Monday, May 14, 2012

Greetings from Gurg

Greetings, you cretins of the high world. It is I, Gurg. I'm sitting in for Nate for a bit. He's suffering from a tough bout of post-nasal drip that I gave him last night. Not sure when he'll be back, maybe next time, maybe not. He choked out a few phelgm-soaked instructions before I passed him an ether-rag to sneeze into. Suffice to say, he's finally going to get some sleep! Oh, instructions! Yes, he mentioned something about greeting his faithful readers, so . . . uh, greetings. I hope you're not too put off by someone new writing on Nate's blog. Don't worry, I'm not going to change things . . . yet. No, no, things are going to stay the same . . . for a while. Nate's going to be back very soon. As soon as my Boss comes back to usher his chosen ones down to the warmth of paradise. Yup, let's just say, when the basement door opens, then Nate will be back.

Anywho, I suppose you want to know some things about me. Well, I went to a non-accredited bible college for a few years, just for kicks. Can you believe you actually have to pay to go to a place like that? Shoot, they don't even study the right bible. What's all this Genesis, Exodus, Philemon, Revelation business? And they put the wrong guy's words in red print! Wow. And then, they tried to get me to go out and sell all of these religious books and cookbooks. The recipes don't have any meat in them! Ugh. It was not a fun time. So I split when the stipend the Boss gave me ran out. Okay, confession: my time there wasn't "just for kicks". I was actually doing some research. But after the first few reports the Boss told me I could quit submitting them. He said he'd have no problems with those people. So I left.

Nate also mentioned (before he passed out) that his faithful readers may have some questions about a new "person" authoring his blog. Well, first of all, I'm not technically a "person". I mean, I'm in human form right now, but I guess that's neither here nor there. Okay, on to the questions. Usually, Nate has to wade through the large volume of comments this blog receives to see if there are any questions. It's really annoying because I've commented at least twelve times and he's never once answered me! Makes me kind of mad, actually. Anyway, I don't have to wait for the comments. I've got a special "gift" that allows me to answer reader's questions before they even have them! Away we go!

Where were you born?

-Olaf in Nantucket

Well, Olaf, I was born in the deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep South. Not the South you're thinking of, either.

How old are you?

-Brad in Denver

Brad, that's a very good question. Do you want a cumulative total or just how old I am in my current form? Oh, you want cumulative. Duh! Hmm, gotta think for a second . . . serpent's apprentice . . . pig on a cliff . . . pea soup intern . . . crow . . . carry the maccabees, add fourteen . . . crow . . . pitbull . . . crow . . . DMV worker . . . centurion . . . assistant football coach in Pennsylvania . . . author of young adult fiction (vampires, mostly) . . . postal worker . . . aaaannnnddd aspiring blogger. Okay, we've got 8,642 years. Give or take a few.

What have you done with Nate, really?

Ethel in Ann Arbor

Ethel! What do you mean, what have I done? Nate's fine! Well, his body is, anyway. His soul? Well, let's just say it's in a better place . . . between two pieces of sourdough under a slice of swiss cheese on my plate! Mmm, mmm, mmm. Nothing like a good soul sandwich. That's what keeps me running in peak condition. I'm like Mr. Fusion! Toss me a fat juicy soul and some leftover beer and I'm good to go for a few more miles.

What does a soul taste like?

Wingnut in Washington D.C.

Ever have a chicken quesadilla from Taco Bell? Like that.

Do you know where I can get some new boots? Preferably ones that are good for walking, dude.


Oh, hey Randall. Been a while since I've chatted with you. Yeah, there's a place called Western Outfitters here in town that'll probably be able to outfit you with some nice boots.

Don't you have some work to do?

The Boss in [redacted]

Oh, hey, Boss! I'm on assignment, remember? Fiddle sticks! I know I know, my break's up. I was hungry and this guy gave me something to eat. I was pretty thirsty so he gave me a Diet Coke. I was a stranger but, gosh darn it, he still invited me in . . . And I ate his soul. Nice trade, eh?

All right, everyone. I gotta go. Nate'll be back tomorrow. I was just kidding about all that other stuff. Really. Now that I think about, you probably shouldn't mention any of this to him. He's gonna be all groggy anyway and it'll probably just confuse him. Best to just act like nothing happened. NOTHING!

HELL-O and goodbye. It's been fun. I wish all the worst for all of you.

Your pal,


Friday, May 11, 2012

The Musings of a Mind Pimple

My faithful readers: hello. How is this beautiful, wretched earth treating you today? I hope that you are well. Please, eat a roast beef and cheddar doused in horsey sauce in remembrance of me. Hold hands and remember the good times. Why do I say these things? I don't know. Because I'm weird and I'm obviously trying too hard to write . . . something? Anything! Dear Christ, it's as if the creative juices my head holds are always bubbling and burbling beneath the surface of my skull but they dribble out like the grease of a sad sad pimple. Gross! I'll stop there. I need a crowbar to pry my mind open and loose the hounds of my demented mind!

Uh, yeah, Nate? It's called, I dunno, a work ethic? Consistency? Dedication to a craft? Drive? Motivation? A will to succeed? Yeah, any of those.

Damn it, Jim (who's Jim?)! I know these things! Obviously, I lack them. I am the embodiment of an entitled society. I expect these great works of my gross mind-pimple and the trappings associated with their success to just come to me! You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one (thanks, John)!

What? No! I am most certainly not on LSD or any other drug right now, aside from caffeine. I want to have a job that is easy and doesn't require a lot of thought (and really, who doesn't?). But, I also want to be paid a shit-ton of money for it! Sadly, a reality TV show producer isn't knocking down my door so there will be no Keeping Up With the Johnsons on E! this summer. Shame!

So, long story short, I've been trying to blog more. If, you happen to actually be one of my faithful readers, you will have come across this sentiment from me before. No, I don't really think blogging a bit more regularly will automatically make me a success. That would be asinine! And yet, there's that insidious part of my mind that thinks this crap will just happen. Kind of like when I was a kid and my dad hid a present, out of the blue, on top of our bookcase and then surprised me with it. It wasn't for any special occasion, it was just a present. Leonardo, the Ninja Turtle! Awesome! But, you know what happened? After that, I ALWAYS checked that bookcase looking for a present. I expected some god damned thing for nothing! All the time! And there was never something up there again. Why should there have been? It was just some random thing, a nice gift my dad got me. Was I grateful? I suppose, I enjoyed my toy. But I expected something after that when I didn't before.

I don't know that this event shaped my awful expectation philosophy, it was probably already there. Why? I don't know. But it persists. I was told at some point that I was a good writer. Or I had a modicum of talent that I should take advantage of. Or I got good grades on high school papers without trying. Or a seemingly unhinged teacher of an unhinged class (Religion. Score one for parochial schools!) told me I was a wonderful poet/writer. God. Some teachers are just good at blowing hot air and bullshit up kids' asses.

I suppose events like these helped form this devil spawn of entitlement in me. Oh, I may have a microscopic smudge of talent somewhere in my demented soul? I can do well without trying? Then . . .

Come to me, world of wonders and wealth. Come. We shall drink of the wine of delusion and deceit, thinking highly of ourselves and scoffing at others while cinching the trenchcoat of superiority tighter around our throats and laughing maniacally at the poor workers. Those who just don't know. Those who find success not by just being, but by spit and sweat. By bitter tears of work and sacrifice. The real people.

Well, screw you, Nate. Screw you and your idiocy. You are dazzled by the falsehoods of celebrities. And you are stupid.

I'm not sure what this post means, really. It's mostly just dribblings from my gross mind-pimple. A mark of an amateur, I'm sure, is writing almost exclusively about himself. Narcissist much? What better topic is there than one you know so much about? Keep trying, genius.

I will say this: I've always cared about writing. Yes, I'm lazy. But actually churning something out, anything (and this is most definitely anything and not Something of any worth), makes me feel better than I think any job could ever do.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

English Major: Explained

I was perusing an old edition of the Deadspin Funbag that is managed by the eternally awesome Drew Magary and I came across this gem. The Funbag is where Drew answers email questions from readers. Being a fellow English major I can say this is the essence of the degree. A perfect synopsis in his answer to Old Gil's question:

Old Gil:

"So I'm getting to the point in my college career where I have to decide on a major. What subject can I major in that will be both easy and make me look good in the future? I don't want some bullshit Museum Studies degree, but at the same time I don't want to have to do any work. I also like money if that helps narrow things down. Any suggestions? And if you had to do it over, what would you have switched to?"

Drew's response:

"I was an English major, and I recommend it. When you're an English major, all you really have to do is read novels (or, in my case, skim them), then talk about them and write a few papers on them. You don't have to memorize anything. You don't have to do any fucking field research. You don't have to work with a fucking lab partner or something horrible like that. There are no quizzes (unless your professor is a dick). You can bullshit your way through things. And it's a major no one sneers at. Some teachers assign papers instead of ever giving some fucking blue book test. A lot of professors let us choose which one we wanted (we always chose doing a paper). Plus, you can claim to have read any number of great books, and know enough about them to make it sound like you're a smart asshole. I don't think I'd want to major in anything else. Sociology majors are retards.
The ten most lucrative majors, according to the New York Times, are almost all engineering majors. That shit is hard. I dunno if it's worth it.
(NOTE: The only thing that SUCKED about being an English major was the English Theory course I had to take junior year. It was horrible. The professor made us think, and do real work. YES YOU, MR. BRYANT! OR SHOULD I SAY MR. TYRANT?!)"

Follow Drew on Twitter

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tweets for the Memories

Hello, my faithful readers! My, has it been almost a month already? You must be starved for sustenance! My little lambs have been without their faithful farmer to let them out into the sweet fields of grass and honeysuckle! Never fear, here is a nugget of truthiness for you!

I tweeted this last Friday after reading it in the comments section of an article on Gawker regarding Hitler and some of his strange habits. The commenters were discussing Hitler possibly being a vegan. I thought the comment was funny and also a good way to poke at some of the self-righteous prick vegans I've encountered who make quite a show of announcing that they are vegan and stating very smugly that they basically cannot eat anything. All of these vegans I've met have been Seventh-day Adventists which adds a nice coating of crazy to their prattlings-on about almond butter and wheatgrass smoothies. Bitter, much? You bet!

I was amused yesterday afternoon to see that it was suddenly being retweeted on Twitter. I've never had something I tweeted get passed-on like this so, of course, my immediate thought was, "I'm gonna be famous! I'll be working for the Gawker media empire in no time!" Shoot, I even picked some of the more popular retweeters and tweeted them a personal, "Thanks for the RT!" RT is Twitter shorthand for retweet (don't mind my condescension, apologies).

Sidenote: isn't everything shorthand with Twitter? 140 characters isn't a lot of space to get your thoughts across. I've come across variations of this basic Twitter truism:

"What I hate most about Twitter: finishing a good tweet, having -1 characters left, and then having to decide which grammar crime to commi".

The funny thing about Twitter, time and again, is that it's an illusion of interaction with those more famous and affluent than us. Any type of reciprocation is a validation of your awesomeness! 

Something I didn't even come up with is being retweeted a handful of times by complete strangers!

I'm a genius!


I like to think that yesterday's strange retweeting episode means something more. Because I look far too deeply into everything! But it doesn't. It doesn't validate me as funny, successful, influential, or anything else that sounds good. I just need to take it for what it was: an amusing thought (that someone else had) being repeated by a few people on a micro-blogging site.