a priori/a posteriori

Friday, October 21, 2016

It's okay to be who i am

I got my second job today.  It's a waiting tables job.  Orientation starts tomorrow.

I'm proud of the life I'm living. It's been a long time since I felt that way.

I teach kids during the day. I coach kids in the fall. I will wait tables some nights, play basketball some nights, and get onstage some nights.

Last night was the first time I was onstage and I almost felt like a motivational speaker.

I felt like for a small stretch during my set -- maybe a minute or so -- I was able to drop the "act," and just be who I actually am.

The reality is, I'm not funny all the time.

That's okay.

I'm slowly, but surely, learning that.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SUPER disappointed in John Oliver this week

To be disappointed, you have to have expectations.

I have high expectations for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, because I think it works hard to make humor out of relevant issues.

To make humor out of distractions -- a candidate's hair, for instance -- is a waste of time, and threatens to normalize things we need to pay attention to.

To talk about relevant issues, but to not be funny...that is also a flawed strategy.  It comes off heavy-handed and becomes ineffective because nobody wants to watch it.

Oliver has balanced that line better than just about anybody I can think of.
That's why his bashing of Jill Stein's album from 20 years ago was so weird. 

He was making a case about the legitimacy -- or lack thereof -- of the 3rd party candidates in the 2016 election.

Maybe Jill Stein isn't fit to serve.  I still don't know.  Because Oliver could have talked about relevant reasons, but he chose not to.  He took a cheap shot at the fact that she used to be in a band.
The craziest part is that the songs he chose to mock were about CLIMATE CHANGE.

Yes.  Climate Change!!!  The thing that Oliver regularly mocks politicians for not acknowledging as a serious political issue.

Here was a Presidential candidate not only talking about climate change, but talking about it TWENTY YEARS AGO!!!!

Singing about corporate greed, and long-term environmental damage.  And all Oliver could hear were the notes being sung out of key?

It was weird.  Weirdly anti-Oliver.  It was like a Freaky Friday sequel, where he switched bodies with Jimmy Fallon.

Like I said -- normally, I'm a huge Oliver fan.  I still am.  I was just disappointed on a couple different levels. 

I just watched a 3rd debate last night, and in 5 hours total, climate change didn't get mentioned ONCE.

If one of them had started singing about it, they'd have won my vote.

Fear Becomes the Theme

I signed up for a show tonight.

It's been a few months since I've gone onstage.

I get scared at the thought, now.

I still have not sent any edited footage to my editor, 2 years after filming my second special.

Fear just kind of constipates your brain.  I haven't taken an artistic dump in about 4 years. 

That's what art should feel like.  I shouldn't hold it up proudly, and expect everyone else to love it, and fawn over it.

It's just something I had to get out.  I wish I had that distance from it.  I wish I could look at things I create, and not hide behind a corner and wait for someone to find it, and hope they love it.

But it remains a part of my psyche.  A part of me is my ego.  A part of me cares what I am perceived as, by others.

It's frustrating. Because I recognize it is not healthy.  I recognize it clogs the arteries of creativity, and freedom, and especially of growth.

But I just still care what other people think.  I still think of people I met in New York.  People I met in Austin.  People I met in DC.

People from high school, for gosh sake.  People from 15, 20 years ago.  People from lifetimes ago.  The tattoos linger.

The kids at the gym are teaching me to brush off the haters.  Hahaha.  I wish I could have that ability.  It's the healthiest type of arrogance. 

I look for haters on the floor, and in the air, and on the fridge.  And then I pin them to my shoulders.

Somehow -- still, well into my life now -- my brain seems to have more haters than anywhere. 

Is there a way to brush the haters off of your own mind?  Does my mind have shoulders?

My ego gets in the way of my own happiness.  Of my own success. 

I know what my own success looks like.  I know what I want my life to be.  And yet I am not laser-focused on that journey.  Because I am distracted by what that journey looks like to others, every step of the way.

It's hard to improve your time around the track, when you stop to check the clock between each step.

Just run. 
Just run.
Just run.

Stop looking for a finish line.

Just love running.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

So who out there is really PASSIONATE about Twitter?

That's why I had to admit Vanessa was right.

When we first started dating, I signed her up for Twitter.

Literally. I didn't give her a choice.

Her: that thing seems dumb.
Me:  NO!!! Twitter is amazing!!!
Twitter seems dumb.

I remember when a bunch of people in Egypt 7sed it to start an uprising.  Then I think shit got weird IRL, and they used Twitter to track down who had said what.

Twitter seems dumb.

I get emails -- STILL - every day from Twitter.  2 years after I quit.

It's like the sad ex that keeps showing up at your job, every day.

That is what the "social media fad" will look like, to historians.

It will be looked back on as a drug.  Class 1 addictive substance. Lumped in with heroin and whatever-the-kids-call-it-nowadays.

As a nation, as a species, and as a PLANET, we spent the first 20 years of access to "The Internet" trying to connect to other humans.  We mistook it for a step in a positive process.

The truth was, we were driving closer to the goal of connection. But the road is a dead end.  We eventually stop in our tracks,; closer to connection than we were, but with no chance of reaching it.

Twitter seems dumb.
That is the story of all drugs, by the way.  In case I ever get tempted to go on "a journey."

A drug is something that appears to be getting you closer, while simultaneously making the arrival impossible.
Eventually, you advance forward less and less. You have to take more drug to get less distance.  Until one day, you look at yourself and realize you're not even hoping for progress, anymore.  You're just doing it because it's what you do when you're not thinking. You've reached a dead end.

Social Media is a drug.

That's not a metaphor. It's a belief.

Every drug becomes a cigarette.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Erin is the best cat in America

I think for a long time, I put a lot of pressure on myself to "blog well."

That always meant numbers, I guess.

My life has been numbers.  How do I *define* my successes.

I give up on "success."

I'm happy now.

Our cat is happy. The dog is happy. The guinea pig is happy.

When animals are happy, we're headed in the right direction.

Dear Dad 7,

Do you think Hillary and Ellen have slept together?

Think about it, dad.

First of all, I believe in the goodness of our leaders. I really do.

But I also believe in the idea of satire. I believe in being able to poke fun.

I believe in being honest. Even if your honest is not what everyone else sees.

I think the Christian thing to do would be to love Donald Trump.

That doesn't mean to vote for him.

But it means loving him.

Without actually knowing him. Which I don't. I've never met the man. His "persona" might be 100 percent made up for the cameras.

I've made up a lot of my "online persona."

Or at least tried to.
I know I've embarrassed the family, a time or two. I know I embarrassed our church -- or at least probably, some members of it.

I was making poor decisions.  Which Christians do. Just like all other groups, and all other religions.

I was being flawed.

I am flawed.

Some days it's pride. Some days I judge others for doing something that I just stopped doing yesterday.

Some days I look down on people for something I've never done. That I'll do tomorrow.

Judgy. I'll be judge-y.

Sometimes grammar. Sometimes pronunciation. Sometimes driving. Sometimes parenting.

Always something.
Every time I ever see myself as "ranked" compared to another human being, I am being un-Christ-like.

Because every time I compare, I am deciding that I have access to some sort of "grade sheet" that can only truly be seen by a God.

By something completely outside this world. Something not even in this plane.

I can't see that sheet.
So I surrender to my fellow man. That is the most "God-like" -- amd therefore "Christ-like" -- thing I can think of to do.

If my fellow man tells me to pass the ball, I pass the ball. If my fellow men tell me to shoot, I'm going to shoot.

If my fellow men tell me to rest while they mow my lawn,

I'm going to trust God. And I'm going to let go of guilt and shame, because I trust that all people are God's messengers.

Does that make sense?