I’m Going to Impress You With a Big Word

by D.J. Paris on December 7, 2013

I always wanted to write a piece where I used the word “precipice.”

Just wanted to say that. Great opener, yes?

Let’s move on.

We all need a council of people that will tell us the truth even when it hurts. If you don’t have such a group, you may want to build that into your life.

(that was the original opener)

No, scratch that. You NEED to build that into your life.

Mine is my pal Karen.

She’s not afraid to tell me when my writing sucks. She’ll call me out when I use a literary trick to get attention. If I tweet out something that’s hacky, I’ll incur her disapproval. She’s a critical and tough broad.

But, you see, I employ her to do hold me accountable to my authenticity.

The bottom line is that I’m not always conscious about what’s in my best interest. I’m not always aware of my true motivations. Sometimes I know exactly what I’m doing when I try to trick the reader using a cute allegory, and I do it anyway.

Karen brings me back to authenticity, which, as I’ve come to believe is the only real goal of life. Brene Brown writes about connection being the most important human quality, but that only through authenticity can connection exist.

Which means that I must get present for my motivations. I need to ask myself before tweeting out something , “Am I really being funny here or am I just looking for attention?” Or, “Is this blog post reflective of what’s really happening a deeper level in my life?”

Most of the time, my authenticity is demonstrated appropriately in this blog. Sure, I fire off a nice crotch joke from time to time, but that’s just because dick humor is awesome. Vagina humor, too. Especially vaginas.

I have in my mental possession a vagina joke so offensive (but hilarious) that is would upset a majority of my readers.

But, I didn’t write the amazing vagina joke. Also, I would be submitting it for shock value. Not authentic.

This blog started out as a bastion for sophomoric humor. And, to be honest, I’m damned good at that stuff. Even a cursory glance through my Top 20 stories will demonstrate that ability. But over time I realized, like Brene Brown teaches, that I really just want to connect. I already know I’m funny.

Could I have the strength to share the pain of divorce or the shame of illegally downloading music or how sometimes I just need a virtual hug? Will that connect with a reader? Does that matter to me? What if nobody comments?

Here’s a current embarrassing truth – I’m close to 100k Twitter followers. In my mind crossing over that threshold means something important. Of course when I pass that marker nothing will change. The next milestone will be set and I’ll delude myself into thinking that’s the magic number to fulfillment.

After bragging on Facebook and Twitter, I’ll call up Karen. She’ll allow me to boast, congratulate me, and then cut me off. “So, what’s really going on in your life?”

The truth is that I’ve been slacking lately and not writing, yet it’s my favorite daily activity. I’ve become scared of this blog. That I don’t have anything of worth to say. Fear has paralyzed my ability to act. I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of – last year I posted every single day without a miss. This year, barely a hundred published.

So even this post, as all over the place as it is, is a massive step forward. And, I know, that in a few weeks, I’ll be back to my normal self. I will go through highs and lows. From time time I will write shitty pieces. I will brag about accomplishments for attention. I will pepper in dirty one-liners because I’m afraid to publish too serious of a story.

But I will also stand on that precipice where I’m afraid to tell the truth. Most of the time I’ll push through it and lean into the fear. Sometimes I’ll wuss out.

Did you notice that I figured out how to weave in precipice? Full circle, motherfuckers!


This was the best image I could find to represent a precipice. Although, it appears as those this poor fellow might jump. So, it’s kind of a bummer.


The past few weeks have been unfortunately busy. I’m trying to cut down on my adverbs, by the way. I couldn’t even make past the first sentence. Dammit.

Anyhow, my best friend’s father passed away and I traveled back to Peoria to attend to the services. I also was in a bad car crash (thankfully nobody was injured). Since then I’ve purchased a new car. Oh, and I went down to Dallas to visit my aging grandmother this past weekend.

All that I’ve been able to creatively is blast out a few funny tweets now and again. I wish I could get paid for that, by the way. Some company told me that due to my social reach each tweet of mine is worth $99. This sounded awesome until two months went by and the broker had failed to provide me even one company willing to cough up dough. So, technically, my tweets are worth nothing monetarily at the moment.

However, I have had a few funny responses from unlikely corporate sources.

First was O’Hare airport. Believe it or not, they have a twitter account. I’m sure it’s probably designed for emergencies. But behind every Twitter account is a person manning keyword mentions. And sometimes they have a sense of humor. Here’s what transpired…


First I love that they got the joke. Second, you’d think they’d have something better to do that respond to a bozo goofing on shitty airport food. I nearly replied with something vulgar and horrible, but I decided to be nice. I went to the one good restaurant, and to be fair, it was the best meal I’ve ever had at an airport. I tweeted back to them and they thanked me. I then wanted to start a conversation about smelly foreigners in their bathrooms, but I decided against it.

Then, yesterday on my way back into Chicago, I tweeted this out…

chilisA pretty innocuous joke. Not my best. Today they replied:

chilis too

I couldn’t tell if they were being silly or serious. I am never serious on Twitter. So we went a few rounds.

chilis three

Now, this is a company with a sense of humor. I love that. I sent them a DM and offered to work out a funny bit we could do together on my blog. Not sure if they want to be in bed with me, but I give them props for having a little fun. I grew up eating Chili’s – it was the first good chain restaurant to come to Peoria. To have them tweeting with me is sort of surreal. Been eating there for for over twenty-five years.

I recently pestered Jockey to do a jag with me because we tweeted a little about their new Stop the Stink underwear which I thought was hilarious. I wanted to be the official Stop the Stink blogger, but they didn’t bite. I had a bunch of good ideas. Oh well…

I never thought working with brands would be fun, but after last month with Cottonelle, I realize that some of them are great sports. I know you don’t come here interesting in reading about me pimping out products and services. I don’t want to be that guy anyway. But once in awhile I can team up with someone to do a funny bit.

I have some future posts coming up on aging, the loss of friendship, caffeine addiction, how to buy a car from sketchy Polish guys, the new website for men I’m creating, why Apple initially banned my ThoughtsFromParis app, and how watching your forty-seven year old uncle run 100 yard wind-sprints up a hill is depressing. You know, the stuff I love to ponder.

Thanks for sticking with me through this truancy.


My First Bidet – #LetsTalkBums

by D.J. Paris on September 23, 2013

Cottonelle asked me to write about my first bidet experience – I told them to screw off because D.J. only does bidet humor on video!

Seriously, and they’re not paying me to say this (well, they are sponsoring the blog, but did not specifically ask me to say this), Cottonelle has the best damned toilet paper in these United States. And their adult wipes are important to my overall well-being. I’m hooked.

If you don’t see the video below (because you are using a mobile browser or on my Apple or Android app), click here to watch!

This a story I just plumb forgot about. If I ever open up a retail store, it’s going to be nothing but bidets and urinals for the middle class. We deserve what the rich have already figured out. Until then, just use the wipes.


Queerie Bradshaw – Part I – Bloggers are Weird Podcast

August 26, 2013

D.J. invites political activist, feminist, and sex and humor blogger Queerie Bradshaw to talk about what we don’t. In this episode we learn about her background in sex education, law, and writing. Part II coming soon! Via iTunes Zune or Blackberry store (just search) Via Android device – download your favorite podcast app and add the […]

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Why I Don’t Respond to Your Twitter Replies – A Confession

August 16, 2013

This may cost me some followers. There are a lot of posts out there with these types of titles. Usually lists of stupid things people do on Twitter which cause the author to roll their eyeballs and not respond. You’ve seen these kind of posts before. There’s talk of Twitter etiquette and being courteous and […]

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Proud to be a Man of BlogHer

August 2, 2013

As I drove home from night two of BlogHer I started to cry. I was lucky this year. BlogHer, the largest blogging conference in the country, was hosted in my hometown of Chicago. This meant easy travel from my condo to the conference. Actually, it was kind of a hassle. Sure I saved some dough […]

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Puns are Funs

July 6, 2013

When I’m on vacation with my family my immaturity reaches an all time high. I revert back into childhood and jokewriting becomes a way to see how many puns I can funnel into a benign conversation. Because puns elicit groans (most of the time) I work on my delivery to try to sneak them into […]

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Jasmine Banks – TheBrokins – Bloggers are Weird Podcast

April 15, 2013

We sit down with Jasmine Banks, blogger (humor and serious), columnist, author, therapist, survivor, roller derby ninja, marathon runner, and all-around badass. To check out the podcast Via iTunes Zune or Blackberry store (just search) Via Android device – download your favorite podcast app and add the feed -> Visit the official Bloggers are Weird website […]

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Lost in Suburbia Giveaway – Tracy Beckerman – Bloggers are Weird Podcast

April 1, 2013

In this episode I interview humor columnist and author Tracy Beckerman. To celebrate the launch of Tracy’s newest book, Lost in Suburbia, we are giving away a copy! All you have to do is enter your email below. You’ll receive a confirmation email and once you click that link you’ll automatically be entered in the […]

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Erik Deckers – Humor Blogging and Social Media

March 19, 2013

Erik Deckers and I sit down and rap about humor and the best social media strategies of the day. He’s the real deal. Listen now!

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I Bought Good & Plentys Without Shame

January 17, 2013

Okay, I just figured something out. When I cut some calories to try to lose a few pounds and also hit the gym every day, I just wind up exhausted. The funny drains out of my pores around mile three on the treadmill. I’m at that stage of a new exercise and nutrition cycle where […]

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