Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Do You Like You ?

Song Of The Day:
Today's post is inspired by a song by Colbie Caillat titled "Try"

The song itself has a strong enough message that there is some risk in my trying to add anything to it as an explanation.  Take a moment to listen to it and focus on the lyrics.

No really, do it.  The rest of this post can wait.




Okay.  Did you hear the part that says you don't have to try so hard?  Did you really stop and think about the actions you are taking just to impress others whose opinions shouldn't matter so much?  If not, you really should.

There is a time and a place for challenging ourselves to make changes - but it should NEVER be to impress someone else!

I will be keeping this song nearby when my daughters get to the age when they are more openly influenced by peer pressure.  I will force each of my children to focus on the message of this song.  And I will make sure they understand that the last line will always be true.  Not only will I always love my children - I will like them for who they are, no matter which path they choose for themselves.  I will always want the best for them and I will challenge them to consider why they are making certain choices ... but I will ALWAYS be there for them!


Monday, December 8, 2014

What Dreams Is This Catching ?

While driving the other day, I noticed the car next to me had a dream catcher hanging from the rear view mirror.  I'm not opposed to (or in favor of, for that matter) the concept of a dream catcher - if it works for you, then good for you.

My concern is ...
why do you have this IN YOUR CAR ?!

Seems like you shouldn't be dreaming or even daydreaming in your car ...

And even if it's just for your passenger's dreams, I have to wonder if allowing them to sleep somewhere other than a CAR might be enough to improve their dreams without the need for spiritual assistance.

Song Of The Day:
If you listen to the first few sentences of "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright while picturing the singer in front of the driver's seat of his car - it really kinda takes on a whole new, even creepier (if you think the song is creepy to begin with) sort of meaning.  Other lyrics like 'I believe we can reach the border light' and 'meet me on the other side' certainly could conjure images of a person asleep at the wheel.  It's a dream catcher not a car catcher buddy!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Where's The Rest Of Him/Her ?

Friday night.  Short picture post.  A box I recently received at work had the sticker affixed to the top side of it.  Considering my last name is 'Case' it also had 'free blog idea' written all over it too.

The joke caption goes like this (pick your favorite):
- What do you mean some assembly required?!
- This would have been a great sticker to announce a pregnancy in our family.
- That's the last time I order from Ebay!
- Alright, who drank the rest of them and thought this sticker made it 'okay' ?
- I thought I was the only Case that was one-sided in my opinions
- Wait, where's box 2 of 2?!

Song Of The Day:
Special deal, today only: Create your own tie-in for the featured song - enjoy "Habits (Stay High)" by Tove Lo.

PSA:  I don't endorse staying high unless it's a natural one.

BTW, PSA stands for Public Service Announcement.

Also, BTW stands for by the way


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Do You Break The Rules ?

Anyone familiar with internet memes has seen images of people doing things in contradiction to signs, which are arguably NOT that rebellious:
- standing in front of a 'No Standing Here' sign
- touching something under a 'Do not touch' sign and so on.

The picture to the right is my entry into the silly 'I too like to live dangerously' phenomenon.  I noticed the instructions on a paper towel dispenser and couldn't resist the temptation to snap a quick picture of myself breaking the rules!

Silly? Yes.

Worthy of a picture with a huge dark X marked through it?  No way!

Song Of The Day:
Similar to these non-rebel behaviors, the song "Rebel Heart" by The Corrs is not a particularly rebellious song.  But I like how the music builds and think this song fits perfectly with this post idea.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Many Stomps Was That ?

Around this time of year people generally think about traditions more frequently.  It's likely influenced by the holidays that bring families together (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's) but whatever the reason, it is quite interesting to ask questions and find out about how certain traditions came to be.

In this case, I'm not actually referring to a holiday tradition, but rather, one that has been passed from my family of origin to my current family.  (Don't read too much into that current family designation - I'm not seeking a future family different from my current wife and kids - but families grow and shift and change so I'm just clarifying this tradition exists in our home in this family setup).

Growing up in different homes (because my family moved several times, not for some other reason - stop making me digress!) there was one common style of our houses - we always had a basement.  In fact, in most cases (no pun intended - and if you don't stop interrupting me this is gonna be a really long post!), almost all of us kids' rooms were in the basement.  This was the circumstance that led to our creation of a communication method between the people upstairs and those in the basement.  Stomping.

Spencer sometimes uses boots
to help him 'stomp'
Depending on the number of 'stomps' from someone upstairs there was a different expectation of those downstairs in our homes.  Two stomps meant the phone was for you (remember this was before cell phones existed - even before cordless phones if you go back far enough).  Three stomps meant 'come upstairs.'  For a brief period, four stomps meant someone was at the door for you - but that quickly proved ineffective (people at the door seemed to get really worried when they heard loud 'thumps' in a rhythmic pattern right after they rang the doorbell or knocked).  Along those same lines is the reasoning by which one stomp never retained an assigned value - sometimes people fall or something heavy drops.  This was sometimes used to indicate those downstairs occupants were being too loud - but then, since we were that loud, we never really heard that lone stomp, so the only effect was upstairs folks getting sore feet and more angry.

Here's how the record of the House of Case reads on this subject:
Sometimes the boots win
14. And it came to pass that the current Casa de Case household uses a similar stomping method in this day and age.  Yea, the wisdom of a generation before hath been passed on to the betterment of the lives in this generation.
15. And the use in this location was like unto this: one stomp indicates a message of 'quiet down', which is effective in this generation despite it's previous failure; two stomps has no discernible message, but is used as a more serious version of 'quiet down' should the need arise; three stomps indicates a message of 'come upstairs now' and is used frequently and with great success, especially when the stomps occur directly over the room or location wherein the downstairs person is present.

It ain't high tech and it takes some explanation when guests come over, but I dare say many other families have picked up on and use themselves this tradition of communication.  Feel free to join those who see the value of this - but I don't recommend it in the workplace or an apartment setting.  :)

Song Of The Day:
I don't know all the history and background of the song, but "Stompin' At The Savoy" by Benny Goodman and his big band has always been a favorite jazzy song of mine.  If you can't figure out the tie in with today's post then just enjoy the music (and maybe contemplate your capacity to apply basic critical thinking skills - I think this is a 3rd or 4th grade lesson).


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why Are You Limping ?

Today at work many people asked me the title question of this post.  Despite my desire to respond sarcastically and act all offended like "This IS how I walk!  Why are you picking on me?!" I chose the discretionary path and just fessed up to my injury.

I sprained my left ankle yesterday playing basketball.  This is rather unimportant in and of itself, but the way in which the injury occurred gave me an idea for a blog post.

What age do you perceive yourself to be?

We hear the expression 'She's an old soul.'  We know people who are 'wiser than their years' or deal with people who are 'old enough to know better.'  But I think each one of us views ourselves as a certain age or at a certain stage in life.

I have a friend who has always seemed like he is nearing retirement.  It's not just his hair color (frosty white) or his complexion (his face has lots of wrinkles), but his mannerisms and activity level.  He just seems old.

I myself, think that I am still in my late teens or early twenties.  I engage in stupid behaviors (eating ice cream for dinner, staying up way past my bedtime).  I look at middle-aged (40 or older) people and wonder how they have any energy for anything.  I use slang words and listen to Top 40 music (sometimes).  And I play basketball with reckless abandon and expend much more energy and effort than someone MY age should.

The reality is too harsh to write here, but suffice it to say that I am NOT that young (nor is my friend that old).  In fact, I am very close to what I used to consider middle-age and that truth stares at me in the mirror each morning.  I find myself wondering things like 'what happened?' or 'how did I get here?' or 'when did I start growing hair there?!'  I don't like these questions.  I don't want to believe it is happening.  So instead I hustle for my own rebound on a shot I shouldn't have missed, and in the process land my slower foot on an opponent.  TWIST.  ouch.  Game over ... at least for a few days.  :)

Song Of The Day:
It's not a new song any more, but I did recently hear "Human" by Christina Perri on the radio and it felt appropriate for this post about the fragility of our physical bodies.  I think it's human to play hard, but it's also human to forget that we're not teenagers any more.


Monday, December 1, 2014

No Shave November or Movember ?

There are two types of people in this world:
- Those who celebrate No Shave November
- And those who celebrate Movember

At work this past month, 4 of the 5 men in my work group participated (albeit with no rules or official invitations or anything formal at all) in No Shave November.  Everyone eventually went their own way with it (one guy trimmed his beard - both around the neck and on the cheeks and also the actual length of the beard throughout the month).  I, personally, find that cheating - it's not 'grow a neatly trimmed beard November' now is it?! - but it's also not an official event so it's hard to be bothered by various interpretations.

As a sort of homage to Movember, at least 2-3 of us have agreed to shave the raggedy beards and leave just the mustache for today (Monday, Dec 1st.)  We're calling it 'Mustache Monday' and we'll see if it creates a tradition.


So what do you favor?  No Shave, Mo, or no change at all?

Song Of The Day:
If you don't automatically think of the 1970's when you see Movember pictures, then you're probably too young to remember those heydays of mustaches.  I recently heard again the song "Reminiscing" by the Little River Band and felt it would fit nicely here.  The 11th month of the year is certainly a time for reminiscing of decades ago.  Thankfully it's just a brief, harmless revisit of this terrible facial hair style.