Is Morning Media Making You Mopey?

I saw something bad on Twitter.

Full disclosure: The following is purely anecdotal. It’s about as scientifically based as your new obsession with turmeric. 

Hey there, sparky. Quick question for you: Are you starting out the day on the wrong foot? Does it feel like a little cloud develops before you leave the house and follows you out the door? Do you sometimes wake up thinking, “I will crush this day and drink all its delicious juices,” but by the time you get to work you’re only thinking, “I hope I make it to lunch without killing someone or crying”?

Any or all of that sound familiar?

Now, yes. It could very well be actual depression. Depression IS real and should be diagnosed and treated. But it could also be something else, something within your control.

“Yeah. Like my stupid job,” is something you may have just thought.

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Kindness, The Clap and Calvin and Hobbes

Way back in my freshman year in college, I was so stupid I didn’t realize how stupid I was. And to be honest, so were my friends. But we all were. We were, 17, 18, 19 and didn’t know any better. And that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Startling insight, I know. How did I ever come up with that? And why am I boring you with it now.
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Gullible for Gurus

I didn’t get past page three of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love.” I physically could not read any further. I’m an eye-roller. And by that point, my eyes had pretty much locked into a backward-facing position. “Oh, c’mon,” was the reaction I kept having. It’s not that the writing was bad. It wasn’t. I just felt like I was listening to a rich white woman whine about her life. I also knew how many women had fallen for this garbage. Here’s a secret, folks. Unlucky in love and at a transitional stage in your life? All you need is a few hundred thousand dollars and a trip around the world. Amazing what a vacation can do! Of course, what it can’t do is guarantee you love or enlightenment that lasts.
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For Sale: One Slightly Used Engagement Ring

Yo, it’s Frodo over here and I’ve got a ring that needs getting rid of. But the MTA has canceled subway service to Mount Doom and I’m sure as hell not walking over there. I thought about giving it to Gollum, but he hasn’t been the same since he took a job writing tax code for the Federal government. (He was seen on a street corner, rubbing his hands and saying “Mine! Mine! Mine! over and over again and they had to have him.)

But seriously, as the separation slowly marches toward divorce, I’ve finally gotten my grubby mitts back on the engagement ring. Continue reading “For Sale: One Slightly Used Engagement Ring”

Self-Discipline and Your Dead Relationship

I’m a big fan of self-discipline. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m any good at it. Anyone who’s seen my behavior with a bottle of whiskey — or even a tin of Altoid mints — realizes I have control issues. Still, I’m a fan. Give me a goal — a half marathon or a deadline for a novel — and I can be pretty good about self-discipline, especially if there’s a reward at the end.

One other time in life when I seem to have developed pretty decent self-discipline is when standing in the smoking crater of a destroyed relationship. And if I may be allowed to say so, more people should be like me. The world would be a better place.

Case in point. Some time ago, a friend of mine dumped her boyfriend after years of dating. As one would expect, he didn’t react well. None of us ever do when we’re rejected on a personal level after a years-long relationship. (And I think guys are often caught off guard in these situations, because if the woman isn’t nagging or screaming at us, well, the relationship must be perfect, right?) He was angry. And he made this anger known. Initial outbursts are okay, sure. But then you have to bottle up your rage and go home. You’re not going to win her back.

Easier said than done.

Recently my friend told me she’d gone camping. Oh, and that the ex had texted her a couple of times. They were camping-related texts that weren’t so nice. “I hope you get raped by an angry bear.” That sort of thing. (Okay, he didn’t text that. But my example is funnier than his.)

As a friend, my initial reaction was what you’d expect. “This will not stand! We shall march to his house and unleash rabid ferrets into his boxer-briefs!”
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Don’t Poop Where You Partake

I am lucky enough in this phase of my life to live within a 45-second walk from my favorite bar, a place where I’ve almost reached the status Norm had on “Cheers.” Taking a break from all your worries sure does help a lot. And it’s even better when everyone knows your name — but not your entire life’s back story or that thing you did that one time that none of your so-called friends just will not let go.

The Brazen Head is perfect for me: low-key; an interesting client base of locals, law students, lawyers, criminals and that one cat who just shows up and plays his clarinet along with whatever music is playing; a solid selection of bourbon (and Scotch, too, if you’re into that sort of thing); a dart board that is used by people who bring their own darts (I don’t play anymore, but this I find comforting); and a rotating selection of good beers but, just as equally, a place where no one is going to give you stink-eye if you order a Budweiser and a Jack on the rocks.

Also, the staff is exceedingly friendly and, in the case of the women, attractive (yes, even before the drinking starts).
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Valentine’s Day Advice for the Emotionally Needy

1. One word says it all: “Stalking.”

2. Send an extremely expensive bouquet, sign it “Secret Admirer” then ask repeatedly, “So, you get anything special today?”

3. Nothing proves the depth of your feelings like 1,500 word blog post declaring your love.

4. Girl of your dreams taken? Be sure to upstage her boyfriend’s gift. She’ll like the gesture; he’ll appreciate the lesson.

5. Chicks are powerless against real-life reenactments of the Say Anything boombox-in-the-rain scene.

6. Chocolate’s OK. But nothing changes a girl’s mind like a chocolate labrador puppy.

7. Write a poem using these words: infinity, destiny, boundless, abyss, eternity, consummation. Remember: Women are completely turned off by rhyming and humor.

8. Nothing says “I love you” like an intervention. (Because it’s obviously booze/drugs preventing her from seeing all that you have to offer.)

9. Not sure if she likes you? A diamond ring and surprise proposal works every time!

10. NEVER, EVER take my advice!

A Little Wookie for Valentine’s Day

When you’ve been married as long as I have been (nine months), you’ve accumulated a lot of wisdom about love and junk, which puts you in a position to give advice. But instead of giving you more advice–there was enough of that yesterday–I thought I’d lead by example.

For Valentine’s Day I gave my wife a cookbook and a Chewbacca card. Now, it wasn’t just any Chewbacca card. This one featured TWO Chewbacca’s and made the Chewbacca sounds. “GRRNNNNLLLLNNNNHHHHNNNNN” (that’s a fifteen-syllable ‘grnlnh’ with emphasis on the eighth syllable) is Wookie for “I love you” and, also, “I need to poo”–which, come to think of it, is something you say only to people you love. So Wookie’s a pretty efficient language.
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