06 June, 2009

Can I just address something right quick?

Quick preamble, got to work this morning and found somebody sleeping in the foyer. They immediately left of their own volition.
But here's the meat of today's post. This is George Costanza.

George Costanza is a fictional character from a popular 1990s sitcom called Seinfeld. So popular was this show, that you can find thousands of devoted fan pages on line right now where you can learn enough about the show that you would probably never need to see a single episode. Even the Wikipedia pages devoted to Seinfeld are exhaustively researched. People go bonkers for it.
The character of George Costanza, and this is a well-documented fact, is based off of this man, Larry David.

Larry David was the co-creator of Seinfeld and has gone on to big success playing himself in the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, which has an equally feverish fan base, albeit smaller.
Stick with me, because here's where I'm going with this: I relate to Larry David. I think I've noted it before but I'll say it again. People go on and on about how Larry David is a jerk on Curb Your Enthusiasm, so naturally I get weirded out when I watch the show and not only do I not see an overwhelming amount jerk behavior but it dawns on me that this is an ordinary guy stuck in extraordinary situations and is reacting accordingly. The same way I would react.
Here's the thing, though: There is a divide between the waking tangible world to which one presents themselves outwardly and the internalized world of pure concentrated reaction. In short, the difference between thinking "Fuck you!" and saying "I can have that ready for you in an hour," when your boss throws another pile of paperwork on your desk. This is what is colloquially known as "the filter".
Often in writing, one has to turn off the filter in order to make things interesting. Without positing forth a perceivable overreaction or a stylized rendition of events, the stories one tells lack any interest. Consider the time I crashed a funeral for a sandwich. Now I can tell the story simply, plainly, using only facts or I can tell it like I told it over at the EA Forums.
Consider the past week of my griping about Moved Out Tom. If I had kept things sane and rational, you probably wouldn't have read it. But it's because I constructed a reaction that you would perceive as over the top that you read about it. If I didn't make it look like I was screaming about pickup trucks when it came to Maran's stuff, you wouldn't have bothered.
It all boils down to using hyperbole. Here, look up "hyperbole".

We used to be stoners. Now we're just drunks.
I bring this up because I wake up this morning to find avid reader (and fellow author) Ryan commenting on last night's post that I was over analyzing three words. Of course I was, that's the whole point. What gets me about this is that we've known each other since we were sixteen, he should kind of know my sense of humor by now and that is the only reason why I decided to broach this subject. I get that it didn't mean anything. I get that a woman laughing at your jokes, smiling at you, and having a casual conversation really means nothing more than she thinks you're alright and fun to talk to. That's all it means. However, if I don't blow it out of proportion, there's no joke. There's no way for me to, in text at least, behave like George Costanza and if I didn't act like George Costanza, this would be a very bland blog indeed. In fact, given the character's proclivity for turning mundane events into Earth shattering disasters, if I didn't behave like that, there would be far fewer posts. Probably one per month.
But it's still a bit disconcerting that someone who should know me very well doesn't get that I'm being sensationalist on purpose.
And one should note that I do not behave like this in the real world. Only in text. There are occasions when I speak like this and there are people who listen and can't divine the difference between genuine neurosis (not me) and hyperbole (me). If I say that I'm going to kick somebody in the dick if I found out they touched my beer, that is hyperbole. The (unfortunate, ball-less) truth is that I'll probably just piss and moan about it. Still, though, there are thick-skulled people about that can't tell the difference between realistic, tactful behavior and exaggerated, hyperbolic venting.
Consider Georgie. Georgie has often thought that when I describe a particular event whilst frustrated and just trying to vent that that is the way the event actually occurred despite the blatant, glaring exaggerations I'm using. This has lead to her assumption that I'm uncontrollably vulgar and misanthropic through my every waking hour, that I'm incapable of extending even the shallowest depth of respect or courtesy toward others, and that I pride myself on being an unsympathetic asshole. This is not the case as to which I would certainly hope my friends would attest. The asshole bit is nothing more than that: a bit. A role I play in text. I play it and I play it well because it gets a laugh here and there. The only people who don't laugh are the ones who are genuinely afraid that I am an asshole.
Same goes for the people that are genuinely convinced by the ruse that I internalize, over analyze, and over react to every minute detail of the things that occur around me. That is not how I carry myself or interact with the people and situations around me. So when I get labeled a "drama queen" it's generally because either I'm intentionally acting like one to crack a joke or a situation really is out of my control.
True, I do have a temper. It is something that was actually quite worse ten or twelve years ago. I practice techniques to keep myself calm, I moderate my intake of spirits to prevent flare ups, and I stopped using the vast majority of drugs that I regularly used over five years ago. But I still get angry and I still need to vent. This is when things become very exaggerated but it's strictly because I'm venting. When you strip away the excess of my statements when I'm agitated, you'll see my rationale. When one is trying to express frustrations, one is not so even handed and things become muddled by grandiose modifiers and hyper-perceived offenses. A recent Facebook thread between myself, Bryce, and Caese went that way. An IPR staffer caught wind of this thread and decided to jump in on the situation, not seeing that the three of us were merely having a bitch session. To quote It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, he was "handin' down life lessons" when all we were doing was commiserating. Another situation of vocal inflection being lost in text, I suppose. Hell, there's not a single IPR staffer I've met yet that seems to understand when a motherfucker is just venting. "Well, you know..."
Yes, I do know, I've known since before you've told me, I've been doing that and it hasn't worked so now I'm trying something else. Right now, this is "me time" and I would just like to let a little frustration out without being given a motivational speech.
And you see? That right there is venting. Meta-venting, as it were.
So here's the deal I'm going to make with all of you right now:
If you can tell the difference between my public persona and my private one, continue reading this blog. If you can pick up on how all the hyperbole and exaggeration are parts of an act and that I do not actually conduct myself in any manner described herein, continue reading this blog. You are an intelligent person and I would not mind you being a part of this community.
If you understand the triplet concepts of irony, parody, and satire, you and I are going to get along just fine. If you are the kind of person that does not need a joke explained to them, you will probably enjoy yourself here. Welcome, friend.
BUT, if you can't tell the difference between how a person acts and how a person presents themselves on a fucking blog, stop reading this blog. If you think I'm a drama queen or an asshole, stop reading this blog. I do not want you here and I think you have shit for brains.
If you think that any part of this is stupid or that I should not be afforded a venue to vent, you would be better off reading a blog where all the author does is copy and paste YouTube videos. If you can't figure that in reality I'm a rational, clear-headed person, you'd be better off reading a celebrity gossip blog where the author's understanding of English grammatical structure is that a paragraph consists of no more than two sentences and that every paragraph needs a double line break. Those would probably be more your speed.
Last month around this time, I had to remind you, my little illiterati, what it was for that I was here.* Now, I have to put out this fire because of how things have been going lately.
So, now that I've said my piece and we're all playing ball on the same diamond, let's lighten up and look at one of my finest (appropriated) creations: The GhettOLCat.


  1. Why didn't you just come out and say: "Ryan, you're too slow and retarded to read this blog?" Instead you have to dress it up so you can make an post? Seriously you didn't have something better to do? And if I seem to be cluttering up your blog with unwanted comments, you could have addressed me straight up.

    You know I don't really know you anymore. You moved a few years back, and I expected you to change, for better or worse. So I'm not going to sit here and read your blog, keeping in mind that you're the same person 10 years ago. Why would I do that? You think shit flies over my head? Well what about yours?

    I think you're an entertaining writer and really creative, but I guess you're still a dickhead. I was just trying to keep up with you. But I guess I'm too slow for that. Oh well.

  2. I thought you were joking when you said you didn't get it. See, shit flies over my head.
    What I'm trying to establish is the difference between me in print and me in real life. You're not slow-witted and most of the time you're cracking better jokes I do, so when you pointed out that I over analyzed three words, I thought you were serious and this troubled me. Internally, I was reacting, "Oh, man. Not Ryan, too. That guy knows me for fuck's sake." Trust me, that's all it was.
    Before things got out of hand (and they have been lately) I decided to address the situation, something I didn't think would ever be necessary.
    To my knowledge, you have never called me "drama queen", "asshole", or "jackass" like some other people have been doing. You've never told me that this blog is stupid, you've never told me to write more dick jokes, you've never griped about the content because it didn't please you. Those were the people I was addressing; the people who've known me for a year or less, found out I had a blog, and then found out they didn't like it, so instead of not reading it, they decided to continue reading it, bitching about it, and thinking I was the person from the blog. Those people, Ryan.
    Although you did just call me dickhead and wondered at how I spend my time. It's warranted though, through this misunderstanding.
    Ryan, you're actually one of the smart folks that I appreciate having as a part of this community. I've explained my position and now it's in your hands if you would like to stay or not. If you would like, I can take out the section that references you and delete this comment thread. It's up to you.

  3. You two just need to kiss and make-up.

    Or maybe you did kiss him the last time you guys got wasted together in BG and his feelings are hurt because you said you would call the next day Charlie, but you never did and he now feels like a used-up freshman college girl at a Frat party....

  4. Honestly, I take no joy in when the things I say even inadvertently make my friends feel like shit. Despite how I explained it, the man still feels wronged and his friendship means more to me than the friendships I've formed over the past two three four years. But, regardless, I said something our boy found to be out of line and now the ball's in his court. He knows I love his ass and he just has to tell me how to make it right.

  5. You really got me thinkin, Chuck. And I think you're right. Well, I know. Sadly I have gone overboard on the drugs and (which is really included in the drug category) alcohol, and I've become closer to braindead that I have intelligent over the years. That, and I'm pretty sure I have a case of depression.

    You know what they say: truth hurts. And it really got to me. I've known that I'm not quick or smart for awhile but I've always ignored it.

    My past is catching up with me real quick. I've been in school for so many years that I don't even know what to do with myself any more. I've changed majors 3 times. I have loan departments constantly on my ass about their money.

    I don't really know why I came back to tell you all this. I have a lot of my own problems to work out. I don't know how I'm going to solve any of them but I know I need time to figure shit out. I need to think things through as opposed to just doing whatever pops into my little fried brain.

    I'm sorry for gettin out of line. It's your blog, and you're entitled to do whatever you want without me coming here and making retarded comments. I hope you can forgive me for being an ass.

    When you make a name for yourself, don't forget to put magicwalter in your liner notes! Haha. Don't forget: life's a garden, dig it.

    Cya round.

  6. You were never out of line and I never thought your comments were stupid.
    Seriously, the bulk of this post has to do with other people, people I thought were my friends. They don't know me and they expect me to behave like the fictional character I've painted myself as.
    When you didn't get a joke, that actually scared me a little because we go back and you know me better than a lot of the other people that come here. In my mind, if I've tripped up somebody who ought to know me, I've taken my own gag too far.
    The irony is that the folks I've been telling to piss off are too dense to get it, and the folks I want around are reading things the wrong way.

    As far as your issues, I hear you. We're getting on in years and neither of us figured we'd be as fucked as we are this close to thirty. We both regret our druggin' and boozin' days to some degree, we both have loans up the ass we practically can't afford, and it's just hard to keep an eye on the silver lining when it seems like the sky is falling.
    But we gotta suck it up, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and take another punch in the face from the cruel bitch that is Fate or Chance or whatever until she tires herself out and we can move beyond these problems.
    I'd be lying if I said that over the past two years I hadn't contemplated, on more occasions than what is healthy, throwing my temple into the sharp corner of a table and just ending it all. In fact, it's how I've been feeling lately. I'm sure the pressure's on for you, too, and it's eating away at you. It's probably why you've been self-medicating. Shit, we've all done that and there are times for that, it's just not all the time. So you suck it up, get your mind right or as right as you can get it, and get yourself a change of scenery.
    Your blog a few days back said something about an internship somewhere. I'd say take it, especially if it gets you active. You can't dope and drink if you're too busy to, especially if you have to avoid the shit to do your job un-hung-over. If I hadn't overhauled the patio this Spring, I would've probably been drunk by ten am every day the way I've been feeling lately. But you don't have time to even pick up a beer when you're busy lifting a piano. As a result, I feel the need for booze less, lately. I'm still miserable as all fuck and I hate everything I see in Minneapolis, but I've been drinking less.
    But then, that's just shit that worked for me, not saying it'll work for you but I can't see where taking that internship wouldn't be a step in a positive direction.


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