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Showing posts from August, 2017

The Jacksonville Art scene, love, and life: 10Questions with Chaz Bäck

You will find this 10Questions a lot like a piece of really amazing cheesecake; slowly eat each piece, savoring each bite.  (Our subject will get a kick out of being compared to cheesecake.)  So please do enjoy 10Questions with Chaz Bäck.

Q:  What's your name, and what do you do?
A: I'm Chaz. Bäck. I'm a father, husband, artist, activist. I also watch way too much Law & Order.

Q: It seems to me like your name pops up wherever art is. How did you get started in art?
A: No one loved the Arts more than my mother. I blame it all on her. (amused laugh) Her love of visual art, music, theater and film, and especially the written word is probably the single biggest factor in my creative path. Starting at 5 narrating Goldilocks and the Three Bears to writing as a paid columnist at 15, along with my mother's influence and my father's tolerance let me build artistic muscle and develop a lot of creative processes at an early age.

Q. You have been vocal in the art commu…

Because You Know I Love Me Some Memes

With the exodus of dating diary, there is a void to be filled on the Flying Pants Friday edition.  Since I pretty much love memes and can speak fluently in meme, I figured I'd share some fun memes that I have run across this week.  If you have a meme theme you'd like me to feature, please contact me via social media or comment below.  This week's theme?  You know it has to be Being Single.

Note:  I have not personally created any of these memes and give full credit to whoever did.

Have an amazing weekend, whether you're single or not.

Guess I'll Go Eat Worms

Back in the days that I grew up in, days of "tuck that seatbelt in the seat so it doesn't fly around and hit you," rotary dial phones, and real food at McDonald's, there was a song that kids would sing that went something like this:

Nobody likes me,
everybody hates me,
guess I'll go eat worms.

So, all positive self-esteem podcasts aside, this is obvi not a happy song that one would sing to celebrate life.  Here's the funny thing:  in our family, it was a funny song that we would sing in happy voices because it totally never applied to us.  (Okay, maybe a pity party that no one showed up to now and then, but generally....)  It was like a funny, ha-ha thing.

Fast forward to the days of Facebook.  Now you can see in glorious, megapixel-color events that you didn't go to.   Sure, some things you look at and yay, how fun for my Facebook friends, who, for all intents and purposes, are my "friends" because I clicked confirm on a computer screen.  But t…

10Questions Post: Hint: She leaps tall buildings in a single bound....

This week we have a bonafide Superwoman on the 10Questions.  Things she's done?  All made of stuff you'd see in the movies, AND she's also Super Inspirational.  AND she's beautiful, but super nice so you have to like her.

Q:  What's your name, and what do you do?
A;  My name is Mandi Thomas, and I am a mom of two girls, a wife, a personal trainer, and I am also in school to be a firefighter.

Q:  I think all of that is pretty cool and I happen to know that you are a pretty tough cookie.  You have also had another interesting profession while you were in the military.  Tell me about that.
A:  So, my job was Human Intelligence Collector, which is a fancy term for an interrogator.  As part of the requirements to be an interrogator, you have to learn another language, so I learned Russian;  I am fluent in Russian and in Interrogation Skills.

Q:  Wow!  So how has being fluent in Interrogation Skills helped you in your everyday life and as a mom?
A:  It's been really…

Friday Dating Diary - Final Entry

Well, it's been a month.

It's been quite a 30 days on Dating Diary.  It's been very much like the past, where this post writes itself with the weirdness of humanity and scammers are busted WIDE open.

I'm really and truly done this time, though.  I see how approaching this with the idea that no one can really meet someone online is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy (and I thought I would never use my college psychology class!!).  I also see how I am compromising on some of my beliefs and I just can't reconcile that to having a popular blog post.

I also have been sitting under a message series at my church (the Church of Eleven22) about a book and a character in the Bible, Ruth.  The story is basically this:  Ruth's extended family left their home because it looked like life would be easier in a place called Moab, even though Moab was, like, the hot bed of Bible times weirdness and drama (think child sacrifice).  But there would be food there, so they cut out …

There Is Really No Way to Title This

I have a dog.  She's twelve pounds of white fluff that thinks she's ten foot tall and bulletproof, by the way she barks at other dogs, especially ones that are four times her size.  She gets walked in our condo development a few times a day, and once usually at night before we call it a day.

One night not too long ago the dog and I were walking and I noticed that I could see someone's TV through a second floor window.  It just so happened that this TV watcher was watching the same thing I had just left to walk the dog, and while the dog sniffed whatever it is that dogs sniff, I watched the good part where the two people realized they were in love and have this magical kiss and live happily ever after.

And then I realized I was watching TV in someone else's house from about 100 feet away (it was that big a TV).  And that it was weird, and that I need to walk on.

But then I got to thinking.  How different is that from social media?  We watch and see what people want us…

10Questions -- What is R, I, and C?

A pirate's favorite letters, of course!

I had the privilege of sitting down with Brian Pratt, who is a pirate with The St. Augustine Swashbucklers in the city of St. Augustine, Florida.  The St. Augustine Swashbucklers found its start in 2001 by noted Pirate Historian, Joe Osteen. The Crew of 90 plus members is a group of likeminded individuals whose purpose is Charitable Work, Community Involvement and at times Pirate Entertainment, and for 15 years have maintained a strong history and purpose.  And a little scoundrel pirate fun.....

Q:  So who are you, and what do you do?

A:  Brian Pratt, I'm a firefigher for the Department of Defense and I'M A PIRATE....

Q: Scary!  But surely there are good things about being a pirate, especially in beautiful St. Augustine.  What's the best and worst thing about being a pirate?
A:The children. The thing I enjoy most is interacting with the children.  They're so fun.  The worst thing about being a pirate is being dressing up like a pi…

Friday Dating Diary

It's just a really good thing that I started this whole dating diary to show how hard it is to meet someone online, because this week has been CRAZY.

It had been kind of quiet on the online dating scene.  Strawberry Sue, my lifelong friend who is also on the same dating website, sent me a few screen shots of men that had come through her feed and she didn't care for them for various reasons.  (More on this later.)  One kind of caught my eye and I checked out his profile.  I was like, dang, I'd date him.  So I asked Strawberry if she minded if I contacted him.  She was down with that, so I sent a short message to him.

He almost immediately responded and after a few texts, he wanted to meet.  I agreed to meet him around my schedule that day.  At the meet, he was charming and talkative and complimentary and I thought to myself, "Strawberry is going to kick herself for not contacting him!"  He's so dreamy, goes to church, and we even had a conversation about thin…

Right Train, Wrong Direction

Young Son (who, in all honesty, I should call Young Adult Son, since he is 22) and some friends recently took a trip to the Big Apple, New York City.  They had an amazing time and, upon his return,  I enjoyed hearing him tell stories about what happened, what they thought would happen, and all the funny in between.

One story happened on the infamous New York City subway system. Young Adult Son and Friend went to the theater they planned on seeing Phantom of the Opera at that evening to pick up tickets.  To hear YAS tell it, he was pretty proud of his subway skills and didn't get lost or on the wrong train.  This is a pretty big deal for a kid from a town where we have a "sky-way" whose ridership numbers are best described as "woefully below initial projections."  Maybe if it went more than 6 places it would have more riders; I'm just saying.

On the way back from the theater, however, they ran into a problem.  They got on the right train, but a few stops alo…