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Things always happen fast for me. I suppose it's because I'm the kind of person who takes something when he sees what he wants. I spare little time because I'm an impatient.

I've been living as a kid with child-like views and attitudes. I've been doing a lot of things to please others, and it's that aspect of being child-like that drove me the most crazy and made me the least-happy.

Part of that rose from a harsh insecurity developed when one of my ex-best friends told me that I was selfish--mind you, he was banging my ex at the time. Still, I took it to heart for a very long time, so I made it a point to be as un-selfish as possible and please everyone I could...but in the end, I lost myself, lost my independent nature, lost my individuality, didn't really know how to formulate my own opinions. I relied on others too much.

I've felt the need to grow up recently, and now I'm committed to taking those steps, and the first step was living for myself, and really becoming able to say "fuck anyone else who expects too much out of me, or doesn't like me."

i'm likeable either way, i just won't bend my personality to pander to someone else's needs. Now, I'm allowed to be selfish, as long as it means that I'm preserving my individuality.

Now, I'm taking my life into my own hands and doing things my own way, because I need to, and I want to.

Growing up came fast for me, and I'm glad that it's on my own terms. I'm allowing myself to move myself from under what my parents see as their own ideals, and move into my own. I'm not saying that they're wrong and I'm right, but I'm doing things the way that I intend to do them.

I approach life in a different way, somewhat unconventional. My life is rarely planned, so I'm improvising a lot. Despite that, I'm setting goals for myself that I really want, and that's as much planning I've ever done in my life. But, between point a and point b, it's an elaborate improv performance. It's how I write, it's how I perform, it's how I live, and it's what's worked for me.

Making plans has always been hard for me, at least making elaborate plans. But, with some guidance and a deadline, I make things happen, I make things work.

Some see it as chaotic.

It's my process, and no one else's.

I think that this is how a lot of creative minds work, not all, but many.

585: Breaking the dry spell

Eleanor, with nothing to prove, and so much to learn
Blow out your candle when you can, then let another one burn
Spread out your wings when you find the strength, right now I know it seems hard
Worry you won't when the time is right, it won't be too far

From him you're flying away
And you'll breathe easy someday
And all your beauty will shine
But it already does in my eyes

Eleanor, you're so young, your life has barely started
But you've seen the storm, been in the eye, and now the sea has parted
You'll take a step into the fold when you find the courage
The world awaits with wide open arms, then you'll see the Sun will flourish

When you lose what you've cherished
You've never known pain like this
But soon your beauty will shine
Like it already does in my eyes

(*Note: I'm going back and forth by using this fictional name, and the real name in this song. It may change. I don't know. That, and using the real name makes me feel kinda creepy for some reason.)

It's funny how things relatively unrelated to you can somehow inspire you. In any case, it had been at least 3 months since I'd finished a song, until today, when I cranked out two songs, both inspired by the same thing.

You've been cryin' and I've been there before
It's times like these it feels like nothing could hurt more
When the tears, they burn the sides of your cheek
Of you're trying to be strong, but all you feel is weak

But it took strength to say you're going away
After you couldn't take another excuse to stay
And it takes time to finally say you're fine
But if you want, right now I'll wipe the tears from your eyes

If you need someone to say everything will be alright
Then you can keep me right by your side tonight
And if you need to get away I'll take you for a ride
If you want I can be your SuperGuy

It's not easy, no one said it would be
It's not your fault that he's a mess and he left you stressed
But the tears will dry after they roll of your cheek
You're trying to be strong, but it's okay to feel weak

Repeat bridge
Repeat chorus

I don't wear a cape
I don't fly through the air
But I won't make the mistake
Of making you feel like I don't care

I don't know why these songs make me feel weird. Maybe because I'm really socially distant from the inspiration. Maybe I shouldn't feel weird, they're just songs.

584: The words I love. The words I hate.

The nitty-gritty:

Love: Call me.
Hate: I'll get back to you.

I'm going to be real. It's been a long, long time since I've been on a date...even longer since I've been on a date with a good looking/quality woman.

Yes, I'm admitting that I've "slummed" it.

I just need...

It's not hard to figure out what I need.

You fill in the big blanks.

I feel too much like hell to dwell on it any more than I already have.

I love words.
I hate words.
I'm turning 24 this week, and it's like: whatever.

Still, I'd like to party like it means something. I mean, it's a reason to party.

You know how some people just rub you the wrong way?
I've got a case of that right now.

I'm tired of Orange County. It's the same shit every single day. I guess that's a reason why I'm barely blogging these days. That, and I've no inspiration. So, my songwriting is in the dumps right now.

The things I want right now:
To be inspired.
A second source of income.
To not feel so lost everyday.
To not feel like I'm losing everyday.

When I say losing, I don't mean win-loss losing, I mean I lost some spare change losing. Just to clarify.

I'm wasting my days because I don't know where they're heading. It's quite the double-edged sword.

I'll try the gym tomorrow, if I can get my ass out of bed, seeing how I'm working all night ('til 2).

582: My Ballerific and Terrific Christmas

The coolest things I got for Christmas:

1. Solid friendships.
2. Forgiveness.
3. Nintendo Wii.

I've got to say that those things made my Christmas pretty ballerific like it's all terrific.

Between a crisis averted a few nights before Christmas, crazy conversations at the dinner table on Christmas, and a late night out after Christmas night, it was really rad.

Conversations at the dinner table with family included the following:
-My older uncle making an outright mention of Viagra.
-One of my younger cousins' issue with toe-socks, and me "outing" him in front of the family.
-Condoms as a "coming of age" birthday gift.
-My aunt wondering if I'm ever going to have kids, and me insisting that "I'm sterile. There's nothing going on down there." (I'm not sterile, but there hasn't been anything going on down there for awhile.)

It was fun times.

Afterwards, I met up with an old friend and caught up on old times, before I was a total jerk to her. I was forgiven. The first forgiveness on a long list of people that I've needed/wanted to apologize to for me being an asshole in the past. It's kind of a Broken Flowers/High Fidelity sort of thing.

Also, at Paul's in Orange, the bartender taught me a couple new and easy shots. Pretty rad. They're light and tasty.

I'm still working on re-opening doors to people, and hoping to God that some doors are still open to me.

581: I'm the shit, and you're so cool

 I've been doing some songwriting lately, among other things.

I really enjoy the fact that I was able to put the phrase I'm the shit, and you're so cool in a song.

Here are the lyrics to a couple new songs, and the stories behind them.

Love Is Overrated
This stupid feeling in my chest,
So hard to breathe, so hard to rest,
I say I hate it.
You're everything I'm thinking of,
Except of what I think of love,
It's so overrated.

But anything worth having is overstated all the time,
So why should I see falling for you as some misdemeanor crime?
When I'm the shit and you're so cool, and I can't take my eyes off you,
We talk and talk the whole night through, laughing like a couple fools.

I can't stand
How you make me smile.
I can't stand
How you make my heart beat so damn wildly.

I kiss your cheek at every chance
And toast a drink to dear romance,
It's complicated.
When we part, I'm looking back
Like some stupid sorry sack,
Love's so overrated.

But anything worth having is overstated all the time,
So why should I see falling for you as some misdemeanor crime?
When I'm the shit and you're so cool, and I can't take my eyes off you,
We talk and talk the whole night through, laughing like a couple fools.

I can't stand
The softness of your skin.
I can't stand
The way I swear that you were born to do me in.

I wrote that song because I've really been wanting to incorporate the theme of love being some huge overrated thing, but still having it be some inescapable truth that everyone eventually faces. I think that there were some themes that sort of reflect things that have been going on with me, but I'm not in love. Still, I don't see myself being in love anytime soon, but no matter what I think of it, it will always be a possibility. I can curse it all I want, I can say I hate it all I want, but deep down, I really love it. It's a cynical song, it's a sarcastic song, it's a pretty real song that I think a lot of single guys and girls my age can relate to.

Okay, next song.

The World's Beauty
She's got the world all tied up,
Wrapped around her finger.
Throwing caution to the wind,
Paying no mind to danger.
She knows the world is watching
So she puts on a show.
But when the world unravels
Tell me where does she go?

She's passing past all of the little things
That used to make her little pretty heart sing.
She's passing past so fast away from her past,
How long can she last?

Stop! Take a look around,
Everything you're looking for has already been found.
Stop! Take a look and see,
You've been missing out on all of the world's beauty.

He's got the world figured out,
Can't no one tell him different.
If you told him to slow down,
Chances are he won't listen.
"Don't you know father knows best?"
Seems the boy could care less.
"If you keep the pace you go,
You're gonna run out of breath."

He's passing past all of the little things
That used to make his little hardened heart sing.
He's passing past so fast away from his past,
How long can he last?

Stop! Take a look around,
Everything you're looking for has already been found.
Stop! Take a look and see,
You've been missing out on all of the world's beauty.

They're passing past all of the little things
That used to make their little hardened hearts sing.
They're passing past so fast away from their pasts,
How long can they last?
How long can they last?

Stop! Take a look around,
Everything you're looking for has already been found.
Stop! Take a look and see,
You've been missing out on all of the world's beauty.

I debuted that song on guitar the other night, and I think it came out beautifully. The first verse is what I think of a particular girl. A part of me thinks that she wants so much attention, and she gets it a lot, but at what cost. Is it just a vacant audience? Is this attention all that she's got going for her? The second verse is semi-autobiographical, and a little bit about a friend of mine. The whole song is just about slowing down and re-evaluating all the things in the world that we consider "important." Really, at the end of the day, at the end of our lives, what's really important?

Important is not the people we've impressed, or the things we've accomplished. At the risk of becoming super preachy and a little religious, I think that "important" is this God's green Earth with which we have been blessed. "Important" is our loved ones, the people that love us. We, as a people, take and take so much from the world in terms of possessions, however, there are people around the world that don't even have a fraction of what the average American has, and yet they still find happiness and have meaningful lives. So, I decided to explore what's really important in this lifetime.

580: Me? Confident?

I've got to say that I've been flying high lately.

It used to be that I'd walk in a room, and people would say 'hey,' and I'd be meek as all hell acknowledging people. Or, I'd just be outrageous.

Neither of those things are healthy, they created a negative frame in which people saw me in. I was either withdrawn, or extremely exuberant. In any case, I was instable.

These days, I walk into a room, and I beam with confidence. People still notice me, but my head is tilted a little higher, and the confidence that I'm brimming with makes me smile. People notice me for the good that's within me, and I'd say that's pretty dope.

I like that confidence.

I think it comes from knowing who my friends are, and knowing that I've got their support, and that they really care about my happiness the same way I care about theirs. There's no selfishness in these relationships, and I really like that things are that way.

That being said, knowing who my friends are, finding a girlfriend has really taken a nose-dive in my priorities. Lord knows it used to be my highest priority...but it just doesn't seem that important. I'm open to having my mind changed and all...but for now, my mind-set is just based on having as much fun as possible.

The weirdest thing is, I think that I've physically changed very little. I'm no slouch, but I'm still like a teapot: short and stout. In spite of my physical diminutiveness, I've felt more attractive these days. It's the confidence.

I'm not confident because I'm attractive.
I'm attractive because I'm confident.

Oh, the sweet secret of my success.

Last week's new skill: Palmistry (Palm reading).
This week's new skill: Perfecting my massage.

579: Baseball, home runs, and writing.

Last night, while I was studying how to read palms*, I decided to just expunge some thoughts as to why I'm choosing the career path of journalism/writing.

(*Yes, I'm trying to teach myself palm reading. Don't ask why.)

I watched a lot of SportsCenter this last weekend, and it was a really good week in sports, namely college football. However, in the highlight reels, one piece really captured my attention. I don't remember who the player was, or what team it was (I was watching these highlights at a hookah bar), but the clip was of a baseball player hitting a home run.

A day later, I wrote about it, and how moments like those affect my writing.


Baseball: A Reason Why I'm a Writer

I knew I wanted to be a writer after the songs stopped coming out of me. There were all of these emotions that I hadn't yet explored in music, and they needed to come out.

When I see a baseball player hit a home run, and see that he knows he hit one, I don't see a ball travelling 375 feet, I see the paramount of self-satisfaction in a moment of time. For a few seconds, the batter is able to stand at home plate, with his bat extended past his back-shoulder, and see a small piece of leather disappear in the distance. In that time, he needn't sprint base-to-base 90-feet at a time, he will trot a 360 foot lap dedicated to a momentary victory.

This is not a victory in the sense of a tally in the win-column. This is a victory against physics.

A round sphere spins and curves forward at breakneck speed and finds contact with a wooden cylinder in the fraction of a millisecond. In the physical world, there should only be a miniscule chance that these two objects collide in a way that the ball flies in a particular desired direction.

The baseball field transcends the physical world in the one fell swoop of a baseball bat.

The crowd roars and heads arch back to follow the trajectory of a flying pile of leather and lace.

A dugout clears to congratulate the hero of the moment.

This is a home run to me.
This is baseball.
This is one reason out of one trillion why I'm a writer.

Drama is everywhere.
Drama is permanent, and it is also fleeting.
Drama, in its purest form, is beauty.

I write to capture these fleeting moments.

578: My fidelity.

You need as much ballast as possible to stop you from floating away; you need people around you, things going on, otherwise life is like some film where the money ran out, and there are no sets, or locations, or supporting actors, and it's just one bloke on his own staring into the camera with nothing to do and nobody to speak to, and who'd believe in this character then?

So, I've begun reading Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, with ardent enthusiasm really. As a result, I've developed a fancy for Hornby's writing style, and the fact that he ends nearly every chapter with some life-long insight that can bite the hell out of you.

Granted, I'm no thirty-something, but I can relate to the character of Rob Fleming (Rob Gordon in the film version, equally as brilliant). There's a certain cynicism, a tone of self-deprication, some past-due awkwardness that speaks to me. It's quite understandable to realize why this novel became an international bestseller.

It's fairly difficult to shut out the movie while reading the book, however, the images and ideas from the movie aren't really a bad thing to draw upon, especially as an American, since the book takes place in London and the movie takes place in Chicago. I know nothing about London. I know more about Chicago than the average Southern Californian.

Adaptations are tricky, I mean book to movie adaptations. You've really got to hope that whoever is handling the film version of a novel (or graphic novel or comic series even) is a real fan of the work.

John Cusack and the crew behind the film version of High Fidelity really loved the book, and stayed true to the spirit and ideas of the novel, only changing the locale of the story, therefore, it was a very good film adaptation.

Same with the Fight Club adaptation. I feel that the film version was a masterful adaptation of the original novel, accentuating all the things that couldn't be seen in the novel (example: the narrator's apartment becoming a 3-d version of an Ikea-esque catalogue, not only genius, but relates the message of the work in an incredible way).

Films can only go so far though. The most common complaint I've heard about book-to-film adaptations is that the film skips parts of a book. Books are brilliant for the fact that they can become as detailed as they'll ever need to be. Good films based on books don't skip vital portions of a story, but they always include the most important parts of a story.

My last little note may explain why I'm so constantly down:
(I believe this passage was in the film)

...What came first--the music or the misery? Did I listen to music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to music? Do all these records turn you into a melancholy person?

People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands--literally thousands--of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss. The unhappiest people I know, romantically speaking, are the ones who like pop music the most; and I don't know whether pop music has caused this unhappiness, but I do know that they've been listening to the sad songs longer than they've been living the unhappy lives.

577: Sounds like a crush.

Okay, you learn something new everyday. What'd I learn?
Shooting b-roll footage at night, alone, in Downtown Fullerton is not as easy as I'd hoped.

Yeah...I've gotta reschedule that idea soon.

I haven't been feeling all that great these past few days...but you've gotta try and move on.

The idea of being in a relationship was completely soured yesterday. I was in line at Chipotle, during a busy peak...and I'm stuck behind a couple. They were about 18 or 19 years old...but they were so disgustingly lovey-dovey that I got tooth-ache, and I was surprised I was able to hold my appetite.

The idea of being that attached to someone just seems weird to me.

I don't know what's weirder, that idea, or the fact that I feel that way.

These days, I'm not really attracted to anyone at all, not in any way like I used to be attracted to girls left and right. The most I really ever feel for another girl is a quick fleeting crush...typically on a female musician that I'll maybe see at open mic for one or two sessions. Fleeting is the right word.

When I think about it, I might only be interested in one girl...yes, a singer-songwriter...but, "interested" is a stretch...it's a small crush. I see her maybe once a month, seeing that's how often she does shows at Plush. The last time I saw her, I was really under the weather, so it just seemed very inopportune and inappropriate to ask her out for coffee. Despite that, I wasn't crushed...because I'll see her again after she's done touring.

It wasn't until recent that I realized that I realized "Hey, she's cute, and I'd like to see her before her next show at Plush."

Still...this crush is only minutely less fleeting than others...however, it has stuck to me a little longer.

I noticed that she tinted her hair the last time I saw her. It looked good on her.

It's a stretch. We're both busy people.

She goes to school. She does shows a lot. She tours.

I go to school. I work. I'm trying to see if this music thing is going anywhere.

Maybe next time.

If not, I'm not crushed. It's not the end of the world...but it's a nice thought to ponder the possibility of coffee.