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Euro Fest 2013 Itinerary

 

Bastille Day Fireworks-2013

Bastille Day Fireworks-2013

It’s been several months now, so I no longer wake up in strange European hotels craving freshly squeezed orange juice or Nutella-flavored Gelato or pain au chocolat. That stuff has worked its way out of my system. I also no longer have blisters on my feet and now have air conditioning aplenty.

Last summer I got to spend a month in Europe. In 5 weeks I was able to visit 6 countries (took the train through Switzerland and stopped at the station in Geneva, so I’ll count it). It was one of the awesomest months of my life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bucket List Summer Challenge

 

bucket listHere it is May already and summer is knocking hard at the door like the determined home exteriors salesman I just had trouble shaking.  For many of us there’s summer vacation; time off of work and school.  In the meantime, there’s your stunningly crafted Bucket List that you want to complete.  Here’s the perfect opportunity to hammer at it.

Instead of catching up on multiple seasons of cancelled Joss Whedon TV shows while lounging in your neighbors’ pool, challenge yourself to to work on your Bucket List this summer.  Pick 3 or 4 or more items from your list and do them.  If you don’t already have a bucket list, make a list of your hopes and dreams, the things you’d like to do before you die (if you want ideas, here’s mine- My Bucket List: 100 Things To Do Before I Die).  Maybe you want to take a road trip across the US in a rusted Pinto or visit all the National Parks and take pictures while only leaving fingernail clippings.  Maybe synchronized swimming with the dolphins is your thing or walking the Great Wall of China in a dirndl as you grow your beard.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Snorkeling In Hawaii

fish school hawaii kona

I recently returned from Hawaii after spending 2 weeks being a camera-crazed tourist (I took 1800 photos).  One of my favorite parts of the trip was the snorkeling jaunt we made off the coast of the big island near Kona.  Both my Uncle John and my Aunt Marcia had snorkeled in exotic spots before, whereas I’d only snorkeled in my grandparents’ swimming pool when I was 12, so I was looking forward to trying it out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Touring The Coba Mayan Ruins In Mexico

In December I climbed a Mayan pyramid. It was awesome. I am not Spiderman. Before Christmas I took a Caribbean cruise with some of my former college classmates where we did some mission-y projects at the ports in between bouts of sea-sickness. The seas were so rough (Stuff broke. Gravity was defied.) that we could only stop at 2 of our 4 ports and only one of those was a project port. The other port, our last, was Cozumel, Mexico. Read the rest of this entry »

December Cruise

Cruise With A Mission Holland AmericaLast Sunday I climbed off a cruise ship after a fun week of rocking (and extreme rolling) and still felt the waves for 5 days afterward despite the solid stuff beneath me.  The cruise included a mission-y element and I met with some of my former college classmates and various church gang members as we traveled around the Caribbean getting our cruise on.  It was my first cruise.

The plan was to do projects at most of our ports (for schools, orphans, sick people, people needing new roofs, etc),  while we enjoyed the weirdness of life at sea on a fancy boat with an everlasting buffet.  However, because of bad weather (high waves and wind measured in knots) the boat couldn’t stop at the 1st 2 ports (including Jamaica), vases broke, & some folks got sicker than dogs.  Still, we were able to complete our planned projects in the Cayman Islands & did a few ad hoc things on the ship, so it wasn’t a complete foul up.  In fact, I really enjoyed my time and met some cool people in shorts who played Catchphrase in December.  I even got to climb a Mayan pyramid in Mexico.  That was awesome!

I might extrapolate deeper meaning from it all one day, but for now I just wanted to give a shout out to my Cruise With a Mission peeps.  So, hey.  Yo.  Miss you guys.  Merry Christmas!

And Merry Christmas to you, my fine goat-readers.

The secret phrase is motion sickness

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The Great Massage Adventure

by Jonathan Barndoor Perry

the masseuse and the massageYou hear great things about massages.  Then you hear the other stuff, which you assume is largely isolated and somewhat fictional.  I least I used to.  Last fall I flew to California to see my mom and took a short sidetrip to see my friend Cami who lives in the Bay Area.  Our visit together was brief, but we packed in a lot during that time.  We ate dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant, had a meal of Cameroonian food the next day at an outdoor market, caught a Regina Spektor concert, and even got massages.  I’d never had a proper massage before, so I was really looking forward to it.  Cami’s kind of an old hat at massages and had found a favorite place.

The massage was fantastic!  It was quite relaxing and thorough, but, um, a bit more thorough than I was expecting.  I was surprised when the masseuse climbed onto my back and used her knees and feet to loosen my knotted muscles.  I was also surprised when she massaged me like only that special someone might with near pinpoint encroachment of the nethers.  Actually, Cami had joked before we went in about the ‘happy ending‘ business and we had a good chuckle knowing we were seeing professionals, but wouldn’t that be funny?  Well, it happened.

At some point near the end of my session, the masseuse said something softly I couldn’t quite understand.  I had her repeat it and she whispered in my ear & pointed there (an area loosely covered by a towel), asking me if I wanted her to ‘do that’.  I nonchalantly said ‘no, thank you’ in a very polite way, as if one was casually turning down a great dessert at a fine restaurant because there are too many calories, though one has truly been craving the molten lava chocolate cake for months.  I’m a little repressed.

We left the massage parlor in a normal manner (I accidentally under-tipped) and as we reached the car I told Cami the previous hour’s highlights.  She was shocked!  Appalled.  She wasn’t sure she wanted to go back there again and I don’t believe she has since.  Gradually her shock turned to amusement.  Weird naked time became a recurring laugh.  Cami said her ex hadn’t been offered ‘that’ before (maybe he didn’t fess up), which made me feel just a bit special, though really, I already felt pretty special.

Anyway, the next time you’re in the Bay Area… db

 

The secret phrase is magic fingers.

Go San Francisco Giants!!

Similar Simian Reads:

No Mom, I’m Not Gay

The Great Suburban Mushroom Hunt

Google-Stalking the Ex

Dating Advice From the Family

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Bachelors In History

Esperanto Rhymes with Tonto

The Prophecy of the Tornado and the Trailer

Logan’s Run and Population Control

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Which is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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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

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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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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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    To My Married Female Friends

    Dear Awesome Married Female Friends,

    I want to thank you so so much for the generously sweet pity you’ve shown me in offering to set me up with your single female friends.  Look at you being all matchmakey.  I know you’ve given it considerable thought in deciding I was possibly among the least heinous of the single guys you know who might be suitable for dating your friends and I could not be more appreciative.

    Surprisingly, your single female friends (SFF) seem completely non-mutant, even pretty, happy, interesting, and well-adjusted for people forced to live in places like Canada, Hawaii and the east coast.  And Michigan.  I’m only mildly suspicious.  Thank you for letting me see pictures.  This is vitally important.  Feel free to email pics to me anytime.  I commend you on your fine suggestions and am aware that it reflects on how you view me (as possibly one of the least heinous single dudes you know).

    While it may seem I have looked the gift horse in the mouth, seen the uvula, and chosen a vow of continual solitude, this isn’t quite the case and I still stand by my concern at the inherent problems in a long-distance relationship (really, this is only slightly a ruse).  In fact, at this very moment I am yet considering these most important and intriguing opportunities (that all seem to have weirdly come around the same time.  I don’t suspect my mom yet.) and am weighing them against my cowardice.  I fully appreciate your willingness to allow time for my deepest contemplation and over-analysis (analysis paralysis).

    As I arrange my fantasy baseball roster for the day, I’ll reflect on what wonderful friends I have, what’s wrong with their friends, whether I should play Kosuke Fukudome in right field, why I shouldn’t mispronounce his name that way, and how big a dork I really am.

    Thank you again so much,
    Jonathan
    (By the way, your hair looked really nice today.)

    The secret fake word is matchmakey

    Related Reads:

    Google-Stalking the Ex

    Couples v Singles:  Socialization

    Bachelor Secrets 2-Dating Habits

    Bachelor Secrets 1- Why Are They Single?

    World Of Warcraft…Dating?

    Dating Advice From The Family

    Family Advice: A Reversal (Sort Of)

    Dating Satisfaction Survey

    Changing Your Relationship Status On A Social-Networking Site

    More, Even:

    Bachelors in History

    Which is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

    Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

    Celebrity Crushes: Is Elegance Elitist?

    Valentine’s Day Shame

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      30 Million Chinese Bachelors and The Matrix Solution

      by Jonathan B Perry

       

      Future Army of Chinese Bachelors (great band name)

      I have good news and I have bad newsFirst, the bad news:  Guys of 2020, there will be a surplus of competitive males as there never has been before at any time in history.  30 million extra men to be approximate.  In just 10 years there’s going to be such a glut of guys of marriageable age it’ll seem like one endless frat party where there are maybe 2 women in the back.  Granted, these extra men are in China where the population is about 1.5 billion (and where 30 million is relatively small, though not really), but still they’re not all going to stay in China and there will likely be some domino effect flopping around the globe, so you’ll need to work extra hard to trick women into hanging out excessively.  Drat.

      Now the good news:  Ladies of 2020, there will be a surplus of competitive males of marriageable age, so the dude options will be greater and more desperate than ever before.  The scarcity of women makes each of you even more valuable (think higher pedestals) and you can be choosier and make guys grovel more.  Many of you look forward to this.  If you hold out just a little longer, say 10 years, some of you current bachelorettes might have better luck snagging younger, awesomer studs.

      Of course this imbalance all stems from China’s one child per household policy that often saw families choosing to have boys as their only child and to abort the female fetuses as a practice of population control which retained males who would theoretically provide better for their families.  It’s been called gendercide.  Now aware of its severe gender imbalance, the Chinese government is making a strong push to the public to look more favorably on girls, hoping to stem the tide of aborted females.  So far it’s only been slightly effective (there are banners saying stuff like “Girls are swell”), and it will still take generations for things to even out.

      This sort of situation hasn’t really been an issue in previous civilizations.  You could draw some similarities with the imbalances after the world wars, when there was a surplus of women when many Johnnys didn’t come marching home again.  It’s believed the feminist movement even gained traction from the higher number of single professional women of the 1920s and 1930s.  I just thought I’d point that out.

      Keanu Reeves waking up in Jello

      Concerns have been voiced that this excess of single men, unable to mate, may create many more societal issues in the years to come:  wars to cull the surplus males, a rise in crime (particularly rape), an increase in prostitution, a rise in homosexuality, and many more sloppy apartments.

      Since it will take many decades to correct the situation in China, what other solutions might there be to help the problem?  I’ve come up with a few ideas and only one of them uses bachelors as human batteries a la The Matrix.

      Chinese Bachelor Solution #1:  Promote religions, like Buddhism or Catholicism, where bachelors become monks or priests.  You might have to lure them in with church bingo at first, but do whatever works.  This would require a moderate change in the government’s stance toward religion (I’m not pushing either religion.  Baptist or Methodist monasteries could be developed, just to mess with things.).

      Solution # 2:  Chinese mail order grooms-  When one thinks of arranging spouses to order, mail order brides from places like Eastern Europe spring to mind.  Now with many young Chinese men potentially unable to find mates nearby, they’ll need to cast wider worldwide nets and this may include making themselves available for marriage by mail order.  Bigger boxes.  More air holes.

      Solution # 3:  Human batteries a la The Matrix– In the movie The Matrix people lived in watery pods and existed in a dream state, while powering the evil machines.  Never mind that you could put caviar on iv and call it a spa weekend.  Forget that Beijing and Shanghai could be powered cleanly and cheaply from now until Chinese New Year.  No, I suppose it’s not an option (or even a good human rights thing), unless you just do Gilligan-style power-maker  with the coconut bicycle making electricity (come to think of it, gyms around the world could do this bit and harness the power to run their tv’s).  I’m sure there’d be some way to do it, though it doesn’t really fix the mating thing, does it?  Hmm.  Forget this one.

      Solution # 4:  Men dating outside their age groups- I realize guys throughout history have been dating outside their own age group, but it’s usually been scary old rich guys dating younger helpless and/or money-grubbing women (the dudes have more cows for dowries).  The Future Army of  Chinese Bachelors (cool band name!) may need to consider the limited options and be more open to dating older women, widows and retirees even.  And if China can find way to pump out extra females (without aborting males), say through in vitro fertilization or some genetic magic, then the extra dudes could date younger without skewing things too much for the younger guys.

      Solution # 5:  Cryonics?  I’m just putting it out there.

      Solution # 6:  Find female alien life.  I think there have been B-movies about this.

      Solution # 7:  Import women- Let’s face it, China may do well to find incentives to import women to China.  It might be useful to pay women to move to China and marry Chinese men.  I can see it now, in 10 years time there will be specials on 20/20 and Oprah about how China has an army of bachelors just waiting for all available women to come for marriage and money.  Perhaps special women-only schools could be set up to draw female students from around the world.  Maybe it could be something like marketing the acrobat schools to Bollywood dancers (that’s the group I’d aim for).

      So, China has a big problem, but there are often viable solutions to difficult problems.  Hopefully something can be done to improve the potential for millions of Chinese, while avoiding a catastrophic future involving millions of filthy bachelor pads.

      When I re-edit, I’ll find a way to sneak in Bowie’s song “China Doll”.

      The secret word is imbalance.

      Vaguely Related Reading:

      Logan’s Run and Population Control

      Not Really Related, but Nifty Reads:

      My Bucket List:  100 Things To Do Before I Die

      Esperanto Rhymes With Tonto

      Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

      Celebrity Crushes: Is Elegance Elitist?

      Sound Of Music DEATHMATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

      Google-Stalking The Ex

      Bachelors In History

      World Of Warcraft…Dating?

      Getting Colder:

      Kitten Of Evil

      Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

      Ode To Autumn

      The Prophecy Of The Tornado And the Trailer

      How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

      Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

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      MY BUCKET LIST: 100 Things To Do Before I Die

      not my hand

      Do you have a bucket list?  What do you want to do before you die?
      I usually have a small list of life goals banging around my head & bits written down, but I challenged myself to write it all out & was surprised.  Some of the list is comprised of half-crazed dreams that seem like a stretch, but would be swell to accomplish.  Sure, I’ve just created more identifiable ways to fail.  Good stuff.

      I’ve divided my list into 5 groups:  Learning, Creative, Travel, Adventure, Domestic. If I’d made the list 10 years ago, it would’ve included things I’ve done since like seeing castle Neuschwanstein, lurking about Stonehenge, buying a house, visiting Asia (Taiwan), etc, & I’d have more of a sense of completion to this point & the existing list would be shorter.  Maybe in 5 years I’ll have knocked off a dozen more & will have replaced them (If I can survive a 5k race without dying from asthma, then maybe a 10k would be in order.  Junk like that.).

      (Take the Bucket List Summer Challenge)

      By the way, a few items I don’t think I’ll add are bungee jumping and skydiving, since I don’t want to die trying to check something off my death list.  Am I an incredible chicken?  Yes.  Yes, I am.  But accomplishing most of these things requires me to get off my lazy chicken butt and get with it.  So, the gauntlet has been dropped.

      Learning Goals

      1. Learn a new brass instrument

      2. Learn a new stringed instrument

      3. Learn to play the accordion so I can annoy friends and loved ones (in a different way)

      4. Take the IQ test before the mind starts going.

      5. Learn to play decently at cards/poker (I’ll have to work on my P-P-P-Poker face)

      6. Learn to play golf properly/get my own left-handed clubs

      7. Learn to play piano by ear/Be the Piano Man!

      8. Learn conversational Spanish (my 8th grade Spanish didn’t stick well)

      9. Study another language like German or French or Mandarin

      10. Learn to surf

      11. Learn to sail

      12. Study a martial art (Karate, Tai Chi, etc)

      13. Take an art class where I learn how to draw, paint, create visual junk

      14. Learn to juggle

      15. Do a thorough genealogy search (& find if we are really related to Ben Franklin, Napoleon, prez Andrew Johnson & an Indian chief) (I can only half cross this off)

      16. Record oral histories of my family  (I’ve done 3 now. Need more details, though.)

      17. Travel the country/world to see gravestones of ancestors/relatives

      18. Attend family reunions for @ least 2 branches of my family (eg Hinkles & Gottschalls)

      19. Learn super debating techniques

      20. Give a speech to a large group (while awake and wearing more than underwear)-> Sort of Done.

      21. Be able to identify more constellations (beyond Orion & the Dippers)

      22. Learn good storytelling techniques

      23. Read all the books on a snobby list of classics

      24. Be able to identify 10+ birdcalls

      25. Learn the main arguments for creationism

      Creative Goals

      26. Publish at least one song
      27. Write at least once for a national/int’l magazine
      28. Make a scripted home movie with a story line
      29. Finish writing my Christmas Cantata (for a choir) & have it performed & recorded
      30. Finish Writing my rock musical:  music, lyrics, story
      31. Write a screenplay for a movie (possibly for that rock musical)
      32. Publish at least one book
      33. Design and landscape my backyard (possibly with help)
      34. Start a magazine
      35. Build a proper treehouse (not like that awesome bit of childhood @my grandparents’)
      36. Record a semi-pro album
      37. Perform a full set of my own music (+some covers)
      38. Write a stand-up comedy act, even if I don’t perform publicly
      39. Write several comedy sketches, enough to match an episode of SNL (or In Living Color or Kids in the Hall or Monty Python or Mad TV)
      40. Perform the aforementioned sketches with friends in an improvised version of SNL.  Videotape it.  My band could be the featured music(could be just the sort of thing to organize over an extended Christmas holiday)coat of arms family crest rausch design standard herald heraldry
      41. Write a script for a tv show
      42. Design a family crest/coat of arms
      43. Invent something & take out a patent
      44. Become handy with some new dangerous tools (probably something that ends in -saw)
      45. Build some fairly simple furniture without help from former felons or summer camp dudes
      46. Build an instrument from a kit
      47. Write a Christmas story
      48. Write a non-Christmas hymn (another one, but one that doesn’t suck so much)
      49. Design a Lord of the Rings amusement park for fun
      50. Design a Christmas-themed amusement park for fun

      Travel Goals

      51. Visit all 7 continents.  Yes, this includes Antarctica.

      52. Visit all US national parks
      53. Visit every US state
      54. See the pyramids & the Sphynx (Egypt, not Vegas)
      55. Walk the Great Wall
      56. Visit the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian and buy tacky souvenirs
      57. Visit Beijing, China
      58. See New England in full leaf-peeper season
      59. Visit Machu Picchu, Peru
      60. Visit the Taj Mahal, India
      61. Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia (carefully stepping around the landmines)
      62. See the 7 Wonders of the world
      63. Visit France- -> DONE!
      64. Visit Switzerland -> Officially done! Do longer.
      65. Go back to Austria, but for longer than 2 hrs this time. DONE!
      66. Sleep in a castle
      67. Take a Euro-trip just to visit castles & cathedrals (the 2 previous trips nearly qualify)
      68. See Italy -> DONE!
      69. Visit the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera
      70. Visit Japan (see more than just the airport next time)
      71. See the Acropolis in Greece
      72. Visit Russia
      73. See the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (not Constantinople), Turkey (yeah, I called you a turkey)
      74. Big heads on Easter Island, Baby!
      75. Visit the Holy Land between bombings

      Adventure Goals

      76. Run in a 5k race without stopping partway through to get a rock out my shoe
      77. Ride in a Hot Air balloon and/or a Zeppelin (possibly while singing “Stairway to Heaven” or “Immigrant Song” or saying stuff like “Oh, the humanity!”)
      78. Walk longish segments of the Appalachian Trail
      79. Take a cruise (I’m probably going to sign up for one in the next week)-> DONE! 
      80. Travel the Trans-Canada Hwy from coast to coast
      81. Canoe the boundary waters or a waterway (but book woods with showers & toilets)
      82. Travel by train across the US
      83. Take a US roadtrip from coast to coast
      84. Get SCUBA certified (if asthma allows)
      85. Take flight Lessons
      86. See the northern lights
      87. Take a helicopter ride
      88. Go whitewater rafting
      89. Live in or travel around another country for a few months at a time
      90. Take a proper cabin/lodge/ski vacation

      Domestic Bliss Goals

      91. Marry someone swell
      92. Procreate
      93. Become self-employed (make a living off my creative work for at least 1 year, but preferably always)
      94. Get back under 200 pounds (and stay there)
      95. Build my own house (by which I mean have someone else build it to my specs)
      96. Regain my 6-pack
      97. Develop a unique recipe that’s pretty darn good
      98. Grow a decent backyard garden by myself that survives
      99. Learn to make at least 5 dishes from memory
      100. Help plant an orchard (preferably mine on a large acreage)

      What’s on your bucket list?

      The Secret word is Falafel

      Linkerrific!

      Bucket List Summer Challenge

      The Great Suburban Mushroom Hunt

      Your Retirement Savings… in the Couch

      No, Mom, I’m NOT Gay

      Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

      The Great Massage Adventure 

      Fear of Middle Age

      Google-Stalking the Ex

      Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

      11 Steps to Becoming a Domesticated Bachelor

      Famous Historical Bachelors-A List

      17 Types of Bachelor Pads

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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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      11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: #11. Get A Good Job

      job2by Jonathan B. Perry

      We’ve already covered the first 10 of the 11 steps to becoming a Domesticated Bachelor (the links are peppered throughout this post and at the bottom).  Now, we’ve perhaps arrived at the main thing; get a good job!  A good job helps to pay for keeping a bachelor domesticated.  It’s the glue that holds the airplane model together and sticks to your fingers for days.  It allows the bachelor to keep his fine mud-hut, drive his groovy car into a tree, wear his non-tent-like clothes, aimlessly travel the world, buy his mindlessly distracting toys, and throw those terrible parties to which no one shows up (grand hoohahs). Yes, you must get a good job to be truly domesticated.

      Having a job you like is good for personal happiness and satisfaction and can affect your attractiveness to the opposite sex.  This is most useful.  If a woman has to choose between 2 guys who are otherwise equal, it would seem that the better job could push one guy over the top.  That might sound cynical and, perhaps, not always true, but we’re working the odds.  It makes sense because a higher income earner is better able to provide for his family.  Smart women want to be provided for and their mothers have prepared them for this.

      If education can help you get a non-sucky pseudo-professional job, get that education or training and move up the ladder.  Maybe study for a Masters or professional degree.  Take night classes if necessary.  Ultimately, we’ll have to work for 40-50 years, unless we get really really rich and can retire sooner (or die earlier), so it‘s important to like your job for peace of mind and/or personal satisfaction.  It helps to quash that dangerous self-loathing (I’m hoping).

      So, there you have it, the 11 steps to becoming a Domesticated Bachelor.  I meet only a few of the standards, so I wouldn’t be considered a domesticated bachelor.  Until recently I lived in a frightening apartment for several years (just bought a decent house, but it‘s super messy), don’t socialize very much with the humans, have never thrown a party (grand hoohah), cook very little (mostly sandwiches and spaghetti), have a less than stellar job, I’m only a jack of a few trades, I’m not my college svelteness, though I do have some decent clothes (could be better), and have an acceptable car and some distracting toys.  I’ve even traveled overseas a few times, just to be annoying.  Domestication is still a bit out there for me, but that‘s ok.  For the moment.  This list is sort of my own personal set of challenges and guidelines and maybe soon I can start checking more stuff off the list.  For now, I’m not so much a Domesticated Bachelor, as I am a half-wild goat down on the farm chewing something shiny.

      Check out the list below for yourself.

      Related Reading:

      What Is A Domesticated Bachelor?

      #1. THE BACHELOR PAD

      #2. The Right Wardrobe

      #3. Shape Up, Fatty

      #4. Learn to Cook

      #5. Travel the World

      #6. Be a Jack of All Trades

      #7. Master Something

      #s 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

      #10- Collect The Right Toys

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