Tags, Peace & Love

There are certain bloggers who are above playing along with the “tag, your it” posts.

I am not one of these.

Well, not this time at any rate, because this time I was tagged by one of my favorite writers out here, Nowan Zen from I’m Not Lost, Just Weird.

And just as I was beginning to compile the reams of documentation required for these types of posts, who should drop in, but Shannon from The Squeaky Wheel Blog, who also asked if she could tag me (that’s right Nowan, Shannon asked…)

So what will follow will be a Frankensteining of sorts, between the (2) tags, and since both require that additional people are then – well – tagged in a “play it forward” fashion, I am simply saying screw it, and throwing this right back onto the two who first nabbed me, with each being tasked to figure out just what parts pertain to them (if you’d like to be tagged as well, start gathering your paperwork, and just let me know).

OK, ready?

Both require a picture. Both will receive the same one. This is me and my boys at Pride 2013. Simon is an agnostic who believes in Jesus more than a lot of Christians do, and he wanted to express the idea that J.C. was all about love and inclusion, versus hate and exclusion. Hence his marching the parade (as he came be known by the crowd) as “Rainbow Jesus.” I’m the lumpy old guy in the middle.

Rainbow Jesus

Both require 11 random facts. Why is it always 11, and why must they always be random? Never the mind, here goes:

1. Technically, I suppose the “lumpy” bit could count as number 1.

2. Simon caught a lot of flak from his mother and her family for his decision. He stuck to his guns anyway. Fine, not actually a random fact about me, but I’m proud of him regardless.

3. Yes, our t-shirts say “Jesus Is Not A Homophobe.”

4. “Homophobe” refers to a person who is hateful of Gay and Lesbian people. Apparently scared that this sort of thing is contagious…?

5. Yes, we’ll get off the subject of the damned photo already.

6. Random fact # 7 actually comes in at # 6.

7. See above

8. Sorry – just one more thing. Ian is going next year in full drag.

9. I’m damned proud of him as well.

10. Lookie here, we’re already at the second-to last one!

11. When I was young, I used to suck my thumb. It soothed me greatly. I recently tried it again, but it just didn’t have the same affect. Damned thumb.

Both have a bunch of questions. Some I will answer honestly, others I will simply bullshit my way through, and for none of them will I actually be funny, insightful or in any way engaging…

Nowen asks:

  1. What is your quest? To dream the impossible dream, of course. Duh!
  2. If you could select any character from the Big Bang Theory to describe yourself, which one would you select and why? (Losing Nerd cred), I’ve never watched the show, but (gaining Nerd cred), if this were about Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, I would be the lorry driver who doesn’t realize that he is actually the God of Rain.
  3. When was the last time you laughed hard enough to snort (aka Donkey Honk) and what was so funny? The last time was when Ian (pictured above as not Jesus) came up to me and asked if he could go to Target.com to “buy a set.” Turns out, he was actually talking about legos.
  4. If you could travel anywhere and live all expenses paid for a year, where would that be? (No you may not select Uranus. Stop giggling!) The sky. No lie. Just up there in the blue. Not to get away from it all, but rather, above it. Incidentally, and since neither asked, flying is also my superpower of choice.
  5. What was the last book you read that you actually enjoyed and why would you recommend it? Andrew Davidson’s, The Gargoyle. Because it was creepy, sexual, inspiring and scary. Long before my divorce ever came down, this book showed me that True Love was not what I had. That and it made me cry. Oh, it’s also a nice weight and size to place in the small of your back, should it be aching in the middle of the night.
  6. What is your motto or mantra for your life? To dream the impossible dream, of course. Duh!
  7. You have one chance to witness first hand any event, you cannot alter it only witness it, what would it be? In all seriousness, I would like to be there on Easter morning. Not to prove to myself that it actually happened, but just to be able to give Him a hug and say thank you.
  8.  A book is being written about your life by an observer, what would the title be? Wonder How Many People Are Actually Gonna Buy This Book?
  9. What would creep you out the most? (seeing me naked is NOT an acceptable answer!) The very thing that I most desire – an actual visit from an angel. I’ve known a few who have told me of this experience, and I chose to believe them all. It’s the one thing I’ve always longed for to happen, but it would also creep me right out of my skin if it ever did.
  10. You have a friend who really needs a laugh, how do you get them to laugh? (dress in a hamster suit and dance the Macarena is funny) Depends on the person, but I can usually get people laughing just by walking into a room…
  11. What is the worst pick-up line you have heard used that worked? My little brother used to use it to great success and often, and it really can say a lot about certain members of the female of the species. He would say simply, “Get Away From Me.”

Shannon asks:

1. What smell instantly takes you back to a moment from your childhood?

Sixlets. When we were little, every year Christmas morn found us craddling hollow tube candy canes, packed to the brim with m&m’s. But these m&m’s smelled different. Tasted better. Ma n’ Pa said it was because they were Christmas m&m’s delivered by Santa, but they lied. Not too sure about the Santa part, but definitely about their being m&m’s. They were not, they were sixlets. I still like them better than m&m’s, and I still get mentally thrown back to Christmas 1970-something every time I open a bag. (Incidentally, this simutanlously makes me miss terribly the Godzilla Shogun Warrior I also had from around the same time – yeah, the one with the launching fist.)

2. What song will make you headbang/car dance/waltz around your living room no matter what kind of a shitty mood you’re in?

There is only ONE song that needs be played for this. “Jesus Built My Hot Rod,” by Ministry of course.

Or, “Got Some” by Pearl Jam I suppose.

And again, there’s also “Dont Fuck Me Up” by Cracker. And you can’t forget “Going Nowhere” by Therapy?, and I suppose I would have to mention my quizzer’s son’s near-namesake, The Exploited’s “Daily News.” And, well, I guess there’s at least a couple that trip my anger trigger.

Oops! Almost forgot “Hell Bent For Leather” by Judas Priest!

3. If you had to pick having to smell roses everywhere you went all the time or never being able to see the color blue, which would you choose?

I hate roses. And no, not because they “really smell like poo, poo-poo.” I hate them because they are so widely regarded as beautiful, with little or no actual reasoning behind this assessment. And in my experience, anything – or one – who is looked upon like this, can quite often have a deep inner ugliness that, when stumbled upon, destroys any semblance of the previously held viewpoint. That being said, if I chose the latter over the former, I would never again be able to look up into the deep azure sky, and long for the day that I will be able fly up there, unaided by man-made plane, controlled by heaven-made pilot. So I will simply have to resign myself to smelling those fucking roses all the time instead.

4. Would you be more afraid of a rhinoceros charging at you or a hippopotamus?

I would be more afraid if neither was charging me in fact. I mean, how could they not? Look at me, I’m freakin’ delicious.

5. Which, to you, would be the most flattering way to finish this sentence: Your writing really reminds me of _______.

The love-child of Douglas Adams and C.S. Lewis. With the full understanding that Mr. Lewis couldn’t actually bear Mr. Adams a child, resulting from his religious convictions.

6. Is it hard for you to stay on task from beginning to end, or do you jump around and do a little of this and a little of that and eventually cross the finish line?

Wait! There’s a finish line???

7. What is your biggest pet peeve about yourself?

43 years later, I still fall into that old trap of believing that my best will never be good enough. “Never,” as in the deepest, bleakest, most worthless never ever.

8. Do you plan to write your own epitaph or let someone else do it? Or, I guess conversely, cremation or burial would need to be answered first. TWO-PARTER! So that’s 8 & 9, because I multi-task like a motherfucker!

I’m going to answer this as a politician would. Which bascially means the answer will have nothing to do with the question. I’ve told my kids I want exactly (3) things for my funeral, and they can do whatever else they want with the rest of the service. 1) no wake. NO. WAKE. I’ve been to many, they’re all creepy, and not a damned one has actually worked. No wake. 2) bury me in pajamas (or if I die in the summer, nude is fine). Seriously, a liftime of corporate strangulation, and then you get stuck in a suit and tie for the big sleep? No thank you! 3) Bobby Darin MUST be played at the funeral. “Artificial Flowers,” to be exact. Don’t ask why.

10. All time favorite curse word, either one you’ve heard or one you’ve made up in the heat of the moment?

Douchery, fuckery, jack-assery. Catching a theme here? Basically, you can take any swear word, simply place a “ery” at the end, and it instantly becomes cool. Now, lets stop dicking around, and move on.

Incidentally “dicking around” could possibly the coolest, most nebulous swears ever. Use it often. People will think you’re smart if you do.

11. What vanity license plate would put “YOU” out there for all other driver’s to know?

“Can you believe that this cat actually thinks it’s cool to say ‘fuckery’?”

Both require a litany of new questions be generated and parceled out. But I’ve only one. Well, more like 2 – 3 in one.

If this is all that there is, and there is nothing else, either after or before, are you happy? I mean, truly happy? If “no,” then what can you do to turn that? And if “yes,” then where can I get what you’re having?

So there we go.

Shannon, Nowen, swap questions and get back to me, ya hear? Oh, and I’m also tagging Twin Daddy because I really respect his writing (though he has no idea I exist), and because He was the one that got me into this mess with Shannon in the first place.

So there.

If you’ve read this far, you deserve a little treat. So here, have a Cracker…

And then THIS happened…

Yesterday, I saw a new icon on my notification tab. Well; I thought it was a new icon at any rate. Clicking on it, I realized that I actually had seen it before, exactly one-year prior in fact, as the following popped into existence…

Picture 5

That’s right. As of the 27th of May, this lil blog of mine is now two years old. And to celebrate, I got it nothing.

Abso-freakin’-lutely nothing.

No special posts written, no photos taken, no quotes retrieved. No reviews readied, nor songs chosen. Nothing. Hell, I didn’t even realize that its anniversary was coming due.

What kind of ass am I?

I mean, over the past two years, “As Long As…” has allowed me to share with you my father’s passing, my children’s growth, the struggles I’ve had with my faith, the recent and unexpected death of my 17 year marriage, the oft time battles I’ve had with depression, and of course the efforts that have stock-piled, resulting from my dreams of one day becoming a pretend writer of some sort.

Starting with just one follower – my bestest friend ever whom I’ve never met – this kid has grown slowly to a little over 230 more of you since. And I am as grateful to you all, as I am questioning of your literary taste… More importantly though, since its inception “As Long As…” has provided me with peace and solace during my dark hours. A place to scream, bitch, bemoan, play and flex my mental muscles and – to my albeit grateful surprise – it has brought me strong friendships that have only grown, as the challenges of life have become harder, though eventually overcome. In short, this blog has given me more than a lot of living, breathing people I know have.

And I didn’t even realize that its anniversary was coming due.

What kind of ass am I?

Hey you, As Long As I’m Singing, thank you my friend. I appreciate it… all of it.

As I noted previously, I didn’t have an applicable quote, nor a song chosen for this event. You know, in part because I totally forgot that this event was even to be an event. But I figured the following two will work well enough. The quote, simply because it’s about the truest thing I’ve ever read, and something I am coming to believe. And the song because, as you are an apple that fell pretty close to its somewhat creative tree, I feel it’s a good choice to describe how I feel about us both.

Happy 2nd, As Long As I’m Singing. Here’s to year 3 =)

•••

“Bad things can happen,

and often do–

but they only take up a few pages of your story;

and anyone can survive a few pages.”

~ James A. Owen

Changes.

And no Lance, this does NOT mean that I will be ending today’s post with the Bowie song of the same name.

v2pg-36-bowie-2-pa

Hey, did you know that I now have 200 followers? Pretty cool, that! And yeah Renee, I know that you average about that amount in new followers per week, but it’s a big deal for me, OK? So anyway, my point was, I have over 200 followers (did I mention before that it was actually over 200 followers?) But instead of writing for them, and enjoying myself with them, I’m just whittling my time away by moping about in an internetless corner. Sucking my thumb while rocking to and fro with the usual “woe is me’s.”

Not cool t, not cool.

So back to the keyboard I’ll be going. Seems to make sense, especially as I am getting ready to have a LOT more “quality me time” than previously enjoyed these past 17 years. I know, I know, “That’s not a change t, just a schedule update.” And right you are. No, the change has to deal with my focus. Moving forward I plan on sticking mostly to writing fiction from this site. This is in part because I truly enjoy it (even if my stories never actually go anywhere), and also because the bad feelings I have to express, I will no longer feel comfortable doing so here.

Those feelings will still have to come out – painfully plucked one by one, lest there be even greater future distress, should they be ignored now – so I plan on starting a second (anonymous again) blog to address these. Should you wish to read along there, please send me an email, making sure you tell me whose Blog parent you are (cue the announcers deep and woodsy voice: sorry, but this offer is only available to current friends and followers of aslongasimsinging.wordpress.com), and I can get you a link to the new address once it’s up and running (4/25 update: in fact, I’ve already pulled the last three posts from this site detailing the recent events, and placed them over there for continuity sake).

And speaking of anonymity, this site will no longer be so.

Yay!

First off, you’ve all been so good to me, and I’ve been blessed with so many “wouldn’t know you in a crowd, but I love you out here in Blogsville” friendships, it seems a shame to continue on with the charade. Secondly, as I knew that C was a private person, and as I also knew that I intended on writing about her often, I originally left names out of it. But seeing now as I can’t fathom any more posts of that nature coming across your screen from here, I think we’re good with retiring the whole “man behind the curtain” routine.

One last change as well kids, and then I’ll let you go. I am going to try hard to provide you with quality over quantity, so I may not be as regular as I was before in my schedule (say it with a soft “c,” it’s a hell of a lot sexier that way). Please know that  won’t mean that anything is necessarily wrong, it’ll just mean that I haven’t yet found for a particular post, the best words to, umm, well to… I mean, well – oh hell! You get the picture, right?

Listen kids, I’ve been a little weird as of late, and I’m sorry about that. I’m still not 100%, but I now see that someday I will be, just in a fashion wholly new and different from before. It’s taken me a while to recognize this, but as David Bowie once said, I’m “just gonna have to be a different man,” and be cool with that fact.

Oh crap! Now I DO have to end this post with his song of the same name!

Peace,

t

175 Words Plus A Sentence

We’re getting a new professor over at Master Class 2013.

In addition, k~ asked me to this week refrain from writing about dead people or people seeing dead people – maybe even try something life-affirming for a change…

These modifications of course, make me nervous. So much so, that – as you probably guessed from today’s title – I totally blew my usually self-imposed 150-word limit.

No worries though, I’m still Times New Roman, double spaced and one inch margined, all ’round.

So, understanding that this week’s twist is fitting the prompt sentence somewhere within the body of the text (versus being at the beginning or the end) below is week six’s submission for Master Class 2013:

storch-badge

Seeing her smile, he felt like a safe cracker who – partly by luck – had sussed out the first digit in a lengthy, arduous combination. She was more of a puzzle than she was a safe of course. But in the idea of locating the first two pieces to match, you just don’t achieve the same sort of satisfaction. Or so he imagined. Oh hell, he had no idea what he was trying to describe.

But that’s the way it was with love, now wasn’t it? He was unsure, as he had never felt this before. Not True Love at any rate.

He could hear his soul nudging him, “Shut up and talk to her already, you fool!”

Working up the nerve, he met her vacuous gaze while nervously scratching out a hello of sorts. All while his trembling body gave hint that – upon hearing her response – it might very well simply fall apart at each and every seam.

Before she could speak however, the gruff voice of the store manager intruded forcefully from behind, saying, “Sir, I’ve told you before – you frighten the other customers away, when you talk to our mannequins like that.”

•••

Shannon chose for this week, from Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians.”

Yeah, I just went there.

150 Words Plus A Sentence PLUS

I’ve always wanted to combine two or more prompts into one. I don’t know why, it just seems like all the good, cool writers do this at one point or another.

Well, I finally did it, but not because I’m necessarily good and/or cool. No, it had more to do with my wasting one post this week entirely on pissing and moaning instead (thanks for allowing me to punch the wall for a bit, kids).

So, with that being said, here’s my “mash-up” for both the folks at Friday Fictioneers and Master Class 2013 (whose twist this week included that we end with the prompt, versus starting with it). I hope you enjoy it enough to tell me what I can do better next time, and I hope you decide to jump in on the fun.

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A19.

There was something about that damned gate and me. It seemed as if every time our paths crossed, I was sure to have to endure at least some sort of fuckery during my flight. And not the same sort of fuckery that usually occurs.

No, with A19 in the mix, I’d seen passengers die unexpectedly, brawls ensue over in-flight magazine possession, and even once a smoker – after getting trashed on overpriced airline booze – being arrested when we landed, for yanking out the toilet’s smoke alarm.

This last time however, was the kicker. I’ve no idea what happened, but as the plane was landing, it careened out of control, slamming right into the side of the building. The A19 side, of course. The side that I was dawdling in, waiting to board a flight that instead boarded me.

And now here I’m stuck, presumably forever, haunting stupid-ass gate A19. Oh well, maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

•••

storch-badge

(148 real words, 1 made-up word used twice, 2 dashes, and a sentence.)

This weeks story prompt was brought to you by Judy Blume’s “Tiger Eyes,” musical accompaniment by Mr. Frank Sinatra, of course.