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44 Odd Things You Don't Know About Me

1. Do you like blue cheese? No
2. Have you ever smoked? Yes, but it's been quite a while.
3. Do you own a gun? No, thank you.
4. What is your favorite flavor? Is chocolate too cliché?
5. Do you get nervous before Doctor visits? No
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Love 'em!  Especially coneys.
7. Favorite Movie? Hmmmm... We'll just go with Shawshank Redemption.  Or South Park.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Mountain Dew Kickstart - wish I could afford it every morning.
9. Do you do push ups? Sure.
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My baseball ring.
11. Favorite hobby? Reading, I suppose.
12. Do you have A.D.D.? Not that I know of.
13. What’s the one thing you dislike about yourself? Sometimes I wish I was more extroverted.
14. What is your middle name? Which one?
15. Name three thoughts at this moment… About 45 minutes left in the workday.  I need to call about the broken window.  What should I have for dinner?
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coffee, Powerade, water
17. Current worry? My broken window
18. Current annoyance right now? The fact that the glass place I called hasn't called back
19. Favorite place to be? Kauffman Stadium
20. How do you ring in the new year? I'm usually asleep
21. Where would you like to go? Cooperstown, to see the Baseball Hall of Fame
22. Name three people who will complete this? Meh.
23. Do you own slippers? No.
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Blue
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I've never slept on satin sheets, but I'm sure the answer would be yes.
26. Can you whistle? Yes
27. What are your favorite colors? Blue, emerald green, black
28. Would you be a pirate? Naw, not my thing
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower
30. Favorite girls name? Hell, I don't know
31. Favorite boys name? Ditto.
32. What’s in your pocket right now? Wallet and cell phone
33. Last thing that made you laugh? A slide show of tweets about cats
34. Best toy as a child? Probably my baseball glove.
35. Worst injury you ever had? 2nd degree burn on my leg as a kid
36. Where would you love to live? Somewhere where it doesn't get too cold or too hot
37. How many TVs do you have? Two.
38. Who is your loudest friend? Um... there's a tie, really
39. How many dogs do you have? No dogs....yet.
40. Does someone trust you? I hope so.
41. What book are you reading at the moment? There are a handful.  Re-reading the first Artemis Fowl book.  In the middle of a book about the Black Sox scandal.  Listening to Hot, Flat, and Crowded on audiobook.  And eagerly looking forward to The Cursed Child
42. What’s your favorite candy? Tough one.  I'll go with Take 5.
43. What’s your favorite sports team? The Royals and the Packers
44. Favorite month? I dunno.  Either March or September, I suppose.

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Disturbed, "The Sound of Silence"

This cover has become my latest favorite song.

*



Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Desiderata

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

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So I've never made a bucket list -- well, never wrote one down.  I've got some bucket list-type goals for sure, so here's just a basic, off-the-top-of-my-head list of things I'd like to do.

1. visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY
2. outdoor rock climbing
3. bungee jumping
4. visit all 50 states
5. tour Europe
6. run a half marathon
7. run a marathon
8. visit Niagra Falls
9. go scuba diving
10. speak Spanish fluently
11. learn another language besides English and Spanish
12. write a book
13. visit all MLB stadiums
14. learn to surf
15. go snowboarding
16. go to a baseball camp
17. dye my hair a bright, outrageous color
18. hike up and down a mountain

This is just off the top of my head.  I know there's a lot more than I have here.  This is why I don't get why so many people wander aimlessly and listlessly through life.  There's so much to experience!  I want to take advantage of it.

Fine again (Seether)

I feel the dream in me expire
And there's no one left to blame it on
I hear you label me a liar
'Cause I can't seem to get this through
You say it's over, I can sigh again, yeah
Why try to stay sober when I'm dying here

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Day 35: Potter challenge

35. Describe Harry Potter in 1 word.. Explain your reason behind this chosen word.

I think I would have to describe it as "transcendent."  And it is, isn't it?  Harry Potter is so much more than a children's series.  I was already starting my adulthood journey by the time I got into Harry Potter, and it has stuck with me ever since.  The books and the movies speak to people of all ages and from all backgrounds.  It touches on so many topics, from growing up to politics to racism to love and hate to classism and so on.  It teaches lessons about real life at the same time that it transports us into a wholly different world.  What's more, I'm constantly learning new things about it; no matter how many times I read the books or watch the movies, there always seems to be more.

Day 34: Potter challenge

34. Most attractive cast members male and female.

Tom Felton and Emma Watson.  There's a reason so many girls are fans of Draco Malfoy, and it has nothing to do with his sunny personality.  Tom Felton is one helluva good-looking guy, and his personality off screen seems pretty down-to-earth and good-natured.  Emma Watson has her share of admirers for a reason too.  Honestly, I kinda feel like she turned out to be too good-looking to play bushy-haired and bookish Hermione, though I do feel like she nailed Hermione's persona in every other way.  And I do love how she's become such an advocate for gender equality.

Day 33: Potter challenge

33. What character would you like to have known more about!?

ALL of them!!  Okay, okay...  Fortunately, Pottermore has provided additional background information about some character in whom I was particulary interested, like McGonagall, Draco Malfoy, and Lupin.  I'm dying to learn more about the kids in the epilogue -- especially Albus Potter.  Just from the brief conversation that Harry has with Albus, the kid seems fascinating.  The fact that he is so genuinely concerned about being placed in Slytherin and his demeanor in general both indicate that there's a lot going on with how he sees and feels about the world.  I'm also curious to see how Harry, given his experiences with the Dursleys, treats his kids at home.

Random meme

1. If you could choose a character any character which defines your personality.
Hmmm… it’s so hard to pick just one, honestly. One that has come up as a result of the Potter challenge, of course, is Hermione Granger. We’re both bookish and responsible, although honestly, Hermione is probably more girly than I am. Ender Wiggin also comes to mind as a character who is similar to me. He’s intelligent and relatively athletic, and he constantly feels under pressure to do the right thing in spite of a desire to just be left alone.

2. Where are you from and what is your current situation?
The “where are you from” question always throws me because I didn’t exactly grow up in any one place. My dad was in the military, so we moved around a bit as I grew up. However, I typically claim the Kansas City area, since that’s where we were the longest and where I graduated from high school. Since high school, I’ve moved around a bit more for college and jobs. Currently, I’m in Lawrence, Kansas, and I’m loving it enough that I can see myself staying here for a while.

3. If you were in a zombie apocalypse what would be your plan of attack?
Haha. This question is one that I’ve always wondered about, but could never come up with an answer that satisfies me. I do know that I’ll probably be okay in running away from the brain munchers — I like to run/race, so my cardio is pretty good. I’ve shot firearms before, but a zombie apocalypse would mandate that I actually become good at it, and I would definitely need to stock up on ammunition. I think the core of my approach would revolve around a nomadic existence: wandering with a bag strapped to my back, scrapping for food, sleeping in trees, etc. With a little luck, I’d find a community to stay in for a few days from time to time, but I feel like in that kind of atmosphere, staying in one place for too long could be dangerous.

4. What type of music genre do you listen to?
I’m into hard rock/metal, which doesn’t surprise most people who know me, though it surprises me that they expect it. Must be something about my personality that screams hard rock, I dunno. I originally got into the genre because I used to be a very angry person, though I mostly kept that anger contained, and the music became my outlet. I’m not angry anymore, but I still like the hard stuff. I think it’s because 1) I’m used to it, and 2) it energizes me. I listen to it when I work out or when I’m trying to wake myself up or when I’m cleaning house. It’s the one genre of music that actually feels REAL to me.

5. Do you have Tattoo’s if so what ones do you have and what’s their meaning if they have one?
I have three tattoos, which does surprise most people because they can rarely be seen. I intentionally placed them in locations easily covered by a socially-respectable amount of clothing, so they’re rarely exposed. On my left shoulder is a symbol based on Aristophanes’s Origin of Love in Plato’s Symposium (if you’re interested, there’s a great video about it here: https://youtu.be/4paSMqKYXtY). On my back is my name written in Korean — I’ve taken both taekwondo and hapkido lessons, the two primary martial arts of Korea, and my senior year of college, my roommate was a Korean exchange student. She wrote out my name in Korean for me, and I later got the tattoo. On my right thigh is a drawing of a lady, mostly nude but for some strategically-placed ribbons. I promise it’s not as scandalous as it sounds. If anything, given the body language of the girl, I see it as a symbol of strength and freedom, which I absolutely love.

6. What is your favourite book!?
This is always such a hard question, because there are so many great ones! So rather than pick just one, I’m going to hit a few highlights: the Harry Potter series, of course; Ender’s Game; The Brothers Karamazov; East of Eden; the Transmetropolitan series; anything Calvin & Hobbes; Fight Club; House of Leaves; Norwegian Wood; Siddhartha; and on and on and on….

7. Pepsi or coke?
Whichever is cheaper at the grocery store ;)

8. If you could choose any religion to be apart of what religion would you choose and why?
For years now I have been extremely fascinated by the Unitarian Church, though I’ve never had the courage to actually go and check out a service. I wrote a paper about the Unitarians for a religious history course in college, and I love how they take a rational approach to religion and the Bible, rather than relying on myth, and understanding that the Bible is a text written by men that wasn’t necessarily meant to be taken literally. They were also a huge influence in the antislavery movement in America during the 19th century.

9. What would be your spirit animal and why!?
I’ve always gravitated towards the wolf. I like that with wolves, they can travel in tight-knit packs, or they can be lone wolves. I can be a bit of both, depending on the situation. Much of the time, I am the lone wolf. I do, however, have some folks whom I am very close to, and would do just about anything for them.

10. If you had the ability to do anything, what would it be?
If we’re talking super powers, I’m thinking it’d be great to fly. Travel would be so much easier, and I’d be able to see more places that I’ve wanted to see. If we’re looking at something more day-to-day related, then I have always wished I could get by without having to sleep. There is so much in this world that I want to see and do and experience, but there never seems to be enough time. I like to pack my days full of meaningful stuff whenever I can, but sleep and rest are vital when you’re human. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my downtime as much as the next person. But we spend a third of our lives sleeping, and I often find myself imagining how much more I could be doing if I could get that time back.

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Day 32: Potter challenge

32. If you could change or include anything about the plot what would it be!?

Oh, man, I don't know.  As far as the plot itself, I like it as it is.  Most of what I would like to see more of is mostly details: more details about how Harry grew up, what it was like for Ron growing up with so many siblings, Hermione's childhood and her learning that she was a witch, more details about James and Lily and the marauders, more insight into Draco's childhood so we can get a better idea as to why he's such a little punk -- those kinds of things.  

Day 31: Harry Potter challenge

31. How was it that you came by and fell in love with Harry Potter.

When I was 18, I was in Seattle visiting a friend from high school.  I got to see a lot of the city, which was awesome, but there were also moments of downtime.  During one of these times, my friend grabbed a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and shoved it in my hands, ordering me to read it.  I had heard of Harry Potter, but to be honest, I had been avoiding reading it or watching any of the movies.  I figured anything that could be that popular must be something lowbrow or overly simplistic.  But with nothing better to do at that moment, I started reading.  Next thing I knew, I was moving on to The Chamber of Secrets.  By the time my visit was over, I had read all the way through Goblet of Fire, and we had watched the first two Potter movies.  Needless to say, I was hooked.

Day 30: Potter challenge

30. Top 5 Harry Potter quotes (Books or Films)

- "There comes a time when you must choose between what is easy and what is right." ~Dumbledore

- [Harry] "Yes." [Snape] "Yes, sir." [Harry] "There's no need to call me 'sir,' Professor."

- "Not my daughter, you bitch!" ~Molly Weasley to Bellatrix Lestrange

- "You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve." ~Ginny Weasley

- "The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by an invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing." ~Severus Snape

Day 29: Potter challenge

29. Favourite magical creature and why!?

I'm torn between dragons and phoenixes, but if pressed, I think I'd have to go with the phoenix.  I love the idea of a creature that is reborn from its own ashes.  It works well with ideas of rebirth, renewal, and overcoming adversity.  Plus it is super strong, sings beautifully, and can heal you after you've taken a basilisk fang in the arm.

Day 28: Potter challenge

28. Most underrated character and why!?

The cliché answer to this one would be Neville Longbottom, and it's a completely justified answer.  But, in the name of flying in the face of cliché, I'm going to say Narcissa Malfoy.  She mostly serves as a secondary character, in spite of being related to three of the story's primary villains: Lucius and Draco, of course, plus Bellatrix Lestrange.  She is also a cousin of Sirius Black, though that doesn't get highlighted as much as the fact that Bellatrix is Sirius's cousin.

I say she's underrated due to her role in the last two books of the series.  In the Half-Blood Prince, she gets Snape to make the unbreakable vow to protect Draco.  This seals Dumbledore's fate, for one, and provides the final push that immerses Snape behind Death Eater lines as a double agent.  Then, in the Deathly Hallows, she flat-out lies to Voldemort about Harry being alive.  Had she been honest, no doubt Voldemort would have ensured that Harry be killed on the spot, and the story would have turned out a bit differently.

Granted, both these acts were done in the name of protecting her family, and not necessarily for the greater good.  It's been pointed out, though, that this is the one saving grace of the Malfoy family, that they do love each other.  I think that fits perfectly into the theme of love being more powerful than evil.

Day 27: Potter challenge

27. Favourite minor character and why!?

This is such a vague question.  I'm not sure where the line between "major" and "minor" characters lies, exactly.  For the sake of providing an answer, I'll just go with Dobby.  He's completely loyal to Harry, going as far as defying the Malfoys in order to try to save Harry's life (however questionable his tactics might be).  Even once set free, he remains loyal to Harry and is dedicated to doing the best job that he can in every task set before him.  It was truly heartbreaking when he died.

Day 26: Potter challenge

26. Your favourite Villain and why!?

I could be really cliché here and say that Snape is my favorite villain, but he's really not a villain, is he?  I could also be a girly-girl here and say that Draco Malfoy is my favorite, and yes, Tom Felton makes him an incredibly attractive choice.  But at the end of the day, Draco has the qualities and the self-respect of an abused puppy.

No, for this question, I'm going to say that my favorite villain is the teenage Tom Riddle.  Why?  Because here's a guy who manages to take the one good thing in his life -- his discovery that he is, in fact, a wizard -- and takes full advantage of it.  Rather than let his past overcome him and drag him down, he throws everything he can behind his identity as a wizard.  He becomes a brilliant student, understands the importance of befriending the right people, and sets some lofty goals for himself.  Granted, how he uses his magic and these goals that he sets turns out to be a very bad thing for society, both wizard and muggle.  I'm sure Freud himself would need years of study on the mind of Tom Riddle.  But as Ollivander points out, for all the terrible things that he does, at the end of the day, Voldemort is a great wizard, in the truest sense of the word "great."

Day 25: Potter challenge

25. Your favourite student and why!?

I think I'd have to go with Ginny Weasley here.  Sure, she got off to an awkward start in the first couple of books, but once she got past that, she turned out to be as strong and smart as they come.  She's clearly an intelligent student, with the ability to pull off some impressive hexes and be invited into the Slug Club.  She's also a heck of an athlete, with the ability to play two Quidditch positions very well and even go on to play professionally.  She also has a don't-mess-with-me vibe about her, stands up to bullies, and is kind enough to befriend even the awkward kids of Hogwarts, like Neville and Luna.  She then goes on to become a journalist, which is all the more impressive.

Day 24: Potter challenge

24. How has Harry Potter changed your life or influenced your decisions.

Hmm... I don't know that I'd say that Harry Potter has changed my life in any major way,  The series did help me get through a particularly rough patch in my life at one point.  About ten years ago (!) I was dealing with a handful of major life setbacks all at once: my parents had divorced, the guy I had been dating for about a year broke up with me, and I burnt out on school to a point that I decided to take some time off.  There was about a three-month period where I pretty much confined myself to my apartment -- didn't work, didn't go to school, only left to get groceries.  Otherwise, I pretty much just surfed the internet and re-read the Harry Potter books, which were the first five in the series at that time.  It was a much-needed escape from my reality.  I was also dealing with really bad insomnia through all this, but I found that if I let the Chamber of Secrets movie play in the background, I could usually nod off on the couch.  So while I wouldn't say that Harry Potter has been life-changing for me, I do have to say that it has made life's less-than-enjoyable moments more bearable.

Day 23: Potter challenge

23. Cloak, Elder wand or Resurrection stone!? Why!?

I would have to go with the Elder wand.  I initially considered the cloak, but being invisible can only do so much.  Besides, if you have a wand, there are other ways of making oneself invisible, plus you have the tool to do all kinds of other spells as well.  I have no real interest in the resurrection stone.  Sure, there are people I miss, but playing with death like that is just scary.

Day 22: Potter challenge

22. If you could learn a spell what spell would it be and why!?

While it would be really cool to be able to create a patronus, that particular spell has no real practical value in my everyday life.  I would probably pick a cleaning spell, like scourgify or tergeo.  Would one of those work on laundry or on carpet?  Basically, I would love to learn something that would make housecleaning that much easier.