The Yellow Room

I’ve written most of these posts in one of two places, either while clocked in at Dunkin’, or locked in my room. It’s funny for me to go back and read my posts, because I can see which ones were made where.

Usually, the wild depressing ones are made in my room, isolated from everything else in my life. The yellow walls of my room are sometimes the closest I get to seeing sunlight, so I’m sure that contributes to the overall vibe of my writing.

I love my room. It’s where I feel most comfortable. It has all my books, my records, my laptop and speakers, my reefer, and an incredibly comfortable bed that I use as a couch most of the time. I think I write my best work here, because when I’m comfortable, I’m less likely to be self-conscious, and more likely to trust my ideas.

My room isn’t much. It’s not as big as the other rooms in my parent’s house, it doesn’t have it’s own bathroom or any architectural significance, but it’s mine, and has been as long as I can remember. I use my room to escape from a world I don’t think I belong in, so by surrounding myself with things that make sense to me (books and music), I made a place that feels like a sanctuary for me.

My time in The Yellow Room is running out. As life moves on for me, I’m starting the process of moving out of my house and becoming a real person, which scares the shit out of me. Sometimes I don’t know if I can function, or even survive without this place. It’s been my creative oasis for so many years, I don’t know if any other space will stimulate my brain the same way, and that makes me sad.

I’m definitely overthinking this, but the shitty thing about constantly being stuck in your head is that you can never tell if you’re right to think the way you do.

The Release of Writing

Why is writing so helpful for so many people? Does it work for everyone, or is there something that makes you gravitate to writing to decipher your thoughts and feelings? I’m in a really weird place in life right now, I thought I knew what I wanted and how my life was going to turn out, but I’ve been wrong every time it mattered. I thought I was going to work in Advertising, that hasn’t worked, no matter how many campaigns I make. I thought I would be happy, that’s not happening. I thought I’d understand the world around me, which is the most laughable of all the ideas I’ve had.

I have so many questions that won’t get answered, and I’m starting to think that that’s okay.

I’ve been super depressed lately, and it’s definitely fucking with me, but I need to muscle through and try to be a person for a bit. I’m scared, but I think that just means I’m on the right path.

I think having all this time to myself has helped, or at least helped more than it’s hurt. I’ve had time to take stock of what’s important to me, I’ve cut down on my drinking, and I also have an incredible reason to not socialize with people I don’t like.

If it weren’t for this blog, Spotify, and vinyl records, I’d probably be be writing my manifesto in blood mixed with bourbon. Either that, or I’d be writing Tito’s campaigns and drinking scotch out the bottle in my bathrobe. Actually, that sounds like fun, I’m going to go do that now.

Creature Comforts

I tend to revisit things. I’ve been thinking about why, and I think it’s because I know what to expect. I know how the book ends, or how the album sounds, or what the dish tastes like. It’s comforting, and right now I kinda need comfort.

I try to try new things, but it’s really hard for me. I need to know what I’m getting myself into before I jump into something. Whenever I want to try something, I have to research the hell out of it before I try it, so I can mitigate any potential issues, and so I’m not going in blind. Now, that might sound boring to some people, but those people also say that you should just jump into things, and I think that’s fucking crazy. We’ve evolved as a species so that we don’t have to die because we ate a random plant that turned out to be toxic. We have to technology to research things, so what’s the harm in using it?

It’s important to be comfortable. It’s the time where we fully relax, and let our minds wander. That is super important right now. With thousands of people dying every day to something we can’t fight, we’ve been on edge for the last 9 months, so it’s important to find comfort wherever and whenever you can. Those few moments where we can sit back and take a breather might be the one thing that keeps us from doing something permanent.

So what makes you comfortable? I’m trying to start a discussion here, so comment below and share the wealth. You never know how much someone might need it.

10 Bukowski Quotes To Live By

Charles Bukowski was the fucking man. He was a drunk, crotchety old man that just wanted to be left alone, and I respect the hell out of him, and his writing style. Let’s see the hits.

1) “Find what you love, and let it kill you.”

2) “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

3) “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

4) “Things get bad fir all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who we are.”

5) “Stop insisting on clearing your head-clear your fucking heart instead.”

6) “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.”

7) “I wanted the whole world, or nothing.”

8) “Beware of those who seek constant crowds; they are nothing alone.”

9) “We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone shoukd make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”

10) ” I want so much that is not here and do not know where to go.”

On Escaping

I’ve always been obsessed with escaping life. I don’t think I’m built to handle this world, so I look for ways to make it more tolerable. I like to think that I can exist without society, but deep down, I know that’s bullshit. I need all the distractions, but I can definitely live without all the people involved with those distractions. Unfortunately, they’re kind of a package deal, so I’m stuck dealing with them.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I’ve recently gotten back on my meds, and that life is starting to turn around for me, albeit in the slightest sense of the word. I’m still struggling to keep it together though, I feel like I’m trapped in a box, and that there is no escape, so why bother trying? I think that escapism is common in people with ADHD; for the most part, they are outsiders looking in, and after a while, that shit gets old, so it’s easier to avoid society all together. I know that I’m not built to live in conjunction with neurotypicals, as much as I desperately want to.

This is where escapism comes in: I know that I’m weird, I know that I don’t fit in, I know that people talk shit about me behind my back. I couldn’t care less about that though, being weird makes me stick out from all these boring-“I’m just trying to live my best life”- looking-ass people. My “best life” isn’t my best life: it’s hard work and discipline, it’s saying “no” to getting blitzed and watching Family Feud on a Tuesday night, because I have Analytics homework, and the professor was rude to me, so I have to get an “A” in the class to show my professor that they were wrong in thinking that I’m a moron, because I have a huge ego. This is one of my many glaring character flaws: I’m incredibly competitive, and will throw everything I’ve got at anyone I deem an opponent. Due to this wonderful personality quirk, I tend to focus my energy on things that aren’t productive uses of my time. For example, I used to run track in high school, and one of the coaches criticized my start off the blocks, so I spent hours making sure my start was perfect, just so I could shove it in their face. I know I’m petty, and vindictive, and whole bunch of other shitty things, which is why I try to escape that as much as possible.

I feel like one of those anime characters that goes off into the forest for years to hone their skills, but instead of becoming a stronger ninja or whatever, I just get more awkward, and I lose whatever social skills I had before. I idolize people like Justin Vernon, Henry David Thoreau, Kevin Parker, Prince, Mac Miller, and (sadly) Kanye West because they exhibit everything I’ve ever wanted out of the creative process: I want to be able to create no matter what, I don’t want anyone else fucking up my vibes and ruining my work by telling me what to do. Does that make me selfish? Fuck yes it does. I’m trying to make more personal content, because I want to be able to let people into my mind, but it’s super hard when I realize that someday someone I know might discover this blog, or I might get drunk and send a link to one of my friends because I wrote something I’m proud of, and feel the need to brag about it.

Truthfully, I’m terrified that someone I know will read this blog, I’ve been more honest here than I have anywhere else, mostly because shouting at the void is much better than shouting at people who say they care about you. I desperately want to separate my writing from myself, but I don’t know how. It’s much harder to lie in my writing, mostly because I think that writing is the purest form of communication between myself and my fucked up brain. Part of me thinks that I want to make good content that people connect to, but I know that’s not true.

Artistic Excellence

What is art? Well, that answer will be very different depending on who you ask. To me, art is anything that makes someone feel something. I know, it’s a super broad definition, but I think that it needs to be broad in order to cover all creative mediums. Art isn’t just some asshole throwing paint droplets on a canvas, it’s the emotion the artist embedded in the piece, combined with the reception that the piece receives. Now, because I consider what I do art, I have to acknowledge that other people may have differing opinions on my work. This is where I struggle.

I’m super selfish when it comes to art: I don’t make things for other people, I make things because it helps me keep some semblance of sanity. Each medium that I make things in has its own purposes and flaws, but it really comes down to how I feel at a particular moment in time. I honestly couldn’t give less of a fuck what you think about my content, I’m more interested in seeing where you would build upon what I’ve created, and if you can correct my sometimes-spotty grammar: even better. When I look at other people’s art, I immediately blast off into space, creating a narrative based on how the piece strikes me, and use that feeling to help make my own stuff.

I try not to be wild pretentious when it comes to art, I know I don’t always achieve this goal, but fuck you, it’s a process, I’ll get there eventually. I used to be obsessed with this “tortured genius” idea, but the more I learn about the world, the dumber I realize I am, and the more I look back at myself and realize I was a huge douchebag. I used to think that only miserable people could make good art, but now I realize that being functional and happy while maintaining creativity is the more impressive feat. I respect people like Charles Dickens, Curren$y, Mac Miller, Van Gogh, David Ogilvy, and pre-MAGA Kanye West. They are prolific artists, people obsessed with the creative process, always working, no matter what it does to their mental health (with the exception of Curren$y, who seems like he’s living his best life right now). I feel the same way, but with a thousandth of the creative potential. Due to a lovely neurological disorder, I have a pretty rocky relationship with sanity, so I do my best to be as clear and concise as possible, even when my brain is firing off signals in every direction.

I may be nuts, but if I’m properly motivated, I will give 200% effort in achieving my goals. It might strain my relationships, ruin my physical and mental well-being, and my overall quality of life, but if I want to do something, and I have the ability to do so, I will devote every fabric of my being to achieving my goals. The only issue is that sometimes my goals are fucking stupid, and shouldn’t be pursued. For instance, I can say with complete certainty that I spent more time and effort getting the Fall Camo for the M21 sniper rifle in Modern Warfare 2 than I did getting a 3.7 GPA in college. Maybe I’m actually smart, but more likely, this country has devalued education to the point where grades don’t matter, and that I’m just average. I can snipe the fuck out of you in a video game though, so it’s a bit of a win-win.

We Are Immortal

I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy; why people do the things they do to ensure they are remembered. I think I’ve figured it out. Most of the things people do after a certain age are to prolong the amount of time that people talk about them after they’re gone. I know that as long as the Internet is around, I’ll still be around, even if I’m dead. Somebody will find these posts, read them, and hopefully talk about it with others, keeping my spirit alive long after I’m gone.

You hear stories about people hoarding absurd amounts of wealth that they could never spend in a hundred lifetimes, I get that it makes people mad, but these people don’t care what you think, they just want to be remembered for working hard enough that entire generations of their family can live comfortably. Sure, the way they get their money might not be the most noble, but the intent has to mean something. I think artists are the same way, except instead of leaving their children a shit-ton of money that will end up making them spoiled assholes, artists leave their impression on the world by showing others how they see it.

Think about Picasso: there isn’t a person alive who hasn’t at least heard his name. He is immortal, even though he died hundreds of years ago. It would be an honor to be remembered for that long after I died, although I may be getting ahead of myself a bit.

The Time Capsule

Periodically, I like to read my old posts. Partly because I love to read my writing, but partly because my posts are snapshots on time, and sometimes I like to visit them. I’ve written a whole lot of stupid shit, things that will probably embarrass me in the future, but I will never erase them. I’m embarrassed by all the drunken rants about how miserable I am, but not only is it true, it’s necessary.

Sometimes, I feel like writing is an art, and as an artist, I shouldn’t care about what anyone thinks of my art. That’s usually the case, but sometimes I get super anxious sharing intimate details about who I am, and it fucks up my creative space. If you’re an employer, or one of my friends who stumble upon this, I’m respectfully asking you to fuck off. This isn’t meant for you, I don’t write for you, so keep it moving.

I’ve got a shit memory. Maybe it’s from the executive processing issues brought on by ADHD, maybe it’s because I don’t get enough Omega-3, or maybe it’s because of all the (alleged) drug and alcohol use. In any case, my brain’s all fucked up and I’m not good at remembering things, so I write them down to create tangible memories. I’m not really a social person, so this is super out of my comfort zone, but every time I talk about personal issues, I feel a little better talking about them, so if reading about my personal life bothers you; go back to Barstool.com, and go fuck yourself.

Writing About Writing

So, as maybe two of you might remember, I’m taking a graduate-level Philosophy class without any knowledge of Philosophy, outside of what I learned from the major motion picture Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Surprisingly, I’m crushing it. I just got my last paper back, and I got a 100%. This came as a surprise because said paper is a 3-page, 3-paragraph, dog fart that wouldn’t have seen the light of day if I had started it more than an hour before it was due.  This leads me to think one of two things. 1) This paper I wrote while barely sober enough to type is actually amazing, and I’m a great writer, or 2) My professor read this cracked-out abortion of a paper, felt badly, and graded me accordingly.

My writing process usually comes down to two methods. The first, and most natural one, is to just type whatever comes into my head, edit it for clarity, and let it rock. This usually works, but after I submit it, I dissect every word and think of ways to improve it, which usually makes me want to delete everything and start fresh. This leads me to the second method; what I like to call the “Fuck You, Run It Again” method. This method only comes out when I’m under pressure, and can’t just edit as I go. This usually leads me to finishing a paper, reading it 2 or 3 times, and deleting it and starting it over because I don’t like the direction it takes. This method is incredible, it has a nearly 100% success rating, but makes me all boo-hooey for a while after, because if you spend hours at a time hating yourself and your writing, you’re going to have a bad time. I’m trying to refine both processes, combining them to make a single fluid workflow, but it’s rough, and since I’m my biggest critic, I’ll probably go above and beyond what’s necessary and make something completely different in the process. This whole quarantine thing has given me an abundance of free time, so I should have it squared away in no time.

My Musical Journey

As I’ve said before, I think music is a wonderful thing that influences us and helps make us who we are. My musical journey started when I was young, and hopefully won’t stop until I’m dead.

The first memory I have is listening to “Born to Run” on one of the first trips up to Maine, and to this day I still love it. I’ve always had a soft spot for classic rock, it’s what my parents played in the house, it’s the first genre I delved into when I started to get interested in music, and some of it’s still in my rotation today, but I like to ease off for a while and get that nostalgic feeling that comes with it. I was that weird kid in middle school who thought that today’s music sucked, and that 60’s and 70’s music was the best there was. I was kind of a pretentious little shit back then.

Toward the end of middle school up into high school, I started listening to some more contemporary music, things like Metallica, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, and Linkin Park. These artists spoke to me more than the artists my parents listened to, and I felt like they understood what it was like to be an sad, angry suburban kid in the 21st century. I don’t really listen to most of the albums I was obsessed with back then, I revisted them recently, and a vast majority of them suck, but they still meant the world to me, and those feelings I had when I was 13 make up for it.

Toward the end of my sophomore year of high school, I was looking on YouTube for something new, and I stumbled on an Eminem video. This was my introduction to rap. I was blown away by The Eminem Show and the Slim Shady LP, but my parents hated it, which made me like them even more. As I listened to more and more Eminem, my YouTube suggestions lead me to discover artists like Ice Cube and Cypress Hill. I didn’t even smoke weed yet, but I still loved Cypress Hill. I remember seeing tickets go up for a Cypress Hill show nearby, but when I thought about how my parents would react when they heard their music, I reconsidered going, which was probably for the best, since I don’t think a nerdy 14-year old white kid from a small farm town would fit in with the weed-smoking 90’s rap fan.

I really don’t want to admit this, but when I first started smoking weed, I was obsessed with the Kottonmouth Kings. I was 16, and convinced that they were better than Eminem and Dr.Dre. I’d play Long Live the Kings and Rollin’ Stoned for my friends, but they were still into hardcore and metal, so while it wasn’t really their thing, I have to give them immense credit for putting up with it and soldiering through.

My music tastes started to really evolve when my friends and I started partying. Nobody wants to here “A Little Piece of Heaven” at a party, it scares the girls away. As we met more people, we listened to their music too. One of the first people to expand my rap knowledge was our friend/friendly neighborhood weed guy Tom, who introduced me to some of the most important artists in my life, people like Mac Miller, Logic, J.Cole, and Kendrick Lamar. He also introduced me to a lot of garbage that I can’t stand to this day. I related to these people, mostly Mac and Logic, because at the time I was partying a lot, looking forward to college, to getting out of my town and making something of myself, and I looked up to these people a few years older than me doing exactly that.

As I began college, I was still listening to all of the music I’d always listened to, but as I went to frat parties and hung out with douchebags, I started getting into people like Jay-Z and Kanye West. I was blown away by the production, I still am. As college proved to be a really tough environment, I started using music to cope with the fact that sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed or do anything else. Specifically, Watching Movies With the Sound Off was my soundtrack, and it’s still one of my favorite albums, but hearing certain songs like “I’m Not Real” and “The Star Room” brings back memories of smoking joints by myself at 2am, thinking about how bad my life was getting.

I was stuck in a funk for a long time, leaving college because I was failing classes because I was either too depressed to get out of bed to go to class, or because I was too hungover to do my homework because booze temporarily made me feel like a person. This lead to me coming back to that sleepy farm town I’d worked so hard to get away from. I started working at Dunks, and with that, started having time to kill, so I filled it by listening to albums. Now, at this time I was working 10 hour days 6 days a week, so I had a lot of time to listen to new music. This period of time is when I discovered a wealth of new music that I adore to this day.

The first album I heard was Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and it blew me away. I’d listened to Kanye in college, but it was usually just the older albums and the hits, so when I heard “Runaway” for the first time, I was blown away. I’d never heard so many good songs on one album before, back to back to back, and I finally understood why people put up with Kanye’s shit.

During the Dunks Period, I started to branch out my tastes, which lead me to discover Anderson. Paak. I was blown away, it was like the music I used to listen to as a kid got a makeover, and became fresh and relevant. Malibu was my entrance to soul music, albeit in a modern sense. As I dove into soul music, I started listening to jazz and big band music, and started to value live instrumentation in all forms of music, especially rap. I discovered Avantdale Bowling Club, a project by New Zealand rapper Tom Scott, and I was blown away. It was everything I’d been looking for in an album: it had great rapping, it had live instrumentation, it had a message about coming home and growing up that spoke to me on a material level, and it was a cohesive piece of art. Hell, I’m probably going to go play that record right now, it’s one of my favorite in my collection.

As time went on, I started to get bored with listening to the same ol’ music all the time, so I looked for something new to scratch that itch. I found myself listening to a lot of indie music, Speedy Ortiz, Portugal the Man, Bright Eyes, Beach House, Gorillaz, The Internet, Tame Impala,and many more. This new influx of sounds and ideas really hooked me, and I still love all of the music I discovered back then, and I’m super looking forward to hearing the new Bright Eyes album.

Recently, I’ve gotten more into jazz, specifically modal jazz, from people like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Duke Ellington. I like the creativity and musicality involved, no structure, no limits, just artistic expression. It does make me feel hella old and lame when I put on Frank Sinatra songs in the car with my friends, but fuck them, they can walk if it bothers them that much.

I like to think that the music I’ve listened to shaped me in a way, made me a better, more rounded person. I’m still immensely curious, I’ll listen to just about anything, except for EDM, because I’m not a 20-year old frat kid on Molly, but anything else, I’ll probably give it a listen. I’ve been collecting records, not only because they definitely sound better, but they also serve as a sort of time capsule for me so when I get older I can look back at these records and remember what it was like to discover them, and how different life was back then.