Thursday, January 31, 2019

Haircuts And Other Jobs Better Left To The Pros

I got a haircut today, which is remarkable only because I decided to pay for it.  I thought about busting out the clippers and doing it myself, or calling up one of the homies and taking my chances.  But I didn't do that.  I went to the barber instead.  He cleaned me up for $10 and I tipped him $5, like I always do.  The haircut came out great, like it always does.  That was $15 well spent.  Especially since I'm looking for a second job.  I can't be rolling in there looking like a goof with some fucked up hair.  I'm glad I left that job to a pro.

Law is another job that should be left to the pros.  Everybody thinks they know the law, until they have a real legal issue.  Then, if they're smart, they realize the waters are deep and the consequences are great and they hire a lawyer - if they can afford one.  That's the problem: a lot of people can't afford lawyers.  I tried to solve this problem once by creating on online marketplace where people could purchase a-la-carte legal services from live attorneys who worked independently and remotely.  The idea was that if we could cut out the overhead that big law firms have, we could provide quality legal services to people at more affordable rates.  The business failed, I went bankrupt and most people still can't afford a good lawyer - so I guess it wasn't meant to be.

Shooting machine gun is another job that should be left to the pros.  I'm not talking about your hunting rifle or the six shooter you keep in your dresser to protect your home in a worst case scenario.  Those aren't the problem.  I'm talking about assault rifles.  Death machines.  Machines that were specifically designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible.  Of course there are situations where the military or law enforcement may need that kind of artillery, but there is no situation where Joe Shmoe does.  None.  Joe Shmoe has his six shooter.  If Joe can't get the job done in six shots, then that job is better left to a pro - just like law and haircuts.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Routines: The Secret Ingredient To Staying In Beast Mode

There are ups and downs in a fitness journey, just like there are in any journey.  You just have to keep going.  Sometimes you are on an uphill climb, and sometimes you are cruising.  Some days you can't wait to train, and other days it's a grind.  That's why I love running.  It's good for your mind to keep pushing through those mental barriers.  It keeps you living on the edge of your comfort zone and it carries over into everything you do in your life.  That's why training and nutrition are so important to me.  The better your nutrition, the more energy you have to train.  The more you train, the better you feel.  The days when I feel the best are the days I train twice a day.

Training gives me the energy I need to do all the things I do in my life, and I get to share that energy with other people too because they can feel it.  Once you have picked yourself up, other people can feel it and they naturally come up too.  The opposite works the same way - negativity becomes a magnet for negativity.  Working out makes me feel like a beast, and then I am happier for the rest of the day.

The body is a vehicle for creating desired mental states, and physical training (along with meditation) are the best tools I have found to keep myself happy.  Training and nutrition are the backbone of everything I do.  They structure my day.  They structure my whole life.  My life revolves around getting proper training and nutrition, as it should.  I feel the best I have ever felt, and that is why.

Routines are an essential ingredient of proper training and nutrition.  You are what you repeatedly do.  That's why I have routines for everything I do: training, getting groceries, cooking, meditating, reading, writing, playing guitar.  If you want to do a lot of things and do them well, you must have routines.  You will notice that your routines evolve as you evolve.  Quitting bad habits and starting good ones is really just changing your routines.  That's all there is to it.  They say that routines are the sign of an ambitious person.  I believe that to be true.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Who Are You

I am not your fear
I am not your doubt
I am not your insecurity

I am not your thoughts
I am not your feelings

I am your Spirit
I am unmoved

The seasons change
But I am the mountain

The tides change
But I am the sea

The cars pass
But I am the highway

People come and go
But I remain the same

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Chasing The Mailman And Other Great Investments

You've never seen a man so happy to get a mail delivery before. Today, I finally got my Bose headphones. You have no idea how happy this makes me. I use them every day. At least once a day. For hours. It's ridiculous. I need them. And now I have them. It's glorious.

Part of the reason having these headphones is so sweet is because the road here was difficult. I decided to spring on some Bose headphones because the ones I was buying kept breaking and it was a real pain in the ass to keep getting new ones. So I ponied up $130 for some Bose headphones on Amazon and they were supposed to be at my house in two days with my Prime membership. I wait two days, check the mailbox, and there's no headphones, but there's a pink ticket with a request for signature. So I sign it and put it back in the mailbox, annoyed that I have to wait another day to get my fucking headphones.

The next day I happen to arrive home from the coffee shop at the same time the mailman is at my place delivering the mail. So I ask him about the package. He says he doesn't have it because he needed the signed ticket to deliver it, but he said I could go pick it up right now at the post office location a couple miles away. As I'm going to my car, the mailman reminds me not to forget the pink ticket. So I go back to the mailbox and grab the pink ticket, grateful for the heads up. Then I get in the car.

I sit in traffic the whole way over there to pick it up. Get there. There's only one guy working there and I have to wait 20 minutes in the cold, concrete lobby that feels like a jail cell while the guy tries in vain to track down my package in their giant fucking warehouse. He finally comes back empty handed. No headphones. I'm furious. I just went an hour out of my way for something that should have been delivered to my doorstep. On the way out, I say, "That was a fucking nightmare." Everyone laughed. Because it was true. They knew it was true because they were going through it, too. Even the poor guy working there was going through it. It must have been worse for him then it was for me. Fucking hell.

So I sit in traffic all the way back home. As I finally pull up to my place, I see the mailman driving away up the hill. So I chase him. It was a short chase. I wasn't driving fast or anything. But I get up behind him at a red light and I honk and wave out my driver's side window to get his attention. But the mailman sits on the opposite side of the car. On the right side. So he can't see me. So I get out of the car at the red light and go up to the mailman's window and knock on the window. He sees me and the light turns green, so I get back in my car and he pulls over, like a homie. I pull over and tell him what happened. He took the pink ticket and told me he would bring the package this morning at the beginning of his route around 9:30 a.m. I thanked him gratefully for his help. If I didn't get that pink ticket to him yesterday, I would have had to wait another day for my headphones. I wouldn't have them right now. That would have been a great tragedy. Those Bose headphones were a great investment. Just like chasing the mailman. That was a great investment, too. You know what else are a great investment? Mailmen. Try getting your stuff without them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Falling In Love With Strangers And Giving Unsolicited Advice

I just realized that everyone I've fallen in love with was a stranger at the time I fell in love with them.  Maybe after two years, or ten years, you could say you really know somebody.  But not after the minute or however long it takes to fall in love.  How long does it take to fall in love?  I would say a second.  I think it registers pretty fucking quick.  That's just my opinion.

I share my opinions a lot.  I've realized it's my job as an artist.  Not to be right.  Just to share them.  I had another opinion today, too.  It's that the people who still support the current President at this point fall into one of two categories: 1) people who are easily fooled, and 2) other rich, white brats.  If you are still a supporter, and you think you don't fall into one of these two categories, I would take a closer look.  But, again, that's just my opinion.

I also have the opinion that my ego is like an angry little chihuahua on my porch, and he is ready to fuck up everything to protect me.  He is always trying to protect me, but I can't take him anywhere.  He would bark and bark and I would tell him to shut the fuck up, but that would agitate him even more.  I learned to just leave him alone.  The less I listen, the less he barks.  It's funny how that works.

Sometimes people tell me they want to be a writer.  I take it as a tremendous compliment that they would share that dream with me.  It means when they looked at me, they saw a writer, and that was what they saw in the themselves.  They looked in my mirror and they saw a writer and that touches my soul every time.

The other night someone told me they wanted to be a writer and I told them to write three pages into a journal every day.  Handwrite it, and do it stream of consciousness.  He asked me, "So if I'm thinking about dinosaurs, then write about dinosaurs?"  "Yes," I said.  "Then write about dinosaurs."  It started as unsolicited advice.  He didn't ask me how to become a writer.  He just said he was interested, so I told him what worked for me.  I could never tell another person what will work for them, but I can tell them what worked for me because I know it works and it might work for them too.  If I saw a way to help someone, and I didn't do it, what kind of a friend would I be?  What kind of a brother would I be?  I would be a lazy one.  So I had to at least offer up the information, even if he ultimately decided it was of no use to him.  I think I did the right thing, and I hope that Homie becomes a great writer.

But these are all just opinions.

Monday, January 21, 2019

How Do I Know?

How Do I Know?

The pen keeps moving
And writes what it wants
I stay out of its way
It does its own work
The Spirit comes through it
Not just this time
But every time
Not the Mind's will
But the Spirit's

This is a poem I wrote today about an experience I had last night.  I came home from work and sat down on my bed and just started bawling crying.  I got outside of my mind and lost control.  I realized what the future held for me.  I saw what was going to happen.  I literally saw and felt all of my dreams coming true.  It was like the Universe' way of telling me that it sees me, and it's all going down.  I'm not going to tell you what my dreams are.  I'm going to show you.  That's what great writers do.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Witness

I'm not Eddie
I just watch him

Eddie wakes up
He runs through the Park
He does yoga and sit ups
He eats breakfast
He meditates
He rides to the Coffee Shop
He writes in his journal

I'm not Eddie
I just watch him

I'm in the Control Tower
But no one is driving
Eddie is the vehicle
The machine operates itself

I'm not Eddie
I just watch him

Friday, January 18, 2019

Shirtless Running

"The tears are your ego breaking, not you."

That thought occurred to me today on my run.  It's funny because I was in a great mood.  I wasn't thinking about crying at all.  But there was that thought.  True as hell.  In all it's shining glory.  I love when God gives me gems like that.💎  I always say a quick gratitude prayer, and let them hang around as long as they want.  Then I let them go.  You can't hold on to them.  They're like birds.  If you hold them, they run your whole life.  Imagine going through your day with a fucking bird in your hand. 🤦‍♂️

Thankfully, the only thing running my life is me.  Which is why I went running shirtless today.  It wasn't particularly warm out.  It was kind of chilly, actually.  There was still some mist in the air from the rains.  But I went running shirtless, because I could.  It's fucking liberating.  Especially when no one else is shirtless.  That's the best time, because then everyone is looking at you.  I know why cave men started wearing loin cloths - because if they didn't, they would have been standing around looking at each other's dicks all day.  If you don't believe me, try working out naked in front of the mirror and watch your dick bounce around like a rubber slinky.  Then, for a bonus, take a nice bath afterward and watch your dick float up to the surface like a buoy.  Fascinating.

But running shirtless is just a great feeling.  Especially when you have a mullet, like me, because you can feel your mullet flowing behind you in the wind.  It's beautiful.  Today, I put a dab of Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen on my nose before I went out, and the whole run smelled like coconuts and pineapples and the beach and piña coladas.  Fucking brilliant.

On the way back to my house, I ran into my coworker.  He was walking the opposite direction down my street.  He must have thought, "Holy shit.  Is that Eddie running down the street shirtless?"  Yes, that's exactly what that was.  And it was glorious. 🌞

Running with your shirt off is like an inside joke between you and the Universe.  "Everyone else put on all of their clothes today, and I only put on half of mine.  HA!"

Females know about shirtless running too.   I see women in sports bras all the time.  They know what the fuck is up.  Sports bras, spandex pants and cute pair of sneakers.  Bullseye. 🎯

Man or woman - it doesn't matter - sexy motherfuckers run with their shirts off.  Want to know why?  Try it and find out. ✌❤

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Day I Became An Artist

Yesterday, I posted an excerpt from my book.  It was a silly story about me getting blown by, what I suspect, was a transvestite when I was in Amsterdam several years ago.  At the time I posted the excerpt, I had just completed several hours of work and had an engaging conversation with an old friend.  I was intellectually exhausted, and I didn't think much of the post other than that it was a funny story of a wild night I had in my early twenties.

But this morning I woke up feeling different and spent the first part of the morning wondering why.  The answers came to me during my morning run through Balboa Park, like they often do.  I realized that today was my first day as an artist.  It was the first time I clearly understood what I wanted to be and why.

The aforementioned passage from my book was taken from a time when I had just quit law and managed score my gig at California Tap Room in North Park.  In the passage, I talk about how I'm living my dream and how happy I am that I can now tell my most ridiculous stories without getting fired from my job. 

The reason I couldn't get fired from my job is because my job was writer and my boss was me.  My job was artist.  My job was to express myself as authentically as possible, and no one could ever take that job away from me.  It's the only job I have ever had.  It's the only job I ever wanted.  It's the reason I had to leave the 9 to 5 world and it's the reason I won't be going back.

Corporate society imposes a set of rules on you.  There are certain things you can't talk about at work - race, religion, politics, sex.  All of the most interesting stuff.  How the fuck am I supposed to talk to people, and establish REAL connections with people, when I have to where a muzzle all the time?  It couldn't happen.  I couldn't be myself and be a corporate guy at the same time.  It was a matter of survival.  For my freedom of expression to survive, I had to become an artist.  There was no other choice.

I understood those things generally before, but today they really crystallized for me.  I decided to become an artist, and I'm not going back.  So here I am.  No one is paying me to do it, but it's my highest duty and I'm going to do it to the best of my ability.  I am no longer subject to the tyranny of the workplace.  I am my own man, and I vow to stay that way.  No one will ever fire me from being an artist, because no one can.  People can fire me from other things, but they'll never fire me from my real job.  I'll keep speaking my truth as long as I'm here.  It's the only thing for me to do.

*Note: I use the words "writer" and "artist" interchangeably to describe myself because I don't ever want to be pigeonholed into just being a "writer" or any other kind of artist.  It's all art to me.  Life is art.  The very act of going about your daily activities is art, when done properly.  How could I ever just call myself a writer when I do so much more than write?  Of course I read and write.  I also meditate, train, play guitar, cook, and do business.  Those are arts too.  And I will add even more to my repertoire before I am done.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Lip Service

Filled out job applications today, again.  For someone who is told as often as I am that I have a great resume, I sure do have a hard time finding a job.  My resume is great at getting me lip service, but nothing more - flattering comments that boost my ego, but ultimately do nothing for me.  I guess that's better than being told my resume sucks and I am an asshole, but it still gets frustrating after a while.

So far I have applied as an English teacher, creative tutor, dog walker, dog groomer, bartender, budtender, beertender and cook.  I have received no call backs or interviews.  Usually, I don't wait for call backs.  I take the initiative and follow up.  But since these are online applications, I don't know who the fuck is reading them (if anyone is reading them).  The decision makers keep themselves hidden on purpose.  They don't want people like me bothering them, and I don't blame them.  I wouldn't either.  There are dozens of people like me looking for jobs, and only one of them.

I believe I have about a month before I get evicted from my apartment.  That doesn't give me a lot of time, but it's doable.  I've been in this position before, and made it out, but there are never any guarantees.  I caught a good break last time, and I need another one now.  I don't know what's going to happen, but I know I will keep going and document all of it.  My ego will keep loving the lip service, but my actual self will keep hoping it turns into something real.  Soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

It's Not Rwanda-Hard, Not Even Detroit-Hard.

I have no weed and no money, which means that my mind has been racing like a maniac for the past 24 hours.  It's been a restless time.  I went to the coffee shop and did job applications today for an hour and a half, like I said I would.  It wasn't that hard.  The hardest part of my life is not having money or weed - which still isn't that hard.  It's not Rwanda-hard.  It's not even Detroit-hard.  In the grand scheme of things, I am lucky as hell, and I know that - but being broke with no weed is still no fun.

I have no room to complain.  I was born a white, middle class male in San Diego - which means I got a head start on pretty much everyone (except the rich white kids I went to school with, but that's a different story).  The fact that I had such a good starting position makes the fact that I am broke hard to swallow - if you measure success by money.  Thankfully, I don't - I made that mistake before and it led me into a legal career I hated.  Now, I do what I love, which means that I am winning even though I can't pay my fucking bills.  It's a fact - I am much more satisfied with my life now than I was when I was an attorney making a lot more money.  In my last year as an attorney, I made roughly 5x what I make now - and I wouldn't even consider going back to law.  Not for a second.

I don't say these things to hate on lawyers.  Far from it.  I met lawyers who I have tremendous respect for - who are great at what they do and are on the front lines fighting for people who need it on issues that matter.  I'm a fighter, too.  But not in a courtroom.  My fight is to tell the truth - my truth - as clearly and concisely as I can.  That fight takes place, right here, right now, every day at the typer.

My job doesn't require me to face death or getting my ass kicked, but it does require me to face the truth.  For that, I am grateful.  I want a job that keeps me real, and I've chosen to tell you about my life as honestly as I can.  As long as I do that, I am winning regardless of how much money is in my bank account.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

More Of A Hold-Up, Than A Job Interview

I have to apply for a job today.  I don't want to.  My ego is dying.  My ego doesn't think it should have to do anything it doesn't want to do.  It's fighting for it's life right now, and it's losing, and it knows it's losing.

This morning, as I ran through Balboa Park, my ego told me I should just go into the job interview and tell the interviewer to write me a check and shut the fuck up.  The Tyler Durden in me loved this idea.

"Yeah, that's exactly what you should do.  Go fuck them up!"

And he would have been right - if this was a movie.  But it's not, and what he had in mind was more of a hold-up than a job interview.  No one would agree to write me a check and shut the fuck up unless they were under severe duress - and I need a job, not an arrest warrant.

I've dropped resumes all over the neighborhood looking for bartending gigs, to no avail.  I can't afford to hold out for that, anymore.  The good thing about bars is you can walk right in and talk to the manager.  If there is more than one level of management, then they tell you to apply online.  That's where the bullshit starts.

When they tell you to apply online, they might as well tell you to go fuck yourself, because the second you apply online you become a needle in a haystack.  Another nameless, faceless statistic lost in the electronic abyss - like you never even existed.  I have done hundreds of online job applications in my life - and spent dozens if not hundreds of hours on them.  Yet, I have never got a job from an online application.  Not once.

So why should I do things that waste my time?  Don't we all try to avoid that?

I called my Mom to consult and after talking it over, I decided that ditching my rent and moving into my car would be counterproductive.  All I ultimately care about is making art, and living in a car will be an impediment to making art, not an aid.  There is nothing romantic about it.  It won't make my life any less complicated.  The only difference is the simple things will become complicated - which, again, is counterproductive.

Even more importantly, living in my car would be bad for my health because sleeping in a car and other awkward positions fucks up your neck and your back.  Plus, I tailored my apartment perfectly to suit my work needs.  Every detail about it - the placement of every item - is designed to make my work flow.  It's damn near perfect.  To lose a space I worked so hard to build would be a great tragedy.  So I made the decision - I must find a job to save my home and workspace.

This puts my ego in an irreconcilable position.  It cannot coexist with a job I don't want.  It tried to kill the idea of getting a job, but the attempt was unsuccessful.  The possibility of me getting a job is not only alive and well, it's absolutely necessary.  So I am going to do my job applications, even though I don't want to.

It reminds of this weekend when I was taking care of my good friend's pitbull.  She needed drops in her ears from the vet - and she hated them.  She hated those drops like I hate looking for jobs.  She hated them so much that she ran away from me and tried to hide in her crate and stick her head in places where I couldn't reach it.  The closer I got to her ears, the harder she fought with me.  I love her, and I hated doing that to her almost as much as she hated getting it - but she needed them.  She hated the drops, but she needed them.

That's just like me.  I hate looking for a job, but I need it.

So I guess it's time for me to take my ear drops.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Not Rich Enough

I put a lot of thought into this, and $10 million isn't rich.  Not rich enough.  The other day I said that everyone should be able to make a living working part time and that it's possible by raising wages, capping rent and taxing the ultra-rich.  I still believe this to be true, but the question was raised - "how do you define ultra-rich?"  This is a fair question, and it's one I put some thought into.

My gut reaction was, "If you've never made secret payments to a Congressman to protect your corporate interests, then you're not rich enough."  I still believe this to be true, although I realize the actual answer is more nuanced.

When defining ultra-rich, I find it useful to start with what I DON'T define as ultra-rich.  Here are a few examples of people who I DON'T consider ultra-rich even though they may have made more than $10 million last year.

-An athlete, artist or entertainer who gets a big contract
-Independent salesman who makes $10 million in commissions
-Entrepreneur who gets his first successful business after failing a dozen times

What is the common theme between these people?  They made their money on their own.  They didn't have dozens or hundreds or thousands of people working for them.  When I talk about ultra-rich people, I'm talking about people who are building fortunes on the backs of dozens or hundreds or thousands of people - and not paying them shit.  Those are the scalps I want - the billionaires whose workers can barely pay rent.  I don't know any of these people and they don't read my fucking blog - so it's not you.  I still think it's a good idea to tax rich people, but you're not rich so don't worry about it. 

What's it like to be rich?  I don't know.  I'll tell you when I make my first $100 million.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Still All Good

It's cold outside the coffee shop, even though the sun is out.  I just ran into an old friend.  He didn't really stop to talk.  Maybe he was just busy.  Or maybe he doesn't like me any more.  Either way, it's none of my business.

My only role is to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.  Those who are ready to love me, will - those who aren't, won't - and I will have done my job, in any case.

The truth is both a shield and a sword.  It has a way of pushing the wrong people out of your life, and pulling the right ones in.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Love Is Kind

I don't believe in writer's block.  Writing is the most natural thing in the world.  People block themselves by writing for the wrong reasons - for money or fame or some other bullshit.  If you write for those reasons, you will get blocked - because writing is hard, and those reasons for doing it are bullshit, and you will eventually give up.  That's not being blocked - that's doing it for the wrong reasons.

The real reward in writing is intrinsic.  The act of putting words down and sharing them with people is, in itself, the reward.  Once you get that, you're on your way.  I write because I have to write.  I write because I can't stop.  I write because it's the only thing for me to do.  I write like I breathe.

But that doesn't mean I don't face the same fears everyone else faces when writing.  Of course I do.  "What if I don't have anything to say?  What if I write ten pages and they're all bullshit?"  I grapple with these questions at the beginning of each session - but I have a secret weapon.  It's a trick I learned from Hemingway.  He said to start with one true sentence.  So that's what I do, every single writing session.  I start with one true sentence.  It could be something simple, like "my sweatshirt is black."  Or it could be something profound, like "The more honest and aware you become, the more kind you become" - which was my actual first sentence from my journal today (they aren't always that good, I got lucky today).

Great writing is just telling the truth, so starting with one true sentence is as good a place to start as any.  Telling the truth doesn't mean you have to be right all the time, or that you even aspire to be right all the time.  It just means telling the truth, no matter what - whether you were right or wrong.  The good news is I have found the truth to be entertaining and quite funny.  The Universe, God, or whatever you want to call it, has a sense of humor.

You can't change the world with one stroke of a pen, but you can change it with a few million strokes of a pen, so do them one at a time and enjoy each of them and don't worry about whether you'll ever be rich or famous.  That's not the point.  Love the process.

Saturday, January 5, 2019


I finally updated my resume today.  I hate updating my resume.  It's one of my least favorite things to do.  I've sent out hundreds, if not thousands of these things in my life - yet I've only had a few jobs.  The return on my time has been horrible.

So today I was dreading updating my resume, until I realized that now I get to add my blog to my resume.  Then, all of the sudden, I was fucking pumped to send out my resume.  I hadn't even written anything on the blog yet, and I was already pumped for it.  The thought of people seeing the blog on my resume and then wanting to read it fired me up.  The more I think about it, sending out resumes might be the best way to promote the blog.

Now I can't wait to send out resumes.  I am going to kick this job search in the nuts.