Monday, April 30, 2012

You're NOT All That or a Bag of Chips!

OMG, Fletcher Reede Cannot Lie Either!

OMG Becky! I cannot lie!

Yes, those pants make your butt look big.

I know you love it, but your mom's chicken risotto makes me want to hurl.

I saw you cheat on the science exam in 8th grade and now I'm reporting it in hopes they pull your high school diploma because I am jealous of your success.

There's nothing wrong with your computer that a reboot won't fix, but I like to be smug and make the problem far more tragic, just to make myself look smart.

No, seriously, Barry Manilow called and wants his wardrobe back. He also said he wants all the stuff you stole from Neil Diamond.

I posted not so long ago about Please Return to Your Box about how we say things that mask what we really think. Prior to that I posted Friends Who Don't Lie about how real friends tell you the truth, sometimes making it sound caring.

I'm BACK! I'm here to tell you that:

No, I'm not offering gum to be polite! Chew it or the county is going to put a manhole cover on that sewer.

Yes, that lesion on your face that looks like a zit went noticeable.

Whatever number of the senses that fashion is, well, you're the equivalent of Helen Keller.

I would tell you that you are uncomfortably loud, but I'd have to scream at you for you to hear it.

Your recent use of the silent treatment was a treat for once.

Dude! Please refrain from bathing in your cologne as it makes me wonder how bad the BO was that you covered up.

I'm not April Foolin' because April 30th is National Honesty Day! What an awesome concept.

Oh, sorry, it isn't National Brutal Honesty Day?

Mrs. Mynd has often indicated that she is best when she is unfiltered. Maybe I should try it?

Go Forth and Be Truthful!

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm Not Bad, I Just Suck at Drawing

A great new blogger I found, (which is to say my discovery (which is not to say I "discovered" her in some "I'm ready for my close up Mr. Demill" way) is new, she looks way too adult to be "new" herself) Zannah over at Write, Rinse, Repeat recently wrote about drawing in her blog and it got me thinking about why I don't draw in my blog.

Ummm, because I suck at drawing, I am a self proclaimed perfectionista and I'd erase more than I draw.... I'm to bad drawing what I am to bad punctuation and run on sentences.


Zannah recently won the popularity contest over at Now before you start getting all "of course the head cheerleader won the prom queen contest" on me, I want to state that you vote on blog entries and there are several "winners" but one is the most popular entry where it garnered the most votes. So yes, the hot blonde girl is your new class president. She did so without drawing anything other than drawing attention to herself with awesomely funny blog writing.

(Dude, why are you belittling this contest that you've participated in the last three weeks?) I've got my itty bitty widdle feewings hurt, just an itty bitty widdle bit. You see, you "compete" against 75 other people and the idea is you are supposed to read as many of the other 75 blogs as you can. You give your entry a picture and a title. Many people want to "brand" their entry to make it easy for repeat readers to find them, (which now that I think about it, why wouldn't you just follow those bloggers) anyway... So I played along this week with my picture and my twitter handle as the title. I guess I'm not one of the pretty people. Previous entries have received more than 100 hits coming from "the grid" whereas this week I got 36. So I must be so very gruesome looking that people shuddered to think they might have to click on my picture and see it potentially larger. (next week my entry is going to be a giant image of my face, but I'm going to use a picture of bunnies in the grid)

I will admit to not reading a lot of poetry and writing even less. I will click every link, likely not commenting on the poetry posts, but I do click them. I do so from the grid.

But I am abominable, or is it indomitable? Either way, I'm not letting it get to me. 52 followers and 20 or so Facebook fellowshippers and the dozen or so email subscribers have told me I am funny.


I've been practicing my drawing using Draw Something on my iPad. I got sucked in to that game by Aimee over at FFW and we have a game that is like 74 moves long. I think it is a tribute to our guessing skills (Scrabble skills) than my drawing skills, though I am sure she thinks as highly of her drawings as I do mine.

Here are some examples of my fantastic skills:











So, what did I draw here?


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Catching the Crafty Cat

I only eat Chicken Liver
as part of my Catfish
It all started with a quart of chicken liver on a quiet evening on the bank of a small pond near where I grew up. I had fished this pond quite often growing up. I pulled boatloads of sunfish and crappie from that pond on a regular basis. (minus the boat) Each time returning them to the same waters so they could breed incessantly. So numerous were those sunfish that the spring ritual of stocking the pond with small bass was likely ruined by their hungry mouths consuming the bass that were rightfully mine!

A Face only a Mother could love
But on this night, surrounded by the eclectic collection of black ducks, mallard ducks, domesticated geese, and what can only be described as the ugly products of their forbidden love, I sat quietly watching.

Not MY Catfish
Watching was what you did when fishing for catfish. You baited your hooks, for one mere pole was not enough, and waited. The casts were some of the farthest you could remember, as weights were used to be certain the bait was dragged as far into the depths and as close to the very bottom as possible, for this was the home of the catfish. Often, small bells, like on a cat collar, were used on the tip of the pole to alert the fisherman of a moving pole.

Now, the catfish isn't a particularly discerning eater. At this pond where families are frequently fed and the ducks even more so, catfish probably enjoy a diet that includes, bread, hot dogs and marshmallows. His sense of smell is far better than his sight, hence the "stink bait," and his activities pick up around dusk.

The Actual Pond, not my secret spot...
Because this particular pond closes at dusk, fishing for Mr. Catfish was often begun a bit early and ended too soon. The more poles you could deploy, the better your odds of hooking one before the teenage park "ranger" closed the fishermen down.

Catching a catfish is a fun experience for anyone. This isn't a fish that will struggle against your line like a Largemouth Bass. You don't get the epic fight with a jerking pole. This guy once he realizes he is hooked will extend his pectoral fins (the ones in front of the pictured hand) and essentially anchor himself to whatever is around him.

The trick to dislodging a crafty cat is to walk up and down the bank to tug on him in a direction he is not expecting. Once his anchor is broken, he will struggle a bit and try to swim away, until he is able to re-anchor himself. Lather, rinse, repeat until the line snaps or he is on land.

I recall that between my friend Mike and I, we probably had 7 poles baited and cast. We'd done this with some success over the years and often caught smaller cats. We had also hooked what we assumed to be a turtle or three. You almost never reel in a turtle, they bite through the hook or line and would likely snap the pole if it were close enough.

But this was a new night, a new destiny...

Within ten minutes of getting our lines wet, two bells rang. The two of us leaped to the poles, as a turtle can easily drag a pole into the water. Mike manned his pole and I mine. We worked in tandem walking the banks sometimes in the same direction, often crossing, to land the fish.

Mike was able to land his fish in a more timely fashion and he wasn't a keeper. The small fish croaked it's displeasure about breathing air as Mike worked to remove the hook. Because catfish swallow their food whole, the hook is often too deep to recover, but with a long handled dentist tool (somehow dentistry finds its way into another post!) we could often remove the hook. The alternative is to cut the line and release the fish. Often the line cut is preferred because the catfish has a venom in its fins that can cause quite a sting if the fisherman's skin is broken.

I was still fighting mine and was fairly certain that I hadn't hooked a log or worse a turtle. As I worked my way and down the bank, the park ranger was making his way over to close up our shop.

Normally, we could make enough small talk to finish landing a hooked fish, but there were a few times that the menacing teenager with a flashlight forced lines to be reeled or cut. As this was our only bells for the evening, the idea of cutting lines, the proverbial cutting bait, wasn't in our plans.

As Mike worked on chatting with the ranger and pulling in our other lines, I continued my valiant fight to bring this spare tire on land.  As I began to fear that I had hooked a smaller turtle, each bend of my pole sure to be its last, the line began to move closer to shore.  Normally, neither turtles or catfish (or spare tires for that matter) will choose to swim into shallower waters, so I was truly mystified by what was going to be on land in mere moments.

As I was getting closer to my prize, or he to me, the Ranger decided to show some interest in my catch and wandered over.  Keenly aware that he likely wanted to cite me for pulling a tire from the lake that was not covered by my permit, I made sure he knew I had a fish on the line.

As I pulled mightily on my pole (did I just say that out loud) the most beautifully ugly catfish face was born into the oxygen.  Heaving the first of the last breaths he would take with a characteristic croaking noise, his fate sealed, he extended all his fins in one last attempt to cause bodily harm.  I had caught a lunker.  I have no idea what that means, but it felt right to say it.  He was clearly longer than the ten inches he needed to be for me to keep him. His weight came in around 17 pounds, but with catfish you never know if they've just eaten three sets of bait, hooks and weights.

I exclaimed to Mike in the loudest and proudest voice I could muster: "Catfish for Dinner!"

Stay tuned next week for Part II: Catfish Flambé or How I Burned Down Mom's Kitchen

I'm again participating in YeahWrite which is an outstanding collection of writers. Click the picture and read some of the 75 outstanding entries there. I guarantee you will find at least one new blog to follow!

That's or if you're reading this Thursday.

Monday, April 23, 2012

(Chinese) New Year Resolution Update

Back in January, on the 23rd I posted a little ditty about Chinese New Years Resolutions and I thought that perhaps the 23rd of April (a mere 3 months later) would be a good time to update that. 

Blogging Related:

  • I'd like to get one new Facebook or Google follower per month and resolve to be funnier or at least more "socially acceptable."

  • I need a wicked cool banner for my page, branding is the key to life and untold riches (No! I don't know how much that is, it is "untold". Duh) I therefor resolve to make or hire out the banner creation. Something like or or perhaps would work nicely. That leads to the untold riches, yes? At least to a site on Zazzle or CafePress where my readers can buy T-Shirts and Travel Mugs with my logo on it...
    • I'm up to 50 Followers (I'm not Haley's Comet, yet) and 19 Facebook Fellowshippers (because that is easier to say than "likers"
    • My banner isn't as awesome as some that I mentioned, but it pleases me (until my ADHD sets in and I work on another, or win some blog makeover)
    • I have a Zazzle store with 4 products
    • I've run a giveaway with Rafflecopter that had 19 entries
      • I've Guest Blogged twice
      • I had a post go Viral
      • I've "won" three awards!

      Life Related:

      • I'm going to be all lame and say I want to get in shape... well, if my cards have been played right, I should soon be in possession of the Jawbone Up provided that they work out the glitches, which tells my iPhone how much exercise I am not getting as well as how much sleep I am not getting. This should make it more motivational to do both better. My understanding is that sleep is achieved through exercise, but not right before bed... uh-oh. Now, the key is to not strive for too much. I will bike...some. I will pull on the stretchy things (oh, please! Get out of the gutter!) some.
      • I have strived to read the entire bible in a year, but I get bogged down in Leviticus or Numbers each time. So, I resolve to read JUST Leviticus and Numbers this year... ok that makes it sound like I can't hang with the Pastor Sunday mornings else I might be forced to read other verses... that is how our pastor rolls after all. But, in reality, I have decided to not be facing the failure of not reading the whole thing because I can't get past those two chapters filled with all their "begats" and "cubits." If nothing else, I limit my failure to a smaller one. But I shall not fail, I do have more than a year to get it done. (unless the world ends in December like all my living Mayan friends have told me it will).
      • Savings...I'm continuing in my plan to shed some debt that is at some artificially ridiculous interest rate instead of trying to dump money into a decidedly smaller savings account. The goal is to pay off my car this year, freeing money for the inevitable car repairs associated with a recently paid off vehicle.
      • Fail - Jawbone pulled the UP and between that and the pollen count giving me a 2 month headache, even biking has been a challenge. 

      • Fail - headache can't be my excuse.. 

      • Fail - Uncle Sam got into my pocket for the first time in about 10 years. 

        Work Related:

        • Here's to finishing a project. This is the big one and we're finishing by April with a big phase.
        • We're on the finish line for Phase 1 and I think it is being deemed a success after multiple challenges!

        Friday, April 20, 2012

        Bad Service Tipping?

        Mayor Gia recently blogged about bad service here.  It reminded me of a  conversation with a friend of mine for what the tip is for bad service...

        Yeah, you can see where it got off track.

        My norm is $0.02, as in I'm giving them my two cents.  And by tipping, I indicate that I didn't simply forget.

        My friend says that 10% is his norm for bad service.  His rationale is that "they get paid horribly low wages and they have to make a living."  I respond with "perhaps they should pick a different career" or "I'd probably give them more money if they were pan-handling."

        You see, I'm one of those weird people who work hard.  I lose sleep over not doing a good job.  I make fairly decent money even though my existence and work ethic are not predicated upon how much money I am or am not making.

        I'm not an awful customer.  I don't send plates back because the gravy has invaded the corn.  I don't look for hair in my soup.  I don't question the temperature of food.  The only thing I am picky about is how you cook my steak.

        Here is the implicit contract we sign when you walk up to my table and ask if you can take my order:

        I, WilyGuy, being of sound mind and body... oh wait, wrong contract.

        I Will:
        • Come to a decision about what I would like to appetize, drink, eat, and dessert upon in a timely fashion.
        • Convey said choices to you in a voice that allows for you to hear and understand me.
        • Accept that I have chosen this restaurant and am not being forced to eat there, so my choices will come from my free will
        • Accept that I have chosen to eat at this time on this day and if it is Mother's Day and I am with a party of 12, I cannot be frustrated by my wait prior to arriving at your table.

        You Will:
        • Understand that it is my choice to dine here, but not my choice as to the table where I was placed.
        • Take my order without bias or scoff or sigh, if there is pertinent information such as that I must wait for the next cow to be slaughtered to enjoy said steak, you should convey that information.
        • Take down my order on some sort of writing tablet in a legible fashion, or don't while understanding that your memory may be taxed prior to you reaching that magic ordering machine in the corner.
        • Bring my drink almost immediately upon my ordering it.
        • Bring my appetizer shortly after and prior to my food, unless otherwise explicitly instructed.
        • Make sure my Ketchup, A-1, Salt, Pepper, and for the love of all that is good... SUGAR is full, I don't care that I have 17 bazillion yellow packets or 13 brain tumor growing pink packets.
        • Walk the fine line between giving me nothing with which to clean my mouth and making me think I am the world's sloppiest person by giving me more napkins than one tree can produce.
        • Check back for drink refills and to make sure my steak is correct.
        • NOT flirt with the bar back at the expense of the paying customer. He's less likely to tip you, but barely.
        • NOT lean into my personal space.
        • NOT sit at my table while taking my order.

        I recall back in the day getting the lousiest service at a Bob's Big Boy restaurant. I got such lousy service that only after placing my empty coffee cup on the top of my head and balancing it there (receiving the adoring stares of the other patrons in the joint, of course) did my waitress decide that I might want a refill.  She tried to play it off by asking if I wanted her to fill it up there.

        She thought I was being unreasonable.  I disagreed.  The manager thought I was being slightly unreasonable.  I disagreed.  I thought 20 minutes with an empty coffee cup on my head was unreasonable.  They thought I was trying for the Guinness Book of World Records. (Why does that book have nothing to do with drinking Guinness? (not)Brilliant)

        The friend I was with at the time decided that my normal two cents was not enough of a statement and took my two pennies and dropped them into the water glass, then managed to flip the water glass over trapping the pennies and the water inside the glass while creating a seal with the table...far more cruel than clever.

        I took a taxi in Chicago two years ago and the driver took the address I gave him and put it in the GPS, but neglected to put in the city and as a result I went for a 2 hour drive, NOT to my destination.  At first he wanted to argue about it, but realized that he was wrong and that a suburb that was mere minutes from my starting point was not the same as an address that was mere miles INTO the city.  Upon reaching my correct destination, he cut the fare and I being the decent guy gave him a big tip.

        One mistake shouldn't cause you to lose your job or your tip, but how you react to that mistake makes ALL the difference.

        So, what's the lousiest service you have ever received?

        Tuesday, April 17, 2012

        Steer Clear of the Viral Post!

        Frankly, I never thought it would happen. I've heard and seen it occurring with other blogs. I'm quite sure The Bloggess can attribute her success to it. Simple Dude has got to have had it happen.

        The Viral Post!

        Wildly popular, able to leap search engines in a single bound, the Viral Post is that kid in high school who pulled the fire alarm and never got caught. Later, that same kid brought beer to the prom but since he brought enough for the chaperones, nobody cared.

        What am I talking about? Well, recently I wrote a little post about The Guest Who Never Leaves and




        Off the chains readership, at least for a modest little blog like mine... At recent count, the views were at 4127 for a post that is barely a month old.

        I'm sure that any blogger who has seen this will tell you... The worst part about writing one of these posts is writing another. I have to admit to complete confounding flumoxery over that post. I had written a post for Simple Dude as a guest while he vacationed and being the perfectionista overachiever that I am... well, I gave him two choices. He decided on my post about my becoming an amateur dentist leaving me with the post about guest posting.

        So, the lingering after effect that should be satisfaction is curiosity. It shouldn't be that way. I should relax and enjoy it. But I can't. I want to see 300+ comments to go along with that. I didn't choose any images that might be "hot" or "compelling" or even dare I say it "interesting." I created a new buzz phrase, "Creativity Dysfunction" that I am sure all my fellow bloggers will be using. (Chachkis available in my store, but no Joanie's) But I really have no explanation for the views.

        Those of you who read me regularly know that I am often a bit angsty about writing a good post, thinking I've written a good post, and then being validated by views and comments. So often, I get views and comments on stuff that I've written and don't think is the most sparkling gem in the bag.

        So I've come up with my Top 5 Reasons That Blog Post Went Viral.

        5. I envision my mom hitting the refresh button a few dozen times a day? But why on THAT post, Mom?

        4. Was it my ingenuity to include the word (shhhhhh) Cialis? Or perhaps Viagra? Does this start a massive spam email campaign? I guess that means people were willing to click. Just sayin'.

        3. Did I create a wormhole in the fabric of google whereby because I linked to that post from mine, and somehow it linked back...perhaps the spiders got confused and continued to scan causing my hits to climb.

        2. The Charlie Sheen effect. I realize I included a picture of 'Wild Thing' Rick Vaughn from Major League (still one of my favorite movies of all time!) and some of those on the Tiger-Blood-Warlock-from-Mars-WINNING track towards epic life collapse felt compelled to click. Sadly, I'm not sure which is more tragic...his life or the lives of all the people who couldn't stop watching his circus.

        And the TOP Reason that The Guest Who Never Leaves went viral...

        1. Sinbad. Everybody loves Sinbad. Everybody knows that Sinbad lost in the finals of Star Search, after beating Dennis Miller in an earlier round. Sinbad also starred in Houseguest where he played a guy who impersonates another guy to become a Houseguest of Phil Hartman. It is clear that all of his fans have been hoping for a Sequel. Their angst upon realizing my little blog post was NOT the news they had been waiting for was the primary cause for little commenting. I should be happy at this point that they didn't leave hate mail. Memo to me, DON'T WRITE anything entitled "SECOND KID!"

        So, have YOU ever written a wildly successful post? Give us a link and we'll try to come up with a top 5 for why it was so successful!

        For those of you not in the know, here is how you create a link... which is also helpful for leaving your blog URL in comments. (oh, and the link will make it so you get even more hits).
        <a href="http://your fabulous blog URL here">Either your fabulous blog URL or Title here</a>

        You can now get a Creativity Dysfunction mug here:

        Creativity Dysfunction mug zazzle_mug
        Creativity Dysfunction mug by Itsmynd
        View other Writers Mugs

        Once again, I am adding my witlessness to the finer folks over at and by clicking on this link, you will be taken to a mystical land of story tellers that are some of the best you'll read. Come Thursday, you should click again, vote for 7 of your favorites, of which I hope I am one.




        Hey. I'm also guest posting over at Tsarita Says today with The Services I Offer catch me there.



        Jo-Anne M. won the giveaway for the Bloggess kindle book on Criss Cross'll Make Ya Jump Jump. Thanks to everyone who played.




        Friday, April 13, 2012

        Criss-Cross'll Make Ya Jump Jump!

        Saturday, April 14th is

        Reach as High as You Can Day.

        This is a holiday I can get into, and probably a lot more fun than Ex-Spouse Day also "celebrated" today.

        So if you want to get all New Age, we can talk about the "Reaching High" being the stretching for your dreams and attaining your lofty goals, those goals that you once thought unattainable.

        For those interested in healthier living, the "Reaching High" could be described as that stretch that perfectly aligns the body and thereby the soul.

        For those who are more spiritually inclined, the "Reaching High" could possibly be man's (or woman's) yearning for God and the extending of your spiritual mynd to truly reach out to Him.

        For the more pragmatic, "Reaching High" means getting the crapola off the very top of the kitchen cabinets, perhaps to donate Aunt Mabel's unused punch bowl to those less fortunate...or selling it for cash. It could also mean cleaning out the cobwebs and I'm not being figurative there.

        I like to think of "Reaching High" as more fun and literal activity akin to when we were kids and we used to settle in under a light in the kitchen and looking up, spin around as fast as we could. Alas, that is a game for the young at heart and of body...since I just had to calm my stomach to avoid a dinner "reveal" of epic and technicolor proportions.

        Do you remember jumping?

        I remember jumping in puddles.  I remember jumping off a moving swing set. I remember jumping up on curbs and then back off. I remember jumping over fences. I've jumped into a pool, sometimes into the waiting arms of my parents. I've jumped from rock to rock to cross a stream. Someday, I hope to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

        The key to a good jump is two-fold:
        1. Sell out to the jump. There is no half-jump. You wanna get hurt? Try half-jumping over a fence! Half-jumping off a swing set is a sure fire way to get kicked in the back of the head by the kid on the swing next to you.
        2. Hands Up! Nothing says jump like getting your hands involved. Your arms and hands are the bands pulling you higher as you leap.
        Watch a kid jump, there is no greater joy and no greater determination. Kids have no idea how to half-heartedly jump nor do they feel embarrassed about jumping. Even the folks in the clubs who are jumping manage to at least get one lame unmoving hand in the air.

        Close your eyes and try to jump, unless you get vertigo or something that makes it dangerous.

        I've made my goal of jumping towards Heaven as many times as I can in 60 seconds three times a day. This New Age-Spiritual-Athleticism is going to help me clear the literal and figurative cobwebs in my life.

        In the spirit of two hands up, WilyGuy, your Master Mynd is doing a giveaway! As many of you know, part of the reason that I began writing this blog was due to reading some tremendously funny bloggers. One of those bloggers is Jenny Lawson, otherwise known as The Bloggess. I am all about showing love and respect to those that inspire me.

        Recently, Jenny had her first book published and it is due to be released on April 17th. I will be giving away a Kindle Edition version of the book to be purchased and sent to your email address on the 17th!

        a Rafflecopter giveaway

        Not doing it, in the immortal words of Criss (or was it Cross) would be

        "Wiggity, Wiggity, Wiggity, Whack!"

        Wednesday, April 11, 2012

        Half-Vast Ideas III : Return of the Last Ultimatum


        I've guaranteed the success of my third post in the series with its name. If you look at successful trilogies and their names, the top 7 have been honored here. (Noting that several trilogies had no subtitle, like the Godfather trilogy.)



        I write down snippets as I go along and often I put lots of these abnormal thoughts together because alone they aren't enough to be an entire post. My ideas don't get written down so they can mature, they really 'immature!'


        In that spirit, I have multiple things of note this week, completely unrelated to each other, but I work hard for you to blend otherwise unblended items, like a pickle and peanut butter smoothie.




        Speaking of yum, Chick-Fil-A introduced their own version of Spicy Chicken to the world a few months ago. As with most things Chick, this is a quality product that excites my senses and together with some waffle fries makes my day better.

        I would, however, caution them to be a bit more diligent in labeling as the box disturbed me upon opening.

        - - -

        Actual conversation in my car on Shaggy's birthday...

        Shaggy: so and so is color blind
        NumbChuck (Shaggy's friend): yeah she can't see fluorescent colors and purple looks blue
        Shaggy: I know what I'm wearing to school, all fluorescent colors!
        Me: You DO know that doesn't make you invisible to her, right?

        - - -

        I was in the supermarket here in town and I was treated to some of the worst use of vocabulary and grammar ever. I've dealt with some of my pet peeves already such as the use of the word "broke" instead of "broken" but far more offensive is the following dialog that occurred as I was standing in front of the credit card machine...

        Front End Supervisor: {to cashier whose name I have omitted from both the story and my Mynd} did you break it again? (referring to the machine I was using)

        Cashier: No. You know I'm being haved.

        Me: (thankfully in my mind) OMG it's BEHAVING!

        - - -

        Ever have one of those math teachers who believed that homework was crucial and repetition was never enough? (Ever thanked them?) My twisted brain wanders and wonders what they are like out of school... The Denominatrix, she ties you down and makes you do fractions.

        - - -

        So, in the course of my normal abnormal eugoogling, I come across a new concept, "Removable Wall Art" - Why would you put art on a removable wall?


        - - -

        I eat a fair amount of chicken. Can you imagine if all those chicken parts got put back together and the zombie chicken came after me? Poultrygeist!




        Sunday, April 8, 2012

        Panic in the Museum

        Not too long ago, I visited an Art museum in Baltimore. Now, some of you may be thinking that is really cool and some of you are on the opposite spectrum. I found it to be highly stressful and were it not for some good food and the awesomeness of Mrs. Mynd, I might have run screaming from the place.

        Let me first say that art isn't bad. I don't dislike art for arts sake. It is the art "experience" that I take issue with.

        To begin, I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, home of the world's attic, I mean the Smithsonian, monstrosity of all museumhood. This meant lots of school field trips to the Nations Mall and countless projects where we were herded from room to room.

        This was back when the economy was good, terrorism wasn't a threat, and bus rides were cheap.

        Our solace was the gift shop and the cafeteria. If we were lucky our parents had given us money to spend on something entirely useless and likely having nothing to do with the museum we visited. We also got to dine on exotic cuisine in the cafeteria or at a minimum take the brown bag lunch with a soda wrapped in tin foil. (for better reception?) This was almost as good as getting to buy the chocolate mousse in the cafeteria. Granted, I was a boy and pretty much anything beat the "school experience" so field trips were good.

        Field trips to art museums kind of ruined the experience as an adult. Going into the Smithsonian now seems like a madcap race to see it all at a breakneck pace without any real understanding. What if I just want to stand in front of the Hope fuzzin Diamond all day!?

        My next problem with museums is that they are unintentionally boring. There is a lot of stuff that isn't moving.

        For those of us with ADHD, we need a little movement. Something that says, "come look at me" without everything saying that because, well, that is just chaos in the brain. If there is music, it is always "pleasant" and "non-intrusive" and for many it causes some unintentional déjà-vu elevator moments. Stop doing that to me.

        They should have a "Rock the Art" days where you get some AC/DC, some Bon Jovi, maybe some Nickelback ("Look at this Photograph...") I don't need a "Night at the Museum" experience where the exhibits come to life, really, I don't. Perhaps a captioning contest where you get to think up captions for some bizarre junk, I mean art. I'm sure that is just me being snarky.

        The last issue that I take with Museums is the worst one of all. Those of you with linear thought processes might want to grab your favorite blankie, I'll wait...
        Got it?

        For those of us with linear thinking processes, museum layouts can be very stressful. Why can't they start in one place and give you a path to follow to see all the displays? I don't need rooms that interconnect! I need order! What if I missed something? (Goosefraba, Goosefraba...) We linear thinkers want a checklist of each item to mentally or better still, physically check off the list. There's nothing worse than getting to the "end" and sitting down for a coffee and someone says or asks "did you see the Rodin...breathtaking wasn't it?"
        EEK! Did I see that? I was in such a hurry. Was that in a room I didn't see?
        What is the museum etiquette on this? Will the artist, inventor, or curator be upset if we don't pause as long in front of their pet project? We could be spending time in front of the wrong thing! I have to think this feeling is akin to something I write that I think is pretty clever only to have my readership largely leave it uncommented upon.

        As an aside, if you are ever in Baltimore, the Aquarium is expensive, but worth it. I could set up an office in the room where you watch the Sting Rays from behind the glass. Give me some of the new age music, dim lighting, and majestic underwater butterflies. If they could make the chairs more comfortable and get rid of the smell of feet, I'd be set! Heck give me some wifi and I'm setting up an office.

        Friday, April 6, 2012

        Don't You Hate Them?

        Hey Mynd readers! I liked guest posting for Simple Dude so much that I had to pass on that love. Nicole Bandes is perhaps the most infectiously upbeat person that I have read. So when she said she was taking a personal challenge to guest post 18 times in April, I said get something freaky together and come on down.

        You know, those people on Facebook that are always posting positive messages. You just KNOW they have to be hiding some deep seeded misery and despair. I mean really, can someone honestly be THAT positive ALL THE TIME?
        Well, actually, yes and no. It really is possible to be genuinely happy and positive much or even most of the time. Sure, bad things happen to everybody once in a while. But it’s also very possible for someone to take a different view of a negative situation so that they find a positive spin on it.

        I wasn’t always a positive person. In fact, I used to take Prozac for depression. Now, however, I am able to really focus on the benefits there may be no matter what the situation is.

        It’s a skill that takes some effort and learning and a habit that has to be established but finding a positive spin on even some of the most challenging situations is possible, for anyone, if they want to. Do you want to?

        Here’s a few ideas for how you can begin to shift to a more positive attitude:

        1. Gratitude – It’s such a simple thing that most people take gratitude for granted. However, if you start to record your gratitude on a daily basis, you will find that it is difficult to be unhappy when you have so much to be grateful for. Trust me, it works! I’ve been doing it on Facebook for almost 3 years!

        2. Fake it Till you Make it – When we consciously decide to put our bodies into a more positive posture, even when we aren’t feeling it, it forces a release of feel good chemicals in our brains. Here’s a great idea. Take a pen or pencil and hold it between your teeth for 5 minutes several times throughout the day. This position forces you to smile thus helping you fake a more positive state. When you’ve tried this, take one of those great self portraits with your camera phone and send it to me. I’d love to see the results.

        3. Help Someone Else – It doesn’t matter who but when you take time to connect with someone else that needs your help, you can’t focus on your own negativity. Take the time to help others whether they are in your church, office, community or at a non-profit organization. It will do wonders to shift your attitude. Oh and you never know who will want to pay you back big time!

        Wouldn’t you rather see those posts on Facebook and get all warm and fuzzy knowing you, too, can find a positive attitude? I challenge you to give it a try. Just think of the great stories you’ll have either way.

        Nicole Bandes is the bestselling author of Positivity on Purpose: Intentionally Create More Abundance, Wealth and Happiness. Go from negative, unhappy and miserable to positive, excited and extraordinary in just 30 days with her Positivity on Purpose

        Transformational Challenge beginning April 23rd. Learn more and register at You can also read more articles by Nicole at

        Anyone can have a nice day, choose to Make it an AMAZING Day!
        Nicole Bandes

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        Wednesday, April 4, 2012

        Which Will Wonderfully Weird-out Wednesday?

        So I decided to pick a weird photo or two from the Photo Challenge and dedicate a lot of commentary to it/them.  I look forward to doing this again and am hopeful to receive more photos than I can put in one post.


        Can't you help starving children
        with the donation of steak?

        This is Darlene.

        Darlene's village is poor.

        Daily life is a struggle for Darlene and her parents.

        Most days Darlene is happy to get water and day old bread to eat. But some days Darlene craves more than just bread, she needs meat. Her desperate cries for help having gone unheard for so long, she has had to take matters into her own hands, feet, or fingers.

        For the price of, well... a steak, you could help Darlene avoid using her own hand as an ice cream cone. Please help in any way you can.  I have personally worked my butt off and given an arm and a leg to make Darlene's dreams come true, but there are more children like Darlene.

        No? How about:

        "Little girl finds funny bone best place to place salt for a Tequila shot..."


        Listen with your heart
        So many of you were spooked by this photo that I almost had to include it.

        This was taken using the Photo Booth app on an iPhone.

        Imagine if it was closer!

        OK! It wasn't a LOT of commentary.  Get over it.  Sheesh!

        Guest Poster in for me Friday, stay alive until then my friends!

        Monday, April 2, 2012

        Dirty House Friends

        The other day, as we prepared to have family over for a birthday celebration for Shaggy, I got to thinking about my Dirty House Friends. (DHF)

        What the heck is a DHF, you might be asking? Well, if it isn't obvious, I will back into the answer.
        If you knew that the Queen of England, the President of the United States, your favorite actor or actress, or perhaps a high profile athlete were coming to your long would you want to plan for that?

        You might hire a maid service, right?

        Heck, some of you are thinking you might hire a home improvement contractor.

        I'm inclined to believe that some of you might be hiring an arsonist, or at least thinking about it.

        These are NOT your dirty house friends!

        How often do you have someone who stops by and as you get whatever it is that they came by for, you hear yourself say those 4 words, "don't mind the mess." In your head you're rationalizing all the reasons that you haven't picked up in a few days and there is moss growing on the vacuum. You married fellas might even be using the other words "my wife would kill me if she knew I had let you see this." (I mean the dirty house, you perverts!)

        Now, most guys don't really have a lot of these feelings, but I am not an "Everyman" as my readers can attest. Many dudes hold on to that sexy pizza-box-on-the-couch look, so long as there isn't any underwear in the "public areas." These are the same guys whose "dinnerware" includes the latest slurpee cup series.
        I'm not one of them. For whatever reason, I am probably far more anxious than I should be about what my unmowed lawn and unvacuumed living areas say about me. I worry about the wall down the hall that the cat has clawed and really needs help. There are spots on my carpet where clearly someone just dropped trou and relieved themselves. (at least that is what my brain is telling me that you are thinking!)

        I could easily lose many corners of my man card for telling you I have no qualms about shopping for tablecloths. This would be for the simple reason that children are abusive to tables and mine bears so much sharpie wanderings and of course, the place where the iron was placed...face down...while hot. For some reason, the table top has a weird feel to it, kinda like summer when your arms stick to it...except all the matter how much I've tried to clean it. Perhaps I should reclaim my man card by taking a power sander to it, yeah! Or better yet a chainsaw, but that would create an epic mess that I would likely angst over.

        I will never complain about anything paint related. I hate painting and as such, I love how the house is painted and wouldn't change a thing. If we had wallpaper in any abundance, again, it looks fantastic to me. Mrs. Mynd does all the painting and sometimes inflicts bodily harm on herself doing complaining! I'm so smart.

        Please don't get me started about smells. Between two teenage boys, three cats and a cat box, and the 2'd think we were breeding hamsters that live in old shoes and eat asparagus and black licorice all day long while they work on old cars.

        Ah, but...

        Then there's the DHF crew. These are the people who for whatever unexplained reason are so non-threatening that you can, and do, invite them over regardless of what the house looks like. They are also the people who would never say anything about the wall, the carpet, the smells, your hair, your choice in Saturday attire, etc.

        Jay of Jays Ramblings is one such friend, who appears to be on girlfriend hiatus from his blog. He is epically funny and I enjoy his company in my house to the point that he has his own key. I would be remiss without mentioning the Jones (who are always trying to keep up with us) and the Knights (who are more often around during the day) and Lainey, who despite all great life lessons, tragically has fallen into the clutches of Jay.

        Yeah, you don't know these people...but you should!

        Have you got any DFHs? Or have the ROUS's taken over?

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