Jul 21 2017

If You Fear Change, Try Embracing It . . . Around It’s Throat

Things, they are a-changin’!

Not really the way I expected, but they are.  I skipped a week making a post . . . or was it two?  I don’t know, I’m too lazy to look at the date on the last post to figure it out.  Lazy?  Tired?  I just don’t care?

Yeah, all of those.

Let me try to sum this up as quickly as I can.  (I just heard all of you call me a long-winded fuck, just relax.)

With all the changes over the past year or more, with Liz taking a job and moving to Georgia . . . and then taking another job . . .and staying in Georgia.  Anyway, that’s a long story and not mine to tell, but what it came down to is that Liz has been thinking about selling this house in Florida.  A completely understandable and fully expected decision that I knew would happen.  It only makes sense.  I’d been toying around with looking for a place of my own finally anyway and it just plain needed to happen.

Here is the twist to that . . . the next door neighbor put his house up for sale, and as it turns out, got a pretty good price for it, so Liz gave a Real Estate agent a call just to see what he thought she could get for it.  Long story short, it went down like this . . .

  • Real Estate agent said he knew somebody that wanted to move down here and could he show him the house
  • House was cleaned and prepped in a single weekend for the showing on that Monday
  • Dude liked the house and made an offer
  • Liz made a counter offer, and it was accepted
  • They want to close on Aug. 17

In summary, the house was prepped, shown, and sold within a few days . . . and NEVER went on the market.  At a profit.

Can’t really blame her for that now, can ya?

At any rate, I think we’re all in kind of a panic.  I’ve got to find a place that I can afford in less than a month, which isn’t easy, because I can’t afford much.  I’m just a dude that values his being alone all the fucking time, so I just need a studio or 1 bedroom place for like $500.  $600 tops.  They are around and they exist, unfortunately my credit score makes this a bigger hurdle than I would like.  I’ll need a cosigner OR I can get a trailer in a meth riddled trailer park with no credit check.  In hurricane country.

Now Liz is also trying to figure out how to live in Georgia and be down here to pack up 10+ years of her life and either distribute or sell much of the furniture she has here and have this place emptied in less than a month.  On top of that, she’s been helping me to find a place during the day because my job doesn’t allow me the time to look very much myself.  She almost hit the jackpot today but then the “landlord” (an AirBnB host) said it was just for a month because of family obligations.  (The damn place would have been PERFECT) There are complications with her job and a new relationship she’s been enjoying up in Georgia and all this went down so fast, it has been a whirlwind for all of us.

We all know we’ll get it figured out and work through it and all will be well and good in the end, but at this point we all wish we could just fast-forward to somewhere around October where we’ve come out the other side and we’re facing all new and improved stresses over completely unrelated shit.

Personally, it’s something I had been planning on anyway . . . getting my ass out on my own, taking care of my own shit.  As life sometimes does, it sorta got tired of me taking my time and said “Let’s DO this shit already!”

For Liz, it was something she was planning on doing as well and the same shit went down for her.

So, here we are.  For the next month, I’ll help Liz out helping her get stuff sold and moving things to storage or wherever (the new boss is much more pleasant about letting me use the truck for personal shit) and she’ll help me looking for a new place and stuff.  A month from now, the dust will settle and we’ll all be . . . .

some-fuckin-where.

For those of you asking what this means for my quest for stand-up comedy, it doesn’t mean anything except a slight delay in the chase.  It’s been 30 years since it first occurred to me that I wanted to do it, so I suppose another month isn’t going to ruin it any more than it already has been.  I’m still searching the open-mic nights and still writing stuff in my little notebook (although I didn’t have it with me today and I thought of some shit that had me laughing my ass off in the truck today and I completely forgot what it was now . . . it’ll come back to me) and I’m listening to a lot of comics and their podcasts along the way.  I’ve been searching open-mics here in town and as far away as Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami.  (One thing I have learned from listening to how comics got where they are is, be prepared to drive . . . a LOT)  One podcast I’ve found in particular is called “The Comedian’s Comedian with Stuart Goldsmith” and he spends every episode interviewing comedians to find out their writing methods, techniques and how they get their ideas and it is an AMAZING resource.  The biggest problem with it at the moment is that I listen to it in the truck all day long and with the current situation I’m in, my mind is elsewhere and I have come to the end of full hour podcasts and realized that I didn’t hear a single friggin’ word of it because I’m all “dammit, where am I gonna find a place . . . there?  Maybe there?  Shit, I can’t afford that.”

All it means is that I just have to slow down a bit and focus.  Nobody became a comedian in a month, but people have found a place to live in that amount of time, so that’s what I gotta focus on now.

On that note, I’ve been thinking about starting a podcast myself, I’m just not sure where to go with it.  If any of you have an idea of what you might like to hear from me (and eventually see because they have all gone the way of YouTube as well), throw me some suggestions.  I’m sure you don’t want to hear me talk to myself for an hour (maybe you do, I don’t know.  My head gets fuckin’ weird sometimes), but I can think of a few people out there I would love to have a live chat with on a podcast because we have come up with some funny shit together (Hey LEO, you readin’ this?!)  I just need to come up with some kind of format.  All suggestions are welcome.

That’s my update, kids.  I look forward to hearing from you all.

Oh, and follow me on Twitter.  I’m trying to be more active there.  @eric_waechter  I’ll try to be funny.

I said “try”.

For those of you that know me and have followed me for the last few years . . . no, I don’t want to drink, and I am encouraged by that.

Why ruin chaos with insanity?

(That’s brilliant.  Consider that copyrighted immediately.)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2017/07/if-you-fear-change-try-embracing-it-around-its-throat/

Jul 02 2017

This Post is Offensive

Not because I want it to be offensive, but because it will be . . . to somebody, somewhere.

How do I know that?

Because EVERYTHING offends somebody.

I’d like to thank BarbaraM for inspiring this post.  She was the first (and at this point, the only) person to comment on my last post.’

Understand, I have nothing against Barbara or anything she said.  She simply brought up a point for me that is very potent.  How a single word can inspire offense, anger, disdain and downright outrage.  I’m glad she has taken an interest in my posts and in my endeavor to be a stand up comedian, and being one of the very, VERY few people to weigh in on my quest, I look forward to her input.

But her last comment inspired this post, and for that, I thank her, because it is a very important topic, particularly in our current political and apparently sensitive society.

At what point did we start to make everything everyone said about us as individuals?

The example Barbara brought up was the difference between “Handicapped” and “Disabled”.

Let’s break that down.

A golfer has a “handicap” . . . it’s a recognition of something they are unable to do or have a difficult time achieving.  If they were “disabled”, it would indicate that they couldn’t do it at all.

We don’t have to agree on that, it’s simple fact.

So, in defining a parking spot, should the disabled be given precedence over the handicapped?

In the end, they are simply words.

One person may need a cane, another may need a wheelchair, and yet one more may forget where they fuck they are once they are three steps from the car.  Are they all not handicapped in some way?  Does this not display a disability in all examples?

At what point did we become offended by a WORD?

I have a serious problem with this.  Not because I’m afraid I’ll offend someone, but because someone will be offended by what I say.

WHO THE FUCK AM I??

I’m just a dude that said a word.

A WORD.

I didn’t drive a truck through a crowd.  I didn’t open fire on a crowd of people.  I didn’t fly a plane into an American icon and change history forever.

I said a word.

I’ve said “retarded”, but I still have compassion for those that truly are.  It wasn’t ever a derogatory comment against anyone that falls into that category, it’s simply a descriptive term.

I’ve said “cunt” . . . with various intents.  Some in direct insult and a few others which shall not be discussed but let’s just say it was fun for all involved.

The point is, I have no idea where this current state of “Oh my, I’m so offended” came from.

At what point did we stop letting shit “roll off our back”?

We have become a generation of absolute PUSSIES.

I’ve learned something very important in my exploration of the comedy world.  I’ve found what works and what makes the biggest names.

Your anger.

Look at the big names:

Bill Burr:  Screams at everyone, jokes are misogynistic, foul fucking language and “cunt” is his favorite word, but learn his background and he’s a goddamn sweetheart.

Louis CK:  Hates his life and his divorce and pretty much everything that ever happened ever . . . and you laugh at it, because he makes it funny and look at his website and buy his series and this man is actually an incredibly sensitive genius.

The thing these dudes have in common is that they give ZERO shits that you are offended.  They’re over it.

And they are successful.

Because there is a large portion of us that GIVE ZERO SHITS that people get offended, and I do NOT apologize that I am taking the exact same stance.

I’ll sum it up like this . . .

Sorry, not sorry.

My intent is not to offend, but if you are, the problem is YOURS, not mine.

I’m here to bring humor to your life, as well as mine.  I grew up with bullshit and judgement.  It designed my sense of humor and helped me survive to where I am now.  I grew up under alcoholism and narcissism and nothing I ever did was right.  I grew up being told that if I didn’t wear a tie and work for the man, that I was a piece of shit.

I’m over that.  I grew past that.  I’m proud of who I am and who I became DESPITE the bullshit I was told.  I have my issues and I have accepted them and I use them to grow, even as I enter my 50’s.

My childhood and my upbringing SUCKED, but I’m not blaming you or me for it.  I’m going to use it to entertain you and anyone else that wants to listen.

I’m a child of an alcoholic narcissist.  I’m also a recovering alcoholic.

So, I’m telling you now, I’m going to offend you.  Maybe not today.  Maybe not a year from now.

But I will.

Understand this . . .

It is never personal.

It is just me.

At the end of the day, that is really all we look for in entertainment.

Things that are not what we are.

Or things that are EXACTLY like we are.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2017/07/this-post-is-offensive/

Jun 30 2017

The Plunge into Stand-up Comedy, Part 3

I don’t know what to do here.  I want to get on the stage and make people laugh.  I want to get things rolling.  I HAVE to do this because I will not leave this as a regret.

I’m fucking exhausted.

I’m working . . .and working . . .and working . . . and it’s not something I should be complaining about.  God knows, I’ve spent enough time unemployed and fighting for jobs that never come and living off of the kindness of others.  I’m working and I should be glad.

But . . . it’s in the way of what I want to do and I don’t know how to weave it in to what is my “regular” everyday life.

I leave the house at 7:00 in the morning and most nights I get home between 6 and 7.  By the time I shower and eat and finally sit down, it’s 8:30 and all I want to do is crash.

The question here is, who in the fuck decided that Wednesday is the only night of the week anyone will do Open Mic nights?

I expanded my search to comedy clubs throughout the state of Florida.  It’s the same everywhere.  The Improv in Orlando . . . every Wednesday night, at 8:00.  Given that is an hour drive from my house, I couldn’t make it even on a good day.

When the weekend comes, I have the time and I can muster up the energy, but there is nowhere to go to take the stab.

Let me take that back.  There are places to go that have open mic nights.  They take open mics for musicians, poets and comics, with the majority of them ending up being musicians, and in front of crowds that tend to be drunken kids just looking for a cheap place to get wasted.  (I Ubered people to a great many of these places and I wouldn’t stand in front of them trying to be funny if my life depended on it)

Having just started this job, I kinda have to go until I get some kind of shitty legs under me again, but it’s looking more and more like I’m going to have to take a day off here and there just to get some stage time in a real comedy setting.  If it’s what I have to do, it’s what I have to do and I’m going to do it.

Damn if I don’t need your encouragement though.  I’m tired and there are days I feel that shitty attitude come back.  The shitty attitude that comes from spinning my wheels, working my ass off and living paycheck to paycheck and wondering what the fuck it’s all for.  I keep going so I can eat chicken in the 50 various ways I know how to cook it and have a steak once every three months.

The life of a new comic always starts out slow, poor, broke.  Ask any comic that has ever made it to the big stage selling out venues.  The trick here is that I’ve been slow, poor and broke for YEARS and it kinda scares the shit out of me to be slower, poorer and broker than I am now.  That, and most of those guys started in their late teens, early 20’s and the idea of sleeping in my car in my late 40’s makes my back hurt just thinking about it.

I am fully aware that my position in life is the result of really shitty life decisions with some mental defects thrown in for good measure.

I did not live up to my “potential” as they used to like to say.  There is a whole book being written about that and I’m the author, but that’s for later.

So here’s the deal.  I’m looking to my readers for some help.  I have NOT lost the desire to make the Stand-Up happen.  I have not lost the drive and I have not let go of the dream.  Where I am stuck is where I always get stuck.  I have a decent job, I’m not living on the street and I’m living clean and sober and I’m happy being that way.

I. Just. Have. No. Time.

Any decrease in my income is devastating.  I have a home ONLY because I’ve been given one and thank God for Liz otherwise I don’t know where I’d be . . .

How the fuck do I make this happen?

All suggestions, I’m taking all of them.  Help me out.

I’m looking into a life supplement that I’ve seen some good results from and it looks like it might be a great plan for me . . . problem is, it’s more expensive than I can handle right now, but I want to try it.  It may be worth it in the end, but we’ll see.  I’m going to take a stab at a month of it.  (This is what I’m looking into.)

What am I looking at for the stage?  I know some of you suggested that I make this my testing grounds, so I’ll throw a couple at you . . .

*So what made me decide to get into comedy in my late 40’s?  Well, I been disappointing my father for years, so I’m perfectly capable of disappointing a whole room in 3 minutes.

*I’ve been searching for the perfect woman my whole life and I”m starting to think that a short, skinny, redheaded, jewish, vietnamese girls just doesn’t exist.

*I busted my ass in the rain in the parking lot of the convenience store the other day and laid there soaking wet laughing out loud at the irony of being paralyzed by slipping on the slick, wet paint of the handicapped parking spot.

*I’ve been married twice, and both times I said “until death do us part”.  I stand before you single.  You do the math.

.Thanks, my faithful people!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2017/06/the-plunge-into-stand-up-comedy-part-3/

Jun 16 2017

The Plunge into Stand-up Comedy, Part 2

 

I’m kinda diggin’ this weekly update thing I’ve pressured myself into.  It keeps me on my toes, keeps me motivated and *deep breath* continue to face down my fear of failing miserably.

You folks that have commented, both here and on my Facebook page . . . Goddamn, I love the support, encouragement and downright faith that I don’t even have in myself.  You’re all awesome and if you could gather a couple hundred of your friends and plan a trip to Tampa to be my first audience, that’d be great.

I understand that my lack of faith and fear are issues I have to deal with within myself and they stem from a whole bucket load of garbage I have picked up over a whole lot of years.  I understand it, I get it, and I know where it comes from . . . doesn’t make it any easier to get past at this point.  This is what I want and this is what I believe in.  I have years of being told that what I want and believe in is not important, unnecessary and “stupid”.

I’ll leave you to your intelligence to figure out where that came from.

Some of you may have noticed the title image to this post has two notebooks in it.  Yes, they are my notebooks and I carry them with me wherever I go.  You also probably noticed that one is titled “The Stage” and the other “The Book”.  I have plans for both, and yes, I’ve said many times that I wanted to write a book but could never settle on an idea.

Well, I’ve finally settled on an idea and I’m excited about it.  I’m not going to release the details as of yet, but it is not going to be comedic although it will have its funny moments here and there, and it is not going to be fiction.  That is where I will leave that.

“The Stage” on the other hand is where I slap down ideas, thoughts, events or whatever that could work as good stand-up stage material.

Ok, so it’s not all good, but I write it all down anyway in case I can make it good later.  It’s mostly just short phrases that remind me of where I was going with it.  I do ok when I’m putting together the story in my head.  I know where I want to go and how I want to create it to be funny . . . the problem lies in my shitty, late 40’s memory that allows me to remember all the words to “Don’t You Forget About Me” but also has me wandering WalMart for 45 minutes wondering what in the fuck I came in there for.  I’ll let you take a peek . . .

You can click it and make it bigger.  It’s mostly just a few ideas on the right and a little “goal oriented” encouragement on the left.  My way of reminding myself that I can do this and I can do it well despite my own insecurities and fears.

The funny thing is, I’m starting to find myself getting less annoyed lately and searching for the humor in the things that annoy me  The best example is when I recently came home from a long day at work and it was one of those Florida days that started hot, sunny, humid, bright and just . . .ugh, HOT.  About 2 hours before I got home, it started to rain – one of those HOLY FUCKING CHRIST Florida rains where the water is coming in through the bottom of the car door as you drive down your own street.  I stopped at the convenience store near my house and went in to grab a pack of smokes and get some gas.  As I walked quickly toward the door through the rain, I walked across the brightly painted blue handicapped parking spot and slipped, even in my heavily soled work boots, nearly busting my ass and catching myself with my hand on the ground.  It really hurt my wrist and given that it was the end of the day and I was tired, sweaty and now wet from the rain, for a brief moment I was really pissed.  The anger turned to amusement and eventually right out laughter as I stood and shivered in the freezing cold air conditioner of the convenience store.

I could have fallen and broken my neck and become paralyzed . . . because of the paint in the handicapped parking spot!

Honestly, that’s some shit that Wawa (the convenience store) should look into as that’s pretty fucking dangerous and leaves them open to some seriously litigious stuff . . . but HOLY SHIT was that irony at its finest!

Probably wasn’t great and may very well never make it to the stage, but shit, it was funny at the time so it made the notebook to be assessed and maybe tested later, but that’s the process.

My immediate plans, immediate as in – the next week or so – is to go to open mic night at The Improv – Ybor next Wednesday.  I’m not going to perform, but to observe.  I’ll probably do this several times.  I want to see what kind of crowd comes in.  Get a feel for the room, the atmosphere and the general attitude of the crowd.  I want to find out if they are typically young, middle aged, college poor or .com rich.  I’m going to need to see it a few times to see if there is any consistency.

Being Ybor City, it could be anything.  As my own son can attest after I dragged him through Ybor on a Friday night, Ybor City is a freakshow of epic proportions on the weekends.  It’s a collection of college kids, gay and lesbian pride night virtually every weekend, the Jesus-freak-loudspeaker-toting-you’re-all-going-to-hell preachers on the corners as the drunks go by and throw obscenities at them.  As an Uber driver, I once drove 4 “chicks with dicks” porn performers back to their hotel after their night on the Ybor strip.  This place is INSANE on the weekend . . . but during the week, it’s a historical landmark with the old Cigar factories and Coffee factories and the Cuban restaurants (Columbia Restaurant is expensive, fancy and worth every fucking dime) and it attracts tourists from all over the world of all ages.

Given that information, Ybor City on a Wednesday night could be a tad unpredictable.  I could end up being the old fuck trying to entertain a room full of millennials, in which case, I’m probably going to piss them all off.  I could be the child of the 80’s entertaining the new money, middle aged dot commers which may put me very much into my element.  I could be the middle aged comic trying to relate to the retirees visiting Florida to decide if they want to come here and drive slow and clog up I-275, in which case, I can probably make them laugh but I really don’t want them to stay and get comfortable.

What I’m saying is . . . anything can happen in Ybor City.

For you guys that wanna visit, check under the dress for the transmission.  You might think you have an automatic, but there’s a very good chance you found a stick shift.

The day is coming, kids.  I swear it is.  I’m going in prepared, studied and ready for anything . . .but this is going to happen.  Don’t be impatient.  I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I’m going in prepared.

. . . and THANK YOU ALL for your love and encouragement!!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2017/06/the-plunge-into-stand-up-comedy-part-2/

Jun 09 2017

The Plunge into Stand-up Comedy, Part 1

Don’t be fooled by the title too much.  It’s not so much a “plunge” as it is a “dipping of toes into the cold pool like a bitch” into Stand-up comedy.  I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time and now I’ve put it out there to my public . . . and by “public” I mean the 6 of you that I beg to read this.  If anyone else comes by, then I am humbled and deeply grateful that my reach has gone any further.

When I first started this blog (Holy Shit!) 6 years ago, I briefly enjoyed a regular readership of several thousand people a month.  Over time and multiple ridiculous circumstances and my own laziness, repeated forays into depression and several unsuccessful location changes in an attempt to improve my situation, Opticynicism fell apart and now it’s just the struggling ramblings you see before you now.

I’ve learned so many things over the last few years and most of them have been about myself.  I like to think of this blog as my therapy.  It’s my place to vent, scream and just release all the bullshit in my head so I don’t have to carry it around, and it really, really has worked, but as I laid out in the previous post, it’s time to move onward and upward.

It’s no secret that I love to make people laugh.  Nothing, not one single thing, brings me more satisfaction than making someone else laugh.  It’s an art I’ve worked on my entire life and a skill that has helped me survive things that no one should have to endure.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t saved me from everything, but there is a pill I take twice a day that does the rest.

I lovingly refer to that pill as the “one I take so that my father stays alive”.  (Potential stage line . . . for those of you paying attention)

Some of my favorite and funniest moments come from my interactions with my brother and with my friends that I regularly play games with on one of the game systems.  The laughs come spontaneously and we seem to surround ourselves with friends that have a quick wit and some amazing one-liners have come from it.  Anybody who enjoyed the show Mystery Science Theater 3000 would absolutely piss themselves sitting down to an episode of Swamp People with my brother and I, or an episode of anything for that matter.  A well timed, yet inappropriate “Choot ’em!” is invaluable.

The interactions with my friends online have resulted in many, many nights of crying with laughter at the stupidest shit ever, but damn, does it make you feel like nothing is wrong in the world.  Even text conversations have become the thing of legend.  My buddy  Tom in Vermont is the king of one-liners, and they don’t happen very often, but when they do, they are of epic proportion.

Me:  How did the estimate go with the plumber this morning?  How far up your ass did he go?

Tom:  He’s my dentist now.

Four words.  That’s all it took.  It was probably 5 years ago and just a passing conversation and the boy spit out four words and I’m still laughing my balls off 5 years later.

Here is where things get a little tense for me. . .

I like to tell a story.  A lot of the time, they are actual life experiences and many of those experiences are unpleasant, if not downright shitty.  In the telling of those stories, I make them funny in order to make them easier for ME to deal with.  Some of the most unpleasant experiences in my life involve my father.  The funny thing about that is that the MOST popular posts I have ever written on this blog, and were in fact responsible for my readership going into the thousands at the time, were the stories I told about my father.  The trick was, they weren’t “stories”.  They were shit that actually happened, but in telling it, I made it more comfortable for me and the result was . . . well, funny.

It’s now something I do every day.  It’s a habit and I don’t even consciously do it anymore.  It puts people off quite frequently and I’ve become accustomed to the weird looks I often get.  I am 100% certain it has cost me more than one job.

On the upside, it works in my favor more than it doesn’t.

At the VA hospital while setting up a supply closet early in the process, I once had 6 nurses trap me in the closet and they were all telling me all the shit they wanted me to stock the closet with, some of them talking at the same time and it got crazy in there for a minute and I just stood there, silent and something on my face made them all just stop talking and look at me.  I said, “I had this dream . . . but it wasn’t this aggressive and some of you had hats.”

There was silence . . . then hysterical laughter and I had the best relationship with every one of them after that.

It’s the spontaneous shit that works for me.  I once made Diet Coke come out of Liz’s nose because of my interpretation of what the dog would sound like if she had looked up at us from the couch and said “Go fuck yourself”.

And then Liz says to me after my last post, “Just go up there and ad-lib”.

So there is three to five minutes of me on stage with a microphone demonstrating uncomfortable silence.

As much as I appreciate her confidence in my ability, the reality just won’t allow that to happen.  I have, as I said, three to five minutes to make an impression and while I believe in my ability to be funny, to stand on stage, nervous, self-conscious and just a tad out of my element, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to just stand there and shit funny.

So before I start to get the “so where is the video” questions, I wanted to start this multi-part post to let you know what I’m doing to work toward this goal and that I’m not just talking out of my ass.

I’ve been listening to comedians of all sorts while I’ve been driving for the last year or more.  I’ve listened to the podcasts that some of them do, good or bad.  (Highly recommend Marc Maron’s podcast WTF if you haven’t heard it)  I have scoured the internet for tips, tricks, advice and experiences with starting out and open mic nights, etc from comedians old and young.  There are styles I like and styles I don’t, and at the same time, I want to have my own style and my own rhythm.   I love Bill Burr’s stage work, but his podcast is a rambling mess of “I’m doing this ’cause all the other guys are”.  Jim Gaffigan is hilarious to a point, but the “voice” gets real old, real fast.  Tom Segura . . . love the guy and can’t find a thing I don’t like about his act and the same goes for Kyle Kinane.  I think if I had someone to aspire to, it would be those two.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to be the “new insert-fading-comedian-here”.  I want to be me.  An individual that should an interview ever ensue, I could make a list of influences . . . with my father being number 1.

I don’t want to stroke his ego, so I’ll wait til he’s dead to proclaim that one.  He wouldn’t get the joke.

So here is the plunge.  There is a plan, of sorts.  I have a thousand ideas.  I have a thousand stories.  I have a thousand funny things to say.

I have no idea how to narrow that down to three to five minutes.  THAT is what I’m working on.

So far, my plan for an opening line is . . . “Let me start by saying that I am not (pause) young.”

My only planned response for a heckler is:

To:  “You suck!”

Me:  “I’d like to thank my dad for coming out tonight!”

I welcome your opinions, and for Christs’ sake, send ’em.

I’m gonna do this . . . *breathe* . . . it’s gonna happen.

I used to stand on stage in front of hundreds and not give a single shit.  In high school, I stood on stage and SANG in front of hundreds . . .several nights in a row, and I had no problem.

Now I’ve grown up and learned what a shitty, judgmental, easily offended, sensitive society we live in and for some stupid fucking reason, that bothers me.

But at the same time, I give zero fucks and I’m gonna do it.

Anyone with a couple Xanax to spare, I’ll be happy to give you my address.

In the meantime, I’ll sit here and see if Marc Maron and Bill Burr respond to my emails.

Venues I am currently exploring . . . .

Side-Splitters Tampa

The Improv – Ybor

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2017/06/the-plunge-into-stand-up-comedy-part-1/

Jun 02 2017

The Mid-Life Career Change Crisis

Sometimes I feel like I need to sit down and write something on here again and I get an idea.  I ponder it, come up with clever statements about it, form opinions and take in the opinions of others.  I toss the idea around in my head over and over again until finally, I decide I have nothing original to say about it and scrap it altogether.

Wash, rinse, repeat . . . and then days lead to weeks which lead to months and this blog that I have dedicated so many hours to, remains silent.  I get lazy.  I work my ass off during the day and at night sit down and find it easier to pick up the PS4 or Xbox controller than to open up the computer and start to type.

I’ve got plug-ins on the static page that don’t work anymore because of updates to how some sites work, etc and I’ve left them there to just be a reason for people to visit and then decide I’ve abandoned it and they don’t return.  I need to work on them and I’m declaring right here, right now that I’m going to make the time to do it.  Opticynicism needs a face lift and I have to get off my ass and do it.

To answer the one or two of you that might still be around, I’m doing pretty good.  I take my medications as directed religiously and I have had no slides back into depression or otherwise debilitating events.  I work.  I come home, I play games on one of the boxes for a while, I go to sleep and then I go back to work.  Weekends are just extended periods of playing games on the box.  As much as I enjoy that and it keeps my blood pressure and stress levels down in the “green”, it’s not enough and I need to do more.  I’m not “living”.  I’m “existing”.

To this very day, I am still banging on the doors of the VA, trying to get in as a Federal employee at that hospital.  Three years I’ve been banging and three years they won’t open the fucking door.  My stubborn personality is the only thing that has kept that effort going this long, and the anti-depression meds keep me stable so that my stubborn personality can thrive.

In the meantime, I have been working in a menial delivery job.  I’ve been driving a box truck and delivering heavy freight.  I was recently laid off at one company (all of us were, we all came back from our deliveries one Friday a couple weeks ago and they called us all up and said “Thanks, but we’re shutting that office down.  None of you work here anymore.”  and yes . . . that is word for word what they said.)  As luck would have it, my driving record, customer history and recommendations from my previous boss, I was only out of work for about a week and I’m now doing pretty much the same thing but for a little more money working for a better company and had to go through a TSA screening because I am actually contracted through UPS and deal with a lot of international freight.

As would be expected, however, I’ve repeatedly asked myself, “This can’t be it, right?”

I’m working and doing ok, but honestly, without the continued help of, Liz most tremendously, and others as well, I’d still not be doing very well, and at some point, I need to find myself in some kind of state of independence.  I’m not exactly tipping the scales in the salary department and if I were to apply, I’d actually qualify for government assistance.  I’m not homeless based solely on the fact that Liz is a caring and generous human being.  I do what I can to keep her house in order (since she doesn’t actually live in it at the moment after taking a job out of state), but it feels unbalanced to me and that I just don’t do enough.  She repeatedly expresses her gratitude for what I do and does her best to make me feel that I contribute sufficiently, but my own lifelong self-deprecating attitude doesn’t allow me to accept it.

To that end, I’m continuously looking for ways to improve myself, my situation and my life.  Driving freight around sounds like a shitty job, and make no mistake, it is indeed a shitty job, but it does give me something I’ve really not had a lot of.  It has given me a lot of time alone, SOBER, with my thoughts.  Thanks to the iPhone, podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube and Netflix (before you freak out, I listen to comedy shows on Netflix and YouTube, I’m not watching my phone while I drive), I also get a lot of time listening to others and what they have done to improve their lives.

I’ve had a lot of ideas for blog posts, podcasts, video podcasts, commentaries and even books.  I’ve spent literally days weighing my strengths and weaknesses.  Things I can do and things I can’t.  Can I go back to school?  Sure, I can.  It’ll be a pain in the ass and I’ll have to do all kinds of shit that I neither want nor need to do to complete a degree, but eventually I’ll have a degree and then be a dude in his 50’s trying to get jobs dudes and dudettes in their 20’s are trying to get.  Then the question remains whether I’ll manage to finish school before our current administration destroys any chances of me doing so for one reason or another.  (You have no idea how hard it was for me to type that last sentence without cussing or making blatant anti-Trump remarks.)

So . . .

I’ve busted out nearly 1000 words to come to this point.  This is where I’ve landed and a conclusion I have come to.

Am I looking for your opinion and thoughts on the matter?  Yeah, I kinda am.

Am I going to do it even if you tell me I’m an idiot and I will fail?  Yeah, I definitely am.

Because this is something I feel and I can’t ignore it.

I’ve thought about this since I was in my TEENS.

There is one thing that has always brought me infinite joy.  A feeling that shines a light in my chest and makes me feel that everything is ok in the world.  A feeling that lets me fall asleep at night with a smile on my face and get a long, uninterrupted, satisfying nights sleep.  I’ve been madly in love with someone only a few times in my life and it is an incredible feeling, and this comes nearly as close as that.

I love, more than anything else, to make people laugh.

To me, there is nothing more satisfying in the world.  I will make a fool of myself and beat on myself to make it happpen.  I will paint a glorious visual image of a drab situation to make it funny so that the mundane becomes interesting.  I can take an insult as easily as I can give one and in the same breath, give an incredible compliment to diffuse confrontation.

I have used and continue to use humor to survive.

I am going to take a stab at stand-up comedy.

I’ve found the local “open mic night”.  It’s a bit intimidating because Tampa is not a small town and it’s not a small venue and it has spit out a few pretty damn famous people . . . but why start small.

I have been studying and listening to comedians for . . . hell, forever.  I watched Seinfeld before he had a TV show.  I remember going to see Red Skelton as a kid.  I defied my parents as a teenager to stay up and watch An Evening at the Improv.  I have read the blogs, listened to the podcasts and simply followed the careers of comedians from their early years to the recent ones.

Very nearly all of them have the art of storytelling in common, and boy, do I have stories.

Comedy is timing and emphasis and the ability to be relatable.

Comedy is the ability to take the things that make you miserable, or drive you crazy and make them funny so they are easier to swallow.

To me, comedy is not a job or something I have to work at.  It is a defense mechanism that I have used to survive.

I can tell a story and I can make the miserable funny.  I have done it right here.  I have made you (and others that have probably decided I abandoned the place) laugh at things that made me absolutely miserable.  Do the stories about my father ring any bells?  They should.  My readership went from the hundreds to the thousands on those stories alone.  By my own fault, those are numbers I have not seen in several years, but nonetheless, it worked then, it’ll work now.

Will I have to bash my father to make it happen?  Yeah, probably, but I give zero fucks.

I’ve asked myself if 49 is too old to try to start something like that.  I know I’m not the 24 year old stud I was as a fresh Marine Corps boot camp graduate.  I know the camera adds 10 pounds to the 40 pounds too much I already have.

I have also found that successful comedians are also intelligent, as am I .  They have solid and definitive opinions despite those that oppose them, as do I . . . and the number one, most important feature of all is that every single successful comedian is deeply and profoundly troubled for one reason or another, and if you think I might not qualify for that one . . . perhaps you may wanna read over the last few years of this blog.

If you think I’m looking for encouragement and positive words, you’re absolutely right, I am.  I am virtually incapable of giving them to myself, so I need the outside help to get them.  At the same time, I’m not looking for bullshit either.  If you think I’m an idiot for even trying, then say so.  God knows, I’ve said it to myself and even if I don’t want to believe it, I’m going to try it anyway and I have to be prepared for hecklers.  I’d like your honest opinions and encouragement if you have it.

When I was in my teens, I found it easy to get on stage and speak in front of hundreds of people.  It was easy for me and I loved it.  I haven’t done it since then and my anti-social, general hatred of the public that has developed since then is going to make trying to do it again even more difficult.

It scares the shit out of me.

But, by God, I’m going to do it.

I will not allow this to pass as a regret of something I wish I had always done.

I might fail, but I’m going to try.  Every successful comedian failed at some point, and many, more than once.  But they were persistent.  They had a passion and a desire and they pushed through and they succeeded despite the failures.

Funny thing is, the moment I’m actually successful at it . . .

. . . the goddamn VA will probably call with the job offer.

 

Peace, my friends . . . . please speak up!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2017/06/the-mid-life-career-change-crisis/

Aug 30 2016

Spank the Stigma!

Anti-abortion demonstrators hold signs during a Priests for Life protest outside the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Court as the Court hears the oral arguments in the "Priests for Life v. US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)" case in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2014. The case centers around the HHS mandate in the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, that religious organizations must cover contraceptions and abortion as part of their health insurance benefits, even if that goes against the organization's religious beliefs. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

I know, I’ve got a lot of gall disappearing for weeks on end, then upon my (probably brief) return, I turn around and ask you all for a favor.

That’s what I’m doing, though.

Trust me, it’s a good cause, and probably a cause close to everyone’s heart.

So let me get to the matter at hand.  (That’ll be funny in a minute.)

Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook, it came to my attention that there is particular set of the pro-life group that has decided that every single sperm, EVER is a life.  Or potential life.  Or something.  I’m so confused by the absurdity of the whole movement that I can’t see straight.

Of course, being who I am, the first thing that came to mind was Monty Python, because they had this idea first.

Then, like every jackass with an uninformed opinion, I shared the post on my Facebook page with the usual amount of sarcasm and self-righteousness.

Then I actually read the damn thing and discovered that the sarcasm and self-righteousness was well deserved.

Then I posted my own petition as a counter to the anti-spank campaign.

You may sign it here.

Then, while pondering the absolute absurdity of the entire idea, not to mention the ridiculously inaccurate medical information, I had to believe that 85,000 people could not possibly be this goddamn stupid.

Then I thought about who our presidential candidates are and concluded that 85,000 isn’t even a drop in the bucket . . . but I digress.

Thankfully, Snopes proved that the anti-spankers were indeed, non-existent.  I mean, there probably are people out there that believe that bullshit.  I’m sure Westboro Baptist Church has an opinion on the matter that is wrong.

At any rate, I still think my petition is a good idea.  Please give it some support and pass it around.  Who knows, maybe it will alert the attention of actual people that think this way and give us something else to make fun of.

Because the Trump and Hillary jokes are getting old already.

Join the movement and SPANK THE STIGMA!!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2016/08/spank-the-stigma/

Jun 17 2016

Liz’s Soapbox . . .

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I’m going to go a little bit outside of my usual feeble attempts at humor and regular sprinkling of profanity and share this post that was written by my friend and personal savior, Liz.  You’ve all heard me mention her frequently before, but this time the post is written by her completely, and it covers a serious subject that demands respect.  Please feel free to comment below and pass this around to all you know that this pertains to, Nurses, Doctors and Veterans alike.

Now here’s Liz:

[Originally posted on her personal Facebook page and reproduced here with her full permission]

My friends, Again, I apologize for being on my soapbox today. It was brought to my attention by my son that Doug Rhorbeck at Fox News aired a report on June 1, 2016 suggesting that veterans would receive substandard care by allowing advanced practice nurses (ARNP’s and CRNA’s) to practice within the full scope of their licenses. There’s suggestion that nurses, and in particular ARNP’s and CRNA’s, are not trained or qualified to provide care. There is a largely biased opinion that the age old stigma of the nurse being a physician handmaiden that is unqualified to assess any change in patient condition whether it is a RN or an advance practice nurse. Indirectly, you can infer that anyone short of a physician is unqualified to provide care to patients. While I’m not discounting physician training or sacrifices that physicians make, nursing and a number of allied health professionals whether it’s a physical therapist, social worker, EMT’s, etc. have received training to provide care and often times comfort to patients in need. These allied health professionals also make sacrifices to receive advance education and training. Many times our families wait for birthday or holiday celebrations so that we may provide care to those in need. I’m tagging my fellow nurse friends, nurse practitioner friends, and allied health friends. I apologize in advance for the tag, but I know you support me in sharing this story. You can view the link to Fox New’s report and sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/doug-rohrbeck-fox-news-must-make-amends-for-attack-on-nurses-in-va-report

This is my open letter to Fox News:

 

Hey Fox News,

Here’s a news flash for you. Florence Nightingale is dead! Gone are the days of the nurse being a physician handmaiden. In fact it was Florence Nightingale who promoted education and training of nurses. We now often hold not only years of practice, but advanced degrees and specialized certifications. Nurse practitioners and training for nurse practitioners began in the 1960’s. That means nurse practitioners have been practicing for well over 50 years. As for CRNA’s, their education and training has been around since the 1800’s. Some of current anesthesia practices were developed by whom? A nurse!Her name is Alice McGaw. Every state has a board of nursing and a nurse practice act to ensure public safety. We are governed by that board. This includes nurse practitioners. If our abysmal healthcare system has a chance at improving outcomes, it will happen as a result of the highly trained ARNP’s, CRNA’s, Physician assistants, and yes…..my fellow nurses and allied health professionals. It’s the only way to augment outcomes and improve access.

Furthermore it is often the nurse who identifies the patient’s change in condition first. Why? Because we are at the bedside with the patient. The physician is there a brief time. Nurses are there 24/7. There have been many times in my career I’ve argued with physicians over an observed change that was dismissed. It’s called advocacy. Nurses do it every day and countless lives are saved because of it. I know many of my nurse friends, myself included, have “trained” resident physicians and stopped them from making mistakes by looking at them and saying: “You don’t want to do that”. The smart ones listen to the nurse. Those that don’t often present at their weekly morbidity and mortality conference.

Perhaps an interview with Joy Behr would remind you of the solidarity in the nursing profession. It’s time to eliminate the opinion that nurses are uneducated sex symbols who can only think under the direction of a physician. Nurses are highly skilled, critical thinking, compassionate professionals who look at the patient holistically. It is for this reason I choose to see a Nurse Practitioner when one is available to me. Nurse practitioners take the time to holistically evaluate the patient and in my experience provide superior care to that of a physician.

I am proud of my profession that I have practiced in for 28 years. I demand a retraction and a TRUE and balanced view of the nursing profession. Your suggestion that only a physician can provide quality care is categorically outdated.

Elizabeth Olis MSN, RN-BC, CNL

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2016/06/lizs-soapbox/

May 12 2016

I’m running for President again

It’s been just over 4 months since I’ve posted.  Doesn’t come anywhere close to my record of 4 years between posts, but a long time nonetheless.  I’m still trying to decide if it is lack of motivation, lack of interest or lack of anything I deem as interesting to say.  I’m sure it’s a combination of all three, but one thing that it is NOT is me having gone off the deep end . . . again.

I am still clean and sober (and that’s been for over a year now).  I still work for peanuts and live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes not even that well, and if it weren’t for Liz’s generosity, I’d be living on the street.

. . . but I’m sober, and I’m ok.

I’m still fighting to find a decent job that I can actually live off of on my own.  It’s a fight that still seems futile at times.  Occasionally I see a light at the end of the tunnel but I have become accustomed to walking against the wall of the tunnel because of the frequency with which it is a train.  I’m still holding out hope that one of these days that novel that I have trapped in my head somewhere is going to actually find its way to an actual page and make me the tens of dollars I need to support myself.

Maybe someday I’ll even find out what it’s about.

I’m not doing the Uber thing anymore, and not because I didn’t enjoy it.  I didn’t, but that is beside the point.  Fact is, they just dropped the rates so low that it is impossible to make any money at it.  Sure, you’ll still find drivers that say they make gobs of money every week doing it, but those are the drivers that haven’t sat down and figured out their expenses and vehicle wear and tear yet.  Boy, are they going to be disappointed when they figure that out.

Now I’m working with a company that delivers cars for Enterprise, car dealerships, etc.  Still a lot of driving, but I spend most of my time alone (as I should be) and I’m not using my own gas.  I also drive primarily brand new cars and some damn nice ones at that.  Cars, that at this time in my life, I can only dream of affording.

I spend quite a bit of that time thinking about what I should be here writing about, and what makes me sad is that in the past 4 months, I haven’t come up with anything good.  I listen to the radio and I just hear about the incredible amount of bullshit going on in the world around me.  I thank God for my antidepressants and wonder when I’m going to have to ask for them to be stronger.

It’s an election year and I labor over which I’m going to vote for, cancer, syphilis, or execution by firing squad, because those seem to be the only choices we are being given.  A few years ago, I even offered myself up as a Presidential candidate but everyone thought it was a joke and we all laughed about it.

 

Who's laughin' now?

Who’s laughin’ now?

So I’ve decided to solve several problems at once and offer myself up for election again.  I’ve been looking for a decent job, and hell, if we’re worried about skeletons in the closet, I’ve posted most of them right here anyway.

Yes, I inhaled and yes, I had sex with that woman.  Also, I don’t remember the better part of the late 80’s and early 90’s, so there is that as well.

I am hereby offering myself as your favorite write-in vote for President of the United States and announce my new campaign slogan:

I GIVE NO FUCKS!!

Do you have a penis and wish you had a vagina?  Do you have a vagina and wish you had a penis?  Do you have to go to the bathroom?  – As long as you don’t piss on the floor, I don’t give a fuck where you choose to go to the bathroom!

Did a police officer order you to stop and you did not stop?  You get SHOT, I don’t give a fuck what color you are!

Did you enter someone’s home without their permission and get yourself shot?  Then you committed a crime and you are stupid and I hope it killed you.  I don’t give a fuck what kind of neighborhood you grew up in, breaking and entering being a crime HAS NOT BEEN KEPT A SECRET FROM YOU!!

Do you live in another country and want to become a US Citizen?  I’m all for it and we welcome you and after you learn English and become ready to pay taxes like every other citizen in the US, we’ll let you in, not before.  I don’t give a fuck what country you’re coming from.

Do you believe in changing the laws to fit your religious beliefs?  Then you will go to a country in which that is acceptable practice.  We (supposedly) separate church and state in the US.  I don’t give a fuck if that is how they did it in your country.  If things were so good in your country, why did you leave?

Do you think you should get $15 an hour to work at McDonald’s?  I’ll tell you what we’ll do; if you can write me a 1500 word essay on why you should get $15 an hour working at McDonald’s that has no misspelled words or grammatical errors in it, then you can get paid $15 an hour to work at McDonald’s.  I don’t give a fuck what you think you deserve just for showing up to work.

The income of professional athletes will be taxed at a rate of 90%, no exceptions.  This money will go directly into the military payroll and be distributed equally among all military service men and women.  I don’t give a fuck that you made it to the Super Bowl, give me a shout when you’re overseas dodging bullets.

Common Core math is to be eliminated.  8+5 = 13, 8+5 does NOT equal 10 and then add 3 later because the extra 3 was in the way and you only needed the 10.  “ish” is not a math term.  We don’t add 10+12 to get 20ish.  This isn’t math, it’s fucking witchcraft and it is lazy as hell.  If I hit you 8 times with a bat and 5 times with a brick, the medical examiner will not document that you were struck 10ish times, I don’t give a fuck when you lost consciousness.  George Orwell did not invent math, he wrote fiction.

This teacher should be beaten with a brick.

This teacher should be beaten with a brick.

Yes, you will take a drug test on a regular basis to qualify for Food Stamp and Welfare benefits and you will have to pass it with flying colors.  I don’t give a fuck if you think it will be too expensive.  I’m willing to bet the money saved on NOT giving benefits to people spending it on their local street corner will make it pay for itself.  Go ahead and bitch.  The only ones that will complain are the ones that know they wont pass.

All of congress, senate, house of representatives and supreme court justices are fired.  I don’t give a fuck how long you’ve been there or what ‘great things” you think you have done.  You’re all gone and a whole new set of people are to be elected.  No one over the age of 40 is permitted to run.

I know there is much, much more that needs to be covered, but I think that is good enough to start a platform.  Are there any other issues you want me to tackle?  Put ’em in the comments below.  Let’s show the world in 2016 that America doesn’t Give a Fuck!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2016/05/2905/

Jan 04 2016

Trying to keep my standards low

low standards

Since we’re all pretty much drowning in New Year’s resolution bullshit all over the interwebs and bloggerwebs and where the hell ever else it always pops up this time of year, I’ll just stick to this as my resolution for 2016:

Keep my standards low.

Or as @RageMilchele helped me put it . . . May 2016 not suck as much as 2015.

One need only look back at my posts over the course of 2015 to see that there was, to put it insanely lightly, room for improvement.

Pretty much just staying sober this year is going to make that exponentially possible, and thanks to the Parade of Asshats that pass through my Uber every weekend – reminding me why I don’t want to drink, I’m thinking that is going to be pretty easy to do.

That and not forgetting to keep the happy pill prescription refilled.

So this year I’ve decided to start some new things.  I’ve started another blog that I will not advertise here as I’ve made no secret of my real name here and I am unable to stake a public claim to the new blog at this point.  (Requests from people I know will be honored if you’d like to see the project, though.)  I’ve also put some work into another project I’d like to complete that will take a couple of years or more to finish, but it is something I have always wanted to do, and it ain’t cheap either, as it involves a visit to Auschwitz.

Yes, THAT Auschwitz.

Yes, THAT Auschwitz.

Don’t let my absence make you believe I haven’t been keeping myself occupied.  I’ve even been writing stuff.

I’ve been writing stuff and I have Fallout 4 on my Xbox One and if any of you knows of the video game crack that is Fallout 4, then you understand that getting anything written is nothing short of a miracle.

Fallout-4-600x300

It occurred to me that I should update my subscribers as to my whereabouts, so first things first, I went to check and see if I still had any.  I do, so score one for 2016.  Then it occurred to me that I have no idea what to update you about, because there is so much to share and most of it is lame.  So I figured I’d go to my phone and see what I’ve taken pics of over the last couple months . . . I mean, I took the pics for a reason, right?

Here’s what came up:

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I’m a male and apparently that means we are automatically attracted to things that light up, so somewhere around the end of November, I put underglow on my car, so there is your upcoming post about the traffic ticket I’m inevitably going to get.

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In the beginning of December, Liz had to take a business trip to Arizona.  Upset about having to leave her Cadillac behind and go across the country, she made sure to send me a picture of the rental car she had to “slum it” in while she was there.  Poor thing.

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I made chicken noodle soup . . . with matzo balls.  From motherfucking SCRATCH, Yo!  That’s right.  I started with a pot of water and a raw chicken and by the time I was done, good shit had happened.  What that means for you is that another one of my almost famous, perverted as fuck, recipes (My God, was that more than a year ago already?!) is going to be posted soon, so get ready to choke a chicken!

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I also learned out to make one of my most favoritest things ever that my mom and grandma ever made for me.  I could eat this every day until I die (which would not take long) and be happy.  They are called Rouladen for those of you that are connoisseurs of German food and they involve BACON, so, ’nuff said.  This also means that there will be another perverted recipe coming up in the future, so if you’ve never smeared mustard all over your meat, get ready for some FUN!

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I got into yet another pissing contest with Uber.  Not so much a pissing contest as I not-so-politely pointed out some issues with their policies and they responded by blowing sunshine up my ass.  It wasn’t even real sunshine.  It was fake sunshine and that shit hurts.

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I found an invisible lizard.  Well, maybe not invisible, but it was see-through.  You could see its little lungs and heart and shit.  I’d never seen one like that before and he let me get really close to him to take the picture.  I’m guessing that would be because he was over there going “Ha!  I’m invisible!  You can’t see me!  Fuck off!”  Stupid lizard.

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Two weeks ago, I cleaned out the refrigerators.  Yes, refrigerators, plural.  There’s one in the garage.  I found this in the garage refrigerator.  Yes, two weeks ago.  Yes, that meat had expired 49 weeks prior.  Nobody in this house is proud that we let that happen, but in our defense, it was in the back of a drawer.  A drawer that we did not dare open, until two weeks ago.  Now we know why.  I’m almost mad that I didn’t let it slide another couple weeks just so I could brag about the full year.

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Given that the lamb chops were out of the question, I decided to have spaghetti instead.  That started off well after discovering that the box was in the closet upside-down.  Thank you to Teri of Snarkfest for letting me know that I am not the only person who has done this.  It was angel hair, too.  I’m gonna be finding that shit for weeks.

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Somewhere in there, I learned that this was the first profile photo I ever used on Facebook.  I’d like to recreate it but I’m not willing to go to Michigan for the tree, so I’ll have to do it somewhere around here with a palm tree.  Bald vs Ponytail.  Glasses vs no glasses.  Single vs married.  Still goddamn gorgeous.

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Finally, I got to experience one of the updates to the Uber driver app . . . at least for a couple of hours while I was on a trip to Orlando . . . they show us the comments that our riders give us, and as you can see, I fake not being an asshole pretty good sometimes!

With that, I’ll give it a rest.  Not that I don’t have any more pictures, but some things are just better left unseen.

I’ve had a few interesting Uber riders to tell you about on top of everything else I’ve got going on, so look forward to seeing those as well as the recipes and whatever other nonsense I can come up with. . . . but let’s keep this interesting:

What weird, boring shit do you have hidden in your phone’s photos?  C’mon . . .  go ahead . . .  you can tell us!

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I even made it so you can add an image to your comment, right under the Submit button and above the CommentLuv button . . . you have no excuses!!

Except litigation.  Litigation is an excuse.

Thanks to all you hanger-oners!!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.opticynicism.com/2016/01/trying-to-keep-my-standards-low/

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