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Stories I Tell : 365/365

I’ve always treated this as an encapsulated, one-year, introspective project. The journal’s sole goal—accomplished through examining my emotions, sifting through my experiences of life, cataloging my personal failures…

Journal of Flesh and Blood : 364/365

If you didn’t know any better, you’d never guess that I have ten tattoos—six, self-inflicted—on my body. If you do know me better, you may say the following…

Bibliosmia & Book-Bosomed Bibliophagists : 363/365

Second in overall difficulty, bucket list item #14 Read 50 books, was a real humdinger of a goal for the year. Honestly, I have no idea why I…

52 Tiny Adventures : 362/365

She’s had it up to about here—I’m creating a hand motion now, that you can’t see, that is level with my eyebrow—with my bucket list shenanigans. Her basic…

Covered Bridge to Funky Dixieland : 361/365

There are magical places in my world, and Mingo Creek County Park is one such place. In fact, the park was such an integral part to my childhood…

Decaf Conversations with Nana of Unbridled Patriotism : 360/365

There is a reason that this specific narrative has been reserved for the final stretch of my project. Of the 100 goals that I established for myself, in…

Philosophies of Respect and the Vulcan Nerve Pinch : 359/365

Have you ever said: I don’t want to get on my kid’s bad side, I have no desire to be anything except a best friend to my child,…

Films About Ghosts : 358/365

Memories are films about ghosts: you can can’t capture them, grasp them, or—definitely not—photograph them. Yes, I know what you’re going to say next: you can retrieve them,…

Autobiography of a Shutterbug, Part II : 357/365

Welcome to Part Two, the natural conclusion to a narrative started with Autobiography of a Shutterbug, Part I. If you missed that story, you should pause and read…

A Misnomer of Chivalrous Proportions : 355/365

With only eleven days remaining, I find myself in a mild state of panic—have I included every relevant story or personal perspective that defines my core character? In…

Winter is a Fickle Beast, Mister Adams : 353/365

Everyone knew the storm was approaching, and my home is warm and welcoming. I peer out the front window to inspect the freshly fallen snow. This is the…

Wisdom of the Golden Dragon : 352/365

Confession time: I am not a tea drinker, and prefer coffee as my Hot Beverage of Life. Although, there are a few exceptions to this rule: when I…

Autobiography of a Shutterbug, Part I : 350/365

My plastic bin is full of image-making tools: classic medium format machines, plastic toy cameras, multi-element glass lenses, and several homemade pinhole cameras. I’ve packed up my Show…

Self-imposed Boundaries : 349/365

The world would be in shambles—shambles, I say!—without boundaries: the Mississippi River couldn’t delineate the East from the West, the 49th parallel north wouldn’t demarcate Canada from the…

Tomorrow Will Worry About Itself : 347/365

Everyone knows the meaning of “a watched pot never boils,” right? Well, I’ve repurposed the saying to fit my current situation: “a watched pipe never breaks!” Today marks…

Goonies Never Say Die : 346/365

They call themselves “The Goonies.” The secret caves. The old lighthouse. The lost map. The treacherous traps. The hidden treasure. And Sloth…Join the adventure. That’s one of the…

Jack Frost and the Cyclone Bomb Bunch : 345/365

When my wife and I were dating in college, I attended her weather lecture. Weird, I know; I was a visual arts major. It was an opportunity to…

What’s Your Word of the New Year? : 344/365

I love doing things with my kids, although, the actual thing of things can vary from one year to the next. When they were tiny humans, things included…

Cheers to Fruitful Failure : 340/365

It’s New Year’s Eve, again, and once more we have a fresh opportunity to fail, in the upcoming year. While that may seem wholly pessimistic, I assure you…

Prayer Changes Things (but Not Always What You Expect) : 338/365

I am a man of faith, for the record, and I believe in another plane of unseen…spiritual…stuff. What that stuff is, exactly, I can’t always define in an…

Don’t Put All Your Energy Capsules in One Basket : 337/365

Last night we were invited to a friend’s home, and it was designated Family Movie Night. In all fairness, their home theater is the coolest place to watch…

In Search of Pittsburgh’s Best Record Shop : 336/365

I will spare you the suspense, as I know that you’ve been perched on the edge of your chair all year—I finally completed Bucket List Item #63: Visit…

The Wonder of a Christmas Unknown : 334/365

What would you give to experience the wonder of a Christmas unknown? Perhaps, that requires clarification: I’ll back it up five steps, for you… As a parent, you…

Finding Your Center of Gravity : 332/365

Dear children, there is something that I want you to remember when you are older: life is like riding a bicycle, and—to succeed to the best of your…

Blue Train to Bethlehem : 331/365

The weather is always cooperative for plastic baby Jesus, and the real-life Magi with accompanying farm animals—for some inexplicable reason, always registering in the mid-fifty temperature range. Once…

Do You Remember When You Said “I Do?” : 320/365

Maintaining a house of five is a tough chore, and not one individual person does all of the work, nor should they—well, golly gee, I don’t live in…

Smells Like Teen Spirit Too : 318/365

Leaves from my neighbor’s massive oak tree have been flooding my yard since the last time I raked leaves. Some may remember the previous story, Smells Like Teen…

Nuttin’ but Net : 316/365

Exactly three days ago, I penned a story about overcoming obstacles, specifically related to my daughter’s basketball experience. The resolution of that story involved my daughter speaking to…

52 is the New Number : 314/365

Attention, people: the new number is 52. No, it is not, I repeat, it is not 365. And it’s entirely possible that you may not even give a…

Overcoming Obstacles : 313/365

Here’s the good news in the world of basketball: the girl’s game was postponed by a half hour, and, subsequently, I was able to attend to watch my…

Angelic Violinist and Hip Hop Blues : 312/365

One of the best things, in the life of a dad, is to be constantly surprised by your children. I would almost qualify that statement by specifying Only…

Anticipation of Something : 310/365

As I write this introductory paragraph, I haven’t locked down the title of today’s narrative. The reasoning is simple: like a blind man wandering in the forest, there’s…

Everything’s Better When Wetter : 309/365

I once heard a story that all nighttime scenes on a movie set were watered down with a heavy blast of water. The theory states that all the…

These Are Not the Spoons You’re Looking For : 308/365

The eighth movie in the series, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is set to hit the theater in a little more than two weeks, and the excitement level…

How I Met Your Mother : 306/365

With a scheduled in-service day for the public school system, my son is spending his day with me, on my work from home day. I leave him to…

Fabled Shoes of Levitation : 305/365

My wife and I, accompanied by our two daughters, are on a mythical quest today. Our son elects to stay home at the Acropolis, deeming our quest as…

Fifty Before the Big Five O : 304/365

We have parked at the edge of the paved lot, front door of the restaurant within sight, as to not draw attention to our family on a Saturday…

Fresh Story on a Clean Slate : 301/365

On my lunch break, I walk the acceptance letter to the HR building. Yes, the Human Resource process took three weeks to get my paperwork navigated through the…

Beauty of the Printed Word Paired with a Serving of Tomato Soup : 300/365

Young sir, please hand me that giant red pen. I magnificently cross #82 Catalog my personal book library, from my bucket list, with the enthusiasm of someone completing…

Icy Circle Within My Chambered Heart : 299/365

Like a thief, winter sneaks upon the unexpected. The cold, the darkness; both seasons for depression and general irritableness. Icicles have formed in my backyard overnight, hanging from…

Coppin’ the Past : 298/365

I am in the process of cataloging, organizing, and weeding my personal bookshelf. It’s a project that is waaaaaaay overdue, as my shelving system is out of control….

Undulation of Questionable Concrete : 296/365

Living within proximity to a major city provides opportunities for all kinds of cool activities, such as skating this concrete skatepark in South Park. If only I were…

Stranglehold of Professional Proportions : 295/365

Walking across a dormant grass field, I am out today looking for a geocache, my 536th find to be specific. From the cold ground, a weathered telephone pole…

Yet Another Tightened Grip : 294/365

It’s dark before I even get home from work; illuminated headlights and storefronts streak by from behind train windows, recessing back into the darkness at 40 miles per…

Ghost Rider in the City : 293/365

I’m headed in no particular direction. Crosswalk signals choose the path for me. Which will turn green first? The breeze is blistery cold, not quite January-cold, but still…

Espresso Yo Self : 290/365

Today I am quenching a curiosity: how does one make their own latte or espresso-based beverage at home? I am embarking on yet another adventure in the hobby…

An Inaudible Egotistical Cartilaginous Apex : 288/365

Wake up campers, rise and shine, it’s Spelling Bee Day! I’ve used one of my precious vacation days so that I can attend a regional competition for my…

Ain’t No Turbidity Gonna Break-a My Stride : 287/365

Run, do not walk—I repeat for dramatic effect—Run, do not walk to your local Aisle 13 and grab as many, as possible, cases and gallons of fresh drinking…

Golden Age of Distraction : 286/365

Abracadabra, Alla Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Alakazam, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, Hocus Pocus, Meeska Mooska, Presto Chango, Sim Sim Sala Bim, Shazam, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious; I’ve got nothin’ up my sleeve; listen to my…

The Perils of Your Own Digital Disneyland : 285/365

This message will be wildly unpopular with kids, teens, adults, friends, spouses, former dog-walkers, grandparents, plumbers, commuters, librarians, postal workers, that guy who prepares your french fries at…

Five-letter Synonym for Responsibility : 284/365

Currently in my normal flow of my creative storytelling, with a mixture of everything-else-in-life, I’m seven days behind in my blog project. The photographs are captured and processed,…

Smells Like Teen Spirit : 283/365

“Hello, hello, hello, how low. Hello, hello, hello.” Cold, warm, cold, cold, warm—the weather has been following a weird pattern this Fall. I’m not exactly complaining, as I…

Language of Pom : 282/365

Quite honestly, I thought he was crazy: my father. As a kid, I can vaguely recall him photographing pomegranates—whole, halved, seeded or not, I can’t specifically recall and…

Relic of Light and Shadow : 281/365

Some objects, taken out of their daily context, can be beautifully alluring: the bulge of a wire basket, the stainless steel arm that pivots under pressure—conglomeration of circle…

Charting a Course for Suspension of Disbelief : 278/365

There are two types of people in the world: those who do not play video games, and those who are huge fans of the format. If you find…

Twelve-foot Boo : 277/365

I am not, in any way, trying to keep up with the proverbial Jones’. I do not, in any way, feel obligated to participate in the Official Halloween…

A Stranger’s Things : 276/365

We all have vignettes of life, our own still life arrangements in our home—a pair of dirty socks under the chair, a half completed candied apple on the…

Mythology of Being Upside Down : 275/365

As a Netflix original series, Stranger Things is not exactly available to everyone, unless you subscribe to the online video service; however, my experience tells me that nearly…

Super Fat, Black Slim Devil : 274/365

In an attempt to complete my photography goals this year, I’m squeezing in opportunities—here and there when possible—to shoot with a variety of film cameras. The issue is…

Three-Quarter Reckoning of 91 Purple Thunderbirds (or Miles to Go Before I Sleep) : 273/365

Eagle Scout projects, hidden purple boxes in the forest, psychology of personal commitments, and the number 91—I’ve got much to cover today, hence the reason for my amazingly…

Raccoon Mario and the Magical Kingdom of Cross-stitching : 271/365

Welcome to the Magical Kingdom of Cross-stitching and List Crossing. I thought that I’d challenge myself this week to finally make a dent in my yearly bucket list,…

Future Generation of Female Chemical Engineers : 270/365

When playing the game Two Truths and a Lie, I prefer to lead with a gargantuan whopper such as 1) I’ve visited all 50 U.S. states, followed by…

Batman Beneath the Stars : 268/365

I’ve succumbed to the inevitable fact that I will not complete all of the items on my magical list of yearly goals, but I am still going to…

Business of Wish Fulfillment : 267/365

Lions and tigers and bears (polar bear, at least): oh, my! And with an epic drumroll solo, I cross #96 Go to Pittsburgh Zoo with my daughter from…

Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try : 266/365

Today is another one of those days. You know the kind? Where you realize—or should I say RE-realize?—a specific truth in life. Yoda’s Truth: Do. Or do not….

Ways in Which We Learn : 264/365

Knowledge, or rather the acquisition thereof, is a funny beast, and the process looks differently for different people. Some people refuse to learn anything new, achieving a plateau…

Prettyboy Fenderman Plays Da Blues : 263/365

I never liked my name, Prettyboy Fenderman, but rarely does one select their own moniker. Similar to the state lottery, the process of acquiring a professional stage name…

Rad Racing and BMX Bandits : 261/365

I’m not going to lie: I loved BMX. But hey, in the 1980s every teen boy was fascinated by the sport of bicycle racing. Considering that my bicycle…

Entrepreneurially Pleased to Meet You : 260/365

The rain is falling, the wind is blowing, and it really feels like Fall today. I’m wearing my favorite purple polo-like shirt, and despite my orange umbrella shelter,…

Victory Under the Roar of Twin Turbines : 258/365

Due to a required meeting at work, my Work From Home day was shuffled from Monday to Tuesday this week. Apparently attendance at a ninety-minute meeting was required…

Legend of the Green Man : 257/365

There are those who claim that the ghost of the Green Man actively haunts the tunnel of his moniker. I cannot say, either way, but I’m inclined to…

A Small Price to Pay : 255/365

He awoke with a jolt. He hardly remembered anything, and his mind kicked into high-gear. Rolling over, he could see that he was ejected out of a car…

Exclusive Swearing Club of Sherlock Holmes : 254/365

I couldn’t have been more than seven years of age when I joined the neighborhood Swear Club—albeit first, last, and only membership in such an organization. The admittance…

Hey, Where’s the Revolution? : 253/365

I always keep my eyes open, and my camera in my backpack. You can never be sure what you’ll find during the course of your day. Exhibit one:…

Johnny, You Patriot, Kick a Hole in the Sky : 252/365

I am probably one of the nation’s biggest fans, a true patriot at heart. I dare say that I bleed red, white, and blue, but I’m unwilling to…

457 Forbes Field : 251/365

Tucked among the sycamore trees, barely out of sight, lies a free-standing wall of brick and mortar. Bold white letters of “457 FT” and “436 FT” are painted…

In Search of Chartiers Sea Monsters : 248/365

Between fuzzy scan lines on my giant-box television set, I would hypnotically watch episodes of In Search Of…. Hosted by Leonard Nimoy, the show explored mysteries of the…

Choose Your Own Adventure : 247/365

“Hey, let’s go adventuring!”, I say to my son, and he enthusiastically agrees. I have an old tunnel in mind, ripe for exploration. The abandoned portal was buried…

Becoming the Great Bazunka : 244/365

From the source of rivers three, under winter’s frosted moon, a hero of 73 will change the game, for the tale of Great Bazunka will ring true. From…

Legacy of a Heroic Italian Plumber : 241/365

First, before I get to today’s narrative, let’s get to the business portion of my project: check item #64 Complete a video game from start to finish from…

Agonizing Death by Hornet Sting : 240/365

Fierce Eagles Submit to Agonizing Death by Hornet Sting Hillcrest Eagles were demolished by the Washington Hornets in a final score of 7-0. Under a blazing sun uncharacteristic…

A Fisherman’s Tale : 238/365

Not too many people are born with rod and tackle in their hands, an innate ability to read a stream, or a piercing curiosity of the contents of…

Hosta La Vista, Summer : 235/365

Yes, I know—it’s supposed to be hasta la vista. But I like the play on words, despite its Spanish inaccuracies. Just a quick look around my yard, and…

A Guide to Familiar American Insects : 233/365

Insects: A Guide to Familiar American Insects, printed in 1956, is a pocket-sized paperback book full of practical natural knowledge—if you’re into bugs, creepy crawlers, and other mysterious…

I Fish, Therefore I Am : 232/365

In 1637, RenĂ© Descartes penned the following philosophical proposition: “I think, therefore I am”. He presented this as a rational for justifying his own self-existence, but I think…

Fate, Faith, Free Will, and Other Words that Begin with F : 231/365

Words that start with the letter ef (aka “F”) make me a bit jittery, at times. There’s the obvious entry in the Dictionary of Vulgarity, that I hear…

Modus Operandi : 230/365

In pitch blackness, my bedside radio broadcasts the center of a song—audible snippets squashed immediately—only to return ten minutes later, ten minutes later, ten minutes later. All that…

We Will (Most Likely) Never Forget : 229/365

There are few dramatic moments in life when you can recall your exact location in the world, and dial in the specific emotion that you felt. I am…

Queen of Thirteen : 227/365

On this very day, so many years ago that I barely remember it clearly—in a desolate and abandoned hospital wing under crashes of thunder and flashes of lightning…

Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti : 225/365

The greatest mystery of the Universe can be simplified, and understood by the common person with this declaration: men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti. You, dear…

Chai Ninjas and Memories of Nana : 224/365

There are portions of my personal history that are partitioned, walled-off like drywall sealing an ancient fireplace or doorway that’s designated as obsolete. My Nana, and the related…

To Whom It May or May Not Concern : 222/365

Project 365 is a compilation of photographs, narratives, and wisdom-nuggets over the span of one year. The daily letters contained within this project may or may not be…

While Dodging Flamethrowers : 219/365

For a child raised in the comfort and security of a private education, the decision of public schooling can equate to being thrown into the lion display at…

Scaling the Sky : 218/365

As a parent, I always want the best for my child, although The Best is a very relative and highly subjective term, at best. So what does it…

I Wish I Knew You : 217/365

In November of 1981, I was a whopping eight years old when my grandfather died. At that time, we lived on a dead-end street in McKeesport, PA, and…

Stand By Me : 216/365

I would be hard-pressed to find an adult who hasn’t watched the movie Stand By Me (1986), which was based on a novella by Stephen King. It’s a…

Presenting a Pair : 215/365

I have a list of desirable diversions longer than the length of my arm, including getting out to a proper fishing location, finally, after a few months of…

Kick-start of the Heart, Revival of Seventy-three : 214/365

Sometimes your heart stops—metaphorically—by the course of action that you choose in life. Resentment, bitterness stored up. Sometimes you—and when I say you, I also include myself—need to…

National Dog Day : 213/365

There are two types of people in the world: those who love dogs, and everyone else. And, above all else, I don’t trust anyone who is emotionally parked…

Mythos of the Drive-in Theater Experience : 212/365

Tonight we ventured to the local drive-in—crossing #49 Go to the drive-in from my yearly bucket list as you read this now—located near the airport in Moon Township….