Day 18: 30 Facts

This one popped up in my memories today. Nothing I would change. My kids are older now. I have seen my brother Oscar since I wrote it.

Today’s challenge is to post 30 facts about myself. And you thought the bullet point my day thing was boring…

  1. I was born in Louisville, KY. I didn’t live there long.  We moved soon after I was born. The city has been in mourning ever since.
  2. I grew up in Beaver Dam, KY. It is a small town in Western Kentucky. I really enjoyed growing up in a small town and a part of me wouldn’t mind living in a small town again. But, a small town where there is actually something to do…
  3. I was voted shyest guy for the senior superlatives in the yearbook. I’m not sure that was exactly accurate. I don’t know that I was shy necessarily. Just didn’t see the point of talking when no one cared.
  4. I drank so much in my first 2 semesters in college that I went from a 4.0 in high school to just over 2.0 in college. Looking back, I didn’t even really enjoy the partying. I was a very stupid kid.
  5. I went to college thinking I would be a teacher. I was one semester away from being an elementary school teacher when I realized that I didn’t really like it and I was really bad at it. I changed my major to communications.
  6. I was working at the university library at the time and my adviser suggested I consider a library science degree. I got my BS in Communications and then went straight to grad school for my MLS. I think it is defective. I should probably ask for a refund.
  7. I love reading about the TV and movie industry. Not the gossip part, but the business  side. I sometimes feel like I should have stayed in communications with a focus on that area. I could be writing for EW at this point.
  8. I met my wife in at the Baptist Student Union at UK. She was actually dating someone else when we met. It took her a year to go crazy and decide to go out with me. She is still insane.
  9. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 21 and still failed the test twice. Now, though, I am a very good driver and the only tickets I’ve ever received were from speed cameras.
  10. I have a double uvula. The only use I have found for a double uvula is to have another thing to add to these fact lists.
  11. I read about 100 books a year. I really hate when people respond to that with “I don’t have time to read”
  12. I have a brother and two sisters with whom I grew up. I have a half brother and two half sisters I never see. I last aw my brother Oscar in 1987.
  13. I wish I had a job I could do from home. Working outside the home is overrated.
  14. My nickname in middle school was radar. Some people today call me tater. Other people likely call me much less friendly names.
  15. The last several years I have participated in the dad’s dance at my daughter’s recital. I am probably the least likely person to voluntarily dance on stage in front of hundreds of people. I do like wearing costumes, though.
  16. I am a music lover and I love people who are musical. If you can sing, I automatically like you more. Unless you are an asshole. If you are an asshole you can sing like and angel and I still won’t like you.
  17. On a similar note, I wish I had some sort of musical talent. I would love to have a decent singing voice or be able to play an instrument.  I was in band in middle school. You can ask the people who lived in my neighborhood when I was a kid and playing baritone how that went.
  18. I enjoy writing, so I have this pathetic little blog. I would love to write a book some day, but I know the only way I will ever have a book in me is to eat one.
  19. I spent 20 years in jail. I worked there, but some days it felt like a life sentence.
  20. I hate driving and if I ever won the lottery the one thing I would likely splurge on is a car service. One reason I love cities like NYC is that I never have to drive a car while I am there. I do enjoy listening to books and music while I drive. I believe me singing along to the music on my phone would be frowned upon on the subway.
  21. I have never been in a real fight. I punched one kid one time and his nose bled so bad I thought I killed him. My fists are lethal weapons.
  22. I suffer from road rage…and occasionally coffee line rage…and sometimes conference hall rage. I have problems
  23. I have had an odd assortment of jobs in my life. I worked summers in high school and college at the board of education unloading text books, stamping them and then delivering them to schools. In college I worked a semester at a campus grill, I was a houseboy at a sorority, I was resident janitor at the Baptist Student Center, I worked at the campus library, I worked at the correspondence course office and also the mail room. After college I delivered newspapers, worked at a public library, a market research firm and then prison.
  24. I have two kids who are 19 and 15. Being a dad is the best job I’ve ever had. My kids love my dad jokes(this is fact, don’t listen to them)
  25. I think I’m funnier than I actually am. I know this and I still post dumb stuff on Facebook. I can’t help myself.
  26. I’m a fairly decent bowler and would likely be a very good bowler if I did it more often. It’s in the genes.
  27. I love to travel, but airports stress me out. I’m fine on the plane, in cars, on trains, on buses, but I hate the airport. I don’t know why. I would rather be on a plane for 16 hours than in an airport for one.
  28. As you can see from the last few, I am struggling to come up with facts. I’m not that interesting.
  29. Really, there’s nothing else to say. You can probably stop reading now. I’m surprised you made it this far.
  30. No, really, go do something productive. There’s nothing else to see here.

A Month of Tater

I’ve been considering doing another 30 day writing challenge, but all of the ones I find are too similar to the one I did before, seem boring, or are not the right fit for me. This is also a month when you can participate in NaNoWriMo, but I’m not a fiction writer, so that’s out. I could go the sappy direction and do a month of Thanksgiving, but I just threw up in my mouth a little just thinking about that. So, it looks like I’m on my own.

I will try to think of something to write about each day this month. Today was easy. Just write about the fact that I’m going to write every day this month. Easy and boring. You are welcome.

This can also be an audience participation exercise. Use the comments to give me suggestions on topics or to ask me questions I can answer in a post. I’m sure I’m so interesting there are plenty of things you need to know about me. So, hit the comments and I will do what I can not to bore you.

Welcome to a Month of Tater.

I Laugh in the Face of Day 28

I’m back to the real world after a weekend away with the church youth group. This is good news for the youth group, but bad news for the readers. I’m back to pretending I can write. Today’s post is supposed to be five things that make me laugh out loud. The problem is is that there is no consistency when it comes to what makes me laugh out loud. Some comedians I like make me laugh out loud sometimes, but other times they don’t. Same with TV shows and comedy movies are hit and miss. So, I am changing it up a bit and writing about when I am more likely to laugh out loud. You hear that writing challenge? You’re not the boss of me!

  1. With my family in KY: Sometimes this means I am laughing at them. Sometimes it means I am laughing with them. I laugh at my sister(after we know she isn’t hurt) when she falls trying to kick the ball in kickball. Obviously, she did not inherit any of the athletics genes in the family. I laugh with them when we are playing games and just sitting around talking. While I am quite obviously the most hilarious of the bunch, I have to admit that the rest of them can be pretty funny(and funny looking).
  2. With my friends: About once a month I get together with a group of friends. I still suspect I am there out of pity or something and that I am expendable. I also have proof that I bore them so much that I put them to sleep, but I still laugh a lot when I am there. Again, I am funnier than them, but they can make me laugh. Sometimes I’m laughing at my own jokes at their expense. That counts, right?
  3. With my Wife and Kids: Unfortunately, they do not think think I’m funny. I think their sense of humor is broken. It’s OK. I can laugh enough for all of us. My son is almost 20. It’s not too long until he will appreciate the “dad jokes”.

Hmm. That didn’t seem to work as I only have 3. I guess I will use an actual “something” or “someone” for the final two. I’ve failed at my rebellion from the challenge demands.

4. Stephen Lynch Songs and Jim Gaffigan : An extremely inappropriate and politically incorrect singing comedian and the family friendly Gaffigan are the two people who consistently make me laugh. Lynch is the only comedian I have paid to see in concert and I would pay to see Gaffigan if I could get someone to go with me. Weird that two totally different comedians can make me laugh, but I’m weird, so it works.

5. Galavant and Brooklyn 99: the only two TV shows that consistently make me laugh. They are also the only two TV comedies my wife will watch. That says something about how good they are, especially Galavant since it is also a musical.


Day 21: Being an Example

Today’s challenge is to write about three lessons I want my kids to learn from me. There are a lot of general ideas that pop in my head. The problem is that some of the things that I could say I hope my kid could learn from me I still have a lot to learn myself. This is another post I’m starting with no idea where it’s going to go. That’s probably a bad way to write. Anyway, here they are:

1. Be the bet YOU you can be: It took me a long time to learn this lesson myself. I spent too much of my life wanting and trying to be who I thought other people wanted me to be. I’m much happier when I just forget about the expectations of others and just be me. I hope my kids can learn to be themselves and not worry about what others want them to be. Don’t listen to people who want to pressure you in to a career or life path just because they think it’s what is best for you(or so they can brag to other people). Be who and what makes you happy(unless what makes you happy is illegal or harms others) and the people who truly care about you will love you for being you.

2. Work hard, but find time to play: I want my kids to have a strong work ethic. Work hard in school and get good grades. If you have a job show up and do your best. Be on time, be reliable and earn your pay. On the other hand, don’t be a workaholic. Do your job but when you aren’t on the clock enjoy life. Travel, go out with friends, read good books, watch movies, watch TV, hike, do all the things you enjoy instead of bringing work home with you. No one has ever said “I wish I had worked more” on their death bed. I don’t know if that is actually true, but it sounds right.

3. Care about people: Too many people go through life only caring about themselves with no regard to the people around them. Don’t be that person. Don’t be so wrapped up in your own life that you don’t see the people around you. The first step is to see the people around you. You can’t care about what you don’t see. After that, though, you have to act. If you see someone struggling, help them. If someone needs to talk, listen. Be there for your friends when they need you. Stop to help strangers. I need to do more of this myself.

Today’s Writing Challenge: A Day in the Life

If you thought this blog was boring before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Today’s challenge is to bullet point my day. Save this for later and use it as a sleep inducer.

  • Wake up at 6am and start the process of making sure daughter is up
  • Let dog out and back in – second part is important to remember
  • Make daughter’s lunch
  • Coffee and Washington Post while watching the local news
  • Shower and get dressed for work(you’re welcome coworkers)
  • Drive to work while listening to my book(and missing part of it while yelling at stupid drivers)
  • Look for books and DVD’s that customers have requested
  • Hand tickets out to 2-3 year olds for class. Try to get them to talk to the scary man at the desk(me)
  • Midday Crisis –  Why am I here? What’s the point? Can I retire yet?
  • Rolled my eyes so hard I went blind for a second
  • Lunch is still my favorite subject
  • Out of building meeting in Baltimore so I can listen to more of my book
  • Meeting time. I hate meetings
  • Home for the evening. Dinner and TV time. I should probably read a book.

Day 13: I Get Excited

The Day 13 challenge is to write about what I am excited about. I’m not the most excitable person. I’m pretty sure the only reason I am upright and awake is a steady stream of caffeine. Cut off my caffeine and I won’t function. I would have to upgrade to cocaine to be get all the way to excited. So, I will talk about the things that upgrade me mood to “I’m awake” to “I’m mildly interested”

  1. New Music from my Favorite Artists: I do actually sing quite a bit when alone in my car. At times I might look almost alive while belting out my favorite songs. I love when my favorite artists release new music. If you read my Facebook you can see that. I post the videos there all the time. I’m pretty sure no one actually listens to them.
  2. New Books from my Favorite Authors: A new book by Chris Moore and Stephen King will perk me up a little bit. My favorite Christmas gifts are always the Stephen King books I’ve bought that year so my wife can wrap them and give them to me. That, and the homemade goodies I get on Christmas Eve. You can always win a fat guy over with homemade goodies. I get even more excited of Chris’s books because that usually means he has the misfortune of seeing me in person again and being forced to pretend he likes me. Poor Chris.
  3. Vacation: I love to travel and I love not being a work.Vacations are great.
  4. The New TV Season: I think I missed my calling. I should be working at Entertainment Weekly. I love the announcements of the new TV schedules. I love trying the new shows to see if they are any good. I even like reading the EW issues on the Fall TV season, Summer TV and Winter TV. I have a problem.
  5. Retirement: In 9 years I can retire and spend all of my time traveling, reading, watching TV, listening to music and finding new things to be excited about.

On Day 12 Count Your Blessings

So it’s Day 12. Sick of me yet? I bet you are. Today’s challenge i to write about five blessings in my life. I will admit that it’s more fun for me to do the ones where I talk about challenges and struggles. I’m better at writing about the negatives. I don’t tend to dwell on the positives. I’m afraid of positive thinking. Anyway, here they are:

  1. My Kids: The one area of my life where I have never doubted myself is in parenting. I know I’ve made mistakes and there are things I wish I had done differently, but I have never doubted that I am a good dad. The reason? Because my kids are great. They are good people, they are nice to others, they do well in school, they work hard(except when it comes to cleaning their rooms). I am very proud of them and I know that I must have done OK to have kids like this.
  2. My wife: If you know me you probably realize that I am likely not the easiest person to live with.  Even on my good days you have to deal with my weird sense of humor. Yet, 23 years later she is still here. I worry about her decision making skills.
  3. I’m comfortable: We have been blessed with jobs that allow us to be comfortable financially. We aren’t rich, but we don’t really have financial worries. I know a lot of people struggle with this. I’ve been someone who has struggled through money issues. I’m blessed to be able to provide for my family and to give my kids a life where this is not a concern.
  4. Friends: I go through phases where I feel like I don’t really have friends I could call f I needed something, but I know I do. I just refuse to tell people when I do need something. I do think I have friends who would be there for me if I called. In the meantime, I’m blessed to have friends who put up with me.
  5. I’m me: Let’s face it. Being me is pretty great. I’m smart and funny and someone that everyone loves.

On Challenge Day 9 I’m Looking for Wisdom

I didn’t write this one earlier because I’m drawing a blank. I thought if I waited until my break at work I could come up with something. My mind is still a blank. More blank than it usually is and that’s hard to do. I’m sure people have spoken words of wisdom to me at some point in my life, but I’m obviously not a good listener. When I started trying to think of some words of wisdom all I got were song lyrics:

“You can’t always get what you want, but of you try sometimes you find you get what you need” – This is actually a good one. There are plenty of things I’ve wanted in my life that I didn’t get. Jobs, powerball winnings, a girlfriend in high school, hair, height, a decent singing voice and the list goes on and on. Did I get what I need? I think so, but I still wish I could sing.

“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” – Can’t endorse this one. Seems like this only leads to trouble. These are not words of wisdom. Get out of my head!

“Got me a ticket for an aeroplane” – These are not words of wisdom. This is just a statement of fact. This did not keep them from popping into my head. What’s wrong with me?

And then it was blank again. Please help me out. Give me some words of wisdom. I need all the help I can get.

On Challenge Day 7 They Write the Songs that Make the Whole Tater Sing

Challenge Day 7 asks me to name 10 songs I am loving right now. I would bet that unless you pay attention to my posts on Facebook, you probably don’t know these songs. That’s a shame because they are all very good. Do yourself a favor, click on the link and enjoy some good music.

  1.  Be Kind Rewind – Ryan Hamilton
  2.  Until the Sun Comes Up – Patent Pending
  3.  NSFW – Patent Pending
  4. Just Be Happy – Suburban Legends
  5. This Gigantic Robot Kills – MC LARS
  6. And I Think You Like Me Too– Bowling for Soup
  7. Journey to the End – People on Vacation
  8.  4 Letter Verb – Ryan Hamilton
  9. Get Weird – The Dollyrots
  10. Envy – Bowling for Soup

I keep thinking about writing something about each song, but I’m finding it hard to verbalize what I like about each song. I will say that what I like about them and the artists/band is that they are generally upbeat songs. Journey to the End is an exception but it is a great song. Also, I have met Ryan Hamilton, three members of BFS and Kelly from The Dollyrots and they are all nice, friendly people(or at least good at pretending to be nice, friendly people) and that does make me like the music even more.

Challenge Day 6: Have a Heart

So, I didn’t do day 6 yesterday because I was busy and then tired. I guess I will only guarantee I will do these on weekdays. Anyway, Day 6 of the challenge is five ways to win my heart. I’m sure everyone has been dying to know this one.

  1. See Me: I know that on Facebook I am very vocal and might be funny at times(might, the jury is still out) but in real life I am a strange little fat man who doesn’t really talk much. When  I am at a party, a conference, church, etc I have perfected the art of being invisible in the crowd. If I have no close friend there, I will fade into the background and leave as soon as I feel I can. The first step to winning my heart would be to be the person who see me and takes the time to talk to me and make me feel like I belong.
  2. Be There:  This one is tricky. I want you to be there for me in the bad times, but I really don’t like telling people when there are bad times. I don’t like to ask for help when I need it. So, how do I expect someone to be there? I don’t expect you be a psychic. I guess i just want friends who I know would be there if there ever was a time I actually told them I needed them. Also, if you are paying attention, you can probably tell when the bad times occur.
  3. Laugh at Me: As I mentioned above, I like to think I’m funny. If you agree, I will like you more.
  4. Be Nice: I think this would be on the list for everyone. I need you to be nice. Preferably nice in general, but specifically nice to me. I’ve had too many people in the past who were supposedly my friends but who were not actually very nice to me. I don’t know why I thought they were my friends.
  5. A Very Weird Poker Game: I’ve been in an accident. I’m on life support keeping my body alive until my organs can be harvested. Winner of the game gets my heart.