Sunday, January 29, 2012

6,000 and Counting

I started blogging in October of 2010 and fell in love with it. I started this blog because, Alex, the boy my daughter was dating encouraged me to start one. He had made one for school and was really enjoying it, so I thought I would give it a try. I am so happy I did. I turns out that I love blogging.

I don't know how much other people like my site, but I really enjoy it. It has been a great release. Plus, I get to have fun being creative and telling stories. Sometimes the posts were funny (or meant to be), sometimes confessional and occasionally reminiscent. Some of them I labored over and others I just cranked out before I went to bed. Either way, I wish I had started doing this years ago.

The pictures don't always have to make sense!
The beginning of this month marked just over 14 months of me pounding on my keyboard. My blog was visited about 4,500 times during that period. That averages out to just over 10 views per day. However, this month has seen a drastic change.

Today, I reached the 6,000 views mark. This means I've had about 1,500 views in the last three weeks. That is over 60 views a day. I've been blogging for 15 months and 25% of all the traffic I've received has come in the last month. Before this month it took me over 4 months to get that many views and now it has happened in 3 weeks. So what happened? I have some theories.

One of the causes for this was completely on accident. On January 4, a friend of mine (Adam) had a rather embarrassing medical issue. I took him to the emergency room and blogged about it the next day. That story became my most read post before the day was over. Adam sent the link out to all his Facebook friends and they swarmed in to see what he had been griping about on his Wall for the last 24 hours. This gave me a quick surge of about 400 views in a couple of days. This number may be common place for some bloggers, but for me, those numbers were huge.

On a side note, I want to make it clear that I don't just humiliate people because I have an audience on the web. After I wrote the blog, I saved it to be approved by Adam before it was posted. Once he gave me the 'OK', I published it. He received several phone calls and sympathetic comments on his Facebook wall for the next few days. While Adam did appreciate the extra attention his new-found fame had brought him, he unexpectedly found himself to be a bit distressed for approving the story. It was disconcerting for people to be so acutely aware of what most would have wanted to be a private experience. After telling me his concerns, I agreed that from this point forward if I write about any of his adventures or mishaps, he will be referred to as Stephen. He found that to be acceptable.

Versatile?
I think that is a nice way
of saying I can't focus
on any one thing.
While that post did provide me with a quick surge in my numbers, it was not the only thing I did. A few months back, I was given the 'Versatile Blogger' award (Thank you Brandie Boddie). Besides the prestige of receiving the award, I was to do something. The award required me to share a few things about myself and pass the award on to seven other bloggers. Unfortunately, I really wasn't reading many blogs. That was the second time this had happened to me. I received an award that I was supposed to pass on, but did not know who to give it to. I didn't want that to happen again, so I started looking for other blogs to read.

Once again, I wish that I had done this earlier, because there are some great writers out there. Some of my favorites are Creative Devolution, Crack You Whip, The Bloggess, The Cowardly Feminist, "Jen" e sais quoi, GweenBrick, Misadventures of the Monster Library, Mayor Gia, Pish Posh and Wait in the Van. This is in no way an exhaustive list. It is just a few of the blogs I have grown to love in the last month. There are many more, but these are the first ones that came to mind. I started thinking of some others, but I figured the list is long enough. To those people I listed, I love you all. Thank you for the opinions, laughs and words you have shared.

Now that I am actually reading other blogs, I have started seeing a huge increase in traffic. This was an unintended, but much appreciated result. After reading their posts, I always left a comment, because I know how much I love to get comments. I really want to know what my readers think of the post or what thoughts come to mind as they read it. It is frustrating to check my stats and discover that one of my posts has had 50 or more visits and no one left a comment, so I always leave one. I do this because I think it is nice and as a blogger I understand how much those comments mean to me. Because of those comments I left, many the blog owners come over to check out my blog and I even pick up traffic from some of their readers. Now, I am getting regular traffic to my site and didn't even mean to do it.

HOORAY for accidental victories!

Thank you to those of you who have been reading since the beginning and welcome to the new people I have met in the last month. I look forward to getting to know all of you better.

Let's see how long it takes to reach 10,000. Now that I have more traffic, I had better produce quality funny.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ear Plugs Are for Old People

My son, Christian, called me last week to see if I was going to his show on Saturday night. As a parent who wants to be supportive of his offspring, I told him I would be there. I feel that I have time to make up for since I missed so many of his Little League games due to my disdain for sports job. He may have just been calling because he wanted a ride for him and his equipment, but I do try to make it to one of his shows at least every six weeks or so. While I do enjoy being there to show my support, it is sometimes rather difficult to endure be there for him. We have a history of doing crazy things together, but it is not as easy as it used to be. You see, I am forty years old and Christian is in a death metal band.

He looks more devious in this
picture than real life.

I have no problem with this band. They are actually very talented. That may be hard to believe coming from me since I am his father, but it's true. They really are very good. I could especially tell during this latest show since they have better equipment now and it no longer sounds like a rhinoceros having an epileptic seizure in a small garden shed filled with empty tin cans. I still have no idea what words are being screeched out of the singer's mouth, but I can make out the individual instruments. Before, it was just an involuntary violent rape of my auditory organs that took days to heal. The improvements in the quality of their equipment proves that shopping for the best deal isn't always the way to go.  TIP: If you want decent sound quality, do not buy your equipment at BIG LOTS.

Almost every time I have seen them play has been at the same venue. It's the closest place they play to my home, but it still takes about 45 minutes to get there. I believe the building is a youth center during the week, but on weekends it is a showplace for bands. They get some great groups in there. We are in southern Illinois and that night they had a group from Evansville, Indiana and one that had driven all the way from Nashville, Tennessee.

I have worked with youth for about 20 years and have dragged kids all over the country to various events, trips and sometimes concerts. I have been to more than my share of events geared towards a younger crowd, so I know how this works, but I believe I am beginning to reach the end of my days in these settings.

I think he has a bee in his shirt
Christian's group , Odysseus, played second, so my entire reason for being there had come to an end early in the evening. There were seven bands playing and I already felt a headache coming on. I knew I had hours ahead of me and sitting in a corner waiting for the time to pass would have been more uncomfortable than sitting through an episode of Intervention at Lindsey Lohan's house, so I stayed in the heat of the action. However, avoiding injury is a prominent concern for someone who doesn't recover as quickly as he used to.

I tried to capture some video of what was going on in the 'pit,' but the room was too dark to get anything of quality, so you will just have to settle for my descriptions. I hope you appreciate them, because in order to get the scoop, I had to put myself in harm's way fighting to stay on my feet. I have been in plenty of mosh pits and done the crazy slam dancing and thrashing, but I have outgrown it. When I look at it now, it seems stupid. I can't believe I ever used to enjoy getting hurt.

He didn't duck fast enough
They don't just jump and throw their arms around with reckless abandon unconcerned for the people around them, some of these guys are jumping up and doing roundhouse kicks into the crowd. Now, for the people that want to get in the middle of it and participate in this, that is their business If they get hurt, they knew what they were getting into. A person cannot jump into a pool and then be mad because his hair got wet. However, there are some that are there to listen to the music and are not 'in the pit.' Just a little common decency would ensure that they would be safe. Unfortunately, there are some idiots who insist on involving people that do not want to be involved. One rather heavy set headbanger would start backing up until he was at the edge where there was a line of people watching the show. Once he felt he had reached the crowd, he would start jumping and doing donkey kicks behind him striking whatever person was unlucky enough to be close to him.

PILE UP!!!
Other  people crowd the stage to be in front of the dancers, avoid the pit and get closer to the music, but some of the dancers would grab bystanders and fling them into the crowd. There was no place safe unless you got far from the area. I was about as close as one could get without actually being in there. I tried to stay alert so I wouldn't get cold-cocked, but was knocked to the ground a few times. I wasn't really participating, but wanted to get some good pictures. I did my best to protect my camera.

Don't forget to protect your face
I hung in there, visited with people and actually had a great time, until about 11 o' clock. I was just spent and there were still two bands to go. I couldn't leave since I was Christian's ride home and we had to take some of the equipment back with us once the show was over. At that point, I found a comfortable spot to sit and waited it out contemplating  the aches I would inevitably feel in the morning. Christian even came and joined me. We made fun of some of the little people in the mosh pit that were trying to hold their own against the more seasoned and larger thrashers.

Despite my age and reluctance to jump right back into another night of that chaos, I did have a good time. In fact, the band has asked me to serve as their band manager when they go on tour this summer. I have agreed, but have concerns about what this experience on a daily basis will do to my eardrums sanity. Nevertheless, I will be there to:
  1. Review contracts
  2. Work the merchandise table
  3. Find safe places to park the van for sleeping
  4. Guard the van while they sleep
  5. Maintain the tour blog
  6. Confirm show dates
  7. Lug equipment in and out of van
  8. Ward off crazy fans and groupies
  9. Navigate to the next stop
  10. Taste test for poisoned food
  11. Keep track of the money
  12. Make sure they bathe
  13. Never sleep
After all, a musician's job is to write and play music. They have people for all that other stuff.

This summer, I am those people.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Put Down the Books.......Now, Back Away

I am having a lot of difficulty organizing my time lately. The place this is most evident (for the people who are not in my house) is in my blog. I have a very inconsistent blog schedule. One week I will post three times and then I won't put up another post for over two weeks. I have made promise after promise to myself and my readers that I will start blogging regularly. I set a goal for myself of at least twice a week several months ago, but it never lasts long.

I don't know if this is a valid excuse to throw out there, but I have been taking classes to get my Master's degree in Teaching. While this does not take up all of my time, it does make me feel like anytime I spend doing anything other studying is wrong. I do understand that other pursuits are not wrong, but I still feel guilty for some reason.

The book is as exciting as this picture.
"Hey, let's stand around and talk!"
Somebody SHOOT someone. PLEASE!!


I have been reading Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities for months. MONTHS!!! Literally. The book is not that long, but I just can't seem to make any progress on it. There are two reasons for this. The first one, I already mentioned. I feel guilty when I read it. As soon as I pick up the book, I feel that I should probably be reading one of my textbooks or doing research for the multitude of papers I will be writing for the next few years. Second, (and I think this is the biggest deterrent) it is so incredibly boring. I know this is supposed to be one of the classics that everyone should read, but I am not enjoying this. Unfortunately, my OCD does not allow me to stop reading it. I have to finish. I have never started a book that I did not read to the end.

This may not be a good thing. I actually have a list of books that I call my Bucket List Books. It is my gargantuan list of books that I have to read before I die. It had over a thousand titles on it when I started and I have since added to it. I started this task because of a book I came across in the library one day. Some of them I have enjoyed, but there have been several I have had to fight my way through. Now that I have this added guilt when I am doing anything besides studying, I don't know that I will read for fun ever again. At least, not until I graduate. Of course, then I will have to read boring book reports written by acne-ridden adolescents about a book that I found boring to begin with. Since I plan to be a math teacher, the books will be even duller than usual. Math books, although educational, do not make for very interesting reading. Although, sometimes the word problems can be pretty entertaining.

Amanda had three older brothers. One day they sent her into town to buy them an apple. Since apples cost 30 cents, they each gave her a dime. When she reached the store, she discovered that apples were on sale for 25 cents. She purchased the apple and returned to her brothers. She gave them the apple and the 5 cents in change. To thank her, they each gave her a penny. Since they each gave back a penny out of their original dime, that means each brother contributed 9 cents. 

9 x 3 = 27       30 - 27 = 3

Because there was a nickel back for change, which Amanda gave to her brothers, and they each gave her 1 penny out of the nickel, there is only 2 cents left. Where is the extra penny?

I don't know how long I will be entertained by math word problems, but they will have to sustain me until I get therapy or something. However, I can't get therapy until after I have graduated, because I have homework to do. Therapy would just make me feel even more guilty for neglecting my studies.

This is the same reason I have not been blogging much lately. I get up in the morning thinking I need to post something, but then realize that I really should be doing school work. Once again, my good intentions are turned towards learning about cognitive development and why some kids can't make friends. Considering how much I am paying for this and the amount of debt that I will be in once I am finished, the therapy should be included.

Once again, I am pledging to obsess blog at least twice a week. I love you guys. Please help me find the extra penny.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Get the Groundhog Here...NOW!!!

This a reworking of a post from November 2010. I have been busy with school work, so I pulled out an old one. It still applies today as much as it did then.

We have had a very mild winter before today. It is the middle of January and had days that were in the 60's just last week. I have known that the cold was coming, but have been praying for a very mild winter. However, this morning I woke up to snow on the ground and the temperature never got above freezing. Tomorrow is supposed to be even worse. The forecast predicts a high of only 29 degrees. This can only mean one thing, but I really don’t want to admit it. I think winter is coming.

I hate winter. Actually, the word 'hate' may not capture what I want to say; I loathe winter. Despise. Abhor. Deprecate. Detest. You can pick your favorite verb here, I really do not care for winter. I don’t like the icy roads, the constant and very real danger of slipping and breaking a bone, the extra preparation and supplies to keep in the car, the increased utility bills, the snow shoveling, the snow getting tracked into the house, the salt build-up on my vehicle, the need for extra clothing, the increased commute time, and the COLD.

Many people try to claim that winter is pretty; that the snow covering everything is beautiful.  I will argue that it is not.  When I lived in Puerto Rico, my brother sent me a picture of his backyard so I could see what I was missing. I don't know what feeling this was supposed to give me, but I don't think it worked.  I really didn't miss it at all.  It didn't bother me in the least that I wasn't there to see it.  While he was having to dig his car out of his driveway and spend money on tire chains, I was less than a mile from the beach and eating mangoes on my front porch.  Can you imagine the difference?  Do you really think I was upset that I had missed the icy scenery of the backyard?

While I can give some (although limited) appreciation for the beauty of fresh, fallen snow; it has some serious limitations.  The beautiful places are generally uninterrupted by people (i.e. open fields, mountains, Antarctica, Zac Efron movies).  However, those are also not places in which people have to function.  When the snow falls where we have to live and work it is not nearly as breath-taking.  It is much more than just not pretty, it is a real hassle to have to contend with.  How many times in the winter have you gone out to your car to leave for work or school just to discover it will take an extra 20 minutes to get out of the driveway because of the previous night's weather?  Or maybe you planned ahead and dug a path in the driveway the night before, but woke up the next morning to find that snowplows clearing the roads had buried the last six feet of your driveway under two feet of snow and rock that is now frozen. Or maybe you are running late for work because your car door was frozen shut.  After fighting Jack Frost for half an hour (or longer) you now have to brave the condition of the roads caused by this 'beautiful' landscape.

NO THANK YOU!!

As if walking in this treacherous, slippery landscape wasn't enough, you must do it with limited mobility due to the extra weight and restrictive clothing required to survive.  To get through the winter we have to wear coats, thermal underwear, nonskid (and waterproof) boots, scarves, stocking caps, earmuffs, gloves and other various miscellaneous items.  A family of four has to get up an extra 90 minutes early in the morning just to get everyone dressed.  

Winter clothing choices cannot be taken lightly.  For example, when choosing gloves you have 2 choices: you can either (a) keep you hands warm, or (b) move your fingers.  It is up to you to decide which is more important.

There is still the worst part of winter to contend with: the COLD.  Some days it is so bad it takes your breath away as soon as you step out the door.  You must dress appropriately if you want to survive your excursion out of the house.  If you go overboard and dress too warmly you will start to sweat.  The perspiration could then freeze and crack your face exposing your brain to the elements.  If you do not wear enough clothing (or choose something that doesn't break the wind, isn't waterproof, or gives easy access for bathroom breaks) then you run the risk of various winter ailments.  You could get hypothermia, pneumonia, frostbite, or Mad Cow Disease.  Midwestern Mothers are always warning their children to wear a hat over their ears because if the ears get too cold they could freeze solid causing them to break off if the child turns his head too quickly.  Every winter numerous fingers and toes are lost to frostbite, not to be found again until the early spring thaw.  Unfortunately, by then they are too soggy to do anything with.

As much as I hate this season, I think I am ready.  I have stocked up on soup and coffee and have signed up for all online courses for my college classes.  I am not leaving my house until March.  And that will only be to get umbrellas, raincoats, and a canoe, because it will then be time for the torrential spring rains.  I hate spring.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Enough, Already

In just the last couple of years I have come to grips with the fact that I am getting older. I am not completely falling apart, but am beginning to recognize the signs that I cannot physically act like a teenager any longer. Actually, I am 40 and haven't been able to do that for quite some time.

I am a reasonably healthy person who gets around well. I don't want to paint the picture that I am falling apart. It's just that I have noticed some of my parts are starting to come loose. Before I jump down from a ledge, I stop to consider my knees, feet and ankles. I never used to give it a second thought. During more strenuous activity, I have to think about what I have going on the next day, since it may take a day to recover. Last year, I was laid up for a week from running down a hill.

I have gotten accustomed to the small (and some not so small) aches and pains. Muscle tension, joint discomfort and other issues are just part of life at this age. They haven't had much effect on me yet, but they are noticeable. However, every now and then, something happens that makes me scream at my body, "Oh, come on." Last night was one of those times.

I pulled a muscle in my jaw while flossing my teeth.

Despite everything I just wrote, I am still a young man. I go rock climbing and rappelling. I still throw myself into the mosh pit at concerts and jump at the opportunity to do things like skydiving or bungee cord jumping. I just take a little longer to recover than I used to. However, apparently, I am too old to open my mouth wide enough to floss the teeth in the back of my mouth.

When I felt the pain shoot down the side of my neck, I knew what had happened. While the pain was located in a specific spot, the other muscles in my mouth and throat seized for about 15 seconds. I couldn't talk, swallow or move my head. My first thought was, "Great. Now I am going to have to communicate through one of those computerized talking devices like Stephen Hawking." No woman would ever talk to me again, but it might be worth it to scare off small children.

Once the muscles relaxed, it didn't hurt much. In fact, I forgot about it until I yawned as I was headed to bed. Opening my mouth that far was uncomfortable, but not too bad. The real problem presented itself this morning. When I woke up, even my teeth hurt. During breakfast, I discovered that I cannot close my teeth all the way. My teeth do not meet in the back, so I have to eat soft foods. This is not because it hurts. They just don't meet. Hopefully, this will self-correct as the muscle relaxes.

Despite what I said a few paragraphs back about being young, I don't feel it this morning. I can't even eat solid food. I makes me wonder how long I have before my daughter tosses me in a nursing home. I can already picture myself slurping my JELL-O, attempting to keep it from dribbling out of the left side of my lips and saying "WHAT!" every time someone speaks to me. It's not hard to picture since it is what I am doing today. (My hearing has always been bad. I had the nickname BELTONE in high school.)

In a few days, I will be talking normally and plan to use that opportunity to explain to Kirsten that she will not be going to college, but staying at home forever to take care of her old man. I never know when my body might break again. I could sprain an eyelid while blinking or dislocate my shoulder while reaching for the salt. I can't be too careful.

She will be so excited.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Abscessed Adventures with Adam

I first met Dr. Doolittle back in August. Today we crossed paths again, but this time it was not for me.

Early yesterday morning, I took my daughter to school and started off for Greenville College. Since all my classes are online right now, I rarely need to go to the campus, but I had an issue with my financial aid that needed to be sorted out and decided to do it face to face. I was about 2 minutes from getting on the interstate when I received a call from my buddy, Adam.

Adam: Are you on the road yet?
Me: I'm still in town, but headed out. Did you decide to go with me?
Adam: No. I need you to take me to the hospital.
Me: What's going on?
Adam: I don't want to say, but there's a lot of blood.
Me: I'll be right there.

I turned around to find out what calamity had visited Adam. I get to his house to find him groaning and attempting to put on some pants to leave the house.

Me: What happened?
Adam: I'm bleeding from my groin!

He then gestured toward the bathroom. I peered in and saw blood all over the toilet seat, the floor and the sink. Not just spatters, but a lot of it.

Me: Did you have your period?
Adam:  Very funny. Can we go now?

On the way, he explained that he had developed an ingrown or infected hair follicle a few weeks ago high on his inner thigh. Not a big deal. It happens. But this one didn't just go away in a few days. It got infected and grew. Adam did not get too concerned about this. He has seen his share of medical problems and was not going to get worked up over a little swelling. Three years ago, he had his feet amputated after being in a three-week coma due to the toxic shock his body endured from developing a rare blood disorder. He spent a lot of time in the hospital and almost died, so this appeared trivial in comparison.

After mild discomfort for a few days, the real pain started when he went to bed that night. He endured it until morning and it ruptured somewhere between getting out of bed and going to the bathroom. After having a seat, he discovers his hand is covered in blood. A quick check confirms the area he is bleeding from and the inevitable freak-out begins.

Once he realizes what has actually happened, he calms down a bit, but is still in a lot of pain. Despite most of the pressure from the infection being released, he now has an open wound on a very sensitive area. It hurt to move or even let the air touch it. That's when he decided to call me.

Our local hospital is under heavy construction, so there are no decent parking spaces available. And due to him only having stumps for feet he cannot walk vary far. I let him out at the ambulance entrance and went to find a parking space. I walked in a few minutes later and asked what room the big guy that walks funny was in. He yelled from one of the rooms. The curtain was closed so I could not see anything, but the smell hit me right away. The blood, sweat and fermented pus was perfectly combined to create an odor that should be manufactured by the military to drive out enemy insurgents.

Since Adam has had so much experience dealing with medical professionals, he has learned how to communicate with them very efficiently. Any time one of them touches him, he screams a string of profanities loud enough to make the windows shake. The nurse said, "I just need to see it." Adam tried to kick her with his stump.

Once she left, he asked me how bad it was. He hadn't seen it because it was in a precarious place where he could not get to it. The last thing a guy wants to see is the groin area of one of his male friends. It's worse than talking about feelings or admitting you like Cher. I didn't want to look, but I try to be a good friend and he really wanted to know. I mentally secured myself in my masculinity and took a look. He attempted to show me, but all I saw was a bloody mess. I never saw the actual rupture. Plus, exposing the area reignited the smell. I gave a quick nod.

Adam: How bad is it?
Me: Oh, you don't want to know. It looks awful. Bloody, fleshy mess.

In walks Dr. Doolittle. The last time I saw him, he was inserting a needle into the joint in my shoulder. Click his name if you don't know what I am talking about. He pulls the sheet back to take a look and does what every doctor does. He starts poking around the injured area. Adam quickly becomes vocal again. When Doolittle squeezed the area to see if anything came out, Adam reached a decibel level not heard since Hiroshima.

Doolittle released his grip, smiled at Adam and asked, "Did that hurt?"

Now that may sound cruel, but it was actually funny. Dr. Doolittle has a great bedside manner and said it in a way to lighten the mood. Adam laughed through his tears. He then told us it was just an abscess that needed to drain for a few days, gave Adam some tips to take care of it and prescribed some antibiotics.

Exactly two minutes later, the nurse walks in with his prescription and insurance info. I immediately complained, "When I was here, I had to wait in the room for at least 45 minutes before you guys came back in to let me go. How does he get such fast service?"

She calmly replied, "When you use the words he used and at the volume he uses them, we want you out of here as fast as possible."

I told her, "I will remember that."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Award for Playing on my Computer

I messed up. I really messed up.

I love writing my blog. I enjoy meeting and talking with other bloggers. I love seeing my stats go up and reading the comments that people leave on my posts. I have been trying to make sure to always leave a follow-up comments to anyone who leaves a comment, so they know that I did see it and appreciate them reading my ramblings. However, I dropped the ball on this one. I was reviewing some past blog posts to see how well I had covered a topic I was considering revisiting, when I came across a comment I had forgotten about.

This proves my blog has
no specific point. I can
ramble about anything
and everything.
I talk in the same way.

I won a blogging award last October called The Versatile Blogger. It was given to me by blogger Brandi Boddie of Colorado. Brandi is an author of Christian romance and will be having her first novel published this fall. You can visit her site by clicking here.

I was excited to get this award and do the follow-up that goes along with it, but something happened. I don't know what it was, but somehow, it got put to the side and I just forgot about it. I want to blame my school schedule, which is what I blame for most things that I forget. It gets people off my back when I apologize and say, "I'm sorry. I was so busy with my research paper, it must have slipped my mind."

It doesn't matter if it is true or not. They usually buy it. So, I am going to use that excuse again. I was very busy with school and didn't even feed my daughter that week. Luckily, she is of an age she can feed and dress herself. I forget she is in the house most of the time.

So, I am revisiting what I was supposed to do back in October. According to Brandi, I am supposed to follow these rules.

  1. List 7 things people may not know about you. 
  2. Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers and let them know they have won.
  3. Don't forget the thank the blogger who gave the award to you.
 I will start with the last one. Brandi, I do appreciate the award. Thank you so much. I hope you didn't think I had just carelessly cast it to the side when you sent it to me. I have no real excuse. It just got away from me. Thank you.

7 Things People May Not Know About Me
  1. Besides my daughter, most of my time is spent with Adam Elliot. This may not be a very interesting fact, but every time I write a new blog, he says, "I bet I am not even mentioned." Most of the time, he is right. However, this time, he will be wrong. He even got listed at number one.
  2. I don't like most people. I don't know why this is, but I don't. I enjoy socializing and meeting new people. I like to get out of my house and go where I can find people and have interesting conversations, but I don't necessarily like the people I am talking to. I think I hide it well, but I have been that way for as long as I can remember.
  3. I love dill pickles. A jar of pickles does not last long in my house. I put them on everything.
  4. The inside of my head is a sick and twisted place. My Facebook profile gets a steady dose of the things that I find funny and go on inside my head. However, it is heavily edited. I very rarely let out the things I am actually thinking.
  5. I wish this would happen to all of them.
  6. I have had a pet tarantula and will pick grasshoppers and cave crickets up with my bare hands, but am terrified by a praying mantis. I don't know why, but I can't get far enough away from them. I hate them. They are so creepy. No other bug bothers me. And for anyone who thinks now that they have this information, it would be funny to scare me with one, be warned. I will not hesitate to hurt you and will not feel guilty about it.
  7. I talk to myself most of the time. Occasionally, I actually speak out loud. I am usually able to play it off once I realize I have done it, but sometimes the words that just blurted out of my mouth are rather embarrassing. Since I don't like most people, I don't really care what they think, but my daughter thinks I am nuts.
  8. When I get my teaching degree, I plan to get a contract with the Department of Defense and teach on military bases. I am willing to go to any base in the world.
My Versatile Blogger Recipients
Click the titles to visit the page
  1. I only discovered A Softer World recently.  The blog posts consist of a picture or series of pictures with a clever caption or saying to go with it. I love this blog.
  2. Shane Morgan's blog In Shane's Brain covers a variety of topics. He writes about whatever is on his mind that day. Sometimes funny, sometimes thought-provoking.
  3. A few months ago I discovered The Cowardly Feminist by Vesta Vayne. I love hearing about her adventures in Pasadena and thoughts on every day struggles we all face. She posts 3-4 times a week so there is always something new to read. She has self-published two books. This is probably my favorite blog to read.
I know I am supposed to give this award to seven people, but I really don't read that many blogs. I do have a few more, but they have either already received this award or are very well-read bloggers who would not care notice if I awarded them with this. Here is a quick list of others I read, but I will not be sending them notification. The Blogess, Guilty Squid, The Weed, Oh Noa, and God's Comic. The Cowardly Feminist is one of those blogs with plenty of readers, but I thought it deserved a special mention.

Other blogs I read are usually about technology, photography or graphic design. They sometimes bore me despite being topics I am interested in, so I will not pass them on to you.

Brandi, thank you once again for the award. It is appreciated, even if it took me three months to say so.