What the Hell, Let’s Get Back to It

by D.J. Paris on August 25, 2014

It’s amazing how quickly I lost the willingness to write.

In 2012 I challenged myself to write every day for a year. The first month was trying but after that I became proficient. My mind started searching during the day for topics to write later. I’d be riding the subway and an idea would hit and I start typing furiously on my phone. Now I just listen to Howard Stern. At home I write a few Twitter jokes and then to bed.

I’ve noticed over the past few years doing less and less of the things I used to enjoy. I rode my bike to work for years and then abruptly stopped last summer. Getting to the gym is a rare occurrence. I’m not sleeping as much as I should, and I’m wasting more time on television – something I never did before.

Despite playing guitar regularly for over twenty-five years I haven’t been picking it up but once a month.

My girlfriend said not that long ago that, “You have so many opinions and judgements about things. And they’re almost all negative.” She’s not wrong. And to know her, you’d understand she’s not belittling or criticize. I have become cynical, pessimistic, and downright grumpy.

I’m a very nice person and fun to be around, but behind the scenes I just don’t look forward to much. Each weekend social activity is met with a “I don’t wanna do that!” mind-voice an hour before I’m to leave. I always go, of course, but I don’t want to. Many times these are things I used to enjoy with friends.

Not everything has gone to pot. Career-wise things are great, my relationship is strong, and I’m still taking care of my life in most respects. I wouldn’t say I feel happy in general, however.

But there’s one thing guaranteed to make me feel good – writing. So why did I stop?

I don’t suspect it matters, the reason. Knowing why things are screwed up doesn’t usually change things for me. After five years of therapy I have cognitive understanding of my issues. But what am I actually doing to fix stuff? Not much.

Nothing brings me more joy than to read back the next day what I had written the night before. I’m not Joyce, Faulkner, or even Bombeck. Often times my posts aren’t funny, and this is a humor blog.

But I’m proud of the work for one reason. It’s me sitting down and doing something hard. And nothing creates more pride and well-being than that.

If all I ever did the rest of my life was focus on difficult activities that brought me high levels of pleasure then I’ll have lived fulfilled.

I don’t need internet fame, or blog awards, or even comments underneath these posts. I get enough validation on Twitter if I’m craving attention. It’s fun when people dig something I write on the blog, but I have no control over the impact or who’s affected.

All I care about is finding the courage to do what’s tough. Hard stuff is hard,  but it’s also the most fulfilling.

I made a commitment to write tonight. I knew I wouldn’t have anything planned or prepared. I knew I would be sitting at a blank screen. I knew it would be scary. It is.

I’m going to stumble a bit creatively until it clicks. That’s the process. I wish I could just start back up at the top of my game, but I’m not at the top of my game. I’m weak. Will have to lift the little weights for now.

I’m going to read this back tomorrow morning as I board the red-line train heading south. I’ll cringe at parts. I’ll like other parts. I’ll get the end and probably read it again.

And then a feeling of warmth will lightly tug at the corners of my mouth. I will smile.

ren faire

I was at the Ren Faire recently – I could have written about this insanity. I should have.

photo credit: gtrwndr87 via photopin cc


Fun With Yahoo Answers

by D.J. Paris on July 23, 2014

I needed a new distraction.

God forbid I actually sit down and improve my skills as a serious writer. That would be worthwhile and intelligent. For some reason this year I’ve had the hardest time getting motivated to do much.

I usually just go for candy and writing one-liners on Twitter.

Anyway, I was dreaming two nights ago and I came up with something that made me laugh. It woke me up around 3am. Then when I woke up later that morning, it was still funny to me. Often stuff that I write in my dreams doesn’t maintain it’s hilarity in beta consciousness.

I went about creating an online persona that would match the level of sophomoric humor this project commanded.

Enter Kymberlee. Her hometown according to the Yahoo profile I created for her is “Alabama, Ya’ll.” She is my foil.

dumb girl

I sincerely hope she’s not a regular reader.

Yahoo Answers is the perfect repository for my silliness. It’s a mix of people who take themselves way too serious and other people who make fun of those people.

The question that had me giggling mid-REM was:

Do redheaded people really not have souls?

I posted that in the religious section of the website. I had also written, “I haven’t yet finished the bible, but my understanding is that the ginger is born without a soul. Does anyone know if this is factually true?”

The responses were amazing. Sadly, they are gone now after some d-bag reported me to the spam police. About 50% made fun of redheads, 25% quoted bible passages about how we all have souls, and 25% told me to stop trolling their forum.

My next question was this (posted in the pet forum):

Best way to insert contacts (in a dog)?

Hi! A few years ago I got the laser surgery for my eyeballs and now I see so awesome. 

Last night I was going through my medicine cabinet and I found a whole box of contacts that I had never used.

Since obviously some dogs see better than other (like us people) I figured I’d give my Chihuahua an edge and tried to put the contacts in her eyes. 

Man, she was not having it! It was like I was trying to give her a bath! 

Anyway, I’d like her to test them out just in case they help her see better. Any ideas on how to get her cool with it?

Some highlight answers…

“You obviously have no clue about vision and optics.”

“Dogs eyes are different from humans, and your dog probably doesn’t have the same prescription that you did.”

I was on a roll.

Yahoo Answers only allow you to do five questions a day. Here’s some of my favorites questions thus far.

Where did Jesus go to college?

 I have a report due this afternoon. I’m guessing the Middle East somewhere? Help!

And this one, posted in the etiquette section (these people have NO sense of humor):

What should I shoplift next?

I’ve recently become really excellent at shoplifting. If there was an trophy for shoplifting, I would have already shoplifted it. 

I’m out of ideas these days on what I should shoplift next. It’s like I have writer’s block. For shoplifting! 

All ideas will be considered. One will be chosen. Go.

One more:

Does Nickelback rock?

I’m pretty sure they don’t, but some other people claim they most definitely do. It’s confusing.

I lied. Just one more:

Best way to impress a guy?

Some of my friends say tight sweaters but I think that would be uncomfortable. Maybe if I read up on politics and that thing in the Ukraine. I’m open to anything that would help me land a boy.

Surprisingly only two of my questions have been deleted by moderators. The ginger one and a question I posed to people in the etiquette section on if it’s uncouth to play “I stole your nose!” with a child at a funeral service.

I always wanted to be good at something. I think this may be it.

Not sure how long the Yahoo Answers community is going to tolerate me, but if you’d like to check out my current list of questions and community answers, you can do so here. I’ll be adding five new ones a day until they boot me.

Which should be soon.

UPDATE – looks like they blocked me. I’m actually on the phone with Yahoo right now to get it turned back on. Should be a hilarious phone call.


Bloggers are Weird – Heidi Cave – Fancy Feet

by D.J. Paris on July 23, 2014

Heidi Cave spends an hour discussing losing her legs in a horrific car accident, why it’s okay to want to be pretty, and how she made the decision to stay alive. A true inspiration.

How to listen…

  •  iTunes
  • Official ThoughtsFromParis app for Apple or Android devices!
  • YouTube below (if you’re using my app, click to youtube section)


Bloggers Are Weird – M. Elizabeth Evans – Surviving in Italy

July 6, 2014

M. Elizabeth Evans talks about marrying into an Italian family while living in Florence, the gratitude she has that the in-laws don’t read her blog, and reverse-culture shock visiting the US. How to listen…  iTunes Official ThoughtsFromParis app for Apple or Android devices! YouTube below (if you’re using my app, click to youtube section)

Read the full article →

I Ate Live Octopus

June 30, 2014

D.J., watch this video of live chickens being slaughtered. It’ll make you become a vegetarian. No, that’s okay. Not interested. Don’t you care about chickens being tortured and killed? (minute long pause to soul-search for an answer) No. I guess I don’t care. You have no soul. — I’ve been eating animals my whole life […]

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New Video Series Starting Tonight!

June 30, 2014

Announcing a brand new video-series with my friend Melany from MelanysGuylines.com! We have some fun ideas planned – but, first we need your help before we shoot tonight… Do you have a story of a friend that went crazy? I know you do. I do. Hell, you might even be the person who went nuts! […]

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Bloggers Are Weird Podcast – Kim Bongiorno – Let Me Start By Saying

June 29, 2014

Kim Bongiorno, blogger, author, and speaker talks to us about writing personal stories and non-fiction, getting published, what it takes to be a successful blogger, and why children should refer to their parents’ friends as Mr. and Mrs. How to listen… Via iTunes Via the official ThoughtsFromParis app for Apple or Android devices! Watch via YouTube below (if you’re using my […]

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Sadness is Flowing Through Me and I’m Totally Cool With It

June 26, 2014

I was introduced to the idea of “mindfulness” around four years ago by my therapist. Now it’s all the rage and there are books on how to be mindful in business, weight loss, parenting, and even extreme kiteboarding. Basically it boils down to just paying goddamn attention to what’s going on inside. As someone that […]

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Bloggers are Weird Podcast – Norine Dworkin McDaniel – Science of Parenthood

June 16, 2014

How do you take a personal blog and turn it into a professional business? Norine Dworkin McDaniel talks about branding, marketing, and how to handle online circumcision haters. Via iTunes Via the official ThoughtsFromParis app for Apple or Android devices! Watch via YouTube below (if you’re using my app, click over to the podcast or youtube section)

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Bloggers Are Weird Podcast – Suzy Soro

June 10, 2014

Today I spoke with road comic Suzy Soro about her start in the humor business, why she quit blogging, getting a book deal via Twitter, and why she cried with Angelina Jolie. Via iTunes Via the official ThoughtsFromParis app for Apple or Android devices! Watch via YouTube below (if you’re using my app, click over to the podcast or youtube section)

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It Turns Out I Sleep Bad – Part I

June 5, 2014

For as long as I can remember I’ve been exhausted. I started taking naps my last year of college. I was studying meditation and self-hypnosis and would put myself in a deep trance following whatever instructions the new-agey book I was reading at the time suggested. Now, many years later, I realize that what I […]

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