Monday, February 20, 2012

This Title Is Post-Modern

Do people not realize that other people exist? Do they not understand that those people who may have different ideological views are still people, just like them? They live and breath and probably enjoy freedom just as much as anybody else. I don't understand where all the hate comes from. People don't just dislike Obama or disagree with his views, they fucking hate his guts, think he's satan's spawn and is destroying the country. Republicans don't just disagree with liberals, they think of them as goddamn hippy tree-huggers who are ruining the country with their ideas of free give-aways and getting something for nothing. Liberals don't just disagree with republicans, they think they are old insane people who won't let go of their guns long enough to have a simple conversation. We don't see each other as similar Americans with a few different ideas, but different people altogether, crazy people with ridiculous ideas who should just shut up and let the smarter folk run the country, the ones who know better.

It's also as if people don't realize our government has a system of checks and balances. The president isn't god. He can't do everything he wants. He can't destroy the country in four years. Give it a break. Give it a rest. Give it something. Just calm the hell down already. Everyone's too extreme in their own opinions and unwilling to hear anything that might change their mind. They are as set about their opinions as a train and nothing less than an explosion is going to derail them. I just wish people were more open, more willing to listen, more willing to compromise, but compromises are never good enough, apparently. It always has to be all one way or the other.

I guess the biggest thing is I wish people didn't take everything they heard as fact. I wish people would take into account where they received their information from, who was their source? And just what is that sources' intentions? What does that source want you to think? There's no such thing as being unbiased and their never was. There's always a spin, and knowing what it is helps you determine just what the message is that somebody is trying to tell you. You might be able to separate the facts from the speculation, from the complete fiction. Take everything with a grain of salt, as they say. Hell, take everything with the entire salt shaker. Question everything.

I recently fired a rifle at a target for fun. I have to say it was quite enjoyable. It was also frightening. Guns are really scary things, powerful machines capable of killing. It made me think about things. One big issue between political parties is gun control and gun laws. There are reasonably good arguments for both sides. On the one hand, it does seem like guns find their way into certain hands too easily. I have no doubt that if guns were heavily restricted and regulated more so than they are now, that gun crime would probably go down. Of course, on the other hand, people argue that if guns are restricted then the only ones who have guns are criminals. This is also a pretty good argument. It's a fine line, how restrictive laws should be in regards to guns. They are incredibly powerful weapons. Imagine making one stupid mistake that cost someone their life. It is a very big deal. I must say that those I was with were very very conscious about safety. They know the power of guns and took the right precautions and it was very safe. Obviously many are unsafe and accidents happen. I think I come down somewhere in the middle on this issue. I do think Americans should be allowed to own guns, perhaps even carry them, but I also think they should be regulated. You should be found to not have mental problems or criminal history to own a gun, things like that. We should try as hard as we can to keep guns out of the hands of those who would do wrong with them. I don't think anyone would disagree with me on that point. Anyways, onwards.

I don't know why this post today is so political. I guess I've just been thinking about those sorts of things lately. I think this country is moderate and should continue to be moderate. Moderate is a compromise, is the middle between left and right, liberal and republican. It's the reason we have two major parties after all. You cannot get everything you want in this life, we all know that. It's not fair, blah blah blah. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Maybe you can have half a cake and smell it, if you compromise. I don't know. I think that's why I like Obama. Because he is moderate and has tried to see both sides, to form compromises. Of course, that just means he gets hated on by both sides. Republicans tried to stop everything, he tried to compromise and democrats hated him for compromising too much. Sounds like an impossible job, but I still think he's doing better than any of the republican candidates would. Mitt Romney's just a rich guy out of touch with the middle class, Gingrich is a terrible human being, and Santorum hates gays. That's quite a group you got there.

This post is very late. It is Monday evening but let's just say I had a busy day yesterday and leave it at that. It's becoming ruthless, trying to keep up with Nate and achieve 50k words by March 1st. I'm at about 30k right now, which means 20,000 words in about nine days. That's rough, but I'll keep pushing on.

I've been considering doing a serial after February. A serial is just a fictional story where the author continues it every week. There's a website called which takes links to various author's serials and posts them up every week for readers who are interested. Could be a good way to get my name out there. Not sure what I'd do though. A story where you update once a week with a 1000 words or so would be pretty difficult, but it'd keep me writing and that's always a good thing. They also have a bunch of articles about serial fiction on that site which are very informative and interesting. I'm also thinking about participating in Friday Flash Fiction ( because that sounds really cool and also another way to get writing and get my name out there.

That's it for today. Kind of lame, really, I know but like I said, 20k in 9 days ain't easy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blah Blah Blogpost

I literally hate bouncing. At least, I hate being at the top of the stairs, because no matter what, I feel like crap. Basically I either act like an asshole, which makes me feel like crap, or I'm nice and end up letting too many people downstairs, which means I'm doing a bad job, which also makes me feel like crap. I don't enjoy being an asshole but it seems like that's what you have to be and I'm just getting sick of it. It's an impossible job, especially with the type of people you have to deal with. Another bouncer told me a woman called me a "fucking asshole" after I asked them to leave because we were closing. I literally said "It's past 2 and we're closed so if you could please finish up and head towards the door as soon as possible, thanks." Then she called me a "fucking asshole" behind my back as I walked away. Seriously, what the fuck? I'm getting sick of dealing with these fucking people.

Last night sucked, but oh well. Onwards and upwards.

My beer is better than I thought. At first, it seemed a little sweet, no head, little carbonation and very light body. I think the problem was all the sugar didn't dissolve, and the temperature in the study fluxuated alot, so the yeast didn't do it's job very well, therefore not much carbonation or alcohol. After having a few more now, it seems to taste better. Maybe a little more aging or just some time in the fridge gives it a little more body, tastes more like a real beer, and is generally tasty. So I'm pleased with it.

The word race is frantic and close, with Nate pulling ahead so far. It's tough, pouring out so many words so fast but also fun. The fantasy novel is becoming bigger and (hopefully) better. I'm expanding the scope with more characters so you could say it's becoming more 'epic'. Gah, I do hate how often that word is used these days. It barely has any meaning anymore. That and 'fail'. Really, just stop using those words as if they make you sound cool or funny, because they don't.

I've been reading a large amount of Cormac McCarthy lately. I finished All The Pretty Horses, which is really good. I'm not sure how to describe his writing. It's eloquent, it flows, his descriptions are beautiful, his dialogue is authentic. All The Pretty Horses is a fantastic western. I've also reread Blood Meridian. It might be my favorite novel. The character of the Judge is terrifying, and the kid is the lone gunslinger. Again, the descriptions of the Old West are utterly beautiful and mesmerizing, meanwhile the kid witnesses utterly brutal violence beyond measure. It is definitely the most violent book I've read. What's also crazy is it is somewhat based on reality. McCarthy researched Glanton's band of indian scalpers thoroughly. What's true and what's fictional isn't clear but it doesn't matter. It all feels true. So true that it hurts, makes you wonder just how insane the old west was, how crazy people can be.

I'm almost done with No Country For Old Men, which is also good. It's easier to read than All The Pretty Horses or Blood Meridian, easier to follow. It's still McCarthy's style and is just as good if not better than the movie, and I really liked the movie. SPOILER: Many people didn't like how the main character dies 3/4 of the way through the movie, off-screen and with no hollywood flare. There was also the fact that Tommy Lee Jones has a moment where he could engage with the bad guy, and chooses instead to leave and retire. And then the bad guy goes and kills the girl and gets away. It is understandable many people reacted badly to this. I did at first, as well. I wanted Moss and Chigurgh to meet at the end in a bloody firefight, and being denied that makes you feel...betrayed, almost. After thinking about it though, I really do love that movie. How ballsy is it to kill the main character off-screen and 3/4 of the way through the film? It's completely unexpected and I like that. I enjoy when a movie surprises me, when it's not what you expect, when it doesn't follow the hollywood convention. Besides, it makes sense, especially in the book. This is no country for old men. Tommy chooses not to face the evil because he can't. It's too much and yeah that's disappointing but to me, it's much more interesting than the same old hero fights bad guy and wins. Hollywoods been pumping out the same stories constantly, it's nice to see ones that can surprise us, even if it infuriates us as well.

I sort of feel the same way about Drive. At first, I wasn't sure I liked it, because it is definitely not what you expect. At first it sort of feels like something you've seen before. Yeah, these are criminals, the main character is a driver for robberies, but they're also funny and friendly, not really bad guys at all, you know those characters. And the main guy meets a girl, but the girl has an abusive husband whose in a bad sort of trouble, so you can basically see what's going to happen. Then, it takes a dark turn, a very dark turn and keeps going. The main character, who just seemed like a loner with a dark past, turns out to be something quite different. Now, after thinking about it, I like it. It's a good movie, but one that is quite different then you will expect. I enjoy being surprised, seeing something new. I also really like Ryan Gosling, and the acting is quite good, as well as the soundtrack which is pretty crazy. You know, I like it when a movie makes me think afterwards, makes me really figure out whether I actually enjoyed it or not. There's always those movies where it's clear cut, bam it's good or it's not and that's the end of it. The ones that make you wonder, though, those are good simply because you're still thinking about them long after you finish the film. Hmm, after looking up Drive, apparently it was based on a crime novel of the same name. Interesting.

Anyways, I need to get working on my novel or else Nate's going to increase his lead even more.

"I don't know what to make of that. I sure don't. The crime you see now, it's hard to even take its measure. It's not that I'm afraid of it. I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job. But, I don't want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something I don't understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He'd have to say, "O.K., I'll be part of this world."
-Ed Tom Bell, No Country For Old Men

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Sunday

It's Superbowl Sunday, a rematch of epic proportions between the New York Football Giants and the New England Tom Brady Patriots. It's looking to be a great game and I'm working during it. Yes, I'm bouncing during the superbowl. At least I'll be at a sports bar with entirely too many televisions, so I will be able to watch it, while also attempting to watch the packed masses of patriots and giants fans yelling and screaming and getting drunk. I'm rooting for the giants though I'm not looking forward to after the game if the patriots lose. Hopefully the pats fans don't do anything crazy, but we'll see.

Lately, when bouncing, my position has been at "the top of the stairs" which means I get to count people who go up and downstairs, and when we reach a certain number, I'm the one who gets to start a line. For some reason people really want to go down into the sweaty hot mess that is downstairs. It is simply a large dance floor with a dj booth and a bar. The upstairs is playing the same music, but everybody wants to go downstairs. It becomes incessantly hot and sweaty, with over a hundred people bumping and grinding with terrible dance(if you could call it that) moves. It takes awhile to get a drink and honestly I don't see the reason to want to go downstairs when it's packed, yet every weekend night, it fills up and a huge line forms. The funny part is, often upstairs will look slow and dead while the line is fucking packed. I mean, most times, if everyone in line simply merged into the open space upstairs and started dancing, it would be the same goddamn thing as downstairs. Yet there we go, everyone has to shove themselves downstairs, attempting to get by me with every trick in the book. Many people simply try not to catch my eye and walk past me. Then when I say "there's a line for downstairs, you gotta wait" they act all surprised "oh there's a line?" Yes there is a damn line, that's why these people are standing here, for god's sake. Every night there's at least two or three girls and guys whose 21st birthday it is, the dj apparently has about fifty girlfriends and friends, different ones each night of course, and then of course there's the go-to "all my friends are down thereeeeeee." Well maybe you should have come before 12:30 on a saturday goddamn night to a goddamn club in Boston. It is infuriating. Two guys friday night tried to tell me "the guy at the front said we were good, man". They didn't even know the bouncer's name. Then five minutes later they came back. "The guy back there said we could go." Their pathetic attempt made me laugh, I even asked them "where? what guy?" and they just pointed toward the back of the bar. "The guy over there." Needless to say I did not let them in.

The difficult part is making everyone happy because it's impossible. Letting people cut in line make the people in line pissed off, not letting people cut makes those people pissed off. You have to be kind of an asshole to be a door man, which I don't think I like being. It's not too bad though, I try to just remind myself I'm not really being a dick, I'm just trying to do my job and if these college kids get pissy then it's their own damn fault.

Substitution is going well, still getting many assignments. There are some classes though, where I wonder about their teachers...Classes where the kids don't listen, talk too much, and don't seem to take rules very seriously, like perhaps they haven't really had consequences for their actions. I can't really say whether that's on the teacher though, or if they simply think they can get away with it because I'm a substitute. I have been forced to write down a kid's name for the teacher and tell her that her class was acting up constantly. The kid asked if I had written down his name and I said yes. I told him "I told you if you kept talking off-task and not doing your work, I would write your name down." His response baffled me. "Yeah but I didn't think you actually would..." Some kids make me wonder about their parents in the same sense. Do those parents really enforce the rules or simply let them off easy every time? It's a wealthy area, and to be honest, many of the kids seem like they've been babied or spoiled. I see kids walking around in elementary school with ipods and smartphones. It seems strange to me to think "Back in my day we never would have..." I mean, I'm not old, and yet school seems very different.

It is essentially peculiar to deal with children. Teaching them is not like teaching your peers. There are simple concepts they cannot grasp easily and must be told often and in different ways. It's somewhat frightening in a way, because if you fuck up hardcore, then maybe you just messed some kid up in some way. If you say the wrong thing on accident, maybe you it affected him or her deeply. I don't really know how to explain it, it's just this strange feeling in the back of my mind, that I am truly changing what a person thinks and knows and may eventually turn out to be.

Anyways, I have a twitter. I am a twat, a twit, and I tweet occasionally. It is!/ben_cheese if you care, which you probably don't. Twitter is not entirely crap, which is what I thought at first. It's a nice way to follow interesting people, celebs, comedians, and others, in various industries that you are interested in. It's a way to leave short thoughts you have, a way to plug your various projects and ideas. I like it because occasionally I think of something and I don't want to write a whole blogpost about, I just want to write a sentence. Or I'll see something I think is cool on the internet in regards to video games, tv, movies or just about anything and throw it up there, . Recently, I've been documenting my February Wordrace against my friend Nate, putting up our numbers and commenting back and forth. It's interesting. It's not just a place filled with facebook update statuses or constant updates about menial tasks throughout the day. Well okay, there is alot of that, especially if you follow certain people. In fact, the 'trends' are usually filled with boring and teeny-bopper romance crap just like facebook statuses from high-schoolers, but you can get by simply by not following those type of people.

Speaking of my February Wordrace, it is going well. It's been a pretty close race so far and we've also come up with a secondary challenge which is to write over 50k by the end of the month, because that is basically Nano only harder because we've only got 28 days. Errrr, 29 because it's leap-year, from what I hear. Anyways, 7,130 words so far. I've been pumping out content for my book and enjoying it for the most part. The winner receives a steak dinner from the loser along with the purchase of a drink/beer for every 1000 words the loser is beaten by. Should be close. Unfortunately, the weekend of the 18th I will be at a hunting camp without computer, internet, or phone service, so writing will be impossible. I will have to make up for it somehow.

Speaking of writing, I've gone and visited an old site I used to frequent, It's a great site for free-writing. Essentially, you write a starting chapter and anyone who is registered as a writer for the site can add a chapter to yours. It is fantastic for collaboratively writing a story, and because of having different authors, the stories are incredibly creative. There is also a group of writers there who are quite good, who I have written stories with a few times and are great for commenting on what you've written and talking about writing itself. I'm glad I went back, because it's nice to just write something off the top of your head, to add a chapter to a crazy storyline you just found and not caring about whether the chapter is 'publishable' or has been perfectly editted.

Tomorrow marks the 4th week of my beer being bottled. OFFICIAL TASTING EVENT. Not really. I will be tasting it though. Hopefully it tastes decent. Hopefully it is carbonated. So I guess tomorrow I'll try one and stick a bunch in the fridge to get cold. I'm excited to try it and I hope it doesn't suck big time.

That's all, I gotta get some words in my novel before I go to work or else Nate's going to pass me!