Monthly Archives: October 2013

Selective Attention – A Male Disorder

Chatter Commencing.

I love almost everything about women. Most of the time. If you haven’t read me before, I’m a flamboyant and straight guy who has lived with women for the past three years, (Different groups). I notice all sorts of little quirks. My interest is particularly piqued when it comes to fashion. The thing is, I don’t catch all the things you do. I may think I’m attentive, but I surely didn’t see what the brand name was. I merely noticed how you pulled it off.

What do I see when I look at your purse? An endless cavern of goodies and supplies. I know that if my lips are chapped, you’ve got me covered. My breath is a bit onion-y from the delicious Jimmy John’s, you have mints stashed. I also dig that you have solid set of pockets to stash my movie ticket when we go in. I might even notice the cute pattern you picked out. What I don’t notice is what brand name you’re flaunting. Prada means the same as Prodo to me. Sorry.

I don’t notice when you’re flirting with me. I try to be really nice to everyone I meet. I think that being genuine and giving it your best shot is the best way to get ahead in this world, so my general politeness comes across as “flirtatious” behavior. On the flip-side of this, I don’t notice when others’ behavior is flirting or when it is just someone being nice. Please, if you’re into a guy, and you’ve been trying to lay down signals, give us some help.

I don’t notice or care about who you’re texting when we’re lounging on the couch, watching football on Sunday afternoon. In all likelihood, I’m doing the same thing. I do notice when you shoot even one message while we’re at dinner, and silently, I’m judging.

Speaking of Sunday football, it’s cheating to have important conversations during my team’s game. If it is two randoms, you have a green light… but if it’s my Packers or Badgers, could you please hold. I won’t notice a single thing you say, and I’ll end up letting you down in the near future. Instead of getting mad at me in two days for forgetting the dry-cleaning, tell me after the game.

I don’t notice when you’re being passive aggressive. Why? I’m too busy being passive-aggressive. I know for a fact that there were situations where if I had been listening to the other half of the conversation, I’m sure I would have noticed your hinting. Kind of like in the recent HIMYM episode, where Marshall and Ted were going back and forth about Wedding Presents and Thank You Notes.

And lastly for you ladies, just remember this: we’re too busy noticing great things about you to notice the little blemishes you think stand out in your physical appearance. So be proud and confident. And don’t sweat the little ones like split ends, knobbly knees, or frankly, little ones.

We’re not noticing.

Closing Chatter.

Categories: An Eclectic of the Eccentric, Love & Relationships, Thought Catalog-Esque | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Once you go Black, You never go Back

Chatter Commencing.

Remember that first time you busted out an iPhone? It was like upgrading from a rusted ’87 LeSabre to a minted Porsche 911 Carerra. But then two weeks later, you crashed that Porsche by dropping it in the toilet? You had to go back to the LeSabre, and life was just hell, right?

Exactly. It was hell. There are quite a few things out there that once you’ve had them, you can’t ever go back, for example, the clichéd black penis. Here are some other perkls that once you’ve had them, your life going back to the old thing is never the same.

1. A queen sized bed, in your own room. When you’re in college, you deal with that small twin bed during your dorm days. After your first few years, you move into a house and finally get your own room. In the corner of this room goes your new, gigantic bed. Going back to either sharing a room or sleeping in a twin bed would be like returning to the cupboard after the triwizard tournament.

2. Moving out of your Parent’s house. Speaking of moving into your new place, you know that moving back home is an undesirable option, albeit still an option on the table. It’s nice to know that you can fall back on your folks if you need to, but it is never the desired path. It is becoming more common, for good reasons, (check out this nice piece by Caroline Radaj), but a part of you longs for that freedom you’ve had.

3. A Smart Phone. I referenced this earlier, but it needs more attention here. It is one of the biggest gaps. Reverting back to a dumb phone is like being forced to ride on a venezuelan bus across the city for a month because the only train broke down.

4. After using an abundance of similies in a post, it is really hard to stop. Honestly, it’s a sweet little win, like getting your head scratched while watching TV in bed. But I promise to limit myself from here on out.

5. Once you’ve been allowed to listen to music at work, it makes going back to soundless efforts a painstakingly boring time. s_tequila

6. Once you’ve had Tequila with a lime and salt, you’ll never turn to another shot. It has the kick you want, the reputation of a legend, and even if you hate it, you love it.

7. Once you’ve started drinking delicious six-packs of beer, it is really hard to go back to the keg of Natty Light or Beast or even the Stones. Everyone told you that eventually you’d like the taste of beer when you first started drinking. They didn’t mention the fact that you have to buy better beer than the cheap college shit. Once you’ve tasted the deliciousness that is a craft brew, your taste buds will resent and reject the silver barrel.

You’ll constantly be growing out of old habits and fads, so keep your eyes peeled for other things like that cliched schlong.

Closing Chatter.

Categories: An Eclectic of the Eccentric, Thought Catalog-Esque | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be That Guy

Chatter Commencing.

They grind Peter Griffin’s gears. They make Red Forman peevesstick his foot up an ass. They make me think about owning a mischievous poltergeist. I’m speaking of course, of Pet Peeves. Everyone has their own nuances and quirks, and because of these, different little things set them off. I asked some friends, and got some ideas, and this is what we came up with as a list of things we could do without in public anymore.

When you’re driving, and you are turning onto a street with two lanes in each direction, instead of getting in the occupied lane causing the other driver to have to slow down or change lanes, simply merge into the unoccupied lane. The people who don’t do this deserve to have a small child placed in the backseat, and have that child equipped with an unlimited supply of small perch to barrage the driver. Don’t be that guy.

Speaking of transportation, if you’re biking down a one way road, and there are no cars on the street, get off the sidewalk. There is a time and place to mount the sidewalk (going the opposite way down a one way…), and with a neighboring empty street is not one of them. Don’t be that guy.

As a writer, I make a lot of grammatical errors in original drafts. The most common occurrence is when I edit half a sentence, but forget to change the word at the front end. Anyway, it makes me a hypocrite, but I really hate grammatical errors in texts. Do not is that guys.

Also, don’t be the guy who actually says something about someone’s grammar. That guy is even worse than the person who made the initial error. It was a mistake, and they happen. So don’t be that guy either.

If you’re living in an apartment with a variety of people, you’ll learn each others’ strengths and weaknesses as roommates. While there are a lot of things to discuss, like these, the most obnoxious is the dishes situation. Please, after cooking a big meal, don’t just pile up all the dishes in the sink for the next day. Your three roommates deserve to be able to use the sink and dishes. Don’t be that disgusting guy.

I love a good personalized ringtone. Outside of obvious examples, I don’t think a random outburst of “Eye of the Tiger” is a bad thing. However, I can’t stand when people have their texting sound on. You know the one that makes a little click every time it does something? It’s constant and ominous tapping is nerve-racking. Please don’t be that guy. (Although this one just makes me look semi-Monica-esque).

When in college, I had a mini-motto. Never stop walking. It applied to my daily walk from home to class to work to library and the such. Our city was a decently big grid, with two major one ways that paralleled each other. Crossing these streets on a diagonal when the lights stop was by far the most efficient way to class. Conversely, being stuck on the gridlock poses the problem of slow walkers. These groups, typically 2-4 people, slow the sidewalk traffic for all those involved. Don’t be those guys.

Now, I bet you’re thinking that I’m just ranting about a bunch of little first world problems. And you’re right. I am. But here’s where I’m going to swing the game around. Here’s a possible approach to take in a few of the previously mentioned situations.

If you encountered the aggressive driver, the best thing you can do is avoid a conflict. Cars are one of the most costly items to bring into a situation. Don’t let a little road rage empty your bank account. Instead, take a couple breaths, and as I once heard from my stoned uncle, don’t get mad at drivers, just pretend they’re you’re grandma, and you’ll be okay. I’ve since seen this on a variety of billboards and tumblr posts, so I don’t know if he coined or cozened it, but regardless, it works.

As to the biker, I’ve approached it a variety of ways. Ignore it. Nothing happens and nothing changes. Shout at them. They yell back and both sides are now slightly more annoyed. Politely ask the person to get on the road. Fifty percent chance they oblige. Fifty percent they tell you to go f*@k yourself. Best option for personal happiness is the last one.

If you encounter slow walkers, the best thing to do is start a witty banter under your breath between an Irishman and a Brit describing the happenings of a horse race. Slowly gain ground on the slow-walkers, and as you get closer, increase the volume of the announcers. When you get near them, make a tremendous finale and lunge your chest forward just as you pass along the outside. Have the Irish announcing voice exclaim the slowest comeback of all-time due to a blockade of slow racers at the front. Continue your day.

In general, pet peeves are just that. Little things that you probably need to ignore. You’ll be okay after a few deep breaths. Trust me.

Closing Chatter.

Categories: An Eclectic of the Eccentric, Thought Catalog-Esque | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Things I’ll Never Say

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Everyone keeps things in. I don’t do it very often. I like to tell people exactly what I feel. But sometimes, I bite my tongue (I see you chuckling at that comment Jenna). I might be embarrassed. I might find you utterly breathtaking and suddenly lose the ability to share my feelings. I might want to refrain from getting my ass kicked. I don’t know why I’m not telling you this, but here they are now.

1. To that guy who just cut me off in rush-hour traffic. I want to punch you in the face. I know that I’ve been you before, hurrying to get somewhere, during rush hour. But you cutting in front of me is dangerous. And don’t do it to the person behind me either. Wait your turn like a good little boy.

2. To that girl I just met at the bar while hammered. I’m not going to be calling you tomorrow. I am sorry. But all my decisions tonight were driven by euphoric, celebratory shots. I’m slammed, and it’s not happening. I’m sorry for being an asshole.

3. To the girl I met at the coffee shop wearing the chuck taylors. When I asked for your number, I really wanted it. I am going to call you. You’re probably not going to answer. And then I am going to want to scream that life isn’t fair, when on the inside, I’m just a filthy hypocrite.

4. To the waiter who is super nice at a shitty restaurant. If you’re giving it a good effort with a smile on your face, I will still tip you well, even if my food is just average. On the flip-side, just because your food is delicious, doesn’t mean you can’t still rock out as a server.

5. To the dude who is built like a brick shit-house and is being a complete asshole to someone for no reason. I really want to tell you to shut your mouth. If you’re doing it to a friend, I will, and I’ll hope you don’t punch me in the face. I’m not a fighter. I just want you to know that someone will stand up to you, even if it results in being smacked.

6. To the mom with the little kid, anywhere. I just want to come up and tell you how cute the little guys tiny feet are… but I won’t. I’ll just mumble some baby talk under my breath.

7. To the girl I work with. I really want to jump your bones. I also want to ask you out to coffee. We mesh really well in the office, and you’re smart, funny, and you get more attractive with each passing day. The thing is, I have been involved in past workplace flings; see “Company Ink,” and I don’t think that this would end any better than that time.

My gears grind easy. But I also have learned to control my urge to blurt obnoxious things. Kinda.

I’ll drop more thoughts in the future.

Closing Chatter.

Categories: An Eclectic of the Eccentric, Thought Catalog-Esque | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m 24. My yearly To-Do list.

Chatter Commencing.

So I recently turned 24. That puts me in my mid twenties, and I’m not going to lie, I feel no different. In general, I enjoy life, but I’m not getting as much out of it as I would like. Like most 20-somethings, I’m going to try to organize my life. Right here. Right now. And this is my public declaration. You’ll all be keeping me to these things without doing a thing, so thanks!

Finish a book a month. Go through 12 classics I’ve never read, but should. Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye, Great Gatsby, and others are potentials. Write about it.

Start doing push-ups in the morning before showering. Start for 25, and up this number when possible. See where you can be by the end of the year.

Stop hitting the snooze button. It is lost time in life. Enjoy the snooze button on lazy Sundays.

Learn people’s names more often. Also, try to awkwardmomentask  these new people more questions about their own lives.

Start wearing nice shoes to work. To start, buy nice shoes. Re-work the whole wardrobe I suppose. My fashion sense is quite eccentric in my clothing choices, and often I get odd things that I should have been convinced to avoid, so find a shopping buddy.

Get brunch with a friend at least once a month. Your mother can count as a friend. I got this one checked off early this month with birthday brunch.

Eat a salad once a week. Try to do it more, but no less than once a week. Some of you may scoff at me having just one salad on the list, but I’m working on it.

Listen to a new album of music each week. Write about it.

Get to know a bartender. Their name. Where they are from. What they like to drink. Always tip well.

Get at least one picture taken a month, with someone. Look good. At least try to look good.

Call family more often. Everyone says they won’t be around forever and to get to know your parents now, especially. I’m going to work on calling them more often.

Plan a Budget. Stick to it. Once a month. Do it.

Twelve things. That might be too much to tackle as a 24-year-old. But I’m going to try.

(Also, after publishing this, I noticed it was my 24th official post… I like the irony).

Closing Chatter.

Categories: An Eclectic of the Eccentric, Thought Catalog-Esque | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Be a Constant Complimenter

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If I can give you one piece of advice on how to be happy, it’s this: Compliment other people.  In my experience, it really is that simple. I’m not saying go out and just spew catcalls at everyone walking down the street.  I’m talking about well-placed and simple compliments.

Every compliment you give should be sincere. I’ve been told I’m quite genuine, and I think that can partly be explained by my constant complimenting.  If you notice something that you like, open your mouth and let the other person know.  It is always a lovely surprise when someone says, “I like those shoes, they’re so unique!” Be that person.

So, you’re not the kind of person who opens your mouth without good reason? Start slow. Try to just compliment one coworker or classmate each day on something in their attire; shoes work really well, or hairstyle changes, or trinkets like rings, necklaces or other jewelry. The key is, be sincere about your compliment.

When you deliver the compliment, look the person in the eyes, smile and keep it brief. Two sentences and a big smile will do. You can then carry on with your activity. In general, I try to mention to multiple people a day that I like something they’re wearing. Why? Because they chose it. It’s not their body, but their personal choices in style and flair. People are much more appreciative of a “I love your scarf, where did you get it?” than a “day-umm girl, the back of your head is ridiculous!”

I am a sucker for female footwear. I don’t know or care about the names of a single product, but rather if and how you pull it off. Boots of any kind are a win. High boots that lace up all the way in the front are particularly sexy. Why? Because whoever is wearing them took the time to lace up boots. Her boots likely finish the outfit, tying up her pull-together look.

On that same line, take time to compliment anyone on something you know they took time working on. Your friend made a shirt from Pinterest and it’s really cute? Make sure to compliment it in front of some other people, mentioning the Pinterest bit so your roommate doesn’t have to. She’ll be really excited about it, and you’ll get the high of her happiness.
“Compliments work well in everyday social interaction, but I’ve also found that if you’re out at the bars downtown a legitimate compliment goes a long way to pique their interest in you,” said BraksOnBraks via Chelsea Fagan’s “21 Men On The One Secret Every Man Should Know.” He continues along the same lines as my reasons.

By complimenting someone sincerely at the bar, you’re picking someone with at least one common characteristic. This gives you more than just a pretty face. Additionally, when you compliment a variety of people on their cute accessories, you can find who might have interest by observing body language post compliment. If they look your way a couple times shortly after your compliment, you’re probably okay to give it a go.

But more than hooking up, complimenting others makes them happy. And in my opinion, being with happy people always brings your mood up. So, make someone’s day today.

Closing Chatter.

Categories: An Eclectic of the Eccentric, Love & Relationships, Thought Catalog-Esque | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Dates for 20-Somethings Under $20

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I am a bit of a hopeless romantic. I love chick flicks, 18333-The-Best-Things-In-Life...although I’m not a Nicholas Sparks fan… maybe it’s the trauma in all of them. However, my favorite part of a RomCom is when the leading lady’s face shines bright with the sudden surprise of a fabulous date. I know that sometimes it is a fancy dinner, but I really love the little things, the thrifty things, the thoughtful things.

So, with that carefree, upbeat, and dollar-savvy attitude in mind, here are some of my favorite dating activities, either for a first date, a fifth date, or a random afternoon with your new hubby.

I love to cook and bake, and I’m also a Pinterest nut. Combine these things and you can get a pretty sweet date. Pick out a favorite recipe, travel to the store together, and then fail miserably in trying to recreate something obnoxious. Flour fights are definitely encouraged.

If you have a local volunteer program, consider bringing your new fling. It is awesome to be giving back to the world, and you’ll both leave feeling great. Plus, winking at each other when crossing paths really makes the butterflies fly up.

Dates with Paint. I don’t know why, but I like paint-involved dating. It brings out the kid in most people. And I’m basically a 12-year-old in a 24-year-old body. Anyway, dates with paint are fantastic.

Messy Twister ~ Simple game … but very fun. Take a twister board, and pour paint onto each circle (match the colors). Then, compete as usual. This one gets messy, but you’ll both be laughing, and the clean-up can be just as fun.

Paint-Gun Fights ~ Fill up a variety of dollar store squirt guns with all sorts of colors. If you’re planning this, grab two cheap white Ts and some shaped stickers. After the fight, you will have a cool, unique shirt to remember the adventure. (Fill up balloons with paint to use as grenades in your battle!)

Go to one of your favorite book stores. Bring a notepad and some writing utensils (I prefer colored sharpies) and start collecting all your favorite books. You get to see what your partner is a fan of, and then together, you can write some short notes to future readers.

Take a pair of rainboots. Walk around the city under an umbrella with your Boo and map out the daily activities of the invisible man in the rain. I actually did this one in college and we had a blast. The girl had a polaroid camera, and it was awesome for chronicling the day!

(From my friend John) Go over to a friend’s apartment, and subtlety turn things upside down. When one of you gets caught, shout something like, “the Russians thought that they could get away with it!” and then bolt. Repeat at another friend’s place.

Go to Walmart. Each of you should find three items that describe your personality. Hide them somewhere else and re-meet. Share clues about the hiding spot, and then it’s go time. Basically, it’s a Walmart personality scavenger hunt.

Wear your finest clothes. Drive to the nearest car dealership, and test-drive some beastly vehicles under the impression of your recent promotion, wink wink.

If you’re from the city, grab a blanket (or several) a throw pillow or two, a bottle of wine (again, or several), and hop in your car. Drive out of the city really late, and find a random spot in a field. You really get to know someone when you’re staring up at the endless space above your heads.

If your city has a zoo, there are often discount/free days. Take advantage and wander around looking at the fantastic beasts, and read all about where to find them.

Remember that kite you bought four years ago? Pack that baby and a couple snacks and a blanket and find yourselves a park. Spend time trying to keep your kite floating, but also enjoy the blue skies with a bit of cloud watching.

And if all else fails, just take her/him by the hand and go for a walk. You talk. You laugh. You stop at a hotdog stand. It’s simple and easy, and honestly, isn’t it all about the time together, and the smiles of surprise.

Closing Chatter.

Categories: An Eclectic of the Eccentric, Love & Relationships, Thought Catalog-Esque | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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