28 Things I’ve Learned By Age 28

It’s my 28th birthday today and as a writer, I’m obligated to pass on the insightful and not-so-insightful lessons I’ve learned during my short stint on this Earth. While I’m not the epitome of enlightenment whatsoever, I’ve made a lot of stupid mistakes, so a few life lessons have made their way through my thick skull. So take heed, young reader, as this late-20-something who knows nothing about life tells you something about life.

1.

Women are not special from men in any way. Some are sweet; some are sour. Some are warm and some are cold. Some are intelligent and some are complete idiots. They can be as kind as saints or as cruel as devils. The right one can bring out the best in you, and the wrong one can destroy you. Figuring out the ones who are genuine and the ones who are completely full of shit is the tricky part.

2.

It’s way better to look broke and have good amount of money in your bank account than to look like a baller and have a negative net worth.

3.

Being all muscle with no mind makes you a slightly smarter and much weaker gorilla. Being all brain and no muscle makes you a weak sack of shit who can’t protect himself from the physical world.

4.

Waking up next to a woman you love deeply is way more fulfilling than fucking a different chick every night of the week.

5.

Sometimes you will give something every last bit of effort and will power you have but will still face a crushing defeat. It’ll hurt you deeply, but you can take pride in the fact you tried when others would have been too afraid.

6.

You don’t have to be your father if he’s a piece of shit. The best thing about him being a piece of shit is that you don’t have to respect him. You don’t have to live up to his expectations or seek his approval. You can be a force of change and end the cycle of shitty fatherhood.

7.

Don’t read books because they’ll make you look like some sort of intellectual. Read them because it’s on a subject matter that interests you and will add to your life in whatever small way.

8.

If you don’t trust your girlfriend to have a girls’ night out and not suck another dude’s cock, then why the fuck are you with her? If she doesn’t respect you, fuck that bitch and move on.

9.

If you live in a First World country, you can truly make something out of yourself if you put in the honest effort. If you look for external forces to blame such as “the man,” your parents, or your surroundings, it’s a sign of your weakness. You can always find a way out. It may not be quick, easy, or pleasant, but there is always a way to put yourself in a better position.

10.

Your coworkers aren’t always your friends. In the Army, you could hang out, talk shit, and be yourself around your coworkers. It’s not like that in the real world.

11.

If you have to get drunk, just drinking beer will keep you out of more trouble than taking shot after shot of hard alcohol.

12.

Your emotions don’t matter. What matters is whether you do your job regardless.

13.

If a chick doesn’t text you back after two attempts, delete her number and move on.

14.

If you’re traveling across the US, pizza with all the toppings on it is the most bang-for-your-buck food you can eat. It’ll keep you full and energized all day long.

15.

Want motivation to be a writer? Look at the first blog post of your current favorite writer. Chances are, they were fucking terrible when they started. The only difference is that they started, put in the effort, and gave themselves time to evolve.

16.

It’s easy to get caught up in the extremes of liberalism and conservatism. It’s easy to think the world is black and white, that things are strictly right or wrong. That’s why it’s simple for the media to manipulate the masses with hysterical headlines and emotionally triggered stories. It takes a lot more to learn the grey side, the enemy’s side, and to realize not everything is so straightforward.

17.

I’ve never smoked cigarettes, but I know two things about them: Everyone who smokes them wants to quit, and a lot of hot chicks smoke them. So hanging out at the smoking section even though you’re not smoking isn’t too bad of an idea.

18.

If you have a fragile ego and can’t take criticism, you’re going to get crushed by real world when you’re starting out as an artist. The world is full of self-important critics and cowards who never had the balls to go after what they want. These types love to dig their teeth and nails into you and tear you apart. They see your failure as their success. Fuck them. Keep your head up, your scrappy attitude on point, and keep moving.

19.

There is more pride working a job that pays you minimum wage than staying at home and being a burden on your family.

20.

It’s better to keep your mouth shut than tell a lie.

21.

Take pictures. You don’t have to post them all up on Instagram or Facebook, but take a picture or two of special events in your life. Chances are they’ll remind you of things you’ve long forgotten about five or ten years down the line.

22.

If you do have to lie, keep your lie as close to the truth as possible. It’s easier to remember that way.

23.

You don’t have to like everyone and everyone doesn’t have to like you. You have to respect their right to exist, but that’s pretty much it.

24.

No woman is worth sacrificing a male best friend over. Chicks come and go; your best friends will be there for you as long as you remain loyal to them.

25.

Not everyone is so quick-witted that they learn on their first fuck-up. I’ve made the same mistakes two, three, twelve times before I actually learned the lesson I needed to learn.

26.

When you say most people do X, most people will think you’re not talking about them.

27.

There is a lot of power in positive male role models. I was lucky that I had this throughout my life, from my stepfather to my football coaches to the noncommissioned officers and officers who mentored me in the Army. They each had their flaws, but I took from each something that I could apply to myself.

28.

Sometimes the person with the biggest balls in the room is a woman.

~Raul Felix
Read more of my writings a Thought Catalog.

Four Years Of Hell: College V. The Army

Co-created with Lance Pauker & Ella Ceron

Which path should you choose: going to college or joining the military? Young people who’ve asked themselves this question have received a plethora of different answers. Both options are viable in helping you set yourself up for success in adulthood. Just like anything else in life, it’s what you make of it, and no two experiences are exactly the same. To help you understand the lifestyle differences between the two paths, two college graduates and one veteran will share with you a year-by-year breakdown of their experiences through those very special four years.

Freshman Year:

Lance Pauker: 

There was a lot of pressure to meet people, but at first you didn’t really know how. So you just stuck to the same three questions, consisting of things like, “Where are you from?,” “What’s your major?,” and, “Are you secretly the son of an oil tycoon?”

Overall, I think I was a little too overwhelmed to really process what was going on—there’s so much coming at you at once. You’ve got the sudden freedom, you’ve got these new people in your life that you’re suddenly good friends with, and you’ve got professors constantly asking you if you did the reading. If there’s anything you figure out quickly, it’s that nobody really does the reading.

Ella Ceron:
I went to college 3,000 miles away from my hometown and was only really able to do so on a full-ride academic scholarship. It was terrifying being in a new city—though I’m from a large city, moving to New York was still a huge change. It was weird living with so many other people my age in one building all of a sudden, and I had five roommates in a very small three-bedroom/one-communal-area dorm. There was a lot of pressure on keeping my grades up, especially when what I thought I wanted my major to be proved much more difficult to maintain, and I had to take a good, hard look at whether I wanted to pursue that dream without my scholarship or change my course. I went home for the summer after that year and very desperately didn’t want to go back. I was homesick, miserable, hadn’t found a group of friends I felt very intrinsically close to, and felt all-around awkward.

Raul Felix:
Your first year in the Army is basically where you get your teeth kicked in. Everything you were, did, and knew no longer seems relevant. You’re going to do shit the way the Army wants you to do it. From your drill sergeants in Basic Training all the way to your team leaders and squad leaders in your first unit, you’re expected to be a sponge for knowledge and to shut your fucking mouth.

Life was simple in a way: You trained hard and worked long hours during the week and got drunk as fuck in the barracks with your buddies on the weekends watching movies, playing video games, and bitching about your miserable existence and how you should have gone to college. Even if you started off as a cavalier, gleaming-eyed young man full of glee and hope, the aura of massive amounts of testosterone, cynicism, and sexual frustration was prevalent. Back then MySpace was the main social network and you’d see your friends posting pictures of themselves at college parties surrounded by hot chicks, while all you had was Internet porn and a bottle of Jack to keep you company. Since most of us were under 21 and none of us were locals, meeting chicks was very rare indeed. Luckily, a few months in, I met a great girl through MySpace that went to a local university and we developed a long-term fuck-buddy relationship that gave me something to look forward to other than drinking myself into oblivion. My cousin and I were in the same battalion but different companies. He had already been the in Army for a little over two years at that point. We spent Christmas and New Year’s together drinking heavily in the barracks watching movies as we waited to deploy.

Sophomore Year:

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Spc Tiffany Fudge, US ARMY

Lance Pauker:
An article I once read on this pretty great website called Thought Catalog (def check it out if you get the chance) referred to sophomore year as “The Year Of The Wise Fools.” I think this summation is spot-on. You’re slowly gaining a sense of who you are and how you fit within the general landscape, but you’re still, relatively, an idiot. On a personal level, the majority of cool college stories I have occurred during sophomore year.

I feel like sophomore year represents the time in which you begin to move toward that thing you really want to pursue—you’ve finally figured out which people to acknowledge and which people to slowly start ignoring, so you’re finally ready to learn on your terms. Think of it as making your way through a crowded and cramped bar and then finally reaching the cool outside area. You light up a cig, talk about how you really shouldn’t be lighting up a cig, and finally get a chance to think.

Ella Ceron:
I had a summer job in Los Angeles during the summer break and was lucky enough to transfer to a New York outpost of the same company, so I was juggling four and five courses a semester with 30-to-40-hour work weeks. Though my classes were being paid for by the school, I had to take out loans for my housing and had to fund my own food, clothes, and anything else I wanted. It was a lot, but I was able to interact with people who were already living and working in the “real world” and I realized that there was so much beyond the papers and assignments that I had been so stressed about during the previous year. I still didn’t have as many friends as college is always portrayed in the movies, but I let myself completely fill up my schedule so that I was either working or studying seven days a week. In retrospect, that was the stupidest idea ever, but it helped me cope with the loneliness.

Raul Felix:
To my bitter disappointment, that deployment I spent doing a support role for the line guys. We pushed out supplies from the main base to all of the platoons scattered throughout the country. When we did leave the base, it was doing detainee escorts where we would take captured Hajis from one prison to another throughout the country on Chinooks and Blackhawk helicopters. I saw the vastness of Iraq by the air—from our remote outpost in Al Qa’im to the major cities of Baghdad, Mosul, and Tikrit. I also fucked up a lot that deployment and made nearly every single stupid mistake a cherry private could make to the frustration and wrath of my leadership. That deployment I was hit by how real this war was—my cousin’s team leader and squad leader both got killed in action.

We deployed in three-months-there and six-months-back cycles. We came back stateside and I began to take all the lessons learned from that deployment into the next training cycle, determined to be less of a fuck-up. The lifestyle of training hard, drinking hard, and fucking hard took firm hold again. Before one knew it, it was time to go to Afghanistan. Arriving at the beginning of the blistering Afghan winter, me and a dozen other Batt Boys were tasked to man a secret prison that contained high-value targets that were freshly captured off of objectives by the line guys. It pissed me off because I didn’t join the Army to stay on the base; I joined to go on fucking missions. We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas there, and I spent New Year’s Eve 2007 on an airplane ride back to the US. Luckily we didn’t lose anyone on that deployment.

Junior Year

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KT King

Lance Pauker:
I went abroad the first semester of my junior year. Like everyone else who went abroad, I had such an incredible time that I spent the following semester acting superior to everyone who didn’t share the same new life experience as me.

Returning to college after spending a semester traveling all over Europe felt like going from an Elton John concert to an Austin Mahone concert. No disrespect to my man Austin; he just fits the reference.

Ella Ceron:
When everyone else went abroad, I moved out of the dorms and into my first apartment—a really crappy walkup that was about a 20-minute walk away from the campus. I still filled my schedule with work and school and tried to romanticize how utterly threadbare my life was. My roommate bought our couch with a bottle of Belvedere, I slept on a yoga mat before I managed to get a bed, and I wrote my papers on a busted laptop with an old radiator whistling nearby. This all sounds like something out of the New York warehouse episodes of Glee, and I deeply wish I wasn’t as proud of the bohemian bullshit I let myself dive into. I still worked 40 hours a week, and I really liked my job, but that began to happen at the expense of shirking off a lot of my papers and assignments, only to make up excuses to get extensions and not fail out of my classes. It was a wakeup call that being an adult is a lot more about work than it is about the aesthetic, and sometimes you have to decide which is more important to you in the moment and which is more important to you in the long run.

Raul Felix:
By that time, I was comfortable in the Army. I wasn’t a big fuck-up anymore, so my leaders usually stayed off my ass. I knew exactly what I needed to do, what my job was, and what I could and couldn’t get away with. I turned 21 that year, went to my first bar in Seattle, and subsequently got kicked out of my first bar.

We were set to deploy again that summer, and a few days before deployment I found my grandmother had died. My cousin and I went to her funeral and missed out on the deployment. We stayed on Rear Detachment, which meant we pretty much had half-days all the time and spent much of that time drinking heavily and attempting to find some tail, mostly unsuccessfully. One morning, news came that one of the men in our company had been killed in action. A few weeks later, another one had been killed.

Senior Year

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Spc Justin Young, US ARMY

Lance Pauker:
Senior year was the crossroads between living in an apartment that should probably be condemned and being “adult” enough to drink something other than watered-down Keystone Light. I found that I probably made the most friends in college senior year—just like senior year of high school, nobody really cares about the social distinctions they spent the past three years maintaining. People are finishing up sports, slightly embarrassed to have been a part of their Greek organization, and overall too consumed with the postgrad unknown to care about how sick Freddy’s party was. You also realize how much of an unrealistic bubble the American college experience is. While I definitely got a ton out of my four years, you certainly realize how alarming the disconnect is. If college prepares you for the working world, then playing baseball prepares you for running a marathon. They’re both sports, but that’s pretty much it.

Ella Ceron:
By senior year, I was totally immersed in my job, and a big chunk of me didn’t think I really NEEDED my degree anymore—but then I realized that the job trajectory I was on wasn’t the right fit after all. I was working 60 hours a week, could afford a lot of really nice things, made friends with my coworkers, and was acting the part of the adult—but I just wasn’t happy. I had to force myself to put any effort into my classes, because I’d saved a lot of the easy, fun classes for senior year, knowing full well I’d have senioritis. The caveat in that, however, was that I was constantly reminding myself that if I could do okay by coasting along, imagine how much better I could do by working hard. Ultimately, I realized that the degree I eventually chose meant more to me than the job I’d had all through college and that I not only wanted to actually pursue using my degree, but that I’d be disappointed if I didn’t.

Working through college was a very important part of my experience, because it gave me a crash course in the wild world of money and having an apartment and adulthood and adult friends, but I was worn really thin throughout those four years and wouldn’t necessarily suggest you try to do everything all at once if you don’t absolutely need to. If I could do it all over again, and if I had the means, I would definitely have not worked as much as I did, even though I don’t regret how hard I worked. College is a time for discovery, and sometimes I wonder if I was too burdened with bills and being a grown-up to do that then—but now I’m making up for it by discovering myself along the way now.

Raul Felix:
Another training cycle started. The same dance all over again. I had calmed down my bar-hopping since I had gotten a girlfriend, but it didn’t mean I still didn’t drink to my heart’s content. Working, drinking, and hanging out with my girl was all I contented myself with during that training cycle. It had all become second nature at that point. We took off for the sandbox again. This time I drove Strykers through the streets of Mosul on hundreds of direct action raids. I was happy because at last I was doing the cool guy shit I’ve been training for. In typical poetic fashion, my girlfriend broke up with me. This was costliest and most heart-wrenching deployment during my time in battalion. We lost three great men all within a month of each other.

It’s a strange feeling being in a bar when only 48 hours earlier you were in the middle of the streets of Mosul pulling security. I was more than eager to get out of the Army. I had acquired an annoyed and hate-filled attitude toward my job, but I knew I had one deployment left before I was free at last. I bought a motorcycle and developed a passion for motorcycle travel when my buddies and I took a trip around Washington State.

In my final deployment to Iraq, I was driving Strykers like I did before. Though we did go on quite a few missions, it was way slower than the previous high-operations tempo deployment. The war was winding down. There was a stretch where we went two weeks without a single mission. Books, video games, and TV shows were how you kept your sanity from the boredom. I came back with only a month left on my enlistment. One month later, I hopped on my motorcycle to travel the US, leaving behind the red-fenced compound that took me in during my most formative years and forged me into a man.

~Raul Felix

You can read more of my writing at Thought Catalog.

3 Things People Who Served In The Military Do That Make Them Look Like Tools

Regardless of how much the media likes to depict everyone who serves in the military as the essence of integrity, professionalism, and selfless service, there are lot of people who are total fucking tools. Just like any large organization, the military has its share of window-licking, mouth-breathers whose only talent in life is not choking on their own tongue when they sleep. What happens when people like this get to wear the service uniform for the holy cock of freedom that is the United States? They use it to compensate for their many other shortcomings, of course.

1. Wearing Dog Tags As A Fashion Accessory

Just like many of the other ills in America, Hollywood is to blame for this trend. In the movies, you’ll see a battle-hardened Special Ops guy in an olive-drab tank top sitting alone at the bar drinking straight whiskey. He clutches his dog tags that hang around his neck and begins to reminisce about combat. Cue CCR’s “Fortunate Son” and flash back to Vietnam 1969.

The reality is that the scrawny guy wearing his dog tags over his Abercrombie & Fitch shirt is more than likely a cherry fucking private who just finished Basic Combat Training and thinks he’s a real soldier now. He has to show the whole world how much of a Billy Badass he is because having a high and tight and weighing a buck thirty-five isn’t enough of an indication that he’s a soldier. Wearing dog tags will surely be a conversation starter with the fairer sex and moisten her panties.

He doesn’t know that there are other soldiers and veterans at the bar with multiple deployments who aren’t as blatantly obvious about it and think he looks like a total tool. They’ll chuckle among themselves and shake their heads in disgust. Looks like they’ll let any kind of retard in the military these days.

2. Posting Moronic Memes On Facebook

If you’ve had anyone in the military as a friend on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a meme saying something similar to this: “Share if you think a person in camouflage should make more money than one in a jersey.” This will be accompanied with a picture of a soldier covered in mud hating his miserable existence in contrast to one of a famous football player in a packed stadium. This ensures the poster gets guilt-driven Likes and Shares because if you don’t think that, you obviously hate the troops.

When a person posts that, what they’re really telling you is that not only aren’t they the sharpest tool in the shed—they aren’t even in the shed. They’re so dull that they fail to grasp how the free market and the premise of supply and demand work—you know, the very things our men and women in uniform are fighting to preserve.

People in the military are all about telling the harsh truth. Well, here is one: It takes considerably more talent, skill, and hard work to be a professional athlete than it does to be a common Joe in the military. Have you been training since the age of five to be a soldier? Did you stand out as an All-Star in high school, get a scholarship to a Division One school, and then, despite the 1-in-100 odds, get drafted to a professional team? There is a reason why guys who sacrifice million-dollar contracts who decide to join the military make the news, while Joe Snuffy—who dropped out of community college while working at Subway and didn’t know what else to do with his life so he joined the Army National Guard—doesn’t.

3. Mentioning Something About Their Military Service In Every Conversation

You’re in your college US History class discussing the Great War and how gruesome it was. Then a longhaired, unshaven, and overweight former Marine wearing a “Mess With The Best, Die Like The Rest” Devil Dog T-shirt raises his hand.

“Oh yeah, my former unit that I served in Iraq with, the 5th Marine Regiment, was in the Great War.” Then he smugly lowers his hand and coyly looks around to see who is highly impressed with the fact the he is a veteran. You sit there thinking, “What the fuck does that have to do with anything?”

Very few things indicate that a service member has no depth to their personality than their inability not to talk about the military regardless of how irrelevant to the conversation it may be. You could be talking about how much you love puppies; they’ll talk about the scraggly dogs in Mosul. It’s a bit a chilly out today. “This is fucking nothing. When I was in the mountains of Afghanistan, we froze our balls off.” You’re trying to decide where to get lunch. “Oh, it doesn’t matter. Anything is better than eating MREs like we had to do in the FOB.”

While the military is a vicious, soul-sucking beast that leaves a lasting impact on those who serve, it’s not so consuming that it leaves an individual with no personality and unable to have other hobbies and interests. While it’s great to be proud of one’s service, it’s also the mark of a huge tool bag if he is unable to talk about anything but his time in the belly of the beast.

~Raul Felix

Check out more of my work at Thought Catalog.

The Harsh Realities of Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has become an option for many disillusioned recent college grads when they realize their Humanities degree is not that high in demand. You can qualify to be a TEFL teacher with nearly any type of degree. You will fantasize about how you’re going to enlighten foreign minds, but like anything else, reality will set in. Luckily for you, English Teacher X is a salty-as-fuck veteran of this mysterious world. He has written several books and been blogging about it since 2005.

Raul: English Teacher X, you’ve been TEFL for 15+ years now. What’s the biggest difference you see now between new, cherry English teachers and when you were a newbie in the 90s?

ETXEnglish Teacher X: Of course, there are a lot more people doing it now in general, but surprisingly, I don’t see that much difference. Still plenty of middle-aged whoremongers/wife-hunters, plenty of young backpacker types, and plenty of clueless youngsters in search of a Real Authentic Cultural Experience. You’d think there’d be fewer clueless people with the Internet and all, but there are still plenty of wide-eyed innocents, many of whom end up ripped off but with a few interesting stories to tell the folks when they go back to working at the Cheesecake Factory. One thing you see a lot more of these days is middle-aged women getting into it for a midlife career change after a divorce or whatever. Eat, Pray, Love syndrome. My friend in Dubai says he sees a lot of them, and a friend in Peru says the same thing. They’re often also looking for romance—men are not the only ones unhappy with the dating situation back home.

Raul: What kind of “Authentic Cultural Experience” do most of the youngsters look for, and what is the harsh reality?

ETX

English Teacher X: Oh, you know, the usual—they think they’re going to learn the language and befriend the locals and such and go to traditional ceremonies and such, but they generally find that the only people who want to speak with them either just want to practice their English or rip them off somehow. Or have sex with them, maybe.

Raul: You spent nine years in Russia from 2000-2009 in an industrial wasteland you’ve named “Vodkaberg.” Russia changed quite a bit since those days. You mentioned that the same Vodkaberg doesn’t exist anymore. What changes have occurred?

ETXEnglish Teacher X: Oh, man, well, it’s pretty much a 180-degree shift. When I got there, they loved foreigners, especially Americans and Europeans, and everybody loved to drink and smoke and party, and people were very cynical about work and the government. Everybody was extremely sexed-up, and there was a lot of prostitution going on. People had very little hope for the future. There was very much an atmosphere of “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Now, shit, it’s like the Reagan 80s. First there were a lot of rules limiting alcohol consumption—no more drinking on the streets, can’t buy alcohol after eleven, can’t drink on trains, etc. Then depictions of homosexuality in the media. With the Ukraine thing, Putin has stirred up the patriots and the nationalists, and even one of my slutty, foreigner-loving female friends there was lecturing me last night on Skype about how everything in the American media about Russia is a lie. People want to work hard to get the Toyota Corolla and the iPhone. People do take care of their health a lot more, though, I guess, which is a good thing. I read yesterday that Putin is banning some of the Russki mat—curse words—from movies, theater, and TV. He seems to be trying to create a Puritan republic in response to the excesses of the 90s and early 00s. Oh, and in addition to that, to show the attitude of Russians recently—a friend and I were trying to talk to some Russian girls in Dubai last week and one of them told us, “I don’t talk to Americans anymore because of the international situation.”

Raul: Damn, so Russia is losing its unique Russian ghetto charm; what a shame. Where could a young, hopeful, future TEFL type go to get the same crazy social atmosphere as was prevalent in Vodkaberg during your stint there?

ETXEnglish Teacher X: Of course, your social life is what you make of it and anybody going to Eastern Europe can probably find enough alcohol and sex and general wackiness to satisfy them. But the kind of blind worship of foreigners—that’s hard to find these days. You’d need to go someplace that has endured a long period of isolationism and protectionism. North Korea, Cuba, Belarus. Just in general, the kind of places that are experiencing the sort of rapid economic growth and social change that Russia experienced during the 00s are places in the Middle East, and I hear people talking about places like Turkey, Ethiopia, and Lebanon a lot. Recently somebody sent me an email asking where the best place to go to have that experience would be and I answered, “Just go anywhere that people tell you not to go because it’s too dangerous.” I remember buying the train ticket to Russia back in 2000, and the women at the train station in Prague told me I was crazy; they would kill me. They didn’t, although not for want of trying.

Raul: Any random advice for any aspiring TEFLers?

ETXEnglish Teacher X: Well, I was thinking today that while TEFL is not much of a career choice, it probably combines well with your various possibilities for “location independent” jobs like freelance writing or running an eBay store or an affiliate site or whatever. As a teacher you’ll probably have enough free time to work on something like that, but you’ll always have something to do to meet people or to fall back on if your Internet job punks out for some reason.

~Raul Felix

Check out more of my writing at Thought Catalog

For The Women

“If there hadn’t been women we’d still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.”
-Orson Welles

Behind every form of art composed by a man there is an ulterior motive. Artistic expression is important and good for the soul, but what a man is truly trying to do is attract the attention of higher quality woman than he would have other wise. I trudge forward each day, not only because I know this what I want to do with my life on a professional level, but because as an added benefit, my little artsy fartsyness attracts the attention and forms a connection with women I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Successful and ambitious men are valued higher to women than not-so-successful and slothful ones. The more success a man gains throughout his lifetime, the more value he has to prospective women. The quantity and quality of his options increases dramatically. The driving force behind everything we do as men is to get more and better pussy, plain and simple. John Mayer can fuck at least 80% of the women who go to his concerts. Same holds true of Tucker Max with women who go to his book signings and Ray Lewis with women who are Baltimore Raven fans.

I’m not a fully successful man yet. I have to work my ass off for every piece of pussy I get. I get rejected by 90-95% of the women I approach. Women don’t just offer themselves up to me. I have to play the game like everyone else. A game where women have the distinct advantage because all they have to do is dress up slutty, show some cleavage, not be total repulsive freaks, keep their cuntish attitudes to a minimum, and they’ll have men hitting on them and offering to buy them drinks.

I play it hard. I have to say the right thing to peak her interest, I have to have the look she is attracted to, she has to be in the right mood to be hit on, and her friends have to not be cock blockers who will box me out. Yes, you girls know exactly what the fuck I am talking about. That little box out move you pull where you grab your friend, have her dance or talk close to you, put your backs towards the guy, then ignore him completely and act aloof while averting eye contact. You’re not sly, but whatever you got to do to keep creepers away right?

How important is success value? I’ll share with you a short tale. I was home on leave just freshly back from a deployment and went to a bar on Main Street, Huntington Beach. I started talking to this cute blonde girl and totally dropped the I’m an Army Ranger and freshly back from combat bomb in an effort to get her panties wet. It worked. She was digging me, rubbing up on me, and laughing at my shitty jokes. Things were going well. Then, her cunt of a friend strolls up to her and says something about how she met some guys who were defensive linemen for the University of Southern California. The chick grabs the blonde’s hand and took her away easily. Guess who banged the blonde and who went home to jerk off using his own tears as lubrication?

I can’t hate on those guys. They worked hard to become defensive players who were good enough to play at the college level. She obviously thought it was more impressive that they were college football players than the fact that I was a veteran. She was most likely just pumped and dumped by them any ways. The lesson is learned: Excelling at a form of entertainment makes women go after you and puts you in a better position to have your pick to use and discard them as you wish, and have your choice of the highest quality ones to make your significant other.

Why does a man play music? Yes, to express himself, but also because it makes the groupies in the front row privates tingle. Why does he paint a painting? Cause those artsy chicks dig it and will suck his cock. Why does he write? Because women who love his writing will write to him and offer their bodies. Even a man as ugly as Charles Bukowski had lovely women half his age clamoring to be pounded by him.

I don’t have athletic, musical, or painting talent. I’m not the smoothest talker and while I’m nice looking, I’m not great looking. However, I have writing talent. This is the place where I turn the tables in my favor. Day by day I hone myself. I’m obscure, I’m a nobody, and it’s going to be that way for a while. As I build myself, I’ll start getting messages from female fans who want to be more than just fans. It will be a random one here and there at first. Then a few more and a couple of chicks offering to do a threesome. Until, one day, I hit the big time and I’ll have more sexual offers thrown at me than I can handle. Then I’ll start to wonder if these women actually like me for the real me or my image, money, and fame. I’ll then write a post about how women are gold digging bitches and how I wish I could find a good girl to be with like the type who liked me when I was a nobody.

Those days are far ahead. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my scrappy and hungry attitude. Roll your eyes now, but one day, the words I write, will win over the hearts of the best of you.

P.S. As for why women and homosexual men create art, I don’t fucking know. I’m neither one of those.

~Raul Felix

If you’re not the best, you may be the rest: I’d Pee in Her Butt

What It Is To Write

Writing is an individual event. One must have the motivation and tenacity to sit down in front of their laptop consistently and face the dreaded blank screen. Hoping the words your fingertips pound out will actually form something comprehensible. And if they form something comprehensible, will it actually be something that someone will want to read? And if it’s something someone will want to read, will what you attempt to convey be what they perceive? These are the questions that a writer asks himself when he sits down to write whatever piece he is working on.

Like any art, one must be willing to dredge through the bitter loneliness. No one sees your struggle to churn out that silly anecdote, philosophical rant, or witty observation. No one cares if it took you thirty minutes or six hours to piece together those 1800 words they read in three minutes. No one will come up to you in the coffee shop and ask you what you’re writing about and eagerly listen.

You must take full responsibility for the effort you put in. No one is going to call you before you go to sleep and ask you how many words you wrote today or how you better get your ass in gear and work on your new post. No one is going to yell in your ear and tell you to write more and write faster. No one, really, is thinking about what you’re doing to hone your craft. They’re too busy with their own lives and worries.

Its up to you. Rare is the parent who wishes their kid to be a writer, as opposed to a doctor or engineer. Rare is the employer, who cares about your ability to write whimsical tales as opposed to having the proper skills for the job. Rare is the friend who is willing to help you through the muck that are rough drafts. Rarely will anybody tell you that writing is what you should do instead of using that energy elsewhere.

Writing is a cruel art. Cruel because it teases your mind when it’s unable to grasp the proper words or idea’s to pour onto a piece. Cruel because once you finally grasps those words for that sentence, the next sentence is placed in front you. One’s mental capacity is constantly being pushed to its outer limits. It’s a disheartening and unnerving craft, because sometimes your best words go unacknowledged. With each step taken forward, the hill inclines a slight bit.

Writing is a loving art. Loving because once your artistic threshold has been pushed, it nourishes your mind and reinvigorates into something slightly more grandeur. Loving because once you finish a piece, you immediately forget the feeling of hopelessness that once consumed you. In its place, accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Loving because the words you write are an expression of your very core as a human being. You created something that, a moment before, didn’t exist. You contributed to your culture, in a very small, but special way.

You have to be willing to take the hits to your ego as a piece you diligently worked on for hours goes unnoticed. You have to adopt the mentality that each piece, however grand or small, is nothing more than a brick placed towards building yourself as writer. Some will gather more attention than others, but even the most impressive structure has countless small bricks as support. Don’t forget that the world operates on a “what have you done for me lately” mentality. You’re only as good as your last piece, for the writer who dwells too long on his past success is a has-been.

Writing is self-absorbed and pretentious. It’s feeling that for whatever farfetched reason, people will actually care what you have to say about any subject whatsoever. It’s feeling that your uniqueness as a special snowflake is so god damn remarkable, that another special snowflake will take time away from their own little special snowflake existence to read what your special snowflake ass has to say. As the old maxim goes: it requires the foolishness to try, and the cockiness to think you can actually succeed.

Writing, in its simplest form, is putting words on paper. Like a skilled wordsmith, you must bend them to your will. Whether they be for good or evil, humor or grief, fact or fiction, they are yours for the taking. The only thing stopping you is whether you’re willing to dig deep enough to harness their power.

~Raul Felix

Some more writings about writing, read: One Year & Driving On

The Military’s Parasite Problem

There is a terrible parasite that can be seen throughout the military community in the United States. It goes unseen by the general public and the US government refuses to acknowledge its existence and the severity of the problem. Those with any time spent in the deep labyrinth of the US military have first hand accounts and know many a Joe who has fallen to these vicious leeches.

What is this unspeakable evil that has engulfed the military so? Why are there so many of our innocent American fighting men falling prey to it? To answer these questions, one must give a deep background into the mentality and conditions of the average enlisted Joe. For the sake of clarity, these descriptions tend to apply to males.

Most enlisted men in the military join from the ages 17-20, have no to some college education, and come from lower to lower-middle class families. Individual motivations greatly differ, from patriotism, adventure, college money, a step-up in life, heartbreak, or plain out boredom with their current state in life. For the most part, once they finish basic training, advance individual training, and whatever additional schools they go to, they end up at their unit with more money in their bank accounts than they have ever possessed in their lives.

Going from being broke to having a significantly higher level of expendable income is more than Joe’s fiscally illiterate mind can handle. They go to the mall and buy expensive clothes, shoes, big screen TV’s, video games, laptops, eat fancy dinners, and will even sign a loan of 13.99%APR on car that costs more than their annual income.

You’re probably thinking that fiscal irresponsibility is the parasite, but it’s not, that’s just the cut that attracts the true bloodsucker. Many Joe’s fall for the lowest of the low, the women who prey on men in uniform. These women tend to be overweight, ugly, and severely uneducated. We’re not talking about not having a college degree uneducated, we’re talking about where it’s questionable that they’ve ever read a book that didn’t have picture that popped out uneducated. What these women lack in redeeming human qualities they make up tenfold in shrewdness and shameless manipulation.

These living potato sacks will congregate at the local malls, dive bars, WalMarts, and under 21 night clubs in hopes of finding a military man that they can sink their whorish claws into. You see, Joe is very lonely, is away from home, and everything he has ever known. He lives in the barracks and if he’s in a combat arms unit, is surrounded by men most of his days. He doesn’t have access to the social life that most 18-22 college students do, where cute girls are in overabundance and meeting new people occurs frequently. His main social circle is the men in his squad and platoon, most of who are also not locals. So Joe goes off in search of companionship in the local community.

One day, poor, lonely Joe meets one of these creatures while walking around the mall. She is receptive of his advances since she can tell he is in the military by his high-and-tight and slim physique. Joe, desperate for companionship, is willing to overlook the many physical and character flaws this woman obviously possesses and instead focus on her not so unsightly features. Justifying to himself that he can at least pee in her butt until he finds someone better.

Oh, poor naive Joe, he thinks this devious wench will just let him leave that easily. She will speak grandly of her plans in life. How she wants to go back to school and get her degree, how she wants to lose the extra pounds in her body, and how she’s meaning to read more, but her job as a cashier at WalMart is too taxing. Joe will start to believe that this woman isn’t too bad after all. He is lonely, she is a decent fuck, and he is making okay money. He hasn’t really had much success with other women. The wench knows Joe isn’t doing too bad with that fancy car and big screen TV he possesses in his barracks room. She knows that military men have health insurance and if she can lock one down into marriage, she can get it too. Something her trailer trash roots would never have thought possible.

Joe is getting sick of living in the barracks and in its twisted logic;the military rewards service members who make poor decisions in their lives; such as getting married, with a pay boost called Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). Simply by getting married to some random whore, Joe can nearly double his pay for doing the exact same job. Little does he know that the wench has made the decision for him. She is now pregnant with what is supposedly his child. She paints a fancy picture of the beautiful life they can have together and how she will forever support him. Joe, being a semi-honorable man, decides to do what is right and gets married to the mother of “his” child.

It’s all down hill from there. She spurts out child after child. Compounds her body size significantly and wears a faded, XXXL sized “Proud Military Spouse” shirt every where she goes. To compliment it, she also has a “Spouse: Hardest Job in the Military” bumper sticker to gain pity about how tough her life is. What about her dreams of going to college? All a ruse to make her seem like she has real ambitions other than being a leech. She quits her job at Wal-Mart and never gets another, claiming to be too overwhelmed by the children. She often cheats on Joe while he is doing a training exercise in the field or while he is deployed.

Joe’s life is miserable, this woman is the bane of his existence. But he can’t do anything about it. He is trapped in the military for the next couple of years, working 60-80 hours a week for what now seems like shit pay since his ogre of a wife spends it all and has maxed out his credit cards. He gets treated like shit at work and gets treated like shit at home. Joe sees no way out. He only joined the military because he wanted to go to war and kill people, then so he could go to college using his GI Bill. He is forced to reenlist for another four years. How else is he going to support a wife and three kids who may or may not be his?

Joe’s problems don’t end there though. One night he drinks a few too many with his boys back in the barracks and comes home drunk out of his mind. He vents out his frustration at the wife and how he thinks she is a whore and questions whether the kids are his and then passes out. The wench, seeing an opportunity, calls the police, has Joe arrested and claims that he hit her. Now, Joe is on lock down in the barracks ordered by his chain of command. The wench now has free-reign to get gang banged by other service members who don’t know Joe. Mean while, Joe is hapless, so he resorts to using his own tears for lube when he jerks off. They eventually get divorced, Joe’s bank account is depleted, has his pay garnished to pay for kids he later finds out aren’t his, but since the law sides with the “poor, victimized” woman, is forced to pay for anyways. A week later he uses the little bit that is left of his pay check to celebrate his 21st birthday.

~Raul Felix

You liked that you little wench? Have some more: Four Things You Didn’t Think of Before Joining the Army.

Three Rock Solid Ways to Become a More Marketable Bum

With the current global economical crisis and quite possibly the fall of the American empire, times are getting tough for people of all professions. While we read countless articles detailing the plight of recent college graduates who are unable to obtain jobs in their chosen career path of Communications, Journalism, and baby sitting retarded kids. Not to mention, of office drones losing their soul crushing cubicle jobs to Abu in India who does it for half as much and feels having a crushed soul is better than starving. There is another, forgotten segment of the population that is being pounded by the fall out. We’re talking about a profession with a long history, deep culture, and high espirt de corps; being a bum.

The glory days of bumming are over. No longer can you create a funny, yet truthful signs and expect people to give you their loose change. The internet has desensitized us all and at the most you’ll get out of your clever “Why lie? I need beer,” sign will be a roll of the eyes and people thinking that’s so 2007. In order to help you compete in these cutthroat times, these are three simple ways to help you get those spare nickels, dimes, quarters, and the holy grail of them all, a spare dollar.

Get with the times ol' timer.

Get with the times man!

Develop a Talent

People these days expect a lot out of their bums. It’s not enough to just be stinky and dirty, you have to be stinky and dirty with a purpose! Start singing, juggling, street painting, or break dancing. People will begin to build their own little back story for you. They’ll assume that you were once an aspiring entertainer or artist and then the drugs and alcohol took too firm a hold of you and beat you down to the life the you live today. People love that sort of drama.

The key is to start developing your talent in public right now. You suck a drawing? Just start drawing lines and squares and whammy, you’re a misunderstood modern artist. People will toss you the occasional nickel while you paint. Its like getting paid to learn and its way more fiscally responsible than getting into debt $40,000 for a Fine Arts Degree. Can’t sing to save your life? Invest in a $9 harmonica and start using your raspy frog voice to sing the blues. Use your brutal existence as a source of inspiration for your music. Lyrics such as:

I had woman
Left me for another man.
Now I’m out here in the cold
I know you don’t give a damn.

Just need a dime or a quarter
So I can go buy some booze
I’ll drink deep into the night
While I sing the whore of an ex-wife blues.

Those simple lyrics will get you attention from at least 50% of your customer base. Because 50% of men have been with cheating whores and will sympathize with you and 50% of women have been cheating whores and will feel guilty.

No money for paint supplies or a harmonica? Start break dancing or juggling random stuff you find in the garbage. Both require no monetary investment and with your first nickel you’re already in profit mode and thus already doing way better than 90% of American businesses. Both are skills that can be learned for free via youtube at the computer stations at your local public library, you know, that place you use to go shower at in the sink.

Now these kids are going places.

Now these kids are going places.

Become a Cripple

You’re a run of the mill able bodied bum with a drug and alcohol problem so severe that it cost you all your friends, family, and means of employment. Its tough finding work when you’re an addict, you justify. That may be so, but to the rest of the population you’re no different then the 20 other bums they passed that day. What makes you stand out? What makes your unique struggle so much more special than your peers? A horrible disfigurement may be your answer!

Human beings naturally take pity on people who are crippled because it digs deeply into their own fears that it could be them one day should such an accident happen. You can leverage this fear into profit for yourself.

There are various ways you can cripple yourself. You can run into traffic or jump off the 2nd story of a building. One other effective method would be to owe enough money to the Mafia where they will break your legs, but not so much where they will kill you. Sometimes its best to let the pro’s do the work.

Now, this will require a real commitment on your part. By intentionally becoming crippled you have decided you’re no longer making bumming a “just in the mean time thing while you sort things out” but a full fledged career. A big step proving that you’re growing up and taking life seriously. Don’t try to fake it, because people can see through that bull shit and will call you out. There is also an increased chance of getting robbed because you will be a more vulnerable target. But those extra few bucks you get a day will more than make up for it.

If FDR can, so can you!

If FDR can, so can you!

Adopt a Best Friend

It’s a fact that people care more about dogs than their fellow human beings. It quite justified actually, because while dogs show love unconditionally, human beings are conniving and have ulterior motives. Yes, it may be another mouth to feed, but it will be a loyal mouth the will attract so much sympathy from the animal lover in all of us that you’ll be balls deep in nickels.

Many people won’t turn twice to look at you if they know you’re starving. But they will stop immediately and pet a cute little puppy and check him out to see if he is okay. In the process they will ask you what his name is, scratch his belly, and make kissing faces at him. Since dogs can look both pathetic and adorable at the same time, they’ll give you some money to make sure he gets feed. Some untrusting folks will just buy the food for the dog directly using your booze money and feed it to him. It’s a little dehumanizing to you, but you must remember never to show any jealousy toward your four legged friend. You two are a team, just let him do all the work and you may even be able to afford vodka that doesn’t come in a plastic bottle.

Being a bum with a dog puts you in an elite class in the brotherhood of homelessness. Its like being a Fighter Pilot in the Air Force or a Ranger in the Army. It’s rare, unique, and so few people can pull it off or have the opportunity to do so. It will be tough at first, but once you accept this challenge, it will pay you back tenfold in profit and in love. It’s a perfect symbiotic relationship.

You only feel bad because  of the dog.

You only feel bad because of the dog.

We all need to up our game in these turbulent times. It’s suggested that you only do one of these at a time. Pace yourself and perfect one of the three, before moving on to the next. For those of you of true ambition, you’ll be crippled, singing the whore of an ex-wife blues, and having your best friend howling along in no time. Just because your at rock bottom, doesn’t mean you can’t shoot for the moon!

~Raul Felix

Read another! It’s not like you have anything better to do: Four Things You Didn’t Think of Before Joining the Army