Writing/Fighting   Leave a comment

Sometimes when I am alone
I find myself in the zone.
I keep on writing ’til I
Wear my fingers down to the bone.

I write ’til dinner is past;
My thoughts are flying so fast.
I keep on fighting ’cause
I don’t know how much longer I’ll last.

My ending is on my mind.
I’m scared, but also I find
I keep on writing ’cause
I need to make my life more defined.

I don’t want to be sorry.
I’m thinking, “Memento mori.”
I keep on fighting ’til
I write the final page of my story.

– Shaman Romney 2017

Posted 10/18/2017 by Shaman in Poetry

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Rise   Leave a comment

A quitter only tries,
A fool only denies,
A liar only lies,
And a coward only cries.

But those who never quit
Those who face reality
Those who act with honesty
And stand with pride

Will always rise.

– Shaman Romney 2017

Posted 10/09/2017 by Shaman in Poetry

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Politalking: When Is The Right Time To Make It Political?   Leave a comment

That’s the questions everyone has after events like this. Fifty eight innocents dead, and hundreds more injured. A single gunman fired upon concert goers using a rifle modified to give it an automatic rate of fire. Once police made it to his room, he shot himself. As of this writing we don’t know a motive, and speculation is rampant. News is coming out, victims are dying and recovering, and vigils are being held.

America has put aside all of our political differences and came together to support the victims of this tragedy in a sign of humanity and respec-

Oh wait, that is what SHOULD have happened.

What ACTUALLY happened is a bunch of Democrats started screaming for gun control and blaming Republicans for the deaths, and a bunch of Republicans clutched their guns and screamed of Democrat false flags.

Some, like Hillary Clinton, didn’t even wait for all of the bodies to be picked up before pushing oddly specific political agendas. They didn’t finish picking up victims until 2 pm; she sent those tweets at 8 in the morning. The real icing on the cake is she asked us to put aside our politics so we can push forward with her politics. Because it’s not about politics, right?

Other people, like Hayley Geftmen-Gold, celebrated the deaths. We all know only republican gun-toting hicks listen to Jason Aldean, right? We all know your political affiliations make you worse that Hitler, right? I wish her opinion was an outlier, but it isn’t. Go on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube comments and you will see many people saying the same thing. She was just dumb enough to get caught.

The right-wing had their fair share of stupid behavior. In addition to the pearl clutching and fear mongering around guns that always happens, we had people like Alex Jones trying to claim this is a false flag. These claims have been rampant on Twitter, YouTube, and 4Chan as well. We have people claiming it was the government, or the casino owners, or the Illuminati, or some other evil entity. They don’t really care about the victims, except in their use as proof of a nefarious plot.

Bill O’Reilly said shootings like this are just the price of freedom. This one is a little more forgivable, as he doesn’t seem to have bad intent. But this was too soon for that sentiment. This was written before we even knew the final casualty report, and although Bill O’Reilly has never been the voice of reason, you think he would’ve known better. Although I feel his contribution is less bad, it still feeds into my main issue with all this nonsense.

I understand people are sad, and are upset. People are angry. People want to find something or someone to blame. Just like when an ISIS supporter shoots up an office building with his wife and people blame all Muslims, we want the easy answer. We should look for answers, and we should find solutions.

But just like you wouldn’t send an angry email to your boss, you should start prescribing solutions when you are seeing red and we don’t have information. Those of you on the left screaming for strict gun control right now, I ask: If the shooter was an ISIS supporter, would you support us banning all Muslims from America?

I would hope your answer is a quick and vocal NO!

Should we prescribe an extreme over reaction that doesn’t even solve the problem? Should we do it because people are angry? If you don’t support it, does it put the victims’ deaths on your head? Should you pray to God for forgiveness for believing in the First amendment’s free exercise clause?

The answer to all the above should also be no.

The same is true with this. We need to learn more about how this monster obtained his weapons, what his motive is, and what laws were missed or ignored. From what little bit we know now, there are some simple things we can do already. Regulating gat cranks and bump stocks is a good start, but nothing we know at the moment shows any of the policies democrats are screaming for would have prevented this.

That makes what they are doing seem like ghoulish opportunistic tribalism. I don’t believe in the tit-for-tat mentality. Even if Republicans were awful for politicizing the Pulse shooting, it doesn’t make you any less awful for doing it with this one. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and you pooping your pants isn’t suddenly OK because the guy next to you did it too. It’s still gross behavior, and we should be better than that.

That isn’t to say we don’t need to do something; we desperately need to take action. As I stated when I wrote about the Orlando shooting, we have been too complacent for far too long on issues like these. Stephen Colbert put it best when he addressed Trump directly on his show, and I’ve posted the clip below. We should do something. If Republicans don’t like what is being proposed, they should make their own proposals. Either come up with a better plan, or accept the one the Democrats have. Either way, do something.

 

However, before we act, can we take a little time to mourn? Can we take a least a day to be sad for the victims and their families? Can at least we give a moment of silence for the dead?

You may think by politicizing this you are helping. You think you are being respectful. You think that is shows you care about the victims. But it isn’t helping the victims, or your cause. Would you be screaming your political points at a funeral for a family who lost their son? Or for a husband who lost his wife? By jumping into politics so soon, that is exactly what you are doing.

You are taking a tragedy someone else is living through, and you are making it about you. You propose your solutions to their problem. You are ignoring their pain and suffering by not being there for them, and instead you are using it for your own means. You may think you are being noble and your intentions may be good, but it is selfish and divisive in a time where we need to be there for those in pain.

Be angry. Get motivated. Write down your thoughts, find your representatives contact information, and find out who pays them. Write down angry emails, work through your thoughts, and discuss it with your friends. But leave the specifics for a time when you are thinking clearer, like you would if it was an angry email to your boss. Take a moment to just feel the tragedy that happened. It will help galvanize you for when we start to solve it. The time for solutions will come sooner than you think.

So, when is the best time to make it political?

I don’t know. There’s not a specific rule in place for tragedies like this. But maybe next time, can we at least give it a day before we start making it political? If you are too impatient to do that, then can we at least wait until the bodies are cold?

I don’t think that it too much to ask for.

– Shaman

Posted 10/04/2017 by Shaman in Personal Thoughts, Politalking

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Newhouse’s Legacy   Leave a comment

This is another one of the pieces I wrote for my writing class when I went back to school. It is a flash memoir, and is focused around the building I work in. I struggled to find a concept for the assignment, but I am happy with the result.


Standing eleven stories tall, across from the courthouse and next to Gallivan Plaza, is Maxwell’s eatery. Well, that is all anyone driving by sees. Someone walking down Exchange Place might see the stairs leading down to the deli in the basement. I know that when I was pacing outside of the Boston Building, nervously psyching myself up for a job interview, that was all I noticed. I didn’t stop to think about the building I was standing in front of, aside from what floor I’d need to take the elevator to.

Samuel Newhouse certainly thought about it. Born back when slavery was still a thing, Newhouse was a New York born lawyer. Maybe he was just as nervous as I was when he had to get his job. Probably did a better job than I did, since he made enough money to move to Utah and become a mining magnate. Ever hear of the Bingham County Mine? I mean, I hadn’t until I researched it. But if you live in Utah, then you’d know if by its other name: Kennecot Copper Mine. Who knows; maybe one day I’ll get enough gumption and drive to do the same when I’m in my forties?

Newhouse built the building I was nervously pacing in front of as an attempt to bring a little bit of NYC to good ol’ SLC. He wanted to build four skyscrapers on Exchange Place, in an attempt to make his little bit of the city the new heart of the city. The Boston Building was the first he built, and it was the tallest building in Utah when it was completed in 1908. Well built too, as it was still there over one hundred years later for me to walk into once I got up the courage.

As I continued to pace in the lobby, trying to plan my way through all the nightmare scenarios, I stared at the stairway next to elevator. I didn’t know it until recently, but the stairs I go down every day when I leave work, and up every time I lose my sanity, are the original stairs the building came with. I’m sure the paint is new, but I’ve touched the same railing that Mr. Newhouse had. I wonder if he paced whenever he was nervous. I’m not sure I’d ever find out, as there isn’t much to find about the man.

See, as I was riding up the elevator to hopefully make some money, I was riding in one of the last things Newhouse got to spend his on. He built the building back in 1908, and got to enjoy it for eight years before his business empire collapsed. I can imagine, regardless of whether he paced or smoked or drank, he probably had many a nervous moment as he went up and down the floors of his building. The business world can be such a cruel mistress. Who knows; maybe one day I’ll get enough money and drive to lose my mining empire as well?

I got off on the eighth floor of Newhouse’s legacy to be greeted by keycard locked glass doors. It was a stark contrast; the 1908 aesthetic of wood, gold and tile clashing with the sleek minimalism and boring grey office carpet. As the secretary opened the door to my future, my nerves didn’t subside. I’d never done any office job before. I’d always worked retail, and my best job so far was a bank teller. I wonder how Newhouse felt about simple jobs before he became a rich man. As the son of immigrants, he must have had respect for them, right? Did get nervous as he waited for his interview? Did those nerves subside as his interview went on, like mine did? I like to imagine he was a people person. It’d be hard to succeed in business if he wasn’t. But to score a tech oriented job working with computers and not people, being a neurotic awkward mess is good enough. Maybe Newhouse would have seen the same potential my bosses saw in me. I think I would have been able to make him proud as well.

The interview went well, and I was given the job on the spot. I’d eventually prove my worth and get a full-time position, and with that I’d get a drastic enough pay raise to make my goals something more than living paycheck to paycheck. I’ve grown a lot in the skeleton of Newhouse’s empire. No one really knows its his anymore. If it wasn’t for a solitary plaque in the courtyard, I wouldn’t have known either. But if I’m being honest, after a century of being gone, you could do a lot worse than a couple of buildings and a plaque with your name on it.

– Shaman

Posted 09/28/2017 by Shaman in Writing

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30-Day Minimalism Game – Conclusion and Thoughts   Leave a comment

I got rid of 210 items. Two hundred and ten things that I thought I needed 21 days ago. Items I cared about, and told myself I couldn’t get rid of.

I went a lot longer that I thought I would. I kept thinking 12 or 13 days would be my breaking point. I thought it would be a great accomplishment to get half way through at 15. But I found a way to make it all the way to 20. It may not have been the full month, but I’ll take pride in beating my own goal.

It’s strange how differently I am viewing my possessions now. When I started, I struggled to get rid of a single pack of cards. I lamented losing the item; losing the anchor keeping my memory from floating away. I dreaded the decision I had to make everyday of which loved thing I had to lose. It felt like a struggle.

But now, I’m disappointed that I can’t find more stuff to get rid of. I scoured my things to see if I could find enough things to get to 21. I started to debate getting rid of necessities to make it just one more day. It was way more enjoyable to get rid of things than to keep them around.

It’s making me analyse all aspects of my life. My hobbies, my interests, my job, etc, all seem up in the air now. I’d be lying if I said all of this uncertainty feels good. But from all the boredom and self-reflection, I am sure I will find something even better than before. Or I’ll just fill all the space with more crap, and do this all over again. At least that’d give me more to write about.

I am glad I did this, and I am glad I shared it all here. The nice thing about the time we live in is I can save a load pictures of all of the things I got rid of. I can come back at any time and look at the pictures. The memories are going to be there, and not in my closet gathering dust.

I don’t know what I am going to do next after this. I have some writing prompt books, and I always have some sort of rant to go on. I also have a trip coming up in november, so maybe I will try to find a way to blog about that as well. But for now, I think I’ll take a break, and enjoy the things I have left.

Thank you for reading,

– Shaman

P.S: In case you missed any of the posts, or you just want a convenient place to look at them, I have hyperlinked them all below.

30-Day Minimalism Game – Introduction and Explanation

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 1

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 2

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 3

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 4

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 5

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 6

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 7

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 8

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 9

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 10

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 11

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 12

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 13

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 14

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 15

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 16

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 17

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 18

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 19

30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 20

Posted 09/16/2017 by Shaman in 30 Day Minimalism Game

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30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 20   1 comment

Today is, most likely, my last day of this. I’m going to do one last check to see if there is anything else I would be getting rid of. There might be something I overlooked. The funny thing is, I want to keep going. I want to find more things to get rid of, and I really want to get to day 30. I know that it can’t happen, but I really want it to.

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First item is an old bottle of multivitamins. I bought them years ago, and kept forgetting to take them. I have a new bottle that I will neglect, so I’ll toss these.

The item under this is a Stove In A Can. It is a portable camping stove, with some solid wood pulp fuel. It isn’t bad, and could be good for an emergency. But a flint and steel are just as useful, and don’t take as much space.

The blue container was storing all of the stuff I got rid of yesterday. I got it from my ex, who got it from her work. It is a container that held lab equipment, and she had 20 of them. It is nice, but since I don’t have stuff to store in it, I don’t need it.

The container under that is Activated Carbon. It is used for filtering fish tanks, although I used it to filter vodka. I wanted to see if I could increase the quality of bad alcohol. It works, but it isn’t really worth the effort. I was keeping this around until I wanted to try again, but I don’t think I will soon enough to make it worth it.

The poster next to it is from The Oatmeal. It is a poster version of How To Know Your Cat Is Trying To Kill You. It is funny, but I don’t really do posters, so I’ll give this away.

The white book next to the poster it a WipeBook. It is a dry erase notebook. It is a unique concept, and I used it ok. But this is another one of those things I don’t use because I have a computer. If I was a sketch artist this would be useful, but I’m not.

I have 4 CD’s on the pile. The one above the WipeBook is a Rolling Stones anthology, the next two are a couple of Matt Costa albums, and the last is Blue October’s Any Man In America. I like all of these CD’s, but you can find them online, and I have ripped the music off them. So I don’t need disks themselves.

The shorts in the bottom right is another pair of shorts that are too big. I got them for my trip to Hawaii, and now they fall of me. I honestly thought I got rid of these already, but found them in my closet.

The computer mouse up top is super old. I got it when I first went to college. I had it around just in case, but I never really used it. Now that laptops have much better touchpads, I don’t think I’ll ever need this. I’ll buy another one in the future if I do.

The Big 5 name tag is from my first job.When I left, I made sure to hold on to this for the memories. The only reason I am going to get rid of this is because I realized I have two. Keeping both doesn’t give me twice the memories, so I can lose one of these.

It’s a little hard to see, but under the name tag there is a black pen. It has one of those chubby rubber stylus tips on the bottom. I got it thinking it’d be useful to have to mess around on touch screens. But I really don’t need a stylus on computers, since my phone is a Galaxy Note 5. My wallet has a pen and a notebook. So this is good to go.

The bottle below the pen is some white board cleaner. I found it at work in a pile of stuff that was going to be tossed. So I took it home to clean up my Wipe Book. Since I am getting rid of that, I don’t really need this anymore.

The final items are all of the Curios and Conundrums newspapers under everything. This was the main part of signing up to the subscription. They have some interesting weird stories, and also have some hidden puzzles and codes you can input on their website to find more story. It is a cool idea, and I thought I’d be into it. But I kept putting them aside to try to get to at a later date. I guess the date never came.

247 items to go.

– Shaman

Posted 09/15/2017 by Shaman in 30 Day Minimalism Game

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30-Day Minimalism Game – Day 19   1 comment

Today was hard. I feel like I am scraping the bottom of the barrel, and then scrapping the bottom of the barrel. I am going to try my hardest to gather 20 items for tomorrow, but after that I feel I am legitimately done. I am having difficulty finding 20 items to get rid of. There is no way I’m going to be able to get 247 more on top of that.

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The first item is a set of devil horns, and the spirit gum to stick them on. I got them a few years ago for Halloween. To my workplace was a devil. To my friends I was an atheist. It was a fun costume, but I’m not using them now. They were only $10, so if I really need another pair I can get one.

The item next to it is a piece of flint. My brother got it for me to try flint knapping. Although it is a cool thing to try, I never really had an interest in it. I’ve heard that, until you get good at it, it can really injure your hands. Plus, what would I do with the resulting arrowhead or dagger?

The item under that is a headphone splitter. I bought it because I found myself needing to share music with others. However, the moment I bought it I kept forgetting I had it. I never use it, and it drops the quality of the music.

Under that is the default wristband for my ZTE Quartz smartwatch. I ended up buying a replacement metal Milanese band instead. I may switch the band in the future, but not back to this one.

The next item is a pocket watch. I got it from a store as an impulse buy, and wore it for a little bit. But in the age of cellphones, I never used it. I added it to a costume I wore, but other than that I have no use for it. So it can go.

The next item is a rock. I don’t know why I had a rock. But it was in my items I tend to hold on to. Must not be too important.

The item next to the watch on the right is a pair of boot laces. It was another Bespokepost add-on. I have boots, but they don’t lace up. So I don’t need these.

Below that is a set of water absorbing crystals. I got them from a joke shop. The idea is you throw them into someones drink or toilet bowl, and it turns the water into sludge. I’m not a prankster, and these don’t work too well anyways.

The clear plastic case next to them is a contact lens case. It came with a magic trick, as a way to store some of the chemicals needed for performing the trick in an impromptu setting. I used a better case for this, so I can throw this one out.

The jar above that is a near empty case of Tiger Balm. I like Tiger Balm. It works well on sore muscles, and can help fight the pain. But this is almost gone, and I’d rather get a bigger jar next time.

The four white circles are small plastic storage jars. I bought them on an impulse, and I haven’t found a use for them. I think someone else should be able to use them.

The five games have been sitting around in my room for a while. The games are Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, The Final Fantasy Legend, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. I played these a lot when I had the systems to play them on. But these are old. I’m not sure they even work anymore. But my friend likes old games, so I’ll give them to her.

The black circle is the cloth case I had the games stored in. My sister gave it to me, and it kept the games together. I’m sure someone will find a use for it.

The glove on the right is a slash proof glove I bought back in highschool. It was designed for security guards and police to be worn in the field. There was a pair, but I lost the left one. I’ve held on to it hoping the other one would pop up. But if I haven’t found it now, I don’t think I ever will.

The last item is the T-Shirt all of these things are sitting on. It is a Big Lebowski T-Shirt I got in a buy one get one free sale. I only got it because of said sale, but I never really wear it. I have enough shirts, so I don’t need to keep this one around.

267 items to go.

– Shaman

Posted 09/14/2017 by Shaman in 30 Day Minimalism Game

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