And Now For Something Completely Different

I was never a big Monty Python fan. My older brothers and sister loved it. My friends in high school loved it. But it just didn’t take for me. I’m not saying they’re not funny, they are. But it just wasn’t for me. I did; however, always love their segue line of “And now for something completely different”. The line fits pretty appropriately for what I’m about to share with you.

Just a couple of quick things first:

  • My blog posts tend to be long. So if you make it to the end, let me preemptively congratulate you now. They’re long because this isn’t a professional blog. It’s a personal one. And I more or less write on here for therapeutic reasons than anything else. I have pretty severe depression and OCD, so having space where I can think and vent out loud is valuable. And, having it be a public space, makes it especially so because I have trouble communicating in non-professional settings. At work, I’m great. In my personal life? Well, let’s just say the therapist may agree with me that I’m the type of person you fuck, but don’t date. So this blog lets you know what I’m thinking.
  • You may find typos, spelling errors, and other grammatical mistakes in these blog posts. Please don’t point them out to me. I know you’re trying to be helpful. I am very aware of them. But if I put as much time into editing these blog posts as I do my professional writing, it’ll take forever for me to publish them. Part of having OCD is that I will write something real fast, and then read it out loud about a hundred or so times and fine-tune every last period and phrasing until I can’t possibly edit it anymore. That completely defeats the point of “blogging for fun”. Grammarly (highly recommended, but don’t rely on it completely) will catch most mistakes, and I run the posts through there before they go live.

So, What’s Up?

I read somewhere that you should plan your decades. I’m willing to be it was in “Zero to One” by billionaire Peter Thiel, but he’s an evil prick, and I read a lot of books. So if I don’t write something down in Google Docs somewhere, everything sort of blurs together into this gross Eastern European tasting soup. The kind my family’s ancestors probably shared between rounds of Borscht to liven things up.

(Note: Having money doesn’t make you evil. I think capitalism can be great, provided it has the appropriate guard rails in place. So my issues with Thiel have nothing to do with money and everything to do with the actions of his company, Palantir, (more on that here too), his funding of Trump’s presidential campaign, his revenge against Gawker via Hulk Hogan’s sex tape lawsuit, and once referring to rape as “belated regret.” )

I don’t think you can plan your decades. I don’t think you can even plan five years out. You absolutely should have an emergency fund in your savings account if at all possible, you should absolutely plan for retirement and invest your money properly. But if you’re a member of my micro-generation (us elder Millenials, or Xennials, born between the late ’70s and early ’80s), think about what you’ve lived through so far: 9/11, a completely botched 2000 Presidential election, a possibly stolen 2004 presidential election (if those voting machines in Ohio were rigged), a Dot Com boom and bust, two pointless wars, Hurricane Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, a second Depression (because calling that thing “The Great Recession” was a marketing trick, not an actual description of what it was), Donald Trump, COVID-19 and previous coronavirus outbreaks like SARS, global warming, and that’s just the stuff I can think of off the top of my head.

Think about the other things we don’t often talk about, like that time 227,000 people died in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. And all of this stuff happened as we came of age and turned 18. If you told me at 18 that most of these things would happen by the time I was 28, I wouldn’t have believed you. Let alone all the stuff that happened between 28 and 38 (which I turn next year in April.)

So, planning your decades is dumb. Don’t do that. Even five years is kind of tough. I can’t tell you, nor should I be the one to tell you, how to live your life, but for me? I plan everything in a three-year cycle. So right now, I’m in a three-year cycle professionally where by 2023 I want to have a New York Times Best Selling FICTION book. So 2020 is all about reading as much fiction as I can. 2021 is about planning and researching the book, along with making sure I’m studying the tips and tricks on how to write a successful fiction book. And 2023 is about editing and (probably) self-publishing the thing. If that sells well enough, a publisher will snap it up and put it out, which will give me a shot at the NYT Bestseller list. Maybe this leaks into 2024, maybe it doesn’t. But that’s not the point. The point is that I have the next three years highly structured because three years seams reasonable, and I can safely bet that the world won’t end within that time. Or, I can HOPE the world doesn’t end in that time. The probability would be low, but like we’re seeing now with COVID, who knows, right?

Ok, but what about this blog?

Well, you’re not reading fiction on here right now, right? So I have something different I want to do on here. In addition to the things I already mentioned. And here’s where we start to get really personal. So jump off the train if you don’t want to come along for this ride. It’s ok. There’s plenty of safe places to land, and if you jump off the train at El Paso, there’s plenty of beautiful scenery to look at, and Mexico isn’t looking too bad in comparison to whatever Trump has in store for us if he gets re-elected. Seriously, I am already researching how to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen if he gets re-elected. I know it was fashionable during the Bush years to say that, but Trump is far more dangerous than Bush, and that’s saying something because Bush killed a whole lot of people with his pointless wars and reckless mishandling of Hurricane Katrina.

PS: There was, at one point, a burrito lady at the El Paso Amtrak station who was known to sell amazing burritos. I have no idea if she’s still there, but if she is, you’re in good hands in terms of food. God bless that sweet, sweet lady.


Still here? Great.

Some of you may know this about me, but most don’t: I am a polyamorous bisexual who is really into BDSM. (I’m 100% a Dom. The switch and bottom life is not for me.)

Why Would I tell you that?!

Because I’ve been thinking about what a new non-fiction book would look like. I don’t want to write about marketing and technology, because the good news (For me) is that I was mostly right about the stuff I wrote about, and it’s just now all happening. So I’m in the fun position of smiling and nodding a lot while people tell me shit I wrote about almost a decade ago. There’s no reason to revisit any of that. Especially because human psychology hasn’t changed much, if at all, in the past few thousand years. So on the marketing front, I don’t have more to add other than saying, “Make something that’s simple, fun, cheap, and easy to understand, because if you do, people will do the marketing of it for you.”

So if I’m going to write a new non-fiction book, which is currently not part of my three-year plan, it has to be something completely different. Something that’s fun and I won’t get sick of researching, because that’s what I’ll need to do for a couple of years before I write it, and talking about because if I publish the thing, that’s what I’ll need to do for a good five years.

The only thing that fits that criteria, for me, is a book about my dumb quest to become a professional Dom.

It started as a joke. I was talking to my therapist about how it’s really hard for me to work for other people. I’m very fortunate to be in a situation right now where that’s not true, and I like everyone I work with and what I do, but this is incredibly rare for me. And when you have OCD, you constantly worry about when the good times are going to end. Even if I know I’m doing a good job right now at work, which I’d like to think I am, there’s a voice in my head that tells me every morning I’m going to fuck it all up and be unemployed tomorrow.

So the joke was that the therapist asked me what I’d like to do for a job, since we all need money to live, and I said without thinking “Professional Dom”. We both laughed. It was the same kind of moment I had with my agent a long time ago when I was in his office pitching him a fiction book I was working on. And he said, “What else do you have for me?” Without thinking I said, “Social Media is Bullshit” and we both laughed and that one joke then consumed my life for about a decade.

I’m not saying this is my new career. But what I am saying is that the idea of this neurotic, sweet, and (hopefully) likable guy trying to learn how to do something that’s completely out of character from what most people would perceive would make for an interesting story. And then you throw in that this something involves sex, which is always taboo in America even in the 21st Century, and BDSM, which is even more so, and I think the elements are there for something really funny and captivating (for you) and fun and stimulating for me. (And this is before we even get to the bisexuality part because I like dominating guys with abs, which makes the book doubly fascinating, I think.)

All of this is important. Because like I said, I gotta live with whatever non-fiction thing I choose to write for about a decade.

So, I may use this blog as a research lab. I’ll tell you what I’m reading, what I’m thinking, and if after a year I think there’s a “there there” (whatever that means), then I’ll consider adjusting my three-year plan so that I write both books. The fiction book and this non-fiction book, with a lot of the non-fiction work living and being posted here.

And so we begin this weird, fun, and hopefully entertaining journey together on this blog.

B.J. Mendelson is the author of “Social Media Is Bullshit” from St. Martin’s Press.

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