#FlashbackFriday · 18 March 2017

I am sure I am going to regret posting this, but I am going to do it anyway.

I wrote about people picking on me several years ago (see Charlie Brown). I was not complaining or anything. I was just noticing how it seems natural that people like to throw barbs at me. Nothing serious or anything. Just good fun. At least it is since I probably invite it and I do not mind the attention.

Recently, one of my co-workers decided to revisit that Charlie Brown post and put up a picture of me in the staff lounge with a cute little caption next to it. The picture is one that had already been hanging around our school. My high school graduation picture superimposed on a Jigglypuff body. Mind you, my picture is not the only one hanging around the school. Pictures of many of the staff are Photoshopped onto Pokémon and plastered around the school on the walls. I am not sure who had the idea, but it is fun seeing these altered pictures of people I work with around the school.

Of course, the first time I saw mine, I wondered how my graduation picture ended up on a Pokémon in the first place. Then, I remembered a request from the yearbook teacher a few years ago for graduation pictures. I never figured the picture would end up on a Jigglypuff. It seems appropriate though. When I talk or write or sing, people do seem to fall asleep. I just wish that I had a marker with me all the time like Jigglypuff. Then, I could draw mustaches and other graffiti on people’s faces when they fall asleep listening to my melodic voice.

Be that as it may, I was still surprised to see my Jigglypuff picture on the whiteboard in the staff lounge with the caption “Miy Froshi.”

Yes, the caption is appropriate. I had that curly hairstyle for a time when I was in high school. It was in style for boys and girls to have big hair. The Farrah Fawcett look for the girls and the David Hasselhoff, David Cassidy, Van Halen look for the boys. Or in my case, the Michael Jackson, Gary Coleman, Tom Hanks, Howie Mandel (when he had hair) hair. Thus the “Miy Froshi” caption for my curly doo.

I had to laugh when I first saw it. But I also wondered who the culprit was. I figured it was my friend and faithful reader, Marc, but he denied any knowledge or culpability, and I believed him. After all, he has lots of tells when he lies. I asked around and finally figured out who it was. It was a fellow 1982 graduate who, as it turns out, had big Farrah hair.

I should not have been shocked. Not to mention any names, but the culprit, Michelle, like Cyndi Lauper, just wants to have fun. And while it is at my expense, I do not mind. I am flattered that anybody likes to poke fun at me. After all, it is my form of attention. (And it gave me a blog post.)

After seeing the photo and caption, I had to take a picture of it to show my wife. And then, I showed the world on a #FlashbackFriday. Or at least the few people who follow me on Twitter and Instagram. And now, I am sharing it with all my readers (both real and imaginary). Both of them ought to get a kick out of it.

I do not regret having big hair back in the eighties. It was a fun thing to do (even though I would not admit to having my mom give me a perm, but that is another story). Nor do I regret posting my Jigglypuff poofy hair picture on #FlashbackFriday a few weeks ago. But one day (probably tomorrow) I might look back and regret that I wrote this blog post.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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The End · 11 March 2017

I am not sure if every author feels it, but there is a sort of grief that comes when ending a project. I am feeling that grief.

While I am sure there would be few mourners if MediocreMan left the interweb, that is not what I am mourning. I am still planning on publishing weekly for as long as I can keep coming up with words to write. (So you can be relieved or disappointed about that news.)

No. The reason that I am in a bit of mourning is because I have just finished a project that I have been working on for years. I just finished my book series, Autobiography of a Sixth Grader. Seven books spanning seven years of childhood. My highly fictionalized life. Oh there are lots of true and embellished stories to go along with all the fiction, but the books really are fiction. Really. Currently, there are only three of them out digitally on Amazon, but the stories (seven books in all) are complete. Now the work of getting them published digitally and eventually printed gets to start. Well, it will start after the editing is finished. Which will start when I get some other projects started. Which will start when I get this blog post finished.

Regardless of how much work is left to get the books out there, the stories are complete. And that is why I am going through a short period of mourning. I am saying goodbye to family and friends. Oh sure, I still have most of my family. And even though we do not live near one another, we see each other on Facebook and talk or text every once in a while on the phone. But it is not quite the same as living with them day in and day out. It is not like we are going through life together like we do in the books. Which is why it was difficult to finish such a large writing project.

Okay. Truth be told, it was difficult to start the project too. I have spent years writing and writing and writing, and when I finally started the project several years ago, it was after years of just thinking about it. Writers, like most people, are procrastinators. Or maybe it is just me. I am a procrastinator. I used to think that I had to wait for the right time to write. Then, I thought that a few sentences of paragraphs were not getting anything accomplished so I would not write at all. Then, I finally figured out that if I was going to be a writer, I would need to write. So even when I do not feel like writing, I write. Whether it is a word, or a sentence, or a paragraph, or a chapter, I write. Whether it is something that will never see the light of day or something that I publish that day, I write. It just makes sense. Writing is a big part of being a writer.

Now that I consider myself a writer (whether anybody else does or not), I know I just need to move on to the next project. After all, there are so many in my head that want to get out onto the computer. There are so many ideas that want to break free. But I know that I need to take the time to mourn the passing of the last project. For in completing my last project, I need to say goodbye to family and friends. After all, I have spent many years telling our story. Oh sure, most of those stories were not actually lived by those people, but it does not matter to my heart. I got to have important people in my life as they once were. I got to spend time with those people again. And hopefully, some of them will realize that my stories are tributes to them. Tributes and thank yous for the time we spent together. For the moments that meant so much to me.

Which is why I am spending today mourning the completion of my project. I am taking the time to recognize that I must say goodbye to the lives that I have remembered or made up or more likely some combination of the two. I must say goodbye to my childhood.

Thankfully, as I complete the projects and make them available for all to read, I can revisit them again and again. And is that not the reason people write? To capture moments? To capture events? To relive or even invent lives worth living in the first place?

Today I say goodbye to my long project and all the characters and events that I wrote. I mourn its passing. But tomorrow, something new is on the horizon. A new project. And when that project is over, I shall mourn it too.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Parentheses · 4 March 2017

I like to use parentheses when I write. (As if you have not noticed already.)

Part of the charm of parentheses is that you can put humor or things you think but might not be totally relevant to the whole piece you are writing. (As if any part of what I write is relevant.) Part of it is that you can clarify points that might need a bit more something. (Lots of my stuff needs clarification.) And of course, the big part of the charm is that it makes your words invisible. (Try it sometime.)

I also like to think that there are times when I put other people’s thoughts into parentheses. I suppose it is like channeling somebody or maybe it is more like just thinking what they think. (Yes Marc, I am still striving to live up to my moniker.) But regardless of how I use parentheses, I suppose they actually have real purpose for those who know how to write.

I actually do understand that parentheses are supposed to add clarity or make prose easier to read. And they can be used when using commas to serve that purpose just does not work. For instance, explaining the explanation explaining the explanation can get a bit tedious. Using parentheses for that explanation job can be much more readable.

(Bet you thought I was going to put parentheses in every paragraph.)

At any rate, I never really used to like parentheses. I thought they broke up the train of thought. Now, I realize that they can enhance the train or at least make the ride not quite as bumpy. I also realize that I use them quite a bit when I am blogging. And often it is to say something that is quite a different story. (This would be a great place to say, “…but that is another story,” but I do not have another story. Which is, of course, another story.)

(I must digress a bit. I know. Technically, this whole thing about parentheses is itself a digression from my normal bit of drivel. But I must say that I have no idea why I am writing about parentheses. Maybe it is just that I used quite a bit of them in a recent post. Or maybe I used a whole parenthetical paragraph in a recent post. (Actually, I have done that more than a few times.) Or maybe I am just digressing to digress.)

Well, if you are wondering why this post is so short, it is because there are so many parenthetical statements in it. You just could not see them because once you put something into parentheses, they often become invisible. So you might even think this piece is two paragraphs shorter than it really is. Still, I suppose it is a silly thing to write about parentheses. After all, nobody really knows what they are anymore. They just wonder why you are using the text versions of emojis or emoticons. ;) Which by the way, you ought not put in parentheses. It gives the smiley faces or winky faces double chins.

Like I said when I started, I really do like to use parentheses in my writing. (Now, if I could just figure out how to use them correctly.)

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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