Tag Archives: blog comments

Harvey’s Mailbag

First, a big thank you to the many of you who sent me messages after my last post.  It is nice to be appreciated for your writing.  For me, it’s nice to be praised for something that was about my dad.

One of my sisters pointed out (rightly so) why Dad would have been laughing at me running.  He was an actuary.  Numbers never lied to him and the more data he could get his hands on the more complete a picture of your impending mortality he could paint for you.  Runners, it seems, tend to die.  Well, if I remember this one correctly, it had something to do with the fact that all human beings die.  In a nutshell, though, runners tended to enjoy a negligibly similar mortality with non-runners (there was always that control group).  In other words, overall, running doesn’t make you live longer or shorter.  But it did correlate with death from (do not quote me on this) an enlarged heart.  Again, there wasn’t a direct cause and effect, just a correlation.  Whatever, I’m going to keep running so I have a way to burn up the nervous energy of an ex-smoker – as in, “What do I do with my hands!?”

Now then, on to the rest of the mail.

Six and half years ago, right after moving to Texas, my wife, in-law’s, and I traveled to Oklahoma one night to see one of my favorite singers – the immortal Frankie Valli.  I then wrote a story about it.  I’m not even going to link it.  If you want, you can find it for yourself.  In that story, as in so many stories I’ve written over the years, I employed a sort of absurdist humor.  For the uneducated or uninitiated, this type of humor is represented by several key hallmarks including series of events that do not follow (often in an extreme fashion, also called “non sequitir humor”), descriptives that are patently false yet played for reality, and a sense that the narrator may in fact be suffering from dementia.  In my story about Mr. Valli, the reader ought to be able to tell a few things.  First, I truly do love this man, his voice, and his contribution to the world.  There is no denying that.  Second, I am using absurdist humor to prop him up.  In other words, at an age when every human on the planet has outlived his actuarily lifespan; Frankie Valli is still making a buck, doing what he loves.

So I received the following comment…

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 12.52.09 AM

Takeaway: People read Harvey!

At first I wondered if the person posting the comment was a personal friend of Mr. Valli.  Then I began to realize something…  There is at least one person who read a post of mine almost seven years ago and remembered it well enough to dredge it back up.  In an absurd way, this person just validated my writing.  But let me address the issue at hand because I do not like to stifle criticism.  I’m a big boy and I can take it.  The comment was civil in tone.  Let’s assume that we live in a world in which a guy from Newark, NJ can’t poke some fun at an idol of his who also happens to come from Newark, NJ (which is a pretty awesome place, by the way) and is a gazillionaire celebrity who’s probably seen worse on the pages of Billboard Magazine.  Let’s assume.  Well, then, Mr. Valli and your dear family, I apologize for hurting your feelings.  If you’d ever like to suggest that my writing is crap please feel free.  It’s on me this time.  I promise I won’t even cry.

In the meantime, if you’d like to keep reading I will keep writing.  And Frankie, if you’re reading this and you ever feel like sending me an autographed headshot for my kids (who also adore you), let me know.  I’ll send you my address.


Blogroll, Please…

Did you like my punny title?  Hehe…

Day 13, which I promised to get back to (catching up) was:

Today’s Assignment: Create, edit, or expand your blogroll.

Funny, but I actually just edited and expanded my blogroll the night before last!  Go me!  I’ll be adding to it in the coming days.  It’s a feature of my blog that I haven’t utilized much in the past but intend to more moving forward.

Now for day 14…

Today we Z2H’ers are asked to make a choice, a “blogger’s choice”!  I guess the folks at the Daily Post needed a day off.  We can either make three more random comments or read ten to fifteen minutes worth of our reader.  You know what?  I actually agree with the premise here.  I know it’s only right and just to comment since I always desire comments.  Will my commenting mean that others will drop them into my blog?  No.  But; it couldn’t hurt to follow the golden rule — doing unto others what we would have them do unto us.  Also, lately I have been spending more time in the reader.

Now here’s where it would be super-awesome if someone from WordPress would take notice and maybe answer my query.  I love the convenience of the reader in my mobile WP app.  However, it seems that when people read my blog from the reader in the app I don’t get the count in my stats because they didn’t actually visit my site.  Any way we could fix that?  Just a question…

Finally we get this.

Today is also a great day to head to the forum thread for some broader conversation about how your month is going, what you’re enjoying, and where you still feel unsure.

I still feel unsure about how Christina Aguilera has had such a successful career.  Can you help me out with that one?  Didn’t think so.

Following Up on Comments and Taking Baby Steps with Pain

From Zero to Hero:

Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!

So yesterday I stumbled upon a blog called Eliza Thinks Allowed.  The proprietress (I like that word) blogged about how she was enjoying the Z2H challenge and was in the process of catching up on the assignments.

Now here’s my follow up.  First, I was happy to see that I’m not the only one who plays “catch-up” with his blog.  Just the title drew me to the post because I felt a kindred writing spirit.  Ooh…  Someone else does that too?  Second, I was struck by Eliza’s honesty.  I appreciate an open admission that, hey, we’re all human.  The Z2H challenge is a great idea and fortunately the rules don’t demand that we post every single day.  That’s one reason I really like this one.  And yet, I have found that, possibly due to the exciting nature of the challenge, I am posting every day!  When I was trying to post every day (cf: the Postaday Challenges) there were times when I would drop off the grid for a week or two and then frantically write a bung of posts, backdate them, and post.  I always tried to work in a funny angle mentioning “time travel” or something of that nature.  Eliza just came out and said it.  “I’m catching up.”  Good job.  Thanks for the post.  It made my day!

As a Giants fan, this place was torture.

As a Giants fan, this place was torture.  But the coffee was delicious.

Now then, I went for my MRI today.  I was surprised when I arrived at the imaging center that it was located on the campus of the Dallas Cowboys Headquarters and Training Facility.  Apparently this is the place where the players get “imaged” after injuries on the field.  It was actually quite interesting.  Beautiful facility.

  • I was happy to find Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (in complimentary Cowboys’ themed cups).
  • I was not happy to find a $500 co-pay.
  • I was happy to see an open MRI machine.  I had not brought any Valium.
  • I was not happy to have contrasting dye injected into my vein
Damn blue star...  But the coffee was still delicious.

Damn blue star… But the coffee was still delicious.

All in all, it was a not-entirely-unpleasent experience.  Should get the results tomorrow.  Afterward I went home, got changed, and hit the gym.  Creepy-lurker wasn’t there tonight; but I went at the wrong time.  I made the mistake of going at the time when every member of this gym decided to work out all at once!  Still, after 20 minutes on the bike I felt a sense of accomplishment.  I had done something rather than nothing.  And this made me think of Eliza and her post about catching up.  She was doing something.  Catching up, now matter how mundane, is doing something.  Even if we only write one word, it is one word more than we had written before.  And that, my friends, is something.

And FYI, after hitting “Publish” I couldn’t help but go back in time and change the date to reflect that I have indeed written every day of 2014.  It’s not as if I didn’t start this post before midnight…

Shout Out Sunday!

It’s shout out time!

There is a fan of this blog so loyal that she is in a category all her own.  I have never met her.  I take that back.  She was at my wedding.

Anyway, of all the people who comment (and I LOVE comments), no one has commented more than she.  And that says a lot since my own comment-replies do not equal the number of original comments she has posted.  She is thoughtful in her words, diligent in reading every post, and most importantly, personal and prayerful, especially when I put out a prayer request.

Happy birthday Annie!  May God bless you all the years of your life.  Tell your daughter there will always be an “H” in her name in my mind.  She’ll get the joke.

Did you read my earlier post? I’m not posting a real picture (even if I had one). Ha.