Ep.101 – We’re Back! Oh, what a difference a year makes.

If only I had more logos to put on this background!

http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep101_MHMG.mp3

It’s been a whole year since we Mating Habit-ed, but never fear! The show is basically the same as before: We ramble on about geeky things and useless facts well into the first hour, and casually discuss random dating topics eventually. I even fix The Business, LLC’s mic 50 minutes into the recording, so what better way to assure you that we’re still the same lovable, ASMR-style whispering goofballs that you remember from years past!

The show is going to go monthly, and possibly change format multiple times before I make up my mind about how I’d like it to go – much like my real-life dating habits – so please bear with.

Happy to be back with you again, and excited about the future!!

Ep.100 – The World’s End: No really, it’s the fucking apocalypse.

finmhmg

http://traffic.libsyn.com/matinghabitsofthemoderngeek/Ep100_MHMG.mp3

This is it! Episode 100 – the final regularly scheduled episode of Mating Habits of the Modern Geek.

It’s a full house when Em, Andrew Bartlett, Paris, The Business, LLC and Sean Ryan join me to give the show a proper send off. It’s loud, chaotic, the cold open is too long, and as per usual, we barely mention dating – you know, a pretty standard show.

We do all flip a collective table over the probable end of Western Civilization.

As always, we owe everything to the folks who subscribe and listen to the show.

It has been an absolute pleasure, and hope to see you over on State of the Geek, We Don’t STOP for Chests, Colin!, or any of the other half dozen shows I’ll be on.

Please stay subscribed to make sure you don’t miss out on new sporadic Mating Habits Episodes that will be popping up from time to time.

Thank you – Kelley

Table-Flip Tuesday: Andrew’s “Do-Not-Be’s”

such rage, much fury

such rage, much fury

I thought I’d take a break from the four-page-long thesis-style format I’ve established for “Table-Flip Tuesdays” up to this point; instead, what I have for you lovely geeks, this go-round, is a list I have compiled, which I just decided to start referring to as my “Do-Not-Be’s”.

Spoiler alert: this is a list of traits, characteristics, and just plain people I feel you, well, should not be. Why? Because these traits, characteristics, and just plain people irritate the crap out of me. (Hence the “Table-Flip Tuesday” outlet.)

Pay close attention. Take note, if needs be. And, above all else, if you find that you happen to be one of these things listed below: Don’t.

[Note: For sake of consistency, “that guy who…” will be in reference to everybody and anybody. It’s not sexist exclusion; even if you’re a female who fits one of these points, you’re still “that guy who…”]

DO NOT BE…

… that guy who says “Can I ask you a question?”

… that guy who fast-forwards/skips the opening title sequence of Doctor Who.

… that guy who thinks I’ll be impressed by the figurines of nearly-nude versions of female superheroes you have, lining the walls of your house.

… that guy who hums/whistles along to a song in your head, while another song is playing over public speakers, at the same time.

… that guy who comments on my Vines, but never likes them.

… that guy who pronounces it “heighdth”.

… that guy who uses the “shave-and-a-haircut” cadence when knocking on a stranger’s door.

… that guy whose Twitter profile is set to automatically follow another user, based on a recent like, only to unfollow said other user until the next time said other user likes another post.

… that guy who’s the opposite of Batman.

… that guy who was okay with the Dexter series finale.

… that guy who intends to heat dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in the oven, only to get drunk after putting said dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in said oven and then pass out, leaving it up to your roommate to come home to a smoke-hazed house, finding the culprit being said dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, which have now become dinosaur-shaped charcoal briquettes.

… that guy who vapes for the sole purpose of being able to say “I’m not smoking” when told the vapors are bother those around you.

… that guy who sticks out your tongue while using the dog-face SnapChat filter, even though it clearly instructs you to “Open Your Mouth”.

… that guy who constantly asks for favors and punctuates the query by saying, “No pressure.”

… that guy who holds up pedestrian traffic, just so you can practice your “jump-shot”.

… that guy who says, “I guess that means it’s free!” (followed, in most cases, by inane guffawing)

… that guy who goes to pick up someone from their place of apartmental residence and, instead of parking in an actual parking spot, sits in the thoroughfare, blocking the vehicles of the neighbors of said someone you are picking up from their place of apartmental residence.

… that guy who affects a terrible English accent while at work, forcing it not only upon your coworkers but also on the clientele.

… that guy who gives me crap about actually enjoying Man of Steel.

… that guy who leaves those annoying postcards advertising the latest and greatest new-age religious thing under people’s windshield wipers; or on any part of their vehicle, for that matter.

… Ted Mosby.

Alright! I think that’s a good list for now. Don’t think this is a finite listing – oh, no! This is just a healthy smattering of those irritating traits, characteristics, and just plain people who irritate the crap out of me; some on a daily basis, while others on a purely, sadistic nostalgic front. In time, just you wait, there just might be a “Part II” of this list. Until then, however…

#tableflipped

Table-Flip Tuesday: Social Media “Dear John”s

such rage, much fury

such rage, much fury

Do you follow me on Vine? If you don’t, I strongly, fervently recommend you remedy that – by first downloading the app onto your mobile device, then once your profile is set up and everything, searching for “M3JCNV” and hitting that “Follow” button. (And, if it needs to be further instructed, scroll through the profile, and hit the button containing the heart icon whenever it strikes your fancy.)

What you’ll find, with enough scrolling, is an amalgam of content: over four thousand six-second posts that range from funny to artsy to slice-of-life nonsense. Most of my posts gear toward the art of wordplay, which are somewhat cataloged under the #MuhthridgePunFun tag. There are also fun tags, such as:

#FelinaKatz (in which I don a yellow wig, red glasses, and affect my best Lumpy Space Princess impression);
#MuhthridgeTheSexy (a series of posts which somehow includes the sexy saxophone bit from “Careless Whisper”);
#MuhthridgeAdVentingCalendar (you’ll just have to check out the tag in order to fully appreciate the time and effort taken to produce such quality posts);
#MuhthridgeTalksToHimself (in which I do);
#MuhthridgeIsntEvenTrying (in which I’m really not).

So why the random, shameless plug for followers?

Firstly, the shameless plug isn’t so “random”. In fact, this whole “Table-Flip Tuesday” idea has been a means with which to extend my reach through social media, by latching onto a friend’s slightly more successful brand and creating content for it that would, as it so happens, feature my face, name, contact information, and other such methods of desperately trying to attain more attention and notoriety. For what it’s worth, all plugs are shameless – especially the ones that will just go into any old socket. (Which, as it so happens, is one of the posts you’ll find under the #MuhthridgePunFun tag. Tell your friends.)

Secondly (and, oddly enough, also primarily), I wanted to illustrate that what you’ll find when browsing through my profile is, in a word: content. It’s why I have so many tags, with which to catalog some of my more-endearing posts. Hell, it’s why I have a Vine profile, in the first place – to help sift through the deluge of ideas that occur to me on a daily basis; most of which, as it so happens, can be wrapped up in a six-second video clip.

I’ve waxed poetic, to an extent, on several forums – be they podcast, written out, or Vine itself, to name a few – about the multifaceted nature of this seemingly-simple application of social media… so I won’t get too wordy about it, here. Suffice it to say, however, that the versatility of Vine itself lends to the multiple ways in which it can be used; to the point where you, a wordplay magician, might use the app for comedic purposes, while your next-door neighbor, an avid Trump-supporter, might use the app for something one can loosely refer to as a “soapbox”. Many use the app to record their daily doings, others use it to assuage their need for attention.

Are any of these applications of the application itself wrong, when it comes right down to it? To be absolutely fair, providing said applications aren’t done in a fit or an attempt of causing harm to anyone (including the person applying said application), the answer is, quite simply: no.

Don’t get me wrong, though; there’s some screwed up monkey business going on within this subject, or else there wouldn’t be a “Table-Flip Tuesday” about it. And even as I typed out the above paragraph, it frustrated me greatly to apply said fairness – especially when, quite truthfully, I can think of several “personalities” (there I go, being all fair and shit…) I would like to see, whose profiles and followings seem to just fade into the ether. But, you know: in order to have you, dear reader, side with my argument and feel my deep-seeded irritation with this subject, I have to endear you to the cause somehow. And so… fairness: applied.

In my writing this out, I’m trying really hard to not turn this into a kind of “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for social media; and especially Vine” essay/memoir/dissertation of sorts… So I’ll just leave that previous sentence as statement enough, in that regard.

What irritates me about social media, and especially Vine, is this ego-inflating instant gratification we receive whenever we make a contribution of any kind to social media as a whole…

Post a moderately-filtered picture of brunch, get twenty likes in the span of a few hours, and you’re a somebody.
Post an insightful diatribe on Facebook, get several likes and corresponding comments in said same span of a few hours, and you’re a guru of the subject at hand.
Post a well-timed six-second video of yourself as multiple characters, get several like, corresponding comments, and even more shares onto other profiles, and you should have your own sketch-comedy show on Comedy Central, sponsored by Key & Peele.

They like you, they really like you! And that’s all well and good… as long as you don’t take advantage of those who are constantly and consistently there to show support for the content you create, whether through simple likes or actual communication through comments or direct messages. It’s easy to misplace the idea that, just as you are putting yourself out there, possibly in the hopes of having at least one person show solidarity in what you’ve put out there, those people showing that support you’re looking for are also looking for solidarity; and the last thing you should ever want to do, as a well-minded and considerate social media contributor, is take egregious advantage of that person.

Unfortunately, though, this ends up happening; and far too often in the form of, what I refer to as, “Social Media ‘Dear John’s”. These are the posts that you see, from time to time, where somebody ultimately commits to text, audio, or video, a message something akin to:

My friends – I hate to say it, but I need to no longer use this method of social media, if not all social media entirely. It has been fun, but I must move on… to other things going on in my life. I will never forget the fun times we had. I love you all. Xoxoxo

The reason why I refer to these as “Dear John”s and not “Social Media Suicide Notes” is twofold: 1) the latter is distasteful, and 2) these messages are more of a means of attaining some bitter upper-hand, before anyone else can get to it first.

Oh, don’t look at me like that. With messages like the one illustrated above, it’s more about the presentation and the reality of the thing than it is about possibly connecting with a group of people who might, for some weird reason, somehow miss your “I wrote a book by typing out stories written by other people” showboating or your punch-you-in-the-face-with-obvious delivery of puns. There’s no gratification from posting nothing, no reward from simply stepping back and letting someone else take the metaphorical spotlight. In short, it’s that presentation of “It’s not you, it’s me”, when it’s quite obviously you, all along; in this sense, the message is being presented because you haven’t liked enough of this person’s posts, haven’t commented with enough Na-mojis, haven’t spat fire and pissed venom to their cause in the past twenty-four hours.

That’s why it’s a “Dear John”. And that’s why I have a problem with it.

I could go on and on about trying to psychoanalyze and pick apart the nuances of messages of this nature. It’s nothing short of toying and manipulating the feelings and emotions of the people who have, quite foolishly if I’m being honest, entrusted you to be some sort of staple on their daily doings. They live vicariously through you, the social media “personality” that you present anyway, and now you’ve decided to take it away by leaving altogether – and in such a sudden and unexpected way. And so, because the vast majority loathes change, this audience of yours reacts, responds, and tries ever-so hard to get you to change your mind.

To be quite honest: it’s damn-near abusive, if you ask me. Which is the point, when it’s all said and done. For many (namely the ones who inspired this piece, in the first place) it’s a recurring thing. It’s that old SNL joke about Ross Perot, back in the day – claiming he was going to quit, then at the last minute staying in the race: “I quit!… Well, now I’m back. I quit!… And now I’m back.” And the unfortunate thing is that this becomes such a norm that it’s almost Pavlovian in its execution – to the point where those affected by it, who clamor at their keyboards and beg for the person “leaving” to change their mind, see no problem in this treatment.

This subject inspired me to make it an official “Table-Flip Tuesday” post. In the process of writing out the first few paragraphs, I ran out of steam for the long-hand presentation; however, I still had a bit left to post a series of Tweets, as a means of keeping up some motivation for this post, while figuring out how best to express what I was truly feeling in my wanting to flip a table over this particular subject.

The problem with “Dear John” posts – of any kind, of any presentation – is they make it glaringly obvious that social media has failed you, and vice versa. Social media can be defined within itself, as a means of being social through the media provided. It’s meant to be a gateway, not a means of residence; your way of finding like-minded individuals who might share in your passion or your ideas over a certain thing. While you might have over two thousand people who share a blanket-liking of what you post and present, only a fraction of those people will take a deeper, closer look and cultivate something meaningful with you – not just as the person who posted the thing about liking cats, but as a person using the application to make a connection (more than likely with someone who also likes cats).

If social media has done its job, you will have found your connections and will have found other means of solidifying and retaining those connections. Many of the strong connections and friendships I have today are because of Vine; however, these days we seldom use Vine as a means of maintaining connection – we text, we video-chat, and we even have lunch dates, whenever they’re in town! Our lives are much more than the social media application that brought us together, and if said application is brought up in conversation, it’s a passing thing.

As it should be… like gallstones and that “Introduction to C++” course you took in high school.

#tableflipped

Table-Flip Tuesday: The Donna Noble Stigma

such rage, much fury

such rage, much fury

Author’s Note: This one’s for the Whovians.

Arthur’s Note: To any teechurs who have Arthur in there class today, Arthur has an upset stumack and is to not do any homewerk for about a week becuz of his upset stumack. Thank you, Arthur’s mum

Never ask me to list the modern Doctor Who companions in a “favorite-to-least-favorite” ranking. I only say this because when I put Martha Jones in that last slot, it’s automatically assumed that I hate her, I’m a racist, and I think she should be thrown into the Medusa Cascade after having sat through a ten-and-a-half-hour Judoon poetry session.

None of this is true, of course, as despite where I would rank Martha, I honestly feel that she was a brilliant companion and got shit done. However, when up against the others – Rose, Donna, Amy, Rory, and Clara – Martha is left having drawn the shortest of straws; with a three-way tie for first between Rose, Amy, and Clara. (Hm… should’ve chose my wording better… I’m gonna need a minute…)

But why am I talking companions? Well, being a Whovian – as I very specifically stated this specific table-flip was directed toward – you would already know that this past Saturday [23 April 2016, for you archaeologists reading this from the future] was a landmark in the Whoniverse, as the newest companion was announced.

In a special two-minute clip, we see the Twelfth Doctor (played by the fantastic Peter Capaldi) running through corridors to evade a horde of Daleks, accompanied by a young woman with a shock of black hair, bright eyes, a Prince T-shirt, and mint trainers. They turn a corner and hide so that the Doctor can assess the situation; in the meantime, this newcomer to the Whoniverse is making assessments of her own: “They’re fat, they can’t get through the door.” She proceeds to perform a version of verbal ping-pong with the Doctor, in a fashion we’ve not witnessed since… well, we’ll get to that, shortly.

The clip ends with the two further evading the Daleks, but ultimately finding themselves trapped and surrounded by Daleks (oh!, but not before a classic “We have to get… back to the future!” delivery). As the video slows down, our two heroes turn to face the camera, and text on the screen excitedly proclaims: Introducing Pearl Mackie… as Bill!

I am constantly finding myself both grateful and excited to be a part of this fandom, if I’m being honest. I mean, here is a show that has gathered such a following over its fifty-plus years that when announcing a single new character to its roster, has fans sitting, with ferocious dedication, through a professional sports match simply to see the highly-anticipated, two-minute-long clip making said announcement. Now me, I didn’t sit through a sports match, but I did spent thirty minutes on Twitter, refreshing the page every thirty seconds in hopes one of the several nerd accounts I follow would post a link to the video and I would soon be in the know.

It brings to mind a similar situation, back when they officially announced that Peter Capaldi was going to be taking over the coveted and sacred role as the Doctor. I had to work, the day of the announcement, and I had taken pains to contact friends who were just as excited as I was about it, persuading them to text me the moment the announcement was made. To their credit, they followed through and almost at the same time, my phone blew up with messages from my Whovian friends, as ecstatic as I was that Capaldi was going to be the rebellious Gallifreyan.

That same excitement was with me as I watched the announcement clip three times in a row. I could see why Mackie was chosen, based on the dialogue she had against Capaldi’s Doctor, and I’m thoroughly intrigued as to how her character fits in with the rest of the Doctor Who canon.

Now, to the Whovian fandom’s credit, a majority of comments I’ve seen regarding Mackie’s casting and the little bit of her character we saw in the clip have been positive and welcoming of the new companion. However, there are those particular comments, here and there, which reek of “Troll! In the dungeon!” and make every attempt to poo-poo on the excitement of this casting call and the direction in which it looks they are taking the character. Most of the comments I’ve seen have accused the characterization to be ripped from the pages of the “Donna Noble era”; an era in which it seems a solid line is drawn within the Whovian fanbase.

In the almost-decade of which I’ve been a Whovian, I find myself no longer surprised when people tell me, sparing no part of their vernacular to cause, how much they absolutely abhor the character of Donna Noble. That being said, I also no longer find myself surprised when said people are no longer on my friends list and [original text removed to protect the innocence of the author – honest, we don’t know where those new speed bumps came from or how they got there so fast or why they make a sound like muffled screaming when driven over; we blame the government with tax-related excuses and budgetary blah-dee-bloop].

To be fair, I can almost understand why Donna Noble doesn’t strike a particularly positive chord with a section of the Whovian fanbase: she doesn’t immediately get suckered into joining the Doctor on rollicking adventures in the TARDIS after first meeting him, she doesn’t particularly ask his permission to come with him when she does decide she wants to see the rest of the universe, and she doesn’t take any of that old-fashioned guff from him. Ultimately, Donna Noble doesn’t cast any kind of romantic expectations on the Doctor – to the point where, ironically enough, the two are assumed to be an old married couple. (Not for nothing, but if you ever want to hear a fun fan-theory I have as to why they’re assumed as “related”, hit me up on Twitter [@m3jcnv] or on the Gmail [ezonthamel@gmail.com].)

Oh, and in case it didn’t translate through the text, the beginning of that previous paragraph was meant to be just oozing in sarcasm. Why? Because, to be absolutely fair, I expect Donna Noble to be such an unloved companion by some, due to the fact that at its very core: she doesn’t need the Doctor. From a fan point of view, the role of the companion is to be that gateway character, the one with which the audience can immediately identify – why d’you think they’ve pretty much all been human since the 2005 resurgence? It’s fun, as a fan, to put yourself in the metaphorical shoes of the time-traveling alien’s traveling companion; sure, you can try to put yourself in the trainers of said time-traveling alien, but even with the changing face, there’s still a kind of finite set of parameters into which you can fit the role. With the idea of being a companion, the fan can see themselves as how they are in reality, or better yet: how they wished they would be in this world of fantasy. They could be a version of Rose Tyler, working in a shop until one day a man from the stars tells them to “Run!” shortly before said shop gets destroyed in an explosion; or they could be a version of Amelia Pond, whose imaginary friend from childhood comes back when they’re older and takes them on adventures talked about all those years prior. There’s a kind of romantic need for adventure, to allow a stranger the opportunity to whisk you away and take you places you could never imagine.

Truth be told, while it does sound romantic, it also sounds incredibly lazy. But Donna Noble… well, she was completely content with the way her life was going when the TARDIS accidentally latched onto the Huon particles in her system, transported her onto the TARDIS, and as such crash-landed her into the Doctor’s world. Instead of the starry eyes of a Rose Tyler or Martha Jones, Donna’s eyes seethed with contempt and inconvenience. It was her wedding day, and she didn’t have time for any other adventures, thankyouverylittle. Even when it was revealed that the whole “wedding” thing was just an elaborate plan for world domination from a great, big, bug-looking creature called a Raknoss, she wasn’t swayed from her content life on Earth to travel with the Doctor.

It may be simplistic, it may be generalizing on some kind of obtuse scale; but when a big reason why people don’t like Donna Noble is because “she’s not as pretty as the others”, that’s when it translates to, in my head, as “she’s fine not traveling with the Doctor, while I would travel with him in a heartbeat… because he’s so hot!” Again: generalizing. But, as I say, it’s that level of relatability that the companion role holds; Donna Noble sets a new standard for that role, but ironically enough, for a show like Doctor Who, whose core message is that of accepting change, there’s a level of its fanbase that fails to get that message and fits against it at every turn.

Look, people: the fact of the matter is that Doctor Who, with its time having been on television screens, as well as in audio and book form, is an insanely easy program to enjoy. If you don’t like one aspect of the show, but liked another aspect better – watch the better of the two! Why put yourself, and eventually others with your commentary, through a negative experience from which you’ll gain nothing but [again, this section has been redacted – why does that speed bump look like it’s wearing trousers? government spending, amiright?]?

I personally love the fact that it looks like we have yet another companion who will question the Doctor, but purely on the basis of “Are you sure this is right? ‘Cause I don’t think it’s right… Are you really sure?” instead of trying to one-up him in superiority. It will be a nice change from the Clara Oswald dynamic (which I also enjoyed, especially with how they wrapped it up in Series 9) and as we don’t know really anything about “Bill”, I expect we’ll see the dynamic build between the Doctor and Bill as our knowledge of the character will build in parallel.

And, on a final note: we’ve only seen two minutes of this new companion, folks. I know the Internet these days is content with forming a complete opinion of a thing based on its two-minute-or-less representation through teaser trailer, but can we. Just. Not? If we see a teaser trailer thing, and the thing doesn’t interest us, how about we move on to something that does? If we see a character that seems like she’ll fit the mold of another character type, one we didn’t necessarily enjoy when that character type was around, how about we just skip that character’s run? If we read a well-written essay-type thing calling us out in our bull-headedness, how about we just admit our failings and not [christ on a cracker, Andrew!, how many of these are we going to have to remove from this?!]?

I know there are those who are looking forward to this final Moffat-run series; personally, I don’t feel he’s steered us wrong with what he’s had in front of him, and his involvement in casting these past several years has been spot-on. In Moffat I trust, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how Pearl Mackie’s Bill will hold up in the ranks of the companion echelon. Who knows, she just might end up in that three-way with Rose, Amy, and Clara.

With that, I leave you with the wise words of one Jayne Cobb: I’ll be in my bunk.

#tableflipped

Table-Flip Tuesday: Questionable Flip

such rage, much fury

such rage, much fury

Okay, this is going to be a short one. You’re not going to have to dedicate a month or two to read this. The fact of the matter is: it’s 8:26pm on the Tuesday for which this “Table-Flip Tuesday” was meant to be posted, and seeing as we’ve only a few hours left of Tuesday and I would like to abide by my commitment to helping our dear, lovely, hilarious, intelligent, [insert three more positive and true adjectives here] Kelley, this is what you’re getting – “Table-Flip Tuesday LITE”.

Truthfully, I wanted to have a semi-decent topic for this week’s flip; I was also a little unsure as to how a table-flip about someone flapping tabbles on your dedicated timeline would play out. (Don’t think I’ve ruled it out, however – it’s still up on the special Google Doc I’ve created for this very series of rants.)

This week’s flip was inspired by a particular pet peeve I’ve had since I started working in the field of customer service, and as I was reaching for a relatively short topic, it was as though a choir of angels appeared and proceeded to blast their air-horns in my direction. Once the ringing in my metaphorical ears (think along the lines of “third eye”, only these are more to be imagined as being located possibly at the back of the neck or directly under the chin; it depends on which trait was more dominant between your parents…)

Sorry, I got a little distracted by my parenthetical talk, there. I did say I was going to keep this one short, didn’t I? Promises, promises…

Anyway, once the ringing in my aforementioned and obnoxiously-described metaphorical ears had stopped altogether, I had the target of this week’s table flip: “Can I ask you a question?”

I apologize if you cringed, just now. Don’t worry: I did, too – as I was typing it out! Not only is that particular phrase grammatically incorrect, it’s also a statement that fulfills itself as soon as it’s done. Even if you switch the “can” to “may”, in true grammar-perfect fashion, you’re still dealing with a self-fulfilling statement.

If you were to ask a person, “Can I ask you a question?”, the answer should be obvious: yes, you moronic simpleton!, you truly do possess the ability to ask a question. Even if you, being the person having been asked the question, were to want to say “no”, you’re now the fool; as they have asked you a question, with you having answered it. The transaction is complete, and a little piece of your soul has been lost to this parasite of a statement.

The same sense works were you to change the “can” to “may”. It’s a little more severe, though, as this time the question is more of a request for permission. Answer “yes” or “no” to this question, and the asker has won control. They may now be able to steer the conversation to their whim, be able to make you look like the fool, and most likely be able to control the innermost thoughts of your cat.

What do I suggest? Well, for starters, if you’re someone who has the gall to ask a variation of this inquiry: fuckin’ knock it off! Either that, or just walk out into oncoming traffic – whichever is easiest for you, really.

As for those who find themselves in the unfortunate position of being obligated to answer such a ridiculous query, I suggest melting into the nearest hedge, a la that classic Homer Simpson GIF. And if there aren’t any convenient hedge into which to melt? Well, then… I suggest shoving the perpetrator into oncoming traffic. Be sure to stretch, first; you have to be flexible, in case they show any sign of resistance. If they do resist, just direct them to this blog, telling them that it’s okay for them to walk out into oncoming traffic – it’s a civic duty. (Note: if they snorted at “duty”, make sure you especially shove them into the path of an oncoming bus.)

Point is: stop asking this stupid question, and just ask the question you wanted to ask. Yes, you are capable of asking questions – so just ask the damned question, already! And let me get back to counting the ceiling tiles at work, guy who asked about asking about some bath towels!

#tableflipped

Tabble Flap – by Sean Ryan

seantableflap

In the most recent episode of Mating Habits, I was called out for having said that any woman who is hyper-sexual—or even has a healthy sexuality—must have gotten it from “daddy issues”. I have never said such a thing. Or at least, I’ve never generalized it that way. If you think I have, clips or it didn’t happen. It’ll give you the chance to revisit our awesome episode archive.

Oh sure, I’ve made jokes and glib comments about girls with “daddy issues” (especially “the fun kind”) and people who act out from having their “antennas bent”. But my understanding of people’s sexuality isn’t as simple as a direct line from A to B.

Kelley and Paris are absolutely right. Some women just really enjoy sex. Some women just don’t. Both are cool and shouldn’t be stigmatized. Kelley is also right in that the phrase “daddy issues” is often used as a cop out or hasty judgment of a woman’s character. Kelley and Paris mentioned in the podcast that their sexual appetites aren’t the result of any kind of childhood trauma, and I believe them. At the same time, I can’t deny that women with “daddy issues” do also exist. They’re just not who Kelley and the gang are discussing in that episode.

Here’s the thing: “Daddy issues” are real. The phrase is often horribly misused, but there is truth to it.

“Daddy issues” spring from a variety of things; not limited to molestation. Physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, personality clash, alcoholism… All it takes is a shitty role model to affect our behavior as adults. Or as I tend to put it, that’s how some people get their “antennae bent”.

That trauma very commonly manifests into how we handle sex and personal relationships. It’s a strange but real phenomenon where we re-enact our trauma. Typically as a way to manage our feelings or as an unconscious attempt to grasp control over the demons that haunt us.

Some women with “daddy issues” come to recoil from sex. I’ve dated a couple of those. Some women with “daddy issues” work them out through sex. I’ve dated many of those…which may also say a lot about me. Most of the latter ended with the girl sabotaging the relationship by stirring up chaos and drama.

That’s all not to say that anyone who acts out sexually is “damaged goods”. Many hyper-sexual women are happy and able to maintain healthy relationships. I’ve also dated a couple women who have just had healthy sexuality, which I consider a blessing.

My advice is to give women the benefit of the doubt. Just enjoy the ride (*wink wink*). At the same time, be aware of red flags that suggest that this person may be wrestling with some baggage that could spill into your relationship with them,. It’s all fun until someone gets hurt.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Sex After Trauma (Pt. II): The Psychology Behind My Promiscuity

What Motivates Sexual Promiscuity?

Dr. NerdLove: It’s OK To Want Sex

Table Flip: Ghostbusters

such rage, much fury

such rage, much fury

Let’s start this thing by not mincing words: this past Thursday, the official trailer for the new Ghostbusters was released; if you didn’t like it, then you’re wrong. Period. Exclamation point.

I’m going to be completely honest with you when I say that I was originally on the side of the non-believers, the purists, the “don’t take away our Ghostbusters” proclaimers. At that time in my life, I felt as though too many things from my childhood, things that guided and molded me into the person writing this-here blog post today, were being taken and reshaped into something to appease and appeal to a “newer” audience. The “ain’t broke, don’t fix” mindset came to the fore; if you want to introduce a new audience to an already-popular franchise, what sense does it make, reinventing the franchise in order to achieve that?

As it turns out: it makes a whole helluva-lotta sense!

We’ll look at another franchise, near and dear to my childhood heart, that has had its fair share of reinventing and having said reinvention brought to life, once again, on the big screen: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Comic book origins aside, I had grown up with the cartoon series and graduated to the live-action movies; mind you, Turtles in Time didn’t hold up as well as the first two for me, so I reverted back to the animated stuff, faith restored in the movie versions when the computer-animated TMNT was released. When Nickelodeon decided to reboot the animated series, I was fine with it – especially after seeing a few episodes with my nephew, and seeing how much of an homage it was to the classic cartoon series.

But hearing that Michael Bay was going to be releasing a series of live-action Turtles movies? Oh, fuck no! We can’t be having any of that! Not only was it a poor choice to have Bay, of all people, involved in the project – what with the rumors going around that he was going to make said “heroes in a half-shell” of alien origin and completely destroy the lore – but ultimately it came down to: Why? Why does this need to be a thing?

After having conversations with several friends, said friends being on both sides of the argument for the movie, I decided to give the recent Turtles movie a chance… and was sorely disappointed that I had spent the money on a ticket. When asked what I thought of the movie by a friend, I proceeded to jokingly reply with: “Let’s just say that I had a cop, afterward, ask me to point on the doll where Michael Bay had violated my childhood.”

In reality, though, my childhood stays in tact, what with the classic series available on DVD and Nickelodeon doing a damned fine job holding their own with the current animated series. No, what ultimately bothered me about the recent Turtles film was the fact that, at multiple times, the narrative asked that viewers both disregard as well as remember the original source material; the story that those of us seeing the movie in our mid- to late-thirties had grown up watching. It was very jarring, jumping from a mangled back story to, out of nowhere, bringing up the fact that Leonardo and Raphael have some kind of deeper sibling rivalry going than they did with the other turtles. Add to the chaos a Shredder who was more Transformer than badass ninja warrior guy dude, and you’ve got a new image to put next to the definition of “trainwreck” in the dictionary.

It was on the heels of accepting the trauma of the recent Turtles movie that I heard about the new Ghostbusters movie. Regardless of the casting decisions (I couldn’t care less if the cast were all-female this go-round) I was not so keen on the idea of yet another ‘80s staple brought back out of the archive, dust blown off, and shaken around in Hollywood’s attempt to keep pumping out stories for the movie-going crowd. I was immediately on the side of “No, no, no. Dear God, no. For the love of everything that is sacred: NO.”

However, after having conversations with a few people who were, again, on both sides of that proverbial fence – some with me on the “No” train, others who were okay with it – I started to steer more into the idea of being okay with it, to the point of actually being curious as to what this version of the story could bring to the proverbial table. If nothing else, said steering was caused by those who were of the same mind as I was, as far as “No” was concerned; however, that was about as far as our causes aligned. The biggest criticism I saw was against the all-female casting, and it was ultimately this criticism that made me rethink my own criticism against the idea. With that, I started to analyze my own “reasons” for my negativity, and when it was all said and done, said negativity was found to be completely ridiculous and uncalled for.

If nothing else, nothing is being taken away from the children within us, who grew up with the original Ghostbusters series. Just like I mentioned with the Turtles, the original movies are available to own on DVD and Blu-ray; in fact, they’re probably even available to watch on such streaming applications as Hulu or Netflix. They’re not automatically locked in some kind of vault, never to see the light of day again, just because this new movie is gaining a life of its own – we’re not dealing with Disney, here. So calm down, nerds: your precious childhood is still in tact.

Also, let’s be honest for just a moment here: like with most ‘80s films, Ghostbusters is a bit dated. Not as much as Back to the Future (as that actually deals with actual dates), but you can tell that, compared to films being released these days, there’s something slightly off about the original Ghostbusters. This is not to say that there’s anything wrong with the original; but try to get a child or teenager to get into the series now, and you’re more than likely to get a bored look, followed by a flagrant show of aggression in the form of said child or teenager putting their Virtual Reality helmets back on and getting back to their blasted Dan Fogelberg and Pac-Man video games.

Quite frankly, this new Ghostbusters is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t – that much, you can already tell, only from how this first official trailer has drawn a clearer line between those who are giving it a shot and those who are ready to shoot it dead. The trailer itself pops, with an updated version of the original theme to induce goosebumps for anyone with a lick of positive nostalgia. (A theme that, while very catchy, was kinda-sorta stolen from Huey Lewis is structure. Just sayin’, purist nerdboys.) It also gives us a look at the characters and the sparkly special effects.

But let me tell you, what truly guaranteed my dropping of the dollars for the price of admission was the Ecto-1: the vehicle our rag-team crew used to not only get around New York City, but also as a mobile advert for their bustin’-of-the-paranormal business. I have an affinity for the vehicles in these supernatural/Science Fiction genres (ex: gotta love the likes of the TARDIS, the Millenium Falcon, the Serenity, the USS Enterprise, etc., etc.) so I love the looks of both versions of the Ecto-1; however, it’s the individual origins of these two vehicles and what they represent that have my nerd-dar… erm, ner-adar… whatever, nerd radar beeping fanatically.

In the ‘80s universe of Ghostbusters, the Ecto-1 was fashioned from a 1950s professional ambulance, while in the new Ghostbusters, it’s fashioned from a hearse. One gives off the message of “We’re here to save the living”; the other, “We’re here to deal with the dead”. For a series whose new vision of the universe involves a flip-flopping of the gender roles, having the four leads be female while the secretary role is played by none other than Thor Odinsson, the juxtaposition of the Ecto-1 between versions makes even more sense. And shows that some thought was put into making this version; at the very least, it makes me, with all my head-canons and hypotheses, believe extra thought was put into it – and that’s what matters.

And, yes, that is what I got from the trailer. The trailer that was only a couple minutes long. The trailer that was meant to show a little bit more than what we had to go on already. The trailer that was meant to spark conversations regarding the film it was promoting.

Some feel that the trailer was horrendous and “un-funny”. I’ve already put several words to this table-flip, so I’ll consider to make the attempt to not belabor this point for too long. As I said before, this trailer was damned if it did and damned if it didn’t. The way most trailers run, these days (unless you’re JJ Abrams), you can save your money on buying a ticket, and just spend the time piecing together all the bits from every trailer released for any one particular movie – I mean, if I didn’t want to go out and socialize recently, I probably would have done so with the recent Marvel films. And it’s that type of mindset that led to feeling like seeing these movies was some kind of a chore; yes, there were a few things that were left out from the trailers, but pretty much every “good bit” was shown several times over in the trailers.

I feel this trailer for Ghostbusters was simply a means to show the bright and shiny new things about this universe. New characters? Check. New vehicle? Check. New ghost-bustin’ weapons? Double check. Shiny new logo? Checks all the way to the bank.

With all that, I’m completely fine with not feeling that the trailer didn’t highlight as much of the comedy as many of my friends and fellow podcasters felt it probably should have. Then again, you’re dealing with a franchise that originally starred Bill Murray – tell me, friends: with that in mind, did you truly think the initial trailer for this movie was going to have one-line zingers to top that of Murray himself? Or maybe that’s the point of the vehemence toward this film and its trailer.

Either way, I have faith in this film. Needless to say, there’s been plenty of shite to hit the cinemas recently that have not received the amount of vitriol that this trailer has; some, I must say, more deserving.

All I’ll say is this: if you’re not happy with this latest Ghostbusters film based on the trailer, that’s fine. You’re wrong, but that’s fine. It’s just a movie, and if you’re letting it affect you (“to your core” – I’m looking at you, Lynch), then it’s already won. It’s already in your head, and sooner or later it’s going to plant the curiosity in your mind as to whether or not it’s as bad as you have mentally built it up to be.

So let’s see what more comes from the studios before the actual film’s release. Or not.

#tableflipped

Table-Flip Tuesday: Table-Flips

such rage, much fury

such rage, much fury

Table-Flip Tuesday: Table-Flips
written by andrew j. bartlett

The form of art that is table-flipping is an artform.

Wait, that was a bit redundant, wasn’t it? Do you see what I mean: even when introducing the inaugural post to start off “Table-Flip Tuesdays”, it’s a bit of a shake and doesn’t go off half as well as you had considered it could possibly have the potential in which to do so.

(Okay, that went all kinds of sideways, but whatever – I’m not editing that out, so you’ll just have to deal with that awkward opening. #thatswhatshesaid)

In case you needed a quick history lesson: I met our dear “Mating Habits” host, Kelley Hightower, toward the end of 2014, when she came to record for a crossover episode of a podcast for which I was one-half of the hosting talent. In semi-preparation for the crossover, we of the non-“Mating Habits” side were individually asked to bring a topic currently poking our ire, for a subject lovingly referred to on Kelley’s show as “Table-Flipping”.

This may seem like an easy feat for which to prepare, what with working a life in retail and interacting day-in and day-out with a society that inspires click-baity articles and viral YouTube videos that constantly redefine “Schadenfreude”…

If you’re like me, however, and even in the tiniest fraction of a sense of that unfortunate grouping, you’re the type of person who has a seemingly-infinite number of things you want and need; however, should anyone inquire as to any of the items on that ever-growing list, that’s when the list goes into hiding and plays off like it doesn’t exist. Thus is how it played out when asked to have something ready for the “table-flip” section of the crossover recording.

So what did I do? Well, if you haven’t yet had an opportunity to listen to this very [interesting] recording, to put it plainly: I lamed out. I pretty much gave an excuse of “Mrrrh, I don’t like to hold grudges (’cause they’re bad for your back) and blah blah get over things quick bleh bloo blee so I don’t have anything at the moment” and other such nonsense to fill in the “blahs” and “blees”. This was pretty much the direction taken, as I progressively made my way into the rotation of “Mating Habits” co-hosts.

And I gotta tell you: IT WAS IRRITATING AS FUCK!

Listening to the other episodes happening around the ones on which I happened to co-host, gems were brought to the as-yet-flipped table: coworkers swiping Lean Cuisines, small business owners shame-posting friend-clients, perfectly good table sets being brazenly dismissed when offered in a very positive and helpful manner, etc, etc, and the list goes on. I listened to these amusing and intriguing stories and rants, metaphorically knocking on my brain’s door and pointing emphatically to what would represent what was being heard, shouting: “Why can’t you bring something interesting like that?!”

Fortunately, though, the more I’ve grown used to recording for “Mating Habits”, the more my brain has been readily prepared to take in an item of irritation and attach a label on it, which probably reads “Table-Flip Topic (do not open ’til Groundhog Day)”.

However! Remember that time, a few paragraphs ago, when I made the unfair comparison of you to me, lumping us in the same category and going on about mental lists and said lists disappearing when made the subject of conversation? Okay, good. Now, imagine we’re back in that unfair setting, but this time we’re creative people who are in dire need of coming up with something creative, just to get those creative juices flowing – what would you say, based on average, generalized standards of this sort of thing, tends to happen?

That’s right: the good ideas only seem to come to you when you’re in a situation where you cannot immediately do something about that idea. For me, I normally tend to come up with interesting story ideas while I’m driving or at work, where I’m not immediately in front of a computer in order to, at the very least, write down key words to help me remember the idea for later. The same is the case for these damn “table-flips”!

What’s a brother gotta do, just so he can have a slight irritation, have it be entertaining enough and at the right frame of time, and be able to let the irritation get back on its merry way before it cause irrevocable damage? Well, as it turns out, all said “brother” has to do is start up a Google Doc entitled “Table-Flip Topics” and update it with items that might qualify for quality talking points; and when the list gets to the length in which said “brother” finds himself saying, to himself, “Geezus! Lighten up, you constantly irritated bastard!”, he approaches our lovely Kelley and offers up an idea to make table-flipping a more recurring blog-type thing. (You know… for more content and material on the blog page. That sounds legitimate as well, right?)

So here you go, my fellow geeks! With any luck, these table-flips will get better, as I like to think they have on the podcast (from my end, at least – keep up the great work, to the rest of you “Mating Habits” hosts).

Until then, this has been Andrew for this round of “Table-Flip Tuesday”, flipping a table over table-flips!

#tableflipped