Tuesday, October 30, 2012
So, I don't know, my final impression is that it was a disappointing summer -- even the last Batman movie sucked -- although I did accomplish most of the things I wanted to.
As you may remember I had a little checklist of things I wanted to do during my American summer. Ostensibly these things were to make me feel more adult, competent, and masculine, as well as keep me occupied until the Girlfriend arrived. (But of course that didn't work out.)
So I ended up taking about $1800 worth of gun and practical gun-related self defense classes, as well as maybe a thousand bucks worth of ammo. There are plenty of gun enthusiasts here in the Dirty South, and it was tremendously fun and I met some interesting (albeit pretty right-leaning, politically) people.
But of course, the more you train with other people - we used airsoft guns for practical training - the more you realize that you are just very well advised to avoid gunfights at all costs. A lot of those guys training were cops, or former and future military or people who often go in harms way, so at least they kind of had a reason.
(And of course, as it seems, I won't be living in America anytime soon, so I won't have access to guns anyway.)
I got a concealed carry permit; it was interesting to go to the local county jail to get my fingerprints done - they had a very modern CSI electronic fingerprint setup in the crumbling cruddy local lockup.
Actually carrying a gun around with me was kind of cool and nerve-wracking until I got used to it; then it's just another thing to worry about. (Hmmm, let's see, wallet, phone, keys, handgun ... )
I love this video: "realistically, unless you consort with the criminal underclass, you are unlikely to be the victim of violent crime; you buy drugs, you frequent prostitutes, you hang out at the bar on the wrong side of town, etc."
Hey, don't we all?
On that note, one of the best things I took away from those classes were tips about being more organized. (First hint: always put a particular thing in the same pocket or pouch every time.) One guy who taught one of those classes, daily, carried around with him: 2 guns, 2 spare magazines for the guns, 3 knives, a multi-tool, a lighter, a flashlight, spare batteries for the flashlight, a small survival/first-aid kit, wallet, keys, phone, lockpicks, and a USB memory stick with all his important documents and personal information on them.
And what's more -- he could find whatever he needed instantly. Fuck being a tough guy, THAT'S the guy I want to be -- the guy who can find his stuff.
Cars are sort of my bete noir, and not having one is one of the things I really love about living abroad.
I wanted to learn how to change the oil on a car and do basic maintenance, however, mainly in anticipation of living and working in America; since that's not going to happen my enthusiasm for that project waned anyway, and my mother was extremely hesistant to let me mess around with her car, especially after I backed it into another car, causing an expensive hassle for both of us.
Anyway, fuck cars.
MARTIAL ARTS AT A STRIP MALL:
Also fun, though I had to divide time among so many cities that I only got in a few lessons. I did a mixed program with some emphasis on Escrima stick fighting. Sure they do MMA and modern street combatives, but I kind of missed the old pajama-punching days so we did that too, a look back at the nostalgic days when there was time for tradition, respect, and ceremony in martial arts, and not just rear naked chokes and ground-and-pound.
SURIVIVAL AND FIRST AID:
Alas, scheduling things made me not able to take the classes I wanted in those fields. (I wanted to take a SERE class but it was cancelled, and a Wilderness First Aid course, but I was in Cyprus.)
Although, as mentioned, my comprehensive knowledge of people being fucked up on drugs helped me to improve my father's condition, and we did get some info about dealing with traumatic injuries and bullet wounds in one of my classes though, so there's that.
So all of that was fine; but nothing makes a guy in his 40s feel more mature or cool than making money, though, and I'm happy to say that I've been pulling in around $1500 a month from ebook writing projects. Now here's the tease - only about half, or less, of that comes from ETX books.
What's the other project? Well, that's going to be a very funny story one of these days. But as I suspect a lot of these guys who make money online do -- I'm ONLY GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT WHEN I'M SURE THAT I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE MONEY FROM IT ANYMORE.
And then I'll write a book about how to do it, and sell it.
But anyway, it did take time; four to six hours a day, sometimes. But when you can work at your own pace in your underwear while listening to Howard Stern or whatever, that's a whole 'nother vibe from getting dressed and going to the office.
BLOGGING ABOUT AMERICA:
As well as the general poor health of America, I blogged about small-town American streetwalkers, and compared English teachers to Mexican immigrants, as I promised.
I promised something about the Hotness Quotient of American women, and though I certainly didn't go out much, I'll get a more comprehensive entry about that up next, combined with something about my 25th high school reunion. A complete entry about employment prospects in America is coming, also, based on the experiences of my erstwhile former colleague Crazy Bob.
As for the American Dream, what am I going to say about that that hasn't already been said. Things aren't going well here, that's clear. It's a nation divided, unhealthy, and unhappy, and most frighteningly deeply in denial and insanely illogical about it.
I would however, blame the honest hardworking folks of the country a bit more than Carlin does. Stop being stupid and fat, first step.
BACK INTO THE WORLD
Because me and America, it seems, we're done. I'm going to Costa Rica next week for 6 weeks, I'll come back here for Christmas, and then in January I'm off again, back into the world.
I just wrote a big backlog of blog entries, so there should be at least weekly blog updates.