Coffee at Night

14440481773_6e8ad03fb7_kSung to the tune of the Fixx’s “Red Skies at Night”

Coffee at night, coffee at night
Whoa oh!
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh oh oh!

I hope I don’t regret this at 1am when I’m staring at the ceiling. Well, at least I won’t be snoring.



I miss my car so much. I never knew how much pickup it had until I got the rental. This process has opened my eyes a lot to the way insurance works. It’s shocking how much red tape there is. I was hit about 3 months ago. The ordeal still aint over. I can’t wait for Summer in my yellow car. I WANT BEACH! Today is a fasting day. I’ve had about 300 calories. I’ll eat again close to bedtime, hopefully I won’t snore. That’s one reason I started my diet in the first place. Feeling blah that I’ve lost 7 pounds and the snoring is “some of the worst it’s ever been.” Snoring is the devil. Tomorrow is Friday. Our jacuzzi is almost fixed. My blogging obsession continues. You can see the 5 blogs I am maintaining now, though Riley Central is just a syndication of all 4 blog feeds. Signing off for today. 

The Fashion of Let it Be

556300_10151336483870673_942760525_nIf some people dress business formal, others must must dress pleasure informal, that would be my category. I’m lucky to be a teacher because we can be as formal as we want or more on the relaxed side in a given week. I teach 10 year olds so sometimes I get down and roll in the mud so-to-speak on the playground, during PE, and other daily routine events that can get dirty. For that reason, I usually dress fairly casual at work. I don’t have too many preferences but I have learned cotton fits me best. A 50/50 knit shirt is itchy so I will usually buy the 100% cotton. When I do shop, which isn’t often and usually every Summer, I like Old Navy, Kohl’s, Marshall’s, Ross, and those stores that have good bargains made of cotton in a quality way. I like Dockers and Levis or other brands similar to those. I’m not huge on name-brands per se but I have found in my 45 years that cheaper doesn’t mean better. I’ve had the cheap stuff fall apart on me after less than a year. In the Winter months, I’ve come to enjoy a good cotton v-neck sweater with a white T underneath. That’s probably my favorite Winter outfit. I wear Skechers or Doc Martens as m shoes and occasionally I’ll wear my running shoes to work or out for a casual date etc. My wife buys most all my clothes these days and I like that. I’m somewhat colorblind so I appreciate her healthy globes :)

292046_10150341925935673_2455589_nI think my clothing says a lot about me. I make a fashion statement by just being casual and teaching. I am passionate about my job and the clothes are just the accessory to that. I think when you are into what you do, clothes are an afterthought. I doubt people will remember what I wore when I taught or blogged or played guitar because I am just being passionate about something. It reminds me of that scene in Forrest Gump when he is running and all the hip magazines are out there doing stories on his shoes and his running clothes. He’s just RUNNING. People may even start to mimic him because he doesn’t care about his clothes. I hate people who are self-conscious. I shaved my head around age 30 to dispense with the trepidation of losing my hair. I’ve shaved it now for over 15 years, I think it looks nice, and it frees me up to teach and follow my passions. No matter the clothes, people flock to passion like moths to a lightbulb. Relaxation is also important to me. I say if clothes make you stressed, they’re not for you.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.”

Right Brainer Algebra

Damien Riley Beer CelebrateI took a couple years off college after high school and lived to regret it. One thing that was really tough was going back to College Algebra and all her pre-requisites. I was 21 and while that sounds young to me now, I felt way too old to be in the same classes as the freshmen I knew in high school. Humble pie set in. I was told in the guidance office I could have taken care of it in high school and boy I wish I had. In my early 20’s as a musician and aspiring songwriter, I was working 2 jobs and didn’t want to be in a classroom learning math, of all things. Nonetheless, that’s where I ended up. I was terrible at it too, nothing came easy. Memorization, neatness, everything required for math was no longer supple in my wild 21 year old mind. That is, until one day when I got some golden advice.

My professor was a hippie “free love and peace” kind of guy. I recall one day he saw me doodling lyrics on my notes. He suggested I make math an art project. See every equation and challenge as a doodle. I started by getting a clipboard and a ton of paper and pencils. I wrapped about 100 sharpened pencils in a rubber band and always came to class ready to make a Picasso. It got me interested in detail and logic. Mr. Sommers also suggested the Theory of Time Spaced Learning to me. This is basically the idea that if you take more breaks, your mind will retain more. I loved that. I’m living proof it works too. Cramming for hours on end really does little. A little bite of work at a time will allow your brain to digest more over the whole session. My grades became A’s and I passed College Algebra in Summer of 1993. I was 23 years old. After that I would become passionate about English, language, writing, and rhetoric and eventually teach. I never had to do algebra like that again but I could never have enjoyed my English life without that one class. Try to transform your talents into the subjects you have difficulty with.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Land of Confusion.”

I’ve Moved

I have moved my blog domain and platform to: Riley Central. Dear readers, please adjust your bookmarks. The new RSS feed is

By way of trivia, is the blog domain I started with way back in December of 2005, the scene of the crime. You might call this change “coming full circle,” or something like that. I explain the move briefly at this post. I will no longer be posting new content here. Hope to see you over there.

-Damien Riley

email: rileycentral at gmail dot com

ROW80 Challenge – Check In 5/10/2015

imageROW80 Round 2 started April 6, 2015

Checking in late on a Sunday. Here’s a report of my progress toward goals.

  1. Daily Post prompt each day. Great practice. I can’t get the full effect because for some reason my blog is not sending ping backs. This could require literally starting again and re importing my best posts. Not happy this is not working. Stay tuned. Have done it every day despite.
  2. Include UBC link on FB and Twitter link with hashtags #ROW80  #blogboost  #journaling including commenting on other people’s blogs. – This is cake.
  3. Participate in Mid-week Wednesday and End-week Sunday check-ins for ROW80. – Here I am!
  4. Write in and keep up my paper journal / Bullet Journal daily using Journal Junkie’s May Challenge prompts (and April) or research pure bullet journal ideas and try some. Make a photo post on my Tumblr with these tag options #bullet journal   #journaling   #journaling-junkie   #paperjournal   #May journaling challenge – Did this every day. Troubleshooting the pingback issue has been stealing time.
  5. Crosspost above to my blog as a photo post. – done
  6. Post image one last time directly to Twitter as a photo status with one hashtag #journaling -done

For now goals are the same. This is a cool challenge. The Bullet Journal is something I want to explore much more.

This one is short and not sweet, a little bitter in fact but such is life. I was a foreign exchange student over the Summer of 1996 when I really started and never stopped a journey I can never forget. We were in the centro shopping for wallets and dried fruits and things when we saw a child begging. He had caked on blood running down his face and upon seeing him I was fill with such compassion, I had to offer him money. Our anfitriona who watched out for us students said “No!” She explained if I gave money to that child, all the other ones would probably have their noses bloodied by their parents the next day. This was a profound moment for me. It was like the old expression goes, the journey of a million miles begins with a single step. I am still on that journey only a bit quieter, observing things about this wicked world.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Journey.”

A Neighboring Teacher’s Noisy Class

It doesn’t happen that often and in fact hasn’t happened in a long time but as a teacher, I cringe when I hear another teacher lose control of their class. I’ve been in this line of work since 1997 so I completely understand the frustration children can cause when they are breaking the rules on purpose. Especially, of course, when they “won’t shut up.” However, when I hear a teacher yelling, not just raising her/his voice, it makes me cringe. A part of me even feels the urge to step in and assist them with their probably unruly class. I never do though. Each classroom is the sole responsibility of its teacher and stepping in is, to me, a bit of a sacrilege. I’ve had many cringe-worthy moments on the job throughout my career. It is indeed hard to see a fellow professional do something regretful. The following example happened to me when I taught down South years ago.

One year I was occasional exposed to another class where the teacher literally had no control. When we were in a certain room on occasion the kids would bang against the wall we shared. It took everything in me to not go over there. A couple times it was unavoidable. I remember once going in there and seeing kids standing on desks. I asked the teacher to speak with her/his class because the noise level was affecting my class. I actually couldn’t blame my kids for laughing the sounds were so outrageous. You can’t help but cringe when you see another teacher who has lost control of her/his classroom. The worst part of that particular moment was after I spoke to the teacher, he/she said they were sorry could “I” speak to them. Wow, a cry for help and I only a second year teacher at the time. Then one of the kids looked at me and said “Cand ‘YOU’ be our teacher?” That was harsh. I made sure to talk to the teacher later offering my support. It was definitely a cringe-worthy moment but I learned a lot. To this day, I only step in for the most serious of reasons.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cringe-Worthy.”