Category Archives: life

Bangkok

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I haven’t slept much the past week. My parents were visiting and being the combination of my mom being up at sunrise and me being a light sleeper resulted in less than my barely acceptable usual six hours of slumber a night. I’m tired, and I’ve been traveling and haven’t adjusted well. But I’m also in Thailand, so I can’t really complain. Getting here was ridiculous, with nearly 24 hours of travel, a delay, two airports, running through my layover, a metro station and a walk through a bustling metropolis at midnight while getting hit with waves of nostalgia along with the unmistakable aroma of Bangkok-like someone ate garbage and then farted it into the air. It’s a smell you get used to, like the slight urine-y waft of New York City.

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Nihilist

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As I sat at a nearby table, nursing an old fashioned, I cracked open the notebook I was carrying and the pen I went searching twenty minutes for (not easy to buy a pen in downtown LA). I was going to jot down a few notes, maybe write some deeper thoughts, but I was overpowered by the conversation of the three people at a table across the room. They spoke loudly, unaware and or unconcerned with being overheard. Worse, the woman talked in that high-pitched baby voice, and the overly affected way of making every sentence, sound like a question? Where her voice goes up at the end? Sounding like she’s consistently unsure of anything she’s saying? But the men with her were the obnoxious ones. I tried to figure out their dynamic. What was their relationship to each other? Was one of them the third wheel? Co-workers? Or were there power dynamics at play. There did not seem to be any boundaries.

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Japan

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Traveling alone isn’t for everyone, but it suits me just fine. I like being in control of my time without having to depend on anyone else. And I tend to walk/hike more than humanly possible so sometimes it’s best to only have to worry about punishing my own body. I knew my trip to Japan would be solo. I booked it sort of on a whim and once I purchased a rail pass, I knew that a big chunk of my time would be spent going around.

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Teetering at the Gates of H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

I was drawn to comics as a young kid. They were one of the first things I enjoyed reading on my own, and I enjoyed the larger than life characters, the colorful artwork, and the idea that anyone could save the world if they one day woke up with magical gifts. There were morals to a lot of the stories, Spider-Man was built on the motto of “with great power, comes great responsibility.” But they weren’t heavy-handed or forced, and the characters weren’t always painted with such specific sides of black and white. I also enjoyed my child’s picture book of the bible. Back then.

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One More Time to Kill the Pain

I have social anxiety. It manifests itself in different ways, mostly with me avoiding social situations, but also things as simple as trying a new restaurant or going to a party with people I don’t know can stress me out. It’s also getting worse the older I get. As I get more annoyed with myself, I am looking at ways to alleviate this stress. Couple that with my interest in drinking less, something that makes me more social in most situations, and there are signs suggesting I might benefit from an occasional hit of the old hemp.

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The Big O

Home, to some extent, is Omaha, Nebraska. It’s where I was born and raised. For those used to flying over the areas referred to as flyovers, it’s in the middle. Like for nearly everything, geographically, demographically, entertainment-wise. Not quite politically. It’s a firm red state, but as one of only two states that split their electoral college votes, it threw one of its votes to Obama (in ’08), the first time it ever actually split the vote in history. Omaha is like a large small town. It has nearly a million people in the metro area, but I can generally run into someone I know going any place. Either I went to high school with them. Or college. Or my dad played softball with their dad. Or. Or. Or. It’s a city without a tremendous identity. It’s a lot of strip malls and average-looking houses with huge yards. Everyone has a dog. Everyone talks about their part of town based on their parish. Everyone bleeds Husker red, the Cornhuskers football team being the unofficial state everything. I only remember one distinct thing throughout the first half of my life I spent in Omaha: I do not belong here.

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On Top of Mt. Baldy (or I Climbed a Mountain, and I Turned Around)

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Sometimes, the best ideas come from alcohol. Mostly, the worst, but sometimes there’s a keeper in there. And that’s how it started. I was having people over for a BBQ on the fourth of July and while the adults sat on the table watching the kids play beer pong (full disclosure: I had just finished playing beer pong and joined the adults, and the kids to whom I’m referring were all mostly pushing thirty), someone had the grand idea to go climb a mountain. That’s all it was.

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Neighborhood Watched

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Sometimes, excitement can hit you from different places than you expected. I thought my Saturday evening excitement would come from the game night I was about to host, but then the police came to my neighborhood. Now, I’ll be honest, other than the police officers I know, the sight of that uniform doesn’t instill confidence in me. It’s mostly fear, even though I’m white and generally law-abiding, I still have a long-ingrained apprehension when it comes to cops. It may not be fair, but there it is. So, when my neighborhood was overrun by dozens of police officers, I was curious and wary mostly. But let me go back.

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Hashtag Celebrating

I strolled by the bar three times before I could make my way inside. I didn’t want to be alone. I don’t do alone very well, at least not and especially in public social situations, but I had to go in. My entire trip was built around going inside. I’ve been to nearly 60 countries, been hit by a car twice, there were things to be afraid of in this world, but a bar hosting a screenplay competition where I’m a finalist is not one of them. Still, I was impressed I only passed by it three times. I expected five.

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Summertime

Summertime is awesome. Summer in LA even more so. Summer in LA with no job is pretty damn near perfect. My sabbatical has been going on for almost a month, but only in the past week or so has it finally hit me. Between visiting family and the holiday, nothing has really felt normal, but now I have a new normal, which consists, mostly, of sitting in front of a blank screen. This is amazing and maddening.

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