What's Bothering Me Now

and other musings

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This concept is one of the most beautiful pieces of the human condition. Be somebody’s person.

This concept is one of the most beautiful pieces of the human condition. Be somebody’s person.

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The however many days of Christmas….

In my efforts to not slip into the grips of depression and anxiety, I often take to the town. Apparently, I can get by with just a little bit of interaction with a cashier or hearing frat guys try to figure out the legitimacy of a soccer jersey. I guess I’m blessed in that way. 

Tonight’s journey took me to America’s Thrift Store. So yes, the girl who can’t go to the grocery store without having a panic attack in front of the frozen pizzas took to the cluttered aisles of a thrift store. After very peacefully meandering through the fur vests and lingerie that they actually sell, I found the Christmas Aisle. Instead of trying to put these images in paragraph form, I’ll let them speak for themselves….fasten your jingle bells, it’s gonna be a slick ride.

The spawn of Chuckie says Merry Christmas!

It might throw-up. I didn’t linger long enough to find out. 

To all the neigh-sayers, you can horse-around in GA.

She will sing O Holy Night and light your house on fire.

Little known fact: The constipated Wise Man who brought gold was unimpressed by the Christ Child. 

He comes pre-wrapped!

Ceramic Shot Glass?

NOPE! It’s a candle! That’s already been lit!

A hand-painted vase with a jovial polar bear…with hints of teal. 

It’s the holiday version of Deliverance.

If tattoos were 3D…..

Probably not supposed to be dirty, but it feels a little dirty.

Anyone up for a game of dirty santa?

 

To all my single pals, Meow-y Catmas!

But my favorite, and the image I’ll leave you with…

Les-bi-honest…. you’re having trouble distinguishing who is the mommy in this version of the Nativity. 

Happy Holidays to all of you!

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An Encouraging Note to the US Government

Dear Government,

It has come to my attention that you are thinking about shutting down for a little while. I just wanted to pop in and offer some encouragement. 

This is a normal feeling for adolescent countries. You feel like nobody understands. No one could possibly know how you feel and how much you have going on. 

You just want to slam the door and tweet at your tweeps, but even they  don’t get it. What do they know anyway? How could they possibly understand a democratic republic?

I am writing to say that it gets better. This is not forever. This is a phase in life that every teenage country has to go through. You learn a lot, but you can’t give up. You can’t just quit. If you don’t do your math homework and you don’t write those pesky laws, you won’t learn. You’ll stay stuck and eventually fail and waste a lot of tax dollars. 

I’m not sure you’d be good at speaking Chinese, but that’s the grim future if you give up now. Please think of those you’ll be hurting. We’re all in this together. We don’t want to lose you. Not now. Not ever. We need you. You’ve made us need you. 

Finally, people do this everyday. They go to work; they feel worthless; they run out of ideas; they run out of solutions. Then, they close up shop and hit the golf course for a few weeks until they feel inspired again. Well they would, but unfortunately bosses don’t love that kind of attitude. 

Know that every single working American knows this feeling. You are not alone. Hang in there. 

So buck up kiddo, you’re gonna get through this. We’ll do it together. Just remember, in all that time you spent filabustering, you could have already cleaned up that mess in immigration.

You can do it!

Yours forever,

The Loving Constituency 

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What’s Bothering Me Now: Weddings

This going to offend people. I know. But this blog is not about making you happy. It’s about making me happy. 

You: Fine. You won’t  be invited to my wedding.

Me: Good. Now I won’t have to avoid your photographer to erase all evidence I was there. 

Now that we’ve cleared this up, let’s discuss what’s bothering me about weddings. 

I love weddings. People publicly committing themselves to one another? nothing better. There’s free beer, pretty flowers, bitter bridesmaids and groomsmen on the prowl. So obviously, I’m very bitter about my lonely life? Dream on.

I live alone because the best part of coming home is that no one’s there, and I spend my money on stuff that interests me so no your joint checking account and tax return do not allure me. Happy for you, but I’m not ready to be someone’s tax deduction. Busy being selfish right now. 

What bothers me is how the trend has become to spend a lot of money to look poor. CNN reports that the average 2012 wedding cost $28.400. Yeah. that’s almost $30,000 on a wedding. If you’re getting married in your twenties as is the trend, chances are you are making just north of $32,000. IF you’ve graduated college. So the average wedding is costing a whole year’s worth of income. Parents who are making about double that on average, are helping but still, that’s half their yearly income on a wedding (that’s 51% likely to end in divorce a few years later.) 

Let’s bring it back to the point. We’ll say a “low budget” wedding is $10,000. You can do a lot with $10,000 but if it’s a wedding, you can get a venue. No dress, no food, no guests, no one but the happy couple and a priest, so if you’re looking at a $10,000 budget, invest in a house and go see a judge.

But if I thought money was the issue, I wouldn’t be so anti-county fair weddings. 

It’s about the trend. But trends can be dangerous and costly in the future. Look at smoking. 

What I don’t get is why you want people to think your wedding was a spontaneous “wouldn’t it be somethin’ if we tied the knot right here in this field and met the rest of town for a funnel cake and ice cold Coca Cola? Oh look there’s Parson Brown!” 

YOU’VE ALL SEEN THIS WEDDING! I saw it on a blog. You saw one in a magazine. But I have a hard time believing that many people are just spur of the moment getting married. Because if they were, we’d see a lot more of this

OR you see this dilapidated barn. Maybe it’s not up to code and maybe it reeks of hay and horse poop, but gosh won’t it look great with some sunflowers, a few mason jars, and those candles you put in jack-o-lanterns. Dirt floor? You bet, but we’ll wear cowboy boots because that’s new. Maybe you met on horseback and it’s a really cute story but probably not. I’m almost certain you’ve never set foot in a barn except that one time you went on that field trip and watched them milk the cows with that terrifying cow milking machine.

It’s like you want people to think you’re getting married because Jimmy just found out he leaves next week to beat the Germans. You crazy kids. 

The thing is, it’s not 1942 and most of you didn’t grow up riding horses and mucking stables. You wasted days playing video games or sports, shopping and getting manicures. But by all means, please make it look like the sacks that held the potatoes at the buffet conveniently ironed out nicely without the ink to make a perfectly sized table cloth. 

At these weddings, I expect the wedding band to be a class ring. 

What is the point of all the stress and money and time given to this wedding if you want it look like you just decided to get married on a whim?

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What was bothering me then…

This blog turned 3-years old this week. It’s a toddler or Bloggler if you will. I haven’t posted a lot of stuff this past year. That’s not to say that I haven’t been bothered. I have. I watched Miley at the VMA’s just like you did. She’s been a double feature on this blog, and I think she’ll be a third if I can get through this one. 

So for this post, I’ve decided to share what was bothering me then. It feels good to put that in past tense. 

This past year has been a bit of a train wreck. When you graduate college, they don’t tell you that the economy might be terrible or that employers are not all that interested in your fancy degree from a great journalism school. You experience loss and hurt. They don’t tell you that it’s lonely and that the new-found freedom is more daunting than…well, freeing.

So my story starts in May 2012. College Graduation. This is where they launch you into the world with so much excitement and fanfare and then don’t lay out the trampoline to catch you as you’re coming off that high. Or crashing rather. 

Through a series of bad circumstances and an accompanying ego, I woke up one morning and regretted it. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to stay asleep until it was all just a distant nightmare. But it honestly didn’t matter. I woke up in a nightmare and fell asleep to a nightmare. It was all a blur and it sucked. 

I felt trapped. 

I realized that morning that it didn’t matter to me if I woke up or not. This was a new feeling for me. I know we all have bad days and bad times, but this felt hopeless. 

After I beat the issue to death with a couple of friends, they recommended that I talk to someone else. Someone that would know how to help me. I, like most people, had a fear of admitting I wasn’t mentally healthy. However, there was a very small part of me that knew what I had to do. One day though, I got coffee with a friend. She told me about her experience with counselling and it made me think that if she could do it, I could. She gave me a phone number and sliver of hope that started to challenge my fears.

What was bothering me? I was tired of being the victim.

So, one afternoon, I summoned my courage and made a call. A call that saved me and gave me chance. After six months of actually working on me and fighting the urge to lock myself up where people couldn’t hurt me and to run from the place that constantly reminded me of the pain and all that I had lost, I found something worth staying around in this college town.

I stayed for myself. And once I told God that I was okay with staying, that I was okay with His plan, He did the rest. He mended my heart and my relationships and gave something I couldn’t find in any of the sleeping aids or nights by myself. He gave me rest. Something I had craved for months. My stomach stopped hurting; I stopped hurting.

My friendships changed. Some, I had to release. I had given a lot to some relationships that left me empty and alone. Despite all the nights that I sat through tearful conversations and late nights. I found myself very alone in my time of need. But Jesus doesn’t like us to be alone. So he showed me true friendship. Friendship based on honesty and respect and encouragement. 

For once, I felt like myself again. But it was better than that, I felt brave. I felt happy. I started the journey for which God designed me. I wasn’t the victim anymore. I was a victor.

Today, I went to my last counselling session. I might fall on trials again, but I know how to cope and how to be in control and it’s a beautiful thing. Here are five things I learned:

1. Forgive. You are in control of how you react to the actions of others. Withholding forgiveness hurts you. Forgiveness is not earned, it is decided. 

2. Ask. When you need help, ask.

3. We all have courage. We have the strength to make the tough choices. If you’ve seen We Bought A Zoo, 20 seconds of courage to decide things will be different.

4. Set boundaries. Relationships are great. They provide so much healing and opportunity for growth. Relationships that make you feel alone, drained, or less of a person are not good. It’s okay to take a step back and it’s okay to turn the other way.  

5. You deserve a chance. We all do. You are worth it. You are loved. You are valued.

I’ll never be able to express my appreciation to those ladies who fought beside me and rejoiced with me as I got better. So this is dedicated to them. The victory and the healing are won by God but he enlisted quite the army.

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Guys and Gals

One of my favorite things to do is watch a Braves game and follow Twitter during the game. It’s great because it’s like watching the game with friends, but friends you don’t have interact with or entertain, so an introverts playground. I’m more extroverted but I’m shy so I get a lot of enjoyment out of Twitter too. 

In my scans of the Twittersphere, I noticed that there’s been a trend in asking why girls go for douchey guys. So I’m going to address this phenomenon with a little bit of sass and crass as is my way. 

This is not going to be an earth shattering revelation, so you don’t even need a pen and paper. It’s not an acronym either because I’m an adult…with a tumblr. God what have I become?

So the answer is simple. It’s desperation. I have a lot of friends who date/have dated douchey guys and that’s the common denom.

Problem: The nice guys have spent so much time being nice and friendly that the females lose site of the fact that these guys are actually doable. They forget that he is capable of doing things other than listening and making a damn good cup of tea. They don’t date because they’re diligently falling in love with their best friend who has conveniently noted that he is asexual. So yeah you can buy every cup of coffee she drinks and tell her how great she looks in sweat pants, you’re nothing more than the loveable brother who listens as she asks why guys are such douches.   

Solution: Quit trying to be a girl. Girls are very good at listening to other girls and giving great “don’t date him” advice that goes unheeded anyway. Don’t ask her out as she’s crying over the last douche and don’t for the love of Cosmo, get pissy if she rejects you. It’s unbecoming. Go out with other girls, prove that you are in fact sexual. Be a guy. Go to sports things and play video games if you’re into that sort of thing. A girl is not going to date someone who reminds her of her grandmother. ew. 

Problem: Standards for females are all over the place. We’ve got every Katherine Hiegle movie where the high strung control freak wins over the ultimately handsome, tenderhearted loser. Or there’s the quirky gal who likes to does really strange stuff (lookin’ at you Zooey Deschanel). Or there’s the girl who is distant and quiet because of her haunted past. Or there is the girl who becomes kind. Or there’s the “unattractive” chick with the greatest personality who curls her hair and some bronzer in the closing scene and finally attracts the handsome douche but goes with the “nerdy” best friend who looks remarkably like Adam Brody or Joseph Gordon Levitt. Then there’s the magazines where girls are paid too look like they can’t afford food which is a bit of a slap in the face to the poor people in the third world who could just be those models without eating cale chips and juice cleanses. What is the point of self-esteem or even self-improvement?

Solution: Stop. 

Problem: Douches are brave. They don’t over-think anything. Mainly because they are incapable of thought, but it helps. Ladies appreciate their boldness and confidence. Genuine confidence. They may suck as people but they love that about themselves so they’ll keep those desperate “I really relate to Reese Witherspoon in that one movie” girls who just want to have something to cling to in bars and facebook profile pictures. 

Solution: Nice Guys, be brave. Resist the urge to divulge your secrets and cherish hers over lattes. Don’t get pegged as a good listener because God help you that’s all you’ll ever be. Be polite, but be fun. Keep the mystery alive. Get deep later when she sees you as someone with the ability to sire her child. You don’t want to be the fun single Uncle and if you keep helping out with her craft-ernoons, you are looking at a lifetime of trips to Chuck E. Cheese with her kids. (Science says they’ll be douches too.)

So a little longer than planned but if you watch TV or movies or read books or observe people in public, you, too can spot the warning signs of a nice guy’s inevitable crash and burn. 

The End. 

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What’s bothering me now: My facebook newsfeed

Tonight marks a significant night in my life. I’m thoroughly enjoying the company of my throw pillows and my one true friend, my iPhone. But I know that just one bookmarked tab over sits facebook. You know the feeling, that boyfriend/girlfriend that is bad for us and makes us do psychotic things but we just can’t get enough. So yes, Facebook, you can stand there and watch us burn, that’s okay, we like the way it hurts. 

Lately, I’ve been spending more time with Twitter because it’s funny and if it’s not I unfollow it and no one has to know. I also can skip over the dumb stuff pretty quickly. I don’t know how to have a functioning relationship with a human being anymore, but I do know how to avoid them. So I’ve decided that tonight is the night I fully explore the limited profile option on facebook. I’m praying it’s redemptive. So in order to weed out the dramatic little dandelions, I’ve created a little 4 point elimination process. 

Now some of  you are thinking that not letting some people see my status updates or my instagrams or even wall posts from other quality human beings seems a little over the top….dramatic even. Well yes, it is, but my sanity depends on it so I’m fighting fire with fire. It’s also delightfully passive aggressive. So without further ado….

1. Sharing. For the love of Ke$ha and all that is interesting, stop clicking share on every picture you see that has some teenage wisdom or political passive aggression or even Jesus stuff. Someone took a lot of company time on PowerPoint or Paint to make that little abomination and that should not be supported. Besides, they generally come from a place of hate. These things are not good for your brand my people. I’m not persecuting you because you’re Christian/Atheist; Democrat/Republican; Gay/Straight…I’m persecuting you by condemning you to just the cover photo because you’re annoying. 

2. Liking. Guys, Relatable Texts is not a thing we should be doing. I know we’re the people who somehow let Nickelback get famous, but we’re trying our damnedest to correct that situation. I’m doing it one status or tweet at a time but I can’t do it alone. Let’s make it a movement. Where was I? Oh yeah. Relatable is not a word. Spend some time with the dictionary…like a lot of time, and learn some stuff. Relate is a verb. That being said, “Texts from Jesus” are not real. He’s been communicating rather effectively through the Bible and burning plants. If it’s more than a word…and not a sports team, band or brand, please, ignore it. I’m pretty sure you would hate to know that you were helping a 13-year-old girl gain social media validation. 

3. Quoting. This can be done tastefully but no one knows how. You should be allowing two to three statuses a day. One is ideal, but life is random so we have to have a little leeway. But think of it like this, if it hasn’t made my work day a little more bearable, it’s not worth me seeing. So you’re probably going to be looking at three proffies in the near future. Remember to attribute your quotes to reputable sources and remember that ambiguity is not what we are about. The best way to get the attention you’re seeking is to call those Mo-Fo’s out. Tag them and put hateful things on their walls because that’s the stuff we’re coming on Facebook to see. I wanna see pictures of you vandalizing that bastards car and then pictures of you and your duck face in the back of a patrol car. 

4. Pictures. I love a good artsy picture. Give me autumn. Give me candid. I want to see you dance with your boyfriend and I want to see you with Epcot in the background. Let’s discuss what I do not want to see:*~*SeLfIeS*~*; Close-ups; kissing, boobs and straight faces. You are never fully dressed without a smile, but also clothes. And so. help. me. GOD! if I see the flash of your iPhone in the mirror.

If this method does not make me a little more optimistic about society, I’ll resort to using Facebook’s birthday reminders as a reminder to un-friend.  

So if you find you’re looking at a limited profile, re-evaluate your Facebook and life. Thank me later.

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What’s Bothering Me Now: Cargo Shorts

It has been a while. A long while and I have no apologies because this little jewel of a blog doesn’t pay the bills. 

Let’s get bothered.

When I was in middle school, those awkward years between age 10 and 14, when we all make fashionably dumb decisions, something happened to my generation of males. They caught a terrible disease that covered their thighs completely. The rash and sores that this disease produced could not be exposed to sunlight but with the heat, it was unbearable to just wear pants. So Cargo Shorts were invented. At least this is the story I tell myself because it’s the only way I can accept that someone decided these would be a good idea, fashionably speaking. 

Cargo shorts just limply hang from the waist and brush against the knee. I would think that it would feel like having gnats constantly touching your legs and you would walk around looking like a psycho swatting yourself. And maybe the guys were, but I was just too distracted by trying to count all the pockets. 

Let’s discuss the defenses of cargo shorts:

1. My mom bought them.— Well my carpenter friend, go shopping with her and stop these things before they get out of hand. She is probably trying to keep your from dating pretty girls too because women know better than cargo shorts. 

2. I am a carpenter.— So was Jesus. He would rather wear a dress looking garment than cargo shorts. Level with me here. 

3. I need the extra storage.— For what? Are you housing a hamster in one pocket and compass and pocketknife and pens and pencils and erasers and a wallet with Velcro? Boy Scout, that’s why we have backpacks and brief cases. Get a real wallet sans Velcro and for the love of Ralph Lauren, you don’t need a compass or a pocket full of trail mix unless you’re backpacking in the woods…key word, backpack. 

4. They look good on me.— They don’t.

5. They are cost efficient.— Looking a 14 year old for the rest of your life is going to cost you so much more than a couple pairs of Dockers. Jobs, girlfriends, true friends, maybe even your life. I wouldn’t risk it.

6. I’m not really a fratty guy.— Of you’re not, but that’s not the point. The point is you look like a tool. All you need is a piercing and a tapped out tee and you’re well on your way to hair gel. I’m not asking you to get koozies and croakies and speak Bro. I’m asking you to consider a world where the only pockets you need are for your wallet and your hands. I’m asking you to consider looking like you just graduated from business school or with a philosophy degree instead of wood shop. And even carpenters have tool belts and boxes. 

You dress for your job, don’t let your dress be your job. You should be able to take off your job before re-entering the social world. Even the hipsters don’t wear cargo shorts. 

I’m also here to help: 

http://www.chubbiesshorts.com/

http://www.ralphlauren.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=1903929&cp=1760781&ab=ln_men_cs1_shorts (cargo = no go)

http://www.columbia.com/Men%E2%80%99s-Ultimate-ROC%E2%84%A2-Short/AM4541,default,pd.html

http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/chapsnew/forhim/chapsmens/bottoms/PRD~867673/Chaps+Microfiber+FlatFront+Shorts.jsp

THESE ARE QUALITY SHORTS. buy them and watch as your life changes.