Psalm 23 as it relates to me…

3 Dec

I think most of you know that I am in the ELCA New England Synod School of Lay Ministry. Our last homework assignment asked us to rewrite Psalm 23 in our own words. I was the only one in my study group that took up the challenge. I shared it with my group and they thought it was worth sharing online. For those who need a refresher, here is Psalm 23, from the NRSV.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff –
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
my whole life long.

So my rewording goes as so:

1. God gives me what I need.
2. He is my guide.
3. He fills me up spiritually when I am at my lowest points.
4. When I suffer from depression, He is always with me.
5. When I am challenged, He keeps me safe.
6. God is always by my side and always will be.

I applied the psalm to my life, and simply thought about what comfort it brings me, why, and when, in what circumstances.

It’s ironic that this assignment came to me just as I was coming out of a six month period of depression, one of the longest bouts of continuous depression I’ve endured in many years. It was my relationship with God, and the people God has put in my life, that allowed me to endure. God didn’t necessarily give me what I wanted but he always provided enough for me to survive.

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I’m Just Pretending.

24 Nov

I’m just pretending.  I’m old on the exterior but I never grew up.  I work hard at being taken seriously, but I go home at night and watch cartoons and read comics.  I’m great with kids because I am a kid.  I watch super-hero movies with the intense seriousness others would apply to doing their taxes.  I would rather have an in-depth conversation about golden age versus silver age Superman than spend five minutes on anything remotely adult.  Heck, I’m wearing Spider-Man underwear right now.

I never grew up, and because of that I also never emotionally matured.  I still have tantrums if I need a nap.  I still have secret crushes but get too scared to ask someone out.  Financial security eludes me because I will order a pizza rather than worry about my phone bill.  I’d rather put off doing dishes to watch Doctor Who.

Today, I wanted to stay home and sleep, but I had to grown-up and come here.  I’m glad I did, but my inner child missed being irresponsible and impulsive.  Adulting is hard.

But sometimes, I’m grateful that I haven’t grown up.  It’s my childishness that allows me to be joyful and optimistic, playful and creative.

I like being a kid at heart, and more and more I’m finding that balance, being an adult, but letting the kid out to play without guilt or shame.

My mother always wanted me to grow up.  But she was always angry and bitter at life.  I’d rather embrace my youthful spirit than to lose it.

Sincerely,

Little Bobby

Birthday Wish List

16 Nov

November 18 is my birthday, and though I don’t usually receive gifts, if anyone feels so inclined here are some gift suggestions:

A roll of quarters (for laundry and bus fare)

PVTA bus pass

Stop and Shop or Big Y gift card

A gift card for any place in Northampton that sells coffee

A pound of coffee

Cinemark gift card

Jeans (size 44 waist, 30 length)

Domino’s Pizza gift card

Cash

Sneakers (size 10 1/2)

Stan Lee

12 Nov

Image result for Stan Lee

Stan Lee loved a shared universe. Prior to 1961, comic book crossovers between series within the same company rarely happened. Team books like JSA and 7 Soldiers had team-ups of series leads but that never spilled over into individual titles. There was the one time that the JSA met Hop Harrigan, and that time the Sandman interacted with the Newsboy Legion and the Boys Commandos. Over in Marvel, we had the Human Torch fighting Sub-Mariner. Fawcett had a few rare team-ups as well outside the Marvel Family.

Image result for Human Torch fighting Sub-Mariner

In the 50s, Worlds Finest brought the worlds of Superman and Batman together, and that would sometimes spill over into other titles. And Adventure Comics played with some inter-series crossovers between Superboy, Green Arrow, and Aquaman. When pre-Marvel tried to bring back the Golden Age in the 50s, we got to see Cap meeting Human Torch and Sub-Mariner.

Image result for Worlds Finest

But then Stan Lee, tired of the same old comics, decided to quit. His wife convinced him that before he does that, he should try doing comics his way. Because of the success of the JLA for DC, Lee was able to put out his own super-hero team, the Fantastic Four, and it took off.

Image result for Fantastic Four

Creating realistic heroes with personalities that we can identify with, and placing them in a realistic city was just part of the appeal of what made the Marvel Silver Age great.

Image result for Marvel Silver Age

But Stan Lee had a wonderful opportunity of writing all the comics, and having placed them all in the same city. So having heroes team up (and fight, because we all love super-hero fights) because a regular thing. Even having characters make minor cameos, just because they happened to be in the neighborhood, was a thing, reminding us constantly that they all shared a single universe. Villains introduced in one series would make their way to another. Let’s face it, Doctor Doom was everyone’s enemy.

Image result for Doctor Doom was everyone's enemy.

Nowadays, the comic book shared universe is a given, so much so we don’t even count them as crossovers. But it was Stan Lee who normalized what had previously been a rare happening.

Image result for comic book shared universe

It’s not surprising then, that Marvel became such a well known cinematic universe. Granted, it’s not the first shared cinematic universe. We had the Universal Horror and the Toho Kaiju before. But the MCU, just like the MU before, took a rarity and created a trend. Now, everyone’s trying to create their own shared cinematic universe. DC’s doing it. Universal tried to do a revival. Hasbro has been working on one. But Marvel was able to start the trend now because they were able to do the same thing in comics then. And that’s because of Stan Lee.

Image result for MCU

There is a lot of controversy of course, regarding giving Lee all the credit for Marvel, and of course, I don’t give him all the credit. He had a bullpen full of other writers and artists who helped create the Marvel Universe. It wasn’t all Stan. But when it comes to the crossovers, to the creation of the Marvel Shared Universe, that, in my opinion, was mostly to the credit of Stan Lee.

Image result for kirby and marvel bullpen

And for me, as a crossoverist, I would have never gotten into crossovers if it weren’t for Marvel Team-Up, the Avengers, and other similar books that showed a young me the greatness of shared universes.


Image result for Marvel Team-Up

New book! Darker Shades!

7 Nov

DORIAN GRAY: DARKER SHADES Anthology —

Stop the presses and Happy Halloween! The first publication from Wild Hunt Press — founded by yours truly *takes a bow, careful not to pull a disc* — is now available for pre-order in digital format and for free rental for those who have Kindle Unlimited. It goes “live” on Halloween! It’s just $2.99 for the first ever anthology of new prose tales devoted entirely to the character of Dorian Gray. And it’s the first official publication from Wild Hunt Press.

It includes short stories by Ivan Ronald Schablotski, T. Casey Brennan, and Peter Rawlik; novellas by Micah Harris and yours truly; a short play by Zahir Al Daoud; and an extensive, detailed Dorian Gray Timeline describing his entire history as part of the Wild Hunt Universe (WHU) and various alternate universes and futures co-authored by the master of the craft, Robyn Wronski and yours truly. It was a huge honor for my first publication to receive submissions from this august body of authors, and I shall forever be thanking the Great Pumpkin for this awesome gift! Which I also extend to you, of course!

The print version is in the works and shall be available soon!

Spread the word as far as you can and give yourself a special treat for Halloween! (In other words, buy it lol!).

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JY95RXF…

 

DORIAN GRAY: DARKER SHADES by [Nigro, Christofer, Rawlik, Peter, MacDowell Blue, David, Brennan, T. Casey, Heim, Kevin, Harris, Micah S., Wronski Jr., Robert E.]

Once, When No One Was Looking…

4 Oct

Once, when no one was looking…

I danced down Old South Street.

Once, when no one was looking, I picked my nose and put the “stuff” under my friend’s bed.

Once, when no one was looking, I slipped $20 into my mom’s suitcase.

Once, when no one was looking, I took a piss on the side of the Orange Town Hall.

Once, when no one was looking, I looked at someone in a way longing to be loved.

Once, when no one was looking, I took the last slice of pizza.

Once, when no one was looking, I let myself be me with the walls down.

Once, when no one was looking, I allowed myself to laugh without insecurity.

Once, when no one was looking, I expressed my emotions.

Most of who I really am is only exhibited when no one is looking.  When I am free to be me; without fear and insecurity.

Most of my life I am playing a character, like an actor on a stage.

I constantly question who I need to be in this scene.  What is my audience expecting?  Will I get rave reviews or harsh critiques?

But when no one is looking I get to be me.  I can be as geeky or as girly as I like.  I can sing and dance.  I can fart and belch.  I can laugh at inappropriate things and have full-length conversations with myself, when no one is looking.

An Apology to Candidates

28 Sep

I’m by no means neutral.  I certainly way in politically here.  However, recently, a candidate had asked me to write a letter of support to post here, and another I had considered writing a letter for.  But my to-do list of things to do was long and the priority for supporting these candidates through my blog honestly wasn’t that high on my list of priorities.  And so the primaries came and went.  I voted for those candidates.  I did post some comments on my social media.  But I neglected to offer them support through this blog.  And both of those candidates did not win.

I’m sure that it wasn’t my neglect that caused them to lose.  My influence is no where near that powerful.  But I think in the future, candidates should not ask me to write something for them on my blog.  My writing schedule is sporadic.  I write when my muse tells me to write, and I write what my muse tells me to write.  When I try to oppose my muse’s wishes, it seldom works out.