Recently, I advised my readers that it is easier to invite everyone, but then, while on vacation at the beach, I neglected to follow this advice, and did not invite a particular guy to Guy's Night Out (and I asked my wife if she mentioned Guy's Night Out to this guy's girl-friend when she was out with her, and my wife said she did NOT mention Guy's Night Out so I thought this was a safe play) but then, in the fashion of Curb Your Enthusiasm, we ran into the uninvited guy and his girl-friend and all their kids while we were waiting in line at Mike's Dock and it was apparent, both by our state of inebriation and the fact that we were without wife and kids, that we were having a Guy's Night Out, and the guy made it clear that he knew we were having a Guy's Night Out and that we should have told him about it, which was pretty awkward, and all I could think of as a reply was, "It was kind of slow to develop," and so in the future I will follow my own advice.
I've just walked out of the ocean with my son Ian, and I'm looking up the beach to where my other son Alex is sitting, wrapped in a towel eating a snack . . . and it's low tide, so Alex is a good hundred feet away from me . . . and then, without warning, sand fills the air over my son Alex's head and a micro-burst of wind, some rogue convection cell, crashes through our beach set-up and rips two umbrellas from the ground and whips MY umbrella high up into the air . . . and when I say high up, I mean really high-up . . . it flies over the life guard stand and it continues to go straight up until it's fifty feet in the air and for a moment it hovers and it's like Mary Poppins should be attached, but then it starts to plummet and people are holding their heads and ducking and screaming (Connell said it was like when a dragon swoops down and scares all the townsfolk) and it finally crashes into the ocean-- along with one of our beach towels which also got swept up in this miniature tornado, and they are both less than ten feet from where Ian and I are standing, and so we go retrieve them (but if the umbrella would have impaled someone, I think I would have walked the other way, because I don't want to get jailed for involuntary manslaughter for poor umbrella erection . . . you don't garner much respect with the inmates for that crime) and our beach area was devastated, our belongings were scattered everywhere and Nicky was crying, unhurt but scared, but here is the strange part . . . the burst of wind did absolutely no damage to any of the surrounding beach equipment, just to our little area: weird.
So I walk into LA Fitness and the mousy girl working the desk-- if she had handles I could have dead-lifted her-- tells me I can't work out while wearing sandals . . . though I've been working out at LA Fitness for five years now while wearing sandals, as they are convenient foot-wear if you also want to swim or shower after you lift (plus I have a problem getting socks on my feet when it's humid, probably due to their hairiness) but she's insisting that I can't wear an "open toed shoe" while I lift weights, so I ask her about Crocs-- which are not technically open-toed-- and she considers this back-talk and says, "You want support when you work-out, so wear sneakers . . . okay?" and I'm about to get into the whole barefoot running thing and how I DON'T want support when I work out and how I often shoot baskets on their court barefoot, but I decide it's not worth it . . . and, finally, she did allow me on the floor with my sandals . . . but I had to promise that next time I would wear sneakers . . . and now I'm seriously considering getting some of those Vibram Five Fingers minimalist running shoes just to fuck with her.
LeCompt, the best bar band in the universe, at the Springfield Inn, the best dive bar in the universe (cash only) and during "Born to Run," Mike LeCompt got on the bar and pointed the microphone at the girls in front of me, ostensibly to get one of them to sing the ONE TWO THREE FOUR, but then I realized he wasn't pointing the microphone at them, he was pointing the microphone at me, and so I took the natural course of action and started backing away, but he was relentless with his pointing, and then Ed gave me a firm push from behind and I stepped up and yelled, "ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!" in my best Bruce voice (which was pretty good because of the amount of drinking we had been doing) and then the girls in front of me high-fived me and twenty minutes later another guy congratulated me on my ability to count to four, and they were all sincere in their accolades, which I found ridiculous and I wanted to tell them that I was half-way through The Recognitions by William Gaddis, one of the densest works of literature known to Western culture and that counting to four wasn't much of an accomplishment, but The Springfield Inn didn't seem like the place to bring this up (and then on the way out, to add further insult, when we complimented LeCompt on another great show . . . they did a fantastic cover of David Bowie's "Starman" . . . LeCompt told me it was okay that I couldn't figure out what to do with the microphone for a while . . . he said, "It's alright man, I have ADD too").
instant coffee out of a possible ten.
I must remember to wake up early . . . I must remember to wake up early . . . because if I don't . . . if I get up when everyone else gets up and I have to immediately start socializing with my family, then I can be a stubborn grouch-- and this also might be a result of a long, hot summer and a lot of "quality time" with my wife and kids-- and so last week while we were packing for a trip to the Philly Zoo, I got in a full blown argument with my wife about which water bottle to bring . . . but now I'm getting up again at 5:30 AM so I can get some alone time every morning before I have to deal with the other people that live in my house, and I'm behaving in a much more civil fashion.
Now that there are so many myriad ways to communicate with fellow humans, you need to know which method each person prefers-- some people only respond to texts, some people will get right back to you on e-mail, there are Facebook people and Skype people and blog folks and chatters and old fashioned phone call people and communication whores who somehow manage everything at once . . . and if you don't know a person's preferred method, you may never communicate with them-- so I guess my question is this: are texters only communicating with other texters while the old fashioned phone call people are sticking to their own and the Facebook people are partying down over there (unbeknowst to us bloggers) and the technorati are Skyping or doing something even cooler than that, is this causing some sort of communications clique effect . . . are we herding together because of technological choices and only communicating with people of the same type?
Several members of my family have a long history of calling and leaving messages on our answering machine that contain no specific information other than "call me back," and I think this is a strategy to entice my wife and I to call back to find out what the actual message is . . . but we're not falling for it.
Larry David did an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" about the awkwardness of the invitation: Larry can't mention that he's invited to the Greene's dinner party (but of course he does mention it to Marty, who is NOT invited . . . and then Larry gets angry because he's not invited to dinner at a restaurant . . . and his friends are dining on him because he was the one that got Ted Danson the gift certificate, but Larry's friends claim that they didn't invite him because then he would be giving the gift to himself) and this theme manifested itself right in front of me the other night in New Brunswick . . . we were out with a large group of people and one couple revealed they had gotten an invite to someone's beach house (a drunken and late invite, but an invite nonetheless) but no one else had gotten an invite recently-- although one person had gotten the broad promise of a later invite a month before . . . so this was funny enough to discuss, but technology has taken awkwardness to a new and more immediate level . . . everyone started bombarding the non-inviter with texts about the lack of an invitation, until she finally confessed (in text format) that she was a "bad inviter," which leads to my motto of the day: it's easier to invite everyone, as most people won't be able to make it anyway.
this, this, and this-- and so I just came up with a new one, and more power to the person who reads this and follows through with the patenting and production of this invention I am donating to the internet . . . all I want is the ability to say, "You saw it here first" . . . so here it is: everyone hates putting away laundry-- it's difficult enough to DO the laundry and once you're done there's never any motivation and energy left to actually put away the clothes-- so you make a dresser with laundry basket style drawers, so once you've put your laundry into the baskets, you're done-- you just slide the laundry basket drawers into your dresser and go back to your busy life and once you've worn all the clothes in your drawer, then slide it out, fill it with clothes from the hamper and do some laundry . . . knowing that when it's complete you can put it in your basket and effortlessly slip the drawer shaped basket right into your dresser.
Another tip from social scientist Dan Ariely: saying "sorry" really does have a beneficial effect . . . Ariely proved this by setting up a simple experiment where the technician running the experiment takes a cell-phone call in the middle of questioning the subject-- and rudely ignores him for a time-- but later the subject has a chance to exact "revenge" when the technician over-pays him for his efforts; if the technician did NOT take the cell phone call, then the subject usually gave back the overpayment, but the times the technician took the call, the subject usually exacted pecuniary revenge for the rudeness . . . unless the technician said, "Sorry, I shouldn't have taken that call" afterward . . . but, of course, if Ariely simply watched this scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (when Lancelot storms the wedding and kills the best man and many other guests, but ends up getting along smashingly with the King because he apologizes for his violent actions) the he wouldn't have had to go through all the trouble of running the experiment.
If you want to learn more about corn-hole performance during Outer Banks Fishing Trip XXVII, check this post out . . . you will also learn about the true purpose of the internet.
Highlights (and lowlights) of the Outer Banks Fishing Trip XXVII . . . worst water ever, cold and full of sea lice and jellyfish, which led to the most corn-hole playing ever, my right hamstring and back muscles actually started to get sore from tossing those beanbags . . . after a sound beating by the Bill/Whit corn-hole dynasty, Jerry and Chris go inside and Google "how to toss a corn-hole beanbag" and then return minutes later and drub the dynasty . . . Bruce a.k.a. "Windy Buttocks" gives an extemporaneous wind report off the deck of the Martha Wood . . . T.J. tries to leap the chair, although "leap" probably isn't the correct word . . . a fantastic sit-com called "T.J. and the Weave" also featuring "Jerry" . . . two guys with mustaches . . . Lacey the bartender is pregnant so we do the math (and also try to name the baby "Whitney" but she says it sounds too snobby) . . . a discussion of The Book of Mormon . . . Bruce tries to change seats at Tortuga's because of the "menu game" . . . the advent of the Tortuga's "bar crawl" and a cyber-method of persuading someone to pick them up . . . thanks again for another successful trip,Whit.