Showing posts from 2017

Final thoughts for the year of our Lord 2017

The turmoil and divisiveness in this country dominated 2017, but there were a few moments of beauty mixed in
It's not too difficult to find an example of how. Ways in which progress of this nation have been set back can be found daily, mostly from the Twitter account of our president.
There's still a lot going on outside of the political realm. It's important to keep focus on what is happening in the world; to keep fighting the changes that are being implemented; to fight for a better life for friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers who might not have the same inherent rights many of us our born with.
Sometimes, though, a little bit of distraction can be helpful to renew the focus. And that's where the arts, books, and even sports come into play.
Honestly, I did not see as many movies, listen to as much music, explore as much art, or read as many books as I'd hoped to in 2017.
I have remedied that in the latter half of the year in order to make up for the e…

Christmas Letter 2017

Years ago, in this galaxy and not too far away, the release of a new Star Wars movie was usually reserved for the month of May. Outside of the ill-fitted, little-seen Star Wars holiday special, the past three years have changed that.
New movies from the Star Wars galaxy have now turned into a Christmas-time affair, with The Last Jedi being the most recent of these films.
I grew up with the Star Wars universe and accompanying toys. Hours were spent playing with the toys, whether in my room or my grandpa's backyard. From Luke Skywalker to Jawas, these figures spent a fair amount of time buried in dirt and thrown into the grass. Many a weapon was lost this way, maybe even a head or two, and I like to believe a lost figure is buried in a yard in Bishop, California.
I still own a fair amount of toys from the original trilogy. Sure, the figures have no weapons or helmets and parts are missing on the Millennium Falcon, but I'm proud to say I still own them. 
Over the years, I have p…

Saturday nights in the winter abyss

Next week will be the 2017 edition of the Christmas newsletter. This week I do a little free writing. And tomorrow, to steal from 'Spaceballs', bingo.
Saturday nights sure aren't what they used to be.
Weekend nights used to be spent at the bars. A Friday thru Sunday punishment to the brain and dulling of the senses. Wake up Saturday morning with a hangover? No worries. Saturday night would arrive soon enough.
..I'm watching the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers currently lose to the Kansas City Chiefs, drinking the first of what will probably only be two beers on that night. (They are tall cans so I guess that's something.) Even if there wasn't a football game on, I might very well still be staying in for the night.
I kind of like it.
I've been a bit of a recluse over the past few years. The nights of bar hopping -- for the most part -- are behind me. Those night hold wonder and fantastic memories, but I'm much more focused these days. And I'd l…

Monologues for Christmas and winter

Every once in awhile, I like to drop monologues onto 'The Journey of Now' blog. The following were written roughly three years ago and today I sat down to revise them. 
Of Snow Forts and Santa CHRIS The Yule log burns on Channel 11. The Christmas presents are wrapped and I finally sit down to enjoy a glass of ice cold eggnog. The snow has been falling for hours, there must be at least six inches of it out there, and the sky shows no signs of letting up.
The yule burning behind me, I stare out the window and watch the snow gently fall in the night. The city is silent. No traffic whatsoever. The street lights illuminate the freshly fallen snow. I know it’s late, I know its cold, but all I want to do is go outside and build a snow fort. Or maybe build a couple of snowmen. Snow women? Snow people? Whatever they are, all I want to do is go out into the snow and do something to recapture my youth.
I still can’t get to sleep on Christmas Eve. That excitement I had as a child on…

Five Christmas television episodes from the 90's

This post originally appeared on a different website, one that switched formats and removed it. Here it is on my own blog, to live now and forever. (Plus some minor changes, updates).
The holidays are upon us and that means many television shows tend to channel their energy towards one thing: holiday themed episodes.
In the tradition of today’s age of lists and nostalgia, here is a list of Christmas themed episodes of television shows from the 90’s that should be witnessed by all, whether it be for the first time or 20th time. *Warning: Possible SPOILER ALERTS ahead.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Amends (12/15/98) In the true holiday nature of television shows that lean towards the dramatic side, this Christmas episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tugs at the heart strings.
Christmas in it’s physical form is not the focus of this episode. Instead, it deals with pretty frequent Christmas themes of forgiveness, regret, and letting go of the past.
The main plot revolves around Angel (David …

Giving thanks on turkey day

Thankful for so much in 2017, I'd like to take a moment and share this picture of cooked...goose.
This was for my birthday circa 2010. I might be off by a year, one way or the other, but I thought it would be the ideal photo for Thanksgiving. Goose, turkey, whatever. They're all the same, right?
The goose was cooked by my good friend Danny, who as legend has it, simply decided to cook a goose for my birthday so he could announce to the room, "Your goose is cooked."
Delightful, I know.
Sidetracked by a picture of a goose aside, today has been one filled with football, writing, phone calls to loved ones, and a few episodes of Stranger Things 2. It's been packed with excitement and dog sitting. And I haven't even reached the turkey stage of the day this year.
There was no goose this year but my birthday was a few days ago. It was a pretty standard Tuesday in my life, one in which I worked, wrote and was able to catch the latest episode of Smackdown.  Celebratio…

The poetry style of a younger self

The Journey of Now has been around for awhile now. I've been known, from time to time, to share some poetry from another lifetime ago.
I have not tried my hand at any new, sappy poems for years now. I'm not even entirely sure one can call them poems. They are a glimpse into the mind of a forlorn man. A man-child with bigger, romantic ideas of the world who was suffering a broken heart. (See. Sappy.)
Okay. Not all of them were like that, but a majority were. Going back to old writing is always quite the adventure and the learning experience. For example, my early 20's self referred to, in my writing, every female a girl. No matter the age, the word was girl and not woman.
I'm hopeful I have gained new insight and learned more as my life as a writer has (supposedly) progressed. Time will continue to tell. One thing is for certain: I hope I never stop growing and learning.
To keep up with my process--and to stay up-to-date--you can subscribe to my newsletter. I just sent …

Toys, toys, toys! A hall of fame like no other

Everything seems to have a Hall of Fame so why not one for toys as well.
Raggedy Ann is in the hall of fame. The Nerf Ball is not.
If you're like me, you're probably discovering for the first time that a Toy Hall of Fame even exists. A place in which you can find all sorts of classic and novelty toys from your youth? Count me in.
I discovered this fact earlier on Saturday as a result of my weekly jaunt over to the Reno Gazette Journal. Saturday's are normally devoted to reading Chris Murray's weekly 1000 Words column. Little did I know a column on Colin Kaepernick would lead me to a morning reading about toys and their corresponding hall of fame.
This year's inductees: a paper airplane, the Wiffle ball, and the board game CLUE. Three very deserving inductees; ones I'd wager a majority of us played (with) as a child (or even as an adult). Paper airplanes were never quite my forte. Wiffle ball, on the other hand, I had quite the upper hand on and CLUE, well, I m…

No-Shave November: Finding the right style of facial hair when month ends

It’s that time a year again. A time when many men participate in what is the now annual tradition of No-Shave November. Facial hair grows wild and free, all in the good name of raising money and awareness in fighting cancer.
Thirty days pass and many of the participants are left with a tangled mess of hair on their face. Some even have collected what amounts to a gourmet feast of food crumbs in their beard. What now? The first step is to wash your beard more often, if there is indeed that much food in it.
After that’s completed, some men will take the easy way out by shaving off all the hair that adorns their face. Others though? They are simply left staring in the mirror, dreaming of the clean shave they once had.
It’s time to get creative. It’s time to give the grandparents something to talk about at those inevitable family gatherings aside from their reverse mortgage. From baseball player to actor, take advantage of your face full of hair and mold into one of these five styles bas…

Fastballs and dingers soaring into the late October night

In October, time on the baseball field -- much like the players -- stands still.  
A cloud of dust from intricately drawn lines and the painted corners of a perfectly framed mitt can make all the difference between a joyous celebration and a hang-your-head defeat.
Rounding the base too far can lead to an embarrassing fall while the scrutiny of an ill-timed pitching change (or lack thereof) can linger in the autumn air for ages.
Or, in the case of game two of the 2017 World Series, the tides of momentum can be changed (or stopped) simply by an umpire stopping the progress of an errant throw. 
Ninety feet can seem like an inch while inch can be a mile. Bunting might no longer be an art form but managing your bullpen certainly is.
Everyone is perfect prior to first pitch, a clean slate with dreams of putting up crooked numbers to wash away the zeroes next to a name.
Perfection for others can last longer, until much-too-early-talk fills up social media, in effect giving umbrage to the ol…

October: College football on display in all its glory

Friday the 13th kicked things off with Clemson's upset loss, but the top-25 in college football felt the scary after effects throughout the weekend. To many fans, pointing to bowl games and the CFB Playoff makes an easy access point in describing their favorite time of the college football season.
Forget that. 
To me, college football is at its finest in the month(s) of October and November. A fact that really kicked into gear from October 12 to October 14 in 2017.
Seven teams in the top-25 suffered losses, including four teams (formerly) ranked in the top-10. There were teams who likely have seen their playoff hopes dashed (Auburn, Washington St.), teams whose chances got incredibly smaller (Washington), teams who likely still have a shot (Clemson), and perhaps a Group of 5 team with hopes of a New Year's bowl game dashed (San Diego St.).
October--for the most part--is when the polls really begin to take shape. Teams are getting into the heart of their conference schedule an…

Finding the right balance between writing and a social life

“I should never be left alone with my mind for too long.”-Libba Bray There was a moment not too long ago I came to the realization I’d been spending too much time alone with my own mind.
I was taking a few minutes away from my daily writing when the epiphany occurred. I had stationed myself in front of the t.v., mindlessly (or so I thought) watching an episode of less-than-stellar show. The show itself is not important. What’s important was the simple fact that on the night in question I found myself talking to the t.v. show. I asked a question of one of the characters on the show and, in a different voice, answered my own question.
I panicked. How long had these conversations with myself been going on? Why were my collectible bobbleheads moved from their shelves and placed in a circle? To my surprise, I hadn’t taken the life-size cardboard cutouts I’d acquired from my days of working at a movie theater out of storage. Finding them in my apartment may have sent my mind into a tailsp…

Counting down the days until Nevada Day

Nevada Day is fast approaching. Have you picked out your costume yet?
Autumn is here. Leaves are doing their annual impressions of a chameleon, before dropping from the trees and collecting in piles on the ground. This is one of the many signals we are creeping ever closer to an important fall holiday: Nevada Day.
Nevada entered into an union with the United States on October 31, 1864. Since then, the day is marked nationwide by a celebration of candy, costumes, and general shenanigans and debauchery.
Each year, on October 31, millions of Americans--kids and adults alike--throw on a costume to celebrate this amazing day. Children even go door-to-door in their costumes, soliciting chocolate and licorice to honor the state of Nevada.
Adults have re-inserted themselves into the fun over the past ten years. Many have decided to partake in the celebration of Nevada by dressing the skimpiest costume they can find. These costumes are aptly titled "Sexy Pirate", "Sexy Cop"…

A flag less ordinary: respect, honor, and protesting

Another Sunday morning and another day in which the Tweeter-in-chief continues to spend more time on social media creating a divide rather than bridging it. In the cozy offices of--let's be honest, probably the room of his vacation estate--the 45th president of the United States tweets at will. There is no regard for others, no intelligent musings, no thought of others ravaged in Puerto Rico by back-to-back hurricanes, and he tweets with very much a blatant racist overtone.
There is no need to share these tweets here. The focus lately has been on athletes, primarily those from the NFL who continually to PEACEFULLY protest during the national anthem by taking a knee. 
Why? Because inequality and racism are still very present in the year 2017. And it's being fueled by the man who sits in the highest seat of power in the United States.
A country's flag is supposed to be representative of the people within in it. If groups of people do not feel represented--or put down by oth…

Switching 'The Journey of Now' newsletter to email format

Where you one of the tens of people asking where The Journey of Now's newsletter went?
Don't worry. Relax. I have an answer for you.
Normally, once I've written a blog post or updated my web site, I post a link to various social media outlets. In the past, this was a good way to spread updates on my writing career, updates in the theater world, or simply newsletters on this blog.
I've found--as of late--many of these posts are getting missed due to various algorithm changes or simply the amount of stuff populating social media feeds.
So, in an experiment I will be officially launching next week, I've decided to try my hand at an email newsletter (to be sent out every four weeks or so).
I detailed this over at the Jason Haskins website last month but figured I'd give a shout out on my blog as well.
The email newsletter will serve as a way to not only provide updates on what's going on in my world, but to also share the collection of blog posts I've writ…

USMNT drops qualifier thanks to sloppy play of back four

The momentum the United States Men's Soccer Team accumulated over the past nine months ran into wall in dropping their World Cup qualifier to Costa Rica. One of these days, the USMNT will step onto the pitch in a big game and play to win instead of simply playing not to lose.
For the first 20 minutes in Friday's World Cup qualifier, it looked like the team was ready to do that very thing. A good showing here would make the 4-0 shellacking the absorbed from Costa Rica in November a long forgotten nightmare.
The team was attacking, making some pretty great runs while overcoming a few sloppy passes from their back four. There was a fluidity to their passing, something I'd seen very little of from the United States over the years. 
They looked like a real team. A team that had been unbeaten in 14 matches since the return of head coach Bruce Arena.
Then, one bad formation--and a questionably placed kick from Tim Howard--later, the bottom fell out. The USMNT allowed a goal and …