there but now I’ll have to resort to some long distance Facebook chatting and just being “friends” right now until I see her again, whenever that may be. I have to say my Valentine’s Day weekend down in Lawrence and Olathe, Kansas was quite eventful and fulfilling, more so than any other year so far.

My official/unofficial Valentine’s date was one I surely won’t forget for sometime to come. It wasn’t a cheesy get together but there seemed to be something truly meaningful there. I didn’t want to rush things too fast and have that spark of magic disappear but now that I’m back home and she’s still in Kansas, all I’ve got now is some sweet first moments to cling to and they may be just dead ends or the beginnings of something big in the future.

Calling Corporate

Denny’s really did a dumb thing today and now they are in for a talking. They did something that has made me question the integrity of their operation as a whole, at least the one I was at.

For my dad’s 55th birthday today, we went to Denny’s for breakfast AND a second time for lunch, followed by Finley’s. Since he is at the double nickel age, he gets to order off of the senior menu that includes meals at a discount price. Reaching that section of the menu is quite a monumental thing because it means you are on the last leg of your life. It is the final stage of the menu, located on the back. You start off as a kid ordering tiny meals off of the kiddie menu that is provided. Once you get around 12 years old, it is time for the main, adult section that includes meals fit for any big appetite. That will go on a long time until it is time to finally graduate to senior status.

The birthday meal consisting of the four of us went very well until it was time to pay.

Getting up to pay after a hearty meal is not always easy. I feel so full that I can hardly walk, feeling my stomach bulge.

The cashier/manager asked me how my meal went. I of course said it was delicious. He then asked if I would like to leave a tip on my credit card. I simply said “No” because it would be left on the table. I had paid my bill with my credit card and received the receipt. I was getting ready to leave the restaurant with my parents when the waitress said behind my back,”Do you want to have an iced tea to take out?” Of course, I was confused at this. Why would she say that? I had had an iced tea to drink with my Biscuits and Gravy meal; one of them I finished, the other I didn’t, so maybe that was the reason behind this. Still, it was strange because she didn’t seem to realize I was walking out of the building when she asked, and it was asked in an offhand matter, with she not even looking up. She also sounded out of it.

That was just the start of the weirdness that ensued.

As we were leaving the restaurant and going to the car, the manager of the restaurant stepped outside, in the freezing cold, and said that one of us hadn’t paid their bill yet. It was eventually me he was referring to. He seemed rather nervous and panicky. We went back inside and tried to sort out this bit of confusion. It seemed as if the waitress had gotten the receipts mixed up at the table and one of us paid for the wrong thing. They accused me of walking out without paying, which was definitely false. An argument broke out among the waitress and the manager, trying to fix everything. This isn’t the first time an issue with the bill has occurred.

Anyway, my dad was going to call the corporate office and complain about this inconvenience. The manager should not have to step outside of the restaurant and demand we all come back in. That is just rude and disrespectful. He tried calling but no one was available, so he was going to try again tomorrow. I believe it is a little too much to call up the corporate headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina just to complain about a minor issue like this. Sure, it may be discriminating and singling someone like me out who can act a bit peculiar at times, but it is done and no one is hurt. I’m still proud that he sticks up for me like that.

Pat On the Back

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.

There Are No Cheat Codes

Today is my youngest sister’s 20th birthday. All the kids, including me, are now in their early 20s and it becomes more apparent how close we are in ages when I look at the numbers: 24, 23, 20. We’ve grown up together, have witnessed many events, many triumphs and tragedies. I don’t feel so old myself anymore because we are all in the same pool now. As we march across the threads of time, people around us rise and fall. Relatives we’ve grown to love (and sometimes hate) all of a sudden are gone. It’s surreal to think that I am now about the same age as my former fifth grade teacher was. She’s in her thirties now and it would be perfectly normal for us to date, if the whole teacher-student weirdness wasn’t attached. Of course, I could have aspired to teach that same class I was in but decided to pursue other things. I don’t know what grade she is teaching now or if she would even vaguely remember who I was, but all I can say is that she was the only teacher I knew who gave out “Bonus Points” during the year for good deeds the students did.

Life is all but one big cycle. You are born, grow up, get old, die, and re-fertilize into the earth. The birthdays along the way are like little checkpoints marking your progress in a level. A graphic may flash across the screen saying you have reached “Level X”. You can’t restart the game of life or even pause it to get a breather but you can revisit your past achievements and highlights through the aid of videos and journals. Like the Sims game, you have essential bodily functions like hunger, sleep, bathing, comfort, toilet-time, and social life to fulfill. If you fail to take care of one of those levels and let them drop to zero, a consequence (like missing work or peeing your pants) happens. In video games, you can die and simply restart and try again, but in real life there is only one shot and it is what you make of it.

In the game of life, there is the main quest you follow, associated with going to school and trying to figure out your career path, and then lots of mini-quests. Mini-games and activities like dancing, drinking, sex, and being a total jackass are fun ways to extend the games replayibility. Yes, spellchecker, I know that’s not a word. The correct term for being able to play a game over and over again without getting bored is replay value. Or you could simply say “replay ability”, with the words spaced, but that’s not as catchy or short enough for today’s quick thinkers.

The game I am currently in the midst of playing right now is Dragon Age: Inquisition. It came out in 2014 and received high praise from most of the top gaming companies. This game has much, much replay value because you can play as different characters and build relationships with other NPCs. What you say and do has an effect on the outcome of the game. It is an open world game like Skyrim and is similar in appearance, even down to the Old English sounding town names. The AI isn’t as complex though and you aren’t going to end up having guards chase you across the land after you stole a sweet roll from someone’s stash. This game is in my possession because of a zombie like walk through the store to the games and electronics section in the back. I was browsing the games section and looking for something to feature on my YouTube gaming channel. This game was within my budget and after reading the info on the back and being thrilled by the cover art, I decided to buy the game. The man behind the counter asked for my ID because this game is rated M for Mature, so I fumbled through my wallet for it. After finally fishing it out of my wallet full of cards, I paid for the game, hoping that this was really worth buying and I would enjoy it, which I definitely do, even if the game on a PC can be slow and laggy at times.

Back to my sister. I just want to wish her a happy birthday and the best on her future life a few states away from me. As I told her on Skype “once you enter your 20s, your childhood is forever in the rear view mirror and there is no where to go but forward.” Not actually those words but close. From now on, the road ahead and what you do on is all up to you.

Alma Mater 

Embarrassing Fun

She was the first

At party thirteen

Making loud animal noises

Embarrassing the rest and me

I didn’t mind because the party

Wasn’t mine

It was my sister’s

And she’ll always shake her head

At this cheeky, forgettable time


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Third Rate Romance

Tell us your funniest relationship disaster story.

Share Your World – 2015 Week #49

2016 is coming up in a hurry. Let us enjoy the last couple of weeks in this year that has seen many tragedies and many triumphs. Behold another  Share Your World.

What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?

A new professional quality camera because I’m tired of the one I have now. I would also like a new guitar – and the natural born skills to play it like a star!

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

All black with dark furniture all around. I would love a room that I can feel like getting lost in. The dark tones would go well with the lighting and would make sleeping that much easier.

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

Yes, because that is what winter is all about. A winter without snow is kind of sad and disappointing. All the time I was growing up, there was at least a foot of snow by this time in December. Now, the snow is coming later and later each year and disappearing quicker than before. I like to walk outside and see the world blanketed in all white. It’s a really beautiful sight.

Would you rather go a week without bathing, but be able to change your clothes, or a week without a change of clothes, but be able to bathe?

Definitely the second option – I couldn’t stand not being able to bathe because I take a shower every day. I could definitely wear the same clothes as long as I didn’t sweat too much or get into a muddy accident.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week, my sister and her boyfriend came down from Wisconsin to spend the holiday season with us. I am looking forward to our “second” Christmas with more gifts, because we all just opened our presents today with the two having to go back in a couple days and not spending actual Christmas here.

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Cake From Every Angle

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My birthday cake
Flaming
Can’t put 24 candles
So I’ll be seven today
Made a wish
Blew them out
One was left
The final key
To another memory
Long lasting
Eat up


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “From Every Angle.”

It’s My Birthday – A Tale of Cranes

Happy birthday to me!

I have turned 24 today. A whole two rounds of a clock complete.

My god, I’m starting to feel old when I look at that number about five times. It’s starting to sink in though but I don’t want to get too used to it, still want to believe future birthdays will still have that “special” feeling about them.

The good news is I get to live another year and do so much more amazing things. The bad news is I’m nearly halfway to 30. Yikes! Where is time going?

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My first picture at 24. My stylish driving cap.

I happen to be sharing my 24th birthyear with the retirement year of NASCAR Sprint Cup legend Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car. How are the odds that I would coincide with such a big moment? All my life, I’ve been pushed and prodded to be a fan of Jeff Gordon and the number 24 so happens to be a magical number of continuance and ending this year.

cranesA red eyed crane hanging outside Denny’s today. They must come from the nearby woods and get attracted by the smell of the food cooking in the restaurant. You’re not getting any food, pesky cranes. Go home. Well, they did eventually after we finished dining.
cranes3I’ve seen these long legged creatures walking around this restaurant’s front grass multiple times. They were also hanging out in a Wendy’s parking lot on “Asian Friday” last week – a bunch of Chinese and Japanese looking people were all in line at Wendy’s and eating at the tables. Like they were all in a group or something. Very confusing and strange, no offense. We eventually left because the line wasn’t getting any shorter, the counter workers having difficulty understanding the foreign languages/accents.

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They can fly, but I’ve never seen them do so

We were all seated near the “crane window” on the right side of the restaurant, a place we rarely, if ever, eat. Our waitress, Jasmine, took our drinks (all waters except Joe with a Coke). My meal was set to be all free if it was under seven dollars. So I ordered a $6 Baja Quesadilla burger with chips and salsa. Very delicious.

After this early dinner, we rode in the Ford to Culver’s and I ordered a free dish of vanilla icecream with Reese’s peanut butter cup chunks on top. Didn’t have to show my ID to prove it was my birthday, probably because it was really busy. Wondered if others could get away with this.

Tomorrow, my birthday bash continues. Going out to eat at Sava’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’ve never been there but my research online about it makes it out to be a fine restaurant that students and adults both appreciate. One reason I am choosing this place is because meals are affordable there, most of them under $25, and another reason is because it seems more special to go to a place with a fancy name and dark, elegant environment.

And now I dedicate a poem to the hungry cranes outside the window:

Hungry Cranes

I could see that you were hungry, salivating,

Waiting outside that tempered glass

Watching us drink, watching us eat,

Our delicious meals come to pass

Your legs were spindly, your feathers down thick,

Traipsing the land wide and far,

Attracted to human dwellings,

Full of the happy, sad, and sick

You stopped in for a meal but could not get inside,

So loitered on the outside, the flavorful smells licking your eyes

Curious I was about your whereabouts,

Where you came from, your really long mouths

After our delicious meal, I turned and was surprised

To see that you disappeared, probably to bother some other guys

We’ll be sure to meet again,

You weird necked birds of ostrich type,

In the parking lot, in the park,

Maybe wherever the aroma smells just right

And now a song I’m dedicating to my birthday, inspired by watching Star Trek: Enterprise for the first time today on Netflix and hearing the amazing intro song. I believe it really fits the theme of where I am heading in the future, what sort of person I want to be in 20, 30 years. “I’ve got faith” it sings. That’s what I want to have years from now, to always have hope to accomplish my dreams and never give up on life. It’s essentially a song of life, describing how far I’ve come in 24 years.


In Response to the Daily Post writing prompt: Middle Seat

Birthday Wishes

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Fiction:

“Look, Lorie, it’s a comet!”, shouted her brother Pascal, nudging her slightly. They were sitting together on the roof of their house, just outside the open window of Lorie’s small room, listening to the crickets chirp and the wind blow calmly. Sure enough, when the teenage girl looked up, a brilliant trail of silvery dust could be seen speeding across the stellular sky. It quickly disappeared behind the horizon of trees in the distant countryside.

What a great thing to see on her birthday, Lorie thought. Nothing too exciting ever happened around the sleepy hillside just on the East side of the river that snaked though this part of Garris County. She sometimes wished she could get away and experience what was on the other side of the river, what mysteries she would uncover. Pascal and she would come up here often in the evenings just after supper had finished and mom and dad had settled into their favorite TV show together. It was a peaceful moment of bonding for them and they usually didn’t say much but let Mother Nature do the talking.

It had been a good day for the girl from a small town in the rural landscape. Her mother, a very fine chef, had meticulously baked her a cake, chocolate with strawberry frosting, and when she went to blow out the fifteen candles on top, she secretly wished for a number of things to happen to her in the future:

No.1 – She would marry a handsome prince who rode through the country on a white horse. No, that sounds so cliché and fairytale like. She did want to meet someone with a little ambition in life though, someone she could travel the world with, him having money being an obvious thing in this case, though she would definitely want to have her own source of wealth. This man would come from a rich family, of course, and would have attended the finest colleges, preferably one from the North.

No. 2 – Her eighteenth birthday would be even more extravagant than anything before. She imagined it being held in a large dance hall with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Everyone would be dressed up in their finest clothes, the men in tailored suits, the women in free-flowing dresses. She would be like the queen, everyone singing for her, all the eligible bachelors wanting a chance to dance with her on that smooth parquet floor.

And No. 3 – She would have had the greatest last year of high school during that eighteenth year. Many unimaginable things would happen to her. Lorie would be elected Homecoming Queen, walking along the good-looking King who happened to be the star quarterback of the football team. She would get to take the class trip to a faraway country, preferably Paris, since that is what she had heard was exclusive to the upperclassmen of her school. Again, it all sounds so cliché, but after living her life for so long in a low-key, unassuming way, being able to do something that not everyone gets so lucky to do and being celebrated for just once would elate Lorie.

She would love to have a day everyday that celebrated her, made her feel like the most important thing in the world. Like having a birthday everyday, as Katy Perry would say (yes, she knew about pop music even way back in this area where it all but seemed unlikely to exist, having listened to her friends music at school), getting the most wonderful gifts, being able to go anywhere she chooses. She would be floating on a weightless cloud, not a thing to harm her, always happy.

“Hey, Lorie, you okay?”

She hadn’t realized she was still sitting up there on the roof with Pascal, having drifted off into deep fantasizing thought. Pascal had made as if he was about to go inside again, silently gesturing for his sister to do the same.

“Yeah, I’m fine, was just thinking about something”, Lorie answered, still looking ahead towards the forest, the last bit of sunlight slowly sinking.

“What was that?,” Pascal asked curiously, choosing to sit back down again.

“Just something amazing. I can’t hardly put it into words but it is nice.”

Pascal didn’t answer this time but looked at Lorie as if he was intrigued by what she said. After she seemed to fall into deep thought again, he simply smiled and sat there quietly with her, just staring at the cosmic display of stars amid the half crescent moon.

After a few minutes, he finally broke the silence.

“It’s okay to dream sis, but don’t let it go to your head.”

Lorie finally looked at him after he had said this. He must had figured what she thinking then  With him being a few years older than she is, he was basically fit to tell her to not be so naive when it came to the world, that not everything is as good as it seems. Sure, she thinking she may get to be a famous moviestar someday might had seemed an impossible thing, but in her dreams it seemed closer than ever as if she were actually there on the red carpet…

With this final thought, she sighed deeply and went back inside, Pascal following close behind. She’ll get to show off someday, Lorie solemnly thought.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Festivus for the Rest of Us.”