Tag Archives: Humor

Does This Depression Make Me Look Fat?

I think it has been a bittersweet couple of weeks. There needs to be more activity here, and so I should provide it. The bitter part is staring down the barrel of Winter. However, the sweet part was seeing my high school friend and his wife in Madison, WI a weekend ago. Grass always seems greener when you walk off your property, which is usually used (I’ve noticed) to discourage you from doing something new. I think it’s better used as fair warning, to really make sure you’re making a calculated risk. Anyone travel anywhere recently?

The other sweet part is I have written some more. The sentences aren’t strung as cleverly as I enjoy, but I’m trying to keep Kurt Vonnegut’s advice in my head:

Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

And a chunk of what I’ve been writing:

We stop near a large portcullis and even larger pegged wheel, and I stare at Molvin until he wiggles out of his nest in the back. Grabbing the moist boards of the wheel, he cranks and grunts for the better part of a minute. The barely-lit sewer painted a lively picture which entertained me as I listened to his incessant bitching. Water reflected movement all around me, and slid across the walls of the sewer from the manmade river underground. The long pools wave in strange formations.

Inside and out, the moving wall mosaic had a pleasant rhythm, exciting and returning for encore. The grunting mule behind me was too busy to observe anything. Balancing himself horizontal to the ground by his stomach, he crunches his stomach a few times in a fruitless wiggle. The best that comes of it is a clinks of the chains wrapped around the wheel.

Two tunnels down, the lights stop. It shimmers momentarily and stops again. Staring made the made the light return. Returning my attention to Molvin, I whip my head back to the same spot. Black. “Move,” I mutter, “move, move, move, please move.”

“Ye git dan h’re an’ help den, Jesh!” Molvin’s ruddy face cranes from its parallel position to shout profanity at me and I jump out of the driver seat.

“Damn the gods, Molvin, do I have to do everything myself?” Maybe that was my anxiety getting the better of me but there’s no retraction after that.

“I s’pose ye do, now help!” Quitting the acrobat routine Molvin crouches at the rotten straw near the mechanism.

“Fine, if it gets us closer to the bath house.” Sliding down the seat my approach to the wheel is quicker than I would normally perform. Waiting for Molvin to stop his intermittent bitching, I dig my feet hard into the rocks. The portcullis moves in screams as we strain to roll the wheel in motion. A feeling of nausea tingles in my nose as I close my eyes softly and whimper but we continue until a pawl prevents it from falling at the top. The halls return to the quiet display it once was. Swallowing hard, little prompts me to press on through the gate.

Copyright © 2016 Corvidae in the Fields

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The Foaming Action Means He’s Working

It never fails, or cease to surprise me that I make a few posts to get back into the swing of things and the universe decides to pull me apart. That’s not an excuse, but an explanation nonetheless. I had the most ambitious of personal lists on the three-day time span: outside lighting to install, a yard to clean, clothes to launder, and books to write. I gained such momentum I crashed completely into a brick wall producing a solid paragraph of new material. [Insert Expletive Here]

The relative peace brought by the Labor Day weekend rallied a fierce week of deadlines and customer service challenges making my calves hurt more than getting stood up on your Prom night for Gary, the more well-to-do son of a chiropractor. That’s where I keep most of my stress, and I need to sit down after a while of brooding over people and their obstacles. Side Note: Kelly, I’m glad you showed me your true colors quickly.

So, as I said, I only made a paragraph’s progress on Sunday. That’s pitiful. In lieu of providing anything new to me, how about something new (mostly) to you? Here’s an excerpt from when I was writing back in March.

“Every lump on your face will match that of your gravy!” The sous-chef slapped his saucier enough to make eyes water. His stubs wrenched the pot and heaved it towards an open window. “Make it again, and quick. We’re already an hour behind.” A cuisinier snuck a peek over the stove to catch a ladle in the face. “If this night doesn’t go well, it doesn’t take me to tell you we’ll all be dead by morning.” This made for a typical event night with Gerard Grossecul shading a boundary between fact and melodrama as he explosively smacked the tile on his way to the dining room.

Screams rattled the pins on the sewing desk and down the hall straight out through the wood and iron latticed doors of the estate’s couture house. Mostly bare, a handmaiden scrambled for the chamber door only to be clocked by a half-clothed mannequin. Gathering herself, and the rest of her garments, off the floor she hid behind the wardrobe. The Seamstress Premier Naedlbán took up her shears and pointed it at the wimping wench. “If you can’t sew these seems properly I’ll rip you apart and show you!” Spoiling her tin of threaded spools, she charged at the young lady and buried her scissors in the knotted woodwork. Slowly creeping to the fresh face she whispered, “…and if that doesn’t work, I’ll cut those wretched fingers off. They aren’t doing you any good.”

I’m sure I’ll need to re-read the whole thing once it’s completed in draft format, but it seems to fit together enough that I don’t feel like scrapping the whole thing.

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Sunday, May 25th, 2014 – Why Do You Write?

It would seem bad form not to tell you the results of my letter writing campaign to the Ohio House of Representatives. Out of 99 representatives contacted, only 4 had replied with an actual response. There were 5 others who had the auto-response system set up, but that’s not really acceptable. Of those 4 representatives who took the time to respond, only one was longer than two sentences. Even though he wasn’t my district representative, I enjoyed our conversation. Funny how ten sentences can brighten one’s day.

Now, on with the blog hop as requested by Laura Lynn from  Cancer: My Journey Back to Health-Kicking & Screaming the Whole Damn Way. Yeah, it’s a chain post and I’m not huge on them, but it’s Laura Lynn. She has been nice to me for as long as I’ve known her.

What am I working on?

In the short-term nothing. I’ve picked up a new organization (BNI) in April, which has some elements of Kiwanis/Rotary International without the community outreach element. I think of it as a business dating service where the “dates” are referred business. You get to know and trust the people in your group and refer clients in need of member services to them. Most members are local merchants anyway. So, you’re helping out people in your community get more business to stay in business. This has taken much of my time in the past five weeks, and I don’t regret it.

In the long-term, I’ve always got My City by the Bay, which I haven’t finished. It’ll need a new title (sorry, Steve Perry). I stopped when I hit a logic gap in a pursuit scene. The back of my mind has been telling me that no seasoned detective would let the suspect drive off after he visited his girlfriend’s apartment. They could question the girlfriend later, if they lose him but they need to follow the suspect further. Personally, with all of the writing improvements I’ve learned in the past year, I’d like to rework the entire story including a VERY edgy part that dealt with bigotry and racism in the non-lofty, street-level, day-to-day sense.

Too many Americans want to take this topic and make it all lofty, when the application is so flawed we [Americans] can’t even see straight. I like the overall premise of the chapter and the ending, but there’s an even harder uppercut I need to swing. I felt like I was gingerly dancing around the point, even though I jumped straight into the lake.

Aside from that, there’s the flash fiction that I’ve become somewhat adept at writing. While I have practiced at it for a few months, it seems the most natural of all types of fiction to write. I do want to be a novelist. I love developing stories and characters and starting fresh in a new book. I don’t like sequels. I think that’s the author’s way of being lazy. If my work ever goes public, the powers-that-be would have to be very convincing for me to write a sequel to any of my non-existent books.

Although I’ve never mentioned it here, there is another novel idea I’ve shelved months ago. I’ve desperately tried to keep it away from the Young Adult genre, but in a late-night cabal of wannabe writers another has said “yeah, that has YA written all over it.” Damn it!

How Does My Writing Differ?

At this point in time, does any current writer have much difference? We’re all variations on a theme. Millennia of authors pouring out pages upon pages of stories have covered so much, it’s difficult not to be seen as a writer who came before. Is there really much anymore to differ? I suppose I could say I have a better knack for coming up with people’s names than I’ve seen with others writers, but that’s not much. I’d leave the identification of difference to the reader. I suppose that’s why they’d read my material? They’d know better than I would.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

Mostly because I don’t want my life to be a “series of beige incidents” as coined by Patton Oswalt. I want something to be here when I leave. I don’t want to wake up 85 and have nothing to show for myself, except an oxygen tank and tears. Hell, even if it’s mediocre prose that’s something. It’ll make Vonnegut happy.

Do you hear that Bukowski?! I am trying!

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I wouldn’t call it a “process.” Most people won’t understand how ironic that statement is, until they realize I’m a classically-trained accountant. I’ve dealt with creating processes for the better part of fifteen years, and I can’t even control a pet project of mine. How funny is that?

Some of the time, it starts with a trip to a bar or a later trip to a hash house. Waffle House is the best place to write at 3:00 in the morning. Why? It’s open, and the people aren’t intellectuals. Non-intellectuals make for great people watching, because they act out more often. It’s a funnier story when the drunk guy is singing to his penis in encouragement to urinate.

I keep a mole skin journal and a mechanical pencil in my car, Falcor. No, it’s not a sports car or anything flashy. It’s a Honda Accord. I can name my car whatever I damn well please. Over a glass of cheap red wine or “luxurious” cup of Arabica coffee, I scribble sentences. More often than not, they turn into stories. I’ve yet to figure out how that happens, but it does. So, I don’t argue with it much.  After I have a “starter,” as I like to call it, I take it home to be written in a WordPress post.

Recently, I’ve also been posting them in the writer’s prompt section of Reddit, but have found it less rewarding. The people on Reddit are of low caliber, and aren’t really as mature as they need to be to discuss writing. Often times, it seems like wasted effort.

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This is where I would pass the writing duties of the blog hop to two other bloggers. Guess what? I’m not going to do that. I don’t believe in chain posting. Good night, Seattle. We love you!

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Promulgated

The song “Black Sunshine” was apropos as Marissa floored it down the 10. She couldn’t let a freak storm impede the progress of her Shelby Cobra on its way to destiny. This was her date with death, if it came down to it. Traffic had to go. All this weaving was making for an even more miserable experience. Was she trying to stop a catastrophe for these people? Sometimes she wondered its worth, especially with all the persecution.

Being a manipulator of the forces around her was still a problem for those raised on too many fairy tales. Good and evil always begin in a neutral state. Those who use their mystical attributes take them down that road. Her father, Hogan, would often prance into her study with, “Oh-hoo-hoo, are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Such was his nature to be cheeky, and often used common society to irritate her to no end. Teenage angst, being what it was, would always seem to give him the satisfaction of a reaction to his facetiousness.

Those were easier times for the young sorceress, up in the Superstitions. It was a veritable paradise compared to the current state of affairs. Time was endless and there was always a centuries-old book to crack open. Scribbles could dance with the touch of her fingers even when they were much older than the country she called home. “The trade was eternal,” Hogan would say.

He left when she was 20. It may have been just a matter of independence, a going of one’s own way. That was understandable to a certain extent, but to never get back in contact? She couldn’t think of anything she did to turn him away. A second pair of hands would be well received right about now. There were countless, terribly dangerous users on the isolation planes that could peel the crust off this planet as if it were an orange and with little effort.

Signs were everywhere, but usually explained away with science and reason. Two new moons, sinkholes everywhere, the Flight of the Phoenix, and this unending thunderstorm meant something more sinister than mere traditional explanations. A male member of the tribe was resurrecting himself from suspension. This was a serious Council infraction and whoever it was needed to be put down like a rabid dog. She read no one was willing to return to their assigned dimension.

Turning off on a county road, she skidded left of center and back in time to miss a rig driver laying on his horn for all it was worth. Slick as the road was, it wasn’t nearly as perilous as the destination. A steadiness came over her as she pushed the needle past 80 mph. Everyone she knew, including herself, would be shot to Hell without doing all in her power to get there.

The reception square lay in a remote part of Arizona. Inconspicuousness favored sparsely populated areas. Convicted members would have to rest and regain their strength from such a brazen move. More than likely they would hole up in a cave or derelict house for a few days with their thoughts and motives.

Surrounded by sagebrush and sand, the platform disguised itself as slate rock partially buried in the Earth. Saguaro and yucca obscured it further from the road, but the inter-dimensional charge gave it a light white halo for the trained eye. Marissa was in the right spot; she’d soon find out who she risked life and limb to stop.

The Council of the Dogs was completely unaware of the happenings in Arizona. A New York committee spent that time arguing over the regulations of their charter, which have been known to take years on more than one occasion. She was the point of contact for the desert southwest, which meant little to nothing in the eyes of bigger fish. After three ignored missives, she decided to enforce the will of the Council herself.

 A tall cactus made for the best impromptu cover she could afford. Holding on to the relief of arriving early, rain beat down soaking her to the bone. Through stringy pink hair she surveyed the landing site intently, even though she wanted to fly far away from it. It was too late to have a change of heart.

The glow ceased and the rain gave way as a peal of thunder ripped a hole in the desert before her. A white eye with large black pupil shimmered and curls of darkness gracefully slid out into this world as the passenger came close to the exit. Marissa thought of the old 1950s horror films with their excessive use of dry ice and water. Someone’s science fair project won first place.

A sinister sight emerged from the portal and fell to the ground. Such was the way of  forbidden rituals. Even the most powerful of magicians would be weakened by it. Some fare better than others, but there was always a negative impact on the user. This was her best chance to gain the upper hand. Shouts as good as any law enforcement came forth as she charged the spent figure on the ground.

“In the name of Alexia Oroyo and the Council, I am here to enforce the rules set forth in the tribal charter. Your sentence was to be served as promised, and reintroduction is a clear violation of said promise. No exile is to return from their suspension unless granted explicit permission by the Council itself. Under these conditions, I must either escort you back to your imprisonment or destroy you. That choice will rest with your actions.” It sounded authoritative enough, even if she had no experience with either.

“Are you a good witch?” Inquired the fatigued warlock, “or a bad witch?” He couldn’t quite raise himself up off the floor, but was trying regardless.

Marissa knew that voice. So long had it been, the sound of her father moved her to tears. This was the last person she’d expect to meet at a charter breach rendezvous. Why was he in limbo to start? It certainly would explain his disappearance, but the new question was a little harder to answer.

“Dad! Why are you here? Why were you there?! What’s going on? Tell me! I don’t want to kill you, but that’s not saying I won’t.” Patience wasn’t the strongest of her virtues.

Swallowing hard and gaining moisture back in his mouth, Hogan tried to explain. He wanted to lay out the whole story, but could only manage “needed to see you.” With this he took in slow deep breaths and looked at her for a reaction.

No amount of training could prepare a member for this situation. Sifting through her thoughts she lifted her father and supported him on the way to the car. Many people make poor choices; she was willing to gamble this time. The Council certainly wouldn’t approve.

© 2014 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday. Well, it’ll be later than that when you read this post. I seem to have ground a little too hard on the last story and find myself in a fog today. Certainly things like the laundry got done, but nothing creative. I feel like a lout when that happens. To be in the flow of writing is such a wonderful experience. It’s direction in an otherwise listless existence. There’s even a writer’s prompt I’m halfway interest in. It seems as though I’ve not the energy to answer it right yet.

I love Saturday night. It’s a night I like to be out of the house. Unfortunately, I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth spending the money to sit at a bar and pay $5.00 plus tip for a Fat Tire. Now before I hear “that’s cheaper than (location)” I’ll remind you they pay us less in the Fields. It’s a wash. I suppose I could hit the $2.00 Bud Light specials… no, I’ll go without before I go Bud Light.

The additional work is still in the searching phase. It seems if I don’t have a Commercial Driver’s License (re: trucking) or manufacturing experience, I’m out of luck right now. There is an ad for an exotic dancer. I’m sure they’re talking about females. Even if they weren’t, I’m not exactly dancing material. I even hate doing the hokey pokey.

One thing that cutting back has helped me with is cooking at home. Granted most people would get tired of baked chicken, but its time delay lets me do other things around the house. Normally, I’m the type to focus on what I’m doing with little distraction but manual work’s always multitasking. Funny how that works.

My mind’s getting to me. Where did I put my car keys?

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Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Oh, the people that you will meet.

Tonight is Super Bowl Sunday, but that was not why I was at a sports bar. That was for dinner, as it was close and I didn’t want to cook. I’d have to do some grocery shopping as well. Over the din of fans and children, I found a spot on the patio. Truth be told it was to smoke a cigarette. It’s a touchy subject, but I cannot lie about it.

Depending on a person’s point of view, I either had the fortune or misfortune of being either entertained or held hostage by a sir of some 50 years of age. He started with commenting on the football game. No one around here appreciates the “handegg” label I’ve applied to it. I thought the suggestion was rather convincing myself. Regardless, he spoke highly of Seattle’s coordination and ability. I merely wanted to smoke my cigarette and wonder if Sancho Panza truly believed he was going to get a parcel of land out of Don Quixote, or if he was playing along for the ride.

Then the conversation took a turn. That is to say, he went straight into politics with little warning. Now, I’m not a huge fan in talking about something I don’t have much control over to start. It’s often the same love or hatred for one politician or another, or the intricacies of a bill/law. He wasn’t talking about that though. No, he was talking about hardcore conspiracy theory. The gentleman was of the impression the entire globe was priming up for the next world war.

What the Devil do you do with that? It’s like being dressed for a cookout and taken to a black-tie event. You instantly don’t want to be there. How do you unroll, with no time for consideration of thought or delivery (ESPECIALLY delivery), while it’s possible conspiracy theorists can be right they can also be very wrong. Conspiracy theorists are convinced no matter what. It’s not even a discussion; it’s being talked at.

I’ve tried to think of several ways to get people of this nature through the whole ordeal without too much fuss, and then I can go about my interests. It’s currently to let them talk at me, and have them go back to their business. That never seems to be enough though. They want agreement. They want validation. That is thought bullying, and I don’t care for it.

He started off with his version of an “intelligence test,” which I don’t think I passed but that’s inconsequential. The disputed quote from Albert Einstein is, “everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” It has some validity. No human can know it all, although many often think otherwise.

After letting him ramble for about 10 minutes, I finally excused myself for dinner. Otherwise, it would have been much longer than that. He wouldn’t finish. It was verbal diarrhea at its best. I’m not going into details, but he’s convinced it will start with the bombing of Israel and roll into global destruction. Again, what is there to discuss? The world has had a history of war and destruction as far as people have kept records. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, which is the way it has been in the past. Am I to quake every night about it? Do I have control over the powers that be to bring about the Age of Aquarius?! No, of course not.

It’s times like this that I think of Kurt Vonnegut, and his use of the Serenity Prayer. It also brings me to the question: when does one believe people like Nietzche’s madman and when does one throw him out of the church for running amok?

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Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

I forgot I wanted to write a post about this article from December. It fills me with an impish joy only the antics of my fellow Ohio residents could supply. There won’t be any disagreement out of me, even if the study is a bit flawed. To do Ohio justice, calling large corporations with several layers of a phone system rarely leads to happiness. Not considering such actions provocation on the part of companies is a bit naïve by the survey team. Also Time Warner, AT&T, and Comcast (so I hear) can go play Frogger on I-80. I’ve just finished my fourth calling session with AT&T in the past 24 hours. Do you really think I’m going to be a cheerful bear after that?

No, I’m not.

Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear with nine interstates full of out-of-state traffic zipping by me at 80, 85, and 90 MPH?

No, I’m not. It’s hard enough to keep the state’s population policed.

Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear after hearing the general rage-spit about the 2004 elections, or more recently John Boehner of whom I had no ability to cast a vote against?

No, I’m not.

Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear when the coastal regions act like we’re some kind of step down to their genteel way of life?

No, I’m not.

Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear, when the industries we worked so hard to maintain are now shipped to China and Mexico with little left to show for it but dilapidated factories and unemployment?

No, I’m not.

Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear when my own country deems my area too unimportant to fix health and safety issues on their body of water?

No, I’m not.

Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear when the four seasons end up to be Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction?

No, I’m not.

Do you think I’m going to be a cheerful bear when the rest of the country thinks this state doesn’t measure up their standards of courtesy?

The fuck I will.

With all that said, yes, Ohioans are fairly edgy overall.  I think the economic, environmental, and social stressors are getting to them. It has made people a little crunchy around the edges. There are deep divides in the political, religious, and philosophical canvases of which no one is really interested in closing. What else would you expect from a state that gave you William Tecumseh Sherman and Marilyn Manson? It has led to practice of staunch individualism with mediocre results.

I do get mad about the state of which I’ve lived in for over 30 years. I do make insulting remarks when I see preventable failure withing state lines, but it’s more in the form of wanting improvement out of a developed location. Outsiders simply want to make comments to feel better about their situation and birthplace. That’s why you see a seemingly double-standard when it comes to criticism.

If it weren’t so hacked up and shattered, I think several people would have chosen to stay. People get mad at other people. Other people leave to find better people. People get mad that other people left. It’s a vicious circle, or maybe a little like a downward spiral.

Nine Inch Nails… Cleveland band.

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Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

What does one do when Canada camps out on your front stoop?

A) Shovel the stoop in hopes a snow caterpillar (i.e. drift) arrives.

B) Perform a nude interpretive dance of “O, Canada”.

C) Throw boiling hot water into the wind with the intent of having your flesh seared.

D) Play chicken with the plow truck.

E) Wet the street down to make an impromptu ice rink… for cars.

The answer is F) you stay inside and make sure the pipes don’t burst.

The Fields are no stranger to winter weather. There have been multiple times where temperatures have reached -23.3° C (-10° F) or less in my lifetime. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. This is where someone chimes in “well, here’s it’s (lesser temperature) every winter!” We all know that person.

You know what? Good for you! Do you want a cookie? If I’m grumbling about -24° C weather (with a hearty -38° C wind chill), I’m not all that interested in your location right now. I’m more interested in busting up that snow drift at the end of my driveway, courtesy of the street department, to get to my mailbox. Better yet, I’m trying to think of places that I could do a nude interpretive dance of “O, Canada” without receiving a blue ribbon in frostbite or hypothermia. As I type, I hear another plow truck. The shovel just hit something very crunchy. I think he might have broken up more of my curb. 😐

All of this can be used for good though. If I ever get out of here, which could simply mean my house right now, I know that relocating further North is out of the question. I’m through with Winter. I can’t be shut up more than 24 hours in my house or I start to feel all weird. It’s that kind of weird you get when you buy a completely inappropriate gift for someone and no one else finds the humour in it. I should be doing something right now. Adventure! At the very least, things at the office. OK, so maybe it’s just things at the office but still. There’s a potential for adventure. I’ll leave my office door open for that.

Maybe I could be a beach bum in some Caribbean island, and spend the rest of my days scaring children and making people give me pocket change by following them around talking gibberish? I’d make a little hut out of corrugated metal and share it with a coconut named Nigel, who would always correct me by saying “‘Sir’ Nigel, if you please.” I’d also scavenge a small radio that would play hokey lite rock where I would sing out of key to Jimmy Buffet and Christoper Cross. Yeah, that’s the life right there.

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People Love Torment

Scha·den·freu·de (N): a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.

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If there’s one thing I can count on in Americans, it’s the Nelson Muntz archetype. We love watching other people suffer. Any standard comedian will have some level of enjoyment in other people getting the short end of the stick, whether it be slipping on ice or missing the train by a few seconds. In fact, one of my favorite musical numbers is called “Schadenfreude.” (Warning: NSFW)

This leads me to interacting with attractive people, and my austere sense of manners. Emotions aren’t something you can simply turn off. If you can, you’re on your way to being a sociopath. I get extremely uncomfortable in avoiding embarrassment in front of 9s and 10s. These are people I consider 9s or 10s. Please keep that in mind. So, you can imagine the sheer terror I had when the physician’s assistant at my most recent doctor’s visit was a 9.

My mind starts in with the comments:

Antagony: “Hmm, what do her hands look like?”
Me: “Please don’t.”
Antagony: “Hey, eyes, pan down to the left hand. Would ya?”
Me: “NoooOOOooo!”
Antagony: “Would you look at that? She brushed up against your knee.”
Me: “What?! Oh God, mouth, keep shut!”
Antagony: “Ha! While you weren’t paying attention I got word she had no rings on her finger.”
Me: “This is a medical exam. Cut it out!”
Antagony: “I’m sure she’s in a terrible relationship with a 26 year-old med student playboy who drinks his dinner and is sleeping around behind her back.”
Nate: “None of that matters. Enough!”
Antagony: “WHAAAaat? Are you saying a 34 year-old neurotic with body by Patton Oswalt doesn’t have a chance with a gorgeous physician’s assistant who looks like she’s 10 years your junior?”
Me: “This is not the time nor the place for this!”
Antagony: “Relaaaax. Mouth hasn’t been paying attention anyway. He is going on about any known allergies in the past… what… 10 years? Besides, I’m having a LOT of fun here.”
Me: “Stop it!”

At this point I would be completely anxious I wouldn’t pull a Jon Lovitz’s character, Jay Sherman, and say it out loud. Then it would be just too awkward to bear.

I hate awkwardness, and think that’s why I couldn’t enjoy Meet the Parents. That’s all it was. I’ve been awkward many times before, and have made a concerted effort not to be awkward. Being reminded of that isn’t pleasant.

So, maybe you’ve found some enjoyment in my discomfort in striving for propriety? If so, that doesn’t make you a bad person, just human.

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The Spectre of Online Dating

It’s a new age of dating. I get that. I may not be all that comfortable with it, but I get it.

We’re in an era where I could Skype with that special someone over many, many miles. I’m horrible (mildly put) at long-distance relationships (LDRs) though. People need to be physically present in my life, or I have a tendency to… misplace… their existence. That’s not meant in a malicious way, rather I can focus on subjects so intensely I get distracted from the world around me.

Truth be told, making an online profile is the worst part of the ordeal. It’s a real chore, too. I have a hard enough time writing stories, let alone non-fiction. The non-fiction is just as odd. I’m odd, and my base model personality makes women nervous. There’s an American saying that goes along with my bad luck: shit happens. At least, that’s what Americans tend to think.

The bigger problem is that I’m way too honest. With dating, I’ve noticed over the years, there’s an element of deception. An overstated job title here, a stuffed bra there, and we’ve got two people who are now the romantic equivalent of used car salesmen. I’d only wish they’d dress the part. I haven’t seen a seersucker suit in years. What’s it gonna take to get you in this car today, gorgeous? *finger guns*

A few years ago, I braved OK Cupid for a valiant 6-month effort, until I found out all the people interested were simply looking for a male nanny to help raise their kid(s). Yes, I’m no longer 20 years old, but you’re transparent madam. I know you’d undermine me every step of the way. There was also the epiphany of me maintaining the account solely for the quizzes and questions. Hey! I like knowing I would be an oak, if I were a tree or my spirit animal’s a three-toed sloth. It’s entertaining. Thank you.

So, I ditched that.

On a particularly emotionally-wrenching Tuesday night, I tried putting myself through eHarmony. It was half-hearted, and I hate the use of children in their commercials*, but I wasn’t going to have hilarity and hijinks with Tinder. I went through the sliding scale of personality questions, and before I finished I got to the “about me” section. The part I dread. I always feel obligated to write this phony-baloney spiel about how I like long walks at dinner and candle-lit beaches. Then my mind spat out the description as only a love-weary Nate could:

Hey, I’m Nate. I’m not rich, nor do I look good in spandex. I’m a 34 year-old single guy who is going on 85. I’m sure you’re the model of poise, too. I hold lengthy conversations with myself, because it’s the best conversation I can find on most days. The small town I live in doesn’t hold academics or pop culture in the same regard as I do. Thus I’m often left reading in bars or coffee shops, instead of discussing riveting topics such as NASCAR or college football. I’ve taken to calling it handegg, after seeing an online argument for such, but many people aren’t on the handegg train yet. Also, sometimes I act like a New York City cabbie on the road and think Frisky Dingo was a better grown-up cartoon than Archer.

I’m not looking for a super heroine. Although, if you wanted to dress up for Comicon, I’d help you find the costume. I’m sure you have as many flaws as I do, but are probably too embarrassed to be forthright with them. I understand. However, I know it was you who farted when you tried blaming it on your pets. Liar, liar, pants on fire. After scarfing a bowl of chili like that, mine would be too.

I’m looking for a woman who doesn’t feel like society requires her to shave her legs. I know I don’t. You shave your legs, if it makes you feel better. I shave my face because I like it. If you want to walk around like Alice the Goon, I’m happy to aid and abet that too.

I stopped to reread what I had wrote in a stream of consciousness. It was riddled with so much genuine feeling, it felt good to get it out. However, after so many years of watching people date, I knew it wouldn’t get the time of day. I stopped typing and exited the window. That’s still way too heavy for me.

I don’t know. I’m probably better off being single.

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* – The latest commercial stars the founder and his granddaughter. The whole commercial is forced, and gives off a feel of exploitation that I was never fond of. It’s the same feeling when school children are roped into selling magazine subscriptions. It all reeks of pandering.

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