Every now and then, we have a bad day. It can be for any number of reasons. You get stuck in traffic, you’re late to something important, or everyone around you just gives you too much crap for one day. Some have more bad days than others. It’s never pleasant. It’s just part of life. The key is finding ways to cope.
I have many methods. Just this past week, I had a very rough day. I was not in a good mood when I got home. Dealing with it is easier said than done. However, sometimes the little things are what turns a bad day into something bearable.
For me, one of those things involves a few goofy, happy-go-lucky, low-effort YouTube videos that just make you smile. As someone who’s now trying to build his own YouTube channel, I’ve come to appreciate them more than most. To that end, I’d like to share one of those videos that just helped put a smile on my face after that day. I didn’t make it, but I’d love to thank whoever did.
Hopefully, this makes a bad day bearable or a good day even better. Enjoy!
To everyone out there who are lucky enough to get today off, Happy Labor Day!
To everyone else who is still working today, I sincerely thank you. Hopefully, you get a chance to make up for it. You deserve it. We all deserve a day off from the hard drudgery of work.
I know it’s somewhat bittersweet. This year had been a real drag for obvious reasons. This summer has been lost for many. Between travel restrictions, closed pools, and cancelled events, this summer has been one to forget.
Now, it’s just about over. As bittersweet as that is, we’re still forging ahead. We’re still dragging our way through 2020. Let’s make Labor Day this year a much-needed breather. Getting through this mess has been harder than most, but we’re making progress. We’ll get to the end eventually. Keep believing that.
For today, though, just take a step back and enjoy how far we’ve come. We all need it. We’ll also need our strength to make it the rest of the way through this year.
This has been a strange, bittersweet summer, to say the least. We all know why that is. Let’s not bemoan the pandemic that has ruined so much of our world, regardless of season or holidays. Depending on where you live, this summer has been bereft of vacations, traveling, summer movies, and concerts. Add incredibly depressing news to the mix and this summer felt lost before it ever ended.
As bad as it has been, the end is just about upon us. Labor Day, often the last gasp of summer, is finally upon us. This year, it feels more like a merciful relief than a solemn resignation. Like most of 2020, every day has been a drag. Pools are closed. Theaters are closed. Theme parks are closed. Big time summer events have been cancelled or made virtual. There’s just wasn’t much to enjoy, aside from warmer weather.
We can’t undo any of that, but we can still find ways to make this Labor Day enjoyable. Even if it’s as simple as an extra day off work, take advantage of it. Cherish it. Spend extra time with family or meet up friends, but wear a mask and social distance as needed. This summer has been lacking in so many ways. It doesn’t have to lack for Labor Day.
I’m not going to lament on everything I couldn’t do this past summer. More than anything, I hope it gives me a stronger appreciation of future summers in which we’re not navigating a global pandemic. Those happier times are ahead of us. We just have to endure a bit longer. For now, let’s just have fun on Labor Day. Here are some my Sexy Sunday Thoughts to get you in the spirit. Enjoy!
“Going through puberty is like being carpet-bombed by hormones and holiness.”
“A person’s maturity is directly proportional to their ability to look at someone else’s genitals without giggling.”
“A happily married man either hides his porn stash exceptionally well or doesn’t have to.”
“A good salesman has probably talked his way out of wearing a condom at least once.”
“The fact that crazy girls are better in bed is proof that nature needs a little crazy to keep things interesting.”
“Is it ironic or hypocritical to have a fetish for average sized penises?”
“A fancy wedding is an indirect way for a couple to brag about getting tax breaks for being in love.”
Every year, just before the NFL season kicks off, I write out my predictions and picks for the season. Being a lifelong football fan, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. This year, being what it is, has added some new complications. Be that as it may, I’m still going to try. This time, though, I’m going to offer my picks through my YouTube channel, Jack’s World.
If you like this new format and would like me to make more videos like it, please let me know in the comments. Enjoy!
Let’s face it. Pretty much every industry not associated with health care, masks, streaming media, and Zoom calls has been hit hard this year. That’s especially true for certain segments of the entertainment industry. Basically, if you’re a movie studio, a movie theater, a comic shop, or a mall, this year has been like 100 punches to the gut, jaw, and genitals by a crack-fueled Ivan Drago.
That’s how bad global pandemics are. They pull no punches and will hit anything that attempts to prosper, both directly and indirectly.
Those blows extended to the comics industry, as well. As a lifelong comic book fan, I certainly felt it. I haven’t forgotten the weeks on end of having no new comics to enjoy for the first time in over a decade. It was not a pleasant experience. As elated as I was to see New Comic Book Day return, I didn’t doubt for a second that there would be some lasting scars.
Well, now it seems some of those scars are starting to fester and the first one to feel the pain is DC Comics. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the entire DC Comics operation has been hit with major layoffs and restructuring. It’s still intact, but make no mistake. This is the single biggest purging of personnel from a major comics publisher since the mid-1990s.
Monday’s WarnerMedia layoffs have affected a significant number of high-level figures at comic book powerhouse DC, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Among those said to be losing their positions are editor-in-chief Bob Harris, senior VP of publishing strategy and support services Hank Kanalz, VP of marketing and creative services Jonah Weiland, VP global publishing initiatives and digital strategy Bobbie Chase, senior story editor Brian Cunningham, and executive editor Mark Doyle, who oversaw the rollout of the Black Label graphic novels. Jim Lee remains the CCO.
Roughly one third of DC’s editorial ranks are being laid off, according to sources.
Insiders also say the majority of the staff of the streaming service DC Universe has been laid off, a move that had been widely expected as WarnerMedia shifts its focus to new streaming service HBO Max.
I can’t understate how big a deal this is to the larger world of comics, but I don’t want to overstate it, either. This situation is objectively bad. There’s no way around it. It’s also not the definitive end of DC Comics. That’s a narrative I don’t want to fuel.
Don’t be fooled by what some asshole voices on social media claim. This restructuring is not because DC Comics had too much diversity. It’s more a byproduct of DC Comics having lost its sense of vision, scale, and identity. This is something that happens from time to time in comics. After a while, the whole line loses its sense of self and needs some revitalization.
I can say, as a longtime comic fan, that DC has become somewhat stale in recent years. Even before the pandemic, I felt as though it had lost momentum outside its mainstays. It has primarily been relying on the strength of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, and Flash. As iconic as those characters are, they just can’t sustain the entire line.
There are many reasons for that. I think DC Comics, as a whole, hasn’t had a consistent vision since the days of DC Rebirth. It just got bogged down too much with competing visions, like DCeased and Injustice: Gods Among Us. It also endured way too many delays with its last big crossover event, Doomsday Clock.
The onset of the pandemic just exacerbated a problem that was starting to grow. As bad as things are now, there’s also an opportunity to set things on a better path. That’s my greatest hope for whatever restructuring DC pursues next. It still has plenty to build on. The success of the Harley Quinn show is proof enough of that. It’s just a matter of what form that will take.
That said, I do have major concerns. Comic lines have gone through upheavals before, but never during a global pandemic. This is uncharted territory for the comics industry, as a whole. This is not the era of newsstands and comic shops where top books could easily sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Paperbacks alone are not going to make this industry succeed.
Comics, in the current system, work best as a garden from which new characters, stories, and ideas can blossom. The fruits of that system can later become the basis for TV shows, movies, merchandise, and so much more. DC Comics already has a major media partner in its owner, AT&T. The structure is there. They just have to carve their niche into it.
I understand that’s easier said than done. Right now, a lot of factors are working against DC and the comics industry, as a whole. When all is said and done, comic shops may become much more diminished and trade paperback sales may dwindle to just a handful of titles. I’m not looking forward to that kind of status quo.
The ultimate setup may one day involve DC Comics just abandoning its publishing system, as a whole, and shift to licensing its characters to other companies, such as IDW. That’s very much a last resort, but one that may be more likely if DC can’t get its comics in order.
I want to be hopeful, but I’m also going to brace for the worst. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that things can always get worse and the things we love are always capable of succumbing to forces beyond our control. It’s a sad, nihilistic mindset, but one that a global pandemic tends to affirm. Only time will tell and I’ll be waiting with baited breath.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked about my various writing projects. There is a reason for that. I won’t say it’s a good reason, but there is a reason. I still have a number of manuscripts that I hope to get published one day. I also keep reaching out to agents and publishers in hopes of publishing another novel.
To date, I’ve only gotten responses from scammers and grifters. Seriously, if anyone claims they can make your book a best seller for the low price of $1,200, delete that email or hang up on them. They’re lying.
While I am discouraged and have since stopped making sexy short stories, I’m still writing every day. I still have ideas I want to flesh out. I’m still trying to refine my craft. I treat every project as an opportunity to improve and I try to take it.
However, lately I’ve been finding it difficult to write at the same rate and efficiency as I did years ago. It used to be I could write a good 5,000 words with ease and still have time for class in college. Now, I’m lucky if I can get 2,000 words out. Again, there’s a reason for that.
Looking back on it, those 5,000 words I mentioned weren’t exactly quality work. In fact, it would take me almost as much time to edit or revise those words as it would to write them out. Quality beats quantity in writing 99 times out of 100. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way and come to appreciate.
These days, the slow pace of my writing has less to do with how fast I can type and more to do with me wanting it to sound just right. The narration has to be good. The dialog has to be solid. It has to work on multiple levels and that’s really slowing me down. I’m doing less editing and revising on the back end, but it’s still frustrating at times.
As a result, I decided to take a step back recently and adjust my approach. In doing so, I realized something critical in my writing. The part that slows me down the most, to the point of stalling, is writing dialog. For most writers, that’s not surprising. Writing dialog is one of the hardest things to do in any novel, script, or play. Whenever I seek out writing tips, I tend to gravitate most towards those focusing on dialog.
Again, some of that has to do with quality over quantity. I try to give each character a voice. I try to make the conversation feel realistic, but memorable and witty. That is not easy to do and, if I’m being honest, I neglected that in the past. When I read over my old work, I see how little thought I put into the dialog. At times, most of the characters just sounded the same. They were just there to play a role.
I’m trying to avoid that. I’m trying to improve, as well. I also want to be efficient. I know that’s asking for a lot, but I think there’s a balance to be struck. Right now, I do not have that balance. So, after assessing what I’ve done and how to move forward, I’ve decided to try this new approach.
In the past, I simply went from start to finish with each chapter, going word for word between narration and dialog. It was simple and probably the way most people approach writing. Now, here’s what I want to do.
For each chapter of each story, I start with a script. I focus entirely on the dialog between the characters. There’s no prose or narration in between. I write out the conversations first. I add the details and structure later. In essence, this is what it looks like.
Character 1: Dialog
Character 2: Dialog
Character 1: Dialog
Character 3: Dialog
Character 1: Dialog
Character 1: Dialog
I’m going to try and use this on my next project. I don’t know how well it will work, but it’s something I’d like to try. I feel like the way I’m doing things now is just too inefficient. There’s always a better way to do something and I’m going to try this and see where it leads me.
In the meantime, has anyone else ever attempted something like this? Has anyone ever written out a chapter or book in a non-linear fashion? If so, what has been your experience? Did you find it helpful? Did it make your writing better and more efficient?
I’d love to know. Please share your experience in the comments. If you have other tips or approaches you’d like to share, please do so. I’d be happy to listen.
What do you do when you’ve had a lousy week? How do you make it bearable or, at the very least, somewhat less awful? These are questions I’m sure many people have been asking throughout 2020. There have been many lousy weeks thus far for reasons I hope are obvious. This past week certainly threw in a few more gut punches with the death of Chadwick Boseman.
As objectively awful as that is, we still move forward. We still try to make the following days less shitty. For me, enjoying a stack of new comics is part of that process. I’ve had many bad weeks throughout my life. Between puberty, high school, and graduating college during a recession, there was never a shortage of misery.
However, every Wednesday morning brought a ray of hope. Thanks to Comixology, the prospect of New Comic Book Day has always offered a boost to my dampened spirits. After this past week, I need that. I think we all need that. We find that boost wherever we can. For me, it’s new comics on Wednesday morning.
I’ve got my iPad, a fresh cup of coffee, and a wounded spirit. I’m ready to feel slightly less awful about the world now. I hope my other fellow comic fans can do the same. As always, here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
Sometimes, just when you think things can’t get possibly worse, the universe finds a way to hit you in a way that reminds you otherwise. This year has been awful by so many measures. Between global pandemics and ugly politics, it really felt like 2020 couldn’t get more agonizing.
Then, we lost Chadwick Boseman.
Of all the good, pure, loving souls this year could’ve taken, this one definitely hurts. This hurts in ways that words just cannot properly articulate. I say that not just as a lifelong fan of Marvel and Marvel superhero movies or as someone who cheered the success of “Black Panther.” I say that as someone who respected the man since he showed his heart and acting talents as Jackie Robinson in “42.”
I’ll say it again. This hurts. When I saw this report, I didn’t want to believe it. I thought it had to be a mistake or some elaborate troll job. Sadly, it wasn’t. When the official announcement came down, I was in genuine shock.
I’m honestly at a loss for words here. Not since the death of Stan Lee have I been in such utter disbelief. I’d been bracing for Stan’s passing, given his advanced age. I never imagined that someone like Chadwick Boseman, a man of only 43 who seemed to have a bright career ahead of him, passing away. The fact he was able to keep working as he fought cancer is a further testament to his greatness.
For someone like Boseman, who set himself apart as such a paragon of how great Hollywood could be, it just isn’t fair. Absolutely nothing about this is fair. This man brought to life a character who resonated with millions. He rose to stardom for all the right reasons, making all the right choices, even as his own body failed him.
His loss will be felt for generations to come. Someone like Chadwick Boseman doesn’t come around often. At a time when Hollywood seems to be lacking in respectable role models, losing Boseman stings even more. I don’t know what else I can say, other than he will be missed a great deal. The world is an objectively worse place without him.
At the risk of ending this video on too much of a downer, here’s a clip of my favorite moment from Boseman. Now that he’s gone, these moments are all the more precious.
The following is my first video movie review for my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. After a summer being locked down due to a global pandemic, movie theaters in my area finally re-opened. Fittingly enough, the first movie I checked out was the frequently delayed “New Mutants.” Was it worth the wait? Well, see for yourself!
What is it about mysterious men or women that we find so alluring? That’s a loaded question, by the way. I ask it with the full knowledge that there’s rarely a complete answer. Ironically, that’s a big part of the appeal. Someone who is mysterious will always have this aura of possibility surrounding them. Depending on how dirty our minds our, we fill that possibility with something sexy.
It’s why spies like James Bond, Ethen Hunt, and even Austin Powers have a certain level of sex appeal. It’s also why women like Black Widow, Catwoman, and Samus Aran from Metroid have a similar appeal, beyond looking good in skin-tight outfits. They have secrets and subtleties that set them apart. Their story is something unique and one you want to learn more about.
That process can be as compelling as it is alluring. I’ve known my fair share of women who might not have looked as good in a skin-tight outfit as Catwoman, but they were genuine mysteries. You didn’t understand what made them tick, but you wanted to find out. Had my social skills not been so awful, I might have been part of their story.
Those willing to be part of such stories can find something that’s as romantic as it is sexy. We all have our secrets. We all choose who we reveal them to. It’s an intimate process that can foster other kinds of intimacy. We may not all be spies, but we are our own stories. I encourage everyone to think long and hard about their own stories as I share this round of my Sexy Sunday Thoughts. Enjoy!
“Being a virgin on your wedding night is like being a rookie in the Super Bowl.”
“You can tell a lot about a person by the conditions in which they masturbate.”
“Masturbation requires a certain amount of self esteem to be effective.”
“Sharing a toothbrush is more intimate than sharing a bed.”
“Drama is the emotional journey between falling in love and getting laid.”
“A good kisser has to appreciate the taste of someone else’s spit to some extent.”
“Meaningless sex may always be taboo, but loveless marriages will always cause more misery.”