The Atlantic Ocean in Cocoa Beach as seen through Google Glass

Why I Write

One by one, as I sit in an ocean of silence in my preternaturally still home, my stresses and worries, buried deep by days of distractions, pop to the surface. They bob and flash, buoys daring me to ignore them.

Staying busy keeps them at bay. Too busy to look at the pile of mail on the table. To read those emails from the bank. To feel alone. Treading water may not get me anywhere, but it’s better than drowning.

When I sink like a stone, my breath comes to me in shallow, pitiful gasps and my vision dims, obscured by a haze that probes and pokes and jeers. My strengths and values and confidence transform in an instant, pushing on my chest with exponential strength.

It’s too much. The only solution is to keep going down, in the dank trenches, where the darkness snuffs out any semblance of hope. There’s no way to throw off the weight, to distinguish between up and down, to draw one more breath. It’s impossible.

Except for these words.

The unvarnished black on white draws me back to see the larger picture. The keyboard clicks with a comforting rhythm, each word a beacon. I find myself prodded gently towards the surface.

Writing doesn’t make everything okay.

It just shows me that it will be.

Buddy The Cat

Adopt me! A guest post by Buddy The Cat

Adam Avitable's Temporary Cat

Hey humans. I’m Buddy. I’m a cat. A girl cat, which is really screwed up, if you think about it. Who names a female cat Buddy? I’ll tell you who. This guy:

Jim Avitable

My last owner, Jim Avitable.

He adopted me six years ago when I kept hanging around outside his house and wouldn’t go away. Once he found out I was not, in fact, a boy, he continued calling me Buddy out of stubbornness. So now everyone just assumes I’m a boy. Talk about gender confusion! I mean, yeah, I’m fixed and all that, but girl likes to let her claws out every now and then too.

Jim and his woman human recently moved away and couldn’t bring me with them. I heard them on the metal talky thing using words like “last resort” and “Adam? Are you sure?” and “mid-life crisis” and “lonely bastard.” Next thing I knew, I moved into a new home. This place:

Facebook Page for the Avitable Camp for Wayward Women

And now I have to be rescued. Seriously. This guy can barely take care of himself. He sits around on the electronic porn box all the time, never wears clothes, and eats nothing but bacon and mayonnaise. I managed to snap a quick photo of him in his normal daily outfit:

Adam Avitable brushing teeth

This guy and I aren’t getting along. He’s not big into petting or touching and apparently the idea of cleaning up litter is too much for a big old manly man like him. Plus, I think he’s allergic – ever since I showed up, he’s been sneezing and whining about a headache and watery eyes and stupid stuff like that. What a wuss!

I even went on his electronic porn box when he was asleep and pulled up information on Maine Coon cats to show that I’m an easy breed to get along with, but he just read it and then clicked back over to youporn. And last night, I heard him say “make cat jerky out of you” in his sleep, so now I’m really worried!

Buddy The Cat Needs Adoption

Seriously, why do humans think we talk like this? We’re smarter than most of you.

I’m okay for now, because he’s duct taped to the bed, and I’m getting plenty of sustenance as I slowly suck the soul out of him through his nose and mouth, but I think it might be time to move on. There’s got to be a bunch of humans out there who don’t have allergies, who actually like pets, who aren’t naked all the time, and who don’t live at a strip club. Like, c’mon. There is so much glitter in this house that a cat can’t even lick herself clean.

You want me? Just show up at the house with a can of tuna and a better name than Buddy, and I’m all yours. A name like Princess Buddy!

Kaply.

Dave said it best:

It’s impossible to reduce Kaply down to words. She was hysterically funny, yes. She was exceedingly kind, sure. She was delightfully raunchy, indeed. She was keenly observant, absolutely. She was craftily opinionated, no doubt. But to keep piling adjectives on her seems somehow a disservice when no amount of words will ever paint the whole picture of who she was. You had to know her to love her and, even though I didn’t know her exceedingly well, I came to love her just the same. Your life was far more entertaining with Kaply in it than out of it, and I just don’t know what higher praise I can offer than that…

Rest in Peace, Tracy Kaply

Tracy Lynn Kaply was my comedy barometer. She had seen and done it all, and if I could make her laugh, I would make anyone laugh. Over time, we grew from mutual readers/commenters into emailers and texters, talking about everything under the sun. She was a mentor, a fan, a big sister, and a cranky old black man from a barbershop. She had been in the end stages of renal failure ever since I had known her, but it never stopped her from being there for everyone else.

Rather than wax poetic about Kaply, I thought I’d let her talk. These are just a few of the comments, texts, and emails I got from her over the last ten years:

“Every time I come here, there is some unbelievable shit. Either someone is having sex with a horse or you’re putting chocolate sauce on microwave burrito. I have no idea what I did for shits and giggles before I found your site.” – 7/31/06

“Hope springs eternal. Plus, most people don’t actually think. Which is why people always ask me about my kidneys.  How are your kidneys? Still fucking skulking around not doing a decent days work. Like they are suddenly going to rebound, or do the meringue.”  -10/5/06

“Bask in my brilliance and whimsy, motherfucker.” -6/26/08

“Dude, they do not give kidneys to fat people. It’s unfair, but true. The Man is holding my kidney hostage, in an attempt to get me to get thin. Fuckers.” -8/24/07

“The dumpster is the LAST place you want to dump a hooker.” -9/5/06

“Nature is dangerous. It’s why I have nothing to do with it.” -6/30/12

“I am super proud of you for taking that class. Learning to fail is one of the most useful skills to have, and I know you will be funny.” -1/18/11

“Freak. Weirdo. And I mean that in the clinical sense.” -3/23/07

“I may have only 2% of my function left, but you will have to pry that last 2% out of my cold dead hands.” -8/1/08

“Age and treachery will ALWAYS triumph over youth and skill. ALWAYS. Keep that in mind, young padawan.” -6/8/07

“Figuring out who I am led me to finding out what I needed that was missing, and that led to working out how to get it. Some things I thought about myself needed to be let go of, and some things needed to be accepted.” -12/24/12

“Dude, I love you as much as any girl with a fever of 102 F loves her gorilla. Now make me a sammich, will ya?” -1/3/07

“Yeah, at a certain point you just have to say fuck it. It is what it is, which is my life, and I just feel fortunate to have lived through it. And I don’t usually post that stuff to my blog. Unless it’s funny. Then anything is fair game. ” -4/7/07

Tracy Lynn Kaply.
January 23, 1968 – February 18, 2014.

Martin Luther King is misquoted as Ice-T

Martin Luther King, Jr. or a Modern Rapper? You Decide.

Martin Luther King, Jr. can be described any number of ways.  Orator. Peacekeeper. Activist. Leader. Humanitarian. Future Facebook Meme Inspirational Quoter.

Like many before and after him who have spoken eloquently and passionately about topics that mattered, King’s speeches have been mined for inspirational phrases, motivational thoughts, accurate predictions, and compassion-driven philosophies. And those phrases usually get placed on a photo of King to be shared millions of times throughout Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and through other media so that everyone can be inspired by his words.

However, in my research, I have found that in many situations, the quotes in these memes do not actually belong to King. Instead, inspired by the words that Reverend King spoke, many modern musicians craft lyrics that reflect similar values, and their lyrics get mis-attributed to King. These artisans of their field, typically identified as rappers, deserve the credit that they’re due as well, so I thought I would share some of the quotes I’ve seen appear over the last year, and we can play a game of:

Who said it? MLK Jr. or Rapper?

Answers appear at the bottom of the post. Keep your eyes on your own paper, and make sure to show your work for full credit. Any racial slurs have been replaced with the word Nintendo.

  1. “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
  2. “Hot is my strap, wet is your back
    Understand I never forgive, leavin bodies like sieve
    Clap gats til my fuckin shit’s clipless
    Nintendaz bear witness”
  3. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  4. “I’m a freak in heat, a dog without warning
    My appetite is sex, cause me so horny”
  5. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
  6. “Yo it’s my time to shine, so I’m checking my Rollie
    A bet with the Lakers, I bought a necklace off Kobe
    I be fucking your girl, I was texting her only
    I told her, ‘I’d like your legs better if they was open’
    Ever since the beginning, Nintendas knew I was focused”
  7. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
  8. “First off, fuck your bitch
    And the clique you claim
    West side when we ride
    Come equipped with game
    You claim to be a player
    But I fucked your wife
    We bust on Bad Boys
    Nintendas fuck for Life”
  9. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”
  10. “You, you got what I need, but you say he’s just a friend
    And you say he’s just a friend, oh baby”

Martin Luther King is misquoted as Ice-T

Thank you for playing! Join me next time when we play:

Who Said It? Mark Twain Character or Member of Duck Dynasty?

Answers:

    1. MLK
    2. Ice-T
    3. MLK
    4. 2 Live Crew
    5. MLK
    6. 2 Chainz
    7. MLK
    8. Tupac
    9. MLK
    10. Trick question: Biz Markie
Adam Avitable, Dragon

A Survey of my 2013 – The Good, The Bad, The Hairy

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I started featuring as a comedian, performed comedy in front of my mother, and she actually laughed and didn’t disown me. I explored an abandoned amusement park and risked arrest. I became a Google Glass explorer. I gave an hour presentation at a conference.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I resolved to be more shameless than ever. I think I succeeded.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

OH MY GOD SO MANY BABIES THIS YEAR. Makes me want one even more.

Avitable ecard for having a baby

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I lost a few people who touched my heart.

5. What countries did you visit?

I stayed in the US this year. I did visit New Orleans for the first time, and that’s pretty much its own separate country.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Some fucking stability. Financial, emotional, romantic, personal, transactional, legal – any or all would be welcome.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I don’t have any particular date that stands out from this year, which sped by in such a blur that I can hardly believe it’s 2014.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Featuring at the Orlando Improv. Sure, it was on a Wednesday night, but it was still performing thirty minutes of comedy in front of a crowd of over 250 people and getting paid for it.

Adam Avitable jokes about Legoland at the Orlando Improv

9. What was your biggest failure?

My entire year has been replete with failure, and any failure is the biggest, in my opinion.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I think I had a cold once. And I tore my bicep tendon.

Bruising after tearing the right distal bicep tendon

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Google Glass.

Adam Avitable's Google Glass

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

What am I, the behavior police?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I had a few friends who really let me down, and watching the news is just constantly depressing. Why can’t everyone just be honest and trustworthy, care for others, and stop being so fucking terrible to each other?

14. Where did most of your money go?

Money? What’s that?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My trip to New Orleans for Christmas.

Merry Christmas from The W Hotel New Orleans

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Wrecking Ball.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

More stressed, more overwhelmed, closer to a major crossroads in my life, ready to move to Los Angeles and leave everything behind.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Written. I need to write more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Put myself in the constant line of fire.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Exploring an abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans (full post to come in a day or two).

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Constantly. It’s what I do.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Hannibal.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don’t hate people. Well, not many people. There are some people who have behavior so reprehensible that they deserve to die alone, but I still don’t hate them. I just hate their actions and how what they do affects those around them.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read so many books, but none stood out as being the best. They all entertained me, drew me into their worlds, and let me escape. I found some cool new authors, like Craig Johnson and CJ Box.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Childish Gambino. He’s been around for a while, but I didn’t really start listening to him until this year.

26. What did you want and get?

Adderall.

27. What did you want and not get?

Financial stability.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I didn’t see nearly as many movies as I wanted, and I missed all of the ones that just came out, but a few favorites were Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, Prisoners, Gravity, This Is The End, and The End of the World.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 36 on January 26, 2013, and I don’t remember what I did, but probably nothing. This year I think I’m going to actually celebrate. Maybe I’ll go back to Chuck E. Cheese.

Adam Avitable turned 27 at Chuck E. Cheese

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Three clones of myself to help with everything I want to do. And one extra clone to have sex with.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Hawaiian Sociopath.

32. What kept you sane?

My friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Anthony Jeselnik, if we’re talking in a non-sexual way. His show was so dark but so damn funny, and his specials are some of my favorites. Hell, even if we’re talking in a sexual way.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

People who think that the current healthcare system is better than the Affordable Care Act. Yes, there are flaws, but it’s a step in the right direction.

35. Who did you miss?

Past loves and unresolved ended friendships.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I met so many amazing people this year, and I know I’m going to miss some, but off the top of my head, Bobcat, Jessilyn, Cassandra, Kim, Amber, Chana, Danielle, Rebekah, Richie, Bess, Jason, Carolyn, Jen, Josh, Jared, Niennah, Paige, Jackie, Tom, and Shelby.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

There’s always tomorrow.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“Only got twenty dollars in my pocket.”

(Thanks to Maria for the inspiration.)