Brothers

A to Z 2017: SIBLINGS

A to Z 2017: SIBLINGS

This year for the A to Z Challenge 2017 I'm trying something completely different... vlogging! That's right, I'll be putting myself out there on YouTube, talking about who knows what for who knows how long! Come join in the conversation as I talk about a variety of topics throughout April.

Let the rambling begin!

A to Z 2013 : UNDERACHIEVER

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

I’ve spoken about this topic briefly in my first posts when I began blogging. I wasn’t the type of underachiever that would cause a scene in class (with exception of Spanish class) and be disruptive. The “bad boy” (that would be hilarious) who skipped class, smoked in the bathroom, and got into fights (though, those were — are — the type of guys a lot of women seem to swoon over; I blame Hollywood lol). I didn’t throw aside my homework and get terrible grades.

I did, however, try to do the bare minimum that I could. I never found school particularly hard, just boring. It didn’t help that I grew up in a small town with a graduating class under 100 people, where the lack of fun, creative classes was rampant. Art, Photography, Music, were classes many picked partially due to their ease. Some considered them slacker classes.

These weren’t slacker classes for me. I loved to draw, take pictures, and sing. So learning about these various topics was exciting for me. I guess I viewed Home Ec as a slacker class, but over time I really liked learning about cooking and crafts. Regardless of the class, I put in the least amount of effort needed.

Greater Expectations

Hmm... It’s possible that I’ve used that header before.

I may have put little effort into school, but I ended with good grades (minus that final year where I really slacked off... oops). Usually a Straight A or B student, honor rolls, finished all my homework, good test scores, blah blah blah. Everyone expected me to attend college. It never seemed to be my calling, though. I never felt a strong desire to go to college. The cost and thought of endless nights studying were enough to deter me.

I’d have to say I think most of my brothers are also underachievers. Only one (besides me) attempted college, dropped out (like myself), and eventually took massage therapy classes. I still classify him as an underachiever, though, being he takes the perceived easiest route to make money. I sometimes call him Easy Money.

Only a handful of us are happy with where we are at, and I believe that is what differentiates some underachievers from others. Some people don’t care where they are at, some enjoy it and are truly happy, while others loathe their place in life. Big dreams of moving up the corporate ladder, turning a hobby into a career, etc etc. Sometimes you just want more. I want more. To all of those who don’t give a damn, that is fine. Kudos to those who are happy, that is wonderful and I am, therefore, happy for you.

“This Will Never End ‘Cause I Want More...”

For myself? I want more. It feels like I have a void within — not of a spiritual, absence of “God”, nature — manifested by the lack of happiness associated with my place in life. I am content, but want more. I want to be a writer, to be doing what I am passionate about. I’d love having a gaming shop selling/buying cards, and I could write while doing that. Even blog/write about that specifically if wanting. A lot of my hobbies would blend together and have synchronicity.

I am attempting to take the steps to make this dream/goal a reality. This blogging is a move in that direction. I hope to get back into my gaming, and this time simultaneously begin my other blogs on those topics. I’ve also plans to start podcasting. It seems Blogger isn’t the best format to place a podcast on; the standard codex (did I say that right? Or is it just code?) isn’t supported and many tedious workarounds have to happen to make it possible. Then there are the Youtube videos, which I may start with my brother at some point.

It definitely seems like this may be biting off more than I can chew, but many of the alt blogs/podcasts/videos would be sporadic as material becomes available. In the end, though, they will hopefully all flow together and offer a variety of outlets where I can create without becoming completely bogged down with one genre/topic/aspect.

And my fiction? That goal will be to continually work on it, as well. After the A to Z, I will have an easier time following/writing blogs, commenting/replying, and writing fiction when there aren’t daily postings. Perhaps some I follow will continue daily, but I am assuming the majority will downshift to one or two postings a week, maybe three. The overwhelming stimulation of the event will have at least died down.

So, these are a handful of my creative goals in the coming weeks. We’ll see how far along I get. I hope to upgrade from an underachiever.

From an underachiever to an underdog, because seriously... let’s be realistic here. And besides, I’ve always rooted for the underdog!

Have you ever considered yourself, or anyone you know, an underachiever? What are some of your short term goals in the coming weeks? Long term? Do you (or have you) dabble in podcasting or creating Youtube videos? Do you root for the underdog?

A to Z : SCARE TACTICS

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Lately I’ve been writing about some of my encounters with ghosts, haunted houses, and/or just creepy places (and situations) in general. Then I read about some rather elaborate pranks/lies some fellow bloggers have endured from family and friends. It reminded me of a time I blended both of these elements together.

Having grown up with three brothers, sometimes the sibling rivalry ran deep. What better way to pass the time than to argue, wrestle, and scare the hell out of one another? What was my mother thinking having four boys? The odds were definitely not in her favor.

Now, we never really had any major pranks pulled on one another another to any large extent. Sometimes you hear of families where this is the case, and they each try to “up” the last to get even. I’ve always been fond of pranks — sometimes initiating them now and again — but usually kept mine around obvious dates like April Fools Day. They sometimes lose flare that day, being most expect it, unless you do it right.

Run, Run As Fast As You Can

Back in the day my pranks were more cruel, in the sense I would try to scare people. I think attempting to scare one another is just something many people enjoy doing. People obviously like to be scared on some bizzare level, otherwise horror movies/novels/etc would hold no place in our entertainment field.

One of my most memorable attempts at this occurred way back at the Stanchfield House (site of those hauntings) when a teenager. During the Summer, I was sometimes assigned to watch my brothers while my stepfather and mother were at work. Mainly, I was to watch the youngest of the bunch. At one point our youngest brother fell asleep in his room, and I had an idea come to mind.

I would scare the hell out of him.

That’s about it. Sounds pretty solid right? I thought so too! So how would I accomplish this? I mean... our youngest brother was maybe eight or so years old. It isn’t really hard to scare a kid. But, sometimes you just want to do it right.

So the prep work included getting some fake blood (from Halloween), and applying it to my other two brothers and a fake plastic cleaver. I believe I applied a handful to myself, as well, for some added effect. Then there was the positioning of the “bodies”. One brother was sprawled out on the stairs (our bedrooms were on the second floor), while the other was placed in the doorway; half in the room, half in the hallway.

Once the scene was set, I put on my game face and got to work. I jumped on the bed screaming — channeling Christian Bale’s Batman before its time — waking our brother up. I was hovering over him with the bloody cleaver in one hand, and told him I had killed his brothers. There was a little resistance at first, even though he was clearly afraid — eyes wide — still fighting off the grogginess of his deep slumber.

I told him I was a demon and had possessed his brother’s body. He said my name and I responded with, “Jak isn’t here anymore. He is dead like the others!” I think when he got out of bed and saw one of our brothers laying on the ground it started to register more. I grabbed him and said, “You’re going to be next. You better run.” Paused and then yelled, “RUN!”

And run he did. He took off out of the room, into the hall, down the stairs — past the “bodies” of his brothers, now deceased — and then the front screen door slammed. Then he was gone. My brothers got up and we all laughed and had a good time with it.

At this point, I don’t recall if we ever thought or wondered about what exactly to do next. Maybe we thought he would just eventually come home. What I do know is that our mother was on her way back home from work and picked up our crying, traumatized little brother who was still making his way down the dirt road.

He was crying and telling her how everyone was dead. Needless to say, she was pissed off — more at the fact he was walking down the country road all alone — and laid into us when she got home. More so me, being I was the oldest and on babysitting duty. Thankfully, I wasn’t grounded or punished much. I can’t recall how our youngest brother reacted after the fact, but I’d imagine he was really upset as well. It blew over fast, though.

I thought our mother even laughed a bit about it soon after. We certainly all do now, years later. It makes for a good story from time to time at family gatherings and the holidays.

Have you ever pulled a prank on (or really scared) anyone? If so, what? Ever have one done to you? If so, what?