Blog Archives

Thanksgiving: A societal misundertstanding.

if you really think about, if you take the time to break down the situation and understand just what it is that we are celebrating tomorrow, you might come to the conclusion that the holiday isnt as significant as it first appears. yes, we all know the happy story of native americans and settlers coming together to eat and celebrate, but educated americans know that it doesnt end there. the story will always conclude with small pox blankets and trails of tears. no other conclusion can be made, because that is what happened. the event we are actually comememorating hase become over shadowed by the celebrations that we associate it with, a mishap that in this case is a positive one. as a thanksgiving lover, i point this out not to devalue the holiday but to call attention the commonness of the date itself. any day could be thanksgiving. as far as history is concerned, they are all just as significant. any day is a good one to get together with your family, to tell somebody that you love them, to think about your life and be grateful. and on those other days, you don’t even have the added burden increasing your chances of heart disease. thanksgiving is a day that is indicative of how every other day should be. in life there is no garrantee of money, or of health, or of livelihood, but if you happen to be lucky enough, family is something that can always be counted on. and by the way, family is a generic term. it could mean brother or sister, or neighbor, or friend or mailman. it doesnt matter. whoever they are, if they make you happy, they matter, and it will do you well to let them know that as often as you can. life happens very fast, and death happens even faster. in between the two, it is your loved ones that will end up mattering the most.
thanks for reading,
paul durante
please follow me on twitter @DewmontPaul

Internet Writing: Always a Marathon, never a sprint.

This is so outside the box for me to even consider composing a post such as this one; a reccomendation for other writers. Other INTERNET writers, to make things even worse. I myself am an internet writer of sorts, and one who has found himself in a market already saturated with blogs, videos, and short stories that have thus far found a tremendous amount of more attention than that of my own. So why am I doing this? The short answer is because I am supposed to be writing my second research paper in as many weeks, and I most certainly do not want to be doing that. If you can think of a more artistic or charitable reason than that, feel free to adlib away.
To start I should mention that I have not thus far been terribly sucessful at what I do. While some things that I have written and filmed have been received well, they have not been received widely. The most my blog posts ever get in a day is fifteen or so odd views, and as for my youtube videos, well without alot of prodding from strangers that must loath me, I have been able to achieve a couple thousand views on a video or two of mine. While those are not numbers to scoff at, they are also not numbers to celebrate, given that writing is really my only discernable skill. Now, that being said, I do have a work ethic, and it is one that I believe is at the very least mentionable, if only so that successful writers have something to laugh about as they are busy not paying attention to the things that I write.
First and foremost, writing is a labor of love. For the sake of craft I should put this point last as it is far and away the most important, but if you are like me you only pay attention to the first few paragraphs of my blog posts anyway, so with that in mind, this is where this information is going to go, thank you very much. For what it is worth, the advice is true. Writing is a process that you must love full heartidly if you are to are to excel at. It seems like very basic advice, but it’s true. By deciding that you want to be a writer and then devoting yourself entirely to the pursuit of it, you have in turn already become one. In fact, I would even go as far as to say this: to all you daily writers out there, congradulations, you are more than likely more skilled at your craft than ninety percent of the general population. Don’t get to excited. That other ten percent, the ten percent that you (and I) are competing with, are mean motherfuckers that will bite your fucking heads off with their best sellers and not even know that it happened. Some of these writing Goliaths are brilliant, like Stephen King and his perhaps even more talented son Joe Hill, and others are fools (you know who I am talking about) but either way it is the standards people like them set that make it damn near impossible for a begining writer to start out. They already have an audience, they have procured their metaphorical seat at the table, and as a result shaped what that table should look like. Publishers want people that will sell, and for that reason, writers need to be able to sell themselves. The top ten percent isn’t good enough. We need to be in the top one percent, or somehow write a new vampire romance novel that appeals to both teen girls and menaposal mothers. We need to stand out, which leads me to my next and final point…
Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like in most other careers, in writing you are only as good as what you are working on next. For example. If tomoro my blog were to somehow attain two thousand hits (quite honestly still a humble number all things considered) and then return the next day to my usual fifteen, Tuesday’s accomplishment would be irrelevant. Repetition is what matters, and while no writer can control the reactions of the audeience, we can shape our own process. For the first few months of this school semester I was enthrolled with the novel that I had been writing. My goal was to finish my first draft by Holloween a task that I was ultimately successful with. However, my methods for attaining this goal were perhaps not the wisest. Every morning at five am my alarm would go off, and I would immediatly reach for the cold cup of coffee that I had brewed the night before for just such a moment, chugging it as quickly as possible so that I could get to work. And then I would, for three to four hours depending on what my class schedule allowed I would work on my book. And then I would work again later in the day, until totally I had accumulated six to seven hours of writing on my novel. While that is undeniably a desirable amount of time a day to be able to write, it is also a chunk of time that looking back I cannot believe I was ever able to cut out for myself. I work, I am a student, and I am engaged. Six hours of anything other than maintaining those three things is extremely difficult to attain. Eventually i lost it. I began to crash, and so did my work, in all areas of life. And that is where I learned to pace myself. Because in a world where you truly are only as good as your next project, you need every better of strenghth that you can muster. Writing is a marathon, not sprint.
Thanks for reading for folks,
Paul Durante
Follow me on Twitter @DewmontPaul

You are beautiful. Remember it

 

Hey guys, Life is good eh? If you are like me you are a few weeks into summer, and hopefully loving it.  I’m in sort of a strange place in life right now, a sort of elongated strange place in life.  So elongated in fact that it makes me wonder what stages of life aren’t strange.  The only difference between now and every other brooding second of my life is that I’m sort of ok with all of that.  Sometimes I am prone to sadness, but the most liberating thing that I have ever done is accept that sadness will come, and embrace both the moments where it does, and the ones that it doesn’t.  Life is all about finding what makes you happy, and if your in the right place ot do so, engaging in things that will make other people happy also. 

For me, that has meant directing.  That’s right, I am currently pretending that I know how to direct! I am currently writing directing and acting in my own web series.  So far it has brought me a tremendous amount of happiness, and my hope is that in the near future it will bring other people some happiness as well.  I have posted only one teaser/ trailer video as of right now, but starting next week there is a great deal more to come.

Here is a link to that video http://youtu.be/cfM_n9gV_-g

For me, directing, and writing, and blogging have been a great joy.  I am hoping that you all find something to bring joy to yourselves as well.  If you find yourself with  a little bit of time and would like to support me, please check out my video, and subscribe if you can.

You are not invisible

Unfortunately, I think that some of you reading this feel invisible right now.  Maybe you think that no one notices you, and the ones that do don’t care.  It’s a tragedy that things like that happen.  There are seven billion people on this planet, and every single one of them matter (even the republicans).  Sometimes it is hard to feel like you matter.  Believe me, I understand, but the truth is that there isn’t a single person in the world that matters more than you.  Don’t let your head get to big, they don’t matter any less either.  The point is that you are all born the same way, and we all leave the same way as well.  You are not invisiblie, you are beautiful, and completely perfect the way you are.  It’s time for you to start believing that.

Finals: All the things you need to know that won’t help

Below is a list of things to get yourself through finals week.  Disclaimer, none of them work.

1.) Study! In case you forgot, you’re supposed to study for this shit.  The choice is between that, or dropping out.  If I were you I would pick the latter.

2.) Don’t cram.  The only thing worse than studying for one exam a night, is studying for six the night before.  I know you’ll want to go ahead and ignore this piece of advice, on account if it’s what your parents and teachers say to you to, but resist the urge to rebel and listen to them.

3.) Eat healthy.  I don’t know if this helps you do better on the exams or not, but it will make you live longer.  Trust me, you’ll  want some time in between your finals and your death.  Can you imagine if the last thing that you did on this planet was math?

4.) Get help! There are worse things in the world than having to ask for help, trust me, I’ve had six teeth pulled.  Now to be fair, if your tutor starts pulling your teeth, it might be a bad experience.  However, outside the occasional isolated insidents of attempted amateur dentistry, most tutoring goes quite well.

5.) Stay calm (But don’t make a fucking T-Shirt about it) Seriously, don’t worry too much about it.  It could be worse (you could be dead).

Say what you think, live how you feel

It is indeed the weekend, and as such, a perfect time to read this blog.  This weekend, I invite you to be yourself.  Do what you want to do.  Life is hard, but with each passing second you are given a chance at something new, it’s up to you to take it.  Walking around a college campus, I spot a lot of people who aren’t being themselves.  You don’t have to conform to a group to be apart of it.  Be yourself and add to the equation that makes up the party, don’t just exist beside it.  Life is to short not to say what you think and live how you feel.

No time like the present

No time like the Present

Opinion Column

By Drake Mahoney

                It’s become common practice these days for me to hear people my age utter the ridiculous phrase “I don’t have time.”  You don’t have time? Time is all you have.  Time is free, time is constant, time is in fact the only thing that you truly do have.  So don’t tell me that you have none of it, because that is only true if oyu are on your death bed, and if such is the case, I am tremdnously sad for you that you are reading this. 

                Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a rant against those that like to keep themselves occupied.  That’s fine, that’s good, that’s lovely even.  You’ve found your joy, you’ve pursued it and you have attained it.  You impress me, you best me, you are everything that I have ever dreamed of being.  So no, this article is not for you.  It’s for everyone else….Hello!

                Hello indeed, everyone else. Listen…you’re full of shit.  You do have time.  You just need to ask yourself, what do you want to be? It doesn’t matter if you want to be a Frisbee tosser, be a Frisbee tosser.  Now ask yourself this, is there anyway I can make money doing the thing that I want to do? If the answer is yes, and it probably is, you need to pursue it, no matter how long the odds are.  If you don’t at least try what you want to do first, what’s the point of even going to college?

                People in this country have this odd idea that you need to go to college right after you graduate high school.  Remember the last thirteen years that you spent miserable in a classroom? Years filled with homework, tests, and mediocre cafeteria food? Well guess what! Now you get to put yourself into debt for the rest of your life to have those things! It’s so odd to me the way people do things.  This is your time.  If you want to be a singer, be a singer! If you want to travel, do it! Be a writer,  be a painter, sing, dance, do things! College is a milestone of sorts, I suppose, but not one that you need to sprint to.

                Think about it, the reason that people go to college is to figure out what they want to do with their lives, but I’d venture a guess that a lot of you already know what you want to do with your life.  And if I was to guess further, I would say that it has very little to do with college algebra.  So why don’t you do those things? I bet when you were little you had all sorts of ideas of what you would like to be.  I know that I did.  I wanted to be a writer, and now look at me!….Ok look at someone else.  Look at Stephen King.  He wanted to be a writer, and he did it!

                There is no time better than now for you to pursue your wildest of dreams.  College can wait, if you want it to, or you can do both.  But don’t give up your idea of what your life should be like, because of someone elses idea of it.

No More “Slut” Bashing

Dear Stirfry,

                My ex girl friend is a slut.  Since we broke up two weeks ago, she has been with three different guys, and I heard a rumor that when we were still dating she made out with my best friend.  Now it is time for me to get her back.  I’m thinking of sleeping with her sister, what do you think?

Sincerely,

Hot and Bothered

                Dear Misguided,

                What I think is that you sent this to the wrong advice columnist.  But since you are here, let’s take a look at the problem shall we? The problem is not that your girlfriend has “been with” three guys since you broke up, the problem is not even that she kissed your friend (although that is admittedly regrettable) the problem is that you are treating relationships like a game of chess, and victimizing your ex with cruel double standards.  To begin with, she is not a “slut”.  Her body is no one but hers, and she may use it however she chooses without becoming a “slut”.  Would you not have already been with three girls by this point if anyone had dared kiss your misogynistic lips? There is a cruel double standard in our country that you have made someone that you claim to have at least at one point cared about, a victim of.  Men can pursue as sex as much as they please without judgment while women cannot.  But let’s move past that.  Under no circumstance is it right for you to sleep with her sister.  Hurting someone else to get back at someone who no longer wants anything to do with you is cruel and absurd.  What you need to do is move on, Bothered.  Well that’s it, that’s my schpeal.  Don’t you wish you had written to Otto?

Sincerely Yours,

Stirfry

Blood soaked Coughs and Bubonic Plagues

College, The Bitter Irony

By Drake Mahoney

                Remember grade school? Remember those mornings where you didn’t want to go to school, so you just didn’t? I don’t know about you, but when I was younger I self diagnosed myself with a whole slew of illnesses that I never had in an attempt to get out of going to class.  And a great deal of the time it worked, not because my mother actually believed that I had leprosy, but because she didn’t have the energy to argue with me that I didn’t.  To make things worse, if that is you consider skipping school to be a bad thing (pussy), I went to a private school.  I know, I’m a bitch.  I’ll even say it again….I’m  a bitch.  But as you probably know, private school costs a good deal more than a regular education (with none of the benefits) and because of that, my parents were literally paying for me not to have the bubonic plague.  Every lie I told, every  blood saturated cough that I faked, every class that I skipped cost my parents money, and until this morning I thought nothing of it.  I hated school more than I could put words to.  But you know what’s crazy? What’s really un fucking believable? I pay for it now.  I pay thousands of dollars a year- dollars that I don’t have, to go to school, and I’m supposed to feel grateful that I am able to do it. It’s funny the things people say to make us feel better about it.  Education is important.  Education is important? I’ll keep that in mind when my future employer gets upset that I took to dissecting a bullfrog in the work place.  Isn’t it crazy the things that they teach us? Biology, math, foreign language.  Most motherfuckers I know say ‘merica, on regular bases.  They don’t even know the name of our own country, which by the way is not America either.  We are in fact the United States of America, a country that resides on the continent of America.  Once they master the name of our country, perhaps they can branch out to a foreign language, but why would they possibly want to? To keep up with other countries? Fuck that shit.  People always talk about how much of an emphasis Asian schools emphasize education, but never in that same breath do they mention how much taller we are than them.  And yet I doubt very much that children in China start their days out with spinal elongation stretches in order to “keep up” with us.  Let them be them and let me be me.  You can only ever be yourself, and one thing that I do know about myself is that I will never be a student.  I will never be someone with a desire to learn, the ability to properly study, or the self-deceptiveness to not be terminally depressed that I have to do those things anyway.  Life is incredibly hard, made infinitesimally more so by fractions.  And guess what? You’re paying for those fractions, and you’re lucky to have the opportunity to do so.

Happy Easter

I was born Catholic.  I was raised somewhat Catholic, and for twenty years I have drifted in and out of the “holy mindset”.  In that time, Easter has meant a variety of different things, ranging from the day that my parents pretend to be rabbits, to the day that Jesus returned from the dead.  I was contemplating that today, wondering what it meant for the holiday in general as it pertains to me, and I decided that it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference.  I chose to believe that people are inherintantly good, and as such, on a day like today, they are typically going to be celebrating that spirit of good, be it with gift giving, or with family time.  So what does it really matter what you believe? The Christians will tell you that today is about Jesus, and as a man who was raised in the church, I cannot fault them for that logic, but the truth is today, like any other day, is about you, and how you chose to live it, so make sure that you do it right.  Happy Easter