I Laugh in the Face of Day 28

I’m back to the real world after a weekend away with the church youth group. This is good news for the youth group, but bad news for the readers. I’m back to pretending I can write. Today’s post is supposed to be five things that make me laugh out loud. The problem is is that there is no consistency when it comes to what makes me laugh out loud. Some comedians I like make me laugh out loud sometimes, but other times they don’t. Same with TV shows and comedy movies are hit and miss. So, I am changing it up a bit and writing about when I am more likely to laugh out loud. You hear that writing challenge? You’re not the boss of me!

  1. With my family in KY: Sometimes this means I am laughing at them. Sometimes it means I am laughing with them. I laugh at my sister(after we know she isn’t hurt) when she falls trying to kick the ball in kickball. Obviously, she did not inherit any of the athletics genes in the family. I laugh with them when we are playing games and just sitting around talking. While I am quite obviously the most hilarious of the bunch, I have to admit that the rest of them can be pretty funny(and funny looking).
  2. With my friends: About once a month I get together with a group of friends. I still suspect I am there out of pity or something and that I am expendable. I also have proof that I bore them so much that I put them to sleep, but I still laugh a lot when I am there. Again, I am funnier than them, but they can make me laugh. Sometimes I’m laughing at my own jokes at their expense. That counts, right?
  3. With my Wife and Kids: Unfortunately, they do not think think I’m funny. I think their sense of humor is broken. It’s OK. I can laugh enough for all of us. My son is almost 20. It’s not too long until he will appreciate the “dad jokes”.

Hmm. That didn’t seem to work as I only have 3. I guess I will use an actual “something” or “someone” for the final two. I’ve failed at my rebellion from the challenge demands.

4. Stephen Lynch Songs and Jim Gaffigan : An extremely inappropriate and politically incorrect singing comedian and the family friendly Gaffigan are the two people who consistently make me laugh. Lynch is the only comedian I have paid to see in concert and I would pay to see Gaffigan if I could get someone to go with me. Weird that two totally different comedians can make me laugh, but I’m weird, so it works.

5. Galavant and Brooklyn 99: the only two TV shows that consistently make me laugh. They are also the only two TV comedies my wife will watch. That says something about how good they are, especially Galavant since it is also a musical.

 

Day 27: What’s Good?

Yesterday was about a part of my life I would like to improve. Today I’m supposed to write about a part of my life that’s “kicking ass” right now. This is a tough one. First, I’m not sure I’ve ever “kicked ass” at anything. I’m pretty good at several things, but I’m not “kick ass” at anything. I’m also boring and a pessimist, so I have two issues with finding an answer.

I get up in the morning. I make my daughter’s lunch. I drink coffee and read the newspaper. I go to work. I go home. I eat dinner. I watch some TV and I go to bed. Next day: lather, rinse, repeat. This isn’t all bad. I like coffee. I like reading the paper. I like my job. I like being home at night watching TV with my family. It is a nice life. I’m not sure you would call any of it me “kicking ass.” I’m adequate and bland. If beige was a person it would be me. I could be used as a human sleep aid.

I’m also not someone who is good at finding the good. I don’t see the glass as half empty. I see the glass as stolen or and/or shattered. I think I’m even a little scared of the positive. If I admit something is “kick ass” in my life then it will all go bad. If I assume the worst I am ready for it and pleasantly surprised when terrible things don’t happen. So, I spend my time writing about this and how boring I am to avoid posting something too positive. I know it’s dumb, but that’s who I am.

Do I believe any of what I just wrote? I don’t know, but it filled up a post without me trying to think of an actual answer, so I call that a win for me.

By the way: if you are some strange person who reads this blog every day, be aware that I will be on a trip with the church youth group this weekend and will not be posting. You can read my Facebook for some dumb one liners I post while I’m away.

On Day 26 There is Room for Improvement

No, I don’t mean room for improvement on my blog, though that is true. Day 26 asks for an area in my life I would like to improve. There are long lists of things about me that could improve. I’m sure there are people who are reading this who would love to tell me all the ways I could improve.  I could improve my diet, my physical condition, my spiritual condition, my attitude, my looks(plastic surgery!), etc. I thought about finding joy, worrying less, being more patient and it was hard to settle on one. I decided to pick the one thing I keep claiming I will do and never do.

I am known for applying for a lot of different jobs both within my current organization and in other systems. I’m not doing this because I’m unhappy in my job or with my current organization. For a while I did it because I was in jail and desperate to get out. Now I am out of jail, but I keep applying for promotions and transfers. I think it is some weird sort of addiction. Seriously, though, it really just boils down to me thinking that there must be something more I could do in my professional life. When I was young I had big dreams about doing big things. The universe has obviously been trying to tell me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I need to learn how to live with that.

How do I live with that? Continue to work hard and do the job to the best of my ability. I am there already, so that’s a plus. Find ways to make what I do more interesting and enjoyable. I am doing more classes and events and teaching a class on teen fiction. I just need to keep finding new things to make the job new and interesting on a regular basis. I am involved in the state professional association and that helps with working within the field in a different way.

The big thing I need to do is find things outside of work that make me feel like I am doing bigger and better things. It is not a coincidence that I was happier in my job(even while in jail) when I was working with the youth group at my old church. I was teaching Sunday school, leading weekly Bible studies, going to camp in the summer, running lock ins, etc and spending a lot of time with the youth.  This is what made me feel like I was doing meaningful work. I still worked hard in my job and did my best there, but I had my kids that made me feel accomplished. These “kids” are now all adults with kids of their own. I’m old. After this, I had my actual kids at home and was busy with them. Coaching baseball, coaching basketball, spending time at gymnastics and the dance studio, dancing in the Dad’s dance, etc. Now my kids are older. One is away at school and the other is not far behind.  I have a hole that needs to be filled and I was trying to fill it with a new job when I should fill it with meaningful work outside of work.

So, what I want to improve is finding ways both at work and outside of work to feel like I am making a difference.

Day 25: Think of a Word, Any Word

Day 25’s challenge is to think of a word, search it on google images and write something inspired by the 11th picture. I tried a few words and was not a fan of the picture. It probably would have been easier had I used words like love, joy, patience and other boring words like that. Instead I tried shenanigans and hooligans and then settled on my third word, discombobulated. Here is the image:

confused2

I think this is perfect to describe how I feel a lot during the day when I try to figure out why people seem so dumb. I drive and I think about the way people drive and I’m confused. Why are they driving so slow in the left lane? Why won’t people use turn signals? Why won’t they turn right on red? Why are they texting and driving? I’m very confused about why no one can drive properly.

I go to Starbucks and I’m confused. Why does it take so long to order your coffee? Why have you stood in line this long and wait until you get to the register to decide what you want? Why do you think the barista is your friend? Why do you keep talking to them? It’s slowing down the coffee making.

I apply for jobs and I’m confused. Why does no one think my 20 years of experience is good enough? Why am I not better at interviewing? Why is the interview more important than the experience?  Why do I keep applying for new jobs when I don’t hate my current job? Is it an addiction?

I could keep going.  I know it will sound conceited and it probably is but I spend a lot of my day confused because so many people around me seem dumber than me. Or at least seem like they have less common sense or lack the ability to think logically. People who are around me a lot are probably not surprised by this. I tend to rant a lot. I should record my rants and then transcribe them in to blog posts. I would never lack for material.

On Day 24 We Can Do This the Hard Way Or

Actually, to complete the challenge I have to stick to the hard way. The challenge is to write about a lesson I learned the hard way. This is a hard one because I’m pretty sure the only lessons I have ever learned I have learned the hard way.  I can’t really think of anything I’ve ever learned the easy way. Is that a thing? I don’t think it is.

Some lessons I’ve learned the hard way:

The fruit punch hooch is stronger than you think. You will find that out when you stand up. Stand up earlier next time.

Excessive partying leads to minimal studying. Minimal studying leads to bad grades. Less partying, more studying is the path to success.

Sometimes to break destructive habits you need to remove yourself from your social circle. If you are doing these things with a group and still hang out with the group you will do it again. This is a lesson I tried to pass on to the inmates at HDC. Some listened.

Explore your options. Don’t decide before college what you think you want to do. Too long on the wrong path will delay your graduation and keep you from finding what makes you happy.

Be careful who you trust. There are asshats out there who will use what you tell them against you.

You will know who your real friends are in the bad times. It’s easy to be there when things are fun.

It really isn’t what you know. It really is who you know. It sucks, but it’s true.

Hard work gets you so far. Schmoozing and networking gets you farther. I suck at schmoozing and networking.

Sometimes you are the only person on whom you can depend. Counting on others for help sometimes leads to failure.

Don’t eat the yellow snow. No, I didn’t actually learn that the hard way, but seriously, don’t eat the yellow snow.

If you are funny people will like you. Or at least pretend to like you. I’m pretty sure they’re just pretending.

And, seriously, stop drinking the hooch already.

 

Day 23 A Letter to America

Dear America,

I am writing to you today to tell you that I’m very disappointed in you. I had such high hopes for you when we were younger. I thought you had a chance to be better than you were. I thought you would mature and evolve and things would get better. Unfortunately, here we are in a place where people are still hating and killing each other because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. We are in a place where a loud, obnoxious, racist, orange buffoon actually has a chance to become our president. We are in a place where we refuse to help refugees because they are the “wrong” religion. I don’t understand where and when we went wrong.

I know what you are going to say. You’re going to point out how even with your problems you are still better than some of the other countries in the world. That may be true, bur it doesn’t excuse the bad things. I understand that there are places worse than America and I”m still happy to live here. I know there are a lot of good people in America trying to do the right thing. The problem I have is that you’ve the the loud, hateful minority seize control. You got angry and you let anger make your decisions for you. This is not the way you want to live. You can’t let your anger lead you to bad decisions. Take a deep breath and count to ten before you elect a clown. Trust me, you will be happier if you make your decision based on intellect and not emotion.

You have a lot of potential America. You can reach that potential if you go back to what makes the country great.You are great because you are the and of opportunity where people of all races an religions can come to live their dreams. You are great because people are free to be who and what they want to be. You can reach your potential only if you refuse to require a religion test to enter the country. You can reach your potential only if you allow people to love who they want and be who they want. You can’t reach your potential if you live on hate, anger and distrust of those who are not like you. America can be great again when America re-embraces its role as the great melting pot.

Make me proud America. Do what it takes to reach that potential. Love each other. Welcome those who aren’t like you. Don’t try to force everyone to be like you. We can do this.

Sincerely,

Tater

 

Day 22 is Easy Like Sunday Morning

Day 22 is an easy, and quite frankly, boring challenge. I’m supposed to put my music on shuffle and post the first ten songs. I’ve done this one before on Facebook and an earlier challenge was another post songs one. At least it is an easy one to do quickly while I wait for my family to get ready for church. I link to youtube on the songs so you can listen(not that you will). Spoiler alert: The song referenced in the title is not included. Spoiler alert 2: #5 is not for people who might be offended by profanity.

  1. Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm
  2. We Are the Lucky Ones – People on Vacation
  3. Set the Sun on Fire – Patent Pending
  4. Better Off Dead – People on Vacation
  5. No Meat – Stephen Lynch
  6. Boom Boom Pass the Mushroom – Patent Pending
  7. Rolling in the Deep – Adele
  8. What I Got – Sublime
  9. Famous – Hollywood Ending
  10. First World Anarchist – The Dollyrots