Monday, February 3, 2014

"The Facts of Life and Self-Confidence"

I know you don’t care, but here’s the story of how I ended up learning about the facts of life. I’ve been obsessed with everything Seinfeld since I was a little kid.  I was  probably 10 when I was watching an episode called “The Fusilli Jerry” In the episode, George is concerned about his… um.. sexual performance. One of the great things about Seinfeld is that whenever they deal with controversial topics, they never came out and directly said what they were talking about. Everything is implied. This is a great comedy technique because the audience has to do some of the work by filling in the blank. The audience not only laughs because it’s funny, but they laugh because they did some of the work filling in the blanks. It should be said that this works for adults but not for 10 year olds. Needless to say, I had no idea what  the characters were doing in bed.  I was and still am a weird kid. I remember being really troubled and sullen about it. Finally, after my parents asked me multiple times what was bothering me, I finally spilled the beans. If I ever meet Jerry Seinfeld, I’m going to tell him that he’s the reason I learned about the facts of life.

However, learning about “the birds and the bees” had an unintended side effect. I remember when my parents gave me “the talk” it blew my mind. Because I learned, that out of the thousands of sperm racing to the egg, I was the one that won! And I’d never won anything before.  Oddly enough, it still serves as a confidence boost. Whenever I’m faced with a challenge, I think, “If I could win that race, I can accomplish anything!” Sometimes I repeat it to myself as a personal mantra, “I’m the sperm that won! I’m the sperm that won!” However, may I recommend if you adopt this as your personal mantra, not to whisper it or say it out loud? Because if people catch you repeating that to yourself, you get some weird looks. Usually I’m filled with so much self-confidence that I don’t care if someone catches me.
Can you blame me for thinking this way? My dad still lets me know!

However, I went to Walmart the other day and it shattered my self-confidence. I looked around and thought, “These are the sperm that won? But how?” That’s when I figured that the sperm’s race to the egg is less of a swimming competition and more of a NASCAR event. This is  how I stay the most humble person in the world.

A winner.

Another winner.

Why you should name your baby Colgate.

I've renamed my blog, “I know you don’t care but I’m telling you anyway.” The biggest assumption people make when they write things online is that everyone else cares about what that person has to say and what they’re going through.  I think before social media became big, we probably actually did care what people said. If one of your friends had a baby it was a big deal! Now, it seems everyone is in a constant state of having babies for the pure purpose of taking pictures of them.  People used to have kids to help out on the farm. Now we have kids just so we can try that new Instagram filter.  Also, can we all stop pretending that your newborn baby is cute? I’m not saying it’s the babies’ fault. They just got squeezed out of a person.  They're supposed to look like the last bit of toothpaste you have to surgically extract from the tube. 

"You're baby is adorable!"

It's way too easy to communicate whatever stupid thought you have online. It used to be that you had to have a really important idea for it to be communicated with a lot of people. If it were as easy to communicate now as in revolutionary times, instead of the Declaration of Independence, King George would’ve just gotten a picture of America’s lunch. Either that or the Declaration of Independence would’ve just been us asking the British, “If we get a million likes can we be independent?” We probably would’ve just changed our relationship status from “it’s complicated” to “independent.” And France would’ve been that friend that thinks they need to console us, “I’m glad you guys broke up! England was a jerk! You go girl! I’m sending you a statue.” (This joke is only partially historically accurate)

The Declaration of Independence really was us breaking up with England. It really is an amazing document. I wonder if Thomas Jefferson ever broke up with a girl the same way he broke up with England. 

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for a man to dissolve the romantic bands which have connected him with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of other people.---That whenever any girlfriend becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Boyfriend to alter or to abolish the relationship, and to institute new relationship with Tiffany.”

He was either really great at break ups or really terrible.  Could you imagine breaking up with a girl by writing a letter and having 55 of your other friends sign it?

I get a lot of ads for singles sites. It's probably because I’m on Facebook so much that Facebook is starting to get concerned about me. Facebook is starting to sound like my parents. “We feel that it's time you met someone. It's time to get out of the house." I’m worried one day I’m going to get a Facebook notification saying, “Listen, we think it’s time you moved out and got your own place.”  Then I’d have to pack up all my things and get a MySpace page. Which isn’t unlike moving  to a new place, no one knows where you live and no one visits you. Just like my blog. It’s ok I know no one cares.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Barberphobia: An irrational fear of haircuts and Barbarians.

I got a haircut today. (In case you care) I realized that I have an irrational fear of barbershops. I looked on the internet to see what the name for the fear of barbershops is. It turns out that there's actually no such thing as a fear of barbershops, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have it. The closest I found was Chaetophobia, which is the fear of hair, and I don’t think I have that. I would coin the phrase “Barberphobia” but the word barber, is derived from the Latin word for beard and the Romans, who originally spoke Latin and were a clean shaven people came up with the word for beard from the word “Barbarian” which means “bearded people.” Ironically, they chose to name them "bearded people" instead of "people who ruined our country by pillaging our cities." They obviously thought the beard was the most prominent trait. So, “barberphobia” would mean the fear of barbarians, and that wouldn’t make sense because I’m pretty sure everybody would be scared of Barbarians. Especially Italian people like me whose DNA is telling them that Barbarians aren’t to be trusted because they toppled the Roman Empire. However, despite the historical inaccuracies of the phrase, let's say "barbarphobia" means fear of barbers.

It's the beards that makes them scary.

My fear of barbershops is probably closest to Aphenphosmphobia, which is another word I looked up on the internet that means the fear of physical contact. And barbers are always touching your head. Then they expect you to talk to them while they touch your head. I find it hard to speak to people when they’re touching my head because I barely touch my own head. I wash my hair in the morning and sometimes I rub my head when I’m thinking and that’s it. And I realize that it must be awkward to touch strangers’ heads all day so this is why they're trying to get to know me. It probably makes them feel better about touching someone's head when they feel they know the person a little. But it still doesn’t help me out because I don’t usually engage in casual conversation while strangers are touching my head.

However, I think the barbershop conversation is very important. Because the barber can make you look like any person he wants you to be. So I think that the barber is trying to see what kind of person you are and then then they give you the haircut to match personality. If you seem depressed, he's going to give you that "Emo" haircut with the stupid bangs over your eyes. Or if you accidentally say something racist, he'll make you a skinheadThis was an actual thought that was in my brain! This is probably where my fear of barbers ultimately comes from. I actually believe that the kind of haircut I receive is based on the barber's perception of what my personality is. I actually found myself thinking, "Don't bring up how much you like Apple because if he likes Windows he'll make you look like Bill Gates out of spite."

So when you see me with my new haircut and I look like a socially awkward neurotic person with barberphobia you'll know the reason why.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pavlov, Brain Chess, and Oreos

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian psychologist.  Pavlov is best known for his experiments with dogs. In these experiments, he would ring a bell every time he fed the dogs and he would measure their saliva. He found out after a while that the dogs would start salivating just when they heard the bell.

IT may seem farfetched that this could happen to humans, but it’s true, because it happens to me. Let me explain:

A lot of my friends are getting married right now, and whenever I get there wedding invitation I put it on my fridge. And I’ve noticed that whenever I see these friends outside my house I get really hungry. And you know that blank stare that you have when you look in the fridge because you’re deep in thought about the meaning of life and whether or not that casserole is still good? That’s the face that I get when I see my married friends. I look at them deeply and go, “How’s life? Do you have a burrito?”

And when you go to the reception the “food-marriage” connection is further reinforced in your mind; because over here are people getting married, and over here are some brownies.


"You will get married. Here's a cookie."

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know if that empty feeling inside me is hunger or loneliness. And every time I eat a brownie, I realize how alone I am.

So, I started keeping the wedding invitations in my car. But this made matters worse because I would get road rage while waiting in the line at the reception. “MOVE IT ALONG! WHAT’S THE HOLD-UP?!?  THEY GOT MARRIED? WHO CARES? I’VE GOT AN APPOINTMENT I’VE GOT TO GET TO!”

I thought I could use this impulse for something good, and I started putting the wedding invitations on my treadmill. But every time I go to the weddings now I just throw dirty laundry on top of the groom.

So as you can imagine by what I just said, I don’t date that often. And I've learned how to do things by yourself. Have you ever played chess by yourself? Because I have. I’ll tell you what got me started playing chess by myself. At my high school there were tryouts for the chess team. So, there were people who would try out for the chess team and not make it. This meant that in the popularity rankings  of my high school, there were people lower than the chess team. The social ladder was all the other groups on top, then the chess team, then the people who didn’t make the chess team. I was one of those people. I didn’t even have people to play chess with.

Playing chess with yourself is weird because you have to decide who wins. So you have to split your personality into two different parts to play against themselves. And you choose different characteristics of yourself for the different colors. For example, white will be “my sensitive side and the part of me that has no self control” versus black which is “ the part of me that finds fault in others.” And I have to decide who I’m rooting for at all times. And I have to make justifications for making moves in the game, “He eats too many Oreos so you should take his Rook!” and the white part is going “ He knows I’m sensitive about the amount of Oreos I eat! What a jerk! Let’s take his Queen!”

And in a game of chess by yourself there is never a winner. All you end up doing is finding more and more faults with yourself, and eating way too many Oreos; because those are white and black at the same time.

Oreos slogan should be: "Milk's favorite metaphor"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Subway: Live fresh!

In honor of August, the month where Subway is offering the best sub on the menu, the buffalo chicken sub for $6, I’ve decided to tell you why Subway is the happiest place on earth.

I think that the way Subway is set up instills good attributes in you.

The subs at Subway are so good because if they’re not, it’s basically your own fault. You chose all your own toppings. If my sub isn’t good, I take accountability for it. “I shouldn’t have asked for the extra pickles. That’s on me.” Outside of Subway, nothing is my fault. If I cut someone off while I’m driving and they honk at me, that person is the idiot. But inside Subway, I am the captain of my sub, I am the master of my soul.

At Subway they have the Subway card. In case you aren’t familiar, you get one point for every dollar you spend. After 75 points you get a free foot long. Granted, that’s a ridiculous amount of money to spend for a free sub, but there’s a part of me that’s proud that I’m working towards a goal. And there’s a certain sense of accomplishment you feel when you cash in your $75 dollars worth of points for that foot long. You had an objective and you accomplished it!  Kudos to you! Even if it meant you had to down 15 meatball heroes to do it.

These are all character traits I can’t achieve outside of Subway, but when I’m in that building I’m awesome! For example, if you asked me to donate a kidney outside of Subway, I’d think you were crazy. But if you asked me while I was in a Subway, I would probably tell you yes. Because when you donate an organ I could be doing one thing, and a small part of me would be doing another thing. I would be multitasking all the time! And that’s another thing I’m terrible at outside of Subway.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Running in jeans and walking in workout clothes kind of get the same reaction from people. If you ever see someone running in jeans you’re probably thinking, “This person clearly didn’t plan to workout. Obviously, he is getting chased right now, and he needs some help.” Walking in workout clothes is similar, but with a subtle difference, because people are thinking, “This person obviously planned on going for a run, but he clearly wasn’t prepared for the workout regimen that he planned for ahead of time. He needs some help.”

That’s why I think I’m going to start working out in jeans, because if I end up having to walk it will seem like I’m just a pedestrian. But if I’m running in the jeans it’s exciting! People think, “That man is being chased but he is clearly the superior runner because I don’t see his assailant anywhere. I’m impressed!”

It would really stink to actually get chased while you’re wearing workout clothes because no one would stop and think that you’re actually being chased. Actually, the perfect crime would be if the person chasing you was wearing workout clothes while you were also wearing workout clothes. Then people would think you’re just running partners. Until of course someone is lying on the ground throwing up after getting punched in the stomach. Which is what I usually do at the end of a run anyway.