Friday, January 23, 2009

What are you listening to now?

Q: Aren't you about due for a mixtape?
A: Constantly.

I've decided to make another mixtape for a good friend who's volunteered to drive me to my 30th birthday party this Saturday. Although the mixtape will be tangibly his to do as he pleases, and it will be a show of appreciation, the mixtape is in its heart a selfish act. This is, for whatever below reasons, what I am listening to right now.

1. "Party Life" by Jay-Z
-I can't think of a better track to get us ready.

2. "
Streets On Fire" by Lupe Fiasco
-Rolling in my pal's Altima into the city proper

3. "
Flashing Lights" by Kanye West Featuring Dwele
-Blame the recent nip/tuck commercials for getting this song into a recent playlist

4. "
The People" by Common Featuring Dwele
-I just get a kick out of having this song always follow the one previous in my iPod

"Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn And John
-2007's song of the year always seems to get me to a feeling of "center"

6. "
Pacific Theme" by Broken Social Scene
-The song I'm playing when on my scheduled breaks of jury duty due to it's inexplicable way of simultaneously calming me down while getting me excited

7. "
Something for All of Us" by Brendan Canning
-Need to fill the Canadian quota

8. "
In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins
-I don't think a reason is needed for this song - ever

9. "You're the Best" by Joe "Bean" Esposito
-The song I want played at my wedding, or any major life event

10. "
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" by McFadden & Whitehead
-It's my birthday and I'm going to add a cheesy 70s song if I want to

11. "
Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand
-Back and stronger than ever (in 2004, about the time of the above picture, this song was on every mixtape by LAW)

12. "Flux" by Bloc Party
-Just bought tickets to see this band, again, and this is from their latest release

13. "
Midnight Show" by The Killers
-Everybody seems to agree that The Killers are a guilty pleasure

14. "
Star Guitar" by Chemical Brothers
-An ode to my frequent jury duty commutes via rail

15. "Days Go By (Radio Edit)" by Dirty Vegas
-Mitsubishi had it right: excellent driving tune

16. "
By the Time I Get Home There Won't Be Much of a Place for Me" by Grand National
-Ending it with irony

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How vivid are your memories from 17 years ago?

Q: (From 1992) Who's hot?
A: (From 1992, but still true today) My sister's friends from college.

The year was 1992.
I was in 7th grade.
My sister was in her second or third year at school.
And I was, at the time of this story, hanging out with Eddie M.

Chris E. was also hanging out with us. The three of us shot some hoops in the Macias driveway on South Gail Court. Later we retired to Eddie's room to discuss one of the upcoming dances at St. Alphonsus Liqouri school.

I'm not sure if it was Chris or Eddie that posed the question. Not sure the word choice used, expect for one of the words: hot. There was an open forum of analyzing the talent pool of the girls. Discussion of various characteristics. Being 13 at the time, "But she has a good personality" was not in my vernacular.

Soon we broadened the data population. It became quite a competitive game in which Eddie would mention someone who was hot, then Chris, then me - you get the point.

Names like "Elle Macpherson" were quickly listed with as much vigor as I would now say "Adrian Peterson" in a Fantasy Football league draft. (Side note: boys - and probably men - of the early 90s either sided with Elle or Kathy Ireland. It was a heated debate in my friend circles). After the SI swimsuit cover roster was exhausted, Eddie started mentioning girls from other schools... As did Chris...

I knew nobody outside the extremely insulated circle of St. Al's... The only other school that existed that I knew of people was Loras College (The school my sister graduated from in 1994 cum laude). And in a flash of brilliance I was able to list Sorya and Missy in consecutive rounds.

Eddie and Chris - not knowing these two beauties at the time enrolled at the Duquque, Iowa liberal arts school - didn't accept these names at first saying "Who?" But I quickly retorted, "Trust me, they're my sister's friends at college - they're superhot."

Flash forward approximately 17 years later (to the past two days) when both Sorya and Missy find me on Facebook and request my friendship. In less than a heartbeat I confirm that they are in fact "friends" and think back to the bedroom of Eddie Macias in 1992.

Nothing might have made me happier if you would've told me that Soraya and Missy would track me down, and I'd have to confirm or ignore their friendship. I just wonder what my emotions would've been back then if I had also known both Soraya and Missy would be happily married by the time it happened.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Do you have a harmless addiction?

Q: Is that even possible?
A: Sure, if it's just looking at stupid T-Shirts for sale on the Internet.

This addiction of mine, looking at stupid T-Shirts for sale on the Internet, would only be harmful if I spent money on these. Thankfully, I haven't bought a shirt for a long time.

But I saw a shirt today - it's on sale for under $10 (due to The Cotton Factory's Inauguration Sale). I think I've got to get this shirt.

The city is real. As is the music for which it's named. I'm playing poker three nights in the next two weekends - if I get a small win, buying this shirt may be how I celebrate.

There are 49 more where this came from at The Cotton Factory.

I'm not sure if every city is an actual city. Disco was the only town I researched before writing.

Enjoy your weekend all,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How do women date on the Internet?

Q: Can you explain the concept of "volume dating" in one sentence?
A: A woman w
ill look at 100 profiles online, wink at 50, e-mail 25, write a second time to 15, call 7 of them, be bought dinner by 5 of them, accept a second date from 3 of them and bang one on the 3rd date.

This is a large, wide sweeping, generality.
In no way does this apply to all women who date on the Internet.
Especially if you are a woman reading this, I'm sure it doesn't apply to you.
Specifically, if you are a woman who has dated me (ever) it doesn't apply to you.
Of course, this is just as easily applicable to men dating on the Internet.
Those that know me, understand it doesn't apply to yours truly.

But here's the point: This is acceptable practice for women. Even encouraged.
This practice, although may be bragged about in the locker rooms of Theo Huxtable, is frequently used in the justified chauvinistic assault of men by women.

I would like to share with you excepts, and my afterthoughts, from a conversation with a friend of mine during a recent late night drive through snow in Chicago.

Readers should know that I invested in the Internet Dating economy. In 2005 I made a New Year's Resolution to "get out there and date." It made sense at the time. Up until that point, I was vastly inexperienced in the realm of courtship. And as may be apparent from my word choice: still am. Although it's true that young kids today don't really date anymore (just "hang out" or "hook up"), that's not really an excuse I can use to justify my pre-2005 dating famine. Basically, I was nervous, shy, and lacked the self confidence to ask a girl I was interested out - let alone actually have a date.

So I jumped into the Internet Dating scene. I was rather ashamed of it at the time - but I think most stigma associated with online dating has evaporated. I signed up on Match and the next thing I know I was out there and dating. Judging by the large number of dates I went on - my resolution was a success. Conversely, based on that same large number, my 2006 resolution was to go on less dates.

I learned a very important lesson about myself: I am not coordinated enough to date multiple women simultaneously. Another lesson of similar value learned was: most women are, and are able to hide the fact alarmingly well.

Although I joke about not being able to know which joke I told which girl, the root in my belief is that if I like someone enough to date them - I will date them. If there is someone else I want to date - I would date them instead. And I feel the same way on the other side. I really don't want to date a girl dating other guys because there must be something obviously lacking in our "relationship (for lack of a better term)" causing them to look elsewhere. Which is fine, let's not waste time I guess.

Okay, let's go back to this carride conversation: It started when my friend told me his comment to me a month back about "stopping dating for a while" was an empty promise and that he was back in the game. He mentioned, "You know that '3 day rule' about how if you like someone - you gotta call them back three or so days after the date? Well, it's more like 7 days now."

Let the record show I hate this '# day rule' and do not subscribe to the theory.

My friend supported his theory that the extra days are now in place to allow for girls to have their dates with other guys and have a better relative evaluation of you before another step, if any, is taken. I quickly responded with my viewpoint laid out earlier in this post - about me dating one girl at one time.

He retorted, "You can't put all your eggs in one basket."
I quickly shot back, "I just think my basket is not that big - it can only hold one egg at a time."

Hours later, as my insominatic self analyzed the relative size of girls' eggs and my basket (yes, now that I've written that I realize how odd it appears - but I'm keeping it in here) I came to an important realization. My friend has made a wrong assumption: I am not a basket for which eggs are to be placed for I am the egg.

I'm a freakin' egg in a large basket of other single guys trying to get (or stay maybe?) in that girl's basket. When I try to date two girls at once - to extend this metaphor as far as it will go - a girl will either see an empty shell of myself or a sloppy sticky mess. Both states, mind you, are not me at my most attractive.

(at this time, please take a moment for you to envision your own metaphor extension involving me getting scrambled, hard boiled, or some other egg specialty which may make you laugh)

I told my friend that he's gotta take four months off the scene. That he'll be better for it. Long stretches of not trying to date anybody are wonderful. A suggestion was to take the time now to research the upcoming baseball season. My theory is that a successful fantasy baseball draft will yield a higher quality of life in the short term than trying to date all these women from the Internet. Take some time off, think about Cleveland's batting order, and date again after the first pitch in April.

"Sorry girl, you're very good looking - but not as hot as Grady Sizemore."

This suggestion is based in a critical assumption.
We both agree that if we could just flat out ignore these girls we like, maybe even treat them badly (knowing we really can't) that they'll start wanting us. Chicks dig jerks.

Understanding my female friends are not "chicks" thus they will know I'm not referring to them - because they certainly don't like jerks.

Is this just a bunch of sour grapes? Yes.
A load of single guy angst worthy of it's own show on the WB? Yes.
Will writing this prove anything? Nope.
Do I expect to have the woman of my dreams reveal herself? Absolutely not.

Multiple people, recently, have told me I should try online dating. These people didn't know I've tried it already. Maybe they are right, and I just don't know it. Knowing what I know now - it would be a different experience. I have not ruled out going back to online dating - even to a site such as eHarmony which is set up - in my opinion - to get people down the aisle. (those who get rejected from eHarmony are those that haven't yet bought an engagement ring on consignment) I've called it "End Game Dating."

It's a stupid joke, showing my immaturity. Dating should be for marriage, right? One of the people who suggested I try online dating flat out said, "Are you looking for Ms. Right or Ms. Right Now?" It's an important question. An answer I don't think I have a confident answer (which may be a more telling response than the choices presented).

As it stands right now - this minute - I don't want either Ms. Right or Ms. Right Now. I'm not sure if I want a wife. And if I don't want a wife, I shouldn't be wasting the time of Ms. Right Now either. Currently I live by myself. I'm able to drive to Indiana with a friend and not come home until 6:30 am or fly by myself to Vegas if I want. If I have extra work at my job, I just stay late and get it done (not missing dinner, angering others, or screwing up previously agreed schedules). My life is experiencing record levels of selfishness. Not the best state of mind to enter a relationship.

Another guy, a very close friend of mine, might disagree with that last statement. He has joked that there is nothing more selfish than being in a relationship. (Do I need to say that he's also single?)

Friday, January 9, 2009

What do you do when a song's not on iTunes?

Q: Have I become an exclusive iTunes music purchaser?
A: Sadly, it seems the case.

I need this song on my iPod:

It's from a now defunct group known as The KLF.
Looks like I'll be walking into a Best Buy with a very determined look on my face very soon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Which two Aussies will make you dance?

Q: What are you listening to now?
A: "This Boy's in Love" by The Presets

It's been a while since I've written about a SONG OF THE MOMENT.

In a surprising upset, this song is not from Canada's indie rock music scene. It's from about as far from there as you can get: Australia.

As a fan of Cut Copy, I frequently get directed to check out The Presets. Finally took the chance to stroll over to their page on MySpace - which I recommend to you if you want a danceable ditty to get down:

I was enthralled with the song, "This Boy's in Love." It's got sweeping beats built upon a solid baseline with a chorus hook to boot.

Why does the best dance music come from duos? Daft Punk is one of the strongest examples of this principle. I'm far from an expert, but I think it has to do with the simple fact that most people dance with two feet. And the dualism of these artists can only be expressed when there's more than one layer? I don't know, I'm talking out of my rear here...

One that's shaking courtesy of these two fellas.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Did anything today make you feel old?

Q: Are you old?
A: According to my divers license...

Let me remind all that in less than 3 weeks there will be the event
of my 30th birthday party. It should be the biggest event of the year... to date... that doesn't involve international political significance or ground breaking national history.

If you are reading this, you are invited. If someone you know wants to join you, they are also welcome. Here, again, is the controversial flier I created to announce the affair:

Jesse White made me feel old today. For that that don't live in Illinois, Jesse White is the Secretary of State for Illinois. For those that didn't live in Illinois 15 years ago, his name is attached to a highly popular traveling tumbling gymnastic act (but that's not relevant to this story) .

It's important to get your first driver's license - obviously
It's less important (technically speaking, although many would argue different) to get renew your license when you turn 21.
I think that "21 issue" expires in IL on your 26th birthday...

I know that my current license expires on my 30th birthday. But this is not going to be a story of a ridiculous encounter at the DMV. Jesse White sent me a letter saying, "Congratulations, you qualify for the safe driver..."

There is now a sticker on the back of my license noting that it's good for another four years.

I should be happy that the State thinks I'm a good driver. If I get pulled over, the police officer may be more apt to just give me a warning because of this sticker. It without question saved me time. I'm somewhat okay with my picture, and all the info on there is still accurate - so why not go with the sticker.

Somehow this made me feel old... but in a good way.