Monday, December 31, 2012
Originally Posted 1/28/2012
It seems so easy...
You throw it out there, make a connection, a little squeeze, a little up and down action...
Dogs do it.
That's right, I'm talking about shaking hands. It's too easy, right?
A good handshake is harder than it seems.
I know a guy, we'll call him Bear, who seriously shakes hands. I mean he takes it very seriously. I've had to re-shake because we've done it in a way that isn't up to his high standards.
You see most people extend their arm prior to the handshake, which I am sure is the "spirit" of the handshake. I won't debate or bore you with the origins of the handshake, but stories say that it was a method to show that you weren't holding a weapon.
By extending your arm, and I've seen people even lean forward a bit, you lose the ability to "attack" the handshake. You leave yourself open to the whims of the person you will shake with. They could take any number of lesser handshake styles leaving you with no choice but to accept it:
1. The Finger Squeezer - No intention to shake your hand, this handshake grabs your fingers and can be painful if a forceful squeeze is employed.
2. Limping Along - this is almost opposite of the first one. In this variation, the other person gives only his/her fingers with a slightly bent wrist.
3. Hand Slap - no shake at all, but a side five. Not horrible, but no connection.
Now, the Bear method involves a method I like to call "Cocked and Locked." When Bear is planning to shake your hand, there is "the look". Eyes are slightly wider, there is a definite smile (mainly because he knows what's coming.)
The approach is measured, he's a tall dude and could make up the distance between you and he so quickly that it it could be a hug instead of a handshake, and he'd be ok with that too!
The best part of the whole deal is the body position; left arm out a bit to the side with a "you could shake or you could hug, but this wingspan only gets bigger and you won't escape" vibe. Almost like a gun fighter, the right arm is high and tight to his body, hand already in pre-shake position with nothing all flim-flam... coiled... ready to strike out and attack the shake.
As the distance closes, you ready for the shake.
Then it begins, the right arm shoots out... web attacking web...it's like a hand slap in its suddenness, yet it holds. It is a healthy grip...no pumping...no wild shaking. It is solid and strong, yet because the grip is deep, like a baseball into the web of a glove, there is no pain.
Few words describe the sensation, the one I would use is "genuine."
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Originally Posted 1/20/2012
So, today is my birthday.
Bring on the mockery.
Yes, as part of the modern stone age family, I had a pet dinosaur. (Gino, he was an Italian Pepperonasaraus)
Yes, I was cold before I figured out fire.
Even back then, I thought the Mayans were pretentious to pick an end of the world date.
I don't plan to live forever, I've seen how that worked out for Michael Jackson, so if my math is correct, I'm on the other side of life and it feels exceedingly weird actually writing that. I have begun craving Geritol, but still can't eat brussel sprouts.
46 is like 19. (only older) It's not that noteworthy. It's not epic. It's no turning point.
Like then, I'm modifying my license to make myself older, this time for the AARP card and 30% senior discount on coffee at IHop. (Steve Jobs favorite restaurant)
Yesterday, I fell and couldn't get up. I needed the life alert button but instead I lay there reaching for the phone that was just out of my reach. I knew I should have ordered the Rascal scooter.
Things I remember fondly:
- "A penny for your thoughts, a nickel for a kiss, and a dime if you tell me that you love me." - Penny is the girl on Big Bang Theory and she appears to kiss a lot of people, but otherwise pennies are an annoyance that people are actually throwing in the trash. You can get anyone's two cents for much less than that and believe me it is often worth less. This is an old saying and I imagine my grandchildren will eventually ask what a penny was.
- my hair - I don't really miss it that much since I shaved it all off. It takes my barber a long ime to cut that special "skin yamulka" into my hair along with the high widows peak.
- Saturday morning cartoons - oh, sure, they're still on and my kids still watch them, but they aren't the same. For those of us who grew up prior to cable and the cartoon network, where there is always some cartoon on, Saturday morning was the time when the parents slept in and we got to watch some zany kid madness.
- Hip Hop you could understand..nuff said.
- two steps - at least that's hopefully the only steps I've lost. Being one of the fastest kids on the block and having only lost 4 foot races in my life (Bill S, Mike A, Mike S, Rob F) I would love to have those legs back for a few days and the lungs to make them go a long way.
Immaturity stays the same.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Originally Posted 1-14-2012
Sometimes I feel like the King of England, all title, zero power.
Like Genie said in Aladdin (yes, I did just quote a Disney movie, but it was a Robin Williams character so there) "phenominal cosmic power...itty bitty living space" only no phenomenal OR cosmic power.
(Yes, Prince Charles has as much power now as he ever has or ever will)
Some of my favorite ladies of the modern written word are counted as members of these groups. Forget making me want to be a better man, I want to be an honorary woman for the day just to get into the echelons that some of these ladies' craft have taken them. I could list my favorites, but frankly you see my reading list, so do the work, you won't be disappointed.
I don't blog because I'm a dad. I don't blog because I'm a dude. I don't blog because I don't get enough time in front of the computer. I'm fairly healthy so I am no draw to a community of a like-minded sick people. (that doesn't mean you people aren't sick and twisted) I'd like to see a serious blog community for men.
These BlogHim guys don't seem to lend credibility to the community.
Now talk about a cool logo and name, Men with Pens could have been an awesome group, unfortunately it is a company that teaches men to blog for business, or something like that.
Intellectual Reader: Are you carving out your own niche in the blogging world?
Mynd: Possibly, but only like carving the soap that will eventually get used in the shower. I'm not writing Mount Rushmore here, folks.
IR: Do you have aspirations for writing a novel?
IR: Have you started said novel?
IR: What are the chances of that book being published and becoming a best seller and my being able to pick it up on Amazon.
Mynd: Picture me, slam dunking in the WNBA...got it? The novel's chances are a bit lower than that. And let's face it, Amazon... even the bookstores are named for women.
So I've been designated as the "Dadtator" of my house and other than sounding like some sort of glorified couch spud, it's a fairly inglorious title. I am chief potatentate at my house, provided all my decisions have come from or are approved by Mrs. Mynd. She has been designated as the Momunist in our house. When I need to be deposed or overthrown, she'll be in charge of that. I have the "plastic steering wheel" that has no real ability to turn the car.
Being a man, who blogs, in a house where my team has lost to her team, in a world where the women (bloggers) are organized...it's just hard being me.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Originally posted 1/17/2012.
I can sense that all you ADD infected people came for squirrels and I plan to give 'em to ya, don't worry. Unfortunately, the atheists have already surfed to the next Facebook page sharing of the ridiculous "Do you guys know how to post videos on Facebook?" dude. They will surely miss out.
So I've got a fairly ridiculous premise working in my title, yeah? I know your thinker isn't always attuned to my inner monologue, so let me hit you with the verse.
Break it down, Matthew:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26 NIV)
What are you saying? Alfred Hitchcock's million minion march, err flight doesn't have to worry about feeding themselves tomorrow? Clearly that gave them time to conspire to make a spooky movie, but why so mad? If anyone should be mad, it should be the squirrels... keepers of many nuts in as many stockpiles as possible.
Matthew breaks it down further:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19 NIV)
Though I enjoy the twisting and writhing of some when I bring up the "squirrel defense" when the "sparrow" card is played, I know that these verses talk about God's providence.
In fact, these are some of my favorite verses even if you don't look at them in a biblical perspective:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)
Material things can only go so far and can be taken away from you. The ending is the key, your heart follows your treasure, so be careful what you treasure.
What is it that you treasure?
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Originally from January 12, 2012.
January 9th was "National Clean Off Your Desk Day" and I failed to fail to accomplish it, all while failing. No joke y'all, but it didn't get as bad as that:
Our office decided a week ago to play musical chairs, well musical offices. It sounds cheerful and magical and it should sound something like the ice cream man when he played the music on your street. Except that the ice cream man plays music that is now interrupted by a snippy "HELLO?" that is pretentious in its curiosity of how you could be ignoring ice cream. But, let me corral that cat and get back to my point. I was almost the last person to move (thankfully I was able to sit down).
So we shifted offices and within them some desks, so when I departed on Friday, I had packed some stuff from my desk... in essence I had "cleaned off my desk" yet hardly in the spirit of a National Holiday.
|Not My NEW Desk|
When I arrived on Monday (why I even had to work on the holiday I don't know) to find my new office with my new desk and a pile of my belongings upon it. As I still had to clean off and move a bookshelf, I greedily used the new desk in my old office as a pile zone to empty the bookshelf. Once the bookshelf was moved, I removed the piles of things on the desk in my old office and placed them on my new desk in my new office. In the process, I cleaned off the new desk in my old office and once again had cleaned off a desk, much more in the spirit of a National Holiday, but not actually MY desk.
|Not My NEW Desk, not really my old desk either...|
Having vacated my old office and created a nest of belongings in my new office, I proceeded to once again clean off a fuzzin' desk! Bookshelf was restocked with books and pictures and other odds and ends. Other pictures were hung on the wall. Desk drawers were filled with office supplies, files and of course, snack foods.
The desk was immaculate(ly the same with the same stuff that was on its predecessor. Fail)
|Same Desk, Same Stuff... fail?|
Now, while the wording of this all important National Holiday is "...Desk..." I truly have a pet peeve with a cluttered desktop. Nothing blows an IT guy's gasket like working a trouble ticket for a user whose computer is "slow" only to find something that looks like this:
Speaking of Ice Cream Man Music (though that was like 7 paragraphs and 5 images ago) has anyone seen the scene (atypically alliteration) in Mr. 3000 with Bernie Mac where 2 grown men discuss what the ice cream man music should be, complete with their own renditions of same? Very Funny!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
So you planned on NOT being here reading this blog today?
Well, neither did I. (not really, but it makes good copy) I decided to party like it was 1999 all day on the 21st and let the chips fall where they may. As was the case in 1999, nothing happened and the hangover following that minor computer date apocalypse that did not come to fruition was epic.
There were so many bad decisions that could be made with the peril of the world hanging in the balance, I decided to help you out by making as many as I could.
Bad decision number 1, cutting my hair to look like Michael Stipe, noteworthy front-man for the band REM. I felt that the authenticity I would gather while singing "It's the End of the World as We Know It" was well worth the possible ridicule. I knew the chicks would dig it.
Bad decision number 2, all that sex. Now, apocalypse sex is great mind you, a certain freedom and franticness combine to make it absolutely mind blowing. However... Being that it is Saturday, I don't believe I will be allowed in the supermarket (cleanup on aisle 10...and aisle 3)...or the daycare (the daycare lady is hot)...or the senior center...umm, or the church ever again. Macy's was a bit peeved at the view on the elevator, I didn't realize that it was only 2 floors and even I'm not that fast. I'm sure you don't need pictures to draw your conclusions, suffice it to say...it was epic, but I may be moving soon.
|Need I Say Any More?|
I'm too kind. Bad decision number 6 was the one where I gave it all away. Leading up to the 21st, I stopped doing laundry. I wore every article of clothing I own. Then I bagged it all up and took it to the homeless shelter. Sure some of it was probably unsavory smelling but obviously that's the way homeless men like it, so by pre-soiling them I was doing them a favor, right?
I could go on with my decisions of doom, but as you can see:
- I have to heal up,
- Find a place to live,
- Find a job,
- Buy some clothes in a store that doesn't recognize me,
- Rebuild my fortune,
- Pay off my creditors,
- Apologize to...well...everyone.
So the real question is should I have more remorse for the things I did or should you for not taking advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity for stupidity? What should you have done?
Provided that the Dudes have escaped the Mayan tragedy, I will be hanging out with them this weekend. Be sure to drop by, read some great posts and vote.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Escorting the body was a crappy detail. They hadn't even booked him a ticket, so he was forced to sit in an uncomfortable proximity to this box of death. Nobody at home would appreciate the maudlin humor of sitting on a coffin on a train watching the world go by through the window.
Everyone knew what was in this car, so far from the engine that one couldn't hear it from this distance. There were surely no ticket takers or food service this far from the front. It had been a long ride with little to do but watch life pass by on the other side of the window.
Then he saw it. It was a lonely station in a lonely little town. Population was a very spread out nine hundred and change. A number so small that you could believe that people knew everyone else, but the distance and the terrain made neighbors strangers.
A sleepy town set far from the tracks with only a station alerting riders on these tracks that there was any civilization nearby. Not that you'd call the diner and feed store a civilization, but after where he had been this was home and comforting. It should have been anyway, but he couldn't be comfortable near the body.
This wasn't the homecoming he wanted. He didn't expect his family to meet the train, it was a long way and they were undoubtedly preparing for his arrival at home. Likely Uncle Jack would come pick him up in the beat up old ford truck that he'd bought new what seemed like a lifetime ago.
Uncle Jack had been the town hero, starring on the high school football team, earning himself a scholarship and making it all the way to the pros. He'd bought that truck brand new with his signing bonus, right before tearing every ligament in his right knee. Ultimately he'd moved back home to this small town.
It was his Uncle Jack that had suggested getting out and making a name for himself. Lacking the athletic prowess of his uncle, he had decided on the Army. Discipline, hard work, but more importantly an escape to the far-flung regions of the world had its allure.
It would be an interesting reunion. He'd said some things to his disapproving father and worried mother on his way to boot camp that were immature. He had grown up, the Army had made sure of that. His service had been something in which they could take pride. He was proud of himself and his service. He loved his dress uniform with his medals proudly displayed.
Why did they have to be on the body.
This is my entry in Dude Write's December Flash Fiction challenge. The prompt is the picture at the top of the post. If you enjoyed this, click over and read other entries using the same picture prompt. If you're a dude, consider writing an entry of your own and joining us.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
"I'd rather be alone for the right reason that with someone for the wrong reasons." -Leah Thompson's character from Some Kind of Wonderful.
I'm a people pleaser, so I want to be popular.
There, I said it. No offense to then President Bush...dude, you were president and popular enough to win the popularity contest we call POTUS while not being the crispest chip in the bag.
Certainly no offense to Ms. Thompson who was and is undeniably hot and an actress who has likely won her fair share of popularity contests.
Your question is going to be, "what's your point?" (Yeah, read your mind as easily as you read my blog)
Well, I want to be a popular blogger. I want to be read by everyone, shared by everyone, and then read by everyone else...and their friends. Heck, I even want the creepy stalkers of those friends to stalk my blog.
As a blogger, I've talked to plenty of people who write for themselves. They need an outlet for feelings or thoughts. They want an escape. Words like "cathartic" are used frequently. I frequently want an escape, but less often it is to writing. Sure, I have some random thoughts that escape my mind onto the pages of my blog here.
Popularity often comes with a cost, like making a kid dive into a quarry that is only two feet deep, oh wait that's a movie. Popularity is hard to maintain. Popularity begs questions like:
Does desiring popularity change my writing?
SHOULD it change my writing?
Should I abandon my personal persona and take on someone new?
Should I start cursing like a drunken sailor on shore leave?
I'm currently separated from the love of my life, yet I can't let that change my voice. Kicked in the crotch by love, I should be singing Soprano (the singing kind, not the TV Mafia kind) , but my writing isn't affected. Ok, that's not true. I haven't been writing
My past efforts at becoming "successful" at writing have involved entering contests. I even did the challenge where you write a post every day for a month. Talk about phoning it in with some "I did it" filler posts. After yet more random contests, I stumbled upon Yeah Write and entered their contest a few times. I finished dead last twice (out of fifty entries) and began to reconsider my writing style. I couldn't be that bad, right?
Why wasn't I better received?
Was my blog style more "been there done that" or "bazinga?"
I finally came to the "obvious" conclusion that it was a gender thing, or that's what I rationalized in my head. I couldn't compete against mom bloggers who had more material and were looking for others to sympathize with...or so I supposed.
Youngman Brown, we discussed and brainstormed and finally began Dude Write. We wanted Dude Write to become an amazing place for the long forgotten male writers of a new generation to seek audience and perfect their craft. Selfishly, I wanted others to like me, to see me as an equal, to eventually crown me as champion and king!
I've learned to live with disappointment. As much as that Droopy the Dog-like statement is fun to say, it isn't true. I learned that I need to work on my writing. I need more polish (that's polish with a small 'p' which is to say I don't need sausage) after I write. I also learned that I like my star shining to help others shine brighter. I get immense satisfaction when someone accepts their win with humility and posts their (Youngman Brown created) Man Card with pride on their site. You know... that fine line between Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson's Riverdance celebration of a touchdown and the simplicity of the "act like you've done it before and hand the ball to the ref" of Walter 'Sweetness' Payton (RIP).
What about you, has a desire for popularity changed your writing?
UPDATE! I AM Popular, now!
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Or I have you convinced through my stellar writing that you do.
I don't do endorsements.
I don't review or critique.
I have decided to make an exception and given that the Mayan world is ending in a little over two weeks, you have a small window to forgive me or a small window to get over yourself or simply a small window that I must endure your seething hatred.
So, what epic event could cause such a shift in philosophy here in Myndville? Umm, did you not catch the slipped in threat of world ending doom? Ok...so I don't believe it and you know that...you're absurdly sharp.
One of my favorite bloggers has come out of the closet...NO, that's not what I mean. The Simple Dude has revealed himself...again, NO, that's not what I meant, keep your mind out of the gutter. Jon Hanson is his name IRL (that's In Righteous Laughter for those of you not hip to the slang that I'm slingin') and he has written a fabulous ebook just in time for the holidays.
Now, you're probably thinking...
"If the world is coming to an end on the 21st (ugh, he totally ruined the surprise for me!) why would I buy this book about what to do before the Apocalypse...that I wouldn't open until after it was supposed to happen?"
You're a clear thinker and you NEED this book.
(No, seriously click the little Kindle book cover there and order it. What else are you going to spend $2 on? A bad IPad game that you'll become bored with in a few minutes?)
(No, SERIOUSLY...click the link or I'm holding my breath.)
Thank you for allowing me to breathe and live, knowing that you will be laughing for hours and it is all my doing.
I'm treating each chapter as if it were the twelve days of Christmas, or an Advent calendar. I'm reading it slowly and savoring it's goodness. Too much?
So here it is in the back of the jack (et) style...
Apocalyptic world collapse got you down? Pick up Jon Hanson's 101 Things To Do Before the Apocalypse. Each chapter details a perfect and unique opportunity allowed by this unique world peril. Who cares if the Mayans were wrong or right, there was never a better reason to celebrate Christmas early and purchase this hysterical self-help book.
Scott Jung of itsmynd.com
Get it on Smashwords.com
Get it on Amazon.com
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