Thursday 28 February 2013

Keegan Jonathan Lewis

Keegan Jonathan Lewis threatened Jared Woods' lifeOver the last Xmas and New Years, I decided to do something I hadn’t done for 3+ years, and ventured back to my hometown of Cape Town, South Africa, for a holiday. Needless to say, it was awesome! I spent much valuable time catching up with family; getting drunk with old friends; meeting a bunch of people I only knew from the internet; and showing my girlfriend the places I grew up in - not to mention the beautiful scenic areas Cape Town has to offer (some of which I didn’t even know existed myself).

Yes, all was fine and dandy. Except for one little incident: I received a death threat. Yes, you read that right. Loveable me, the guy who saves endangered flowers from abusive greenhouses and donates money to feminist charities, was the target of an actual warning towards my life. The perpetrator's name was Keegan Jonathan Lewis, and I have no fucking clue who he is. What’s even funnier (and probably quite typical to my existence) was that the threats took place on facebook.

Unfortunately (and for reasons I will go into shortly), said attacks are no longer available. Fortunately, I did have the foresight to snag the offending screen grab using my iPhone (South African internet is limited, let me assure you), which went a little something like this:

Keegan Jonathan Lewis Death Threat

It didn’t end there either, as he sprinkled assorted other derogatory comments all around my public Cheer Up Emo album and profile images, including expressions of distaste towards my appearance (which, let’s face it, is ridiculous) as well as insults towards my own lovely mother and girlfriend. Here are some of those, in collage form:

Keegan Jonathan Lewis Death Threat Comments

I was a bit taken back, I won’t lie. Not by the threats themselves, but by how atrocious this guy’s grammar and spelling was. I can only assume the dude was drunk when he wrote these, because, I dunno, school? The other thing that bothered me greatly is that I went through this guy's profile pictures, and he was the most ordinary looking human being I have ever seen. Nothing about him stood out even remotely, his face was void of any single defining features. Try as I might, I stared at his images for a lengthy period of time, but forgot what he looked like the moment I turned away. Which meant that even if I passed Keegan in the street, I would not recognise him, so I had to somewhat prepare myself for some random cunt to punch me out of nowhere. Which, by the way, I was pretty amped about, because I haven’t been punched in the face for years.

Now, I couldn’t leave it at that, obviously. But I didn’t really want to do anything at all. So instead, I just put it out there so my friends would know what was going on, by using the following status:

Keegan Jonathan Lewis Exposed

What happened after this was fucking beautiful. An army of my mates jumped to my defence in a way I could have never anticipated, and my heart filled with a whole new feeling of gratitude. Take a look:

Keegan Jonathan Lewis Gets Owned Part 2

What I like to imagine from the above, is that Keegan woke up very hungover the next day, checked his facebook, and was bombarded with these notifications. He squirted a little poo in the back of his Calvin Klien underwear (please note: I am only assuming he wears CK briefs because I know nothing about him, so I'm making shit up now), and then quickly deleted every death threat from my Profile of Love™, promptly blocking me from accessing his account, all within 24 hours. Silly boy! Attacking someone on their own profile is like walking into a township and announcing you’re a racist. You are outnumbered, son. You will get killed.

Now, maybe a more mature person would leave it at that. Maybe he learned his lesson. Maybe he had a slight hiccup of judgement and realised he was a bit of an dumbass, and regretted his bad choices. Maybe I should just smile at how well that went and continue with my holiday.

I spoke to God, and he agreed, then I spoke to Satan, and he disagreed. I flipped a coin, it landed on the dark side, so I decided to keep it up. I mean, the dude can’t just get away with such nonsense, it’s not very nice to be all confrontational and shit, trying to feed people to rugby teams and whatnot. So following the instruction from the Great Dark Lord, I re-uploaded the screenshot, and the madness continued:

Keegan Jonathan Lewis Gets Owned Part 2

Unfortunately, it seems someone did end up reporting his facebook profile, because it disappeared. I never wanted that, and would never recommend such a juvenile way of handling things - it’s like telling the teacher. I am sure whoever did so, did it for the right reasons, but I really wanted to handle things my own way. What’s done is done though, and that's done, over. No, I never ended up meeting this fella, and I have not heard anything from him since. Which begs the question: why did I feel compelled to write an entire rant dedicated to someone who had such a little affect on my life? Well, there are two reasons:

The first is to thank my friends. You guys seriously turned a potentially bleak situation into something filled with love and appreciation. It means so much to me that people (even with just words) had my back. When peeps stuck up for me to that degree, my skin grew thicker, I felt so much stronger and it reaffirmed to me how important mates like mine are. Special props to Raziel, who took that shit to the next level and empowered me, because I know he meant every word he said. Likewise to Paul. I could almost hear the guy quiver while he read your counter-threats, because I would have. You guys are MY PEEPS for life, yo, seriously. I would return the favour for any single one of you who got involved, and I hope some day to get the chance. You mean the world to me, and I love you all. I get emotional because of it, and I am still laughing my ass off.

The second reason I wrote this rant is because I want to be the top google search term for this guy’s name. I want every potential employer to read this and realise that, if you are thinking of hiring Keegan Jonathan Lewis from Cape Town, South Africa, please be aware that he is not a very upstanding citizen. He is a dickhead who has violent tendencies. Maybe he will swear at your general manager when you are having a meeting. Maybe you will offer to make him some coffee, and he will try to stab you. Who knows what he is capable of? But the facts are the facts: he threatened my life and such a mental state should not be tolerated, let alone offered a job. Thanks.

You can stop reading now.

Obviously, the darling month of January was a bit of a write-off, and as a result, I have been frantically putting pen to paper in a desperate attempt to fulfill my quota. Which, by the way, I have just done. Since my last news update, I have launched 2 bits and pieces (excluding Dear 2012), which were as follows:

The Best/Worst Of Juice Nothing
This was my 50th article! To celebrate such a landmark release, I figured now was a good time to look back at the things I have done right, and the things I have done wrong over the years. Unfortunately, you guys disagreed, and as it stands, this is my least read blog, ever. Like, EVER. It’s a bit disappointing, because I did work pretty hard on turning such a dull subject into something as funny as possible, but alas, you will never know. I do understand though, it is a bit presumptuous to think anyone would care as much about me as I do.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods
This got released right now! Personally, I think it’s a pretty good one, not only working as a rare glimpse into my life, but also filled with invaluable information which will help you improve your own pathetic existence. Time will tell if anyone actually reads it, but I assure you that it is worthy of your attention, and has the potential to make lives better. I am very happy with it, personally.

Which means I am completely up-to-date with my 1 article per month goal. Even better, is that the next two articles are already well underway. The next one in particular (planned for the end of March) is something to look out for - as it's controversial as fuck. But despite when this is released, and despite when the one after that is released, I am hoping to finish them both within the next few weeks. Why? Because I need to make writing space for other things.

And this is what I'm talking about. On the plane to Cape Town, I wrote half a short story, and then picked away at it until the rough was 100% done. I am temporarily calling it “Hell” and it totally sucks. Seriously, I am not confident about this thing at all. But I'm going to work my ass off on making it something readable, aiming to fix it into a better shape by the end of April, ready for your eyes. We will see how that goes.

As if this wasn’t enough, I have actually started the next short story as well. It’s the sequel to The Triangular Theory Of Love, and is flowing easy. That said, I realised it's a bit ridic to try and balance so much fiction in one go, because it’s not healthy to try live in so many different character’s minds at once. So I am putting this one aside for now, but am still confident that it will be released before the end of the year. Regardless, all of this adds up to a potentially substantial year for The Goat’s Nest, owed mostly in part to what I am about to talk about right now.

I took a lengthy break from my debut novella, but it was intentional. I was racing through it with 8 chapters rough-to-well-done, leaving 4 left to do. I figured a few months off would give me time to clear my mind and then take it on with a bit more of a fresher brain. But I am happy to announce I am back on this bitch, and am seriously hoping it will be launched mid-year, whatever "launching" it means. I am soooo fucking amped!!!!

Still going strong with this nonsense, here are some of the best ones as of late:

Either The Dumbest Or The Smartest Question I've Ever Been Asked
Why Are Children So Evil?
Would I Rather Get a Massage From A Man, Or Surgery From A Female?
If I Could Be A Political Leader Of Any Country, What Would It Be?
If I Had To Suck Off One Of My Male Friends, Who Would It Be?
Would I Ever Pierce My Genitalia To Another Person's Genitalia?

I am answering roughly one question a week, so go ahead and ask me something, you will be amazed.

Despite my concerns over what 2013 might hold for this project (and despite the fact that Kris is on holiday in South Africa as we speak), the rest of the crew got together and had an in-depth meeting about our future and our next piece. We narrowed it down to one, had another meeting about that specific topic, and then actually managed to film the whole fucking thing last Saturday. I have no idea how it will turn out, as it was the most painful shoot we have ever done (over 12 hours of filming!) but at least we got something. The post production started last night, and while I have no idea how long this will take, it is looking pretty cool and we are all beyond excited to get it over with. And no, for a change, I am not the star, as the script revolves around the two Funpowder members we see the least of... INTRIGUING, NO?

As it is the tradition in Western culture to celebrate birthdays as well as Valentine's Day, it is a bit of a ballache that these two dates are the exact same dates for my girlfriend. However, I did good, and one of those good things I gone and done was to remake a song I wrote for her last year. It was called If Lizzie Was A Facebook Page, put together with a video and everythang, which you can watch here. Due to its success with my girlfriend and otherwise, I decided to remake the song as a proper Coming Down Happy single, complete with (rad) album artwork and whatever else you fancy. So listen or download that here. It’s probably not my best work and was a bit rushed, but all in all, it’s great to be constantly churning this side of my creativity to the outside.

Here is Lizzie with the hard copy of the single, in case you wanted to see:

What this also means, is that Coming Down Happy will now be potently focusing on The Black EP, finally. Like I think I reported before, it won’t be released with four tracks in one shot like the debut White EP, but rather one song/video at a time. The first of which, I am aiming to get done by the end of March, but who knows? Not me. Regardless, the music of that track is around 85% done; the lyrics about the same; and the drawings about 10% complete (but in reality, probably less). It doesn’t matter, because I am determined and amped, and that’s how things get done around here.

Finally (and related to the whole Lizzie birthday ordeal), I put together a book for her. It’s a fictional story based on (as the title suggests) our in-jokes and pet names. So it won’t make much sense to you, but was a total fucking hit with her. I even got copies printed, which was a learning experience in itself. My first printed book! Definitely not my last! I KNOW THINGS NOW! Anyways, you can read it here, and this is the said girl with her present:

And that's all I have to say, except that the redesign for the main Juice Nothing page is in the Photoshop stage, and so it should be out within year. Speak sooner, or later, or whatever.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods

A Self-Help Guide To Managing Your Time Better; Unleashing More Creativity; Keeping Your Brain Happy; And Living A Healthier Lifestyle, All Whilst Maintaining A Decent Social Life As Well As Sleeping Nicely Every Night.

My biggest pet peeve in the whole wide world is when someone looks at all the personal projects I got going on, and then comments “You must have a lot of time on your hands, Jared.” Well, excuse me, I was under the impression that we all had the same amount of time? Does my day somehow magically have more hours than yours? Do we not share time? Just as bad is when someone says “don’t you have any REAL work to do?” I spit. Yes, in fact, I do - if by real work you mean my paid-for job, because by all means, I consider the blogs I write and the songs I make to be as important (if not, more so) than the work that pays me. It’s about hope. A light at the end of the tunnel, where (imaginary or not) a place exists where I'm not running in this 9-5 rat race forever, and instead receiving pay for the things I do in my spare time anyway. It's a dream of infinite love and joy, and I think about it constantly.

So then what’s my secret? How do I get so much done within my day whilst still maintaining a fast paced web-design job; a healthy diet; and a good sleep every single night? Well, it begins with cutting out TV and video games entirely, for a start. But the real key is to spend every single waking hour working on what’s important to you, and refusing to allow a second of your life go to waste.

However, and let it be known, I am essentially the laziest motherfucker around. I am not one for massive life changes because my bubble is comfortable. Rather, I opt to make small alterations to my routine which take minimal effort on my part, and then I simply stick to them. This is something we can all do. And after a few years of slowly (but perpetually) refining my life, a weird thing started to happen: I began to master the art of streamlining my existence. And while improvements will still be made and continued to be made for the rest of my life, I feel I am currently in a good position to write this guide and then share it with you guys. But if you can’t be bothered to read beyond this point, I will summarise it for you right here: do not wait. For anything. Do not spend a moment anticipating something to come about. Always have stuff to do at any place at any given time, even if just in the queue for a bagel or at the bus stop. Hell, going for a quick poo can be an ideal time to sort ones thoughts out. However, in case this doesn’t seem possible, I am going to give you some idea of how I achieve this by talking you through an average day of Jared Woods. This will not only grant you the power to get more done, but also benefit your health and completely eliminate depression, as you won’t have a goddamn second to think about yourself.

However, please keep in mind that this is just that. It is my day-to-day, not yours, per say. I don’t have the time (lol) to write one of these for each of you, or to waste energy putting together something ambiguous enough to suit everyone. I expect you to have a little bit of imagination in order to replace all the necessary personal aspects of my life with your own little tasks, and hopefully someone somewhere will learn something. And even if you don’t, try and enjoy the journey of this piece, because I do, every single day.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: Wake Up At 6:30 6:30
My alarm goes off on the other side of the room, ripping me out of a nice dream. I curse the world and my iPhone, get up, turn it off, then bring it back to bed with me, swiftly falling asleep once again.

Please note: it is important to me that I stand up within seconds of waking up, as it helps kick start my day and ensures an (ever so slightly) less painful waking up process, despite what you may think.

My second alarm goes off. I cry a bit inside and then pull my shit together (usually by reminding myself of what I have to achieve during the up-and-coming day). Then I go shower.

I get in the shower and stand there like a zombie for a bit. It is here that work begins. Whilst washing myself, I run through in my head what my day will consist of, and what times I’ll have to do what. This does wonders for my daily organisation and my waking up process, but not for my shower time, which has been known to piss my housemates off. This goes especially for Mondays/Tuesdays and Fridays, where I shave during said shower.

Out the shower, and I slowly get ready with all the usual teeth brushing, hair sexifying, contact lensing and getting dressing. During the time this is going on, I play the LOA game. This is where I have an imaginary interview with Jonathan Ross; or spend an imaginary million quid; or go on an imaginary date with Anna Faris; or meet David Bowie; all while the paparazzi are snapping photos of me. Either that, or I will plan the day further, or perhaps sing a song I have been working on, or even ask myself “what will Juice Nothing look like in 3 years? How is the next Coming Down Happy EP going to sound?” etc.

But you have to be careful with this kind of potent distraction, as it can make you late for leaving the house. Which is why I have strict 10 minute window periods allocated to each of the tasks on hand: 10 minutes to get dressed; 10 minutes for my hair; 10 minutes for teeth and contact lenses; and 10 minutes for packing.

Please Note: I know most people get ready much faster than me, and will be quick to point out that my morning ritual isn't very streamlined at all. And this is true. However, if nothing else, take this as proof that I am a lazy cunt, and so if I can still end up living my day to the fullest, anyone can.

Now, there will be some times when someone will be showering when you want to shower, or something equally obstructive. This used to throw such a spaniard in my works that I’d grow frustrated and even angry, which is counterproductive and no way to start a day. I have since learned that this is time wasted, and you should not be waiting for the shower but instead doing something else to fill the time. Roll your cigarette or pick out your clothes or put your contacts in or pack your bag. Borrow minutes from the other 10 minute windows, so that when you finally hit the shower, you'll still end up with the same amount of time afterwards. In the end, no obstacles in your morning routine should have the power to slow you down or make you late.

Out the house, plug the headphones in, and take a brisk walk to the station, which is the perfect time to buy something from the shop if you need it, like rizla or a lighter or whatever. This is where I have CIG1.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: The tube ride is the perfect time to get things done 8:05
This is one of the most important times of the day: the tube ride to work. However, I am aware that some people reading this will not ride the tube to their job, but I encourage you to read this section regardless, because you might pick up something cool anyway, and then I will address your specific circumstance at the end.

For those of you who do take the tube, do NOT waste this time! This can be one of your most valuable periods, if you use it wisely. I know people who spend 2 hours a day on the tube, but do nothing! What a fucking waste! Do not just sit there. Do not just play games. Do not watch movies. And do not just sleep, unless you seriously seriously need to (and this does happen from time to time).

For me, I write. I write a lot. Almost everything I have ever written has, at some point, been worked on during my tube trips. Hell, the words you read right now were first put to paper on a train ride. Just by spending this otherwise ignored time to do so, you will be amazed by how much you can get through in a very short space of effort.

If writing isn’t your thing, pick a substitute. Draw a picture. Write a letter. I even consider this to be prime time to read a book, because books make you smartererer and can provide you with a great source of inspiration towards your own creativity.

Another very important thing I do every morning before this writing takes place, is to really plan my day properly. I write a list of daily tasks (affectionately dubbed The Juice Diaries), which only takes a few minutes, unless it is a Monday. That specific day takes a little bit longer, because the week starts then, and you need to set it all up. No idea what I am talking about? This is what I am talking about:

I take out my notepad and set up one of these:

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: The Juice Diaries

1. Random song lyric, just to keep things light.
2. The date of the Monday.
3. Columns of my life-tasks which require my focus.
4. The Juice Nothing column (articles to write, stuff to design etc).
5. The Goat’s Nest column (short stories to work on).
6. Autobiography column (note: it’s always empty, I still haven’t started it, lol).
7. The Funpowder Plot column (films that need to be worked on, emails that need to be sent etc).
8. Coming Down Happy column (songs to be worked on, website fixes, lyrics etc).
9. Home column (clean room, do washing, clean bathroom etc).
10. Body column (exercise, haircuts, pube trims, appointments etc).
11. Relationships column (people I need to email, stuff for girlfriend etc).
12. Shopping List column (stuff to buy, groceries, toiletries etc).
13. Fix Life column (odd things that need to happen, fix laptop, get a new bank card etc).
14. The days of the week.
15. Stuff to do in the morning.
16. Stuff to do at work/lunch.
17. Stuff to do in the afternoon/between work and home.
18. Stuff to do at night at home.
19. Weekend work.
20. Money people owe me.
21. Money I owe people.

Now, obviously this setup won’t work for everyone, but the concept will. I cannot push this point hard enough: you HAVE to write a to-do list every single day, or your head will jumble. There is this fantastic methodology called Getting Things Done by David Allen, which describes just a process. You don’t want to remember anything. You want to keep your memory clean. Let the paper remember your shit. I have been doing this for 3.5 years, and it has evolved drastically to get to such a point of streamlined documentation (click here for the very first to-do list I ever made). And without it, I would have never done anything.

Look, it’s easy to throw your hands up at any point of this article and say “I can't relate to this”, but the idea will work no matter what methods you use. Do Not Waste A Second Of Your Time. Find something to do.

For example: I used to drive to work every morning, all by myself. It took me an hour to get there, and an hour to get back, all in the painful traffic. Could I write in those circumstances? No. But did I sit there and do nothing at all? No, of course not. Every morning, I’d take out my phone, press the “record voice” button, and then record voice. I’d rap or I’d sing or I’d talk. I wrote short stories this way. I came up with fantastic melodies which I still remember to this day - some of which I have already used in songs, and some of which I still intend to use. The point is, do not look for excuses here. Find something (ANYTHING) constructive to do at any point of time. Trust me - there is always something.

Now, I’m sure some of you will say “I live really close to my job, so I won’t have time to do any work during my travel.” Well, then you have saved more time than any of us, what are you bitching about?

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: Take the stairs 8:45
I get off at Goodge Street station. There are a lot of stations I could choose from, but I have purposefully selected this one. Why? Because it has a very fucking long staircase which is extremely tiring to reach the top of, and I walk up it every morning. Free exercise, yo!

So while we’re on that topic: always take the stairs. If there is a lift, take the stairs. If there is an escalator, take the stairs, or at very least walk up the escalator itself. It won’t take all that much longer (in some cases, it may even be quicker) and you will be amazed at how much easier it gets every single morning. Love your body.

I duck into my local supermarket, and buy breakfast and lunch. This is good to do now, because then you won't have to worry about food for the rest of the working day, which I will cover a bit later on.

Now, just for interest sakes, this is what I buy:

An apple; an orange; a clementine; a banana; and maybe a plum (if I’m feeling adventurous).

I don’t need to explain why. This is the breakfast of champions. It’s filling, it’s fucking tasty, and it’s really good for you. Fruit is like dessert to me, you are what you eat, breakfast is the most important meal of the day blah blah blah so do not skip it! It kick starts your metabolism and will make you strong like bull.

Now, there is something I don’t do which I could do, and it is much better. That is to make your own lunch at home the night before. If you prefer this route, but all means, do it, and then you will be even cooler than me.

But personally, I buy my lunch at this time. What I get alternates from day to day. Sometimes I buy a salad, sometimes a soup, occasionally a small pasta - it’s all down to how I feel, and I like to change it up. But the trick is that I keep each meal to below 500 calories - and normally way below.

People give me grief about this, because they say I am not fat (I’m actually quite skinny, to be honest) so why am I counting calories? Well, for starters, I drink a lot of beer, so there’s that. And also, it can’t hurt anyone to watch their intake. So if you are overweight, this guide will even help you lose some pounds, it’s that excellent.

If you get hungry during the day, there is no harm in buying low fat snacks - sliced carrots, for example. Personally, I try to avoid these, because I end up eating everything I’ve bought in one day just because it’s there. I instead opt to run on cigarettes and coffee alone. But if you can’t handle such a lifestyle, do what you want, just be smart about it.

On this day and only on this day, I will buy a roll with cheese or something more substantial on it, breaking my calorie rule. This is to line my stomach for later drinking, because I have my priorities straight.

I arrive at my office. It is here that I shall reveal my greatest secret weapon of all: My Work Only Begins At 10:00. I get there an hour early.

Now, I know some people will point out how lucky I am because I only start work so late - and believe me, I know. But if I were to change to a job that started at 9 or even 8, I’d still ensure I was there an hour early, because the benefits are immeasurable.

Think about it: you are now in an environment designed for working, which will automatically put your brain in the right mindset to get shit done. Not only that, but because you are early and most likely alone, it means nobody will disturb you. The internet will be faster, the kitchen will be emptier, and the smoking area will be abandoned. It is unchallenged as my favourite time of the day for these reasons. Plus, it looks good that you are never late.

So I eat my fruit while I check my email and facebook, and once I finish breakfast, I go and have CIG2, then make a coffee (all black, no sugar - another small health change). At some point between these things, my stomach will drop and my first shit of the day will present itself. I’m very regular.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: Healthy food makes healthy brain 9:00
And now, I begin. Almost always, I use this time to write, unless a greater project is on hand. Generally, this hour goes towards my next article, but can also be used to work on a short story, or to launch something, or to convert whatever I was writing on the tube to a digital copy in Google Docs. Whatever! It’s a full hour and I am fresh, getting a lot more done here than any other time of the day. I also sneak in CIG3.

Please Note: You probably wouldn’t want to use this time to do freelance/paid for work, as you'd be using your job’s resources to do so, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they frowned upon such activity. It is a much more guilt free approach to devote this period entirely to a “hobby” if you will, because any good organisation would encourage this kind of work ethic. And that’s what this article is about: YOUR work. YOUR projects. YOUR creativity. Not some clients', God.

Friday is also known to me as “Formspring Friday”. It's where I spend the majority of my hour answering an anonymous question someone has asked me via Formspring (go ahead and ask me something right now, if you like, I answer everything). I often do these quite quickly, which gives me some extra time for something else, but I still won’t release my answer until early in the next week. This gives me a few more days of clean eyes to pick away and edit it before freeing it into the world.

Another quick thing I’d like to touch on at this point is music. People often ask me how I manage to listen to so many new albums every year, and the answer is that I have streamlined this process too. However, if you don’t give a fuck about such a thing, skip ahead to 10:00. But if you’d like to keep on top of recent music and develop a good grasp on what is out there right now, this is for you.

Firstly, I do understand that this won’t work in every job situation. But in a design environment, it works very well, and is an important factor to my day. What I do around 9:00 is to decide which 5 or 6 albums I would like to listen to during the day ahead. 3 of which will ALWAYS be new albums released in the current year. The rest will either be albums from the current year which I've heard before, but haven’t formed a proper opinion on yet; or just some other classic I feel like giving a spin that day. Then I open Spotify (or Grooveshark for people who don’t have access to that program) and start listening. Over the course of the day, as these albums play out, I take notes on each one, eventually having a nice blurb on every single record I have ever heard, then sorting them out in some kind of an order from best to worst. There are 2 reasons why I do this:

(1) Even if I don’t remember what a certain album sounds like, I always remember what I thought of it. Which means, if someone asks me “have you heard (x) album yet?”, I can reply with “Yes, I thought it was a bit cheesy, but otherwise surprisingly good. Maybe not as good as their last one, but still quite a solid piece of work, for what it was.” And people think I am awesome and clever due to my solid opinion, even though I don’t actually remember a goddamn thing about it. I only remember what I wrote down, because it’s much easier to recall your own words.

(2) It also means that by the end of the year, I have a very good grasp on what each month consisted of musically, and am left with a decent list of my own views. This all works together to help me build my Top 50 Best Albums Of The Year blog. Simples!

Please Note: The above process is actually much more complex than I just let on. I have built up a separate streamlined system, specifically designed for my daily music intake, but it would take far too long to describe it here, and probably deserves an article of its own. But you get the jizz.

I must also mention that throughout the day, I pick the songs I like, and then add them to this Spotify playlist. My iPhone is automatically synced to this list, and it works offline, which means I have thousands of my favourite songs on my person at any given time, growing every single day. This not only helps strengthen my memory of the tracks I heard during the day, but is also the single greatest thing in my life right now.

Anyways, that was kind of off topic, let’s move on.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: Work hard at your job, and time will go by fast 10:00
Work starts. The real paid-for kind of work. Now, despite what you may think, I work really hard at my job, and there are good reasons for this.

The first (and most obvious) reason, is that the harder you work, the better you look. Your boss will love you. Your colleagues will love you. You become a strong asset to the company, and this above all else, gives your day meaning.

The second reason is that the harder you work, the faster time will go. And that’s what this article is all about. Speed. Streamlining. Going fast.

IF YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED: Sort this out immediately. Seriously. Even if you get a shit job and you hate it, get one, and I’ll tell you why. It’s not about the money money. It’s about routine and having a reason to get up in the morning. When I have a day off, I plan to get so much done, and yet struggle to get out of bed because I have no real reason to do so. A job forces you to be active because you have a responsibility, and you will find throughout the day, there will be many spare moments to fill with your own ideas. Even better, by the end of the day, you will still be in work mode, which means the momentum will continue after hours. On the flip side, I have experienced days when work was so busy that I didn’t get a chance to work on my own stuff. Because of this, when I finally got home, the ideas poured out of me like a bottle of fizzy drink that had been shaken for too long. It is extremely beneficial to have a job, for your own projects sake, believe me. Staying at home all day will only hinder your thoughts, and dwelling in the same enviroment day-in and day-out will destroy creativity. Sort it out.

About this time I got for CIG4. Now, luckily my company seems pretty chilled about my cigarette intake, but this is only because I make sure I'm only gone for 3-4 minutes per fag. I’m so fast, people don’t even notice I’m gone.

But there is some value to it. When I go for my cigarettes, I think only about the job on hand, and I actually solve many of my problems out there in the fresh air which I coat with smoke. So even if you aren’t a smoker, I’d recommend taking a quick break at this point, maybe with a brief walk around the office or whatever. This is encouraged by health fanatics too, so don’t take my word for it, the evidence is out there. Especially with computer related jobs, it’s good for your eyes and your posture and everything else.

If you are a smoker, I want you to know one other health related thing I do: I drink one cup of water per every cigarette I inhale. I am not saying this counteracts the unhealthy use of tobacco, but rather that we are supposed to drink 4-8 cups of water a day because we are approximately 60% water in the first place. Drinking water is literally drinking the essence of human. It’s a good way to ensure you do this, by having a reminder in the form of a cigarette.

Also around this time, I post something which I consider funny to Facebook and Twitter for all of my millions of fans. It may be a formspring answer. It may be a blog post. Or it may be a status update/tweet.

Now, status updates are worth touching on. People have used this as evidence against me, accusing me of not working hard enough at my real job, because somehow I manage to think of and post something every day. They reckon I sit there for hours trying to think of something humourous, when in reality, it is much more formulated than that.

I cheat. None of my status updates were thought of on the spot. Because, while I think of many status updates everyday (most of them being crap), I do not post them. Rather, I put each idea into a Google Doc called “Twitter Updates” and let them stew. As it stands, I have over 550 unused updates. When I think of one, it goes in there. When it reaches 12:00 (one of the best times to post something, ensuring a maximum amount of viewers), I quickly look at the doc, pick one which I find funny or relevant in that moment, and then paste it in. Done.

This method also helps you when you are out drinking. Instead of just updating your status with something you thought was funny whilst drunk on a Friday night, type it into your phone and then deal with it the next morning. It eliminates the chance you’ll say something stupid.

This entire process (including the cigarette) takes less than 5 minutes. Get back to work.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: Answer emails for only 10 minutes a day 12:50
Now this one is a little sneaky, I’ll admit it, and I apologise to anyone reading this who works with me in my company. If you’re my boss, just tell me to stop, and I will.

But from 12:50 until lunch (10 minutes) I use this as my relationship time. It is the only period of day which I allow myself to reply to personal emails, because I can’t be assed with that shit. Maybe I’ll respond to a facebook message or finally send my gran a mail, whatever. Some people (like my Dad) send me massive emails, and so I just write a few paragraphs a day during this time, save it, and then work on it some more the next day. It can sometimes take up to 2 weeks to respond to one mail, but I refuse to devote any more precious minutes to something like this.

This little method is ideal for people who find themselves overwhelmed by messages or have unanswered emails from years ago. 10 minutes a day is literally all you need, and by using this process, I have become 100% on top of something which used to be impossible for me to sort out. This concept can work in many other areas too (like reading long legal documents or making someone a present), if you choose to use it that way.

Lunch time! Which is rad, because we already have our lunch with us, so we don’t need to leave our desks now, do we? Let’s eat it and keep working on stuff.

For me, this is an extension of 9:00 - I just write more, usually towards my next article or short story. I also sneak in CIG5 and CIG6 during this time.

I allocate this day’s time to web related projects (i.e. redesigning Juice Nothing; fixing shit on Coming Down Happy etc). It’s my WEBNESDAY, so to speak. I feel stuff like this and Formspring Friday are important, as they force you to take a break from your usual flow, even when you would prefer to be working on your larger projects. It makes you more excited to tackle the bigger things next time, rather than just going through the motions, which keeps your eyes fresher. I recommend this highly: take breaks from your usual routine, choosing to work on something a bit smaller or less desperate.

I don’t do any work on Friday lunchtimes, because I prefer to go for a lunch pint (of Guinness, by the way, it's the much healthier/tastier/masculine option). The majority of my team at my company get involved, which means it has actual value - it’s relationship building, helps professional ties, etc. And it’s fun, which is the point of everything. Have a good time! Socialise! Other humans are important and you need to balance these thing into your life. If work dominates other parts of your existence, you will suffer, so make time to spend with friends cos it's important. More on this later.

Back to real work you go. These hours are an extension of 10:00, which is to work hard and get shit done. Keep important people happy. Get your time to go as fast as possible.

I also have my second and last cup of coffee at this time.


Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: Walk when it's time to walk, drink beer when it's time to drink beer 18:00
Work ends, and from here on out, it’s anybody’s game. If I have a big project going on, I have been known to spend an extra hour at my desk devoted to it, which is much like 9:00 - the office becomes your playground, and it’s rad.

But generally, I take the lengthy walk to Warren Street, which is about 10-15 minutes away. This is also chosen for health reasons. I could go somewhere closer, but choose not to, as one should do roughly half an hour worth of walking every day, and this covers some of it. I also smoke CIG8, and from here I won’t be keeping score of my tobacco usage anymore, as there is no set figure. But it’s quite a lot.

Of course, if it’s the first day of the weekend, I go out drinking with either me workmates or me “real” mates (which is what my workmates call them), more often than not at some local pub unless something better is going down.

And from here on, Friday is out of the game, and nothing from this point concerns such a special day. Go party, yo! Get drunk! Getting drunk is rad and good for your mental health.

Back on the tube, and back to the pen and paper side of writing, much like 8:00. This means that by the time I reach the other end of the line, I have done about 3.5 hours of writing in one day. Add that up over a weekly run, and you have a ton of work done, believe me.

I reach my home station, and either go straight to my house or go grocery shopping for dinner, which I will get into shortly.

Get home, and turn on my computer. Now, in the time it takes my machine boot up, I exercise. This is because I hate exercising, and so by doing it quickly during my PC's loading process, means I don’t have to lose any time out of my day.

Now, you could always exercise more, but what I do is very straightforward. If you’d rather do some additional shit, then do it, and you'll be better than me, well done. If you prefer going to the gym, by all means, that’s a great thing to do, but I fucking hate the gym. So this bit is particularly aimed at those people who don’t do any exercise and only kinda want to, because by following my routine, at least you’ll be doing something, and as simple as it is, you will start to notice the difference.

It is as follows:
40 sit-ups, or as many as you can do (Monday is regular crunches; Tuesday is twist crunches; Wednesday is bum lifts; Thursday is a mix of them. These aren’t the correct terms, I’m sure)
20 push-ups, or as many as you can do
10 pull-ups on a pull-up bar, or as many as you can do (buy one of these, it's totally worth it)

This is what level I am up to now, but by the time you read this, it will probably be different. I try to add more reps on a weekly basis, because I think that’s the point to exercising or something - always push yourself and make sure you feel like you might die. I’m sure the proper gym buffs will laugh at my routine and call me names and pull my hair, but fuck you, this is written for people who aren’t obsessed with fitness, but are keen to add just an extra slice of health into their life. And this takes less than 5 minutes, which is all I am really willing to do.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: Exercise while your computer boots up After which, your computer is fully loaded, and due to all the writing (or whatever) you have managed to achieve during the day, I reckon now is a good time to do something different with your evening. I devote this period to making music, so whether it be writing lyrics, recording vocals, programming drums - whatever I feel like, I do what I want. It’s a great time of day especially because most people waste it by watching TV or having a nap. Don’t be one of those people. Have something to show for your evening - tired or not. The feeling of pride and achievement will mean much more at the end of the day, and it will help you sleep.

Also, (and as tempting as it may be) this is no time to masturbate. I used to wank a lot, but I have almost stopped completely. The reason for this, is that feeling yourself makes a person sexually satisfied without the help of another. If you have a girlfriend/boyfriend, you should be fucking them. If you don’t, you should be finding one to fuck. Look, I am not one of those religious people who are against sexing your hand, I'm really not. I think there is a degree of health involved with the act, to be honest. But it does make one complacent, and sex is an important part of life that should be shared between two or more people. So try avoid it, if you can.

On this day, I have what I call “Fix Your Life Monday”, which is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of work stuff, I clean my room thoroughly and then do my washing. Not only this, but I have recently started properly organizing different sections of my room. It may be “this Monday I will organize my clothes” or “this Monday I’m finally going to sort through my top drawer” or “this Monday I’ll put some posters up” - something small which takes about half an hour, which ensures that your room is forever improving and becoming a nice little place to live in. And more often than not, I’ll clean the kitchen too, because it’s a friendly gesture which encourages my housemates to love me even more.

I feel like this is the perfect thing to do on a Monday evening, because after the weekend, one feels a little cluttered and run down. There is a great sense of satisfaction of having a clean room at the end of this day, as it seems symbolic to the clearing of one’s own mind.

If an old friend wants to go for a drink during the week - do it! Work around it! Do not be one of those people who feels guilty about not reaching their daily goals, or who prioritises work over friends. It’s ok to break the cycle, just as long as it’s not more than once a week. The same goes for gigs or shows - go have fun! If you don’t do these things, you’ll begin to loathe the process, and then it won’t work.

I also have this collective project called The Funpowder Plot, where we make films. If you have something like this (perhaps a band or anything collaborative), it should take priority over everything else. The reason why, is because it’s not just you involved here - it's a group of schedules which need to coincide with each other. It’s always harder to organize such things, whereas it’s quite straightforward to move your solo missions around to compensate, making up for any lost time. On the flip side, if you don’t have anything like this in your life, you should probably get one, because they are magical.

Although this time is not set in stone, I feel cooking dinner is best done as early as possible. This is because it isn’t good to eat just before you go to bed, as your body doesn’t work off the calories nor does it digest well whilst sleeping.

Now, when it comes to dinner, there are 5 factors which are important to me:

1. It must taste good
2. It must be cheap
3. It must be quick to prepare
4. It must be healthy
5. It must be easy to clean up

My signature meal (much to my girlfriend’s dismay) consists of frozen veg, bought and then steamed (which takes about 20 minutes). Whilst this is going on, I put some meat in the oven (like chicken or steak or something) generally covered in Oxo, cos that shit's the bomb. Once that’s done, slap some gravy on that bitch, and it’s done. Awesome. If I’m feeling adventurous or bored, I’ll even put some oven chips or potatoes or yorkshire pudding into the mix, cos I'm crazy like that. It should all take about 30 minutes, and abides by the 5 important factors perfectly.

Needless to say, I much prefer it when my girlfriend makes dinner, cos I fucking hate cooking.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: If you must watch TV, eat your meal while you do so, or eat your TV 20:30
When it comes down to eating said meal, I grant myself the only break of the day. I usually do this by watching an episode of whatever series I'm obsessed with at the current time. Perhaps you will argue that watching series is a waste of time, but there are 3 reasons why I’d disagree with you:

(1) After such a hard day of working, it’s nice to treat yourself with that 30-45 minutes worth of relaxing. It proves to yourself that you love yourself.
(2) It can also be used as a time to socialise, where you and a loved one/friend/housemate can bond over a mutual enjoyment, discussing the program whilst eating a home cooked meal. It’s valuable.
(3) Series (much like books) are a glimpse into someone else’s imagination and artistic creativity, which can be (and should be) used as a source of inspiration. It will benefit your own work, is what I’m saying.

But ONLY allow ONE episode per day, no matter how tempted you may be to "just watch one more". It can suck your time like an overly eager vampire hooker, and if you're not careful, the day could disappear before you even realise it.

Wash up and get back to work, at a bit of a slower pace. This is an extension of 19:10, and should continue until bed time.

Start winding down and getting ready for bed, distracting yourself from thoughts of the day’s work, otherwise you may struggle to get to sleep.

This is my bed time. I try to be under the covers with lights out at this hour, which ensures the recommended 7 hours of sleep. Do not sleep more than this. That said, if you can sleep any less - do it! I aim to get it down to 6 hours as soon as possible, and 5 eventually, if I can handle it.

Goodnight! Repeat in the morning.

For me, this is the part of the week that I don’t like to plan anything. I get drunk and party with my friends. I eat junk food and watch movies with my girl. Sometimes I sleep whole days away, cos fuck you guys. This attitude makes the strict week seem so much more bearable, because you throw all the routine away for a few days, which in turn, should freak you out, forming a guilty conscience which encourages you to have a more successful week following.

That said, if you find yourself without anything to do, it is still an ideal time to get some extra work done, if you are feeling the vibe. A whole day devoted to your projects! How exceptionally beneficial! But for your own sanity, I wouldn’t make a habit out of it.

Streamline Your Life Like Jared Woods: The End (Finnish) And that’s it! I hope by reading my little guide, you have picked up at least one or two tips and tricks which you could incorporate into your own daily life, improving your projects and getting more done within the constraints of your valuable time. But more than anything, please do not take this as a “look at my life, it’s so rad” type of thing, but rather as a “I have totally built this system which is working and helping me loads, and I am confident it could do the same for you” type of thing. Because it really has changed my life into something to be excited about and proud of.

However (and as is the nature of such things), the idea is to improve on this system as often as possible and in your own ways. And so, if you find any weak spots in my ramblings, please do not hesitate to let me know, and who knows? Maybe we could help each other out. I am confident that in 5 years, my routine will be even more streamlined, so I guess I’ll be writing another version around then, and perhaps your ideas could even be incorporated. But until such a day, enjoy the happy experience of watching the weeks dissolve and disappear in seconds while you don’t have a moment to think about yourself, only occasionally stepping back to marvel over what you have achieved in such a short and effortless space of time.

Godspeed, good sir.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

The Best/Worst of Juice Nothing


The Best/Worst of Juice Nothing
Introduction: My 50th Article
It’s somewhat mind-blowing for me that over 3 years ago, I managed to take my dick out of my hand long enough to get my shit together and launch Juice Nothing. The concept was simple: I wanted a place to keep my projects tidy. I envisioned it to be like a room of doors, each of which lead onto one of my many “amazing” projects that I had been building up. I imagined it as a website which granted anyone who found me the least bit interesting (if any such person exists), with an easy place to start stalking me. The idea of adding a blog to write my thoughts down came second to that original point.

Fast forward to today, and it has become my proudest baby yet. I know I’m not supposed to pick favourites, but fuck my children, Juice Nothing is where it’s at. I have watched it grow up and turn into a man, with past redesigns; future redesigns that are being worked on as we speak; and the writings growing like a friendly cancer, eventually totally dominating what this was all supposed to be about. It is my most regularly updated website (at least one new blog post a month), and as a result, is my most visited work by you people. Which encourages me greatly and makes me very happy, mostly because if I was a website, this would be me. It is me. I could cry.

And here we are, all that time later, on my 50th article (including short stories; excluding rants; the 5 part Best Albums of 2011 story counted as one). Normally this would be the time where someone would say “I can’t believe how far I have come; I never thought I’d reach this amount of content; it has grown beyond my wildest imagination; blah blah blah". But that is not the case. On the contrary, I can’t believe it has taken me so long to reach this number. I cannot comprehend the fact that I am not a well known writer yet. I thought I’d be much bigger by now. What the fuck, you guys.

However, and all that aside, this is still a landmark post. So in spirit of self worship, I decided now would be the perfect time to reflect without reservation at where I have come from, and then pick out which 20% stood higher than the rest; and which 20% sunk lower than my usual bullshit. I hope you enjoy me doing so, or at very least use it to read some stuff you may have missed along the way, because God knows I need the attention. Thanking you in advance.

Part 1: The Best Of Juice Nothing

The Best of Juice Nothing: 10. The 30 Best Band Names Ever
10. The 30 Best Band Names Ever
As the first and oldest entry on this list, this article proves that even in my youth, I still had it, baby. But one thing I have realised since the launch of this little piece, is that opinions are like assholes. I will fuck you in your opinion, is what I am saying. Especially when I find many of the bands featured on my list to be on other “Worst Band Names” list around the net.
Whatever. I have become very good at ignoring everyone with a view besides for myself, and I still stand by my choices even after all this time. I impress myself so fucking often, and this effort was no exception. Just click the link and read those names - how many have you even heard of? Exactly. It took a lot of research to narrow it down to the ones you see here, especially when you consider that I personally only knew of 16 out of the 30 before I wrote the fucking thing. So where exactly did I find such wonderful band titles? Fuck knows. I was smoking a lot of weed at the time, I could have even made some of them up.
But the point stands that it is my favourite style of my own writing, which is: getting straight to the point and not taking a single word seriously in any way. Although perhaps because of this, it hasn’t really built up many hits despite how long it’s been out there, which makes me a little bit sad. So go on then. Be a sport. Give a clicky.

The Best of Juice Nothing: 09. Undeniable Proof That The Law Of Attraction Works!
09. Undeniable Proof That The Law Of Attraction Works!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I should be a self-help guru. I know shit, man. Shit that extends beyond your average human being. Just ask anyone.
But let it be known that a small part of me doesn’t really dig this article all that much. Like so many of my pieces around this time (which I like to call my “fat period”), it suffered from a gluttonous overindulgence and a bloated length. And despite focusing on the Law Of Attraction (a practice which teaches us to let go and take the easiest path of mental flow), it was anything but easy to write. Take into consideration that I started the damn thing in August 2010, and yet it took me just under 2 years to complete.
However (and despite my lack of confidence even when I clicked the publish button), the response has been no short of phenomenal. Within the hour of releasing the thing, 2 of my friends contacted me, informing me that they managed to manifest things into their reality almost immediately after reading it (one getting a free battery for her car, another getting the job she wanted). You can’t fuck with a power like that, which in turn, reinforced how amazing LOA is to me once again. It was all like one big circle jerk.
Since that time, the responses have continued to come in, slowly but surely with great results reported from strangers. Just take into consideration these 4 comments, which really encouraged my own happy pathway:

“Loved to read this post! A different style from the one I would use, and that was so refreshing! Thanks! I laughed a lot and I'm feeling relaxed and happy. Good manifestations!”
“Thanks for the advice on how to write about the person you are looking for. I have yet to see it put that way in LOA. In act, many of the things in LOA I've never seen explained the way you have. Most people make it so complex. LOL.”
“this article helped me a lot. I was kinda confused about LOA at first, but now it makes sence. I've even seen results already! Thanks bro.”
"awesome article with easy to apply methods and quirky humor. have you posted anymore articles on the law??"

What did I say? WHAT DID I SAY? I should be a fucking self-help guru.

The Best of Juice Nothing: 08. How To Get Away With Saying Anything On The Internet
08. How To Get Away With Saying Anything On The Internet
Have you ever said something on facebook or twitter or whatever, and then got into a bunch of trouble for it? And then, like, you wanted to delete it, but you knew a lot people had already seen it, so it would look even worse if you did? And so you tried to defend what it was you said, but instead ended up digging an even bigger hole for yourself and then losing all of your friends, all of your family, and even your girlfriend for the rest of your life? Man, do I know that feel. Hence why at a very young age, I had to learn how to backtrack my words as fast as possible, whilst still maintaining my innocence and making the other parties look foolish. Needless to say, I managed to work it out because I am super smart, and that brings us to this very article.
As yet another golden oldie, the premise was simple: 5 techniques (each cleverly coupled with a related celebrity) which allows any person to be as offensive or as threatening as possible online, all the while maintaining some sort of a safety net to comfortably sleep in, in case the nasty claws of cyberspace came knocking. Such a unique idea is unchallenged on the entire internet (and I dare you to challenge that), which is why you wouldn’t be surprised to find that this is one of my most successful pieces yet.
Except, it’s not. Far from it. As it stands, less than 200 people have read this blog entry, making it one of the least viewed things I have ever written. Ever. To me, this is such a tragedy, because it all came from my own brain, and my brain is better than anything. So I am hoping that by placing it here, a little more attention will be guided the right way, right now (hint!).

The Best of Juice Nothing: 07. Easter Eggs Up Your Ass
07. Easter Eggs Up Your Ass
This article deserves a space on this list based on the title alone. I get visions of you taking those unpainted white eggs with the chocolate center, and then shoving them up your bumhole, just to see how many you could fit in there. Three? Four? FIVE?? You sick bastard.
However (and totally in spirit of the content) this early 2010 piece hid behind the distracting premise that it was some sort of an Easter related thingie, a ploy which was further cemented when it was released on the said holiday. But while the introduction did comb over some of the finer details about eggs and rabbits and whatnot, it promptly lead onto a whole different type of easter egg all together. That’s right. I’m talking about music again. More specifically, “The Top 10 Hidden Secrets Within Albums”, which would have been a much smarter SEO term in hindsight, Jared.
From the usual end-of-album hidden tracks; to the lesser common pregap method; to secret computer related content; as well as tricks hidden within the album artwork... this list provided all the golden techniques that artists have used to sneak their smarts under the radar. Hell, we even find examples of an entire album hidden within an album, and some funny images embedded within the songs themselves. Which is like, wow, fucking impressive some of the shit these people have pulled off, and yet even more impressive that I wrote such a fantastic blog on the subject which has hardly aged with time at all. So go on and shove five easter eggs in your ass, I don’t care. What’s wrong with you.

The Best of Juice Nothing: 06. My Brief Brushes With Greatness Part II
06. My Brief Brushes With Greatness Part II
You know, people often (often) ask me “How do you do it, Jared? How do you make contact with so many celebrities?” So I casually adjust my moustache whilst sipping my soya milk, and then reply with “I harass".
Because I do. Whether it be via twitter or hiding under the tables of expensive restaurants, I always meet my target, and I owe all of this to the gentle art of harassment.
As a series I hope to continue for the rest of my life, it was the second edition of My Brief Brushes With Greatness that really seemed to hit the g-spot. Released a mere year after the first version, it is quite incredible what I managed to achieve in such a short space of time, and yet still live to tell the tale. Sure, some call me a stalker, but the success of this blog speaks for itself, and it has been rather successful. The reason for this, is because such a topic is over-loaded with so many celebrity names (which is priceless google search term material), that the masses continue to flock to my site just to see what I am saying about the precious people they adore. Which, in turn, makes me more famous myself. Hence why I feel it is acceptable to harass celebrities. Because you people are harassing me. Leave me alone.
(Part III coming 2013, I think)

The Best of Juice Nothing: 05. Until It Happens To You: My Paranormal Experiences
05. Until It Happens To You: My Paranormal Experiences
Hail Satan.
I was a naughty boy in my youth, filled with darkness and blood and mucous and weird thoughts. But who wasn't, really? No, why I feel I stood apart from some of you lot, is because (up until the time I wrote this piece) I had a secret story. It was one which I never wanted anyone to know, for reasons detailed within those very paragraphs. Only one thing could get it out of me. Only one thing can make me do anything. That’s right. Formspring. Without anonymous questions from strangers, I would pretty much just sit on my couch and eat cheese & onion potato chips because, goddamn, those things are good.
So when I was asked the question “have you ever had any paranormal experiences?”, I felt it was time to reveal my evil story. However, I decided not to waste it on that particular website, but rather on this particular website, because I needed to tell it to a wider audience. And tell it I did. Right around Halloween 2010, OoooOOOoOOoooOOh. I just wet myself.
As the first line of the story states (and it is the most important line of all), none of this tale was made up. And because of this (despite being quite under-read by my general visitors) it was a post that more people have spoken to me about in person, above almost all the others. One guy told me that, directly after reading it, he saw gargoyles moving in the architecture. Another girl told me that her cat jumped onto her keyboard while she was in the middle of reading it, and so she screamed. And best of all, my (then future) girlfriend told me that she was too scared to go to the bathroom for hours after she had got to the end. Bless her. Mission successful.
So read it, but be warned: IT WILL DO YOU NO GOOD. Luckily, my paranormal experiences have been to a minimal since then, and I have lived a relatively care-free life in recent times. Oh, unless you count that time some lady with an alien implant trapped me in her house, but that’s a different story.

The Best of Juice Nothing: 04. The Top 20 Naughtiest Musicians, Ever
04. The Top 20 Naughtiest Musicians, Ever
My favourite thing about this bit of writing, is that sometimes someone will bring it up in conversation with me. And then an eavesdropper will drop on eaves, and quickly interject with something like “oh, you mean to the effect of Ozzy Osbourne?” or “Marilyn Manson must be number 1”. OH MY FUCKING LOL DON’T MAKE ME FUCKING LOL, I might scream as I spit my lukewarm beer into their face. They made me do it. They were uneducated and deserved to be treated as so.
For as far as musical research goes, very few of my Juice Nothings went as deep as this one. Because we have a fucking freak show on our hands here, featuring such depraved stories as on-stage sex acts; consuming of roadkill; murder of one’s own mother; living as the opposite sex for life; sewing up your vagina; eating your girlfriend; or teaching your children to be race-hating nazis. On this list, music talent came second only to putting your typical fucked-upness to some diluted shame.
In hindsight, there were a few people I missed, and the ordering could have been a bit better, but it’s still something I love and am very proud of. Especially that one time when I stumbled across some random forum discussing it, saying good things, without any idea I was watching from the shadows. Is that what fame tastes like? Cos it tasted pretty powerful.

The Best of Juice Nothing: 03. I Am The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
03. I Am The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
I was quite young the day I woke up and realised “oh my God. I am John Lennon.” All the evidence had been right in front of me this whole time, but only in that moment did it all come together. I bolted upright and then, believe it or not, on the wall across from my bed was the image of John Lennon’s face, just staring at me. It was a poster. I had put it there.
Now, people say I’m crazy, but that is only because they are SCARED of the TRUTH. And it is in my experience that once any doubter actually reads my in-depth analysis of my pre-birth history (complete with detailed references), they all eventually agree: I was John Lennon. I have long hair, after all. Coincidence does not exist.
The response to this one has been really good. A lot of laughs were had. A lot of insults were made. Some hippies asked me if I had any past-life memories, and then offered their help in getting said memories out. Others threatened my life because, obviously, they were the true reincarnations of John Lennon, and I was just some phony n00b wtf tits or gfo. But my favourite by far was an email from the official reincarnation of Buddy Holly, who wanted to meet up with me and discuss the finer details of our former selves. I politely declined on the grounds that I don’t actually believe I am the reincarnation of John Lennon. I am the embodiment of Satan. He was less keen on that.

The Best of Juice Nothing: 02. The Triangular Theory of Love
02. The Triangular Theory of Love
The first and only Goat’s Nest story to appear on this list, this particular tale is arguably the strongest thing I’ve ever written. The concept was to write a children's story with a moral at the end; and then to write an adult story propelled by violence and sexual abuse. And then, somehow, fuck them both together into one story, creating a solid connection between the two. I am relieved it actually worked at all.
The only issue I have with this piece, is that it was probably too goddamn long and overly-detailed. But let it be known: I blame this solely on Stieg Larsson because I was reading his Millennium Series at the time. That dude can go on. However, and despite this flaw, response for this one was much higher than any of my other short stories (even though each of them deserve props in their own special way), which I credit to the fact that it contained real life references within the imaginary world. Stuff like relevant Bible passages, or a distorted analysis of Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, because I’m educated lyk thet. It was a good move in the end, proven not only by my friends' encouraging feedback, but also because it was the most upvoted link on the Short Stories Subreddit for like, 20 seconds.
Ah, what the hell. Just because it’s my 50th blog, I will reveal 3 little secrets you most likely didn’t pick up on your first time around. Here you go. It’s a pleasure.

(1) Gladly The Crossed Eyed Bear was named after a bit in the Christian hymn "Keep Thou My Way", with the line “Gladly the cross I'd bear”.
(2) Bisexual The Polar Bear was a play on words too, an extension of the Bipolar condition (Bi-Polar Bear).
(3) This story ties in tightly with my previous story “The Art Of Enjoyable Flying”, as Roxi and Gareth were said to have met at Jamie’s funeral.
Another hint: every single Goat’s Nest story connects to each other, in one way or another. HAIL MY GENIUS.

The sequel to this story is being planned, and it’s not what you think.

The Best of Juice Nothing: 01. How To Fuck Boys And Not Be Gay
01. How To Fuck Boys And Not Be Gay
And this is it: the best blog I have ever written. But let it be known that this is by no means my personal favourite. I did not choose this as my best blog ever. You guys did.
The proof lies in the stats. It has been read roughly 30,000 times (which is close to triple the amount of anything else I have ever written). It is viewed about 170 times a day - and rising. My top search keyword of all time is “how to fuck a boy” and the top 10 includes “how to fuck a guy”; “fuck boys”; and “how to fuck a gay”. It is the anal of my writings, unchallenged as the main entry point to all my shit.
On the one (much lighter) hand, this makes me a very happy child, because it is a rad concept in my “modest” opinion. Many a drunken party I had entertained a repulsed crowd with the rules I had made up, in which a self-proclaimed heterosexual male could engage in homosexual activity without threatening his sexual orientation. It was a great relief to finally put this onto paper, I tell you, as now I can just send them a link, saving me time, saving me money, putting me first.
However, on the other (much much darker) hand, I shamefully admit that most of these hits are misguided, to put it very fucking lightly. Just take these two comments into consideration, as they stood out for me as the original evidence that something was very wrong:

“i wont to fuck kids boys but how to do it. pleas help me doc how to do it”
“I want to make new friends who could spend some time with me in a room and we need privacy”

Basically put, raging pedophiles were taking the word “boys” at face value, and not as a general term for the male gender. They were trying to sleep with children. They were coming to me for advice. Needless to say, my stomach churned at this realisation, but hey, hits are hits... right? If the child molesters are my biggest fans, so be it, I’ll take what I can get. But I like to believe that at least a couple of thousand pedos who have landed on this article (only to find instructions on how to suck a dick guilt-free) eventually got lost within all my other imeasurable brilliance and then became a Jared fan for the right reasons. I need to believe this. It’s the only way I can sleep at night.

Special mention
Props has to go to the John Lennon/Stephen King Did Not Say This rant (released 15/08/12). Despite only being launched a few months ago, it is my 10th most read blog ever, and it only took me 2 hours to write and publish. Because you can't beat that kind of immediate passion. It poured out of mouth like hot sick and then I shouted "look at what you made me do."
It isn't a true article (hence why it wasn't included on the main list), but in a way, it is so much more than that. It is education, and it is a fucking weapon. Still to this day I see those misquotes being posted around the internet, infecting Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and everywhere else. So what I have done here, is granted myself as well as other people a position of strength, where we can now just post a simple link without even thinking about how to respond the mal-research. In fact, I have seen complete strangers using it like this on Twitter before, so yeah, power to the people and power to me.

Part 2: The Worst Of Juice Nothing

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 10. The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Parts 1-5)
10. The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Parts 1-5)
19/12/11 - 31/01/12
To be fair, there are many reasons why this blog entry was pretty good. For starters, it was a fuckload of work for just an “end-of-year best albums list”, as each record served as a chapter to some elaborate story about an eternal couple; the war between heaven and hell; and some prophecy or other, I can’t really remember. And to this day, it stands as the only thing I’ve ever written which was not only so massive that it had to be released in 5 parts, but also as something that fell into the Juice Nothing article territory, as well as standing as a slice from The Goat’s Nest universe. And this did not go unnoticed, as I have received responses from some of the artists featured; comments from other music related websites; and over 10,000 hits collectively for this piece. So why the fuck is it on this list?
It is because it failed. I would never work so hard on something if I didn’t think it was good enough to propel me into superstardom. If it had done so, it would have been worth it. But it didn’t. So it wasn’t worth it. No, instead what we are left with is an over-indulgent beast which takes place in some confusing chronological order, becoming as daunting as it was disorganized as it was so fucking annoying. I can’t believe anyone even read it at all. I wouldn’t.
In summary: the stress and nightmare that went into this story did not justify the results, and for that reason, if I could go back in time, I would have split it into the 2 separate pieces it should have always been. But I can’t go back in time, duh. So deal with it.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 09. The Best/Worst Of Juice Nothing Artwork
09. The Best/Worst Of Juice Nothing Artwork
*yawn* these self referential articles are such a bore. I’d hate for people to think I am actually aware of my own self, because that would mean I have some sort of a personality, and as my daddy always taught me “Jared, nobody will ever love you for your personality, but at least you got nice tits.” He was a smart man.
Granted, I do think I am one of the few bloggers who spends as much time on the artwork as I do the writing. But I’m not sure that justified an entire blog entry devoted to it, especially the path in which I took to do so, which I will pick apart after the colon:
Best Of My Own Artwork? Wow, showy much? Look at me guys! Look at me! I look at myself all the time! In the mirror while I wank! I don’t make eye contact though, that would be weird and feels too shameful. Much like the article I’m talking about here.
Worst Of My Own Artwork? This is the equivalent of pissing on some public carpet and then rubbing my own nose in it, calling myself a “bad boy” and telling myself to “go outside”. Now, obviously, I could be into that, but metaphorically, it’s a no-no. And I didn’t learn anything from it. Nobody did.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 08. The Poster Couple For Cross-Species Relationships
08. The Poster Couple For Cross-Species Relationships
Despite being the only fictional story in the world which features a sex scene between a scarecrow and a fish-humanoid, this whole thing was a bit of a messy mess. It’s a pity, because I worked really hard on it, having started the thing near the end of 2008. But that alone should’ve been enough of a bad omen. Writing needs to flow easily like a good poo, so when you have been trying to force a dump for about 3 years, you should probably go see a doctor. That’s some good free health advice for you right there.
But I can’t express this hard enough: it was a painful process. I took essentially 3 different short story ideas and tried to cram into one, which I wouldn’t recommend. I was going mad. At points, I rewrote entire paragraphs, and then cut those same paragraphs out again. This happened so many times that at least 4 different versions of this story have existed at some point in time. In fact, for the entire 3 year writing period, Bristle got shot in the end, which I changed a week before I published the tale. Here’s another free hint: if you’re changing the ending of your story that late in the game, the whole thing probably wasn't that worthwhile to begin with. I’m actually so underwhelmed by it, I can’t even think of a joke right now.
And yet, most surprisingly of all, it was still read more times than any short story that came before it. I think I probably owe this to the title, which in all fairness, was probably the best aspect of it.
However, I must conclude by saying that this writing is incredibly important to the overall Goat’s Nest timeline, and (like all of my fiction) deeply connects to the others, slowly justifying it’s purpose more over time rather than instantaneously. So sure, it’s not exactly pointless, just executed badly, and for that I am so terribly sorry.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 07. My Top 100 Songs... EVER!
07. My Top 100 Songs... EVER!
As technically the first Juice Nothing article EVER (it actually predates Juice Nothing itself by over 2 years), I think I won’t be too hard on this one. I was just a little kiddie, after all. And even thinking about it now, writing a list of 100 top songs (131, to be exact) without leaving shit out is by no means an easy feat. In fact, it’s fucking impossible.
But my main gripe over this article came with the inescapable burden of age. My then 22 year old self had developed a musical taste; one which he thought he knew well. But living with the musical taste was a drag. He was always late on the rent and left dirty dishes on the counter for days on end. Eventually (and regrettably), I had to kick him out. It wasn’t an easy process, but as I predicted, it turned out for the best, as I am now living with a much superior music taste who I get along with fabulously. I have never told him about the 2007 taste though, because that would be far too embarrassing and awkward for the both of us.
Don’t get me wrong: there are some good songs featured here. Hell, the Top 20 is pretty fucking perfect still to this day. However, it is such a bold title, and I’d hate for people to think this was still my opinion. I mean... there is no Fleetwood Mac for god's sake! That fact alone is enough to earn a place on this list.
It’s probably time I try this one again. Maybe later.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 06. My Top 30 Rock Gawds
06. My Top 30 Rock Gawds
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be all that much wrong with this youngster. The dudes included were most definitely well-chosen and respectable rock Gods. Furthermore, none of the entries came with my usual opinionated ramblings (which is refreshing, I’m sure), but rather a well selected quote; the definite masterpieces they were involved with; and the inarguable justifications as to why they needed to be there. So why do I consider this piece crap enough to include here?
I’ll tell you. Oh, yes. I will tell you good. It’s because I have a confession to make. At the naive age I was when I wrote this (just over 23 years old, I’ll have you know), I was still very swayed by popular opinion. I was afraid that if I left certain members off, it would look like I didn’t know what I was talking about. And then people would judge me.
So at risk of getting shot, the following would have never made my list in hindsight: Joe Strummer (I’m sorry), Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Plant (gasp!), Pete Townshend, Keith Richards (I’d pick Jagger over him now), and Chris Cornell. Whew, that is a fuckload off my mind.
But it doesn’t end there. There is one mistake I have made on this article and this article alone, which it so unforgivable that it earns a slot here all by itself. The chart STARTS at number 1. That's right, it begins with my favourite rock God (hint: he's in the featured picture), and then slowly works its way down to the worst. Why would anyone read on if they already knew how it ended? It’s like someone telling you that Bruce Willis was dead at the end of Sixth Sense. It RUINS the article, and it RUINS my life. Why.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 05. 30 Favourite Album Artworks I Own
05. 30 Favourite Album Artworks I Own
Another ancient piece with one fatal flaw: I only chose album artwork I owned personally. Not, like, on my computer or anything. Actual physical square cd albums I paid money for. Ah, remember the days!
Which is why I am pretty sure this blog was nothing more than a platform to boast from. I was still on the whole “piracy is the devil” trip at that age, and wanted to feel morally superior in public, using this piece to rub my pretentious cock into the faces of anyone who looked my way. I’m not like that anymore. I use Spotify.
If that wasn’t enough to wound this animal, it was the collection itself that delivered the deathblow. The worst part of it all was the abundant evidence of my troubled Nu Metal youth scattered within the entries. I have done so well to hide that shameful part of my life everywhere else, and yet here I blow the lid right off my embarrassing past. What if someone cool reads it? What if someone cool reads this??
I think a real “Best Album Artwork Ever” article is way overdue.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 04. My Brief Brushes With Greatness
04. My Brief Brushes With Greatness
Remember: the second edition of my Greatness series made the “Best of Juice Nothing” list. So at this point, it should be quite obvious how much weaker my first attempt was in order to find itself here. It was so bad, in fact, that a much more accurate title would have been “My Hardly Anything To Do With Anyone”, which wouldn’t have done much for my web traffic, but would have done wonders for my karma. That’s because none of these entries were really even that famous, and the ones who were, wouldn’t even remember who I was. So while it works perfectly in order to compare how far I have come, it’s still a pile of shit, and building a foundation on shit will stink.
And yet (for what it was), it did seem to get a fair amount of attention directed its way. I have thought long and hard about how this may have happened, and have come to the following conclusion: these so called “celebrities” have been googling themselves over and over, only to find I am the sole person who has ever written about them. This point was further proven when the ex-guitarist from Dry Kill Logic emailed me and didn’t seem all that amped about what I said about them. So I was like “Dry Kill Logic who?” I’m an asshole.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 03. 10 People You Have To Follow On Twitter
03. 10 People You Have To Follow On Twitter
Whether I have ever written a decent “10 People To Follow On Twitter” post is debatable, but the first one of the current four stands tallest and proudest as the worst motherfucker on this planet.
I have written quite extensively about why this is in my third edition, but in summary: I have a Twitter Curse which revolves around these very articles, and it goes a little something like this:
The accounts I feature in these writings start to suck. Many of them start to suck instantly after I publish the article. And while the later editions seem to have come out the other side a little less scratched, this first edition was struck the hardest. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. And just for lols sake, I will show you exactly what I mean, by looking at each entry individually:

(10) Michael Ian Black isn’t (and never was) funny.
(09) Devvo is even less funnier than Michael Ian Black.
(08) Undercover doesn’t exist anymore.
(07) Secret Tweet was last seen December 2010.
(06) Ivy Bean died :(
(05) Dinner Guest got boring 20 split-seconds after I posted this piece. The dude still has next to no followers after 3 years, which proves my point.
(04) Pimp Bill Clinton is still worth something or other - if something or other is basically the same joke told in slightly different ways.
(03) Shit My Dad Says barely Tweets anymore, and when they do, it’s pretty lame. They did try to make a sitcom out of it, though. It fucking failed and got cancelled.
(01) Jesus M Christ is pretty much the exact same thing as Pimp Bill Clinton to me. It’s probably the same author.

So as you can see, this all puts the errrr into Twitterrrr. That joke was so terrible that I’d rather stop there.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 02. Official Guide To The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories
02. Official Guide To The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories
What’s most embarrassing about this one, is that I pretty much just wrote it a few months ago. You would think I’d know better by now, but you would think wrong.
However (and as I have already detailed in entry #10 of this very list), the original 5 parter short story was a very complex and confusing journey. Too many questions were left unanswered, like Lost. For example: What the hell was going through my mind when I wrote something so stupidly ambitious? How many albums did I listen to in order to make a top 50 list? What albums didn’t quite make the cut? What did Jimmy see in that puddle? Wait, Jimmy saw something in a puddle? Who was Jimmy? What the fuck even happened in that story back there, anyway?? You guys didn’t read it, I know.
Regardless, if for no one else other than myself (which was exactly the case), I felt I needed to put together this guide in order to clear up a few of the finer details hidden within my biggest story to date. But even if it had a purposeful purpose, I still couldn’t quite save it from being easily one of the least read things I have done. I mean, if the short stories themselves managed to make the list, then an article about the short stories had to take the cake, albeit a stale rancid urinal cake.
As I’ve so eloquently put it at the end of this article: “I think the funniest thing about this guide is that I constantly refer to the original short stories as a pile of wank. And then I went ahead and wrote another article dissecting the wank, so this is like a wank within a wank or something? Sounds kind of nice, actually.” OMG, SO TRUE JARED.

The Worst of Juice Nothing: 01. The Best/Worst of Juice Nothing
01. The Best/Worst of Juice Nothing
Oh my God, it doesn’t get any worse than this. Just look at the font! PUKE! I can smell the colour of the hyperlinks, it’s that bad. I almost feel like talking about it in third person I am so ashamed, like “Jared almost feels like talking about it in third person he is so ashamed”. It’s like a boat without merit. A candy store without reception. A fucking grenade singing the best of Nina Simone. It’s almost as if I cut off all my fingers and typed this article with bloody stumps, mixed with the semen of a rapist. I want to stand up and walk away just thinking about it. I once wrote my name on my chest with a permanent marker because my best mate David told me it would be an original way to make friends. I failed my 7th year of High School, but also lost my virginity that same year, so I am totally cool with it. Thursdays are not the new Fridays, they are still Thursdays, asshole. I have phantom aches where my appendix used to be. The Japanese flag is simple but wicked rad.

This was painful to write. Here’s to the next 50.