Wednesday, April 29, 2015

write on through the dry spell

This is the part of the show where this story gets lengthy, you, the reader, are ready to move onto something else, and I, the writer, must ask for your patience... quite simply, I want to finish this story, no matter who does (and doesn't) read it...

It's the story of my writing. How it started, like in part one... and writing in high school, which is part two... so here is part three... the dry spell in college leading up to the creation of this blog and beyond.

I think I neglected to mention that I kept a journal from about 9th grade to the summer after I graduated. Literally, I would write a sentence or two every day or two about what's happening, what I was writing, accomplishments and so on. Doogie Howser had a blue screen on his PC, I had a notebook with Paula Abdul on the front. Well, one of them anyway, because I filled about a dozen notebooks over the course of five years.

Doogie used to end every episode by writing one or two
lines that encapsulated what we just watched in the
previous 1/2 hour, almost like a "what I learned today"
thing.  Problem was, some were so vague that in five
years, he had to read over some of those and thing "What
the crap was I talking about?  What does this even mean?!"
And when I got to Troy State, I just up and stopped. No slowly ceasing to write, no gentle progression of forgetfulness when it comes to journaling, no I just straight up didn't do it anymore. I tried for about three or four days after I got to college, and when a week went by with nothing written, I just packed it away in a box. I don't think it was writer's block so much as it was, I just didn't want to do it.

I was in college from September of 1993 to March of 1998, and anyone who knows me knows that I loved the heck out of college... I made the most out of my 5 years there, and wouldn't change much of it (well, except I might not get that Discover card... darn you Rebecca Miller and your green eyes!)

How I got to Birmingham is a topic that goes onto the pile of things mentioned in this post that will become their own blog post one day, but for now, just know that the first 6 months or so in Birmingham, Alabama, were some of the hardest months of my life. I was along, I knew not a soul, the reason (I thought anyway) that I had moved here was in Tuscaloosa with nary any contact, I had no church home, and I was broke and hungry and nearly depressed.

I then sat down with a few sheets of paper and went back to a routine that I knew well. I was going to write a love letter to my very dear friends, some of my favorite people, in the form of a story... it was a "where we will be in 5 years" type story, entitled "Hey Now"--the title being a play on words from something in the story itself. And I still have it, all 55 pages, written in pencil on loose leaf paper, in a binder. It was the beginning of closure for my time at Troy State...

(this is the part where I stop typing, lean back in my chair and stare out the window, while "The Story" by Brandi Carlile starts to play)

From about July 1998 to February of 1999 were 7 of the hardest months of my life. I was in Birmingham, I was alone, I barely knew anyone, I hadn't found a church until late in that time period, the reason I had moved (her name was Amy, in case you are wondering) and I hadn't even talked, and it was painful and dreadful and expensive and... well, lonely.

You'd think I'd plunge myself back into writing, and I tried. The story I mentioned, the one I had floating in my head for all this time, I tried to put it on paper, and got nothing. I wrote "Hey Now" for my friends in college in August of 1998, but beyond that, nothing. Call it writer's block, call it lack of desire, call it what you want, not only could I not write, but I just didn't want to try.

Over the next few years, a great number of things happened--once again, more stories for another post--but in that time, I got involved in Valleydale Baptist Church... I moved into an apartment with a couple of guys who would become some of my closest and dearest friends, people that some of you know like Shawn Sharp, my buddy Mikey, Tommy Mac, Big Tom Johnson and so on. Not too long after that, we moved into a four bedroom that would be christened "The Deuce". In late 2000, I met a young lady named Stephanie Campbell, and in early 2001, we became good friends. Things were clicking.

Though I didn't own a computer until much, much later, my buddy Mikey did, as did Shawn Sharp, and so one day I sat down in front of one of those computers, and rather than taking a risk, or overthinking it, I went back to what was familiar. I took the people closest to me--roommates, good friends, etc--and wrote still another story, this time called "The Hillary Letters". It was about our friend Ty, who was in love with another friend Hillary, and a particular afternoon where a love letter from he to she gets picked up by the wrong hands, causing a series of silly misunderstandings that culminated with Mikey standing on top of the dining room table doing a John Malkovich impression right before it collapsed. I read this not too long ago (this is one of the few I still have) and it holds up, stupid as the concept might be.

The next year, I had my adult "Dayton's Quest" moment, the one that this time didn't help me discover real writing, but instead brought me back to writing. I wrote another "friends" story, this time over the course of three or four days during Christmas, and I'll be honest with you... I think its really, really good. I'm so proud of it, in fact, that I actually posted here on this website some years ago.

What I mean by "brought me back to writing" was quite simply, it let me know that I can do it--I could still do it. It let me know that yes, I can come up with things, solve problems, invent situations and lay them together in a cohesive story, and in one of my favorite tropes, I can interconnect seemingly unconnected plots with only a few passing sentences. It's called, stupidly enough, "A Very Deuce Christmas".  Perhaps it's not well written, and I know there are parts that need to be straightened up a little, but truthfully?  I like it.

So that brings us to Clouds in My Coffee. First, let me say that in 2005, I had no idea what "blogging" was. Not a clue. A group of us, Mikey and Tommy Mac included, was scheduled to go to Star Wars Celebration in Indianapolis, early that year, and Tommy created a blog set up for the trip, perhaps for us to report back, post pictures on the interweb and so on... he opened it up for us to create an account name and post.

I created the name "Dave Windu", and wrote a paragraph about the upcoming trip, not really having a clue what I was doing. But I hit publish, and there it was, for all the world to see. And it kind of confounded me. Someone suggested that I look at Live Journal and MySpace, perhaps to do online journaling there, so I opened up an account on both--hey Top 8, how are you?

And now... the final part of the story... including a mission trip, mistakes, American Idol, The Lovely Steph Leann and more... coming tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

write on through high school

(The beginning of this post can be found here, chronicling my writing history and where I sort of figured out that I liked writing)

As mentioned before, I had a good time writing stories that involved my friends, putting us in various ridiculous situations, but began to stick my foot in the pool of real fiction with my fairytale "Dayton's Quest".

I began to churn out stories every few weeks from there, and my friends wanted to read them, friends that went beyond just the guys I shared paper adventures with (though I did write a story called "1967" putting myself and friends in Vietnam... only Johnny Knowles and I survived the attack by the Vietcong, according to my tale--Jason Smith died a most honorable death, as did Clay Fulford #namedrop).  They would actually pass around a sheet of paper, signing up to the be the first to read whatever I wrote. 

In particular, Tammy Thomas was one of my biggest fans--to the extent I actually had fans--and that which always warmed my heart... I'll never forget her coming to me, more than once, and saying "Are you finished with the new story?  You know I'm on the list first, you know I get it first".   It's one of those small compliments probably forgotten about by everyone but me.  And she's still pretty awesome to the day (thank you Facebook!)

And just for fun, here are a few of the stories I put on paper and released:

**A story called "Tophet", which was, according to my Roget's Thesaurus, another word for "hell" or the "underworld", and it was about a man who buys a video game on Christmas Eve in a back alley from a shady dude, and then gives it to his son for Christmas the next day--and when you play the game, people die in real life, and the end of the game opens up a portal... to Hell.  Boom.  Maybe a little Poltergeisty, but I dug the concept.

**"Reach Out and Touch Someone", a play on the slogan of the old slogan from Bell Telephone (which in 1992 wasn't that far removed from being a real thing), was a divorcee with a young daughter trapped in a house with a crazy sociopath who has, somehow, nailed all the windows shut and boarded all the doors up.  At that time, it made sense. The sequel, called "Hunted", got as far as the first chapter, but was then abandoned... and it was just as well.

**"The Long & Winding Road" was a Hallmark worthy tale of a snotty rich chick who is on a hayride while visiting her country bumpkin cousin, and after a stop, is accidentally left behind with said cousin.  The two barely know each other, despite being family and live worlds-apart, but are forced to walk together, and look out for another, along the five mile long dirt road back to the church... and along the way, she learns a little of what it's like to be kind and generous.  (this is one of my favorites, by the way)

**"Radio Talk", a conversation between an overnight DJ and a caller who seems to be a little off the edge.  The entire story was written all in quotes, which at the time I thought was a pretty cool angle.  Oh, okay, fine, I still think its a cool angle. 

**And one of my favorites of all time, "Out of Time", the story of a teenager who is gravely injured in the 1930s, is given an experimental drug that puts him into a coma, and doesn't age a bit, until he wakes up in 1994 under the name John Doe.  He befriends a pretty nursing student, who helps him escape the clutches of a cruel doctor who wants our John Doe (I cannot remember his name, but this was written in 1992, so forgive me) for more experimentation--thus begins a comical chase story where John Doe and Pretty Student Nurse are trying to find an antidote for the 1930s drug, a drug that is now causing him to age rapidly.

SIDEBAR: Some years later, I came across a movie called "Late for Dinner", which actually has some of the same plotlines... remember, this was a time when there was no iTunes or Netflix or any kind of streaming service.  You had to rent this movie, and it wasn't all that popular, so our local video stores may have had one copy somewhere... but I say it now before the world--mine was an original idea, not borrowed from this film.  I still haven't seen it, by the way.   

I did a couple of more "friend" stories too, mostly as something fun to do... I wrote one called "Witness for the Prosecution" which at the time didn't sound like a lame legal cliche, about a lawyer (my friend Jennifer Lambert took that role) trying to figure out if her client is actually guilty or not (turns out Michael Creech was in fact, guilty), and another story with an equally bad cliched name I can't remember, this one a cat-and-mouse game story about two cops (my friends Stan McDuffie and Jason Smith) trying to track down a serial killer. The premise of the first one was actually pretty good, it just needed more details than my 16 year old mind could produce, while the latter was actually a little silly--but Stan's death scene was actually pretty cool.

And I even did a few stupid stories that included my friends in band, almost parodies full of inside jokes and cliches, one being a western and one being a space adventure.  And no, I didn't get the girl in either, because how am I going to write about ending up with Julie Wise (or Stephanie Phillips, who I crushed on for about six months in 10th grade) and not be completely humiliated at that concept? 

I even had an attempt at poetry, and I still have a yellow folder entitled "d$'s Real Dumb Poetry"--and the title isn't an attempt at humility. Not at all. It's so bad.  Keep in mind that though I did some stuff on a typewriter, I couldn't afford to buy ribbon over and over, so 90% of this was done with a mechanical pencil and paper. 

I loved writing.   And for a kid who is 15, 16, going on 17, I was pretty good at it.  That's not bragging, that's just saying that I know I had a knack for it. 

I scanned the Senior Superlative picture in question,
but because it was out of a yearbook, it was really
grainy.  Anyway, this is Christy and I, paired up
again, this time voted as March (April?) 93's
Calendar Couple in Home Ec.  Strangly enough, we
were never actually a couple of any kind, other than
being good friends. 

And to this day, I still don't know what the purpose
of a "calendar couple" is.  Go SHS!
I was voted Most Creative as a senior for our Senior Superlatives, alongside Christy Mock and her incredible singing voice...

ANOTHER SIDEBAR... So, to take the Senior Superlative picture, it was decided that I, who was in the band, and Christy, who was not, needed to meet in the bandroom, because we could set up a keyboard for her to use as a prop.  The prop that I needed would be a typewriter.  And while the keyboard was in a closet in the bandroom, the typewriter--a huge honk of a machine that was pretty dated even in 1993--was across the entire school in Mrs. Rials' classroom.  Those of you from Samson will know what a haul that is.  So on a warm late April midday, in the south Alabama humidity, I had to go to Mrs. Rials class, borrow a typewriter, haul that sucker across the entire school--why did I not ask for a handcart or trolley of some sort?  where were you to tell me these things?--to the bandroom, wipe off the pouring sweat, take a picture, then haul it all the way back to Mrs. Rials class.  Great picture, beautiful companion in the shot, terrible set up methods.  And if you look in the yearbook, you can't see the keyboard, and you can only see the edge of the typewriter.  Such is.  Back to the story.

...and my plans were to start drafting a book soon, maybe during high school.  I pulled out my electric typewriter, and began to type a story that was rolling around in my head, one with a guy named Peter and a girl named Julianne Frye, and a third wheel named Daily, and a best friend named Barrow, and a mean girl named Piper Huffin and a janitor named Ezekial and a couple named Troy and Suzy and...

...and it was going to be great.  Or, at least the first few pages I typed were great.  Or good.  Or terrible, who knows.  I started the story about four times and never got past page 5.  Oh, and then I graduated and went to college, which is great, because in college, I can sit up late and write, right?

And my first night at Troy State University began what essentially was a five year long case of writer's block.  More on that tomorrow.

post 1,001

Thursday, April 16, 2015

the story of my write (the 1000th cloud)

What to do for a post that marks your 1000th time you've hit "publish"?  After tossing around a few ideas, starting a few posts and then tossing a few more ideas, I decided I wanted to go back and remember how all of this got started... no, not in 2005, when the blog started--I mean, back to 1982, when I first realized I liked writing.  This post is broken up into two parts for easier reading, because I'm always too wordy.  Oh, and thanks for coming back here day after day...

How did you start writing?  I mean, if you are a writer, and I know a lot of you are.  Since I started this blog in 2005, oh, you know, ONE THOUSAND posts ago, I think another thousand people that I know have started a blog of their own... some have kept going and make for a good read, and others have done one, two, maybe five posts and it sits forgotten in the graveyard of good intentions--the blogsite edition.

Writing is a funny thing... not everyone can do it, though there are far more people who think they can (and thereby do) than actually can (and shouldn't).  I lost a bet on our podcast, The Deucecast Movie Show, and was forced to watch a Paris Hilton film called "The Hillz" (yes, with a Z).  The screenwriter is a fella named Saran Barnun, and if this film's script is to be used as evidence, Saran is someone who thinks he can write... but probably shouldn't.  Then again, I should never sing nor act, but I attempt both, so there's that...

I'm not saying I'm the end all be all, please don't get me wrong.  At no point will I wave this blog in front of anyone and say "see this!  look what I wrote!  I'm the Grisham/King/Rowling heir apparent!!" or anything of the kind, but... but I think I'm not bad at it.  Ten years later, I've got over 230K views on this site, so that's gotta count for something, right?  Maybe?  Humblebrag, indeed.

My first writing venture was when I was in 2nd grade... I decided I wanted to write a play for some strange reason, and had titled it "The Prince & the Princess", because at 7, I was striving for originality.  Once I revealed my plan to do so, several of my classmates were pretty excited about being it it.  Melissa Gonzalez and Tony Sanchez wanted to be the leads, though I cannot remember if I casted them or Melissa just insisted... doesn't matter, especially when you see how this ended. 

Becky Rocha was my villain, my evil witch... now this was a part she wanted because she was all into the bad guys in stuff.  I don't think she grew up to be Marilyn Manson (we all know that it was Paul from The Wonder Years that turned into Marilyn Manson!  Wait... what?) or anything, she was just 7 and thought the witch part would be cool.

I remember writing this bit of dialogue...

The Prince:  Hello, my princess.  You are very pretty!
The Princess:  Thank you!  I think you are cute too!
The Witch, over in the bushes:  I don't like you or you, and I'll get you!

That's it. 

In my mind I had this vision of a princess in some sort of mortal danger, and a dashing prince from a far away land had come to rescue her from the clutches of the evil, and green (because when you are 7, witches look like the Wicked Witch of the West, not all cutesy and patootsie like Hermione Granger).  Also, I'm really not sure where I was going to get the means to produce such a stage play that at the least, would require a battle scene between the good guy and bad chick, but I figured I would think of something.  And honestly, I think I would have.  

SIDEBAR:  It's important to note that I had never seen Sleeping Beauty, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella or any of those movies that would have likely inspired me to such ideas.

So the script wasn't much to go on, but didn't stop me from calling a practice at recess.  Separate 2nd graders from their recess time and the response is never favorable.  So 7 year old d$ calls Melissa, Tony, Becky and Brian Bruner (my 2nd grade best friend who wanted to help) over by the school wall, where there is some open space for practice--with no script beyond three lines--and they grumble and mumble and complain.  

Sometimes I cannot remember what I had for lunch the day before, but I vividly remember that 32 years ago, Melissa said to me, "What are we doing here?  This is stupid!!" and I replied, "I made you come over here so... you could go play!"  And they did.  Thus ended "The Prince & the Princess".

Somewhere in the middle of 2nd grade, I also created a cast of comic characters.  Now, for some reason, I decided to take Gonzo from The Muppets, make him taller, sharpen his beak a little, make him not as silly and use him as a character, and yet, still call him Gonzo... I didn't really know what "plagiarism" was back then, so grant me that, if ya don't mind...

This was a drawing I did this morning, and I think I'm
pretty dead on as to what they looked like
Anyway, rather than model the rest of the gang after The Muppets, I actually drew from the Archie comics gang, and so in 2nd grade, I began to draw and write a series of short comics featuring Chip the Bird, Freddie the Alligator, Debbie the Rabbit, I Can't Remember His Name the Cat and a few others that I also cannot possibly remember at this time... I think I actually copied some stories from Archie Comics (even at a young age, I had a pretty good sized collection--now I think I have about 50 various digests, comics and trade paperbacks... but that's another blog...)

Smashcut to three years later, I've left Ridgetop Elementary School in Austin, Texas, and am now residing in Mrs Wikel's 5th grade class at Samson Elementary School (I moved in the middle of my 4th grade year), and am still writing random things.  I think I wrote a poem to Misty Kimble, my first ever crush that wasn't Jo from Facts of Life, and I always was ready in Mrs Wikel's writing assignments that forced us to use vocabulary words from the week.  I even wrote a two page story in ten minutes once because I had procrastinated the assignment until literally the last minute, and as I got up to read it, I had to sorta make up the last sentence or two, then go back to my desk and scribble it down before turning it in.  #HumbleBrag indeed.

Transformers were all the rage when it came to being a kid, as was a book entitled "How to Eat Fried Worms".  So, I decided to write a take off of it called "How to Eat Fried Transformers".  Same concept, except the kids are different, and they are eating... you guessed it, Transformers.  And it was a complete story.  A terrible, stupid, ridiculous story, but still a story.

I also started getting into comic books, so naturally, I wanted to draw my own... so, I created... wait for it... wait for it... The Foodformers.  And yes, this is just like it sounds... food that turned into robots. 

Read that again. 


That turned into robots.

I think I'll talk about the war between the Fruitibots and the Veggiecons on Dinnertrion in a different post, for the sake of not making this post 15K words...

Back in the day, networks would
make and air TV movies that
featured stars from the most popular
shows of the day... this was always
my favorite, mostly because of
the Nancy McKeon angle.
In junior high, I had a group of friends that I wrote about--specifically, I wrote them into stories, usually based on a movie I had seen recently... using my buddies Daniel, Clay, Greg, Jason, Monty and sometimes Chad, Michael & Johnny, through the glory of "Borrowed Fiction", we had a Goonies type adventure, a Commando mission where we rescued Monty from a bad guy (and I flew a plane!), a cruise caper and my favorite, a summer camp story with some elements (re: a heavy majority) borrowed from the movie "Poison Ivy".  No, not that one, I mean this one.  In that one, Daniel made out with a chick, Clay and Monty got into a karate battle with a bully, some chick named Lisa kissed me on the cheek and Greg met Millicent, and they ate cake.  I'm not making any of this up--this is directly from my memory.  Promise. 

And then, one night in 1990, I was spending the night at the aforementioned Greg's house.  He had a computer in his room, with this black screen and orange letters, which was all well and good--he also had this new thing called "Prodigy", which allowed me to get on this "on the line" thing through the telephone... but more impressive to me was the ability to type--not handwrite--things. 

SIDEBAR:  I had learned to type for the most part using the electric typewriter my parents had given me for my birthday some years before... I would end up taking typing classes in Mrs. Rials class a year or two later, but for now, it was a slower type and even some finger pecking.

Late in the evening, maybe 11p, or midnight, Greg was long asleep, and I sat down at his computer.  With the orange cursor blinking, I typed the words, "Dayton's Quest". 

I titled it "Dayton's Quest" before I even had a story, though like some writers, I knew what the story was before I typed a single letter. Heck, I had an ending, and even most of a middle, I just had to start and get the reader there.

So for the next three hours, I told the story of a villager named Dayton Petrydish, and his adventures with his best friend Flessa, as they attempted to rescue the fair Princess from the evil clutches of a bad guy who's name escapes me--and somewhere along the way, there was a wizard named Vernjox, a special sword and a wedding at the end where Vernjox turned into a condor and flew away.

It was hokey, and silly and cheesy.  And when I realized about 4am that I had no way of taking this story home, because he didn't have a printer... like a plunger, I didn't realize I needed it until I needed it.  I fell asleep exhausted, and when Greg and I awoke the next morning, he agreed to let me come back the next week so I could write the story down. And that's what I did the next weekend, over the course of 2 hours on a Saturday, I transcribed the story from the screen to 24 pieces of regular lined loose leaf paper.

"Dayton's Quest" was important, because it was my first real, true piece of fiction, fiction that didn't involve anyone I knew, fiction that required me to discuss the characters, describe them, build them for the reader...  this wasn't like writing little one and two page stories in 5th grade using vocabulary words, this was a real short story.  It helped me understand, even if I didn't realize it then, that I had a knack for it. 

A year or two later, in December of '92, I believe, Mrs. Daniels asked us to set a goal for the new year.   Some people wrote down "Lose 10 pounds" and someone else wrote "Save up for (whatever they were saving for)" and another jotted down, "Learn guitar".  I was hoping that Julie Wise would write down "Go out with d$" because that would have been the easiest A she'd ever earned, but alas.  For me, I wrote down my goal to say "Write a 150 page story". 

Turns out, Mrs. Daniels took these very seriously, and gave us three weeks to finish the assignment.  After much protest by everyone in the class--especially those who wrote down unrealistic goals of learning to tap dance or hiking some mountainous trail--we were told we had to show the effort.  So, I took "Dayton's Quest" from 24 pages to 138 pages.  

The battle scenes got a little longer, the climax was a little longer and more tense, the romantic build up between the Princess CannotRememberHerName and Dayton was a little sweeter, I think I threw in a subplot with best friend Flessa and more... I was still 12 pages short, so I then tacked on another short story, "The Long and Winding Road" (more on that one later) to the end of it, making it a total of 152 pages long... and I got an A.  Woot. 

So there's the first part of my writing story.  The second part will be here in a few days, so I hope you come back to see me again... and let me know--are you a writer?  And how did you get started?

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

avocado on my band-aid... and other observations

I got avocado on my band-aid this morning.  It was gross. 

I work in the records management department of the power company... it's my day job.  Just to be clear, though, "records management" is a fancy way of saying "I print stuff".  I print lots of stuff. Thousands of pages weekly, documents, maps, drawings, whatever other power plants need to do whatever it is they do when they get what they ask for, I print.  There are other people who print too, but I'm one of them.

Dealing with maps though, I do get an occasional paper cut.  Like yesterday.  Right across the top knuckle of my left ring finger.  Straight line, about a 1/2 long.  It didn't hurt when it happened, and maybe it took a little while for my brain to figure out "hey, that's supposed to feel bad, right?  Okay, we'll make that happen." 

Also, my kid eats two eggs and an avocado in the morning for breakfast, with some juice.  Its great protein, he loves both eggs and avocado and it tends to fill him up.  Not long ago, one regular sized avocado would last him three days... now, he nearly eats the entire thing in one sitting. 

The night before I tend to cut up avocado for him, mostly to save the trouble from doing it so early the next day.  And when I did on this night, I got avocado on the band-aid that covered up my papercut.  It was sticky, some got under the band-aid, and when I washed my hands, the bandage got all wet and soggy, forcing me to remove it.  Ick.

Sure, its annoying, but in the grand... or even tiny... scheme of things, its a small annoyance in the life of the blessed. 

Here are some other thoughts running through my head right now...

I like it when someone pulls out of a driveway right in front of me as I am zooming down the highway.  I lay on the horn as I swerve into the next lane to make sure I don't hit them, and it's always fun when I honk as I pass them, and they honk back, like I'm the rude guy. 

I've never had Nutella.  Should I?

I am addicted to "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" on Netflix.  The stunningly stunning Ellie Kemper is Kimmy, who up until very recently, was in an underground bunker with a few other women, the "wives" of a cult leader who told them the world had been destroyed and the underground lair was the only safe place.  They escape, and the show is centered around Kimmy trying to find her way in life living in New York City.  And oh, it's funny.

I'm also addicted to Comedy Central Roasts.  I've got all of them downloaded, including roasts of David Hasselhoff, James Franco and Pam Anderson, but my favorite is Bob Saget.  They are not for the faint of heart, and I'm likely giving up any hope of being voted on as a deacon by admitting that I find them funny... but man, I find them funny.  Is it Grace abuse to watch, knowing I'll have to ask forgiveness sooner than later?  Probably. 

So this is post 999.  I actually stressed a little about what to do here, because not only is it #999, but that means the next post is #1000, and you only get your 1000th post once.  Who knows if I'll make it to 2000?  Or even 1500?  I'd like to think so...

Somehow I let March go by without posting a thing.  I don't know that many people missed it, but now when I look over at the archives, every month but March 2015 will be listed.  For someone who is slightly OCD, that stings.

Anyway, I decided for 999, I would just ramble a bit, because I'm good at it.

I just wrote four brilliant paragraphs on the controversial "Religious Freedom Act" based on something I just saw on Facebook... and then I deleted it.  Because why bring the room down...

So, coming soon... post 1000.  I'm hoping for Tuesday of next week.  And coming soon... Disney on a Dollar gets a new name and a new website and... a new podcast?   Wait, what? 

And coming soon... something that I've been trying to put together for over a year now is finally seeing the light of day... I call it "Forty for 40".  Yes, I'm turning 40 this summer.  And yes, that has something--a lot of somethings--to do with it.

Thanks for reading.