Time for Tug-of-War


Hear  ye, hear ye…  Gather round… and all that jazz… er, rock, as the case may be.

It is time for another official Matticus proclamation!

A new Tug of War is about to be announced!

Like so many other things here in the kingdom, this tug-of-war is going to start with a reference to music:

“Rock and roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore.”

– Billy Joel “We Didn’t Start the Fire”


If you hadn’t already guessed it, the question that needs answering, the question we are going to solve once and for all is:  Which is the best soda/pop/cola/tasty beverage of sugar and caffeine?  Is it Coke?  Is it Pepsi?

But, before we begin the game, here are some rules (because all games must have rules, except Calvinball, of course):
1) Read the prompt.  (I know what you are thinking, “Reading, bleh, who wants to do that.”  But if you don’t read the prompt then you won’t be able to fully play along.)
2) Choose a side.  (You have to pick a side in tug-of-war, that’s kind of important.)
3) Write a post that supports your decision.  (We don’t need an essay, and we don’t give bonus points for brevity either.  However, we will be your friend if you do something creative.)  (You can also just leave your answer as a comment though in cases where a tie-breaker is needed, I’m going to count comments as only half a pulling point.)
4) Link back to this post so the moderator can count your support correctly.  (If you are super awesome and choose to play along and write a post.)
5) There is no fifth rule – just seemed like there needed to be another one – oh, wait, I know:  The fifth rule of Matticus Kingdom Tug-of-War is “You do talk about it.”  To anyone and everyone.  That’d be great.

The winning side will be the one that gets the most support, and their reward will be the knowledge that they chose wisely and eternal fame across the kingdom.

You have two weeks to get your support behind either Coke or Pepsi.  The first week of September I will begin to tally up the support and write up another post announcing the winner.

The Kingdom is throwing its support behind Coke.

I will admit that in a blind taste test I did a couple years ago, I got them wrong and thought Pepsi was Coke and vice versa, but when I know what I’m drinking I prefer the taste of Coke.  Is that psychological?  Probably.  Is it solely because I grew up in a Coke household?  Most likely.  Is it because I call everything that is a soda “coke?”  Well, yes, that’s maybe part of it too.  But, for the purpose of this tug of war, I’m going to argue it call comes down to the sweetness.  Pepsi is sweeter and when I reach for a coke, or a coffee, or a beer, I’d rather have it be bitter.  I like my food sweet but my drinks bitter.  I’m a big ol’ weirdo like that… but… Jester… so, it is what it is.

Now come on all you faithful kingdomites!  What is your favorite soda and why?  Let’s get this tug-of-war going!




In case you were wondering, this is the fourth official tug of war.  The first one settled that chicken and egg thing, the second one explored an important part of childhood, and the third one settled the ultimate Marvel verse DC comic battle.

I just don’t know.

“I don’t know.”

“I just don’t know.”

These phrases dominate her vocabulary at the moment.  I’ve talked to her on the phone twice and seen her in person once since she found out her husband died, and these expressions have become her default conversation starter and go-to silence filler.

The memorial was a traditional Catholic Mass.  Words of hope and faith were spoken.  Traditions were performed.  I’m not an expert on Catholicism so I’m not sure what it all meant or represented and therefore won’t go into any great detail on that aspect of the service.  The parts that mattered most to me, were the words spoken by Rara’s sister about the kind of person Dave was, the post written by Dave explaining what it was like being married that Rara shared, and AR Neal speaking about the wonderful community of support and love that Rara has gathered around her on the blogosphere.

She spoke when I could not.  She spoke for those of us who were present in the room and those of us too far away to attend, while ceremonial candles burned and Dave’s ashes rested nearby.

“I don’t know.”

“I just don’t know.”

After the service, Dave’s father graciously invited everyone over to his home, to share in food and fellowship.  The walls of his home were adorned in artwork his son had created.  Coffee tables and counter-tops held Dave’s collected published works.  I browsed through these, skipping over the ones I’ve read and own, and picking up “The Angry Dragon.”  It was a title I didn’t recognize, and because dragon…

A children’s book, it only took me a minute or two to read.  It held his unmistakable art and a lesson that, while not fitting the situation, was fitting for some current struggles within the kingdom – the Little Prince throwing temper tantrums and our efforts to help him do so more constructively while also getting him to help clean up the messes those tantrums can create.  It was odd to find something so poignant for my life in such a place and such a time.

But, perhaps I should have long ago gotten used to Rara and Dave spreading knowledge and joy at all times and in all places.  It’s who they are…  It’s who they were.

“I don’t know.”

“I just don’t know.”

She is worried about her future, uncertain of what lies ahead for her, and concerned that she will never return to who she was.  What will she do when she is released in a couple months?  She no longer has a home to go to.  She will be a felon.  She is now a widow…

Those of us who gathered on Saturday to support her, spoke softly of time, and firmly of her strength of character.  We offered our shoulders.  We gave hugs.  We gently reminded her that she didn’t need to worry about the future yet, and it was okay for her to mourn, it was okay for her to not know: what each day would bring, what to say, how to act, anything.  There is no script that has to be followed for death and learning to live after.  We did our very best to assure her that she is loved and that she will have plenty of people looking out for her when she gets out.  We will make sure she is okay.

She nodded along, appreciative of our words and their sentiment, but…  It was too early for her to accept the truth in them, and none of us were the person she wanted with her, none of us were her husband.

“I don’t know.”

“I just don’t know.”

Before the service started, early in the morning before I’d even headed that direction, I got an email from Rara’s sister asking if I could get a song onto my phone in case there was a time for music.  I downloaded the song immediately and let her know I had it.

It was a song that Dave was partial to, and had wished he could have played at his mom’s funeral.  It didn’t dawn on me until after the service was over that I could have stood and played the song during the time people were encouraged to share stories about Dave.  I should have played it while Rara and her sister were up front sharing their stories.  I should have joined AR Neal at the front and played it while she was talking about the blogosphere in glowing terms.  I should have stood on my own and played it.

Those moments and opportunities have passed, however.  So, instead, I’ll share the song here with all of you, and I’ll remember Dave as the notes and lyrics of the song tell their own story.

Jimmy Eat World – Hear You me

“I don’t know.”

“I just don’t know.”

A call to arms

It’s been a hell of a ride, my wonderful kingdomites…  From my first post back in August 2012, through learning about tags, getting hooked, amassing likes and followers and comments, and building friendships, you have been fantastic.

The support and love I have received from you was unexpected and has far surpassed what I could have ever hoped for.  You’ve encouraged me, challenged me, pushed me towards being a better blogger, a better writer, a better person.  I can’t thank you enough for that.

And, that should be enough… But…  I am going to ask for one more thing from you.

A friend of ours is in trouble.

It’s a situation I can’t seem to wrap my head around at the moment as it seems completely improbable.  She is one of the brightest people I have ever met, and I mean that in all aspects of her life:  she is intelligent, she is beautiful inside and outside, she spreads love and optimism wherever she goes…A

Please, if you can help at all, please, do so.  I’ve added a RAWR love widget to my sidebar that will remain there until help is no longer needed, and I’m going to post the pertinent links below for your perusal.

Thank you, in advance, for everything you do to help ease their pain.

Donate/Help: Thank you!


Stories that must not die

(Comments are closed here.  If you have questions or just want to reach out to say hello, you can always email me: djmatticus at yahoo dot com.)

be true to who you are

If I had one piece of advice for someone who is bravely entering the blogosphere now, it would be to embrace their individuality, to be true to who they are.

That seems pretty straight forward, right?

It isn’t always that simple.

Once you’ve gotten that first like, or that first positive comment, or that first follow.  something can switch inside you and make you crave more.  You can lose yourself, lose your purpose for starting the blog in the first place, while you go in search of stats.  And then what does that accomplish?  You’ve got a ton of followers, but your blog is no longer the outlet you wanted/needed it to be.

Because we are all unique, because we are all individuals, there is no need for you to go in search of an “online persona.”  There is no need to create some new identity.  Be yourself.  You are who you are, and your voice will ring true in what you post: pictures, fiction, daily prompt responses, journal entries, top ten lists, news articles, etc…

If you stay true, the whole experience will be more rewarding, and the stats will follow eventually anyway.  The blogosphere is enormous.  Trust me, there are an abundance of bloggers out there who want to hear your story in your own words.


Then again, I’ve been blogging for less than a year, so what do I know…

For those who have been around longer, am I on the right track?


The Seeker nominated me for the Shine On Award:

2013 shine_on from Eye Dancer

The Rules:

What?  Rules?  We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!

Or, are these the rules, as detailed by Eye-Dancers:

“The Shine On Award requires you to nominate 15 other blogs, who in turn can post this award on their own sites and nominate others for the award.  It also requires that you then list a few other blogs that tickle your fancy.”

Or, are these the rules, as detailed by TwinDaddy:

“This award is for the blogs that shine, make you feel good and are inspiring to the reader.”

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate fifteen bloggers who shine a little light in your day and be sure to notify them.
  • Share some facts about yourself or answer questions given to you.

Or…  Hmm…  Well, I guess I just need to nominate some people who tickle my fancy or who make me feel good or who inspire me or who I think should just keep on shining on.

1)  Hayley
2) MerBear
3) fortyoneteen
4) Tony
5) Wiley
6) Hippie Cahier
7) Angie
8) Rutabaga
9) Mary-Ann
10) AR Neal
11) Guapola
12) Lady Lovely
13) Melanie
14) Lily Wight
15) Zen A.

I hope you will check out what they all have to offer.  They spread the love, the truth, the silliness.  They make me laugh and smile and think.  They shine.