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Things That Are Still Not Really Related to This Blog But That Might Be of Interest to Others Besides Me

On a note that *is* rather related to the content of this blog, I was stopped in the middle of a friggin’ intersection when I was schlepping my film gear to a nearby park for some of the shots in this particular video and told that I was “drop-dead gorgeous.” I WAS WEARING LONG UNDERWEAR AND A CAPE IN SEVENTY-DEGREE WEATHER, WTF.

Anyways…apropos of nothing except that I had all this oddball footage that I couldn’t use for its original purpose but thought it was too bizarre to waste, I made this supposedly anti-pot PSA:

I’m a Total Sellout.

So I would say that half my posts on this blog at this point are apologies for why I haven’t posted on this blog recently, and for that, I sincerely apologize. But thanks to some awesome friends who have bared their souls to the interwebz (in particular Allison McCarthy, who inspired this particular long-winded preamble for reasons that will become clear in a sec), I have decided to see if there’s a paying outlet for my rants on singledom and childfreehood, or is it singlehood and childfreedom? No matter how you say it, either stance is controversial enough, I reckoned, to be juicy clickbait!

And I was right. So if you haven’t read enough about why I don’t date or want to see pictures of me being a goof on two different mountaintops, head over to xoJane, where the aforementioned Allison McCarthy has now published three different articles on topics that are also near and dear to my heart and made me think, “Hey, maybe there’s a new audience for me, too!”

So keep your eyes peeled for more from me, including stuff that isn’t just links to other places, though I will continue to try and pimp my writing out as much as possible due to an upcoming move to one of the most expensive locales in the United States (yay me?). But since I will likely continue to have disconnected thoughts that no editor worth their salary would consider publication-worthy, y’all will likely still get the gold nuggets that emerge from my stream of consciousness.

Unless you’re interested in advertising in this space. I offer totally competitive rates.

Why Dating Yourself Would Suck (with Video!)

Fear not, I have continued thinking about why dating stinks worse than the inside of a backpacker’s armpits. It’s just I’ve recently focused on a different angle than my usual:

What to Do When You’re in the Friendzone

I feel like I should’ve put “friendzone” in quotation marks in the title as well, because the word is fascinating to me as both a linguist and a feminist. For being a recently made-up word, it sure has taken on a bitter life all its own! I’m scratching my head to think of any other recent additions to the English language which take the concept of friendship–a word connoting happiness, warmth, and, yes, intimacy–and turning it into something to be said with an automatic sneer.

But all right. Unrequited lust stinks, and it’s made all the more malodorous when the object of your affections is someone you still see everyday, someone who wants, even, to see you too…but only with your pants on.

So here is the Not Taken, Not Available guide to the next steps after you say, “I want to take you to the Bone Zone,” and your crush responds with, “I want to take you to the Friend Zone.”*

*Note before we proceed any further: no one anywhere in the history of our species has ever actually said this. See above explanation heavily hinting that friendship is regarded by many as something to be cherished, not tossed off as some sort of participation trophy.

1. Take a break.

You can grab a Kit-Kat if you want to, but the main idea here, as outlined by good friend and childfree ally who has been through this himself, is to give yourself space to let your hormones subside. They’re only going to return with a vengeance each time you see your unloving beloved, and that way is the path to the dark side of the Force in which you convince yourself that your crush can themself be convinced if you just try harder. You need distance and as much time as it takes to disabuse yourself of this delusion.

2. Figure out whether you’re capable of being “just” friends.

If you were attracted to this person based on looks alone, this might be a great time to cut your losses. But if you actually spent enough time to find shared interests or an appreciation for their sense of humor, it may be well worth your time to get to know them better without suffering from the pressure of trying to impress them romantically. And hey, this can have greater long-term benefits–when your next relationship does shatter, you’ll have a shoulder to cry on, a place to crash, and a sympathetic ear to agree that whatever gender you’re attracted to really sucks!

3. Don’t push it.

Maybe you thought you were ready for a purely platonic relationship but found that your once and future dream lover has only become hotter in your absence. In that case, go back to Step 1 and repeat as necessary. Don’t assume that their position has changed–believe me, your feelings, whether resolved or not, are the elephant in the room that’s releasing a stream of silent but violent farts, and if your crush’s feelings have changed, they’ll let you know. There’s no need to make things awkward by restating what they’re already painfully aware of.

4. Relish your friendship.

Once you’ve gotten to the point where you can appreciate your onetime crush for the nonsexual joys they bring to your life, rejoice! You now have a deeper and likely longer-lasting connection than at least 40-50% of married couples, at least to go by varying divorce estimates in the United States. Those are, of course, not counting marriages which stick together only for the sake of the children or religious family members or pure lethargy.

Put another way, I’ve had arguments and fallouts with friends that have gone on as long as years, but those I count among my true friends have always come back into my life, and I’ll always be happy to share food, drink, and laughter with them. I frequently share more with my friends than I ever did when my exes were currents. As to those exes? I do not talk to them at all.

Sure, the sex may have been spectacular, but my understanding is that even if you’re into it, the luster fades after a while. In such a case, there’s nothing left to the relationship if the qualities that make up a good friendship are lacking. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right away, turn that sneer into a smile, romantically rejected dudes and dudettes. Perhaps getting the news that you’ve been sent to the friendzone is cause for a victory dance.

Love Wars VI: The Return of the Bitch

Given the title of what is, I hope, my final entry in a tale that, like its analogous origins, seems less about the journey of its protagonist than that of its lead villain, I present you with this song in lieu of my attempts at transliterating John Williams’ memorable score:

Though it was running through my head as I came up with the title, Elton John’s celebratory flippancy seems disconcerting in light of my tale of woe. Let’s just say that the one upside in my own struggle to bring Darth Oblivious back from the dark side of the friendzone myth was that there were no Ewoks.

After DO made it known that he saw himself as more analagous to Prince Charming in some Disneyfied fairy tale, eager to fight off dragons and witches and lions and tigers and bears–oh my!–in order to save me from the residual curse of my last relationship and prove that I can love again–

Hold on there. I didn’t realize it was possible to roll the eyes so far back in the head that they got stuck. Gimme a second here.

–There we go. Anyway, I knew I had to put some distance between Darth Oblivious and myself, a suspicion that I knew would be confirmed when I called my friend and fellow defender of the childfree and asked, with a sigh, “Do you think it’s possible for a man who’s declared his sexual interest to ever be fine with a completely platonic relationship?”

Amazingly enough, my confidant assured me that it was, thanks to being the bearer of unrequited crushes many a time himself. He did warn me, however, that I had to give DO space to let his attraction subside and call me when he was ready to be friends without benefits…you know, besides the generally pleasant ones associated with a good friendship. Take that, Nice Guys (TM)!

I was perfectly prepared to do that. But first, I had two issues to contend with: one was the final video in the vasectomy-promoting series DO had begun and for which he had brought me on as a consultant, which was to be shot the following Monday, and the other a Facebook friend request from someone I was currently doubtful I could be real-life friends with.

The video shoot, which in its final iteration featured a man firing off selections from Darth Oblivious’ gun collection as he made comparisons between handling a gun and, uh, handling another sort of weapon that is occasionally wont to misfire, went well enough, thanks in no small part to the presence of the video’s lead actor who cracked jokes, charmed the camera, and generally diffused the obvious tension that buzzed between DO and me. When the shoot wrapped and I started back for my car, though, DO’s sigh to the actor about how he “wished I were available” convinced me that no speed limit was going to hinder me in my attempt to get home posthaste.

I generally ignored DO’s texts for the better part of the week, figuring out exactly how I was going to phrase my “it’s not you, it’s me…okay, who am I kidding, it IS you” speech. I opened up Facebook while contemplating the matter at brunch one day. DO’s picture, featuring him in sunglasses and a flight helmet that looked oddly reminscent of Darth Vader’s, immediately popped up alongside his name.

Well, I mused, if I can’t consider a friend offline right now, I shouldn’t consider him a Facebook friend either. After all, we all know it’s not real until it’s on FacebookProud of my logical thought process, I confidently hit the “Ignore” button.

Not two seconds later, my phone’s screen blazed with a text: “HA! I knew you wouldn’t accept my friend request!” it railed bitterly. As a barrage ensued, I stared blankly at the bar of the restaurant I was in and thought, Maybe a good time to move to California would be RIGHT NOW.

After both the unanswered barrage and quickly consumed brunch were over, I did the only thing I could think to do: I called my confidant again and relayed the latest development, mentioning the fact that DO had both my address and a collection that could make the cover of Guns & Ammo. 

My friend could barely wait until I finished. “Okay, this guy needs to go, now. And maybe you should go stay with family for a couple days.”

I sat down and clutched my forehead. He was absolutely right, of course. I took a few deep breaths after we ended the call, then started a careful hunt-and-peck on my iPhone.


At this point, I had already logged into Sprint and opened up the blocked numbers list, to which I’d immediately added his number. The fifteen minute window they warned me about before such a change went into effect, however, was apparently ample time to seal Darth Oblivious’ fate:


IMG_1435 IMG_1436 IMG_1437 IMG_1438


What I find most interesting in this exchange is the time stamp. The first series accusing me of being a man-hating, frigid etc. lunatic took place STARTING at 4:48 p.m. The last two texts arrived at 5:17, not half an hour later. By this time, I’d finally gotten confirmation from Sprint that it would block texts from his number, and that, I thought, was the disastrous end to that.

*  *  *

A month later, I was staying with my friend and confidant through this whole crisis. He had just met a woman for whom he was rapidly developing feelings, and I was supporting him in the best way I knew how: by randomly shouting, in a voice that channeled my inner third grader, “OOOOOOOH, you have a GIRLFRIEND! You’re in LOOOOOOOOVE!” I am, it must be noted, genuinely happy for him, although I did promise him floor space if he needed somewhere else to be should things go to hell because that’s the kind of capital-R romantic I am!*

*No, seriously, the Brontë sisters’ works are generally considered to fall into this category, and look how well love turned out for their protagonists! If I ever lay claims to romance, I go old school.

My maturity was interrupted, probably to my friend’s delight, by the arrival of a series of texts from a number I thought had been blocked. “I felt bad about how things ended and for what I said,” it began, going on to explain that apparently “EVERYONe [sic] thought I was way out of line and so now I feel purty dumb.”

While I certainly had to agree with EVERYONe, I also had to trust in what I’d said a month before about ceasing communication. The way he’d reacted to that had profoundly disturbed me, and luckily, I had confirmation for my beliefs right in the room I happened to be in with my friend telling me to just ignore him…and try blocking the number again.

That failed again. I received yet another message a few days later, stating that my silence was “fine” (oh, man, thanks, Darth Oblivious!!!! I’d been anxiously awaiting your validation!) and asking if I could return the book that I’d already mailed back. I once again felt it safer not to respond–no need to give him an opening, especially as he’d mentioned being out of state. He could find the book when he returned.

And thus endeth a story that I hope will not hurtle forward into its own expanded universe. I could do without DO popping back into my life like Anakin Skywalker’s ghost at the end of the original trilogy, though that could easily happen at any time before I move to the West Coast.

But maybe I should be secretly hoping for an additional helping of drama in my own life. After all, the more I collect, the better I’ll be able to create an epically drawn-out saga of my own.

Love Wars V: Cupid Strikes Back

***Note: I’ve been sitting on this all weekend in light of the UCSB shooting, since I reference both guns as well as guys who just don’t get it, and as usual, I tell the tale in a cheerfully flippant manner that might seem dismissive of the genuine anguish the events–which, it’s worth noting, have been heavily condensed for the sake of narrative convention–caused me. Obviously, I have decided to hit the Publish button nonetheless, because even though I don’t even pretend to have a solution for the likes of Elliot Rodger (although I offer the beginnings of one in a tangential paragraph that would hardly begin to address the underlying issues), I figure I can at least contribute to a conversation about men, women, and the unrealistic expectations in between them by sharing my own experiences with men who take unnecessary offense to rejection.

*Deep breath* DUNNNH, dunh, dun-dun-dun-DUN-dun, dun-dun-dun-DUN-dun, dun-dun-dun-DUUUUUUNH…

Okay, now that I’ve gotten a poor attempt at transliterating the Star Wars theme into text, our tale picks up not in Hoth, but rather back in Colorado, which, compared to the balmy paradise of SoCal, seemed Hothic enough (especially last winter–all that snow made for awesome skiing but terrible driving!). Darth Oblivious and I met for Italian dinner in a small, softly lit restaurant left over from the days when the Mob attempted to forge a Manifest Destiny all its own in my small corner of the West. The romantic setting I was able to ignore thanks to the fact that it was attached to a bar that was as close to a literal hole in the wall as I’d ever seen, and that the bar would be the setting of our shoot about a sleazy bar rat who sees an uptick in his sexual appeal once he gets a vasectomy.

Or at least that was the premise going in. I was presumably being consulted on how to make this storyline into an actual story using the actor DO had already brought on board. We went through several iterations, all of which necessitated a dinner or lunch meeting at the cozy little establishment, and one of which even brought along my BFF and first ex-husband to play a deadbeat dad who would be a contrast to the virtuous Vasectoman who also happened to be a real chick magnet. Nothing came of that idea, of course, but the meeting was memorable for the moment when DO observed a shared chortle between my BFF and me and murmured, “I really need more platonic female friends,” with a look that hindsight gives the soundtrack choice of “Hungry Eyes.” O alarm bells, how I wish I paid more attention to thee!*

*Yes, I know “thou” and “thee” were the pronouns reserved for informal and singular second-person use. Pray permit my poetic license.

But attention was not paid in full and on time, and in the course of our finalizing a sufficiently epic and vasectomy-promoting storyline (our sleaze would get rejected all night until he gets picked up by a suspiciously seductive lady, played by yours truly, who turns out to be completely baby bonkers, thus really testing my acting skills. The scene ends with our hero rushing off to get snipped, then returning for a night of worry-free kinky shit, or would’ve if the sponsors hadn’t deemed it too risqué), we conversed at length and freely.

I took it as a positive that he seemed curious and inquisitive about my self-description as an aromantic asexual and that the doubt in his voice about such a description subsided as I explained how it readily connected, for me, with my highly anti-marriage and -baby stance. Though he wasn’t personally 100% on board with the latter, thus giving unfortunate fruit to my uncle’s theory that guys just don’t really know how they feel about kids and won’t until they have one, DO seemingly understood and accepted where I was coming from.

What we were on the same page about was an interest in skiing and saving gas money getting up to the ski areas, though I raised my eyebrows at his degree of frugality that extended to hiking up above the lowest lifts and skiing only off the higher chairs thereafter–the ones where no one scanned tickets. I, too, have considered impromptu Craigslist organ donation as a means of paying for a pass, but I did ultimately dig deep down into my checking account and pay up, especially when the area in question is the small mom-and-pop one whose enthusiasm for the sport helps it live up to its name of Loveland!

An uneven interest in saving money aside, we also shared a passion for reading and expanding our minds with new perspectives, which led to him lending me a book he rather enjoyed. I accepted, in spite of the fact that the last time I borrowed a book from a guy, it ended rather badly.

Perhaps most interestingly, at least for those who probably have their own preconceived ideas about me, is that DO and I had another mutual interest in guns, though mine was more from a general interest in expanding my knowledge of all things survivalist as well as being able to use “I know how to shoot a gun!” to stem the invariable tide of anti-vaccination and -GMO bullshit I will doubtlessly hear to no end in SoCal, whereas his seemed more rooted in libertarian principles of defending freedom from the baaahing nanny-state goats–er, sheeple–or something like that.*

*In case anyone is curious as to where I stand on gun control based on that confusing paragraph, I’m mostly cool with letting the Fox Newsers have the Second Amendment as long as they let us commie pinko Muslim atheist Jews keep the First, Establishment Clause and all. I do, however, think the Supreme Court** needs to revisit that portion of the Second regarding the right to bear arms as part of a well-regulated militia, as it has not been addressed since being effectively invalidated in the early nineteenth century, and revitalizing it might allow reasonable limits requiring storage of weapons in a locked and secured facility where, say, the family three-year-old and/or mentally disturbed teen-to-twentysomething can’t get to them and would also require gun owners to pass certifications and regular tests on gun safety.

**Not the current Supreme Court, however, as I think that would end more like an episode of Oprah: “And YOU get an assault rifle, and YOU get an assault rifle, and YOU get an assault rifle! ASSAULT RIFLES FOR EVERYONE!!!!!”

But Darth Oblivious was more than happy to teach me all about how to fire a loaded gun just the same. One sunny but windy January day, we took off for an unused National Forest Access campground, set up a series of soda bottles, and promptly engaged in the relentless destruction of all we had previously created. All my liberal-minded intellectual elitism exploded into subatomic fragments as I released a primal scream of joy upon blowing the shit out of a bottle of fruit punch and purred with the delight of a four-year-old ant-stomper as it bled helplessly into the snow.

All my other pretensions of moral superiority fell aside as Darth Oblivious and I stopped at a Central City casino for their $7.99 prime rib special, my unease at the hopelessness of the scatting of senior citizens gambling away their Social Security checks swept away by the delight of the prime rib succumbing to bloody defeat in my mouth. All my primitive hunting instincts sang in glory as I basked in the triumph of a successful day alongside someone with whom I was happy to bask in the bonds of bro-dom.

Alas, not all my newfound broski’s instincts were so easily satiated. On the way home, he commented, “Man, a neck rub sure would sound good right about now.”

“Sure would,” I agreed.

He looked at me in surprise. “I thought you didn’t like being touched?”

“I don’t, for the most part. But my muscles get just as sore as anyone’s. Stupid early hominids, descending from the trees before our back muscles properly fixed themselves to stand upright.”

“So you don’t mind this,” he said, reaching across the car to rub my neck.

“Well, no,” I mused. “I mean, I exchange neck and shoulder rubs with my best friend, the guy for whom I have no sexual attraction just as he has none for me, all the time.”

“Must be nice, having that kind of a friendship,” he said, continuing to rub my neck.

“It is! I mean, we agree that’s the one and only disadvantage to being single, so we step in for each other. Sure keeps things simple!”

“Mmmm, yeah. Well, if you want, I could do an exchange with you if we go back to your place.”

“It definitely couldn’t hurt to have another PURELY PLATONIC friend with whom to share a good back rub! But I’m going skiing with my uncle tomorrow, so you’ll have to leave by 9:30. No negotiations.”

“Yeah, I understand!” he agreed in a tone of voice that, hindsight delights in telling me, indicates he really did not. But my back and shoulders were tight from holding an AK-47, not to mention months of skiing after my massage therapist had left his Denver location to be a ski bum in Vail. First world problems lead to first-rate lapses in judgment, kids.

But back to my place we went, and his entry necessitated taking him past my bedroom, where he screwed his eyes up at my queen bed.

“Man, that is a short bed. I have no idea how I’d fit in a bed that size.”

“Well, lucky for you, you’ll never need to try and figure it out!”

He screwed his face up even more, but I ignored it. We had muscles to relax, and I had a 9:30 deadline at which Cinderella turned into a pumpkin!

The massage I received wasn’t bad, though I did have to laugh uncomfortably as he murmured, “Man, you got a surprisingly hot body under those baggy clothes.” I refrained from commenting on his in return, and when he made no motions to get up and leave at 9:30, I continued rubbing his neck in the interest of equal time given until a few minutes past the anointed hour.

“It’s past 9:30,” I said, and stood up to escort him downstairs. He stared at me uncomprehendingly, and I shifted my weight, waiting for him to get up.

When he didn’t, I gritted my teeth. “It’s past 9:30. I have to go to sleep. My uncle’s an early riser.”

He continued gawking in what appeared to be a combination of surprise and hurt. Finally, after a few seconds of me taking mental inventory of my apartment and trying to figure out what I could use to knock him unconscious but not dead and how to get him downstairs before he awoke, he frowned.

“So you’re okay with this,” he started, standing to rub my neck briefly, “but not this,” this being a hug that I wasted no time in elbowing my way out of.

“You got it,” I sighed as I sat down, already feeling my 10 p.m. lights-out slipping away. Maybe I could keep this short enough to get seven and a half hours of sleep. I crossed my fingers, but Darth Oblivious’ ominous silence wasn’t boding well for that, either.

“Well, that’s too bad,” he finally sighed. “I think this guy you were with really screwed you up. I think there’s a girl buried in there somewhere who loves to be touched, and she’ll come back out with enough time.”

My Wernicke’s area having shut down response processors as a natural defense against rampant stupidity, I could only respond with this:

When all else fails, ask Jackie Chan.“Because you did touch that guy, right?” Darth Oblivious continued, living up to his belatedly bestowed nickname.

I stared at him with my jaw hanging open for another few moments, my most pressing thought that I was probably now down to seven hours of sleep. When I finally wrestled my brain back to the matter at hand, I managed, “Yes. But the whole experience helped me realize how much I disliked physicality. You’re confusing the cause-effect relationship here.”

He nodded, his jaw set stubbornly. “It’s too bad,” he repeated as I pointedly checked the clock on my phone. “You’re not boring to me.”

“I’ll…be sure to put that on my resume,” I ground out. I was pretty sure I could still ski okay on six and a half hours of sleep.

“Every other girl bores me so quickly. But not you. God, why are all the good ones unavailable?”

I could ski on six hours of sleep, but my uncle was definitely going to have to drive, I decided. I stood up again. “The only reason you feel that way is because the feeling is completely and utterly unreciprocated.”

“You’re probably right,” he sighed, finally, to my delight, standing up himself.

As I all but shoved him out the door, he paused and turned. “I think I’m gonna go away, out of state, for a while. But don’t worry about the book–take your time reading it.”

“Will do, and that trip sounds like a great idea. Have a good night!” I shouted as I slammed and locked the door.

It turned out that I need not have worried about the hours of sleep I was unlikely to get, as my uncle and I ultimately decided that conditions did not merit the time it would take to drive to the mountains. But the lack of an immediate voyage to the most Hothic part of my state left me with no room for extra shut-eye in any event–like Luke on the verge of a grim new future with awkward revelations about the real nature of relationships, I, too, had to face the prospect of a painful cut: that of someone I had, in spite of our differences, come to regard as a promising friend.

Love Wars IV: A New Dope

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Okay, so since I was too lazy to figure out how to do scrolling text with a vanishing point in Final Cut Pro, I might as well throw in the towel and confess that the “long time ago” was December 2013 and the “far, far away” was Denver, CO, which requires only a plane ticket or car to reach rather than a ship that can make the Kessel run in 12 parsecs.

But in lieu of the famous film saga’s pretext, allow me to reintroduce Christmas lights boy, for he is the Darth Vader to my Luke Skywalker only with more awkward Freudian overtones which I suppose would make him more like the Luke to my Leia in that regard at least.*

*Note: yes, I know I alluded to analogizing my endless man troubles to the Lord of the Rings rather than Star Wars, but given that this has been a surprisingly ceaseless tale with the potential to be revitalized and subsequently ruined by J.J. Abrams, tying it to the previous generation’s defining fantasy series seems more apt. After all, there’s only so much to be done with LOTR after The Hobbit ends, since The Silmarillion seems ill-equipped for a movie adaptation. But then, I suppose in an effort to earn even more lunch money from the nerds who overcame the wedgies and forked-over school lunch savings to get real jobs, they’ll give that, too, to J.J. Abrams eventually. Sigh.

Anyway, while I fully acknowledge my own unintentional mishandling of the Xmas lights debacle, Darth Oblivious wasn’t doing himself any favors, either. Because after I legitimately backed out of our “date” (shudder) due to a racking cough that sure made me wheeze like Vader, he texted me to tell me that he was going to a deli near my place to pick himself up some dinner and wanted to know if I wanted him to get a tongue sandwich that he would then deliver to me.

I don’t want tongue from you or anyone else, I thought, though I replied with a demure, “No, thanks.”

“You don’t know what you’re missing,” he replied. “I could get you something else tho*.”

“I’m good, thanks!” I all but yelled directly at the phone in the hopes that Darth Oblivious wouldn’t live up to his name. After a few more back-and-forths in which I managed to successfully beg off his tender, tongue-filled ministrations, he fucked off, though obviously oblivious to the hint.

*It’s worth noting that I am paraphrasing all these early conversations. I could look through them to get the exact verbiage, but it will become painfully clear by the end of these posts why I have no wish to do so.** Ergo, I no longer recall whether he actually truncated the word “though,” but he definitely couldn’t be bothered to add in nearly half the letters in the 5th Grade English Teachers’ Gold Star Spelling of the word “through.” I’m all for simplifying English’s ridiculously complicated and not even standardized spelling system, but there’s no need to be a lazy ass when you clearly know better!

**See what I did there with the foreshadowing?! My own fifth grade English teacher ought to be so proud!

DO went to Florida the next day, leaving with just enough time to breathe a sigh of relief that I wouldn’t have to read any more tongue-tinged texts or iMessages dripping with rage over the stupidities of the sheeple (note to guys trying to impress chicks: the only people I have ever heard use the word “sheeple” unironically were bigger tools than you’ll find in a bomb-defuser’s gear bag, so think twice before using that term to demonstrate your moral and intellectual superiority. Actually, just don’t even try to demonstrate your moral and intellectual superiority at all. If it’s really that far above the–Flying Spaghetti Monster forgive me–sheeple’s, it’ll speak for itself). I was, however, fully aware of the fact that he mentioned this sojourn to Florida as a vacation rather than a permanent move, so I gave serious consideration to making a premature move to California in that week-long reprieve so that I could respond to his next missive with a fearless, “No longer in Colorado. You could take your tongue and shove it up your ass if I didn’t think you’d enjoy it a little too much. Toodles!”

But of course, I didn’t. Instead, I spent the better part of the two weeks following his return blaming my terse and delayed responses on being near-permanently up in the Sprint service desert that is the entire United States of America…er, I mean, the highest of the High Rockies. After a while, he must’ve finally figured out that I wasn’t ever going to get together with him whether I was telling the truth about my location or not, so he stopped trying. That, I figured happily, was the end of that.

Fast forward to the end of January. On a trip to California in which I scouting the LA area for job prospects due to an actual desire to move closer to an ocean, which desire amazingly had nothing to do with avoiding asses in sheeple’s clothing, I opened up my email one night and found a long, rambling note from my favorite simpleminded Sith lord.

“Hey, so I just wanted to apologize for how creepy I must have sounded,” it breathlessly began, relating how my logorrheic Lothario realized that trying to push a girl he barely knew into shoving his hand-delivered tongue sandwich down her throat might not have been the suavest approach he could have taken. It went on to explain that he was working on a new project that was promoting vasectomies for male Colorado residents and directing them to a website where they could get more information and even schedule an appointment for a free vasectomy. Being firmly pro-birth-control myself and fully supportive of my male friends who are as well, I couldn’t help but take the bait.

I called him. We talked for hours–literally, and I mean literal in the literal sense–about the values of choice, birth control, independence, and darkly humorous ways to advance those notions. I was fired up about the new project and hung up the phone eager to give the would-be cunning linguist a fresh start.

Forgive my tormented mixing of cinematic folklore, but it looked like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.