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"The unexamined life is not worth living."
-Socrates

This guy makes me feel downright social:

‘Hermit’ nabbed after 27 years — and 1,000 burglaries — in woods of Maine

A hermit who lived in the woods of Maine for 27 years was arrested breaking into a camp and admitted to more than 1,000 burglaries, police said Wednesday.Hermit Christopher Knight

Christopher Knight left home when he was 19 and his family never reported him missing. He’s been holed up ever since at a makeshift camp near Rome — stealing essentials from nearby camps.

“He never left the woods,” Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said.

Knight, now 47, was carrying $300 in cash when he was arrested — his “emergency fund” — but never spent any money.

“Everything at his campsite was stolen except his eyeglasses. He had clothing, food, tools, propane tanks, a tent, sleeping bags — everything you’d need to subsist on for almost three decades,” McCausland said….

 

See also: Maine ‘hermit’ gets marriage proposal, bail offer

From the NY Post…

When a pimp calls to cheer you up, you know you have problems.

After Jeff Ragsdale, a stand-up comedian and actor from Harlem, was “near suicidal” following a painful breakup, he posted fliers around the city soliciting other forlorn New Yorkers to reach out.

FREQUENT FLIERS: Actor/stand-up comedian Jeff Ragsdale posts one of his “one lonely guy” fliers, which have triggered a flood of responses from across the globe.

“If anyone wants to talk about anything, call me (347) 469-3173. Jeff, one lonely guy,” read the fliers, which he plastered across the Upper West Side, Chelsea and the East Village in mid-October 2011.

A pimp soon responded with some free advice.

“You know, you’re too old to be posting your number on the streets, man,” he said. “What kind of chick would meet a guy from a street poster?”

He ended the exchange with an offer of “great women by the hour.”

Another man called to ask for advice about buying a co-op, and a Goldman Sachs trader gave him updates on the Occupy Wall Street protests. Others gave advice, and many vented about their own issues.

The first day, he got 100 calls and texts. A week after the flier went viral, he got a thousand texts and e-mails a day. To date — he’s still taking calls — 65,000 texts and calls have come in.

Panic attacks, agoraphobia, and years on end stuck entirely inside the house. No, not me–my Twitter buddy, recovering agoraphobic Darren Staley. (Host of Dylan Brody’s Neighbor’s Couch.)

Hear how he went from a relatively normal life to nearly a decade of veritable self-imprisonment, and how he’s been finding his way out of that in recent years. Hear Lance try to relate to someone even more socially-withdrawn than he is, and to understand true social anxiety.  (And occasionally run his mouth to the exclusion of his guest.) And not least, find great cause for hope, for you or anyone else who lives with symptoms of agoraphobia.

In other words–meet Darren! (Part 1!)

(Click the play button in the player or use the links below to download or listen in other ways.)

What’s in this episode:

  • A description of a panic attack, and of living with crippling anxiety
  • Mad personal spillage
  • How I became alone & isolated back in the day
  • Marriage + agoraphobia = happy ending
  • The roots of “Crobama”
  • Social media saving souls!
  • …and a lot more!

Listening tip: This was my first episode recorded over Skype, and as a result the audio levels are a bit uneven, and there is an occasional gap/glitch in the sound. Sorry! Also, somehow I ended up talking more than Darren, I think. Maybe that’s not so surprising…

Referenced in this episode:

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Going deeper into my shaky relationship with holidays, I discuss my Thanksgiving options this year, and question the legitimacy of an invitation I got. And then, after much bemoaning, I give thanks!

My policy against editing finally bears real fruit–and it’s not especially tasty fruit. Come for the first 5 minutes, and stay for the last 5! (You can probably skip the rest!)

(Click the play button in the player or use the links below to download or listen in other ways.)

What’s in this episode:

  • delightful and engaging (let’s say) program notes
  • a probably self-centered review of the options of an unclaimed Thanksgiving person
  • an overwrought discussion of a potentially-questionable invitation
  • probably too much self-pity
  • “Frankly, you’re weird.”
  • unintentional abuse of the term “vis a vie” and awkward use of the phrase “fuck her”
  • …and a lot more!

Listening tip: I have mixed feelings about this episode. (Disappointment mixed with dislike mixed with uncertainty, mostly.)
P.S. – My other cat was not named “Other Cat”, as it may sound. He was named Max. My current cat’s name is Leo. (The other, implied cat was named Sophie.)

Referenced in this episode:

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My childhood was filled with traditional holiday celebrations, but they have been largely absent in my adult life. That’s been partly philosophical, and partly circumstantial…or maybe I’m just kind of a dick about holidays. (?) Let’s hear about how my recent celebration of Halloween fits into my overall approach to holidays!

(Click the play button in the player or use the links below to download or listen in other ways.)

What’s in this episode:

  • How I grew to believe that having holiday feelings just on holidays is kind of unhealthy
  • How that serves as a convenient rationale for disengaging with friends, family, and everybody else who does the holiday thing
  • How I think every day should be treated like a holiday–or like all holidays, actually
  • …and more!

Listening tip: There is some inexplicable crackling throughout the recording…there’s no way to get it out, and I couldn’t really re-record it, so we’re going to have to live with it. And by “we”, I mean you. (Though I’ve listened to it twice, so I did my time, too.) Sorry.

Referenced in this episode:

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In a week with three consecutive opportunities to go out at night, I do the math and decide to blow one of them off. Let’s hear my rationale, and examine my social mathematics!

(Click the play button in the player or use the links below to download or listen in other ways.)

What’s in this episode:

  • How I cheat on my normal philosophy of decision-making
  • Discussion of my stand-up comedy preparations
  • Selectively ignoring Dylan Brody’s advice (and fearing a resultant butt-kicking)
  • The difficulty of plugging in to an existing social scene
  • Stretching muscles that haven’t been used
  • About getting past a certain threshold of acceptance
  • The sense of opportunity from deciding not to go out
  • …and more!

Listening tip: If anyone has any tips on how to stop smacking one’s lips when talking on mic, send ‘em my way. Other than that, for an in-neighborhood recording, this turned out OK, I think. There’s a bit of click-y noise in the recording too…I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it, sorry. [Note after listening again...I, you know, need to, you know, also work on not, you know, saying, you know, "you know" quite so much. OR, better plan--find a sponsor who wants to pay me a dollar for every time I say it. But the first option is probably more realistic--you know?]

Referenced in this episode:

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For a good six years or so when I was younger, I partied and went out a lot. Then for the next 18 years, not so much. On a drive home from my first night out in many months, I discuss why that came to be. Oh, and I just met a hero of mine like a half-hour earlier, so that was awesome. Come drive home with me and let’s talk about it!

(Click the play button in the player or use the links below to download or listen in other ways.)

What’s in this episode:

  • How I had my partying/going out phase, and how the phase after that ended up becoming way too long
  • Me having a very hard time coming up with good words
  • The roots of me over-blowing “long drives” / my Boy Scout mentality when it comes to road trips of any decent size
  • Discussion of three different types of hairs
  • An adorable story from my neighbor about Cali’s separation anxiety
  • Me missing the turn to my own road – twice
  • …and a lot more!

Listening tip: I stumble a fair amount near the beginning, trying to come up with language to describe meeting my hero Mojo Nixon. It turns out that highway driving is distracting–who would have guessed? But it gets better with each passing few minutes, I promise.

Referenced in this episode:

Picture of me and Mojo Nixon that I mentioned (click image for full-size version):

Me and Mojo Nixon!

One of the greatest moments of my life, for real

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How did my habits of overload, imbalance, and procrastination–and my addiction to pressure–contribute to my isolation, burnout, and an eventual reformation of my project-launching ways? And how does that all tie into my present-day efforts to de-estrange myself? Let’s find out!

(Click the play button in the player or use the links below to download or listen in other ways.)

What’s in this episode:

  • Review of “Work Habits Pt 1″
  • How being able to do anything convinced me that I could do everything
  • Stories from my past days of quasi-productivity
  • A multitude of dogs, and me sounding more irritated with them than I normally am
  • “I do think there’s a way out of all this.”
  • …and a lot more!

Listening tip: You like dogs, right? Good. Ruff! Ruff! Ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff!

Referenced in this episode:

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“I hope you’re not too mad,” says a friend who let me down, big-time. Am I too mad? Let’s find out!

(Click the play button in the player or use the links below to download or listen in other ways.)

What’s in this episode:

  • Very disappointing news, after weeks of hype
  • A boat metaphor
  • Shaky legs
  • A little “dark night of the soul”-type stuff
  • …and some “indomitable spirit” stuff to counter it

Listening tip: This episode may be my most vulnerable and personal yet – so much so that I doubted whether I should even post it. To quote Roger Waters: “And if I open my heart to you / And show you my weak side / What would you do?” To quote me: “Let’s find out!”

Referenced in this episode:

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How does my workaholism tie in to my tendencies of isolation and disconnection? Let’s find out!

(Click the play button in the player or use the links below to download or listen in other ways.)

What’s in this episode:

  • “I have a huge, huge, huge, huge, huge, long, giant…”
  • sitting at the computer as an isolating factor
  • how work tends to trump almost any other activity option
  • how it’s easier to communicate with yourself than with others
  • procrastination, overload, and imbalance
  • dissing the English major
  • a missing dog interruption

Listening tip: This episode ended up getting cut short when I realized I couldn’t see one of my dogs anywhere nearby (in the desert, at night). “Work Habits, Pt. 2″ will be coming up soon!

Referenced in this episode:

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