Sunday, January 30, 2011

A break from today's action.

So, I found something I wrote years ago and against my better judgment I am going to post it for the ridicule of those that care to read this sad excuse for a blog. Might be a song, could be a poem...who knows.

"trying lying for a change, it's the currency of the world" (taken from Closer)

I want to create words that, when you hear them, break your heart
I want to compose a simple melody that slowly tears you apart

I lost myself in endless endeavors, held captive by their strange appeal
I chased reality and a movie screen, still don't know which one's real

and I locked myself inside the music
it's the only thing that's held true
but an old flame came and left with it
and ruined that love too

we spent all our days in the blanket shades
just trying to re-invent the wheel
trying to live past all our old regrets
while calmly lying still
and we broke ties while you broke hearts
but I can't hate you for that
because we turn in circles
wear the ground out
we both knew our love was flat

and you walked off
and you walked off

as children we were preached to, they said,"the pain goes away with age"
so I've spent years of tears, wasted all my time, just waiting for that day

had a friend that said, "I'm old and tired of trying to find the man I'm meant to be"
he said, "if Jesus died for all our sins, then why'd his blood stop short of me?"

and our bodies are cold temples
where great things we're meant to see
but mine's a dark and dirty, empty space
an abandoned distillery

so, we spent all our nights past the sunset fire
thinking "love" was only a word
not knowing that we were just too young
to discover it was something worse
and you spoke so many lies that you
started to take them all as truths
and the summer went and came again
and in between I lost you

and you walked off
and you walked off

Saturday, January 29, 2011

#4 - "Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." -Anthony Brandt

To say I have a great family would be quite the cliche, but very true all the same. Not only was I blessed with an amazing family, but around the age of four that family grew even larger and greater. My parents separated around that time and remarried either shortly or a fair amount later. My father married a woman with four children; all older than my sister and I (I have one biological sister). My mother eventually remarried and I gained another sibling; this time another sister coincidentally named Megan (just like my biological sister.....craziness).

Much like Norman Bates, I do believe that a mother is a boy's best friend, but in a sincere way; not in a psychotic serial killer fashion. My mother has been my shoulder to lean on for as long as I can recall. She was there even a year ago when I almost lost the love of my life due to some crazy and unforeseen circumstances. She was there with wisdom, concern, and some of the best advice I had ever received from a woman who has given some great advice over the years. That girl and I worked things out and are engaged to be married.

She is also the strongest woman I have ever met. Well, the second strongest person, because I'm pretty sure she developed her thick skin from my grandmother. The toughest lady on the planet. During my junior year of high school, my stepfather passed away. This time was especially difficult for me, because my stepfather and I had just begun to develop a relationship. He had been in my life since around the first grade, but our relationship was a bit messy and angst-ridden at times. Most of this was due to typical resentments towards the new man in the house. As I got older, it was due to the issues that come hand in hand with raising a teenage son. Regardless, as I matured the relationship strengthened to the point where I can remember the two of us having nightly conversations about nothing at all. These are some of my fondest memories. So, it was with even more regret and emotional disruption that I dealt with his death my junior year. It has since affected me. Sometimes, for the worse, but mostly for the better.

My biological father is pretty much my doppelganger plus a few hundred pounds. I get most of my sense of humor from him. I also get my short fuse towards ridiculous problems, like trying to find my keys. He likes to leave voicemails, but takes ten years to get to the point. I enjoy it every time. He's funny without even trying to be and sometimes we let him in on this fact. The one who usually tells him is my stepmother and she has her own hilarious way of bringing things to light. My family likes to give him a hard time about how he whistles unintentionally when he says certain words. I always thought this was a riot until recently I discovered I've started to do it too.

I love my parents....all of 'em. They truly are a unique, strange, crazy, and above all else loving group. They have supported me in all that I've chosen to do and provide constant comfort given my current disappointments while searching for a place to begin my profession. I am forever grateful.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

#3 "What A frightening thing is the human, a mass of gauges and dials and registers, but we can read only a few and those perhaps not accurately."

The quote by which my blog title is derived comes from the wise words of John Steinbeck. I'm supposed to talk about my first love and although this quote may seem a bit weird while thinking about a first love I find this one fitting. I met my first love when I was a freshman in high school (where most of us meet our first loves or at least the ones we think we love) at a high school basketball game where she accidentally hit me in the face while gesturing to a group of friends. She apologized repeatedly and all I said was "That's fine, but now you owe me a phone number" to which she replied with a smile, "Phone number?" "Yes, preferably yours." I know, I know. I was a suave son of a bitch as a freshman. Maybe I had watched too many movies, but remarkably it worked. As a first date we went to see Cruel Intentions. I bought the soundtrack the next day.

That relationship lasted four years up until my freshman year of college (she was a year older); that dreaded relationship beast of foreign experience. The crazy thing is that we did not end for the reasons many high school flames fizzle out or perhaps in retrospect it ended for those exact reasons.

She was a sweet girl. One of those girl next door types. Wonderful family. Great heart. Unfortunately, there were a number of variances in thought and ideals. I am an extrovert. She was a little shyer than most. For some reason, she also had some issues with self-esteem which extended into trust issues. Now, you see, in my adolescent naivety, these were things I thought I could help to fix, but four years into the journey I was beginning to understand I was wrong. So, in my infinite wisdom, instead of waging the constant war of questions that led to arguments founded in distrust, I opted to withhold certain aspects of my current life as a senior. These aspects were innocent enough, but my significant other of my former did not seem to agree. Most of the arguments dealt with other girls I was friends with or any girl in particular. Again, issues that stemmed from self-esteem. Now, I don't want to paint an ugly or disrespectful portrait of this girl, but there were certain moments I felt were ridiculous and unwarranted. To make a long story short, I had a friend who happened to be female and was a few years younger that I had met my senior year. We became fast friends and I felt we had a lot in common. This was a purely friendly relationship. In fact, she was battling with homosexual feelings as a high school adolescent. But due to my current situation and relational shortcomings, I did not tell my girlfriend about this girl or our friendship. In the end, she found out about the girl and asked me and for the first time in our relationship I lied. Well, I got caught in that lie, as well. Now although the relationship ended pretty abruptly it lasted a few weeks due to the fact that we were all we knew of love.

Cut to a number of months later, I ran into this person during winter break. During this hiatus, I had become aware she had started dating a guy who just happened to be the only guy I ever accused her of getting to flirtatious with during our relationship. The conversation that ensued started off friendly enough although fairly awkward. Then, she asked if I had been dating and although I had I was in no hurry to rush into anything. So, I told her I had not. To which she replied in the sincerest manner (and I truly believe this, so please don't mistake it for sarcasm), "Danny, I think it is time you do." Now, I'm sure most men would have been irate over such a comment, but I took it as an opportunity to get a lot off my chest in the least malicious fashion I could muster. My dialogue is as follows:

"I appreciate your concern, but I don't need you to tell me how or when I should start dating. To be honest, I know who you are dating and have specific thoughts concerning that, but we are no longer a couple and I have dealt with that. If he makes you happy, then I'm happy for you. Maybe, he can help you to overcome all the things that I failed to. But I don't need for you to tell me that. What I need more than anything at this particular moment, and I truly believe you need it too, is to find out who I am without you, because I've found that, during a time where it is crucial to understand that concept, I only know that person. And to tell you the truth, I'm enjoying the process. I know that I lied and it caused all of this, but what I've come to realize is that I never should've had to. That is not to put the blame on you, but let's be fair. So, we can say hello and I'll be civil. I'll wave and smile. But don't pretend you know what you're doing and don't tell me that."

Which brings me to the quote and to those of you who lasted this far into this diatribe, thank you. The truth is that we are all a "mass of gauges and dials" and it is incredibly difficult to decipher one's self let alone another human being, but that is what relationships are about; reading those dials and gauges. Sometimes, we understand them and can begin to operate the machine. Other times, we cannot, but rarely do we come to this realization easily or without scars.

That girl taught me a great deal. She taught me how to love someone unconditionally. She taught me how it feels to be loved. We shared the most awkward moments as well as intimate ones. She made me realize that you should never compromise your friends for a relationships, but more importantly you should never be asked to. She taught me what I wanted in a relationship as well as what I could do without.

#2 "What signifies knowing the names, if you know not the nature of things." - Benjamin Franklin

Day #2 - The meaning behind my blog name.

Well, let's see...a speculation is defined as "a single instance or process of consideration." It would seem this blog was created as a process of considering life after college; a time where I thought I would reap the benefits of the hard work I had put into a future career. These are my ruminations or meandering thoughts concerning the frustration that runs rampant through my brain. Frustrations that stem from having quite a decent resuming (especially in regards to teaching at-risk students), but failing to be able to have anyone even glance at it amidst the hundreds of other resumes flying around Columbus all vying for the same jobs. Frustration from the fact that my significant other was offered a job right out of nursing school here, because she had been at that hospital during her time in college. While, on the other hand, the school I did my work at is on a hiring freeze due to levies that cannot pass. Anyway, that is enough whining for the moment.

Teaching is a passion. I think almost every day on what I could be doing other than teaching and, to be honest, I see no other alternatives. I find no possible satisfaction in any other field. Well, perhaps, writing a book and making bank from that or becoming a traveling indie musician, but *sigh* I try to remain steadfast in reality. Not that writing a novel is out of the question, but I'd love to write something of merit; even if it is only one book. I want to reintroduce "the great American novel;" not just some murder mystery or teen-angst vampire nonsense. Who am I kidding? I want to teach. I want to inspire. I want to give students the opportunity to be taught by someone that cares for each of them as individual. To urge them to be creative in their thoughts as well as their actions. To explain to them that it is alright if they are not part of the 'status quo,' that they can be themselves and will be better for it. I want to teach them Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitz, and Willy Shakes. To show them Emerson wasn't some old white guy spouting off craziness, but instead show them the wisdom in his words. I want to teach, dammit.

Back to the matter at hand. This blog is a process of considering myself, the world around me, and the realities of life.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#1. You may know me, chances are you do.

Day #1 - Introduce yourself and give 15 interesting facts.

First, I would assume these fifteen facts should be about me or my life, not just fifteen random facts that I find amusing.

I always get ahead of myself. This is not one of the fifteen pieces of information I am offering as a means of insight into my fascinating skull, but instead a means of introducing myself (and explaining my previously stated musing found above).

I am a somewhat recent college graduate trying to find my way in the world. Nothing new or unique; just a statement of truth. I, like my friend from another blog, am also trying to find a teaching position in Ohio (preferably in the Columbus area) in the subject of Language Arts. I recently became engaged to a wonderful girl and we are planing to wed this coming October. I enjoy most things that are associated with the arts: music, film, literature, etc. I have great friends; some of whom have since spread throughout the unified states. My younger sister had a son about a year ago and I hear he gets to be more and more like his uncle (which is trouble). My family is amazing, but live three hours away. Just not much for me in my hometown. I have plenty more to say, but feel as though you'll be finding out the majority in the next thirty days or on.

15 Interesting Facts (or so I believe)

1. I took a trip to London, England while in college. During a trip to the hard rock, I was able to talk the gentleman working in the museum vault to allow me to play a few instruments previously owned by some renowned musicians (I have pictures to prove it). Those musicians are: Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

2. Keeping with the music theme, my friend and I also write a music blog giving our criticisms on Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums of all time. We took a brief hiatus, but should soon resume our ramblings. That link is here.

3. I am a die-hard Red Sox fan living in Ohio. No, I am not a bandwagon fan or just a person who sometimes follows the team. I'm a fanatic. Close to Jimmy Fallon's character in Fever Pitch, but less shameful.

4. I dig Natalie Portman and have since my junior high days. I own every movie she has acted in; even some pretty obscure ones. Note to the Academy: she deserves an Oscar this year.

5. I performed the eulogy at my stepfather's funeral when I was a junior in high school. That experience changed my life. Although I wish he were still with us, I believe it made me a better person.

6. I like lists: AFI movie lists, book lists, Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums.

7. I like making mix CDs and then listening to them years later. It's great to see my mood during a time in the past.

8. I once punched a bee that was trying to sting me. Now before you start believing I'm some Mr. Miagi-type figure, I will admit that although I did attempt to punch the bee it is a miracle that I hit it. Couldn't do it again if I attempted a hundred times.

9. Women often feel loved when talking face to face with their partner; men, on the other hand, often feel emotionally close when they work, play, or talk side by side. Not about me at all, just thought it was pretty damn interesting.

10. I taught myself to cook while in college while watching the Food Network. Now, my family and friends ask me to cook for them all the time.

11. I plan to train mixed martial arts. Not that I intend to ever get into the UFC, but because I believe it would be a fun experience.

12. I coached wrestling at the school I tutored at while I was back home last year. It was one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I worked under a great coach (he's been at it for over 25 years at the same school).

13. I hate orange juice and sea food.

14. My sister is one of my closest friends.

15. I have a fear of losing my toe or fingernails. I would rather be shot in a place that would not kill me than ever having one of those nails yanked off.

Old friends bring new ideas.

While speaking with an old friend, who is currently facing the same dilemma I am in concerns to obtaining a teaching job, she informed me that she had started a blog. Her intention in the blogosphere are to convey her frustrations, disappointments, ruminations, etc. if for nothing else but to let off a little steam in need of release. Today, she decided to follow through on a 30-day blogging plan (the details of which can be found here). I decided to follow suit. So, without any further delay some more information about me that most will deem unnecessary, some will deem uninteresting, but all with deem quite readable....hopefully.

Day 1-Introduce yourself and give 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your siblings

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite TV shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-Favorite city

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-A picture