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Archive for April 2009

Being An Uncle

piggybackby Jonathan B. Perry

I love being an uncle.  I really enjoy my niece and nephews and being the only bachelor uncle has positioned me well for being the favorite uncle, which rocks.  I don’t come with my own kids at this point, so I won’t have them to favor and I can drop by on holidays or on weekend visits and shower the little monkeys with an inordinate amount of attention, then duck back out in time for the disciplining or whatever unpleasant parenting is required.

I can play trains with Nathaniel on one trip, then put on a puppet show with Blake and Raya on the next.  Maybe read them a book before bed.  I’m free to spoil them and teach them bad habits like burp-talking and they love me all the more for it.  I even got my two year-old nephew Nathaniel to say “Have mercy upon us, oh great Uncle Jonathan!”  I was pretty proud of that one.  I mean, he did give me a suspicious look, but ultimately was compliant.  Your will is mine!

I remember how much fun I had with my own bachelor uncles and I want things to be like that:  little excursions to the park or museum; ballgames or trips to the zoo.  The San Francisco Mint.  I helped two of them make their first snowmen in my backyard this winter.  Time spent with them is a great reward.  I live to hear “I love you Uncle Jonathan.” or “I’ve missed you Uncle Jonathan.”  That’s awesome!

Then, of course, there are those hugs.  Little kid hugs.  Living away from family I might go weeks or months without hugging anyone, which is kind of lousy, but once I see those sweet children, I know I can stock up on the best hugs to carry me through the long lonely months.  I can’t get enough of it.

Ok, well, I’ve depressed myself a little, now.  Hmm.  I need to go plan a few trips.

Related Reading:

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Men Without Cats

Couples vs Singles:  Socialization

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Brigitte Dale And Nice Guys

Girl Next Door archetype and exiled Nebraskan, Brigitte Dale, is a great video blogger I’ve been following for a few years (Doesn’t hurt that she’s super good lookin’.  She’s on my Girl Next Door crush list.).  In her latest video she has some strong words for nice guys and actually gets riled up a bit, which is hilarious (She also uses the word ‘gumption’!).  Her concern is that nice guys retain their own opinions and not feel obligated to cave into the girlfriends’ beliefs and ideas just to make nice, which is only mildly insane.  Below is her YouTube video, but you can also see her new videos here.

Brigitte Dale Links:

Brigitte Dale

Brigitte’s YouTube Channel

My Quasi-Related Links:

Celebrity Crushes:  The Girl Next Door

Celebrity Crushes:  Elegant Women

Changing Your Relationship Status (On A Social-Networking Site)

Google-Stalking The Ex

Couples v Singles: Socialization


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‘SOUND OF MUSIC’ DEATH MATCH!!!
LIESL v MARIA

Liesl sound of music Charmian Carr

Liesl, played by Charmian Carr

 

Just to be awkward, I’ll mention that I really used to have a thing for that Liesl character from The Sound of Music.  She was pretty smokin’ for being 16 going on 17 and on the cusp of womanhood.  Secret gazebo rendezvous(es?) are excellent, especially if it’s raining.

The Sound of Music was the sort of thing we watched a lot growing up in my musical family, so I grew to appreciate the flirtiness and the innocence coupled with sexy slyness smack in the middle of this wholesome feast of classic cinema.  I’m not sure how old Charmian Carr was when she played the role (she had to have been in her 20s), but she acted an impressive part and early on became the gold standard for girly hotness to me and many young men (and certainly plenty of dirty old men).

Julie Andrews as Maria sound of music

Julie Andrews as Maria

In my article about Elegant Women, I included Julie Andrews whose proper Britishness almost automatically qualifies her for queen of the category.  Between SoM & Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews seems like the strict disciplinarian that we all desperately need to help make that nasty medicine go down until we’ve learned our lessons and promise to be very good boys, unless she really wants to punish us again.

She wasn’t all discipline, though.  We mustn’t forget the light and airy image of her twirling around on top of that Austrian mountain, being the spazzy nun we want to throttle.  She had some serious personal sorting out to do at the beginning of the movie before leading Rodgers and Hammerstein sing-alongs, giving puppet shows, then getting kind of sexy, flirting and dancing with the Christopher Plummer who played the Captain.  Of course, near the end she wins the Captain from the Baroness, suddenly becoming mother to 7 bratty Austrian kids and it’s all downhill into frumpery from there (If you really want to get into it, the Baroness had a little sumthin’ sumthin’ goin’ on herself, but Maria and Leisl were the star babes.).

sound of music liesl and maria charmian carr julie andrews

Pre-girlfight!

Whenever I see that part of the movie near the end where Maria and the Captain have just come back from their honeymoon and Maria is having a mother/daughter talk with Liesl about how handsome Rolf looks in his Nazi uniform, I always get the impression that Julie Andrews is at great pains suddenly being the unsexed matron.

Apparently, the actual age gap between Julie Andrews and Charmian Carr was pretty slim.  When the movie came out in March 1965 Andrews was 29 and Carr was 22 (I just Googled it and am absolved of my jailbait attraction to Liesl.  Yay!).  That’s just 7 years difference!

It’s at this point of the movie where Liesl says something like “I love calling you mother” and Maria grunts approximately “I enjoy hearing it”.  If you look carefully at Julie Andrews it would seem she stiffens a little here and isn’t really into the idea of being the mother figure of the two because she’s not much older and this pushes her out of hot babe contention.  It’s unlikely there were any wrestling matches between the two on the set, but you never know.  Perhaps the crew had to keep them apart (this is how rumors are started).

No, for the last chunk of the movie, Maria’s function is shifted to that of mother and whip-organizer for the escape.  The romance is all behind her.  The only thing left is trudging through the Alps dragging Gretl on a leash.   All the while, Liesl is thinking up wicked ways to work up the French boys waiting down on the other side of the hill.  Yodelayhehoo!

Here’s a song I wrote vaguely about Liesl.  It’s a bad recording:

Waiting For The Day (or How Liesl Escaped the Nazis and Got Freaky)

Coming soon..the final instalment in the 11 Steps to Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor.  Did you notice how I only used one ‘l’ in installment…I mean, instalment?  I like to ‘colour’ my writing with weird Brit spellings sometimes.

The secret compound word is deathmatch.

Related Reading:

Celebrity Crushes:  Is Elegance Elitist?

Celebrity Crushes:  The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type?  A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

Intimidated By Smart Girls?

My 11 Favorite CHRISTMAS Albums

30 Favorite Songs of 2009 (1-15)

Google-Stalking the Ex

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Men Without Cats

Bachelors in History

Domesticated Bachelor Step #6: Be A Jack-Of-All-Trades

Bachelors in Catholicism

Valentine’s Day Shame

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Holiday Chocolate-For Independence Day?

chocolate-flagby Jonathan B. Perry

Holiday chocolate is one of those bad seasonal diversions that’s totally awesome and has definitely contributed to my girthiness.  Special holiday candies start invading the stores as early as August to get an early jump for Halloween.  Halloween is probably the one time where you can get away with buying lots of candy without being stared at like you’re a dude who just bought an issue of Seventeen Magazine.  It’s always assumed that you’ll generously give away the candy to charmingly dressed trick-or-treaters in the annual ritual gorge fest.  In the ten years I lived in my basement apartment, I never once had a child dare to come down for treats.  It’s possible no one noticed there’s an apartment down there, but I suspect that if they were aware of it, they were likely daunted by the inherent spookiness caused by a shadowy subterranean porch whose retaining wall threatened to instantly crush any foolish young candy-beggar.  That’s fine.  More chocolate for me.

Even pre-Halloweenery, the glorious Christmas chocolate collective starts lurking on the edges of the undisplayed, anxious for the day after Halloween to take over the world for its two month reign of tastiness.  I suppose buying chocolate as stocking stuffers is as good an excuse as any.  I usually find plenty of varieties to sample.  Right after Christmas comes that sad Valentine’s Day candy for the tacky romantics which really only serves as a brief lead-in for the fantastic Easter candy.  This brings us all the way through April, which is, coincidentally, when I start losing weight each year.  At this point in my life, I don’t have to wait for and rely on my parents to supply me with a one-time gifting of seasonal candy, which is too bad, since now it seems to be almost on i.v..  These days, I stock up on the Christmas chocolate so that there’s usually enough left to hold me over until at least right after Valentine’s Day when the Easter stuff is at hand.  Then, I stock up on the Easter candy, usually running out of it in May, or June if I’m particularly frugal.chocolate-easter

I’m a little surprised candy companies haven’t figured a way to market for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.  Out of these, it seems that Independence Day would be the easiest American holiday to exploit with chocolate, but this day is already held down by apple pie and homemade ice cream and it’s hot this time of year, so I suppose chocolate would just be something else to melt in your hands.

After work one day (circa March), I dropped by Target to buy Easter chocolate (By the way, Have you ever noticed that most of the employees at Target are attractive young women between the ages of 17 and 25?  I find this to be an excellent reason to shop there.  At WalMart you might only save money.  The KMarts in our area have all been closed according to the natural order of things.).  At Target I bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, Cadbury Mini Eggs, Milky Way Crème Bunnies, and Dove Truffle Eggs, which happen to be my seasonal favorites.  I knew there was something else non-chocolate on the list, but couldn’t think of it.  Still, I forced myself to buy a few non-chocolate items if only so that I didn’t seem like an unbalanced chocolate perv:  facial cleanser (for chocolate induced acne) and a St. Patrick’s Day card which probably went out to my cousin Dan as a birthday card.  That’s another un-chocolated holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s already the high holiday for alcoholism, so it’s good we don’t overburden it with more addictions.  What would a St. Patrick’s Day candy be like anyway?  Leprechaun-shaped chocolates filled with chocolate liquor?  Irish whiskey filled chocolate Shamrocks colored green?chocolate-shamrock

I miss the Easter baskets we had as kids.  Our parents filled the colorful wicker containers with loads of deadly chocolate items which we would wake up to on Easter morning.  It was kind of a constraint dare.  All this chocolate at a child’s disposal was supposed to be spread out for at least a few days.   We were even told this as if it had real meaning.  If you think about it, this is just like getting chocolate in your stocking on Christmas morning, but set 3 months later in the spring when there aren‘t so many gifts to weaken the chocolate impact.  Not to mention that you’d be eating tons of hard-boiled eggs and, for people not in my family, ham.  A very healthy holiday.  Secretly, I feel the candy industry must work hand-in-hand with the diabetes industry, the reflux gang, dentists, and the weight-loss cabal, but understand that it’s only business and don’t mind playing along to some degree, especially since I‘m addicted, perhaps genetically.  This just leaves me as chunky as ever, which is depressing.  But you know what’s good for depression?  Chocolate.

Vaguely Related Reading:

Valentine’s Day Shame

Shape Up, Fatty

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

Bachelors In History

Google-Stalking The Ex

Men Without Cats
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Esperanto Rhymes With Tonto

incubus1by Jonathan B. Perry

I mentioned in the Logan’s Run post that I’d visited a peace museum which also, ironically, featured an exhibit on population control. At this peace museum outside of Lincoln, NE (which is now closed) they took things a crazy step further: there was also an exhibit featuring the joys of Esperanto. Esperanto is that weird language created in the late 19th century which was designed as a secondary language to facilitate communication between other languages and possibly people using bongs. The Esperanto people also throw peace in there as one of its intended attributes (that must be how they fit it into the museum). Basically, it’s

L L Zamenhof created Esperanto

L L Zamenhof created Esperanto

like speaking a combo of broken English, broken Spanish, and broken Italian and hoping to be understood by some hot French chick across the café.

It’s believed that there are a thousand native speakers today, while over the last century Esperanto has been used by approximately 100,000 to 2 million people, many of whom are probably bachelors who also speak Klingon, I‘m quite sure. It just so happens that a movie was made in the 1960s using Esperanto. Incubus was a horror B-movie, starring the great William Shatner (of TJ Hooker fame), that used only Esperanto in its dialogue. It’s kind of an interesting arty movie, if a little Satanic around the ears, and while that might not achieve peace, it‘s good for killing a lazy afternoon. And possibly good taste.

Some Esperanto Links:

www.esperanto.net

lingvo.org

en.lernu.net

Kurso de Esperanto

Largely Unrelated Reading:

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Google-Stalking the Ex

1950’s Instructional Film: What To Do On A Date

Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

Bachelors In History

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: #10. Collect The Right Toys

antique-carby Jonathan B. Perry

A Domesticated Bachelor has plenty of swell toys that are both useful and/or attractive and possibly purchased through SkyMall.  These wondrous devices will serve to cram your home with shiny joy and blinky functionality, entertaining you and your bored guests for days, perhaps hours on end.  Certainly, filling your empty life with deep deep meaning.

1. Car– Of course, you must start off your acquisitions right by getting a shiny motor vehicle that suits your style and with which you can fashionably crash into a tree.  Nothing says domestication like a nicely totaled car.  Go and buy yourself a fine GPS for that stylishly crashed auto of yours so you can see which way you should have gone.  My car actually looks like an old man’s car, possibly one my grandparents might own, and my friend Darrin teases me about it, but it‘s really the nicest car I‘ve had.  Perhaps one day I‘ll get something sportier and more obnoxiously mid-life crisis like his.  Yeah, take that Darrin.

2. TV Stuff (Entertainment Center)– Build up your entertainment center with an expensive, yet breakable flat screen Hi-Def television, viewable from only one angle.  Get the surround sound system so you can freak out your cat with all the spastic directional sound.  Add a DVD and a TiVo for good measure.record-player2

3. Stereo– Find yourself a dandy stereo system (hi-fi) that works well with hearing aids so you can entertain your grandparents with Metallica or the Beastie Boys (your grandparents will be over a lot to borrow your car).  If it has an attachment for your iPod, you‘re golden.  Find a turntable for your parents’ old records and maybe get some of those classic Bossa Nova albums that really define the bachelor pad genre.  If you reach 8-track, you’ve gone too far.

4. Phone– Buy a Blackberry or an iPhone.  See if I care.  You’ll need to be able to text your mom hourly or have something to goof around with while on important business calls (and for driving into trees).  Upgrade these things regularly.

5. Games– Rock a sweet gaming system (Wii, Xbox, whatever the other one is called) or a billiard table so you can get nothing done ever into the wee hours.  Maybe find a fancy dart board and post a photo of your boss on it (my boss is great, so it’d be someone else’s boss).

6. Tools– It’s also important to acquire handyman equipment to decorate your garage impressively.  Nothing says ‘handyman’ like a full tool cabinet.  And it impresses the ladies.  Get your cutting, drilling, screwing, banging stuff ready for those workshop days that will never really happen because you‘re playing games and watching tv.

time-machineIf you have friends, which I have in the past, bring them over to use your gadgets.   Show off those doohickeys.  Drag out the time machine.  Change some college dating choices.  In this way you can also become influential in your group because your friends will develop techno-lust and see you as the gatekeeper to tech-Narnia or something.  They’ll seek you out for advice on such purchases and you may attain a certain guru status, just as my brother and his wife have for me with their endless knowledge and supply of mindless doodads.

Yes, the more useless stuff you own, the more hipster points you’ll gain and the more domesticated you’ll grow to be.  You may be poorer, but at least you‘ve done your part to support the fragile economy.  And that’s really giving back.  If nothing else, these items will keep you busy and ensure that you remain a bachelor for a good long time.

The secret word is hi-fi.

Related Reading:

#s 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

#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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The Hazards Of Changing Your Relationship Status (On A Social-Networking Site)

facebook-status2by Jonathan B. Perry

I’ve seen it happen several times.  Caroline is now single.  Bob is in a relationshipAugustine went from dating to it’s complicated because he’s a Saint.  When my online friends change their relationship statuses (stati?) on the social-networking sites like Facebook or MySpace the information pops up for everyone to see and all their friends feel the need to comment on it.  Often quite lamely.

Don’t worry Caroline, he wasn’t the right guy for you.  You can do better.

Or Caroline, God must have a special plan for you.  Sorry for the tough times.

Or Ooh, Bob, who’s the lucky lady?

Bobby, do you know how many upset women there are going to be?

There’s no problem if you set up your status before you first find your online friends because there’s no individual alert posted to 300 people around the world, but woe be unto you if you change your status after finding all your friends, regardless of whether the blank status was an initial oversight or if you just broke up with your long-term girlfriend of 3 years because a vengeful game of mahjong became ugly and channeled your deepest darkest pent-up rage.  Sometimes these online friend-commentators will seem like members of a genuine support group, wanting to help you and lift you up in this your darkest hour, but they’re not!  They’re really comment vultures waiting to feed on the corpse of your broken love until the juice is drained (Ok, maybe there are some genuine souls who want to hold you and tell you how special you are.  You may be related to these people.).  Maybe you like that sudden outpouring and don’t mind the lameness.  If so, good for you.  Flip that status, baby!

So, next time you quit dating or start dating and really feel the need to alter your status publicly (you know you want to!), think long and hard.  There are a few hundred people wanting to be in on this dirty party of your intervention and they’ll have no qualms about asking…  Who is this Prince Charming? Your going to have to spill the beans now!

If you’re particularly puckish, try this experiment and change your relationship status!   Now, it might be a little touchy if your current relationship is a little tenuous, but that’s a risk you can take.  Try changing it to it’s complicated and see what happens.

Googling the Ex

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

Couples vs Singles

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Men Without Cats

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