Monday, May 3, 2010

A TO Z APRIL CHALLENGE: THE VIEW FROM 'MOUNT QUITTER'

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First things first (as Kurt Warner would say) . . .

‘FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES’ - Monday, May 17th
"A McBirddogg Production"


The following comes from Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’ Blog:

How About Another Small Project for May?

Before the A to Z Challenge even came into my mind, I was working on another collaborative effort with my blog buddy Stephen T. McCarthy.

Stephen had proposed a comparative blog study of our fifteen favorite music albums -- not just a list, but an in depth examination of the fifteen albums that we would want with us on a desert island and why.

Stephen and I, as well as many of his regular readers, enjoy music and we enjoy hearing about what other people like because it broadens our knowledge of music. This was the plan that Stephen came up with back in March and I have been working on my list since then. We have had such a good time blogging with all of you A to Z'ers that we've decided to extend an invitation for all of you and anyone else who likes this idea to join us in the blogfest, FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES, on Monday May 17th.

We would like to limit the list to fifteen but if you can't think of that many then 12, 10, or whatever number you can think of will work just fine. It will be your blog post so you can certainly do whatever you like, but if you would like to have a guide like we will be using, you can refer to Stephen's Best Album Cover Post .

It would help that for each album you post a photo of the album's cover, the album's title, artist, and date of release, followed by a brief paragraph explaining WHY you have chosen it and maybe a short description of the type of music it contains. As far as genres are concerned, everything's acceptable: Classical, Country, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Movie & Broadway Theater Soundtracks, "Greatest Hits" and "Best Of" compilations, you name it.

Presentation can be in any format. You can be as creative as you care to be. Turn your list into poetry or a short story if you like. Make it an autobiographical account of how this music has influenced your life. Create a video of yourself talking about it or put together a photo or art montage that tells us about your list. It all comes down to one day's post and you can make it as simple or complex as you like.

We want to learn about some music we might have missed. I already know that there are a lot of music fans in the A to Z Challenge because many of you have done posts about music already. Now let's focus on getting to know one another better by the music we like and what that music means to us. Are you with us?

It is my sincere hope that all of my friends (you know who you are, so I won’t embarrass you by publicly naming you) will participate in this project. If you are a blogger, you can post your list on your own Blog. If you don’t do the blogging thang, then please place your list in the comment section of my own list after it has been posted. Feel free to include some commentary on each entry, or just list the album titles and artists if you are a person of few words.

“Are you talkin’ to me?”
Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, Br’er Marc, Kalamata BrO, Mr. Paulboy Prodigalman the 6th, Flying Aardvark, Toddfan Discman, Big Al, Countess, Pooh, Mister Ed (if you’re still out there reading my stuffs), and all of my other friends. I’m yakkin’ at YOU… (even if I did say I wouldn’t publicly single youz out). Don’t make me have to come over there! :o)

And now, without further ado-doo . . .

A TO Z APRIL CHALLENGE:
THE VIEW FROM ‘MOUNT QUITTER’
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Here are my ‘After Da Damage Been Done’ answers to Arlee Bird’s questions regarding the ‘A To Z April Challenge’ :

“What attracted you to the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge?”

Well, I seen that a lot of attractive womens had signed up for it and I thought it might be a good way to meet single chicks. (As usual, I was wrong.)

What?! You mean seriously?
Well, OK. Originally, I had no intention of signing up for it and didn’t even consider it. I knew that it would make demands on my limited time and I’m not really a believer in the Blog-A-Day concept. First of all, NOBODY is so interesting and has so much to say that they can post a new Blog Bit every single day for a month and make them ALL worthy of a reader’s time. Secondly, as a writer (as opposed to a booze hound), I am at my best when I am genuinely inspired. I have NEVER in my life been inspired 26 days consecutively! (Heck, I've never even been intoxicated that many days in a row!)

But at 11:59 P.M., I realized that it would mean something to my friend Arlee Bird (the punk who came up with this 'A To Z' idea) if I participated. So, at the last moment, I decided to give it a shot and see how it went. (It went to “Letter O”.)

“Did you feel intimidated by the Challenge?”

Dude! Even in a ratty old Hawaiian shirt with old underarm sweat stains, a camera hanging around my neck, rising 5’ 8” from my Thrifty Drug Store sneakers to the top of my grey-haired head, wearing glasses and searching for my misplaced arthritis medication, I wouldn’t feel the least bit intimidated in a room full of supermodels!

Did I feel intimidated? Pshaw!
Intimidated only by the amount of time I feared this project might require.

“Did you ever feel like quitting?”

Yes.

“What kept you going?”

Nothing. I quit.

“What do you think was your biggest contribution to the Challenge?”

Well, from “Day-A” through “Day-O, Day-ay-ay-O!” and again on Days “S” and “W”, I pleased my friend r-LEE-b. Otherwise, I don’t feel I contributed anything worth mentioning.

“In finishing this challenge, will you be more apt to try other blogging or writing challenges (e.g.--NaNoWriMo)?”

F### NO!

“Do you feel you did your best in the Challenge?”

That’s kind of a personal question, don’tcha think? Do you really feel you know me well enough to axe me a question like dat?

I MOST DEFINITELY did the best I could in the (damned,
#%$@#% #%$@#%$!) Challenge.

I knew I would be stretching myself thin, time-wise. But even so, the demands on my time were more severe than I had anticipated. I’d failed to take into account the amount of time required, not just to write and post my own Blog Bits but, to also read the Blog Bits of others, compose comments, and answer comments left for me.

I pretty clearly explained my reasons for dropping out of the A To Z April Challenge in my Blog posting for “Day-O, Day-ay-ay-O!” But I’ll add this:

I work a full-time job at night (I’m a pimp on Van Buren Street in downtown Phoenix), and by the time I would get up in the mornings, compose a new Blog Bit, reply to comments, read the Blogs of other participants and leave comments for them, I found that I had just enough time to grab something to eat, prepare for work (i.e., load my Browning 9 mm) and rush out the door. Also, I wasn’t left with enough time to do my exercise workout:

While bar-hopping about two weeks prior to the start of the A To Z April Challenge, my brother Nappy and I got into a hand-to-hand scuffle with a gaggle and a half of Chopper Chicks In Zombietown (Zombietown, a.k.a. Prescott, Airheadzona). We won the fight, naturally, but in the melee, I slightly injured a finger on my right hand.

What I should have done was put the finger in a bag and taken it to a doctor and had him sew it back on. But having graduated magna cum laude from the ‘Robert Mitchum School Of Guyology’, what I did instead was “stitch it up myself with thirteen shots of Grand Marnier” (which means that I simply left my finger in a drawer and limped over to McGimpy’s Irish Pub to hang out with the boys).

Because I had done the job myself, the healing process was slooooow (that means “the opposite of fst!”) Due to the finger injury, I had not been able to exercise for two weeks prior to April 1st. By the time I was two weeks into the A To Z April Challenge, I had not exercised for an entire month, now due to the time limitations.

Well, at the age of 50 and with a “plain Joe” face, if you still want the illegal immigrant girls residing in Phoenix to notice you, you had BETTER be working out your body. So, I decided it was time to quit the A To Z Challenge and get back to my old routine. I dropped out, went back to doing Chin-Ups and Pull-Ups, and immediately felt a sense of relief . . . and guilt. (Sorry, rLEE-b, but I REALLY DID do my best. Uhm… No, SERIOUSLY!)

“What could you have done better?”

I could have quit sooner.

“What did you learn from the Challenge?”

I learned to stop ‘Following’ my friend Arlee Bird’s Blog.

“Will you be blogging any more now than you used to?”

F### NO!
In fact, Arlee Bird, I would flip you ‘the bird’ . . . if I could find my finger. (I know I set it down here somewherez. Probably slipped between the couch cushions again.)

EVERYONE, F.Y.I. ---
On “Day-G, Day-ay-ay-G!” (Hmmm… “G” doesn’t work as well as “O”, does it?) I initiated a “GILLIGAN'S ISLAND GRUDGE MATCH POLL [For Men Only]” between MARY ANN and GINGER. In case anyone is interested in the results, Mary Ann kicked Ginger’s butt (as she always does). It ended like this:

Total Votes: 11
Mary Ann: 9 (81%)
Ginger: 2 (18%)

Well, I’m all blogged out for now, but I hope to see ya all again on May 17th for the FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES FESTIVAL. Yak then . . .

Le McQuote Du Jour:
You got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em

Know when to walk away
And know when to run

You never count your letters
When you're sittin' at the keyboard
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the bloggin’s done
~ by Don Schlitz and . . .

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Postscript: Yo! Arlee Bird. Hey, you know I love you like a Brother. You da man, man! But the next time you suggest something like this to me? Well, just “read between the digits”.

Letter Links:
ABC - DE - FG - HIJKLMNOSW

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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21 comments:

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Crikey! You sure did your hand some injstice there MaCarthy-O.

I'm glad we "met" during the challenge. So dunnamatter dat you quit, cause you lasted long enough for me to read you. No 'feelin' going down dis time ...

:)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

ALLIALLO ~
--> You sure did your hand some injstice there MaCarthy-O.

Not really. You don't know where that hand has been. (It got what it deserved.)

--> No 'feelin' going down dis time.

Shucks! I coulda gotten used to dat.
:o)

Thanks for stoppin' by, JAA.

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

I don't think you're a quitter,
you did what was best for YOU,
I liked your post and it would have been great to see a wee bit more but it was not meant to be.
I've got to hand it to you(forgive the pun) you have a wonderful sense of humour and I like your style of writing. hopefully see you in the album review.

Take care.
Yvonne.

arlee bird said...

Well, McCarthyman, I think you did a pretty fine job in A to Z. You turned out some pretty entertaining stuffs and some other stuffs as well-- it was a decent output. And you got some more online exposure and spread out your reputation into the blog world--whatever that reputation may be-it's all a matter of perspective I guess.

Now we've got the Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites to look forward to along with whatever else we look forward to, including something about reincarnation.

Thanks Stephen, I was glad for the contribution you made and for your thoughts today.

Later,
Lee
Tossing It Out

Lisa said...

Pure greatness STM! I've really enjoyed getting to know you and learning from you. You're always good for a laugh and other than the political nonsense you like to talk about, I think you've got a great thing going here. :O)

Creepy Query Girl said...

Well...at least you're honest..mmhmn.;)

Shannon said...

LOL...Ha, HA, HA...you are one funny lad, aren't you! I truly enjoyed reading your summary of the challenge..so glad to have met you and great job even though you quit...the finger bit is still cracking me up....so funny!

Bud Ezekiel H. said...

you certainly are a character and have a lot of it! i will keep on reading you....

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

YVONNE ~
Thanks! And I loved the pun! :o)

rLEE-b ~
Well, it was all in a month's work. (Actually, 17 days to be precise.) As long as you personally are pleased enough with my output then that's good enough for me. After all, it was strictly YOU I did it for. I tried to give you 26 days but it seems you were only worth 17. ;o)

LISA ~
Many thanks for the great compliment! (Well, except for that crack about the "political nonsense".) "Mo' laughs, less politics" -- is that what you're sayin'? But sometimes even politics is good for a laugh. OK, OK, no politics. I promise from now on to mention politics ONLY on those days when I do. Otherwise, I won't.

CREEPY QUERY GIRL ~
Yes, I'm a big believer in honesty, and I'm ALWAYS honest (in my own sort of way). I live by the words of Mark Twain: "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please".

SHANNON ~
Ahh, thank you, Sister. So glad ya enjoyed it. The way I look at it is this: I still have seven of my eight fingers and BOTH of my thumbs. And that's really not a bad percentage after 50 years of hard livin'.

BUD ~
"you certainly are a character and have a lot of it!"

Putting it that way, I can deal with it. Some people, less sensitive to my feelings, have told me: "You're full of it!"
;o)
Thanks, Brother!

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

Raquel Byrnes said...

You're such a funny writer. I mean, you write funny stuff...not you're funny, although you might be??? Anyway, I think you did fine. It was really tough keeping up and I work from home. Congratulations on participation.

Beth said...

You are one very funny guy! I'm glad you came back to link up for the finale! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Love the attitude!
And I'm not missing the music challenge.

Marjorie said...

I'll make it short.

It is better to have blogged and lost than never to have blogged at all.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BETH ~
Thank you! Thank you! Yeah, I figured the least I could do was make one final appearance and try to semi-redeem myself.

And, in truth, I kind of enjoyed writing this final post. I wish I had been that inspired for all 17 days in which I participated.

RAQUEL ~
Gracias! I guess I have my moments occasionally... although I know there are some people out there who probably wish I had them even less often. ;o)

ALEX ~
Great, Brother! I'm looking forward to seeing which 15 recordings you're taking to that island wid ya.

MARJORIE ~
That sounds vaguely familiar. You didn't steal that line from anyone, didja?

Well, ya gotta "know when to fold 'em"... and I DID!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

Lisa said...

"I'm sorry! I didn't want to write that stuffs, but I just can't help being me. I'll try harder to be someone else next time. (Do you know anybody acceptable I can be?)"

*giggles*

Niki said...

I latched onto you a bit late, so I will enjoy exploring your blog :o) Congats on finishing the challenge

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

NIKI ~
I'm pleased that you like what you've read, up to this point anyway.

I'm afraid I didn't exactly "finish the challenge", but I did more than I did not.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McNearlyfinished

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

You make me laugh! And you are a pretty talented guy. Congrats for making it to day o.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

DEBRA ~
I thank you!
Even just lasting until "Day-O" was a challenge for me.

-- To quote Mr. Z:
"And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only"


~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

Lisa said...

Hey friend, I just tagged ya! Stop by to see what I'm talking about. If you're not interested, no worries, I won't be offended. :O)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

LISA ~
Thanks!!
I left a wishy-washy reply on yer Blog for yaz.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe