Saturday, June 6, 2009

Creative Slump

I haven’t been doing any writing lately. It seems that I have been jumping from one thing to another, trying to stay afloat. It isn’t like anything has been an emergency either, but I have been dragged under by the minutiae that makes up life. After a while, something gets pushed to the side and unfortunately, this has been it.

Work has been busy. It seemed like there was someone at my desk with a problem for the better part of the last two weeks. Everything was an emergency. It seemed like their lack of planning had suddenly become my emergency. I am a firm believer in helping where I can, but after a while I felt like a janitor, cleaning up after them.

My brother recently purchased a new truck. Good for him, I think he deserves a new vehicle. Unfortunately, he bought a used diesel heavy duty pick up that he found on the Internet at a dealership in a near by state. We live in an area that has several Chrysler dealerships closing because of the trouble in the auto industry. He could have found a great deal on a new vehicle with a little digging. Instead, he dropped a lot of money on a used pick-up with over 100,000 miles. No amount of talking would make him listen to reason. I always thought my brother was level headed, but he could be a little off kilter now.

Personally, I have been in the middle of what could be my mid life crisis. My have lost all interest in my job. I have thought about buying a motorcycle and getting some sort of tattoo. I even thought about going back to school. Not for a Master’s degree, that would be too logical. I have been thinking about checking a local art school that offers classes in graphic design. I used to work in that field, but never had any official training. Going back to school has been looking like a possible path lately. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Man Up, Man Child!

I’ve decided to organize the collection. I have been collecting comic books since I was ten and after thirty some years, I have absolutely no idea what I have or how many.  Besides, it will give me a project, which is something I need. The time I have spent on the couch watching television has increased dramatically while the things that need to be done have been sitting, waiting to be finished. After a couple of weeks into it, I have concluded that I have a lot of useless crap.

Comic Books. Action figures. Trade paperbacks. Graphic novels. Unopened boxes of trading cards. That doesn’t include the childhood playthings; toys acquired as an adult and stuffed items that litter the place. Instead of progressing towards adulthood, I’ve had a white-knuckle death rip on my childhood. While my friends deal with marital problems, child custody issues and other familial issues, I can discuss the overall worthiness of a Nerf N-Strike Recon CS-6 rifle. Not that it ever comes up…but I’m ready…just in case.

With my overabundance of worthless items, I have decided to get rid of things. I am advertising them on eBay instead of my usual route of dropping things off at the local Goodwill store in the middle of the night.  Selling them will give me a little extra cash and prove to everyone that laughed at me that a collector’s market in action figures does exist. Besides, I don’t think the poor and thrifty would be interested in unopened boxes of trading cards.

I’ve had some luck. I sold a box of James Bond GoldenEye trading cards to someone in Texas. A box of Skybox DC Comics Master Series cards went to a person in New Jersey. They got something they wanted and I received cash for it, which is capitalism in action. God Bless America! The only thing left to do is getting rid of the sadness that goes along with selling the stuff. My family is a bunch of clean freaks, so the de-cluttering of my life would be looked upon as a good thing. But why does an Aquaman action figure still safely secure in original packaging make me happy? And the thought of letting go mean so much? 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hard Write

I tried doing a post a couple of days ago about a conversation I had in the office. I wrote about whom I talked to without revealing any names but the other person was still identifiable, if you knew me. After a hour of writing and editing, I reread everything to make sure everything sounded intelligent and the words flowed smoothly. When done, my one thought was "I can't post this." 

The post turned into something incredibly personal. I had opened myself up a little too much and put something about myself out there that made me uncomfortable. I started editing. I tried to turn the post into a little bit of media criticism, but that sounded forced. I edited again. I changed it to a piece about how my iPod might have hindered conversations since I listen to it while working out. Unfortunately, this wasn't working either. I kept trying to end the piece on a joke, but everything sounded forced to me. Humor should happen naturally and not be forced and I was desperately trying to shoe horn a joke into four or five paragraphs.

So I am back to where I started. I want to talk about something, as long as I don't get overly personal. I want the world to see my writing, but not see me. If this is going to work, I'll have to put everything out there and be ready for what happens when that happens.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Come On Joe

I recently decided to sell my audiocassettes to a local Half Price Books store in Rocky River. I sorted through what I had and decided that it was time to get rid of them. That is until I got to my Jo-El Sonnier cassettes. I checked iTunes and he is represented on the music service. I thought that I was in luck. I could buy his Come On Joe album and have it on my iPod. All that Cajun/zydeco goodness pouring into my ears and filling my skull would bring back the mid-90's when the cassette was almost permanently in the tape deck of my Sunbird. But the album wasn't listed. For some reason, RCA/Victor has taken this album out of circulation. That, to me, is a crime. 

Come On Joe was probably one of the first albums that fell out of mainstream music for me. I can't recall what possessed me to purchase it in a time when Culture Club, Duran Duran and other artists of the second British music invasion were popular. I listened to what was popular, to what my friends were listening. The idea of going against the high school tastemakers was tough and I bowed to peer pressure. Once out of high school, I started expanding to what I listened.

It is a fun album, country tinged but still having a beat to that pop/rocker/pseudo-head banger could listen. The ballad that shared the album's title was easily relatable to me. I took it as a man trying to work up his courage to on. At the time I was listening to it, I was moving out of high school into college and trying to find my way in the world. It has a slow waltz like tempo that makes slow dancing perfect. 

For me, the high light of the album is the last track, Tear Stained Letter. Accordions and electric guitars fill the music as a Jo-El sings about being on the receiving end of a bad beak up. The song has references to dance instructor Arthur Murray and punk band the Clash and offers sound advice: Cry cry if it makes you feel better/Set it all down in a tear-stained letter
Others have covered this song. I also have to Patty Loveless version, but it isn't the same. The music has the same infectious beat, but her delivery sounds bored. It sounds like Patti Loveless isn't happy to be singing the song. 

In this day of digital downloads and sagging CD sales, I don't understand why all albums are not available for sales. With services like iTunes, Napster and Amazon's MP3 service, music that does not sell a physical CD could still be available in electronic format. This would allow artists to still get their music to fans and record companies make a profit. RCA/Victor, are you listening to my suggestion?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Reason…Still Searching

I guess I am still looking for a reason to do this blog. I think I have a point of view and something to say, but is it worthy of the masses? The attempt to be "hip" or "funny" does not translate if the reader does not understand the over all point. Aquaman, cute fuzzy animals and just about everything else is discussed in a blog somewhere, so one more voice in the cacophony will not hurt. Will it?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Undue Credit

I've been getting credit at work lately for my writing skills. I'm responsible for taking notes during certain meetings and summarizing them. The summation is distributed to all employees so an "open dialogue," for lack of better term can exist between management and the employed masses. The thing is that my name is on the newsletter, but it is not my writing. The final write up has to be given to management for approval. They changed it, completely reworking a couple of paragraphs. In my eyes, I think what I wrote survived in maybe fifty percent of the final draft.

So, is it still my work? I've asked this to a couple of people. The resulting consensus was to take credit, to say "Thanks" and walk on. I've done that. I've even dodged a couple follow up questions about stuff that was changed. "How did you know that?" Answering truthfully, that I didn't and management changed the notes for their benefit would undermine what the employee relations committee was about.

First Shot

I guess I will give this a try. It is not like anyone is going to find this…unless I tell them about it. 
Welcome to my blog, where I will rant and rave about the things that drive me nuts. I will see how things go and how much trouble I can create for myself. After all, isn't total honesty what we seek and want out of life?

Every once in a while I will try to post something from the Boredom Journal. I will just have to edit it down a little, remove names to protect the innocent, or not so innocent. After all, confidentiality agreements can be a pain to write around.