Category Archives: Random

On the Quest for Soap

Part One of a series about soap. Yes, soap.

If I summed up every hobby I have ever had it would be this: My hobby is doing random crafty shit to see if I can do them. Every specific hobby I’ve ever had is just a subset of this. Solar panels. Guitar playing. Making bread. Making vape juice. Painting. Making rocket engines out of sugar and stump remover. Blogging. Writing stories. And now…soap making.

Yes: soap. Soap is awesome. Haven’t you guys ever seen Fight Club?

It started a week ago and even I didn’t know I was going to get hard into soap making until I was in the kitchen at 3 a.m. with a bottle of lye and Crisco trying to figure out how to magically turn that stuff into soap. It started with a YouTube video of all things.

There’s this chemist dude on there by the name of NileRed. He makes chemistry videos (duh) that are pretty informative but also pretty hilarious in a dry-humor sort of way. (“This chemical is very toxic and even explosive, but it should be okay.”) Even if you’re not into chemistry, check him out. In one video he makes grape flavoring/grape soda out of vinyl gloves and using urea from his own urine in one of the intermediate steps. In another video he carbonates water with CO₂ from diamonds. He apparently made a video on soap four years ago that I wasn’t even aware of. I found it at 2 a.m. on Sunday, really Monday I guess, and I watched it. “Huh,” I thought, “Soap seems pretty easy to make. I have oil. And I have lye. And…I can’t sleep right now…so…maybe I can toss some shit together just to see if it works.”

And here I am a week and a half later checking to see if my soap is dry yet, googling how to make sodium hydroxide, learning the differences between sodium and potassium hydroxide, filtering oil from the bacon skillet and deep fryer, wondering what the hell ‘glycerin’ is and why some people remove it from their soaps. I wonder what would be some good essential oils to put in my soap? I wonder if I can sell my soap? I wonder if I can never buy soap ever again in my life.

Soap making fits right in with my current madness and I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to stumble into it. I probably should’ve stumbled into making soap back when I was distilling my own rum with supplies I purchased from the hardware store, but I didn’t. Remember this post where I ranted about bread and how it was sort of like the foundation of society? I said that I almost felt like I failure homo sapiens because I didn’t know how to bake my own bread. Isn’t that a requirement to be a human? To know how to make your own fire and bake your own bread? Well, put soap making up there because even if it isn’t as key to civilization as fire and bread it sure is up there. Soap making is one of those lost arts and a part of life, a part of being a stinky and dirty human that almost none of us know how to do. As with bread: we buy soap. Other people make it and we don’t worry about where it comes from or how its made. And by making your own soap you take back a tiny bit of your humanity, rediscover one of those old arts that are seemingly forgotten in our modern age.

That all sounds a bit over the top and dramatic but oh well. And I hesitate to write this part but I think I might make a series about soap and how to make it. Not like a guide per-se, there’s plenty of those and I don’t want to tell people how to do something when it’s much more fun to figure it out yourself with a bit of help and curiosity — but like a series on where the seemingly mundane adventure of making soap can take you. If there’s one thing hobbies are good for it’s giving you a deep and complex rabbit hole to crawl down and get lost in. What started as a simple project — making soap — has turned into a mess of nuance and complexity. So yeah, SOAP.

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.

“Plz call me ASAP”

“We need to talk” is about the worst thing to hear from someone, especially from a significant other. You guys might feel the same way about hearing this sentence. For some reason I will instantly start to have a mild anxiety attack trying to figure out what exactly I did wrong. Logically, I can find absolutely nothing most times, but I still feel guilty for some reason. It’s a similar feeling to buying alcohol at a gas station. I feel like I’m doing something wrong despite it being perfectly legal for me to buy alcohol. Or when you see a cop on the street and you start wondering what crime you’ve committed because surely there was some crime you did commit. You’re guilty as fuck, of what you’re not sure, but guilty nonetheless.

I’ve been telling my wife to not do this to me. To not text me at work with a “We need to talk” without some preview of what exactly we’ll be talking about. Family members? Fine. Our relationship? A bit scarier. Does she have general questions or did I do something I’m unaware of? Am I going to get chewed out? Tell me something! We can talk in person, but damn do not text a general we need to talk. It sends my blood pressure and heart rate into the stratosphere and I dread every minute until “the talk” actually happens.

And then “the talk” is usually about something not that bad and I’ve stressed-out for hours fearing absolutely nothing.

No big deal really, just another misunderstanding between two people in a relationship that you have to iron out. I don’t even want to blog in-depth about that isolated gripe because it isn’t a big deal. But today I woke up to a text from my mom saying “Plz call me ASAP”. It’s not exactly the same thing as “We need to talk” but pretty damn similar. It was really jarring to wake up to that. Part of me doesn’t even want to complain about it; I haven’t woken up that fast in quite awhile. To hell with an alarm on my phone, I’ll just have my mom start sending me alarming and vague text messages around noon.

After reading that text my brain did something like this: “Someone died. Okay. Who died? Grandma? Was there a car wreck? It could be someone else too. Who’s hospitalized? Did someone try to kill themselves? No, it has to be grandma. She’s old and it’s only a matter of time. She’s basically wanting to give up on life anyways. Should I call into work or tough out whatever major thing just happened? Keep to my routine or mourn? Will I have to be strong or supportive to the rest of my family or will they be okay? Should I help clean out her house? Just yesterday she was alive and fine and oh my God what actually happened?” Brains are cool and it did all of that in just a few seconds.

So still in bed like thirty seconds after waking up and looking at my phone I give her a call. “Plz call me ASAP”. What could it be? I’m dreading what she’s going to say and it’s awful. I haven’t even had a cup of coffee yet. 

It goes to voice-mail and I hang up. Plz call me ASAP? Must not be that big of a deal if it went to fucking voice-mail…

My dad calls me ten minutes later and I dread answering that. I’ll discover whatever Plz call me ASAP as soon as I answer it. Oh no, more anxiety and fear and I’m still in bed without my coffee. At least my vape comforts me.

“Have you talked to your mom yet?” He asks.

“No. She sent me a text saying to ‘call her ASAP’ and I called. It went straight to voice-mail.”

He sighs, obviously preparing to tell me the awful news of my grandma’s death a few hours earlier. I fearfully listen as he says, “Your mom’s car is broken down. It’s in the shop. She called me and wanted to borrow money but I don’t have that kind of money!”

Plz call me ASAP. That was it? She needed to bum money off me? Instantly my mood went from fearful and anxious, full of dread, to a full-body-and-soul eye-roll. Jesus Christ, I love my family. Sarcasm obviously. Not that I hate them, just shit like this makes me want to punch a wall.

It reminded me of a time a year ago when my mom texted me saying something like, ‘Please visit grandma. Her health is going downhill and she probably doesn’t have much longer.’

I was at work and asked her if grandma would hang onto life until the next day. She said she didn’t know. She probably used that dumb phrase ‘it’s touch-and-go’. I worked and worried, running through the last time I saw her in my mind. Was that the last time I’d see my grandma?

Surprise surprise: she’s still alive. Her health didn’t go downhill at all last year. She fell, got kinda sick, and kept trucking along like she does. I think my mom might exaggerate stuff a little bit.

There’s probably certainly a blog post about my mom’s car and all of that trash in the near future, but let’s not get into too deeply here. Her car stalls out and dies, lacks power going uphill, and the stealership says she needs a new catalytic converter. Her warranty (which covers drivetrain issues) doesn’t do shit for her. It’ll cost her $1,500 to get it fixed. An automotive repair shop that she likes, Wick Automotive (Check out these reviews. Wick’s does seem like a decent place. And no I’m not paid to say that.), said they’d fix her car for only $1,000. But then she’d have to pay the stealership $160 to even get the car back thanks to a ‘diagnostics charge’ or some shit. Say it again: Stealership. (Consider this: I offer to fix someone’s car. I say, “Bring it over, lemme look at it!” They bring the car over. I find out what’s wrong with it, but it’s too complicated for me to fix. “I can’t fix this, it’s beyond my skill level. Sorry, you’ll have to take it somewhere else. Just pay me $50 for looking at it though.”) Should she have it towed to Wick’s? Should she drive it to Wick’s? Is it even the catalytic converter or maybe just a clogged fuel filter? And she only has $700 so, “Jer, do you think you might be able to help me out?”

[Insert future blog post here.]

If you’re reading this, don’t be that guy. Do not send texts to people that they could use their gloom and doom to misinterpret. If it is gloom and doom for real, I’d prefer it said right away. “Call me ASAP. My car is fuuucked!” If you need to actually talk in person to someone, give a preview. “We need to talk. Nothing big, just I want to complain about [family member].” Fer fecks sake, use the “We need to talk”s or “Call me ASAP”s sparingly over text message. They sound important and terrifying, they give the textee severe dread and anxiety, and please to the Lord Jesus H. Christ don’t use them in everyday speech.

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.

Dad’s Wrecked Car Wrecks My Week

I would like to say I would’ve had a blog post out in the last week if the week itself wasn’t so damn shitty. I’m probably lying to myself here. My motivation is still at an all-time low.

I can probably get something posted Friday. Oh wait, no I can’t, because Friday is going to suck ass like every other day this week. If I’m going to churn anything out it has to be finished now. Thursday. Today was a hot day, I’m mentally and physically destroyed, and writing anything now feels like a chore. Scheduling a post also means EDITING! which is the worst part of writing by far.

Two weeks ago my dad was involved in a car wreck. I’m not sure of the details, but someone in front of him was turning right, so he slowed down like a good driver. The guy behind him, sadly, wasn’t paying attention and rear-ended my dad. This caused Dad to slide into the person in front of him leading to a three-way fender-bender. It wasn’t really a big deal; despite him being hit by a big-ass SUV in the rear, his car took the least amount of damage of the three. The guy behind him? Car was fucked. (He was younger, his mom showed up, and according to my dad she was not pleased with him. He had the worst day of three by far, not even considering his damaged car…) Lady in front of him? Car: fucked. Dad’s car doesn’t have anything to hint that he was slammed into another car, just a tiny scratch or dent on the front if you really pay attention. Most importantly no one was hurt.

(His tank of a car, by the way, is a 2006 Chevy Cruise. If you’d like your next high-mileage used car to be impervious to damage, look into the Cruise.)

I looked at his car the following day and it was fine. Cosmetic damage to his trunk and bumpers but the car itself was fine. All the doors worked. The thing drove okay. Nothing of functional importance was harmed at all. He asked me my opinion on what he should do about the car: ignore the wreck or make an insurance claim? Dad doesn’t have a job, can’t afford shit, and is waiting on Social Security to either approve or deny his benefits/payments/whatever they’re called. In short, I told him to not worry about it. Cars are meant to get you from point A to point B, his car still did this, so why even worry about it? Insurance probably wouldn’t do shit about it anyways…

He didn’t take my advice (big surprise there). He made an insurance claim which was itself a pain in my ass. My sister and I have a deal where we pay for his insurance and split the bill. When I set this up I put everything in my name. My email, my phone number, with only his name on the policy. It was easier to do it that way. Since his insurance claim involves him he should ideally be the guy dealing with the insurance company. Since they’re unaware of my impromptu setup (we didn’t think he’d ever actually make a claim), they’ve been blowing up my phone trying to contact my dad. Emailing me and me having to relay the email to him and calling me so I can call him and tell him to call them back. They miss his call and call me back. It’s my own fault — I even said so when I replied to their email giving them his actual contact information — but it’s still a pain in the ass to deal with.

I was wrong about his claim by the way. They did not do jack shit; in fact they decided to total his car and write him a check for $6,075. Holy hell! I was certain I put him on liability insurance; where did all the money come from? It didn’t make sense to me at all, but hey, I’m not a hot-shot insurance worker. Apparently this makes perfect sense to them. They grabbed his car last Thursday.

(We use Metromile. They’re a pay-per-mile insurance provider fitting for my dad, who logically, shouldn’t drive that much at all. I own 200 shares of Metromile (MILE) and was tempted to sell them when I found out about the massive payout to him for insignificant cosmetic damage. Was this company really the one I should be investing in?)

And here’s where my trouble really begins. It was easy: dad gets his check, we get him a new car. Nope, life is never that easy.

Since Monday was Memorial Day his check didn’t arrive until Tuesday. He also doesn’t have a bank account. I was to put the money into my bank temporarily. Okay. Tuesday was a trip to my bank so he wouldn’t have to pay a whopping $200 check-cashing fee. (I should open up my own check cashing place. A 3% fee to give people their own money? Hell…) Normally I deposit any checks I receive via my bank’s mobile app. Doing this with a check in his name might be a terrible idea, and I didn’t want to hold things up longer than I needed to. Dad is fairly independent and wants a car, so we’ve been trying to do this stuff as quickly as possible.

We went to look at cars (on Memorial Day) and that sucked. All the places were closed so we drove to those questionable used-car lots that are more numerous than I remembered (they’re everywhere) and shopped unhindered by pesky salesmen. He knew he couldn’t buy a car that day, but surely he’d find one that he liked. Nope. Buying a car is a big deal and isn’t as easy as deciding on a fast-food restaurant when hungry. It’s Thursday and he still doesn’t know what car he wants.

Since the cash is in my account, I’ll have to be involved in the car buying process as well, whenever that actually happens. Not really ‘involved — I’m not buying the damn thing — but he can’t really leave with a car until I write a check to the place, usually the last fucking step in the process. One more big hurdle before I’m free, but if we don’t pull this shit off tomorrow it’ll surely be a shitty weekend driving him around to wherever.

Today involved driving him to the smoke shop for tobacco and finding him a window AC unit. This whole fiasco occurred right before the first real heatwave of the year. He’s a bigger guy so he kinda suffers unnecessarily in the heat and needs an AC. Luckily, my mother-in-law had an older AC unit to give him; the errands were a bit easier because we didn’t have to buy him a new one from Menard’s or something. Hauling an AC unit around an hour after waking up isn’t a joy, but it’s better than going shopping.

Obviously I’m driving him everywhere he needs to go. He tries not to be a bother and I don’t mind helping, but it is getting old having that in my schedule to work around. My insomnia is still kicking my ass — I don’t sleep until 6 a.m. and try to be up around noon — and each day is a struggle to pound down as much coffee as possible and get out of the house to haul dad around. By the time I’m functional, I have a good two and a half hours to do stuff before going to work. Sometimes we’ll finish early, not early enough to go home but too early to go to work. Tuesday I was in the work parking lot 45 minutes before I had to start, just sitting and zoning out to music. I did get to see what time my coworkers pull into the parking lot which was mildly interesting. Some people get there really early, but who was I to judge?

Friday is a fun day because I go to work at 7 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.; I have all the time in the world before work to ‘be productive.’ Hopefully I can get something written but probably not though. Groggily awake at 12 p.m. Therapy at 2, hauling dad around to hopefully buy a car around 3:30 p.m., and how long will that take? Tomorrow is fucked. Saturday will probably be fucked as well. I know it’ll be fucked. I can predict the future: Dad won’t have a car yet and I’ll have to take him to get groceries or something. Sunday I’m hanging out with a friend (cool and all, but damn I’m dreading being social…), and maybe I should put a new belt on the lawn mower? And maybe I should weed the garden? And I need to go to the store. And I need to clean the cat litter. Those windows in my car really need to be cleaned — I haven’t washed them since fall — and the outside could stand to be washed as well. And…and…I’m sure there’ll be tons of time to write a blog post.

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.

[20210523 Untitled]

I’m on day 43 of sobriety. I don’t like counting days but the r/stopdrinking subreddit has this nice little feature that tracks the days since your last drink. I don’t remember the actual day of my last drink, I only know it’s been 43 days since then. I don’t care to do the math.

My last extended period of sobriety was eye-awakening. I was happy. I was social. I felt like my old self, whatever that meant, like I had solved all of my mental health issues. Like shit, you stop drinking and life is perfect! Not to cover that again but I started drinking again for a month or so, stopped, and here we are.

My mood was about what you’d expected; the first week my mood was awful (due to the lack of booze) and then I was great. Fucking riding in the clouds and finding happiness and purpose with my life. Until the past week that is.

For the past week my mood has been shit. Utterly depressed, unable to fall asleep, unable to wake up, unwilling to get out of bed. The only thing that does get me out of bed is the need to piss and to get some coffee in my system. Besides that there is no grand goal or purpose to going through my day. Going to work has been a struggle and I’m surprised I haven’t called in in the past week. It’s strange, it’s like my mood is so damn shitty there is no reason not to go to work and be miserable. Like why not go to work? It’s not like there’s anything else for me to do that’s enjoyable.

Doing physical exercise is mentally exhausting. Playing video games is mentally exhausting. Writing/blogging is bullshit and what’s the purpose? It’s been such a deep depression that I can’t even do those little productive things that make you feel better. Go for a walk, lift some weights, do something you enjoy doing. No, I don’t enjoy doing anything. And I don’t feel like pulling myself out of my current mood because my mood is crappy and what’s the point of doing things that will make you feel better.

It’s hilarious in a way. I don’t remember ever being this depressed. It’s not even a deep and suicidal depression, it almost feels deeper. Suicide is a way to escape your shitty life and the pain you feel nearly all the time and for me there is no pain or no point in trying to escape. There is nothing so damn bad and torturous that I want to escape, life is just fucking boring and useless and not exciting. If happiness is a loving doggie that you want to pet, and suicidal depression is a lion that is constantly chasing you, my depression is an annoying fly in the room. It’s there, it sucks, it’s annoying, it’s harmless, and it’s boring. The fly isn’t nearly as wonderful as a dog but it’s nothing I need to escape.

What’s even more hilarious about this is there is no cause to it. I have zero reason to feel this way. Nothing has triggered it. Nothing has set me off. Last Sunday I woke up to this blah mood and it’s been around ever since. Even with total and brutal self-honesty I can’t come up with a single thing that’s causing it. I haven’t drank in a month and a half. My mood is stable. My life is okay. Things are great actually. But this feeling? Eh, I have no clue.

It’s not all bad, operating on this ultra-basic level of existence. When you feel like you have no drive or purpose it’s pretty easy to convince yourself to do random shit without reason which feels like living life in a more natural way. It almost feels like the dry-erase board that is me has been wiped clean. I’m a blank slate and can do whatever the hell I want, like I’m starting fresh and new. Feeling like life and everything is pointless does give you a good foundation with what to start with. When nothing matters, what do you choose to do in the meaningless of it all?

I’ve had this random urge to bake bread. I’ve never baked bread before but it’s been a goal of mine during the Week of Depression. Life is pointless and shit, but damn I want to bake some bread! (My first loaf turned out nearly perfect by the way…) I also made tofu because that sounded stupid and fun to try even if life is pointless. (This tasted kinda funky…) I’ve worked on a new book with this blank mindset and my insomnia; life is shit so — oh, it’s 7 a.m. and I can’t sleep — maybe I should write to have something to do? Hell, I’ve even been eating healthier somehow; life is shit so what’s the point of blowing money on fast food that ‘tastes good’ when I can eat a fucking avocado and drink some water? I’ll be outside wandering the yard and find tiny bugs and flowers to take pictures of. Not to post on Instagram to farm social cool points, just something to do because there’s nothing more appealing to do. I even took a picture of the new Chinese space station on Thursday as it flew over. I’ve knocked out a book as well, Buzz Aldrin’s Magnificent Desolation only because why not?

Infinite Choice Sucks

One thing I learned from my vacation and sobriety is that are tons of things to do. I’m a huge proponent of the “boredom leads to drinking” theory but maybe that’s misplaced. It might be a “lack of motivation leads to drinking” or something like that. If you have a bunch of shit you need to do but no motivation to do them, it feels really similar to boredom. When you’re bored you want to do something fun or exciting and writing a blog post or cleaning the cat litter feels more chore-like than anything else. Drinking gives you a little (TEMPORARY) boost to motivation and that can help you get the ball rolling on being productive.

Today is one of those days where I have a list of stuff to take care of but it already feels like I’m woefully short on time. It’s only 2 p.m. too! The entire weekend feels this way; I used to be ‘bored’ on the weekends but now I feel like the weekend isn’t nearly long enough for all the crap I want/need to do.

Here’s todays to-do list: Write a blog post. Change the description for my Amazon Option Trading book. Advertise Option Trading book. Make a rain barrel for our garden. Buy supplies for said rain barrel. Make a YouTube video about making a DIY rain barrel. Make a solar YouTube video. Buy my mom Ice Mountain water because who the fuck knows why I have to do this really. Deliver her Ice Mountain water. Take down my wind generator because it has a broken blade and vibrates annoyingly when it’s windy. Shave. Shower. Cook. I’d love to get off my ass and go for a jog/bike ride but this is obviously low-priority given everything else. At this point I feel like if I went on a bike ride I’d only be doing it to procrastinate the real work I should be doing. Real work takes mental effort whereas bike riding is, well, riding a bike. Somewhere in all of this I’ll probably have to eat or make food for the kids, you know, just little random shit that can derail your focus.

TMI, but the coffee just kicked in and I have to use the bathroom. See what I mean?

There’s also the non-zero possibility that I become derailed by YouTube sometime today. Most days I somehow end up watching two hours worth of YouTube, mostly educational, sciency videos where it feels like I’m learning something, but I’m still pissing time away doing absolutely nothing I’d be proud of. When I’m dying I doubt I’ll be like, “I lived a good life. I watched so many YouTube videos and learned so much!”

I suppose this blog post is about choice. I’ve been fixated on it the past few days. Think about it: there’s nearly an infinite amount of things you could do right this minute. You could run outside naked and play in the street. You could hop in your car and drive to California. You could go rob a bank. You could take a nap. You could look for another job. Anything (Obviously within reason)! You’re about as free and as conscious of this freedom as any living being has ever been and it’s pretty crazy to think about.

And if you’re reading this you’re choosing to read this for some reason. And I’m very appreciative that out of the millions of things you could be doing, you’re here. I’d say you’re using your time terribly and should be doing something else, but thanks!

I’ve never forgotten this quote from Anthony Bourdain. I don’t even know the guy much — he did something about food and traveling, that’s all I know about him — but the quote stuck with me like few others have. Here ya go:

Choice is a pain in the ass. We’re all human, and therefore we’re all animals, prone to all those animalistic tendencies. Our minds wander around, thoughts just appear out of no where, and most of the time we don’t even know why we do the things we do. I have a strong urge to piss away three hours playing Kerbal Space Program, and why exactly do I want to do that? Do I want to waste time doing something fun or do I want to procrastinate the real work I feel I should be doing? Basically being human and trying to be effective with your choices is like herding cats.

But I suppose choice is what defines our lives. Given the wide range of possible things you could be doing right this moment and with the limited time you have, your options are stupidly, dangerously, and maddeningly limited. It’s stressful to decide on what you should/want to do. I have ten hours left in the day before I’ll be tired and go to bed. What will I do with those ten, and only ten, hours? Will I piss it away on YouTube or do something better, something I’ll be more fulfilled by? I’m hoping for the latter, but herding cats and all.

A lot of people seem paralyzed by choice, floating along in life where things only happen to them like a raft passively floating down the river. This is bad because it robs you of agency to decide and dictate your own life. You might feel like a passenger in life, floating along and reacting instead of acting. You could be reacting to your subconscious as well, making choice even stranger to think about. Random cravings for Taco Bell that piss away an hour of driving without any thought behind whether you’re actually choosing to get shitty Taco Bell or you’re just on a raft with your subconscious calling the shots.

Choice, you have near infinite things you could be doing, but you’re reading this. What are you going to do after you read this? I hope you give some thought to your actions and realize your choices define you as a person, they write your life story. Be proactive and choose well. Thanks for reading!

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.

On the Quest for Skittles

A friend at work just got hired at the Post Office. Good for him and I’m glad he’s gotten out of UPS. Sadly, he only found this out Wednesday and he starts next Monday. Wow, so much for the two-week notice. So much for giving the rest of the crew time to actually adjust to this guy leaving soon. Two full work days and he’s gone! It’s kind of shocking really.

He’s a cool dude, and over the past year I’d like to think we’ve become pretty good work buddies. He’s one of the guys that I was going to miss with our dreaded crew shift change this week, and I guess I get to miss him some more because he isn’t even going to be there after tonight. Eh, enough crying from me; I really do wish him luck and am glad that he’s found something bigger and better. I always admire when people live up to their potential. Not that his potential is to be a Postal Worker but I hope you get the idea. He’s moving forward in life.

I like to get people going-away gifts if I care for them enough and can actually think of something to get them. The last time someone left I bought a fifty-pack of Pilot G-2 pens from Amazon; she was leaving to be a hot-shot supervisor and what better gift for a supervisor than a metric fuck-ton of G-2s! (I only use G-2s, preferably the 0.03mm G-2s. The 0.05mm ones are fine while the 0.07 and 0.1mm pens just have too fat of a line when you write. They’re smooth, but they’re sloppy. I’m not joking here either: I only use G-2s and refuse, REFUSE! to use any other pen. You can take your shitty Bics and fuck right off because I have about three G-2s in my pocket at all times.) Despite this, I couldn’t really think of anything to get this guy. Nothing at all.

BITCH, YOU THOUGHT I WAS JOKING? WELL I WASN’T. #G2LYFE #G2GANG

Then inspiration struck like lighting. Where do thoughts come from? No one knows, they just kinda appear out of nowhere and you have to be aware and lucky enough to grab one out of the ether when it appears. It’s the essence of creativity! My great idea: Skittles and Gardetto’s. Seriously.

The past few months at work we’d sit in the crew van and eat Gardetto’s and Skittles. They’re somehow the dream team of vending machine snacks. You eat the salty Gardetto’s and wash them down with the ever-so-sweet Skittles. I don’t know why this combo is so damn good but it is. We bonded over our love of Gardetto’s and Skittles!

After therapy I drove to Schnuck’s to find two massive bags of these snacks, the bigger the better. And what better place to go than a legit grocery store? Apparently I was wrong. I only found a couple of ‘large bags’ of Gardetto’s; 8.6oz bags containing a measly eight servings per bag. I bought two of these because they were so damn smaller than I wanted. The candy aisle was even more of a letdown; they didn’t have any large bags of Skittles. What the fuck Schnuck’s? What a shitty fucking store. I wasn’t about to buy the smaller vending machine sized bags in the checkout lanes and was also stubborn enough to not give up. I had only two hours until work to find a big fucking bag of Skittles and I was more determined than I’ve ever been. No one was going to fuck up my plan. No one.

Onto Walmart. Luckily Walmart being a total dogshit store has a massive selection of candy and chips. Schnuck’s is too far up their own asses being a proper grocery store to stock total bullshit items like bulk bags of Skittles. Walmart (for the first time in my life) did not disappoint. I found my big bag of Skittles — a whopping 1lb 11oz bag with who knows how many servings and calories — as well as a bigger ‘family sized’ bag of Gardetto’s. Mission Fucking Accomplished.

So this was kinda a silly and stupid post, but please appreciate how even your best and simplest ideas and plans somehow get fucked up. I’m not trying to get into a big spiel about how hard work and persistence is the key to success, but that’s actually what I’m saying. Look at me, today I’m the perfect example of it. I faced untold hardships and struggles and somehow accomplished my dream of getting a giant bag of Skittles and Gardetto’s for my friend’s last day of work. He’s gonna be eating this shit in his mail truck for weeks!

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.

An ATM Trip (and It Sucked)

Another day where I wanted to write something good and life shits on me.

My dad called and asked to borrow $20. Again. He borrowed $20 last week after finally paying me the $200 he owed me with his stimmy check/BidenBux™. I don’t mind borrowing my dad money because he pays me back. It might take awhile, but he’s good with his debt. My mom on the other hand…

I checked my wallet and I had seven $1 bills on me; this is not $20. I didn’t say anything about going to the ATM because I figured he’d find out soon enough. He showed up, I hopped in the passenger seat, and told him I didn’t actually have $20 so a trip to the ATM was on the itinerary. And yes I made him drive me there because I’m doing him a favor so he can work for his money. I always try to have $60 cash on me at all times to make these random, “can I borrow some money” situations easier, but no one is perfect.

We get to the ATM and there are two cars in front of us. The first dude left, circled around and parked in the parking lot. I’ve seen many people do this at the ATM and don’t really give a shit what they’re doing. My dad on the other hand: “What’s he parked over there for?” I said I didn’t know and continued to jam out to Poison’s Talk Dirty to Me; it’s their best song. Poison can fuck right off — I despise hair metal from the ’80s — but that song is a fucking bop. “Do you think he put something on the machine to steal people’s information?” No, I really doubt that. Who the fuck would install something on an ATM in broad daylight and then sit forty feet away? These people are sneaky — jail time isn’t fun and defeats the purpose of robbing people — and clever. They’re not going to sit there and manually steal shit. If you’ve programmed a device to steal info from cards you probably also programmed a ‘memory’ feature where it just, you know, stores the information for later.

I also didn’t have to try very hard to know what he was really thinking: “I bet this guy is going to sell/buy drugs.” Everyone on the West Side of Rockford in a parking lot is looking to buy drugs. Obviously. Luckily, he didn’t say this so I didn’t have to cringe and wonder what the hell happened to him over the years.

The second guy was fucking around doing his thing at the ATM and dad called him a “stupid motherfucker” for some reason. Not to him directly, but said it aloud in the car. For what reason, I don’t know, but shit, how dare this guy use the ATM? We’re also sitting in line waiting to use the ATM so what’s the big deal dad? Just let me listen to Poison for fucks sake.

I didn’t care so gave him my card and told him my PIN. (Never say ‘PIN number’ by the way. PIN stands for personal identification number so saying ‘PIN number’ is like saying personal identification number number. It’s the same with ‘ATM machine’; the M in ATM is already for machine, you don’t need to say it twice!) He fucks something up so I get out, walk around, and get the money for him.

He then proceeds to circle around and park in the exact same spot that the first guy was parked in. You know, the guy stealing card info/dealing drugs. I became excited; we’re we going to steal some shit or buy some drugs? Sadly, no. His car was overheating.

So there we were standing outside with the hood up looking like two basic white dudes looking at a car engine. All we needed was a few beers and grease all over us and we’d be a stereotype. He pops the cap off the coolant reservoir, pours in the remaining coolant he had (it wasn’t enough), and slams the hood. We were on our way.

I gave him the remaining coolant I had in the garage. I don’t even know why we had two bottles, maybe I’m just obsessive about having fluids stocked, but it was nice to get rid of them. Dad opened the hood, filled up the rest of the coolant reservoir, and pondered what the hell was wrong with his car. He recently changed the thermostat so it wasn’t that. He asked me what I thought was wrong and after ten seconds of silence I said, “I have to think about it.” I was serious too; let me mull over the problem for a few hours, let my brain percolate it in my subconscious. Let me sleep on it, maybe I’ll have a dream where the solution is obvious. Hell if I know what it is currently; I hate cars. They’re complicated and fixing them is bullshit.

Anyways…

Sometimes I wonder when my parents went off the rails. Maybe they’ve always been this way and I’ve never noticed. Maybe I needed to get away from them and have my own unique personality and life before I realized how flawed they are? As a teenager I saw my parents as adults, people that have their shit together and have life pretty much figured out, and sure I complained at the time about how fucking stupid they were but it was mostly me being a stock, basic, edgy teenager. Somewhere between then and now my view of them has changed. They don’t have a fucking thing figured out! I don’t either, but I’m further along in having shit figured out than they do. When did I become a more functional adult, even with all my fuckups and issues, than they are?

When did my dad get so paranoid about strangers? When did he become scared of every single thing in the world? When did he start to see evil everywhere? Does he see a different world than I do? Is he living in an alternate reality? I saw people at the ATM getting money for whatever the fuck they’re getting money for — I don’t really care — and he sees threats. When did my dad’s health spiral out of control, and why? Why doesn’t he have a job and why can’t he support himself? Health issues obviously, but why doesn’t he give a shit about his health? Why doesn’t he want to fix anything in his life? Why’s he so passive and willing to live in his shitty current state? Why does he have no will to improve or be proactive? Why won’t he just go see a damn therapist for once? He doesn’t seem like the dad I had a decade ago and that is both confusing and scary. It’s hard not to reflect this back on yourself; what if I lose my fucking marbles in ten or twenty years? What if I go off the rails and stop making sense? What if I stop being a dad around the kids and turn into a kid myself where they have to support me and my fuckups? I don’t want that to be me.

Shit, that got deep at the end. Thanks for reading.

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.

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.)