Monday, July 18, 2011

The Confidence Factor

I think most people probably don't know that "con man" is short for confidence man. I suppose that makes sense. A con man gains your confidence and then swindles you out of something important, such as your money or love or whatever. Now I have a theory, it could be wrong, but I want to do a short entry and ask you if you agree.

Today I was at Nordstrom, the sales clerk was extremely helpful and also cute. But aside from picking out awesome clothing for me, and striking up a good report with my mom (always very important to connect with the bankroll as well) she made me feel like the fucking man. Oh ya, I went in there in smelly clothes that I hadn't washed from the lake, but she commented on my style and how she liked the items I picked out, just pumping my tires up huge. Now I realize that she is a commissioned sales person, but I have never gone into Nordstrom without spending triple my intended purchase. You can't go there and get one thing, not a fucking chance. How many times do you go in there for a pair of jeans and walk out having thrown 2 g's of essentials on the emergency family credit card...that fucking anniversary sale.

You'll notice that similar tactics are employed at strip clubs. I go in there thinking, I'll throw a few wadded up 5's on stage, get a few drinks, evacuate. Next thing you know you're in the basement, in a shower getting duel private dances while your friends cat call you from a private viewing booth. You do feel like the fucking man during this and it's not to say that those designer clothes and debaucherous memories aren't worth the loot, but are these people con-men? I have dabbled in sales before, I don't consider myself a swindler, but I feel like these people know that by making you feel like you are the king of the universe they know they have complete control over you.

People like to feel good about themselves, the confidence factor always leads to more erratic behavior, it's science. However, instead of letting these cunning individuals get the best of you, might I suggest an alternative...On a Friday after work, go spend a few hundred bucks on your mom's Nordstrom card. Afterwords go get a couple drinks over a private dance. By 9pm you will have spent 4 hours being told how awesome you are, you will ooze confidence all night, and you will undoubtedly wake up with company in the morning. Does that count as paying for sex? Building your confidence up artificially by paying people to tell you how great you are only to take some self conscious broad home who is attracted to your alpha male persona? We'll cancel out the con-man thing and the prostitution thing and just call it a successful Friday night.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

US against the world

If you aren't following the Women's World Cup you are an idiot for a multitude of reasons. One being that gamecasting sports at work is one of the most effective ways of zoning out. Two being that the U.S. is awesome and attractive. Third, despite what you may think about women's sports, it's extremely entertaining and we are really good.

Now I know what you're thinking. In high school the majority of the soccer team was above average looking but not by any means a ten. You were probably guilted into going to a couple of their games even and they were pretty meh. (Note: none of this applies to the Cathedral girls team, they were all better looking and more athletic than me, but then again Cathedral is the definition of domination) Most of you probably don't even like soccer. It's slow, everyone is a pussy, low scoring...not a recipe for success, but when you have badass heroes like Hope Solo (who sounds like she could be the title character in a Star Wars porn parody, she's definitely hot enough to pull this off) and Abby Wambach literally solving the world's problems one diving header at a time; things become more interesting.

Solving the world's problems through a secondary female sport? Allow me to expand on my metaphor and draw the comparisons between the US women's team and American foreign policy.

Game 1: North Korea or Korea DPR whatever the fuck that means...needless to say they are the bad Koreans. In a classic America vs. the communists tale, the first half of the game/war was pretty much a stalemate. I would compare this to the 1950's and 1960's a lot of people on both sides died, no one really established dominance. Side note: Everyone always gets really sad about the Vietnam War and talks about how it was some miserable failure. Now maybe this is just the video gamer inside of me thinking in terms of Halo slayer mode, but is it not considered a win if you kill more of them than they kill of you. I understand there is an overarching political agenda in most wars, but I still go by rule of blood to determine the victor. Using this same logic we are kicking the shit out of the middle east right now...I digress. The second half, communism's paper thin logic folded like a wet towel. The U.S. scored 2 goals and trotted easily to victory. In typical "lie to your people" fashion which I believe is one of the pillars of communism, the North Korean coach blamed the loss of multiple players being struck by lightning. Ya, and when I piss the bed after a heavy night of drinking it's because my bladder has a physiological reaction to clean sheets.

US: 1 World: 0

Game 2: Colombia. This game was just a blood bath from the start. This was a clear case of America's imperialistic tendencies. While we have started to shy away from literally invading countries and forcefully annexing them to our borders, we have realized an easier solution. Take what you want from a country and kick them to the curb. We went down to Colombia and took their Coffee, their drugs and Sofia Vergara's tits. 3 National gems from them, 3 goals for us. Now we will just have to wait around to see the violent fallout from the event so ESPN can tie in a new drug lord and make a documentary about it.

US: 2 World: 0

Game 3: Sweden. Experts will forever disagree about what really happened in this match. Some say we intentionally tanked to get the preferable match-up with Brazil. Some might say our Swedish coach is a double agent working for her native Nordic country. Whatever the case, we got down early in this game and mounted a decent comeback but to no avail. If you want my personal opinion on why this happened...Lisbeth Salander and Eric Northman (both Swedish) paid the American team a visit before the game. Eric (played by Alexander Skarsgard) merely showed his fangs, while Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) simply showed a ribbed anal dildo, and the Americans knew what to do. Gotta hand it to those Sweeds for their skillful intimidation tactics.

US: 2 World: 1

Game 4: Brazil. This game focused on revenge, as the U.S. is a nation that secretly holds grudges. When those cunts in Rio took the Olympics from Chicago thus embarassing the world's only remaining superpower, they probably assumed America would take it's ball and go home. Alas, after a failed assassination attempt on Marta by undercover assassin Rachel Buehler, things did look bleak as Buehler was sent off and the US was forced to continue the match a player down. Things were further put into jeopardy when my future wife Hope Solo, stopped a Marta PK, but then the Aussie ref awarded her a re-kick further proving that Australia's role in the modern world is irrelevant. Whatever, fuck that, we're Americans, we're resilient. To extra time we go, fuck, shitty goal allowed...we're in deep shit. 122nd minute it's pretty much over, WAIT A SECOND YOU MOTHERFUCKERS JUST GOT WAMBACH'D. Tied up, PK's. Going up against the U.S. in PK's is like going against Vin Diesel in a street race. Enjoy your Olympics, your 3rd world infrastructure and enjoy your fucking World Cup too. But before that, go get a fucking first name and a surname "Marta" and avoid assassination the next 4 years for blowing it in the most epic fashion in the history of the world cup. BOOOM. Roasted.

US: 3 World: 1

Game 5: France. God Dammit France. Isn't that how everyone feels. I know we are technically allies, but I think everyone can agree as a government, and military France is just the worst. Every since they lent us a couple warships during the American Revolution they act like we are indebted to them, thus we have been bailing them out for 200+ years. So like your annoying pussy friend that never wants to go into battle with you or do anything risky, there has been a slight bit of resentment building throughout the years. Now I like the Riviera, and I'm kind of glad that the Nazi soldier responsible for detonating the bombs in Notre Dame during World War 2 decided not to, and Nic Sarkozy kinda looks like a bro...that said, the U.S. Women's team did what everyone wants to do once in a while to that annoying friend, kicked the shit out of them and let them know who is boss. Listen France, you are on the right side of democracy, but you're a little bitch. When I tell you to kill Arabs, you fucking shoot the shit out of them, if we want war money you ask would we like that in Euros or Francs. Now here is a 3-1 victory (complete with some Wambaching and that hot little 22 year old number who is my 2nd choice for US soccer wife,) go get me some fucking Freedom fries and remember who your daddy is.

US: 4 World: 1

Now we're in the finals bitches, and I have zero doubt we will win. That voodoo magic the Sweeds used in Group play surely wouldn't work twice because after reading my blog, Hope Solo will realize that wooden bullets kill vampires and that David Fincher is making a way more badass American version of Lisbeth (isn't that just the American way) and our Swedish coach that resembles Pete Carroll already gave away all of our secrets. Defeating them would be like Seal team 6 encountering a bunch of vikings. Your axe is cool bro, but I can make your head explode from 1000 feet.

Or there are the Japs. They have had a sneaky run through this tournament, very in tune with their culture (see December 7, 1941) but if we were able to learn anything from our one defeat in this tournament, it is the act of intimidation. If we are forced to go against Japan in the final we should fashion our uniforms to look like atomic bombs and hand out "VJ" t shirts and dolls with deformities to all the American's harsh, but when you are American you will go to any means to secure the victory and/or world domination. Go USA!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Midsummer Classic

Did you know that yesterday, today and tomorrow are the only 3 days of the year that there is not a big 4 sporting event. The all star break signifies that the MLB season is more or less half way over. I still haven't been to a game which is pathetic. One of the biggest losses of no longer working in the Chicago sales world is I am not getting weekly rooftop tickets. However, in addition to the baseball season being half over, so is the summer. If you have been slacking so far, or if you're thinking, "well summer only officially started a few weeks ago," you're wrong.

Summer officially began the first day you could wear shorts out and bare the thought of drinking outside. Yes I know its 90 degrees out and that means, extreme sweat and grossness. I know that the air conditioning feels really good, but 5 months from now your predicament won't be which of the city's rooftop bars to hit for happy hour, it will be does your steady bang deserve a Christmas gift.

Now let's start with the good. The Dave Matthews Caravan this past weekend was awesome. The idea of it was so outrageous. Let's take 100,000 white people and train them down to one of Chicago's worst neighborhoods and get them black out drunk after dark. I was approached by 2 cops Friday evening and had the following exchange.

Cops: Hey man, you out here looking for an ATM?
Me: Ya, I'm getting money for the concert.
Cops: You better walk straight back there, it's getting a little dark out here for you.
Me: Oh ya?
Cops: Ya, we saw you take money out of that ATM and so did everyone else on this block with a knife or gun that wants to rob you, dressed like that you have a target on your back.

And I thought I was down with the urban community, apparently not. Needless to say, I went all three nights and I haven't seen more drunk high school kids since the OAR concert last summer when I was approached by some teens with the following offer "my friend will show you her tits if you buy us beer" sometimes I have to salute the audacity of the youth today.

There is still a ton of great shit going on this summer in the city. Aside from the privileged DePaul kids that failed to get internships that are going out every night in Lincoln Park, every weekend offers some new unique opportunity. I'm getting lost in southern Michigan this weekend, and I'm sure a lot of you have travel plans as well. Just keep in mind this weather won't last forever. You may be dreading your 90 degree jog along the lake this afternoon, but keep in mind in the not too distant future you will be complaining about the fact that you still live in the midwest. So get off the couch and stop looking at the best of Harry Potter cosplay and enjoy what's left of this summer. We have Lolla still on the horizon as well as a lot of other great street festivals, concerts and the such. Once Labor day comes around the party is coming to a close.

We often look to the future, it's always so exciting. I argue live in the present. Ask yourself "Why not?" A cynic looks for reasons not to do something, an optimist will just assume yes. I don't know if I'll be in Chicago forever, but I'm here today and according to my local Metromix there is something going on tonight. I suppose I could sit around and watch the "Midsummer Classic" but I can assure you I won't remember the result in 20 years.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wedding Thrashers

It's that time of year again. It's that time of year where you are forced to waste perfectly good lake weekends spending your Saturday nights in churches and hotel ballrooms. Saturday mornings scrambling to get something off the Bed, Bath and Beyond registry, spending the entire month of July listening to whatever Black Eyed Peas Song is at the top of the charts, yes my friends it's wedding season.

I have come to the conclusion that some people are just idiots. In a world with a 50% divorce rate, growing life expectancy and pop culture society saying that marriage will not make you happy; why a bunch of early twentysomethings rush in to this is beyond me. Is it so they can stay in the same hotel rooms on family trips and have sex without bothering Grandma and her old school morals? Is it so they can move in together and split bills? Fuck that, get roommates. Whatever, who am I to pass judgment, I'm just a single lonely guy maybe I just "don't get it."

Back in college we had a wonderful alternative to the wedding. A wedding party. In this we would establish a bride, groom, best man, maid of honor, the entire wedding party, rent limos, have a fake ceremony and rage all night. It was likely that there were many scandalous hook ups that night. In fact the groom may have taken home the bride. But at the end of the day, when the dust cleared that "groom" could drop her back off at her sorority and then go eat Chipotle with his buddies, while some pledges cleaned up the venue that we destroyed. NOT THE CASE with a real wedding. That shit is real, like really real and it doesn't end until you give away half your wealth to her and half of your remaining welath to an attorney...or you have her killed. I'm over exaggerating a bit obviously. I mean I believe in love. I watch those sappy rom coms and I believe in happy endings, but seriously why the rush?

I get it, girls fantasize about their wedding day and how beautiful their dress is going to be, how exotic their honeymoon trip will turn out. What they don't seem to consider is bringing their husband a roll of toilet paper or dealing with his sleep apnea machine at night. Why don't girls fantasize about how sexy they can dress up and go down to river north bars and have professional hockey players buy them bottles of Grey Goose and give them opportunities for a celebrity hook up. Doesn't that sound better than calling it quits? Imagine the following conversation:

Single Girl (age 24): How was your weekend?
Married Girl (Age 24): Not too bad. Dale and I went to our neighbor's house for euchre club, I hosted a bridal shower Saturday, and Sunday night we did our couples' counseling. How about you?
Single Girl: Oh, I went to a concert at Ravinia Friday night and blacked out and Saturday...well have you seen those pictures of Patrick Kane naked in some chicks bed?
Married Girl: Um, yes.
Single Girl: It's mine.

I mean who just won that exchange? Not hating on the institution of marriage or anything, just saying it can wait a couple years homie.

Enough hate, let's talk about the wedding itself. Weddings are actually quite badass, because if you grew up in the same circles as me you are getting surf n turf and open bar. Usually if I see cash bar, I respond with a 5 dollar Starbucks gift card and an excuse that I've already made plans to go sailing in Nantucket. In any event, there are 2 certainties to inviting me to a wedding. 1.) I will give you a George Foreman Grill for a gift. 2.) I will black out and be inappropriate.

Before you get on your high horse about, blah blah that's why we can't take you to nice places, people invite the wild cards for a reason. If there weren't a few people that got out of control and danced too suggestively with Aunt Marge, the wedding would probably be boring and unmemorable, just saying. Why the Foreman you ask? That's just a retarded question. It's only the most versatile cooking tool in the history of food. You go march out to the grill to cook a teriyaki glazed chicken breast in mid January with 2 feet of snow. Ya, no fucking thanks.

Onto more important matters, to bring a date or not to. Well if you are single, I would advise to just hope that you aren't given the option so you can really roll the dice. If you do get a +1 you better fucking find somebody or it will be like that time you and your boys tried to roll stag to the Christmas formal and quickly realized that there weren't any unaccompanied chicks there. Bring a girlfriend, or someone that got snubbed of a date that will feel at ease in the company of the wedding, or a hooker would suffice as well.

On the topic of the actual wedding, I would like to throw out that if you are planning on getting married prematurely, have some fun with it. A destination wedding would be bad ass, and before you fret about flights and whether people can make it, go ahead and assume that every destination wedding is on the parents' dime until age 26. My parents wouldn't not send me to Hawaii to see a dear friend get married, so please feel free to take advantage of their love. To a lesser extent the same might go for Bachelor parties, so feel free to Vegas it up, even if you and all your friends are still making 30k with entry level sales jobs.

So that's it, thinking about getting married right now? Don't. You can wait until you're 30 and still have a solid 50 years together. Thinking about doing a choreographed dance entry? Don't. It's lame. Thinking about quickly having kids together and blogging about your baby's progress? Don't unless you want to live in constant fear of me sneaking up behind you and kicking the back of your knee.

But, if you are going to do any of this shit, at least make sure your wedding is a bad ass. Because remember, it's not only about you, it's about celebrating the end of your friendships with all the people you invited, so you might as well go out on a good note. Tell the hotel that things will be rowdy, scout out some good bars nearby, and remember if you are a wedding invitee and you take down a bridesmaid, when the dust clears, it's like hitting bail baby, you're free to go.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Bridges of Monroe County

What a weekend that was. I'm finally recovered, my urine is now a normal color and I can stand for 10 minutes without breaking out in a cold sweat. I meant to write something yesterday but I didn't even have the energy to locate my laptop charger and blogging from the Blackberry just wasn't an option. Anyway, I had an idea pop into my head Saturday night 5am while walking home from Beaumonts with a buddy and I wanted to expand on it a bit.

In talking about the upcoming 3rd and 4th of July parties, we talked about how it's always a crapshoot who is going to come and what/why is the motivation that gets one group to show another not to and I think I know the reason. Our generation is a bunch of self-conscious pussies. Allow me to embellish. Going to a party with a group of your college friends, there is likely a guy there that you fought, a girl you used to bang or maybe two that you used to hook up with which caused them to fight. Get over it.

In college this made much more sense. The general rule was you could hook up with one girl per pledge class, when things went south between you two, the bridge between you and her pledge sisters was kinda burnt down. You break up with the girl, you break up with her friends, works for chicks and frats too. However, since some girls are sluts, they would date one of their pledge sister's ex bf's and eventually that relationship would too go south, ruin a friendship and then that guy is definitely an asshole. Fair enough, I would be displeased if one of my ex's started sleeping with every guy in the cold dorm as well, but I digress.

It's as if people have gotten more sensitive in our older age, because now I feel like grudges are held over the stupidest shit. I'm not going to this event because that person didn't come to my birthday party. Or we can't go to that chick's party because I went for a kiss on the dance floor and she turned the cheek. Really? Don't we forget the frivolous bullshit as we grow older. I don't mean to complain, in fact I find this whole phenomenon extremely interesting, perhaps I should have been a sociology major. It's just frequently comical how society hasn't really changed that much in 1000 years, people are still making decisions based on prejudices and opportunity to climb the social ladder. I'm guilty of it too, I try to align myself with powerful attractive people and I constantly conform to the status quo.

I apologize, when I started writing this I wanted it to be an ode to the people that could pull off hooking up with like 6 people in the same group of friends yet remain on good terms with all of them and instead I have hit you with my boring ass social commentary again, but I guess my underlying point it's that in the network web that you yourself has spun there is one certain truth. You can connect yourself through 6 degrees of cock to pretty much every girl and guy you know, so in the future, get over weren't their first, won't be their last and in the middle you are going to miss out on some good shit if you don't cook the beef and eat it.