Go Away! I’m Reading

reading, alone time, fnding peace, humor, Modern PhilosopherA couple of weeks ago, Modern Philosophers, I was blogging (whining) about how I didn’t seem to have enough time to accomplish everything I wanted to do over the course of a day.

My days have not gotten any longer, nor have I finally completed my time machine, but I have discovered a way to carve out a little time for myself each day.

The weather has been much nicer around these parts lately, which is to say it finally stopped raining, so I’ve forced myself to take advantage of the gorgeous weather once I get home from work.

After amazingly surviving the work day, I return to The House on the Hill and then settle into this basic routine:

Feed the cats.

Burn my work clothes and put on something comfortable.

Douse myself in holy water to kill the demons.

Have dinner.

Go for a walk to get more steps on my tracker will digesting my dinner.

Sit out on the porch, Where I spend some quiet time writing and reading.

It might not sound like much, but simply knowing that my porch time is waiting is exactly what I need to get me through the day.

reading, alone time, fnding peace, humor, Modern PhilosopherI used to read on my breaks at work, but lately there hasn’t been time for that.  Now I can devour several chapters every night as the sun slowly sets on another Spring day.

Reading has always been important to me, but it’s one of those luxuries that can fall off a schedule when something has to go to make room for a task that might not be so enjoyable.

Believe it or not, sometimes the best way to find peace and happiness is by releasing your inner bookworm.

Reading is more than just a way to distract my brain from the more stressful parts of life by sending it on a much needed adventure.

For me, reading is a way to get my creative juices flowing.  When I’m reading a good book, it sparks something inside me that makes me want to write.  I hope to take people like me on a ride, help them forget about work, and give them the adventure they’ve been craving.

So when you see me reading, you really need to go away.  Not only would you be interrupting the magical mystery tour my brain is enjoying, but you’d also be thwarting my creative process, thereby depriving an untold number of other readers from one day devouring whatever piece of writing I’m meticulously plotting in my head.

I’ve still got a long way to go before my life is perfectly balanced, but I’m currently content with the little chunk of well deserved happiness I’ve carved out for myself at the end of every day.

reading, alone time, fnding peace, humor, Modern PhilosopherEvery journey has to begin somewhere.

Mine is on the front porch with my laptop, a good book, and a whole lot of nothing else.

Sometimes, the simplest things shine the brightest light on the path one should take in order to find true contentment.

Damn!  Look at how philosophical I’ve gotten simply because I’ve given my brain a little love.  Imagine what I could do if I freed my mind from its shackles and really let it roam free…

Why are you still here?  Go away and let me read in peace!

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

It’s Hot, I’m Cool

Maine, Spring, heat wave, poetry, humor, Modern PhilosopherWalking around

Like a bad ass

In my Kylo Ren

Tee shirt,

Sweating in the

Ninety degree heat,

And being

Totally cool

With it.

Why don’t I care

That a heat wave

Is scorching Maine

And the sun

Is relentlessly

Activating

My sweat glands?

Simply because

It can’t snow

When the mercury

Is pushing triple digits!

Ninety-five degrees

On May 18th?

I’m cool with that.

Perspiring like a

Sweaty-toothed madman

As I accumulate

Over 17,000 steps

Under the watchful glare

Of the blazing sun?

I’m cool with that.

Snow Miser be gone!

In Heat Miser

We trust!

Bring the heat.

I can always hide

In the super chilled

Darkness

Of my basement bunker.

As long as

I can lock away

My snow shovel,

Life is good.

And I make sure

To apply

Massive amounts

Of deodorant,

Of course.

I know

This poem

Is strange,

But I blame it

On the heat…

And other

Delightful distractions.

Stay cool.

Be cool.

It’s extremely hot,

And I’m wicked cool

With that.

It’s hot.  Be cool and follow me on my blog.  And on Pinterest!

Posted in Humor, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Fat Boy Slimming

fitness, exercise, running, weight loss, health, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhy, yes, I have lost some weight, Modern Philosophers.  Thanks so much for noticing!

I’ve been as giddy as a schoolgirl at a One Direction Concert about the recent success of my new fitness program, but I’m also a Glum Gus because no one has told me I look thinner.

Come on, people.  I’ve lost 22 lbs.  You’ve got to see some kind of difference!

When I saw The Other Melissa recently, I asked her if she could tell I’ve lost weight (primarily since she had pointed out that I had put on weight during our three years apart).  She just shrugged and told me I always wear baggy sweats so it was hard to tell.

Doesn’t she get how friendship works?  You tell the Fat Boy he looks slimmer in order to encourage him to work harder at it.  Especially when you are an extremely attractive woman because your words will obviously inspire him even more.

I don’t know what’s wrong with her.  But I digress…

Mel did have a point, though.  I had taken to camouflaging my weight gain by wearing baggy clothes.  I was embarrassed and felt horrible about how I looked, so I did my best to hide it so I could still go out in public.

Well, go out as much as an introvert like me feels comfortable doing.

fitness, exercise, running, weight loss, health, humor, Modern PhilosopherNow that I’ve lost 22 lbs, I have noticed that my Fat Boy clothes are on the verge of becoming too humongous for me.  I’m on the next to last notch on my belt, and I’m pretty sure I could hide a frozen turkey under my shirt.

I’m hesitant to pull the Thinner Guy clothes out of mothballs, though.  First off, mothballs stink, and it’s difficult to get that stench out of clothes.  Second, and more importantly, I’m afraid I’m going to jinx things.  I’m strangely superstitious.

What if I start wearing a smaller size, get cocky and lazy, and then everything gets tight again in a couple of week?  I’d rather have my clothes billow wildly in the Spring wind than anger the Weight Loss Gods at this point.

I suppose this means that I just have to accept that no one is going to notice my weight loss and I’ll have to live without compliments a little longer.

I guess I can handle that.  Besides, I’ve heard that compliments are high in calories.

Speaking of how in calories, do you have any idea how badly I’m craving an ice cream sundae right now?  The temperature shot into the 70s today, and I went for a long walk on my lunch break.  Mind you, that’s after I went for a three and a half mile run this morning.

And that, Modern Philosophers, is how you lose 22 lbs!

But back to my ice cream story.  After that long walk in the heat, I was perspiring a tad and wanted to cool off quickly.

fitness, exercise, running, weight loss, health, humor, Modern PhilosopherAnd what better way to lower one’s body temperature than by devouring a bucket of ice cream?

Luckily, self control won out.  Well, self control and the fact that I was trapped at work with no access to ice cream.

I have not had even a scoop of ice cream since I started my torture…I mean…fitness program.   That sort of self control is necessary if I ever want to wear my Thinner Guy clothes again, so I am very proud of myself.

But I still want some ice cream.  And a few compliments.

Is that really too much to ask?  I know I’m doing this for me and to improve my health, but a few pats on the back and some encouragement would definitely push me to work harder.

Especially if those compliments were to come from the ladies.  As hard as it is to believe, this neurotic mess of a man is still very single.

Working hard on changing that, too.  Trust me.

Alright, I need to wrap up this post so I stop salivating over that pic of the ice cream sundae.  Thanks for indulging me for several hundred words.  Talk to you soon…

You should follow my blog.  I’m on Pinterest, too!  Don’t give me any ice cream, though, no matter how much I pester you for it!

Posted in Fitness, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Surviving Monday

Monday, life hacks, coping skills, humor, Modern PhilosopherRecent studies show, Modern Philosophers, that Monday is the least favorite day of the week.

By “recent studies”, I, of course, mean a quick show of hands by all the interns and blog groupies hanging out at The House on the Hill today.

Regardless of how the data was collected, it’s still scientific fact.  If you don’t believe me, ask the team of scientists I keep on retainer in my basement should questions such as this one ever arise.

Basic logic states that Mondays suck.  So we can sit around and complain about how much we hate this god awful day of the week, or we can do something to make Mondays a bit more tolerable.

That’s where I come in with this highly topical blog post on surviving Mondays…

Pretend it’s Tuesday.  Take the bull by the balls and snatch away all of Monday’s power.  Just act like it’s Tuesday all day, and life will be exponentially less stressful.  Of course, you’ve got to commit to the whole Monday is Tuesday idea, or it won’t work.

This means that when your friendly coworker asks you how your weekend was, you bark back at him: “Quit wasting my time, Chuck!  I already told you all about my weekend yesterday.  Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got to finish my Tuesday reports before the boss hauls my ass off to HR!”

If you can sell him on the idea that it’s Tuesday, you’ve also brightened his day.  Even if you were a little rude to him.

Monday, life hacks, coping skills, humor, Modern PhilosopherTake it one hour at a time.  Everyone knows that the eight hours that make up the Monday workday are longer than any other eight hour stretch during the week.

Trying to stare down those 480 minutes is an imposing task.  But what if you tackle the day one hour at a time?

An hour ain’t no big thing.  Hell, you could make it through pretty much any scenario if you know it only lasts sixty minutes.

Rather than trying to survive one eight hour Monday, approach it like you have to get through eight mini Mondays.  Anything mini is adorable, am I right?  You’ve got this.

Pack a special lunch.  Everyone knows that once you make it to your lunch break, the work day is virtually over and it’s all downhill to 5:00.  So why not make lunch the focus of your day?

If Monday becomes Awesome Lunch Day, you’ve replaced the worst day of the week with one that’s a lot more delicious.  Maybe you pack a special meal.  Perhaps you order out from your favorite place.  Hell, why not just throw all the rules out the window and have ice cream for lunch?  And buy some for Chuck to make up for yelling at him earlier.

Mmmm…this idea sounds so yummy, I can’t wait for it to be next Awesome Lunch Day!

Make after work plans.  I don’t know about you, Modern Philosophers, but the day always seems to fly by for me when I’ve got big plans for the night.  I get so distracted by what awaits me that I barely notice the day passing.

So set up something for Monday night.  Go on a date.  Meet some friends for a drink.  The movies are always dead on Monday nights.  Just do something out of the ordinary that actually makes you excited for Monday to arrive.

Monday, life hacks, coping skills, humor, Modern PhilosopherHave a great show waiting on the DVR.  Not everyone is adventurous and wants to go out on a Monday night.  If that’s the case, make sure you have a favorite show waiting for you at home on the DVR.  That way, you can sit back, relax, and be entertained.  You deserve it.

For me, it’s usually The Walking Dead on the DVR for Monday night TV night.  Now that the season is over, it’s Madam Secretary.  As soon as I finish this blog post, I’m going to pour myself a big glass of milk and watch Tea Leoni very diplomatically save the world.

I hope these ideas help make your Mondays suck a little less.  If they don’t, take some comfort in the fact that Mondays only come around once a week!

There’s more great stuff where this came from.  Don’t forget to follow my blog.  I’m on Pinterest, too…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

One Hell of a Yankee

Derek Jeter, New York Yankees, retiring Jeter's number, short story, The Devil, humor, Modern Philosopher“I didn’t miss the ceremony, did I?” The Devil asked anxiously as he rushed into the room carrying a tray of his famous Hellfire Chicken Wings.

His impeccably tailored suit was pinstriped today, just like Yankees pinstripes, in honor of the team’s retiring Derek Jeter’s number.

“I would not allow them to begin until you arrived with the wings,” I assured my guest as I hungrily grabbed several wings off the platter.

I was wearing my Yankees jersey over a Yankees tee shirt.  I also had on my Yankees cap.  It wasn’t as fashionable as Lucifer’s outfit, but it was just as classy.

“So was Jeter your favorite Yankee?  He’s definitely mine,” The Prince of Darkness barked out excitedly.  “Number 2 was always number 1 in this Devil’s heart.”

I had to smile at his schoolboy giddiness, and rewarded it with an ice cold Snapple fresh from the cooler.  I took a sip of my Snapple and wiped Hellfire Sauce from my lips before I answered his question.

“Don Mattingly will always be my favorite Yankee,” I informed him.  “His career was cut short by injuries, though, and he retired the year before Jeter’s teams began their dynasty.  Jeter was definitely my favorite once Donnie Baseball hung up his spikes.”

“What’s not to like about Derek Jeter, am I right?” Satan continued to gush as he nibbled on a wing.  “He was so clutch at the plate and in the field, he never played at a speed less than full throttle, he was a leader and a true champion, and he was great with the ladies.”

Derek Jeter, New York Yankees, retiring Jeter's number, short story, The Devil, humor, Modern Philosopher“Sounds like you have a bit of a man crush,” I chuckled.

“Nothing wrong with that!” The Devil agreed.  “I’m just glad the Yankees are playing so well now, and that they didn’t completely fall apart when he left.”

“This new youth movement with Judge, Sanchez, and Byrd reminds me of what it was like when they called up Jeter,” I commented as I grabbed more wings.  “The Yankees have always been about winning now, so I understand that’s why they pay big money for proven veterans, but I much prefer the excitement of calling up the young guns and seeing if the next Yankee great is among them.”

“Amen to that!” Lucifer concurred and tapped my bottle with his.  “Contrary to popular belief, money cannot a World Series trophy.  You actually need talent.”

I shook my head in agreement as I worked to swallow all the chicken I had in my mouth.  Then I washed it down with a huge gulp of Snapple.

“I just wish Jeter had been able to play long enough to break Rose’s hits record,” I lamented and reached for my next wing so I could eat my feelings.

Derek Jeter, New York Yankees, retiring Jeter's number, short story, The Devil, humor, Modern Philosopher“I bet Major League Baseball feels the same way,” The Prince of Darkness mused.  “Pun intended, of course.  I’m sure they’d prefer the squeaky clean, almost angelic Jeter to hold that record over the tarnished player who’s been banned from the game for life.”

“Everyone prefers an angel I guess,” I quipped with an evil grin.

“Don’t push your luck, or I will make these wings vanish with a snap of my fingers,” Satan warned with a devilish smile.

“Fine,” I conceded.  “Besides, it’s time for us to stop with the witty banter and to watch them honor one Hell of a Yankee…”

Congratulations, Derek Jeter, on having your number retired tonight!

Posted in Humor, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Surviving Mother’s Day

Mother's Day, coping with loss, family, life hacks, advice, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherI’ll start off this post on a positive note by wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day, Modern Philosophers.

The truth of the matter, however, is that not everyone celebrates this holiday.  For some of us, Mother’s Day is a very painful day to endure.

My Mom died when I was three, and I have absolutely no memory of her.  But every Mother’s Day, I am reminded of my loss.  I don’t want to ruin the holiday for anyone else, so I try to keep to myself and just survive the day.

I know I’m not the only only struggling to get through this day, so I thought I’d write about how I cope.

Today is one of the few days of the year when I don’t mind being alone.  Since I don’t have to worry about bringing down a significant other on what might be a joyous day for her, I can hole up in the safety of The House on the Hill and just do my thing.

This year, Mother’s Day is gloomy and rainy, which is actually helpful.  It’s a lot easier to deal with the sadness when the weather already has you in that sort of mood.  It’s such a waste to be glum on a beautiful Spring day, but no worries about that here.

Since it’s Sunday, there is absolutely no reason for me to have to interact with another person.  If I had to go to work, I might have a hard time putting on a happy face, or explaining why I’m not all cheery like everyone else.

The first rule of surviving Mother’s Day is to avoid Facebook.  I made the mistake of checking my news feed this morning, and it was filled with happy, positive messages and photos of my friends with their Moms.  Again, I wish no one ill will on this day, but seeing all that love and happiness really makes the pain of my loss worse.

Mother's Day, coping with loss, family, life hacks, advice, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherI recommend going for a long run.  I didn’t care that it was raining, and actually welcomed the downpour because it meant no one else was going to be out on my route.  I just put my head down, pulled my hood up, and lost myself in the activity.

I was too focused on the pain in my aching muscles and how many steps I had on my fitness tracker to think about what today was.

Working in the kitchen is another perfect was to keep my mind busy.  I whipped up a huge breakfast to reward myself for my run and this week’s weight loss.

Let me interject here that I have now lost 22 lbs since I started my new fitness program on April 1!  I am thrilled with that number, and the excitement of today’s weigh in definitely helped to improve my mood.

After breakfast, I set to work on preparing my meal for the week.  I’ve been trying to come up with new healthy recipes to help me with my weight loss.  Today, I put together a meal that includes chicken, potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and onions all marinated in chicken broth and then baked.

I’ll serve that over brown rice and maybe even add a side salad.  I wasn’t quite sure about what to expect, but this is what I found when I pulled the baking pan out of the oven…

Mother's Day, coping with loss, family, life hacks, advice, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherNot bad, right?  I can’t wait to try it for dinner all week.

Obviously, I have writing to take my mind off of today’s festivities.  I’ve used this activity as an escape ever since I was a little boy dealing with bullies at school and an overbearing stepmother at home.  It still works today.  All I need to do is open up the laptop, and my mind immediately races off to someplace much more exciting than here.  I don’t know how I’d cope with life if it weren’t for writing.

I definitely advise you to find a good book.  A rainy day like today is perfect for just curling up on the couch and reading.  I plan to do exactly that after I’m finished with this post.  The latest Jack Ryan adventure, which is thicker than a phone book, awaits me.

Later, I will turn to my heroes for comfort.  Not only are my beloved Yankees on ESPN tonight, but before the game, they are retiring Derek Jeter’s number.  I cannot wait to watch the ceremony and the game.  No one does pomp and circumstance as well as the New York Yankees.

Then it will be time for bed, and I will have survived another Mother’s Day.  Life doesn’t have to be that complicated when you have a plan…

If you liked this post, you should follow me on my blog and on Pinterest!

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

My Saturday To Do List

blogging, writing, to do list, sarcasm, humor, Modern PhilosopherHappy Saturday, Modern Philosophers!

Look at me blogging two days in a row!  I guess I was moved by some of the feedback that I received on last night’s post, which broke my week long silence.

One message I received loud and clear is that I should be blogging for me, and not worrying about whether anyone else is reading.  I guess that makes sense, but one of the main reasons I blog is I hope my writing will be noticed and someone will offer me a paying writing gig.

But I will listen to your advice and try just writing for me.

Since the interns are off on the weekend, I often have trouble remembering what I need to do for the day.  That means I need to compile a To Do List so I don’t forget anything.  So today’s blog post, written for me, is my Saturday To Do List.  Enjoy!

For the record, that “Enjoy!” was meant for me since I’m writing this for me!

Recharge your batteries.  You’ve been running a lot lately, and making sure to get in at least 10,000 steps every day.  You’ve also been working overtime and dealing with some personal issues.  As a result, you’re exhausted.

So your top priority for today has to be to relax and recharge your batteries.  Mission accomplished on this one.  Could not believe it when I woke up this morning and discovered it was 9:21.  What???  You never sleep that late.  Good job, Austin!

blogging, writing, to do list, sarcasm, humor, Modern PhilosopherGo for a run.  This is week 7 of your new fitness program.  You’ve lost 20 lbs, so keep up the good work.  Even though your top task for the day was to recharge your batteries, you’re also going to need to drain them a little.

Set out to do a four mile run after I finally got my lazy butt out of bed.  This was the first run all month that hasn’t included rain.  In fact, it was so gorgeous that I actually ran in shorts.  You’re welcome, ladies!

Ended up doing about five miles since I was feeling good and I wanted tomorrow’s weigh in to go well.

Have a big breakfast.  One of the things that makes your morning run easier to survive is knowing that a big breakfast is waiting.  Remember that Julie brought in a dozen fresh eggs for you, so you should make a big plate of scrambled eggs after your shower.

Eating isn’t something I really have to remind myself to do, but it looks good on the To Do List and breaks up the monotony.

I ended up making three eggs scrambled with ham, cheese, and mushrooms.  There was sausage on the side, an English muffin, some OJ, and a big glass of chocolate milk.

Do the laundry.  Ugh!  I hate this weekly chore, but if I don’t remind myself to do it, I’m going to be walking around naked next week.  This is the week you do the bedding, too, so set aside some time for an extra load.

And, Austin, don’t try to shove everything in one load.  There’s just too much with all your workout clothes and the sheets.  You’ll break the washer and that would suck.

You’d then have to add “Get the washer repaired” to a To Do List which is already pretty lengthy as it is!

blogging, writing, to do list, sarcasm, humor, Modern PhilosopherWatch Rogue One.  I’m embarrassed to admit this, but this Star Wars geek never went to see Rogue One in theaters.  I’m not a fan of the change from May to December release dates for the Star Wars flicks since Disney bought out George Lucas.

December in Maine is all about blizzards and subzero temperatures.  I do not want to go out in that.  Sure, I braved the elements for The Force Awakens, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on Rogue One.

It’s available On Demand, so watch it in the comfort of your living room.  No driving.  No crowds.  Perfect.

Once you see Rogue One, you won’t have to worry about waiting two years for the sequel.  You saw the sequel forty years ago.  It was called Star Wars: A New Hope.

Work on your screenplay.  Okay, Writer Boy, you toiled on a new screenplay for a couple months and finished a first draft back in January.  You haven’t even opened the file, let alone worked on rewriting it, ever since.  What gives?

I don’t care what your reasons for putting it aside were…the time has come to give that script some love again.  You’re whining all the time about how you don’t have a full time writing career, so why don’t you try perfecting a screenplay that you can sell and solve all your problems?

Sometimes, Austin, I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you.  For a smart guy, you are pretty stupid on numerous occasions.

blogging, writing, to do list, sarcasm, humor, Modern PhilosopherUse your fitness tracker in its wristband.  Okay, Runner Boy, aka “Sweaty Flash”, this task is for you.

When you got your fitness tracker, you also bought a wristband for it.  However, you never use the band because you claim the tracker doesn’t credit you for the steps you take while wearing it.

You’re not in any competitions this weekend (you did win last weekend’s competition with over 51,000 steps, though!) and you promised to take it easy this weekend, so it’s the perfect time to strap it on!

Seriously, why do you go out of your way to make your blog posts seem raunchy?  Do you think that’s going to get you more readers?  Remember, you’re writing for you now.

So put the tracker in the wristband and give it a go.  If you can make it work, you won’t have to worry about fiddling with it on your waist anymore.   People are talking.  They think you’re checking your junk all the time.  It’s just weird.

Okay, that is more than enough to keep you busy and out of trouble on Saturday.  Maybe if you finish everything on your list and still have some time, you can work on a new blog post that your followers might enjoy.

I’m not putting that on the list, though, because you are supposed to be writing for you!

Your To Do List for today is to follow me on my blog and on Pinterest!

Posted in Humor, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments