Friday, February 27, 2004

Gillette isn't "the best a man can get"--singleness is.

Guys try so hard and put so much effort into impressing girls. When Joe Blow finds himself in like with a girl or two (or three or more), the world is a whirling dervish of topsy-turvy and kaleidoscopic chaos. The risk, the uncertainty, the thrill of the chase, the rush of blood to the *ahem* [head] all push a guy to his best. Creativity isn't a process to be nurtured; it's a natural reaction that exudes from every pore, every away message, every one-liner, and every interaction with said girl(s). Gillette isn’t the best a man can get—singleness is. Singleness stimulates a guy’s survival of the fittest instinct and makes every endeavor an opportunity not to pass up.

When single, Joe Blow frets about his clothes and frets about making social appearances; he frets over making phone calls and frets answering the phone; he frets about smelling good and frets about looking good. Throughout, Joe frets over the need to disguise all this fretting by constantly portraying an image of cool indifference.

Granted, some guys channel this nervous energy differently. The meatheads tent to release it in the gym, the grease monkeys in the garage; the emo patsies feed the torturous process with their whiny, “soul-baring” lyrics. Regardless of the product, most every guy is pushed to some higher level of creativity in whatever he does.

The best example of this in my own experience is how hard it is for me to write away messages, profiles and blog entries anymore.

As recently as last fall, I was Joe Blow in the single state described above. The Party Hard video was alive and Arms 305 was discovering the joys of all that is jackass. Girls were walking smiles for me to charm and sweet-talk without discretion or consequence. I was single and, in my own mind at the time, “thriving.”

It was during this same fall semester, through a conversation with Peter Swift when I boasted of putting more effort and premeditation into my away messages and profiles than anyone else (Whether this is something of which to boast is debatable, but you can’t deny that you read them every day and kept coming back for more).

The point comes across that I was pushed to rise above lameass messages that the common IMer turns out on a daily basis. I refused to sink so low as to post messages explicitly complaining about the crappy Beaver Falls weather or the frustrations of the opposite sex or pity-seeking proof that my finals week was the worst ever.

I had an image to maintain and creativity to burn. Integral social tool that it is for our generation, IM profiles and away messages were two of the most obvious outlets through which to channel my creative restlessness. I certainly wasn’t getting a chance in any shear/moment diagrams from steel class.

I think I was hitting the peak of my single-state creativity just as my relationship with Becca was becoming less "grey" and more "black-and-white."

I am not trying to make Becca out to be a sucker for superior away messages—besides, I’d like to believe (and rightly so) that her saying “yes” was more a result of our friendship growing more and more intimate—there may or may not be a correlation. The point I would argue is that the start of ScottandBecca changed everything.

Being the Scott in ScottandBecca meant an instant beginning to daily peace of mind. Single life was great for film fest material and feeding hormones, but little else. Being single is a little of what I imagine menopause to be, sans the droopy breasts and hot flashes. Moods swing from the depths of despair to the apex of ecstasy, often in the same hour. Maybe that’s where the similarities end, but the idea is conveyed, I hope.

The up-and-down nature of the single life is what feeds the fire. You’re either king of the world or footstool of the female gender or both at once. In any case, you have motivation, inspiration and ample reasons to swing for the fences in whatever you do.

All this is to say:

The post-pubescent years of Joe Blow’s young life may be the most creative and most self-exploratory of his entire time on earth. If single, Joe will probably push himself to be the best he can possibly be. This is one of the strongest arguements I make to say that the TEEN-AGE YEARSof a guy's life should not be spent committed to a girlfriend.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

So I'm Pretty Sure My Girlfriend Has the Best Taste in Music of Any Girl EVER

One of the primary objectives to which I hold myself in maintaining this blog is keeping girlfriend mush to a minimum. Big part of my life as ScottandBecca is, there are few people who want to read about ScottandBecca and even fewer people who would choose to indulge in the mush that is often ScottandBecca.

However, please do let me proceed to brag about an un-mushy quality that I believe sets my girlfriend, Becca Roszel, apart as the girl with the best all-around musical taste IN THE WORLD.

She has her share of quirks with music, as most girls do. "Take My Breath Away" is one of her favourite 80s songs, she thinks the Cars were a good band, and she has a tendency to develop "rock star crushes" that aren't always easy for her boyfriend to swallow. Despite these miniscule shortcomings, I am arguing that there is not another girl in the world with a better taste in music than Becca Roszel.

First and foremost, Becca is a Classic Rock chick. She LOVES (meaning she owns one or more cds from or at least is very very familiar with the following): Pink Floyd, Steve Miller Band, Bruce Springsteen, the Stones, the Beatles, the Allman Brothers, and Van Halen. Oh yeah, she goes absolutely ga-ga about Led Zeppelin. She also LIKES (meaning when she hears a song by one of the following she turns the radio up and sings into her thumb): David Bowie, the Doors, the Who, the Cars, CCR, Queen, Joe Cocker, Steppenwolf, Bad Company, the Kinks, Styx, Rush, Boston, Jethro Tull, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, John Cougar Mellencamp, Deep Purple, and Frank Zappa.

Secondly, Becca is a Rock chick. She LOVES (same meaning as above): Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Counting Crows, REM, Taproot, Finger Eleven, Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, Incubus, Cake, Our Lady Peace, Deftones, Soundgarden, Toadies, Ghoti Hook and Jimmy Eat World. She LIKES: Audioslave, Apex Theory, Chevelle, Mad at Gravity, Foo Fighters, Dashboard Confessional, Matthew Good Band, Alice in Chains, Bush, Nirvana, Oleander, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, APerfectCircle...and she's coming around to Andrew WK.

She has an affinity for music with a softer side, as well. She LOVES: Norah Jones, Sara Groves, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Tracy Chapman, the Cranberries, Frank Sinatra, Simon and Garfunkel, and James Taylor. She Likes: John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Fiona Apple, Paula Cole, and Pedro the Lion.


Not one of these lists is complete, mind you. I will probably have to update each one at least half a dozen times.

Please understand that I realize what a treasure I have in Becca. There are ways in which I don't even hold a boombox to her knowledge of Classic Rock--her dad actually used to put headphones on her little head when she was feeding as a baby. She grew big and strong on classic rock just as much as farm-fresh milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It's a little intimidating to have a girlfriend who can and will correct every lyric slip-up you make (it's "radar love," not "red-eye love"..."do you do more than dance" not "do you do wanna dance," etc), but she's mostly gracious about it.

She's also been cool in that she's willing and eager to get to know my bands. There were two months over the summer when she borrowed a different cd of mine every week, listened to it and gave me her thoughts. She liked most of them (I told you...she's coming around to AWK) and some of the Rock LIKES are a result of this music swapping. I was most worried about Matthew Good. I can go so far as to say that I couldn't marry a girl who hated Matthew Good Band; he is by far my favourite lyricist and even solo is maybe my favourite band at the moment. To reject him would be to reject a significant portion of what makes me me. To my relief, she loves the tortured Canadian and all is well.

As a disclaimer, you must realize that this opinion of mine is a very biased one--I'm in love with this girl.

As evidence that my opinion is legitimate, I offer the following. Music tastes are subjective and there are few people who can be trusted to talk about good music. I am not a holier than thou indie rock kid who's opinion is obviously superior to yours because I know bands you don't know. Instead, I am an average guy who's opinion is obviously superior to yours because I've heard all the music you've heard but have listened with discretion. I realize "Hey Ya" is one of the worst popular songs ever written and can see through the overproduced ear candy that is Linkin Park. I have listened to all the music you've listened to but have listened to it better.

In light of this, I can now pronounce Rebecca Rose Roszel as the girl with the Best Taste in Music of Anyone Without a Penis in the World EVER.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

So about John farting in the elevator...

[setting the scene for the audience]

John and I were coming out of class Monday morning, 9am-ish. We were on the first floor of the Science & Engineering building, in whose confines we have spent all but a few of our waking academic hours here at Geneva College (Your life. Make it new, yeah right). We needed to get to the third floor computer lab to piss around until our Senior Design meeting later that morning, so we walked to the elevator and pressed the "^" button.

[explaining for the audience why we need to take an elevator when we are both able-bodied young men, capable of climbing a few dozen steps]

John and I have made it our goal this semester to not climb a single flight of steps when it is possible to take the elevator. We've decided that we are enacting our own Senior Privilege and will take the elevator in any scenario and without shame.

[recapping for the audience]

To recap, John and I were on the first floor of the S&E building, waiting to take the elevator to the third floor of the same building.

[continuing with the story]

The little bell rang, the door opened, and we stepped into the empty elevator, John and I. Being the boy of a man that I still am, I wasn't content with merely pressing the "3" button. I had the urge to press all the elevator buttons and did. "G" "2" and "1" followed "3" as the doors closed and we started to move.

[explaining that this is where the story gets interesting]

This is where the story gets interesting.

[continuing, again]

Just as the elevator door was closing behind us, I wondered aloud whether the elevator would go to the third floor first or stop at the second. I had pressed the "3" button first and thought that it would go all the way to the top first. John replied that he really hoped the elevator would go straight to the third floor, and as quickly as possible, because he had just farted and knew it was going to be a bomb.

Before the words had dissolved into the already confined elevator air, the elevator stopped at the second floor.

[pausing for dramatic effect]

The little bells rang, the door opened and Mrs Mills walked into the elevator with us.

[explaining that the audience doesn't need to know who Mrs Mills is to appreciate the story]

One doesn't need to know Mrs Mills or her position at Geneva College for one to appreciate the story. It might even be better if one didn't know and let one's imagination run wild. This will enhance the story. One only needs to continue reading assuming that Mrs Mills, like most everyone else with a functional sense of smell, would not want to walk into an elevator in which ass had just been ripped.

[recapping]

So John and I walked into an empty elevator, going to the third floor. I pressed a whole bunch of buttons while John ripped ass. The elevator stopped unexpectedly on the second floor and Mrs Mills walked in.

[continuing]

After joining us in the elevator, Mrs Mills noticed how many buttons were lit and asked us if we were going up or down. Trying to suppress both a laugh and a gag reflex, I answered that we were going up...eventually--I had merely gone a little "button happy." She seemed not too irate and we began traveling up, toward the third floor, thankfully.

Meanwhile, my buddy, John, my partner in crime, is backed into the corner, bursting with nervous laughter, laughing to himself and me, and in agony over the smell he has created.

Halfway to the third floor, there is no ignoring the smell. I have remained on the opposite side of the elevator this entire time, but by now am finding it difficult to breathe, let alone reply to comments Mrs Mills is making to me about "wearing down the elevator." The air is thick with the stench of John fart and we are both practically bursting with laughter as the elevator creeps towards the third floor.

[building up to a potentially dramatic conclusion]

FINALLY the little bell rings, the door opens and it's all John and I can do to hold ourselves back from tearing out of the elevator, screaming sweet sweet freedom, running away from the confines of the stank-nastiest elevator in the history of stank-nasty elevators.

[concluding]

But we didn't. Turns out that Mrs Mills was going to the computer lab, too. So our agony was drawn out as we followed her to the lab with tails between our legs and giggles still bursting from the corners of our mouths, Button Happy Boy and The Elevator Flatulator.

"Civil" Engineers, indeed.
So I'm gonna blame my two week blogging hiatus on the fact that my life has been fairly agreeable of late.

It's no secret that guys are less verbal than girls. Just spend a minute as a fly on the wall at a guys' nite out and then spend the same minute (if you can endure it) at a girl's slumber party.

Guys will talk trash during their game of nine ball and debate the validity of the fight scenes in a movie, but hardly will they connect more than a few complete sentences, using grunts and groans whenever possible.

Girls, on the other hand, are veritable divas of dialogue, even the shy ones. If there were more than a moment’s silence during a girls’ nite, someone would probably start crying or worry that everyone was secretly mad at her. Girls think it's rude to forget their friends' sisters' favourite movie. They feel pressure to make connections and include everyone in everything. Girls have room meetings in their dorms if someone forgets to clean their hair off the shower drain. Girls are funny squirrels like that.

I make this distinction because it explains how hard it is for me to keep this blog thing updated. I’m a guy--I need something to rant about. I need conflict. I need to complain about the state of my world, disenfranchised quarter-life crisis candidate that I am.

My life is fine. My life is great, even. I am a twenty-one year old white male from as solid a Christian home as one could ever ask for. The world is mine for the asking, as the Lord leads me. I am blessed beyond what I could ever ask for, never mind the fledgling career, steady girlfriend and respectable CD collection. What do I have to complain about? To borrow from Audio Adrenaline, I am in the summer of my lifetime and everything is in bloom.

It's not even that I'm too busy to spend half an hour telling the story about John farting in an elevator just as Mrs Mills was walking in. It's not even that the demands of dreaded PoliSci are too overbearing--they're not--the class is more overhyped than the Humanities program. It's not even that Becca takes up too much of my time. If anything, she pushes me to keep my blog updated.

Maybe I am too busy. Maybe this blog isn't a high enough priority. Maybe things will turn around. Maybe I'll overcome my manhood and find ways to compose entries in the happy genre. Maybe I bit off more than I can chew with this blog thing. Maybe I'll give up. Who's loss would that be?

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"Don't cry for me...I'm already dead." - Barney Gumble

I have adopted this quote as a working mantra in the Selling Out that is my life of late. I am prepared to live with and even encourage certain levels of denial in my life, but this cancer of SellOut has grown more extensive than can be ignored. I own and use a cell phone, I own and wear "distressed" jeans, I loved "Joe Millionare", I have started a Blog. I am a Sell Out, but self-aware and unashamed, to an extent. So here, I am. Carpe Blog.