– Ya Should’ve Been There!… Still Haunted –

Really?  I thought for sure I was past this.  Will there ever come a point and time where I’ll be able to function as a normal person again?  …. I guess I should put this into context for you eh?

It’s been a little while since I’ve had a coherent thought that warranted adding to The World Is Broken and since then there has been significant changes in my life. This gym idea has been an absolute godsend for my physical and psychological well-being.  Even though the last 24 hours have been a very bad hiccup on my path of physical fitness.

Not going to the gym, but opting to drink a significant amount of alcohol doesn’t seem like a very productive choice, however I think I needed last night just as it was as much as I need to persevere at the gym.

I’ve come to some conclusions about the people I’ve surrounded myself with in recent weeks.  Some good, some bad, but all important.  This season essentially has begun with the re-emergence of Kathryn, and the introduction to a new Emily & Johnny.  It’s a group dynamic that isn’t going to sustain itself for very long (especially since the Emily of this dynamic is leaving), but it is a very welcome throw back to two years ago when one of the most intense seasons of the last decade began.

Last night, we found ourselves having some drinks. I indulged a little nostalgia and led the gang to O’Reilly’s for Open Mic.  Anyone who knows me knows full well how significant Open Mic has been to my developing of social skills and the maintenance of my own sanity.  It has always worked as the very best outlet for what is in my head at the time.

Last night it didn’t quite work as such, because I tried to play songs that people would recognize and like more so than trying to give an accurate reflection of what is on my mind.  I ended up breaking into my rendition of Freshman by Verve Pipe, Asshole by Denis Leary, and following up with the song that has become a signature of mine (even if it is over played and pop-ish) Brian Wilson by The Barenaked Ladies.

Before getting up there I contemplated actually playing “View From Heaven”… I’ve played it every open mic since Elaine passed away and as I’ve explained in the past, this song is a word for word accurate description of how I felt about her, and how I continue to feel to this day.

Last night felt absolutely amazing.  It was the first time I actually felt like myself in a very long time; the feeling was intoxicating.  My friends were having a great time before the group somewhat split and went their own separate ways, I felt like a Rock Star having people coming up to tell me how good the set was. I even won the bar tab that O’Reilly’s gives out each week.  Later  I opted to stay downtown for a little while extra once I knew that my friends were safely on their way back home.

There was a golden question circulating last night about why I decided to do that.  I was a little hesitant about going into details last night with anyone other than the birthday girl (simply because she already knew)… The short answer is that truthfully, I don’t know how or why, but I couldn’t get my mind off Elaine.

It sounds lame, and makes me come off as probably a lot weaker than I actually am, but she was on the back of my mind before I went up.. the fact that I didn’t play View From Heaven made me think of her on stage.. and getting the bar tab for “winning” open mic brought me back to the last time I played O’Reilly’s… and how excited I was to tell her all about it and how happy she seemed for me.

I couldn’t shake her face, and I couldn’t get control of my own thoughts.  So instead of letting these new friends of mine, friends that I have not been associated with long enough to know whether or not seeing me in such a contemplative state would be something they can be okay with… I decided to stay and ponder.

I eventually managed to get a buddy to get me and my car up to the new Johnny’s place, where I hung out with them for a little while before later having that same buddy (I REALLLLY OWE you big time sir) get my car and bring it to where I would crash last night.

I think my efforts to NOT worry the new friends was in vain, especially when after I told them to go to bed I was sitting in my car with the engine running and I know they were convinced that I was going to drive.

Anyway, as much as I know I’ll never really be able to let go of her, I thought for sure I was at least past the point where I am going to be haunted by her at every turn.  I know Elaine would be pissed to know that she was the root cause of my mood completely dropping out last night… but it isn’t something that can be helped.

I will say this though, there were no demasculating tears, or heartfelt rants that needed to be said.. so maybe that’s progress.  What I do know for sure is that last night I felt better than I have in many moons, and it just reinforced the idea that I don’t think I’ll ever be truly done with doing Open Mics.  It just flows through me, it’s my lifeline no matter what is going on.

Anyone up for a jam?

– Cancer Can Be Defeated (150th Post) –

When I saw my 150th post was coming up I was not sure exactly how I would do it.  Maybe a top ten list since they seem to be pretty popular online, or even a radio podcast or video.

150 posts is about 145 more than I expected to reach when I first started. I had no idea how influential this website was going to be in the documentation and even shaping of who I am today.

All the special plans I made for this post essentially went out the window the other day when a special blogger liked one of my posts.  I mentioned whenever a new person likes one of my entries I will take the time to check them out.  The moment I read through an entry or two on her website I knew that I would spend my 150th post highlighting this woman.

I’m sure that you are all sick of hearing ShallopNewf talk about how much I misses Elaine Mahon and how special she was to me.  “If I Saw You In Heaven” still stands today as being the hardest piece of writing I’ve ever had to endure, while still being the one that is dearest to my heart.

If I Saw You In Heaven
Day One – After The Funeral 

From losing Elaine a part of me has been ripped from its mortal coil and I have grown very cynical when it comes to Cancer.  I see it as a death sentence… that a girl so full of life and a fighter to the end could finally succumb to the condition… I feel there’s no hope. 

The blogger Oneanna65, is a blogger that exhibits the same lust for life that I saw in Elaine.  Her blog is actually called “CancerKillingRecipe.” For the first time since last May I am finally beginning to feel some inkling of hope that Human Will can overcome, and it is thanks to this blogger.

She’s a 65 year old cancer combatant.  She writes about her life and with each word I find a little more strength to get through the day.  Elaine was taken from us at the age of 24.  Long before her time, but she fought valiantly.

There’s so much of Elaine’s attitude evident in oneanna65’s writing that it makes me feel like Elaine is still here.

“And as long as I can inspire someone, somewhere, and as long as You are going to “click” and “like”, I’m going to keep Blogging. And Blogging keeps me so busy, that to tell You the truth, I don’t have the time to die of cancer. You see, I have nothing against dying. We all have to die some day….. It is just that I don’t want to die of cancer. And I won’t!” – Oneanna65

I can almost hear Elaine’s voice saying this as I read it.

I’m sure OneAnna65 doesn’t need my help to be recognized, I believe there’s been numerous accolades given to her for her website. I just wanted to speak up because I’ve felt a large burden released from my shoulders just by getting lost in her words.

For my 150th Post I want to proclaim my support and admiration for Oneanna65, and more importantly I would like to Thank her.  Not only are you an inspiration but your will is contagious, with more people like you this in the world I honestly don’t think Cancer has a chance.

The real cure isn’t in a test tube, it’s in the human will to survive.

Check out OneAnna65’s Blog.

– A Return To The Grindstone –

Eric Hoffer said it best, “The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.

This summer has been an eventful one to say the least.  The journalism program was finished.  I left the program with lots of start-up ideas and aspirations that were going to realized over the summer.  Scratching The Surface was going to continue covering the entire west coast of Newfoundland.  Harnum and Augot were going to take up residence at 99 Montana, and we were going to make a real go of it.

Set backs began right out of the gate.  May 1st, the day that both Harnum and Augot were going to officially move in we get word from Harnum that he has decided he’s not on board anymore.  To each their own, but I would be lying if I tried to say there wasn’t any resentment targeting him when the news came in… really this isn’t something that we could not have been informed of at an earlier date??

A last minute roommate acquisition allowed STS to continue covering shows.  Unfortunately it was not a paying gig, Augot was soon forced to concede and return back to her hometown leaving the sole responsibility of the site up to me.

Unfortunately May 31st saw the final nail in the coffin… literally.  The death of Elaine Mahon basically saw the death of Scratching The Surface for the summer.  It completely put me out of commission.  Not only was STS left to stagnate, but all my ambition was purged from my system.  It felt like I would just stay put and live a very mediocre life here in Stephenville

Journalism can teach you everything you need to know about being a journalist, but it can’t prepare you for life itself.  Life can be your biggest obstacle.

October 17, 2011. ShallopNewf is going to turn 26.  There’s no more time to waste, I’ve already got some ventures in the works and there are a few prospects that may bear fruit in the near future.  Until then, I’m going to return to simply doing the best I can with what I got…  right now, what I got is a Call Center job, The World Is Broken blog, and Scratching The Surface (Returning October 31st).

It’s time to dust off the old Canon and Vivitar and get back at this.  Wish me luck.

– Day One – June 8, 2011 –

I have had to come to terms with the worst event to happen in my life in the past 10 years.  There’s been many proclamations of better things to come, so many plans to better myself in the past, but it always gets put off.

It’s been a week to the day since Elaine left us and I’m still far from myself.  Last night was the first night since Friday that wasn’t spent in the graveyard looking over her and remembering the impact she had on my life.

This post is not another eulogy, and it isn’t another goodbye for her.  There is not enough web space available on the internet to hold everything I want to say about her.  This post is more about what is now to come.

I’ve spent too long looking to ludicrous ideas and ambitions, but nothing ever comes of them.  It’s officially time for that to end.

I went to see Elaine on every visit that I made to St. John’s unless it just couldn’t happen. The end of April I was there for 2 days, and wanted to see her but I assumed I had so much time.  I left St. John’s with the intentions of sorting out my life and returning to the city at the end of the summer to spending more time with her.

That plan turned into an extended stay in Stephenville with the intent to visit the big city more often… which of course led us to where we are now.  I will never get the chance to see her again.

I am not going to be put off this anymore, this may be a familiar rant to anyone who knows me too well but I’m done.  I had to abandon Elaine and move back home to fix myself, it’s about time I take that seriously because if I don’t take it seriously it means I truly did abandon her for nothing.

I’m setting goals right now to be accomplished over the next 6 months, starting tomorrow.

Within the next 6 months I am going to meet very specific goals…
It’s time to clean up this life, professionally, financially, and physically.

In 6 months time I’m also going to place a link here and on Scratching The Surface to the blog that I am going to use to keep track of my progress, of course I’m not showing it to anyone until after the 6 months has expired..

No more distraction, no more procrastination…
I’m not wasting anymore time with bullshit that doesn’t have any importance.

Never Forget - Elaine Mahon 1987 - 2011