Repetition and Metaphors

It kicks like a sleep twitch. I just been listening to a few songs on repeat, yesterday and today.

I listened to The Xx for the first time two days ago with GF on NPR and really liked them so I’ve been playing Crystalize and Angels alternately three times, and then Anyone’s Ghost and Conversation 16 by The National, and then Crystalize and Angels again, and then Papillon by The Editors just to mix it up.

Most of the time I write in silence or else I’ll start to put in lyrics of the songs because I just can’t help it. But I played this little playlist like 10 times yesterday before work and I’m on my way to doing the same thing today.

And I’m doing almost exactly what I did yesterday.

And it’s awesome.

I’ve been really sore from riding my bike to work and apparently a lot of the pain has to do with the bike being too big for me. I’ll let you figure out the metaphor in there.

But other than the fact that it hurts to bend over, working at the bar has been pretty cool. I do have to suppress my ego like a mother fucker as people treat me like a non entity, both on the road and at the bar, but that’s a good exercise anyway.

I finished reading Blown Away by Caitlin Kelly a couple days ago. I meant to get up early today so I could get some reading in but I went to be at 2:30 and just slept through all my 9:30 alarms. I wouldn’t have gotten up if American Express hadn’t called me at 10:30. Thanks guys!

I got enough money this paycheck to almost pay the rent, so that’s good.

I made an omelette with chicken sausage and cheddar and peppers and it made me want to throw up, so that sucks.

I’m going to make some coffee soon, that’s going to be sweet, in a non-literal way.

I’m about halfway through my second reading of Great Expectations. It’s good.

I don’t know, in this part of time I’m feeling less realistic and literal. I feel like expressing my emotions and ideas at this moment all comes out in absurdist bullshit or song lyrics. Fuck it I’ll just go with it for now. It’s working okay anyway.

Live on coffee and flowers.

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The Thrill Is Still Gone

Blog stats have flat lined.

Damn it.

And the worse they get, the more fiendishly I check them.

How did it come to this?

In my other blog attempts, I would have been happy with two followers as long as one of them was someone I didn’t know. Now I have thirty followers but if I don’t get a new like every hour I’m a sad panda.

In the beginning, I was writing more than I ever had. Just pushing out posts. Then, as I realized how much interesting content was already out there, I followed more and more blogs. Still, I don’t follow as many as most bloggers. But I spend a lot of time reading now, way more than at the beginning, which, let’s keep it in perspective, was only about a month ago. And even more time than that…well ok not really more time but certainly an unhealthy amount of time is spent checking my stats. Seeing what people searched for to get here.

With all that I haven’t been writing near as much.

On the positive side I have been getting out more. Doing more stuff.

And I am trying to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

And the more I think about that, the more I think, what am I trying to build?

The harsh and shameful truth about my mentality is that in the back of my mind, no matter how therapeutic and lovely this blogging experience has been, I’ve been thinking, how can I make enough money doing this so I don’t ever have to leave the house again?

It’s hard for me to be honest about this, because I’d like to think I do things just for the pleasure of doing them. That I blog for the beauty of the connections I’ve made with other minds.

I forget if I mentioned it in another post, or if I wrote it by hand in my super luxurious leather bound diary, but I feel more and more like I am many people. Each of me inhabiting me at different times. I don’t think I have multiple personality disorder, which would be more interesting, but rather, it’s just a way of conceptualizing or grasping the different ways I feel from day to day, sometimes hour to hour.

So one part of me, or one person of me, one person I am…shit, what’s a good way to say it? I don’t know. I’ll name them. Fred. Damn it. That’s another thing, I don’t really like the name Gordon Flanders and I don’t really like the name Fred. But they both just came to me. I should pick a bad ass name like Black Elk. Or Crazy Horse. But Crazy Horse is too awesome for anyone but Crazy Horse so I can’t use that one.

Insecure Money Bastard. That’s what I’ll name that one me. The me that gets worried I’ll never have enough money to pay off my debts and the same one that wants to just stay home all the time and never go to work. I’ll name that me Jerry.

Nah this will get too confusing.

Anyway there’s always that part of me in the background saying, “How can you turn this into a ‘tribe’? How can you turn this into money?” A bunch of buzzword bullshit.

The worst part is no matter how many lessons I learn or insightful things people tell me, I can’t shake this bastard. And so I think, shit if I had 10,000 followers I could just write a book of me just saying whatever came into my mind and sell it for a dollar and I’d have $10,000.

And that’s why I check the stats every day.

Or maybe just one of the reasons. Another reason is it feels really good to have someone ‘like’ your post.

Yeah I think that feeling has more to do with it.

I am chemically dependent on ‘like’ endorphins.

At the same time I still would like to just do this instead of having a job.

A friend once told me that I was still young enough to think I could get rich without working really hard for it. I think I am slowly getting too old to think that.

The problem is I do work really hard when I’m at work, at manual labor type shit. But it’s very easy to be mentally lazy. To zone out and just do your job and get through.

I remember thinking last week that even while I folded napkins I should make it so that I was like a napkin folding artist. Then yesterday I remember thinking, I’m going to be a getting through the workday artist. Fuck folding napkins like an artist, I’m just going to get through the day on autopilot and that’s how I’m going to earn my money.

Well, a few days ago I decided I would never make money from writing. I decided to give up on making money at writing and just do it for the sheer pleasure of writing. Then I thought I should get a part time job during the day to make money, and then invest that money to make more money. I’ve known all along that writing stories is a bad way to make money, and anyway I haven’t written any stories and that’s an even worse way to make money. So I got pretty excited about finally giving up on it. I love giving up on things, it brings such a peace. At first anyway, or maybe it’s just a peace in disguise. Maybe it’s a little death. When you finally give up on everything, you can transcend this world and exist as an indistinguishable part of the all-soul in complete tranquility, or what humans call not having a pulse any more. Hm sometimes it’s pretty tempting.

Yes and then the very next day, I saw that the restaurant put me on a lunch shift where I usually work a night shift. So I thought, well that’s going to be hard to reconcile with the new part time job, if I’m not on a set schedule every week. And then I thought, because I was thinking at first about what Seth Godin said about the days of the journeyman writer being over, or in other words that only the greatest of writers will get paid, the ones that persist through insurmountable odds and such, and the rest of us will just do it for free because it’s so available now that no one really has to pay for words…okay I’ll restart that sentence. So as I thought about the days of the journeymen writers being over, I thought, well what about David Gaughran and Dean Weasley Smith. They make at least a little money from selling their books. I could eventually make enough money to at least account for what I would be making at a part time job.

So then I was back on the “I can make money writing” train.

And I’m still on it. Because it works perfectly with my new “Rome wasn’t built in a day” kick. Who cares if I don’t make any money at it this year or the next or the next? In ten years I’m bound to make a few hundred a month at it. You just can’t do it that long and fuck it up.

This is the kind of writing I love to do. Just writing down whatever comes in my head and having people actually read it is a dream come true.

To an extent, writing a story or a well researched essay is a craft. If you work hard at it, you can make a product that someone will pay a little money for. And even though I’d rather just sit here and write random bullshit all day, I guess I’d rather work at writing that kind of stuff than work at another coffee shop.

Then again, I was reading this book today about women and guns and it was talking about how this one lawyer works for free to defend women who have been charged with using a gun against an attacker unlawfully. And I thought, shit I’d like to do that. I never once thought about becoming a lawyer, but GF is in grad school, fuck it, maybe I will too.

Yeah I pretty much got it all figured.

Public Consumption

Readability Index: To blazes with this index as it’s not doing shit for anybody.

Sounds like this post is going to be about tuberculosis. But what I’m talking about is also a kind of disease that I’ve come to recognize, first in myself and now in the blogging world at large.

Me and people like me, we are scared that people won’t want to read our shit. We are pretty sure they won’t want to. We are also nice and we don’t want to waste people’s time. So we try to warn people not to read our shit.

This could end up being the subject of my first essay as a part of my new project.

I was just looking at pricklymooseprincess’s blog…I think I got that right, but can’t look it up because time is running out and anyway I’ll come back and do all the proper research before posting to my new blog…which I haven’t decided yet how to handle…but anyway her tagline says, “This will not enrich your life.” It was a very familiar sentiment to me, because I could have used it for my own blog. I thought before I started blogging that all this amateur feelings driven diary type bullshit was meaningless to everyone. I wouldn’t want to read someone else’s bullshit so why would they want to read mine?

Seth Godin calls these kinds of blogs “Cat Blogs” because you basically tell long stories about your cat and have pictures and people are just as bored by that as they are by you in real life. He says these blogs add little value to the world. And maybe he’s right, he’s pretty fucking smart. And he has the most viewed blog anywhere, or he did two years ago when I was reading his posts every day.

So you think, well shit I’m going to go ahead and throw up some words on a blog and tell everyone not to read them, that way they can’t blame me when they find out that I can’t write for shit, that I have nothing interesting to say to anyone. That’s what I thought when I started.

But there I was reading pricklymooseprincess’s blog and I thought, well god damn, this shit has enriched my life. Who would have thought?

And hers is definitely not the only blog that I have found this to be true about.

For my essay I’ll give specifics, but just to get a general idea…well when I look for new blogs to read I just type in “Random Bullshit” or “Rambling” or “Not fit for public consumption” and there are lots of blogs to choose from. Everyone is hedging, they want people to read their writing and be moved by it, but they think that this is a lot harder than it is. I think so even now as I type and imply that it isn’t. Because maybe it isn’t.

So anyway you got a guy who fancies himself a writer but has never published anything because he doesn’t think it’s good enough. And then he can just get on a blog and hit publish all day and no one can stop him. But he still says every time, well this shit’s no good, but if you want to waste your time reading it…well I won’t stop you.

Next thing you know people are liking that shit. Now this doesn’t always happen because a lot of writers will hit publish and then never go around reading other people’s shit. I did that a few times before I made this blog and no one has looked at those blogs to this day. So in order to have people connect to what you write, you have to at least make an effort to connect to what they’re writing. And personally I didn’t think it would be worth my time to do that, since I already knew my blog wasn’t worth anyone’s time, and I held a deep seated belief that even though my work was crap I was a better writer than most people. Even authors who have been published. So this arrogance and this self-loathing…or work-loathing leads to isolation. No one does look at your work and you’re proved right all along.

But it’s crazy. I had some free time and I started this blog and said fuck it I’m just going to write whatever dumb shit comes to mind and I don’t care what Seth Godin says. And forget all the advice I’ve read about blogging and capturing audiences and creating tribes and all that shit. Fuck that shit. Fuck making money on this…fuck everything. And then after I wrote it I decided fuck it, I bet I can get some people to read this dumb shit. So I went out and to get some comments going on and to like some stuff purely so people would come back and read my shit. But when I got out there on the blogosphere suddenly I found myself engaged in these other writers. Then I really did like what they wrote. Then I decided to comment the same way I was blogging. I’ll just say whatever comes to mind, no matter how dumb it is, no matter how uncool it might seem. And bam, what the fuck, here I am with some real shit going on. My whole outlook on blogging and even life has changed to a degree. And definitely my idea of writing.

So anyway, I have to go to this god damn super bowl party now. But I’ll be back tomorrow to further explore this idea this thing I’m trying to get at. And to call out some people who seem to be going through what I was, too.

Hot damn. Blogging is the shit.

What I’ve Learned So Far About Blogging and Life

Readability Index: Unreadable Due to Length

Alright what I’m going to try to do here is create a unique field theory…I mean a unified field theory of blogging by me. A unified field theory of my life and what blogging means to it. What has writing this blog done to me over the last week and how can I make it useful to my life. How can I enjoy it more fully. How can I do something…how can I feel good about it.

Well, like the first time I started blogging on this mother fucker, I’ve got The National keyed up. Playing “Anyone’s Ghost” over and over again. Great song. I can lose myself in the rhythm of it.

Sometimes I feel like cursing and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I feel nice and sometimes I’m itchy. Someone just called me. I hate phones because they interrupt everything. People are mad at me all the time because I don’t pick up my phone. But I can’t plan for that shit. I don’t know how they made it back in the day with regular phones just ringing all the time and you couldn’t even see who was calling. Screening your calls meant listening to the answering machine.

But that’s all beside the point of course.

I washed the dishes and ate another muffin. I should eat again before I go to work. I was thinking I should enjoy work and stop dreading leaving the house, but that’s just part of me, dreading leaving the house, I can have as much fun as I want when I get out there but the next day I’ll be dreading it all over again. Much like taking a shower.

I still feel like this blog is a kind of fleeting addiction. I have them all the time. Sometimes I’m really into drawing, or basketball, or wine, or…well anything. The one activity I have done throughout my life is writing. So maybe that bodes well for the blog. Because this is a good kind of writing. A kind of writing that motivates me to keep writing. I really like just spitting out my thoughts. And the craziest thing about it is that people read it. It’s there for people to read, like a well dressed pamphlet fluttering down a busy street, but unlike the pamphlet that gets stomped on and waved away and stuck to car bumpers, this blog gets read by people from all over the world. They take time to read the words that came straight out of my head, without any revision or intense labor over them. It’s crazy to me that people like to read that much. Now I like to read that much, but I never thought that so many other people did. It’s the difference between knowing something and feeling it, is something I always say. I know that people are like me, but I don’t feel it.

But along with the addiction idea, is the feeling that perhaps this isn’t healthy. Perhaps I should be going outside and running around, or cleaning the house, or getting a part time job, or toiling away at writing a novel. This is just a part of how I feel about everything except actual paid by the hour work, the feeling that I should be doing something else, that I could be doing something more productive at that moment. The times I snap out of this feeling are usually when I consider that some people don’t have any time or any choice of what they do at any time of the day. A man with no lets can’t decide to cut his toenails, and a starving child can’t decide whether to eat coconut almond muffins or just skip lunch. So that usually gets me focused back on the crazy thing about my life which is that I have the world available to me, as unfair as that may be to other people.

And I use the word crazy too much. It’s kind of a catch all for things I don’t understand or can’t grasp, as well as something I aspire to, like ‘damn that dude is crazy!’

So I don’t want to feel like this is an addiction. Something I think about all the time, that I can’t wait to get back to, that I’m unhappy if I’m not doing it…unless I do want to feel like that. Isaac Asimov felt like that about writing fiction and I’ve always admired him. A lot of people say about writers: “If you can’t not write, then you’re a writer.” I’ve always replied, “well I guess I’m not a writer because I could sleep all day, wake up drink and watch Downton Abbey reruns and I won’t be worried about a damn bit of writing.” Writing is usually something I do because I’m good at it and I like it. Not because I need it. But maybe being addicted to this blog will be like needing to write, which would then put me in the company of great writers, which would then perhaps make me a great writer.

The most wonderful thing about this blog, and I mean wonderful in the truly literal sense as in it creates within my mind a great sense of…wonder…is that I have been able to in some way make at least one person’s life a little more interesting. It’s really weird, actually, to have the effect on someone through writing. I like to think that I make people’s lives better in general when I know them, because I’m hardworking and nice and charming; but it’s super weird to think that my writing has affected someone I don’t know outside of the written word relationship of blogging. Of course I’ve always known that that was what writing is all about, but I didn’t feel it. And when I say feel and know, of course they are happening in the same place, in the mind with the chemicals and neural pathways and all that, I’m really differentiating between theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. In theory writing is communication with other minds…but I’ve never before felt the practical application of that knowledge. Just had to make a note for those Ayn Rand types who would laugh at my use of the word “feel.” Ah see, sometimes I worry about impressions for long periods of time without even realizing it. Then again, you can’t say you’re not thinking about the impression you’re making if you’re writing for people to look at it. You’re writing expressly to create an impression, whether in your own mind or someone else’s. What I don’t want to do at least on this blog is to worry that I’m making the wrong impression. Because as I’ve stated before I spend most of m life doing that.

The practical uses of this blog, and by that what I mean to say (or meantersay, as Joe Gargery would say) is the uses of the blog that I would be happy with even if no one ever saw it, are numerous. Being namely that words look pretty on this blog, my thoughts are organized with tags and categories, and even while I’m typing this information is being saved on the internet so that even if my computer should spontaneously combust, I would not lose any of this. So those are good things. Before I started blogging I would write this kind of random bullshit gibberish, but I would save it on a Word document. I would lose all those with my computer. Also with this infinite display of the articles in reverse chronological order, I can more easily reread these posts than I can read all those word documents that are separated and whatnot.

Hm yes but what is the overall idea. What is the purpose? Of course, we all know how I feel about the purpose of life. Since we’re doomed it really doesn’t matter what we do. Except that we can’t. But that’s a load of horseshit.

What then is the difference between bullshit and horseshit?

I do want to create something of value. And I do love writing in this extemporaneous style. Revisions have always been a bitch to me. I have always thought of art as revision, controlling the impression you’re making on people. And that’s well and good. You can’t have a wonderful novel like Freedom without revision. You can’t have an awesome movie like Spartacus without editing. Hm but maybe you can have an incredible novel like On the Road if you practice writing a lot a lot and fill your head jam packed with experiences and information and then sit down at your computer with a gallon of coffee and type for a week straight.

Maybe I will write something in the vein of On the Road, with a Hunter S Thompson slant, with a subject that is truth, that is not fictitious. I will be like Chuck Klosterman, perhaps. The more I blog the more I like that mother fucker and I never once really thought about it before, except right after I got done reading Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. I’d pretty much forgotten about him until it came up while I was commenting on someone else’s blog and now I find myself quoting him a lot. And what he does is pretty cool. He talks about the world we live in in a funny way. And an insightful way. I bet I could do something like that at least 10 percent as good as him if I really worked at it.

I think my style of writing is pretty engaging. If I were to talk about something people cared about, I think at least some people would find that worthwhile. Hrmph well…shit

The End of the Day

Readability Index: Not Terrible If You’ve Got Time to Kill

That’s what it is. And so we have come to this. And so I have come to this.

Man, shit, I just got all caught up in reading a shit ton of blogs. I do it because I like reading other blogs. But also because I want people to come on here and read my dumb shit and like that shit. It’s funny because my girlfriend was just talking about how she gets high off people liking her pics on instagram.

Man it’s crazy as shit. I’m reading all these blogs, all up in these people’s brains like it’s Being John Malkovich in here. It’s pretty crazy because back in the day just a few months or years ago I wouldn’t read anything but the classic novels. I wouldn’t watch TV or anything. I just wanted to read things that stood the test of time, that were respectable, and respected. I thought that way I wouldn’t waste time winnowing through the endless stream of bullshit that’s out there. And now here I am, no longer concerned with winnowing even my own thoughts, just straight wallowing in bullshit. But you know, it’s not even bullshit out here. These swamps are filled with gold. I mean, people say the craziest shit. And everybody’s trying to figure shit out. People typing their hearts out here. A lot of it doesn’t boggle the mind when you read it. A lot of it doesn’t bear rereading. But almost all of it is worth reading once. It’s not like a stream of youTube comments out here.

I always tried to think of myself as a gifted writer. As a serious writer. I wanted only to write a novel. But now I don’t even know how I came to that conclusion. Or rather I know exactly how. It just sounded lie the right thing to do. Sounds nice. Novelist. Sounds like what you should do if you can write. A novel is just a respectable thing. All the way up until beyond my junior year of college, when I found myself in an advanced fiction writing workshop based around short fiction, I didn’t even know what a short story was. I thought it was a novel that had less words. Man, shit, you can just roll up on the blogosphere and start typing the dumbest shit and somebody’s going to read that shit, even just because you read their shit that they might didn’t think was worth nobody reading it. And what else is needed then? Should you have changed their life? Did you fail if you didn’t? Fuck if I know. Like I’m always saying, motherfucking sun’s bout to explode all over all our asses anyway so might as well get your kicks. Yeah I say that every five minutes, I’d say it more often but it takes about five minutes to say.

It’s crazy too because you can look around and pick out what people are good at. You can say, damn I wish I was funny as that girl, or attractive as that one, or I wish I had a shit ton of awesome pictures to post every five minutes and a service to offer, I wish I had mad insights like that dude or I wish I had the drive to spend a lot of time researching and putting together a kick ass factual jam like that dude. And everybody knows what you’re supposed to be doing is doing you, but that shit is never illustrated like it is here. Here it’s like you can find twenty-five real live motherfuckers failing miserably at doing what they think they should be doing, but succeeding at doing some kind of other thing. I don’t know. That shit is nonsensical but it makes sense to me. It’s weird because you know most people aren’t going to keep posting, just like most people aren’t going to keep doing anything besides breathing eating and going to the job that has a good health plan and doesn’t totally suck all the time. Most people that can post anyway. People that can’t even post like some cart runners in India they ain’t even half concerned with expressing themselves to the global community. Mother fuckers live in shantytowns with all the friends they care about impressing. And that’s what it comes down to, the idea of the over used word ‘community.’ Because really we’ve lost the real community, the extended family, the place where everybody knows your name and that your little sister had three abortions and is sleeping with the town mayor. And instead we have friends in cities thousands of miles away. We text a mother fucker who’s next door to ask for some salt. Just leave it outside the door thanks. And god damn, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unless I could have free alcohol. Give me unlimited rye whiskey and a long wooden table and a bunch of people I know entirely too much about and I’ll be alright. But these kinds of perfect situations don’t exist even in the times of the past. Someone was always charging forĀ  the whiskey, and the people all betrayed each other in horrendous ways, and they all died when flu season came around. And they killed all the Indians with smallpox blankets. And they burned homosexuals. Yeah it’s probably better that we’re all safe in our homes. Eating dope ass chicken salad and listening to music that’s made in little boxes with little boxes that have lights on them, burning a candle on the table to remind of us of the primeval fires we had to gather around so as not to get eaten by something bigger than us, and brushing our teeth with something probably made by a twelve pound pygmy getting paid a dollar a century. It’s a good life if you can get it. And this blogging shit, well, shit dude. How fucking great does it get. You can put your own head inside of a box and have people look at it and give you thumbs up. And you never once have to see them. And they can’t talk behind your back, because the little box is always in front of you.

Man this blogging shit is so crazy. I don’t even know what’s going on.

And my little WordPress comment indicator is lighting up so I’m going to just go ahead and push my favorite button and find out who the fuck wants to connect now.