Josh And Failure Vs. The World: Day 43

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 43

Here’s how I’m failing today: my diet is horrible. I should know better than this. I paid attention in health class. If I keep it up, I will die young – or live to be 105 and piss off all those kale eaters – who knows?

I’ve failed to be at peace with my loneliness – I’ve started meditating again, in the hopes that I could at least accept my emotions instead of trying to fight them. The theory is that if I label my thoughts, gradually, I will see them as just thoughts. And I will come to realize that I do not need to be ruled by them. I can look at the thought of loneliness and say “you’re not going to get me down today! I will triumph over you.” And then, loneliness will say “check out that hottie over there,” and I’ll say “ok you win, you bastard.”

I also failed because I avoided writing another five-minute set. I have a five minute set about how I lost my virginity – but now I want to come up with a five minute set about something other than this. Sooner or later, I’m going to have to sit down and compose this five-minute set. Perhaps by aiming to write twenty minutes – five of which will be worth anything.

So, instead of sitting here whining about it, shouldn’t I just go and write it?

Well, yes. I suppose I should. In the meantime, what else should I say here?

The point of this blog is to point out my failures, because if I can see how I am failing, perhaps it will lead me to the next step – which is to risk even more failure.

So here goes.

A new five minute set.

I suffer from anxiety. So yes, I am Jewish.
I’m not trying to copy Woody Allen or Richard Lewis. Oh, to be Tim Allen!

The only time I don’t worry is when I get a fever and I’m too sick. Somebody asked me if I got a flu shot. I said “are you kidding? I deserve a vacation.”

The greatest moment of my year is the moment when I’m just starting to recover from a cold, so I know I’m not going to die, but I’m still too sick to worry. That’s the closest I get to experiencing a Friday night.

The irony is, in spite of this, I’m terrified of getting sick. If I’m sitting at a coffee shop and somebody coughs near me, the day is ruined.

When somebody coughs near me, I immediately wash my hands – because I’m assuming the airborne cold germs will avoid entering my mouth and nose and go straight for my fingers.

What if Death isn’t the end, and whatever is coming afterwards is worse? Or, even worse than that – what if what’s coming after death is more of the same. What if I die, and I wake up, and a guy says to me “you’re late.” “For what?” “Work.” “I just died.” “What’s your point? These excel spreadsheets aren’t going to fill out themselves.”

I worry about my parents’ health. Watching them get older – it’s like a preview of watching how I will degenerate. It’s like watching the trailer to the movie about how I’m going to fall apart. “In a world with high cholesterol. One man has to start taking that pill.”

“You take this pill, and it lowers your cholesterol, and you can eat whatever you want.”
What are the side effects?
There aren’t any side effects.
Whenever I hear “there aren’t any side effects,” what I really hear is “no one’s been sued over the side effects yet.”

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 42

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 42

Here’s how I failed today:

I didn’t get up at 10 am, jog for five miles, only eat kale, and invent a cheap and clean renewable energy source.

More importantly, I failed to be at peace with my life – I’m terrified that it’s going to take an enormous amount of pain for me to appreciate what I have always had. I wish I could get to that point INSTEAD of having the pain. And instead of dying, I’d like to transform into a being of pure energy and somehow still be eligible for a SAG card.

I’m holding myself back from being in a relationship because I am not ok with myself. So that means it’s time for me to deal with that.

Perhaps that’s what I need to focus on today. I’m going to do my best to relax. (If you need to go somewhere to laugh out loud, I totally get it)

Relaxation – how many of my problems would be solved by relaxation? Fantastic question.

(Idea for a sitcom – a main character name Roz has to learn to relax – the show is called “Roz-laxation” – Clearly Jean Smart would play a supporting role of some kind).

I’m also in a silly mood today, which is no good for anybody – so maybe I’ll just end the blog with this:

GIRAFFE 1: She said she thought I was smug.

GIRAFFE 2: This is why happens when you try to date a zebra.

GIRAFFE 1: I tried to explain to her that I only look smug because I’m so much taller.

GIRAFFE 2: I don’t think that’s it. You come off as smug.

GIRAFFE 1: Really?

GIRAFFE 2: It’s not like you’re a bad person.

GIRAFFE 1: How do I come off as smug?

GIRAFFE 2: Remember when Simba came by and asked how we were doing, and you said “no worse than usual.”

GIRAFFE 1: How is that being smug? I’m depressed. That’s my thing.

GIRAFFE 2: Well, yes, it’s fine to do that with friends, but Simba’s more of a loose acquaintance.

GIRAFFE 1: You do remember that a week ago, he ate my sister.

GIRAFFE 2: Circle of life, buddy. She was sick.

GIRAFFE 1: She was getting better.

GIRAFFE 2: The last thing I want to do is get dragged into a conversation about assisted suicide with you.

GIRAFFE 1: Now who’s being smug.

Josh And Failure Vs. The World: Day 39

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 39

Here’s how I am failing today: I am lonely and I have been lying to myself about it.

The irony is that I love being alone – I can make my own decisions, watch whatever I want to watch, and not be told I am wrong. It’s a paradise. However, there’s also this thing about human beings being communal animals, etc, etc, etc.

I don’t want to date. I hate dating. I hate it. I hate it. I hate the whole concept of it. I hate sitting there having an awkward conversation. I am a chronically depressed and aggravated person. Why must I interrupt that with banal conversation?

Ah, but if I really click with somebody, perhaps I will no longer be depressed? I don’t care how many racing stripes and spoilers you put on a Honda – it’s a Honda at the end of the day. I’m not sure if that’s the right metaphor. Hondas are good cars. I’m more of a Yugo.

I am not a happy person, and sometimes, the last thing I want somebody else to do is try to cheer me up or fix me. Am I saying I choose to be depressed? Well, yes, but it’s not like I’m at home conjuring it. But it seems that when I’m depressed, people around me either get uncomfortable or try to fix me. And neither works. I am what I am.

But back to the whole dating thing – people tell me I need to lower my standards.

What the hell does that even mean? I don’t know how it works with other people, but either I’m attracted to somebody or I am not attracted to somebody. I’m not running them through a 15-point inspection.

Well, I suppose I answered my own question. “Lower your standards” = just date anybody, even if you are not attracted to them.

This notion frustrates me.

Maybe because it means there is no magic in the world of love and romance. It’s like buying a car. You get the best you can, and hope it lasts.

I want to avoid being in a bad relationship – what do I mean by a bad relationship? A relationship where two people are screaming at each other. A relationship where there isn’t mutual affection. So, most relationships.

Am I lying to myself? Deep down, do I truly want to be alone? A wise man once told me that we say we want certain things, and we should pay attention to what we are actually doing. I say I want a relationship, but I seem to be going out of my way to avoid one. So, deep down, perhaps I really don’t want one.

And yet, I am still lonely.

Perhaps both are true at the same time. I am lonely. I don’t want to be in a relationship.

I don’t have the answer.

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 38

Here’s how I failed today- I didn’t enjoy myself.

It’s ultimately not that hard to do this. Just take in all the wonderful things in the world, and be at peace with nature – but I was too busy getting one of those Otter Boxes for my cell phone – it’s a thick cell phone cover that says “hey, world, I’ve given up on not being clumsy.”

The Otter Box may well be this decade’s fanny pack.

I don’t know why the phone doesn’t automatically come with this case -these phones seem really fragile- oh, wait – of course, that’s because they are fragile, and the more people drop and break them, the more they have to buy them. The man who has an Otter Box is the man who thinks waiting until 50 for the colonoscopy is the move of a daredevil.

I’ve lost the ability to have fun lately- even the things I enjoy – writing, first and foremost, doesn’t seem fun anymore. Perhaps I’m back in depression. I think, maybe I am.

The key to depression for me is to act as if I weren’t depressed – that is to say, to take actions I would take if I were not depressed. So even though I feel like absolute crap, I’m going to continue writing.

I keep looking for something in the stand-up – specifically – a moment of epiphany. A moment where I suddenly feel like I know what I am doing and I no longer have to try hard. Perhaps this is an illusion. Or, more realistically, there is always room for improvement, and this will never end – well, all things end in death – or not – perhaps people are still writing jokes after death. Heaven could have it’s own version of MAD magazine.

So my course is clear, I suppose. I have to just keep going. It’s like meditation. The practice is simply to continue.

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 37

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 37

Here’s how I failed lately: I haven’t been keeping up with the blog posts.
I could reframe this to say that I am succeeding at NOT being obsessive about writing this blog, Yes? No. Ok, then.

I’m really struggling to feel motivated to keep going with anything.

And I’m beating myself up over the set I did tonight – why? Because I DIDN’T PLAY TO THE TOP OF MY INTELLIGENCE.

I should know better than this – why do I keep making the same mistakes? I’m very frustrated with myself. Horribly frustrated with myself.

And I also just ate a cookie again, which is terrible, considering I have had bad bowel problems all week.

But to the matter at hand- it’s a battle to feel motivated to keep going. Even writing this blog is a battle. Or am I just losing interest in all of this? Am I on the cusp of giving up a dream, or has the dream simply changed to become something else?

Why am I not playing to the top of my intelligence? Why do I keep settling for work that is less than my best? Why am I not doing what I keep telling everyone else to do, which is to be HONEST?

That’s a terrific question. I just have to keep calling myself out on this until I make the shift –

All I do know is that we have to love each other – and it is only through love that we will triumph over evil.

But remember this about love – it is possible to love all human beings while simultaneously being annoyed and disgusted by them to the point of avoiding them at all costs. I’m pretty sure I’m quoting the Buddha.

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 34

Josh and Failure Vs. The World: Day 34

Here’s how I failed today:

I failed to write a failure blog yesterday – so you could say I succeeded at failing at the failure blog. Because the key is to have a positive attitude.

I also am failing to have a positive attitude. Controlling my feelings has always been the issue – but I spend my days swallowing how I feel.

Why? Because the anger I feel is irrational. And that is my flaw – it was pointed out to me by somebody else, and it is the truth – I get upset, and what I am getting upset over is meaningless.

So that’s why I’m doing stand-up – for once, I get to let myself be upset over nothing. I think that’s why I find myself doing what I’m doing. I have to dare to be honest.

I’m really sad and really lonely. (That’s subtext of 99% of all facebook posts – even the ones posted by Russian Hackers).

In my mind, I see this woman – she is a fantasy woman – created by me – her face changes but the principle is the same – I pretend I am with her. She accepts me for who I am. Which is a petulant and angry person. A spoiled little brat who throws temper tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants. And this fantasy woman is somehow ok with all of that.

Perhaps no person like this exists. Perhaps it’s foolish to wish for such a thing to be so.

I am angry with people who are not bad people. Which means I am really angry with myself. I’m mad at myself because I am not where I want to be. I am mad at myself because I am getting tired and losing hope.

So what am I going to do about this? For once in my life – I’m going to let myself be the three year old I’ve always been in situations where I don’t stand to lose money. Like this blog, for instance.

I get really irritated with people I’ve never met before.

I go to the same Coffee Bean every day. I see other people who go there every day. I hate these people. For no reason other than they remind me of myself – WHY DON’T THESE PEOPLE VARY MY ROUTINES?

My fear is that one of them is going to follow me home and murder me. Why me? Because we live in an Albert Camus world. Aka “The World.” All I ask is to go to a coffee bean, spend as little as possible, stay for as long as possible and write, and have 0% of the people around me bothering me in any conceivable way. Unless the person sitting next to me is an attractive woman who is not too much happier than I am. I want her to initiate a conversation – but I don’t want her to be forceful about it.

But that’s not how the world works. I’m supposed to put effort into dating. I’m supposed to go on dating websites. Get to know people. Go out with people.

“How will you know you like the person unless you go out with them,” my dad says. Because people (including myself) aren’t that difficult to figure out. I know they say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but let’s not pretend that any of us are books. At best, we’re short stories – more like packets.

Now this is the part where I say to myself “I’m wrong about this – people are deep, wide, open pools of love and energy and contain the potential of a thousand thousand suns.” And to that part of myself I say “Then YOU talk to these schmucks.”

Just saw a guy with a tattoo who does not look like a hipster with a tattoo – this looks like a legitimate tattoo situation. By that I mean either he’s killed a man or he worked on the cars of people who have killed.

Sometimes I’ll look at a couple, and I’ll think to myself “they deserve each other.” I’m witnessing karma in it’s full effect. He’s an asshole, she’s an asshole and maybe there is Justice.

Spoilers on Hondas – STOP IT! How dare you doll up the vehicle that screams “I’m CONSIDERING A ROTH IRA!”