the circular runner

Posts Tagged ‘random’

what my holy crotch taught me about writing

In career, life, observations, Uncategorized, writing on December 20, 2012 at 10:50 am
batman

holy crotches, Batman. I’m still reinventing myself.

Last week, I was getting ready for work, and I found a hole in my crotch.  (Don’t worry this is a PG post.) I went to my closet only to find out that all my jeans were in the wash.  I wasn’t about to don the slacks–I refuse to do that on two important grounds: 1. I like to be comfy when teaching and 2. I haven’t had to wear slacks in some time and I think I might not fit into any of them any more–a fact that would depress me, vain man that I am.

I basically had two choices: get a dirty pair of jeans out of the hamper or wear the jeans with the holy crotch, which I had put into the trash a few minutes before.  You might be horrified to know I pulled the holy jeans out of the unholy trash.  But there a 10-second rule on pulling jeans out of the trash–something equivalent to having food fall on the ground.  At least there should be.

I did have a third option, by the way: an old pair of black jeans, which I hadn’t worn in over eight years.  Did I ever think these mommy jeans were cool?  Did I not see the extra room in the crotch that made me look like I had a saggy diaper?  Did these very basic fashion issues get past me?  Was I coming off the 90s?    In the end, I stuck with my holy crotch pants, but not before I went through the pockets of my saggy-butt specials.  And now, here is the point of this story: I found a piece of paper with my writing on it–a list of sorts.  And on that list, number three was:

Re-invent yourself

This means that I have had this vague idea in my head for over eight years.  It’s odd how your memory works.  In my head, it’s as if that were a new thought.  I wake up thinking about it.  I write in this blog about it.  I probably talk to my wife too often about it.  But even so, it’s not a new idea.

How I have not realized this probably has to do with the fact that I keep trying new things, and in the last year and a half, the attempts at reinvention are coming faster and harder: novelist, short story writer, graphic novelist, flash fiction writer, scriptwriter, and now, scripts for commercials.  Oh yeah, blogs, too.  The only thing I haven’t tried to write are instruction manuals, video games, and street signs.  At this rate, it won’t be long until I get to some of those, as well, though I fear that my signs would be a little verbose.

I’m not sure what I think of these attempts at writerly reinvention are really leading to.  Is it better to sit on something for a long time and craft it out?  Or is it better to go where you will, to make stuff that’s as good as you can get it and then move on?  By nature, I think I prefer the latter, but I’m not sure if that’s me just going after immediate gratification.

I will say that finding that list shook me.  It makes me realize the importance of keeping a journal and actually reading past entries.  I wonder how that Gabe, the Gabe who actually liked his black mama jeans with the saggy bottoms would have felt if he’d known where I am now–all Old Navy Premium loos jeans and shit.  Would he be pleased or bummed?  And eight years from now, how will I be?  Will I still be looking for reinvention or will I be reinvented?  Will I be wearing mu loose jeans or, will I be wearing skinny jeans?  Scary thought.

Yoko-Ono-Fashions-for-Men

I guess there ARE worse things than black mommy jeans

Of course, I don’t know. And that’s just it: things always look so different when you’re in the process.  Whether it be mom-jeans that you used think looked good or a script that you thought was strong until you realized it wasn’t.  I guess that’s just life.  You keep evolving.  So maybe I don’t have to feel like a failure.  Maybe I will keep reinventing.  Maybe.  I just hope I won’t be wearing skinny jeans.

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I’m a shy tonka truck looking for direction…

In career, life, observations, Uncategorized, writing on October 18, 2012 at 5:03 am

I know. The title of this post sounds like some lame attempt to be sensitive on Match.com.

But in reality, I’m getting ready to attend a conference for writers, multimedia-gurus and tech know-it-alls.  I’m staying with my folks, which is great for me, because it gives me the chance to say hey to my peeps while also getting the chance to do some networking.  I say this though the truth is that I’m not sure how the whole networking thing is going to go.  I can be kind of shy, but shyness can sometimes creep up on you.  It hides in the day to day of faces that, if not friendly, are at least familiar.  But once you break that pattern up a little bit, there she is, shyness is there, telling you not to say too much to strangers.

I am hopeful there will be a lot of people in attendance at this thing.  I’m kind of odd this way, but I’m not shy in large groups.  But that only goes so far since at some point, I will want to network with people, schmooze, press the flesh, etc..  That is kind of the point of this kind of event.

Or is it?

I’m making things up as I go.  There is a part of me that is unsure why I am going and what I hope to get.  The conference is for Transmedia storytellers, which, as I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, is a term that can have as many meanings as there are weird technical people spewing it out.  But to put it at its simplest, Transmedia is for people who are trying to tell stories over a number of different media.  So you might have one main storyline told in book form, but then you have a spinoff-plot develop in a game or a character might have a Twitter feed and tweet to people who have bought the book or the game.  It gets a lot more complex and a lot more interesting, but at least this gives you an idea.

Regardless, what worries me is that I am changing things up again.  In previous posts, I made the mantra of 9 months and out, but this might just have been bravado masking insecurity.  I’m 40, almost 41.  Most people have their careers set by now, and what am I doing?  Jumping all about, trying things on, seeing where I fit.  Isn’t that what 20-somethings do?  Or 30-somethings—early 30-somethings?

As my 70 year old mom drove me to the train station this morning, I felt a little bit like a fool, like a man-child being dropped off to school.  Those same feelings of insecurity I felt so many years back: will the people I find like me?  Will they think me ridiculous?  Those same feelings are flooding me.  When I was a child, I knew I couldn’t stop time.  I knew I just had to suck it up and go to school, and more times than not, things turned out well.  I hope the same now, except that I know the stakes are a higher.  I don’t have to worry about a bully or a mean girl.  I need something to work out here regarding work.

I’m not looking for someone to give me a job or offer to buy something I’ve written.  I don’t need anything that big.  I’d be fine if I could just find the next step in this process of reinvention.  I think I have the energy for a big push.  I just need to know where to point myself.

Another memory comes to me as I write this.  When I was a kid, that shy, somewhat anxious kid, I used to love this yellow toy truck.  It was one of those toys that you’d have to rev up before letting it go screaming across the kitchen floor.  I am that yellow truck, all revved up, waiting patiently to go speeding somewhere—but where?  That’s the difference.  I’m a self-aware Tonka truck in need of career GPS.

some advice for bloggers…DON’T BE USEFUL!!

In life, observations, Uncategorized on October 8, 2012 at 6:09 am

Blogs, this blog at least, tell stories in addition to the ones told in words.  You get to know someone through a blog not only by what the writer tells you, but also through the subjects he chooses to explore and the manner in which that exploration occurs.  True to this blog’s name, I have been running in circles for a long time.  I’ve been running a 40 year marathon, to be completely frank, but that’s too long a tale to to get into here, so let’s start with the last couple of months.  It must be the Catholic guilt my mom didn’t instill in me but that I somehow still inherited –can you say original sin?

I’ve been trying to figure out why I blog.  My answer: I don’t know why.  A few weeks ago, i decided I should try to be useful.  There’s something too indulgent, I think, about just writing for writing sake.  And yet, isn’t that what we should be doing as writers?  I love this blog, not because it’s great, but because it gives me an outlet to share myself with the people who decide it’s worth a few minutes .  I know this is a good thing, but I’ve fought the impulse.  After reading one too many books about social media and making a career of this writing thing, I briefly tried to limit the scope of what I want to write about.  I tried to find a thread, a theme that I could use to unify what I’m doing here.  The result was that I became tight and unsure of myself.

The thread of this blog, the unifying factor I’m only now realizing, is me, which probably names me a lille bit of a dumb-ass for not having figured it out sooner.  Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be a little focused, read obsessed, with trying to find my way as a father/husband, my voice as an artist, my next career move as a ????. I’ll still write occasionally about education since I teach every day of the week.  But I’m going to also use this blog to work out some ideas about next steps for me.  Even circles have steps.  My goal, extending the metaphor, is to try and widen that circle so I can cover more ground.  Maybe it’ll be an elliptical shape of some kind, though I won’t change the name because Running in Elliptical Shapes sounds a little dumb.

I guess, the best way to say what I haven’t really said yet is to say, if you’re writing a blog, don’t worry about being useful.  Be yourself.  Hopefully, in that you might help someone else.  At the very least, you will help yourself.

i ride in circles, too

Read the rest of this entry »

9 Months and Out, Lesson 2: DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR AGE….

In career, humor, life, media, observations, Uncategorized on September 1, 2012 at 6:15 am

I’m middle-aged, and I’m not happy about it.

The other day, I went some place for coffee.  It’s right across from a Starbucks, which I don’t pooh-pooh as a rule.  Starbucks is fine.  It’s good.  It’s ok.  I just felt like changing things up.  This other place is more hipster.  The lines are longer.  The people better looking–no tired looking middle-managers in khakis sitting around with their PC’s in this here place.  This was a Mac crowd, which if nothing else means the coffee is fair traded, cold-brewed with spices from the Himalayas and infused with Madagascar fairy dust–ingredients you pay for through the nose–pierced nose, naturally.

So, surrounded by all the new hipsters and the new shiny Apples, I ordered my Madagascar fairy-infused brew on ice and noticed that the barrista (hate that word) was wearing an LA Kings t-shirt.  In San Francisco, you don’t do this unless you’re looking for abuse.  For Angelinos, San Francisco is a quaint town up north.  In San Fran, LA is all pollution and water-theft and Satan.  Anyway, sensing a fellow Angelino, I asked the man where he was from.  He said Venice.  I grew up in next-door Santa Monica.  We smiled.  We were both Angelinos and Westsiders, to boot.  Cool.  Then he tells me he went to my high school.  Holy ducklesworth!  A fellow Viking!  I almost broke into our school song, which I, as a choir member back in the day, sang many many times at all kinds of events.

I decide against the singing, but still we’re all smiles at this point.  We’re on the same wavelength.  That is until the guy asks what year I graduated.  I feel a tightening around my smile.  I say, “I think I might be a little older,” and then, I tell him the year.  And that’s when he does the same.  He’s 16 years younger.  16.  Oh, fuck you, Mr. Coffee.  Go choke on your Madagascar BS coffee that gives me the runs.  He probably doesn’t even know the school song now that Prop 13 has removed music from the school.

Now, I wasn’t really pissed.  I just felt a little awkward especially because it seemed like he got awkward.  Of course, he probably got awkward because he sensed that I got awkward. Oh, who knows?  It doesn’t matter.  Why do I care?

I probably wouldn’t except that when you’re looking to build a new career as I am, you’re surrounded by young people by definition.  Usually, these young’ns don’t care about me.  I’m just another guy.  But in my head, I assume that they must be thinking  I’m some middle-aged loser.  My issues.  Not theirs.  Which is the moral of this little lesson: go and reinvent yourself if you need to and don’t let yourself be limited by the number of candles on your cake.

I’m 40. So take that, Mr. Coffee?  I can appreciate cool music and non-exploitative coffee like you.  But I have also lived long enough to know Starbucks is ok in a pinch.  I’m older.  Life has made me flexible and ready to drink any cup of coffee life’s barrista throws my way.

i’m a loser, i’m a genius, i’m a loser: a writer’s dilemma

In criticism, humor, observations, Uncategorized on July 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

It’s a sign of age that things are not one extreme or the other. When I was younger, if I failed at something,  I would almost certainly tell people I sucked.  I didn’t mean, I suck at this or that.  I was trying to make more of an existential statement, as in I am a person who just lives in a state of sucking, i.e., a loser.

I was never so confident or clueless to say I was a genius when something went my way.  But I’ll admit that somewhere in the back of my head, I was hopeful I might find that thing I was amazing at. If I’m really honest, I’d add that I wanted to find something I was amazing at without having to put in bone-crushing effort needed to make amazingness.  Of course, even geniuses put in effort–I’m assuming this though I cannot say for sure since, if you haven’t figured it out on your own, I am no genius.  (I know. Big surprise.)

I bring all of this up because a couple weeks ago, I experienced a pretty big failure and a nice success back to back.  The first was a screening of my second short film (the trailer appears above).  The screening happened here in SF at a big theater as part of a festival that happens out here regularly.  As part of the festival, after the screening of each movie is over, the crew and cast go down in front and take questions.  Often the questions are pretty slight, i.e., why did you you use that logo for your production company; do you think you’ll make a sequel to that romantic comedy with the happy ending that couldn’t possibly go anywhere else because it is a short with a happy ending; I love chocolate, and the main character was eating some in that one scene, what kind of chocolate?  You get the point.

But when Cherise, my strange little Cinderella story in reverse, was done, it was like ghost town silence.  We went up and looked out into the vast audience (over 600 people) and you could feel the rampant indifference. What I would’ve given for a question about chocolate?

On later reflection and because my director reminded me of this, I realized that we made the movie we set out to make.  We wanted to make something that was lovely to look at.  We wanted to tell a story with dance and music and through minimal dialogue. We wanted a visual experience more than we cared about story.  Well, we hit those marks.  But still, there was a part of me sitting in that theater harkening back to my younger days, the younger me that often told himself, Jesus, dude, you suck the big one.

A day later, I had a reading. It was the first time I’ve ever been asked to be a featured reader, and I was excited.  But there was also a part of me that was fearful.  Would I suck at this, too?  Would the crowd, mostly poets, look at me and my little fables/fairy tales/ urban micro fiction about old ladies popping happy pills and would they reject what they saw? Would they get all aggro the way poets at spoken word events often do?  What is the opposite of snapping fingers and saying, groovy, man? As it happens, they did not hate me.  In fact, they were very enthusiastic. Some people might have even  snapped some fingers.  And for a moment or two that night, I felt like like I had arrived. I was a writer.

I’m no genius. That thought never crossed my mind even with the snapping, but I’m ok with that. The violins will never soar as I write the great American Novel. I’m no Mozart.  I’m not even Salieri. But with practice, I hope I write something that gets close to great. That’s a realistic goal–I hope it is.

As for the sucking part, the truth is I know I don’t suck, either–not in existential way.  But ironically, that’s almost more disappointing than not being a genius.  If you tell people you suck and you believe it, there’s always a way up.  There’s always room for improvement. And more importantly, if you fail at what you’re attempting, you can wrap yourself in the Sucky Blanket of Low Expectations.

You think I sucked that night?  You think my movie was shite?  Well, of course my dear man/woman, I suck.  I suck the big one.

NO MORE!  It’s time to grow the hell up. I’m just too old to be carrying the Sucky Blanket around. I need to work and not worry. I might die with nothing to my artistic record, but I’m not going down sucking, goddammit.

 

the Batman shootings: evil, revenge, and me

In life, observations, teaching & education on July 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I don’t usually post on Fridays, but I just saw some footage from the Colorado shooting, and I wanted to write something. I needed to.

I will admit that about the same time James Holmes decided to enter a theater in Colorado guns a’blazing, I was watching a Korean revenge film about  sociopath and about a cop who decides to break all the rules in order to seek revenge.  Usually, revenge movies are a guilty pleasure for me, and Asian revenge movies are so over the top that I wouldn’t ever say I am moved by them intellectually.  But this Korean movie, called, I Saw the Devil, was different.  It was over the top and sometimes, the characterization of the sociopath was akin to those old silent movies when the villain wears black and twists his mustache, but the thing that kind of made me stick with the movie was that it focused less on the criminal than it did on the police officer.  If I had to summarize the movie, I’d say it was a look at the fact that there is no solution for evil, or if you prefer, against a person completely devoid of morality.

Ironically, this movie reminded me of The Dark Knight, which also dealt with the same notion.  Heath Ledger as the Joker, you say what you will about his acting, but that character is truly horrifying–not because of what he does, but because he feels nothing about what he does.  You can imagine that the Joker would give as much thought to breathing as he would to brutally killing a person except that brutally killing someone probably gave him some pleasure–but then again, maybe not.

There’s a scene in The Dark Knight when the Joker talks to Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and lays out his thoughts on violence.  Watch this scene and tell me if this isn’t scary.

It’s scary because there is no ideology, no firm ground to share. There is only randomness, violence. It makes me shiver, and yet as a movie-goer, I’m drawn to it because there is something awesome about it–awesome in the Biblical sense of the word.  Awesome in the sense of being awestruck with horror because there is nothing one can do to fix this kind of person.  Revenge is not a prudent motivating force, but part of the reason we like revenge movies is that they restore order to the world–at least they attempt to.  They give us a sense of justice.  But the randomness of the Joker, the randomness of this shooter in Colorado, is just that, randomness.  And revenge does not bring about justice.  The immoral person does not feel, cannot feel, guilt, which is kind of the point of seeking out justice, isn’t it?  That’s the lesson of The Dark Knight and I Saw the Devil.

And yet, the answer is not apathy.

Earlier this week, right outside the projects in which I teach my GED classes, there was a drive-by shooting.

this does not look like the site of evil, does it?

No one was hit, though there were dozens of children at the playground across the street and young couples with their dogs were there, too.  The shooters, no doubt, are not evil, even if what they were doing could be called that.  They were not being random.  They were going after a kid for some reason no one knows exactly.  The only reason I bring this event up, apart from the fact that I have not really talked to anyone about it, is that the responses of my young students was almost all the same: indifference. The shooting, the bullets and all the harm those bullets can do, has been internalized by the young people I work with, and they don’t see much point in getting upset by it.  I don’t think my kids are evil for their apathy.  But I do think it shows that they have been harmed by the evil I’m describing.  They do not feel.  They don’t imagine that there are places where random violence is not a daily thing to witness.  Or maybe they do, but they don’t see themselves living in those places.

And maybe they have no reason to. I’m not sure I believe in the devil, at least not as certain religious people like to describe him, but if he did exist, last night, a little bit of hell was visited upon the town of Aurora, Colorado and those people in that theater saw a glimpse of the devil for themselves.

edging towards something spiritual in the wee hours…

In life, observations, writing on June 20, 2012 at 6:15 am

It’s late and yet I blog.  I have to.

If you’ve been following me at all, you know I’ve been filling my head with nonsense about branding and career stuff.  I call this my Obsession #1.  According to the nonsense that I am reading, which makes me even more nonsensical for actually quoting it, I should try to blog every day–some books say every few hours.  I don’t know how anyone could do that, in all honesty.  I mean, I guess if I got paid to do so, which leads me back to the whole obsession with career.  Jesus.  I need to stop.

Before starting this post, I was reading some other blogs–as advised by the nonsense books even though I don’t think reading blogs is nonsense at all–and I came across a couple things that are sticking with me right now. The first, a blog called Diary of a Quirky Girl, was featured on the WP mainpage and I guess the blogger got tons of readers and was taken aback by the attention.  I am linking to her reaction not to the post that was featured because there was something genuine about her joy.  She writes at one point (I am paraphrasing) that her father asked her why she started the blog in the first place, and she said it was to connect.

I can relate, and hence, I blog though I’d like to sleep.

I used to live in Boston. I went to grad school there, and it was one of the sadder periods of my life.  I didn’t fit and I was angry and all assholey all the time.  But I would listen to a show on WBUR, and the intro would start with a little hip hop song and the host would do this little rap-like thing, which always ended with the phrase, “Only Connect,” an epigraph from an EM Forster novel.  In its own way, that phrase was a life line and a reminder that I was doing quite the opposite.  My motto in grad school was more like, only repel.

It’s odd how things work out, but tonight after discovering the Quirky Girl, I then came a cross a photo blog in which the blogger went out to explore his hometown at 4 am.  I love that idea and I love that time of night.  I am a night owl by nature, and in grad school, I took that tendency so far that I would’ve made any vampire proud.  Sometimes I wrote my boring (and truly nonsensical) term papers at night, but mostly, I would walk.  I didn’t go to hot spots.  I usually went to supermarkets or to a 7-11-type convenience stores called the White Hen Pantry, or to a donut shop near my apartment.  And like this photographer on the blog I just discovered, I found that 4 am was the perfect time to explore.  The party crowd was long asleep, and the hard-core business/office types were still in bed for another hour before they started their power-smoothie powered power-walks.

One thing I noticed was that the people who worked at 4 am were often disfigured.  This was especially true at the Star Market I walked around.  There were more cleft palates and people with glass eyes or mangled hands in that store than one would ever see at a more regular hour. I don’t know why I hung around.  I guess I was trying to connect with other people who felt unattractive.  Looking back, I think the impulse was condescending.  I have no idea if those people worked the third shift because they were ashamed or because their bosses were or because it was just the only job they could get and they needed the money.  Who the hell was I to create a story for them?  But at the same time, I felt like a freak and I wanted to be around people who, at least by mainstream definitions of normalcy, were a little freakish, too.   (I will admit that lurking about at 4 am is not the best way to connect with others, but I was young and Romantic and…dumb.

All these years later, I’m less young, but….It’s late and I’m tired. I don’t quite pull the same hours I used to, but I’m writing tonight for the same reason that I walked the streets of Boston ten years ago.  That need for connection is, I think, a spiritual need, and it’s a need I still feel.  I’m too tired to parse that connection between writing and spirit and connection.  I need to get there, but not tonight.

Instead, I’m thinking about the Star Market and The White Hen Pantry in Cambridge, Mass., and the donut store with the baker whose face was scarred worse than I’ve ever seen.  And I wish the people in those stores a very good night and I wish all of you the same.

Only connect.

i’m starting a slow-blog movement…wanna join?

In humor, life, observations, Uncategorized, writing on June 5, 2012 at 6:16 am

Here in the Cali, Northern California to be specific, there’s a lot of talk about the slow-food movement, which basically means people who go somewhere to eat food that once upon a time, some loved ones would’ve cooked for them.  Because I am not a group-person, I kind of avoid movements, and San Fran is really in love with their movements.   Truth is slow food is a good thing. But it’s not a movement.

Now, I say this, but I will admit that sometimes I think SLOWness should be a movement.  I’ve said this before.  But as I’ve gotten older, I don’t feel like I’m slowing down, I feel like I’m going faster.  OK, I can’t run as fast as I could before, but mentally, I seem to keep speeding up.  When driving some place, I am already thinking of the three things I have to do after I get to where I’m going, which means I spend miles driving by beautiful things that I am not concerned with because I’m concerning myself with a near future group of events that are probably not pleasurable.  I sleep ok (when the baby allows) but sometimes I get up and start reading articles or making lists of what I want to do next.  Even as I write this post, I’m already thinking I have to get out of here and go spend time with wife and the boy, and after that, I want to work on a script because I need to get a draft done this week, and because tomorrow I need to work on the fundraiser for my GED program, and…you get the point.

It’s not that I’m busier than other people.  Most people lead busy lives.  There’s just something about how I treat my day.  Life is becoming a list of things to check off, not a day of memories.  As a fiction writer, this is no-bueno.  I know this because it can sometimes take me hours to get in the head space to tell a story.  It takes time getting to know a character. Maybe that’s why writing is hard for me and yet, so necessary for my sanity.  I need the slowness that writing affords me.

I knew this.  I’m sure all you artists know it as well.  But I was reminded of this fact by a blog I just discovered called the good bad people.  The author writes things that might be called poetry or poetical prose.  What matters, at least for me, is that reading the blog slowed me down tonight, and for that I am appreciative.

Nw just so we’re clear: I’m not saying we should go out and protest against speed.  Save your picket signs and go read something that makes you think.  Then, go write slowly or eat slowly or drive slowly, but not too slowly.  I mean, I have to get where I’m going and I don’t want to wait forever.  I have things to do.

More Talk About Branding Writers…

In humor, media, observations, writers & books, writing on May 29, 2012 at 6:20 am

So last week, I think I hit a nerve–in a good way.  I sheepishly posted about my experience trying to brand myself as a writer.  (Are sheep ever branded, by the way?) Anyway, I was sheepish because I’m lucky that some mighty fine writers read this blog on occasion–Anna Fonte, Joe Ponepinto, and Marc Schuster to name three.  As proof that I am a total novice at the branding thing, I’d tend to think that writers like them who are gifted don’t spend a lot of time reading manuals on SEO and social media campaigns.  I assume that their fans do the heavy lifting, and if not that, then these artist-writers just sit back and take it in stride.  They do not sully themselves with commerce.

It’s silly.  And some of the comments I got on the previous post are proof of that fact.  The writers above and a lot of the writers I’ve heard from recently all are struggling with the process of branding.  It’s not because they aren’t talented.  It’s because they are, and they want to get their stuff out there.

So, for those of you not in the know, here is what this writer (maybe a little talented) is doing to get his stuff out there–DAILY, mind you:

1. Try really hard on FB to come up with some kind of update about myself that isn’t stupid or douchey.  Also, look through other people’s timelines and LIKE things that I really like. (The first is not always easy, the second is usually a breeze.)

2. I look for like-minded Tweet-peeps and follow. (Repeat this ten times daily). I struggle and struggle to tweet one witty thing a day, and share 4 other things about the friends on FB or WP or about something I read, which hopefully is not about branding but lately is.

3. Linkedin update. Check in with the groups. Link in with LINKERS who are doing what I am doing, want to be doing, will want to be doing, etc.

4. Read other people’s blogs; comment intelligently (or at least not dumbly) and then…OMG…WAIT FOR IT…I write something of my own.

Jesus Christ.  Here’s a Catch-22 that even Joseph Heller would love: in order to get paid for being a writer, the writer has to spend most of her day not writing. If the writer does choose to write, no one will ever read that writing because no one will know of it.  If she chooses to brand herself, people will know her, but for what? For her brand and not for her writing because she had no real time to write anything worthy of her amazing brand.

I’d like to go on here, but according to the branding books, I am nearing the blog danger zone. Blog entries should not go longer than 400 words. 500 words are an absolute maximum.

I have also read that this is where I might want to share a piece of good news about myself.  So here goes two pieces:

1. One of my fables just went up at Xenith.  They did a really nice job with the layout, so if you are interested, please check it out here.

2. Cherise, a short dance film I wrote and produced, is in post production now and looking promising. That said, I have an FB fan page for it,  so please like and like generously.

OK, I think that’s enough douchey self-promotion.  (I know I’m not supposed to be self-deprecating about my brand, but Jesus Christ, I can only do so much. I’ve already gone way over my word count.

Goddamn it!!

my brush with primal machismo…

In humor, life, observations on February 23, 2012 at 5:23 am

don't flirt with my pregnant wife or her 70+ year old mom...OR ELSE

OK, so I’m not what you’d call macho, I’ll admit it.  My wife laughs at me when I get angry.  But every once in a while, I have these moments when I am very much a guy.  Yesterday, I took my mother-in-law and wife on a small road trip up north.  My mother-in-law lives in South Florida and though she was born and raised with the ocean (she’s originally from Jamaica) she’s not seen rock formations like the ones we have up on the Sonoma coast.  I think she was really moved, and I was moved by her movement.

On our way home, feeling great, I decided to cap the day off with a short stop in Port Reyes Station, a cute village where every other store is an antique shop (antiques are another thing my mother-in-law likes.)  In the town, there also happens to be a nice bakery that I’d heard of. (Besides rocks and old things, my mother-in-law has grown especially fond of sweets of late.)  The bakery was small and there was a long line, so I decided to wait outside. But even down the street, I could hear this dude talking up a young lady inside. I didn’t see him talk her up, but I have heard enough lines to know a pick-up in process. The guy was shameless. “You’re from Melbourne? Really? What’s it like there? I have a friend who lives in Australia, but he lives in Melbun.  Oh, it’s the same town? Melbourne is called Melbun in Australia, really? That’s so cool.”

The guy, as I would find out later, was a park ranger. I’m sure that helped his sense of confidence.  This small village was his stomping grounds, his village to be a fool in.

Because of the line (the actual line, not the ranger’s) my wife and her mother were taking a while, so I went off looking for a public bathroom and for reception for my phone. I found the bathroom but AT&T blows everywhere, and beautiful coastal villages are no exceptions. When I walked back to the bakery, I see the dude, Ranger Rick or whatever his name was, talking up my wife and her mother. I don’t know where the Australian woman went, but she had fled the scene, and now, the Mr. Shameless was hanging with my wife and mother-in-law, telling them some joke or something.

I’m not ridiculous.  I know he wasn’t really talking up my 70+ year old mother-in-law or my 7-month pregnant wife.  They are both beautiful women, but it would be hard to believe that even this letch was trying to woo them.  AND still, when I walked up on them, I am sure I pumped my chest and stared him down as if I were some kind of alpha-ape warding off an interloper.  I don’t even know where that came from. I mean I smiled. At least, I told myself to. But that’s just it. I had to actually tell myself to smile so as not to grunt or beat my chest or something.

This experience has made me glad that my first child is going to be a boy.  I’ve always laughed at those overly protective fathers. I tend to think they’re kind of ridiculous. But I’m starting to wonder if maybe I’m one of those hard-ass fathers-in-the-making. God, I hope not. But how can you tell? How can you know what you’ll be at any given time until that given time comes when you turn out to be that person you otherwise laugh at. It’s scary, I tell you.

That said, it’s nowhere near as scary as my pumped chest.  Did I mention that Ranger Rick slinked off after I gave him the look?  That’s right, I’m bad.  That’s right.

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