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How to Get the Most Out of a Sportsmen’s Show

26 Feb

This month I had the singular experience of spending 55 hours out of a week in the Portland Expo Center in Oregon. No, I’m okay. Thanks for asking, though.

This was part of an annual trek to Portland for the PNW Sportsmen’s Show. During the five days of this show, the Expo Center houses hundreds upon hundreds of booths advertising guided trips, equipment, books, and about ninety different varieties of beef jerky. To translate into terms this blog has become accustomed to, people go to Sportsmen’s Shows for the same reasons people go to comic conventions:

  • To connect with like-minded people
  • To learn about new developments in the industry
  • To spend $11.99 on a single soft pretzel because the lack of vitamin D is having its way with your good sensibilities

My personal reason for attending was that my dad was running a booth and we agreed five days in this manner was a bit much for one person. Now hear this, I knew what I was getting into. I’ve been to dozens of Sportsmen’s Shows and I spent the full 5 days in the booth last year as well.

The show is massive, friendly, and it offers a diverse amount of booths to cater to every outdoor interest. Hunting, fishing, hiking, you name it. It’s also a lot, and that’s the best way I can put it as someone who can not handle a lot. It’s a lot of sweaty people in one place looking for an excuse to tell you about that kokanee fishing trip they went on last summer.

Thousands of people attend the Sportsmen’s Show in Portland every year, but, sadly, it doesn’t mean that they all have the best experience that they can have. You know what I call that? I mean, familiar, but also – a darn shame.

Let’s fix this.

How to get the Most Out of a Sportsmen’s Show

  1. Get the map at the doorImage result for reading a map gif

What’s that? You have a great sense of direction? That’s the devil talking. How do you think you’re gonna find That One Guide’s booth again once you wander away? Ask different guides in different booths? Haha, sure you will, you awful jerk. Don’t do that. Get the map. Read the map.

Image result for gravity falls snacks thompson gif

  1. Bring snacks

To be fair, this is against the rules. On the record: don’t bring snacks. Bring $36 so you can buy three soft pretzels instead. This has been my official and legal statement.

  1. Pet the dogsImage result for petting dog ghibli gif

People don’t bring their dogs to the show because their dogs ask to come along. They bring their dogs because they love their dogs and want other people to see how lovable said dogs are. Do your civic duty and tell the dogs they’re beautiful. Ask them how they became the best dogs in the world. Share your secrets with them. Just pet the dogs.

Image result for spending money bee and puppycat gif

  1. Buy something

Bring your allowance and treat yourself. You don’t have to buy something at my booth (you should but you don’t have to). Just buy something. There are a lot of deals you won’t be able to get anywhere else, and also – did you pay entry just to window shop? Why???

  1. Watch the jokesImage result for chat noir bad joke gif

Scenario: You walk past a tasteful camouflage display.

Options: A) walk by B) ask staff about their product C) Say “Whoa, didn’t see you there!” D) literally anything except for option C.

Correct Answer: every answer that wasn’t C. Look, you won’t be the first person to tell this kind of a joke. You won’t even be the second, the third, or the ninth. You will be politely smiled at and then promptly cussed out once you walk away. For the love of humanity, keep any and all camo jokes inside your head.

bingo-card

  1. Bingo

In anticipation of spending 10 hours out of each day inside a concrete box, I created a bingo card for use at the show. You can print mine or make your own. It’s a great tool for encourage you to notice and look for specific things.

 

sportsmans-show-bingo-cards

     7. Just have a good time

Everyone is there to enjoy themselves and to meet other people who are enjoying themselves. Keep your cool when it gets crowded, take a chill pill if your favorite vendor runs out of a certain product, and strike up conversations with the people around you. Share your positive thoughts and keep your judgmental ones to yourself.

Unless your positive thought is a camo joke.

In that case, shut your dirty mouth and get right out of my face

Thanks

28 Nov

Pro Tip: Being gracious is one of the best habits you can procure.

rock fact

Here’s the thing.

My beloved and utterly adorable niece is recently two years old. She’s decided to forgo any food that’s not yogurt or cake. Her favorite hobbies include saying “play toy?” three hundred times in a row when her parents are about to fall asleep. On occasion, she’ll find a smooth stone and pull a David and Goliath with the nearest on-looker.

But let me tell you something about my niece – she will always say “please” and “thank you” right on cue, and suddenly the entire room is on its knees. 

Repetitions of “awwww” echo around the room and the person who has most recently suffered her biblical slingshot attack sits up and whispers, “so polite!”

Obviously, this does not translate directly into the language of those over the age of five, but you still get what I’m saying. People notice when you are kind. Given, common courtesy is an easily learned habit, but being gracious, especially when it’s not necessary, is so far beyond delightful.

Today is Black Friday, a day whose blood-curdling screams can be heard in the nightmares of retail workers all over.

Due to my timing, it seems like being nice to your cashiers and shelf-stockers is the obvious moral for this post, and sure, that’s important too. Customer service workers have more internalized anger than anyone I’ve ever met, and if you can’t find it in your heart to respect them, then feel free to turn it around and fear them instead.

Being gracious should be something that comes naturally to all of us in any case, not just to the dreaded customer service workers. We have a lot to be thankful for.

Yes, the world has a lot of trash going on it right now. A lot. I don’t want to downplay that. Life isn’t easy for anyone, and the difficulty scale goes from hard to dang near impossible. That is actually life. But look at this bad boy real quick.

THINGS YOU HAVE


  • A God who provides for you and is more in love with you than you can imagine
  • A mind that is capable of an infinite amount of magnificence that still needs to be enacted in the world
  • Interests and passions that are not silly, but instead make up the road map to your life calling
  • People who care about you and love you more than you think you deserve
  • That gorgeous face of yours that I know has caused a lot of smiles
  • I don’t know, do you have a dog or a cat or something? Tell it that it’s beautiful for me please
  • This generation AND HEAR ME OUT HERE I know it’s not even close to perfect, but it’s yours, you’re a piece in it, and you get a voice in how it progresses and if you don’t think that’s the tightest thing ever, then get on out of my face
  • A world of bread products, just think about it
  • Think of all the bread you are capable of producing
  • So much bread
  • And hey, if you’re gluten-intolerant, that’s cool too, you are still super duper important 

Dear friends, if you don’t have any of that, A) I don’t believe you, and B) fine then, you can still be thankful for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser, then can’t you?

(yes. yes you can.)

Thanks to all of you who stopped by.

Happy Black Friday, and happy Thanksgiving from now on!

How to Festival

18 Oct

Greetings, friends! I’m afraid you’ve caught me in my semi-annual if-it’s-not-about-OSF-don’t-talk-to-me post.

Obviously, I’ve just returned from my group trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. As you may know by now, I typically take this trip with a gathering of twenty-something high-schoolers, and it was with that group I saw the plays and attended a few activities – but for the most part, my mother and I stuck with our carpool team, my friend Gracie (the Wasp) and her parents.

The Ashland carpool teams in themselves are always an interesting study.

Every year, when our group congregates outside the Angus Bowmer theater, you can always tell which kids took cars together because a highly-caffeinated four-hour drive has a certain affect on people. They walk in sync, they say things in unison, and they basically walk around going

As Gracie was sentenced to sit next to me for the entirety of the trip, the image above is more or less an accurate photograph of us (she’s classic Dipper) ((Plus, she brought a couple of Cabin Pressure episodes to listen to. 10/10 would sit by again)

This year we enjoyed a spectacular trip, and should you consider making an Ashland trip of your own, I dearly hope it is as good as mine. The OSF experience is different for everyone, but there are some constants in the equation. I’ve recorded such constants in the below five steps that my group took and would now highly recommend.

1. See Ashland

Ashland is a gorgeous place. Simple as that. Gracie and I took many walks downtown, exploring stores we’d not seen before and trying out new restaurants, always making sure to drop in what became one of the taglines of our trip, “Oh my gosh I want to sit down so badly.” Of course there were high-energy times of the trip as well, and you could tell when one was going on, because one of us was belting out “SUITS” at two-second intervals and the other was swirling around street lights, crooning “THE WINGMAN I CAN WEAAR.” Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit is the first track on the official soundtrack of this trip.

2. Participate in the activities Ashland offers

Museums, walking tours, the Green show – Ashland won’t let you get bored. The group with which we bought tickets arranged a field trip to “Exploring Design,” a workshop led by Chris Tufts to explain how the costume designers at OSF use symbolism and character studies to decide on the best possible costumes. During the group activity, my team got so into the spirit of things that we very nearly dressed The Tempest‘s Caliban in Steampunk Darth Maul regalia. In any case, I expect a job offer with the festival within the month.

3. Meet the people

When you separate from your group of peers, you are freed up to meet more of the fascinating Ashland locals. Of course everyone has different ways of getting connected. Some people may strike up a conversation with their neighbors in the audience of the plays they see. Others might greet the people enjoying beautiful Lithia Park. My personal strategies included holding eye contact with the SOU students wearing fandom t-shirts and talking loudly to the Wasp about the Festival in the presence of OSF actors who were trying to get errands done in peace. What’s that? Passive socializing is not for you? Then may I recommend seeing Into the Woods and waving so hard at orchestra musicians onstage that you nearly lift off your seat?

(My row and the trumpet section really bonded. We’re going for coffee next week.)

4. Enjoy the plays

Obviously the plays are a must. The people at OSF know what they’re doing, and each play is a masterpiece. This season I saw The Cocoanuts, The Tempest, Into the Woods, and A Wrinkle in Time, though I would have loved to see more. They were all astounding in their own ways, from the ingenuity of the stage design in the Tempest, to the frankly ridiculous amount of fun the cast of the Cocoanuts was obviously having. There are tips to enjoying it as much as possible. Before A Wrinkle in Time, I read a chapter of the original work out loud to my seat buddy, and I finished the Tempest shortly before making the trip. Pre-show preparation can only do so much when the play is actively going on however, so my most certain suggestion is that you sit next to someone you may punch in the arm mercilessly, should the mood take you.

Sorry, Gracie. But I’m pretty sure we were even on that front, right?

5. Be a good audience

I love a lot of things about live theatre, but one of the main things has to be that it’s one of the few story-telling outlets where overt, unbridled enthusiasm is encouraged. Actors don’t want to play in front of a room of people half-asleep. They want to know you’re there. And considering that my one true gift is enthusiastic response, there’s no question as to why OSF is my happy place. Every audience I was a part of was excellent – it’s hard not to be responsive in Ashland. Like I said, they know what they’re doing.

When we went in to see A Wrinkle in Time, Gracie even started a small-scale round of applause for Calvin’s impressive basketball-twirling, and the actor went on to do that move for far, far longer than he had when I’d seen this play before.

Encouragement! Try it today!

At the Q&A session after the play, the darling who played Mrs. Who bounced in and said that the whole cast had asked her to tell us that we’d been a wonderful audience.

And don’t fret, Gracie and I went ahead and took way more credit than we probably should have.

The morning after I arrived home, I awoke with a cough that announced itself as the incarnation of the last four days having been spent alternately singing at the top of my lungs and scream-shouting “WHY A DUCK,” “YOU’VE GOT DREAMBOAT EYES,” and”AGONYYY” at every shadow of an opportunity.

If anything is a sign that a trip went well, that’s got to be it.

All by following five easy steps!

Shiny and New You

2 Jan

There are a lot of reasons to be happy about this time of the year.

  • 2014 still feels shiny and new
  • No more Christmas-flavored hallmark movie puke
  • The Doctor Who Christmas special was ripped off like a bandaid
  • Everyone is still upholding their respective New Year resolutions
  • “New year, new me” is still a viable excuse for everything

For real.

“Why haven’t you cleaned this room since December?”

“New year, new me.”

“Why haven’t you made any progress in your life plans?”

“New year, new me.”

“Why are you eating fish fingers in custard and pasting pictures of Matt Smith all over our ceiling?”

“New year, new me.”

And of course, another nice thing about holidays is that they give you an immediate small-talk option. No matter how much you dislike this cheap form of conversation, I’ve noticed that to function as a human being, you have to have some grasp of how it works.

Thankfully for everyone who is as bad at small-talk as I am, the next couple of days are ready to go, because not only do we have a cookie-cutter question for conversation lulls, but also an inquiry that we’re sure to be asked to be asked in return – so start practicing your responses now!

(insert any quip about social anxiety, if you like)

Here you go:

“Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?”

I’m sure you’ve already indulged in this brand of conversation fodder already,but if you’re as tenacious as I know you are capable of being (and have enough different people to ask), you can probably still stretch it out for at least three more days.

And of course, remember to have your own answer(s) ready. If you can’t think of one, I recommend logging into facebook for a second and picking any one of the dozens of internet people who have already given you their resolutions completely unsolicited.

That’s what friends are for.

Throw in a couple of your own, of course. You set those goals. Shoot for the moon, right? Or, as I read it the other day,

“Don’t shoot for the moon. Shoot to beat the spread by the thinnest of margins.”

Not ambitious, but realistic, I suppose.

Everyone talks about setting “realistic” resolutions.

I hate that word, “realistic.” There are far too many times when it has been used to crush the desire to do something fantastical like “slay a dragon,” “build a spaceship,” or “stop procrastinating.” It’s such Phineas and Ferb-esque dreams that fuel greatness, and they are quickly repressed by the iron-clad and wholly uninteresting word, “realistic.”

Perhaps this is just me, but I’ve noticed that when I buckle down and make the decision to set realistic resolutions, my standards for myself drop down to Hobbit stature immediately. I go from writing my ambitious resolutions in calligraphy to trying to be realistic and I start scribbling things like “don’t die as a result of poor driving of a stick-shift” or “update blog a minimum of once per week month year.”

“Realistic” can have the power to round everything to the lowest common denominator. Just remember that there is a difference between “realistic” and “commonplace,” and you don’t want to blur that line. Nothing is really impossible.

If everything is possible, then “realistic” holds no power over you.

So do it.

Slay a dragon. Build a spaceship. Stop procrastinating. There’s a whole lot of stuff to do before 2015 starts next January, and you can do it all.

And if anyone questions you, you know what to do.

“New year, new me.”

The Christmas Music Guide for the Successful Playlister

13 Dec

It’s Christmastime.

There’s no getting around it now. Gone are the voices of the men and women who cry, “Christmas comes earlier every year!” They have been replaced by the voices of the Salvation Army Santas, of joyful children and their 100-percent-over-it parents, and, of course, the voices of those on the radio, turning out those same Christmas songs you’ve been listening to annually for the past nine hundred years.

Merry Christmas!

This is my favorite holiday, and as such as it is the celebration of our Savior’s birth, the only time I can wear red and green together, and in this year’s case, a farewell to the Eleventh Doctor, I think it deserves proper treatment.

This includes proper music.

It’s quite likely that at some point in your life, if not this very year, you’ve endeavored to put together a Christmas playlist, be it for your holiday dinner, for driving in the car, or for stringing up lights. Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of songs and some well-known(ish) facts about them to help you decide:

Is this song right for my Christmas playlist?

  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

This one could be tricky. How far into the Christmas season is it? If it is late December, chances are good that this song has been played enough times to make its listeners briefly consider verbally abusing whoever is responsible for the song being played. On the other hand, it is so traditional at this point that you will be safe if you put it on a playlist. Just once or twice, though, unless hostility is what you’re going for.

  • Santa Baby

Santa Baby is like the Donna Noble of Christmas music. By and large, you either hate it or love it. Unlike Donna Noble, however, this song is absolute trash (especially the later you go into December) and should only be played if you plan to make fun of it mercilessly.

  • Ave Maria

Good choice, especially if you’re holding a Christmas-themed tea party for dignified lords and ladies. No one really dislikes this song, and if performed by the right artist (Josh Groban), can get just about everyone in the festive mood to close their eyes and sway.

  • Christmas Shoes

Nope.

  • Let It Snow

Classic. Go ahead and put that one near the top of your playlist, to make sure everyone listening is aware that the weather outside is, indeed, frightful (It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or not where you are – it’s the mindset that counts). It is also such an easy song to quote or put other lyrics to that parody opportunities are limitless. If you have cheeky old man relatives who think they’re cute when they say “The weather outside is delightful/but the Christmas dinner is frightful” or something like that, then this song is even more perfect for your needs.

  • Anything Sung by Chipmunks

If you are between the ages of three and nine, then sure, go all out.

  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Dangerous ground, my friend. There have been countless renditions of this bad boy of a Christmas carol, and it’s safe to say that about ninety-seven percent of them are sung by eighty-year-old men and their nineteen-year-old gold-digger girlfriends. If you can find a truly well-done version, then absolutely put it on your playlist. It’s way too fun to sing along to to be completely excluded. However, if you cannot find a decent version and you’re thinking about settling for one of the more legitimately worrying ones, I advise you not to unless your company has a good sense of humor and/or gold-digger girlfriends.

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Of course! Do you like Christmas spirit (with a twinge of bullying and conditional friendship squeezed in)? Go for it.

Christmas only comes once a year, you guys, so make sure to flavor it with proper tunage. Good luck on your playlisting.

What Christmas songs are your favorite?

Have a Brilliant Day

6 Oct

I realize that sometimes people wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I want to make sure that that never happens to you people. I am not going to be posting for a while, so I’m here today to look out for your future.

Here are the steps to having a brilliant day.

Wake up. Realize that you have not been murdered in your sleep. Congratulations!

Look in the mirror. Recognize that you are a rare and fantastic unicorn of a person.

Wink at self. Self will appreciate it.

Wear your favorite outfit. If your favorite outfit is dirty, unavailable, or non-existent, then dress like a Time Lord.

Carry on with normal day-to-day activities, stopping frequently for dance breaks.

Behave yourself as if you are auditioning to be a Disney princess (thus dance breaks – and you may need to take singing breaks as well).

If someone around does something not Disney-princess-worthy, move on and make a Jim face to the imaginary cameras (unless you have real ones at your disposal).

Be gracious, and let your loved ones know you care about them by likening them to Jedis or Totoros.

Acquire glow-in-the-dark stars for your bedroom ceiling (Don’t tell me you’re too old for that. You’re not.) and stare at them as you fall asleep.

Repeat.

Time for Some Thrilling Heroics

27 Aug

Heroes stand up for what is right.

They respect themselves.

They respect others.

They respect the law.

They even respect the lawmakers (occasionally).

However, if your personality makes these things less than convenient for you (i.e., you’re a bit of a dirtbag), then there are other options.

At the present time, it is socially acceptable to be a borderline scummy superhero. Many mainstream heroes have given us very comprehensive tutorials for balancing your desire to help others with your desire to sass the entire population of earth.

Take Tony Stark, for example. If you are a young person (preferably a genius) who has a lot to offer, you can easily make sure no one forgets you. And when I say you “have a lot to offer,” I mean that you “have a lot.” That’s right. If you’re filthy stinking rich, the whole ballgame gets a lot more simple (also shown by Batman).

Being rich, entitled, and impervious to good influences also frees you up to feed your diva tendencies. Do something your underlings would expect rich entitled people to do, like build an enormous building with your name on it, or purchase expensive, massive stuffed animals for your loved ones (or loved one, as the case may be).

Admittedly, those ideas are a little overboard, but you catch my drift.

I understand that not everyone is a billionaire, so another hero you can take a cue from is Wolverine. He went from being an irritable assassin with alcohol and authority problems to an irritable X-man with alcohol and authority problems. The only change he really had to make at the beginning of his career was to kill a couple fewer people per day than normal.

If you don’t have the homicidal urges necessary to be a convincing Wolverine, nor the finances to be an Iron Man, you might want to look into the Thing. In this unique bracket, you can be the standard, upstanding hero, with the slight difference that you’re perpetually grumpy, kind of hate everything, and your given dialogue seems to be largely written by a seven-year-old boy with questionable examples of masculinity in his life.

But maybe being a dual dirtbag/superhero is not for you?

If you would rather be a terrible person before you go about your heroics, to get it all out of your system, you’re not alone. Many heroes have done it this way.

Thor Odinson is a good case to look at.

This shining example of a hero very nearly started a war between his kingdom and that of Jotunheim before he realized he was being a moronic egomaniac.

So can you!

You could even pull a Sylar and spend three and a half seasons years giving gory head lacerations to everyone within reach and then suddenly and inexplicably turn into someone you’d invite to your daughter’s baptism.

You have options.

See, In fiction, we do love our damaged superheroes, but as our world is currently non-fiction, we have a surplus of damage and a less-than-optimal amount of superheroes.  What’s up with that?

he·ro

ˈhi(ə)rō

noun
 a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

This description is in no way exclusive to people with psychopathic tendencies, so please don’t be discouraged if you aren’t as much of a jerk as the heroes I’ve listed in this post.

After all, the world needs more heroes, and far, far fewer dirtbags.

#Hashtag

18 Jul

“I find,” Clent murmured after a pause, “that it is best to treat borrowed time the same way as borrowed money. Spend it with panache, and try to be somewhere else when it runs out.” ~Eponymous Clent

I absolutely love this quote from Fly by Night by Francis Hardinge. And, fun fact if you’re interested in languages: this quote translates into modern English as “YOLO.”

In case you have been living in the mountains for the past few years, YOLO stands for “You Only Live Once,” and it has become the hashtag for doing stupid things. (No, mountain person, I’m not going to explain hashtags to you. Figure that one out yourself.)

The thinking behind this is that we are young, and we have one life, so… we should make bad decisions?

… For the sake of telling interesting stories later?

Mmmmokay.

That’s not what it should mean.

Speaking as a teenager, I know for a fact that one of the things we hate the most is being treated like children. But if we act like children, then why shouldn’t we be treated as such? If we want to spend so much time asserting our youth with childish actions, then we kind of deserve the down-talk our generation gets.

I’m not talking “acting like children” when we go see Monsters Univeristy in theaters (no judgment, I did that the other day) or when we blow bubbles in public (even less than no judgment) or when we read kids’ lit just to feel like a nine-year-old again (one of the best things you can do). I’m talking about a lack of foresight. I’m talking about doing things without a thought of others or for the consequences; I’m talking about doing things for the sake of mere rebellion.

Child-like innocence is lovely, child-like joy is radiant, and child-like wonder is magical. Child-like reasoning is something no one desires.

One of my favorite scripture verses is 1st Timothy 4:12, which says,

” Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

Let no one look down on you because you are young; but first, what I need to remember is to not give people a reason to look down on me because I am young.

Because, lesbihonest: #YOLO is not a bad thing.

YOLO is a good reason to live intentionally, to do good, and to have fun.

However, YOLO is not a good reason to act like a moron.

To quote Bill Copeland,

“How strange to use ‘You only live once’ as an excuse to throw it away.”

YOLO is a reminder to make the most of your life, and neither YOLO nore youth is an excuse to do thoughtless things. Or, at least, they’re not good ones.

Youth is given to us as an on-ramp to being adults, and if we’re not speeding up properly, we’re gonna get run over when we hit the parkway. It’s gonna be a mess, and we’re gonna back up traffic for hours, and everyone who has to take a detour is going to grumble and curse our names as they attempt to maneuver a new route. They’ll probably be late for dinner because of us. That’s not something anyone wants on their conscience.

That metaphor ran away with me.

Sorry about that.

Let me try again.

*clears throat*

You Only Live Once.

And my greatest wish is that none of us be remembered as the person who didn’t care about it.

Using Awkward as Warfare

5 Jun

I am good at awkward.

True, this is not something that is commonly listed as a skill, but when you know how to use it, it most definitely is. Awkward is generally thought of as something that is good for nothing. Wrong. It’s the solution to a problem that has haunted mankind for ages: unwanted conversation. How to avoid it?

Many people try to solve this uncomfortable situation with courtesy, and quickly discover it only encourages. Using passive aggression may inspire the annoying person to try harder to annoy you (and it also makes you seem mean), and if you just ignore a person, it’s entirely possible that the ignoree will keep trying. However, if you use awkward to flounder the person into a stupor, you can kiss their unwanted company goodbye (in fact, if you insist on actually kissing them goodbye as they try to leave, it will be seventeen times more effective).

If you’re not naturally talented in the awkward department, I have some tips for you. It may take some practice, but it won’t be long before you can awkward yourself out of any situation.

[Disclaimer: if you become so good at these that you alienate everyone around you, I refuse to be held responsible]

  • Avoid eye contact. Look at their forehead instead. Act as if it is the most beautiful thing you have ever gazed upon.
  • Lick your lips deliberately. If you do it right, they’ll think they have something on their face and get so distracted trying to remove it that they won’t even notice you’re slowly backing away.
  • Don’t hear anything they say. Make them repeat nearly every thing that comes out of their mouth, forcing them to hear twice how aggravating the conversation is for you.
  • Stare. Don’t blink. If you combine this with the forehead-watching, the person to be avoided will probably run away before you have to.
  • Don’t get their jokes. Make them explain to you, in the most painstaking way possible, why they are funny.
  • Make references to things they don’t understand. Lie down on the floor and say you’re good at mermaid dancing (it’s a lot of floor work). Tell them you’re a high-functioning sociopath (“Do your research.”). Ask them whose side they take in the Marvel Civil War: Iron Man or Captain America? (If they answer, make them explain why) Compliment them on a clothing accessory and refer to it as cool. Then proceed to wiggle your eyebrows.

However, Awkward as Warfare is not without flaws, one being that if you use the last listed option and the other person understands the reference, you’ve just made a best friend, whether you like it or not. And please, don’t use these tips lightly. Remember: you will look weird. That’s the whole point. If you don’t have to use these methods, then don’t. Don’t use this veritable Mjolnir of information to squash a fruit fly.

I’ve entrusted you with great power.

(insert quip about responsibility)

Make me proud.

[Disclaimer part two: If you know me personally, and you’re worried I’ve used one of these on you – I haven’t. I’m very selective about who I use them on. So don’t worry. I’m just awkward.]

A Study in Boredom

6 May

You know the feeling. It starts when you begin to feel trapped. Somehow, you’re unable to do something you want to do, or maybe there’s nothing you want to do. If you’re a writer, it feels like a much broader version of writer’s block – nothing going on in your head is working for you.

Dull. Uninteresting. Unsatisfying. Boring. And somehow, being bored is never quite as glamorous as the gentleman above makes it look.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was younger, I would march out to my mom to complain about my crippling boredom, and I would promptly be assigned a chore to do. It made me wonder whether Mom was purposefully not entertaining me in order to bore me into a trap. (It’s not a bad idea, actually)

The chores did not help, but the long minutes of resentfully stuffing silverware into the kitchen drawers did set in my mind that I had better figure out how to entertain myself in the future. But when you think about it, that’s what everyone is trying to do, isn’t it? The worst thing about boredom is a feeling of uselessness. You’re not doing anything, not accomplishing anything. A desire for purpose is what pushes every man and woman towards greatness, even if that purpose is simply to make others aware of theirs, or to rid them of the boredom you are currently fleeing.

Boredom can be useful, even beneficial, so long as it inspires you to drag yourself out of it. Don’t get me wrong – I understand that inactivity can be unspeakably glorious at times. But people were not created to do nothing all the time.

And when we say that there’s nothing we can do, or even worse, nothing to do – Stop.

Come on.

Don’t be an old sponge with hair hanging off of it. [Gus]

If you’re reading this, then you’re on the internet. The internet is full of things you don’t know or haven’t seen. Go on and find one.

Now look around you. It’s even better than the internet out there. There are far more things unknown, sights unseen, feelings unfelt, and songs unsung.

“This is one corner of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying, and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see.”

~ The Doctor

The strength of your boredom has nothing on the strength of the things that there are to pull you out of your boredom.

You’ll still be bored at some point. But remember, after you’re through with that, then use boredom against itself. Turn it on its head and use it to inspire you to do something you love or to help you love others.

Be a victor.