Sellout – What is the Point?


He types in the job search phrases and presses [Enter]… 35,169 choices come up.

“SEO Expert Needed! Programmer skills required.” Well… I can program my microwave does that count?

“Web marketing associate needed. Driven individuals, willing to work long hours at $22.50 an hour, and a degree in related field is required.” The sad part is… I would take this job. The reason this is sad is because I strongly feel that a job such as this is beneath my skill set, but because my skills don’t include development most companies won’t agree. They would place me on the floor with a bunch of sales associates/marketing SEO consultants and have me making cold calls all day. I would then have to give up my personal website goals. Sounds like a plan…

What is the point? I get the frustration, I share it with many of you, you are either underqualified or overqualified for something. I am underqualified for most “webpage management positions” because I am not a developer. I have some web building knowledge, online traffic management skills, and some SEO knowledge but I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in any of those fields. I also am not a professional writer so I don’t fit the bill on either the technical or artistic side of things.

Frustration and the meaning of being frustrated to me currently is centered around my future. Unsure about what to do… have you ever created something you thought was awesome and been so proud of it you didn’t want anyone else to touch it because they may then in turn claim some ownership? Even the implication that another person had a hand in the creation of HarsH ReaLiTy would probably bother me. It surely would. Pride… the hubris of man or is it instead the one thing we can confidently claim as our own.

I guess I will still keep looking, halfheartedly, since my heart is not fully into it. Would I sellout? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean I would be smiling about it. You have to have an opportunity to sellout first and that ship has yet to find my harbor.

-Opinionated Man

Want Views? – Pump Your Posts!


It is very hard for your article to get noticed if you simply send it out into the WordPress world and sit back and hope it gets seen. I avoid the “hope” part by actively pumping my posts before and after I publish them. This is a way to create “interest” in your article even before it hits the board. I pump my posts by pushing my blog towards groups I think will either like or hate a previous post or a future post I am about to write. I then count on timing for them to actually see the post I hope they get to read. It is from that single connection that a blogger can try to build a relationship with the reader.

Imagine WordPress as a River and not an Ocean. The river that all posts go to from bloggers on WordPress is always filling up and even more importantly those posts are being shot down a single line. The river image is perfect actually because you are counting on readers that are lining up on either side fishing for posts by tag. A blogger should keep this mental image in mind to understand how hard it is for a “random reader” to see a single post by you. The number of articles submitted each minute is astronomical and even “topic specific tags” are quickly overwhelmed.

The great thing about WordPress is that you can send a post down the river again if it is missed the first time. The frequency in which you do this will depend on you as a person, your motivation, and possibly your blogging ethic. People shouldn’t be worried about republishing old posts though because they are your articles, your work, and your words to be proud of.

I have said before that I make my own articles viral. I tested this out actually and I know it works. I was able to “pump” my original Women are Crazy article to close to 150,000 views in 3 months. That was active work done before and after the article was published. There are ways to ensure your work is seen. Whether you want to use those methods is really up to you.

-OM

I still feel new here


I still feel new to WordPress and probably feel that way because I am. I have only been blogging for 18 months and that is a very short time compared to many of you. I don’t really know how long I will blog, it was never my intention to actually still be writing this long. But I have found a give/take love with blogging, especially here on WordPress, and it is nice to have “an outlet” as so many have said.

I am not here to “perfect my writing,” but rather to try new things. I think that is the difference in my blog from a “writing blog” where the author or aspiring author is really working hard to create a particular voice. Or they are sticking to one genre and only focusing in on issues related to that subject. See that isn’t how I blog and never will be, so I can’t really claim this as my training ground. I like to think I push myself to write whatever I wish… to show I can. Poetry, infomatic articles, blogging articles, flash fiction, personal posts, parenting, and dare I say I think I write the woman’s point of view remarkably well. There won’t ever be only one type of topic found here and that is how I have kept my audience. I have only a few readers that actually read everything on this website and I am still amazed that people return for a second visit. That was never factored into my business model.

When I first started WordPress I immediately found the reader and Freshly Pressed tabs. I happened upon an article on Matt Walsh and decided to visit his blog. I was amazed at how many shares, comments, and likes his work got and I decided I would like to have that many people “at least” look at my words. I figured out how to do that which I have shared in detail in my blogging/powerblogging articles. Others may have their own theories and models, these are simply one guy’s thoughts on how to successfully build a powerblog. A powerblog is whatever you want it to be, just like a blog is whatever you want it to be. I have visited many blogs and that obviously includes the “larger blogs” out there. Many much larger, successful, and obviously corporate in comparison to my own. I don’t envy other blogs and instead use them as motivation to keep pushing my numbers. I left comments in my early blogging days on many of these large blogs asking questions. Guess what I got in response? … …. nothing…

Shouldn’t surprise me and I am in turn very happy when people ARE surprised at my responses to their comments here. It is much like the twitter purge I did, I believe there has to be a balance. I can’t visit every website that subscribes to me and I never intended to. I have had countless complaints about this and I find it silly, but I suppose some bloggers need a reason to be mad daily. I instead put a portion of my time and energy into writing blogging articles “for free” for those that read my website. I hope people realize I am writing these for you guys… they aren’t for me. They are mainly what I have learned in blogging and they are the answers to the questions certain assholes never responded to me about. It is ok assholes, I am sure you are very interesting people.

To sum up this obviously well thought out blog post, see this is another reason I don’t consider myself a writer really. I edit once and publish and never “plan” things out much. But whatever, the point I was making is that numbers are just numbers. You don’t always know how they got there. I worked for mine, but many get their numbers “handed to them” through corporate relationships, connections to TV stations, and other mass media feeds. Hell I haven’t even been Freshly Pressed and I am certain that staff has my blog labeled with a big X. That is cool I never needed anyone’s help and I certainly won’t start in the virtual world. I know I am offering $50 consulting now, but I ALSO answer countless emails with questions from random bloggers. Some who probably don’t even read my website and want free info, but I still reply. Regardless of what you have heard about me I don’t bite… if you have a question send it and I will respond. It may say “that is easily found in the WordPress forum,” but I will at least answer. Like I said, I do this because there was a time (18 months ago) when I couldn’t beg a response off someone who obviously “knew what they were doing.” I try not to be an asshole at least one day out of the week.

-OM

https://aopinionatedman.com/category/bloggingpowerblogging-articles/

The Daily Opinion – Purest Bloggers


There is a point of contention between some bloggers about purity of method when it comes to blogging. Do you hope to connect only with those that “love” your work and through those connections do you hope to build an audience only of like minded people? Or are you like some bloggers (me) that would rather see their work in front of a million faces and hope that a percentage of connections comes from it?

-OM

Reference – Speaking To A Larger Audience


Opinionated Man:

I love stats! So thank you for sharing some of your numbers. I had hoped someone will. Maybe the next referral will share their graph as well! -OM
Note: Comments disabled here, please comment on their blog.

Originally posted on Contortum Designs:

I believe that, as bloggers, we all desire a larger audience for our work.  We are here for a reason, we have strong and beautiful voices, and we want to be heard!

If you are like me you do not know the ins and outs of SEO, which is one of the most important aspects of gaining a larger audience.  I came across a fellow blogger who just happens to be an expert in this area here on WordPress, Jason of A Opinionated Man and A Good Blog Is Hard To Find.  Jason’s writing is phenomenal, I faithfully follow both of his blogs and recommend you do the same!  So, when Jason recently began advertising his services I jumped on it!

When I contacted Jason I had 48 followers.  Within minutes of him beginning his work I had more views and comments than I ever had before!  It was 

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Reference – Doing It By The Numbers


Opinionated Man:

My first client and first review! Thanks! -OM

Originally posted on Unload and Unwind:

Hands up who enjoys interacting and chatting, debating and dueling and all the fun activities you discover when you join the blogging world. [pause for a hand count] Ok those of you with your hands down I think that if you’re like me you started this as a venture to talk about things you were interested in, explore writing in various forms and to connect with others who enjoy the same things.  I love writing and always have but I have fallen hopelessly head over heals in love with blogging.  It’s crack baby – that rush when someone responds for the first time to a post, that OMG moment when you see [cue heavenly choir] you have ‘A Follower’ all of it is an affirmation that your work has value and interest to at least one other person.

faith in abilitiesThere has been a lot of debate about blogging for ‘Purity of…

View original 487 more words

Memories 1… 2… 3… and another


Those things we do. I have many vivid memories of obvious mistakes I have made in my life. Some were major and others minor. I suppose my project has put me in a reflective mood, so I thought I would share a few.

“You want my autograph?” – I remember hearing my name. “Jason!!! COME UPSTAIRS NOW!!!” I of course proceeded to climb those stairs as slowly as possible. You never want to rush into things you know are a bad situation and anytime you hear your mom use that high pitched, shrill sounding voice you know shit has literally hit the fan. Like any other seven year old I had a number of things I “thought” she might be angry at, but I wouldn’t know what it actually was till I saw her. “Did you write in sharpie on your brother’s window sill” my mother immediately asked upon my arrival. I did what any other boy my age would have done. I lied. “Nope, wasn’t me…” I said confidently. “THEN WHY DOES IT SAY YOUR NAME?” Oh… oops…

Betrayal At Krondor – This was my favorite PC game as a kid and it was light years ahead of other rpg games! Unfortunately at the age of 14 I did not have a PC of my own… this was back in 1995 in case you were curious. I solved this problem by formatting my mother’s hard drive so it would fit the 9 hard disks required for downloading the game. How was I to know that format meant – remove forever! I remember thinking at the time, while being yelled at, that it was a serious flaw to place a self-destruct button on a machine that was so valuable.

Dogwoods in Memphis – The first home we lived in on Stonewall had two beautiful dogwoods in the front yard. They were a kid’s dream for climbing and also beautiful to behold once their blossoms opened. I thought at the time that it was a shame that the only thing ugly on that tree was the bark. So I decided to peal it off. I was probably around the age of 8 and I was so proud to show my parents what I had done. It became apparent I had made some type of miscalculation from the look of horror on my mother’s face. My father was furious… it wasn’t like I had cut down a cherry tree or something. In my defense those trees survived and no one ever hugged those branches for dear life like I did.

“Dude Jason… I think we had a wreck…” – We were driving home from Nashville after a night of partying when I fell asleep at the wheel. It had never happened before, but fortunately this time I didn’t hit a car. What I did do was tear up five yards of guard rail, hit a bridge column, and the car ended up catching fire and being destroyed. Did I mention that it happened to be Father’ Day morning and it was possibly my dad’s car…

“Well that doesn’t fit… dammit!!!” – Recently I have discovered I suck at home repairs. I should not be allowed to do them. I decided to surprise my wife by switching out the back sliding door handle with a locking handle instead. Well it helps if you look inside and see what type of door it is. Unfortunately I tried to put a normal lock on a latch handle opening. For those that don’t know, that is kind of like the square peg in the round hole scenario. Needless to say, my wife was pretty pissed at the large hole I had drilled for the handle that didn’t fit.

-OM

2014 Wish List


I have a wish list for 2014. I will number them.

  1. I wish for 2014 to be the year no one writes about me. Either positive or negative. That would be awesome.
  2. I wish for more sleep. I ask for this yearly and fail yearly to have it granted.
  3. I really want a BMW. It doesn’t have to be new, just “newish.”
  4. I hope this is the year THEY come finally.
  5. I would like for my kids not to get sick as much this year.
  6. I want to write more, get better at writing, and work on dialogue.
  7. I wish less people would actually touch me this year. Today a guy randomly patted me on the back after a brief conversation at a store. That is cool and all… but I almost melted from human contact.
  8. I wish less people would have abortions.
  9. I just want a Super Bowl win! Who do I have to pray to for that? I am not above sabotaging a team bus…
  10. I wish more people would consider the stupid shit they say in public that everyone else is forced to listen to. You have every right to be as dumb as you like, but please don’t torture my ears and sanity with your drivel.
  11. I wish everyone in America had to retake the drivers test and actually pass this time… I want to see the test scores too. There is no way some of you actually took a legitimate test. Maybe a go-kart test or something.
  12. I wish the news would be less bias. All channels.
  13. I wish reporters would get their facts straight before reporting stories. News stations and reporters DESERVE every dollar they are sued for when they falsely report shit. Do your job right, stop cutting corners, and stop ruining random people’s lives assholes!
  14. I wish you were all real people. Granted, you are very talkative machines…

-OM

These People Should NOT Read My Blog


I created a list of people that shouldn’t follow my blog. This was prompted by a comment by one of you. I will number these to make it easier to digest.

  1. I don’t think depressive people should follow my blog. I have struggled with depression myself throughout my life and you know what happens when two depressives get together right? Ice cream, Sex in the City reruns, and boxes of tissue right?
  2. People that are easily offended shouldn’t follow my blog. I have said this repeatedly and even have a nice tagline as a warning…. And still people think I am joking. It amazes me!
  3. North Koreans and possibly the Chinese. I know I make a lot of jokes at the expense of other Asians. I would apologize… but that would just be a lie.
  4. Dennis Rodman – Dennis if you are reading my blog get the hell out of here asshole and go back to North Korea!
  5. People that have had an abortion probably will hate my blog. I get that and I wish you the best. I won’t change my words or views simply because there are “nice people” out there that have made mistakes. I have done bad things as well and I expect judgment for them.
  6. Trolls or groupies – I am not wealthy. I am married. I have a wife and two kids. There will never be an “I love you” in a message from me. Some of the emails I have received lately strongly suggest that some people have not read my bio. Read my bio. 2014 is the year of the anti-troll system. It is working so far.
  7. Clown lovers – I really hate clowns. I really do.
  8. Ultra-Religious Types – I am going to guess that my blog and views on religion won’t fly with most people.  I am ok with that… are you?
  9. If you hate generalizations – you will hate this blog.
  10. Feminist – Now I personally don’t think I have done anything to offend the feminist in the world of WordPress. Unfortunately the memo has been sent out that OM is a misogynist bastard. At least they got the bastard part right. To the feminist I have offended so far I have two words. Opinionated Man.
  11. Patriots Fans – If you love the Patriots and Tom Brady you probably will hate my blog. If you don’t… I will try harder.
  12. Real Writers and Authors – I know my punctuation and grammar suck. You probably want to save yourself the torture and just read a Tom Clancy novel or something… I get a mental image of “real authors” reading my blog and *snorting* saying “why the hell does this guy have so many followers?” Ouch…
  13. Poets – My poetry isn’t really poetry. It is more like random lines made to rhyme. I am certain this annoys real poets; you may want to just skip my blog.
  14. Serious Sussies (This is not referring to a real person) – Super serious people might want to read CNN instead. My blog is awash with lame, humorous jokes that most people don’t find funny other than me. It is like a comedic hell in here!
  15. Freshly Pressed Staff – I make fun of your choices a lot. You probably don’t want to hear me bash your hard work, but sometimes I can’t help it. Margaret Cho is the most “progressive” Korean-American??? REALLY??? UGH…

At least it has been said so if you do choose to stick around… well you have been warned.

-OM

WordPress Meet and Greet #3 – All Bloggers Welcome


Well this is the third post I have done like this so far and I have seen some great connections. I’ll keep doing these off and on and I think they provide a great way for “active bloggers” to network.

All bloggers are welcome to use this post as a “Self-Promotion” thread for their blog, projects, causes, writing, books, eBooks, food, fashion, or whatever you are into. You may post links, book covers, or whatever you like and feel free to revisit and leave a new comment as this thread will quickly fill up.

Hopefully some authors, photographers, painters, writers, and bloggers will take the opportunity to push their work. Please keep promotional comments on the posts dedicated for that purpose.

Feel free and re-blog or share this post. Thanks!

-OM

Memories 1, 2, 3…


*Marlboro lights – You remind me of Mary. I miss her dearly. She was a great friend, a confidant, a shining light in my life during a time I needed some light. Taken too soon from us, you will be missed.

*Kids on bikes – I am reminded of when I was younger and still living in Jackson Mississippi. I had a small dirt bike, a hand me down from my brother, and all my friends had nice new “multiple speed” bikes that were just coming out. Needless to say I lost every race. I recall often times throwing my bike into a dirt ditch in frustration.

*Dirt ditches – Anytime I see a street or neighborhood without a sidewalk I am reminded of Jackson, MS. Many of the neighborhoods in Jackson don’t have sidewalks and I get a familiar tingle when I see the same thing in other cities. Ever felt like you were walking down a memory?

*Throwing Stars and nunchucks – I get a vivid memory when I think or see these words. It reminds me of Knoxville, TN. My Asian friends (and the token white dude) were in the parking lot of one of the dorms on campus hanging out. My Filipino friend decided to show us his nunchuck skills. I will say here that he was pretty good. To this day I do not recall any glances of fear or alarm from those passing by, but someone obviously called the cops. A cop car screeched into the parking lot and two white sheriffs stepped out with guns drawn. “Get your hands up and drop the weapon!” We looked at each other in confusion, but of course complied. After making sure we were not a threat, we were left with one last memorable statement. “You boys don’t have any throwing stars or knives do you?” Nice…

*Captain Morgan – Cigarette thrown, angry Korean, guy gets a bloody nose, more rum.

*Wendy’s after midnight – Knoxville, TN we pulled up and ordered almost everything on the menu. As we got to the window we decided it was an appropriate time to spark up. The lady at the window looks over her shoulder for her manager and then says “give me a hit and the food is free.” Win!

*Seattle Washington and stupid buses – So I arrived in Seattle in the summer of the 2000 for the motherland tour to Korea which I write about in my adoption story. I arrived a day earlier so the other people going on the trip were not yet there. One girl was and she invited me to go downtown to the mall to meet some of her friends she had not seen in some time since she was not from Seattle. I agreed and we saw a bit of Seattle and I quickly fell in love with the city. When it was time to go she decided to hang around and I told her I was fine getting a bus back to the airport hotel we were staying at. The problem was that at the age of 18 I had never actually ridden a city bus before. I figured it would be as simple as walking to the opposite side of the street and getting a bus going the opposite direction. How was I to know, I was from Memphis, TN where you don’t ride a bus unless you have to… ever. Needless to say I did not get to my destination and I was forced to ask a police officer, like the orphan that I was, how to get to the airport. Embarrassment

*Scottsdale, AZ – One of the few memories I have of my father and I spending time together. I don’t begrudge him, he  is my role model when it comes to providing for a family. He was always busy, but as a chief physician and a teacher at medical schools that shouldn’t be unexpected. It is to a kid though. Scottsdale was beautiful and my father was giving a talk at a place called the Phoenician, which was a Ritz. It was my first Ritz… I will remember forever the mother of pearl swimming pool there. Amazing

*San Antonio, TX – Basic training. Getting a post card 3 weeks in from my family on an Alaskan family reunion cruise. Miserable

*Cracker Barrel – This place is really white and even though I am with white parents I never belonged there. One of the few restaurants I have ever felt that way. I don’t go there anymore.

*The 3 – My two friends and I as kids were the 3 forwards on our soccer team and we kicked some 10 year old ass back in the day. Those fools never knew what hit them…

*The Year Off – My transition from junior high to High School was funny because the inner city schools in Memphis, TN have never had strong soccer teams. When my friends and I entered into the “system” many city soccer coaches took notice because there was literally a “team” of us in the same 2 grades. I remember as we were getting ready to enter High School that I met my future coach, a real pompous braggart that was one of those soccer coaches that dresses as if he is a player too… give it up. He would even try to show us techniques, which was amusing considering most of us played competitive soccer since the school soccer was really just amusing to us. That was the year I “took a year off from soccer” to play golf. The High School coach was not pleased, he wanted us all on his new “super team.” Tough shit Sherlock, I don’t regret it to this day asshole.

*Pre-AP English – “You won’t ever be a good writer. Many people aren’t great at writing, try something new.” So motivating…

*AP English – “Mom I got a 4 on the AP English exam! Can I go shove it in Mrs. ___ #@$%#@%@#$ face?”

*12th grade Art class – My first in school fight that I got caught for. In my defense… it was self-defense. Memorable line from the Principle “we punish all offenders equally here!” My mother “well that is the stupidest shit I have ever heard!” Love…

*2008 – You are released from service Airman. “OMG… OMG”

*The King and I – I was one of the Emperor’s children in a traveling Broadway production of The King and I in Memphis, TN. That was one of the greatest memories of my childhood.

*Boy Choir – I miss my voice. I was a soprano till I was 16 years old. I got made fun of, but I didn’t care. Now I sound like a mortician.

*HarsH ReaLiTy – “This online journal should be a fun and relaxing way of writing a diary…”

Some Personal Retorts – By: OM


“You eat meat? You murder animals.” …I hate baby elephants…

“Do you know how many calories are in that?” The same amount as there was when I ate it yesterday?

“Are you throwing that away? There are starving people around the world!” Did you want me to Fedex my leftovers or something?

“Hate is such a strong word. You shouldn’t say you hate people.” I hate you.

“All you do is write your opinion. You don’t ever debate or allow others to share theirs.” Ok, are you finished yet?

“You are going to hell.” Been there. They kicked me out…

“Koreans are horrible drivers.” Good, I will have an excuse when I run your ass over.

“All Asians are good at math.” That is because we are all smart enough to buy calculators… stupid.

“Chopsticks are so hard to eat with! I barely even get a bite!” Why do you think Asians are generally so skinny? Even we hate eating a whole meal with chopsticks. Where the hell is my spoon?

“Are you worried about when the time comes for your daughters to date?” I am only worried about having the energy to dig that many graves…

“You are such a misogynist asshole.” Pure butter baby.

-OM

For Males Only – 10 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas


Every year I try to cater to my few male followers and write an opinionated article for Valentine’s day. This is a long standing tradition running a year now. I couldn’t think of anything witty to write this year other than my previous post “Why you are alone on Valentine’s Day” so I decided I would write a list of gift ideas. Take what value you can from it guys, it has served me well.

  1. Buy her a tree. You can decide what type of tree or what size, generally a smaller tree will work, but I never understood why men get caught in this monotonous routine of buying rose after rose. What ends up happening is you will get the same smile and the SAME sex. Get her a tree and sparks are going to fly. Trust me. You can even plant it, but trying to pass off a tree that was previously there is really going to depend on how much she drinks.
  2. Guys if something is wrong with you and you actually like buying women’s clothing then at least do it properly. Figure out what size she wears, clothing has this thing called a tag inside that has numbers on it. You write the numbers down and ask the nice fake smiling lady behind the counter where the so and so is. If you find yourself embarrassed trying to say what you are looking for, describing is acceptable merely by pointing at the different regions of your body, but please abstain from pointing overly at your groin area. This can cause possible law suits or police intervention. Also, to the fathers out there, bring those kids shopping! I don’t know what these “other dudes” are talking about, but kids are CHICK MAGNETS!
  3. I feel a second gift advice is needed for clothing. If you are feeling Indiana Jones adventurous and actually buy your woman a shirt or dress buy a size down at least! Every guy that has been dragged through a mall by a woman, I read recently some Asian guy during Christmas Season literally threw himself off the balcony at the mall because his wife wouldn’t stop shopping, knows that different brands mean that the sizes can technically also be different. Even if the number is the same! Hedge your bet, buy a size or two down and keep the receipt. If she gets mad, which by the way her fury over this will be miniscule compared to her RAGE over you buying a size UP, then you just take it back and try to look puppy dog sorry.
  4. Buying chocolate is a horrible idea and what if you “accidently” get a low-fat chocolate bar. God, Your Life Is Over… and please Youtube that Shit! If you insist on buying her candy get her gum. I never saw a woman that complained about getting a stick of gum. Big League Chew is also a good option.
  5. I think that if you are Korean you might consider inventing a riding vacuum cleaner. I do a lot of vacuuming myself and I think a riding vacuum cleaner would kick ass. Especially if it had a drink holder.
  6. A Man-Shaped Punching Bag – Now this might exist. I am far too lazy to check amazon.com for this, but I think inventing, making, or finding and buying a man-shaped punching bag would be epic! I do caution that if you decide to surprise her with it and hang it in the garage… actually that is a bad idea. And if it is a girlfriend she is probably going to dump you for being a creep.
  7. The “Show me only what I want to see” Camera – If you can make this next Japan please consider inventing a camera that only takes pictures of what women “perceive” they see. And not actually “what” they see. This is for all us husbands that must sit through picture sorting sessions. I hear North Korea uses a similar practice for torture.
  8. Happy Liquor – I wish they could invent a liquor that ONLY makes women happy. No sadness, depression, melt downs, or thrown boxes of Valentine’s day chocolate. Just Happy… [plays Pharrell’s new song HAPPY]
  9. Stress balls that resemble a pair of men’s… jewels. This might seem like an odd or pornographic idea, but think about what a win-win it is men. They get to squeeze something of value in more ways than one and you in turn get to watch those stress lines disappear. You know the ones that appear around the eyes right before “tiger mode.”
  10. A mood ring that works. I think this would also serve as an “emergency response signal” to forewarn us of inclement weather in the near future.
  11. 1,350 Books. This is a great idea for those of us that have multiple sports seasons we love and must watch. If you are married to or dating a book lover get an endless amount of books for them so they won’t hog the television with their awesome channel selections. Trust me, it will work.

Well that will about do it. I am going to just say that the writer of this article, me, takes no responsibility for advice taken or badly followed. Best of luck men in the battle to come. Go Joe!

-Opinionated Man

10 Ways to Make Your Day Awesome!


1. Play “Eye of the Tiger” while you shower. That is a magical experience. Seriously try it.

2. Convince the spouse to have sex in the morning. Everyone has sex at night… boring! Morning sex really is awesome. Awesome.

3. Tell the woman at Starbucks that your name is Superman/Superwoman. Hearing your name or seeing it written will make you feel crazy good. Crazy good!

4. Eat a burger at Outback Steakhouse in America. If you are from a foreign country… well it must suck not to be American. I got lucky and was drafted from Korea.

5. Drink a morning beer. I don’t know what it is with connecting the image of an alcoholic to morning beverage consumption. On average a fridge presents very few options mostly consisting of either orange or apple juice, milk, and a various selection of beers. It is therefore a rational human response to grab a can of bud lite. Everyone knows it is just like water… plus a few nutritious ingredients. What the hell is the problem here?

6. Buy a number one from McDonalds and don’t you dare use location as an excuse. Everyone knows there is a freaking McDonalds in every country except North Korea.

7. Hear the words “I love you” from anyone, even if you have to give $10 to the crackhead on the corner. An “I love you” is all about feelings.

8. Tell someone at work you are dying. It is amazing how nice people are to you, honestly amazing…

9. Say “OM” in the morning. You might even make a wish and if it comes true I take full credit.

10. Call in sick to work. Honestly is there any better feeling than calling in sick to work?

-OM

Guest Post – Why We Shouldn’t Be Proud of Gay Pride


The Gay Pride festival took place a few weekends ago in the City of San Francisco. The LGBT community in the Bay Area is large enough and demonstrative enough to have prompted Oakland to host its own Pride Festival in September for the past several years. Thus, the millions of us who live here are reminded at least twice a year of the prevalence of homosexuals in our area and in the country at large.

Personally, I think it’s a disgrace. To my mind, there is absolutely no reason why the gay and lesbian community should still, in the twenty-first century, have any reason or need to hold a festival in order to discourage feelings of shame in being gay.

I mean, really, people. Homosexuals have been around for thousands of years that we know of, and probably since the beginning of humankind. Clearly they aren’t going anywhere. Get over it.

And people are getting over it. Like non-whites and non-Christians, non-heterosexuals are gradually becoming a part of mainstream America. They’re not just drag queens and theatre actors anymore, but musicians, politicians, and athletes. They’re characters on television, and in movies; characters with depth and style, not mere stereotypes of what homosexuals were once popularly supposed to be.

Yet there’s still a difference in the way gays and lesbians are handled in the popular media, and this, to me, is the crux of the matter, the yardstick by which we know that the homosexuals have not yet gained acceptance as an “ordinary” minority. Because it’s still big news when a celebrity comes out. And because so many of those roles that feature homosexual characters are not about everyday people who happen to be homosexual, but about their homosexuality itself.

And that’s a crucial difference. Living where I do, I’ve met many gay and lesbian couples and the reality is, apart from the fact that they prefer to go to bed with members of the same sex, the majority of them are essentially indistinguishable from heterosexual couples. In my experience, most homosexuals don’t actually fit the “types” you’ll see featured if you attend the Gay Pride festival. Most of them are perfectly assimilated into a mainstream American lifestyle, and many more of them would be if the heterosexual community would simply let them. Being gay doesn’t mean they have different customs and values; if it did, they wouldn’t be fighting so hard for the right to marry. Shouldn’t we be applauding their desire to make permanent commitments to their selected mates? Doesn’t that make them more like the majority culture, not less?

Yet people continue to argue about homosexuality as if it’s a moral or behavioral issue and not a biological one. For once and for all, let us please stop debating whether homosexuality is a choice. It can’t be a choice. Because if it were, who would choose it? Who would willingly volunteer to spend their lives being mocked and scorned and beaten and abused if they could help it? Who would choose to live with that fear and contempt, to spend their lives in clandestine love affairs or risk ridicule and censure? There’s no overcoming the sexual instinct. If that were possible, babies wouldn’t be born out of wedlock and prostitution would be a dead profession. If heterosexuals can’t conquer their sex drives, why does anyone expect the homosexuals to be able to?

Minorities will always be minorities, and to a certain extent, they’ll always stand out because of that. Indeed, this “melting pot” that we call America was basically founded as a haven for differing minorities, and the astonishing variety of individual cultures that have made a home here will only continue to increase as the decades pass. But the day will eventually come when non-heterosexuals won’t have to be defined by their sexual orientation. When they’ll be able to be people first and gay second. When they’ll no longer need a Pride festival to champion homosexuality. Because no one will even give a damn anymore whether they’re gay or not.

I’d like to attend the Pride festival several decades from now, when they make the announcement that it’s to be the final one. And if the LGBT members of our community don’t show up because they’re all at home with their families going about their own business, then I’ll know it’s time to celebrate the acceptance that they’ve finally achieved.

Lori Schafer
http://lorilschafer.com

Guest Post – The Human Races: Do We Think Differently?


I recently saw an episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman which dared to address a very delicate topic: whether there are biological differences between the races that go beyond skin color. It’s certainly obvious that those differences exist. No one can dispute that the average African is taller than the average Asian, or that fair-skinned peoples are more susceptible to skin cancer, or that redheads are more likely to be Irish than Latin. But there’s a certain discomfort level that comes into play when we begin exploring the brain function of the different races, and this, I believe, is because no one wants to give the impression of being a racist by arguing that the brains of the various ethnic groups may actually operate differently from one another. But why wouldn’t they? It’s almost crazy when you think about it. If our bodies differ, then why wouldn’t our brains as well? Because the brain, just like the body, is bound to evolve to adapt to its particular environment. And historically, the various races have evolved in distinct parts of the globe. In fact, it would be a darned shame if the brains of the diverse peoples of the world were all the same; that could only mean that nature isn’t doing its job.

Here’s the crux of the matter, in my opinion: no one wants to say that someone is different because they think it implies judgment. And for some people I’m sure it does. But what those people are forgetting is that there is no objective good, better, best when it comes to humanity. There is no right path and no wrong path, only paths that lead to survival and paths that don’t. The best possible human for one environment may be ill-suited for survival in another. And at the rate at which our environment is changing, it would be difficult for anyone to predict what sort of human will be best adapted to life in the next century.

And this is where the ideas presented in the show begin to make a lot of sense. It examined hypotheses, for example, in which conditions like ADHD have been posited as natural developments in peoples who may have had a biological advantage in remaining constantly on the move. In other words, it wasn’t necessarily a mental defect; it could have been an adaptation. Opens up fascinating possibilities, doesn’t it? What if it turned out that obsessive-compulsive disorder actually derived from chaotic, filthy environments in which rigid controls and excessive handwashing were advantageous behaviors to the people engaging in them? I could almost see it. Like the tonsils or the appendix; we know they must have been useful at some point in human history, but we can no longer imagine why.

And, like the victim of the obsolete but nonetheless inflamed appendix, people with ADHD perhaps don’t function quite as well in modern society, which requires a lot of focused sitting. It makes one wonder as to the source of the current autism epidemic, for instance. Is the condition really just better diagnosed in the 21st century, or is it actually more prevalent, and if so, why? Consider this study, which found that the children of parents who work in technical jobs are more likely to be autistic – suggesting that the qualities required by modern-day white-collar positions are akin to those of autistic individuals. Disease, or adaptation gone awry?

But then why should intelligence be any different? Why do we assume that every race of people should have a brain that operates in precisely the same way as every other?

It’s been demonstrated, time and again, that, on average, blacks and Latinos have lower I.Q. scores than whites, while Jews and Asians have higher average scores. Now it’s been argued for decades that I.Q. is not a fair measure of a person’s intelligence, because the tests may be biased in favor of people with certain socioeconomic backgrounds, and I would certainly agree with this assessment without hesitation. First of all, the questions on an I.Q. test are essentially little puzzles, and, particularly when a time limit is involved, a test-taker who has been exposed to these types of problems before will grasp the intent of them more quickly and thus have a better chance of solving them. Even the most brilliant kid is going to need some time to figure out how the questions work if he or she sits down to take the SAT blind, and it’s a simple fact that the children of parents with money are more likely to have gotten an education that will have better prepared them for this type of exam.

Second, in spite of arguments to the contrary, there are or have been questions on these tests that have nothing to do with intelligence, but rather with exposure to facts. I saw a question on an I.Q. test once that related to the books of the Bible. The trick, it turned out, was to pick the New Testament one. Now how could you possibly do that if you’re unfamiliar with the Bible, which, let’s face it, even a lot of modern Christians are not? I have also seen numerous questions that relate to things like the names of cities. Me, I’ve driven cross-country fifteen times, so I feel pretty confident that I can differentiate the name of an American city from a foreign one, but that would not necessarily be true of someone who’s lived in one place their entire life.

Finally, brains or no brains, some people, I’m convinced, are simply better test-takers than others. They can answer questions quickly without getting frazzled, they learn or develop strategies for making the best use of their allotted time, and they’re not easily distracted by other test-takers, the tick of the clock, the announcements of the proctor, and so on. This, too, may be an evolved trait.

So I agree that there is bias in the I.Q. test, as much as in other types of standardized tests. However, it seems unlikely to me that this alone accounts for the racial differences in scoring, and that the main issue is that it simply isn’t politically correct to say that one race is less intelligent than another, even if it’s demonstrably true. But I say, so what if it is true? Since when is the “book-smart” kind of intelligence the ultimate measure of a man? Does intelligence make one happier, healthier, and more fulfilled? I mean, Ashkenazy Jews rank highest of all on the I.Q. scale. Oh yes, everyone envies the Jews; their intelligence has brought them such good fortune. Of course, it might also be argued that the Jews had to develop a higher intelligence in order to survive the challenges of a world which has often been hostile to them. No doubt, there is truth in that, even as there is likely truth in the presumption that native Africans were not required to develop that same type of intelligence in their own environment. They developed other qualities of equal or arguably even superior value.

Let’s set I.Q. aside for a moment and think seriously about this. If only roughly thirteen percent of Americans are black, then no one can deny that blacks are impressively overrepresented in professional sports, particularly basketball and football, and it seems fairly obvious that the reason is biological rather than socioeconomic. And let us bear in mind that sports are not only about strength, endurance, and build. Most modern games require strategy, the ability to work as part of a team, to plan several moves ahead, and to change course in the face of the unanticipated. None of which are qualities that could ever be tested for on an I.Q. test. And all of which are qualities which one would expect to find in a people who, until very recently in geologic terms, were hunters. Should the rest of us take offense if the blacks are, on average, proven to be better athletes?

And what of the overwhelming presence of African-American artists in popular music? Coincidence, environment, or adaptation? It was not the Emancipation Proclamation, and not the Christianization of the black community, but the music of African-Americans that secured them a permanent and highly valued place in American culture. White Americans were grooving to jazz and the blues in an era when segregation was still widespread, yet they found solid reasons to appreciate black talent in spite of the racism prevalent at the time. But why so many popular black musicians in the first place? One may argue that the black musical tradition dates back to the days of slavery – although in reality, it probably dates back to the time before. One may argue that art is derived from suffering and struggle. But then why do we not see as many successful African-American authors and painters and filmmakers as we do musicians? Perhaps it’s because black people, on average, really do have more rhythm and more tone. Perhaps it’s hard-wired into their genes because it was a necessity of their native lifestyles in ways that were not true of Middle-Easterners or Europeans. And what’s wrong with that?

This is not to say that intelligence should not be prized, too; rather that is not the be-all and end-all of human worth. When I open my browser to read my email, I don’t see the latest news about modern-day geniuses; I see gossip about celebrities and sports figures, the true heroes of our day. If we really place such a high value on intelligence, we have a poor way of showing it. Why then change the rules when it comes to I.Q.? If we don’t think it’s so important in real life, why does it matter what the statistics say?

No, the problem is not whether there are natural differences between the races, or whether it’s acceptable to acknowledge them, the problem is us; we don’t seem to be able to reconcile ourselves to the idea that what is generally true of a people is not necessarily true of an individual. If the average Latino has a lower I.Q. than the average Jew, that doesn’t mean that if you meet a Latino and a Jew together, you should assume that the Jew is smarter, or the Latino more adept at soccer. You shouldn’t assume that the six-foot-five black man is better at basketball than the mid-sized white guy because that’s what the averages say. And if you do make such foolish assumptions, you can make one sure bet in regards to the intelligence of the people involved: you’re the dumbest.

What is perhaps most interesting is that this approach to racial differentiation supports the idea that the United States of America could, objectively speaking, actually be the greatest country in the world. Nowhere else is there such an intermingling of races, and the strength of each race is increasingly present in our children and our children’s children. Isn’t it even possible that, biologically speaking, our bodies have recognized the advantages of being multi-racial? It’s not only the U.S. that’s become diversified, after all; you see it increasingly in most of the other nations of the world as well. I read once about a study that was done in which women were given men’s sweaty shirts to sniff. The scents they found most appealing were those belonging to men who carried different immunities from them. Maybe we, too, are seeking other immunities, other qualities that are more highly developed in the various races of our fellow men.

It’s foolish to judge mankind by his intelligence. The dinosaurs didn’t exactly represent the height of intellect, and they were far more successful than we will ever be, and probably lasted a lot longer than we will, too. What it all boils down to isn’t smarts or strength or compassion or beauty, but the unique combinations of qualities that exist in all humans that make them fit to survive. And in a rapidly changing global environment, the race will go perhaps not to the swiftest or the brightest. The fittest humans of the future may be those who are quickest to adapt.

Lori Schafer
http://lorilschafer.com

Guns are not the issue, People are the issue


Guns are not the issue. There are a majority of civilians daily that use guns legally and are not shooting up towns. They are responsible and have a right to bear arms. I am pro-gun ownership and always have been. My father is a doctor and a priest and is against weapons. I understand why he is and he would not even allow me to own a pocket knife when I grew up. Now some of you might be snorting and saying mentally “a pocket knife? Big deal!” Well let me tell you it WAS A BIG DEAL to me and it was a source of numerous arguments. It was in fact the number one argument up till I was 16 years old… and gave up.

All my friends had knives growing up and BB guns. They didn’t stab anyone either… just thought I would point that out. I even had a few friends that got in numerous fights and guess what? They didn’t stab anyone either or shoot anyone and most owned rifles by 16. See the thing about weapons is that people want to blame the weapon and its presence and that is ignorant. It is the person using that weapon that causes the most harm in this country. Yes, I know we have seen the school shootings, the children that find daddy’s gun and accidently shoot themselves, and the other few stories that are plastered across social media. Did I just use the words “few stories?” Intentionally so and that is because it is a FEW CASES where legal, law abiding gun owners are involved in such news articles that seem to hold everyone’s attention.

The recent kid in California was obviously a bit off. I watched his video and you can as well. You mean to tell me no one ever thought “this kid is a bit crazy.” Are we to believe that suddenly he decided “well fuck it… I am going on a killing spree.” There are always signs and those signs show us that this individual should never have been allowed to purchase a gun. But how do you create such a law? Our justice system is so convoluted and messed up that you can’t get a solid policy against any individual thing anymore. So what ends up happening? You end up with groups attacking the subject broadly and in the process injuring our personal rights.

If you don’t like guns, great. That is your right. I know plenty of families, women, men, kids, and even a few grandparents that love shooting skeet or firing off weapons. It is a fun thing to do down south and they do it responsibly for the most part. But we don’t show videos of the numerous annual gun festivals with participants having a great time do we? No, no guns are only on the news lately when they are used for harm and violence.

Do you ever stop to wonder why we might need weapons? Why it might be a good idea for the civilians of this nation to hold their right to firearms and self-protection? Are you so faithful and trusting of your government that you will forget what this nation was founded on? Protecting our rights is American.

Let us not forget what will happen when the aliens get here. And they are coming. Are you really going to try to run to Wal-Mart or the nearest “guns & amo store” when those giant robots or our self-created zombies start killing everyone? Don’t you watch current television?

I served briefly in the military and I understand my rights. I cherish them and those same rights for my family. I also know the hard facts and that includes the extended “wait time” most of us have to endure for police to show up. Ten minutes? Do you know how much could happen in ten minutes? Let’s see, a bullet per second, carry the one, subtract the eleven here, and what we have is one dead fucking Korean. No thanks, I don’t want to be the next news article. Instead you will read “Korean went out like Scarface. He totally missed the intruder, but the wall was destroyed during the gunfight.”

-OM

Homosexuality and Michael Sam


The hard part about this post will be that I am not gay so in a sense I will never understand what Michael Sam is going through. Currently there is an article on Freshly Pressed in which the author is asking Michael Sam why he decided to “come out” at this moment. I have a response for the writer which will be more thorough than the silly comment I left.

I don’t know Michael Sam and some new readers might be surprised but I actually don’t support homosexuality. Those that have been reading my website for this past year do know this. I do, however, fully support Michael Sam in what he has done, what he is doing, and I will explain why. I relate to Michael Sam in feeling alone in something. As a Korean growing up in Memphis, TN, life wasn’t easy. It was especially hard going to a predominately black school most of my life and having white friends and a white family. All this equated to an almost fabric thin support group that could neither relate, nor really sympathize with what I was going through.

Michael Sam probably went through a massive amount of anxiety before coming out to his teammates earlier in the year. It took a lot of courage because you know what? I might just have been one of those guys that felt uncomfortable by him telling me after we had already been showering and sharing the same facilities together. He knew that and still he spoke up. Here is where the writer on Freshly Pressed missed the whole point, possibly because he has never gone through something equally as traumatic himself, I don’t know. The point he missed is that Michael Sam told his teammates earlier this year when he was ready and confident in himself. We don’t know his mind, we are forced to assume he is some tough guy because he is a football player. I would be the first cynical asshole to say something like that, so believe me when I say I see the other side in this issue.

Why did Michael Sam decide to come out to the media and the world prior to going to the NFL? Well probably because he has a brain and just knew some asshole would make a huge deal about it AFTER he got on a new team. We all assume the NFL players are all equal, because they are all NFL players, but recent news about bullying within the league should have opened our eyes to the fact that there are “rookies” and “outcasts” in every scene. It doesn’t matter how “tough” that scene is. I imagine Michael came out when he did to the media because he had just witnessed something that encouraged him and he also knew he had the support of the school. He came out when he did because he had the support of his teammates, his other family, and that to me was the smartest decision of all.

-Opinionated Man

Guest Post – The second file


When March rolled in, five months had passed since I had received my first file from Holt. I was told that there was no definite timeline for the receipt of my Korean documents, but that they would be forwarded to me as soon as the office in Eugene heard back. Debby and Steve, who both work in PAS have been instrumental in putting my mind at ease during the long waiting periods of this process. Continue reading

Guest Post – Knowing When to walk away (Chapter 4)


Love can be funny, it is a feeling that as humans we really can’t live without. But sometimes in relationships love can become toxic and knowing when to walk away is the healthiest and best way to love each other and yourself.

From personal experience I have felt from certain individuals such moments of extreme joy in their presence turn to to such extreme rage just by the things that they say and do… Some people are just not compatible and you cannot change a person who is unwilling to change. When people start to bring out the worst in you, make you act out of your character and elevate your stress level constantly…. It is an unhealthy toxic relationship…

Communication is key in any relationship and if the lines of communication are damaged… Or were never properly established then the relationship is doomed. How can any relationship work when any slight disagreements turn into world war 3?

The best way to love them no matter how much you may be in love is from a distance. Because things can get volatile very fast (trust me)

Missjerre.wordpress.com

Some Words I hated in 2013


I am tired, bored, and irritated at coworkers. This presents the perfect mood for me to write something random. Here are some of the words I hated this past year.

Whatnot – I know this is not a “new” word, but have you ever encountered someone that uses a word as a period? Whatnot is notoriously used for such an occasion. The most irritating thing about this word is that it means absolutely nothing!!! “We went to the club or whatnot and met up with these girls. I asked them to go get some drinks or whatnot and they said sure or whatnot. I am so wasted or whatnot.” What in the hell did you just say? Shoot me!

Selfie – I will make this quick since everyone wants to talk about this word. I have a flashback to Rush Hour 2, the scene where Chris Tucker is in the club singing Michael Jackson. My line would be “I need all the ugly selfies over here and all the hot, sexy selfies over here. I don’t care if you are “attractive” you are a male! Get your ass over there with the uglies!”

Wikipedia – Since when did Wikipedia become a legitimate source? I can’t even count how many times people have quoted Wiki to me. Are you that lazy?

Hoodie – How does one event put so much limelight on an article of clothing? Back the hell off my favorite jacket ok?

Patriots – I just hate the patriots.

Tom – Because it is normally followed with the word “Brady.”

Global Warming – Seriously politicians how stupid do you think the public is? When a climate moves down to an area of the globe it isn’t supposed to be in there is an obvious problem. That or God got bored and decided to spin things the other direction.

Rape – When will humans learn some decency? Rape of any kind, by anyone is evil. I hope you go to hell and if there is no hell I hope you go to the next best thing.

Abortion – I am so sick of the debate and the ignorance I read. I may ignore this topic for a year because I have learned that the ignorant will never change. Abortion is murder.

Power Blogger – I am over it now, but it bothered me for about a year. I really think the term is unfair and an insult. But what do I know… I am just a power blogger.

-OM

STOP PORN ON WORDPRESS – REBLOG!


How many reblogs can we get on this? Is anyone else fed up with the porn that is starting to really infest the WordPress feeds and readers? If you want to view porn go to a porn site!

  • Reblog this if you are also annoyed by the random porn.
  • Report websites posting pornographic images.
  • There is a huge difference between art and porn.
  • If you need to post nudity for views… you suck at blogging.

(I like porn just not on WordPress.)

Jason Cushman

-Opinionated Man

A Struggle to Feel Accepted


Sometimes it feels like life is an endless road of wanting to be accepted. After your family it begins when you comprehend the concept of friendship and with it the pain and harsh reality that not everyone has the same amount of friends in the world. For some who find it hard to form bonds on this planet, this realization comes much quicker than for others. I think regardless of how popular we are there are times at night, when we are alone, that we feel an alienation from everyone else in the world. This includes the ones we love, no matter how strong those bonds might be, for we are human and have those moments. With the severing of the umbilical cord comes a very real release into a world that will often times distrust or hate us. And so we spend the rest of our lives searching for another connection back to what we had at birth, a struggle to feel accepted.

Why do people love the Harry Potter series so much? What could you possibly hate about a story of an orphan child that lives the life of an underdog and goes on to be the hero? His very struggles did not even have to mirror our own for us to accept his life as an image of “struggle” itself, an image we all deal with at some point in our lives. It reminds me of my own obstacles in trying to fit in through life. That feeling of struggle came to a stop on January 3rd, 2013 when I began my blog HarsH ReaLiTy on WordPress.com. It has been an eye opening experience and a period of personal growth to say the least. I have found I can express my opinions without feeling bridled by contempt or disdain and at the same time people can throw back their controversy literally right in my face, since I read their comments daily on a computer screen. This has provided, interestingly enough, an opportunity for this stubborn Korean to open himself to new ideas. I have even evolved some of my own values and outlooks on life, or at the very least provided the seeds for future thought on the topics.

It is amazing to me that I write daily to an audience, but in my daily life I am just another figure. Another number, a body in a chair. My current manager, who is an awesome person make no mistake, barely sees me because I work the graveyard shift. Yes, like a ghost I come in the backdoor of the building, past the working janitors and tired, oblivious late-night workers and I come watch servers to make sure they don’t go red. The only thing that keeps me from going insane is the sound of my keyboard floating into the empty office air, it is music to my ears and provides a promise of something more. Call it what you will but I earnestly seek whatever it is that inspires that feeling inside of me to press on when most would sit back and bask in accomplishment. You are allowed to feel satisfied in life, but too much satisfaction quickly becomes the recipe for a stagnant nature.

My blog has become an outlet for me. At first I created it as an online journal, but quickly it became my fingerprint on the literary world. There is a world out there of writers, readers, editors, publishers, curious minds, and growing minds wanting to keep the written arts alive and an audience can be easily found. We strive to keep this dying art form from going extent against the easily ingested television and accessible online media commonly found on at this moment in most of the world’s living rooms. I understand and I will confess to being a lover of the television myself, everyone needs their methods of falling asleep and mine just happens to be my mistress the TV. That was another motivator for me to create an inspiration that would force me to write on a regular basis, I see this often said on new blogs as their initial posts. The constant interaction and feedback I receive from my viewers has given me the backbone I needed to write this book now, one that might still never see the light of day. But I have to hope that at least by gracing this white screen they are given a life, even one as brief as the time it takes me to delete this word document.

I have often wondered if anyone on the staff at WordPress.com has been or is a manic depressive. There should never be an easily accessible delete button on anything as important as our blogs, and this is not a rib at WordPress who is gracious enough to offer a free platform for aspiring writers such as myself. I must confess that sometimes a depressive like me looks at that delete button with disgust. They make us jump through hoops of fire to cancel a credit card, but a precious blog I have spent countless hours on I can delete at the push of a couple buttons. I don’t stay on that page that long and I hope that the demons from my past don’t come back to force me to ever press that button. It would be a mistake I know.

An outlet to the world and to those beyond our room. That is what blogging has provided for me and has allowed me to achieve right from my rather mundane life in Denver, Colorado. I do love my life, my family, and the relatively safe environment we live in is one less distraction that pulls me away from writing. As a father of a four and three year old, plus working forty hours a week graveyard shifts, I have to find the time to write when I can. This past year has been my first year of addiction to blogging, but it is not at a level I consider dangerous and the potential for success through it is enormous. This provides the needed leverage on the table when trying to convince my loving and understanding wife of the need for the time I a lot to my “passion.” She is an artist and walks the same road I do, but while carrying a paint brush, so she understands in her own way. Besides, she is my number one fan and understands that my family is my inspiration for success and they are also why I hope to create a working profession from writing and not just a continuation of a hobby. That is yet to be seen, but I see a full deck and the game has not been played yet.

When I started HarsH ReaLiTy under the pen name Opinionated Man I had no idea that it would grow to the size it has now. Sure I had a business model and an idea, but I must confess I have been successful at very few things in life. Always the type that thought he was smarter than the teacher, knew better than everyone else, it is amazing I even listen to comments from a second opinion when I consider how closed minded I have been my whole life. I would like to think I have been open to opinions, but in truth I am simply well read. Reading opinions and even learning about other ideals does not necessarily constitute a growth in personal morals. We can read anything with a closed mind and it is just words. The interaction found through blogging, however, has changed the face of words and we are unhindered by a character limitation restraint. We know that the people speaking to us are real people, well at least the ones not categorized as spam by the people at AKISMET, and normally the views being expressed back are heart felt. This has at least been the experience thus far on my website and I hope it continues on.

As the number of people and countries grew that were regularly viewing my posts, I began to evolve the way I viewed the potential for the platform I was writing on. This was not just a few “wannabe” writers and struggling authors pandering out their materiel for free in hopes of book deals, what I found were real people that had real issues and lives that they were relating at real-time speed for the viewing pleasure of whoever cared. I think the concept of blogging is growing even today and is still gaining popularity and the result is that it is easy to connect with individuals from across the planet. I recently ran a project on my blog called “Project O” in which I featured articles that consisted of templates participants filled out and submitted to me by email. One hundred and twenty-eight bloggers from around the world took part in the project and the feedback and conversation that came from it was invaluable not only to my own personal growth in knowledge about the world and the people in it, but I think it also helped to correct some stereotypes we have when we consider other people as so different from ourselves.

The project also offered the opportunity for the creation of new connections and that is what the “social” in social media is all about. If writers wanted to simply write we would do so on a word document or journal, we blog our writing to get it out there to an audience so we can get feedback and free critiques and we use that newfound knowledge to improve our writing. That would be my goal at least, but added to that is the new community feeling that is received when you encounter others that are also trying to complete the same journey you are. I have dreamed of becoming a published author since I read my first fantasy book and thought to myself “I could have wrote that.” It is only now, after writing on a daily basis and receiving positive feedback that I think I have what it takes to put out at least one novel and see how it floats.

Inspiration is an unpredictable emotion because it can come at any moment. I find that it comes far more frequently when we surround ourselves with things that might contribute to that occurrence happening. That is why writers congregate in corners and artists socialize with other artists, we seek out people that understand and relate to us. HarsH ReaLity, yes I can be very Korean sometimes and that is how I choose to spell it, has become an almost forum like webpage of writers and people with many other talents that congregate to discuss topics of similar interest. Since I am pretty much a dabbler in any topic, my interest range from the obvious to the curious, I provide articles frequently that people find interesting. That accounts for the high number of views my website gets in comparison to perhaps a far more skilled writer in a specific genre that only garners viewers from that similar interest. I suppose this book will fall under a genre, we are forever labeled as human beings that cannot be helped, but at least my blog is still free of any such label. That is how I intended it.

I am not a very malleable person nor does my personality lend me to accept differing opinions very often or very well for that matter. I force myself to read CNN.com, even though I am a Republican, because CNN has better reporters than FOX News and I like to see what the other side thinks as well. I have frequently opened up topics on my website that have caused open debate, even some heated discussion and argument. Luckily the members of my more frequent audience show a lot of restraint, but it can be shaky ground when you are dealing with human emotion and ideals. People tend to fire first and ask questions later and that is why I have been rather surprised at how open the bloggers have been when interacting with one another. There has even been a cordial nature between nationalities I did not think really liked each other, to put it bluntly, put Project O showed me that not all individuals within a nation think alike. A concept that should be easy for an American to understand, but is surprisingly difficult for many to realize when we consider nationalities across the oceans. We like to believe stereotype because often times stereotypes are accurate or based on fact and are also the only things being fed to society through the media.

From small to large can basically sum up the concept of the expansion of my mind and views on the world through my personal growth found from my blogging experience. This is not to say that I am some reformed man that has fully changed the ways in which he lives or observes the world, no on the contrary it actually has reinforced some of the views I have conceived but it has also introduced me to some new opinions which I respect and love to hear about. That is the beauty of creating a website that has a “forum like atmosphere” and welcomes the sharing of openly expressed opinion. I appreciate allowing people to say what they want even if it is against the grain and I highly encourage anyone that has the backbone to stand up for their own ideals. That is what is great about blogging and the uncensored content that is floating out on the internet. While some of it might be obscene, others might make you want to scream, yell or curse, but what you really have is a freedom of expression. That is a freedom people will not give up lightly and Project O clearly showed the value that everyone in the world has placed in having an opinion and further being able to express that opinion.

We hate to be labeled and yet we gladly place these labels on people to make them easier to categorize. For instance, it might be assumed about me that since I am Korean, have a successful blog, consistently post a lot, and have a family as well that I must not have any other life. People also assume I am technically savvy, which actually if you ask my brother in law I am not very technical at all. Oh sure I know the basics about many things, which places me at about average in today’s computerized world, but I just bought my first iPhone this October and I will admit it makes me feel dumb. I think there are really only a few things that make me a successful blogger. I type between 85 – 100 wpm, I process information quickly (this has been widely debated), I speed read, and I enjoy the interaction only found through an online setting and creating an atmosphere and writing in a way that welcomes conversation. That is the goal of any blog I think is to seek out comments and the fastest way to shut down conversation is to start labeling people.

I have used my blog as a window into parts of my life, but as one blogger mentioned it is very hard to pry out very many “exact” details about me. That is of course on purpose, as the safety of my family is first in my mind, but I have taken the opportunity on my blog to write some on my adoption and my feelings towards my birth mom and the sister I have not met since we were separated as children. The internet has actually provided a very nice avenue for therapy for me through allowing me to express my feelings about the past openly and accepting the unchecked criticism or encouragement sent back my way. It has been an interesting experience connecting with both adoptees and parents with adopted children and I think we can all agree that each story is different. There can be similarities, but it does an injustice to the lives of those individuals when people try to label and categorize things too much.

My adoption story received a lot of views and was a create way for me to finally pour out how I saw and felt during the course of those events in my life. It was a trying period and no one can really say they understand what I went through because there was only one Korean kid walking in those shoes. I am thankful for such support during those times, my family and mother in particular helped me to see there are reasons for living even in the darkest of hours. It is just very hard to know that when you are living those moments. I was adopted when I was 3 years old, left on the street with my sister by our mother in front of a police station in Busan, South Korea. I did not find out about the part of the story involving my sister and birth mother till I was eighteen years old and was on a trip to Korea with a group of adoptees that were also adopted through Holt International. It took me 9 years and one suicide attempt to get over it all and I can’t actually say I honestly have moved fully forward. Do you ever? I may still write more on my adoption other than the few articles I wrote on it. It would make a good novel, but sometimes you just don’t feel like reopening a door over and over.

I think in many ways blogs are windows into our hearts. We allow people to see our feelings, emotions, and sometimes our personal stories because we feel the need to share without actually physically sharing. We press that publish button and that post is sent out into the web and we half fear, half hope that someone will read it and care enough to respond. That the response back will somehow matter. That is what I hope when I publish any article on my blog and I also seek out other bloggers that feel the same way. Simply because we are unsocial in the real world, and I really wouldn’t fully label myself as unsociable but more on that later, doesn’t mean we cannot still find connections that broaden our world. Who has the time to listen to a whole conversation anymore when instead we can have thousands of conversations at once and more importantly the control to interact with that conversation at our own convience. The power of writing on a website like WordPress is the ability to control your own speed, no one should say you have to post every hour or even every day, what readers look for is content with meaning.

I also find I like to pick on political issues even though I know a very large number of my readers are not of similar political party or mind on many “hot topics” in current news. I still speak strongly on my stance on these issues whenever I feel like and that is something I will never change. Surprisingly this has actually caused many to support me in my stance of at least sharing and standing by my opinions, even if they strongly disagree with them and it causes them occasional flashes of anger. These topics have ranged from abortion, Korean’s having eye surgery, the Russian Orthodox stance on homosexuality, opinion and the importance of having the right to an opinion, and any current news topic that floats my fancy. I also include frequent posts of what I like to refer to as poetry, but I believe might be accessed by a professional as utter garbage. I once submitted my poetry through a computerized website that grades them and it almost shutdown from computerized laughter at how low my score was. I didn’t even know computers had such a sense of humor.

I have labeled people my whole life and even harbored a racist view or two. It is a common practice these days to take on a shocked look of appall at the word racism and anyone that even admits to ever having had a racist thought in their life. Luckily I am not planning on running for any political office and I can safely assume I cannot run for President of the United States of America since I was born in Korea. That leaves me liberated to at least express my opinions and views with those that will listen and I have found an audience that actually accepted my admission of past views and appreciated my progression. Dare I even admit I have found people that have walked a similar path? That is encouraging to me, a person who often thinks not many others consider subjects in a radically different way. To find those that consider it ok to admit that you have had a racist or improper thought and that the world will not forever label you as a hooded demon or extremist is a good thing in a current society that loves to ostracize those that dare to speak against the current “trending view” even if that view is still far in the minority of what everyone feels. The irony of this is actually remarkably bottomless, but it takes a certain type of cynical humor to appreciate it.

The daily interaction I have had with people from countries I have never visited is remarkable because it has broadened my mind and understanding of the different cultures out there. I am forced to recognize preconceived notions as ignorant and the resulting strengthening in character can only serve me in the future. I actually had a feeling the other day that even though I watch and read the news far less than I did, I still feel more connected to the world the individuals within it. I of course do not converse with every human on the planet, but I am speaking to far more people on a regular basis than I ever have in my life. That definitely expands your mind especially when you are not privy to topics that are perhaps not widely known about or discussed internationally. Someone once asked me why should we care so much, “why do you care so much?” I replied that the day we stop caring about a story, about a person, is the day that something dies. That is a sad thing to me.

Blogging has opened my eyes to the fact that it is a good thing for us to have a social fingerprint to be known by and perhaps even to be followed by. It allows me a little comfort to know that there are people that care if I am still alive and kicking, even if those people have never met me in their lives. I once blogged about a Saudi Blogger who received a grossly unjust sentence for simply creating a blog and forum to openly talk about religion. One commenter asked me what good it did to simply write about someone and I responded that by writing about someone we spread notice of their existence and in this case their trials or tribulations. I went on to say that I hope if I were in a similar situation that my readers and friends would also take to social media and campaign for my cause. People easily forget that we have a voice and that voice is as powerful as the engine you put behind it. I went from speaking to three hundred followers to twenty-five thousand in ten months and it is all due to one thing. I cared to get my voice out there.

[END]

Note: I stopped writing this. It won’t be completed.

Guest Post – If you’re a guy, which one are you?


The Unicorn:
The Unicorn is the mythical embodiment of perfection. He’s the God that walks amongst mere mortals. He has it all. Perfect in every way and right now, he even has the girlfriend that everyone wishes they had their hands on.

The Bad Boy:
I love to hate him. One of the reasons why I hate him is because, well, he’s bad. He picks on all the little guys and he’s trouble, nothing except trouble. But, damn does he look good. I’m going to hide the little part of me that gets giddy when I watch him play behind a wall of hatred, because Mama always told me to watch out for the bad boys.

The Boy Next Door:
Plain and simple, that is your next door neighbor. Whether you love them or hate them, you live next to them and they’re always around.He seems harmless in a cute and endearing way. I definitely see a friendship sparking between us. It may even turn into a full-blown love affair. We’ll see, I’m definitely keeping my eye on him though.

The Guy You Lost Your Virginity To:
He’s a good guy. He’s sweet and cute. He’s the underdog. Most girls wouldn’t even give him the time of day. He got bullied and threatened a lot last year, but he kept fighting back. You will always pull for him and wish him the best because he is a special guy. You do care about him, mainly because you lost your virginity to him and you two share a special bond. Is there a part of you that wishes that maybe you would have given it up to someone a little more special? Yes, probably a little. Although you’ll feel terrible for saying that because he was so good to you and he was the perfect guy to give you the experience you needed. But all good things come to an end and it’s time for you to move on to bigger, better things. Watch, he’s going to grow up to become that super famous and hot actor, or win the World Cup four years in a row.

The Party Guys:
These guys are the fraternities on campus. They throw a good party and they know how to have a good time. I’m usually pretty entertained by them. I don’t have any real interest in them. I just use them for the cheap thrill of a good party.

The Class Clown:
I don’t know exactly what it is it, but it’s hard for me to take them seriously. They’re just around for a few laughs.

The Nice Guy:
He’s a good guy. He works hard, has a nice personality, and isn’t bad looking either. He’s an all around likable dude with fantastic hair. He’s always there when you need him, with a shoulder to cry on or just to have a heart to heart talk. But most of the time, they end up in the Friendzone. Or, if you’re lucky, maybe not.

The Friend with Benefits:
Yeah, you look good. You’re not looking for a commitment? Neither am I. Oh? You want to show me a good time? Well, I’m not that type of girl. You are hot though and you do have a great body. Oh, you’re funny, smart, and sexy too? You’d like to take me to out? Well, I guess we can go out once and see what happens. We had a blast and now I’m hooked. Since we have no real attachment other than a good time, I’ll enjoy the fun until I find something better.

The ‘Oh My Gosh He Got So Hot Over the Summer’ Guy:
He showed up to driving a brand new BMW and he had to have gotten a personal trainer because, goodness, did he buff up. It looks like someone went to fat camp, buffed up, got a flashy new wardrobe, and has a new group of cool friends that came out of nowhere.

The Fresh Meat:
He just moved to town and you can’t decide if you love him or hate him. Since he’s new he tried out for the team and made it. Some people are excited about the fresh talent and others are super pissed because him making the team means someone that you like is no longer on the team.

The Disappointment:
He flirts with you for months and you’re incredibly into him. He’s charming and flashy for a while and when Spring Formal comes around, he asks you to go with him. Because you are so excited about it you decide to buy a new dress just for the occasion, even though you already have a dress you can wear. The night of Spring Formal comes around and homeboy shows up to get you reeking of cheap whiskey. He comes inside to use your bathroom, starts throwing up, and passes out. Night over before it even got started. He wasn’t all that he was cracked up to be. Unfortunately the dress is non-refundable and now you’re stuck with the painful memory of what could have been hanging in your closet.

The Hot Guy with No Brains:
In high school he skated by. He’s hot, but he is dumber than a stack of bricks. The only reason he got into college was because his Daddy paid the school a lot of money for him to get accepted. He’s fun to party with and he shows you a good time. How far will that go? Without a brain you’ll never go anywhere.

The Quiet Guy:
That is the guy who shows up to some of the parties but never really says anything to anyone. You often forget he’s even there. He stays out of the way and waits for his moment to shine.

Your Friend’s Boyfriend:
He’s always around and he’s not a bad guy. Sometimes he makes mistakes and disappoints her, but all in all, he makes her happy and that’s all that matters.

The One That Transferred:
He was around for a while, but never quite got the hang of things. He struggled during his time there and eventually Mom and Pops decided that there was a better place for him to go. So they yanked him right out of there with very little warning. The ones he was close to will miss him dearly and the ones that never got the chance to get to know him will hardly notice his absence. Sure, next year his name will come up, but after time he will be nothing but a distant memory.

The Wallflower:
He’s a loner and a seemingly shy guy who no one really knows. Often one of the most interesting guys if one actually talks to them.

The Snob:
He’s a little bit abrasive and he thinks he’s God’s gift to the world. They have a good loyal group of friends and they aren’t that welcoming to anyone else. If you mess with him, his friends will show no mercy when letting you have it.

The Independents:
These are the guys that are just there. They satisfy the needs of different girls for different reasons. You’ll be nice and wave your fingers and say “hi” whenever you see them, but that’s about it.

The One True Love:
That is the guy that is marriage material. He can do no wrong in your eyes. You will stand by his side no matter what. If he’s sick, you’ll be there for him as he gets healthy again. Even if he’s not successful, you’ll proudly be on his arm letting everyone know that he’s still your man. He’s been there for you through thick and thin and will never leave your side. With every relationship there is some disappointment and hard times, but he always finds a way to make it up to you and you still love him. You two are a match made in Heaven.

What if I fall in love with my Friend with Benefits? What if The Nice Guy doesn’t finish last? What if The Guy I Lost My Virginity To puts a ring on it? What if The Boy Next Door turns out to be the man of my dreams? What if one of The Party Boys shows that there’s more to him than being able to throw a good party? These are all questions that only time will tell. Until then, I’m going to let loose, have a good time, and enjoy the ride.

PS: I am not referring to anyone specifically. Also, it is all written based on my point of view and not experience nor has it happen to me. And I know it is more to the American side but I guess that’s because I read too many of that kind of books.

Cheers! x -Kim

http://uncontrollableserendipity.wordpress.com/