Monday, June 03, 2013

The Site Has Moved

From now on, everything is here.

Moving Day

So, we’ve now come to the point where I’m finally doing something I should have done years ago: I’m moving this blog to a new website with a dedicated domain name and a WordPress blog platform.

The template you see on this site is the first one I ever used, from the first night I started doing this nearly ten years ago. I went on Blogger, chose a basic setup, dicked around with the HTML, and started writing. I eventually figured out how to create a background, so I chose a JPEG of a hardwood floor that I found on Google images, and left the entire thing alone for nearly a decade. That flooring background’s been gone for a while, right? I don’t know what happened to it. I think I thought it looked like the dance floor at a club.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about getting out and doing some stuff that’s not related to what I do for work, meaning I want to get back into “writing for pleasure”—although, since I’ve done it before, this probably means something more along the lines of “writing to get attention and make money.” That would be cool, and I think I have a lot of that in me—and I’ve always believed I could do this on more than just the cheesy 2006 “job blogger” level.

Sure, if I could have, I would’ve done it by now, but there’s more to it than that. Life’s just been fucking weird over the past several years, and my career branched off in a direction I didn’t think it would, away from the kind of work I really want to be doing. You’ll get no complaints from me, but the direction I’ve gone isn’t exactly what I envisioned when I first went out to lunch with a big time literary agent who told me I had a “great writing career” ahead of me.

I didn’t put in the work I needed to do to get that. I’m aware of that. Things are far from over, however.  

I owe this blog a lot. Believe me when I tell you that it’s responsible for creating an entirely new life for me. The opportunities it’s created have made me a decent amount of money, I’ve met people I never otherwise would have met, and it’s given me a whole new career doing something I never thought would be possible: using my brain to make a living instead of my back.

In focusing solely on my job for the past four or five years, however, I’ve veered away from this part of my life. I’ve been trying to get back into it lately, though, and I’ve started enjoying it again. With that said, if I’m going to get things moving again, I’m also thinking it’s time to upgrade the facilities, too.

To do that, I called my friend Josh (he’s Canadian, so if the new site sucks, he’s used to being blamed for shit) and asked him to create a very basic website for me, using WordPress as the blogging platform. Blogger’s been awesome to me, but I prefer WordPress because there’s more I can do with it. I didn’t want anything crazy in terms of site design—just a really bare-bones black-and-white template that features whatever text I’m putting up that day. It’s pretty empty right now, but the sides—and everything else—will fill in if and when shit starts happening again.

Will anyone care? Who knows? As always, I’m doing this for myself, so even if everyone completely drops off and I’m the only one reading, I’ll still just keep going, because I like doing it.

The new site address is

I’m moving away from the whole “Clublife” deal because it’s probably been about five years since I’ve even set foot in a nightclub—much less bounced at one. Metaphorically, however—and yeah, I know this might be stupid, but fuck it—I’ve never really moved “off the box,” either in my head or in life. I’m still watching, waiting for trouble.

So, from now on, everything’s switching over there. We’ll see how this goes.

Friday, May 31, 2013

This is Why Business Sucks

If you have talent, you work hard, and you expect the people you work with to have talent and work hard, too, you’re bound to be disappointed. Too often, that’s not how professional life works. When you’re good at what you do, your work ethic matches your competence, and you expect your coworkers to hit those same standards, you’re an outlier—and things will suck for you because people will catch on and begin defending themselves against any change in the status quo.

People who suck want to continue to suck. That’s just how it is.

Going into business for yourself—or forming a startup venture with others—doesn’t immunize you against the same suck you’ll find in corporate jobs like the one I’m always bitching about, either. Far from it, in fact. When you come up with a solid concept, and you implement it and start making money, you can expect the following six things to happen:

1.  People who want something for nothing are going to sue you. This is what useless people do, and there’s nothing you can do about it aside from retaining a good lawyer and putting him or her on speed dial. No matter how original your idea is, or how hard you’ve worked to get your business started, there will always be people who want to take it away from you.

2.  No matter what steps you take to protect yourself, people will blatantly copy (steal) your intellectual capital, your business plan, and your methods of doing things. This is because original ideas are impossible to come by for people who don’t have any talent and refuse to put in the work necessary to dig said ideas out of the earth. As soon as you develop something worthwhile, they’ll circle like vultures—and unfortunately, shotguns are strictly forbidden in this genre.

3.  A large percentage of the people you hire, work with, or consult with will eventually develop egos and think they deserve to have their name on the door. The idea of making money for someone else, with no recognition other than your weekly paycheck, has a short shelf life. When people see you succeed, they’ll want that same success for themselves—not as a member of a successful team, but as the actual boss. If they’re looking to go off and hang out their own shingle, wish them luck and buy them a drink—but when they start claiming your original idea as their own, telling others that they were the brains behind the business, that’s where you’ll run into problems.

4.  If you don’t watch them like a hawk, people will attempt to bleed you dry. Most people don’t work nearly as hard as they claim they do. You have to judge the quality of someone’s work by the results they’re getting—and not by the hours they’re putting in. As I’ve said here before, if the first thing someone I’m working with crows about is the number of hours they’re putting in every day, I’m automatically skeptical because I’ll start wondering why it’s taking them so fucking long to produce less work than I’m doing in a quarter of the time.

5.  You will eventually spend 90 percent of your time dealing with other people’s bullshit instead of doing the work required to build and maintain your core business. Sad but true. Once you’ve implemented your idea and built the framework of a solid business, stupid shit takes over, and rather than continuing to do what you’ve been doing, you’ll be busy mediating meaningless disputes between people you likely shouldn’t have involved yourself with in the first place.

6.  You learn that the unemployment rate is so high because a massive percentage of the population simply isn’t worth hiring. True story. We’ve been looking to fill the same two or three positions for months now. These jobs pay fairly well, and they offer a shitload of incentives—along with a lot of freedom. You’d think finding qualified people would be easy, but it’s not, because everyone we’ve interviewed for these jobs has royally sucked. This has applied to everyone from new grads to people who claim to have decades of experience. To a man—and woman—they’ve all been woefully mediocre, which explains a great deal about recent economic statistics.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Like all the other suckers looking for shortcuts, I enthusiastically read Tim Ferriss’s The Four Hour Workweek a few years ago. I was really into it at the time because I was stuck in a shitty corporate job back then, and the book’s whole selling point is the idea that it’s possible to get out of that situation permanently by implementing “lifestyle design” concepts that create income streams that you don’t have to put continuous work into—i.e., you don’t fuck with them, and they don’t fuck with you.

I’m not here to critique this book. I have no problem with it. What Ferriss claims is possible absolutely is possible—even though his book isn’t exactly the blueprint I’ve used for my career, which has taken some interesting turns over the past year or so. Much of what he advocates isn’t really my scene, but it was a fun read—and at the time, it was interesting to see someone game the system (read: the publishing industry) the way he did.

My problem now is with people who use Ferriss’s book as the absolute bible for everything they do. Chief amongst these offenses, at least when I’m dealing with people in business, is the idea of being completely out of touch with everyone in the world until you’re damned good and ready to answer your email or return phone calls.

Because The Four Hour Workweek was so popular, we’re now confronted with thousands upon thousands of thirty-something self-styled “entrepreneurs” who intentionally delay responding to communications for weeks on end—and who tell you they need to schedule fifteen minute phone conversations two weeks in advance.

My advice, for what it’s worth?

If you’re a guy who’s doing this shit, you have to stop. I’m very busy, too. I’ve got a shit-ton going on professionally, I have a shit-ton happening personally, and I’m also trying to get back into writing for something other than work. Although I’ve been addressing cutting all the fat out of my life for productivity purposes lately, my days are still extremely full.

That’s why it’s fucking infuriating when people—I’m talking about guys who want and need to do business shit with me, not people I’m soliciting for stuff—take several days to respond to communications. I especially despise it when they say shit like, “Yeah, I can do a phone meeting. How about a week from Thursday at 8:30 AM?”

Horseshit. You’re not that fucking busy. The President isn’t that fucking busy.

I’m writing about this because I deal with these types every single day, and I’ve actually stopped working with several of them because they’ve pulled this shit. It’s great to be in total control of your own time—and to be able to prevent people from disrupting you when you need to focus—but the flipside of this is that taking excessively long to respond to people is disrespectful, and it’ll piss them off. When you’re dealing with responsible adults who keep regimented schedules and appreciate considerate behavior from their colleagues and business associates, this isn’t the approach you should be taking.

In fact, I just “fired” someone who was running this little game with me. Before I broke it off, I asked him if he’d read The Four Hour Workweek, and he said it was his favorite book. I told him I couldn’t work with someone who took a week to get back to me every time I asked him a question, and I severed the relationship. Now he’s frantic to get my business back.

Tough shit, dick. Show some respect, and we’ll talk.

I’ve often said that I miss the rotary phone era—and the idea that you didn’t know who’d called you during the day until you got home at night and saw a note on the kitchen table or a blinking answering machine. Tablets and smartphones can certainly be invasive if we let them abuse us, and it sucks to be constantly reachable by everyone on the fucking planet. This level of accessibility is wonderful for professional reasons, but personally, I prefer to stay far off the grid until I want to be in touch.

Our reality, however, is that we are reachable. The technology we all own means we’re only a text or email away from whoever needs to communicate with us. Putting yourself as out of touch as some of these guys do is both absurd and offensive, and it makes people not want to work or do business with you.

Do this selectively, or don’t do it at all.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


The first thing I mentioned last week was my plan to black out all social media and to severely curtail my abusive email checking. For a week now, I’ve taken a serious crack at both of these things. My efforts have been partially successful.

The Facebook Situation

This part worked. I signed off for the last time in the middle of last week, and I’ve only been back on once since then—to temporarily deactivate my account. From now on, I’ll only be using Facebook for email purposes. It’s an very effective way to find people if you have no contact information for them—but for me, that’s going to be the extent of my usage.

I don’t miss it, I haven’t needed it, and I’ve recaptured a shitload of lost time by not using it. Deactivation is kind of a symbolic measure, because logging back on is all it takes to reactivate a dormant account, but I’m making a statement—to myself—that I’m no longer going to waste my time getting annoyed by stupid memes, shitty grammar, and dumb announcements from people I used to know in the nightclub business.

Very rewarding, and very productive.

The Gmail Situation

I really suck at this. I’ve definitely cut down a bit on checking my email, but I’m still prone to using my Gmail tab as a default click whenever I take a break from anything. What’s worse, that “inner clock” I wrote about last week is still going off—the one that compels me to move away from whatever I’m doing to check my email because I think something must have come in since the last time I looked.

It keeps happening, and it’s annoying. I can’t use site blockers because I need to use email fairly often for work purposes, but I also need to get things on some kind of hourly schedule. The plan is to keep working on this until I get it right.

The Calendar Situation

This was a very simple fix. Every night before I go to sleep, I fill out my calendar for the entire next day. When I wake up in the morning, I just stick to the schedule I’ve laid out.

This plays to one of my strengths. I can be a lazy, obnoxious piece of shit, and I’ve been known to procrastinate like a motherfucker, but I’ve never been late for anything in my entire life. I’ve operated on a fifteen-minutes-early timeframe since I was a kid. This isn’t something I was taught by anyone, either. I’ve just reasoned out over the years that lateness is the ultimate sign of disrespect for other people, and I refuse to engage in it.

Using a calendar instead of a conventional to-do list has helped me see tasks in terms of time, as opposed to a nebulous list of shit that “eventually” needs to get done. This is about starting things more than it is about finishing them. If you tell me something’s due tomorrow morning, I’ll get it done, but I might wait until four in the morning to start working on it. Tell me I have to start the job today at 7 AM, however, and I’ll be there at 6:45, drinking a cup of coffee and getting ready to go. That’s just how I’ve always been, and the calendar method works well for me.

The Idea Situation

Last week, I came up with an idea that I want to try. It’s a writing project about something I’ve been experiencing lately, and I think it would interest a lot of people. I’d also like to start writing again—about an actual topic, and not just about myself and my attempts to get my shit together.

I know I said I was going to implement this idea this week, but here’s the thing: It’s an idea that’s grown on me, and I don’t want to waste it by just vomiting the thing out on the page. I want to make sure I put some thought into doing it right and making it good—and I also need to talk to a few involved people to make sure it’s cool with them for me to write about this. When everything’s settled in that regard, I’ll get moving on it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I have no idea why this entire fucking blog is now in an italicized courier font.

What a shit show. Sorry.


My girlfriend (we’ll call her “M”) needed to start cleaning out her office last weekend. She’s taking a new job after ten years with the same company—using the same office the entire time—and clearing out a decade’s worth of shit isn’t the easiest thing to do. Unless, of course, you’re accompanied by an irritable, impatient, profusely sweating prick who has no emotional attachment to anything in your office—and who yells at you whenever you take more than three seconds to decide whether to throw something away.

When M finished cleaning off her desk, she went to a utility closet and brought back a product called Dust-Off, which she sprayed on her laptop and desktop keyboards. Dust-Off is a can of air that you shoot at your keyboard through a small straw. It blows all the dried chewing tobacco flakes—sorry, dust—out of all the little crevasses in your keyboard. It’s very effective.

I switched to a MacBook Pro a few months ago, and I’ve been trying to keep this thing in virgin condition. Finding Dust-Off that day was a very exciting thing for me. I watched M spray down her keyboards, and I fantasized about all the nasty shit that would fly out of my MacBook Pro when I applied my own can of Dust-Off, which I vowed to find and purchase as soon as possible.

I could have swiped one from M’s building, but M is paranoid about shit like that. She gave me a hard time when I asked her for a pack of legal pads, so I assumed there must be some angry logistics and supply clerk somewhere in the building who would track the missing can to her and, perhaps, take legal action. I didn’t want to risk M’s illustrious career like that, so I left without my prize.  

A few days later, I went to Office Max to look for Dust-Off. It wasn’t in the cleaning supplies aisle, which I found strange because Dust-Off can be found in that category on the Office Max website. I asked a guy in a red polo shirt what the deal was, and he told me they have to keep Dust-Off locked up because too many people were spraying it up their noses in the store. This happened so frequently that it became store policy to keep Dust-Off off the shelves—despite the fact that it now contains a “bitterent” designed to deter people from huffing it.

This reminds me of something that happened back when this blog was getting shitloads of attention and people were inviting me to parties in Manhattan. I was in a bar with a bunch of people I didn’t know—but who all seemed to know me—when a girl asked me if I’d go outside with her while she smoked a cigarette. She was very pretty, so I went. She smoked, took her last puff, threw the butt on the sidewalk, then said something unusual.

“That cigar store across the street has whippets. You wanna do some?”

No. Thank you, though.

This was kind of like the girl who wrote me and said, without irony, “Hey, I love your blog! You’re an awesome writer! Can you come over and fix the lock on my apartment door?” Maybe this was a ruse and she wanted something else. Probably. I never wrote her back.

There was a time in my life where I knew about all the shit in the supermarket that you could sniff, swallow, and smoke to get yourself high. I never actually did any of it—really, I didn’t—but I grew up with, hung out with, and am related to, people who did shit like that. I preferred to just sit and consistently drink, i.e., while everyone else was wasting time rolling joints and snorting Reddi-Whip at 7-11, I continued to observe my one-drink-every-ten-minutes rule, which meant that no matter how much they all smoked or huffed, I’d still be more polluted than the entire room combined by the end of the night.

That’s kind of still my deal, even though I haven’t had a drink in a while.

But Dust-Off? I had no idea, and I don’t like that I had no idea. I suppose I’ve graduated, life-wise, from knowing what 16-year-olds are shoving up their noses, but it still makes me sad that this was news to me, as though I’ve lost touch with a whole body of knowledge I’d developed and maintained for the first thirty or so years of my life.

That, plus I think it’s fucking pathetic that I have to ask somebody to go in the back and get me my Dust-Off because the general public can’t be trusted with it, but that’s far too easy of a target. Fuck people anyway.