Hanging On By A Thread

Back in the year 2000, I was a senior in high school. The year consisted mostly of college applications, goofing around in class, and playing sports. Any pressure of doing well in school was alleviated; the work, or damage, was already done, so it was left up to the college gods to determine my fate, as it were. I had a good time.

A big reason for why my senior year was enjoyable was my friends. There was about seven of us that did pretty much everything together. We’d play basketball, go bowling, go to the movies, and hang out on the weekends, and during school we would be in the same classes and have lunch and breaks together. There was a real sense of camaraderie and brotherhood, and though college was on the horizon where our paths would diverge, we felt like the bonds that we created during our formative adolescent years would carry our friendships through a lifetime of different experiences.

Today, I am still friends with only one of those high school guys.

It’s an all too familiar story that for the most part all of us can relate to – losing touch with high school friends. But it’s not just friends from back in high school. The truth is, no matter what stage of life we’re talking about, the friends we make and have can and will likely fall by the wayside. But why is that? Are having our lives go in different directions the reason for this? Is it because people change and are no longer the same version of themselves as they were at a particular time?

I think those are all valid explanations, but the one I believe in the most is this: friendships are fragile, and oftentimes a single instance can break them beyond repair.

It’s not as if I had a huge falling out with my high school friends. That was a case of time growing people apart. But let’s look at the friends that we have amassed in our lifetimes, and more specifically, within the last five to ten years. It could be a comment someone said, or what someone did or didn’t do in a certain situation, but little moments in time can have damaging effects on friendships. Maybe a one-time friend made an offensive comment or perhaps someone left us high and dry in a time of need; whatever the case may be, people are quick to bail on friendships.

It’s a combination of things, I suppose. As we get older, our personal thresholds for bullshit decrease. We become more set in our ways and oftentimes less compromising on certain principles. Our time becomes more valuable and in turn we become more selective on whom we choose to spend our time with. Whatever the reason may be, all of our friendships, no matter how close or strong they may seem at the moment, are all hanging by a thread. And the thread can break at any time.

I don’t write all this to paint a grim picture of humanity (even though I tend to be a misanthrope). I write this to point out that we should appreciate the people we call friends today. It’s human nature to take people for granted, so while we are in the good graces of those we call friends and vice versa, let’s do all we can to stay friends.

 

Chris.

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Soon Enough, I’ll Get Fingered

I know what you’re thinking.

No, I am not going to prison.

But yes, you did read that right. In due time, a finger will be up my ass. Is it by choice? Well, let’s just say that’s debatable.

What is life but a mere collection of unique experiences? Shouldn’t we be expanding our horizons, seeking opportunities that will lead to a higher state of enlightenment?

Seriously, get your mind out of the gutter. This is not a sex thing.

I went to the doctor recently. I’m one of those types that never go to the doctor. Dentist? Yes, I get my teeth cleaned regularly, but doctor? Nah. I hadn’t seen a doctor in about eight years. But I’ve been getting migraines and I hurt my wrist at the gym not too long ago. I also figured it would be a good idea to get my blood drawn to see what filth lives inside of me.

The doctor, an older Indian gentleman, asked me how old I was, to which I told him that I’m 33. Hearing that number come out of my mouth sounds a little strange; I honestly forget that I’m not 30 anymore from time to time. Then, the doctor said, Well, you don’t have to get your prostate checked yet, but soon enough. Nobody likes getting that checked. Then he went on to laugh for a brief few seconds.

Like I said, a finger up my ass.

It’s inevitable, not necessarily the finger, but getting old. As I was getting my blood pressure and heart rate taken, I sat in the doctor’s office thinking, This is my life now – doctor appointments with prostate examinations on the horizon. I could have sworn I was that douchebag at the club hitting on random girls with negs and demonstrations of higher value just last week. Where did the time go?

But I guess that’s life. I suppose we ought to savor the moments we have now, be in the present. Do things get better with age? I don’t know. I have no idea what the future holds, and perhaps that’s partly why the present is so great, because we don’t know.

I do know, however, that soon enough, I’ll get fingered. That’s all the future knowledge I need for now, thanks.

 

Chris.

New Coworkers Are Awful

Am I a good person? Clearly, I am not.

I question people who don’t question themselves. How can anyone be so sure of his quality as a human being? Oftentimes I find that those that can make such bold proclamations like I’m a good mom, or I’m definitely capable of getting the job done are the exact opposite of what they’re saying.

I don’t ever want to hang out with someone who never doubts himself, someone who lacks the introspection to question how good of a person he really is.

Just as I say these things, I must admit – doubting myself sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be a good person. I mean, don’t we all want to be loved? Isn’t that the whole point of all this?

The other day, I met a new coworker. Let’s just call her Gina (either pronunciation, conventional or the one from The 40-Year Old Virgin, works here). She’s a woman who, from the looks of her, is in her early forties. In an office where the standard energy level of the employees is at a steady 4 out of 10, she bursts onto the scene at level 9. Her smile is about as fake as Giada de Laurentiis’s, made of plastic, just like Vicki of Small Wonder fame.

That’s all I needed to know right there. She hasn’t even said a word yet. She could be Mother Theresa reincarnated. Not a fan already.

She says Hi, nice to meet you! as if I’m a mentally disabled child – slow, loud, and deliberate. Is this a joke? Is she just fucking with me? I want to tell her to STFU, I honestly do, but of course, all I can muster up is the standard level 4 Oh hey, it’s nice to meet you. Welcome. I can feel my vagina growing. And of course, Gina continues to drone about how excited she is to be here and how she’s so looking forward to working with everyone here. Bitch, please. Your bullshit smells worse than my farts. Actually, they don’t; my farts smell really bad.

I go home that day and I think about this brief exchange. This woman never did anything to me. In fact, she was nothing but polite when we met.

So why do I hate her so goddamn much?

Clearly, I have issues. I must be a horrible person. As time goes on, my inner-misanthrope seems to grow stronger and stronger. Instead of seeing the good, I am subconsciously trying to find any reason to dislike anyone I meet. Perhaps this is indicative of my own self-loathing ways.

But then, during the next day of work, another coworker comes by and says, That new girl Gina, what’s her deal? A-ha! So she is hate-able. Okay, I am not alone. Phew.

I think, to a degree, everyone wants to be likable. Hell, I don’t want to be anyone’s Gina. I don’t want to be the subject of anyone’s hatred just from a mere glance.

At the same time, I can’t control how other people feel. As Trent told Mikey in the diner (Swingers reference), I don’t like some people, and some people don’t like me. Come to think of it, I’m sure that I am someone’s Gina.

So what’s the conclusion? I guess it’s that Haters’ gonna hate. Yes, it’s a bit corrosive to the soul to hate people, period, let alone for unjustified reasons. But hey, drinking is corrosive to the liver, and yet, I still drink beer because it tastes so good.

Trust me, you wouldn’t like Gina either.

 

Chris.

Football, I Just Can’t Quit You

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post.

I’d love to say that I’ve been busy feeding the poor, saving the manatees, or doing 10,000 push-ups – pretty much anything productive.

The truth is, I haven’t done a damn thing besides watch football.

Hey, I can look at things objectively – spending an entire weekend watching football is about as ridiculous as waiting in line for the premiere of a Harry Potter movie in full-on Ron Weasley cosplay as an adult (and no, I have not done that). I know Emily loves my obsession with football. When she’s saying something to me during a game and I don’t even turn my face away from the TV to look into her eyes, she thinks I’m the biggest loser ever. And I am.

Let’s think about it – football is a sport marketed as being masculine and full of bravado yet straight males all over the country completely ignore their beautiful girlfriends and wives to watch grown men, in essence, wrestle each other over a ball.

In a weird twist, comic book nerds think I’m such a loser for watching gratuitous amounts of football, because surely collecting mint condition action figures and obscure limited edition issues only released in Japan is a way better use of time.

I get absolutely nothing done when football’s on TV. I’ll move a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer and let it dry only to have it sit in my dryer for the whole weekend. I’ll hold in my piss until I can’t anymore because I don’t want to miss a play. My exercise for the day is getting into my car and driving to get carne asada burritos. I won’t shave at all so by Sunday night I’ll have the classic ironicly-thin Asian man mustache. I know, I know, I’ll stop – the ladies are getting too hot and bothered. Don’t want to get y’all too aroused – I am taken, after all.

Look, I know it’s dumb, but like Jake Gyllenhall famously said, I wish I knew how to quit you, football.

Hell, I’m watching a show about football right now as I write this blog post. This is sick. I’m a sick person. Then again, I’ve probably already established that by now, haven’t I.

This kind of symbolizes what’s going on in society today. As individuals, we have the potential to accomplish quite a bit, but what do we do instead? Watch someone else accomplish things on TV.

I’ve made up my mind – I’m going to turn this damn TV off.

After these highlights.

Chris.

Q-Tip, Q-Tip, Throw It Away

Yes, I just quoted Kevin James in Hitch.

That movie, for all its ridiculousness and unrealistic depictions of love and romance (when would a billionaire modelesque woman ever fall for her overweight doofus accountant?), does give some good advice to men out there seeking the affections of a certain woman. You do need to plan things out when courting a woman. You do need to put your best foot forward. And, when necessary, you should lie. Just kidding, don’t lie, but don’t reveal everything up front. Leave something to mystery, alright?

But this post is not about dating. It’s about throwing stuff away.

I recently changed office locations at my job, which meant that I had to pack things up in boxes for the move. This also meant that I had to look through everything in my office to see what I wanted to keep and throw away the things I no longer needed.

Boy, was there a lot I didn’t need anymore.

I had papers from 2005 lying around. I had old t-shirts from company events that I would never dare to be seen in public wearing, yet these were the types of things that I found lying around, untouched for years.

Let me tell you something: I love throwing stuff away. Few things in life give me more pleasure than dumping loads of useless filth into a trash can. It’s like hitting the reset button. You’re playing a game, and when things start to go awry you begin to wish that you can start the game over, so you hit reset. It feels great. It actually feels very similar to losing weight. You feel lighter, freer, and more flexible.

I just don’t get hoarders. I don’t understand why people would want to keep things forever, knowing full well that the possessions they want to hold onto will never be of use to them. Maybe I’m just not very sentimental.

But it’s not just the hoarders, it’s all of us that have a certain problem, an ill-fitted disposition, if you will. Whether we know it or not, we are raised to always be accumulating stuff. More clothes, more electronics, bigger homes, newer products. It just never ends. I admit it, I feel the need to upgrade my iPhone every two years, and as a result, I have 3 iPhones lying around in my home, with a fourth one probably on the way in about a month or two.

Now that I’ve taken care of my office, I should start looking in my home now. I’m sure there are tons of things I can throw away, or better yet, donate. As a man, I like to stay somewhat fashionable with my clothes, which means I have a healthy regular rotation of five shirts that I always wear. The rest of it I don’t need. There’s a whole slew of other things in my home sitting there, collecting dust from years of neglect. I simply don’t need them at all.

I know there’s enough pointless holidays already (Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day, etc.), but what if there was a Throw-Your-Useless-Shit-Away Day? A day that would be designated for everyone to stay home and collect all their useless possessions to either discard or donate?

Now that would be a holiday worth celebrating.

Chris.

No One Is Rooting For You

Is humanity inherently good or bad?

Where does morality come from? Are certain values innate or learned? Are some individuals naturally friendly and kind-hearted while others are born to be shitheads? I think about these things from time to time.

I’ve developed the general belief that no one is rooting for you.

If you have at least one person in this world that truly and genuinely supports you and wants your dreams to come true with no strings attached then you should consider yourself fortunate.

But for the other 99% of the people you encounter in life, let me break the news to you, they are not rooting for you to succeed. Hell, I’m not rooting for you. Do you think I want your blog to blow up? Do you really think I want you to have more readers than we do?

Recently, I decided to dive into the world of photography. Why? Obviously because there’s not enough Asian photographers out there.

It only took a day or two before I encountered a few people that wanted to take a big dump all over my pursuits. No, I don’t own a fancy Canon DSLR (it’s always the Canon users), nor do I have a $2,000 telephoto lens, but what’s it to you? It’s almost as if people are afraid that you’ll be successful so they want to put out that flame of desire before it gets bigger.

Everyone has their own worldview, the set of morals and principles that guide and reinforce the way they see life. Whenever something comes along that challenges or even shatters this worldview, they feel threatened and get defensive. We saw this when Elvis started shaking his hips on TV and when Bruce became Caitlyn. The polarizing reactions weren’t a reflection of Elvis or Caitlyn; they were a reflection of the individual viewer and the discomfort they felt seeing someone living life with a different worldview from theirs.

We all want to be ourselves, do we not? We want to try new things. We have different dreams and interests. I’ll tell you this much: the bigger the dream, the more hate you’ll get from your peers, your so-called friends, and even your family. You want to be a Hollywood actor or a rockstar? Almost everyone will be waiting for you to fail. Why? Because people are risk-adverse. In their minds, they would never dare to do anything crazy because they feel like they would certainly fail, and so obviously that means you should fail too. People want to be right. They want their worlds to make sense. But what if you’re crazy enough to take huge risks in your life and they actually pay off? These people may have a hard time with that.

So just be clear on this: if you want to try anything daring in your life, just know that most people will be rooting against you. It’s not so much about you, it’s more about their own insecurities and self-imposed limitations. It doesn’t matter though, it still feels equally shitty to know that you don’t have a whole lot of support. But that’s exactly why it will feel so much sweeter if your dreams come true.

Then again, they’re probably right. You’ll probably fail. But will you go for it anyways? That’s the question.

Chris.