This site will be offline very soon while we switch back to my previous site host. It should be down for a couple days, then back to normal.
I changed hosts last month, just before releasing the video, to a provider that I thought could better handle the traffic. Well, they've slapped a $2000 bill on me for all the bandwidth that's been eaten up by downloads of the new video. That's slightly more than the $8 a month I signed up for.
I'm making use of the money-back guarantee and crawling home to the fine folks at PHP Web Hosting, who never charged me a penny in overages for three years. I was a fool for ever leaving them. I got them a box of chocolates and a teddy bear wearing a T-shirt that reads “Missing You, Honey." I hope they'll take me back.
So...this last month. Yeah. Where to start?
I went through this once before with the first video. I thought I had an idea of what to expect. This is way different.
For one thing, the media jumped on it immediately. My policy has been to say yes to absolutely every invitation. Good Morning America? Yes. Venezuelan radio station? Sure. High school English paper? Absolutely.
Ask me your questions. I will answer them. It''s fun. It''s easy. And I''ve yet to really be burned by an experience.
I'm on the verge of having to reevaluate that policy. It's actually been eating up a lot of my time. I'm still hoping it will peter out to just a slow trickle of requests that I can keep up with. But so far it's actually gotten to be more and more each week.
Suffice it to say, you can read about me in next month''s Hong Kong edition of Maxim.
Anyway, for another thing, there wasn't really a YouTube back in the sepia-toned year of two-aught-aught-five. There was, but it was this goofy little site full of people lighting their farts on fire.
Now it's this goofy HUGE site full of people lighting their farts on fire that's on the cover of every major news magazine and happens to be toppling the entrenched global media empire.
Turns out people would much rather watch other people lighting their farts on fire than another season of According to Jim.
So that happened. And it's done for internet video what Sun Records did for rock and roll. Except they're signing absolutely everyone...and they don't pay us anything...and most of what's on there is kind of awful...well, maybe that whole analogy is kind of ambitious.
They've done for internet video what America's Funniest Home Video did for guys getting kicked in the balls.
...needs work, but it's closer to the mark.
I've made myself very accessible. Well, I've always been very accessible. It's just that no one used to care. This site was a way for friends to keep track of where I was. Now it's, like, a brand. And I get a lot of email. And most of it is great. I love it.
I guess my last couple posts were a little pissy. I seem to have given the impression that I'm upset about all this attention. I'm not. I'm over-the-moon happy. It has changed my life -- maybe forever. I've found a way to combine the things I'm passionate about, share them with lots of people, and convince someone else to pay for it. You can''t beat that.
But it's a little overwhelming. When a guy writes to say thanks because he didn't kill himself last night after watching my dancing video...that doesn't feel so much like an accolade. It hangs like a burden.
...There I go with the negatives again. Let's talk about the good stuff.
Stride gum, the folks who sponsored my video, had their big launch party last month. I got to fly out to New York to attend. Lots of famous people showed up to have their pictures taken.
That is a Hilton. She is what you might call a lesser Hilton -- or Hilton Minor. Though I suppose it depends on your point of view. At least she keeps her nose out of trouble...and her other parts too.
That is what''s called a Federline. He is making some sort of trademark hand gesture that I think either means "Peace" or "This is how many more minutes I''m going to be famous for."
I had no direct encounter with him, but those who did said he seemed like a really upstanding and decent fella...ON OPPOSITE DAY!
And this is a Valderrama. Like Federlines, Valderramas are reknowned for their ability to absorb famousness by standing in close proximity to other, more famous organisms. Valderramas can store this famousness, camel-like, and survive on it for months or even years at a time.
Aside from this ability, Valderramas are not particularly good at anything.
Here's me with America's Next Top Flagpole.
And here''s me doing my best Federline impression.
This is Jim. Jim is a Federal Air Marshall. How cool is that? Jim is awesome.
Here's me with the lovely ladies of Stride.
It was fascinating to see how the whole process works with these parties. The photographers show up at the entrance. The celebrities appear at suspiciously well-timed 15 minute intervals. They stand around getting their pictures taken so they can be in next week''s US and People. And then they disappear into the crowd -- some with their own photographers in tow, others to some mysterious back area where who-knows-what happens.
And then at some point in the evening, everyone at the party suddenly turned incredibly beautiful. I don't know where they all came from, but there were at least a hundred of these stunning models standing around, drinking free booze, and dancing. Rent-a-partiers. This is what they do. They show up and make your party more attractive.
I learned that, of course, it's actually a business -- pretty much like any other in a lot of ways. But then, also, not like anything else. In fact, completely, insanely bizarre.
I brought my sister and dad along. They were eager to take in the spectacle. My dad found the whole thing riveting. He hadn't a clue who any of the quasi-celebrities were, but was amazed by how it all works. We had to go to a diner after to discuss and process the whole evening. That was actually my favorite part about the whole thing -- how much fun they had.
On the day before the big party, Stride had me come to their offices in Parsippany, New Jersey as a surprise guest. They premiered the new video for all the employees and had me dance onstage with the president of the company.
Afterward, I posed with whoever wanted their picture with me. Most everyone wanted to be dancing. Here's me and Diana.
Sometimes it didn't really look like dancing. Hugo and I did something that makes me think more of Lou Ferrigno's Hulk pose.
And Michelle and I took it in an entirely different direction.
So here's the thing: I'd been dreading this sort of stuff. I was hung up on my integrity and all that. But you know what? It was a lot of fun. Everyone seemed really excited to meet me -- like it was a big deal or something. All I had to do was be the dancing guy. Yeah, I was wearing a Stride T-shirt. So was everyone. Big deal!
I've said I'm not the dancing guy. And I'm not. But I at least look a lot like him. And he makes people happy. It's not a bad thing.
That's what I learned.