Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Read Me Like A Book

                                                       photo courtesy of

It dawns on me as of this writing that a creative outlet is what I need to thrive. Blogging has always been a nice hobby, something to give me an avenue to express myself, get my thoughts out there for anyone that cared to take a look. 

It grew from the seed implanted when I first began writing sports related articles for my college newspaper. Somewhere in between I had a little blog that I posted some sports articles on, and within a week or so, I was asked to write under the mantle of Bleacher Report. Almost four years later, I am now a Featured Columnist for the website, and can boast of impressive read totals for each article that I post. 

But my love for the written word has always been devoted more to the creative, fictional side of things than hard and serious news stories. My old laptop is filled with files of random and useless short stories. There may even be one or two (maybe five) half-written novels on the hard-drive as well. Nothing worth mentioning here, but a lot of time and effort went into those writings.

Now as I sit here tapping away at the keyboard, I'm struck by an almost profound sense of loss. The loss of not having some of those writings to simply look over and laugh at how stupid I could have been t write those things. How poorly written they were. Even the ridiculous subject matter (one of which included a duck that a little boy believed to be his grandfather). 

But the loss is mainly in wondering if I can ever get back the magic that I sometimes felt when writing. There were times when I felt as if electricity was coursing through my veins as I wrote.

I haven't felt that way in a long time. But something tells me that the feeling is going to be making a comeback sometime very soon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Destination Of Inspiration

                                                 photo courtesy of

It's not secret to anyone that my love affair with Charles Bukowski is paramount to all other literary figures. It was him that inspired me to begin writing in the first place. It has now been a ten-plus year journey that has had its ups and downs.

I've never really been able to relate to why Hank always struck a chord with me, but ever since an introduction to literature course I took my second semester in college, I was hooked by his words, which at many times could be lovingly described as vulgar.

And maybe that's why I always related to him. Not that I'm a pervert, or degenerate, but boiling things down to their lowest common denominator has always been my calling card. Why waste time and energy being indirect. 

It's best to speak in a no-nonsense manner. And if people don't agree, I think Bukowski would probably call them full of shit and throw a punch. 

Which might not be MY style, but the part about being blunt certainly rings true. It was put to me a couple of weeks ago by a friend that I generally "give zero fucks."

There is a level of honesty in his writings that simply led me to fall in love instantaneously. Vulgarity and subject matter aside, the guy knew how to tell a story. I'd love to say that I could carry that mantle into my generation, but at the end of the day, it might be hard since my parents don't constantly beat each other, my car runs perfectly and I only enjoy the occasional drink. 

Even so, it's something to shoot for.

Taking my cues from a guy that said that one of the keys to life was "to fuck a great many women," and wrote countless stories of brutal violence and blackout drinking might not be something that many people would expect from me. And despite the fact that he seemed to be an abusive alcoholic, and lived a life of pain and suffering, there was a great beauty in his written words. And clearly I'm not the only one that thinks so. To wit, Bukowski is now regarded as an essential figure in the genre of literature.

Which in the end is not too bad for a guy whose tombstone reads "Don't try."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On The Rocky Franchise

                                            photo courtesy of

As many of you who follow my Twitter or are my Facebook friends can well attest, my latest mental obsession has been with viewing the Rocky franchise of movies.

I've been annoying my co-workers by calling myself "the Ultimate Male" as Thunderlips did in Rocky III.

I have been yelling "Hey woman!" at my girlfriend as Clubber Lang did in that same film.

It's only a matter of time before I start running laps around an outside track and facing cutaway shots of mysterious substances being shot into my rippling shoulders like Ivan Drago in the fourth installment, or sprinting up a series of steps like Rocky did in every film.

The bigger situation with this though is that I realized that these films actually teach life lessons.

The first installment taught us to never give up, no matter what the odds.

Rocky II preaches the same thing, only this time Rocky gets the big payoff by defeating Apollo Creed.

Rocky III teaches you to stick up for your woman, an archaic idea, but still a value to have for any young man growing up.

Rocky IV taught us all that one fictional boxer could topple the entire Soviet Union.

Rocky V taught us that Tommy Morrison has no business being an actor.

The main idea is that no matter what the obstacle, you can always persevere. Although the filmmakers almost ended that idea by having Tommy Gunn kill Rocky in the famous streetfight in the unwatchable Rocky V.

Luckily for Rocky, the ending was scrapped.

Not as lucky for movie fans, there would be another installment.

Mason "the Line" Dixon?


Really really?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hard Work and Dedication: Do Nice Guys Finish Last?

I was always told that if you work hard and really put forth your best effort, things will eventually go your way.

I lose faith in that advice from time to time.

I by no means have had a rough life in terms of struggling. I've never gone hungry, or lacked a roof over my head.

But at times, I have felt that I'm walking alone in life. Which was always ok in the past, because my feeling was that I never needed anyone to succeed.

But now, in my wise and learned state, I realize that one of the keys to life is making connections. It IS all in who you know. Your life, or more importantly, your professional life, is based very heavily on connections.

Which is sort of sad for a lot of people that have genuine drive and talent and miss out on opportunities because of a lack of lucky networking.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe I'm cynical.

But I'm also probably right.

On Love

The word love has the potential to mean many different things to many different people. It can strike fear in a heart, or warm one to the point of overflowing.

When I was five, I thought that love meant sharing your crayons.

When I was twelve, I thought that you were automatically in love with anyone that you dated (whatever "dating" is at age twelve).

When I was fourteen, I thought that love was crushing on a girl who didn't even know that I existed. At that age, buying a girl a chocolate rose and sheepishly asking her "Will you go out with me?" was a life-changing ordeal. She remains to this day the only girl who has ever turned down my request for a date.

But she's a cow now, so I take comfort in that.

When I was seventeen, love meant stealing my friends girlfriend, because she seemed to be a nice girl. Enter my story about her father being a concentration camp survivor, and comparing me to a guard that he feared when he was a little boy. Needless to say, that was not love. But it does make for an interesting story.

When I was nineteen, love really kicked the shot out of me. I was positive that I knew what love was, I knew the ins and outs of the dreaded word.

I knew nothing. I know that now.

Then for many years, I thought that I was really in love. I thought that I was set for life. I thought that I was happy.

I know that that I was being controlled. Programmed. Used as a plaything. The victim of a vindictive and mentally abusive shrew.

Not that I'm bitter of course.

Then fate intervened and said to me "You've paid your dues. You've suffered enough. It's time for you to be happy."

Which was kind of weird, because I had no idea that fate could actually speak, let alone sound like James Earl Jones.

Love is one of those things that works in funny ways. Chances meetings can lead to great things. Random events can lead to eternal happiness. Going out on a limb can be the key to putting a permanent smile on your face.

I can attest to all of these things first-hand. One of my literary idols, Ernest Hemingway once said "There isn't always an explanation for everything." I've always agreed with that much so in fact that it was my senior quote in the high school yearbook.

I may not be able to explain why I'm in love, but I know for a certainty that I don't ever want that feeling to go away. Nor do I ever plan on allowing it to go away, and I'll do anything that I can to insure that it never does.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Rules of War

(In honor of this blog being read in Russia for the first time, I dedicate this post to the masters of the slash and burn technique. Froze a certain Nazi douchebag right in his tracks during World War II)

I feel like wars can be over in like, three seconds nowadays. Which really leads to the question of why the hell American troops have been in Iraq for like, twenty years now, but that's another post for another day. Warfare used to be more civilized right?

There's something about standing in lines and just shooting at each other that seems more fair doesn't it?

Couldn't wars be won based on things other than weaponry and money? It could save a lot of money and blood.

So let's put aside all of the jets and WMD's and just make up five new rules of engagement for warfare in today's society.

1. World leaders should be involved in slap fights. Wouldn't all Americans love to see Barack Obama lay the smack down on Muammar Quaddafi?

Oh wait, that can't happen anymore.

What about Kim Jong-Il? Oh.

Too soon?

2. Has anyone seen You Don't Mess With the Zohan? All dissension that's been going on for more than twenty years needs to be decided with a hacky sack. It's so democratic it hurts.

3. Beauty contests should decide all land disputes. Sorry residents of Uglystan.

4. All guns should be replaced with wiffleball bats. Youtube would crash with the amount of videos being posted. And people everywhere would care about wars, especially if it meant seeing others get nailed in the genitals with a yellow stick.

5. The first country that can successfully sing "We Are The Champions" in its entirety wins. No disputes. Bonus points awarded for dressing like Freddie Mercury. I'm talking to you here you here of Norway.

Also, you can't win anything just because you say "I win." The global climate should not be decided by an argument that any three year-old can make.

Though when you think about it, are politicians any better than toddlers?


Friday, December 16, 2011


I hate surprises.

Let me rephrase that: I actually love surprises, but I hate when I know something is coming but don't know what it is.

And of course, I'm always the recipient of the "you're gonna LOVE what I got you for (insert special occasion here)". And usually, I imagine that I'm getting a new car or something and end up with a brand spanking new ballpoint pen.

I hate the guessing game. When I know something is coming my way, I tend to try not to think about it. It limits my stress, and I think limits the stress of the person that's doing the surprising. And anyway, I normally don't NEED anything, so it's pretty easy for me to figure things out.

I haven't been surprised about a gift in roughly six years. I guess that I'm just a natural detective.

Of course, there are things in life that I find surprising. Among them are that:

-I had no idea that Jon Jones would defeat Mauricio Rua for the UFC Light Heavyweight title in March. If I had, I could have made some money.

-I had no idea that ALL women perfume their lady parts. It's just a fact.

-I had no idea that a Christmas CD is only acceptable if it has two versions each, count them TWO of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" AND "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

-It is possible to die from a disorder known as "cute overload."

-The housing market in California is cheaper than New York.

-I was very surprised to find that there really is no difference in taste between Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper.

A random sampling to be sure, but that probably accounts for 80% of the things that surprise me these days.

Let's remember, I'm a New Yorker.