“That ship has sailed.”

There’s an age-old expression that goes, “That ship has sailed.” You’ve all heard it and you’ve all probably used it. But what does it actually mean? You’ve known the phrase since you were a child, but never really thought about it. Personally, I think it’s something that you only begin to understand as you get older.

In a literal sense, it means that the boat has taken off, and even if you wanted to catch it, you couldn’t. Because it’s already gone.

In a metaphorical sense, the phrase refers to missed opportunities. Or, it could also refer to something that you once had, but is now long gone. It has to be there in the first place to be able to sail away.

For example, your childhood. If you want to rekindle some aspects of your childhood, like your youthful exuberance, or your excess amount of energy, you couldn’t, because you’re not a child anymore. It’s over, and thus, that ship has sailed. It once was there, but not anymore.

Life is pretty long. Over the course of many, many years, a lot of things will change. Things will come and things will go. One day, you might feel one thing, another day, you’ll feel something else.

It’s almost sad when you wake up one day, and realize that something you used to care about deeply, suddenly doesn’t really matter to you anymore. It no longer stirs the emotions that it once did. In some respects, it could be a good thing. Maybe it was something you needed to get over. On the other hand, it could also be disappointing to know that you care about one less thing in this world.

I personally like the phrase because it’s very appropriate to many facets in life.

When the ship has sailed away, it’s long gone. It’s thousands of miles away floating somewhere in the sea, and it’s impossible to get to.

Whereas when you just know that feeling you once had is long gone, you also know it’s never coming back. No matter how hard you try. Maybe it was somebody’s fault, and maybe it was your own, or maybe it was just a matter of time.

I’m almost surprised that this phrase has never serves as the climactic quote of a dramatic romantic film. Picture the scene:

A really nice guy is in love with an absolutely beautiful girl. She’s a nice person herself, but she’s had an easy road in life because of her beauty, and every other man in the world thinks she is equally as beautiful.

The really nice guy asks the beautiful girl out dozens of times over the course of several years, but gets rejected every time. However, he stays optimistic, and is certain in his own naive way that the two will end up together.

Meanwhile, the beautiful girl dates asshole after asshole, choosing looks over personality, and continually gets used and mistreated. Finally, after being broken up with by another asshole, the really nice guy makes one more final attempt to ask her out. Not only does she reject him, but she becomes irate with him. She takes out all of her anger of all those assholes onto the really nice guy, and she embarrasses him and humiliates him, telling her to leave her alone, once and for all.

The really nice guy is devastated. His world is shaken, and for the first time in his life, he doesn’t believe that the beautiful girl is the one for him. What began as the final rejection, turns into the first day he begins to get over her.

Flash forward six months later. Finally putting the beautiful girl behind him, the really nice guy meets a girl. She’s decent looking, definitely not beautiful, but most importantly, she treats him well. He’s fairly happy, but deep down, he knows that something is still missing in this relationship.

One day, the really nice guy and his average-looking girlfriend run into the beautiful girl and her latest asshole boyfriend at a party. The beautiful girl sees the really nice guy with his girlfriend, and becomes kind of jealous, although she has no idea why. She flirts with him, but to her surprise, he reacts indifferently and wants none of it.

In the coming weeks, the beautiful girl thinks back to all the good times she had with the really nice guy while they were friends. She remembers the good memories, all the laughs, and all of the times he was there for her when she needed some one. With those thoughts, she comes to the sudden realization that she truly loves the really nice guy. She’s always loved him, but she never realized. So she approaches him and she says so.

“I love you,” says the beautiful girl. “I always have. I’m sorry I’ve treated you so poorly.” She kisses him. It’s a quick kiss, and the really nice guy lets her do it for a moment, but then pulls away.

“Listen, beautiful girl,” he says. “I’m sorry. I used to love you. More than anything. But I don’t anymore. That ship has sailed.” And then he walks away.

A montage with upsetting music plays and shows the beautiful girl in a state of sadness, crying while looking out the window. On the same night, the really nice guy is with his average looking girlfriend. She’s talking to him, but he’s not listening to a word. Instead, he’s staring off into the distance, thinking about the beautiful girl.

Two weeks later, the beautiful girl comes up with a plan that shows that she would go through extraordinary lengths to win back the really nice guy. She gets her friends in on it, maybe even some of the really nice guy’s friends, and implements the plan. It doesn’t matter what the plan is, but the point is, it shows how genuine her love truly is for him.

It all culminates in one final scene, in the rain, where the beautiful girl is standing face-to-face with the really nice guy.

“Why are you doing this?” says the really nice guy. “After all these years, why now? I’m with my average-looking girlfriend now. I’m happy! I don’t need you!”

“Are you happy?” She says. “If you say you’re happy, I’ll leave you alone forever. But just be honest with me. Are you happy?”

The really nice guy thinks long and hard, and several seconds pass. Finally, he lets out a whisper. “No. I’m not happy.”

The beautiful girl smiles and cries.

“I’ve never been happy,” the really nice guy continues. “Not unless I’m with you.”

The beautiful girl smiles even wider, and the two embrace in an ultimate, climactic kiss, with happy music blasting, and the camera spinning around them. They stop, and the beautiful girl speaks again.

“I thought you said ‘the ship has sailed?'”

“No, it’s hasn’t,” the really nice guy responds. “It never even left the dock.”

END SCENE.

Wow. That was a lot longer than I meant it to be.

But next time you use that phrase, I want you to think about the context in which you use it.

Sure, the ship may have sailed, but remember, they have anchors for a reason.

I can tell a lot about someone by their cultural interests

Somewhere in between graduating college and now, meaning in the past 2 years and three months, I became a major cinephile. No, this does not mean I have inappropriate sexual tendencies. Being a cinephile means that I am a devoted movie fanatic.

You name a movie, I’ve probably seen it. And I can probably tell you the top five leading stars who were in it. I’ve seen all the “classics,” like Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane, the Graduate, etc. It’s just a huge thing that interests me.

When you’ve seen a lot of movies, like I have, and when you know more about movies than most people, it makes it difficult to engage in a conversation about movies with somebody else without coming off as patronizing and judgmental. It’s like a genius conversing with an idiot. It’s Like Albert Einstein discussing subatomic particles with Lenny from Of Ice and Men.

But I try really hard to not be that way.

I mean, what movies you like does not make up the type of person that you are. However, this does not mean I can’t begin to at least form an opinion about you because of it. Even before I learn anything else.

So, on that note, sometimes when I’m bored, which is always, I go on to Facebook and check out people’s “Info.” You know, their favorite movies, books, musicians and quotations.

I’m not going to kill somebody for liking mainstream blockbuster movies. If your favorite films are the Departed, Inception, The Dark Knight or Iron Man, I’m not going to label you as an invalid. I like those movies too.

Same goes with girls. I know girls like romance movies. So if your favorite movies are (500) Days of Summer, Ghost or Dirty Dancing, I can live with that. Those movies (with the exception of the first one), aren’t exactly my cup of tea, but they are quality productions. In fact, a cup of tea isn’t even my cup of tea. I’m a coffee guy.

However, there is definitely a line. When I check out a girl’s page, and her favorite films are Maid in Manhattan, or the Wedding Planner, or pretty much anything starring and/or featuring Jennifer Lopez, then I’m going to think of you as a degenerate. I’m sorry.

And guys, if your favorite films are 2012, or Battle Los Angeles, I will shake my head. Although, I very rarely check out guys’ Facebook pages. Unless I see that he wrote on a girl I like’s Facebook page, and I check out his “Info,” hoping that he is homosexual and therefore not a threat. But that is neither here nor there.

Like I said, I’m not going to completely write you off as a person, but it’s going to lower the bar for sure. That’s when I’ll move onto music.

Nowadays, liking good music takes courage. The radio force feeds you what they want you to hear. Lady Gaga alone is the one reason why I stopped listening to the radio. She’s not the worst pop star out there today, but the amount of airtime she receives is absolutely absurd and unbearable.

So if I see that your favorite musicians are Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Niki Minaj, it won’t surprise me, but I’ll still be disappointed. I’m not saying that you must have the Beatles, Bob Dylan or Janis Joplin written in there, but pretty much anything you have that isn’t a top five hit on Z100 will at least tell me that you make a point to seek out other music. And that will make me happy.

The next category would be books. I’m really not going to get on anybody ever for the type of books that they like. In today’s age, reading anything is an accomplishment. Unless it’s Snooki’s book, that’s the one exception. Or Twilight. Really, anything other than those will impress me. And having Harry Potter written down will just make me love you even more.

The last part of the equation is your favorite quotations. People use this space very liberally, often posting inside jokes with friends and things of that nature. It’s hard to get onto someone for a quote that they like, because you never know why they cherish that quote. It could be something very personal to them.

In fact, when people quote Einstein, or some philosopher, it just makes me think that they are trying really hard. What I look for in a quote is something that relates to me. I want to read somebody’s favorite quote and think, “Heh, I kind of like that.” I won’t care who said it. It could be Karl Marx or it could be Snoop Dogg. As long as it is insightful, thought-provoking and relatable, I dig it.

So, in conclusion, when I view these things and make my observations, it’s not end-all-be-all. However, I’d be lying (and I think you would all be too) if you didn’t say that they didn’t at least form some semblance of an opinion about this person in your head. It’s like right before you meet somebody, and another person tells you something negative about them, like, “She’s really bitchy,” then it’s only natural that you’re going to look for that and expect it, and it’s up to her to prove you differently.

So, likewise, when somebody tells me right off the bat that their favorite movie is Napoleon Dynamite, well, from that point forward, it’s up to them to prove to me that they are not an idiot.

That’s all I’m sayin’. Now, if you all will excuse me, I’m going to go watch “On the Waterfront” while wearing a silk robe and eating caviar.

Me, myself and Irene

Hurricane Irene came went. It was destructive in some areas, and not-so-destructive in others. But who cares about other people? I’m just here to share my own personal hurricane experience.

As I angrily stated in my previous blog, the hurricane caused me to cancel plans. Well, the cancellation of all public transit and the mandatory evacuation of the area in which I was planning to have my plans in did not help either. So, on Friday, I wisely hit up the liquor store and loaded several movies onto my Touchpad in the anticipation of what was going to be a very long Saturday and Sunday.

As you remember, August brought about an earlier storm, which occurred on the 14th. I recall waking up several times during the night in that storm due to loud cracks of thunder and bright flashes of lightning. It was pretty scary. On Saturday, overnight into Sunday, however, I did not wake up one single time.

In fact, I slept so well, and so long, that when I woke up, I almost forgot that we were even supposed to have had a hurricane. So when I went downstairs, I saw my dad in the kitchen, and I said, “So… much to do about nothing, eh?”

My dad simply responded by pointing out the back window into the backyard, where I saw that a large tree had split in half and now rested on my patio. So much for “much to do about nothing.”

Where I live, in the south shore of Long Island, we got about 70 mile-per-hour winds. I later found out that the entire southern portions of my town were flooded with up to three feet of water. Taking a drive around my town, I saw that entire trees had fallen down on nearly every block. I had never seen destruction of such a kind before. In fact, there is some photographic evidence taken by yours truly!

Enjoy.

And those are all just within a couple hundred feet of my house. Here’s what the southern part of my town looked like: (This photo was not taken by me)

Not too shabby.

Need not worry though, because no damage was inflicted on my household, I’m perfectly fine, and as far as I know, I have not suffered any psychological or post-traumatic fallout from these devastating events. I’m still the same old me. That may satisfy or devastate some people.

But you’re probably wondering how I spent my Saturday, knowing full-well that a hurricane was on the horizon. Well, with my plans canceled, and the knowledge that I’d have to be an idiot to actually go outside in the predicted conditions, I prepared myself for a night in. Meaning this:

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not an alcoholic. I never drink on weekdays. I have no desire to. I also prefer not to drink completely alone. Because that certainly borders on alcoholism, weekend or not.

However, with a hurricane heading my way, combined with the fact that I was quarantined in my household, thrown in the fact that it was indeed a Saturday night, well, I figured that if there was ever a time to get drunk alone, it was now.

I started out slowly, pouring myself a glass of Jack blended with ice, and sipped my way to a light buzz. Then my brother saw I was drinking, and he offered to take a shot. We took two. Then I drank some more. Then some more. Then I took a couple more shots.

By midnight, I was lying on my bed while significantly drunk and watching “Thor” on my Touchpad. All in all, mother nature ain’t so bad in my book.

Hysterically, today, 24 hours after Irene, it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Of course the hurricane had to pick a three-day period that lied on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday as opposed to a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Hurricane Irene is such a cockblock.

The cool thing is that I can safely say that, in the past three months, I have experienced three near-natural disasters. I say near, because while they do qualify as natural disasters, I got mostly the minimum effect.

Irene technically qualified as somewhere between a tropical storm and a category one hurricane by the time it hit me, because the winds were about 70 mph, and 75 is what qualifies for a category one. Last week’s earthquake was number two, and we all remember how devastating that was. The third being a tornado, which I nearly experienced while vacationing in Memphis at the end of May. Tornado sirens blasted, the sky looked apocalyptic, and my friends and I were quarantined inside the Civil Rights Museum (go figure), but other than the some slightly stronger than normal winds and a slight drizzle, no tornado crossed my path. Thankfully. I guess before the end of the year, I can expect a near-tsunami and a near-volcanic eruption!

And that is really my story. I doubt any book publications will be begging me for the rights to it, but it was semi-interesting nonetheless. I hope all of you other north-easterners out there had as uneventful a hurricane experience as I did.

Because sometimes, no news is good news.

Rock you like a hurricane

I’m all for a change in weather. While there are certain days where I would think aloud, “Why don’t I live in Florida?” That normally isn’t always the case. I can find beauty in the autumn and the winter. Does it get tiresome towards the latter part of the season, sure? but then we are rewarded with spring and summer!

Again, I’m cool with rain and snow. It’s part of the seasonal process that I know and love.

However, there’s an addendum to this. I’m alright with foul weather, but only, and I repeat — ONLY — during times when foul weather is appropriate, a la autumn and winter. When its mid to late August, and I have some fun things planned, and there’s a goddamn hurricane coming my way, that is when I begin to get annoyed.

We’re entering the very last stretch of nice weather. In a good month from now, chilly weather will be here to stay, and we can kiss sunny skies and cargo shorts away until next April. So why, all of a sudden, in August, are we getting record-breaking rain storms and hurricanes? Not effin cool.

During the summer, you should be able to make plans at will, not having to check the weather forecasts and worry that they may be disrupted by potential rain. Well, this week will make the third straight week where rain was a significant threat. It’s really just not cool.

There is nothing worse than when you have an event planned, and you’re exciting to see all your friends and hang out in a cool setting, and then you see that it’s going to downpour that day.

It’s definitely times like these when I wished I lived in Florida. Of course, that is not the case this weekend, when Hurricane Irene is supposed to make its way to the U.S., beginning in Florida.

I, of course, am referring to hurricane Irene, which is currently causing destruction in the Bahamas and scheduled to reap havoc on the Carolinas by tomorrow afternoon. I know that hurricane names alternate between guys and girls, and the letters of the alphabet in order, but c’mon, Irene? Really?

I feel like I’m being attacked by somebody’s 85-year-old grandmother. Couldn’t go with Iris? Or Indigo? That could be a name…

Here is the current path of Irene:

No, this is not a photo from the game Risk. It’s a satellite tracker photo. I think that is the technical name.

The final eye of the storm is scheduled to hit New Jersey at 2 p.m. on Sunday, EXACTLY where I plan to be at that time. Driving home that day is going to be quite the adventure…

I would really like to know what happened to the summer. Throughout June and July it was absolutely beautiful, and now, it’s nothing but rain.

Also, take a look at this article from Yahoo!

Hurricane Irene Looks ‘Terrifying’ From Space, Astronaut Says

Let’s repeat. An ASTRONAUT from SPACE said that the hurricane looks terrifying. An astronaut, who is currently sitting in the middle of our galaxy, seeing asteroids and all this crazy shit floating around on a regular basis, is labeling this storm as terrifying.

Well, if that’s not evidence that our world is going to end on Sunday, I don’t know what is.

I really wish there was something that I can do. Unfortunately, my abilities are limited to an above-average sense of grammar and not weather control. Maybe one day. But not now.

All you can wish for is that the hurricane directs course, we get regular old rain instead, and then after that, we finally get one more month of beautiful weather. Is it too much to ask?

In case you’re all wondering, it was the Scorpions that sang the song “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”

One hit wonder.

 

 

There’s nothing like the allure of a new Facebook notification

You can label me as one of those people who checks Facebook all of the time.

It’s a habit. If I have access to a computer, then Facebook will be on the screen. Most of the time I just leave it open as a separate window. And then eventually I will read a stupid Facebook status that pisses me off, forcing me to click the X. Five minutes later, it will be up again.

I can’t help it. If there is a loop, I need to be in it. Before Facebook, when you couldn’t publicly reveal the tedious happenings of your daily life, I wasn’t too concerned with what my friends were doing on an hour-to-hour basis. But now that it’s all public, I can’t help but look.

At this current moment in time, I have 360 Facebook Friends.

Side note, I’ve given up pointing out the humor that lies in the “Facebook friends to real life friends” ratio. I’ve finally come to accept the fact that Facebook friends are a completely different entity. If you’ve had a single encounter with somebody at any point in your life, then that is enough to qualify them as a potential Facebook friend. Real life friends, obviously, require much more than that.

So yeah, I have 360 Facebook friends. I kind of like knowing that if any single one of those 360 people feel like reaching out to me in any given point and time, they can. I’m just one click away.

And that is why, whenever I log onto Facebook and see the red number that denotes that I have a Facebook notification, I feel a jolt of excitement.

I don’t check it right away. I let it stir. I let it resonate. For a moment, I let myself sit and ponder. For all I know, that notification could be the result of anything or anyone. First and foremost, you hope it’s a wall post and not some stupid comment on a Facebook status that you had previously commented on.

If it is, maybe an attractive female who I have always fancied is writing to me. Maybe the girl who I friended after meeting her at the bar last weekend is sending me a private message? Or maybe, just maybe, a hot chick is trying friend me. For that one moment in time, anything is possible.

Of course, thinking this only leads to an ultimate feeling of disappointment. Upon clicking, I’ll see that somebody is spamming me and inviting all of their Facebook friends to some bar just because they are bartending that night. Whenever this occurs, it infuriates me to no end.

That’s when I return to my normal Facebook life, and, maybe even my own real life.

Until, twenty minutes later, when I receive a whole new Facebook notification! And then the process begins again. Again, I’ll wonder, who could it be this time? Only to be let down again. It’s the same thing as when you receive a friend request, and you hope it’s a female, but it’s really some dude you went to high school with whom you haven’t spoken to in four years. Bummer.

This is a sensation that I like to call, “the appeal of the unknown.” I just made that up now, but I like it. It’s the phenomenon where you know that you indeed have something, but you’re not sure what. For that brief moment before you find out what it is, your imagination swirls with extravagant and hopeful explanations of what it could be. Each more optimistic than the next. It gets to the point where you are only setting yourself up for a letdown.

It’s like if you receive a gift, and it’s handed to you in a generic box that gives no indication of what it is, or where it was purchased from. Think of yourself as a little kid during Christmas or Chanukkah. You’re hoping it’s the ultimate toy, and your heart fills with excitement and anticipation. And then you open it, and you see that it’s a new pair of socks. You toss the gift aside with a frown on your face, and your mother thinks what a wonderful son/daughter she has.

But you just can’t help yourself. Receiving a Facebook notification is like a natural high. Even as I wrote this blog, I received one. It ended up being something stupid.

And if you receive two, forget it. Your world spins.

That’s why birthdays are so awesome. There is nothing that beats waking up in the morning seeing that 18 different people wrote on your Facebook wall.

If Mark Zuckerberg has done anything positive by creating Facebook, it’s instilling hope. Instilling hope that average Joes like me can at least think, for one fraction of a second, that the Facebook notification we have just received is from the most beautiful girl we know, and she’s telling you that she wants you to give her the D.

Until then, I’m just living life like everyone else, from notification to notification.

The catastrophe, tragedy and devastation that was the Earthquake of ’11

When I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm, stood up, added fifteen more minutes to my alarm clock and then went back to sleep, only to be woken up once again fifteen minutes later by my alarm, I had no idea that dark times lied ahead.

And when I showed up for work approximately fifteen minutes late, the dazzling sunlight and clear blue skies were a far cry from any type of ominous foreshadowing.

By mid-afternoon, the day had been normal, uneventful and boring as ever. I had just returned from lunch, and was engaged in a text conversation with my dear friend.

And then tragedy struck. Nobody, I repeat nobody, saw it coming.

At around 1:50 p.m., I stood up from my cubicle for no reason other than to stretch. The person who sits behind me exclaimed, “Why are we shaking?” Hearing this, I observed my surroundings, glanced towards the window, and noticed that we were indeed experiencing a very slight shaking sensation. And then… it stopped.

At that, my friends, is the horror story that was my earthquake experience.

Honestly, there was really no difference to what I experienced in the earthquake, to what I would have experienced if my coworker who sits next to me was annoyingly tapping his foot on the floor.

It was boring, uneventful, inconsequential, weak, lame and tiresome, all at the same time. But it was still an earthquake. Let’s dissect this world-changing experience shall, we?

THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE OF 2011

As I already said, the earthquake itself was pretty uneventful. The only reason that it elicited the reaction that it did is because it is something that us East Coasters are not accustomed to. We don’t expect the ground beneath us to begin shaking. We’re accustomed to downpours, blizzards, occasional hail, heatwaves and an excess of pollen, but not shaking ground. When you experience something that you don’t normally experience, it’s going to bring out a reaction.

!Mass Hysteria!

I don’t know what is worse, the earthquake itself, or the people around you reacting to the earthquake. I was perfectly calm when it occurred. If anything, I was mildly amused. And yet, coworkers around me were shouting in panic as if the world was ending. Also, the guy that stands up and tells everybody to remain calm is only going to make things worse. Don’t ever be that guy.

In the immediate aftermath of the devastating, 20-second quake, everybody was naturally standing up, wondering what the hell just happened. People talked amongst themselves to discuss their own personal earthquake story — as if standing ten feet away from somebody gave them an entirely different experience — while others ran to the windows to see how others were reacting. Me? I immediately went on Facebook, knowing exactly what was about to happen.

Quakebook

Within five minutes, my Newsfeed was cluttered with a good 50 statuses about the earthquake. It was perfectly expected. Facebook gives individuals the appropriate forum to share their thoughts and opinions on worldly topics. If people are going to notify the world about what they ate for breakfast that morning, then of course they’re going to comment on the earthquake.

I personally was curious, at the time, how far this thing stretched. I saw quickly that it did indeed reach Manhattan and New Jersey. Some people wrote about how “scared they were,” (pussies), some people voiced their disappointment that they didn’t feel anything, and some people gave their own horror stories (“Oh my God, my room just shook!”) It was a very amusing 5-10 minutes. After that, the Facebook world became silent.

If you’re somebody who posts Facebook statuses fairly often, say at least twice a week, then you commented on the earthquake. Trust me, you did.

Why the overreaction?

Life is mundane. Typically, your average day is not going to be very eventful. You wake up in the morning, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch television and go to sleep. Woo-hoo! Any type of alteration in this boring sequence of events is going to excite people. Why do you think people became so infatuated with that stupid balloon boy hoax that occurred a couple of years ago? Because it was a distraction from normal life. People like distractions, as long as they don’t result in death and destruction.

An earthquake is certainly an event that qualifies as a distraction. Facebook just happens to make people’s reactions more visible and public. That’s all.

What does it all mean?

Well, for starters, you get to say that you experienced an earthquake in your lifetime. Californians probably think we’re all acting ridiculous, but the truth is, earthquakes don’t happen here. My father is 70, and even he told me that he had never experienced an earthquake. I also heard on the radio that an east coast earthquake only happens about once a century. So, violent or not, an earthquake is still a rare, historic event.

It wasn’t quite monumental enough that, in 10 years from now, people will be in shock and awe to hear about your personal earthquake story, but I guarantee that everyone will remember for the rest of their life exactly where they were when it happened. Heck, it already has its own Wikipedia page.

So what happens now?

Life doesn’t even come remotely close to changing. The earthquake will probably be the topic of conversation for the rest of the workweek, and then when you congregate with your friends in a social atmosphere over the weekend, you will all share your earthquake stories. But, by next Monday, it will in all likelihood be long forgotten. Perhaps there will still be a reference here or there, and perhaps some tool will come over to your desk, start shaking it, and say, “Look! Another earthquake! Haha!” But that’s really all. The world will move on.

At the end of the day, it’s all an experience. Or who knows, maybe the quake was a sign that changes are in store for us all. Perhaps I’ll even get laid this weekend. I mean, the odds of that happening are certainly better than once a century.

I’ve always wanted to be “that cool guy.”

It’s almost impossible to know what others think about you.

Unless you go out of your way to be a gigantic douchebag, or if you devote your life towards selflessness and helping others, then you can never really know what enters people’s minds when they think of you. Sure, you can ask a friend, but how can you never know if they’re being truthful? They are your friend, after all, and would not want to hurt your feelings. One would hope.

Don’t ask my why, but I am the type of person who always wanted to be universally liked. If I have an inkling that somebody thinks of me in ill favor, it will haunt me, and I will do whatever it takes to change that person’s mind. As a result, I go on to badger them even more, and probably only increase their hatred for me.

In my head, I’ve always hoped that people regard me as “that cool guy.”

What does this mean, exactly?

It means that you’re a guy that just gets it. You don’t annoy people, you’re able to treat everyone with kindness, you’re funny, aesthetically appealing, and people like you. People light up when you’re around, and when you’re not around, all everyone does is talk about you in a favorable manner.

Now, you’re probably thinking that is an extremely egotistical way to perceive yourself, and it very much is, but bear in mind that I said that is something that I always hoped to accomplish. Which means I am not self-centered enough to think that it is actually the case.

However, I do like to think that most, if not all, people I know, do in fact think of me in an extremely positive light. And, for the most part, they do like having me around.

The reason why this is so important to me is because in my life, and particularly in my childhood, I have known people like this. That’s one of the dynamics of childhood. You meet kids that older than you, and for some reason, you idolize them. It’s like how a camper thinks of their counselors when they’re in camp. They think they’re the coolest people ever, and if they know you on a first-name basis, that makes you cool by association.

That is what I always wished to be. The cool counselor. Except not in camp, but in life.

It’s not like it’s something I actively try to achieve. First of all, I don’t think it is something that one can achieve. It’s just something that simply is. You just have to be blessed with a sense of humor, the ability to not piss people off, a likable face and an unassuming air.

Whenever I’m in a group, I like to think I am the coolest person in the group. Not because I necessarily am, but because I believe that thinking so will help me accomplish it. The problem with this, however, is when you are in larger groups, and there are other “cool guys” in the vicinity.

Just like how gay people have gaydar — or so I hear — cool people are easily able to identify other cool people. Sometimes, it creates an open competition. It’s almost as if, in a large group, there is a “cool distribution.” Only so much cool can exist in one room, and all of the cool kids need to share the cool amongst themselves. You can’t have two King of Cools in one room. You just can’t. Thus, one person will be cooler than the other.

That being said, the worst feeling is when you know, you just know, that you are not the coolest person in the room. It is an ego-killing, deflating, emasculating experience. Because you know that people will find him funnier than you, they will listen to him more closely than you, and in result, every girl in the room will flock to him instead of you. And the worst part is, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, because no matter how hard you try not to… you can’t help but also think how cool he is.

The worst part about it is, there is absolutely nothing you can do to change this. Because, as I said previously, the less you try to be cool, the cooler you become. So sometimes you just have no choice but to tip your cap, let that cooler person have their day, and hope that your coolness will one day evolve to something that exceeds his coolness. It’s all you can do.

Again, this is not important to me for selfish reasons. It’s the opposite, actually. To be cool, you have to treat others with respect. You have to give it if you want to earn it. Openly mocking people and treating them like they’re inferior to you is the one way ticket to Loserville.

Population? You.

And that is why I wish to achieve such a thing. Not because I crave attention or glamour, but because I want people to remember me for setting the right example.

If that happens, then, when I walk away, they won’t help but think to themselves, “Man, that dude is cool.”