WPC: Ephemeral

He was a kid on the diamond
Running , jubilant as can be
Celebrating for this brief moment
And now lives on as a memory

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Colton Aukerman, 1996 – 2013

I chose this photo of a kid from my high school who died in a car crash in 2013, three years after I graduated. For this brief, ephemeral moment, he may have been celebrating hitting a home run, maybe winning the game for his team. For a short moment, Colton had something to feel proud about, for the next time at the plate he may have struck out. He was just a care free, happy go lucky kid not knowing what the future had in store, just living for this happy moment before it was over.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral

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A Selfish Love

The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.
– Ernest Hemmingway

This amazing little quote by the great Hemmingway took me a little while to understand and analyze,  but then it all became clear as day. In my own words, I believe it means that by placing a higher importance of one person over yourself and becoming so enchanted by their life, you begin to think anything you do will not be as good and is not worth mentioning. You get lost in the glory of their presence. Whether it be famous celebrities, musicians, Internet icons, writers, or anyone at the top of their game, I think we can all say this “selfish love”, this willingness to follow and admire these people day by day, get to know their ins and outs, be a so-called paparazzo, and forget your life has a purpose as well, resides within us all. This applies to my life and coming across a number of things I thought people did just a little better than me, which made me, in turn, stop to think if I should improve myself to be on their level of greatness or if even trying to reach their level of success is futile and that I should just give up. Yes, they always say you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, but sometimes it can’t be helped because following the “norm” is where the best things lie.

There are a number of bloggers, or to be more accurate, actual published writers, on this grand publishing platform that I admire greatly and whose work I place on a higher level than my own. I’m not saying my stuff isn’t good (self confidence pat on the back) but whenever I read the posts of other bloggers, especially those who have been featured on “Freshly Pressed” (a feature I rarely, if ever, use), I get this realization that what I put out would probably look silly and amateur if placed alongside theirs. It humbles me. But we’re not here to compete with anyone, are we? Everyone is entitled to their own style of blogging and being different is what makes everything fun. Like the pile of alphabet letters above – every glyph is unique and serves its own purpose, has it’s own rhyme and reason. Unlike the bags of pistachios below, all the same, manufactured under a recurring brand, optimized for your enjoyment each time.

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Learning the tricks of the trade from those who have done it best is probably the best part about blogging (or anything else) since you only push yourself to be better each time. I don’t have any “selfish love” on here since I don’t follow any one person every day and usually am working on my own thing and making myself feel special. There are days when I don’t read anyone’s posts at all, but when one comes along that literally makes me say “Wow”, there clicks in my head the need for more self improvement, admiring what they did so well, wanting to mimic or at least be inspired by it. Being humble and modest, never giving myself too much credit or importance, and not having a big-headed ego keeps me leveled and focused on continuing to improve everytime, instead of assuming I’ve already reached my peak and am already the best I can be.

It’s okay to have people you admire and care about everyday, even a person in your family, or a spouse, if you’re married, but don’t let their needs and wants outweigh your own personal agenda. You have a life to live as well, have a right to choose what you like and dislike, instead of catering to their needs. That’s the number one reason so many marriages never last – the balance of power is always out of whack, one side always wants more. Thank goodness I’m not married right now or I would never be able to live my ideal life which right now consists of video making, writing, photography, and anything else on the side that makes up my ideal personality. I’m not saying I ever want to get married but going solo right now has its benefits, for better or worse.

That’s the one mistake I made with my last real girlfriend (nearly six years ago in high school); I lost track of what I wanted to do in life, lost track of my goals, my aspirations, since I was so wrapped up in her life (which never amounted to much). I never realized I should have been thinking about the ideal college I wanted to go to, the career option I wanted to study for. That was all put on the back burner and when it came time to start thinking about that stuff, I realized I hadn’t even thought about my future that much, that time was already becoming tight and things felt like they were being rushed, which is why I ended up going to a community college for a year, trying to settle on something until I figured out what I really wanted to do. I don’t regret being in a relationship since it made me feel whole and have emotions I never felt before, but now I realize it was all silly business, a silly teenage romance (we never dated again), and there were more important things I should have been thinking about, which would have made my future today just a tad bit different. But the past is the past and there’s nothing I can do about it. I can only keep looking to the future for the light that finally shines my way.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Third From the Top

Head to “Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own.

Mission Impossible

The other day
I asked ten strangers
To write my life story –
Quite a hard sell
It even involved bribery
And something that would
Surely cause your eyes to swell

I was rejected each time
Since my story was too thin
Well I wish I would have lied
And told them I’d been to Berlin (which I haven’t, but might want to go to someday).


Ghostwriter | Strangers The Prompt

I love that an alternative to the Daily Prompt has been started, giving us a second option to write something more suited for our tastes if the first option just isn’t cutting it. I think of it as a revolt, a coup, much like the actual protest group in New York that this new prompt is referring to. Combining both prompts into one post is great and providing links to both prompt “grids” gets your post on two different sites for more viewership opportunities.

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Black & White Motion

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The slinky is a favorite toy of mine to toss around and make neat waves with, but it also can be a stress reliever, a way to unleash some anger and anxiety. My cat has a wonderful time with it as well, his eyes watching the movement of the springs curiously as I swing it up and down. Of course, cat’s are known to see the world in black and white with very little color, though how I’m not sure how this can be verified.


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Football + Marriage

An elderly couple were waiting at the doctor’s office one day.

The old man asked his wife, “Are we happily married together?”

The old lady thought for a moment before replying,

“Do you think I have to answer that?”

And the elderly man responded,

“No. I found out 30 years ago when you wouldn’t let me watch the Super Bowl.”


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Ha Ha Ha

Tell us a joke! Knock-knock joke, long story with a unexpected punchline, great zinger — all jokes are welcome!

Can I Have All 32 Flavors?

Icecream is an absolute guilty pleasure of mine. I simply can’t get enough of it. Bring home one of those medium cartons from the store and whatever the flavor or brand I will be opening and reopening that freezer, scooping out spoonfuls of mint, vanilla, rocky road, and other delicious flavors until someone in the other room says, “If you’re so hungry, get a bowl!”

I can’t exactly remember the first time I ever ate icecream but I believe it was when I was a year old. An image of my family, which at the time consisted of my mom, dad, uncle, and late Grandma Norma – my mom’s mom – all seated around a counter at the old Parlour in Jackson comes to mind. I’m repeatedly told stories of how I could not get enough of the icecream, used to cry when it stopped going into my little mouth. Of course I wouldn’t remember any of this but a picture of me in a baby seat situated on top of a 50s style counter and admiring this mountain of icecream being shared by the family comes to mind.

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“Keep it coming,” my dad would probably have said.

“Yes, he loves icecream, don’t you?,” comes the voice of my mother.

And an absent thought in the back of my mind, “Geez, don’t stuff me to death!”

I’ve always preferred plain old vanilla to any other flavor since it’s probably the “lightest” choice and always soothes my gums. My next favorite flavor would be mint chocolate chip, especially when it’s from a freshly opened container of premium icecream. The large scoops in my bowl give off this scent that reminds me of evergreen trees or walking through a fresh bed of snow.

But I could never go on one flavor for the rest of my life, as the Daily Prompt is apparently asking us to do:

Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?

Choosing just one? That would be preposterous, would get boring after a while, which reminds of me of having to chow through a thick, cold, and quite sickening layer of chocolate icecream from one of the Parlour’s “Monsters”. I have no idea how many flavors of this delightful treat, thought to have been discovered by Marco Polo, are exactly out there though Baskin Robbins seems to think 31 is enough, even being clever enough to incorporate it into their logo.

I’ve always wondered if sherbet (sometimes pronounced as “sherbert” – especially by my folks) really counted as “icecream” or fell more into the slush/glacier kind of desserts. It sure is fun to make mini landscapes out of it though.

How about a giant ‘Dare to Be Great”, the centerpiece of the menu at The Parlour? Eat it in under an hour by yourself and don’t pay a dime for it! You also get your name on the winners wall of those who accomplished the feat – very few actually (the last one was in 2002 before the place closed down for the first time and then reopened a few years later). 21 scoops of assorted icecream, 10 of them chosen by you, ranging from bubblegum, moose tracks, Mackinaw Island Fudge, peanut butter, and, everyone’s favorite, chocolate chip cookie dough. Devouring that down all by yourself is enough to keep your stomach aching throughout the night. Someday I’ll attempt this challenge, if The Parlour is still open by then (it keeps closing down because of financial issues). Even having my name on the “Attempted List” would be an honor, since I would be apart of the history of this grand  icecream challenge and would have the motivation to try again and do better since I would know what to expect.

But, of course, if you’re not up to the challenge, there’s always the “Baby Dare To Be Great”, just 10 scoops of icecream, but still a lot to eat even with four mouths at the table.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: 32 Flavors

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Picking The Forest

A fresh lush forest
That’s where my rest would reside
Hunger, thirst arise

Veins of rushing streams
Channeling my inner wild
Solo ensemble

And after this rest
Its honey glazed warm biscuits
Dancing in my dreams

It was fitting, yes
This prompt inspired poetry
Now I’ll rest soundly


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Places.”

Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

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Not Writing A College Essay

I don’t want to think too hard today, since my mind is currently at ease, so that is why I am deciding to forgo the tedious task of presenting a two sided argument for something in the news that I really have no interest in writing about. It’s not that it doesn’t concern me but the overall post that would be written afterward would be a strained effort from my mind and something that would feel out of place with some of the happier, more lighthearted posts that I have written – my poems and photography that attempt to present a personal side of myself and discover the all around human spirit within. I hate these kind of prompts – they’re a challenge that I never can quite grasp:

Pick a divisive issue currently in the news. Write a two-part post in which you take on two personas and approach the topic from both sides. Bonus points for a creative format (roundtable discussion, debate transcript, etc.).

Sounds rather complicated. And what are these ‘Bonus points’ going towards? No, I’m not in college anymore and definitely have had enough of these analytic essays. Debate club was never for me.

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Dinner tonight was Banquet chicken, iceberg salad, corn, stuffing, and fish sticks. A mini-Thanksgiving on this quiet day of college basketball and NASCAR. A side of vodka induced OJ washed down the meal well and prompted the featured image today. Later on, I indulgently slurped down a green food-colored shamrock shake, leaving the cherry the last thing in the bottom of the container, a tradition of mine – like the worm at the bottom of a tequila glass minus the alcohol.

Since I’m turning away from writing the proverbial college essay, my twist on ‘A House Divided’ must be if I am to return to college or not this fall.

The pros are there: I can start my Bachelor’s degree program and have a better shot at getting a job. I won’t be sitting around the house anymore and would actually be making progress again. I could finally make some money and move out, having more space for my little production studio that seeks to expand.

But there are also the cons: I only have a few years left before financial aid will not support me anymore and I will have to pay for my classes and tuition. And I have become so comfortable at home doing my own thing and suddenly having to go to classes again week by week would be tough.

So what should I do? Continuing my education either at Baker or perhaps Western Michigan University would be a great idea and a worthwhile decision. My job hunt with an Associate Degree in my back pocket hasn’t panned out that well (a lot on my behalf of being lazy) and I suppose learning more in the engineering field, or perhaps something more of my interest would be beneficial. That something else could be trying to go for a Bachelor’s degree in video production, since I am already an avid hobbyist of it and have bubbling aspirations to really become great in the field. I didn’t spend all that money on production equipment just because. I absolutely love making movies – amateur yes, but all the same – and the decision to continue to learn new tricks and techniques would be great and might actually land me a job somewhere, say perhaps working behind the scenes at a news station. In August 2014, I attempted to start my own wedding/special events production company but didn’t have the necessary funds or actual equipment to do it. And it was a rather silly and absurd idea anyway, going off of my family’s excitement for a little graduation video slideshow I made for my sister. I even had a website made that cost me a fortune and later on had to be cancelled and the money refunded in order to get my bank account out of the red. And to this day I still get phone calls asking if I’m the owner of that now nonexistent website; I should just say it was cancelled months ago but I instead hang up or wait for the call to mysteriously drop.

Yes, I should return to college to get my life back on the track of progress, instead of the rut it is kind of stuck in now with job prospects being so low where I live. It would be a fun experience and I would feel better about myself – even more if I happened to move away to the aforementioned WMU and actually live on campus, enjoying all the amenities of a real college student. Yes, the costs are a concern but nothing in this world comes free. And if I am ever going to reach my goals that are starting to take shape and become more solid and realistic I really need to reach for the stars, instead of dwelling on the ground staring up at them, hoping for a miracle that one would fall down to me – and hit me straight on the head, leaving me in a confused state like a cartoon character.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: A House Divided