Of Vice and Zen

Two horses walk into a bar…

That’s all. I have nothing else. I once received advice that making a positive impact on a group of people can be done by starting off with a joke. Much like this blog will be, the joke is open-ended and hopefully leaves you wanting more. If you actually know a punch line to the joke, please feel free to share it with me. The dirtier, the better.

Why have I decided on the name “Of Vice and Zen” for this blog? First off, the play on words from Steinbeck’s classic novel appealed to me. I love word play. In my day to day life, I generally use word play to spin anything possible into sexual innuendo. I work in a restaurant as a server and bartender. If you’ve ever worked in the field, you get it. If you haven’t, think of it as a place for “locker room talk,” except if Trump were in that locker room, he would blush and run at the filth coming out of the mouths of the female employees alone. Disgusting, really. And so much fun.

My other reason for the title of this is centered in how I see myself. It’s no different than any other person suffering from that intriguing ailment known as the human condition. “Vice,” as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, refers to moral depravity or corruption; a moral fault or failing; a habitual and usually trivial defect or shortcoming; and sexual immorality. I can relate to all of them. I absolutely adore completely inappropriate jokes. My moral standing is far from that of a saint.  I’m a cigarette smoker and a drinker (cheap vodka really is underrated). And my browser history might cause one to think that I am, in fact, a grad student doing extensive research on sexual deviance and depravity. I am not. “Zen,” on the other hand (again defined by Merriam-Webster), is a Japanese form of Buddhism that emphasizes enlightenment through meditation. Now, I am not much of a religious person, but I definitely believe in enlightenment through meditation. Of course, my meditation consists of relaxing myself while taking a particularly in-depth restroom break after my first cigarette of the day, or reflecting drunkenly on my day in my bed after finishing that last vodka/seven of the night. Yeah. I get it. Buddha would uncharacteristically kick my ass for equating my meditation with his. To each their own. Enlightenment is enlightenment. And vodka and cigarettes are delicious.

With that said, why write a blog? To say it simply, writing is something I have enjoyed for most of my life. When I was seven, I spent an afternoon writing “no smoking” signs to put all over my dad’s house. I was proud of my dedication. He was less than thrilled after finding sign number 78 under the toilet lid. As previously stated, I embrace the hypocrisy now. When I was in sixth grade, I discovered Stephen King and my world was altered. I decided I was going to become a fiction writer. I wrote a terrible sci-fi novel when I was thirteen that is forever lost in my old computer. By the end of high school, I had fallen in love with film and changed my mind from being a novelist to a screenwriter. I mean, why would anyone read when they could just watch a movie? During my first month of college, I was introduced to the works of Robert Fulghum. Boom. Life changed again. If you have never read him, your life makes me sad.

Life being what it is, I naturally stumbled across other passions as well. Music is a huge one for me. Beautifully written songs are as powerful to me as any amazing piece of literature. I love to sing and have participated in quite a few karaoke competitions. I once even managed to find a panel of judges drunk enough to award me with first place and a thousand dollars. Likewise, criminal profiling fascinates me. I have hundreds of books on criminal profiling and criminal psychology. If I’m lucky, any women who make it to my apartment will have decided that they enjoy my company and find me non-threatening well before they peruse my bookshelves. It’s difficult to explain to a young woman who doesn’t know you well that your reading material is the result of simple interest and not research on how to best show her your appreciation for lotions and baskets.

Although these other pastimes have been around for years, writing is the only constant that has found its way into my world time and again. I began writing in blog style on MySpace page. Yes. You read that correctly. And yes. Your judgment is valid. Most of those pieces made their way to my Facebook page. Some of them will also make it to this blog. A piece of writing that you love is a difficult thing from which to walk away.

My pieces will not educate you. They are merely reflections of my thoughts and views of my own world. My daughter will likely be a prominent figure. She is a large part of the reason I can look at the universe with fresh eyes and more than a little wonder. The goal is to have a new piece published by Monday every week. As today is Tuesday, you can see I’m off to a smashing start. I ate less fiber last week. That really cut back on my meditation time.

My only hope is that this blog will be to my readers like listening to an amazing album. Some tracks might uplift you. Others might bring you to tears. Still others might be like listening to the newest single from DNCE. I’m serious. My daughter is ten. I know what I’m talking about. I’m not joking. Awful. They’re awful.

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