…I can do Christmas shopping without all the goddamn Christmas music.

That’s the true value of online shopping. Not sure why nobody admits it. We’re a curious species sometimes. We like to stand on ceremony so much that even at the most stressful, busy, debt-inducing moments of our lives we’ll still throw Paul McCartney’s worst fucking abomination into the mix and put that shit on loop.

I ain’t missing a thing.

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…I’m not required to attend an ugly sweater party.

Or any similar jokey bullshit.

Gotta say, I’m not liking the gradual creep of memetic internet culture into annual tradition. By the time people want to take that shit offline, you know the joke is well past it’s prime.

Fortunately, despite the prevalence of ugly sweater party references in popular media, none of my friends, coworkers, or family have time for it, either. So I’m safe from the ever-growing irony-or-not identity crisis. For now.

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…my Ecosia searches have been stacking up.

I set all my devices to use Ecosia as the default search engine like a year ago and forgot all about it. Now my little tracker says I have about 5,000 searches. Supposedly that’s over 100 trees planted.

I helped plant 100 trees by doing nothing except looking up B movie stars’ biographies and searching for the exact same waffle recipe every Sunday instead of just writing it down.

And you can, too. Just go into your browser settings and change the default search engine to Ecosia. As far as I can tell, it’s legit, and even if it isn’t, it ain’t like fucking Google was gonna do anything nice for you.

Now go be an aggressive douchebag about this to your office the same way I’m gonna be, so everyone else can passively plant trees, too.

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…they’re making new episodes of Awesome Video Games.

After a ten year break, they’re coming back for another season. And some episodes are already available to watch if you chip in a few bucks.

Awesome Video Games is one of the very few Internet shows from the aughties that still holds up. It’s still just as funny now as it was then. Probably because it actually had jokes and characters instead of all that other dumb bullshit people thought was funny at the time.

Like, it’s okay to revisit this one, guys, there aren’t any surprise episodes where the guys “ironically” drop racial slurs. You can watch with your kids if you have any.

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…I decided to start another blog.

Which I admit is probably ill-advised, given my stated goal of trying to find something positive to celebrate each day. I don’t have a great track record with blogs.

It’s not that I can’t generate content. I’ve been running some form of blog since before blogs had a name. I’ve written and deleted more content than many people dare read. Most recently I ended my longest-running project, “Movies or Minutes,” which went from 2013 to 2020.

The problem is I always end up second-guessing, backpedaling, and generally beating myself up well before any actual comments show up to do that for me. And then, crushed into submission by my inner turmoil, I turn to my audience of adoring fans, counting on their support to sustain any momentum that may be left – only to find that I don’t have any, except for that one guy who disagreed with my take on Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell. (It’s shit, by the way.)

And then, panicking that my unanswered screams into the void are the digital identity I yearned for, as opposed to merely a means of visibility to shill my novels, I break down at the realization that all my meaningful struggles will remain #3,456,084 on the Amazon.com all-time bestseller list, but the dumbest, most thoughtless shit I cranked out at 2:00am will more likely one day be the only thing anybody knows me for.

I can’t just be some asshole who peaked when he explained the ending of Anna and then got spammed with fan theories about a movie he didn’t even like.

So I gave up on Movies or Minutes, like I gave up on others in the past. And after making a careful backup for my own personal archives of Writing Hell, I deleted the blog, because as it turns out, I have far too little self-confidence to pretend to be a film critic. I can’t pretend to justify my opinions in the face of actual scholars.

Then I sat around for a good year wondering what to do with myself. And not like the typical “oh gee, 2020 was a tough year, we’re all stuck inside” kind of wondering what to do with myself. More like… more like struggling with crippling medical debt after my first daughter was born without a heartbeat and had to be resuscitated and kept in the NICU for a week, followed by additional debt when my second daughter’s gestation ran into complications requiring ongoing evaluation, followed up by my wife and I having to decide very quickly whether or not we were going to have more kids because she has the BRCA2 mutation and we were on a ticking clock before an ovariectomy was effectively required, followed up by the decision to have a third kid, except two miscarriages later it turned out that wasn’t in the cards, and then the ticking clock started screaming when my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer and reminded us there was that goddamn sword hanging overhead, so we got the surgery scheduled, except then the pandemic started, and the surgery kept getting rescheduled as the bodies stacked up, and the full extent of the procedure wasn’t quite explained, so we didn’t realize it was going to be more like four or maybe even five surgeries, and the recovery ran into some problems so she didn’t heal quite like they hoped, and so even when we did finally have the option to take the kids on a much-needed vacation (purely with vaccinated friends in a remote location with reasonable health restrictions) we had to cancel those plans (twice), and somehow, during that entire time, for reasons I can’t explain, none of my books became bestsellers.

Like, yeah, I know I’m fucking selfish, alright? But all I ever wanted to do was write some goddamn stories and know for sure that at least some people enjoyed them and had a better day because of it. And then all this other stuff had to happen, and I just lost a lot of motivation to do much of anything.

So I decided to start another blog. Because writing something is still something.

Oh god dammit, I fucked up the premise of my blog already.

Um, you’ll never guess guys, but I’m writing a brand new blog! We’re gonna have a great time here. I’ll share some silly stories, maybe a recipe now and again, who knows. I might even take a picture of my cat sitting on my head! That was some kind of viral thing at one point, right?

Listen, let me get back to you tomorrow. I promise this will legit be a place of positivity. Or legitimately an attempt at it. In all seriousness, me making the effort is a good thing. I’ll just try to make a little more effort not to let everything else bubble over.

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