step outside the norm, brand with a passion.

I remember a professor in college where the assignment was to write about something personal. Something that struck you, rocked your world, shook you to the core, something that you never wrote about before. Something so personal, dig down in your gut, find out what you are made of when it comes to writing, and just write from that emotion.

I was a junior in college when I got this assignment. I was as cold as ice in my emotions at this point in my life. Nothing could hurt me, nothing could take me, nothing, and I mean nothing, could phase me. This assignment called for me to what? Write with emotions? Write from my heart? What the??

I remember sitting in front of my computer and agonizing about the release of my emotions on paper. You see, I was at that time, tangled and knotted in my own ball of yarn. When in public I could pull maybe about a yard of that yarn, manage a smile or two, and for that moment stretch the thread about as far as I could extend. My length never reached as far as I wanted and stopped short of acceptance.

That night of the assignment, I finally did write. I started to unravel that ball of yarn, slow pace, but I started from that one loose piece and I went back to where the yarn was encompassed in a warm nest.

I was proud of my essay, and I was emotionally strained from the release, but damn it, I was proud!  I remember turning that essay in to my teacher and feeling that for the first time I wrote from my heart, I wrote with my emotions.

You cannot imagine my surprise when my professor handed back my paper with red marked comments, suggestions, all for improvement. I can handle critique of my writing style, my grammatical errors, those I could fix. What I could not handle was the want of elaboration. Elaborate more how this made you feel? Elaborate how you changed? Elaborate? ELABORATE!!

You just asked me to write about the most personal thing that has happened in my life! Something that rocked me, shocked me, left my world topsy-turvy! Write with emotion, write with heart…release the writer’s pain?

Shit!

Don’t circle me in red, question my pain, my emotions, my personal feelings. Circle my grammar, my improper pronoun, my dangling participle, my miss-use of a noun, or even my spelling. Do not question me on my pain!

Too make this long story short, I chose not to change a single word in my essay. I succumbed to a mediocre grade to a project that I had never felt more pride towards. I submitted that essay as part of my internship applications, as a showcase of my writing capability. Writing is like beauty. It lies in the eyes of the beholder.

My essay was published in a local paper and I was offered an intern my senior year of college. It was that same year that I questioned, “can I write?” or better yet, “do I want to write?”

My essay was about the death of my father my freshman year of college. My emotions to his death had been locked away for those years and many years after. My only writing after that internship existed only in my journals…until this blog.

So the assignment at hand on the blogging university is how to brand yourself?

Audit your brand. Audit.

I am not oblivious to needing some, okay, maybe a lot, of tweaking to my blog. Aesthetically speaking, and maybe even within my content. Who I am is maybe not ready for the blog world. I am after all gaining, achieving, and dreaming.

My blog is not my name. It is fiction of a life. It is a metaphor of sorts. It is a dream of where I was and where I am going. It is a memory in sadness, humor, and love. It is a compilation of the stories that I have yet to write. It is inspirations, hopes, and above all dreams.

There are so many names I could call this blog, so many taglines I could use, so many things I could change. I hate change. I especially hate change when it means altering something I created that makes me proud.

Welcome to my blog. Louie Behogan.

I hope to brand this name as one that stimulates and embraces creativity, accepts it all, and never defines, allows the experiment, and more importantly, encourages stepping outside the norm.

albert einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

 

 

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Why Blog?

Two steps ahead, three steps behind.

The music drums on, but my music plays louder. And longer.

Why do I blog? Put myself out there? Why do I do what I do?

I blog, because at this point in my life, I have nothing to lose.

I put myself out there because hiding, pretending, living in fear, well, it all takes too much effort.

Why do I do what I do? Why not?

Really. Why not?

What do I hope to gain?

I would be lying if I said nothing.

Gain? Achieve? Dream? Sometimes they all seem within the same.

By writing outside my journal, my scraps of paper, my twisted mind, I would hope to gain notoriety. Or at the very least, people to step back, jaw drop, and exclaim they never knew I possessed a talent.

By writing outside my journal, my scraps of paper, my twisted mind, I have within my own set limitations achieved success. At least the voices in my head are cheering me on.

By writing outside my journal, my scraps of paper, my own twisted mind, I will continue to dream that the talent I think I possess and the achievement of success is really not just within my dreams.

So if I am two steps behind, then let me be three steps ahead with blogging which makes me happy. My music plays on, louder and longer, not just in my journals, scraps of papers, or my own twisted mind, but in my first attempt at gaining, achieving, and dreaming.

 

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walk the dog…

It’s snowing and it is Spring break for my employers. They are cranky, demanding, and restless.

Little one is not feeling well, yet will not admit sick and gets mad at the other employees for calling her sick. She sounds like she is wearing a clothes hanger on her nose, constantly asking me to bless her prior to a sneeze in hopes it will go away, making faces as she sucks on a Halls cough drop, and complaining her ear hurts.

No, she is not sick.

Both Muppets wanted to bake today. One wanted a red velvet cake and the other chocolate chip cookies. We baked, they baked, I baked. That is how the baking went. They have tested their goods, and keep pestering for one more piece, one more cookie. The snow has stopped, the dogs are bored.

Walk a dog, get a cookie.

The boy is bored out of his mind! Most of his friends are away. Video game marathon. To me that is unacceptable.

Walk a dog, gain some video time.

Little one asked me if she walks three dogs, can she get three cookies?

I opened a bottle of wine. Little one informed me that I don’t get my glass of wine until I walk a dog? Clearly little one is sick!

These dogs might be walking all night.  Photo (41)

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stepping up to the plate…

If you ask my brother what his favorite sport is, he will tell you Baseball.  I doubt my brother would hold as great a love for the game if it were not for my father. It was a bond they shared, that even in death, can’t be broken.

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I am not a sports fan. I don’t have a favorite sport, a favorite team, or a favorite player. Sometimes I watch sports, even might go to a game, but would willingly give you my ticket if you wanted.

I am not oblivious to sports, just not a follower.

 

Yet, today I have a favorite player.

Congratulations Daniel Murphy on the birth of your son and kudos to you for already stepping up to the plate of fatherhood.

There are no strikes against you in my book for taking two days away from baseball to spend with your newborn baby. In fact, I am impressed how quickly you got back in the game.

I am reading and hearing all the backlash from sports fanatics and sports reporters. Really, Boomer Esiason? Did you seriously suggest they should have scheduled a C-section because it interfered with opening day? Yes, I know you have since apologized, as you should have, even better would have been to think before you spoke.

Paternity leave? What is paternity leave? Exactly. A better question would be: Why does the United States not have a universal paid parental leave plan established? That would include maternity, paternity, and adoptive leave. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not mandate a paid leave for mothers and newborns. As for paternity leave, well forget it.

Family first. That first few days with a baby is precious bonding time for both parents and baby. One sportscaster even said that Murphy is not breastfeeding so get back to the game? Does a father not have the right to be a part of these special moments, regardless of where their role stems?

When I had my children, I know I was fortunate to take time off to be with each of them. My first child I was able to take 8 weeks paid through my employment, and then I took an additional 6 weeks through the Family Medical Leave Act, which was unpaid. My second two I did the same, except it was all unpaid as I had switched employment. I was lucky to be able to have that time and that I had a husband who was able to support us financially during my unpaid time. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Some woman have to make a decision between caring for their baby or bringing home a paycheck. This should never be a choice.

I am a bi-product of an American and a Swede. I know the countries are different, and I am more American than Swedish, yet I think Sweden has a better approach. In Sweden, parents are given a total of 480 days per child and they can share these days between parents, however 60 of those days are designated specifically for fathers. They may use these days any time until the child is 8 years old and they are entitled to receive at least 80 percent of their wages.

Wow! Imagine that in the United States. I am not even going to mention the child allowance that Swedes get for their children till the age of 16.

Imagine a United States where parents had their babies and were able to actually stay home and raise them, not just 6 weeks, 8 weeks, or 12 weeks, but during fundamental years, still got paid and had a job to return to.  Imagine dads getting to stay home during those early days of infancy, helping the moms, bonding with baby.

While you are imagining that, think of the benefits that this time could have. This early bonding period sets up a precedence for long-term healthy living and overall well-being. Maybe the evening news would not have as many horror stories of things going wrong in society.

We live in a sad society where we complain about someone missing a day of work, whatever the profession, because they opted to put family first.

I know my blog is usually for fun, but my blog is usually centered around my family. The comments that I have heard made about Murphy missing two games because he chose to be at the birth of his child, well, it makes my blood boil.

I think it is time that the United States changes its views on the family unit. We should be working to get back to that idyllic image of what a family is all about. Throw away the stereotypes of what a mother and a father “should” do, and start moving forward as to what a mother and a father together “could” do.

Baseball might have strengthened the bond between my father and brother, but that bond could never have been created if my father was not there for his children, at any time in our lives.

Daniel Murphy, in my eyes you really hit the ball out of the park.

 

 

 

 

 

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lose yourself in the woods…

I have this problem. On a beautiful day, with nothing to do, I will take a walk and I will walk, and walk. I take my trusty travelling companion and we set out to get lost in the woods for a couple of hours.

Today I found my imagination getting the best of me.

I saw an alligator.

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A moose.

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A wickedly grumpy stump of a character.

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A tree that has giant feet and the potential to run at any moment.

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It’s a mystical place being in the woods.

 

 

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”   -Robert Frost

Photo (34)

 

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Thank you friends…

Takes very little to turn my mood around, and today was an upward mood swing. See, I have been allowing myself to wallow in self pity and unemployment blues.

Today a friend of mine came and got me out of my house, the prison that I have been confining myself to, and took me on an adventure

The adventure consisted of finding Jesse Pinkman, or as he is really known, Aaron Paul, who happens to be in town filming a movie. Now, I have not gone completely crazy, I know the chances of my finding him and actually meeting him, perhaps even grabbing a drink with him are slim. It’s not like I took my headless baby mannequin with me, it was just nice to have a mindless adventure to get my mind motivated again.

Watching the filming, but no Aaron Paul in site?

Watching the filming, but no Aaron Paul in site?

Of course after that I ate a bucket of fries, not to mention the Oreo’s I had for breakfast which motivated me to run this evening. The past few days, well weeks if I am going to be honest, I have been having a conscious uncoupling with running.

So tonight I ran with Billy Joel, but I also invited Andrew Duhon. They both have great mellow stories to sing, and I was in a mellow running state of mind. Many people are familiar with my friend Billy Joel, unlike Andrew Duhon, who is a southern gem of a musician. We had a great run, the music was great, and I especially liked when Billy Joel sang “She’s Always a Woman,” and reminded me that I can’t be convicted, I have earned my degree.

Running up and down the hill, I met some new friends at the top of the hill.

Chillin on top of the hill with my new friends.

Chillin on top of the hill with my new friends.

I tried my best not to disturb their dinner by not running to the top of the hill. When I went to run back down, I realized one of my friends was following me. I stopped and tried to coax him towards me when the thought of ending up on a YouTube video being mauled by a deer became unappealing. Never the less, I smiled and enjoyed taking their photos.

More than anything, I needed today. I needed to be reminded that there are blue skies ahead.

 

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ring my bell…

I feel like I should write something since I have been MIA for the last few days.

Truth be told, I actually have no witty, snarky, or informative thing to write.

I have been chugging NyQuil for the last few nights, even starting to enjoy the taste. Today is the first day that I can breathe, and my head is not pounding. My bedside table looks like something that would be found in a Nursery room: Tissues, DayQuil, NyQuil, Vicks Vapor Rub, water, orange juice, Halls, and not to mention the garbage bag filled with used tissues. Ah, I just painted you the most attractive picture of myself.

Welcome back to the land of the living.

The hubby mentioned it’s a good thing I don’t have a job, otherwise I would be taking sick days. Yeah. Imagine that.

The little one played nursemaid, left a bell by me bed to ring whenever I needed something. ‘Ding, Ding’. It actually worked. On Sunday, she made me tea and toast, and brought me orange juice as needed. On Monday I rang the bell and the middle one came to my room. I asked if she could get my clean sheets from the laundry room, bring them upstairs, and help me change my sheets. (I have an addiction to clean sheets on my bed.) She informed me that she would let the little one know and left. That is NOT the way the bell works.

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Little one did come with the clean sheets and she did help me change the sheets. Note to self…Be nice to this little one, she looks like the front-runner in taking care of me in Nursery home.

Yesterday, I tried to return to the land of the living. Sent the kids on their way with the neighbors to walk to school. Took a shower, got dressed, and went to the grocery store. Maybe I was a little over-anxious and not feeling completely ready to venture back to the land of the living, or maybe it was just the grocery store, but I found myself back in bed. The pounding head, the inability to breathe, and knowing it was day, left me longing for the NyQuil and the assistance of sleep.

I awaited for the boy to come home from school, promising that I would finally take him to get a x-ray for his ankle that has been hurting since Friday. I know it is not broken, which x-ray proved me correct. However, it always goes back to that damn growth plate and if it is still bothering him in a week, an MRI. You want them to grow so it’s never a growth plate issue, then you don’t want them to grow, well, you just want them little again.

My day consists of going to Ikea. The Muppets signed me up for the multi-cultural night at their school. Last year we were able to skip since it was the same night as the boy’s birthday. I felt turning a teenager was more important. We needed a break anyway. Our booth, the Swedish table, was very popular, but people also laughed at us at the same time. I did not have enough time to get a proper food representation of Sweden…so I put a bowl of Swedish fish on our table. Hence the popularity of our table.  fish in stockholm market 2102

In my defense, they were made by Malaco, a Swedish candy factory. I am thinking about getting some real fish at Ikea, salmon or herring.  Maybe that will deter the Muppets from signing me up next year?

‘Ding, Ding, Ding, Ring a ling, Ding, Ding’

This morning I woke up and rang my bell. No one came. The only one who acknowledged the bell is the neurotic dog. She left the room.

shy butt

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