Just received a letter from myself from 12 years ago.

In high school Philosophy class, Mr. P, a fantastic teacher, made us write a letter to ourselves in 10 years. I did, but I can recall not wanting to receive it. At the time, there had been so much I wanted to forget. Even though it was part of the assignment, I had not put postage on it, and the assignment had required putting extra postage (who knew what postage rates were going to be in 10 years?) 

That's about all I remembered from the letter. Just that feeling. That this contained sad secrets.

But the secrets weren't things I'd forgotten. They were simply things that had less impact over time. And the memory that I had feelings once about those things wasn't sad or painful.

It was pretty joyous. 

Here it is, in it's entirety, spelling and punctuation intact, but I have tagged it for footnotes. Picture of the letter and footnote commentary following. 

 

Dear Justus Raymond Owen Perry,
      Well, it's been ten years. Ten long motherfuckin' years, huh? What are you doing now? Do you remember what you were doing ten years ago? What was happening when you wrote this letter? Well, lemme refreshy your memory... [1]
      Senior year of high school, you're still living with your parents, you're planning on being a filmmaker, you download mp3's and watch tv a good portion of the day. [2] Socially, you spend most of your time in the Nook at the high school. Some of your best friends are/were: Cassie, Tal, John, Alex, Big Paul, Little Paul, Natasha (Remember her? How's she doing now? Give her a call if you haven't spoken in a while, she's a good friend), [3] Aniket, Thea, Miles, Luke, Amy  and all the others in the Nook? Then there was also Jossie and Jason and Liz, Cora, Alice, Becky, and the girl group? [4]If your ten-year class reunion hasn't happened yet, remember to say hi to them for me, okay?
    Anyways, how're you doing? Are you doing what I thought you were going to do? Are you writing books and making films [4.5] and being a generally cool, happy guy? Did you finish Private Shrines ? How about Die A Little Death?  If you did, good for you! That makes me proud. [5]
     You'd damn well better remember who this is from. [6] If you don't, it's you. You sent this ten years ago, senior year of high school for your philosophy class. When you wrote it you were listening to all 1105 songs in your mp3 collection. I wonder if mp3's will still even be around in 10 years. Heh, I doubt they'll be around in three. [7]  After you finish this, you're going to watch Boston Public on FOX, and then probably play some Crono Trigger (remember that game? If you can, find it and play it, along with Illusion of Gaia, the reason you wanted to name your first son Seth). [8] Do you have kids now? Thinking back to Natasha, did she ever have kids? Did she ask you to be the father like she told you she would? What about Sara from Britain, Bog and Jossie's friend? Did you meet her? Have you been to England? My god man, have you done anything of what you wanted to do? [9] If you answered no, it's just about damn time you did them. I don't give half a fuck what your financial situation is. You only live once (that is, unless they have by this time invented a pill to make that not true). [10]
     Are you still doing comedy? Are you still writing? Are you stuck in a dead-end job? Are you drinking? Are you smoking? If you are, quit. That's right, don't make it for your kids like it was for you. Break the cycle. [11]
    Man, it must be cool to be you. You'll have had all the experiences that I haven't had yet. But I bet this letter feels good too, doesn't it? Thinking back on all your high school days. You miss those, don't you? Life was just a bit simpler then, wasn't it? [12]
    Well, I hope that you've enjoyed this. I wonder if you'll cry. I wonder if you'll tear it up or burn it. Knowing your sorry ass, you'll frame it or some wack shizzat like that. Anyways, keep up the good work, and if it ain't good work yet, you damn well better make it good work. [13]
     Peace
     Justus (age 17)
[Awful squiggly signature and little face I used to draw on everything]

 

 [1] I'm pretty sure that "refreshy your memory" was a typo I thought was charming. I still kind of do.

 [2] Nothing has changed.

[3]  We don't speak as much as we used to, which sucks, but I think of my best friend often.

 [4] I remember each and every one of those people, and fondly for most of them. To me what's telling is who isn't on the list (I can't tell if this is around the time a friend tried to fight me. The fact that I included one name on there, despite how angry I was with them, is also telling.

[4.5]  

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 [5] I am doing those things and being that guy. I act as a job. I live in LA, doing comedy. I did finish Private Shrines , and didn't think of it for many years until my mom (whom I cowrote the story with) was asked if she had anything to submit to a short story collection. My first published short story is going to be in a collection called Impossible Futures, and it can be preordered from Pink Narcissus press. www.pinknarc.com I find it really funny that this letter came roughly a month before it came out. 

I have no idea what Die A Little Death  is, though...

 [6] As soon as I saw the envelope.

[7]  At the time (late 2001/early 2002), I would say that was a fairly extensive collection compared to most people. But yeah, no more mp3's, right guys?

 [8] I don't know why I wanted to remember Boston Public, though I do love some Chi McBride. It really bothers me that I misspell Chrono Trigger (which remains my all-time favorite game). I still want to name a kid Seth, but now I have an awesome friend he can actually be named after. Reminds me that I want to do an all-time best games post...

 [9] I don't have kids, though I am married now and it looms on the horizon. I have been to England though, and loved it. I never met Sara, but I had a weird AOL Instant Messenger crush on her (she sent pictures (not naughty) and was very cute). 

[10]  Sigh, I yolo'd. But thankfully I mocked it even before I needed to.

[11]  I am writing. I am comedying (come-DYING?!). I am driving for Lyft, so dead-end is not far off.  I don't drink very much, and I don't smoke cigarettes. At the time, I hadn't tried pot, and I'll make myself the promise not to ever smoke pot around the kids at least. Should be pretty easy to follow that rule. 

[12]  Yes and no. The letter did feel good to receive, and I do miss some things from high school. All those people (even the ones I was angry with, even the ones I purposely left off the list) were all pretty great. I know I was unhappy at times, but still. I didn't lead a terrible life. It sure as shit was simpler.

[13]  I didn't cry. I didn't tear it up or burn it. I know I was depressed when I wrote this, but none of that depression registered in the letters. And knowing my sorry ass, I really want to frame it or some wack shizzat like that. 

 

This whole things makes me reflect on those years pretty fondly, and the years following it as well. All the people I know that aren't in this letter simply because I hadn't met them yet. All those I will still meet. Reminds me it's gonna be a pretty great existence. Thanks for being a part of it, everyone.

 

Am I An Idiot or an Asshole?

Many times before I get on stage for an improv show, I ask myself that question. This is the story of why I am both of those things. I have had to start and restart telling this story like 8 times now, so maybe I'll just get to the meat of it (no I won't).

First off, and the one thing I'd like to point out immediately, I never touched Lisa. I think she wanted me to at some point, but I didn't and I'm glad I didn't. 

I only had one improv victory in college. As I auditioned for Mission: Improvable, I had one scene where all the other auditioners laughed and clapped really hard, more than anyone else. One girl came up after the audition and said "you are definitely getting in."

I looked her straight in the eye and said "No. I'm definitely not."

I was a shy kid (and remain a shy adult) through much of my school years. I don't recall exactly how I discovered improv (possibly through the repeats of the British version of Whose Line), but I remember early on thinking just how fascinating it was. I remember playing a short-form game in grade school Drama class where two kids would pretend to pick up a hitchhiker and the hitchhiker would have a quirky personality and everyone in the car would take on that personality. And I remember it just being amazing when I entered the car as a Mad-Scientist's-assistant-like character, and I said "keep your eye on the road" and the person driving (Eliza, who deserves credit) pretended to pop out her eye and throw it out the window. HI-LARIOUS. 

I founded my high school improv troupe in my senior year. Most of the kids in my high school knew me as the kid who, on Halloween in Freshman year, had dressed up like a panda and not spoken all day "because pandas can't talk." Comedy was really the only way I knew how to communicate with other people, and my brand of comedy tended to be fairly bizarre. I also assumed (often incorrectly) that people didn't like me because I was weird.

But, needless to say, when I went to college (after taking a year off after high school) I knew ahead of time that I was going to join my local improv club. I attended UMass Amherst, whose short-form team Mission: Improvable was very good for a college team, and some people may know the founders or alumni of the troupe, as many of them have gone on to bigger and better improv things. I hadn't known all that when I applied to the school, and I didn't know that after seeing them the first two times I did. The first time was in a dining hall on campus the night College started. The room was packed and they bombed. It happens, we all know that. Then they opened for Louis Black in my campus' arena. They did one game of pan-left-pan-right. I remember turning to my roommate and saying "this is like watching a suicide." They left immediately after that game, and Louis Black came out and made fun of the audience for a good long time.

This was all within the first 2 months of me being on campus. I was mostly distracted by school and girls to go to the weekly shows that Mission held on campus, and seeing as I had already known that they were awful (I fuck up a lot in this story, so hold on to your hats), I didn't see much point in going. Until I met Cozi Orlen.

Cozi lived a few floors away from me, and I had seen him around. I don't know what it was that prompted him to come up to me one day and ask me "hey, do you want to be in a sketch comedy troupe?", but I have many reasons to be eternally grateful that he did (not least of which because I met my wife through that troupe). 

In addition to feeding my sketch comedy love, Cozi brought me to Open Air, which was the improv troupe anyone could join. Beginners and veterans played together, doing all sorts of fun little theater games. When I joined, it was run by Josh Michel, a person who is very very dear to me. In the same way that I feel makes Bill Chott someone special, Josh truly believed (believes) in improv for everyone. I didn't know the circumstances behind why, and I don't recall them well enough to elaborate now, but he'd already had some kind of falling out with the improvisers on campus. Josh is a great improviser (check him out in ImprovBoston's family show), and helped mold some more great improvisers on campus. He's a strong personality with a distinct point of view (you know, the kind of person you like improvising with). But enough gushing, let's get to the fuckups.

I started going to Mission shows. They're good, smart, funny people, and it became clear pretty quickly that I'd made a mistake not trying out earlier. By this time, the sketch group I was in with Cozi, Don't Make A Scene (a name I loathe to this day) was already getting rolling. We had just taken on a few new members, including some very pretty girls. One of those girls I would end up dating in a few short weeks. The other was Lisa. 

My impression of Lisa was that she was unafraid, but not particularly funny. She was cute and forward, and I was very much a wilting flower. I liked Viv. Viv and I shared interests. And besides, Lisa was already involved with someone, kinda. She told us how she was seeing Steve, one of the members of Mission. Well, not seeing. Sleeping with. But that she wanted to be his girlfriend. Here's where I fuck up.

She asks me "will you help me make Steve jealous so that he'll ask me to be his girlfriend?"

And rather than saying "No, that sounds like a terrible idea" or "why don't you just tell him you like him?" like I KNEW I SHOULD...

To quote Mike Birbiglia, "I know. I'm in the future also."

Here, I want to talk briefly about Steve. Up until this point, I had literally known nothing about Steve other than he was in Mission: Improvable. I had assumed that Steve was a player. That women loved him. He was on the team, how could they not? He was (is) a decently attractive man. He was funny. What's not to like? Sometime later I stumbled upon his deadjournal. (Yeah, that used to be a thing. Oh, the internet.) I didn't read too closely, but there was that feeling of seeing someone's pain in writing that hit so close to home. That he and I shared this thing, but that I could never tell him, because at that point he already hated me.

Now I need to tell you about me.

If you go rooting around in the past on my blog you'll find a post where I talk about how I was NOT raped, but that I know now I experienced a sexual trauma. This was roughly 4 years before the events in our current story. By this time, I have not kissed a girl in a year. The last girl who had kissed me was lightly insane (and is frankly a decent human being I shouldn't be saying bad things about), and I knew I had to break things off with her before we had sex (though I was very tempted, and nearly did). But at this time, I am healing, and moving forward in my sexual life but at what I considered a snails pace. I was in College! And there was a girl taking interest in me, even if in a weird way. It was flattering!

...I said, "okay. What do you want me to do?"

I didn't even really like her, though she was attractive. I liked Viv, who was punk rock and read books and did interesting things. But I wasn't very sure of myself, and even when Viv was giving off all the YES YOU AND ME signals, I was tentative. She was too cool. She couldn't Actually Like Me. (Which is the feeling I had throughout all when we dated, which, trust me, can definitely be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Boys, if you're dating someone, they probably Actually Like You. I hope you learn that the easy way.) 

I don't even really remember what happened with Lisa. I know she had been kinda interested in me, but I know she found out I hadn't had sex in many years and that turned her off from me. I know that things with Steve imploded. I have no idea what she told him we had done. I think all I actually did was sit near her at some comedy shows. Viv and I had already hit it off, and within a few weeks we were dating. She's still cool (though she has made some... odd dating choices. Some of those dudes, yecchhh. But hey, those guys didn't worry about Actual Liking, so good for them.) BUT I DIGRESS.

After that, I noticed a vibe at some of the Mission shows. I quickly didn't feel welcome. I didn't even know what had happened, but I knew it was my fault.

At one of the secret shows I fucked up again (though this one I would do again). The Mission: Improvable regular shows were always Family Friendly: no cursing or lewd stuff. Once a year, they would have a secret show (that wasn't very secret) where they went all-out raunchy. The Aristocrats (the film about the raunchy joke) had just come out that year. I yelled out during the show that they should perform it. (I should point out that the secret show was full of shit like people yelling out, so I wasn't alone in being a bad audience member). My suggestion was quickly dismissed by the whole team... but then Tyler Wolff-Ormes, who now does good improv work in Chicago, pointed me out and called me unoriginal, unfunny, and a whole slew of other shit for about 15 seconds. Pointing. Yelling. Loudly. In front of all the people I called friends. I left with my friend Dave and cried in his car on the way home.

Let me defend Tyler here for a second. Tyler is very funny, and he was defending a (perceived) slight against a friend. He (kind of) got it wrong, but I don't think he did the wrong thing. But boy it sucked. I didn't go to a lot of Mission shows after that. 

I still went to Open Air, and went to IWA (Improv With Attitude) shows (Josh was in that, and I remember telling him after his last show how much he had helped me. After graduation, Josh brought me into the sketch group MOSAIC that I loved every bit of. I owe a lot to him, and that's why he gets two paragraphs of gushing about him). I got dumped by Viv (rightly). I auditioned for Mission. People I knew got in (people who rightly deserved it). I had that one AWESOME audition. I remember looking that girl in the eyes, telling her I wouldn't get in, and then going home and waiting by the phone for my callback until midnight, hoping that I was wrong. It was so disappointing. 

After I left college I didn't do any improv in Boston.

I hated improv. I hated it because it was a funny place I wasn't welcome in.

I kept with Sketch because I loved comedy still. And I did theatre. A student film or two. But no improv that wasn't ad-libbing within a sketch. MOSAIC was a godsend. It always felt like a safe place. The best people in the world worked on MOSAIC. All of those people always made me feel safe to be me, I could gush about all of them, not just Josh Michel (but if any of you are reading this and want me to gush, just send me a message and I'll tell you how great you are.) I will say I was nervous to even write for MOSAIC. The few sketches I did write were pretty well received. I think after the whole thing I was nervous to even create anything...

After leaving Boston for Los Angeles, I knew that having some improv training out here would look good on an acting resume. Cozi was out here and doing it. I joined his team, which became Sweet Dalai Lama. I started classes at UCB. I remembered how enjoyable it was. And after being here for almost two years, it's really helped me again. I just shot a pilot as the lead character, and I've gone on tour with my improv team, with whom we have a weekly show... It's been pretty good to me.

I still get nervous around the people I think of as the cool kids of improv. In real life, I think I have said less then 10 words to Jonny Svarzbein (outside of scenes), but I can tell that he's a nice guy (and I'm happy to just send him requests in Candy Crush Saga). If Gian Molina wasn't my coach and so outgoing, I probably would've just been terrified of him. Bill Chott is fucking awesome because he's got that special thing that reminds you that improv is for everyone, including you.

I still get nervous about going to shows. For the most part, I assume people here don't mind my presence. Hell, you probably don't even notice it. I can be silently, cruelly, painfully shy at times. I'm trying to not allow myself to be. It's because at one point in my life, I fell into a category. One of two. Maybe both. Either way... 

Anyway, thanks for reading. Sometimes my brain... enh, you probably get it. You're the kind of person that accepts a premise and then thinks ahead. Good on you.

Justus Perry

(P.S. I used to see Steve around Boston all the time. I could never look him in the eyes. I didn't know how to tell him I'm sorry. That I had fucked up. Every once in a while I see him post something on facebook to mutual friends. He seems happy, and I hope so. He deserves it. Anyway, I'm sorry for being an asshole. Or an idiot. Or both.)

Breaking and Entering

Grant and Emile's presentation had just wrapped, and the Board of Elders remained silent. Grant smiled nervously. Emile's face showed no emotion at all.

"Is this a joke?" asked Gelden, head of security for Locutt's Bank Interdimensional.

"Ha ha!" Grant responded, before taking a long drink of water. When it was empty, he refilled it and drank again.

"No," Emile responded. "This is not a joke."

"You wish to break into my bank... with my permission?" Gelden laughed at them.

"It is not your bank," Hostario Locutt the 98th replied, speaking for the first time since the meeting began. His sunken, wizened face sported a patchy white beard and gray, cracked lips. His green robes matched his one green eye. The other eye had been removed and replaced with a marble, Grant noticed. 

Gelden looked genuinely distraught at his poor manners. "No sir, of course not." His face pulled back into the suit of armor that he never took off.

Hostario Locutt lifted his left hand and pointed a curled fingernail at Grant. "I could destroy you here... what makes you think you... con men could break into our bank?"

Grant pointed at the fading vision behind him "Did you see the presentation-" 

"No, no, no, NO." Hostario stood up. When Grant had been giving the presentation, he had assumed the old man was infirm, but it was clear now that Locutt was not a wizard of any middling power. He stood at around 7 feet, and though Grant could tell that underneath the wizard's robes he was skinny, he could also see that he was not in any way unstable.

"I was asking you- what makes you think you can break into a bank that no man or demon has been able to step into for 285 years without the permission of one of my family members? What makes you think that, despite nine thousand, seven hundred and sixty-seven attempts to steal from our minimum security vaults with a zero percent success rate... that you two common thugs might find a security loophole?" Locutt stared deep into Grant's eyes. "What makes you different, my boy?"

"Pluck," Emile responded.

Locutt stared blankly at the two of them. "I"m afraid he's said it all," Grant added.

The old wizard returned to the head of the table and sat. He considered the two men for a long moment.

Locutt waved his hand. "You can keep anything you remove from the vaults." 

"SIR-" Gelden started.

"BUT there will be no slacking in the security. If you find yourselves vaporized or undead, I will feel no remorse at all."

Grant smiled large and turned to Emile. "Shall we leave these men to their business then?" Emile nodded, stoically. "Alright then. Good day!" The men gathered their things and headed into the hallway, down the Angel's Flight, past the runestone, through the antechamber and out into the busy street. It wasn't until they were at least 1,000 yards away that they stopped to look at each other.

"So?" Emile said quizzically.

"So now we do as we've promised," Grant said. "It'll be easier with this."

And he opened a palm and revealed a single white beard hair.

Internet I Am - Week 2 Wrap Up!

Sorry this is so late, been trying to get lots of stuff ready for upcoming shows and shoots, and last Friday was my birthday and I was out, so here's this now! The wrap-up!

A short joke. And it was a little cold. So then rug.

I like this one a lot, because I like how angry I get at the camera. It's that angry eye contact that cats make right before they go for the junk. I've seen it on many a pet.

I like the rhythm.
I can't even begin to tell you how pleased I was with myself when I thought of "am can be". I shouldn't be allowed on the internet.

Some of my favorite jokes are just in the youtube flavor text. It's part of why I recommend watching them there.

That's the second week of them. They're dumb and fun. I'm keepin' on keepin on.

Delia wiggled to the end of the diving board. One small bounce, and she was airborne and then wet. She could feel the ripples in the water. She brought herself down to the bottom, and rested. She brought a fin to the tile on the floor, wondering if the ocean was as smooth.

Above, no one paid much mind to her; their initial fascination with her had waned after she was banned from competitive diving. The DLIA government project had been folded for three years at that point, when (in large part thanks to her) it had been decided that there was no need to breed sea mammals for above-the-sea purposes. On her 12th birthday, the government check her adoptive parents received was suddenly gone, and the two happiest figures in her life suddenly found themselves in an unknown position without funds. Diving had helped with that, for a while.

And public education was no picnic. Not because of the kids. The kids didn't care one way or another. They were all weird in their own way, and Delia found that she had at least one or two friends in every class. No, the problem was the desks. Some teachers would let her sit up front, and some had other means of keeping Delia comfortable, but she was never so comfortable as she was in this moment at the bottom of the pool.

She wondered how long she could wait down there before they started to wonder if she was coming back up.

My Summer by Alan Ryan Age 6 and 3/4

My Summer was Long and Hot and my Dad Drowned and i got a Dog.

The Long and Hot part was when we didnt leave the city to go to Lake Kaniwa until august even though we were supposed to go in july but Dads work made him wait to take any extra time off. I played a lot with my friends Because they had to stay in town too because the plant was closing and their parents couldnt go Anywhere but my dad was the plant owner and he got a bunch of money when the plant closed so we could go on vacation. Dad told me we were going to move at the End of the Summer but not to tell anyone but it didnt matter because we are still here and he is Drowned.

The Dad Drowned part was when my Dad Drowned at Lake Kaniwa. I dont know how it happened because I wasnt there but Mom said Dad was Always A Bad Swimmer so it just happens that people Drown sometimes so we probably Shouldnt Look At It Very Hard because then we Just Have More Questions and i guess she is right because i have a lot of questions already and if there are just more waiting then i dont want to ask anything. The Funeral was okay the food was good. Lots of people asked me how i was doing and i said i was ok and they would just make sad noises and one time i laughed when miss grey made a noise like a pigeon.

The Dog part was when i got a dog because of not having a Dad anymore so they gave me a dog. At first i didnt talk to him much and he was kind of sad and that made me want to not talk to him more but then i realized we were both sad and it was kind of fun to be sad together and then he got happy and that was fun. i like my dog his name is Larry because i like the 3 Stooges. Larry is already 25 Pounds which is big for a dog his size.

In conclusion, that was my summer.

Suddenly, A Wild Published Author Credit Appears! (or, That's A Nice Suprise!)

Holy crap I accidentally got published! My mother and I worked on a story together (roughly ten years ago, why did I wait so long to even look at it...), and it's going in an anthology! A printed and published anthology! It's amazing!

Because of that, I'm going to start writing more short fiction, and seeing as I have this place, I might as well use it. SO! Here! Once a week now, I'll write one short thing and put it up. No guarantees of quality, I will give myself a set time-limit, otherwise I'll just keep thinking things aren't perfect yet. That's how my novels always started. Short, to the point, and then out.

Let's do this thing.

I'll have it up later today. Also, starting this week, I'll do a once-a-week Friday wrap-up of all the Internet I Am's, and discuss them on a small level.

Internet I Am - End of Week 1

Here are the last two videos of the week! 

So, at the end of week 1, I've discovered a few things.

  1. I really enjoy doing this.
  2. They're really easy to make.
  3. I have one weird goal for these, which may never come to pass. Part of the goal is that other people don't know about the goal, so you'll forgive me if I don't go into detail.
  4. The ones I like might not be the ones that other people like. My personal favorite went up today, the one above where I have my shirt off. If you haven't watched it yet, please do.

If you haven't figured out the concept behind these yet: I am the roommate of the internet, and I am very strange. Simple concept, simple jokes, watch and move on kind of styles. I'm trying not to overthink them.

Anyway, I'm interested to hear people's thoughts on them. Next Friday is my birthday, and I haven't shot whatever birthday thing I'm going to do yet, but I'm excited for the ideas I've got.

Just confused!

I've got a lot to do today, but suddenly all that has been thrust aside by the fact that my refrigerator has broken. Crap on that. 

Things I need to do this week include more filming for IIA, getting the house clean again (it is currently miserably gross), doing a couple of things for Sweet Dalai Lama, meeting about a promo video, pimping out BLOW CUT more (kickstarter located here!), writing, improv class. There's more stuff, but my brain's just like CRAP FIX THE FRIDGE so I can't even remember it at the moment. 

Keep checking out IIA, keep pimping BLOW CUT for me. Keep it up, everyone.

Creating Content (or, This Again?)

I'm coming back. I've been writing fiction most every day, and I think having a regular update schedule here again would be smart. There's too much to talk about anyway.

But here's a quick rundown of stuff that's happened recently or is happening.

  • Feature I'm in the middle of writing is getting good.
  • Short film with me as the lead starts shooting at the end of the month.
  • Improv team is looking super good.
  • We have our own weekly show.
  • Might be a published author soon, depending on this short story collection.
  • The shorts webseries I'm making myself just launched (JUST launched, see the previous post!)

And Kelly is beautiful and wonderful, and life is beautiful and wonderful, and I'm sure if you're the kind of person who would read this, you're beautiful and wonderful (and I probably miss you). 

Be well!

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

... I'm a man of wealth and taste... woo-woo.

So, I'm not entirely sure what my contributions will be here, but I'm glad to be helping. I mean, I guess I'll probably be writing about my journey through whatever this bizarre post-college-pre-retirement phase is. That's what Justus has been doing, so I suppose my posts will follow suit.

The truth is, Justus and I have a lot in common. We're both recently married twenty-somethings, living in California, and chasing ridiculous dreams. For him, it's acting. For me it's been pro-wrestling and entrepreneurship. 

To most these would sound ridiculous, but to me and Justus... it sounds like what we want. Fortunately for us, we're lucky enough to be married to, and related to, and surrounded by people who support and understand our decision to be ridiculous. A great support system like that is exactly what gets us all through the Hell known as high school... and it will be what gets us through the confusion and constant struggle that is "adulthood".

It is with all this silliness in mind that I will introduce my title, and my true purpose for being here: I am Justus Horatio Perry's unofficial (SO OFFICIAL) life coach. (I'm also his legal council... no idea why he gave me power of attorney.) I will fulfill my duties by posting here with words of encouragement for Justus and everyone else... as well as updating about my own pursuits successful or otherwise... kind of as a way of providing both inspiration and friendly competition/motivation.

Anyhow, this post turned out WAY long and WAY boring. So, congratulations, you read the whole thing. (Probably feels a lot like finishing the last bite of a big, sub-standard pizza. You're full... of disappointment.)

We Love It

I have lived in Los Angeles for over a year now.

I meant to write this post around July 22nd, which was when my actual one-year anniversary of living in Los Angeles was. Kelly and I left for LA on July 7th, a year and a day before our wedding (although it was supposed to be a year exactly). When we finally arrived after the two weeks driving across the country, my first thoughts were "well, LA is just like every other part of the country."

I think I'm right about that.

Los Angeles is simultaneously the most generic and esoteric place I've ever been. It's so large and the neighborhoods change so frequently that you have a small world encapsulated in this city. My best way to explain this is this: most large cities have a Chinatown, which encapsulates a pan-asian marketplace. LA has Chinatown, Koreatown, Thai Town, Little Tokyo, Little Armenia, and those are just the places that I can get to super easily. There's the richest of the rich that live here, and the poorest of the poor. In the area around my home, I have seen both celebrities and a homeless dude with his pants around his ankles (I later saw that same homeless dude having a very pleasant conversation with a latino family; the disconnect in my head was jarring). 

This is why Los Angeles thinks it's the center of the universe. Everything is here.

I bet New York feels the same way about itself, but to me, New York feels like... well, like New York. New York has a personality of it's own, and pride. New York and I don't always get along; I've had almost exclusively annoying or troublesome encounters there. New York just doesn't give a shit about anything but New York. Los Angeles is interested in everything outside of Los Angeles. The people in LA making cool things have a "grab from everything" style. The people making shitty things are trying to appeal to the widest common denominator in America.

New York. I bet you've heard of it.

But despite all it's middle-ground, I really love LA. There's nothing to fall back on; I'm out here doing the thing I love because if I don't I'll be bored to shit. The first little bit of time I was in LA, I was so bored because I was a little frightened to go out and do stuff. It takes me a little while to get used to a place when I make a change like that. But after a little while I just HAD to DO SOMETHING. LA is great for motivating people, because everyday I don't have something to do I'm just like "FUCK I AM BORED". But I've started this horror script (which is what I've been working on these days when I've been sick and not wanting to write a blog post), and I'm really excited about it.

LA makes me want to do exciting things. And it tries it's best to provide, but man... sometimes it fails so hard when it tries that I do exciting things myself.

I love LA.

#Curiouser and #Curiouser...

I was so pumped for the Curiosity rover landing last night, especially because I'd just sat and watched three episodes of Star Trek: TNG. As a young nerd, I somehow managed to avoid all Star Trek, and now that I am older, I am catching up. Next Generation is fantastic.

But watching science actually happen was incredible. 

You tend to forget that it's only been roughly 50 years since we went to the moon. And how incredible it was then. We had a lofty goal, and we reached it. And it's always felt like we got a little complacent after that, like we had won and now it we could rest on our laurels. Well, America, I think it's time to get the hell off of our laurels and start celebrating achievement again.

What we've been celebrating is things like wealth, or fame, because they used to be the result of achievement. Then, at some point, someone figured out how to fuck up how we could measure achievement; a way to game the system. I don't know who, or how, because people have always been able to game the system. The difference for this person is they then figured out how to keep changing the system, and keep getting wealth and fame without actually achieving anything. 

Well, fuckgratulations to you, buddy (or buddies).

But I think the times they are changing. I do see the opportunity for the world to change and to have the hardest working people be the ones getting the glory. The internet has made all voices equal; everyone can be heard shouting at the same volume. What's changed is that people with the best ideas are getting listened to. Of course, this means that those who have crazy ideas also have audiences. But, frankly, genius and insanity have always been study buddies.

Anyway, my point isn't to say "boy, ain't this internet a great thing", it's to celebrate human achievement. So, doff your caps to Bobak Ferdowsi (as he's the most recognizable JPL guy after his mohawk blew up twitter) or any of the other crew who worked on Curiosity. Follow the people whose ideas motivate you. Be a better person through other good people.

Oh, and follow @herobotic on Twitter.