Saturday, February 28, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part XI: 750-726

So it's taken two months to get one quarter of this project written, edited, and posted, which means it should be a wrap by late August.

I'm not gonna lie: That sounds awful.

I started this series because it felt like the right thing to do. It felt like we don't give thanks enough for all of the awesomeness we have. Once I got it off the ground, I saw its existence as a means for forcing myself to establish a consistent writing schedule, which started to happen a few weeks ago, but saw a setback this week.

When I got that schedule rolling, it occurred to me that training myself to have the necessary discipline to maintain such a schedule could give me the confidence to work on a larger, non-blog project, like a novel.

Now, though, as I prepare to click "Publish" on the 11th installment, and I think about having to do this through two additional entire seasons without working on anything else, I feel that nasty, this-is-threatening-to-become-a-chore rumble in my gut, which defeats so many purposes on so many levels.

My hope is that after getting this up, napping, showering, recharging with some friends and my wife this evening, and getting some sleep tonight, I'll feel refreshed about the whole thing again in the morning, or at least by the next time I sit down to work on it.

Anyway...As always: Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part X: 775-751

I'm not sure if a correlation lies between these two things or not, but brevity and dudes I like both seemed thematic in this installment. Draw your own conclusions.

Only thing I'm drawing looks like a pie chart that says I'm a quarter of the way through this thing.


Seven Hundred Seventy-Five: the Benevento Russo Duo

            Marco Benevento and Joe Russo employed keyboards, drums, technology, and occasional guests, and in doing so made more meaningful music than most modern four- and five-piece outfits have recorded in their dreams. They managed this via four studio(ish) albums in a 42-month stretch, and never included a single lyric. The Duo’s unique riffs harnessed electronic emotion and tossed it around the studio with the control of a lariat-clutching roper. I’ve never been exposed to a two-piece rock outfit before, and never did I imagine that a pair of classically trained dudes could convey feeling via instrumental jams. Wicked cool. Short-lived, but wicked cool.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part IX: 800-776

As I put the finishing touches on this installment two things occur to me: 1) I still have some 30 posts to go; 2) I'm going to need to Google Roman numerals soon.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

Eight Hundred: Pandify?

            I log on to Spotify about once a year. I don’t get Spotify. I can’t find anything I want to listen to, and it takes me like 10 minutes to make any of the stuff offered play. With Pandora, I create a station and, as the songs play, I say whether I think they suck or not, and Pandora adapts. Pandora and I get each other. Easy peas-y, library fees-y.

            Right now my Pandora’s broken, though, so thanks for being around Spotify. I totally wanted to wake up this morning and listen to a whole album by The Decemberists. What is this, The Glee Club?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part VIII: 825-801

I've been on a new writing schedule for a couple of weeks now and feel pleased to recognize the productivity potential it contains. I have to pat myself on the back for the concerted effort of getting in bed at a reasonable time and I of course have to thank my wife for her support. I can't accomplish much without her and all that she does.

Anyway, we'll be into the 700s with the next installment. I feel certain that my vast readership will have "700 Club" t-shirts printed and in distribution by Tuesday.

You people rock.

Jokes aside: Thank you for reading.

Friday, February 13, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part VII: 850-826

If you're just tuning in, I've taken on this monster, the inspiration of which stemmed from this gal's efforts (minus all the Jesus-y stuff). The idea -- or my interpretation of it -- has to do with recognizing that life is pretty good, even when it's not. I get that that's a loaded statement. I have food, health, a wonderful family, and zero worries regarding the source of my next fill in the blank. Keeping the mind clear, however, can -- at times -- feel like a full-time job. I don't want that. I don't want that for my friends and loved ones. So I'm doing this to try and better myself. If reading it doesn't bear direct embetterment upon you, perhaps it will do so in a roundabout fashion by giving you smaller doses of a less shitty me.

Don't bother looking up "embetterment," either. Totes just made it up.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part VI: 875-851

I'm on pace to crank out a few of these in February, so thanks again to those of you that have joined me in this series. As I work my way through the 700s and into page 100, I'm trying to keep in mind how monotonous some of these might sound, and in doing so I find myself trying to figure out for whom I should feel sorry for the most: me the person for having such an apparent lack of diversity in my life or you the reader who keeps coming back to read about my lameness.

It's a tossup, I tell ya'.

Anyway: six down; 34 to go.

Seriously, though: Thank you for reading.

Eight Hundred Seventy-Five: Miami

            South Florida may have many mysteries. It may. I’ll include Miami in that mix.

            I suppose things always feel that way away from home, though. Navigating streets, participating in public transportation, clutching maps, punching in GPS locations, arrivals and departures. I also suppose that the size of a city either magnifies or shrinks the sensation, and Miami -- the Shaquille O’Neal of cities -- looms over Kansas City, more of a Steven Nash or a Chris Paul.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part V: 900-876

As we crack the second set of hundreds it occurs to me that I'm not going to love each of these installments. This is one of those. Don't get me wrong: I love every one of them on an individual level; I just don't dig the chunk as a collective. Either that or this project has begun to loom overhead with intimidation.

I've realized the difficulty in laying all of this out and that's to sound (and be) genuine about each and every entry and carry some of the feeling behind each one into daily life.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and here's to the things in your life for which you might be grateful.

Nine Hundred: John D. Fitzgerald’s The Great Brain series

            If any collection struck me in the profound way that the adventures of John, Tom, and Sweyn did, then it must not have been that profound after all because I do not remember it. I don’t recall how I came across my first Fitzgerald read. Perhaps a stroke of coincidence led to me having one of those books in my hands. Maybe the cover struck me at the library. It’s possible that a recommendation steered me. Whatever the case, these installments whetted my appetite for series reading, priming my future novel interests. I’ve managed to get my hands on six of the eight titles, and the next time I come across a copy of the other two, my collection will be complete. The fond memories of devouring these unique treasures leave me thankful Fitzgerald wrote them, grateful that my mom was a library mom.