This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Every Success Starts with a Dream ( #IWSG )

     ONCE upon a time I dreamed that something would happen in my future.  And it did happen, though maybe not quite like I dreamed it, but still it happened to some extent and that was a good thing.  The even better thing is that this happened more than once in my life...

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog

The co-hosts for the December 4 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson!

December 4 question - Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

Never Too Old to Dream

           No expectations.  That's what I've learned in my life.  Sure, I still go into experiences with certain expectations, but as I get older I've tried more to go with the flow of my life and not build up expectations that are shattered once I've realized that things often don't turn out like I thought or even hoped they would.  An expectation can be a set-up for disappointment and sadness.

            Dreams are fine when fueling internal conversations and forays into imaginations, but dreams are never attained by just dreaming them.  Dreams can conceivably come true in some cases with no action, but something like writing requires doing something about it.  And just writing alone doesn't mean success until that writing gets into the hands of someone who can do something with it or one takes the personal initiative to self-publish or take whatever action works.  But as is usually the case, we have to figure out what works best for us and what our definition of success is.

         Life is filled with surprises good and bad.  What we do with the unexpected in our lives has everything to do with how happy and fulfilled we are.  Persistence may not always lead to winning, but to keep on pushing forward will get us further than we can ever get by just sitting at home filled with hopes and dreams.

         As far as writing dreams for me are concerned, I'm much further along now than I ever got some fifty or so years ago when I was in passionate pursuit of writing.  Through the years those pursuits ebbed and waned while never particularly flowing.  Blogging has helped since it's given me an easy creative outlet for my word expression, but I'd still like to see something more come of my writing in the future.  Not that I'm making many efforts to that pursuit.  If something comes as a result of my actions then fine.   I'm likely not visualizing to a great enough extent to chase down that writing dream and definitely not writing like I should be.  Still, I'm okay with that.  When the feeling overpowers me to write, then I'll write and if I don't write then I'll do something else.  Just so I'm doing something that calms my restless spirit.

         When the right dreams come then I guess I'll know.  Or at least I'll be on an adventure and adventures can last a lifetime.  I'm not sure how much longer that life will be, but in a way it doesn't matter.  The present is what matters most because now is all we really know and even that knowledge can be tenuous and filled with questions.

         Tomorrow will have its way as we pass from day to day...

         Are you a careful planner or do you enjoy rafting along the river of life?   Has the fulfillment of a dream ever taken you by surprise?   Where would you like to be in ten years?

        If you haven't voted in my Battle of the Bands yet then please drop by to vote on your favorite song version.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

You're the One (#BOTB)

The First of December--day number one of the final month of another year.  Time to reflect as well as to project into thoughts of the future.  What's ahead for 2020?  Plenty, but I hope this year takes its time to pass...

Image result for reason for the season

Reason for the Season

        Whenever a Battle of the Bands opens on a Sunday I like to use a song with some spiritual connection--usually a hymn or a contemporary Christian tune.  When Christmas season arrives I might like to use a song specific to the holiday.  Though this BOTB falls on a Sunday which is the first day of the Christmas month, I am going to use neither type of song.  Instead, I'm using a song that was a popular hit in the sixties.  The title can have s few connotations in regard to this particular Battle.  You can probably come up with a few suggestions or you can just listen to the versions I'm presenting here and vote on your favorite.  The winning song is up to you--yeah, you're the one...

Battle of the Bands

        Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

You're the One

        The song was written and first recorded by Petula Clark, but The Vogues bested her version with their own chart topping hit.   And here are both versions as performed in popular music television shows of that era...

Petula Clark   "You're the One"  (1965)

        Pet Clark's career began in England during World War II, but it skyrocketed in the 1960's with the British music invasion of the sixties when she scored several hit records.  Her release of her own song "You're the One" was not one of her biggest hits, but it's a nice song...

The Vogues  "You're the One"   (1965)

        Anyone familiar with this song might be more apt to remember this version by The Vogues.  After all, they had a bigger hit with the song than the one who wrote it and initially recorded it.  Is this version the one you prefer?...

Time to Vote!
    Which version of this song do you like best.?  Don't be the one who doesn't vote!  
 Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind. Which version do you like the best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands



'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Cherdo on the Flipside 

A I Love Music

Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday December 9th

         There will be a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group on the 4th so be here for that. And by no means miss the winner's announcement post next Monday.  Stay warm!

         Who is your "one"?   Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet?   Would you prefer to hibernate until next spring?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Ups and Downs ( #BOTB Results )

Look up, look down--see the clown?  This silly rhyme from my childhood suddenly came to mind as I sat down to write this post...

Blahs Not So Blue or Blah

        Life has those ups and those downs.  I've been riding that roller coaster over the past week, but it's all a continuation of that ride I've been on my whole life.  I'm not planning to get off any time soon either.  But what comes is what is supposed to come so it's best to have a good of a time as you can.

        Yesterday my wife and I took a day trip out to the desert town of Indio California out east of Palm Springs.  It was an ideal day with temps in the sixties and partly cloudy skies.  Somewhere it was raining, but it never touched us all day.

          We spent several hours in the Agua Caliente Casino meandering to watch the players and just absorb the atmosphere.  It's a top quality establishment with a lot of machines and other places to lose money.  I lost $27 that I really don't like to lose plus an additional $10 of free cash the casino gave me for signing up to their players club. 

         Also for signing up we got a coupon for a free appetizer with one ordered entree in one of the casino restaurants.  The restaurant was a pleasant surprise.  Since I haven't been eating all that much lately I let my wife order an entree (she got bacon-wrapped meatloaf that was simply amazing with a savory fall vegetable medley and garlic mashed potatoes--all for a very fair price of $15).  For my appetizer I got skewers of filet medallions marinated Korean style on a bed of kimchi which was about as perfect of a meal as I've had in a long time.  I ate every single bite of mine.

          On the way home we stopped at Cabazon to visit the touristy Hadley's Market and Deli where my wife and I got an assortment of date delicacies and two date shakes for a dinner in the car to help us better endure sitting in the traffic heading back to L.A.  The myriad of car lights  were a bit tedious though dazzling to look at, but still it was a nice drive home.

            Life is looking up.  That's fine with me.  One nice thing about being down is that you don't have much other place to look other than up.   And really I don't mind being down as long as I'm peaceful.  A valley is as good as a mountaintop.  It's just a matter of perspective...

Battle of the Bands Results

          This was another tough one.  I kept going back and forth listening to them until I realized that I kept deciding that my favorite was whichever one I was listening to at the moment.  Both artists are winners and the voting reflected that.

          Still, having to pick one as my own favorite I decided to go with the majority of voters.  I really dug on the cool smooth vocals and lush orchestration of Lauren White so that's where my vote goes...

Final Vote Tally 

Lauren White               11 votes

Pat Dinizio                     7 votes

Next Battle on Sunday December 1st

         Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week whatever you decide to do.  I think we're just going to be going out to dinner just my wife and I.  Probably not as good as the dinner I'd fix, but a whole lot easier.

        Do you ever go to casinos just to wander and watch?   Where is your favorite place to get in from the cold or elements and just watch other people or enjoy the indoor environment?   What are you going to do this Thanksgiving?