22nd Feb2005

Keane – Can’t Stop Now

by Will

Keane – Hopes And Fears

Can´t Stop Now

“I noticed tonight that the world has been turning
While I´ve been stuck here dithering around
Well I know I said I´d wait around till you need me
I have to go, I hate to let you down
But I can´t stop now
I´ve got troubles of my own
Cause I´m short on time
I´m lonely
And I´m too tired to talk

I noticed tonight that the world has been turning
While I´ve been stuck here withering away
Well I know I said I wouldn´t leave you behind
But I have to go, it breaks my heart to say

That I can´t stop now
I´ve got troubles of my own
Cause I´m short on time
I´m lonely
And I´m too tired to talk

No one back home
I´ve got troubles of my own
And I can´t slow down
For no one in town
And I can´t stop now

And I can´t slow down
For no one in town
And I can´t stop now
For no one

The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running
The motion keeps my heart running”

If you got this far, I guess you could say this is my “Dear John” letter to H&M. It’s time. Anyway, this was dedicated to Jessica, who today, became my favorite customer of all time. Even though you’ll never read this, thanks for the Big Red Pep Talk – you don’t know how much I needed it…

06th Feb2005

Will Answers Your Questions!

by Will

WILL ANSWERS I

  • If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one CD, one food, and one tv character with you for three years…. what would they be?

    If I only had one CD, it would have to be “Journey: Greatest Hits”. Laugh if you wish, but this CD has EVERYTHING. Plus, as cheesy as people like to remember Journey, they inspired every major pop/soft star today. Now, you may not exactly like these styles of music, but greats such as Mariah Carey (the Good Mariah, not the hooch Mariah) list them among their top influences.

    Plus, you’ve got any style you want on one disc. For a romantic slow song, you’ve got “Faithfully” or “Open Arms”. For the pensive, brooding song, you’ve got “Send Her My Love.” And the sheer bombast of “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” would motivate me to construct my Raft To Freedom.

    One food? That would have to be Monogolian BBQ from Cornell Dining. There’s a reason it was voted #1 dining hall in the country. Plus, I DID live off of it for an entire year. I ate it everyday, sometimes twice. Ask anyone. It’s how I got my Sophomore 30!

    One TV character? The Adam West Batman. Come on, is there ANYONE more entertaining? This guy was the George W. of Superheroes; just looking at him, you knew he had NO BUSINESS in that role, wearing that suit, but he overacted hard enough that it was SO bad it was good.

    Plus, it’d be hilarious to spend 3 yrs with him, as he kept pulling stuff out of his utility belt, such as Bat-Shark repellant, which would inevitably fail to provide rescue or safety. It’d kind of be like an experiment to see how far a man must fall before he cracks. ‘Cause I get the feeling that, for the 1st yr, he won’t even take off his mask. He’d take off the cape, maybe even the suit. But I feel like he’d be stark-ass naked on that island just wearing a cowl, and you can’t PAY for that kind of stranded entertainment.

  • For the sake of posing a more original question:

    Have you ever written any songs of your own?

    -Karlos

“More original question”…I smell a catfight! Anyway, no, I haven’t written any songs of my own. Why? Because that part of my brain doesn’t work. It’s true!

You see, I’m a smart kid. I’m at a place in my life where I can honestly say that. BUT,
don’t get “abstract”. I can think outside of the box, but the creative, like lyrics and poetry, eludes me. You have to hit me in the face with a dead cat to understand poetry.

I get the themes, such as Winter is Death, yadda yadda, but when someone is trying to
convey their feelings, I get lost. That’s why I hate when people are like, “Listen to this
song -the lyrics mean so much to me.” And the song turns out to be “Glycerine” or something, and all I can say is, ‘Wow, I love this song. It’s awesome!” And they respond with, “It’s not awesome; in fact, it made me consider taking my life.” No joke, I’ve been in these situations.

I tried to write songs, but they all ended up as those country-esque “I’m so lonely” songs, and there are really only so many times that it should be legal to rhyme “heart” & apart” or “alone & phone”. Hell, what did people rhyme with “alone” prior to Bell’s nefarious, yet convenient, invention?

I have, however, composed songs. You see, prior to the a cappella, I played piano for 10
yrs. When I started singing, I had to use the piano part of my brain. Now, when i was
playing, I was “classically trained” (am I the only person who hates how pretentious tha
sounds?) , but I only used that to play all of the cliche parlor songs, such as Fur Elise an
Moonlight Sonata. My true passion was New Age. Laugh if you want, but nothing calms
me down like Enya & “Pure Moods”. So, I started composing New Age music. I had a
Music Technology class in high school with synthesizers and stuff, so by graduation, I had a good album’s worth of material. But, get this, the school went under, and they have no idea where my disc is. If that shit resurfaces…

But my New Age claims to fame are “Silver”, named after my mother, and ‘Ellie’s Mirage”, written for my grandmother, who loved to hear me play.

Oh, and I play a MEAN rendition of the Star Trek: Voyager Theme!

06th Feb2005

Why Do These Guys Keep Bothering Me?!

by Will

“I don’t hate the culture; I hate the people…”

There are two types of people I tend to attract in this world: Gay guys and Entrepreneurs. Allow me to explain.

You know those guys, starting their own businesses who try to talk to you on the street? Those guys seem to think I’m some kind of gullible fool. I’ve had them follow me into bathrooms, follow me through Metro cars, approach me at work. Hell, maybe they’re Gay Entrepreneurs now that I think of it! Regardless, they always come at me with the same spiel:

“Hi, my name is ______. I’m currently starting my own business, and I wondered if you might know anyone looking for a position in my company. No? Well, how about you? May I ask if you’re employed, part-time or full-time? And how long have you been there? OK, well, are you in school? Oh, you graduated…and where did you graduate from? (Cornell…they pause.) Wow, OK…that’s a good school….great school…*pauses again*…So, what did you study? So, do you plan to be doing this for long? Well, if you’re interested, I’m not trying to sell you anything or get any money from you. I’d just like to set up a time to talk to you in more detail about what we do. What do we do? “Financial services…”

OK, so, here’s where I suck. 3 out of 5 times, I’ll actually give them the number. WHY? Becuase I work RETAIL and I love a good get rich quick scheme as much as the next guy. But here’s how they blow theur credibility with me:

This exact exchange happened last Monday, from some guy named Olu. Nice enough kid, but he looked like a New Edition reject. Not like he was really going to be going places anytime soon. But I humored him. I noticed he had a friend hanging in the background, waiting for him to complete the “sale”. So, he said he’d call me in a few days. He did, and right after he asked, ‘May I speak to Will?”, I hung up on him. Didn’t say anything. Just hung up. It seemed the right thing to do.

So, the next day, Olu’s friend came into H&M, which is prohibited by the way, under the guise that he was looking for his “brother” in the fitting room. So, after a few seconds of that ruse, he started with the spiel. I humored him, but he disappointed me. He asked where I had gone to school, and I told him Cornell. His response? “What’s that? I never heard of that.” STRIKE!

How am I supposed to think you know ANYTHING business-related and you don’t know what/where Cornell is?!! Yeah, I’m a snob and I know there are non-collegiate success stories (Just check The Apprentice III), but ARRRGGHH!!! And here’s the kicker: He’s from NY! It’s not like he was from Montana or whatever. He should know! I told him it was a school about 5 hours outside of NYC, but he just kinda shrugged. Dealbreaker – Game Over.

So, I ended it there. I asked, “Hey, aren’t you Olu’s friend?” He tried to play dumb. “Who?”

“Olu, black dude. He gave me the same pitch two days ago. Dude, you were WITH him!”.

“I don’t know nobody named Olu. I know a dude named ‘O’.”

“Well, is he Black? Is there a Black dude named ‘O” in your company?”

*pause*…”Yeah….’O’s in my company. But he’s the Silver Spring Office and I’m in Gaithersburg.”

OK, first, these mutherfuckas ain’t GOT no office. That means “O lives in Silver Spring, and he calls from his bedroom.” Also, I don’t do business in Gaithersburg. Anybody out there been to Gaithersburg recently? Oh yeah, nothing but success stories! (S0rry, Christina!)

Anyway, here’s their Kryptonite: just ask them how successful they’ve been with the business. I’ll make a $20 guarantee that they won’t tell you. They’ll give you the runaround and come up with all kinds of excuses, but they’ll never come to you with, “I paid off all my loans in 6 months, and no I’s buying a boat!” They’ll say that they can’t tell you. Or they’ll refer you to their Grand Poobah leader who can give you the information that they cannot. Either way, if they were so successful, I don’t think they’d be recruiting at H&M. Yeah, I know SO much about business, what with all that shit priced at $14.90….

17th Jan2005

Williambrucewest.com “We Don’t Stop Playing…” Tour 2005

by Will

Williambrucewest.com “We Don’t Stop Playing…” Tour 2005

Yes, we’re coming to a town near you, to bring you all the Will West goodness you’ve come to love online. Come meet Will & have a drink with him. The more he drinks, the funnier he becomes (at least, that’s what that hooker told me…)

Anyway, come along the fantastic voyage, ’cause we’ve got some great guests lined up. Some of these guests include Shelly, Tarek, Austin, James, Jenn, Lip, and a whole cavalcade of stars. If you’ve ever wanted to meet any of them, or if you just wanna tell ’em how you’re such a big fan of their work, come on down!

Tentative Schedule

1/25 Website Launch Anniversary Summit, TBA

1/29 Washington, DC Washington DC Comic-Con

2/24 Boston, MA Bones Annual Conference

2/25 Boston, MA Tarek Sultani Memorial Golf Tournament

2/26 Boston, MA Jed Farlow Guitar Workshop

2/27 Boston, MA Where’s Evan?!! Austria?!!!

2/28 Boston, MA Harvard Square Encore Performance XV

4/1 Ithaca, NY Last Call Presents: Last Call SUX, Straight Up X

4/2 Ithaca, NY Last Call Presents: Hungover With The Hangovers

4/3 Ithaca, NY Last Call Presents: We Didn’t Go To Harvard, My Black Ass!

There will also be frequent, private shows in Silver Spring, MD. But you’ve gotta know somebody to get on that list…

More Dates To Be Added

Let me know if you wanna be on the Street Team!

02nd Jan2005

2K5 Resolutions

by Will

“I want that – the feeling a man gets when he gets exactly what he desires.”

-Harold, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

Resolutions 2K5

So, we all make ’em, but this is the first year I’m going to take this whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing seriously. I figured, since I share everything else on this site, I might as well post my list here. Let me know if any of y’all are striving for any of the same things I am.

Financial

1) Pare Down Comics “Pull List”

I have subscriptions to WAY too many comic titles. With each book clocking in at about $3, I spend an avg of $40 a week on comics. Since I don’t go every week, I end up shelling out about $70 each visit, always causing me to experience brief nausea. There is a such thing as “too much of a good thing.” and I think it’s time to cut the list down a bit. I don’t even have time to read all of that stuff. When the next month’s issue comes out, i’ve already forgotten what happened in the previous issue. This will save me a LOT of money in the long run.

2) Maintain Credit Card Balance Below $2500

Yeah, I went a little crazy before I was employed. Lived off credit for about 3 months. This is TOTALLY doable. I just need to watch the spending, and any surplus income goes right to Bank One. Financial advisors say that, to stay afloat, you should keep your card balance below 50% of the limit on the card. You do the math. Anyway, this is a completely attainable goal.

3) Start Repaying Federal Loans

Since I’ve been employed, i’ve begun repaying Cornell its money, but I’ve totally bailed on the Federal portion. They don’t think I’m gainfully employed at the moment, and we’re gonna let them keep on thinking that for the time being. Anyway, by the end of the year, I hope to actually start making those payments, and stop deferring them.

4) Put All Bills In My Name

I want to be financially independent, and in doing so, i want to transfer my expenses into my name. For now, the CC and the phone are in Mommy’s name, even though I’ve been paying the bills for over a yr now. So, in my quest for maturity, I’m going to make myself accountable for my own financial success and/or failure. I haven’t received any sort of monetary help, so I might as well have my name on the stuff.

5) Enter The Stock Market

I’ve been wanting to do this for the past 8 yrs. Davis and the others had stock in the 8th grade! Now, I DID go to a prep school, but I knew then that this was something I needed to understand a bit more. With tarek’s help, hopefully I can break into the market in the next few months. I’ve been doing my homework, and I’ve got a few lucrative investment ideas…

6) BUDGET!!!

I had done this at the middle of ’04 and I’d done such a good job staying on track. I didn’t touch my credit card for 3 months, and I made sensible purchases. Then, all of a sudden. I’m The Donald, spending money like I was growing it in my backyard. So, while I’m not in the red or anything, I just feel that the excess money could be put to such better use. So, I really need to budget and see where all of my money’s going. It’s the smart thing to do.

Professional

7) Serious Job Search

OK, it’s been a wild year, but it’s time to get serious. I have no real future with H&M. I could give ’em another yr or so, but what would that do for either party? It’s time I look for something more “substantial”. Especially since I get the feeling the new sheriffs in town arent gonna be cool with my “West Coast” brand of tomfoolery. Better quit before I get fired. Everyday, I feel like I’m fighting for my job, or narrowly avoiding being set-up. Yes, I’m paranoid, but I feel like something’s going down. I’m better than this. I’m worth more than this. And I think it’s time for a change…

Social

8) Reconnect With Lost Friends

I seriously need to be better with the communication. I need to find Ari, Austin, Christopher, Brenda, Ms. Robbins, and VA. Especially, I need to track down Sergei. He was my host in Russia, and I have never really been the best pen-pal to him. For the past 9 yrs, he has NEVER forgotten my birthday, and ALWAYS calls me. I fondly remember Russia, but I can’t explain why I’ve dropped the ball in that dept. Anyway, all of these people, as well as others, mean a lot to me, and I need to track them down and keep in touch.

9) Be a Better Friend To Those People With Whom I AM In Contact

I need to be more appreciative. I need to be quicker with “thank you” notes. I need to see Brett more. I need to return James & Jenn’s & Jo Anne’s calls more quickly. Get to know Millie better. I need to hang out with the Tysons crew more. Hell, I need to start answering my phone. I need to call Brian and El. I need to hang out with Brock. Gotta stop bailing on Davis in G-town. I want be a great boyfriend to Shelly – this is going to be “Our Year”. And the list goes on AND on AND on. Mainly, I want the important people in my life to know they’re important…

Self-Empowerment

10) Get Driver’s License!!!

Hell, even James beat me in this dept. The time has come. I’ve finished Drivers Ed. I just need to take the actual test. Anyway, I believe this will all be taken care of soon. Stay tuned for a post on the matter

11) Lose 10 lbs, and Maintain that Weight

I can easily do this. My metabolism’s fickle. I just have to go back to my one-meal-a-day-, no snacking, drink more water diet. It’s also known as “eating healthy”. Sure, you should have more than one meal a day. but the catch is i just have one BIG meal. Breakfast is supposed to be the biggest anyway. After that, I eat fruit and whatnot. If I get back to running, and I start working out with Shelly, I can easily shed the pounds. And I’ll be so much hotter than I am now! 😛

12) Learn Russian

Yes, I’ve been trying for about 9 yrs, but now I own every Russian Language Instruction CD known to man. Time to get serious, and actually use that stuff. Plus, how cool will it be to be the weird guy at parties who can speak Russian?!!! Take THAT, all you people who wasted your lives on Spanish and French. Plus, I may be able to use this to get a Foreign Service job or something…I’m great with linguistics, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I just need to dedicate myself to the process.

13) Get Smarter!

Yes, this is vague, but I need to “re-smarten” myself. (Maybe it’d help if I stopped making up words!) H&M’s been great, but Ghetto Sundays, combined with degenerates asking if we have layaway, I feel like I’m a few hrs short of my GED. Not to be a snob, but I was pretty smart in my day. And I shouldn’t be up on my high horse ’cause I’m in the trenches with many of the same people I’m bashing. I just need a breath of fresh knowledge. I feel my thought processes slowing down, and my mind is now consumed with whether or not that chick has taken more than the alotted 10 garments with her into the fitting room. Maybe I’ll get back to reading the dictionary like I used to.

14) Be More Philanthropic

Yeah, this probably should’ve gone under “Financial”, but I felt this was as good a place as any. I need to give to more causes. I spend so much money on shit. Useless, meaningless shit. it’s not making me any happier, so I might as well do some good with the money. I could go back to paying my tithes….well, on second thought. Anyway, I could still give to causes, such as Save the Children or Project Harmony. Even the Black Student Fund. I go way back with all of them. So, more giving in ’05! Look for a post on this soon…

15) Decide on Continued Education

I’ve been tossing around the grad school/law school thing for awhile. By the end of the year, I’ll have a decision. This, I command! I know I need to go back to school for something, but I’m really going to take this yr to narrow down some choices, and to take the steps towards carving out some kind of future for myself. I think I’m taking the LSAT around March, and we’ll see where that takes us.

16) Organize My Life To A T!

I need more order in my life. Sure, everyone loves a sense of “organized chaos”, but what happens when the choas is no longer organized? That’s where I am now. I want everything listed, catalogued, written down. Especially with the Admin job, I need better organization skills. Time to dust off the Palm, visit The Container Store, and buy a new copy of Microsoft Office…

17) Be More Outgoing

I live a lot of my life in a state of…anxiety. I don’t like change and I rarely try new things, such as exotic foods. I really need to work on this, because i realize that I’m missing out on a lot of life. Also, I need to be more outgoing and extroverted because there are a lot interesting people out there. Apparently, there’s always room for friends, so, here’s to being more of a “people person”, and not having to fake it anymore…

18) Apartment Hunting

I love my Mommy to death, as you all know, but I can’t do this much longer. I just need my own place to call home. Something to make me feel like a “responsible adult.” I’ll still probably come around just as much, but at least I’d have a lair of my own, should the need for it arise. Hopefully, with budgeting, and a brand-spanking new job, I can make this dream a reality. But this is probably going to be coser to the end of the year, hence its placement at the end of the list.

So, there it is. Look at it as a “Blueprint for Season 2”. Anyway, I’ll periodically update on my progress, but I’ll probably be too preoccupied thinking of more things to rant about “Alvin & the Chipmunks”…

29th Dec2004

What Should I Do With My Life?

by Will

Today’s Episode: “Where There’s a Will, There Ain’t Apparently A Way…”

So, in terms of occupation, I’m totally wasting my life. I mean, this has been brewing for awhile, but it’s finally catching up to me. I feel like I’m doing nothing worthwhile, professionally.

I need to go back to school. I KNOW this. But for what? I think about law school, but I really just wanna be able to call myself “a lawyer”. I call that my “Star Jones Complex”. I don’t know if I really want to practice law, but I’d like to be able to if I felt in the mood one morning. I think I’d make a good lawyer. You know, the Matlock kind who totally pulls something out of his ass to save the day at the last minute. I’d be a wildcard lawyer. People wouldn’t really come to me unless they needed a miracle. And in my spare time, I’d be a legal consultant to “Inside Edition”. Man, that’d be the life!

Next, I think about grad school. But what would I go for? I’m kinda done with the whole “head games” field. Yeah, Human Dev was fun and all, but it didn’t exactly hone my mutant powers. It’s like going to Xavier’s and, after 15 yrs, still blasting holes in walls everytime you wake up in the morning. I was naturally gifted in reading people. Textbooks didn’t teach me that. Sure, I could spend thousands MORE to become certified in reading people, or I could go out on a limb, and try something new.

I think I’d be great in government. Politics. Seriously. I LOVE some good muckraking, and I make a good “#2”. No, you sickos, I don’t mean “shit”. I mean, I’m a good “man behind the man.” I’d love to be a campaign manager or something one day, but for now, I’d really enjoy being a “cog in the wheel”, as long as I could see that my work was worthwhile and contributing to something important. I’m all about the policy reform. As dumb as it sounds, I’d LOVE to be a Capitol Hill staffer right now. And it’d only be better for you readers, ’cause we’ve all learned how entertaining blogs of Hill staffers can be (google “Washingtonienne”)

In college, people like Jennine used to talk about celebrities, such as Craig David, and lament, “He’s our age.” This was meant as, “Why aren’t we totally celebrities or something?” At the time, I just brushed it off, as “Everything in its time.” But now, I’m starting to feel the same way.

When will my ship come in? Do I even HAVE a ship? Are my reservations in “3rd class steerage” like all those peasants who drowned on the Titanic?!!

It’s hard, ’cause I know pseudo-celebrities. I went to high school with four current NBA players (Jamison Brewer, Roger Mason, Rodney White, and Demarr Johnson). I had Entomology @ Cornell with a lingerie model (http://www.summerrayne.net). I swear, these better not be the 5 people I meet in Heaven, ’cause I am seriously asking for a transfer!

I just wonder, do I have some special talent I’m not exploiting? I feel like my best performance is ahead of me and not behind, but what form will it take? What am I supposed to be doing?

PLEASE someone help me!!! I mean it. Use the “comments” section. Use the guestbook. E-mail. I don’t care. Suggestions, people!

“I’m not a praying man, but…Superman, if you can hear me…”

22nd Dec2004

Quarterlife Crisis

by Will

Today’s Episode: “Dangling Plotlines Revealed”

Everyone seems to have a “Quarterlife Crisis” post, so I figured I’d weigh in. You’re about to learn some things I haven’t really discussed herer before.

So, a year ago today, I had a nervous breakdown. Was it medically diagnosed? No. But I know enough to know what a nervous breakdown entails; I was a psych major. I had all of the symptoms. I wasn’t hospitalized or anything…that came about a month later.

You see, coming back home was the hardest transition I’ve ever had to make. I’ve been to Russia, France, Italy, The Today Show…I’ve been all of these places, but I still wound up back at home. Who’s fault was that? Well, we’ll get to that. The bottom line was that I’d experienced life and seen the world, but when the dust settled, I was back in the same bed, looking at the same War of 1812 wallpaper that I’d grown up within. It’s sort of hard to see where you’re going when you can’t truly convince yourself that you’ve been anywhere.

I didn’t look for work while a senior. That would’ve been the smart thing to do, but I was more interested in grades. I had “majored” in a cappella for the first two yrs, and my grades went to shit. Junior yr, I decided to focus more on school. Part of that was probably because Jennine was a freakin’ braniac, and I felt insecure as “the dumb guy”. Was I dumb? By no means, but I sure wasn’t a shining Cornellian. Nothing like good old envy & competition to remind you how unsatisfied you are…

Since my grades had declined during the first two yrs, my goal was simply to graduate with a 3.0. Not that hard, right? I mean, for all practical purposes, it was a “B”. I was totally an “A” student in high school, so a little more work would do the trick, right? Wrong. Those 4 semesters kicked my ass. Did I improve? Yes, but I focused more on closing Cornell out the right way, rather than investing in life after Cornell.

Did I get my 3.0? No. I got a 2.97. For goodness, sake! a 2.97! I worked like I’d never worked before, but what was I left with? I missed my goal, and I didn’t have a job.

What did I want to do with my life? Well, I think I took the easy approach: I wanted to do something concerning my interests. I loved toys, so….you get the picture. I was gonna work in the toy industry. Yup, just like “Big”. That was going to be my job. Did i ever really think I’d get said job? Not sure. I mean, I’ve pretty much gotten everything I’ve wanted. I’m an only child. We’re spoiled. I had certainly painted an image in my head of pursuing that career, but can I really say I tried?

I need support. I hate it, but I deal on external attention. I feel that I would’ve been great in the toy industry, but no one else seemed to think so. I had NO support. Maybe people felt, “Oh, he’s just chasing a foolish dream.” Either way, no one was in my corner.

I came home, and my family just ignored any goals I had. All I heard was, “You need to work in the federal government!” Day in and day out. That’s all they had known. They couldn’t have survived private industry, so they took the easy road. They wanted to act as if they were all about “job security”, but mainly they wanted me to take the “safe route”. They didn’t really have faith in any of my ideas. I SO wish I was a stronger person, but I can’t say that I am. That truly affected me…

I’d hear my mother talk on the phone. Everyone would call, asking, “What’s William doing? Does he have a job?” I’d hear her launch into this little spiel about, “Well, he wants to work in the toy industry…” but her inflection clearly stated that she was belittling the whole thing. She’s all I’ve had for all of these yrs, and she has no faith in me. That hurt.

All of this kept building, from October to December. Day in and day out. All they did was guilt me that I wasn’t doing more. reminding me that I’d “gone up to Cornell.” I can’t tell you have much that bothered me. It’s not like I really had a choice. I HAD to go to Cornell. Yes, great school, but didn’t know what I’d do with it. It was a blessing and a curse. Insecurity issues…

So, here’s why this is all so bad. Wanna know a secret? Wanna know my biggest fear? My biggest fear is that my mother will die before I’m completely independent. Yes, I’m 22 and it’s sad that I don’t know how to do a lot of things, but acknowledging that is the first step to solving the problem. Anyway, a lot of people may have this fear, but how many of them have a 66 yr old mother? Yes, you can go at anytime, but the older you get, the more likely the odds. I have a mother and two aunts who are all 60+. Let’s face facts: I’m going to be alone one day. We all are. But will that day be soon? If so, I’m not ready.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t LIKE being dependent. I want SO BADLY to be independent. I want to know the experience of driving your own car. Of returning from work to your own, quiet apartment. I want to experience stumbling home at night and not worrying about waking up anybody. I didn’t like where my life was. I was too old for this. I’ve done too much, and lived too much, to go back to this. This was all of the stuff that was boiling inside of me for those long months.

I have been chided and protected from everything, but also at the cost of my own individuality. Who am I? I don’t know. I have been living for other people for SO LONG> There are people who say, “Be your own person, etc”. But it’s not that simple. I can’t just shrug these people off. But they expected SO much of me. It was too much to handle. I only knew who I was expected to be. And I did my best to fulfill that role. What did I want? I think I was bothered by the fact that my father wasn’t here to offer either a pro or con. Were mommy and the aunts pushing me in the right direction? Sometimes, you need to a good “con” to appreciate how good the “pros” are. But there was no one to offer that con.

So, that’s what kicked it off. I miss my dad. How? Not sure. Didn’t really know him. And that’s the point. I don’t know what I got from his side of the family. Is that where the insecurity comes from? Is that why I’m initially shy with people? Since I wasn’t getting what I needed from those around me, I kinda retreated into a “What Would Daddy Do?” mindset. This was bad because I had no clue what Daddy would do. So, I got even more lost. Neglected the approval of the living, I sought the approval of the dead. Sooner or later, it turned into “What would Grandaddy do?” or “what would Pam and Doyle do?” (For the record, they’re my half-sib…or at least, they would’ve been). Anyway, they were all dead. Not the healthiest of circumstances.

After that longwinded rant, I guess I should focus on December 22, 2003. What happened that day? Well, I had hit bottom. And my birthday was coming up, and I was nowhere I wanted my life to be. I guess it’s nobody’s fault but mine. But I was lost and had no direction. So, I just kinda blew up. Exploded. Can’t describe it. I had been volatile for some months, and Mommy felt I needed medication, but at this point is was very Me vs. Them. They all wanted their lives easier, I felt, which is why they wanted me on medication. I kept telling myself, “They are the crazy ones!”

But I just…I want to write about this, but I can’t. Not because I don’t want to share, but it really can’t be written. You truly had to be there. But it was not pretty. And I just kind of went off on Mommy about how I was here because of her. She’d never let me learn to do for myself. I didn’t know how to do a damn thing for myself, and it was only a matter of time before she’d leave me like Daddy did. It destroyed me that i was SO helpless. But I never created that model. I’m a loner. I could’ve and would’ve learned how to get on by myself, had I not been robbed of the chance. I never asked people to do for me, and I’ve never been lazy, expecting them to do for me. But I wasn’t given the chance, so I never learned. The beauty of this whole phase of life was Mommy, who had been the czar, tried to adopt this tough-love, fend for yourself attitude that just didn’t gel. I have lived for her for 22 years, and it seems like it’s all for show sometimes. Yes, she’s proud, but how much of this stuff would I have done if not forced. yeah, I’ve had some great experiences, but I’ve also had some bad. How the fuck was I supposed just up and cold turkey do for myself, when I knew nothing? Yes, many people do this all the time, but it was so unchracteristic for her. As sick as I may have been, I definitely feel it was two-sided. She was neither supportive nor encouraging about the whole sitaution.

So, after the emotional eruption, the likes of which I’d never endured prior, we talked. I mean, really talked. We got to the bottom of a lot of this stuff I’d never shared. And she promised we’d work through all of this. She didn’t know how deeply my fear of abandonment ran. Here’s an example of how bad it is: I don’t let anyone of them call me before noon. Why? Because they’re all late sleepers. Anytime I kept a phone call in the morning, I say to myself, ‘Brace yourself. This is gonna be that call.” It may sound crazy, but you’ve never been me.

During this talk, we made a promise that we were going to change all of this. We’d work through it together and help me come to some new understanding. Well, that was December 22, 2003. But it was FAR from over.

Now, he we are, one yr later. But why do I feel in the same place? Yes, I have great people and things in my life, but why so unfulfilled? Why is this supposed to be so hard? People like to say, “You’ll look back on this and laugh”, but I doubt it. You laugh about the time you farted in church. This, this is not a laughing matter. Has anything improved? Yes, many things. But why don’t I feel as if I’m making ANY progress?

I hope this hasn’t changed the way any of y’all thought about me, but it needed to be said. Don’t get me wrong. I’m much better now, and I love my family to death; don’t think this was an attack at them. It just explains what happened during what I’ve referred to as my “blogging hiatus”. I was gonna give it up. Had nothing to say, and life was going nowhere. One year later, blog’s in pretty good shape. But the rest of me…

Sorry for the downer. Tomorrow, I’ll return to posts about chipmunk death penalties and the joys of Baywatch. You know, the stuff I’m famous for…

28th Oct2004

The One Where Carlton Plays Me In The TV Movie…

by Will

OK, I think I’ve completed the “Race Traitor” blog series…

I am so NOT a race-centered, Black Power kind of person. Anyone can tell you this. My a cappella group members ROUTINELY reminded me “Hey, I’m Blacker than you, Will!” My fucking a cappella group! Can you imagine being punked by an a cappella group? That’s like being an able-bodied, healthy person who loses the Special Olympics! That’s wrong, I know. But I had to get the point across (Love you, Last Call!)

I was the laughing stock of Cornell’s Africana Dept because I wasn’t Black enough. I was “pre-encounter” as they liked to call it.

Well, fuck ’em. I bamboozled them into signing off on my joint major, and for a pre-encounter boy, I sure have a pretty certificate that says otherwise…

I’m Black enough to get away with the jokes, and isn’t that really all that matters? 😛

Anyway, I’m not sure where all those posts came from. I think it was just stuff I always wanted to say, but felt I shouldn’t.

Anyway, I figure it’s time to stop before Ossie Davis and his NAACP pals show up at my door, looking pissed.

‘Cause you know what’ll happen next: They’ll kill me. But wait, there’s more.

Next, they’ll make a movie about it. It’ll be one of those BET Originals. AKA, “Shit not worth the film it’s on, starring Shemar Moore.” I swear, Shemar Moore is a beautiful man. Even I must admit that. He’s like the male Halle Berry. But he couldn’t act his way out of a Taiwanese whorehouse. For some reason, though, he’s the modern day Robert Redford of Black Cinema, which, as I’ve already covered, means nothing. Anyway, I’ve gotten off track.

So, they’ll make a movie about how vile and brainwashed I was to spout such evil about my race. But here’s the kicker. They’ll create some random, non-existent character for Shemar to play. He’ll be from the wrong side of the tracks, where they didn’t celebrate Halloween and he’ll really be into getting shit for free. They’ll paint it like we grew up together or something. I mean, he brings in the female viewership, so he’s a given.

In the meantime, I’ll, of course, be played by an aged Alfonso Ribiero. Yup, Carlton Banks, himself…

But the real turning point of the whole film will be the Snoop cameo. You know, where he and the Wayans Brothers work on the same garbage truck that drives down Ruby Dee’s street. Do I know Ruby Dee? No. Have I ever met her? No. But, it’s in the contract. There’s gotta be a role for Ruby Dee.

OK, I’ve done enough, They say “bad things come in threes” and this marks “Crazy Will’s A Racist” post #3. I really need to stop blogging drunk, and I need new material. Starting to feel like Jeff Foxworthy or something…

23rd Oct2004

H&M Promotion?

by Will

“Westman: Disassembled” – The Saga Continues

Previously on Westman: Our hero had endured the worst week ever, with no manager support and every asshole under the sun deciding they had a bone to pick with a certain H&M employee. Just as he was about to tell the Swedes where they could put their “high fashion and quality at low prices”, Will was made an offer he actually thought about refusing….

So, what did Caroline and Susan offer me? They said that they’d really appreciated the work I’d been doing, and they wondered if I’d be interested in becoming the store administrator.

For the uninitiated, the H&M store administrator is the person who is responsible for managing payroll and budget. He’s more of a manager in terms of his relationship to other sales associates, but not necessarily a manager in terms of customer service and BIG decisions. It’s kind of a weird netherrealm. An H&M Purgatory, if you will.

But, this position would have more responsibility, and of course, more money. So, they seemed really excited about it, and I felt kind of bad that I visibly didn’t share their joy. It’s just that it’d been SUCH a long week, and despite how great it sounded, some motherfucker had, not 10 mins prior, called me an asshole. NO ONE CALLS ME THAT. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t deserve it, but I still wanted to beat his ass.

You see, around this time, I’d come to realize that I was “that guy”. You know the one. Every store you like going to, there’s that ONE sales associate you hate. And you hate him because he thinks he’s big shit ’cause he knows he’s got something you want and gives you a hard time just because he knows he can. Sometimes, this person is referred to as the B.N.I.C. In any case, retail really shouldn’t be this hard. It shouldn’t harden a person nor blacken his soul. Back in the day, when people described me, they’d always say, “Oh, Will’s so nice…” People don’t really say that anymore. And I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. But I certainly notice that the pleasantries have dried up. All I get now is gay guys calling me “sexy”. So, I guess I AM a bitch now. What I world we live in these days, I tell ya!

So, I had come to realize that retail probably wasn’t the place for me. In fact, it ain’t healthy for me. While this whole sojourn into commerce had taught me a lot about myself, I was seriously reaching the end of my rope. In fact, I had really started stocking up on clothes for my “new job”. What job was it? Not a damn clue. Didn’t have one, but I was sure as Hell looking.

So, the ball started rolling on this whole store admin thing VERY quickly. And the quicker it rolled, the more unsure I felt. I mean, I had to stop and remember my initial goal: I never really wanted to work in fashion retail, but I DID want to climb H&M’s corporate ladder. Here it was, my opportunity staring me in the face, and I’m considering bolting. I’ve NEVER been a quitter (though, there are many instances in which that would’ve been a smarter move then staying), and I decided I was gonna stick this out. After, this was a dream deferred that was now coming true. See, Mom? Dreams DO come true! Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus!

As the days rolled on, they kept sweetening the pot. “Hey, Will! You’re gonna be training at Chestnut Street in PHILADELPHIA!!!” and “Hey, Will! You’re gonna be in a pretty sweet hotel for 4 weeks!” or “Hey, Will! Your per diem is gonna be more than your entire freakin’ check!” And, like a sad, gullible bastard, I ate it all up, every fuckin’ morsel. I mean, end of my rope here. I was ready to believe anything.

Let’s take a trip back: Last week marked the one-year anniversary of my return home. It was exactly one yr ago that i packed up and left Ithaca for good. And just let me say that this has been the HARDEST period of my life. I mean, the last 365 days have been pure shit. They say the yr after college is the hardest and that motherfucker wasn’t lying. Horrible. I’ve had more nervous breakdown scares than one person should. I’m too young for this shit. Anyway, I needed a change. I feared I was headed for some kind of relapse or something, and I needed a change of scenery. But this new position, it was my chance. I could stay with the company, work toward my goal of advancement, but also get a new scene on the company dime. I mean, this was everything I could ever want, topped with sprinkles and holograms ( for the record, i LOVE holograms! someone’s got a birthday coming up…). So, this offer of tempting fruit was the beginning of things looking up. I was finally moving up to the East side to get my piece of pie. But as we all know, “fish don’t fry in the kitchen and beans don’t burn on the grill” (not really sure where I was going with that, but bear with me; it’s part of the metaphor…)

When I get excited about something, REALLY excited, something beyond my control thwarts me. Well, let the thwarting begin.

They tell me this evening that, “Hey, there are too many people up at Chestnut Street, so you probably won’t be going up there. Instead, you might be going to Delaware or even maybe Tysons Corner.” You should’ve seen me. My face dropped like Castro off that flight of stairs (Damn, that was funny! Jennine, I wish I could’ve seen your face!). Lahdy-fuckin’ dah! Well, Golly! I’s gonna get to see bootiful picteresque Dely-where? And I REFUSE to go back to Tysons if I have to commute. I hardly read my archives, so I’m not sure if I ever blogged about it, but that was my training store, and for about 2 months, I commuted 2 hrs, EACH WAY every day. I am NOT going through that again. So, I don’t know where that leaves us.

So, here I am, blogging, filled with rage (I always find it funny when a person has to TELL you they’re filled with rage; usually, you can just tell. But since you can’t see me….I’m kinda ranting in parentheses….I think this is one of the signs of insanity….I’d better stop and get out of these parentheses now) Whew, that’s better. So, anyway, I’m here, filled with rage. I’m I’m not even sure where I’m gonna be in 3 weeks.

The worst part is how this is affecting the rest of my life. I mean, I’ve been trying to be a good little worker, and I feel that i’ve been happier and more productive since this whole carrot-dangling began. But now, I’m unpredictable again.

Also, Tarek’s gonna hate me. I’ve been pseudo-avoiding him because i promised I’d come visit him in Boston before the Election (we have a wager on it), and I know I’ve put it off til the very last minute, but I don’t see how I’m gonna make it with all this work stuff up in the air. I seriously don’t know when nor where I’m going, and that prevents me from making any excursions up to MA. I know he’s a big boy, and he’ll understand that it’s work-related, but I was raised to “never make a promise that you can’t keep!” And I truly intended to keep this promise. And I want to visit him, but….So, T, don’t hate me…

Also, I’ve gotta say that it’s not my store nor my managers fucking me over. It’s the damn Area Team. This faceless European triad (well, they’re not faceless, I’ve seen them. And only one of them’s actually European. And there’s actual 5 of them, but “triad” sounds cooler and I’ve only actually met three of them…But I digress.). They go around, with their tight sweaters and pants, looking like JC Penney catalog models, crushing dreams. Well, they’re not gonna crush my dreams! I ain’t no punk. I ain’t going out like that!

So, now you see why it took me so long to finish that story, and as you can see, it ain’t over til it’s over…Stay Tuned

18th Oct2004

Drama of Jupiter?

by Will

OK, even though I posted highlight quotes, I think the quote of the weekend was :

“It’s a travesty that Evan didn’t record ‘Drops of Jupiter’!”

You know, a lot of people come up to me and tell me this. My question is: What do you want me to do about it?

I mean, seriously! That’s like if I went up to someone and said, “You know, your kid’s alright, but he’d probably be cuter if he didn’t have Down Syndrome and all…” I mean, you’re insulting me to my face, and it’s supposed to just roll off of me?!!

What’s this supposed to accomplish? People tell me this like they expect me to agree with them. Well, I DON’T.

This was, like many things in life, a political move. And sacrifices must be made. We, in Last Call, made the decision to make the CD representative of the current group at the time of its release. Evan was gone and Eduardo was gone, hence no tracks by them. Yes, Anthony’s “We Built This City” got on, and I had nothing to do with that. I was told it was because it was done and the money had been spent.

But people act like they expect me to say, “You’re SO right. I’m nowhere near as good as Evan and I’m ashamed to have my voice on there where his should rightly be!”

I’m not gonna say it. Evan was/is great, and we got a TON of mileage off of that song, from the Today Show to the ICCAs, but Evan had also had a solo on a CD. I hadn’t. Surprisingly, that comes into play when discussing potential album tracks. When this was recorded, I had NO IDEA I’d end up with 3 tracks on the CD, but I ain’t complaining. A group is about evolution and change. Simply, it was someone else’s turn.

Did we HAVE to record Drops? No. That wasn’t solely my call. The group decided, and now the very same people are the ones who’re quick to tell me how unworthy I am to be singing the solo.

People forget about politics. HAD we brought back older members to sing their songs, YEAH, Evan would be on Drops, but Eduardo would have been on Keep, and other solos would’ve changed hands as well. So, sorry folks, your loss is other folks’ gain. I’m not the only one who benefitted from the whole thing.

Plus, as I’ve said before, the review board at RARB liked my rendition, so there.

But, if anyone out there is STILL upset that I sang the song and not Evan, and they’re clamoring for their Evan version or their money back, well I’ve got a live track featuring him with your name right on it. Drop me a line and I’ll send it to ya. Maybe then we can all move on….

Man, I’ve gotta stop this drunk blogging…