F This

FNo, I’m not giving up on the blogging challenge, but trying to narrow down to one F word is hard. It’s my mind that works against me. It’s all over the place when I’m on free time. When I’m working it’s another story. I am so focused a bomb could drop and I might not hear it.

Onto G.

Expectations

EA long time ago, I knew a girl who was eccentric. Her name was Jan. As with most eccentrics, she always did her own thing, and it started early. When she was 10 and I was eight, she got her ear pierced. Yeah, just one. Often other girls would look at her one earring and their faces would get screwed up before they asked horrified, “Why did you only get one ear pieced?!” To which Jan would deadpan reply, “Arr.” Sometimes she would flick her earlobe as she said it.

Being her close friend, I also asked her about it and if it had hurt so much she couldn’t do the other one. I hadn’t been around at the time it was pierced, but in those days, it was usually a barbaric procedure performed by another kid with a needle, a cork, a piece of ice and maybe some rubbing alcohol if there happened to be some in the house. Despite the presence of the ice, girls usually whimpered quite a bit when the needle went in. I doubt Jan whimpered. That wasn’t her style. She told me she always wanted just one ear pierced because deep down she was a pirate and didn’t want anyone to forget it. I never did.

On some vague level, I understood she was a fighter and wise beyond her age. I’m not sure exactly what brought about this wisdom. It doesn’t appear to be her parents. They were very close friends of my parents, and great as they were, there never seemed to be anything about them that stood out as exceptionally wise. Jan was simply an anomaly among her peers. She was funny and original and had an innate understanding of people. She also didn’t suffer fools, and fools to her were the people who lived their lives at the whim of others, at the tyranny of societal pressure. None for Jan thanks, and she often used her tongue as a humorous sword to fend it off and which often made those on the receiving end a joke. In particular were the attacks from other females who could not stand that she was her own person. And because she was completely unruffled by what others thought, she was a threat to them. But I never once saw her cry or whine about it. She just seemed to accept there were foolish people in the world who would go along with others and obliterate who they were.

But something finally broke Jan. Something happened, and I’m not sure what. Maybe society’s pressure finally taking its toll? Could be. I’ve speculated a lot over the years. Whatever it was, it put her normally sunny self into despair, because three weeks before her 18th birthday, she killed herself. And everyone was shocked. Her parents never got over it. And I still grieve it and most of all on her birthday, which is today.

It’s like I’m stuck in a time warp, and I keep wanting her story to change. But it can’t. It never will, and I hate it. She was the person who brought light into a room and made people see things about it they never had. What more could she have done?

One of these days I may consign her to the past, but for now, I write about her every year on this day, which is also the day I started this crazy place as a sort of backhanded tribute to her. She would have loved it and goaded me out of any bouts of circumspection, which I’ve had all day today and almost didn’t post. It seemed embarrassing to think I’ve done this for four years. Then I thought of Jan, and here I am.

So Many Blogs and Not Enough Time: The A to Z Challenge So Far

[note: My “official” A to Z post for today is here.]

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cAs part of the A to Z April Challenge, bloggers are asked to visit at least 10 other blogs a day. Yesterday, I visited more than 10 because I had the time. We’ll see what happens today.

As for blog selection, I’m not quite sure of the protocol (need to read the instructions again). In the meantime, I have been going with whatever jumps out at me.

Sleepless in Singapore — a blog by Peter Heppo. I had never heard of Peter Heppo, but I knew he was a pro before I looked at his ‘about’ page or glanced at his sidebar. He’s an Aussie too. Love their ability to take the bark off the tree. This is definitely a must read.

The OCD Squirrel — whose first post was about getting over her fear of the avocado. We need to talk.

Where the Mind is Without Fear — definitely caught my eye, and guess what? It is not what you think it will be. Hint: Nia Vardalos

Bench with a View — what’s on the tin.

California Dreamin’ Squirrel — a nice photo blog, and no, I don’t get the fascination with the name squirrel, but it did make me click the link. (note to self: don’t overlook the obvious).

Crazy Town in Looney Land — an interesting place where people share about their struggle with mental health issues.

B, B, B, B, B, B, B

BThink the ubiquitous Barbara Ann, and for those too young to know, to wit.

It was hard to decide on a topic for B. There are probably a week’s worth of topics in my draft posts about this letter. Actually, I’ve struggled with several letters wanting to take over and be posted on more than one day.

Since this is nominally a Richard Armitage blog, it seemed natural to post something related to him and B, but I can’t do it because I have always made this place safe for work, and the only B that comes to mind in regard to him is his performance in a piece that would take us into waters potentially not safe. No, it wasn’t porn. Wait. That’s not entirely accurate. For the British, it isn’t porn. In the US, it would be considered soft porn and frankly, I realized from learning of this that I may well be a prude. No, I am a prude. AT least about people having sex in front of me. I admit readily. But using some foul language to adequately describe things that cannot be described with more pristine words? I have no problem. Watching someone’s bare bottom in flagrante delicto? Nah, that’s not my thing, because I’ve never thought of sex as a spectator sport and don’t plan to start. A provincial American view? Yes, I’m a bit provincial at times, but hopefully none of that equates to boring, which is another word I thought to post on.

Boring is the shark that nips at a blogger’s heels. To be boring is to bring death, or so it seems. So how to prevent it? Be yourself, take chances and if you have to be anonymous to do this, then do it. Frankly, the biggest obstacle I’ve seen to blogging is that people think they have nothing to say. If they’re trying to sound like everyone else, then they don’t have anything to say that can’t be read at thousands of other sites. Boring.

But this is easily solved with a practical solution that doesn’t require you to undergo a head change before you begin. Merely keep an idea log. I used to carry a very small spiral notebook around with me to jot down ideas as they came. That got to be an obstacle because I got my best ideas while driving. I bought myself one of these, and it was revolutionary! These days I use my phone, and I’ve thought many times what in the hell did I do before I had these devices? Lost a lot of great ideas.

Now for the really important part to remember if you start collecting ideas. Don’t think too big. Yeah, I said think small. Some of the best ideas come from something seemingly small and fairly mundane such as seeing a dad carrying his small son on his shoulders, and then the dad turns around and you notice he (the dad) is wearing something at odds with what you would expect dads to wear while carrying their sweet little ones on their backs. If it’s fall or winter, a nice plaid shirt would seem apropos, or if it’s spring or summer, maybe a polo shirt. Not a t-shirt with a picture of a dog trying to lick himself in unmentionable places (notice my pronoun choice). I started laughing to myself about that when I wasn’t grossed out, and I was eating at the time too. Yuck. It occurred to me that my thoughts about this were probably shared with others, so I wrote a piece about it. Maybe I’ll post it before this challenge is done. Not sure yet.

In the meantime, a photo of Richard for your edification if you’re so inclined:

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Oh heck, a couple more, and no, these aren’t from the piece referenced above. These are all from a show called Strike Back:

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See you tomorrow.

Anonymity, April Challenge, and Richard Armitage

A2Z-BADGE-0002014-small_zps8300775cThis is my first post for the 2014 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Therefore, some people who are not Richard Armitage fans will be dropping by to check me out. This post is for them.

Hello! and welcome to my fun place. Mostly this is a humorous site, and occasionally I pontificate about various subjects. You thought it was all about some chap named Richard Armitage? That’s some of it. And right about now if you are wondering who in the heck is Richard Armitage? He is this guy:

Thorin Oakenshield from The Hobbit; you can get a thumbnail of his work here.

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Richard is a muse, if you will. He and more so his fans prompted me to enter the blogosphere as a writer who documents something other than vacation pictures and an occasional rant about current events. That’s mostly what I did before I entered this space, and I did it with my real identity. It was not fun. I was inhibited and unimaginative and so careful about my words that it would have taken aeons to develop a voice and certainly to be interesting. The specter of screwing up was the biggest obstacle, and so I removed that by throwing off the shackles of my identity and flying free with my thoughts. And yes, I do some fangirling, but I’ll try to keep that at a minimum during this month. No promises about Sunday.

See you tomorrow.

Getting Up to Speed

I was not exaggerating when I said several days ago that I’ve been sick. I had the flu (twice) and then it turned into some walking pneumonia. I had that once when I was a junior in college. I was stupid enough not to learn from that incident, and so I got it again. Maybe after all of this, I’ve finally learned to pace myself. Probably not fully, but it’s nice to ponder.

Enough about that. What I really want to talk about is Richard Armitage, because I’m finally well enough to descend into this insanity again whereas before I didn’t give a rat’s ass about anything but sleeping. I should mention that this will be a hit and run since I’m busily trying to get caught up with my projects. I have completed two and working on another three of which one is for a fellow fan. No, I haven’t forgotten you fellow fan, and I thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouragement. I’ll be back in the groove shortly. Just give me a couple of days.

Okay, so back to Richard. On second thought I’m going to put all my waxing on about him in the next post. That way this particular post can get lost.

Me on about Richard coming up very shortly. And no, I haven’t forgotten about the other subject I want to discuss — The Hobbit audio book. Nor have I forgotten several other loose ends around this place. I promise before I call it a day here, I will tie them up. :D

Onto the next post.

Some of You Asked

I didn’t publish a post for Christmas, and a few of you have asked me about that. It’s not that I’m less aware of the Lord at Christmas. If anything, I’m more aware, and somehow putting up a message in this place seems awkward, seems disingenuous given my rhetoric which to me makes things plain but to others may be construed as rotten. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it doesn’t matter, and it’s possible to be very candid and still convey my heart for others as a follower of Christ. Make that flawed follower of Christ. Then again, the verse that keeps beating in my head is, “…whatever is not from faith is sin.” I hope that explains it.