Slip, Fall, Get Up, Repeat

adversity, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherWe all slip and fall metaphorically, Modern Philosophers, and how we rebound from that adversity is very important.

Does the same thing trip us up time and again?  Do we let the misstep bother us, or do we learn from our mistake?

How you bounce back definitely says a lot about you.

In my case, I tend to slip and fall quite often, and it’s not always metaphorically.  I’m quite the klutz, and am well acquainted with floors, sidewalks, and streets as a result.

Just this week, in fact, I took quite a tumble.

It was Wednesday, and I remember it clearly because I was all bruised and bandaged for that night’s taping of The Nite Show.

I’d gone for a run, but cut it short because the roads were slippery.  I even noted in my post-run selfie that I’d miraculously managed to navigate the icy roads without falling.

Alas, I did not have the same luck in my own driveway.

I was headed to work.  I walked to the garage with my bag over my shoulder, and the garbage in one hand.  I tried to open the garage door, but it was stuck due to the ice.

adversity, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherWithout even thinking, I bent at the knees to put a little more oomph into my next effort to raise the door.

That was when it happened.

Even though I’d taken great pains to clear the area in front of the garage of snow and ice, snow had melted off the garage roof, dripped down onto the driveway, and had frozen overnight.

When I tried to open the door that second time, I lost my footing on the fresh ice.  It all happened so quickly, but it went something like this…

I slammed my face against the garage door, bounced off it, dropped the garbage and my bag, fell onto my back, slammed my shoulder, felt my shoulder pop, scraped my knuckles on the blacktop, and then let rip with a litany of curses.

All in a matter of about ten seconds, with a majority of the time spent cursing.

I remember being sprawled out on the ground, looking for my bag, and thinking to myself that I needed to get up before I was late for work.

I did take a moment to make sure I could raise my arm and rotate my shoulder.  I carefully collected the garbage, which was strewn all over the driveway, and checked my pants to make sure I hadn’t torn them in my ice follies.

It was only when I was backing out of the driveway and looked down at the steering wheel that I noticed two of my knuckles were bleeding.

Even then, I had tunnel vision about getting to work.  No time to stop.  I pulled a napkin out of the glove compartment, applied direct pressure, and drove to work.

adversity, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherPerhaps it helped that I knew my destination had doctors and medical supplies.  Maybe I was just so pissed off and embarrassed at what had happened that I’d refused to deviate from my plan.

All I know is that I didn’t sit there and wallow in my klutziness.  I got my shit together, dragged my ass off the ice, and continued with my plan.

Once I arrived at work, I cleaned my cuts, and the kind folks in Pediatrics supplied me with bitchin’ zebra stripe band-aids.  I don’t even need to tell you that I looked like a real tough guy wearing those across my knuckles all day.

Sure, my shoulder was sore, and I felt like a total klutz every time I caught a glance of the zebra stripes in my peripheral vision, but I championed through my day and then through three episodes of The Nite Show.

This morning, I was out in the driveway with the ice chopper, exacting my revenge with a vengeance.  I did not let Wednesday’s incident deter me from spending time outside.  The driveway is mine, and Snow Miser and his minions will not take it from me!

I’m sure I’ll slip and fall again, but I’ll get right back up and go about my business, bloody knuckles and all…

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No Suits For You!

fashion, introverts, humor, Modern PhilosopherA friend recently asked if I had a suit for an upcoming function, Modern Philosophers.

First off, I told her, I don’t do functions.

I’m a devout Introvert, and I take the Commandments quite seriously…

Thou shalt not go out in public.

Thou shalt not socialize.

Thou shalt not put yourself in danger of having to speak to a group of people with no clear cut way of how to escape this nightmare scenario.

The list goes on, but I’ve already said too much.  After all, the first rule of Introvert Club is:

Never talk about Introvert Club because someone might ask you questions about it, want to join, and you will be forced to socialize!

Don’t judge me.  I was born this way.  Well, maybe that’s not true.  I haven’t thought about it in a while, but I’m fairly certain that if I weren’t born an introvert, then I chose to become one very early on in life out of necessity.

The necessity to avoid people because they annoy me and make life difficult.

fashion, introverts, humor, Modern PhilosopherBack to this friend, and her ridiculous question.  Secondly, I continued, I don’t own a suit.  Have you ever seen me in one, other than a sweatsuit?

The last time I remember wearing a suit was on my wedding day, and look at what happened after that bold fashion choice.

The suit is the prison garb of the middle class!

I came up with that line in my early twenties, and used it in a screenplay called Modern Philosophers.  Did you have any idea that the name of this blog came from an old screenplay that I not only never sold, but also turned into a zine?

And when I wrote that screenplay and published the zine, know what I never wore?

You got it.  A suit.

I was backstage at The Nite Show on Wednesday night, and I had to go into Danny’s dressing room to ask him a question.  I saw his suits hanging on the rack and actually cringed.  It’s a reflex reaction at this point, but I also have a theory that I might be allergic.

So now the Modern Philosopher in me just churned out this Deep Thought:

Do I avoid fancy functions because I’m an introvert, or because I don’t want to have to put on a suit in order to meet the dress code?

I don’t think it’s a chicken or the egg scenario.  I believe the answer is both.

I recently declined an invite to the Bangor Chamber of Commerce Awards dinner, where The Nite Show received a big honor.  Both factors played into that decision.

fashion, introverts, humor, Modern PhilosopherIn case you’re wondering, I look damn good in a suit.

As the photo on the left proves, I clean up nice.  But it wasn’t my choice to put on the suit that day.

That’s my First Holy Communion, and God is a black tie kind of host when He throws a party.

I’ve received all the sacraments I plan to get, so I won’t be putting on a suit and heading into a church anytime soon.  In fact, the next time I do so, I’ll probably be in a coffin, which means I will not have any say in my choice of wardrobe.

To my friend, who asked if I had a suit for the upcoming function, here’s my answer in about six hundred words.  Sorry I walked away without answering you.  I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I had an Introverts Anonymous Meeting that I needed to avoid attending at the very moment you asked.

Hope you have a good time, though.  Post some pics on social media, and maybe I’ll check them out.  But I probably won’t.  That’s not the Introvert’s Way…

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Maybe Cupid Cares About Your Budget

Valentine's Day, Cupid, dating, humor, Modern PhilosopherValentine’s Day is fast approaching, Modern Philosophers.  I belong to a support group called Why Does Cupid Hate Us?, which is for people who have issues about being single.  Not everyone in the group is angry or bitter, but around this time of year there is an increase in the hatred aimed at Cupid.

For some reason, I’ve appointed myself the voice of reason in the group.  Maybe I just like keeping things calm, or perhaps I prefer to get on Cupid’s good side so the little guy can hit me with a magic love arrow someday soon.

Whatever my motivation, I refused to allow the mob mentality to take over our last meeting.  The group was this close to lighting torches, grabbing pitchforks, and going out in search of the god of love.

And I don’t think they planned to buy him coffee and ask for dating advice.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand that it’s much easier to blame a winged baby with a bow and arrow for your failure at relationships, than it is to accept that you might be the reason that no one wants to date you.

That doesn’t mean that it’s okay ruin Valentine’s Day for everyone else, though, by putting the Katniss Everdeen of Love out of commission this close to February 14.

So how did I get cooler heads to prevail, and call off the manhunt?

Valentine's Day, Cupid, dating, humor, Modern PhilosopherI became the Modern Philosopher of Love and threw out this Deep Thought to the angry masses:

What if Cupid is just keeping your best financial interests in mind?

Yes, I know it is depressing to be single on Valentine’s Day, but do you have any idea of the financial savings you enjoy because you are not in a relationship on that holiday?

According to Google, Americans plan to spend an average of $196 celebrating Valentine’s Day.  That’s insane even if you’re not on a budget.

Buy yourself a half gallon of ice cream, a bottle of Snapple, and curl up on the couch watching your favorite movie on cable.  That will run you about $5.

Total savings for being single on Valentine’s Day? $191.

Thank you, Cupid, for not hitting me with your arrow just before the big day so I can spend two days’ pay on someone I barely know!

Valentine's Day, Cupid, dating, humor, Modern PhilosopherYou are my hero, and because of your heroic lack of action, I now don’t have to choose between paying my car insurance renewal and eating dinner this week.

So before you start cursing the little guy, or try to shoot him out of the sky with your pellet gun, keep in mind that Cupid just did you and your finances a solid.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Modern Philosophers.  If the holiday makes you feel lonely or sad, just try to think of it as any other day of the week.

And if that doesn’t work, go to the grocery store on February 15 and buy yourself some deeply discounted Valentine’s Day chocolates.  Chocolate can fix most anything…

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Surviving My Amish Snow Day

Maine, blizzard, ice storm, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt snowed for the last two days, Modern Philosophers.  That’s no news flash, as it snows almost every day this time of year.

The difference this time, though, was that the snowstorm’s big encore was an ice storm.  The conditions were so bad that they actually let us leave work at 3:00.

I was thrilled to start my weekend early, and I’d had the foresight to go grocery shopping Thursday night, so it was straight home to The House on the Hill for me.

Of course, I didn’t go right inside to relax and start the weekend.  Instead, I did the responsible thing and shoveled the driveway first.

Once that was done, I took a few pics because I knew I’d want to use them in a blog post this weekend.  I successfully shared them on Twitter, but when I tried to put them on Facebook, they wouldn’t post.

What nonsense was Zuckerberg and the Russian hackers up to now?

I reset the modem because that is the extent of my IT skills.  When I tried to share the photos again, Facebook would not accept them.  I tried to comment on a friend’s status, but it said I could not do so while offline.

That was when my neighbor texted to ask if my cable and internet were out, too.

Maine, blizzard, ice storm, humor, Modern PhilosopherAh ha!  That made sense.  I turned on the TV and was greeted by a message that the channel would be available soon.  I called the cable company and got a message that due to damage to a fiber optic line, phone, cable, and internet service was down.

We had been plunged into the Dark Ages.

My snow day had become an Amish snow day.

My neighbor texted that she was going to work on her DIY kitchen project, and I replied that I’d be fine because I had good books to read and a writing project to keep me busy.

Plus, I could always churn some butter or something…

Turns out, I could only read so many chapters before needing contact with the outside world.  I tried the internet and TV again.  Still living the life of Harrison Ford in Witness.

I decided to take a nap.  That’s right, Modern Philosophers.  Right there on the couch on a Friday afternoon, I curled up and closed my eyes.

When I awakened a half hour later, there were still no TV shows to watch and no social media to tell me what I was missing out on in life.

I wanted to go for a run or a walk to get in some steps, but the snow and ice were falling much harder now, and the roads looked quite perilous.

So I walked laps around the first floor instead.  That will send the step count climbing, but not do much for my excitement level.

I read more.  I tried the TV again.

Maine, blizzard, ice storm, humor, Modern PhilosopherDid I mention earlier that I’m no IT genius?  Well, three hours into my Amish snow day, it dawned on me that if I disconnected from The House on the Hill’s WiFi, I could access the internet through my phone’s data plan.

Yes, Modern Philosophers, I am that slow.

I blame it on the extreme weather conditions, though!

My phone immediately sprang to life with Facebook Messenger and Twitter notifications.  Now I was only semi-Amish, but really missing TV.  After all, I hadn’t watched my recordings of Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers from Thursday night yet, and their monologues are my only source of news.

Finally, at 8:30, more than four hours into my struggle, a friend messaged on Facebook that her cable had just come back.  I sprinted to the TV, turned it on, and college basketball appeared via ESPN.

Maine, blizzard, ice storm, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe curse had been broken!  The Dark Ages had ended!  I had time traveled back to the Modern (Philosopher) Age!

Later, when a friend messaged that she hadn’t been able to order Chinese takeout as planned because no internet meant debit card machines weren’t working, I was thankful that I’d decided to go grocery shopping the night before.

If I had stuck to my routine, and we know I’m a guy who hates change, I would have been at the checkout, unable to pay for my groceries.  An old childhood phobia come to life!

I’m not sure how I did it, but I survived my Amish snow day!

Did this recent storm cause any chaos in your life?

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If I See My Shadow On Super Bowl Sunday…

Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, humor, Modern PhilosopherHappy Groundhog Super Bowl Sunday, Modern Philosophers!

I’m not sure if Groundhog Day and the Super Bowl have ever fallen on the same day before today, and the interns are too lazy to research that, so I guess I’ll never know.

Today is also a palindrome, so it could all be a perfect storm meaning the world is about to end.  Then again, it could just be any old Sunday.

Do you remember, back in the old days, when I used to get all pumped up for the Super Bowl?  I’d buy tons of football snacks, watch all the pregame shows to get me properly hyped, and then excitedly look forward to both the game and the cool commercials.

I’m not sure what happened, but I’m not at all excited about the game.  I bought a bag of chips and some dip, just watched a three hour Doctor Who Christmas Special (David Tennant’s last episode, which means Amy Pond is on her way!), and I tweeted that the over/under on how many times I fall asleep before the start of the third quarter is 2.5.

Here’s a tip for all you gamblers out there: Take the over!  In fact, I’m lucky if I don’t just go to bed at halftime.

I’m expecting an exciting game with lots of scoring, but they drag everything out, the halftime show is way too long, and I’ve been working crazy hours lately.  It’s a miracle I haven’t nodded off yet while writing this post.

Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, humor, Modern PhilosopherA quick tangent to mention something about work.  I know I never talk about the non-writing gig anymore, but I got both a raise and a new title this week.

Guess I’ve earned the right to use that mug.

I was going to hold out for Duke of Hogwarts as my new title, but realized that Queen Elizabeth would not be amused.  So I went for something less Royal Family, and more looks good in my email signature.

But enough about what I do to supplement my writing income.  Let’s get back to this whole Super Bowl thing.

Maybe I’d care more about the game if the Jets were playing, but we all know that’s not going to happen in my lifetime.  There’s a better chance that Amy Pond will show up on the front porch of The House on the Hill in the TARDIS to transport me back to watch the Jets win Super Bowl III.

If that happened, I can guarantee I would stay up for the entire game!

As for loading up on football snacks with the game, that doesn’t make any sense when I’m trying to get into shape.  I’ve gone for long runs the last two days, and I’m thrilled to report that the running path along the river is passable again.

This is Maine, though, which means a blizzard could close down my favorite running route again at any time.  I’m not going to worry about that, however, and just keep running.

Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt also doesn’t make sense to load up on junk food during the first half of the game, and then go to sleep with all those calories looking to do serious damage to my metabolism.

I guess all that’s left to do now is go outside and look for my shadow.  I can’t remember if seeing it is a good or a bad thing.

I’m simply going to hope for the option that sends Snow Miser packing on an early Spring Break.

Here’s hoping it’s a good game.  At least the first half.

Do you still get excited for the Super Bowl?  Do you plan to watch the entire game?  If you do, could you please post the final score in the comments?  Thanks!

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You Are The Tooth Doctor! EXTERMINATE!!!

Daleks, Doctor Who, humor, Modern PhilosopherI might not be a mutated alien encased in an armor shell, Modern Philosophers, but there is a chance that I had to desperately fight to keep from unleashing my inner Dalek at the dentist earlier this week.

As longtime readers of this blog know, I do not like going to the dentist.

One my even say I once had a serious phobia about such appointments.  I still don’t like going, but at least I’ve overcome my unsettling fear.

I’m not sure if it was my recent discovery of Doctor Who, my exhaustion from too much work and recurring insomnia, or my dentist’s declaring that I had my first cavity in ages, but I found myself extremely angry as I squirmed under the bright light in that uncomfortable chair.

One term filled my mind, and I had to bite my tongue not to scream it out at the top of my lungs as my dentist smiled down at me…

You are the tooth doctor! EXTERMINATE!!!

Yes, Modern Philosophers, I do tend to unravel at the speed of light when faced with an uncomfortable situation made even more so by a man’s having his hands in my mouth.

Ironically, the dental hygienist had just finished using the sonic tooth cleaner on my teeth, so there was a doctor and something akin to a sonic screwdriver.

Daleks, Doctor Who, humor, Modern PhilosopherSo it makes sense that I wanted to go full Dalek on the doctor who almost certainly knew way more about tartar than a TARDIS.

All those tools they use to scrape and prod and poke reminded me of Dalek gadgetry.

My greatest fear has always been that one of those metal hooks would snap off between my teeth and be stuck there forever.

If that does happen, you might as well stick me inside of Dalek armor because I wouldn’t want anyone seeing me looking so hideous.  I can just imagine the hurtful nicknames: Metal Mouth, Hookface Hodgens, Fish Boy.  Need I continue?

The thing is, I never have cavities.  I have amazing teeth, which is something of a hot commodity here in Maine, especially on the dating sites.  I can tell potential dates that I have all my teeth, and they’re in great shape.

Now I have a flaw?

I think not, tooth doctor! EXTERMINATE!!!

Fret not, Modern Philosophers.  I did not lose my cool.  I couldn’t keep my mouth closed because, you know, the doctor had his hands in it, but I made sure my Dalek threats did not make it up my throat.

They remained buried deep beneath my metaphorical armor.

Instead, I used an old relaxation technique that helped me survive the dentist when a visit would send my stress levels through the roof and across the galaxy.

Only this time, there was a twist.  When I first started going to the dentist again, I was dating The Girl Who Moved Away.  Whenever I’d start to freak out in the dentist chair, I’d think of her.  That gorgeous smile.  The adorable dimple.  It would always calm me down.

Amy Pond, Doctor Who, dentist, humor, Modern PhilosopherWell, The Girl is long gone, and since Doctor Who and the Daleks were on my mind, I went to a different happy place.

Amy Pond.

My favorite companion of The Doctor, and the type of woman who would not stand for any nonsense from a dentist.

I closed my eyes, thought of Amy Pond, and my inner Dalek did an emergency temporal shift that saved the tooth doctor from the threat of extermination.

I’m still not pleased about this whole cavity business, but things could be worse.

After all, my dentist could have been a Cyberman…

Has going to the doctor ever revealed a surprising part of your personality that you didn’t realize existed?

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The Chinese Food Payoff

quid pro quo, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’ve learned from the recent news, that using the “quid pro quo” business method can get you into trouble, Modern Philosophers.

That’s why I’d like to get out in front of a current incident, and take full responsibility for any inappropriate actions on my part.

A friend asked me if I’d help her move today.  I told her I’d be happy to do so as long as she bought me lunch.

I didn’t think much of it at the time.  I was under the assumption that if I were to give up my day off to do some manual labor, I had every right to ask for food in return.

Now I’m worried that I’ve done something horribly wrong, and to make matters worse, I fear I’ve turned it into an international incident by requesting Chinese food for my time.

My lawyer has assured me that I’ve done nothing wrong because I’m not an elected official, I haven’t abused my power, I didn’t disregard the Constitution, and I didn’t threaten to withhold large amounts of foreign aid.

After all, I’m just a Modern Philosopher, and I’m free to request General Tso’s Chicken in return for doing a little manual labor on my day off.

Like John Cusack proved in one of my favorite scenes from The Sure Thing, sometimes, you just improvise and do what you feel is right to help a friend…

If you’ve never seen The Sure Thing, I highly recommend it.  And I’m not asking for anything in return for that movie tip.  It’s just my gift to you.

Now that I think about it, I don’t feel bad about my request for a Chinese food payoff.  It was a perfect request, and you can check the transcripts.  I have the interns jot down all my conversations because I never know when I might want to reference one in my writing.

Maybe the difference with this quid pro quo, is that I didn’t demand anything.  I just put out there what I’d hope to get for lending a hand.  The truth is, I would have helped my friend regardless.  I mean, that’s what friends do, right?

By that same logic, friends offer to buy friends lunch for doing favors.

I have no problem asking my friends for food.  Maybe that’s why I have to run so often.  But if I have friends who are excellent cooks and bakers, aren’t I just showing my support for their talents by asking them to show them off by making me something?

humor, food, Modern PhilosopherJust yesterday, a friend made me the delicious treats in the photo to the left.

If I hadn’t asked her to make them, I not only would never have gotten to eat them, but I also wouldn’t have this picture to share with you in my blog post.

And before you ask, yes, I checked the transcripts, and I made a perfect request.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar who is jealous that no one ever bakes him yummy treats!

In summation, I helped out a friend today, and was rewarded with Chinese food.

Since it is Chinese New Year, the lunch request seems even more perfect.  Sometimes, you just do everything right, and you still get raked over the coals.

In this case, however, I believe everything is going to be okay!

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