No Shave November – The Journey

Hooray! No Shave November is over and I finally get to shave this month…or I should keep my magnificent mug and groom it into magnificent manly material? Too late now…the following is my journey each day in November of growing out my facial hair.

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Oil, Meet Water and Blood

Of the people who are close to you, who is the person most unlike you? What makes it possible for you to get along?


PTDC0324
I tested out the prompt’s title today. An interesting lump is formed by some of the oil escaping into the water  and being repelled upward. Freaky looking.
PTDC0350
Oil is thicker than water

To answer your question, I am water and my dad is oil and my uncle would be blood since we are the closest out of everyone in our family. My dad and I are so unlike each other in many ways; he’s quite a negative person around people and doesn’t always get along while I am friendly with everyone and always am happy about life. My dad gets pissed off whenever someone cuts in front of him or he isn’t first for something while I just shrug it off and don’t take stuff like it too seriously. My uncle is the same as I – we are pretty laid back and don’t like to cause too much commotion or be the center of attention. The obvious differences between dad and I continue with him being able to drive and I merely a passenger; him having artificial hips and his growth being stunted while I grew to my full potential height (it seems I have gotten shorter though); he being a square peg that couldn’t fit into a circular hole, his hair always cut and short, his clothes always the same, his tastes in life as old as the 1960s, while I am more well-rounded and take a bite out of everything at the buffet table whether it be fashion sense, art, music, television, movies, sports, politics, you name it. But at least he got a new car and got rid of his old blue van of 14 years, giving it to my sister Liz. My dad is what you call a ham and egger, working 9 to 5, living a pretty cut and dry life without any creative edge to it while I am completely the opposite; my life is full of adventure and exploration, trying to find something that rings best with who I am and what I can latch onto most easily. I’m always exploring new opportunities while my dad seems to stuck in a black and white world where one thing is right and another is wrong – there is nothing in between. My father of 23 years also has some racial discrimination in himself but I had not realized it until recently this year when a few ugly words came out of his mouth being aimed at a couple of African-Americans he had a strange encounter with. He’s also been known to flip the bird a couple of times while I wouldn’t even have the guts to do such a thing.

My dad and I get along pretty well; there really isn’t anything wrong with our relationship, we are just more concealed and distant in likes and interests. We both are into football though he always tends to be on the outs about everything from the teams playing, the scores, or the nature of the game itself (no close game is over until the clock hits zero!). We get along because we don’t fight or argue and stick to ourselves most of the time. I don’t believe there ever was a time I yelled at my dad for something though I am not one to yell at anyone at all. I think the glue that keeps us together is our mutual understanding of one another – we accept one another for what we are even if it means not always being on the same page. The viscosity or density that separates the relationship of oil and water between us is not that thick and we do meet in the middle of the Venn diagram once in a while.


NoShaNo: November 11: Veteran’s Day face

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DP #56

P.S. This is my 100th post on this blog! So I’m going to do 100 push ups to celebrate it.

Please Stop, CBS

A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song… Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?


This is a minor twist of the prompt; I am writing about what should be left alone and will ultimately be ruined if it is not. Stop me if this ends up sounding like an iMDb review.

I might not have been around when it originally aired on television, but The Odd Couple starring Joel Klugman as the laid-back Oscar Madison and Tony Randall as neat-freak Felix Unger is a true classic. I only recently watched the show on a classic TV station called MeTV that is free and it was brilliant – nothing could replace it…but wait…I have just heard that a remake of the series is in store for next year…and it stars Matthew Perry…oh, the horror! Anything having Matthew Perry as the lead actor is bound to fail, just look at his recent history in TV world trying to be #1: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – flopped; Mr. Sunshine – didn’t see the sunshine for very long, only lasting one season; Go On – had some potential but ultimately couldn’t survive the notorious TV chopping block (hence, the picture). On Friends, he worked well as a secondary character, bouncing off of other characters such as Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc). I’m sorry, but I don’t know what CBS is thinking (the original channel of The Odd Couple). Perry is just not a funny enough comedian to take a comedy and make it great. He’s too stiff or doesn’t have enough enthusiasm to really make me like him.

Just leave this timeless classic alone. Don’t ruin something that would surely make Neil Simon roll in his grave right now. I’m pretty sure he is already covering his ears for the negative feedback this rehash is going to receive. Doing a remake of the The Odd Couple is like trying to recreate Michaelango’s cathedral masterpiece. The first one will always be the best – any attempted replica just isn’t the same, doesn’t have the same meaning. Let Felix and Oscar rest in peace.

So CBS, in the words of the Beatles:

But as always, I may be totally wrong with my opinion, like I probably will be with my top ten reasons why Disney will botch Star Wars.


NoShaNo: November 8: After one week

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Daily  Prompt 11/8/14

Talking to My Phone

Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?


WIN_20141106_132122 (2)If one object could hear me,
I would choose my phone,
Because it is like my extended arm,
What I always carry to and from home.
It’s not the greatest phone,
Doesn’t even text right now,
I can take pictures but not call,
Can search the web but not all.
I would tell this phone that she has done me good,
Surviving for over a year like most phones wish they could.
You’ve been beaten, dropped, kicked, stepped on, lost, and wet in the shower,
But you still work like a champ and that is your finest hour.
You can’t really rival an iPhone or a super powered Android,
Couldn’t hold a candle to the fancy Galaxy of fanboys,
But you are serviceable and are what a phone was intended for,
Calling people, not scanning off QR codes at the store.
Your screen is smudged and potmarked like faces,
Your camera takes good pictures just not in all places.
Music is the one thing you are good for,
When Headphones plugs into you, the room begins to soar.

“So we will always be good friends?,” my phone would say
“Yes, until the day we part ways.”
“But we won’t ever part ways, will we?”
“I’m afraid so, once a much better piece of technology reaches my hands.”
“But…but…oh, I understand.”
“You understand what?”
“I’m not the most powerful phone out there, don’t have customizable apps, can’t map out your journey to work.”
“You have a Facebook app, which works pretty well. Twitter is also on there.”
“I know, but how many times do you use those apps in a day?”
“I use them when the time is right. My laptop is always near me for that matter. The apps are good for on the go or when I’m in a hotel room.”
“What about my notepad and alarm clocks?”
“Those are very useful though the alarms seem to go off at the most inopportune times.”
“Yes, but you are the one who sets those alarms.”
“I know but you could at least tell me when those alarms are not necessary.”
“Wish I could but I’m not that smart. I’m what you call a semi-smartphone.”
“You are being modest, Elle, you are a very smart phone.”
“Don’t lie to me. I look fat don’t I?”
“What? You aren’t fat. A little on the thick side but I wouldn’t say fat.”
“I’m short and rectangular and the Internet is hard to see on me.”
“So? That’s what makes you unique. You aren’t getting bigger in size like a lot of the new phones. You are small and compact and easy to fit into my pocket. Try doing that with one of those giant iPhones now.”
“You’re right. I am a good phone. Useful, compact, can store things, do simple tasks. But you are still going to give me up someday and I am sad.”
“Not entirely. You’ll still be there for some small tasks like picture taking.”
“But the new phone will surely have a much better camera than mine.”
“Yes but I will always like to go back to using you for pictures because of the nostalgia it entails.”
“Well, that’s nice, though you will probably give up on me after new techno corners satisfies you greatly.”
“Yes, that day will come and you will probably be sitting in a dresser drawer, collecting dust, your number going back into the vat of recycled numbers to be redistributed again, but I will always remember the times I had with you, every moment we had together.”
Elle’s alarm goes off suddenly, a sad tune that hints of parting ways with a friend.
“I’ll miss you, old pal. When the new phone comes can I still be carried around in your pocket for a little while?”
“I suppose so but new phone might not like that, wanting to be the dominant force in owner’s hands. Besides, carrying around two phones is silly and cumbersome.”
“Oh…I see…well, at least you’ll remember me, unlike the rest of your phones that are probably just mulch now.”
“I remember them, Elle, like the dead souls of technology long gone. That first flip phone called Marble that kept me up through the nights with games of Brick Break, my second phone called Slider that made me feel like I was really innovative and hip. The memories…now it’s too bad I see my parents using flip phones and I call them old when I was using the same thing only about six years ago in high school. Then iPhone came and everything changed.”
“I second that,” says Elle.


NoShaNo: November 6: Coming along nice

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Daily Prompt 11/6/14

Success Food

If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?


0504 Dogs

Success is a hotdog? Never thought of it like that. I guess I’ve eaten it many times, hoping to find the best one but they are always disappointing to me – there is always another successful story out there that has or is waiting to be written (or eaten) and surely taste better than mine. The condiment called failure, a nasty but delicious mixture of ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, pepper spray, and other unknown substances, flavors this hotdog or hamburger, or whatever, making it taste better. The more failure applied to the success hotdog, the more appetizing it gets, the more likely it is to break free from the pack of bland hotdogs and win everyone over at the annual hotdog judging contest (if there is such a thing).

So like Charlie said, I like my success spicy but not too spicy. His saying has nothing to do with success but you get the point. Too much failure makes me feel depressed and desperate for something to work again but too little failure will leave me with blinders on both sides of my head, unable to have peripheral vision, to see the world in a broader spectrum. Failure helps me become better, to improve myself. Without failure, I am just a gloating, nothing-can-hurt-me, never taking risks kind of guy. Keeping a good ratio of success and failure in my life is what keeps me honest, keeps me afloat in this roughneck, drag me down world. Some of my failures in life include trying to start a business, get a successful YouTube channel going, learning to drive a car, trying to run for class president, failing on my first word in the Spelling Bee (flashback!), and some others that are undoubtedly hiding in the cobwebs of my magnificent library upstairs. These failures are good because they help me realize nothing is easy and I can learn from them, to become better next time. But I don’t want too much failure or I am left feeling hopeless and vulnerable, and surely would not want to try some things again. Until now, I’ll go back to finding the next hotdog or hamburger that has a nice mix of success and failure in it and will keep me satisfied until the good feeling is gone and I have to look for more success food to eat. Hopefully you understand what I’m talking about.

So pick yourself up
Take a deep breath
Dust yourself off
And start all over again

“Pick Yourself Up” – Nat King Cole


Daily Prompt 11/4/14

P.S. I voted today, not that is going to have much of an effect but as I always say, “At least I have a right to vote for whoever I want and don’t have a gun to my head.”

No Shave November

If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?


Men (and women) all around the globe are putting down their razors for one month to participate in No Shave November!

For those of you who aren’t aware, every November for God knows how long, men opt to not shave at all for an entire month to raise awareness for prostate cancer. No Shave November is believed to be in response to the pink ribbons worn for breast cancer awareness month. This monthly adventure of hairy, messy beard loving proportions started out as Movember where men (and sometimes women) would try to grow the best moustache by shaving only the rest of their face.

I usually don’t even notice the hair on my face growing – it seems to appear so quickly but now I have decided to chronicle the growth everyday in pictures until December 1st. A virtual way of slowing down it down and examining for an interesting pattern. By “slowing down” the process, I bet I could figure out how many days on average it takes the first hairs on my face to sprout and when a decent mug starts appearing. There IS a science to this people!


01 October 31 Before (2)
Oct 31: Before first shave
01 October 31 After
Oct 31: After first shave – the starting point
02 November 1
November 1

Daily Prompt 11/1/14

P.S. I probably won’t quite pull off how the East End Beardsman looks like.

P.P.S. I got the prompt’s joke today about David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”

P.P.P.S. The East End Beardsman looks like George Lucas.