About Damien S Riley

I was born in 1969 and I write about all I have seen. Not quite a hippie but I share some of their cultural sensitivities, like peace. I'm a married teacher with 3 kids. This blog is a free flow sharing of blog posts, hand-picked statuses, and photos. I also post to Twitter as Cre8nNov8. Thanks for reading.

Make Today Great, The Choice is Yours

555638_10150800451356117_849061364_n.jpgTuesday I woke up feeling good and most the day I had hope running through my mind. Sometimes that stuff is not automatic though. I met the parents at back to school night and realized I am getting older. That was tickly but as I’ve said here before, maturity has its advantages. It’s nice to hear a parent earnestly ask if their kid is ok and, because of my years, I can answer “yes.” (Or “yes and this year were gonna gain even more success.”) I thought about my guitar last night. What if I was playing a coffee house or a bar instead of an open house night?

I played my “Morning Positives Song” on my Autoharp for the families and I felt it connected my dreams to theirs for their children. We need to share positives with each other. Let me be frank with you on this blog, I can be a bitter, pissed off, negative person. I know however that I have a choice to act in that way or sing a positive to someone else. The choices are much clearer when Im rested. Tomorrow is a new day. I’m writing my life as I go. No one can write it for me. Sound good? Well it takes a lot of work sometimes. Knowing the goal helps.


tumblr_mk0vbzXjwD1qz6f9yo1_500You can’t win if you don’t try.
I once had a coach who told me he’d rather have a no-talent kid who tried than a gifted one who didn’t. As a teacher of 15 years I can say I feel the same way. Like the tortoise and the hair, arrogance eventually loses. So how about you? Feeling defeated, like you lack the talent, the health, the ability to make the grade? Think again. If you can take a breath you can sing a note. If you can put one foot in front of the other, you can walk across the floor. Don’t let those who are too rich define your pursuits. The same with super talented people or those who just seem lucky at whatever you’re interested in doing. Don’t study the guy who recorded an album in his parent’s garage and became a household name. Instead, be the girl or guy who kept at the craft of songwriting and after a while earned her place in the rock and roll hall of fame. Continue reading

Relax Brother Relax

tumblr_mimojrP4vH1qeoxqgo1_500.jpgMy neighbors sometimes play loud music I don’t dig. I’ve learned to get over it if I want to spend time in my backyard. He’s started playing it at a lower volume which is greatly appreciated but you’d swear it was recorded on a copper wire by a drunk karaoke patron. Hard to tolerate. There are other categories in my life I need to let be. My 16 year old’s xbox use, students that won’t respect each other, dumb story lines on shows I watch, and other stuff. Continue reading

Chill With Change

Adapting to change is a true key to success. I think the fear of change all around us is really the fear of the unknown and it causes most people to stress out. If you think about it though, change must always happen for new things to come. There are very few human systems that remain unchanged over time. Since change is then inevitable, what if you could use your imagination to “be cool with it.” If you were optimistic about the impending change, it would take away your stress and anxiety.

Take your job for example, when I was in high school through the mid eighties, our counselors told us we would have 4-6 different jobs in our lifetime. So far that has been accurate for me. But the next generations are looking at 10-20 jobs in their lifetimes because of old technologies becoming obsolete. What if you planned to be better as a result of a job change? What if you could see the growth you’ll encounter as a result if changing jobs? Think of how anxiety would fall away.

Be optimistic about inevitable change and you’ll defeat a lot of stress and anxiety. Moreover you’ll be strong and positive down the road that change will bring. Fear change or accept it, the choice is yours.

Online Diary Irie

522189_10150791266936117_610382242_nAt some point in the 2000′s Facebook and Twitter really took off and now they host micro online diaries for millions (like me). I like that. The world is more connected. Online diaries as a prose genre have existed for much longer, since at least 1994. As a community formed, these publications came to be almost exclusively known as online journals. Today they are almost exclusively called blogs, though some differentiate by calling them personal blogs. Continue reading

Heap Big Camping Trip at Silverwood Lake

IMG_2325Actually, the title is irony: there wasn’t anything heap big about it. Twas quaint. It was close to home and we did very high impact camping, in other words the kind with a restroom and a firepit. For 3 days we’ve been on a family camping trip. The first day, the campsite looked like paradise. My wife is great about packing us food and necessities but they were late in coming since she was set to meet us there later. This brings up an interesting point: How well do my wife and I work together. We’ve grown through the years and we are a very productive team. We’re still working out the kinks though. Continue reading

How Unions are Like Warranties (Infographic)


My wife was returning some Samsung tablets that were defective Christmas presents for our daughters last year. The lady on the phone was so helpful and I got to wondering why unions are not respected as much as warranties these days. They are very similar in function and benefit to society. Support your local union! They make good things happen.

Stay Thirsty My Creative Friends

I read this list on tumblr one day and got really excited. We creatives need lists like this. Often we get so into our projects that we let ourselves slip. The result? Bad ideas or no ideas. We’ve got to be stoking the coals all time if we want to make great art. And by that mean the art of our lives, not necessarily visual or recording arts.

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Digging Deep for What I Stand For


It isn’t until you come face to face with a threat that you realize what’s worth fighting for. A 16 year old kid doesn’t know how to ask for the manager and sell himself to get a job, Unless he’s hungry, then you will see the sense of urgency come out. A seasoned teacher won’t get involved in his union until a grossly unfair contract is foisted upon him, and on it goes.

When the anthems are playing and you’re partying your life away, you sing along. But when life becomes like the song, you have to live what it’s saying, going out in a blaze of glory. Continue reading

Being Sick can Open Ones Eyes to Much

I woke up with a headache which culminated in me driving the porcelain bus more than once. Sick days are not fun and I had a very not fun one today. Nonetheless I was strangely enlightened about humanity, an odd byproduct of the flu I know.

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Save Today’s Sun for Tomorrow’s Rain

tumblr_mvyy6wV4sj1s7tm6bo1_500When I’m in raw nature, I get inspired and feel peaceful. I think about the beauty around me as I swim, hike, relax, and make bonfires. I don’t miss a thing. One thing I fail to consider sometimes is that I am recording memories that I will summon throughout my life. I can use these as an escape from any stressful situation. Continue reading

Mexican Food Saved my Soul

IMG_2400.JPGI’m blessed to be able to go out for Mexican food with my family. It’s soul food to me. Ever since I was a wee boy I have adored a cheese enchilada combo plate. It infuses peace into me and puts a grin on my face, every time. An unsweetened iced tea, salsa and chips can decompress me when I’m wound up from the work day.

When I lived in Mexico in the Summer of 1996, I couldn’t get a red enchilada to save my life. Taco stands are big there. That’s where I acquired a taste for onion and cilantro steak tacos. Those are just amazing. The Mexican Taco Stand is an amazing item to behold. With a refilled coke bottle, it’s simply glorious. I owe Mexico my soul. Its food has brought me back from the depths of despair more than once. I have enchiladas to thank. Are you looking for your keys yet? What’s your favorite Mexican food?

People Who Don’t Drink Coffee Could Possibly be Aliens

alien-needs-coffeeI just met with yet another person who doesn’t drink coffee. What is this about? I believe the benefits of coffee are so apparent that one would have to be a fool to not enjoy them. Or, perhaps one could be an alien? Too strong? Try any variety of flavored creamers on the market, many of them now available IN the market. Continue reading

The Healing Grandeur of Nature and Why My Insurance is Going Up

Silverwood Lake (1)This one’s a pure online diary post. It’s a bit of a milestone now that my son has turned 16 and we are giving him our old car. I remember when I got my Dodge Dart from my folks. It was old but I was excited beyond words. I was also affected recently by a Rush (the band) interview in which Neil Peart discussed the grandeur of nature. I talk about both happenings in my life in this podcast episode.

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Should Robin Williams be a Poster Boy for Depression


Robin William’s recent passing has everybody talking about depression. That’s great but I haven’t seen anyone talking about his addiction. You can’t properly treat an underlying diagnosis when there is a dual diagnosis of substance abuse. So, while I am a fan of his work, can we slow the pity bus to a stop? People struggle with depression and visit their psychiatrist and take medication and do THE WORK without cocaine or other drugs and they are getting by. Some are even making the world a better place. When Robin Williams hung himself in his house by a belt, it said more about drug addiction than depression.

I’m all for awareness of mental health issues but I don’t think Robin Williams should be a poster boy for them.