2012 in review – Recruiterpoet Blog

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 290,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 5 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Editorial Novel Review

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As many of you that read this blog know, I rarely use this platform for commentary or review unless it is something that truly moves me and takes me to another place. I have done a few film and software reviews in the past, but I am tackling a book review for the first time. I by no means am a critic, then again aren’t we all critics of life offering our own personal commentary and opinions. That was a slight tangent.

Let us focus back to the review.

After two days, I completed the Perks of Being a Wallflower. I must say, having read three books by MTV publishing, they truly have their heart on the pulse of the human psyche. What is so troubling is that they seem to have lost touch on the television and film production side. Their wayward attempt to capitalize on sensationalized crap for the all important buck has morally corrupted them from their original mission over twenty years ago. They began as a groundbreaking experiment to bring the music and video world together as one and teach us all to not be afraid to take a risk. They were the creative outlet for so many of us growing up. Now Skins, that failed attempt at being a pedifile and Jersey Shore have reinforced that they have lost their way.

Alas, they publish books and The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a brilliant, poignant coming of age drama with subtle hints of humor and unfocused romance added into the mix.

Charlie is a modern day hero with his lack of direction, separation from reality and heart of gold. In Charlie’s world he just wants to fit in. He is desperate to “belong” and will do anything to get to that point. While he is appeasing everyone which entails drugs, drinking, homosexual activities and voyeurism, he forgets to “participate”. As he wanders through life at the ripe old age of 15 he meets the older Sara and Patrick, step brother and sister who take him away to a world he has never known. From dance clubs to parties, Charlie enters a world reserved for someone much older. From mediocrity to feeling “infinite”, Charlie will learn more in one year than he will ever know for the rest of his life. Along the way, he will feel love and true unconditional friendship.

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Told through letters Charlie writes to an anonymous friend, his personal journey unravels as he deals with family, school, dating, sex, drugs and finding a place in this world.

The novel takes place for a period of almost one year in 1991. Void of cell phones, tablets, social networks and other channels that would dismantle our ability to connect, this period was a time of connection and about a boy that desperately wanted one.

It is rare that a novel comes along that swallows you and puts you into the soul of the character. As a young adolescent, we have all dealt with some things that we brush under the rug and never discuss. Perhaps they are too taboo or unacceptable by societies standards. Author Stephen Chbosky tackles the darkest side of adolescence with poise and stamina. He does not hold back any punches and in the end, you are almost ready yourself as the reader to open up to some of your own hidden emotions.

Growing up isn’t easy for everyone and for all the books about the popular kids that had the looks, money and brains, here is one about the other ones. Yes, Charlie’s brother is a star at Penn State, his sister finished number two in her graduating class and his parents are still handsome and caring but for Charlie, he never belonged. His greatest relationship to date was with his Aunt Helen that died eight years earlier in a car accident while getting a gift for Charlie’s birthday. That pain and sense of personal responsibility has never left him.

The recipient of his letters is never revealed nor is it important. What is of critical importance is that Charlie found direction, at times corrupt to most but comforting to others.

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If you want a book that tackles the challenges of finding your place, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an amazing piece of writing.

Message in a Bottle – A Letter to the World Launched from Morris Island Beach

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This morning I took the opportunity to spend a comfortable winter day on the beach and connect with the Morris Island Lighthouse on Folly Beach just outside of Charleston. As a gesture to the end of the year and the annual time of reflection, I wrote a letter. This was a letter to those in my past and those yet to be in my future. It is a message of thanks.

This letter was carefully placed in a bottle and sent out to the vast wide ocean. Where it ends up I do not know but what better way to send a message to everyone that has and will be in my life than to send it out to the most awesome thing on this Earth, the ocean..

Here is the letter that is hidden in a bottle floating in the ocean…

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To all the wayward travelers of the world, on land and sea,

Life is a journey, corrupt to the core but full of majesty in very unexpected places.
With each passing day, we are faced with challenges and decisions that bring our virtues to the brink.
Life is not an easy path.

For some with faith in humanity and religion, it is but a test to the greater haven of eternity. For others it is an eager opponent strategizing the next move. We will transform from innocent children to mature elders and along the way create a scrapbook of memories. Not just to look back on and reflect, but to hand down to the next participants in this game of Life.

Today as I look out upon the ocean, I see my future and my past crashing down with each wave. Some high and mighty; some soft and subtle. The ocean is the truest metaphor of life. It is infinite to the human eye, more powerful than any living being and yet so soft and comforting as the waters coat our bodies.

I am in awe with each footstep in the sand I leave behind.

I yearn for peace, I pursue adventure, I welcome silent comfort.

That is just it.
All of it.

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We all need a spectrum of emotion to make us complete.

I have loved and lost, like most of us.
Do I live in regret for any of the loves I have lost?
I do not.

Some have married, made dramatic change and achieved great success.
For those, I smile and continue to wish them well

Each life that has passed through me reinforces my commitment to dream. As I work to make my dreams a reality, I offer this letter of thanks.

The letter and the bottle that I place it in is a vessel being sent out to all those that have been a part of my past and those in my future yet to meet.

I toss this into the ocean in hopes someone will find and carry this message forward.

Winter – A Moment of Reflection on the Season

“Winter is a subtle nudge to remind us to reflect on our lives. Though we are surrounded by the chill in the air, it is also an exercise in cleansing. With each snowfall, we are given a clean slate with the innocence and beauty the white power brings.” – Mark A. Leon

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

“Now is the winter of our discontent.” – William Shakespeare

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” – Victor Hugo

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“From the bitter cold winter at Valley Forge, to the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq, our soldiers have courageously answered when called, gone where ordered, and defended our nation with honor.” – Solomon Ortiz

“As winter strips the leaves from around us, so that we may see the distant regions they formerly concealed, so old age takes away our enjoyments only to enlarge the prospect of the coming eternity.” – Jean Paul

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” – Edith Sitwell

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” – Lewis Carroll

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“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” – Yoko Ono

“Melancholy were the sounds on a winter’s night.” – Virginia Woolf

“Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins” – Gustave Flaubert

“My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt
away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.” – George R.R. Martin

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“A song she heard
Of cold that gathers
Like winter’s tongue
Among the shadows
It rose like blackness
In the sky
That on volcano’s
Vomit rise
A Stone of ruin
From burn to chill
Like black moonrise
Her voice fell still…” – Robert Fanney

“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.” – Thomas de Quincey

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“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.” – Sarah Addison Allen

“Winter then in its early and clear stages, was a purifying engine that ran unhindered over city and country, alerting the stars to sparkle violently and shower their silver light into the arms of bare upreaching trees. It was a mad and beautiful thing that scoured raw the souls of animals and man, driving them before it until they loved to run. And what it did to Northern forests can hardly be described, considering that it iced the branches of the sycamores on Chrystie Street and swept them back and forth until they rang like ranks of bells.” – Mark Helprin

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” – J.K. Rowling

“Is it snowing where you are? All the world that I see from my tower is draped in white and the flakes are coming down as big as pop-corns. It’s late afternoon – the sun is just setting (a cold yellow colour) behind some colder violet hills, and I am up in my window seat using the last light to write to you.” – Jean Webster

“When the cold comes to New England it arrives in sheets of sleet and ice. In December, the wind wraps itself around bare trees and twists in between husbands and wives asleep in their beds. It shakes the shingles from the roofs and sifts through cracks in the plaster. The only green things left are the holly bushes and the old boxwood hedges in the village, and these are often painted white with snow. Chipmunks and weasels come to nest in basements and barns; owls find their way into attics. At night,the dark is blue and bluer still, as sapphire of night.” – Alice Hoffman

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“The season was waning fast
Our nights were growing cold at last
I took her to bed with silk and song,
‘Lay still, my love, I won’t be long;
I must prepare my body for passion.’
‘O, your body you give, but all else you ration.’
‘It is because of these dreams of a sylvan scene:
A bleeding nymph to leave me serene…
I have dreams of a trembling wench.’
‘You have dreams,’ she said, ‘that cannot be quenched.’
‘Our passion,’ said I, ‘should never be feared;
As our longing for love can never be cured.
Our want is our way and our way is our will,
We have the love, my love, that no one can kill.’
‘If night is your love, then in dreams you’ll fulfill…
This love, our love, that no one can kill.’
Yet want is my way, and my way is my will,
Thus I killed my love with a sleeping pill.” – Roman Payne

“Every Autumn now my thoughts return to snow. Snow is something I identify myself with. Like my father, I am a snow person.” – Charlie English

“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.” – Siobhan Vivian

Modern Fairy Tale – Original Poem

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I didn’t rescue you from a castle tower protected by the fire breathing dragon.

I didn’t serenade you in song under the rich dazzling moonlight

There was not a chamber orchestra in the background increasing rhythm and tone as I drew near you.

No
No
No

Perched under a tree on an unconventionally cool autumn day. The leaves parading in a multitude of color, a soft shadow by your side and a cool breeze brushing the hair from your eyes.

Such unconventional soft beauty
A model trapped in a normal world

With your glasses just off your nose, a warm comfy sweater and a mug of cocoa, a picture of perfection is painted

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Eyes focused on the book, I am but a passing glimmer in your life, but for a single moment, a bird, an uncomfortable shift in the wind; you looked up.

Entered into your vision, in a twinkling of clarity your future was now in focus

As her mental picture developed, we danced in the fountain under the cascading moonlight

In mine, cuddled under the blankets warmed by the fire in the cabin

As our eyes locked, the sun hid behind a cloud poised to shower us with the rains of change.

The water began slowly and increased in power and frequency.

We both stood motionless

Soon, without voluntary movement, our bodies moved closer together. Like two magnetic forces the energy increased its intensity

Now in a downpour, two bodies in motion become one
A long deep sensual embrace of the lips

A declaration of love without a word spoken

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Never to be written in a storybook or published in a magazine, a true fairy tale has been storied in the corner of the library as a classic for the ages

Best Friends Forever

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“Make sure the important people in your life know how important they are before it’s too late.” – Unknown

“Friends are family you get to choose.” – Unknown

“A true friend sees the first tear, catches the second, and stops the third.” – Unknown

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” – Henry Ford

“Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend.” – Bill Watterson

“I think what makes our marriage work amid all the glare is that my husband is my best friend. He inspires everything in my life and enables me to do the best that I can. I want to hang out with him more than anyone.” – Faith Hill

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“A stranger stabs you in the front; a friend stabs you in the back; a boyfriend stabs you in the heart, but best friends only poke each other with straws.” – Unknown

“When we first talked to each other
I knew we would always be friends.
Our friendship has kept on growing
And I’ll be here for you to the end.

You listen when I have a problem
And help dry the tears from my face.
You take away my sorrow
And put happiness in its place.

We can’t forget the fun we’ve had
Laughing ’til our faces turn blue.
Talking of things only we find funny
People think we’re insane-If they only knew!

I guess this is my way of saying thanks
For catching me when I fall.
Thanks once again for being such a good friend
And being here with me through it all.” – Rachel Ellis

“There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.” Unknown

“A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else.” – Unkown

“If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow. If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder. If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow. If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile… But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me.” – Unknown

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“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” – Unknown

“Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest… It’s about who came, and never left your side…” – Unknown

“The words that escape a friend’s mouth are “I’ll be there when you say you need me” but the words that are unheard from a true friend’s heart are “I’ll be there… whether you say you need me or not.” – Unknown

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“Because once upon a time, we were best friends. And, yes, there’s been a lot of bad stuff in between. But none of that matters right now, okay? You need me, I’m there. Any time, any place, anywhere.” – Dawson Leery, Dawson’s Creek

“When it hurts to look back, and you’re afraid to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.” – Unknown

“Its really amazing when two strangers become the best of friends, but it’s really sad when the best of friends become two strangers.” – Raphnie

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“A true friend…
-Accepts you as you are
-believes in you
-calls you only to say “hello”
-doesn’t give up with you
-admires all sides of your personality
-forgives your mistakes
-helps you
-encourages you to try it again
-makes a difference in your life
-says nice things about you
-offers his/her support
-understands you
-tells you the truth
-never judges you
-explains things you don’t understand
-walks by your side
-calms down your fears
-shouts if necessary, if you don’t want to listen
-raises you spirit.” – Unknown

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“Of all the friends I’ve ever met, you’re the one I won’t forget and if I die before you do I’ll go to heaven and wait for you.” – Unknown

“If all my friends were to jump off a bridge, I wouldn’t jump with them, I’d be at the bottom to catch them.” – Unknown

“Friendship is like standing on wet cement. The longer you stay, the harder it’s to leave, and you can never go without leaving your footprints behind.” – Unknown

“Anyone can make you smile or cry
But it takes someone special to make you smile
When you already have tears in your eyes” – Unknown

“Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus

“I believe in angels, the kind that heaven sends. I’m surrounded by angels, and I call them my best friends.” – Pamela Daranjo

“Somewhere, there is someone who dreams of your smile and finds in your presence that life is worthwhile. So when you are lonely, remember it’s true; somebody, somewhere is thinking of you.” – Phil

“#001 – I can tell you anything and you won’t be shocked.
#004 – When I’m really down you cry with me.
#023 – I’d trust you with my life and you’d trust me with yours.
#033 – We have private jokes.
#038 – I take pleasure in your competence.
#051 – I know your moods so well that I know exactly when to press you to tell me what’s wrong- and when to leave you in peace.
#052 – You’re honest but tactful. Usually.
#054 – If I’m way out of line, you tell me.And when I’m doing a good job, you tell me that too.
#065 – You think I’m smart, capable, clever and pretty. You’re my one-woman cheering section.
#094 – Sometimes we’re under a lot of stress and we snap at each other.Look, these things happen between friends. We get past it.
#098 – You send me encouraging e-mails at critical moments and I send them to you, too.
#109 – You stop me firmly when I start apologizing for things that aren’t my fault.
#110 – You bring your problems to me and let me help you solve them.
#122 – We don’t look alike and we don’t sound alike- but we think alike on all the important things and that’s what counts.
#124 – You make room for me in your life, even when your life is crowded and busy.
#125 – I’m not embarassed to cry in front of you.
#128 – I admire your self-control: You actually think before you speak.
#132 – I appreciate how you ferret out my secrets when I really want to tell you but can’t quite bring myself to do it.
#139 – No one else gives me the total attention you do, when I have a problem or just need to talk.
#142 – I never felt that any of our arguments or disagreements would end our friendship.
#160 – When I’m procrastinating hopelessly, you give me the push I need to get going.
#175 – You know my dark side and I know yours. No judgments.
#183 – I don’t have to watch what I say when we’re talking, the way I do when I’m talking with certain other people. And you know who I mean.
#209 – Somtimes you give me tough love when I really need gentle love- but I know that’s because you’re worried about me.
#215 – There are a few dicery things lurking in my past and you’re the only one who knows about them- but you don’t hold them against me.
#226 – You love to laugh.
#230 – You’re better than a sister: No sibling rivalry.
#248 – You laugh at my jokes.
#249 – You always know the right thing to say.
#252 – Sometimes you don’t have time for me. That might make me sad or hurt for a while, but hey, you’ll be back.
#274 – Your love for me is as unconditional as mine is for you.
#300 – One hug from you is worth 10 from any other friend.
#366 – You never get clingy, but you don’t mind if I occasionally do.
#460 – You’re an angel on my shoulder.
#463 – We take pride in each other’s accomplishments.
#466 – We’ve hit a few rough spots, but with love and patience we smoothed them out.
#477 – Secrets are secrets and we’d never reveal each other’s.
#486 – The good, the bad and the ugly- we’ve been through them all and we’re still friends.
#500 – You may misbehave, I may misbehave, but best friends accept best friends, misbehavior and all. That’s how it is.” – Lorraine Bodger, 500 Reasons Why You’re My Best Friend

In the Wake of Tragedy – Remembering the Victims in Connecticut

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“Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.” – Robert Francis Kennedy

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” – William James

“Seeds of faith are always within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth.” – Unknown

“If we climb high enough, we will reach a height from which tragedy ceases to look tragic.” – Irwin Yalom

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” – Mahatma Ghandi

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“Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.” – J.D. Stoube

“Everybody going to be dead one day, just give them time.” – Neil Gaiman

“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” – Dmitri Shostakovich

“Even death has a heart.” – Markus Zuzak

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” – Mitch Albom

“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” – Unknown

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“Instead of weeping when a tragedy occurs in a songbird’s life, it sings away its grief. I believe we could well follow the pattern of our feathered friends.” – William Shakespeare

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” – Unknown

“Tragedy is a representation of action that is worthy of serious attention, complete in itself and of some magnitude – bringing about by means of pity and fear the purging of such emotions.” – Aristotle

“A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.” – George Orwell

“Embrace each day, realizing it is a present sent with love from above.” – Uknown

No More Tears
No More Anger
No More Bloodshed