Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Five Point Program for Self-Improvement.

Lately I've been battered in the face with particular character flaws that are decidedly due for an addressing. These issues of character have either been over-thought by myself (usually alone while listening to Ryan Adams or "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot") or during the course of conversations, via telephone or in person, with certain friends/family. I present to you a brief synopsis of the flaws you can witness me tackling in true athletic form--if you live in the New York area, or can at least imagine me expertly negotiating like some big city lawyer or homely southern colonel depending on your regionality.

1. Stop feeling uncomfortable and intimidated when using chopsticks in the vicinity of Asians. You are not some sort of "cultural imposter."

This is an issue I recently dwelled upon at the Whole Foods off Union Square on a recent lunch break. As I gingerly created an angle between myself and an Asian family (nationality undetermined) as to not let them catch me awkwardly manipulating my chopsticks to shovel sushi into my face-hole, I felt the overwhelming urge to swallow the wasabi by itself in order to snap myself out of the self-induced fear I have of being deemed inept by Asians while using their utensils of choice. I mean I don't judge anyone who can't eat spaghetti effectively with a fork, why is some Asian guy from New Jersey going to judge me for occasionally stabbing a renegade ort of sushi with a single chopstick?

2. You are not a member of a baseball team, nor do you play baseball--stop wearing that damn hat all the time.

I am a firm and adamant hat wearer. I have been for some years now. This generally follows a seasonal trend that isn't related to the beginning or end of baseball season in the least. The baseball hat is worn during the warmer months and is then replaced with the knit hat in the cooler months. Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that I realize the baseball hat creates a "hat-mullet" when I wear it, and yes I know how bad that looks. However, for those familiar enough with the hairstyles my unhatted head is capable of birthing you know I'm far better off with the hat-mullet. Now quite recently my summer hat, and thus my hatted-existence, has been called "silly" by someone in particular and that kind of got me thinking: It's time to tame the mane and toe the tepid waters of the hatless lifestyle. For those that lived in Greensboro from 2002-2003 and remember the "Swayzee" I apologize if it returns.

3. "You drink a lot of coffee for someone who wakes up at 11am on a working day."

I forget whom that quote is from, but they probably work at News Bar on University Place and 12th. Yes, I admit I have an intense affinity for coffee. The individuals I've lived with over the past four years or so can vouch for my reckless abandon with a coffee maker, particularly my Black&Decker Versa Brew that sadly stopped working when I plugged it in after a move to Richmond, VA last year. So yeah, maybe I drink half a pot of coffee before I leave the apartment for work. And yes, perhaps I have been known to enjoy a couple large cups while at work, or have a couple mugs before I head out for a night on the town. This isn't really a problem is it? I've been known to hit the perfect point of caffienation several times in one day and I think that's something to be proud of. I'm taking this off the list. Sorry to have wasted your time.

4. Buy new pants. Or for the love of god at least get the legs hemmed up--time to move past the cuff man.

I'll be honest; I only own maybe three pairs of jeans. One pair of which is the official "laundry day" pair and liberally holed from god knows how many previous wearings. Anyway, I apologize to anyone that may have picked up on my lack of variety in the pants department. I am poor, and am working on scouring New York's many thrift stores for pants that fit--but finding jeans at the thrift store is something I've never had any luck with. Unless you like horribly tapered legs. I do not.

5. Stop feeling pretentious when reading poetry and drinking hot tea in the privacy of your own home on a day off.

There is absolutely no reason I should feel bad or any way precocious for this act, but for some reason I feel like that kid in your college literature survey class that was always sweatered no matter the weather conditions, and seemed to always be sipping from a travel mug billowing with the flavorful aromas of the campus-neighboring coffee shop, all the while stroking his casually rural beard a la The Band or Blind Faith-era Eric Clapton. I'm not that guy. I mean I like The Band, I'm familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda and Saki--I even think Sartre is pretty interesting--but I'm not bothering anyone. I'm going to have the damn tea and read the shit out of whatever I want to. And yeah, I'll wear my reading glasses so I don't get a headache. Go to hell. Wait, I'm talking to myself here. Damn it.

So these and other tragically uninteresting habits I will be tussling with in the most heterosexual of manners in the coming months. Wish me luck, and keep the suggestions coming. I apparently will.



At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Sal said...

Ain't a damn reason you should feel pretentious for tea and poetry. It's one of the last analog pleasures left. God bless.


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