Monday, April 30, 2012


I'm not totally sure what linkedin is, but I'm on it:

If you're on there, send me a connection. And connect me with someone who will hire me on sight. And if I've sent you a connection request, stop acting like you don't know me. You totally do.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

How important is someone's music taste?

If you had asked me, in my early twenties, what makes people "cool", I would have put "what music they listen to" somewhere near the top. In fact, if you had asked me to name one thing that was wrong in the relationship with my then-girlfriend, I would have said "musical incompatibility."

Now, eight years (or however long) into my current marriage, I can't believe I used to be so petty. Actually, I'm pretty sure that the difference between bad and good music is largely semantic. Wendy was game when we first started out, eagerly subjecting herself to the bands I foisted on her (and, I like to think, she had a few things to teach me as well), but if she hadn't even been willing to act interested, I wonder how long I would've bothered.

I guess the issue wasn't that I wanted someone who liked all the same music as me, I just wanted someone who was open to trying out new sounds, even having new experiences. That IS something important to find in a relationship, at least for me.

That's my thing that I used to judge people too harshly for, that I now know doesn't matter. What's yours?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Project Twilight: the intro

Sometimes I want to do something because it goes against my nature, sometimes because I want to punish myself, and sometimes for no reason at all. These are my motives for making the following announcement:

I have decided to read every single book in the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer and I hereby resolve to finish all of them cover-to-cover, no matter how averse it makes me feel.

I am not expecting it to be easy, but it is a challenge you will be sharing with me, as I plan to blog my reactions to these books as I'm reading them.

Whew. Wish me luck.

Favorite movie taglines

When I was a kid, I wanted to come up with movie taglines when I grew up. I just assumed it was something you could do for a living. Here are some of my favorites through the years:

When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. (Dawn of the Dead, 1978)

In space, no one can hear you scream. (Alien, 1979)

Who will survive and what will be left of them? (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, 1974)

The Coast is toast. (Volcano, 1998)

Something has survived. (The Lost World, 1996)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My defenses

I want people to talk to me, so I stay quiet.
I want to keep my emotions to myself, so I wear a blank expression.
I want to be thought of as interesting, so I share only the thoughts that interest me.
I want people to think I'm happy, so I smile.
I want to make people feel comfortable around me, so I avoid direct eye contact.
I want to be easygoing, so I act bored.
I want to seem like I understand, so I laugh.
I want to be heard, so I speak too loudly.
I want to hide my nervousness, so I stay perfectly still.

These are my defenses. If they have offended you, I apologize. They have nothing to do with anybody but me.

An ideal husband

When it comes to love, we tend to place too much emphasis on "finding the right person" as opposed to "being the right person". This seems somewhat backwards to me. After all, what's the use of searching for a particular set of qualities if you're not willing to embody them yourself? And how do you expect someone to appreciate you for what you are if you don't learn to appreciate yourself the same way?

I have not been a perfect man all throughout this marriage, but it's never too late to start being what you want in a relationship. From this day forward, I am rededicating myself to the following principles:
  • AVAILABILITY. Always make the effort be there, never forget how easy it can be to slip away. Love dies in increments, not in waves.
  • DESIRABILITY. Look and act like you deserve this person. If there is any positive change to make, make it.
  • FLEXIBILITY. It's a give and take, and you must live without taking sometimes. Stay connected to what you are willing to give up and what you are not.
  • ADAPTABILITY. You are growing together. If you wanted to grow alone, you wouldn't have made the decision to do it with another person.
  • SPONTANEITY. Nothing is more dreary than having another person all figured out. Start by surprising yourself, then work on the other person.
  • PRIORITIZE. Sometimes things that seem urgent really aren't. Think about the order in which things should be done before you get caught up in something trivial.
This is a start, but I'm open to suggestions. Help me be a better man and I will find myself in an even better relationship.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Books I didn't finish

Ulysses by James Joyce
Why didn't I finish it?: Because it's Ulysses. Nah, but this thing was mostly over my head and trudging my way through it felt like an academic exercise.
Will I ever bother with it again: Sure, I'll give it another go someday. Because it's Ulysses.  
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Why didn't I finish it?: Good question. It's perfectly readable and stylistically impressive. The only problem was the complete and utter lack of plot or character development. That's not necessarily a deal-breaker for me (I've finished stuff that was way more aimless than this), but it does make it hard for me to care whether I ever get to the end or not.
Will I ever bother with it again: Nah. Truman Capote said, "That's not writing, that's typing." But that's not why I'll never finish this. It's just because I care that little.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Why didn't I finish it?: There's nothing wrong with this book. I just hate Levin. It's never a good thing when the most boring character in the whole book is intended as a stand-in for the author. You might as well just call the book "I Judge Everyone".
Will I ever bother with it again: Probably. I liked The Death of Ivan Ilyich, so I know Tolstoy is the man. I just have to ignore anything about this book that I dislike.
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol Why didn't I finish it?: It's too long.
Will I ever bother with it again: No.  
All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
Why didn't I finish it?: The first chapter to this book is 75 pages long. The equivalent scene in the movie takes takes like two minutes of screen time. Yeah, I found it slooooowwwww.
Will I ever bother with it again: Unlikely. Maybe it gets a hell of a lot better after that first chapter. But I just don't see why I should.
Anything by Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Herman Melville, etc. Why?: I've got a lot of gaps to fill in my literary knowledge. Some of them, I like to keep that way.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I love my country

When I was younger, I always wanted to memorize the names of every Capitol city in the United States. For some reason, this seemed important at the time. We had a song we used to listen to at school that went "The United States, the United States, I love my country the United States", but that just had the names of the states, not the capitols. Then there was this song from Animaniacs: But that one always seemed too long to memorize. Of course, now that I actually do know all the capitols by heart, I understand that it's all just trivia. I'm never gonna need the information. So I'm not sure why this was something I wanted to know. I think the point is that someone should've told me what was important to memorize and what wasn't so that I wouldn't waste all my time with this stuff.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How to fail successfully

When things aren't going my way, I tend to attribute it to some personality flaw on my part. It's as if I believe that there's something innate in me that prevents me from getting what I want. This is a mistake. This is just my ego trying to soothe itself by absorbing all of the blame. I know this, but I still keep falling into the same pattern. So I'm making this post to remind myself. Like Barry Corbin says in No Country For Old Men: "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."