20 Days of Chill Challenge: The awkward dinner party (17/20)

Jan 27

There are many things that can make a dinner party awkward.

And, when trying to figure out this post, I thought of many personal stories that could easily fit this title.

I’m sure all of us have the same stories. The blind date. Being invited to a dinner party where you’re the only single person. Walking in on a dinner party where you weren’t invited for certain reasons. Only knowing one or two people at a large dinner party and having not much in common with others. Knowing nobody but the bride or groom at a wedding. What about being invited to a formal dinner, only to realize nobody ever told you that and you show up in jeans and a sweatshirt?

It can be rather, well, awkward.

For many reasons, though, I opted not to get into the personal side of things. Not that I am worried about embarrassing myself, rather I think some things are meant to be left for the past and to keep it that way.

Instead, I’d like to go about this slightly differently.

As in what do you do in these situations?

Depending on the person, sometimes it can be downright frighting to be in one of these — or other — situations when it comes to dinner parties.

Are you one to just mix and mingle? Make the best out of it?

Do you find a way to leave?

Do you do your research beforehand and and try and get out of the situation before the dinner?

Just pick away at food so it always looks like you are busy?

I’ve done all of these options.

Though I feel I am pretty social and can talk to most people easily, there are times when it’s just too uncomfortable, for whatever reason. I’ve found ways to leave parties because of this.

If I know these situations can be like this beforehand, I have most certainly found an excuse as to why not to go. I won’t however, make something up. I usually find a legitimate reason I can’t attend as I don’t feel it’s right to say you can’t go for one reason and it not be true.

Sometimes it’s just hard to get out of things though, whether it’s because it’s family or a close friend.

In that case, it’s time to suck it up and go. That doesn’t make it easier, though.

As I get older, I don’t care as much any more. I make the most of situations and look at them as mini adventures. Sometimes it gives me blog fodder, other times it’s stories to relay via mouth.

That or I just say I can’t go.

But in the end, we’ll always be dealing with these situations, no matter how awkward that is.

How do you handle these situations? And what kind of awkward parties have you attended?

This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants!

T-SHIRT ALERT: We did not reach the minimum for shirts, so they will not be printed. 

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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20 Days of Chill: 10 years ago I was probably ____ (Day 16)

Jan 26

The year was 2005.

I was living large, I would think. At that point, I was working at a daily newspaper with a baseball beat and loving life.

I actually still got raises. There weren’t weeks of furloughs. We had a good staff. I had been full time, at that point, for about a year.

The archives that far back for the newspaper I was at are no longer there, so I can’t even find the stories I was writing back then. But January usually came with wrestling tournaments, basketball games, and the announcement of the new manager for the short-season Single-A team in town.

That team, unfortunately, is now gone.

At that point in my life, I believed in what I was doing. Of course, I also thought it was a stepping stone. I’d eventually go on to much bigger and better things. The money, of course, would eventually rain down on me.

Though no awards had come my way yet, I’d eventually win or be part of six. Pretty cool.

Still, I dreamed.

I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, and I think that is part of being a writer. Think big. Dream bigger. At times, though, I can also be a realist. And with that comes the reality that I knew newspapers weren’t always going to be at the top of the news heap. I tried to stay positive, but I think I knew.

So 10 years ago, I was probably dreaming.

Of lottery wins and traveling around the world; of perfect jobs and a financial windfall so I no longer had to worry about bills and student loans; of dream cars and things to do in life; of anything to make sure I’d be happy throughout life.

Of course, what followed over the course of the next few years didn’t always work out well.

That usually means a change in reality, but not so much the dreams. Those … they remain the same. It’s hard to change certain dreams and desires.

It’s a safe bet that 10 years ago, I was dreaming. Dreaming big and with a smile.

Life isn’t always easy. Even when one thinks it is, it often changes. Those dreams … they are what get us through. It’s impossible for them to come true, if you never have them.

Dare to dream and dare to chase those dreams.

Ten years ago, I was probably doing just that. Ten years from now, I’ll probably be doing the same.

This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants!

T-SHIRT ALERT: You can also get the official t-shirt of the 20 Days of Writing Challenge by going to the TeeSpring campaign. It will run for 21 days (through Jan. 25), but make sure you get your shirt. They are $15. A total of 10 need to be ordered for the campaign to go through. If 10 are not sold, then there will be no shirt made.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Soundless Sunday: Jan. 25

Jan 25

“Since Ric Flair is the real world’s champion, he shouldn’t even be in the Rumble. He should face the winner. That would be fair. If you want to be fair to Flair.”

–Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Royal Rumble 1992

From the Rumble in 2014

From the Rumble in 2014

Soundless Sunday is a weekly feature where I’ll try and feature a favorite quote and a photo that I’ve taken. Enjoy life — it’s the only way to go!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Snapshot Saturday: Jan. 24

Jan 24

Another blast from the past!

This photo cracks me up … because of that jacket … and those pants!

Nice jacket!

Nice jacket!

Enjoy!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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20 Days of Chill Challenge: Frosty (Day 15)

Jan 23

Frosty.

It sure is.

Depending on where you are, it might be frosty all over the place. This cold weather has been crazy! I’ve seen temperatures in the negatives more than once over the past 3-4 weeks when I was starting my car and getting ready for work.

One of those days, I saw it at -17. Yikes!

One thing that is cool about the weather, though, is how things look. A few times as I drove to work or elsewhere in the mornings, there was ice on the trees. It had a certain calmness about it, and was very appealing to look at.

There’s a problem with that, though. I never can seem to capture it well enough with my camera. I think it’s one of those things where I believe the human eye sees the beauty more than a camera can pick it up.

However, I did get a few cool shots one day when it was quite frosty out. And how frosty was it? Being out of the car for just a few minutes snapping photos made me feel extremely cold – and I was dressed for the weather!

That’s probably part of getting old, too.

It gets frosty much faster!

When I was younger, I’d head out in freezing temperatures wearing a heavy sweatshirt, jeans, a hat (usually a baseball lid) and some gloves.

That was it.

Now when I go out, I need much more to wear. A real winter coat. Winter hat. Gloves. Boots. There’s no messing around with that anymore. I don’t like being frosty.

It’s one thing to have a frosty pint or mug at a pub, it’s another thing to have a frosty face.

It is pretty funny when you think about it though.

In the winter, I’ll crank my heat in my car to avoid any part of being frosty. I want to be as warm as possible.

Then the summer comes and it’s hotter than sin out. And what’s the first thing I do? Crank the air conditioning in the car to make it extremely frosty.

Go figure.

But for now, I don’t like it being all frosty. So I’ll push the heat and bundle up until the time comes for me to crave being frosty!

This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants!

T-SHIRT ALERT: You can also get the official t-shirt of the 20 Days of Writing Challenge by going to the TeeSpring campaign. It will run for 21 days (through Jan. 25), but make sure you get your shirt. They are $15. A total of 10 need to be ordered for the campaign to go through. If 10 are not sold, then there will be no shirt made.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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20 Days of Chill Challenge: Bears, beans and beer (Day 14)

Jan 22

Where do some of these themes come from?

Bears, beans and beer?

Sheesh!

I live in an area in New York where there are bears. On top of that, I am a photographer who enjoys taking photos of nature, whether plants or animals.

But I’ve never seen a bear, outside of a zoo.

A few years ago, while still working for the local daily newspaper, I was covering a football game. A writer who I know, and who works for another paper, was also there to cover the game. When he arrived, he asked me if I had ever seen a bear before and if it was odd for it to be just standing on its hind legs.

Of course I wondered why he was asking me that.

Turns out, he was heading to the game on the one interstate and as he came around one bend, there was a bear, on the side of the road, on its hind legs.

If it was me, I would have tried to find a way to stop and snap some photos. He kept driving.

I’ve heard more than once people around here seeing bears. I’ve yet to see one.

There’s one local establishment where a bear regularly visits and ransacks their dumpster. Maybe he’s seeking beans. Maybe a beer. Who knows. But I know several people who’ve had the chance to see it.

Me? Nope.

I’ve never seen a moose live, either. I’ve wanted to, but no luck.

But never the elusive bear.

I’m not a fan of beans. But I imagine bears are. So I wonder if I cooked up a couple pots of beans and put them out somewhere if I could see a bear and take some photos.

I could sit back with a cold beer or two and wait it out.

Though, knowing my lucky, I’d be left with a pot or two of crappy beans and some empty bottles. In the end, I still wouldn’t have bears, beans, and beer.

Where’s Yogi when you need him?

This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants!

T-SHIRT ALERT: You can also get the official t-shirt of the 20 Days of Writing Challenge by going to the TeeSpring campaign. It will run for 21 days (through Jan. 25), but make sure you get your shirt. They are $15. A total of 10 need to be ordered for the campaign to go through. If 10 are not sold, then there will be no shirt made.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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20 Days of Chill Challenge: Organizing (Day 13)

Jan 21

Life is funny when it comes to organizing.

In parts of my life, I am very organized. In others, not so much.

In the professional world, I like to consider myself pretty organized. I keep a detailed calendar of things I need to do, set up reminders and try my best to do everything that needs to be done. That doesn’t always work out as when you are in a job like mine, sometimes you’re called away to do something on a higher priority scale, which then ended up meaning something else gets skipped.

But that’s not on the organizing part of things.

The job I am in is one that is constantly evolving. As I move forward in it, I learn more and figure out more, which helps with being more organized. What I love about it is being able to continually get better and improve. There’s room to grow, expand and make things even better.

So I organize to the best of my ability.

When I geocache, I'm quite organized.

When I geocache, I’m quite organized.

In the personal side of life, it gets a little dicey.

When I geocache, I am incredibly organized. Probably too much, to be honest. But I do it because I want to make trips as efficient as possible. There’s no need to go somewhere and keep crisscrossing spots. So I spend time looking at the map and making sure we are hitting caches on a good route so we don’t backtrack. I also try and make sure I look at logs to see that the cache isn’t missing etc.

I’ll sometimes even look to see what kind of restaurants are in the area we are going, but that’s a little more loose. After all, you don’t know how long it will take to find caches and there’s no need to put a time limit on that or decide we need to be somewhere at a certain time, because then it takes the fun out of it. The list for caching is just to keep us moving in the right direction. We’ve been known to skip over caches etc. when needed.

I’m getting better when it comes to being organized with blogging. I totally get both sides to this – plan out or just kind of go off on a whim. I’ve done both. I like the organizing and planning because I actually get stuff out. When I don’t, I tend to have longer breaks.

That being said, I don’t plan out like some bloggers do. My blog planner has scribbles and arrows and all that as I don’t always stick to dates. But, I keep a lot of notes and ideas, which helps me when I want to do blog posts. If you looked at my 2015 planner, the notes at the end of January are pretty full as when I come up with something I want to blog about, I put it there. I’m definitely using this planner more than I have in the past.

I wish I was organized in other aspects of my world, but I tend to be more of a procrastinator. Add all that together and sometimes the organizational skills go out the window. For example, you should see my personal e-mail. There’s more crap in there that needs to be, that’s for sure.

I’m working on it though. I need to get my organization skills across the board, though it will take time — of that I am sure!

This post is part of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the link if you’d like to see others or join in. You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants!

T-SHIRT ALERT: You can also get the official t-shirt of the 20 Days of Writing Challenge by going to the TeeSpring campaign. It will run for 21 days (through Jan. 25), but make sure you get your shirt. They are $15. A total of 10 need to be ordered for the campaign to go through. If 10 are not sold, then there will be no shirt made.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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