thoughts

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

17 comments

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.

17 comments

New Video Series Starting Tonight!

by D.J. Paris on 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! We want to hear it! Also, we’re going to discuss it on the air.

If you’d like to share, please comment below or complete this form.

We need your stories by 8pm CST tonight!

Hurry up, for chrissakes!

dj dog sleeping

Me with my dog.

melany berger

Melany with hers.

Here’s a short video!

2 comments

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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BlogHer 2014 Contest – Win a Free Full Conference Ticket Plus Pathfinder Day!

May 20, 2014

Would you like to go to BlogHer in San Jose this summer spending three days and nights partying your ass off? Oh, also you’ll learn how to write better, become more effective at social media, and connect with some truly amazing bloggers that will develop into deep friendships! Well, normally I’d say, “Screw you all, […]

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I’m Going to Have To Give Up The Cat

March 17, 2014

I recently came to terms that I’m going to have to give up my cat Pantaloons. My girlfriend is allergic. She’s a good sport when she visits and takes a Benadryl which clears up her symptoms. But how long am I going to make her pop meds to be comfortable? We’re only six months into […]

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Back from a Real Vacation and a Three Week Writing Vacation

February 26, 2014

It’s been three weeks since I wrote anything. Well, this is not entirely true. I did post a story last week about how it was discovered that my girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend is now seriously dating a woman I used to see ten years prior. You may have to read that twice. There isn’t an easier way […]

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100k Twitter Followers and Caffeine Addiction

January 28, 2014

I crossed over 100k Twitter followers today. Yes, it’s a not-so-subtle brag. But, screw it.  I’m taking a victory lap. The victory lap equates to a night of eating pizza until passout. Before the carbs and fat sink my consciousness I’m going to attempt to eek out this post. I’m not proud here, but I’m […]

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I Have a Big Brag to Announce About My Greatness

January 27, 2014

I’ve been busy over the past two days. First I released a new version of my Apple and Android app which include push notifications. Yes, you now get a popup whenever I write something new. Does my narcissism know no bounds? Also I launched a Twitter web app which pokes around through your followers to […]

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ThoughtsFromParis Apple and Android App Updated!

January 26, 2014

There is a new version of the ThoughtsFromParis mobile app now available for Apple and Android users. The biggest update is that you can now receive push notifications when a new post goes live. To download for Apple iOS click here To download for Android click here Note – if you already had an older […]

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Introducing FamousFollowers.me

January 25, 2014

Celebrities. They’re just better than the rest of us. Okay, well, maybe that’s not true. But most of us are starstruck, at least a little. I think we all  have someone who, if we met them in person, would render us speechless. If we’re on Twitter the pinnacle of stardom is to become “verified.” That […]

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