Category Archives: Autobiography

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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I’m Back.


Today’s Music: Hello – Back In A New York Groove

(The other bookend from my break begun here.)
FADE IN

Interior – A STUDIO is a hive of activity. Stats, plug-ins, links scroll over large HD monitors mounted on the walls. Several ENGINEERS fiddle with switches and slides on their starship-like consoles.
A TECH moves to a microphone

Tech: Sibilance. Sibilance. Check. One two three. Sibilance
Engineer: Hold on Tommy. George! Check out the cabling on mic 1. Something ain’t right.

GEORGE picks a cable off the floor and traces it thorugh it’s connections. He stops, unplugs and reseats a connection, giving a thumbs up to the engineer.

Engineer: K, try it again.
Tech: Sibilance. Sibilance. One two three.
Engineer: Sounds good. Where’s Guap?
George: In his dressing room, I think.

“DAMMIT!!!!”
All heads turn to the dressing room door. It flings outward, a terrified INTERN rushing from the room.
EL GUAPO exits, resplendent in a freshly ironed Hawaiian shirt, of the finest polyester, his boats shoes scuffed and bent in the way only the most comfortable shoes become.
El Guapo: I said halfcafdoublespresstriplefrappvanillachino with skim milk. THIS IS ONE PERCENT!!!
He hurls the offending cup where it splatters iridescently against the wall.

Engineer: Uh, Guap…we gotta record the blog promo. WordPress expects us back on the air soon.
El Guapo: Effin corporate overlords.
He strides to the mic. Pausing only to slick back his hair and adjust his imitation plastic Ray Bans, he begins speaking as Today’s Music swells on the speakers behind him

“Hi there! Remember me? Well, I’m back! Nanny nanny boo boo!”

Dude, this makes you look like a pezhead. You’re an idiot, not a pezhead.
But…
Seriously dude. Redo it.

FADE IN

EXTERIOR – a rundown roadside inn at night, in the rain. A flash of night shows us several horses hitched to the railing post in front as the camera moves through the swinging door to the INTERIOR. The patrons cower in a corner. three outlaws watch the crowd over the barrels of their guns.
their LEADER paces back an forth in front of them.
Leader: I don’t understand this misplaced affection you have for him. He abandoned you. How can you defend him now?
Patron: He didn’t abandon us. He just took a short break.
Leader (scoffing) Just tell us where he is.

A sound comes from the bar. The leader and his men whirl. There sits EL GUAPO, his brown leather outback hat dripping rain water, a tall glass of tequila in front of him.
El Guapo: This blog ain’t big enough for the both of us, Overlord.
He stands up.
The LEADER faces him.
Leader: Ok then. *his hand moves toward his holster* POST!
A flash of light and noise, bits blazing across the ether. El Guapo holds up his tablet and presses Post.
Leader’s hand clutches his chest and he falls to the floor
Leader: Always knew the…Poetry Slam…would…get me…
Leader dies.
Patron: You’ve saved us!
Comely Buxom Patron:How about a naked bar dance, Guap?
El Guapo turns to the camera and waggles his eyebrows.

Waggles his eyebrows? Dude, this is even worse. You’re gonna lose followers.
Sigh.
Yeah yeah, just do it again.And be straight with em.

FADE IN
INTERIOR – El Guapo sits back, laptop in…well…his lap. He types the following and posts.

I’m back! Still fighting the corporate overlords, but it’s too much fun here to stay away. See y’all later this week, and the first round’s on me.

FADE OUT

Goofy