Letters to a Younger Self (Part 1)

I turned 40 years old the other day. It wasn’t cathartic, it wasn’t depressing, and it wasn’t the end of the world. It was just another birthday that just happened to land on a nice round number. But I decided to myself early on that when I turned 40, I would write a series of letters to my younger self to remind myself of my journey, and some of the important things that I wished that I knew earlier…but glad that I know now. Even some things that after 40 years, I’m still not that great at, and I still find myself struggling with from time to time. So here goes (cue Rocky Horror Picture Show – “Time Warp”):


Dear Younger Me,

Hey, buddy. It’s me. Future You. I just wanted to let you know, you’re doing just fine. At the very least, you made it to 40 (and probably beyond…I dunno past that because my Further Future Self hasn’t written me yet. Lazy asshole.). I just wanted to give you a little bit of advice, and maybe set your mind at ease. I mean…no matter what, you’re going to spend the next 30 years (give or take a few years) worrying about it anyway, but couldn’t hurt, right?

Your Looks / Your Height:

Yeah, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you don’t grow to be 6′. In fact you barely grow to be 5’4″. You always had a complex about this shit (yes, when you’re an adult, you can curse, and you obviously do so with gusto). And I’m not going to blame you for that. It took me years to figure out how to be comfortable in my own skin, all while being ostracized for trying to be. It’s going to feel like every time you get a leg up, someone kicks out the other one and laughs in your face. (I won’t lie to you, kid…that shit happened.) You’re going to spend a bunch of the coming years constantly worrying about whether you look good enough. Trying to take this small frame that you’ve been built and trying to turn it into a masterpiece. You’re going to worry about it, stress about it, lose sleep about it, cry over it, get angry over it, blame the world for it, blame genetics… Let me state it plainly for you. You’re going to be an unbearable little shit.

And that’s okay. You weren’t given the tools to live normally in this bizarre society. And you certainly weren’t given a step stool onto the social ladder that everyone else seems to easily climb. But I repeat: You. Are. Fine. It takes you a while, but I assure you that you find your stride. Like most of the physical things you have to deal with…you walk your life in small steps. You weren’t meant to run through quickly and leap over hurdles. No, you were built short, sturdy, and strong. You don’t climb or jump over walls, you plant yourself and ram the damn thing until it crumbles.

Height is concrete, the way that people view it is arbitrary. What that means is that there’s a lot of people out there where that doesn’t matter. All your best friends will be taller than you. Everyone woman who has fallen for you, or that you’ve fallen for, has been taller than you. And yes, don’t worry, you will find people who love you exactly as you are. They may lean down a bit to kiss you or hug you, but just remember that when you sit at a table, or a couch, height doesn’t much matter.

Look people in the eyes more when you talk. You’re a sincere guy, and people will like that about you, but it always shows in your eyes. Don’t shy away from that. Don’t slouch and talk into your chest. Chin up, chest out, and walk like a man. If you can, go see the inside of a gym once in a while, or at least make sure you do your push ups and sit ups. You’re a short guy…you even look at a french fry the wrong way, and you get a double chin. I know, I know…I like ’em too. Just remember though…get in shape for yourself. Not anyone else. You’ll think that you need to get in shape to be attractive for someone else, but I guarantee you that if you think that way, it’ll never stick. Do it because you want to be healthy, or for your self esteem, but never because you want someone to look at you. That isn’t how this works.

But aside from your weight and muscle tone, there isn’t much you can change about how you’re made. So smile. Be funny. For god sake, be proud every once in a while. Don’t be cocky, but know your own worth. Your physical being is the least important part about you, and I guarantee you that nothing you have ever done has been prevented by how tall or skinny you are…and in fact, everything came to you because you are who you are, and look the way you do. And all the kids, teens, and idiot young adults who insult you or treat you as less than you are, I guarantee you that you’ll either literally “show them the door”, or you’ll fly so high above them that their words will never touch you.

Hang in there, kid. You’re a lot stronger than you think.


Your Future Self

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Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Mid Life Isolation: Why They Don’t Have Emo Songs For When You’re 40

Greetings from the Abyss. Pardon me if it stares back. It’s been a while since I posted anything on here. Fortunately for some, and unfortunately for others, I have not died. The thing is…I’m at a crossroads for this blog. I started writing this thing shortly after I broke up with my then fiancee, and needed a creative outlet for these feelings I had. Then, after some time and some spectacularly terrible dates…and some I’d define as only “meetings” since that’s how far it went before shit went south…I decided to write it all down. It’s kind of like when you get into an auto accident and you fill out a report for the police, only the report is laced with snark, and written by a sarcastic cop with a sense of humor. I started writing silly posts about the rules of dating, dating philosophy, do’s and don’ts. Pretty soon, I had a following of wonderful readers, and I think I must have gotten trolled by Reddit a couple of years back when some people put me on their Neckbeard page. (Thanks for the hits, even if you were trying to call me an online creeper.)

And lately, I’ve had a very active life. Lots of different experiences, lots of wonderful amazing adventures, travel…  But the fact is, I kind of stopped looking for this elusive thing called “love”, and generally don’t play the game that modern people have coined “dating” anymore. Maybe it’s because I don’t really fit in into the mold by which we seem to gauge attraction anymore. The so called “game” has changed by leaps and bounds to the point where it’s unrecognizable to someone like me. And not just that, but more and more, while there are a lot of aspects of my life that are progressively getting better and I find that I excel…there are some parts which I’m finding are just left by the wayside.

See…next year I’m facing my big 40. I don’t really give much of a damn. I never really held much stock in that whole “mid life crisis” nonsense. Plus, I have my Asian genetics going for me, which makes me look at least ten years younger than I actually am. So aesthetically, I’m not doing that badly. The thing is though, the older I get where I’m single, the less and less I care, and that is starting to disappoint me.

I used to love meeting people. I loved going out and still do. I used to classify myself as an extrovert. Big voice in a tiny body, fun at parties, great conversationalist, storyteller… I can still be these things, but more and more, I find myself being alone and being okay with it. Maybe not okay, but rather, indifferent. I just don’t care, and that’s what frightens me a little bit. I used to have more passion for this. But more and more, I find myself going to dinner alone, going to movies alone, going to see a show alone…and most of my nights are spent in my apartment by myself. I go days without texts or calls from anyone (except maybe robo-calls or Verizon). Increasingly, I find that a large isolation field seems to be spreading with me as its Ground Zero. And I try to muster some semblance of caring. I should meet someone new! I should reconnect with friends! I feel bad for the friends that I DO have who get these inane texts from me, because somehow it feels like they are tethering me to the world.

And it’s not like I don’t do things. I have theater, I have choir, I have work… I interact with people every day! But there are days where I feel detached, like a dislocated femur. I got to wondering if this was my version of a mid-life crisis. See, every other aspect in my life, if I work hard enough at it, yields greater results. Plugging away at your job, excelling at it, can lead to a promotion. Practicing skills, rehearsing longer, leads to better opportunities, and refinement of your craft. There’s not much you can do with interpersonal interaction except go out there and roll dice. You’re not always rewarded for your hard work. In fact…sometimes, it’s much more beneficial to back off and say fuckall. And it gets worse as you get older.

People look to those of us who have been on this earth longer to have our shit together. Because honestly, at this point and juncture in our lives, we should have a reasonable grasp on things. People are less tolerant of us not knowing what it is that we’re doing. Like if I don’t know how to do my taxes, I call up my mother or my father and ask. Sure, I could go Google that shit, but who has the time to sift through 12 pages of jargon? You ask your parents and they know. If they don’t know, they point you in the direction of the family accountant, or a financial consultant, or the phone number of a friend of a friend who is just really good with numbers and owns a calculator. You don’t GET that with romance, love, or relationships. Going to couples therapy only works if you’re already part of a couple! Most of the time, what you get are platitudes and “it gets better” speeches. Not saying they’re not genuinely concerned, and mean you well…but it’s the equivalent of asking your parents how to do your taxes, and having them say “…have you tried Google?”

There’s a reason why most emo songs are about childhood or teenage angst. Because at my age we need to figure shit out or deal with it. Panic at the Disco doesn’t write songs about the trials and tribulations of their 30’s. Why? Cause no one is that sympathetic about someone who already had the time to figure out life, and just hasn’t done it yet. But more and more, I realize it’s not just me. There are tons of people on Facebook who just kind of look out into this grand abyssal digital chasm and go “All my friends are married and I just microwaved a Hot Pocket and YouTubed cat videos for 3 hours…”

So here I am…about a half year before my 40th. I’ve long passed the angsty teenager in me that contemplated dying on a whim, and far surpassed the point at which I was supposed to be good at this. Now, I’m just “dealing with it.” A lot of this is auto-pilot, if I were to be completely honest. I still do the things that I want to do. I work hard so I can allow myself to be happy in my free time. I just wish I had the same passion to love that I had once. Granted, it’s a fine line between that and desperation, but I never had to check myself to see if I was “settling” for someone until now. I never had to make sure I wasn’t just trying to coast myself into what I imagine what a good relationship should be.

Maybe this is what my mid-life crisis is going to be. I’m not buying an expensive convertible (cause I can’t afford it, the insurance premiums would be off the charts, and it’s not frugal in the least), and I’m not getting Rogaine, or plastic surgery (cause look at me, I’m pretty cute as is). It’s going to be finding someone that truly deserves me and I truly deserve in the midst of a maelstrom of “fuck-its”. It’s going to be rekindling the love I have for connecting.

…so I don’t know what the future of this blog will be. I’m not done writing. Not by a long shot. I have plenty of ideas, and some fun topics on the way. And people are always giving me new inspiration for writing about relationships and the human condition…and as always it’ll be written in my sarcastic, snarky style that some of you have grown to love (and I guess neckbeards have grown to hate?).

Regardless of where I am in life, I’ll continue to post here, until that day where I have no more left to say on anything. Cheers all.  – AB

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Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


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A Scared New World: My First and Only Political Post

I’ve always enjoyed writing as an exercise because it managed to get me out of my own head. Writing something down was an exercise in escape, and also a great way to understand my own mind. And for the most part, when I write something on this blog, most of my writing came right off the cusp and flowed easily. So I wonder what it says about this political process, that I started writing this post before the very first televised debate, and on the morning of the inauguration, I’m only now just able to get my brain cohesive enough to write it. I must have written and deleted thousands of words by now. Some of them may still apply, and some of them don’t, but honestly…never in my recent memory have I been so conflicted about HOW to write something down.

I don’t like writing about politics. Why? Because I don’t spend every waking hour watching the news. I don’t wake up in the morning and read the paper. Being a reasonably logical person, I try not to write something where I’m not sure of my facts. And let’s face it…true actual facts have been rare on either side because there is such a thing as media bias. Not just that, but the majority of people, whether they want to admit it or not, get their news sources from those sources, because it’s readily available. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we make up our mind about a story before that story comes out anyway because we all have social, intellectual, emotional, religious, economical, ethical bias. Nothing wrong with that. It’s the human condition. No matter how much we say that we see things objectively, the perspectives that are usually thrust upon us, are for the most part biased, which then shapes our knowledge of a subject. Politics and history: examples of two subjects that are essentially shaped by the winners.

To introduce my own political affiliation, I’m a “center-leaning” Democrat. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, equal rights for all citizens, support LGBTQ rights, support women, support the arts, for smarter gun control laws, separation of Church and State, freedom of speech, freedom of the press…all that jazz. I also believe in smaller government, less taxes, I shoot guns at a range, I value faith in whatever form that comes in, buying “American”, and strong National safety. I’ll come back to all this towards the end, but for now, know that that’s where I stand.

Having said all that, and knowing where I stand personally…I need to get a few things off my chest, and so I hope you’ll all indulge me in letting me vent this out. I’m going to try to stay off specific views and kind of look at the entire process, and my general problems I see on both sides. This isn’t me trying to be objective. This is me stating what I see, and you’re all entitled to take my perspective and do with it what you will. I’ll try to keep it entertaining.

High Road, Low Road, No Road: During this process, you heard “They go low, we go high” as a sort of rallying cry whenever one campaign would smear the other. This implies a clear moral hierarchy. Let’s be perfectly clear. I dislike President Trump and his politics (or lack of any coherency to them). But the minute that we called him a “Fuck Cheeto with Hair” (I laughed) and called his supporters “a basket of deplorables”…we lost what tenuous grasp we had of the “high ground.” But then again, the Republicans lost the high ground with all this “birther” horse crap with President Obama, and not whole heartedly denouncing the KKK when they burned crosses and threatened his family. BUT THEN AGAIN…we called President George W. Bush the worst President ever, called him an idiot, and just called him “Dubya”, with no regard for the fact that he held the title of President. And we can go on and on and on all the way back to Washington, and I’m pretty sure someone called him a “wig wearin’ nancy boy.” It’s a Chicken or the Egg scenario, and nobody is winning that argument. (No, not even if you invoke the name of God, thank you.)  In this and almost any election in recent memory, there is no such thing as a High Road. There is either THE Road, or NO Road. There’s only Good or Bad or In Between, and those fluctuate based on an individual’s perception. There is no “high road” because…and this is going to sound crazy…BUT WE DISAGREE. Disagreement breeds contention, contention breeds conflict, and conflict breeds violence, violence breeds hate. (Go ahead, make a Dark Side reference…it’ll make you feel better.)

One side isn’t the Devil, and one side isn’t Angel. What it is, is that we are all Human. To treat each other and our candidates like they aren’t, is unfair to them, but more importantly unfair to each other. It does us no good to claim that we take the High Road. Guess what? The minute that we claim that we are taking the High Road out loud, we automatically plummet OFF OF IT. Not just that but neither one of us is winning. And while we’re on the subject…

Reductive Titles / Names And Why We Hate Them: I think that if more people knew my politics, more people would label me a liberal. During the last couple of elections we seem to have gotten into the habit of calling people who believe in God, conservatives. We label liberals as God-less, we label conservatives as Bible huggers. We assume Trump voters are racist and sexist. We assumed Clinton voters were whores and tree huggers. One side wants to take away our guns and surrender to terror, while the other side wants to wear the good ol’ Stars and Stripes and go wipe out a nation that doesn’t have adequate food or water. Red and Blue, North and South, Smart and Elitist vs. Religious and Bigoted. Sigh…

We have GOT to stop this shit. In the beginning of this post, I told you all that I was a “center-leaning” Democrat and then listed some of the things I believe in. That was so I could make the following point. Neither side OWNS any of my beliefs, nor yours. A woman who gets an abortion because she was impregnated by being raped still clings to God in her time of need. A back country farmer can still be against sending his kids to become a soldier in a war that they had no stake in, and welcomes immigrants to work for them at a fair wage. A police officer can truly believe that Black Lives Matter, and minorities can be bigots.  A political party does not OWN our beliefs, and to reduce the entirety of one side to a series of talking points from either candidate does us all a disservice. All of us are MUCH MUCH more than the least of humanity that support either side. And being called the same names as these dregs dehumanizes us, and only strengthens the division between us, and the hatred we have for one another. It legitimizes their anger towards us.

And on the eve of some pretty large inaugural protests, I want as many people to remember that more than ever. Because the way tensions are, this entire things has become entirely too much of an “Us vs. Them” scenario. Especially at some of the larger marches, please keep in mind that all it takes is one person who believes that their side is the ONLY right side to take their actions too far, to spark violence. No matter how peaceful the process, there are always going to be people who believe in degrees. In many ways, “peaceful protest” is somewhat of an oxymoron. A protest, by its nature, is indicative of a group of people with strong beliefs, loudly and assertively voicing their opinions to a side that disagrees in equal or greater measure. It takes so very little to push that in either direction. Even as I write this, I read that an Anti-Trump protest turned ugly when some protesters threw things at law enforcement and Trump supporters as they exited their rally. I remember 8 years ago and again 4 years ago when racial epithets and burning crosses were being carried around on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration. All of these things…because we believe the least of us…represents all of us.

Social Media and the Chamber of Echoes: I love social media. I do. I love how I can contact my friends, see what’s going on in their lives, set up events and meets. I like that we’re capable of it now. I am a huge President Obama supporter, but not just for some of his politics. He was the first President to do the job under the scrutiny of Social Media. I know that it started during George W. Bush’s presidency, but it didn’t really gain its real power until sometime in his second term. President Obama’s election was the first real cycle in which Social Media played a significant role in electing him, and also in his 8 year Presidency. This worked in a lot of ways, but primarily, besides the media, it made those of us who were incredibly removed from the political process, much more involved. It allowed those in power to kind of HAVE to keep us updated on what they were doing, and made them more accountable to us as a whole. Information started to flow faster and faster.

But this created a new problem. Information flowed at such a fast rate, that we sacrificed speed for accuracy. Particularly when it came to the media who started reporting things faster and faster to become the people to “break a story.” Ethics were compromised and information became more biased in order to fill the gaps left from the lack in facts. I think that this may be one of the causes behind the widening political chasm between the far right and Fox News, and Far Left and MSNBC.

Here’s the thing about Social Media. The people there are our friends. We tend to keep in touch more with people who we have more in common with. Call it human nature. So when an election comes around, much of the time, we are surrounded mostly by people who agree with us. This in turn creates a catalytic effect in which your view becomes much more potent and dare I say (I do), more volatile. To stick with a chemical metaphor, when you have a volatile substance, and then you take a similarly volatile substance of the opposite value that has been created in much the same way…well…you all remember Wile E Coyote drinking nitroglycerin. Basically, when you have a strong set of beliefs compounded by other people who share those beliefs, the minute that a contrary opinion comes in, the knee jerk reaction to that contrary opinion is “ATTACK!!!” Defenses are fortified, tensions are heightened, and we are ready for all out war. In reality, all it probably is, is someone simply saying “I don’t really believe the same as you, and that’s okay.” but the way it comes out on the screen is “YOU’RE WRONG! YOU’RE THE DEVIL!! AAAH!!!”

Again…neither side has ownership of this. All of the factors I listed above, I’ve seen both sides guilty of. My nature is, when I see two volatile substances clashing…I just sit in the epicenter where the damage is neutralized. I understand that my beliefs are my beliefs, and those beliefs have their own degree, on its own sliding scale…and it’s okay. It’s why, with the exception of maybe this post, I very rarely talk about politics on social media. Why? Cause I know where I stand and I know where my friends stand. At the moment, the minute that my politics arrive in a Tweet or as a status message, it automatically will compartmentalize me into some kind of box. And bottom line…even if I say something on there, I know who will agree and who will disagree. Preaching to the choir won’t win me anything. But actually supporting what I believe by my actions, my money, or my time…that’s how I’ll be judged, not by my messages. And for those who disagree with me, or that I disagree with…I’ll be there to talk to them on our common ground. Because that’s how things are accomplished.

Okay, look…this is honestly going to be my final thoughts, and then I’m going to return to my regularly schedule programming. Free speech means that those who disagree with you have just as much right to say what they feel as you do. Free press means that the press can write or report things in any matter that they deem fit. As long as the way those rights are exercised doesn’t violate other laws, I honestly could give a damn how you go about it. Someone extolling hate speech isn’t going to change my mind about the people I love, and how something is reported won’t change actual facts, or how I feel about actual events. If you exercise those rights by bombing a building, or writing lies…then yeah, you’re the dregs of humanity that I mentioned. Otherwise, I am going to chalk it up to you and I disagreeing and let that be the end of it.

This process has shown the hypocrisy between what is said and what is done in many aspects. Things like extolling free speech, and then quelling information. Preaching love, but only for people who believe as we do. Stating one thing, but doing the opposite (okay that’s nothing new in politics). Stating that you represent us while proposing laws that do the opposite. We could go on and on. Regardless of anything else…Trump becomes President Trump, but ultimately we determine its course. But for god’s sake, let’s get out from behind these screens to do it. Now that a single party runs the government, it’s up to us to actually fight for what we actually believe in…and that means KNOWING WHAT WE BELIEVE IN. For that we need facts, patience, and each other. And by “each other” I include the people that the political parties have stated are “our enemies.” Start with the things we agree on, and fight (intelligently) against the things that we don’t. Because if we can agree that the way things are going isn’t the right way, that in itself is a small victory. That is not a concession for either side. That is common ground.

It’s a good time to revive an age old tradition of social change through actual action. Get out from behind your monitors and go talk to someone. Anyone. Find common ground. Support what you believe in, by not just signing a digital petition. Go out and do. Talk to people who you respect that don’t agree with you. Fight peaceably, argue with respect, and honor our humanity. Represent the best of us if you truly believe that those who are in power don’t.

Don’t be scared. We got this. Always have. Always will.

Peace, safety, equality…love.


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Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Return of the Badass: Back in Session

Sometime last year, without warning, I decided to take a hiatus from this blog. It wasn’t for any particular reason except for the fact that I simply didn’t have time to coalesce my thoughts into anything coherent. The other major determining factor was the fact that my posts seemed to have started to loop in both theme and quality like some metaphoric Ouroboros, and I wasn’t happy with the quality of drafts that I was producing. In short: there was too much Life happening, and I couldn’t keep up. What’s great about that is the fact that, all of this gives me much more blog fodder. So you can expect (hopefully), some quality posts very shortly.

I think it says a lot that my first post in almost a year is being written at 3 AM. I’ve always been a late night/early morning writer. It’s the artist in me, I think. You know, that deep intrinsic feeling you get when the entire world falls away, and all that’s left is an inner dialogue and a blank screen. Much like any other form of creativity, there’s a certain measure of patience that needs to be given for a Muse to descend. Most of the time, it’s like waiting for that woman you’ve been crushing on to finally return your call. You have to want it, and they need to want you back for it to all manifest itself.

Tonight’s topic: Taking care of yourself.

It’s been 6 years since my big break up, and since then I’ve had dates, rendezvous, meetings, separations…but in the end, I can’t say I’ve had a true romantic relationship since then. At least, none that have lasted. So having essentially been single for the last six years, I find that I’ve started becoming comfortable in it. Not complacent, mind you. Comfortable. I made that distinction in several other posts I’ve made, but I think that it’s an important one. In life, being comfortable denotes the fact that you are satisfied with where you are, but not so attached to staying there. It’s the deep groove in your couch that you nest in, knowing full well that you’re going to have to get out of it eventually.  Complacency, on the other hand, is knowing full well that you have to get out of that spot, but choosing never to do so.  …and that’s just not me.

This past year has been a whirlwind of new experiences from a Life standpoint. I’ve done more in the last two years for myself that I have in the former four. (Things of which will result in blog posts later on.)  And this was never a conscious decision for me. I never woke up one morning and said “Damn…I better get my life together!” To tell the truth, even before, my life was never bad. I have a full time job, and I do that job well enough that the rails are laid out, and I can keep following it.  It isn’t in me to half ass it once I commit to something, whether it be work or love. But I never saw the “benefit” of it. And that’s because I do my job to earn money, not to love it. In fact, loving your job is not a pre-requisite to do your job, and the job doesn’t define my happiness as a person. What a job affords me is money so that I can worry less about everything else, so that I can focus on what DOES make me happy. Hence my hobbies.

In Hamlet, Polonius states “This above all: To thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day; Thou canst not then be false to any man…” Now…I always thought that this meant that Polonius was implying that you had to be true to your own moral compass and that you shouldn’t pretend to be something you aren’t. And I think that many modern thinkers probably consider this to be the interpretation. But considering the nature of Polonius in the play at the point in which he says this line, it’s more likely that when he says “true”, he’s saying to be “honest” with what you want. Essentially, he is stating the virtues of benefitting your own self. Polonius may have been a crotchety prick sometimes, but he was ever the pragmatist.

Doing things that benefit ourselves allows us to be a more honest version of ourselves to others. And by doing and choosing good things for ourselves, we present a better version of ourselves to others. And that’s what the last couple of years have been doing for me. I’ve always been…somewhat slow to mature.  I had the mental capacity, and it’s not like I don’t have a pretty high EQ. But somehow with everything I’ve done, I wasn’t quite sure what direction I was moving in.

What I learned is that it doesn’t matter. Forward. That’s the only direction we can move. We can reflect on what’s behind us, and even revisit, but our paths are laid out in such a way that as long as we don’t stop our feet, the only way we can go is forward. And while my romantic life is a vacuum, what I try to do is maintain a “Yes” mentality to every opportunity that comes my way. Sure…I don’t sleep very much. And no, I don’t have someone by my side at the end of the day. But just like my work doesn’t define me, being single doesn’t either. Everything else does. Took me a little while to realize that, and on occasion I still need a reminder. But I’ve accumulated a lot of steps on my Life Pedometer, and looking back and looking forward, the horizon looks quite fine. So, come on Future, you sexy thang…let’s dance.

Cheers…and it’s nice to be back.  – KC the AB


Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Dating 401: Mending A Broken Heart (Pass The Duct Tape)

Welcome back, students! I’m glad you all look well rested from your time away. Hopefully you haven’t forgotten everything I’ve taught you thus far. If you have, well then have no fear. We do have remedial classes where someone takes my textbooks and beats you over the head with them until you learn by osmosis. Now then…let’s get to a subject that everyone absolutely dreads: Breaking Up.

These days, almost as soon as a relationship is established, it seems like there’s a stamped expiration date somewhere on the package. In most cases, I hear the ticking of the egg timer as soon as people make their relationship “Facebook Official.” And while my social media feed has enough photos of friends with their loved ones and kids, I seem to find myself spending an inordinate amount of time planning outings with the Broken Hearts Club. And everyone has a different way of dealing with their pain. Some are effective, some are ill advised, some are just flat out bad, but honestly to each their own. There’s no correct way to crawl yourself back up to whatever you call normalcy. So let’s take a look at some of our options, shall we? (with my editorial comments, of course.)

The “Eat The Pain Away” Method: Look…I love food. Anyone who has met me even once knows how much I love food. But people tend to spend an awful lot of time and junk food trying to fill a metaphysical hole with tangible physical food. I’m not denouncing that a nice ice cream sundae isn’t going to put you right when you want some comfort, and a blanket and a good book just ain’t cutting it. That doesn’t stop us, of course. We’ll dive head first into a bucket of fried chicken, or a pizza tray of disco fries just so that we can knock our emotional selves into a food coma. I don’t deny its effectiveness. There’s something about being physically sated, that translates into being emotionally fulfilled as well.  But the problem with any temporary crutch is the fact that sooner or later, that feeling goes away…and then the cycle begins anew. Worse yet, these momentary solutions produce diminishing returns. So now, not only are you piecing together the broken bits of your heart, you’re now out of breath from doing it, because you just took the Holy Guacamole Burrito Challenge. (disclaimer: I have no idea if that challenge exists, but if you need reference, just imagine a burrito the size of a sleeping bag.) Like anything else, just use moderation. Food is wonderful, but for a metaphysical gunshot wound, it’s really only a band aid. But, if you’re feeling a little down, and you think a BLT (hold the L & T) will occasionally make you feel better…then what the hell. Do it.

The “Soothe My Soul With Debauchery” Plan: Yes…let’s not take stock of our current well being, and instead let us go and throw ourselves with gusto back into the fray, with the very plan that didn’t work for you the first time. Cheap, meaningless, sneak-away-before-morning sex has its time and place. It’s called college, and/or your early 20’s. See, back then, you were allowed to be a fuck up, because it’s a common assumption that you simply, don’t know any better. There’s a learning curve, and you’re riding it like the Big Kahuna. But at some point, that label “adult” is going to get stamped on you…whether you want it or not. Suddenly acting childish, selfish, and stupid are not qualities to be looked on in amusement, nor do people find it “cute.” So when you go out after a break up and suddenly scream “LET’S GET DRUNK!!” like a frat boy with a desperate need for a self fulfilling prophecy, there’s a very high chance that what broke your heart in the first place is going to happen again. Then again, if all you want is a warm body next to you to forget your current trouble, even if it’s for a night, then by all means do so. Just don’t come complaining to people when you find yourself in another broken relationship, or having the morning after regrets.

“Drugs Are Bad, Mkay?”: Do I really need to tell you why this is a bad idea? Some of the same reasons that eating your problems away, tend to apply here as well: not permanent, metaphysical vs. physical, diminishing returns… The only difference is, THIS SHIT IS BAD FOR YOU. STOP DOING IT! You don’t need it to live. It doesn’t taste good. Oh…also it is KILLING YOU. I’m not talking about weed here, folks. I’m not talking about the nicotine in your cigarettes. I could give a fly’s fuck about caffeine (to which I owe my continued existence).  I’m talking about universally recognized as illegal, and / or what I like to call the “snorting – shove into your veins” variety. Sure. Ok. This stuff is designed to make you forget about your worries. It also makes you forget other things…like where you should go to the bathroom, your own tongue is not food, or that oncoming cars don’t want to play “chicken” with you. Do I really need to keep going? Can we all just agree that this is a bad idea? Great!  NEXT!

Put Down The Emo Songs, Poetry, and Capes: We all need time to grieve when a relationship ends. We do. Take your time. I encourage it. You’re broken and you need to put yourself back together before wanting to be seen out in public again. I get it. And there’s no real set time limit to getting that done. But…having said that, at some point you may want to acknowledge the reality that is at your doorstep. I think a good general rule of thumb is that if your grieving period is longer than your relationship, there’s a very high possibility that you may want to invest in therapy. A 2 week period in which you hook up several times, KINDA talk about dating, then decide to part ways, shouldn’t necessitate a 6 month crying fest, listening to Panic at the Disco, while shoving ice cream into your mouth so that you won’t call them to beg them to take you back.  On the converse side of that is getting out of a long term relationship that has lasted more than a few years. You invested a lot of time into this. You deserve some time off to get yourself right. Having said that, if after several months, you still don’t feel like looking at humanity in the face, and your diet consists of water and half a Triscuit, maybe a little help from your friendly neighborhood shrink is in order.

Look…bottom line: there’s no right way to do this. Some check in their emotional baggage for the long haul, and some people carry a fanny pack and lose it on vacation. But regardless of whether you end up going all “Self Help” with meditation and bettering yourself, or if you end up drinking an entire Balthazar of wine…surround yourself with the people who love you. A good support system is what differentiates a quick healing process from a never ending marathon. Be good to yourself, and realize that if you can’t take care of yourself, then you’re not going to be able to take care of anyone else. Lastly…don’t be afraid to look at your mistakes. Just don’t categorize them as failures. Embrace them. Learn from them…and then don’t fucking do them again!

That’s it. Class dismissed. Regular classes will now resume.  Cheers.

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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Dating Courses


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A Valentine Post: Indifference, Romantic, Cynical…Who’s Right?

Once again we come to the day of lovers, of cynics, of romantics, of jaded, and of the “who cares.”  And every year my FB feed, my Twitter feed, Instagram, my texts, my social media…it all blows up with all sorts of words all tending to go in every single direction.  It’s all so jumbled up that it looks like an argument between the cynical and the romantic: the single and the coupled.  I’m not here to tell you which is right, cause honestly, it’ll blow over by Monday and it’ll be like the aftermath of a Hurricane.  We all come out from our bunkers, survey the damage, shrug our shoulders, and soldier on.  But for now, let me look at the different takes on this day and see if I can’t put it all in perspective.

1) Valentine’s Day is the day for lovers:

That’s wonderful.  And if you have someone and you want to spend your day with them, that’s great!  But what about this day in particular makes it any more special than the rest of the year?  Seriously.  Is there an abundance of love that’s in the air?  Are there minute little romance particles that are super charging your libido?  I mean…I can’t personally see these things, maybe you can.  I have no idea.  But to me it seems like the day is an extra holiday to make sure that you can make up for forgetting some of the others!  Her birthday, your anniversary, Arbor Day…whatever.  But you think that you spend a little money, be a little more thoughtful on this “special day” and it wipes your romantic sins clean.  It’s like a Yom Kippur, for romance.

Spend it how you want to, but honestly, one day will not give you back all the days you decided to be a romantic slacker.  It doesn’t make up for the fact that you don’t show each other every day, it doesn’t make up for the fact that you spend most of your time apart, and when you’re together you both don’t make the effort.  This is the day to PUNCTUATE your love.  You show each other in little ways every day, you fight, you argue, you make up, you build something, and this is just a little footnote in your story. This day is to show that you care just as much as any other day, not to make up for forgetting that you do for the rest of the year.

2) Valentine’s Day is a day made up by the corporations:

Yes.  It is.  Get over it.  If there is anything that the corporations can capitalize on, they will…especially love.  But just because they make their living off of it, doesn’t mean that you should stick it to them by “hating” each other, right?  And your love isn’t dependent upon those soulless corporations anyway, right?  It isn’t gauged by their stocks going up and down, it isn’t discussed in their stock holder’s meetings.  Your relationship is yours, so do what you want with it.  But make sure that you’re both on the same page. Because nothing’s worse than getting to this day and then finding out that your girlfriend expected flowers, and you refuse to cause you’re sticking it to The Man.  If it’s just another day, treat it as such, but do it together.  Nothing worse than waking up to a homemade breakfast in bed and a beautiful card, and you’re sitting there wondering how much time you would need to go run out to the nearest Exxon to buy the last remaining POS flowers.  You might even possibly run to the Hallmark store to buy one of their last remaining cards, which is why you end up repaying their thoughtful gift with a card like: THIS gem.

3) Valentiene’s Day is Single Appreciation Day:

Really?  No, but REALLY?  Do you REALLY appreciate being single?  I know that we all like to think so.  That we are soldiers just looking to find out next love, and that we will find them on this…the holiest of days for romance.  But do we?  Because couples are so in love on this day, and flaunt their romantic riches in our faces, we suddenly feel as though we have two options: DATE OR PERISH! So we go out there, telling ourselves that we aren’t “looking” for anyone special and that all we’re doing is just spending a night out with our bro’s, or our sisters.  We’re just out here to have a good time!  WOO!  But let’s face it, there’s a part of us…even if it’s a small part that just wants to make a bad decision just so we can wake up to a warm body in the morning.  Then we do, and all we want to do is gnaw our own arm off to get away from that person because you realize what you did “FOR LOVE.”

Or there’s the other scenario where you do go out on Valentines, meet someone nice, talk to them, exchange information, and they never call you back.  Suddenly you’re eating a Bloomin’ Onion.  Alone.  With a pint of ice cream on standby.  You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and scream “THIS!  THIS IS WHAT SHAME LOOKS LIKE!!”

Yeah…being single is great.  Let’s all spend this day of lovers appreciating the fact that we still have to go out there to the bars and to the clubs, go on endless first dates, and spend our nights in the shower for 40 minutes trying to get the stench of desperation off of us so that it doesn’t make you the weak link in the herd.  Look…you know what?  Being single is great, but only if you can convince yourself that being single is great.  It can’t be you just telling yourself that this is what you really want.  You actually have to kind of enjoy it.  If you’re great with one night stands, not being in a relationship, if you aren’t really looking for love…then guess what?  Being single on Valentines is fantastic!  But if you are really looking to find the one to spend NEXT Valentines with, on THIS Valentines…please, just stay in.  Eat your feelings for a day and then spend the next one kicking your bitter angry ass at the gym.  Cause it just won’t end well.

4) Valentine’s Day is a holiday for women:

You sure about that, guys?  I mean, let’s look at the facts here.  More sexy lingerie is bought for this holiday than for any other.  It’s one of the only days where, if the holiday is important to them, sex is almost guaranteed.  Who doesn’t love chocolate?  (Besides those allergic, those without a sweet tooth, etc..)  It’s not just women who love ’em.  So you have to buy some flowers.  Maybe you have to go buy a card.  So what, you have to go to that nice restaurant that you wanted to eat at anyway?  It’s a holiday for couples, not just for women.  And men get just as much outta the deal as the ladies.  Let’s not pretend like we don’t.

5) It’s just like any other day:

IS IT!?  No, it isn’t. If this were any other day, then your feed wouldn’t be filled with romantic quotes, and loving status messages to significant others.  It wouldn’t be filled with hearts, and pink, and flowers, and poetry.  It’d be filled with stories about work, pictures of babies, pictures of pets, Candy Crush requests, and events that you have no intention of going to.  You wouldn’t feel more or less love than on any other day.  You wouldn’t feel bitter, or romantic, or cynical, or force indifference on yourself.  It wouldn’t even register!  Hell, I wouldn’t be writing this crap!  It isn’t like any other day.  Because honestly, we all WANT it to mean something.  That there’s just one day out of the year where we’re collectively just like “Can’t we just stop talking about the shitty day we had at work and just be together?”  A day when we can just be thankful for things that we have, even if it’s not the things that we necessarily want?  To celebrate love in ANY form, even if it isn’t the way that we necessarily would have liked?

Look…I get it.  Bitter is bitter.  Look at the title of my blog, for fuck’s sake.  But all I’m saying is that if it truly doesn’t matter what kind of day it is today, wouldn’t it be nice if it were a day full of love?  Any kind of love?  Just a thought.  But fuck it, this is the internet. Haters gonna hate.  But lovers gonna love.  Cheers all.  Happy Valentine’s.


Posted by on February 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


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2015: Insert Obligatory New Years Post Here

Happy New Year!

…no?  Can’t say that I really blame you on that one.  The calendar resets itself and suddenly it’s all about “New Year, New You!”  And reality is, that we’re still the same person that we were a few seconds ago, only a little drunker, a little more smeared lipstick on your face, and possibly another bad decision that you’ll resolve to “never do again” in about 12 hours when you wake up hungover.

Let’s talk about those resolutions.  Some of you out there have crazy will power.  You have the desire to better yourself and you truly believe that the New Year brings hope and wipes the slate completely clean.  That new Kittens and Puppies calendar on your wall is a promise to yourself that you are going to change fundamentally who you are.  You are going to make good decisions, make great life choices.  Good for you.  I applaud that.  But…if you’re anything like me, your track record of keeping those resolutions are mediocre at best.

Cause like I said earlier…you are still the same person.  Nothing has changed about us fundamentally within the span of a good night’s sleep. (Or a drunken unconsciousness…who are we kidding.)  The year, the month, the day…these are just arbitrary numbers.  If you aren’t a person who can follow through on the big stuff, then all you’re doing is promising to yourself to break your promise.  All that really does is reinforce your own bad habits.  So what’s the solution?  Make a REAL promise to yourself, taking into account what we can and WANT to do.

Look…I get it.  We’re about two weeks into the New Year, and I already hear those resolutions creaking from the logistical gymnastics that you are pulling to try and bend your promise without breaking it.  Here’s the thing…the majority of us make resolutions that we can never ever keep.  So instead of having you pull a moral hamstring, or dislocating your spine attempting to bend over backwards to keep these unrealistic expectations of yourself, let me simplify some of the most popular resolutions so that you can actually do them.  That way, your conscience is clear, and you don’t feel like a lazy schmuck when after a terrible day at work, you eat your feelings in the form of ice cream.  In fact, let’s start with the most popular one:

1) Get In Shape (aka. I Will Get Six Pack Abs):

Guys and girls…let’s face facts.  You didn’t have them in your teens, you didn’t have them in your twenties, and now you want them in your thirties and forties.  Or maybe you had them before and you want to eliminate the beer gut so you can get to what you had.  GOD BLESS if you can get ’em.  Seriously.  You are amazing, motivated, and Kings and Queens among us.  I also hate you just a little bit.  Let’s be honest with ourselves for just a hot second.  In 2014, the idea of you running a mile without clutching your chest like an open heart surgeon was the equivalent of you discovering time travel.  Suddenly you go from that to being one of those guys who can shatter boards on you rectus abdominis.  By all means, if you have the ability, BE that person.  Personally, I know myself.  Between working 14 hours a day, doing theater for another 3, with an average daily travel time of 2 hours…well if you’re doing the math at home, boys and girls, you are left with about 5 hours for sleep.  That’s IF you can fall asleep at a pin drop, which I can’t.  Somewhere in there, I need to workout like a Beast so I can be the trim, sexy mothafucka that lurks beneath this exterior.

Yeah…  I’m not lazy.  Ask anyone…except my mother.  I don’t do lazy.  The most I can manage are push ups and some crunches.  I don’t run unless someone is chasing me, and even then it better be with murderous intent, because I would rather fight than run.  I’m not saying I’m a violent person.  I just know my odds of escaping with speed are not as good as holding my ground and stopping the chase before it even begins.  So it behooves me to make a resolution that allows me to do something within the span of what I’m capable.  My advice?  Start by making a concrete numerical goal.  And don’t pull a “Biggest Loser” and claim that you’re going to lose 100 lbs., because that’s not fair to yourself.  Start with a goal that seems attainable…like 5 lbs..  Once you reach your goal, you’re going to find that knowing that you can reach a small goal allows you to chase after a bigger one.  Plus, if you lose 5 lbs., and go beyond that…then everything that comes afterwards is gravy.  Speaking of which:

2) Eating Right (aka. No Bacon For Me. I’ll Have A Kale Smoothie. – Said No One EVER):

This is really just an addendum to the previous, but aside from exercise, the first thing we vow to do in a new year is “eating right.”  That’s wonderful!  And what was stopping you from doing that in November when you were face to face with a turkey the size of a football player’s head?  The year changes over and suddenly all the information about healthy eating came pouring into your head like someone uploaded the program into your head ala the Matrix?  We knew that we shouldn’t eat french fries and should be eating oven baked kale chips.  We know that soda is bad, some carbs are bad, fiber is good, and that there are more vitamins and minerals in veggies and fruits than there are in a double bacon cheeseburger.  The information of what we should be doing is all around us.  Hell…we don’t ask for advice, and there’s about 100 of your friends posting it on Facebook to remind you of all the things you are doing wrong.

I KNOW I need to eat small meals through the day.  I know that simple carbs are the enemy.  I know that fat, while flavor, is also FAT.  And if you have the will power to substitute your breakfast burrito for a kale and spinach smoothie, then god bless.  I wish I had that kind of staying power.  But I know me.  I wake up at 3 or 4 AM every morning, and my stomach is still asleep.  It doesn’t want to eat, and honestly I can’t blame it.  I don’t want to be up, why should I expect my internal organs to do the same?  It wants to eat around 11 in the morning when the sun’s been out for a while and it wakes its lazy ass up and goes “YAWN… What’s for breakfast?”  “Pizza.  Now, SHUT UP!”  Then I work til 6 in the evening, and then some nights I go to rehearsal, or some kind of lesson to better myself.  Within that time frame, I’m supposed to go home and cook a dinner for myself rich and nutrients, whole grains, lean protein, and veggies.  Then it becomes… “Fuck it.  Let me put a taco in my mouth hole” because it saves time.

So…what’s the solution?  How do you promise to yourself to do better and still keep a resolution?  Well…let’s think about this logically.  Let’s say you don’t have time during the weekday to eat healthy or to cook yourself a healthy meal.  What about weekends?  What if you resolve to use one day per week to eat better?  1 out of 7 days.  You wake up after a good night’s sleep, make yourself a smoothie with tons of fruits and some veggies, and snack on almonds and lean deli meat or low fat cheese sticks until dinner.  Then you cook yourself up a meal of chicken, brown rice, and at least 3 veggies.  Maybe if you’re good, you eat a low fat ice cream bar.  Guess what, folks?  You’re teaching your body healthy habits, and replacing one day a week with healthier living.  Not a big step, but a tiny one.  Maybe when you get some more time, you try to do two.  Or if one is good enough, then stick with that.  Sometimes it’s just about the increments.

3) Find Somebody To Love (cue Queen song):

You know me.  I’m bitter about this whole love thing.  I know.  Surprise.  But then again, if I wasn’t, this blog wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining, and these posts would be full of “Happily Ever After” stuff that would have you retching in the nearest trash receptacle.  I have no idea why people keep making this resolution every god damn year.  For fuck’s sake, it isn’t up to YOU.  As if by making this resolution you somehow come to the realization that you haven’t actually been looking for your dream partner this entire time.  That your 10 subscriptions to every large dating site and a few specialty ones were really all a way to spend some of your surplus money, which I know we all have just lying around.  Somehow you had never made this resolution to yourself and therefore the Universe deemed you unworthy of finding your soulmate.  But now that you are really really determined, your One True is going to come falling out of the sky with you to catch them, right?

With this resolution, here’s my advice.  Add the word “TRY” to it.  The most you can attempt to do is to keep an open mind, and TRY to find somebody.  There’s no guarantees for love.  There’s no guarantees that you’ll get along!  All you can do is make the attempt and hope you don’t flame out.  Try dating outside of a strict “type” that you have, or try going a little further out to meet someone.  Don’t adhere to so many of your own rules that you tie a noose around your neck.  Take a chance, especially when what you’ve been doing has not been working!  Remember that the definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing expecting a different result.  And if you don’t find love, at least you made the attempt…which is honestly the best you can hope for, and what have you got to lose?

4) Live Life To The Fullest (aka. – YOLO):

How do you even quantify this?  Are you just supposed to follow every impulse of your id until you’re broke and dead?  You gotta be specific with what qualifies as “living” and how “fullest” should be defined.  That’s almost like making a resolution that says “To be happy.”  Well what the fuck is that!?  Happiness looks very different to a poor college student compared to a middle aged CEO.  Living your life to the fullest might mean paying off your student loans and diviing out of an airplane or it could mean going to Bora Bora with your mistress on the company dime.  This resolution is too general to be useful.  Get specific attainable goals and start there!

Look…a new body, a new job, a new life, a new you…these are all worthy and noble goals.  But 10 minutes ago you watched Ryan Seacrest awkwardly kissing someone, while a veil of confetti fell from the sky on top of a horde of drunken people packed in like sardines.  Nothing has changed except your perception, and unless you got the spine to back up all those big promises you’ve been laying down, all you’re going to be left with is a list of things you’ve backed down from.  While changing big things sounds romantic, very few people have the time or energy to change these things on their own.  Hell, some of the things you don’t even have control over.  I’m not saying to do these things so that you can suck out all the fun…but if you’re dead set on changing yourself, there’s no issue at all with starting small and working gradually.  You still get there, just with stronger groundwork.

As for me, I do what I can when I can.  There are things that I want, and I’ll go after them, but these are things that I don’t get in a single year.  I have to keep working on it…gradually and slowly.  But I’ll get there.

So once again…I say unto you…Happy New Year!  And this time, I mean it.  – AB

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Posted by on January 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


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