Category Archives: Random

The COVID Vaccine Sucks (Part One)

About a month ago I got the COVID vaccine. A month prior I had signed up over our county’s health department website to be notified when I’d be eligible to get the vaccine; I figured those guys are the main coordinators of all of this shit so why mess around trying to do it all myself? Why in the fuck would I want to call my doctor or a handful of CVS/Walgreens trying to figure out if they had openings? They sent me an email that Friday with a vaccination site and a link to schedule an appointment. I was bored as all hell so scheduled a time; surprisingly they had appointments open on the same day so I gave myself an hour and scheduled one at 4 p.m. It was 3:05 at the time.

I of course drove to the wrong church because Riverside Blvd. has about six churches along a three mile stretch of road. But eventually I got there, followed the signs and was greeted by military dudes in camo! Huh? They all seemed pretty cool and the guys at the entrance desk were super professional.

It all went smoothly enough. I was herded to a table with two other camo dudes, these not as professional as the others and they seemed almost mind-numbingly bored with stabbing people with needles all day but I guess I could see their point-of-view. It didn’t seem like the funnest use of your time. You sign up to protect America from all enemies within and without the country and you end up battling a fucking virus by giving shots to the lame civilians in Illinois. Not glorious, not fun, but maybe that’s what being a hero really is.

One guy said, “It’ll just be a little prick,” which I’m used to thanks to donating blood sorta frequently. When they jam a massive needle into your arm to harvest a pint of blood you stop caring about those lesser shot needles. Get that baby shit out of here, I’m a real man! And it was a little prick, but what he didn’t tell me was when the vaccine is actually administered it hurts like hell. It felt like my right arm was being injected with a gallon of liquid, like a balloon was being blown up inside my arm. It also slightly burned but I didn’t notice that because of the whole balloon feeling. The shot was over, so “Please go have a seat over there for fifteen minutes. If you feel fine after that, you can leave.”

For the next few minutes it felt like someone Charlie-horsed the fuck out of my arm. But that went away and I sat there bored for the remaining fifteen minutes. Part of me wanted to get the hell out of there after ten minutes just to prove my theory that no one really gives a shit about you or notices you — no one is going to jump up and say “Hey! He’s escaping!” — but I’m a good boy and sat there for exactly fifteen minutes. It was the first time I had been in a church in years so it couldn’t hurt. Maybe God would forgive my sins if I sat there for my allotted time.

The rest of Friday was normal. No arm pain, no aches, no strange side effects; I was fucking immune to the vaccine obviously. I went to work, asked some friends about their COVID shot and one of them said she felt like ass on the third day. She also said she never has any effects from vaccines — this is not true for me– so I was probably screwed.

Luckily I didn’t have to be nervous for long. 10:30 p.m. rolled on by and I felt…off. Tired, kind of dreamy, and I thought maybe it was the lack of alcohol in my system; usually my body has alcohol at 9:30 so maybe it was asking where the good stuff was. As time went on it got worse and people would talk to me and I couldn’t really get a grasp on what was being said. My brain was too tired to hear, listen, process, think of a reply, and then move my mouth and lungs to say said reply. So I’d just go, “Umm. Huh? What? Oh,” to everything said to me.

Saturday I was dead. Legit dead. I slept until 2 p.m. when my dad woke me up wanting his oil changed. We had planned this out days earlier, but I had forgotten about it. I made some coffee and tried my best to get on with the day but I had zero energy. I was achy. I was sleepy. I wanted to lay around and exist because that’s all I could do. Despite this, I somehow dragged myself to the store to get the oil/filter and changed the oil. It was a struggle though and was probably the longest it has ever taken me to change oil! I was moving in slow motion; grabbed the 15mm wrench when I needed the 17mm and it took considerable effort to get off the ground, walk into the garage, and grab the damn thing. Constant inner monologue of, “Okay, just stand up. You need to get the 17mm wrench. Good job! You’ve stood up. Let’s take a couple of minutes and then we’re going to walk 15 feet to the toolbox and find the 17! Are you ready? You can do this! One step at a time! GOOD JOB, YOURE WALKING JUST FINE!”

That day was shit. Day 2, Sunday, was fine. It was Easter and we went to a park. I was over the shitty vaccine side effects.

Work on Monday was fine…Until about 7:30 p.m. that is. I started to get those spacy feelings and became tired and achy. I tried to do some work but I couldn’t so sat in the van for a majority of the airplane load. My friends noted that I “wasn’t with it at all,” or that “Jeremy isn’t doing so good right now…” I don’t remember the rest of the night but I’m here writing so I guess I somehow managed to survive just fine.

And I’ve felt fine ever since. (Fine in regards to the COVID shot. I was still fucking dead from all the drinking, but that’s a different post.) It seems the US has shitty vaccination rates as it is, and I think if everyone really knew how shitty they might feel from the COIVD shot it would just lower the rates even more. Luckily people are stupid and detached so hearing, “aches, pains, nausea” as side effects doesn’t really click until you’re actually feeling it yourself. It’s all an abstraction until it’s not.

I’m not trying to say that I felt so fucking bad that no one should get the shot, and my goal is quite contrary to that. I felt honorable feeling like shit because I knew I did the right thing for everyone. It wasn’t fun for me, but life isn’t all about making yourself feel good. I mean it kinda is, but there’s also literal billions of other people out there, many more susceptible to COVID than you are, and you have to keep that in mind. It’s not about you — you’re not the sole protagonist in the world — it’s about us! In a way I felt like a hero for getting the shot, for the ‘self-sacrifice’ I did for the greater good and for how I stood up for what I believe in. Science, doing what’s right, helping others even if they’re strangers, not falling for bullshit-ass propaganda. Not being a dipshit. And so on.

Apparently I’m mostly alone in feeling this way, at least when compared to the rest of my family. People are stupidly self-centered even if it puts everyone else at risk, even those close to you that you purportedly love. They don’t want the shot because reasons or something. That’s a big part two to this and I PROMISE I’ll post that tomorrow. Just go get the fucking vaccine so we can go back to socializing at eating at restaurants or something.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

A Throwaway Post

I have to leave for work in an hour. And I’m going to sit here and post something, whatever that something is, before I leave because I haven’t done shit here in about three weeks. I’m in one of those severe writer’s block moods where I can’t stand to write. I can only write three or four paragraphs before I’m disgusted by what I’ve written. It’s clunky, it’s nothing special, and I quickly throw it all away through a few quick clicks of the mouse and backspace key. Even now I find myself absolutely limping through this at just a few words at a time. This is painful…

It’s nice that my creativity is dead around the board and isn’t just a writing thing. I also haven’t done shit on YouTube in awhile; I keep wondering what the hell I’m trying to accomplish with it all. Consider it a mild dose of nihilism and no amount of active thinking and positive affirmations have helped. “Just be creative! Give information! Have fun! Do [project] for yourself and no one else!” Well, sadly I need some outside validation and if I could turn that part of myself off like a light switch I would. Fuck viewers, subscribers, comments, etc. and just do what you want to do, BUT I’m fucked and my mind doesn’t quite work that way.

To beat that point some more: I almost had record views on this blog last month! I almost broke the 2,000 mark, but since I didn’t do shit since the 14th or so that didn’t happen. It would’ve been nice but I fell short because I’m a slacker and keeping anything good going for more than a few months at a time is impossible. Man I don’t like being me, but who else can I be? No one. I might as well get used to it but after thirty years I’m not too confident anything will actually change.

(Not important note: You guys ever get WordPress notifications for when your blog ‘goes viral?’ That’s not the terminology used, but it’s similar. A few times last month in the midst of doing jack shit I’d get the notification and find my daily views had skyrocketed from like 20 to 100 for no obvious reason. I’ve always been curious about this. I’m guessing some stranger shares one of your posts or something and, them being fairly popular, people actually read the shared post. I don’t know, maybe something else is going on.)

I almost sat down and wrote a post on Saturday but that didn’t happen. The title: The COVID Vaccine Sucks. It was a great idea for a post to jump back in with because it’s straight-forward and would write itself. I got the vaccine Friday, felt fine for about six hours, and then died. Not literally (obviously) but life was like a walking fever dream. It’s so hard to explain but I just didn’t feel right. Kinda achy but not achy enough to complain about, pretty tired but nothing day breaking, and mentally foggy where it seemed to take effort to form sentences and thoughts. Sluggish, sleepy, and strange. While it would’ve been an easy post to churn out I wasn’t in any state to be productive at all so I let that pass. And now that I feel somewhat normal I don’t care to write about how shitty I felt because it was a few days ago and is just an abstraction now.

I think that’s good enough to start with. I swear taking a three week break from writing seems to erase all progress you’ve made. It feels like I haven’t written anything before and I’m awkwardly trying to create my very first blog post all over again. It fucking sucks. I’m literally sighing at my computer every few minutes at how painfully awkward this is. Feel my frustration people! *SIGH* I think it’s made even worse because I have writer’s block figure out completely: the cure for writer’s block is to write. That’s all there is too it. Just force your way through it. But oh there’s so much more to that simple platitude and you can’t just write because you know it’ll help your block. It’s like telling a depressed person to just not be depressed! Bad analogy, but whatever. You have motivation to find and have to want to get past the writer’s block and it’s much easier just to sit around and be lazy than to do anything about it. Good enough. Time to post.

Stonks Suck: Trading Tips for Beginners

As for stocks and trading I didn’t think I had much to tell anyone starting out. Luckily my brain goes into hyperdrive at 3 a.m. and holy hell I do have a few protips for the novice stock trader. While I’m not a trading expert by any means I have learned a few things along the way. So here’s a list!

Know Your Goals

It’s good to know exactly what you’re investing for, just be honest with yourself. If you’re 40 or 50 and are trying to save up for retirement, act like that’s what you’re doing. Open up an IRA, don’t dump money into stupid-ass WallStreetBets meme stocks, and don’t go chucking major portions of your portfolio into options. Do, please do, buy ETFs, dividend stocks, and whatever other boring boomer shit you want to buy. Bonds are probably perfect for you. These are boring, but boring is good for long-term investing. On the other hand, if you’re “investing” to get filthy rich ASAP, do not buy boring ETFs and dividend stocks. Do risky shit and make that money while you can. Learn how to be aggressive and have fun not sleeping well while doing so.

I say to know your goals early because your goals will manifest themselves in how you’re investing whether you like it or not. When I first started investing I tried to be, well, an investor. I was someone making money for the long term and while I thought this was my goal, I was mistaken. Apparently at heart I want to get as rich as possible as quickly as possible. I’m not so desperate that I’m blowing my account up or going all in on a single stock, but I do get myself into some questionably risky situations. Starting off I had half my money in “proper stocks” while I was doing seriously stupid stuff with the other half. My investment portfolio was a Jekyll and Hyde conglomeration split between boomer ETFs and meme stocks, all while jacked-up on options. This led to a lot of juggling between mindsets that was mostly subconscious. Was I trying to be safe? Was I taking risks for max gains? I didn’t know. I wasn’t honest with myself. Be honest with yourself. If you’re a degenerate options trader act like it and you’ll be happier. You might be poor, but you’ll be happy.

And if you’re new? Fuck around and find out your style and learn in the process. It’s like anything else in life; you don’t know until you try. Buy and sell some stocks, see how orders work. Learn what the hell a limit order is, what a stop order is, and what “bid” and “ask” are. If you stumble your way into options, learn what “expiring worthless” is and what “deep out-of-the-money” means. Whether stocks or options, above all else have fun and learn, and try not to lose too much money in the process.

DiVeRsIfY!

Options are great. No, not those kind of options, but options like how normal people use the word. Basically when trading it’s hard to be right 100% of the time, so why risk your whole account by owning a single stock? It’s dangerous because you will be wrong and if you bet it all when you’re wrong, even if it is rare, you’re out of the game. All the money is gone. You might even owe money to the broker if you did something really dumb.

Diversification is sometimes laughed about, even by giants like Warren Buffet. He famously said something like, “Put all your eggs in one basket and watch the basket.” He’s not wrong, but most people don’t know what to look for regarding dangers to this basket. There could be a wolf about to eat all the eggs and we wouldn’t know it. We wouldn’t even know what a wolf looks like! My point is unless you’re an expert at knowing market conditions, economic conditions, and are great at reading 10-Ks and 10-Qs like a wizard, you probably can’t watch the basket very well.

Personally, I admit I don’t know shit about companies. I invest in meme stocks that have high options premium. That’s my investment strategy. My egg basket is, well, I don’t know what it is, but it sure isn’t something that has any business holding eggs. The eggs could be eaten, spoiled (there’s probably an option expiration joke here), or be stolen at any moment and that’s why I have multiple baskets. One or two of the baskets can get stolen/eaten, and I still have eight more. I can and will be wrong, and at most it’ll wipe out 10% of my holdings. I, and you, can happily easily take a 10% hit to the investment account and be able to function.

This play more into my next tip: be stoic. By diversifying you can remove extreme emotion from your investing/trading.

Be Calm. Be Chill. Be Stoic. It’s just money after all!

You are your main enemy to stock market success. It’s not market makers, shorts, or other traders; they only use you against yourself. Why? Because you’re a person. You have emotions. You’re stupid and irrational and emotional. Money is on the line; you know the thing we all trade for shelter, food, good, and everything? Money is fundamentally tied to emotion, so when your money starts to get messed with you get stupid. Think of all the silly shit you’ve done and said on an emotional high or low. You may have drunkenly told someone you loved them, kicked someone’s ass, bought something stupid, and apply this to your investment account. How are you going to treat hundreds or thousands of investment money if you’re emotional? When a stock you own (please be diversified!) drops 60% and your money disappears what do you do? You have a choice and emotion will only make the choice harder to make.

I don’t really have a tip here because it’s something you learn to deal with. There is no magical key to not being emotional when money is involved (besides shutting your phone off and going for a walk), but just know that it is immensely important, more than any other thing, to keep emotion in check in regards to investing. I do have a few tips on things to be aware of though. Luckily they have names so by labeling them you can recognize what’s happening and combat it.

FOMO

Fear of Missing Out. You watch a stock you were kinda thinking about buying jump 300% in a few days. People at work are talking about their hot stock that’s printing them tendies. You start to think that maybe you missed the boat — you dragged your feet and are sitting out riding the rocket to the moon — or did you? Maybe it’ll go up another 300% if you get in ASAP! Yeah, that’s a great idea. You’re not even greedy, you just want it to go up a little bit so you can feel like you were part of the moon mission, and that’s not hard to do, right? Surely if it went up so quickly, it’ll keep going up at least until you sell.

Wrong. This is a terrible idea. Hype is dangerous. FOMO is why people I work with are chucking money into Bitcoin at $50,000 after it went up 1,000% in a year. This is why people are still bagholding GameStop at $450 per share. This is why a large portion of bagholders exist in the first place; their still holding onto their $18 AMCs they bought a few months ago no wanting to take the loss.

If you find yourself experiencing HARD FOMO and just can’t resist, buy yourself a small portion. Don’t go crazy. Don’t “invest” anything more than you’re willing to lose. Using Bitcoin again, if you invested $1,000 at $50,000 and Bitcoin went down to $5,000, would you be fine with it? You turned $1,000 into $100 and how would you feel? There is a low enough point where it’s stomachable, so invest that. I’m not buying Bitcoin but if I did I’d be okay with a $500 “investment.” If I lose it, it’s fine, and I won’t lose sleep over it. FOMO is dangerous so be aware of it.

(Related Post: The Great GameStop Short Squeeze of 2021)

FUD/Dooming

The opposite of FOMO: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. This can be caused by your family questioning what the hell you bought, news stories, internet shitposts, etc. and make you scared to hold your stock/option because you’re worried the price will crash. These pale in comparison to witnessing a beloved stock you owe totally collapse in price. You watch your thousands of dollars of gain disappear in a few days (or maybe hours) and what do you do? You panic sell. You’re $10,000 profit is down to $7,000, $6,000 and $5,000 and OMG how much worse can it get! I could lose all my profit! You panic sell and realize a $2,000 gain, but oh how you kick yourself in the ass for not getting out at the top. You were greedy, you feel like shit. You’re the worst trader ever.

Then the next day the stock goes up and you get a side of FOMO to go with your main-course FUD. If only you held…but maybe it’s not too late to jump back in?

As before, no real tips on this one. It’s also hard to give tips for when something emotional is happening. It’s easy to say “don’t panic sell!” but when you’re on the verge of panic selling its hard to detach yourself from the numbers on your screen and actually not panic sell. Only with hindsight do you realize how much of a paper-handed bitch you were.

Like with FOMO, a good recipe for mitigating FUD is to give into your emotions just a little bit so you feel like you’re doing something. If you want to sell as a stock is crashing, sell half. Sell a third. You don’t need to sell it all and regret it later. And if you have truly massive balls, you can always buy more shares on the way down!

No Regrets! No “what ifs”!

There’s few things worse than seeing an “investment” work out better than you expected but to not sell at the top. You’re always haunted by the “what if I just did this…” A stock triples, you don’t sell, and then it’s back to where you bought it at. You could’ve raked in so much money but you held too long and raked in absolutely nothing.

Then there’s the opposite problem: selling too early. You got greedy/scared and took a 10% gain when you could’ve had a 1000% gain. This was me with GameStop in January. I had 400 shares total and sold them around $30-40. Sure I made $5,000 but I could’ve had $150,000 if I held on for another week or so! Try not to kick yourself in the ass for missing like that and tell me how well it goes. It’s hard.

At least I didn’t FOMO back in. I realized my mistake — I sold too early — and am trying my best to not let it haunt me. Everything is clear with hindsight and what I did made sense at the time. Trading is stupidly hard and no one perfectly buys at the bottom or sells at the top and as long as you come out ahead, who cares? I’m not the guy holding bags at $450 a share, and at least I was in the play and made some significant cash. As always, easier said than done, but try not to be too hard on yourself for not being perfect.

My tip here is to take profits as you wish. You can probably tell that I’m a big fan of taking half-measures — selling half, buying half — because you’re doing something and doing something feels good. If a stock goes up 20% and you want to sell, sell half. Realize some profits and let the rest ride. If it goes up even more, sell half of those, and so on. This isn’t a rule, just an idea. You feel good taking profits but leaving some on the table does wonders for the “what if” thoughts that might haunt you.

The same is true for buying. Buy half of what you want and see how it plays out. If the stock goes down, buy more. This keeps you safe from tossing in a ton of money at a high price, but makes you feel good for getting some cash in the game.

In Closing

I don’t really have much to say here. Stocks are like anything else; you suck at first and then you get better. The only downside to sucking is you’ll probably lose money in the process. Consider it tuition for learning or something. Be glad that you’re taking the first steps to financial literacy and independence because investing is just that: investing in your future. Have fun and I wish your stocks fly to the moon and beyond and that you get the Lambo/Tesla of your dreams.

(Shill Note: I did actually write a book about trading options. I think it’s only $5 so if you’re interested please check it out. And if you do, LEAVE A DAMN REVIEW! I’m really curious on how the book actually is received by those who read it. It might suck but I’d like to know if it sucks at least. /Shill.)

Depression in Stardew Valley Sucks: Part Two

Part One is here.

After platinuming Death Stranding (something I recommend only masochists do) I started Grand Theft Auto V. I had played it a year or so ago but never fully got into it. I was doing good for about a month — it’s a fantastic game — but it couldn’t stand up to the release of Stardew Valley version 1.5. This updates adds a whole new area to the game as well as local multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch. My wife and I started a game and me being the old pro at the game proceeded to boss her until she got the gist of the game. This has been my all-consuming addiction the past two or three weeks.

I can’t shrug off the feeling I get mid/late game though. I get depressed and bored while playing it. I already made a post complaining about video games endings and how games like Stardew Valley are especially depressing because they don’t have a hard ending. You can play the game literally forever raking in cash, fucking around, and whatever else you can find to do. Eventually nihilism comes in and you wonder what exactly it’s all for; does your in-game person even have a purpose in their life or is it just to make as much money before you die get bored and quit?

Having already written about that particular topic I didn’t think I’d have much more to say about it, but Stardew gives me a few more things to muse about because it tosses a bunch of capitalism and automation into the “everything is pointless” nihilism of late-game.

Stardew Valley, if you’ve never played, is a farming simulator. On it’s surface it’s a kid’s game; it’s easy, you can’t really die or fail the game, and if you want you can ignore your farm and fuck off the entire game with zero penalties. Sure, you’ll be poor, but since you don’t need to eat food or anything it’s fine. The music is cute, the art style is that of mid 1990s SNES games, and the whole thing basically shits cute/friendly/laid-back vibes. Until you get to the plot that is.

You inherit your farm from your dead grandpa. You leave your soulless, life-draining corporate job at Joja Mart (basically a stand-in for Walmart/greedy capitalism in general) to farm in Stardew Valley. The game stresses the importance of hard work and community, making real connections with real people doing fulfilling manual labor to contribute to your society. If you look slightly past the pretty/cute surface, the game emits anti-capitalism vibes and seems to be a statement against our current society where making money seems to be the most important thing to do in life. Why can’t we all leave our Joja Mart jobs and go farm in Stardew Valley?!

Now I don’t know if this is intentional on the video game creator’s part, but it seems most playthroughs end with you becoming exactly what you’ve been fighting against the whole time. Somehow I don’t think this was intentional. Game progression has to come from somewhere and starting with a quaint farm and turning it into a fucking money making machine makes sense progression-wise. But looking back on my current playthrough I wonder what the real message of Stardew Valley is, intentional or not. Is it that you can’t escape the rat-race? That every wonderful dream-fulfilling career turns into a slog? That there’s no escape from this? That eventually all you care about is making as much money as efficiently as possible? That you want to make the farm as easy to manage and as automated as possible because work fucking sucks?

At the start of the game, you’re a hard working farmer. You only have about 20 plants and you need to water them every day. You chop down trees, water, harvest the plants, and go to bed at like 5 p.m. because you’re so damn exhausted. This is fun for the first few seasons, but as the farm grows the work load increases. The chores start to feel like chores. You naturally want to make as much money as possible — who doesn’t? — so you upgrade your tools to make the job easier. You can eventually water 3, 5, and 9 plants in one go, so you expand the cropland. You now have 100-200 plants and diversify your farm into animals and artisan products. You make some fish ponds, start brewing wine and aging it, and before you know it you’re rolling in more money than you know what to do with. You endlessly farm for iridium ore so you can make the best damn watering sprinklers in the game — you’re sick of watering the damn crops everyday and just want enough sprinklers so you don’t have to do a damn thing on the farm anymore.

You also start doing a bunch of math to find out the best crops on a gold per day basis; some crops just aren’t worth fucking around with. You start growing only one or two crops to maximize your income. You know not to turn iridium-tier goat milk into cheese because you’ll take a slight loss on it. Let’s not forget the opportunity cost of making cheese either! You install junimo huts on the farm so you don’t even need to harvest the produce anymore: let the illegals junimos do all the work! You invest in the ‘auto-grabber’ tool so you don’t need to pick up eggs or milk the cows anymore. Hell, there’s even an ‘auto-petter’ that loves on the farm animals so you don’t even need to interact with them to keep them happy anymore. In a few short years you become Capitalism Incarnate.

Yesterday while playing my wife took care of everything on the farm and mentioned that she didn’t use any energy in the day. It was time for bed, she had been busy, but her energy bar was still maxed out. Holy shit, what happened? Remember the good ole days when we had to actually work on the farm and chop trees and pick vegetables? It was only a few years ago, but now our farm is so automated and easy to run that there’s not even a game to play anymore. Everything is a chore; you wake up, check the wine casks in the basement, sell and restock as necessary and that’s about it. I think that’s the point I’m trying to make here. The game wants you to use these fancy upgrades because that’s how it shows progression, but the progression is all about making the game easier and you lazier as time goes on. And as this happens you just don’t care anymore. As the work becomes easier, it becomes less fulfilling, and after the end of the third year you can’t help but feel that something went wrong, that this wasn’t the dream you had, and that you’re working another Joja Mart-type job, and worse, it’s a fate you walked into thinking it’d be better for your mental and spiritual health.

Like I said, I don’t think think this is exactly what Concerned Ape, the creator of the game, was trying to say, but the game is saying it anyway, and is saying it better than any other games trying to make this point. You try to escape corporate hell by farming but end up making your farm into a massive cash-making machine. All you care about is how big you can make that number at the top of the screen even if you have nothing to spend it on. You’re just as bad as Joja Mart, aren’t you? And by making things easier for yourself with better tools/automation, you take the achievement out of what you’re doing, but you’ve been wanting to get out of work all along, weren’t you? But now that the hard work is past you realize you don’t have shit to do, so you do what I’ve been doing in game. You set up a bonfire and some chairs around it in a quiet, unused portion of your farm, and sit ponding your purpose at 3 p.m. “My life in Stardew Valley sucks now. I’m rich but I’m bored. What the hell am I supposed to do now…?”

Not sure why I have three other chairs; I have no friends in Stardew Valley.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Trading Stonks Sucks

I find myself the Stock Guru at UPS now. It’s cool — I love that people are into investing now — but seeing a coworker with a two-week-old Robinhood account tossing money into some penny stock with a 2 BILLION DOLLAR MARKET CAP and 20 employees and making 175% returns on his $200 account makes me sort of want to die. This will not end well! Dude stumbles into the market, buys some ZOM and SNDL shares, doubles his money and instantly thinks he’s good at trading, attributing beginner’s luck to personal skill or something. Eventually he’ll YOLO his whole account on something stupid, his luck/”personal skill” will fail to materialize, and then he’ll be up at 8:30 a.m. after two restless hours of sleep realizing a whopping 90% loss on his account. I’ve lived that hell myself; that’s what stock trading is — getting cocky and blowing up your account — and realizing that, holy hell, it isn’t actually free money.

Andy will probably blow his account up if he ever gets the balls to invest more than a few hundred dollars. Dominic sold his Dogecoins for a hefty loss and recently bought some SNDL shares; today they’re down like 30%! James is still holding AMC for some reason and he’s probably down 50% on that play, but he said he “bought it for the meme” so I think he’s not expecting to actually get rich. Enrique, even if he doesn’t say a whole lot, still mumbles to Andy and Dominic about biotech penny stocks with names that you’ve never heard of and never will hear of. I’ll make up a few names now so you get the idea of what a biotech penny stock sounds like: Trevelex, ZambiTech, Velero Pharmaceuticals, and Xetezic Diagnostics. Caleb is still waiting for ANVX to drop below $10 to load up and warning the others to not invest in Bitcoin at $56,000 (wise moves from someone not trading at all) while my sister is asking me about call options and strike prices on General Motors of all things. If I want anyone to not blow their account up it’d be her. Allison continually says, “Jeremy! You need to teach me how to do stocks!” and my old coworker from years ago texted me asking, “Guess I’m curious what you use to buy stocks.”

This is all confusing to me because I don’t think I’m that good at trading. This year I’m up $5,000 on a $16,000 account — a whopping 30% return in a month — but I don’t think this is my doing. If anything I’ve been lucky and trading cautiously, trying to remember one of the holy rules of the stock market; don’t lose money! It’s hard to gain money if you keep losing it. Even though I’m doing great this year I vividly remember past years where I’ve made some very stupid moves. I blew up my account to the tune of $10,000 during which I call the XIVpocalypse. Seriously, go look up XIV and see what happened a few years ago. That was me riding it all the way down thinking I found a a way to print money for free or something. There’s been countless earnings plays where I also lost thousands of dollars, stupidly betting half my account on a stock either going up or down. It’s dangerous and it’s stupid and it will bite you. And now? I’m lucky and I’m cautious of pushing my luck too far. Maybe this is exactly what a good trader is?

I think that’s the appeal of the market to these blind novices; the stock market is as close to free money as you can get. These guys see 50-100% returns in a single day if they strike the right stock at the right time; how does this compare with slaving away at UPS for $15 per hour. The math isn’t hard to do: dump $5,000 into the market, hit a 50-100% return (or higher), and you’ll have $7,500-10,000 in a single day or week. Do this a few times and you’ve made your yearly pay doing absolutely nothing but clicking buttons on your phone. Very quickly you get to the point of asking yourself why you’re working at all. It’s easier to just trade. Take all your money, dump it into your brokerage account and trade. Roll profits into large plays and profits and before you know it you have two commas in your net worth and can retire. And easy it is when you’re lucking out with 50% gains everyday.

It’s hard to talk about the dark side of trading to these n00bs. They’re making gains all day, everyday, all week long. They’re excited, they’re energized, and they’ve found a new and interesting hobby. How can you possibly be like, “Yeah, that’s cool, but the market will move against you eventually, and it doesn’t feel good when you lose money, so don’t get cocky. Take gains when you can and stay humble. Above else: be lucky.” When Andy is making bank off penny stocks, do I really want to tell him about SPY and it’s tasty 2% dividend? Or JNK with its massive 5% dividend? Or the benefits of long-term investing? Hell no.

I guess I’m torn between these two extremes. On one hand I do feel like my trading is acting like a second job for me; whatever I’ve been doing the past couple of month is working, while on the other hand it doesn’t seem as easy or a rosy as I’m sure these newbz like to think it is. Investing is a great thing to get into that many people, especially poor people, are too scared or hesitant to get into. There’s a big rant here about the US’s population being especially financially illiterate (but I’ll hold off on that) so a bunch of new people being interested in STONKS is a great change. Yes, invest in your future. Make passive income. Be an owner of a company and not a customer. Use your money for you and not to blow on the newest and hottest electronic device.

Free money? Yes, but not really. There does seem to be some work, some price to pay for the cash. Regular jobs involve boredom, dealing with idiot coworkers, and actual labor. With trading to make MASSIVE GAINS I think what you give up is your psychological well-being. It’s checking your account every 10 minutes even though the markets are closed. It’s laying awake at 3 a.m. wondering if you’ll have more or less money in your account in five hours. It’s insomnia and stress. It’s pondering randomly throughout the day what your future plays will be. It’s a mental mess deciding to sell for a profit or to let it ride. Will it go up or down? Play it safe or risky? It’s being bored out of your mind on the weekend unable to enjoy yourself because you can’t trade at all! It’s being upset and restless during holidays for the same reason. It’s having an abstract idea of money as simple numbers on a screen and a detachment to the value of it. Maybe I’m taking this to the extreme, but trading the past few weeks — despite the free money of my gains — is a subtle form of hell. When I think about it it doesn’t seem like free money at all. There’s a cost to it, just a different sort of cost than time/boredom/hard labor that is typical work.

Which is good in a way. By trading and seeing your worth fluctuate wildly during market hours you become stoic in a way. GameStop is down like 70% from when you bought it? You’ve lost thousands of dollars? Oh well. You somehow have to put this to the back of your mind ignoring the money you’ve lost (which is really hard to do) and live your life the best you can. You still have to eat, sleep, have friends, go to work, and be happy all while having this massive dirty-feeling cloud over your head. With time you can get pretty good at it to.

Maybe that’s what I’m trying to say here. The stock market is free money and a good thing to invest in, but know exactly what you’re investing for or what your goals are. If you want to dump part of your paycheck into a wide-market ETF like SPY go right ahead: it’s a fucking smart choice long term and you’ll eventually turn your money into a big pile of cash. It’ll just take forever and it’ll be boring. You won’t get the excitement of seeing your account double or triple in a day or two (or the stress and anxiety of seeing it get cut in half either) but this is what investing is. If you’re trading — looking to make a quick buck or generate income equal to a second job — you’re in for a world of shit. You’ll be consistently checking your accounts, trying to find new plays, struggling with bagholding and deciding when to sell for profits. You’re sleep will be trash and lows are immense. One day you’ll feel like King Midas and the next you’ll feel like a fucking idiot not selling when you felt like King Midas. It’s not fun, it’s all consuming, and it takes some pretty hefty mental fortitude to pull it off properly. And as stated before it also takes a good amount of luck and the appreciation that luck can actually play in day to day life. This is what I don’t think the novices at work are prepared for.

Note: By the time I posted this Andy finally sold his SNDL shares for a $90 loss. Remember, he was up 175% last week. Think about how you’d feel not selling at the correct time and eventually taking a loss.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Life‌ ‌Protips‌ ‌#1:‌ ‌Protips‌ ‌for‌ ‌Life‌ ‌(The‌ ‌First‌ ‌One)‌

A friend at work mentioned he was tossing around the idea for a “life protips” series on YouTube in a very tentative, brainstormy kinda way. I guess I thought about it enough that my insomnia-riddled brain at 3 a.m. started coming up with my own list of life protips. It’s a stupid enough idea to make a quick post about it here.

Number blog posts even if there isn’t a series. Just put a #1 at the start to save yourself the trouble even if you never make a second post.

Check the toilet paper before you ‘get started!’ When you first enter a bathroom make sure there is enough toilet paper to clean yourself. You can always enter another stall or quickly grab another roll, but once your ass has shit all over it you’re stuck on the toilet unless you want to get shit in your underwear. Do yourself a favor and check before you use the toilet.

Check the seat before you sit down! Who knows what sort of fluids are on the toilet. Before you drop your pants and plop down, inspect the seat and clean it as needed. No one wants to sit in some stranger’s piss.

Check the shopping cart before you enter the store! No one wants to load their cart up with a hundred pounds of food and junk to find out one wheel is shit, drags, and pulls to one side. Check it before you start shopping and get a better cart right away. Save your wrist and back from constantly steering to one side to go straight.

Load heavy shit in the back of your shopping cart! Yes, another shopping cart protip. Because shopping is such a pain in the ass experience you want to make it as easy on yourself as possible. By putting heavy shit in the rear of your cart you’re minimizing the angular momentum when you need to turn the cart. There’s some physics involved here, but by moving heavy stuff closer to the center of rotation (the rear wheels) you minimize how much force it takes to turn the cart. Try it out and thank me later.

Always get a shopping cart! This is the last tip about shopping carts, I promise. Never grab those shitty little baskets you have to carry. Sure, you think you’re going in the store for milk, eggs, and bread, but you know your hungry ass is going to load up with way more food than you initially planned for. Do you want to haul twenty pounds of heavy shit in a basket? No. There is no downside to grabbing a cart even if you’re “only grabbing a few items.” Carts have wheels, baskets don’t, so just grab a fucking cart.

Use the self-checkouts near the pharmacy, not near the grocery section! All Walmart’s seem to have this setup: groceries on one end of the store and the pharmacy on the other. Both sides of the store have similar self-checkout lanes with one key difference; most people are at the store to buy food, not lightbulbs/toys/toothpaste. Everyone goes to the lanes nearest to the grocery section because most people are stupid. Take the time to walk down to the other end of the store to check-out and you’ll save five or ten minutes not waiting in line.

Leave a dedicated roll of paper towels in the garage! These do not leave the garage! If they run out, replace them. You never know when you’re going to get your hands dirty fucking around with the random shit in a garage. Need to air the car tires up? Well now you have brake dust and road grime on your fingertips even if it was a simple task. They’re also great for spontaneous window cleaning when you’re bored in the summer or for changing oil. This also saves your sink from being destroyed.

Speaking of paper towels, use their empty cardboard rolls to wrap Christmas lights around! Put the female cord in one end, wrap the strand around the roll, and you’ll be treated to tangle-free lights 9-10 months later. I learned this from my grandpa who I thought was a goddamn genius for using this method. As with all amazing protips, it’s a lifesaver with zero downside. Just fucking do it.

Open bananas from the bottom! Don’t open them from the stalk — this is the tough section of a banana and usually just smashes the fruit to a pulp before you can get it open. Pinch the bottom and start peeling for an unblemished banana experience. Big thanks to my old boss Coach Dave at Sam’s Club for this protip. He was kind of a douche at times, but I’ll always be fond of his banana protip.

Only charge your phone to 70-80%! Lithium batteries wear out faster if you constantly charge them to 100%. Phone companies don’t want you to know this and don’t lock their batteries at 80% charge because you’ll fork over money on a new phone in two years after you’ve wrecked your battery. Battery swaps are difficult with sealed phones, so stick it to Big Electronics and save your phone’s battery life. (Big post about this coming soon…)

Do not put knives into the soapy water! I learned this one from my mom and my grandma. Grandma would always put knives in the dishwater with everything else and blindly reaching into the water would give her fingers a nasty cut every week or two. How many times do you need to cut yourself before you figure out a better technique to not get injured? Anyways, my mom would stress to me the importance of not putting the sharp objects into the sudsy water and it’s such a good idea why would you do it any other way? Set the damn knives aside and wash them individually, unless you enjoy washing your dishes with bloody water for some reason.

Clean ceiling vans by turning them on reverse! Have a fan covered in cat/dog hair and dust on the windward side of the blades? Too lazy to get a ladder and properly clean them? Fans have a switch on them that reverses their rotation; if you do this and crank the speed to ‘high’ most of the dust will fall into the floor like dirty, disgusting snow flakes. Vacuum these up and your fan will be kind of clean. It won’t be spotless (thanks to something called the ‘boundary layer’) but it’s good enough if you’re lazy.

Clean coffee makers with vinegar. Hard water builds up in the internal plumbing and can quickly turn your coffee maker into a useless item for your garbage can. You do not want to wake up unable to make coffee. Run some vinegar through the thing monthly to have a clean and efficient coffee maker that won’t give you a severe caffeine-withdrawal headache when it spontaneously shits out.

Make Kool-Aid/powdered drinks with hot water. Not a lot of hot water — just enough to dissolve all of the sugar — and you’ll have an easy time at it. Sugar dissolves slower in cold water meaning you need to stir your Lipton tea forever until you drink it. Fill up the cup/jug about 25%, add hot water, and mix in the powder. Once dissolved, add cold water. Sure it won’t be as cold as it could be, but it saves a few minutes of frustratingly stirring waiting for it to dissolve.

Uhhhhhh….that’s all I have right now.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

My First YouTube Video Sucks

Editing videos fucking sucks. I knew it would but didn’t know the extent that it would. Part of it is my fault. My computer is shitty, about four or five years old, and isn’t meant to do anything more than act as a word processor. That’s why I bought it — I wanted to blog — so I purchased the cheapest, barest-minimum piece of trash I could. Apparently it’s not ideal for video editing. The damn thing crashed and froze up about three or four times during editing. Sometimes the audio on the video cut out, and good luck trying to edit all the quiet/boring parts out of a video when you can’t hear anything. I had to reload the project constantly to fix the problem.

Editing took me about three hours, all for a nine minute video. That took a long time! I knew this would be a thing because doing something the first time always takes longer than you expect. Once again to bring up the blogging analogy, our first blog posts probably take days and maybe weeks of writing, editing, being too terrified to publish because you think what you’ve written is shit, writing and editing some more, and finally you’re done. After you’ve done that a few times you get into a habit/flow where you know what the next step is and you don’t fumble around as much as you used too.

Anyways, since I talked about this in the last post I figured I’d plop the video up for you guys. This feels more awkward than publishing the video in the first place. As a blogger, no one has heard my voice or seen me outside of my crappy profile picture. Like putting the real person who talks and has mannerisms, the dude behind all of these posts, out there in the world makes me feel strange. There’s some anonymity behind blogging; you get to hide behind words and don’t have to worry about the inflection of your tone/voice or how you’re dressed or what your surroundings are. Well, enough rambling about nothing, here’s the damn video. Obligatory “Yo yo yo! If you liked this video smash that ‘like’ button, subscribe, and hit that fuckin’ bell for notifications my bros!”

Our Own Worst Enemies

Like everyone I’m probably more critical about the end result than anyone else is. First off, my sniffles are the most annoying thing in the world. I noticed this when I was editing. I sound like a person coming off a cocaine binge or something. Apparently I put in a ton of sniffs in the place of “uhhs” and “ahhhs” and “umms,” you know those “thinking words” to fill silence when you’re trying to figure out what the hell you’re supposed to say next. Going forward: no more sniffling!

One time in the video I told my wife “stop” to stop recording. Apparently I didn’t edit this out and was too lazy to go back and fix the problem. Going forward: check your work!

I’m obviously nervous talking to a camera. Hopefully that goes away with some practice. Going forward: relax and just talk like a normal person!

My voice is shit. I hate it. In my mind I know the sound of my voice and my real voice is nothing like that. Sure, the voice I think I have is awful enough, but my real, recorded voice is holy fucking hell disgusting. No one else probably thinks this though because that’s how they hear me all the time so I’m trying not to think of it too much. Going forward: try not to think of it too much!

There’s no backing music, no cool animations, no intro video, no cool logos, no nothing. Going forward: who gives a shit?

But being totally honest I’m happy with the result. It’s not perfect but it’s not awful. It’s a start. The worst YouTube videos I’ve seen are usually car repair videos. To start, they’re terribly edited. “First, we’ll take off the lug nuts,” and then you have to sit through five minutes of some guy taking off lug nuts. There’s five lug nuts my guy! We get what you’re doing after the first one! Edit that shit out bro! The camera work is also ass because half the time you can’t even see what they’re talking about. “This bolt right here…well it’s kinda dark but trust me it’s there…” as the camera is showing you a black fucking screen. Anyways, end rant, but I’m glad I went above and beyond that sort of video. I edited out all the boring parts, tried to be informative, and tried to add a bit of dry humor to the video. That part was easy as I kept fucking things up accidentally. The end result isn’t professional quite yet, but I have an idea of what I’m trying to do.

That should be all for blogging about YouTube videos for awhile. In truth I hate it. Why read a blog about YouTube videos instead of watching YouTube videos? I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled bitching and griping shortly. Thanks for reading and/or watching!

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Making YouTube Videos Sucks

I’ve been tossing around the idea for starting a YouTube channel for awhile. I think part of the appeal is that it’s easy, at least on the surface. We know all these famous YouTubers who have millions of views and followers that make bank off YouTube. Many of these play video games and make money off that. Hell I can sit around and play video games and get paid for it!

Thankfully I’m not stupid. I know I couldn’t find success playing video games because I wouldn’t offer anything to anyone. My humor is probably shit, I don’t have a fancy PC setup, I don’t play a wide range of games, and the field is crowded already. I’d also be weary of turning video games into a job where they wouldn’t be relaxing or enjoyable anymore. Moreso creating anything for popularity or money is folly. Besides being a total sellout you also need some passion behind your projects to keep you going. 

I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here, because I’m a blogger. You’re probably a blogger yourself. No one gets into this to make money or be popular and if you do you’ll probably fall flat on your face when you realize people aren’t tossing money at you and the first four posts you awkwardly publish. It’s a constant fight to write, edit, and publish that quickly overshadows any serious thoughts about monitizimg. At least for me that’s how it is, maybe you guys are popular bloggers or something. Fuck the money. If it comes, fine, but that’s not why I’m writing any of this.

It’d probably help to make money if I could focus more and rant less by the way. Anyways.

I wrote a few silly posts about solar power. It’s a hobby of mine creating a small off-grid solar setup to power my phone, WiFi, and anything else I want to power. I detailed it here, but it started off with trying to make a solar phone charger. This idea quickly became complicated and got out of hand to where I now have two 100 Watt panels hooked up to five lead-acid batteries all powering a 750 Watt inverter. Solar power and green energy is much more hands on and doesn’t fit well into the blog format. Let’s be honest here, this blog isn’t meant to be a green energy blog anyways, so why get too involved? I doubt most of my regular readers give a shit about making their own solar setup but if you do, cool!

YouTube is perfect for this as videos are more hands on. I have actual information to tell people and by being a totally clueless dipshit amateur I can help other dipshit amateurs navigate their own renewable setups. I think I have something to offer which is why I’m going to do it. Plus since I’m constantly upgrading and tweaking things with my cobblejob of a setup I’ll never run out of content to make. It also gives me incentive to add new things to my setup because this means more videos to make.

Like blogging, doing anything new is a fucking pain in the ass. I know absolutley nothing about YouTube and it took a day to figure out how to make a channel. Think of making your first blogging domain or whatever; you’re clueless and have no idea what you’re doing. YouTube has a “personal channel” for everyone but I didn’t want my channel name to be my real name. How does my name have anything to do with renewable energy? By navigating through a bunch of menus you find a “brand account” or something which you can tack onto your personal account. I’m not going to give info on how to do that yourself as there are actual informative pages on the internet about that if you’re interesting. I’m just bitching here.

Video editing is something else I’m clueless on and there will be a steep learning curve trying to make even the most basic videos. I have a general idea of cutting raw clips and pasting them together but the mechanics of it I’m clueless on.

I downloaded Shotcut, a free video editing software, loaded a few clips into it and did what I always do best: fuck around trying to figure out how the thing works. I think I have cutting sections of videos out, and maybe even rotating clips as my phone decided they’re supposed to be recorded like Tik Toks or something, but beyond that I’m clueless. Think of your favorite YouTubers and some of their video editing skills. Animations over audio? Audio over video pulled from other videos? Backing music? I have no clue how to do these things yet. Like everything else you just start simple and add complexity as you go on I suppose.

By far the worst is the awkwardness of talking to yourself on camera. I’ve been doing great with being sober but had some drinks this weekend over the stress of recording videos for this project. I needed a six-pack just to reward myself for actually recording something. You feel like a total asshole taking a video and talking to your phone. Give it a shot if you don’t believe me.. Narrating to your phone feels like the most narcisstic thing in the world, “Look at me! I’m so cool! I’m talking to myself as I do a thing because people are going to watch me!” Its…it’s bad. I know it’s something you’ll probably get used to — just act natural and talk — but damn is it awkward. It also doesn’t help when your family is sitting in the other room sniggering as you record like a bunch of assholes.

That’s what’s going on now. Taking on a new project with all the inspiration you’ll ever have and looking up at a massive mountain trying to figure out how to take your first clueless baby steps. I know it’s hard starting out on anything new, but knowing and experiencing are different things. It’s fun though, and I hope everyone leaps into something new just to try it out. Give your random dreams and ideas a shot, see how it pans out over time. Paint, write, draw, podcast, blog, YouTube, whatever. You might be good at it but you don’t know until you try.

The Great GameStop Short Squeeze of 2021

I haven’t slept well in three days. My typical day consists of reading from midnight until 4 a.m., taking either a benadryl or melatonin (both?), and finally falling asleep at 5 a.m. I then wake a few hours later around 9 a.m. stressed and anxious and fall back asleep around 10. That lasts until noon or 1 and then it’s time to pound coffee and head to work.

What’s with the waking up at 9 a.m.? Stocks, that’s why. I’m sure you’ve heard about this little company called GameStop that has dominated the news and social media the past week. I’m sure you have a vague idea what “short selling” is, know how evil hedge funds are, know that small investors are using Rohinhood to finish the crusade that Occupy Wall Street failed so miserably at before, how millions are finally righting the wrongs of the Great Recession, and so on. There’s so much to cover that everyone has already covered that I’m not sure what to say about it. Any kinda “factual” reporting here seems boring and pointless. How about an insiders perspective? Someone who’s been on the WallStreetBets sub-Reddit for quite some time, someone who’s blown their account up a few times (long $ROPE), someone who finally figured out how options work, and from someone who saw the GameStop hype brewing about a month ago.

(Shameless plug here: I wrote a book about trading options. Check it out if you’re interested.)

Looking at my past orders I purchased 100 shares of GameStop on December 28th 2020. r/wallstreetbets, the now infamous subreddit, was my go-to source for hot stocks to consider. My strategy that has been working pretty well: find hot stocks that that my fellow idiots on WSB were buying options on and sell options to them. So I loaded up on 100 GameStop shares and sold a thing called a covered call. This gives you a few hundred dollars and is kinda like a “guaranteed sell” if the stock goes above the options strike price which inevitably caps any gains you can make. I’m a proud member of theta gang — people who sell options for modest profit over risky YOLO trades — so I did what any theta gang member naturally does: rake in that sweet options premium.

I want to point out that GameStop wasn’t very special at the beginning of year. It was turning into WSB’s darling, but that was all. Everyone knew it was heavily-shorted but no one at the time was trying to force a short squeeze or knew how culturally massive GameStop would be in a few weeks. I had 400 shares at one point and was gladly selling covered calls against them. Buy 100 shares at $18, sell a call for $20, and collect my free money. Repeat as often as you can. Once it popped past $30 I basically ignored it. That was the then-fabled short squeeze and I made a few thousand off it. Time to move onto the next hot meme stock. Hmm…maybe AMC? Blackberry was also talked about a lot too…

But GameStop kept going up! It went from $30 to $80, then up to $150, and then near $500. “Holy shit,” I thought, “I really messed up here.” Had I held the 400 shares I had I’d have $100,000 in my name, all in the course of a few days. One thing you learn to deal with in the market is to quickly banish those “what if?” thoughts that can kick your ass. Yes, I could’ve made $50,000 off Tesla last year. Yes, I missed a once in a lifetime $100,000 on GameStop. Oh well, at least I earned a few thousand and didn’t lose anything.

Everyone around me has taken notice and has been asking me about it. Last week my sister asked me about investing which she had no interest in before. Work is even crazier with everyone asking me about GameStop, AMC, Blackberry, and whatever other hot stock is in the news. I’ve went from the guy who sometimes trades, a person who happily mentions the hundreds of dollars I lose occasionally, to everyone’s stock market guru somehow. Even coworkers who aren’t interested in the market are asking me about it. A newer employee I haven’t talked to really was showing me Tik Toks about GameStop. People are constantly showing me memes on Reddit and Twitter. Two other coworkers opened up Robinhood accounts and are snagging up AMC and BB shares with the small amount of cash they chucked into it. One friend on vacation texted me a few days ago saying, “Please tell me you’re fucking rich off GameStop.” (Hint: I wasn’t. Thanks covered calls.) Best of all was Thursday when I found myself and a coworker on break trading Dogecoin of all things together. I made out with a cool $100 and he made $25. Hours later one of the new investor guys came up and asked us about Dogecoin. Three people trading dogecoin while on break at UPS? Come to find out later, he held and took some losses over the next few days. Better to learn the lesson sooner than later.

I left work Thursday totally destroyed. I’m not big on socializing and having people constantly asking me about GameStop, AMC, and how to buy and sell stocks was surprisingly exhausting. What are the tax implications? How much have you made in a single day? How much have you lost in a single day? What are limit orders and market orders? And so on. It was exhausting to talk about stocks as much as I did, being used to minor comments here and there about my trades. It’s cool though — I’ve always wanted people to be more financially literate and to invest — but this is insane and I’m not prepared for the hype and popularity of it all! 

I’m also worried for all the newbs who jumped into the market the past month or so thinking they can simply buy stocks and make a ton of money. GameStop can move higher I think — the shorts still haven’t covered — but these people buying in at $300 and $400 have a long way down if the stock decides to move that way. It’s great so many are interested in investing, but riding GameStop down to double digits and losing 60% of their cash isn’t going to be a good introductory investing experience for them.

What’s really blowing my mind with The GameStop Short Squeeze is how it’s taken on a life of its own. As stated, even two or three weeks ago the “investors” at WallStreetBets weren’t trying to fuck over hedge funds or make some grand statement about societal change; they just want to make some money. Once GameStop exploded the zeitgeist of the sub grew and morphed into something much greater than making money. It wasn’t about that anymore, it was about fixing the flawed financial system. Letting the little guy have his share, taking the power back from the 1%ers, giving back to your family and community. A bunch of recent posts detail Redditors buying Nintendo Switches for children’s hospitals. One person donated $5,000 to a charity. Another literally brought bags of peanuts into a local GameStop store with $100 bills attached to them. I plan on chucking $500 at the local food bank in the name and glory of GameStop. WallStreetBets is actually pretty generous with their earnings because they’re the little guys. They don’t care about their second yacht or a fifth vacation beach home. No, when you’re living off $30 or $40,000 per year, making $500,000 in a week means you can piss it all away by helping people. You’re well aware you don’t need it so large chunks can be given away. You damn well the hedge funds aren’t as generous with their gains.

The consensus on the sub now is one of millions of people on a mission: fuck over Wall Street. Everyone is snagging up GameStop shares wherever they can find them and they’re stubbornly holding. No one is giving into the temptation of cashing out for thousands or millions of dollars because it’s suddenly bigger than any one person. We’re all on a mission and that mission is HOLD, DO NOT SELL UNTIL GME IS $5,000 $10,000 PER SHARE! Nearly every comment consists of diamond and hand emojis and (having “diamond hands” mean you won’t sell when things seem iffy. Compare that to “paper hands” someone who sells at the first sign of risk or danger.) WSBers have taken out a few billboard and even airplane banner ads directing people to NEVER SELL!

Our hero u/DeepFuckingValue. Source.

I’m not sure how all of this is going to end, but damn is the journey a hell of a one. I bought back in with five shares at a price of $330 just to go along for the ride a bit more. I’m not trying to get rich or anything, I just want to say I was holding with diamond hands like everyone else. No one knows what the next few weeks will hold and it really feels like we’re living through a notable time, something that is literally making history as we witness it. I never expected this to happen with stocks or investing or fucking GameStop of all companies but here we are. HOLD HOLD HOLD and DO NOT SELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check out my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Or Wattpad where I have a Morrowind fanfic ongoing also sometimes post stories.

Twilight Sucks

It’s over. It’s finished. After a week of subtly torturing myself I can look forward to moving on with my life. Working on myself. Improving. Taking up hobbies. Learning to enjoy being alive. Do thing I enjoy doing. Cherish my existence.

I finished Twilight.

Twilight, in case you’re not aware, is a popular teen book about a girl who falls in love with a vampire writer by Stephenie Meyer. It was stupidly successful in the 2000s and had a whole series of films come out that were also stupidly successful. I saw the first movie years and I don’t remember much. Bella, vampires, love, drama, danger, etc. I have the vague memory of it being okay/decent but also really cringy for some reason.

One of the kids asked for the series for Christmas which I immediately jumped on. Books? Good. Reading? Fantastic. A book series? Even better; anything to promote reading is sometime I get get on board with. Plus books are cheap!

She read the first book and wouldn’t shut the hell up about how amazing Edward, Bella’s vampiric love interest, is. “He’s so sweet! He’s so romantic!” She’d also talk shit about this other dude Jacob for some reason. Since I had finished the Narnia series I was yearning for something to read, anything really, to ward off the drinking urges. She suggested Twilight thinking I would never read it, but fuck it, why not?

(Check out my post on ranking the Narnia books!)

I went into it with an open mind. A book this popular can’t be all that bad, right? Sure it might not be exactly what I enjoy reading, but I was expecting to get sucked in against my will and fall in love with the story. But…no. It’s terrible. It’s awful. It’s cringy. It’s poorly written. It’s hilarious at times, but usually not purposefully so. It was a struggle to read and I found that I couldn’t read more than a few chapters at a time. My coworkers even commented on this saying, “You only read for 20 minutes and put the book down. You were plowing through the Narnia books for hours at a time!” To which I said, “The Narnia books are good though. This is fucking torture.”

This post will be a mess because I have so much to complain about and I know it’ll just be a rant about the book. I’ll try to be somewhat coherent.

It’s Boring…

Literally nothing happens in the first 60 or 70% of the book. Bella meets Edward at school and they talk and fall in love and what not. This is literally the majority of the book. It’s like a case study of falling in love in high school when your hormones are raging and everything is so damn important and dramatic! I have to admit this did give me some painful flashback to my own time in high-school and these weren’t fun at all. You know, feeling that one person, the first person you meet and “fall in love with”, is your world and you can’t survive without them. Naive shit like that that most people grow out of by their early 20s (hopefully).

Not that that stuff is bad by default, it just doesn’t need to take up 60% of the book. We get it: they’re in love. We get it: he’s a vampire. Yes I know he’s tempted to eat her and she’s in danger, but is anything going to happen besides Bella going to school and being swooned from Edward’s presence? Sure. Eventually. If you can hang in there that long.

This probably plays into the ‘boring’ aspect, but the book is also long, way longer than it has any right to be. Twilight is a whopping 498 pages long and I think it could be a good book at half that length. The story itself, the general idea behind it, is good and the last 30-40% (starting around page 375) almost turns into a page-turner in it’s danger and intensity but by that time it’s way to late. If it was cleaned up and condensed down it’d be a hell of a lot better. 

Plotholes Like Potholes in Spring…

Let’s not forget the random plotholes too. A few times throughout the book I was confused why the characters would make such stupid choices. Bella finds out Edward is a vampire and, I assume like no one would do in a realistic world, doesn’t question this at all. You’re telling me a seventeen year old girl who likes some boy and discovers he’s a vampire is going to accept it? She’s not going to say, “Haha, good one. There’s no vampires you jackass. So what’s really so strange about you?” Nope, in Twilight she has a hunch he’s a vampire, asks him, he confirms her suspicion, and she’s cool with it. She’s about as blown away at discovering mythical vampires actually exist as you would be to find out your friend is actually Puerto Rican instead of Mexican.

Towards the end Bella is being hunted by a Bad Vampire, and her vampire friends concoct a plan to hide her. Well, Bad Vampire calls saying he has her mom hostage, and that she needs to escape the Good Vampires and give herself up so he can eat her. Now vampires are stupidly fast, powerful, dangerous, and have high-end senses in the world of Twilight, so what does Bella do? She blindly follows along with his plan and abandons her Good Vampire protectors despite how insanely powerful they are. No, Bella, tell your vampire friends, all five of them, what this guy’s plan is and let them protect you and you hostage mom. Also Bella is somehow successful in escaping from the Good Vampires who swore to protect her easily. Like, no way, they’d know exactly what you’re doing and are so fast and strong they’d fucking catch you instantly. Nope. Let’s not forget that one of the vampires can see the future and doesn’t seem to be able to piece together what Bella is up to. The author paints the vampires as these incredible people only to make them seem stupid and gullible during the climax of the book.

Oh yeah, vampires glitter in the sunlight too. Fun little fact. But they all go to the airport at 9 a.m. in Phoenix Arizona of all places without mention to how they stayed out of the sunlight and obviously give themselves up as just a bit strange. I thought maybe this day was cloudy — it wasn’t specified really — but a chapter or two later Bella is running in blinding sunlight reflecting off the pavement. Somehow the vampire clan travel through populated and sunny Phoenix without issue despite their trait of glittering magnificently in the sunlight.

There’s also the whole possibility of turning Bella into a vampire to solve nearly every problem in the book. This isn’t necessarily a plot hole because it delves into the characters and their emotions/motivations, but the book would make a fuckton more sense if they did. Edward wants to eat Bella because she smells so good? Vampire her and you’re fine. Vampire is hunting Bella because she smells so good? Turn her into a vampire and he wont want to eat her. Edward keeps wanting to protect Bella from all the dangers in the world and keep her alive existing? Turn her into a damn vampire! I’m pretty sure later in the series she does become a vampire so her actually being bitten by Bad Vampire and saved by Edward sucking the venom out seems kind of pointless overall.

But The Main Problem…

When I first started reading I didn’t know why I didn’t like it. The first few chapters nothing too egregious happened but the book seemed off for some reason. Before I found all the other obvious glaring problems with this book I had no idea what exactly it was. It took some time to find it, but it’s this: it’s just poorly written and cringy.

The tenses fluctuate around here and there. Not as much as someone writing their first story, but they did change quite a bit. I kept trying to figure out if it was all past-tense or happening as I was reading it. It’s not blatantly obvious but it still throws you off by making the story feel somehow disjointed.

This is Edward.

There were countless times I had to hear about how muscular, handsome, and wonderfully beautiful Edward is. Okay, I get it. Once again the author didn’t hold back. At least once per chapter she’d have to mention Edward ‘looking like a Greek God/statue’ or something similar. I swear anytime she compared Edward to Adonis (the god of beauty and desire, of course) I wanted to throw the goddamn book. And it happens multiple times!

Stephen King in On Writing pointed out one thing that really applies to Twilight: he hates adverbs and adjectives, especially in dialogue. I didn’t even know this was a problem or was so awful to witness until I read this book. Here, take a look at this short passage.

“And you still want to know why you can’t see me hunt?” He seemed solemn, but I thought I saw a trace of humor deep in his eyes.

“Well,” I clarified, “I was mostly wondering about your reaction.”

“Did I frighten you?” Yes, there was definitely humor there.

“No,” I lied. He didn’t buy it.

Twilight, page 224.

Seemed solemn. Clarified. There was humor there. He didn’t buy it. It’s exhausting. Meyers needs to remind us after every line how the character sounds or what emotion their displaying. Like King said, we get it, there’s no need to flourish each line with a descriptor. 

There’s also this gem which is the low point of the book for me, the part where I knew how terrible the rest of the book would be, where I gazed upon the hell that would haunt me for the next 420 (lol) pages:

When I got home, I decided to make chicken enchiladas for dinner. It was a long process, and it would keep me busy. While I was simmering the onions and chilies, the phone rang. I was almost afraid to answer it, but it might be Charlie or my mom.

Twilight, page 78.

Chicken enchiladas. Bella is cooking chicken enchiladas. When I read this paragraph I stopped, put my head in my hands and groaned a massive groan of disappointment. Do we need to know this? Does it pertain to anything? Is it relevant to the story or the plot at all? Is her dad going to get food poisoning and die or something? The answer is no. It’s just there. It’s especially jarring because it follows a pretty dramatic interaction between Bella and Edward, and after that drama? Chicken fucking enchiladas!

Look, this is fine to do if it serves a purpose. If someone writes about going through a McDonald’s drive through, cool, but they better be writing a stoner buddy comedy or a depressing satire on everyday adult life. Maybe I’m overreacting here on how bad the enchilada paragraph is, or missing the point of it being here (her needing to keep busy?), but it totally broke the flow of reading for me. It was jarring and hilariously pointless to anything regarding the story.

The 498 pages and days of my time weren’t totally wasted; in fact I think this was the most interesting book I read this year (ignoring East of Eden that is). It taught me more than the Narnia series did. The Narnia series and East of Eden shit on me because they were so good: I could never be a writer like those guys, the giants that are Steinbeck and C.S. Lewis. Might as well pack it up and find a 9-5 job and do that until I die. But this book? This book told me “Jeremy, hey, I know you have confidence issues but if this got published, what the fuck are you doing?! Get to writing! You can do better than this!” And I almost want to do better than Twilight because I know for a fact I can if I just get my ass in gear. Twilight was so bad I want to write just to spite it, to prove it wrong, to hold my shitty stories up to the world and say, “Still a better love story than Twilight!Twilight is the perfect book to show you how not to write and it’s not a book that teaches you numbered lessons or facts; it shows them to you, shoves your face in them, smears your face in shit and makes you hate the flaws so much as to never commit them yourself. Twilight fucking sucked but at least it has some lessons to teach, not that they’re the lessons the author probably wanted to teach you, but lessons none the less.

Check out my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Or Wattpad where I have a Morrowind fanfic ongoing also sometimes post stories.