Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Real Life Adventures

What’s happening on dating apps and why don’t I understand it

Anyone who is friends with me on Facebook knows I make a lot of jokes about dating apps and the things I encounter there. I am single. Were I to get into a relationship that ended with me deactivating my dating app subscriptions, I would have significantly less comedic material for social media.

That being said, here are some trends on dating apps that I would like someone to explain to me. I have added my own explanations from deep within my own mind, but feel free to comment with your own interpretation.

1. The tiger picture

Guys like to take picture with tigers. They probably think it makes them look dangerous.

My assumption: you are at some zoo event where they let you have a close encounter.

Better option: Take a picture of yourself holding a Starbucks cup without the sleeve. Caution: contents may be hot? I don’t care. I like to live on the edge.3a5

2. The mirror shot

These poor souls don’t have any friends who can hold their cameras for them to take a picture. But, there are so many mirror shots on dating apps, I’m starting to think it’s something else entirely.

My assumption: Mirror seeks like-minded individual to reflect with. Why are so many mirrors lonely? What do they see in themselves?

Better option: Clean your mirror and bathroom before you take a picture of it. Just saying…

3. All your pictures are of you outdoors

My assumption:  I assume you’re homeless.

Better option: Take a few pictures inside. Pretend you have a couch that you sit on every once in awhile. I’m an indoor cat. We’re not going to have a good time if all you want to do is hike. Prove your human and have a roof over your head.

4. Same shirt

My assumption: you only have one shirt

Better option: have more than one shirt

5. Same hat

My assumption: you only have one hat or you are bald

Better option: prove you have more than one hat or hair

6. Headless torso looking for love

There’s this tendency (and usually it’s a mirror picture) to hold the phone in front of your face while you take a picture in the mirror, thus making the face invisible.

My assumption: you have no face. You’re just a headless torso looking for love. And, unless you’re trying to make a matching in Sleepy Hollow, it’s a little weird.

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Let’s goooo for coffeeeeee…but only pumpkin spice.

Better option: have some pictures with your face in them

And, last, but not least:

7. The Entrepreneur

Most dating apps want you to list your job. Sometimes, especially in Hollywood, you can’t say what you do because you signed a non-disclosure or your an agent who will only get unsolicited material if you tell people that on any kind of social platform.

Then, there’s the guy that puts entrepreneur.

My assumption: You are unemployed.

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Better option: Look. For five years, I worked for a COMPANY that helped entrepreneurs and small businesses. After 5 years, I realized that, while entrepreneur might be a state of mind, it’s not a job. If you are a founder of a company, that’s a job. If you’re a CEO, CFO, COO of a company you helped create, that’s a job. Entrepreneur…you aren’t allowed to get away with that. So, dig deep in your brain and come up with something that is an actual occupation or just leave that part blank.

Life is hard. Dating is difficult. We are all just groping in the void trying to make some kind of connection in a world that cares nothing for our happiness.

Don’t make it harder on yourself.

But, I guess if being a headless torso looking for love works for you, don’t fix what ain’t broke.

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Hey Now, You’re Two Princes. Just go ahead now. Go play.

Awhile ago, I posted on Facebook a joke that wasn’t a joke.

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Like, raindrops on roses…or whiskers on kittens?

It says hipsters. But, it almost feels like it should say “millennials.” Let’s all sit here and stew in whether or not those are two different things…

Before I spin off into a discussion about why you shouldn’t trust anything a hipster says about existential philosophers, let’s change course.

Last weekend, I…DID..A…THING!

That’s right, people. I actually left the house. It’s sort of a big deal. I don’t like going places. I prefer staying with my cats. I have hint of agoraphobia that manifests itself as a constant worry of whether or not I locked the door when I left. I’d rather just not leave the house.

But, I did.

I went to a free concert. (Fill in your own tangent about how many free things there are to do in LA)

The concert was part of the 2018 Pershing Square Summer Concert Series. Other acts over the course of the summer included The Bangles, Pat Benatar, and the concert I went to: Spin Doctors and Smash Mouth.

I didn’t consider myself a big fan of either of those bands. I’m one of those on the outskirts yelling, “Play the one song we all know!” because that’s the one that got them on the radio. And, of course, we all know the Smash Mouth song from Shrek (which is really the Smash Mouth song from Mystery Men, but I digress). I rolled into the venue, had my one overpriced Blue Moon, sat on one of the park’s retaining walls, and grooved on late 90’s/early 00’s rock surrounded by downtown LA skyscrapers while planes drifted overhead on their way to the airport.

I took one 10 second video.

When I sent that video to a sibling, he told me that people only pay to see Smash Mouth concerts sarcastically.

First, is he right?

I have no way to prove this. Maybe he’s just being sarcastic about people being sarcastic? The only problem is that it sounds reasonable. There’s always a chance that he’s wrong.

Second, maybe he is right?

Back in the early ’10s, there was this wave of hipsters liking things “ironically.” They would say they were wearing a Chip and Dale t-shirt ironically. They went to screenings of Back to the Future ironically. They only liked certain bands ironically.
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Before you think I’m making this up, I’m at least 95% sure I’ve heard someone say this in real life. But, I live in Hollywood, so that’s the sort of person I overhear.

Third, if he is right, why? Why don’t hipsters simply like what they like?

I loved Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. Want me to sing the song for you? I’ll do it.

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Some times some crimes go slippin’ through the cracks

I love Back to the Future.

And, I didn’t realize when I decided to go to the concert, Smash Mouth was sort of KoRn Lite when I was younger. I liked KoRn, but they had that parental advisory barrier-to-entry sticker on it. Smash Mouth was a little safer, a bit more accessible, but not as sticky-sweet pop as Britney Spears and Nsync. I knew more of their songs than I thought I did. And, they leaned into their hits with the expectation of audience participation.

I think there is a fear that, if we like something, we will be criticized for enjoying it. To protect ourselves from that criticism, we say we like something, gauge the reaction, and, if someone else doesn’t respond the way we want, we immediately pull it back.

That’s dumb.

I judge you for judging me judging you based on something you have judged for yourself.

It says more about a person if they can only enjoy something because other people like it, too.

Be unapologetic. Like what you like. Don’t waste time liking something because people tell you that you should.

If that were the case, I would consider Batman Begins a good movie and would acknowledge that Ed Sheeran is famous.

I refuse.

What do you unapologetically like? What have you been mocked for liking? Also, is Nickelback bad or do I just think they’re bad because everyone says they are?


The Dig

Whenever I clean out my refrigerator, it’s a combination archaeological and anthropological endeavor. It’s not just a deep dig into grocery products past, but a dive into a bygone era, when decisions were made with unremembered logic.

1. Research and evidence must be collected and presented to the Board of the Superego to fund the refrigerator project.

I don’t like cleaning out my fridge.

I don’t like cleaning. I don’t like spraying and wiping down. I don’t like vacuuming. I do like walking around in my bare feet. Those last two things don’t play well together.

Anyway, on this particular occasion, the Board was presented with a gift that needed to be seated within the refrigerator. The only problem was, the item in question (see image) was too tall to live within the confines of the current shelf setup of the refrigerator.

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The Board considered and came to the unanimous conclusion that one shelf shall be removed and I would have to make due with two shelves instead of one rather than actually take the time to clean out the fridge.

After wrestling the shelf out, life continued as normal. Which brings us to the second step of the project.

2. The Board realizes its error

Even if you are only one person, you cannot live with just two shelves in the refrigerator. The time has come. The Board is unanimous. The shelf must be reinstalled at a higher level if we are to operate normally within the universe of the apartment.

They funded an exploratory committee.

Adjusting refrigerator shelves is a delicate and complicated process. One must consider what they intend to place on the shelves before placing them three inches apart. Does the egg carton fit on that narrow space? Yes. Can the string cheese be tetrised in? Yes.

Operation Wire Shelf is a go.

3. The exploratory committee explores

The space that the refrigerator lives in is not large enough to open the door completely. This is normally not a problem, as you don’t really need to open the door the entire way to grab the things you need. But, you do need to open the door the entire way to install shelves.

Through a complicated bit of wrestling, we now have a refrigerator that will open wide enough to allow for the shelf to be replaced. 451

As long as there is no shelf above it.

4. You do what you should have done a long time ago.

You empty the fridge.

The first big find of the excavation was an unopened jar of Welch’s grape jam. The popping metal lid has yet to be unpopped.

I have no idea when I bought this. I also don’t know how long jam lasts, opened or otherwise. And, as I sit here typing this, I’m not even sure Welch’s sells jam in these kinds of containers anymore. How long has this been here?

The second find was a half-empty (half-full?) bottle of Kung Pao sauce. Whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, it doesn’t really matter, as it expired two years ago. Yes, I had Kung Pao sauce that expired in 2016. I’ve had that longer than one of my cats.

Why did I need Kung Pao sauce? I can’t remember ever using it, even though it is half-empfullty. But, at the time, I must have been very excited for whatever Kung Pao concoction I was making.

Don’t worry. There are cool things, too. Like that bottle of water I got from the Iron Man 3 set.

Last, I found a large jar of ground Kroger brand medium roast coffee.

Ah, I know when I must have bought this. It was a simpler time, when I was unemployed and buying in bulk. It was before I became an adult and bought a grown-up coffee grinder. Poor Kroger brand. You didn’t even bother to give your coffee a fancy name, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Caffeine or Don’t Worry, It Still Brews Up In Tears.

5. Carefully dispose of the evidence.

6. Enjoy your new shelf.

My new shelf does not have very wide clearance, so I have chosen to call it the “Cheese Shelf.” It is where the cheese sits. And, it was worth the effort.

As I sit here, drinking a cup of steaming Kroger Medium, I wonder what my refrigerator would say if it could talk. Maybe something like,

“This Kung Pao sauce has a funk to it that needs to be addressed.”

Or:

“This glass pitcher is completely empty. I refuse to chill it unless it is filled with something.”

And, I’m thankful for my talking refrigerator. Because at least it’s not a SubZero. Those are just so frosty and judgmental.


Lemonade. Or, perhaps, some sort of lemon salad

It’s weird when life hands you lemons. And you’re like, “Sour yellow fruit.” And everyone says you’re supposed to make lemonade and there’s this big metaphor and it makes you feel better, or, usually, doesn’t.lemons_5836497465

It’s weirder when life hands you lemons and you look around and think, “Well, shit. Turns out that’s the only ingredient I was missing.”

I was recently laid off from my job. They gave me three weeks of warning, which is a fair amount of time and gave me the security of rent for another month, if not car and student loan payments. I made the preemptive call to my parents. Not quite an SOS. Just making sure the channel is open.  Because we see an iceberg coming and we don’t know if we can avoid it. With years of experience in the job market, they have the context to know what to expect.

There was the rush of calculation. How much money do I need to survive? How many years of experience? Am I even good at anything? I had the same job for 6 years and now it’s gone. There’s no paycheck. There’s no clocking in. If I have to move back to Texas…I won’t move back to Texas. I will become homeless before that happens.

In three days, I applied for a California driver’s license and became a Lyft driver, thinking, “It’s something.”

I applied for jobs. Hundreds of jobs. Tons and tons of jobs. Maybe one in a hundred got me an interview.

I didn’t really realize anything was wrong until I met with a rep at a temp agency. I gave him my salary requirements, more than I made at my last job, and he laughed. He literally laughed out loud and said to me, “You’re being robbed.”

It was a sobering moment. I didn’t particularly like or dislike my previous job. It was something I did. It was something I did well. It was something I was paid to do, but I didn’t know I was being robbed.

Then, I got a paycheck from Lyft.

I was being robbed. Driving my car for 10 hours over the course of two days netted me over $200. I can make $20 an hour if I drive smart. Plus, fuel rewards were saving me on every fill-up, I was meeting and talking to interesting people, I was getting to know Los Angeles better than I’ve ever known. Lyft is the best job I’ve ever had.

A 9 to 5 job interview came up and I actually had to weigh the options of accepting a “real job” position over just driving my car whenever I felt like it because the material rewards were balanced.

I mean, when was the last time I had to sit down and think, “What am I doing with my life?” That kind of thing is left to college students who have the luxury of wasting time.

A slow realization has dawned.

Getting laid off may have been the best thing that happened to me.

It’s an interesting feeling to be handed lemons and open the cupboard to find sugar, a juicer, filtered water, and a frosty pitcher staring at me like, “Where you been?”

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Or, maybe the ingredients for some sort of lemon salad. I could really go for a lemon ice right now…


Adventures in Cosplay

It all started with a text.

Joe: Hey, that foam you need to make armor. Can that be any color?

Me: Yeah. You just spray paint over it.

Joe: I have something for you to see.

Someone in our apartment complex had used EVA foam pieces to try to sound proof their walls (they were a music student) and they were throwing out all of their pieces. All of them. I ended up around 30 pieces of foam. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s this stuff.

EVA Foam

You may recognize me from children’s playrooms.

I had been doing some research about armor material for cosplay. I had bought some of this and built a Loki helmet over the course of a weekend. Now, here I was, with a surplus of foam. What to build?

Having fallen in love with the movie Frozen, I decided to make a warrior Elsa costume. Not just Elsa in armor, but Elsa in armor that she forged out of ice herself. It all started with a chestplate design, a slab of ice that she would conjure up.

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I carved it out of the foam, experimented with some cutting techniques and there it was. Just as I envisioned. More or less.

It wasn’t until three months later that it got its coat of paint.

And started to look bad ass.

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With that as the center piece, I went to work on the other pieces. Shin guards were supposed to be ice spikes.

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Before

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After

The vambraces followed suit with some snowy accessorizing.

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The collar and shoulderpads were equally snowy.image1What kind of weapon would Elsa wield? A sword? Spiky and destructive.

Of course not. She needs something that makes more logical sense. A hammer. Freeze her enemies, then smash them to pieces.

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The (near) final product.

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One does not simply let it go.

There you have it. Ice warrior Elsa will be debuting at WonderCon in Anaheim in April. See you there.

 

 

 


I Bought a Couch

I bought a Couch.

Note the Dharma Initiative pillow and large cat

Note the Dharma Initiative pillow and large cat

Now, at the risk of the post digressing into “The Many Sofas of Your Lifetime,” let’s rewind and talk about the significance of couch purchasing. Before January of 2015, I only lived with people who already owned couches. My butt is not so discerning. Most couches are all comfortable. The only thing is, none of these couches were MINE. These were the couches of others. The sofas they had chosen. My butt was a guest upon their cushions.

Now, every time someone comes over, they’re butt is my guest.

Another thing about this Couch is the…officiallity of it. While I’m not particularly proud of this, I took some comfort in the fact that I could pack everything I owned into a car and move it. When I first came to LA, it was with everything I could carry. The next move only took three big trips to get everything out. No moving vans. No truck rentals.

But, now, the Couch.

The Couch cannot be shoved into the back of a hatchback. The Couch is the death knell of the notion that I could simply fill up the car and drive back to Texas. If I move again, the Couch will require help. The Couch will require two people to move it. The Couch is practically insistent upon itself, for, if I ever desire to move without hiring someone, I will most likely call on someone who has been a guest-butt on said Couch. For, if I do not have that help, the Couch goes into the garbage (I’m not a fan of used upholstered furniture, and wouldn’t sell it).

The purchase of the Couch is a milestone. And adulthood achievement. So, what comes next? What is the next marker in the adulthood road map? Because it took me 28 years to get to this one, and I would appreciate some kind of time estimate.

Now, I just need to figure out what to name it…