Blog Stalkers

I get 3,000 hits a month on this thing, which is technically a blog, but I like to think of it as more of an open journal that someone might read after I die to find out more about my life.People who keep journals or diaries always fantasize about people reading them after they die, and finding them so much deeper than they ever realized. But what is so great about people liking you after you are dead? What's so noble and deep about that? I'd rather have people like me or hate me right now. It is the freedom of vulnerability that comes from allowing people to read my personal journals while I am still alive.

People I know.

You guys.

The blog stalkers.

I have had an unusually large number of people tell me lately that they "stalk" my blog.

It is a funny thing to confess to someone if you think about it. Why does it feel like a confession at all? Why do people use the word "stalk", which has such negative, Peeping Tom-esque connotations to it? Is it because I write about personal stuff? So much so that people feel like they are doing something kind of sneaky by reading it? Like they just accidentally stumbled into it one day?

I mean, I post this stuff on my Facebook page. I do want people to read it.

Anyway, it's interesting to me that people are actually enjoying this thing. This "Open Book" project of life I am attempting.

I mean - 3,000 hits a month??

What am I doing that people are so drawn to?

Who are the rest of these apparently devoted followers I have somehow accumulated? The ones who will never admit to me that they ever read this thing - the ones who will never make a comment - the ones who prefer to remain nameless - the silent silent fans? Are they here because they got into a habit of checking things online everyday, even though they never really read anything? Or do they actually read it, and think about it, like I do?

This is interesting to me.

What am I doing that seems to be so compelling?

Is it the deep stuff? The goofy stuff? The funny stuff? The controversial stuff? The music? The videos?

All of it?

Is it just me?

Do people just like me for some reason?

If that is the case, then I must wonder - why?


Men's Journal: Survival Skills

Every month, when the new issue of Men's Journal hits my door, I am always excited to read the "Survival Skills" section on the last page. Its a set of fourteen questions that they pose to all different sorts of famous men (usually older men), and it is always interesting. I've always loved man-tips of any kind, funny or otherwise.So, I decided to interview myself with these questions (not that I am an expert on any of these topics):

What's the best advice you've ever received?

I went to a private high school where most kids came from seriously wealthy families, and although we weren't poor, we certainly weren't rich. I had a few girlfriends there and one of them lasted quite a while (for high school standards). One afternoon my Dad and I were talking about the future of the relationship and he said, "Son, rich girls want to stay rich."

What should every man know about money?

It doesn't come alone. On one side of a coin is stress and on the other is worry. Enjoy what you have and don't act like you need more. You don't.

What's your favorite drink?

Vodka tonic. In a good thick glass, not one of those dinky bar glasses that feels like half an eggshell in my hand.

What skill should every man have?

The ability to close an argument. A lot of people just fight and fight never get anywhere. Stick to the point and resolve something.

Do you have a scar that tells a story?

I have a big 5 inch scar on my chest, right down the center of my sternum. It's from a blood clot I had removed when I was in first grade. I was playing on a half-pipe skateboard ramp in someones backyard when I tripped on the coping at the top and did a belly flop onto the slope below. The scar makes a loud hollow sound when I knock on it and I used to tell everyone that I have a steel plate in there. I don't.

What's the best cure for a hangover?

I haven't found anything that works better than sleeping late in a dark room with a box fan on high and Cat Stevens on the speakers. That could mellow anyone out.

What's the best cure for heartache?

Blonde On Blonde. It's not a cure at all, actually. It makes it worse, but better, cause its sooo good.

When is it okay for a man to lie?

When the situation has been taken care of and the truth would only dig up old bones and cause unnecessary pain. As wise friend once told me, "There are some things in a man's life that certain people don't need to know about."

What article of clothing should every man own?

A Patagonia fleece. There is nothing more exciting than the first day of fall when you get to break out the fleece.

What article of clothing should a man never wear?

Sweater vests.

Have you ever cheated death?

Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain was the closest I have ever willingly come to actual, possible death. When a starved, crazed one ton bull with his nuts tied off and a pair of seriously huge horns is running full speed, directly at you, you'll run raster and each stride will land more precisely than ever before. Clear, unimpeded thought happens then.

What piece of gear should every man own?

A decent sleeping bag. It's really all you need to get outside and do something. Other people will have everything else you'll need.

What's the secret to being good in bed?

Metallica. Just kidding, I have no idea.

What should every man do before he dies?

Travel. Get out of your state and your country and see the rest of the people in the world. Quit your job if you have to. Or, like me, get fired. Several times.

What's the best way to win a fight?

I've never been in a serious ass-kicking fight or anything, but my Dad always told me that if I ever did get into one, before we got to really throwing punches, to pop the other dude straight in the nose, as hard as possible. He said it's pretty hard to stand up straight after that. I have a feeling he knows from personal experience.