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Archive for September, 2011

#obscurereference

September 30, 2011 2 comments

I don’t know anything about baseball. I kind of wish I did, but most of what I know about baseball came from Al “The Boss” Angel from “Angels in the Outfield” and I feel like that’s not good enough. I mean, I learned a bit from “Field of Dreams,” for instance I have built #Hashtagfairytales, and presto, here you are! But other than that, I am a baseball dunce. One thing I do know however is that this past Wednesday night New York, Boston, and Hot-lanta choked in unusual fashion. Atlanta’s Braves fell out of the wild card race; Boston’s Red Sox got shut out of the wild card race; and New York’s Yankees blew an unblowable 7-0 lead! This is the situation as I understand it, but I’m not quite sure I fully grasp the wild card concept; my guess is that it has something to do with the card-game “Uno.” But bottom line—and I am no conspiracy theorist—but this whole baseball debacle is probably just some stunt to promote “MoneyBall” starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill (#NowPlaying). Nevertheless, with or without my near-seamless knowledge of baseball (#punintended), this is just one of the events of September that are to be highlighted in the September 2011 edition of #TweetoftheMonth!

September 2011:

#throwbacktothefuture- My favorite movie trilogy is the “Back to The Future” trilogy, and in that series, my favorite is #BackToTheFuture2. This particular one brought to life a handful of different gadgets and gizmos: the self drying clothes, the flying cars, the talking billboards, the holographic promos, and of course, the piece de résistance the hoverboard; I mean, how many people can say that they don’t want one of those? (Note to reader: If you can say that you do not want a hoverboard, you are probably not a #hashhead) But it was another #BTTF apparel item that was introduced this month: Nike Air-Mags. Do you remember the self-lacing shoes Marty McFly wore to the “retro-diner?” Nike released a few hundred limited edition pairs complete with a promo featuring a Doc Brown cameo. Delightfully nostalgic for anyone born in the 80’s, if you want a pair of Air Mags gimme a Hell yeah! (#Hellyeah)

#goplankyourself- Is there anything more harmless than planking? Maybe kitten kisses, but kittens have tongues like sand-paper, so I am calling it a tie. Planking may have some ties to shady business, but overall it is just people laying flat on their stomach and stiff as a board—or a plank rather—in an odd place. It is a trend that swept the web earlier this year (even making an appearance on the #PolloftheWeek) and was popular with the young peoples. Some have even used planking in protest. I mean, it IS a bit more noticeable than a sit in, and sticks out more than a simple large group of people. That is, until Winnie Castello saunters into town…of course I mean town loosely since Castello is a government official in the Philippines.  This Quezon City Representative filed the “Anti-Planking Act of 2011” in an attempt to stop the young people from planking. My guess is he is part of the same committee that banned dancing in “Footloose.” Either that or he’s related to Judge Doom from “Who framed Roger Rabbit” (a movie that I will soon place on my Netflix queue). The point is that an Anti-Planking Act is on par with Nancy Grace: annoying, misinformed, and the result of a big ego and hard liquor (#allegedly)

#youZuck- There was a lot off online backlash this month concerning the execution of Troy Davis, a man who was charged with murdering a police officer and maintained his plea of innocence to the very end. Davis started an online furor especially among those against the death penalty. At the risk of being accused of making light of that situation I still say, the only thing that I heard more disappointment about, was the Zuckerberg #Facebookfiasco. Facebook underwent changes, and the internet went mad! September 21, 2011 was the day that Facebook changed and I heard about it all day long. People exclaiming their extreme disappointment and displeasure with all of the changes that the tyrant known as Mark Zuckerberg had made. Gil Scott-Heron sang that “The Revolution will not be televised” and it wasn’t; the revolution was in my News Feed! I nearly thought that Facebook had done caused its own demise and committed internet-icide; that was until September 22, 2011 when everything was back to normal. No more complaints, no more annoyance it was all fine. But that’s nothing new in life is it? There is a complaint about something and the protestors demand they be listened to, and insist that there is corruption and conclude that the system needs to be changed or there will be an uproar…and then things go back to normal. That is pretty much every union I have ever seen! I say we unionize as users of social media and focus on the true goals of users; we need to show “the man” what we  truly need social media for: being a fan of #obscurereference pages like Jim Ignatowski, or Nils Joseph, and stalking the pages of ex’s!

#TweetoftheMonth:

“September 2011: Baseball fever; Palin secrets published; #BTTF shoes; Troy Davis; Anti-planking act; Reno plane crash; Zuckerberg #FBfail”

(Did you catch all of the obscure references? If not, maybe Christopher Lloyd can help)

#blessedassurance

September 23, 2011 2 comments

I hang out with different types of Christians and I love them all. Some of my Christian friends drink. Actually all of my Christian friends drink—everyone I know drinks something—but  some of my Christian friends have been known to enjoy distilled beverages containing ethanol produced from the fermenting of grain, fruits, or vegetables ( i.e. I have some Christian friends who drink alcohol). I have a Christian friend or two who smoke, not often, but it happens. I even have Christian friends who say the #cusswords every now and again (in one case, every now and again, and again, and again…we have to censor him sometimes). Most of us don’t get any further than hell, damn, or sometimes ass, but they are said. Those friends, use the contemporary #cusswords, but not many people can recognize the #Christianese cuss words. Today on #Hashtagfairytales, I am exposing the cussing Christians who don’t cuss!

Let me first answer the unasked question: “Hey, Jacob C. Howard what exactly is ‘Christianese?’” Well the word itself is a mash-up of the word Christian and the suffix “ese” (for my Latino friends that is pronounced “ease” not “essay”). The suffix ese can be seen at the end of languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Burmese, etc. Thus #Christianese is the lingua franca (the working language) within the subculture of Christianity. Christianese translates a bit differently; like, “I dunno,” turns into, “The Lord works in mysterious ways;” the phrase “be nice” becomes, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you;” the harmless “It’s a nice day,” transliterated is, “I will bless the Lord at all times and his praises shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast unto the Lord; the humble will hear thereof and be glad.”

Though there are plenty phrases catastrophized into #Christianese, we need to discuss the #cusswords that we as Christians use. Friends, allow me to share with you the top 4 Christian #cusswords:

4.  #gettheebehindme– Sometimes our normal conversations will get heated and we start to argue. It happens with everyone. Often the conversations start to veer in a strange direction where one person is seriously trying to get a point across and the other is just listening to their own voice; it starts to feel like you are talking to Blair from Facts of Life. When the one gets fed up with the other, they will often say, “You know what, you’re just full of sh– and this conversation is over!” however the well meaning theologian, when fed up will say, “Get thee behind me Satan!” and then walk away!

3. #inhishands– There comes a time when all hell starts to break loose right? Your lady friend dumps you; you spill coffee on your $115 shirt; Facebook just changes all of a sudden; you lose every game of Words with Friends, you know the tough things in life. When a friend tries to console you, the natural inclination is to say, “It’s really ok. At this point I don’t give a d—!” but you know that would make baby Jesus cry, so you simply say, “It’s alright, I’m giving it over to the Lord, it’s in His hands.” We say this as if to pass it off onto God. Whatevski, not my problem. You got an issue with it? You talk to YHWH bout that stuff!

2. #blessedassurance– Have you ever just been ultimately embarrassed of someone? I don’t mean, mommy spit-shined your face embarrassed, I mean genuine chagrin at the general co-existence of another human being? Looking at that person and thinking, “If life were fair, he would be a monkey.” Those are the same people who you say out loud, “How is he such a dumba–? He needs to take off that ridiculous hat!” Unless of course you are well-versed in #Christianese, then you say, “Well bless his heart, he is really wearing that fedora.” #Sorryboutit if you have a Mraz-style short-brimmed fedora, but bless your heart!

1. #prayedon– Be careful when getting into an argument with a Christian who doesn’t cuss, they will drop this bomb on you so fast it’ll make your heathen head spin! When you are at odds with one of these and their blood starts to boil and you cannot seem to bring any relief, this person will give you their sanctified version of “You know what? F*** YOU!”  They will look you right in the eyes and say, “I can’t do this anymore, I’ll pray for you.” Oh no, now you’ve done it. You pushed them over the edge. You’re lucky they didn’t go on a rant about Vatican assassins, because you just made them have a melt-down.  Let them go, because you my fair #hashhead, just got #prayedon!

Oh sure, they are often harmless and they are rarely negative, so how can I have the gall to call them #cusswords? Because the spirits behind them are the same. I don’t mean that there is some evil demon behind our colloquial phrases (also, I do not mean that there is liquor involved), but that the idea is the same when spite and negativity get the best of us. Be careful not to “fall pray” (#playonwords) to the temptation to allow arrogance into your anger. I know I said #giveintoyouranger, but arrogance will take you from being Luke Skywalker to being Dustin Diamond…and no one wants to be Dustin Diamond!

(No Christians were harmed in the making of his post, and IF some were, allow me to direct you to #whysoserious. How’s that for dropping bombs?! #Boomshakalaka)

(Also, did I make a “Facts of Life” reference? Hello 1985, next thing you know I’ll be referencing Marty McFly!)

What are some other non-cussing cuss words you’ve heard?

#dreamon

September 16, 2011 3 comments

Real men love poetry. It takes a real man to write it, and it takes a real man to read it. I am not sure how, but over time, poetry has been taken as a sign of weakness for men. Men who like poetry have been seen as “sissys” along with men who can cry, or can express themselves. Let’s not forget that poetry was written by the truly #badass: Walt Whitman, Bill Shakespeare, Keats, Yeats, T.S. Elliott to name a very few! I love poetry, and I am going to reference my favorite poem quite a bit this week on #Hashtagfairytales.

The name of the poem is “Ebb and flow.” It was written by a #BA named George William Curtis and can be found here in its entirety. The poem starts like this:

I walked beside the evening sea,

And dreamed a dream that could not be;

The waves that plunged along the shore

Said only – “Dreamer, dream no more”

That’s right my friends, in accordance with the prophecy, this week we are talking about dreams! Last week we had a bit about being a good #Quitter (with the assist provided by Jon Acuff) but what about after you quit? What about the dream that comes next? I believe that our dreams are the most important things about us and without them we are nothing. About that poem: this person is walking on the beach and he (at least I assume it’s a “he;” mainly because I am a “he”) is dreaming “a dream that could not be!” I love it, this guy is a dreamer. Last week I said that sometimes our day job and our dream job can seem worlds apart; that is how it should be is it not? If your dream is not out of this world, you aren’t dreaming big enough.

The gentleman in the poem is dreaming so big that he cannot see the fruition of the dream, he can only say that his dream is so great that it cannot be. #Hashheads, if you say you have a dream and it is not out of this world, give it up. It isn’t worth it. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have big dreams, thanks for coming, but this post probably isn’t for you. But if you ever dreamed a dream that could not be, you’re in good company. If you have ever had the urge to reach for the stars, pass them up and grab the moon out of the friggin’ sky, then this post is for you! I dream a dream that cannot be: I am a Record-Keeping and Reporting Specialist by day and an Assistant Director of Residential Life by night, I am from Oakland, California and my dream above all else is to one day provide play-by-play announcing for World Wrestling Entertainment. THAT is the dream on page 229 of the book #Quitter.

Back to the poem, the waves on the shore of the beach—nature itself—is telling the man to dream no more. Yup, that seems about right. The dream is so big that it seems everything, everyone, and all of nature is against it. Give it up, it’ll never happen. Dreamer, you are wasting your time. Your talent isn’t niche enough, your skill isn’t good enough, your work isn’t interesting enough. There is always some reason to give it up and throw it all away isn’t there? The waves are right, I’ll never win, I’ll never make it (#depressing). Chup, that pretty much sucks, but luckily there’s more to the poem.

In the second stanza, he continues to walk along the beach and the waves are crashing even harder and speaking even louder, but this time they are saying, “Dreamer, dream again.” How’s that for mixed messages?! But as ol’ blue eyes Frank Sinatra used to say, #thatslife! Sometimes it feels like the same people tearing you down are then building you up, and vice versa. Dream no more, actually, dream again. That’s kind of confusing, but did you notice the one consistency? He was called “Dreamer” both times. He continues to dream no matter whether he is encouraged to dream on or he is told to just let go of his stupid idea. “You’ll never be a Sound Engineer.” “Being a Lonely Planet Travel Writer is what you were born to do!” “You can forget about the WWE man, you just aren’t good enough!” “You absolutely need to continue trying to start that bakery!” The words go on and on and vain is their united cry; you must continue to be a Dreamer. Dream a dream that could not be.

Then, there’s the last stanza. The man returned to the solitude of his own home. The gloom of life weighing down upon him, he heard a sound, but it was not the waves, it was not his friends, it was his own heart. Like the sea itself it banged within his chest and it said these words, “Dream on!” and “Dream no more!” I love it! The heart is speaking truth, we must #dreamon because we ought never cease being dreamers. If your dream is to be a big time rap artist, you ought to not be satisfied with one person telling you that, “your music is dope, I believe in you.” There can be no satisfaction with the release of one album. Listen to your heart oh, Dreamer; #dreamon. Just listen to Aerosmith: Dream on, dream until your dreams come true!

The heart is not only saying to continue dreaming, but is also saying #dreamnomore. How appropriate! You must always further your goals, no matter what heights you reach, but there comes a time to stop dreaming and start doing. Dreamer, dream no more, make a plan, take some steps. Stop looking up what you need to do to start your accounting firm, and go file some papers. That is what #Hashtagfairytales is to me, it is an actual step. If I can entertain, and make myself known, create a platform, I can accomplish more and beyond! My favorite part though is that I don’t do it alone. Every reader, every commenter, every #PolloftheWeek vote, every #hashhead makes what I do worthwhile. With no readers these are words with a web address, with you all, it is the next step in a 10 year old dream! There comes a time to dream no more, and my friends, the time is now. The heart cries out to us all #dreamon and #dreamnomore.

A few people who are striving to live their dream:

Bad Blood Bandits

Becoming threeFifty Cakery

CTM Designs

Iglesia Vida/Life Church

James Elliott Photography

Kanoa Utler Photography

Malee Kai

Natalie Stroble Design Solutions

Nate Davis | copywriter

Support these Dreamers who #dreamon and #dreamnomore

(It appears I have gotten pretty clumsy, because I dropped more names than ever before! Acedo down to Utler. All in all, in my opinion, good 20th Episode no?)

#itsallaboutthehustle

September 9, 2011 1 comment

Let me just tell you: I hate my job! I hate everything about it. I hate the work, I hate the people, I hate the squeak that the floor down the hall makes. I hate the paint job, I hate the way the wheels in the printer spin, I hate the way the fancy clock hangs on the wall “just so.” I just want to quit this stupid job and work on my true dream: world-renowned bar-tender and mixologist!

I don’t really feel that way; I am fine with my job. I mean I don’t love it, but I fer sure don’t hate it. I really like the people as a matter of fact, but I am working as a Record-Keeping and Reporting Specialist; I went to school for Communication/Public Relations. Is there any job in the world further from my interest in new media and Communication?! (maybe raising alpacas…maybe) While I don’t share the exact sentiments with which this episode started, I have found myself desiring a change of scenery. I mean I suppose I could put my desk against the other wall to spice up my life, but I’d prefer to just do my dream job. I don’t think that there’s any surprise that my current job is just a day job, not unlike many or all of you #hashheads, I too have a dream; I have my idea of a “rockstar” job. I would like to close the gaping hole between my day job and my dream job; I want to be a #Quitter, and there is one man who can help.

Best-selling author, blogger, and Hip-hop aficionado Jonathan Acuff has quit more jobs than I have had! The man quit eight jobs in eight years. Who hasn’t been there though? We all want to quit our day jobs—the jobs that feel like they are killing our soul—and go to our dream jobs just like Jon Acuff eventually did. The true difficulty though is learning how to become a #Quitter, and it is Jon himself who helps with this in his book #Quitter.

Jon has a name for this generation of young workers, he calls us the “I’m but…” generation. This generation is one that often says, “I’m a mechanic, but I want to be a DJ;” “I’m a barista, but I want to be a philosophy professor;” I’m a teacher, but I want to be a CPA;” “I’m CEO of Apple Inc, but I want to be an alpaca farmer.” (Sure, that last one is a bit unlikely, but the point remains). I finished the book #Quitter and I loved it, and I am not just saying that because I am featured on page 229 (that’s a true story), I loved it because I look at quitting a completely different way now. Friends, this week on #Hashtagfairytales, allow me to share the top 4 ways Acuff’s book is helping me (and will help you) to become a great #Quitter!

#allinthefamily- I said earlier that my current job is “just a day job” as well as that day jobs can feel like they are soul-crushing and I think that most of you can identify with that, but that is a skewed view. Acuff explores in-depth the relationship between the day job and the dream job. It is tough to think of the two as being related, especially if the day job is accountant and the dream job is music producer, but your day job and your dream job are closely related. It’s easy to see your day job as an acquaintance that your dream job may have seen at a meeting, but it’s more like an uncle or a brother. The reason we don’t see them as related is because often the skills are much different, but keep in mind the biggest relation: you. You are going to be involved in both at some point in your life and you must see the relation because if you are doing things right, they will start to get closer and closer.

#BFF- Aside from your day job and your dream job being related, they can be BFF’s if you let them (for the Noah Webster crowd, that’s Best Friends Forever)! In order to become the best #Quitter you can be, your day job will need to be the biggest supporter of your dream job. Keep in mind that it is your day job that’ll keep the lights on while your dream is spinnin’ vinyl; your day job that will keep food on the table while your dream is off writing the next trendy pre-teen novel; your day job that’ll pay your rent while your dream is studying for the bar exam; Record-keeping and Reporting that’ll pay off your car while your dream is getting your name out there. You may not love your day job, and you don’t need to, but Jon Acuff can teach you how to fall in like with a job you don’t love.

#itsallaboutthehustle- One of the most influential professors I had at Patten University was Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez—don’t let the “Dr.” fool you, he’s from the projects. Doc AC would always say, “#itsallaboutthehustle;” Acuff would be inclined to agree. The hustle is the only thing that will close the gap between a day job and a dream job, and I think that is obvious, but to quote the book, “You can’t loaf on your day job all week and then expect to magically throw the switch on the weekend and hustle on your dream.” That’s right my friends, listen to Dr. AC, #itsALLaboutthehustle; not just your dream, but your day job too! If I am going to be a Record-Keeping and Reporting Specialist, I’m gonna keep the best damn records I can.

#peoplegetready- The most important thing about being a good #Quitter is being ready to quit. Once you fall in like with a job you don’t love, Acuff describes staying there until you are ready for your dream. Most people aren’t ready to jump directly into their dream job which is why we become BFF’s with the day job that is acting as an incubator to our dream. Our day job can be useful: for a pizza, it’d be the oven before the plate, for a hone, it is the water before the blade, for a football player, it’s the Kardashian before the wife; the item spends some time inside the first thing before it is ready for the second (#gross). Good #Quitters will be ready; you’ll know when because there is a really good quiz in the book. Line by line and story by story Jon Acuff equips a generation of #Quitters with the tools to not only quit, but to succeed at quitting! My only advice: Read it!

(We had a nice little talk about quitting, but next week, what say we talk about dreams? You know, the thing that’ll come after quitting)

(Also, Welcome back Kardashians)

#gimmesomecredit

September 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Back to school time everybody! Those days of relaxation are over…for those who are in school anyway. For the rest of us, life goes on as usual. I used to think that the end of August brought a new season of life for us all. A new school year, new friends, new kicks, new haircut, a new backpack; that’s what the end of August used to mean to me, but now, I work full time. I guess I could get a new haircut, and I did buy some new shaving cream from The Art of Shaving, but none of this back to school feeling. The end of August means only one thing to me now; the end of August means one thing for you and for all of the other #hashheads. The end of August means: #TweetoftheMonth

That’s right my friends, screw all of the back to school talk. I mean I did give an obligatory “#wakemeupwhenseptemberends” tweet thanks to the 2005 song by American punk rock band #GreenDay, but that is so I am not left behind by popular culture. Once again it is #thattimeofthemonth here on #Hashtagfairytales! Please enjoy the #TweetoftheMonth.

August 2011:

#gimmesomecredit– Standard and Poors (otherwise known as S&P) lowered the credit score for the United States of America. Who does that? Seriously S&P, lower our credit score? I mean I get it, if I gotta pay Wells Fargo Dealer Services for the car that I bought—with their help—back in 2010, the US has to pay their debts too. But you’re making your country look bad. That’s like me pointing out that my mom’s slip is showing to a crowd of people (The ladies know how embarrassing that is); or that my best friend has his fly open in front of the girl he likes. Not cool S&P, not very good wingman material. I mean, I know Dow Jones was on a big roller coaster, but S&P, that was completely against The Bro Code (#HowIMetYourMother)!

#lackofJobs– August 24th, America’s unemployment rate was at 9.1%. To put that in perspective, that means that nearly 10% of Americas population of 300,000,000+ do not have jobs; an immense #lackofjobs! On August 24, however all anyone cared about was the #lackofJobs at Apple. That’s right, Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple and a huge stakeholder in Pixar stepped down from his position of Chief Executive of Apple Inc. Who now will introduce the next iPhone and/or iWhatever? Who else could pull off a black sweater considerably high-rise jeans, and white sneakers? What will happen to Apple without its fearless leader at the helm (According to this Rumor Site Jobs preferred to be called, “Oh, Captain my Captain” or “Cap’n Jobs;” sometimes “Cap” for short)? My prediction is that Apple will be thrust into a dark age where their creativity is non-existent. They will attempt to innovate products, and none of their dreams will come to fruition. I predict that Apple will crumble and fall as the great empire that they are today; not unlike the Greek Empire fell before the Romans…or they’ll be fine, but it’s definitely one of the two!

#fastlikeanascar– As you may or may not have seen in prior episodes of #HTFT, I am a Christian, and in my job as Record-Keeping and Reporting Specialist I share an office with a Muslim. At times, my work environment—just my office and the one next to mine—was like the setup to a bad joke: “Ok, so there’s a Buddhist, a Christian, a lesbian, and a Muslim…” Did I say bad joke? I meant great joke, there is no way that setup could end badly. Nevertheless, it is true, and this past month was a period called Ramadan for the Muslim Community. Word is that their prophet fasted all day (sun-up until sun-down) for 30 days, so my office mate did not eat until around 8:00pm for the past month…which made work lunches #awkward. Ramadan ended with the birth of the new moon and in celebration, a tip of the hat to the Muslims out there; though many would like to #blamethemuslims, allow me to say Eid Sa’eed and Eid Mubarak breh!

#thatsnotgood– There were several sad events that happened this month: Somalian famine, unrest in Libya, and the Indiana State Fair stage collapse just to name a few. Famine and political unrest are never easy to deal with and I would ask that you all take a moment to just consider the pain in the world. Also, my sincere condolences to the families of those affected by the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, it may have been in the news for only a few seconds, but those families are still feeling the emptiness. #Hashheads, love unconditionally and pray without ceasing.

#EarthquakeIrene– Here at #Hashtagfairytales, it’s just me. I hurl insults at Snooki, though most go over her head (Note: Not because she is short; in this particular case I am taking a shot at her seeming incompetence and overall ineptness). I say that to make it clear, I don’t have fact checkers, maybe it wasn’t #EarthquakeIrene, maybe there were earthquakes and another seperate big storm, who can be sure? But I got word from a very reliable source in Washington D.C.; apparently some lady named Irene was going around the east coast ravaging innocent people. I found it quite vulgar myself. She was causing a big stir on Twitter because she was sick, because I hear she “went viral” that made her clog up everyones Twitter feed. Also, I suppose she must have been a racist because I hear that they postponed the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication as they heard she was going to be in town and ruin the whole ceremony.

#TweetoftheMonth:

“August 2011: DowJones rollercoaster; IN. state fair catastrophe; no Jobs @ Apple; Irene ravages the East; Libyan unrest…#tweetofthemonth”

(Hey, did you see that I slipped a really heavy topic in there? That was #awkward. Also, sorry “Lopez Tonight” and “Kate plus 8” your cancellations just weren’t big enough to make it.)