Non-Required Reading

I’m listening to “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi. Apparently this is good for your brain. Apparently, classical music is good for your brain. But what do I know? I know next to nothing, really. I know a little about surfing, a little about travel in Latin America. But, really, other than that, I know — what’s the expression again? — jack squat.

But I regress. I regress and relapse. I relapse often. I’m probably going to relapse later today. I imagine the relapse will look something like this: I’ll be sitting at my apartment, bored out of my little homonid skull, and the beer in the fridge will start sounding like a mighty fine idea. So I’ll get the beer. I’ll drink it, etc. etc. And then I’ll start thinking about the ice cream cake, how it would feel in my mouth, how it would taste. It’s got chocolate and vanilla, for Christ’s sake. It’s a veritable bombardment for the palette. So there you go. Next thing I know I’ll have ice cream all over my face and my boxers will be on backwards. I’ll feel slightly confused and ashamed. That’s more or less what the relapse will look like.

I haven’t eaten anything all day. But this is fairly standard. I don’t eat anything in the morning. I don’t know any men worth their salt who do. Men are hunters and we also have no self control so at night we eat all the meat we’ve killed and then the next morning can’t eat until we’ve hunted. That’s more or less how it goes. So in the 21st century you must simulate this, and simulate it by not eating in the morning until you’ve done your work. My work is writing. I put words on paper, or rather, on one of those ghastly screens. It’s titillating work, though. I get to express myself, as they say. But anyway back to the hunting. Writing is a bit like going after a gazelle. The way they leap you have to keep your finger poised just so on the trigger. Don’t squeeze too hard! Throws the aim off. Any gazelle hunter worth her salt knows this. Any salt collector worth her salt knows this. And I do like salt. Sea salt, Tibetan sea salt, the pink stuff.

God, I’m getting fat. I’m getting obese. What happened to my svelte, tanned, 18 year old body. The women used to swoon. I’d walk by and they’d say, “Who is that boy there with the high cheekbones.” And of course I’d blush and say thank you and then sometimes we’d start talking and sometimes we’d even go lawn bowling together, me and these young women, and all the time we’d be lawn bowling they’d be thinking about whatever it is young women think about — crocheting? — and I’d be thinking about tracking hippos through a swamp, and when I could finally get back to Malawi, or Burundi, back on the savannah, God that’s where the true freedom is, knowing that later that night you might get disemboweled by a leopard in your sleep. Which is how I want to go. I know it would be painful, but it’s still how I want to go.

The Best Places to Chill in Seattle and Spend (Almost) Nothing

chill seattle
Bro be chillin’.

Seattle is expensive. Everyone knows this. But if you chill at these places you can spend next to nothing and essentially be a vagrant without all the negative connotations that brings.

Madison Market

Shit is expensive here. But sometimes they have samples, and you can just buy a La Croix ($0.69) and chill in the nice indoor seating area.

Whole Foods (Roosevelt)

Shit is expensive here. But they have brewed yerba mate for under $2.00 and you can also post up in the cafe and buy nothing. Just don’t go at lunch time, when the place is rife with parents and their small children screaming/spilling food/doing other things small children do.

Elliott Bay Books

My only gripe with this place is it’s so chill, it’s so relaxing, that the only thing I want to do when I’m there is fall asleep. Today I was reading The Story of my Teeth by Valeria Luiselli. When I grabbed the book off the shelf one of the employees looked at me like, “You piece of shit I know you’re not going to buy that book you literally come in here everyday and have never bought a book,” but then just smiled. Upstairs I tried to read it but just got so…tired. And I’m not going to pay for anything in the cafe. Little Oddfellows is expensive.

Trader Joe’s

OK, you can’t really chill here. But they have samples/free coffee all day. Which means I chill here a lot, albeit in short stints.

Odegaard Library, UW Campus

My login still works at the computers, so sometimes I come here to work. It’s also a nice place to watch UW students “study,” i.e. peruse Facebook. The next generation is lost, man.

So there you have it. Like, there you have it. Like, chill, bro. Like, chill. There you have it. There. You. There you have it. Have it. Have it. Have it.

Tinder pt. 3: The Playboy

It’s been a fun process going from Tinder failure to Tinder playboy. With the help of my Tinder consultant Jenny I now have several matches, some of whom I’m even talking to.

Opening lines are my forte. Take this gem:

OK. it’s not hilarious, but at least it’s somewhat unusual. I call this technique the “I can’t tell if he’s kidding or not” and like it because it immediately weeds out unsuitable mates. If she thinks it’s funny we can proceed, and if she doesn’t we can stop talking.

I’m still not sure whether it’s best to open with a question or a statement. On the one hand questions elicit answers. On the other hand most people, when they’re comfortable around each other, speak in statements. What I have found is if they don’t answer the question you can just answer it yourself.

For example:

This conversation is useful because it tells me several things about this girl. 1) She’s American (“huh”). 2) Her sense of humor is similar to mine. 3) She’s at least a tiny bit interested.

I’ve found it’s very common for girls to never ask questions on Tinder. They’re so used to being bombarded by insistent men they don’t need to ask questions. This girl’s question tells me she hasn’t been completely jaded by this bombardment.

What happens if she doesn’t respond at all? Then you keep the conversation going until it ceases to be funny (for you).

For example (to a girl who said, “Everything I say and do is 100% weather contingent”):

This is not technically a conversation, since a conversation takes two. But I find it amusing. And with online dating, if you’re amused, that’s good enough. The second it becomes a headache or a source of despair is the second it’s not worth it; this is the one incontrovertible fact I’ve found about online dating. You’re doing this for yourself, and mustn’t forget that. After, as Lao Tzu said, “Seek others’ approval, and you become their prisoner.”