Still Journaling

Is journaling a word? It tells me I’m spelling it wrong but doesn’t offer a corrected version. Anyway I’m still writing in my diary (2023 resolution #1), maybe not every day but at least every other day. My life is pretty boring and repetitive, which I like. Lately there has been some drama with my oldest son but otherwise my day is:

  1. wake up around 7:30
  2. brush teeth, take shower
  3. get dressed
  4. is it Wednesday? then I’m working from home, go login to work
  5. not Wednesday? eat some breakfast while logged into work at the kitchen table
  6. pack up back pack with work laptop, lunch etc.
  7. drive to work – no traffic = 25 minutes, shit traffic = 35-45 minutes
  8. work
  9. eat lunch around 12:30, usually a Marie Callendar’s microwaveable meal, and read a digital comic
  10. work some more
  11. can i leave early and beat the rush hour traffic? leave around 3:45-4:00
  12. get home and log back into work and finish out the day in home office around 5:45
  13. can’t leave early? leave work around 6:00-6:30 because traffic doesn’t start disbursing until after 6:00
  14. eat dinner while reading a digital comic. is it Taco Tuesday? Eat tacos from homemade, taco bell or taco bueno. Otherwise we eat from other fast food joints.
  15. catch up on TV shows via Hulu, HBO Max, Prime, Disney and YouTube TV.
  16. If I remember, write in journal (diary)
  17. go up to bed
  18. change into sleep clothes and brush teeth
  19. read book in bed – at the moment reading The Write Structure by Joe bunting (a novel writing principles book)
  20. go to sleep around midnight
  21. Repeat

So there you go, a day in the life of…. Somewhere in there I’ve been working on my novel (2023 resolution #4). The Write Structure has actually helped a bunch in organizing my idea. It’s going to take another month or so at my current rate to ge the book outlined out (I’m a Plotter) and then I’ll need to decide if I want to write it or wait until NaNoWriMo. We’ll see. I may get brave and share my premise here soon. I’ll definitely need to blog my progress.

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Recent Toy Photography

One of my goals in 2023 (feels weird to say that) is to get more Toy Photography work done. These were taken in December 2022 but this is the start of a whole series using these Joy Toy 1/18 figures and sets. Four shots of Mech Pilot and Mech Suit from my Threat Neutralization Team (T.N.T.) comic book idea. Working on that too. To see more, hit up my Instagram site.

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Happy Birthday Elvis

You would’ve been 88.

Yeah that’s me.
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I’ve gone and started a journal again (see Resolution #1). I bought a blank book and have written my thoughts and comments for the last two days. Its a bit freeing although my arm is hurting from writing so much. I get going and sometimes have to just say “that’s enough”. I got a lot on my mind I guess.

I was going through some old composition notebooks I found in a drawer and one was my last time attempt at keeping a journal. I started on January 1, 2020 and made it to January 18, 2020 before giving up. I’ll see if I can beat that this year.

In that journal I had written 7 Resolutions for 2020. they were:

  1. Write in a journal
  2. Lose 72 lbs by 10/10/2020 (my birthday)
  3. Record 4 songs – 1 song per quarter
  4. Sell off excess comic books, guitars, toys and start to unclutter
  5. Plan for retirement by staying out of debt
  6. Do NaNoWriMo an complete 11/30/2022
  7. Get studio set up and have on paying client by 12/31/2020

Well obviously I didn’t complete any of these in 2020 because many of them show up now for 2022. For the record 2020 was the year of the C-word and the world locked itself down and I was in quarantine twice for possible infection (I wasn’t) and my son was in ICU for 3 days etc. So it was a rough year and hard to do #4 and #7. And #6… well I had planned on it (even blogged about here whether to do it or not) but didn’t participate. Maybe this year.

So I’m doing the journal thing. Next resolution to work on is the book thing. At least get my plot outlined and everything set and fully participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Or finish my comic book script and find an artist (sadly I can’t draw to the level I need this to be) to realize my dream of publishing a comic book. Or fire up the recording studio equipment and start working on song 1 of my 4 song album coming out in December.

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2023 Life Resolved

I’m going to Journal this year. That is resolution #1. I’ve ordered a nice brand new journal for this endeavor. I figured it’s cheaper than a therapist. I need to vent and no one is interested in listening to it. So I’m going to journal. I’d do it here but you never know when someone you work with or a family or friend will find your Blog and then BOOM, big drama.

So I’m going to privately put my thoughts down on paper. It’s not the first time. When I first got out of high school and headed off to college on my own I started a journal (or diary if you like). I kept that book religiously, documenting everything that happened that first semester of college. From leaving home on a plane to spending the weekend in an empty dorm (no football game on campus that weekend) reading the Amityville Horror, I documented EVERYTHING.

And then I tore all the pages out and destroyed them. I didn’t want anyone, including my future wife, reading it. It was just too revealing. My very private and innermost thoughts. I worried it would fall into the wrong hands. Like some secret Master Plan. I didn’t do anything like cheat on a test, or anything immoral or illegal. It was just very very innermost thoughts and feeling that I would never share in public. I still have the Journal with half of the pages missing. I regret that action now.

Resolution #2 is I need to slow down and don’t give a fuck. Meaning I’m done stressing over stupid shit that in the grand scheme of things doesn’t matter. Is missing a work deadline by a day going to tilt the world off its axis? Sadly the pandemic has come and gone and didn’t teach us anything. My work environment is back to “work your ass off for the good of the owners”. To add to this, I lost a work buddy the week before Christmas to cancer and the company replaced him within a week. Sad really.

Resolution #3, I gotta lose weight. I’m desperate. So desperate I almost bought a bottle of those gummi bear weight loss chewables that are supposed to have you dropping 50 lbs within a month. I just need to lose 70 lbs. I didn’t buy them. But I’m still considering it.

My last two resolutions, and I’m only doing 5 cause I don’t think I’ve ever resolved more than two, have to do with writing/creating. I need to write (complete) a book or comic book, and create, record and release a song into the world. I say this every year but….. sigh….. I never complete either of them.

So that’s it. 5 resolutions. I’m pretty sure I’ll start #1 and (like this blog) get lazy and stop. Fail at #2 (or get fired). I’ll try #3 but fail. And I’ll not get around to #4 or #5. Yay me. Lazy and procrastinator.

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Vinyl of the Month – The London Chuck Berry Sessions by Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry was a guitar Legend. I was introduced to Chuck Berry, along with Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others, by my Mom. She and her sisters were into the “sock hop” music of the day and I got my love of music from her. So I knew Chuck Berry through is early songs like Johnny B. Goode, Maybelline and Sweet Little Sixteen. It wasn’t until 1972 when I heard My Ding-a-Ling on the radio that I became aware of the album The London Chuck Berry Sessions.

The album was released in June 1972, about the same time my family moved to Puerto Rico. And later that year I heard My Ding-A-Ling on the Armed Forces radio network. We loved the song. After all, how many times did you or your Mom call your penis a ding-a-ling. You didn’t? Must be a Southern thing. Ding-a-ling, tally whacker, these were nicknames for a boy’s tool and any song about it was going to illicit snickers. So we giggled every time we heard the song on the radio.

Jumping ahead in time, based on a hazy recollection, I bought the album at the Post Exchange (PX) on Ft. Buchanan P.R. in 1972 or 1973. On side 1 there were studio songs and on side two was a live recording of a 30 minute concert in London.

Side Two starts off with the gem “Reeling’ and a Rockin‘”, written by Chuck Berry and recorded originally in 1957. The song is an hour by hour account of a couple engaging in sexual activities. “Looked at my watch and it was quarter til nine, she said oooo Chuck baby this sure feel’s fine”. I loved it, I know every verse of this song.

Following Reelin’ and a Rockin‘ was a surprising extended version of My Ding-A-Ling. On the radio you only heard a few verses with the chorus, this was a full 11:33 of entertainment. I listened to Mr. Berry instruct the London audience on how to sing the chorus. The boys sing “Ding-A-Ling” and the girls part fits right around the boy’s part as they sing “My” and “I want you to play with My”. The sexual innuendos are flung left and right as Mr. Berry gets the group singing together. Fact I did not know – the original song was written by Dave Bartholomew in 1952. In 1972, Chuck Berry took it to #1 in the U.S. and UK.

As if those two songs weren’t enough, side two and the concert and finished off with a rendition of the classic Johnny B. Goode (1958, written by Chuck Berry). Based on the announcer at the end of the song requesting concert goers to vacate the arena, it sounds like Chuck Berry was opening for Pink Floyd.

Sadly Chuck Berry passed away in 2017. See my other post from 2017 on that. So many memories of listening to this album and singing along. For that The London Chuck Berry Sessions in this month’s Vinyl of the Month. Have a listen to it.

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Vinyl of the Month – Minimum Wage Rock & Roll – The BusBoys

This months Vinyl of the Month is Minimum Wage Rock & Roll by The BusBoys. This album was released in February of 1980 and until November 20, 2022, I did not own this album, at least not on vinyl.

In 1980 I bought the cassette tape if this album after hearing the band on the Eddie Murphy special. I played the cassette constantly in my tape player installed in my Chevy Monza. I mean I listened to it a lot. I later bought the CD and until last month, had never seen a vinyl version of it.

I found the vinyl at a flea market store called the Lucky Rabbit in Hattiesburg Mississippi. A tourist stop if you are ever in Mississippi thanks to some decorating/house show ow on HGTV. Apparently the antiques and other decorations are purchased from the Lucky Rabbit making it a spot for HGTV watchers to visit, and making it a pain in the ass for us regulars who stop in when are in town to see our Mom.

Anyway…. I have the vinyl version now, very cheap price, and in OK condition. But the album brings back many memories of cruising in my Monza around Killeen Texas in my youth. Thanks to the Lucky Rabbit for giving me the months Vinyl of the MonthMinimum Wage Rock & Roll by The BusBoys.

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Vinyl of the Month – Sad Wings of Destiny by Judas Priest

Withe the recent induction of Judas Priest into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (finally) I thought it time to highlight a Priest album for Vinyl of the Month. I, thankfully, still have my original copy of Sad Wings of Destiny album purchased in 1977.

Sad Wings was the 2nd album by rock group Judas Priest released in March 19786. As I said I didn’t discover the Priest until 1977 after a listen to the Sin After Sin album and attending a Foghat concert where JP was the opening band. Back then they were a rock group, no mention of being a Metal group. That would come later with the released of British Steel and cemented with Screaming for Vengeance.

I have fond memories of this album and can play on guitar many of the songs. My band back then played half the album with Victim of Changes being an epic song in our set. Believe it or not, I could sing like Rob Halford. Alas those days are gone.

For bringing back many, many fond memories of band camaraderie and a simpler time, I recommend Sad Wings of Destiny by Judas Priest.

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Birthday Month Top 5 – Wishes

  1. I wish health and debt free prosperity for my family and friends, big wish.
  2. I wish I had gone in a creative job direction in music or writing
  3. I wish my Dad was still alive
  4. I wish Dennis was still alive. We’d be playing our acoustic guitar set somewhere
  5. I wish I could retire from my current job and do something fun and less stressful. There are many days I feel like a tool/peon to enrich the bonuses of other people.

Extra wish – I wish my recording studio business (or any of my hobbies) would be successful so I could do #5

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Birthday Month Top 5 – Things I don’t like about myself

  1. I drive too fast – I have no patience for slow ass effers trying to text and drive. Or driving 5 miles under the speed limit. I just want to get from point A to point B ASAP. I hate driving.
  2. I cuss… a lot. Mostly at work, but when I get agitated or frustrated the F-bomb comes out anywhere. I’m sorry.
  3. I have no patience. I hate slow drivers, ignorant people or waiting in line for anything.
  4. I stress eat. I pretty much eat when I am stressed or bored. So when I come home from work stressed from the drive or work, food and the TV are comforting. It’s hard to lose weight.
  5. I’m an introvert. Shy. Whatever you want to call it. Never been comfortable around social situations or crowds. Many people think I’m no fun or a jerk because of this. I don’t like happy hours or making small talk. I get pressure at work to be outgoing and attend happy hours and after hours social gatherings. Very uncomfortable.
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