Yesterday a friend asked me for advice about a dating situation. I was a late bloomer and it took me several years of trial and error to figure these things out so I’m hoping this is useful to someone somewhere. Maybe to my Moroccans!?!?
a. Don’t go on dates! Just chill with friends and meet new people.
b. Talk on the phone first
c. Always at a place close to your house
d. Hard stop
(a. Dating means all sorts of weird expectations and hang ups. Reframe the situation entirely: lets kick it as friends and see what happens. )
(b. Test for vibe via the telephone. 1. it can be spontaneous and requires less planning. 2. if there is no connection you don’t have to commute all over the place. 3. It’s very easy to exit a phone call in case of epic fail.)
(c. Know of an awesome cafe…near your house. Again, in the event of epic fail there is no reason to be traveling all over.)
(d. Establish a hard stop in the event of total awkwardness.)
Etymology: from Late Greek ekklēsiastikos, from Greek, of an assembly of citizens, from ekklēsiastēs 15th century
1 : of or relating to a church especially as an established institution
2 : suitable for use in a church
“As Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, the states are the laboratories of democracy . . . it turns out Arizona is the meth lab of democracy.”
:: via email (Thanks Noah!!) ::
For the record, I actually have no idea what’s happening in Arizona. I’ve seen headlines zip by and think it may have something to do with immigration and accusations of racism.
Broadly speaking, if you’re motivated enough to risk your life to come to my country I’m pretty happy to pay to educate you so that you make the country better. Yeah, more smart and motivated people. I like that.
It’s official, I’m calling an end to the 2010 Cultural Immersion Experiment. To be honest, I’m not really clear on who the protagonist is. Maybe The Wire is using it’s “realism” to make a statement about the unrealistic nature of protagonism in general but I can’t bring myself to care about any of the characters. I’m not rooting for anyone. I can’t identify with any of the characters and hence, I don’t care about their fate. The wire abandons a key component of the narrative (the protagonist) in order to make a point. Unfortunately that point is only a tired critique of the drug war and police corruption and are only novel because of their appearance on television.
The Wire is so close. If it only reined in it’s character count to allow some development.
All of this rich tapestry of story and characterization stuff aside, I’m just not entertained. Last years Cultural Immersion Experiment had me reading The Twilight Novels. I’ll willfully admit that Meyer is not a literary savant but knows how to reel them in. She is at once ham-handed and enjoyable. The Wire, on the other hand, is not entertaining. True the country in general, and Baltimore in particular, are still deeply fucked up so these critiques deserve a wider audience.
Anyway, June 5th will bring a Twilight novella which I am excited about. It will be quick and enjoyable like the candy that it is. If I’m stuck somewhere with nothing to read, I may check out the rest of the Harry Potter novels. I’ve seen bits of the movies that I found enjoyable. Reading the books may just piece that narrative together. The cultural consensus is that the DaVinci Code sequel The Lost Symbol is mediocre at best. I am officially abandoning The Wire, if only because finishing it means another 30 hours of investment that doesn’t seem like it’s going to pay off.
I’m currently watching the fourth episode of the third season of The Wire. It is incredibly boring. The first season is paradise compared to this. I’m considering aborting this attempt at cultural immersion and perhaps listening to audiobooks of the Sookie Stackhouse series or watching madmen.
It only took me two seasons to burn through four months of backlogged task minutae and now I’m just organizing my music. This is bad.
He just put up a shop as well. Cool stuff available
Dustin: Gahhhhh, why are high maintenance people also so incompetent?!?!
Liz: Because they alienate everyone and can’t get anything done.
“For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Hemingway purportedly claims it was his best work….
Take that you stupid can!
Except he never probably claimed it was his best work because there is no evidence he even wrote it. The idea probably originated in a play about him from the nineties.
Incidentally, I severely detested Farewell to Arms and being forced to read old man and the sea was one of my worst high school experiences. Earnest Hemingway – Nubs down!
Thus far, I have gotten nothing from The Wire other than the totally inappropriate tendency to convivially refer to my friends and associates as “nigger.” Despite deserving it, I haven’t been punched in the face for sounding like a bigot (yet). As for the show itself…the characters are all drawn from traditional cop show cookie cutter archetypes and spiced with “gritty” realism of the Baltimore streets. Thus far, the wire is the exact same cops and bad guys show that’s been on television for years but with more titty shots and heroin dealers. True the story is more complex but not interesting enough to form a compelling narrative. I also think there are too many characters to have any sort of serious development. The second half of season two has picked up a bit but nothing worth noting. So far, I would rate The Wire as firmly “boring.”
However! The major benefit of watching the wire is that I have optimized a previously unproductive area of my life. There is a class of tasks which is not interesting enough to enjoyably focus on exclusively but too complex to do totally mindlessly. Traditionally, I procrastinate on these items because they usually aren’t time sensitive or important. BUT I can accomplish large swaths of these tasks while watching television. It’s fantastic and makes me feel grand.
I will watch the Wire at least through season three because that is when it purportedly gets good. I am officially logging my thoughts on that point as “skeptical.”
I engage in my yearly pop culture endeavor primarily as a means to relate to other people. It’s nice to be able to talk about Harry Potter, The Twilight Novels or The DaVinci code if it comes up but those books were at least enjoyable. So far I’m just logging episodes of the wire and popping points off of my massive to do list.
I think everyone should have “safety gifts.” Something they like that is relatively publicly accessible and has a high quality and price range. Purchasing gifts for self-actualized adults can be a tricky process. It has to be cool, interesting and something that won’t just get thrown away. The answer is safety gifts.
For me, the safety gift is scotch. If you show up at my house with a bottle it will always make me happy. While I don’t personally drink a lot, I love entertaining guests. Since many guests like geeking out on scotch you can help me with something I love. Scotch is versatile gift in all the right ways. It’s available at a broad variety of easy locations. That means you can plan an epic shopping adventure or pick some up as a last minute thought. There are many different varieties. There are lots of different prices. Givers can go as mainstream or obscure as they’d like.
I also like technical hiking socks.
I wish bars served kombucha. I bet the margins are similar and it seems like an, ahem, untapped market segment.