12.31.2009

What To Call The Next Decade

There has been a lot of discussion about what to call the next decade.

Many folks are advocating calling it "Twenty Ten", dropping the "Two-Thousand" designation we've been using the past 10 years. Others are calling it "Aught Ten" or "Two Thousand And Ten" or some other variation, just to be smartasses.

I am calling it "Not The Last Decade." As in tomorrow will be January 1, Not The Last Decade. I realize Not The Last Decade is not a number, and honestly, I just don't care, because I'm just that excited about the fact that this fucking decade is just about over.

The 2000's sucked. Period.

Music sucked. The 2000's saw The Blackeyed Peas go from being at least somewhat legit to a total pop act which got Will.I.Am in the stupid Wolverine movie - another product of the 2000's. Lady Fucking Gaga - need I say more? Yes? Okay fine - The New Kids On The Block got back together this decade. And don't even get me started on goddamn mashups... With the very notable exception of Jaydiohead, mashups are horrible malformations of waveforms that make untalented people seem clever.

The 2000's also saw popped-collar marketing douchebags calling themselves "Social Media Experts" and pissing all over my glorious internet. The locals have been shoved out to make room for the tourists who have no idea, appreciation or understanding of just what went into making this here thing what it is. Seriously, fuck you Kevin Rose.

We also saw the gross bastardization of some beautiful stories in the 2000's as Hollywood figured out that "Graphic Novel" basically equaled "Storyboard for a movie." The Watchmen movie has been covered here before, but nothing can forgive that hunk of shit that was 300. And while I loved Iron Man, Spider Man (and Spider Man 2), X-Men 2 and the second Incredible Hulk, those stories are of iconic characters who have been used in other properties years and years ago. They weren't original stories transferred to film for the purpose of making dollars on a trend.

And let's not forget the 8 years we suffered under "President" Bush. I think anyone who thought those 8 years were great should seriously go fuck themselves with a spear. Die, seriously. You're a waste of oxygen and food that could be used for hungry, needy people with actual purpose on this planet.

So yeah, I'm fucking done with this decade. While I had my own successes during this time with my books and other projects, by and large, I've hated this decade. So I'm calling every year for the next ten years "Not The Last Decade." And while it may make it harder for the people cashing the checks I write, I think it's worth their pain to get my point across.

Good fucking riddance, 2000's. You will not be missed.

12.30.2009

Authors, Writers and Wannabes (Who Are Also Douchebags)

Hi, I'm Joe Peacock. I've had a book published by a major publisher, and before that I self-published a book. And before that, I wrote short stories and blog posts on the internet. And before that, I kept journals.

So, I guess I'm qualified to talk about the differences between Authors, Writers, Working Writers and Wannabes (AKA: Douchebags). And if I'm not... Who's going to stop me? It's not like anyone else has the login to my server [I disagree. -Jeremy]. So fuck it.
Authors: have constructed a body of work (book, article, paper) and published it. Self-published or through a publishing house, either way. Not necessarily a working writer, and not necessarily concerned with the art and craft of the written word. Mathematicians can be authors. So can painters.

Writers: The short version: Writers write. They're never not writing. They are students of the written word; always looking for new ways to express ideas through the act of writing. They keep journals, or they blog, or they write articles or they write novels... It can't be stopped. The words pour out. And Writers don't necessarily have to be read to be Writers. In fact, Writers may or may not want to be read, but they MUST write.

Working Writers (AKA: Those who have the right to, when asked "What do you do?", answer "I'm a writer"): Take the above definition of Writer. Add the fact that this person received a check for an amount of money for a piece of writing, deposited it or cashed it at the bank, and the check cleared. You have a Working Writer. Now, Authors may have done the same thing - but remember that Authors aren't really students of writing, they just compose works which include written words. Writers are not necessarily Authors. Authors aren't necessarily Writers. But a Working Writer is an Author. Make sense? No? Too bad, I'm kinda bored with this point, because I now want to talk about:

Wannabes (AKA: Douchebags): Blah. Blah blah blah blah. This is what you hear out of the mouth of a Wannabe - first they disparage the unfair bias of The Industry because they can't get published and are too lazy (or weak) to self-publish. Then, they won't shut the fuck up about their work... Regardless of whatever else you may have been talking about beforehand. They mention their "short fiction" while giving directions to the interstate. They bring up their book during discussions on the weather (usually on Dark and Stormy Nights). They've participated in and failed to finish NaNoWriMo, usually only once, and usually a few years ago, but it STILL HURTS. They go on and on about how tedious and tiring and laborious the job of writing is, forgetting that every job on Earth can (and probably should) be that if it's worth doing - but unlike actual Writers, they can't see past that stuff to realize the good parts, because they're too busy focusing on the lifestyle of the tortured artist.

Now, the point of all of this isn't just to vent (okay, maybe that's part of it, but not the whole point). It's to illustrate for you and everyone else that, if you've found yourself walking through a Starbucks with a pencil behind your ear mentioning your book or writing to strangers - WITHOUT BEING ASKED - in the hopes that maybe they'll be interested in hearing your ego-feeding tale of artistry and pain... You might want to try shutting up, sitting down, and writing it out.

It may or may not result in your becoming an Author or Working Writer, but at the very least, it'll keep me from crushing a cup of hot coffee out of frustration, burning my hand and wrist and wasting two dollars and ten cents... You fucking douchebag.

12.28.2009

On Motherfuckers

As you may or may not know, in addition to writing HILARIOUSLY FUNNY THINGS, I also do some web development. Yes, even still. Despite what you (and I, for a long long time) may think, writing doesn't actually pay. And while you CAN write in the dark, it's really preferred that you have some electricity handy - either for your computer or, at the very least, for the lamp near your legal pad and feather quill. Makes things better. So to pay that bill, I consult.

So, a year and a half ago, I made the incredible mistake of trusting someone's recommendation for a client. This client is a leading manufacturer of a particular summer recreation product that you have most certainly heard of. And they fucking suck.

Everything about them, from day one, smelled wrong. The current "IT Professional" running their site was bitter, hostile and uncooperative. I thought this was because HE was a motherfucker himself, but would soon learn it was because he'd been ridden roughshod and was now on the brink of snapping. So, my company inherited his mess of a site, and we rebuilt it and it was pretty damn decent.

And then, it came time to invoice them. And I saw no money.

I called. I begged. I pleaded. I visited in person. And at the end of almost 9 months of hammering on them, I was eventually paid 1/3 the final price - which sucks, because I'd paid my developers 100% of the final price, leaving me 2/3 in the hole.

Now, I know I could have just yanked the plug and left them hanging, but I'm not that type of person. I'd much rather just eat the dough and learn a lesson and move on with my life. Which is what I did. And every month since then (October of last year), I've gotten an email from the president of the company - the man I sat face to face with and practically begged to pay me - which would ask how I was doing, and if I was interested in more work.

This is the very man who left me hanging on 2/3 of the bill. So rather than snapping and yelling, I'd just ignore him. Then, early last week, he emailed saying he's ready to pay the final amount he owes me.

This got my attention.

I finally responded and asked him if I should resubmit the invoice, or if he has a copy. He asked that I come to the office (an hour drive) to pick it up. I said "How about no, and you just mail me a check?" and he said that, with the holidays and delays, he'd rather just write me one and hand it to me.

So, like a dummy, I got in the car this morning and drove up to meet him. And at this "office" (which is actually a condo block converted to office spaces), security has to buzz you both into and out of the office. So once I buzzed in, I proceeded into the president's office, where I was greeted with a bright fake smile and a handshake and an offer.

"We'd like to roll your final payment for the past work into a down payment on new work," he said.

I immediately countered saying that I was uninterested in doing any further work for this company, and I'd like to be paid what I was owed. I spent my own time during my holiday to come to this office and I'd hate to leave empty handed.

He responded that this new project would be worth my while, and that I should hear him out. And so I sat and I listened as he described a new feature of his company's site where customers could customize full kits of this particular product, much like the Nike ID site allows you to customize shoes. And with almost every single sentence that came out of this asshole's mouth, the price kept climbing.

By the end of it, I told him that, just off the top of my head, I spec'ed this job out to be at least $10,000 and that there was no way I could take it on unless they paid the entire amount in full up front, over and above what they already owed me.

He made a face like I'd just farted, and said that the developer they were currently using estimated this would cost between $1500 and $2000 dollars.

I wanted to pull the man's head off of his neck and throw it against the wall. But because that'd be messy and I was wearing a new sweater (one my wife says I look "totally hot" in), and I'd HATE to ruin that sweater, I opted for a more professional approach. I said "well, let me know how he does." I stood up and turned to leave.

"But wait!" the president said. "Aren't you interested in new work?"

I turned and said "Write me a check for the amount you owe me right this second, and I'll consider it."

He said "Well, we'd need to roll that into a down payment for the new work with an agreement..."

I turned and I left. And as dramatic an exit as I'd hoped that'd have been, it was completely foiled by the fact that the security guy had to buzz me out the door, and he wasn't at his desk as I approached. So I had to stand there and wait for the guy to get back, all the while the president of this shitty company is hammering me to take on the new project. It was a very uncomfortable minute and a half.

And that, my friends, is the very definition of a motherfucker. And I share this with you for one reason and one reason only:

Trust is a commodity. And once you've decided to put your trust in someone, you need to understand that any failure in that trust is really your own fault. Disappointment comes from failure to meet expectations, and we are in direct control of our own expectations of others.

But that doesn't excuse the other party from being a motherfucker.

12.23.2009

Wishes of Holiday Good Pleasance and Stuff

It's been a strange, strange holiday season. This year, for the first time in ever, the holiday spirit - something which usually infects my wife and I somewhere around November 1st and drives us jolly mad - has been absent. And it's been really difficult to even recognize it, since we've both been so busy.

But I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you what we had to figure out ourselves - it's not too late. There's still a few days left to capture that zeal and merriment which makes this time of year so festive and joyful. All you have to do is try.

If you're sitting wondering why no one has taken the time or effort to spread cheer your way, it's your job to get out of your own funk by spreading it for others. That alone will help you capture it. And if people are trying to spread it and you just don't feel the mood striking you, try faking it. You'd be surprised how great you begin to feel even when you're just trying.

In just a few short days, we've managed to grab this season by the scruff of the neck and tell it "Listen, season, you're GOING to be merry, or you'll be sorry." And I hope you're able to do the same.

Now, if you're one of those perpetually happy types for whom being jolly takes no effort... Well, go fuck yourself, because you make those of us who have to work for it totally sick.

12.21.2009

Unintentionally Funny is the Best Funny

A good friend of mine's father started a golf product line a few years ago, and it's gaining some attention in places. I've only casually paid attention, as it is a) golf related and b) my friend's father, two things I don't regularly keep up on. But he showed me his father's soon-t0-air bit for his product line on Golf Shopping Network.

Now, I know jack shit about golf. I also know jack shit about golf products, and I know double jack shit about marketing golf stuff. So I had no idea there was even a such thing as the Golf Shopping Network, nor did I know you could film spots for it or sell product through it.

I only share it now with you because it was filmed weeks ago, long before any Tiger Woods crap became a national pasttime to follow, and there's one line in here about 2/3 of the way through (about 3:00) that had me snorting Coke Zero through my nostrils:





Asking this bleached blonde pseudo-actress if she has Tiger's number... Well, you may not find it as funny as I did. But I did. So whatever.

12.19.2009

On Change

Things change.

That's just how shit goes. You can fight it, you can cry about it, you can hate it all you want. Things change. There is no trick to accepting or dealing with this. You just have to, or you live the rest of your life being miserable about how different things are. It's hard and it hurts and it takes effort to handle it.

Now, if it's not hard, or if it doesn't hurt, things didn't really change - they just look different. They're still the same, you just don't realize it. When things DO change, for real, it hurts, if for no other reason than you realize that everything you know (or thought you knew) about a situation is wrong, and there's no easy way to handle that. If you don't believe me, ask anyone who has lost their religion.

When you realize that things have changed - not while you're suffering through it, but after all that pain and anguish... The moment of clarity you experience when you see the world for what it is through the fog of what you thought it was - that's when you have your choice. That's when you can either rebel, and attempt to push everything around on the board back where it was so that the playing field looks more familiar, or you can learn the new rules and work your ass off to get good at the new game.

As for me, I'm not one to ever give up. I never have. I have quit things before, because there's no shame in realizing you're not made for a thing or a place and leaving it. But I've never surrendered, and I've never given up. Quitting is a decision, surrender is the abandonment of spirit. And I've been through an insane amount of change the past, oh, three months or so. The world is different now.

It's a short, small statement, but it means everything to me at this point in time. The world is different now. And I'm learning how to live in it. And it's taken everything I have, and it's asking for more. But I can make more.

12.18.2009

Ego vs. Id (or some shit)

“There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn't matter who gets the credit.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


That's pretty true. And it's something else I struggle with, in addition to the whole "Gosh, wouldn't it be swell if I was an artist?" thing. Why does my ego get in the way of my accomplishments?

Maybe it's because we humans know inherently that our lives on this planet are, in the grand scheme of things, insignificant dots of existence - a rounding error in the total number of years the world has existed. We instinctively want to make the most of it; to leave our mark and feel that our presence will, in some way, be noted.

We want so desperately to be more than time seems to want to allow us to be. We toil and we struggle, making whatever impacts we can on whichever lives cross our paths. We labor to be considered in the annuls of history instead of merely footnotes - or worse, the parts edited out for length.

We don't want to matter, we NEED to matter. It's imperative to our nature.

Or, maybe we're all just selfish fucks who want to buy jetskis and drink Moet with the money we got for being so clever.

It's one or the other. I haven't figured out which yet.

12.17.2009

LA LA LA

You know, of all the musical notes, I feel most sorry for "La."

I mean, think about it. Do is a deer - a female one, at that.

Re is a drop of golden sun. What note wouldn't want to be a drop of golden sun? I mean, golden suns put raisins into bran and make it tasty. They also make babies laugh while sexually ambiguous creatures in primary colors coo at the camera.

Mi, I call myself. And hey, let's face it, I'm a pretty big deal.

Fa is a long, LONG way to run. That's impressive shit right there.

So is a needle pulling thread. Functional. Useful. A blue-collar everyman. Does its job and is proud to do so.

And then we get to La. It's just a note to follow So. It does NOTHING ELSE but follows So around. And yes, while I respect the work ethic and can-do attitude of our worker note, I can't help but feel that anyone who followed it around would be at the very least misguided, and at worst completely retarded for sidekicking for a working stiff. It's boring.

I mean, La could at the very least hang out with Ti, which is a drink with jam and bread. Tasty, right? I mean, why the hell hang around with a seamstress all day when you could at least enjoy a tasty snack?

And sure, La rose to prominence in the mid-2000's when one of the Simpson girls (the one with the fucking massive nose which became the fucking hideously obvious plastic surgery mistake) made a song all about it. But really, what else does La have going for it?

Even if it did have other successes, it wouldn't actually make any use of them. It'd just follow So around and be its do-boy.

Pathetic.

12.16.2009

Artist of the Week... But Why?

I was picked as PixelatedGeek.com's Artist of the Week. It's full of boring, generic advice for aspiring writers.

Why the hell they'd ask me to chime in, I'll never know. I still have major trouble accepting myself as any sort of artist. I struggle constantly with the ability to actually communicate anything with any of my work, and I really think that's the key portion of any art actually being art.

I wish I could expose my spirit freely; show my soul with no convolution or ambiguity. And I just can't... Not really anyway. I try so hard to capture feelings and put them in words. But it's impossible to put light in a jar, and it's impossible to truly capture a moment using something as limited as language.

I also struggle with the fact that no one would ever truly understand how what I'd describe would translate to how I felt about it. The way Haight St. smelled at dusk the summer I lived in San Francisco; the feeling of near-conquest the day I figured out how the New York subway system worked (regardless of the fact that millions of others have done the very same thing). The pain and anguish of thinking I'd lost my chance to be with Andrea once, followed by the joy of finally being able to be around her and not having to hold back when I wanted to kiss her.

These emotions - the actual raw feelings - are what I really wish I could share. Not just a third-person account of "I felt [x], then I was very [y] about it after." Every single time I write anything remotely like that, I become aware that the entire statement depends on someone having had that experience (or one like it) and hoping they can recall how that felt. And if they haven't, all I have to rely on is their ability to imagine how it could feel, which as we all know is never actually correct.

My wedding day, my first kiss, making the football team... These are easy. These experiences end up happening in some form in everyone's life. I say the words "On my wedding day..." and immediately start with a person half-full of emotion and experience and all I have to do from there is guide them where I want them to be. It's the small victories and tiny experiences that I wish I could share, because they mean the most. They stack up to make us who we are.

The big moments are what memories are made of. The small things; they end up being the building blocks of our souls.

Anyway, hope you enjoy my pithy advice for writers from my PixelatedGeek.com interview, linked once again here because I read in some blogging guideline book that you're supposed to do that shit.



12.11.2009

Get My First Book For The Low Price Of $102.50!

This just came across my Google News alerts: my first, self-published book is available on eBay for the low, low price of $102.50, and on Amazon under "New" for up to $142.71.

What. The. Fuck.

Is it because it's out of print, so these booksellers think they can jack up the price? The book is free on Google Books! And having watched old books on Amazon for a while (I collect old art books, among other things), it's interesting that it's not just one seller with an insane price hoping someone misclicks - there's a whole range of prices above cover price, with two in the $100+ range.

Is there some strange aftermarket for that book? Seriously, if you bought my book from eBay or Amazon for anything above cover price, please reach out to me and let me know why!

12.09.2009

I'm A Hit With The Teenage Females

There's a few new experiences with this new book that I didn't get with the first book.

The first and foremost is the retail sales experience. Just about every book sale I had when I put out the self-published first book was done through the internet. Some stores ordered and carried it, but not many would take that chance. I have the data somewhere, but can't be arsed to go plow through it - so my best guess would be somewhere on the order of about 350 - 500 copies of my first book sold through retail outlets, while the rest (thousands) sold online.

Another new experience - and this one is actually derived from the first experience - is blind mail from first-time readers who are finding me in the retail stores and then backwards-researching me online. They're shocked to find out that I've been at this for nearly 8 years, and that there's another 200 or so stories on MentallyIncontinent.com that they get to read for free (including a whole other book - the first self-published book is free on Google Books).

A third new experience, and really the most overwhelming to me, is also derived from the first. I've gone through the emails I've received since the book came out on November 3rd. I've received 112 emails from people who found my book for the first time in a retail store or from someone who found it in a store. Of those, 92 are females.

This is very striking to me - on the first book, and on the website while writing both books, I could draw about a 60% / 40% ratio of males to females. But to have almost 90% of new-to-me readers on this book be female... That's really crazy to me. But even crazier... 77 of those 92 emails are from teenage girls.

The book's subtitle speaks directly about burning down things and the cover features duct tape. I totally see it appealing to teenage boys most definitely, and men in general. To get this sort of contact from females - especially teenage ones... It's absolutely mind-blowing to me. I'm not a vampire, I don't shimmer, and nowhere in my book do I fight a werewolf. I have never seen myself as a writer of "teenage books", and especially ones for teenage girls.

A good many of them received the book as a gift or weekly reading material from a parent, usually mom. Some actually got them as part of a book club (4 specifically, who all know each other). The rest saw the book at the store and were intrigued enough to pick it up, and said that they just couldn't put it down.

The part of me who has agonized and studied the actual craft of writing (believe it or not, I have!) finds this utterly fascinating, because I just never ever considered that my writing could engage a demographic so overwhelmingly. And there's also probably some bias in there which would show that women are more likely to reach out and contact someone than men, or maybe that guys don't really reach out to guy authors to tell them what they think (unless they hate it). Maybe the opposite gender thing... I dunno. But the implications here are really hard to consider for me, mostly because now I'm completely obsessed with figuring out just what, exactly, is causing this bias.

It's definitely neat, and I'm honored beyond belief that a) I'm being read and b) people think enough of the work to let me know. And on a general level, I actually don't care who reads me - boys, girls, old, young - so long as whoever is, is being entertained. But the curious badger-poking curious part of me is just enamored with the lines drawn by these numbers, and the actual writer in me is blown away by the artistic implications.

Well, maybe artistic is a bit of a strong word. Not much of what I do is art. But still, I think you know what I mean.

12.07.2009

Just. The. Internet.

While we're talking about me going through new changes and whatever, I might as well go ahead and talk about how little I like being on the internet these days.

In no way should you read into that and internalize it. I still like you. I still like writing for you and hearing from you and sharing with you. I just don't like doing it on the internet right now. And it's almost entirely because I feel absolutely no sense of discovery on the internet anymore.

At one time, the telephone was a marvel of engineering. Electrical pulses transmitted human voices across a copper wire. Stop and think about that for just a moment... A physical handset translated your mouth noises into electrical pulses, sent them across a piece of wire, and then untranslated them on the other end. Even now, in 2009, this is astoundingly impressive.

But it's just the phone, right? It's just that stupid little thing that rings when people have good news you're jealous of, bad news you can't be bothered to hear or when your car's warranty expires. It's ubiquitous. Nobody doesn't have a phone. And it's been that way for decades.

Well, that's what the internet has become. It's gone from this marvel of human engineering coupled with an astounding social impact for a small group of people who realized its potential to "just the internet" for me. A place with cat pictures and shocking (meh...) videos of people doing gross or dangerous things with various degrees of success. It's the sum of human knowledge at our fingertips, played offstage by a cat on a keyboard. It's no longer amazing or astounding or frontierland. Everyone's making books from their blogs; everyone's voting on the news; everyone's seen or done everything. It's just. The. Internet.

And everyone's got it. And that's kinda the problem. From where I sit, the internet has not benefitted in any measurable way (except perhaps volume of usage) by more people being on it. In fact, just about every website, application, tool and game available both on and off the internet these days seems somehow... Dumber. More generic. Simple, and not in the "easy" sense.

It's like the meaty parts have been chewed off and all that's left is the gristle. The base level of IQ on the internet has dropped. The average user is now actually an average user, and everything shows those seams. And it's not that I don't know where to look for stimulating content - I most certainly do. I can begin reading upwards of 12 active discussions right this very second about emerging trends in astronomy, mathematics, painting or even paleontology. It's just that I don't care to.

Much like I can pick up my phone and call any number of observatories, mathematics think-tanks, art colleges or natural history museums and ask the person on the other end of the phone anything I want. I just don't care to. I've never cared to.

The stimulation from the internet - the actual discovery that I was experiencing and the things that energized me -- was NOT the sharing of knowledge on subjects. It was the actual growth and development of the platform upon which all of this could happen. And now it's grown and developed. The land has been cleared and the big businessmen with big machinery and big dreams are shoving out the settlers and building malls. And anytime a speakeasy does rear its head, it gets eaten up by a Facebook group of the same type, or commoditized into three wolf shirt like trends gobbled up by trendy pseudo-geeks and The Big Bang Theory watchers.

It's no longer the interconnectivity of highly creative, scientific and enthusiastic minds. It's just the internet. And these days, when it rings, I pick it up half hoping for something great and instead hear more garbage about my expiring car warranty. So much noise, so little signal.





12.06.2009

Counter-Rebellion Rebelling Is The Best Kind Of Rebellion

So I'm sitting here in this Starbucks in a pretty well-to-do neighborhood (the one where the silly girl witnessed to me a while back), staring at the editor for my blog wondering how the hell I'm ever going to catch up for the past month of near-silence (save for a sporadic post time and again). And the very first thing I feel compelled to discuss is my new "look." It's kinda crazy - in just one month, I've completely changed my outward appearance to the world.

Because I've gotten the crazy idea that I'd start running marathons with my wife, I've lost a pretty great amount of weight (over and above what I've already lost by working out and training for the foosball), EVERYTHING I own - even my underwear - hung on my body and looked rather awful. And, somehow, I've decided that maybe it was time I begin actually taking some effort with my appearance and begin dressing "nicer."

So, my wonderful wife took me shopping the day after Thanksgiving and basically played dress-up, and put me in pants that don't hang down my legs due to being three sizes too big and tied to my waist by a belt that quit fitting me 50 lbs ago. I've donated three sacks (the big black lawn bag size, too) of pants, shirts and a few jackets to Goodwill, and am starting over.

I've got a for-real, paid-for big-boy haircut (the first one in nearly 12 years, prompted by the death of my hair clippers and the subsequent message from God that I should probably quit giving myself a "Number 2" and grow up a little and go let someone else manage my hair every three weeks). I bought shoes without a Nike logo for the first time in a long time. My socks actually have a COLOR.

I own a sweater, people. SWEATER. And I actually have clothes that are to be washed on the delicate cycle. It's crazy. But hey, I'll admit it - I actually look pretty decent. But I'm still the same old me - at least, I feel like the same old me. I don't feel alien or strange in my new duds. They fit, and I feel comfortable in them. But I think that's more a symptom of my not giving a rat's ass about what other people think about how I dress than anything else. It's a strange dichotomy, not caring how I look while actively improving how I look. But there it is, to be dissected however you see fit.

So I'm sitting here in this packed social hub for people who don't need to go to church this morning and for the first time in a long time, I pretty much fit in. I look like a normal person... If normal people were 6'3" and look as if they could make their own doorways through walls. And the thought that goes through my head right now is "man, if only they knew that 1/3 of my body was covered in permanent anime pajamas."

And it's kinda funny to think that this is actually my form of rebellion - dressing normally. I'm bucking the system by cloaking myself. Because I've never regarded my tattoos or any of my antics as counter-culture or "being myself" or any of that shit. I just liked tattoos and Akira and thought "hey, it worked for peanut butter and chocolate, so what the fuck?"

And here I am, writing about it, mostly because I was just struck with how strange the thought actually is. It's sorta strange to me that I'm comfortable looking how I look, and yet somehow I want to roll up my sleeves and throw up a flag that says "By the way, uppity folk... I'm not like you."

What does that mean?