Y is for Year of the Goat

It’s the year of the goat for me
What does that mean?
I shouldn’t be wearing black, blue, or green
Of course, none of that matters,
Since I’m still here
I guess bad luck will have to find me next year

For more about the Year of the Goat, click the link.

April A to Z Challenge

R is for Really Bad/Really Good

There are two sides to life, the bad and the good, and I feel like I get a dose of both everyday and April has been no exception. The bad can be either totally unforgiving or help to give you an insight into what you should change or improve on, while the good can sometimes be a layer of false hope, like the frosting on a cake, and once it ends you are sent crashing down and there doesn’t seem to be a safety net to catch you.

First the really bad for me:

April

I feel like it’s been a fairly lousy  month of blogging for me since April is the worst month since September last year in terms of overall stats (visitors, views, likes, comments), and I only started blogging on the 16th of that month. I can, however, contribute the major drop in stats due to this A to Z challenge I have been participating in, since many of my followers are not taking part in this and I may have alienated them. I can say for certain that I have struggled with this challenge right from the get-go and I feel like I’ve wasted almost a whole month doing this since I never officially signed up for it in the first place and just started it on a whim. Not having an overall theme to go by also made things difficult and it’s basically been a mess, a runaway train that I have not been able to steer back onto the tracks. Hopefully May will be a whole lot better, since I’ll be back on my regular posting ways again (the Daily Prompt, yeah!). I guess I’ll just use April as yet another learning experience in my burgeoning blogging life – to never start anything without having prepared for it in advance.

Detroit

hrh

My family took a short trip to the Motor City today to pick up tickets for a Tigers vs. Cubs game in June. Now, this little section of Detroit that includes Comerica Park and Ford Field is the lone bright spot of the city while the rest of it is basically a pitiful dump, an apocalyptic war zone. And it did not look so bad the last time we were there for a game in 2008. The city has gone to the dogs and it doesn’t look like they want it anymore either. The roads have all been torn up for construction and it only adds insult to injury when you don’t see a glimpse of greenery anywhere; it is literally a concrete jungle, or a concrete jungle that looks like a bomb has been dropped on it. Seriously, the place is utterly depressing and I can see why Detroit gets such a bad rep these days and why no one wants to live there (who would with the city being notorious for crime?). The mayor of Detroit should be ashamed for having the city get to the desolate state it’s in. This is an embarrassment not only for the people living there but also for the state of Michigan as well. For the first time today, I got to see more of the inner parts of the city as we drove through it to find a highway, and it just added to my assumption that this has to be the worst place to live in the United States. Graffiti, while highly artistic and imaginative, was all over the walls from one block of streets to the next and when we took a turn under a bridge on the left, it continued on alongside the most neglected parts of town. Even the entrance ramp to the expressway that led us out of this hell had big crater sized potholes, our car doing a couple skips and hops, hitting a bunch of bumps and divots before finally finding smooth ground. Detroit needs a major check up, stat!

My computer

First it was a couple of missing screws, then it was more and more frequent BSOD (blue screens of death) error messages popping up suddenly and mysteriously, restarting the computer right in the middle of something I was doing to my annoyance and frustration. Now the keyboard has gone dead in certain places like a paralyzed patient, forcing me to use my external roll up keyboard that is not very practical to say the least. I still have about one year left on my warranty and it is pretty much time to get my sick laptop to the doctor and get it the first class treatment it’s crying for now.

Now for the really good:

Casa Rodriguez Mexican restaurant

rea

Other than Los Tres Amigos, this has got to be the best Mexican restaurant I’ve been to in Michigan. The steak fajita tacos I received which included dollops of guacamole, sourcream, and tomatoes were a meal that even looked good enough for a picture. The homemade chips and salsa served before also made me appreciate this little local eatery in Jackson. Sure, the waitress was a bit snobbish (we didn’t leave her a tip) but I can’t really complain that much when the food was grade A. I wasn’t really that fond of the wet burrito meal my dad got since it looked like a sick soupy mixture of grease and salsa, but oh well. A little humor was on the side as we saw a man at another table who looked like the frontman from ZZ Top, with a long beard and black shades on – I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a motorcycle parked outside.

That’s my April so far, how’s your’s been?

April A to Z Challenge

The Metaphorical Fog

I’ll fight my way through the darkness, finding the writer in me,

Pushing through that dense fog, vanquishing with brilliancy;

Recalling summer days, when I was brimming with potential,

And those cold winter nights, when all was uneventful

In mid-evening, I strolled along that sandy encrusted shoreline,

Heard the waves crash, the ship’s horn call in rhyme;

The beast in the distance, eyeing me with vague mystery,

Bare feet on a warm bed of proverbial hot tamales

Unable to see clearly for the light that shines on the bay,

This hark feat of nature, the thing that blocks my way;

Looking through the clouds, for thy shape that is great,

Struggling through well run dry, rolling the red tape

The great thing about writing, it’s either a half full or empty glass:

You either look to the future or stay stuck in troubled past

For much of it all, does not deal with cemented perfection;

This metaphorical fog, it’s always causing digression

I hear the seagulls cry, scattering along the endless beach,

My mind sinking in quicksand, striking with careful beats

#Writing201

The Ink Runs Dry

I touch my pen to the paper
But still no ink comes out
And as the hours tick by
I begin to have that dreadful writer’s doubt
With thoughts half baked
And inspiration bored
I guess it’s time to hit the scenic route
And see what everyone else has in store

And because Morton’s Fork
Has offered me one or the other
I suppose I would go my own way, solo
Writing till the pen calls for another


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Morton’s Fork

If you had to choose between writing a blog (but not reading others’) or reading others’ blogs (but not writing your own), what would you choose?

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?

WPC: Converge/Cutting Room Floor

Photos are visual spaces where shapes and lines, objects, and people come together.


The theme of today’s daily prompt was “Leftovers Sandwich”, creating a post featuring posts or parts of posts that were not used. I decided to combine it with the weekly photo challenge since there are pictures that I was going to use, but they ultimately got left on the cutting room floor.

1119-Winter-2

The snow plowed road from our brief winter storm this November, a picture that I going to use in a post but decided it didn’t work. The snaking curve of the road that was created from the snow being cleared away starts off large at first and then converges into smaller lines. 1119-Winter The cutting room floor is a term used in the film business to describe scenes that were deleted or never used at all. It probably originated from the days when editors would actually cut the physical film strip with scissors (hence the term “Final Cut”), getting rid of the unwanted scenes, and then piecing the strip back together. The term survives today to apply to any creative endeavor’s unused work whether it be video games, music, architecture, film, or writing.

There really aren’t that many posts I decided to leave on the cutting room floor or in what I call my developmental purgatory but there are lots of posts that had parts nicked from them. Some of my longer pieces that I went back and edited to shorten them had entire paragraphs removed. One of them in particular was my post talking about the beginning of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. It originally was about the month of February and what is called February Sweeps where many big events take place, such as the Super Bowl, and a string of TV shows premiere, but then I omitted all of that and just centered the post on the Olympics.

Last September I finally hit twenty posts on this blog and I was going to publish a post commemorating the milestone but decided not to because it would be silly (a celebration for the 100th maybe, but one for the 20th would be premature).

The idea for a movie review feature on my blog had come up and I created a draft called “macReview #1” about The Lone Ranger (2013), but decided it would not work with the way my blog was set up, worried it would fail miserably, would be better suited for an iMDB review. Here is the picture I created:

The Lone Ranger (2013) I might try doing this again, but spending some more time with creating it to ensure that it’s not just a boring movie review but one with an interesting twist, something in my original sense.

Speaking of leftovers, I just had my second Thanksgiving dinner tonight and could barely eat a bite. The turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes (or yams) were hard to swallow even when blanketed in some thick gravy poured from a measuring cup. But the saving grace of our real Thanksgiving dinner was the pies, of course, the banana cream (or creme) being the first to see the knife, followed by my Florida Citrus Meringue topped with Mandarin oranges that was the best pie this year. There will be lots of leftover turkey and other food since the people around to eat it has dwindled (now just my dad, mom, uncle, and I). Pretty sad really, the way Thanksgiving is dying in our family with everyone moving away. Turkey just isn’t the same for me anymore. I guess I’ve gotten tired of eating it every year. Maybe combining it with other animals would make things interesting. I’ve been fancying making a turducken, a bird-monstrosity that reminds me of something that was badly mutated and should be left alone to die.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge/ DP #66: “Leftovers Sandwich.”

50 Nifty Posts

This is my journey
Everything from my mind
Capitalizing on success
Still facing the big climb
Today I have reached fifty
A nice number in it’s own right
Not everyone is recognized
Only some can stand and fight

This is my journey
And what I set out to be
Trying to be the best
That I could possibly be
I knew it wouldn’t be easy
Reaching any sort of fame
But with my keys and my brain
At least I joined the game

This is my journey
A perilous path of experiment
Destroying things that failed
And praising things that speared it
I will one day look back at this
And see how much I’ve grown
See all the bumps and bruises
And all the stuff that was sown

This is my journey
Something unique to me
Unlike anybody else
I’m the one who sees
From the first step I took
On this long journey through time
I now have something to smile back on
And realize it’s all mine
Breaking out a shell
Something that hindered me best
And now I feel alive and ready
Ready to face any test

Fifty may not seem a lot
But it sure does for me
Since so much thought and practice
Went into making them gleam
The first was a mild success
The second even better
And then after that I started
Getting beat and bloody weathered
But I battled through it and came out strong
And now I’m smelling roses
For they now are smiling and are proud
That he was one who chose us
And the sounds of time long past gone
Ripples through my pages
The times when I couldn’t hear my voice
And the days in the dark ages

This is my journey
Nearly all in a nutshell
Still adding more to it
Making my life swell
There’s no need to panic
No need to fear
Cause what I have accomplished
Makes this a great year

Celebrating 50 posts on WordPress!

I have reached a milestone in my WordPress career that began in 2013. Before September, I only had 20 and then went on a killing spree, starting with the daily prompt’s every day boosts and then branching off and doing other things as well. It has been a monumental month and half for me to say the least.