Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What'd You Just Call Me?

A nice guy is quickly growing to the top of things I don't want to be called. I feel like that places some kind of unnecessary burden onto my shoulders that implies that I'm going to do things that a 'typical' guy wouldn't. For instance, how can I break up with a girl and still be a nice guy? I can try all I want to explain it to her, to consider her feelings, to make it seem like its gonna be okay, but if she still likes me, she'll find a reason to hate me and no matter what I do, she'll explain that reason to herself and spread it reason as why I'm not a nice guy. Then my whole attempt at being nice will have been futile.

There are other things that are assumed about nice guys that I just don't like. One is the assumption of being a pushover. I learned long ago (back when I found out I couldn't fight) that its much safer to just look like you can fight, or even better to have a mean mug on your face that makes people think "I could probably take him, but it wouldn't be an easy fight". In that way, I've managed to survive some dire situations in schools. But are nice guys allowed to look mean? Or is a nice guy also supposed to be the guy who comes home crying to his girl cause he got his ass kicked and then she can play some mommy role and tell him "baby it'll be alright".

That being said though, I'm tired of people thinking that because I'm some kind of "nice guy", that its beyond my character to talk bad about somebody, or even criticize them. I mean, where I'm from we call it jon'in (its so hard to write down words I've only heard spoken) and we used to be able to go at it for hours at a time. Now, I'm in an academic setting and I understand that with this (as with most work environments), there's a lot more of an attempt to be politically correct and not hurt feelings. That I understand. But if you make a statement that deserves criticism, don't think I won't call you stupid just because you call me a nice guy. Not only that, but sometimes trash talk is just the proper etiquette. I mean, how much fun is a game of spades without some trash talk? How can I watch football with a Ravens fan or a Cowboys fan and not make jokes about them?

And thats another thing - the whole need to 'discuss' things. I love a good conversation. Thats how I met most of my friends and how I meet new people. I believe there's an unappreciated art to a conversation that I try to enjoy. But that being said, some people do not enter a conversation to converse (how different of a world would we live in if conversate was a word?). Some people want to lecture, criticize, or spout an agenda. Having a conversation with some people is like trying to convince Rush Limbaugh to vote for Obama. Now the 'nice guy' in me says to show them the flaws in their logic and they'll eventually come around. But the 'typical guy' in me says to tell them to STFU. That may not win me many brownie points but I think it gets my point across that I don't want to hear that and I don't want them ruining an otherwise beautiful conversation.

And the other thing about being a nice guy is that you're only the nice guy until there's an argument. From that point on, just like the girl you broke up with, you'll be that guy who has the wrong opinion on religion, or abortion, or gay rights, or whatever else you choose to disagree on.

I think the term 'nice guy' is really just a new way of saying "I like you, but I don't 'like you' like you". Its that whole "we can be friends, but not boyfriend/girlfriend" talk all over again, but with more implied meaning and less actual statements. Everybody has their flaws and their ways of doing things that aren't so 'nice', but when we generalize and say a person is nice, its like we're asking them to put on a mask and not show that 'bad' side of them. Or maybe, a guy is called 'nice' because he actually tries to hide his 'bad' side.

Either way, it doesn't work for me. So I no longer look forward to being called a 'nice guy'.

(Now I know I'm gonna have friends jumping to the other extreme and thinking that I'm all of a sudden trying to be an artificial bad I'm Fabulous/Puffy/Ja Rule/etc. or something. I hope you find that as funny as I do)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

He's Not Superman

There's a quote from The Princess Bride that says, "Don't rush a miracle. You try to rush a miracle and you get rotton miracles."

Now, this is a quote from a fictional character who was asked to do the seemingly impossible task of bringing the hero back to life. But this is the thought that was going through my mind when Rachel Maddow interviewed Lt. Dan Choi.

I disagree with the policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell". But I didn't agree with the way Lt. Dan Choi went about with this. I can understand one side of it is the discussion that he may have wanted to get the wheels in motion. But it seems more like he did this in attempt to MAKE Obama hurry up with this legislation. Maybe some feel that President Obama should hurry up with the legislation - I mean he closed Guantanamo Bay immediately, he called back several Bush policies in his first days in office, why not just do this too?

Thats a complicated question in my book and I don't know the answers to it. But I remember in grade school learning that even when I thought the teacher was wrong, or that I was within the rules, its not always best to get into a shouting match or to question their authority. Whether we agree or disagree with a law in question, breaking that law is "breaking the law" and there is a punishment for breaking the law.

Nonviolent resistence is all about not following unjust laws, but its also about accepting the consequences and using these irrationality of these consequences to further make your point. So what Lt. Dan Choi does next will be interesting.

But I think its very important to understand who's for and against gays in the military, and how complicated the issue may be. We already have issues with "coming out of the closet" in the non-military US. I cannot imagine what that would be like in the military. How would the other soldiers treat their fellow openly gay soldiers? How much would need to be spent to prevent hate crimes in the military? What about ensuring that all the generals on the ground are not being biased with things like who's on the front line, who's getting promoted, or even who they will let serve under them.

These are just the issues that come off the top of my head. I understand this is an urgent issue, particularly to those who are risking their lives to protect us here at home but are forced to lie about their sexuality. But I also feel like there is a bit of people buying into the hype about President Obama being able to fix every wrong of this country with the flip of a switch. To paraphrase EnVogue, "He's not our Superman".

Guys and Romantic Comedies??

I just gotta know, do I lose my man-card for this?

I've been bored lately and it seems there's always a decent romantic comedy on. Today I just watched "You, Me, and Dupree". Before that I watched "Good Luck Chuck", Then there's "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days", "He's Just Not That Into You", "Just Friends", ... I can go on and on.

But I feel bad cause I only talk(ed) about these movies with my ex-girlfriends/dates. And actually I was using dates as an excuse to go and see these movies.

I think I migit be addicted to them. Is there something wrong with me?

Please. Help me!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Playoffs instead of Primaries??

So I was driving around in my car today and I was just doing some thinking. Right now the talk of the town (at least on radio) is the NBA and NHL playoffs. I'm a big fan of these playoffs matchups (much more than the regular seasons in these sports). I think I'd like college football a lot more if they had a playoff system - its just too hard to concentrate on that many bowl games over a 2 week period.

Anyway, I was switching back and forth between talk about the NHL playoffs and how the Caps are doing (Go Caps!!) and talk about elections in India on NPR. The talk about elections in India reminded me of a conversation I had last week where somebody pointed out the problems associated with a multi-party system - basically that while a majority is still needed in congress, no single party has a majority so its a lot harder for bills to pass. I'm not sure if the elections act in a similar way (I'd think not because they were talking about "round 4 of elections in India"), but this got me to thinking how would the primaries work if we had them set up as like a playoffs type system?

If you think of it right now, its kinda like a playoff system where the Democrats are the NFC and the Republicans are the AFC. The primaries are like the conference championship games and the November elections are like the Super Bowl (I'm going to stick to the football analogy since thats my favorite sport). But how would this system look under a different structure? What other structures are possible?

One thing about the primary system that I don't really care for is that it seems to eliminate third parties and third party candidates. So what if instead of the two round system we have now, we added more "rounds" of primaries where candidates go against some of these lesser known parties or maybe lesser funded candidates? Maybe this would be similar to the "wild card" round of the playoffs. One immediate question that I think of is, "how do we choose which candidates to go against one another"? Or who gets to vote in which primary?

Supposing that we did something like this, and it eliminated political parties all together, then we could adopt something similar to the NCAA tournament where the candidates are all put into some magical box which decides who to put into each primary. Then people would be able to register for the primary of their favorite candidate and go cast their votes.

Another thing about this is should the candidates go in head to head battles (similar to the November elections) or in one vs the rest battles (similar to the primaries as they currently are)? I'm not really a fan of the one vs all battles because again, I think they tend to favor the major political parties. But if instead, we were to engage in a series of head to head matchups, there's more of a chance that a third party candidate could emerge - either out of the public outrage against one of the major candidate, or just because that third party candidate actually represents the public interests better.

I don't know. This is just some stuff that was on my mind as I was driving and switching back and forth through some talk radio.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why We Arguing?

I love discussions that lead to enlightenment,
not them tit for tat arguments.
But nowadays, its hard to tell them apart from one another.
We disagree and its like I insulted your mother.
Then I start gettin the third degree,
wonderin if I should fight back violently,
Its just rediculuous that it always comes to this -
a heated debate until we both walk away;
neither thinking they're wrong;
and neither willing to just get along.
So since nobody's quiet,
it sounds like a riot,
people lookin strangely at us wonderin whats up.
Is it really that serious?
Does this stuff even matter to us?
Or did the presence of an argument cause us to lose focus?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It Aint Easy

I play around with math to relieve the stress.
Pen and pad in hand wonderin what's next.
I've got friends callin me up - takin sides,
and close family who just died - and I aint even cry.
Just took it in stride, and all those emotions and pain, just held 'em inside.
Its like I aint got a friend in the world.
got a million and one problems I don't even tell my girl.
But thats the game and I'll be damned if a thing changes.
Its no love for a guy from the streets tryin to make it legally,
to I turn to poetry.
I'm tellin you, It aint easy bein me.
Some hear me complain and say I'm to blame or call me insane.
its like its a big game, and me even tryin to win is hopeless
So I sit silent through all the commotion
Occasionally wavin hi to the people passin by.
It aint easy bein me.

I can't sleep cause I'm dreamin conspiracy theories,
wake up sweaty and steamin cause I'm on to what they thinkin.
I'm probably paranoid but I've heard stories of my boys
who've been through it before.
Don't want to go through it again,
so I'm wathin who I'm callin a friend.
I sit and wonder why it is the way it is,
but meanwhile I've got my thoughts on these kids,
cause I don't want them to see me like this,
expectin a life with no happiness.
But it aint easy.
They sit and watch Obama representin
and I'm wonderin about a society that'd rather see em in prison.
Gettin calls from my dad to make sure I'm alive
Although I'm quiet, he tells me to just take it in stride.
But even he's pesterin me about finishin this degree
I'm tellin you, It aint Easy bein me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Loving Hate (Blinded by Love part 2)

See, we grow up and we're taught these two emotions - love and hate - and we never get to know love, so we just appreciate hate. We thrive on controversy, with emotions raging to the point where we can't stand the calm and patient. If patience is a virtue that leads to long life, then frustration is that ugly cousin vice that feels so right - I mean momentarily mad, but ultimately we glad cause its that emotion we're used to, so we know what to do, and so we never learn about those virtues, and never know that thing called love.

This aint the way it always was, we tried to give love its fair share. We all have those stories of when we first thought we had it, thought we'd found it. This goes back to a simpler time, before corrupted minds, being meddled with by e-harmony ads on the sublime, sayin its so easy to find and time after time after time, or should I say story after story after story, we stop callin it love and resist the emotion, hopin that'll save us from the sadness and the mysery, but instead it sements sadness into our memory. We vow not to ride the roller-coaster of love, so we stay on the kiddy rides of "I hurt you cause I like you", knowin that thats not true, but its much easier to make her mad than it is to have her make you sad. So we grow to love hate.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Do you know what its like to be all alone? Some people say they do and they play along. But they don't know what its like to really be all alone. They say they do, but they don't know alone. I don't mean alone like losing a girl or a friend. And I don't mean depressed wishing for your life to end. Truth is, these eries are SEEN by others eyes. Some say sadness is just a part of life. So they'll pat your back and say it'll be alright. See, sadness, people can relate to. But what do you do when nobody can relate to you? And I don't mean the teen, "Nobody understands me"

I mean bein the gleam in their eyes, so bright that your very existence is considered right - a miracle of God. Like where you've got a job that's so hard to get that even mentioning it makes you the shit. And even though you love what you do, it makes you miserable cause its stuff nobody can relate to. So you make a hobby outta talkin to yourself. Can't nobody understand your questions so you answerin em for yourself. Its nowhere to go for help, nobody to talk to. There are people who did it before, but even they confused. They provide advice, but they're worried about the problems in their own life.

Its a road only paved for the few, and I've still got some pavin left to do. Picture that childhood dream that seems impossible to pursue, so most just dream different, set their goals on what they know they can accomplish, only to later in their mid-life crisis, wonder if they coulda accomplished this. But I heard about the struggle and still took the hard road - ignored the naysayers tryin to add to my load. It got to the point where I could see the dream clearly, and right there in the center was me smiling happy. But now when I look up, I aint seein the same stuff. That picture done changed to the point where I don't know what's up. And that's the part of the hard road that wasn't in the brochure. Nobody explained that there'd be NOBODY next to you. I never knew there'd be nobody to talk to, nobody to ask whats goin on. So I sit alone.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Changes to Success

These days just aint the same, but I'm resistant to change - like a kid in a new house this world is just gettin strange. So much, so soon, it all seems so new. This stuff I'm not used to: the women the stress, the life, the death, threats in the church of goin to hell, with nobody to tell.

There's no guide, no rules to live by, nobody to ask the when's and why's. Instead we try to make it every day and every way. We listen to what works, who did what, and who got caught. Some stories are true and some just fairy tales, but we still listen like little kids sittin on grandpa's knee talkin about all he had done, and all he'd overcome. We listen to the stories and try to guess the secret to success.

But that secret's like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So we search and we search and we search until we lose faith in the search and start to question if this secret even exists. We're told to have faith, which makes us wait longer and longer til that day when fate overcomes faith and we say that there's no way that this way will lead to success. So next we try a new way until we've found it, or we realize that there's no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and we're left with nowhere to go.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bottled Up

I've got bottles on top of bottles sittin' inside me. See, I keep things bottled up cause I don't like talkin 'bout what's inside me. So I've got a bottle for love and a bottle for hate; a bottle for friends and a bottle for enemies; a bottle for all them girls I used to date, and a bottle for all those who envy me. I've got a bottle for the respect I feel I'm due, and a bottle for the bullshit I go through. I've got a bottle for relationships right next to the bottle for love, and a bottle for shit at the club. I've got bottles on top of bottles and they pilin up every day.

Some say to let go - that these bottles just aint the way. They try and warn me - afraid my bottles will overflow. But they just don't get it - how I keep my bottles low. But they got bottles in them like I got bottles in me. So rather than worrying bout me, I open my ear for listening. I ask about their bottle's content, and relat to whats in it. And with each of their stories, my bottles are emptied. I don't know what it does for them, but I'm kinda stingy, cause listening to their stories is just a relief to me.

See, its kinda like a song that speaks to your soul, or a book that takes you back to being 10 years old. I used to have a bottle called nobody understands me - and so the story of my life was the look for understanding. But just when this bottle was about to topple over, I heard someone say that they were just like me. and he emptie his bottles by writing about his day. The stuff inside the bottle, was just ink for his pen. I listened to his story, and felt my bottles emptied just by listening in. And since then, I've added bottle after bottle after bottle and I'll probably add a new bottle tomorrow. But the bottles stopped bothering me when I realized my bottles weren't unique.
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