Super Bowl Sunday

I have a journal I used to write in almost everyday, on and off, but as time went on I got lazy and stopped recording things in it, missing big chunks of time that I went back and recapped as best as I could remember. This journal is over ten years old, me receiving it in 2003 as a Christmas gift, and contains over one hundred entries, short and elaborated, about events in my life, from the most uneventful to the ones that could have enough power to inspire a post of mine. The last time I wrote in this journal, a Jeff Gordon variation, was at the beginning of last year, around February after the Super Bowl had just ended, the Seahawks winning it all. I wrote an entry for the game and all the festivities around it that happened, such as Bruno Mars in the halftime show and the dismantling of the Denver Broncos, getting beat 48-7. Our little party that day consisted of my home made Fusion Chili, dubbed “Super Chili”, carefully crafted with chili peppers, spices, cheeses, tomatoes, onions, and cubed sauteed carrots. It was what I called “real chili” since it didn’t come straight from a can and didn’t just consist of beans and meat. And it wasn’t just throwing ingredients into a pot and making a meal; I actually cooked the vegetables separately, getting them softened up, and made the main chili mixture separately as well, incorporating the two.

Anyways, I find it harder and harder to return to good old fashioned writing by hand, since a computer is now always at my fingertips, always waiting for the next best thing to be written, fueling my thoughts, urging me on through the countless inspirational things I find daily on the Internet. Ever since I started this blog, it hasn’t made much sense to painstakingly write down my thoughts on paper, having to be extra careful to make sure the entry was readable, not in my usual sloppy handwriting form.

It’s going to take some mighty motivation for me to pull my old journal (not diary) off of its high shelf and put the pen or pencil to the page again. There are about twenty pages left in this book, still fresh as the day they were rolled off the paper mill. It is my mission to fill them all up and complete this little book, this condensed biography of my life from the time I was eleven to me now being past twenty and with still a life’s worth of events to come.

My “Super Chili” is coming back this year, though making it as incredible and delicious as it’s debut last year will be tough since a bar has been set now, a standard established. It may be based off of a recipe I found online, but I believe I can incorporate a little bit of my own style into it.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?


Better to Be Modest Than A Pretentious Jerk

Immediately, thoughts of Eric Clapton’s soothing hit “Change The World” come to mind. I never realized the song was by him until I looked it up on YouTube. In fact, I was listening to it briefly as I wrote this, hoping to find an inspirational message to guide me, to invoke thoughts of realizing I could make a difference.

If I could reach the stars, I’d pull one down for you
Shine it on my heart, so you could see the truth
That this love I have inside, is everything it seems
But for now I find, it’s only in my dreams

The World Through My Eyes is all about finding myself, channeling my thoughts, trying to find ideal happiness through writing. After various names that I have gone through on this blog, from using my pen name “macbofisbil”, to using “this is my journey”, to using all caps on “MACBOFISBIL”, I finally decided on a name I had come up with a while back, putting it on the top header image and now introducing it in the New Year. It is all about how I perceive the world and all about my current state in it. Through photographs and pieces of writing, whether it be poetry or trials and tribulations of fictional writing, I am getting closer to finding the real me with this blog, honing my skills, moving towards blogging zen or the Holy Grail if you may call it.

What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?

My blog was never about changing anything in the world when I first started it and now that I going on my second year of blogging, I would find it incredibly surprising if any of my writing pieces of inferior quality could even have an impact. At best, I still call myself a novice writer, still trying to find that thing that everybody loves, still trying to find my niche audience, hoping to please them every time. But that’s difficult to do, because everyone’s tastes are radically different. Some of my writing pieces (sounds more professional than ‘posts’) were good in bloggers opinions while others didn’t do as well as I hoped, didn’t strike gold, didn’t hit all the right notes to invoke a flurry of comments (not that that has ever happened, yet). Yeah, I am being modest, choosing to think of my work on an unassuming level. I like to say my writing is inspirational because I do put time and effort into it, do try to form a connection with my potential readers, some of them gradually becoming loyal followers. I have always drawn inspiration from my own life, talking about my successes and failures, my dreams, my hopes, things that interest me. I would love to have my blog make people realize their dreams can come true if you put some work and effort into making them happen. There have been failures in my life that have caused episodes of depression, replaying them in my mind over and over again, unable to shake them off, wanting to vanquish their laughter, turn them around, but I have begun to realize these failures can help make me better.

I would love to have my blog make people happy but at the same time give them something to think about, make them want to change something in their life. There has always been a dream way in the back of my mind to have my blog tell a story of the never ending struggle to find one’s inner peace, to figure out their true personality inside, to fight off the demons that constantly bombard us, trying to pull us away from our path to happiness. The unexpected intent of this blog was to paint beautiful pictures in the minds of whoever was interested in reading it.

But let’s get real here, me and this little blog of 182 followers (as of now) has as much chance of changing the world as gay marriage being accepted by the entire planet (though it is getting on the right track). I have never had expectations that high, preferring to think reasonably about myself, knowing my limitations, not wanting to sound too pretentious. Changing the world is a big way to think, unlike anything I have ever dreamed of. I’m not doing this little blogging experiment to set the human race on an entirely different way of thinking or doing. That’s absurd. Totally egotistic as well. I love to blog because it is enjoyable and a learning experience for myself. I love to use this great tool as a way to improve my writing skills and to make new fiends friends and discover people who are like me in interesting ways. Sure, I would love to think my little corner of the internet has the power to cause significant events in this world to happen, can have a ripple effect, but in all honesty, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. I’m comfortable right now just being modest about my writing in general, not putting it too high on a pedestal, because that only results in me crashing a long way back down to earth when I can’t replicate my mere success, resulting in a feeling of failure and the onset depression that comes afterward. I hate that.

So, for now, I’m not thinking about changing the world. There are much more powerful and deserving writers and bloggers out there for that job. I feel no pressure to have my work serve as a testament to all of mankind, to make any sort of impact on the way we live and breath. It would be crazy to think a little man from a small Midwestern town, with very little money and connections, could possibly Change the World. But, as countless proverbs and inspirational pictures have said, it’s the little actions from small groups of people that can make a difference. So maybe I am doing something but I just don’t know it yet – maybe by participating in this incredible blogging experience has opened up the doors to potentially making some good in our society today. I’m sure the small group of creators behind Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, and other technologies didn’t immediately think they could change the world, but look where they are now.

Amateur Tent-Makers Revisited

Daily Prompt: Hindsight (Rewrite your very first post)

Two large automatic doors open up with a whoosh sound. A burst of bright white light engulfs the scene, shining into my eyes, illuminating everything around me. As my eyes adjust to the light, something blurry is situated in the white light of the room. As my eyes get more into focus, I make out the blue outline of what seems to be a logo of sorts. Then the sharp lines of a letter come into focus. It’s a stylized “W” set in a circle and situated in the center of a pure white wall. I walk into this gigantic room and the sliding doors close and air lock behind me. All is silent around here. It is a pure white chamber. To my far left I see a pearly white podium; I slowly walk over to it, looking around carefully for any signs of trip wire or traps, but nothing happens as I reach the stand. Set into this podium is a tabletop computer and there is a program already loaded up on it. It consists of a blank writing box with a box for a title on top of it. There is a “Publish” button at the bottom of the page. Above the title box, in lowercase letters, is the word “macbofisbil”, which is a name I created, but as far as why it is suddenly being used here, I have no idea.

A voice suddenly booms in the still air. I look up, startled.

“Welcome to WordPress. Are you ready to write your first post?” It is a very Big Brother, “1984” sounding voice. Authoritative, commanding, mysterious.

I look around the futuristic clean room, wondering where this disembodied voice came from.

“Um, I don’t know. How did I get here? What is this place? What’s WordPress?”

The disembodied voice, seeming to come from all around this sanitized chamber, speaks again:

“This is the blog department of WordPress, a free and open source blogging website. You are in the user level section. If you recall registering for a WordPress blog yesterday, than you have come to the right place. You won’t remember how you got here because you were drugged and blindfolded so you wouldn’t see where we were located, how to get here, keeping our whereabouts secretive.”

“Oh, I see. Am I the only one here? Where is everyone else?”

“Oh, there are lots of others here, in different areas. This is your area, where you will write your daily posts, but you can communicate with other bloggers through our revolutionary built in system.”

I look around again at this room, something out of a dream no doubt. There doesn’t seem to be any doors other than the entrance way. The ceiling, walls, and floor are all alike, hard to tell which is which.

So this is WordPress. Why they don’t want me to know where it is located is a pondering question.

What will I write for my very first post? Thoughts of my summer so far are in my mind. Maybe I’ll write about going camping soon this summer, setting up the tent in my yard, all the trouble we goofs went through.

As if it was reading my thoughts, the voice softly spoke: “So you’re going to write about your pre-camping rituals? Are you sure that will make for a good post?”

“Yes, I believe it is a good start, a way to channel some of my thoughts. I mean, this is my first post, where can I go wrong? I have nothing to measure it against.”

“That’s a good way to think about it, but remember, first impressions are important, make your first post a good one, put your heart into it. It’s your decision to how you want to approach it but we are not liable for any mishaps you may have. Are you ready then?”

I stare at the blank screen, no idea of what I am getting into, what lies ahead, but the excitement of starting something so brand new in my life finally makes me say “Yes.”

“Okay. To get started, just touch the screen.”

I do so and the tabletop screen suddenly rises into an inclined position, enabling me to see it better. A keyboard is revealed after a sliding door opens in the podium. It is now the traditional desktop computer, though I’m not sure if this is Windows, Mac, or some proprietary system owned by this WordPress. A panel in the floor also opens and a chair rises out it. It is a nice looking chair, egg shaped, with a swivel bottom. I sit down in this and suddenly my mind is clear. A great burst of energy pulses through my body. I feel like writing! This seat is magical, soothing, releasing tension in my muscles. I press a button on the arm of the chair labeled “Forward” and the chair advances toward the computer station. My fingers touch the keys, and after some thought, I write down my very first words.

Surviving in the wild will be a interesting endeavor for me and a small number of others in my family. The new link in the chain, the bearded, obnoxious man named Charles, will be coming with us. As far as his anti-social cat named Bubbles, well, he’ll be eating food out the dish of one of Chaz’s friends.

Getting back from swimming, in which I received a job offer from the Nokia girl and tried to get the illusive tan, Uncle Jack said he had a present for me in the trunk of Emily’s car. Whenever my uncle says he has a “present” for me, I usually think it will be something small and worthless. But when he popped open the trunk, a medium sized duffel bag was before my eyes. This was the brand new tent for our camping trip in August, the one we will sleep in while trying to fend for ourselves in the ruthless wild. Okay, so it’s not going to be that bad, not like we’re going to have a bear walk into our camp and demand we give up our food or else. No, this place will be enclosed and monitored but will feel like old fashioned camping: cooking food over a fire pit of wood, fishing, fending off the mosquitoes, hanging clothes on a line strung from tree A to tree B.

The only other time I had been camping in my life was at Mystic Lake in fifth grade, when I was a naïve eleven year old with no knowledge of the world except what was in front of me. All I knew was what was in my innocent mind, my little elementary school, the then so-intimidating camp counselors looking like big responsible adults to me when in fact they were in about eleventh or twelfth grade, only a few years older than I. Unlike what we will have on our future camping trip, there were cabins and large heated bathrooms with showers. I had to get up and use the bathroom so many times during my first night that the counselor in our cabin who was in charge of us started to get annoyed. My flashlight led the way and I, scared of monsters popping out in the woods, ran to the bathroom and back up the stairs into cabin safety quickly.

Getting the ruddy tent up took a bit of work, but after some help from Chaz, the man with the know-it-all attitude and technology that could rival the U.S. government, we managed to pitch the tent in no time. The problem was getting those pesky poles into their foot slots. They had to be precariously bended, the tent being shifted to and fro, stretching it out. What we were left with was a modest 10 by 8 foot tent with enough room for about four to five people, depending on size.

Of course I wanted to sleep in the tent the first night so that’s exactly what happened, with the addition of Jack. With a few blankets and a small, uncomfortable pillow, along with my phone that I call my extended arm, I made it through my first night under the stars.

From my first day of school to now being an amateur tent-maker, I have learned the ropes and have experienced life. There is still a long road unwinding for me and where it takes me I will soon find out. Only I can decide that. Right now though, I am lying on the floor of a tent, listening to the wind and rain pattering the roof, the cars rumbling by, and the sound of water dripping and splattering into the mud pit we call a garden.

After I look over the post and add some finishing touches to it, I happily hit the “Publish” button. A congratulatory message pops up, telling me I have published my very first post and should tell the world about it on various social media sites. Why not? My first steps into this exciting world have been taken, my flag planted. Now I’ll wait to see what the response is from the other bloggers hiding away in their various compartments of this complex that is probably so enormous I could fit 2,000 copies of my house into it.

A few days later:

I check back on my first post. It received just 1 like and no comments. Oh well, it’s a start. I wasn’t expecting it to go viral or anything.

Is This The End?

Daily Prompt: Cliché

“Oh damn, another prompt that has me scratching for answers with no such luck.”

“Today for you frequent Daily Prompters is a prompt about the cliché, ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ and asks when was the last time that saying was true for you.”

“After ten minutes of staring at the prompt description I pasted into my blank post, I am still stumped.”

“How the hell do I respond to this?”

“Well it so happens that I looked up the meaning of this cliché and means it is better to have a lesser but certain advantage than the possibility of a greater one that may come to nothing. Hmm…sounds confusing. Well, there’s a start but any ideas for this are seemingly being rushed forward in my head with no coherent reasoning. And putting down these crippled thoughts into a working post sounds very amateurish, something I have done in the past that left me feeling vulnerable and stupid.”

“Guess I’ll have to go the scenic route and check out some other blogs for inspiration. There’s Angloswiss and Marilyn Armstrong who always have a strong view on things. Mrs. Swiss did another memorable piece about her cats that put some faith in my blogging again and Mrs. Armstrong did an appropriate rant in the form of a conversation that inspired me to rant as well. Where was Tom Balisteri today? I guess he didn’t have any witty poetry in response to this – that’s how bad it was today; he usually can take anything and make it gold.”

“Oh, why should I care about responding to this so late at night? It’s not worth hacking up a hasty post that will only get about 4 to 5 likes anyway. That’s not what I am about. It would be a mistake in my mind to respond to something I have no interest in responding to – doing that only ends in sadness and failure and I am learning to avoid that.”

“But as the clock ticks down to the next day, the WordPress clock automatically advancing to the next and showing up as such in any of my posts published this late, I am desperately trying to avoid a gap in blogging and get something down for human (and maybe animal) eyes to see.”

“Pouring out negative thoughts about this prompt have helped somewhat to give me new hope in blogging.”

“Oh, look, it’s one of the ‘Friendly editors’ at WordPress.”

“Hello, you seem to be having a problem with the prompt today. Is it too restricted? Can’t you figure out something to write? ”

“No, and getting to it this late at night, 10 o’clock-ish, really makes me think ‘Why bother?'”

“‘Why bother?’ Well, for one, we techies take extra care when cooking up these little jump starters to your day, but as you are getting to it at night, well, we have nothing for you there. Sorry. We hope you figure out your problem. On to more pressing matters.”

“Then the hell with you.”

“Is the end near for this little blogging experience of mine?”

“I don’t know. It just seems like I am getting busier with other things these days (such as working on my YouTube channel, pouring my heart and soul in making great videos) and have put blogging on the back-burner per say. I always reminisce about the days before I had a blog, when I didn’t have a nagging obligation to fulfill.”

“I’m going to forget about this terrible day for blogging and instead play a game of Parcheesi with my folks, a game most people in their 20s would have no interest in. But I’m wise beyond my years. It’s something that will take my mind off of uninspired posting. Good day. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Nice to Meet You, Liebster

Liebster – a German word meaning dearest or favorite.

Oh, really? I thought this award was named after a person with the last name Liebster. I learn something new everyday. It’s also not just central to WordPress, is awarded on other blogging platforms as well.

A couple days ago I received my first ever nomination for an award on this blog, the Liebster Award, given to bloggers with less than 200 followers (or any number I suppose) and whose blog is recognized as a favorite in the nominator’s mind. I have to say I was quite surprised to have received such an award because I have been mostly blogging to gain a foothold in the online community, get my voice heard out there, and most of all join other bloggers and have fun. It is a great honor to receive this award and after some thought I believe I will accept it because it serves as a certification that my blog has fulfilled it’s purpose and goal when it first started: to share my interests and life experiences, inspire people, and create a space where I can unleash my inner creativity in ways that I had not been able to do before. I only really started blogging a few months ago and in that short time span (which seems like a long time) I have published more posts and have received more likes and constructive comments (other than pingbacks and spam) than the first months of blogging combined.

Here are the rules to accept the award if you are nominated (continuing the long breadcrumb trail):

1: Acknowledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated;

2: Copy the Liebster logo and paste it onto your own blog;

3: Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on their respective blogs;

4: In your blog post about the Liebster Award:

Link back to the blogger who nominated you

Answer the 11 questions put to you by the person who nominated you

List 11 random facts about yourself

Nominate, and link to, 3 – 11 other blogs which you enjoy and which have fewer than 200 followers

List 11 questions for your nominees.

My nominees:

Observations From Oblivion


Still searching for nominees…

11 things you never knew about me, but now do:

  1. The first movie I can remember seeing was The Lion King
  2. I got my first guitar at 19 years old
  3. Never resided in another state for more than a week
  4. Have had only one dog and hundreds of cats in my life
  5. Only sang karaoke once in front of a large group (and I bet I sounded bad because a few people left 😦  )
  6. Was a hall monitor the entire year of fifth grade because I thought I would get a pizza party in the end (that never happened)
  7. Have never gotten totally wasted (not that I ever want to)
  8. First car I drove was a Pontiac G6
  9. First time I ever used a social network was around 2006 on Myspace
  10. My longest conversation on the phone was probably an hour and a half
  11. There’s $42.30 in a money jar of mine right now

My answers to lrod’s 11 questions:

1) What motivated you to start your blog?

I might have the oddest name on here: MACBOFISBIL, which is an acronym featuring adjectives that describe my life (or how I want it to be). My motivation started when I created the name and wanted to use it to create a cool identity online where I could write about my life and build a following. I didn’t have much going on during the summer of 2013 and the time to start a blog could not have come any sooner. When lots of interesting things that had happened already that summer and in the past year were on my mind, I decided I wanted to write about them and form what was originally a journal of my life that then morphed into more of a creative development site.

2) What is your favorite holiday of the year?

Christmas, just because it lasts the longest, has the biggest build up to, and always brings my family together. Plus, it’s the most genuine holiday of the year IMHO, not cheesy like Halloween or an all-in-for-the-money holiday like Valentine’s Day.

3) What are some family traditions you enjoy?

Going up North to the UP, buying gifts for everyone in the family, cook-outs at the lake.

4) Thinking back 3 years ago, did you picture doing what you’re doing now?

Not at all. I had no real interest in starting a blog and even getting a successful one going was a pipe dream. What was I even going to write about, I thought multiple times.

5) What piece of technology is one you can’t live without?

My laptop, obviously. It is how I write my blog everyday now since buying it, leaving behind the rusty, noisy desktop for good.

6) Do you prefer using WordPress from your phone or your computer? Why?

Computer: less cramped, more freedom to move outside the “walled garden”. Besides, my phone doesn’t support the adding on of apps; I can only use the basic ones that came with the phone and are permanent.

7) Have you visited any other place outside from where you live? Did you like it?

Yes, mostly states on the east coast such as Pennsylvania and Virginia but also Kansas and Missouri and the Midwestern states such as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. I also visited Florida but the last time I did was when I was only four years old so it’s been almost 20 years. The state I loved the most was Missouri because of the many sights to see down there as well as the friendliness of the people.

8) Favorite movie of all time?

This has always been a tough one. There are many movies at the top of my list but if I had to name a movie that sparked the most enjoyment out of myself it would have to be The Shawshank Redemption. It was the first movie where I really felt like I was watching something smart and edgy, something I could analyze. Plus, Morgan Freeman was awesome as always.

9) If you could move anywhere else, where would it be?

I’ve always wanted to move to Florida (see question 7) because of the warm weather and bountiful supply of oranges (which I love).

10) Favorite food?

Any kind of potato salad (Mustard, Redskin, Amish), except after the time I ate some and vomited for the first time in nearly 14 years (random fact #12)

11) What makes you feel better when you’re having a bad day?

When I listen to or watch someone who has an inspirational message for everyone including myself, something that helps me realize I can still go on and that there still are happy days ahead. Life doesn’t end just because I am having a bad day. There’s always tomorrow to makes things better.

Here are my questions to my fellow nominees:

1) What is the thing you most enjoy about blogging in general?

2) Currently employed or not, what would be your dream job if you could quit your current or future job today?

3) Who would you say is the craziest person in your family?

4) Thinking three years from now, what do you think you will be doing?

5) If you could take over the head of one multi-billion dollar company (Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.) for a day, what would it be and why?

6) Favorite genre of music?

7) In the last ten years, what piece of technology has revolutionized your life the most?

8) What is your biggest fear in life?

9) How many blogs, on average, would you say you read in a day on WordPress and which ones did you find most enjoyable?

10) Best meal you’ve cooked in your life?

11) If you were forced to live somewhere else and had to stay there permanently, where would you go and why?


Meat A Food From The Past

Today, write a post about the topic of your choice — using only one-syllable words.

This might be a post full of cheese and head drone, but I must write to the tune of what went on in my plain as rain life.

A great one came back this week. A hot one straight from the past. The one that will stay here for a while and then go back in the vault. They call it a trek back to the days of funk and soul. This turn back of the clock choice was so good that we all got one for the price of two for five. On the big board this takes two breaths to say, starts with a “Y”, ends with a “Bo”. Mr. W’s long lost kin, I say. But to say this was the best would be a lie, when it could quite be a thing I made at home once. Hot ham and cheese – how great and new that sounds. I loved it but in the end is a one and done deal that does not beat the king of King’s meat with two breads. Did this take me back to a time when I was not born? Not quite. That failed quite a lot, the place was quite plain, the home screen lied, made things all flair for show. Two score years gone has made its trip back to the top a great time. They all asked for it time and time for years. The head gave in and gave them what they want.

It is quite tough to write a good post with just one breath words in my box of tools. Please, do not give us this type of prompt on days to come.

There is just one last thing to say to end this – Yum, tum, rum, crumb, bo.

The Yumbo – a sandwich that had been off the Burger King menu for 40 years until this week. The caption is an exception for this post.

DP #72: “One at a Time.”

Technical Difficulties

There was a time
When everything seemed so bad
Nothing wanted to work right
I was starting to get mad
Those pingbacks 
They didn’t work for a while
I was losing out on readers
Felt like walking the mile
Asked for help,
Got some answers,
Told me to wait,
Waited for a few days,
Patience rushing,
Temper mounting,
Thoughts of giving up,
Even wrote a rant:
“Booted off ship”
“Stranded in water”
Outcasted, I felt
In the end was pointless
Cause everything cleared up
And my blog went back to normal
Forgot about my troubles
All that fuss was silly
But four days out 
Got me willy nilly
Things always get better
That’s the thing about life
One minute you’re on top
The next minute you’re under the knife
Oh Internet, oh internet
Why must you be a stubborn mule?
I know I beat you like a drum
And you serve me day in and day out
But when I go to do my daily tasks
I expect you to be there 
Every step of the way
No matter, no doubt
I hate it when the net is out
I lose out on a lot of things
My integral life online 
One place I truly can sing
The connection ceases
Occasionally on days
Such a rude awakening
When I have things to say
It’s going OK now
But trouble always lurks
For every minute I spend
There always failure 
In the works
Web browser choice
Is a big part of life
One always does something better
And it’s like choosing a wife
Cause you’ll be with one for a while
And seem to be happy go lucky
But then the mask comes off
And you see the ugliness underneath
It’s a rude awakening
A sword leaving the sheath

DP #69: “An Extreme Tale”