I Need To Visit NYC Again

by Shelt Garner

Even though I’m old as dirt and will never be “young in NYC” I do enjoy visiting The Big Apple on occasion. In fact, what I would really like to do is visit LA as well sometime. But if I did that, I would like to have three solid scripts written and that just isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

The thing about New York City is the energy. It really sparks my creativity whenever I visit. And there remains a part of me that thinks if I ever was able to live there long term that I would be the most famous person in my borough. I’m an extreme extrovert and something of a kook.

And, yet, I also think that maybe LA would be a better place for that particular element of my personality to get me somewhere. As I’ve said before, I think if I got invited to a cocktail party in LA I would inevitably catch some producer’s attention just because I would get drunk and hold court saying some really provocative and interesting things as the night progressed.

Yes, I know that every drunk thinks they’re the funniest, most interesting person in the room when, in fact, they’re just a drunk.

I do hope to visit NYC at some point in 2024. I just hope it’s not as a domestic political refugee when the country collapses into civil war or revolution in late 2024 after the election.

I Really Need To Visit New York City Again

by Shelt Garner

I really love New York City and, if I hadn’t blown out an emotional knee after South Korea, I probably would have saved up the money to move there when I came home the last time. But my mind was so scrambled at that moment in time that that just wasn’t practical.

So, here I am, at 50, longing to have enough money just to visit the Big Apple. The thing that really grates on my nerves is the cold, hard, fact that even if I blow up with my DJ money (sell a novel) that I can never be young in the big city. I’ll just be an old man whose peers are all middle aged empty nesters and here I am, an old bachelor.

But I’m not dead yet, as they say.

And, yet, it’s times like these that my age really hits home. I have all these dreams and aspirations for what I’ll do if I ever magically “make it big” but I have to accept that I just won’t get what I want. The entire context of any success I might have at this point will be totally different than what I want.

Not only will I have to explain why I haven’t done anything with my life for about 20 years, if I become as successful as I believe I should be, everything will be frame in the context of, “How does it feel to be a success later in life?”

But my age is really at the forefront of my mind these days. The clock is ticking and I really need to be mindful about how limited my time on earth is. Wish me luck.

I Feel Your Pain, Catturd

by Shelt Garner

While the earnest, well-meaning nature of MAGA “thought leader” Catturd enrages me, I saw a description of him that gave me pause for thought. I’m really self-conscious about my current loser lot in life and the way some smug Twitter liberals were describing Catturd could very well be pretty much applied to me.

And, I hate to admit it, in some ways at this specific moment Catturd is actually on a personal basis a lot better off than me. And, in fact, I suspect there’s at least one smug liberal out there who uses her encounter with me in Seoul many moons ago as something of a cocktail party joke.

I’m talking, of course, of Jennifer 8. Lee.

Many moons ago, back in Seoul, Lee came to Seoul to work on a book about fortune cookies. And while she was polite to my face, I think she and her friend Tomoko thought I was completely fucking bonkers — a total fucking loser. And, occasionally, I will see in my Webstats random poking around about my various write ups over the years of that event from my point of view.

I can just imagine how much glee she gets in talking about the crazy, loser expat she met in Seoul. Her friend Tomoko, who was working for the Asian Wall Street Journal at the time, I think, really, really did not think much of me. So much so, that to this day it kind of rattles my personal self-perception.

And, going forward, if I should manage to write the Great American Pop Thriller, I think I’m going to have to prepare myself things not to be as great and wonderful as I want them to be. Any inspection of my personal life over the last 20-odd years will leave Normal Smug Wealthy Liberal Elites aghast at what a fucking loser I’ve been.

But I can’t change how old I am and I can’t change the past. All I can do is just try to write a good a novel as I possibly can.

If I Had A Spare $300, I Would Travel To NYC Tonight To See Malignant Ding-Dong Trump Arraigned On Tuesday Afternoon

by Shelt Garner

I went for a walk today to clear my mind and in the middle of it it occured to me that I have the motive and the opportunity — but not the means — to use the ChinaTown Bus from Richmond to travel to NYC tonight in time to see ding-dong Trump be arraigned.

But, having thought it over a few hours, the fact remains: I just don’t have the money. It would be about $300 for the entire trip — factoring in the unexpected that might force me to stay overnight — and I just don’t have that kind of money to my name at the moment. I suppose I *could* go, but I wouldn’t be able to eat all day and if something happened whereby I was forced to stay overnight Tuesday….yikes!

And I would definitely be tempted to stay overnight — I would love to spend Tuesday evening at Sing Sing Ave. A singing my heart out. I love that bar and it’s always a highlight of any stay in NYC.

The only reason why I even seriously contemplate such a dumb, expensive idea is I almost went to D.C. on January 6th, but it was too cold. I regret that I wasn’t there to record that clusterfuck and there is a greater-than-zero chance that MTG might somehow spark similar violence tomorrow afternoon.

And, yet, tomorrow, at the moment at least, is shaping up be historic, but mundane. I don’t think there’s going to be violence at all (thankfully.) If I did have a spare $300 on me, I would already be on my way to Richmond to stakeout the ChinaTown bus station.

But, alas, I just don’t have it at the moment. And I have too much pride to ask anyone to spot me $300 for a few months so I can go tonight. So, I think instead of rushing to Richmond, I’m just going to do some day drinking while I try to finish the last scene of the first chapter of the second draft of my novel.

How Worried Should We Be About Another Jan 6th-Like Event In NYC On Tuesday?

by Shelt Garner

Well. The conditions, at least, for something pretty fucking dramatic on Tuesday are beginning to develop in NYC. MTG is set to have a protest in NYC as Trump is being arraigned, so…could she incite the crowd to march down to the courthouse to cause a ruckus?

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Dalton, Ga., on Jan. 4, 2021.

I honestly don’t know.

It could be an example of an example of me just thinking up a dark, hysterical scenario to make myself feel better. Or it could be that something pretty messy and tragic is about to happen AGAIN, only this time in NYC.

In general, I just don’t like the idea of MTG being in New York City with an angry MAGA crowd in front of her. At the moment, at least, it definitely seems that the actual booking will be historic, but rather mundate.

Only time will tell.

More Of My Delusional Daydreaming About Going To Los Angeles

by Shelt Garner

It is beginning to sink in that I’m now an Old.

Age is far more than just a number. I’m kind of fucked. What’s worse, even if I get what I want — to write a break out hit novel — I don’t get what I want, which is run around New York City and Los Angeles with hot chicks on each arm as a young person.

Any success I get at this point will be in the context of being an Old who has done jack shit with my life for way, way, too long. In fact, even if I endup writing something as successful as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo….oh boy. The whole context of my success will be different than all the many elaborate dreams I’ve come up with over the years.

All my peers will be empty nesters with one eye towards retirement, while I’ll be crashing into “normal” life 25 years too late. Anyway, the point is, I continue to idly daydream about taking a trip to Los Angeles to snoop around, see how far I can get on just my innate ability to shmooze. I still half believe that if I can just get myself invited to a cocktail party that I might get drunk and talk about such interesting things that some well-connected person at the party might take notice of me.

And, yet.

I’m beginning to fear that that window of opportunity for that avenue of success has closed. Hollywood wants young people who are hot, sexxy and talented, not an Old like me who doesn’t even have a script but, rather a novel. But a part of me is still interested in at least swinging by LA for a few days. Los Angeles is a huge city and it could all be a huge waste of time.

I dunno. With my luck, the person I ran into would be Craig Mazin who I once said “didn’t have a soul” because he didn’t like flowers. (Who doesn’t like flowers? Very strange.) Anyway. Unless something pretty dramatic happens, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, into the future….

I Want To Go To NYC Sometime Soon In Honor Of My 50th Birthday

by Shelt Garner

I’m pretty much a starving artist at the moment so it definitely looks as though my upcoming 50 birthday is going to be extremely uneventful. It will come and go without any thing of note happening. I will note, however, that it was my 31st year, not my 30th that was Big for me — I went to South Korea the summer of my 31st birthday.

As such, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself for being a broke ass motherfucker. At some point this year, I’d like to take a quick trip up to New York City. What I really want to do, of course, is return to Seoul for about two weeks.

But that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

And, yet, I do hope to return to Seoul one last time before I drop dead. There are very few expats still in Seoul from my time there, so I could pretty much jump right in and stir up trouble in the expat community without anyone realizing who they were dealing with.

The question, of course, is when that visit might happen. At the moment — I just don’t know. And, really, the world is so big that I probably shouldn’t limit myself to just visiting Seoul. But I have a very strong personal attachment to Seoul.

Ideally, I would do a round robin of East Asia, starting in Tokyo, then flying over to South Korea then finally going down to Southeast Asia before flying back home. That’s the dream, at least.

But, of course, a lot is going to have to change for such things to happen. If I managed to write a breakout first novel then, yeah, I might be able to return to Asia. For the time being, though, just being able to visit New York City again for a weekend would be pretty cool.

There remains a part of me that is idly interested in visiting not New York City or Seoul, but LA. It would be a lot of fun to see if my hunch that I have a very LA personality would pan out the way I think. I think I’m probably be willfully delusional on that front, but I am, as the late Annie Shapiro said, “a delusional jerk with a good heart.”

So, lulz.

I do have a little bit of a hunch that Something Big is going to happen to me later in life. Of course, some of that is just me being my usual delusional self, but I do know my personality and skillset well enough to know that I might manage to pull off a third “hat trick” of some sort.

Only time will tell exactly what that hat trick might ultimately be.

‘Fourth Turning’ Flashpoint: New York City

by Shelt Garner

I don’t believe in the concept of the “Fourth Turning” — it’s just astrology for dudes. But is an effective shorthand for the potential clusterfuck we face in late 2024, early 2025.

One place to keep an eye around that timeframe is New York City. I say this because not only is a lot of Right wing media based out of NYC, but the flagship Trump Tower is there, too. So if the country begins to collapse because of the pressures of the 2024 presidential cycle, then I could see the possibility of there being a popular revolt in NYC directed at Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Trump Tower.

This sounds very, very fantastical at the moment, but, as they say, one goes bankrupt gradually, then all at once, so…it’s at least possible? As I keep saying, I still don’t think there’s going to be a National Divorce or Second American Civil War. There may be rolling political violence like B├írbara F. Walter keeps writing about, but not the full-scale civil war that I’m nervous about.

Blues just don’t have it in them.

And, yet, if it becomes clear that either the 2024 election is going to be brazenly stolen or the new, incoming MAGA POTUS is going to be really, really radical in their policies…it’s possible, just possible that there might be a massive groundswell for a National Divorce in Blue states — with California and New York City being the two places where the bolts begin to pop off of the country in a rather conspicuous manner.

I don’t know, we don’t quite know the final elements of what will happen in 2024 — especially like what SCOTUS will rule on the “Independant Legislature” concept — so….lulz? I’m always, always wrong and any “Fourth Turning” (giggle) is about 18 months from now. But I would suggest you think seriously about getting the fuck out of the United States if you have the means.

Daydreaming About NYC & LA

by Shelt Garner

Let’s do yet ANOTHER deep dive in to what might happen to me if I found myself able to live in New York City or Los Angles for a few weeks (months) with a job of some sort and ready access to transportation.

New York City
The thing about New York City is, from my experience, the city is so brutal on an social basis that the argument can me made that I’m full of shit whenever I talk about what a success I might be there. There’s a reason why the song says, if you can make it here you can make it “anywhere.” The metrics for success in NYC are very cold and clinical. Do you have a lot of money? Are you tall and traditionally good looking? Do you have a huge cock? (For women….were you a model in your youth?)

If you don’t have any of those, then, well, you’re not really very successful in New York City.

So, I probably am being pretty delusional — maybe a lot delusional — to think I could curry any favor, find any success just by living in New York City any duration of time. It’s really fun to think about, given what happened to me in Seoul….but my sell-by date is probably a sold 10 years in the past. I’m old and just not as cute as I used to be. I might prompt some interesting discussions once I leave the bar but….that would be it. I would be just another really interesting person in a sea of really interesting people floating around New York City and that would be that.

Los Angles
I would probably have a minor better chance of success because, well, Los Angles is a storytelling town. And it’s within the realm of possibility that I would cruise into a bar have a really great conversation with some random person and the next thing I know I’m explaining in vivid detail my vision for a movie the movie “11” staring Emily Ratajkowski who at that moment will be looking at me with wide eyes, hoping that I might get a three picture deal from my new best friend elsewhere at the cocktail party.

Or something like that.

The stuff of Hollywood dreams — La La Land and all that.

But even that movie is pretty much just a bunch of bullshit. I can schmooze with the best of them. And because of all the writing I’ve been doing with these six novels…I’m pretty primed to write some screenplays.

And…yet…there continues to be the issue of my age. I’m just not as cute as I used to be. I’m old, old, old. And, well that’s it. If I find any success it is probably going to be because of one of two things — I sell my first novel and it’s some sort of success, or I fall into some money and I buy the photographic equipment I need to start that career.

Anyway. I’m not getting any younger. It’s put up or shut up time.

Watch Out For That Last Step

by Shelt Garner

There is a memorable Amy Schumer skit about a group of women having dinner on their “last fuckable evening.” I find myself pondering this as I approach my 50th birthday with little — if anything — to show for it. Now and again, I stop myself and ponder how the fuck I got myself into this situation and what I’m going to do about it.

The crux of the matter is I kind of blew out an psychological knee because of what happened with ROKon Magazine in Seoul. So, I spent a lot — A LOT — of time grieving over that particular clusterfuck because it was very clear that everything that went wrong in that particular situation was a reflection of my personality.

So, in a sense, it’s failure was my failure.

Now, of course, I’m zooming towards being 50 and for no other reason than to simply justify air being in my lungs, I find myself struggling to figure out how I might live up to whatever remaining potential I may have.

The biggest obstacle is, of course, my age and lack of any particular career. So, there comes a point — right about now — when it is exceedingly difficult to imagine a situation where I will ever find any traditional success at all. Even if I do something that would otherwise merit it.

Now, I’ve spend the last few years making myself feel better by remembering that Stieg Larsson was 50 when he sold three novels. (He promptly died of a heart attack, but still.) But I have to admit to myself that there were some factors that helped him be a success in that situation that I very much don’t have.

He had a successful career as a journalist in the comparatively small nation of Sweden. So, it wasn’t like he was me, being a complete loser nobody in the middle of nowhere in a nation of 335 million souls. Also, there was probably an element of nationalism in why he got his first — and last — three novels published. The publisher probably saw what he wrote as a way to further Swedish culture.

Now, after adjusting to a severe learning curve, my both my writing and my storytelling has gotten significantly better. And, as such, I’m within shouting distance of not only not embarrassing myself with this first novel, but actually getting it published in a traditional manner.

But, still, even if I get this novel published and even if it’s a significant success, I’m not going to get what I want. It’s not like I can ever be young in New York City, no matter how successful I become. And, what’s worse, any success I have at this point given the context of what is going on will be couched in the context of my age and otherwise what a big loser I have been for much of my life.

It’s all very disheartening. The idea of there being an old age Even Horizon is not something that is clear until it’s too late. It’s not like I could start a career in any traditional field.

I’ve given all of this some thought and there are three ways that I might, despite my age, find a modicum of some “success” despite inherent ageism and the fact that I’ve been a big old loser for way, way too long.

  1. The Novel I’m Working On Becomes A Hit
    This is the one I’m hoping for a the moment. But, of course, even if I stick the landing, we’re probably talking me actually seeing “success” at some point in 2024, given the needs of post-production. I will be 51 and not only will my age be anything anyone wants to talk about, but the United States will be in the middle of the 2024 POTUS campaign silly season. And, as I keep saying, I have real concern that the United States in late 2024, early 2025 is going to either have a civil war or turn into an autocracy. That puts a real damper on my hopes for how long I might be able to enjoy the fruits of my success.
  2. Become a Successful Fashion Photographer
    This is one, while possible, is not very probable. Even though I have the innate talent, there are a lot of basic obstacles to this one, over and above my age. I can’t afford the equipment I feel I need to properly do the job. And I live in the middle of nowhere. For me to be able to pursue this career, I would need funds that I just, at the moment, don’t have. Obviously, something might change and I might get those funds suddenly and unexpectedly. For instance, if I sold my first novel and it was a huge success, then that would help me with my dream of being a fashion photographer. But there would remain the issue of my age. The idea that I’ve just waited too long and now things that I should have been able to do — like be a successful fashion photographer — I can’t do for the basic reason of my age is very troubling.
  3. Second American Civil War
    This is, in its own way, the darkest and least likely of these possibilities. I’m just working with what I know about myself and extrapolating what I might be able to do. I’m a good enough writer and public speaker that if we have a civil war, I might — like U.S. Grant — find some success after having been a drunk loser for a long time. This is a really bonkers idea, but, if nothing else, it gives me a little bit of hope that I might be able to unexpectedly find the success I feel I deserve.

    Anyway, if nothing else, I need to take more seriously the implications of my age. I’m not getting any younger and I really, really need to come to grips with the hold hard reality of what that means.