In which, you see where I may have ‘hung out’ before.

The Mouse Story

‘The Mouse Story’ originally appeared on Medium.

1. The winter after my father died was one of the worst winter’s that my city and I had experienced in decades. I had just turned 22. I was also still living at home with my mother and coming to grips with the fact that all of that time I had been spending with my father (cleaning his apartment, visiting, making him get fresh air, taking him to doctor’s appointments…) categorized me as his caregiver. This was a fact that I was oblivious to until it was pointed out to me the week after he had passed. That is to say, I was a dumbass.

For the record, it was a role that I had accepted because I knew (at least, subconsciously) that if I didn’t, he’d pass away alone and rejected and would be discovered in some state of decomposition. He wasn’t a very social man.

As far as the weather was concerned, if it wasn’t snowing, then the sun was illustrating how far we were from it and that it had no intentions of getting closer to us any time soon. Point of fact? The tundra like conditions forced homeowners (who were lucky enough to have their own little piece of sidewalk and driveway) to stop fucking shoveling anything more than a couple of tire tracks for their automobiles and general access to their homes.

Back then, as someone who drove as well as exercised his right to be bipedal, this pissed me off to no end.

Now that I am a less stupid version of myself, I can obviously see that to shovel at the rate of which the snow had decided to fall from the sky would have produced a lot of middle-aged men who would be fooling their families into thinking that they were taking a snow angel break when in fact they were being crushed under the weight of a massive heart attack…

‘The Mouse Story’ originally appeared on Medium.

Top 5 Things You’ll Only See in NW Florida

I may have mentioned previously that my neck of the woods is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to anything, really. While we do have all of the normal amenities (like toilets that flush or overweight men named ‘Dale’), there are just a few things that you wouldn’t expect to see here. As such, I humbly submit to you my list of five odd duck things that you wouldn’t expect to see anywhere else other than Northwest Florida.

​1. Grass Growing

As I write this, we are currently hurtling through the first month of 2016. In the north, snow has finally come heralding the legitimate arrival of winter. In my neighborhood, more specifically, in my front yard, my grass has finally started to grow.


Matthew MacDonald

No, things aren’t that backwards down here. There are a couple of things that you might not be aware of:

  • ‘Florida Snow’ (commonly referred to as rain in other parts of the world) falls the most between the months of November and February. If things are warm, and it’s raining, things typically found in nature (like grass) will grow.
  • Lawns in Florida are seen as a status symbol. From March until October it’s basically summertime conditions. When summer actually hits (June, July, August) saying that it’s hot outside is just as intelligent as stating that the sky is blue. There is no heat like a Florida summer heat. As such, grass withers and dies only to be replaced with a weird weed mixture as evidenced by the above photo.

​2. Niceville’s Mullet Festival

No, it’s not what you think

‘Top 5 Things…’ originally appeared on Mapquest Travel 

 

The Sum(mer) of its Parts

‘The Sum(mer) of its Parts’ originally appeared on AltOhio 

   
     Summer time is upon us! We have finally been granted a reprieve from the days when we are hermetically sealed in our homes in an effort to not freeze our asses off. The thirst to be outside and to be inhaling fresh air by the bucketful is thick in our throats.
     As a father of three children, this is a feeling that I know all too well. This summer, like all summers in Cleveland, promises not to disappoint. But there’s something that I have noticed especially since I have gotten older; certain parts of the city (and the surrounding area) get compartmentalized. One area is favored over the other for whatever reasons. What makes this worse is that the older a person gets, the harder it is to appreciate the city as a whole.
     Over the next couple of months, I will be highlighting some of the more interesting happenings going on throughout the Cleveland-area as well as including a few polite reminders of why this part of Ohio should be appreciated as a whole…

 

I’ve never wanted to go to college.

Seriously.

It was 1998. I was 18. I had no concept of how important an education was. I had it worked into my head that I was going to continue playing in my band, I’d still work at the grocery store I was working at, and things would somehow still be o.k.

Shows you how where my head was at back then.

In the space of three months, my life took three different turns:

  1. My mother told me I could live in her house after high school, rent free, if I went to college.
  2. My girlfriend at the time gave me the ultimatum of ‘go to college or we’re through’ (we broke up before we graduated high school, in case you were wondering).
  3. As a graduation requirement, my high school required its student’s to fill out at least 1 college application.

An open letter to the CH-UH City School District on bullying

‘An open letter…’ originally appeared on the Heights Observer

 

     Being a kid in today’s society makes my own childhood look primitive. Grade school children can be seen bandying about cell phones before and after school. Video games and video game systems were once the status symbol of a family that was well off. Instead of the world being right outside your door, it’s now available in any part of your house as long as the Wi-Fi signal is strong enough.

     If there is one constant that hasn’t changed from my childhood to that of my children, it’s bullying…

‘An open letter…’ originally appeared on the Heights Observer