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Archive for March 2009

Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

nosehair-trimmerby Jonathan B. Perry

A while back I was having a fascinating online conversation with my college friend Roland, who was teaching his fourth or fifth year of English in Taiwan as an excuse to avoid using his French Education degree or perhaps to avoid his family and friends in the states. He said he was thinking about coming back to the US, but didn’t know what he would do for work. I suggested he teach French to panhandlers and take a percentage of their tax-free panhandling (and perhaps inform them of the many great unemployment benefits that await them in France). It didn’t sway him. Then, out of the blue, Roland asked me if I trim my nose hairs. This was an abnormal question, although he is of French heritage. Anyway, it was a timely question since I had actually just started trimming my nose hairs in the last year or so.

I think nasal hair awareness month came shortly after my 30th birthday, when, in a fit of winter breathing, icicles attached to my snout like dangly Christmas ornaments. It seems odd that I’ve had to cut the hair on the top of my head for the last couple of decades, but only just now have the option to braid and/or color my nostril hair. I’m thinking I won’t color it green. Or red. That’s just me, though. Do whatever works for you.

Fortunately, Roland had the same affliction and we now have a special bond.  (Just to be confusing, Roland is back in the states and no longer teaches French and English to the unsuspecting children of Taipei. Now he’ll never get the chance to sneak in an instructional course in nostril hair braiding. In French.)

Oh, were you looking for bachelor relevance? Let’s say aging and grooming. Yeah, I’ll tag those.

Related Reads

The Great Mustache Experiment

The Great Massage Adventure

No Mom, I’m NOT Gay
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Depressant Drug For The Annoyingly Cheerful

I’ve been maniacally chipper of late and I apologize deeply to those whom I might have offended.  It’s most unseemly and I start saying really stupid and/or happy things.  More regularly.  As penance, I hope you’ll accept this short video with a possible solution to my problem.



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11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: #s 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

dinner-partyby Jonathan B. Perry

Some people, myself included, are fine with spending all their free time alone without seeing other humans for days and days. What peace.  But like the guy stuck on the island alone for years who forgot how to speak his mother tongue, spending all your time alone will make you wild and incapable of properly socializing with other humans, possibly unable to ask out women (in case you ever had that down). It‘s said, ‘no man is an island‘. It is, therefore, useful to maintain a circle of friends with whom you visit and pal around and who don‘t quote stuff like ‘no man is an island‘.

In fact, if you’re particularly adventurous, you must take that further step toward socialization and enlarge your circle and go to those royal gatherings to which you’ve been invited or even host your own grand shindigs. Being sociable is good for happiness and longevity and is usually the only way to meet members of the opposite sex, unless you’re really into that whole online dating thing where you lock yourself up in front of your computer for weeks in order to woman shop. I suppose you could meet people at work or while grocery shopping at the farmers market for organic brie for fondue, but that might be weird. And a little random.couples-5th

Throwing parties or dinners or shindigs (or grand hoohahs) is one of the peaks of domesticity. First, it proves you have friends willing to come over to your mess (congratulations), second, it can only be achieved if you have an appropriate place for people to visit (you rock!), and third, it exhibits your excellent hosting skills (umm…). Whether you host a small dinner party or a grand shindig, you’re out there saying “I am an interesting and responsible person, able to bring diversion and possibly joy to other humans. Also, I can trick people into liking me or at least pretending to like me long enough for me to get joy from it.” In this way you’ll become the cog of the culture wheel, moving things far beyond simple existentialism to a higher level of super-culture. Good for you. This is also a great time to try out some of those special edible experiments on your very own guinea pig guests who can promptly advise you to never cook that stuff again.

Have you hosted a dinner party?  Thrown a GRAND HOOHAH?  Tell us about it!

Read the first 7 steps:

#7. Master Something

#6. Be a Jack of All Trades

#5. Travel the World

#4. Learn to Cook

#3. Shape Up, Fatty

#2. The Right Wardrobe

#1. THE BACHELOR PAD

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Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?

baby-name-bibleby Jonathan B. Perry

As I’m the last of the brothers to mate, I’ll be the last brother to mate with results (offspring), if I do.  This alone isn’t that big of a deal.  The big worry is that by the time I do have kids, the good names will all be taken.  This is my real concern.  Unfortunately, this makes me a bad sounding board, an untrustworthy critic, because when the siblings discuss possible names for their monsters, I may boo a good one that I want (like Matthew, which I can’t use because it would be redundant to have another Matthew Perry), while supporting the use of the name Birch (this one was real.  Good dodge, Jay.).  It’s too bad because I’d really enjoy discussing child names with family for hours, possibly minutes, on end (For some reason, I’ve had child name books for years, which seems a bit feminine and weird, now that I think about it.  Hmm.).

The name scarcity problem didn’t present itself until about the end of college when it occurred to me that I was lagging behind in the mating race.  It’s worse because I’m the oldest and scarlet-letter2should have done my part to help repopulate the empty planet nearly a decade ago.  I have friends who started having kids right out of high school and now those kids are already in high school and this makes me feel old (and it also reminds me that the friends might be a little rednecky).  If I ever do have children, which brings up another problem, I may be stuck with the names Rocky and Dennis, which alone are two good reasons for not reproducing.  Apparently, I need to get with the program and post my classified ad.  Fortunately, I only have 2 siblings and not 12.  Also, if my younger brothers ever hurry up and get those vasectomies, then we can have this child name discussion without any problems, though I suspect the interest level will be lower by then.

Each year, the Department of Social Security lists the most popular baby names for that year.  According to the Social Security records for 2004 (not sure why I picked 2004, but whatever), the most popular baby names were:

Rank    Male Name    Female Name
1               Jacob                 Emily
2              Michael              Emma
3              Joshua               Madison
4              Matthew            Olivia
5              Ethan                  Hannah
6              Andrew             Abigail
7              Daniel                Isabella
8              William              Ashley
9              Joseph               Samantha
10           Christopher     Elizabeth

Some of these name favorites surprise me, like Hannah and Abigail which bring to mind scarlet letters or Salem witch trials.  It turns out most of the names I like aren’t overly used and are in the clear, which is fantastic (actually, I have a nice Google spreadsheet with all the names, in case I forget).  One problem I have is picking a good name for a boy.  I can think of 4 or 5 girl names right off the bat that I like, but if I can’t use Matthew, then I really only have 2.5 boy names that I like, but would want to use one as a middle name for another, so it would work out okay if I had one son, but I really want my options.

Rex & Rex come when called

Rex & Rex come when called

Of course, there would be a spouse involved and I suppose she would want to have some say.  Maybe.

What might be a smart idea is to get a few pets and start naming them the desired child names.  This way my siblings can’t use the names while I have pets with these names, then by the time I have kids these pets will be dead or I can at least change the animal names or maybe both child and animal will come simultaneously when one name is called.  I think this is swell plan, except I’d be stuck with more pets and, if you’re going to have pets, you might as well have children.  They learn much better tricks.

Yo! Now you can be notified of follow up comments to your comments. Cool, huh?
Couples vs Singles

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Men Without Cats

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A Bachelor Study

Last year I found this interesting report on single men and how they Prefer Being Single Over Marrying the Wrong Person.  Besides seeking perfection, the results showed men with low self-esteem issues, and those with little money, felt they had little to offer a spouse.  Also, there was a fear of divorce.   The report further noted that many bachelors found contentment in their single lives and didn’t constantly stress about coupling.  The study facilitator even suggests single women be more patient with the lumbering oafs. It’s an interesting study.

Spring has barely begun, already bringing thunderstorms through my area of Nebraska and taking some tornado action with it.  Missed us this time.  Happy Spring!

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Bachelors In History

fiddle-book-cropby Jonathan B. Perry

While being a bachelor often means spending lots of quality time alone with Ramen Noodles in your underwear in front of the TV (the noodles shouldn’t be in your underwear), in one sense the bachelor is never alone.  Where there’s one bachelor there are several bachelors, much like rodent infestations in your neighbor’s house.  I don’t mean to say that the bachelors have been cloned or that they flock together in communal groups reveling in their singleness (though monks and frat guys do), nor do I mean to point out the bachelorhood of non-straight men gathered on Fire Island for high festival (some aren‘t bachelors anyway), but rather that there are legions of bachelors today, as there have been throughout the ages and ever will be.

The ancient Egyptian royals fared well because those lucky bachelor pharaohs always had the option of marrying a sister or mother or both, and anyway it helped keep the bloodlines pure, sometimes even providing extra toes for better statues (European royalty had their cousins instead).  Outside of some lurid Greek wrestlemania action, you don’t hear or read much about bachelors in ancient history.  Take the Bible, for example.  Much of the biographical information lists such things as “Bob begat Fred.” and “Fred begat Steve, then Fred died.“.  Because of the specialness of lineage, the non-begatters are rarely seen.pharaoh-statue-good

For instance, do you know much about your Great-Great-Great Uncle Franklin?  Probably not.  He was a festive single dude and, once a generation or two had passed, was pretty well forgotten except for maybe as a dead-end branch on your family tree.  If you don’t maintain a family tree or if the people in your family are grunters, then it’s as if Uncle Franklin never existed.  So it was in days of old.  It’s very sad.  Franklin might have been a dancing machine who lit up a room, played a mean fiddle, and built his own log cabin, but unless Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about him, he’s lost to history and memory.  Poor Uncle Franklin.

I’m not suggesting going out and getting a family so you can be written about, not just because lots of familied people have been forgotten too, but also because being remembered isn’t an excuse to mate.  Not a good one.  But take heart.  There have been plenty of bachelors through history that have wormed their way into history.  Probably the most famous bachelor, Jesus, seems to have really left his mark and won’t soon be forgotten, not that his fame could be easily matched.  It’s always useful to have dedicated biographers or to be God.  As a side note I will subversively mention the speculation that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have been married, potentially weakening the case for worthy bachelordom, though this marriage theory is partly from the highly questionable writings of the Apocrypha, and the theory that Jesus had children by Mary is more of a fun conspiracy theorist’s tale, most famously promulgated by The DaVinci Code.

One other Biblical bachelor of note is Paul, as in ’St. Paul’, though there have also been theories that he was perhaps struggling with his sexuality and only stayed single to avoid the issue, but I’m sure that’s just Hollywood gossip and bizarrely tantalizing scriptural/watercooler interpretation (see 1 Corinthians 7).

The secret fake word is familied.

Related Reading:

Famous Historical Bachelors-A List

Famous LIVING Bachelors

Bachelor Profiles: Vincent Van Gogh

Bachelor Profiles: Sherlock Holmes

BACHELORS IN CATHOLICISM

Bachelor Profiles: Mad King Ludwig

Bachelor Profiles: The Bachelor President

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11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: #7. Master Something

graduation-5-july-1951-3/Edinburghby Jonathan B. Perry

In the previous step we discussed how being a Jack of All Trades plays well in the quest to become a Domesticated Bachelor, and possibly getting you on Jeopardy!.  It can be kind of fun fiddling around in all those different areas, having a good time, broadening your horizons, though only slightly because you have ADD.  But there comes a time for buckling down.  Hitting the bricks.  Getting serious.  Beyond being a Jack of All Trades is becoming a Master of Something.  If you really spend the time and hone your skills for your own personal satisfaction, and because I told you to, you‘ll find yourself mastering wonderful things and even yourself.  I totally just sounded like a bad self-help book.  Hoarding knowledge is swell!

Master something by getting a Master’s Degree!  See how that worked?  Mastery through a Master’s.  The lower level degree is, of grecoromancourse, the Bachelor’s Degree.  Yeah, it’s only a little insulting.  There’s not even a Bachelorette’s Degree, let alone a Spinster’s Certification (there actually might be for people who use spindles).  Anyway, you don’t necessarily need a degree to be masterful and full of mastery.  Boy Scouts get patches all the time for honing their camping and Greco-Roman wrestling in the woods skills.  You might enjoy practicing your mastered specialty as a trade, like popsicle stick cuckoo clock making or faux llama sweater knitting.  Open a shop…in Estes Park.  Hire some good-looking shopkeepers.  Date them.  Be sued for harassment.  File bankruptcy.  Retrain.  Master something else.

If you’re already fairly good at woodworking, improve your skills by taking night classes in ironic bookcase building while dressed as Zorro (he makes the sign of disease).  Becoming an expert in a subject is

My brother Jay used to make God's Eyes

My brother Jay used to make God's Eyes

rewarding, apparently (not that I would know).  If you’ve hoarded a lot of knowledge about a subject, you can discuss it at length in an interesting way and people might want to hear what you have to say or ask your advice about it.  Or they might stone you, so you may need to know when to hold your tongue, in which case speech or dodgeball classes might come in handy.  Or if you make things, you might make special gifts for others, to buy them off:  chain mail or God’s Eyes.  Even build brick furniture or a ship’s deck for your patio.  Or a tree house.  Ooh, a tree house!

So, go master something.  Or not.

Read the first 6 steps:

#6. Be a Jack of All Trades

#5. Travel the World

#4. Learn to Cook

#3. Shape Up, Fatty

#2. The Right Wardrobe

#1. THE BACHELOR PAD

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GOOGLE-Stalking the Ex

googling2by Jonathan B. Perry

So, I ‘Googled’ my ex-girlfriend from college, which isn’t as dirty as it sounds, but still feels a little like stalking.  For those who have just emerged from a decade in caves and nuclear fallout shelters, ‘Googling’ means to search the vast bowels of the internet for information about pretty much anything, including curry recipes, British slang, very specific fetish sites, and even ex-girlfriends (hopefully none of these searches are related).  I’ve only Googled my ex-girlfriend a few times, mostly when feelings of slight desperation couple with reminiscent musings.  Actually, that sounds a bit tragic, so let‘s just go with curiosity for 500, Alex.

Well, it so happens her work phone number is listed with the Google search results (stalking is so easy these days) and I had this disturbing desire to call her in the middle of the day to chew the fat, but I would probably just have an awkward conversation with her secretary.  What would I say anyway?  I’d start with the easy stuff:  how she’s been these last 10 years (the ex, not the secretary).  Then I’d want to know things that are awkward to ask: if she’s dating or married, if she has children, and why we really broke up (which I would probably never ask or want to know), besides the fact that our relationship became long distance at the end.

googledyThen, of course, the conversation would come back to me and she’d find out all the stuff I’m embarrassed about:  I worked at the same hated job for several years before recently advancing ever so slightly, I’ve gotten chunky on chocolate ice cream, until last year I lived in the same dank apartment for a decade, and have hang-ups about going to doctors to whom I‘m not related.  On the upside I could sneak into the conversation swell stuff, like that I just bought a house, I’ve had fun visits to Europe and Asia, I’ve written two books (both unpublished, of course), and have two charming nephews and an adorable niece, as if I had anything to do with that.  I’ve even gone through little scenarios of conversations we might have and how delightfully awkward it might be to act out in regional theater and it all seems wonderfully sad and pathetic.  Yay.  What fun.  Time to call the therapist.

Just so I feel better about myself and possibly less like a stalker, I think it would be swell if you, dear reader, were to go stalk… I mean ‘Google‘… your exes and report back.  You know you want to.

The secret phrase is nuclear fallout shelter.

Related Reading:

Celebrity Crushes:  The Girl Next Door

Celebrity Crushes: Is Elegance Elitist?

Sound Of Music Death Match!! Liesl v Maria

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

Valentine’s Day Shame

Dating Advice From The Family

Family Advice: A Reversal (S0rt Of)

Dating Satisfaction Survey

Changing Your Relationship Status On A Social-Networking Site

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

Couples vs Singles

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Men Without Cats

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BACHELOR PROFILES: SHERLOCK HOLMES

sherlock-posterby Jonathan B. Perry

Yeah, I know Sherlock Holmes is a character of fiction.  OR IS HE?  No, he is.  But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote so many Sherlock Holmes mysteries that I sometimes feel I personally know Holmes or at least that he was a real historical figure.  He’s one of my favorite characters and is easily recognizable not only by his clever private detective work and astute observations, but also by his funny deerstalker hat, cape, and pipe.  I’ve even named my dormant rock band, The Musgrave Ritual, after one of his cases.  The Scottish Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels about this London-based consulting detective, and bachelor, set in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Most of the stories were narrated by Holmes sidekick Dr. Watson, who lived with Holmes for many years before Watson married, then again after Mrs. Watson died.  See, Watson was married, so don’t get any ideas.

A life-long bachelor (except in fan fiction), Sherlock Holmes does take an interest in Irene Adler, who he mentions in several cases, but only appears in “A Scandal In Bohemia“.  In that story she outwits Holmes and escapes (it was complicated).  For one of his other cases, Holmes is briefly engaged to be married, but only in order to uncover clues for his case, which is the excuse I’d use.  At one point Holmes says, “I am not a whole-souled admirer of womankind“.  Also, he found “the motives of women… so inscrutable… How can you build on such quicksand? Their most trivial actions may mean volumes… their most extraordinary conduct may depend upon a hairpin.”  Such wisdom.sherlock_holmes_record

Though he earned a good deal of money from his cases, especially from doing work for Europe‘s royal families, and could have retired young, he lived modestly in his London bachelor pad on Baker Street.  Watson described Holmes as being quite disorganized, leaving notes and experiments from old cases lying around the room, but able to find what he needed quickly from his organized chaos.  I seem to have inadvertently modeled myself after him in this organizational respect.

Sherlock Holmes does have a major vice: drugs.  Frequently using cocaine, and sometimes morphine, especially when his cases were understimulating, he still looked down on the use of opium.  The use of such drugs was legal at that time in England, what with so much understimulation.  Dr. Watson sometimes suspected that drug use was involved when Holmes stayed up all night.  Later Watson believed he weaned Holmes off the junk.sherlock1

Despite the drug use, Sherlock Holmes stands as a paragon of the modern detective as well as an interesting bachelor specimen.  I wish I could go out on a case with him, maybe do some experiments.  Go skeet shooting.  But he’s dead.  I mean, if he’d been real, he’d be dead.  Rest in peace, fictional dude.

By the way, there are two new Sherlock Holmes movies in the works.  One will star Robert Downey Jr as Holmes with Guy Ritchie directing and the other has Borat’s Sacha Baron Cohen as Holmes and Will Ferrell as Dr. Watson in a comedy by Judd Apatow.  Pretty excellent!  Can’t wait.

BACHELORS IN CATHOLICISM

Bachelors In History

Bachelor Profiles: Mad King Ludwig

Bachelor Profiles: The Bachelor President

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What Are Your Favorite Date Ideas?

taiwan-travel1With the weekend here, lots of people are pushing into restaurants and theaters as they join the dating frenzy. Maybe some of you freaks are even going out, doing date stuff. Dinner and a movie have always been a fine standby date combo. Really it’s the person you’re dating that makes the date great, so it shouldn‘t matter what you do. Right? You need to eat anyway and who doesn’t like to watch movies? But there’s always this underlying challenge to outdo yourself and others by going on a cool date. A cool date might be you and your date doing something a little different from the dinner and a movie routine. It’s always a little gratifying to have a successful cool date where you and your girl get dinner at a raw food restaurant, then take in the rollerskating museum before hitting opera karaoke. Or whatever. It can be a fun challenge figuring out something creative to do.

A few days ago, in an online discussion group, I posed the question “What are your favorite date ideas?” I’ve seen monster lists before, but wanted to find out what folks really liked and to see if I could get some other ideas to steal. You know, for my friends who go on dates. I got some great responses.

Food

Generally food was involved, whether it was fine dining with live music or picnicking. Thundercatt99 said, “Why not get out into the wilderness with a compass, map and a picnic lunch — and see what the two of you find?”  From the discussion group, there were ideas to take cooking classes or just make food at home together. Hatingtherain offered this popular variation of home cooking: “Spaghetti for dinner, then lots of wild sex, then falling asleep snuggling on the couch watching Spongebob and The Twilight Zone.”  There were offers to cook.
renfairqueen
Other suggestions for learning/making things included painting and salsa dancing. One person said she liked to volunteer at a soup kitchen, clean up the beach, or go to a fundraiser on dates. I personally enjoy concerts, and comedy clubs can be fun and often these dates take you out of town together, especially if you’re in a smaller town. Go antiquing, to a flea market, or bowl. Thelighthouse said, “Museums often have free events, like dance parties or movie screenings. There’s also renaissance faires and swordfighting classes, which are fun if you’re into them and even more hilarious if you’re not into them — ’cause then you just make fun of everyone” (which is what I’d do, but privately as to not embarrass nerds or certain family members).

Adrenaline Activities

Of course, there’s the adrenaline stuff: canoeing, kayaking, sky-diving, mountain climbing, or go-cart racing. Sporty date activities are supposed to be good for raising the adrenaline and help you to get to know your date better in a shorter time, much like travel dating.

But what do you guys like to do? What would you like to try? Tell us your ideas or experiences in the comments section. We’d all like to find something fun and/or new to do on a date.

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Over 50,000 Served!

mcd

Over 50,000 hits now! In just 5 weeks. That’s pretty groovy. I’ll try to contain myself until 75k or 100k is reached, but there are no promises.

Just now Bridget Jones’s Diary is on tv (apparently on Women’s Entertainment, not that I’m really watching it or anything being a guy and all. A straight guy.) and there was a cool scene about Bridget going solo to a dinner party with smug couples. It fits in well with the post on Couples vs Singles, even though Bridget‘s female. Lo and behold, the clip is on YouTube. So, um, watch it. And think about rugby, if it helps.
(As a side note, it occurs to me that Colin Firth plays guys with the the last name Darcy in both this movie and one of the Jane Austen movies. Is that Pride and Prejudice? Yeah, I have to go repair something now.)
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The Domesticated Bachelor Store

mug-bachelor

My goofy brother Jay has been helping me a lot with blog tech stuff and, on the sly, set up this store, The Domesticated Bachelor Store.  Big surprise!  It has all kinds of bachelor weirdness for sale: shirts, mugs, hats, sweatshirts, pins, jackets, and bags.  Even dog t-shirts (the no cat art isn’t really anti-cat, it just references the Men Without Cats post, but it works on levels.).  Sure, it’s a little weird shilling stuff, but I’m getting used to the idea.  So, take a look at our shop and get your Domesticated Bachelor gear here.  shop-tshirtShow the world you’re domesticated or that you hate cats or whatever.  Or get it for your lonely single brother who’s afraid of commitment or getting cooties.  I’m sure I’ll overcome my discomfort some day.


What is a Domesticated Bachelor?


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11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: #6. Be A Jack Of All Trades

jeopardy_lby Jonathan B. Perry

An important part of becoming a Domesticated Bachelor is being a Jack of All Trades.  Being a Jack of All Trades isn’t quite the same as being a know it all.  Or a jackass, though they can, and often do, overlap.  It means being able to function moderately in most broad areas of knowledge.  It’s being well rounded, knowing a fair amount about Russian literature, Biblical carpentry, snake oil sales, and Congolese kayak repair, but not being enough of an expert to really excel or do much with that knowledge.

Being a Jack of All Trades still comes in handy because you’d know a little about most subjects and would be able to converse superficially about Congolese politics with your Congolese cleaning-lady before your cultured dinner party starts (she’s the exiled Congolese president‘s estranged goddaughter who’s cleaning your kitchen drain boards) or you could avoid major embarrassment if in a situation that requires minor skills, like changing a golf cart tire near the twelfth hole or planting a row of miniature fruit trees or naming your polo team after a Nabakov novel (the Hammered Lolitas!).  You can become a Jack of All Trades by dipping your toe a little in each subject.  This is best done by reading the first ten pages or so of several books.  Also, you could spend 6 or 7 years in college taking, or at least starting, many courses, perhaps changing your major several times along the way.  If you need real help doing any of this stuff in an actual skillful way you can always look up instructions online or buy one of those Dummies/Idiots books.  I suspect you might need several.jack-of-all-trades-king-gee

Best of all, being the Jack of All Trades Dude that you are, you might make a decent Jeopardy! contestant because, even though your knowledge might not be very deep, it’s grown very broad.  Broad knowledge is key to excelling in multiple Jeopardy! categories and since there are 13 of them in each game you‘re well on your way.  Being on Jeopardy! is a major signifier of intelligence and will help cement your Bachelor Domestication, potentially acting as an aphrodisiac to at least a few disturbed women, especially the cute librarian types best depicted by Shirley Jones in The Music Man.  Then you might get to meet Alex Trebek, who’s grown back his mustache, and talk to him about the role of Congolese political art in Russian Orthodox literature while changing a golf shopping cart tire in the middle of your golf-course-dwarf-pomegranate-orchard-cemetery game, where the motto’s always been ‘Play through or die!’  Don’t be too long because the Hammered Lolitas play next.

Read the first 5 steps:

#5. Travel the World

#4. Learn to Cook

#3. Shape Up, Fatty

#2. The Right Wardrobe

#1. THE BACHELOR PAD

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Guyland

arrested-development-men-so01-wide-horizontalA few months ago I found this article on Newsweek‘s website with an interesting take on bachelors and why they stay single longer (read it here).  The book that’s mentioned, Guyland by sociologist Michael Kimmel, posits that men are increasingly delaying adulthood for several reasons.  I may have to read the book just to mess with my head and stuff.  Read the article.

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COUPLES vs SINGLES: SOCIALIZATION

game-night-no-gameby Jonathan B. Perry

A while back I spent a whirlwind three day weekend with my brother Jay and his delightful wife and was completely amazed at their full social calendars.  In the few days I stayed in their home, we ate at other peoples’ homes on three different occasions and went out to eat with other people twice.  That’s five meals away from their home in a three day period.  I suspect that perhaps they didn’t want to be left alone with me (or didn‘t want to clean up after me.  You know, because of the food fights.).  I don’t blame them.  They even turned down other social invitations because, frankly, they do not have clones.

I find this whole socialization thing insane and unnatural and suspect it to be part of a secret pact they take as hipsters.  On my own, I might go several weeks, possibly months, without socially cavorting with anyone outside of work, let alone being invited over for a happy dinner of veggie tacos to be followed by a vigorous game of Scrabble or Cranium.  For my brother and his wife, their most social friends are, of course, other non-mutant, though slightly hipster, couples except for the occasional odd duck single person (me) to remind them how very nice it is to be coupled.  Also, I live a long 6.5 hours from them, so they have a pleasant buffer zone.couples-dinner_party-400wl

I see this sort of thing happening with my other friends as the single folk are gradually sucked into the vortex of institutions (marital and mental).  Some just drop off the face of the earth completely.  Because couples befriend and find safety in the company of other couples (after which couples with children find other couples with children), I’ve come to appreciate those rare occasions where I am invited to join in their reindeer games.  I even consider myself to be a valuable token single male friend useful for pity, as a fifth wheel, or, under duress, as a spare to even up a double or triple date.  I can understand, though, the reluctance of normal couples to socialize with single people as many of these folk are single longer for good reasons, exhibited by a healthy variety of mutational factors such as strange body growths, retarded social skills, and psychopathic personalities.  Not that you, my dear single reader, have any of these problems.

Studies have shown that single males have an easier time of being invited over socially to couples’ homes than do single females.  Part of this mad theory (I have no footnotes for this encouraging study and don‘t really believe it) is that the husband or boyfriend is potentially jealous of a single male while conversely a wife or girlfriend is jealous of a single female, but because the wife/girlfriend deals with the hospitality and does the inviting, fewer single females are invited over for happy social time, much to the sadness of the single women of the world.  Frankly, I notice no difference in my favor, but I‘m a guy.  What do I know?

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