Pimple Poem

To all the pimples I’ve ever known:
You’ve never left my face alone.
On my forehead, chin, and cheeks,
Complexion prospects were very bleak,
From achy red bumps I couldn’t pop
To embarrassing ones with white tops.
Scores of blackheads on my nose;
I never could get rid of those.
You sprouted at the worst of times,
Made my appearance a social crime.
No matter what ointments I would use
My facial features seemed to lose.
But for all the shame and misery
At least you kept me company.

Video Game Villanelle

Do not dismiss the video game,
The delight it brings, the joy it inspires.
Truly, your life will be never be the same.

Though some might label it lame,
They underestimate how it sets the soul on fire.
Do not dismiss the video game.

Immersion is key to lighting that flame,
Making gameplay your sole desire.
Truly, your life will never be the same.

Whenever a good game called, I came,
Craving narrative experiences that never tire.
Do not dismiss the video game.

Explore vast open worlds that will never be tamed,
Live through experiences that will take you higher,
Truly, your life will never be the same.

So embrace a title without shame,
Especially when the world at large feels a little dire.
Do not dismiss the video game.
Truly, your life will never be the same.

Am I Giving Up on Writing?

Lately, I’ve been feeling flooded with guilt over not giving my creative writing a lot of attention. My work has essentially overwhelmed my time. Any time that I don’t spend working, I have to admit, I’m trying to squeeze some relaxation out of it.

At this point in time, I have a minimum of three creative projects that I have on hold. (I struggle with committing to only one of them.) When I am done with my work, I could devote my attention to any one of them.

But I don’t.

I just get so tired after working, and I already spend all of my time in front of my computer for work, that spending any extra amount of time here just feels exhausting.

I keep trying to wring just an ounce of passion from my brain in the evenings. I tell myself that a true writer would just bite the bullet and power through these projects. Would ignore any and all feelings of tiredness in order to pour forth some of those creative juices. This drive to write should carry me past my fatigue.

I mean, whenever I’m asked to provide a short bio (for work of for social media) my go-to response is that “I like to read, write, and play video games, and that’s all there is to me.”

And writing feels like it’s getting the short straw.

But that’s just guilt and inadequacy talking.

The truth is, I write every goddamn day, be it for this blog, errant thoughts, or even work.

I write a hell of a lot for work.

I forget how much I work with words for my job. Not a day goes by when I’m not fixing up a sentence, editing an article, writing my own things, or proofreading an essay.

I’m not going to give up on any of my creative writing projects, but I really should stop feeling guilty about not working on them all on the time.

I’m living up to my bio. I am writing every day.

I am not losing any skills due to lack of honing.

Besides, I’m really trying to practice this YOLO-esque lifestyle. I mean, I’m not looking to take up bungie-jumping, but I do want to enjoy the little things in life instead of bemoaning things I haven’t done yet. I’m happy with what I do. And that’s all I really need.

It’s My Three-Year Anniversary!

WordPress has once again kindly reminded me that another year has gone by since I started this blog.

It’s kind of shocking to think so much time has gone by.

God, I’m getting old.

Have things changed much here since I started? Don’t know. I mean, I think I’m more comfortable saying “blog” now. That’s…improvement. Right?

All I know for sure is that since it’s my three-year anniversary, I’m going to treat myself today. I’m going to walk to Rite-Aid, get some Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, and listen to tunes while I go back home.

And then I’ll probably outline and schedule my next blog post.

You know how it is.

Froley’s Shower Routine: An Epic

The showerhead spouts forth its stream,
A dusty young cockatiel’s dream,
And as mild heat fills the room
Filth knows it meets its doom.
Sprightly bird paces along curtain rod,
Asking for a bath with a bob and a nod.
He steps onto finger, outstretched wings,
But will only bathe when I start to sing
“Little April Shower,” a happy tune
That hums of raindrops coming soon
And encourages plump Froley
To begin to dip and roll; he
Tries to catch the water’s spray
And clean collected dust away.
A stanky smell wafts from his feathers
But I know he feels better
After boldly flapping through this shower
With all his might and strength and power.
Thus with the watering’s end,
Froley with his regards did send
A slick, wet poop to the floor
To conclude his cleaning forevermore.

The Old House

Trees dappled the sun on the ground.
Dogs frolicked and barked all around.
And we would play too,
In the rain, with the flu,
Till they painted the old house blue.

We played in that backyard for years
With leaves from the trees we held dear.
And we’d be there today
Had we not moved away,
So that blue paint is there to stay.

We drove past the old house last night
Expecting to see walls of white.
But since we’ve been gone
That family’s moved on
And we’ll only see blue in the dawn.

I’ve Published 200 Posts!

WordPress has kindly notified me that as of my Meddling Kids book review (slash recommendation, since I didn’t really go in depth with the plot), I have published 200 posts on my Below Average Blog.

Holy moly.

Well, I’d like to thank the computer capability that makes all this possible, my enjoyment of the English language with all its incredibly sucky foibles, and my uncomfortable office chair.

But most of all, I’d like to thank anyone and everyone who has read a single thing I’ve written.

I feel like just yesterday I was writing an appreciation post, but here we go again.

Side note: See? This is what happens when WordPress sends me cute little reminders. I get overly emotional more than once.

I seriously enjoy the fact that people read what I write. It’s like the ultimate ecstasy and comfort at the same time.

So here’s to 200 more posts.

Knowing 2020 and the type of year it’s been so far though, I bet you anything this is the year the internet just stops working.

Knock on wood.

Of Protests and Pandemics

Fractures persist in the criminal justice system.
So we choose to resist.
An infection spreads,
Using worldwide connections to extend its reach.
The divide has never been wider
(Or Whiter)
Between the haves and have-nots.
This year is clearly
Determined to sear
Itself onto our collective memories.
But perhaps this time of unrest is for the best.
Granted, this trial by virus
Feels like the strike of a viper
Disinclined to let go
Until the flow of venom is spent.
But protests and calls for reform
Bring more than fury and woe.
They bring change.
And changing to better treat the people we meet
Is never a bad thing.

The Social Distancing Limerick

My day-to-day life hasn’t changed
Since quarantine was arranged.
I just work in my house
With no time to grouse
Since life on this Earth turned strange.

And as time goes on in this way
With no friends to hear what I say
Even though I’m not sick
The distance hurts quick
Since we’ve all learned to self-isolate.

But we must stand strong and take heart
To give doctors and nurses a start
We can flatten the curve
If we just have the nerve
To stay home and do our damn part.

Mystery Blogger Award

I got nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Extra Life (his reviews are honestly the best things I’ve ever read, and I’ve learned to trust his opinion more than my own Below Average one). I don’t typically do these chain award type deals, but they are rather enjoyable, so let’s do this!

The rules to this thing are as follows:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog

2. List the rules

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog

4. Mention Okoto Enigma, the creator of the award and provide a link as well

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself

6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people

7. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice.

And here are the three things about myself:

  1. I don’t like seafood
  2. I can touch my nose with my tongue.
  3. I consider turkeys to be my spirit animal.

Here are the hella awesome questions Extra Life posed my way! (He asked more than 5, but I’m not complaining.)

  • What is the most unusual work you’ve ever experienced?

That would have to be the film Rubber. It’s an entire movie devoted to a tire that rolls around the desert that has the ability to make things explode when it “looks” at them. It’s goddamn beautiful.

  • What is the best work you have experienced that no one else seems to know about?

Definitely the manga Bakuman. If you are a creative of any kind, then I highly recommend this series. It’s not as well known as other works like Naruto or My Hero Academia, but it is just as gripping with a story based in reality. It’s about two kids in junior high who want nothing more than to write manga. It’s an underdog tale about kids who want to write. Come on, it can’t get better than that.

  • If you could go back in time and go to the premiere of a classic film, which one would you choose?

Ohhh, definitely Return of the Jedi. After waiting so long to find out what happened to Han Solo, that must have been a ton of fun to midnight premiere with your friends.

  • If you decided to write fiction, which genre would you choose?

I actually do write fiction, and I like writing low-key science fiction. (So not universe-creating science fiction, but more like a realistic setting with unusual happenings/characters/items thrown in.)

  • What is the most disappointingly predictable plot twist you’ve ever experienced?

I’m not thoroughly enraged by the final season of Game of Thrones, but I have to admit, aspects of it disappointed me. One of the worst was Daenerys burning down King’s Landing. I don’t know if this counts as a plot twist, but since it was shoddily “set up,” I feel like it does.

  • What do you consider to be the strangest title for a work?

The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

  • Where in a theater do you prefer to sit?

Smack dab in the middle.

  • Do you have any graphic novel/manga series you’re currently following?

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

  • When it comes to reviewing films, which do you feel are more effective – traditional, written reviews or video essays?

The effectiveness of a review honestly depends on the person consuming it. Some people absorb information better by reading it, others by hearing it.

  • What aspects of old-school game design do you wish would make a comeback?

Manual saves. Some games still do it, but not enough of them. I know automatic saves can really help a player out, but I like that sense of relief you get when you’re playing a game with manual saves and you see whatever counts as a “save station” in the distance.

  • What aspects of old-school game design are you glad went away?

Fixed camera angles. Fuck that shit, right?

I’m nominating the following blogs:

Apex Shadow Designs
The Duck in…
The Comic Vault
From famine to feast
Video Games Nebula
The Gaming Diaries
The Corvid Review
The Orang-utan Librarian
Art of Almost
Gone Away

And lastly, here are five questions my nominees have to answer! (Or not. No pressure.)

  1. What moment of gaming triumph (be it board, video, or, hell, even a physical sport) do you love to tell people about?
  2. What is your ideal reading situation in terms of environment?
  3. What three movies would you recommend to anyone, regardless of their personal taste in film?
  4. What aspects of a series (book, comic, or television) make you want to binge it?
  5. Why did you start writing and maintaining a blog?