Archive for January, 2012

Dating Still Sucks: Rise of the Machines

After a mostly lovely 7 week excursion through the mountains of Datingville, I’m content to report that my previous findings remain the same.  I’ve modified some of my thoughts, as I see that us ladies really have quite an upward climb.  Here you go:

 

1.  You being extra nice, supportive, compassionate, interested, generous = Ugh….she wants to be my girlfriend? That’s crazy!

 

Yes ladies, here’s the rub – men want to be treated well, but not really.  Being supportive of their endeavors, wanting to be their go-to gal, being interested, being nice – it’s a pretty effective form of repellent.

I like to kill mosquitoes by going dutch.

Given, some of us ladies go overboard way too soon.  If he hasn’t expressed much interest in you, doesn’t appear to like you, doesn’t look you in the eye and forgets your name – well, then, you’re a bit dumb for going so whole hog.  You should have a hobby.

Make a scarf to catch all your tears!

But whether you think he likes you or not – he could tell you that you’re amazing, you’re adorable, you’re hilarious, that he likes you and cares, that he wants to see where this goes, that you’re loving and caring – It’s a trap!

Yeah, I said that already.

Because men always love and care about the ones that treat them like shit.  It’s just true.  The one that never liked them or cared or did anything un-selfish is the one they’ll pine for.  And that’s the one they’ll say is their girlfriend.  Really, why do you think every man’s girlfriend is crazy?  How often do you hear other people say “Wow, his girlfriend’s so nice!”

So, as my previous rule stated – even if he smothers you with compliments, don’t be too interested.  Experiment = success.

 

2.   You crying = Ugh…that’s crazy!  Him crying = Oh, how sweet!

 

One of the perils of dating a man on the regular is that, eventually, the issue of the pill is going to come up.  But we know what that means, and it’s not what men expect.  Here’s what we think:

How the hell am I going to act normal when the pill makes me a hyper-hormone mess?

Took the pill. Now my bigger boobs hurt.

Even if they say they’re okay with crying, they’re not.  Crying is weird.  Just don’t do it.  And if you’re on the pill, then pretty much everything will make you cry.  Problem: you’re dating a man semi-regularly (yay) who wants you on the pill.  After effect: one crying episode will repel the man you’re dating semi-regularly.  No solution for this one.  Just use that scarf you knitted to catch em.

But we like it when men cry.  A man in touch with his emotions is sexy.  A woman in touch with her emotions is….a woman.  Experiment = success.

 

I’m hopelessly optimistic in matters of the heart.  I’m holding out hope that being who I’m supposed to be  and acting honestly will get me what I want.  Until then, at least I know the rules.

 

 

Pandas really just need to fuck already.

This is something right out of my act.  Hope you guys enjoy.  This has been expanded a bit and features nice stock photos I may have used without asking (did I?  eh), and it’s been modified slightly, but the point is the same even if everything else isn’t: pandas really just need to fuck already.

The panda is going extinct.  Depending on who you ask, there are 400 in captivity and maybe 1500 in the wild.  That’s about 2000, being a little on the generous side.  Lots of reasons for this: deforestation, human encroachment, weather patterns, el nino….but here’s the real kicker.  As far as protected species go, the Giant Panda is pretty much it.  The hoops that organizations go through to raise the numbers of pandas in the world is bananas.  You so much as give a panda the stink eye and I’m pretty sure Jackie Chan comes and murders you.  I think I read that.  The WWF even has a panda as their mascot.

No, the other WWF. Though I'm pretty sure Macho Man would be a more effective spokesperson.

But none of this is working.  But why, why why why after all this money and all this awareness is the panda still probably going to die?  Well, it boils down to one great flaw in the Giant Panda, and it’s a doozy:

Giant Pandas just don’t like fucking, apparently.

You know the phrase “_____________ like your life depended on it”?  Well, in this case, the _____ is fucking and the “like your life depended on it” is literal.  It’s what needs to happen in order for the continuation of the species.  And they just don’t care.

Oh yeah, I was totally going to, babe, and then I found this tree and decided to kill my entire species with a nap.

Zoo officials have even resorted to panda pornography in order to make pandas more enthusiastic.  Yep, you read that correctly.  They show videos of pandas “doing it” to other pandas in captivity in order to get them excited about mating.

Maybe it looks like this (thanks Microsoft Paint!)

In direct contrast to the panda predicament, there’s a little marsupial in Australia (where else) that, once it hits mating season, will go so hard that it dies.  The males will hump nonstop until they’re covered in sores, and while their seed lives on, they succumb to infections due to their withered, over-sexed bodies.

"Over-sexed? That's a thing, mate?"

The panda could learn a thing or two from this little guy, and other go-getters in general.

We’re trying to save a species that doesn’t like to do pretty much the only thing that anything is wired to do.  We’re not asking pandas to write Chinese officials, or apply for special protection, or do tricks, or ride special vehicles.  But hey, we’d certainly appreciate them taking the initiative.

Baller? Yes.

As humans, we have major experiences, phobias, nuance, intelligence, morality, drive, desires, ambitions.  What the fuck does a panda have?  Oh, lady panda smells?  Does she have a weird laugh?  She doesn’t get along with your shitty panda friends?  Your future depends on you going to poundtown with this lady panda,  don’t you understand?  All of you, unless you get to sexin’, are not going to exist!  It’s pretty damn urgent.  I know you’ve got a lot of bamboo to eat, but come on buddy, take one for the team.

Saved by the Bell: Is This Real Life?

I’ve often thought about how much easier things would be if life were like “Saved by the Bell”.  Yep, I’ve devoted head space to this, not once, but several times.  Part of that reason stems from the fact that everything is boiled into very simple components – a sort of simplicity that real life, let’s face it, fucking blows at.

I just wanted to know how old you are, dick.

1.  All you need to get ahead are some attractive friends.

Samuel “Screech” Powers is fairly smart for a high schooler.  I mean, he built his own sentient robot named Kevin and programmed him to be more interactive than pretty much any robot, er, ever.  That kind of programming is pretty impressive for fully functioning geniuses, let alone those in the relentless grasp of puberty.

Oh God, I'd be so much smarter if I could stop thinking about boners.

And by all accounts, Screech is pretty much only good at one thing: being smart.  He lacks charm, extended periods of coordination, social tact, charisma, confidence, good looks, guile, sex appeal, and other things us humans find to be very helpful in our pursuits.  But he has one thing that very few of us have which is a plucky and stupid-hot best friend that gets away with everything.  Who also happens to be rich.  And likes us for inexplicable reasons: whose coolness is so abundant that they have it to spare and could give a fuck where it lands.  It’s coolness by association.

Here’s the sad truth: people like Screech and people like Zack don’t become best buddies.  They wouldn’t even know each other.  Chances are even higher that people like Zack would beat the shit out of people like Screech…and then steal their girlfriends…you know, because what do they care.

"You don't mind if I do your girlfriend in front of you, do you nerd?"

2.  The girl/boy of your dreams will go out with you if you beat them down enough.

Screech likes Lisa Turtle.  Lisa Turtle does not like Screech.  So, of course, the two go on a date, right?  Because that’s what happens when you like somebody out of your league.  In the episode where they go on a date, Screech actually gets mad at Lisa for being on the phone during said date because, you know, who the hell is SHE?!

Only the hottest girl you'll ever have the privilege of buying dinner for, that's who.

In real life, girls like Lisa Turtle don’t go on pity dates with the nerdiest guy they’ve ever met – they get restraining orders.  Girls like Lisa Turtle will, however, go out with those nerds like Screech if they’re rich, which Screech is still several years from becoming.  But hey, just beat em down and they collapse like a Chilean mine.  That strategy has never worked with me and I’m pretty confident it never worked with you either.

3.  You don’t have to do much work to sustain a relationship.

Zack dates Kelly.  Jessie dates A.C.  Kelly also dates Jeff and breaks Zack’s heart.  Zack dates Tori.  Zack dates Stacey.  Screech dates Violet.  Zack dates Lisa Turtle and breaks Screech’s heart.  There’s a lot of dating going on.  Some of this even has the appearance of being meaningful (spoiler: Zack and Kelly do end up getting married. Sorry bros).  But here’s the kicker: none of them ever talk about anything!  You know all those questions you ask?  You know all that prodding to get to the meat of somebody?  The small talk?  The long talks?  The getting-to-know-you-so-you-can-get-to-know-me talks?  There’s no use for them at Bayside.  Here’s a conversation between Jessie and A.C.:

http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=qwnchrxxlq
You Macho Pig. Oink, Oink, Baby
Here’s a conversation between Kelly and Zack:

Zack: Come on, I’ll walk you to class. What’ve we got?Kelly: Chemistry.

Zack: We sure do.

It’s a series of one-liners.  A series of little jokes about how hot they all are.  And they fall in love without ever really knowing anything about each other except the things that everyone else knows: Kelly’s hot, Zack’s clever, A.C. is a dumb jock, Jessie’s a feminist, Lisa is popular.  That’s it.  If all great relationships followed this example, well….they’d be awesome.

Goddamn, isn't this great not learning anything about what's-her-face?

4. It’s all about letting them think you’re cool.

Mr. Belding is the harried and inept principal of Bayside High.  By what I gather, he’s not really good at anything except asking “Hey, hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?”

I'm dressed like a hoodlum, what do you think is going on here?

When Zack treats him like a douchebag, he doesn’t get bent out of shape about it.  When the opposing high school vandalizes the sacred bastion of Bayside, he doesn’t let it bother him long.  In the end, all that really matters is having fun, letting the kids think you’re cool and….what?

Yep, Mr. Belding lets it all slide as long as Zack and the gang let him feel a part of the action.

By what I know of most adults, especially those in authority, they get no greater pleasure than knocking the youthful elite down a few pegs.  Because they got knocked down a few pegs themselves.  Mr. Belding and the other teachers at Bayside spent their adolescence getting berated and patronized by their elders, and goddammit, a punk like Zack Morris isn’t going to break that chain.

"Aw, he thinks he's people."

Mr. Belding, if he were to exist in real life, would make it his mission to make those kids pay dearly for all the shit he put up with.  He’s got decades of life on them and knows what’s cool and what’s not, and a cocky teenager ain’t it.  But in the world of “Saved by the Bell”, all that matters is having jerks young enough to be your kids think you’re cool.  Vandalism, truancy, and general douchebaggery account for nothing.

If I ever get into a position of authority where I can boss kids around, you bet your shitty-childhood-havin’ ass that I will take advantage.  And mine wasn’t even that bad.  Could you imagine Mr. Belding’s?

But life isn’t like “Saved by the Bell” and it isn’t wrapped up in neat little packages with commercial breaks and milkshakes at The Max.  It’s always a bit more complicated, more nuanced, more of everything.  But a girl can dream.  And hey, there’s always a rerun somewhere.

What George taught me about things I didn’t want to know.

I got into an introspective mood today and watched a lot of stand up.  As a craft, I admire it tremendously, and when I find people that do it well, I’m amazed by it.  I’m an utter novice at it, and will be for some time, and I’m comforted in knowing that all things worth having take time.  It doesn’t bother me.  Sucking at it is part of getting good at it.

After watching some Louis CK, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Patton Oswalt, Chris Rock, Eugene Mirman, and Mitch Hedberg, I ended the evening watching George Carlin.  And it reminded me of something I experienced. I was 12, and I remember having the thought that all of this – the whole living thing – seemed a bit pointless if there was no Heaven or anything to work for.  What good is working, doing good, making good grades, making people happy, if when it’s all over you don’t get rewarded?  I went to a church at the time with very nice people, but me being a precocious and inquisitive asshole, I began to wonder if the stories I was hearing were, I don’t know, a bit far-fetched.  A bit beyond belief.  The idea of a God that would let me struggle while the pastor gets a new Corvette seemed unfair.  So I thought no more of religion.  Even now, I don’t have much thoughts on it at all.  Being an atheist or a believer seems like a pointless question.  Should a hippopotamus wear a cheeseburger hat?  Should I wear black or white socks?  Who cares the answer to either if it’s a question that’s not worth asking?

And listening to George Carlin’s take on this gave me goosebumps.  I hadn’t revisited his bits on religion in awhile (I’d been more absorbed in his disdain for the American Dream, personally), and it took me back to being 12.  And not knowing what all the work was for.  And wondering what was going to happen to me when I died.  And being concerned about that.  And I had an epiphany.

At the end of his religion bit, he’s talking about other fairy tales: Little Red Riding Hood, Humpty Dumpty, and he gets sincere and lets his voice drop.  His delivery was always the thing about him that I most admired.  He knew when to make you laugh and when to let you listen.  It’s a skill he had better than anyone.  And he says that there is no Humpty Dumpty and there is no God, none, not one, no God, never was.  The crowd gasps, because up until that moment he was mocking, pointing out the  hypocrisies, being tongue in cheek, but saying that there is no God has a great bit of finality to it.  And his delivery is so perfect because you know he believes this, you know he’s serious, and he has no reason to lie about it.  Comedy, when it most hits me, is when it tells me something I already know but was too afraid to acknowledge.  In that moment, he said something that made the 12 year old me lose sleep.  But the 27 year old me saw it differently.

Okay, so there is no God.  What does that mean?  What is there?  And what is it for?

It’s for this.  There are things all around us that are huge and amazing.  Each of us was born out of the union of two people – a sperm and an egg that may or may not have been planned, from two people who may or may not have liked each other.  We have the faculties and abilities to do a great many things once we get here.  If we’re not doing it for some great reward when we’re dead, then we must be doing it for the reward we get now.  And it’s not so terrible to think that there is no reward later.  Isn’t living a full life it’s own reward?  Isn’t the fact that we are all just floating specks in a big cup of water something that unites us?  Purpose is relative.  If believing in God fills your life with purpose, then great!  If believing in spaghetti monsters fills your life with purpose, then great!  Whatever you need to lean on is fine with me.  And even if there is no mystical place waiting for me when I die an old lady (or in an unfortunate Darwin awards-worthy accident – let’s be real), the fact that I, out of a million little sperms and one little egg, got to experience something is pretty damn cool and  miraculous in its own, biologically-proven way.  It would be a shame to waste it worrying about what comes after it.

Thanks for that, George.