Man who walk through turnstyle backwards, may end up in weird Thailand sex city: Part II of the podcast

September 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

And during your patient wait since part I, of which I’m sure there were any number of you waiting for the exciting continuation of my podcast detailing my trip to Thailand (any number between one and two), I have finally put part II down on audio record.

Let’s just say that Thailand has a… reputation, and Khaosan Road in Bangkok hardly does that reputation justice. While there are definitely ladies (and boys) of the night strolling Khaosan Road at night looking for business, as well as your Tuk Tuk (taxi) drivers that are saying “ping pong show?” under their breath (prostitution and the sex trade is not technically on the up-and-up, but prosecuting that activity in Thailand would be like outlawing gambling in Nevada), the truth is that we were pretty far from the red light district.

In this issue of the podcast, I talk about how Marcus and I tour the most sacred temple in Bangkok with two German girls — in which both Marcus and one of the girls end up desecrating the holiness and cleanliness of the Buddhist sanctuary. (Not in that way… you’ll just have to listen to find out.) And then on Day 3, Marcus and I travel to a place called Pattaya, where we thought that “it’s a great place to party!” meant something entirely different than what it turned out to be.

What it turned out to be was that “Thailand reputation” times 100, unlike anything I have ever seen or expected from the “sex trade reputation” that Thailand has, including a trip down the most surreal road I’ve ever been down.

Sidenote: I know realize that the reason I can’t add an MP3 for download is that wordpress wants more money to do something like that. Why embedding the player won’t work, I don’t know. To listen to the podcast or download it, just go here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fieldgulls/2013/09/22/nsfw–thailand-travel-tips-and-adventures-part-ii

Bada bing, bada boom, just one extra click! Thanks!

25 steps to becoming a grown-ass man: Get your own damn place

August 6, 2013 § 5 Comments

The first time I moved out of my home, I was 20.  I wasn’t fearful at all, I was excited to “live by my own rules” and “eat as much ice cream as I want!” as I embarked from Bellevue, Washington to Pullman, Washington, where I would be transferring to Washington State University.  (Fun fact*: The state doesn’t get it’s name from the first president of the United States, but from the heavy rains. Locals would peer upon the wet grass and mud and say, “Damn look at that. The rain sure is washing ton’s of cows away into the ocean!” is what they’d say, mmhmm they would.)

I spent the next three years in Pullman, living with roommates — a different person each year — before moving back home after graduating in 2006.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Nice, you graduated in three years!” but please remember that I transferred from a two-year school.  So I’m about as smart or as ambitious as that.

*not really a fact

As ambitious as a boy that moved back in with his mother following graduation, because for some reason I did not receive a bundle of cash after I had finished my schooling.  Nobody came up to me on graduation day and said “Hey Kenny, here’s your $100,000 and a job. Good work on finishing school!”  Rather, for whatever reason, they handed me a diploma that said “Good luck, lol” and a bill.  I had to find comfortable lodging as I searched for a job, and I guess living with mom is about as comfortable as it gets.

After two years of doing that, I had finally decided that I was safe enough to move out, be an adult, and traverse the obstacles of adulthood as a man.  A man!!!

Now I’m 30 and I’m still not sure that I’m even close to being a man, let alone an adult, but I’m working on it.  One of the major pieces of that is becoming I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means?  It means having my own job, my own car, and yes, a studio apartment down by the beach.

That first time that I had moved out after graduation, I made my first real cardinal mistake of being an adult and living somewhere: Picking a good roommate.  The criteria for which I was accepting of a roommate at the time were as follows:

- “Oh, you’re looking for a roommate? Me too.”

And that’s it.

I moved into a two-bedroom apartment with someone I had been acquainted with in college, we’ll call him “John” (because that’s his name), and I really didn’t think it could be all that bad?  What was the worst case scenario, really?  How bad would it be?  Well, since I’m here writing this and not a murdered pile of fleshy Kenny, I would say that the worst case scenario did not come true.

But it was pretty close.

Whereas I had mostly mentally graduated from college (or at least came to the realization that Pullman was a town of literally about 80% students and not a Seattle suburb) John didn’t understand that.  Immediately it became obvious that music would be played loud throughout the night, drinking (and smoking) buddies would be staying around for as long as they wanted, and parties would be thrown during any day of the week.

Did I strongly emphasize enough the fact that we were living in a quiet suburb apartment complex next to little old ladies and 30-somethings with kids?  Or that I had a girlfriend at the time and all we liked to do was watch movies and enjoy quiet nights indoors, with little interest in the activities that John and his friends were interested in?  But more than anything, I didn’t want to get evicted, so I just needed to find a way out.

Less than two months after we moved in, I was in Vegas with my girlfriend when I got a voice mail from John.

“Yo.  We’ve been evicted.”  What a perfect phone call to get when you’re on vacation in Vegas.  All of a sudden I was a Loser, Loser, Chicken Bruiser.

___

I’ve spent the last four and a half years living with my best friend here in Los Angeles and I think that the length of time says enough about the best roommate situation I’ve ever had.  Moving in with someone you’re not that familiar with or not that comfortable with has turned out to be an 0-for-4 situation for me.  Oh, I’ve seen situations like this work out before for other people, friends of mine that have made lifelong friends with people that they’ve moved in with blindly, but I’m not one of those people.

I realize that living with me is something that many people cannot do, and I realize that for me, I can’t just live with anybody.  It also helps knowing that your roommate is not a complete douchehole.

I’d say that’s a proper way to describe my first roommate in Pullman.  Literally knowing nobody there, I moved in with a friend of a friend.  He seemed like a nice guy, but I actually knew on our very first day of living together that this was not going to work out.  We didn’t spend any time together for that year, and that turned into a blessing in disguise.

By being forced to venture out to find new friends, I would eventually meet the same dude that was my roommate for the last four and a half years.

My second year in school I moved in with a friend from those venturing out days.  We are still friends today (though not close friends) but the truth is that he just took massive dumps and clogged the toilet every day.

Seriously.

My third roommate was a friend from high school, and again still a friend today, but I made the mistake of agreeing to a deal where his friend would sleep in the living room.  It was college and you save money however you can, but I would describe this friend (we’ll call him “Chris” because that’s his name) as one of the worst people I’ve ever met.  An evil person.  The devil.

So the only successful roommate situations I have ever found are the ones where you know this person as well as you know anyone, but also you must understand that at times our friendship has been tested.  Most people shouldn’t spend that much time with anyone that they’re not fucking, and that’s just a scientific fact.

And so it becomes that in two weeks I will be getting my own studio apartment down by the beach.  Now at age 30, I knew that I have gone past the point of being young enough or broke enough to still have a roommate.  If you want to be a grown-ass man, you have to get your own damn place.

A place where you can bring home a girl (as if that happens all the time now) and not have to run clearance before hand.

A place where I can walk around naked (seeing me naked has now overtaken “snakebites” as most common ways people die each year) without fear of persecution.

A place where I can go home and do whatever I want without feeling an obligation to ask someone else, “So…. what do you want to do?”

There is nothing “adult” about having a roommate.  You have to be completely independent.

And that’s what this series is about: Growing up.

I don’t know what it has been like for previous generations of men, but I can tell you that it’s becoming blatantly obvious for my generation that we’re pushing the idea of men acting like kids well into their late-30s and early 40s at a significantly high rate.  If you watch Judd Apatow movies, you’ve got something like “This Is 40″ (Which previously would have been called “This Is 30″ in the 60s) but many more examples in that group of comedians where dudes can’t even hold themselves together long enough to talk to a girl, let alone have a wife and kids:

Knocked Up

40-year-old Virgin

This is the End

Pineapple Express

Funny People

Step Brothers

Grown Ups

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Wedding Crashers

Old School

TV shows like:

Seinfeld

The League

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Workaholics

Wilfred

Arrested Development

Community

And it’s not just guys…

What about the show Girls?  Mid-20s females that can’t maintain healthy, long-term relationships.  Or even the movie Bridesmaids, that featured a lot of women where one was getting married, one couldn’t get her life together, one was picking up air marshals…

And Kirsten Wiig as a woman who couldn’t get her shit together… she wasn’t 22-years-old.  She was in her 30s.  That’s not something I remember seeing much of in media when I was a kid.

When I think back to guy comedies in the 80s, for some reason I keep thinking about Stripes with Bill Murray and Harold Ramis.  Here’s a movie about two immature guys that join the Army because they don’t like their jobs.  I kept thinking that Murray and Ramis must’ve been in their mid-twenties, but maybe that’s because it came out before I was born.  (Movie: 1981, Me: 1982.)

But Murray was about 30 and Ramis was actually about 36.

Still, people are “maturing” or maybe it’s more accurate to say “doing adult things” at later and later ages.  American women are getting married on average, at age 27.  My grandmother got married when she was 16.  Women in the UK are marrying after 30.  And only about a quarter of black women in the US are married.   A quarter.

I don’t think that I have any need to get married, but there’s certainly some steps I can take to “grow up” a little bit.  Are there 25 of them?  We will find out.

I take the first step in a couple weeks when I move into my new place.  It’s actually not my first studio apartment.  After John got us evicted I was scrambling to find a new place to live, while also trying to convince renters that I was not the reason I had been kicked out of the apartment.  I would get John to tell them, do whatever it took, but getting evicted from an apartment is one of the worst things that can happen to you.  Finally a place had accepted my application and taken my deposit, but then they called a few days later to say that now they had found out I was evicted from my last place and they wouldn’t be taking me on.

I pleaded with them to reconsider, that they had already taken my money, but they still refused.  Since I was at work and couldn’t go pick up the money I had given them, I had asked my girlfriend at the time if she could do it for me since she worked right by the place.  It turned out that when she went in there she broke down crying in front of them, telling the story of the roommate from hell, and finally they relented.

I guess having a significant other does pay off sometimes.

I really enjoyed that place to myself, the place that I finally left a year later to move to Los Angeles.  I think I’ll enjoy this one even more.

Next time on “25 steps to becoming a grown-ass man”: Go see the damn world!

 

 

When you bury yourself

July 21, 2013 § 4 Comments

I haven’t written much here lately, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t written much.  I don’t know why I feel the responsibility to write this post, but I think I just need to write something.

At least three times per week, I’m supposed to write about the Seahawks over on FieldGulls.com.  My latest article for that site has turned into a novella.  I haven’t finished writing it yet, I’m adding graphics and video, and it’s already over 12,000 words long.  When I copy and pasted it into a Word document, it went over 30 pages.  Again, I haven’t finished it yet.  By the way, this particular article started out as nothing more than a comparison between young quarterbacks and the career of MC Hammer — and now it is the longest thing I’ve ever written.

At least twice per week, I’m supposed to write about fantasy baseball on FakeTeams.com.  My pieces there have also been much lengthier lately, and therefore I have fallen behind at times.

Eight hours per week I am on a newsdesk covering NFL stories.  This will probably increase to more like 16-20 hours per week when the season starts.

I am writing 32 fantasy previews for every NFL team.  This is separate from my work at FakeTeams and when I am done, it will total between 90,000-100,000 words.  I am also working on a novel when I have time, and my goal for the first draft of that novel would be about 90,000 words.

I have about 25,000 words on that novel.  I think.  I hope.  I haven’t looked at it in a couple of weeks and I may not entirely be sure what numbers and words are anymore.

I have no will power when it comes to not writing something when I get it in my head that I need to write it, so every couple of weeks I’ll write a 5,000 word piece on the Seattle Mariners for LookoutLanding.com.  This is what I consider “for fun.”

Every month I write a 3,000-word piece on the Power Rankings for the NFL.  My reward for this is having hundreds of angry Cowboys and Raiders fans calling me a “moron” in not-so-nice-words.

I run the YouTube channel for FieldGulls.  I do videos when I have time but during the season I’ll be required to do at least two of these per week.  I also decided to commit myself to doing 32 of these for the fantasy articles… why?  I don’t know!

I’m starting to apply for more writing positions around the internet because writing about MC Hammer was some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time.  Did I just write that?  Holy shit.  I need some sort of.. “life” I think it is called?  I’d love it if someone paid me to write about Hammertime, Full House, Saved by the Bell, or maybe eighties horror movies.

Fuck it, you don’t have to pay me.

Oh, I also have a 40-hour per week job.  Did I mention that?  Writing is my part-time job.

So I haven’t been here much.  I just noticed that the page views are down like 400% as they should be.  But maybe I’ll get some more time to start writing about Full House, MC  Hammer, and Saved by the Bell right here.

Because if there’s anything I need right now, it’s more assignments.

the last person that thought i was cool

February 26, 2013 § 10 Comments

This is my experience throughout school:  I wasn’t cool enough to hang out with the cool kids.  I wasn’t nerdy enough to hang out with the nerdy kids.  I wasn’t popular enough to hang out with the popular kids.  I wasn’t old enough to hang out with my grandparents.  That’s basically how I became a “floater” in high school.  I had acquaintances everywhere, I had casual friends all over, I changed best friends every year just like I changed the first day outfit every year.

I never felt like a loser because of this.  Never.  And I still don’t think that it made me a loser, because it wasn’t like I had a bunch of people that disliked me, I just didn’t have a bunch of close friends.  I wasn’t picked on or anything, I wasn’t made fun of (that I know of) and I didn’t get wedgies or stuffed into my locker.  Partly because I was twice as big as everyone else, partly because I was more of a harmless class clown than the subject of ridicule, but I keep in contact with very few people that I went to school with from the K-12 years.

Some of my best friends from middle school started drinking and doing drugs in high school, and since I didn’t really do that, we grew apart and I couldn’t hang out consistently with them.  I had a group of friends that I hung out with that were a year younger than me, and that didn’t always work.  I had another group of friends that were a year older than me, and that didn’t always work.  I could never get too attached to anyone, but I would never want to drift too far away either.

I played sports for awhile, but I was terrible.  No, let me re-phrase that: I played sports for awhile.  Football, baseball, basketball, and track & field, and I was the worst athlete you’ve ever seen in your entire life.  If you tried to imagine the worst athlete you’ve ever seen in your entire life, you still didn’t go far enough into just how bad of an athlete I am/was.  So playing on the football team didn’t help me become popular.  Spending life at the end of the bench  of the sophomore basketball team didn’t get me dates with cheerleaders.  Throwing a javelin 8 feet didn’t land me “Most Likely To Be Awesome!” in the yearbook.

So I wasn’t cool or popular, but could I at least find a home?  Not with the nerds.

I loved movies, and I loved Star Wars, and I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it’s not like I could keep up with a conversation of an actual Trekkie (offensive terminology I believe, not that I would know for certain) or Star Wars nerd.  I had some Magic: The Gathering cards, but I don’t know that I actually played in any real games.  I played some video games, but not intensely.  My hobbies, watching movies and reciting sports statistics, didn’t really make me a part of any group of people in high school and by nature can be rather isolating.  Even being a “class clown” (some would have probably just called me a “clown”) doesn’t necessarily help you either.  People would rather laugh from afar, and then stay afar as I’m being sent to the principal’s office.  I spent so much time in there that eventually she did become my pal.  The mnemonic device really works!  (I always remembered to spell mnemonic because of the episode of Full House where Stephanie incorrectly spells mnemonic.  How meta.)

“Hey, remember when Kenny said that thing about the teacher?”

“Yeah, haha.”

“Want to invite him to the party?”

“No.”

By college, things were able to change a little bit.  I made a few friends that I’ve had ever since and now that “cliques” and “cool” have not become a part of your societal status, I don’t have to worry about where I stand among my peers now that I am 30.  Still, it doesn’t mean that most people still don’t like to think of themselves as being “cool” once in awhile or having people that see value in you where others might not have.  That’s what I used to have with somebody.  That’s what I think I lost recently.

I grew up with one sister, one half-sister, and one half-brother.  My half-brother and half-sister are more than decade older than me and we never really lived together.  We have relationships, but it’s distant.  My sister is four years older than me and we did grow up together and the only three people that know for certain what our childhood was like are me, her, and our mother.  That’s not a bond that can ever be replaced, but still we aren’t that close.  She could not wait to move out of the house as a teen, and she never hid that fact, and she absolutely bolted when she could.  Being four years older than me, no teenage girl wants to be associated with their four-years-younger brother.  You would have thought that would be mostly a teenage girl thing, but since the time that she moved out of the house over ten years ago, I don’t know how many times my sister has actually called me.  Maybe five times?  None of them were to just see how I was doing.  And I don’t know how many emails I’ve received “just because”… Maybe a couple.

I was the youngest sibling of all, and most of the time I’ve still felt like an only child.  I know that all of my siblings would be there for me when I needed it, and vice versa, but none of them have ever really needed me.  I just wanted someone to provide some value to, maybe even to look up to.  Finally after college graduation, I became closer to some extended family and found some of that peace. but even that could only last for so long.

My mother’s cousin was not someone that I saw very much as a kid.  I remember going over there once, I might have only been thirteen or fourteen, and playing with her kids (or maybe just the one kid at the time) for awhile.  “E” must have only been a tot back then and “B” might have either been a newborn or a very young toddler at best.  (It would make the most sense if she was a newborn, hence giving me a reason to go over there with my mom at the time.)  But fast forward to after college graduation, when I was now 23, “E” and “B” were both young ladies and over the years the family grew closer and I spent more time hanging out with my mom’s cousin and her kids.  For the first time, I felt like I had someone that needed me to be a brother, that needed some guidance maybe, and that I was actually going to be the “cool” older person that wouldn’t judge you and that you could confide in.

Me…. cool?!?  You’re darn tootin’! that i’ve already lost my “cool card” haven’t i?  aww nuts. /kicks dirt.

When I showed up to their house, I could see the excitement on their faces that I was there.  When I talked to E on the phone, I could hear how happy she was to be talking to me.  The same with B.  With this “new” extended family, I felt more like I had a purpose within a family, and that I could finally beat up boys for someone and give advice and be a cool dude.  In high school I thought it would make me a cool dude to do freestyle raps and sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with perfect pitch (that’s perfect-pitch, mind you) but no?  Does it not make me a “cool dude” to say that I have won two karaoke contests, know the lyrics to every song on the Boyz II Men “II” album, and have seen every episode of Saved by the Bell at least ten times?  If that doesn’t make me cool, then I don’t know what does.

I don’t know what does.

But to them, to E and B, I was just cool.  I didn’t have to prove anything, I didn’t have to be anything other than myself, I was just a second cousin that loved my family unconditionally.  We never got to spend too much time together, I moved to Los Angeles from Seattle only a few years after college graduation and have been back sparingly since, but when I was back up in Washinton we always have a good time.  Most recently we got together at a Thanksgiving function where I totally kicked ass on a Wii dancing game for tween girls and if that doesn’t make me unconditionally cool then I really am completely lost on the meaning of cool.

A few months ago, E told me that she wanted to come down and visit me in LA for her 19th birthday.  I don’t exactly know how to host a teenager in LA, but somebody actually wanted to come visit me!  She was very excited for the trip right up until the time that I picked her up from LAX and I could still hear that same “you’re cool to me, Kenny” in her voice that morning.  It just didn’t seem like long after that though when I started to switch from feeling like “cool older bro” to “lame Dad” or “weird Uncle” and NOBODY wants to be seen as an uncle.  I even hope that my actual niece and nephew see me as something other than an uncle.  Friend?  Sure.  Confidant?  Yes.  The kind of guy that if you threw a party would give you the biggest gift and the card attached would say “Thank you for being a FRIEND and NOT an uncle!”  Hell yes.  But never a weird uncle.

We spent all day Friday at Disneyland, and by that I mean we were at Disneyland from 8 AM to 11 PM.  Now I really started to feel old.  My feet and back had given out when there was “only” nine more hours left until the fireworks display.  But none of that bothered me as much as watching the look of admiration from my cousin evaporate and turn into a distance of “we ain’t got shit in common” that might be too far to travel; Even further than the 20 or so miles that we had trekked in Disneyland that day.  And it’s a reasonable reaction for her too because just what exactly do I have in common with a person born in 1994?

I said “Let’s go on the Roger Rabbit ride!!!” (with at least three real-life audible exclamation points indeed) and I don’t know what could be cooler than a 30-year-old man wanting to go on a Roger Rabbit car ride, but she hadn’t even heard of Roger Rabbit.

She hadn’t even heard of Roger Rabbit.

She wouldn’t know of Boyz II Men.  She’s never seen Saved by the Bell.  Golden Girls?  Get out of town.  That’s when you realize that an eleven year difference isn’t just eleven years; it’s a generation.  Maybe on some level this really did make me more like a “brother” figure, since I’m not close to my own actual siblings in that way, but on another level I also felt like I lost one of the last people that might have thought I was cool in the whole entire world.  For a time when you think family could bond, instead it seems like getting closer can sometimes pull you apart.

When I sent her off back to Washington and said “Goodbye” I knew I wasn’t just saying any regular goodbye.  I was saying goodbye to the kid I had once known and saying hello to the next phase of her being a young woman that didn’t need me to beat up any boys or provide any advice or be a big brother.  Maybe B would need that one day, with another four years of being a high schooler still ahead of her, but I also won’t be around for much of it.  Sometimes you just have to accept the situation you are in and find a way to mold it into the situation that makes you happiest.  I never had a group of kids growing up that I ever felt fully accepted me, and I never had a sibling that I felt ever really needed me, and I never had a label of being the most popular, or the smartest, or the coolest.

But labels don’t define you.  Labels are like the difference between “infer” and “imply.”  You could be inferring that I am lame, but I’m trying to imply that I am cool and if you didn’t notice my “ALF” t-shirt that’s your problem.  If you can’t tell that I’ve got LA Looks in my hair, sorry pal move along.  Maybe I’m not the broad definition of cool, maybe I’m not James Dean or Marlon Brando or AC Slater, maybe I can’t ride a motorcycle or even cite to you every character from Star Trek, but I’ve got other things that make me cool because cool is what you make of it.  Cool is being yourself and not giving a heck.  Cool is doing what you do because you love it, not because someone else does.

I’ve got family that’s there for me, even if we don’t talk all the time and even if they insist on growing up and getting older.  I’ve got friends that accept me for who I am and actually enjoy my jokes about politics and fart puns.  And I’m not going to shy away from showing my insecurities to the world in a blog post, even if it leaves me bare and exposed, because maybe it’ll relate to just one other person and let them see that they weren’t the only one.

I actually think that makes me pretty cool.

/breaks out into Adele “Someone Like You” in perfect pitch.  Perfect. Pitch.

What I’ve Learned 2 Weeks After Quitting Smoking

January 28, 2013 § 8 Comments

I put off quitting smoking for a long time really because of one reason and I am not ashamed to admit it: It seemed like it would be a really hard thing to do.  I could hardly go four hours without a cigarette as it was, and “forever” is slightly longer than four hours.  How could I possibly eat another meal without nicotine dessert?  How could I drink another beer without a stoagie in hand, complementing the hops and barley so beautifully?  How would I get through a day of work without my consistent and necessary breaks… from work?  Well, two weeks since my last cigarette and now I must say…

I thought this would be harder.

That’s not meant to sound like I’m some awesome person that has great special powers when it comes to accomplishing seemingly difficult tasks.  Quite the opposite, since I will do whatever it takes to avoid tasks if anything.  Most people say that they hate going to the dentist because they don’t like the idea that a person is mucking around in their mouths, drilling and needling your teeth and gums.  But for me, I literally just hate going to the dentist.  I hate making appointments and then having to show up for those appointments.  If the dentist came to me, then he could drill and poke all he wants (some sort of sex joke goes here) but it’s the actual act of going that I hate the most.  So I am not even the guy that you would use as the example of a person that is great at doing stuff, and yet (my dentist will be happy about this) quitting smoking hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

That’s not to say that it has been without difficulties and obstacles.  Indeed, the last fortnight has been interesting and at times, annoying, but cigarettes have done little to sway me back into the fold of being a smoker.  Here is what the last 14 days has been like and what I have so far learned about quitting smoking:

Coughy, like the drink only spelled different

You would think that the worst “smokers cough” would come when you are actually smoking, but for almost two weeks I have not been able to restrain myself from a terrible and constant need to evacuate phlegm from my lungs and nurture a tingling sensation in the back of my throat.  So why am I being punished for doing a good thing and quitting?

For ten years I was killing the cilia in my lungs.  That sure seems like a silly-uh thing to do!  (Well, there’s nothing left for me to accomplish on the internet.  Goodnight, everyone!)

But seriously folks, those cilia help clean out the lungs and smoke puts them out like a candle in a very smoky wind.  As soon as you stop trying to murder your own cilia with cigarette smoke, they awaken from a deep coma and start cleaning the chimney chim-chim-charoo in breathtaking fashion.  Unfortunately that means that they are working overtime because I kept killing them and let garbage build up in my lungs, so it’s time to evacuate the lung waste and start from scratch, which might mean a scratchy throat, but I won’t bitch about this itch.  I think it’s pretty cool that I stopped killing those little guys.  It really makes you think about how your body is alive.  Weird, huh?  How bodies are alive.

I don’t know if my coughing is going to end today or go on for several more weeks, but it’s normal.  If I start coughing up blood, contact my doctor immediately.  (Call 555-2424 and ask for Dr. Tanner.)

I’m a former smoker, I’m popular

It used to be that the cool kids were the smokers but now you’re not cool, you’re nothin’ but a fool.  I actually would never judge a person for smoking, as I have said before, but it’s certainly not the popular thing to do anymore.  At least as of 2009, there were more former smokers (49.9 million) than current smokers (46.6 million) in the U.S.  Almost half of smokers had tried to quit and failed in the last year, which is exactly why I never tried to quit until I was ready.

Will I succeed or am I being way too cocky right now about quitting after only two weeks of cessation?  That’s a good question, because 90% of people fail upon their first attempt to stop!  I also assume that many of them did not quit cold turkey, like I did, but I simply didn’t want to switch out one addiction for another and also end up paying more money to not smoke than to just smoke.  Thanks to the ~$75 I have saved already in two weeks, I was finally able to purchase the Red Ryder BB gun and shoot my eye out.

The fact of the matter is that while nicotine may be one of the most addictive substances known to man, the chemical is basically out of your body entirely 48 hours after your last cigarette.  In reality, nicotine addiction is no match for habit and it’s the habit, routine, and cravings-linked-to-association-of-cigarettes that really make it difficult to quit.  When you stop smoking, it’s basically a 24-hour cycle of feeling like something in your life is missing.  It feels like you went on vacation and know for a fact that you left the stove on, completely unable to do anything other than think about how you left that damn stove on.  I couldn’t tell you the amount of times that I have finished a meal and thought, “Time for a cigarette” only to remind myself that I had quit.  It’s that self-denial of something that feels so naturally right that really makes it hard to say no to giving yourself a cigarette.  That association that a smoke has with food, beer, sex, driving, talking, walking, or reading the news.  You’ve cut off an arm and you just want that arm back and you’ve conditioned your brain to think that you can’t have one of those things, whatever it is, without a cigarette.  It’s a habit, so how do you break the habit?

They say that it takes “21 days” to make or break a habit, but is that really true?  I trust How Stuff Works more than I trust my President, so let’s take a look at what they say about 21 days:

For most people, staying away from a bad habit is a lifetime effort, backed up by the fact that those well-worn synaptic pathways never go away. There’s no apparent scientific reason why it would take three weeks to break an old habit or make a new habit. Depending on your unique physical and psychological make-up, it could take three weeks, it could take five days, or it could take nine months.

Everyone is different.  Maybe I could really break my smoking habit (for the most part) in two weeks.  Maybe I have another four months.  In reality, I’ll probably still have smokicidal thoughts in 20 years.  But the actual habit, the innate “natural” desire to have a cigarette every time I do something, like eat or drink, will subside more and more each day.  It’s already mostly gone, for now.

Cancer?  Sorry, no, Sagittarius.

Nobody has ever said this before, but smoking causes cancer.  It’s one of the hottest new ways to cancer up yo’ body!  “Kenny, my body is completely clean.  How can I get cancer?”  “That’s easy: Smoke!”

I would be lying if I said that the risk of cancer was in the top five reasons of why I quit smoking and I honestly think that “You’ll get cancer!” anti-smoking ads are the least effective.  Frankly, people do not really care about long-term benefits and risks of anything.  I can’t even watch a DVR’d television show without hitting the FF button four times during commercials.  And you’re telling me that now I have to worry about whether or not this thing in my hand is going to give me lung cancer when I am 75 years old?  Or maybe even never?  I am sure we have all heard of the people that smoked until they were 100 and most people don’t have all that much interest in living to be 100.  We will hold more onto the fact that a few people can live for a long time as smokers than the fact that most smokers are gonna die from it.  That’s just the way it is.

No, I would list reasons for quitting more like:

- Dating

- Money

- That woman with the hole in her throat

- Smell

- Teeth

- It’s cold outside

Most people are going to live their life how they want to live and not think about the long-term consequences, because I think a lot of people live in at least some fear that they might not live to see the day that smoking kills them anyway.  I can’t have this cigarette because it might kill me in 40 years?  Yeah, but I also might die in a freak kazoo accident so who gives a crap?  However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that the benefits of a longer life, or at least the possibility that I’m not going to be the one to kill myself through smoking, aren’t very cool.

The risk of heart and lung disease for a former smoker and a non-smoker are just about the same 5-10 years after cessation.  Which means that I got to live a little and be free to smoke in my 20s and could completely get away with it!  Ha!  All you never-smokers really missed out.  And by quitting at age 30, I have reduced my chances of dying prematurely from smoking-related diseases by 90%.  Not only that, I have increased my chances of dying from sex-related accidents by 400% because now that I don’t smell like smoke and have some extra money in my pocket, I will need to fend off droves of ladies with brooms and fencing gear.

The desire to smoke and the desire to eat are sadly very similar

One thing that I have noticed and that I will need to stay aware of, is that it is very easy to gain weight when you quit smoking.  Not only does the body literally gain water weight when you quit, but there’s a need to fill that desire to smoke with something, and oftentimes that something is food.  It’s especially hard for a person like me, because I was already having ZERO problem gaining weight!

Just this morning as I drove to work I felt a major desire for something.  It was an empty stomach, but I used to smoke a cigarette bright and early and this would curb the appetite for a significant period of time.  I can no longer do that, so I need to find other ways to get past it without smoking and without overeating.  Trust me, I’m going to keep eating, but I don’t want to trade out one negative for another and in addition to that, I am back to going to the gym on a regular basis.  (Seriously, I feel so bad for males in the Los Angeles area.  Sorry dudes, K-Arthur is here for the ladies and there is nothing you can do about it unless you sabotage me with cigarettes and Snickers Ice Cream bars mmmm cigarettes and snickers ice cream)

The most important thing to remember for anyone quitting smoking is that cravings will continue to happen but when you consciously think about the cravings you will notice that they never last for more than a couple of minutes.  Over time, those will get to be less and less and I can honestly make it through most of a day already without a single craving. At least, not for cigarettes, but when those cravings come for food, its just important to remember that moderation is key and that the desire will still go away in minutes.

(Though when I went to the grocery store yesterday, I said f*** it and went to the yogurt aisle which seems like a legit place to go nuts without getting a bunch of food that’s bad for you, so I went down the row and got 12 different kinds of yogurt.  That seemed like a good way to live out the dreams of some millionaire rock star.  You know, because I can afford 12 cups of yogurt of all different flavors and styles.)

In addition to more food cravings, you also have an increased sense of smell and taste when you quit smoking.  I can honestly say that my mouth feels incredibly clean and I would totally make out with my own mouth if I could.  It’s like a hotbed of naturally warm spring water and I want to go skinny dipping on my tongue.  Try to get that visual out of your mind now.

But these are just a few of the benefits I have already found to quitting and enough reason for me to never smoke another cigarette again.  I also get improved circulation and the ability to breathe, which should also make working out more beneficial than what it was when I was a smoker.  Seriously, I didn’t know what this “breathing” thing was all about until recently but it seems pretty cool.  I don’t know why I have not found it difficult to quit smoking but so far it’s been a breeze, I can only hope that it will continue to be that way.

I wish I hadn’t waited so long to find out what the big deal about quitting was in the first place.  At least there’s still plenty of time and opportunity to make up for it.

(Edit: I don’t know why I didn’t originally include this because it’s the most annoying part of quitting so far but maybe it’s because I’m just too damn tired.  I literally have been waking up at 3-4 AM every single day since.  I am not one who usually sleeps in but this is ridiculous.  Smokers are heavy sleepers and so when you quit, the sleeping is lighter and it’s very hard to get a good night’s rest.  Eventually I will be sleeping like a normal human being again, but definitely the restless nights have been the most difficult part about quitting.  Though, not an enormous deal.)

The Room: The Book

November 30, 2012 § 3 Comments

Writing “a book” can be rather daunting if you’ve never done it before.  Just ask me: I’ve never done it before and I’m daunted!  However, I think I’ve stumbled upon a book idea that is not all that daunting because really it would just be a collection of essays on one particular subject.  It’s a subject that I’ve spent countless hours going over in my head, I once started a blog about it, and I know that I could expound upon the subject for at least 500 pages without even feeling like I had fully covered it.  (Though I won’t write 500 pages.)  If you’ve read the title of this article, then you probably already know that I’m talking about the 2003 Tommy Wiseau film, The Room.

The Room isn’t just considered to be one of the worst films ever made, but I believe that it’s one of the most thought-provoking movies in the history of cinema.  No fuck that, it is the most thought-provoking movie ever made.  I have seen a lot of deep movies that made you think, but none quite like the mind-taxing phenomena that Wiseau somehow produced almost a decade ago.

Last night I was having a conversation with my roommate about a line of dialogue.  Let me repeat that: Last night I had an entire conversation (that could have gone on forever if we had wanted it to) about a single line of dialogue.  It seems like it is so simple, but The Room is somehow layered unlike most movies and the most amazing thing about it is that it was probably just an accident.  (The use of the word ‘probably’ also hints at the fact that there’s a thread of possibility that it was not an accident and the world has just been trolled by Wiseau.  In which case, my brain is Humpty Dumpty.)

The character of Johnny (Wiseau) is one the roof (again) and talking to Denny (how much I could talk about Denny…) and discussing what movie they should go see.  Denny asks Johnny and Johnny replies: “We could see…. Oh Denny, don’t plan too much.  It may not come out riiiight!”

Immediately my mind races:

- Don’t plan too much, for it might be all a wasted exercise.

- How much planning is too much planning?  Because in this case, the only “plan” that Denny proposed was deciding on a film before you get to the theater…

- Why is Johnny brushing off Denny here?  It seems as though perhaps Johnny could just be completely oblivious as to what movies are out, what movies even are, and instead pushes back on Denny with a lecture about planning.

- We’re talking about going to see a movie here.

- Then I also wonder, since we ARE talking about a movie here, is this sort of meta-commentary on the film itself?  Was Tommy saying “Look, don’t plan too much on making a movie because in the end it might be shit.”  OR was he saying “I actually DID plan too much, this is my life’s passion, and look what we have here even after all of that careful planning?”

Ultimately I don’t believe that Johnny and Denny ever actually went to see a film that day.  Maybe they should have planned better.

That’s what can come about from a single line of dialogue, and I’m paraphrasing.  A single scene, such as the masterful Chris-R scene, would take forever to analyze.  Or the “Hi Doggy” scene, Jesus.  So now I begin my journey towards writing up as many essays on the movie as I can, both analyzing scenes and trying to hopefully find answers on the intent and result of what happened in The Room.  It’s not something that I could just let rest.  It doesn’t really matter if anyone reads it, I’m not sure that there’s much of a market for it, but we’ll see what comes out the other end.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen, that would be too much planning.

 

My haircut, my life

November 28, 2012 § 11 Comments

Roughly ten haircuts a year, same haircut every time, call it 15 years, 150 haircuts.  Consider 95% of said haircuts have come at Supercuts, 142 Supercuts haircuts, same haircut every time, average about $20 per haircut with tip, $2,840 spent on haircuts since I was old enough to get a job and pay for my own haircuts.  Two-thousand-eight-hundred-forty dollars spent so that I could keep the same haircut, almost $3000 spent just so that I can look the same.

I wonder how much extra it would have cost to look different.

Nearly 150 haircuts and still to this day when the Supercuts stylist asks me the inevitable question, “So what are we doing today?” I am still befuddled as to some of my answers.  “Umm. 2 on the sides?  No, 1 on the sides.  Blended into the top and then… “some” off of the top?”  “An inch?”  “How much is an inch?”  “Okay, so like this much.”

The stylist uses his or her (honestly, 95% “hers”) fingers to measure what we’re leaving, which does absolutely nothing for me because it doesn’t really represent at all what my hair is going to look like when it’s cut and her fingers are out of the way.  My best answer to this point has become, “Just enough for me be able to do some work with it, not enough so that I have to.”  Basically I’m going to be upset if I come out looking like an Army private because it’s too short or like an aspiring child actor because it’s too long.  (Seriously, why do all male actors have long hair?)  “What’s in the middle between Pauly Shore in In The Army Now before and after he had his head shaved?  I’ll take one of those.”

So many haircuts, so many trips to the same franchise, so many “No” answers to the “shampoo” question (despite how nice it is to have someone else wash your hair, I pass on paying someone to do it) and yet I couldn’t tell the person cutting my hair exactly what I wanted.  At my latest Supertrip, I might have gotten the words out as quickly as I ever have: “One on the sides, blended into the top, aaannndd…. half off the top.”  Fuck it, half-off, it works for sales why couldn’t it work for me?

Okay, so I’m really nailing it.  Quick and easy answers, now it’s sit-and-go time.  Now it gets awkward.

It all depends on my mood, but I usually prefer silence to a chatty hair stylist.  If small talk with a co-worker is a pointless exercise of finding ways to fill the time and air with words, then what good does it do to chat with a person that I literally met five seconds ago and that I’ll literally leave behind with the tattered remains of my brown and gray hair that are no longer a part of me when I’m finished?  The stylist and I were born one day, we will die one day, we will live a certain amount of years (at least 29 for me and preferably at least 30 for her) and within that amount of time of birth and death, we’re going to share 15 minutes.  So why exactly does it matter that you know what I do for a living?  I mean sure, it’s a little unfair that I already know what you do for a living, but past that we’ve come to an impasse.  We are mysterious strangers, you and I, let’s remain in that abyss.

Of course, this is only my experience.  Many people either:

A) Love small talk

B) Go to the same stylist every time

I would have written about another person’s personal preference or experience, if only I could be that other person.  I’ll tell you what John Malkovich prefers after I find the tunnel that goes into his head.  I can only detail how I feel about small talk and how I feel about it is that it’s not a preferable solution to one of the few other options a person has when they are getting their haircut.  My avoidance to the distraction leaves me with that other incredibly awkward activity that a person is faced with in the moment: Trying not to stare at yourself.

Uma Thurman’s character in Pulp Fiction talked about how two people have a comfortable or uncomfortable silence, so what does it say about me being uncomfortable when the face staring across from me with a blank stare of “What am I doing here?  What excuse can I make to get out of this?” is my own?  Thoughts abound run through my head during these times:

- “Okay, just don’t look directly at him.”

- “Keep your chin up.  I can see the double-dip chin rollin’ in.”

- “Man, I really need a haircut.  Oh sweet, it’s happening right now.”

- “Why are the bags under my eyes so deep in purple and droopy?”

- “Seriously I can’t look at this guy.  Hey, whats going on with that haircut behind me?”

- “Even if I did initiate small talk, I’d have to look at myself because she keeps telling me not to move my head.”

Do I talk to myself when I am alone?  Sure.  Do I go into a bathroom and stare at myself when I’m bored?  I think I’d be saner if I simply heard voices telling me to burn things.  We don’t tend to look at ourselves unless we are grooming ourselves and if we are grooming ourselves, we are occupied.  Idle eyes during a haircut are the devil’s playground as well, I’d say.  Idle eyes are not something I idolize.  /quits writing forever because he’s nailed it.

/takes writing back up again because the alternative is more time alone with my thoughts.

You see, there are two sets of any haircut: The side you see and the side you don’t.  With the side you see, things tend to get very critical.

- “It’s too short!”

- “It’s too long!”

- “I look like a six-year-old!”

- “Why am I yelling at this person?!”

But there’s definitely vanity in the side that we are going to be looking at every day, assuming that you have a mirror in your bathroom and that you use the bathroom.  This is the side that we groom, the side that we touch up, the side that we feel matters if we are going out into public or on a date.  I’m not metrosexual, this I know for sure.  If I was, I’d probably be in so much better shape and I’d go clothes shopping more than once per presidential election, but I do use product in my hair and have a set way that I like it to look.  I have no idea if anyone else thinks it looks good, but most of the time I think it looks good.  (It’s a funny sort of idea when we think about what “looks good.”  Everybody knows people and sees people that have a hair style that makes you think, “Wow.  How could they POSSIBLY think that is an acceptable haircut or doo?”  Yet, they do do their doo, dude.  /quits writing again.  That person, that possibly perfectly self-aware person, is probably satisfied or even elated with their current hairstyle.  It’s a personal opinion.  Because of this idea that people are either A) not self-aware or B) are self-aware but are completely “uncool”, I actually have inner-dialogues wondering if I am either A or B.  Is it possible that my hair is now, and has always been, stupid-looking?  I know that people say that you shouldn’t care what other people think, but I’m just a squirrel tryin’ to get a nut in this world.  What I want to know is if I’m a blind squirrel.  When I was in middle school, I tried many different experiments with my hair, but I was completely self-aware with how much I was fucking it up.  I’ve spent $3000 trying not to fuck it up and yet here we are.  Staring into the mirror of self-doubt.  end scene.)  When it doesn’t look good to me, when I think that the stylist has done a bad job, I’m not happy about it.  Usually it’s because it’s too short.   How could she not read my mind from the “ehhh… thiiiis much???” description?  Either way, this is the part of me that I see and this is the part that I know what I am showing to the world.  I’m self-aware of this part.

What I find more interesting that though is the other question I receive every time I get a haircut.  “Straight or curved in the back?”  This is not a question that most girls have ever gotten during a haircut (not that I hate on girls with short hair.  Natalie Portman may have gotten hotter) but what the stylist is referring to is the line at the top of the neck and the base of the head.  “Do you want corners or curves?”  Wait, now I have to concern myself with how I look on a part of my body that I will literally never see?  (A mirrored imagine in itself is not technically seeing, let alone a mirrored image of a mirror.)  Beyond the fact that it is something that I will never see, how many people have ever look at the base of my head and thought either “Oh wow, nice fucking corners!” or “Hey buddy, we don’t take kindly to your curved neck base around here.”?

This seemingly inconsequential decision is not something that I want to think about when there are so many other decisions that are more important in my life, so I typically tell the stylist to “surprise me” because holy shit what a meaningless question.  I’ve never been that big of a fan of making decisions in the first place and I’ve always told myself that if I came into a ridiculously large sum of money that one of the first things I’d do is hire somebody that knew my tastes really well (or better yet, had much better tastes than me) and then have them make many of my decisions for me.  “What am I having for dinner tonight?”  “What am I wearing on my date?”  “When do I need to go to my next dentist appointment?”

I’ll decide when to wake up, when to go to sleep, what I want to watch (because nobody fucks with my remote), and still plenty of other decisions, but I will not decide how the back of my head is going to look.  Sure, I don’t want you to shave a Swastika back there, but corners or curves?  There’s shit going down in Gaza.

After pretending like I care whether I have “sideburns” or not (I’m not Elvis Presley, we’re talking about the difference of like a half-inch of hair going down the front of my ears), feigning interest in how the back of my head looks in the mirror mirror (“Looks good!” every time), and brushing off whatever hairs don’t grasp tightly onto my shirt collar and neck, which never seems to be very many, my 150th-or-whatever trip to Supercuts is finished.  Nearly every single one blended together to form more of a singular memory about one very long trip to Supercuts instead of dozens, and why not since I’ve spent nearly $3000 to have the same thing over and over again.  A ‘Groundhog Day’ task.

So what does it all mean when:

- Supercuts is my only destination for a haircut?  In & out, we aren’t trying to re-invent the beehive.

- I can do something over and over again and still not be descript in explaining what I want?

- I can’t share 15 minutes with myself staring down on me in the mirror without being uncomfortable?

- I can’t find meaning in small talk with a stranger that won’t become anything more than a stranger?

- I can’t ensure my own self-awareness of how it looks?

- I’m not concerned at all with the parts of myself that I don’t see?

- A gentle buzzing on the base of the next is next to Godliness.

(I never got to that last part in this essay but good lord, I would gladly pay another $3000 straight-up for 15 minutes a day of the clippers gently cleaning up back there.  I may not care whether it’s straight or curved, but you damn sure aren’t going to skip it.)

What does it mean?  What does it mean?  What does it mean?  I guess that’s the point- I can’t give you an answer, I’m not Dr. Melfi, but each of those little eccentricities mean something.  A haircut can tell you a lot about a person, not really so much the “doo” but everything in between.  The where, the how, the descriptions, the hang-ups of a somewhat interesting activity that nearly every person has to go through with a routine, everything that goes into getting your haircut can say a little something about your life.  Everybody has their own experience and since people typically don’t go in groups to get haircuts, it’s a rather personal experience.

15+ years of going to barber shops on my own, 150 haircuts, $2,840 spent at Supercuts, the same exact routine over and over again without much fault or difference and what does my routine say about me?

uhhhh… I don’t know… half-an-inch?

Not a longform sports story

November 14, 2012 § 2 Comments

Unrecognized dead silence and then annoying interruption as the alarm clock sounds at 6:59 am.  It’s time to wake up, it’s time to wake up, it’s time to wake up in the morning.  Kenneth lumbers out of bed, silences the alarm, and walks past the large empty bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that he had finished the night before.  It’s Wednesday.

Days simply go by and the routine rarely changes.  Kenneth can look back on his life and reminisce on the good times and the bad times, but he knows that the two are rarely any different.  Rather than “good” or “bad,” his life just has times and then those times begin to blur together.  Even at this moment as he writes this, he knows that this is now but later on it will be before and that earlier it was “in awhile” and then he even gets to this word and it wasn’t now anymore, it was then.

Kenneth shakes his head like a Yahtzee cup, he’s so confused after what he just wrote.

However, he needs to do something to provide less consistency in his life.  Consistency leads to complacency and complacency is something that should only be reserved for school and work.  If you’re complacent in every day life however, you’re ready to just give up.  Kenneth doesn’t want to give up, he wants to move forward.  He wants to advance, to pursue his dreams and reach his goals.  That shouldn’t be too hard; He only wants to write a long-form sports story.

Where did it all begin?

Rural Flashback

The buzz alarms loudly, but this time behind a half-empty 40 of Olde English 800, as Kenneth fights through the cans and bottles to silence it for one more day.  It’s Monday in college.

Set among the rolling hills of golden wheat and brick buildings, he knows that this will be the perfect setting for the next section of his long-form story.  People love the shit out of rural America in this type of essay, and they drip from their nether regions when “rolling hills of golden wheat” are mentioned.  The farms and agriculture of this country are like a domestic-foreign setting that remind us of days-gone-by.  Most of the people that read these stories on the internet are used to a city or suburban setting, so it gives us an escape to read of experiences that we know little of.

Pullman, Washington is the home of Washington State University and also miles from most modern conveniences of civilization.  After four hours of traveling through vast nothingness to reach the college, it’s a sight for sore eyes just to see a Safeway again.  Though most of the students frequent Dissmores IGA.  Readers of this long-form story will regale themselves in possibilities of what Dissmores could really be like, therefore it is more interesting than a simple Safeway.

He could go on about how instead of going to Wal-Mart, he went to Shopko.  Damn, that’s random.

Forget the fact that Pullman, though small and a college-town through and through, is just another suburbanite area except that it’s full of students instead of adults.  Kenneth rarely found himself in a field or farm, more likely to be passed out drunk on a stranger’s porch or his bathroom floor.  However, if we can relate this to alcoholism then it will be a disease that conjures up feelings of intrigue and interest that would embellish a rather mundane college experience.

Perhaps if we go further back in the subject’s life we’ll find more interesting anecdotes of suffering and tragedy…

Subject’s Childhood

Nope, we won’t.  We can try!

His parents got divorced when he was 3.  His father abandoned him.  Nothing too unusual for any child of America.  Ruining his perception of love and marriage.  Kenneth would find himself eating a lot and watching television and movies with most of his free time.  This made him an obese and he escaped his wretched life by living vicariously through made-up characters and lavish realities of other universes.  He was fine with it all though.  He was depressed.

Ken would find himself in love with love at an early age, trading in one crush for another as school years passed by.  Sex addict.  However, his puppy love left him puppy crushed and he was never much of a hit with the opposite sex.  Loser.  Love was his only drug.  Drug addict.  His only currency, and he had none of it.  Broke.

He had high test scores but never put forth any effort and got terrible grades.  Underachiever, lazy.  It wasn’t until he actually got to Washington State that he finally decided that it was time to start trying, and that’s where he finally found his passion for writing.  This loser addict finally had some hope.

Readers like hope.

A Light At The End Of The Tunnel, And Other Metaphors

His article would have many analogies.  Like an article, that had many analogies.

Could this article spread it’s metaphor wings and fly though?  Would it be able to push out of it’s mother’s womb and birth itself into the world?  Could the long-form essay make it rain words of wisdom onto a world of sorrow, washing away the ignorance of Kenneth that had been bestowed by years of this article not existing?

It could!  It did.  Enough of that.  This article had already been through the rigors of many articles like it that had come before.  There was only one thing left that it needed, one final piece to this puzzle.  Oh look, another metaphor or something. I guess there was room for one more, like an analogy would have room for one more comparison.  What this article needed to end though was a twist.  The moment that makes you say “huh” or “woah” or “well I’ll be.”

The twist, as always, would be the identity of the writer.

The identity of the writer, the subject of Kenneth, was actually me the whole time.

Let me help you pick your mind up.

 

 

‘writers block’ is a dick

October 16, 2012 § 14 Comments

I felt the need to write something on here again.  A week isn’t a long time for every blogger to go without saying something, but it’s a long time for me.  I guess I have an obsession, and make no bones about it; it’s self-centered, vain, and narcissistic. I need you and I don’t want to lose you.

I’ve thought a lot about who I want to be as a writer, how I want to come off to strangers and most of whom that I’ll never meet in person.  Do I want to censor myself as to not offend the reader?  Do I want to go over-the-top for shock and entertainment value?  The easiest answer is also the hardest to pull off: Being myself.

It’s very difficult for me to by myself.  I don’t think that it’s because I don’t like me, I can stand myself, it’s just a natural fear that the next sentence I write will be the one that messes it up.  But is that really possible?

poop fart jiggy jiggy bewbs bewbs bewbs

Yep, it is possible.

But the truth of the matter, sadly, is that in a way I am that sentence.  I didn’t start to write it thinking that it would be true, but it kind of is.  I’m weird, immature at times, random, and immature at times.  Is that okay?  I don’t know if it is and I’m not confident that I am taking the right steps.  But what are the right steps?

When I got into this business, I mean when I really got into it, I told myself that I wanted to not just be myself but that I also wanted to be successful.  I want to do something different in this business.  I want people to see me for who I am but also show them that I wasn’t the same boring, bland writers that they might have gotten used to in national mainstream media.  I am not in mainstream media, but I guess that’s the plan?

Can I just be myself, can I challenge some past ideologies, and also be successful?  It’s a rare combination, do I have those qualities?

I don’t mind showing my insecurities to the world and I don’t think I have ever shied away from that.  I haven’t gone out with a girl since February.  See?  However, I felt like if people could read someone that didn’t shy away from their own faults, that they could feel like this is a person that is comfortable to read because I won’t judge you for yours.

All of us, with the exception of Gosling, have faults.

I titled this about writers block because I didn’t have any damn idea what I would write about when I started.  I just wrote.  This is what happened.  This is what I’m really thinking about I guess because I am in constant fear of failure and judgment.  I write things and consistently after I post them I think, “Was that good enough? It wasn’t good enough. Nobody has said anything for ten minutes, it must have been soooo bad.”

I don’t know if I want to even post this.  As I write this, I am leaning towards not posting it.  But if I do, I will keep this paragraph in because I want to show you just how real that fear is.  Am I going to fail with this post?  I struggle to hit each keystroke as I write each word.  I hesitate with every sentence.  Not because I don’t know what I am going to say, but I don’t know if I want to say it.

“Am I being egotistical?”

“Am I coming off as a dick?”

“Am I blowing it right now?”

“Am I blowing off a dick right now?”

Do you see what I mean about being immature?  But all I really want to be, is funny.  I want to write stuff that makes a persons day a little bit better.  I want to cheer people up, if I can.  Days can suck for some people, they go around the internet sometimes looking for ways to get by.  I don’t expect to ever compete with “sneezing cats” videos or anything, but maybe I can do a little something for one person.  That would be pretty cool.  When a person says that I made them “LOL” then that does feel pretty damn cool.

(However, if you only laughed internally, I’m sorely disappointed in you.)

I think that this is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever had to write, because it gives a little more insight into my mind and my writing.  I don’t typically vocalize (write-a-lize?) that kind of stuff.  This might be my most vulnerable insecurity.  That I want to make it as a writer, that I have set high goals for myself, and that I live in constant fear of failure.  I guess I have concerns that people see a fear of failure as a weakness, but I think it’s a driving force of what makes people better.

It’s only the difference between whether or not you face you fear (like if you took the steps to go on Maury and overcome your fear of toothpaste) or give into it.

I give into my fear of rollercoasters because I don’t have any aspirations of being a professional rollercoasterer.  Maybe I need to take this fear straight to Maury Povich.

I guess I kind of have to hit post now.

Google Searches Provide Interesting Insight To What Brought You HERE

October 9, 2012 § 9 Comments

I’ve had a pretty crazy week that has prevented me from doing any updating to KennethAuthor but I feel better knowing that most of you update your blogs about as often as I get asked out by a girl.

(Rhymes with “Bever.”  Wait, no, that looks like it sounds like “beaver” but it’s supposed to sound like “Bevver” except that I’ve never seen two “v’s” next to each other.  I could continue that as a sex joke about “two v’s” but I’ll stop here.  And this has been an edition of “how to not tell a joke in seven sentences.”)

On Thursday I had a tooth pulled.  I am an adult.  Well, physically speaking I am an adult.  Just as long as you don’t count “ability to grow facial hair” then yes, I am almost 30 so that makes me an adult.  One that has just had a tooth pulled.  I put it under my pillow but the “girlfriend fairy” never came.

Actually, that sounds about right in at least 12 ways.

I’ve been planning on doing a longer post on getting a tooth pulled, and I will, but I want to wait until I get a good picture of the tooth as proof.  It’s not pretty but it was a part of me and it finally left me just like everything else.

In order to keep this blog rolling though I wanted to update you on something that I’ve updated you on before, and that’s one of the most fascinating things about having a blog: The searches that bring you here.  There are at least 45,000 people on this planet and a good 50% of them use the internet.  That gives you good odds that people are doing some really weird searches on “Google.net” and luckily I get to view those searches.

I crossed over 100,000 views this year and that means that I have got quite a bit of searches to search through and find the best ones.  Thank you, Internet!

Some background:

- For a long time now my most popular article has been “I Love You, Wendy Peffercorn.”  I honestly would have never guessed that was going to happen but hundreds of you read it each week.  I had no idea that so many other people were still obsessed with Wendy Peffercorn.  My advice to anyone wanting to get hits from “Google.lycos” is that you write about something niche that a lot of people like but not a lot of people read about.

A secondary character from a popular movie made 20 years ago is a good place to start!  We have childhoods and now a lot of adults are sharing those same memories, so write about things like Big League Chew, Baby Sinclair on Dinosaurs, or the film 3 Ninjas.  There’s at least 50 people searching for those things right now and I just stole them from you, haha.

- Another popular post here has been “How Many People Are Having Casual Sex on OKCupid?”  It’s almost as if people really care about sex.  For me, sex ranks right between Saved by the Bell: The College Years and that time I was told that I was too fat to ride a horse.  So yeah, pretty high.

When I started this site it was either going to be the blog that you see before you or a porn site that specialized in awkward text messages I send when I’m drunk that never get a response and actually never lead to sex™.  

Intercourse sells.  In this case, it was more like a “lack thereof” but people seem to enjoy that kind of stuff.  This is Search Engine Optimization 101.

- I am 38 comments short of 1,000 so let’s make it happen!

- I am 220 followers short of 1,000 on Twitter so let’s make it happen!

- You’re making things happen for me, doesn’t that feel nice?  Do things for others and don’t expect them to do unto you but at least science proves that you’re happier when you do things for other people than doing for yourself.  I’m trying to make you happier.

- My most popular non-US readers come from the UK, Canada, Australia and Belgium.  So… white people basically.  Which is fine because I’m whiter than the non-February months.  I accept and love all races though, so come forth.

- Over the past month I have 161 views from Germany.  I like to think of just one German dude that’s come here 161 times and is just so angry with me.

- Over the past month I have 1 view from the Isle of Man and I’d like to think that he went to the Olympics.  Just that one guy.  If there isn’t a porn movie yet named “Isle of Man” then I am directing it starting yesterday.

Anyways, onto the search terms!  These are actual terms that brought people here over the past week:

- “6″  Just the number six.  That brought 56 people here in a week.  Why didn’t we think of this before?  At least 150 people a week have to think about the number 6 so why wouldn’t it be popular?  I wrote a blog post about what the best number is in a Top 10 list and it seems to be working out pretty well.  Coming up next week: “Is ‘G’ the ‘Corey Feldman’ of letters?”

- “Jodie Sweetin nude” brought 31 people here.  I wrote this the last time I wrote this blog post… I still don’t have nude pictures of Jodie Sweetin nude and I never said that I did!  I just get the feeling that 30 of those views came from Jodie Sweetin herself.

Kimmie Gibbler checks in next at 24 views.  This country is having a really hard time letting go of Full House.  They have a real “Flesh-Toned Love Affair” with that show.

- I’m still shocked about the number of people that come here on topics like dating and okcupid, considering that I literally could not tell you the last time I went on a date.  I’ve had 4 or 5 girls recently where it was like, “Yeah, let’s go out!” and then something happens to prevent it like she sees a full body picture or I see that USA is running a Psych marathon.

(Search terms: ‘okcupid’, ‘what girls look for in a guy’, ‘okcupid scam’, ‘three some’ (yes, two words), ‘is it okay tk ask a girl to f*** straight up’ (not MY typo))

How lazy are people with searching Google?  It’s not a term paper, just hit the backspace one time.

Oh, here is a good one: “If I ask a girl to have sex would she”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if you have to ask Jeeves, the answer is no.  A lot of people are curious about proper date etiquette, okcupid, online dating, what’s right and wrong to do on a first date, and more questions that bring them HERE for answers.  Quite ironic, if you ask me.  Though I suppose a “What NOT to do” can be just as helpful as a “What to do” site.

- 10 searches for “Blackout Drunk” brought people here.  Now this is something I can understand and relate to.  However, I just get this really weird feeling in the pit of my stomach when I find out that people are googling for “Blackout Drunk”  What prompted that I wonder.  Do people think that there is a website that will get you blackout drunk hey wait no there is your next “IPhone idea.”  /writes himself a future check for a million dollars.

Okay, lets just run through some awesome searches to wrap this up:

- jason statham f*ck in movie

- dorff stephen (just because his name ‘last, first’ is surprisingly amazing)

- pictues of martin luther king jr and rosa parks and malcom x (see, not ALL white people)

- lois griffin f*cks lesbian

- gay tall men 6’6 (awesome. Is this like when TiV0 tells you that you’re gay and you didn’t know it?)

- screw you stalkers

- sex wumen 70+

- do chopped contestants get to know food before show (I DONT KNOW BUT MAN DO I WANT TO!)

- how to have sex with a woman you meet at a bar? (I DONT KNOW BUT MAN DO I WANT TO!)

And then there’s this…

- hello very cute new pic of u mmmmmm cute! how u doing? im all good interpals is playing up tho  here today a bit is yours?

 

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