Saturday, September 30, 2006

For the Girls

Another of the ancillary effects of the Thursday Thirteen (am I dwelling?) are the responses I got to my rather quirky list of quirks. Although I wasn't surprised to find many comparisons to a certain Mr. Monk, I was interested in the response to one particular quirk.

The peeing in public.

Since almost all of the TT participants were women, allow me to educate my readership on the issues involved with men peeing both standing and in the company of other men. For me, it is the company that is the issue, as I have been peeing standing for almost five decades. As my female bloggers may not know, there are significant issues involved in peeing in the company of men. So much so, that it even as a medical term attatched to it.

...also known as pee shy, shy kidney, bashful bladder or shy bladder syndrome is a type of social anxiety disorder, that can affect both men and women, in which the sufferer is unable to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in a public restroom.

How odd, I thought, since P-Shy was going to be my rapper name, but I digress...

The shy bladder comes in real (not) handy during concerts and other such events where large amounts of alcohol are consumed. In those cases, the public rest room is the only choice, and packed full of drunks as it is, it is difficult if not impossible to find a suitable condition to relieve oneself. So, in such instances, one prefers to watch the Dave Matthews Band while doing the pee-pee dance, while others think I am merely enjoying the music.

Those of us afflicted have found our own methods of avoidance, but among those listed in "official" web sites, I found this one particularly disturbing:
Treatment by reducing the level of privacy at which the condition triggers by indulging in graduated exposure therapy. This last can be achieved by sufferers working together at organized events known as

Workshops? Where I come from, those "workshops" are called Circle Jerks, and forgive me if I beg off, but it isn't part of my therapy to pee in an organization of like-minded sufferers, no matter what you call it. I'll suffer. Leave the pee groups to the weirdos, thank you.

Of course, as it is with any worthwhile affliction, there is an international group and an accompanying web site, listed here. There is even a store, with such things as "Do Public Bathrooms Make You Nervous" magnets and brochures, so you can broach the subject with your boyfriend/husband/partner with the aid of a distracting device.

The point is, (is there one?) that the next time you (the girls) are out with a guy on either the first date or the next of several, and he expresses some odd behavior when the subject of the rest room comes up, do not despair, it's not you - it's him.

You will have a difficult time getting him to discuss his affliction, since it isn't supposed to be manly to talk about it. Although, if you're asking me (and who is?) I think it is particularly manly to not want to pee in a group of men standing against a wall holding their little men in their fingers. If they elect the stall, it may be seen as "girly", and God forbid they ar
e seen as girly.

So, you see girls, men have issues too.

Friday, September 29, 2006

I Feel Your Pain

In the aftermath of the tumult and glory that is the Thursday Thirteen, I found myself wondering about what I would post on Friday. The TT is a difficult act to follow, especially when one considers that it gifted me with over 100 unique visitors between late Wednesday and Thursday. To all who viewed and posted, thanks, even though some of you may not return until next Thursday. And thanks, Carmen, for the link to the little boxy thingy at the bottom. It was worth the effort.

Meanwhile, I scoured the news in search of a muse when, to my amazement, right there in my e-mail box was an ad for Abercrombie and Fitch, a store that I shop in when either drunk or stupid, since the prices of the clothes are way too much for my meager income and tastes. [My preference is the clearance rack at American Eagle or Aeropostale]. Sometimes the most obvious place becomes the last place we look.

The ad I received was for the new Abercrombie
shirts for men and sweaters for women. I like shirts, so I'll take a look. The shirts for men looked reasonable enough, with the big stripes, big sleeves (big price tag) and phony collar to make us look as though we dressed up for a night of binge drinking. The illustration bore me out:

, at the bottom of the e-mail was the accompanying ad for the women's sweaters. Take a second and compare the men's shirts and the women's sweaters. I have not doctored or otherwise manipulated the images.

You already figured it out, right? The men's shirts look like they could wrap around a small car, while the women's sweaters appear waif-like, and look like they would be baggy on the hanger - or a stick.

Girls, I sympathize. I realize now that you cannot possibly conform to the impossibly high standards set for you by (a) corporate America or (b) the fashion industry.
Somehow, I think Abercrombie is saying that it's OK for guys to be fat and gooey, but girls, you'd better be thin and look like a number-two pencil, or else the gooey guys are going to look elsewhere.

Well, take it from me, a single guy who wants women to take care of themselves, but who also looks beyond the impossible standards set by the fashion Czars: Stop worrying so much.
I think regular readers know me well enough to know that I am not saying this to garner phony compliments from my female readers. I say it because the standards are ridiculous. So, if the purpose of this Blog thing is to gather and share ideas about life and its many twists, then allow me to share these words of wisdom, garnered from nearly 5 decades on this dying planet:

It's OK if you're not a size Zero. We'll like you if you are a regular person with thoughts and feelings, and not necessarily a stick-figure who disappears when turned sideways, Abercrombie and Fitch notwithstanding.

Maybe Eddie Bauer makes something for normal people?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Thirteen v.3

Thirteen Little Quirks
Don't Judge

1. Shaking Hands. I'm starting to get a little goofy about shaking hands. When a stranger shakes my hand, I am uneasy until I can find a chance to wash.

2. Door Handles. Likewise. I usually grip the handle someplace where I think others aren't. When I can, I push with my elbow or closed fist. I don't get sick much, either.

3. I trim my underarm hair. I think that's good for everyone involved.

4. Change. I almost never use change. If something is $1.01 and I have a nickel, they're not getting it. Take a penny, leave a penny? Go ahead, I have a change jar to maintain.

5. Penmanship and spelling. A high priority. If you saw my handwriting, you would know what I mean. Strangers compliment me on it. I look at it as both artwork and a courtesy to the people I'm communicating with that they can read and comprehend whan I'm doing. The downside is that I can never get away with anything based on not being able to read my handwriting.

6. Peeing in public. I can't stand at a urinal and pee if there's someone next to me. The whole ordeal strikes me as a bit odd - peeing against a wall a foot from another guy peeing against a wall. I use the stall.

7. I can go to concerts alone, but not movies. I suppose it's because movies can be viewed multiple times, but if I miss a concert, I can't see it again.

8. Wasting Food. I follow the buffet rule: Take what you want, eat what you take. I guess it's that "starving kids in Africa" trauma of my childhood, but I hate throwing food away.

9. Leftovers. But I never eat leftovers. Go figure.

10. The newspaper. I'm lost without my daily newspaper. Neither rain, sleet nor gloom of night ... It's old-school, but I still enjoy the written word on paper.

11. I have "gym sneakers" and "dress sneakers". Doesn't everyone? When the dress sneakers get ratty, they move to "gym" status, and are replaced. Maybe that's not a quirk, you tell me.

12. I iron T-Shirts. I use this odd Fabric Sizing product that is kind of like starch but not as starchy. I don't like the wrinkled look.

13. I walk fast. Faster than most, which makes it difficult to do the mall thing. I'm forever running up on people.

Charming or creepy? You make the call.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Blogger Funk

That's right, I said funk.

When life is kinda empty and you're feeling kinda blue,
Just remember whatcha wanna write, or say or do.

Jot down a note,
or just a thought to get you through the day.
Or if you've got a phone, no need to write, just need to say.

Unless of course, Audioblogger starts funking with you. That's right, I said funking.
With Audioblogger you can post audio to your blog from any phone. Just dial a number and speak. The audio will automatically be posted! So they say.
I wanted to set up a cool audio account like our 21st Century Blogger buddy Kimmyk, who filed a post from the airport. However, it seems that not only is Audioblogger a little ornery, but it has a personality as well. Here's the error screen:

My favorite part is the "Ummm" at the beginning. A slightly apologetic Audioblogger. Although I'm not sure the problem is with my blog. I'm very possessive, and I think the problem is with you. I'm working on it.

Four more Google searches for our pal Cecily Tynan in the past 2 days. Strangely, one from Richmond, VA looking for "Cecily Tynan scandal", and another from Brisbane, California. As far as I know, the girl is crime-free. Two local searches - one from the University of Pennsylvania and another from the Wyeth-Ayerst Research Lab. Geez, I don't want to know what that's about. The boys are wasting their lunch breaks on Cecily. I don't know what you people are looking for, but thanks for stopping by and bringing the funk. I'm watching ya.

The Philadelphia School District has designated October as Lesbian and Gay History Month, which has some parents upset. My question: What is the history, exactly? The history of sexual preference? I don't get it. Why is the school system celebrating sexual choice?

Are they also doing Fellatio Friday for the kids? Maybe a nice condom demonstration or a puppet show featuring various sexual positions: "Hey kids, it's Poppy the Penis. How are ya today? When Miss Missionary gets here, I'm gonna show you all the do's and don'ts when mommy and daddy are at work." I'm glad I don't have any kids in school. My nerves can't take it.

I'm going back to work on the Audioblogger.

Audioblogger works with the original log-in for Blogger, not the Beta log in. It remains to be seen whether my audio posts will work with the Beta version I'm using.
And, while I was working on the blog, I registered another Cecily Tynan search. This one is from the law firm of Kaplin Stewart in Pennsylvania. Maybe she hired lawyers to research the trendy status of her name? I may be calling in my posts from a State Penetentary soon. Lucky I got the Audioblogger set up, eh?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Buccaneers' Incentive Program

NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms will be out of action indefinitely after having his spleen removed but his NFL career is not in jeopardy, team officals said on Monday. The Bucs lost 26-24 to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Apparently, this is part of the Bucaneers' new Incentive Program. Lose a game, take a body part. Simms was lucky. The next time, it's the gall bladder. Five losses: kidney. Then, they start getting serious.

I see that Condoleezza Rice is in the news (really), with suppositions about whom she may be dating, if anyone. I hear she spilled what's left of her guts to 60 Minutes on Sunday. I was passed out by then, so I'm taking Yahoo News' word for it. For fun, I ran her profile through, and came up with several potential suitors for the Secretary of State.

First, most obviously, was this young man. Apparently he is some sort of royalty, as he goes by the moniker of Prince of Darkness. He's single, about ten-thousand years old (robbing the cradle, anyone?) and likes walks in the park, fine dining and flea markets.

Not her type? Maybe. OK, so the next match may be a little far afield, but I think Condi and Ann Coulter would make a perfect couple. All they'd have to do is establish a residence in Massachusetts, and their work is more than half done. She looks like a cheap date, as it appears she doesn't eat much. Besides, there doesn't seem to be too big a drop-off between Ann and "Bachelor Number One".

All right, I know this next one is available, and right now he could use a little TLC. He's a little shy, and seems to have a raging temper, but I think Condi would be the ideal mate for the Sting Ray that killed the Crocodile Hunter. C'mon, you know they'd be great together.

Or, maybe she'd just like a puppy?

Hey, it could be worse, I could have hooked her up with Rummy. But, they're probably already doing it, so that wouldn't be much of a stretch. Welcome to "Make Your Skin Crawl Tuesday"!
Right back at ya, pal!

Now, I suppose I'll find another "Federal Triangle" listing on the Stat Counter.

Monday, September 25, 2006


For those of you sufficiently pissed at the prospects of having marketing messages sent to your mobile phone via text message, as detailed in yesterday's post, here's some contact info for the Mobile Marketing Association:

Mobile Marketing Association
75 Manhattan Drive, Suite 204
Boulder, Colorado 80303
+1.303.415.2550 (Phone)
+1.303.499.0952 (Fax)

Executive Director
Laura Marriott

Let 'er rip!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weekend Wrap-Up

While watching the LPGA Long's Drug Challenge coverage yesterday on The Golf Channel, I found out that the correct pronounciation of Kelli Kuehne's surname is 'keeney'. Kelli keeney is kind of fun to say. All this time, I thought it was kune or keen. Somehow, I like her a little more now that her name is Keeney.
Have I been pronouncing Clay Aiken's name correctly the entire time? I hope so, because even if I haven't, I don't think it would make me like him more. Maybe it's pronounced Asshat?

Keep your cell phone number to yourself. The ads are coming.

CHICAGO - Get ready for the inbox on your phone to fill up faster. From fast-food chains to carmakers to consumer goods manufacturers and sports franchises, more and more companies are adopting text messaging as a way to target consumers on the move.
The practice has taken off in the past year and appears a trend ready to explode, according to Gerry Purdy, an analyst for Frost and Sullivan.

"Probably the most important medium for advertising in the 21st century is going to be the cell phone, not print media, not billboards. It's just a matter of time — there are just too many of them," he said. Globally, the number of cell phones in use recently crossed 2.5 billion.

There ya go. They've found us. As for me, a person with no house phone, I guess I'm doomed. Junk mail ... Junk text messages. One of the reasons I ditched the house phone is because I got sick of answering calls from tele-marketers. Once there are enough of us, they will find us. I guess 2.5 billion was enough of a block for them to start the assualt. If I start getting charged for marketing text messages and calls, it will only be a matter of time before I'm sending smoke signals from the back yard. Laura has it figured out:

Text messaging "provides anytime, anywhere access to the consumer because the mobile phone is always on and always available," said Laura Marriott, executive director of the Mobile Marketing Association.

Sure, like when I'm driving or at work. Honestly ... leave me alone. If I want your product, I either already have it or know where to get it. Stop calling me. Jeez ... even McDonalds:

"Text messaging is going to be a big opportunity," Barrett said. "It not only offers us a fun way to engage consumers and a great way to have a conversation with them, but in the future it represents an opportunity potentially to make the McDonald's process even easier for consumers to use."

I think McDonald's is easy enough to use as it is. If I want to have a conversation with you, I'll pull up to the drive-thru and talk to the big speaker.

As if our lives weren't cluttered and busy enough, now we're going to have to deal with this nonsense. We'll have to get Congress involved; create more laws, another "don't call" list and more bureaucratic red tape. All in the name of corporate marketing.