Apologies?

Why is everyone apologizing on this finale.

Yes, we are watching this on Hulu a little late.

This is so painful to watch because I’m sitting on a lego. I wish my kids would put their toys up.

I would love to be dating someone and have the entire world critique and criticize everything you do. This is so enjoyable…

-OM

This is kind of like live tweeting I guess. I’m not big on twitter, but it feels like it. Live blogging by bloggers that are alive seems pretty normal actually.

Social Blogger

For four years I tried to be the most social blogger in the history of blogging. When I created this blog in 2013 I had big plans. I was spending ridiculous hours living on my page and growing my connections in every way I could. I had dreams of being signed and no one could tell me what I could or could not do. For a guy that doesn’t care for the random meetup, I was meeting people constantly through social media and I was shocked that I liked it. I enjoyed the little windows into people’s lives that blogs gave and it was even more fun to be able to peak into a life without them knowing about it.

But I would let them know. I commented on everyone’s posts, reblogged people left and right, and willingly shared in the moment everything I was learning. It was way better than xanga.

Times change and people change, and some stay the same. That’s the hard part about blogging. It is like riding a bike, only now I’m not a hardcore rider like Gary and Jim. There they go huffing on by like speedsters and I’m peddling along on my new little pink bike that has this cute basket on it and doesn’t even have gears. It is a one speed.

How do you go from social to unsocial? It doesn’t surprise me really. It has been the same with everything I’ve taken on. It reminds me of bnet and the old channels I’d roam. It reminds me of the forums and the old boards I’d hawk. It makes me wonder what I’m still doing blogging really. It makes me feel so unsocial.

If I were to leave one tip to any new blogger that finds this site after I’m gone it would be this, you can do anything with a blog. You can reach anyone that wants to be reached and even some that don’t. It all starts with what you want and what you care to do to get it.

Try to recognize through it all what you have and what is there. Don’t always look for what is not.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust

Embarrassment

Nothing plants a memory more firmly in your head than a little embarrassment. Who doesn’t like a little shame or public humiliation in their life?

It was my junior year of college and things weren’t going well. I still hadn’t learned the trick on how to force yourself to go to class. There was something almost exciting about standing up and walking out of class early and having no one try to stop you. I loved it a little too much and think I began leaving class just to see if people noticed.

I grabbed my red Ralph Lauren jacket, my notebook, wallet and keys, and headed out my apartment door. I quickly jumped down the two steps leading to the parking lot where my baby, a green two door Honda Civic, was waiting. My car peeled out as I headed towards UT campus with Kanye’s High School Drop Out blaring in the wind. Knoxville flashed by me as I sped towards the part of campus where my history class was being held.

Finding parking was impossible back in 2003 and it took awhile to find somewhere my baby could wait while I went to give my oral report on Roman civilizations. I was ready and had been up all night preparing. Actually that was a lie, I was up all night… but I recall not much time was used for preparing and more time was spent doing other things.

I grew nervous thinking about giving that report in front of actual people. It also occurred to me that I had only been to class a few times and most of them would probably be wondering who the hell I was.

I did what you do anytime you grow nervous in college, even if it is 10 am before class…

I pulled out my trusty double barrel flask and emptied both reserves into my mouth. Instantly I started to feel really good about the speech and headed towards my class with my notes.

 

UTK is a large campus and my car was really far from the class. By the time I got to the classroom the whisky had worn off totally and I was starting to panic a little. I have a huge phobia of speaking in front of large people and having those people judge me. It is particularly more difficult when those people are supposed to be judging you, like for a grade for class, and you are now positive you don’t remember actually forming out a plan for what you will say on the… which Empire again?

As my foot crossed through the door into a packed classroom, holy shit how many people are in this class and where do I sit, I was positive this was about to be one of the worst experiences in my life. I knew a ton about the Roman Empire, but without a plan I was a sailboat with no wind.

You know how sometimes it feels like the world knows when you are down and still she decides to plant just one more foot into your rear for good measure?

“Jason Cushman you are first to present today… is Jason Cushman here?” a voice seemed to boom from nowhere.

Fuck me… I thought as I headed before all the waiting eyes that I was sure were wondering who I was.

Jason Cushman… who is this guy looks darted towards me as I made my way down the suddenly ridiculously long aisle to the front podium. I set my notes down and cleared my throat as I looked over the many faces in front of me.

“The Roman Empire was a great empire that had an intricate road system…” I began nervously.

I stopped.

I couldn’t think of anything else to say…

I had forgotten English.

The eyes in front of me turned from intrigued, to puzzled… to half amused and half baffled.

“… Thank You.” I suddenly said and then quickly walked back down the aisle to my seat and sat down. I pretended like everyone didn’t exist and what I had just done was perfectly normal even though I felt every eye in the room on me thinking what the fuck just happened?

I starred at my desk for a total of 56 and a half minutes until the class was over. I didn’t look at anyone once and waited for everyone to leave first. I was mortified, but I also was suddenly panicked about the sure F I had just received for a grade on my presentation.

I made my way to the front of the class to talk to the professor and I decided I deserved one time in life where I get to pretend to be totally foreign. I mean… I am adopted, I was technically born in Korea.

I lied and told him my English wasn’t very good and asked him if I could write a paper instead of giving an oral presentation. I’ll admit I may have acted a little and exaggerated my speech.

Long story short – he let me write a paper and I got an A. I suffered through some major embarrassment, but in the end lying helped me succeed.

And that’s the moral of this story today.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

44.1

Honor Society

Twelfth grade was going ok. I was busy with college applications, I had a girlfriend at White Station, and we were having a winning soccer season! Everything was great… except for one thing.

Art class.

I walked into the art room and quickly found my way to my desk. The art room tables were situated in a circle that filled the entire room and it afforded us the opportunity to talk and observe each other’s work. Normally this would be a fun and stimulating atmosphere to be a part of. Normally.

Hey Chink,” a voice from my left side slid in to interrupt my peaceful thoughts. I knew the voice all too well. This same asshat had been tormenting me since the beginning of the school year and was determined to get under my skin. You know how adults love to claim that “if you just ignore it, it will stop?” That’s bullshit. It never stops, particularly when you are an Asian going to an 85% black school in Memphis Tennessee. From my experience in life, you’d better buckle up because it is going to be a bumpy 13 years.

“Why do Asians wear sunglasses? Aren’t your eyes tight enough to act like natural shades? Damn you’re ugly.”

“Why the fuck are you checking me out for? Isn’t your little friend there cute enough for you, dickhead?” I snapped back finally losing my patience and cool.

“Ohhhhhh watch out! The little chink is mad!” He and his friend began chanting.

As I got up to deal with my daily nemesis, the fire alarm suddenly started going off and put a temporary end to our squabble. It was only temporary and as soon as we got outside it began again. It escalated.

By the time the fire drill had ended we were both angry enough to kill one another. We continued to verbally spar as we walked back in, I’m no bitch and gave as good as I got. But I was also alone, the only Asian fighting a racial war.

As we walked back into the art room I barely saw the fist that was headed straight for me. My world exploded and I saw Chinese fireworks before my eye.

This motherfucker just hit me! I thought to myself as my body reacted on its own. I felt my own fist wind back and I strike out blindly where his nose should have been. I felt his face squish with a satisfying connection and blood gushed from his nostrils. Suddenly I was jerked backwards and found myself face to face with my soccer coach who had followed us after seeing what was going on and had yanked me back out of the fight. I was dazed and just happy the bright lights had stopped.

We were both rushed to the office for judgement and punishment. We were equally guilty in the eyes of my educators and because of that we were both handed board suspensions.

I lost my senior year national honor society because of my suspension. I then lost all my scholarship offers as well, all except one – in state UTK, and that is where I ended up going. I guess I hadn’t needed to fill out all those fucking applications after all.

I remember one day after the fight, while I was serving out my board suspension at home. My mom walked into my room with a card. She knew I had been having a hard time… even if I hadn’t shared my daily details with her. Why would I? At 17 years old you begin to realize that life just sucks sometimes… and parents are for comfort. They can’t fix everything.

I opened the card and my eyes began to water. It said –

You will always be in my honor society. I love you.

I thanked her with more than just my words. I thanked her with my heart and I felt the weight lessen slightly.

You see she got it… she did understand.

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

44.1

@smokendust

Why I hate baseball

“Hey Jason! Go play right outfield!”

Ok coach!

I don’t know how long baseball games last, but I can tell you how long I imagined they lasted as a child. I had to play baseball because I was growing up in Tennessee and all my friends were.

I learned some things though.

Outfield is a lonely field. It is a awful place they send the guys not fast enough for first and not cool enough to pitch. You only got to catch if you were friends with the pitcher, which made sense really… there was like a structure here. I didn’t fit in again.

There were things to do in the field though, like finding four leaf clovers! That’s not a bad usuage of your time and they bring you luck and an opportunity to brag to Caleb on the bench about how you found one and are now luckier than him. There were cars passing by, I can see them now, because we played on a single field in the neighborhood by our school. There weren’t fancy sports complexes yet for us midtown boys, but we’d all heard the rumors about the sportsplex being built in Germantown. Those burb boys always have the best stuff.

But what more do you need than a brown patch of dirty, some gloves, a ball… did you bring the ball Tim?

Good.

And the bat which never seems to be your turn enough…

We’d spend days broiling because it is the humid south, but that never stopped us from playing. When we graduated to the need to use a cup I was done. It is bad enough you want me to bake in the sun, but now I felt like my nuts were broiling too. I hated it.

I stopped playing baseball in elementary school. All I have now are memories of hot days and getting hit in the face with the ball once. That’s one of those memories you never lose.

-Opinionated Man

Jason

44.1

@smokendust

 

10 Reasons Why I Use the Word “Fuck”

1. Things move faster when you yell the word “Fuck” at them. “Fucking move” works best obviously.

2. Because the word “motherfucker” has too many syllables in it and takes too long to say.

3. People have been telling me since the age of 6 not to use this word. Well fuck them!

4. The word “shit” lost its harshness years ago.

5. It still amazes me how a singular word can offend so many people just by its existence. I feel like all the Fucks in this world deserve my support now.

6. After I received my first farewell letter from a subscriber due to my language I knew I could never break up with the word Fuck ever again. Using it just makes my job easier.

7. I love words that have multiple uses.

8. I love this word when it is used as a verb.

9. I use the word “fuck” because it is part of my colloquial language and I won’t moderate my writing for anyone.

10. The last time I used the word “dammit” a pack of eager beavers appeared.

I am 34 years old. I don’t need your permission to use words. If you don’t like the words I choose to use read something else.

-OM
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