Tin Foil

A woman was fairly certain a coworker and myself were trying to kill her with tin foil. The restaurant where I was working used biodegradable paper boxes instead of styrofoam for  food. Problem with paper is that it gets soggy. In order to counteract the sogginess, we put aluminum foil in the base of the box and traditionally we box customers’ food for them.

A new kid at work delivered a box to a table instead of taking her food back and I happened to be walking past when I heard her ask him why there was foil in the box. He explained that he didn’t know, he was simply trained to do that. So I intervened.

I explained to her that the boxes are cardboard and the foil is to protect the box and anything underneath or around it. In turn, she explained to me the dangers of aluminum poisoning and that it’s unsafe to keep food in or near aluminum foil.

She digressed to telling me the equally terrifying dangers of using plastic wrap.

So I reiterated to her once more, gently, the dangers of putting her salad in a small paper box and taking it home to her refrigerator.

Her response was something to the effect of “I’m debating having a soggy box, or getting aluminum poisoning. I think I’ll have a soggy box.” And so she handed me the foil.

I told her to have a nice day, and thanked her for the lesson in health and nutrition. We went about our days and all ended in a cordial manner.

Life all Alone

If you ever feel hopeless, helpless, and alone in the realm of dating.. read the following.

The single life isn’t the worst thing in the world. Unless you like the same sex, live in a small town, go to a conservative school, and don’t have a car. But really, it’s not that bad at all.

When you live in a small town and have high standards, things are immediately much more difficult than they should be. And as I crunch the numbers, people with the right personality, good looks, and like my gender.. oh, and are my age, nearby, I’m narrowed down to about 3-4 viable options to my knowledge. At least 3 of whom I’ve already wrecked all future chances of a relationship with.

So it’s impossible, right?

Wrong.

I wrote a post once about Break-ups and I said it then, I’ll reiterate that point: LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS. Never be afraid to ask for advice, to ask for help, because at some point we all need it. When I said that before, I was talking about my friends who asked me “What the hell are you thinking going out with him?”, this time I’m saying ask for help. Some people don’t want to burden others with their problems, but if a friend comes to you and asks for help, aren’t you glad they trust you? If you help them and they need it, you feel fulfilled (all assuming you have a healthy, compassionate friendship). Let them feel the same way.

18 Rules of Living

Listed below are the Dalai Lama’s Rules of Living. Unlike every other part of my site, these are not my intellectual property. However, I couldn’t come up with a better foundation for this page.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three Rs: 1. Respect for self 2. Respect for others 3. Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Here's a quick link to my source, for copyright purposes

The Slingshot

There are a number of reasons I’ll never call myself perfect.

The earliest piece of evidence that comes to mind is a time when I was probably eight years old. My dad spent a lot of time out of town and working out of state. One time he came back from a job in Kentucky with two slingshots as souvenirs, one for me and one for my brother. The were both carved of wood, mine was in the shape of an eagle and my brother’s was a bear.

Instead of shooting rocks and doing damage, my brother and I came up with an alternative: together we made balls of toilet paper, soaked them in water, and shot them to watch them splat against any surface. I mean, it was kind of amazing.

I was curious and a bit too curious and I thought it was a good idea to take aim at a taxi that’d just pulled up in the alley behind my house. I remember pulling the band of the slingshot and holding it back for the longest time until I just let it rip. The thing snapped through the air and smacked the window at mach-4. It nailed the rear, driver’s side window and scared the hell out of the driver. He was a greasy, middle-aged man; and he was not happy. He got out of his taxi, yelled at me, and wanted to talk to my mom.

So I went inside, told my mom what happened, and that there was a guy who wanted to talk to her. She went outside before talking to me about it, and I went straight to my room (as was the usual punishment). I sat there for hours before I came downstairs to hear what my mom had to say about it. I wasn’t in as much trouble as I’d expected to be in, but I was not allowed to hang on to that slingshot.

Complications (pt 3)

In case you missed it, here’s part two, and part one

The issue with breakups, or one of many, is that the other person is still out there. I don’t mean that in the “no one else can have you” or the “now I have to kill you” sense. It’s just that he/she knows too much, and has seen too much for me to feel comfortable letting them roam the streets. It’s even worse when you don’t know how much they hate you now, or if they hate you at all. There’s a lot they can do, and a lot that can go wrong with the dirt they’ve collected. There’s nothing anyone can do about it, it’s just uncomfortable.. and God forbid you ever see that person again.

So we fought. I walked away. As I said before, things were ugly. A few days later we’d be forced to sit on a bus, on an airplane, and sleep in a hotel room together for four days during the band/choir trip. And all I can think is “God forbid I ever see him again”.

This is where things get complicated, because a few of my close friends knew what I had done.

He texts me and we talk it through, and decide to make the most of the next four days. In a sense, we would pretend things are okay, just so we wouldn’t have a burning desire to shove pencils in our eyes during the four days we’d be stuck together.

The problem: I pretended things were okay, and I did it so well I forgot that things weren’t okay. Which probably says something about how easy it is for the heart to trick the mind into doing what it wants. As it does. A friend of mine once told me to follow my head more than my heart when things feel off. And she was right. The mind knows what you have to do, the heart knows what it wants. The tricky part when they’re not aligned is determining which feeling is coming from the heart, and which feeling is coming from the brain.

At the end of the four days neither of us wanted to split paths; but we knew we had to. So we did.

The following week I wrote a post about breaking up, check it out by clicking here

The Good Ole Days

This is more of a personal aside, read on if you’d like.

I’ve never been one for goodbyes, but we have to be mindful that nothing lasts forever. We always try our best to prolong the best things in life, but all good things must come to an end. If you know of some way to keep that which we love in a bottle and hold onto it forever, please, share your methods with me, I’d like to know.

A perfect example: I grew very fond of a lovely Japanese foreign-exchange student named Kyoko just over a year ago, and I had a great time with her while she was here. I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye when she returned home. I feel bad about that. So this post is dedicated to you, Kyoko.

This serves as a painful reminder of life’s impermanence, and that the only true constant is change. So, in addition to Kyoko, I’d like to dedicate this post to everyone else who makes me smile and keeps me happy because I know there will come a day when we’ll look back on these days and smile again. Only then, we won’t be as important to one another. More so memories.

It hasn’t all been fun and games, and I’ve been a jerk, and y’all have been difficult too (sorry, I love you). And there will be some people who drift away completely, and that’s life. Facebook will remind us of each other’s birthdays and we’ll call each other to say so, invite each other over for dinner “sometime” but it’ll never happen. And that’s okay. But as for now, I couldn’t have asked for a better crowd. I love you all. Lauren, let’s make Thursdays work. And yes, I’d be glad to make egg rolls anytime.

I wish I had pictures with everyone, I’m sorry to those who aren’t directly included in this post

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The Closet

The closet is a strange social construct that only those who have lived in it can fully understand. This post is going to hit rather close to home for me and I’m not sure I’ll get this out the right way. I’ll try.

There are people who live in the closet and don’t even know it. There are people who are painfully aware of their sexual orientation but remain in the closet. There are people who have taken their chances with society and bravely come out of the closet. It’s a rough place to be, but it’s even more difficult to leave. After that, it’s all circumstantial.

I’ll be honest, the acronym LGBT kind of bothers me. So does the word gay, even bi. When I identify my own sexuality, I’m just a guy who likes guys. If we want to get specific (not that it matters), I like some guys, and some girls. If we were to put a label across my forehead, bi might be the most accurate. Half-gay is more fun to say. Gay is easier for conservatives to understand even if they don’t like it. Which is kind of what I grew up in.

I go to a school with a student body of 230-something, and it’s a very conservative, very white school (not that that’s relevant). When I came out, I came out as gay, and I was the first and only person to come out as anything other than strictly heterosexual, and straight people don’t really come out at all. At first it was difficult, I mean, I didn’t really lose any friends. But it’s tough being the the first of your kind, just as it’s difficult being the last (I’d imagine), because it’s lonely being the only one.

Even though I knew people at other schools who weren’t straight, I still found myself feeling so utterly displaced. And some days I still do, I go to the same school. Haven’t left. A couple of guys have come out to me, privately, and I respect their privacy. But the truth is, wherever you are, whatever you are, you’re never completely alone. 

Which brings me to my next point about the closet: Why should it exist at all?

Some would argue that we should stop caring about people’s sexual orientations, “coming out” shouldn’t be a thing, and neither should the closet. And I agree. But also, I value a certain level of privacy. And there was a time when I preferred it when people thought I was straight. Things were simpler back then. But this goes back to my previous post, everyone should be who they are. No one should pretend to be something they’re not.

And for the people out there who are afraid to come out, don’t be. There will always be people who will stay at your side, and sometimes there will be those who decide they disagree with something they think you are, and that’s their problem.

There’s an old Dr. Seuss quote I like, it helped me find the courage to come out to anyone at all, it goes: “Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Good luck, stay strong. Be yourself.