I love the adventure in traveling and how it realigns your social compass to help point you in the right direction. We are here on Earth to learn from one another not destroy each other. I hope to learn from writers here on Vocal.
Good Vibes Ally
America has come a long way in a short period of time; however, we still have some more ground to cover when it comes to accepting all people no matter their creed or sexuality. A month full of awareness and support is a great way to demonstrate support for our LGBTQ communities, as well as being made aware of the struggles they still face in feeling comfortable openly in society amongst the so called 'normal' people.
What My Mother Taught Me
"Ping - Ping - Ping", with a heavy baby sledge hammer in hand, my mother beats the cherry-red horseshoe into the correct shape and size until it loses its glow. "Chich" is the sound of the shoe being thrust back into the glowing coal embers of the forge, heating it up to a warm glow, for another round of hammering. Once my mother is satisfied with her customization of the horseshoe, she plunges it into a metal pail at her feet that is filled with water: "Sssssss" the metal violently hisses as a thick blanket of steam quickly rises up, engulfing my mother, to where I can barely make out the image of her wearing jeans, a worn out T-Shirt, and heavy leather apron; from my vantage point just a few feet away, as I play with one of the farm's numerous dogs.
Gen-X Teen Alone in the Wild World
The year was 1987, my excitement could easily be seen by anyone who cared to notice that I was officially, at least in my mind, grown-up; a 'teen-ager' at last. Teen years are when childish innocence seems to be naturally abandoned for more important things such as social interactions and a budding awareness of more than the personal space around one's self. These years are when one becomes aware of the world and the inconsistencies with all the innocent and simple rules children learn; be nice to others and always - always treat others as you'd like to be treated - "The Golden Rule".
The Joe Rogan Experience
Recently, during one of his podcasts Joe Rogan's statement to the question whether or not healthy youths should receive the CoViD 19 vaccine became the source of public outrage, and depending on what side of the political isle one stands on, it became canon fodder, used to attack either of the two partisan positions that have declared war against each other over a year ago on the battlegrounds of CoViD factualness. Needless to say, the entire subject is highly volatile.
By now many have heard the song made popular by once, Hootie and the Blowfish front man, Darius Rucker. To some the fact that Rucker jumped from pop-rock to the country genre in music may be more of a shock than the fact that he is not the penning artist of "Wagon Wheel"
420 After 40
What better day to celebrate my return to the 'Cannabis Culture' than on National Weed Day or otherwise just known as 420; which can also designate the time of the day 'pot-smokers' toke up daily. Today I'll be using 420 as the term used to identify with the culture I once belonged to in my youth but left behind for a career as a diver in the United States Navy. Not that returning to the use is anything exciting or any earth-shattering news around here. Especially since I'm just an average middle-aged man that you'll find at any cannabis dispensary in California. There is nothing abnormal or deviant about what I'm doing now. That always hasn't been the case in my lifetime. What follows is my personal story of how my relationship with cannabis has changed over the years, as I aged and it's use has become quasi-legal and socially acceptable here in the United States.
Why Write on Vocal
I joined Vocal about six months ago and put up one poem then completely forgot about the online writing platform. Then about two months ago with ads constantly popping up on my social media feeds promoting the "Little Black Book" challenge with a twenty-thousand dollar prize going to the winner, I decided to give Vocal some serious attention. Since my fictional short-story, "The Event" submission I have been writing and contributing to the platform consistently ever since. I didn't win that challenge nor have I been receiving a large amount of reads for my stories. To date I have made $16.67, with $15 dollars of that total coming in the form of Vocal paying me for my fifth ($5.00) and tenth ($10.00) stories and one lone tip for a dollar. This week I have finally reached just over 100 reads with my ten stories combined, making up the remainder of the money I have in my wallet.
Quiet Cup of Coffee
My normal morning routine is to wake up earlier than my wife, dogs, and sometimes visiting grandson to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee while I do some free-writing to help get head working and words down on paper. The following poem was written during one of those early morning free writing sessions.
Promptly and without exception every night at eight, I'll hear the whimper and cries of a 110 pound baby while he looks at me with begging eyes and wagging tail, signaling to me that it's time for the nightly stroll. Chance my rescued Lab-mix dog, will without fail, expect a nightly walk to which his pint-sized Pekingese companion, Gizmo, will be right behind him; being awakened by Chances nightly walk-dance ritual. Gizmo knows as well does Chance that this behavior gets me up, putting my shoes on, and taking them out the door. Little do they know that I have this walk planned as their daily exercise and love doing it at night as it seems to be the best time to clear my mind while my dogs get a little exercise and the chance to take in the neighborhood scents and leave some of their own.
Caught With My Pants Down
What I'm about to share is both extremely gross and utterly embarrassing. My story will end with me in a very vulnerable and compromising position with my pants down caught in an unavoidable epically disgusting act. This is the kind of story that doesn't take too long to get to the point, where I reveal to you my life's most awkwardly awful moment. My admission here will have you both grossed out and feeling absolutely sorry for me in my moment of shame. However, before I can conclude with my dubious episode I have to take you all back to where I contracted the issue which would lead to my disaster in a San Diego Parking lot back in the fall 2006.
A Second Chance
September 2019 our beloved Golden Retriever, Sophie, passed away at 14 years old. We were immeasurably saddened, moving us to tears for quite some time afterwards just thinking about her. In her memory we enshrined her signature red collar with a tag inscribed with the words, "Sophie, She Loved", because that is exactly what she did to everyone; family, friend, or stranger.