What I learned this Lent

Now that Lent has passed I can post here again. No, I did not give up posting at my blog for Lent. For a moment there I tried to fool you but bearing false witness is highly discouraged somewhere.

What I REALLY gave up was saying “That’s what she said” and drinking all soda. I did not have any problem at all forgoing the soda. Was only tempted a couple of times and I didn’t give in to the allure of sweet sweet aspartame. I’m not guzzling the stuff like I used to and I’m happy about it. I’d say I am proud of it, but pride is also discouraged.

The TWSS vow was harder to keep. I did well, but could not resist on some occasions. I know this nearly unconscious involuntary utterance is a bad habit not fitting the mature adult father and husband I am. I might mention that I was using that phrase long before The Office was on television. It was habitual even in my college days. I do think I was set up a couple of times by people who new I was avoiding that joke who fed me perfect lines.

What I learned this Lent? I can control what goes in my mouth better than what comes out of it.

Ashes Eve

The liturgical season of Lent begins tomorrow, so of course that means many of us will be “giving up” something. I have about seven gallons of carbonated beverage in my gullet, as of midnight I will forgo soda until Easter Sunday. I have a built-in support group at work as several of us are taking a “40 Day Challenge”.

The 40 Day Challenge is, of course, derived from Lenten atonement albeit by several degrees of separation. I didn’t point out that if you are really doing something to improve yourself for the next forty calendar days, you will have finished the challenge before Easter.  But you can’t really ask a secular workplace to get into the arcane details of Catholic tradition.

In fact, the mere hint of giving something up for forty days that happens to coincide with Lent brought out comments from some folks who claim to be still recovering from Catholic guilt brought on by attending Catholic grade school. When overhearing someone younger than me claim this, I had to bite my tongue. Catholic grade schools have not been drumming in the lifelong guilt trip since sometime before I attended them.

Biting my tongue will also come in handy for my other officially posted 40 Day Challenge. I shall refrain from the comment “That’s what she said!”

So starting tomorrow, I’ll be soda-deprived with a sore tongue. Bring it ON!

I guess I don’t NEED another guitar

I’m very lucky to work a growing company in Cleveland that throws fabulous parties to celebrate our milestones. Our holiday party this year was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. A cool place for a company party was made cooler by the fact that we had the run of the entire joint while we were there.

You might know that I love music and that I can sing a little, what you might not know is that I’m a guitar guy. It think it was Guitar Player magazine that once ranked the levels of guitarists. The top level is Guitarist. Just below that is Guitar Player. In the basement we have Guitar Owners.

I’m a guitar owner, and oddly enough the guitars I own are in the basement. I’ve got a Fender La Brea acoustic/electric and a Mexican Fender Telecaster. I know about five chords and have small calluses on my left hand. This still puts me in the Guitar Owner category, I reckon.

After visiting the Rock Hall, however, I’ve go the bug to get a 12 string, It is not all the R&RHoF&M fault, though. Before my recent visit I read a blog post that traced the Rickenbacker 12 string sound from the Beatles to the Byrds to the Gin Blossoms. It simply rocks. Add in the 6 string Rickenbacker that Peter Buck plays in R.E.M. and I really have a crush on that sound.

So if any of you out there have a Ricky collecting dust and you are in the bargaining mood let me know.

On wearing many hats

I’ve had a career related epiphany lately. I was in the midst of whining about having too many different responsibilities and wondering how I was ever going to balance competing interests and needs. Then it hit me. When I fret about wearing too many hats, it means I have gainful employment and I have many interesting things on my task list. There have been times – and not too far in the past – where I did not have either.

The path to contentment is gratititude for what is good in any situation.  Will that sense of gratitiude slip from the top of my mind from time-to-time? Of course.  But my October resolution is to try and keep my mind focused on what is good and joyful in life. (Like the little guy in the hats!)

Looking Like Beer and Chips

A camera phone picture taken at my company’s holiday party. I’m not much of a card player and I’ve only been to Vegas once. When it was announced that this years theme was a Monte Carlo night, I was just hoping I would not embarrass myself. The dealers were very kind and the fellow players were not too cutthroat, at least at the beginning. A good time was had by all. Players could cash out at the end of the evening with raffle tickets for the very nice door prizes. Joyce and tried for several prizes, and won the fast food basket.

Looking Like Movember

There exists somewhere in a family member or friend’s possession a picture of yours truly wearing long hair and a fuzzy mustache. If it is ever produced and published you can compare it with this awesome look. Click on the image for a closer look.

I grew the ‘stache for a good cause – Movember. The men in my office had a few laughs and our girlfriends and spouses were – uh- supportive in their own ways. I came in second in a very tight race for best mustache. I voted for the winner, he voted for me…but he edged me out by one vote. Remember this in the primaries. Every vote counts.

A Sweet Sweep – Go Tribe!


The Indians Win! My camera phone captured the Indians celebrating on the field and the fans exchanging high fives in the stands after the Tribe beat the Tigers. My generous employer gave the staff a day at the ballpark. We saw my beloved Wahoos dash the hopes of the Motor City Kitties by completing a sweep. So now the magic number is three.

The MatthewK.com Brand

Much of my daily work life is concerned with developing, promoting and protecting my clients’ brand. I’m not the only marketing type to recognize that individuals have a brand and the associated brand promise, as well. The most obvious individuals are running for office.

I’m not running for office. I joked in an earlier post that I was going to change the MatthewK.com website to align with my brand. So, I have a favor to ask. Please drop a comment with your impression of this website.

Why do you think it exists? Why do you visit? What would cause you to never come back?

I can take it. Remember, Matt Keough is not synonymous with MatthewK.com. Really.