Stolen Inspiration and The First of Fifty

Ok, so I’m taking @ClevelandPoet‘s advice and using other blogs as inspiration. I don’t remember him actually using the word “steal”, but he looks a little dodgy in his picture, so that’s what I assume he means.

Specifically, I’ve been reading @loripop326‘s and @Chrissarella‘s blogs. A Little Wicked and Oh Shit… She’s Awake. They’re writing a blog a day inspired by a list that they saw on yet another blog, called Demanding Joy. If you’re a little confused, don’t worry, so am I. The basic idea is to write a post about each of the things from the list on Demanding Joy. I’m not sure if I can meet the “post a day” rules because of my job, my responsibilities at 90 Feet and Running (SHAMELESS PLUG) and just being lazy, but I’ll get all 50 out eventually.

Speaking of all 50, I guess I should start…

People who have influenced or inspired you.

The obvious question here is whether or not to talk about family and just include everybody, or go all teen angst and trot out the bands I listened to in high school.

I can’t decide. My parents obviously get a huge mention since I turned out pretty good, which means their influence was well received. My brother for mostly managing to have his head on straight, too. Kid came out of high school kicking ass and taking names. My grandma, too. Man, she’s 86 and still taking care of seniors at the Berea Senior Center and St Paul’s Lutheran Church. These folks are 20 years younger than her, and she’s planning trips and cooking meals. At 86, she’s twice as productive as I’ll ever hope to be in my prime. (Which is probably now, actually, so more like 3x as productive.)

Other than family, there’s an extensive list of friends that belong on this list. The pool hall is really what made me who I am today. The ridiculous situations, gambling, loitering, and generally just learning how to think on my feet. I couldn’t possibly begin to tell the stories about how this happened, but it never would have without the guys at the pool hall.
My future, though, my right now is constantly inspired by my girlfriend, Kelly. I will never ever sell the love I share with my parents and brother short, they were the first step in getting me here, but here is with Kelly. She loves me more than I ever could, and puts up with my stupid humor and literary dreams.


There’s a problem with this post, though. I can’t possibly remember everyone who’s influenced me in a major way all at once. I learned critical thinking from listening to George Carlin stand-up albums. I learned how to be demonstrative while explaining something from a middle school teacher, Mr. Schellentrager. I learned how to passionately attack life regardless of my peer’s opinion from fellow members of my high school’s version of drama club, Masquers. (Don’t worry, I wasn’t on stage).

Not only does the list go on, the list is neverending (That’s right, one word. Neverending. Like The Neverending Story, the movie that taught me how easily books can take you someplace else, and that letting them take you away can keep you happy where you are.). As long as I work to stay active and social, I’ll be learning lessons all the time. Not all of them are life changing on their own, but all put together they sure are.

So, bring it on, all you influencers. Let’s make this list obsolete.



Filed under Artsy Fartsy Stuff, My Opinion, The Big 50

6 responses to “Stolen Inspiration and The First of Fifty

  1. Ahh, Mr. Schellentrager. One of the best teachers I ever had. His passion and ability to reach each and every one of his students is still so vivid in my mind even 17 years later 🙂 I wonder what ever happened to him?

    • Holy crap. You commented so fast that I didn’t even have time to go to sleep.

      I’m just hoping I spelled his name right. He was awesome, though. Him and Mr. McClelland.

      Olmsted Falls was a great school.

  2. I am so happy to have been part of your inspiration to do this. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have been! Also, the Neverending Story? ROCKS. 🙂

  3. Pingback: People Are Writing the Lists! « Demanding Joy

  4. Pingback: The Fourth Big Fifty, Places I Want To Go | Railbird J. Slim

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