Wanted: Inspiration

There comes a time in every hack blogger’s career (i.e., free time) when he must write the obligatory, “I Have Nothing to Write About” post.  This, my friends, is that post for the staff and writers of MuchAdo.  All of MuchAdo’s readers (by which I mean “Both of MuchAdo‘s readers”) have been so kind (which is to say, “have not openly criticized the blog”), that we simply cannot bear to write just any old thing* and risk any (either) of you losing faith in the quality (passable strings of mostly real words) you have come to expect from MuchAdo.  The writers at MuchAdo strive for excellence in every post they write, and we believe that one of them may achieve that goal some day.  Probably accidentally.   Certainly not soon.  But they’ll keep trying.

But Who’s To Blame?

In trying to determine why we’ve found ourselves in the midst of this creative famine (and, yes, I understand that we weren’t exactly awash in creative brilliance before this), it occurs to me that The World is truly to blame here.  First, The World has held no Superbowls for several weeks now.  Second, The World has not caused Joel Stein to send any additional e-mails (other than the one where he thanked me for plugging his book and called me a “condescending ass,” but I think we’ve pretty much ridden that train as far as it will go).  Finally, The World has caused people to pretty much behave at the grocery store.  In other words, what the heckfire is a guy supposed to write about?

Oh, sure, there is all that political stuff, but do we really want MuchAdo to be associated with those clowns?  Exactly.  Not until we get closer to the election and we can write something truly poignant (i.e., something that might get people to arrive here for some reason other than the hope of glimpsing Brett Keisel’s beard).

The Phrase That Pays (But Not Really)!

So, that leads me to the purposes of today’s post.  First, is there is anything you would like to see us writing about?  If so, leave a note in the comments section. (And remember to leave your name so we can thank you!)  Second, are you tired of “us” referring to “ourselves” as a staff of writers and researchers when “we” are, in fact, just a guy in his boxers sitting on the couch? If so, leave a note in the comments section to let us know. (And remember to leave your name and e-mail so “we” can send you a picture!)  Third, would you like to win a valuable prize**?  If so, click on every link in this post and be the first to leave a comment including the phrase “I read every post and each one was better than the last.  I laughed.  I cried.  It was better than cats (the animal, not the Broadway show — nothing is better than Cats).  MuchAdo is the greatest!” (And remember to leave your name and e-mail so we can send you your prize!***)

But What If Someone Beats Me To It?

The editorial staff (ha!) at MuchAdo will verify all entries to determine whether all links were actually clicked.  In the event that the first commenter claiming the grand prize*** failed to meet the requirements of the contest, the next commenter who meets the requirements will be our lucky winner.  That means you should keep trying to win, even if dozens (HA!) of others have already posted the winning phrase.

Good luck!!!

* Items written or posted on New Year’s Eve were not included in this analysis.

** There is no valuable prize.

*** First place is a free lifetime† subscription to MuchAdo!!

(Note: prize is only valid until MuchAdo becomes a subscription-based service, at which time prize winner will be required to pay like everyone else.)

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Don’t Amitte Diem Either

© 2011 A. Krauss

As I write this post, hundreds of thousands of people have read Glennon Melton’s post “Don’t Carpe Diem,” and a good number of them have shared, liked or otherwise publicized that post.  For good reason.  Ms. Melton’s post was well written and poignant and, most importantly, it resonated with a decent-sized chunk of the population.  For those who haven’t read the post and aren’t interested in doing so now, the point was simply that parents are often made to feel as if they are doing something wrong if they don’t enjoy every moment of parenthood.  When I talk about parenting, I almost always find myself saying, “We’re loving every minute of it!”  I then immediately launch into a clarifying monologue about how we’re not actually loving every minute of it.  At the moment our kids are 2.5 and nearly 5.  It would be tempting to describe the 2.5 year old’s mood swings as borderline psychotic, but I fear that would be offensive to schizophrenics and people with bipolar disorder.  And the five year old?  Well, let’s just say she’s independent and strong-willed — attributes I like to think are indicative of her exceptional intelligence.  So, when Ms. Melton voiced the thought that no parent actually enjoys every moment, parents of young children across the globe raised a collective, “AMEN!”

However, I really wish she had found another name for her post.  (Then again, every time I see someone reaching MuchAdo because they’ve searched for “she put what up where” — which happens WAY more frequently than you might imagine — I question my own naming prowess.)  No doubt many of those thousands and thousands of readers will forget the underlying premise of her post — the need to stop and enjoy the truly great moments that come with parenthood and lose the guilt over the feelings of annoyance, or irritability, or outright rage that come with the many less-than-great moments — and simply walk away with the notion that not seizing the day really resonated with them.

The phrase that Horace coined has nothing to do with loving every moment in life, but rather embracing life — recognizing and enjoying the abundant wonderful moments and not mortgaging the present in hope of the future.  Life is complicated.  Most of us work hard, and are always working toward something.  It is far too easy to focus on those goals and lose the moment.  We focus on careers in order to create a better future for our children, but often at the expense of the moments we could be enjoying now.  We become hyper-focused on parenting — making sure our children know right from wrong, that they shouldn’t speak to strangers, that they should speak to strangers when Mommy and Daddy tell them to, that cursing is something Daddy shouldn’t have done but did anyway, etc. — often sacrificing the bonding moments for the teaching moments.  Of course, the teaching moments are important, and any parent who abandons the teaching moments whenever a bonding moment is to be had will soon regret that choice.

But each of us should strive to recognize and internalize each of life’s many golden moments and bask in that pretty light.  This year will mark the 27th anniversary of my mother’s death and the 38th anniversary of my father’s.  Being faced at an early age with the impermanence of life may have been the greatest gift my parents ever gave me.  I am acutely aware — often to my detriment — that life is a series of peaks and valleys.  When I find myself on the mountaintop, I try with every ounce of resolve I am able to muster to enjoy the view because I know it won’t last forever.  I often fail.  I often overcorrect — wondering why my time on the mountaintop has lasted as long as it has and fretting over when I will be plunged into the valley again.  But rarely a day passes when I don’t thank God for the many blessings I have been given.

That, to me, is the essence of carpe diem.  Don’t pretend to enjoy every moment, but make sure you enjoy all the moments that matter.  Oh, and stop cursing in front of your children.

Top Ten Super Bowl 2012 Predictions

Inspired by Senator Jon Kyl’s dogged insistence on accuracy and fact-finding, the research staff at MuchAdo has meticulously combed through 40+ years of data and analysis to compile the following list of predictions for Super Bowl 2012.

1. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will read dozens of promotions for NBC shows like Smash and The Voice and The Biggest Loser with all the enthusiasm of a glossophobic delivering a eulogy.

2. Hardcore fans of both the New York Giants and the New England Patriots will be decidedly more coherent after several cocktails than they were before.  This does not include Boston Mayor Tom Menino.

3. Regardless of which team wins, Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, will spend the next year atoning for making super model wife, Gisele Bundchen, go to Indianapolis.  Millions of men across the planet will still wish they were him.

4. Watching Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end, Brett Keisel, shave his beard will be significantly more entertaining than all but three of the $3.5M+ commercials.

Bearderrific!!!

5. Dozens of viewers will require medical attention after trying to determine whether Madonna’s plastic surgery, the performers from Cirque du Soleil, or Cee Lo Green’s outfit is the most disturbing part of the Super Bowl halftime show.  They will be thankful come Monday morning when they are the only people in America not singing “Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah!” following LMFAO’s performance.

What? This Old Thing?

6. Neither a Super Bowl win nor a Super Bowl loss will make Rob Gronkowski more intelligent or better at speaking Spanish.  Either one will make him more attractive to porn stars.

7. You will consider, but ultimately resist, force-feeding Cheez Whiz and Buffalo wings to that one annoying party guest who feels compelled to say, “Isn’t there anything healthy to eat at this party?!?”  You will have made the wrong choice.

8. Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Patriots coach Bill Belichick will scowl.  A lot.  [Ed. Note: In all fairness to the research staff at MuchAdo, coming up with ten whole things isn’t as easy as it seems.]

9. Baltimore Ravens kicker, Billy Cundiff, will spend the entire Super Bowl praying that Patriot’s kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, or Giants kicker, Lawrence Tynes, shank a gimme worse than his AFC Championship gaff so people will stop referring to boneheaded mistakes as “Cundiffs.”

10. Someone will feel compelled to read this blog post aloud at a critical moment during the Super Bowl, and they will be hoisted on the shoulders of their friends and lauded as a hero.  Seriously.

Community Organizing . . . Kinda Like Obama, but Not Really

When I started MuchAdo, I gave absolutely no thought to a MuchAdo community.  At that time, the only “community” I envisioned  on MuchAdo was sitting across the room from me doing a crossword puzzle.  It turns out that there are a decent number of you reading MuchAdo (well, a decent number compared to one), and the best part of this experience, by far, has been the (mostly) kind words from people reading my silly posts.  Well, that, and reading the search terms that sometimes land people on MuchAdo.  (Suffice it to say I am second guessing my decision to name a post “She Put What Where?!?“)

So, in the name of community building, I’ve added some options for folks who are interested in following MuchAdo.  Just click on the “Instant Happiness” button (you’ll see it if you’re logged in to your WordPress account) or enter your e-mail address on the right side of the page (if you’re not logged in or don’t have a WordPress account).  Plus, if you like what you’ve been reading, I’d love for you to share MuchAdo with others.  It has been somewhat shocking to me how many complete strangers have found MuchAdo and stuck around to read a bunch of posts (especially when they were looking for something MuchAdo clearly isn’t offering).  If you want to refer readers to the site, you can give them the address (http://muchado.me) or click on the Facebook, Twitter or Press This buttons at the end of each post. 

Finally, feel free to leave comments on the site.  I’ve gotten a lot of feedback outside of the site, but it would be great to see more comments on MuchAdo.  Something tells me the MuchAdo readers (seriously, I’m pretty sure there’s more than one) will enjoy interacting.  Something also tells me that I may regret encouraging this behavior, but isn’t that what the internet is all about — making regrettable decisions for the whole world to see?

Thanks for reading.  I’ve really enjoyed this whole blogging experience and look forward to hearing more from you, the MuchAdo community!