this is barely connected to insects at all.

I have this cousin who eats ants. I suppose it’s some delicacy or something in his part of the world, but I find it a bit weird. Yes, yes, as all my constant readers (all 5 of them) know, I’m in a war versus cockroaches, Kafka, and anything that can survive a nuclear holocaust. So, I guess that means we’re adding Twinkies to the list. Listen, I’m not judging someone for what they eat. I’m a guy whose favorite food is ketchup on saltine crackers and no that isn’t a joke, nor hyperbole, and yes, it is delicious and if you disagree then you’re a damn fool. I am not an entomologist. Let’s continue adding to my long list of things I am not. I didn’t even know the terminology for a scientist of bugs until I googled it just now. I really need to find a better-initiating topic than some hackneyed premise based on an insect. Like, notice how quickly I moved past the ant-eating comment? It was just a way to kickstart my brain and then totally switch lanes.

I’ve been thinking about Muhammad Ali a lot. No real reason, just what else do people think about? How to cure cancer? Yeah, well, I don’t know that one so why bother thinking about it? Like inventing better vaccines for it? Sure, there you go, that’s my thought. How the hell does one do that? I don’t know. I’m not a damn pathologist, NOR AN ENTOMOLOGIST. I didn’t have to google pathologist. I just finished a biography about ‘ol Cassius Clay, but that has nothing to do with why I was thinking about him. No, you’re right (the royal you). I’ve been reading his biography for the past couple of weeks because I was tired of reading fiction about the war on drugs versus the cartels in Mexico before I went to sleep because it’s not always ideal to read about beheadings right before you’re supposed to dream. Granted, I never had any violent or horrifying dreams or anything, so I guess the lighter material of one of the world’s greatest boxers was even necessary. His famous line was “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” This is obvious. This is not news. I did not want to open up with that because I didn’t want to make this post about Muhammad Ali. Although while using my work toilet, I was thinking of starting off the post with “Float like a butterfly, sting like a Hanky.” Except I don’t sting. Sometimes I do stink. When I fart. Farts can be smelly.

This is a really clear example of how I didn’t have any topic at hand, truly. On Monday nights, I’m taking a 201 level of Improv so I’m trying to write blogs the day of to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes I’m inspired, sometimes I try to think of topics on the toilet, and sometimes I just hope I can babble and ramble on until I feel like I did something. The whole premise of don’t think twice and don’t overthink so my philosophy is that if I can empty my head by espousing random thoughts then so be it. It could also be that I just read the writing style of an author and he says he writes from 5:30 AM to 11 AM every morning and then hikes 6 or 7 miles afterward. That’s his system. Regardless of how he’s feeling, just get some words outta there. Granted, he’s famous and rich and I’m a guy that’s writing the occasional nonsense for my tens (at most) of followers.

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a bug. Intentionally, at least. I’ve eaten a guinea pig, a kangaroo, and a cow’s penis. If you asked anyone, I’m pretty sure they’d take a chocolate-covered cricket or roasted ant ass over those things anyway. If anything, I’m the weirder person. And that’s making me weird from just a few “delicacies” I’ve had in my life, add up all my other eccentricities, and then we’re really cooking. Man, I can’t believe I’ve forgotten the term for mammals that lay eggs. The echidnas, the platypuses, of the world. Monotremes. We all know we’re thinking it. What would happen if you fried up one of those bad boys? Is PETA going to cancel me for even pondering that possibility? Maybe I should start thinking about how to cure cancer compared to the preparation of an endangered specie’s offspring. I should be canceling myself for thinking of something so cruel. I petted an echidna once, it was cute! Knuckles, the most badass Sonic the Hedgehog character is an echidna, and if he were to ever procreate with a foxy female, I’m thinking about taking his progeny away from her and frying it up on a skillet? What’s wrong with me? I have to end this here, whatever intentions I had with this post, now I’m just disappointed in myself. So it goes.


my war with kafka continues

I feel more so than with any other topic, I get inspired the most by cockroaches. I am not amused by this, I do not like this. I do not like cockroaches, if anything, I find them repulsive and disgusting. After you’ve had a cockroach scurry over your 20-something-year-old genitalia, you’d feel the same. Granted, many people feel the same just looking at them without the invasive experience so I think y’all can see where I’m coming from. I did not happen to see a cockroach at my job today; however, I am worried that writing this will manifest something to appear out of the bathroom and terrorize me. So far, so good. Although I am wary.

I know Franz Kafka is dead, and I’m aware that this is a one-sided war. His being dead or alive also doesn’t really matter because no matter his current situation in life (or lack thereof), he wouldn’t have any idea who I am regardless. In all instances, the war would always be one-sided. I do hate Frasier, and to a lesser extent, Cheers, for creating Frasier, but I do not hate Kafka. I have read Kafka, although I’m not sure if I ever read The Metamorphosis. I think in order to appear cool (to who? I’m not sure. Myself?), I pointedly chose to read The Trial instead of his most famous work. Although, I’m pretty sure all his works are pretty famous because he didn’t have more than a handful. Or he did and I’m just ignorant. That’s not the point. I chose one of his highly regarded but not taught in AP English courses in high school because I didn’t want to conform. It had such a profound impact on me that I’m entirely unaware if I ever finished the book or not. Way to go, Franz. I digress, again, the point is that I haven’t read The Metamorphosis. I know it involves a dude turning into a bug, I don’t think the bug is ever stated, but it’s a cockroach. Or that’s the aptest comparison. I watched The Fly with Jeff Goldblum, that was a good enough compromise for me. Even though he turns into a fly; cockroaches have wings too.

I digress again. I’ve already forgotten my point. Was there a point? I think it was just to say cockroaches are terrible, and thus, Kafka is on my shit list because he wrote a book about a man/roach hybrid? Listen, wars are started for far more stupid reasons. Look at Putin and Ukraine, amirite? Oh lordy, I’m not going to delve into politics here. Team Ukraine though. Anyway, the point. As a self-avowed feminist, I must shout out women writers because they need more empowerment than men do, that’s for sure. Being married to a Brazilian woman, I like to try to engross myself in some Brazilian culture. I reckon there are many ways to do this, and me choosing to delve deep into the workings of a renowned author of lyrical, introspective stylings that is surely praised but also a divisive figure in storytelling.  I went to a stand-up set by Chris Gethard last night, and I decided to throw a book into my hoodie’s front pocket because it was a long trip on the train. Sure, I was with my wife, but we live together, and we’ve already said what we have to say. I had a copy of The Passion According to G.H. atop my bedside table so I threw it in because it was small. During my underground commute, I read 45 pages and well, felt sufficiently insane. Clarice’s style is that in those first forty pages, the narrator, G.H., did about one action that was sitting at her breakfast table and then moving into the room of her recently fired maid. So, the actual plot advanced quite ploddingly, but there were pages and pages of her internal thoughts and thoughts racing through her mind.

After discussing some of this with my partner, I could see that she was just wishing for me to shut up, so I’m writing it here instead. I do not blame her because I was rambling incoherently, like the prose in the novel. Is this all going to come back and tie back in with Kafka and penile cockroach invaders? You betcha. Patience. I’m not even at 800 words yet. It feels both deeply intimate and shameful, like guilt-inducing, like you’re accessing something you shouldn’t be able to see, hear, feel, should I name more senses? I described it as drilling a hole into someone’s brain and just putting a telescope in there to see how it all works. Like, we all have internal thoughts and internal monologues, but no one has access to those images, feelings, whatever except us. It’s the only space where we have complete and total privacy. Except her writing is just like her non-stop spewing of those thoughts at you. Is it beautiful? Sometimes. Is it incoherent? Also, sometimes. Does it make me think I’m stupid for thinking it’s sometimes incoherent and if I was smarter, I’d understand it more? All the time.

I might write further about Clarice Lispector and all that jazz at some point, but I’ve really run away from the topic at hand. COCKROACHES. KAFKA. WAR. Okay, okay, so as I said, I was reading, I’m just trying to comprehend the narrator’s internal dialogue, and then actual, exterior plot development happens. The narrator opens a drawer in an old dresser and spots a cockroach. The woman, she goes gray, she grays like the hair of the elderly. She is in duress, she’s in distress, she’s D wording everything that can possibly be. And I’m thinking, I got her. I got my lieutenant for this battle. I don’t want to promote her to a high position of power for the whole war because I don’t know how she’ll fare (and she’s also dead), but I want to give her some power to show her stuff. I’m happy to have found an author that doesn’t write a whole story about transforming into a cockroach, but a story about the inexplicable fear that the sight of one erupts into the heart. Sadly, doing my rigorous research for this post, I might’ve spoiled something for myself on the Wikipedia page that will get Clarice dishonorably discharged from my army, but I’m willing to see it within context before I go that far.

Anyway, I probably could’ve written this much more succinctly in honor to curry the favor of George Saunders (who is alive and living in the same state) but I am not a suck-up. I do not simp for living authors. I just belittle the name of dead authors and create fictitious feuds with them. I’m wrapping up both because I’m nearly at 1200 words and also because I truly forgot what I was going for, so I don’t want to write another thousand while I try to figure it out. I’ll be more structured next time, I promise. (My fingers were crossed.) So it goes.

life on the road

It’s tough prepping for your first gig. The travel, making sure to wake up on time, and eating a proper and healthy breakfast to have you in the right mindset. There’s a myriad of factors at play. Any misstep can throw off the entire thing. I wake up at 6 AM, give or take a few hours. (It was actually 3 AM, you can never be too ready.) I jump out of bed, some say to train, others say because I have to urinate very badly. Then I plop myself down on the couch to watch episode 5 of Donald Glover’s new tv show Swarm, because nothing is more motivational than watching a show about stan culture and serial killers. Now it’s 10:30AM or so, or 4AM depending on who you ask. I’m hungry but I resist. I want to get my intermittent fasting on. I am suffering, but it’s for the craft. An hour later, I’m definitely going to eat a cold slice of pizza and then cook it halfway thru after realizing that air fryers exist in the year of our lord, 2023. By now it’s surely noon, so I continue to watch Swarm because I want to have accomplished something and it’s only 7 episodes.

Let’s fast forward. Let’s just assume I finished the season of Swarm. I did. Let’s also assume my tummy is feeling disgusting from eating greasy pizza for breakfast. It was. This is the life of a comic though. We’re always honing our craft and sharpening, fine-tuning, those comedic muscles and this is all part of the ritual. Back to the training montage though. I knew I knew for the past few days, I’d been running low in the floss department. Somehow, I’m 32 and unable to use conventional floss rope so I need the picks. I also struggle to hold silverware correctly. Just call me an idiot savant. I hustle, I’m running against the clock to fit in the visit to Walgreens. I mean, I’ve had a really busy morning thus far, so I’m really crunched for time. I rush there, some say I sprinted, and others say I casually strolled. You decide. I get the floss, I get some mouthwash, and then it hits me. I see it. A glow encompasses it. It’s the Slim Jims. I think to myself, “Hank, your stomach is already feeling bad. You definitely need to add to the pressure with this beef tube of hooves and kneecaps.” I buy that Slim Jim. I scarf it down on my walk back to the apartment. I am feeling gross, I am feeling worse, and I know that’s all part of the process.

I fast forward again. I wrangle my wife, I say, “We gotta go, I gotta get there a half hour early. This is my first improv show. I’m performing for a crowd of 50+ people! I can’t be late.” We go. I arrive about 20 minutes late and that’s fine because I want to be cool. Cool people do not get on things early. Cool people do not plan out concise subway routes and backup plans if they don’t work out. Cool people leave with more than enough time to be there on time and then somehow make choices that delay them even further and they feel like an asshole when they show up and they’re one of the last people to arrive. But no one knows that I’m feeling like a dickhead and that I’m sorry and all that, they just think I’m cool as hell. Which is what matters.

I could write about the show itself, but why ruin the mystery of the whole experience? If you were there, you saw it, if you weren’t, then live in ignorance and despair forever. Improvidence Rhode Island Beef brought the house down. Unsure of what that last sentence entirely means? Your fault, your loss. Did I regret that I played a character that was at best child molester adjacent? Yes. Yes, I did. Did it get laughs? Sure. So, I guess it all comes out in the wash. I agree that I don’t think it is a good tenet to utilize in improv, but at the same time, I do have a reputation to upload. What can I say? I like to speak now and be fearless. Yes, now I’m just ham-fisting Taylor Swift album titles into my sentences. When I start doing that, I think that means we’ve reached our conclusion. The next level of improv begins tonight. Can’t wait to feel like I’m awful all over again and have a couple of moments of validation that keep me going. Even my own wife said I was funnier and better than she expected. I’ll take it! So it goes.

the other day (a lot of days ago) i ran from a raccoon

As I was aimlessly scrolling through my phone, a look of intensity on my face to give off the impression that I was studiously preparing for a work-related thing, I saw a person do a post about “forbidden things they want to pet.” One of the things was a racoon, and another was a red panda which is much cuter and cooler than a racoon. I think we’re all aware that racoons look like little bank robbers if bank robbers had fur covering their entire bodies and liked to eat trash. Wow, they got a mask for eyes, what a feat of mother nature! Why aren’t we talking more about those fish that like got a lantern on the top of their heads? Or the fact that egg-laying mammals exist, marsupials. I knew if I typed out that sentence, the word would come to me. An echidna is cuter and cooler than a raccoon, and where is there appreciation?

I could look up some facts about rabies but the more I know, the less my hyperbole would make sense. Or maybe it would make more sense and not even be a hyperbole, because it’d be a true fact. What I know about rabies is that it’s incurable and that it kills you. There are vaccines for it, if you get to a hospital quick enough after being bitten, you can get the vaccine and be treated but if you don’t, then you die. And your brain melts. Or something with your brain. I read a horror manga recently by Junji Ito and the crux of all the stories involved brain-melting, so maybe that’s where I got that idea from. No matter what happens, you die. I think I have the rabies vaccine. I am not sure I have it, but I don’t mind being stuck with a random needle by a medical professional because I’m not an ignorant idiot. I do not fear microchips or other insane conspiracy theories because I am an educated individual that has critical thinking skills.

This is not a point about vaccines. Or human ignorance and blind worship of celebrities. This is a post about racoons. Even though I live my life as a champion of women’s rights, I understand that sometimes they want a strong, strapping fellow to accompany them home after a late-night ladies’ night of wine and whatever else women do in the privacy of their own homes together. The late 90s and early 2000s films would tell me the activity of choice is pillow fights in lingerie, but I’m not so sure. Regardless, that is also not the point. The point is raccoons. I have now spelled that animal’s name in two different variations and neither has registered as a misspelling. This is not good because I am certain one of them is wrong. I will conduct some more research and return to this more educated. If you do not notice any misspellings of the word, then that means I went back and changed all the mistakes. However, I will still not look up rabies!

So anyway, I’m called to do my heteronormative masculine duties and accompany a woman back to her abode, which also is my abode since we share a bed under the watch of Jesus Christ. I’m walking, strolling, and spinning my parasol around, all things I do at around midnight when traversing the streets. I’m looking ahead, eyes like a hawk, and I see a movement. It’s yards ahead of me, 50, 60, possibly more, I’m not standing beside a football field as this is happening. It looks like a dog just running around, as they are wont to do. I ignore it. I continue to forge ahead. This mass on four legs, it changes course and starts to come after me. For a fleeting second, I ponder, “Wouldn’t that be funny if that is a raccoon?”. I do not ponder why that would be funny, I intrinsically know. As do y’all so I won’t describe it. I continue my journey; it looks like we are inevitably going to have our paths crossed. It becomes acutely obvious that it is a raccoon. Now we’re merely 10 yards away, or something like that, again, there is no football field nearby in order to help me measure. I stop. It stops. I look at it. It looks at me. I look behind me, but there is no one there. It does not look behind it because it is not worried. It is confident. It continues to stare at me. It starts to charge, running at what I can only assume is 50 mph or more. Possibly faster. I look at it. I turn around again, and I yell (in barely a whisper), “What the [redacted]?” I start to power walk away because I tell myself that sprinting would make me appear weak. It goes the width of one apartment building façade and does a harsh left, plodding down some stairs that lead to a basement. I turn around, and I scan my surroundings for signs of danger. More importantly, I scan for bystanders that might’ve seen me skedaddle away from a racoon. I see neither. What I see is an empty road ahead and a damsel in distress in the distance. I regain my wits about me, and I remind myself of the mission I signed up for. I strut forward, head held high, ready to vanquish the next danger that crosses my path. So it goes.


why do we watch sports?

I can always count on a sporting event to inspire me to write something. Although I’m not sure how often I write about victories, you can always count on me to pour out my feelings over a loss. Except, except I don’t know what to say. I had the idea to write this, and then I planned to write it, and then I’ve just been sitting staring at this blank page. Sports fandom does not make sense. There’s a reason that fans are short for fanatic or fanaticism because it’s all irrational anyhow. Becoming so invested in something that you have no personal relationship with, becoming so involved in an activity that you might’ve never even played at any level. I’m not here to speak about people’s relationships with sports because it’s nonsensical and yet transcends all cultural barriers. Nor does the sport even matter. There will be some fans of table tennis with the matching intensity and fervor that someone has for football. Be it the football you throw, or the one you kick.

That brings us to the topic at hand though. Soccer. Football. Whatever name you prefer for it is fine. Both the USA and Brazil have been knocked out of the World Cup, and well, one of those teams was expected to not amount to much. The other, Brazil, was considered one of, if not the favorite, to win it all. As an honorary Brazilian myself, through marriage to a home-grown Brazilian beauty, I obviously have been extremely invested in Brazil throughout the tournament. Since 2010, I’ve been a major fan of the World Cup in general, although my soccer viewing only seems to happen for a month every four years. So yes, I might not be an avid follower of the sport, but when the World Cup comes around, I become a devoted follower. I own jerseys, I have flags, I bought a commemorative soccer ball, and I once toured the Real Madrid stadium, I’ve done it all. In prior years, I supported teams (countries) of places I’d visited, ones my friends were fans of, but there were no deeply rooted connections. Although, that didn’t change the passion I had because once I was rooting for a team, I rooted hard. Still, things change entirely when you marry into a family that has a country that isn’t pathetic at football. It’s not like I’ve been rooting for the USA this past decade plus, they didn’t even qualify for one of the Cups.

I’ve already lost my train of thought. To summarize, what I was trying to say is that this World Cup hits differently. The USA weren’t godawful, at least making it through the group stages, and Brazil was well on its way to hoisting its 6th trophy. Going into the quarter-finals earlier against Croatia, I felt confident, it seemed that a semifinal matchup against Argentina was in the bag. Maybe the arrogance got to me because the Brazilians are so steadfast in their beliefs that they are the best. It’s like Alabama football, in every match that we go into, we expect to win. We do not even consider a loss an option, surely, losses happen but every time, it’s like a punch to the gut. It’s a sucker punch. It comes out of nowhere. I think that’s why I’m at a loss for words, still trying to process the loss that happened today. I watched three hours of a game, while on the job, at my office computer. I watched Neymar score in extra time, and I pumped my fist, and then put my head in my hands minutes later when Croatia tied it up. I got excited and then subsequently crushed watching Croatia perform a master class on penalty kicks. I sat there in disbelief, wondering why I ever bothered to watch anything, why do I bother to invest myself in a sport that loves to toy with your heartstrings.

I think these same thoughts after every loss about teams I truly care about. I wonder what’s the point, I wonder what else could I have done instead, I think why do I keep torturing myself with this as it happens time and time again. And then? I push those thoughts to some hidden compartment in my brain and I tell myself that it’ll be different next time. I reckon this is why we care so much about sports, because of the highs. It doesn’t matter if you have never set foot on the field, and it doesn’t matter that the players have no idea who you are, the thrill of the win, the joy in victory is a feeling like no other. Nothing can compare to the highs, I guess, other than being on the field itself, and knowing you’re one of the select few solely responsible for the feelings that erupt in populations that support you. This isn’t about winning though because Brazil did not win today. They lost. Which is why I’m still struggling to write coherent points from time to time. Because there sits a barren hole in my heart right now; an emptiness that will not be filled until 2026 when the World Cup restarts here in North America. I thought that writing out my thoughts and having a cathartic space to discuss the loss, I thought that it would help. Instead, it just shows how a loss affects us. It leaves us scrambling, it leaves us worse for wear, and again, this is all due to an irrational connection to a child’s game that is played professionally. I do not know why we let sports impact us like they do, but they do. And they will continue to. And I will continue to be a fan, a real fanatic, knowing I’m setting myself up for heartbreak because sports fandom is insane and I’m here for insanity. In the end, all the heartbreak, all the pain of a loss, is worth it when there’s a win. That’s why I’ll continue to watch sports, to be an unabashed fan. I’ll be chasing those wins, that winning feeling as long as I can. The higher the stakes, the sweeter the taste. There’s always next year, Alabama, you’ll make the playoffs again. There are always 4 years from now, Brazil, you’ll get that sixth championship soon enough. So it goes.

i am not a stand up comedian.

I am not a stand up comedian, nor do I have the inclination to be one. Unless stand up comedy evolves to where I can mutter things under my breath in response to people’s conversations, then I don’t think I have the necessary skill set. I prefer to react, over me actually being the creator of the content. And again, I like to react quietly where it’s possible to be heard but most likely it’s indiscernible. This results in a person saying, “Oh, what was that?” and I have to awkwardly say “Oh, me? Nothing,” and we both know I’m lying, and it makes the situation uncomfortable. Let me know when that’s a viable career path to the stage.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching James Acaster perform with my lovely wife as my date. She even enjoyed it! I state this not because he’s unfunny and it was a surprise she liked it, but because he’s from Kettering, England and she once stated, “I cannot understand anything he says.” Thus, after that glowing compliment of 5 minutes of his material, I decided to spend ~100$ on two tickets to see him months down the line. James, I can call him James since he’ll never read this, was first introduced to me by watching the British TV show, Taskmaster. He was a funny fella, as most on that show are, due to being professional comedians and all. It could’ve been due to him being younger than some of the contestants, that he had an air of absurdity, and well, I just liked him. This isn’t my story of how I became a James Acaster fan, it’s just that I gravitated to his comedic persona and looked him up, eventually reading two books he’d written and buying a comedy special of his.

I like comedians that are open and vulnerable about their actual selves. Why? Because, yes, sure, it’s wonderful to just hear some jokes sometimes and laugh and not worry about someone else. However, it’s also nice to see someone funny and thoughtful and famous and be like “Oh wow, look at them. They have struggles too. Isn’t that nice?” Granted, those kinds of insights also lead to para-social relationships with fans thinking they know everything from a comedian by listening to their sets, reading their books, or streaming every episode of a podcast. So, there’s good and bad to it all. That’s why I can totally understand a comedian having a disconnect with the audience, not indulging them in any of their personal lives, and being a vessel for comedy and nothing further. I mean, that’s basically how all stand up comics were until the past 20 years or so and the advent of more alternative comics.

This isn’t a history lesson, and it definitely isn’t one because my facts are probably all wrong anyway. Isn’t that history though? The past is decided by the victors or whatever that malarky is. The point is, I saw my pal James last night, he performed, it was funny, I had a good time, he gets paid, and everyone wins. His special was called “Hecklers Welcome” and it was basically a therapeutic exercise for him to both perform stand up comedy and also allow himself to be more comfortable with outbursts that come from drunken audiences and entitled comedy fans. Part of the reason why I enjoy writing out my thoughts is due to the fact that there’s no one to judge me right at the moment. Honestly, I’d probably be bothered if someone judged me for something I wrote last week and it’d affect me just as much, but with my extremely limited, niche market I don’t typically have to worry about that. Still, I think with some distance between me and the work, it’d be easier to cope with. Comedians, any live performers, do not have that luxury. You are judged within the moment, and I can empathize with the excruciating anxieties of those moments.

I used to be a performer, but I retired early. Much like John Cazale, I had a limited run, I was critically lauded and then my career died. In regard to him, he did actually die and that cut his career short. Maybe I’m more of a Daniel Day Lewis. A string of hits, a lot of method acting and leaving on my own terms at the top of my game. I portrayed Sheriff Billy Bold and Prince Charming in my single-digit years and left with many (imaginary) Oscar nominations to my name. Or Tony awards. This was live theater after all. The point of all of this is James talked about his own anxieties, his nervousness, and his general lack of affection towards performing stand up in general. Listen, I get it, I was at the top of the church theater summer camp game, and I abandoned it. The pressure was high, the audiences were almost too loving that it didn’t feel earned, and the highs weren’t worth the pre showtime jitters. It resonates with me that good ol’ pal James is open and honest with the fact that it still sucks to be in front of an audience. He hasn’t magically grown out of a fear of public speaking, he’s just become more accepting of it as a creative endeavor to pursue and to make a living from. He made it very clear that we shouldn’t worry about how he feels during the show, instead to focus on whether we’re enjoying ourselves. Because in the end, he gets a paycheck, we get a nice night out and a laugh, and we go on our separate ways. In the end, it’s a business transaction between two entities, nothing more.

Within the past week, I’ve now seen 2 comedy/storytelling shows and 2 improv shows from comedians that I’m truly huge fan of. James Acaster, Mike Birbiglia, and the improv group, Big Grande. I’ve listened to or watched them for more hours than I can count and I’m not going to say that I didn’t create some fictional friendship between us all in my brain. However, I have the wherewithal to recognize that what I created is an illusion and not representative of reality. They are more or less public figures and I’m just a fan who enjoys their content. I’m not going to say that I haven’t fantasized about situations where we all become best friends and make each other giggle incessantly, but again, I have my own friends for that even if they are a little less famous. Did I diverge from my point? Trust me, I’ll get back to it. At the end of the show, Mr. Acaster said his final punchline, walked off and came back for a brief encore. He also opened to the floor if they had any final heckles, to conclude his therapeutic exercise. Apparently drunken people think of heckles as impromptu Q+A sessions and rattled off inane questions. Listen, I like the guy, I think he’s hilarious! Do I care about how his recent vacation went? Sure, if he crafted it into a bit. If someone is just asking if he had fun, does that matter? Does his personal life matter? Sure, again, I hope he’s happy and healthy, but I don’t need the details. I enjoy his material, but again, we’re not actually friends. Just as he wants me to laugh at his show and have a nice time and recommend him or whatever, I don’t think he specifically cares about how my day went. Which is normal and okay and fine and better that way! I don’t need his faux investment in me, and I don’t need to do the same.

The point though? Apparently, this way of thinking makes me an outlier. Or maybe not even an outlier, just part of the silent majority. I think this applies to most of the audience, this understanding, it’s just that the ones who differentiate from this way of thinking tend to be the most outspoken. Or the ones with the highest bar tabs. It might not have anything to do with alcohol, but I’m trying to give human decency the benefit of the doubt and blame it on the booze. It just seems to happen at so many types of shows nowadays. Through social media, through hours and hours of recorded dialogues from our favorite what have yous, we foster this relationship with folx and we treat them accordingly. Based on our own hypothetical, NOT REAL, relationships with them. There are things I could say to a friend that if I said to a stranger, they would rightfully beat my ass. And instead, we think these public figures are immune from that. That we can say whatever we want to them, and they earned the right to hear our ire or adoration. A gentleman last night complained that he’d read one of the stories that Acaster performed in his set in a book. Guess what? I’d also read that book and the story seemed a little familiar. And also guess what? I enjoyed hearing it done performatively by the creator himself! If I did not enjoy it, I wouldn’t specifically point out that I read one of their “jokes” a decade prior in a book and say that to their face? Why? For I am not a rude, entitled asshole. We are not owed 100% original material that is catered to us. He’s performing another show tonight, and it’ll have the same stories. A bit of banter could be different, depending on the heckles. How can one expect a person to cultivate an original 90 minutes every night he ever performs? That’s insanity and it seems that nowadays audiences seem like they’re entitled to complain to the comedian’s face. Or to DM them on Twitter, or publicly put them on blast. It just seems we’ve moved past the point of just enjoying something and nothing ever is good enough.

I have to end this paragraph and this blog as a whole because I do not want to come across as some out-of-touch boomer as well. It was just a frustrating end to the show that the comedian himself even mentioned saying, “I was going to tell a story of the worst ending to a show I ever had, but I think this will fit the bill.” And another quote by a gentleman sitting just beside me, “Why wouldn’t people shut the fuck up? I just wanted to hear the story.” As did I, as did I. Because contrary to what audience members seem to think, there is a reason that they are not on stage. We paid to see the professional and the blurts by the general public, there’s a reason they have jobs in accounting and not in comedy. I do not want to discredit the entire point of his special, or how James himself responded to the comments, which were wonderful and hilarious, etc. I regret that I went on and on about so much because I think the main point is, he’s great, he’s funny, and I hope his mental health continues to improve and his confidence soar and anxiety wanes. I can say this because I actually do have a background in mental health, so comparatively, I’m not speaking out of my ass. Anyways, I’ve written far too much because I don’t think my poor wife could tolerate me going on any more diatribes about this. If you take anything out of this, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, listen to the comedy of James Acaster, and don’t be an asshole. So it goes.

today i stepped on another cockroach

I’m not sure if this is what I want to be known for in the office. The resident cockroach stomper, or to quote a colleague, “a waterbug.” Were my fears about a cockroach erupting out of the toilet true? It was in the bathroom today, the bathroom that I sit right beside. Am I the reason these cockroaches are coming? Do they have a vendetta against me? Who knew that these loafers I got would be more than just slip-on shoes that look like something a grandfather would wear? Now they are killing machines. I know some people have their hands classified as deadly weapons. I will see if I can put in the paperwork to do the same for my docker’s loafers. I wonder if the company knows that they’re selling the equivalent of nuclear bombs to the cockroach community. Dockers are certified arms dealers. Actually, scratch that, what they’re selling is more powerful than a nuclear bomb because in my last post I already spoke about how cockroaches can survive them. They can survive anything. Except for a Dockers loafer.

I’m still yet to investigate the Kafka metamorphosis stuff. I typed out this sentence and then immediately googled it. He transforms into a monstrous insect, yadda yadda yadda, but most people in contemporary culture attribute it to be a cockroach. Thus, I take back what I last stated. I am not the next Kafka. I am the enemy of Kafka. Even though he’s dead and that was just a character in a book. I would have to assume it had a metaphor attached as well. I don’t care. To me, Kafka is a giant cockroach man, and he must be thwarted. Even though he’s dead. I believe in the tv show, The Powerpuff Girls, there was a villain who had the ability to control cockroaches, and like he turned into the equivalent of a Kaiju when like a million cockroaches were his body. It was gross. The Powerpuff Girls defeated him. They are essentially my sisters now.

I veered off track too much with the last post, wondering aloud how to add up to my word count and I won’t do that here. I just think I’ll start wearing a cape when I go into the office as the CK. The Cockroach Killer. Maybe Calvin Klein will sponsor me. Or the aforementioned Dockers. Or like, maybe just cockroaches can stop coming into the office because I don’t really need to be known as the guy that they call on to step on insects. I do have other talents, ya know? But it seems that this is my greatest one so far. And if I must be the one to vanquish those little shits, so be it. Because when Hank is around, justice will prevail. So it goes.

today at work i killed a cockroach

I was standing for some reason, maybe to promote cardiovascular awareness. I saw a cockroach. I stepped on it. A coworker said, “Thank you, Hank.” Another said, “You took that one for the team.” I was a hero. A hero who then had to clean up cockroach guts and flush them down the toilet that is situated 3 feet away from his desk. The sign on the door says “Employee’s Only” but I don’t consider that cockroach an employee and he’s living there in the pipes now. Do I think he’s dead? I hope so, he was stepped on with the full force of 45$ Docker’s Men Loafers. I think they were 50$ but I rounded the price down to appear more relatable because I only, exclusively, use them as work shoes and don’t even bring them home. My point is, should I print out a sign I create with WordArt and say, “And Cockroach’s Too” and tape it under the plaque already there? Of course, I won’t because that’s weird and no one wants to be reminded of that vile creature. Except now I’m afraid I’ll use the bathroom and next thing I know that monstrosity will be swimming up from hell where it’s presumed dead. Those things can survive a nuclear bomb, ya know.

A friend of mine told me I should write a new blog post. I do not believe this is what she intended. Granted, one does not deign where inspiration reigns from. That was an unexpected rhyme I just used because I can’t remember the last time that I used the word deign. Nor am I even sure it was used correctly but it’s a cool-sounding word that is not mentioned enough.

I brought a book to my job today. It’s called CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY made ridiculously simple. I haven’t read it while it’s been sitting on my bookshelf in my apartment, nor have I read it while it sits on my desk at work. I’m just staring at it now, noticing it has an interpretation of Rodin’s The Thinker on the cover. There’s no more to this paragraph. I just hope writing this out inspires me to read page one before the day is over.

What else has happened, what else? I went to a wedding in FL. Experienced antisemitism in FL. Two different experiences, wholly unrelated. It’s very obvious to me writing this that I took a break after the “deign and reign” paragraph. Because I think that’s about how far the initial inspo took me and I’m running on fumes ever since. It’s just like I looked at the word count and it was paltry so I thought I could bolster it up. Let’s put a pause on this and see what else happens throughout the day.

It is one day later. I am now working from home. I was supposed to conduct a session with a gentleman, but his phone is off. That is distressing to me because had he answered my day would’ve been finished. Now I anxiously await the possibility of him calling back. At the same time, I know the chances of him calling back are minuscule, but due to there being a chance, I can not entirely be comfortable. Why couldn’t he just have had his phone on?

I’m not sure in the Metamamorphosis by Kafka if he turns into a cockroach or like a moth or something. I’m pretty sure it’s a cockroach. I really need it to be a cockroach because I just told a friend that “some people call me the next Kafka.” No one has ever, nor will ever call me that. I read his book, The Trial. I don’t think I ever finished The Metamorphasis. I’ve also spelled that name wrong in two different ways so far and I still don’t know how to spell it right. Metamorphosis. Meta-Morbius. A movie I did not see.

Not all blogs have to be over a thousand words. It’s been diminishing returns since I wrote the initial paragraph about the cockroach. However, I think what I wrote today was much better than the padding I attempted yesterday afternoon. I want to divulge information without being too introspective or navel-gazing. This is meant to have some form of entertainment factor, not just be a journal of my own thoughts. As I said, sometimes less is more. I had a surge of inspiration due to the cockroach stomping and I wrote that and now I’m just breaking the fourth wall about the writing process but I’m barely giving any interesting insights and mostly complaining about my own words. I think this is enough. So it goes.

we all know the moon landing was fake

Stanley Kubrick was a genius, an auteur. A master filmmaker, one of the best there ever was. What was one of his greatest projects? The 1969 moon landing starring Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. No, it didn’t win any Academy Awards, although it should have, and most humanity doesn’t consider it a film, but I know the truth. It was made on a Hollywood lot to help boost that American spirit and usher in the Cold War. Not sure if ushering in the Cold War was a good thing, but hey, that just shows how impactful that film truly was. I should also add that I’m not a big fan of Full Metal Jacket which I think is important to add because it shows that I can be critical of the Kubz. Just adds more meaning to my awe of his talents because I don’t turn a blind eye to his flaws either. For even more context, I didn’t like The Shining either! Which has nothing to do with his directorial style, more so with the fact that I do not like horror movies and I watched it when I was young and got scared and never finished it. Nor the book. Context matters.

This brings me to my next point. Why are parents lying to us as children? Why are we told the stork does not exist? I just googled an image of a stork because I forgot what it looked like, and there was an image of a stork that was six feet tall and a caveman human that was 3 feet tall with a 2-foot child. This was from NPR. That’s an actual legit organization. After I preached about context, I did not read anymore other than looking at that image because it told me everything I need to know. As I’m getting up there in age, meaning I just turned 18 last week but am very mature, I’m having friends starting to settle down and start families. It’s very funny to me that they do the whole pomp and circumstance of growing a (fake) belly, going to the hospital for a (fake) delivery, and bringing home a (real) baby. I am not saying pregnancy isn’t real, I am not saying babies aren’t real, I’m just saying the circumstances of birth are a lie. There are factories in the skies that are run by stork corporations who deliver babies to good husbands and wives and wives and wives and husbands and husbands and everything in between. Don’t believe me? Think I’m a foolish idiot? Try to prove me wrong. [Editor’s Note: Please do not try to prove me wrong because I think it would be very easy to do so and it would hurt my, I mean the author’s, feelings.]

What is the point of writing this? I’m not entirely sure. Should I just end it right there? No, I’ll try to explain, but the further I explain the more and more idiotic I’ll appear. And I think I’ve done a pretty good job of expressing that thus far. Regardless, I was having a conversation with my wife last night regarding pregnancy. Yes, I brought up this stork point to her. She thought I was kidding. Why would I lie? I brought up the moon landing. Because of course, I did, it’s the truth! Has everyone actually seen a baby being born? Ha, exactly! Replace that with anyone and the answer is obviously yes, but if you stick in everyone then the answer is no. Logic! How was I created? I assume a stork delivered me to a river, much like Moses, I was picked up by a dalmatian who retrieved me from a dam, and dropped me off on the doorstep of my parent’s Nebraska home. If sounds nonsensical, think about the idea of a living human growing inside of another human. I understand making pee and poo, but a human? A fetus, a changeling, an it, whatever you wish to call it. Somehow we’re creating feces at the same time, we’re creating a living organism? Yeah, forget about it.

The moral of the story, I’m really happy for my best friend and his wife having a newborn. I’m not going to ask them how it happened because I know what they’re going to say, and I don’t like being lied to. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m celebrating the next chapter of their lives and I’m excited to watch the (stork) baby grow. I really can’t believe this post lasted 800 words after a thirty-minute conversation last night about this same topic that my spouse walked away from because she was fed up with it. So it goes.*

*This post was mostly bad satire. Or that’s how I’m going to phrase it so I can say it was me failing to be funny, instead of me ranting and raving about how I still struggle with the inability to wrap my head around the possibility of pregnancy/childbirth. However, people like Joe Rogan and his followers who do believe things like the moon landing are fake are abhorrent and truly ruining modern-day intellectualism. Please be educated, and not an idiot. It ain’t that hard. So it goes (again).

something i wrote at work last week

Don’t bring a book if you want to read. Don’t bring headphones if you think you’ll want to listen to some music. Never adjust your routine because as soon as you do, you will regret it. As with almost all the things I write, what I was saying in my head made a lot of sense and was totally understandable. Then I attempt to type it out just as what my brain created, and out comes this drivel. I brought a book to my job today. I didn’t read the book because I had to work at my job. I’m not complaining about that, I’m happy that things came up and I had things to do. However, there wasn’t much on the schedule for me today, everyone was either sick or on vacation or working virtually and I thought I would be in this tiny office all too my lonesome. At the moment I am sitting with a 9-year-old child who is watching something on his mom’s phone, and he doesn’t have headphones. I do not know what he is listening to, but I do know it’s annoying. Granted, compared to the things I hear coming from the holding cells that are near me, it’s not too bad.

Sometimes I go on little getaways, tiny “vacations” with my wife, by myself and I always pack like I’m preparing to be stranded for days on a desert island and will need a way to entertain myself. I’ll pack video games, I’ll pack books, I’ll pack a Kindle, and like, for what? Five hours of round-trip flying. A couple hours on a bus. Why do I think I’ll magically be able to read 1500 pages, listen to 5 podcasts and beat a 40-hour game in that time span? Especially when as soon as I’m on any form of interstate transportation, I immediately fall asleep. Doesn’t this have something to do with a book? Reading is important. It builds something within you. I don’t know what it builds, but I’ve been readin’ for 25+ years now so I want to think it had some payoff.

I didn’t want to feel the need to bring a book to my work. I don’t normally ever feel the need. But when put in a tiny office and awaiting clients that are not showing up (although they sometimes do), it’s a way to kill the downtime when staring at your phone seems even less productive. Except, it’s the times when you think you’ll be alone and doing nothing that the most things start to happen. People are running late so ask you to cover their groups, folx are out and about so you must cover another group. Most of what happened was that I had to cover groups which resulted in me having one on one sessions with clients. Which again, not complaining! I want to work, I want to interact with clients, I want to actually do something! All I can say is that if I didn’t bring this book, don’t ask me how I know, but none of this would’ve happened. The universe saw me carrying a book or two (yes, it was two. I seriously thought I’d literally finish one book and start another all in the span of one workday?) and just knew that it’d set obstacles in my way to prevent me reading even a single sentence.

This is not a blog about my job, now almost two months in, or a blog about anything. This is just a way to finish off the last leg of today’s day. I figure if I can’t read a book, then I can write my own. Though this is not a book, this barely constitutes an essay. This is just a way to pass the time. Honestly? I’m surprised I wrote so many words. I’m both thinking I haven’t written enough words and realizing that I milked this very simple topic as much as possible.

It’s like the second day of fall or something, huh? Yeah, that’s cool. Not a lot of fodder for commentary there. Fallder. Doesn’t make a great pun either. I’m just gonna figure out something else to do for the next 23 minutes of my time. Then it’ll be the weekend and that’s always fun. Until next time, which, as always, I can not predict when that’ll be. So it goes.