2 Years of Ramblings – A Reflection

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Two Years Old

Word Press informs me that this blog turned two years old yesterday!  Two years and the blogging continues….

I wrote a blog reflecting on one year and some feelings remain the same.  Rather than look back on the entire two years, I thought I would reflect on the last year, which had many milestones!  Over the past year, I have gained many more followers, so for those new followers, let me give you a brief look at why this blog exists two years later.

The beginnings

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When I began this blog, I really didn’t have any idea of what it would be.  In my head, I thought that I might blog about some things I liked.  I also knew I would probably write about some favorite memories.  I might also write tributes to important people in my life or just random thoughts to help me deal with emotions or life situations.

This blog was meant for me.  It was to be a “sort of” therapy for me.  I envisioned it as a way to keep track of thoughts, write down stories I didn’t want to forget, and occasionally just vent. I had often joked about writing an autobiography, and in a way, this blog has become “chapters”.

I never thought that anyone would actually want to read these blogs (unless, of course, the blog mentioned them)!  Yet, here I am over two years later and I have “followers” – people who actually make it a point to read this no matter what the topic.  It humbles me.

Looking Back

If I were to compare “year one” with “year two” I would say the blogs leaned a lot more happy.  They contained many happy moments.  Looking back, I see how I have grown and learned to deal with certain people, certain situations, and look at things more objectively.  I have learned to think before reacting.  I have learned to separate myself from those things that bring on stress and make me uncomfortable.  I have gotten more in touch with the person I want to be. Looking back, I see much more happiness.  Life has been very good to me over the last year.

Musical Blogs

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Much like last year, there were plenty of blogs about music.  I began to post a song every Tuesday that held some special meaning.  Maybe the song was prompted by a singer’s birthday or it was just something I heard on the radio.  I admit toward the end of the year, I neglected the Tune Tuesday feature a bit.  I hope to be a bit more consistent with it in the year ahead.  Last year’s songs ranged from Dean Martin to Hugh Laurie to the Muppets!  I look forward to this year’s selections.

Memories of the Past

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Nostalgic memories are often featured here.  Many of them stem from things I see that bring back memories.  Some writings stem from an idea I got from a fellow blogger.  Some of the topics from last year included the ice cream man, toys I remember from my childhood, breakfast cereals from my childhood, memories of band class, the Sunday comics I used to read, books I read as a child and to my boys, and the summer baseball games I played in the neighborhood.  There was also a blog about Muppets phased out of Sesame Street.

Guest Blogger

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I toyed with this idea, and my little brother stepped up to bat.  It was fun to tell him to write whatever he wanted to and see what he came up with.  I really like this idea, and I hope to get a few others to write occasional pieces for this blog.  I am very open to this idea.  Let me know if you would like to do this!  You could write about me, our friendship, or expand on something I have already written.

Friendship salutes

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This year I saluted my oldest and best friend on his birthday.  I also saluted three of my friends from school/band in one blog because they all celebrated birthdays in October. Remembering some of the funny radio stories that involved my co-host Stephanie was a blast for sure!  Some blogs were inspired by friends and their posts on Facebook.  Year three I am already planning some overdue friendship blogs.  Stay tuned!

Movies

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This year, I did a series on my favorite movies by decade.  The idea was to pick one favorite film from each year you have been alive.  I was born in 1970, so I did a blog for each decade (70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s).  I neglected to do 2010-2019, but now that we have entered the new decade, I will have to make sure to wrap that series up.  I really enjoy being able to write about my favorite films, and I found it a challenge to narrow it down to one each year.

Celebrities

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Last year I wrote about less celebrities than the year before.  I wrote about The Three Stooges, in a round about way, as I went with the boys to the Stooges Festival in Redford.  I devoted an entire blog to some of the very funny lines that Paul Lynde had from the Hollywood Squares.  The great Jack Benny got an much deserved blog on his birthday.  I also wrote about Elvis on the anniversary of his passing.  I believe that there are a few other celebrities who I could easily devote an entire blog to, I just wonder if folks would read it.

Television

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Along with movies and music, TV tends to be a topic I love to write about.  This year I wrote a blog about the classic 1966 Batman show.  I also wrote about my favorite TV shows of the 1950’s.  For Tune Tuesday, I picked Sanford and Son because of the theme song.  I really need to write about that show and some of my other favorites.  This year I blogged about the remake of All in the Family and The Jefferson’s which again brought me back to one of my original blogging ideas – “why must they remake everything!?”  I also had a chance to talk about one of my favorite Christmas TV specials this year.

Serious Topics

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While many blogs tend to focus on entertaining things, some blogs wind up being of a serious nature.  I am human.  I can’t be upbeat all the time.  I finally had the guts to write about the topic of divorce – just to see if I could do it. Death was also a topic.  I lost some close friends this year.  I also had friends of mine who lost loved ones.  Just this week alone, my buddy Chris lost his mom and a co-worker lost hers.  It’s a hard topic to write about, but I did.

Emotional Blogs

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As I look back over “year two”, there is no shortage of blogs that brought about strong emotions from me.  One of those stemmed from a photo shoot for my oldest son.  Senior pictures.  I still choke up as I think about him being a senior and graduating.  Speaking of graduation, my wife graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in April.  I felt so much pride for her as she walked that stage.  She did all the work, so why it was so emotional for me, I don’t know.  I sometimes think I can get too emotional.  Rest assured – there are more emotional blogs in the year ahead!

Rants

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The blog also consisted of many personal rants.  Some I have mentioned (TV and Movie remakes, missing Muppets, and such), but I also ranted (and whined) about having the “man cold”.  That blog brought about much teasing from friends!  I also ranted about how much I miss record stores (prompted by a record player I received for my birthday).  I know I have other “rant” topics in my blogging notebook.

A Love Story

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Sam and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.  I chose to take the occasion of our anniversary to tell “our story”. The people who were close to us knew the story, but many didn’t.  As sort of a “love letter” to my wife, and as a way to tell just how our wonderful relationship began, I wrote a series of three blogs leading up to our anniversary.  Those blogs talked of how we met and became close friends, how we began dating and how I proposed, and then how we got married.  Those blogs were among my highest read last year.  A blog followed about our anniversary trip.  Sam makes me SO happy and I am sure there will be many more blogs about our amazing relationship.

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On Father’s Day, Sam told me that we were expecting a baby.  It was SO hard to NOT blog about that!!  We waited some time before spilling the beans with our big announcement.  A series of blogs about expecting a baby, then finding out we were having a girl, and finally sharing the name we had picked for her remain the most read blogs in the history of this blog!  The support from our friends and family has been SO amazing!  Sharing stories of the baby shower and 3D ultrasound pics has been a thrill.  We are closing in on the due date (February 16) and she can come anytime.  The nursery is ready and so are we! We anxiously await her arrival and with it, I will have plenty of things to share with you about being a dad again!

The Future

As I said last year – Not so long ago, I was told my someone once close to me to stop writing.  “Nobody wants to read about that crap!  It is a waste of time.  Stop trying to be creative. Nobody cares about what you like and don’t like!”  If I have learned anything from Facebook and this blog, it is that people do care!  People do like to read what I write!  In the end, I don’t really write for others, I write for myself.  The fact that other people read this blog and get some enjoyment out if it is a little bonus.

In future blogs, I will continue to write about things I love.  I will write about things that people want to know about.  I hope to do more Question and Answer blogs and I will continue to participate in Blogathons.  I want to write about how Autism played a role on my life, which I never seemed to get around to last year.  I also want to continue to write on movies and music. I will continue to write about things in my personal life (and how it is affected by the arrival of our beautiful daughter). I will continue to write – because I enjoy it.  The minute this is no longer satisfying and I feel that I have written all I can write … I will stop.  Until then, thank YOU for reading my “various ramblings”.  I appreciate you!

Happy 2nd Birthday!!

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Psssst! Did you hear the latest?

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Dreaming about band class is not uncommon for me. It happens often. Many times it is a recurring dream – I blogged about that recently at the following link: https://nostalgicitalian.com/2019/06/19/recurring-dreams/

Yesterday, however, the dream involved something that I had pretty much forgot about. The dream took place before a football game. I know this because we were all in our marching band uniforms. As we walked into the band room, (arriving early – because “if you’re on time, you’re late!”) there was a music stand by the door. On the music stand was some sort of printed “newsletter” which was typed out using an old typewriter. You remember the old typewrite font??

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Every student anxiously went to the music stand to grab a copy and read through the latest “gossip.”

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I woke up and laughed. How had I forgotten something that all of us band kids looked forward to each week? Band Gossip was always a lot of laughs. Let me explain:

In our band room, there was a cabinet where you’d put your music folder in after class. There were slots for each folder. When the librarians added a new piece of music, they’d slide it into the slot for you to add to your folder.

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On top of that cabinet sat a shoebox. The shoebox was decorated with some sort of paper covering and had a hole cut out in the top of it. Written on the top in magic marker were the words: “Gossip Box.”

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Throughout the week, students would stuff the Gossip Box with Gossip. Some of it really was gossip, much of it was inside jokes and silliness. Students were only allowed to use first and last initials in reference to a person. Sections of the band were referenced, as was the band director. Prior to each football game, an announcement was made that “all gossip had to be in the box by the end of lunch.” Whoever was in charge of it (I don’t recall) went through the box, got rid of any repeats, weeded out those things that were cruel or mean, and then typed it up. Prior to football games or concerts, a new issue of “Band Gossip” was put out for every one to read.

I remember things like:

  • K.P. is the Stay-puffed Marshmallow Man.
  • The trumpets are fine!
  • Brass is Class!
  • I love the Muppets.
  • J.S. Show us how to get down!
  • Hey, H.S. Can’t wait to go to homecoming with you.
  • T.S. needs a new baton.
  • K.R. and S.J. are always up to no good.
  • Get outta here, B.H.!
  • S.K., Make sure you practice measure 19!!
  • Go Abes!
  • Ever notice the way J.K. wears Blue and Gold socks?
  • T.T. Watch that flag pole!
  • M.M. Rock your solo!
  • B.B. is spending a whole lot of time with D.S.
  • What’s in your locker, K.H.?

Pages and pages of stuff like that. We ate it up. All those little nonsense things written on whatever scrap of paper we could find, in hopes that it would show up in the next issue. Our director often had to tell us to put the gossip away so we could prepare for the game/concert.

It’s funny how something that I hadn’t thought about in over 30 years, can show up in dreams. In it I giggled and laughed with Steve, Joe, Margaret, and Stacey as we read the gossip about ourselves, our sections, and other band peeps. It was like it was 1988 all over again. I saw people in that band room that I haven’t seen in years. The grease board where our director wrote announcements was hanging in its place. The parkas were draped over chairs in case it rained. I had the sheet music for Rhapsody in Blue in front of me so I could run through my solo. Our Drum Major, Ronnie, stepping up to the podium to conduct us through the warm-up. Amazing little details in an amazing little dream.

When I woke up, I reached over to the bedside table and grabbed a pen and piece of paper and wrote “Band Gossip.” I had intended to save this for a future blog, but the images were so vivid, I sat and wrote this before work. I hate when I forget a good dream, and didn’t want to forget this one. In a way, that’s why I blog so many memories. I have a history of Alzheimer’s and dementia in my family, and by writing them down, I hope to preserve them for friends and family.

For my LHS classmates, I would love to know if I left out any details. What pre-concert or pre-game things do you remember. Share your memories or stories, please. I would love to hear them.

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