My Real Name (and Why I Stopped Posting So Often)

A wise man once said, “I have a dream.”

Another wise man once said, “Those who start blog posts with famous quotes are uncreative losers who deserve to rot in a room full of pre-teen girls discussing Justin Bieber’s eyes.”

And that’s what this post is all about: a dream, an uncreative loser, and Justin Bieber’s eyes a blog.

If you’ve ever read our about page, you know that my real name isn’t Phil. You’ve also probably figured out that I’m not a two-dimensional, comically-white-skinned guy with hair that doesn’t extend past the shape of his head. And if you’ve gotten that far, you’ve also likely realized that I’m actually a blue-toed Amazonian frog with a laptop and a WiFi connection.

Okay, fine, the million dollar question: who am I? And why did I use a pseudonym in the first place?

Let’s start with the last question first.

The Pseudonym

I started this blog with a pseudonym for a few reasons.

First of all, when I began High School Humor Blog, I had no critical acclaim as a humor writer*. I didn’t want to attach my real name to the blog until I was sure that I could write at least one almost-mildly-funny joke every now and then. That way, there was no pressure and I was free to write without worrying about how funny it was. Which, in turn, allowed me to develop my writing and enjoy it more. Now, about 200,000 words later, I’ve become a bit more confident (or deluded) in my humor-writing ability.

*Thankfully, now I’ve got loads of critical acclaim; lots of people like to criticize my writing and make a claim that it sucks.

Secondly, writing under a pseudonym ensured that I never had to worry about anyone I know reading this and then deciding that I am rambling, clueless, unfunny writer. That all may be true, but I like to think I do a pretty darn good job of hiding it when you meet me in person.

Thirdly, by using a pseudonym and fake picture, I allowed you all to imagine whoever you wanted, although I’m sure I’m sixty times more attractive in real life than the Phil of your dreams.

Now I know what you’re thinking: those are all brilliant reasons to use a pseudonym. So why would I stop and reveal my real name?

The Name

Well, for a few reasons. (Different reasons, however, than why I used a pseudonym, although I think there are only like eight reasons that exist in the world total, so I’m using them all up).

First of all, I’m proud of the content of this blog, and so I have many fewer scruples* about tying it to my real name than I used to.

*Scruple (n): a Danish pastry, sort of like strudel meets waffle.

Secondly, and mainly, the reason I have posted less this year is partly that I’ve been busy, but also partly that I’ve been writing a slightly more serious (slightly is the key word) column for my local paper every 3 to 4 weeks. Which means instead of publishing it here, it gets published in the paper, and you never know it exists. And so, by tying my real identity to the blog, I can offer you a few past columns of material you’ve never seen before.

Thirdly, I’m dabbling in all sorts of comedy and continue to do so, so if any of that ever appears in a format that you can get online, I can offer you that as well. I’m not going to go into specifics on anything, but it’ll leave me many more future options and decrease the likelihood we go a long time without posting.

And so, without further ado, I give you my real name:

J. K. Rowling

Okay, just kidding. Sorry. I hope you didn’t get too excited. (If you have no idea why I just did that, and think I’m a mean, terrible person, check this out).

My real name is actually Joel Kwartler (so at least the “J. K.” part wasn’t a complete lie). Pronounced “Kah-keh-car-keewar-whattheheck?” or “Quart-ler” for short. You could Google me and try to stalk me, but you won’t have much success—I don’t have a Facebook page (aside from the one for this blog), a Twitter, or even (gasp) a MySpace account. I know, I know, I’m not even on VHS, whatever that is. (For those of you who remember him, Ted–the other guy who wrote a few posts for this blog years ago–would prefer to remain Ted at this time.)

Since it’s probably unfair to leave you with a name and no face, here’s a picture of me:

I'm the guy in the center, between the nobody on the left and the invisible dude on the right.

I’m the guy in the center, between the nobody on the left and the invisible dude on the right.

Now that I’ve broken my cover, you’ll probably want to know a few things about me. Here’s what I’ll tell you:

  • When I was very young, a man came up to me (supposedly a family member) and screamed that he stole my nose. It took me a second to realize it, but he actually stole my nose. What you see in the picture is a prosthetic replacement made out of his thumb.
  • I know a man with one leg named Smith. The name of the other leg, if you’d care to know it, is Frederick.
  • I can bench press 4,562 lbs. “Lb” stands for “little bug,” which weighs approximately nothing.
  • My teeth have spent five years of their lives in jail. Some people call that “braces.” They’re on parole now.

Finally, you might be wondering what the future of this blog will hold. But before I get into that, I’d just like to thank you all, once again, for taking the time to read, share, or leave spam comments written in Greek about Russian pharmaceutical products. It means a lot.

So, the future. I’ll be a senior in high school this year, meaning I’ve still got one year to continue writing as an authority on high school. Also, that column for the local paper will continue, but (unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) with a less demanding schedule, meaning I can focus a bit more on writing for this blog. The past few months have shown me I can no longer make any promises as to the exact frequency of posts, but I’ll do my best to post as often as possible. As for what’s going to happen at the end of this school year, well, I haven’t quite figured that out (if you’ve got any thoughts on what High School Humor Blog should become once I’m no longer in high school, they’re always welcome).

That’s about it, for now. Keep your eye out for an updated “about” page. (For those of you reading this by email or feed reader, I’ll mention it in a post when I update the about page).

Also, now that you know who I am, if you ever do meet me in person, you have only two options: go stark raving mad about how much you love this blog, or compliment me on my prosthetic nose.

2 Years of High School Humor Blog

2yearsofblogTwo years ago yesterday, I opened up a web browser and recorded the guiding philosophy of this blog: “This is the first post of this blog, but, hopefully, assuming those investors on Wall Street don’t pull out after this, this is not the last post.” Now, I’m proud to announce that Berkshire Hathaway is buying HighSchoolHumorBlog.com for the small sum of $56 billion.

No, that’s not actually true. I don’t have any Wall Street investors, and nor do we (well, I, really, although when I say “we” it sounds way more professional, like I have a team of staff writers and marketers behind this blog) want any. The real truth is that: that was certainly not the last post. And that’s what this is all about.

Two years ago, this blog went from a really poorly planned idea floating around in the mostly-empty brain of a teenager to a really poorly planned blog floating around on the Internet. This post marks that two-year anniversary. (If you care for this sort of sentimental, reflective, statistical retrospection about as much as you love those pop quizzes on material you are supposed to “remember” from eighth grade—yes, they exist, trust me—then you might want to stop here, check out the archives, and read an older post).

What is a Blog Without Posts?

The most popular post published in the last year is “The Best Excuses for Being Late to Class,” (with 2,011 page views) while the most popular post of all-time has become “The Best Homework Excuses” (with 5,812 page views). Clearly, one can draw the conclusion that teens are very responsible, timely people who take great pride in honesty.

The least popular post published in the last year is “The Essential Guide to 4 Common P.E. Sports,” with a whopping 24 page views. We will not even tell you what the overall least popular post is, because after reading it you’ll wonder how anyone who could write that badly is legally allowed to continue blogging. And, we’re worried that it is actually illegal to publish writing that bad and we don’t want to go to jail.

In the past year, we’ve published 78 posts, and High School Humor Blog now comprises a total of 205 posts containing approximately 178,000 words. We promise you that we would have stopped long ago if it weren’t for that fact that we are reasonably* sure at least 2 people regularly read this blog.

*Reasonably. But one of those people might also be a rogue captcha bot, and the other one is definitely my pet fish, so we aren’t 100% sure.

We Love Comments.

This year, we received about 204 comments, and I think we succeeded in replying to every single coherent, non-spam comment. Even if you just want to mention that the post’s picture reminded you of your cat’s finger-painting, we’ll respond.

Comments are terrific ways for you to tell us what you do/don’t like about the blog. You can also just speak your thoughts, especially if you’re thinking about starting the next Facebook or Google and want to, y’know, just give us a basic overview of your idea.

If you took the time to leave even 1 comment in the past year, we greatly appreciate it. If not, well, what are you waiting for? Feel free to comment on any post.

Readers

The maximum number of readers logged by Feedburner in the past year was 252, meaning we’ve picked up 65 readers in the past year. It’s not terrific growth, but it’s definitely better than losing readers. I extend a personal thanks to everyone who reads this blog, because, although it’d be great to have Wall-Street investors, that’s the real reason we’ve continued to post.

Extra Thanks

There are readers. There are commenters. And then, there are people who share content. Those are the people who deserve the extra thanks. So, if you’ve shared our content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or by E-mail, or are one of the 27 amazing people who have liked our new Facebook page (something you should definitely do right now, if you haven’t), give yourself another 5 minutes until you start that homework. You deserve it (and you know you were going to procrastinate anyways, so now you can feel even better than normal while procrastinating).

In addition to the people mentioned above, we’d like to thank every blog that has sent us readers in the past year. These blogs are: (I cannot endorse any of the content, while I’m sure it’s wonderful, because I don’t have time to read everything ever written on these blogs and I don’t want to get sued. But you should definitely check them all out, because most of them are also run by teens, and because if they like this blog, well, then you’ve already got something in common with the author. They are part of the reason we have not thrown our computers against the wall after one year)

Upcoming

This blog will be updated for as long as I (yeah, “we” just doesn’t work here) am in high school, and I’m only a junior right now. Unfortunately, due to the sheer amount of work that accompanies junior year, I’ve had to cut back from posting once every 3-4 days to posting once every week. That will probably remain until summer.

Once summer arrives, though, you may be looking at a redesigned, updated, bigger, better, cooler, swaggy-er blog. Just a heads up. Additionally, we may—may—consider revealing our/my true identity at some point in the next year (in case you were unaware, Phil is a pseudonym).

Other

Other stuff you might want to be aware of in regards to this blog:

  • We’ve now been blogging for ten times as many days as most celebrity marriages last.
  • We’re switching to a new photo creation program, so prepare for our pictures to get worse as we learn how to use it, and then better as we actually use it properly.
  • This blog is actually funded entirely by Arctic Pelicans, who hope to someday infiltrate the impressionable minds of teenagers and convert them all into anchovy fishermen.

Thanks for being a part of this blog. Without you readers, we wouldn’t exist.

If you’re curious where we were after just one year of blogging, you should check out our one year “blogoversary” post.

Update: “How Long could You Survive without Gum in High School?” Quiz Now Working

Those of you who’ve read this blog for a very long time may remember that we had one or two quizzes. In transitioning from Blogger to WordPress, the functionality was lost. Since then, we’ve updated our quiz about finals. Today, we updated and fixed our quiz that will tell you just how long you could survive in high school without gum. Go here to take that quiz. This isn’t just fun, anymore. This is survival.

We’re On Facebook!

An obvious pun. But possibly still funny.High School Humor Blog is now on Facebook. You should check out the High School Humor Blog Facebook Page, because we added yet another completely original “About” page (and when I say original, I mean funny).

Also, please feel free to ‘like’ us. There are many benefits of ‘liking’ us, although I have yet to come up with any real benefits, so I’ll make some up:

  • It will take up time. For instance, if you have to go do chores eventually, consider ‘liking’ us part of your procrastination.
  • It will show how awesome you are.
  • Your profile picture might appear in the box in the sidebar.
  • Etc.

(We’ve added the Facebook box to the sidebar, so if you’d rather stay on the blog you can just click the ‘like’ button there).