Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Nothing like laying down for what should be six hours worth of sleep and waking up halfway through awake as if I’d been main-lining espresso.  I woke up out of a dead sleep (something I’m unaccustomed to in the first place) in full overdrive, and if it weren’t for the fact that the medieval front door to this apartment squeaks like a banshee dragging nails on a chalkboard that also screams, I’d have gone for a very enthusiastic wander through Rome.  Oh yeah, it’s like 3am here.

Must be lonely.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Anyway.  I’m stuck at an impasse, and I’m not happy about it.  I can’t reconcile the way that I love damn near everything about Rome– and soon I have to return to the ever blase southwestern New York/northeast Pennsylvania.  This city is vibrant, alive, and still very rooted in its rich history.  My neck of the woods?  I’m lucky if I find people that can tell the difference between you’re/your.  This is a level of infatuation that I’ve never felt for a locale, and I’ve been wrestling with the desire to move here.

For realsies, I could not get tired of this!

Seriously!  How could I not?!

Then it hit me– besides the money (which my great grandparents didn’t have when they all decided to up and head for the US in the first place), the only reasons I am not making preparations now are my friends and family.  Yeah, sure, it’s the Digital Age and I can Skype them for free– I get it– and a 6 hour time difference really isn’t that big a deal.  However, it’s the distance that is.  For 34 years, I think the farthest I’ve lived from the people that I know and love has been 3 hours…  and even then, I had a couple people I knew even if I didn’t hang out with them.

That’s one Hell of a habit to break.  Gone would be the family holidays that I’ve looked forward to with a mixed bag of anticipation and anxiety.  Gone would be the trainwreck homecomings with the boys.  Gone would be the ability to jump in the car and go hang out.  Sure, that’s superfluous on many levels– but also gone would be the ability to be there for weddings/funerals/emergencies.

Am I happy with how things are in the States?  Nope.  Hell, I’m working on buying a house (which is a headache that’s 10x worse than planning a wedding), so it’s not like I’m up shit creek without a paddle either.

And that's putting it nicely.

That awful moment when you’ve reached an impasse between what you want and what you have.

Now here’s the “but wait, there’s more” moment– to reconcile this euphoric sense of belonging that have had since I got here (in spite of being sick as a fucking dog the first 3 days) and my “issues” with leaving my family/friends behind, I’d need something that everyone needs…  a fat stack of cash.  When I say a fat stack of cash, I’m talking stupid money.   I’m talking the kind of cash that if you don’t have it by the time you’re in you’re 20’s, you’re statistically never going to get it.

Yup.  Insomnia sucks, especially when that never-say-die side of you (overdeveloped, in my case) is still trying to figure out a way to make Rome my home.

Oh well, may as well do something with the time on my hands instead of pondering an effective impossibility.

*reaches for the pile of unfinished .doc files*


Nothing quite catches attention with the intent to polarize like the systematic mentioning of a deity, the undead, or phalli.  Where is this going; what is he going to say?  How am I going to prove his presumably crackpot ideas wrong?

Yes, I’m gratuitously using the male third person pronoun in reference to myself– if you have a problem with it, you seriously need to step off.  You’re probably one of those thin-skinned twats that gets butthurt at the drop of a hat.  Comedy is not for you, especially not of the kind that floods your brain at a funeral.  Oh yeah, buckle up– the shuttle bus on the Highway to Hell just got a shot of nitrous.

So I’m sitting in the pew and naturally–  one of the readings was the John 11 passage where Jesus respawns Lazarus.  I could go into detail, but either you know the Bible story or not.  The following is exactly where my brain went… during the service.

You KNOW you just whistled this sound in your head.  Don't lie.

You get the idea.

Short short version?  Jesus showed up four days after the dude died, and just brought him back from the dead.  We’ll temporarily ignore the passage and references to untying the body for a minute here.  If something’s dead as disco for four days, that’s not some ridiculously long cooldown period for going all Nosferatu or any other shit…

… that’s right.  That’s straight zombie territory.  We all know how I feel about thatThat isn’t even my problem with the whole scenario.

My problem’s here–  after the horror/miracle, pretty much all accounts of God’s pet zombie Lazarus end.  There are no stories about him, not if he lived a long time, not if he spent the rest of his mobile days munching brains, not even if he dropped dead the second Jesus did the same.  If this hasn’t just caused your colon to howitzer its contents straight through your pants, think about this for just a second…  Most people can’t handle some shambling Romero Special.  Fewer still could hack it with running, roided, rage-type zombies.  This one was made by a deity.  I don’t think a simple headshot is gonna stop this particular maggot popsicle.

Perhaps we haven’t read about him gorging on grey matter is because Lazarus devours all… the great omnivore not seen outside of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft…  the hunger unspeakable, unquenchable, insatiable, brought back from the clutches of Thanatos by Jesus himself– who just happened to be a close personal friend.  Any and all arguments concerning survival henceforth are indefinitely invalidated if this Patient Zero turns out to be the Patient Zero.

.... wait for it...

… and it ain’t a Sheenpile of coke and a Houston of painkillers.

Let’s put aside the pants-shitting horror for a second and appreciate how much of a dick this guy really is.  Sure, Jesus was too busy being Jesus to show up and heal him while he was alive because hey– when you’re pumped that full of deity dynamite, timing is for chumps.  Jesus still showed up to the funeral, seriously broken up about the situation, and then said, “hold my water… now wine… I just remembered I’m kind of omnipotent.”  Anyone who knows their shit here will know that this whole passage is littered with borderline boyfriend material with how often they repeat how close these guys were.  We’ll call ’em best buddies, homies, brothers, whatever— and Jesus up and yanked Lazarus from a dirt nap– and probably made him do work for the trouble.

… but we never heard of him again.  Before you get to the “get on with it!” chant, slow your mothafuckin’ roll.  You’d think that a guy who got a free green mushroom from his best friend would have the goddamn decency to show up at the Crucifixion.  Nope.  No mention.  Not even in the cheap seats.  How about afterwards, being a walking miracle for the rest of the posse to show off?  We’ve got a great big negative there too, Houston.  It’s almost like the zombie said, “Yeah, thanks for the extra guy and all– but I’m kinda done with this.”

I don’t know if I can quantify how much that makes him a fucking ingrate.

Maybe that’s why he didn’t get a cameo in Revelation where everything goes to shit…


“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” — George Bernard Shaw

A friend of mine recently posted a LifeHacker article entitled “How to Stop Being a Cynical Asshole.”  Naturally I took offense, because if the world had more “cynical assholes” like myself– well the world’s idiot population would still be checked by their own stupidity and probably exploited for our own amusement.  The article presupposes that members of my elite type of humanoid, the cynic, are the product of a defense mechanism gone wrong.

Plausible hypothesis.  But.  Well.  Wrong.

It’s a defense mechanism against stupid– and it’s what keeps us from utterly and completely losing our shit when faced with a sea of entitled fucktards that are breathing the air we share.  You’ll notice that most cynics have an astounding command of sarcasm.  That’s not a coincidence.

I got it from my parents.

You don’t say.

Cynics aren’t fans of optimists– because fuck you, the world isn’t just kittens and rainbows.  You might fart glitter, but that’s probably because you deep-throated a twitard two  nights ago.  Cynics also aren’t a fan of pessimists– because fuck you.  No, seriously, fuck pessimists in general– they’re never any fun.  Nihilists on the other hand…  oh wait, I’m getting sidetracked.  Back to deriding an asshat who dubbed himself a cynic and then self-righteously claimed it to be a downer.

Pal, lemme tell you from the other side of shit creek, you need to learn how to properly appreciate the very essence of what we are.  Cynics aren’t downers, those are pessimists.  We don’t like those, remember?  They’re never happy, and the world is out to shit on their heads after a Taco Bell binge.  Cynics acknowledge that there is usually some variety of fecal matter falling from the sky, but therefore we can do our best to not get hit with it.  It’s kind of like demanding the best out of your fellow human, but knowing the odds favor them being more worthless than an iPod shuffle to a deaf guy.

See, that’s the biggest bonus to giving in to your cynical nature and spinning it to your advantage and entertainment.  It’s the best kind of poetry.  We are always right, but when we’re actually wrong– we’re pleasantly surprised.  Tell me what’s bad about that.  Hey look, there’s a silver lining without having to brainwash yourself into ignoring the agonizing fact that life’s full of fuckwits that won’t get a reservation at the bullet buffet.  You don’t need some rose-colored specs to grin at the absurdity of life.

... ironically, I am a bit envious of idealists and their eyewear.

Now turn the whole thing on its head– imagine someone with ADD who pays attention to all the things at random.

Face it, if there were more cynics calling “bullshit,” the world would be a better place.  If there were more of us around, there wouldn’t have ever been a mortgage bubble– because it wouldn’t have lived past the cacophony of laughter at the guy proposing to sell and trade mortgages held by people who don’t pay their bills in the first place.  NSA spying?  We know everyone’s a bunch of assholes, and giving a cagy bunch of megalomaniacal ones unspoken power is an idea so stupid– the English language lacks the proper adjectives.  Have I made a dent here?  Bueller?

Fuck sakes, I could go on for hours– but if you don’t get it by now, I’m wasting my keystrokes.

The world needs us more now than ever.
Celebrate what it is to be smarter than the rest, and quit being a dick.  You might actually enjoy it.


I’m going to break from my usual sarcastically factual, or at least brutally truthful, idiom here to toss some fiction up for a change.  That’s right, ladies ‘n’ germs, you get a freebie in honor of my favoritest holiday ever.  Now, I warn you, I wrote this about 6 years ago– with the expressed purpose to freak out a professor of mine.  So, I wrote something that, in turn, can still make me cringe years later.

That’s right, the following is not for the easily queasy.

Take a moment to glance into the back of my mind... and be horrified.

Turn back before I ruin your dreams for the next month.





“… possibly the most dangerous jailbreak in state history, citizens are advised to stay in their homes and report any suspicious activity immediately to the police…”

I set down my coffee mug on the Formica table and folded the paper beside it.  I turned up the radio to listen to the report.  Two rapists, a few ancillary murderers…  Must have been a group effort.  I looked out the window at the play of color on the clouds outside.  There were worse breaks in the past,  however the last name got my attention.  Dave “Bear” Kelso.  I thought that sick son of a whore got the chair years ago.  Come to think of it, I might have to shuffle my Friday schedule because of this.

The toaster popped.  I stood from the table, and finished my coffee as the report went on.  Kelso.  I couldn’t believe it.  My mind wandered as I saw him standing in the neighbor’s back yard.  The male voice on the radio elaborated on his dossier as I came to realize what I was staring at only yards away from my home.  Kelso was convicted of multiple brutal rapes, almost two dozen murders, half of the victims still aren’t identified…  Small miracle the prison system hadn’t killed him off like ol’ Jeffy Dahmer.  Then again, this guy must have been locked up in solitary since the day they caught him five years ago.  They found him beating the body of a six year old boy with a sledgehammer.  And here I found him, in my back yard.  I set down my cup of coffee and untied my necktie.  Perhaps I won’t have to change my schedule at all, I thought as my hand snaked into my pocket for my roll of Rolaids Soft Chews.

This monster in my back yard, and looking next door to the Hayes’ place with what looked like a crowbar in his hand.  Behind him were two neo-Nazi skinheads, you could see the swastika‘s emblazoned with pride over the sides of their shaved skulls.  I popped one of the Soft Chews into my mouth, lips puckering to conceal my grin.  One of the skinheads pointed at me as I rinsed out my empty coffee mug.  I waved back as I undid my collar and top button.  The office wasn’t expecting me for another hour anyway.  One of the skinheads charged at my back door with his crowbar as eagerly as a Freshman about to lose their virignity.  Skinheads don’t understand subtlety, they’d rather curb stomp their way through a problem than handle it, say, the way I do.

Good thing I never wasted money on guns.  At a time like this I might have conceded to let these overconfident bastards to die cowards’ deaths.  A gun is just so simplistic, so… so impersonal.  If you’re going to go through the trouble of shuffling loose some poor soul’s mortal coil, at least let them know who’s doing it.  And why.  And you must do it in a very personal way.  Anything else just makes you less of a man and more like a child.  I stepped away from the window, put the paper in its place on top of the recycling bin, and prepared administer a direly-needed postpartum abortion.

The skinhead made short work of the back door in about the time it took me to put on a pair of shoes and grab the iron from the ironing board.   As I walked back into the kitchen, I heard that simpering bitch neighbor, Mrs. Hayes, shrieking for help.  Now, tell me, where is the excitement in throwing around a forty five year old husk of a woman?  You can’t honestly tell me that’s some kind of thrill, making her cower in fear.  She can’t even raise her two brat children, you expect her to actually do something besides cower? I had lost view of Kelso and the other skinhead as I passed the window, eyes turning towards the basement door and the small entryway adjoining it.

The skinhead burst through the foyer, and I launched myself at him, smacking the iron flat against his face.  Jesus, don’t these amateurs know how to properly execute a home invasion?    I flung open the door to the basement stairs, wrapped the cord around the guy’s neck, and then hit him in the face again with the iron.  As I pulled the iron back, there was a beautiful carnation pattern on the pristine stainless steel.  This is how an artist works.  However as he fell backward, I yanked on the cord hard, pinning him against the inside wall, out of view.

I said nothing, and not even the starchy vanilla flavor of the Soft Chew could make my face stop smiling.  It hurt.  I tightened the cord around the skinhead’s neck and he attempted to throw me off him.  Of course I tumbled down the stairs, but I had a firm grip on the end of the cord and the iron…  We tumbled head over heels down the stairs, and he ended up sailing through an open door to my first storage cell in the basement.  Wait for it.  Wait for it.  Ah there‘s that calming sound I was waiting for.  There’s something delectable about the traumatized scream of a man who’s found his old cellmate’s prison jumpsuit.  Or his old lover.  Who knew with these kinds of talentless thugs.  More importantly, who cared?  Surely not the prison system, it was easier to just post the pictures of my guests on their “most wanted” lists and forget about them.  Then again, this had become my life’s passion, my every waking desire was for some of these supposed menaces to society to wander my way.  Didn’t anyone take time to wonder where all of these cons were escaping to?  I popped another Soft Chew into my mouth and exhaled slowly.

I looked up and saw the skinhead panting for breath and screaming.  I guess my housekeeping leaves something to be desired, as I’d forgot that I’d left a part of a scalp stuck to number 4578321’s prison uniform.  It’s ok, I’m sure it’s desiccated enough not to stick to anything else.  After all, I haven’t had any of these fearsome predators pay me a visit in awhile.  I knew I had to silence him quickly, and forego the usual treatment.  Bear and another skinhead were out there, probably gloating over the fact that they can dominate and kill the defenseless.  They’re getting their childish jollies from torturing a woman.  Maybe a good scare might make her rethink her laughable existence.

I’m sure her husband would have agreed with me, but then again he’d killed himself over three years ago.  I reached to the wall and unhooked a pitchfork.  You’re the lucky one, skinhead, you get to die quickly in battle—  not crying out to whatever you believe in as I carve out your organs with a screwdriver and keep you conscious with smelling salts.  He swatted at the tines of the fork, and dodged the second stab.  Maybe he wouldn’t be lucky after all..  I backed up, slammed the door, and padlocked it.  If the storage room could hold a pissed off gym rat on PCP, I’m sure the skinhead wouldn’t fare much better.  Come to think of it, that guy on PCP was a real challenge, and it was a shame that he didn’t see the irony when I showed him what his humerous looks like.  That one really clung to his last shreds of life, and it’s a damn shame the skinhead probably wouldn’t even get past the Columbian necktie.  Oh that necktie just pissed off that hopped-up behemoth, he was quite the challenge.  I looked up the stairs and there stood the second skinhead.  I heard more shouting from up above the stairs.

“Motherfucker where’s Jesse!?”

Of course Jesse must be the pathetic excuse for an S.S. wannabe in the storage room.  Right.  I still don’t say anything, because the skinhead on top of the stairs probably heard the weeping.  I popped yet another of the starchy vanilla chews into my mouth and closed a sneer around it.  There’s no greater power than being able to deprive someone of theirs.  I’d just given him a few love taps, I hadn’t even gotten to ripping the sinews out from beneath his skin with a pair of pliers.  He’s already weeping, how utterly pathetic.  That takes the pleasure right out of it.  The skinhead started down the stairs with a crowbar in his hand.

“Bear, leave the bitch!  Hel—”

I did the one thing I had to do.  I couldn’t have Bear cornering me in my Elysium.  I hurled the pitchfork and it went right through his chest.  You see, sharpening your gardening tools can serve a purpose aside from award-winning azaleas.  He fell forward.  As he fell, the pitchfork landed on a stair causing his body to topple head first, with his full weight on the tines, right into the plywood wall.  A rat ran from a crack in the crumbling concrete foundation.  I stomped on its head as it tried to run for the trap door in the basement floor.

Then I heard the slow deliberate footsteps of a large man on the creaking floorboards of the main floor.  Bear was upstairs, heading my way.  I hoped he hadn‘t tracked blood or dirt onto my hardwood floors.  I had just waxed them.  I then looked over at the hacksaw I had embedded in the skull of some gang thug that pled like a four year old girl with every stroke of the saw.  He should have known better than to try and pass off a broken cellular phone as a gun in his pocket.  I gnawed on the Rolaids and counted the four perfect gashes on the severed cranium.  Amateur.

I heard the footsteps stop at the top of the stairs as I was admiring my tribute to Bear.  I heard the voice of the mauler himself as I counted my the cuts I‘d made in tribute to his trademark.  “The bitch and her kids are dead.  You’re next.”

Funny, I thought his voice would be lower pitched considering his stature.  I grabbed a garotte from the wall made out of razor wire.  Although I’d have loved to deal with Bear like I did the last woman hunter, I knew the police would be on the way soon.  Screams in suburbia never go unnoticed.  If they’d picked my house first, there was a chance that the nosy bitch next door wouldn’t have noticed.  I could have gone on, and I could have savored the fact that I, a lowly tax agent, brought down one of the most feared serial killers in state history.  Not just brought him down, but made him cry for mercy as I ripped out each bone individually out of each finger sheath.  With the neighbors dead, there was nothing left to do but accept the fact that luck had made an amateur of me.  Bear slowly headed down the staircase, clomping like he thought he was unstoppable.  This walking cliché didn’t deserve a man’s death, for he went for the easy kills.  His lust for gore and mutilation were so shocking to the common man that all regarded him as a monster.  I saw the truth:  Bear was nothing but a child who’d learned a new trick to shock an adult.

In his right hand was the hacksaw from my garage.  He heard the whimpering coming from the first storage room.  I crept backwards deeper into my charnel Eden, and into the sub cellar that I’d dug beneath the basement floor.  He turned from the door and looked straight at where I stood.  His grizzled face smiled at me as I lurked in darkness.  He surprised me, it was a ballsy move for a third rate serial killer.

“Who the fuck are you?”

The almost nasal quality of his voice made me pause.  It was curiosity.  He stepped over the body of the impaled skinhead and ducked beneath a pipe.  The smell of death would mask the chalky vanilla of my breath.  The darkness would give me cover.  This charlatan in the guise of a berserker was not going to die a man’s death.  He would never even see my face.  He didn’t deserve it.  With his slaughter of the neighbors, he had made an amateur of me.  Perhaps had he chosen my house he would have come to know the true sport of the kill.  Perhaps had I given a rat’s ass about the walking waste next door, I may also not be in this peachy situation.  I popped the last of the pack of Soft Chews into my mouth.  Bear stepped a foot into my private crypt, packed almost solid with the fetid, decaying  remains of his former prison mates.

I leapt, wrapped the razor wire garotte around his throat, and planted my foot on a pile of rotted heads and skulls.  I spun the garotte quickly and then cinched it down.  He flailed in the darkness, causing some of the piles of limbs and bodies to fall.  He tripped and fell on me, but I held fast, not uttering a word.  Finally the unmasked monster struggled his last.  Then I heard hard heels pounding into my house on the first floor.  Police, at least ten minutes ahead of schedule.

It was over.  I sat down on the pile of putrid severed heads and breathed deep the dank ambrosia of death.  I put my feet up on Bear’s face, frozen in a look of sheer terror.  Leaning back on a butchered, possibly rat-infested torso, I knit my hands behind my head and spat out the remainder of the soft chew.  The irony was almost as delectable as the look of horror on the first cop’s face as he shined his flashlight in on me.  An amateur would attempt to fight in this situation.  There was no chance of gain.  The legal system, however, is rife with loopholes that could provide partial absolution with a padded room.  In many ways I find that a far better alternative to being lotted with an amateur like Bear.  I didn’t move, save for the smile on my face.

“I surrender.”




I know this has bothered a lot of you, and it’s something that needs to be addressed.  There’s a certain… favored word in this English language that is… profoundly represented in my conversational vocabulary.  If you don’t know what word I’m referencing, I’m betting that one of the following two things are true:

A:  You really don’t know me very well.
B:  You’re f***ing stupid.

Honestly, if you don’t get it now, please do this world (and the human genome) a favor and go beer bong some Drano to fix what your mother’s coat hanger clearly missed.  Your grab bag of genetic party favors is like the shitty door prize that nobody wants at a benefit dinner.  Stop laughing, this isn’t funny– I’m trying to prevent Idiocracy here.



Yeah. Duck.

Some of you may have noticed that I was back to throwing fuck around like a dog marking the neighborhood for the brunt of my article— and wondered why I still kept things PG-13 around here.  I’ve been asking myself the same question.  For fuck’s sake, I’ve been read over 834,00 times over there– why should I give a flying fuck about watching my language here?  This little collection of gimp, drunk, fart, and jobless jokes hasn’t even gone over 9,000 yet (8,600 and change).

Abstaining from the occasional “fuck” is about as moot as…  you know what?  You make this joke.  I’m declaring a “gimme” and this is one double entendre that just makes itself.  I’ve tossed this fucker up for grabs, somebody grab the alley-oop.  Knock yourselves out like a double roofie in a vodka tonic, fuck– why don’t you complete it in the comments below?  Let’s have a little contest to see who’s got wit.

Anyway, I digress.

Back to the topic at hand: one of my top three four-lettered “F words.”  Fuck, you’d think it’d be liberating to write as I am wont to speak (fuck you, that’s not a typo.  Grab a fucking dictionary, you’re not getting a link for this one.)   Since I edit as I go, I can’t help but feel like I’m toeing the line of gratuitous fuckery with every other sentence.


So yeah…  In other news, I went to look up the terms “gratuitous fuckery” and “gratuitous assholery” for this quasi-random image… first picture on Google Image Search for the latter came from this blog… then found 5 other pictures.  Therefore– Spiderman thread.

Yes, I have a thing for four-lettered F words.  My favorite three, in no particular order, are:  free, fuck, and food.  While you process that, I will now cue you in on the best 12-letter sentence I can think of, “Fuck– free food!”  For those of you who aren’t fans of the hyphenate sentence structure (fucking English teachers) I propose, “Free food?  Fuck!”

So yes, with Pandora’s Box wide open like a hooker working a 7-Eleven, there’s no turning back.  Play my music, Lunchbox.


… not only did you read that title in Professor Farnsworth’s voice, my article is finally published!  Yes, it was thoroughly edited (and goddamn awesome regardless)– and was missing my trademark unplug, but… as promised earlier when my holy-shit-o-meter blew the cover off the dashboard:

In other news, was killing myself in the gym today and my muscles are ready to train at above my body weight again…  Jill 2.0‘s gimpy ass wasn’t having it.  I’ll put a proper post up once my adrenaline has dropped below mortal-slaying levels.


One trait of mine that I truly value is my ability to yank myself out of any situation and dissect it from a third person’s point of view.  No, I’m not about to confess to hiding some form of schizophrenia– but seeing how I fancy myself a writer, I’ll at least give you credit for attempting to Sherlock Holmes my ass.  Digression aside, I was watching Anthony Bourdain while doing the laundry and stamping wedding invitations, and I realized that he does pretty much exactly what I want to do.

Ladies and gentlemen– ruling the world would be great (and I’d make a grand dictator on an awesomeness scale of Peter the Great, complete with my own Drunken Synod), but I know what I want to do every time I watch Bourdain. I want to travel the world, experience it without a tourist-y crusting, generally be awesome on a global scale, and write about it.  Judging from my adventurous nature, amiable personality, warped sense of humor, and chameleon-esque social skills, I’d have a winning show too.

Now we go back to the first paragraph… the gigantic “However…” rears its fugly head.

Same difference...

… you get the idea.

I look back at my last decades and realize that I couldn’t take it back if I wanted to (and yes, it hurts to put that in the plural because more than one decade mentioned is considered functional).  I glanced at Cortana while I typed this, and realized that if shit hadn’t hit the fan the way it did, the spray pattern wasn’t exactly right, or the chips hadn’t fallen as they did– she wouldn’t be here.  So, in that respect, I win.

Suck it, multiverse counterparts.

That said, let’s play in hypotheticals.  I was born and raised in Jamestown, NY— a now dying city in the puckered asshole of the Rust Belt.  Since I was born, the city’s lost a humongous chunk of industry– and at least 7,000 in population.  I guess this is what happens when your major employers pack up and leave, and your governing officials decide to base your economy off of HUD residents (but that’s another rant entirely).  Seriously, look at the demographics in the link, it’s no wonder why a town of now 31,000 has–  count ’em– five rent-to-own companies.  However, the area is beautiful; it’s where my great grandparents ended up after they took a boat from bella Italia.  It’s always going to be “back home.”

One advantage to having been raised in a smaller community is that you generally learn responsibility for your own actions– whether you like it or not.  If you get caught doing something stupid, illegal, or you’re a general-purpose douchebucket: everyone eventually knows about it.  This isn’t the eerily personal type of rumor mill like you get in a small town, this is the kind of personal responsibility that fades as the population grows.  I wouldn’t trade my sense of self respect, or I should say social accountability, for the world– or would I?

The answer is no.  Cortana reads this.

Don't judge me.

You get the point.

Word from the wise– if you were born and raised outside of major metropolitan areas, and have aspirations that are above the norm, it would do you well to not attend college in a tiny ass college town that’s less than an hour away.  Sure, everything’s familiar, but Jesus Highsticking Christ– everything‘s familiar when you do that.  Naturally, you pick up a few local colloquialisms and some sundry stupid shit.  As a bonus, you’re within striking distance of home should you really find yourself up shit creek without a paddle.  Other side of the coin: your cultural/entertainment/networking opportunities are just as limited there as the first 18-20 years of life.

I’ve essentially been stuck in the same corner of the country for my entire life, not including some pretty epic road trips, vacations, etc.  Erie wasn’t much of an upgrade, but hey–  it served its purpose in forging the amalgamation of misanthropy and awesome that is me.   Realizing this– I have also put a cap on what I can do (and where I can go) with my talents because my social network is comprised largely of people in similar boats to mine.  That’s not meant as a slight, it was never about the boats, because we keep each other afloat on a sea of booze and shenanigans.  Again, refer back to the amalgamation of misanthropy and awesome– my partners in liver abuse are part and parcel to having made me… well… me.

Patience, asshole!

Yeah, yeah, I know.

I never would have discovered my love of writing if I’d gone to Rutgers straight out of high school, with or without a major (I didn’t have one).  My covetous admiration of the Food TV and Travel Channel guys wouldn’t be as poignant as it is now, had I stayed within my shell– and solely pursued academia.  Shut up, liver, you don’t get to judge me.

Come to think of it, I have a feeling that I’d kick alternate-reality me’s ass.
But that’s another rant entirely.

So seriously, kids, go outside your comfort zone– not just figuratively– and I mean geographically.  Social networking and the glories of digital reach can only go so far on their own, and nothing can substitute for slapping skin.  There’s a fap joke in there somewhere, but I’ll let you have it.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda– still glad I didn’t.

Now someone give me a travel show, because my layman’s approach to not being a tourist while totally being a tourist would be freaking awesome to watch.  Not to mention, who doesn’t want to see me get shitfaced on every continent– then narrate it?