Don’t hate me because I am beautiful. So beautiful. I think I might even make you a little uglier. Now don’t get upset. I said uglier, not that you are ugly… just not as pretty as me. I am so pretty.
True to my word I will continue to provide much needed advice to the world in regards to women, relationships, and women. I put women twice on purpose because I am such an expert. Here are some random pieces of advice for those that care to improve their current social connections.
I place every friend on a “gift scale.” The size of the gift, or if a gift is even a real present, is based on the value of the friend. The easiest method is the “birthday gift test” which places a friendship value on each person. Are they worth a gift? Maybe a phone call instead???
Never make eye contact with your friend’s girlfriend. Women are always attracted to “the friend” for some odd reason. The last thing you want is some Shakespearian tragedy over a woman because in case you missed it most of the men die in those stories!
If you are ever sleeping upstairs with your girlfriend and you hear a loud BANG downstairs… send her to investigate. It was probably the cat you don’t own… Everyone should have an equal opportunity to be a hero right?
Have you ever been stuck wondering if a girl likes you? Hit on her friend and see if her facial expression changes. Women have really bad poker faces.
It is often difficult to know who should pay on a first date. Do we go Dutch or do I pay for the first meal? I have come up with a way to solve this! To ensure that it is very clear the date is “Dutch” eat exactly half your food and drink half of your drink only! You might even want to draw a line on your plate. Sure this might seem like a waste of food, but isn’t it worth a little waste to set some nice boundary lines? Sometimes I spell D-U-T-C-H with my peas.
Never visit your girlfriend’s parents house the first time she asks you to. It is a trap! Instead, I like to show up unexpectedly to allow myself more freedom. Of course it does suck when you “unexpectedly” walk in on your girlfriend with her “other” boyfriend…
Breaking up is hard. I suggest paying a singing telegram to deliver the message. Who could possibly be mad at that??? Be sure and let him know she will tip.
For the daily opinion I will open the floor to blogging questions. If anyone has one for me go ahead and ask. If it is an answer found on WordPress forum I will direct you there though.
Note: I will also accept relationship questions because I give such great dating and marriage advice.
Note II: I remove myself from any liability for advice followed…
So I was outside smoking this morning and I noticed a squirrel near my grill. Suddenly the squirrel disappeared… I was about to give up smoking forever when I realized that it had actually gone in my grill!
I decided to investigate… with a stick and I hit the grill once. Nothing happened. I gave it another tap and the damn thing shot out the back… I might have screamed a little. Or someone did. I lifted the lid and wallah! A freaking squirrel condo.
War has been declared. We shall take no prisoners! This is yet another reason I don’t like animals.
Like any good General, I won’t actually be fighting this war. For one, these rodents can kill you with a scratch. Haven’t you seen the movies? And two, squirrels are tricky beasts much like birds. One minute you are playing a harmless joke by stealing an egg or a nut and suddenly everyone has a cow!
I recently read a hilarious post from Curious Emily about ‘The Ones That Got Away’, which you can read afterwards here: (http://incurablycurious.com/2014/02/12/the-ones-that-got-away/). It got me to thinking about my own personal list of gentlemen.
I thought about all my past desires and was pleasantly surprised at how many people I was able to sleep with when I wanted to. However, I came to the rough realization that some were not the ‘ones that got away’, but instead, the ones I told to fuck off pushed away, because I’m a complete, fucking, idiot.
Oh I wanted him so badly. He was rather tall, super skinny, and bald. More than once, I’ve actually heard him being described as Ernie from ‘Bert and Ernie’ because he had really strong eyebrows. I’m not sure that he was the catalyst to my love and craving for bald men, but perhaps the one who made me recognize my inner desire. (It explains why I always liked Phil Collins as a teen). He once told a class that he could never sleep with a student, even after they graduated, because there would always remain a power struggle. He then got married to this ugly woman who had hair nearly as short as his, was a graduate student in LA, and only 29. It practically could have been me, except I’m exponentially more attractive. The whole department knew I wanted to sleep with him and the face he would make when I’d enter his office in the afternoon suggested he knew as well. He moved to Australia, and then Ohio? Despite the recommendation from another professor, I never made him an offer of no-strings-attached crazy sex.
The local DJ in Boulder and I became quite close when I spent Halloween as Ke$ha. In my non-stop requests for her songs, we bonded before I threw up on my shoes. In the following five months, I fell in
love lust with him. Of course, he was living with his girlfriend of three years the entire time that I thought we ‘had something’. I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t hang out with me, but to his defense he told me he had a girlfriend on day two. I just refused to believe that information. Therefore, when the details of his girlfriend were confirmed, I cried publicly and felt humiliated. Every single staff member in every bar in Boulder had watched my pathetic attempts to hurl myself at him. So the next day I did what I do best, and I slept with the bartender.
The Classic Nice Guy
In high school, him and I belonged to relatively different friend groups, but he had confessed a crush on me in the 7th grade. He always gave me the most sincere compliments, offered to take me to the coolest events, and was always there for me. But I didn’t want him. He was shorter than I was, had braces, and a face full of acne. I was shallow and much more interested in my douchebag modelesque of a boyfriend than the nice guy who never looked older than 13. Except he had a lion-mane/ afro that was impeccable and I should have slept with him just for that.
We ran into each other one night right after my graduation over Christmas break. We literally jumped up and down hugging for eternity (which ironically made the above DJ jealous) and enjoyed our many-year-overdo-encounter. After a few drinks he seemed upset and just said, ‘nothing is ever going to happen is it?’ and despite his serious look of sadness, I laughed in his face. I was too drunk to be having that conversation. Throughout college he joined a frat and turned into a ‘bro’ in every sense. I find this to be repulsive, and yet hold myself responsible for jading him into it.
He was my first friend in NYC. We met through an NYU Facebook group and when I toured the campus (and city) after my acceptance, he came in from Connecticut to take me to Magnolia’s for cupcakes. Feeny was super kind-hearted and wonderfully sweet– but I never believed that he was straight. No matter how much he claimed to like me, I assumed that he, just like most men at NYU, was gay and just hadn’t come to the realization. I was such a bitch to him that he eventually told me I was an awful friend and stopped hanging out with me. At the time, I gave no fucks. He’s now the famous designer (of LPD) and travels around the world being a successful, attractive, straight, badass.
The british man who taught me how to perfect my fake accent. He and I met on Facebook before attending NYU and were inseparable best friends the moment we arrived. We did everything together. He had told me about his house in France and how he was going over the Summer and I was already invited to join. I called my mother and told her that I was absolutely going on this trip. No. Matter. What. Although the sexual tension between us was real, I thought that sleeping with him wouldn’t be in my best interest. I thought either he’d like me and I couldn’t keep that going for a year, or that after sex we’d become less interested in each other’s company and my France invite would be revoked. Therefore, on a late night when I was invited to stay over, I chose to walk home. Two weeks later he had a girlfriend (who had chosen to blow him when given the chance) and she hated me, and I assured him it would never last. I was such a bitch to him that he called for a ‘break’ on our best friendship and I never went to France.
I saw Phillipe last time I was in New York for the first time in five years. Him and that bitch did break up after I left the city and I wasn’t invited to France, but I can crash at his apartment in the city anytime.
The moral I’ve concluded from these stories is that you should fuck everyone, because you never know if it’ll get you a trip to France.
-The Shit Show
I am not a therapist or a psychologist, but I did get bullied for most of my life during grade school and through high school. It is a tough thing to be Asian and live in the South, even tougher still to grow up in Memphis and to truly understand what it is like to be a minority. I am sure others can relate with different names of cities and different skin colors. It isn’t easy and we are plagued by thoughts that might seem drastic and evil at times. Are we afraid of admitting our thoughts or is it simply taboo to speak about subjects that release inner demons the public feel should be left asleep.
I laugh when I watch the news reporters and their comments on bullying. “I am not sure what is going on in America, this growing society of bullying.” Then you have the pretty reporter, who was most likely a cheerleader and very popular (yes I just generalized) who will say “I just feel sorry those kids felt so alone.” Sure you do. That is why you ignored half the lunch room, you know the “corners” the cool kids didn’t go near. Yes, I am sure you NOW are very concerned about such topics because it is your job.
I was not a total outcast at my schools, nor was I part of the coolest group either. You had to be black to be part of that group, which is understandable. From what I gather in Korean culture it is exactly the same way and maybe even meaner to an outsider. So I don’t begrudge kids for being kids. That doesn’t mean I didn’t hate a lot of them. There is a difference between encountering racism a few times (or once in your whole entire life) or bullying on “the occasion” and receiving it every day. School, random parking lot, anywhere I went in the 1990s I normally had something said. I would ignore it. I was a kid, I had white parents that didn’t really get “the struggle” and that is ok. I don’t hold that against them, how could they? They were white and in the United States that is a +1 mark for you regardless of how low you are on the ladder. I challenge anyone to say otherwise and that stands to this day.
That is cool, this isn’t a post about race actually. I can understand why kids that get bullied go on shooting sprees. The media is so stupid. I will admit the access to weapons is part of it. This does not change the fact that I am a strong supporter of guns rights and by the way the federal government is actively trying to disarm veterans right now. They are claiming they are not sound of mind, because of the wars we are being SENT TO, and now they want to remove their right to bear arms. A right EVERY citizen in America should have. Why? Read the news what do you see? You see murder, war, terrorism, random shootings, revolution, political struggles, and it is everywhere in every country. Fear is what we see, but we also see a world growing more desperate. Desperate enough to kill.
I am sure life for women is very different in regards to the social games we play. I know they can be cruel and mean as shit, I saw my sister go through it. But I don’t know if women are as physically violent as men. On the majority I would say you are not. I would even venture to say that this is why we see more shootings by males. In this case it serves my purpose because I am male and I will show you what that mind can seem like.
I remember well getting bullied in school. Mine wasn’t even that bad, it was almost done on principle and had a chain reaction affect. One person would say a minor racial slur, they normally weren’t horrible, and a guy down the hall would hear it and would also say something. Normally high school hallways were gauntlets for these types of verbal abuse. It wasn’t physical normally, although I do recall often being bumped “by accident.” But I also had friends and generally stayed in the back. My friends were all white and I also had some black friends growing up and to this day. That isn’t relevant really to this, because like I said many of you I am sure went through some form of bullying just with different racial characters in the picture. It is a rough life and I understand and sympathize with you for it.
I wrote a post recently in which I showed a visualization for an internal struggle after murder. Because that is what killing is, you are murdering someone and taking away their right to live. A long time reader asked me if I was being serious about the write and I responded that yes it was a truthful post. I have thought of killing before and it isn’t necessarily something I am proud of. It also isn’t something I am ashamed of nor feel any need to hide. When I was being bullied I was alone in it in that my friends were white and didn’t understand why “I was so bothered by things people were “just” saying.” Yea, they didn’t get that it wears on you. Psychologically it tears at your mental stability after years of it. Let me paint a picture for you of a male childhood ladies. This is only one example, but let us see if any males agree with it.
A boy gets bullied in 6th grade. He has endured words and insults throughout his childhood, so in the 6th grade he punches a kid and gets in a fight. The bullying stops for a month and the kid feels like maybe Chuck Norris was right. Maybe taking action brings a reaction. The next year the bullying starts again. Or we could even change it, the kid is forced to move to a new city and suddenly he isn’t as confident as he was. There is always a “bigger” kid on the playground and unfortunately it never seems to be you. Damn that sucks huh?
So you envision beating those kids up. That is how it starts of course. Anyone that was “bullied” in life and I mean truly set upon that says they never thought about beating that person up or punching them is a fucking liar. Well those fantasies don’t satisfy the appetite for long. It becomes a choice of paths. Fortunately for me I grew up with a father that is a priest and a doctor so there were no weapons in our house. I didn’t get a chance to shoot up a school. This is where I say easy access is a part of it, I will admit that. And I also admit no one goes hunting with an M-16 assault rifle with an AK47, just in case the M-16 jams. They normally do. I am 32 years old, a father of two children, and a husband who understands what these kids are going through, even at my age. Because I still have the memories that are sometimes dreams, but are always memories. I hope anyone that is being bullied can find some type of support or can realize that once you move things can change. But I won’t sit here and gasp in shock and say “how did little Billy do that?” Because little Billy got fed up with taking shit and decided hell didn’t sound so bad.
An odd thing happens here in the virtual world.
It is not considered good conduct to speak of our flaws – but rather to put on an air of graceful — hell I am not sure what really? – ‘togetherness’? or ‘ hmmm – what’s the word now? …RESPONSIBILITY and Superiority…yes – I do believe those ones will do quite nicely thank you.
Isn’t it so easy to think that we can see more than another simply by reading a few things they write about?
It is like saying Stephen King probably tells his children horror stories for bedtime.
A blog for me is a place to express myself – it is not me rewriting history – maybe my future – but not my history. We may seem like we are laying our lives out for everyone to assess. BUT -
THE most depressing and questioning poem will fall out – and I feel nothing. It is called WRITING. Or I could write a love poem and REALLY feel every motion of it – hang on – no wait – I DO that with ALL my writing – but then it’s done (mostly) —- ever see an actor shed tears on stage? Does it move you?
An ‘enlightening post’ can trickle through me, whilst I am frustrated – aggravated or plainly put – bored.
OR I MAY be convicted or even better yet: simply de-cluttering my brain.
Not all blog posts are factual – remember that. They are not always chronological either.
Present AND PAST experiences and emotions – and at times future or unknown feelings – invent, experiment – CREATE a sensation – a feeling to be taken with by the viewer or the reader.
The ‘cross we bear’ to have others BELIEVE every word we say. THAT is what it is about? Surely? Being believable? (You are never going to believe me again right!)
The good and the bad – that’s what life deals us right? You cannot KNOW someone through ONE article hey. I write whatever takes my fancy —- BUT — in all the madness of it – I DO have reasons.
I know that any moment I could end up someone’s rescue or smear campaign.
It is not a diary/memoir.
A blog (for me) is a place to revel in words and to seek and search and delve into the concepts that fill my head. I would be doing it anyway – even if I did not have a blog – but it IS kinda fun sharing in ideas. It helps my writing. Cheers!
Sometimes I write bollocks and then think about it again and write something else to rethink it, or on I place me on the opposite side of the fence: I think ‘aloud’ sometimes AND I also CREATE within that.
Thought processes are interesting to me. They are all different – but -
We DO all breathe the same air.
We all have digestive tracts that give us up-hill from time to time…How do we deal with the discomfort that all the shit brewing around inside of us causes?
We can’t hide away from the world or ourselves – OR our children.
So let them see US dealing with our demons in a way that motivates us to overcome our flaws and not let the ugliness of who we sometimes feel we are – actually make us feel unworthy. Encourage them to see how WE grow.
Let’s face it – WHO feels fabulous all the time about themselves?? I don’t think kids should feel like if they feel bad about themselves that there is somehow something wrong with them – but they do need to be taught how to deal with those feelings and put them in perceptive…humour helps a lot…as much as – good honest conversation….blah blah - this is going on and I am getting bored… so I will finish…
We all do things we wish we had not – we all fall short of the mark and don’t get it right.
We all, always and forever, will see bad things in ourselves and others that we wish were not there… So will others. How we deal with both – Is the test we all must face.
Acknowledging how idiotic we are sometimes – and laughing at it – makes us human. Oh yes – and then learning from it – AND letting our children learn from it. The ultimate pass it forward game.
Stop pretending to be perfect and have all the answers. You don’t – neither should our kids think they are stupid if they don’t – yet.
‘Great minds think alike – fools never differ’
It is not wrong to ask for clarification about what someone means. Sometimes you are not going to get the answer you hoped for – sometimes you are going to find they did not make themselves clear – another beautiful lesson there.
How many misunderstanding happen because we presume to know better – or we presume that the other person meant something that they in fact did not mean at all -
I am sad – a simple statement.
It could be interpreted very badly depending on your current experiences or recent situations.
If you have suffered depression – you may immediately think – ‘OH dear – they are feeling really really terrible’ – they may just be SAD – and not depressed.
Or you can read those words and think – o gee – sadness passes – we all get sad. When maybe they just have a hard time expressing that ‘Well no actually I am not JUST sad – I am ready to slit my wrists’?
A bit of a simple example but truly it reveals the need to really be patient and look into a situation before drawing VERY strong opinions on it – or the person in question.
See we banter the term understanding about so easily. But we seldom take the time TOO understand what the meaning in someones words really are. Just as much as we don’t take time to make sure WE ARE being understood.
So here’s a plan: If you are unsure if you have been understood correctly or are understanding correctly – be a dear to each other won’t you?
ASK ! DON’T NAG - just ask. If you think someone is not taking you seriously or has misinterpreted your words – give them the benefit of the doubt and CHECK.
The other way too – If you are reading into something and it is bugging you – either the other has not managed to make themselves clear – or YOU have not see the whole picture – give them the benefit of the doubt and ASK.
I promise you – the world is NOT out to get you – and it is OK to be wrong and it is OK to misunderstand and it is OK to ask questions.
We all learn to speak differently. Language IS a barrier EVEN in the ‘same’ mother tongue.
Misunderstanding happen when we have body language to rely on – how much easier when all we have are words?
The phrase ‘Catfish’ hadn’t been coined by the time I was 12, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t still happening.
Remember AIM chat? Before the days of Myspace and Facebook? You could make up ridiculous screen names like ‘xoyankeesbaby09xo’ (this is real, I know, I know), and go into chat rooms?
Well I certainly spent a lot of my time as a young teen in those chat rooms and one day I met this girl. She lived in New Jersey and through her, I met her brother or best friend or whoever he was supposed to be. I can no longer remember his name, but him and I talked for years through AIM and email. Sometimes he would send me photos and I developed the biggest crush.
Occasionally I’d talk to the girl on the phone (in the early 2000′s that costed serious money), but I was never able to talk to him. That’s because after so many years, she came clean and told me that he in fact, did not exist. I cried, I know that seems silly, but I had lost the love of my 12-year-old life. I don’t think I knew what love was (can’t be certain I know now) but my feelings had been severely hurt.
Her and I became friends later in life and she found my facebook a few years back and I denied her friend request. Some people you just never trust again. Any episode of the MTV show would confirm this finding.
This online relationship however, led me to continue to have weird online relationships throughout the rest of my life. Some of them led to friendships, others to stalkers, and some to sex. Not all of them occur strictly through chatrooms or just email, but thanks to the development of technology some are through skype and text messaging. Either way, the relationships I perpetuate through technology are abnormal and all too common.
One of the first blogs I ever wrote is entitled: The Reasons You Can Tell Me Anything (http://wp.me/p39eVs-2) and was created because of The Cross-Dresser who I refer to as Craigslist. I befriended a cross-dressing man online through the ‘strictly platonic’ section of the personals because he said he didn’t have any ‘real girl friends that he knew he could talk to about girl stuff’ with. We went to the same college and have been friends for over three years now and still haven’t met in person. We are facebook friends however.
She (is how she prefers to be referred to now) is one of my best friends. I’ve shared with her things I could never tell anyone else and likewise because we have the most amazing friendship of non-judgement. We even have slept with the same guy (Eskimo Sisters). She came out as being gay soon after we began talking and I’m so glad I’ve been there as someone she could talk to these past years. I will always be there for her as a non-judgmental support system no matter her choices in life.
The Craigslist Stalker
Sometimes Anytime you post an ad on Craigslist, you get responses from weirdos. I posted an ad looking for a girl to date/have sex with once and a guy responded. At the time I thought it was a clever way to find bi-girls. Turns out he also went to my college and we emailed back and forth for a while before I realized he was extremely annoying, immature, and tried way too hard. I assured him that nothing sexual would ever happen between us and we nearly became friends. He texted me about his girl issues and I told him he was being walked all over and looked pathetic. He stopped responding after a random number of insults.
Stalker came to the gym one day while I was there and I said to my roommate ‘I feel like that’s what my craigslist stalker would look like in person’ and it was him. The reason you have to believe me that this story is real, is because there’s no way I could make this up. He texted me to ask if I had been at the gym and if I had seen ‘the guy in the wife-beater’ and I played it off like I hadn’t noticed.
Situation Crisis avoided.
The next two times that I posted ad’s on craigslist he replied to them. I posted in completely different sections for completely different things and yet somehow, he found me. He’d respond (from different email addresses) and I’d usually think he was funny for the first email and then because his extreme effort was unmistakeable, I would ask him to stop emailing me. The last time he emailed me we talked about how he and my step-sister had a class together and for one last time he told me if I gave him a chance, we could be perfect together. I don’t remember what I said exactly, but I never heard from him again.
The Married Man and The Rich Fellow
For a while when I lived in NYC, I jokingly signed up on Match.com, but only in the free version. Back then in 2009, it was easy to rig the system and still communicate with members without paying. I met this guy who texted me all the time and always wanted proof of where I was. He was always asking if I was playing with myself in public spaces and the whole thing was bizarre and yet expected. I was at a really weird space in my life and for two weeks I put up with this. He wanted to visit me and then the whole ‘I have a wife’ thing came out and I stopped responding.
Another man on Match.com said he wanted to have sex. I told him for $10,000 and somehow we made our way down to $1,000 for half an hour. I never met up with him, but it was the first time I started to think about the exchange of money for sex and ultimately ended up on Seeking Arrangements.
Turns out ever since I was catfished, I’ve continued to pursue online relationships that are twisted, unusually wonderful, and have led to strange places. Skype gave me the ability to make a California boy fall in love with me and break the heart of our shared best friend. Match.com and OkCupid allowed me to meet and sleep with a plethora of strange men (and women). Craigslist produced pen-pals, seemingly platonic friends, and more stalkers.
The crux of being ‘catfished’ or ‘catfishing’ is the ultimate encounter in person. In an email or text message I can say anything I want, but in person? I have to prove it. When I text someone proclaiming that I give the best head in the world (which is absolutely true) I end up having to pull through and give the performance of a life time. While I work well under pressure, the anxiety never goes away.
No, I lied, it does– I love alcohol.
-The Shit Show
I realize that some of my dreams may take a long time to accomplish. Even I realize that it takes time to achieve the grander schemes that you wish to accomplish, although I do still try and expedite the process. For example the book I just began writing. I have gauged my writing speed and progress and can safely say that I can easily write 10,000 words a day. That doesn’t mean that it is going to be 10,000 good words. I rarely like my own writing and I think many other authors share that opinion. The good sentences or the ones worth saying aloud I do know how to spot, so I recognize how long the road ahead will be to fill a whole book with them. I will have to draw the line between perfection and “good enough” at some point, as any author does, but I am also not above writing 100,000 words and considering them crap. Crap gets deleted.
Forever and a day, it always seems that way with goals for me I am never lucky and do not get that “random stroke of good luck” that seems prevalent around me especially when my own fortune is not particularly great at the moment. I believe we create our own luck and our own fortune. That is how it was intended and it reminds me of one of my favorite periods of history the Age of Enlightenment. If only I could pen an original thought and make it my own. How glorious would that be.
I view the world through a cascade of color. Prisms of light shine through the twin teardrops I have bred, but not yet given birth to. They hang upon my being and sway in a desperate attempt to not succumb to the fate below. That fateful drop, mere feet, and yet the journey ends in a splash of recognition of what we once had. How can realization be anything but that when we are forever fated to stare up at the place we once dwelled? Fallen from grace, do we strive to return to the glory we once had? No, we accept our fate for what it is and we look towards brighter paths. We continue on and we live a life without tears instead.
I don’t hear just the song and the band when I play an artist. I observe the inflections that say it’s Celine. I hear Josh Groban’s breath between the lines. And breath is something you more than hear. It’s something you feel.
I’ve noticed in the past year how up close blogging brings you. I mean this even of posts that do not divulge personal stories. It’s the nature of writing. The voice, inflections, color of your words reveal so much of how your mind works, who you are, where your heart is. I feel the writer’s breath, his laugh, her cry. I’ve seen how high your sky is, how deep your night. When I see a reader on my Stats burrow into my archive, I almost want to cover myself. Hug my chest. He’s digging to know me better. He lifts page after page of my mind. Her understanding of the things deeply important to me will grow clearer with each post. She hears my voice. All to say, I have really enjoyed my time with you. Thanks for caring to read – and as many of you have, for doing it so faithfully.
My final song on mike, Curtain Call, I dedicate to you. It goes like this. If the curtain were to close on you in some way and the post you’re working on turns out to be your last, would you be pleased with your content and presentation? Would you be glad you got to tell your story? Did you leave us something worthwhile? Even a good laugh is a saving reminder of the joy of lightness. Make your posts meaningful or fun for yourself so that it’ll be meaningful and fun to us. Are you inspired, excited by your art or photography? Then you can hope we will be. Make the most of the time and attention on you, and the endless potential for connections from your post.
The relationships I have developed the last year have enriched and deepened my satisfaction in my art. If we were each writing in our own cubicle with no way to visit one another – bring a cup of coffee – we know blogging would be a whole other experience. Pen name or no, you want to be known. Want to know you matter. So you splay your heart, asking us to feel its pulse. Make your posts matter, then. My readers don’t stop by my cubby with feedback on my posts. I’ve cleared the walls and we sink in the couch, our writers’ circle, with lots of pen and paper and the light in our eyes. And Kleenex. While blogging has threatened to detract from the duties of living, my writing through this beautiful intimacy has been my living. My breath.
I haven’t just been guest writing. I’ve given you myself. I hope it was enough.
Tired and writing through the tired right now. There is something to be said if you can write even when you are exhausted. It takes a certain amount of dedication and drive in my opinion. I like to write when I am tired because I don’t actually seek the words. I allow them to flow towards me and in turn I accept the writing for what it is meant to be. Not always what I want it to be. Sometimes our writing takes on a life of its own and that is a special occurrence. It means there is a real connection between the writer and the words we strive to put in the correct order. It is a shame when you have a perfect thought and lose it not because it escapes your mind, but rather because you fail to encase its meaning forever.
I am on day two of my writing and have added a progress board on the right if anyone is interested.
WC – 5086
Are you a finisher or a starter?
I sat down with a dear friend in her backyard one morning last year. The kids were starting their fun and we settled to catch up. Before I knew what was happening, my tech-savvy, happily tech-dependent friend laid out how easy it was going to be to GET ME ON FACEBOOK that moment. It was not the first time Tera had encouraged this recluse to join civilization. Nor had she been the only one. But this time my death grip on the comfort of simpler, slower times let up despite itself as she reasoned how quick it’ll be to snap a photo of me and jump-start my profile. She sounded so disarming. I warned her I take few solo shots and when I do, run 20 to delete 19. A blur of sixty shots later, we had done it. Indeed it was effortless and it was torture. I clutched my heart over a deep prick of pain. Tera chuckled. She cheerfully, so patiently picked out with me The One photo I okayed with hesitation.
My reluctance to Facebook was not just about the hermit in me. Yes, I’ve blogged some things personal. But I wrote largely in the quiet of my solitude. I didn’t know if I was ready for the noise of a pajama cocktail party. There was also the fear, a simple matter of keeping up with the times. Which, according to today’s M.O. means learning technology beyond the level of email. Yes, email is so 90s (and wonderfully so). Glancing at my husband’s Facebook page made me dizzy. Just so many…buttons. Things going on at once.
I watched in awe as Tera’s fingers flew over her phone. She went on to crop my photo – a whole art studio and tool shed in that device of hers. So many icons on the screen, shapes, a feast of choices as we uploaded my picture.
I recoiled. I was overwhelmed. Facebook was unfamiliar terrain. What technical functions did I have to learn?
Fingers tap danced briefly, and there I was. My smile greeting the masses. We hung the mask that had hid the recluse from the parade of life. In just a handful of clicks, I leapt out of the dark ages of my perceived security into a Brave New World. I was aware that the possibilities for online amity could only make swapping stories more enjoyable. But to put it plainly, change is hard.
Congratulate me: a naturalized citizen of social media and of postmodern humanity.
How many new connections have you made this week?
I see the world in color and recognize your race. Your face, weight, height… even your attraction level. What type of witness would I make if I did not at least see the shell you present? “Thanks a lot Mr. or Mrs. I don’t see race, weight, height, or class and therefore can’t identify a witness.” Oh no… I can tell you. He was Mexican, about 195 lbs, looked a little mean, possibly played a part in Training Day, and I am pretty sure he is still in the area because he was walking. Yep… I notice it all. Because if I don’t notice you, you might notice me and therefore are at an advantage. Don’t tell me society to forget race. Don’t tell me society to not judge. I judge you. All of you.
There are people whose kindness you want to pay back. But though you try, your thanks often just does not seem to make its way to them. In God’s economy, you end up paying it forward. To those who cannot pay you back.
A Holistic Journey
I am launching an interactive series on race and identity, a mosaic of cultural autobiographies. It bears some semblance to Project O but was inspired by the exchange over my posts on slavery and on black Santa. Race Around The World will not be a forum for opinion so much as a glimpse of our stories so that we can achieve a panorama of our racial topography around the globe. Slavery lingers in the human heart in the form of racism and bigotry. There is a difference between living in a community and living in community. I’d like to examine how community is possible as people engage one another across racial lines. I am most fascinated with the tension we internalize that makes us conscious of our color and ethnicity. These are two things that give us a sense of belonging, and it will be interesting to look together at the circumstances that make us feel displaced and impel us to locate our roots.
If you’d like to participate and share your cultural autobiography on A Holistic Journey, please email me
1) at firstname.lastname@example.org with The RACE for the subject
2) your answers to the following questions
3) keep your answers on the shorter side, and limit answers that need to be longer to about 200 words. (To those who’ve seen my writing series, do save spit!)
4) send me your best draft. Stellar writing is not what I’m after but I am keen on presenting quality. If I make minor edits, which I’d rather not, I will try to retain your voice.
5) remember the link back to your blog so I can publish it.
I will be emailing back many of you with any further questions your story prompts in my mind. The elaboration will be included in your list of answers so that your contribution reads like an interview. These posts will run in the order I receive them in.
*Your contribution may include clips of posts you already have up on your site. Send me the link to the original so I can direct readers to finish your story there. I leave it to you to reblog or post the contribution you send me on your own site but please wait for me to put out your final product. Feel free to reblog this introduction to the series. Thanks for joining me in the Race Around The World.
Though race refers to biological attributes like color, and ethnicity to sociological factors such as culture and beliefs, feel free to use the terms as they are meaningful to you.
1) Where do you live? How do you define yourself racially or ethnically and why is it important to you? Please tell us about the racial makeup of your family if you were adopted or come from a colorful family.
2) How diverse was the neighborhood and school you grew up in? If you have ever moved, whether to another city or the other side of the world, please tell us when and where, and the ways the cultural differences between the places shaped or made you think about your identity.
3) When did you first become conscious of your race or ethnicity? Please describe the context or a moment when you noticed you were different in color or language. It could be a scene with strangers, the park, school, work. Could have been subtle feelings you recognized or a blatant attack of bigotry. If it was a season or chapter in your life, tell us the impact it had on your sense of self, confidence, or emotional development. Can you share a bit about the fear, loneliness, longing for acceptance?
4) Do you consciously gravitate to certain company? Are you more comfortable, more at home around people of your own ethnicity? Have you observed a social or behavioral tendency in your own people group you would rather not perpetuate?
5) Are your most meaningful relationships with people of your own ethnicity?
6) How much does racial affinity give you a sense of belonging compared to a shared faith or interest? Think about the groups you are part of: writers, homeschoolers, mothers, hobbyist, artists, colleagues, church. Would you rather spend time with those who share your cultural food, tradition, and values or those who share your interest or mission? Where do you feel the greatest ease and connection?
7) Do you consciously try to keep yourself or your family active in diverse circles?
8) Optional. Children seem color-blind. How have you explained color and culture to your children or grandchildren as they got older? Did you ever have to handle a situation where they were a victim of racial slight or slur?
9) How did you set out to secure a sense of acceptance and belonging in social contexts, especially if you have faced hurtful experiences?
10) Do you feel it is not fully possible or even imperative to shed all racial stereotypes and judgments?
11) What has struck you the most in working through this exercise? Any closing thoughts on race and identity you would like to share?
A Holistic Journey
- The easiest way is to cross your fingers. This still counts… I don’t know what idiot told everyone this stops working when you are a kid. I use it all the time!
- It isn’t really a lie if there is an ounce of truth. Kind of like a pool of water that has a drop of holy water dropped in it is suddenly pure right? Makes sense. So just make sure you put “enough truth” to make it “good enough.” You don’t have to feel guilty about getting caught over “good enough” fellas.
- Don’t look her in the eyes. Anything said while not looking a woman in the eyes is questionable and this can be proven in current court records. It will work. Be firm men.
- If you kind of trail off at the end of sentences then “technically” more words “might” have been there. This counts as the “loose ends” rule of covering your ass. Use this only as a last resort and when we say “last resort” this is like backing out quickly with guns blazing “last resort.”
- If you say that a friend did it this will work, but only a couple times a year. If you are using this all the time it gets old and you deserve to get caught. “Aw honey I am sorry I was late… Bob got drunk and threw up everywhere. I had to follow and make sure he got home ok… I am such a good friend.” If you imagine a halo above your head I hear this sometimes actually occurs. If it does, Youtube that and share with all the other men in the world please.
- If you are late say you had to “find the right outfit.” No woman in the world should ever be able to contest this excuse from a man. Ever.
- You are allowed to use the excuse “I was saving a kitten from a burning building” once in your life. It helps to photoshop some stuff and maybe not look like the chess club president. That is just hard to believe…
- If you are frequently out late and can’t answer your phone and your girlfriend (this won’t work with a wife) asks why you can tell her you are a part-time super hero. I have told all the women in my life this and they all believed me. I am so cool.
- If a woman catches you in a lie, code-red alert backup plan Z is breaking down in tears and claiming someone died. You may want to pick someone believable since women have a nasty habit of remembering everything a man says. Everything. So if Uncle Bob is suddenly resurrected at the next family reunion you never thought “she” would make it till… well you better think of a way to resurrect yourself.
- Claiming you are allergic to dust and cleaning products works as an excuse out of housework. It will help to perhaps faint a few times and look really ill when in the supermarket cleaning aisle as well.
If you could go back and change one decision in your past what would it be? If you write a post and wish to send it to me through comment or pingback I may reblog it. Thanks! -OM
Do you base your opinion on opinion? Or do you base your opinions on facts?
I always feel like I am writing to someone, even though we all know by now I am an audience writer. Such a phrase… “audience writer” said almost like a curse. I even saw a forum manager refer to me as just an abuser that is a “troll” trying to get a rise out of people. I wonder if people actually think that is true if they stop to consider I am writing in my corner, no one has to read it.
Anyways, I had a few “thank yous” to make which I thought I would do in the most embarrassing way possible… in a post. So thanks to Linda, HW, Navigator, and Idiotwriter for their contributions this past few weeks. I like to bring fresh perspectives in and they are also great writers. They may or may not realize it, but I have been using them to see what different strategies work. I think we can safely say the second week went better right? They probably understand why, even if they didn’t see all the “work.” I thank you ladies (and Nav who is on vacation) for your great articles and also for the awesome interaction. It isn’t an easy pace is it? It will keep you young!
I am a monster multi-tasker. I don’t say that to brag, if you take it as bragging you deserve the irritation, but rather to simply say I find it makes me happy. Especially when it comes to blogging, all the aspects of it. This has been the most encouraging year for me. I really can’t relate it, and even if I did most would never believe it, because we are who we present. We spend so much time creating it, why shatter it in a moment? I have spent so much time.
I see the world in words, waiting to be penned and laid to rest forever. So that everyone can know what I felt in that moment… for a moment.
Thanks to all the new followers and readers. This past 100,000 views took almost 3 months, the longest yet, but I almost feel they were of more value. Perhaps not even only to me. But my ego has been known to make me feel good as well, so I won’t take anything from it. Back to work.
I say this every weekend… I am taking a break. Well I will try. Have a safe weekend world and all the best with the self-promotion!
Someone asked me why I help bloggers so much and why I share my methods of blogging. I do it because it is amusing to me. I did not say I get “satisfaction from it” or that “it makes me feel good.” It actually is a lot of needless work. What I do “feel good from” is feeding off the excitement of other bloggers, new bloggers. It stimulates me and motivates me to remember when I first started oh so long ago (14 months ago actually). I share my knowledge freely because I know that the lack of information or clarity of direction is not what will make or break a blogger. It is their personal drive that will normally flare out and stop the process.
It will come in the form of excuses and noise in the wind. “Well I blog about things no one likes, my blog is just for me, or I am a writer, not a marketer!” These are all common moans that I read time and time again by authors and aspiring authors seeking to publish and sell their work. Even when I take the time to explain my process and show them the way to get more views and eyes on their projects, still they quibble and make excuses that “my techniques” are not for them. They write “for purity” and for the process. Ok.
Fair enough. But ten years down the road when you are still writing eBooks and realizing few sales don’t rant at WordPress or to God about your failure. The only thing stopping you is you.
You cannot see the light, as it fades into the night. It tantalizes your sight and urges pursuit. Where do the lights go when humanity’s cruelty has dimmed the voice of reason that we seek… that we need. We shatter illusions by caring and in that compassionate act, we often times give birth to fury. For care, passion, and fury are made up of emotion and the commonality is the connection to that which we decide to fight for in life. We fight for things that are right, even when those that do wrong hold their hands up in supplication… or ignorance. Dare we allow the guilty of society to slip silently into the night? Or do we instead chase down those demons with our own light, the light that man carries when they truly care.