Why I Started a Blog: Raisins and Beans (Translated from the French!)


Today’s Music: Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble – If The House Is A’Rockin

Dude, “raison d’etre” translates loosely to “reason for being”, not “raisins and beans”.
Umm…no one likes the French.
Jackass.
quill-and-parchment
It seemed simple enough when I started. John Scalzi had his blog about 10 years and was a best selling author. Jenny, the Bloggess, had been online for a while and had a book deal, as well as being an in-demand speaker. The lady that cooked all of Julia Child’s recipes got a book and movie deal.
That was how it worked, I thought. Go online. Be brilliant. Make money. Live your dream.

Or not…

Let me be clear here, the money is not at all the dream. I have no interest in having money as an end to itself. I’d just like to have enough money to not have to worry about money. It’s been a long time since I took a job just for the money, instead of the opportunity to learn and do something interesting.
But that isn’t the dream either.
dollars
So, I figured, start a blog. Post fun stories about adventures. Find a sponsor.
Do the dream.

Jet ski across the Atlantic Ocean.

(I’ll wait wile you stop laughing.)
(Hey, it wasn’t that funny.)
(Don’t hurt yourself.)
(Breathe.)
(BREATHE!)

(All better now? Ok.)

Think about it – a guy who ran under a truck. A guy whose last words as he jumped off a bridge were “I WANT A PONY!!!)
A guy who would pick his friends up at 10 am for lunch because he was taking them to PA for philly cheese steaks.
Who better to pull off one of the stupidest stunts ever (short of running for elected office)?

I don’t have a death wish. The exact opposite in fact.
The thing I’ve done that I’ve enjoyed most is probably rock climbing. There are moments where your fate literally is in your hands. Where will your hand go? Which way will you lean?
The equipment doesn’t matter. It’s acknowledged, then dismissed.
No, I wouldn’t climb without a safety line or without a belayer who understood what they were doing. But that gets dismissed from thought.
And up there in the air, or hanging from the cliff face, for me, is the purest expression of “What can I do?”. What are my mind and body capable of when they are completely focused on one thing, to the exclusion of all else?
To me, that’s living.
Not the adrenaline high. Not the stories afterwards. Not being part of a small club that knows exactly what you mean when you describe grabbing a bomber hold, or stepping out of a plane, or pearling off a surfboard.

Just that one moment of focus and complete calm as you go for the next move.

And beyond that, what can be done? What is possible?

I think jet skiing across the Atlantic falls into that last question. Is it possible? to take a few pounds of fiberglass, an engine and a lunatic across 3000 miles of ocean? Some of it piled up 40 feet or higher?
Damned if I know.
But I’d love to find out.
JetSki
So I started to blog. I’ve told some stories that give a pretty good idea of who I am.
I’ve met some great people. I’ve been turned on to a whole universe here in the sphere.

Still no sponsors. But I’ve met a ton of great people.
People that will listen to the stories (and the music), maybe say something funny, or wise, or thought provoking.
And I’ve enjoyed their stories, and the back and forth in the comments as we meet on other sites.
And that’s worth even more than getting a book deal and a movie contract.

So listen up, sponsors. When you come by to set me up with the gear I need, you’re going to have to kick in a little extra for paint. Because the avatars of all the people I read and that stop by here are going on the side of the ski.

Wouldn’t be any point otherwise…

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138 responses to “Why I Started a Blog: Raisins and Beans (Translated from the French!)

  1. I’m just imagining the movie of my blog. Worse things make it to cinemas I suppose.

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  2. What a great reason to blog! Not only do we get to hear about your oh, so, interesting life–you could do what every writer aspires to do; make a living with your words! I’m all for your dream to come true.

    Will there be film of the crossing?

    Like

  3. I love how the reasons morph over time. This is a great theme for a blog and an even better one for now that you are (hopefully) coming back to some kinda regular blogging. Glad you stuck with the program.

    Oh, and I prefer the quarter panel. IJS.

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    • Thanks Red.
      Quarter panel for the camera? That’s a good idea, but there will be some heavy mods for the body.
      It is a good idea though to have someof the ski in the frame, if only for a viewer reference.

      As far as a theme, I’m going to stick with the usual idiocy, and hopefully more adventure stories. Unless I get thousands of followers and can do a successful Kickstarter campaign.
      Or hit the lottery.

      Like

  4. Good reasons all. I’ve seen jet skis in 6 footers. Surprisingly stable. For 3000 miles?? Need a large fuel tender lol.

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  5. I love your raisins and beans for writing this blog. And I’m glad I’m one of the lucky ones that found a great friend in you. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not concerned about your Atlantic crossing….but, what the hell…..I’ll be there to cheer you on!! You rock, Guap!!

    Like

  6. whiteladyinthehood

    One of the best posts, EVER – Guapo! I think life is the experiences you get out of it more than the money and fame…(but some moolah would be nice!!!) I’ve always enjoyed your humor, kindness and getting to go along on your adventures! You’re a great friend – I hope all your dreams come true!

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  7. I seriously think the best people in the world blog :D. I never thought about why I wanted to start a blog. I just like to write I guess :)). Even if you haven’t made ‘enough money to not have to worry about money’ yet, I’m really glad you’re around x

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  8. The blogosphere would be (and was) a less exciting place without you Guap. When you paint me on the side though, please make sure my eyes are closed tight!

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  9. It wouldn’t be the same around here without you, Guap! Nice post and I forgive your French faux pas!! Ahem…

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  10. I think Sea-Doo is missing out on a huge opportunity by not setting you up with everything you need for the trans-Atlantic trip. That would be the ultimate sponsorship deal for them, and the best adventure ever for you!

    Sure, there will be a few logistical kinks to work out, but if anyone could pull if off, I’ll bet you could. Keep doing what you do here, and researching what you’ll need. Someday, maybe it will happen.

    Like

    • I did send them a few emails way back when, Brian.
      I think it’s time to pursue them a bit more aggressively.
      The Red Bull people too.

      (Wait – what do you mean, “research”?!?)

      Like

      • Right! What was I thinking? All you need is a good watercraft, a little extra fuel, and some sandwiches. You could leave tomorrow.

        Red Bull should get on board to support you. This kind of thing is right up their alley.

        Maybe we, your followers, could start putting the pressure on potential sponsors. They’ll see that there’s a lot of public interest in this crazy stunt. (By “public” I mean the collection of nuts who frequent Guapola, and by “crazy stunt” I mean well thought-out adventure.)

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  11. All I can think of is how funny you would walk after straddling that thing for 3000 miles. It would take more than an oil can to get those joints moving again. Once I get past that, I think you could do it. If you can’t nobody can. I will start working on the banners for us to wave right now.

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    • Egad! I’ve thought a lot about how I would sleep on the ski, but never about walking afterwards.
      I’m betting it would feel a lot weirder than it does after a long bike ride…

      Like

  12. Here’s how I think you will get sponsors — devote more of your blog to YOU. You’re so good at establishing a community and shouting out to bloggers, but those are editor eyes and any agent scoping the net for the next great author wants drink in *your* life. You are SUCH a good writer, you have the talent. Share your days/experiences/that wild ocean trip, etc. (my favorite post of yours was the bungee jumping one!) You’ll get there. It also takes time online. πŸ™‚ (ps. Adsense is a good backup plan. πŸ™‚

    Like

  13. All I can say is “funicular”

    Like

  14. I don’t have the dough to sponsor you, but I sure do enjoy your company. I like to smile, and you deliver one to me anytime I visit your blog. Rock on. -\../ (Love your choice of music today, by the way.) ❀

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    • Thanks Stacy! That song is one of my “can’t stop moving” songs.
      And I love reading your stories!
      (The french comment at the top was a joke.)
      (Just a joke!!!)

      Like

  15. I would like to request that my avatar be placed just below the cam on the front of the ski….I always like to know where I’m going…and could you also possibly place a picture of a squirrel next to me?? That is, if I’m included in the lucky bloggers who get to go with you.

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  16. ummmm… I want enough money so that all I have to worry about is money…???

    Like

  17. OhMyGawd, I know how you can get a sponser!!!

    Ride the jet ski NAKED across the Atlantic! And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!!

    Like

  18. I loved what you said about rock climbing! That it’s all you…what are YOU going to do next? Perfect. I went rock climbing once and I loved it. I was terrified. Hmmmmm you’ve stirred something up now Guap. I too have met some wonderful people here, you being one of them. Keep on writing and doing what you do. It’s wonderful.

    Like

    • It’s living through the terror to see what’s on the other side that makes it all fun for me.
      And I’m glad you had a good experience climbing. I know people who had a bad time on their first trips and never tried again.
      (Hoping to get my wife out this summer.)

      I’m really happy I met you out here too.

      Like

  19. “What are my mind and body capable of when they are completely focused on one thing, to the exclusion of all else? To me, that’s living.”

    I love that. Could not agree more.

    Like

  20. Two hints for the Jet Ski. First, get one of those helmets like they use on the bomb-disarming suits, with the long hose out the back. That way you’ll get air without swallowing lungfuls of sea. Second, get a long pole with a hook, and learn how to drive the ski one-handed, so you can hook the refueling hose form the overhead helo. πŸ˜€
    Oh, and third. Leave me all your vital info. That way, I’ll be able to take care of your stuff when you drown… er … I mean, when you reach the other side triumphant! πŸ˜‰
    Just stay outta the Bermuda Triangle, okay? We almost lost ya once …

    Like

    • I think a snorkel would be a better idea, so I always know where the other end is.
      And several pony bottles with a scuba breather.

      I think you’re just after my New Dr Who dvd collection.

      Like

  21. If your ski has a stormtrooper adorned on its side it will make it anywhere. Jussayin’.

    Like

  22. Guap, this was a story from the heart. Promise not to divulge that you have a big one. Heart I mean. Have no idea about anything else.
    My favorite portion of this post was ‘ β€œWhat can I do?” ….What are my mind and body capable of when they are completely focused on one thing, to the exclusion of all else? To me, that’s living.’

    Completely agree! Live life to the fullest. Just because you can can can!
    Besides, what a dull place this non-paying blogosphere would be without your tales of adventure and dashing!
    Good to see you back from hiatus xo

    Like

  23. Weenie Girl

    For real? I wouldn’t have guessed. I hope it works out for you.

    Like

  24. This post was great. Though I haven’t been in such adventurous situations as you, I also like that feeling. The feeling of an immense nature and little you and you are hanging there (or whatever you’re doing) and you could fall any moment, but instead you feel alive.
    Something like that.
    You describe it better.
    Blogging is definitely worht it, because there’s a whole world with amazing people out there you wouldn’t know if Internet didn’t exist. I’m so very glad I know all of you, and you even have a special place in my heart (amen) ;).
    No seriously. I’m glad to you know you. It makes life more fun. And that’s nice.
    (Catchy song btw)

    Like

    • Adventure can be what you make of it, NBI – facing any uncomfortable situation and coming out intact always counts as a win. (And I’ve read some of your stories that have amazed me!)
      I’m always happy when you pop up in my inbox.

      Like

  25. My first thought is. “WORD” — as in slang, like “I get it” and “you’re so right.” But, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be paid for your creative-ness. You have to own that. If that’s what you want, then you have to do it with intention. I know, the politically correct thing to say is that we “write” for the love of it. Whatevs. I’m actor because I love it. But you know, I’m also an actor (and a writer) because I make my living that way. Say it. Say it right now! I don’t know where along the way we all got caught up in thinking it’s somehow wrong to want to be successful monetarily as well doing what we love. If this is your THING, if this is WHO YOU ARE, then live with intention to BE it, but also to be PAID for it. Just as you will have intention to ENJOY it, to SHARE it. You’re a writer dude. Embrace all of it — the money part too.

    I’m glad we’ve “met”. I’m inspired by your words, your silly posts, your fun and cool moments and yes, the music!

    No go and get paid for your work! Join the realm of the truly authentic and happy souls. That’s my goal.

    Peace & one love my friend.
    Carm.

    Like

  26. I’ve a funny feeling you will do this. Catch the North Atlantic Drift and wear some Iron Underpants. People will sing sea shanties about you in years to come. Now that is fame!

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  27. I’m thankful that you did start blogging because, well for one, my Friday’s would be ever so boring without you. For another, I really enjoy following and being followed by such a great guy on Twitter. And it all began with the blog. Keep them coming, Guap, and the readers will keep reading. Because, hey, you do things that most of us are scared shitless to even think about much less try. Good luck with that sponsor thingee.

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  28. By the by, I’m not sure I knew you back when I started my blog. I was only following orders – ‘Rants told me to shut the … well, YOU know …. up and go write my own crap, and to quit cluttering up his blog! πŸ˜€
    (And yes, I am a good soldier, I always follow orders. Jawhol, mein herr! Dang – never try to click your heels when you’re in bare feet. YEE-OUCH! πŸ˜‰ )

    Like

  29. I think that if anyone can live this incredible dream then it is you El Guapo and what a fantastic adventure it would be, your exceptional balance for jovial banter and forever increasing witticisms are already pushing the boundaries of your originality, just a little extra push and who knows where you could be blogging from in the weeks and months ahead?

    Hawaiian Islands with beaches and surf, and the ladies with deliciously formed curves, a must for all adventurers, the rock climbing and Jet Ski enthusiasm is one thing but to brave the countless embraces of the Naughty Nymphs of Fantasia is something else, something that dreams are made of, and all you have to do to enjoy this dream is to be there, of course you and everyone else that frequents your stylish blogging bubble will be along for the ride and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    Have a most exquisite rest of evening with a double helping of everything that you enjoy the most. Well don’t be too greedy, or else? πŸ™‚ lol

    I am pleased that you are back in the blogospere Guap πŸ™‚

    Andro

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    • Yeah, but crossing the atlantic, I may run into Sirens!
      *buys rope to tie self to jetski*

      Thanks Andro, and great to see you. I’ve been laughing hard at your videos lately.

      Like

      • You are very brave watching those my great friend but thank you for you kind thoughts, I know that they are totally crackers and even worse there will be more of them πŸ™‚ lmao

        Have a superb rest of evening Guap πŸ™‚

        Andro

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  30. You ran under a truck? We have something in common! I got ran over by a truck! But dude, that shit you said about nobody liking french people. That hurt. We have feelings man.

    Jet skiing across the Atlantic? Could you maybe pick a milder sea to cross? I heard of fishermen sitting in a panga that ran out of gas and they drifted from Mexico to the French Polynesia. The Pacific. Now there’s an ocean you want to cross. There’s a reason why it’s called Pacific. But the Atlantic? On a jet ski? Would you have friends following you with gas? And water? And Red Bull?

    Let me know when you get sponsors, I need some sponsoring too!

    Like

    • The under the truck thing was classic Guapo stupidity.
      I thought most mariners agreed “Pacific ” was a misnomer.
      but for a warm up, I’m thinking a run down the east coast to the Bahamas. Sort of a “proof of concept” thing. But without the waves.

      And my 2nd conversation with the sponsors would be “By the way, I know a sailor…”

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      • How many sentences can you start with “By the way, I know a sailor” and how many of those can habe gnarly endings?

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        • That’s actually my second favorite sentence opener, next to “So I’m in this bar…”

          Like

          • Another good one is “You’d never believe what I found in my pocket!” Or “I am your father” or “My name is Jhan Fhang and I’ve opened a secure bank account in your name with $1,876,334.00 just give me your birthdate, social security # and your first born” man… if I had a nickel for every time I was told that one and gave away my first borns… Because, you never know how many first borns one can have when it comes to easily obtaining millions of $.

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  31. If I won the lottery, I’d sponsor you, get corporations and famous people to sponsor and publicize your trip, and donate all the money I made to charities. Also, I’d jet ski across the Atlantic with you, as the yacht trailed us for safety reasons. No sense in NOT doing that, now is there?

    Like

  32. Ditto to all the above! This sums up all the good parts of blogging, so glad you’re back in the in-box again πŸ™‚

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  33. I completely agree with you, Guapo. I’d be honored to have my ugly mug pasted on your jet ski.

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  34. Awesome. You had me with the first few lines! And you’re right about the cool universe of the blog… such wonderful folks out there (here), waiting to laugh, collude, inspire, taunt. A man of wonderful values! I’m happy you took up the torch….

    Like

  35. I think your hiatus was really beneficial for your writing, this was such an interesting post! You will have a big yacht or something following you on your trans-Atlantic crossing right? So you can sleep laying down & stretch your kinks out? You knew Mummy Benze would be all worried about your safety & stuff right? I would be chuffed to have my avatar cross the Atlantic long before I ever do.

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  36. Like life blogging is an adventure all to itself and you can stay dry unlike riding a jet ski. Also easier to get back on if you fall off. However, may you find the sponsorship of your adrenaline filled dreams.

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  37. I completely agree! And I can’t wait to see Wonderbutt on the side of your jetski. Better yet, I can’t wait to see him riding with you on the jetski.

    Like

  38. This was so much perfect. Money and fame are great, but it’s those relationships that we make that really matter. Also, I once heard that Julia Child didn’t even like that lady who blogged about all her recipes.

    Like

  39. I love your adventuresome spirit, El Guapo! This was pretty cool to read about why you started blogging. Wouldn’t it be fun if I could one day sponsor you? We’d put Susan Hunter on the side of the jet ski and send her off with you! πŸ˜‰

    Like

  40. Oh, awesomeness, Guap. I feel lucky to have found you in the sphere. It’s always a pleasure to come over here and take part in your adventures.

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  41. I love this and I am so happy to have found your super awesome blog πŸ™‚

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  42. free penny press

    If you could have any Blog sponsor, who would it be?

    Like

    • Red Bull or Sea Doo would make sense.
      But how cool would it be if I could get Chico’s Bail Bonds!
      (They sponsored the team in the original Bad News Bears!)

      Like

  43. Guapo, are you kidding! Jet ski across the..well wherever it was? But if you are going to do that, get sponsored by something like Wet Weather Wear Pty Ltd, or Knotty Yachties.

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  44. I need a sponsor but alas that’s not happening. I am even self hosting. Google thinks I’m porn and everyone else is ignoring me but I have met awesome people like you.

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    • I guess this would be a bad time to admit I started following because I thought it was porn? πŸ˜€
      I love coming by your site, and seeing you wherever our paths cross!

      Like

      • LOL you found out quickly it wasn’t. πŸ˜‰ There is much better porn. I keep up with you all the time, I just don’t always get around to comment. I love your blog.

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  45. If any of us could and should do this, it’s you Guapo. I have total faith in you. I didn’t even crack a smile when I read the words Jet Ski and Atlantic Ocean. The guy that runs to Philidelphia to get cheese steaks, who makes nude snow angels, the very guy that goes to Europe for an overnighter (was it Istanbul?), the same one that bungee jumps, and finally, the richest guy in all of bloggdom, because he is loved by all, (Like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”) you’re the guy for the job!!!

    One question, How much extra will it cost to get an oversized avatar on the jet ski? πŸ˜‰
    Grippy xoxo

    Like

    • It was Istanbul! I’ll have to post the France story at some point too.

      If I ever do get to do a trans-atlantic jetski, there would be breaks built in just to email back and forth with you.

      Like

  46. You say you don’t have a death wish, and yet, you Bungee jumped. I’m confused. But whyever you started blogging, I’m glad you did!

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  47. Pingback: HOW FAR CAN WE GO… | Jots from a Small Apt.

  48. Cheers to the King of Adventure!

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  49. I wish you a lot of friends and that sponsorship too! But wait… you can’t blog while jetskiing, can you? πŸ˜‰

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  50. Whatever your reason, I am glad you did start this blog. Love it. Your biggest fan! My reasons are quite different, if not a bit weird. I started a blog so that I could help Kayjai figure out the entire WordPress thing. Once I started, I found it fun and the rest is history.

    Like

  51. Pingback: Where’s my nap? | The M3 Blog

  52. Yup, me too. I think I’m too little, too late. But there’s hope for you, I’m sure!

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  53. We’re gonna need a bigger jetski.

    Love your blog, Guap, and I’m glad to see you back to posting.

    I met Jenny last year in her hometown at a signing. And yes, she even brought Copernicus the Homicidal Monkey with her. It tried to hug me, but I managed to escape in tact.

    Can’t wait to see what adventures await you this summer!

    Like

    • Thanks RoS – I can’t wait to do the adventures! (I even found a new one I’m hoping I get to do.)

      I kind of like the idea of a bigger jet ski – maybe we can make it a group trip…

      Like

  54. I’d like to be on the side of that jetski crossing the Atlantic (although, why not cross a REAL ocean?), even vicariously, but I’m afraid I’m too much of a p***y for that.

    People start blogs for a lot of reasons, but all of them basically stem from the notion (so often incorrect) that they have something to say worth hearing. However, when somebody’s been doing it as long and as well as you have, with an audience regularly tuning in to read, you know you’re doing something right.

    Carry on my wayward son!

    Like

    • Pretty sure I’ll be hanging off the side of the ski for part of the ride too. (Note to self – offer whatever I collect in the sea sick bag as reward for higher kickstart donations…)

      It’s funny, for a long time, I resisted having an online presence for exactly that reason – nothing to say. But hanging out here, and on the sites that I get to visit has been the exact opposite of a waste of time.

      Like

  55. Let’s keep bloggning! Yey! What a real fun thing to do! πŸ˜€ not for money only for fun

    Like

  56. Sponsor or no sponsor, you put a lot of great karma into the blogosphere.
    Thank you Guap. =)

    Like

Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

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