On June 1, 1978, I found that the umbilical cord in my mother’s womb had wrapped around my neck, making it impossible for me to breathe.  I wasn’t born yet, and already someone was trying to kill me (my mother, in this case).  Thankfully, I was rescued by a frantic group of altruistic doctors.  To this day, my mother denies that she was trying to murder me in the womb.  She has an alternate theory, which is that I was attempting to hang myself.  Whatever the case, based on the crafty work of the doctors and the brilliant theories of someone named Caesarean, it was clear that the world preferred me to live.

It was the kindest the world has ever been to me.  32 years later, things make no more sense than they did in that hospital room.  But unlike that day – when I was overwhelmed by the bright lights and clothed people – I currently have a vague notion that if I try very hard, I can possibly make sense of things.  After years of therapy didn’t help much, I’ve decided that blogging is perhaps the best solution.  There is no real intended audience for the Topicless Bar – these are just my observations put down in little black words for all the world to see.

The idea is simply to write something every day.  If nothing interesting happens or I can’t think of anything, I’ll just make something up.  This blog is about freedom.  It’s like the Operation Iraqi Freedom of blogs, only nobody gets hurt or has facial hair.  And there’s no oil involved.  Hopefully that’s a good analogy.  As you can probably guess, I didn’t do too great on that part of the SATs. 

In short, the Topicless Bar is just a place for a middle-aged, cynical, love-torn American living in South Korea to express his thoughts and share his adventures.  It’s also a place where he occasionally talks in third-person. 

Geez, this “About” section is getting bloated!  Let’s move away before it bursts!

– William Panara



133 thoughts on “About

    • I was going to say the same exact thing. I refuse to believe I have aged past my 25th birthday…that got weird though when my younger sister was suddenly older than me. Congrats on being freshly pressed. Dig your blog.

    • Wow, that is unbelievable. It’s really touching to hear that. I just sort of been writing for my own amusement/therapy – really astonished to get feedback like that. You’ve really made my day. : )

      (btw – why can’t you leave a comment? do i have something not set up right? haha – really an amateur here, help a guy out!)

  1. William:

    Great post about the lizards! I find them fascinating, but I would not want to live with one running around my home. No way…

    Your bio is something else, very creative! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    • Really appreciate that, Mark. Quite a compliment to be confused with a writer. Yeah, I’m just a teacher in Korea. I’ve always kept a journal, and a friend recently encouraged me to start writing on a blog instead of in a bunch of notebooks. So it’s been fun. Thanks again, bud.

    • Thanks! I return the compliment of course – already sent a few friends your way. Your last post is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. : ) Look forward to reading more.

    • Absolutely! I’ll be your best friend in the whole wide world. I like being friends so much more than, like, hating people. Maybe I’m alone on that one. Anyways, thanks for the support, kitkat. : )

  2. Love your sense of humor!
    Thanks for *Liking* my blog post “Six Easy Tips on Including Humor in Your Writing”. I think you’ve got it down pat. You are spot on in your writing.
    Thanks for sharing it.

      • Hey! I only HOPE to go 33 years without facial hair. Just a few more to go till 33. Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed! But, I didn’t say it had to be YOUR facial hair. That would be a little weird right? I suppose I’ll settle for the hairy kids you right about… less weird, right?!

  3. Priya

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. Even though that’s why I am here, that’s not why I am writing to you. I am writing to you for two reasons

    a. We share our birth date (I, however, am slightly more in the middle of middle-age than you are)
    b. I used to teach. It makes me feel a sense of camaraderie with you, which has the potential of overshadowing the chuckles your About page has brought.

    Have fun today, William.

    • We have the best birthday one could have. I mean, come on, we share it with Marilyn Monroe and Andy Griffith. That’s unbeatable!

      Proud of you for being a teacher. I assume you aren’t any more because you won the lottery. That seems like a safe assumption. Yeah, but we teachers should stick together…it’s kind of like being a free mason or something. What did you teach?

      Have a great weekend, Priya! Thanks for the comment. : )

      • Priya

        Kind of like being a free mason? I am sure there are more rituals in teaching than Freemasonry could every cook up.

        I taught German and English. And decided I didn’t need a lottery to get out. Just a career in translation. Four years hence, I am looking for another switch. Enough of encryption and deciphering.

        Who’s Andy Griffith? Did I just spoil the fun?

      • You’re a translator, that’s really cool. That must be difficult I would think. Maybe you could teach translators, best of both worlds.

        Hahaha – Never mind Andy Griffith. He has a TV show in like 1950. Now that I’ve said that, I would like to remind you that I’m 33, not 81.

    • Thank you so much! That’s a very sweet thing to say. I like your picture although I don’t think I know what it is. It’s very happy. Anyways, thanks again for the compliment, I Love Cats. : )

  4. Hey William, Very funny stuff about the umbilical cord! Perhaps mothers should be held responsible for entrapping us in such a confined space with such deadly weapons for so long! Oh, they are. They’re stuck with us for about 20 years. Punishment enough, some would say!
    32 middle-aged? Pfft! No-one can say they are middle-aged until they know when they will die. And by that time they will be way past the middle. 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

    Writing everyday sounds like a great goal. I must try that!


  5. You’re freakin’ hilarious! Why do you have to live in Korea though? Oh cruel Fate….if you lived here we could date, it would be cool. We’d be hilarious together and people-watch all day. People would love us and say, “That is great couple. They’re hilarious!”….Sigh. But alas, you’re there and I’m here….now I’m sad. Why can’t I find a guy like you in the U.S.??? Lol.

  6. achtungvrijdom

    I, too, was sliced out of the belly of my mother… although in my case it was due to my total lack of inclination towards leaving the warm swimming pool of her uterus… which now both you and I are thinking about. Sorry…

    • Lol! What an interesting comment. Your mother’s uterus sounds lovely! It sounds like the Bali of uteruses!

      Glad to hear we have something in common. Thanks a ton for reading and commenting. : )

    • I’m really lucky to have people from so many geographic locations commenting and what not. I believe you are the first person from Scotland. Which is to say, you are a very important follower. : )

      Thanks for clicking the button, yeyexu!

    • Haha – you would NOT want the failed attempts I have. Sooner or later, I figure something will work out. Maybe not a book…maybe, I don’t know, I’ll write a wicked profile page on a dating website. Whatever – I’ll take it. Never heard of Shakespeare doing that, sucker!

      I’m rambling again. Appreciate the support, Arizona.

  7. Talking about yourself in the third person shows objectivity and clarity. And a slight leaning towards insanity. Which is amusing and intruiging to those around you. That’s what she tells herself anyway.

    And middle-aged? I’m 32 as well and I find that a little upsetting. You’re only as old as the woman you feel 😉

    • Haha – love it! She sounds like a wise woman.

      I should update, because I am now 33. Crazy. I will take your last comment as advice and try to start feeling a 25 year old woman.

      Thanks for the fun comments, Denise. : )

  8. FYI… Follow at the top ^ means that we’re followers as long as we are on WordPress browsing for interesting reading material. Follow on the sidebar > however, means that your writing gives us so much joy, we want an email every friggin time you utter some random post. In a world of cluttered inboxes, there’s a BIG difference. Looking forward to the emails. Congrats on getting FP.

  9. Karin Babin

    I have spent the last hour reading your blog, and I think I love you. Even with skinny arms. If you weren’t such a cat lover and apparent boozehound, and I didn’t already have a husband, three kids, and a dog, I would be your soulmate. Guaranteed – ish.

    • Man, we were so close to having something magical. What if you just had the dog? Would things be different? Or if you just had the husband? Then I’m sure it would be perfect-ish.

      Haha – thanks for the comment and the love. I dig your photo blog. Keep up the good work. : )

    • For real man! I’m having an anxiety attack trying to respond to all the comments. I don’t think I can do it. But yeah, this Freshly Pressed thing has been fun. : )

      Thanks for the comments, Crunchy.

  10. Read your “4 Cool Looks That Distress Me”, thought it was hilarious,
    I immediately went to your “About” cuz I knew it was going to be if anything
    more hilarious than your blogs. I was right. I’m glad the world wanted you to live because if it werent for those altruistic doctors and nurses, I wouldn’t be here laughing my bums off.

      • Im currently in Indonesia right now & I, unfortunately, live in a wifi-less place,
        but every time I get the chance to hit the internet, I immediately go to topiclessbar.wordpress.com; Its the new go-to. Used to be YouTube, but you just had to be saved by those doctors….HAHA. joking, but in all seriousness, …..

        ….with my serious face.

        still being serious.

      • You have such a wonderful serious face…I hope you never get happy and stray from it. RRun The Gun, this is the nicest comment ever! You’ve made my day, and I say that with my own serious face. I hope Indonesia is amazing; I’m hoping to try to get down there sometime around July or August (fingers crossed). Anyways, your hyperbole has made me a happy dude! Keep living the dream, RRun the Gun! : )

    • Right on, teacher. I gotta get to Japan. Not for the ear hoodies, I mean. I hear there’s other stuff there and it’s pretty good. Anyways, thanks for leaving the comment, Boggeton Drive. Peace!

    • Oh my gooses? Love it!!!

      That’s a heavy vow. I find your compliments humbling. Thanks for making me feel nice. : )

      Feel free to comment any time, Veefantastic. You’re my favorite person in the world right now!

  11. Anna

    I can’t make up anything as funny as the previous commenters, so I’ve decided just to second what all of them are saying. The whole shebang!

    In short: I like your about page, I like your blog

    Off topic: Since you’re a teacher, maybe you’ll enjoy this link that explains the origin and meaning of the saying “the whole shebang”

  12. Hey – I did indeed enjoy that! I especially liked the beginning part when Walt Whitman and Mark Twain were using it with different meanings and people just sort of went along with it. Maybe we can make up our own “The Whole _____” phrases. I’ve heard someone say “the whole pot of gumbo” and I like that. How about “the whole bar of soap” or “the whole dollar menu.” Or we can make something up, a la shebang: The Whole Gabysnatcher.

    Sigh…your link has turned me into an idiot. Thanks! Also greatly appreciate the compliment, Miss Anna. : )

  13. Awesome blog, I really enjoy your writing and by the way, one of the reasons I started bloging is because I cannot afford therapy LOL, so you’re speaking to the converted here!

    • Awesome! I’m truly honored. : ) Now, in the spirit of the award, I should point out that I have more than 200 followers…my fault for having it hidden. Oops! Perhaps that makes me disqualified! Anyways, I will put up a list of 5 blogs regardless. Thanks Ms Fabulass!!

  14. “This is my life. Laugh at it.” Thank you. I will. But not in a mean way. More of a …you’re stinking hilarious, way. Not stinking, as in smell bad…stinking, as in, an oft misused adjective in my family, used like “freaking,” meaning “really.” It is an adjective, right? I mean, I used it as such. Yet in the form, “She’s stinking up the apartment,” it would be a verb, wouldn’t it? Oy. My head hurts, and I’m off topic. The point is, you made me laugh. Thank You.

  15. i’ve been reading your blog for a while now and it’s just now that i decided to read about your about me section…
    i’m glad you survived your almost murder/hanging yourself episode otherwise i won’t have anything to laugh about these days.
    nice to meet you william 🙂 or you prefer to be called bill or will? well i’ve been thinking of you as topiclessbar these past days 😛 but i guess your name is better. now i’ll think ‘oh i’ll read william’s new post’ instead of ‘oh i’ll read topiclessbar’s new post’.
    or maybe i’ll just call you ajusshi 😀 cheers!

    • Hi Diatribes! Yes, you’ve been a nice person and have commented and stuff and I massively appreciate that. So welcome to the Blogroll! Hopes it results in one or two extra hits a week. : D

  16. I have to say I follow, and I read your feed daily (or whenever it’s updated)…..I love your blog – you definitely have a skill (writing) and captivating people. Keep up the good work – you’re my only source of entertainment besides SpongeBob TV shows my kids watch and my own blog. LOL 🙂

  17. hello there! i love your blog and have nominated you for the sunshine award..if you’re interested in that sorta thing please check my blog to receive it…:)

  18. Pat (not 'lil Pat, hah)

    I’ve been following your blog for about a year. Just got caught up on the last 2 months of posts. I was surprised to see you are moving to China? I’ve been living in China since 2007. You going to be near Shanghai?

    • Hey, what’s up Pat? You’re in China, eh? How is it? From what I understand, I would be about 45 mins outside of Beijing. I definitely want to check Sanghai out, though, like on a break or something. Getting pretty anxious – fly out Tuesday, so fingers crossed everything goes smoothly enough.

  19. Pat

    Welcome. I’m looking forward to some good stories from Middle Kingdom. You’re welcome to Shanghai anytime. I’ll be back in a couple weeks. I am enjoying my annual reprieve.

  20. Oh my gosh, I think this might be my favorite about page, ever. The way you write is so fantastically funny, and oddly…relatable. Can’t wait to read more of your adventures! 🙂

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