Monthly Archives: November 2011

First Kisses and Goodbye Forevers

Before I get into this post, there are some random updates I should tell you about.  I’ve changed the layout and also added some cool little widgets to my blog.  So now, you can like my blog on Facebook, you can sign-up to follow my blog via email, and you can also go through the archive of all my old posts instead of continuously scrolling down!  And don’t forget to tell your friends!

This last weekend I was at a party at my friend’s apartment.  I knew a fair amount of the people there, but they were all spread out and talking to people I didn’t know.  This, of course, is an issue for my standard party-going behavior, which is generally find a group of people that I am already friends with, talk with them the whole night, and leave without having to talk to any of those hipster fucks that are always at the parties that I get invited to.  So I went and got a glass of beer, and started making my rounds, making sure I talked to everyone I knew for at least a couple of minutes.  But then, after a short while, I got bored.  So, I could either get super drunk and make it fun for me, or I could save myself the trouble of driving home drunk and just leave at that point.  I, uncharacteristically, chose to stop drinking and go home.

But this put me into another predicament:  how am I supposed to say goodbye to everyone I know there?  I always feel weird going up and just interrupting peoples’ conversations, because I don’t like being all that rude.  And I feel like a creep standing next to someone waiting for them to notice me and stop their conversation just to see what it is that I want.  So I usually just go the route of saying goodbye to maybe two or three people so that at least someone there knows that I wasn’t drugged or kidnapped or something crazy like that, and then I just grab my jacket and leave.

While this situation is one that presents itself somewhat often, it is really just one of multiple illustrations of how awkward it is to say, “goodbye,” to people.  And it’s not just like the above situation where it’s just a, “see you later.”  For instance, I’ve made a habit of making those times when you tell someone good-bye forever really, really awkward.  For instance, at the end of my junior year of college, I was moving out of my building and I ran into this guy named Paul, who was one of the Hall Ministers at school.  Now, I was never really close to him, and I can’t really remember any other time that I actually talked to him, but nevertheless we got to talking as I was moving out.  As far as background, I was moving to a different building for my senior year.  He and his wife were moving because they were having a baby and didn’t want to raise it in a building full of college students.  At the end of our conversation, Paul said to me, “Well, good luck with your new job and last year of school.”

Now, normally, I’m that guy who always says, “you too,” to any sort of compliment or well-wishing, because it’s usually the nice thing to do.  Fortunately, I stopped myself before I said that, because clearly that wouldn’t have made sense.  Unfortunately, since I was so caught up in not saying, “you too,” I couldn’t quite keep myself from making a bigger ass of myself and saying, “Yeah, and good luck with that thing,” with the ‘thing’ referring to his unborn child.  Classy, I know.

And the goodbye forevers aren’t even the most awkward goodbyes you’ll ever encounter.  First kisses always, to me, seem to be the most awkward moment in the realm of saying goodbye (I count them in the whole “goodbye” thing because they almost always happen at the end of the date, when you are saying your –that’s right – goodbyes).  Let’s face it.  It’s a hormonally and emotionally charged moment where you are taking a risk with someone that you possibly want to get into a relationship with, so it is possibly the most perfect situation to produce awkward moments.

Take a cue from me, for example.  During my senior year of high school, I started dating girl, and one night toward the beginning of our relationship, I was walking her to her car after some school or band thing that went into the night.  Now, for those of you that have never seen me in person, I’m not necessarily as big as a panda normally is, but a pretty decent sized guy.  So me swooping in for a romantic first kiss has got to be somewhat claustrophobic for the girl.  But nevertheless, I was walking this girl to her car, and we were talking, and I decided that that was the point the I should go in for the first kiss.  And, like I said, I’m assuming it must be claustrophobic or somewhat frightening-looking for her, so much so that the girl literally stopped and asked me, “wait, what are you doing?”  I, of course, was baffled.  I thought it was pretty obvious what I was doing.  So I responded in a sheepish voice, “Oh, I, uh, was trying to kiss you.”  And it was really weird, because she seemed relieved that I had said that, as if she had originally thought I was going to kidnap her or something, and then proceeded to kiss me.

Or even more awkward than that was the last girl that I had dated.  We had just been on a date and were hanging out at her place afterwards.  As I was leaving, I went in for the infamous first kiss.  The kiss itself wasn’t awkward, but what happened after it was.  So we kissed, and then that morphed into a hug.  And as her head was passing mine, she turned and kissed me on the cheek.  Now I, not to be outdone, decide it would be super sweet and cute of me to, in turn, kiss her on the cheek in reply.  But the thing is, we were too far into the hug for me to react quick enough to kiss her on the cheek.  So instead, I end up kissing her on the base of her neck as we are hugging after our, like, second date.   And of course, since I feel really awkward, I just say, “see ya later,” and then turn and quickly walk my ass to my car to live down that shame on my own.

Now, I’m sure that other people have an awkward goodbye every once in a while, but I’ve got a knack for it.  Serious moments, romantic moments, intimate moments, you name it, I can ruin it.  Some might say it’s unfortunate, but me, I say it’s a talent.

Take it easy,

-Panda


It’s Snowing in Wisconsin?

Yes, it is.

That’s right folks. For those of you who don’t live in Wisconsin, this past Wednesday marked the first snowfall for most of the state. This, of course, was met by hundreds of thousands of Facebook status updates about how much people hate snow or Wisconsin weather (How dare this place that is famous for cold winters actually get cold in November). But I’ve got a problem with this. You see, people want to sit around and bitch about how much they hate the weather here, but, in reality, Wisconsin actually has probably some of the best weather patterns that you could ask for.

Let’s start off with spring. Spring in Wisconsin is very calm. We get rain just like springtime in any place in the entire world. But when it isn’t raining, it’s gorgeous. There isn’t a cloud in the sky, the weather is mild, and the girls are in cute little sundresses. Everyone is getting antsy because school is about to let out of a few months. The weather is finally allowing you to walk greater distances in order to go to better bars. Sure, every couple of years we get that major 8”-12” snowfall in the middle of April, but immediately afterwards whoever the hell makes the weather is like, “my bad, bro,” and warms up the entire state and melts that shit within a week.

Next, we look at summer. We have a summer that really only lasts from midway through June to the end of August. And on top of that, there are only really two weeks, usually in August, when it gets humid that summer actually sucks. That’s only two weeks of sweaty crotches. Imagine if you lived in Miami and had to deal with that all year round.

Thirdly, we take a peek at our fall. Yeah, it gets pretty cold. When it rains, it is usually when it’s about 40 degrees out with a twenty mile-per-hour wind, so that sucks. I still remember most of the times that I went trick-or-treating I had to take into account, when making or buying my costume, how much space would be taken up by my winter coat.

Finally, we come to winter, the worst part of Wisconsin weather. It usually lasts like five months or so, from November through the end of March. That’s five months. Five months of thirties or lower. Five months of seeing nothing but gray skies. Five months of having jeans with crusty heels because of all the salt. Five months where you don’t really do anything other than become paler.  Five months of listening to a bunch of FIBs bitch about how cold it is because their parents don’t have the time to shuttle them to and from school in their Lexus.  But really, is winter that bad? I mean, it gives us an excuse to drink more. It gives us excuses to start bonfires. And I don’t know about you, but there is nothing in this world that makes me appreciate the natural beauty of a woman than five months of having all of their fun body parts covered in 4-6 layers of cotton-poly blend.

On top of all of that, take a look at the severe weather/natural disasters that hits our state. Tornadoes? Yeah, there are a few, but mostly in the middle of the state where there are nothing but farms, and they’re never that bad. Earthquakes? Apparently. I’ve never felt one here before, but they tell us that they happen. There were even reports of a vase falling off of a shelf somewhere in the suburbs. Tsunamis? No, but we’d be fine with this if we could intentionally sink the entire state of Michigan. No hurricanes, no volcanoes, no sand storms.

But we do have blizzards. For those of you who have never been in a blizzard, it’s when the sky drops anywhere from two to four feet of snow in a few hours, and then blows in all around with 50-MPH winds. You can’t really see anything but white. If you’re lucky, you can see the headlights of the plows before they run you over. Sounds bad, but it really isn’t. You see, we in Wisconsin view having a blizzard as an excuse to drink even more heavily than we usually do. Before the last blizzard we had, I went to the liquor store with some of my friends at around 4PM. The line to check out literally started at the door. And you didn’t go and grab your alcohol and then get in line. The line went up and down every single aisle, so you just grabbed a basket and whenever you passed what you wanted, you grabbed twice as much (When it comes to blizzards, you don’t know how long you’ll be snowed in). And you don’t just get drunk. You get literally annihilated. You get drunk enough to think that walking to the bar is a good idea (the four-and-a-half block walk took twenty minutes). And on top of that, your boss will give you a call the night before and say, “Hey, you should probably just take the day off tomorrow. No need to risk the commute.” And on top of that, you have a shit ton of snow now. It gives you all the resources you need for drunken snowball fights, igloo building, 15-foot-tall snow penis erecting, etc.  And remember, this is what we consider our “worst” weather.

So, as you can see, Wisconsin weather isn’t all that bad. In fact, I would venture as far as to say that we have perhaps the best weather in the entire country.

Take it easy,

-Panda


Let’s All Go To The Mall

I should really consider myself lucky.  I mean, I was driving around in a car that had a tire with a fairly big puncture hole.  For a while instead of just replacing it, I just kept the air compressor in my back seat and filled the thing up every couple of weeks.  It worked out fairly well, but I knew that I would need to get the tire replaced before winter rolled around.  So this last weekend I went to the Sears Autocare Center (Hey, if I want to to pretend to be a man I have to do manly shit like go to Sears).  They told me it would be a little over an hour to complete the work on my car, and that they would give me a call when the work was completed.  So, instead of sitting around in the waiting room of the service shop, I decided to walk across the parking lot and go to the mall that was right there.

Walking into the mall was, for lack of a better phrase, a fucking trip.  I haven’t really been in a mall for anything other than new glasses or over-priced Apple shit in probably close to five years.  I have forgotten how strange these places can be.  And strange is really the only thing you can call a mall, because the mall is the only place in the world that people will set aside a couple of hours for, and then within twenty minutes of starting the day the only thing they want to do is just get the fuck out of there.

The first thing that I wanted to do was to find a restroom.  Like any mall, I figured that they would be in the food court (they were).  But the restrooms are the least of the interesting aspects of this endeavor.   The food court was a pathetic excuse for a source of nourishment.  I mean, there wasn’t a single dollar menu in the entire place.  Not that I’m a big fan of the kind of food that comes from the kind of place that has a dollar menu, but it seems to me that dollar menus are perfectly suited for malls.  The food is usually something that you can usually eat on the go, small enough for you to finish by the time you get into the next store, and makes you shit about 45 minutes later, bringing you back to the food court where it all began.  But as if that’s not enough for me to hate the food courts at the mall, I looked around at the other options for food.  It’s astonishing how every mall has literally the same exact shitty food that the next one does.  Of course everyone knows about Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and CinnaBonn.  But when you dig deeper, you will find the Rocky Rococo, the Arby’s, the place that serves steak (who the fuck says, “You know, I could really go for a steak.  Let’s go to the mall.  No, it’s cool, it’s 6:00 PM, they usually clean up the food court around 5:30ish.  So basically, as long as you don’t eat near the Sbarro the floors won’t be sticky and it doesn’t stink as much because there aren’t any babies because the mom’s all had to drop them off the babysitter because Valium usually can’t last all day normally, let alone a full day at the mall.”), and of course that less-than-trustworthy stir-fry place (You want me to eat Chinese food?  Fine, as long as it isn’t prepared by 17-year-old girls from the suburbs who can’t even pronounce General Tso’s Chicken correctly).  Literally every mall has those same exact places.  And literally the same exact people go to those same places in every mall:  5% mall employees who are on their break in the middle of a double shift, 20% kids on dates who don’t know what a real date is, 20% single mothers, and 55% disgusting slobs.

Food court aside, there is another very disturbing aspect of malls in general.  This particular phenomenon is visible everywhere, but at the mall, it shines.  I’m talking, of course, about weird people.  Not the some-guy-writing-a-blog-pretending-to-be-a-panda-so-he-can-feel-like-he’s-being-a-productive-member-of-society-but-knows-he-isn’t weird, but the start-a-conversation-with-a-complete-stranger-but-not-actually-be-looking-them-in-the-eye weird.  I mean, you’ve got the people who go to the mall to do nothing but walk in fucking circles, you’ve got the people who act like they know you and try to start a conversation with you when you’re standing in line (please, people who do this, stop frontin’), you’ve got the people who walk around and try to stop you when you’re going about your day and minding your own business to get you to take a survey, and then you got the people who sit.  They don’t really do anything.  They just sit.  I’m pretty sure they’re there 24/7, because I’ve never seen any of them get up or actually partake in the process of sitting down.   Maybe it’s just a ruse by the people who own the mall to say, “We have seating in case you need to sit down for a moment, rest, wait to meet up with your family, or to wait and figure out if the food court meal you ate a half-hour ago is coming out early or if it’s just a fart,” and then they just have some old folks come in and sit.  They probably don’t even pay them (well, maybe they give them the leftover food from the food court, which would explain why the bathrooms at the mall always smell like shit, even in the morning before anyone even uses them).  And of course you can’t ask them to move, they’re old.  They’ve got the walkers and those fucking big-ass-cover-half-your-face sunglasses to prove it.

But all of that pales in comparison to my biggest issue with the mall and human society: how and why the hell do humans find the mall to be fun?  I mean, everyone from teenagers to old folks go to the mall to waste their Saturdays and their “sick” days, and spend hours and hours there.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I used to think the mall was awesome.  I would try to transform almost any social outing with friends into a day at the mall.  But that wasn’t because I thought it was fun, it’s because, as a panda, I had never seen anything like this place in my life.  I mean, you humans just have a giant building with all these different stores that have absolutely nothing in common with each other and a bunch of kiosks that are filled with second-rate, made-in-China shit, and in the winter, every fucking year, you people pay some fatass to sit in a red suit in the middle of the mall and have your children sit in his lap as he whispers sweet nothings into their ears (“Oh, I bet you’ve been a bad girl”).  I mean, just look at what a trip to the mall looks like normally.  For the most part, you park your car a quarter-mile away from the closest set of doors, walk into the mall, try to not make eye contact with the poor people at the shoe shine booth, walk half the length of the mall to find an up escalator, walk to where the store is supposed to be, remember it’s on the first floor, go to the first floor, get stuck behind a group of slow walking dumbass teenage boys who think that they’re hot shit as they walk out of Spencer’s Gifts in their TapOut shirts and exposed plaid boxers (even though everyone in the mall knows their not because no matter how many times they say, “she looks like this one chick I nailed,” you know they’ve probably never even touched a breast and the most sexually advanced situation they’ve ever been in was just last week when they first tried masturbating in the shower), then you get to the store you wanted to go to, but it’s crowded, so you grab the one thing you need and sit in line for 20 minutes and then book it to your car.  And you humans find this shit fun.

Fun?  Screw that.  If we could live in a place without a single Hot Topic, I feel the world might be a better place.  And to be honest, how has Yankee Candle not been busted yet?  A chain store that stays afloat selling nothing but candles?  Please, that shit has to be a front for some kind of shenanigans.  “LOOK AT THIS KIOSK.  A GREEN BAY PACKERS CELL PHONE CASE FOR $20? FUCK YEAH!”  Fuck no.  I’m not saying you all shouldn’t go to the mall, but I’m just saying you should all stop pretending that you want to, because we all know it sucks.

Take it easy,

-Panda


Onesies Rule

Let me start off by telling you about my bedroom.  It is small, filled with shit, uncomfortable, and it doesn’t deal with temperature changes well.  And what I mean by the temperature thing is that when it gets hot and humid outside, my room is the hottest and most humid in the entire house.  Consequently, when the weather outside gets really cold, my bedroom also happens to get really, really cold. I used to just think that it was because my room was the furthest spot in the house from both the furnace and the air conditioner, but I actually found out a few years ago that it was because my parents would always turn off/down the heat/AC when they went to bed in order to save money (Sure, it makes sense, and I’m sure that they’ve saved a decent amount of money, but a dick move nonetheless.  Not everyone goes to bed at 8 PM, Mom (And where the hell are all of those savings now?  I’ve got student loans to pay off, do you really think I’m responsible enough to actually save my money?  No.  Whiskey and cigarettes aren’t free)).

So what I end up doing on most nights when it gets really cold is sleep pretty much fully clothed.  Yeah, I’ll get blankets, too, but if you put too many blankets on they don’t stay tucked in as well at the foot of the bed, and then once one comes untucked it starts to untuck the others until even the top sheet comes untucked and then they don’t stay in order and you try your hardest to straighten everything out with your feet but it never works and  so then you have to get OUT of your bed and take every blanket off one by one and reapply them onto the bed that’s getting colder and colder every second that you’re out of it and when you finally get back in you have to slowly lower your body onto it to warm it up inch by inch because if you were to just jump in to a completely cold bed your body may very well go into shock (I’m assuming a cold bed is like a river high in the mountains.  If so, then thank you Bear Grylls helping me survive everyday).  But I’ll wear everything.  I’ll keep my undershirt that I wore that day on, as well as my socks, but I always change my pants.  You see, I’ve got these pajama pants that I’ve had for years, and I never really wore them until this past year.  These things are comfy, plaid, and, let’s face it, they’re much more classy than sweatpants.

But there is one problem with them: they ride up on my leg.  It’s a problem we’ve all probably dealt with.  You get into bed with pants on, and when you extend your legs to the foot of the bed, the pants stay where they are.  It’s obnoxious.  And like the blanket situation described above, you are stuck using your feet to try and correct the issue.  However, to me, there seems to be a much simpler solution.

One thing that has always irked me is how much childish things are looked down upon by the adult population of the human society.  For instance, trick-or-treating is meant to be only for kids, apparently.   Anytime an adult goes out and does it, the other adults that see them act insulted by it.  But why?  It is the only night that you are allowed to go up to people you don’t know and ask them for free shit, and they will give it to you without any second thought.  It would fiscally irresponsible to not do such a thing.  Or look at something like crazy straws.  You cannot tell me that those would not be really fun after about 8 Long Islands.  Or, as my friend Jay once put it, it would be a really cool way to do cocaine.

And thus, that brings me to the solution to my original problem:  Onesies.  I know, I know, they look absolutely absurd.  I would never be caught dead in public or in front of a woman I want to sleep with with one of those on.  But if it’s a matter of being warm for a night, I can’t think of a better article of clothing.  Now, you don’t need socks when you go to bed, because you’ve got a onesie.  Now, you don’t need to wear an undershirt, because you’ve got a onesie.  Now, you don’t need pajama pants or sweat pants or even underwear, because you’ve got a onesie.  Need to take a shit?  No problem, because onesie’s have cleaverly engineered butt-flaps.  Undo two buttons and you are all good to go.  House on fire?  No problem, you can still run outside and be completely covered (just make sure to properly close and secure the butt flap). Anyway that you look at it, onesies simply have all the answers. Not even the Snuggie can come close to providing all that you could ever want out of nightwear.  Or can it?

Take it easy,

-Panda