Just like Everyone Else

SONY DSCA day where the sun hangs above you like tree limbs in a forest, walking the corridors blue and green. To the office, to life, to whatever may be inside. What it might, or might not. Watching the clock on a pale wall; watching time. Remember the time you didn’t do that so much? The time your mom made you lunch every day? Where you would sit and play, or take naps and watch shows which were meant to inform, intrigue, and even excite you? Now you scroll through this and that, something to forget momentarily; the Facebook blue giving me the Facebook blues. Wasting everything for nothing, collecting a check being told what to do, with no passion, no hope, NO nothing.

Your mind off somewhere, the beach, nipples erect, goose pimples; cold from the water, warm from the sun. Worrying about a sunburn.  The sour smell formaldehyde wafts open nostrils, hairs in between. You come back to life.  Nerves shoot pain where you are not sore, where you are not sore is few and far between. Breathing, one breath at a time; breathe in breathe out. Bike lies in pieces; how did I get here?

Just asking questions makes people afraid.

We used to go fishing, get drunk, and talk trash. We used to have real-life fun, and then reality happened. Jobs, cars, careers, and relationships; things just got in the way. Not in a bad way, but in the way.

Aspirin necessity on the tip of your tongue as pain stings the tip of your brain. Tied shoes, zipped jeans, something is too tight. You are too big, too fat, not normal, too unrealistically human, and here. The being itself is the hard part; just being. Why is it, they say. And they told you to get a job, save money, get an education, get married, have kids, but they never told you they would die and not be there, or that you would die someday too, and not be there. That makes it hard for you to be a human being, be a human being, when you aren’t. Death makes you a human with no last name- just human, no being. Coming and going in strange little ways, on a clock. A piece of cake and you thought of pie. Worrying about the idea of worrying, the concept, theory, thought, action. And things happened, as they always do… except without you.

Others just talk. Some try to walk, but they have broken legs. They never practice. They beg and plead for you to see. As flowers hidden beneath weeds; the hours and days we want, we wait, we wish, and hope to forget, in ways. It’s the theatre; this play. Time we’ve spent thinking about time. Thinking about death, breathing and not; fine line. Nothing changes when you sit. The paint stays on the wall, only fading some with the light. The appliances become old and replaced by newer, more efficient, of better quality- they say, make and models. But only as you do, this happens to you. This is mere fact to prove the truth.  Time to conclude.

Sort of ashamed at the way we’ve complained. There is nothing wrong with today, only our labels, interpretation, interpolation, assimilation; the way we fucking get on… And off, maybe.

 

Perhaps.

Off to a good start on a bad topic, on a bad thing, just babbling. About things, and about that: Everyone loves biking, beers, and talking about doing- the act.  Not acting so much though. They love writing, they love poetry, and they love being completely and utterly fucking unique, just like everyone else.  Me too.

There are no problems, only what ones we make. A pleasant day on a pleasant date: July 10, 2014. This is no 9/11, or 12/25, or 06/21, any year. This is right now, today: Heute. The sun is in the sky, the clouds are flying high, and the birds are chirping outside, but only if you believe it. I hit my head really hard last night, and this is the most important day of your life.

Let’s pretend like we’re not pretending.

Posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Houston County, Houston County News, La Crescent, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Price on Your Head (Marketing to Kill You)

10383484_10152149114602051_6324559071133465008_nWhat we need now is more resource management, better content, and less offensively aggressive marketing tactics by local and national publications. I guess we also need to understand the meaning of words as well. For instance, your legs and dick may work, but this ad in this here magazine says they don’t. I am guessing that same advertisement can tell you where to get that fixed, and who is the best at fixing it! The television is blowing your mind while at the same time wasting your day, trying to get into your pocket by exposing you to bullshit. These programmable monotonous moneymaking machines have done nothing more than generalize and play off of the insecurities of a community, a nation, by calculated observation and a constant flood of testimonials, which you- of course, can relate to. That seems like a problem.  I guess we have figured it out, but I can’t help you fix it. I am only trying to understand, just as you.

Locating this problem only begins to scratch the surface. Once you realize it is everywhere, you feel helpless in respect to doing something about it. Every bit of space in the metropolis (and the world!) is dedicated to helping you spend the money in your pocket, the money on your card; the money you don’t have. You may not need (want) it, but you need (want) it. Those products were only made to make you better, right? I guess I may walk, or bike around town on most days and see what is really out there, or I just think about things too hard. I must quote myself in this situation: After being exposed to Post-Structuralism it’s hard to take things seriously. Examining words for hours takes a bit out of you, and adds so much. How does every word not mean something, and what is that meaning? My mind is being raped by ad campaigns that say they can help me with aliments I didn’t even know existed, and I just need a fucking banana to make it through the afternoon. I know that, that is the only truth: I need one banana to make it through the afternoon. That is my life.

So how does one start to do something about this everything everywhere issue? I guess the first step would be to start realizing that the signs you see, the words utilized, are not in a random place by mere accident. These messages are specifically placed, and purposefully sold to and by corporations to take control of your subconscious, and take your bucks, even if you don’t have any. They embed their message into your brain, planting that little seed.  If you think you have a problem, then you surely do- and moreover, they can fix it- for a price.

Think about everything you saw today while commuting to work. Think about the moments you waited in your car, staring at some sign which promoted something better- the best product ever created. What was it located near, who was in the car next to you, what type of individual was the ad geared towards? Are you the same person as every other person? What did it say about you? In order to understand the game one must ask questions about surroundings, and then take action.

Sometimes I grab a magazine from a stand and open it up. There are ads about looking better, drinking more, and living in a new exclusive neighborhood, all in hopes of having more people like me (the reader). I don’t like people, so I immediately throw the newspaper, or magazine into the trash. Who accounts for this waste? I am more concerned with people working jobs they hate so they can struggle to pay bills, buy new things (they need, of course), while attempting to impress people they want to like them. I mean, that stuff is important. People have to like me MORE!  But I am busy thinking about lunch: a banana.

What we have to do is call it what it is, horseshit. Acknowledge the ink wasted, the paper, the chemicals, the external cost, and tell them we don’t want it. Thank you Father John Misty for opening my eyes to that kind of shit. We have to take a stand! I’m not talking about bitching towards the top and working down (no one at the top cares, unless you are talking bucks), I’m talking about starting at the bottom, in your house, and working up. Maybe vote more with your dollar, don’t pick up local trash rags (ad filled magazine garbage), let them sit and fade. How things work are, you can blow your lungs out complaining, and waiting, and thinking, and waiting, to no avail, or you can take charge on your own accord by taking action, or no action.

I think about this as I tie my shoes, which smell like popcorn; they are semi-worn-in and semi-dirty, but they will have to do, and they always (at this age) smell like popcorn covered in butter. I don’t need new shoes, but I may want them.  You see, I have little to no cash on hand at all times, and I don’t need it. It doesn’t matter, but my obsession with not wasting has been recently stuck in my head like the problems people make up to take over their daily lives i.e. eating disorders, mental health problems, and religion. I won’t die if I don’t have money, never have. It is about the same if you have, or don’t have money, the important part is your outlook, and attitude. People are afraid to realize this situation. Homeless people are a prime example; they have no money, and they are still alive. If you think about it the most important thing in life has to do with resources and mindset. Ads cloud that.  Let me shoot you an example: if I don’t have water or food I die. If I don’t have shoes I am still alive.

I can make it without tattoos, new clothes, beauty products, affluent friends, and (sometimes) beer. However, I wouldn’t want to do it without some of those, especially the latter.

More often than I would like to admit, I find myself wondering through Target, downtown. I think about plastic wrappings and boxes; where do they go after they have outlived their usefulness?Florescent lights billowing down on me, headache initiated, not looking for something, but looking for anything to fill the void in my life, a void created by marketing campaigns, television and magazines, which need these spaces filled to exist, to become relevant. We really don’t need all of this stuff. I mean, what’s it for? Do I need a facial soap that claims it can solve most of my problems? Will it? Does it work? -Probably not. I cite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Science_(book)

My adult acne make me look younger.  No one says that.

After doing some reading you feel kind of trapped, though knowledge is power. Everyone and everything is coming at you in hopes of getting you to pull out your wallet, lay down your frog-skins ($). Every magazine in the newsstand needs you to open it up, not for the news, or important information, but so you can look at the pages so their ad team can brag about a head count on a specific demographic to prospect companies hoping to pedal their product to “readers”, and eventually sign a contract. No one cares about content. Publications post pictures of girls wearing skimpy outfits and lists of mostly boring shit to appeal to brain-dead consumers. They care more about you looking at their ads, even if it is just for a moment. Content is out, marketing is in.

I challenge you to go to your local newsstand, magazine rack, or anywhere you can get your hands on a magazine. Take one and open it up. See if there is more actual content than ad space. Look at the adverts and see what they tell you about yourself. Then, after you have been labeled, delegated, informed and taken advantage of- while being told how to feel, by generalization, tell me, do you want to be a part of that publication that so easily lumps you into a category specifically for making profit? They sell space, make money, and waste paper on your accord.

That is an observation, but I must tell you I have worked for publications before (City College News, Thrifty Hipster, et al.), the bottom line isn’t the content; some of the organizations could care less about the words in a piece when it comes down to the money they make off of ad space. The bottom line promotes the media, and drives the publication. The media is geared towards eyeballs opening and viewing ads, in hopes that the corporations and businesses will keep paying them for ad placement. You might get the occasional one good piece; and I commend the writer, and appreciate the art. Don’t be surprised if you open one of your favorite reads and see an ad that is specifically geared towards you. But you pay for the ads anyway- I wouldn’t feel so bad.

You may think I am wrong, maybe I am, but I am not pedaling anything but a bike. I am just promoting thought and action. Understanding words such as needs and wants, and objectively viewing magazines and television as a possible catalyst for waste is the important first step in changing your life, and the world for the better. You make the call.  I say avoid these venues which allow limited intrigue, ones which promote a capitalistic mindset, and start viewing the world as our oyster rather than as a dumpster.

Or at least tell them to change because we want something better.

I really don’t care, I just think it’s funny that other people don’t notice these things.  I guess I start to lose my mind a little bit more each day when I can’t go outside without having a price put on my head.

Placement is everything. Where do you fit?

What can you do?

Posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to not Write about Death

SONY DSCPeople never ask me what it’s like. I tell them anyway. It is like having someone in your life who never judges your words, or asks anything of you, having them always there, even before your birth, as much or as little, and then one day they are gone. You could make one phone call. You could send one text message. You could have done that, but now you can’t. The hard reminder comes while looking in the mirror or through your phone records. I am half of something that is no longer here. Am I all here, or just half man? Ridiculous questions become life mottos, fixations, affinities, obsessions.

Something like that is hard to imagine, until the event actually happens. Something takes place. Then it is nothing short of constantly asking yourself if you will ever wake up from this bad dream, or is it a nightmare. Everything moves, contorts, and twists; was it the wind, or just my mind playing tricks? My contacts must be dirty.

One day you wake up, a perfect day, walk outside, and poof the world is upside-down. Imagine sitting in the back of the most beautiful hayride in southern Minnesota looking at the sky taking in life, celebrating, your sister and family members laughing- all big smiles. You are in this massive square trailer, sun beating down on your face. The only concern you have is of the possibility of getting an unremarkable sun-burn, pinked on the cheeks, or maybe even stained clothes. Air smells of dried and cut hay from weeks before. Tractor lurches forward with a grinding sound, gears fall into place, motion. A cold beer is in your hand. A photographer talks with you about the city, life, Iowa, and what it’s all about.

You walk into the reception hall, eat more food than necessary, get prepared to leave, sign some papers with witnesses, shake hands, hug, kiss, and then it is all over. Just moments after you have a sharp pain in your side you walk through green doors to your sister’s reddened face, tears coming down leaving trails. Words you will never forget, ones you don’t want to remember, especially not believe.

Everything changes. Emergency rooms never seemed so unwelcoming. No one wants to be there, but they can’t leave. The food tastes like shit. Every bad joke is an opportunity for silence, and glaring eyes with a chance of flooding. Grotesque positivity; euphemisms handed out like candy. Rooms close in on you, chairs become beds, and you sleep with the lights on, no choice. Everything is on the table; but the table is so small. Even the coffee tastes of medicine. Sometimes you can’t do it.

People complain about depression, obesity, eating disorders, poor relationships, labels that groups or doctors give them, and money, that has nothing to do with sorrow, pain, and feeling right now. This is not a decision, but rather fate, like all of the latter “plights”, “issues”, “problems” (fix mine). There is pizza, Gatorade, and medical jargon. There are new friends you never wanted to meet talking about their sick wife or their son who was in a tragic 4-wheeler accident, again. You stare at the wall- through it now. Everyone wants to talk, you are lost for words. No one gets it, they have to live it. It is one part of life; the most absolute, immediate, sea-change: death.

And people fucking bitch about trivial shit enough to make me want to rip my hair from my head, eyes from sockets… I am not saying they don’t know, I am saying they can’t. Next time you complain about something think about everything you have going for you in your life. This is no complaint, but an honest plea.

This is the same time when shock becomes reality. There is a future somewhere, but now is forever, these moments won’t end. And you don’t have that one person to call or text. People just go. Always say I love you, because you do.

Posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Houston County, Houston County News, La Crescent, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nothing

Nothing.

Nothing.

I was thinking one time near Nicollet Ave., downtown, in the back of some kitchen. I can remember a trip where my father and I drove to the boundary waters nonstop from La Crescent, MN. We left just at dusk, we made tracks in a hurry. Our gear was bundled up and thrown in, all hodge-podge mismatched. Something was amiss. My father wanted to leave town. I jumped in and brought music, a leather cd case. We listened to whatever hip-hop or classical rock I had at the time, nothing of consequence. I was relatively young, maybe 17, maybe less. We drove through these desolate towns in Minnesota. It was well late. They were just specks of light really. We drove for 8 hour straight making a seldom stop for a piss or for gasoline. It was growing dark. We were on the last leg of the trip. There were more trees and the smell of the Great Lakes, unfamiliar yet welcoming. We were winding up and through the Gun Flint Trail, the last 90 miles of our journey. This kind of road makes a tired man sea-sick, and a frail boy dizzy. Along the way I had purchased some spray whip-cream and when we hit a bump I cut the side of my cheek trying to squeeze some out. We arrived at the cabin late. The owners were asleep. Two women- lovers, were in the cabin next to ours, but we didn’t have any keys. We couldn’t do anything about it. We didn’t knock. We had to sleep in the truck sitting up, surrounded by our belongings. So, my dad, tired from the lengthy drive, was out fast. He started snoring, and then silence. I sat up in my seat and couldn’t find comfort. I remained there staring blankly into the dark where the road disappeared into oblivion. There was nothing, I could see white bubbles floating across my line of sight. I was watching so hard I didn’t know if I was awake or dreaming. Nothing moved. There was no sound. And out there I knew there was nothing. *** My friend overdosed. I asked him what he saw when he was dead. He told me it was just black. I told him I was glad he was back. I turned to the lake to watch the water.

Posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Houston County, Houston County News, La Crescent, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to be a Writer

This is what writers do.

This is what writers do.

Write.

Posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Houston County, Houston County News, La Crescent, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lyn Lake Street Festival 2014

Lyn Lake Streets Festival 2014, By Terry Scott Niebeling

Lyn Lake Streets Festival 2014, By Terry Scott Niebeling

Sunday, June 8th the Lynn Lake Street Festival 2014 was most eventful. More importantly, the Open Streets were a treat for those in Minneapolis, especially for those on bikes. I could have never imagined so many people gathering in one part of the city, police blocking off the street while pedestrians and fest-goers drink and converse most of the day. There is a pride that comes with living in the Twin Cities. That pride involves getting outside as much as possible whenever possible (weather permitting) to see music, people, and art, and of course, to drink microbrews. That is what happened. Here is the rudimentary story of how my Sunday turned most eventful…

Well, before I actually start I just want to preface by saying something about the area, Twin Cities proper. The beer and music culture in Minneapolis is, and has been booming for some time. Noticeably in the past few years; a microbrewery seems to spring up in every community pretty regular, nearly on every corner. We probably have more of those than churches now. Yet, surprisingly, Minnesota lacks the ability to keep liquor stores open on Sundays- totally weak. This undoubtedly feeds into the festival culture, particularly on Sundays. It is an exciting time to be a beer enthusiast, foodie, and a music connoisseur in this fine city. Thankfully it has been a beautiful summer so far. We couldn’t do this in January… Well, we could, but I suppose there would be markedly fewer people venturing out into the unrelenting cold, and they wouldn’t be exposing so much skin.

This Sunday was like any other Sunday in summertime (for me), except for the Open Street Festival part. I woke up twice, I felt like shit from the night before, and I decided to go to the BroHaus- wonderful idea- as usual. I woke to my girlfriend leaving for work. After she left, I became bored and decided to see what Dane was up to. He answered reluctantly- and yet amazingly, as he usually never answers my calls, certainly not on weekend mornings. I said we should go to the Lynn Lake Street Festival. He grumbled about something and then got off the phone. It was 8:30 A.M., the day was about to begin. I fell asleep once more and didn’t wake up until 10:30 A.M.

89.3 The Current was on the radio upon my final waking. Mornings in this weather are not to be missed, and they need a soundtrack. The sun would be out today, no rain, and it would be around 70 degrees. I was ready for this because the day before I was shut-in with an even worse hangover, fail zone. It was torrential downpours for most of the day before, save some overcast and eventual sun, which ended the day. Daniel had departed after three days of partying, and I was essentially alone for the morning. The cat was pouncing about and eating my plants…

It was 10:30 A.M., two hours after I told Dane I would be over; an hour after he left to the street festival. I showered, stretched, consumed some food and left. I packed beer and bananas. I was at the BroHaus at approximately noon. The door was locked. The door was never locked, so I knocked. C. opened the door, and she had much to say; some off topic discussion about the lawnmower being broken and someone listening to the floor, moderately random. I called Dane and he started back. We sat in the backyard drinking and bullshitting. The Door’s Greatest Hits played over the boom box.

After Dane showed up with Tim Narc, Erin Neighbor showed up too- with a handle of whiskey. We all sat in law chairs and spoke on the upcoming day. Most of the festival was over, as it had started at 10:00 A.M., but it was time to go now, so we left.

At this point the beers were feeling good. The Jim Beam however was not going so hot. I had merely breakfast sans lunch, and completely forgotten about this fact. My bananas became powerless as the day went on. No big deal though, I moved forward.

The weather was perfect, the sun was out, and there were thousands (I assume) in the crowd. Just inside the Fugiya (I hope I am spelling this correctly) parking lot we started running into people we knew. Everyone was having a fun time, big hugs and cellphone photo ops. There were plenty of dogs and noteworthy local artists (Scott Seekins). People were dressed crazy and rocking their need-to-be-seen attitude! Sehr cool!

At first we were so far away from the stage that we couldn’t see let-alone hear what was going on. After some chatting we made our way closer.

I hardly remembered what was going on at this point in time because I was exhausted from lack of food and copious beverages. I recall not recalling anything, yet still being able to function. I had my sunglasses on and my camera out; no one assumed anything. I was simply another face in the crowd- possibly press. Walking towards the stage we took numerous pictures, as my camera’s memory card suggests. Apparently I am bored with the view I have from the crowd, so I make my way onto center stage without question.

I am up there for about five minutes when I realize the microphones are live, and no one seems to care. I address the crowd to cheers, which is kind of amazing. The sound guys come on stage, and then 89.3 The Current’s very own David Campbell (@thewombatt) walks across. I ask him to give a shout out to my friends and allow me a photo opportunity, he agrees. This is priceless. I am thoroughly pumped at this point. I vacate the stage before getting into anything else and meet up with my friends. RB and C2 have decided to join the ranks, Sea Biscuit is there as well; he stands on backpack patrol for my first stage occupation.

My friends are utterly shocked by my all access credentials. RB is pointing and laughing. This is at the very least hilarious. As I walk down from the stage I have other photographers asking me, “How did you do it?” I tell them I walked on stage, that’s it. No big deal. I sign some autographs and give out my blog info.

I get closer to my friends. As a group we walk, talk, joke, and people watch. The crowd seems to be getting weirder and weirder as the day goes on. At this point I have no knowledge of the time, but the sun is still out. The closing act is Sonny Knight. He had a career back in the day, and now this local soul singer is bringing it back. From a distance I am startled at his stage presence; he was really moving the crowd. I thought to myself: I must get back on stage and get photos. So, being the person I am, I did.

Sonny Knight was, and is great. He came across as the kind of guy who comes from a bygone era, while effectively staying relevant. His music has life. He had three backup singers and a full band, he was doing it right. At the peak of the numbers in the crowd, Sonny rocked the venue like a champion. The best song of the day was “Hey Girl”, naturally, but even less familiar songs moved those in attendance. From behind the stage looking out I could see the excitement, and the power which Sonny held. His set was charged and intimate, and precisely electric. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise- not knowing he was on the bill.

Sonny played for some time, and then the show was over. The crowd was pleased. I exited the stage at about the same time in hopes of having a one-on-one conversation with the artist. I ran around back as he was being mobbed by fans and snapped at with cameras. He took time for the adoration and with a broad smile he vanished. Sonny was something; to me he seemed like a classic soul singer from the distant past, yet he was thriving in 2014. I wondered where his time machine was parked. Searching, I found nothing…

Oddly, at this point some weird guys came up and asked me more personal questions. I felt uncomfortable and left immediately.

The show was over. It was time for me to go home. I found my bike, loaded up my camera, and headed towards the river. On this bike ride I was mostly walking. My ride home was disorganized and grueling. I found myself in the grass and on the sidewalk. I was starving and miles from my house! Luckily for me the sky was holding blue, and sunlight guided my way. I thought on the photos, the people, and the great community atmosphere which Minneapolis harbors. I needed to eat, and I was looking forward to the next Open Street Festival.

Disclaimer: Some of the events which took place in this piece did not actually take place, so I am going put this in the creative non-fiction/fiction genre. Use your imagination.

Posted in @sirterryscott, Creative Non-Fiction, Essay, Midwest, Minneapolis, MN, Photography, Poetry, Prose, Twin Cities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advice on Advice

Photo of Bill Murray which resides on my fridge.

Photo of Bill Murray which resides on my fridge.

Oh, the scrutiny, but who cares? People seem to matter themselves with things that don’t matter. What is another person’s opinion of you, to you? What does it mean? How do you feel? People can share their opinion, give you advice, tell you what they think, but really it’s all just words; just hot air brought in by the mouth, through the lungs, and then back out- vibrations touch your ears, but that’s it. Unlike you, no one else has the drive to create, to do. People can talk, but that is all they can do, just talk. You have done.

Some people don’t like Times New Roman font, I could care less. I find
Times New Roman font delightful. I used to not like it so much. Now I like it a lot. It’s easy to read, looks great when you blow it up big (like 72!), and there is a quality to it that makes double-spaced essays sexy, even if they are on mundane topics. English majors know, few others will understand. I study words for hours daily. If they are not aesthetically pleasing then they are not doing their job. It is not what is written (in many cases), but how it looks on page, screen, or tablet, how it appeals to the audience, the reader, and how it carries one through to the period. I couldn’t read blocks of shit unless it was typed in Times New Roman. I rest my case.

Disclaimer: at one point this essay was written in Times New Roman font, now, ironically, it’s probably not.

Thoughts too heavy, too deep: Many writers, artists, scribes, authors, poets, talkers, et al. may find it hard to produce. The problem comes from the outside, not from within. An artist should, at any moment, be able to embark upon an artistic endeavor, without hesitation or preparation. The artist should live, eat, sleep, and breathe art. Elsewise, what is the purpose? The artist waits, thinks on what the observer will surmise, assess, label. That is not his/her job. The artist’s job is to create, and keep producing—doing. Everything is art, really; walking across the street, buying a coffee, mispelling a wurd, using bad grammar, listening to music, reading a book, and talking about creating art is art, actually. It just depends on what kind of artist you want to be. My least favorite artist is the vocal performance artist: talk, talk, talk. They will speak endlessly at any, and every, social gathering about their ventures in the industry. When they open up, I am the turned-off artist. I typically walk away and bow. Thank you, thank you…

Fact: One day you will die and you will no longer be able to talk about the art you were going to make. Think about that.

Complaints, everyone complains. Complaining is easy, I love doing it. I would rather not do it so much, but no one else is doing it at this volume, I think. Complaining is fun, because everyone has been complained to, and everyone has voiced a complaint. It is a communal thing. Humans, we love to complain. 7 out of ten people will tell you of a bad experience (in the service industry); however, only 2 out of ten will tell you about a good experience. You remember that from training at your new job. We are hardwired to bitch about things. If I didn’t complain daily, half of what I might say throughout the day would be turned into silence- and that wouldn’t be cool, man. That would be a horrible occurrence! I wouldn’t want to do that! NO! I rest my case.

Lastly, don’t give advice—ever. Giving advice is bad. Even giving good advice is bad. Good advice is bad because it’s your opinion. And, no one cares about your opinion. Everyone has one (think of the old “asshole” saying). Also, your opinion can get you into trouble; just as your language can tell your actual motives and ideology, ask John Locke (I cite http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/locke/).

This is advice. What I learned recently is: Don’t give advice where advice is not wanted. People hate taking advice from others. As human beings we want to figure things out on our own. We want dignity, fulfillment, individuality- by ourselves. We want to feel that we are contributing to the human race, but only independently, interestingly. When someone gives me advice I usually think about something else. Immediately when the conversation begins -and we all know what that sounds like- my ears block the sound, I think of canoeing on an empty lake, just me, in the middle of the lake in a canoe. This is my serene getaway. I suggest you find one too. And then I pop back into reality at the end. My selective hearing is getting stronger, and that is only because I have learned from the best. The key is the finish. Just coming out of it can be difficult. I will usually employ a nod, or a “yeah, that’s interesting” or “that’s funny.” My go to is always “that’s funny”, because life is basically just funny. No matter what happens you can always laugh, even if you don’t want to. Laughing is good. You should try it. That is my advice. Take it from me…

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