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Polls

When Does Middle Age Begin?

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aging

Fear of Middle Age

 

brady bunch kids middle aged

The Brady Bunch Kids are getting older

Last year I took a poll to see when folks thought middle age begins: 30, 35, 40, 45, or 50.  There were over 130 votes and with about 38% of the vote, they voted overwhelmingly for age 40 as the start of middle age.  Shockingly, every other age group had less than half as many votes.  (See the results here)

This was a tiny blow to me since my 40th year is sneaking up sooner than I’d like and according to the non-scientific sample I took, I’d be joining that middle aged bracket on my 40th birthday (sometime in the near distant future).  In my article Middle Aged?  Already?  I tried to create a strong, though subtle, argument for why 45 might be a better starting point for the middles, but ya’ll were having none of it.  I even listed official definitions and medical opinions, junk like that, but no.  Human perception is king. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mom’s Life Sketch and Eulogy

 

sherry perry

Christmas 2009 (L-R: Chris, Mom, Jay, Me)

(This is an edited version of the life sketch/eulogy I gave at my mom’s memorial service in CA 2 weeks ago today.  Anything I could say about mom would be thoroughly inadequate.)

Early Years
Sherry Perry was born Sherry Lee Hinkle on February 10, 1950 in Glendale, CA to Dr. J L & Myrtle Hinkle.  Grandma once described my mom as a wee thing who was an easy baby to carry around.  All of grandma’s other babies, except for Judy, were bruisers, weighing in at 8 pounds.
When mom was about 2 years old, grandpa was stationed in Germany as an army doctor, but was soon joined there by the family: Sherry, baby Judy, and grandma.  Not long after, Marcia was born in Wurzburg Germany.  Grandpa was in Germany about 2 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dating Inquisition By My 8 Year-Old Niece

spanish inquisition motivational poster monty pythonI spent a fun 4th of July with my brother Chris and his family picnicking and watching fireworks.  In their backyard at lunch, my adorable 8 year-old niece sat next to me at the picnic table and asked matter-of-factly, “So, Uncle Jonathan, how old are you now?

I paused a long moment, then mumbled into my veggieburger, “Thirty-ish.”  Fully expecting her to be agog at my ancientness (and near falsehood), I was a bit surprised when she calmly continued her line of questioning.

Thirty-ish.”  She pondered my answer.  “And are you dating anyone?Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dating Sweet Spot

So, there’s this hilarious mythical theory stating that from ages 35 to 45 men are in the perfect position to date the widest age range of women: from post college lasses in their mid twenties to the lasses’ 55 year old mothers (but not actually the mothers and daughters simultaneously because that would be weird). It's known as the Dating Sweet Spot. One could surmise, based purely on age averages, that men in their 30s and 40s cut right in between those extreme age groups of women, thus giving credence to this theory of successfully dating all around the outer edges of time and space. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle Aged? Already?

When does middle age begin? 40? 45? 50? Or is it earlier, like 35 or even 30? My work buddy Randy recently joked about me being middle-aged like he is (he’s in his 50s) and I balked. Why? I’m in my 30s. To me, middle-aged is pre-old. It means I’ve lost all vestiges of young adulthood. But have I? I still feel youngish, at least maturity-wise. And anyway, my folks are middle aged, right? Read the rest of this entry »

THE GREAT MUSTACHE EXPERIMENT

by Jonathan Baldspot Perry

tomselleck magnumpi mustache

Tom Selleck Rocks the Magnum P.I. mustache

I just ended the 2011 Great Mustache Experiment after only 6 days. It was a hideous failure.  There’s this one stubborn spot that won’t grow any hair. It’s where my Hitler mustache would be, but instead of the lip of the Fuhrer (surrounded by my normal hair, of course), there’s a huge vacant ugly gap. It seems all the men in my family have similar mustache issues (and we should start our society, the Brotherhood of Bald Spots.  There would be secret handshakes and meetings in a treehouse where we’d have our manly tea parties and bemoan our inability to grow certain facial hair.  Ah, bonding.).

I could grow out a Fu Manchu, if I was really desperate and into Karate, but it’s still the same thing.  Ugly on me.  And I’m sorry, there are no photos of my ‘stache attempt.  I want to be free of any visual records.  Imagine a 14 year-old boy, just past puberty and trying really hard to grow a mustache, but it just looks like ugly dirt.  That’s how mine looked.  Like that and someone’s hormonally abused grandmother.

No, to grow out a proper mustache I’d have to find a Ted Kaczynski cabin somewhere in the backwoods so I could grow it all out in solitude for months.  I might even get some writing done.  Since months in a cabin would be difficult to maneuver at this point, I’d have to try something else.  A beard-growing mask, for instance.  Maybe brown marker.  Instead of these, though, it might be best to wear a falsy Hitler mustache just to fill out the blank spot until I can do the necessary comb-over.  Apparently my dad does the mustache comb-over, so it’s a thing.

I mentioned my mustache growth attempt to a female coworker after the fact who admitted she hadn’t noticed anything strange growing over my lip.  She also cited something about my baby face (which further cemented her place as one of my favorite coworkers).  I guess it did just look a little like dirt from the wrong angle.  My testosterone must be channeled to more important things.

It would seem some people just aren’t suited for mustaches.  It’s a little disappointing to think you might never be able to grow a good Magnum P.I. mustache.  No Burt Reynolds or Alex Trebek facial hair.  No Snidely Whiplash.  My mustache envy will have to relax.  For now, I’ll have to settle for the 5 o’clock shadow meets Amish man scruff.  That’ll have to do.  At least until I can book my Kaczynski cabin.

(I totally didn’t say anything about mustache rides.)

The secret word is combover

Must Read Links

Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

Domesticated Bachelor Step # 3:  Shape Up, Fatty

The Great Massage Adventure

No Mom, I’m NOT Gay

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How I’m Not Really Related To Ben Franklin (But It Turns Out I’m Swiss!)

Jon (Benny Lava) Perry

It’s genealogy time in the bachelor cave.  It came up in conversation a month ago with Jeff, one of the main dudes at my office.  After a heated discussion on Nietzsche (not really) we somehow got into world travel or genealogy where I learned that, as a result of his genealogical research on Ancestry.com, Jeff would be traveling next year to a small town in the Czech Republic with his dad to see where their ancestors had lived.  Awesome!  Jeff raved about how easy it was to track family information on the site.  I mentioned how much I’ve wanted to do genealogical research to, among other things, discover my alleged family connection to Benjamin Franklin, rock star of the American Revolution and all-around genius-type.  My brothers and I grew up with the fairly unverifiable legend that Franklin is a shirttail relative.  And nailing my genealogy is on my lengthy bucket list (see the list here).  To my surprise, Jeff, wrote down his account name and password and graciously offered to let me use his account for the remaining weeks that were paid up on the site.  Going online, I took a crack at my family’s information and was surprised by what I found.

My mom’s genealogy is fairly sorted.  We have 2 large red genealogy volumes of the Hinkle side of the family that follow Lutheran missionaries from Germany to America in the 1600s and continue up through the twentieth century.  Also, a couple years back I sat down with my grandma and taped an oral history, learning a great deal about the Gottschalls in the process.  So, I started researching my dad’s side which is less known to most of the family and from where come stories of a Chippewa (aka Ojibwe/Anishinaabe) Indian chief as well as the aforementioned Ben Franklin.  Right away I hit a dead end with my dad’s dad’s branch, the Perrys, the branch with the chief, though I was able to see a 1920 census document from Chicago with names of relatives scrawled out in that old timey handwriting.

James & Amos Van Gundy. No clue who's who. Put online by a relative I don't know.

Instead, I had much better luck tracking through my dad’s mom’s side of the family.  The Van Gundys.  Amazingly, within a few hours I’d gotten as far back as the 1500s in Switzerland (not actually Van Gundys, but several lines of their ancestors).  It was incredible!  500 years!  I had no clue we had Swiss blood.  From both sides of my family I’d known about a few of our German lines, as well as Chippewa, Cherokee, likely Welsh and Dutch, but not about the Swiss.  I feel like slicing up some Swiss cheese with my Swiss Army knife and chomping down some Swiss chocolate while listening to yodeling and alpenhorn music as I ski the alps near those mountain goats and cows with the bells.  (Needs more cowbell!)  Besides all the Swiss family Robinson (there were no Robinsons), I found a few branches from the Alsace-Lorraine region of Germany.  The region has changed hands numerous times between France & Germany over the centuries.  So, through all this, we may even have French ancestry.  French!  Do the French make good Swiss chocolate?   Oui.

In the records I saw an alternate spelling for Van Gundy as Von Gundy and Von indicates nobility, but that could just be a misspelling, so I iced my excitement (especially since I’d come to a dead end on that line).  I discovered indirect relatives born in China about 200 years ago, but they had Western names and I suspect they might have been family of missionaries or statesmen or merchants or whatever weird job put Europeans in China back then.  There was one direct family line with 3 or 4 brothers who fought in the American Revolution after coming over from Switzerland.  Pretty cool.

Great-Great Grandpa Winston Van Gundy

After I’d done all this research, I spoke to my dad about what I’d found and was told that he’d learned from great-grandma Van Gundy, shortly before she died, that the Ben Franklin connection was more indirect and roundabout than we’d grown up believing.  It turns out that my great-grandma’s sister’s daughter married a Franklin and the connection is through that.  Disappointing.  I’d hoped there was some genius Franklin gene floating around that was stuck in my head just waiting to pop out and usefully manifest itself in the near future, but no.  I also learned from my dad that through marriage we’re related to a wrestler called Wild Red Berry, who wrestled in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.  I even found video footage of his wrestling matches on Youtube.  That was kind of cool and weird.  Weirder still, in the 90s we lived in the same small Kansas town this where this guy had served as mayor and head of the parks department.  My brother Chris even played little league baseball in a field named after him.  We’d had no idea.

Researching my ancestors made me really feel connected to them (I mean, besides the genetic disorders).  I may not learn much about them, but I’ll see names, dates of birth and death, places and even an occasional story or 2.  I’d like to go through each name (there are a few hundred so far) and Google to see what stories I can scrounge.  I’ve found a few already.  I want to discover what they were like.  I’ve seen photos of now dead great-great-grandparents I never met put up online by relatives I don’t know.  What can I learn about these people who lived scores or hundreds of years ago?  They each had their unique characteristics.  Their lives had meaning and in a way, when I think about, talk about, or research them, they kind of live again, if only for me.

I may not be directly related to Ben Franklin, but I have many interesting people in my family history, many still living.  I’ll have to harass more of them for stories.  They may not be famous, but they’re still pretty nifty.  I got a few new leads from my dad, so I’ll have to track those down.  I still have mom’s side to fully discover and that should be interesting (I need to read those big red Hinkle books).  Besides, family legend has it that great-grandpa Seitz left Germany and came to America just before WWI leaving behind a family castle along the Rhine River.  Oh, and there are 2 NBA basketball coaches named Van Gundy and maybe we’re cousins.  There’s enough to keep me busy for awhile.  Perhaps one day I’ll take an exploratory trip to Switzerland and see if I can round up some swell Swiss family tales.  Maybe buy an alpenhorn.  And lots of Swiss chocolate.

The secret word is alpenhorn

Semi-Related Links:

Bachelors In History

A Photographic Memory

Christmas Rituals

Being An Uncle

Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

Dating Advice From The Family

Family Advice: A Reversal (Sort Of)

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

Men Without Cats

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    State of the Bachelor Address: July

    by Sir Jonathan Boniface Perry

    My fellow blog readers, we do not harass Caesar with tickle fights to haze him, but to Epilady him because he’s Mediterranean and obviously pretty hairy (Mediterranean men recognize their condition and are not offended.  Especially Caesar.).  Yea, verily, here’s the state of the bachelor:  Hungry!  No, really, here it is:

    1. Whenever the theme song for “The Office” plays, I make up another song on the spot and sing it over the top of the theme.  Sometimes there are lyrics which may or may not include “Shake your butt.  Shake your butt, baby.”  I’m working on that.  On a related note, I’m sad to hear that Steve Carell plans to leave the show at the end of next season.  Bummer.

    2. Last week I was accidentally subscribed to Ladies Home Journal.  Also Parents Magazine and Family Circle.  Probably a sweepstakes entry gone bad, though I don’t rule out a clever prank.  My issue of Family Circle arrived in the mail today.  Really, I did cancel them.

    3. Found a dead bird.  1st bird this year.  3 last year.  My yard might be cursed.  I also suspect vuvuzelas.  Or soccer in general.  I left the bird because it was on the edge of the yard and had already been sitting several days.  It smelled a bit & its little claws were sticking up all twig-like.  I mowed around it, so there’s a small square patch unmowed on the side of my front lawn being fertilized a special way.

    4. Yes, I realize DB could also stand for Douche Bag.  Oy.

    5. I traced several lines of ancestors back into Switzerland for a few hundred years to as early as the 1500s. Crazy awesome! That’s 500 years!  Didn’t know we had any Swiss.  I knew about a few of our German lines, as well as Chippewa, Cherokee, likely Welsh and Dutch, but not about the Swiss.  Still haven’t found how my dad might be related to Benjamin Franklin.  (More to come later on this genealogy business.  Probably.)

    6. Average daily blog hits in June- over 100!

    7. Found a great Belgian Chocolate Gelato sold by the pint at the supermarket.  Need to quit buying it so I can lose weight.

    8. (Update on nicknaming post.) a)Darrin at work has started calling me Pretty Pretty Princess.  Retribution is required.  b)I’m trying out other nicknames for Paul J. who was non-plussed by the nickname Paulina.  Paolo was also apparently inadequate.  I’m thinking Polyglot or something else with Poly-.  Maybe Polymer (not Polyamorous).  c)Still need a good nickname for Randy besides Bookie and Wizzer (not a spelling error from me).  Randalina doesn’t quite do it.  Maybe the Great Randini. d) Nickname for Dave Micek, DJ Mice K, is still super awesome!

    9.Today, the aforementioned Apollo Polyglot at work guessed I was only 27 years old (he’s 10 yrs off).   This, of course, rocks.  Not sure whether this guess was based on my maturity or if my vampire white skin is paying off.

    10. Need to renew my passport for that cruise in Dec.  It needs to be valid for 6 months after the trip, but mine would only be good for 5 1/2 months after.  Oh, hey, I’m taking a cruise.  I’ll sunburn in style.

    11. I now have over 13,000 songs on my iPod!  Sure, a few hundred tracks are chapters of audio books.  Sure, I had to finally upload a few of those Mozart CDs last night that had been sitting around unused for a few years.  Sure, 135 of those tracks are of my own poorly recorded music and of those maybe 30 are duplicates.  Do I have a 2-disc set of a Bulgarian women’s folk choir singing Bulgarian folk songs leftover from a world music binge in the ’90s?  Yes, I do.  But I’ve reached a special milestone.  If you figure that each album averages 10 tracks, this would mean I should have about 1,300 albums.   According to my iTunes it would take 35 days to listen to this 58GB of songs.  Will I listen to all of these songs straight through uninterrupted over those 35 days?  I will not in a boat with a goat.  But I can, if I wish to kill myself that way.  Also, there is chocolate gelato.

    12. Thwarted a kitchen invasion by ants last week.  They were probably displaced by the recent heavy rains.  I gassed my house with poison that probably was the cause of my subsequent sickness.

    13. Put down 120 lbs of topsoil near the foundation of the house to fill low spots that were pooling with water during those heavy rains.  Need more.  A little water was leaking into the basement.  On a positive note, I could set-up a Slip-and-Slide in the garage.

    In conclusion, that is the recent state of the bachelor.  Will there be changes?  Probably.  Will they be snail-paced?  Most certainly.   Will you have a good Independence Day/July 4th Holiday?  I hope so.  May the force be with you.

    The secret word is Polyphonic

    A Similar List:

    My 25 Humanoid Things

    Related Links:

    Nicknaming Your Friends For Fun (and Revenge)

    Other Linky Links:

    Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

    A Photographic Memory

    Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

    Couples vs Singles: Socialization

    Bachelors In History

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    The Brady Bunch: “Time To Change”

    The Brady Bunch kids wish to remind of the time change by singing this puberty-induced song.  Push your clocks ahead an hour today (if you’ve already done it, don’t do it twice).  Be sure to tip Peter Brady on the way out.

    The secret word is tiger.

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    No Mom, I’m NOT Gay

    by Jonathan Butch Perry

    Totally not gay Bert and Ernie

    So, I enjoyed watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy when it first came out (Haha!  Came out.).  This fun show speaks to me in many ways. It reaches me on different levels.  Well, maybe two levels.  First, I identify with the sloppy heteros (straight dudes) in need of special direction as these are my people and I, too, am in need of free clothes (See how I start with clarification?).  Secondly, the effeminate are often an amusing folk.  They are a peculiar people.  I have been amused by the effeminate since I discovered Dana Carvey’s Church Lady during the golden age of Saturday Night Live in the 80s, and since I learned that my uncle Bud and his friend Frank were more than just roommates like Ernie and Bert (I still don’t buy into that Ernie and Bert gay thing and my letters to the Children‘s Television Workshop have gone unheeded).

    Frank, whom my brothers and I somehow learned to call Aunt Frank, successfully plays up his gayness and this has perhaps increased his hilarity manifold.   Even before we knew about homosexuality, my younger brother Jay, at a rather young age, was impressed enough with Frank that one day at dinner he told Frank he wanted to marry him.  Later that evening, our frightened parents sat us down and delicately explained for the first time the special nature of Uncle Bud and Aunt Frank’s relationship.  Oh, and homosexuality.  Perhaps our parents prayed long and hard in an all night vigil filled with weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Jay and I were probably aged 5 and 7 (Chris wasn‘t alive yet), so there might have been a small comprehension gap.  As we were pastor’s kids, it was also explained to us that though homosexuality is a sin, we still love the people even though they are condemned to an eternity of dry skin and bad hair days.  So, there you go.  As I write this I feel a little dirty, like I’m outing someone (My brother Jay is married, by the way.  To a woman.).  It’ll be ok.

    Now, because I am a single male past the marriageable prime of college age and don’t date excessively it has been suspected by various members of my family, mostly aunts, that I “play for the wrong team“.  I would like to take this opportunity and state for the record once and for all that, though I am a San Francisco Giants’ fan, I am not gay.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that (if you don‘t mind eternal dry skin).

    Once, when I was about 18, I went with my family to San Francisco to visit Uncle Bud.  While we were there being tourists and waiting for the cable car, I got separated from my family in a way I cannot recollect.  I dutifully stood at the corner alone waiting for the family car to collect me.  In the meantime, a fine fellow emerged from the cocktail bar across the street, made his way over to me and started talking.  It became apparent that he was gay.  And on a mission.  Or something.

    ad hoc Halloweenery in college. I’m hamming it up in the horns. Preemptive blackmail pic posting.

    “My friends and I have been watching you for a while and we’re not sure what you’re doing, but I wanted to invite you over for a drink.”

    My memory is a little fuzzy at this point as I seem to have had several moderate brain spasms.  Possibly strokes.  Am I being hit on by a gay man?  Does he think I’m gay?  Oh Lord!  He thinks I’m an amateur male hooker!  You know, I do actually look pretty good today. As if the wind had been knocked out of me, I weakly responded with something like “No thanks.  I’m just waiting for my ride”.  (I should have clarified that my mom was my ride and not some random John.)

    Not easily dissuaded, he responded, “Well if your ride doesn’t come, come on over and join us.”
    (Join us!)  It’s fun to stay at the YMCA!

    Thankfully, the fine fellow returned to his cocktail bar (apropos name, no?) and my ride came a few minutes later, but I swear to you, that as the family car pulled up, I saw the guy leaving the bar again and coming back in my general direction.  And I never did get to ride the trolley.

    Now, it may seem I’m protesting too much and this may seem suspicious.  It’s possible that I don’t help matters when I goof around and act effeminate for laughs or dress up in drag (rarely) just for kicks.  I may have confused a few people there.  Also, I’m not especially butch (though I totally outbutch my brothers).  It’s not like I hunt, race cars, or go to strip clubs.  In fact I enjoy the fine arts, classical music, dig the music of the Pet Shop Boys, and can be seen watching HGTV for hours at a time.  But I also enjoy sports, own a power drill, have a cool hockey scar, and love women, not in the way gay men love Cher or Madonna, but actually love women.  I am very much attracted to women.  At least the attractive ones (of course intelligence, personality, humor, and superior baking skills are also prized).

    This last year, when I made a brief visit to Chinatown in San Francisco I walked past a gay couple who were dressed alike in leather vests with no shirts on underneath.  I actually felt bad for their poor taste in fashion and thought that they’d just fallen into a tragic gay stereo-type that should have long ago been amended.  It seemed a bit ironic considering gays seem to have fashion figured out.  Usually.  Also, when I walked by these oddly dressed guys, I was careful not to look away too much or stare too much.  It was the sort of awkward situation where you try not to look away or stare at the person with the extra nose or very large mole, but acknowledge the person as if he were normal and nothing to gawk at or flee from.  It’s hard sometimes, like walking a P.C. tightrope.  Curse you, P.C.!

    There was an awkward moment in college when one guy wanted to hang out, you know, like that.  It’s cool when people are attracted to you, but weird when such a person is almost female, but not quite.  Barking up the wrong tree.  Once, when pressed in kind of a joking way, I actually told my mother and aunt that I was not (and still not), in fact, gay.  I’m not completely sure I convinced them.  Strangely, they would be ok with this.  It would resolve the problem of my non-married state and they would be on the front line of the codebreakers.  But there is no code.  It seems I’ll have to start peppering my conversations with more words like ‘boobs’ and ‘babe’ and ‘dude’ (maybe not ‘boobs’ at work).  This should clarify things.

    What assumptions have people made about you because of your marital status?  Have family members ever asked you this sort of stuff?  What did you say? Did you start acting really tough and macho, overcompensating?

    The Secret word is really.

    Unrelated Reading:

    Google-Stalking the Ex

    Dating Advice From the Family

    Valentine’s Day Shame

    Sound Of Music Death Match!!!  Liesl v Maria

    Bachelors In History

    Esperanto Rhymes with Tonto

    11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

    The Prophecy of the Tornado and the Trailer

    Logan’s Run and Population Control

    Kitten of Evil

    Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?

    Couples vs Singles

    Which is Your Type?  A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz



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    My Brother Is NOT My Dad, But Thanks!

    by Jonathan Biped Perry

    Last summer. Jay's not that much taller. Maybe an inch or 2. He's wearing thicker shoes & perhaps standing on his toes.

    Last summer. Jay's not that much taller. Maybe an inch or 2. He's wearing thicker shoes & perhaps standing on his toes.

    I’m two years older than my brother Jay, but for the last several years people have assumed that he is the older brother.  At least since college.  It may be because he has a professional job where he has to wear a suit, however much he may try not to (when I wear suits to work people ask if I have a job interview and look at me suspiciously).  Jay may seem older because he’s more of an Alpha.  It may also be that he has a wife and a son, whereas I have cupboards full of chocolate and still talk about getting a rock band together.  But it is possible that people think he’s older because he looks older.  His hairline has receded more than mine (though he still has a fine head of hair) and I’m not sure that he’s discovered the magic (or vanity) of facial exfoliation and moisturizer (I only use a little.  I’m not too weird.).

    Last Christmas Jay and his family and I vacationed together in CA to see our living ancestors and random members of the family tree.  After a Christmas church service, a man I was talking to made a reference to my father visiting with me.  He was actually talking about my younger brother Jay standing right behind me!  I couldn’t believe it.  How excellent is this?  I suspect that the old chap had poor vision or there were strange shadows across Jay’s face that aged him 30 years, or maybe he just misspoke, but it was still wild to hear!  At least for me.  Jay wasn’t so keen.  This will certainly be one of those annoying things I’ll bring up for decades to come.  “Jay, remember that Christmas when the guy thought you were my dad?  That was awesome!”

    For years when we were growing up people often thought Jay and I were twins, though it may have been mostly because they were only seeing us from a distance and maybe the twin talk was more in a fraternal twin sort of way.  I could see that.  We do look a lot alike.  But having my younger brother mistaken for my father is killer and I don’t suppose I’ll ever let Jay live that one down.  Now, if I can only get people to think my youngest brother Chris is my mom, that would be swell.

    Have you had weird experiences like this?

    Related Reading:

    Ignoring Adult Responsibilities

    Being An Uncle

    Dating Advice From The Family

    Family Advice: A Reversal (Sort Of)

    Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

    Men Without Cats

    Couples vs Singles: Socialization

    Changing Your Relationship Status On A Social-Networking Site

    Esperanto Rhymes With Tonto

    Bachelors in History

    Valentine’s Day Shame

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    A Photographic Memory

    My Grandparents.  Grandpa Hinkle may have a photographic memory

    My Grandparents. Grandpa Hinkle may have a photographic memory

    by Jonathan Bionic Perry

    Imagine you could breeze your way through school remembering historical dates, theorems, stats, and paintings.  You would graduate at the top of your class, get loads of scholarships, wouldn’t have to pay for school, then take a job doing brain surgery on those very small monkeys that throw poop in and out of captivity.  You’d know lots of stuff, so you’d be good in conversations as long as you didn’t lord your ability over the common people too much.  You’d remember the names of people you work with, date, or grew up with.  Things would be less awkward.

    You’d have instant access to all your life experiences, could relate interesting stories, and correct family members’ recollections because they’d all know that you have a photographic memory, and they‘d all have to bow to your superior wisdom.  Then you could study for the IQ exam, learning some basic theories about how shapes relate, then take the exam, get a perfect score, and be declared among the most gifted minds of our generation.  You’d have loads of self-esteem, date models whose names you’d remember, and grow wealthy beyond your wildest imagination.  I think it would be cool to have a photographic memory (aka pornographic memory, because, um, well…).

    My grandfather is said to have a photographic memory.  It’s a point of pride in the family.  My grandmother might carry on about how my grandfather is such an old goat, but in the next breath she’ll gush about his fantastic memory or his magnificent brain.  I’m not sure that there’s an official way of measuring his memory, but frankly, I don’t doubt his braininess.  He’s one smart cookie.  He’s even still practicing medicine at age 83!  I imagine the memory came in handy in medical school when he was asked to differentiate between antibodies and Golgi bodies.  Also, he can remember all his children’s names, which is a feat in itself.

    Nikola Tesla had a photographic memory

    Nikola Tesla had a photographic memory

    I’m personally not so good with the memory thing.  I often have difficulty remembering names of friends I’ve had for years.  I recently tried to be formal and introduce one friend to another, but I awkwardly blanked on the spot and totally forgot one of the names.  It was terribly embarrassing, I think my friend was a little hurt, and I apologized quite a bit for the next week (I‘m really, really sorry…uh, Gregg).  There are many times when I feel like my brain is Swiss Cheese with gaps in personal history recollection or names of everyday items, like milk, which is then referred to as ‘the white stuff‘, as in, “Please pass the white stuff.”

    I’ve begun fearing the early onset of Alzheimer’s, which actually does run in the family (Not the early stuff, but the normal stuff.  Grandpa‘s mom had it.).  I don’t know if it’s too early to start exhibiting signs in your 30s.  Hopefully, it’s just lack of sleep or something cool where you reserve your brain power in one way to use it more effectively in another way like when you try to remember what a real female looks like naked, but then lose the memory of where you parked your car.  It’s probably just ADD.  Apparently, depression can ruin your memory, too.

    I suppose having a photographic memory would have some drawbacks.  You’d have ready access to all the bad stuff that’s happened to you over the years that you’d normally suppress (bad jobs, the verbal abuse, the awkward teenage years), and because of your remarkable memory, you’d be plagued with all that psychological paralyzing weight.  It might not be that advantageous after all.  Furthermore, it would be harder to weasel out of things.  You couldn’t get out of commitments by saying, “Oh, I forgot,” because everyone would know that you didn’t forget.  You’re like an elephant that never forgets.  You’d have to think up better excuses altogether, like, “I had a brain cramp,” or “MENSA called an emergency brainstorming session with Colonel Mustard in the library with a pipe and I’m the official crime scene investigator and I just couldn’t get out of it for the life of Mr. Green.”  Yeah, smarty, there’d be a price.

    Tenuously Related Reading:

    Sound of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

    Esperanto Rhymes With Tonto

    Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

    Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

    Bachelors In History

    Google-Stalking The Ex

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

    Couples vs Singles: Socialization

    Tree Pruner or Medieval Weapon?

    Men Without Cats

    Celebrity Crushes:  The Girl Next Door

    Valentine’s Day Shame

    Bachelor Profiles:  Mad King Ludwig

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    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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