The Horrible Writing Experience Of Third Grade

If any of you are writers, or people looking to be writers, have any of you, after a certain amount of time, heard that old phrase: “Gee, you should really think of joining a writing group!”

Do you any of you barf a little in your mouth? ‘Cause I do.

I see writing as a personal game, like playing a match of Uno by yourself–and, yes, I realize that analogy sucks, but it’s the best I could come up with, so there. You sit at a desk, or lie on a couch, all alone while doing the craft, anyways, so why would you need other sitting experts to feed you their opinions on the matter?

Now, before you accuse me of having not attended any writing groups whatsoever, let me tell ya, I have. I will also tell you, it was not that fun; granted, my first experience of being in a group was when I was a third grader in Montana, but…

Yeah. Montana. The Big Sky State; although, personally, I don’t see the difference between their sky and the rest of the friggin’ sky. I don’t know, maybe the gravity’s a little off there. I was eight years old, for crying out loud; I wasn’t that observant.

I attended an elementary school right beside my mom’s resident home…where she worked–she didn’t live there. It was a nice school where I made a lot of friends; however, when I wasn’t making great friends, I was reading books and writing short, short stories. These things were a page and a half, two, if I had a brilliant idea.

‘Course, I got into trouble more than a few times with the teacher, since, apparently, I should have been working on the assignment instead of writing about this kid named Jim, who traveled to the Bermuda Triangle and blew it up.

Yeah, good going there, Jim.

My friends, on the other hand, thought the stories were spectacular, and the ones sitting at the same table as me asked if they could help write the stories. Yes, folks, I had my first collaborative writing session in the third grade. Cheers for me.

The months passed while we were writing these stories, and get this: a total of three students, including me, got to be working on stories together. Jim gained the friends, John, and Jean, I think, because, I guess, my friends felt they had to name their characters  “J” somethings, too. Again, I don’t why. I was eight years old, people.

In November, maybe, our teacher called our class together to inform us of a visiting author to the school. This author was going to teach a writing course for an hour, and he was going to do it for a select amount of students from each class.

In our class’s case, it was three students.

So, the big day arrived, at last. The author was scheduled for that afternoon, and our teacher had yet to choose her special students.

The tension was thick as she paced around the classroom, hand on her chin in that I’m-an-adult-and-I’m-thinking manner, and she ended up picking me–I was genuinely surprised at this–a couple of my collaborative writing friends, and another guy who occasionally wrote sci-fi detective stories, which, I believe, he only wrote to get picked.

I remember, after I was chosen, this one rude girl in the class said, “He’s only getting to go because he writes stories.”

Well, I mean, duh. Did you think I was gonna get picked if I had spent the year working on a bust of the Wright Brothers?

When the time came, the lot of us filed down to the library to see this writer dude; by the way, he was a children’s author–and, so, on getting there, I sat down in the furthest seat from this humming projector screen and watched the other kids find their seats and pull out their handy-dandy notebooks.

Then the writer dude entered.

I can’t remember all of it too clearly, but I know he had a satchel of papers and more papers that he set on the desk; and then he told us how excited he was to see us–yeah, sure, dude, excited to see a bunch of spaced-out third graders.

I was prepared to learn the most helpful writing tips in the world, had my pen ready and everything; and the first thing this writer dude did was to tell us to draw a picture. He didn’t say a word about punctuation, or showing and not telling, but a picture.

I sketched my favorite character at the time, a little dude with a Jack-O-Lantern for a head who I called Super Mask, then I prepared myself, again, for writing advice.

Once more, Writer Dude told us to draw a picture.

For christ’s sake, man, I hadn’t come down there to sketch comic book characters! I had come down there to learn how to perfect my craft–and these funny drawings were not cutting it.

The course ended, thankfully, and I left with two thoughts: one, how pointless that had been; and, two, I wondered what kind of stories were coming out of the girl who had sketched mutated unicorns.

There’s an idea.

So, that one writing course in third grade, in a way, formed my future perceptions of groups, in general. You can call that generalizing, or just plain stupid; but I like to call it thinking smart.

And here at Thoughts of A Southpaw, that is what we do.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

I Have Seen The College Experience, And It Is…

Whoa, early bird much? I don’t think I’ve had a post this ahead of schedule in a few months, but you know what they say: the early bird gets the finger–uh, I mean the worm.     Where on Earth did that come from?

Ahem.

College. A place. A person. A thing. A nou–

Let’s talk about college, shall we? All of us gathered around this digital fireplace? Good. And each of you have marshmallows, with some chocolate? Even better. Eat them now, or forever hold your appetite, ’cause, well, they’re digital.

I’ve been jabbering about college for a while, I realize. Most of you, methinks, are beginning to tire of this senseless insight into the life of one man–ooh, I like the sound of that–struggling to fight his way through the scourges of college education.

On this, you are in the right; or the left, if you’re blind in one eye for whatever random reason.

Why should I continue to assault all you fine people with College 101, when it is obviously the time to be talking of politics and space and how city dumps are hazardous to the environment?

Put simply, those topics bore me, and if a topic bores me, then I will not talk about it.

No, I’d rather converse about the ethics of dish sponges and question the amount of times a shark brushes its teeth per week. You know, common stuff; trust me, you’re not gonna find much deep thoughts here, folks.

For the moment, though, I’m covering college, because, why not?

Ah, but it is such an experience, such a realization, watching these bunches of people file past me on the sidewalk, never seeing me because their phones are literally snatching their faces and ramming them against their screens. That Phone Assault is a real problem, people; be sure to keep an eye out for rogue Androids.

I talk to some people, the rare few that can hear me and don’t stare directly at the ground as they walk from class to class. The dialogue is sparse, yet meaningful. Yes, an example of one of my more intellectually provoking ice-breakers is, “Hey, what’s your major, dude?”

They respond in a manner I liken to the awakening of the mind itself.

“Oh, Science,” or, “Eh, Engineering.”

Truly works of art in the realm of conversation that, as humans, we so rarely tread. Brilliance in a bottle, a favorite phrase of mine. Just picture a rubber ducky, imagine within there is a hidden midget genius, and only then will you wholly understand the phrase.

Yes, college is the centerpiece of the Outside World, or, The Lion’s Den. At every turn await strangers, lurking in the dark corners, lunging at you to ask where they might find the cafeteria…

I don’t know, man. I-I swear.

Then why, oh, why, is there a barbecue stain on your shirt sleeve?

I plead the Fifth!

[Evil Laughter track]

Oh, God! NOOOOOOO!

Whoah, guys, I think your marshmallows just shat themselves. Great! Now there’s chocolate cream all over the carpet! Clean it up, willya? I gotta finish this post here, see?

I feel the need to be formal, to write academically appropriate sentences, but, eh, screw it.

College–Woot-Woot.

That had less of a reaction than I thought it would.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

Warning: Adult In Training

This is no joke, folks.

Close your blinds. Shut your windows–both of those reversed, or–ah, screw it.

Tune into the police blotters to hear the news, the deadly truths…

It’s like a horror movie, but real, so…not actually a movie; but never mind the specifics.

Oh no, he’s here! The fearful thing that haunts the cities and the streets–and the vending machines for reasons of constant hunger. It’s–ah, God, but it can’t be; it is the new adult in training!

The horror. Oh, the horror. Screams. More screams.

He has no number–

But all the adults have numbers! Look at Mr. 123, he–oh my God, Mr. 123 is gone and–uggghh!

He has no identifiable tag, or label–

This is getting to sound a lot like a package of meat…

What shall we do against so mysterious, so vast, a threat as this creature?

Silver bullets? Damn. He’s not a werewolf; and yet, he’s always dreamt of being one.

A cross. No. Not a vampire, either.

Books? But he loves them!

Bring out the secret weapon. Give him the ol’ College Try.

Look, all, and gaze in dumbfounded wonder as he struggles to surmount its obstacles. We send test after test in his path; still, he manages to clamber his way out onto the top. It’s incredible. It’s astounding. It’s really pissing the hell out of me…

Seriously, guys, can nothing we own stop this Teenage Frankenstein? He–He doesn’t even have pimples to pop, not that I would want to. Just look at his face: lost in the caverns of his own mind. He is completely distracted, you idiots!

Oh, well, forget it now. The adult’s already moved on, already gone to find another problem to cause him unbearable stress. Why anyone would choose to do so is beyond me, but, let the freakishly large adult child do his thing, I suppose.

But if he starts whining for a binkie, set off the nukes.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

P.S: Love Calvin and Hobbes

Carpe Diem.

Holy Crap, no one actually told me college was going to be this difficult. I just finished my first week, and already I am stressed out of my young, adult mind–wait, young and adult?

First off, boy, some of these classes are friggin’ long–I mean, five hours long. That’s a long time. A good thing, though, is that some of the professors can lecture so fluently time goes by in a flash. They can start on a conversation at the beginning of class and finish the class on the same topic.

Okay, maybe not the exact same topic…

I’ve made some friends already, which is a constant struggle in college; in that respect, lunch has gone smooth every day since then–but I’ve also been taking some time to venture out into the campus and reflect on life.

You know what I figured out?

All of the freshman entering college are in my position. I’m not talking the exact same position; however, each person is lost and isolated and confused as to what the hell they’re supposed to do after that one class.

We are lost souls, swimming in a fishbowl of our own loneliness. It’s sad when I put it that way, and maybe it’s sad for me to think of it as such; but when you gotta be honest, you gotta be honest.

I’m not avidly searching for people to hang out with–well, maybe a little–because I sorta got a bunch of friends from high school with whom I can connect. It’s just…it’s hard, you know? Stepping into the shoes of an adult for the first time… There’s a need for responsibility, a need to act, everywhere I turn; add on top of that a load of homework and studying and social pressures–it makes me feel like a ticking time bomb.

But, then, I remember. I remember how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to receive this great gift that is education. I tell myself to buck up, get my shit together. Life is hard, but it’s only gonna get harder; and if I have dreams to follow, then I had better go chasing after them as if it was the last day on Earth.

Carpe Diem. Translated from Latin, it means Seize the Day. That’s my catchphrase this year.

Armed with the ambition of wanting to be a writer, to tell stories that change how stories themselves work, I’m going to recite those two words every morning of every day.

When I wake up, the moment I open my eyes–Carpe Diem.

When I sit down to write on a story–Carpe Diem.

As I climb the staircase of knowledge at a university where hard work, and perseverance, will make me capable of achieving my dreams, my goals in life–Carpe Diem. 

It’s the truth as I believe it.

It’s the truth as I say it.

It is whatever I want it to mean, and more.

Why?

I have the ability to do so. I have the freedom to do so.

I’m not just going to sit here and write all of this crap down and do nothing with it.

No, these words are to be acted upon, as all words should be; and they will hold within themselves the truths that I have set forth in this blog post. This is a declaration of action, not inaction. It is a route by which I will travel these long and troublesome years, because I know I can do whatever I want to do–whatever I dream I can do, if I only suffer through the pain and come back out on top at the end.

Life is fair to us if we strive to make it so; otherwise, the chances can be less to none.

I say: Make Your Life, The Life of All Lives.

And never regret it.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

Disco Needs A Revival, People!

You guys know how Grunge has been making a comeback in recent years? The flannel is popping up in stores; kids are wearing more and more smiley face Nirvana t-shirts; and bands like Pearl Jam and Bush are gaining dozens of fans by the minute.

For me, Grunge is probably my favorite genre of music. Yeah, say what you want; but, hey, I am still the target audience for that stuff. I only wish I could go back in time to see Nirvana performing live. Oh, well…

You guys know what has not been making a comeback in recent years? Yep, that good friend  people like to shove onto an iced over lake…Disco. Under normal circumstances, I would say that’s for a good reason–all those colorful pantsuits are unsettling–however, I had a change of heart when I was listening to K.C and the Sunshine Band sing Shake, Shake, Shake (Shake Your Booty) while driving to college.

While it is odd–well, odd is being polite, Disco has a positive feel to it, ya know? You can listen to September on any occasion and have your spirits boosted; that, or any song by the Bee Gees. They just make you feel good.

Now, remember how I mentioned Grunge? Well, Grunge, in a way, is the alter ego of Disco. When listening to Grunge, I don’t exactly feel as positive as when listening to Disco , but that’s not really the point of Grunge.

I listen to Grunge if I need to reflect, and I mean deep reflections.

It’s hard to reflect with Disco if most of the lyrics are about jiggling your bahookie.

Still, in such a darkening world, I feel the need for some old fashioned bahookie jiggling, so long as pantsuits don’t become a fashion trend again. Disco provides the strange light that glows just enough to illuminate a dancing pad.

One more thing I want to add, as well, it’d be great to see a Saturday Night Fever revival–

What?

You say John Travolta is too old?

How dare you!

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

A Journey Through College–Part 1

Dudes, I finished my first day of college today! Whoo-hoo! Are any of you excited for me–or, you know, at least, living reciprocally through my excitement? Hey, do what you folks want. I’m not here to judge…

Either way, boy, was this an interesting day. I’m not gonna go total description: there’ll be no ordered lists in this post; however, I will cover the most significant, perhaps strangest, points–

Well, we’ll start with parking. I know, I know, it sounds boring, at first, but let me explain.

When I have been traveling to the UCCS Campus after work in recent weeks, I have always been freaked out about the parking. Why? They got a friggin’ police station on the campus; yeah, cops in uniforms with non-plastic guns and everything. If I park in the wrong section, then I could get a ticket.

One memorable occasion was when I was first driving to the campus, searching for an unrestricted spot, and a police van pulled into the lane behind me. They followed me for about a mile. The whole time I was sweating and telling myself it was nothing–and thankfully, they turned into the parking garage, instead of pulling me over.

Phew!

Yes, I found parking, went to my freshman-fun-teaching class; it’s called Teaching In a Muggle World. Cue the Harry Potter jokes! I might as well say, too, Harry Potter is one of the reasons I chose to join that class, but the primary–more respectable–reason is that I want to be a high school English Literature teacher.

Any of you guys teachers? I can’t remember off the top of my head; so, if you are, please shout it out in the comments. Declare, with pride, you are, or were, teachers of some subject or other.

Muggle class was fun; although, I was bummed we didn’t just watch the Harry Potter films all day. A wasted opportunity is what I say–and I don’t say a lot in class, so…knowing that, let’s move forward.

Let’s see…there was the scavenger hunt around the entire campus, which wasn’t too bad, considering I run, a lot. I ran around with Gryffindor House–oh, yes, yours truly was sorted into Gryffindor, folks–and we asked these informative people about the different locations and their capabilities.

I remember especially when our group had to enter the library, this expansive, two-story haven of books, over which, I admit, I salivated. But the point of our visit was to collect info about study rooms, so we engaged this kindly old English Literature professor–hey!–and he talked for, say, twenty minutes of the hour given to complete the assignment.

A little preface: the library was our first location.

Now, I did appreciate the professor taking his time to explain the intricacies of the slightly complex library, and he also had that crinkly old man chuckle that makes most people smile…including me. He gave us our answers, wished us luck, and sent us on our way; what more could a guy ask for?

Lunch was burger and hot dogs–actually, who cares about lunch?

Moving on.

At the end of the day, feeling educated after a short session of Harry Potter Scene-It, I stopped outside Columbine Hall to pick up a free Sno-Cone. When I say free, I mean it was free after I had to complete a short survey. Eh, what does it matter? Got a cherry flavored Icee–uh, Sno-Cone.

So, that was it. College. A genuine experience.

It’s gonna be so simple; and I heard, the Chancellor was so impressed with my work ethic today, he’s handing me my diploma tomorrow.

Guess I’ll see you dudes on the other side.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

The Story Of Me and A Piano

There was once a piano–well, more of a decked out keyboard–and a boy who wished to play that piano. Blah-De-Blah-De-Blah. That intro’s kinda boring to me, let me retry:

In the last week or so, I have been trying my hand(s) at the piano, in the off chance that a change of mindset will trigger solutions for a problem in my second novel; however, it is also therapeutic, in a way.

Letting your fingers dance along the keys, one-two-three, three-two-one. Timing perfectly  the exact moment when you snap the pedal with your toes. It’s oddly interactive; and, I say oddly, but really, is it not crazy that a bunch of strings and keys can produce such interesting effects?

In no stretch of the imagination am I a professional. I don’t even think I qualify for a rank amateur. I’m just…playin’, man…playin’ the good songs. Sometimes, though, there are those moments: the Oh-My-God-I-Am-The-Reincarnation-Of-Beethoven moment, then the Oh-My-God-I-Totally-Suck-At-This moment.

I am working little by little on this nifty piano suite from a game known as Heavy Rain. It is a beautiful composition by the late Normand Corbeil, and, though the melody is simple to learn, the tempo and the notes are murder.

There’ll be a quarter note, quarter note, then a whole note; and then a note that looks as if a fountain pen has vomited all over the sheet music. What do they feed those guys? String Beans?

Eh-heh. I hope you got that…

Now, let’s not forget I am still learning, so these notes are slowly but surely making sense in my mind. It’s like I’m carving a new section in the Foreign Languages section of my brain, one entitled Sheet Music. The excavation is taking its time, but it is paving a path, so don’t knock me for that.

It also takes your mind off things, you know? When I’m practicing a song at the piano, much the same as writing, all of my previous worries disappear for the time, only to resurface in droves after the composition, or paragraph, has ended. Hey, you can’t beat ’em all.

Hopefully, some of you can relate to what I am saying. Music touches us in ways stronger than all other forms of art. It pierces your heart instantaneously, rather than build to a climax as in a novel; or the serenity in a beautiful painting.

It can be anything: Frightening. Exciting. Chill-Inducing. Heart-Breaking.

All of those emotions accomplished in the movement of a few keys–a few pitter patters to form a melody.

Beautiful.

What else is there to say?

I got a piano suite calling my name, what about you?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

I Was A Teenage Videogamer.

The Summer of 2011:

I sit in the basement of our home at 8 o’clock in the morning–perhaps even later–and stare at the screen as I play a game on my X-Box 360. Mind you, I used to think this was the best present I had ever received on Christmas morning.

The game might be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, or it could be Lego Star Wars. I fluctuated between those two quite a bit during that summer–and the summers following.

I care less what the game is, so long as I am playing the game and fulfilling myself.

Upstairs, on the kitchen counter, is a list of chores scrawled in blue pen. Mine range from scooping dog crap to finishing my laundry. My sibling’s chores–around the same categories. Simple chores, really; each of them, and more, can be accomplished in two hours or less.

But I am a sixth grader whose sole purpose is to shoot down baddies and collect Gold Bricks. A little known fact: when you enter into middle school, your brain goes into total shutdown. All of you can think of, all the time, is yourself and the things that make you happy; self-centrism I blame on hormones.

The chores…the chores are not finished that day.

The Summer of 2013:

I sit in the basement of our home at 10 o’ clock in the morning and stare at the screen as I  play a game on my Playstation 3. Now, I can’t quite remember if my siblings were playing with me; however, they were probably screaming at each other in cooperative computer games.

Beside me is a bag of Doritos from which I scoop a handful and stuff in my mouth. These chips are not a snack. Oh no, these chips are my lunch. My breakfast was a slim bowl of Frosted Flakes. My actual snack consists of two large Oatmeal Cream Pies that I unwrap as fast I can so I can return to shocking idiots in Infamous, or was it Infamous 2?

Upstairs, on the kitchen counter, is a list of chores scrawled in red pen. Mine range from cleaning my disgusting bathroom–as of late, I have moved into the basement bedroom–to wiping a wet rag across the baseboards of the whole house. My sibling’s chores–around the same categories, with the exception of my sister now having to finish her laundry. Simple chores, really; each of them, and more, can be accomplished in two and a half hours or less.

But I am an eighth grader whose sole purpose it is to zap electricity at baddies and gain new superpowers.

The chores…the chores are almost finished that day; yes, almost meaning thirty minutes before our parents come home from work.

The Summer of 2014:

I sit in the basement of our home at 9 o’ clock in the morning, and I turn off my Playstation 3. From there, I head to my bedroom and lace up a pair of Asics sneakers–without so much as a healthy breakfast, I leave the house and run three and a half miles.

I return at 9:40 in the morning, breathing hard; and yet still I stretch and drink copious amounts of water. My siblings are in the office and are staring at their computer screens as they team up with one another in a game of Roblox.

On the kitchen counter is a list of chores scrawled in red pen. Mine range from completing several loads of laundry to doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. My sibling’s chores–around the same categories, with the exception of my brother now having to finish his laundry. Simple chores, really; each of them, and more, can be accomplished in three hours or less.

And I am a freshman whose sole purpose is to ensure the list is checked off.

The chores…the chores are finished that day, and only because I nag at my brother and sister to get off their butts and start cleaning.

The Summer of 2016:

I sit in the basement of our house at 4:30 in the morning and write the next chapter in my first novel, This Sudden Apocalypse. The rest of the house is still fast asleep–it is a wonder I can be so awake without so much as a cup of coffee.

At 7:30, upstairs, on the kitchen counter, there is a list of chores scrawled in red pen.

I don’t even have to look. I know what needs to be done.

Simple chores, really; each of them can be accomplished in an hour and a half or less.

And I am a junior whose sole purpose it is to ensure the list is checked off before I have to attend Cross Country practice at the high school.

The chores…all the chores are finished that day.

The Summer of 2017:

I stand outside the office of our house at 7:30 in the evening and watch my brother fight his way through a couple matches of Mortal Kombat X; and, all the while, I am encouraging him to get that punch, or kick him there.

Then, while scrolling past other games, he sighs, puts down his controller, and says, “Actually, I think I have some important things to do right now.” And he turns off the Playstation 4 and leaves the office, the controller still warm on the desk.

I have graduated school, and he is an eighth grader.

I pat him on the back and say, “Look at you, Mr. Responsible…”

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

 

How the iPhone and The Industrial Revolution Are The Same.

We live in the Digital Age, don’t we? We carry mini-computers in our pockets, watch any form of television we want from the comfort of our sofas and beds; hell, folks, we got these strange friggin’ hover boards–honestly, to me, they look like skateboards with an engine. What else? Too much to list? Perhaps. Yes, I would say there is a lot to handle in this generation.

It takes a little bit to get adjusted to the new fangled anything. It’s not because this product is more complex than the next–no, to simplify it to that would be to blatantly deny the past millennia of developments in life and the act of living.

In the early 1900s, America struck it rich with the Industrial Revolution, a Renaissance for the modern times. It was astounding. It was innovating. It was frightening. Don’t any of you think to tell me that any situation in which the old is knocked out of the ring by the new, gleaming, and glorified champion of the world of tomorrow is not the least bit  abrupt.

You can bet there were people, maybe farmers, who wanted to take a piss all over those giant iron machines; or, as I will call them, Crop Transformers. They probably foamed at the mouth cursing out the inventors and the businessmen whose purpose it was to move the world forward.

Why? They got scared.

How on Earth would they be able to support their families–and even if they were alone, themselves? It was like playing out your whole hand the second time round in a game of high-stakes poker. Neither of those scenarios would have an ending that satisfied both ends of the table.

So, the farmers thought, machines. All right, sure, machines could be a pain; but if there was no pain, then would we know calm? Wrong analogy. What I mean is, the farmers started seeing the machines as an asset, a comrade in arms against those pestering weeds, the bushels of grain that took hours to collect.

That was it. Time.

Whoever said money runs the world never took a good look at a clock.

Take the farmers. Harvest was their life; and, not only that, but their purpose–this never ending production–it rose according to the rise of the sun, and it set when that glowing ball sunk beneath their plains. The seasons. In spring, growth, and lots of it. Come summer, their products were spreading across the country; the farmer prepared for that cold breath of autumn and winter in which he harvested and cultivated.

Machines had no sense of time. You pressed one button, and it did the work of three farmers without breaking a sweat. No emotions held it down, nor simple laziness. The machines were the tools of men, used by men to improve themselves and their world.

So, then we had two sides of a coin. Somehow it always leads to those two opposing sides.

Of course, with all coins, it must be flipped; and, in this case, the coin landed on the side of the machines. No, that does not mean Arnold Schwarzenegger finally won the war against ol’ John Connor–it means the farmers settled with their conditions.

Now, cut to the Modern World, or the World Currently Ruled By Apple, All Hail the Mac Computer.

On a routine trip to the At&t store, my grandfather and I went to purchase his first -iPhone, as well as an iPad, because it was a sweet deal. He chose the latest edition–the iPhone 7 Plus, and; of course, who wouldn’t choose the best version, right?

Me, I guess. I still have my iPhone 6. Yeah…

The clerk informed him about almost all of the things an iPhone can do, many of which, to me and my generation, have become common knowledge:

Internet Connection? Psshh, I’ll just use data, suckers.

Games, Games, Marvelous Games. Hit the damn pigs, you stupid bird!

Yeah…I don’t know what the hell a Kodak is, but I’m gonna take your picture–actually, before that, let me find the right filter.

Despite the clerk explaining the iPhone well, my grandfather still looked confused. He was replacing an Android phone; and yet the complexities of an iPhone are a tad more…complex, shall we say.

Then I thought–

Grandpa is not used to the smart phone; in fact, in his time, it was the rotary dial and the pay phone–and, god damn, if I ever see one of those, I am totally reenacting that one Matrix scene.

Grandpa is like the farmer in the Industrial Revolution. The iPhone is a machine created to make his life more efficient. He can carry the basic idea of a pay phone in his pocket!

Whoopdie do dah! Don’t you guys love it when analogies work out in your favor? It’s like peanut better and horse radish!

Then I also thought–

There is going to come a time when I am the farmer.

There is going to come a time when a machine threatens my comfortable existence.

What will it be?

A holographic writer; or, worse, an actual ghost writer?

Nah, it’ll probably be interviews in virtual reality and disposable underwear.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

Life–Well, It’s A Cheesecake, Isn’t It?

Life–well, it’s a cheesecake, isn’t it? I’m not talking a single piece of cheesecake, no; in fact, I mean a pie of cheesecake. See, you can say you love every flavor in one of those creamy things, but we all know you’re lying. No one, no one likes all those pieces. There’s always the singularity–the missing link, if you would, that we all wish would get the hell out of Dodge, you know?

Life is interesting for me. It has been interesting for me. I work a pretty fair job in the field of manual labor. I’m a regular blue collar, sweeping brooms and wiping out toilets. It’s meh, to be truthful–and if there is one thing I have learned from this job, it is the sometimes nasty truth.

Drugs, for example, are nowhere on my to-do list. Day in and day out, I see people ravaged by constant drug use. Their faces are old, older than their age; and in their eyes is a haze that never seems to dissipate. I can see the blankness in some of their faces, and it is hard to watch at times.

These folks do this for fun, mind you; and, hell, perhaps it’s to find an escape. But, for me to know what it will do to them in the long run…it can be heartbreaking to see someone throw away their potential like that.

I speak from no experience; and, yes, I might also be speaking from a safer perspective, but I am innocent, after all.

I come from a small town where the craziest thing I have ever witnessed is a bleeding lady taken away on a stretcher after her husband’s psycho ex-girlfriend drove her motorcycle into the back of their car. Before this job, before this peek into another life, that was the craziest crap.

I have seen stuff since then. People who absolutely loathe their lives. Temper tantrums that can get way out of proportion. Worms swimming in some worker’s shit, and let me tell you, that was in two different Porta-Potties.

It is disgusting, but at the same time eye-opening. Would I have experienced this bit of life, this slice of cheesecake, if I had not taken this job? Would I be less of an innocent man than I am now? Would I even be writing this post?

The answers aren’t clear. When are they?

Life is a lot larger, a lot nastier. There are tendrils where I used to see sunshine. Adults can be total assholes, immature for that matter; or, they can be some of the best of the best.

A cheesecake? How about a loaded die? I’m serious. You don’t get to choose what happens in this world. The die is rolled–the numbers are chosen, and you either deal with the unfair, or you get out and do the best you can to force those numbers into your favor.

Win-win, or a lose-lose. No way of telling until you’re standing right in front of it. By then, too, the smell can be so bad, you aren’t sure you want to test your luck.

I say do it, but do it wisely. If you’re dumb when it comes to making those important decisions, you’re going to get landed with a nightmare, one of which you have to climb out of yourself to reach those sweet dreams.

Be smart out there, guys. It will pay off.

Think daily,

A Southpaw