rambling

Why you should write.

When I was a kid, my grandfather (a charming old Jew of a man) would give handwritten notes to just about everyone he came in contact with. This isn’t hyperbole: we’d go to hotels and the man would write notes in calligraphy for the people at the front desk just to make them smile. He’d leave longwinded notes for the waitress he’d met less than an hour ago. People would always come up to me and tell me how lucky I was to be Bob Sackman’s grandson, like they were a long lost aunt or uncle that I’d never met. The older I get, the more incredible and endearing that seems. My grandfather spent his whole life writing things down to make people feel good.

I think about that often. He passed away, but people everywhere around the globe still have his handwriting on paper, a tiny little piece of him that was meant just for them. The effect he had on them was always monumental. Hell, the effect he had on me was always monumental.

He made me want to write. And he taught me the only reason I needed to write was because, “because.”

Then, one day, I began to write for a living and experienced a conflicting moment when I had trouble finding my “because”.

It’s always so petty, that moment.

“I don’t have any good ideas.”

“I don’t have anything interesting to say.”

“I will misspell a word and people will judge me for not being the best at never making a mistake in my writing, all of the time, always.”

“I will incorrectly use effect/affect as I may have done above. Shit, did I incorrectly use effect/affect?”

“People will just rip whatever I say apart and hurt my feelings.”

These are all terrible, horrible, no good, very bad reasons.

Look, writing is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be “because.” It’s important not to lose track of how much great shit happens when you hit keys or write words on paper that are out-of-control feelings you’re dying to share with someone.

There’s some huge misconception about writing—that the people who call themselves writers have any idea what they’re doing. Like everyone thinks they’re Bukowski or Sedaris or Eggers or whoever your “whoever” is.

I didn’t start writing because I had a novel to publish or even an idea of what the hell that would look like. I didn’t start writing because I had some master plan about where this was all going. I started writing because when I was a kid, I saw an old man make people happy by grabbing a pen and not overthinking the words he put to paper.

And I get bummed when I forget that.

When I was a kid, thanks to Bob, I wrote the shit outta everything.

I wrote long-winded love letters to girls. I stretched the birthday card note to the point of “turn over to backside for more” every single time. Christ, I made up books to write book reports about because I could write more about something that I had creative license over.

And I think it’s how people should always write.

It’s easy to overthink it. To think that any piece of writing that you do has to have a point, some giant bigger meaning.

But it should be enough to know that when you write something, anything, it’s like a lottery ticket. Someone could read it and could laugh uncontrollably for the best of reasons. Someone could read it and become violently angry at your view on something (or your “non-view” for that matter). Someone could read it and feel absolutely nothing.

And any one of those things is spectacular.

Because, that’s the “because.” Write just to write. It’s healthy and there is always an amazing off chance that it affects someone more than you had any idea it ever could.

So people might hate what you say. They might really love it. They might feel nothing. Any one of those things is oddly terrifying.

But they will read it.

There’s always the off chance of that, and that’s the whole reason you wrote in the first place.

To make some tiny little piece of you available to anyone who may want it.

It may not be a handwritten calligraphy note, but it’s enough.

It’s more than enough.

--

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 70: Songs you should listen to while you should write. 

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STREAM IT at the links below:

DISC 1

DISC 2

DISC 3

DOWNLOAD ALL OF THE MP3′s at the links below:

DISC 1

DISC 2

DISC 3

 

It's always funny to call someone a boob.

So the other day I was explaining to my friend Lesley the mating habits of the angler fish. You know, the one with the light over it's head. Finding Nemo. Teeth that look like an 8 year old's nightmare made them up.

Anyway. I was telling her that the male (who doesn't get the lightbulb thing over it's head, which seems like a major letdown for male angler fish) goes up to the female, bites it's side and once it does, the female secretes acid that melts the male angler fish's face to the side of it's body. From here on out, the female will use the man fish she just melted into her side as a means of getting herself pregnant whenever she feels like it.

I got this knowledge from a coffee table book that is based on a blog that I read on the internet called The Oatmeal. Don't worry, until now I didn't fact check this at all and just went by the rule that anything anyone says on the internet is true. (it's true. wikipedia says so.)

And it's in the middle of casual Sunday conversations like these that I realize i'm not normal.

This is what i've been thinking about this past week.

1. A guy at a bar a few weeks back told me that he's, "not afraid to to punch a guy with glasses." First of all: I'm pretty sure that's awesome and I thought people only said stuff like this in teen comedies. Second of all, he looked exactly like Kenny Powers and continuously ran up to my friend and I doing a horrible rendition of the sprinkler while telling us he was going to (can't make this up) "spray all over us." Yes, seriously. So, all in all? Pretty amazing experience.

2. If you are over the age of 50 and you're wearing a Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch polo, you should stop that. I'm looking at you, guy in the gym locker room.

3. If you ever want to laugh really hard, just imagine a room full of black people watching an episode of Seinfeld or Friends next to a room full of white people watching Tyler Perry's House of Payne, then having to meet afterwards to discuss their thoughts. How is this not a TV show? "Black People Watching White Things" or "White People Watching Black Things." Hilarious both ways. (The reason I bring this up is the fact that I just witnessed my white co-worker trying to explain watching an episode of Tyler Perry's House of Payne. It was "too good to be true" levels of funny.)

4. I would like to meet whoever it is who has the ability to buy every item I want on Gilt Groupe in a size medium or 11 shoe in approximately 8 seconds every morning at 9 am when the sale begins. How? HOW did you get to the site and order everything within 8 seconds? HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS? ARE YOU A WIZARD? DO YOU HAVE 14G TECHNOLOGY ON A WIRELESS NETWORK THAT DOESN'T EXIST YET?

5. If you are in a crowded public place, and you yell out "Beverly Hills"...I bet someone would yell back "what a thrill!" And I think that would be amazing. If they yell back, "it's cookie time"? Just as good.

6. I work down the street from a place named Bayside Market, and every time I walk in I imagine guitar riffs and cutscene music from Saved By The Bell. Because it's really funny in my head.

7. What is it with people and getting off the airplane? If people from another planet were to come here and witness the spectacle people make about getting off a plane, they'd probably just assume that the last person off the plane is ravenously murdered by a pack of wild tigers. There is no other logical explanation for why people act this psychotic. I get it, you need to go stand outside 3 minutes before I do. I mean, I'm fine with that.

8. You're not allowed to be called freecreditreport.com when you are not free. Because you cost money after a month. You're fibbing. And you're also really hard to unsubscribe from. Change your name to creditreportthatcostsmoneyandishardtounsubscribefrom.com. I mean, might be a little long. But I like playing the "I'm not a liar" game. It's a hoot.

9. I think it'd be really funny if they made a facebook for bro's called Brobook. And all it had were wall posts like this.

"Sup bro."

"I'm faded, bro."

"Sick, bro."

"I'm out, bro."

And that was it. I don't know why I think this would be so funny. I just do.

10. I drink an overpriced kombucha beverage every day named "Synergy", and it makes me furious they haven't made a run at advertising directly to advertisers. It's like a marketers wet dream.

- It's made with low-hanging fruit. (hey o!)

- Next steps after drinking it? Just livin', man. (hey o!)

- I mean c'mon it's called synergy.

11. I honestly believe the meeting when writers were pitching the plot of Teen Wolf to movie producers had to be the best meeting of all time.

Writer: "So he's this teen. And he's kinda not that cool. But then he realizes, he totally becomes a wolf sometimes. And when he does? He's amazing at basketball. He doesn't actually follow any rules or regulations, but he's a werewolf so the refs don't care. It's early, but we can totally see Michael J. Fox being into this.

Studio Exec: "I mean, how do we fast track this thing? I've been dying to make a modern teen werewolf movie where the lead has to deal with the real issues of being a werewolf. You know? Not dancing around it."

Sidenote: I still believe Teen Wolf is one of the best films of all time.

12. I know they say that if you have gastric bypass surgery that it works all the time because you literally can't eat more than a few peanuts because that's literally all your stomach would hold...but couldn't you just drink milkshakes? Why doesn't anyone talk about this? Am I the only one who thought of this work around? Am I hired, Mayo Clinic?

13. I am crazy for composting. I don't know what i'm doing half the time, and I don't know when these shenanigans started, but every time I throw stuff away it's like a party finding out what I can compost. Is this a white person thing? A San Francisco thing? You win, Captain Planet. You win.

14. I find it absolutely hilarious lately to use non-swear words and phrases when I get upset like "shut the front door" and "boob." Because there is nothing funnier than calling someone a boob. Nothing.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 44: It's Always Funny To Call Someone A Boob.

Stream the whole thing at the link up top.

Or.

Download the whole thing in little mp3's right here.