Pictures of You, Pictures of Me

My old university roommate once said something to me that was so brilliant, I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.

He said, “Paul, do you want to go to McDonald’s?”

He didn’t have to ask me twice, especially when The Golden Arches was staring at us from outside our window.

Alright, that’s not the brilliant quote. It was this:

“I have a 2000-word essay to write. I should just draw two pictures, each one is worth 1000 words.”

Genius, right?

I feel like we are in the era of photography, yet photo albums are out of style. I’m talking about physical photo albums that you hold in your hands and flip through slowly, pausing to point at specific pictures and recalling memories from them.

Remember that? You must.

Now, I’m sure a lot of you are probably already heading down to the comments section to say, “Oh silly Paul, I still put photos in photo albums!”

Alright, great. But I don’t think the majority of people do that anymore.

Their photo album exists on their phone. There is no elongated gaze at a variety of photos. There is a glance at one and then a flick of the finger to scroll to the next one.

Take a bad photo? No problem. Take another one. Heck, spend 20 minutes taking a one person photo shoot.

That is the era we live in.

There is no, “Hey, let’s ask this non-threatening-looking stranger to take a picture of us.”

There are long arms, selfie sticks, and crooked necks.

There is no, “I hope my grandparents – who have never used a camera before – know how to frame the photo properly. I guess we’ll find out when the photos are developed.”

There are prayers.

It’s a different world than it was fifteen years ago, heck even ten years ago. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m just pointing it out.

Though a small part of me does miss photo albums. The way the order of each photo tells the story.

Sometimes I’ll flip through the photo albums from my childhood and I can see myself grow up. I can look at the time stamp on the photo and see how old I was.

I always thought my first memories started when I tripped over a hula-hoop on my first day of kindergarten – just a few days after my 4th birthday. I was wrong.

There are pictures of me doing things as a three-year-old that I’ve always had memories of but was never able to place when they occurred.

And sure, in the future people can look at the date on their phone to see when they took a photo but it doesn’t feel the same.

There’s a difference.

Every photo we take with our phone doesn’t feel that important. It’s not like we have a certain amount of film and have to pick and choose which moments are worth remembering.

Hey, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s good we can take pictures of absolutely every second of every day. But are we taking photos of things we want to remember, or are we taking photos of things we didn’t catch with our own eyes the first time around?

I’ve been to so many sporting events in my life and ever since I’ve had a phone that’s able to take pictures, I always feel the need to take a photo of the arena or stadium. Multiple pictures. I don’t know why I do this.

Sure, part of the reason is to post a picture on social media, but after a while, how many times do I have to take the same exact photo I took the last ten times I attended a game?

I don’t use these photos for anything. They just sit on my phone until I muster up the courage to delete them, but I don’t because I’m secretly a mild hoarder.

We all have a profile picture here on WordPress. For most of us, it’s a picture of ourselves. But not just any picture. It’s a picture we like and deem suitable enough for others to see. We judge it before others do.

And then those photos sit there.

I’ve had the same profile picture on here for four years. I don’t look like that anymore. Then again, I’ve been told I look different in every photo I take so that photo was outdated about three days after I posted it.

It’s weird, though. I see people’s profile pictures – not just on here, but all over social media – and I imagine that person to be making that exact same pose at every single moment. It’s how I know them.

Oh, this person is smiling. That must be what they’re doing right now.

Oh, this person is dressed professionally. They are probably really busy right now.

Oh, this person is milking a cow. They must be in the middle of that right now.

And so on. I know, it makes no sense, but the profile picture I see is the person I picture in my head.

As bloggers, we know each other by our words and our picture and then formulate a conclusion on who that person is.

Just a heads up, my profile picture was taken moments before I went to go sweat at a wedding. So if you’re thinking I’m this very important person who wears a suit every day, I’m not.

I don’t think I’ve worn a suit since then. That was four years ago.

I know for a fact that suit no longer fits me. I’ve lost about 12 pounds since that photo. I’m not always clean shaven. My hair isn’t perfectly straight across my forehead anymore. I’m not sitting here with a charming fake smile.

My profile picture is not my current self.

But it’s a photo of me. So that’s good enough, right?

And this is where photos on social media can lie. They don’t always tell the whole truth. For every photo that is shared, there are probably twenty others sitting in the deleted folder on someone’s phone.

Photos have to be perfect, not necessarily real.

I flip through my old photo albums and the photos in them are real, but not necessarily perfect, even though we probably all said “cheese” at the same time.

That’s the difference.

If you’re curious, that is a current photo of me. I go the humour route with a lot my social media photos. It’s a niche not enough people are in right now because people aren’t as funny as they think.

I’m working on a new catchphrase: “I put the ‘funny’ in ‘pretty funny'”. Let me know what you think.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 70 Comments

I Am Sick

I don’t like my bed anymore.

Since Friday night, I’ve been under the weather, as opposed to on top of it. Hey, I just understood why it’s called being on “Cloud 9”. You’re on top of the weather.

I haven’t been there. I’ve been in Sewer 73 for the last three days. It’s been awful.

I apologize in advance if this blog post is a bit loopy or lacks proper wording. I’m afraid my nose could drip on a key at any moment, which might force my finger to slide and hit the wrong hutton by accident.

It started on Friday night. Out of nowhere, my throat started getting really dry. I knew a sore throat was coming.

But my God, I wasn’t expecting to go to sleep that night feeling as though the entire cast of the Bee Movie had stung my throat.

Full disclosure, I’ve never seen Bee Movie, so there better be an ample amount of bees in it. Ha, look at me using the word “ample”. This post is off the rails.

Swallowing felt like walking on Lego with bare feet for six months. I was in pain.

No worries, sleeping makes everything better! Nope. I woke up and the pain was twice as bad. On Saturday, I went through my fair share of watermelon and banana pudding.

I also had “seasoned water” for two meals. What is “seasoned water”? That is what I call “soup”. Needless to say, I’d hit my quota for soup and didn’t have any on Sunday.

Going to sleep Saturday night into Sunday was nothing short of awful. I went to sleep around 9:45PM, which meant I tossed and turned for about four hours before feeling tired.

I was freezing. Probably a fever. So I put on pants, a t-shirt, and then a shirt on top of that. Then I put a blanket on, left milk and cookies and carrots by the chimney, and crawled into bed, as if it were the night before Christmas.

Needless to say I woke up in the middle of the night sweating like a bank robber who forgot a disguise. I don’t think I’ve ever taken off clothes faster in my life. Sorry, was that too visual? I don’t care.

I felt like passing out. My room was boiling hot, so I quickly opened the door and sat in the doorway to feel some fresh air.

After sweating out enough sweat to fill up the shallow end of a pool, I closed my door because what psycho falls asleep with the door open(?) and crawled back into my bed to continue the nightmare.

I couldn’t sleep. My ears hurt from trying to sleep on both sides of my face. My head hurt, well, just because. My throat – you know about. My legs were achy. I was not in good shape.

Some would’ve called me a rhombus.

And of course as I’m trying to fall asleep, I have every song under the moon, stuck in my head. Every. Single. Song.

At one point it felt like I was the lead singer of a band and I had to get out my set of nine songs before going to sleep. I couldn’t stop the lyrics in my head. It was awful.

So then Sunday arrived after I spent about 12 hours in bed, and my throat was starting to feel better, but lo and behold, my nose started to get in on the festivities.

Ever have to write an exam at school while you’re sick? You’re sitting there just wanting to sniffle back the most disgusting sounding mucus this continent has ever heard, but you can’t because the whole room will hear you, so you wait until the other sick person in the room goes into their sniffling and coughing fit and just piggy-back their noise? 

I couldn’t breathe through my nose today. Every time I tried to lie down, my nose wouldn’t let me.

I can’t sleep on my left. I can’t sleep on my right. I can’t sleep on my back. I can’t sleep on my stomach. I can’t sleep standing on one foot.

I tried napping twice, but ended up just laying there like a sack of potatoes with a runny nose.

My bed is no longer comfortable. There is nowhere to go. The cool side of my pillow doesn’t exist.

I don’t know what to do, so I’m sitting here at 1AM trying to not sneeze all over my laptop. It doesn’t have windshield wipers.

My legs feel weak. You could put a pizza on the other size of the room and I don’t think I’d get up to get it. I’d have to roll over there in my desk chair.

I know I need to sleep, but the bed is my enemy right now. My arms are a bit cold, my legs aren’t. My head feels detached.

By the way, I think I’m immune to tylenol. I took two tablets today and didn’t feel any different.

It’s okay though because I am a survivor. I’m not gonna give up. I’m not gonna stop. I’m gonna work harder. I’m a survivor.

See, there I go again singing songs. Whatever happened to the other three girls in Destiny’s Child?

I will not let this defeat me. I will bounce back! Okay, maybe not bounce. That would just shake my head until it popped off. But you get what I’m trying to say.

By the way, who the hell gets sick in July? I normally save this nonsense for the winter.

Anyways, send me your well fishes. Or is it well wishes? I don’t know. I’m sick.

Merry Christmas to all and to Paul a goodnight.

Posted in Humour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 95 Comments

Blogging 307

I got a fortune cookie today and the fortune read, “Someone is looking up to you. Don’t let that person down.”

Well knock me over and help me up. I’ve felt that way a lot, whether it was from working at a summer camp, or through this blog. I don’t mind being a role model. I also don’t mind ruining children’s Knock Knock jokes.

Here’s how.

Kid: Knock Knock!

Me: Come in!

Bam, ruined. They have no comeback. Try it! The look on their face is hilarious.

Alright, let’s get to it.

We are gathered here today to join you and your blog in holy blogimony. I hope you’re wearing something nice, but if not, pyjamas will do.

This post is going to be my attempt at providing tips to new bloggers and old bloggers, I don’t discriminate, unlike the Pres…NO. I will not discuss Politics. Only Paulitics.

These are things that I’ve noticed other bloggers do/not do over the years that I’d like to help them correct.

That’s why this post is called, “Blogging 307”. Blogging 101 is too cliche and Blogging 202 is too logical. I am neither cliche or logical, so here we are – Blogging 307.

Phones away, brains out. – That’s what teachers should say.

Use these tips at your own discretion. I am not a Doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. 

1. Make sure your URL is correct, so people can click your name when it shows up in their notifications.

This one normally impacts the bloggers who have changed their blog name and have changed their URL to match it. When you do that though, your old link remains attached to your name when it appears in someone’s notifications.

When that happens, I click on your name and am taken to a page that says your blog doesn’t exist and you’re an alien. A “Follow” button doesn’t appear under your name either, so I can’t even follow you and try to find you in my Reader.

How do you fix this/make sure your URL is correct?

Step 1: Click on your Profile Picture in the top right corner.

Step 2: Click Account Settings

Step 3: Type in your web address under “Web Address”.

Now, people can click on your name in their notifications (and comments section) and be directed to your proper site.

2. Put a link to your blog on your Gravatar page.

The idea I’m trying to get across here is – you want to make it as easy as possible for other bloggers to find your blog. Throw them a bone, so to speak, if you like dog analogies.

Step 1: Click on your Profile Picture in the top right corner

Step 2: Click on “My Profile”

Step 2.5: While here, you can type a short description about yourself which appears when people click on your photo, or hover over it.

Step 3: Scroll down to “Profile Links” and click “Add Site”.

Now, when people click on your photo when they see it on someone else’s blog, they can see your Gravatar page and proceed to click the link to your blog and become your best friend.

Note: You can also add links to your social media pages under “Profile Links” by adding URL.

3. Tagging

Tags are essentially hashtags that you should include on every post. If that didn’t make sense, I’ll put it in different terms.

Tags are topics that reflect what your blog post is about.

In the Reader, we can search for tags and find blog posts about that topic. Therefore, it’s important to tag properly.

CLICK HERE for a list of tags you can choose from.

This isn’t Twitter or Instagram where long tags (that often serve as a punchline) work. They don’t.

From what I’ve read, the WordPress rule is that you’re allowed up to 15 tags on each post, but you don’t really need that many.

For instance, on my blog posts where I give a full episode recap of The Bachelorette, I’m tagging that post with things like: Thoughts, Opinion, Humor, Funny, Love, Relationships, Dating, TV, The Bachelorette, and People.

That casts a big net and all of the tags make sense. You have to think in terms of what people will search for in their Reader.

Many posts you write will share the same tags – Thoughts, Opinion, and Life can be used for most things.

If you’re writing a post about yourself, tag it with things like: About Me, Identity, Personal, or if you’re telling stories – Anecdote.

I love digging through the “About Me” tag. It’s a great way to find new bloggers I might have something in common with.

If you’re wondering how to tag a post, here’s how.

And I do apologize if this sounds like I’m dumbing it down, but some people don’t know, and that’s okay.

When you write a blog post on a computer, there is the main section for writing the post and then to the right is a place where you add tags. You type in your tags, hit enter, and they’re added.

Okay, recap: Use tags – relevant ones. That’s how bloggers find you.

4. Fill in your About Me/About page on your blog.

This is different from the About Me section in your profile. This is an actual page on your website.

To fill it in, you just have to click the page and there’s an Edit button right there (at least for mine, there is).

I hate going to a blog, especially one that has been around for longer than a week, and it still has the default message from WordPress of something along the lines of, “This is where you explain who you are etc.”

It’s like showing up for a Christmas party and the hosts are still cleaning the toilets.

Erase that. Put your own words.

I haven’t been happy with my About page since I started this blog, so I’m not going to give advice on what you should say in it. You probably already know.

Introduce yourself, explain why you’re blogging, etc. 

This brings me to my next tip!

5. Believe in yourself.

Nothing blows out my birthday candles more than reading a blogger describe themselves as “Just another blogger who will be writing about (insert your topics here).”

No. No. No. No. No.

You’re killing me.

You are not “just another blogger.”

YOUR ADVANTAGE IS THAT NO ONE IS LIKE YOU!

Why would I follow “just another blogger”. We are all unique. Use that to your advantage. Stand out. Say something that catches people off guard – that gives a glimpse of who you are.

“I really enjoy a pickle with a hard crunch.”

“Blue is my favourite colour, but my bedroom is red, and my newspaper is black and white.”

There are two examples. If I read one of those lines on your About page, I’m clicking the Follow button. Simple as that.

6. Make it easy to click around your site.

If I read one post on a blog, normally I’d like to have the option of seeing what else the blogger has to offer. I can’t do that in an efficient manner, if the only way to see your older posts is by scrolling endlessly.

This is where menus come into play and I’d love to explain them, but it’s a headache to do that. But if you need help with them, let me know in the comments.

In addition to menus…WIDGETS.

Look at the right side of my blog. The badges, follow buttons, recent posts, calendar, Twitter feed, tag cloud, and more, are all widgets.

Step 1: To add widgets, go to your blog homepage and click the “Customize” button that should be in the bottom right corner.

Step 2: Click “Widgets”

Step 3: Click “Primary Widget Area”

Step 4: Click “Add a Widget”

From there, you can add whatever you want. My suggestion, at minimum, would be to add the “Recent Posts” widget so people can see what you’ve written lately.

Also, include a Follow Button.

Make it easy for people to follow your blog.

Make it easy for people to click around your blog.

Bonus: Make it easy for people to read your blog. I’ve come across some blogs with size 8 font. Sorry, but I can’t.

Only you can see the behind the scenes of your blog. Click around. Explore things. Hit buttons. WordPress is your playground.

7. Write Write Write!

You can sit and complain about your stats page until the cows decide to stroll back into town. We’ve all been there.

But, people can’t read your blog if you don’t give them anything to read. If you have four posts, write a fifth. If you have twelve posts, write a thirteenth.

If you take a hiatus, fine. When you return though, you don’t need to bring attention to the hiatus. If I found your blog by searching for a tag in my Reader, I don’t really want to read about how you’ve neglected your blog for 3 months because you forgot about it.

That doesn’t make me want to follow you. I’m sorry. Just hop into the blog post. If you’ve been busy with school, or travelling, or life, fine, mention it. Just don’t give the impression that your blog is something you don’t care about. Because then why should I care?

Don’t feel like you need to have a specific niche. If all you want to write about is makeup, or food, or movies – go for it!

But don’t let that hold you back from writing about anything you want.

The theme of your blog is you.

8. Find people through the comments section on someone else’s blog.

This is why it’s important that your Gravatar links to your blog.

If you’re a new blogger and are wondering why no one is reading your fantastic posts, it’s not because other bloggers think they aren’t fantastic, it’s because they don’t know you exist.

You have to be your own outreach program.

Find a blog, click on their posts, read their comments. This is how you can find other bloggers you might want to follow. And then blog hop. Bounce from blog to blog by clicking on people’s name/picture.

You won’t follow everyone – not everyone’s blog will interest you. But this is an easy way to surf around.

Don’t be shy. Follow blogs you like. Like posts you like. Comment!

Please be genuine about it, though. That’s my pet peeve. I’ve received my fair share of 8 likes on 8 posts in 8 seconds by one blogger, who really has no other motive than making sure I see them in my notifications.

Yes, ending up in someone’s notifications is beneficial to you because people like me will click on your name and go look at your blog, if we haven’t “met” yet.

But don’t spam people.

Bonus: I added a widget on my blog where it randomly lists 50 of my followers (normally the ones who were most recently active on my blog). That’s not for me. That’s for my followers, so they can click on those photos and be introduced to other bloggers.

9. *Don’t link people to your blog.

I’ll explain the asterisk in a minute.

I received a comment the other day on my tribute post to Chester Bennington – the singer who killed himself.

I got a, “Great post, Paul. Go check out my latest post about online dating tips. (Insert link here).”

I marked the comment as spam. Are you kidding me? Get outta here.

I’m not easily offended, but that offended me. It was so inappropriate. You just don’t do that. If the same comment appeared on one of my poems or literally anything else, I’d let it slide.

But on a post where I talk about someone who just died? That doesn’t sit well with me.

This is where the asterisk comes in.

Unless you’re linking me to a blog post that relates to what I’ve written about, I don’t want a link to your newest post. Sorry.

There are some bloggers who I’ve reached a level of friendship with, where either of us can say, “Okay go read my new post now” and it’s fine, because we have that relationship. If you’re a new blogger coming out of nowhere, we can’t have that bond yet.

I got a nice comment on that same post about Chester Bennington from a guy who said he also wrote a tribute, if I wanted to check it out. I did want to check it out. Because it was related to my post and allowed us to bond over the same thoughts.

That was fine. I don’t mind that one bit.

Listen, if you take the time to follow, like, or comment on one of my posts, I will go look at your blog. You don’t even have to tell me. I’ll do it because I’m curious and always looking for new bloggers to interact with.

But when I get the impression that you’re only playing nice so I can go give your blog a view, I don’t like that.

10. Be Yourself.

This is a blog. This is not your university essay worth 35% of your mark.

Have fun here.

Tell a story as if you’re on a road trip and are telling the people sitting in the back seat what happened to you when you spilled your drink in an elevator with six strangers.

We’re not going to pick on you for your grammar or spelling as long as you put in an honest effort and don’t type like a 12 year old on MSN.

If you come across someone’s blog and really like it, tell them! It’ll make their day.

I always used to worry that my words would be misinterpreted and people would get offended by the things I type. Then I realized that I was acting stupid.

I don’t ever sit down and type with the intention of offending anyone. I don’t try to offend people in real life, either. I know my words are genuine and well-intentioned, so if someone wants to take them the wrong way, that’s not my fault.

They can go write their own blog post about it.

That’s all I got. 

I hope this blog post was helpful. If you didn’t learn anything here, sorry, your deposit is non-refundable. Oh yeah, I should’ve mentioned, your payment for this course (Blogging 307) is one pizza slice.

For those of you who want to be a teacher’s pet, that label is attainable via payment of an entire pizza.

PLEASE, if you have any questions about anything blogging related, ask me in the comments below.

If you have questions about anything unrelated to blogging, I’ll entertain those as well.

Oh yeah, one more tip just came to mind: Pay attention to other blogs. Take the best part of their blog and use it for your own. Look at the tags they use. Look at their widgets. Look at how they interact with other bloggers. Look at their diction and verbiage.

I just used the word “verbiage”. That’s how I know it’s time to end this.

Thanks for reading.

@CappyTalks on Twitter

P.S. I write how I speak. The voice in my head is the voice on the screen. I had my filtration system removed four years ago and it’s worked wonders. Remove your filtration system. Remove the voice in your head that says, “This sentence doesn’t sound good enough.” It makes a big difference.

Posted in Random | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

Something New

Three three three minutes is all you need
ask for one more, we call that greed
let it out or keep it in
the rest of your time is about to begin
let’s win

I falter
face down, knee bent
begging at the altar
give me peace, a new lease
a reminder please

Double double up on the cinnamon roll
bring it to the pass and start the drum roll
(drum roll)
and they say what, no cereal bowl?
(say what, no cereal bowl?)

I know you expected more by now
but I always take longer at figuring out how
there’s sweat on my brow
don’t you see
this heat is too much for me

First one picked out of the crowd
thought I’d find voices just as loud
I was proud to go back down the road
but not all the way back to beginner mode
with training wheels, I move like a toad

I come out here to create something new
dingle dingle, maybe I’ll appease a few
but you and I know it’s not the same
string words together to assign the blame
won’t matter, it’s just a whole new ball game.

Somewhere I Belong – Linkin Park

@CappyTalks

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Viewing Notes: The Bachelorette Ep. 9

Welcome back to another “Oh no, my ice cream is melting!” edition of The Bachelorette. They are in Dallas this week. Get it? Dallas…Heat…Ice cream go bye bye.

~ Rachel sees a future with the final three men. Someone should let her know she can only pick one.

~ Each of them will meet her family before travelling to Spain to do stuff.

~ Peter is batting leadoff today and leaves the other two in what is essentially the waiting room of a dentist’s office.

~ Bryan and Eric are shocked that Peter wouldn’t propose to Rachel if he were the final one. Yes, because getting engaged after two months on a TV show is what everyone should do.

~ Peter and Rachel tell each other they are falling in love with each other.

~ Peter is sitting with the family at the dinner table and for the 86th episode in a row, no one is touching their food. I’m crying on the outside, not the inside, the outside.

~ There hasn’t been anything noteworthy in five minutes. I’m going to add some filler.

~ Let me tell y’all about the time I ate ravioli and meatballs. It was tonight and it was fantastic.

~ Mother Rachel is talking to Peter now to “ask the tough questions”.

~ “Why would you want to propose to Rachel?” This question is worth 5 marks, use pictures, words, and numbers.

~ “I really do care about your daughter. Yada yada. I want to wait until I know your daughter is the person for me (before asking for your blessing to marry her).”

~ 3/5 – needs more pictures and numbers.

~ They’re setting this whole thing up as if Rachel will marry anyone who will propose to her, rather than marrying the right person for her.

~ The appointment is over, no cavities for Peter but he has to work on his brushing. NEXT!

~ Eric, the dentist will see you now.

~ Just a heads up, Eric has never been in love before, but is about a week away from possibly proposing to someone he’s known for 2 months. In TV time, that’s about 12 days.

~ Not even a fortnight!

~ What could go wrong!?!?!?

~ Peter and Bryan are talking about their relationship with the same woman. Alright, enough of this cutesy shmootsy stuff.

~ Eric meets the family and greets everyone with a nice handshake and an over pronunciation of his name. No hugs.

~ Eric’s last relationship was for eight months. “She prepared me.”

~ Are we making food analogies now, Eric? I need a heads up. Thanks.

~ Rachel’s sister (?) tells her that Eric is “really sweet and really sincere.” She said the same thing about Peter.

~ This whole, “Using the same words to describe everyone” must run in the family. Remember last week when I said Rachel described each guy the same way!?

~ Man, I’m just that good.

~ “I can be the man I know I am.” – Eric

~ Translation: “I’m a big kid now.”

~ Eric just asked the mother if he can propose to Rachel. They’ve know each other for 43 minutes – 6 minutes in TV time.

~ She said yes.

~ You guys want to hear a song? I want to hear a song. It goes like this:

~ “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but can I propose to your daughter, I want her baby.”

~ And that sums up this show. Hold your applause.

~ Alright Eric, thanks for coming, here’s a balloon. No cavities. Keep flossing. See you in nine months.

~ Bryan, you’re turn.

~ Bryan and Rachel are wearing matching watches from their date in Switzerland. Eric picks up on this and thinks it means something.

~ It’s Eric O’Clock, kids.

~ Bryan is meeting Rachel’s friends who signed her up for this show because they thought she was that desperate.

~ “He was so charming the first night.”

~ Just a reminder, Bryan and Rachel sucked each other’s faces the first night.

~ Bryan greets the mother with a handshake as well. Only Peter went for the hug. #InstantAnalysis

~ Okay, they definitely told Rachel’s mother beforehand that Bryan’s mother has a poor track record when it comes to having a relationship with his girlfriends.

~ There is no way her mom asks what happens if his mom and Rachel bump heads, without a producer feeding her that info.

~ CAN’T GET NOTHING BY ME.

~ “Let’s have lunch. Would you like to have lunch?”

~ Hell no, I wouldn’t. They just come from brunch. Oh right, it doesn’t matter because “eating” on this show means, “letting the food sit on the plate untouched.”

By the way, I hate brunch.

~ “She was your girlfriend after a week?” – Rachel’s sister doesn’t know that they became boyfriend and girlfriend as soon as he was cast for the show.

~ They asked Bryan what qualities Rachel accentuates in him. He has no clue what “accentuates” means and excuses himself from the table.

~ Smart move. Get out of there. Don’t need pit stains.

~ This isn’t going well. The family is grilling him like cheese on bread.

~ OH MY GOD ONE GUY JUST PUT A FORK FULL OF FOOD IN HIS MOUTH.

~ An 86 episode streak has been broken! Where. Were. YOU. When?

~ “I’m chill until I’m not.” – Rachel

~ “I’m chill, but need time to thaw after coming out of the freezer.” – Me

~ “I love your family already.” – Bryan

Rachel’s Sister: “It’s only been an hour and a half.”

~ YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.

~ Did I not just say the same thing when Eric and Rachel’s mother met?

~ High five the nearest human or animal because somebody finally gets it! #RachelsSisterForBachelorette

~ Rachel’s mother is uncomfortable with the word “love” at this point. She doesn’t like Bryan.

~ Her mom doesn’t think you can fall in love this quickly.

~ “I love your daughter.”

~ “I will be proposing at the end of this.”

~ Woah slow your role. You didn’t even ask her for permission.

~ Oh, now he asks. Too late.

~ Back from commercial and they are in Spain. Why? What is the point of this? Stay home. Go to Pittsburgh or something.

~ Oh it’s fantasy suite week. If you’re unfamiliar, this is the week where Rachel sleeps with three different guys in three days.

~ But don’t worry, a week from now she’ll only be proposed to one of them so it’s fine……

~ On the first date is Eric. “He’s used the word ‘love’ in a very friendly way.”

~ Please tell me they are running with the bulls.

~ NOPE. A helicopter. See, they could’ve done this in Pittsburgh.

~ They are making a wish and ringing a bell three times. Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” plays in the background (this sentence is a lie).

~ In wrestling, if they ring the bell three times, it means the match is over. Adios, Eric?

~ They are at dinner now. I spy some dinner rolls! Some untouched, neglected, just want to be loved, dinner rolls.

~ Rachel says Eric has been dancing around his feelings, yet she has told him absolutely none of her feelings. No wonder the guy is hesitant.

~ But she can’t tell him because that ruins the suspense of the show. So basically, one sided relationships are being built and they don’t know if she feels the same way until the very end.

~ I need a donut. That exerted a lot of brain power.

~ “Nothing else matters.’ – Eric.

~ AHAHA OH NO HE DIDN’T. HE JUST QUOTED METALLICA! BUT I JUST MENTIONED METALLICA!

~ I am brilliant.

~ “I’m just here to say that um I’m in love with you.” – Eric

~ “…that um I’m…” – I guess the butter is the only smooth thing at the table.

~ Ok, but go back to quoting Metallica and making me look smart.

~ Rachel hands him a card that invites him to the fantasy suite. Chris Harrison signed the card.

~ This bothers me every year. Stay in your lane, Chris H. Why are you inviting people to fantasy suites on behalf of someone else? We just need you for when there is one rose left, that’s it.

~ The next morning, Eric sends Rachel off and forgets to wish her good luck on her overnight dates with the two other guys.

~ Normal Person Peter is up next.

~ They are off to a vineyard which means they must be saving the running with the bulls for Bryan, right?

~ Oh look! Another elderly man appearing out of nowhere to tell them how long he’s been married. Once is a coincidence. Every episode is a script. Enough!

~ Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I hope you get lice.

~ “Raquel y Pedro”

~ I want the stats on how many glasses of wine each person has had on this show, both on camera, and off.

~ Peter believes an engagement is the same as marriage. Rachel disagrees. Peter isn’t prepared to propose at the end.

~ But before they can debate, a little girl from behind the bushes pops out. No! Go away! Scram! These two don’t have all day to talk, just when the cameras are rolling!

~ Nevermind the whole “I’m not proposing to you at the end” thing, they go kiss each other in a bucket of grapes.

~ Peter wants her to write their names on his cork. Yeah, I’m not giving that context.

~ Rachel is saying she didn’t come this far to just have a boyfriend. She wants a proposal or she’s not picking you.

~ This is stupid.

~ Rachel wants the glitz and glamour of a TV proposal. Peter wants an actual wife in real life.

~ Oh good, it’s over.

The reunion show is next week and I’ll tell you right now, I’m not watching it. I’ll see you in two weeks for the finale.

Twitter: @CappyTalks

Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Discover

What a week last week was.

For those of you who don’t know, my blog post “Reflecting on Four Years of Blogging” was featured on WordPress Discover last Monday.

I’d like to thank Cheri Lucas Rowlands for making it possible, and for making my heart skip a few beats when she sent me the email back in June informing me it was going to be featured.

There are goals I’ve given myself for this blog that I don’t really talk about. That being said, I’ll tell you one right now.

WordPress used to feature blog posts on Freshly Pressed. Somehow, I ended up on there three times. And then it went away and Discover took its place. When that happened, my goal became to be featured on Discover.

I didn’t know how I would do it, just like I didn’t know how to get featured on Freshly Pressed. I just told myself that I’d try and make every blog post better than the last and if it were meant to be, it would happen, somehow.

Well, this past January I was included in a post on Discover with other bloggers, to provide my digital diet for 2017.

That was great, but my goal still remained. I wanted to be featured on Discover for a blog post I wrote.

It wasn’t so much of an ego thing, as it was me setting a goal that would ensure I didn’t get complacent with this blog. I used it as motivation.

Also, I really wanted that Discover image on the side of my blog. It looks cool.

So then the 4th anniversary of my blog came up on June 23rd and I wrote a reflection of what the last four years here have meant to me.

Then I put it on Twitter and the rest is history.

Between the comments on the Discover page, as well as the post on my own blog, I’ve heard from hundreds of people.

To be told that I was inspiring other bloggers – especially new ones – to write from the heart, and not worry so much about being perfect, is still too amazing for me to comprehend.

When I started this blog, I had no one giving me advice. At the time, I wish I did. I wish someone told me I wasn’t tagging my posts properly.

I wish someone told me to relax and stop writing as if it were a university essay.

I wish someone told me that blogging would get easier and people would care, despite what the three views and no likes on my stats page told me.

I wish I knew that stuff and a whole lot more. But I didn’t. I was a fish out of water and two months in was featured on Freshly Pressed, still unsure of what I was really doing.

I wanted people to know my blogging struggles when I wrote my 4th anniversary post. I wanted to be the person that gave advice because I know how desperately I needed it and never got it.

This place isn’t about views or likes, it’s about the strangers that become friends.

If you’re a new blogger and are feeling discouraged, I’m here to tell you not to. Keep writing. People can’t read your blog if you don’t give them something to read.

Seek out other bloggers. Find people you connect with. Build that bond.

I love sports. I don’t really follow that many sports blogs. Of course, I like to follow blogs that are about things that interest me, but I like following blogs that are about things I don’t know about, just as much.

It’s a free education if you think about it.

Also, many people have told me that they’re struggling to find a niche/theme for their blog.

I had a niche. It lasted for two months and I got bored.

The theme of your blog is you. That means, you can write about anything you want. Even if you are a makeup blog, or a book blog, or a music blog, or a sports blog, or a food blog – if a day comes where you want to write about a funny encounter at the grocery store, DO IT.

You don’t need a niche, you need your voice.

More than I look for blogs that interest me, I look for bloggers who have a story to tell. I look for bloggers who are telling a story through their words.

I look for bloggers who talk so passionately about something, I can’t help but pay attention, regardless of the topic.

I’m not vegan, but I followed about four vegan blogs in the last week because they caught my attention and are teaching me things I never knew. Also, food pictures.

You’ll be shocked to find out your “audience” can be absolutely anyone.

So, where do I go from here?

The short answer – to sleep.

The long answer – I’ll keep writing. There are a lot more blogging goals to cross off.

When I was featured for the first time in September 2013, I struggled afterwards. Sure, I posted a bunch of things, but internally, I felt like I had peaked. I felt like nothing I ever wrote again would be as good as my featured post.

That bothered me for a long time.

And then I realized that the best blog posts I’m going to write are about things I haven’t experienced, or thought of, yet. I needed to give life some time to unfold, so I could know what to write about.

That’s why I don’t really know what my next blog post will ever be. Life needs to happen first.

I already know of about three topics for blog posts that I’ll probably write at some point over the next few years, but I can’t write them until then. I don’t have all the facts. I don’t know what the order of the words in those posts are yet.

Until then, I’ll be here trying to make you laugh, think, cry, spit water up, or cause a scene in public.

At some point this week, I want to share some “blogging tips” with you but they aren’t going to be the cliche things you’re used to. These are real tips. They are things I’ve noticed new bloggers do/not do, that are hindering them.

I want to help. So be on the lookout for that post. It won’t be called Blogging 101, but it might be called Blogging 202, or Blogging 307 because I like random numbers.

Lastly, welcome to those of you who are new here! Grab a name tag and a pizza slice and awkwardly join a conversation. Also, feel free to take your shoes off and stay a while, this is a Canadian blog after all.

Thank you for all your comments, support, and love. Thank you for making me feel like I’m making a difference, while I sit in a dark room and stare at a screen during the middle of the night.

I’d pinch myself to make sure this whole blogging thing is real, but I’d look like foolish.

Goodnight.

Twitter – @CappyTalks

Posted in Awards | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Pets and Paul

Are you a dog or cat person?

It’s a question as old as questions.

By the way, this blog post was inspired by Angela’s post about animals which started with the line, “I’m not an animal lover.” So if you don’t like this post, blame her! Don’t actually…

Double by the way, I’m putting this post under the Humour category. Please take it as such.

Oh no, two warnings in italics. I never do that. That’s how you know someone’s about to be offended.

So, Paul…

Yeah, I’m going to be referring to myself in the third person. Didn’t you read the title?

Paul, are you a dog or cat person?

No. I am not.

You were probably expecting me to pick one or the other, but this is 2017 and I’m tired of pretending to choose dogs over cats every time because that’s the popular vote.

I’m neither.

From afar and through pictures, I can respect and appreciate both dogs and cats. Up close, though, I want nothing to do with them. I don’t know what to do with them.

Paul, you pet them!

Ok. No one has ever taught me how to pet a dog. You know how many rules I’ve heard over the years? Don’t pet there. Pet here. 

I have so many useless sports stats in my head, I don’t have space to remember where to pet a puppy.

Poor excuse, I know. Should I practise petting a milk bag first, before petting a dog?

Sorry, that milk bag reference was for the Canadians reading this.

Alright, jokes aside, I don’t really care to touch dogs. I don’t see the allure of going face to face with it and rubbing noses as if we just got engaged.

That’s what people who just got engaged do, right? (Or are their engagement photos, which have been taken by a friend hiding in bush, a lie?) They rub noses and wish for money to pay for their wedding?

I’ve had dogs lick my legs. What does that even mean?

If I went up to a dog and licked its leg, how would they react? Exactly. They wouldn’t know what to do. They’d be like, “What is he doing and where can I get a towel to wipe off the warm slobber he just spread on me?”

I’m just not comfortable around dogs. I don’t know what to do with them because 105% of the time I just hope they go away.

I don’t like apologizing for possibly offending people, BUT no offence to dog owners, you’re all lovely, I’m sure.

I’m very respectful of people who own dogs. Just ask Meghan how many dog related pictures and tweets I send her. Tell ’em Meghan!

Meghan….?

If I’m sitting watching TV, I don’t want a dog there with me. I rarely want a human there with me.

Also, I’m always worried that a dog is going to think I’m a toilet.

But Paul, they’re trained!

Okay, that’s something a person like me doesn’t really think about. I see a dog walking around the house without pants on and I think something can come out at any minute.

Always stay in front of its face, Paul.

I’m ignorant. I’ll admit it.

From afar though, dogs look majestic. In pictures and GIFs, dare I say they look downright cuddly.

Aside: I’m a big fan of the work of Scooby-Doo, Wishbone, and Air Bud.

But in person, I just want the experience to end.

I’ve written about dogs before and how they don’t like me. That blog post included the story of 1. Almost being attacked by a dog, and 2. Being chased by a three-legged dog.

You can read that horror-filled blog post RIGHT HERE.

As for cats, I don’t even know what to say.

I’m just not a pet person, sorry.

Even a goldfish. That sounds like Level 1 in the pet owning department.

I wouldn’t want a goldfish. For what? Companionship? It can’t even hug me!

Plus, it would be in a bowl all day just doing laps back and forth, while I stare at it wondering if I’ve given it too much food. What’s it training for? The Fishympics?

Also, do fish sleep? I’d probably set up a video camera to see if it rests it’s head on a pillow at night.

Double also, I’d whip out a stopwatch and time just how long their attention span really is.

As for other pets, what would I get? A bird?

I had a bird in my basement once. It came in through a vent, or something. It found its way back out, but for the short time that it was here, I named it Compass. Why? Because it had no sense of direction.

I’m creative.

I used to say that I wanted a pet chimpanzee, mainly because I think I could train it to be exactly like me, so then it’s like I don’t have a pet, but a younger brother who just so happens to never shave.

I can name him Harry. He could be a wizard.

It would be perfect. Chimps are a riot. Have you ever seen the YouTube video of a chimpanzee riding a segway?

Dogs don’t ride segways. Boom. Checkmate.

I don’t love animals, I’m sorry. I wish them the best and that people treat them well, but I just would rather be kept away from them.

*Insert story of going to the zoo for a Grade 9 french class field trip and wondering, 1. When is lunch? 2. What is that smell? 3. Camels can’t jump over short fences, RIGHT?*

I don’t even like walking by dogs on the sidewalk. I don’t like hearing them bark at me in the distance, either. I always assume they’re barking at me.

I’m petrified they’ll kill me, more or less.

Well, that’s it. I hope I offended all pet lovers equally, so no one can be mad at me in the comments section.

To summarize, keep your pets away from me. I don’t care about them. I’m not an animal person. I like animal crackers, if that counts for anything.

There was one dog I liked in person, even though I always felt awkward around it. It was PJ.

If you don’t know who PJ is, that line wasn’t meant for you.

Alright, goodbye.

Oh! One last thing.

For all the, “If you’re not a dog person, then I’m not a you person” people out there, I have one question for you:

Why do you have to be so snarky?

You can bark at me on Twitter @CappyTalks 

Posted in Humour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Chester

I always listen to music when I sit down to write a blog post. Most of the time, it’s a variety of songs by multiple bands or artists. Right now though, Linkin Park is the only thing I want to hear.

For the second time this year, one of Jimmy Kimmel’s tweets broke the news to me that someone I was a fan of had passed away.

The first time, it was Don Rickles. This time, it’s Chester Bennington – the lead singer of Linkin Park, who died of an apparent suicide.

My heart sank when I found out, for reasons I don’t even know how to put into words.

Growing up, I never really talked to people about music out of fear that what I listened to wouldn’t be perceived as “cool”. It’s silly, I know.

Enter Linkin Park. I liked them; other people liked them. And that alone gave me a sense of belonging that I can’t really explain.

In university, I remember sitting in a friend’s dorm room listening to Linkin Park song after Linkin Park song, and being introduced me to song of theirs I had never heard before.

Again, a sense of belonging.

I never went to one of their concerts, I don’t know every little detail about their band, and you probably can’t refer to me as a super fan. But like millions of other people, I was a fan.

In many ways, they defined my generation and at the forefront was Chester Bennington.

Many years ago, I remember going through their music on YouTube and finding a live performance of their song “Breaking The Habit“. It blew me away because here was a lead singer (Chester) in front of a live crowd and he wasn’t just going through the motions.

He put his entire soul into the song and made you feel it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to YouTube to watch that video over the years.

I listened to the lyrics today – and I mean actually listened to them – and they mean something completely different now. I always heard them and equated them to Chester’s battle with addiction and how he was finally breaking that habit.

But the lyrics don’t mean that anymore.

A lot of their songs are like that. Or maybe this is what they meant all along and I was just naive.

I listened to one of their newest songs, “Heavy” when it first came out a few months ago, but hadn’t circled back to hear it again.

Today, I went back to listen to it again and could barely get through it.

The opening line, “I don’t like my mind right now” hits you like a brick wall.

It’s just sad. Yesterday was sad. I don’t know how else to put it.

A few days ago, Linkin Park was on my mind because I was thinking about posting news of my WordPress feature on Instagram (I never did) and was brainstorming possible captions that included a pun somewhere.

What I had settled on for a closing line was, “Link in bio, if you want to read it; Link in park, if you don’t.”

And then that sparked the thought in my head, “Hey, I should listen to their music again and go digging for songs I haven’t found yet.”

I hadn’t gotten around to it, until today.

Music brings people together and allows us to get through things by simply opening our ears and listening. Chester Bennington did that for me and for millions of people around the world. That cannot be understated.

I’m sorry for his family. I’m sorry for his friends. I’m sorry for his bandmates.

I’m sorry for Chester.

Let’s take care of each other. It’s the least we could do.

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

Rest in Peace Chester Bennington.

Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

A Letter to Paul (Reblog)

Last year, I started a “thing” where I wrote letters to bloggers who requested one. Now, my first blog friend from four years ago is writing letters, too.

This is Shaz and this is her incredible letter (I’m biased) to me.

Please read it, she makes me sound great.

For The Love Of Sass

To Paul at The Captain’s Speech

Dear Paul,

Hi it’s your little blogger sister. I don’t even know where to begin!!!

Let’s begin with September 8th, 2013.

That’s the day I discovered your blog, and we all know the story so let’s do a little skip shall we? For those tuning in- you wrote a post about missing college, and that day I was beginning my second year of college and I absolutely HATED it. Your post was a wake up call for me.

Fast forward 4 years later, I am sitting at the top 10 graduate school for Public Health. And I LOVE school. And I realized that, 4 years ago when I was sobbing and reading your post, it wasn’t school that I didn’t like- it was my school. Does that make sense? As soon as I moved to Boston for graduate school, I LOVED my new school!…

View original post 448 more words

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50 Thoughts XII

1. I started watching Friends a week ago and realized I know a lot of people who are caricatures of one of the main six characters.

2. I am Chandler.

3. Ross and Monica kiss each other too much to be brother and sister. It’s a weird relationship they have going on.

4. I was fully expecting to hate Friends, but I don’t. I’m already on Season 2.

5. Remember when movie titles used to be, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

5.25 Now we get Cars 3. 

5.5 Yes, I realize those longer titled movies were books first, but still. Where hath thou creativity gone, oh Hollywood?

6. Bohemian Rhapsody is overrated.

7. I’ve been on a lasagna binge ever since the Christmas holidays. I regret nothing.

8. I finally found a brand of sauerkraut that isn’t extremely sour and I’m addicted to it. Mix some sausage in there and I’ll have enough drool to fill up a mixing bowl.

9. The Junior Chicken from McDonald’s should be a national treasure.

10. The word “Baseball” is comprised of two pieces of equipment.

10.5 It would be like referring to hockey as “Netpuck”.

11. I cannot stand the word “bud”. My mom called me “bud” once, many years ago. I told her to never call me that again.

11.5 “Hey bud” drives me up the wall.

12. I deactivated my Facebook account 13 days ago. It was just time.

13. Are there people who actually watch political news networks all day? If not, we should tell the analysts on TV they can go home. We don’t need 76 of them all in tiny rectangles on the screen.

14. It amazes me that Apple hasn’t come out with a Macrowave yet.

15. How the hell are we supposed to explain The Teletubbies to the next generation?

16. Birthdays should be optional. Like, “No, I don’t want to get a year older this year, I’ll defer it until next year.”

17. I don’t watch Game of Thrones and telling me “you should” isn’t going to convince me.

18. I said before the season started that the Toronto Blue Jays have a stale roster and probably wouldn’t have a good season. It’s July 19th and the rest of the fan base is just starting to realize this.

18.25 This is what happens when you have a bunch of fans who have only been following the team for two years. Oh well, they’re learning now.

18.5 Oh, and management still thinks the team is a contender this year AND NEXT!

18.75 God help me.

19. Being a sports fan is taking years off my life.

20. Back in first year university, we had a fire alarm go off in the middle of the night and someone was playing Don’t Stop Believing in the parking lot. One guy then said to me, “What song is that? God Save The Queen?”

20.5 It’s been 8 years. I’m still laughing.

21. TV Shows these days are all about high school kids, violence, crime, or Steve Harvey.

22. Game shows are dead, by the way.

23. I have an idea: What if when a celebrity (or President) tweets something, no one retweets, likes, or replies to it?

24. People got so mad in 2011 when BBM wasn’t working for three hours. Holy cannoli, it was Y2K all over again.

25. I had relish the other day for the first time in about three years. We’re in an “on again off again” relationship. Currently “off again”.

26. I was reading a book yesterday (hold for laughs) and came across the line, “Home is the place where the hole is filled.” Good line, eh?

27. I’m at the age where I’m starting to complain that burgers from fast food restaurants aren’t as big as they used to be.

28. I think I’ve only had potato chips once in the last three months.

29. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a commercial and thought, “I love this commercial!”

30. Do kids still play Connect Four?

31. Just so you all know, the reindeer at the North Pole still aren’t letting poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games (Monopoly).

31.5 We are all bystanders.

32. Is a water bottle still a water bottle if there is no water in it?

33. “Tomorrow, I’m going to be five years old. Ooooo magic carpet!” – One of my campers, circa 2010

33.5 He saw a rolled up carpet in the corner and ran to it.

34. I haven’t seen or heard an ice cream truck this summer. Probably because no one plays outside anymore.

35. Call me an old man, but I don’t understand the hype behind face filters on Instagram.

36. The finale of Pretty Little Liars was dumb.

36.5 Oh what? Who said that? Not me. Nope. Thought you caught me on number 36, wasn’t me. I don’t watch that show. N’est pas de watch. Nope.

37. Je suis une bibliothèque.

37.5 Translation: I am a library.

38. Does anyone else listen to the same song on repeat about 274 times and then never want to listen to it again? I do. This might explain why I’m always trying to find a new song to listen to every five days.

39. I don’t drink coffee. Coffee drinks me. 

40. I think each day needs to be 26 hours. Those two extra hours could be used for napping/waiting for a pizza to be delivered.

41. I don’t like comedians who swear in their standup routines. If the joke isn’t funny without cursing, then you’re not trying hard enough.

42. Are we supposed to use hashtags forever?

43. Fidget spinners are hula hoops for your fingers, right?

44. Anyone who has ever been camping once, has at least two horror stories from their experience.

45. I fear that 20 years from now we’re all going to be diagnosed with some sort of new disease and the cause will be “too much exposure to technology”. It’s coming.

46. It’s 2017 and the WWE just ran an “illegitimate son” storyline this past Monday. I don’t know what this company is doing. They’ve been recycling storylines since forever.

47. If you’re not American, the WWE will put you in a storyline where you’re the bad guy and make you carry your country flag to the ring and have the fans boo you and chant “USA” at you because you weren’t born there.

47.5 Again, it’s 2017. Come up with a new way to generate heat.

48. Moment of silence for all the dictionaries out there that will never be opened ever again.

49. I have no idea what that Justin Bieber song is called. Desperado? Double Dutch? Doubtfire? But apparently it’s overplayed. I haven’t heard it once.

50. If you hold a frozen bagel up to a lightbulb, the thawing process is accelerated. Trust me. I’m a professional.

Follow me on Twitter: @CappyTalks

Posted in 50 Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments