Monday, February 28, 2011

Rule 4: Be a Gentleman, Continued

1. Watched Sword in the Stone.  It had been a while... felt good.
2. D&D went great.
3. My wife and I got to chill with a couple of great people on Saturday afternoon.  We had breakfast for lunch... it was awesome.

So, we left off with the importance of opening doors.  Another classic gentlemanly thing to do is help them with their chair.  This is used less often, but most girls I've known eat it up... if it's done right.  First off, assume that they aren't expecting you to do it.  I'd speculate that 99 times out of 100, they're not expecting it, so if you don't do it, you won't come off as a jerk or anything, but if you do, you'll come off as sweet and thoughtful.  Here's how you make sure it goes smoothly:  Allow her to get to the table first.  You do this by allowing her to follow the waiter first (I would advise you to follow by putting your hand softly on her back, but touching will depend a lot on how well you know each other and how comfortable she is with being touched, so... think about if you want to do the hand on the back.  If she's comfortable she'll like it, if not, she'll be creeped.  I guess good advice would be:  put your hand on her back at your own discretion).  When she gets to her chair and touches it, say these words loud enough for her to hear them, "Hey, let me get that for you."  Then, when she acknowledges that she heard you, pull her chair out, and softly push it in so that her knees can fold her into it at a comfortable speed.  You may want to try this with your mom or sister before actually trying it on a date so that you can find a good technique.  Again, if you don't do it, you won't look like a jerk, so don't sweat it too much.

The rest of the physical stuff has few specifics, but just some general things to think about.  Always remember that a gentleman protects, and gives appropriate space.  Make sure you're always close enough to help her if she needs it, but far enough not to creep her out.  Refrain from making out in public (no matter how much fun it is), unless you are completely sure that she is totally cool with making people around you uncomfortable.  Stand up straight.  I know our generation loves rappers and grunge artists, but you want her to feel like she's with a strong man, one who can help in times of need, and one she's proud to be with, part of that is standing straight.  In fact, no matter how lame you may think it is, you should consider standing straight all of the time.  Just a thought.

Next, part of making someone comfortable, is watching your language.  I think we get this idea that girls want to date a rebel, so we think we need to cuss, and say crass things so that she'll think she's out with a bad ass.  Guys, I know few girls who are actually in to this.  Once your married girls tell you all kinds of stuff (it's like you suddenly become gender neutral), and they tell me that they don't like guys who swear a lot.  They say it makes them uncomfortable, which, remember, is one of those things gentlemen don't do.

Also, think about your conversations.  When you talk to her, ask about her.  Girls LOVE to be asked questions.  Not interrogated, but asked what they like and dislike, what their favorite movie is, what their family is like.  And, as Hitch says, do not be looking at her lips, do not think about what she looks like naked, LISTEN to what she is saying, and then respond appropriately.  If you do this, she'll respond to you.

Especially on the first date, stay away from sarcasm.  A lot of people simply don't get it, and many people just think you're being mean.  After a few dates, consider teasing a little, but keep it light.  Some girls really like it, and some find it annoying.  Before teasing at all, have a heart to heart with a close friend.  Some sarcasm is funny, and some sarcasm is cruel.  Ask them what side of sarcasm you fall under.  If it's the cruel side, stop using it all together... not just in dating, always.

I really can't think of anymore specifics.  Do know that being a gentleman isn't just something you do on dates, it's a lifestyle that you need to practice always.  Otherwise, you'll be awkward on dates.  Try it today.  Try it right now.  Start thinking of others, and how you can make them a little more comfortable.  Think about how you can lift their spirits and keep them safe.  It really is a good habit to get in for every part of your life, dating is just one of those parts.

Anyway, on to number 5 tomorrow.  Have a nice day.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rule 4: Be a Gentleman

1.  Got to go to the temple with my family.
2.  My dad said he'd help me write a book about dating (I learned most of what I know from him anyway).
3.  I made up a few D&D encounters.  First time in a long time.  Felt good.

Okay, so you got a number, you made a plan, you made the call, and she said she'd go out with you.  You might be feeling pretty good, but the battle is only half over.  You've still got to go on the date.  Now, I'm about to dispense some advice that you probably heard from your parents, or your parents', but I'll tell you why that advice is still legit, and why it's in your best interest.  Guy, you're going to want to be a gentleman.

Now, we will need to define what a gentleman is in this context.  When you ask a girl out, you're expecting that she'll be willing to spend the evening with you.  I don't fully understand women, but any dad will tell you that when you ask a girl out, she has the right to expect that you'll take care of her and keep her safe.  That my friends, is what a gentleman is.  He's someone who is willing to put others ahead of himself, and make them as comfortable as possible.

Let's start with the pick up.  BE ON TIME, and if you're not going to be on time, give her a call (again, God gave us cell phones for a reason).  I hope, that you hope, that she's excited to go out with you, but that excitement will quickly dissipate if you're more than five minutes late.  At the same time though, dont' be too early.  Girls are going to try and look as good as they can for the date, and because of that, they'll be getting ready right up until you get there (and sometimes a little longer).  If you're too early, she's not going to be ready, and it'll be awkward.  A good rule of thumb is to be no more than five minutes early or late without a phone call.

When you get there, walk to the door and ring the bell.  I know this seems like something I shouldn't need to bring up, but I've heard too many horn honking stories to leave it out. 

If you're in high school, her parents are going to want to shake the hand of the guy who is going to be protecting their little girl that night.  Guys, look her parents in the eye when you shake their hands.  When I was in high school I got in a bad habit of looking down when I shook people's hands.  It wasn't until I went to Switzerland to my uncle's basketball camp that I learned what I was doing wrong.  He would take me and my cousins to meet the marketing people that were sponsoring his camp, and one time, he pulled me aside, and in his wonderful way, he said to me, "Paul, why don't you look them in the eye when you shake their hand?  It's hard to connect with or trust a person who won't look you in the eye when you shake their hand.  You represent me and my family when you meet these people.  I need you to look them in the eye."  I've been grateful ever since, and don't think I've given a hand shake without looking the recipient in the eye.  Look her parents in the eye, let them know that you have the character to take their girl out.

Now, you have probably already guessed what I'm going to say next.  Gentlemen open doors, but do you know why?  It comes back to protecting her.  There are actually times when you should walk in before she does.  Here's the rule for opening doors:  If you know you're going into somewhere safe, open the door and let her go first.  She should be able to get out of the weather, and you should be proud to be escorting her.  This is why you need to open the door for her when getting into your car (or at least I sure hope your car is safe).  Now, if you are walking into a place, and you're not sure about the safety, you walk in first, and hold the door so she can walk in unhindered.  Again, if someone wants to hurt the next person who walks through the door, make it you, and not her.

With this last bit of advice, I need to give a little advice to you ladies.  I know that some of you are very independent, and you may see a guy opening your door as shovenist in some way.  You are entitled to your opinion on this point, but on a first date, please don't freak out when he opens your door, just let him do it.  Take it as him being a gentleman who wants to make sure you are comfortable.  If it's really an issue, let him know on the second or third date.  I can promise that if a girl got mad at me for opening the door on a first date, there would not be a second.  Guys, please do note that women are capable.  They can open doors by their onesy, so if she opens her door to the car, or if she happens to get to the door before you do, don't freak out.  I actually know of some guys who yell and tell them not to touch the door handle.  When you do this, you don't come off as a gentleman, you come off as an egotist.

I hate to do this, but this is getting long.  I'm afraid we're going to need to make this a two parter also.  I'll finish it up on Monday.  Have a nice day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rule 3: Let's Work on Your Pick Up Line, Continued, or, What to Do Once You Have that Number

1. I did a group presentation in one of my classes and got 140/150.
2. My wife and I watched the episode of The Office where Pam has her baby while we cuddled on the couch and hugged at times that reminded us of us.
3. Because I've been so focused on said presentation, I forgot to do another assignment for another class, but I can still email it to him today. *Sighs with relief*

"Hey!  Do you like apples?"
"Well I got her numbe'.  How do you like dem apples?"
-Good Will Hunting

In case you didn't read the comments from yesterday, my good friend Ashley brought up a good point:  If you do have time to get to know them before asking for digits, do so.  You'll come off as mildly less creepy.  If you: A. Don't have time to have a conversation before she walks out of your life for good, or B.  You don't have the ability to strike up a conversation with a stranger without it being awkward, just use the line I gave you.

So now you've got her number.  Feels good right? It waits in your phone or pocket for just the right moment.  Let me tell you, the moment to use it is the day you get it.  NOT to ask her on that date.  Guys, God has given us a great tool, so that we might seem less creepy, that tool is texting.  Little known fact among guys:  Lots of girls won't answer a call from a number they don't know.  You're not going to call them for a couple of days, and as cool as you might think you are, you probably didn't make a solid enough impression during that minute when you got her number for her to remember you (assuming she answers the phone at all).  So, if you got her cell, and you don't know each other from school or something, shoot her a text that goes like this, "Hey (her name), this is (your first and last name).  I just wanted to send you a text so that you would know that this number is mine when I call you.  Thanks."  Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.  Again, the goal here is not to sound creepy.  Try and resist the urge to do the flirext (where you flirt in text, dbs, this one's for you).  No matter how sweet you may think it sounds to tell her that she looked nice that day, it will only read as creepy, and she'll regret giving you that number.

Before you give her a call, let's get one thing straight:  She has a life.  She has friends, and family, and work, and school, and a dog named Tink (who you will come to love, but who has a name that you will laugh at every time you take her out to make water, because you will think of the two missing letters in her name). Because she is busy, let's get a plan together.  First off, what day and time?  I recommend having two ready, so that she doesn't have to feel like a jerk when she can't do it on the one day you give her.  You do need to deliver it right though.  Do not have the convo go like this:

"Hey (her name), I was wondering if you might be able to go on the date this Friday at seven."
"I'm so sorry, I'm busy that night."
"Oh... Well, would Saturday at six work?"

Do you see how this makes it sound like you have no life what-so-ever and you're just giving days and times because you have every night free from now 'til Christmas?  Try an approach more like this:

"Hey (her name), I was looking at my calendar, and I can do the date this Thursday at seven, or Saturday at six.  Do either of those times work for you?"

Do you see how this sounds a little more like you have a life.  This does two things, it doubles your chances of having her say yes (because she has double the options), and subconsciously, it let's her know that you are a guy with a life, and that she is awesome enough for you to make time for her.  I guess that's more like three things.  Oh, well.

So, you have the day and time picked out.  Please, have things figured out before you call her.  Let her know appropriate clothing for what you're doing (if you're going to a nice dinner and she shows up in jeans, she's gonna feel dumb, and you'd better enjoy this one hour you have to be in her life, because you will not get another).  Also, let her know about how long you'll be out.  Be realistic on time, and remember that a first date need not be more than an hour or two.  She may be telling her friend that she can hang out if her date doesn't go all night.  Let her know so she can plan the rest of her day by giving her an approximation on how long the date should last.  Also, if you decide that plans are going to change, call her immediately.  She needs to know as soon as possible so she can plan, or tell you that she can't do it if you're going to make those changes.  If you don't, she'll feel like a jerk, and won't want to see you again.  When I first called my wife, I told her that I wanted to go ice skating and that the wholde date would take about an hour and a half (with drive time and all).  Then, a couple of days later, my work gave me a pretty good gift card to P.F. Cheng's, and I thought dinner before skating might be nice.  So, what did I do?  I gave her a call, let her know that I know we had planned on an hour and a half, but that I thought dinner might be nice too, and did she have time to tack on another hour for dinner.  Guys, when people ask my wife what most impressed her about me, this story is always one of the first she tells.  Let her in on your plan.

Also, do not pick her up and then turn to her and say, "Hey, so what do you wanna do?"  Contrary to what you might think, she might not have been thinking about this date for the whole week like you should have.  If you want some advice on what she wants to do, either do some recon while you're talking to her on the first meeting, so you have an idea of what she likes, or give her two or three options when you pick her up.  Do not force your creative responsibility on to her.  After a few dates with her, go ahead and be impulsive.  Impulsivity is fun sometimes... just not on first dates.

One of the leaders in my church gave some good advice that I think wraps up what I'm trying to say here pretty well.  He said that when you ask a girl on a date, there are three P's that make it an actual date.  Paired off, Planned out, and Paid for.  If you are missing any of these three, it is not a date.  So date.  Don't do something else.

Have a nice day guys.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rule 3: Let's Work on Your Pick Up Line

1.  I made the Dean's list last semester.
2.  I missed Yoga all last week, and paid for it on Wednesday when we worked on transitions.  The pain was marvelous. (I'm not even joking)
3.  My wife's tummy was measured, and she's the size she is supposed to be.  Also, Baby J's heart still beats and my wife is gaining and appropriate amount of weight.  Feels good.

Okay, so now you know that the trick to dating is to realize that it's a numbers game, and that you should ask anyone out who is remotely interesting, but how do you do it.  We'll have to work on pick up lines here.  Everyone seems to have what they think is the best line ever.  Usually the line is funny and is supposed to show how charming they are. (When in Switzerland, I met a Danish guy who tried to teach me a pick up line in Danish.  He said the translation was, "Hey you're super cute, does your daddy need a new son-in-law."  He said it worked every time).  I'm here to give you the best pick up line ever.  It has been tested, tried, and is found to be bona fide (an actual legal word. Weird huh?).  The line is, this is going to blow your mind, "Hi, my name is ______, what's yours?"  Did you feel that?  Those chills that let you know that you've just heard pure genius?  I'm not even joking.  As funny as, "Did it hurt?"  She asks what? "Falling from heaven." is a nice sentiment, telling her your name, then asking for hers, actually works.  It let's her know that you are willing to divulge appropriate information (showing that you're not a creeper) and that you are interested in more than sex, you know, something like her name.

Now that you have her name, the next line is CRUCIAL.  After she tells you her name, you may want to grab a brown paper bag and be sure to be sitting down, you say, "I was wondering if I could get your phone number so that I can ask you on a date."  (bolded for emphasis, not for you to yell it).  Okay, now breathe.  I know this seems like the craziest thing to say, and I know that word is scary, but let me tell you an anecdote.  When I stopped my awesome earringed soon to be wife in church, she was sick and remembered very little of the exchange.  The convo went like this:
"Hey, my name is Paul, you know, like the Apostle, or McCarty.  What's yours?" 
"'Me butchering her name?'"
 "No, it's _______."
"Oh, okay.  Well that's a nice name.  I was wondering if I could get your phone number so that I could ask you on a date."
"Oh, yeah, it's _______."
"Awesome. Well, I'll call you sometime this week to figure things out."
She then walked out of the building to go home so that she could try and take some medication that might make her feel better.

She told me later that she remembered two things about the conversation.  1.  That I used one of the Beatles to introduce myself.  2.  That I asked her on a DATE.  I didn't ask her if she "wanted to do something,"  or worse, if she "wanted to chill sometime."  She told me, and I've had several girls back her up, that they HATE when they don't know what they'll be doing, because they don't know what to expect.  Will we be paired?  Will you be planning it, or are we just hanging out?  Will you be paying for it, or should I bring money? (Girls, always bring money.  You never know when some guy is going to be lame).  Guys, you need to use the word 'date' in your asking so that they aren't left guessing.

I'll actually splitting this one into two days because I have a lot more to say about it, and I've promised to keep my posts short.  This rule straight up works though..You could actually get to asking today, and tomorrow I'll be telling you how to go about doing things once you have those digits.  Get excited.  Anyway, I've got to run.  Have a nice day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rule 2: Beating the Normal Curve at its Own Game

1. My second class got cancelled, and due to a good friend, I actually used the time to get some homework done.
2. My mom drove me to school this morning, so I didn't have to find a parking spot.
3. None of the stuff that was worked on has broken.

Well boys, here's number two.  I know that number one may have come as a shock to you, and you may be having trouble finding your hope again (even though I told you to keep your heads up).  This post, my friends, should give you hope.

I remember the exact moment that I realized the second rule.  I was in Phoenix living with my cousin.  He is a few years older than me and would occasionally be nice enough to invite me along when he and his friends would go and do stuff.  We went to a restaurant (I can't remember which one) and as we waited we all happened to see a very cute girl.  We took a poll between all of us and came to the conclusion that none of us would be ashamed to have her out with us.  We all just sat and chuckled at the fact that we all thought she was cute, all of us but one guy: my cousin.  He did smile some, but then he said, "You know what guys?  I'm going to go and ask her out."  The chuckling ceased immediately as the rest of us watched my cousin walk over to her.  I felt nervous for him.  Now, my cousin is a really cool guy, but to just walk up to a complete stranger and ask for their number takes some guts.  We all tried to not let her notice that we were watching, but I don't think we did well.  We saw the body language.  For whatever reason, she was not interested.  My cousin then turned and walked back to us.

It was amazing to me.  He had walked up to a girl in a public place, asked for her number, got rejected, and still had the ability to walk back to us.  His head didn't explode, her boyfriend didn't appear out of nowhere with a gun.  He asked, she said no, and he lived to tell about it as the bravest of us all.  I talked to him about dating before the incident, and he gave me some of the best dating advice I'd ever received.  He said, "Paul, dating is a numbers game.  The more you ask, the better the odds are that one will say yes."  Now, the logic of it made perfect sense:  The more you ask, the more that will say yes, but I was afraid.  What would happen if they rejected me?  I watched him saunter back to us, head up and smiling at what looked to be his failure, but in that moment, I recalled what he had said about the numbers game, and I realized that he was the only one of us who had succeeded.  He had one more rejection under his belt, while the rest of us still had to face that one to find what we were after.

After that time I've reflected on my high school years.  I remember the game. I remember the question: who do you like?  You were supposed to like someONE.  You were supposed to think about only her, or maybe only a couple of others.  Guys in high school or younger, let me give you a piece of advice that my dad tried to give me, and I pray it will stick with some of you:  Date a lot of different girls.  Remember, dating is a numbers game, and if you get caught up on only a few (or even worse, one), you'll be missing out on more fun than you can possibly imagine.  I'll use myself as an example.  When I realized that dating was a numbers game and that getting rejected wouldn't result in my head being bitten off by a grizzly, I started asking lots of girls out.  If they were cute, or interesting, or had cool earrings (honey, I'm still looking at you), or had a cool world view, or whatever, I asked them out.  The real trouble with doing what you're SUPPOSED to do in high school, is that you get stuck in ruts.  You decide on those few girls, and you'll find that they are mostly the same.  I'm sure some of you have friends who have had a lot of girl friends, but all of those relationships have ended the same way.  Well is it any wonder?  He's been dating the same girl with a different name.  The trick is to date anyone who is remotely interesting, then you'll find out what is fun, what works, and what simply doesn't.  I met my wife for the first time when she was walking out of a church building after the main meeting.  I saw that she wore some of the coolest wooden earrings that I had ever seen, and any girl who wore that cool of earrings, had to be awesome.  So I asked her out, and she ended up being exactly what I was looking for.  And that happened after countless dates that were super fun, but didn't go to fruition.  Dating had become a blast, and that's when I found the ultimate success.

For some of you, money may seem like the issue.  I'm here to tell you that it is not.  How much are two ice cream cones?  Is there a set of swings near your house?  Have you looked into free concerts, or museums, or art exhibits near your house?  I promise you that dating often does not have to be an expensive endeavour, if you willing to be creative.  Girls, real girls, don't care if a date costs a lot, what they really care about is that you put some thought into it, but that's for a later post.

Now, most of you have probably already figured out how this relates to that wonderful normal curve, but I'll spell it out just in case.  No matter how 'abnormal' you are, there is someone looking for someone like you.  Chances are, if you've been doing what high school tells you to (whether you're still in high school or not), you've been dating the same kinds of girls, and have had poor luck because they are all the same.  The way to beat the curve, is to get past that and date as many girls as possible who are as different from each other as possible.  The more you date, the closer you'll be to finding that one.  In case it's not already beaten into your head: dating is a numbers game.  Have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rule 1: There is Someone Looking for You

1. I figured out that the next installment of D&D will be this Saturday.
2. I tasted my first Nehi.
3. When we came to my parents' house for the first time after our vacation, my sister's dog went nuts because she was so excited to see us.

Here it is, the first installment of dating tips from Paul.  Well, this one isn't so much a tip, as an observation.  But first, we need to have a statistics lesson.  WAIT!  Don't leave, it will be quick, I promise.

Whenever things in nature are measured (including humans), the measurements usually make a bell curve that looks like this:

There it is folks, in all its glory.   To put it in easy to understand terms, let's say we took all the men in America and lined them up from shortest to tallest.  Chances are, we'd get lots of guys around 5'10", and very few around 3' or 8'.  Now look at the curve above.  Do you see how the measurements would eventually make this curve, with guys who are between 5'9" and 5'11" making the blue part, and guys 3' or 8' making the orange parts?  Okay, you now understand the basics of the normal curve and know enough to read the rest of my post.

What people are, and what they want in a spouse also follow the normal curve.  Meaning that if you are mostly normal in most things, there's a better chance that you'll find someone who will want to marry you... unless you are normal in every way, in which case, your overall normalness will make you abnormal, and you'll have a hard time finding a spouse, because you are boring... there, I said it. 

Let's take me for example (because I've found that people get offended when I use them as examples for the normal curve).  I am a dork.  The fact that I'm a DM makes me abnormal.  The fact that I want to be a writer makes me abnormal.  The fact that I am LDS, chew my fingernails, cry when I read certain Dr. Seuss stories, play video games that have no multi-player options, sleep a lot, blog, and love to critique movies, makes me abnormal.  This is why my mom says that I march to my own drummer, and my best man said that I dated a lot of girls, but none of them were really right for me, at my wedding.  I AM WEIRD.  Because I am weird, there were few girls who would have been happy being married to me.  I know this.  I'm cool with it.

Now, some of you may be saying to yourself, "Self, you're screwed.  Paul just said that you are on one of the outlying parts of the normal curve, which means few people will be happy marrying you."  Here's the deal guy (or girl, this post goes for you too), there is someone looking for you. I'm super weird, and I still found someone who adores me.  And truth be told, my wife doesn't hit dead center on the normal curve on many attributes either, but guess what?  I was looking for what my wife is.  I didn't want someone super normal, I knew many of those normal people wouldn't be right for me.  The fact that my wife was on the orange part of the curve on so many things, made me love her.

So, here's the big advice for today:  The normal curve exists.  There's a good chance that you are an outlier in some way.  That's good though, because there is someone looking for an outlier like you.  So don't get discouraged, it just might take you a little more time than your cousin who is 5'11" and has no idea what Wolverine's actual powers are.  There are more girls looking for him than are looking for you, but some are still looking for someone just like you, so keep your head up.

Have a nice day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Somethin' New (or at least something I came up with while my computer has been broken)

1. My computer got fixed.
2. My wife and I went on a minny vacation.
3. She took me on a date in her home town.

You read right folks, my computer is officially fixed.  Our Internet has given up, but our computer is fixed.  I don't have any time today to catch up, but I will tomorrow morning, and then I'll be posting messages on your blogs, and being my usual pesty self.

On to today's topic!  In my absence, well, really just last night, I came up with a few ideas about what I could blog about.  One was about my thoughts on America's public school system, and how it's not as bad as we all think that it is (as a system anyway), but that would take time, and energy, and a thought process, all of which are shut off because it's Presidents' Day.

So, we'll just have to wait to write about that another day (it's in my drafts though, so if any of you got excited it will be coming in the future).  My other idea that I liked a lot came to me in the middle of the night, when I thought about the young men in my family, and advice that I dispense so readily about dating, and how all of those great pearls of wisdom are not in one place.  Then I thought, why don't I put them all on blog land in ten posts (one post for each tidbit of advice).  I don't like to admit it, but I also thought about how that would give me eleven days of blogging ideas if you included the introduction to the idea, and I think we all know how hard it is to come up with material.  I felt it was genius. 

To begin, let's quickly get something out on the table:  I was not a natural at dating.  I know this probably comes as a surprise to a lot of you, what with my wordsmithing ability, the speed at which I beat Xbox games, and let's be honest, what girl doesn't want to go out with a Dungeon Master, right?  But, even with all of that going for me, the girls really didn't "fall all over me" as it were.  I also didn't really understand a few things about dating.  I didn't understand the laws of odds, or the opportunities I had to go on inexpensive dates.  I didn't get many hours at my job and, therefore, didn't really have the money to date often, or at least I didn't have as much as I thought I needed.

Also, I wasn't much of a planner.  In my religion, girls in high school are advised to go on group dates, and some were very strict on the matter.  So, not only did I need to find a time when her and I could go, I needed to find when she, my buddy, his date, and I could go.  I also found out that the more people who are involved = a bigger possibility that one will flake, and if that one flakes, and there were only two couples, the date was toast.  It was a serious issue that I never figured out how to resolve.

After my mission though, I spent some time with a certain cousin in Phoenix.  I wanted to date, but was finding little success.  He shared a few things with me, and, my blogging community, things took off for me.  I suddenly figured out how to date a lot.  Things weren't peaches and cream right from the start, but with a little trial and error I came up with some rules for dating that I mixed in with a few rules I had figured out in high school.  I can honestly say that without these rules I never would have even found my wife... I'm not even joking.

Now, I must admit that most of my rules will be for the fella's, because, you know, I am one.  It will also be mostly for single people, because, you know, it's for guys trying to get dates.  But, this does not mean that some of the advice won't be for you ladies, it also doesn't mean that I won't want some feedback in the comments in case I'm completely off on something.  My ten rules are still a work in progress and I'm open to constructive criticism.  And, if nothing else, I imagine that they should be entertaining, and remind you of some of your bad dates.

Anyway, hope you're as excited as I am to start the ten tomorrow, or I hope that you'll at least pretend that you are.

Have a nice day. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just Trying to Help

1. I got to play Kinect for the first time last night.
2. I'm listening to Modest Mouse (they always make me smile).
3. I got some new followers, which always feels nice (even if I do know them, and coerced them into following).

I'm once again, you guessed it, sitting in the computer lab at my University.  I'm supposed to be standing at a white board right now, pontificating about the normal curve, and how Correlation does not equal Causation, and other things that will help them do well on homework and tests, but I'm sitting in the room, alone.


At the first of the semester, I went to each of their classes and said, "Hey, I'm Paul.  I'm going to be doing study sessions to help with this semester's class. If you come, I promise it will help.  I was thinking I would do them on Friday, at 11:30 in room LA 026.  By a show of hands, how many of you would be able to make that?"  I cannot tell you how many hands I saw.  I thought room LA 026 would not be able to hold the number of students who would come.  But, as stated above, no one comes most days.

Now, this doesn't really bother me. I don't mind having an hour to check my facebook and write my blog, but I feel bad for the students.  Chances are, many of them did poorly on this last test.  Chances are, I could help them do better.  Chances are, they don't have classes on Friday and would rather get a C in the class than give up their early weekends.  I guess I really can't blame them.

Anyway, I called Steve and he said that my hard drive should show up today, and that my computer might be fixed today.  Then I might actually be able to find time to read everyone else's blog, and my numbers might improve. I might even be able to start writing things that were a little more exciting. Oh well.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Deadliest Warrior

1. The presentation that I have for a class is coming together nicely.
2. I got to play with three cute little kids today.
3. My wife and I went to our first "Strengthening Relationships" class, and I think it went well.

Let's just get this out on the table now:  I like "The Deadliest Warrior" on Spike.  I'm a geek, so it interests me when they club dummies and measure how hard they dummy was hit and how much damage that caused per square inch.  I'm also a D&D nerd, so I like how they use an odds simulator to know who would win out of one thousand times (or whatever number it is).  I'm also something of a history buff, so I like how they explain the culture of each warrior, and why they would have used the weapons they did.  If you don't know,  The Deadliest Warrior is a tv show that takes all of the available information about a type of warrior in history, and matches them up against some other warrior.  So, Samurai vs. Gladiator, was one of the match ups.  To say the least, it's very interesting.

But, aside from all the other types of nerd that I am, I am definitely a Psych nerd, so my favorite episodes are usually those where the culture of the warrior is still somewhat alive.  The best episode of all (or at least the one that most readily comes to mind) is Comanche vs. Mongol.  The reason why this is so great, is because the guy who is showing the Comanche weapons has grown up a Comanche, and thinks he is still fighting for the tribe... always.  He feels a need to make jabs at the Mongol guys when the Comanche weapon wins, and scoffs when it loses.  What makes it even better is the Mongol guy who is also making the same jabs and scoffs.  It always gets heated, and they always sound like idiots.  Testosterone fueled arguing, is there anything funnier?  Probably, but not by a lot.  Anyway, I just find it funny.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Ode to My Sister

1. Class was cancelled.
2. My heater is fixed and working (I think for good)
3. The Check Engine light hasn't come back on in my car

We don't talk too deeply, too often. Mostly because I have the tendency to put my foot in my mouth and make matters worse.  We've always been different.  Very different.  I ran inside the school excitedly on my first day, while my mom had to stay with her for her to be willing to stay in the classroom.  I have blond hair, blue eyes, and a light complexion, while she has brown hair, brown eyes, and olive skin.  I like fantasy, she likes reality.  But amid our difference, we have a lot of similarities.  We both love spending time with our parents.  We both love God.  We both value honesty, honor, and virtue.  We've often said we're the same where it really counts.

She's probably the most responsible person that I know in our age group.  She always has a plan.  Always.  Whether it's for life, or for hitting the Las Vegas Strip, you always know what's next when you're with her.  She cares about other people, more than she lets on.  She loves to laugh, and to talk, when you get her on the right subject of course.  She has strong opinions, with, arguably, stronger convictions.  If she says she'll do something, you can bet she will.  She'll make fun of you for doing something stupid, but be there for you when the shit hits the fan.  She'll cry with your losses, laugh at your jokes, and most importantly, be excited for your successes.

Among the people who know my wife is pregnant, she's fighting for first as to who's most excited.  She told me last Sunday that she can't wait to hold my infant.  She's determined to be the favorite aunt.  She loves preparing, and thinking about what we'll do with the baby.  "We'll take it walking with my dog!"  She's says "In the stroller with Zuka on a leash."  She often talks about baby "J" (the name she's given our child because both of the names we've chosen start with J).

She's been one of my best friends, strongest allies, and greatest strengths.  Always willing to back me when I'm right, and put me in my place when I'm wrong (in her eyes anyway ;)).  I'll always love my little sister.

Have a nice day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Just Too... Heartless

1. I got a parking spot fast this morning
2. Our furnace is fixed
3. Our computer isn't fixed, but I found time at the school's computer to blog again.

My goodness, I missed Friday, I haven't been keeping up on my comments and I haven't been keeping up on any of your blogs.  Needless to say, my computer is still on the mend and in the shop.

In some ways, it's been nice not having the computer.  I feel a lot happier about my stats here in blog world when I only check them once (it's not, 'hey, only three in the past hour?' it's 'hey, thirty for the day, that's pretty good.')  I also haven't waisted time checking faceook five hundred times.  And, I've found more time for my Xbox, and more importantly, my wife.

So, in my lack of computer, I watched,Robot.  Apart from it just being good, I noticed a line that I'd never given much thought to.  Sunny (the robot), says that Will Smith's character will free the robots from logic.  That line made stop and think, "hey, how can someone be a slave to logic?"  Needless to say, I've been saying 'hey' a lot to myself lately, how do you fix that?  Anyway, I thought about all of my arguments with people about science and religion, and God, and Psychology, and thought about how many people I know (including myself) who are slaves to logic.  We only deal in our five 'senses' and anything out of that realm cannot possibly have merit.

I'd like to submit to the blogging community that we all have a sixth sense called 'emotion.'  I know, this is revolutionary, and spits in the face of so many establishments, but I think emotion is a real way for us to distinguish truth from fiction.  I believe they were originally supposed to be seen this way.  Why else would we call them 'feelings?' 

Some will argue that emotions are too easily tricked, that they are not a reliable source of information.  Have you ever thought you heard someone say something, but they said something totally different... Basset Hound! (Madagascar II reference anyone?).  Also, have you ever played the "Feel this gross stuff through the sheet at Halloween" game?  Why does cooked spaghetti make you think of brains?  Have you ever seen the mind teasing pictures that have old women, young women, vases, and kissing people?  Have you tasted Jelly Bellies that taste like popcorn, but are jelly beans?  I'd argue that our five senses are just as susceptible to trickery as our emotions.

If something makes you sick to your stomach, it's probably wrong.  If something makes you sad, it's something you don't like.  If something makes you laugh, that thing is probably funny.  Part of the issue, is that we've been told for so long to disregard our feelings.  We've been told that they are not 'reliable' by so many 'brilliant' people.  We have to get good at understanding our emotions, just the same as we have to get good at hearing, or tasting, or smelling, or whatever.  We just need to use our feelings in association with the rest of our senses, the same way we know the spaghetti is not brains because we look at it.

In the end of the movie, the evil computer asks Sunny if he does not see the logic behind enslaving the humans for their own protection, and Sunny answers "Yes, but your plan is just too... heartless."  Just something to think about.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Aren't Good Repairmen the Best?

Alright, three things:
1. My mom made me breakfast this morning.
2. My first class is cancelled today.
3. I won Lord Stanley's Cup yesterday on NHL 11

Yep, my life is pretty darn good.

I have finally accomplished what I needed to.  I called the heating guys, who will be invading again on Friday.  I called the Auto shop, which will also be taking my car on Friday.  I dropped my computer off to Steve at Integrated Technologies, and I called the Cable Box company about the annoying chirping noise the box has been making (I don't think I've mentioned this).  One way or the other, I feel pretty accomplished.

Among all of these repair men, I've come to be very grateful for having good repair people.  My High School hockey coach works at the Auto Shop that we use, and they've been particularly good to us.  When my old Cadillac started smelling horrible, I took it in and they told me that the catalytic converter was what was toast, but that my tranny, which was worth more than my car, was about to go out, so there was no use  in my paying them $500 to fix my car that would die shortly.  When I asked what I owed them for looking at it, they didn't charge me a thing.

My Heating Guys are PPM, which is a smaller fixing company that seems to stand by the ideas of "good business."  They guy that came (Paul), told me all about the furnace, how it worked, and how they could check what was wrong.  He even brought in another guy with better tools to try and find the problem with our furnace, and said that if the fix didn't work they reimburse me for the parts and labor.

Then comes my computer guy Steve.  He always tells me what will normally happen.  The new issue says something is wrong with a piece of software or hardware, and he told me on the phone to try unplugging my usb mouse and keyboard before bringing it in.  And even now that I did bring it in, he's been very flexible with trying to figure out ways to fix it without charging me an arm and a leg.

These three have made me think about how nice it is to have good, honest repair people.  Granted, as I've said before, they might all be taking me in subtle ways that I just don't understand, but I don't feel like they are, and that's nice.

Anyway, hopefully my computer gets fixed so I can catch up with everyone.  I do want to welcome my new followers.  I promise that I'm not always this sporadic, my computer is just down.  Have a nice day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just a Quick One

Well, gotta make this quick.  I'm on a school computer once again because my computer crashed again, therefore, I need to be on a short enough time to not make it seem like I'm not doing school stuff.  I'd like to welcome my new follower, yeah, I see you there.  And apologize to everyone for not posting yesterday.  I honestly was not able to get to a computer all day long (or at least I didn't make enough of an effort).

I'm amazed at how things are still not working: my computer is down, my furnace is still acting up, and the check engine light still shines.  One day everything will get fixed.  I'm amazed at how I don't get everything done in a day that I need to.  I need to call those three people, and our cable box keeps making a loud beeping sound because its battery is almost toast and the people who technically own it need to come and replace it. So many phone calls, so little time.  Have you ever noticed that you never remember to call people until you're driving your manual transmission home, it's almost five, and you don't feel like getting into an accident?  Why is that?  Anyway, here are my three.  For all of you who are still being awesome and reading my blog, I promise I'll catch up on all of yours as soon as my computer gets its act together.  Which will only happen when I call the shop.  Ugh, gotta get that done.

Oh, my three
1. I got a wicked awesome parking spot today.
2. My team in NHL 11 swept the San Jose Sharks and is playing the Devils for the Stanley Cup.
3. My Positive Psych teacher didn't ask to see our binders that hold all of our homework.  I have like, 1/6th done.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Finally Did It

1. The team I wanted to win the Super Bowl did (first time in like six years, I'm not even joking)
2. My car made a dinging sound that reminded me that I needed to turn off my lights.  My battery will not be dead after school today.
3.  My dad made his jalapeno dip thicker, like I recommended, and it rocked.

On to blogging.  I finally did it.  A few weeks ago, my wife and I sat down and made me a calendar.  I am usually a lot happier when I'm productive, and I'd been feeling down (which usually means that my productivity had gone down).  We made a calendar so that, for each day of the week, I would know what I was supposed to do, and I could do it, making me more productive and more happy.  Well, some of you may not know this, but I hate waking up.  My idea of Hell would be an eternity of 5 o'clock mornings, I'm not even joking.

So, part of my schedule was to wake up at eight and get going on doing productive things (like laundry and homework), and I bet you won't guess, but for the past week or so, I've only gotten up early enough to get ready and get to school.  Because I'm a self-loather, I would beat myself up about not being able to wake up early enough to get anything done, which would only make me feel worse about everything in general, and the calendar would end up being more of a hindrance than a help.

This morning, I'm so excited to type this, I got up on time.  Yep, I woke up, I got in laundry room, did some laundry, got in my living room, did some homework, and now I'm here at school writing my blog (because my computer is still not fixed).  Everyone, I feel great.  Anyway, just thought I'd let you know.

Have a nice day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Dangerous Brother Rabbit

To keep with my decision, these are the three things that went well yesterday:
1. My last class got cancelled.
2. The school got this cool new hand dryer that I got to try out.  It says it has an 'air blade' that you put your hands in, and it dries your hands super fast.  I thought it was neat.
3. I got to eat a bowl of icecream.  It was nice.

So, on to blogging.  I thought I'd throw on a story I've been formulating for the past few days.  It's much like Aesop's Fables, but, you know, written by me.

Mother Rabbit lived in a very nice valley.  One that was not reachable by humans' guns, and had not been found by wolves' claws.  Mother Rabbit often gazed at her reflection in the pool that sat in the middle of this beautiful valley.  She would notice her white fur, and how nice it looked against the blue sky.  She would then nibble on blades of grass, and if she wanted a treat, would find some of the clover that grew in patches within the valley.  Everything she needed was there, including a large bush that grew next to pond.  The bush was important for when a hawk or eagle would fly over and see the white fur against the green grass.  She could hide in that bush and be safe from their talons.  Occasionally she would long for some friends, because few came into the valley.  She did meet the occasional rabbit and eventually was with child (how about that for 'political correctness')

On a warm summer's day, Mother Rabbit rested by the pond, and while there, Blue Jay passed by (he came every so often), and talked with Mother Rabbit.

"Did you know that Wolves are just on the other side of the mountains?"
"Why no.  Why are they there?"
"The weather has pushed them here.  You have some time, but I would guess they'll be in this valley before next summer."
"That is very bad news."
"Very bad news in deed.  I am very sorry, but you will probably need to move soon."

This news troubled Mother Rabbit.  Her bunnies would be old enough to get away by next summer, but leaving the valley would be sad.  It had been a safe, wonderful place, with few predators and plenty of food.  She did not want to move, but knew she would need to.

When her bunnies came, they were all girls, except for one little boy, who was very stubborn.  Mother Rabbit would often tell her children that they would need to move before next summer.  She said that the valley was very safe now, but that it would soon have wolves in it, and then it would not be safe anymore.  Along with these words, she taught her children to look in the reflection of the water and call out if they saw a hawk circling so that they could all hide in the bush.

Things went well through the whole year.  All of them got along and found great safety in the bush, especially Brother Rabbit.  He wouldn't go more than ten hops from it so that he could get to it quickly.  He knew that the bush would keep him safe, and that nothing in life beyond ten hops away from the bush was needed.  He wouldn't even go farther to get a taste of clover, because he knew the bush was safe.

The seasons passed and spring was almost over when Mother Rabbit told her children that they would need to move.  They all packed what few posessions they had and got ready to leave.  All except Brother Rabbit.  He did not want to go.  The valley had all they would need and the bush was safe.  Mother Rabbit explained again that wolves were horrible creatures, and that they would kill any rabbits that they found.  The bush kept them safe from birds, but would not keep them safe from wolves.  Still, Brother Rabbit would not budge, and with a sad heart, Mother Rabbit was forced to leave him there in the valley for the good of the family.

Just as Blue Jay had said, the wolves came in summer.  At first, they just came down a little, and Brother Rabbit hid in the bush, wondering if he should leave before they got any closer.  He then remembered how safe the bush had been when birds flew overhead.  So, he stayed there.  Blue Jay's prophecy continued to come true though, the wolves moved into the valley.  And just as one might expect, Mother Rabbit's prophecy came true aswell, and on a warm evening, when Brother Rabbit was by the pool, the wolves saw him.  He ran to hide under the bush that had protected him so many times, but the branches were not strong enough to keep the wolves out, and they broke in, and gobbled Brother Rabbit up.

Sometimes, the place you think is the safest is actually the most dangerous.

Anway, have a nice day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Let's Simplify

Wow, to say the very least, I was not expecting so much love from my last blog.  So many people said so many nice things to me that my face may not go back to its pasty white for a while.  Thank you all.

I really enjoyed the exercise, so I think I'll start each post with my three things from the day before, and if any of you just want to write your three in my comments, you are more than welcome.  It was a lot of fun for me to read all of them.

1. In Yoga, we did these crazy 'support yourself on your arms and balance poses' and I totally got up for like a billionth of a second on one of them.
2. I've played half of a season on NHL 11 and my guy has already met the season's expectations (where I'm supposed to be at the end of the season).
3. I found a parking spot really quickly.

Okay, so on to actual blogging. 

Yesterday, I stopped and talked to one of my buddies in the stairway at school.  Yep, I was one of those jerks who stands at the bottom of a flight of stairs, making everyone have to walk in single file line to get anywhere.  We asked the usual, how are you? questions.  And, the answer that always comes to each of these meetings is, "I've been tired."  To be honest, I've been tired for nearly a decade.  A decade of exhaustion!  What is the deal? 

I did comment, after saying how tired I was, that it was the curse of our generation, but then he said it was the curse of the college student.  But to be honest, I think it's the curse of the civilized world.  I've been reading blogs, and noticing that EVERYONE is tired.  And I'd like to get to the bottom of it.

My buddy brought up our eating habits.  And I can't help but think this is a contributor.  We eat frozen food, fast food, fatty food, and other foods that need adjectives to let us know that they are not, in fact, normal food.  What happened to the fresh meats and vegetables?  Now, I'm not saying that food hasn't come a long way, and I know that these adjectified foods are necessary, but why is making something from 'scratch' such a big deal.  Why is "Homemade bread" such a treat?

I think we need to think about the root of the issue.  Why do we need frozen food, fatty food, and FAST food?  Because it's fast!  I don't have time in my day to cook for an hour, then eat for an hour, then clean up for an hour.  I'm no math wiz, but I know that that's three hours, which is 1/8th of a day.  That's a lot of day!  not to mention it happens three times.  I've got school, and work, and a family, and a condo, and everything else that needs taking care of, not to mention a little time to relax and compose myself, and a few hours of sleep a night might be nice.  I think the real problem here is that our lives are too complicated.  Why do we have so much stuff to take care of?  Why can't we simplify, become farmers again, and not worry so much about having new stuff all of the time?

I could go into these questions, but they're all things we know the answers to.  And we all know that simplifying things would be nice, but we don't live in that world.  We'd all need to move to Bhuton if we wanted to live that way again, and it costs tourists $250 a day just to visit.  Who know how much to emigrate?  Anyway, if any of you have any good, life simplifying tactics, I'd like to hear them.  We're having a baby, and I have a sneaking suspicion that life is only going to get more complicated.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Isn't it Odd That 'Blogspot' Came Up as a Misspelled Word When I Used the Spellcheck Button?

In my Positive Psych class we did an exercise that got me thinking.  The exercise was first done on a group of people who were severally depressed (like, couldn't get out of bed in the morning severe).  They were asked to write down three things that happened to them that day that were good, every day, for some span of time.  After it was over, 94% of them felt more hope and saw their depression symptoms get better.

I wrote down these three things: 1.  I had a nice chat with my mom.  2.  My mom bought me lunch.  3.  I got some good feedback on my blog.

I got done with mine quicker than most, and started thinking about a few things.  First off, in case I haven't said this before, I'll say it now, my mom rocks hard.  In our chat she showed me some material that her and my sister had bought to make 'receiving' blankets for the baby.  My wife didn't want to find out what we're having, so the two of them bought material for both genders.  Not  just for two blankets though.  They bought material for, I think, twelve blankets all together.  Something like, 5 girl blankets, 4 boy blankets, and 3 that were gender neutral.  My mom says there were just too many cute ones to choose from.  This is so typical of the two of them.  They get so excited about things in life that will bring joy to themselves or others.

After I thought about my mom and sister for a while, I thought about my third thing.  The Blog.  I only started three months ago, but have been so very impressed by the community that I find here.  I've been to a few other places on the Internet, and have found so much negativity and anger.  Yet, here at ol' blogspot, I've found none of that.  Sure, we all complain about things that aren't going right, but there is always a kind comment, or a funny remark to make it all not seem so bad.  I'd like to thank all of my blogger friends here.  Thanks for laughing with me and writing encouraging things, both in the comments and on your own blogs.  I think we sometimes help more than we think we do.

It was pretty amazing how it felt to think of what was going right.  I really do have a very good life.  After we wrote them down, we all had to share one of the things that had gone right that day. It was amazing to hear what everyone had to say, and even more amazing to feel the energy that was built in the room.  So, if you feel so inclined, I'd like it if people would write down something that is going right for them down in the comments (or really you can write whatever you want, even if it's something that's going wrong).  Anyway, have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bad Things Happen in Threes

So, I've written about a couple of bad things that have happened lately, both The Check Engine Light and the furnace, and thought you all might like to hear updates (because there are some) along with the third thing that was bound to happen.

I took the car in to get the light looked at and they found that the gas filter had not been changed in the lifetime of the car (my dad laughed when I told him this, I know nothing about cars, but he said it should have been changed considering how old the Kia is), and that it was probably the issue.  So they changed it out, and the light turned off.  They said I would need to drive it for a while before we knew if the light would stay off.  It came back on while I was on my way home from the shop.  So, I took it back in, they checked for a code with their little machine, and found nothing wrong.  So they reset it, and the light came back on about a day later.  They said to bring it back in, and I just haven't had time.

Paul, from the furnace fixing place, came to look at my furnace after it continued to do poorly after he worked on it.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), it was working fine when he came, so he really couldn't do much.  He did tell me what to look for, and I've figured out that it's good on the restart, meaning that it works fine when we first turn it on.  The issue comes when it has reached heat, shuts off, the house cools off, and it tries to start back up on its own.  The motor seems to work fine, it just won't light.  So, my good buddy Paul is coming again tomorrow to look at it.

And, just when we thought we wouldn't have to pay through the nose again, my laptop gave me the SMART system error of death, saying that my hard drive was on its way to destruction, and that if I wanted to keep any of my stuff, I'd better back it up.  I took it to Steve, at the HP computer fixing place, and he's giving me a new hard drive.  The hard drive will be like one hundred bucks, and who knows how much his time is worth?  Again, Paul may get took, he'd never know...  Either way, I've gotta get it fixed.  This is why my following of blogs as of late has been a little sketch.  My parents have been awesome enough to let me borrow their computer, and I try to catch the computer lab at school when there's not a class going on (the library computers give you a notice about getting off if you're not doing school related stuff), but I have very little time to be on here.

So, the adage seems to be true, bad things do happen in threes.  Thank heaven all three have happened and we don't have to worry... unless we're getting a double dose.  Let's all pray for the single.