Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Had Been There Before

This could almost be me, except for the salary...
Deftly wheeling.

My legs, poetry in motion


Addressing the ball. Snapping.

Watching the goalie try to make decisions faster than his synapses allowed, far faster than his body could react.

Seeing the ripple of the net.

External Humility, can't rub it in.
Internal gloriousness, I've still got it!

As I've gotten older, the speed which I used to my advantage has waned ever so slightly (or so I tell myself) and I've had to use guile and trickery to achieve some of the elevation, escalation, and separation. I've had to change to allow my body to adapt.

As I've aged, time in the form of younger men have attempted to slow me down. Forces of nature have tried to keep my feet on the floor. The very floor has reached up to grab me to stymie my greatness.

One such memorable occasion, I was playing indoors on a gym floor with an oversized tennis ball. I went to pivot and the man attempting to mark me stepped inside of my plant / pivot foot. Fortune smiled upon me as my plant leg was bent partially and in some sick awareness, rather than pivot into the foot and possibly tearing everything xCL in my right knee, I was able to elevate and get enough off the ground to prohibit injury.

On another groundbreaking moment, the carpet (astro-turf) buckled in front of me just as I was lifting my right foot off of it. It grabbed, it held, I rolled my ankle and was left standing on my ankle bone. I fell in pain to the floor and was almost carted from the field. Being the man idiot that I am, I decided I could still play after taping it up, I couldn't and at worst I'd be out a week, it was 5. Bad luck!

My latest adventure has left me wondering whether I should even try. This time my body was too fast for my legs, faster than the rapidly approaching floor. I went to turn on the ball. My leg said it wasn't sure, then it said no, then it said well let's just go down. It all happened faster than my snap volley that befuddled so many a goalie.

My first thought was that I had cramped up.

My second thought was that I had a charlie horse (I'm sure this is some sort of ethnic slur against Native Americans, but its the only thing that came to mind).

I begged for Icy Hot, I looked for a proper wrap. I settled for the improper use of a knee brace tightly pulled up on my thigh. I played...because I'm the man idiot.

Yeah... as I was told later, I got kicked by charlie the horse. Probably tore something...


Yeah, I had been there before and I got up.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm ( )ER Than You!

What is it about us guys? Some of you ladies are equally guilty.

Why do we gotta be (________)ER than everybody else?

Pick something... anything... and some dude is likely to be better at it than you, or he will proclaim it so.

Loud? I'm louder. Fast? I'm faster. Cheesy? I'm cheesier. Smelly? I'm smellier? Bald? I'm way balder. Sexy? You guessed it, I'm way sexier. Dumb, I'm dumber. Dumber, I'm dumberer.

You were sick last week? I was sicker AND I went to work!

I recall when I was in college having the following conversation. To set the scene, I had entered the office of my favorite economics professor. He and I would often have conversations about sports or philosophy, occasionally we'd talk economics, but since he was better at that subject, it would never really be a conversation.

Anyway, I entered on this particular day and he was engaged in a "conversation" with a former female student of his. She was a former student, not the victim of a sex change. I add the quotes because this wasn't much of a dialog, rather a monologue with "uh-huh."

She: ... He is going to graduate next year summe cum laude.

Prof: that's difficult to do.

She: well he's super driven on account of his daddy owning (some company). The dad is a really nice guy and so is his son.

Prof: uh-huh.

She: he's picking me up later in his Mercedes and we're heading to the family cabin in the mountains for the weekend. I should have him stop up and introduce himself, I know you'll like him.

Prof: I have classes all afternoon, so I might not be here.

She: I'll have him wave to you wherever you are and if you're at a stopping spot you can meet him.

It is at this point that my professor gave me "the look." I don't need to explain the look to most of my readers. It is part "sell crazy down the hall, because I'm all stocked up" and part "for the love of all that is good, save me now." He was brilliant subtle about it and she never caught on.

Me: So, what's his time in the hundred?

She: (head almost visibly whipping off like some alien life form who has realized there is another snack in the room) What?

Me: what's his time in the hundred?

She: what are you talking about? You mean like running?

Me: Yes. (her perturbed attitude was beginning to fuel me just a little, but then I can be assholier than thou. I wanted to slow my words down, but I thought that would have been a little obvious, so imagine it as if I did say this much slower than how you read it) How fast can he run the one hundred meter dash?

She: I don't know, what difference does that make?

Me: Well, to Carl Lewis and the United States, that's very important.

She: I don't know that he cares. He did play high school tennis, so he's probably pretty fast.

Me: I'm not sure you can make that correlation. I'd say he knows if he's fast or not. I'm pretty fast. I've only lost (at the time) four foot races in my life, of course my high school didn't have a track team, so I'd be guessing a little. Maybe when he arrives he can track me down in class and I'll race him?

She: Why would it matter?

Me: Well, I have a theory that God created all men equal. I can tell you that one of the races I lost was to a guy who was astonishingly smart, but he was shy around women and I saw him mowing his parent's lawn in the rain. It all kind of evens out.

She: But he probably doesn't care about the hundred meter dash.

Me: and I drive a beater Honda and don't care about ever having a Mercedes.

It was at this point that she lost interest in the conversation and in winning my affection for her boyfriend. She said her goodbyes to our mutual professor with little less than a head nod in my direction and went her way.

Several minutes later after our schoolboy mirth had partially subsided, he chided me for my rough, albeit funny handling of the situation. I explained that people who think they're better than you in sum total really piss me off.

And then he said something that was wicked smart, of course he was a professor, so my expectation of his smart was high. That in combination with being my favorite teacher made him smart...natch. His question pointed more to the philosophical when he asked...

Prof: Was that conversation about her, the boyfriend, or your possibly fragile ego?

I entertained that thought for a while and for a while longer and for a while after that. I think what it boils down to for me is that we as men draw a very narrow line between being supportive of ourselves by believing the best about ourselves and being protective of ourselves (and our fragile egos) by tearing others down a little. Either way, it's all about me.

What really ended up on weighing on me was the irony of poking fun at the boasting girl who was, though obnoxious, really supporting her man. In doing so, I was being protective of my own ego at the same time.

I may need the counsel of peers to convene and in what will undoubtedly be another fit of irony, tell me that I was right. You were going to say that, right? You were because you're nicer than me.


Dude Write

Since Dude Write appears to be happening for another week, I highly recommend you click on the button here and visit. While you're there, read a few other dude's posts.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reese's Without the Peanut Butter is Just a Kiss

Over at The World As I See It, our resident Aussie funny man Michael D'Agostino is waging a small war on Rusty of Swinging Like a Rusty Gate son of Aussie and his wife Comedie (they spell things different there, so try to read along like as if this were Pygmalion.)

At the risk of alienating all that is good, I have decided to weigh in on a subject that has all the Trader Joe's Hippy masses in a twitter (no, the OLD kind of twitter). I'd like to tell you I am going to talk about Occupy... or Obama... or Oreos?

No, Butter you're getting close.

The age old war between chocolate and peanut butter has found a new stage in this Nutella stuff. I have to tell you when it came out, I thought it was old like Ovaltine. It just sounds like something that was introduced in the sixties on the Howdy Doody show.

That said, I'll take the Peanut Butter any day.

What can make my mouth stick to itself especially when combined with white bread like Wonder? Eh, White Bread? Nothing butter than that.

What when dipped with a spoon and then topped with a few (as many as will stick) chocolate chips gives me satisfaction, yeah THAT Peanut Butter.

What can bring back the childhood memories of a somewhat squished sandwich with grape jelly and the crusts cut off? (Total lie, my mom always made us eat the crusts!) Here is a little known fact, when the bread is cut from corner to corner, as opposed to middle of the side to the middle of the opposite side, you get more sandwich. Ok, I made that up, but it seemed like more bites as a kid, so I figured it was bigger that way.

When arriving upon toast, the PB goes all melty and might actually drip.

We make Jimmy Carter smile that 745 tooth smile whenever we eat it. Who could hate that smile?

On a sandwich alone, Peanut Butter can be combined with :


Jelly (Grape, Strawberry, Blueberry, do NOT try the Kentucky Jelly)


Cream Cheese, don't of my dad's favorites.

Bananas all mashed up.

I'm ok on Nutella, it tastes a little to Hazelnutty for me, but as a compliment to the P to the Butter, sure. Honestly, I feel a little guilty pleasure eating it, as if I was having ice cream for lunch. I have given myself some new ideas to try and perhaps I will move Nutella up accordingly in the rankings.

Nutella on Banana Bread?

Nutella on Grape Nuts cereal?

Nutella on Oatmeal Cookies?

Peanut Butter, Banana and Nutella sandwich?

It just won't ever replace it. Sorry Rusty! Don't be Bitter, just say Butter.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

What Did You Call Me?

Enjoying Brazil vs. USA at Fed-Ex Field
I Love My Dad!

I feel like Father's Day is as good a time to declare that as any.


This is no slight to my Mom (who reads my blog faithfully) or to any of the other moms or women in the world. (I love you, Mom!)


Given that it is nearing Father's Day and I'm working on a project called "Dude Write" that is honoring the male bloggers of the world, what better time to honor a guy who taught me a lot about life.

Let me get one thing straight from the matter our station in life or our ages, my dad will always be "Dad" and I know that sounds obvious. I suppose that there are a myriad of things I could call him, but only some fit.

He was never a Papa because I wasn't born in the twenties in Italy, nor are we Italian. Likewise, he never got a Pa, because we aren't in the south or the thirties. Additionally, he has never been called Padre or Poppi or Pops.

He was for a time Dada, then Daddy, though as a young man grows up the latter is more suited to the girls in the family, as in "Daddy's Little Girl."

Father is very formal and from a time gone by. Robert Young starred as the title character in "Father Knows Best" and his kids actually called him "Father." That has always been too formal for our relationship. You can't say "Father, did you fart?" or "Father, did you watch the game this weekend?" and certainly not "Father, grab me a beer while you're up!"

Enjoying being a first time grandfather to some awesome grandkids, he got the opportunity to choose his ultimate patriarchal moniker, Gramps. Though it sounds like cramps, the kids could all say it and that made him happy.

Now, to me, he is Dad. It fits.

I've honored a request he made of me when I was but a youngster. His simple request was that I never refer to him as "My Old Man." I don't know if this was some sort of vanity on his part, but frankly he has never been vain in any other area of his life. He kept a buzz cut through the seventies and grew longer hair and a full beard in the eighties, so a glory seeking fan boy he was not.

I never questioned the request. I have a good friend who referred to his dad in that way, lovingly of course, and he would often ask "how's your old man?" This seemed like an innocuous question that didn't seem like I would have to dishonor the request. I always took his question and was clear in my answer that "my dad" was good.

The interesting thing about my Dad is that he's been winging the fatherhood business my entire life. You see, his father passed away when he was a child. He had just turned six. Adding to that wonderful year, not more than a week after his dad died, he had to go into the very same hospital to have his tonsils removed. Many people wouldn't have been able to turn that around.

Here are just a few things he has taught me:

  • Honor your country, remove your hat and be reverent during the national anthem. (He hates the "OH" thing as much as I do!)
  • Honor God and you don't have to be in church on Sunday to talk to him.
  • Love your wife and forgive her when she notices your many faults.
  • Spend time with your kids, nursing homes aren't "home."
  • Hugs are always appropriate. Get over it!
  • Work hard and enjoy the rewards of it.
Additionally, he taught me things like "bring a flashlight and a lunchbox, because it will be an all night job!" This in reference to one of the many times I was foolish enough to think I could take him on. (in jest)

He didn't teach me to fish or to hunt, which his dad probably would have been inclined to teach him. He taught me to bird watch, play chess, enjoy soccer, drive, and probably most important not to take myself too seriously.

I had the pleasure to work with him for more than 10 years and his work ethic was always just right, somewhat a "know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em" routine where we worked hard when there was work to be done, but no month went by when a bit of tomfoolery was needed or a caraf of red wine needed to be used to spark creativity in what would turn into a half day. He would refer to the "boss in the mirror" and talk about whether he would take a day off.

I'm lucky to have a great relationship with my dad as I work towards the years of my own fatherhood.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

What do you call your paternal ancestor?

Dude Write



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Between a Rock and a Hard Case

The Story of My First IT Job... (A True Story, names have been changed to protect the naive)

Rating: R Caution: the use of wildly Religious language is expected.

Have you ever wanted something really badly? I have.

I wanted to change careers. I was working with my dad at the time and my love of my dad and desire to hang around him had kept me in a job that rarely challenged my synapses.

I prayed every night that something would open up, some opportunity would come to me with such wild promise that I couldn't begin to say "no." To use the words "fervently" and "earnestly" regarding my prayers to a God who had shown me he could do stuff like that...yeah, understatement.

Mrs. Mynd was grinding out her days doing home daycare and for those of you who take on this perilous and mostly unrewarding job, I salute you. You only have to watch one child for a while to realize that you are the 8 to 10 hour a day caregiver for a child, and you make less than someone who routinely asks "want fries with that?" for the pleasure of this job. It is only through opening your house up for 10-12 hours watching many crying little people does the money begin to really roll in. You can't ever take vacation and spend any of that money, but what's relaxation among friends.

I digress.

One fine spring day, a man came over to interview my wife for daycare for his daughter. We shall call him Jim. Jim spent a good bit of time discussing details of daycare with my wife. I happened to be home at the time, likely from an early finish time on a job. I followed them around a bit and conversation turned to what he did and what I did for a living. I told him that I worked for my dad and he said he was an IT Director.

Those who have known me for a while would say I was destined for a career in the IT field. I helped my high school create a curriculum for computer science while being a guinea pig for the second of two courses. When I got to college I was always helping my fellow students with their programming homework. My brain has an uncanny ability to read code and understand what the computer will do with it, removing human logic just enough to find the syntax or logic errors.

After overburdening myself one semester in college, I decided that I needed to take a break from the IT degree and I went on without it. I never lost the passion I had and I was always tinkering with something at home. I had been creating databases and programs for my dad's business and always enjoyed fixing all the things he could think to break. We were quite the team.

Anyway, after discussing my passion for computers and the IT field with Jim, he said the words I had prayed to hear...

"I have a job opening in my office that you might be interested in..."

WOOHOOO! Did I mention WOO-HOOOOOO? Imagine me making that whistley noise with the two fingers in my mouth... I can't, but it is amusing to think about watching you think about me trying.

So after that afternoon conversation, I had such great hope for my future. Mrs. Mynd and I discussed this at length and her excitement was a mirror of mine (cause she is super like that) and we immediately set forth to re-write my resume.

FAST FORWARD to interview day. My resume is honest and simple, but awesome at the same time. I figure that I have already talked to the boss, this interview is a formality. I'm super excited for the job offer and have begun practicing my acceptance speech and my "who me, this was unanticipated" face.

Once again, Jim and I discuss the job. I meet his boss. I meet his bosses boss. I remember thinking how well the day was going. At the end of it we shook hands and I left... I was still expecting a call and an offer and the new career that I had asked God to provide.

Remember the "who me, this was unanticipated" face? I started showing that face to God the next day and the days following it for about a week.

I didn't get the job...

Had God failed me?  Had I not been "good enough" or prayed enough?

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion to the story...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Expiration Date of Texts

We all have things that expire.

Milk expires, eggs expire, anything food related that is left out overnight should expire.

Salt and Vinegar potato chips have an expiration date, which is almost impossible given the amount of salt on those things!

The 5-second rule by its definition expires the food that is dropped on the floor.

Drivers Licenses expire and yet we still have a foul look on our face. Credit Cards expire. Passports expire. Offers of Credit expire.

Suntan Lotion expires. does...and instead of becoming "less-effective" it become sunburn lotion as if it reverses behavior in bizarro world and it is now inviting the sun to cook you. Medication expires. Makeup expires. Condoms expire. Likely in the wallet that should also have expired.

Groupons expire, but still retain their purchase value.

Film expires (Hey Dad, what's "film")

Hair apparently expires... Hair today, gone tomorrow? (so I didn't point out the Hair Apparent, sue me)

We expire. Wow, that was blunt.

What doesn't have an expiration date one might ask?


Twinkies. Actually, Twinkies have a 25 day shelf life. This is the equivalent of 407 in people years, though.



Gallagher, orHey it could have been a cockroach!

Cockroaches as a species don't expire, though the individuals seem hardy as well. Swim in toilets they will. Heat, no problem. A friend actually as a whim, gag, prank... put one in a vaccuum. Not a hoover, but an actual scientific vaccuum. He compared a couple of different bugs actually and the cockroach outlived the others by far.

This was the same guy who would use liquid nitrogen to freeze different fruit and then drop it from the roof of the building. Watermelon was epic in a ice shards of Gallagher kind of way.


Manners such as a well placed "yes, Ma'am" go a long way. We've instead misplaced manners with indifference born of an Internet generation. Manners shouldn't die, nor should they expire as we get older and less tolerant.

Common Sense never expires for those who have it. Unfortunately, it isn't contagious...or all that common.

A good book (about manners and common sense?) should never expire, even though it will be electronicified and Kindle-magicked.

What about text messages? (Or Twitter messages?)

I recently was having a text conversation with the lovely Mrs Mynd and at some point it abruptly stopped. No, I didn't say something stupid and send her away in a snit. (Though I do that from time to time.) This stoppage occurred after a flurry of questions and answers.

I had asked two more questions and the responses stopped. (still nothing truly stupid or unnerving)

4 Hours later, Mrs Mynd picks up where we left off. Not a "sorry, I had to deal with something," no "the boss got on a rampage," and not a single "I just got this text, not sure when you sent it." Nope, she just answers the questions as if time had stood still. The reality is that life and work did get in the way, she didn't just put me on hold.

Now, I am almost famous for not feeling my phone vibrate and I'm not one to have it on crazy ringtone all day long, so I can't talk too much. But, I WANT TO PULL THIS OFF! I want to pick up where we left off in a conversation via text (because I can't remember long enough IRL) after 4 hours. I realize that any answers I might give are crucial for world peace or at least marital peace (and any ensuing marital piece) that I just can't fall behind. I do.

I have to imagine that text messages have a shelf life. I mean, go back in the history of your text messages if you even know how. I can't remember the last time I needed to recall a conversation I had via text. Twitter messages, sure I have some favorites marked, but I don't reference them. So in my mind, as twisted as it is capable of being, text messages expire.

Agree? Disagree? Talk amongst ya'selves. Well, include me by using the comments. I will respond, hopefully before you believe your comment expired. (Beeeeep)


Friday, June 8, 2012

New Look Banner AND the LAST GIVEAWAY!

Hey everyone out there carrying a torch for itsmynd (mainly because you know you need one when spelunking in the caverns of my mind) I've got news!

Back around the Chinese New Year, I wrote a little post about Resolutions and I gave myself quite the time frame to complete said resolutions...given that the Chinese year is longer than ours here in the States.

One of the resolutions was to get a better banner. Something that I could move forward with as my brand. I worked on it a little bit myself, but time and lack of true creative genius held me back.

Shannon (@ldylarke) who is one of my readers stepped forward and created 4 possible candidates for my new header. Because I can never decide on these things, I've decided to let my readership vote. I'm not going to get crazy with this, but I have created a poll following the images. Pick two options. You can come back tomorrow and vote again.

#1 Blue my Mynd

#2 Silver Surfer MYnd
#3 Fire MYnd
#4 White on Black


Last Chance to win some Bloggess Signed Swag! I have already done this twice and the FearlessFibroWarrior took home the first giveaway, while YoungmanBrown won the second giveaway.

Recently, I saw the Bloggess at the Gaithersburg Book Festival where I gave her a proper throne to sit upon. During this visit, I was able to have her sign 3 puppets. I had intended to get three different puppets, but it worked out as two Copernicus (of my own making) and 1 Beyonce. I am sure you would love to have these for framing or pasting in your own book.

Here is what you get,
obviously she touched it too!

I am NOT selling these items. I am offering them to those who are loyal readers and who haven't had the opportunity to drink of the awesomesauciness of the Bloggess.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those of you who are thinking you've done all this before, you can simply click each of the links and you should register a vote. (for instance, Following ItsMynd on Google, click it even if you already follow the blog)
Share this giveaway with your friends

Monday, June 4, 2012

Very Klever, He Kackled

Those of you who pay half an ounce of attention know that I love an award! After shedding my Susan Lucci like luck with the blogging awards, I have picked up a little hardware on my way to being everyone's favorite male blogger who goes by an alias starting with W, while writing for a megalithic blog that starts with an I.

I know! You want to shake my hand, it's ok to admit it.

No really, I picked up 6 screws with matching washers and nuts just the other day at the local Ace Hardware. (insert screw loose, washed up, or completely nuts quips here)

Someone out there thinks I am funny! Michael D'Agostino who is certifiably funny (Australia has a license for stand-up comedians, no...not really) thinks I make the mundane into the funny. Over at his blog he makes laughter happen as well. He's a comedic brother-from-another-mother with Rusty of Swinging Like a Rusty Gate, of whom I have previously raved. I can't imagine what a session of comedy plotting is like between those two, but I am sure that Depends are required because the two quick wits together (umm, that was WITS) is bound to be hysterical.

But this is about me and my blog, so back to my award. I'm sure that this had been man-ified, because it's previous iteration was all colorful. I am including that image at the bottom, in case anyone wants to see it in its former pink glory.

So other than generally being awesome what did I do to win this prestigious award? Did you not see that I am both funny AND awesome? What else is there?

Now, there are rules... I can't help that. (Seemingly ever-changing rules as it was just the 10 facts and 6 benefactors)
Give back the love to he or she who bestowed said award. In case you missed it, is from whence it came. Answer 7 questions and give 10 random interesting facts about yourself. Pay it forward to seven equally deserving blogs.


1. What is your favourite song?  
For the love of all that is good...who put a U in favorite? Same people who have a twisted sense of humoUr and probably go to the theatRE? Anyway, I'm a lover of different kinds of music. I think if you ask me this question, you'd get a different answer each day. I like to sing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, so let's go with that until tomorrow.

2. What is your favourite dessert?
Mohave... but it was close.  OH! Two s's makes it the food. Pecan Pie with whipped cream.

3. What do you do when you're upset?
There are so many "upsets" that a person can be.  I typically fight hard not to puke with an upset stomach.  When I am sad, I talk to my wife.  When I am mad, I vent to the nearest person that isn't making me mad.  I use the word "seriously" and "really" in their question formats...A.LOT....seriously.

4. Which is your favourite pet?
My cats are great except when it comes to catching a frisbee.  Then the goldfish wins.  Actually I don't have a Goldfish.

5. White bread or whole meal?
I've never been to prison where I only got bread and water, so I'd say I would have to opt on eating a whole meal over a piece of bread any day.  Now, if this is a nutty European way of saying Whole Wheat, then this white bread likes some white bread.

6. What's your biggest fear?
My biggest fear is not that I am inadequate. My biggest fear is that I am powerful beyond measure. (yeah you can look up the rest by author Marianne Williamson... Very moving)

7. What's your attitude most of the time?
Upright to semi-upright.  I get 6-8 hours of sleep when I am reclined.


See the boredom I created here.  I'm funny, just not that randomly least not to myself.

1. I was uncredited on the movie Broadcast News. Well, my shoulder was.

2. I can touch my nose with my tongue (because it is too gross to say I can pick my nose with my tongue, aren't you glad I held back?)

3. I like rock climbing but only inside.

4. I have been out of the country, but I've never had a passport.

Seven Brides for Seven Samurai, Seven days until Sunday (otherwise known as the 7 suckers that have to find 7 more...)

1. Lainey from Lainey's Life Lessons is the spinner of wonderful and colorful tales.
2. Zannah over at Write, Rinse, Repeat is epically funny and it shows in her writing.
3. YFP writes The Young Female Professional and her stories harken me back to my own post college days in the brave new employment world.
4. Carrie over at Adventures in Mommyhood is a riot, just don't get her started about Red Solo Cup unless you want a real riot.
5. If you aren't reading Pickleope, you should be...go on...we'll wait.
6. (Insert Your Name Here)  it's not that I don't have 2 more shout outs, I'm just tired and want everyone to get in on the love.
7. (Insert Your Name Here)  it's not that I don't have 2 more shout outs, I'm just tired and want everyone to get in on the love.

Use this one if you like!

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