I remember, back in the early-to-mid 2000’s, when I used to come home from school, drop my schoolbag off next to the front door, grab a soda from the fridge, and plop my ass in front of the family computer, basically usurping any and all potential users that day. Of course, back then, us crazy kids didn’t have no Facebooks. We had to communicate with friends with far more primitive means.

We had MySpace – the Internet’s Two Cans and a String.

Tom was more than just our friend. He was our reminder that there are lame white dudes who apparently love Get Busy Committee.

Tom was more than just our friend. He was our reminder that there are lame white dudes who apparently love Get Busy Committee.

That meant there was no Farmville Notification Crisis of 2008, no Mass Event Invite Storm of 2009-2011, and no Newsfeed Auto-Play Ads of 2014. Yes, we had to go out of our way to see how folks were doing. That meant searching them by name, narrowing down their location, attempting to find the correct mirror selfie, adding them, and THEN seeing what the hell they’ve been up to.

Even though I generally have a memory of someone who’s been hit in the face with a shovel too many times, I’d like to think that this next vivid recall is true. Because I remember, at the very beginning of high school, the surge of homemade quizzes going crazy-viral. People would make up about 25-30 questions in a single blog post, answering questions about their lives, and then like wildfire, others would copy and paste it directly into THEIR profiles, to answer questions about them. I tend to refer to that as “social leprosy.”

Once we all joined Facebook, I’m almost positive I heard everyone pledge, “we promise not to treat this network as a means to take stupid goddamn quizzes.” And now, ten years later, here we are, sticking true to our word.

What little girl hasn't dreamt of growing up to become Courtney Love?

What little girl hasn’t dreamt of growing up to become Courtney Love?

Except not. Except quizzes are more viral than ever.

DAMNIT.

NO.

WE PROMISED. WE PROMISED WE’D STOP.

Look, I’m as much of a cinephile as the next person. I love relating myself to popular characters in television, films, and books. Creating a sense of relation between ourselves and others, whether they’re real or not, nurtures the many needs of empathy.

But let’s sit back and be real honest with ourselves. Just once.

We are not Walter White.

We are not Jacob Black.

We are not Tyrion Lannister.

We are not Rick Grimes.

We are not Cyclops.

We weren’t “supposed” to live in Sunnyside Heights.

We weren’t Marilyn Monroe in another life.

None of us are any of the cast members of How I Met Your Mother.

None of us are any of the characters Leonardo DiCaprio has played.

And lastly, I can NOT believe I have to say this, but we are NOT Rosa Parks. (Yes. I saw a quiz that asked what type of leader someone was. If you’re that focused on creating positive change, you probably shouldn’t be taking a quiz based on whether or not you’re effective.)

What these quizzes do is affirm two things: what we already know about ourselves, or what we wish was true about ourselves.

What we already know about ourselves is that we are good people, who have a passion for our hobbies and our career goals, or we know we’re “firecrackers,” who will do whatever it takes to get what we want. So, knowing what we do about ourselves, we don’t need a quiz to affirm it. We can live it.

Secondly, it’s fun to play pretend, even after we’re old enough to buy alcohol or go to nightclubs. It’s even more fun to pretend to be people/characters of influence, because it’s easy and it fluffs that ego just enough to move on to the next quiz.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just being a 23-year-old presumptuous curmudgeon, trying to take happiness away from others. Actually, yeah, that’s probably mostly it. But if people spent more time reading non-fiction or watching historical documentaries, maybe then they could emulate the type of person they want to be, and become an individual who sets themselves apart from the pack. Harness the power of reality to become larger than life.

Or be Barney Stinson, because equating one’s self to a walking STD is much easier.

Screw it. “Block all from Buzzfeed and Zimbio.” Done. Go about your lives.

tumblr_n0hg8pAeH71s217p8o1_1280

Just like everyone else in this roly-poly country, I made it my mission to consider creating for myself a stricter diet, with a deep possibility of actually going to the gym. These already-broken promises are sitting the bottom of my trash can, underneath an ice cream tub lid, licked clean.

It happens every year, and it happens to so many of us. It’s the idea of creating a positive change, and then saying, “screw it, I’m gonna chug this beer after ripping spicy chicken flesh off a bone. It’s cool – I’m watching sports.” Before you know it, you realize that you’ve actually accomplished the complete opposite – added some el-bee’s, raised your blood pressure, and shoveled out the extra cash for new belts.

I call it: Cryeting.

Eating and weeping has been around for a millennia, and the number-one symptom of both rejection and boredom.

Eating and weeping has been around for a millennia, and the number-one symptom of both rejection and boredom.

Put yourself in this scenario (for some of you, I’ll add “again”): you recognize that the cravings you’ve been having aren’t normal, nor are you pregnant with child. You’ve resolved the fact that your recycling bin has at least 6 too many Girl Scout cookie boxes. Maybe the boxes have been torn to shreds in excitement.

So, you do a little research on the latest exercise trends. Maybe some P90X, with a kickstart from Herbalife? Or, maybe just jump right into the crossfit community, and every status from here on out will have to do with crossfit. Anyway, you decide on a new daily routine, and for once, you’re excited. There’s a brand new day on that horizon, goddamnit, and you’re gonna greet it with a hearty-

Bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s. Wait, what? But, you haven’t even been to McDonald’s in over a year, since after that party where the guy had to be taken in an ambulance covered in Fireball whiskey. It’s cool, it’s just one sand-

Two? When the shit did you order two sandwiches? Was it hiding behind the-

Large chocolate shake. Cool. Neat. Didn’t even know they did milkshakes at 9 am. Now you know. Alright, after this meal, that’s when the diet begins.

Right after next week’s meal.

Yep, just getting ready after the Super Bowl. I mean, come on, it’s the Super Bowl. Who diets during the Super Bowl? Not you. You’re an American, with freedoms. Miley was right. You can be free to diet whenever the hell you want, eat Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos whenever you want, and sob openly in public whenever you want.

Go ahead. Weep deeply into your hands. Why hold onto pride when you can stomp it into submission with your own tears?

Go ahead. Weep deeply into your hands. Why hold onto pride when you can stomp it into submission with your own tears?

And that about sums up what Cryeting is. Creating a diet, getting ready to start it, and then just jumping right the hell into the polar opposite. It’s like our bodies are subconsciously told that winter is coming, so we go into squirrel mode and just start hoarding everything within reach…inside our stomachs.

It’s the absolute worst thing to complain about, too, because it’s so effed up to say to someone else, “man, I’m struggling to do any physical activity because I’d rather stuff my greasy face full of sweet, sweet chemicals.” Only in this country will there ever be a disease for people being TOO RICH AND IRRESPONSIBLE. (Note: for that last link, I’d absolutely send it to an article for the kid that killed four people, but when I looked up this term, I saw this Geocities-style PBS site that me giggle.)

I’ll leave it with this: sometimes making a plan is the absolute worst thing you could do to a plan. The stress of forcing yourself to stick to a strict regiment, consisting of quantifiable hard work and dedication, can serve as a deterrent. Strong motivation needs to come before those arms and legs start doin’ sets, and reps, and all those other terms I see people use on the YouTubes videos about the workings outs.

Who else is in Cryeting mode? And how do you plan on getting the hell out?

Okay, so you know the scene from Say Anything, when John Cusack is doing everything in his power to win back Ione Skye (yeah, I had to look it up, get over it), and in his last ditch effort to prove his feelings, he whips out a boom box and blasts some Peter Gabriel outside her bedroom window?

This is my “In Your Eyes” moment. Except on the internet. And not as drastic. And I don’t own a trench coat popularly modeled by pedophiles in their mug shots.

It isn't a John Cusack movie unless he's soaked and desperate for love. Shit, even in "Identity" he falls apart in weather.

It isn’t a John Cusack movie unless he’s pathetic and desperate for love. Shit, even in “Identity” he finds a way .

Like most guys in my generation, I can empathize with Lloyd Dobler. Despite how busy I find myself, I’ve kind of been an underachiever for most of my life. I struggled a bit back in elementary school, and the struggles worsened by the time I was a chunky middle schooler. It wasn’t until high school that I started to give a shit, and began dieting and getting assignments done on time. That, and I took kickboxing. Lloyd loves kickboxing. I did that, too.

But, unlike the Dobs (we’re on a nickname basis apparently), I’ve actually been working on preparing a few side projects, which will be released at a later date. But it involves a shit ton of writing, preparation, and planning, so my divided attention is driving me insane and forcing me to watch Whitest Kids U Know on Netflix on repeat.

Yeah, I know, this entry is pretty damn self-serving. I promise the next entry will be filled with much more negativity and cynicism, and everything else you guys love/loathe. For now, be patient with this underachieving butthole (heh, autocorrect changed it to “buttonhole” for a second), and you’ll be mildly rewarded with multiple strings of words forming paragraphs.

In the meantime, watch this Simpsons clip on repeat.

So it’s been over a week since my last post, and I’m truly sorry. I am. I made a promise to write more, and here I am, looking like a big ol’ Lyin’ McKenzie. I’d lie and say I was really busy over the past week, but I respect you all too much to do that. Nope. I opened WordPress twice, stared at the screen, closed the screen, grabbed a Toaster Strudel, and watched my neighbors have another insanely-loud domestic dispute on a snowy hill.

But, to supplement my laziness, I’ll write a longer one. It’ll be as if I wrote 2 or 3. You guys like that, right? Reading super-long shit about my 1st-world-complainy life? Who the hell doesn’t?

 

All right, so let’s face a few facts in this one. About once a month, there is a news-worthy item that spreads like wildfire on social media. Kony, George Zimmerman, civil wars in foreign countries, social justice and injustice within the confines of our continent. And, with each event, there’s always two sides – “I’m Right, Damnit” versus “No, I’m Right, You’re An Idiot.”

When these two sides get in the same room, or same virtual space, it’s usually followed by vitriolic statements of hatred, the occasional racial slur, and concludes with either a punch to the face or a kick to the crotch. Or they just walk away pissy. So, three endings.

But it’s worse in that virtual space, because it’s much easier to get lost in the boundary lines from the transition of “debate” to “fightin’ words.” To put it into context, here’s how a debate would sound:

 

Individual Whose Gender Does Not Define Them #1: I am pro-life. I believe that all life is sacred from the moment of conception, and therefore, I do not support abortion. I will go as far as to say that it should be outlawed.

Individual Whose Gender Does Not Define Them #2: You have every right to hold that opinion, but I am pro-choice. I believe life begins at birth/at first heartbeat/at whenever, and that abortion is a viable option for those who wish to choose it. I will continue to support its legality.

#1: And I will continue to urge others to consider changing their view.

#2: This has been a very respectful exchange of opinions. Let’s go get a malt at the local candy shop.

 

Both sides presented their views with that thing from the 19th century – respect. Now, let’s see an example of fightin’ words:

Angry Individual That Hasn’t Pooped in 3 Days #1: I hate Mexicans. Get them out of our country.

Angry Individual That Hasn’t Pooped in 3 Days #2: Excuse me? Your people stole this land from the Natives. Learn to share, dick.

#1: You sound like a communist! Get out of my country!

#2: I hope you get [insert popular disease]!

 

The internet is both great and terrible because you can choose to be anonymous, and get away with saying whatever the hell you want. Or you could show your identity, and still say whatever the hell you want, but only to people you’re confident you’ll never see in person in the near future.

But there are some people out there, some beautiful, delusional people, that believe that their opinions can be used as a force of persuasion. That they can campaign their feelings on message boards, news articles, YouTube videos, and Facebook walls, and expect to make a change in someone’s heart. For those that do this (and I’m certainly guilty as hell for it), you need to remember two things.

1) Your opinion, written either thoughtfully or aggressively, will never change someone’s mind on the internet.
2) Your opinion will be attacked to the most ridiculous degree, because people on the internet are shit.

So, when you see someone post something controversial or blatantly idiotic, there are plenty of other ways to circumvent dealing with douches. Here’s a list of things to do. Because you guys love lists, right? You guys love Buzzfeed, right? Screw it. Here it is.

 

1 – Contact A Local Representative

Who better to get things done than…your local politicians…

Who better to get things done than…your local politicians…

There’s a solid chance that the fightin’ words you’re about to engage in are about something involving the government. Or something the government could do/has done/is going to do. This is perfect. This gives you an opportunity to do something productive about it. It’s really simple to post a couple of sentences or paragraphs to strangers, because opposition is right goddamn in front of you. Instead, try sending an e-mail or giving a call to a local legislator. Someone from your neighborhood, your city, your state. Get them on your side. Get them to fight for you. It may look like their job is to take a ton of vacations and bonus pay, but it’s actually to make important decisions for their constituent. In other words, quit bitchin’ and do something about it.

 

2 – Sit Outside and Watch Life

Usually this is reserved for people 65+, but shouting at the neighbor's kids is an American pastime.

Usually this is reserved for people 65+, but shouting at the neighbor’s kids is an American pastime.

If you’re not gonna take a heads-on approach to dealing with strangers on the interwebz, then take a heads-off approach. Or turn a cheek. Whatever the counter-phrase is, I don’t care. But go outside and sit on your porch. Stand on a fire escape. Lean against a stop sign. It’s important to stay updated about the world, but it’s just as important to get the hell away from all the negativity. It’s easy for drama to be the center of attention. But out there, you just might find something worth smiling about. Or, you can throw rocks at people. Become the crazy person who just throws shit at strangers. Then you can be the negative news story for once!

 

3 – Sit Inside and Play “Life”

Spin the wheel, and then realize that your hand got slightly stuck for a second, and watch the wheel stop abruptly on "3" after just one full spin.

Spin the wheel, and then realize that your hand got slightly stuck for a second, and watch the wheel stop abruptly on “3” after just one full spin.

Maybe life ain’t what it’s cracked up to be, and you’re taking out frustrations on anonymous folks with loathing in your heart. You can also do the same thing with family and friends, from the comfort of your couch! Play the game of “Life” with people, and watch those idiots waste several turns going to “college.” You got blue/pink pegs to worry about, not becoming a doctor!

 

4 – Make a Batch of Boxed Brownies

All you need is an oven, a bowl, a pan, an egg, some veggie oil, and a friend who will consistently try to lick the bowl too early.

All you need is an oven, a bowl, a pan, an egg, some veggie oil, and a friend who will consistently try to lick the bowl too early.

I always find food to be the best source for getting out my stress. That’s why I was a fat kid growing up. If I could eat a cheesesteak for breakfast, I would. (Just kidding. I have. And I love it.) Feed your inner child with delicious boxed brownies. Sure, you could make them from scratch, but with the amount of murder rage you’re feeling for others, it might be a better use of immediate skills to just grab a bowl and mix that brown powder with an egg. If you’re feeling adventurous, and if you have the resources, you can throw in some extra crap. Maybe a few chocolate chips, or some peanut butter cups. That chocolate fix will turn that focus from the huge ass on the internet, to the huge ass attached to the hips!

 

5 – Eat Cookie Dough with A Loved One

Because doing it alone requires a copy of "Maid in Manhattan" playing on the TV. And you just watched that 3 hours ago.

Because doing it alone requires a copy of “Maid in Manhattan” playing on the TV. And you just watched that 3 hours ago.

Speaking of getting salmonella, one of the best uses of wasting time is making delicious cookie dough. For this one, it’s better to do it from scratch, because you can decide just how much you want to die. And, by sharing it with your partner/friend/neighbor’s dog, you can use this as a bonding moment. Conversations will immediately turn from “that douche on Tumblr” to “favorite same-sex celebrity crush.” (Hint: it’s always going to be Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. God bless you, David O. Russell.)

6 – Begin Performing Academic Research on Another Topic

Go to a library while it exists, and before it turns into a Dunkin' Kinkos Bell Hut.

Go to a library while it exists, and before it turns into a Dunkin’ Kinkos Bell Hut.

Sure, telling people you don’t know that their views are founded in wrongness, and they’re wrong, and their birth is wrong, can be fun, but you know what’s more fun? Non-fiction! You’ve spent a lot of time doing research on your topical opinion. And with the amount of books, documentaries, and history in the world, you have ample access to learning all sorts of new things. Your original topic can always motivate you for a general change. Suppose you’re super into legalizing marijuana. Telling your family and friends and strangers consistently that you want it legalized will probably get them to stop talking to you. Find some new topics. Talk about how messed up it was that the Imperial Chinese citizens would bind their feet to stunt growth. Bring up the fact that pederasty was an actual common and socially-acceptible, awful practice in Ancient Greece. People will stop talking to you because you’re worldly now. A dark, depressing, worldly individual.

7 – Sponsor A Child/Dog/Highway

Nothing says "safety" like having that next stretch of highway courtesy of the local strip club.

Nothing says “safety” like having that next stretch of highway courtesy of the local strip club.

Talking to politicians doesn’t always work. They’ve been the booty of jokes for centuries for a reason. But, if you have the money and the empathy, you can start the change right from the comfort of your home. Sponsoring a child from another continent will not only score points with the Big Man upstairs (Fat Ralph the landlord), but it’ll also make you feel good. That’s a good enough reason for anyone to do anything – supporting the self through supporting others. You can do the same with Sarah McLachlan’s dogs. Apparently they’re in pretty bad shape. Or, if you’re wanting a more drastic use of your wallet, you can consider sponsoring a highway. Restaurants, strip clubs, and thrift stores do it all the time, and it may improve a lot of people’s commutes. Who knows? By putting more money into the highway system, you may prevent another Facebook fight. You superhero, you.

 

8 – Visit Your Local Theatre/Museum/Music Show

"'Music Man'? Count me a Music Fan!" - your Yelp review the following day.

“‘Music Man’? Count me a Music Fan!” – your Yelp review the following day.

As a member of SUDA, I like to consider myself a supporter of the arts. Even though I haven’t been to one of their events in years. I’m a good person, not a great person. Anyway, the arts are a great escape to dealing with the morons posting troll-bait, because you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in another world. Take a walk to your nearest gallery, and pretend like you understand why someone would use water paints to describe “apathy.” Go to that free concert in the park, even if it is folk music. Watch a community theatre performance, and criticize every time the main character’s microphone pops. Immerse yourself in a pool of creativity. It’s much more fun than having to scroll through Wikipedia for reasons why your opinion matters most.

And, finally, the overarching activity to end all activities…

 

9 – Stop Caring About Everyone’s Opinions

There's a saying about "opinions" and "assholes," and I'm too lazy to share it. Just Google it. Or research it!

There’s a saying about “opinions” and “assholes,” and I’m too lazy to share it. Just Google it. Or research it!

Falling for people saying stupid shit on the internet is just as dumb as the people who post it. So don’t fall into that easy trap of assuming that every person besides you is wrong, and you’re right, and the whole goddamn world needs to read about how amazing you are for feeling a certain way.

And, assuming that these other people who post their views are doing it just as seriously as you are, you should maybe consider that they may be right in some way. I’m not talking about “the Holocaust is a lie” people. Because those ones are so outlandishly wrong that they’re either intentionally messing with people, or they’re the end-product of smashing their head into a wall during class time. I mean those that have a different way of approaching a problem. Economics. Handling social issues. Foreign affairs. These issues exist, and they have more than one answer.

The “I’m Right, Damnit” crowd and the “No, I’m Right, You’re An Idiot” crew will always treat each issue with a black-and-white/yes-or-no answer. Strive to be the person to shake the hand of an opposing force. Work towards making a positive change.

Or be lazy, and just call someone a “douchebag.” It’s much easier to name-call than it is to make a difference.

Think back to when you were in college. If you’re already in college…think back about 8 hours ago. I want you to imagine what it was like to wait in line at the entree section of the cafeteria, knowing full well that, whatever you decided to get, you would end up eating it with the utmost disappointment and loss of whimsy. The meat was never spiced right, the corn was just a little too dry, and you always knew that the fallback plan would be Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

IT'S GOT DAT SYNOMIN TOSTE FLAVUR IN ER'RY BYTE! What a great commercial campaign.

IT’S GOT DAT SYNOMIN TOSTE FLAVUR IN ER’RY BYTE! What a great commercial campaign.

But the pain of having to deal with slightly-less-than-adequate food shouldn’t have to fade when you grow up. In fact, you can combine that sadness with the ill-fortuned pile of shit that’s found in a child’s lunchbox after a night of binge-watching The West Wing. So I’m bringing the first of a (probable) series of recipes for you to enjoy. Join me at my cubicle, as your eyes take a bite of my…

 

RECIPES FOR DISASTER:

A January Lunch Edition

And our guests for the evening is our Regrettable Regret Table of the food I put in my stomach almost daily.

Smorgas-bored? At your office, you'll be smorg-adored! Puns make the bites less painful!

Smorgas-bored? At your office, you’ll be smorg-adored! Puns make the bites less painful!

Let’s start with the primary contender. The wicked ‘wich that has come to know me intimately…very intimately.

Turkey and Cheese Sandwich

Just…look at it…don't question it…embrace it...

Just…look at it…don’t question it…embrace it…

  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 2 slices pre-sliced honey turkey (the ones that come in the tupperware container)
  • Sliced cheese (doesn’t matter how many slices, the guy who cut it probably cut it too thin and now it’s all cheesy shards)
  • Mayo that can be squeezed out of a previously-unrefrigerated bottle

 

  1. Take your two slices of bread, and gently pick off the grains from the crust. Otherwise they’ll be stuck in your teeth, and then you’ll spend the next two hours playing Operation using your tongue.
  2. Lay the bread flat, and squeeze out a portion of warm mayonnaise.
  3. Instead of using a knife to spread the mayo, take a slice/sliver of cheese, and make believe it’s a spreading instrument. After all, why dirty another dish?
  4. Put the soggy cheese on the bread, and cover with two folded pieces of condensed turkey.
  5. Place the top layer of carbs over the slimy meat. Proceed to find only one clean tupperware container, and find a way to “just make it fit for a couple hours.”

 

Brownies Right From The Goddamn Box

Don't get off at Frowntown - make your way to Browntown! …Sounded cleaner in my mind.

Don’t get off at Frowntown – make your way to Browntown! …Sounded cleaner in my mind.

  • 1 box of brownie mix (I recommend Ghira…Ghirard…screw it, get the store brand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of tap water…trust me, those faucet diseases will bake right out
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (can substitute with olive, but may taste like olives)
  • Big-ass bag o’ choco chips (optional…but, honestly, is it really?)

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (or, in my case, 375, since my oven is an asshole and likes to burn things).
  2. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan. Or heavily grease. Your call, really. Go nuts.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl (so help you God if you grab a small bowl), mix the chocolate powder, the egg, 1 cup of tap water, and 1/2 cup of vegetable. Attempt to fish out a tiny piece of shell, only to realize it was just part of the egg whites.
  4. Optionally add as much choco chips as you want. Take a whole damn handful and chuck it wistfully into the bowl, and mash that bastard to a cocoa pulp.
  5. Pour mixture into baking pan, and bake that masterpiece for 25 minutes. Check on it at the 14 minute marker, you know, just to be sure it’s cooking. Check on it again once every 3 minutes after that.
  6. Burn your hand as you pull it out. Say the Lord’s name in extreme vanity.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into squares, and get tiny brownie chunks to come up after each slice. Eat each crumb, because, it’s not like it counts as an actual brownie…you know…if it’s crumbs…

 

Coffee From The Work Vending Machine

Wash down that healthy lunch with a beverage that will…wash out that healthy lunch...

Wash down that healthy lunch with a beverage that will…wash out that healthy lunch…

  • 1 K-Cup, J-Cup, V-Cup, or whatever the hell brand of coffee device you own
  • 1 likeminded machine that will brew it for you in 30 seconds.
  • 1 styrofoam cup that will lead to the downfall of the planet
  • 1 packet of “sugar”-brand sugar
  • 1 little cup of half-and-half, most likely Land-O-Lakes or International Delight
  • 1 plastic stirrer that will lead to the downfall of the planet

 

  1. Grab a styrofoam cup from the teetering stack. Feel a pang of guilt for using styrofoam, but refuse to change routine. Life’s too hard to teach this old dog new tricks.
  2. Grab a coffee holder device cup thing, any flavor. Understand that each flavor is only a teensy bit different than the other. Attempt to make it a decision anyway.
  3. Begin brewing coffee, using that 30 second period to prepare the accouterments. Giggle at the word “accouterments.”
  4. Upon finishing the brew, apply accouterments thusly.
  5. Take a tiny sip to approve amount of sugar and cream. Let the tiny droplet become a cascading lava river on your tongue. Move tongue around inside mouth with vigor, against the walls of the teeth. Let feeling subside after 6 seconds of mild torture.

 

And Featuring A Bonus Guest…Some Stranger’s Recently-Expired Wheat Thins

I may not know you, previous desk owner, but damn it all, I respect you.

I may not know you, previous desk owner, but damn it all, I respect you.

  • 1 box of Wheat Thins, preferably from an unexplained origin
  • 1 cubicle desk
  • 1 stomach, devoid of pride and filled with the feeling of “I could eat, but only a nibble”
  • Regret

 

  1. Let stomach start to growl to the point of where it begins verbalizing demands, like a 4 year old with a penchant for throwing shit at strangers.
  2. Decide to wait another 45 minutes until lunch, because that one guy usually eats right now, and he’s being super loud on the phone again, and you don’t want to listen in on his conversation but now you’re aware of the entire situation between his best friend Craig and his mistress.
  3. Open desk drawers to see if sober-minded-full-stomached Steve left a munchie.
  4. Stumble across Wheat Thins, and question their sudden appearance.
  5. Look around suspiciously, in case there’s a hidden camera watching. Become paranoid of Big Brother for a quick 2-second period.
  6. Open box, take a bite of one of the crackers. Check expiration date. Notice the box has been expired for at least 4 months.
  7. Shamelessly finish the rest of your handful, because “it was already in my hands, and I can’t just throw it away…there’s still some crunch left…”

So in a previous blog post, I covered the other kind of dreams. Goals, aspirations, reasons to keep on chuggin’. I gotta admit – reading back on it, I must have been having an off-meds night or something. I stand by what I wrote, but Jesus, it got a little deep.

I wanna talk about the more important dreams. Not the reason we get up every day, and give it the ol’ college try. I’m talking about the reason we go to bed every night, so we can escape to a land made of Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwiches, and the rivers flowed with pineapple mango juice.

Carl Werner makes art based on the most beautiful acid dreams a stoner could envision. God bless this breadstick pier.

Carl Werner makes art based on the most beautiful acid dreams a stoner could envision. God bless this breadstick pier.

It’s amazing how the human body works. During the day, our mind is forced to focus on specific tasks and topics at hand, to reach a specific goal, and to fulfill a specific quota. Everything’s so specific, and there’s less room for stumbling onto something beautiful. But by night, when we shut down, we’re most able to tap those inner fears and desires, in a way that is simultaneously haunting and breathtaking.

I’ve had a lot of messed up dreams growing up. Like, a lot. And I know, I’m with you. 95% of the time, when someone says “Dude, I gotta tell you about the dream I had last night,” I immediately start to make a mental grocery list. I’d rather think about lemonade mix than about the “dog who started speaking Japanese” to you.

But, just like “everyone else,” mine are different. So bear with me, because I’m about to be a hypocrite. Here are some of the dreams I’ve had over the years.

1) The Matrix Hallway

My dream dictionary told me I was afraid of the journey of life for this one. Then I remembered that I dreamt that I owned a dream dictionary. I don't know what's real anymore.

My dream dictionary told me I was afraid of the journey of life for this one. Then I remembered that I dreamt that I owned a dream dictionary. I don’t know what’s real anymore.

Okay, so if you ever saw The Matrix Reloaded, and decided not to give up after 8 minutes of Keanu doing backflips, you’ll remember the Infinity Hallway. In the movie, Neo uses the doors to end up in different areas of the Matrix, like a backdoor system. I don’t know what I’m giving a synopsis – I guess the context is that knowing kung fu just wasn’t enough anymore.

In my dream, I started in the hallway, and just kept walking. Every door I tried was locked, so I assumed it was my brain just being lazy while I slept. Valid assumption. But the weird part wasn’t the amount of doors, or the amount of locksmiths it would take to get a decent turnaround rate.

I had this dream almost every night for 3 years.

As the years went on, there were more times of when I would come across a door that opened, but the rooms were dark. Or the rooms were either empty, or had just a chair or table. I don’t want to try to give an interpretation, but the WebMD community thinks my mind was telling me something either about the Revolutionary War, or about sex. So…that’s neat.

2) Law And Order Daily Life

I'd be more pumped if I just dreamt I was Ice-T.

I’d be more pumped if I just dreamt I was Ice-T.

This one was weird, but for a whole different reason. I think during high school, I went on a bit of an SVU binge. Meloni and Hargitay were a cop dream team, almost like super heroes. Then Meloni became a vampire on True Blood. I guess his career options were “skyrocketing.”

Anyway, during my binge, I started to hear the damn DUN DUN sound in my dreams, with the black location screen. I would go to the store, hear the DUN DUN with, like, Genaurdi’s name or something, and I’d go home. This dream pissed me off. It was so boring. At least with the hallway of doors, there was always the potential of someone popping out a door and attempting to stab me. This was the equivalent of dreaming about filing taxes. I’d rather been awake and watching 2 Broke Girls. Which is really painful to say.

Well, these dreams lasted for a couple years, on and off. Mostly off. The Matrix dream sort of dominated my nighttime brain. I’m mildly alright with that.

3) The Clock Murder

After this one, I could never go to a large timepiece museum again. Imagine my suffering.

After this one, I could never go to a large timepiece museum again. Imagine my suffering.

So I might have bored you with those shitty Matrix and SVU dreams. I’m sorry. But I promise you, those dreams were leading up to this moment – DREAMS OF MURDER AND CHAOS. Piqued your interest? …No? Too bad, I’m the one with the damn keyboard.

I had this dream when I was in the 4th grade. I remember feeling like I was waking up in bed, to the sound of screaming coming from down the hall. It was a bloodcurdling scream, like the ones you hear outside a haunted house ride. Only it felt real. I grabbed my bat from under my bed, and walked to my door. By the time I entered the hallway, there was a deafening silence.

I walked to the center of the hall, to see a mahogany grandfather clock. A tick-tock sound came out of it, but the hands were frozen. When I looked closer, in the body of the clock, where the pendulum would normally be, there was a faceless and grotesquely-contorted dead body. I remember being frozen fear, followed by seeing a man in the reflection wielding a butcher’s knife. He grabbed me by the hair, put the knife by my neck, and-

I woke up. Screaming. I screamed and screamed, and I couldn’t calm down. This one is the first nightmare I can remember, and for that, it stuck with me for about 14 years. I don’t know. The first ones are always the worst, I guess.

4) “Xzibit Stole My Goddamn Car”

You know when you dream about someone you know doing something shitty, and you hate them when you wake up? Meet the man I inexplicably loathe.

You know when you dream about someone you know doing something shitty, and you hate them when you wake up? Meet the man I inexplicably loathe.

The last one got dark, so I’m ending it with a lighter dream. I dreamt Xzibit stole my friend’s car, and left us stranded in the middle of a Philadelphia suburb.

Giving it a mild context, the night that I had this dream was the same night I kept scrolling through “yo dawg” memes and watching “Pimp My Ride” clips on YouTube. I should stop watching shit before going to bed. Apparently my dreams are VH1 and TBS advertisements.

So the dream started with myself and two friends being invited to bring a car to have it “pimped.” That, of course, means having an Easy Bake Oven installed in the glove box. How do you say no to an Easy Bake Oven? You don’t. So when we arrived, we briefly met Xzibit, gave him the keys to the car, and he drove off. He didn’t take it into the shop. He just sorta sped off into the sunset. The remainder of the dream was spent screaming “XZIBIT YOU PIECE OF SHIT” around an empty neighborhood.

So that’s the end of me listing off shitty dreams. Sorry, again, for being a terrible hypocrite. But, continuing on the hypocritical path, I wanna hear your dreams. What are some of the things that you dreamt, the ones that stick to memory? Why do you remember them? Do any of them involve slow motion running? (Hint: probably do).

For your boredom, you’ve earned a video of Jack Black giving ideas while high.

When I woke up this morning, the temperature read “Good Luck Getting Out from Those Covers, Asshole.” Which roughly equates to 7 degrees, fahrenheit. It was a rude awakening, as I blindly reached to turn off the smooth sounds of R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)”, my phone’s latest alarm song. When I started to get changed, my phone rang. It was Sam.

“Hey, hun. Are you awake?”
“Yeah, what’s up? Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, I just wanted to give you a heads up. It’s freezing out.”
“I know.”
“You should probably go outside and start your car early, to get it warmed up.”

Nope.

I don’t wanna.

It’s too damn cold.

And this story isn’t about waking up in a frozen Philadelphia tundra, in which I need to mad-dash in my pajamas just to put the keys in the ignition (although R. Kelly would be proud of that one.)

This is about my car.

Meet Roscoe. He’s almost 10 years old. Isn’t he adorable?

I hear Jay Z has a similar model. I wanna be like Jay Z.

I hear Jay Z has a similar model. I wanna be like Jay Z.

This is a 2005 (2004? Maybe? Screw it, I suck at cars) Ford Crown Victoria. It’s a decommissioned sheriff’s car. That means every time someone sits in the backseat, they’re sitting on history. And history consists of drug addicts who just got done beating up hookers at McDonald’s.

I took a lot of time naming this car. More time than I should. I mean, hell, I probably should have focused harder on the job search. But I knew my valiant steed would never forgive me without an identity, and I refuse to anger the gods of the road. So I named him after the kind of man that my car would be, if he were human – a redneck mechanic, hellbent on telling others to piss off.

"My name's Roscoe, and this here is my brother…Roscoe." *spits tobacco at you*

“My name’s Roscoe, and this here is my brother…Roscoe.” *spits tobacco at you*

Let’s take a look at some facts about the car, so you can revel in my excellent choices:

  1. I got this car from my sister and brother-in-law (for which I’m very grateful), as an exchange for goods and services. Goods and services. This car wasn’t paid for in cash. It was treated like a goddamn payment plan from the 1600s.
  2. The entire front bumper of the car is scratched to hell, which looks absolutely painful when comparing to the rest of the white-colored body. I’ll just call it “street cred”.
  3. If I ever lock all my doors at one time, be it purposefully or accidentally, I’ll need a coat hanger, a brick, a 12-gauge shotgun, and holy water to open it back up. Yeah. I can’t lock my car ever. I’d say that’s an invitation for robbers to come take it, but if you honestly find something worth taking, I commend you.
  4. Because there used to be a siren on top, the bolt holes were never properly sealed. So whenever it…weathers outside…it weathers all over me.
  5. The lighting fixture hangs loosely from the ceiling. It works, it’s just sorta dangling around right now, and I’m afraid it’ll break, but not afraid enough to do anything about it. Fear doesn’t motivate my laziness.
  6. The car has a V8 engine, which is sweet. But when I power it on, it sounds like Thor in a Chipotle bathroom.
  7. The turn signals only work for 15 seconds at any given ride, and takes approximate 4 hours before it fully refills those 15 seconds worth of use. So I have to limit the amount of turn signal usage I have, or else I have to resort to hand signals. And no one on the goddamn road knows hand signals anymore, so they just assume I’m either waving them on or flipping them off. Seriously, people. Go learn hand signals. Before I end up ramming into you. On accidental purpose.
  8. It might just be old, but the wiper fluid apparently makes the windshield even worse than it already is.
  9. This one is probably the funniest. So, you know how cop cars make it impossible to open the door in the backseat, since criminals would be so ready to tuck-and-roll down a highway? That’s sort of the case for my rear left door. Except, instead of being locked, it just doesn’t have a door handle. It’s hysterical when people go to exit.
  10. It’s one of the worst cars for gas efficiency. It has a 19 gallon tank. 19 friggin’ gallons. I’m singlehandedly killing the earth every time I go to 7-11.
  11. My dash lights don’t work at all, except for warning me that my anti-locking brakes aren’t working correctly. I can’t see how fast I’m going. I’m guesstimating my ass all the way home every night. I tried to install a little portable light, but the damn thing falls every time I hit a bump, and I think I gave it a hemorrhage.
  12. It’s a front-wheel drive car. Every ice patch is a giant “up-yours” to my tread.
  13. Oh yeah, I mentioned earlier about the anti-locking brakes. Yeah. That’s not a thing. Nor is power steering. I’m driving a really-fast pickup truck, without the illusion that I’m the tallest person on the road.
  14. My passenger cupholder doesn’t have a bottom piece. If I ever forget to let my co-pilot know, their coffee becomes floor coffee. Which is now vicariously my coffee. Score one for me…
  15. The trunk is actually a little too large. I could fit three Mark Wahlberg’s comfortably back there.
  16. Finally, it’s going to be on its last legs soon. I don’t imagine it going more than a year, if that, just because it’s an old car with a ton of mileage.

But he gets me where I need to go. And he’s mine. And he will never take anyone’s shit. Because he’s Roscoe, dammit, and he’s had a long day at the shop.

oie_IWdhuhV7bT6I

Okay. Fifteen minutes early. That’s plenty of time to sit down, do some last minute research on the business, and prep myself. I got this. This is easy.

Receptionist is giving me a badge. Okay. Maybe this place is legit. A badge. I’m like a member of the CIA. No one messes with the CIA. I’m a goddamn superhero. The Renegade Writer. Except that sounds like a villain… Alright. Mr. Editor. Simple, straightforward, rolls off the tongue. I can deal with that.

Shit. I spaced out. She’s trying to give me a clipboard. Why? Am I going on a tour? Do I need to take notes? What are these sheets?

… Is this seriously another application? After I filled out two applications online? How many applications do they need? At this point, they’re killing trees. Is Captain Planet still a thing?

It’s asking me for my social security number. How do I know if this place is legitimate? They have a website and they gave me a badge. That should be proof, right? They won’t steal my identity, right? I hope they do. I hope they inherit that debt. They deserve it.

I’m already trying to screw over this job before I’m hired. Shit. Stop it. Focus. Eyes on the prize.

Okay. Off to the conference room I go. The hiring manager seems nice. That’s a good sign. That means I can make a couple of jokes. Just gotta flash some charm, work the resume experience into my conversation, rattle off a few one-liners, and I’ll be set.

…What if I say something off-color? Shit. Okay, relax. If you don’t think of anything terrible, it won’t become an option. Focus on the clean and positive. Okay. Here’s a joke about a “writer’s salary.” She seemed to like it. Not love, but I can work with this. Slip in a  joke about “college newspaper being viable experience.” That one she seemed to love. Awesome. I’m on a roll. Now slip in a joke about Republi-

STOP. STOP RIGHT THERE. NO POLITICS. ABANDON MOUTH. SHUT DOWN EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS FOR 7 SECONDS.

Alright, I’m good. She’s giving me a warm smile. I must be doing something right. Maybe “Mitt Romney” didn’t slip out of my mouth after all.

Heh. “Mitt Romney didn’t slip out of my mouth.”

Alright. Time to hammer the nail into this interview. Remember the questions you prepared. Remember…

What were they again? Fuck. Something to do with…”room for promotion.” Yeah, that’s it. Okay, ask that one. That should keep her busy while I think of the others. Something something something…”work environment”? That seems vague. Environment. Atmosphere. The people. THERE. Okay, ask about co-workers and dress code. Make it genuine. Make it so they BELIEVE I wanna know about polo shirt policy.

Good work, Stephen. We’ve gotten through it. Alive. Wipe your sweaty palms on your pants. Now offer to shake her hand. Her handshake is weak. I hate weak handshakes. It makes me feel like I’m about to break porcelain. Screw it, make that shake a hearty one. You’re an animal. You’re fierce. Like a tiger. El Tigre. That’s my new superhero name.

Just gotta walk ou-

GEAHHH. I tripped. I fucking tripped. Did she see? Of course she saw. She’s laughing. She’s laughing at you. You’ll never get this job. You can’t even function enough to move forward. Stupid stupid stupid. All right. If gymnasts can recover, so can you. Smile. Roll your eyes at yourself. Give it the ol’ “Whoopsiedoodles” routine. She’s buying it. I might still have a chance. Walk out the door, wish the receptionist a nice day.

I did it. I’m in the elevator. I’M IN THE ELEVATOR. WOO! Finally! It’s over. Release the gas I’ve been holding in for the past 2 hours. Go on, you deserve it. You went through the ringer. You walked out a champion.

You forgot to ask for a business card. You don’t remember the name of the interviewer.

Shit.

As 2013 comes to a close, I’m reminded by constant commercials for gyms that it’s high time to start planning out my “New Years Resolutions.” This is the age-old process of creating a list of achievable goals, then deciding halfway through February that I could use the back of the paper as an area to doodle a picture of me high-fiving Jesus on a surfboard, and then ultimately forgetting that I had a list to begin with.

Every year has the same results – I make a promise to myself that “things are gonna change ’round here,” and the promise fades out quicker than Michael Cera’s career (full of goddamn zingers today).

Well, I came up with an idea. See, every year, I make one or two resolutions to follow. I figure “the less I have to remember, the better the chance I have of completing it.” Nope. I get lazy and underwhelmed. So this year, my list is gonna be an assload of resolutions. If I compile a hefty list, I’ll feel like it’s a necessity to just get it done as soon as possible.

Secondly, I also have a history of creating unrealistic goals. Here’s an example. A couple years back, 21-year-old me thought “learn an instrument to a proficient level” would come naturally. He’ll, how hard could guitar be? I learned 12 chords, “Wonderwall”, and that’s about it. Now my poor guitar is in the same closet where I keep my old college dorm papers. My goals need to be realistic enough to accomplish, but not so simple that I don’t over-inflate my self worth by the end.

So here’s my experimental run at the year 2014. Maybe putting it on the Internet will keep me accountable or something.

————————————————

1) Replace the time that I usually surf Netflix with a form of exercise. Allow Sam to take up that duty in my absence.

I blame Netflix for making me as fat as I am today. Definitely has nothing to do with self control.

I blame Netflix for making me as fat as I am today. Definitely has nothing to do with self control.

2) Eat 25% less of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos.

I blame Doritos for... Also making me as fat as I am.

I blame Doritos for… Also making me as fat as I am.

3) Eat 25% more vegetables as “snacks” (avoiding screaming obscenities at the guy who created the ranch veggie dip… seriously, why the hell is it thicker than a Greek yogurt…)

How can people pretend this shit is edible?

How can people pretend this shit is edible?

4) Write a letter to my local paper’s “sound off your opinions” section, under a pseudonym, and complain about something extremely unimportant. Like why snack foods keep changing their label design.

"The government moved my pretzels. When are we gonna fight for freedoms?"

“The government moved my pretzels. When are we gonna fight for freedoms?”

5) Write a letter to Will Ferrell, asking him to make a sequel to Bewitched. Since he obviously doesn’t care about his career anymore.

If Anchorman 2 was any indication, everybody should prepare for Night at the Roxbury 2: The Roxburying. And shit, I'd actually watch that.

If Anchorman 2 was any indication, everybody should prepare for Night at the Roxbury 2: The Roxburying. And shit, I’d actually watch that.

6) Find a legitimate talent agency to see if they will work with a partially-trained actor. Who is only free after 5 or on weekends.

"We have an opening as a dancing mattress outside a Sealy's store. Great experience!"

“We have an opening as a dancing mattress outside a Sealy’s store. Great experience!”

7) Legally change my name to Chet Steadman. If not possible, change my shipping name for Amazon to Chet Steadman.

Gary Busey has been in over 100 films, and is the craziest man in Hollywood. He is my inspiration.

Gary Busey has been in over 100 films, and is the craziest man in Hollywood. He is my inspiration.

8) Get into a heated argument with a stranger regarding a current event. Bring up terrible points and go off in as many tangents as possible.

"Obamacare? You mean the socialist registration for taking away our guns!"

“Obamacare? You mean the socialist registration for taking away our guns!”

9) Listen to an entire audio book narrated by Morgan Freeman. Recommend audio book over regular book to every book nerd I know.

Rest in Peace, Nelson Man-...wait...ah, damnit.

Rest in Peace, Nelson Man-…wait…ah, damnit.

10) Try not to look up an actor on IMDB during a movie.

IMDB: The Guy From That Thing You Watched 3 Years Ago.

IMDB: The Guy From That Thing You Watched 3 Years Ago.

11) Try not to announce to the room the entire filmography of said actor.

"Hey folks, see that white guy next to the black guy? He was also in 'Troll 2'."

“Hey folks, see that white guy next to the black guy? He was also in ‘Troll 2′.”

12) Read more books. Pretend like the Internet is down or something. Just read more. No. Put down the laptop. Put it down. Now grab the book. Open the front page. Good boy.

My library consists of 1000 books, in which I read 14 of them. I'm pathetic.

My library consists of 1000 books, in which I read 14 of them. I’m pathetic.

13) Come up with a catchphrase. Use it until it catches on or until people stop talking to me.

"That's the way the turd splashes!"

“That’s the way the turd splashes!”

14) Take a day to hop on a train to anywhere, and just go exploring. As long as I hide my valuables in my shoes/hat/butt, I should be fine.

I can also bring a ton of random children!

I can also bring a ton of random children!

15) Eat an entire cake by myself. Not just a small birthday cake. I’m talking either a wedding cake or a sheet cake.

Buttercream red velvet cake? Needing a new pair of pants for multiple reasons!

Buttercream red velvet cake? Needing a new pair of pants for multiple reasons!

16) Drink an entire gallon of lemonade in one sitting. Preferably during and after the cake.

Lemons, water, and sugar. The way the Lord intended lemons to be used.

Lemons, water, and sugar. The way the Lord intended lemons to be used.

17) Get tested for diabetes and heart conditions. When you’re found negative for both, repeat 15 and 16 out of spite.

Wilford Brimley, eat your goddamn heart out. As long as your heart isn't sugary.

Wilford Brimley, eat your goddamn heart out. As long as your heart isn’t sugary.

18) Create an Excel spreadsheet of all my finances, so I can have one more important fact sheet to ignore when I buy that trampoline in May.

I will never be too old to jump for the skies. Except when I'm 90 and carrying a colostomy bag.

I will never be too old to jump for the skies. Except when I’m 90 and carrying a colostomy bag.

19) Order a pizza for the neighbor who had to deal with my car being outside his house all weekend. Pay for it, and leave a note saying “never forget.” Let him figure it out.

"Got a pizza here for Mr. Huge Asshole."

“Got a pizza here for Mr. Huge Asshole.”

20) Stop combining words with other words to make new words. It’s not clever. It’s not funny. I’m starting to get stares.

"Man anniversary...manniversary...annimansary...mannimanversary..."

“Man anniversary…manniversary…annimansary…mannimanversary…”

21) Visit 3+ museums around the city wearing a beret and glasses. Attempt to tell strangers what each painting means, by comparing each one to Andy Warhol’s Campbells Soup Can.

"You think THIS is art? Do you not like soup, then?"

“You think THIS is art? Do you not like soup, then?”

22) Go hiking with nothing but a backpack filled with Fiber One bars and Gatorade. Show those Charmin bears who’s boss.

Save a roll for me, boys. I'm on my way.

Save a roll for me, boys. I’m on my way.

23) Watch every Saturday Night Live movie from start to finish, and weep openly every time Chris Farley is on screen.

He had sex with an alien wearing a wreath. Goodnight, sweet prince.

He had sex with an alien wearing a wreath. Goodnight, sweet prince.

24) Start lifting weights again. Not to, like, you know, get buff. But to be able to carry groceries upstairs without needing to check my pulse.

I miss the days when 3 bags of groceries were easy. I also miss the days when I didn't have to carry shit.

I miss the days when 3 bags of groceries were easy. I also miss the days when I didn’t have to carry shit.

25) Give Downton Abbey another chance. Then give it a third chance after I fall asleep during all the average dialogueI with their only selling point – famous British people.

Brilliant actress. Brilliant role. But I'm drowning in tears of boredom and hating everyone who actually thinks these characters are worth investing in.

Brilliant actress. Brilliant role. But I’m drowning in tears of boredom and hating everyone who actually thinks these characters are worth investing in.

26) Find out how scrapple is made, immediately want to go vegan, wait one week, and start eating scrapple again. Repeat with every other meat product.

Made with pig farts? I'll take 12.

Made with pig farts? I’ll take 12.

27) Get a video camera and start filming all the sketches I wrote over the past year. Put it in YouTube. Read all the comments. Give up on doing anything.

Make sure it isn't porn this time. That...got awkward before...

Make sure it isn’t porn this time. That…got awkward before…

28) Research how to make my own alcohol, and create my own moonshine business. Become Steve Buscemi. Start a turf war.

Bathtub alcohol is best alcohol.

Bathtub alcohol is best alcohol.

29) Find a new apartment large enough to hold a themed party. Make the theme for “Heavyweights”. Essentially have everyone watch Heavyweights on repeat while drinking every time anyone says “fat.”

Josh Burnbaum, get on the scale! ...Get off the scale.

Josh Burnbaum, get on the scale! …Get off the scale.

30) Keep writing in this blog daily, and stop second-guessing everything about it. It’s fine. It gets the job done. Stop worrying. Seriously. Stop it.

I wish people would ask me about my blog unironically...

I wish people would ask me about my blog unironically…

Well that’s about it. Hopefully I can do all of these by March. I have some long-awaited procrastinatin’ to do.

What are your resolutions for this year? Tell me in the comments section!

Sometimes I wake up and ask myself, “Is this the life I had planned for myself when I was 8?” And then I remember, “No, I planned on being a space cop. I’m not a space cop. Which I guess is fine. Since there’s no such thing as an intergalactic police force.”

No, the life I had planned over the years has sort of gone the way of Lost – a confusing blend of questions never freakin’ answered. It’s kind of like how the old saying goes: man makes plans, and God laughs. Or, if you’re not into the whole religious thing: man makes plans, and plans come up INFINITELY SHORTER THAN EXPECTED AND NOW MAN IS LEFT TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT PLANS ARE WORTH IT.

Sorry. Got a little heated. Except I’m not sorry. Still heated. Still very goddamn heated.

Here’s the thing. As my goals changed, I decided that my skills would probably lend best to acting. Or at least I hoped they did. I’d even take daytime soaps. At least those seemed fun. I also expected to have a decent car by this point. You know, something that wouldn’t involve the grace of God/Thor/L. Ron Hubbard just to get the turn signals to work for more than 10 seconds. I was also hoping to have a decent amount of money saved up for a decent vacation for the summer. While I’m young, I wanna be able to actually enjoy a trip somewhere. Anywhere. Anywhere…except for Wildwood, NJ…anywhere but there.

Instead, I’m just now picking myself back up after a brief visit with my best friend Unemployment, and driving a 2005 Crown Vic with the hopes that the brakes won’t just suddenly stop working.

I’ve hit the Flateau.

The “Flateau” is a mixture of “falling flat” and “a life plateau.” It’s the moment(s) in life where you find yourself sitting on the edge of your bed, holding a bag of Tostitos Scoops, knowing damn well there’s no salsa to dip. It’s also the moment when you ask those three questions: Why? When? How?

Why did this happen? Why did I spend years and years preparing for when things would get tough, and then find myself crawling and confused anyways?

When did it begin? When did the exact moment the future became this blurry, as if a steady downpour of doubts started to cloud my judgment?

How the hell do I get out of this?

I suppose it’s all a part of the whole “growing up” thing. Like, the moment when your very first bill comes in the mail, and you have to mentally subtract that disposable income you designated as the “beer fund” to supplement costs.

Flateaus are super scary, though. It’s not like a physical thing you can see or feel. You can’t see the exact moment when you’re gonna get back up, dust yourself off, and prance your way uphill to that big effin’ golden gate of Success.

No, you have to pretend like the Flateau is right in front of you. You have to assume how far you have to climb, how much you’re going to sweat, how long it’s going to take when the next breath will be a fresh one. It sucks. It sucks a lot. My parents have done/continue to do a lot for me, but by no means was I born with a silver spoon cradled in my mouth. I’m working here. Working hard to get my version of the American Dream (which just so happens to involve eating a lot of Rita’s Swedish Fish water ice and watching marathons of Netflix shows).

Are you guys in a Flateau? How did you/will you get out of it? Leave some comments and spread the love. Let’s grab our pickaxes and climb this next beast together.

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