Muses by Tom


I tell you what…

Oh man. Have you guys ever been on that website, peopleofwalmart.com? Well yesterday I felt like all those people had migrated from Walmart to Atlanta Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup race was in ATL yesterday and I was there… along with ATL’s finest rednecks. It’s all good, though, I had a laugh or two.

So we got to AMS at around 1:30 yesterday afternoon and set up the folding chairs, threw a burger on the grill and opened some cold beers to begin our tailgaiting festivities. It was SO hot to be tailgaiting (I have the awesome lobster look going on today to prove it), but it was fun times with good people. We just chilled and took in the sights for a couple of hours before making our way to the track. We walked in the sweltering sun for what felt like 20 miles to the entrance, got in, and began exploring. All the merch trailers were set up so we went and checked those out, making sure to check out my favourites Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart, as well as the hottest person to grace a racetrack, Danica Patrick (although she wasn’t racing last night).

Anyways, after wandering around for a while, we went up to our seats and opened another cold one. The view was pretty awesome–we were right at turn 3. Those jets that fly over the track at the beginning of every race are SO LOUD! The race started around 7:30 PM and Busch was in 3rd place, Stewart in 5th. Good news for me. After about 100 laps or so I started to go deaf from the noise. There were no real wrecks during the race but a few drivers spun out, sending a smoke screen up over the track. The smoke was so thick and the smell of burning rubber was intense. This happened about 3 times, but there were also a number of unnecessary cautions due to “debris” on the track. More like Stewart was so far in the lead and was dominating everyone that they wanted to pull him back… and again… and again.

After a three or so hour race and 325 laps later, Stewart crossed the line first to pick up the victory, much to my excitement. He drove great all night and earned the win. After all the celebration we stay put to let the crowd die down a bit before we made our way out. As were leaving, though, we saw a girl right outside the gate puking her guts out. Classy, right? We hit the parking lot and decided we could either sit in the car in traffic for an hour, or we could fire up the grill again and open more beer. We chose the latter. It was past 1:30 AM when we finally decided to pack up and make our way home. Everyone was tired and sunburned (some  more than others… cough, cough) and ready to hit the road.

As much as I make fun of the redneck debauchery and hickness of NASCAR, it is pretty fun to go and see, and you really get an appreciation of how fast the cars are going when they whiz past you at 200mph. I had a lot of fun at my first NASCAR race and I’d definitely go again. Despite the sunburn.

A decade of decadence

I’ve been so busy with school and all that jazz lately that my blogging has been becoming less frequent. I just wanted to make sure I logged in and left an update for all you folks to read, though. You know, because I know how much everyone loves my blog and all. Anyways. Something pretty significant happened/passed this week.

Yesterday, August 31, was the ten year anniversary of me living in America. Ah, scary! I cannot believe how fast the past ten years have gone by. When I moved here I was just a kid, I was 12, and now I’m getting ready to graduate with my BA. Time truly flies. I still remember how I felt, though, when I first came over here to Connecticut from Wales in 2000. I was scared, nervous, anxious, and knew I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to be the new kid. Lucky for me though, I was accepted with open arms as an eighth grader (the word eighth looks weird to me.. just a thought). I was the talk of the lunchroom and all the cliques wanted me to be a part of them.

After that came the awkward “nobody gets me” high school years full of rebellion, rage, and rocking out. Yeah, I was a legit hot topic kid to the max, and I was in a kickass band. I went from playing the tenor horn in Wales to picking up a pair of drumsticks in CT. Thanks to that feat, music has become such an enormous part of my life and I truly don’t know where I’d be without it. High school was pretty good for me, I’d say… except for 12th grade. Normally senior year is supposed to be the best of the four (so they say), but for me it sucked.

I finished my junior year at New Milford High in 2004 and then pretty much moved right down to GA, leaving everything behind. I found this move to be worse than the move from home.  Moving from Wales to America was an adventure, something brand new and exciting. Moving to Georgia, though, was something I didn’t want to do. Going in to 12th grade as a new kid is just as awful as it sounds. Everyone was already in their little groups and I was just an outsider. I was an awkward 16 year old anyways, so putting me in this situation was destined to be nothing short of it. South Forsyth High School was nothing but awful to me and for me. I wouldn’t wish that school on my worst enemy. I was singled out by teachers and administration for not conforming to their standards (basically, I was a total badass). I wasn’t a rich, spoiled, coke-selling, collar-popping, pink shirt-wearing preppy driving around in my dad’s brand new Mercedes, so therefore I was deemed a target by them. Oh well, I made it out alive.

I made it through college with a lot of patience and determination, and after five years all that is paying off. After starting writing at the age of 10 as just a hobby, I am now graduating with a degree in English. Who would’ve guessed it? Not me…

Being here has changed me so much, and more has happened to me than I could even begin to put in this blog (good and bad), but it is because of being here, I believe, that all of this has happened.

I won’t give you my entire life story here because it’s a blog and it’d take up soooo much space and take you forever to read. Here’s what you need to know, however. I have been here ten years, and these ten years have shaped me tremendously.  While I am thankful for all the opportunities I have been presented with while being here and all the great people I’ve met, I’m still a Brit. I am still Welsh and stand proud to be from Wales. I don’t know what  the future will hold for me, I really don’t, I just hope it’s as exciting and exhilarating as the last ten years.

Thanks to everything that has happened to me over the last ten years, I am now a musician, a writer, a published author, a college student, and very nearly a college graduate. I would like to thank every single person who has come in to my life over this period of time and made me who I am today.

With that said, I will sign off and let you read on :).

Where the lines overlap

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on August 20, 2010
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Well, hi. It’s a rainy, stormy Friday afternoon and I’m in a relatively good mood, so I thought hey, why not update?

The biggest thing that’s been going on with me right now, which is probably no surprise, is school. Classes started back on August 18 and I am officially in my final semester :). This is great news for me. I feel like I have come so far and it’s finally paying off. In less than four months I will be a college grad. I applied for graduation today so within the next week or two, everything should be official. I can’t believe that time is upon me. I have my cap and gown ready, and all I need now is the ‘2010’ tassel thing.

Before I can graduate, though, I need to get through this final semester. I am only taking 12 hours this semester because, well, I only have four classes left to take. I only have one English class (applied grammar), and the rest are sociology. I am taking society & globalization, sociology of religion, social stratification, and as I said, applied grammar.

I don’t see these classes being super challenging, but I do see a heavy workload coming my way. I’d better lace up my boots and put my game face on. If anything, grammar will be the most challenging. Yes, I am an English major, but grammar can be tricky–especially all the diagramming and different rules. I think I can get through these classes, though. My professors seem nice enough, even though I have had some of them before, and have had a not too great experience with one of them last semester.

My mission this semester is to stay focused and keep my eye on the prize. I got this down. Anyways, I’m outta here.

Summer jam

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on July 29, 2010
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So that’s it. As of today, my summer classes are over! I took my grammar final today so that is all done with, and my internship is over as well. My internship with the University Press of North Georgia was really invaluable to me. I learned so much awesome stuff that I can apply not only to my personal writing but also my professional life. This internship was great for me and will take me far.

What’s next for me? Well I have 2-3 weeks off to relax a bit before starting fall semester, so I’d better make the most of my break. When I go back it will be my final semester. I couldn’t be happier about that. In the meantime, though, I am going to  keep on writing and hopefully release something before the year is over.

I’m kicking my mini-summer off right this year by going to the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. I’m so stoked. There are so many great bands on the bill this year. It’s gonna be brutal. I also picked up the new Avenged Sevenfold record this week and hot damn! It is one awesome CD, I’ll tell you that much. They really outdid themselves–especially given the circumstances. Look for a review coming soon.

Anyways, that is all I really have to say but I wanted to update and express my joy over ending summer semester :).

Take a number

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on July 20, 2010
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So I know it’s been a while since I actually posted a personal blog here that was related to me. I’ve been busy with a lot of things and I’ve been finding my “blog niche” and keeping that on the front lines of my blogging lately. I just thought I would take a second and write about what’s going on with me, though, and let you all know what I’ve been up to. Cool?

Well since my first book got published over the winter and made it to Amazon (HUGE thanks to everyone who picked up a copy–you’re the best!), I’ve been working on some new ideas. I’m planning on my next work being a novel, or at the least, a novella. Since I starting churning out ideas though, I came to find that I had a lot more than I realized. A lot of these ideas fit together and fell nicely into my main project, but some ideas were just… unique. They were separate ideas that demanded their very own expansion and time. I of course wrote these ideas down and made something of them. Some of these ideas I feel are good enough to spend a lot more time on than originally planned. That being said, I’m re-imagining my game plan. I would like to put out one full work this time rather than a collection, but hey, who am I to say where my ideas will take me? I may wind up with a book of short stories, or I could wind up with my novella. We shall see. From a writing stand point, that is about where I am right now.  Whatever the case may be, my aim right now is to have my next work out before the end of the year.

What else? I suppose I should mention college stuff, eh? My summer classes are drawing to an end. In just nine long days, I will be free for two or three weeks before Fall semester begins. This also means my internship with the University Press of North Georgia will be over, as well. I have really enjoyed my time interning this summer. I feel like I have learned a lot of personal as well as professional skills that will take me far. I don’t want to jump the gun, but I could see myself doing this type of work post-college. Speaking of post-college, that idea doesn’t seem as far off as it once did.  I’m on track to graduate December 2010 and I am stoked. I can’t wait to be out of school. After 20+ years of school I am ready for a break. I am still debating whether or not I should go for my Masters degree, but let’s take one thing at a time. I just want to get my undergraduate degree taken care of right now.

What else? I feel like I’ve had very little summer this year. I have done quite a lot, and what I have done has been fun, but I feel like school has been my main focus this summer, which is not cool. I’m definitely going to enjoy my mini-summer vacation before classes start again. Anyways. That’s about all that I can think of right now. If there’s anything else that pops into my mind I will update, but if not this will do :).

Hope I didn’t ramble too much, and remember to come back soon for more new, crazy awesome stuff. And if you still haven’t subscribed for some unorthodox reason, DO IT NOW!

Here we go

Alright, so I’m gonna try and get into the the habit of updating my blog daily– or at least more often than I have been. Keyword: try. I don’t know if I’ll have something riveting to say every day but we shall see, eh?

Anyways. I officially started my internship with the University Press of North Georgia yesterday and I’m pretty excited about it. I’m gonna have a lot of work to do but it’s gonna be fun and as an added bonus, it’s gonna look good on my resume :). I’m gonna be dealing with book production, editing, marketing, networking, web design, and all that good stuff. Hopefully this will teach me a few tricks of the trade and I’ll be able to pick up some hints on marketing my book. That would be neat. I’m still working on book number two but I need to get book number one sold more. If anyone is interested, my first book made it all the way to amazon, which is AWESOME. Check it out: http://amzn.to/beMSM9

The summer seems to be going by pretty fast so far, even though I am taking summer classes. What’s with that picture? Heh. But yeah, my death and dying class that I’m taking is pretty interesting. Depressing as anything, but interesting nonetheless. We watched a film about assisted suicide yesterday, it was the saddest thing ever. This old couple were torn apart because the man has this muscular disease (I forget the name of it now) that was making his life miserable and so he enlisted the help on a doctor to euthanize him. It was in the Netherlands where euthanasia is legal. It was depressing to say the least.

Well, I just wanted to touch base and update this thing. Right now I’m listening to the Punk Goes Classic Rock album (which is awesome, btw) and working on intern-y stuff. Got a lot of work to do so I must get back to it. Leave me comments. Do it :).

Gotta be somebody’s blues

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on April 23, 2010
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Yeah so I’m pretty down today. I’m completely stressed over finals, which is bad enough, but I also have a lot of other unwanted stress peeping its head in to my life as well.

I think I’ve done a good job on finals so far, and in preparing for them too. But still, finals is always a very stressful time for me given the classes I’ve been taking the past year. I can’t wait for it all to be over– then I can relax for a few weeks before lame summer classes start. Oh well.

One thing that really pisses me off beyond belief is being judged who someone who has never met me, seen me, spoken to me, or had ANY interaction with me whatsoever. Yet  they decide they have the right to make a judgment call on who I am, what I want, what I’m about. No. I don’t put up with stuff like that. I’m not naming names or anything but this person just… needs to wake up, seriously. Not only has it pissed me off, you’ve made the people you love pretty miserable too. Good job.

Today was supposed to be a good day, but due to those circumstances I now have no plans and nothing to do. I’ve studied plenty for my last final tomorrow and I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs thinking of what I could be doing. Whatever.

Maybe today isn’t a good day for a blog, afterall.

Golden

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on April 5, 2010
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I’m really tired right now. I’ve been really tired for the past week and it’s no fun. I’ve boiled it down to the fact that school is to blame.  School is always to blame. It’s the end(ish) of the semester… two weeks left… and everything truly is piling up on top of me. Papers, papers, papers, presentations, papers, exams. Enough, please? I think I’ve been on a role this semester but I think now I am starting to reach my tipping point. I’m just so overwhelmed and stressed with the thought of classes. I’ll be glad when it’s over. I’ve definitely earned a break this time around. Last semester was definitely my heaviest with the brain torture, but this one is a close second, just for the amount of work I have to do. The perks of being a senior, I suppose? Oh well. After this semester I’ll be done with research papers for a while and next semester I can focus on my last handful of classes sans all night research. That’s definitely something to look forward to.

Other than school weighing on me a little, I must say things are going rather well compared to other days I’ve seen in the recent past. Lindsey and I are doing great and I’m confident this time will be different. I definitely am not settling this time around. She’s the whole package and then some. I’m so blessed. I love that I keep finding out more and more about her as we grow closer. Other than that, the semester is pretty much over like I said. I just need to get through this last pile of crap sitting in front of me.

I feel like I’ve changed a bit lately, if I’m being honest. I’m pretty happy with who I’ve become, but I’ve gone through another change… I’ve learned to let go of a lot of things that were holding me back, a lot of things I can’t control. I’m also learning that being me is good enough. I am who I am and I’m happy with that, even if the rest of the world isn’t. Anyways, to save from sounding like some ranting, rebellious teenager I will leave it at that. But I am seeing things differently now, and it feels good.

With that said, it’s off to bed for me. I’ve been a zombie today. Big day tomorrow. Bleh.

The good life..

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on March 22, 2010
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yo, blog! Yeah I haven’t blogged about much lately. I’ve been super busy working on my book. I’ve been story boarding and brainstorming like crazy and so many new ideas have been coming at me. It’s pretty exciting. I look forward to getting it finished, which will hopefully be soon. We’ll see how the rest of the semester plays out.

I feel like I comment a lot on the weather but here it comes again.. ahem. Seriously, weather, seriously!? It was 70+ plus degrees on saturday and absolutely gorgeous. Sunday was okay… wet, a little cooler, whatever. I wake up today and it’s freezing cold and SNOWING! Why? Spring needs to stay here now, it’s almost april. Jeez. I’m over this coldness.

On a happier note, I’ve started dating again. Yay! My friend introduced me to this girl who is just… awesome, for many many reasons. We hit it off right from the get go. We’ll see how it works out, but I have a good feeling. I don’t write a lot about mushy lovey dovey stuff so I’ll leave it at that. I am pretty excited though :).

What else? I dunno. My urge to get back in a band has been itching lately.. a lot. I miss my band, I miss jamming with other people and rocking out. I’m still a rock star at heart, what can I say? I’d love to just go on the road, play gigs, have fun, live the rock n roll life. For realz.

Spring and summer are coming up pretty soon and I’m hoping I get to go on a couple decent road trips this year. I really wanna get up to CT to go see my homies again. Last year was just way too insanely awesome. I also wanna road trip to TN, FL, and anywhere else I think of lol. Do you guys have any favourite/recommended road trip spots?

Catch and release

Posted in Uncategorized by Tom on March 14, 2010
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Well damn. I’ve been so busy lately. So busy I neglected my blog for a little while. Oh well, life goes on. I’ve had a lot on my plate. A lot of papers, a lot of research, a lot of thinking to do.

I’ve grown, once again, as a person I believe, and have recently come to terms with a lot of things. Letting go of people and things that are beyond my control. In the past I would’ve tried to hold on as long as I could and smother something in order not to lose it. I was the captain who graciously went down with his burning ship. That’s not me now, though. I’m done being that idiot.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that life goes on. Well, I’ve always been on terms with that, but I guess now I accept it and let it happen without trying to interject. Life changes, people change, I change. I like who I’ve become. I went through a phase where I didn’t know who I was–I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted, what I was doing, where I was going. I was yeah… I’m gonna stop there. I managed to bitch slap some sense in to myself though and not a moment too soon. Life is better now. And I’m proud to say I’m the one who did it. I made myself change, not for someone else or for some other motive but because I willingly decided I was done acting like a selfish, greedy, anus.

Good things are happening, a lot of exciting things. And while a lot of people and things are leaving my life who/that I care about a lot, I’m okay with the change this time. Let’s do it. Time for the next inning. I’m up at bat and I’m gonna hit a homer. Yeah that analogy was gay but whatever.

Why did I just type all that? That wasn’t the direction I was going to take this blog in at all. Hmmm.

I spent the afternoon today storyboarding for my next book. I have so many ideas running around my head, and now they’re all written down for the most part. I’m psyched to get this next book done, published, and read! I’m hoping by the summer it can all be done. Then it’s on to the next one. Ah the life of a starving author. HA!

Anyways. I’m outtie. Gonna go read a bit and drink some tea. So leave me comments, or not, I’ll  live either way.

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