#189 – The Smell of a New Deodorant

It’s sort of odd, because when it comes to products like deodorant and toothpaste and mouthwash, I’m not particularly brand loyal. I say that because when it comes to ordering meals or picking restaurants, I’m like a 90-year old man. I get the same sandwich at the same place, the same entree/appetizer combo at the same Italian place I’ve gone to since middle school… I could go on, but you get the point.

For whatever reason, that inane stubbornness/refusal to try new things doesn’t apply to the things I’m actually going to be using most*.

Recently, I had to buy a new stick of deodorant simply because the type I’d been buying for a year or so is no longer sold at the places I shop. So, I went with Mitchum. Or Mitchell. Whatever, that’s not the point.

The point is that after I’d applied it to my underarms after a workout later that day, I thought I’d bought a new cologne. Either that or all of my pores had been replaced with miniature aroma factories. All through the rest of that day, I’d get a whiff of my new self and smile. It was like I’d bought a new body.

Side note: For you gents out there… you ever try women’s deodorant? Back when I lived at home some years back, I had to use one of the extras from the linen closet after mine ran out. Turns out it was a women’s stick and I have to say, the coverage was incredible. Not to mention, I smelled like I’d just got finished sleeping with a girl.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Being excited about your new scent, raising you arms in said excitement and seeing the dreaded pit stain.

*I’d argue that’s why I’m so stubborn. If I’m only going to the restaurant every so often, why waste the one time I’ll be there with a new dish when I know what I love. I can hear my mom arguing with me.

Chronicles of the Single Man, Episode 13: The Opposite of Hot Dogs and Hallways

For a few (somewhat obvious) reasons, I’ve found a decent amount of success on St. Patty’s Day. Of course, by ‘decent amount’, I’m referring to three singular instances and by ‘success’ I’m referring to sexual intercourse with women.

In my life, I’ve picked up (maybe) 2 or 3 random girls at bars. It’s just never been something I’m good at. Combination of my main weapon being a sense of humor (sarcastic one, at that) which is negated at a loud bar and my crushing lack of self-confidence in that arena, and you can see why that number is so embarrassingly low.

Once (or twice, depending on where you live) a year, there’s a day in the social calendar where we’re allowed (nay, encouraged) to start drinking before noon*. Hard alcohol shots, green beer, and lots of Bud Light. That day, of course, is St. Patty’s Day. Where I live, in Hoboken, I have the good fortune of being able to celebrate the day twice… once a few weeks early in my own town and then nearer the actual holiday in New York City.

Since moving to Hoboken, I’ve only really done the one in town. I’m not that cool, don’t have enough friends. One is, sadly, enough.

Two years ago (meaning, 2013), a friend suggested I come to the city with them for New York’s version of the Irish holiday. I didn’t have work the next day til late, so I figured what the hell, let’s get drunk in the name of a patron saint.

We can cut through some manure here and get to the point where I somehow find myself talking to a pretty attractive young lady. My friends sense what’s happening, they make the smooth exit and let me know where they’re heading, in case I don’t find myself back at her apartment.

She and I leave the bar, both starving for something to eat. The warm, stale air of the bar has been replaced by the chill of mid-March in New York. As we walk towards a Subway, I begin to nervously outline my plan for the evening, any and all cool from the bar now gone in the rush of the city streets.

“So… I was thinking… I don’t know, we’d get something to eat. Somewhere quick. Then, maybe we could go and meet my friends back up for another drink… Or, you know, whatever you want to do. If you don’t want to do that, we can do something else. Really, it’s whatever… I mean…”

Thankfully, she threw me a life jacket.

#72 – Gaining A New (Non-Bot) Follower on Twitter

I don’t care how modest you are, if you’re on Twitter, it feels great to gain a follower.

If you’re reading this and saying, “Not me! I’m only on Twitter to follow people and get news, I don’t care about getting followers. I don’t even tweet!”… You’re lying to who ever you just said that to and, most importantly, you’re lying to yourself.

Let’s face it, the only reason we’re all on Twitter is because we quietly think someone (anyone) gives a shit about what we have to say when we’re not with them. For some of us (reporters, certain celebrities, etc.), this is an actual truthful reality. However, for most of us (read: people like and, in fact, me) it’s simply an ego trip.

For whatever reason, when I first got on Twitter a few years ago, I’d frequently get spam followers. That feeling really sucked because for a fleeting moment I’d be excited that I gained a follower—and I didn’t know them! Then, I’d realize the person didn’t tweet in English and had four X’s in their handle.

Either way, I seemingly have gotten past that point. Now I’m simply at a stagnated number of followers—but I can usually take it to the bank that I’ve got a legit one whenever a notification comes my way.

Obviously, it’s ridiculous to put any value into this shit, but if we didn’t, we’d all still be tooling around on MySpace.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?:  Thinking you gained followers, then the next morning finding out they (and others) left because you only tweet angry shit about the Spurs losing. Fuck them.

#60 – When Traffic Starts To Move

Night. Fucking. Mare.

(Note: This contains both the original #60 and the original #103, which were the exact same feeling. But, I enjoyed the way I separately wrote both, so I’ll let you choose which you like best)

Above all else, I think I hate traffic the most. I know, I know… no one likes it. There isn’t a soul out there saying, “Hey, let’s leave for the shore around 5 so we can hit the most traffic as possible! I’ve got a killer mix CD we just have to listen to before we get there tonight!”

So yeah, it obviously sucks. But, if I can make a claim like this, I think I hate it even more than most. I don’t know how to quantify that, so you’ll just have to take my word.

Honestly, I’m not sure what else to say in this space. It’s just a feeling of total relief. Complete, utter and fulfilling relief. You had been cruising along, singing loudly to some song you wouldn’t ever sing in anything under 70 mph. Suddenly, you see that sea of red lights ahead of you and you slam on the break, cursing the very existence of every other human on Earth that had the fucking nerve to be on the same road as you at this time.

The next move has variations but the intent is the same: let’s find out how long this is gonna be. Some people opt for the radio, others the web. Depending on my mood and how many lanes we’re talking, I may even do the ever-so-ridiculous drive slightly on to the shoulder so I can see how far the traffic stretches move.

Either way, you almost uniformly are given no answer that would satisfy.

Until, of course, traffic moves.

You can turn your music back on, lower the windows and put on your sunglasses once more. You’re moving.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Running in to traffic again.

…or…

Almost every single time I’m stuck in traffic, I react as if there’s an actual situation wherein traffic wouldn’t bother me.

Meaning: I freak out, either internally or externally, as if this single time I absolutely can’t afford to be stuck in this traffic. Other times, sure, wouldn’t bother me. But THIS time… NO FUCKING WAY CAN I BE STUCK HERE!

Of course, those “other times” don’t exist. I irrationally react to and hate traffic each and every goddamned time like it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

Among the things that I’ve been known to do: punch my steering wheel, put my windows up and curse at myself and the situation, turn off my music in spiteful protest, put my car in park, act like an asshole to a girlfriend in the car with me, generally frighten any passengers I may have with me.

So you could imagine the complete and total ecstasy I experience when, at least, the sea of red lights abates and we can finally begin moving. Music can resume, fun and normal human decency are restored.

That is until…

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: This happens.

#151 – Bag Fries

If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you either A) haven’t lived or B) have some self respect. Or, both.

For the uninitiated: Bag Fries are those fries that are left over at the bottom of your fast food bag. They’re typically accompanied by a grease stain of some kind that’s actually found a way to dampen the bottom of said bag.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t worry! This is a good thing! Keep going! Enjoy!

Those bag fries, additionally, represent the previously impossible notion that the enormous portions these fast food places divvy out are somehow not enough for us.

I’ll gobble those fuckers up like I’ve never had a french fry in my life. Like I didn’t just inhale the rest of the contents of that now (nearly empty) bag just moments before.

And yet somehow, despite all of this gluttonous behavior, these final fries are the best ones, aren’t they? Why is that? Is it because it’s a symbol of extra, of bonus? Or is it because you never expected to have these treats and their discovery has made you, simply, that grateful? Or, most likely, is it that sitting in their own grease and mixing with whatever (likely cancer causing materials) the bag is made of brings out the very best in the French Fried Potato?

We’ll never know, but it doesn’t matter.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Expecting there to be extras left over in the bag and either someone took them or the place didn’t give ’em. Either way, fuck that place and the person you came in with.

#248 – Starting A New Pad

Am I the only one who actually writes things down? I doubt it, but it damn sure feels like it sometimes.

These young whippersnappers and there iPads and iPhones and iAirs and whatnot… They have no idea what it’s like to actually sit down and take pen to pad.

At work, there’s a seemingly endless supply of yellow, lined legal pads. It doesn’t happen often because they’re pretty thick, but every so often we get to start a fresh one. And, even more rarely, I get to be the guy that writes on that new pad first.

This is definitely the writing nerd in me coming out—but I love that feeling. What lies before you is literally a blank canvas for you to carve up and make your own. There’s no scratched out lines, no random doodles that always look way worse after the fact, none of those furious pen-circles to get the ink to finally start working… None of that. Just page after page after clean page.

It’s glorious, truly.

Ultimately, that pad does come to have the wear and tear that you purchased it for. There’s certain charm there too, no doubt, but nothing quite like that first page.

Polar Opposite of This Feeling?: Leaving your pad in your backpack, getting stuck in the rain, and having the whole thing ruined because pads and water don’t really mesh well.

#100 – Showering Outside

There’s something remarkably freeing about it, no?

This feeling is certainly influenced by circumstantial factors. First off, unless I’m missing something, you almost never shower outside unless you’re either on vacation or away for the weekend. Second, it sort of has to be pretty nice out for this whole thing to happen. Lastly, you’ve typically been in the pool or ocean and simply getting that filth off you of is a relief in and of itself.

All told, there’s a wonderful rush to being inside that wooden little hotbox for a few moments. The hot water beats down on you as the cooler air rushes around you making for a mix that, on paper, sounds awful but is anything but.

And, maybe this is just me, but  the whole “I’m naked in a place where I’m usually clothed, but no one can see me, but still” thing adds a weird, mildly interesting element.

Bottom line: anything to get that fucking sand off of you.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Enjoying this feeling and one of your fucker cousins decides to get cute and lob cold water balloons into your stall.