Song Lyric Sunday 4/30/17 – Blue On Black

Consequences. An interesting topic for our weekly venture into the world of music for Song Lyric Sunday. Again, it’s such a broad topic but I think I have a great song that fits the theme and is a song I perform regularly at open mic or at karaoke so needless to say it’s one of my favorite songs (of course, I have a lot of those admittedly LOL).

Kenny Wayne Shepherd is one of those relatively unknown artists but he does have some really great music. I imagine he’s probably regarded as a one-hit wonder and this song would be considered his one hit and when I thought of consequences this was the very first song that came to mind for me. I imagine the artist envisioned it as a lover leaving him but I think it can apply to a multitude of lost relationships; from damaged familial relationships to losing a long-time best friend.

Thus I present to you the song “Blue on Black” as performed by the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band and written by KWS, Mark Selby and Tia Sillers:

Night falls and I’m alone
Skin yeah chilled me to the bone
You turned and you ran
Oh yeah oh slipped, right from my hand

Hey, blue on black, tears on a river
Push on a shove it don’t mean much
Joker on jack, match on a fire
Cold on ice is a dead man’s touch
Whisper on a scream doesn’t change a thing
Don’t bring you back
Blue on black oh yeah, blue on black

Blind oh, now I see
Truth, lies and in between
Wrong, can’t be undone
Oh slipped, from the tip of your tongue

Hey, blue on black, tears on a river
Push on a shove it don’t mean much
Joker on jack, match on a fire
Cold on ice is a dead man’s touch
Whisper on a scream doesn’t change a thing
Doesn’t bring you back, yeah
Blue on black, oh blue on black, oh yeah

Blue on black, tears on a river
Push on a shove it don’t mean much
Joker on jack, match on a fire
Cold on ice is a dead man’s touch
Whisper on a scream doesn’t change a thing
Don’t bring you back, blue on black, oh yeah
Blue on black

Hey, blue on black, tears on a river
Push on a shove it don’t mean much
Joker on jack, match on a fire
And cold on ice is a dead man’s touch
Whisper on a scream doesn’t change a thing
Doesn’t bring you back
Blue on black, oh blue on black
Oh blue on black, oh blue on black
Source: http://www.songlyrics.com/kenny-wayne-shepherd/blue-on-black-lyrics/

Hope you enjoyed. Also, I apologize in advance but I will probably be either absent entirely or at the very least late with my post for next week’s edition of Song Lyric Sunday as I will be on vacation and too busy to blog from Wednesday on thru the following Monday. Just giving you a heads-up in case you’re wondering where I went; I’ve not fallen off the edges of the earth, just too busy. Thanks for your understanding.

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Back to Target Weight

Since about my early/mid 20s I’ve been one to mostly stay physically fit. When I was a teen I was bordering on morbidly obese and I just got sick of it so I kicked things into high gear. I dropped about 80 pounds in the course of a year, started running and strength training. It’s something I’d maintained for a long time up until about three years ago and was even underweight at a particular point.

My physical fitness started deteriorating in March/April of 2014 when my last relationship came to an end. We had some minor issues that could have been worked out but one major issue that was non-negotiable: children. She caught baby fever, I’m adamantly antinatalist (not just childless/childfree – antinatalism is a stronger position than that). As such, that irreconcilable difference forced us to part ways.

As such, I spiraled into deep depression and didn’t even get out of bed for about three months. I quit running, exercising, ate and drank myself into oblivion and I gained back about 3/4 of the weight I had dropped. As I started recovering several months later I dropped a bit of the weight again as I resumed normal activity, but then another stressor entered my life and derailed that: my job, and it’s an office job so I was relegated to sitting around in front of a computer screen all day. With that, the snacks readily available in the break room and still more or less was a functioning alcoholic. It’s how I coped after work.

Yes, I paid dearly for it. I didn’t think I’d gained that much weight back until I went to the doctor last December for my company mandated annual physical. When I weighed in at nearly 220 pounds I nearly cried. I knew I had gained weight but had no idea it was that bad. Of course, the doctor reminded me that I was overweight and I should drop some. Alas, that would have to wait until 2017 as we were in the midst of holiday season.

Well, with that new motivation I decided to make some major lifestyle changes. I can’t run as much as I used to due to knee issues but still do some. Fair enough. I decided to make up for it with more weight training. I also decided to re-structure my diet and alcohol consumption some. Knowing that my drinking was the main culprit of excess calories I made a conscious effort to limit myself to my natural tolerance of 3 drinks/day. Probably my other biggest weakness is ice cream. No more of that for dessert, but you won’t deny me my ice cream so what do I do? I move that to breakfast (a cup of ice cream has about the same number of calories as a bowl of cereal with milk). I also check calorie counts of my alcoholic drinks in a day and adjust accordingly at dinner while still making sure to get ample protein and fat. I still allow myself one or two “cheat” days per week where I just kind of have whatever I want (because you can’t deprive yourself all the time). I’ve had this routine since January (with the exception of St. Patrick’s/birthday weekend where I didn’t pay too close attention) and it’s pretty solid now.

The result? I don’t know how much I’ve lost off of my gravitational attraction to the earth but I have lost about 3″ off of my waist; which was my goal to begin with. I’m actually portioned pretty well. I can fit into (men’s) size 34 and/or 87 lower half wear again (87cm that is – most of my shorts are in metric measurement as I get them from Down Under where you can still get short men’s shorts), which was pretty much my goal to begin with. I’m to the point now I can start slowly transitioning back to a maintenance level of caloric intake with simply a restricted day after my cheat days to even things out. That’s kind of what I do already anyway.

So yes, I definitely feel better physically. Not only am I not carrying around as much weight but there for awhile I was having some absolutely horrible IBS-like symptoms. I’d cycle between being horribly backed up and not being able to stay out of the bathroom every few days (TMI, sorry) as well as almost constant stabbing stomach pain. I was wondering if maybe I had torn a hole in my stomach lining or something but that wasn’t it as I still handle insanely hot/spicy foods just fine (my heat tolerance is insane – I’ve eaten ghost pepper, scorpion pepper, etc. without breaking a sweat or having any ill effects). It was just a side effect to my horrible eating/alcohol habits.

Anyway, it’s good to be back to “normal” and I hope to keep it that way. Of course, now that I’ve built this routine into my structure I should be alright.

When Two Divergent Paths Converge…

I was always a huge fan of the TV sitcom Frasier (as well as its predecessor Cheers). Honestly, I can’t help but wonder if Dr. Frasier Crane is borderline high-functioning autistic because I see a lot of myself in him (appreciation for fine arts, beverages, philosophy, somewhat introverted and pretentious, etc.). Whatever the case, I always got a kick out of the show and was sad when it ended.

Anyway, when I’m bored I’ll often watch reruns of the show to pass the time and I just watched the episode titled “Sliding Frasiers” that got the wheels turning in my brain and inspired this post. Basically in this episode Frasier is going to speed dating and can’t decide whether to go formal (suit) or casual (sweater). Well, the show depicts the events of both choices and while they seemingly diverge in the middle of the episode, at the end they start to converge back to the same ending point and by the end of the episode they were totally convergent realities.

So how the hell did an episode of a sitcom inspire a blog post? Well, every now and then some external force inspires me to think deeply “what if.” What if I my autism had flown under the radar and I got my first class aviation medical certificate and started flight school? Then when I graduated I progressed onto flying regional jets and eventually the big jets? Where would my life be right now at age 30 had I taken the path I longed to take more than any other? By this point I would have the flight time accumulated that I’d probably either be a senior Captain for a regional airline ready to move up to the major parent company if not a junior First Officer at the major parent company. I’d be knee-deep in my dream career, life would be great wouldn’t it?

Oh hell, who the fuck am I kidding? As I watched the conclusion of that episode it dawned on me that I’d be just as miserable as I am now. I’d be stuck working for/under someone, taking orders from someone, being told when to work and what to wear to work. I’d probably still want to fucking kill myself. The reality is that airline life isn’t glamorous. It’s high-stress, fast-moving and you’re never home. That’s just reality. If I was an airline pilot today I’d likely hate my job just as much as I hated working for a fucking crane company. I’d still be a beaten, demoralized dog looking to transcend my day job.

And that’s where two totally different realities of my life would be coming back together. Whereas my life would have split off in my teenage years and about 6 or 7 years ago my live path would be at the apex of different, as time progressed further the two alternate roads I took on this journey called life started coming back together and now they’re almost to the point of merging again. I’d say we’re within 10 miles or so of the alternate Lynn meeting up with the real Lynn, becoming one and the same and moving forward as one unit, and I imagine my end business venture would either be the same or close to it. Of course, there would be some small differences (most notably I’d probably not have tattoos or piercings) but those are just academic in the grand scheme of things.

Now, this is obviously all conjecture. I can’t say for 100% certainty how things would have wound up and I imagine I could never give up flying for recreation, but at the end of the day I probably wouldn’t have lasted forever. That’s just reality. I’m too free-spirited, too defiant and dare I say too much of a fucking weirdo to be content working for or under someone. I just can’t do it. I’d go insane.

Maybe this is the breakthrough I’ve been needing to finally process this demon and lay it to rest. I will always have a shadow of it in my life as at least I’d still be able to fly privately after leaving behind an airline career. So whereas the pain reflecting on what could have been just a few minutes before this post was off the charts, maybe now it’s about a 4 or 5 and I imagine as I continue to bring the concepts of my business together to the point of launching it that pain will continue to dwindle. It’s probably a lot like grief – you never get over the pain. It just gets easier to deal with.

Well this has probably gone on long enough. Just felt inspired I guess. Here’s hoping this is the key breakthrough I’ve been waiting for for decades and can finally start the road to recovery. In a way I feel like an addict just passing the withdrawal stage and now onto the mending stage of life putting the pieces back together. I guess it just takes some longer than others.

Potential Health Benefits of Tattoos?

Well, I think everyone knows the health risks of tattoos, including risk of infection and allergic reaction, of which the risk of both are all but eliminated when tattoos are done in a clean environment with sterile equipment and high-risk pigments (such as red) are spot test beforehand. However, can tattoos have an upside other than the beautiful artwork left behind and the adrenaline and endorphin rush that you get during the session?

Perhaps so. I happened across this article the other day that suggested people with multiple tattoos might demonstrate a small immune boost. Oddly enough, those with just one tattoo or were getting their first showed a dip. I guess the moral of the story is if you’re going to get tattoos get multiple!

Anyway, of course I take it with a grain of salt but as a tattoo enthusiast studies like this pique my interest. I imagine it’s like the consumption of alcoholic beverages though: there are some health benefits associated with it but they are not great enough to recommend it for all adults. Tattoos aren’t for everyone and I wouldn’t ever pressure anyone to get a tattoo, but for those who do enjoy them there might be a small benefit.

Of course, for me tattoos have benefitted me in a number of ways. I seem to have improved my pain tolerance over the course of my inked journey and I’m just more confident in my appearance overall now that I’ve decorated my own personal “temple” the way I see fit so yes, despite getting a bad reputation I know I’m far better for having tattoos and that they have benefitted both my physical and mental health.

A Few Changes…

Alright followers, you probably noticed some changes in my page. Here’s a brief overview and the reasons for them.

  1. Change of email address. As I had another old WordPress account from way back when, I had to use an alternate email for this one. I finally got into my old account and changed the email on that one so I can use my primary personal email here. This change was made due to the fact I’ve missed private messages from some people who have used the contact form. I deeply apologize and this change will now help me respond to you in a more timely manner.
  2. Addition of my  name to the comments, posts, etc. – I figured it’s time I let you in a little more. I’m tired of hiding behind a silly username. I’m ready to be real and open about who I am. The name of my blog won’t change as the focus hasn’t changed, but I’m hoping this will allow me to be a bit more “personal” with my followers and seem like more of a friend rather than a distant blogging pal.

Other than that, nothing has or will change. I’m still the same fiery me and you can expect the same great content. I hope you like these changes and our blogging friendships will continue to grow for years to come.

With warm regards,
Lynn Blair, “The Inked Autist”

Song Lyric Sunday 4/23/17 – The Hurting

Pain. A broad topic as we’ve all experienced pain in our lives (sometimes intense) yet a challenging topic. Well, a fitting topic for our weekly Song Lyric Sunday venture.

The song I’ve chosen for this prompt is “The Hurting” which is the title track of the first album released by a certain British duo that you’ll probably recognize. Which one? Well, the initials of the members of the duo are R.O. and C.S. (with the former being the songwriter for this song). In medical lingo, this band would be known as Lachrymation For Phobias. Surely you have it figured out by now. 😉

Note: This is the only track I could find on YouTube for this song and it’s restricted from playback on WordPress. You’ll have to hop on over to YT. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Is it an horrific dream?
Am I sinking fast?
Could a person be so mean
As to laugh and laugh?

On my own
Could you ease my load?
Could you see my pain?
Could you please explain the hurting?

Could you understand a child
When he cries in pain?
Could you give him all he needs
Or do you feel the same?

All along
You’ve been told you’re wrong
When you felt it right
And you’re left to fight the hurting

The hurt
Hurt
Hurt
The hurt
Hurt
Hurt

Get in line with the things you know
Feel the pain, feel the sorrow
Touch the hurt and don’t let go
Don’t let go, don’t let go
Get in line with the things you know
Learn to cry like a baby
Then the hurting won’t come back
Won’t come back, won’t come back

The hurt
Hurt
Hurt
The hurt
Hurt
Hurt

(Is it an horrific dream?)
Hurt, hurt, hurt
(Is it an horrific dream?)
Hurt, hurt, hurt
(Is it an horrific dream?)
Hurt, hurt, hurt
(Is it an horrific dream?)
Hurt, hurt, hurt
(Is it an horrific dream?)
Hurt, hurt, hurt
(Is it an horrific dream?)
Hurt, hurt, hurt

Source: http://www.songlyrics.com/tears-for-fears/the-hurting-lyrics/

I will say this is definitely not my favorite TFF song but it’ll do for the prompt I suppose. I vastly prefer “Mad World” which but I’ve already featured that song I had to think of another one.  Honestly the musical and lyrical composition of this particular reminds me a lot of “Space Aged Love Song” by Flock of Seagulls.

Anyway, there you have it. Your weekly dose of Tears for Fears. I know, I’m terrible. 😛

My Business Concept – Leaf & Barrel Cigars & Whiskey

The other day I sat around and wrote this as a note on my Facebook page. I think I might be onto something here. Maybe I’m just kind of crazy for thinking this is legitimate but maybe someone else might have some input? By all means I’m open to suggestions for improvement as I won’t be in a position to launch this for some time yet.

——————————————–

If I were to be totally honest with myself, comparing where I’m at now to two years ago not much has changed other than I actually have money on account of actually having a decent paying job. Yeah, it was a stroke of luck that I got in where I’m at now (even despite the fact that the people who got me in were terminated shortly after) but I’m still as miserable as ever. Even with looking at a potential transfer and major pay increase, well you know what they say about money and its ability to buy relief from suffering (or lack thereof).

In course of my time at the company, though the money has been a huge blessing in its own way (life has definitely been easier not being flat broke all the time, even if I am still miserable), I’ve come to realize that I will never be happy working for or under someone else. Being told what to do, how to dress, to cover my tattoos and/or remove my piercings, etc. just does not fly with me. I’m too much of a free and independent spirit to be boxed in that way. I’m sick of it all. I really am.

With this realization I got to thinking how I could break out of all that bullshit and do my own thing. I’ve tried doing horology but there’s just not enough market for it anymore for it to be a sustainable business so that’s not really an option. So as the wheels got turning one night and I was indulging in my nightly ritual of a cigar and a Scotch it just dawned on me – I love cigars, I love whiskey, let’s marry the two concepts together into one! You have cigar bars and whiskey bars but I don’t know as though I’ve ever seen the two in the same setting. That was the tiny spark of a big idea that set the concept of Leaf & Barrel in motion.

Leaf & Barrel (name suggested by a very good Canadian friend of mine as not only a descriptor of the business model but also a play on my initials) would take my love of fine cigars and whiskeys and bring them together. The business would consist of two elements – a brick and mortar retail store and a bar/lounge.

The retail store would focus on fine cigars and various types of whiskies and would feature a large climate controlled room with ready-to-smoke cigars to be sold by singles or in bundles as well as a variety of Scotches, Bourbons, Irish Whiskeys, Canadian Whiskeys, etc. to suit all palates and price points. It would also feature as side items such things as microbrew beers and fine wines as well as pipe tobaccos and smoking accessories. The non-alcohol drinkers would not be left out and would have a selection of coffees and teas to choose from.

The bar/lounge side of things would be a relaxed, casual kind of speakeasy atmosphere. The room would have state-of-the-art ventillation so that cigars and pipe tobaccos purchased from the retail store would be allowed to be smoked (no cigarettes or outside tobacco though) as well as any beverages purchased from the retail section (no outside alcohol/coffee/tea). For those unsure of what they want drink-wise, we’d offer single shots of our whiskeys and tasters of our wines/beers at a reasonable cost (not the exorbitant amount charged by most bars) as well as bottomless ready-made coffee/tea for reasonable cost. No food would be served but outside food would be allowed in.

There will be no TVs or anything of the sort and I’m still debating on having Wi-Fi or not (though online music/video streamers would be relegated to earbuds). Maybe just some easy-listening background music. We’d have tables for people to play cards, maybe a checker/chess table or two and a pool table or two. The goal would be to unplug from the demands of everyday life and just chill for awhile and get back to being human and friends again. We’d be all inclusive and welcome everyone, regardless of race, sex, religion, origin, sexual orientation, gender identity (and that includes the right to use the bathroom that aligns with your gender identity!), neurotype, disability, social status or anything else and any offender to that inclusivity policy would be immediately dealt with and removed.

Ideally I’m thinking for a location have a ground level, a loft and maybe a basement. Of course, the loft would be the bar/lounge section as smoke could waft up and out and then ground level the retail store. A basement would be nice so I could live where I work (being single and no kids and that never changing, that would be the best possible situation for me).

Of course, Abilene is not the place that would support such a concept or my inclusivity policy. I’d have to find some place else a little more progressive and open-minded but I think I’m onto a winning idea here. It’s just finding out where and how to get this going. I’m still a couple of years away from even being able to think about getting this together as I still have a bankruptcy on my record and good luck getting a business loan but I can start assembling my vision now I think. This is why I’m writing this down so I can revisit and make slight modifications as necessary.

I realize this would be purely a labor of love. I’d be leaving behind a good-paying drafting career for being a broke-ass hippy but that’s OK. You can’t put a price on contentment and satisfaction and money is just an empty promise – it’s not going to bring that. I know I will never be happy as happiness is not an emotion I’m capable of feeling, but all I seek is relief from suffering and when I’m indulging in my vices is when I’m most at peace (well, either that or when I’m being tattooed but I can’t do that all the time).

Whatever the case, I know I’m dreaming at least for the time being. But maybe someday this dream will become a reality. If I can’t fly for a living as per my true dream, well, the least I can ask for is to be paid to indulge in my vices, right?