Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blogging About Vlogging

In a fit of sheer ridiculousness, I have decided to try out vlogging. For those of you who don't know, a vlog (or V-Log as the hip kids say) is a video blog. Basically, it is the same idea as what you are reading here except I speak into a camera and people get to see how truly awkward and weird I am. While setting up my vlog channel on YouTube, I realized that vlogging is a lot of effort. I haven't even got to the recording of my first blog part, and I am already creatively drained.

The hardest part thus far? Coming up with a vlog name. I tried to be witty at first and ran with ideas like Tysonification-which was actually taken, surprise! Clearly, I am not as witty, wise or worldly as I once thought. Other titles I toyed with were 'One Vlog, Two Vlog, Red Vlog, Blue Vlog', Vlogged To Death, Tyson Talks, and Little Miss Vlogger. Upon realization that witty really doesn't work on me, I decided to go a different route and came up with the name 'That Girl Tyson'-it's funny because Tyson is a boys name. Uh... *crickets* Tough crowd.

While distracting Noelle through MSN yesterday she asked me a question: what is the theme of your vlog? Theme???! Am I supposed to have a theme? I thought I could just have a 'anything goes' vlog. Kind of like my blog, where I talk about anything which comes to my mind no matter how interesting or lack of interest there is to it. Then I started to worry, what if I need a shtick, what if I need a tag-line...and these thoughts are what prevented me from sleeping last night.

After playing with the idea of what my 'shtick' could be, I decided, I don't need a quirky tag-line or funny hat. Why? Because the manic way I gesticulate should distract people away from the fact that I don't have anything interesting to say or an interesting way to say it. This vlog journey has been an interesting one, and I only got the idea last week some time. Funny how that works. This is a new direction, something different, and, realistically, something to prevent me from writing my new work in progress. Just what I needed, another distraction. Will I ever learn?

So there you have it, the little elves over on YouTube are busy tinkering away with my vlog channel (and by little elves I mean me) I have a vlog name picked out, nice and simple with a little humour. And I even created a logo, will the miracles never cease? So, what do you think?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Funky Friday!

I suck. I know I suck. It isn't like I pretend I don't suck. I know I do, which is why I started this blog with 'I suck'. It's a plain and simple fact. I wish I didn't suck. I wish I could post my Melodic Monday ritual without forgetting about it, but I can't. Some Mondays I remember. Here's the thing, this last Monday, I had it off and I spent the day writing and being grumpy. (I had big plans so you can't be mad.)

In an effort to make it up to you, I am doing a Funky Friday post. Here are my top ten music choices for the week...kinda like Melodic Monday, but on Friday. This is better anyways, because it's the end of the freakin' week. And I know all of you have been looking forward to Friday, except the people who don't work, and Friday is their everyday. Though I imagine it gets lonely around the house with no one to play with, and so, they might be looking forward to Friday as well. Fuck, I ramble a lot.

There is a theme here, it is, 'songs my parents used to sing'. Fun!

This one is courtesy of my dear old dad. I swear to God, I cannot count the times he sang the chorus of this song. I remember sitting in the back of his Mazda listening to him. It brings back the days of going to garage sales and being shoved into the backseat with my knees around my ears. Maybe if you're lucky, I will one day tell you about how we used to fly around in that truck.

Here is the one for my mom. She really loved singing this, especially the French parts. Though I must say, I don't remember her singing much past the chorus, first in English then in French. Then back to English.

Both parents often sang this little diddy. I think they used to sing it while playing with their parrots. (not that isn't a code word for something-they actually had parrots).

Another one for my father. Joy To The World brings back so many memories, I seriously can't tell you the way of euphoric nostalgia that just washed over me. Music has a tendency to do that to me. I simply love this song. Thanks for introducing it to me, Dad. Really, my life is better because of this song.

There were only a couple tapes my dad had in his car that I remember growing up. The one which comes to mind first is the Good Morning Vietnam soundtrack. We listened to that probably a hundred times throughout one summer. There are two songs which will forever remind me of that movie/summer in my dad's truck:

Now, back to my mother, One Tin Soldier. This ridiculously sad song was on repeat from my mother's lips through my childhood. Don't get me wrong, I love the song, but what a message.

If there is one band that will ALWAYS make me think of my father it would be The Drifters. Another of the tapes played constantly in my father's car. We would listen to this until the day the damn tape machine ate it. Damn that tape machine!

This song reminds me of my parents. When I was about ten or so, my father bought a Juke-Box and we used to go down to Jukebox Junction and I would spend my allowance on old 45s. I loved these outings, they were the highlight of my childhood. This was one of the first records I bought, it was also the most played and danced to.

Last and certainly not least, this next song isn't really a full length song with words or anything. It's the theme song to The Munsters. I cannot tell you how many times I made my dad rent The Munster Revenge movie when I was little. Probably so often that I could recite it by heart. He would always do this silly little dance at the beginning when the song played. Ah, memories.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Letter To My Attitude

Dear The Chip On My Shoulder:

It has been a few weeks since you arrived, unpacked your bags, and took up residence on my shoulder--located just past the curve of my neck and up from my collarbone. At first, I didn't mind your appearance. I thought you'd stir up a funk, but after an allotted amount of time, I figured you would leave. After all, everyone has bad moods, but eventually they pass. Well, it's been awhile now, and you've worn out your welcome. No matter how hospitable a person is, there is only so long a guest can stay before they are tossed out on their ear.

It's not that I don't appreciate that you have a job to do. I know you are trying to be the black cloud over my day. And don't think for a moment that I don't enjoy being cynical, sarcastic and bitter, but I would really like to experience something other than frustration and annoyance. You make everything other people say grate on my nerves. I have this overwhelming urge to finger the people in the cars which pass me every morning and yesterday I found myself shouting for no reason,. I even said 'what the fucking fuck', and as a writer, that really isn't a proper use of the English language.

While you linger about, my ability to create is sucked out of me. And the longer you stay, the harder it is for me to spit words out onto the paper. Let's not even talk about the things I have written, how sad and disturbing and misanthropic those things have been. Don't get me wrong, the center of my being is misanthropic, but I'd like to be able to write about sunshine and rainbows and kittens once in awhile. How can I write a happy ending when you're a constant reminder of the evil, greed and horribleness that exists in the world?

Not only that, but you have utterly destroyed my patience. I don't have patience for the world, for my co-workers, or even for myself. You're making this clinging to a pipe-dream thing seem like a bad idea, you're destroying the only thing that makes me happy, you're taking away my creativity. So before I do something rash, like delete every form of communication I have with the outside world, please cease and desist your operation. It's time for you to move on. If you need a recommendation for the next person you can target, let me know, I know a few extra-peppy people who could use with a dose of reality.

It confuses me as to why you even chose me. I know you saw your golden opportunity, you noticed the way things were falling around me and you snuck in there. Couldn't you have just left me to deal with the revolving door of issues? Did you really have to sink your crabby teeth in? I know you won't answer these questions, but hopefully you the point of what I'm saying.

So while you've probably had a great couple of weeks watching me brood and bite and shut myself off from people and things, it's time for you to move along. You have over-stayed your welcome. I wish you luck with all your future endeavours, but as of this moment you're fired.

Yours truly,

T.L Tyson

P.S If you have any further concerns, please direct them towards HR.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

And We Have A Wiener!

Oops, I meant winner...really, I did.

Boy oh boy, was this freakin' tough or what. I absolutely adored the entries I received and picking three winners was tougher than choosing which three desserts I would be having tonight to celebrate. What? Are you saying I SHOULDN'T eat three desserts a night?

As you know, or maybe you don't, this contest was inspired by my work in progress, and those five words appear in less than a hundred words in it. Here is where those five words came from:

The pride in my father's eyes sent daggers through my heart. No matter how much of a loner I was, he was still proud. That cold night in December, when the wind howled at the windows and my family stared at me gaped mouth, my father knew I was leaving.
"One day, you’ll be the next Kerouac," he said. "You'll hit the open road in your Gremlin with Astor. One day, you’ll stop fighting the girl you are. And then you'll see the beauty in the world, Frankie. Then you will look past the ugliness.”

Regardless, you people can write. And you don't hold back, what's up with that?
Not only did you complete the task at hand, but you did it with style, with pizazz and all for some prize a twisted chick from Canada picked out.

Thank you all for participating, but let's be honest, you want to know who won...and these are the winners!

I don't normally do this, because I like to play fair, but I am going to give a fourth prize out to Nick Fuller for his entry. Let's just say this prize is for 'the most fucked up 99 word flash fiction piece' in my contest. Here is his entry:

Messy, red, shredded muscle pulp of what was once a beating heart sat in the hands of a metallic creature. Dripping, sticky and beauty incarnate. At least it was to the machine. It had begun to feel. It was pondering the concept of loneliness. And when it ripped the gremlin called heart from it's master's chest, it found meaning in what humans called a “loner”. The room was now bare. Lifeless. And it was alone. And it liked being alone. It would go on the road, like Kerouac even, but to find meaning for itself in absolute lifelessness.

Third place: Wakefield Mahon This entry was different from the others. There was a sparkle of hope at the end and it made me happy to see that.

It was Kerouac that encouraged me to buy a Gremlin. Ok he didn’t actually, call me up and recommend it but his extemporaneous style. Rather like Bruce Lee’s it was not an actual style but a philosophy of improvisation. I’ve always been a bit of a loner so it wasn’t that hard for me to just hope in my new-to-me car and drive west, where most of my memories of beauty lie, in search of the girl who could mend my heart.

Second place: Miles Brandt - Well, isn't Miles just a wordy fellow. I've always known the boy could write, but to be honest, who knew he could rhyme? I loved this from the first time I read it to the last time, in between I must have read it 13 times.


The loner in blue, from umbilical rue, worked harder and longer than anyone he knew.
His boss, a gremlin without beauty and heart, asked to have a word, for civility’s part.
“Because of this and that and so-and-so, there’s a division-wide layoff, and we’re letting you go.”
“This is most inopportune.”
“Please have your locker empty by noon.”
“That’s it?” he asked, “A simple effacement?”
“Spare me the tears; call it replacement.”
“With whom and whereof? Kerouac, Bo, Harry or Joe? Don’t tell me it was Vanhove.”
“None of the above; we hired Jackson, don’t blame me, it’s affirmitive action.”

First Place: Robb Grindstaff - I loved this. From the minute I read it. It was witty and funny and just fantastic writing. I love play on words! And it impressed me in such few words, not that Robb hasn't impressed me before. ;)

He’d had a few drinks before he got to my place.
“A snifter of Kerouac, please.”
“Beg your pardon?”
“Brandy. That bottle there.” He pointed to the shelf.
“That’s what I said. You heart of hearing?”
He scowled at how much I poured then drank it like a shot.
“Now give me a vodka gremlin.” He squinted to focus and looked around the bar while I mixed a gimlet. “Any hot chicks ever come in here? I need a beauty call.”
“The redhead, Fran. But she’s a loner.”
“Perfect. I’m just lookin’ to borrow her for a few minutes.”

I think this was a success and I might just be posting another contest for the masses. I hope you had as much fun writing them as I did reading them! Now I just have to convince these poor saps to give me their addresses so I can send them their prizes. Awkward.

That was some great flash, and I can't wait for the next round!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flash Me And Be Rewarded

Everyone else has contests and I can to, damn it!

The majority of people who read my blog are writerly types who I find procrastinating their days and nights away on Facebook and Twitter. Well, I want to see what you writers have in you.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, (and if you don't accept it, I might hunt you down with my broadsword)is to write me a flash fiction piece less than 100 words. And if writing a 100 word story isn't hard enough, you must incorporate the five words I have posted below.

These words are inspired by my new work in progress, it's working title is "Musings of a Twenty-Something Misanthrope." Catchy, no? Well, hop to it. The contest closes on Wednesday August 18th @ ten AM my time (that's six pm for you Brits) Winner should be announced the same day. Post your pieces in my comments! And don't forget to use all the words.

Oh yeah, there will be three prizes, first, second, and third. I can't tell you what the prizes are because I don't have them picked out yet, but trust that they will be good!. If you do win you will have to send me your address, if this is a problem, don't enter the contest, or write a really crappy one so you won't win. And guess who's judging...ME! In your face. Don't worry, I'm fair...but easily bribed.

One, two, three....GO!

Oh, right. The words:


Now, go-go-go!

*If you have trouble posting a comment please send me your entry to and I will post on your behalf!*

Friday, August 6, 2010


There was a time and a place when my parents were that impenetrable force standing behind me. I never questioned whether they would protect me. And I never questioned if they loved me. I remember looking up to my parents, thinking they were old and strong and could do anything if they wanted. They were there, they were always there. I never questioned their presence. I never needed to.

It's strange. As you grow older, you don't take into consideration that your parents are aging as well. Each birthday that passes, each year a new stepping stone in your life, you strive for something; to be sixteen and drive, to be eighteen to vote, nineteen to drink, twenty-one to gamble in Vegas. You have your sights set on these things and you fail to notice, your parents don't have these hurtles anymore. Your parents are simply watching you pass your hurtles. Maybe they long for grandchildren, or for you to be out of the house, but you don't take that into mind. They just are. And you assume they always will be.

Getting older is a funny sort of thing. One day you turn around and you realize, your parents are people. They are people who have sacrificed a lot for your existence. And, like my parents at times, there is a possibility that they didn't do things right, that they fucked up...but still, they gave you life and for the most part they ended up working to ensure you were fed, clothed, roofed. And then you see them in a new light. You see them as people with interests, hobbies, and dreams they put on hold. You see them as people who want to be happy and contented. And you entertain the possibility that you may have derailed their plans.

And then the worry starts sinking in. Out of no where, one day, you're ass deep in worry and it seems as though the axis of the world has shifted. It doesn't revolve around them worrying about you anymore, them coddling you, them cleaning your wounds or nursing your broken heart. Suddenly, you're the one calling them to check in, calling to make sure they're okay. You're the one picking up the phone to receive a frightening call that 'some thing's wrong' and you're rushing off in your car in a blind panic. You're the one demanding, "where were you last night, I called at ten and no one answered." You're the one asking if they are eating properly. If they are getting enough sleep. If they've taken their medication.

The fortress of parental guidance wavers. Things change. And you realize they aren't protecting you anymore, you're trying to protect them-from the world, from sickness, from themselves. The stronghold they once represented crumbles and frays around the edges.

Then, when you least expect it, you've grown up.