Monday, March 2, 2015

How I Manipulate My Way into the Hearts of People

I'm pretty awesome person to be around. And over the years I've developed many a friend and companion. Some are just happenstance, fellow gregarious people that instantly became close friends (friendship at first sight). However, there are others that need coaxing, need convincing, and need effort in order to drink my koolaid. Being the ambitious and self-centered person I am, I have, at times, purposefully manipulated my way into friendships. Just like dating advice, here's some of my secrets to making people like me...

Step 1: Be funny!
Everyone likes a comedian. everyone enjoys a good laugh. I have a silly and witty side. Like Cosmo Brown says "Make em laugh, make em laugh, make em laugh." A funny gif, quote a comedy, or simply a good TMI (fart jokes always work).  Class clowns always have friends.

Step 2: Boasting!
But being way over the top about it. That way it doesn't come across as douchebaggy but as super confident but in a funny way. ex: "OMG I JUST MADE THIS AMAZING BROWNIE, IT'S THE SHIZ!" You have to find things that are incredibly common place and then totally blow it out of proportion. The other person connects with you to the commonality of it all but then also laughs (see Step 1). So tell them all about how you opened the car door and hit the one next to you but no one was looking, so you got away with that shit "#winning!"

Step 3: Polite stalking!
Monitor social media and carefully plan interactions that are not too often, but often enough that interaction occurs on a frequent basis. The key here is not wanting them to forget about you, but no raised eyebrows and rolled eyes. Carefully plan your interaction that is seems natural and fluid and then pounce like a mother-fucking tiger. It's not stalking if they enjoy it.

Step 4: Troll the trolls!
Inevitably (due to Step 1) I'll get those who poke fun at me and sarcasm will be met with more sarcasm. Keep it lighthearted, grow some thick skin! This is where you have to put your money where your mouth is, take what you dish out (various other idioms) and fight fire with fire (okay last one I promise). Shake off the haters and embrace your inner No Fucks Given.

Step 5: Kindness!
"You is sweet. You is kind." Assholes don't make friends. Or if they do, they make more asshole friends and they all live in asshole-fantasy-land worshiping each other's assholes. Don't be an asshole. Be kind. Smile more. Live cheerfully. Enjoy life and just be a kind person to be around. And, more importantly, act on that kindness. Do nice things. Kindness is an action, not a thought. When in doubt on how to react - be kind.

Step 6: There is NO... step 6!

Step 7: More of you is always a good thing!
Get less concerned with what others want you to be, and more concerned with what you want to be. Isaac Asimov said, "Above all, never think you're not good enough. Never think that. In life people will take you at your own reckoning." Your. Own. Reckoning. People want to know you. And it's pretty fucking easy to tell the pretenders and those who put up fronts. Give more of your wonderful, beautiful self to the world. Don't give a half-assed version of you. Go full ass.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Why Grown Ass Women like Erotic Novels

I really had no intention of writing a post like this. But given that Fifty Shades of Grey has achieved a comical commercial success, I felt like there are some divided opinions on the subject.  (I've read the books and seen the movie, my verdict on both - meh.) I've read quite a few erotic novels in my years on this planet and I just don't understand the hate or hush-hush about them. Perhaps it's directed towards one book (The Grey Series) but I felt the need to describe what I think are the reasons that grown ass women read erotic novels...

Eye candy. The men in these books are usually some ideal that doesn't exist or we'll never come across in our lives. I've found the descriptions of them are just vague enough for every woman to put her own twist on it. It's always "he had striking features and dark hair" or "his stature was strong and his smell intoxicating."  See what I mean? I can insert with my own projections to create my own fantasy. It's like astrology... which is a crock of bullshit too. Which is totally an Aquarius thing to say. 

Porn isn't romantic. This isn't rocket science. And I'm not downing porn. But let's be honest, it's not like it talks deeply to a woman's soul. It's a turn on, to be sure, but it misses a key component for women. There's a reason the romantic-comedy market has a niche. They don't even have sex in them sometimes and women flock to these types of movies. Why? Rrrrrrromance! I'm sure this is the part where all the men roll their eyes. And you know what, they're right. It sucks that we always want romance. Women are the worst, amirite? I mean we always want to be swept off our feet, made to feel special, to feel like our significant others are thinking of us and planning amazing things for us. I mean, why would we want that?

It makes us horny. Let's just be honest. That shit is hawt. And it's not just the sex part but the build up to it. We love the delicious tango of guy chasing after girl, or dom and a sub, or being rescued. Amazing mind-blowing sex and infatuation, come on, it gives women the "sighing effect" and the wet panties at the same time. 

We're bored. Not to say that we're bored in our marriages, or bored with life, but usually when I read these I have a half hour to burn before sleeping, or some free time to sit alone and read. Erotic novels are usually short, brainless, and easy to read. It's like a light snack. A light sexy snack. 

Fantasy is fun. Fiction is fun. And reading a story about a rich well built model-esque white guy falling obsessively head over heels for the common girl is totally fun. Any reasonable (and emotionally healthy) woman knows this isn't reality, but that it's fun to be led down the primrose garden for a moment and enjoy the smell. People enjoy all types of fantasy, sci-fi, hobbits, vampires, dystopian futures. So why is having a "young Duke captured while traveling in Transylvania to be raised as a sex slave" any different? Totally read it. 

It beats cheating. Sounds harsh. But it's true. Women's hearts are pockets of secret desires, secret wants, and secrets that they'll never tell. We want romance, but we won't ruin it by asking for it. It's so unfair, but so is life, isn't it. Reality is that any "fling" that we have built up in our head will never be as good as we think it will be. But in the novel our minds are allowed to wander free, we don't have to suffer any guilt, shame, or risk of divorce. We can "fall in love" with the 18th century Scottish highlander and still snuggle up to our farty, unshaven partners and be completely satisfied. 

Now if you Significant Others start to feel a twinge of jealousy, hate, shame, or guilt about your loved one reading erotic novels. First thing - remember that everyday your S.O. chooses you, not someone else. 

Love is a choice. 

But if that doesn't help you, here's what I want you to do - read an erotic novel. Do it. Seriously. 
You know why? Because couples should share the things they enjoy. It's a way to start communication, it's a way to reach out to your partner, it's a way to bond. It can start a talk about romance, love, sex, etc. Plus, it helps you get laid, so quit bitching. 

Side Note: I referenced "women" and "men" in the completely traditional sense in this article and for that I apologize to all my LGBTQ friends. I'm a horrible writer and for the sake of being able to throw this together I stayed with the common, stereotypical relationship. I know you play the pronoun replacing game constantly and here's another article doing the same thing, but rest assured it's not cause I'm trying to isolate you out - it's just that I'm lazy. #EqualityForAll

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mardi Gras for Dummies

I love Mardi Gras. My parents are New Orleans natives (much of my family lives in NOLA) and Mardi Gras has always been a part of my life.

Mardi Gras isn't just a New Orleans thing. There are parades all over Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Lafayette, etc.) and in Alabama and Mississippi. In fact Mardi Gras itself originated in France (hence the french term "Fat Tuesday) but they celebrate it in Brazil, Italy, and other places. But you can read all that on Wiki. Something that's rarely known is that in Mamou (South Louisiana) they dress up and chase a chicken for Mardi Gras.'s the south people, we're bored and we drink a lot.

The season starts like a month before Mardi Gras day. It's a whole. fucking. season. Each weekend leading up to Mardi Gras has parades and one could spend an entire month in a drunken haze if one were so inclined. It all ends on Fat Tuesday but parades go each weekend before then.

The best parades aren't on Mardi Gras day. The last time I actually went to "Mardi Gras" on the actual Tuesday was years ago. Most of the time I go the weekend before which includes:

By the time Lundi Gras (Monday before) and Mardi Gras rolls around I'm exhausted and ready to go home.

Bourbon St. is overrated. There aren't any parades on this street and around Mardi Gras time it becomes a huge tourist fest. It's like Time Square on NYE except everyone is drunk and an asshole. It's a tourist hole with overpriced food and drinks and BO.  This isn't where the locals go during Mardi Gras. It's not fun, it's annoying.

Drinking in public is legal in Louisiana, which throws people off. It also means some tourists come here treating the Big Easy like it's a fucking toilet. Yes, you can drink in public. Yes, you can hoot and holler and have a good time at a parade. But don't be a dick. Especially when you're in an area that's family friendly. Enjoy yourself, but be an adult and don't treat the city like a cheap whore. It's more like a high priced french call-girl.

Locals can either be your best friends or your worst enemies. Southern hospitality is a thing. And yes New Orleans has it. But the key here is if you're offish or an asshole to a New Orleanian then heaven help you. It's best to meet the people next to you, say hello, get to know them and be friendly. And don't argue over beads with anyone, that's dumb.

Going to a parade is all about sitting around, eating, and drinking. A lot of Mardi Gras is waiting for parades to arrive and waiting for roads to clear. If you have a friend who has a house or apartment "on the parade route" this is gold. Cause then you have a clean bathroom and place to get out of rain or cold or heat, depending on weather. It's basically tailgating.. but with king cake.

King cakes are amazing. They are gifts from angels. This is the best part of Mardi Gras. Not all are created equal though but they are still better than not king cake. If you don't know what a King Cake is it's like a huge oval cinnamon roll that has Mardi Gras colored (green, purple, and gold) sprinkles on it. Most of the time it's just cinnamon on the inside but then sometimes they fill it with strawberry, pralines, bavarian cream, unicorn laughter, the sky's the limit!

Marching bands are awesome. There's nothing like the sound of a marching cadence. It gives me goosebumps. When the band gets going, and the dancers are en fuego, and the crowd is dancing and clapping - it's like a big block party and everyone is just having a good time.

Catching cheap ass junk from China is fun. This ain't yo mama's parade. I love watching n00bs experience Mardi Gras for the first time. Most of the country is used to parades being a "watching" type of thing but Mardi Gras is participatory. Beads are everywhere. A huge collection goes around your neck weighting you down and giving you neck cramps. Beads hit you in the face. They get stuck in trees. They are all over the ground. You catch stuffed animals, fake roses, glow in the dark stuff, flashy lights, panties, etc. If China makes it, chances are it's been thrown off a Mardi Gras float. You holler and jump and shout and act a fool just because. One of my favorite quotes that I've heard about Mardi Gras is:

"While it's in my hand it's worth almost nothing, when it's in your hand it's worthless, but when it's in the air - it's priceless." 
Then a huge hoard gets dumped out in the middle of the floor into a big pile like Halloween candy and you sit back and admire it "LOOK WHAT I HAVE CREATED!"

That's. Mardi Gras.

It's an experience.  It's an event.  It's a tradition.

If you've never been, go.  NOLA will be happy to have you.