To Blog Or Not To Blog

blognotoThat is the question,
ain’t it ?

This here post is gonna try to answer that age old question:

“Why Blog?”

Well….
ok….

it’s not really age-old

…. considering blogging is a relatively new phenomena…..

Ummm….

Stop being so literal, buddy.1

I spend a fair percentage of my very limited free-time working on my blog,

— and I’ve been asked several hundred times why I do it…

….after all,
I could be doing much more constructive,
productive,
profitable,
or otherwise DIFFERENT things….

1111well, for one —

I enjoy it.

But more than that,

I have a need,
that blogging somehow fulfills.

blogtheblogCertainly, an important part of it is self-expression –

sublimating those creative and aggressive drives that would otherwise be expressed in less …

err…
friendly or socially acceptable ways.

My sense of humor can be a lot like a bad doggie—-

if I don’t give it a sufficiently large back yard in which to run, it tends to yapp on incessantly, gnawing upon the furniture of my personal life, tearing to shreds business relationships, and generally making itself quite a nuisance to the unfortunate residents of my real world.11

A leash — what most people would call a filter, is completely lacking in my case,

…..and in face to face communication, I’ll make a joke regardless of ‘appropriateness’ , because I simply have never convinced myself that I’m really not all that clever to begin with.

With a blog, I can consider all the attributes and liabilities of what I’m saying, before I say it……

I still usually offend people, just not as recklessly.

I can take my time, say what I want to say, (sometimes what I NEED to say).. and thoughtfully (or NOT) choose the tone and verbage that suits the WAY I want to say it.

111Another important factor for me is personality development –

I have always been an introvert – what some students of psychology would call a Promethian personality type –

….and as I have matured, I have found myself lacking in many of the finer points of social interaction, to the point that I really had to work hard on it – and I have started to open myself up more to people.

This has had both positive and negative consequences – but has certainly been illuminating and interesting. As far as my social interactivity is concerned, I have improved a good deal – I am now functioning at about a 9th grade level, instead of where I was about 10 years ago -( let’s just say it was almost pre-school level. )

I have learned much about how to talk to people instead of talking AT them… and a lot of this is because of what I have learned from blogging and online interaction.

blogMany people think the WWW is ‘impersonal’…

but it is as personal or impersonal as you make it…

face to face communication is actually easier— because you have the benefit of visual and aural cueing, via body language, inflection, facial expression, tone and volume, etc.

You also usually share the same space, acquaintances, or interests, so you have something in common that you might not have online.

But, the diversity of people online, and the variety of potential experiences, make it a worthwhile effort.

borderAnother part of blogging I enjoy is when I get a reaction – positive or negative – to one of my blogs.

In real life, I’m one of those people who loves to provoke a reaction in people I first meet….

– I’m ‘acquainted’ with too many people already – (so much for being THAT open, right?)

thus most of the time, I start out not caring whether they like me or not –

so, I will usually say something that I think will cause a reaction, and then sit back and watch –

often, their reaction is predictable and downright boring –

it’s when someone reacts unexpectedly that I’m particularly interested in them and what they have to say.

cartoonThe same goes for blogging –

when someone responds with a comment or question, or especially when someone comes up with a sharp observation or witty insight,

I am reminded of just how much FUN blogging can be.

Self expression, self-improvement, self gratification – certainly it has a very selfish aspect to it –

–no one ever said that blogging had to be a public service –

but it does serve the function of allowing people to understand each other better- and that is a good enough reason to do it – even if it wasn’t enjoyable and fulfilling.

1It gives each man a voice – a mode of expression –

…. extremely valuable in an era where the individual voice is usually drowned out by corporate claptrap, political correctness, societal propaganda, and the din of the crowd.

So, here’s to the noble BLOG – the vox populi !

Alrighty then….

Lecture over…. you’re free to go!

new-yorker

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Ride, Ride

rideAs I think back over many years of conversations with people at the gym,

I can only remember two or three that had anything at all to do with the Muscleheaded Blog.

It’s like the hours I spend at the gym, and the hours I spend on the blog, are two disparate parts of my life…

….. having very little to do with each other.

I’ve been fine with that…

I’ve never been all that interested in ‘promoting’ my blog just for the purpose of adding readers,

And, anyway, I figure sharing a gym with me a couple hours a day would be MORE than enough for most people.

Somehow though, this last week one of my gym friends and I got talking about blogging… and that led to her checking out my blog.

Boy, if I had known THAT, I woulda dressed this place up a bit.

Those curtains need a good steam, too.

Ah well.

I’m pretty much a slob at the gym, too, so I guess she’s used to it.

Apparently, she does a poetry blog over on another site, which I promised not to mention–

I guess because maybe she figures my readers are all barbarian-types or sex bombs — which of course, isn’t true at all….

I have mostly very smart and very kind readers, and only one or two barbarian types, and not near enough sex bombs for my taste, thank you.

Hey, you know who you are.

Anyhoo……

We decided to give each other a weekly ‘prompt’ to blog about.

I have done this kind of thing before, on Xanga, and MySpace, and while it was challenging, it was also a lot of fun, mostly.

I even re-posted one over here on WordPress…
“Fun With Razor Blades” 
.

Not a work worthy of Hemingway, I grant you, but I’ve never been one to stress the importance of being Ernest.

Ahem.

I also wrote a post on a prompt from Uncle Spike– about Strongman- which should be showing up this weekend sometime on most of these same stations.

OH, and before I forget, if any of you wonderful readers wanna join in, I’d love to exchange prompts with you– just drop me a line at carolinamuscle@outlook.com — or in your comments on this post.

The only rule ( I hate a lot of rules ) is you have a week to post on the prompt, and then we repost each other’s work.

I think this kinda thing can improve our writing skills, and force us to stretch our pre-conceived limitations.

It doesn’t have to be in a specific form, it can verse, poetry, short story, rant, fiction, non fiction, a dirty limerick, a fervent prayer, I don’t care — whatever you wanna write.

Since the lady in the gym likes to write poems, I gave her a prompt of “Indian Summer” , and she gave me “Motorcycle”.

Hmmmm….
………. that covers a lot of ground.

Summer

Summer

Well…

I guess I could be a smart ass and do one about “Summer on an Indian Motorcycle.”

Hmmmm….

I think that would just confuse the issue.

But, I will try my hand at a verse or two.

So, let’s rev this thing up and see how we do.

And please lemme know what you think.

OK?

..

Ride, Ride

A kick to bring the machine to life
All air and sunshine and motion
Your image whirls by
In sign and sound
And the road remembers

when I tell you
you are the starlit canopy
to my heaven
the tropic in my paradise
and the fairy in my absinthe
I wouldnt tell a lie

ride, ride, take me with you

breath you take from me
as the breeze that blows
your auburn locks
years can go without the slightest notion
that you are still as you were
smooth and soft and unashamed

ride, ride, take me with you

A pull to move the machine to speed
All growl and torque and traction
Your image whizzes by
In reflection and mind
Yes the road remembers

when I tell you
you are the inside
of my inside out
the saint in my valentine
and the warmth of my Indian summer
I wouldnt tell a lie

..
Hey —
Whatdaya know….

I got that Indian Summer thing in there after all!  😀

HOY!

Just what the hell is it all about anyway?

cI like it, but what the hell is it supposed to be about, anyway?

I don’t get all that many emails, but I got this funny one yesterday….

A reader who just started following me wrote me a very nice little note about the Muscleheaded Blog– in which the above sentence was the prominent point.

I’m always happy to hear from folks who read my blog, and to answer any questions about it.

( mailto: carolinamuscle@outlook.com )

yodaAnd after we got to understanding each other a little bit better, I asked the reader if they’d mind if I based today’s post on it.

‘Cause I’m not at all surprised about the question…..

I betcha even my twin brother ( if I had one ) wouldn’t understand just what the hell my blog is about.

I’ve got one of those fancy ‘sticky’ intro posts that run on the top of the blog, but I don’t guess it really does a good job explaining it.

So… just what the hell IS IT all about, anyway? borders

Well, it kinda goes back to what I like to call my short attention span.

I’ve got a list of stuff that I’m keenly interested in…..

…. it’s not really a very long list,

but it does run the gamut……

from Redheads to Motorhead ,
from Strong Drink to Strong Arms ,
from Pinups to Pickups ,
from Travel to Trubble ,
from GIF’s to MILF’s,
from History to Histrionics…..
and from Sex to …… well…, Sex.

source: drjimsthinkingshop.com

You know…

Things that just about any normal red-blooded American male would be interested in posting about, if he wasn’t scared of being criticized, ostracized, or somebody at work finding out.

holinessI ain’t scared of shit.

I don’t try to make a living blogging,
and so I don’t give a hot damn if what I say isn’t Politically Correct,

….. or if offends some group of blue noses or man-haters somewhere.

Don’t like it?
Don’t read it.

Truthfully, I initially envisioned the blog as an online humor magazine for muscleheads and other folks with an off kilter sense of humor….

…….. and I’m still working to do that, plus .

catI have a favorite maxim —

nothing succeeds like a little excess

— and yes, I think you can probably see that maxim at work in my blog.

Sure it’s weird.

Sure it’s a little on the dirty side.

Sure it’s iconoclastic.

Sure I use big words that most people never learned in skool.

Sure I’m a big, androcentric, sarcastic son of a bitch.

And that kinda sums up what you can look forward to,
if and when you join this crusty crew of wonderful (but slightly demented) Muscleheaded Blog followers —

Stuff that comes to you steaming hot and directly off the top of my pointed little head.

Makes ya wanna jump right in with both feet, right?

Oh well.

.

.
ohfuk

The Courage to be Vulnerable

1

I was reading someone else’s blog the other day…..
(….. yeah, I can read),

and it really struck me how open and honest the person was being.

I mean, I always try to tell the truth– that’s not what I mean.

And I know what you’re thinking –

most blogs are just a kinda written form of masturbation,

(Don’t get me wrong – I’m not above having impure thoughts.. like every 4 seconds or so…),

or silly, trite, trivial things noting minor events in ones life like “I went and got a pedicure today”.

But not this one.

This person seemed to be laying open intimate inward feelings—

those feelings that we all try desperately to keep private;

and I was frankly amazed at this person’s courage……

— the courage to be VULNERABLE.

Oh sure, ya could say,

“What could happen from being open in a blog?” – maybe nothin.

But, when you open yourself up like that person was,

— you run the risk of having one of the many piss-on-yer-parade folks come along and – –

…… well….., piss on yer parade.

How many times have we all had somebody come along and mess with us or mess up something we cared about- – –

— just for the sheer spitefulness of it?

Hey – I wish I had a nickel.

Plus, there’s a certain abundance of self-confidence required to take the kind of well-meaning, ‘constructive’ criticism you might get.

You gotta know who you are, and what your strengths and weaknesses are-
before you jump into that particular swamp.

But, I always say that I’m not afraid of anything-

( except maybe over-staying my welcome here in this vale of tears ),

—- so I’m gonna try a lil bit of it anyway-

’cause for one, my stated position is that I don’t freakin care what somebody who don’t like me thinks anyway, so, at least theoretically, I got nothing to lose.

(sure, my big dumb ass feelings can still get hurt — just don’t tell anybody. )

two, I think it might be kinda cathartic-

— I like to bottle stuff up, and this seems like it might be a good way to let some steam off;

and

three, ’cause only a handful o people’ll even read this thing anyway, and I can always delete it afterwards.

(Brave, huh?)

I spend a fair percentage of my very limited free-time working on my posts…

and I’ve been asked several times why I do it…

after all, I could be doing much more constructive, productive, profitable, or otherwise DIFFERENT things….

… and of course, that partially answers the question right there…

I enjoy it.

But more than that, I have a need that blogging somehow fulfills.

Certainly, an important part of it is self-expression –

— sublimating those creative and aggressive drives that would otherwise be expressed in less … err… ….. friendly or socially acceptable ways.

I can take my time, say what I want to say, (sometimes what I NEED to say)..

and thoughtfully (or NOT) choose the tone and verbage that suits the WAY I want to say it.

One important factor for me is personality development – – I have always been an introvert –

-what some students of psychology would call a Promethian personality type –

and as I have matured, (very slowly over the years… very slowly.),

I have found myself lacking in many of the finer points of social interaction,

– to the point that I really had to work hard on it – –

– and I have started to open myself up more to people.

This has had both positive and negative consequences –

— but has certainly been illuminating and interesting.

As far as my social interactivity is concerned, I have improved a good deal –

I am now functioning at about a 9th grade level,

……. instead of where I was about 10 years ago…….

( let’s just say it was almost pre-school level. )

I have learned much about how to talk to people instead of talking AT them…

(I still do it a lot, though …)

— and much of this improvement is because of what I have learned from blogging and online interaction.

Many people think the WWW is ‘impersonal’…

but it is as personal or impersonal as you make it.

Face to face communication is actually easier

— because you have the benefit of visual and aural cueing, via body language, inflection, facial expression, tone and volume, etc.

You also usually share the same space, acquaintances, or interests,

– so you have something in common right away that you might not have online.

But, the diversity of people online,

-and the variety of potential experiences, – – make it a worthwhile effort.

Another part of blogging I enjoy is when I get a reaction –

– positive or negative – to one of my blogs.

In real life, I’m one of those people who loves to provoke a reaction in people I first meet –

I’m ‘acquainted’ with too many people already –

(so much for being THAT open, right?)

— thus most of the time, I start out not caring whether they like me or not –

— so, I will usually say something that I think will cause a reaction, and then sit back and watch.

– often, their reaction is predictable, apathetic or downright boring –

—– it’s when someone reacts unexpectedly that I’m particularly interested in them and what they have to say.

The same goes for blogging –

– when someone responds with a comment or question,

or especially, when someone comes up with a sharp observation or witty insight,
I am reminded of just how much FUN blogging can be.

Self expression, self-improvement, self gratification –

– certainly it has a very selfish aspect to it –

( no one ever said that blogging had to be a public service ) –

but it does serve the function of allowing people to understand each other better-

and that is a good enough reason to do it – even if it wasn’t enjoyable and fulfilling.

It gives each man a voice – – a mode of expression –

… in an era where the individual voice is usually drowned out by corporate claptrap, political posits, and the din of the crowd.

Here’s to the noble BLOG – the vox populi ! ? ?

In that same vein, reading my own blog is a chance for me to see me

— in a written, non-mirrror image form.

I can look at how fast time is passing…

— look back at my past work, and my future plans.

I can talk to myself, without talking to myself.

I can restate my beliefs.. sound them out… see if they still ring true.

I’m still here.. a lot of my old buddies aren’t.

It can’t help but make one wonder about one’s place within this world of ours….

— are we just random carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms ?

Is this blog an illusion emenating from nothing more than a puff of smoke?

No,

I don’t believe that.

I guess when it comes right down to it, what is important about our lives has an awful lot to do with WHAT we believe;

— and that is based on what we have learned–

… from education, training and experience, along with our acquired likes and dislikes, our intuition and our capacity for openness (to new learning, ideas, things, people, etc).

So, then one might ask, ‘What do I believe?”

((Note, knowing myself to be the smart-ass I am, I couldn’t resist including a running smart-ass commentary – – it’s in italics and parenthesis.. like this…… just ignore it.))

That despite years in the military, I’m a hippie at heart.
(‘Free Love’ sounds great, and I always thought hippie chicks were HOT.)

That times may change, but truth does not.
(despite what those idiots in Washington or corporate controlled media would have you believe..)

That human life shouldn’t be wasted on things like “Bad Intelligence”, “Oil”, “National Prestige”, “Political Expediency (and/or Stupidity)” or “Trans-national Corporate Greed”.
(or orgasms inside vacuum sealed bags or while strangling oneself, either.)

That people who work their entire lives contributing to building their society should be able to count on that society to take care of them for a coupla years at the end.

That big multi-national corporations add nothing positive to our society. Nothing.

That life (yours and mine) is about learning, growing and experiencing.
(biceps included!)

That men and women are put together differently for several good reasons… and sometimes, a combination of the two can add up to something greater than just the sum of the parts.

That all people are created equal – and deserve equal protection and opportunity.

That there’s no free lunch – but KETCHUP still ain’t no vegetable.

That we owe each other a helping hand, a word of encouragement, some basic courtesy, and all the benefits of the golden rule.
(just stay off my wave!)

That aside from food and shelter, money can’t buy ANYTHING of real and lasting value. …

Love can’t buy you money, but I’d rather have love anytime.
( But, I ain’t doing no nude bed-in with Yoko Ono, no matter what!)

That muscles grow in directly opposite proportion to how hard you overwork them.
(that goes for ANY muscle.)

That 16% bodyfat is not great, but it’s better than giving up Chinese Food.
(I don’t think that was chicken, but it WAS protein…….)

That I’d rather be: strong than handsome;
happy than rich;
alive than dead;
testosteroned than estrogened;
droll than sarcastic;
hard than soft;
overtrained than lazy;
smart than shrewd;
in shorts than in a suit;
experienced than naive;
pedantic than illiterate;
myself than something else.

That the perfect woman couldn’t exist any more than the perfect man. (perfection itself would be too imperfectly boring.)

That some of the greatest movies ever made are :
“Out There” (I love the part about how aliens can’t stand accordion music..)
“Four Rooms” (“DON’T Misbehave!”)
“Clerks” (You never know about those public restrooms…)
“Man of LaMancha” (Where could Sancho be with my horse?)
“The Fifth Element”(Where’s Leelu when you really need her?)

That you should try just about anything at least once.
(— except Brussels Sprouts! )

That I’ve bored the few readers I have to tears already.
( AMEN, brother! )

Thanks for reading.

But remember what yer Ole Uncle Nuts always sez-
……………………… stay away from the snack bar!