Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carry On, My Wayward Son....

Well, it's about to be March (or it is March depending on how fast I can get this written and uploaded).

I didn't do as much as I would like to have done in February. I'm not happy about that. I was far less selfish during the beginning of the month. (By the way this is my Year of Selfishness; I didn't tell you? My bad) That's totally on me. I still have to finish my goals that I set for the end of March.

There is lots of craziness till occurring and things to deal with. I'm still not where I need to be but I feel oddly positive that I will do what is necessary for me to be happy and fulfilled and successful. I get these moments and I have to bottle all the emotion and drive associated with them. They can be fleeting and usually only happen when I have forgotten about or, at least, pushed my life, my folks and the world to the background into a static noise state. Helpful hint- Listening to this Gorillaz song helps immensely with this.

So, I'm gonna push to get the books (PLURAL!!!) done, make my blogs readable, attend to and clean up my personal life/affairs, work out harder and keep making myself more awesome. The Year of Selfishness and Also Awesomeness marches on. (see what I did there?)

But that's tomorrow.

I'm tired right now. Gonna watch Community, maybe a bit of Drive because that Gosling fella is so violently dreamy, try to FINALLY finish The Gone-Away World ** and sleep.

See you all on the 'morrow.

*I did it! Yay, me!

**It's one of those books that I always start that I never get through. I've pretty much given up on finishing Cloud Atlas. Maybe I'll give it another shot in the summer. ***

***Damn, summer isn't that far away.

Random Beatdowns

Me and a friend were discussing this crazy story that happened in the Bronx yesterday about this guy chopping up his mom and then putting her in random garbage outside. We both agreed this was sick and despicable but, like many of my friends, this friend asked me if I would ever help a friend do that to someone.

I didn't hesitate.

"Kill and chop up your mom? HELL NO! Take someone else out? Depends on the friend who is asking."

I have a lot of friendships that are a decade long or better, which is one of the few benefits of getting old. I love them all and would do a lot for them if I could. But there are some I have immense trust for. So much so that if the above scene happened, it would probably play out like that without the questions at the end. I could rely on them to not get me involved in something without a valid reason behind it. Most of my friends wouldn't ask me to even do something along these lines. They are mostly mature and, at most, only involve me in dust-ups when we have been boozing. It'll probably never, ever get to this point.

But I think it makes them sleep better knowing I got a sledgehammer and a hockey mask ready for action.

And isn't that all we can ask from a friend at the end of the day?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lone Wolf

I was going to post something today and I probably will late tonight/early tomorrow after work. Instead life occurred. In the meantime, peruse this astrological description of me. I really don't believe in horoscopes, although some are eerily accurate. This is one of them in my opinion. I had this book and it was fun to ask my friend's their birthdays and then compare the description to them. Is mine on point? I thought it was at least close. Let me know and check your own if you want.

November 28th- The Day of The Lone Wolf-

Descriptive words- natural, contradictory, profound, emotionally sensitive, confused, dogmatic

Personality of The Day of the Lone Wolf-
        The highly intense individuals born on November 28 must pursue their own course. Living paradoxes, those born on this day are complex individuals who never cease to amaze their family and friends with their unique combination of aggression and sensitivity. Their ideology is extremely important to them, but it can change in a bewildering fashion, its twists and turns leading through a maze of irony and high seriousness. For example, it may be difficult to determine whether a November 28 individual is conservative or radical, right- or left-wing, an upholder of the social order or anarchic rebel. Ultimately such terms have little meaning in reference to November 28 thought patterns, which must be understood on their own terms.

     Although November 28 people appear to others as physical types, the primary thrust of their day is mental, even intellectual. No matter what their walk of life or profession, they can often be found arguing their case, refusing to submit to any ready-made dogmas or belief systems. They are basically self-taught thinkers, and for many, school is at best an annoyance and at worst an imprisonment. They have a strong penchant to take the opposing point of view due to their resistance to absolute statements and generalizations of all types.

     November 28 people enjoy pointed humor, and will use wit and irony as powerful weapons against their opponents and also as a means to clarify and give shape to their own views. Most often, however, they make an impression of forthright seriousness. Emotionally, November 28 people are usually caught up in their own personal maelstrom. Romantic relationships may surface with frequency, but those born on this day have enormous difficulties in maintaining stability in this area.

     Their friendships, on the other hand, are usually rock-solid, and highly meaningful. Those who are involved with them will never forget the experience—difficult, maddening, recalcitrant and paradoxical, they go their own way and do their own thing. For example, they can be among the most generous of individuals and yet at other times the most selfish. Often their goodness and true nature is more easily understood by animals and small children, on a purely intuitive level, than by a critical, analytical adult mind. A love of nature and of the animal world is in fact sacred to them, being their one constant refuge from disappointing and uncertain human experiences.

     Perhaps the greatest problem for November 28 people is coming to understand themselves, and being able to straighten out their complex, difficult personalities. Usually it is seething emotions which keep them from viewing themselves in a more objective light. Many born on this day use their work as an escape from what seems an excessive self-involvement. Concerning the four major faculties of perception—intellect, emotion, intuition, sensation—a titanic effort must be made by November 28 people to bring these into balance. Only then can they progress in their personal development and come to terms with the society around them.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

I stole this from Jonathan Hickman....

because it was good and it hits so very close to home. You probably don't even need this because you got your shite together but I like this reminder.


It was October 2nd, 2004. I was sitting alone, bawling my eyes out, in a little Greek restaurant about half a block from the hotel where I was attending a Robert McKee seminar. I was reading Steven Pressfield's book, THE WAR OF ART.

It's a book about overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of creative undertakings. It's about realizing the only thing preventing you from succeeding is yourself. It's about becoming the person you are meant to be.

Here's an excerpt- 
"We don't even know what hit us. I never did. From age twenty-four to thirty-two, Resistance kicked my ass from East Coast to West Coast and back thirteen times and I never knew it existed. I looked everywhere for the enemy and failed to see it right in front of my face."

From twenty-four to thirty-two... I WAS THAT GUY.

Pressfield uses the word resistance to identify that thing within every creative person that keeps us from actually creating: Doubt, procrastination, fear, etc.


A couple months earlier I'd decided to try and make a go of making comics, but it was that night I stopped being a dabbler and became a creator. I went back to my hotel, sat down and wrote myself a reminder. Now, I read it everyday before I start work:

I am my own Enemy,
RESISTANCE is my Nature.

I am aware of RESISTANCE
And it prevents me from achieving the life I am Meant To Have.

RESISTANCE is Self-Generated, Self-Perpetuated.
It Lies and Seduces. Its goal is my Utter Destruction.
Every day is a battle for my soul.

This Moment, This Day,
I change my life.

Help me to defeat myself,
And realize fate.

Now, is all of this a little too spiritual? Is it too much new age, feel good, self-actualization?

Maybe, but am I committed?


Thursday, February 14, 2013


DISCLAIMER: I don't want this to come off as mopey and if I write it correctly, it shouldn't. This is just, as always, something that I'm thinking about and things that happened and what I thought/felt about them with limited filter. If it comes off as anything other than me writing and working through stuff, well, NO ONE TOLD YOUR ARSE TO READ IT ANYWAY, DUDE! Joking. Just joking. I just don't want to be seen as Moe Mopeystein, I hate that guy.* I'm really a joy to be around. Just ask my mom or (some of) the ladies I vaguely describe in the following.

I've had three girlfriends in my life. Okay. Let me clarify. I know three women who, if pressed, would say that they were at one time romantically attached to me. This is not to say that I haven't dated others (not many), hooked up with others (too many?) or just had magical, perfect moments with others (far too few) but I've only had three ladies that would say "I was in an exclusive relationship with that handsome and witty fellow." Or at least that's what they would say when I hear it in my head.
I could have had more or different girlfriends. Or I would like to believe that. There have been moments in my past where either fear or the thought that the grass was greener or not being mature enough has stopped me. From that time in 3rd grade where I turned down being Rebound BF Kid to my weird dealing with interracial attractions in high school to most recently agreeing not to tempt fate with a powerful friendship, I've passed or have been convinced to pass on some potential relationships. Some may have even turned out to be good in the long run but you really can't cry over what-ifs as a grown-up, which I'm, sorta, am.
So, instead, let me do a quick rundown on actual girlfriends I've actually had. This is how I recall these going down but my historical viewpoint might be skewed due to time and me wanting to look good.

High School Girlfriend- I went out with this young lady for a short time. She was my first real girlfriend. I believe she asked out a couple of my friends first before she got around to me. This is not to say she was bad for that because a) teenagers are assholes and b) I think I started dating her because all my other friends had girls at the time too and who wanted to be that single guy with the wifed up friends (like I am now). I was a bit of a follower and succumbed to peer pressure about some things back then. I can't even describe the shite I consumed just from dares. 
Plus, she had LARGE boobs. Like I said teens are assholes.
Anyway, this skips over the fact that she was generally cool but I was not mentally prepared to go out with a girl I only kinda liked. We lived far from each other, I think she had an idea of romance in her head that wasn't "hot" for a teenage guy who thought way too much with his penis and, honestly, I had a crush on another girl that I did nothing about throughout most of high school. It wasn't fair to either of us and we ultimately broke up. 
We're in contact through FB off and on now.
Fun Fact- Her dad scared the shite out of me. I think this helped me with my approach to male family members later.

College Girlfriend- This was the first girl that I admitted out loud to that I really cared about. Okay, I said it in a letter but that should give me some points, right? Anyway, this relationship was based on jokes, actually liking each others company and putting in a bit of an effort. She was cute, intelligent and a smart-ass, which are three things that sit on the top of my attraction list. It was fun times for me and that wasn't just do to the copious amounts of weed being used back then.
She was also my first real indication that I had a bit of a savior complex. She was in a relationship with a shitty guy and I tried to be extra relaxed and not rushing because of that and to make her feel better. I thought I was still pretty open with my feelings with her but she told me recently that she wasn't really sure at times how I felt about us. It was my old lack of the proper expression of emotions coming back to bite me in my arse again.
This one fell apart when I didn't return to school for a semester and she found someone else. One of my pals told me the news randomly in an elevator at school. I was upset but I became an expert at taking those feelings and assassinating them.
We are still pals and she gives me good advice when I actually share what is going on with me.
Fun Fact- I really wasn't a huge fan of the dude she went out with after me. He seemed like a dick and did dickish things. My friends became his friends though, which is frakked if I really think about it.

Worklife Girlfriend- I was the boss and she was an employee. Or I was at least a supervisor at times to her. I was at least a few years older than her and should have known better. This relationship occurred in the midst of my partying twenty-somethings days, which is the PERFECT time to be in a committed relationship with someone, right? I know. I'm a smart boy.
With our age difference we had very little to talk about besides work and our relationship. She also couldn't go to the same places as me. So, I'd come over to her place drunk from a club before sunrise and that was when most of our relationship happened. We did go out on a few actual dates but it was not going to go well from the jump. I was her first "adult" relationship and it was a big responsibility that I failed at.
We should have listened to her cousin when he asked us "Are y'all sure?" Broke up after a party for her mom's birthday. Told you, I failed at the responsibility. Don't act so surprised.
We were friends on FB in that we were on each other's friends' list but we only talked once in a blue moon. Or maybe a chartreuse one. Heard she is doing well.
Fun Fact- Although we didn't last, my two friends who started dating/hooking up on the same night are still together all these years later.

As I write all of this, I know I'm skipping over a lot of important ladies. I'm not just talking about my straight up platonic friends who are awesome or family members, who educate me just by me observing them and their interactions. I also mean the single hook-up girls, the drunk women I've made out with and the two or so women I've had a friendly, sexual but non-dating relationship with who may have taught me the most. You can really learn about the thought process and bad knowledge we have about the opposite gender when you talk to someone that you only have a mainly physical relationship with.
"I think you should wait on calling that dude.  You deserve better, f-buddy."

Which brings me to my most important non-familial and not just platonic female relationship...

This one has taken many twists and turns that I will not delve into here at this time. Suffice to say, it began like some weirdly contrived rom-com and has definitely has not arrived where I think it will go but that's part of the maddening fun. We're close friends with a HUGE layer of weirdness developed over several years to almost married couple levels. We both have issues that need to be worked on but I think our fight/love back and forth has helped us both. It's not bad, this weirdness. It comes from loving each other immensely. I think this relationship has been particularly trying at times for me because of the issue of love. Love is a big word for me and I don't say it aloud a lot. It's not that I don't possess love for people- friends, family, attractive strippers- I was just not raised in the type of environment with hugs, hand holding, greetings in the AM and saying "I love you." Curtis gets me.

To say "I love you" to someone who was not a female relative openly to someone was a big step for me. Those words are still major to me, so much that when people use it freely I still at times find myself thinking they don't value the power behind it as much as I do. I know this is untrue with the people I know but I said it before- I got issues.
This is probably why this relationship is very important to me. I would confront some of my issues as I age anyway, I would hope, but I like doing it this way with someone who is with me on this journey. We have different paths figuring out what is best for ourselves but we take a lot of our route, if not together, then as support for each other. 

And no matter how many flippant remarks or complaints I drop when I'm frustrated, I am very happy that I have this person in my life and I'm sure (she better) feel the same way. **
And if not, well, that's the thing about life, right? It goes on until it doesn't.

*I'm not antisemitic; I just thought Mopeystein was a funny last name. I respect the Jewish faith and have love for all my Abrahamic brothers and sisters. Y'all know this. L'chaim, kid!
**This, just this is SOOO close to us.

I Think I'll Start Worshiping Ares*

I'm not religious. This isn't a surprise to anyone who has been around me but I thought I should state it from the start before I begin. This is not a knock against anyone's religious belief or lack of one. To each, his/her own. And this is definitely not to say that I don't have a long history with religions. I'm very familiar with most religions- either through my own general interest in the subject, research for different stories, college courses (which were my second favorite classes after Poli Sci aka BS 101) and just life experience.

For example.....
My dad was a follower of the Nation of Islam, which hurt my pepperoni pizza loving soul.
My uncle's family were Jehovah's Witnesses, which resulted in me fallin asleep in a Kingdom Hall. Twice.
My family is black and Southern. I visited North Carolina as a kid. Nuff said. Figure it out.
I sometimes attend my sister's non-denominational church when I visit her down south. Her pastor is a chatty Cathy but it is generally a good time and the folks are nice.
I've attended Glide Memorial in San Francisco because a friend asked me too. I like that place because it is REALLY non-denominational. No overt religion pushing and was more about spirituality and being a good human. I would go back.
I live in New York and went to a private school with a lot of kids of the Jewish faith. Plus, my shoot-em-up neighborhood borders an Orthodox Jewish section. The beach around there could get interesting, to say the least.

"But Sean, are you spiritual?" If you are asking do I believe there is a God watching over personally or that a guardian angel of some kind has been assigned to protect me, then no, I'm not spiritual. I think we get through life, most of us at least, without a safety net, divine or otherwise, and a lot of it is chance and our will to move forward.
I do believe that there is meaning behind us being here. Even in my most cynical moments I would like to believe that the universe has my back in some way. If you call that spirituality, then yes, I am spiritual in the fact that I think there is something larger than us. Am I going to give this force a name? Nope. I'm not that naive or bold to do that. Am I going to go to a place weekly and behave differently than I would on a Saturday night? I probably won't unless a loved one asks me to go for just a morning, as I did in the above cases. Could I become religious one day? Maybe. Almost nothing is impossible and things change. I could probably see myself becoming a Buddhist maybe. They seem to be generally cool, especially compared to the Big Three.

Chill dude.

And I already do what I assume people would consider spiritual actions. I like to take moments to observe life, whether in a park or walking alone or sitting in my room. I meditate and contemplate the bigger picture when I wash dishes. I try to imagine the inter-connectivity of  humanity when I'm on public transportation. I get close to Nirvana when I'm washing my clothes at the laundromat.

Spin Cycle Zen.

With all that being said, I don't necessarily believe that the universe is just looking out for me. There are too many people and I don't think I'm that special. Everyone has their own path and sometimes these paths meet and chaos is created. It gets messy. Conflicts arises, which brings us to Ares.

This dude is all about the conflict.

I think conflict though by most definition is negative it can be constructive. I actually believe the nature of people is to be in a state of conflict with each other. I would even go so far as to scale that up to the universe as a whole. Creation is a messy affair, no matter if you are talking about biology or the creation of planets. Crashing masses starts off the processes that resulted in us. Forest fires can ultimately lead to new tree life. Conflict can become a tool for growth and evolution.

Ares embodies this conflict as the god of war. I choose to see the positive growth from conflict. Every encounter we have with another human is a conflict. That doesn't mean that we are always arguing or disagreeing with others. Sometimes we get lucky and are in the same side of a conflict or we can see the benefits of bits and pieces of both camps. These interactions make us better people and are constantly happening. I find that if you think of conflicts in this way the world moves a little easier for you. It also makes it less personal and more about your role with other humans. Sure, things won't always be cool and some conflict just arises from encountering asshats but you can still learn from these moments and also realize that those people have the problem and not you.

So, I'm seriously thinking about starting a temple for Ares worship.** Should I start a Kickstarter for this?

Hey, here's some Fiddy on spirituality. I like this.

*I really want to say Mars because he is slightly less of a bloodthirsty figure and more honorable than Ares. But Ares is a cooler sounding name and I, also, didn't want people to get him confused with the planet- although that makes about much since as worshiping an unseen deity but let me not open that can of worms again.
**No, I'm not. I will be investigating my beliefs more though.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Idiom Series Fifteen

Fifteen... Freshman Fifteen? I got nothing, folks.

"Things could be better/worse."
Typography by Josh Lafayette.

Another one I'm guilty of using too much AKA saying it at all.

OF COURSE things could be better or worse. You could always be more happy, have a little more or enjoy the experience on a deeper level. You could also get hit by that car, lose your job or catch terminal cancer that'll take your life in three to six months.

This is LIFE.

It goes up and down. To say this either a)makes you seem like a slow thinker if you are saying it and/or b)seem like an asshole for stepping on someone's current position in life. Maybe all they wanted was someone to congratulate them or just acknowledge their pain. It's obvious that their cut in salary may not be as bad as the starving kid's very existence in a Third World country but it is still cool for you to be like "I'm sorry to hear that. Let's get a drink."

It's the simple stuff, folks.

Idiom Series Fourteen

Seven is my favorite number and is probably a lot of other folks' favorite number. So, it should stand that twice such an outstanding number would give you an equally awesome or even better number. Alas, this doesn't work out, like being with twin hot sisters. It just gets awkward and, hence, we have fourteen.

"I'm not surprised."

Bullshit. If you knew this was coming, why didn't you warn the rest of us, Nostradamus?

No. You were just as surprised as the rest of us, buddy. You are just to smug to admit it.

Jerkface. You have the face of a jerk.
I have a number of friends who say this. I think they do it to prove how jaded and worldly and knowledgeable they are. That behavior was acceptable when you were in your dumb teens to stupid early to mid twenties, but you are an adult now. And, unless you are an immortal vampire, chances are something is gonna surprise you most of the time. The person might not catch you off-guard but I bet you even money their dumb and/or heinous actions did. Hell, Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU is still surprised at times after all these years.

So, stop being smug and admit it. You were just as much in shock as the rest of us, pally.

Idiom Series Thirteen

They say the number is thirteen is unlucky. I don't believe that. Plus, this post is being thrown up in 2013. That's lucky, right?

"Best ever."

I'm guilty of using this one excessively. It's really a stupid thing to say. I freely admit it. There has to be a better way to convey your appreciation of something without using this piece of hyperbole.

This statement is an impossibility. The only way to know something is the best version ever is to know every version. I guess you can say "This is the best thing I've ever seen" although that is probably untrue or maybe you would  be in the clear if you said "This is the best ever, so far."

But the thing is no one restrains themselves in that way. We always go for the extreme argument. Hell, I'm doing it now. This idiom is annoying and must die but won't.

It is a Highlander idiom and I will continue to try and chop off its head as much as possible.

Friendly reminder