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Buying Useless Antique Furniture: Globe Wernicke Card Catalog Cabinet with Map Drawers

 

card catalog file drawers cabinet globe wernicke map drawers bookcase oak book shelves

Glamour Shot

Last year I started looking for library card catalog file drawers to buy. Yes, they’re incredibly useful for storing your twine and bags of rubber bands and spare whoopee cushions, but I wanted them for the aesthetics. To me they’re pretty awesome. Maybe it’s the uniformity of the wooden drawers and the little brass pulls. It might be the bookish nature of the card catalog. Either way, I desired one. “The Big Bang Theory” even has a cabinet of card file drawers on its set (but I still wanted one).

So I started checking online and at antique shops. I would see them sporadically, but they seemed either inferior or cost more than I was ready to spend. I even asked 2 of my librarian friends if their libraries had any card file drawers to get rid of now that the card file info was all online. Nope. Their card catalogs had already been poached. The library I worked in briefly during college had already given up its drawers to a former librarian, so I was out of luck there. It seemed I needed to adapt what I was willing to spend.

Fast forward to May– I dropped by an antique mall I’d been to before and there, at the back of the store, stood a 6 and a half foot tall wooden ‘filing cabinet’. But it was more than just a filing cabinet, it was a Globe Wernicke golden oak paneled ‘filing cabinet’ with several layers of drawers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Naming the Bachelor Fortress

 

fortressofsolitudesupermanloislanesmallville

Superman Hides from Lois Lane

The Vanderbilts have the Biltmore Estate.   The French royals had Versailles.  Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and has a fun garden maze.  Superman had the Fortress of Solitude.  Um, there’s Howard’s End.  See, I think it’s time I named my little house.  My bachelor pad.  My precious. Read the rest of this entry »

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Antique Stained-Glass Window For the Bachelor Pad

Earlier this summer I found this great stained-glass window at an antique shop in Iowa. It was perfect because I'd been looking around for a nice one at a decent price, but everything similar cost about 50% more or just wasn't appealing enough. This was just right. I even managed to get the seller to come down a bit on price. Score! This 2' x 3' window might not be terribly old, but I like the design and the colors. I also like the cathedral/church window shapes within the window. Read the rest of this entry »

Bachelor Pads Have 15 Times More Germs!!!

bachelorpadpizza

This is not my beautiful house.

by Jonathan Bacteria Perry

Okay, dudes.  We need to talk.  It seems we have a problem, a perception problem that’s going to take a lot of Lysol & Clorox to wipe clean.  Apparently our bachelor pads have gotten pretty funky.  I know that’s not terribly surprising, but now there’s this so-called ‘official’ research from the University of Arizona showing how truly foul things are.  According to these tests, bachelor pads contain 15 times the amount of bacteria than is in the homes of bachelorettes.  15 TIMES!  That’s insane.  I didn’t figure the number would be that high.  Maybe 3 or 4 times more germs, but not 15.  Of course, the study found that bachelorette homes were even cleaner than the average home with 2 or more people, so apparently bachelorettes are freaks, like museum curators or something, whereas bachelor pads were like monkey cages (which would make bachelors the monkeys throwing poop, not the zoo keepers).

Oh, the grossest thing the study found about bachelor pads is that 70% of coffee tables harbored coliform, a type of bacteria common in feces.  Feces!  You’ve got crap on your coffee table!  Apparently shoes pick up feces after a while, so if you put your feet up on the coffee table, there’s a good chance you’re transferring poop.  Exciting, huh?  These coliforms and other fun microbes, including cold and flu carriers,  were also abundant on TV remotes, door knobs, and the bedside stand.  It’s true, bachelorette homes weren’t immune to these bugs, but they weren’t nearly as disgustingly infested.

Now guys, you can take some solace in knowing you aren’t spreading the Legionnaires Disease that recently made almost 200 visitors to the Playboy Mansion ill.  We all knew there’d be some scary stuff coming from there, but not on that big of a scale.  I’m sure you might be interested in seeing some sort of trade off, like the flu for a scantily clad woman or hives for a dominatrix, but things don’t exactly work like that (though bringing a stripper home might provide bonus bacteria).  It’s probably more important at this point to take a Sunday afternoon and wipe up your filth, you pig.

And if she ever asks whether you want to go back to her place or to your place, you know, to make jam, definitely go to her place.  And remember to take off your shoes.

The secret word is nasty.

Bachelor Pad Links

How NOT to Decorate a Bachelor Pad

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

Domesticated Bachelor Step #1: The Bachelor Pad!

DB Step #10:  Collect the Right Toys

My Bachelor Pad
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Top Bachelor Links of the Week (Feb 6-12)

Phaistosdiskcode

Phaistos Disk-1700BC. Can you crack the code?

Last week was most notable for the Super Bowl and some heavy changes in Egypt that hopefully don’t make things worse than they were (cross your fingers on that power vacuum).  On a somewhat lighter note, I’ve gathered some nifty new weblinks from last week that might be of interest to the bachelor folk. 

1. The Best & Worst Cities For MenMen’s Health graded 100 major cities in the US using several criteria, including health & social factors.  I was pretty stoked because my city, Lincoln, Nebraska, came in 6th! (Lincoln’s done fantastically on several comparison lists over the last few years, which gives me some consolation since I don’t live in the Pacific Northwest.)  Take a look to see if your city made the list.

2. 10 Man Caves The real estate site Zillow.com made a list of 10 great man caves, including Larry the Cable Guy’s man cave.  Not so much bachelor pads as bachelor islands in the seas of marriage.  Or something. 

3. Top 10 Uncracked Codes If you thought women were hard to crack, check out these 10 codes that have stymied cryptologists for years.  One was even written by the composer Elgar in 1897.  Maybe you can crack them (probably not).  My brother sent me this link.

4. $20,000 To Hack Chrome For all you computer geniuses and/or nerds (like my college roommate Ted) who need legal & financially happy outlets for your hacking skills, check out Google’s offer of $20,000 to anyone who can hack their Chrome browser during an event in Vancouver next month.

5. 2045:  The Year Man Becomes Immortal (The Singularity)
This was a fascinating article from Time about Ray Kurzweil’s belief in ‘The Singularity’, where computers may soon far surpass human intelligence resulting in humans merging with machines in one of a couple ways.  A fascinating read, if potentially disconcerting.  Cyborg stuff.

6. 6 New Mythbusting Rules for Singles– Match.com surveyed 5,000 single men & women and found some surprising things that defied stereotypes, including that men fall in love more quickly and are more eager to have children.  Why must they tell our secrets?

7. Silver Bullion Backwardation Suggests Supply Stress-Running out of silver?  Sort of.  The demand is greater than the current supply which means prices should continue to run up for some time.  The article explains backwardation and what that means for the price of silver.  I started watching silver prices last summer when they were at the $17.50 an ounce level.  Today silver is just over $30/oz and this particular article expects it to reach as much as $130 in the not too distant future.  The instability of our fiat currencies certainly helps silver and gold, but gold is a bit high for the average investor (currently over $1360 an ounce).  Silver is outpacing gold with help from it’s many industrial uses, including it’s use as a conductor in solar power cells.  The article doesn’t quite suggest you run to your local coin dealer and stock up, hoarding silver in a hole in your backyard for retirement and/or nuclear fallout, but it didn’t really need to.  I think there was a link for that.

The secret word is cryptology

Listomania!

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

My Bucket List: 100 Things To Do Before I Die

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

30 Favorite Songs of 2009 (1-15)

My 25 Humanoid Things

9 Foods I Might as Well Move To the Bomb Shelter

Timely Link

Valentine’s Day Shame

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Autumn’s Bottom or That’s All, Fall

Vermont Autumn

There’s a small chance of snow tonight here in Huskerland, and I only have some of the yard work done.  Treefuls of leaves have been bagged, but more leaves have offered themselves sacrificially for collection (thanks, leaves).  I’ve only cleaned half the gutters because I need a taller ladder for the front of the house and I don’t really want to climb the roof.  Chicken and lazy.  It wouldn’t be much snow, but it’s all downhill from here, baby.  So, before winter gets its freak on, instead of actually finishing yard work, I thought I’d pay special tribute to the awesomest season I know, autumn. CONTINUE READING >>>

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17 Types of Bachelor Pads

by Jonathan Bonobo Perry

ABC has a new cheesetastic reality tv show called The Bachelor Pad which seems like it might combine The Bachelor with Big Brother and The Real World after they’ve soaked in a briny vat of The Girls Next Door.  It promises an abnormally good-looking and freakishly healthy cast of cast-offs from previous reality shows being overly-dramatic and dramatically-amorous in a fine and expensive model home.  Pray, what will this bachelor pad be like?  Certainly it has everything.  Entertainment, games, and watery places, perhaps 7 hot tubs (so a few could be decontaminated simultaneously).  This got me thinking about types of Bachelor Pads as theme parks for men or rather types of homes for types of bachelors. What if guys were only one-dimensional and could each be pigeonholed into one tidy category?  Here’s who 17 of those guys would be and how their bachelor pads would be set up to reflect the weirdness.

1 Lothario/Lech Pad-Round spinning bed, cocktail bar, fancy lighting, a fine collection of loungy mood music.  It would be like the digs for Quagmire from Family Guy or for Austin Powers, replete with bathrobes and smoking jackets and lots of velvet.  A hot tub.  This is usually the first picture that comes to mind when one thinks of the classic bachelor pad.  It’s a lie.  Mostly.

2 Gamer Pad-Comfy chair for all that sitting.  Probably plush.  A couple gaming systems (XBox, Nintendo, Playstation, Wii) backed up by a quality entertainment system.  Dice and game parts for various role playing games.  Occupant-pasty sleepy nerd. 

3 Partier Pad-A sufficient supply of food and beverages and, if lucky, easily cleaned surfaces.  Large tv and other entertainment devices:  good stereo, lots of music, the gamer’s gaming system, some board games and backyard games.  Possibly a jacuzzi and a grill in the awesome backyard.  There might be a firepit.  Tiki torches?

4 Handyman Pad-Handmade furniture or carvings.  An extensive collection of tools and parts.  A fine workbench in the garage.  Powerdrill always plugged into the wall.  Multiple projects at different stages of completion spread about the garage and house.  Possibly a classic car parked in the garage being restored.

5 Traveler Pad-Travel books, posters, and paintings.  Souvenirs and maps.  Photo albums of trips.  Several suitcases, bags & perhaps an enormous travel cases like Jimmy Stewart‘s from It’s A Wonderful Life.

6 Collector Pad-The house may be overrun and/or decorated by strange collections:  stamps, baseball cards, license plates, Coca-Cola memorabilia.  Butterflies.  Places to store and display all this stuff have been set aside. The Antique-r is a sub-specialist of collector. Or is it the other way around?

7 Gadget Dude Pad-Assorted collection of the latest and greatest gadgets both electronic and mechanical.  Not only does he have the latest ostentatious Apple product (iPhone, iPad, iTouch), he also has camcorders, ereaders, robots, roombas, gps’s.

8 Reader Pad-Several bookcases, maybe some built-ins for a large a well-organized library (possibly numbered books, as if it were a real library).  There might be a list of books lent out and who has them and why you’ll never get them back.  (Chris?  Marshall?).  If he’s gone gadgety, there might be an Amazon Kindle or a similar ereader.

9 Sports Fan Pad-There will be lots of sports memorabilia, some of it plastered to the walls.  Maybe jerseys of the home team.  There could be game highlight footage on DVD.  There might even be sports cards, but certainly sports magazines.

10 Movie and TV-Buff Pad-Huge TV entertainment system with surround sound.  Lots of DVDs.  Lots of VHS tapes with the player.  Possibly a Beta player and Beta tapes for some rare ancient weirdness.

11 Musician Pad-Instruments.  The pinnacle is a grand piano or a specialty guitar signed by some dead rock legend.  Recording equipment.  A fine hi-fi system that spans the years from phonograph to 8-track to cassette to cd to mp3 player.  There will be plenty of albums to play on this system.  There might be busts of musicians and sheets of music.  Perhaps rooms have been modified to adjust acoustics.

12 Fitness Enthusiast Pad-In this pad might be found a bicycle and helmet.  If he’s a daredevil he might have mountain-climbing equipment, otherwise regular (and strange) exercise devices: dumb bells, stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, medicine ball.  He might have his own awards from previous sporty endeavors.

13 Animal Lover Pad-Aquariums, terrariums, cages and kennels.  Leashes and bowls on the floor.  Adorable creatures that want to eat and bite you and need to use the facilities which may or may not be in your house.  Animal hair everywhere.  Unsolved allergy issues.  Hello Kitty stationery?  Maybe that’s just a sub-genre.

14 Hoarder Pad-this comes from mixing too many of the other categories together and having certain psychological issues.

15 Artist/Photographer Pad-Paints and brushes.  Easels and canvas and frames.  Cameras and camera equipment.  Maybe a dark room for old film.  Some of his own work might be framed on the wall as well as his inspirations’ works.  Art supplies and works are spread all over the house.

16 Gardener/Plant Guy Pad-Much of this guy’s stuff would be in the backyard: Veggie garden, flowers, other odd plants.  Sometimes the greenery will come inside and there will be pots of living greenstuff (non-mold) around the house.  There might be books and magazines for gardening ideas and tips.

17 Chef/Cook Pad-This dude has a kitchen full of quality cooking equipment.  Pots and pans and skillets or whatever.  There will be odd measuring devices which might use the metric system or stuff like pinch or smidgen.  He’ll have lots of spices and fancy oils.  The cupboards and fridge are stocked with all kinds of food.

Certainly your type has been overlooked.  That just means you’re weird.

The secret word is pigeonhole

Related Reading:

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

$15 Million Ultimate Bachelor Pad

Tenuously Related Reading:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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CHRISTMAS RITUALS

by Jonathan Bismuth Perry

I’m quite disappointed this Nativity Creche isn’t mine. Click to enlarge.

Before the season is too far gone, I wanted to share my family’s swell Christmas traditions with you in order to engender your deepest sympathies.  One day I hope to have my own family and will then be forced to carry on many of these highly specific holiday rituals I’ve grown to love (minus the Golden Insulin Needle Award).  Until then, it just so happens I’ve written about these traditions in my unpublished book, The Gentle Art Of Starting A Cult: A Do-It-Yourself Guide, in the chapter “Developing Rituals“, excerpted here for your mockery.  So take this holiday greeting card of love and stick it where the sun don’t shine (Iceland) from December to March.  But mostly in December.

Our family, like the legions of mankind, is blighted with tradition and has some long established Christmas rituals it returns to year after year because of habit and not at all by force. Christmas Eve finds us gathered anticipatorily in the living room near the Christmas tree where we place wagers on when the dry stick will go up in a glorious fireball of holiday sacrifice. Then we sing through an ancient hymnal of carols like good Whovillagers and execute a small family talent show wherein various members juggle, mime the Nutcracker Suite, or a pianist playing Handel accompanies a castrato or a nose flautist. As we bask in the glow of the pagan tree (pre-fire or post, if Jay wins), we might read the Christmas story from the Bible or Charles Dickens.

After that, we painfully delay the gift unwrapping a little longer to consume special high fat Christmas party foods: mom’s fudge, sugar cookies decorated like Menorah (breaks apart with those little candlesticks), English Toffee, Russian Tea Cakes, Iraqi Chocolate Chip Cookies, eggnog (virgin), fruitcake (virgin), and cheeseballs (Uncle Dan).  Apparently, there are also sandwiches and a veggie tray in a pretense of a balanced meal.


A senior member of the family is then designated as Santa, though not forced into a red jumpsuit or Grizzly Adams hirsuteness, and removes gifts from under the tree, distributing one gift per round to each member of the family, until it is discovered that one lucky person has received many more presents than the other members of the family (gift equality is an important part of any communist gifting system). We explain this oversight by pointing out that this person isn’t really the family favorite, but that some of the numerous gifts were less expensive than the few gifts. This fools no one.  Still, a good time is had by all/most, and we unwrap and enjoy our grand gifts by breaking them (except when the gifts can break other things) and appreciate the wonderful and colorful Christmas decorations, like the Nativity Creche (not Koresh) with the three elves and white Gandalf action figure, until the wee hours of the morning.


On Christmas morning, after at least 2 hours of sleep, during which time the senior family members secretly filled the stockings with exciting and high calorie content trinkets, we descend as happy vultures onto the stockings at the mantelpiece and, with the festively shaped chocolate or candy canes hidden inside, recreate the buzz of the sugar high from the night before. It’s at about this time that the family presents its Diabetic of the Year with the Golden Insulin Needle Award(which immediately comes in handy).  We call it the GINA.  Someone very clever and naughty might try to rename it the Virtually Annual Golden Insulin Needle Award.  It would also make the award shape ironic.  We wouldn’t stand for that, though.


In Christmas seasons past, especially when my brothers and I were kids, we would go caroling with family, friends, and members of our church around to homes in randomly selected neighborhoods without neighborhood watch signs. We would sing hearty Christmas carols in multi-part harmony with our pre-pubescent voices and collect money for the poor (I never saw a penny of it) in spite of grumps with rifles and strict non-solicitation laws. Then, when we were done for the night, we would go back to a central location for hot chocolate and cookies. And insulin.  All highly specific rituals. Mostly sugar focused. Quite memorable. Things like these make me feel a part of a family. Reminds me that I don’t do much of this stuff anymore and really should consider seeking some sort of therapy for depression (or, maybe, start a cult.  Or a family.).

Um, Merry Christmas.  We don’t all have Diabetes.  What are your Christmas traditions?  What would you add to your traditions if you could?

The secret (made-up sounding) word is hirsuteness

Christmas Reads:

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

Holiday Chocolate-For Independence Day?

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

Holiday Hosting Survival Guide

Unrelated Groovy Reading:

Sound Of Music Death Match!! Liesl v Maria

Depeche Mode and High School Girls

Google-Stalking The Ex

Which is Your Type?  A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?

Kitten of Evil

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Domesticated Bachelor RESOLUTIONS For 2010

Happy New Year and junk! 2008 and 2009 were great years for me.  I made swell strides in personal improvement:  bought a house, changed jobs for the first time in 9 years, lost almost 40 pounds, finished writing a book, started this blog, and dated a few good-looking and fascinating (if unhappy) women.  2010 is promising and I hope to take a hearty chunk out of its hopeful offerings.  Here’s my (public) list of resolutions for the new year (the private list may or may not include shameful notions like ‘Online Dating’,  ‘Invisalign’, and job advancement.  Yes, the public list is shameful, too.).

  1. Get below 200 pounds for the first time since just after college (Allow for muscle tone & abs.  If there’s good muscle tone and a nice 6 pack, then just over 200 pounds is fine and not bad for a 6 footer built like a linebacker.  Or me.).   I could totally do it by summer.  Maybe.
  2. Get more sleep.  Unless I’m hanging out with attractive women until the wee hours, there’s no reason I should exhaust myself and make my brain dull and eyes red (though bloodshot brings out the blue in my eyes).  This may mean more hopeful cocktails of Melatonin & Tylenol PM.  Of course insomnia is insomnia.
  3. Save more and invest more.  $$ x $$= $$$$$$
  4. Be more confident & fearless.  Don’t care what people think (like the unhappy, uber-critical, pretty good-looking girl-woman I was sorta kinda not dating for 6 months who teased me a few times for not being manly enough.  Man, I miss her.).  Also, don’t overshare feelings, especially with uber-critical women.
  5. Be more manly & rugged.  (ok, yeah.  So I’d like to be a bit more dude-ish, but not in an obvious, obnoxious, pandering to the critics sort of way).  I’ll still listen to the Pet Shop Boys.
  6. Do one major home project:  new siding, update a bathroom or the kitchen (by ‘do’, I mean pay someone skilled to ‘do’ this project).
  7. Do 2 minor home projects:  trim, doorway casing, paint stuff.
  8. Plant at least one new tree on my property.  Front yard 1st.  Maybe a Birch or Japanese Maple.  Maybe both.  Also an evergreen.  That sounds like 3.
  9. Do some landscaping.  Flagstone walkway.  Sunken garden in the low corner of the backyard.  Junk like that.
  10. Learn a manly skill or 2, like wiring a new light fixture or building a built-in bookcase.  Or join a fantasy football league.  It shouldn’t be as exhausting as the daily fantasy baseball league I was in for 2 years.
  11. Do more cool adventurous sorts of things:  whitewater rafting, backpacking, large hill climbing, long trail hiking.  Canoeing the boundary waters (if there are showers).
  12. Be more sociable & less reclusive.  More Jay Gatsby, less Ted Kaczynski.  Also, make friends.
  13. Date more frequently & less stressfully.  More irons in the fire reduce the chance that a single iron will burn you.  Or something dumb.
  14. Finish writing one of the books I’ve been puttering around in.  I’ve been chipping away at 3 or 4 books, but get distracted easily.  One project has 22 pages of notes, but only 7 pages of written product.  What’s up with that?
  15. Resume writing music.  Finish some songs.  Maybe learn to use the Pro Tools recording software I bought in ’08 right before I bought the house.  (If ever tempted to write a song for a girl again, sleep on it a few days first and be sure it’s finished and not incredibly dorky.  Or containing dark humor.  Dangit.)
  16. Waste less time.  This includes spending less pointless time online or wasting too much time on wishy-washy women, however much you dig them and can’t get over them.
  17. If all else fails, follow the 11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor.

(Again, I am not actually a Domesticated Bachelor.  I just play one in my mind.)

What resolutions do you goats have for 2010?

Related Reading:

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

Unrelated Awesome Reads:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

Valentine’s Day Shame

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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Ode To Autumn

autumn in vermont scarecrow fall leavesby Jonathan Bogman Perry

I think leaf-peeping sounds like it should be a punishable offense.  It would be cool to do, but it just sounds dirty.  Anyway, it’s autumn and time to start taking care of the fallen leaves and wrap up the yard work.  For about a decade after college I lived in a duplex apartment that was pretty unfit for humanity.  There were advantages, though, one of which was the great non-problem of yard work.  I didn’t have to do it.  It’s one of those odd benefits of apartment living.  I actually lived in a basement duplex, so there was a yard on the property and, from time to time, such as when I was dissatisfied with the state of the acreage, I took matters into my own hands and cleaned up my area by trimming back some bushes that had taken to regularly whacking me or removed a discarded refrigerator which has somehow blown into the yard.  Yard work wasn’t required of me by the lease, nor, apparently, was it required of anyone.

The thing is, I do actually enjoy yard work and have fond memories of doing it in ages past.  I find it even more satisfying now to do at my own place.  I affectionately remember during my youth going kicking and screaming to mow the lawn at the threatening behest of my folks, whom, I should add, I love dearly, but might have been evicted by the neighborhood association had it not been for my infrequent yard maintenance.  During my near decade of college I would come home once every few months to find that the jungle in my parents’ backyard had managed to swallow most of the yard tools and several large and endangered mammals.  Of course, I wasn’t the only one to do the yard work.  I do have 2 younger brothers, but either one brother managed conveniently to be overseas in Europe for the school year, or the youngest had a debilitating broken toe which prevented any physical activity besides walking 2 miles to school each way or dancing in the school musical (I really wanted to say ’run on the track team’, but that’s just not so).

I enjoy raking leaves during the crisp autumn afternoons, building great piles of arboreal death, but I would enjoy dental surgery if it were outside in the fall.  Autumn is always thrilling with the fantastic foliage colors of red, orange, brown, and yellow and the nip in the air that promises a brisk winter right around the corner.  These are the days of the holidays and refreshingly happy vacations.  It’s when sports get fun again.  I’m sure I would very much enjoy New England in the fall.  It’s a fantasyland that I have yet to experience.  Perhaps one day when I finally grow up and become a man I’ll move out to New England just so I can be there in the autumn to happily rake up the mountains of fallen leaves that have swallowed the yard and a lost California Condor or two.  I’d probably just leave them there.  They’re so pretty.  The leaves, too.

Vaguely Related Reading:

The Prophecy Of The Tornado And the Trailer

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

$15 Million Ultimate Bachelor Pad

Tenuously Related Reading:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

Valentine’s Day Shame

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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The Prophecy Of The Tornado And The Trailer

by Jonathan Bonsai Perry

tornadoFor years, the mobile home industry, aka trailer makin’ folks, have bemoaned the negative perceptions suffered by their metal box houses.  Things have gotten so bad that trailers are no longer at the top of the bachelor pad wishlist.  This raises the question, “Why are trailers so poorly regarded?” Why are they not as highly esteemed as their wheeled relatives, the RVs? Really, the two are much like second cousins. Or step-siblings who haven’t talked to each other since that one weird hot night in Vegas. They’re both made of metallic materials and are square-ish and these commonalities should serve to bond them in the deepest kinship since the Hatfields and the McCoys.

Though the RV, Recreational Vehicle, really is a vehicle that you kind of live in (and is a home that is mobile), it gives the impression that you’re just passing through on your way back to your demi-mansion, if not the retirement village, sometime after you‘ve visited the grandkids, every living relative, and 65% of the fruit stands and 90% of the flea markets between Maine and Washington. RVs seem to carry trailera whiff of excessive wealth and free time, whereas the mobile home, while it is larger than the RV, is not a vacation home, is really your only home, and is much harder to mobilize. They’re much less expensive than normal houses, they’re smaller, and are often set in less than ideal locations,  sometimes near neighbors that are considered questionable. But mobile home parks seem to breed something even less desirable: TORNADOES!

Scientific research has shown that mobile homes attract tornadoes in greater numbers than other types of homes or mobile devices (ok, my personal research isn‘t scientific). Tornadoes are awfully fond of the South and the Midwest, having grown up there playing ball, but they’ve also been known to go geographically out of the way, to the ends of the world places like California and Great Britain, just to track down a shiny new mobile home park for a trophy smackdown.

Not only does it probably have something vaguely to do with the metal building doing some weird magnetic ionization with the magical air masses (or not really), but it’s like an easy challenge for a brash young tornado with lots of moxie and hormones. The older, more experienced tornadoes are more constrained and don’t feel the need to destroy every little insignificant metal can along the way. They’ve learned to save up the good stuff for important buildings like the art-nouveau roller skating museum downtown and the historic taco stands so prominent in our bean-and-cheese-lovin’ culture. They’re more likely to make the papers this way. And that’s all they really care about.

One day, every mobile home on earth will invariably be destroyed or relocated by a strong gust of tornadic activity. Yea, verily! For as it is written in the ancient scriptures, unless thou buildest thy mobile homes with rubber materials and perhaps shape them as round balls, thou art just asking for it.

Don’t you see the logic? Mobile homes are going to be blown around anyway, like crazy pieces of belly button lint near a box fan, so you might as well build your trailers with a malleable component that will do as little damage as possible. Insurance rates would drop for everyone, entire neighborhoods could be rearranged with little effort, and joy would reign eternal. You could just roll your home down the street to a better hole. I think it would be swell to watch a ball-house roll and bounce as it settles into a new location near a golf course where the holes are all sizes. That would fix the tornado problem. Fewer witches would be squashed to death. They’d just suffer severe concussions instead. But what do we care anyway? They’re witches, after all, and are lucky the burnings were called off last week.

Related Reading:

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

$15 Million Ultimate Bachelor Pad

Tenuously Related Reading:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

Valentine’s Day Shame

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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Ignoring Adult Responsibilities

in our dorm room (Left-Jay;Right-my facial hair attempt)

in our dorm room (Left-Jay;Right-my facial hair attempt)

by Jonathan B. Perry

For Memorial Day weekend I visited my brother Jay in Minnesota. I live in Nebraska, so it’s a drive of about 6.5 hours over plains and hills of corn to lakiness with trees, mosquitoes and mutant frogs. I had a super visit, and this holiday drop-in was even a little different from our normal visits. Jay’s wife and their awesome little boy went to Michigan to see her family. Jay stayed behind in MN to see me. Excellent! I especially missed not seeing my four year-old nephew, but was spoiled having Jay all to myself. Even though I’ve gotten over the fact that he’s been married over a decade (and is now sort of a Cubs fan by proxy. Boo. Go Giants!), it’s still a rare and special thing to hang out with him in his solo state.

It was like being back in college and living together in the dorm again: the Perry Brothers staying up into the wee hours and talking about nothing, except now we’re in our 30’s and there’s the specter of work lurking in the back, as well as mortgage refinance talk and not a lick of school. And for Jay, a wonderful family. Yes, we still had our responsibilities, but could vaguely pretend them away for a few days (at least I tried to). We even toured part of the greater Minneapolis area, which included Minnehaha Falls and the Ikea store. Oh, and the Mall of America.

What if, at a moment’s notice, you could be free of all your adult responsibilities? Fold up your grown up stuff and stick it in a box in the garage for a bit. It’d be like those childhood summers where you’d sleep in and do whatever you wanted to all day, every day. No work. No school. The adults would be away at work, so there’d be no one around to hold you responsible for anything. You could go down to the creek, play video games, watch tv, read comic books, eat junk food, swim.

But like all summers, they end and you have to go back to school or your job and mortgage and student loans. Back to life. Back to reality. (hum relevant 80s song). Plants must be watered. The lawn needs to be cut. The cat missed you and threw-up all over your sofa in retribution, so you have to clean that up, too. This visit with my brother was a special sanctuary from the real world and I look forward to savoring the next one. We really should do more of these. He could even visit me and I could drag out the Sibling Bonding Rituals I wrote up many years ago and forget they’re super lame. Yes, the sibling bonding time is the best. I do want to see my nephew, though.

Further Reading:

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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How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

Art waiting to be hung

Art waiting to be hung

by Jonathan Bonnaroo Perry

Even though I moved into my new house about 8 months ago, I still haven’t put up most of my wall art because I’m not fully settled with the furniture placement and want to trade out some stuff, like the couches.  I may not move things around for a bit, but I might put in some built-in bookcases soon and this could affect organization of wall art.  Also, I was originally thinking I’d go with a slight Asian decoration theme (kind of ‘Asian meets French Country in the Suburbs’ aka ‘Bachelor Needs Designer‘), but my art is largely comprised of Egyptian papyrus paintings, so I’m a little perplexed.  I don’t want to be too scattered.  Fortunately, the house has much more space than the micro-apartment and I can spread out the mess so things don‘t look as junky.

(17 Types of Bachelor Pads)

In the old apartment, I maintained some essential articles of furniture so that I could, if necessary, sit down.  Upon getting my own Hobbit hole after college, I brought from my dorm room a ratty old grey stuffed chair (I gutted it last year for the coins inside.  It turns out the color was originally blue.).  I found some more shabby items at used furniture stores and answered newspaper ads for an enormous gold couch and 1970s end tables.  Since then, I’ve been upgrading, gradually dumping the crappy items for slightly less-crappy WalMart and Shopko furniture (the furniture styles in my house now average early 1990s).  In the small apartment I had several full bookcases that filled up the walls, then stacked in front of and next to those were a number of boxes and clear storage containers full of decades of hoarded items I’ll never use, but can’t throw away because of the nostalgia disease I inherited from my packrat ancestors.

Early pic of old apartment.  Decoration not visible

Early pic of old apartment. Decoration not visible

Besides the basic furniture crapfest, I decorated the old place a little.  My decorating style started with a delicately balanced mix of framed art (in the living room) and tacked-up posters (in the bedroom and hallway) with some travel calendars placed here and there.  It might have worked if the posters were art nouveau in frames, but my posters were maps, castles and Hindu deities tacked, taped, or puttied to the walls (deities for decoration only, not worship).  There were also a couple small flags from the British Isles.  I rather liked the pastiche nature of it all, but interpret psychologically that I had one foot in one world, a world of mature adults with refined tastes who have framed art, while my other foot was sucked in the mud of another world, a world of childhood, casualness, and bachelordom.  As these worlds pulled me apart, I stretched into painful splits that put undue pressure on my netherlands.

The new living room has naked walls

The new living room has naked walls

My framed art is primarily a collection of Egyptian papyrus paintings that I had mounted at great cost as I found myself conveniently unemployed out of college. They made my apartment living room a pseudo-Egyptian shrine to Ra.  I continued the Egyptian theme with that enormous gold couch (that housed guitars and a neo-Egyptian calico cat I fed), and topped it off with a good sized bust of Tut that doubles as a useful candle holder (the candle is behind the glass eyes, so the eyes of fire can be wickedly impressive).  I even have two hanging Chinese art scroll-painting-things that I brought back from Taiwan which are quite excellent and filled up entire wall sections in my short-ceilinged apartment.

There are lots of other little statues and busts which helped give my place a demented old maid museumy touch.  In the ‘foyer’ I had a bust of Franz Schubert (with glasses) and a bust of one of the Richard Strausses to inspire me musically.  Then there’s the Beefeater bobblehead I brought back from England.  The miniature Scottish knight had his sword positioned in an attack stance above the head of one of the three mini-Buddhas my brother Chris gave me for Christmas a few years ago (one has achieved cage-dancing Buddha status).

dsc002771

This Chinese Scroll Painting is one of few pieces up

Perched atop my bookcase, the gargoyles stared down judging my sloth and a brass-finished lion judged my weakness.  I’m not sure what the Mayan Chakmul judges or even how to spell Chakmul or if it‘s really Mayan and not Aztec or Incan, but apparently it’s Mexican because my brother Jay brought it back from Mexico (I think my History degree was just voided).  I also had a string of Chinese lantern lights on one bookshelf and a string of bubble lights on another bookshelf, next to which was my groovy lava lamp to remind me that hippies gave something pretty excellent, if useless, to the culture after all.

At this point, despite all my collected junk, I didn’t go overboard and collect a roomful of miniature owls or cats to keep me company during the remainder of my dementia, but this step is a short trip.  I have actually known 2 older women who collected an incredible number of miniature owl figurines, which was impressive and kooky and a really strange coincidence.  What are the chances of knowing 2 unrelated older women at different ends of the country who fill large areas with different sizes and makes of owls?

I think most of my nicknacks won’t make it out of storage into any normal part of the new house.  They’ll probably just stay wrapped delicately in their boxes, in a kind of nicknack limbo, next to the rest of the hoarded items I’ll never use.  Sweet nostalgia.

The secret word is Davenport.

Continue Reading:  Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

Related Reading:

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

Buying Useless Antique Furniture: Globe Wernicke Card Catalog Cabinet with Map Drawers

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

Mirror Gate In The Entryway

Antique Stained-Glass Window For the Bachelor Pad

Drilling Holes In My Wall For Mankind

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

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11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor-The Complete Guide

astaire-smoking-jacketby Jonathan B. Perry

Over the last few months I’ve enumerated how to become a Domesticated Bachelor (even though I’m not one).  In trying to improve myself, I’ve discovered some key things that might help me to be a better man or at least quantify my failure.  The following links explore these steps to becoming a Domesticated Bachelor.  I’ve made this handy guide and gathered them together in one master list for your convenience, joy, and mockery.  Click each link for deeper exploration.

First, what is a Domesticated Bachelor? Here we define our boy, the Domesticated Bachelor, and give his fake Latin name.

The Steps:
1.  The Bachelor Pad-Obtain a nice abode to which you can invite people.  Maybe a woman-type person (not really a hermaphrodite, unless you really want to).

2.  The Right Wardrobe-Wear non-tent-like clothes.  Lounge jackets.  Suits.  Wooden shoes.  Red dickies.  Dress well.  Look nice.

3.  Shape Up Fatty-Don’t be fat or unhealty.  Be well groomed.  Increase your self-esteem.  Get a Slim Goodbody suit.  White-person afro is optional.

4.  Learn To Cook-Make omelettes.  Feed yourself.  Feed others.  Don’t date your mom.

5.  Travel The World-Travel the world for the obnoxious stories.  Impress people, you jerk.  Oh, maybe test travel with a ladyfriend (separate hotel rooms, of course).

6.  Be A Jack-Of-All-Trades-Be decent at lots of stuff.  Become a contestant on Jeopardy!  Be a Smart Alec.

7.  Master Something-Be really good at one thing.  Maybe get a Masters Degree.  Figure out where that apostrophe goes.  Then tell me.

8. & 9.  Proper Socialization/Throw Parties-Avoid becoming a hermit like Ted Kaczynski.  It’s good to know people & meet them & entertain them.  Don’t kill them.  Bad goat.

10.  Collect The Right Toys-Find the things that use up your time & decorate your place.  Buy huge electronics through Skymall.

11.  Get A Good Job-The super job enables the life & the stuff & the self-worth.  The other stuff feeds from this.

The secret word is dominion.

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Tree Pruner or Medieval Weapon?

treepruner2by Jonathan B. Perry

Saturday night I went into Ace Hardware to use my $5 birthday gift card before it expired (I’m on their mailing list).  I dragged my car the 3 minutes through the snow and ice with the single purpose of buying a tree pruner, one of those telescoping tree pruners for high spots in your tree that you can’t reach with the regular clippers.  Now, in December I actually climbed one of my trees to trim it, but that didn‘t feel so safe and I was a bit lightheaded after coming down.  I’m not the monkey I used to be.  Ace has 3 telescoping pruner models and even though there was a big price gap between the 8 foot and the 12 foot models, I went with the more expensive 12 foot pruner and can’t wait for it to warm up just a little so I can pretty-up my trees.

Taking my long pruner down from the display, it occurred to me how much this felt like a medieval weapon.  This was perhaps why I dawdled in the store a little longer, walking up and down the aisles, either feeling like a guard with a spear or a horseless jouster.  jousting2It was pretty excellent.  I even ran into an old friend who was shopping for a drill bit (I won’t say anything about tool size comparison).  The cashier asked a bit sarcastically if she could bag it up for me.  It felt great to finally get this excellent gardening tool-weapon to add to my arsenol of domestication.

I remember using the telescoping pruner on my grandparents’ property in CA over the years.  They had walnut trees, oaks, and eucalyptus, mostly.  They’ve since sold the grand old acreage, much to everyone’s great sadness, but I bet they still have their tree pruner.  They still have trees.  They still like tools.  They’re still alive.

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