Monday, September 22, 2008

RAVE: Love

Love is a many-splendored thing.
Love, exciting and new.
Can't buy me love.
Cannot kill my love buzz.
All we need is love.
Make not a bond of love.

Love, I have known it.
Beneath cherry blossom trees
'tis the wise lotus.


So, I'm feeling really really really good lately. I'm talking not-scaring-off-the-Mormon-missionaries good, just-had-a-big-dinner good, that kind of good that keeps you going when the day gets shitty. It's due in no small part to that elusive and oft-maligned four-letter word that we all enjoy so much.

No silly, not "Fuck!" but that's a good one too.

I'm talking about love. L-O-V-to the-E. I've felt it before, had it felt for me before, even been fooled into thinking I was feeling it before. I've developed a pretty good indicator for the fooling part, in no small way thanks to Guen, some good friends, and some past experiences. I gotta tell ya, even the fake stuff feels really good, but I'm here today to chat about spotting and experiencing the real thing. Here's some helpful hints:

Love something more than your lover, and make sure they love something more than you. I shouldn't say "more." I should say "other." I just need to drive home the point, and I really think more is better. My mistake in the past was making my partners the central figure in my life, or allowing myself to become the central figure in theirs. Love your children, love God, love your parents, love your cat, love your country, love something else. When you only love one thing or one person, it's easy to forget that there is so much more out there. The focus of your love becomes your sole source of validation, and it becomes easier to forget what's most important.

Love yourself. Seriously, you're useless, boring, annoying, needy, unattractive, petty, not pretty, and a myriad other bad things when you don't love yourself. If you're getting love from somewhere and you don't love yourself, then you're a parasite - pure and simple. If you can't figure out how to love yourself, get introspective on your own ass. Odds are, you're a pretty cool person or you wouldn't be reading this blog. If nothing else, follow circular masturbation logic: by masturbating, I love my hand, my hand is part of me, thus I love me. See? That wasn't so hard now was it?

Don't mistake frequent fucking for love. Sometimes we like to do things. Sometimes we do them more than once. That doesn't mean we love that thing, just that we like doing it. Sex clouds pretty much every issue. If you want to know if something is for real, ask yourself "Would I still feel this way if I were unable to give and/or receive hot dickings to/from this person?" If the answer is no, then you're not in love. You're either trading sex for affection, or you're chalking up frequent fucker miles. That's okay, just remember that there's a difference.

It's like faith. That tingling you might feel, that's hormones. If you're still fulfilled and on top of the fucking world when that tingling subsides, then you're on the right track. Power to ya.

That's all I've got for now. I really hope that everyone gets to experience this, 'cause it's awesome.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

RAVE: Out of the Closet

Sometimes I sleep
Sometimes it's not for days
The people I meet
Always go their separate ways
Sometimes you tell the day
By the bottle that you drink
Sometimes when you're alone
All you do is think...

I've gotten my fair share of alone time lately, and I've had cause to do a lot of thinking. I don't mind, really, because I enjoy flexing the old mental muscles. For the past nine months or so, I've had cause to think about my spiritual life. Since I've reached a sort of crossroads, I figured I'd spew about my progress for a spell.

First, I'm a bad person. The truth is, you're the weak and I'm the tyranny of evil men, but I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd. I know that a fearless, unrepentant bastard shepherd probably isn't what most people think would be a good thing, but it's who I am. Thing is, just like Mr. Wallace, I've got a gleaming beautiful soul in my briefcase. Lots of people look to me as an example whether I want them to or not. Bushido dictates a certain level of obligation to those who look up to you, and because I choose to follow those tenets I have to honor that obligation.

Second, I started this line of inquiry for all the wrong reasons. I fell really hard for a Christian woman, and our spiritual differences were going to become a sticking point somewhere along the line. I decided to look into some different things to see if I could find a way to reconcile bushido-driven metheism with her peculiar brand of Jesus-freaking. I left all of my other books at home while I was traveling and set out to read the Bible - desperately searching for something that said I could be a good person without Christ. I found a bunch, but they all kept coming back to this one really important point...

Third, God loves me anyway. He loves me so much that he sent his only son to die for the sins of the world - my sins. If you held a gun to Guen's head and said that I had to choose between her life and the lives of ten people in the next room, well, I'd ask who those people were and the decision would still be agonizing. God loves me like I love my cat, with a pure and faithful love that sees beyond foibles and the occasional wet spot of the sofa. Say what you will, but I believe that. In the long run, that's really all that matters.

So having said all this, I'm still faced with some challenges. I have a very personal belief system and code of conduct that I need to reconcile with my newfound faith. I have a badboy reputation to protect, and I'm still a fearless and mostly-unrepentant bastard. I still think science and mathematics are the purest expressions of God's thoughts. And I patently refuse to rest on my laurels knowing that I've got a place waiting for me when I die (meaning I still think that living for the afterlife really misses the point). My spiritual advice thusfar has been to read more and to seek out like-minded fellowship. I'm working on the first part and struggling with the second, and I'm absolutely convinced that I'll never figure everything out.

I'm okay with that, but that doesn't mean I have to stop trying.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

RANT/RAVE: I'm Still Inside You



I've got this thing with NIN (and with Tori Amos, but not so often) where I'll go months without listening to them. It's like being celibate for a time so you can remember how awesome sex really is (not that I've ever done that by choice, but sometimes the nookie just slows to a trickle). When I finally return to them, it's like discovering something new again. I liken it to shagging an ex or watching a movie I haven't seen in awhile but remember liking - you get to remember what brought you to it in the first place all over again.

The video above is a fan-vid for my current favorite NIN song. It's on the Wanted soundtrack and, for awhile, it was pretty much the story of my life. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like sometimes life is just droning on. Sure, the globe gets warmer and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but the average person just kinda keeps the ol' head down, learns the menu, and gets by. The thing to remember is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I think Immortal Technique summed it up by saying "When you attempt to change the system from within, you find eventually that the system has changed you." You're keeping in step, in the line. Got your head held high and you feel just fine. 'Cause you do, what you're told, but inside your heart it is black and it's hollow and it's cold. (That's more Nine Inch Nails.)

I guess my point is that going through the motions is monotonous. It's a bunch of bullshit. Anyone who tells you different is a fucking lethargic devil. Sure, you may wake up every day at the same time, report to the same job, hang out with the same people on the weekends, but that doesn't mean that each day need be a carbon copy of the previous one. Change things up just a smidgen. Walk a different route, get lost and be late, relocate, explore, talk to different people, shag someone else, trade up. Just don't become your fucking khakis.

If nothing else, know that you can sell out and get what you're worth without becoming a cog in the machine or another fucking drone - even in the corporate world.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

RAVE: For the Ladies

I remember promising back when I wrote Zen and the One-Night Stand that I'd do something for the ladies eventually. Better late than never, I say. Now gals, some of this might offend you, so if you're the kind that takes things personally or gets offended easily - STOP READING RIGHT FUCKING NOW! If you aren't that kind of girl, take this for what you will and remember that I love all women and I'm really just trying to help. Now, on with the show.

Ladies, I am not your gay friend. I am a caveman. Not just any caveman, but a fearless unrepentant bastard of a caveman. I also think of myself as an educator and a public servant. Just like I used my talents late last year to help men do a better job of helping you scratch certain itches, I'm now returning the favor with some helpful hints on what men want and what you can do to give it to them.

FRESH BREATH: I'm serious, it goes a long way. If I'm talking to a girl and she's got a bad case of the assmouth, I'm not going to talk to her for long. If a guy offers you a mint, he's either got extra mints and is being polite, or he likes you enough to try and resolve an issue that's keeping him from asking to take you home. Either way, take the fucking mint. Better yet, carry your own (you have a frikkin' purse) and save him the trouble.

STAND OUT, REACH OUT, LOOK OUT: I shit you not, the girls that'll get the most action are the ones that don't look like all the other girls in the gaggle. If you're traveling with a pack of blondes, go red. Your girls are all in black? Be the one in white. Guys want the aberration because she looks more likely to be willing to part with her gaggle of girls. Parlay that uniqueness into something even cooler by actually initiating a conversation or two with guys. It'll intimidate the old fashioned ones out there, but those're the ones that just want you in the kitchen anyway. Don't fuck them. They're fertile.

LET US BUY YOU THINGS: I shit you not. Few things get on my nerves more than when I go to pay the whole ticket and somebody tries to stop me. The only thing that's worse is when you don't accept gifts. Guys have this weird biological imperative to provide. They feel valued and like they're contributing. Eat the free dinner, drink the free drinks, and express gratitude. We know that you're liberated and maybe a little insulted, but that's part of why we do it for you.

WHORE IT UP A LITTLE: Note that I said "A little." Show some skin, but leave the halter top for the outdoor music festival. Swear a bit, but leave the skank talk for later. Almost every guy wants a girl that looks slutty, but not too slutty; acts innocent, but not too innocent; gets drunk, but not too drunk; and will still likely put out. It's that strange dichotomy that keeps guys from ever doing anything right. We really have no idea what we want, but we want all of that and then some.

THINK ABOUT THE GYM: Ever hear the phrase "What we find pleasing to the eye and pleasing to the touch are seldom the same. 'Tis a shame." Well, that was written by a guy who preyed on women with poor self-image and who had never fucked a gymnast. That's right, it was written by a damned dirty lying predator. Don't become a slave to fitness or get all muscle-bound and shite, just get comfortable with your body and you'll be a thousand times hotter. It's also nice to be able to look at a girl and know that she'll have some energy in the sack. The prospect of having to do all the work all the time can be a real turn-off. While I don't subscribe to the anorexic standard of beauty, there's a reason you don't see a lot of lonely skinny pretty girls. Men're wired and conditioned to what that. It's better to know that and use it than to live in denial.

KISS WITH YOUR EYES OPEN: This goes for fucking, too. If I'm taking a girl to her happy place, I don't want her going to her imaginary happy place. Be present for that shit. Imagine Tyler Durden slapping the shit out of you after he dumps lye on your hand. Don't block that shit out. It's called intimacy for a reason. Fantasize while you're masturbating. Be there and involved and you just might find yourself not having to masturbate quite so often.

FUCK THE NICE GUY ON OCCASION: Got a good friend that's always been there for you? Remember that fella that held your hair while you puked, then made sure you got home safe and didn't molest you even once? Yeah. You do. Give him a reward toss or something - or at least hook him up with a friend of yours. Nice guys that finish last too often go out and learn from bastards like me and then aren't nice anymore. If you get to 'em before they get to that point, at least you can train them to do things you like.

CARRY PROTECTION: Condoms and mace. Seriously. Guys never think to bring that stuff, and if they do you have no idea how long it's been in their damned pocket. Better safe than sorry I say.

DON'T FAKE IT: I can tell. Most men can tell. Most of the time, we really don't care. What you do when you fake it is deny us the feedback we need to really get you off. That's just mean and unhelpful - and generally unfair to you because you aren't getting yours. If you're one of those gals that just can't, then patently ignore this advice and get yourself some therapy.

That's all I've got for now. If you've read this far and find my commentary inflammatory, I'd encourage you to go and read pretty much anything by Sam Harris (no relation). My social commentary is kindergarten stuff compared to the words this magnificent bastard strings together.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

RANT: Right to Life

Every day I spend at least a couple of minutes imagining myself torn apart by arrows, crashed against the stones by fierce winds or a crashing wave, or facing death in honorable combat. In making my death a constant part of my life, I master it and it holds no power over me. In thinking about death daily, I appreciate life and its' wonders that much more. Big problems become smaller and complexities simpler. All I really have to do is live and die, then journey from one end to another is just details.

Morbid? Probably, but it keeps me sane. It's also given me a unique perspective on death and loss. I've lost a lot of people close to me in the past few years, and while not all of them have died, some of them probably wish I would. Others don't wish for anything anymore - because they're dead. They don't get to make the journey anymore because they've done the final thing that they truly had to do. I don't know what happens to them, but I have a feeling that it's mostly good, stress free, and pretty peaceful.

Sure, I mourn them in my own peculiar way, but that's how I cope. I miss them when I think of them, but I also wish them the best. My favorites are the ones who chose how they went gently into that good night, but I still mourn the ones that, tragically, had their lives ended early. I'm sure that when the time comes and I want to die, it will be in a manner of my choosing, and I hope that folks will respect my wishes.

Think about this stuff the next time you're presented with options to keep someone lingering on, or to stop a life before it really has a chance to get started. Honor the wishes of the living, and respect the memories you have of the dead.

Monday, March 17, 2008

RANT: Corporate Raiding

See that logo on the left there? Yeah. I've played the pen-and-paper version of that game before. I don't really mention the fact that I'm a gamer on this blog a lot, but I am. I only mention it now because lately I've been thinking a lot about one of my favorite sessions.

Our contact met us in your run-of-the mill dive bar and set out to contract us to kidnap a scientist from a corporate research facility. The money was right, so we took the job, completed the extraction, and got screwed in the process. Turns out our contact was working for the scientist, who had to fake the kidnapping because he wanted to change jobs. He worked for a company that kept you for life - and the only retirement option was a lead injection to the base of the skull with a high-caliber hypodermic.

It got me thinking about the lengths people go to when they want to avoid hurt feelings with their employer. They think of their company as an entity unto itself, something that hopes and dreams, lives and dies, and loves and hates. Since corporations are made up of people, that's sometimes true. Since corporations flow with the blood of money earned by the labors of those people, it's also not true.

Think about it for a minute. If you were costing your company money and not generating any results, would they keep you? Would they really worry about how you felt or how to protect those feelings? If their bottom line was in jeopardy, would they keep you out of fear of inconveniencing you or causing grief?

If the answer is yes, you should start looking for a new job, because your company isn't long for this world. For the rest of us, the answer is no. Knowing that, you take the offer that's best for your bottom line (whether that's happiness, job satisfaction, or monetary gain). Sure, some people will miss you, and some of your co-workers will be put out because they have to make up for the slack your absence generates, but if your company really wanted to keep you, wouldn't they make a better offer?

So, if you're thinking of moving on, solicit some offers, make your intentions known, and give everyone a chance to do right by you. Get it all in writing to cover your bum, and make the best decision for you. Look out for yourself, and trust everyone to do just the same for themselves. That way, whether you walk or stay, you'll be able to do it with a clean conscience.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

RAVE: Sex

Not really a whole lot to say about it, aside from the fact that it's really really really really good. I've rarely had bad sex, and even that was still pretty good. Still, I feel like I owe you loyal readers something for the really dry month of February. I know this isn't much, but I'm thinking about ya (and sex, 'cause I'm male).

So go out there and have some. I'm going to.

Monday, March 10, 2008

RANT: Strays

I read a story awhile back about a father that couldn't handle his newborn son's crying anymore. He snapped. An hour later, his wife was dead and his son was left in a dumpster behind the neighborhood McDonalds. I'd link to it, but I can't remember where I read it.

It riled me.

Last week, someone dumped a perfectly domesticated American Shorthair outside the building where I work. When I say perfectly domesticated, I mean perfectly. We got her home, gave her some food, and she immediately went and found the litter box and did her business. We didn't even show her where it was. She lives with me and my roommate now, her name is Holly now, and she's sprawled out on my bed right now - button cute in that awkward not-a-kitten stage of her life. She's like that tall girl in fifth grade that everyone made fun of, but wanted to date once eighth grade came around.

How she came to live with us riled me.

Humans have a social compact with the defenseless. Children and companion animals depend on us to take care of them and fulfill our end of the bargain. We're allowed to get mad, get frustrated, and even to want to give up on them, but we still have to keep up our end. We have a duty to honor the obligations we accept for ourselves, and it pisses me off when I see folks that don't. I know it's old-fashioned, but I think it's been pretty well established that I live by an old code.

I need everyone who reads this to think before they take on responsibilities. Remember that kittens become cats, puppies grow into dogs, lizards need crickets pretty much daily, and, most importantly, babies aren't always going to be a walk in the park. If you take it or make it, be sure to keep up your end of the bargain - or at least have the balls to seek out someone who can.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

RANT: Money

So I'm staring at my w2. It's the document that summarizes the last year of your life into five or six orderly line items. There's your social security number, your gross income, your net income, and how much you've paid in taxes. Sure, there's some other data about your employer and the like, but those four lines pretty much define your value as a barcode citizen.

After selling back two weeks of vacation, getting a decent bonus, and working my ass off for a whole year, I did pretty well for myself. I have a decent place with a cool roomie, my personal life is as shitty as can be expected, I work too much, I bought another car to replace the one I lost in an accident without really breaking a sweat, and I didn't have to fob off any bills when my income was reduced for legal reasons.

So, why is this a rant? Well, money isn't everything. I'm pretty certain that four line items can't summarize a whole year's worth of life. Matter of fact, I'm absolutely certain that they can't. I've grown, my friends have grown, I've survived things that would've killed me in those fanciful years of old, I changed the first digit of my age, I found my stride as a single white male, and I'm better for all of it. Money was helpful and harmful to my progress, but the acquisition of wealth can't be what it's all about. Surely our worth as human beings with real thoughts can't just be a matter of numbers.

If I'm going to spend the next year of my life relaxing while they ease it in, I at least want my form to have a comment section that reads "Thanks for being a cog in our great economic machine."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

RANT: Desperate...powerless

There are days when I feel perfectly in control of everything. I like those days the best. I know it's an illusion, that nobody can control each individual variable in the equation of life, but sometimes just the feeling is enough to keep me happy... sane even.

The days when I don't have that illusion are coming more frequently as of late. I've let control of things slip away, decisions that were once solely mine fall to others, and I have to tell you that it's pissing me right the hell off. If I hear one more person talk about personal growth at my expense or in my absence, I'm going to fucking stab them.

In these situations, some folks ask "What would Jesus do?" but I can't. The wisdom of the carpenter doesn't hold a lot of weight with me. Instead, I have to ask "What would I do?" Were I free of emotion, feeling, outside influence, what action would I take. If there were no consequences, what course would I plot for myself. Part of the peril of metheism is that you can only turn to yourself at the end of the day. When I look to others for answers, I wind up with that many more questions. I have to say "Fuck them!" and figure shit out on my own.

You should try it sometime. I'm usually amazed at how well it works. The only problem for me is that I'd just do a bunch of coke, hang out at strip clubs, and make sure my cat gets fed if I were free from all external stimuli. I can't do that, because there's other things to consider, but it's a fun mental exercise. The fun part is, it really makes me feel better.

Thanks for reading. I'll kvetch about something with a bit more social context next time.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

RAVE: Slacking

So payday Friday has come and gone. I've been to the bar and found my way home. I got some good sleep and woke up in time to catch Legion of Super Heroes on WB. (Watch the show. It is the goodness.) It's Saturday now, and you know what I'm doing?

Nothing. That's right. Not a damned thing. And I'm not going to do anything unless I decide that I want to.

You see, sometimes we get caught up in all of this shit that we have to do. We forget that the only things we really have to do are eat, sleep, breathe, pay taxes, and feed the cat/kid/sig-o/whatever. Pretty much everything else is a want to do or a choose to do. Today I'm choosing to do nothing, and that's okay. Slacking is not some cardinal offense, some mortal sin. (Well, okay, it may be sloth, but who cares? God hasn't done anything for the better part of 2000 years and I don't see her starting now.) You won't go to hell for taking a day off and you can only really store up so much sick time before you become a zombie.

So hang up the club, stop dragging the cavewoman around by her hair, pull up a boulder, and take a load off. Take a break from the relentless pursuit of bitches and money (or dudes and money - depending on which team you're batting for). You've earned it, dear reader. You've earned it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

RAVE: In Defense of Strippers

Now I've been all around this great big world (okay, just a few states, but life lived beats out geographic range any day of the week) and I've seen all kinds of girls (not an overstatement like the last one). By far, some of my favorite ladies have been those that take their clothes off for money to my favorite classic rock hits.

I've heard them called all manner of things: whores, sluts, exhibitionists, whores, prostitutes, call-girls, etc. But I'm here to tell you that female empowerment as we know it wouldn't exist without the burlesque. Since the Crusades, women have been shaking it for their men on the homefront to compete with the exotic ladies from afar. Throughout history, flashing a little skin has stopped wars, prevented murders, and kept the world safe for the occasional glimpse of nipple and the shallow hope that one of them might take you home.

They won't, but that's a subject for another blog. Today I'm here to speak up on behalf of one of my favorite segments of femme-kind. These girls are out there night after night shaking what their mamas gave 'em for a wad of sweaty bills. Their hard work and dedication keeps men from cheating, women from getting bored with the same old same old, and young boys hoping that they can one day sacrifice their dollars on the altar of stripper flesh. For the most part, they don't get much dirtier than a lap dance and they're usually working their job because the money is better than they could make elsewhere. In my brief career as a bouncer, I met women working to keep their kids fed, to pay their way through college, and some who just did it 'cause it got them off.

Much like smoking marijuana, nobody ever got hurt that didn't get frisky when they shouldn't have.

So go out and support your local strip club this weekend. Take your girl with you (if you have one), give her a stack of bills, and watch from afar. If you go solo, save some of that cash for a lap dance. Having it ground on your lap and slapped on your face might bolster your confidence enough to go out and find a girl you don't have to pay for. Just remember that strippers are people too, and be sure to tip your waitress (she'll be the one with her clothes on).

Ciao.