The 2017 Extravagant Tour of Wonder (Ep. 1 – The Road To North Carolina)

It all started with a simple thought running on repeat:

“Working in this office job makes me wanna’ die a little.”

Because I’m not much different from a large portion of the population, I let that problem dominate my brain with no real attempt at creating a solution for two years.

Eventually, though, another thought entered my brain:

“Fuck this job. Fuck this place. Fuck staying in one place, paying rent, doing the same shit day in and day out in a bureaucratic cesspool. I’m’a travel for a bit.”

The plan: travel across the country and stop at any place where family or friends will house us, staying in each place for one week.

Now let’s strap into our wonderful literary time machine and skip all of the frustrating shit involved in making the modern consumer more mobile. I sold/threw away/gave away most of my shit blah blah blah blah.


Welcome TO THE FUTURE! It’s August 31st, 2017.

My brother and I are on a Greyhound heading towards our first destination: Greensboro, North Carolina. The trip is estimated to be thirty-eight hours long, and both of us have already been awake for twenty-six. Sleep deprivation warps time and space; I’m not entirely sure how much of what I’m experiencing on the trip is real.

When we pull out of Dallas making our way towards Louisiana, the driver turns the bus around and says, “Folks, I don’t got brakes.”

Some people laugh.

“You think it’s funny, but I can’t brake,” he responds with wonderfully southern inflections.

As we pull back into the Dallas station, he tells us, “Y’all gonna’ need to go to the customer service station and…..uh….tell ’em that I ain’t got no brakes.”

I was about 93% convinced that I was dreaming during this time. Everyone else seemed to be confused as well. Regardless, we unloaded from the bus back into Dallas.

Everyone I know says Dallas is a wonderful city. All I can say about Dallas is that its Greyhound station is terrible and dirty and I hate everyone there. My lack of sleep and the two-hour delay while they attempted to fix the bus (so it could…you know…fucking stop) didn’t do anything to improve the quality of this first impression. Eventually, though, we did leave again.

Jesus, we’re still in Texas, I thought many hours later as we arrived for a pit stop at a gas station in Terrell, Texas. That state is far too big. Someone should definitely look into making it smaller somehow.

“We gonna’ take a fifteen-minute break here, folks,” the bus driver drawled, “so feel free to stop inside the gas station hyuh, pick ya’ up some drinks or fried chicken. We’ll be leavin’ in fifteen minutes.”

The bus driver vanished for forty-five minutes. Everyone had long since had their fill of drinks, fried chicken, and fucking Terrell, Texas when he appeared like a reverse corn field angel from the gas station and strolled towards the bus at a leisurely pace.

He sat for a few minutes, clearly not giving any kinds of fucks about the palpable concern and anger of the folks around me who just wanted to get where they were going already.

“There was a big…uh….crash on I-10,” he decided to start his first sentence. “A….uh…big sixteen-wheeler flipped on the highway. We waitin to see if there’s a way to get around it.”

I assumed around this point that our driver’s only source of pleasure was the fury and confusion of the passengers he drove; he might have been enjoying this. I even started to expect that the brakes had been fully functional earlier. For the next few hours, my main source of entertainment was pondering the many ways a bus driver could fuck with passengers.

From that point on, I could only keep my eyes open for about twenty-minutes at most. Sleep deprivation and general travel anxiety fucked with my brain, though, and kept me from napping any longer than five minutes. My general mental state was comparable to when you take a nap and wake up later unsure of what the day is. In this case I also kept waking up legitimately unsure of where the fuck I was.

We took brief breaks roughly every four or five hours to either transfer buses or let other passengers on. Because of how short the breaks were, we didn’t really get to experience much of the states leading up to North Carolina. However, I think I can adequately describe my first impressions of what we did see:


Buggy as fuck. Lots of ghost towns.


It was 2 AM, and the station was absolutely dead. I don’t believe in ghosts, but it probably wouldn’t take much to convince me that that place was haunted.


It was…certainly Alabama.


We experienced the Atlanta bustle through a two-minute walk in a Greyhound station.

Our bus driver, before we departed Atlanta, said, “Dear Lord, keep me calm, keep the people in my bus safe, in the name of Jesus. If you agree with me, can I get an ‘Amen?'”

“Yes! Please don’t kill us!” we replied internally. Externally, my brother said, “Alrighty! Woohoo!”

Something about someone who’s going to drive you hundreds of miles leaving the quality of their driving in the hands of someone who kinda just did Hurricane Harvey was not very comforting.


Of all the Carolinas I had ever been to, it was definitely the Southiest.

Still in delirious, fever-dream levels of clarity, we heard the bus driver saying he smelled illegal drugs on the bus. I heard him asking people why they weren’t sharing. My brother heard what he probably actually said, that drugs is bad.

One thing became apparent about the South Carolina folk along the way: they fucking love their fireworks. Giant firework stores like Shelton’s (the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Fireworks Store”) were sprawled along the highway. One of the gas stations even sold fireworks right next to the beer and some giant felt dolls. It would become apparent later that peaches were just about as popular as shit blowing up in the sky.

After hours and hours and hours and hours of driving through The SC (now on the CW, weeknights 7P/8C), we arrived in


In Charlotte, a clump of people gathered around the phone-charging stations like flies on a hippo. The one bathroom in the facility was closed for maintenance, but no one seemed to be maintenance-ing, and everything inside was perfectly functional. We picked up a local delicacy: fries with molten nacho cheese and barely-crumbled bacon, and proceeded to chow the fuck down and burn the shit out of our fingers. (Little-known fact: the original script for Men In Black had their fingerprints being removed via scalding nacho cheese.)

Our second-to-last stop was at a little gas station. Being generally unaware of the size of North Carolina’s cities, we assumed that the intersection at which the gas station was located was the city of Greensboro (our final destination).

We were wrong.

Forty goddamned hours after we had initially departed Austin, we arrived in Greensboro. I spun my Inception top on the ground to make sure I was awake, but then got bored and walked away from it. We may never know how many of the wondrous events of the previous forty hours had actually occurred. Chances are I’m still dreaming now. Or not. You decide.

On the next episode of The 2017 ETW, we’ll delve into the further experiences of our week in North Carolina and some backtracking into Georgia.

Until then, I’m gonna’ go take a fucking nap.















Don’t Do It


Your dreams are trash!
You can’t live in house made of ice cream! IT’S 90 FUCKING DEGREES.
Most dreams shouldn’t come true.

Some people dream of crazy shit,
while you’re gonna wake up and realize that the dreaming mind is not rational or realistic.

Most people would’ve quit by now,
and for good reason.
Stop right here.
No, get that ice cream out of your hands!

If you’re tired of starting over.
Stop making a house out of ice cream.

Use….like…..wood or something.


Language and Free Will

Before moving to Texas, I only used “y’all” as a parody of Southerners I had met. Now it’s used daily and without the accent.

It’s been weirding me out lately how speech patterns and word usage, while mainly influenced by a person’s upbringing, are also a result of a person’s environment. The way a person talks is a pretty big part of their personality, so being around a new group of people for extended periods of time can essentially change who you are. Even if you’re aware of this and you consciously try to not be like the rest of the group, your language is still being influenced by the people you surround yourself with.

Sometimes this happens with negative results. A few years ago, conversations with my siblings would start the following way:

ME: “Hey! How are you doing?”

SIBLING: “Not much. How about you?”

I honestly can’t remember which one of my ninety younger siblings started saying this first, but it caught on pretty quickly. Before long, every one of them would respond to that question with that exact answer. It took quite a while to make them realize that “Not much” makes no fucking sense when someone asks how you’re doing. Now we all speak English much many goodly, and things are fine.

When it comes to changes in speech patterns, it’s amazing how efficiently office jobs can strip people of their individuality. I assume it’s because everyone realizes that the work is monotonous, pointless, they’re slowly dying, etc.. Because of this, phrases are repeated ad nauseam.

This has been a common response around my workplace that fills me with sadness:

ME: “Hey! How are you?”

PERSON: “I’m here.”

Fucking wow.

I know that they’re implying a number of things with this response: “I’m bored,” “I hate my life,” “I continue to push forward despite being in the mud at this bore of a job filled with bureaucratic nonsense designed to crush people down into little robotic cubes that get the fucking job done, don’t question the status quo, and continue being just barely satisfied enough with life to not end it prematurely.”

The response still bugs me, though, because only three or four people of the hundreds who work here don’t use it when they’re asked how they’re doing. I know everyone’s here. I can fucking see them all. Just lie like the rest of the world, dammit. Say you’re fine or quit your fucking job already. I’m just gonna’ start saying “I’m in Zimbabwe” any time someone asks me how I’m doing. It might not make any sense, but at the very least it’ll start a conversation.

This is one of those things about people that makes me wonder whether free will has any kind of role in life. Did I have any choice in my induction into the cult of “y’all?” Even if I had actively decided to never say “y’all,” wouldn’t that decision still have been influenced by the past development of my anti-social personality?

I don’t know. Y’all figure it out and get back to me in the comments.

Post-Creation Depression

Whoa, what was that last piece of shit I posted? I honestly don’t know, but I’ll attempt to elaborate on its sentiment.

As of late, I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of purposelessness that has been amplified by mood swings ranging from muddy depression to “fuck it.” I’ve managed to avoid a full-force depression spiral because the “fuck it” moods are regular enough for me to keep writing and creating on a weekly schedule. The depression usually happens when my extremely poor self-promotional abilities kick in and this happens:


While I’ve been creating content I genuinely enjoy, I am so far removed from the pulse of trendiness and any kind of business know-how that I have absolutely no idea what I need to do to make people give a shit that I’m creating things. Because of this, creation starts to feel a lot like I’m just shouting into a void.

I say something like, “Hey look! I fought my constant, crushing, existential dread by making this thing that reflects my values and/or tastes and thus is probably the most solid representation currently available of who I am as a person at this point in time!”

And the void replies, “……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..”

For it is the void.

During my “fuck it” periods, the silence doesn’t bother me in the least. The process of creation is pleasing enough by itself to have me look at floundering view counts and say, “Meh. At least I’m having fun making shit.”

When I’m in those depression periods, though, the silence kicks my overthinking into full throttle, and I come up with a myriad of reasons why what I’ve just made is a total piece of garbage. Comparisons to other, more successful people ensue. Then I browse social media for an hour and look at all the seemingly happier people living their lives. I wonder if not pursuing any attempt at a social life has doomed me to a life devoid of any real connection to the world. Has everything I’ve ever done been a waste of time and space? Should I just settle into obscurity and accept that I don’t really belong anywhere? You know what sounds great right now? Two pizzas. And a cake.

As the hopelessness fades, I usually start to think that maybe continued failure to meet my own expectations is my only real driving force to keep creating. Once I return to a “fuck it” mood, I start to create out of enjoyment again, and that sentiment disappears.

At some point, I’m sure I’ll figure out how to bypass the post-release depression stage of creation. Either that or I’ll experience some modicum of success briefly and go crazy when it ends. Or maybe a comet will crash into the Earth and none of this will matter much.

Maybe none of this matters much now.


Have I mentioned that I’m terrible at self-promotion?

I make things in a lot of different media. If you’ve enjoyed my writings here, you might enjoy some of those other things. Here’s a few websites where I do stuffs:






Awkward ending picture that is not really connected to anything in this post.
















Nihilist Creations

“This is who I am!” he shouted into the Void.

The Void responded with a blank stare, as the Void is bound to do.

For it is the Void.

“Look at what I have made!” he exclaimed in the general direction of the Void, presenting his creation for all to see.

The Void responded with a blank stare, as the Void is bound to do.

For it is the Void.

“This is pretty good,” said the people who stared at his creation.

The Void responded with a blank stare, as the Void is bound to do.

For it is the Void.

“I wish the Void cared,” he said with unparalleled sadness.

The Void responded with a blank stare, as the Void is bound to do.

To be fair, it’s the fucking Void. It can’t do much else.

Inspirational Quotes (Part 3)

Due to the wild success of my previous list of inspirational quotes, I’m back to inspire the ever-loving fuck out of you with some more magical words of wonder from my favorite thinkers.

“Be the change you want to see in the world, ‘cuz all deez mothafuckas around you is content to be pennies.”


“Chase your dreams like they stole your motherfucking money. Then beat them down like the punk-ass bitches they are.”

Ancient Chinese proverb

“The sky’s the limit, but you can’t breathe up there. And it’s cold as fuck.”

George Clooney’s long lost brother, Frank

“You may not have the power to change things you don’t like, but you can stare right into the fucking sun until you can’t see those things anymore.”

Frank Clooney’s long lost brother, George

“Sometimes ya’ gotta’ grab life by the balls and twist ’em until it cries, and then say ‘You will never fuck with me again, life!'”

Tony Robbins

“When life gives you lemons, eat the shit whole, peel and all, just to show life that you don’t fuck around with processed shit. Then throw out your cutlery. Stop preparing any meals. Only eat the shit you find on the ground. Commit, motherfucker!”

Alan Watts

“Never forget that the universe needs you for compost.”

Michael Jackson

“Life is like a box of chocolates: you probably shouldn’t eat all of life. And it’ll mostly be comprised of shitty things, but it shouldn’t be thrown away because someone gave it to you. It also doesn’t always come with a guide. And it’ll be gone eventually. Also, it’s great to smother all over your naked body.”

Tom Hanks

“You are you. That’s truer than true. But so was Hitler, and he killed a lotta’ Jews.”

Dr. Seuss

“Embrace your inner child: poop your pants.”


“Fake it ’til you make it. And if you don’t make it, at least you had fun faking it. If you didn’t have fun faking it, then you’re fucked.”


“You are one with the universe. Just like your garbage.”

Malcolm X

“Be like a lion: murder the shit out of pretty much everything you can.”


“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger or wears you out over a long period of time ’til you die. Like AIDS.”


“Ask the universe for what you want, and the universe will make you do that shit on your own.”

The Secret

Hopefully I’ve managed to get you out of whatever existential funk you found yourself in prior to reading this list. If you liked this, you’ll probably enjoy my new Facebook page:

Which of these quotes most strongly resonates with you? What is your favorite inspirational quote of all time? Post ’em in the comments!

Outlast 2 Review-ish Thing

Let me start by clarifying that I don’t mean this to be a strict review or criticism of Outlast 2. If I were to arbitrarily give it some kind of score, it’d probably be a pretty decent one. The game is overall immersive and fills me with dread, with an intriguing, unnerving story and collection of characters at its base. That’s all I think I could really ask for in a game of this genre.

As of the time of writing this I have yet to complete the game, so reviewing it would be premature since I haven’t gone through the whole experience. As I assume anyone reading this probably hasn’t played or finished the game, I’ll be keeping this pretty much spoiler-free.

While I have had some heat-of-the-moment criticisms of the game, upon further thought I have changed my mind on most of them. The conclusion that I’ve reached is that the game can be pretty awful if you’re an overthinker.

Thanks to my brain purposefully making things more complicated than they had to be on several occasions, I ended up repeating certain chase and stealth scenes so many times that they lost any essence of horror. The dread I felt on the first run-throughs of these scenes quickly turned to frustration on repeated attempts, dulling my problem-solving ability and making me think the routes and solutions to these sections were something ridiculous. They never were.

I haven’t been able to discern whether the lack of intuition was due to my brain’s failings or the game’s.  Because I’m a fan of beating myself up mentally, I’m leaning more towards the former.

When it comes to repetition diminishing the feelings of horror you’re supposed to be experiencing, this isn’t something unique to this game, or even the horror genre as a whole. The reason I hesitate to form any of these opinions into an official criticism of the game is because I’ve come to realize that one of the major problems a horror game developer has to face is that gameplay has to be involved in the storytelling. Gameplay is necessary to get you immersed in the hardships and fear of the character, and some sort of threat has to be involved to do so (otherwise, you might as well just be watching a movie). Because the possibility of failure has to exist, horror-diminishing repetition is also extremely likely. Overall, Outlast 2 has managed to get over this major hurdle.

Most of us have seen some really shitty horror films or played some really shitty games that throw a jumpscare in every two minutes. If no time is taken to establish an atmosphere or sense of reason around the jumpscares, then the audience reaction is going to turn very quickly from “AAAAAH!” to “Ah, fuck off with this shit.”

This game has its fair share of jumpscares (RHYMES ARE FUN), but you can forgive it because the atmosphere is usually dripping with “Nope”ness. The same can be said of repeatedly having to play a chase or stealth section. In most cases, when you finally get through those harder bits, the game’s atmosphere is able to efficiently drag you back to the horror you felt the first time you played the previous section.

There are some scenes that didn’t quite have that impact, though, in which I found myself thinking “Oh. This shit again. Sigh.” Without giving away too much, once you get to the mines, in particular, there seems to be a lot of being chased by one type of enemy (albeit, a well-designed, scary one) with very little variation in gameplay. Run. Crawl under a thing. Jump. Squeeze through a gap. Rinse. Repeat. While this is par for the course in horror games, this section really starts to feel like it’s dragging on. The environment, while interesting in this section, can’t really be observed much or treasured because you’re running away from things all the time.

Overall, Outlast 2, though regularly frustrating, accomplishes everything a horror game should. It also does an excellent job of taking stereotypical horror concepts (such as being pursued by mutants in an isolated desert) and making them incredibly interesting.

Have you finished or started to play Outlast 2 yet? What do you think about games as a storytelling medium when it comes to the horror genre? Feel free to let me know or berate me in the comments!

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