Friday’s Fast Five…My Top 5 Tweets from 1994

With the nativity of social media, the landscape of adolescence looks quite different then when I was coming of age in the 90’s. Teens today will never know what it’s like to pass handwritten notes between classes or wait anxiously  by the corded house phone for “that girl from the mall” to call.

Teens today tweet, Snapchat, “like” and hashtag at 4G speeds. Its amazing– for their entire lives they have been virally connected to the world.

This got me thinking…what if along with Pogs and frosted tips and Starter jackets social media was a thing in the 90’s? What if in 1994, as a self-indulgent 14 year old, I was tweeting? What would I tweet? And what if my idiotic teenage ideologies were forever etched in the cyberspace?

So for this installment of Friday’s Fast Five I present… My Top 5 Tweets from 1994.

1.”Hey guys…Big Gulps?…Huh? Alright.Well, see you later.” Hella funny!!! GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE !!!

 

2. As if!!! Saved by the Bell: The College Years canceled. Thanks for ruining my life. #bringbackbayside #stepoffnbc

the bell

3. My English teacher just said The Lion King is an animated version of Hamlet. Why are all high school teachers fart knockers? Who hires these people? #schoolsuxs #teachersrfartknockers

the-lion-king-thumb-560xauto-26079

4. Bold Prediction– Ace of Base will be my generation’s version of The Beatles #guarantee #isawthesign

5.Friday night is phat @ Palace Roller Rink. Mad fly girls in overalls and skating to the future of hip-hop– Coolio!. #fantasticvoyage #allskate

coolio

Do you have 90’s tweet you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. And as always please share this post via email , Twitter, Facebook and help spread the good word of WoFo.Thanks.

Hope your weekend is all that and a bag of chips,

Jay

3 Reasons Why You Should Try Yoga Today

yogaOn Saturday I attended my first yoga class as a responsible adult.

Let me explain– 15 years ago I enrolled in a 1 credit college course called The Fundamentals of Yoga. Why? It was an easy course–one without homework, one you could do hungover and sheer attendance earned you an A.

So naturally, as a corner-cutting 20 year old I was in. Long story short— like so many of my college classes I got an A and didn’t  learn a thing.

But that was 15 years ago. Things have changed. The hangovers are fewer. I don’t cut as many corners as I use to.  And since I entered the octagon with Sarcoidosis ( Sar-coy-dos-is) two years ago , I been searching for ways to improve my strength so I can better battle  my tough to pronounce auto-immune disease.

However, the problem is I’m a man. A stubborn, prideful thing fashioned with a hairy legs and a glass ego. For years I stayed in shape by lifting weights, running up hills, tossing cinder blocks, carrying old ladies across the street and punching slabs of beef in a South Philadelphia meat locker. But time and circumstance have taken their toll on my body. And I humbly hang my head, except my frailty and announce, “ I can’t do those things anymore.”

On Saturday, after much mulling, after asking Siri, “Would you consider me less of a man if I tried yoga?” ( She doesn’t!) and after Googling, “Do men have to wear yoga pants to yoga class?” ( They don’t!) I checked my male ego in at the lavender scented lobby of the Prancing Peacock yoga studio.

And guess what?

I really enjoyed yoga class. It relaxed me, challenged me and that lavender scent (which blanketed the entire studio) is to die for! I enjoyed yoga so much that I’m planning on going again and if you ( male or female reader)  haven’t tried yoga you should and I would like to offer you 3 reasons why…

  1. It’s quiet.

Adulthood is noisy. I’m finding it harder and harder to find as the old folks  say, “a moment’s peace.” That’s why sometimes I take the long way home from work or why I love the solitary art of showering.  Yoga is a quiet experience. An hour of quietness. Sound nice? I don’t know about you dear reader but at 35 I’m really beginning to treasure quietness.

  1. It’s a workout.

Yoga is not easy. It’s was a lot harder than I thought. I began sweating about 10 minutes into class.  About 30 minutes into the workout I was in full sweat mode. ( BTW…this was the beginners class.) Yoga is all about body control and working at your own pace. It’s just you trying to control yourself. And as we know– self control can be a serious workout.

3. It’s a great stress reliever.

Along with being noisy, adulthood is crazy stressful. The kids, commitments, responsibilities, the fleeting nature of time, the abandoned dreams etc. etc. etc.. In yoga you attempt to let go of the past and enter the present. Yoga is a calming and empowering experience. Which, as I get older, I’m finding these experiences are harder to come by. Furthermore, yoga emphasizes the simple act of breathing. Breathing–something adults don’t do particularly well. We always seem to be holding our breaths, bottling it all up inside and waiting, hoping for better days to exhale.

Namaste,

Jay

 

Friday’s Fast Five… 5 Songs I Had On Repeat This Week

I love music. I listen to it all the time. I love the way lyrics and chords collide into fantastic noise. And yet music remains a beautiful mystery to me.  In fact there are certain songs that, no matter how many times I listen, they remain just out of reach–a green light glowing across a bay.  Like my wife, there are certain songs that will always teeter on the edge of my understanding.

Maybe that’s why I love them each so much.

Happy Weekend,

Jay

1.The Lumineers-Ophelia

Honey I love you, that’s all she wrote”

2. Brian Fallon-Open All Night

“And you can’t make me whole, I have to find that on my own
But I held you, babe, a long, long time ago, and we were open all night long.”

3. The Strumbellas- Spirits

“I just want to be alive while I’m here.”

4. The Swell Season-Feeling the Pull

And I’m feeling the pull
Dragging me off again
And I’m feeling so small
Against the sky tonight.”

5.  Flogging Molly-If I Ever Leave this World Alive

“Wherever I am you’ll always be.”

 

 

The Healing Power of Donuts

donutsI know, I know the title of this article may not jive in this new-age, pro-biotic, juice-cleansing world we live in.

But relax there yoga pants, this is a guilty-free pleasure. A farm fresh, cage-free, gluten-free, calorie free article about the healing power of donuts.

So last Thursday, on my way to work, I stop at Dunkin Donuts. Now I’m not a daily DD’er but I was grinding through a particular tough week and felt I owed myself a belly full of sugar and complex carbohydrates.

My tough week wasn’t because I witnessed the American oxymoron known as Super Tuesday or the fact the Olsen twins are not in Fuller House or that I overheard my son singing Flo Rida in the shower.

No, my crotchetiness stemmed from a purely selfish reason– I was in the taxing process of lowering my medication.

In July, to manage my Sarcoidodis, I was placed on the mercurical  “wonder”drug known as Prednisone.  Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory used by millions Americans to treat eveything from poison ivy to lupus. And though Prednisone  provides patients with energy and strength it slowly and quietly breaks down muscles and organs. Short-term exposure to Prednisone causes fairly minor symptoms–headaches, mood swings, weight gain. Long-term exposure offers some nasty irreversible complications like osteoporosis and diabetes. Prednisone and donuts — both positive and negative and both are consumed by the bushel. America may run on Dunkin but America relies on Prednisone.

So I’m standing in line at DD and I want coffee, and donuts. Lots of Donuts.

My hands ach (one of the treats of my Sarcoid) and I clench my fists and look to the mounted and muted TV. CNN is on and a bearded and homeless looking Leonardo DiCarprio is being tossed around the woods by a bear.   He is screaming but the TV is muted and know one hears him (except me) and I think, ” I hear you Leo, I hear you.”leo

The suited gentleman before me orders 4 coffees and a dozen donuts.  The cashier offers a half- smile, spins and gets to work. The bear is trashing Leo about and his face bends in pain. Suited gentleman half-turns and gives me that half- smile people give to show solidarity when they’re standing in line together and I half-smile back and clench and release my fists.

The cashier returns with 4 coffees and jokes, ” did you have a late night?” Suited gentleman smiles and says , “No I’m treating some of my staff this morning.”

Leo has survived the bear attack and is out of the woods and standing behind a podium. He’s smiling and clean shaven and he’s waving a statue of a little gold man.

The cashier hands over a box of donuts to the suited gentleman and he stacks the coffee on the box and says thank you, pays, and smiles at the cashier, at me and exits, leaving a wake altruism and Old Spice.

I step to the counter keeping one eye on Leo as the close caption scrolls “We need to work collectively and stop procrastinating [clap, clap, clap]. ” I order a medium coffee at a box of 24 munchkins and deduce I will eat 4 munchkins-2 chocolate, 2 glaze- and will offer the remaining 20 to my colleagues because that’s what Leo and the suited gentleman would want me to do… be kind.

A few minutes and 4 Munckins later I’m the English department hero. I’m offering Munckins to colleagues and they are smiling and thanking me and for those fleeting moments I forget about my tough week and the pain in my hands and I wonder if the suited gentleman was having a tough week too or he is just a nice guy.

Chronic illnesses are no fun. And though I may look fine on the outside, inside I often feel like Leo D. must of felt after his tango with Cranky the Bear. But here’s what is fun–  shedding your ego and thinking of other people. An egoless act is refreshing and cleansing. Like mountain air. Like a Coffee-Coolatta.

Look, I’m not splitting the atom here when I’m saying we should be more kind. You should. I should. Because we are human and we spin on this planet together. And we are all suffering. We are all tragic by design.

But I never knew kindness could be a painkiller. Like Prednisone,  kindness can be a simple source of relief but unlike Prednisone , kindness can heal the important things inside– instead of tearing them apart.

Last Thursday, the suited gentleman served a gentle reminder that I need to get over myself. Chronic illness or not I–we– need to do a better job of putting other people first.

And who knows maybe next time I’ll consider the wellness of my colleagues and present something healthy– maybe stalks of kale or spoonfuls of quinoa –maybe.

Be kind,

Jay

Friday’s Fast Five…5 Afflictions of Fatherhood No One Warns You About

kids1. Pooping becomes a public exhibition.

2.  You will unknowingly go to work– attend important meetings, give presentations, entertain potential clients with your child’s boogers encrusting the shoulders of your wrinkle- free Van Heusens.

3. Watching an entire football game without interruption is no longer your right as a red blooded, tax-paying American.

4. The opening melody and lyrics to your child’s favorite cartoon will haunt your brain… FOREVER.

5. According to your child, whatever  important thing you are doing  –merging on to speeding highway traffic, curing cancer, negotiating with terrorists –pales in comparison to their absolute, immediate need for a juice box.

Happy Weekend,

Jay

If you enjoyed this post  I encourage you to comment  below or share this post via email , Twitter, Facebook and help spread the good word of WoFo.Thanks.

Check out my interview with podcaster Jesse Jackson!

Episode 37 Jay Armstrong – Set Lusting Bruce

http://directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/setlustingbruce

“This episode the podcast takes a literary bent when Jesse is joined by Jay Armstrong.   Jay is a Husband, a Father, an AP English teacher and a writer.  They spend time talking about Thunder Road, following your dreams and how sometimes the path to your destiny takes a crooked path.”
Jay’s first story
Here is the link to the article Jesse & he discuss

Jay’s Twitter @writeonfighton

Jesse’s Twitter @JesseJacksonDFW

 

 

 

 

 

Five for Friday!

Congratulations! We made it through another week!

The response to this blog/website has been tremendous. I am truly  humbled and grateful.

So I want to offer a little  something extra for your readership. Each Friday I will post “Five for Friday” where I will present a list of five things– ideas, jokes, suggestions, songs, movies, etc. to help ease you into your weekend.  Hope you enjoy!

And thanks for reading,

Jay

FIVE THINGS THAT WOULD MAKE THE GOP DEBATES  EVEN MORE ENTERTAINING…

Hulk-Hogan-Real-American

1. Each candidate gets a bushel of water balloons to throw at the other candidates.

2. Candidates can opt out of answering a question and accept a physical challenge– such as scaling a wall with a Mexican toddler strapped to their back or balancing themselves on a three legged chair called “The Budget”.

3. Have a “Word of the Debate”. So the “Word of the Debate” is “repeal”. Any time “repeal” is said there will be an extremely jarring siren and flashing lights for 10 seconds ala Peewee’s Playhouse. (This of course would necessitate a seizure warning pre-debate).

4. The debates would be held during the intermissions of Lil Wayne concerts.

5. There will be a 20 minute period during the debate where each candidate must construct an Ikea dresser as his wife hovers over his shoulder and makes passive- aggressive comments regarding his dresser making abilities.

If you enjoyed this post– if you mildly haha’d, if you LOL’d, if you  exclaimed a few halleluiahs– I would be grateful if you could  share this post via email , Twitter, Facebook and help spread the good word of WoFo.– Thanks, Jay