It's come time to face facts. I don't care about this blog anymore.

In the beginning, the idea of this project was to make something that I would enjoy doing, a humor blog that would theoretically eventually help me earn some money. This was then scrapped when I realized, naturally, that I'm not that funny, and that I cared more about the blog as a vent for my feelings.

Then, of course, in the aftermath of the exposure of this blog to a broader audience last year, I discovered that I wasn't actually writing this blog for other people, really, I was just writing it to myself, as an exercise in coming to understand my feelings in a difficult time. These last few years have really been the most important in my development, and they represent the greatest change in my life. They have been indicative of the person I want to be, who I want to become. I was at first naive and foolish, and then through the process of the development of this blog, I came to realize that I really have no purpose for the blog anymore.

This blog has never served as a professional platform, and I never really wanted it to. This blog was at some point about my feelings, but when it became clear that people would only pay attention to it if they wished to mock my feelings, it also became clear that I didn't want to share them anymore. My feelings are my own, and no one else really needs to know that much about them. What does that leave? Precious little. I don't talk to people about my life, because it's a boring thing. If you cut out my day to day emotions, that leaves only my writing, my video game habits, and my studies. You don't want to hear about what I got in World of Warcraft; that's far from a unique story. You don't want to hear about my classes, or frankly you would be in them. The only thing that you could possibly care about is my writing, and of course you don't want to hear about it, per se, you only want to see it after it's finished, and of course I don't intend to put such things here, of all places.

In short, there's not really anything for me to blog about. My experiences, perhaps, but those aren't things that I really care enough to share them here. Time spent writing down things I already know, for the benefit of people who don't care, which could be far better spent doing basically anything else. This blog has become, essentially, more work, while providing for me a smaller benefit, than it ever has previously.

I may start a professional blog for my writing; as of now, I am in the editing stages of my first novel, and am looking for a publisher/am preparing myself for self-publishing. This requires that I get my name out there, which would of course require that I establish an online presence. A blog that focuses purely on my professional achievements is a possibility, but it won't continue here. I'm also busy managing a professional website and Facebook page, which though in unfinished forms, are part of my plans for completion before the summer. In short, my web presence is being continued in other forms, but there is no room left for this blog.

As such, I'm saying goodbye. I have no reason to continue writing here, though I may stop back from time to time in order to relay professional information to any straggling readers (not that I really think I have any left, but all the same). It's been strange, but I can at least say that this experience has helped me, whatever that means. For anyone who does read, thank you. For anyone who insulted me in that debacle last year, fuck you. See you all later.



School is back again, and it seems like it never left. My perception of time is already beginning to stretch out, which makes me wonder what it's going to be like when I'm say forty or fifty. If I live to be a hundred, like I always wanted, then I can't imagine how ridiculous time will become for me. France is now gone, and so is the break inbetween, and I didn't really get too much done.

That isn't strictly true, of course. I got a lot done. But it doesn't really feel like too much, if only because my perception of things is beginning to change. I worked hard, earned money, did some writing.

It seems strange to me, to realize that the will to power that once flourished in me is gone, and in its place is something far more efficient. The will to power seems to me to be nothing but the delusion of an over-obsessive child. Now that I actually have power, I don't actually care about accumulating it anymore. Now that I write frequently, and well, I never obsess about writing anymore, never think about the fame and the fortune that I plan to make; I just write. It's the same with the gym, because the less I think about my end goals, the faster I come to achieving them. I've made great progress in that field, by the way, in the last few months, as I started taking a weight gainer, and put on about ten pounds of muscle. I'm coming to achieve real mass and definition in my musculature, which is something I'm proud of. In the end, my plan is to reach 200 pounds even, and stay there, as that seems to me to be an ideal bodyweight.

It's strange as well to me, how easily I put up with the struggles and pressures of daily life. I never become emotional much anymore, and react quickly and carefully to any negative developments. It reminds me of the ending of my novel; 'It wasn't anything important, it was just about growing up', or something like that, I don't remember the things that I write with any accuracy.

Looking out and realizing that this is my life, that I'm an adult now, and that I've become set in stone, and won't change much in the long run, is both terrifying, and comforting. I imagine my life, laid out before me now, and nothing will change, and it will be much the same from here on out. I'll write, I'll find a publisher, I'll study books and philosophy, I'll contemplate, and if I make it big, then that has nothing really, to do with me. Fame isn't really something you earn, it's something you're given. I truly wish, like that fourteen year old child in me who once said that he wanted to be the most famous man in the world, that my work will be appreciated, and that I'll earn fame and fortune, for I think no one would do better with them, but growing up was nothing but the realization that I can't count on that. I have to do things as they come, and perhaps that will never come. Perhaps I'll never get a chance to drive around in expensive cars, fuck a lot of women, and be admired by the general populace, but I don't care anymore. I've remained true to my real passion, and nothing else really matters.

The search for a publisher is the main thing I need to focus on, in my life right now, just to get out there. I just need to hit the ground, and I'm ready to run. I also need to do some publicity things, to start getting my name out there. But again, I'm working on it.



Well, I'm done with my first book. I didn't really add it to this blog, because for the longest time I didn't feel anything about it. I told my friends, I emailed out copies, but in the end I didn't feel as if anything had really ended; there's still an agent to find, an editor to persuade, and a book to publish, and even then there's no end in sight. I have to write other books as well, books that I've already started writing. The process continues; nothing is really any different. I've put off searching for a publisher for the time being, as I figure that my professors will better be able to help me find a publisher than I can do it on my own.

That being said, I've started on my second novel, and my first one is finished. It's strange, looking back on it, how much it came to be about me, how much of it was based on my own life. It's a fantastic and fictional version, of course, but most of the events parallel ones that I actually experienced in my own life, with the added fictional flair. I feel both excited and disappointed by this; on one hand, I've not been very imaginative, but on the other hand I've produced a work that is really steeped in the issues that I find important in my life. The book isn't a great one, but I've put my integrity into it. Hopefully, that will be enough to sell it.

On the other hand, I've started writing my second book. My original plan was to write a book about the second coming of Jesus, a book that I now realize is far too controversial for me to actually publish at this point in my career. As such, I've shelved it, and am focusing now on another project, that of a novel based in the same fantasy world as my first book, but with a norse theme behind it. It's more challenging than the first, partly because I have to be imaginative the the structure of the plot, and partly because I have to do a lot of research to ensure that the book is authentic to its themes. Of course, I have no intention of getting everything perfectly right; I have no real eye for history, and like only to focus on grand events and motives for things. As such, I don't expect to produce a perfectly norse novel; it's been set in an alternate universe, at the very least, and I have no obligation to be authentic in fiction, yet I have a certain interest in at least capturing some of the major themes of the work.

Meanwhile, I've begun to lift weights again, as I was unable to in France. Taking a weight gainer as well, I've already put on a few pounds and surpassed my weights from before my trip. As such, I need not tell you that this goes very well. I've also returned to my part-time job, working a good number of hours per week. This has limited the amount of time that I have for things, particularly with my numerous hobbies, but I've made good money and have come to a much better proficiency in that job than I've ever had previously; I can probably easily get a similar restaurant job in other places as a backup if I ever need a job after college, before I manage to get published and earning money.

In bad news, however, I've come to more difficulties with my girlfriend. I have no more wish to spread my personal life over these pages; I know how well that turned out last time, and don't wish to repeat those events. Yet, I must come to a way to understand my feelings, which are very confused. A part of me wishes to end this relationship, yet another part is entirely dependent on it. At the moment, both factions war in my head, and neither has gained any foothold on the other. I really don't know what to do, and it bothers me more than anything else. I love her, have no wish to hurt her, yet at the same time I am unsure of my ability to have a future with her. I'm doing everything I can, but it's very difficult for me right now. That's all I intend to say; no specifics, nothing else for people to catch onto and tear me down with.

It's strange, the way the world of the celebrity works. To stick oneself out there, to put oneself out for the public to see, is the most dangerous game in the world. It has the best rewards, yet I would say that even these rewards are far from worth the frequent consequences. Yet, against my will, I do these things. I write this blog, trying to get people to read it. I attempt to write novels, strive towards physical perfection, try to be as friendly as possible in social situations, all despite the fact that I know this to be disastrous to my health and welfare in the end. That is the great paradox of my life; I am in a constant struggle to do what I consider to be wrong. This part of me, the part that writes this blog though I know it only opens my life up for ridicule, the part that wishes to withdraw from the world and perfect my craft, this part which fuels my love of exercise, this part, which removes me from my relationship with the woman I love, is the part that has come to define my life. Yet to what purpose? At what cost? What will it give me, in the end? I will sacrifice, I will work, I will strive, but for what? Does it make me happy?


Glorious return.

It has clearly been quite a while since my last post. France was wonderful, but it was also the sort of place that made me feel a bit guilty about writing blogs, if only because everyone else was doing it. It was largely what I expected, as an experience. I learned more of the language, had fun, and got to try out new things. What I did not do, of course, was make French friends, a feat that perhaps only two people in our entire program managed, and one could be called into question. I did make Canadian friends, for which I am grateful. New people, new friends, are important to me. I'm a very critical kind of person, and I need to move on frequently. Getting to know people enough to understand their flaws takes time, and if these flaws don't match my own, then I have difficulty remaining serious friends. I take the ones I can accept, and move on from the ones I can't. In the end, I have a selection of the best friends, and I'm constantly making more to make up for the fact that I'm not good at holding friends that I'm not that crazy about. France was stifling in this aspect; the majority of the people I met on the street could not be friended, simply because of the great gulf between my ability to speak the language and theirs.

Coming back to the US feels strange. Not in the sense that I hate it; I miss it dearly. I came to realize many of our shortcomings and weaknesses as a country, as a result of comparing it to others that I experienced in part while abroad, but that's not to say that I reject it. If I did, I just wouldn't have come back. But as always, my criticism of my country has only led me to realize how much I am dependent on it, and how much I need it. Being able to eat eggs and Slurpees again, I missed these sorts of things dearly. The American mindset, I have come to realize, is a very destructive and useless one; the US considers itself the 'best' country in the world because it's the current economic power. What happens when this changes, as it most certainly will in the future? What happens when we realize that money isn't everything? (We've been saying it for so very long, yet like hypocrites, we give no motion to believe it.)

I have come to realize as a result of my absence, that US culture is essentially based around the attitude of wastefulness and inefficiency. We see this as a good thing, so we overlook the majority of the ways in which we are wasteful, yet again, there will come a time in the future when we are no longer a world power, and we will have to deal with it. Britain did it. I only hope we can do it too. Maybe we might actually have to focus on human rights for once, because its something that we are hopelessly behind Europe on in most ways. I was originally quite angry and hostile in this analysis, and I thought of writing an angry blog about it. I decided that that probably isn't a good idea, considering my past history with angry blogs.

This post has been quite a long time coming. I thought of various ways to write it, but none of them proved satisfactory. Then, there's been the fact that I've been writing quite a lot in recent days. France was the sort of place where I felt a bit guilty writing in English, so I wrote conservatively. However, I still read quite a bit, and came to a few philosophical adjustments to my personal system. As such, I've got quite a bit to write, both to finish my novel and to record some ideas before they run away. All of these things mean that I've been putting this post off, and after a while, I began to wonder whether I should keep blogging at all. It's never given me too much positive feedback. At the same time, I feel like this life is something that should be documented. I want to be able to look back, and read these things. I want to know what I was thinking. I want to know how I will end up how I am. I want others to be able to as well, hopefully when my writing becomes accepted around the world. I can only hope.

A reading of both Nietzsche's The Will to Power, and Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Idea, has prompted me to make two realizations about philosophy. First, is that much of it is opinion. Logic is a device by which man follows chains of causality, yet it cannot create the first link, and cannot continue when the last link is met. It follows that we seek for these first chains, upon which to found pure logic, in our irrational, emotional, and opinionated sides. This explains the long held bias of philosophy for intelligence and art, and the reason why so many philosophers will argue passionately that their own artistic opinions are objective, and have definite meaning as some sort of key link in their philosophical system. Schopenhauer did it horribly, justifying art as the greatest action of mankind, while Nietzsche did it slightly better, but still classified certain arts and artists as weak and misguided, and others as indicative of great personal power. The inability for philosophers to metaphilosophize, to look at their system within the context of a series of systems (save to criticize and downplay) is shocking, and is something I find strangely absent in the moral philosophical field.

Secondly, I have finished a complete picture of the idea I had in mind at first, the moral system which I wish to lay out. It grew from my teenage years, and my obsession with power and the will to it, into something entirely different. To say that I support the will to live now, is an understatement, for it doesn't explicate the full philosophical meaning and implications of what I'm trying to do here. Reading Nietzsche, and seeing his flaws, helped me to see the flaws I once held in myself, and the errors that I made in my youth and impatience to make something of myself to the world. Seeing these errors, I have cemented my own position. I have come to a better understanding of it, refined and smoothed the edges. I would not say that it's finished. It's still a rather rough beast, and has quite a long way to go. But it's clearer in my mind, firmer. I can write a bit about it now, for an hour or two, before I run into a wall and must rethink. But it's better than before. It's better than nothing.

Not to say that I plan to finish it anytime soon. All the things I write in it now are just notes. Besides, my main project, my first novel, is nearly finished. Currently about 215 pages, it looks to be about 250 before I'm done, and now that I'm home for two months, I have quite a bit of time on my hands. I'm going back to work as well, but that still leaves me quite a bit of time every day, and while I need to catch up on my body work since I didn't lift a single weight in France, there's only so much of that that I can do. I have so much time, and I intend to finish this novel and be started on the next one before I go back to school. Now I only need to find a publisher really. Can't wait.


More France.

I've avoided writing this blog for a very long time, mostly because I simply don't know what I want to say. Most people, I'm sure, would be overflowing with things to discuss with everyone else while on this trip. I, on the other hand, have been trying to sort through these ideas and pick out the overriding trends in my thinking while I'm here. I understand that as I have been dropped into an entirely new environment, it is entirely possible that many new things will happen to me, and these overwhelming and conflicting experiences could very greatly influence my day to day thinking. Of course, I planned on having a more definite picture of my time here planned out a long time ago. I figured I would wait a week before writing this post. Instead, it took a month.

I love it here. Of course, I loved it back in the United States, so that really doesn't mean much at all. Things are very different; a lot of people ride bikes, bread, cheese, and wine are a far more important part of the average diet, the city is beautiful and filled with stores, and I'm enjoying my time. But that's not to say that France is any better than the U.S. It's simply different. While there are things that I enjoy very much, there are also some things that I dislike. Nothing is open on Sundays, our classes aren't terribly interesting, and worst of all, everyone seems to treat our stay in France like its a big deal.

I'm not saying it isn't. But I am saying that many people attach a lot more importance to this trip than it should have. Yes, we are in a foreign country, learning a new language, and of course this is bound to be intimidating. I find it far more difficult here to get used to doing ordinary things like respond to conversations fired at me from the street. I haven't yet found a job for our mandatory credited work project, because I'm afraid to ask people in French. There are many ways in which this place is very new and confusing. However, at the same time, most people seem to respond by either wanting to drink more or wanting to escape with their friends by going on vacation. I was always a fan of moderate alcohol consumption, and I don't see much of the point of going outside of France to explore other countries when this is both expensive and it gets us out of France, which I thought was supposed to be the main purpose of our voyage. I'm not condemning escapism; I've spent half the trip watching American tv shows in my room. I'm just wondering if people have the right ideas in mind when coming here, and I think that this is why they have so much trouble adapting, treat it so importantly, and often end up feeling like crap whenever the first bad thing here happens to them.

Again, I'm not sure exactly how I feel about living here. It's very different, and I'm learning the language very quickly, but at the same time I'm only realizing how similar it is to life in America. Yes, people eat different foods, take up different hobbies, are used to different rules and regulations and styles of living, and I've had my share of changing my lifestyle. I haven't had a chance to work out at all here, as doing so would require money I don't have, and have instead taken up running, which is a far healthier and more economic alternative in my situation. But I don't feel that this change is indicative of any huge differences in life. I feel like many of the unimportant aspects of life have been switched on me; I feel the basic human condition has not changed in the slightest. No, I do not mean to condemn the differences in culture as unimportant, as cultures are often steeped in years of tradition and habitual thought, and they are a powerful motivating force in the creation of identity for the individual and for everyone he comes in contact with. There is no place where cultural identity and history is more visible than in an alien country, particularly in one older than the U.S. (which might I add is many of them), but at the same time, I simply cannot understand it. Most men take society far more seriously than they should, and I feel that this is the reason why many people have issues when visiting another country for a prolonged period of time. Having taken the values of their own country too much to heart, they have difficulty adapting when those values are knocked out from under them.

I haven't placed the same amount of importance on cultural values, and it is for this reason that I have not had as much difficulty here. Perhaps this is a blessing, or perhaps it is a flaw, and you may think of it what you will. However, I will tell you that it is responsible for ensuring not only that I am a happier man at home in the U.S., but also that I am a happier man here in France, than what seems to be the average. This stems from an unhappy childhood, in which I was forced by teasing and bullying at a young age to realize that trusting your happiness to society is often a bad idea. I have overcome the rampant individualism that accidentally resulted from this early development, but I still value my individual life more than my social life, which I consider a flaw that I should remedy; it is difficult only in the fact that there seems to me to be more of society to detest than to love. I have concerned myself not with society, but with the human condition. This is a flaw, but it is a flaw that is inherent to my being and necessary for my continued existence in such a manner as I live now. As such, I am sorry, but I cannot see in myself how it is so.

So, France. Yes, I love it. It's a different life, it opens my mind, it makes me feel great. I'm learning the language quickly, and I enjoy that. I haven't experienced the ups and downs of such a life that many do. However, I couldn't really tell you whether or not it's really that good of a thing. It's both pleasant and displeasing, and therefore no better or worse than the society from which I came. I wouldn't give up the experience for anything, but I couldn't really tell you what the experience is.



Well, I've just arrived in Strasbourg, and gotten settled into the apartment where I'll be living for the next four months. I haven't gotten to see much of my host family yet, although we'll be eating dinner later, so there will be plenty of time.

First thing is first. I don't want this blog to become a travel blog; I'm sick of travel blogs. Everyone has a travel blog this year. I'm not going to bore you with the details that are France; if you want to learn about it, try learning the language and coming here yourself. This may sound a bit harsh and perhaps ignorant, but I can find no other way to say it. As always, the reason that I will write this blog is primarily for myself, and not for any readership (not that I expect there to be much of one), and for the most part, I don't care about the details.

Let me revise that statement. Of course I care about the details, I care about them very much. But at the same time, they aren't why I'm here. I'm not here to learn about the color of paint on the front door, or the way the flowers are planted across the street. I'm here to learn about French culture, to immerse myself in their lifestyle, to improve my skills in the language, and hopefully, to develop and mature in ways that I would not otherwise. And these things, these important things, aren't the kind of things that you can simply capture with a few words in a blog here and there. You can try of course, and that is what I intend to do, but you must always try with the understanding that you are doomed to failure, and a certain sense that you must at least try to focus on the things most universal, most human, and most real, in order to make any headway. The act of recording is not about the data recorded; it is about the analysis of the data itself, through which new data arises and the process repeats itself. You don't learn, and then blog. You blog, and then learn, and then learn again, and you do this until the day that your short existence comes to an end.

That being said, I experienced (and perhaps still experience) some of the greatest fear that I have ever known, preparing for this trip. Unsure what to expect, how I would get here, how everything would work out, all these things ran through my mind. My relationship with my girlfriend hit a bit of a lowpoint just before I left, though that has resolved itself, and I fear that for the most part it was just myself taking out my anxiety over the upcoming circumstances on her. My fear will pass, naturally, as I become accustomed to my surroundings, but until then my heart pounds too quickly, too often.

Writing has gone well. Over the course of the last summer, I've managed to put in an hour or two a day, as many days a week as I could fit. Of course, this didn't work out too well on certain weeks when I was working quite a few hours, but for the most part I held to this schedule as best I could. The result, so far, has been a little over 100 pages of what I plan to be my first novel. I'm terribly proud of how well it's shaped up, in my eyes, over the course of its writing. In the beginning, I had a very simple plan sketched out in my mind, a plan that I carefully built up and added complexity to, making me proud of my ability to write. There are certainly a few mistakes here and there, as I could not always remember exactly what I had written in past segments, but for the most part it is a terribly cohesive whole, moving perfectly toward the direction I want it to go. I feel roughly halfway done, maybe a little further, and it's probably the first thing I've actually wanted to see to the conclusion since I began writing.

It's hard to explain, what it means to be content. Sure, you can have short-lived pleasure, you can enjoy a night out or a time spent with a friend, but pleasure has nothing to do with total contentment, which results from the planning of a purpose in life, and following it out to its conclusion. Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning might be a proper reference to make in this case. Purpose in life, and ultimately happiness and all reason for living, results from making our own goals and plans for ourselves, plans which are constructed so as to be challenging and yet not too much so, and then meeting them over periods of extended time. This is the sort of thing that I find myself coming into now, and the sort of thing that gives me the greatest joy.

It's so hard to describe the feeling of contentment, especially to many of the younger generation of which I am a part, who have not yet made their own lives, purposes, and dreams. I did not think myself too far apart from others, and yet here I am, looking back, realizing that the first part of my dream is well on the way to its conclusion. When I do anything, I compare the pleasure I experience now to writing, and rarely is it any compare.

It is also true that I have become perhaps a tad more hermit-like in the past year. I've come to greatly appreciate the value of solitude, and I love it perhaps more than anything else. This is difficult to reconcile with myself as a social being, and yet to me the glory of solitude is a natural complement to the other glories that are the social being; it simply so happens that the values which the hermit-life espouses, are the ones that I value most. I always had misgivings, during my month-long vow of silences, yet now I am finding this same vow of silence with me, whenever I have five minutes to myself. It is all the same to me, and it is all glorious.

I must go now, for I have tarried here too long.


Blah blah.

Yeah, so I haven't been thinking of this blog very much recently. This is because, as usual, I've been busy doing real things and so I don't often have time to sit back and think very much. Most of the summer has passed by, and I haven't written much of anything here. As such, I'll get it all out in one go.

For starters, I've been writing a lot, and I mean a LOT. I've been working on the novel that I began at the end of the last year, planning on finishing it before the end of next year. So far, I'm about halfway done. Add on to that the amount of shitty poetry I've been writing, and the random philosophical thoughts that I've been putting down in short bursts, and I've had quite a lot on my hands. The best part of it is that for once I'm actually seeing a novel through; this is the first time that I haven't gotten frustrated halfway and decided to quit. Instead, I'm right on that halfway point, and I'm actually quite excited to get on to more of it. On top of that, I have ideas for the next two or three books afterwards, and I have the sinking suspicion that I will actually finish those as well. If everything goes as planned, I may be spending my senior year hunting for a publisher.

On top of that, I've been spending my summer trying to catch up with old friends. Last summer, I saw all of my closer friends, but ended up ignoring most of the others that I wanted to see for some reason or another but couldn't. This year, I tried a bit harder, and managed to see quite a few of the ones that I've missed. It is natural that I should see less of them, as we've graduated high school and gone our separate ways, but catching up now and then is just as good in some ways, and it makes me feel a lot better than I did last summer about the whole situation, even if I still haven't seen many of the friends I've been looking to see.

My reading for the summer has turned largely to religions. I purchased a couple books on Hinduism near the end of the school year, as well as a copy of the Qur'an. I've just finished the latter, though I think that I much more enjoyed the former. The Qur'an, while indeed an important and complicated text, full of proliferated meaning and the accumulation of hundreds of years of cultural import, is also a terrible read in English, one of those cases where the real meaning and magic of it becomes lost in translation. The Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, for example, are generally more straightforward and thought-provoking. This religious focus has prepared me for my next novel, which of course I do not plan to spoil anytime soon, but I will admit that it deals very heavily with my interpretation of religion, and my belief about the place of God in this world.

Other than that, my summer has involved a lot of the usual. Working two jobs, enjoying myself, seeing movies, hanging out with buddies, etc. There isn't very much that is important or revealing here. No grand conflicts, no epiphanies of thought, just plain old boring summer vacation. Blah, blah, blah. Now, I'm going to get to sleep.

If you're reading this, stop right now, and go found a religion or something.