Friday Light: Our ‘Not Normal’ Creative Bents

 

Creatives are idiosyncratic. Allow me to peel back the orange peel of my “I’m normal” facade. . . (for other quirks and oddities see part 1 or part 2)

+Saying dumb things in meetings. Sometimes people try and act all “I’m important” and “I know stuff” and “I have the most amazing perspective.” Sometimes I act that way. Sometimes meetings are great. But sometimes they don’t accomplish much. In a road-to-nowhere meeting this week, I found myself contributing this: “man, I need a cigarette and I don’t even smoke.” Laughter? Yes. Productive? Naaaahsooomuch.

+Midday Treats. I’ve written about my problem with the McDouble, but I have another problem: hot cocoa. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had HOT hot cocoa. Yes, I eat it dry when I need something sweet. As in powder. As in crunchy, dry mini-marshmallows. Who does this? Really? Anyone else? It’s not really all that weird. Think of those Lik-M-Aid things. Same thing. Same thing?

+Eyebrows Matter. Somewhere along the journey from kiddo to adult eyebrows became somewhat important to me. They should be balanced yet not too carefully tended as if to say ‘these eyebrows are perfect.” I can’t believe I just typed that. Anywho, it’s really the first thing I notice about people. Andy Roony’s are terrible. . . were terrible.

+Human GPS Time Estimator. I love to make predictions. Often I challenge my wife. “I’m betting we get there at 4:37. Whaddyou say?” She wagers 4:45. We took the rules from the showcase showdown rules on The Price is Right: whomever is closest to the actual time, without going over, wins. If you win, there’s no real prize. We might have to work something out to change that.

+Holding Breath. Similar to the GPS time thing, I’ll often hold my breath for a mile while driving. This only works when the speed limit is 65 mph or above. I’ll often have to speed up nearing the end of the mile. It’s such torture. No idea why I do it.

Tell me I’m not alone… please. Pretty please. Time to divulge some of your oddities. Leave a comment about so we can all feel more ‘normal.’

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Friday Light: Slightly Embarrassing Quirks and Inappropriateness

At times I want this blog to be notable. Regal. Intellectual. Thought provoking.

But that can also be boring. Hence, the reason every Friday post blends in a little humor, and today’s shares an extra dash of embarrassing quirks from childhood. Quirks volume one here.

+Earthworms. After it rained and the earthworms littered the ground, I’d don my rollerskates and ‘save’ them, tossing them back into the soaked earth from which they sought to escape. I don’t do this anymore. OK, maybe I did once or twice in the last year.

+Hot Dogs. I didn’t eat hot dogs for about five years durning my elementary school days as I’d been told they were made of earthworms. I save earthworms, not eat them = childhood logic.

+I Pledged Allegiance to a Christmas Tree. Real Christmas trees always adorned our home, but one year it grew, even in it’s little tree stand. It actually got taller. I felt badly that the poor guy would be tossed into our woods behind the woodpile. It was growing, after all. So what makes a Christmas tree feel better? Singing to it. Christmas carols. I promised the tree that I’d never forget all it had done for us. The odd ritual only lasted a week or so, but that tree died a slow death while being saranaded by a nine-year-old. Kinda like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien. Only not really.

+Inappropriate Nicknames. As a kid, I often went for the laugh in most circumstances. Still do. I think I was simply going for the laugh when I called my third grade art teacher a prostitute. Something like ‘oh yeah, we’ll you’re just a prostitute.’ Hmmmm. I’d never been removed from a classroom faster than I was on that day. I honestly had no idea what a prostitue was, though I imagine when I first heard the word used by others, their audience laughed so I thought I’d give it a try. Bad idea.

There’s more. Oh, yes, there’s plenty more. But that’s a start and you can read quirks volume one here.

In the meantime, please tell me I’m not alone. What kinds of crazy did you do when you were a kiddo? Leave a reply below so we can all get a chuckle…

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Write a Love Letter to a Grocery Store

As Madonna once said “express yourself.” Even if you don’t like Madonna, sometimes you just gotta write a love letter.

It doesn’t matter to whom.

It doesn’t matter the content.

It doesn’t matter the status of the relationship. Surely there’s something or someone or someplace or some                 that you love.

My wife and I write and vlog about stuff we love on our blog/vlog A Couple Comments. Here’s our most recent love letter… to Trader Joe’s grocery store.

 

Who deserves your love letter? What will it say?

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Friday Light: McDonald’s Dollar Menu Temptations

I’m weak. Like a girl at a hip-swiveling Elvis concert. Can’t say no. Willpower shot.

I hear from within me a whisper of sinister rationalization:

You deserve a break today.

To which I answer “yes. Yes indeed I DO deserve a break today.” And then another voice…

You want it, you need it.

Another answer of “I do want it, and yup, I do need it.” But then, the voice goes one too far with…

I’m lovin’ it.

Sitting here in my office, I realize I’m having an inner dialog with slogans from McDonald’s. Dang marketing department.

Generally, this self-talk happens in a matter of seconds and transpires just before lunch, which, of course, is already packed. I have an apple, a healthy wrap with 46 grams of fiber, and even some Greek Yogurt for dessert. Healthy, yes, but I want the trash food. I want the warm, gooey goodness that can only be found on a McMenu.

I’ll indulge in a McDouble from time to time, ordering it without cheese to make myself feel that I’m still cutting out some of the ‘unhealthy’ calories. Like I’m both auctioneer and buyer at the same time, the script often reads like this:

Auctioneer: I have a lovely McDouble on this pristine, plastic encased menu. I’ll start the bidding at one dollar.

Me: That’s not really even food. I’ll feel terrible after I eat whatever that thing is but I deserve a break today don’t I? Hmmmm. Ok I’ll take it.

Auctioneer: Going once, going twice….

Me: I’ll take it if I can have it without cheese. That’ll make it healthy. Right?!

Auctioneer: Sold to the man with weak willpower.

On my better days, I arrive having already eaten my healthy lunch. I’m just at McDonald’s to get out of the office for a wee bit. They have free wi-fi. They also have Diet Dr. Pepper. I’m a hero. I’m out of the office. I get a treat I love. I haven’t indulged in the McDouble McProblem.

After two (or three) free refills I have enough caffeine in me to levitate back to the office. Thanks Diet Dr. Pepper. Thanks McDonald’s.

Calorie Free McTreat at McDonalds

What are your midday temptations? What marketing department tantalizes your subconscious… and wins?

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Friday Light: Big, Superfluous Words Make Us Seem Smarter

As creatives, we’ll often bend toward the serious side of life. Our temperaments embrace the melancholy, rainy day, James Taylor-esque “You’ve Got a Friend” sadness that, for some reason, makes us feel comforted. Not happy, but comforted.Sometimes we gotta chillax. In an effort to blend balance into our creative lives, I introduce to you Friday Light.This will be a weekly series each Friday to smack the melancholy in the tooth, laugh a little, and deliver a non-alcoholic buzz.Let’s get chuggin’.Confession: I sometimes like to appear smarter than I really am. Rather than using colloquial language, I’ll toss in some three, four, and five syllable words to dazzle. Have you ever used “big words” just to impress someone?Words like these…

  • Pretentious. Even using the word ‘pretentious’ is, in itself, pretentious.
  • Colloquial. See above. I used it a few sentences ago to make myself appear shiningly brilliant.
  • Nebulous. I’ll toss this one into a sentence when describing concepts and ideas that aren’t specific. As in: “I like the direction of this project Fran, it’s just a bit nebulous at present.” Just saying the word ‘nebulous’ raises my IQ. I’m sure of it.
  • Any Medical Terminology Picked Up from WebMD. As in “yeah, it was a post-roital laceration on my dorsal vertex.” Of course, peons who haven’t read WebMD feel their intelligence quotient drop with each and every syllable of our verbiage.
  • Verbiage. It’s pretentious to use the word ‘verbiage.’
  • Moot. Like a judge on Law and Order, we’ll refute irrelevant information and use the word moot. Check this out from the dictionary: “it is moot whether this phrase should be treated as metaphor or not.” That sentence doesn’t even seem like English.
  • Ambidextrous. I get a one-two punch out of this one by both saying the word and demonstrating as well. For some odd reason, I have no trouble shooting pool with either hand. Though I’ll probably not win the game, my opponent is astonished with my vocabulary and my ambidextrousness. Makes me feel better about myself… just like listening to James Taylor.

How are we going to keep it light today?  Suggestion box below… just leave your tips in the comments.

Hot Air Ballooning in Amish Country: Six Facts

Last week I had the great fortune to do this:

“Balloon with a View” This balloon launched with ours.
*It costs money. Fortunately, for me, this particular trip was a gift. Thanks Dad.
*Fear of baskets is a no-go. If you fear floating around in a human-sized Easter basket, this isn’t for you.
*It’s not like Pixar’s movie “Up.” Wasn’t “Up” a sad movie? I didn’t cry once while on this ride.
*It’s hard to catch a football from a balloon. A few kids tossed a football up to us (while flying much lower, of course, than the pic above) and we missed. Twice. Leaning out of a basket to catch a football = not a good idea.
*People love balloons. It was fun to see all the people waving, cars crashing from watching us and not the road, and the dogs freaking out.
*Amish people love balloons too. Here’s how some arrived in their Amish “car” to scope out our balloon landing.
“Amish Auto”
Time to check something off your bucket list?