Three Year Anniversary!

Another year has passed with many changes, though almost all for the better. You have all been so supportive despite the fact my content and schedule have changed, and that is such a comfort; here is the current count since last year:

115 book reviews, 25 editorials, 79 Music Mondays, 43 movie reviews, and 16 personal posts with 1980 followers on WordPress, and 162 on Facebook.

Though I may seem like the cliche broken record, thank you again for all of your support. I couldn’t have a more amazing and humbling group of followers and friends, and that is entirely thanks to all of you reading this. As has become tradition, here is a picture of Hunter being adorable.

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He has a weird fascination with the texture of my guitar case.

Previously: Two Year Anniversary!

The image featured in this post can be found through the hyperlink below.
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A Song for Marilyn and George

It has been ten years since my grandfather passed, and I cannot help but wonder at what he would think about how far I have come. So much has changed since I last saw him, and I can only hope I have walked a path similar to that which he wanted for me.

Perpetually Past Due

Grandparents seem to fall into one of two distinct groups: they can be unknowable entities that we are forced to visit through obligation; shriveled creatures who seemingly live on another plane of existence as relics of times gone by. Or, they can be loving mentors that support us and willingly give sage advice; human teddy bears who want to see us succeed in life and look forward to our accomplishments. I have been lucky enough to have the second type on both sides of my family. My maternal grandparents are still living to this day; this is my remembrance and tribute to the two no longer with us.

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Fanatics: How to Love Something Too Much

There are few relationships as complex as that between fans and the things they are passionate about. Being a fan can embolden, reassure, and inspire creators we love to reach new levels of success; it can show the best in humanity in creating a community of people who enjoy the same things. It does, however, also have a dark side (pun slightly intended). In recent years, I have seen sports fans burning jerseys they bought for hundreds of dollars because of a player’s opinions or actions that they disagree with. People make death threats because a referee made a call that was unpopular and they believe they were wronged.

And it isn’t just sports fans; geeks have been getting up in arms, calling people criminal for bastardizing their favorite characters or stories and review bombing movies in retaliation. My fellow nerds create internal cliques that espouse equality meanwhile looking down on those who disagree or like things that they don’t; this is where I have seen social media at its worst. People feel that their opinions and biases should shape the way others live. How self-important do you have to be to think that way?  The only way I can think of to address this is through two groups I belong to that have showcased this unhealthy behavior; let’s start with the geeks.

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Returning to Roots in Retrospect

Since I fall into the millennial generation, I use the verb “adulting” with a sly smile of irony whenever I do something like make a car payment or buy groceries. There was something else that made me feel like an adult this past weekend: I went to a housewarming party for a couple with whom I have been friends since high school. I am very good friends with the husband, and his wife and I get along well, but we have a bit of a past. Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything shady; I was just a jerk in high school.

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Seeking Sincerity

Seeking sincerity has become
such a chore.
To accept
mediocrity has its own
attraction.
Optimism begins to fester and
slowly rots
until it becomes a
physical weight
in my chest.

Suffocating.
We drown ourselves in
cliches until they
leak through our pores and
create a sheen
of self-deception

Restart. Reset.
Overandoverandoverandoverandover
again.
Expect disappointment and rebound quickly;
no longer assets, but necessities.

We try to convince ourselves
this time will be
different, but
how long until
depleting reserves of potential
and possibility
run out?

How can I decide the
amount of time to
spend searching when
I’m told by
almost everyone
that I’ll find something when I least expect to.
Something;
someone.
This is all
counter-intuitive
when every success story both
emboldens and makes me
question what it is
exactly
that I’m doing wrong.

How many times must I be lied to?
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“I’m just not ready for a relationship.”
“You’re so great, but…”
Is there some sort of conspiracy
that they’ve all agreed to play the game?
To see if I’ll
chase? If only it
were that easy.

How long before they
begin blending into variations of
the same carbon copies? The same
university-branded drinking photos, the same
vacation spots, the same
pursed beaks, flexing facades.
How long until they start
to run together and I  start
to wonder if there is
anyone
worth getting to know?
Plastic permutations of
the same theme; a blueprint
with minor tweaks that
don’t improve,
just diversify

Soon I parse out and
MAGNIFY
parts of my personality to
try and find some common ground
to make things work;
only when things fall through do
I realize how
unimportant they are and that
I was only injecting air to
fluff them up.
The temptation that maybe
this time will be different, maybe
I will finally
break through
if I stay here a little longer.
But after five years of
disappointment, why would now be any
different?

Over-analyze every aspect.
Was I too interested?
Not interested enough?
Did I talk too much? Too little?
Did I focus too much on
one topic of conversation?
Am I too shallow?
Was there something I
fixated on
in her appearance that
I didn’t like at first
so that’s all I could see,
which in turn soured me?

How much is
my fault?
Is that even worth asking?
All of it.
Why does it seem to be
so easy
for others?
I know I don’t see the whole story,
but
I can’t help but wonder.
I see and
feel and
know
my worth;
why can’t they?

A Blog’s Purpose

I published a post about blogging last week, and a great point was raised by my fellow blogger, Bookstooge; he said he would be interested in learning the reason behind why I recommended connecting a blog to social media in order to share it with more people and invite online traffic. While thinking on this, I began reflecting about the journey my blog has taken me on and how I got to the point I am at today. So this is the story thus far; let’s start a little before the blog even existed and try to understand why it was created. Continue reading “A Blog’s Purpose”