12.31.2006

Things overheard while running at the park, Dec 30, 2006:

Two women are in front of my wife while running at the park this morning. The group pass a flag at half mast in the center of the park.

Woman 1: "Wow, why is the flag at half mast?"

Woman 2: "Didn't you hear? James Brown died."

12.29.2006

So, my little mini-epic story about my old Wal-Mart employment days has been making the internet rounds again. It's got somewhere around 1900 "diggs" at Digg.com and spent most of yesterday as the #1 story at Reddit.com. I asked Drew Curtis if he felt like linking it on Fark and making the yearly cycle complete, he just laughed and then asked me to never, ever show up at his house again.

It never, ever fails to baffle me how that story has kinda permeated outward. I know it's not a super huge internet legendary story or anything, but still... It's been read by about 2 million people so far. I mean... WOW. Two million people have willfully read something I wrote, and it didn't even offer them porn, a larger penis or a pill to increase your cum volume + 1000% (which, honestly, I do not understand why that pill could ever be sold. Why would anyone... Well, whatever. I don't actually want the answer to that question).

I never, ever thought - not even once - that that story would be read by even 100 people in my lifetime. And as for becoming a full-time writer and author and all that? HAH! HAH, I SAY! Even after I published my first book, I had no idea I'd be quitting my full time job to actually keep doing this. It's a great thing, to be sure. And my mind stays blown every single day that I'm getting to do this. It's TOUGH, mind you - writers do NOT make much money, and GameStop won't take books as credit... But it's fantastic. And I appreciate it. But moreso, I appreciate you, the person who reads what I write - without you and your interest and partisianship and support, I wouldn't get to do this. So thank you.

As for the skeptics in the comments of the stories at digg and reddit (and a bunch of other places), I'll answer your #1 emailed, IM'ed and posted question here:

The reason I don't go full-bore into the communities there defending myself is... Well, whats the point of it? I mean, honestly... The story's been around for 4+ years on the net. I've fought those battles, mostly publicly, over and over again. One day, I decided "You know what? I don't think I even care if anyone believes the stories I write or not. I don't need to be believed - this isn't some sort of contest of who's had the coolest / weirdest / most insane life. It's just me, writing my memoirs (or whatever you want to call them), having some fun and hopefully entertaining people."

That's why I don't go defending myself. I state everything I need or want to state within the full text of the story. If it doesn't pass your "sniff test," just ask yourself... Do you really, honestly need to believe it to enjoy it? And after you ask yourself that, ask yourself "Why do I care?" I'm willing to bet the answer to THAT question - if you're willing to actually track it down and get it - will do more to help you actually better your life and give you more fulfillment than anything I could possibly write here.

And of course, there's always the point I've made every single time this ever comes up (and heaven help me, I really, really, really resent that I have to even say this - if you're old enough to read the text on the screen before you - this text right here - you should be old enough to understand this concept innately, WITHOUT my having to spell it out for you):

Of COURSE my stories are not 100% true. Jesus... What do you think this is, the Wall Street Journal?

But yes, they're true stories. They're events that have happened in my life - real, no kidding events that I and my friends (who are sometimes renamed) have lived through. Yes, I did put porn on the TVs at Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving in 1996. Yes, I did hijack the speaker system there, that day. Yes, I have had my dinner stolen from me by PeTA activists. Yes, I have actually killed a blind man's dog. Yes, I've been hit by a car, puked before my first ever fist-fight in junior high, had a psycho girl fake a suicide attempt over me, almost died 4 times (actually been dead twice), had nipple rings pulled out of my chest, and so on and so forth.

Yes, I actually did find someone who'd marry me despite all of these things I've done.

But here's the thing - If I actually wrote the events of my life EXACTLY as they happened - word for word, second by second, moment by moment... The resulting stories would bore the absolute shit out of you.

Yes, the absolute shit. The core, essential shit within your person would be bored straight out of you through some orifice, somewhere on your body.

I cannot remember every single syllable someone says and every single pause someone takes during the course of conversation when I interact with them. But I CAN remember the conversations as a whole... I can remember the notable lines, the essence, the course and the result. And when I write them, I stay as true to the words as I possibly can. If you ever brought one of my stories to someone who was involved and asked them "Did you say this?" They'd more than likely just look it over and say "Yeah... why?" Some might say "Well, not exactly like this... But yeah, the point is the same."

And no, I don't write events in a second-by-second, action-by-action account - I'm not a reporter (well, not in this vein I'm not... When I do report for magazines or whatever, I do that very thing. Just, not in my humor / emotional / narcissistic / boring / self-satisfying and self-depreciating writing). But I tell the event as best I can, as true as I can, while still making it exciting, emotional, thrilling, funny... Whatever it takes to make the damn thing worth reading.

So no, pedantic children of the internets, my stories aren't 100% true. But, they're true in all the ways that matter. Sure, the fish gets bigger when I tell the stories... But there was a fish. It was caught, I was in a boat on the water when it happened. And even then, I never go so far as to make marlin out of a minnow.

Besides, I've gone about the process of proving my stories true in the past... And all that ever comes of it - and this never changes, by the way - is that those who were once of the opinion "I think you're a liar" just switch to "Now I think you're an asshole" and continue on merrily. It's a losing game, and it's not one I care to play anymore. You will NEVER, EVER please a troll. Not ever. If someone wants to hate you, they'll hate you no matter what you do.

So relax. Read a little and laugh. Or don't. Free country and all of that.

After all, It's just words.

12.21.2006

Facing south, I forward turn
Marching down the grand road of promise
"Fate is with you," I'm told as I pass
the yellowed and wrinkled journeyman.

"You know where you are going, and yet you still go,"
said the man dressed in white and grey.
"You are filled with aplomb or you are a mighty fool,
Though the two are not quite dissimilar."

I stood and I listened as he spoke admonishingly -
Or rather, I let the words travel unabaited through my ears.
"'The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...'
Old words, yes... But still they echo."

I tried to care; I tried to listen...
But my mind was locked on the rewards that lay ahead.
He knows where I am going; Nonetheless, he continues...
Out of love or obligation, I cannot be sure.

"You are as affected by my conviction as the ocean is the rain;
Still I will arm you with a sword you will foolishly cast aside:
Whatever you say, whatever you do, remember always -
You are yourself. That's all you are."

With a well practiced motion, he lifts his heavy hand...
He then lets it fall; a half-hearted salute that
Bids me pass on both his left and his advice -
An invitation I'm quite ready to accept.

I nod an acknowledgement and move right along,
Acting as he knew I probably would.
I trod along the road made of gossimer and glass;
Knowing fully that, one day, this moment would matter.

12.13.2006

Tell me this doesn't get your blood pumping:





Have I become a furry? Have I lost my fucking mind and joined one of the strangest and wierdest subcultures to have ever dotted the face of our planet? I guess you'll just have to tune in to my show in January and find out.

12.12.2006

"No, dude," said the over-toned jarheadded meatwad behind the counter of the "smoothie bar" at World Gym in Peachtree City, "You don't want that."

"Uh, yeah I do," I replied, sharing with him the fact that I did, in fact, want that. I wanted it so much, in fact, that I asked for it.

"No you don't, bro," he replied with a slightly Californian accent and a slightly Alabaman smirk. "You look like you want to CUT weight, right?" Which I guess is the left-handed way of saying "Hey, Fatty McFatfuck, listen to my advice."

"Right, sure," I replied. "That's why I want to get a Colossus smoothie, so I can get enough protein--"

"Dude, bro, the Colossus is, like, 800 calories," He said. He then pointed to the cooler behind me and said "You want the Isopure over there. 120 cal, 45 grams of protein. Pure food in a bottle, bro." He then grinned his Alabaman grin once again.

"Yeah, well," I tried to say, "I usually get the Whey protein instead of the Cytogain, and that makes the Colossus only 400 calories... This is part of my dinner..."

"Dude, yo," he said with a bit of a sway, "I'm telling you, bro, you totally want that Isopure. Trust me."

I thought about it for a moment. I'm certain that the drink I've asked for is what I need and want... Peanut butter, protein, some glutamine and creatine... And that delicious taste! Buuuuuuuttttt... This guy is a professional, I suppose... Maybe I should listen to him...

"Alright," I said, "I'll try the Isopure."

"Bro -- Totally the right decision," He said as he folded his arms over his chest.

"Does it have the Creatine and Glutamine I'm looking for?"

"Dude... You just want to try it. Trust me, your workouts will take a turn for the better and you'll start seeing the weight just POUR off of you."

He said that. He said the word "pour" in relation to the weight that I was supposedly going to start watching just hop right off me - which is precisely why I think this motherfucking dipshit knew that the Isopure drink was about to make me the sickest I've ever been, ever ever.

I grabbed an Isopure, I drank it down, and I walked into the locker room to grab my bag. I began walking out of the gym when I started feeling just a tad bit... Altered. In the gastrointensinal area.

As soon as I hopped into my truck, I knew there was going to be trouble. I felt the gurgling and the knotting and the bubbling and the churning as I left the parking lot. I contemplated stopping and running back in to hit the toilet, but I figured "I can make it."

And I did... but only barely.

I spent an agonizing 20 minutes in the car, passing gas station after grocery store after fast food place, each one with signs that offered some sort of price on some sort of item but all of them bringing with them the familiar feeling that THEY ALL HAD A PUBLIC RESTROOM THAT I REALLY REALLY REALLY SHOULD HAVE STOPPED AT.

But I didn't. I trucked on home - and as soon as I got there, I ran to the restroom and proceeded to pass an alien baby through my colon.

Simple lesson:

Fuck Isopure and fuck the meathead mongoloid at the World Gym in Peachtree City, GA.

12.03.2006

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Doing a show does NOT mean we're rich. Just the opposite, in fact - doing a show means that you are obligated to a whole lot of people a whole lot of the time. Sure, there's budget flowing in. Sure, it SOUNDS like a big number the first time you hear it. But then, you realize - holy shit, there's one hell of an outflow of funds to make a show happen.

We (Bill and I) will make no money on this show. None.

But it's still very very worth it. It's not about making money, it's about quality of life, you know? And right now, we're living each day filming ourselves doing stuff we've always wanted to do with people we like working with.

SOOOOOOOOOO no, Andrew, I'm not rich. So quit fucking asking me for money.