In The End, I’m Not Numb But Heavy

In The End, I’m Not Numb But Heavy

I’m sitting here heartbroken.

Someone who I’ve never met, but who meant so very much to me has died.

And sadly a death through apparent suicide.

Chester Bennington, 41, the lead singer and songwriter for Linkin Park killed himself this morning.

This is someone who’s lyrics and songs kept me going in some of my own darkest times when suicide felt like the only thing left.

Bennington’s life meant so much to me and I’m sure thousands of other fans, and now it is gone.

I really do not know how to express my grief, without using some of the band’s own songs.

One more light has gone from the world, and in the end, I’m not numb, but heavy as my hero has given up.

Once again, we who are left behind miss someone who is gone too soon from a disease that is misunderstood.

Please if you are having thoughts of self-harm, feeling like no one cares about, know that this isn’t true.

Someone out there does, even when we don’t realize it.

Trust me, I have been there, and I’m still going through all kinds of pain of my own.

If you aren’t sure who you can talk to, then you can always call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Please don’t give up, your life is precious.

Triple Time

Things have been rough for me emotionally and mentally, lately.

I had been feeling like success was just about to happen with the oooShinyNetwork and I was so happy about it. Then circumstances changed and I found myself no longer able to be a stay at home dad.

Luckily, I was quickly able to get a full-time job. One that once I’m comfortable in will be a lot of fun for me and should give me the chance to advance.

Unfortunately, it has meant that I’ve lost a lot of my writing time. The Network has gone from 20-30 articles a day, to struggling to get 10. And that is something I’m very much struggling with, as I want to be doing more not less.

It seems like every time I’m getting somewhere with writing, something happens to get in the way. Every time this happens I struggle with the doubt of whether I should be writing or not. But I love writing. It is such a strong passion for me. I can’t give it up.

Right now, I’m trying to find a new balance that lets me deal with two full-time jobs, one of which I love and the other of which is a financial necessity.

However, it isn’t just my writing that is having time taken from it. I’m spending less time with my kids. That is a definite reality of no longer being a stay at home parent. I miss my girls and refuse to not spend time with them. They are another full-time job and to me the most important one.

I’m facing triple time duty and somehow need to find a way to balance all three so that I don’t lose any of them.

It is going to be a struggle. There will be days where I’ll be working all day long and barely have any time for either the girls or writing. Those will be very hard as I really don’t like that option at all. My days off will also be a struggle as I’ll need to write and spend time with the girls, but will also need my own recuperation time.

I find myself, as usual, just looking to God for the answers. Knowing I could make this a lot easier by stopping writing, but knowing how devastated that would make me feel. Am I overextended with eleven sites? Yes. But how do I choose which to cut, for now?

This is the reality I have for now. I’m hoping to be able to look back at this and see that I overcame the struggle without losing anything along the way.

Bryce Harper’s Broken Ball Isn’t That Impressive

A lot of noise is being made about Bryce Harper “breaking a baseball” on Thursday.

Talk about how “he’s just that strong” and how it “shows off his greatness” are filling the sports columns.

However, it isn’t really that impressive, he did not break the ball, he cut it.

Harper uses a bat with an indent on the top, which gives it edges.

When a ball is hit on that edge, it cuts the baseball.

This happens a few times a season, and most of the time results in a foul ball, as it did for Harper yesterday, or for Wil Myers, last year.

If it doesn’t result in a foul ball, it normally causes the hitter to reach first on an error, as it did for Tony Wolters, earlier this season.

Now, if you want to see someone actually break a baseball, Martin Maldonado really did break the seams on a ball, three years ago.

That takes either a bit more effort or maybe just getting a ball that wasn’t made perfectly.

Either way, it is an actual rare occurrence that looks a lot cooler.

Body In The Road

I’ve been struggling with this piece for a week now, knowing I need to write it, but it was a scary thing and I honestly don’t like thinking about it. But those very emotions are why I do need to share it.

Last Friday evening, as we were driving down the freeway, we found ourselves stuck in traffic that was worse than normal. As we continued on, I noticed that the other side had basically no traffic making me think there must be an accident on the eastbound lanes, while our westbound lanes were simply backed up because people were wanting to get their look at the accident. My thought was confirmed as eastbound traffic became absolutely zero.

As we rounded a curve, I could see two police vehicles parked on the eastbound side. I noticed a bunch of little yellow evidence markers and most of what remained of a motorcycle. And then I saw the sheet covered bump. As I could see the dark red stain spreading in several spots both on the sheet and on the road, it hit me, my 9-year-old daughter is sitting right behind me and about to see this.

Now I’ve seen bodies before. In real life, in classrooms, on TV, on the internet. Most of the worse were some of those I saw while writing about news coverage on the Syrian civil war. Some of those still haunt me. The worst wasn’t just a body, as it still belonged to a living being. What haunts me the most if the face of that guy in Florida who was attacked and his face was eaten off, yet somehow he still lived. They’re all stuff that TV shows and movies don’t quite capture the horror of.

That last paragraph was to express to you, my reader, that my seeing a body wasn’t scary to me. I’ve been there, and I’m a bit numb to it.

However, the thought of my 9-year-old seeing her first body was terrifying to me. I didn’t want it to happen. I honestly panicked a bit. I told her to “Look right, look right!” Luckily, my fear must not have been audible, as to her that meant there must be something cool to see to the right. She was mad at me for tricking her. But because of that, she didn’t see what lay on the other side of the freeway. She didn’t see the body lying in the road, with blood slowly spreading. She didn’t have a chunk of innocence stolen from her.

I don’t know if she would have understood what she saw, but she would have asked what it was. I’m not ready for that conversation. It’s not something I want to have. At some point, they’ll find out what a horrible place this world can be. But for as long as possible, I want to keep protecting my daughters from such things.

Star Wars And The Power of Costume

It’s been a bit over a month since I was able to go the Denver Art Museum and had planned on posting this on May the 4th.

However, there were some issues uploading the pictures, and so I waited until I could present you with all of them, which ended up being today.

For a fan it’s definitely a worth while experience, for non fans it can be interesting to see all of the work that goes in to making a major movie’s costumes come in to reality.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of everything, as some photos just didn’t turn out right, but I do have 150 photos to share with you.

I’ve placed them in the order that I came upon them as I walked through the exhibit, so as to allow you to experience them in the same order I did.

Express Your Passion

I love writing. I never thought I would.

I played around with it as a kid, some short stories, poems, even some lyrics in high school, but for the most part it was a chore. Then Twitter told me I should blog, so I did, and ended up practically leaving Twitter because of how focused on writing I became. It started as a weekly blog and turned into doing as many as 40 articles a day, every day, for a couple of years straight.

Even still there are times when I dread it, I think it’s work. To a degree it is work, but then I start letting the words flow and it’s a joy. The reason it feels like work, and can be, is that sometimes I need to write content for contents sake, rather than the pleasure of writing what I want.

I can tell the difference, in my own writing. Whether I was enjoying myself or pushing myself to fill in space. Both types of writing are important, but one is definitely easier than the other. Even this blog here is fairly easy. I’m just letting the words come out, not forcing anything. It’s expression, and that is something that we all need.

No matter who we are or what we do, we all need a release that allows us to express ourselves. For some it is writing, painting, photography, music, sports, animals, or helping others. That being able to truly express yourself is a source of true joy within us. It is a different kind of important self fulfillment than true relaxation. Both are crucial towards living a healthy life.

Too many people see expression as work, and so avoid it altogether and do nothing, simply watch a screen instead of finding themselves in something else. Worse, some find their expression in knocking down others. That’s not healthy, especially for the one who is acting that way. You can be a critic, but it needs to have a purpose of trying to improve others.

Find something that is positive that you can be passionate about. Some find that passion automatically, while for others it is a search. But however you happen upon it, you need a passion. So go find it, or if you have it already, share it. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. It will help grow yourself and it could be exactly what someone else needs to see, feel, or hear.

Yes, Call Out Failures, But Only to Help Improve

On Friday night, I rewatched The Force Awakens for the first time since seeing it on opening night, around 16 months ago. You can read my extremely unhappy, initial review on oooShinyMovies.

This second viewing was spawned by the disappointment of the underwhelming teaser trailer for The Last Jedi and by happening to spot all the unwatched copies of the movie, at the library.

The second time I watched the movie wasn’t as bad of an experience as the first was. Unfortunately, it wasn’t because I had mistaken some greatness in the movie. It was instead because I didn’t have the shock of such a huge disappointment.

I do understand those whose only reason for liking it was the return of old characters such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia. I can respect the nostalgia endorphins.

That said, The Force Awakens remains the worst of the now eight Star Wars movies. It’s dozens of plot holes make it a bad film, no matter what galaxy it happens to be about. It is tragic that such a beloved story was tainted by such poor writing. Even worse are those who still defend it, blinded by the name Star Wars.

Such people are what has become wrong with any fandom. The blind, who refuse to consider that there could ever be a flaw in their beloved escape from reality.

I myself would be considered to belong to many fandoms. However, I will call out their failures, just as I would in something I don’t have feelings towards. I do so in hopes that later installments will be improved and not have such struggles.

That’s how we should be about everything in life. If a friend is doing something wrong, we need to let them know. Not in a way meant to belittle them, but in ways that help them improve and grow.

Too often these days people are too afraid to speak and help others. They often seem to only speak bad about something or someone when they are seeking it’s destruction.

My challenge to myself and to all who read this, is to not be negative in attempts to harm. But also to not be afraid to reprimand in hopes of bettering.

Often, without those challenges from friends and loved ones, we fail to grow.