A POEM: Solutions & Survival

July 4, 2011

Back to the up all night and no sleep routine. It’s an old act I developed in high school or was it college? Not a stand-up comedy routine. Could be at this point because if I don’t laugh I’ll cry.

 

Cry. Soft whimpering cries. Loud screaming cries.

 

No dies. Not yet.

 

Tired wired eyes. I doze off then wake up. I wake up I doze off.

 

I tried to eat my worries last night and I couldn’t keep them down.

 

I’m hungry then I can’t eat. Can’t sleep. What can I do?

 

My body rejects my denial and forces me to think. Think. Think

 

I slept earlier yesterday after a panic attack. Anxiety attack. Anxiety went into cruise control and got into an accident with my insides and outsides. I was inside. Inside.

 

I slept yesterday. It was a dream. Not the sleep. It was dream to sleep. The day before I slept. Slept early. Awoke early.

 

Productive. Creative. Happy. Happy.

 

Today and last night and some other nights the pains in my face drove me to a painkiller. Kill the pain. Kill pain.

 

Kills pain. I can’t sleep. Can’t sleep. I dream of sleep. Dream sleep.

 

Remember the night owl I once was? I wanted to be? Proud to be?

No worries.

 

Worries. Problems. Dilemmas. Solutions.

Solutions.  Think. Think man, think. A Solution. Solutions.

 

Solution? Not there yet. Not sure I’m anywhere yet. Had one or two or three or more. Solutions. Each solution is kicked out of the way by a bigger worry. Bigger problem. Bigger dilemma.

 

I cry. I laugh. I get outraged. I am sensitive. Sensitive artist. Bah.. Starving artist. Bah..

 

I go away for a minute. Two maybe three. Minutes. I am surrounded by love and sex and fantasies I make up as they float through my dreams.

 

I get home to an empty fridge and a coffee table cluttered with reminders of my worries. I scramble for solutions. I do what I can to solve the worries, problems and dilemmas.

 

Productive. Creative. Happy?

 

Not sure. Doubt. Hope. In between.

 

Go forward. Move ahead. Back to the taxi. Whip it.

 

Maybe I will. Whip it. Whip it good.

 

I win even If I lose.

I survive. Survive.

 


Livin’ the Dre .a . . uh . . . Cliche

June 21, 2011

I sit once again in the comforts of the coffee shop in Collingswood, NJ. I’ve always liked this place. The décor and the music. The owners are great. The workers are great. There’s always an interesting mix of customers. Some I know and most I don’t know. This may become a new hobby of mine: hanging at the Groove Ground in Collingswood. Writing. Drinking coffee.  Living the dream. Living the cliché.

 

I always thought that the people sitting on their computers typing away at a coffee shop were douche bags. Hey look at me. I’m a writer.

 

Yesterday it was slow and casual in here and I had odd conversations with truly weird people. The good kind. The ones that aren’t phony or pretentious just off the wall naturally. I like misfits that are real. In a progressive town like Collingswood it’s hard to separate real people from posers. Down to earth interesting people versus fake pretentious “hipsters”. They do what they think is cool because their little crowd are into it. They are usually the ones that see me reading John Fantte and know who he is. They make comments on my John Waters or William S Burroughs T-shirts. They fool me at first.

 

I assume because they like what I like then they might be cool. Unfortunately I am into a lot the “hipster” culture. I like the things I like because I like it, ya know? I get into a movie or a writer from someone I know that says “Hey Rich. Check out this (fill in the blank) if you like (fill in the blank). I usually end up liking it. I used to dream about hanging out with people with common interests. It was always the hipsters. I tried and saw how annoying and fake these people are. The more I immersed myself in the culture the more I disliked the people and could spot one a mile away.

 

I guess I’m judgmental but who gives a fuck?

So today the Groove Ground was crowded and loud when I walked in and nowhere to sit. I was ok with that because there were seats outside and I could smoke and drink coffee and write at the same time. I bought my drink and found a seat and settled in. The crowd dispersed. As some of then left I noticed their styles were similar to mine. Same glasses. Same hat that I wore yesterday. When I looked at each one I thought “douche!”.  At least I’m not wearing leather sandals like this “douche” “hipster” standing next to me right now.

 

Fuck it. I’m over it already. Just wanted to write about it.

 

My life is still moving along with or without them.

 

I might be living the cliché but I’m also living the dream. My dream, my thoughts, my life. Me.

 

Maybe I’m the cliché douche judgmental pretentious self righteous hipster. Ya know what? Right now I don’t care. It gave me something to write about for the day, right?

EDITOR’S (that’s me) NOTE: I got a better look at the guy with the hat and realized I knew him and he is a pretty cool guy and not a hipster. I guess my Hipstdar isn’t on all of the time. My Gaydar still works for what it’s worth.


Live Book Reading from Yellow Socks Video

April 29, 2011

Now you can read it yourself. Just click the Yellow Socks cover pic.


Another Rant About Unreturned Messages

January 29, 2011

Common courtesy. General politeness. Manners. Proper protocol.

 

When someone you know calls you, text messages you, emails you, or messages you on a social network it is usually expected for you to return the call, text, email etc. It’s the courteous, polite, and maybe even the right thing to do. This of course is a high expectation and depends on the people involved and what’s said in the message (I’ll refer to all forms of communication where you are not in person as a message).

 

I have been personally insulted, hurt and paranoid over some unreturned messages over the past few years. Most of the time I react negatively for nothing. Sometimes I hold grudges or fear of them not liking me.

 

I’m mostly talking about people I know or people I am beginning a relationship with. Not a romantic relationship. I’m referring to new friendships, networking or business relationships. Most of the time I write it off with some people as “that’s just the way they are.” I try to accept it but lately it bugs me.

 

I’ve learned that there are certain types of messages that don’t require a return. Sometimes they can go back and forth for a while and the stop. If I send an email either requesting something or asking a question I expect an answer. Maybe not immediately. I don’t know the official protocol for how long to give a person to return a message but I mostly get aggravated if goes more than three days. If they don’t respond for weeks or months I just move them down the list of a priority friend.

 

If I send a friendly “just wanted to say hi” type of message that requires no return message. I leave it open ended. If I am promoting something and just want to get the information out there to a person I don’t expect a response. One people that I am really close to that I know I will talk to eventually in a day of 3 it doesn’t matter. I just sent a message to my friend yesterday asking him about helping me with something in a future project. I don’t care that he didn’t get back to me yet.

 

If I message someone I don’t know especially women I don’t expect an answer at all. They don’t know me so there is not obligation even though it would be polite. The women I am sure get flooded with many messages from men and probably get tired of it. They are especially forgiven.

 

I was shocked when I was sending mass messages to promote novaboon.com when I did get a message back and even more shocked when they thanked me.

 

There is such a fine line when it comes to my reactions to unreturned messages. I’m sure you can relate. It’s the ones that I anticipate the answer to a question that bugs me. There are a lot of them.

 

I was dating a girl for almost a month and she was the worst at returning messages. I understand that I have always set my life up so I have more free time than most. She was also at the end of Medical school and at the biggest turning point of her life. Still it was no excuse to blow off my messages when all she had to do was take 30 seconds to text me that she is busy and will get back to me another time. The insecure obsessive that I am it drove me nuts. If we didn’t have such great dates and connection I would have dropped her. Maybe I should have because it ended anyway when she moved to do a residency.

 

Then there are a few girls in my life that get back to me when we work on project. Then I asked them out (at different times) and I totally expected them to blow me off.  To my surprise they answered right away. They all rejected me but got back to me immediately. I gained total respect for them for that. Then they don’t return my messages when I it’s regular talk or conversations most of the time. We even make plans sometimes and never follow through.

 

Now there’s a glitch in my complaints about people not returning my messages. I do it too. I mean I don’t do it also. For the most part I have a 95 % return rate. I have a memory problem sometimes and forget to return phone calls and text messages. If I don’t return a message on the internet within a day it gets buried and I forget. I try to get back to everyone within a day.

 

The one thing I’m not sure about is the proper time limit in returning “pokes” on facebook. If you don’t know what they are then good for you. Personally I don’t care if someone doesn’t poke me back or when or whatever. I still do it for fun (I guess it’s fun).

 

I was raised to call people back. I was raised to follow through on things. Although I don’t always live up to it I try. There’s 2 phone calls I got tonight I actually have to return come to think about it.


I’m at Wit’s End . . . Help Me

January 26, 2011

I’m at wit’s end right now. I’m at wit’s about everything but I’m not going to talk about right now. Not the personal stuff. Maybe some of it will slip. Ok a lot of it will because it’s all connected. I’m thinking out loud so to speak. Or should I say I’m thinking on paper or ..well “I’m thinking on a word document so to write.”

 

I am frustrated about money, creativity and various projects. I have a lot going on at the same time and between my ADHD and being Bipolar my focus and follow through is all over the place. Top it off with the Trigeminal Neuralgia popping up now and then and it’s difficult to even finish writing a blog sometimes.

 

Ok. Hopefully you’ve been reading my blogs so I don’t have to repeat myself. I probably will anyway.

 

I am desperately trying to figure out a way to make money on the internet and or through my art specifically. I have books published for sale, art for sale, T-shirts for sale; I have affiliate programs with dozens of web sites and my own social network. I have made a little money here and there and don’t know what to do next. I keep doing what I’ve been doing. I promote on all of the social networks I belong to. I promote on my blog sites as you know and I’ll get to that at the end of the blog.

 

I have other options for the books. The publisher has several marketing packages that cost money. That option is out. I sent several press releases about my books and no write-ups except by my friend at the Philadelphia City Paper. Maybe I need to send more. I did one book signing and little success. I can also send the book out to more publishers because my publisher doesn’t have the rights to it. I do. Everything takes time and money. I have the time but not the money. Yet.

 

It’s weird how I post links to my novel, Yellow Socks and the Best of the Serial Killer Coloring Book several times a week. I think I am spamming sometimes or over kill it. I get responses that people like the post then they don’t buy it. I also get people that say how bad they want to purchase my book but they haven’t gotten around to it yet. They don’t. Then there are the people that ask me where they can purchase the books when the links are posted all over my profiles and blogs. I tell them politely and then they don’t buy anything. It’s the same with my t-shirt site. I lower my expectations but keep my hopes high. I end up with constant repressed frustration. People are people and I do the same thing sometimes.

 

I knew starting a new social network at the same time that the almighty king of social network’s prime. My social network, Novaboon, was created out of pure anger and rebellion from my own personal “persecution” from facebook. I kept falling victim to censorship and constant regulations on my profile. Facebook can be pretty controlling almost fascist like. There is a limit to how many friends you can request or have then hypocritically constantly post profiles suggesting you add them. There is a limit to how many messages you can send in given time. They remove images that they claim to violate their “terms” yet don’t say which one.

 

I don’t want to get into details about but I have a lot of complaints about them and was angered and decided to create my own social network. I didn’t expect to in anyway compete with facebook or even the dying MySpace. I wanted to create an alternative for those as frustrated as I am. I wanted an unrestricted social network with great customer service. I grabbed the best person I knew to partner up with me to do the back end. The technical computer knowledge to help me make this happen. He was into the idea and we wrote up a business plan and set our goals. Novaboon was born in October 2010 and was launched in November 2010. My duties are the promotional, system tester/user, creative and marketing end.

 

I started it to fill a void I suspected existed and to give people similar to me an alternative site to post what they want. We set out to make it the best we could. We also decided we want to make money through obtaining advertisers eventually.

 

The Novaboon promotion took off immediately and we grew pretty fast in the fist few weeks to a month. I promoted mostly on other social networks especially facebook. This of course got me into more censorship issues with facebook. Sending too many messages especially. I actually personally messaged 100s of people announcing our new site. I used groups, my blog sites and any other internet means I could promote through for free. It was frustrating on and off and still is.

 

The same things were happening like they did when I was promoting my books. People asked me questions about it then not signing up. Some people signed up then didn’t come back to the site. I overkill the posts about it and people still ask me what it called. I keep on pressing on. I have a vision and I secretly expect everyone to understand it and join me. They won’t. People are people.

 

I’ve come to understand that most people if not all people on facebook are either satisfied or addicted to facebook because that’s where their friends are. That’s what they are comfortable with. Hell, I still go on there as much as my own site. I also use it as a vehicle to continue to promote Novaboon. Novaboon has shifted from not only an alternative but a fun unrestricted supplement. We don’t expect anyone to abandon king facebook.

My partner and my enthusiasm have shifted up and down for the past few months but we’ve come to realize that Novaboon is actually doing pretty good. We are growing at a steady pace. I’m beginning to understand that slow and steady is better than too much too fast and too slow. I just keep getting stuck and frustrated.

Where do I go from here? Are we ready to get advertising? How do I get more people to join and use the site? These are typical and reasonable questions at this point. I’m frustrated mostly because of my need for money.

When I first published my Serial Killer Coloring Book I went through similar things. I built a huge underground following, distributed it internationally, sold thousands of comics and in the end I never made a living off of it. I made a lot of money spread over 3 or 4 years and if it was my only income I would have been screwed.

I am an artist first. I have never been into it for the money but sometimes I wish that I were. If you asked me a few month or so ago, in the height of my frustration, what was more important the art or the money I would have said the money. I love the fact that I have published and sold my first novel. I enjoy the praise but I would really love to have the money.

Most of my life I have had jobs, not careers, that required little work hours and I made a lot of money in the few hours. I never wanted to commit to a full time career oriented job. Sometimes I couldn’t figure out why. It was because deep inside I know that I am an artist. Whether I am writing, drawing, playing in a band or creating new websites and social networks. I am an artist and I want to one-day make the money that I deserve not as a person but as an artist.

Now let’s move onto my promotions.

My novel Yellow Socks: Confessions of a Non-Don Juan is available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/richhillenjr

Or Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Socks-Confessions-Non-Don-Juan/dp/0557562597/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296071667&sr=8-1

 

My Best of the Serial Killer Coloring Book is available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/richhillenjr

 

My T-shirts are available at http://richhillenjr.spreadshirt.com/

 

Check out my videos on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/crawlspacebro

 

Don’t forget to join my free unrestricted social network NovaBoon now. http://novaboon.com

It’ll only take a minute to join and check it out. Don’t forget to say hi to me


New Job? No Day two! No Job for You!

January 21, 2011

I wasn’t going to post this but my pains, mistakes, shame and illnesses are an open book for me as far as writing goes. I leave myself vulnerable but I’m strong enough to handle it. Here it goes folks. A lesson on how not succeed at life.

If you read my previous blog I wrote about my new job and the excitement and fears etc. I had high hopes. I went to bed at a decent hour for me. My Trigemingal Neuralgia was acting up so I took my prescribed pain meds and fell asleep. I woke up occasionally but had a good sleep. I woke up at 6 am or so and was going to stay awake. I didn’t. I fell asleep and woke up 12:10 pm. Almost 2 hours after I was supposed to be in wor for my 2nd day of training. I immediately called the boss and left a message on his cell phone. No call back after a half an hour I called again on the business line. I left another message.

I called my friend who got me the job and he said to go in and see what happens. I have never experienced this without a “being fired” or a “come back tomorrow” so I was hesitant. I called another time before I left. The boss answered and told me he “was very disappointed in me. It was an important day for training.” then we were disconnected. I immediately called him back. No answer. I called again. No answer again. I got the message. The tone in his voice was that of a man who was going to fire someone.

I’ll skip the whole denial depression, anxiety, anger, shame, embarrassment etc If you know me or read my blogs you can only imagine.

I didn’t want to tell anyone but I broke down and told told 2 friends. The first suggested I go in tomorrow as scheduled and see what happens. Of course apologize and try to move on. This didn’t sit right with me so I told another friend about the suggestion and he agreed. He said I have nothing to lose except a long ride to Delaware and back. I still question this. My friend who works there(that happens to be on vacation) reacted a little differently. He thought the phone conversation sounded like bad news and said it the idea of me showing up tomorrow “shuld be interesting.” I’m not sure what he meant by that.

I keep telling myself that I am going to go in tomorrow but I have reservations and loads of fear.

I am trying not to dwell on it. I can analyze the shit out if this. Was it the pain or the meds that made me sleep too long? Was it my Bipolar depression? Was it a sub-conscious self sabotage? Is it a self fulfilling prophecy? Do I secretly not want to work there? Work anywhere? I did put a load of energy into my other projects and plans to make money elsewhere all day.

I don’t know the answers and I don’t know what I am going to do tomorrow. What if? What if? I am cursed with the what ifs?

Anyway, if you want to help a starving artist out buy a book or 2 or 3 of mine at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/richhillenjr

and join my new Unrestricted Social Community at http://novaboon.com Join right now. It only takes a minute and it’s free. It’s been growing and we’ve been having fun.

Thanks. Wish me luck tomorrow. I hope my decision is the right one.


An Old Year but a Good Year

December 31, 2010

Every year on December 31st people all over make their new years resolutions. Everyone sets their goals and make promises to themselves and others about what they are going to change next year. I tried it years ago. I find it better to make plans and goals everyday. I was taught along time ago to take inventory on a daily basis.

 

The year has ended and I like to look back and review the year. Especially this year. I also have always loved top 10 lists thanks to growing up watching David Letterman. I am going to list the top 10 positive things that happened this past year. Despite a lot of hardships, insanity and even deaths I am going to focus on the positive.

 

Top 10 of 2010 for Rich Hillen Jr

 

1.   Finally published my first novel: Yellow Socks Confessions of a Non-Don Juan

2.   Re-published my Serial Killer Coloring Book in a collected version

3.   Made over 6o videos on YouTube of music, rants, spoken word etc.

4.   Almost fell in love and lost with a smile.

5.   Maintained and increased readership on a few blog sites through writing.

6.   Moved into a new house with a friend. No more living at home.

7.   I’ve been there for the people I care about for the most part and they’ve been there for me.

8.   I had an article published about me promoting a book reading.

9.   I started a new social network that is moving along called NovaBoon.

10.   I finally found a job after 6 months of unemployment that has a lot of potential.

 

Man. I have a lot more to add. Most of the list is kind of superficial but I am so grateful for everything. I am also grateful for my friends and family that put up with my down times and helped me through it. I am grateful for learning to accept myself for what I am. I thank God every day for keeping me sober.

 

And quick shout out to you. Thank you for reading.


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