– The Groundhog Prediction: Early Spring or Longer Winter? –

The Hog That Started It All, Punxsutawney Phil

Ladies and Gentlemen the next post I make here is going to be #100.  So in light of this I want to first and foremost thank everyone that has been reading along for this entire time.  I’m still a little dumbfounded by the amount of comments I receive about what is written here.  So thanks.  Now, for Entry #100 I want to get some input from you the readers.  Leave a comment below, e-mail me, Facebook me, or even just tell me in person if we cross paths in the hallway give me some input for what you would like to see discussed or mentioned in the next post.

I’m open to suggestions.

Balzac Billy

Now with that let’s get right into this. GROUNDHOG DAY!

Every time I hear that name I think of “I got you babe” playing on a cheap radio only to be smacked by Bill Murray in his endless loop of reliving this day.  Fortunately for us I don’t think any of us need to experience that kind of ordeal.  If you don’t get the reference, then I recommend you checking out the movie aptly titled, “Groundhog Day”.

So if you have been living under a rock for your life and you have never heard of this incredibly interesting tradition that the western world has developed.  Groundhog Day takes place every year on the 2nd of February.  It’s essentially a ceremony were a groundhog is removed from a makeshift groundhog hole.  If he sees his shadow he scurries back into his hole because there is going to be 6 more weeks of winter, BUT if he does not then he soaks up the sun because we are going to have an early spring.  In the United States they have Punxsutawney Phil, in Pennsylvania, and in Canada we have Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia, Balzac Billy in Alberta and Wiarton Willie in Ontario (yes we have three groundhogs.. Not to be outdone by the US.)  On the surface looking at this it really is a pretty absurd tradition.  I wonder how it all started?

“The Groundhog Day came into being in North America during the late 1800s. Thanks to the combined effort of Clymer H. Freas, a newspaper editor, and W. Smith, an American Congressman and newspaper publisher. They organized and popularized a yearly festival in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the State was populated predominantly by German settlers. The festival featured a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil which used to foretell how long the winter would last. This very popular event is still being held and is called Groundhog Day.”  – excerpt from http://www.theholidayspot.com/groundhogday/theday.htm

Case closed.  There isn’t a symbolic meaning behind it, it is just the creation of a newspaper editor and a publisher that really took off and became an international craze… I’m actually a little disappointed I thought for sure it had roots in like paganism or something.  Oh well.

As I said, It’s Groundhog Day!!!!!

Shubenacadie Sam

Alright so I doubt that you are all overly excited about it, most people don’t even realize it is even Groundhog Day until a few days later when someone mentions whether he saw his shadow or not.  It’s still something worth mentioning though, if nothing else for the animal lovers to see the pictures of each of the groundhogs being held by their respective mayors and get all mushy about “how cute” he is.

I enjoy the festivities of all of this though.  I mean, I am not an expert on any of these communities but I would imagine that there isn’t really a whole lot of activities present in them that is looked at on a national and international level.  It brings people and tourist to the town, and all for what could be viewed as our most trivial, ridiculous, yet loved traditions.  Groundhog’s Day is definitely an enigma on the annual calendar but I’m sure I speak for most when I say we love it anyway.

So what’s the verdict?  Are we going to suffer through more winter or is spring on the way?

Wiarton Willie

Phil did not see his shadow predicting the end of winter early. Sam is sporting some shades and getting ready to soak up the sun of an early spring since he did not see his shadow.  Wiarton Willie and Alberta’s Balzac Billy all agree as well that Spring is coming.  Well, here in Newfoundland that is good news because we only got out winter in January, but as it was explained to me yesterday at the local gas station, “We had no snow until January up until a couple of weeks ago and now we’re faced with a few week-long blizzard.”  It’s true the weather has been insane this season so I know there’s a lot of my colleagues here hoping that this prediction is accurate.

Cheer up guys, we have four groundhog’s on our side.  The winter blizzards should be coming to and end soon…… even if we are forecasted to receive one of the worst storms in recent memory.

Winter you came too late, and you made way too much noise so we won’t be too upset if you decide to leave early.  You came in with all the tenacity of a student late for class that shows up 20 minutes before it’s over and ends up making such a big racket that the 20 minutes is wasted.  Sam, I know I for one hope you got it right little guy.  There’s still no word from Wiarton but it IS like 7:30am there so I’m not surprised… here’s hoping the tie-breaking goes in favor of spring.

Oops, speaking of late for class, I have to wrap this up and get going.

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts for what I can do for my 100th post.  Even if you have never seen this site before and this is the first entry you’ve read I still welcome any suggestions for what I can do for my next post.

I’m going to leave you all with the tweet on Phil’s official twitter because I think it is just genius.

@GroundhogPhil – Punxsutawney Phil
No shadow! My prediction: an early spring! Forget science. Ignore common sense. This groundhog would never lie

– The Origin Of Love –

I shared this the other day on Facebook, and now decided to share it here.  When I was going out with Candace this is a movie she made it clear that I HAD to watch, and I’m glad I did.  It’s probably the best depiction of the struggles that transgendered people face in today’s world.  If you haven’t checked it out before, I’d recommend you doing so.  It’s called Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

One of my earlier regrets that I mentioned before was not actually learning this song, I told her I didn’t think I would be able to.  But, really I’m re-considering it, and hopefully I’ll be able to get it down. 

Anyway I digress, enjoy the video and you should be hearing back again from me later today once I’m no longer obligated to remain in the college.

– There’s Nothing Easy About Letting Go –

This is by far going to be the hardest entry I have made in this blog to date.  I know I may have danced around this topic before and gave throwbacks to my past to explain my insight but so close to the 22nd, I am going to struggle to write this.  I think however though this needs to be done, not for my journalistic aspirations but simply for my sanity.  This blog experiment did originally start-up as a quasi-therapeutic outlet for all the ramblings in my mind.

The Official Movie Poster

I’ve come across some clichés and tactics that I want to dive into when it comes to helping someone deal with death… as I said, not an easy topic. Bare in mind that anything I write in this entry is strictly subjective to my own experiences.  There is no true way to help someone through a hard time the truth is it varies from person to person.  Tactics that would work on someone can be ineffective on someone else.  Sometimes they want to talk about it, sometimes they want to be distracted…. sometimes they will only talk to people who are very close, other times it is the people who are close that will bring up old wounds so the preference is to talk to familiar, yet not so close people.  Sometimes they are spiteful for everything that has happened, other times they are guilty and feel at fault.

There are way too many psychological aspects that it would take days to write them all out, so once again I’m sticking to the general.

First and foremost I want to ask you a question.  Yes you, the reader.
Have you seen the movie “Reign Over Me”?

If you answered no to that statement then I want you to leave this website for the moment and go to a video store, or log into netflix, or even hit up a torrents site and get this movie and watch it.  I have never seen a better portrayal of someone truly hurting from a tragic loss than this movie.  It is one of my favorite Adam Sandler movies, it showed that he doesn’t always have to be the bumbling goof… okay.  Go watch it.

If you seen it before, or you’re cheating and pretend like you did.  I will fill you in on the plot. The movie stars Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler.  Cheadles character is a doctor that went to college with Sandler but they didn’t remain close.  One day Cheadle runs into Sandler and wants to catch up.  Sandler is a very disconnected from the world, it turns out he is suffering for a very severe case of Post Traumatic Stress disorder.  His wife and kids were on one of the planes that crashed into the twin towers on 9/11.  The entire movie is essentially dedicated to Sandler coping with the loss of his family and Cheadle trying to help him out.

I bring this up because as I said it is probably the truest depiction of a grief I have ever seen on film, and honestly when I watched it and saw the scene below I felt every stinging word.  Even now the scene is hard to watch because psychologically I feel the emotion, but all I imagine is my loss, and how I had to come to terms with that.  Sandler does an incredible job of tapping into the loss that I still harbor in myself that it is tough for me to not give high praise to this movie.  As I said, one of his best roles.

When you lose someone, especially someone who is really close to you, you feel alone.  Simply put. If I had to describe the emptiness that comes with this grief in one word it would definitely be loneliness.  After my ordeal almost 9 years ago now, I didn’t want to be in any kind of social circle, and the times I was in public I was surrounded by people but I was completely alone.  So lesson number one if you find yourself trying to help a friend through such a problem is, find a way to fill that void.

If they lost someone they really care about, there is an empty part of them that is going to continually consume them from the inside out, and it is your job to make sure that you minimize the loneliness that they feel.  For me? I had people who were there for me, but it’s very tough for anyone to really cure the lonely feeling.

The next lesson, is essentially a line I think everyone should stay away from.  It is a very common device for helping someone through a trying time but for death it really does not aid in any way.  “It’ll all be fine” or “It’ll hurt for now, you’ll be better with time”…  I have heard this line over.. and over.. and over.  I feels like you’re reading from a fortune cookie.  Truthfully, I know that it is common to get through someones passing and eventually it will get better most of the time… but it’s not something that I think needs to be said.

Adam Sandler & Don Cheadle in Reign Over Me

Sometimes it isn’t even true.  Look at me, I’ve been going strong for almost a decade later, and I still get completely frozen from most social interaction when her birthday comes around.  I’ve hard girlfriends since then, in fact I’ve loved since her… but that doesn’t mean that it actually got easier over time… the only ease that came to me was that it is getting easier to distract myself.  Even if it is just a casual friend that past and you know the grieving friend will eventually get over it.. stay away from the “everything is going to be okay”

I can’t keep this up though, I mean there really isn’t any advice that someone can give on dealing with a friend who’s going through something that profound.  It’s one of the worst feelings imaginable, especially when it is someone who you love.

I tried turning this post into a semi-objective piece giving some insight into the psychology of grief, but in case you haven’t actually picked up on it.  I just ended up rambling about my own problem.  So I’m going to end this with what I’ve learned.  It is going to sound clichéd, but it truly is how I get through my days.

It’s very easy to get completely caught up in remorse.  I spent 5 years thinking that what happened was my fault for the most absurd reason.  When I tell people my story it is painfully clear that I did everything I could for the benefit of everyone else BUT me.  I find my sanity when I do look in a mirror and see the influence that she had me.  I see the person I am, and I thank her for everything she has done.

I don’t mourn her death, I remember and I celebrate her life.  That does get difficult at times but it is a much more positive outlook.  It does make me wish that I believed in the Christian afterlife, because I know she’d be there waiting for me, but alas I don’t.  This world was denied an extraordinary individual way too early in life.  I watch Reign Over Me and I can only imagine what I would’ve ended up if only I had some more years with her, maybe a family.. and then imagine losing her…  I truly believe that I would end up in the same way.

I know this entry is a bit off the beaten path from my regular work, but this entry is more for me.  Once upon a time this would’ve been scribbled on an exercise book and then tossed away never to be seen.  I needed to say everything here in a public forum, maybe it’ll do someone else some good to hear this story.  One day I will go into the details and everything, but that’s not a story ready to be told.

A real entry will be up soon but for now, thanks for bearing with me while I lose my mind you’re a lovely crowd.

This is the scene where Adam Sandler’s character finally breaks down and talks about his family for the first time in the movie.  Liv Tyler plays his psychologist that has continually failed at getting him to open up.  So, he decides to finally open up to Don Cheadle.  One of my favorite performances by Adam Sandler in any scene of any movie.

Did I happen to mention yet that you should watch this movie??

-Sonic Potluck 25: An Evening At The Bown-

December 4th, 2010.  La Bown.  A College of the North Atlantic production.

The intro riff to “Misery Business” by Paramore plays, and we are underway.  In the making since September and finally coming to fruition this past evening.  The time spent together, bonding and forging friendships, getting close with the intention of collaborating together as a team to pull this off.  It’s time once again for the 25th time for

Sonic Potluck

Since there is no way that anybody that is not familiar with Stephenville or CNA will ever know what exactly I am talking about.  So I am going to enlighten you before I go any further with this.

Sonic Potluck is a production of four different programs of the College of the North Atlantic.  The Film Video and Production program is responsible for recording the event in attempts to edit and make a final cut. Recording Arts are involved with anything audio, they control the volume and quality of the sound being produced each set. Journalism broadcast the whole event via the internet at http://www.cna.nl.ca.  We are responsible for all of the video that gets seen on that webcast.  Finally, the primary group is the Music Industry and Performance program, because in case you didn’t figure it out yet.. the Sonic Potluck is a big concert help by MIP at the end of each of their semesters.  It isn’t a small undertaking.

Sam Burke (1st Year MIP)

As a student in the Journalism program the potluck is an exciting time. This is my third potluck and it was a treat to reprise my role calling the shots on the video switchboard.  Essentially it is my job to direct the 4 cameras, and decide which shots will be aired over the web and helping the other camera people find good shots while the main focus is not on them.  Basically, one would literally call this job the shot-caller.  I’m not really that vain as to look at it that way.  Especially because it is a job that if you do it well, then you should just be able to let your camera people go and find their shots and just simply give them the cue when you are going to go to it.

This is the approach I take it the role.  On camera for my half of the show was Lynn Daley, Megan Edwards-Harris, Melanie Schumph, and James Churchill.  I’m assuming that they all had a laugh, trying to keep the mood light while taking in the show and finding the best possible angles we can.  I think it was a job well done.  They were all first year students and with the exception of Megan I don’t believe any of them had a whole lot of experience with this kind of work, but they made my job a lot easier.

I’m not trying to alienate anyone because they all do an incredible job but I am just leaving a special notice to James.  The guy was a natural.  I know I said it to him a few times during the show and once afterwards but I want to reiterate right now that I am extremely surprised with his work.  He produced some absolutely amazing shots and it was not a result of me asking for them for the most part.  Even when I did have to call a shot, all I would need to tell him was the name of who I want and the kid would not only have that person in line but a dead on shot to what i was asking for.  Excellent work James.

It is very important that I stress one major point about the role that I played tonight.  First, I only did the second half, first year journalism student Don Kettle did the first half.  Second, there are people in the course that may or may not think that this role means that you have a lot more authority, that you are a person of high importance and the end result is the thought process that you are indeed more important than the others.  This is a very well established misconception… hell I had that thought once myself.

Kyle Cooke (1st Year RA)

In my first year, first semester when our instructor Don Murphy explained the different roles required for the show I made a comment saying that the Switcher sounds fun.  When he actually said, “Okay, you can do that.”  I was dumbfounded, I know this may be hard for some of you to imagine but I was speechless (at least for a few moments before saying something sarcastic making fun of the man.)  I was thinking, “Wow… shouldn’t a second year be doing this?  Isn’t that like the Boss of the show?  I mean you are literally “calling the shots.”  Anyway, before potluck ever started, rest assured, I removed that mindset.  Because it is true that you are important, but so is the camera people, and the graphics person, and even the floaters.  It’s true that if you mess up, the show will suck… but same can be said to all of the roles.  So, I’m hoping that I’ve made it clear enough for everyone to understand that the Switcher is NOT the boss.  So there’s no reason to behave accordingly.

I understand that quality is important, and that all programs involve should (and we do) put our best effort into making a great show.  Honestly, I find it hard to swallow that the way to do that is to be so stressed, and serious, and rigid in your approach.  I’m thinking that the second half of the show turned out pretty good other than a few mishaps, and I’m thinking that if the camera people were not into it, having a good time, that the show would’ve ended up not only being boring for them to work… but that boredom will reflect in the quality of the performance.  Get a grip… Potluck is significant and important, but also fun and exciting.  It IS possible to be both.

Anyway, that is enough of the Journalism talk.  There’s a couple of things I want to say about the show itself.  First, and foremost, to any MIP student reading this I want to applaud you right now.  You all deserve it.  This is my third Sonic Potluck, and I’m saying without question that it was the best one I attended.  There was variety between the genres, I mean think about it for a second.  You guys see Kyle there to the side, he’s rapping to Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie”, with Maggie doing Rhianna’s vocals.  There was Avenged Sevenfold, Paramore, Thrice all the way down to A Capella version of Don’t Stop Believing by four lovely ladies dressed with purple sequence calling themselves the Beauty School Dropouts.  This has definitely been a well diverse Potluck.  An original medley mashing together a bunch of Marianas Trench songs done in different styles, and with a skill level that makes me wonder why some of these kids even bothered coming to school for music.

Jordan Durdle (1st Year MIP)

I am not one for a fluff piece.  I do not verbally or in text say everything is great when it’s not.  I mean I’m sure there were issues and problems with the show.  I mean a loud echoing boom over the microphone, and crazy amounts of feedback when Stephanie Tobin was trying to inform the attending crowd that free food and drinks were available.  Also, the performance for Artist in the Ambulance could’ve used more work, but I’m not ragging on anyone, I’m sure anyone could tear the show apart but I would not feel that it would be justified to do so.  Last year, the shows were good, but there were more than one performance that left me underwhelmed… that is not something that I can honestly say about this year.

There were a lot of interesting and incredible performances, one performer in particular I want to name. Is.. well actually someone who I don’t remember the name for.. it is the girl who opened the night.  I will slap myself tomorrow when I am told her name, because I knew it I just can’t find the word right now.  But, She was my surprise of the night.  I knew Michael Mercer can play like a beast, and Matt Ball walked out of the womb with a baseball cap on his head and a bass in his hands.  I’ve even heard the vocal talent of Taylor Roberts and John Picco at Clancy’s.  I don’t want to keep name dropping because I don’t want to leave anyone out, and I know I will if I keep this up… but I digress.  The girl who sang Misery Business and was involved with the Marianas Trench piece… left me unable to operate.

I remember yesterday coming to the Cue-to-Cue and hearing the tail end of her Misery Business and I was floored, but tonight… it was absolutely unforgettable.  So I want to give major props to her for her performances tonight.  To me, she stole the show, which is a VERY tough feat for the opening act.

Sonic Potluck 25 is in the books now, it’s time to start looking towards our final exams and getting to all head back to the places we came from for our Christmas Break.  One thing that is for certain, this potluck really set a very high standard for what we can expect in April. Sonic Potluck 26 now has a grotesquely high standard to live up to… because unlike Potluck 25, I’m sure most of us that were around last year didn’t have a lot of big expectations, at least I know I did.  I thought it was going to be just going through the motions.  We’ll all go to LA Bown, hear some good music, and go get drunk.  This new crop, blending with the old veterans of last year created a show tonight that destroyed all my expectations of a mediocre-to-good night out and left me trying to catch my breath.  As I said while switching there were moments where just following the show preoccupied my mind and I missed some good shots or held a not so good shot too long.

(Left to Right) Paul Williams (Post Diploma Journalism) & Lynn Daley, James Churchill, Megan Edward-Harris(1st Year Journalism)

Excellent work to everyone involved.  Drunken Facebook status’ began popping up a little while ago so I’m assuming most of you are home from your celebration and everything went great.  Also, if I didn’t mention your name in this entry I apologize, as I said I didn’t want to name everyone because I know there will be some people I’d fail to mention even though they contributed to a great show.  Like Mandy, I know if she reads this will not be impressed if I don’t mention her the performance was great.. Shawn Howell, whom I have not seen play all that much except for once or twice during the year, was great too definitely one of the best showmen of the guitarists… Brad LeRiche and Keith Warren… for some reason I always put those names together, but I’ve heard them out at Clancy’s, and tonight they were great. Sam Burke being this years Nick Billard and playing in a bunch of bands including a great solo-acoustic original.   Maggie, Vanessa, Jawsh, Trevor, Gagne, I mean, I know I almost named everyone now, but I also know I’m forgetting people so I’m going to stop that now.

To the Music Industry & Performance, and Recording Arts students, I have to say I am eagerly looking forward to seeing how you guys are going to top this next semester.  Keep It up, tonight was a real showing of the talent that can be found in CNA.

**************************************

Thank You Maggie Kanuka(The fantastic bassist for Californication, and the best Rhianna we could’ve asked for to sing Love The Way you Lie. Awesome Job Maggie.) for informing me that the Paramore singer that I could not recall the name was Shannell Lewis.

– The Dreaded Mother Hen Tactic –

Girls Night Out II by TheBourgyman @ Deviantart.com

Often it happens, we find ourself swamped and engulfed in all of life’s trivialities.  Destructive thoughts begin to flutter in the inner most recesses of your brain, and all of a sudden you begin to slip.  You lose control of your own life.  Everyone has that one friend that they can turn to and spill their guts in times of confusion.  That pillar of wisdom that seems to always be able to guide you in the right path to sanity.  It makes me pose the question though, where do those people turn to?

I do believe I may have already written on this topic but another trip to this discussion is warranted, it is the dominant thought in my mind right now.  The safe haven and the trusted faces have faded, and blended into obscurity.  I don’t have the welcoming feeling anymore in places where I should be at home.  I do not feel as though the people I have surrounded myself with recently are going to the be the type that is going to be any use finding clarity in my confusion.

Anyway, this is not the point of this entry.  This is the December 3rd entry, and yes it has been posted before midnight.  I did NOT miss my deadline yet.  Of course leaving an entry just to boast that I made deadline would be a cop-out. So I’m going to write about something that came to me last night.

Last night, despite my better judgement I accompanied a friend to The Bar because this friend did not want to go alone.  So I went, and among a few experiences that I’m sure will come up in a future entry at some point, I ran into a girl I knew.  There were three of them there, and one of them was getting pretty close with this guy.  Of course, the girl was incredibly drunk, and this guy was someone who was known to be shall-we-say not motivated by ethics or morals.

Sound The Alarms!!!


Mother Hen And Chicks by CRSgrl1223 @ DeviantArt.com

It was interesting to see this in action, it was very enlightening.  Within moments I bore witness to the Mother Hen syndrome taking complete control of the other two girls.  They instantly went into protection mode, the poor guy never stood a chance.  Each time he was going to the dance floor and drag his little target away, one of the other two would immediately pull her back.  The funny part about this is that the targeted girl just kept dancing throughout the whole thing… the alcohol had her almost completely oblivious to what was going on.

Wait a minute.. you DO know the Mother Hen right?

Well I don’t want anyone to have to admit that they never heard of it so I’ll just explain it nonetheless.  The Mother Hen tactic is most commonly viewed when a guy tries to get in the middle of and interrupt a girls night out.  Sorry pal, they just want to dance.  It is very difficult because the other girls flock around their chick and made sure you end up being a failure.

As a guy I know I should detest the Mother Hen tactic, however seeing what I saw last night I was actually impressed by it and I was actually cheering them on.  They did it amazingly.  The end of the night involved some choice words and a proposition of “taking it outside.”  Not that he was anything to fear, I just don’t really have the energy to waste on drunken idiots.  Anyway, it was really quite a sight to see.  Of course I found myself somewhat in protector mode, just sitting back and observing to make sure they didn’t get in under the heads and he didn’t do anything too stupid.

Thing is, I can’t understand why some people think they can get past this kind of defense.  This guy must have come up like 9 times over 3 songs trying to dance with her only to be turned away by the group.   He should have realized that there was no way in hell the girlfriends were going to let their friend go home with him.  Why persist?  Do you think drunk girl is going to stick up for you and leave them?  Dude, really she is drunk enough to be dancing with a creep like you, there’s no way she’s going to be giving her girls any confrontation.  By the time this night is over she’s going to want the bed… alone.

This tactic has been the almighty cock-block for as long as men have been trying to have sex with women.  It’s truly a terribly enemy if you are opposing it, but when you on the outside just watching it actually is like watching the nature channel, seeing how insects operate with one another.  It was educational.

Here’s some advice… if you reach double digits when counting how often you approach a girl only to be turned away by her friends, then she is NOT going to take you over them.  If you really like her, try here again when she’s sober… if you just want to get laid, look around that is not very difficult to find.

Anyway, this is short-ish, and not overly insightful.  It is more about the hilarity the ensued last night.  Even though the humor only really works if you were there… Okay, so I forced out this entry in order to meet my mandate of at least one entry per day for the month of December.  I’ve got some ideas floating around this head of mine, I’m sure tomorrow will be a better read.

– If you guys have any idea for something I could write about, anything at all, don’t hesitate to comment or send me a message.

– That Time Of The Year Again… Happy Birthday Eh? –

Technically, it is October 18th, 1:50am.  I am writing this blog before turning in to sleep.  Tomorrow I must study as much as I can before writing my Newfoundland History midterm – an exam that I may potentially fail.  Is this news? Not really.  My performance up to this point does not warrant to produce any benefit.  I will salvage this year I’m sure.  But, this entry has a purpose.

It isn’t a social commentary on society.  Nor will I dive into any psychological conundrums.  It’s merely time for the conclusion of my reflections.  Today was the anniversary of my birth.  October 17th.  Let’s just recap what went down.

To being, Birthdays ARE lame.  I hate my birthday most years.  It usually is a depressing reminder that my life was so much better once upon a time.  For me it is usually the loneliest day of the year.  I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, things that I do indeed regret (even if that statement contradicts my earlier statement of never regret.)  I’ve lost good friends, and girlfriends…  I’ve alienated myself from some really pivotal people in my life, luckily for me I haven’t been too self-destructive to lose them all… yet.  There are friends that I wish I could share this day with, when I look back on my life and see the great friends I once had, putting that in contrast with the distance I feel between even some of the closest people in my life right now, it is hard to be an optimist this time of year.

I was wrong though.  A couple of friends this year took it upon themselves to remind me that although I have lost touch with a big part of myself… that I feel hollow… I still have my value.  Einstein once said, “Strive not to be a success, but to be of value.”  And after last night, I feel as though I am regaining a portion of my sense of self-worth.  I think I’m finally beginning to advance towards my original self… the guy that would do the right thing, regardless of cost.

The party that was thrown for me was pretty large scale for the neighborhood, and almost got us evicted.. but since I still have the apartment, I tend to chalk that up to a sign that it was epic.  Then the night progressed to Clancy’s and The Bar.  It was a success, I legitimately felt like I actually belonged for the first time in a long time.  So once again, I thank anyone who is reading this that showed up last night.

This entry is not a retelling of my birthday festivities though.  It’s about the revelation I came too when I woke up this afternoon.  It is October 17th and I am officially 25 years old.  I’ve been talking about my “Mission” since the summer began.  I was planning on returning to school as a completely transformed man.  What better time is there to start a new goal in life then a birthday?

On my 26th birthday I’m making this proclamation.  I WILL be able to look in the mirror and enjoy the reflection I see looking back at me.  I’ve tried this so often in the past, but it’s time I make good.  I’m not getting

younger, and I don’t want to waste the few years I have left to be youthful and enjoy this life before the strain of middle age starts eating away at me.

I set a mandate of 12 months.  This time next year, You are going to see a brand new me.  That is a promise.

The picture you see to the left is a picture taken last night.  It is the most recent picture of myself that I have at the moment and it is my starting point.  I’m hoping that this blog remains at least online for the next 12 months so that I can be able to report on the final tally when it comes time for birthday number 26.

Here’s hoping.

But here we go.  I refuse to let any other excuse or reason hold me back anymore.  I am going to take control of my own life and finally strive to get what I am not only capable of, but what I deserve to have.  I shouldn’t be scrounging around for the bottom of the barrel with everything.  I should NOT be overweight… I don’t really have a slow metabolism or a medical condition for it.. it’s inactivity and a bad diet.  I should NOT be anything but the top of our class in school. No offense to any classmate reading this entry, but there is literally nothing that we have ever done that I found remotely confusing or difficult.  If I just showed up all the time and just put minimal effort into these assignments and exams I would be at the top of the class.  I’m sure there isn’t many that will dispute this.  I should NOT be making the selfish choices when I know what the right thing is.  I am usually the moral standard of everyone’s perspective.  I should not be letting drama get to me, I’m the dealer of it, I know how to make it go away, I need to regain my King of Resolving Drama crown…

There’s a LOT of work ahead of me, in so many ways.  But, what better day to start it than now?  After all, isn’t the old adage, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”  Carpe Diem guys, “Seize the Carp!”

No more excuses…