Pleasantries and Niceties

I was reading about Russian culture recently and apparently they don’t share our value for incessant niceties. They don’t appreciate the nice smiles, head nods, or small talk that Americans take part in everyday. So, why do we do it?

In the past week I have said some form of greeting to different people on four separate occasions, with zero response. Nothing, not even a head nod. I obviously keep walking muttering shit to myself like a crazy person. I went out of my way to say hi to these people and I get zero response. This brings me back to the possibility that I look like an asshole. This has been proven time and time again, but when you say hi to someone usually they could give some kind of response. Even if its just a grunt, “morning”, or “nice day today.”

This week of being ignored made me really think about Russia and why they may not share our belief in constant smiling and hellos. Apparently, because of the untrustworthy nature of their country and constant government trickery, smiling is thought to show dishonesty. Russian people are also more likely to associate smiling with stupidity. That one, I get. The lack of small talk and unnecessary conversation is associated with the need for honesty among the citizens. Makes sense. When your government is shady as fuck, you need some type of consistency and honesty. But fuck, what government isn’t being shady lately.

So, why do we say hello to everyone we see? Everyday, I have to say hello to every other idiot walking their dog in this complex. I have to talk to every shmuck in the dog park. For what reason? Especially when all I hear about is their great job and life. It’s sickening. I’m not a very talkative person with strangers. I’m more of a listener, but it amazes me how long people can talk about themselves. I actually don’t mind this part because usually a person will tell some ridiculous life story and in turn, I’ll write it on here. It also means I don’t have to talk about myself. We’re not really allowed to talk about anything anymore though. So, all we have left is the weather, and even that we fight about.

I mentioned to someone the other day that I would love to live in South Carolina or somewhere down south because of the weather, but I’m not sure how I’d feel about being in such a old school part of the south. The person then said to me, “well, let’s not get into politics.” Let’s not get into politics? I’m just saying I don’t think I could live somewhere where people live their lives focused on Friday night High School Football and church on Sundays. It just seems like a different lifestyle to me.

For the next couple weeks, I’m only saying hi to people if they initiate the conversation with me. I’m no longer going out of my way to be pleasant. Why do I even do it? To satisfy some need to please everyone I think. I’m not really a first impression type of guy when it comes to being friends with people. I’m more of an acquired taste, like a raw oyster. Some people try it over and over again and eventually it grows on them or they try it once and vomit and it puts a bad taste in their mouth for the rest of their living days. I’m not going to try to be nice anymore, you get what you get people and you don’t get upset. 

 

 

The Impossible Task of Making Friends

When is the last time you have made a friend? Was it because you were perfect soulmate bffs? Or was it because you just spend x amount of time with each other? Did you start talking because you have the most similar interests? Or do you just have a similar complaints throughout the day as they do? What the fuck is a friend if not a person you jointly complain with?

If you ‘re now saying to yourself, “no, I make friends all the time by getting to know people and their interests,” I’d have to say you’re a better person than me. I haven’t made a new friend in about 9 months. Going to school, you make friends easily. The purpose of college is to network. If you can jump through all the hoops while you’re “networking”, then you get this stupid piece of paper at the end that says you’re smart. Don’t let it fool you, you’re not. You can even go back for two more years and get a master’s degree to be even smarter. Once again, that doesn’t make you any smarter either. The one thing you probably did gain, is a few solid friends, whom you may not even be friends with any longer after you left.

Now, let’s get to the real problem. How to make friends as an adult. Is that even a possible thing? I live with my girlfriend now, so it’s not like I can just go find new roommates to make friends with. So, what do we do to make new friends?

Well the first thing we did was tried to become regulars at a bar. If you read this blog before then you know this. If not, go back and read it, I don’t have time to re-explain. We decided after slowly becoming regulars at this bar that we actually fucking hated it. The bar was filled with smoke and the worst people in the world. The last time we went, we sat next to some fat shmuck who was drinking Budweiser and sang the entirety of Jolene by Zac Brown Band. As he was about 1/4 of the way into the song, I asked Marisa if she wants to go somewhere else, and I got the usual indecisive girlfriend answer (no offense Bae). Now about half way through the song, I ask again and get the same response. 3/4 of the way through, I finally decide I have had it and say, “chug that beer, this is no longer “our” bar, we have to leave So, clearly, regulars at the bar is not an option.

Then we thought we’d try BumbleBFF. We thought let’s try something really fucking stupid. If you’re wondering if that worked. Don’t wonder, don’t try it. Fuck the internet when it comes to making friends. For all you people that met on Tinder, let me know how that’s going. 

Finally, we thought let’s go out and meet friends the old-fashioned way, we’ll go to a bar. Well, we did just that. First bar, there was no one around. We scouted out a few couples and came up with their interesting back stories. All in all, they weren’t for us. The next bar, well, we obviously made no friends, otherwise why would I be writing this bullshit. But we did see this one drunk psychopath. This jerk off was surrounded by 3 Vegas juiceheads and one of her girlfriends. She had her eyebrows drew in just perfectly, which if I may add, is such a weird practice these days. I wonder if men are going to start doing the same thing for their chest hair to look as sexy as I do. What she did not have drawn in perfectly was her eyelashes. Nope, those babies were hanging right off her eyes like hair hanging off the wall in the shower. She kept trying to like stick them back on too. When my contact is falling out I take the fucking thing out. I don’t stand there playing with my eye for 30 minutes laughing like I just finished my 3rd pumpkin spice latte.

So, what do I think about making friends? I think it’s close to impossible for someone like me. I think people think I’m an asshole before they even meet me. Unfortunately, they’re right. But they don’t have to know that before they even meet me. Some people just act so uncomfortable around me. Maybe one day we’ll meet another couple friends here in Vegas who will drink with us, hike with us, or just make generally poor decisions with us. Maybe they’ll even carve a motherfucking pumpkin with us this month.

Jewelry Stores

Shopping in a jewelry store can be quite daunting for us guys out here. Well, for us broke ass guys out here. Obviously the jewelry industry is all a giant scam. I understand that jewelry is very beautiful and meaningful to some people, but it’s actually an insane concept.

First off, no one there actually knows what the price of anything is. They might read the price and then type some bullshit percent off in a calculator, but they just make the shit up. For example, I bought my girlfriend earrings from a jeweler recently and they gave me a price and I negotiated it down a little bit. Finally, when I liked the price, I accepted it and told them I would be back before they closed.

I checked two more stores to see if I liked anything else. Ultimately, I decide that the earrings were the best choice, so I went back. The lady was excited to see me. I think she thought I was bullshitting  her. Someone else rang me up at $30 less then what the woman had told me. I’m sure of this because I made her write down the price in case she wasn’t there when I got back. She asked me if this was the same price I was told before. Of course I said yes. I almost said no, she told me less. But I didn’t want to push my luck.

It is such a bullshit negotiation pattern. If they like you more, you’ll probably get the best price. If you walk in there looking all doe-eyed, they’ll take you for everything you got.

Second, I don’t understand why the first question they ask isn’t, “what is your price range?” Every time I go in there, I’ll describe what I’m looking for and they’ll show me a beautiful piece. I’ll say how much and its usually somewhere above three grand. I’m almost embarrassed to say my price range after that. It’s a birthday, not a ten year anniversary. Also, I’m wearing cotton shorts and a tank top, does it look like that’s my price range.

I think they try to make you feel bad. I laughed at the lady when she told me the price this last time. I laughed especially hard because she told me, “its something nice and small.” Oh yeah? Fuck you.

Third, did you know there are different kinds of jewelry stores. Some have this specific rating or are part of some club. I’m not sure exactly what it is, because when the lady was talking I couldn’t stop looking at her snaggle tooth. So, snaggly.

Anyway, these specific jewelers, such as Ben Bridge, charge more because of this. She tried to give me some bullshit about how their diamonds sparkle better than everyone else’s diamonds. Okay lady. I’m sure there’s some truth to what you’re saying but relax. She also kept saying “we are really excited about being part of this club.” We? You just work here, I believe Ben, as in Ben Bridge is the only one who can say “we.”

Finally, and this is a true question. Is used jewelry an okay thing? The lady tried to sell me a pair of used earrings like it was a car or something. Like it has been certified pre-owned. Check the Car Fox type of shit. I mean they were earrings. They were quite literally in someone else’s body. I’m not sure what the ruling is on that. So, for the record, I declined the offer on that for the time being. If someone tells me otherwise maybe I’ll consider it in the future.

Quick note: Why the fuck is the Jared catch phrase “He went to Jared.” Has a woman actually every said this to her friends. I really hope not.

 

 

A Little Wining and Dining

Have you ever left a restaurant and thought “God, I wish I cared enough to write a yelp comment.” Well, here’s my yelp comment and yes I did post this exact post to their yelp. Mostly, because I really was upset, but also, this shit was the worst example of an “Italian” restaurant I’ve ever been to.

The hours of your restaurant, Prosecco, are 11AM until 10PM. We walked in at 8. Anyone see a problem with this? I didn’t. There were still 3 groups in the restaurant when we got there, but they left by the time we ordered a bottle of wine. We went out for a simple glass of wine and some meat and cheese. I rolled my eyes more times than pieces of “cheese” they gave us.

We ordered a bottle of Merlot. Working in a few restaurants, especially two finer dining restaurants, I learned a lot about how to present a bottle of wine. This bartender tried really, really, hard. She failed miserably, which is fine because who really gives a shit how they present the bottle of wine. The point was she tried, but she obviously wasn’t taught.

The biggest fail was when she told me what the bottle of wine was called and pronounced the ‘t’ at the end of Merlot. The other parts of presenting the bottle I can get over. Trust me, I buy a big bottle of barefoot just like the rest of you poor shmucks. But I also know what a good glass of wine tastes like.

Don’t pronounce the ‘t’ though. No matter what. Never say that. I don’t blame this poor idiot, I really don’t. I understand that people just aren’t taught things that I’m taught. I don’t know anything about accounting, but my friend Danny knows plenty about it. He has never taken the time to teach me all of his accounting knowledge. If I was to work for his accounting firm, he would at least show me something about accounting. He wouldn’t let me work there, if I couldn’t do math.

Why didn’t the person who hired this girl, teach her anything about Italian food or wine. After the wine, we wanted to order the meat and cheese plate. I wanted to know what meat and cheese was on the plate so I asked. She told me it was all pork. I understand that Italian meats are made from pork sweetheart, so I asked “what kinds of pork?” She says, “Well, I’d have to go ask.” I answered, “Well, can you go ask?” She walks away and goes to the kitchen and comes back and tells me, “it’s um, cappycoley, brojuto, and mortadella.” She actually said mortadella right. The other ones, I was literally laughing to my girlfriend. Hence, the many eye rolls.

When the meat and cheese came out, Marisa and I actually enjoyed the prosciutto, but the rest of the meat looked like fucking bologna. I love a good bologna sangwich with mayonnaise, but not when I order a 15 dollar meat and cheese plate.

Oh, but it wasn’t actually 15 dollars. Apparently, in the description of the meat and cheese, it said “minimum of 2” and that means that it cost twice as much as the price listed. I thought this was quite funny because by the end of this hideous meal, it was just an added bonus. I asked the bartender, “why is the meat and cheese platter twice what the menu said?” because at this point, I knew I’d be writing this blog.

She walked over to the owner or manager, standing with the rest of the staff, who were clearly waiting for us to leave, even though it was only 9:15, 45 minutes before closing. After talking to him she came back over and told us it is 15 dollars per person, I said “ok,” and again rolled my eyes and laughed. We paid the bill and left. Even though the 5 staff members all said goodnight to us I refused to answer. I would not give them the satisfaction of their sarcastic goodbyes any attention. So, Prosecco, go fuck yourself and your shitty cappycoley.

 

 

 

 

“I’ll never get a dog”

I’ve been quoted on several occasions stating that I will never get a dog. The mere idea of it was crazy to me. Why would I want another thing that I have to take care of? I struggle on a daily basis taking care of myself. “Should I shave today?” is a question that constantly turns into “should I shave this week?” Some weekends I ask myself, if it is even worth leaving the apartment. On the outside, it may look like I have my shit together, but to me, I’m just a kid who’s playing house.

Despite setting up a list of precautions for myself, I took my girlfriend to the SPCA, and we adopted a dog. She is a 1 and a half year-old, Australian Cattle dog, which makes me a giant hypocrite, but who cares. Everyone deserves a dog, right?

At the adoption center, we sat there for two hours going back and forth until we finally decided to take her home. Her name is Effie and she is afraid of her own shadow. I felt like my insides were being ripped into shreds the entire car ride home. I had a pit in my stomach like I had just killed somebody. I felt like I made the worst decision possible thinking, “wow, this dog is fucked having two owners like us.”

The second we got to the apartment, she walked in, ran around frantic for a minute then took a shit. As soon as I yelled “NO!” she ran away from me and took a piss. I felt like I was going to start crying. I could only think, “this was the worst decision I have ever made.”

Ten minutes after we got home, my girlfriend had to leave for work. I had to stay with this animal all alone. I took her out onto the deck and I sat there staring at her. She was staring at me. Now, I don’t know what dogs think about, but I imagine her thoughts were the same as mine, “how in the hell did I get stuck with this asshole.”

We’ve had her for two weeks now. She has yet to shit in the house again. She loves chasing rabbits and long walks. I feel like that’s pretty typical for a dog. She sleeps right next to the stupid $35 dollar bed we bought her. She won’t eat in front of us, won’t play with any toys, and only chews on bones if we leave the room. She’s pretty damn weird.

One thing I have noticed is how people act around you when you have a dog. People think, “this guy must be normal, he has a dog.” Normally, I walk around and people ignore me. Unless I open my big mouth, people don’t ever say shit to me. Walk around saying “hi” to people and you barely get a response. Walk around with a dog and everyone wants to know your life story. Maybe we’ll make some friends this way. A girl can dream.

I don’t always have a pit in my stomach when I leave her in the house anymore. Although she did eat my only toy, my Wii remote. At least it was just the nunchuk part. We tried putting her in the crate when we leave, but she’s terrified of it. We tried locking her in the kitchen. We put up a 3.5 foot gate. Came home and she was chilling on the couch. So, we’ve resorted to a game of trust. So far so good. As long as she has a bone to chew on, maybe she won’t destroy something. Who really knows.

Overall, the experience has been pretty good. She now sits, lays down, and she follows us everywhere. She doesn’t ever bark and is even listening well off the leash. Every time we meet a new person with a dog, they offer us advice. It’s kind of annoying. Some people think they’re the only person who have ever raised a well-behaved dog. I bet people do this with kids too, which probably annoys the shit out of moms. If I ask for advice, I do appreciate it. Don’t tell me where I should keep my dog at night or what I shouldn’t feed it, just because I told you we just adopted her. It’s fucking annoying. And for Christ’s sake, if you’re going to talk to me, ask me for my name before you ask what her name is. She doesn’t care who’s talking to her, but I’d like to know what to call you instead of just knowing your dogs name. And for everybody who asks what my name is here in Vegas, it is VINNY, not BENNY. I don’t understand. Does everyone all of a sudden have a hearing problem? I’m getting awfully sick of it. Who is even named Benny? Does anyone know a Benny? I know one Benny, and he’s the fastest kid I ever seen. Benny “the Jet” Rodriguez.

 

Globs and Hairs

In the past, I have lost a couple of good bets. I’ve fell victim to a few dares. I don’t mean that I lost any money or anything of value. Dignity was on the line. I should probably place a little bit more “value” on my dignity. In this particular instance, somehow I ended up having to eat a piece of hair. I know… terrible. This was no regular strand of hair. It was a thick curly Q.

A few of my friends and I were sitting around a backyard patio table at someone’s house. After the dare or the bet happened, I wanted to get this done as quickly as possible. I wrapped this piece of hair around my finger a few times and rolled it into a ball. I worked it in my mouth for a few seconds to try to push it to the back of my throat. Finally, when I thought I had it, I took a really hard swallow. My friends, and I use that term very loosely, were all staring at me, waiting. I smiled and opened my mouth. I just remember Squirrel’s face, a friend of mine. He covered his mouth and pointed and screamed at me. Unbeknownst to me, the hair was wrapped up in my front tooth. Needless to say, I was unable to swallow this hair.

This brings us to yesterday. A similar feeling but just about 10 times worse. I had just returned home from work and I was exhausted. I was supposed to go to visit my girlfriend at work and I wanted to get some things done prior to leaving. I was going to make a cup of coffee, but with it being about 105 degrees in Vegas yesterday, I didn’t want something warm. What a conundrum! But I looked in the fridge and there was my Cold Brew Coffee. I would have to thank God. Actually, I just patted myself on the back for buying it. What is it they say? God helps those who helps themselves? Seems convenient.

Anyway, I check the date on the box, which was 10/17/17. Perfect. I shake the box up a bit and put some ice in a red solo cup. Real Classy. I pour the contents of the box into the cup. I put the leash on the dog and out we went. I had a nice cold coffee and I was happy as a pig in shit.

This was quite a large cup of coffee. About 10 minutes into the walk, I was done with about two-thirds of the cup. As the dog is taking care of business (taking a shit), I took a big gulp of the coffee and feel something odd. It felt like something weird was on my tooth. I had my phone out so I opened up the camera. I smile and there was a big glob on my tooth. I start wildly spitting. I honestly had no idea what it was. I took a look down in the coffee.

There it was. Pieces of mold floating around in my cup. There was so much of it. I don’t know how I got through as much of the coffee as I did.

I looked at the expiration date. How could this have happened? It made me absolutely sick to my stomach. At this point, there was only one thing that could wash such filth from my mouth. Only one thing that would wash away the stains from my dignity as the old memories of curly Q hairs in my teeth resurfaced in my brain. I jogged home, and as soon as I got there I ran to the fridge. No I don’t keep my toothbrush or my Listerine in the fridge. I keep the fixer of all problems in the fridge. The solvent for all complications. The Ice. Cold. Beer. I popped her open, swished her around my mouth, and swallowed. And just like after I tried to swallow that hair, my mouth curled into a big smile. Nothing like a beer when you need one.

 

People of the Streets

So, recently I visited the city of San Francisco, old Saint Frankie, if you will. It was only an hour flight from Vegas so I figured why not. I landed on a Friday night and I was basically planning on just exploring the city. Well let me tell you about the homeless people in San Francisco. Its a real problem. They’re everywhere. I’m not sure if San Francisco is working to fix this problem but they’re a day late and a dollar short. You can’t walk anywhere without people yelling at you, casually trying to bump into you, or just eerily staring at you like they’d eat you. Where the fuck did all of these people come from anyway. Do they just know that this is where homeless people all come to live? Is there some sort of homeless people online chat where they all tell each other where the best places to live are? Possibly coming soon “homeless tinder.”

I understand that San Francisco is probably a great place for a homeless person to live. The weather seemed mild and the people even milder. No one seems to care about what anyone else is doing, which is great on one hand, because you know social equality and what not. Which just to be clear, I’m not shit talking social equality. I’m shit talking the clear lack of care that the streets you live on are filled with people living in tents. Nobody cares and people are constantly giving them money. There are so many of them, how can people afford to just give away all their money to the homeless? Its unreal.

Unfortunately, I had a lot of different questions answered that I didn’t really even need to know the answer to. First off, homeless people do not have to abide by the same laws as everyone else. They can yell slurs and deal drugs right out in the open and everyone ignores it like its two pigeons squawking over a piece of bread. I asked someone what they do living here with all these homeless people, and he said, “Well everyone just ignores it, its not really a problem.” JUST BECAUSE YOU IGNORE IT, DOESN’T MEAN ITS NOT A PROBLEM GUY. Its a real problem.

Second, the social activists who are also running rampant throughout San Francisco are just as bad as the homeless people, if not worse. The homeless people will ask for money. That’s fine I get that. I can keep walking and basically ignore anyone. The social activists are clean normal looking people and when one of them asked to talked to me, I obliged. She told me all about how I can help and be a part of their cause to which I answered  “Hell yeah, what can I do to help?” To which she responded, “give me some money.” Everyone up there wants money. This girl didn’t make it easy for me to walk away. She made me feel bad that I have all this money hoarded away that I’m keeping from the refugees. Little does she know, I’m a college graduate with just a bit of debt piled up. She wants me to donate 2 dollars a day. 2 dollars a day?! I gave up coffee because I couldn’t afford 2 dollars a day. You want my help planning something, I’m in. But I’m no fucking philanthropist. I asked her how much money she was donating and that was when she realized she wasn’t getting any money from me. So just like the homeless people, she grumbled and trudged away.

Third and finally, I learned that everyone has to wipe after they go to the bathroom. Even the homeless people. Even if that means wiping right in front of a public garbage pail. The first guy I saw, pants around his ankles, awkwardly squatting with his knees bending outwards, wiping back-to-front with a newspaper, I swear I tried to look away. I tried not to look back but it was just too bizarre not to. I literally felt like I was in bizarro world. A twilight zone where the rules for bathrooms aren’t around anymore. Anyway, this guy and I made eye contact on about his third wipe and he became EXTREMELY angry. First, he kind of had that look in his eye, the one your dog has when he catches you watching him take a shit. But then rage filled his eyes. He literally started chasing after me while trying to pull his pants up. It was the scariest couple seconds of my life. He was calling me some terrible shit. Like you n***** and f*****. Not the ‘f’ word that I use either. I was just so flabbergasted. He was like, “GET OUT OF HEREE!” as if I just walked into the bathroom on him. Take it easy guy, this is a public fucking street you’re shitting on. Its not like I had to open a door to see this. I don’t care how homeless you are, you have to know that’s not my fault for seeing you wipe your own feces onto a newspaper. The worst part was, this was a busy-ish street, and not one person said anything to me. Not one person was concerned. So, I thought that was weird San Francisco. Like these fucks, will share their food, money, and drugs with the homeless people, but if ones chasing after a bald man, they all pretend like their blind to the world. So fuck that.

So,  San Francisco was overall “fun” as you can see. I would go back, not specifically for any of the aforementioned reasons, but you know sight seeing and good food. Oh yeah, my last night there, I saw another person, this time a woman, wiping her ass back-to-front. Big mistake lady. Get with the program.