Tuesday, December 10, 2013

winter. finals. rambo.

Dear Reader,

Let’s talk winter. 

On the plus side I can listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” on repeat without being harshly judged (June was a tough month for me). I have an excuse to wear bulky sweaters, which requires no need for a prison cell (bra). Not to mention dark chocolate peppermint ice cream at Coldstone… another reason for those bulky sweaters. And of course, my favorite holiday flicks: Holiday in Handcuffs and Die Hard.

And quite frankly, this:

On the other hand, winter plain sucks. Sure I’ve lived in Utah since birth, but my love for the cold, blistery, snow-infested days has yet to develop. I can appreciate the beauty of a snowy morning from the confines of my snuggie, but when I’m required to gear up and face Suzy Snowflake head on, a very different version of myself comes out, referred to as “Winter Sam”. If you’ve ever seen Rambo, you have a decent understanding of how “Winter Sam” approaches the dangers of walking and driving on the enemy ice. So far the record is Sam-3 Ice-0, but we're just getting started folks. I fear this season will end in a sudden death match....much like this:

For those of you attending a college, university, or pretentious, over-priced prep school, you know that with winter comes finals week. I’ll admit I used to be a hater: Instagramming photos of myself looking haggard after hours of studying in the library, Tweeting phrases like “I ______hate finals week. I don’t give a _____about graduating anymore! Why the ______did I sign up for this??” (Note: all _____were filled appropriately with the words “SUPER”, “bout of diarrhea”, and “Danny de Vito”). It wasn’t until yesterday that the reality of finals week hit me. My courageous ancestors walked across America with no shoes, living off of, what I can only imagine being called, Buffalo Enchilada Surprise. All that is required of me during finals week is to read some textbooks by a warm fire’s glow, sharpen some #2 pencils that I bought with my credit card, and answer questions regarding Sexually-Transmitted Infections causing painful urination in males. I, for one, am going to strive to have a less whiny attitude towards these five days.

Disclaimer: Males, if experiencing painful urination, seek medical attention, and stop being skeezy.

So Reader, although I was once referred to as a “Snowflake” by a tall, attractive, black Utah State basketball player, my identification with winter is bleak. But I'll grin and bear it if you will. I wish you all a happy holiday, safe travels, and health (should you endeavor in eating those bins of multi-flavored popcorn).

-The ever-jolly and tinselly Swampman

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

my two cents.

Dear Reader,

There I was sitting in class this morning, staring at who I suspect to be an oompa loompa (crazy hair, stout in stature, overly-baked orange skin, sings about quirky mishaps in class....I may have exaggerated that last one) when I started gathering some thoughts I've had swimming around my head for the past couple weeks.

1) It was brought to my attention by a dear friend that arranged marriages ought to be re-established in our culture. It was one of those moments where you instinctively laugh, but then have a sudden moment of pause when you realize what an insanely brilliant idea that is. My feelings on dating right now can be easily described in the diagram below:

Dating>>>Break-up (scary)
Dating>>>Marriage (scarier)

Either way you are facing an extremely anxiety-enducing situation. With the idea of arranged marriages, you get to completely skip the confusing dating phase and dive directly into marital bliss with a stranger....but go with me here....imagine if that stranger ends up being a total maverick like James Franco (a smile that could melt a thousand ice-bergs). Now that's a bandwagon I could jump on. 

2) The 90's got it right. In every way.
I've recently been going through a 90's phase with both my media choices and wardrobe decisions (nothing trumps a solid pair of overalls). A consistent theme I've noticed is clich├ęs. In every high-school based movie, cheerleaders & athletes are always in uniform, band members are always toting along their instruments, and the "geeks" are sex-crazed, acne-ridden, mathletes. Now I don't know about you, but this is EXACTLY how high school was for me. There was also a ridiculous amount of focus on "The Prom". It was the end-all of events of the teenage experience. The majority of the time there would be a “project” character that would get a social and physical make-over just in time for the prom, but would then establish at the heaven-forsaken dance that they would rather be their true selves anyways. Again, EXACTLY my high school experience. Coincidentally I also fell in love with my charming ex step-brother, Paul Rudd.

 <<<<< me......

Now let’s take a moment to reminisce the tween queens of the 90’s. Allow me to introduce the Olsen twins:
I doubt there is a girl out there that didn't at one time or another dream of being an Olsen. Our sweet Mary-Kate and Ashley got their start on Full House and quickly rose to stardom with such hits as Billboard Dad, Passport to Paris, It Takes Two, and not to mention their collection of adventure-mystery blockbusters: The Case of the Volcano, The Case of Thorn Mansion, The Case of the Seaworld Adventure, and my personal fave The Case of the U.S. Space Camp Mission.
This delightfully sassy duo had it all- adoring faces, differing styles, and the incredible ability to say the same words at the same time (not an easy task as we all know). So what if they turned out to be anorexic, crack heads? I owe a large part of my upbringing to their ever-demonstrating example of spunk. 

3) The world only needed two songs. "Without You" -Harry Nillson & "Survivor"-Destiny's Child. Everything else is just noise. 

4) The biggest problem in the gym is not toolish guy in a cut-off shirt watching himself lift, the annoying competitive girl on the treadmill next to you trying to one-up you, or even the uncomfortably high-risk of contracting staph infection. No, the biggest problem is when you get B.O. trapped. Allow me to explain. 
Scenario: Samantha had just began a 30 minute session on the elliptical. No one was around her, Beyonce was pumping, and life was grand. Suddenly a large, hairy, sweaty male stepped on the machine adjacent to her. The overwhelming stench of death filled her respiratory tract. She had been B.O. trapped. Now she was faced with the trying decision--Should she risk being rude and get on a different machine (possibly making a "stanky" face in the process)? Or should she tough it out? Well ladies and gentlemen, she was a pioneer. Almost 30 minutes of breathing in that morbid odor. 

Well Reader, those are my thoughts for today.
Just remember that no matter how hard life gets, you don't have to wake up being Miley Cyrus' parents.

Many thanks,
The Swampman

Thursday, May 2, 2013

oh ya know, just some late night thoughts.

Dear Reader,

I usually go into writing a post with some idea of what I'm going to write about. Tonight I've just consumed too much caffeine and am too scared to watch Law and Order SVU by myself. So.....here goes a thoughtless rant about everything and nothing.

I had a thought today: wouldn't it be nice if we could ctrl+z our lives? Like, if you had an unbelievably embarrassing moment, such as that classy reaction after a bee flies down your shirt and stings you while playing kickball with a group of elementary students (oddly specific example that I wouldn't know anything about). Or after one of those foot-in-the-mouth moments where you insult a bad last name like Barfuss and lo and behold it's theirs? Or even after making a huge life mistake, like forgetting that Taco Bell only has Pepsi. You just mentally click ctrl+z and BAM, ZIP, HOLY GRAPEFRUIT BATMAN, it's undone. It's every awkward person's dream. Unfortunately, life's about learning from our mistakes, using our past to influence our future, blah blah blah load of crap. I say, we should start invoking a social ctrl+z rule. If in fact you need a quick undo you can simply say ctrl+z and all involved persons must immediately forget the situation. Reader, I'm willing to start the trend if you are willing to follow. If not, I'm only going to enhance the debilitating awkwardness that is my daily experience here on earth by shouting out nonsense computer lingo.

Much like a b-track Carpenters song, my life doesn't make much sense right now. And I feel like the best thing to do in situations like this is to create a distraction; something that you have complete control over, something that makes sense, something like a new hobby. I've dabbled in my inventing skills ("Pajama Jean Capris" and "Morgan Freeman's Words of Wisdom App"), tried my hand at widdling small woodland creature figurines (you should see my pine marten), wrote a duet for Bette Midler and the ugly, forgotten Jonas brother titled "Well, This is Different...", and even gave spin class a try (two giant bruises and a knot in my gastrocnemius later, I was done..after one class). Regardless of my repeated failures, I've decided my new hobby is finding new hobbies. I can't wait for my next blind date so I can impress him with my extensive list of past-times. I usually just lie and say figure skating.

Which reminds me, blind dates. Aren't they just a treat? Between the guy who was obsessed with Eve 6 and the dude who talked about suturing for 2 hours, I've had my fair share of adventures. But there is something, dare I say, thrilling about spending an evening with someone you have absolutely no clue about and finding out what their deal is. I've learned the key to a good blind date is to set no expectations and pretend to have menstrual cramps if the date is going too long, or if you suspect them of being a wicken.

Reader, I leave you with this thought:

If this creepy, insignificant little fish can be happy, so can you.

As usual,
The Swampman

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

the art of the break-up.

Dear Reader,
We need to talk. I'm just not feeling right about us anymore. It's not you, it's me. I'm just not ready to settle down in a relationship. I still have feelings for someone else. Remember that girl I met the other day....well...But don't worry, you're wonderful and will find someone else in no time!

We've all heard at least one of these lousy break-up lines at one time or another in our lives.

It comes down to this: break-ups suck. Regardless of the reasoning, they absolutely suck. Today I want to talk a little bit about the art of dealing with a break-up.

1. Dealing with the initial shock
"WTF?? He/She is breaking up with me?? What did I do wrong?? Why are they doing this?? How could they do that to me??" --Okay honey, slow it down a little. Of course when they break the news to you, you have a million questions buzzing around your head. That's totally fine and normal. It's a confusing thing when the relationship goes from seemingly perfect to dead in a matter of seconds. My advice, instead of vomiting up each question as it comes (much like a late night trip to Betos) hold them in and carefully select and word the questions that you REALLY want answers to. But don't you dare ask them what you did wrong, or what you could have done better. They have just made the huge mistake of letting you go, and that doesn't mean you need to become a pitiful helpless being that only needed them to be happy.

2. Don't feel like you need to resolve everything in 5 minutes
It's okay to not feel closure after talking with your now ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. You shouldn't have to take the bad news, rip them apart, forgive them, and decide to be friends all in one fell swoop (you shouldn't be friends with your exes anyways!). Just take the news, be angry and hurt, then leave the situation. It's better to split up each of these steps, so you can go through them with a clear mind.

3. Things left unsaid
There is nothing I hate more than regretting not saying something to the guy breaking my heart. But it's good to take a few days or weeks and think about these things. Take the emotion out of it, and decide what you want them to know. Whether that's how badly they really hurt you, your desire for them to burn in a fiery hell pit, or your hope that you can both find better happiness is totally up to you. In my opinion, it's okay to talk to them again. You can't really get closure without it. Keep it short and unemotional, but say what you need to say so you can get on the path to recovery.

4.  It's okay to hurt
For crying out loud, if someone rips out your heart and steps on it, don't be ashamed to cry. Be sad, be angry, feel it all. I once read an analogy about a glass of water. If your arm is extended and you're asked to hold a heavy glass of water, you could it with ease for a short while. The longer you hold it though, the harder it will be. But if you were to immediately drop the glass of, you would never understand what it feels like to hold it. So go ahead and be upset for a while! But at some point you've got to make the decision to let it go.

5. Coping 101
We all have different ways of coping. Some feel the need to talk to everyone about everything, while others keep to themselves. Some eat away their feelings, while others run out their anger. Each situation is different. Find what works for you.With that, I'm going to share some coping tips that have helped me throughout the years.

Don't start pigging out on pizza, chocolate, or sticks of butter. You'll just feel worse about yourself and your love handles. This is the time to eat the healthiest! When it seems like everything else has gone to pot, eating fresh fruits/vegetables will make you feel like a million bucks. Plus, should you run into your ex in the near future you'll have an extra glow about you instead of an extra chin.

I'm a firm believer in the magic of a break-up playlist. It really helps to have all the hurt and confusion you're feeling put to a catchy tune. I think there's a good song for just about every break-up scenario.

Got a cheater on your hands?
Don't worry, Christina's got your back. This song helps to remind us that the worst part of them cheating on you is the fact that they gave you up.

Did he/she move on first and find the love of their life? 
Thanks Adele. Perfectly said. 


Meant to be together, but it didn't work out? 
Just sit back and indulge in the saddest song ever written.

...And not to mention EVERY girl power song written by Pink or Kelly Clarkson.

Immature acts that make you feel better
-Draw their face on a watermelon and smash it.
-Write everything you hate about them on water balloons and throw them out your window. 
-Dart boards can be very therapeutic.
-Write a long, angry "letter to the other woman (or man)" and mail it to a made-up address. 
-Gather up all of the flowers, teddy bears, love notes, etc that they gave to you and have yourself a little bonfire. 
-Drive past their house and flip them off (Mom, I promise I've never done this...)

Finally, a good excuse to spend money on something fun! Go get your hair done, get a mani/pedi, buy some new shoes, get name brand deli meat, adopt a disabled koala bear, whatever makes you feel better! Now that you're back on the market, you'll need to be looking your very best :)

Reader, the most important thing to remember is to keep your chin up! The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow (I read that on a Crossfit ad today- I felt inspired to get great triceps).  

Can you believe this face just got dumped? Neither can I.
-Your currently broken-hearted, but soon to be independent rockstar, Swampman