Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

The 31-Day Blog Challenge, Day Thirty-One: Counter-Intuitive

Today’s writing prompt:

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE, DAY 31: “weird quirk of mine”.


Now what kind of a Big Finish is that, for thirty-one days of introspection and navel-gazing and self-absorption and all those things that make life worth living?

Having known for some time that I’m plenty weird to begin with (hello Star Trek, hello marching band) … aaaaaand loving it … I though that to identify an extra-special-weird quirk was going to take some time.

Having also set out in print here the conditions under which I managed to become an outright crier, the last two times, namely the sudden passing of a very important person in one’s life … I find that one particular truth about me kinda turns that on its head.

Yes, I get teary. But not during most of the memorial services I’ve gone to; not in many of the situations during which one might expect this. I didn’t even choke up when Han Solo, well, when he had a tough conversation with his son. (Spoiler alert.)

Instead … I tear up at the good stuff.


Por ejamplo:

[] A couple of Christmastimes ago, the manipulative sons of guns who create ads for Apple’s iPhone released one that choked me up good. You may remember the 90-second-long ad wherein a great rollicking wintertime family reunion is going on, and everyone seems to be having a blast, except for the teenager who seemingly only wants to look at his iPhone, and not any of his family members. He’s never shown interacting with anyone else at all. The assumption is: he’s sulking. He’s shy. He’s a teenager. He’s the one island of “harumph” in an ocean of revelry. And then the family gathers around the living room TV and they end up watching a video montage of footage from the family reunion, set to a stereotypical example of heartwarmingly-sentimental music, and it turns out that the kid has been assembling this creation all along. And his grandmother gets all teary. And that’s it for me too. Pass the Kleenex.

[] The last scene of the movie “Notting Hill.” Or of the movie “About Time”. Or of the movie “When Harry Met Sally”, or “You’ve Got Mail”, or any of the other eighteen-thousand romantic comedies that have been released in the last quarter-century. Awww! They got together in a quirky way. Pass the Kleenex. Dang it.

[] Toward the end of the 2013 Carolina Crown drum corps show, at Finals … you know … the one where the narration about halfway through includes things like, “Two lovers sat on a park bench…” … “There was silence between them … so profound was their love for each other, they needed no words to express it…” … Oh, just go watch the thing, particularly the last five minutes. … “’How much do you love me, John?’ she asked. He answered, ‘My love for you has no limits, no bounds. Everything must have an ending – except my love for you.’ Impossible, you say?” And that doesn’t even get me. It’s the entire last two minutes of the show, when the hornline was playing impossibly loudly and impossibly in-tune and impossibly together, fast rhythms and sustained chords, like no other drum corps brass group I’ve ever heard, before or since. Every single time I watch that show, that sound (set up well by the music that comes before it) gets me.

Pass … the … Kleenex.


Yeah. I tear up at the happy stuff.


P.S. And for those who know what I’m talking about, there are always the “Five for Fighting” and “Feels Like Home” moments that make me glad I’m sitting in the back of a darkened auditorium.

May 31, 2016 Posted by | blogging | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 31-Day Blog Challenge, Day Thirty: Comfort Foods

Today’s writing prompt:

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE, DAY 30: “favorite comfort food”.


And as before, the staff here at the Blogge reserve the right to adjust the terms of the deal a bit. Who’s gonna stop us?

So here are the favorite comfort foods, in no particular order.


[] Macaroni and cheese. Preferably my grandmother’s; but as she is currently causing mouths to water at the Great Kitchen Table in the Sky … I’ll take what I can get, this moment.

[] BLT.

[] Creamed corn. As has been chronicled elsewhere in this writing prompt festival.

[] Egg salad sandwich. Oddly enough, the one that is made and sold at the Stop & Shop in Natick, Mass., wherein the egg is surrounded by a croissant. I know: supermarket egg salad? Eh, it speaks to me.

[] And of course … of course … darn near anything chocolate. Bunny, mousse, ice cream, whatever whatever.


There’s good food … and then there’s food that makes you smile whenever you even think of it.


[Editor’s Note: the Blog Challenge comes to a close tomorrow. The big finish will bring tears to your eyes. Or someone’s.]

May 30, 2016 Posted by | blogging, food | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 31-Day Blog Challenge, Day Twenty-Nine: Before the Kick

Today’s writing prompt:

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE, DAY 29: “top things on my bucket list”.


I’m going to have to get back to you on this one. I’ll say that up front.

For fun, I Googled “weird bucket list items”. That was fun in and of itself. But now look. I’m all for adventure, but some of these ideas would cause the bucket moment to arrive well ahead of schedule. To wit:

Do the Polar Bear Plunge. Take your picture with a tiger. Go skydiving. Run with the bulls in Pamplona. Swim with sharks. Jump off a waterfall. Survive a tornado. Fly into a hurricane. Bungee jump.

I’m not a fraidy-cat – well, no, actually I am. Read my piece on my trouble with climbing four steps up a ladder and you’ll sense just what an utter lie that was. I guess I just have a different definition of adventure than some of my online colleagues do.


Most of the bucket-list lists that I’ve found online have been to do with seeing places and doing things.

Yes, there are places in the world I’ve never seen (heck, there are places in the US that I’ve never seen, and I can see those without a passport). And there are places in the world that I haven’t visited in a great long while, which are probably are different now, or which certainly I would perceive differently now that I’m not 12 anymore (hello London! Hello Paris!).

And yes, there are interesting things that I’ve never done. Plenty. That list will always be longer than the list of things that I have done. If I’m looking to be a comprehensive achiever, let’s be honest, I’m tilting at windmills. (Hey! Maybe that’s a bucket list item. Hello Netherlands!)

Happily, there are bucket-list items on some folks’ bucket lists (and items which nobody appears to have thought of at all) which, thanks to my associations with people and my adventures within my chosen profession, I crossed off my bucket list pretty early. (Accompany someone singing “Alice’s Restaurant”. Write a Christmas cantata. Throw a mace, roll, catch, wave at between 4,000 and 8,000 people. Boom. Done.)


So, again … even though I’ve had four weeks to think about this one since I started this little writing-prompt festival, I’m going to have to get back to you. For now, here’s one thing I know I want to do before the bucket gets tipped over:

See my niece and nephew take over the world.

Because they will.

May 29, 2016 Posted by | blogging, family, travel | , , , | Leave a comment