The State Of My Fat Ass: A Possible Return to The West Virginia Surf Report!

graduation 2014The past few years have been tough ones, my friends. This is not news to the regular readers, I know. Money has been tight, for various reasons (including that kid with the cigar), and I was in a situation at my job where I was working an enormous amount of hours. This helped with the finances, sure, but it was grinding me down. I slipped into a perpetual state of melancholy, and everything was just shitty and sad.

jeffkayheaderzineDuring that period I shut down The West Virginia Surf Report, which had been my personal brand for 25 years. I had visions of starting over, and snapping myself out of the funk. It didn’t work. It’s like people who try to move away (usually to Florida) from their internal problems. It can’t be done.

I also spent more than a year going back and forth with an agent, trying to get a non-fiction book off the ground. It was crazy, and ended in heartache. It was, as they say, a learning experience. Which is code for soul-crushing.

Nothing was going our way. I was working my ass off, at home and the office, and seeing very little in return. I was depressed, and running on fumes. It also feels like I haven’t been funny in a long, long time.

Eventually I was promoted at my job, and have been working fewer hours, on salary. But there was a learning curve, and it was stressful.

I think I’m finally coming out of it, though… I hope I’m not fooling myself, but I feel good. Maybe for the first time in a couple of years. I still have a ways to go in my new position at work, I had a couple of missteps last week, but it’s going reasonably well, I believe.

I’m walking every day (3.5 miles), stopped drinking soda, and have only had about three beers during the past two weeks. I’ve dropped 12 pounds so far, which is encouraging. It’s only a scratch on the surface of the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a start.

And while I’m doing all this clear-headed walking, I also do a lot of thinking. It’s almost like fat-boy meditation. During the past week, especially, some ideas have started to take hold. I usually keep these kinds of thing under my hat, but what the hell? Here’s what’s on my mind:

A return to TheWVSR. I want to get back to the fun: the bunker cam, Further Evidence, the Smoking Fish. With no concern about traffic, or taking it to the next level… That bullshit ruins it. Just fun and silliness, like the early days. I think I made the decision to shut it down when I wasn’t of sound mind and body.

OldWVSRHeader

Surf Report archives as books. I have all the updates, as originally published. Nothing yet removed because of Nancy concerns, or fears of being fired from my old job. I’d like to edit them down into volumes, roughly one year each, and add current comments where necessary. I’d take out the crap, and leave all the good. There are some great rants and stories in there. I could offer them as low-priced ebooks, and print-on-demand paperbacks. A lot of that stuff is timeless, not tied to current events, and I think it could work. What are your thoughts?

SFMediaLogo300A series of short novels, featuring a character I’ve been contemplating and developing. No more chasing the New York publishing payday, just two new self-published novels per year, built for fun.

All three of those ideas excite me. The archives would be a nifty little legacy, if I keeled over during the next few years. I could leave behind something, and prove I’d actually been here. Would-be Surf Reporters of the future might get a few chuckles while riding in their driverless cars.

The fiction series could be something special too. That really has me jacked up. I think you guys will like and relate to the main character. He’s one curmudgeonly sumbitch, always on the move and “solving” peoples’ problems.

And The Surf Report is where it all started. I was insane to give it up. Why didn’t you guys warn me?! Oh, that’s right, you did. Sorry about that.

Here’s the thing, though. I can’t do it alone. I need your help. If I do everything on the cheap — but the right way — all this will cost about $1000. Give or take. I could use some beer money, which wouldn’t be used for beer in this case. If there’s interest, I’ll start with TheWVSR and then move on to the archives. If you can spare a few bucks, I’d be much obliged. If you can’t, that’s cool too. I certainly understand.

Click here to donate. Or you can send any amount via PayPal, to jeff@maturityisforsuckers.com. Crowdfunding, as they say. Hell, Adam Carolla crowdfunded the entire cost of his latest movie, and he’s “literally a millionaire.” Me? I have a pot to piss in, but it’s seen better days; some of the glazing is starting to crack.

Ridiculous Adventures In Suburbia newI had a guy in Greece do a cover mockup for the archives books, but it’s not all that great; it needs to be reworked. You know how those Greeks are… But you’ll get a general idea of what I’m going for. It’s right here –>

Let me know what you think about all this stuff. I realize I’ve been out of it and sometimes distant and unresponsive during the past couple of years. I apologize for my many transgressions. But it feels like the fog is lifting.

And now I’m going to go for my walk, which is something I actually look forward to doing. Who could’ve predicted such a thing? It’s bizarre.

Have a great day my friends.

And thanks for everything.

Support us by doing your shopping at Amazon! If you’re in Canada, here’s your link. Thank you guys!

Comments

  1. Here’s some good news for you: Ready Player One – in theaters December 15th 2017.

  2. johnthebasket says:

    The archives of the West Virginia Surf Report contain a wealth of publishable material. The majority of the entries are fresh and funny. I’m not sure I’d even try to update them: I’d simply date them and let the reader make the timeshift translation for herself.

    The quality of your writing has, for one reason or another, always had a direct correlation with the frequency and quantity of the entries, i.e., when you were updating daily, your writing was at its best, and at its best your writing is more than publishable: it’s commercial quality comedic prose.

    You’ve always cared about editing, so technically and syntactically the vast majority of the WVSR entries are pull and play. The work will be in the bundling and in the transitions and context setting if you choose to do that.

    Having said all that, if I were you, I’d be reluctant to return to the WVSR brand unless I could update at least three times a week. To repeat myself, it’s not just continuity, [although your ongoing saga of being screwed by American commercial culture from Subway to trick underwear is a fifteen year story of agony and very little ecstasy that has consistent characters, tone and feel.] It’s also the quality and level of hilarity that seems to coincide with frequent entries.

    I’ll be reading, whatever the URL, whatever the masthead. I wish you well.

    John

  3. I love the idea of the WVSR, and of publishing the archives. But as JTB says, I see it needing little or nothing in the editing department.

    And I will certainly pony up for a “beer,” but not until after I get home from this trip. I’m writing this on a company laptop, and, you know…

    Finally and most importantly, congratulations on resolving the Mantie Crisis. That was a close one.
    .

  4. Good ideas all. I’ve long thought that a repackaging of the archives would be in order. There’s a ton ‘o’ comedy gold back in there, and I know that to be true because I am a very picky bastard who doesn’t laugh at anything not genuinely funny. Keep walking, I know it does me a world of good, and it’s really easy. I still want to read the nonfiction book, preferably with the cut parts put back in. If you publish it yourself you can make 900 pages if you want. I would pay $20 for a fuckin’ text pad version.

  5. WV.Hillbilly says:

    Bring it back.
    You never should have changed it in the first place. It was an established brand.
    Beer money is on the way.

    I have the WVSR Amazon link bookmarked, so you should be getting a piece of everything I order from them. And I’ve ordered several thousands of dollars of merchandise from them in the last couple of years.

  6. I always thought, as West Virginia actually has no coast, the name really said it all, not to mention The Smoking Fish trademark. Why try to fix something that isn’t broken?

  7. Hi, Jeff!
    I’ll send what I can. I have often expressed my opinion that you can write in a good wicked funny manner. I have bought multiple T-shirts as you have offered them and I love wearing the shirts when people approach me and ask about West Virginia Surf conditions. I’ll abide by your decisions and continue to drink your “kool-aid”. Good Luck! Jim Britton.

  8. YES!!! Brilliant! Do.it.

  9. I shall also send beer moneys post vacation. And a smoking fish sighting.

  10. The Mole says:

    Enjoy the Yuengling! Wherever you publish, I’ll follow. I’m busting out the t-shirt today!

  11. A bowl of corn, motherfuckers!

    Seriously, great news all. Like someone above said, I’ll read your work regardless of the site name, but I was confused when you abandoned your brand a few years ago. I still have both of my WVSR shirts in my current exercise clothes rotation, and will send a beer your way for the new ideas.

  12. I’d buy a Nancy and Nostrils book in a heartbeat! Do it Jeff!

  13. I’ve just sent you some $ to apply to your manty fund to ensure comfort during weekend writing/archive compilation sessions. I look forward to purchasing the WVSR archive downloads and to your return to the brand we all grew to love over the years. Think of this as a return to Coca-Cola Classic after a brief experimentation with the “New Coke” formula. 🙂

  14. Bill in WV says:

    Oh, HAPPY DAY !!!

  15. Whatever you want to do. Just don’t stop writing!

  16. Jeff, my wife does a lot with independent authors. Mostly girly type books. But she does all kinds of graphic design (she’s done some awesome covers) for promotion graphics and all kinds of stuff. She also does promotion and all kinds of stuff. She has clients and friends hitting all the best seller lists as indi authors. Look her up on Facebook at concierge literary promotions. Tell her I sent you and she will help you out. I hope I’m not coming off as some schill, I have been here for years, but rarely comment.

  17. Sweet scented mother of Este Lauder…WVSR is returning. Somewhere Jimmy Khun just spurted.

  18. Great book idea, Jeff! I discovered you several years ago by stumbling across one of your posts,laughing so hard that I went back to your archives & read them all from the very beginning. I laughed my arse off – your humor is so similar to my husband’s , who has kept me giggling for the last 22 years. I even read several posts to him out loud which evoked a closed-mouth-chuckle-shaking-shoulders response from him, which is high praise, let me tell you. Go for it buddy! I’ll even throw a few bucks your way to help out. ?

  19. Ah depression. I’ve been accused of being depressed, but I don’t understand what that actually means. There are aspects of my life that are depressing – work too much, weigh too much, etc – but does that mean I am depressed, because depressing things are happening?! Am I supposed to be happy about depressing things? I don’t understand it.

    I do not find a WVSR return depressing!

    • That makes me think of the old “Calgon, take me away!” commercial, where all hell is breaking loose in the house – crying kids, an angry husband, haywire appliances etc. – and the woman just says “fuck it” and draws a bubble bath. I always thought what a terrible person she was for not dealing with the everyday shit we all have to deal with.

  20. Bring back the WVSR!

  21. Rat Bastard says:

    Bring it back! I’ll see if I can send some shekels to help, after I get the creditors off of my heels.

  22. I think a new WVSR t-shirt would be a great revenue maker.

    • Stuart in Oz says:

      +1 for a new T-Shirt

      • +1 for mailing my paid for t-shirt that’s been in The Bunker somewhere for ~18 months! 🙂 My gut’s outgrown it already.

        • I’m with Limey here; never received the t-shirt I paid for over a year ago and Jeff does not reply to my questions about said t-shirt. 🙂

          • I paid for one of those T-shirts too, but I’m far too polite to mention it. I figure Jeff gets enough grief as it is.
            .

            • Same here. Jeff – just let us know what happened with the shirts. Not knowing pisses me off more than not getting the goods.

          • The last batch of invisible tshirts was a bitter betrayal which I admit took a while for me to forgive. I stopped telling people about how awesome Jeff is for some time.
            I’m going to have to agree that the trust is gone regarding tshirt moneys… If I feel inspired to donate to Jeff I will have to do it without expecting anything but quality writing in return.
            Jeff, I’m glad you have come to some conclusions 🙂

    • I didn’t actually ever get the last WVSR t-shirt I ordered, but I’d be willing to give it another shot. 😀

  23. Stuart in Oz says:

    Do it Jeff!!! I’m behind you all the way.

  24. Bring back thewvsr, for fucksake.

  25. I’m filled with gleeful thoughts that the WVSR may be making a comeback.

    Congrats on the weight loss.

    I’ll scrounge up some beer buckers.

  26. “Fat-Boy Meditation” would be a terrific band name!

  27. Chris Enstad says:

    Told you so. Sucker.

    Beer $$$ on the way.

  28. The Kuban says:

    FINALLY! All that holding-my-breath stuff paid off. *exhale*

  29. Steve in WV says:

    I have been holding out hope that the WVSR would be back some day along with all the archives.

    This site is all well and good, but it just doesn’t have the same vibe as the WVSR. The WVSR was great and it will be great again.

  30. Skippy in WV says:

    YES! A return to The WVSR would be great! *happy dance*

  31. Mookie325 says:

    Great news Jeff! I’d read your hilarity at any site, but I always thought that WVSR had a little more of it. I do agree with JTB tho, a greater frequency definitely made for more consistency of pants-pissin’.

  32. Drifted away when the Smoking Fish took a break – YES to the WVSR and YES to a electronic version (with little to nuttin added). Miss the writing, miss the comments – it’s time to come home to the WVSR.

  33. JeffInDenver (InCleveland) says:

    Hell yeah, on all counts. Do you still have the pea soup comments?

  34. Louisiana Joe says:

    The daily edition of The WVSR was about the only thing I had to look forward to n 2 combat tours. Beer money is on the way. Oh, and my smoking fish hat has seen better days. Maybe you could do another run of them one day…?

  35. Knucklehead says:

    YES, YES, OH GAWD YES!

  36. Mean Dr. Lily says:

    Well, I think the masses have already spoken in favor of a return to WSVR, which totally agree with.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re turning the corner on some things in your life. To be honest, the site has been less enjoyable lately because the long term stress of your hours/job/life/everything was coming through in your writing. TheWSVR used to make me laugh — lately it just made me want to turn my head slightly to the side and ask if you were okay.

    Fuck the publishers — I say that you go “The Martian” route and just publish the books chapter-by-chapter online for your fans and mostly for yourself. When they’re complete, you can bundle them and charge $.99 (or not). You’ll be happier without the stress of deadlines, you’ll get to write whatever you want and experiment with new subjects and characters to see what works. And we get a constant source of new reading entertainment. Everyone wins.

    And, if you’re lucky, one of those books draws some viral attention and maybe a publisher’s attention. If so? Cool. If not? Who cares? I have a feeling that there’s two things that make you happy: Writing, and making other people happy with your written words. (Okay, three things: Add fart jokes to the list.)

    Beer money headed your way.

    • Mean Dr. Lily says:

      One other thing —

      Recently Jason Headley sent out an email about the projects he’s working on. Here’s a quote:

      “I created a short series of videos for no good reason other than that they amuse me. ”

      Reading that made me smile, because that’s exactly what people like you (and Jason) should be doing — the things that amuse you. That’s where the best ideas will come from, and that’s where you’ll get the most reader engagement.

      [Speaking of which — I still wonder some days how well your CFL lightbulbs are performing.]

  37. Jerry in WV says:

    I agree with all of the above.

  38. Gordian Knott says:

    For many years, in the aughts, the WVSR was my favorite site on the web. Not favorite humor site. Favorite *site.* The crazy-ass logo, the “bowl of corn, motherfuckers,” the “humor in a bunt pan”–the name of the site and homepage art looked like samples from Mad Magazine circa 1957, when everything was random and made no sense and hilarious. Maturity is for Suckers seems tied down and corporate by comparison.

    I second a compilation of Eninen material. This is comedic gold. The pinnacle was the four-parter from the secret email from Xmas 2010.

    http://thewvsr.com/christmas-2010-the-gang-descends/

    Gut-splittingly hilarious.

    Your best material, IMO, derives from actual incidents in your suburban existence. It’s when your comedic voice reaches its highest pitch. There’s nothing wrong with this. Think of Carolla–he’s always talking about his life and family. Sure, sometimes he repeats himself too often on his podcast, but his schtick on his crazy hippy-ass parents is funny because you know it’s all true. The same holds for you; you don’t have to invent material because you’re successful at creatively mining your life and relatives.

    I, for one, would welcome a return of Eninen and the translucents. There must be a lot of craziness in there lives right now. Did the couple split up after the infidelity? Are the translucents in college, or did they become ax murderers or vegan pot farmers? Curiosity reigns supreme.

  39. Yes, do it!

    Also, does that mean there’ll be no sequel to Crossroads Road?

  40. ChuckinBelpre says:

    You stopped drinking for one thing. There’s your problem right there. It won’t be long before it’s bourbon season again. The WVSR and two/tree fingers of Fighting Cock and a splash of ginger ale and comedic genius will ensue. Remember, we’re all rooting for you. With regards, Sammy Sentinel.

  41. Money soon. And what would it take to keep your nonsense going? I’m thinking subscription. 5 a month 25 for 6 months 40 for a year.

  42. Isn’t there a place people go to ask for money to bankroll a project. I think its called, “GoFundYourself “. I could be wrong.

  43. johnthebasket says:

    The 2015 bcu Australian Surf Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

    RESULTS

    Drop Knee
    1 – Luke Fisher (Tweed Heads, NSW)
    2 – Dion Myers (Coffs Harbour, NSW)
    3 – Justin Kirkpatrick (Broadbeach, Qld)
    4 – Mitchell Ashcroft (Sandy Beach, NSW)

    Senior Men (Over-23)
    1 – Blake Tabone (Burrill Lake, NSW)
    2 – Joel Cockeram (Burleigh Waters, Qld)
    3 – Rikki D’Ambros (Currimundi, Qld)
    4 – Mitchell Ashcroft (Sandy Beach, NSW)

    Masters Men (Over-35)
    1 – Justin Kirkpatrick (Broadbeach, Qld)
    2 – Matt Mytka (Banksia, NSW)
    3 – Heath Werner (Tooemina, NSW)
    4 – Luke Filipek (Port Macquarie, NSW)

    Grand Masters (Over-45)
    1 – Steve Watson (Blairgowrie, Vic)
    2 – Greg Chambers (Mona Vale, NSW)
    3 – Graeme Ellis (Elanora, Qld)
    4 – Sean Leathers (Dorrigo, NSW)
    5 – Paul Mace (Newcastle, NSW)

  44. Oh Jeff, you were a fool to give up the WVSR – I’m glad you have finally come to your senses. I think all of your ideas sound great, focus on what makes you happy and excited and hopefully more people will see (and pay for) your talent, and if they don’t fuck them, the majority of the masses are complete morons.

    If I had two cents to rub together I would absolutely contribute. I will check my couch cushions tonight and try and scrounge something up. I know what it feels like to be strapped for cash.

  45. bikerchick says:

    Love me some WVSR! Do it!!!