More Of My Delusional Daydreaming About Going To Los Angeles

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

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
@sheltgarner

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
@sheltgarner

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
@sheltgarner

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
@sheltgarner

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.

I Need To Visit NYC Again

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

In the past, I used to visit New York City about once a quarter. It was the closest I could get to visiting Seoul and I was always a lot of fun. I love the city’s energy and visiting — and daydreaming about living there — was always a great way to stir my creative juices.

But, my financial situation has changed for the worst and I just can’t afford to go anymore. Yet that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about maybe one day falling into the money necessary to buy the equipment needed to become a fashion photographer and move to NYC to see if I could pull of such a hat trick. Of course, that’s being exceedingly delusional — I’m probably simply too old to start a successful fashion photographer career.

I can have all the talent in the world, but I’m old enough to know that simply having native talent isn’t enough. It takes time to “come out of nowhere” and I simply don’t have that much time left on the planet to get what I want. And, even if I “got what I wanted” the context would not be wanted I wanted.

Instead of, “Wow, this cool new fashion photographer is making building a career in NYC,” it would be, “Jesus Christ, this old guy thinks he can have a career in fashion photography.”

Whenever I think like this — which is often — I mope. Then I am reminded that my life is extremely quirky and ironic. And I’m a notorious late bloomer. So, allow myself to be delusional and think that maybe, just maybe things will break my way and I’ll be able to live the dream of both being a successful novelist and a successful fashion photographer.

I am well aware of how delusional that is, coming from someone with no career and pushing 50. But one man’s delusion is another man’s dream. People can be so cruel.

But the thing about it is, while there’s life, there’s hope. You have to believe in yourself. You never know when something unexpected might change everything and put you in a far better position than you might otherwise think possible.

Meanwhile. I miss New York City. I hope to live there full time one day before I drop dead. Though, obviously, my best bet — given my personality — would be to move to LA instead and try my luck there. But I really do love NYC.

Yet Again, Am I Giving Myself Too Much Credit Thinking I Would Excel In New York City or Los Angeles?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m drunk yet again. This time off of some very nice whiskey. Anyway, even though I’m An Old, I continue to idly daydream about how well I might do in a big city like NYC or LA.

As I keep saying, I think if I was forced to chose between the two cities, I would have to pick LA, even though in my heart I’m New Yorker. The only reason is, well, if you want to get all crass about it, I’m far more likely to get laid as a broke ass writer if I’m living in LA as opposed to New York City.

The question I have is, of course, am I giving myself too much credit? Am I’m making a mistake in reasoning when I extrapolate from my success in Seoul and try to apply it to a major city in the United States? I think the answer is yes to both. Yes, I am assuming more than is real AND, sometimes being delusional can go a long ways — especially somewhere like LA.

Even though I love, love, love, NYC, the metric for success there is VERY STRICT. You have to be wealthy, successful, powerful and, for men — have a huge fucking cock. I’m just a freaky little weirdo who is very extroverted and “colorful” when I get drunk.

As such, I think LA would probably be the place I land if I fall into a little bit of money at some point before I drop dead. I still believe that I have a career as a fashion photography lurking somewhere in me and, I think, a lot of the haters who grow very frustrated with me will be shocked at how I might spring out of “nowhere” at some point in the future, if not from selling a pretty good novel, then by becoming a reasonably successful fashion photographer.

But, for the moment, that’s all very much being delusional — the very type of stuff that makes those of you playing the home game very frustrated and angry with me. “If you think you have such talent, just get a fucking job and buy the equipment!” you say, etc. I’m an eccentric. When the time comes and I can afford the photographic equipment I need, then I’ll get it.

If I end up just dropping dead before then, oh well.

Well, It’s Possible There’s A Minor Amount of Chatter About Me Somewhere

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I don’t think anyone appreciates how much I live in oblivion. But I do. I really do. I totally live in oblivion to the point that the tiniest thing is interesting to me — if it’s about me.

So, I was looking at my Webstats and saw “l.instagram.com” as the referring link for someone from Queens to visit this site. The only reason why this is of note is that Instagram is the first link about me when you search for me via Google. So, logic would suggest that if you had heard about me in some way you would search my name, go to my Instagram account….then use my link from that site to land here.

This is unusual because it means that someone who probably didn’t know me from my drunk Twitter ranting but heard about me from a third party and wanted to know more about me. This is even more interesting given where they were from — NYC.

Anyway, lulz, nothing matters. But it is an interesting late summer mystery in my Webstats. It’s shit like that which makes me so obsessed with my Webstats to begin with. There’s only been one time when someone mysterious in my Webstats actually told me who they were — a person on vacation in Greenland of all places.

Regardless. I suppose the rest of this month will continue to be just as boring as it has been so far.

Of Fashion Photography & Me

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As of right now, mapping out my remaining 30 to 40 years of existence (if I’m lucky) I would say if I’m ever going to live up to my “potential” it’s going be by writing and selling a novel (or six.) The thing I know I have an innate ability to do — take a damn good photo — requires equipment that I just don’t have and can’t afford. And I live in the wrong place. I have the wrong background. I’m too old, the list goes on.

And, yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned is my life is very quirky and strange things happen to me for strange reason. I also know that I’m 100% extroverted and am an excellent “schmoozer” — especially when intoxicated. (The usual caveats about every drunk thinking they’re the funniest person in the room obviously apply.)

As such, I occasionally pause and think about what might happen if I managed to get the funds necessary to buy the photographic equipment necessary to start a career as a professional photographer. I don’t really know the grammar of photography, but I have an eye for beauty, if you will. I know how to tell a story with a picture, in other words.

A sample of my work.

If the stars were to align and I was able to not only get the photographic equipment I needed but was able to at least attempt to start a new life in, say, New York City, there’s a pretty good chance that I could be a moderately successful fashion photographer.

I would want to be a fashion photographer because I love beauty and what could be more beautiful than to take high qualities photos of beautiful women in beautiful clothes for a living? It’s my impression — I think — that my personal photographic god Helmut Newton was older when he started taking pictures for a living.

I’m not comparing myself to him, of course, but I need some hope from somewhere.

What’s more, I’m a big enough kook that I would probably fit right in with the larger-than-life figures found all throughout the fashion world.

But all of that is really dreaming a lot. And, yet, dreaming is free. And for that, I’m thankful.

‘Dreaming Is Free’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m not getting any younger. And, in fact, something pretty dramatic will have to happen pretty soon for me not to simply continue to drift in oblivion until I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Me, when I was a man on fire on Seoul.

But stranger things have happened, as they say.

I could sell this novel I’m working on and it become a huge success so I finally have the cash I need to make some of my many dreams come true. Or, I could fall into some cash and finally have enough to buy the photographic equipment I need to start a career in fashion photography. Or, far, far, far, far, far less likely, I could win the lottery one day. (Talk about dreaming being free!)

Anyway, in a sense, it’s just sad that I’m 20 years too old to make my dreams come true. Because I know that if you plopped me in New York City or LA that I would become quite well known pretty quick. NYC would be a lot more difficult than LA because the metrics by which success are measured are so brutal. You can’t simply schmooze your way to success in NYC like you can in LA. You need actual success, a lot of money, good looks and, in the case of being a man, a huge cock. (They called him Mr. Big for a reason, don’t you know.)

My late partner in crime while in Seoul, Annie Shapiro and me back at the height of ROKon Magazine’s success.

But the thing that for a number of years has made me very unhappy is I learned a lot about the “meta” of running a publication when I did ROKon Magazine in Seoul. I know, just know, that given any sort of opportunity that I could change the world.

This type of talk is boring now, after all these days. If I think I’m so great and wonderful, why don’t I simply save up the money to go to NYC or LA and put my theory to the test.

That, of course, is what I should do.

The first issue of ROKon Magazine.

But I suppose there are a number of different reasons why I haven’t — to date — done this. One is, I would want to land in NYC on my own terms. So, trying to be a fashion photographer in NYC is something I think I could probably pull off — but I also would want the proper equipment to do it right. Add to this that I’m 20 years too old to start any of this and I’m something of an eccentric when it comes to what I’m willing to do for money and…well, there you go.

I suppose if you were being a dick about it, you could say that all my talk about pulling of another ROKon Magazine, only in NYC or LA says more about me continuing to grieve over what happened with the magazine than any statement on my ability.

I just know that I learned so much about the meta of running of media company while in Seoul that it’s a shame that I probably will never get to use it — ever. And if that happens, it’s going to be my own damn fault.