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Posts Tagged ‘men’

The family is on a no-tech holiday, more on that later. As a result, the blog will be back next week. Here is what I have planned for the future: My No Tech Vacation, Emotion vs Logic: Battle of the Titans, and a multi part series on Wisconsin. So, stay tuned. In the mean time, here is a quote that I like:

“I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone.” – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

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Do NOT let your daughter watch this movie. Just say no!

So, I know what you are thinking, “How cute.  She’s a little mermaid.”  WRONG!  Not that mermaid.  Disney’s The Little Mermaid was possibly one of the most popular movies with little girls.  It was the classic story of a beautiful girl giving up everything to be with the man she loves and everything becomes perfect as a result.  Worst story for little women, EVER!   Tangled was also a popular movie.  A girl trapped in a tower so that an evil women can remain young and beautiful, (because this is most important to women), but she is saved by a scoundrel of a man and life is better.  This in spite of the worthlessness of the man.  You see, you can be a thief and a no-good, but you’re a man, so you still make a woman’s life better.  Don’t get me started.

Did you know that in the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, she dies?  In the original story by Andersen, mermaids differ from humans in two key aspects:  mermaids live up to 300 years and mermaids have no soul.  When mermaids die, they turn into sea-foam.  When the Little Mermaid requests that the Witch make her human, she is asking for more than just a boyfriend and to be anatomically correct, she wants love and a soul.  So, the Witch makes her human in exchange for her beautiful voice.  The Little Mermaid must make the prince fall in love with her or she will die.  The movie is pretty true to the story up until the Little Mermaid saves the prince from drowning, but then things change dramatically.  In the story, the prince is set to marry another princess.  Like the movie, he does not know that the Little Mermaid is the one that saved his life, because she can ‘t talk.  When he meets the princess, he is convinced that it is she that saved his life, and he falls in love with her immediately.  They are to be wed and the Little Mermaid is going to die.  Here is the cool part.  In the original story, the Little Mermaid’s sisters make a deal with the Witch.  They sell her their hair in exchange for the Little Mermaid’s life.  The Witch agrees, but the Little Mermaid must take the knife, that she provides to the sisters, and kill the prince.  The witch says that as the prince’s blood flows on her legs, they will combine to a mermaid tail again.  The sisters give the knife to the Little Mermaid.  But the Little Mermaid sees how happy the prince is with his new wife-to-be and can’t bare to kill him.  She turns to foam as the sunrises.  Isn’t Andersen’s story better?  It is way more realistic.  The book is always better.

You see, even Hans Christian Andersen knew that men do not solve all of women’s problems.  As matter of fact, they often make things worse.  The perpetuation of the idea that men solve everything for women needs to be squashed, but I have no idea how to make that happen.  This is why the Princess and the Frog did not do well with American audiences.  First of all, she was black, and second of all, she was independent.  She did not need a man.  As a matter of act, the man needed her.  From a Disney financial perspective, a bust.  Crazy.  It was an awesome movie.  As far as my daughter is concern, it will be the only female dominated Disney movie that exists.

A Disney female character I can support for my daughter.

So, why is my daughter a mermaid?  She is beautiful, manipulative, and will destroy me.

Mami Wata pictures almost always have her wearing a watch and with a snake.

A brief mermaid lesson:  Many cultures have a long history of water spirits, or mermaids.  One of the most popular water spirit from Africa is Mami Wata.  Mami Wata is often seen as a mermaid.  She is believed capable of healing the sick and bringing good luck.  However, she also has a temper, and will drown those that disobey her.  Her name actually comes from the English words “Mommy Water,” and is portrayed wearing foreign clothing and jewelry as her followers believe she is from another world.  In European lore, mermaids would lure sailors with their song and beauty.  Ships would crash into rocks as a result.  In Homer’s Odyssey, Ulysses ties himself to the mast of the ship in order to avoid the song of the mermaids.  The story of mermaids has been around for at least 3000 years and most agree, they are beautiful and dangerous.

That’s my Violet.  She is beautiful and dangerous.  She lures me in with her cuteness and makes me obey her every wish.  This morning, like many mornings, we ate breakfast together.  I fixed her breakfast (often blueberry waffles with peanut butter) and I make myself my usual, granola with berries and various other fruits.  Today it was blueberries and bananas.  When she is finished with her food, she wants to eat mine.  No, you don’t understand, she wants me to give her some of my food.  She wants me to share my food.  Me… Share…  MY food.

If you ask my wife what was our first issue as a couple, she will respond quickly and easily.  On one of our dates, she grabbed some food off of my plate.  I was shocked.  She will tell you in clear detail, as if it was yesterday, that I proceeded to explain to her that taking food off my plate was in no uncertain terms, unacceptable.  I do not share food.  The relationship almost died right then and there.  And here I am this morning, and multiple previous mornings, sharing food with my daughter.  There is no other explanation, she is a mermaid.

I don't stand a chance.

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Last night, I was watching a cable TV series called, Spartacus: Blood and Sand.  This is not an endorsement for the show, but let me just tell you that the title of the series is quite accurate.  It’s a TV show about gladiators and the  apparently crazy times surrounding the time of gladiator fighting in the arena.  I don’t know why I watched it, but I did.  It has Lucy Lawless in it.  Remember her?  Lawless used to play Xena in Xena the Warrior Princess.  That show was awesome.  Anyhoo, there was a scene in which one of the gladiators was ordered to disrobe and the guy was standing naked in front of some important woman.  It was full frontal nudity.  Remember when a penis flashed at the end of Fight Club, and that was kind of shocking?  When did it become OK for the penis to be hangin’ on cable TV?  I don’t care if you are a man or woman, homo- or heterosexual.  If a man is standing before you naked, you are sneaking a peek at his junk.  The thing is, I couldn’t NOT look at it.  What’s up with that?  Does that make me gay?  I’m just sayin …

Another female character I approve of for my daughter.

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So, about a year ago I wrote a blog called the Power of Words.  In that blog I discussed how words can be offensive to some and not to others.  Here is an excerpt from that blog:

“The response is also important in the power of words.  If I make a joke, or use a word that I do not think is offensive, but you are offended/hurt, does it really matter if I think you over-reacted?  This is a line you will have to draw for yourself, but for me it matters, especially for those I care about.  It is rarely my intention to offend, so yes, I think it matters a lot.  But, if you are easily offended, I would caution you to not GIVE power to so many things.  It is not a good life to lead.”

As a result of comments received on my previous blog “Mindreading 101”  I am inspired to write this blog.  It is interesting, because I am often surprised what elicits comments to my blogs.  Most people who comment on my blogs do so directly.  In other words, they do not use the comment box on the blog, but will post to me directly.  Overall comments are positive, but every so often, I get comments from readers that clearly did not like my blog.

The first blog to receive a negative comment was my blog where I discussed naked old dudes in the gym.  The negative response I received on that blog was shocking.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a discussion of naked fat old dudes at the Y would be offensive to anyone.  I was simply relaying an experience that I have on a regular basis at the gym.  An experience that I find humorous, but clearly not everyone thought it was funny.

The second blog to receive a surprising number of negative comments was my blog on how I believed it was wrong to poop in public.  As a matter of fact, this person in response to my blog called me a “moron”.  I was shocked!  I of course responded to his comment, and then read their blog, on … you guessed it, pooping and farting.  The blog is called, He Shat She Shat and I actually recommend it.  The positive thing that came out of this altercation, is that we actually discussed the disagreement in a civil manner, and although I still disagree with pooping in public, I would have a beer or coffee with this person anytime.  I would never share a bathroom with them, but coffee, yes.  The bottom line is that disagreements are healthy, and should never be shied away from.  It is how we grow as human beings.

The latest blog to receive negative comments was Mindreading 101.  Again, I was shocked.  I think I was shocked because in that blog (and I had to read it again to remember what I said) I did not say anything new or anything beyond what you would see or hear in a sitcom or comedy show.  As a matter of fact, one commenter compared it to race stereotypes, which I do not agree with, but you can read their commentary for yourself and decide.  The reality is that we all have our buttons.  As I tried to point out in the first Power of Words, and I reiterate here, is that we often find things offensive that are most personal to ourselves.  I will give you an example:  A person I know has a family member with severe autism.  This person used to listen and love the comedy of Carlos Mencia.  If you have never heard Carlos Mencia, I will tell you that this comedian has a lot of jokes about races.  Many of the jokes are quite offensive.  Now my friend, who is smart, a wonderful person, and is in my opinion NOT a racist, had no problem with the race jokes, but did have a problem with a joke told about an autistic person.  My friend now no longer listens to Carlos Mencia.  Why didn’t my friend stop listening to Mencia after the race jokes?  Simple, the race jokes were not a personal issue to them, autism was.

Mindreading 101 was never meant to be taken seriously.  Like most of my blogs, they are for entertainment purposes only.  It is a common thing that we do, play on stereotypes.  It is probably not a good thing, but it is common.  Chick flicks rarely paint men in positive lights.  And this brings me to a very SERIOUS point about selective offense.  I think we all have to be careful to what we openly complain or show uproar about.  I would bet every dime in my bank account, that if I had written the second blog (Mindreading 251 which is about men being stupid: Coming Soon)  first, I would not have received a single negative comment about making fun of men.  My point is this:  Pointing out the wrong in writing, or speech, or behavior as offensive is a good thing, and I truly appreciate it.  But don’t be selective, and overlook other offenses, such as race, sexual preference, religion, or political viewpoints.  Wouldn’t that be the definition of hypocrisy?  To be offended by a gender stereotype, but not be offended when someone calls a Democrat a Godless tree hugger or a Republican a racist.  Or even learning about the Indian race from the TV show, Outsourced on NBC.  Something to think about.

As side note, what does it mean for society when we can no longer laugh at ourselves?  Are we becoming too serious as society where everything must be politically correct and have zero offense to all people?  I don’t have the answer to these questions, but I do think about it a lot.

So, where does that leave us?  For me, it is a formal apology to all my readers that were offended by my last or any blog that I have written, maybe this one.  I am sorry.  As I stated before, I care about my readers, and have no desire to offend you.  And I thank you for commenting and speaking to me openly and honestly.  I can’t promise that you will never be offended again, but I can promise, I will continue to try to be sensitive to my audience.  Nonetheless, I am glad you are reading, I am glad you are thinking, and I hope you are growing.

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This blog was supposed to be Mindreading 251, but based on reading the latest comments, I felt the need to write this one.  So stay tuned for the next gender-biased blog.  Hopefully it will stir up laughter rather than anger, but you never know.  I will say this, I can’t wait until I am an old retired guy on the golf course.  Because if the guys I play with (most over 70) at my home course are any indication, I have a care-free, say-whatever-the-hell-I-feel-like life in store for me.  Awesome!  I’m just sayin …

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So, this blog is going to be shorter than I want, but I simply don’t have the time to give it the time it deserves.  But, nonetheless, I must give a short lesson on mind reading.  If you are a female, you do not need to read this blog.  For male readers only.

OK.  If you are a male and you are in a relationship with a woman, I have a quick lesson to give you.

Lesson #1:  Women change their minds.  Women are always changing their minds.  As a matter of fact, women can not stay on topic to save their lives.  This is not the real problem, however.  The real issue is that the woman will change their mind, but will neglect to tell you.  I am not exactly sure why this is, but it is true.  To add insult to injury, they will expect their male partner to realize that the mind has been changed and will get angry when the male does not realize it.  So, what do you do?  Simple.  When you find your self in a situation where it is clear to you that the rules have changed; take the following steps:

1.  Take two deep breaths

2.  Recognize that at some point your woman has changed her mind about something and hence the rules.

3.  Take a break.  This can be a short break, such as counting to three.  Or you can excuse yourself to the bathroom.  Or, better yet, run down to the local pub and grab a beer, and then rejoin the conversation.  Little known fact, beer makes women easier to understand.  You probably thought it was that beer makes women more attractive.  Not true, or at least not completely true.  Beer turns on the woman-understanding part of your brain.  Scientific fact.  Look it up.  Beer also causes men to say I love you to other men.  They are connected.

4.  If you had a beer, this step will be much easier, but if not, still possible, but a little more difficult.  Try to think about what insecurity, fear, or need of support is at the heart of your woman’s new rule change.  If it is insecurity, give her a hug, and no matter what the issue is, tell her that you will always be there for her.  If it is fear, look her in the eyes and tell her that everything is going to be alright.  If it is support, just listen and give her a big l’ hug and say I got your back.

Here is the crazy part, and if you are a male, you will definitely recognize this as crazy.  If you successfully complete step four, it will solve the problem, no matter what the problem is.  WHAT!?!?!?  That’s right.  But I know what you are thinking, Brett, step 4 doesn’t address or solve the problem.  You are right.  Unfortunately, you are dealing with a species that does not deal in logic, and that was your first mistake.

Is it mind reading? Of course, not, but she will think it is and that is all that matters.  Your welcome.

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When someone says, “Hey.  How are you doing?”  What they are really saying is “Hello”.  This is at least true in the US.  I don’t know when this happened, but it is true.  No one really wants to know how the other person is doing, which is sad.  If you don’t believe me, the next time someone asks you how you are doing, actually tell them.  And not a one word answer, but give them the details of how you are doing.  Watch how quickly their facial expression changes and they change the subject.  At least that is what I do.  Maybe it’s just me.  I’m just sayin …

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So, today is Groundhog Day.  I hope you are having a great day on a Marmot Researcher such as myself, the holiest of days.  Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow, so prepare for an early spring.  That is how powerful the marmot is, they can predict the weather 50% of the time.  What other animal can do that?

I spent my Groundhog Day shoveling and snowthrowing snow as I have just witnessed the largest amount of snow to fall from the sky at one time.  It was crazy.  It took two hours to clear my driveway, and that is with a snowthrower.

So, if you are from a warmer state, enjoy your weather, because it could be a lot worse.

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!

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Yesterday, before the storm hit, I went to the store to stock up, just in case we were snowed in for a while.  While shopping, I saw a woman and her two kids.  She was about 6 foot 5 (rough estimate, but clearly taller than me by several inches).  Now, I have a running theory: Women rarely will be with a man shorter than them.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average male height is 5 feet 9.2 inches.  The average female height is 5 feet 3.8 inches.  This means that a woman who is over 6 feet is by random chance going to find more men shorter than her than taller, yet I rarely see a woman with a man shorter than her, regardless of her height.

So, when I saw this woman in the store, I had no choice to collect data on my hypothesis.  I asked her, is your husband (first I confirmed that se was married) taller than you?  She told me that she and her husband were the same height.  I asked if she actively pursued a man taller than her.  She said they probably both preferred taller people similar to their own height.  What does this mean?  Simple, if you are a man and you are below 5 feet 9 or worse, below 5 feet 3, you are screwed.  It’s not that short people got no reason, but short men got no date.  I’m just sayin …

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So, I am married to an emotional being.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to make fun of her or claim that she is some crazy b&#$! or something, because she is not.  I love her to death.  I say that mostly because it is true, and partially because she reads my blog.  She actually doesn’t read my blog regularly, I don’t know why.  She reads it in batches and is never up to date.  For example, recently I told her that I was going to the bathroom and she asked “Because you have to go, or because you need a break from your family?”  At first I was confused by this response, then I realized, wait, that is from my blog (see Everyone Poops …).  So, I clearly need to make sure that what I write here does not get me into trouble.

Ah fuck it!  If I can’t say it here, I shouldn’t say it at all.  Pardon the language, but that is how I feel.  I digress.

As I was saying, my wife is an emotional being.  This is an issue.  It is an issue mainly because I am not.  Now, I am not a robot, but let’s just say that I could vacation on Vulcan and have a good time.  If you have no idea what Vulcan has to do with emotions, than you are a better person than I.  It also most likely means you were having sex in high school, while I was not.  Once again, I digress.  It’s not that I can’t be emotional, it is just that under most scenarios, I do not find emotions helpful.  Let me paint a picture for you of an actual exchange between my wife and I.  Now, this exchange is true in nature, but not true in fact.  In other words, the following conversation has never actually happened, but if you were to exchange the topic for just about anything else, it probably at one time or another has happened in my home:

HER: “Hey Love, can we talk?”

[Note: NO conversation that begins with “Can we talk?” is ever good.  If your wife ever opens up a sentence with “Hey, can we talk?”  “Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen!” cause you are in for a bumpy ride.  If you don’t know where the “…linen” quote is from, again, sex in high school.  It’s called trade-offs.  My point is, as soon as she says “Hey” I know that the next few moments are not going to end well for me.]

ME: “Sure. What’s up?”

HER:  I’m tired.  I am sick of being tired.

ME:  You should try to get more sleep.

HER:  I can’t get more sleep.  I have too much work to do.  Between work, the kids, the house, making food, cleaning … and you, there is not enough time in the day.

ME:  Then you should cut out some of those things so that you don’t have as much work to do.  I could even help out more.

[Note:  Did yo notice that last sentence?  You see I am not an idiot.  I know that my wife works a lot and I can be a pill sometimes.  So, I am offering to help.  I am a great guy! Right?  WRONG! Let’s continue]

HER:  “I can’t just stop doing things!  Those things are important to me.  I do them because they are important to me, my family is important to me.  And because of all the things that need to get done, I am stressed about stuff and I don’t get enough sleep.”

[The following line is a rookie mistake.  I know it every time I say it, but I can’t help myself.]

ME:  Then what do you want from me?

HER:  I just want you to listen!  God!  Why are you such an ass!

ME:  Sorry.  Umm, I hate to change the subject, but do you know where my tool box is?

HER:  It is probably in the garage.  Why?

ME:  Oh no reason, I just need to go drill a hole in my skull.  I am pretty sure it will take me to a better place then the rest of this conversation.

[And scene]

OK, the last part never actually happens, at least not out loud.  So, here is the thing, and I know at least half of my reading audience is thinking “Why can’t you understand?” and the other half is screaming “Preach it brutha!”, but this is a story more about me than her.  You see my wife is an emotional being, but I am a problem solver.  In my mind, I have absolutely no idea how listening to a problem will ever solve a problem.  Just because you name a problem does not make it go away, it’s not Rumpelstiltskin (OK, if you don’t get that reference, then you just need to read more.  That or watch more cartoons).  However, for emotional beings, just talking about a problem makes them feel better.  I will never understand this, but it’s true.

It’s funny, on paper, my wife and I should never work, but we do.  Although I can do without emotions much of my life, they are important to the world and to me.  Much like politics, having extremes can bring things closer to the middle where things belong.  She also just keeps me in check.  She is not afraid to tell me I’m an ass sometimes and that’s a fact.  I’m also a little afraid of her.  A healthy fear, I think, but I am fairly certain that although I am more than twice her size, she would kick my ass in a fight.  I’ve seen her angry.  If you know her you might not believe me, because she is a sweet person, but think Hulk, probably not green Hulk, but gray Hulk (again, high school).

So, to all you emotional beings out there, stay emotional.  But don’t forget, in the long run, problems should never stay problems, they need to be solved.  So, make sure that you keep that problem solver in your life, they serve an important purpose.  And I am learning, as a problem solver, that a hug may not solve the problem, but it will sure make life a lot happier and make life less like high school, if you know what I mean.
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My oldest son had his first karate lesson yesterday.  It was a free trial with him and the instructor.  He gets three more lessons at a reduced rate, then if he wants to continue he will join a group.  During the lesson, he could not contain his excitement.  His entire body was smiling.  It was fun to watch.  I have decided that one of the perks of children is getting reminders of “pure” joy.  It is like the first time you do something you always wanted to do, like riding your bike, your first Christmas, Disneyland or sex, it’s amazing how exciting it is your first time.  Actually, probably not sex, that is more awkward and generally gets better once you know what you are doing, but maybe that’s just me. [awkward pause]  Anyway, it was fun to watch.  Possibly the greatest perk to being a parent is seeing joy in your kids.  Not funny, but true.  I’m just sayin …

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So, generally when I write a blog it feels right.  At some point in the week an idea comes to my head and I say to myself, “I need to blog about that.”  For whatever reason that did not happen this week.  It came close with my friend Nick who is recently engaged.  I thought about writing about how is life is over or how now he can’t seem to make the simplest decision without her (really?).  This was starting to happen anyway, slowly but surely losing his manhood to the point by now I believe his testicles are in a glass case over his fiancée’s fireplace mantle.  It is well-lit, with gold inlay, it’s tasteful and well done.  I thought the sign in bold neon letters under the glass case flashing “Property of Laura” was a bit much, but to each his own.  But then I thought giving a man a hard time for getting married was too cliché and I am better than that, so I am not going to write about my man, Nick.

Than I thought about going political.  Speaking about the craziness of people who want to change the 14th amendment, which I still believe is more about racism than an intelligent solution to the problems of immigration in this country.  Or how brilliant I think the “March to Keep Fear Alive” is and how I wish I could attend the event.  But, quite frankly, I am not in the mood for a serious political discourse.

Then I thought about going with another heart string tugger of parental wisdom.  On how my son actually wants to practice football with me ever since I decided to take it down a notch (see Sins of the Father).  I was going to speak of how as parents we would be more successful if we were willing to meet our kids where they are, rather than expect them to meet us where we are.  He is doing great in football by the way.  Improving every week and having fun playing the game.  But no, I am not going to talk more on that subject, it just doesn’t feel right.

Do I have writer’s block?  I don’t think so.  As you can see from the above subjects I have plenty to talk about, but I am not in the mood to talk about them.  So, what am I in the mood to talk about.  Hmmmmmm.  Fantasy football?  I should be talking about this, but I am not.  Maybe next week.  So, what will it be?

How about hair?  Yeah, that feels right.

That’s right, hair.

I find hair to be very fascinating.  I am not a hair stylist, but I do know good hair when I see it.  I love the saying “bad hair day” and I wish it was used more often.  I never use it, because I have no hair.  Well, I do have hair, but my hair does not want to grow on all parts of my head, especially the front part above the forehead.  My father has the sam balding pattern.  Who said balding skips a generation?  The funny thing is, I know exactly where it began.  In 1997 I took my oral exams for my PhD.  To commemorate the occasion, I shaved my head and cut my beard into a goatee.  I wanted to intimidate my doctoral committee as they had never seen me with this look.  I liked the look so much, I kept it for a year or two.  One day, I decided to let my hair grow back.  Not all of it did.  Uncool.  I have learned to live with it.  Now, I shave my head, but it is less by choice than not liking the huge bald spot.  You may not know the difference, but I do.

But the thing I find most fascinating about hair is how contextual it is.  What do I mean?  Whether hair is a good thing or bad thing all depends on context.  For example, It is OK to put your hands in someone’s hair.  If you are close, you can pet your friend’s hair.  Cutting someone’s hair is not a big deal, but as soon as the hair hits the floor, it is NOT to be touched with bare hands, unless it is your own hair.  On the head, clean.  Falling to the floor, garbage and unclean.  Many people put their own hair in their mouth, but you would never put someone else’s hair in your mouth.  It is just hair, but context changes everything.  Here is a list of the worse situations of context to find hair:

In your food.  Yuck, and the longer the worse it is, especially if you pull it from your mouth like a noodle.  Actually there is something that is worse …

A short hair in your food, and it is NOT straight.

Hair in the bathtub drain.  I hate this with a passion.

Hair on the shower wall.  This is especially true if it is a hotel shower.

Hair in any bed that is not your own.

Any hair that is growing in a place that it should not be growing: mole, feet (this one varies), the stray chin hair, the stray chest hair, and the ever popular nose and ear hair.

In general, hair on one’s chest is fine, but there is variation of opinions on this, but hair on the back is almost never acceptable.

And I will end with this very fascinating fact:  The acceptability of hair and its location changes dramatically during sex.  Many things change during sex, but this is a blog about hair.  So, if you have read this blog from beginning to end, I apologize.  It is five minutes of your life that you will never get back.  But, it still feels right and I wouldn’t want to write a blog that I couldn’t be proud of.

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When it comes to marriage, women and men are different.  They just are.  For example, a woman might have a special notebook of wedding ideas that she might have been accumulating since five.  Even the wedding itself is different.  At the wedding on the female side is joy, laughing, celebration, single bridesmaids wishing they were the bride.  On the man’s side: Groomsmen, “You say the word, and we will hop in my car right now and get away from here.  We could be in Vegas or an Arizona golf course in five hours, your choice.”  Groom, PAUSE … PAUSE … PAUSE  “No, I’m good.” … PAUSE … “Yeah, I’m good.  You’re a good friend.”  I’m just sayin …

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