The Good…

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I think we’ve coverd the bad, and the ugly for this year.

After this post, I’ll have two more – one from my sister on the celebrities who’ve died this year, and one from Vox on the political stories and the end of year summaries. There will possibly be one last post right on the cusp of 2017 or very close to it, and then…it’s a new year! A happy one to all of you. Be creative. Be kind. Be you.
Here are some of the good that happened for me and my family in 2016: Continue reading

Those We Lost

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I was going to write a post about how much of my childhood I lost this past year. It seemed that every other day a new name was being memorialized on my television, on my Facebook, on my heart.

Our family lost my mother-in-law and a close family friend. My friend lost her father. Another friend lost his grandmother.

We will always continue to find inspiration somewhere, but that doesn’t make any of these losses, family or celebrity, any easier.

Death is a part of life, and with the turning of the calendar page, 2016 passes away, and 2017 is born.

We Lost a lot of Progressive Artists

Generation X Lost too many Touchstones

We Lost Carrie Fisher and so Many OthersRemembering Those We’ve Lost

Timeline of Celebrity Deaths – 2016

Memorial Video

My mother-in-law. (c)2016

Grandma with her grandkids (my kids) after the third one was born. (c)2006-2016

On the 6th Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to Me:

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…more snow, a Walking Dead marathon on AMC, and a New Year to be better in.

Tonight we’ll look back and collect our thoughts, gather our prayers, and look forward. 2017 is less than fourteen hours away, and the work’s not done. 2016 was extraordinarily difficult for several of us, and 2017 won’t miraculously be easier, but it will be, and so we need to be open to it.

Are you open to it?

On the 5th Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to Me:

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​…gumption.

This is disguised as a book rec. Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers by Nick Offerman. It is funny, historical and biographical, autobiographical, serious and not, and there is quite a bit of language, both of the English and the salty variety.

Comedian and all around great guy, Nick Offerman profiles many gentlemen and gentle-ladies who have that one thing that lets them hit their goals and more importantly to keep getting back up when the lemonade stand knocks them down. Making lemonade is fine, but adding a shot of whiskey is better. I think Mr. Offerman would agree with me.

Oxford Dictionaries defines gumption as:

shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness

A few synonyms are: ingenuity, imagination, acumen, practicality, spirit, pluck, courage, moxie, spunk, and my favorite: wherewithal.

In total, in addition to an epilogue and a bonus chapter, there are twenty-one profiles, some you’d expect: Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Benjamin Franklin as well as founding father, George Washington, and some you might not expect: Conan O’Brien, Carol Burnett, and Willie Nelson.

Those last three speak directly to my prejudices. Despite loving many celebrities, finding inspiration in them, and respecting them, I am still under the impression that they and celebrities of all types are expected to be more because they do more. Or rather, they do more publicly, and often hide their hardships, not always because of shame, but because of being so far ih the past as to not talk about anymore. They appear to just do it, which I suppose defines those with gumption better than the Oxford Dictionary.

Just get it done.

When you’re a kid that phrase usually means clean your room, finish the dishes, put away the groceries, but responsibilities foster more responsibility.

Some shrug off the fall; others cry, but they all get up and make a new plan.

That, my friends, is gumption.

Read the book, learn something new, meet someone new in its pages, and find out where your gumption is and how to find it; to reach it.

Fandom Merchandise and Where to Find It

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​As I look at my Christmas gifts, and my recent birthday gifts before that, I am struck, but not terribly surprised by how much relates to the variety of fandoms and pop culture things I am involved in. Many of these things have stayed with me since my teen years, to the point that I no longer participate, but they still hold an important place in my heart. The one example that comes to mind was my getting a new messenger bag: ThinkGeek’s Bag of Holding. It’s so glorious that I’ll be writing a separate review of it. My son was a little annoyed that I would be getting it – it was a little expensive, but with the thirty percent discount that was offered, it was well worth it. He was still a little annoyed and exclaimed, “You don’t even like Dungeons & Dragons!” I think I may have snorted. I was momentarily speechless.

I don’t like Dungeons & Dragons?! Do you even know me?! I had been playing Dungeons & Dragons since high school. In our school cafeteria, we would use the half-pint milk container as a six-sided die. Every weekend in college, we’d get together in the blue room to play. Dave, our DM (dungeon master) would not let us have any alcohol. We got stupid. We were probably the only group on a Saturday night not drunk. We would play all weekend, talking time only to sleep before the next night’s game.

I met my college roommate in a study hall through a conversation about character sheets.

My oldest son used my original books when he and his friends played Dungeons & Dragons.

Not a fan?! Harumph!

Glancing at The Walking Dead trivia box, the Hufflepuff necklace, the Supernatural zipper bag, the Star Trek 50th anniversary gold ornament with sound, I saw just how many fandom things there are, and I also realized how difficult it was to get some of them.

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