FROM RUSSIA WITH MUSIC – Rich Paschall

In December 2019 I saw this amazing group in concert. A year later they were to appear at the same theater, but that tour never happened. On Christmas 2020, they live-streamed a concert from Moscow for all those who could not see them in 2020. It seemed a good time to recall their past concert. Be sure to click “View original post” at the bottom to head over to SERENDIPITY for more pictures and music.

A POPULAR GIRL – Rich Paschall

Last year we looked at the popular Gloria and some of her songs. Since then I replaced two of the music videos with what I hope are better versions. Be sure to click on “View original post” at the bottom to head over to SERENDIPITY for some good music. Sing along with your favorites.

A Change of View

A short family story

The extra bedroom had been turned into a den or office of some sort.  It was supposed to be a place to work or study, but actually it was just a place for Rob to hide out from the family.  In there he could read or daydream or actually make use of the computer he was determined to learn more about.  This determination did not go much farther than turning it on, looking at the home page and checking his email.  Rob did not get much email.  His friends knew he rarely read them anyway.  Rob did not have to use the computer much at work, and used it less at home.

Books, creative commons license

Over time the den had become cluttered with books and magazines.  That was Rob’s doing.  “These are the things to be read,” he thought.  The internet contained sound bites and headlines and celebrity pictures and Rob was convinced it held little value for him.  You might say Rob was a bit of a throwback to a previous generation.  The passing years had confused him and upset the neat world order in the family of Rob.  So, he needed his refuge to occasionally escape his modern family.

He had a conservative wife with conservative looks and conservative taste.  Despite her ever youthful appearance, she was likely better suited to  the era of black and white television than the present day.  She did not seem the daring young girl Rob married over three decades earlier.  There were also two teenage children, a boy and a girl.  Rob recalled how he used to call them his “little prince and princess.”  Rob’s neatly appointed wife thought he carried on with the “prince and princess” thing too long.  Becky continued to be “daddy’s little girl” and certainly acted like a princess, but Josh had transformed into someone else.  Until now, Rob had no idea how the world of Josh had changed.

This particular Thursday evening Rob sat alone in the den waiting.  He had come home to do something he had never done before and now he was waiting.  He looked up at the clock and it revealed the hour was closing in on 7 pm.  His teenagers had not arrived home and his ever patient wife was just starting to make dinner.  They were all going to keep him waiting.  On most days he would not sit in a room with just a low watt energy-saving bulb burning and do nothing but wait, but that was his mission now.  He was unsure what he would say when the waiting ended, his mind was actually rather blank and his face was free from expression of any kind.  He looked rather like an old soldier who just had a mortar shell go off nearby.  He waited in stunned silence.

Earlier in the day Rob was talking to one of the other dads at work.  The other dad was much younger and that may have been the reason he was more in tune with the teenagers and the internet.  “Do you ever watch You Tube videos? ” the younger dad had asked.  “No,” Rob replied, “I am not sure if I have ever seen one.”  “Here is one you will want to see.  Search this title.”  He handed Rob a piece of paper.  “It is important.  Do it today.  Here too is the ‘username’ of the one who posted it just in case you have any trouble finding it.”  The younger dad would answer no questions and would not say anymore on the subject.  Rob had put the folded up piece of paper in his pocket and did not take it out until he reached the den.  Once there, he went immediately to his desk, turned on the computer and sat silently.

As he waited for the computer to start up he read the few words on the paper over and over.  Could this possibly be some sort of joke?  Would they all laugh about it tomorrow in the company break room?  Would this just be a few minutes of needed entertainment?  When the computer was on, Rob searched for the title.  At first he was confused and a bit nervous.  There were so many videos with similar titles he was unsure what to pick.  Then he noticed the user name and started scrolling through the titles looking for the right one.

When he located the name that matched the one written out for him, he clicked on it quickly, before he could change his mind.  He watched the whole thing and when it was over, a single tear rolled down his cheek.  There was just one before his tears and his mouth dried up and his palms began to sweat.  In his 50+ years he had never felt like this before, ever.  When the clock stuck seven, the computer was still on and Rob was still silent.

Soon after the seven o’clock bells tolled for Josh, he opened the front door and came strolling in.  When he passed the door of the den Rob yelled, “Josh, get in here.”  Josh had never in his life heard such a sound come from his father.  As a matter of fact, Rob had never heard such a sound before either.  Whatever was the cause of this greeting, Josh knew it could not be good.  He stuck his head through the doorway and said, “Yes, sir” in a timid little voice left over from his “little prince” days.  In his 17 years, 3 months and 2 days, Josh was never this nervous, even when he broke Mrs. Applebaum’s car mirror playing baseball in the street.

Broadcast Yourself

Broadcast Yourself

“Come over here,” Rob commanded.  Josh walked over and stopped across the desk from dear old dad, who just lookd old at the moment.  “No, over here,” Rob said, pointing to the floor next to where he sat.  Josh came around the desk as Rob made ready with his new knowledge of You Tube.  When the little prince was in place, Rob clicked on the video and Josh knew immediately what was on the bill.  His heart and stomach tensed up as if someone was strangling them from inside.

“Dad,” the little prince squeaked.  “Quiet,” Rob growled in returned.  And so for the first time, father and son watched a You Tube Video together, all 8 minutes and 22 seconds of it.  When it was over and an uncomfortable few seconds had passed, Rob said, “Go,” in a soft voice that gave away hurt and betrayal.  Josh rushed from the den, ran to his room and slammed the door.  Rob emerged from the den to find his pretty wife rushing to the scene.

“What’s up with you two?” she said.  “Did the prince do something wrong?”  Rob gave his response a moment of thought and said, “Why didn’t we have kids sooner in life?”  “YOU did not want to,” she laughed.  “You said we should be financially sound before we started a family.”  She was right, of course.  That is exactly what he said.  He said it many times throughout the first dozen years of their marriage.

“I think teenagers were not as difficult years ago.  There just seems to be so much more to deal with now.”  The pretty little wife with the perfect hair and the perfect smile looked puzzled, but Rob said no more about it that night or for many nights to come.  He had no idea how to tell her that the little prince had come out as gay to the entire world by way of a You Tube video, but was unable to find a way to tell his parents.

Olympic diver stands up

Last year when Anderson Cooper decided to come out as gay, I offered the opinion (reprinted below) that his announcement was not the “news.”  Does the social media really have to light up cyberspace with comments every time this happens?  I reread my article after British Olympic diver Tom Daley, now 19, came out in a You Tube video this past week.  Perhaps this was not as big here in the USA as the Cooper story, but it did turn out as big news around the world.  In the run up to the London Olympic games, Great Britain pinned a big piece of its Olympic hopes on the handsome teenager who was collecting medals in competitions around the world.  He become a local celebrity and was seen frequently on television and You Tube promos.

You have to admire Daley for wanting to do this on his own terms, before it became a big splash, so to speak.  A few weeks ago I placed a fictional piece here about a teen coming out on You Tube.  Teens and young men and women seem to do this a lot, but none as high-profile as Daley.  Below you can watch this high diver doing something many teens probably would not like to do, but feel that they have to do to get a weight off their young shoulders.

What is and is not the news

Just because someone tells us something, it does not make it news. For something to be news for us, it has to be, well, new to us. If we all know something, or most of us anyway, then the story is not the news. When Elton John or George Michael came out and said he is gay, we could collectively reply, “So, what?” It is not as if we didn’t know by then anyway. Years of watching them dance around the issue had already lead us to the right conclusion. They may have come out of the closet but the door was already open and we could all see in. It was not news.
Neal Patrick Harris and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) took away the story by announcing they were gay. It is not much of a story if the celebrity has already told everyone, whether it was in a simple press release or some flamboyant manner. Ellen DeGeneres famously ended speculation by telling it on her sitcom, but the story was already making the rounds. Ricky Martin told the world, when the world already knew. That is partly because so-called reporters, paparazzi actually, followed him around trying to get a picture with a boyfriend. From veteran actor Richard Chamberlain to new star Chris Colfer and many in between, there is no story to the revelation they are gay. It may sell some supermarket tabloids for a while, but is it really news?
In the week just past, there was another high-profile, non-story to be reported. The fact is, Anderson Cooper is gay. The fact is, it was a well-known “secret” anyway. He told us he was open with his family, friends and colleagues, but he successfully avoided answering the “gay question” until now. Did he tell us because the story was about to be broken anyway? No, the editor of The Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan, a longtime friend of Anderson, was given permission by Cooper to print an email he had received from his friend. The reason behind it is where the actual story lies.
In response to recent news events of bullying, gay teen suicide, hate preached from pulpits and politicians attempting to deny rights to gay people, many celebrities have come forward not to make news of themselves, but to show strength in numbers. Sullivan feels the “visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality,” and he asked for Cooper’s comments on the matter. In a long email response which you can find here, Cooper reported his feelings on this issue.
If you knew little of Anderson Cooper’s private life before now, it was by design. As a reporter in dangerous places, he had to be concerned that his private life could put himself and his colleagues in peril. He also had the desire that most of us have, to keep some aspects of our lives strictly to ourselves and our loved ones. As a reporter, he should not be judged by who he loves or who loves him, but by whether he “shows fairness and honesty in his work.” In a long career, Cooper has gained a strong reputation as a fair reporter and interviewer on CNN and CBS’ 60 Minutes. The many sad stories of gay youth and gay couples probably brought a stronger personal response by Cooper than even a friend of two decades could have anticipated.
Cooper admits he is not “an activist”, just a reporter trying to do his job. He is also a human being, and thoughts that he may have been hiding (in plain sight, I might add) was a reason to stand up and be counted. He has no “gay agenda” to push. He could not be a reporter if he did have. He is a gay human being who cares about what is going on all around us.
Immediately after the Daily Beast ran the Anderson Cooper email, bloggers and vloggers and tweeters and social media junkies from all around the internet had something to say about this “breaking story.” Some praised Cooper for his stand, some blasted him for waiting so long. I am sure many on the so-called Christian right had terrible things to say that I will not hear, since I try to avoid the hate mongers. I suppose the alleged story will go on a little while longer until the commentators have had their fill. Remember this, however, the news this past week is not that Anderson Cooper came out, since so many knew anyway. The real story is another human being was called to weigh in, and he did, big time.

A Change of View

A short family story

The extra bedroom had been turned into a den or office of some sort.  It was supposed to be a place to work or study, but actually it was just a place for Rob to hide out from the family.  In there he could read or daydream or actually make use of the computer he was determined to learn more about.  This determination did not go much farther than turning it on, looking at the home page and checking his email.  Rob did not get much email.  His friends knew he rarely read them anyway.  Rob did not have to use the computer much at work, and used it less at home.

Over time the den had become cluttered with books and magazines.  That was Rob’s doing.  “These are the things to be read,” he thought.  The internet contained sound bites and headlines and celebrity pictures and Rob was convinced it held little value for him.  You might say Rob was a bit of a throwback to a previous generation.  The passing years had confused him and upset the neat world order in the family of Rob.  So, he needed his refuge to occasionally escape his modern family.  He had a conservative wife with conservative looks and conservative taste.  Despite her ever youthful appearance, she was likely better suited to  the era of black and white television than the present day.  She did not seem the daring young girl Rob married over three decades earlier.  There were also two teenage children, a boy and a girl.  Rob recalled how he used to call them his “little prince and princess.”  Rob’s neatly appointed wife thought he carried on with the “prince and princess” thing too long.  Becky continued to be “daddy’s little girl” and certainly acted like a princess, but Josh had transformed into someone else.  Until now, Rob had no idea how the world of Josh had changed.

This particular Thursday evening Rob sat alone in the den waiting.  He had come home to do something he had never done before and now he was waiting.  He looked up at the clock and it revealed the hour was closing in on 7 pm.  His teenagers had not arrived home and his ever patient wife was just starting to make dinner.  They were all going to keep him waiting.  On most days he would not sit in a room with just a low watt energy-saving bulb burning and do nothing but wait, but that was his mission now.  He was unsure what he would say when the waiting ended, his mind was actually rather blank and his face was free from expression of any kind.  He looked rather like an old soldier who just had a mortar shell go off nearby.  He waited in stunned silence.

Earlier in the day Rob was talking to one of the other dads at work.  The other dad was much younger and that may have been the reason he was more in tune with the teenagers and the internet.  “Do you ever watch You Tube videos? ” the younger dad had asked.  “No,” Rob replied, “I am not sure if I have ever seen one.”  “Here is one you will want to see.  Search this title.”  He handed Rob a piece of paper.  “It is important.  Do it today.  Here too is the ‘username’ of the one who posted it just in case you have any trouble finding it.”  The younger dad would answer no questions and would not say anymore on the subject.  Rob had put the folded up piece of paper in his pocket and did not take it out until he reached the den.  Once there, he went immediately to his desk, turned on the computer and sat silently.

As he waited for the computer to start up he read the few words on the paper over and over.  Could this possibly be some sort of joke?  Would they all laugh about it tomorrow in the company break room?  Would this just be a few minutes of needed entertainment?  When the computer was on, Rob searched for the title.  At first he was confused and a bit nervous.  There were so many videos with similar titles he was unsure what to pick.  Then he noticed the user name and started scrolling through the titles looking for the right one.  When he located the name that matched the one written out for him, he clicked on it quickly, before he could change his mind.  He watched the whole thing and when it was over, a single tear rolled down his cheek.  There was just one before his tears and his mouth dried up and his palms began to sweat.  In his 50+ years he had never felt like this before, ever.  When the clock stuck seven, the computer was still on and Rob was still silent.

Soon after the seven o’clock bells tolled for Josh, he opened the front door and came strolling in.  When he passed the door of the den Rob yelled, “Josh, get in here.”  Josh had never in his life heard such a sound come from his father.  As a matter of fact, Rob had never heard such a sound before either.  Whatever was the cause of this greeting, Josh knew it could not be good.  He stuck his head through the doorway and said, “Yes, sir” in a timid little voice left over from his “little prince” days.  In his 17 years, 3 months and 2 days, Josh was never this nervous, even when he broke Mrs. Applebaum’s car mirror playing baseball in the street.

Broadcast Yourself

Broadcast Yourself

“Come over here,” Rob commanded.  Josh walked over and stopped across the desk from dear old dad, who just lookd old at the moment.  “No, over here,” Rob said, pointing to the floor next to where he sat.  Josh came around the desk as Rob made ready with his new knowledge of You Tube.  When the little prince was in place, Rob clicked on the video and Josh knew immediately what was on the bill.  His heart and stomach tensed up as if someone was strangling them from inside.  “Dad,” the little prince squeaked.  “Quiet,” Rob growled in returned.  And so for the first time, father and son watched a You Tube Video together, all 8 minutes and 22 seconds of it.  When it was over and an uncomfortable few seconds had passed, Rob said, “Go,” in a soft voice that gave away hurt and betrayal.  Josh rushed from the den, ran to his room and slammed the door.  Rob emerged from the den to find his pretty wife rushing to the scene.

“What’s up with you two?” she said.  “Did the prince do something wrong?”  Rob gave his response a moment of thought and said, “Why didn’t we have kids sooner in life?”  “YOU did not want to,” she laughed.  “You said we should be financially sound before we started a family.”  She was right, of course.  That is exactly what he said.  He said it many times throughout the first dozen years of their marriage.

“I think teenagers were not as difficult years ago.  There just seems to be so much more to deal with now.”  The pretty little wife with the perfect hair and the perfect smile looked puzzled, but Rob said no more about it that night or for many nights to come.  He had no idea how to tell her that the little prince had come out as gay to the entire world by way of a You Tube video, but was unable to find a way to tell his parents.

A Scattering of Ideas

Last year sometime I decided to write a little piece on where ideas come from.  The gist of the piece was meant to be that they could come from anywhere, and that an article or two came to mind after watching some You Tube videos.  These You Tubers were all rather new to me and I found their willingness to talk about anything quite interesting.  They provided a raft of ideas (not an idea for rafts) that led to the following scattering of thoughts.  I would like to say that it all flowed coherently from my brain to the computer screen.  Yep, I would like to say that, but you be the judge.  By the way, if you don’t know the bands fall out boy or Black Cards, the Pete Wentz reference will truly make no sense.

Original ideas and other thievery

Really, how many original ideas are left? Wouldn’t you think that most of them have been used up by now? That’s what I think, so a little thievery of intellectual property every now and then might have to do. I mean you can not expect me to come up with anything remotely original every week. It just is not possible, especially on a Sunday night. If you are tired from a busy weekend, what else is left on Sunday but a little thievery?
This was the case a few weeks ago when I saw a vlog on “ageism.” I really never used that term before and tended to think of the topic as one of “ageing” instead. However after seeing a vlog on “Ageism,” why not a blog on the same topic? OK, there were a number of different ideas included, but who is to say where they came from? They could have sneaked into my brain while watching other vlogs, talking to friends, or rummaging through the internet as I often do to murder off some excess time.
I have decided to turn to my vlogging friend for more ideas. I think we must have something in common, so why not? Well, we may have little in common actually as he is about one-third my age and lives in another country. I can not really says we are friends either, more like internet acquaintances, very distant internet acquaintances. That is no reason not to borrow some of his ideas, right? Perhaps it is all the more reason to do so. There is another vlogger I watch, but he is British too and honestly, I do not understand most of what he says. It is that accent, I think. So, I have to stick with Danny for ideas, or steal from friends and relatives, many of whom can actually read. They might not approve.
This week I saw Danny on Twitter. The brevity of the format means you usually are not getting great thoughts in under 140 characters, but it might be a start. Pete Wentz has some interesting tweets, but it is just some random fall out, boy, and not in the black cards for us to understand. I decided to just ask Danny directly for ideas about England in general, London in particular. We are going to England next month, so I thought I could get ideas for the trip. Maybe I would become smart enough to write a few semi-original ideas on visiting Great Britain. I did not actually think I could walk away with a whole 140 characters to use. He gave me some ideas on the local cuisine, but since I am going with a Frenchman, I doubt he will call it cuisine.
I encouraged Danny to vlog on great things to do when visiting Britain. With any luck at all, this could serve two purposes. It could give us great ideas for our visit, and material for another blog. What is a little thievery between friends, or internet acquaintances? Danny is cool, I think he will understand (or not?).
Also cool is Charlie McDonnell, another vlog specialist. At least he keeps telling us he is cool in his vlog, charlieissocoollike. I thought we could learn how to be English from Charlie, so an American and Frenchman could blend right in when we get to London, so we watched “How to be English: EXTREME.” Basically, he taught us how to make tea, but my friend prefers Guinness, so it did not help much. Besides, I don’t own a tea strainer, although we can probably find one in London, but I digress! Perhaps we should not trust Charlie since he dyed his hair red to look like Rupert Grint. OK, he did it on a dare, but he still looks like Rupert Grint. By the time we go, I am sure some of these Brits will provide us with our “original ideas” on what to do in London. It is a big city so there must be something, right?

Since I have obviously run out of ideas, original or otherwise, here are two videos. One is serious and the one I referred to on two occasions, and the first is just for fun.
Charlie:

Danny:

Prejudice and Growing Old

As we age it is natural to think about our youth and  the treatment we are receiving based upon the  age we have reached.  Here are the thoughts I expressed last summer on this topic.  Nothing has changed since then, except for that part about being a year older and a tiny bit more sensitive to “Old” jokes.

Ageism

On You Tube I subscribe to a number of channels. Most of them are music channels. You can see that list down the left side of my channel by hitting the link in the header above. Some of my subscriptions are video bloggers. Their efforts are vlogs. I have an eclectic group of those. One young vlogger (does anyone say “vlogger”?) came up on my You Tube home page with a topic on ageism. The older I get the more I do not want to hear about that, even though I feel and think about it more than ever. This is because we basically live in a world where youth is the target audience. Everyone over 35 is…well, OLD.
If you think I jest, pick up any magazine, turn on your television, look at your computer and tell me what sort of ads you see. Unless the ad has Betty White in it, you are probably looking at the young and the beautiful. That is a perfectly understandable strategy. Young people want to see how good they can look, and old people want to see what they wished they could still be.
The young vlogger was mentioning the prejudice felt by an older man. This showed up in the comments to one of his videos. It’s true we do not think of this when we are “wild and young” and may even make remarks that hurt an older person. We sure know the difference when we are older, however. While we may learn to laugh along with the “old jokes,” we may find it hard to brush aside some of the cutting remarks tossed our way. It is hard to impart this information on others. I guess it is like any other experience in life. You do not really know what it is like, until you feel it for yourself.
In the comments on another video, the young vlogger was asked if he did not find it creepy that his audience was mostly in the 45 to 64 age range. He says he was surprised by that, because he thought he would have an audience about his own age. He did not draw any creepy assumptions. In the last 30 days my You Tube audience is 67 percent male and 78 percent in the 55-64 age range. Of course, I have uploaded Beach Boys concert videos and let’s face it, that group is an older demographic. I just wonder about the views I got in that age range from Japan. Ah, the internet!
A couple of my friends of the same age have taken to big events for our “milestone birthdays.” Last year it was a giant picnic event. I said to one of my young friends, “I suppose you think I am one of the old guys now.” “Well, yeah!” he laughed back in my direction. I should have known not to ask such a stupid question. There were plenty of old jokes to spread around, mostly good-natured I suppose. Outside of our family and friends, members of the older generation may no longer feel welcome in social circles and without immediate family, perhaps even more so. I think I now understand Ernest Hemingway’s later years.
Recently Dick Van Dyke, now 86, made an appearance on the television show “The Doctors.” He discussed exercise with them as he jumped up and down on a trampoline. When asked how he stays young, he said that he hangs out with young friends. I suppose we could dig up some classic George Burns jokes for response to that. If you do not know George Burns, search You Tube for Burns and Bob Hope on some old age comedy routines they did when they were older than Van Dyke is now.
I have always liked the Van Dyke strategy, hang out with younger people who are fun to be around. In recent years I have been off on adventures with young friends. From new concerts and sports bars to trips around this country and Europe. I have kept moving, and by association (at least in my mind), kept young. When I am 86, I plan to take up the trampoline.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Quite a while back I received the subject award and meant to follow through with rewards of my own. That went over the cliff along with the other best laid plans.  Now I am passing out some goodies before we sing Auld Lang SyneSerendipity blog by Teepee12 visited me with my first award.  Serendipity can go off in any direction and that is one of the things I appreciate about it.  I may have been a bit more political than I intended, but I have gone off where ever my pen leads me as well.  If you want to taste various sweets, you will want to visit the various topics offered to you by Teepee12.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

A big delay in writing this article was in the choosing of award winners.  I could never seem to find the time to review the many blogs I choose to follow but actually found little time to read.  If I sat down in front of WordPress, it was either to moderate a comment or work on the next blog entry before Sunday night actually came around.  Sometimes Sundays were already booked, so I had to find time to write during the week.  The Sunday night deadline turned into a Sunday afternoon target as it seemed a better time to capture the few regular readers who stopped by.  Some You Tube editing also stole some of my time.  Every now and then, I throw in a shameless plug for my latest video because…well, because I can!

Picking the first two award winners was easy.  Serendipity has served up so many tasty morsels this year it would be impossible not to hand the blog one more award.  In addition to the great articles and random thoughts are a variety of great pictures.  I take pictures frequently but never seem to get such good results.  That blog is proof of how a great picture can enhance any story or article you are writing.  Although I have used a few of my own pictures, I tend to go with the standard license stuff you can easily insert while you write.

In recent months while writing a few gay themed stories based on things I came across in the news or at You Tube or at the No H8 campaign (see current profile pic), I found several good blogs to read and to leave a comment.  One in particular stood out as it chronicles the personal stories of the author as well as some other related themes.  It’s Gay Everyday, Helping and Encouraging Gay (Christian) Men.  Many find conflict between Christian Faith and gay orientation, and the struggle with that can be seen in these personal stories.  As we are handing out a sweet award, however, I could point to the entertainment themed articles.  Glee, of course, is mentioned, but it is this Blessing that really captured my emotion.  If it does not move you, then I think you are unmovable.  Watch the video.  I trust the author of the blog, Josh, and I have become friends in recent months.  I sometime move a discussion over to personal email so that it does not seem like I am following his column with a personal debate.  It is a joy to make friends on a personal level here.  I really did not come to blogging with any such expectation.

Now with great power comes great responsibility!  OK, that’s something that Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker in Spiderman, but I will stretch it a little and use it here.  With the awards now received go these Guidelines:

1. Give credit to the person who chooses to nominate you.  Serendipity, a true inspiration

2. Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.

3. Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen”

“Super Sweet” Questions:

1. Cookies or Cake?  Cake for sure!  I can not point to a particular favorite.

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.  As a kid it was chocolate, but all things pass.

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?   I am a sucker for cheesecake, but bread pudding is also high on the list. 

4. When do you crave sweet things the most?  LOL, anytime.

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Puddin’ head?  It’s really up to someone else to give you a nick name.

Now for the awards.  These articles moved me in some way.  From the serious and emotional to the humorous and whimsical, the following are my 2012 favorite blog treats, in no particular order:

Award winners may now copy the award above and post it on their sites.

Note:  While going back through my list of blogs that I followed this past year, I noticed that a few writers seem to have given up their blogs.  This is too bad since they all had a great style and something worth saying.  I understand it, however, as I  sometimes wonder myself how long I will continue to write this. 

Having a good week

Let’s face it, some weeks just suck.  No matter how good things are in life, a bad day can easily turn into a bad week.  Even the people with the happiest attitudes toward life can find a week when things are just upside down.  People you encounter are unpleasant and your bright personality does not seem to shine through for them.  Life is full of good and bad, but a positive attitude can go a long way toward heading back to “the sunny side of the street”, or some other appropriate cliché.  You take the bad with the good and you adapt, because in reality it is the only way to treat life.

As weeks ago, this one for me was over the top.  It was the reward of things already done, some recent, some far past.  It was all unexpected, I have to admit.  Just when you think no one notices the things you do, you find out a lot of people are indeed taking notice.  I have always believed that whatever you do well will pay off for you, even if you can not see the direct result.  It happens in due course.  If you are religious at all, then you will understand the belief that your prayers and good works will be answered.  They just may not happen on your timetable, and perhaps not even in this lifetime.  This is my belief.

So this past week was filled with goodies.  First I received a message from another blogger that she was passing along a Super Sweet Blogging award.  She found a past entry here from July as a worthy contribution to blogging.  You can find her many entries here and I think you will find “teepee12” a stop worth your time.  I will soon post another message where I detail the award and the guidelines for accepting.  I must, of course, pass along the “sweets.” 

For many years I have been active at the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club in Chicago.  It was just boys when I joined and now it has grown in size.  It is their 81st year of serving our community.  Last year they began a Hall of Fame and named 8 people who made significant contributions to the Club success.  The founder and the first director have passed but some of the old timers are around and were honored.  This year they will honor 5 more and I have to tell you that when I received the call I was stunned.  I thought they were calling for me to take pictures and say hello to fellow alumni.  I fear a lot of the old timers are forgotten by the present committee and I will salute them, some by name, when they honor me at their reception.  I am a bit embarrassed at being chosen ahead of many others and forever grateful.  If you read my personal story a few weeks back then you know the Club was my home away from home for a long time.     

Last Sunday I saw a video from Charlie McDonnell.  Charlie is a young You Tube Blogger and very popular.  His short videos are really just entertainment escapes for us.  He has 1,700,559 subscribers at this writing and well over a quarter of a billion channel views.  His message last week had to do with his anxiety over continuing to do well what he has been doing for several years, that is entertaining us with his stories, comedy skits and songs.  Perhaps it is a scary thing when you finally realize the reach your channel has.  In addition to filming a straightforward video about being scared, he has also written about it on his website.  Charlie’s natural charm shines through his videos so we can not think of Charlie being scared.  While video responses may not be a big thing, Charlie got a couple hundred.  I added one to it just because I was touched by his reflections on what he does.  I never thought mine would be seen as there were over a hundred at the time but I posted anyway.  The first day I got about 15 “views.”  The next day I got 4200.  The channel I posted on had about 100 views for 3 videos before this week.  Now I have over 8300 views.  This is because Charlie posted a play list of his favorite responses (9 at present) and mine was on the list.  So now my channel has been well seen, has subscribers and all because a charming British twenty-something liked a video I made.  It is unedited, except for a title, and strictly “off-the-cuff.”  Visit his charming channel and watch more than his last video to see what I mean.  I had a great week and I hope Charlie did too because of the outpouring of love on his channel.