Homeostasis

“What’s that?” My girlfriend asks pointing to the (now open) middle console.

I had strategically placed two Lexapro there to take discreetly while I visited her in Long Beach for the weekend. I take one a day, everyday.

“Oh that’s Lexapro, it’s an anti-depressant, I actually haven’t taken one today,” grabbing one and popping it in my mouth as nonchalantly as I could, as if I wasn’t hiding the fact that I take anti-depressants from her. I watched her face sink as I washed it down with a stray water bottle.

“Wow dang that suucks.” She wasn’t pleased. “What would happen if you stopped taking them?”

“I would just…be more…depressed than I already am!” a raise and smirk in my expression, trying to lighten the mood. She giggled a little.

“You’re not depressed though.”

“I know it’s because I take them.”

“Whatever, it’s a placebo.”

It’s difficult to describe what clinical Depression feels like because once you’re out of it and thinking clearly again, it’s hard to comprehend and remember how bad it really was. Your complete state of mind is in another dimension by itself. You’re entire reality is painted in relentless, ruthless negativity. The glass is half-empty and you simply can’t see it any other way.

I think the reason I started writing this post is because I’ve lately started to feel the Lexapro wearing off. Somewhere in the back of my head I knew it eventually would. Taking a pill to solve your inner struggle/growth?/am I really depressed or not-who knows!) with life is simply too good to be true. The natural laws of the universe won’t allow it.

Ok so I’ll taper off. I’ll be completely ‘sober’ again. Clean. Hell let’s maybe even kick coffee. Maybe if I simply stick to exercising hard as fuck everyday, drink lots of water, sleep, don’t prank people, don’t even worry about Youtube, just hide out and wait it out, write, read, be alone, over time my neurotransmitters will heal. I’ll achieve Homeostasis. 

I won’t laugh as much. I’ll be more serious. Quiet. I’ll stop weed completely. I won’t be able to handle it anymore anyway. I’ll stop drinking, well, I dunno about that. I’ll probably want to drink more. There is this thing people have told me about called self-control though. I should look into that.

I’m not worried. In fact, I’m a little excited. Music will sound better. Movies will be more moving. My orgasms will be more intense. It’s sounds totally backwards but I’ve kind of missed being miserable.

Oh well. Bring it on.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew Hales

3:15am

Los Angeles, CA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work

I can’t think. I’m sitting here waiting for inspiration. It’s been 30 minutes now. I guess this is work. I’m doing it. I’m in the thick of it. I’m reading through all my notes and I’m not laughing. Nothing seems funny or interesting to me. It’s annoying. I don’t know what to do. I’m trying to write a web series but I can’t. I guess this is what I’ve been scared of for so long. It’s actually pretty uncomfortable. I just need to keep staring at the screen. Keep sitting here. I was reading a self-help book before this when I suddenly, mysteriously thought, this is a distraction. I’m never going to feel ready. Do it now. So here I am. I’m just waiting here. I guess I’m distracting myself writing down this blog post right now. It’s making me feel a little better. Not really though, this is all fluff. Does Louis C.K. experience this when he writes his sketches? Probably. I hope so. I’m just gonna keep doing this. It’s not fun. I don’t like it. But I wanna do it. This is work. This is exercise. I’m doing it. I’m writing. The same as doing push-ups. I did 40 push-ups today. It wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t fun. I was glad I did it though. I now get to live with the knowledge of having done the pushups. That’s the reward. Stronger muscles and a better looking body is nice but the real reward is the knowledge that I consciously chose to put forth effort into something. It’s a mental reward. That’s what I’m doing now. I’m working. I’m waiting. I’m writing. This is work. Do the work. Ok, glad I could get that out of my system, back to sitting and waiting. Back to working.

Thanks for Reading,

Andrew Hales

3:55am

Bountiful, Utah

Comfort

“So what’s the next project?” My dad asks as we drive to Costco. “and I don’t mean videos, I mean what’s the next big venture.”

My jaded view towards pranks hasn’t been a secret for some time now. Naturally, my parents inquire what’s next for their day-dreaming, entrepreneurial son.

I go on autopilot, repeating the same variation of things I always say. “Probably documentaries or interviews. Music could be cool.” I’ve used this as an answer for the last couple years now.

“Huh.” He acknowledges. My dad is a very “I’ll believe it when I see it” kind of guy. Realistic and cautious. My mom on the other hand usually responds, “Oh honey you’d be so good at that!” to anything I’ve considered trying. She has more confidence in me than I do.

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

– Tim Ferris

Straight out of my bible, The 4-Hour Work Week, I guess I took that sentence a little too literally. #KingofAwkward

The truth is that progress and growth is uncomfortable. The problem is I’m addicted to comfort. I must break that addiction now.

*Does 30 push-up*

Ok. Hold on. *panting hard and loud* Let me just rest for a second.

*Falls asleep*

*Wakes up, turns on TV to watch Mad Men*

*Drinks Coffee*

*Continues watching Mad Men*

*Kills more time.*

Life is so fucking weird. I don’t know what the hell to make of it. I’m glad I could write this blog post though. Took me a minute to think of what to write but I finally just started writing. Sometimes you just need to sit and stair at the blank white for a while. That’s work. That’s the process.

I’m gonna turn pro. No more Mad Men. Time to work again. Work is fun. Work is life.

To me, what makes art in all it’s different forms beautiful isn’t just it’s appearance but also the knowledge of the honest hours of work and effort that was put into it.

Work is beautiful.

There is no honor in easy. There is no happiness in comfort.

“Many a false step by standing still.” – anon.

Thanks For Reading,

Andrew Hales

5:06am

Los Angeles, CA

 

 

 

Things to Always Remember

I’m not claiming these as my own original thoughts by any means, just little moments of clarity that I’ve jotted down in my notes in my phone over the last year. Enjoy.

(Copied and Pasted)

No one cares as much about your accomplishments as you think, not even your parents. Live your life, do what you want and fuck the rest.

It’s lonely at the top.

Stay Consistent. New Video Every Thursday. Forever. Think Long Term. It’s OK to Stack Videos Weeks Ahead.

Retirement is a Myth. Be Patient. Think Long Term. Work Hard. Enjoy Your Work. What do you want to say? Do the work.

Always be real, Down-to-Earth, Build Emotional Connection & Rapport with Fans, don’t take yourself too seriously,

Stay Active on Social Media. Collaborate long-descriptive titles and thumbnails and comments on the video. Don’t be afraid to be long. Stay in Character. Keep them on the their toes, throw them off. Surprise them. It’s ok to not be funny. Always be interesting.

Do the work. Commit. Turn Pro.

Get Money, Get Paid.

Moderation in All Things.

10 min. CPM

Read, Walk, Weed, Run.

Hugs All Day.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

Take Nootropics and Coffee.

What are willing to suffer for? What’s your struggle?

I met this beautiful Russian girl 3 months ago. We’ve been hanging out a bit and I’m pretty psyched about it.

I’ve been vegging out in my apartment snuggled on the couch with my big blanket and pillows with Bonnie by my feet. It’s been about…22 hours since I’ve left the apartment. There’s this continuous train of thought that circulates in my head while I stair at the TV. I need to make a video. Naa I’m fine. No I should make a video. meh just do it tomorrow. Then I’ll get up and drink some more coffee, take Bonnie out for a stroll around the block, come back, sit on the couch, watch some more TV. LA has been very Londony lately. Cold and damp. It’s nice to just stay cozy indoors instead of doing anything else. I’ve been trying out a bunch of different supplements lately. I love my pills & potions. Getting high. I’m looking for natural alternatives to Adderall, for focus, and Ativan, for anxiety, but overall, just something fun to take.

You know what makes me feel guilty? Not working.

I went through this mini I-Don’t-Want-To-Get-Recognized-On-The-Street-Anymore phase for the last couple months but I’m over it now. I don’t mind. I’m happy people give a shit lol.

I gotta get back to work.

Thanks For Reading,

Andrew Hales

2:44am

Los Angeles, CA

Contentment

Sup. It’s been a while. Remember that first post talking about how I was kind of against vlogging? Ya fuck that. I like it now. I’m tellin’ stories. Stuff like my DUI, blowing money on strippers, my drug habits, my fapping habits, why I left mormonism, the one that got away. I’m surprised to say I’m quite proud of my vlogs. My wonderfully intimate, youtubey, hand-held vloggy vlogs. For the first time in my life I feel like I’ve truly come out of my shell. I’m just so… and this word’s kind of gay but, happy. Gross. Good ol’ boring, I’m-13-again, quirky & relatable happiness. It’s very strange. Almost like I’m meeting my(jolly)self for the first time. Social Anxiety, what’s that? I actually talk to cashiers and uber drivers now without a care in the world. Is this how normal people feel? I don’t overthink things into a mild panic attack. Especially irrelevant, philosophical things like determinism or death. So. This is what 2 months of Lexapro feels like. My burning curiosity for anti-depressants (happiness in a pill?) is now finally resolved. I’m probably speaking too soon. There’s other factors too. The simple commitment to daily vlogging has probably had a relieving, cathartic effect on me. Not probably, it has. I also just turned 26 in May, signifying the completion of my brain’s natural growth and thus possibly maturing my state of mind and/or spirit to simpler, wiser level. Emotional retirement? Ha. Either way, for now, I’m in a good place.

Remember one of the docs I wanted to put out this year about Adderall and whether I had ADD or not? I drank a bunch of coffee (as well as 10 mg of addy of course) and busted it out over the weekend.

After uploading the nearly 12 minute short film to lahwfextra, I wait about about 5 minutes and then click refresh. The initial response is perfect. 40 likes, 0 dislikes. Ok cool. I play tug of war with Bonnie (my new Boston Terrier puppy) for 10-15 minutes. I click refresh again. 435 likes, 0 dislikes. Wow. They love it. Money can’t buy this feeling. I check up on the Donut Digger Prank on the main channel. Ratings are solid on that one too. Wow, today’s a good day for LAHWF. When my sense of accomplishment & ego gets this stimulated & inflated all I know to do is go for a fast-paced walk around the city. I put in my ipod, smoke a celebratory bowl and just sink into my own world, enjoying the fresh fruit of my labor. Aaaahhhh a pleased audience. Everything is in it’s right place.

“Good times, bad times, you know I’ve had my share…” – Led Zeppelin

Probably the most beautiful and simple lyrics ever written on this necessary fact of life. When I get down, I think of these lyrics and just remember to keep things in perspective, go with the flow, and ride the roller coaster of life. Losing All Hope Was Freedom.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew Hales

5:36am

Los Angeles, CA

The Process

I haven’t had a hard life. I’m a white, tall, American, male, from an upper middle class family, two loving parents, 4 loving siblings, soccer practice, cabin in the summertime, noodle salad. Oh ya and then Youtube comes out of nowhere and makes me rich and famous popular on the internet. I kind of have it all.

The only problem I’ve ever had is not having any to begin with. Boredom. Depression. My own thoughts & imagination turning on me. Just a blessed, bored, bougie, little brat. Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Sugar, Fat, Salt, Likes, Views, Attention.  It’s all wrapped up in a shiny, glittery box full of nothing. My neurotransmitters are shot. I’m not trying to sound edgy, there’s just something in me that wants to talk about this.

What’s there to do after you have it all? Do your best to contribute and help and be nice I guess. I think about this concept of short-term vs. long term gratification, but I’ve never really applied it to my life. Not consistently anyway. I’ve never really cared to. That’s kind of the root of evil right there. The tipping point. It all boils down to that spectrum. Good (long term choices) VS. Evil (short-term choices). You’ve thought about this.

Is it that simple though? I remember a girl asked me what’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. I thought about it for a second. “I don’t feel bad about any of the stuff I’ve done.” She laughed. You know, no regrets. It’s mAdE mE tHe PeRsOn I aM tOdAY! I don’t understand why people say that. What if you’re not a good person. What if you’re a serial killer. Same with Everything happens for a reason. Is it a good reason? I don’t like those phrases.

When we film a video, sometimes 2-3 hours go by before we film anything. We’ll walk around campus, figuring out what exactly we’re doing, hanging out, eating, getting batteries. When I say ‘we’ I just mean whoever is with me that day. Usually Luke, Aryia, or Danny. What I was getting at though was that those 2-3 hours of ‘wasting time’ have never bothered me. It’s just what we refer to as The Process. All the hang-ups, frustration, trouble that we encounter trying to get a video done is just part of The Process. It’s normal. It’s inevitable. It’s the universe’s way of making you earn the video.

So if we go back to the Good vs. Evil thing, is it really that simple? Or was I, for instance, suppose to visit a certain amount of strip clubs in my early 20’s before I was bored with them, so now I’ve learned my lesson, and don’t go to strip clubs anymore because I’m more mature and it’s degrading to women, so now I’m gonna respect woman and practice commitment with someone I care about? Where in all that did I just go, “Hey, I’m not gonna do this now.” If everyone makes mistakes and learns from them, then what’s the problem? I’m asking what’s the problem with making mistakes if you’re just going to learn from them, is it all just part of the process of life? I don’t really know what I mean by that. I’ve confused myself again.

I tell you man, this Free Will dilemma, I just can’t get my head around it. Maybe I’m smoking too much weed. Or taking too much adderall, or Ativan, or Lexapro. That last sentence just made me sound like a pill-popper. I am. I’m a pill-popper. I love pills. I love having the ability to change my reality with a substance. I like that simplicity. I guess that’s evil though, it’s short-term. Are they still evil if they help you be a better person? Not just to yourself but to everyone else in your life?

I could go through this post and fix some of the points I’ve made (if any) and make them crispier, think about it more, ramble more, but I don’t really want to. I’m tired. I’m just gonna post it.

Thanks For Reading,

Andrew Hales

3:32am

Los Angeles, CA

5am

The longer you go without working out, the less tone you get, the more weight you gain, the less likely you’ll start working out again.

The longer you go without posting a video, the more anxious you get about posting one, the less likely you’ll start posting again. Same paradox.

Then suddenly, out of chance, you get home one day in all your automation, and you happen to eat more than one or two cookies, not realizing it would put you in a deep 6-hour sugar crash.

You wake up on the couch. The TV’s on. It’s 5am. You turn the TV off and you sit there. You feel a little groggy, but something’s different. You care. Cereal? No. Today let’s try eggs and veggies. No bread, No sugar. Let’s write down some goals. Let’s do some kettle bell swings. Take a shower. Clean up the apartment.  Why now? Who knows. We tried answering that in that Free Will video. It’s just the motion of the universe I guess. Over-analyzing it won’t get you anywhere either. That kind of thinking will put you back down the rabbit hole. Today, you care.

Maybe I’ll stick to it this time. Boiled eggs, black beans, peas & carrots, green tea. 60 kettle bell swings. Jump rope until I’m sweating. Hop in the shower. Sit down on a chair and wait. Wait until it comes. Then write. Edit. Pray.

Tuesday’s will be cheat day. A lot of things are cheaper on Tuesdays, the movies, B-Dubs, etc. Tuesday’s will be filled with Soda, Beer, Mcdonald’s, and all the other poisonous things you can think of. Complete freedom and debauchery.

Then back to structure. Discipline. Self-control. Self-awareness.

Thanks For Reading,

Andrew Hales

6:25am

Los Angeles, CA