Unstrung Magazine Summer Issue

Hi there!

Quick post today.  The Summer 2014 issue of Unstrung Magazine, published by the Arizona Consortium for the Arts, was published this weekend. I have a couple of poems in this issue. Below is the link if you care to check it out.

http://www.theblueguitarmagazine.org/resources/UNSTRUNG+summer+2014.pdf

Happy reading!

July Update

Hello! I know I’ve been away for awhile. What can I say, the first half of the year just seems so hectic that blogging takes a step to the side. I recently logged into WP and saw that my blog still shows signs of life, so I thought I should take a few minutes to post something and get up to date with my fellow bloggers. Continue reading

Year in Review 2013

I can’t believe 2013 is almost over!  This year truly seemed to whiz by like a…well I can’t think of a good analogy.  Anyhow, just as I did last year, I took some time this week to check out my stats on this site over the past year.  Now, I understand I wasn’t as prolific with my blog posts as I was in 2012, but I have to say I was surprised that my top viewed posts in 2013 were posts I wrote in 2012. Continue reading

And the Word of the Year Is…

While the minds at Oxford and Merriam Webster have already chosen selfie and science respectively as the 2013 words of the year, the word that stuck in my head this year was graupel. Just when I thought my local news stations were done replacing the simplistic descriptions of weather phenomena with more worldly terms, they pulled out this gem in February 2013. Continue reading

Two Cents Tuesday: Writing

For today’s blog post, I’ve picked up my inspiration from the Two Cents Tuesday challenge posted on Across the Bored. It is more than likely a new challenge will be posted today, but I subscribe to the “better late than never” philosophy and feel compelled to participate in the challenged that is now expiring.

Continue reading

Snappy Answers to Several Tweets

I used to love reading Mad Magazine’s feature Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions as a teen.  With a shortage of humorous spam to mock, I came up with a variation on Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.  Its just one of those fun word games I’ve devised for myself to get myself into writing mode.

Below are recent tweets in my Twitter feed. Many times while browsing Twitter, I will get the urge to blurt out short answers to tweets, especially those posed as questions. I’ve never tweeted back my answers and most likely never will. Instead, I’ll share a batch here.

NFL

Ouch!

NYT

Just don’t go. 

Social

Not really. 

Atlantic

Rancid grapes.

Design Milk

Unnecessary.

Josh and Chuck

kale, food trend, even less enjoyable (okay I did tweet that one).

NFL 2

Yeah for Fitzgerald!  And just to be clear, we’re not talking about the 60 Minutes Mike Wallace, are we?

My Two Cents on Toys

Just when I was ready to throw in the towel and leave this blog untouched for the rest of the week, Across the Bored posted a challenge I could easily fulfill.  This week’s topic selected for Two Cents Tuesday is Toys. Even though daylight stretches on a bit longer these days, I seem to have less time for certain endeavors (such as writing and blogging) as I’ve rediscovered a favorite toy of mine from my high school years.

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I received this back in 1997.  My grandfather bought it for $30 from a buddy of his that used to play it in a mariachi band. Even though the rosette around the sound hole was already chipping away and the case had seen better days, I was so ecstatic to own a guitar. I signed up for 2 semesters of guitar class my senior year of high school and happily strummed along as my guitar instructor taught us chords for tunes from the 50’s and 60’s, from groups such as the Beatles, Doors, Beach Boys and Kingston Trio to name a few.

My grandfather lived long enough to see me learn these songs.  To celebrate our year of learning guitar, my guitar instructor held a guitar concert on Cinco de Mayo.  The entire guitar class stood on stage and played many of the songs we’d perfected in class for all our friends and family in attendance. I’ll never forget how my grandfather stood proudly as we took our bow and clapped as loud as he could.

After high school, life happened.  Faced with adulthood and the reality of juggling work and school, many hobbies I enjoyed as a teen took a backseat.  About two months ago, I looked over at this guitar sitting in the back of my closet and wondered why in the world I am just letting this thing collect dust.

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I dug out my old guitar instruction books and have been sitting down each evening working through lessons as well as practicing some of the songs I already knew from high school. I never felt disciplined enough to really sit and work through all the lessons in the books when I was younger.

Revisiting this years later, I find that I’m comprehending the information much easier these days.  I also feel my coordination and dexterity has improved compared to my teenage years. 

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I know this because suddenly I’ve become picky about, well, picks. I’ve moved beyond mere chords to single note playing, riffs and 12 bar blues progressions.  Picks can’t magically make one’s playing sound better, but the right pick can make the musical journey that much more enjoyable for the player.

The clear pick sitting in the pick holder is satisfactory, but I definitely prefer the stiffness of the Dunlop Tortex picks (the green picks pictured lower right). However, I just discovered  the rough grip of the Dunlop Max Grip Jazz III Carbon Fiber picks (pictured below left).  Though smaller, the grip is steady and I’ve yet to accidentally drop it in the guitar. This pick could very well rival the Dunlop Tortex as my favorite pick.

Well, what else can I say?  These are the toys I rush home to play with these days.

$500 Coffee or $85 Beer?

Normally I don’t discuss news items on this blog, but I couldn’t resist this pair of articles I spotted over the weekend.

Recently I read an article on MSN.comin which the headline posed the question “$85 for a 6-pack?” A monastery in Belgium which creates the rare brew Westvleteren XII  put 15,000 commemorative 6-packs for sale in the United States.

alcohols,beers,drinks,drunks,German culture,glasses,iStockphoto,Photographs,toast,wheat beer,winter

Is this worth $85?

Continue reading

Scenes from a Lunch Hour

After walking by the TV station, I can now see that the giant plastic candy bar costumed characters roaming up and down the street are indeed handing out samples. I would like to receive a sample but for some reason do not say anything aloud to  my co-worker, who is walking alongside me. Continue reading

NMNPHX Year in Review

As we wind down the year, I’d like to take a moment and look at the highlights of 2012 on NMNPHX.

Although I created this blog back in June 2011, I only blogged for two months before I abandoned the blog.  In March 2012, I decided to give this blogging thing another chance.  Having made it clear to December, I’d like to take a moment and look at the posts that helped this blog continue on month after month in 2012.

12 o'clock,celebrations,clocks,confetti,holidays,midnight,New Years,parties,special occasions Continue reading

A De-Gift for You

One of my favorite holiday traditions is thinking of an unexpected prank gift to give to my younger cousins.  Prank gifts are tricky because you don’t want to spend a lot of money on something you know the recipient does not want to keep.

A few years ago, I came across a website called de-gifting.com.  This  website helps you  give the gift of nothing.  All you have to do is pick a few options from a menu of drop down lists, and de-gifting.com prepares a certificate that you can give to your intended recipient to explain why you did not buy them a real gift.

degift header Continue reading

My Two Cents on Decorations

This week’s Two Cents Tuesday topic on Across the Bored is decorations. I’m sure by now many of you are up to your eyeballs in decorations.  Despite warm summer winds that could be felt well into early October, many of my neighbors got into the decorating spirit as soon as the first day of fall hit.  After all, Christmas doesn’t hold a monopoly on decorating!

Continue reading