Here are links to places you can find other works of mine.
How can someone enjoy reading a blog if they don’t have opening credits to go with it? They won’t know who I am or who the guest stars are. So here it is, the opening credits to my blog.
These are the names of bloggers who were around to comment a lot in 2012. Stick around for 2013 and you can be famous too.
Did you have bad parents? If so maybe you’ll enjoy this piece I wrote about the 10 things parents do to ruin their kids’ lives.
10 Things Parents do to Ruin Their Children’s Lives
Whenever someone wins an award they normally thank God, their parents, and Harvey Weinstein. I’m going to skip over the first and last because I am no expert on either of those guys. Let’s instead focus on parents, more specifically how they can ruin their children’s lives. By the time a person becomes an adult they usually have an opinion on their parents, whether or not mommy and/or daddy ruined their chances at happiness. There are many ways parents can ruin their children’s lives. Here are ten of them.
My parents are divorced. I wouldn’t say it ruined my life, but it surely never helped me sleep at night. The saddest fact about it was that their divorce took seven years to complete. For two fatalistic people, they sure did plan to die before finishing the paperwork. The lengthy divorce was more a matter of procrastination than dividing up assets, which may delay the divorce process in wealthier families. For some kids though, divorce can destroy them. They will feel unloved by one or both parents and some may even think it was partly their fault. I was one of the lucky few kids who always knew my parents loved me, even if their divorce proved to me that love is painful.
2) Selling the family house:
When you buy a house and have kids it’s an obligation to keep that house forever. You should die in that house, or at least in the driveway or after falling from the roof into the neighbor’s yard. Not having a home to retreat back to whenever things go wrong in life is an unsettling feeling for me. I like to go with the Metallica attitude of “where I lay my head is home” to ease my fears. Times are tough so I understand why some parents, mine included, will sell a house. Understanding why someone does something still doesn’t mean it isn’t ruining someone’s life. Where am I supposed to keep the things I no longer want, but am too sentimental to throw in the trash.
3) Missing important life events:
A good parent to me is someone who does whatever they can to not disappoint their child, within reason of course. My older sister will still bring up the fact that when she was younger our parents missed seeing her in a baton twirling competition or whatever you call their “games.” My sister gave up her dream of turning into a professional baton twirler because of this. I was not alive yet, but if I had to guess my parents most likely had a scheduling conflict between the competition and a nearby bar’s happy hour.
Child abuse is never a good thing to do. That may seem like a “needless to say” statement, but unfortunately it’s not. I know mentioning child abuse completely ruined any fun you had reading this. I still felt I couldn’t ignore it completely. Then again, not attending your daughter’s baton twirling competition is pretty abusive so call this redundancy to the previous item on my list.
5) Giving life to the kid:
Nobody asks to be born. For some kids the worst thing you can do to ruin their lives is to give them the life. Whatever plain we exist on before we enter this world is probably a lot more peaceful. So I guess the lesson to be learned with this one is to not even have kids. Sorry for ruining your time-killing plans for the next power outage.
6) Having more kids:
Children can be incredibly jealous creatures. That’s actually not fair. All people can be incredibly jealous creatures. Introducing a new child into the picture can create dire consequences. I’m no expert when it comes to being a parent. I have had every virtual pet I have ever owned die on me. For further information on how having more kids can ruin your kid’s life, please see the first Rugrats movie. Those kids almost get eaten by wolves because the parents decided to have another kid.
7) Behaving childish:
I have often wondered at what age or life event most or all of a person’s childish behavior should be placed behind them. I still have no answer. The only reasonable moment I can think of is when you become a parent. After you are a mother or father it’s time to accept responsibility for your mistakes more than ever before. Behaving like a child sets a bad example for your kids and it will create a cycle of idiots in your bloodline. There are enough of those already.
8) Providing poor guidance:
Schools may have guidance counselors, but it’s really the parent’s job to guide kids through life. The best advice I ever received from a guidance counselor was to start seeing a therapist. Thanks passing the buck lady. Parents need to make an effort to provide their children with a healthy and happy lifestyle. Letting your kid balloon up in weight is terrible, something that specifically happened to me. What my parents could have done differently was not reward me with food. A good report card meant a trip to Dairy Queen. I was a really smart kid too, one who always got good grades because I loved my ice cream. Where did it get me? By the time I was in high school I was overweight, depressed, and a B student. I would have been better off forced into a daily exercise program, which would then lead to receiving a college scholarship.
9) Not being supportive:
The absolute best thing anyone can do for another human being is to support them. Where do you think calling a male friend “bra” comes from? It’s from the support they give each other. Especially at a young age, you should let your kids know they can do anything. Society will beat them down enough over time where they will think more realistically the older they get and realize that Weekend Shift Manager isn’t as heartbreaking of a career choice as a few other things.
10) Forcing anything into their lives:
New beaus following a divorce, activities they don’t want to participate in, a religion they do not believe, or anything else within reason should not be forced onto anyone. Of course at a certain age your child may develop a fetish where being forced to do things they “dislike” is something they pay cash to a strange lady on the street for, but that’s unrelated to this and completely goes in another direction. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. Encourage them to do something rather than nothing, just never force them into a situation where they are uncomfortable every moment of an extracurricular activity. My entire life is an uncomfortable moment. There will be plenty for your kids throughout their lives, don’t go adding to it.
Today is the first full day of the NFL season. I’m so excited, one of my nipples is slightly less puffy. Here is a comprehensive list of several NFL teams and which country would best represent where they currently stand.
(It took me far too long to realize this is the wrong football)
Seattle Seahawks – The United States
The defending champion Seattle Seahawks would have to be the United States. The USA is the most powerful country in the world in most ways. They have a few other things in common too. Both have great defenses and are a little too arrogant.
Dallas Cowboys – Russia
The Dallas Cowboys might be the most hated team in the NFL. That’s not to say Russia in the most hated nation, however, recent events has them held in a negative light. Even in times of turmoil, both Russia and the Cowboys are seen as potential threats. Come the fourth quarter with everything on the line, it would be interesting to see who performs better–Vladimir Putin or Tony Romo.
Pittsburgh Steelers – England
A team filled with great tradition, the Pittsburgh Steelers represents England well. England was a powerhouse for a long time throughout history. Now a more peaceful country far less focused on imperialism, they still have plenty of worldly success. Steelers’ fans and the English have their greatest triumphs from long ago. This still doesn’t mean things can turn around immediately for either.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Madagascar
Irrelevancy, easily forgotten, and few free agents even contemplating a visit has the Jacksonville Jaguars and the island nation of Madagascar as nearly identical. I hear both have pretty nice weather too and only one is poorly run by its general manager.
New England Patriots – China
The best selection to represent China would be the New England Patriots. Completely contradictory based on the team nickname, the Chinese are still a perfect match. They have each gone through long periods of success with very little downfall. More importantly they march to beat of their own drum not caring what anyone else thinks. Their spies are both pretty good too.
San Francisco 49ers – Canada
This seemingly odd pairing does have merit to it. First, the city of San Francisco and the nation of Canada are very progressive thinking places. Second, the 49ers are currently the little brother of the championship Seahawks the same way Canada is the younger sibling to the United States.
Green Bay Packers – Japan
Japan cares about their history and image as do the Green Bay Packers. While you may never find anyone in Japan wearing a giant fake cheese on their head, this humble nation would be a good representative of the Packers organization. For as great as the Packers usually are it’s never really thrown in anyone’s face. The Japanese never brag about inventing Tamagatchi Pets.
Buffalo Bills – Mongolia
Even after multiple attempts at winning a Super Bowl the Buffalo Bills always failed. In a very similar fashion, the Mongolian Empire always came up short when trying to invade China. The Bills had Scott Norwood and the Mongols had the Great Wall of China stopping them; both very wide right.
Cleveland Browns – Cuba/North Korea
The Cleveland Browns might just be the most embarrassing football team in the league. Art Modell would play the role of Communist dictator well in this story of the team representing either Cuba or North Korea. It doesn’t really matter because both are a little too clumsy to ever do any serious damage.
School is back in session and I thought this would be a decent time to re-post something I wrote for Yahoo about my favorite teacher of all-time and how she completely destroyed my hope of ever having a positive adult female influence in my life.
I only had a small handful of teachers who had a positive impact on me. In elementary school, there was my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Trani, a woman who always praised me and how well-behaved I was. Mrs. Trani insisted there was something special about me. In fourth grade there was Mrs. Hartbauer, a woman who was similar to Mrs. Trani and actually took an active interest in my life. Mrs. Hartbauer also insisted that there was something special about me. It was not until high school when I would have another teacher attempt to make a positive difference in my life. This woman was my 10th-grade English teacher, Mrs. Hill.
Tenth grade was the pinnacle of awkwardness for me and I think that was why Mrs. Hill tried to help me so much. My quiet demeanor and obvious social flaws made me an easy target to get walked over by other students. Mrs. Hill wanted to do whatever she could to limit the torment from life I would inevitably receive.
The English class I took with Mrs. Hill started off normal. It may have been after a field trip where she noticed I was sitting by myself that Mrs. Hill began paying closer attention to everything I did.
The first assignment Mrs. Hill took special interest in me was a brief one about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I forget specifically what I said, but it was something about comedic writing. Mrs. Hill stopped me on my way out of class and asked if I had heard of a local comedy club. I told her I had never heard of it and figured she was nothing more than a senile old woman asking strange questions. Mrs. Hill was in her mid-50s so it wasn’t such a preposterous proposition for me to believe. The next day, Mrs. Hill came in with a phone number for me to contact the comedy club about getting on stage. At the time I had no interest in ever doing stand-up comedy, so when she asked if I called, I told her the phone rang and nobody ever picked up. Two years later I actually did do stand-up comedy for the first time, possibly subconsciously thanks to Mrs. Hill.
For the rest of the year Mrs. Hill and I continued to have a very strange relationship, not one that ends with her in an orange jumpsuit. We bonded over the fact that I lied to her about having been to Buffalo. I owned a Buffalo Bills t-shirt for some reason and since Mrs. Hill was born in Buffalo, we became friends who would talk about different places in Buffalo, none of which I had ever heard of.
One of the final assignments we had that year was an oral report. The goal of the report was to teach our classmates how to do something. Lacking self-esteem in my bloodstream, I had no clue what I could have taught my classmates. The most beautiful girl in school sat two seats behind me. What did I know that she didn’t?
Mrs. Hill asked me what I would be doing my report on. I told her I had no idea and she suggested I do one of the examples, how to make a BLT sandwich. As a fat kid I took offense to this. I didn’t tell her I was offended though. Instead I said it would be tough to get the materials needed. My parents had separated a year earlier and even though my dad was around a lot less, I could have easily asked him to get me the ingredients for a BLT sandwich.
Of course as our relationship was, I lied to Mrs. Hill. I told her that my parents would not buy those foods for me. I think at that time Mrs. Hill believed I came from an abusive home where I was given a box of crackers to eat each day to survive on. Mrs. Hill was kind enough to offer to actually buy me the ingredients I needed. I told her not to because I have always been someone not to ask for favors. If Mrs. Hill had gotten me the necessary foods I might owe her something. I would be expected to help her move a dead body somewhere down the line.
I ended up doing my report on how to get rid of a stuffy nose. It was actually pretty good and a lot different from the others. Mrs. Hill had a big smile on her face during my report. Even better, the prettiest girl in school was leaning forward against her desk, unable to take her eyes off me throughout. She was amazed that sniffing salt water could clear out your nasal passages. For a few minutes, I had earned her attention.
My favorite thing about Mrs. Hill was how much she encouraged me to continue with my writing. My ninth grade English teacher Mr. Kane told me I was good, but Mrs. Hill practically begged me to join the school newspaper. I had no interest writing stories praising the corrupt high school government or doing coverage on how the cafeteria tater tots were no longer poisonous. Her encouragement of me meant a lot and I was lucky to have her as a teacher.
Unfortunately the story doesn’t stop there. The next time I would interact with Mrs. Hill would be two years later in twelfth grade. My English teacher that year was out sick so they had Mrs. Hill come in and babysit us for forty minutes. I had not seen her in quite some time and I knew she would be a little curious how my life had been going. I looked drastically different by then, having dropped a ton of weight, but I was still clearly me. Mrs. Hill would have so many positive things to say to me. She would have herself to partly thank.
An assignment was given to us and since it was late in the year and most of the class had committed to going to the local community college, we had little reason to care about our GPAs. Instead of doing our work for the day we goofed off. Mrs. Hill thought she would authoritatively walk around the room in hopes it would get us to do our work.
I was seated in the second seat closest to the door. Only a girl with the last name Adams came before my name, Tim Boyle, alphabetically. Mrs. Hill made her way across the classroom and over to me with her familiar friendly smile. We made eye contact and her smile grew even larger.
“Are you finished with your work, John?”
There was no mistaking it. She was looking directly at me. My favorite teacher had just called me the wrong name.
My eyes puffed out. My bottom lip dropped. For a few seconds my heart stopped beating then spun around in a circle. My name wasn’t John. In fact, it never has been. I have always been a Tim, Timothy, or Timmy; among other more insensitive nicknames.
“My name’s not John,” I said a little disappointed.
Mrs. Hill’s mind crossed over itself. Then she remembered who I was, “Matthew?” she questioned.
I shook my head. This guessing game would have gone on forever. Mrs. Hill, the one teacher in high school who made a positive difference in my life, forgot who I was even after two guesses. She walked away to the next aisle, never to interact with me ever again.
Out of all the things Mrs. Hill taught me, the most important was that nobody cares about us as much as we may think they do. Thanks for the terrible revelation.
Here’s another old thing I wrote which contains a long list of things. It’s a sarcastic way to instruct people on how to succeed at a job interview.
Ten Tips for Job Interview Success
1) Don’t Show Up: The most obvious way to not fail at a job interview, don’t bother trying. People may try to get in your ear and say the opposite. They will argue that you cannot succeed unless you try. Glass half full attitudes make me thirsty. If you think of it as a glass half empty then you will realize sooner that you need to refill your beverage. So don’t bother showing up once you get the appointment. It shows the company that you didn’t need their stinking money anyway.
2) Change Your Last Name: Changing your last name can help in a job interview. I recommend changing your last name to whoever the most popular reality television show star is at the time. For two months in 2003 I used the last name “Fairplay” to capitalize on Survivor villain Johnny Fairplay’s fifteen minutes. For non-reality fans, I suggest changing your first and last name to match the current president. When they joke about being related to the president, claim to be him.
3) Dress Provocatively: Business suits are so 1900s. We are living in a new millennium. Whenever I go to a job interview I make sure the interviewer can see as much of my body as possible. This not only showcases my strength, it lets them know I am willing to do anything to get the job, including wearing a speedo. For those living in colder climates, stick with a leather gimp suit. It gets the message across and lets the potential employer know you can dress yourself appropriately for the weather.
4) Talk Loud: When you speak loudly you present yourself as authoritative. In the business world people love authority. They bow to it. It’s important that in the job interview you talk at least two decibels louder than the person conducting the interview. How do you know your decibel range? Buy a measuring device, wear it, and ask the interviewer to wear one too for an accurate reading.
5) Print Your Resume on Large Paper: The bigger, the better. If you have the means, print out your resume on a life-size cardboard cutout of yourself. Keep your face wordless. This is a guaranteed way to stand out and helps them match face to words. It’s also helpful if your resume has at least three swear words. The employer will have to take a risk on, purely out of curiosity.
6) Check Your Phone Often: When you show up to a job interview, make it clear to the potential employer that you are in high demand. Even if nobody is actually calling, answer your phone anyway. Use words like “sell” and refer to whoever is on the other end as “baby.” The only time I would not recommend doing this is if your phone is prepaid. They will assume you are most likely a drug dealer and nobody wants to hire a drug dealer, except for people who want drugs dealt to them.
7) Offer Them Lunch: Everybody loves having food made for them. The only exception might be for Emperor Hui of Jin China, who died of an alleged poisoning. The best lunch to offer a potential employer is a homemade one. I suggest something light that travels well, like bratwurst. You know, anything universally loved.
8) Blackmail: Need I say more? Get creative though. Employers love creative blackmail.
9) Repeat Everything: No matter what the person conducting the interview says, repeat it. They will either believe you have so much in common that they have to hire you or they will be so confused that they will have to hire you for answers. Either way, you will have a job. Then you should probably quit. Playing hard to get is good when it comes to job hunting.
10) Lie: Does anybody ever fully tell the truth during a job interview? Am I a legal citizen? Of course not. Born in Ottawa baby! Have I ever been convicted of a crime? Yes. Why do you think I had to flee from Ottawa? Do I agree to follow all of the rules in the employee manual? Maybe half. You can’t go around telling the truth at a job interview if you want to get hired. The real key to successfully lying is to lie about everything. If you lie about everything all of the time then you don’t have to remember anything, or however the quote goes.
(“Your resume says you’re African-American….which is it? African or American?” – potential employer)
I did another one of those newspaper things for work where I write poop jokes about dogs and stuff. Enjoy!
Remember when I was a real eager go-getter and spent a lot of time writing lengthy books nobody really gave a damn about? Well, here’s something I wrote for Yahoo that earned more money than I think I made in the first 3 months of self-publishing books! So the lesson to be learned here is that nobody gives a damn and you are better off selling out and writing for something corporate. And in a twist of being pushy, you can get a copy of the last book I self-published for free through the rest of the month beginning tomorrow after I post this. So if you happen to read this on Tuesday, come back tomorrow and get a free copy of this amazing book I put a lot of effort into.
Five Heartbreaking Moments From Self-Publishing
Self-publishing a novel can be incredibly rewarding. It’s a way to surpass agents and constant rejection from query letters. Best of all, you have final say in your masterpiece. After I self-published my first novel I thought for sure there would be only positive moments to follow. Then I waited a week and realized the heartbreak continues. Here are five things you should prepare your heart for when it comes to self-publishing.
1) Copies Sold: The biggest part of writing a book is how many copies it sells. You can write a masterpiece, but if nobody buys it then that means nobody is reading it. If nobody is reading it then what was the point? It’s like keeping the Mona Lisa as a bath mat in the guest bathroom of someone who never has anyone over. After self-publishing, it took a few months before I accepted I may never write a book that sells a million copies. I took it hard because I already made a down payment on a yacht made of pure gold.
2) Refunds: It feels great when you sell a book, especially when you know it’s to a complete stranger. Sometimes these strangers will purchase the book then ask for a refund. Why? Why did you want your money back for my product I poured my heart into? On certain self-publishing services you can see why they asked for a refund. My first refund someone reported their credit card stolen. As much as I hate thieves, I must say this one has good taste. When people ask for a refund the author is often left wondering if it was because the product didn’t meet expectations or if the purchaser bought the wrong thing. People are always buying the wrong thing. My dad bought us barbecue sauce thinking it was ketchup for five years. We were all too afraid of him to ever say anything.
3) Reviews: Many independent authors rely on the reviews above anything else. When you are essentially unrecognizable to the public, a good review can convince someone to buy your book instead of passing it over for vampire erotica. A good key to reviews is to have your friends and family leave the first ones, without of course making it too obvious that you know each other. It’s inevitable that eventually a bitter troll will come along, read your book, and then leave a negative review. When they do, get ready to cry and think about giving up on your dreams. Never give up on your dreams though, unless you are older than 35. After that they probably never will come true.
4) Typos/Errors: When you write long-form it can be a lot more difficult to properly edit. English is a language with so many strange rules that sometimes are acceptable and sometimes are not. It starts with the whole letter Y sometimes being a vowel. Shouldn’t it just always be a vowel? After you publish your book you may read through it and suddenly find a very obvious error. To avoid this you can always have your book professionally edited. Usually though the cost of paying an editor will far exceed the amount you will make from sales. You have to determine whether it’s worth it or not. Hopefully you can find intelligent friends to help find any errors in your writing willing to do it for the price of your friendship. Seriously. Threatening to never talk to someone ever again if they don’t help you out is a great loyalty test.
5) Does Anybody Like It?: By far the most important thing is whether or not anybody actually likes the book. You can be a fantastic writer forever, but if you cannot tell an original and captivating story that meets the reader’s expectations then you have failed. Do people like the books I have self-published? I have no idea. I am still not sure if many people even like me. The most rewarding thing that can happen to you after you self-publish a novel is when someone out of the blue mentions they read your work. Most people are genuinely nice and if they bring it up unsolicited it usually means they enjoyed what they read. Then they ask you for a favor and you remember why you wrote a character based on them who gets killed.
(People with ADD never dwell on the past. It’s beautiful in some ways really…until they start screaming for no reason at all)
My mom was never big into having her picture taken. She had an ideomotor reaction each time a camera was whipped out. Her palm would open and cover her face as she turned her shoulder away from the camera. For a long time I was the same way until a girl who ended up punting my fragile heart into a fire pit told me over MySpace that I was cute. Even if she was lying, it got me to finally accept a picture of me isn’t worth a thousand repugnant swear words like I grew up thinking. At the same time I am humble enough to realize most pictures of me suck. Most pictures of most people suck. Staying specific to myself because like a teenager on Maury might you may say, “You don’t know me,” these are five reasons why I should never be photographed.
(Can you find me in this picture? I’m the guy a couple thousand miles away avoiding the camera)
1) Pale Skin
My full name is Timothy Michael Boyle. The only way to get more Irish than that would be Drunky McPotato O’Boyle. I have naturally pale skin which never works well with a camera’s flash. Pictures of me need really soft lighting where everything has a yellowish tint to it or I come off looking like the surface of a fresh snowfall. How did I manage to make my pale skin sound so elegant and beautiful? In contrast to darker things than my skin, like an eggshell, I look even paler in photographs than I do in real life. The only thing pale skin is good for these days is getting a nominee for the Republican party and that’s not really my goal in life. I just want to look pretty in pictures without a giant white glow coming off my forehead.
2) Blue Eyes
My blue eyes are one of my best features, which may or may not say a lot about the rest of me. I have had strangers come up to me and say they were lost in my eyes and never returned once entering them. I should really contact their families. Blue eyes are wonderful until a picture is snapped. I look terrifying in many photographs. I get red eye all of the time. Combine that with the white glow from my skin it becomes demonic. The only solution I have come up with for this is always keeping my eyes closed whenever a picture is taken. Whenever I do this it looks worse, but at least nobody is questioning whether or not I am the spawn of Satan. As an aside, I think I am for other reasons.
3) My Face
Let me be a little self-deprecating here for a moment. My face is fine. There are plenty of wonderful things about it and some people enjoy it. At the same time, there are things that could be fixed. What’s up with the rash that shows up on my right upper lip once a week? Why must the veins in my forehead stick out whenever I am even the least bit exhausted? Don’t even get me started on my nose. From a distance there’s nothing strange going on. Up close it looks like the floor of a dog kennel. Lucky for me I have those wonderful blue eyes and a great smile that distracts people from the other disasters going on around my face. Too bad a picture lasts forever and can be zoomed in on. I really don’t want people noticing how gross my skin really is.
4) Unnatural Ability To Look Happy
I would say I smile on average for real five times a day and that is because I eat three meals and usually see two people get physically or emotionally hurt. In pictures I believe you should always do your best to look natural and happy. Unless the picture is taken candidly, I always look stiff. I never know what to do with my hands other than point. Maybe this is why teenage girls squat down with their hands on their knees? There are plenty of pictures of me in existence smiling. Most of the time though it’s just for show and I’m feeling dead inside.
5) Nobody Cares
I’m sounding like a real downer here, but that is not my intent. I hate to waste photographic space on me, somebody who has no stalkers. There are exactly zero people in the world excited to see pictures of me doing anything at all. The most likes I ever got on a Facebook picture was one and he unliked it after he realized his mistake. I am also not one to ever really brag about the things I have done in life, not that there has been much anyway. When you post a picture online of you at the Grand Canyon or a friend’s party, it’s your way of saying “Hey, I matter and people like me.” I don’t matter and a few people think of me as a neutral party. Photographs of me usually float around in picture viewing purgatory without anyone doing more than a quick glance.