Sunday, December 29, 2013

Battling Technology

My mind has brought  it to my attention that I have written nothing worth putting on a blog for sometime. When I say that there was nothing worth writing on a blog I also mean to say that I haven't written anything worth putting anywhere. Whether it's just that I'm bored, busy or dare I say suffering from a Writer's Disorder, I can't exactly tell, but I will say that it needs to end.

About two weeks ago I noticed something that may hold the answer to my lack of creativity and thought. I had thirty seconds to myself in an elevator in the building I work in, and instead of allowing myself that thirty seconds alone with my mind, I turned on my iPad to play a game or look at something. It was suddenly clear to me why I hadn't written anything.

There is little room for creative thinking when every second of your life is filled with something. I once used a lot of down time for reflection and thinking. It was in those times that I was able to find the inspiration I needed to story tell or share the inner workings of my mind. With that time being eaten by frivolous games and surfing the internet for anything that will entertain, there was no reflection and often there were no thoughts of any kind.

I don't think that it's necessarily bad to have this technology and the world in your pocket, but I do know that it's harmful to our brains to no longer need to retain any knowledge, memory, or creative thought. We seem to be afraid to spend any time alone with our own thoughts and this actually worries me about the future of story telling.

With the advent of this technology, we are already seeing the affects in the entertainment industry. Instead of new stories being told in the medium of motion picture, we are being given sequel after sequel, more and more books are being turned into movies, and movies from the past are being rehashed. Less and less books are being read, "reality" television is taking up more of the day with each season and the scripted shows are seemingly going the way of the movies.

I've spent the last two weeks trying to remember to give myself some quiet time. Hopefully, I'll be writing often again very soon.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Now That I'm Pretty Grown Up

I'm here today to make a proclamation. Are you ready for this? If not, you better damn get ready!

I'm a grown ass man! I can grow a crazy beard.

Exhibit A
Growing a beard doesn't make you a grown man though. I have two friends who had fuller beards than mine when they were in 8th grade. True Story.

I also have a grown up career style job with benefits and opportunity for advancement. I've published multiple books. I have a auto loan and subsequent payment. I recently became a married man, I have a wife who enjoys my company, which according to Alec Baldwin in The Departed means that people will like me more and know that I'm at the very least not gay. I grill food for my little family on a charcoal grill.

The point is, now that I'm a real life card (credebit?) carrying adult, I get the feeling that I have to change my habits to fit my new adult lifestyle.

This is what I started doing this week to act more grown up:

It came to my attention that I never know what's going on in the world, I assume do to the total lack of news I watch. It did make life interesting, never knowing what the weather would be like from day to day. All my coworkers were like meteorologists to me. They'd say something like, "Big storm tomorrow." And I'd be like, "Awww, Man!" NO LONGER!

I decided that instead of waking up at 7AM and hurrying to get ready and 15 miles to work by 8AM, I should wake up at 6:30AM and watch the news. I could have planned ahead a little better though. It turns out that early Sunday morning was start of daylight savings time. So it was kind of like waking up at 5:30 not 6:30. It was difficult to getting started.

But it's gotten a lot easier to wake up and it's really nice to be able to relax before I start my day and I at least know what the weather will be like that day.

Moral of the story... I wish I could be an irresponsible kid, but I can't so I might as well embrace it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Kato Love Confessions

It's been a few years since I last had an address in Minnesota and it seems to me that nothing has changed in the city I once inhabited. I had become quite sure that there was no reason to look back besides seeing the weather on Facebook from Mark Tarello. Now I don't want anyone to think that I feel like I'm too cool for anything at all or that I don't care and often think about the family and friends I still have in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The problem, if it is indeed a problem is that my life is just no longer there.

A few weeks ago I started seeing people talking about something called Kato Love Confessions. Needless to say, I was intrigued. I was interested based on the name only because I knew that what the name was telling me is that these are confessions of love from Mankato Minnesota's finest residents. When I was finally guided to KLC, I clicked "Like" on the Facebook page. Why? I don't know. It just made sense at the time.

Well, when I asked a dear friend named Whitney what KLC is, I was told that, "The greatest invention ever! Everyone is in love with Matt Buhlman!" This is probably why I "Liked" it. Matt Buhlman is real straight shooter. And I think everyone should love him.

I was quickly sad that I ever clicked that Like button. You see, when I said that it is Love Confessions from Mankato's finest residents, what I meant was Minnesota State University - Mankato's Finest.

This was at first terribly annoying, until I realized how amazing it really is. You see it is full of terribly creepy people with the worst grammar ever. It's hard for me to not correct them, but I have. I've done it a few times and I'm sure that they're going to kick me off soon. The point is, by Mankato's finest I mean...

Well I don't want to be mean.

Monday, January 28, 2013

One True Statement About Helicopters and A Bunch About Eating

Helicopters are wicked cool.

Eating is gross. I'm completely disgusted by seeing a person eat about once a day. I'm not sure exactly what needs to happen for me to be grossed out by eating; it certainly doesn't happen every time I witness the phenomenon. 

I've been grossed out by skinny people eating, average sized people eating, pleasantly plump people eating and huge greasy people eating. I've even been grossed out by myself eating. (Cottage Cheese is gross) So, it's not like the reason I'm grossed out really has anything to do with the person who's doing the a fore mentioned consumption of food.

One thing that does remain consistent every time I find my self so entirely disgusted with the unrelenting face stuffing of the people in this world is when the food you eat must be held. Pizza. I'm often grossed out by the consumption of pizza. Not because I think pizza is gross, I love pizza, but because of anything I can even name. Just sometimes seeing the act of pizza eating really makes me want to yak! Not every time, or exclusively pizza. I was grossed out today at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, when I saw a regular looking guy eating a burger. I ate a similar burger five minutes later, but something about that guy and that burger made me want to puke.

Like I said, this happens a lot and there's no real rhyme or reason to it. I'm not against food you hold, I'm not against holding food, but sometimes the planets go completely out of orbit and I want to puke at you eating. It's just the way it is.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I’m not a person who uses public transportation daily or even monthly. I’m the type that drives my car and burns gas and puts just a little bit of greenhouse gases in the air. The term “greenhouse gases” has always seemed like a weird way to put it to me. I understand the reason for it, trapping in heat, global warming, and another scientific term. The problem in my head with greenhouse gases is obviously the greenhouse part. 

When I think of greenhouses, I think roses and elementary school field trips. I think they should call them something that brings terrible things to mind. 9/11 gases! Or if that’s too soon, Pearl Harbor gases! Not the event, the movie.

Anyhow, I didn’t start writing about Pearl Harbor gases just to abolish the term “Greenhouse Gases”, in fact, I’m not exactly sure how I got on that subject in the first place. I’m writing about something much more important.

I’m currently riding Utah’s Frontrunner. It’s a commuter Train that runs north to south connecting the string of cities on either side of SLC. It’s not peak hours but there are still enough people to give a person plenty of chances to drop all the eaves possible. There’s also nearly every demographic of white people who would ever be on public transportation. Boy students, very Mormon girl students, an older guy who’s strangely balding and a punk looking at baby pictures of some girl, pictures of a guy named Tom, and like his favorite band, The Bouncing Souls.

This Punk guy is my kind of people. He has a black stocking cap with patches for Subhumans and the Distillers that used to be t-shirts sewed onto it with green thread. He’s pretty kick ass. He’s sharing music from his phone with his riding mate who I can’t see without being obvious. Okay, I was obvious. He’s a nerd punk for sure. I’m cool with that.

This is what I like about taking advantage of public transportation alone, the people watching. When you’re with a person and talking to them, you become part of the show and I feel like it’s a little obnoxious at times. I try to talk softly and it’s stupid.

There’s a guy who walks up and down the aisle to make sure we’re all safe. The thing is, he doesn’t look like he could save anyone. I want Patrick Swayze on Roadhouse. Oh no crazy guy with a gun and a knife. In comes Swayze to rip his throat out! With bare hands! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Crying at Wal-Mart

I wrote an essay once for my first published book entitled “You’re Actually Reading That!?” about how much it would suck to be a baby at a beach. It’s a true classic, although there is definitely a great amount of bias to that statement. I’m writing now because I thought about our lives as very young people again today.

I was enjoying some time at my local Wal-Mart in search of things to get me through a terrible cold that I’m experiencing. I’m happy to announce that I’ll be able to keep my fluids up thanks to the large amount of Gatorade, Orange Juice, Chicken Broth, Milk, and flavor packets for my water. (Water is disgusting on its own) Everyone knows that the establishment I visited is full of all kinds of people who are fun to look at, but what I’m here to write about is only a small group of those people; crying kids.

I made direct eye contact with a boy child who was sitting in the perch that they make in shopping carts for kids. His parents were standing at a Redbox which I’ve always thought of as the movie rental answer to Netflix for people who feel bad about the destruction of the video store.  That’s a whole other topic that I will leave for another time… or maybe not.

Back to the man child.  (fragment.) I looked at this boy who was definitely old enough to be self-aware and so I thought, “Are you embarrassed to be crying loudly in public?”

I can understand. He was crammed into a seat with a wire metal frame and only a thin plastic flap as a cushion. Then you get hauled around Wal-Mart for an hour while your parents buy brussel sprouts. (Nothing against brussel sprouts, but no 3 years old boy likes them) Then when you’ve had enough of that, they pay, which takes forever, then they stop right at the entrance with its door opening and closing to the winter and look for movies to watch after you go to bed.

Yeah, I’d cry too! BUT I’d be embarrassed when some scruffy-faced messy-haired sick guy makes eye contact with me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Me Man, Live Danger

I'm an adult. I have an Adulty Marriage Certificate, an Adulty car payment, an Adulty career, and I eat candy in the morning... if I want. (Usually I don't want) (It makes me feel groggy later)

My point is this:

Now that I'm a real adult (adulthood starts at 18, that was about 11 years ago. I digress) I have to take things into my own hands. Last Saturday, I found myself desperately wanting to watch the TV. I have Satellite TV and it wasn't getting a signal, of course. So, seeing as I am in fact an adult man, I took it upon myself to fix the TV. My particular dish, as many others in the world, is on my roof. I don't have a ladder, and so I improvised. Retrieving a chair from my kitchen, I marched with a grand resolve out the back door and dropped the chair beside the lowest and only flat portion of my roof. I carefully  removed the cover that my sister in law made for the chairs and threw it on the floor just inside my apartment.

What happened next, I'm sure you already guessed was dangerous. I developed a talent of climbing up counters when I was a very young man, and although I haven't quite kept it up, the talent still lives in my blood, coursing through my body like a thing that travels through tiny tubes. (Oooo Like Red Blood Cells!) I climbed to the top of the chair and grabbed a particularly thick icicle. It broke, sending shards of ice into my face. I tried again and again until all of the icicles were gone. The blood born pathogen of a talent found its way to the courageous or stupid (you decide) part of my body causing me to "git-er-done" (yeah that happened). I jumped with all my might achieving my goal of getting the entire upper half of my body onto the roof and shimmying my way to safety. Oh yeah also there's a lot of snow and ice up there.

then I had to walk up the snowy and icy roof to the satellite dish. It was completely clean, but still I rubbed it. Good luck? Maybe? then I rubbed all the other dishes on the roof of my apartment. Again... good luck? I almost fell three times and each time the movie "The Santa Clause" popped into my head.

Getting down was dilemma all its own. The chair seemed scary so the plan I devised was much safer... or something.

There are some old cable ... cables hanging from the roof on the other side of the low portion I climbed up. Yeah you know where this is going. I grabbed the end of one of them and just like Indiana Jones (also your 10 year old neighbor with a broken arm (I'm just guessing) I swung to my certain doom. I'm more like Indiana Jones than that stupid kid and my plan worked perfectly. So here I am, completely unscathed and happy to tell the tale.

I'm sure you're wondering about the TV and if the good luck rubbing worked. Hell no! But the TV came back on a few hours later so all's well that ends well!