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Unabashed and Barely Edited: A Reflection

May 17, 2012

Another year has come and gone, and I’m still here.

That is, in and of itself, sometimes an accomplishment. Not that I’ve been particularly hounded by Churchill’s black dog this past year, but because some of the situations of the past year have sometimes evoked a murderous lust inside of me. I sometimes feel like mounting a horse and throwing torches into the windows of certain buildings might just be the solution to so many problems…

Enough talk of the revolution that will never come, though.

A lot has happened this year, and yet a lot hasn’t.

As has been expanded upon in other posts, I look toward the new year with a distinct change in my surface profession. No longer am I exactly a “man about town,” but a restaurant owner and manager. That’s still strange on the mind many days, especially since we aren’t actually open yet. The vexing nature of opening this restaurant will slowly drive me insane, but until it does that is what I’m starting to describe myself to people.

Of course, the other evening someone asked me if I had any hobbies, and I was struck with the idea that I didn’t have any. A hobby is something you do because you enjoy it, but don’t quite take it seriously. I don’t have hobbies, I have hats that I wear depending on the task at hand. I could call gaming a hobby, but given my ability to cause light drizzles of shit (not a storm, just light drizzles) on the internet by talking about Dungeons and Dragons, I am slow to call it a hobby.

Even though over the course of the year, Comedy has taken a place on the back burner it is still not something I would call a hobby. As a dear friend of mine once said, “We don’t use the H-word.”

I have always performed because I enjoy the immediacy of the act. At a few open mics a week, and one big performance every few weeks, I’m barely keeping satiated but other obligations and my own lack of dedication keeps that as it is. Still, the point is that there’s something truly beautiful in the stage that I don’t find in the written word. Perhaps, it is the ability to hear the laughter, or sometimes not hear it. With prose you need to spend all that time working on things ever so carefully, and then you need to send it to people, and get them to read it, and then they’ll comment on it. Then you fiddle with it, begin the process anew, and then maybe send it out to a small magazine and wait several weeks to receive a rejection letter on an adorably small piece of paper.

On the stage, I speak, or rant, or pontificate as the mood strikes, and people either laugh, or sit frightened as they realize they’re glimpsing into the psyche of a mad man.

I still haven’t decided which one is the appropriate reaction. Perhaps, they’re both right.

There is still turmoil in the creative pursuits as to which should take prominence since whenever I neglect the other in favor of one, I miss it near instantly. Then, in the back of my head, some third or fourth idea pops up; a song, a script, a poem, a little dance, a whacky art installation.

Blasted modern society and its obsession with specialization does make it difficult to be a renaissance man these days. Then again, I stand before you with this collection of hats.

One week not long ago, I met a friend of a friend, and she asked what I did. The friend who introduced us laughed, and said, “Well, Mark… Mark does a lot of things.”

When you’ve spent many days laying in bed musing on whether or not pants will be necessary today, it’s hard to consider yourself someone who does a lot but at the same time it’s hard to argue with the results. I can go through long periods of lethargy, and fall into the trap of Oblomovism, but a few days, weeks, months, later and all of a sudden I’m only operating on four or five hours of sleep.

For people who meet me in the downtime, bursts of activity quickly explain my fondness for extremely intense women.

I will say one thing of this restaurant venture though, it has provided the structure in my life that I needed. Many people can talk about self-discipline, and getting yourself, “into a routine.” Yet, if there’s nothing that requires scheduled periods of time, when there are no obligations, it is quite difficult to have a routine. You’re always just one bad day away from saying, “Fuck it, I have nothing to do tomorrow,” and losing everything you worked on.

It is only when tomorrow is already fully scheduled that we realize today is yesterday’s tomorrow.

All of that, plus the continuous background knowledge that all beings die and have limited time upon this earth to make an impact. It’s best, in my opinion, to go screaming into history with a sword in your hand.

Which brings us to the coming year.

Seasons change, marked with the passage from fruity weiss to chocolatey porter, death knells, and history calls.

I realized when my birthday passed that the only things I wanted are not items that can be given, they are accolades to be earned. While I enjoy the material realm as much as the next person, perhaps even more as a capitalist, it can only satiate desires of the flesh. Even then, it doesn’t satiate desires of the flesh, at least not in this state. You can not give a man adoration, and you can not give him his accomplishments. He must earn them, by thought, and action.

This blog is no longer about proving anything to anyone. It’s about forming the basis for the actions I am doing in the background. Here is the visible aspect of the iceberg of my creative endeavors. Those close to me, will see more, but no one sees it all. Hell, I don’t even see it all.

Yes, all of that, and beer reviews. For really, what’s the point of securing a place in the annals of history without having some pithy quote about beer someone can put up on the wall of their pub?

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