No way… I can’t believe it… You’ve got to be kidding me… THIS is what life is all about? For real?!

Well… I was all prepared to come here today and announce the end of the Dr. Loser blog experiment. I’d had enough. Sure, it was fun at first but keeping up with it was grinding me down. Lately I was just so disappointed by the progress of those 4 Quests of a Directionless Loser that I set up for myself here on the blog, and then I was putting in so much effort on my innovative Live Novel-ing concept and that seemed to be getting me nowhere. What was I doing with my life? Then last week I couldn’t even write a new entry, so I just put up some photos and re-blogged past posts. I really felt like I had nothing to say anymore. I’d set myself up to try some incredibly hard tasks, and just like that damn PhD I was failing all over again. So fuck it, I thought, do I really need to be even more of a loser? End this crap and move on. Cash out, trash your stuff, erase the blog, move away and start over somewhere new. I was ready to say goodbye to all my followers and friends, and truly graduate to become the Dr. Loser this miserable world deserves.

And then something amazing happened. 

I don’t know how to say it, because I know how cheesy it’s going to sound, but here it goes… I fell in love.

That’s right, I said it – love

I’m fully 100% super in love. And all of a sudden everything else has come into perspective.

Without naming any names, I’ll just say that she’s a reader of this blog (and if you’ve checked out any of the comments on some of these posts, you might know who I’m talking about…) and she’s changed my life forever! If you follow me on Instagram (check the widget) you’ll see the fantastic foods we had on our date last weekend. Oh, what a wonderful world! Even taking pictures of stupid food is making me happy now.

With her in my life, I finally wake up happy everyday. Success and failure will come and go but love is what life really is all about. Everything looks different to me now, the sun in the sky on a gorgeous summer day, or the rain falling in Seoul today that made me go outside and spin around shirtless just to let that water wash over me. But what I especially see in a new light are my hobbies - my writing and my quests – it makes sense to me now, and I love it all!

I love watching TV. This doesn’t have to be a form of penance anymore, a way to loser-ly wallow away in an alternate reality so I don’t have to deal with the pathetic-ness of my own. I love TV and there doesn’t have to be rules involved, I don’t need to prove anything by watching until my eyes bleed, and I certainly don’t need to judge others by what they like or how they want to watch things. It’s all good.

And to commemorate this sweet sensation, I’m resurrecting JOSH-TACY… the film festival of watching ecstasy that I used to program myself and watch (mostly) alone in the basement. But I loved it and can do that again by mixing up all of the things I want to see and have a celebration of watching the likes no one named Josh has ever done before!

I love playing Angry Birds. Even the hard parts are fun in a weird way. I just need to stop killing myself whenever I’m frustratingly stuck on a level, like the way it got out of hand in my quest to earn one of the highest scores in the world in Angry Birds Star Wars. I don’t need to see my name beside some number to validate my love of this game.

And thankfully there is always more to play! Before I abandoned this Angry Birds Star Wars scoring attempt, I still had 5 levels left in the final area. So I’m going to set aside a few hours and just drink in those levels with unabashed glee. With no pressure over scores, I’ll give myself a maximum of 5 tries on each level and if I still can’t pass it, I’ll just move on with peace and love and come back another day.

I love listening to music. Specifically, I’m a fan of full albums. The old school way I’d be forced to listen to both sides of my cassette tapes are some of the best music memories I have. Obviously, if you’ve been reading these posts the past few weeks you’ll have noticed that I got very obsessed with devising a system for ranking my top 30 albums of all time, so much so that I almost hated myself and everyone in the universe for trying to force me to do something so damn difficult

Well, I don’t think it has to be that anywhere near that tough. These are albums that I love, I should be allowed to just go with my gut, there is no right or wrong here, just good music. And if I want to make a change to the ranking later I will. I know now, after having re-listened to so many of the most awesomest albums ever in the past couple of months, that I can explain exactly why I love them in the simplest of terms.

And finally, the training video I was planning to do… I definitely DON’T love exercising, of this there can be no argument. I like it, but I don’t love it. What do I love though… maybe the most out of all things on this list… get ready for it… is writing!

As much as I have hated writing during those 8 years stuck on that PhD, the past few months of Live Novel-ing have shown me exactly what I do love about writing. The wacky spontaneity of crafting impromptu action scenes day after day in some of my favourite and most ridiculous genres has just been too much fun. And so I’ve come up with a way to express that love and conclude the Live Novel-ing while presenting a training video montage all at the same time. It’s going to be mind-blowing, so stay tuned!

But speaking of the Live Novel-ing, I’m not the only one who’s found love out there… the main character of my story, just this morning also fell crazily in love. So much so that it may very well change everything he thinks he knows about The Incredible Insane Challenge

For those who are new to this blog,in my novelThe Incredible Insane Challenge – one young boy must grow up in a crazy world where he battles his way to his 18th birthday in order save the universe and win glorious prizes. He can die at anytime during this quest and be born again to start all over, but he only has 100 lives and right now he’s on his 98th.

Starting from the moment he exits the womb, this boy must complete one specific and daunting task every year. And everyday I freewrite about his exploits in one of those years, and then revise it down to a concise, one-page short story

The task I wrote about today was “Turn the un-coolest girl in school into the prom queen.” Usually he approaches these tasks with a steely determination and carefree wit, knowing that the stakes are too high to worry about just one of these lives or tasks. But there was something to this Nerdy Nancy that just made him forget all the pressure and stress of his goal, and now he might have found something that actually means more to him than this challenge - damn the rules and consequences, he’s in love

There’s only one more week left of Live Novel-ing, so check it out if you get the chance. All you need to do is click on the G+ Widget on my site, or email me and I’ll share the Google Drive folder with you: jozhloser@gmail.com

If you can’t catch me while I’m writing / revising / editing, be sure to read check out the ‘Finished Pages’ folder in Google Drive while it’s still available. That’s some good stuff, if I do say so myself.

Now… I know how this all sounds, with the love and all that. And hey, I’m the first one to criticise stuff like The Fifth Element, The Matrix, Lost or even Rock ’N Rule, for ending their stories by making love the answer to everything. 

However, life is love. I’m sorry, but that’s how this one is going to have to end too!

Dr. Loser! 8 Lessons learned after spending 8 years on a PhD… and then failing!

8 years is a long time.

That’s about twice as long as most people put into writing their PhD theses. And they pass.

I failed.

Okay, so now I’m not going to be able to strut around with the prestige of that doctorate and get into all the best clubs and upgraded on flights. And sure, now the rest of my life will most likely be defined by the decade I spent in this embarrassing pursuit and the massive financial and mental toll it took on me. But there must be something I learned from all of this, right… right?!

Well, before I go and jump off a bridge (joking) here are 8 things I definitely learned not to do thanks to those horrific years… 8 years that will leave me forever branded as Dr. Loser!

1) I’m not THAT smart, so I should stop thinking I am.

Take it easy, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so don’t go all “ahhh, no, you are smart” in some kind of condescending baby talk voice. I get that I’m not dumb, and certainly if you spend about an hour with me then you’ll realise that I definitely still think I know everything; I’m just not THAT smart.

Someone who is THAT smart can sit down and read all day. And I’m not talking about comic books or pro-wrestling gossip websites, but actual academic texts and journals. They’re not on the bus or sitting in a restaurant staring at their smart phone screen like the rest of us because they’re the ones figuring out how to make something that futuristic come to life and are already up on the next thing (how does a touch screen work anyways, I assume it’s not by magic like the way planes fly, is it? See… what do I know?). To them trivia is trivial, fixing things is fun, leading people is an instinct, and breaking them down is second nature. They will be able to tell your home address, your lineage, and exactly where you belong in the world just by the vocabulary you use; they can smell your averageness like a cancer sniffing dog, and you will know they are right because they don’t ever brag.

So when people who are THAT smart are legitimately insulted by a pedestrian thesis that they’ve been asked to read, they then proceed to destroy said project with words so beautifully crafted that their effort at least makes up for all their wasted time. My 3 examiners spent about 5 pages each on actual compelling and interesting prose that utterly ripped apart everything that I wrote, attacked me as a worthy human being, and had me breathlessly thanking them at the end for putting it all so eloquently.

So they got me, and just like comedians ripping into a heckler they put me in my place. And it’s tough to realise that you don’t belong on the stage because you’re just a wise-ass in the audience. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t find it funny. 

2) Putting notes all over my walls did not make me a genius.

I always thought that eccentric brainiacs wrote on the walls of their rooms or pinned up notes everywhere so they could be completely submersed in their work. That was until I started doing it.

crazy person wall-was I trying to piece together the timeline in an unsolved murder case or connect the dots in a time-spanning conspiracy theory?

Today, I’m pretty sure that this is what the room of an insane person looks like since this strategy apparently had no benefit at all towards writing a good thesis.

3) Listening to music was not helpful while I studied.

I’ve always loved listening to music while writing and studying but this cannot be what high level academics do. Maybe they’re listening to chanting monks, orchestral opera pieces or Leonard Cohen, but it can’t be something that kicks as much ass as a band like Clutch!

How are you supposed to listen to ‘Earth Rocker’ and not be forced to air drum?

 -“don’t do it at all,” indeed!

In my case, stopping every five minutes to bang my head, dance or pantomime the playing of musical instruments that I don’t know anything about, probably wasn’t a sound study habit.

4) I should not be downloading this much.

I’ll be damned if I haven’t missed a single episode of a TV show that featured monsters, vampires, fist fights, evil people, pro-wrestlers or robots since 2005. Having a professional teaching job, researching full-time on a PhD and also watching as much TV as a television critic was difficult to juggle.

But who can blame me? I had been training for this my whole life and was just waiting for the technology to catch up with my ability. For example, when I was younger I used to travel for hours to distant video stores just to make sure I’d watched every pro-wrestling PPV rental possible, I’d planned entire movie festivals that were held in my basement, and I maintained a collection of clipped up VHS tapes full of movies and random scenes that I’d found by scouring TV guides like they were academic journals.

If only the real journals had been as interesting as those damn TV shows then I might have actually gotten that PhD years ago and right now you wouldn’t be reading this sad hot mess but rather an announcement in the Brampton Guardian about a top notch community writing class at the Chingacousy Public Library led by some local boy who done made good at a uni down under!

And while I did work incredibly hard during those 8 years, when it came down to having to make a decision to keep studying or download the latest episode of WWE Monday Night RAW, the wrestling would win every time. That quirky little proclivity of mine is probably what separated me from the true PhD candidates, but to them I ask, “Who defeated inaugural WWE European Champion, the British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith, for the now defunct title back in 1997?”

Exactly.

5) Playing Angry Birds did not count as taking a break.

Eventually it just became that working on my thesis was the break between 3-star-ing levels in the App game Angry Birds.

Sometimes I would get stuck on some damn level for literally hours, just trying to squeeze out a few more points and get that elusive 3 stars. Amazingly, I found that if I stepped away from it for a while and then came back with a fresh set of eyes I could get those 3-stars right away, and this is one of the most satisfying feelings of all time! Going back to work on my thesis was always a good respite from the stress of a difficult level.

Angry Birds

That was me in the #1 spot for Angry Birds Rio, legit without any hacking! For those who are familiar with the iOS Game Center, that is a serious accomplishment. Okay, sure that’s not a doctorate I can hang on my wall but it’s damn near just as impressive!

6) Letting myself get so out-of-shape was not a good idea.

Chalk this one up to the easiest scapegoating excuse I can think of, good old stress! When I wasn’t studying, worrying about studying, preparing for the classes I had to teach, teaching them, or getting up to any of these other nonsense wastes of time I’ve described above, the last thing I was thinking of was my health. I suppose this is fine when you’re a regular young college student, but when you’re still doing this in your middle-ages that’s dangerous. There are other things to think about at that point, like what you have to do to actually live longer! Who knew this was going to be an issue?

In my mind, all problems would be solved when I finally got that PhD anyways; it was going to be my career, my retirement plan, my long-term financial security, and I suppose somehow it would be the key to an endless healthy life for a fine-looking elderly dude.

Instead, I now have none of those things to look forward to and physically I’m a train wreck! I’m scrawny but I have a protruding belly like a pregnant teenage girl, I’m curved over like a scoliosis candy cane, my hair is just a few rough shakes away from being the classic George Costanza horseshoe pattern, and a man my age shouldn’t look like a California Raisin when he smiles.

TheCaliforniaRaisins

Possibly at 38 anyone might start to manifest some of these signs of the glue factory, but for a guy who slept away about 85% of the day between the ages of 16 and 28 like he was in deep space cryostasis I really should only look like a young fella on the cusp of 30.

Worst of all, I didn’t exercise once during those 8 years of PhD ruin. My skin and the mushy stuff packed inside is like a bag of tofu from the supermarket, which shouldn’t be surprising since that has been my main diet for the past few years. I sought out the quickest, easiest meal and that was a plain daily square of colourless food stuff that made me look like I was eating in the canteen of the Galactica. After my last company mandated physical when I worked in Korea, this concise and translated diagnosis pretty much said it all: ‘scanty muscles’.

So now I’ve got to start the uphill battle of physical recovery on all levels. At least if I’d gotten that PhD people could have accepted me as some disgusting old slob because they’d think I knew something, but now my physical shape is going to match my current paltry mental condition.

7) It’s not worth it!

I won’t ever do the full math on what it cost me to undertake this challenge, not just the tuition but also the lost income from taking time off of work to study full-time, travel and the expenses. That number might cause me to do something even more drastic than filming myself air drumming!

And in the end if I did get that PhD, the way I did it I’m not sure I’d be in any different of a place right now anyways. It’s not like anyone was waiting to recruit me for some fascinating new job. An even if they were, I wouldn’t take it. I don’t want to work, I don’t want to study, I literally don’t want to do anything a normal respectable member of society should be doing.

I’m damaged goods! How could anything have been worth all of that, pass or fail? I’ve got the Post Traumatic Stress of 10 Afghanistan soldiers. All the money that I lost could have bought me cars, homes, extravagant meals, giant televisions, and clothes that aren’t from Uniqlo or Old Navy. And I could have done something a little more exciting with my 30s than sitting in a room and starring at a wall. 

8) … but it is worth it!

To be fair to myself, I tried to do something incredibly difficult, pretty much all alone… and okay, I failed, and yeah, that’s pretty embarrassing considering how long I spent on it and how many people on earth I told about it. But anyways, it was something.

And doing something is better than doing nothing.

If I’m either Dr. Brown or Dr. Loser, life goes on.

It’s just like in my favourite thing ever, wrestling: you see, most fans seems to think that the build up to the annual Wrestlemania event is part of a conclusion to the WWE season. There are, of course, the cumulations of big feuds, dream matches, some heartbreak, drama, exhilaration, and then it all comes to a close with a bunch of fireworks. But guess what? The very next night they’re all back on TV. Nothing ended. Everything keeps on rolling. You may have been the champion at the end of Wrestlemania, but you could be a piece of crap the next night on RAW. The point is, it’s still Wrestlemania, it’s worth getting excited for whether it turns out to be great or just totally sucks.

In the end, it’s all about doing stuff. That’s what really matters. So yeah, I’ve had some fun here, and gotten some silly things off my chest. And honestly, I’m glad that I tried to do that PhD. It gave me a purpose for the last decade, and I experienced things, met so many people, and traveled to some interesting places. Nothing was ever stagnant and isn’t that what really matters?

—————

Who the fuck am I kidding??!!

Anyways… enough of all that… of course it fucking sucks not to get that PhD, no matter how much I try to justify it with some feel good bullshit… I practically defined myself by that damn thing for almost a decade of my life, and what do I have to show for it? NOTHING!

I quit my job and now I’m burning off my remaining paltry savings like the fuse on a cartoon stick of dynamite.

So this is it. This is what you get world. Another guy who is just going to write a bunch of shit about the stupid stuff he’s up to.

I’m going to write a novel, I’m going to write poetry, I’m going to write this blog, I’m going to fucking tweet for fuck’s sake, because that’s all I think I want to do right now.

When that fuse burns down then I’ll have to do something new. And most likely it will suck, pay me less than I deserve and have nothing to do with the major I’ve been studying in university since I was 18 years old.

And just exactly what was my major? What did I invest so much time, effort, money and sanity in only to come out on the other side with a blog that cost me $26 to start:

Creative Writing

- Dr. Loser

Even More Live Novel-ing… I guess…

Ugh… I mean, it’s no secret to anyone who’s been following along in the last week of Dr. Loser posts that things really aren’t going my way these days. And I’m not even talking about how I failed my PhD, this is post-PhD failure misery – and everything is still an incredible mess.

I thought I was going to put aside some time to do some fun things with my free time until succumbing to the middle-management Starbucks job that I just know is waiting for me as soon as I burn through all the piddly money that I’d saved while working full-time AND writing a PhD thesis (that failed, don’t forget). I thought I’d be able to creatively explore some new avenues and decided to break down the barriers of writerly secrets and by exposing my writing process to the world with my Live Novel-ing innovation.

Well, like most visionaries I’m unfulfilled, miserable and no one cares! And the weird thing is, that’s exactly what happened to the main character in that novel I’m working on - The Incredible Insane Challenge. This guy has lived for hundreds of years, constantly being re-born into a game where he must complete one crazy task every year of his life as a newborn baby until his 18th birthday. After centuries of trying and failing to make it all the way, he believed that he could at least complete the challenge by earning a certain amount of points for each task, like in a video game, until recently discovering that this was all actually rigged against him

The authority responsible for the challenge seem to want him to lose no matter what, and this new information has led him to stop taking part in the yearly tasks and just hide out in some remote part of earth waiting for that 18th birthday to arrive. While he’s doing this, the mayhem that he is usually called on to stop has been going unchecked, giants are eating people, stadiums are being bombed by terrorists, evil snowmen took over all the major cities on the plant, and then aliens attack! But he doesn’t care anymore - what does it matter, he can never win.

I don’t know if this is just some kind of insane coincidence that this character is going through similar problems to me. I certainly didn’t plan it this way. Everything was done live, online, so all the ideas were first generated during in the freewriting I completed in my Google Drive folder while Live Novel-ing. Either the story has gravitated towards my mood, or I am being dragged into the actual story!

As much as I figure it would make sense to just quit at this point, like I have with all those stupid Quests I was attempting, I feel somewhat compelled to at least lazily finish out this year in the boy’s life. In order to combat the malaise I’ve been having, or the possible infection by my story, starting this week I’m going to reverse the writing process. I’m will start backwards with the Editing stage on the one-page short stories that make up a year in the life of this character, then I’ll move on to Revising, and end by doing Freewriting for the day.

So feel free to check it out as I push through on the shared Dr. Loser Google Drive folder this Tues-Wed-Thurs morning, 11am Korean Standard Time (or Mon-Tues-Wed night in North America), by following me on Google+ by clicking on the G+ widget on the right or bottom of the site… I guess…

Exercise? More like Loser-cise! 

As I stated months ago, my physical condition was extremely neglected over the past few years while studying for the PhD that I eventually failed. I was and am a mess, and getting visibly older everyday. Now I know why they tell you to exercise regularly because it’s so damn hard to start from nothing when you’re my age, it’s like trying to re-start a stalled car while you’re rolling backwards down a hill. The days of a young stallion affectionately referred to as “Treats” on the high school cross country team are so long gone that the only treat I’m going to be needing soon is Geritol.

geritol

My original intention was to exercise for all the wrong reasons as a kind of motivation to get myself to do something… anything… and I planned to create a video montage of myself creating an exercising video of montage-esque activities. However, (and I know this is going to be a tough one for some people who were really looking forward to seeing me in this ridiculous footage) I’m afraid I must announce that I have given up!

Like many things lately it seems, I’ve been doing a lot of hard work and it’s been getting me nowhere! I’m not even sure how any of the exercises I’ve been trying could even possibly work in a montage since I should at least be showing some kind of improvement in these things, but instead there is just unlimited (and never to be seen) footage of me gassing out and passing out.

For example, let me just transcribe for you my thought process today while struggling with what should have been just 15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training while running at a track in a park here in Seoul.

Warm-Up
-okay, feels good… taking a nice long look around, drinking in the beautiful scenery, what a great day, the sun is shinning, the sky is clear, none of the regular Seoul humidity, just a perfect day for a leisurely run.

High Intensity Interval #1 (45 seconds)
-oh yeah, here we go! Look at me world… check out my biceps (flexing my muscles at some old timer passing by in the other direction)! Boo-yah… I’m the man!

Low Intensity Interval #1 (90 seconds)
-woooo… that was pretty intense, feeling it in my legs now for sure, but okay, no problem (checks timer) 10 seconds! Huh, that wasn’t 45 seconds? Can’t be… fine, I’ll make it up next time, that was just a post-warm-up attempt… here comes the real thing.

High Intensity Interval #2 (45 seconds)
-one-one thousand… two-one thousand… owww, my legs are burning… three-four-five-six-one thousand… panting, panting… seven-twentyone-twentyeight-one thousand… ugh, gotta stop…

Low Intensity Interval #2 (90 seconds)
-Slowing down, not bad… not the full time, but that had to be more, like 30 seconds at least (checks timer) 6 seconds! How is that possible?! (270 seconds later)… okay, ready for the next interval.

High Intensity Interval #3 (45 seconds)
-I can do this… (feeling something slipping)… this is definitely not sprinting, what is this, I think I’m actually going slower than when I was running slowly, am I running backwards? (arms pumping, feet slipping)… my shoe! (shoe flies off my foot… I fall backwards)

As I lay on that grassy trail, I remembered a similar scenario that happened to me almost 20 years ago when I challenged a friend of my to a race from lamp post to lamp post on my old block. This was about 100 meters, just one-on-one, and should have been easy enough, only this guy was a nationally ranked Canadian competitive mountain biker and I was just some dude sitting on his couch watching TV and talking shit. Literally seconds after we started the race, my shoe went flying off my foot and I plummeted painfully to the asphalt.

Sometimes you just need to recognise when you should be sprinting and when you should be sitting on a couch. I didn’t recognise it then, but I think I need to now.

Watching TV is Kind Of a Stupid Waste of Time

I had this grand plan – watch all of the TV that I wish I could have watched while I was toiling away on a PhD for 8 years which in the end I failed anyways. I would have been infinitely more satisfied with life had I just said fuck that PhD and watched stupid TV all day for all those years. And yes, I said “stupidTV because yeah, I watch a lot of shit, I can admit it. Sure, I’m a fan of The Wire or Game of Thrones, but all I really want to watch is Smackdown or Power Rangers. This hasn’t changed for me in over 20 years, and at this point I didn’t think it ever would.

And then I started binge-watching. Not binge-watching like some poser, but rather finding 10-12 hour stretches where I just watched episodes of the 2012 Beauty and the Beast mixed with the 1994 Animated Spider-Man. Since I didn’t want to be one of these bandwagon jumping binge watchers, I started programming all these complex viewing strategies - watch one episode of House of Cards, then a Doug Stanhope stand-up special, 30 minutes of Aaliyah videos on Vevo, an episode of pirate nonsense in Black Sails, and then back around to House of Cards. It was maddening, and in the end, I didn’t like any of it! My head was swirling with combinations of shows for the next run, while simultaneously being talked into going out into the Seoul night and doing the most ridiculous of things by characters on all these shows that seem to very personally break the 4th wall in what must be a disturbing new trend in TV.

So in all honestly, I just got kind of bored by it all, overstimulated I guess. But then I discovered this brand new show. I’ve got to first publicly apologise to Eric, a loyal reader/commenter and recently a new WordPress Blogger, who I have berated for the past couple of months as a guy with a terrible taste in TV shows. However, he uploaded a new show on his youtube channel that he says is a rare copy of a hot new show from some European country or something. Everyone just seems to love how Europeans are the real innovators in television compared to those hacks in the United States, and I would have laughed in their faces until watching “Episode 1”… see for yourself:

I know, it’s short but I haven’t seen that kind of plot development in any of these shitty shows I’ve been cramming for the past few months. Now, if you liked that one then prepare yourself because it sets up amazingly for more action this time in “Episode 2”:

And then, like all of the generally brilliant European shows that just “getit, this series also ends with “Episode 3”. I’m not going to give away the ending but SPOILER ALERT you’ve got to hang on to the very last second for the shocking ending.

I may not have made my eyes bleed like I’d planned, but I wept powerful tears man… very powerful tears…

Angry Birds Can Go to Hell

The following is a completely unadulterated transcript of the insane rambling I wrote down in my note pad as I had a mental breakdown in a coffee shop the other day while trying to simply just get 3 stars on a level of Angry Birds Star Wars:

notepad

Good lord I fucking can’t take it anymore, I have lost it, seriously lost it… what am I doing with my life? I have so many better things I could be doing with my time, my life. This is fucking hard, it’s the same thing over and over, I just can’t get the fucking angle, its the same every time, but not the same, different every time, I’m pulling the angle just slightly off and hitting the laser at the wrong ricochet, I mean I don’t even know how to explain it, and every fucking time it’s different… pause restart pause restart… a million times now, I’m just filled with such rage, it’s fucking ridiculous… I’m shaking… every person walking into this coffee shop and walking near me makes me want to break this fucking iPad on their head, and it’s a first generation iPad too, so it’s big and heavy, and slow too, so fucking slow… when I try to use it to watch the video of how to complete this level properly, it’s not even cheating I don’t even care, I have to restart the whole game all over again from the beginning, it’s so slow, and I think I remember the angle anyways, I was already doing that same fucking angle, it just doesn’t land like it does in that video… I just can’t get it… again! It’s wrong, the second I shoot the fucking bird I know it’s wrong, over and over, I’m fucking losing it, what a fucking piece of shit fucking game… How could they make a level like this? It’s fucking impossible, how are the other levels easy enough, but his one, good fucking god… I’m thinking with each attempt, this is it, this had to be it, my face is tightening up… I want to just throw something! I’m not doing anything wrong. Now I’m scrawling this note like a mental patient in the coffee shop, everyone must think I’ve gone out of my mind, so embarrassing, I’m just writing and writing, and I don’t want anyone to see what I’m doing so I try to cover up my paper like it’s a test in junior high school, like anyone cares… how did I get it wrong again… and again!

Holy fuck I got it… holy fuck I got it… holy fuck I got it… feels like shit, like I just wasted hours and hours pressing the same button over and over… what the fuck was the point… 3 stars? Not even a high score, just three stars… that’s it, it’s unbelievable! I want to just list the things I should be doing with this time… one of them is learning Korean, how can I have lived in Korea for about 10 years and can’t speak any Korean? How can I have spent this much time doing this but not that? Speaking Korean is useful here, this… doing this, getting this 3 stars on a fucking level means absolutely nothing… nothing! What kind of a life is this… I should never play this game again, never… but I look at the fucking screen and there are still a few levels without 3 stars, those damn 3 stars, how can I just leave it incomplete like that? But how can I play it again after this? How can I choose? I can’t even decided that I should do, play or not play… this is insane! Incredibly insane!

The worst part is that I did go back and torture myself my trying to achieve 3-stars on the remaining levels. And then when I went back to try to match up this rant to the actual level that inspired it, I couldn’t even remember which one it was! All that for a level I don’t even remember. Seriously, what the hell?!

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Stop staring at me like that!

My quest was to push myself to get one of the highest scores in the world on any level, and that’s AFTER simply just getting 3-stars on them all, that’s just basic shit. How on earth will that ever be possible? What a waste of time!

God Hates Us All

I have spent the past few months attempting a number of different projects following my complete lack of faith in the world after spending years on a PhD thesis that turned out to be a total waste of time

These projects have included the super innovative Live Novel-ing concept of writing every stage of a novel online for anyone to see, and some personal quests that involve exercise, playing video games, watching TV and listening to music, all things that I love doing, or need to do, so that I could bring a little bit of joy back into my world. 

Well, I’m here today to say, fuck all that!

What a pile of crap! No matter how hard I work on any of these things I always circle back around to nothing but more misery. This week I’m going to explain my frustration with all of these projects, and show you why exactly why, if he doesn’t hate us all, god definitely hates Dr. Loser.

First let me talk about the quest to rank my 30 favourite albums of all time. In the beginning it was nice and smooth, I made a list of all the albums that I consider great and re-listened to them. Starting to seriously rank these is when things started to get complex. I began by creating a system for comparing albums that was a mix of math and personal opinion, and used this for evaluating the work of acts like Jimi Hendrix, Funkadelic and Metallica. I also started to exclude many albums that I didn’t feel lived up to the criteria for a “good” album in my mind; live albums, compilations, soundtracks and tributes. Of course, I can’t play an instrument, sing or dance, yet I was able to determine just exactly how musicians should be effectively putting together an album of their own music.

Then I started to get carried away, and spent hours devising a very complicated series of stupid equations that would assign objective numerical values to subjective components of albums, such as song length, variety, and intensity. This led me to my last post on this matter where I listed the top 10 albums that had come out of these metrics. The closest I got to a #1 was Mos Def’sTrue Magic” with a score of 9,972 out of 10,000 but I was still searching for that album that achieved perfection by building upon the first song and getting gradually better and better until ending with the best song on the album. This rising action had to be so strong and precise that it forced me to listen to many albums multiple times over, even some that I really didn’t really like that much. 

In the end, the only album that gained the perfect score of 10,000 was “God Hates Us All” by Slayer. A great album no doubt, but my favourite album of all time? Really? I tweaked and played with my formulas, but no matter what I did, “God Hates Us All” kept coming out on top. So if I want to stick to the method of painstakingly researching this material then this undeniably must be the conclusion I’ve come to, and it’s driving me crazy!

Not only am I in a similar mind-boggling scenario of working myself into circles, just like I’d done with my PhD thesis, but I also went and created a lunatic mind map on my wall that kept me up all night staring at it like there was some secret to the universe somehow hidden in this nonsense.

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What am I supposed to do? Declare my top 30 albums now under this insane criteria, or go back to the drawing board? What a nightmare! Thank you againgod!

Back for More Live Novel-ing!

 

After a short hiatus to re-tool some of the past pages and the overall scheme for my novel in progress:

The Incredible Insane Challenge

… I’m back to my live novel-ing schedule.

What am I talking about? Why I’m telling you about how I’m writing a whole novel live online! Through the power of Google Docs you can tune in at the appropriate times and watch me write away at all three different stages of the writing process:

30 minutes of Freewriting

30 minutes of Revising 

30 minutes of Editing

All you have to do is follow me on Google+ by clicking on the widget to the right or below, and I will add you to the Google Drive folder that makes it possible to watch my live writing . You also can just check the Finished Pages folder at any time to see the end product, or feel free to click on this link HERE: TheIncredibleInsaneChallenge-EXPANDEDSAMPLER-June2014 to download the PDF SAMPLER of the most recent version (now with 13 additional new pages).

Before I go any further though, there are 3 specific followers/readers that I want to talk about quickly, all of whom have contacted me directly and/or commented on certain posts. A couple of them have even watched my Live Novel-ing and added some comments here and there. However, since these are not people who actually know me from before I started this blog, I think I should address them personally here just so they understand what kind of person I really am.

Eric – you’re a nice guy but you kind of creep me out. I’m not sure exactly what you’re looking for or how you found this blog, but dude, seriously, get a life! And I don’t mean that in a harsh way (even though I know that’s how it sounds), but you’re obsessed with TV and worst of all, you have terrible taste. I know that sounds weird coming from me, but seriously you don’t need to keep sending me these long detailed emails about the shows you like and think I should watch. I don’t care about Grey’s Anatomy or Friends or Modern Family or Law and Order. No offence but keep that shit to yourself! I’ve replied to you a number of times with the kind of cool shows you really should be watching but it seems to go right by you. So I’m hoping this is a bit of a wake-up call. Get into wrestling or something, damn!

Jee Young – actually, you’re very sweet. You’ve been really nice to me and I’ve enjoyed some of the back and forth we’ve had when you watched me Live Novel-ing. I mean, I know it might sound a bit forward, but you are in Seoul, right? So am I. Is it so crazy to think we should meet up? I’m interested, and quiet frankly I want everyone to see me ask you this… so at least if you kill me or something, they’ll know who to look for ;)

phatdog – Dude, I’ve called you a troll since you started leaving me messages both on the comments, Google + and during my Live Novel-ing. What you get out of just constantly hounding me I don’t understand. True, if no one cares about what I’m doing here it might be stupid, but if no one cares about you insulting me about it either then what does that make you? I thought trolls are looking for a bigger audience than just one guy. Seriously, do you know me? Are you someone I know who is using a fake name to try and fuck with me? If so… ha ha, you got me. If not, then seriously dude, fuck off!

Okay then… that’s off my chest, so let me tell you about the Live Novel-ing this week.

If you tune in for the freewriting sessions on Thursday-Friday (this week) & Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday (next week) at 11am, Korean Standard Time (adjust for your own differing domains), then you’ll see my main character struggling with a new and very awkward problem. 

You see The Incredible Insane Challenge is an 18 year quest where a young guy must complete one crazy task every year of his life starting right out of the womb! As a baby, child, adolescent and teen, he must do things such as; stop a runaway train full of deadly terrorist mummies from crashing into a nuclear power plant, use super-strength to foil the plans of his super-intelligent nemesis, or even have a successful #1 rated morning radio talk show for 6 full months. If he passes these tasks he can earn points all the way to his 18th birthday, however if he dies then he has to start all over again from birth. Like a video game, he has 100 lives to try and complete this challenge or else the entire universe will be destroyed.

Currently he is on his 97th attempt, so obviously it’s getting very close to the end. And he’s only just now started to suspect something sinister behind the motivations of the authority responsible for this challenge. He believes now that this unknown force who is determining the (apparently) random order of these bizarre tasks and then subjectively judging his performance, is manipulating things to make sure that he never makes it to the end. So after hundreds of years of effort he’s coming to realisation that the whole thing might have been a giant waste of time

Can he pull it together and overcome the inexplicably even more difficult odds now? You’ll have to tune in live if you want to find out!

Is the TV Talking to Me?

All I want to do is just watch TV. Is that so wrong? I even wanna watch so much TV that the blood vessels in my eyes burst from the strain. Why is that crazy?

If you tried to tell me I was wasting my time then I would have thought YOU were the crazy one, that is, until last week.

You see, last week the TV starting talking to me!

Admittedly, sometimes I’m forced to yell at the TV when I’m watching a show like 24, because, you know, like why does everyone doubt Jack Bauer after everything he’s done? It’s very frustrating. But of course I know they can’t hear me (just like no one in that damn government is hearing Jack when he tells them he has a hunch… he’s always right? Don’t you all remember!), so when the TV actually talked back to me I was shocked to say the least.

It all seemed to start when I got a Netflix account. My first order of business was to tear through all the past episodes of Arrested Development so I could finally see that new Netflix-exclusive season that was produced last year. This time though I noticed something that I didn’t remember being there from the first time I watched the series: a voice-over. All of a sudden, there is now this Ron Howard-like narrator who humorously describes what’s going on. Clearly I haven’t watched Arrested Development since it went off the air years ago, but I have no recollection of this being part of the show. Perhaps this narrator was an addition to the Netflix version, I’m not sure.

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Next I started to watch another big Netflix original series, House of Cards. I already knew that the main character played by Kevin Spacey breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience, so I wasn’t surprised when he started doing just that. However, I have to ask anyone else who’s watched this show, does he actually use your name when addressing the screen? That’s what’s happening to me! Does Netflix have some way of personalising these shows for subscribers? What is going on here?

Since both shows were weirding me out and also feature some pretty evil characters, I felt like I needed something to clean my palate of all the debauchery, nihilism and direct address. Therefore, I decided to watch through all the seasons of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars. What better place to find strongly defined values of right and wrong? And one that would in no way have characters that would speak to the screen. Right? 

Wrong!

On this show everyone was talking to me, it was like I was in a 3-D movie and sitting in on a Jedi council meeting on Coruscant or fighting in some sprawling battle across Naboo. Then it just got straight up creepy when one particular character, principle star Ashoka Tano started to kind of stalk me!

Ashoka will ask me how I’m doing, want to talk about my day, compliment me, fawn over me, fight Sith Lords in my honour, it’s all very awkward. I want to tell her to just focus on the action and forget about me, but then I’m nervous that I might distract her too much and she’ll get killed or something. That would completely change the show and I don’t want that to happen, I love this show! So I just nod to placate her and hope everything will just get back to normal soon.

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Weird, right?

I’m not sure where exactly all this is coming from, but I won’t let it dissuade me from my quest. These eyes will bleed damn it, because this is TV and there is nothing better!