Short Version: So, yeah. I’m back.

Long version: Man, life does take its funny twists and turns, doesn’t it? One minute you’re blogging like a fool every day, knocking it out, everything’s going smoothly. And seemingly in the blink of an eye, you take some time off to catch up on a couple of weak areas of your primary business (which for me is Internet advertising), you hit a couple of personal snags, and bang — you look down and a couple years have passed and you’ve left thousands of pretty loyal readers hanging.

That feels really shitty. And has felt that way for a good while now. So after much personal and professional house-cleaning, and knowing that the need for solid, real-life advice for high school student is bigger than ever, I’m back. I won’t blather your ear off today, but I’ll catch you up on the last couple of years. Maybe it’ll make help you understand why I disappeared in the first place. This is the Cliff’s Notes version:

Lorenzo Barsch

Knowing him, he probably picked the lock.

I had my 3rd (and final!) kid. His name is Lorenzo Antonio, and he was born in January of 2011. He’s a pretty sharp and very personable little dude. Unlike my other kids, he grew up with two older siblings all up in his business from dawn to dusk, and he’s clearly developed more quickly in terms of being shifty, crafty, knowing how to hide, how to climb shit and escape from just about any little baby jail you try to lock him up in. He’s strong as hell, mostly because he survives on protein bars and protein shakes (at least when he’s at my house — see more on that a few paragraphs down).

I literally wrapped my car around a telephone pole. That sucked. Technically it wasn’t me, it was a friend who did it when I’d loaned him the car. No one was injured, except for the car, which went directly to car heaven and did not pass “Go” or collect $200 on its way there. Here’s a lesson, folks: Full coverage on your automobile is a very, very good thing.

I spoke at Harvard. Not like in front of the university president or host of foreign dignitaries or any crazy shit like that, but I was indeed invited to speak to the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business — and honestly, to this day, I’m still not sure exactly why they chose me — but they did, and I went and did my thing there and enjoyed it very much.

When you're getting served, a sense of humor helps.

When you're getting served, a sense of humor helps.

I started a nonprofit for battered women called In my absence, I got an up-close look at the problems domestic violence can cause through a friend who was having a pretty rough time with an abusive spouse. Long story short, he jacked up her phone so she lost access to all the contacts in her phone. While I was helping her restore it, I thought, “Wow, this would be SO much easier if you were using Google Voice before this happened.” And pretty much at that very second, the idea for Voice Against Violence was born. The charity has one purpose, and that’s to get abused women (all women really, but especially those in abusive situations) to sign up for Google Voice. Doing so takes five minutes, it’s free, and it can make a HUGE difference in getting a woman out of a bad situation. Check out the link above if you want to learn more.

It's open to interpretation.

It's open to interpretation.

I got divorced. Or, I’m getting divorced I should say. As you may have heard, these things take time to work through the legal system, even when there’s no acrimony or conflict involved, which I’m happy to say in my case, there’s not. My ex and I actually live about 4 blocks away from each other so our kids can freely float back and forth and are never too far away from the other parent. My kids are doing extremely well with the whole situation; sometimes I think they’re way more grown up than their mom and dad.

For all you inquiring minds…we didn’t split up over any particular traumatic event. We just weren’t getting along like a husband and wife ought to, and it had been that way for some time. We function very well as friends nowadays and still support each other’s endeavors. She’s going back to school for a couple years, and in the meantime runs a fan site for Veronica Mars. I’d bump the link here, but the site isn’t quite ready from prime time yet. I’ll give you a link later when it’s ready to go.

This one hurt.

This one hurt.

I got a little more tatted up. I’m not the first guy to run out and get a bunch more tattoos after becoming single for the first time since Clinton was in office, so I guess this makes me a stereotype of some sort. Eh, whatever…I embrace it. The first was my “COME PLAY” across my knuckles, and yes, that one hurt, but not nearly as much as you’re thinking. Everyone asks how bad it hurt thinking it would be excruciating, but it was no worse than any of my others (I have eight). Now…the sugar skulls on my hands. Yikes. I’ve got tattoos all over and nothing even comes close to the pain of that area. Both of the skulls you see here were done in one six-hour session. The first two hours were not bad at all. The middle two started to get uncomfortable, and the last two, yeah — I was pretty much ready to be out of the chair at that point.

But I like them. Second piece of advice for this post: If you’re just starting out in your career, no, I don’t recommend knuckle or top-of-the-hand tattoos. Yeah, some places will still hire you of course, but there are a lot of employers out there for whom it’s just a little too thuggish. I did mine because I’ve been in business for 12 years and am pretty well-established in my field of Google Adwords management, and I have way more people asking to become our company’s clients than vice versa. Long story short — I can tat my hands up because I don’t need anyone’s approval or respect anymore, but you might not be in that spot yet, so proceed with caution. I wish you the fastest possible journey, however, over to this “I ain’t gotta impress none of you” side of the line. It’s much cooler this way. :)

This one hurt worse.

This one hurt worse.

I quit smoking. You probably never knew I smoked in the first place, because I don’t share it publicly very much since I’ve probably lied to a dozen insurance companies about it here and there over the years. But yeah, I quit doing that. It’s a good thing to do, quitting. Seems impossible the first couple weeks in, but it’s doable. Personally, I used a combination of the e-cigarette and nicotine gum. I’m not like all those former smokers who are like, “WOW, I feel so much better and I breathe so much easier and blah blah blah.” I’d put my benefits this way: a) I don’t go to the store and buy a $6.50 pack of smokes every day, so I’m saving a couple hundred bucks a month; b) I get an hour of my workday back that I previously spent outside smoking, 6 minutes at a time; c) My fingers don’t stink anymore.

So there you have it. I was shitty about updating Outlaw Student, that’s for sure, but I wasn’t exactly putting my feet up and eating bon-bons, as you can tell (Do they even sell bon-bons anymore?). So I ask your forgiveness and I hope you’ll come back often like you did before. If you’re already out of school and have a job and thus don’t need my advice anymore, hand me down to a friend like you would an old pair of sexy going-out jeans that you just don’t fit into anymore because you’ve got a little money in your pocket and you’re eating lunch out too much with your work colleagues.

Expect more of the same unvarnished advice that you always got before; if the last two years have had any effect on me whatsoever, it’s that I give even less of a shit about being presentable and professional and I only have time and patience for telling it like it is (all of my hypersensitive friends can attest to this).

Anyway, so there it all is. I’m back. Ta-da! Hope to see you around. Keep submitting all your questions and shit through the nav links. I’ll get to them die-rectly. I’ve even got an assistant this time around, so maybe I’ll be even faster!

Your pal,
Judge Josh

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