Under Pressure

I am always surfing wordpress for new sites to follow. A couple of months ago I came across http://didthatjusthappenblog.wordpress.com/

The post was from a fan gloating about a Cowboys victory over the Eagles. I had to reply to this annoying Cowboys fan. Well, this led to an exchange of comments with the blogger. I found that this Cowboy fan had a sense of humor and was almost conciliatory.

Since then, Kate and I began following each other’s blogs. Her posts focus on her life as a single mom who is always there for her family and friends. Despite that she swears she is not a future winner of the mother of the year award. However, she has sure enjoyed the journey.

Thanks to Kate for your contribution. I hope you all enjoy her writing as much as I do.

Read below and see how she deals with pressure.

There is this great song by Queen called “Under Pressure”.  I’m sure you know it, and you know that the most excellent David Bowie is featured.  It came in at #31 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s, just in case you wanted some trivia with your blog today.

I was recently asked to be a guest blogger.  I was shocked.  I was surprised.  I was beyond honored.  I was all of the sudden (wait for it…) Under Pressure!

I mean this is a big deal.  Memyselfandkids.com was the first blog that I followed that wasn’t a friend of mine.  I’ve enjoyed his writings and they’ve inspired me.  And he wants me to appear as a guest blogger? What would I write about?  How could I compare to his musing? Would I completely alienate his audience? Oh man, please don’t un-follow his blog if you really hate my guest post!!!

I thought about it all afternoon.  I wondered what would be a good topic to write about.  I figured that it needed to be somewhat generic, since you probably don’t follow my blog, writing about my usual cast of characters would leave you cold and in the dark.  And, I should keep it light and fluffy; bring a smile to your day.  Most importantly, I should stay on track! My blog is didthatjusthappenblog.wordpress.com/ Named so because I can’t tell you how many times a week that I have to stop and ask myself that question!  Truth is stranger than fiction really applies in my life! And a lot of it is really random stuff – so how do I pick something to share with you about me, how far do I go and seriously – what do I write about??

So, I called my girlfriend, E, like I do every day.  Okay, that’s a lie, I seldom call her.  She calls me.  I’m a great friend, but I’m horrible about calling the people in my life.  If I don’t talk to my dad for a couple of weeks, he’ll call just to make sure I’m alive.  I have a good dad! Back to the point.  I told E as soon as I could about being invited to guest blog.  We gushed over it as only girls can do.  Then we moved on to other things.  About 30 minutes later, out of nowhere, I blurted out, “What am I going to write about? I am drawing a complete blank!  It has been stewing in the back of my mind for the last 30 minutes.  I’m completely obsessed about what I will write about.”  Seriously, it was close to panic time.  There was no way I could live up to the expectation.  What would I write about?

Then E and I realized how funny it was that I spent all day worried about the guest post. Was I really  drawing a blank about what I would write about?  CDO totally kicking in (it’s like OCD, but the letters are in order like they should be!) and lurking in the back of my mind all day long.  I was cracking up at myself and then we realized – what a wonderful post it would make!  I’m sitting here obsessing about what to write about – yes, that really did just happen!

Morning-Shower Phobia

Arachnophobia, claustrophobia, xenophobia. There are phobias for just about everything. I, thankfully, suffer from none of them. Well I’m not big on heights and you don’t want to see me around ketchup and iced tea. But other than that, I am just short of normal.

I took a self-imposed break from blogging though I continued commenting on other people’s blogs. Anyway, the break from blogging coincided with my break at school. Movies, Chuck E. Cheese, a visit to mom, editing of my novella, a staycation with my wife only, and sleeping in till 8:00 (yes, that is a big thing in my house) were just some of the highlights from my break. Of course, I found some time for self-loathing and questioning of my direction. However, the best part was not setting the alarm and moving at a different pace.
On Tuesday night, I had my clothes out, lunch made, lesson plans prepared, etc. I had psyched myself up and was ready to return to work. Then, I made a terrible mistake. I checked weather.com. The site said it would feel like 9 degrees at 6 a.m. That is the time at which I am standing on a street corner praying for the bus to come. My heart sank as my resolve froze. Uggh. I added a pair of long johns to my pile of clothes.
Wednesday morning came, and I got out of bed and headed to the bathroom for my shower. You see, there are two types of people in this world: “shower-before-bed” people and “shower-in-the-morning” people. I happen to be the latter. Thus my shower serves a dual purpose: a clean start and a wake-up call.
I looked at the shower and had reservations. Let me tell you about our shower, and you will understand. It takes a couple of minutes for the water to warm up. Once it does warm up, it can be scalding. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, why don’t you just balance the hot and cold knobs so the water will come out at a temperature you are happy with. Sounds logical. However, my shower is not logical. The knobs are inconsistent, so I never know where to turn them to in order to get a comfortable temperature.
As I have mentioned many times, I often lack patience. So, sometimes in my rush to warm up the water, I turn the hot up too far. It will be a comfortable temperature when I get in and suddenly the water will be scalding. Then, I will turn the hot water down and pump up the cold water and a minute later, the water is freezing.

I have little tolerance for extreme temperatures. So, I spend half the shower jumping away from the water. I jump so often in the shower that it could be a new kind of exercise. You have zumba, pilates, and shower dance (sounds like it should be way more erotic than it actually is). This drastic change in temperature makes washing my private parts an act of faith. So, one minute, I’m burnt like a beach bum and the next minute, I’m frozen ala Walt Disney.

Then, you have water pressure. Well, you may have water pressure, but my shower sure doesn’t. Give my two cups of water and an hour, and I can generate more pressure than my shower.

So now, I have made a change. I am no longer a daytime shower person. It is too scary in that shower on cold winter mornings. In fact, you could say that I have a fear or phobia of my shower. There’s got to be a name for morning-shower phobia.

No Digression

The Eagles suck. Really, really suck. The Sixers have gotten off to a mediocre start with their star centered injured and out for who knows how long. The NHL is on strike and therefore no Flyers games. The Phillies are coming off a mediocre season and are in the quiet part of the offseason.

So, sports is out.

The election is over. There are no more polls, advertisements, or speeches. Barack Obama, for better or worse, has been reelected. The Senate and House of Representatives remain nearly unchanged.

So, the political races are over.

What am I to do?

I am on the computer. Maybe, I’m creating an assignment for students, writing a blog entry, creating a story. My mind wanders. I’m distracted. Or maybe, I’m just stalling. Semantics I suppose, but I digress. The point is I am leaving the productive mode and entering wandering mode. I click a button and am suddenly surfing the world wide web (by the way, I always wanted to learn how to surf. I think I’ll put it on my bucket list under learn to play the harmonica. There I go digressing again).  I’d like to think this digression is actually part of the creative process. Research if you will. It keeps my mind active.

Who am I kidding?

For every time that I am doing true research there are 15 times where I am feeding my overactive mind with useless information. Do you know how often I pop on WordPress? Way. Too. Often.

So, what else should I do? I don’t have a ton of interests. I hop on Yahoo and see the ‘big’ stories. By the way, the latest headlines are Theron’s shocking haircut and small room’s big surprises.  Despite my wanderlust, I think I can stay away from those ‘big’ stories.

Ahh, self-control feels good.

If something doesn’t come along soon, I might stay focused. I might find myself cranking out work quicker than I could skim through another useless article. I think I might become Super Productive. Maybe, I could get a cape and a theme song.  This could be good.

Not Narcissistic

I was going to write about my SJ turning 6 this past weekend.

I was going to mention how proud I am that he learned to read  on his own.

I was going to convey how he cracks me up when I am washing him with his instructions as though he is getting a massage, “A little to the left. Ahh.”

I was going to tell you about how he is still obsessed with Thomas.

I was going to relate to you that he is a bit of a klutz.

I was going to note to you that he is a great hugger and loves to fall into your arms.

I was going to speak of his discovery of the deliciousness of chocolate.

I was going to reveal to you that he is always loud whether he means to be or not.

But then yesterday, I was roaming around WordPress. I was looking to read some parenting blogs as I am wont to do on an increasingly regular basis.  I was on for just a few minutes when I lost track of how many bloggers were writing about their children’s birthdays. Was another one needed? Last night my writing group friend mentioned that bloggers, and much of our society, are narcissistic. Of course, he said, “Present company excluded.”

I had been thinking the same thing. After all, does anyone outside of family and friends really care about SJ and the habits noted above? Does this information have one iota of impact upon anyone in the blogosphere?  After all, how many people had birthdays on Saturday, November 10th? Does 100 million sound reasonable? Hell, even in my family we had another birthday. Had my father been alive, he would have turned 80.  So, do I really need to share this information?

After all, I’m the kind of friend that has 20-minute conversations where I spend the first 18 minutes asking about the other person. Unless, I really have something to say, I’m quite content with that breakdown. Isn’t that the antithesis of narcissistic? In addition, I have neither time nor interest in reality shows (Okay, I often watch pieces of Project Runway with my wife. Yes, I did the same when she used to watch America’s Next Top Model. That was just because I was trying to be a good husband and take an interest in her interests. Really. Promise).

No, I am not narcissistic (well, I may have some of those traits but this is not one of them). I can’t accept that label. Am I hiding behind a blog due to my shyness? Maybe I do, a little. I look at my blog and the blogosphere as a way to form community. I look it as a way of shrinking the world and bonding over common concerns. I look at it as a way to learn/grow my writing skills while doing the same for others.

Maybe there is a bit of narcissism and hiding involved in blogging. I don’t care. So, what was I saying about SJ?