#78 – Leaving Work On A Sunny Day

Let’s be fair, getting to split from work, at any time of day or night, in any weather or situation, is very rarely a bad thing. Unless of course you’re carrying a banker’s box with all of your shit. Then, maybe it’s a bad thing.

Staying on point, the fact remains that all of this–without question–is amplified by good weather. If you really want to crank it up, throw in the idea that it’s a Friday. And, for even more fun, how about you’re leaving to go on a vacation of just about any kind.

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy and take care in the song selection for that small ride out of the parking lot. I liken it back to what I’d feel as I left high school after the day was over. You had to pick a good song to play yourself out, for the day. You knew people would be walking around, leaving as you did, and while you were at least circumstantially aware that no one gave a shit, you had to pretend as if you were cool. Or, at the very least, living your life as if it was a music video.

Leaving from work is basically the same thing, just minus the hot girls and homework.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Having to walk home or from your parking spot in the rain, on the first day of your work week. Without an umbrella. Because it wasn’t supposed to rain (or, you just didn’t check).

Chronicles of the Single Man, Episode 15: The Day I Found Out I Was A Douche

I guess I can spoil the surprise: it was just over two weeks ago. Like most people, I’ve never really considered myself a douche. I suppose if I’d ever stopped to do some self-reflection, I’d have conceded that I do have some definite douche qualities. But, a full-fledged, certified douche? I hadn’t ever thought of myself that way.

In doing some quick research, it turns out that’s the case for most douches. I asked a bunch of guys that I consider to be douches, and almost to a man, none of them felt they fit under the category of “douche”. Hard to see the forest through the trees, and all that.

The exact timing of this discovery (like I’d said, two weeks or so ago) and the method through which I discovered (Gchat) are immaterial when compared to the actual nature of the discovery and facts contained therein. I’ll get to them in a moment, but before we do… a little back story.

I met this girl probably five years ago, we both went to the same college—she having graduated a year after I did. We’d had some mutual friends and met through them one night at a bar in the city. Over the course of time, we’d wind up hanging out a number of times in a relationship that boiled down to, primarily, alcohol and intercourse. Now, for women reading this, it’s probably pretty apparent to you where this is headed—Duh, she thought you were a douche because you fucking WERE a douche! You can’t just treat a girl like that and not expect to be thought of that way! And to you, inner-monologue, I say, fair enough. But, I’ll also add, at the time* I felt as if it was a pretty mutually understood situation we found ourselves in. There would be no formal dates, no gifts, no hugs. It was, as they say, what it was.

That took place probably 3-4 years ago at this point. Since then, we’ve both moved on to various other partners (spreading our seed, y’all!) and randomly, a few weeks back, she and I spoke over gChat, that oh-so-familiar time-suck provided by our great pals at Google.

Somehow in the conversation, a guy she had dated in the past had come up. She described him as “a complete douche” and proceeded to detail several things he did that were, unequivocally, things a complete douche would do. So, we moved forward. We discussed my female situation (more on that, in full, when we get to the next episode) and a few other topics until we landed on the question of whether or not I was still living in the same place I had lived when we fooled around.

I still am, so I said yes. She asked if I was still living with my roommate, a peach of a young gent. I still am, so I said yes.

It was at this point I sort of had a sense for where this might be going. She started talking about this one time my roommate had made her french toast (for reasons unknown, I wasn’t there) and how he helped her sister (who also lived in the building at the time) with a car break-in once. So, to sort of help my case—which, in comparison to his on a nice-ness scale, will always pale—I simply typed in that I felt that, as swell of a guy as he is, I am as well, simply in my own, albeit different, way.

Her exact response, perhaps the highlight of the entire exchange:

Ehh.

The simplicity. The honesty. What’s not to love? She’d follow that up with this:

You weren’t that nice to me at all. I mean, I was kind of a mess when I met you, admittedly, but I don’t have a lot of fond memories. In terms of power-ranking my “ex’s” of any kind, you’re like just a few notches above [that previous guy we’d just called a douche].

Once I’d clarified that above, in this case, meant better, I surmised that I had to be, by the square is a rectangle, rectangle isn’t a square rule, a douche. Her response:

A different kind of douche, but kind a douche nonetheless. But that other guy I was talking about was a racist homophobic. I think deep down you have a good heart.

I may have lied before. That may have been my favorite part. Truly, it is hard to pick, isn’t it? I loved that the ordering of men from her past went, Racist/Homophobic/Expensive tastes douche… then me. But, thankfully, that wasn’t wholly true:

lolol No wait, there’s also an ex of mine that turned out to be a heroin addict.

Alrighty. So, to recap… it goes, Heroin addict, Racist homophobe, Scott Spinelli. That’s some company. She assured me that I was more “like a funny Disney villian”, which isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world to be told. We ended by me saying I’d maybe see her around, which wasn’t (honestly) any sort of invitation or olive branch, simply what I felt was a nice thing to say to someone that lives in the same town as I do, to end an otherwise strange conversation. She countered with yet another honest, simple response.

Probably not.

And so there you have it. That’s how I found out that I was a douche. Honestly, kind of felt like this.

And while I know, nothing wildly specific was provided and that the way I acted with this girl wasn’t necessarily in-line with the Gentleman’s Guide, it’s still quite something to be flat-out-told: You. Are. A. Douche.

Live to fight another day, I suppose.

*I went back and looked at some of our old conversations, via e-mail and chat. Of course, none of this is hard evidence, and this girl did say that she didn’t expect to be–for lack of a better term–wooed, but nothing I found suggested I was actively acting like a douche. OK, I’m done providing desperate-attempt-efforts to explain away what can be only be described as douche.

#224 – An Un-popped Sheet of Bubble Wrap

This guy gets it.

I know I’m not supposed to get this excited by stupid shit like this any more. Hell, I’m nearly 30 years old. But, I’ll say this… I know I’ve officially become an adult when the day will come that I’ll see an unsoiled sheet of bubble wrap and not have the immediate urge to do this.

Granted, it’s loud, obnoxious and renders a perfectly good product into something utterly useless–but come on, it’s fun.

There’s not much else to really say here. This one’s pretty cut and dry, you either get it or you don’t. I will add–I am decidedly a fan of the small bubbled-paper as opposed to the big one that our furry pal here has in his mouth. But, to each their own.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Coming across a half-used sheet of bubble wrap. You try to run your hands over the sheet, looking for some un-popped rows but come up largely empty.

#119 – Finding Out A Book You Enjoyed Is Being Made Into A Movie

Now, I know a bunch of you big readers out there are going to disagree with this one right off the bat. I’ll address the movie vs. book thing in a minute, but for now, let’s just concentrate on the feeling of finding out this news.

For me, most recently it was that Adam Sandler is starring in an adaptation of Chad Kultgen’s “Men, Women and Children”. I’ve read a few of his books, enjoyed each of them easily and plentifully, so this was welcome news. Same too for the Jason Batemen, Tina Fey-driven “This Is Where I Leave You” vehicle, adopted from Jonathan Tropper’s novel.

I suppose the enjoyment stems from getting to see what some of my, in these cases, favorite actors, actresses and writers have collaborated on and how they will interpret something I’ve already interpreted. Who will play who? What scenes will be kept in, which will be cut? Will it play out as it had in the mental movie I’d created while reading the book? And, of course, will it be better or worse, in the end, than the movie?

That last question is a tough one. First off, it’s almost taboo to say “I actually liked the movie better than the book!” It’s as if it’s culturally frowned upon to admit that you enjoyed a fun, flimsy film over the slaved-over, 300-page hard copy. Secondly, it is true that most often, the movie isn’t better than the book—but that’s not for the reason you’d think. It’s because when we read books and then see the movies made of them, we go in with such an attachment to the book that it’s almost impossible for the film to live up to it. I’ve decided that there’s really no point in even comparing the book and the movie. They’re separate entities in completely separate mediums made for separate reasons (specifically, not generally). One does not effect the other and we should enjoy them as such.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Having your expectations crushed by a great trailer for one of these movies, only to find out it was a borefest. I’m speaking hypothetically, of course.

#237 – A Good, Deep Breath Before Going Underwater

I like to think of myself as a sneaky-good “swim for as long as you can underwater without coming up for air” guy. If you took a quick glance at me, you’d probably assume I’m not any good at it… but you’d be wrong!

Well, I’ve really only shown this skill of to family members and no one has ever really competed with or against me, so I have absolutely no frame of reference… But the fact remains, I’m not awful.

Either way, any time I swim and go under, I’m always looking to catch that great deep breath. The one where you fill your lungs with as much air as possible, the one that makes you feel like you could stay under water for an hour… or at least longer than you did the last time you tried it six minutes ago.

It’s a fleeting feeling, and one not-so-easily achieved. Think about how often you breathe for a second. Take a few, think about them. Now, think about how many are really good, full ones.

Exactly.

Don’t take ’em lightly kids, they’re good ones.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Not sure this is exactly opposite, but it’s water-related, and I hate this feeling so to me it applies… getting water in your nose while you’re underwater and having to come up because you think you’re going to choke or drown, only to realize, of course, you’re really fine.

Chronicles of the Single Man, Episode 14: Nice Guys, Drunk Girls

Wait… Not all guys are total douches? No way! I’ll have to make sure I forget that for next time!

Labor Day weekend I found myself in the typically unenviable position of taking the PATH train home from New York to Hoboken at around 2:30 in the morning after a night of drinking. I say ‘typically’ because as anyone who has made this trek knows, any number of things (not limited to, but including drunk patrons, long wait times, an INCREDIBLE urge to take a piss) can make that less than a mile ride one of the worst of your life.

I’m happy to report—none of that was the case for me.

I popped on to the train at 14th street after only having waited about 5 minutes for a train, a pleasant amount of time. It should be noted, at that time of night, the PATH runs on a “Every Go Fuck Yourself” schedule from Journal Square to 33rd, with a stop in Hoboken for good measure.

While 2:30 AM certainly seems late, for New York on a Saturday night it’s in that weird window of time before the true drunks come stumbling aboard. From around 2:30 til the bars close down, you’re only dealing with a select, smaller group of alcoholics. After that time period, all bets are off.

Either way, as I got on the train, it was apparent I was in the clear. First off, it was blissfully quiet. Second, there were seats. I felt good knowing my ride would be an uneventful one.

Then, I looked in front of me.

There was a girl, a pretty, skinny one at that, completely passed out in the seat opposite mine. Her head leaned to her right awkwardly in such a way that her neck and chin combined to pool together all of the “fat” she didn’t have into one of the most awkward faces I’ve ever seen a good-looking girl make. I had to take a picture*.

As I snapped away, the guy sitting to this girl’s left on the train—Oh, did I mention, she was on the train… BY HERSELF. More on that in a moment—took notice. Removing his earbuds, he asked me if the girl was, in fact, passed out. I answered in the affirmative, and, cool guy that he was, he continued to let her rest on his shoulder.

Not, however, before we could snap a few more pictures. Nothing lewd, mind you. Just one casual arm-around-the-girl-boyfriend picture and one where he chucked up a deuce as she clunkily napped on his shoulder.

It slowly dawned on me as we approached Hoboken that we needed to find out where this broad lived. I know that term isn’t really PC any more, but come on… you’re drunk, alone and passed out on a PATH train after a night out with your friends… You are, sadly, a broad.

She woke from her stupor, barely, to inform us that she did, in fact, live in Hoboken.

I may not be the best guy in the whole world, but I knew that it was going to be up to me to make sure this steaming mess got home alright. And, you know what, I was cool with that.

To my surprise, the other participant in the photo session and another guy from the train both got off at Hoboken with me (despite needing to take the train to Journal Square and in so exiting that specific train were now at the very mercy of that “Every Go Fuck Yourself”schedule we were talking about earlier) to help.

There is no big surprise ending to this story. We walked her up the stairs, wounded soldier-style, as she confessed that she wanted to go to the bar. I told her, politely, that it wasn’t probably the best idea. Turns out, she was trying to say that she actually worked at that specific bar. A bouncer from the bar, once we unloaded her, brought her to her apartment. Or, so I was led to believe.

Either way, those two other guys both headed right back down the steps to the PATH train, grimly realizing (I could sense) the horse shit situation their kindness had created for them. I walked back to my apartment.

That’s really the end, but it’s a nice story, isn’t it? I felt the need to share because while there are some incredibly untrustworthy dickbags out there, there’s still a group of guys willing to do the right thing.

Even if that thing involves missing your next train at 2:30 in the morning.

 

*If you’re thinking I’m a piece of shit for doing so, A) read on and B) hey, at least I didn’t post it here.

 

#246 – iTunes Shuffle Helping You Discover One of Your Own Songs

This one does barely make the cut, and is similar to #68–or at least has multiple elements contained therein–but after some review I decided it was singular enough to warrant its own entry. And, hell, 250 was a huge number. May have over shot it a bit.

Moving on… Like most people, I have way (seriously, way way) too many songs on my iTunes. As of right this second, I have over 8,400 songs, totaling just under 24 hours of music. I don’t claim to be a record-setter, but we can all agree, that’s a fuckton of music.*

Either way, as you’d imagine, I barely have listened to half (probably more like a quarter) of that stuff. A lot of it is just stuff I’ve accumulated, full albums with the intent of only listening to one song and so, there’s a bunch of stuff that will come up when I’m listening to the whole playlist on shuffle that I’ve either never heard or skip through without giving a chance.

However, every so often, I’ll forget to hit next (or, the song will grab from the jump—though that’s rare, frankly) and I’ll discover something. Two or three minutes in to the song, I’ll realize, “Hey, this is actually a pretty good song… What the hell is this?” And inevitably, it’ll be something from a mixtape or some James Morrison song I’ve never given a proper listen.

Here’s my most recent example:

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Hitting next so many times you almost don’t believe it’s your iTunes. Like someone came in the middle of the night, broke into your apartment and then your computer only to take all your music off and put all of their favorites on there.

 

*These are technical measurements you don’t really need to bother yourself with.