Monthly Archives: August 2016

5 Things from Today

I’ve been meaning to write a post about my love of audiobooks, but I’m just not in the mood tonight. Instead, I offer this “5 Things” list like the one that came up on Timehop today.

1) Slept late and had interesting dreams that I can’t remember.

2) I roasted the baby golden potatoes I got at Lucky’s Market last week. I seasoned them with McCormick’s Montreal Chicken Seasoning. They are quite tasty!

3) Sauteed some frozen kale (also from Lucky’s) in olive oil and garlic. Simple and flavorful.

4) Went to see Dad. Walked around the facility with him and sat on the front porch to enjoy the mild summer evening. It felt like Autumn today.

5) Went to MacDonald’s in Ellettsville and had the sausage burrito meal. I felt guilty for the less-than-healthy eating. I did resist the urge to buy ice cream at the grocery store.

Painted in Waterlogue

The road to Ellettsville. Image shot with iPhone 6S Plus and edited in Waterlogue app.

Craving Attention?

Our performance at Gen Con on Saturday went well, although the audience was a bit quieter than in previous years. I’ve decided that I won’t do this gig again. The other troupe members attend the conference for all four days and dance in busking fashion at various spots in the venue. For the past two years, I have only participated in the Saturday performance. I drive from Bloomington to Indianapolis that morning and return after the performance. It’s a lot of trouble for twenty minutes of dancing. Plus, over the past few years, I just haven’t gotten much of a kick out of performing. I want to keep dancing, but my desire to dance in front of people has diminished over the years. I may have outgrown the need I used to have to be the center of attention.

Is it true that I no longer crave the attention of others? No, I don’t think so. I wouldn’t be blogging, and posting to Instagram if I didn’t want to be viewed favorably by others. It wouldn’t matter to me if my posts got no views and no “likes.” Honestly, it does matter a little.

I’ve been listening to a podcast called SPONTANEANATION WITH PAUL F. TOMPKINS. In the podcast, the aforementioned Tompkins performs a monolog and then interviews the show’s guest. The guest is asked to come up with a location for an improvised narrative sketch to be performed by the assembled group of improvisers. Some sketches are funnier than others, but to me, the show is always entertaining. I love doing acting improv. That’s the kind of performing I would love to do at this point in my life. I don’t see that opportunity coming along any time soon. If it did, I’m sure it would be too time-consuming an activity. When would I write and make art? When would I exercise to stave off the MS symptoms?

Speaking of MS symptoms, I found that despite the fact that my legs have been doing really well, I had trouble on Saturday because the stress of the performance caused some spasticity. It wasn’t terrible, but it was disappointing that my effort to get really hydrated that morning didn’t pay off as much as I had hoped. That’s another reason performing isn’t fun. I just never know quite what to expect from my body. Maybe the answer there is better stress management strategies.

That’s the size of it. I’ll talk about audiobooks and digital humanities in my next post.

Illustration of woman on stage 


Cubicle Fun

There was a brief time when I would create monthly exhibits on my cubicle walls. It got to be too much trouble.

Here’s a sample.

I learned about the Highland Wildcat from M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth novels.
In the new building we have an open plan workspace so there’s no more cube decorating for me. That’s okay. I felt quite lonely when I was enclosed in that cube. I think that most of my co-workers dislike the open plan. Studies show that it hinders productivity. For me, it’s an energy booster.

Superhero Speech

This is a speech I wrote for a Toastmasters meeting sometime in the early 2000s.

Life is hard. Do you know what I’m talking about?
I’ve always suspected that this might be true but in the back of my mind I thought things would get easier. Things didn’t get easier.
With each passing year my life becomes more complicated.
I’m faced with so many choices that I end up not choosing anything, which is actually a choice in and of itself.
That’s kind of ironic
But not all that comforting.

They say comfort is
I like that.
Life is hard
I think we need more superheroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Spider-Man (the list goes on).

Illustration of a generic superhero.

Spider-Man, he does whatever a spider can.

I know what you’re thinking “those are just fictional comic book characters.”
But how can you be so sure? Just because you’ve never seen Superman in person doesn’t mean he’s not real. What about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? You believe in them, don’t you?
Of course, you do.

Now all of those famous superheroes are great but they only come in handy for major catastrophes like fighting off giant atomic waste lizards on rampages through Tokyo.

Illustration of T-rex.

How often does that happen? Once every 17 years or so.
Or is that cicadas?

I’m interested in superheroes for the common man. In my ideal world, there are myriad of super guys and gals just waiting to help get me through the day.

Come here.

Let me introduce some of them to you.

Let’s start with Slumber Man. He’s a guy who’s at his best after a good 8 hours of sleep, and he wants to help the whole world get a good night’s rest. Using his patented Yawnometer, Slumber Man is able to detect a yawn from as far as 500 miles away. Within seconds he arrives on the scene, whisks the sleepy person off to bed, tucks them in with a teddy bear and sings a short lullaby. Oh, he does have a beautiful voice.

Illustration of sleeping man.

Sandal Girl has a different but no less important objective. It is her sworn duty to help people with ugly feet find sandals that can be worn in public. This is a difficult task because each day she is forced to view hundreds of hideous misshapen hairy feet. But what would we do without her?

Illustration of a sandal.

Speaking of Feet, have I ever told you about Ruler Man and his plucky sidekick the Thermometer Kid? These two heroes are great for home renovations and turkey roasting.
Thermometer Kid can even convince your Mom that you’re too sick to go to school.

Illustration of thermometer.

When you need to have a document certified but don’t want the content of the document disclosed call on the Masked Notary. This hero with government certification wears a mask that covers not just his face but his eyes as well. He can sign, but he can’t see. Useful for those not-so-legal activities.

Captain Celibacy keeps you safe from those nasty sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Divorcee will come to your house after the divorce is final and say awful things about your ex. The Pale Geek gives lessons in UNIX system administration and the Melodious Manager sings your performance evaluation to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Illustration of person using a laptop.

There are amazing things going on inside my head.
All of you are welcome to join me in here and find your own superheroes.

If you can’t decide which hero is right for you, don’t worry, you don’t have to decide. Whenever you need help with life’s difficulties, you’ll find your hero. Just look for the guy with the cape, mask, naïve young sidekick and the positive attitude.

And if you believe in him–he’ll be real.