Josh Gastin

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Good Mourning

Almost completely wrapped in darkness and blankets, interrupted. My alarm goes off at 7 AM. It’s capitalized because it’s shouting at me. Even when I get enough sleep it still hurts to get up.

The bottoms of my feet press into the floor, picking up whatever dots of grit I haven’t vacuumed. I haven’t vacuumed since last Saturday. I tap on the light, then step out into my short, dark hallway. There are definitely shoes to be avoided along the edge, even when I know I put them all away last night.

The bathroom is bright with refracted, privacy-protecting light from my plastic shower curtain. I turn on the electric light anyway, because its warm incandescent hue helps me to wake up faster.

I turn on the shower, also warm, also helps me to wake up faster. 13 minutes later and I’m a capable and energetic person again. Thank you to showers.

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Lana Del Rey


Lana Del Rey burst onto the music scene. I think it was partly due to a good remix of Summertime Sadness, but nobody can deny that she became popular suddenly, whether or not it was actually her own doing.

Everyone was happy to accept her without question at first. She had a great voice and a fresh feel, and anything new can be fun for a while in the music world. I’m looking at you, dubstep. But then when Lana Del Rey started showing up more and more frequently in headlines and music charts, people started to wonder who she really was. The facade of Americana and practiced melancholy was just too perfect.

Eventually this lead to a criticism of her being fake. ‘She got a nose job and work done on her lips. She wasn’t this good just a few years ago’ are all complaints that I’ve read.

Therin lies why I love Lana Del Rey. She is a manifestation of the self made man, with the added spin...

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This is the hard one

My first two posts came pretty quickly. They were lousy, or at least the second one was kind of aimless, but it wasn’t hard to write them. It was like I had a bunch of pent up words waiting to spill out. It didn’t feel like that when I sat down to write this one. I scrolled through facebook for a while until eventually I realized that I was tired and wanted to get in bed soon, so I had better finish my 10 minutes right away. If I didn’t, I would be up late and that isn’t the way to live happily ever after.

Being tired all the time is probably the most common aspect of my life since starting college. I was fine until college, definitely. I would stay up reading fairly often, but unlike youtube videos or scrolling online, it’s pretty easy to fall asleep after reading a book. College got me into the habit of sitting in front of my laptop for hours after sundown. Thanks, college. I’m glad...

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How to be a problem when you drive

It’s simple.

Stay in the left lane until someone that wants to go fast comes up behind you. They’ll start tail-gating you to indicate that they would like you to move over so that they can pass you. If you are a decent person you will move over into the right lane and they will continue along with their cruise control set to 7 mph above the speed limit. If you want to also go above the speed limit, but without having to worry about getting a ticket, hang out in the fast lane for about 45 seconds so that they get annoyed. Let’s call this gating. They’re tail-gating, so you’re the gate. It just works. It also rhymes with baiting.

Now when they pass you they’ll add probably another 4 mph on top of their original 7, for a total of 12. (That was a math test and you just failed it. It’s 11.) They will feel aggressive and they will think that they are winning because they have bullied you...

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10 Minutes Closer

What if I wrote for 10 minutes every day? Would that get me closer to being the best writer in the world? Yes. Here’s why. If I write every day, I am practicing every day, and practicing every day is 100% more practice than I do now.

So it will get me closer. It won’t get me all the way there. And yes, I do want to be the best writer in the world. I don’t know if I can, but I want to try. I need to at least find out, through an attempt, if it’s possible.

I have been working as an analyst for over a year now, and it’s been going pretty well. I moved out and got my own apartment. I financed a newish car. I have been getting better at cooking for myself. I have spent hundreds of hours bouldering. I am kind of getting back into playing guitar, enough that I joke about starting a punk band. But all of those things, while beneficial, aren’t what I want to do. I want to be a great writer. I...

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