The wonders of personal essays

Today was without a doubt, and beyond compare, one of the most productive days off I’ve had in a while. Exciting apartment maintenance stuff was handled bright and early. I mowed the lawn for the first time this year, which was taxing and horrible but necessary. There was a strong aroma of wild onions all around my yard, however, and it proved to be surprisingly enjoyable. By extension, the lawn mowing became that much more pleasant. After that, and without showering first (not a point of pride for me), I deposited my tax return and used a small portion of it to treat myself. The rest, of course, is planned out for responsible, adult things, but I wanted to have a little fun with some of it. A copy of Majora’s Mask for the 3DS, an Ultron bobblehead, and a copy of Lumberjanes later, I achieved that much.

Funny enough, all of those things are relevant to today’s topic. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Forty-Eight

There seems to be a storm a-brewin’ in them thar hills just outside. Or something that one day aspires to be a storm. It rained for a solid thirty seconds or so, just a proper and sudden downpour, and then nothing. I hear the occasional rumble of thunder here and there, but I’m not sure it’s not one of the neighbors making a bit of noise.

Okay, it's definitely thunder. Also: holy crap, look at these beautiful, wild and crazy clouds.

Okay, it’s definitely thunder. Also: holy crap. Look at these beautiful, wild and crazy clouds.

All of this, of course, is being posted from the Chicagoland area (specifically Plainfield). That means I survived my first-ever long road trip! I am a weird blend of highly enthusiastic and road-lagged, the latter being slightly exacerbated by woes of a non-vacation variety creeping in from one time zone away. Thankfully for everyone, those woes are not what this post will be about. Instead, let’s talk about my adventure, and it certainly was an adventure, from Carnegie to Plainfield. And how the end of the trip involved Mother Nature making an attempt on my life.  Continue reading

100 Days of blogging – The Misadventures in Fiction edition

Or “Phil had an idea for a short story, but its quite stuck in his head” with strong notes of “If this week were a person, I’d set that bastard on fire and throw him off a goddamn cliff”.

I’ve seen One Hundred Days of all sorts of things. One Hundred Happy Days. One Hundred Days of Self-Improvement. One Hundred Days of Exercise (which I admittedly misread as One Hundred Days of Exorcise, which left me wondering who is going to the trouble of finding so many possessed people). And so on, and so on, ad infinitum. I also know that this Hundred Days of Blogging has been done before, and so I want to set up some basic guidelines for myself. Guidelines that are being made up as I type this, because I am the antithesis to planning and organization. With all of that in mind, let’s kick this off. Continue reading

Go check out this blog.

I couldn’t think of anything particularly witty to put for a title, and I’m not sorry.

Tonight, while meandering around the internet like I always do (because I am the most productive person alive, of course), I happened upon a new-ish WordPress blog simply titled frozenpeasblog. It wasn’t the title that caught my eye, however, so much as the little post snippet that was available. There are only two posts so far, both of which personal essays, and they left me wanting more. There’s a very David Sedaris quality to the humor, which should be a strong enough selling point to at least merit checking out the link above (which, by the way, is in case any of you are too lazy to go back a couple sentences).

Also, the blog references Edinboro and so I’m obligated, by that alone, to share this link.

Go share some WordPress love, give frozenpeasblog a follow, and enjoy some high quality writing. Share it with your friends, because it’s great stuff and deserves to be seen. Or, if you’re the sort who likes to live life on the contrary side, don’t you dare click that link and enjoy the essays posted therein.


A Farewell to My First Car

I’m prone to oddly sentimental moments sometimes.  Like this post, for instance.

I’m not the kind of guy who named his car, or acted like it was a person.  It didn’t have a gender, but it had as much personality as an inanimate object can.

Now, to completely ignore all of that: my little blue 2010 Hyundai Sonata was a magnificent chariot, and it got me where I needed to be.  The news it was deemed a total loss was some very painful news indeed.  That part is a story I’d prefer not to get into, as I still have nightmares about it.  Nobody was hurt, thankfully, and that’s what matters.  The bruising to my ego caused by killing a car I’d had for less than a year, however, is its own sort of injury.

The Hyundai was my first car.  It was the car I drove between driving lessons, and the car I got my driver’s license (far too many years later than I should have) in.  It was the car that endured how many abrupt stops at stop signs and red lights.  It handled sharp turns and wide turns and many other manners of poorly handled maneuvering.  It was the soundboard for much swearing.  I mean a lot of really creative combinations of expletives, too, because people really like coming to, and remaining at, a full stop at green lights on William Penn Highway.

My first adventures in highway driving were made possible because of this little blue car that could.  Even the very first, pants-shittingly terrifying trip onto Parkway East (the Carnegie on-ramp is less of a driving experience and more of a gauntlet of anxiety and suffering).

I went on all manners of food runs in it, and it got me to a good number of good times.  Despite my still quite-novice driving (read as: relatively bad driving), it always kept on keeping on.

It’s also my understanding the accident should have, by all means, disabled my car.  The engine had been pushed upwards, and various other damages had been incurred I would like to not think about should have left the car stationary.  There’s a part of me, though completely irrational, holding onto the notion my car kept going just as long as I needed it to in this situation.  I couldn’t help feeling guilty driving away from dropping it off in a different Hyundai.

There was something truly painful about picking up the license plate and retrieving my belongings from the Sonata (as a side-note: I am sorry, mom and Tom, but I owe you two umbrellas as I forgot them in the backseat of the car; my bad).  Its neighbors had large pieces hanging off, or missing completely.  Out of all the cars there, it hardly seemed something worth deeming a total loss.  The reality happened to be very different from how things appeared at a glance.  The mechanic told me my Sonata was, in fact, the most badly damaged among all of those cars.  Competition included a very sad looking Mustang that was on its way out to pasture (or, far more likely, one on its way to be shot behind the barn) and a Toyota with a completely exposed engine.  Not exactly an honor I wanted.

It was, in the end, just a car.  It was one of the greatest gifts I’d ever been given, a means to further my life (by taking steps towards becoming a mature, responsible adult and moving out, for instance), and so I’d like to revise State Farm’s assessment of it being a total loss.  It brought good to my life.  I’d like to think it’ll end up being melted down into some badass throne I can use again, once my nefarious schemes for world domination come to fruition.  Meanwhile, this is a sad, oddly sentimental farewell to my very first car, the little blue 2010 Hyundai Sonata.  It was one hell of a car.