Category: How To

You Might Be a Bully If:

  • You find that people are usually too sensitive for your witty observational humor
  • The people you’re joking with aren’t actually laughing
  • Nobody gets you
  • People avoid you
  • You genuinely can’t understand why anybody wouldn’t want to be toughened up, made cooler, or taught how to display more self-confidence
  • After all, your parents probably toughen you up all the time
  • In fact, you’re not sure how to talk to people if you’re not pointing out their flaws
  • Because where would you have learned that?
  • You know, considering.

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nelson cries a single tear and it drops in the water the subtitle says because only there do my tears seem small

3 Dumb Assumptions That Are Ruining Your Heterosexual Life

The whole world is made for us cis hetero trash, and what do we do? Fuck it all up by uncontrollable breeding and religious hate-speech. Also bad, weird sex. It’s almost like we feel guilty for our privilege and have decided that our collective punishment should be uninspired fuck sessions forever. Instead of, you know, actually supporting equal rights and not being tools to our queer brothers, sisters and siblings of all kinds.

Here are three things we automatically assume about sex that is killing our collective sex life.

1. Man butt is not made of plutonium. It’s totally okay to touch it. Fun fact: having someone play with your butt does not make you gay. Because you know what makes you gay? BEING FUCKING GAY, DUMMY.

2. Penis in vagina is not the only kind of sex. Shocking, I know, but there are about as many different ways to fornicate as there are stars in the sky, and only a few of them involve penetration. Take a break from mindlessly stabbing your lady with your meat missile and figure out some new moves. It’s not a sin. Because there’s no such thing.

3. It’s not all about cumming. Sacrilege! Why else do we fuck? Certainly not to connect on an intimate level with another human being who we care about and enjoy being with. Perhaps someone we want to touch and affirm our positive feelings for in an attempt to bond with them and communicate their loveliness to us?

Of course, if you don’t want to have a different kind of sex than you currently have, or if there are certain things you are not interested in, by all means set your boundaries, be who you are. But don’t keep having boring sex just because you think that’s what sex is.

Stop, Drop, and Cover

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As you know, I’m from Los Angeles, where earthquakes are a pretty common thing. The only time I ever had an earthquake kit was when I was going to a private school that required we bring one with us on the first day of class. So since 8th grade, I have been earthquake kit free and here’s why:

I have never ever heard of an earthquake kit saving anybody ever. In the event that your house collapses around you, you are either dead, too injured to move, or able to walk out of the blast radius to safety and services. Northridge, CA, famous for the 1994 Northridge earthquake is 25 miles from Altadena, CA where I grew up, and I remember the quake fairly well. They closed my school due to structural damage.

57 people officially died in the quake. 33 died immediately, or from fatal injuries they sustained in the quake, and the rest are heart attack deaths attributed to the quake. Nobody died of dehydration. Or exposure.

So, putting bottled water and shiny silver blankets into the farthest recesses of closets that might not even be there in the event of a disaster rings more than a little bit futile to me. I think government and healthcare officials like to tell us to make earthquake kits because it has a calming effect: I won’t be crushed to death by my own chimney, I have a plastic bag full of nothing in a place I can’t reach!

The only real thing we can do to prepare is is to read and remember what to do during and directly after an earthquake. Here’s a very concise video out of New Zealand, where earthquakes are a little more at the forefront of their mind after the 2011 Christchurch quake:

The uncomfortable reality of living in an earthquake zone is that when it happens, there’s not a lot you personally can do to determine whether or not you die. Getting low and under sturdy furniture, or against internal walls, knowing where you’ll go ahead of time are all you can really hope for. After that, it’s just fate and building codes.

Things Bad Negotiators Say

After Thursday’s How to Negotiate blog, I thought of some things I’ve heard and had said to me in negotiations that signaled I was working with a bad negotiator. Usually, this is an indication that it’s time to take your shit and go home, but in some situations, that’s not an option. So, this is what they say, what they mean, and how to deal with it.


What they say

“We’ve never had anyone ask for that before.”

What they mean

We’re relatively inexperienced in business, but are trying to hide it by making you feel like an idiot.

OR

We actually get a lot of people asking for the exact thing you’re asking for, but we pretend those people don’t exist.

How to deal with it

“Right, but I’m asking for it now.”

Even if they really never have heard of the thing you’re requesting, that shouldn’t be part of the conversation. It’s an item you want to come to an agreement on, and them making you feel weird about bringing it up is not productive. It’s either blundering, or it’s a tactic to get you on the defensive and off-balance.


What they say

“That’s irrelevant.”

What they mean

I don’t think your concerns are valid. I have no respect for your point of view.

How to deal with it

Either find a way to make them see how your problem is their problem, or find a way to not have that problem anymore.

For example, if you’re worried that a supplier is going to deliver late and hold up deadlines, the answer to this presumptuous fit of denial would be to make them responsible for deadlines. And if it’s really an issue, tack on fees for late delivery. Then the “irrelevant” manner of supplies management is not only not your problem, but if it turns out to be a problem after all, it magically becomes your payday.


What they say

“You should be happy you have a job/that I’m talking to you/that I’m even considering your offer.”

What they mean

Please don’t look anywhere else but here, please don’t consider other options. I am so desperate for your help that the only thing I can think of to get you to work with me is to belittle you because being a complete asshole is the only thing I have to offer.

How to deal with it

At this point, I really suggest leaving. But, if you insist on staying, or have no choice, the only way to deal with this kind of third grade shitlordation is to shitlord back harder. So your answer needs to be “No YOU should be happy I work HERE/am talking to YOU/am even wasting time on YOUR offer.” Brace for drama.


What they say

“The person we had on before you/my cousin/another worker would do this job for way cheaper/a specific and horrifically insulting low-ball offer”

What they mean

I am flat-out lying to see how stupid you are. I either hated my cousin’s work, have burned a bridge with the last guy, or I can’t find anyone that cheap or I wouldn’t be talking to you right now.

How to deal with it

Leave. Please leave. These people will never be happy, so you will never be happy, and they probably won’t pay you anyway. If you’re tempted to answer this question, just empty your checking account and light all the money on fire. It’ll be less of a hassle in the long run.

How to Negotiate

Negotiation is one of the skills in our society that we sorely need, and yet, are never taught. Young people and people from disenfranchised communities are especially discouraged from speaking up or making sure we get what we want.

Instead of getting this invaluable training and experience, people are taught to either be afraid of confrontation or excited by it, and that leads to a lot of confusion and issues when they have to negotiate with others.

So, for your edification and personal pleasure, here are my hard-learned negotiation rules:

  1. In conversation, take notes. Consult your notes when responding, even if it’s awkward. Contrary to popular belief, you do not loose ground in awkwardness, only in impulsiveness.
  2. In written form, read and re-read before responding.
  3. Decide before the confrontation how low or high you’re willing to go on the topics you’re about to discuss. If the negotiating partner refuses to go into your range, table it and come back to it later. Don’t compromise without taking some time to think about it first.
  4. Do your research so you can know your value. Never go into a negotiation without knowing your value in this situation. If you’re not sure, ask a neutral but knowledgeable friend.
  5. Bring your research to the table; use it to back up your argument.
  6. Know your options if this deal goes bad. Remember them when things start to feel urgent.
  7. Take the time to try and think of topics you may not immediately consider. For example, if you’re negotiating a raise, consider vacation days, work from home days, even equipment, training, or certain assignments to be on the table as benefits.
  8. There is always time for negotiation. If your negotiation partner claims there isn’t, suggest they accept your terms wholesale in the interest of experience. Time will become available.
  9. This is not a sales pitch. “Selling” is something that happens in issues of supply and demand. Negotiation is two equal parties coming together to make sure that they are both benefiting as much as possible from their continued association. When I say equal, I don’t mean in pay, but I do mean in value. You are not less valuable than your boss, even if you are not paid as well as she is.
  10. Know when to walk away. Not in order to get the other guy to come around, but for your own sanity. Don’t get into the mud with a bad negotiator, leave.

How to Fail

In honor of my Patreon launch, I’ll be posting every three hours today starting at 8am PST.

“We’ve actually never had something good happen to us that didn’t come off of a failure.”
-Tom Lennon, of Reno 911! and The Odd Couple on his career, as told to the Nerdist Podcast, April 6, 2015.

Part of what this blog has given me is the ability to fail at something. Five posts a week for more than three years leads to a lot of shitty content. And that was actually the initial mission of this whole endeavor. I was so paralyzed over what to make, and how it would be received that I kept otherwise good posts in drafts for years sometimes because I was worried what people would think.

Well, I can tell you that some people think I suck. They’ve told me. When I was writing for Geared for Gamers, the very first comment on my very first article was from a guy who called himself CM Punk (I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the real CM Punk), and all it said was “I bet your a fat cunt.” He’s right on both accounts.

Don’t worry about whether your idea is good or bad. It’s not the only one you’ll have. Don’t worry about what other people will think. There are more than six billion of us, we’re bound to disagree. Worry instead whether or not you can show up every day for the next year, or two years, or eighty years and make the same effort that you make the day, or the year, or the decade before. Because that’s what matters.

When deciding what to spend your time on, I recommend looking for something you would do in secret if you had to. Because that’s the kind of dedication that sustains you though the years. And yes, masturbation is a job.

Try sincerely, and then let the rest go. How it’s received, what happens after you make it, that isn’t your business anymore. All that matters is making the next thing. In that context failure becomes a propulsion system, moving us forward to the next project, the next solution.


Thanks to Julia for being my second Patron!

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What Should I Blog About?

So you’re suffering from writer’s block. I am here to help. And none of those shit “talk about your first kiss” topics everybody always suggests. Here is a list of wacky crazy, unique narratives for your next blog. All I ask is that you give me a shout out, either here or on social media (like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram)

1. If you grew a second head what would you name it and what kind of shit would it say?

2. Write a thank you letter to your first pet.

3. If you had to live your life with only the things that are a. within reach and b. able to fit in your pockets and/or whatever carrying device you can fashion from the shit within reach, how long would you survive and how wretched would you be?

4. Call out someone who should be fired from their job. Use their full name.

5. What kind of super-villain would your father be if he were super-villain?

6. If you could poison anybody on the planet right now, who would it be and what would you use? No backing out and saying you wouldn’t poison anybody. You have to pick someone who is both real and alive right now.

7. When you were a kid, how did you think periods worked?

8. Write a space opera starring Tardigrades.

9. Which historical figures would you fuck, and what positions would you do? Get detailed. Don’t hold back.

How to Headbutt

I’ve been watching a lot of UK Shameless, and they headbutt each other a lot in that show. But it always looks like they’re doing it wrong. Today I ended the suspense and Google “how to headbutt.” Turns out I’m right.

Although this is for a knockout. In Shameless the headbutts are basically love taps.

Unfuck Your Otter Box

The only Otter Box color they had for sale in the T-Mobile store when I bought my phone was black. And I have a policy about walking out of the store with an uncovered phone. It shames God.

But I also have a problem with a black phone case. Not only does it look fucking dull, it’s also really easy to steal. But otter boxes are $60, so I’m not about to buy another one all pants off dance off over here.

But a $3 mini-can of spray paint and some painters’ tape has my problem solved.

STEP 1: DRAW AN ADORABLE GHOST AND TAPE IT FOR YOUR PHONE CASE

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STEP 2: CUT OFF THE EXCESS TAPE

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STEP 3: PUT THE CASE IN BOX

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STEP 4: PUT SPRAY PAINT IN THE BOX

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STEP 4: TAKE THE TAPE OFF

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STEP 5: ENJOY YOUR NEW PHONE

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Any questions?