Miss(ed) Manners

April 9, 2007

Eggstravaganza, Part 2 and Adieu

Filed under: Announcements,Easter,Eggs,Life — missedmanners @ 2:39 pm

Just got back from a most excellent weekend up at the parents’ homestead upstate for Easter. We ate, we drank, we were merry in equal parts. More importantly, we made EGGS!

I went up with a group of 7 other friends. Two of the girls, whose occupations are Graphic Designer and Architect, unsurprisingly got as insanely obsessed with the hours long ritual as I do. I don’t have pictures yet, but the end results were fantastic.

There’s a lot to be said about the lessons you can take from such a painstaking labor process:

  • You’ve got to think backwards. Everything you cover in wax when the egg is white will remain white. The normal method for drawing and painting usually involves outlining something in black and then filling in the color. Pysanky is the exact opposite. Some people have a really hard time figuring this out. To me it’s a metaphor for being able to think, and pardon the term, outside of the box. If you can take the normal mental pathway of thinking and turn it exactly upside-down, then in my mind, you’re more equipped for life, more able to see things from other people’s perspective. I think a lot of people could benefit from this ability.
  • Each step of the progression is incredibly in its finality. You dye an egg blue and there’s no real changing that. Every action you took prior to that is locked in, under wax. There are ways to cheat this, using vinegar or bleach, but the end result is never as pretty. You’ve got to think ahead or, if you decide to be spontaneous, embrace the actions that got you to where you are.
  • You’re working on an eggshell, fer chrissakes. A literal representation of thousands of euphemisms for fragility. All you’ve got is kid gloves and you’d better be using them. I’ve broken eggs through carelessness and have actually cried because of losing the product of six or seven hours of the most concentrated concentration I could muster.

This has been a yearly event for myself for over ten years.  It’s such an ingrained part of my internal yearly calendar that it’s always in the back of my mind the other 360 some-odd days I’m not decorating eggs.  The last egg of each yearly session will subtly, but noticeably effect both my mood and outlook for the coming year.

For example, last year I had an extremely poor showing. The colors didn’t work how I wanted, the eggs were sloppy and poorly planned out. I had one positive egg and then tried to make something spectacular and failed, miserably. It was on my mind all year, a very slight pessimistic outlook. The person I’m most influenced by, unsurprisingly, is myself. So when I get it into my head that something is wrong, or just “off,” I’ll make it a truth in my head.

Not this year, though. I think I produced the most technically correct and aesthetically pleasing piece of work I’ve ever done. I’ll try and get a picture up as soon as possible. That piece, being the last thing I did for this year, 2007, means that I’m going to not only have a good year overall, but I’m going to know that I’m having it.  So yes, hope springs and all that.

Anyway, on to the Adieu part of the post:

I’m leaving tomorrow for a week of bidness in Boston. Sort of the Finals week of my professional life, which is almost immediately followed by a long spring break. I’ll try to get in to post as often as possible, what with my observations of that city being very numerous and hopefully humorous.

So until then, peace in the northeast all.

December 1, 2006

Miss(ed) Manners: Meet and Greet

Filed under: Announcements,Funny,Humor,Life,Manners,Miss(ed) Manners,Ramblings,Random — missedmanners @ 1:21 pm

Goodness gracious folks, the holidays are upon us. Families are flying around the globe. Wayward sons are hitchhiking home. College co-eds are trying to figure out a way to explain their appearance on Girls Gone Wild. Cousins you didn’t even know you had are piling into their station wagon and coming to sleep on your couch.

Or maybe your going to your significant other’s family’s house. You’re looking to grab a hold of a holiday sweater and sit around and discuss Jesus with people you don’t know.

Either way it means you’re going to have to do a lot of greetings. I fucking hate greeting people. It’s one of the single most confusing social activities in the world today, barring baby showers, but that’s another story.

Do you go for the handshake? The handshake-hug? The hug alone? The cheek-kiss? The solitary hug? The handshake-hug-kiss? Who gets a kiss on the lips?

About two or three years back I ran into a client of ours after an event. I assumed she’d want to shake hands over a job well done, but she went in for the hug and kiss. I punched her right in the crotch with my extended hand. How is that a greeting? I think in some places it might be, but crotch-punching never really caught on in the States.

You know who needs to die? People who weren’t born in Europe but insist on doing the double cheek kiss. Die a painful death. I think people only do that so they can hear the homely, “Ooh okay!” that plops out of someone’s mouth like a gooey nugget of surprised manure when they realize they’re in the presence of someone so cosmopolitan that they deserve two kisses.

Air kissers also need a swift boot to the sternum. You do realize that an air kiss is like saying, “I’ll acknowledge your presence, but I’m not going to touch you because you have the scabies.”

Whatever happened to the awesome jive handshakes of the 70’s? There was a movie, Undercover Brother that had a lot to say about that. But I kind of glossed over it, which I think had a little to do with the point the movie was making.

The modern man to man handshake is no longer about greeting someone. It’s about acceptable amounts of pressure. You want to be firm, but not too firm. You want to make eye contact, but not for too long. You don’t want to go limp, or else you’re a nancy-boy. You don’t want to break someone’s hand or all of a sudden YOU’re the psycho. It’s ridiculous.

As it stands today, our options for greetings are varied, yes, but incredibly boring. What’s the point of even going through the motions of figuring out how to greet someone if you’re going to do the same thing to everyone else? How is that personal? How is that friendly?

All these reasons and more are why I’m initiating my new initiative for initiating social interactions, initialed: D.A.P.H.S. Or Dave’s Awesome Personalized Hand Shakes.

Over the next few months I will be making myself available to any friend, family member or acquaintance for a personalized greeting brainstorming session. During this time period you and I will sit down – or stand if we’re in a bar or a wading pool – and we’ll figure out a greeting that will replace our current melange of uncomfortable touching and lip pressing.

This greeting can be as simple or intricate as you wish. We can still make kiss kiss if that’s your thing. We can sign a portion of the alphabet to each other. We can have a minute long wrestling match while only saying the word, “HI!” really loudly at each other. Whatever we come up with will be how I will greet you for the rest of your miserable existence on this planet.

I’ve only just started but for a examples:

My older brother and I do the simple Roman style handshake. Because we both wish we were Romans, minus the rampant disease, death and slavery.

My little brother and I do a slightly more involved double hand slap and chest bump, which I fear is only making his chest more concave.

Several years ago, my friend Mike and I had an intricate series of hand gestures based around a hand sign for a vagina. It took about ten seconds to complete, roughly the average time of our separate sexual encounters.

The intricacy of said greeting is not important. If you want to stick with the tried and true cheek kiss, that’s fine. What’s important is putting the time in to make sure you’re really greeting someone. Sometimes using a stock kiss and go is more of a goodbye than a hello.

So if I see you out any time soon, pull me aside and let’s make a personalized greeting. I’ll be updating with the best greetings over the months to come.

November 28, 2006

Reasons 1-5 Why Benjamin Bratt is a National Security Threat

Filed under: Announcements,Humor,Random — missedmanners @ 12:23 pm

#1) It’s a little known fact that Bratt was constructed from spare pieces of a dismantled Cold War Era Inter-continental Ballistic Missile.

#2) It’s a well known fact that Benjamin “Destroyer of Worlds” Bratt was the spawn of a twisted sexual union between a Centaur and a Blowfish, the Blowfish in question being the Bassist for the popular 90’s band, Hootie and the Blowfish. Hootie watched.

#3) It’s a moderately known fact that Ben was only offered the role of Detective Rey Curtis on NBC’s Law and Order after eviscerating the network’s president with the dull end of a plastic flashlight.

#4) It’s rumored among esoteric circles that Bratt is actually the literal basis for several creatures in the Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition Monster Beastiary.

#5) It’s a fairly to slightly above average known fact that BB was responsible for the vicious Collect Call ad-wars of the late 90’s early 00’s and posesses the power to shapeshift into Carrottop up to three times a day.

November 27, 2006

Defeat!

Filed under: Announcements,Drunk,Humor,Life,Ramblings — missedmanners @ 10:48 am

A couple things on this beautiful Monday morning:

#1: I’m back! After a short bit of vacationing upstate with the family I’m back at work and feeling productive. A mini shout out to everyone who’s been checking out the back logged posts, of which there are many.

#2: I’ve fallen in love with a band and I’ve bought my first CD in over four years. See, I’ve been a completely unrepentant music downloader in years past, but recently I picked up a copy of this band, The Black Keys. They’re amazing, a real classic rock sound, like straight out of the 70’s.

If you’re like me and you like to drink, and I don’t mean drinking a few martinis with dinner, but rather a few pints of ever-clear in a dark and smokey room, then buy their latest album, Magic Potion. I previewed it for some of my little brother’s friends this weekend over a couple cases of cheap beer, wanton personal insults and a late night game of Asshole. They were very impressed.

#3: In reference to a previous post of mine: Victory, the goddamned place where I get my breakfast… where the guy JUST learned what I get every morning… IS CLOSING on Wednesday. I am cancer-serious that this is a gigantic fucking dilemma. Where the hell am I going to get my breakfast? That’s six months of quiet patience out the window.

SO ANGRY.

Anyway, good to be back.

October 17, 2006

Common NYC Misconception #1

Filed under: Announcements,Funny,Humor,Life,Misconceptions,New York,Ramblings,Random — missedmanners @ 10:10 am

Yes! Another budding series!

Alleys.

You know how in every movie that takes place in New York there’s a scene wherein someone gets trapped in an alley? The protagonist is just walking down the street, past a couple arguing in thick Brooklyn accents (that’s another misconception, but for another time) and he/she decides to take a shortcut through an alley. This alley by the way is always filled with steam pouring out of manhole covers. At some point during this walk a shadow appears in the steam and the person gets mugged, beat up, murdered – whatever.

There are absolutely NO alleyways in New York City.

Okay, maybe there are one or two. I think I may have seen one in Chinatown. Gay Street is kind of alley-ish, but that’s not really the mugging type of alley ifyaknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo. There are only streets in New York and even the smallest streets – which happen to be down here in the Financial District – are incredibly well lit at all times of the night.

Therefore it follows that there are NO chainlinked fences at the end of said non-existent alleys that you would need to scale to chase a fleeing criminal. There are numbered streets, hundreds of them in fact. So if you’re taking a shortcut anywhere above Houston Street you really deserve to be mugged in an alley because when dealing with a grid perfectly laid out proportions… there are NO shortcuts.

So, to sum up, if you find yourself staring down the barrel of a revolver in a dark and ominous alleyway, you’re not only a moron, but you’re not in New York. You could be in Detroit, I think they’ve got a lot of Alleys over there… and white rappers with hearts of gold and zombies I think. Yes. White Zombie Rappers with Hearts of Gold… that work in car factories.

October 6, 2006

Miss(ed) Manners: Urban License #1: JOC

Filed under: Announcements,Column,Dancing,Drunk,Funny,Humor,Manners,Music,Ramblings — missedmanners @ 2:37 pm

The more you think about it the more you realize people just can’t be trusted to be competent in anything that they do. In many cases when compentency becomes an issue of life or death the government will issue licenses certifying that person in the skill in question. Driving, operating heavy machinery, being a barrista at Starbucks, etc.

Why stop there, I ask. There are thousands of skills that require licensing immediately simply just for living in New York. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this issue and the simple fact of the matter is that you need to know if you’re skilled enough to perform certain tasks without fear of legal reprisal, beatings or cock-smacks (assuming you have one, vag-slaps aren’t nearly as painful).

So today I’m introducing part one in a multi-part series of undetermined length or quality that I call:

Dave’s Urban License Program
License #1: Jukebox Operator Certification

Juke

Picture this: You’re sitting in your average run of the mill New York beer bar, swilling down some God awful pint of Hoegarden or whatever you fairies drink. You’re enjoying the company of your friends, eating, talking, laughing, all is right with the world.

Then, out of nowhere, the jukebox springs to life, its lights pulsating to the beat of some unknown track buried at the end of Guns and Roses’ seminally horrible album, “The Spaghetti Incident.” Your palms start sweating, you don’t know the words, you don’t know when to bounce your head, how to fake the guitar riffs. There will be no chorus of, “ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Snap!” from your table. This song is unsnappable.

All too often a jukebox acts like a beacon to the musically retarded. This large foreheaded neanderthal strolls into packed bars with a musical agenda. He’s got a list of songs that he’s going to search that jukebox for and make everyone listen to for one of two reasons: Either 1) The song means something only to him and/or his friends and they want to relive some aborted spring break vacation they spent in their parents’ garage smoking reefer and talking about breast size or 2) He thinks this awful song is good and he wants other people to hear it on the off chance that they’ll like it too and then come up to him and offer him oral sex. I read it in a newspaper.

There’s no reason for this to happen. If the city were to introduce my Urban Licensing system then all jukeboxes installed in the city would be outfitted with card scanners and a series of qualifications for operation based on song catalog, venue type and neighborhood.

For the most part bars with a jukebox fall into the “Beer Bar” category. The semi-sports bar, the slightly noisy, may have food, just a place to hang out with little to no pretension in the air sort of place. These are my favorite places. The jukebox is usually stocked with all manners of Classic Rock.

There are more localized and discerning jukeboxes of course. There’s the hipster bar, country bar, punk bar and jazz bar to name a few. Operating a juke box in these locations would require passing the general JOC exam along with a specialized genre specific written exam so you don’t end up putting on the 15 minute interview introduction to a Miles Davis compilation and getting soaked in a hail of fancy brown liquour by an angry mob of funny hat wearing post-depression Americana enthusiasts.

However, like I said, most bars fall under the general JOC’s jurisdiction, which is headbanging, lyrics screeching, guitar wailing, Classic Rock. Rock and Roll is the veritable glue that holds this macaroni picture frame we call a country together. There is no greater thread that runs through our nation’s history than Rock, it is the universal language of keg parties, beer busts and four day binges ending in multiple pregnancies. Shit, when George Carlin came back in time in the movie, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” he wasn’t coming back to help a pair of clarinet players, he was coming back to ensure that Wyld Stallyns brought the future together under the banner of Rock music. So suck on that DJ’s, you are basically a shit stain on the underwear of musical relevance.

Anyway, I’m currently in the process of producing the written exam portion of the licensing procedure. Eventually there will be a real world practical exam wherein the applicant will have to program a ten song set into a randomly chosen bar jukebox. The finale song choice (always important) is basically the paralell parking equivalent.

Some sample questions:

1) You’re in a bar on a Saturday night and the mood is low. To begin your musical selection you can choose from the four following songs:

a) Madonna – Like a Virgin
b) Ricky Martin – Livin’ La Vida Loca
c) Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight
d) Anything by AC/DC

Answer: D, you idiot. Madonna is generally reserved for the subset Gay jukebox or in the subarticle 9 clause, entitled, “Playing a Female Request in Hopes of Getting Laid.” Ricky Martin songs are obviously punishable by death and/or theft of beer, the same usually goes for Phil Collins, however in this case we see the case of the classic, “playing a song just for the instrumental solo” situation. Not acceptable. “In the Air Tonight” is only allowed for sitting quietly alone on a waterfront, staring off into the distance, contemplating murder/suicide and then walking off, right as the drum solo happens, to an uncertain future.

2) You’ve arrived at a bar only to find that it houses a new, electronic jukebox, what do you do?

a) Instantly search the web for that new Fergie song.
b) Play your song and pay the extra $2.00 to have it bumped in front of whatever song is playing next.
c) Use their comprehensive catalog to find the song you lost your virginity to and cry at the bar.
d) Throw your fist into its cold, mechanical heart and tear out what you can, then, if possible, defecate inside of the gaping hole.

This is a tough question to answer. If you answered A, you should probably sterilize yourself by whatever means possible. If you chose B then you’re one of the reasons that these machines are a greater threat to national security than Diebold voting machines. A competent Jukebox operator knows how to put a set of music together, if you go and start either shuffling or changing the order, not only do you risk bodily harm to yourself, but also you risk harming the masterfully crafted ambience that only a 40 minute block of soul-pelting Rock can do.

Answering C is really its own punishment. Good luck with that.

Again the only suitable answer here is D for one simple reason: Led Zeppelin. Currently, the Led Zeppelin catalog is not permitted to be used in Internet jukeboxes. I’ve heard rumors that the Boss also does not allow for his music to touch these little abominations. It is theoretically impossible to drink beer for an entire night and not hear Led Zeppelin and call it a good night. Therefore you must destroy all touch screen/web enabled jukeboxes on sight.

So that about does it for the JOC licensing preview, I’m currently in talks with the Mayor’s office regarding its immediate implementation. In the mean time however, may I suggest that you all supress your wanton urges to recklessly play at Maestro when you see a jukebox from across a crowded bar? You’re gambling with the ears of dozens and scores of dollars in incredibly sub-par beer.

September 13, 2006

Bizzy

Filed under: Announcements,Humor,Life,Personal,Ramblings,Why? — missedmanners @ 12:43 pm

So my employers made their triumphant return to the office today after a summer spent enjoying the upstate beauties of the Berkshires. This is always an odd time of year for me. The slowness of the summer begets a certain lethargic state upon me, kind of like how if you stop eating your stomache shrinks. Well my stomache for work has shriveled up to the size of a pea.

Now that they’re here I’ve got to hop right back into busy, productive, responsible me. Not fun to say the least.

Well, one good thing is that we’ve moved into this new space which means I have my own private office. This of course has its positives and negatives. Pro: I like the thought that I could work in the nude. There’s something about planning a benefit luncheon while resting your balls on pleather that really speaks to me. Con: They could be naked too.

Anyway, far be it from me to begrudge working at a job that pays the bills and makes me very happy at the same time.

August 23, 2006

I Just Won 50 Bucks, Help Me Spend It

Filed under: Announcements,Humor,Ramblings — missedmanners @ 1:34 pm

So I bought some bad coffee this morning. Not bad like Starbucks bad, but bad as in it smelled like faeces.

After I muscled through half of it, I ran downstairs to our local vice peddlar and picked up a new cup of non faeces coffee and on a whim bought a few scratch off lottery tickets.

Well I won 50 bucks on one of them, w00t.

Usually I don’t have any problem whatsoever figuring out a way to spend my own money, but won money? Found money? I’m absolutely lost.

Give me a couple hints.

Best suggestion will be executed and photographed. I’ll also save one of the fifty dollars for the suggester.

EDIT: Currently the discussion and best ideas are here:

http://www.rhythmism.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42861

I’ll have the winner decided by the end of the week so I can do a little travel journal this weekend.

August 22, 2006

Naughty Naughty!

Filed under: Announcements,Humor,Life,Manners,Ramblings — missedmanners @ 10:19 am

shame-on-you.jpg

Ok.

So WordPress has this AWESOME feature that let’s you see what search terms are bringing people to your site. Fantastic, great tool. So what are people searching for on the internet that sends them this way? Are people looking for help and advice on how to act? No. Are people looking for a laugh to lift the oppressive gray cloud of depression from their lives? No.

They’re looking for advice on how to get a handjob at a massage parlor. *Sigh*

If you’re confused look here:

https://missedmanners.wordpress.com/2006/08/11/missed-manners-theres-the-rub/

Listen, people, if you want a handjob, go do it yourself. And remember, your search strings are about as private as taking a dump in Times Square.

Don’t believe me?

 http://www.somethingawful.com/index.php?a=4016

http://www.somethingawful.com/index.php?a=4032

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