All posts by Roosh

Language

For the last month, I’ve been asked the same question at least a dozen times.

Are you going to South America for the girls?

No, I’m not. And I’ll tell you why.

There are two types of connection: physical and emotional. Physical connection is good enough for the first couple of dates until you get in bed with someone, but to continue after that, there has to be some type of emotional connection. Getting with girls abroad is not that difficult; alcohol and physical attraction without many words are enough to fuel a good time that lasts several days or so, until the novelty of staring at each other in near silence and drawing funny pictures wears off. It is very difficult to establish an emotional connection without language.

In college I knew this kid who would play and sing the latest rock ballads on his guitar. Girls would sometimes cry during his performances. I’d think, “Give me a break,” while mentally calculating how many hours of practice it would take me to get to his skill level. I did not learn how to play the guitar, but I did look at communication in a different way.

The importance of language, specifically words, did not hit me until I met this one Eastern European girl. She was the same age as me, with short blonde hair, and a type of nonstop laugh that makes you think you have a really good sense of humor. She was fluent in English. She wanted to hear a story, so I told her a story, a personal “love” story that did not have a happy ending. A story for another day.

Telling her this story caused me to relive it once more; relive not so much pain but a disappointed sadness, and I looked in this girl’s eyes, who I met three hours prior, and saw tears. She must have experienced something similar, I thought. I looked away as she wiped the tears away to give her a private moment, so she can feel what she wants to feel without someone maybe judging her.

At the time I didn’t remember doing that before, making a girl cry from a story; and it’s not power I felt, but a sort of humanity where we our experiences, what makes us who we are, is able to affect other people, whether happy or sad, positive or negative. Music is one way of doing this, language the other. Out of all the tricks I know to increase a girl’s physical arousal, none can touch the power that mere words have, that a story has.

Will I take advantage of sexual opportunities in South America? Yes. Will I be on the lookout for a serious relationship, for a girl I can import into the United States? No. If you can’t make it work with your own people, the idea of romantic love in a faraway land is more fantasy than reality. Unless, of course, you are trying to become fluent in the place you are going to.

American Stereotypes Are So Hurtful

A German David Hasselhoff lover recently wrote 10 Common German Prejudices About The USA. I am deeply offended as an American and would like to take some time to clear the air.

“What’s with all the fast food?”

We are BUSY people. Have you looked at our GDP lately? It’s the highest in the world. You think we got there by taking the to time to cook boring meals at home? Give me animal fat and give it to me NOW. Maybe you’d be rich too if you spent your time working instead of making thick sausage or whatever it is you eat over there.

“Americans are war mongers”

The recent military operations in Iraq (both of them), Afghanistan, Panama, Kosovo, Somalia, and Grenada were all ACCIDENTS of history. We do not have imperial notions on this great Earth, and if you give honest examination to the periods between 1891 and 1897, you will see that we are a very peaceful people.

“Americans are extremely superficial…celebrity culture”

Wrong. We follow celebrities because they have achieved a level of enlightenment that commoners like you and I can only dream about. I’m talking about sex, clubbing, drugs, tell-all books, gotcha photography featuring nipples and shaved vaginas, and most importantly, FASHION. Quick: name a German-born celebrity. I thought so. If you had celebrities then you would be obsessing over their god-like status as well.

“Americans don’t give a shit about their poor people”

Now you’ve went too far. Look in any American city and you will see an area of very fine buildings that we have built EXCLUSIVELY for the poor. We give them schooling, food, and police protection, and make sure that they live far far away from the middle and upper classes, who may interfere with their admirable way of life. Poverty in the United States will be relegated to the history books as soon as we win the war on terror.

“Everything needs to be XXL (houses, cars, refrigerators, Burgers, breast implants,…)”

How’s that 300 square feet of living space in Germany doing for you? Other than the breast implants, which can be explained by evolution, we need large because our founding fathers, God rest their souls, want us to settle in a vast frontier of rich, bountiful land. Ever heard of the Homestead Act? Otherwise this land would just go to waste, and what’s the point of that? As for automobiles, I’d like to see you drive one of your fuel-efficient scooter smart cars on a real highway and see how long you survive as SUV monsters of American pride block your puny visual field.

As an American citizen, I just can’t stand by and watch as foreigners trash the country I’ve grown up in. Instead of acting out in a pointless jealous rage, I think this German should get a J-O-B so he can afford to buy one of our state-of-the-art plasma televisions. Just don’t forget to budget for the necessary Monster cables.

5 Washington DC Bars For Men

If you are a man who doesn’t need top 40 hip hop, I have five places that are worth your time. This list is a result of six years of drinking and banging.

Busboys & Poets map

An artsy/yuppie cafe that has food, drink, and coffee. Prices aren’t cheap but there is free wireless internet if you like nerding it up in public. This is more of a date spot than a pick-up place, but there are usually sets of cute girls hanging out by the bar after 8PM. Several of the waitresses are also cute. If you are looking to meet someone educated and well-read in their mid-20′s to early-30′s, this would be a good option. Start a conversation about something existential.

Dragonfly map

This is a house club with an international crowd. The white girls here are more open to dating hairy men than the white girls at, say, an Irish pub or NASCAR race. You’ll also run into a lot of Russian and South American girls. Downstairs is a little more quiet while upstairs is crowded with uptempo music. The people here can be pretentious (you will see girls dancing on tables), but it’s nowhere near as bad at places like Spank, Indebleu, Fly, Blue Gin, K-Street Lounge, and Play. Come here if you want to meet someone who has used their passport. Their sushi is decent (get the Dragon roll). Update: Dragonfly has closed. Go to Grand Central in Adams Morgan instead, which has less international girls but a better girl to guy ratio before midnight.

Front Page map

Out of all the lame white-people bars I’ve been to, this one has the highest amount of cute American girls. While they are harder to pick up for me than at a place like Dragonfly, their sheer numbers means I’ll have opportunities throughout the night. This is a good place if you are broke and on a budget (their Thursday night happy hour is very competitive). Come here if you want to meet stupid, easy American sluts under the age of 30.

Rouge map

Rouge is a pretty bar in the Rouge hotel. This has been my date bar for several years running becuase it is deadly effective at panty wetting, making the outrageous drink prices worth it during a time when I cared about getting laid. If you are a man who has a job and doesn’t buy the bullshit idea of dinner dates, take your date here and thank me later. Some nights are crowded and suitable for picking up older women or business travelers, but it can be hit or miss. Similar to Rouge is Topaz, which has a blue design instead of red.

Science Club map

This is like a more expensive Front Page for people who think they are too cool for Front Page. It’s a cross between Busboys & Poets and Dragonfly, with house music but little dancing. Don’t immediately leave if you show up and it sucks: since this venue is more of a launching point than a final destination, you will find that the crowd can change in your favor if you stick around. Science Club also makes a good date bar.

You can run your first 3 or 4 dates from these venues. For example, you meet a girl at Science Club and take her to Rouge for a first date, where you make-out with her and do some groping. Then you do a Dragonfly date two on a weekend night where you seal the deal. Then do a chill date three at Busboys & Poets. The possibilities are infinite!—especially since you can meet girls at any one of these venues.

You’ll notice that these venues are not too mainstream. There is no Dream, Fur, Ultrabar, Tony & Joes, Local 16, Tom Toms, and Platinum. I believe that if you go to a mainstream bar, you will meet a mainstream girl, and if you are not mainstream and cookie-cutter yourself then it’s going to be a waste of your time.

Honorable Mentions

- 18th Street Lounge – If it wasn’t for their $10 cover charge, I would go here more often. It’s like a more chill Dragonfly. (map)
- Lima – A more Middle Eastern Dragonfly. Very good house music on Saturday nights. Drinks are weak though and you need to be with a girl to get in. (map)
- Gazuza – Has a lot of potential, but most of the girls are sitting down. Similar vibe to Science Club. (map)
- Reef – Similar to Front Page. Wide selection of beers. (map)

Newsletter No. 5

It’s newsletter time. The edition I’m sending this weekend will describe a coffee shop game experience I had with some girl from North Carolina. I talk about how you know if a girl is interested or not. Sign-up to the right, or go here. If you just signed up and want to take a look at the newsletters you’ve missed, send me an email.

I Would Make An Excellent Father

My 3-year-old brother thinks he’s slick. Every time he comes into my room he brings a toy but doesn’t take it out when he leaves. My room now has Spongebob Squarepants, colorful trains from Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, Laa-Laa, and a very naked Ken doll. As long as it looks like he’s not about to break anything expensive, I let him do whatever he wants. The idea of applying discipline is not compatible with someone who has a problem with authority; I think a better model is rewarding positive behaviors and ignoring negative ones. Of course raising kids is a lot more complicated than that, but it’s a ideal start.

Once a week I make a large batch of tuna salad to feed me for lunch. My 10-year-old brother was watching me and remarked how disgusting tuna is. “Have you ever had tuna salad before?” I asked.

“No,” he said, “but it looks gross.”

I made him taste it through threat of big brother violence. I told him if he doesn’t like it then he never has to eat it again, but he needs to try things before he makes up his mind. He tasted it and said it was “Okay,” but a couple days later I noticed a large can of tuna on the kitchen counter. Turns out he liked the tuna salad so much that he asked my dad to make some. I decided to keep it real so I took him to eat sushi with me at Tono Sushi in Woodley Park. I told him that, yes, technically sushi is raw fish, but it doesn’t taste like fish at all. “It tastes less like fish than tuna, which you already tried.” He was down.

I wish I took a picture the moment that first piece of tuna and avocado roll went into his mouth. It looked like someone nailed him in the stomach; pain, fear, and confusion was painted on his face right after the first chew. He wanted to bring it back out, but I encouraged him like only an older brother knows how: “Chew! Eat it! Close your mouth! You better finish that!” He ate only a few more pieces but I was very proud of him, like a parent would be after watching a child’s first step. After all, I didn’t try sushi until I was 21, and let him know that he is far ahead of me in becoming a real man. I stressed real man one more time, adding that you need to try new things even if you fear it. How else will you find out about things you could like?

My dad spends hours a day with the boys, teaching, talking, and playing, but there are so many parents who drop the ball at being a positive influence on a child’s life. And you wonder why so many adults are messed up. From what I see, the key to raising a decent human being is to treat them with respect and give them attention and affection. Sound familiar? Don’t dumb things down and don’t push away their concerns or questions. Don’t let the television compete with them for your attention. Don’t tell them “Because I said so.” The only reason I would make a good dad is because I’d copy what my parents did to me, which, except for my mother’s occasional broom beating, seemed to work out pretty well. The last thing I will do is buy a parenting book from a writer/expert/businessman who has no investment in me or my family.

“So what do you think of sushi?” I asked.

“It didn’t have a lot of taste. But it was really cool!”

Yes, little brother, it is cool. Now when you turn 20 or so, there is this book I want you to read…

So You’re Looking For A Travel Partner

bologna-dante-towers.jpg
Bologna, Italy

Choose a bad travel partner and you will find yourself traveling in an exotic environment with someone who nags and complains; whose negative vibe brings you down as the clock continues to tick for return to the life-sucking routine back at home. Your friend is not trying to bring you down, but he has his own issues to deal and is too wrapped up in his world to worry about your enjoyment. Don’t take it personal. But you need a good way to tell if someone is good to travel with or not. Do that by asking your potential travel partner the following question:

“Do you like to cook?”

I’m talking about real meals, not warming up chicken nuggets.

Unlike what the famous cookbook says, there is no joy in cooking. Slicing, grating, mixing, chopping, simmering, waiting, washing, and fucking up are basic labors, but I do it anyway. I do it because I like the idea of slowing things down to create food using my own ability. Now it’s not like I’m using ingredients I’ve grown myself in a patch of land out back, but cooking still takes more labor and time than ordering from a menu.

Depending on your cooking style and how much you save, it’s possible that the energy you put into cooking is not much more than the benefits you get out of it. But it still says something positive about you. You focus on the process and the current state instead of the end product. You are patient, without needing instant gratification. You can enter situations without knowing the outcome. You are not looking for a sure thing. You “go with it’ and adapt when things go wrong, because they will. These are the qualities you want when traveling with someone in a foreign land.

Easy things you do at home take much longer abroad, such as finding and ordering food, asking for help, and getting from point A to B. Much of your time isn’t spent on “fun” things, but actually getting to the fun things in one piece without being taken advantage of. To the non-cook, the best kind of travel is the tourist package to a Disneyland-type city where English is spoken in a ten square block city center and there are many wonderful structures that have seen the camera lens billions of times before. At least he won’t be “bored.” But the patient traveler, the cook, ventures out and accepts that the inevitable frustrations are the same as doing a sink of dirty dishes; it goes with the territory. When you cook something edible, eating it only takes ten minutes—it’s the process you spend most of your time on.

All that said, there is absolutely nothing like traveling alone, to have the freedom to do what you want and to face challenges with no support by your side. The only requirement is being able to handle your own company.

Rising Sun

After sex, the power shifts to me. Vagina strength is highest before sex and declines to almost zero afterwards, assuming the girl is with a man who has options. I relax my game after sex not only because the power shift enables me to, but because if we are going to continue seeing each other the relationship has to be built on a foundation where we act natural and closer to our real selves. I know that a relationship built on two people playing hard to get will not last for more than a few dates, so I put less focus on planning alcohol dates with sex being the end goal and try for dates where we have to talk more under sober conditions (e.g. ice cream, bookstore)—more of just hanging out with each other’s company. But this is where it starts to fall apart because a lot of girls don’t know how to act when the main chase ends. They know their power has decreased so they overcompensate to keep your attention when they already had it in the first place.

I called a girl two days after I had first-time sex with her and she answered the phone. We talked for several minutes and then I suggested we do something in a few days. Her response: “Maybe.”

That’s in line with “That can be arranged,” an unnatural and tried answer, especially to a man whose hand you brought up to your neck for semi-aggressive choking. If you don’t want to hang out with me then fine, but don’t pick up the phone and try some move you just read in a book by a “relationship expert.” Don’t tell me the bookstore is boring. Don’t respond to my voicemail with a text message. Don’t suggest a specific restaurant unless you are treating. Don’t start talking about your past relationship failures. Don’t be surprised when I decide to move on.

Assuming you are cute (which is why I talked to you) and good in bed (which is why I called you again), you don’t have to put on a front to keep me interested. After sex, a girl’s game should transition from communication and logistical games to teasing and seduction games, where she tries to heighten a man’s physical arousal during the time they are together. She should send him to his buddy saying, “Dude, this girl drives me crazy. For some reason I can’t stop thinking about her.”

Girls need to increase sexual tension not by withholding attention (an okay strategy before sex) but by giving good attention that takes time and work to master. A lot of girls, unfortunately, have no desire to improve their game beyond techniques they learned in high school. To them, attention withholding is game. But once a man penetrates vagina, chances are he won’t be turned on by the extra time it takes you to return a telephone call.

Grand Opening, Grand Closing

Brunch Bird has closed up shop: “I started this blog a year ago and it’s been a thoroughly lovely experiment.” She will be missed.

Prolific commenter Roissy has started his own blog. Now he’s a fine writer and all, but so far my favorite post of his is the one will all the cats. If you like this blog, you’ll probably like his too.

Start A Blog Already

I think everyone should have their own blog, for these reasons:

1. It’s a cheap hobby. Other than an internet connection and computer, it costs you nothing.

2. You are a very creative snowflake. When I sit down in front of a blank screen, interesting ideas just pop in my head. Most people have routines (sitting in front of the TV) or environments (eight hours a day of beige cubicle walls) that make it hard for creative ideas to bubble on the surface.

3. You connect the dots. If I didn’t have to blog, I would probably buy an iPod and listen to music instead of piecing together the events of my life to create quality stuff.

4. Exposure to new ideas. When you have a blog you start reading more blogs, exposing yourself to interesting ideas, theories, and writing. And if you are in a scene where other bloggers meet, you get to expose yourself to these bloggers, literally, before having sex with them.

5. It improves your writing. Even without taking a writing class, the act of writing will make your writing better through no conscious work on your part.

6. :attentionwhore:

Head on over to WordPress.com, pick a blog name (I recommend something generic so you don’t have to change it when your life changes), pick a template, mess around with the software, and start writing. Email the blog to your friends, link to blogs you like that are related to you, and comment on them too. Just don’t be a kiss ass. Post 2-4 times a week and send me an email after one year telling me how much you wish you started blogging sooner.

Feminism Destroys Men?

I’m going to assume that the author of How Feminism Destroyed Real Men has not been destroyed by feminism since his pictured wife is not a feminist (her hair is really long).

One day [women will] realise how dull and unfulfilling it is to have a man who doesn’t answer back, who offers no challenge or danger – but by then she’ll be over the hill and stuck with him for fear of being left on the shelf. Sadly, this is the state of many marriages today.

Back in the Nineties, emboldened by the successes of feminism, women sought to slay the dragon of patriarchy by turning men into ridiculous cissies who would cry with them through chick-flicks and then cook up a decent lasagne.

Sorry Nirpal, but I disagree with you here. The fault of being a beta male rests solely on the beta male. It is impossible to grow up and not observe the differences between alpha and beta male behavior, and how the lifestyle of one is clearly better than the other. It would be great if every man was born an alpha, but it really isn’t that hard to dump beta qualities like a bad habit and tack on the correct alpha ones. It just takes time and commitment. Blaming women for being beta is the same as a mother blaming her four-year-old for being spoiled when she is the one spoiling it. If you have the control to change things but don’t take the necessary steps to do so, you deserve nothing.

Nirpal gets it right in other places, but the fact that he’s married at what seems to be a young age makes me wonder if he’s had enough spinster experience to be an authority on this matter. His message boils down to “Be a dick” and “Don’t listen to what a woman says.”

But having ticked off the various items on their life checklist, women are left with a nagging sense of dissatisfaction. Where was the drama? Where was the passion? Where was the stimulation and growth?

It was all forsaken for an anodyne, materialistic shopping spree that is a Good Thing, ultimately a poor substitute for a real life. These women consider themselves to be alpha-females, but they are nothing but a pathetic sham.

The best part:

Last Christmas, my wife threw me out after discovering I’d been cheating on her. On the night we got back together, I made strong, passionate love to her. Unfaithful as I’d been, I was not going to let her have me over a barrel for the rest of our marriage. I needed to keep a sense of self and not allow her to mire me in guilt and a desperate quest of forgiveness.

I needed to let her know what she would be missing if we broke up for ever. I gave her a manful bravura performance that night, and at the height of her passion, I asked her: ‘Who’s the boss?

:laugh:

I’m tempted to call out bullshit but I really want this story to be true. I can picture what he said to his wife when she caught him: “But I’m doing this for you! For us! This drama gives our marriage stimulation and growth!” And note the “I’d been,” which implies continuous and ongoing cheating instead of a one-time slip. He’s not alpha for cheating, but he is alpha for publishing that fact in a major publication that includes his wife’s full name and picture. She is so seduced by his alphaness that she doesn’t mind the world knowing he likes to fuck around. For that he is Alpha Male Of The Month runner-up.

:thumbup:

Funemployment

I remember not too long ago I would count the days until the weekend arrived. But now every day is the weekend! I present to you my average weekday:

11:30: Roll out of bed, shower. Do a 30 minute Spanish audio lesson. Eat breakfast/lunch. Check local blogs, Washington Post, Huffington Post.

2:00: Walk to Starbucks at nearby strip mall. The baristas welcome me and my “shift,” which averages between 4-6 hours, spent writing or editing on my laptop, reading books, and staring off into space. Total cost is $4 (tall americano and warmed lemon iced cake). Sometimes I study Spanish or run various chores (e.g. getting my car ready for sale.) If it’s Monday or Thursday, I go for a 3-4 mile run (8 minute miles).

7:00: Go home and eat like a king (my stepmom cooks Persian food every weeknight). Spend quality family time.

After dinner, sometimes I drive to the late-night Barnes & Noble in Rockville, drink with friends, or try to make intimacy with some broad. But if I stay home…

9:00: Tinker with blog. Put finishing touches on the next day’s blog post, making sure there are no errors since I will be sleeping when it goes live. Reply to emails. Read Slate, Digg, Reddit, TPM, NY Times, and various message boards. Browse internet videos. Chat on AIM. Download music and porn torrents.

12:30am: Eat third meal of the day. Do another 30 minute Spanish audio lesson. Read some more. Watch a Netflix movie.

2:30: Productivity rapidly declines. I start to check sites I already checked, hoping for something new. Contacts getting dry.

3:00-4:00: Sleep.

*all times are approximate

I’m productive for about 6-8 hours a day, where I do more than just eating, shitting, and masturbating (i.e. existing), as opposed to 2-3 hours a day when I had a job. Most of what I’m doing right now will not have a monetary payoff, but I’m enjoying myself and it feels like my awesomeness is increasing at a more rapid pace. This isn’t for everyone though: the average person needs a lot of entertainment to get through the day without experiencing boredom. Movies and books will not be enough. If you don’t have an interest that take up several hours a day at minimal cost, being funemployed may not be as great for you as it is for me.

Not only is shit getting done, but life is slowing down in the process. I don’t know what the date is and clock time has become a rigid abstraction. From now on I will be needing at least a one hour arrival window for appointment and dates.

Top 10 Most Important Books

These are the books that have made me think the most and changed the way I see the world.

ISBN: 0940322889
An African In Greenland

The author reads a book about Greenland and decides to leave his home country at a young age to visit. It takes him almost ten years until he finally steps foot on Greenland. Encouraging book if you are thinking about making a big change.

ISBN: 0688128165
Influence

Required reading. Breaks influence and persuasion down to a science.

ISBN: 0142000078
Mean Genes

Fun read that ties together evolution and the way modern humans behave. Men will find the parts on taking “social risk” to be most helpful.

ISBN: 1555520529
Patterns Of The Hypnotic Techniques Of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Vol 1

This book taught me how subtle differences in word choice can drastically change the meaning of what you communicate. It has influenced my game and writing.

ISBN: 0393316041
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

My role model—a character who is smart, interesting, charismatic, and funny. This book chronicles Feynman through a variety of journeys, from his scientific achievements to his experience picking up women in bars.

ISBN: 0140280197
The 48 Laws Of Power

Required reading and future classic. If you haven’t read this book yet, why are you still alive?

ISBN: 0670891924
The Art Of Seduction

This book makes the list not so much because of its real-world applications but because it forces you to carefully think about the way you interact with the opposite sex, and how they interact with you.

ISBN: 0060989157
The Dirt

The most entertaining book I’ve ever read. It made me realize how much of an utter square I’ve become, due to complacency and laziness.

ISBN: 0879804440
Think And Grow Rich

Every self-help book is just derivative of this great work, which teaches you how important thinking is when it comes to getting what you want. You can replace money with whatever goal you are working on.

ISBN: 0486284956
Walden

People have been sold into living a complicated life at a cost of their own happiness and well-being. Even if you read this in high school, you need to revisit it once more as an adult.

The sequel to this post can be found here.

Below are some other books I’ve liked since college. Hold your mouse over a cover for a text box with my thoughts.

ISBN: 0192840509ISBN: 0764568779ISBN: 0451203933ISBN: 0316010669ISBN: 0805075593ISBN: 0964164078ISBN: 0452287081ISBN: 076455476XISBN: 0844270512ISBN: 0395977894ISBN: 0061234001ISBN: 0911226192ISBN: 0345410033ISBN: 0760737479ISBN: 0142000280ISBN: 0143034669ISBN: 0671723650ISBN: 080507967XISBN: 2831578442ISBN: 1400015553ISBN: 0929712315ISBN: 0679032436ISBN: 0684871483ISBN: 0440212499ISBN: 1593571313ISBN: 0945983131ISBN: 0743455967ISBN: 1889540536ISBN: 159184021XISBN: 0911226257ISBN: 0446677450ISBN: 0684849941ISBN: 0802132103ISBN: 1400015596ISBN: 0064632717ISBN: 2831578434ISBN: 0670034576ISBN: 0517707918ISBN: 0195014766ISBN: 0658014870ISBN: 0887308589ISBN: 0316346624ISBN: 020530902XISBN: 1878424319ISBN: 0060554738ISBN: 1878424424ISBN: 0970058705ISBN: 1593570899ISBN: 0805077979ISBN: 0831400447ISBN: 0767901975ISBN: 1585422789ISBN: 1565847032ISBN: 0684831074ISBN: 0393320928ISBN: 1886070237

So I’m Leaving

uncertain future
Margarita Island, Venezuela

The cowardly belief that a person must stay in one place is too reminiscent of the unquestioning resignation of animals, beasts of burden stupefied by servitude and yet always willing to accept the slipping on of the harness. There are limits to every domain, and laws to govern every organized power. But the vagrant owns the whole vast earth that ends only at the non-existent horizon, and her empire is an intangible one, for her domination and enjoyment of it are things of the spirit.

Isabelle Eberhardt

For most of the past six years, my job has been fermentation process development. I did experiments with cells (bacterial, yeast, and mammalian) in reactors up to 400 liters in size to maximize the production of biological agents that were engineered into those cells. I’ve worked on drugs aimed to treat anthrax, cancer, HIV, lupus, chlamydia, and arthritis, of which most are still toddling along in clinical trials. The work was interesting but not exciting—it was highly technical in nature and just not something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Plus I never felt motivated enough to be a corporate go-getter. The highlights of my day were lunch and checking my email after lunch.

I’m about to buy a one-way ticket to South America, a place where I can travel while saving money at the same time. I want to start in Ecuador, go through Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and then settle in Argentina for a while before I visit Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia. I want to get there in July and stay for at least six months. Don’t worry, the blog will continue.

When I come back to the U.S., I want to try to live somewhere else, maybe Austin or Miami. It’s time to move on from this area. Much of the next couple of months will be spent with my family, playing with my little brothers, having serious discussions with my Dad, listening to my Mom complain about my stepmom, and joking around with my 20-year-old sister. It’s going to hurt that they will no longer be a stone’s throw away from me.

My only goal is that when my time has come, when I know that I don’t have much longer to live, I have done everything I could to have a meaningful and purposeful life, one lived to the fullest potential given to me. There is no one goal, one experience, or one accomplishment that can make this happen, but a way of life that enjoys it with rich experiences instead of things and cubicles and kitsch and money. I don’t believe in waiting until I’m 65 to do this. My health is good, my sexual drive is good, my savings is good, my mind is good—the time is now.

After I bought my first pocket digital camera, I would take it with me every time I went out with friends. But after about four years, I noticed I was taking pictures that were just slight variations of ones I already took. There are only so many different ways you can capture the same cast on the same stage with the same backdrop. Same as life. It has become too comfortable, too familiar. It’d be nice to experience something new and challenging.