Joni Mitchell and Blogging

Some people hear nothing but pain and loss in this song but not me. I hear those things but I hear hope, I hear strength and I hear echoes of a future I can almost picture.
Midnight has come and gone and I am lost in thoughts about past, present and future. Tonight I don't feel any frustration or anger though there is ample reason to do but I am happy not to feel it because that is a poison I prefer not to ingest or live with. Can't say how long this feeling of certainty will last. Can't tell you when the complete confidence in my ability to figure it out will go because it always fades but experience has taught me it is like the tide and even though it may ebb it will rise again. The trick is to try and inhabit that middle ground where you are neither too high nor too low. Don't know how successful I am at it, but I was forged in fire and only know one way to be and that means I adapt. Sometimes I am slower to do so than I might like but I figure it out and then one day I realize that I no longer feel out of sorts because I am present and comfortable where I am. In theory practice makes perfect and since I have had ample practice I should be perfect now or at least much closer than I once was. Laughter is a constant companion and close friend to me. Whenever life seems to be harder than normal I seek out those and that which bring it close.

And now if you are need of reading material try one or all of these: 

Rocket Man Revisited

Men are taught to hide that softer side. Told to be hard and to be strong. To be otherwise is to be less and no matter how much new age crap you read you can't figure out how less is more. Or maybe you can. Maybe you can come to accept that this is the path you are on and if you keep pushing you can influence it in more than a small way. Maybe if you keep walking you'll find that trail again.
Faith. It all comes back to faith. Faith in yourself and your convictions. Trust your instinct and your abilities. Believe. Live and learn how to love again.
"And I think it’s gonna be a long long time... 

That is an excerpt from a post I wrote called Rocketman (original huh.) that reached out from within the blog and caught my eye today.

Might have to publish it on the main blog so that it is protected. For now Blogger lives and I am not aware of any plans Google has to kill it but if they did it would be of concern and I don't know what I would do.

I would obviously want to try to save what I have done here. Not all of it is great, but there is more than a little that is worth something and quite a bit more that means something and that is enough for me.

Have I shared the most recent posts from the main joint?

The Reasons Why Don't Matter

I never get tired of seeing her with her hair down and it is not just because most of time she has some sort of clip or rubber band thing in it.

Maybe it is because of how it frames her face and takes my eyes straight to hers or how it outlines her smile.

Could be because I love grabbing a handful of it when we kiss or how when I play with it I can see the stress fall right off of her. Doesn't really matter why, how or what because it just is.

She doesn't see herself the way I do. Doesn't see how the signs of age turn me on because I don't see her as being tired and worn out, instead I see wisdom, experience and a woman who understands me in a way no one else ever seems to.

Sometimes she forgets about that. Sometimes she gets caught up in the crap that makes life more challenging and wonders what the hell she is thinking. Sometimes she convinces herself there is no point, no purpose and no reason to spend time with me.

It would be a false to say I have never thought about walking away or that I haven't asked the same questions she has. Been to that place more than once and spent more time reading the words that are written upon those walls than I care to think about.

But I haven't walked. Haven't left. Haven't given up.

Some call that obsessive. Some call that foolish, dumb and frightening while others call it romantic.

Definitions will always vary depending upon what side of the fence you stand upon. If it rains in Pepper Pike while the sun shines Fort Worth your decision to get wet or feel the warmth of the sun upon your back is contingent upon where you are.

The decisions that have or have not been made don't require approval from anyone other than the parties involved and if others don't like it they can go play in traffic.

*****
I remember standing on the balcony, arms around each other, comfortable in the warmth of a best friend's presence.

Nuzzling her neck I smelled home and knew it could be anywhere she was. When she asked me why I was smiling I told her I loved her and when she said it back I said "I know."

Her nose scrunched up and she told me I should be more humble. I laughed again and said I had been humbled by life more times than I could count. Hell and I had become fast friends and I wasn't afraid to visit it again because experience had proven I could climb back out.

Sometimes life takes those declarations far too seriously so it pulled her out of my arms and sent me far away.

*****
When I woke up we were in separate beds in separate places and I knew she had forgotten what had been.

I didn't ask if it was intentional or otherwise because the reasons didn't matter. I just knew I had been cast back down into the pit from which I had climbed out of and that even if I called out for her she wouldn't hear me nor would she come looking.

During other times there was no doubt about whether she would notice my absence. Those were the moments when my absence was as painful to her as hers was to mine.

But when memory is wiped you don't notice you are choking, literally or figuratively. You just pass through the days.

If you ask if I was angry about this I will say yes. If you ask if I was frustrated I will say yes. If you ask if I was scared I will say no.

Not because I was foolish, fool hardy or too angry to notice that I should be scared but because I recognized the pit and saw where I had left marks on the wall.

It was the same cell they had tried to keep me in before but they hadn't bothered to install new locks or hire new jailors.

All I had to do now was recreate my last escape. All I had to do was find a way to rebuild and remake it all and climb back out.

I didn't have time to worry about how to restore her memory. All I had was faith that if we had time in person I would find the key that opened the door that had been closed.

But there was far too much to do before that could happen so I did what I had done before. I took a hard look at her pictures, smiled at the memories and then walled off that part of the library because I couldn't afford to get lost thinking about love when there was work to do to get back out.

That would have to wait.

Still every now and then I heard bells in my head and had this feeling that she was thinking about me and I wondered about the future.

Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Gifts?





Where Have I Been

Might have noticed that I haven't updated things here in a while. That is unusual for me and not something that I am used to having to write about because it just doesn't happen.

Been writing elsewhere fairly steadily which is probably part of the reason you haven't seen me around these parts.

And some of it is because somehow I fell down the rabbit hole again and I am working my ass off to try and get out of it. Add a dose of frustration and a double dose of WTF and you'll have an idea of where my head is at.

The other thing that is worth mentioning is I hate feeling like I am whining so I'll cut this short, but if you want to see more interesting reading try one of these:

  1. Cancel Christmas Because I Beat Up Santa Claus
  2. The Lonely Blogger
  3. The Art Of Blogging & Bad Meatloaf
  4. How Bad Bloggers Make Good Bloggers Sexier
  5. Why You Should Never Blog About Sex With Clergy Members

Sometimes People Disappoint You

Sometimes people disappoint you. Sometimes they are unreliable, illogical, irresponsible and impossible but you put up with them anyway, or so the experts say.

As for me, well there is a very simple test I use.

Do I notice if you are around or not.

If I don't notice when you are here or not I tend to just let you go because life is too short to waste on people who don't add to our lives and only take.

Honest Writing

Some posts pull more out of you than you realize because you end up pouring more into them than you intended to.

The Truths You Don't Share

Been thinking about a bunch of different things and trying to figure out what to do about the answers I come up with to the questions that have been troubling me.

Every time I do I touch upon some tender spots that haven't always been there but have been around long enough for me to pretend that the pain is natural and normal.

The major ones are neither and I can't keep pretending they are. You wouldn't know they exist unless I chose to share them and I have intentionally not provided specific details because you don't need to know.

It is enough that I know and the only reason I am mentioning them here is because it helps keep me accountable to the only person that they matter to... me.

What I can tell you is I am actively working on changes and doing all I can to make them happen sooner than later but trying to avoid being reckless. Even though I want them to be over with there is no point moving faster than is prudent.

The lesson here is to remember the worst person you can lie to is yourself.

Need More Reading Material?

Try these:

The Shiva Call

A dear friend said goodbye to his father so tonight I will go out to make a Shiva call and offer what support I can.

Between you and me I am exhausted and going out is not something that I want to do but it would be wrong for me not to go so I shall. I am sure once I get there I will be fine but if this coffee doesn't kick in soon it could be a long night.

Oy.

In the interim I need to update this joint.

Slow Down And Look Around

Slow down and look around is the mantra of the moment. It is the reminder that things are happening around me, stuff worth watching and enjoying.

A reminder that even though crazy times have come to visit there are good things going on, things worth thinking about, things were being part of and remembering.

Most People Fear To Live
Soft And Smooth
Should You Blog For Comments?
I’m On Fire
Sometimes You Find Yourself Up Against It

I'll Bend But I Won't Break

Got some news the other days that didn't make me happy. It wasn't the kind of thing that is going to dictate how my life goes forever because I am the captain of the ship but it might influence how things go forward.

Not real appreciative of the current status nor anxious to maintain the 'quo' but my ability to influence certain elements is limited.

Doing my best not to let it turn into anger at those who have let me down and or the people that have screwed me.

What is done is done and most of the time this crap isn't personal but that doesn't negate the frustration or the challenge.

But I like a challenge and I like testing myself to see how far I can go. Of course midway through this post my computer overheated...again.

Again being the operative word because it is only 15 months old so this crap is more than just irritating. Can't afford to just replace it and can't be without it.

Have to visit the Geek Squad and have them take a look.

In the midst of it all I have to find my cape because these are times that call for a superhero.

The Words We Use

Was quite a morning, quite a day and quite a week and all but the morning have yet to be completed.

Yet at this moment I still hear the echoes of things that were said and what I gather most is the need to pay attention to the words we use.

Some can't be spoken without consequences and if you are not willing to embrace those consequences you really should be careful.

When someone says to "fuck off" you might not get the kind of response you really want unless you intended for them to "fuck off."

Same can be said for telling someone to "go fuck themselves." In certain situations there is no harm in using them but sometimes you find the consequences visit you and then you learn for certain whether you meant them or not.


The Words Were Washed Away

I don't know if I dreamed about this, saw it in a movie, read about it in a book or heard it on the radio.

It is a man and a woman talking about their relationship and one of them says 'your words were washed away by my tears.'

Can't help but think how people will probably think of that as being negative even though it might could be positive. Tears of joy might wash away the hard/harsh words of the past.

Course that sort of thinking seems to be in line for me, opposite or different of everyone. Lately it seems if everyone is walking on the right side I position myself on the left.

Might need to explore this further.

Death Smiled At Me

Death smiled at me and I opened my arms and walked forward to embrace him. I was prepared to feel bony arms encircle me and waiting to feel the cold I was certain radiated from him.

I stared at eyeless sockets and moved forward, uncertain about what would happen or what I would do.

The screams of loved ones echoed in my ears but I ignored their pleas to wait because I was done waiting.

My inner clock had stopped ticking and the incessant buzzing of the alarm pushed me to keep going forward.

I was ready to pay the price for the knowledge I sought and if necessary willing to fight for it.

Across the field I marched watching and waiting to see if his expression or demeanor would change. Don't know what I expected from an old bag of bones but nothing happened.

Midway through the march my legs grew heavy and it felt like I was walking through waist deep mud.

A flash of light flew through the sky followed by a tremendous boom and I was knocked off of my feet.

It took a moment to clear my head and realize I was lying on back but I didn't open my eyes.

Instead I saw through my ears and hands.

More later, maybe.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns

She Walks Into Mine My favorite movie.

The writing is outstanding. This is how I want to be able to write and the kind of storytelling that I truly long to be able to do.

About Blogging, Perception And Links to Read

Over at the main blog How Frequently Should You Update Your Blog in 2014? is getting a ton of traffic.

No surprises with that one because bloggers love to talk/read about blogging.

Had a conversation with a buddy from high school about a teacher I referred to in a post called Your Perception of Me Is Not My Reality.

Been thinking again about whether to keep posting here or if I should close up shop.

More to come on all these things at a later date.

About Those Analytics

This is really just a note to myself to blog about Quill Engage and how it does a terrific job of turning Google Analytics into actionable information.

The post I plan on writing will probably be over here because it is the main blog but it is worth mentioning here because a bunch of people find their way over there after a brief stop here.

I guess you would almost call this a blogging rest stop. Got to run now, time to run my daughter's soccer team practice.

As always here are some additional links for those looking for reading material.

Part of Why I Moved To Wordpress

Been trying to fix the way this post looks but the code is not cooperating and I am quickly getting tired of battling Blogger.

This is part of why I moved to Wordpress. I ran into code chaos but always felt like I had more support and didn't have to deal with all this nonsense.

It is not just irritating, it is silly.
  1. Is Life A Series Of Coincidences Or Do Things Happen For A Reason?
  2. You’re Just A Memory Now
  3. Steve Jobs’ Ghost Gave Me A Cellphone
  4. What Happens When Bloggers Bully
  5. My Laughing Place

Got one more day before Yom Kippur. One more day to try and get square with all. One more day to get things situated or so they say.

Might get another post in before, but if I don't I wish you an easy fast and ask for מחילה from those I hurt/offended.

The Last Dance

Driving home late today I heard the song below and it gave me a couple of ideas for stories to write about. Don't have time now so I am dropping this in to serve as a placeholder.

Save the Last Dance for Me
The Drifters

"You can dance
Every dance with the girl who gives you the eye
Let her hold you tight
You can smile
Every smile for the girl who'd like to treat you right
'Neath the pale moonlight
But don't forget who's takin you home
And in who's arms you're gonna be
Oh, darlin' save the last dance for me

Oh I know
That the music's fine like sparklin' wine
Go and have your fun
Dance and sing
But while we're apart don't give your heart to anyone
And don't forget who's takin' you home
And in who's arms you're gonna be
Oh, darlin', save the last dance for me

You can dance
Go and carry on till the night is gone
And it's time to go
If she asks
If you're all alone, can she take you home
You must tell her no

And don't forget who's takin' you home
And in who's arms you're gonna be
Oh, darlin', save the last dance for me
And don't forget who's takin' you home
And in who's arms you're gonna be
Oh, darlin', save the last dance for me"

Desiderata


Desiderata
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
© Max Ehrmann 1927

A Baseball Bat Would Be Better

Been one of those Mondays where you wonder if it wouldn't be better to grab a Louisville Slugger and beat yourself with it because your day would end sooner and you'd be less aware of the shards of glass that Monday has been shoving up your rear end.

Fortunately this is all an exaggeration but it has been as challenging and difficult a day as I have had in a while.

Maybe you are better off reading one of these:

Kids Who Don't Keep Their Hands To Themselves

My son has been having an issue with another kid at school. All week long I have heard that this boy has been chasing him around the school.

A couple of days ago it progressed to the point where the other kid was pulling his arms behind his back but I didn't do anything because it wasn't clear if it was just general horseplay with boys. When I was in 8th grade there was a lot of that.

And when I was in 8th grade the worst thing that could have happened was for my father to get involved in a disagreement with another kid. That would have unleashed all sorts of issues.

Today the other kid had my son in a headlock and refused to let go. It took an elbow from my son for this kid to release him.

My son came home angry and upset, concerned that he would be in trouble. I was breathing fire and spitting blood because this other boy put his hands on my kid.

I found the email address for his father and I sent him a note asking for him to intervene. I told him Ia am sure this is just a misunderstanding but made it clear his kid can't grab mine. And made sure he knows my son has been instructed to defend himself.

If he asks the other boy to let go and he doesn't, well I want this kid to reap the rewards of not listening. It should not have to come to that. I don't want to see it get physical but this kid crossed the line and I won't have it.

He is not allowed to put his hands on my son. If he can't understand and respect that we'll take steps to see that he does,

Lack Of Sense

Got five minutes to write down a few thoughts. Kids are making me crazy tonight, I love them but sometimes they just know how to press our buttons.

Been reading and listening to the thoughts about the NFL and it is making me a bit crazy too. Not defending the actions of people who break the law but not going to go hysterical about it either.

Why?

Because I like asking what causes the issues we see and what can we do about it. When I see data that suggests that the rates for certain actions are lower in the NFL than the general public I want to know why we don't focus on both areas.

The players who cross those lines need to be held accountable but stop with the ridiculous double standards and comments about role models as being the reason why we need to focus more strongly upon them.

If the numbers are accurate we have a real problem with the general public which is a much larger group than the few who can play. How do we change that. What can we do to improve, fix and facilitate things there.

Why aren't we spending more time focusing on helping more people.

The Sweetest Sleep Meets Storytelling





114 Degrees

Thermostat reads 114 degrees so the emails are starting to roll in:

"Coach, maybe we should cancel practice."
"Coach maybe we should shorten it and  make it later."
"Coach, what are we going to do about practice."

I haven't put much thought into it yet because I have been too busy with interviews and trying to secure more.

Doing my best to stay relaxed, be confident and stay informed. Stands to reason with this much activity good things should come from it but there is still that little voice that says it is nothing until it is something, push hard and don't stop until you have that signed document.

It is a mix of excitement and nerves, this moment. What will come and where will it be? Will it be the next big thing I have been searching for or will it be a bridge to the next thing. I don't want a stopgap, I want something with stability and substance.

But we only have so much control so I am rolling with it and waiting to see what comes in my email and or shows on the phone.

Need new stuff to read?

The Secret To Better Sex or maybe something like:

Inertia

Sometimes inertia is a friend and sometimes it is an enemy. I learned the hard way about how it can hurt people when I didn't pay close enough attention to what was happening around me.

Things were going south at where I was at and I had an opportunity to jump ship and try something new but chose to stay to see what would happen. Hindsight is 20-20 so it is easy to look back and see the signs that were obvious as well as those that weren't.

It helps mitigate my not moving as fast as I should have but it doesn't fix what happened, mostly because I can't travel back in time and tell myself not to let inertia prevent me from taking a chance.

The good news is I learned from that experience and have made a point not to let inertia be the primary factor in choosing to take a chance or not.

Been through multiple interviews recently and am feeling good, but a little spent because of all of the turmoil. I am confident I'll figure it out and part of that is based upon what I learned.

This time around inertia isn't stopping me from moving ahead,

Worth Thinking About

Finished my run at the last job not long ago. Ended a bit sooner than I had hoped but when you are a contract employee that comes with the territory. Sometimes they extend your contract and sometimes they shake your hand and wish you good luck.

I got the handshake, warm wishes and was told to use them as a reference. Good things to have but not as good as a steady paycheck. Been working on what comes next and have had a few options and opportunities come my way.

Nothing earth shattering or amazing yet but that is ok because this sort of thing is a sprint and not a marathon. Been pushing to find something outside of the hometown because the cost of living would make life easier and that is a good thing.

Kids aren't real fond of that idea and I understand but they won't be the decision maker here. They will be much happier if their old man is working and keeping food on the table, roof over their head then if they live where they know on the streets.

Not really worried about that happening but it illustrates the point. Still I admit to wondering and worrying about them because that is what parents do.

Their lives have been good but sometimes I feel badly they have had a bit more upheaval than I did as a kid. I expect the end result will still be positive but it doesn't mitigate the feeling of uncertainty on my end.

Probably because no decisions have been made so there is nothing to focus on right now. Once some of those details have been worked out life will be easier.

Looking for reading material?

Try these:

Some Posts Are Happier Than You Realize

Almost 1:30 on Saturday, er Sunday morning. Got to get some shut eye but before I do got a few words to jot down.

Some people read this post and saw sadness, some saw happy and some weren't sure what to think.

But if you asked me, I'd tell you it is about hope and it is about desire. It is about optimism and it is about perspective.

I'd tell you that you if you haven't lived a little you don't have the experience you need to have the perspective that is required to understand some things. That is not always a bad thing.

If I put on my "professional communicator" hat I'd tell you it is problematic when people don't understand your intent or get the message you are trying to send.

But if I put on my "writer" hat I'd say sometimes it is good for people to wonder because there is no better picture painter than their imagination. A writer can only paint so much into a reader's head and then they rely upon the reader to fill in the blanks and to illustrate the gaps.

It is time to hit the hay. Someone let that Shmata Queen know I had planned on trying to be the first to say Happy Birthday but I was foiled by Facebook. Should I do my Elvis impression on sing Always on My Mind or serenade her with some Johnny Cash.

Good night from here, see you in the AM.

Do You Believe In Destiny?

Sat down with the growing older way too quickly kid of mine and had a long conversation about Karma and destiny.

His interest stemmed from a conversation they had at school during his lunch hour. I am not entirely clear where it began or who started it and I don't really care because it was interesting to hear his thoughts about it.

In many ways they mirror my own but I definitely hear his voice and that makes me happy. I like raising critical thinkers and I like knowing that he is thinking about the world around him and wondering how people come to believe as they do.

I intentionally did not share many of my thoughts about this in part because it leads the conversation to places I don't want to go, not now. He is very sharp and in many ways an old soul but there is no substitute for life experience and though I expect one day we'll have some of these discussions now is not the time.

But if I did share more of my thoughts we'd talk about free will and about how some things aren't so easily explained by science. I have had more than a few experiences that have me mostly convinced something else might be at play in the world.

That doesn't mean I don't see a need for education. hard work and acting as the conductor of our lives because I do. I see that as an important and significant part of our lives.

It is a time of change and transition in my world and if you ask me where I am going to end up I can tell you in very broad terms, but I'll save the specific for now.

What I do know is I am taking the long way home.


and now I present to you more reading:

Bowing Down To the 'Enemy.'

Cellphone is going crazy but not because it is ringing. It is because it is dying and the damn thing is freaking out. If it had ‘real’ intelligence I would say it is acting bat shit crazy because it fears what comes next but that is not the situation.

I have been down this road with phones before so I know the signs and know it won’t be long before this one goes to wherever that electronic place in great beyond is.

It just needs to last long enough for to me to get the new iPhone.

Yeah, I think I am going to join the Kool Aid drinkers and bow down to Voldemort. Haven’t decided for certain but if this new iteration does what I hear it is supposed to do I will leave the land of Droids and try it out.

Have you read any of these:

Whatever Are They Looking For?

After ten years of blogging I can't say I have seen it all but I have seen a lot. Gotten death threats for political posts, engaged with more trolls than I care to think about it and made all sorts of friends.

There is no doubt the good outweighs the bad by fare more than a little and so I shouldn't look at people digging through the archives as being negative.

If they like my writing it is both possible and likely they are having fun reading old posts and getting a greater sense of what this wacky old man has written and is writing about.

But I would be lying if I said I am not curious about whether they are just perusing the shelves or looking for something in particular.

Blog Maintenance: Details Matter

Sometimes I feel like a walking contradiction because if you ask me about whether details matter I will tell absolutely not and then tell exactly why they do. Course I'll probably break it up into chunks of stories about when it is true and when it is not because both are applicable here.

Anyhoo I don't plan on boring you with a list of those things or giving you a post dedicated to how people think they are logical but often aren't.

Instead let's talk about my main blog and cover some of what I have been doing.

Every day for the last week or so I have put time in trying to remove/repair broken links, add pictures to posts that don't have any tweak the SEO.

It is not just because the goal is to improve the organic search traffic but because of the tiny details. Every time someone visits my blog they are visiting my cyber home and I hate having guests discover clutter, chaos and disaster.

It is kind of funny to me because I think of myself as being laid back and relaxed about this kind of stuff but the more I think about it there more I realize/accept I am not laid back about this. I feel foolish when you discover those broken links.

If I am trying to tell a story I want that link to work. If I provided a video it is because it adds depth and layers to the tale and if that is gone, well what I hope had substance might become flat. It is troubling to me.

So here I am, taking care of the details and thinking about all of the stories I have to share, there are many but we'll get to those later.

In the interim may I offer:


And:


Some Things Are Worth Watching Again

Sean: You're not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you've met, she's not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you're perfect for each other.


Words On A Page

 Added a few words on a page, some well written, some less so but all with purpose in mind. Can't win the Pulitzer every time, for certa...