Monday, April 21, 2014

The Single Guy and the Last of His Kind

Photo blatantly stolen from Facebook
It finally happened. As of Friday, April 18, 2014, the Single Guy became the last of his college friends who can still really call himself single. It was on that day that Mark (who has been referred to as the Other Single Guy in the past) proposed to his girlfriend of over a year. She said yes.

So what does this mean for the Single Guy? The Charlatan got married back in September. Subway got married years ago. Even has a kid who walks and talks and acts all adorable, like she knows people are watching. And it's the same story with all the other guys the Single Guy has known since the college years. Married with children.

Should the Single Guy now feel pressured to ramp up his game and seek out, in earnest, the love of his life? Probably not. And it's a good thing, too. 'Cause the Single Guy has no game of which to speak.

He currently has no plan to pull a Ted Mosby and declare that, just because his best friend got engaged that he needs to go out right now and find the mother of his children. That's ridiculous. Besides, that story was all about Robin, anyway. The Single Guy doesn't want to meet Robin. But he's not ready to meet the Mother either.

That being said, it does feel a little strange to be the only single person left in a group of couples. When these friends all get together, the Single Guy is obviously the odd man out. He doesn't really mind being the fifth wheel and no one really makes him feel that way. But he can't help but admit that, sometimes anyway, it would be nice to have someone to go for a walk with. It would be nice to have someone to ride with in a roller coaster. It would be nice to have someone that's willing to sit through an awesome sci-fi/action/comic book blockbuster.

Please, don't feel pity for the Single Guy. If those things were truly a priority for him, he would have done something about it years ago. If you want to feel sorry for the Single Guy, do it because of his complacency and his unwillingness to open his heart to new possibilities. Opening his heart is one of those things that's on his to do list. It's just not at the top.

But enough about the Single Guy and his chosen life of solitude. Congratulations to Mark and Peyton! May you enjoy a lifetime of ups and downs and everything in between!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2004th Blog Post Spectacular!

Just a brief post to announce the winner of my 2000th Blog Post Giveaway...

And the winner is Andy Berry! The crowd goes wild. Andy will be the proud recipient of The Wizard of Oz on DVD, the book on which the film was based, and the Marvel Comics graphic novel adaptation. Stay tuned for future contests and giveaways on Carp Dime.

PS - I know I said I was going to give "The Land of Oz" to my 100th follower on Facebook, but it didn't seem anyone was willing to climb over each other for that particular honor. So once I reach 100 followers on Facebook I'll have another contest. And I promise to give something other than a book away.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Glinda the Sort of Good and Other Thoughts

I've been watching The Wizard of Oz a number of times lately. Mostly I was attempting to prepare for a small group Bible study in which we would try to find the Gospel somewhere in the film. It's possible that we came up with some legitimately good connections. It's also possible that it's like the whole Pink Floyd thing. You see what you want to see.

Anyway, it's not just lately that I've watched that movie. I can probably say I've seen The Wizard of Oz over a hundred times and literally mean it. Everyone says things like that, but it's usually hyperbole. I'm 34 years old and I think it's safe to say I've watched that movie at least three times a year throughout my life. 100 sounds like a pretty decent estimate.

But watching it repeatedly recently got me thinking about some things...
  • Glinda the Insulter: When she first appears in front of Dorothy, she asks the poor girl if she's a good witch or a bad witch. Dorothy explains that she's not a witch at all, that witches are old and ugly. Glinda goes on to say that only bad witches are ugly, then asks Dorothy again, good or bad? What is Glinda implying about Dorothy's looks?
  • Glinda the "Good": How good is she, really? I don't think she's as "good" as she claims to be. She magics the Ruby Slippers right onto Dorothy's feet while the Wicked Witch is standing right there. Why would she do that? She may as well have painted a big red target on Dorothy's feet.
  • The Broomstick: Glinda tells Dorothy how to get to the Emerald City, she asks if she brought her broomstick with her. I assume it's because the broomstick would be a faster mode of transportation than simply walking down the Yellow Brick Road. Dorothy says she's afraid she doesn't have one. But her house is 20 feet away! I'd be willing to bet there's a broom in there somewhere. I'm sure Aunt Em has swept the floors in that old farm house a time or two.
  • The Scarecrow's Mental Powers: Dorothy comes across the Scarecrow when he's hanging in a cornfield. He talks to her about the different ways she could go when she's standing at a crossroads. But his lips don't move. Clearly, this means the Scarecrow is telepathic. Telepathy is a mental ability. Logic would dictate that the Scarecrow clearly had a brain the whole time.
  • The Lion's Plan: Here we have a Cowardly Lion. He's lying in wait for our band of heroes and their little dog, too. What's the plan as he attacks the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman? They're both on the ground cowering in fear. Why doesn't he strike? Instead, he cracks, "How long do you stay fresh in that can?" What, is he gonna joke them to death? On a different note, could anyone else picture a sitcom where the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion are roommates? Comedy gold.
  • The Importance of the Gatekeeper: Our five glorified trick-or-treaters arrive at the Emerald City. The gatekeeper states that no one has ever seen the Wizard. Even HE has never seen the Wizard. He says it like he's important enough to deserve such a privilege. What makes him so special?
  • Do As You're Told!: When Dorothy is held hostage in the Witch's castle, the Wicked Witch says she'll return Toto to the girl if she gives her the Ruby Slippers. Dorothy's reasoning for not complying? "The Good Witch told me not to!" Since when does Dorothy do what she's told? She ran away from home! Sure sign of a rebellious nature. Then the Witch tries to take the shoes by force and gets shocked by them. "Well, can I still have my dog back?" Dorothy asks, sheepishly. Seriously?
  • Glinda Again: At the end, Glinda shows up and says Dorothy had the power to go home all along. Why didn't she tell her that to begin with? Because Dorothy had to learn it for herself. But she didn't learn it. Glinda just told her! And I don't think she had any power at all. She clicks her heels and closes her eyes, sure. She chants, "There's no place like home." But Glinda is waving her wand behind Dorothy's head the whole time. Glinda's the one with the real power. She's the one that sent Dorothy back to Kansas. Or sent a wake up call.
Reading that, it makes me sound incredibly cynical toward The Wizard of Oz. But it really is one of my favorite movies of all time.

Speaking of The Wizard of Oz... Don't forget about my 2000th Blog Post Spectacular! You can still win stuff! Several Oz-related items. Today is the final day to enter! The winner will be announced tomorrow!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thank You

I'm a big fan of Jimmy Fallon and the success he's had on late night television. I've been extremely happy with how The Tonight Show has fared since he took over. I hadn't watched the show since the network pushed Conan out. I was never a big fan of Leno and was even less so after that whole fiasco. But this post isn't about the late night talk show wars.

I'm glad that Fallon has imported a lot of his bits from Late Night. Particularly, I'm glad he's still writing his Thank You Notes. For some reason, that Friday night staple cracks me up. So I hope Mr. Fallon won't mind that I have a few thank yous of my own.
  • Thank you, Old Navy, for playing the same songs over and over each night that I work. Now I can sing along with all of One Direction's many brilliant songs.
  • Thank you, corporate powers that be, for strategically placing sporting equipment throughout the store, thereby inviting small children to treat Old Navy as a gymnasium. Nothing screams "playground" like concrete floors and tables lined with neatly folded clothes that can be easily thrown to the floor when an amateur sports star collides with them.
  • Thank you, Interstate 81 motorists, for driving 10 under the speed limit while you're in front of me, then speeding up to 15 over when I attempt to pass you. I wasn't serious about wanting to get away from your inconsistent driving abilities anyway. It's just a little joke I like to play on other people on the road.
  • Thank you, 108-year-old driver, for pulling out in front of me on my way to work this morning. Your willingness to drive 40 in a 55 all the way from Christiansburg to Floyd County gave me an extra 10 minutes to spend in my car. I'm sure it was important to use that time to fuel my road rage before going to work with several children with anger management issues.
  • Thank you, race day rain, for falling strongly as I hit the fourth mile in the 10k I ran. When sweat washed into my eyes I was reminded that the ability to see clearly while running in a crowd of people is an overrated commodity.
  • Thank you, Jimmy Fallon and NBC, for not suing me for stealing Mr. Fallon's hilariously brilliant Tonight Show bit. Seriously. Thank you.
That's all I've got for now. If my blog doesn't get shut down for breaching some sort of copyright law, maybe I'll come up with more people and things to thank in the future.

BTdub... Don't forget about my 2000th Blog Post Spectacular! You can still win stuff! Several Oz-related items. Not the old HBO show. The Oz with the Wizard and Wicked Witch and Dorothy and stuff. The contest goes on through next Tuesday (4/15). Don't wait to enter!

Monday, April 07, 2014

So Many Multiple Changes

Really, there have only been a few changes. But they've taken place steadily over the past month or so. And they've been incredibly stressful. Normally, I use the act of writing for this blog as a means to relieve the stress that accumulates each day. For whatever reason, lately, that stress has kept me from even wanting to do that.

And now, here I am, writing again. Did the stress go away? No. And it won't go away for about another week. Honestly, I feel like it's going to keep getting worse before the miraculous end.

Back story: I started working as a counselor two years ago. I was placed in a school (which we'll henceforth call School #1) where, over time, I became comfortable. Before the next school year, I was "asked" to transfer to a different school (which we'll henceforth call School #2). I wasn't thrilled, but I went. Again, over time, I grew comfortable and made friends. It was at that point I half-seriously informed the powers that be that I would quit if they tried to move me again.

Fast forward to March of 2014. After more than a year and a half at School #2, I was suddenly "asked" to transfer back to School #1. I agreed to do so, feeling I had no real choice in the matter.

This sudden change disrupted not only my life, but the lives of the students I'd been working with for nearly two years. This change also irritated the teachers and principal as well. Actually, the principal was a lot more than irritated.

So my bosses called my bluff. I'd been transferred, but had no intention of quitting. It just wouldn't have been practical. I enjoy food and shelter far too much to go without a paycheck.

Besides, it was for the children. At least, that's what I like to tell myself. The kids at School #1 were suddenly without a counselor. Someone needed to go there and take over, at least temporarily. If it hadn't been me, it would have been someone else. Someone less familiar with the school, the faculty, and staff.

So I was back in my original school. All the teachers were thrilled to have me back. I put on a happy face (well, as happy as I can do), but I was less than thrilled. I was working with a student that I refused to follow back to his old school, along with four others with whom I was completely unfamiliar. I may have known the school, but I didn't know its students that well. Especially after being gone for two years. That first kid, though, was a full time job all on his own. I can't share details, but that kid is the cause of the majority of my stress. Since returning to School #1, I've left with a severe headache every single day.

Meanwhile, another company heard of my plight. I was asked to send in my resume and interview for a new job. It's actually the exact same job that I've done for two years, just with a different company. Oh, and they'll put me back at School #2, where I want to be anyway.

That's the part of the big changes that has yet to happen. My final day with my current employer, placed in School #1, will be next Tuesday. I'll begin with my new company on the following Monday.

I said the whole thing has been incredibly stressful. That's no lie. At the same time, it's been very flattering. I've got two schools, two principals, and two companies fighting over me as a counselor. I kind of feel like the prettiest girl at the prom trying to choose who I should dance with. Except I'm not a girl. And I don't dance. I've never put much stock in my abilities as a counselor, thinking I was mediocre at best. The principal of School #2 informed me that I was a great counselor, worth fighting for. From her, I consider that a high compliment.

I hold no ill will toward my current/former employers. In the time I've been with that company, I've learned a great deal about who I am as a counselor and who I want to become, beyond this time in my career. They gave me a good home and I'll be forever grateful for it. Now it's time for me to move on. Someday, I'm almost certain, it will be time for me to move on from the company that I'm about to join. That's just how life works.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

(Bonus points if you know where that last line came from.)

BTdub... Don't forget about my 2000th Blog Post Spectacular! You can still win stuff! Several Oz-related items. Not the old HBO show. The Oz with the Wizard and Wicked Witch and Dorothy and stuff. The contest goes on through next Tuesday (4/15). Don't wait to enter!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


Dear Carp Dimers...

If my calculations are correct, you'll be able to read this post immediately after I click the publish button. First, let me assure you that I am alive and well. I've been living happily these last few weeks in the year 1885. The lightning bolt that hit the DeLorean caused a gigawatt overload which scrambled the time circuits...

Wait, that's the letter Doc Brown sent to Marty at the end of Back to the Future Part II. Actually, there has been a lot going on. I'll get around to sharing all of that soon. But for now, let's focus on what's most important. The here. The now.


It's been a long road getting here from way back in December of 2004. That's right, if you do the math, you'll realize that this blog has been around in one form or another for nearly 10 years. It's likely there will be some sort of 10th anniversary celebration when we get to December. But, again, I digress. We need to focus on the here and now.

I've been putting off writing number 2000 for only one reason. I've wanted to do a contest. I want to have a giveaway. But I haven't had a clue what to give away. I've had contests before where I've given away gift cards and other items that I felt were important to give away (like Back to the Future on DVD or a Superman t-shirt). For weeks, I've been racking my brain. Actually, for months.

I've known this number was coming up. But I've continually drawn a blank. I've asked friends for their ideas. But nothing really struck a chord. So I continued to think.

As mentioned above, I've given away my favorite movie before. I've given away what is clearly my favorite kind of t-shirt. Now it's time to give away my favorite book of all time. It sort of makes sense, because this year is the 75th anniversary of the classic film adaptation of that favorite book of all time. Of course, I'm talking about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

What can I win?

First we have the original novel by L. Frank Baum. I've liked a lot of books in my 34 years of life, but this is, by far, my favorite. The above picture is the original title page from way back in 1900. That's not what the cover of the book you receive will look like. I'm sorry, I don't have access to a hardcover first edition. If I did, I'm sorry, but I probably wouldn't be giving it away.

Second is the hardcover collected edition of a limited series that Marvel Comics published back in 2009. I read this and found that it is a faithful adaptation of the original novel. Also, the art is kind of gorgeous.

Finally, if you win, you'll receive the 1939 classic film adaptation on DVD. Again, the above image is not what the DVD case will look like. This is just an image of one of the old movie posters. If you're like me, you grew up watching The Wizard of Oz whenever it came on TV. If you're not like me, there's a good chance you at least know about the movie. Maybe you watched it as a kid and got freaked out by the flying monkeys. If you win, give it another chance. It's a really good movie.

How can I win?

First of all, if you've already liked Carp Dime's Facebook page, you're already entered to win. If you haven't liked the Facebook page, what are you waiting for? On the right side of the page, up near the top, you'll find a button you can click to take you right to the aforementioned Facebook page.

Another way to get entered will be for you to take to Twitter. If you tweet a link to this blog post and use the hashtag #CarpDime, you will be entered to win these items.

Finally, leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite book is and why. I'm always interested to hear your thoughts.

That means you can have your name thrown in the hat up to three times to win these three prizes.


I currently have 80 likes on the Carp Dime Facebook page. If you happen to be number 100, you will receive a copy of Baum's second Oz book: The Marvelous Land of Oz. While I don't consider it to be as great as the original, Baum does a lot to expand his fictional world in this sequel, paving the way for dozens of other books to follow. So go, click, like and share the love on the Facebook.
Again, this isn't what the cover actually looks like. I mean, the picture is the same, but the binding isn't red.
What are you waiting for? Sure, I'll give you until April 15 to enter the contest, but why wait two weeks when you can get it over with now? Good luck! Winners will be announced on April 16th!