Procrastination, Blues Hockey, etc.

If you don’t care about hockey you may want to stop reading now. I’m a fanatic and may get into details you couldn’t care less about. Come back another day for more random writing.

 

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“It’s finally time to officially start another season of Blues hockey! They’re on national TV tonight to open the 2017-18 NHL season with a tough draw against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins and while I’m slightly disappointed we won’t get our local TV broadcast for the first game, mostly I’m just glad hockey’s back.”

I wrote those words back on October 4th, two weeks ago today. I figured I’d put together a quick post outlining my feelings on where the Blues were as they came out of camp and were ready to hit the ice for the new regular season. Every year I think of a lot of stuff to say about the Blues, music, food, life in general really, and make big plans in my head about how much I’m going to write only to find a million other things to do instead. That leads us, comically, to today, when I finally publish this post.

The Blues started off like gang-busters winning their first four games, only to stumble in Florida, at the end of a long road-trip. They’re (finally) back in action tonight, at home, against their biggest rival, the Chicago Blackhawks, after having three days off since they last played. I usually bitch about breaks like that- more than 2 days is just ridiculous- but the banged-up Blues desperately needed the time off. It’s sad, in a way, they needed is so early in the season but that’s just reality. We’ll find out later this morning if injured forward, Alexander Steen, will make his season debut tonight.

My expectations for the Blues are relatively low this season. I’m predicting a finish in the middle-bottom of the Conference standings and a fight for one of the last playoff spots. Their hot start hasn’t changed my mind, though, as we started to see some familiar problems rear their ugly heads: too many men penalties/lack of scoring from the forwards/failure to score on the power play/losing late leads. We’ve seen these issues trip them up over and over again for 2-3 seasons now. Things were supposed to be different, better, under new leadership.

It’s WAY too early to make any sweeping generalizations about the team and where they’ll finish this season, but the trends are still unsettling. One area that will be a concern throughout the campaign is goaltending; Can Jake Allen be “the guy” for St. Louis and carry the load? Is he going to rise to another level? He looked rusty in pre-season but by Game 2 (v. Dallas) he was quite sharp and has looked good. Like the team in general, is he too inconsistent? Can backup Carter Hutton push him enough to be outstanding? Hutton looked great in his start, better than I expected.

The Blues played only one Western opponent over their first two weeks so tonight’s match-up with Chicago looms large despite the early date BUT the Shithawks  Blackhawks are a point ahead and we wont see them again until March, so a win tonight would be a nice statement, especially with so many ‘Hawks fans in “our” building. Bandwagon fans tend to travel well.

Here’s hoping the Blues don’t procrastinate like I do and put off fixing their struggling power play until they’ve fallen back to reality and down the division standings. Some things (early streaks, I’m looking at you, Vegas) just don’t last and it’s a long season. I pledge to myself to write more, put things off less often, and not get too worked up about Blues losses until at least December. Yeah, good luck with that.

 

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12 Things I See Happy People Do (that unhappy people do not)

Just now seeing this (thanks FB friend, Mindy M!) and it’s an excellent read. I don’t think any of it is ground-breaking or shocking, but we all need reminders from time to time.

Rev. Shane L. Bishop

I have been thinking a lot about happiness of late, partially because so many people seem unhappy.  I think that was my first epiphany upon entering the world of Social Media; people are unhappy and there are a lot of them.  Now don’t get me wrong, we all know some people who wouldn’t be happy, were they not unhappy but I am not talking about them.  We will just let them be.  I am also not thinking theologically here (i.e. juxtaposing happiness and joy), today I am going to err on the practical and pragmatic side of things.  With that being said, let’s get going.

I think most people want to be happy; they are just not quite sure how to get there from their present location.  Many people honestly believe that happiness is a lucky bounce; a sunny disposition or favorable circumstances but I disagree.  Happiness is a choice…

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100 Word Challenge – Books

The NYT Best Seller when I was born, in January 1973, was “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” by Richard Bach, published three years earlier. I’ve never read it or been interested in reading it, but I’m prompted to now by a post from a friend and fellow blogger.

Mastushima-Seagull

According to Goodreads the “best” book to be released in the year of my birth is the wonderful, “The Princess Bride,” by William Goldman. Other notable titles published in 1973 include Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions,” “A Wind in the Door,” the second book of Madeline L’Engel’s fantastical Time Quintet series, and “Gravity’s Rainbow,” by Thomas Pynchon.

This post was prompted by the 100 Word Challenge from Thin Spiral Notebook:

“Using “books” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied.” Click the link and follow Tara’s instructions to include your own post.

T.G.I.F.

Well dangit, I couldn’t even make it a week writing every day, oh well. Yesterday was just too busy. I suppose if I was worried about it I could stockpile a bunch of posts and have them scheduled to drop each day. I’m not though and that would somehow detract from the purpose of the writing I think. Whatever.

Happy Friday and Happy Birthday to me! I say that not in blatant self-promotion, reaching and grasping for public attention, but only to note that this is the day I was born 44 years ago and it makes me reflective. Do I feel 44? What’s that supposed to feel like? Is this where I thought I’d be when I made it this far? Did I ever really think about it? Do I remember what I thought about it? mirror

I’m not having any existential crisis, just thinking about these (and other) questions. I should probably reflect more often but today seemed like a good day for it. I’m so thankful for my wonderful family that I’ll get to share this and all my days with. I love you guys SO much! I don’t get to *see* a lot of my friends very often but I feel like I have a good amount of them, which is nice.

What is about self-reflection that keeps us from doing it more often? Probably only speaking for myself but maybe there’s folks out there sharing my insecurities and thoughts on the subject. Perhaps it’s fear of seeing what we’d rather not see or admit? I honestly don’t think that’s why *I* don’t do it, I really don’t have a lot of demons and I’m pretty happy with my life as is. Maybe we are too busy, to caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life (that sounds like me!) to sit back and think of the past. That then begs the question, would be benefit from it? Would it hinder our progress? Make us sad, angry, discouraged?

I think living in the now and planning for the future is what works best for me. Hopefully mistakes I’ve made stick in memory easily enough that I don’t have to dwell on them for them to have taught me lessons on how to avoid repeating them. I feel like I’m barely halfway through my life and that actually makes me smile. I’m not famous or rich but I’ve done a fair amount of stuff in my life 🙂 Gained knowledge, shared it, made friends, loved, found the love of my life (hi babe!) and will raise our kids with her. Still an awful lot of stuff I *haven’t* done but I truly feel I’ll be doing most or all of it eventually and with my best friend, which is a nice bonus. It feels good to think about it.

Make it a great weekend. Happy Epiphany 😛

100 WORD CHALLENGE: COLD

I cannot feel my fingers or toes. Stumbling through the blowing, blinding blizzard, woefully ill-dressed for such weather, wishing I’d heeded the warnings as I ventured out alone into the woods. Limbs and trunks creaking as the temperature drops, trees shiver and snap as I brush hastily past. Ice clings to my beard and lashes as frosted, labored breath painfully plumes from my mouth, lips already dry and chapped..

Faltering, my hips and ankles seizing, I slump to my knees and fall woodenly to the ground in a puff of powdery snow. I wonder, how long until my bones freeze?

 

This week’s word is:

Cold

What to do:

Using “Cold” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Link back to Thin Spiral Notebook to share. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.

Another New Year 2017 Edition

fireworks

They just keep coming, don’t they? I suppose it’s a good thing and I’m certainly thankful to be a part of another one. It’ll officially be 44 years on the planet for this guy come Friday and while I’m probably not where I thought I’d be 20 years ago (who can remember that far back?) I’m very happy to have the life I’m living right now. It’s never easy but it’s rich, lively and I vow to get in better shape to keep up with it (no, not making a Resolution to hit the gym this year!)

As I do at the start of each new year, I’m thinking about blogging more, maybe trying the post-a-day type thing, something to get my thoughts out on a more consistent basis, though as of now I’m already a couple days behind. I’m also trying something I saw a friend on Facebook mention: short (like 2-3 seconds) videos of my life, every single day for a year, to compile and review at the beginning of the next. Very interesting and I *am* on pace for that one, so there you go.

If you’re reading this, thank you for taking the time. There’s a LOT of blogs out there, most with more direction and purpose than mine, and I do appreciate your “ear.” Please, comment and engage me during the course of the year if you read or see or hear something that strikes you in one of my posts. I tend to write these mostly for self-reflection, self-therapy if you will, but I do enjoy interacting with readers and friends. Hell, even if you’re an enemy I’ll still join you in debate.

Also as usual, I can’t (won’t) promise you’ll see anything specific on these pages. It could be a recipe or restaurant review, something about music, movies, books, or *maybe* television, though I tend to leave that category to the experts. I might share original fiction- whether generated for a Prompt or just something off-the-cuff or I might wax poetic on the woes and wonders of the St. Louis Blues. Maybe the Cardinals too, who knows?

Here’s to another new year. May it be filled with fun, love, success, happiness, good books, music and laughs.

Music Reviews at Glacially Musical

Friends, bloggers, music lovers, rejoice! I’m doing some writing again as a contributor over at Glacially Musical, an excellent source for band interviews, album and concert reviews. The site has a distinctly metallic tang to its flavor but there’s definitely something for every musical taste. Go check them out and spread the word!

As a #FF suggestion try @bluenotebacker (that’s me) or @Nik_No_C (he runs the place) You can also follow Glacially Musical on Facebook to stay up to date when new posts hit the air.

I’ve reviewed a Southern Rock album from the Italian band, Smokey Fingers. I think you’ll like it and I hope you enjoy my take. Visit the site through the link above or check out my review directly HERE.

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Smokey Fingers – Promised Land

One-word Prompt: Storm

This one is almost too easy considering a beast of a storm ripped through the St. Louis area just last night. While we did get crazy high winds at home that tried to rearrange all the flowers and plants on our front porch we didn’t lose power, unlike nearly 100,000 people in and around the St. Louis area.

Large swaths of destruction could be seen both on my evening commute yesterday and my morning one today primarily comprised downed branches and piles of leaves, sticks and trash but there were some major incidents of property damage as well. Some trees snapped nearly in half and one fell over this house only a few blocks north of mine.

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There were several HUGE old trees downed in and near Forest Park. Sad to see such majesty felled so easily. And the property damage continued as some unfortunate citizen had gambled on a parking spot and lost.

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Storms are always prevalent during the Summer months in the Midwest but it sure seems they’ve grown in intensity over the last year. Thankfully my friends and family are all safe today after Mother Nature’s wrath but She’ll be back. She always comes back.

This post was in response to The Daily Prompt.

Storm

100 Word Challenge: List

Disappointed

Confused

Terrified

Resentful

Angry

Vengeful

The emotions hit me rapid fire and though I know somehow I watched the building go down as I stood on a cliff high above the city I was still in it.

As the shoreline roiled and waves overtook the rubble of the tower sirens wailed. A cacophony of horns and alarms blasted out through the dark and the rain and then, impossibly, I began to rise up out of the lagoon.

You wouldn’t have recognized me. Gone was the suit and tie. In fact, gone was my humanity. I had become The Creature!

 

100 Word Challenge
“Using “list” for inspiration, write 100 Words, no more, no less.” Link back to that post, or leave your submission in the comment section there.

Thankful For You

 

Yes, if you’re reading this the title of this post pertains to you. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who bothers reading my blog. There are (way more than) a million blogs out there and it’s meaningful to me that you would choose to read mine. I wish I posted more often or more interesting things and who knows? Maybe moving forward I will.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving this week and will spend it with friends, family and loved ones be sure to take a moment and reflect on how good we actually have it, whether we realize it every day or not, compared to those who are suffering around the world and in our own towns.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the holiday.