Shawn's Stuff

My life with the occasional political or sports talk.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Asshole Theory

(As in, why do assholes get girls)

When my friends and I were in high school we weren't exactly lady killers. I remember Nick and I particularly spent hours on end bitching and moaning about how we never had girlfriends. I can say this now because Nick is basically married so I'm sure the bitterness has subsided for him ;) But I remember the key to those bitch sessions was often how all the hottest girls dated such assholes. What did these fucking assholes have that we didn't have? They treated the girls like shit, and that just made them want those guys more. I think shaking our heads and saying "women suck" was probably close to 40% of our conversations sometimes.

Mind you our situation may have been helped by actually, you know, talking to girls sometimes. Kind of hard to get a date if you never say a word to them. Maybe smoke signals would've worked.

That being said, those asshole sure did get lot women. As soon as they were done treating one like shit, the next one came along. All us meek nice guys were good for was occasionally being the person they complain to about the asshole. You know, "I just wish I could meet a nice guy that would treat me with respect." Hey! That's me! If I just keep sitting here and listening to her bitch she'll surely realize that I am in fact the VERY THING that she's looking for!!! Sweet deal. Except as we all know, they'd eventually just make up with the asshole or find a new one. I believe this particular scenario has been the basis for a pretty decent number of sexy teen comedy romps on the big screen. In the movies the nice guy gets some balls, tells off the asshole and wins the hart of the "ugly" girl who gets a makeover and is actually super hot.

In real life I had horrible acne and didn't get a date until I was 16 and met a girl online that dumped me the day after we first kissed. But I digress...


So what is the asshole theory? Why do those no good assholes get the girl? Here's what we came up with.

If an asshole is nice to you, you're special. This guy is a total prick to almost everyone. He puts people down, he gets in fights, he's rude to the teacher... but he tells you that you're beautiful. He trips the guy in the hallway, but he opens doors for you and carries your bag. You must be pretty special if such an asshole could be so nice to you. At least, he must think you're special. Clearly he'll be different with you because you are so special to him, you bring out a different side of him, and you'll change him.

A nice guy is always a nice guy. He's not just nice to you, he's nice to pretty much everyone. If he compliments you it doesn't mean much, because he would say nice things to anyone. If he opens the doors for you or will help you with your homework that's nice, but he'd do that for anyone. He's not a challenge, he doesn't make you feel special or different.

That was our theory in a nutshell. An asshole makes someone feel like they broke through to someone. They are DIFFERENT. Sure, the asshole might have cheated on his past four girlfriends, but you should hear the way he talks to me. He'd never do that to me! A nice guy is great, but so what? What about him being nice to you makes you feel better or different than anyone else?

It's pretty simplistic. Obviously nobody is going to think to this type of thing to themselves. I think our suggestion would've been that people are obviously doing this subconsciously. I mean I can't imagine too many people say "oh I just like assholes better." However, shockingly it does happen! A girl I dated briefly told me that straight up when we broke up. I was not enough of an asshole for her. Don't that beat all?

I think I can look back to high school and make some obvious additions to the asshole theory. For one, an asshole is confident while a nice guy often isn't as much. We all know how much of a difference confidence can make. Especially outwards confidence. What's the difference? I'm talking about like walking tall, no awkward pauses or tics, talking to whomever you want and saying whatever you want... I mean often those people deep down are pretty shallow and hate themselves, but the appearance of confidence is powerful. Hell, at the very least they talk to more women and odds are eventually that'll work. I know in my case my strongest confidence is more internal. I believe intensely in who I am and what kind of a person I am. However, I don't walk and talk with that kind of calm or cocky swagger.

Another addition? You have to work harder to get the asshole, or win him. We instinctively seem to feel that the harder you have to work to get something, the better it will be. Isn't that horse shit though? I mean I'd have to work like a bitch to make wine myself, but I guarantee you it wouldn't taste as good as wine someone else made! It would be way more work owning a shitty 89 Civic that broke down constantly, but I guarantee it'd be better to have my own brand new car that worked like a charm the entire time I owned it. Sure when you're young it's very satisfying to fix that shitty old car up... and when it starts running again, what an awesome feeling. But even when you get it to work, it still sucks. That's why when you grow up you buy the new car.

Regardless, often the attitude is that if something comes easy it's not worth getting. There are reasons for that of course. Truthfully, if someone basically falls in love with any girl he meets he'll reek of desperation. I know whenever I used to meet a new girl (I'm talking at like 18/19) I used to picture a whole life together right away. In my head, we date 4 years, get married, have the kids and the nice house... oh we got a cottage... the details varied depending on the girl. Obviously not healthy, and it changed the normal way I'd behave into someone far more clingy. Not every girl that gave me the time of day was worth groveling over. What I learned back then from my friend Sarah is that you shouldn't even bother with someone unless they give you butterflies. Anyway, I still think desperate is better than asshole, but that's not how people's instincts react.

So to summarize: Assholes get more girls because an asshole being nice makes you feel special, they're more of a challenge and they're more confident.

But that was just a high school thing, right? As Charlie Murphy would say... "WRONG! WRONG!" Of course not. How many people do you know that keep going back to the some asshole no matter how many times they say they wont? Those same elements from high school still apply in adult life. I do understand it to a point. I know I've done the same thing. A woman is fucking rotten to me and for some reason I'm hooked and keep trying to win her back... so I do understand. However, where does it all lead?

How many times have you heard stories about divorces that started with an obvious case of the asshole theory? Hell, some of these guys and girls might shape up some if they weren't able to get always get away with and find someone new who will put up with their shit. Those assholes get married, they have kids, and guess what? In 20 years they're still fucking assholes. By the time some people realize they can't take this asshole anymore and they really should've given the nice guy a chance, their lives are all ready half over and they're stuck with that person being in their lives forever... divorce or not.

I know it's appealing... I know that! The asshole is powerful my friends. But we must overcome!

As for me, I'm told I can learn lessons from the success of the asshole. If you just act like MORE of an asshole, even if you have to force it, you'll get more women to stick around. When she calls, ignore her sometimes. When she asks you for something, don't do it. Tell her that outfit doesn't really suit her or you liked her hair better long. Be less available, care less, it's a sure fire success strategy.

Fuck that though. Whenever another attempt with women fails I always get analytical. Often I come to this exact same point. If only I could be different it would've worked...

But I'm not!

I'm one of those nice guys. I'll keep giving you all the chances in the world to take me for granted. I'll keep getting left behind or hurt by people that I think are really starting to like me. I'll keep being available to someone whenever they need me even though they'd probably bail on me when I need them. You know what I feel like I've become? The person that people are drawn to when they're feeling down... I do my best to lift them up, but I'm not the person they stick around with for the good times.

However, when they screw it up and let me down... they're the ones who lose. Nice guys like me are often great catches. I am a good guy with a great family, a career, I think pretty good looking, in decent shape, smart, easy to talk to... We're the brand new car that'll ride great for 10 years. If you turn us in for the 77 Mustang that won't even drive you to work, your loss. Someday a woman with her head on straight will love those qualities and they'll get to spend their life with someone who treats them with respect and dignity. Someone who cares as much about how good sex was for the you as it was for themselves. Someone who wants badly to participate in their future kids lives and be there for every important moment. Someone who will get you a surprise gift that they know you'd like out of no where just because they were listening to you. Someone who'd never leave you wondering if they cared about you, but instead made sure you knew how much every day just by the way they look at you... even when they're fucking grumpy and pissed off.

I know someone will because a good woman did for four years. We weren't ultimately right for each other, but it wasn't for any of these reasons. I know someone will because my parents are both awesome people who found each other and make it work every day. There are good examples every day of people who stay true to themselves and find love.

Every guy has his flaws, and I know I have many, but I'm not changing my stripes no matter how many times I strike out.

Fuck them, I'm fine. They can call me when they grow up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Interactive Johari Window

You go to this thing and pick the characteristics you think best describe me. Kind of an interesting experiment to see the different impressions you've left on different people.

Been really busy lately... wish it was with more than JUST work. That's how it is sometimes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What Matters

I have it pretty good.

I know I complain to some of my friends about my life here in Castlegar sometimes. It's not perfect by any stretch. One thing you really take for granted when moving from where you grew up to brand new places is how much went in to building the kind of connections and friendships you had. I didn't make friends with people like my closest friends in Ottawa overnight. I mean we're talking well over 10 years of getting to know someone and going through life with those people. You can hardly expect that kind of thing to really start happening somewhere new in 10 months. Let alone with the schedule I work.

That being said, things happened over the last day or so that none of you know about or will know about to a friend of mine that made me realize how good I've got it. There was a time in my life I faced my own self made holes and dealt with some real personal challenged in my own mind. I've mostly got through those challenges and gone on to find some success in my career. I'm no where near where I want to be yet, my goals are much bigger in life and in career. That being said, I'm really proud of the strides I've made since being lost and directionless at 21-22 years old.

Why did that happen for me? My family, my friends, my social network of strength and support that existed then and still exists now if even at a distance. I made the changes and had the help I needed to find some if not all of the peace I needed to make a better life for myself.

Some other people aren't so lucky and have to face all those battles themselves. We often get dealt unfair hands. Nobody chooses to face an illness or to be sick or to have obstacle after obstacle thrown in front of them. Lets face it, some people have to deal with a lot more than others do. For someone to have to face those things and face it without the kind of support that many of us are lucky to have... that's pain, that's a real challenge, that's real hardship.

I don't deserve to bitch and moan. I have the world's comfiest safety net thanks to the people I'm blessed to know. Instead, I should be looking out for people like my friend who need the same kind of hand up that I got.

Count your blessings in this new year. Maybe there are more of them than you thought. Sometimes it's easy to forget how good you have it.

What to be sorry for

I heard another friend mentioning this... that they were going to work on not apologizing as much. Interesting resolution now that we're in the new year. My first reaction to that was thinking, "how could that be a flaw?" Still it got me to thinking about my own life in the last year and even further back. 2007 has been a strange year for me and I'm not sure I ever really got my footing after moving. Yet whenever things have gone the wrong way for me I've found myself apologizing in one form or another. I'm almost always conciliatory even if I don't feel like I have to be.

I'd say first of all that if I say "I'm sorry" it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm saying "everything was my fault" or "I was totally wrong" in every context. But I think that's the message it sends out. You make a gesture like that and you're on the defensive.

Sometimes we all have things to apologize for. This isn't to say that I or anyone else should never say I'm sorry... but if you often say it, does it lose meaning? If I apologized constantly, how much would it mean when I said I was sorry after I'd really hurt somebody or really done something wrong. Any word can lose meaning when over used. Like when someone calls everyone their best friend the term won't be taken seriously anymore. If you tell a girl you love her after 2 weeks, how much does it mean when you say it a year later when you really did fall in love?

The other thing is that apology is often seen as a sign of weakness. I like to think I have a pretty strong will when I'm comfortable with someone. My friends and family who know me best would probably say I was stubborn to a fault. If I think my parents are wrong about something I'll hold firm until the bitter end. If I think my best friends are wrong about something, I'll stand my ground. When it comes to a new friend or someone new that I'm dating, or maybe a boss I'm not comfortable with yet... as soon as I'm confronted, my instinct is to try and smooth things over. You're in a new place and not as confident in your surroundings so you don't want to rock the boat, right? Better to keep things comfortable and relaxed and happy. So what happens? The apology comes out, I try to find common ground, maybe get a little defensive... but that stubborn side of me doesn't come out as much. Your respect can disappear pretty fast!

I don't know why I'm so quick to take blame for things with new people. Nobody likes confrontation and everyone would love if life were smooth sailing, but it's a slippery slope. Take the fall for every little thing that happens and suddenly you have no legs to stand on anymore. Respect is important and if you're unwilling to firmly stand up for yourself than your respect is going to be on crutches.

I think it's taken me a while to realize that apologizing isn't the quick fix that I like to think it is. Often if someone is upset with you it's not always because you are fully to blame. Usually it's a mixture of what you did and what they did, or how they are... how they reacted. I've had a boss get mad at me before because he forgot to schedule me for something and I didn't call to check if the schedule had changed even though it was never my responsibility to do that. In that case he made an obvious mistake, but because I was new I found myself apologizing and regretting it instantly. Anger and frustration is not always rational, and if you buckle to it every time someone you respect or care about is upset at you... suddenly you just look like a desperate guy trying to cling on to something that isn't there. You justify every instinct that the person who was upset with you may have had.

We're funny people that way. Human interaction is a bitch. The "simple"or easy answer almost never works out the way you think it would. That's why we should all apologize less. If you think just saying "I'm sorry" will make something blow over you're usually wrong. Even if it did, wouldn't that mask whatever the problem was in the first place? I know in my case I'm never trying to upset someone or fuck with people. I think if anything I'm a pretty damn considerate guy who often goes out of his way for friends and family. If I'm a pretty good person who tries to do the right thing as much as I can, what the hell am I apologizing so much for in my life?

Confidence is what it's all about. Have faith in the person that you are and your ability to make the right decision. If you don't respect or stand by the person that you are, who will? I don't think there's something inherently wrong with me (lots of little things sure) but the amount I'm willing to apologize for you'd think I was a giant fuck up. The funny thing is that it's not because I'm _not_ confident, but because I just want things to be comfortable. The harder you try to force things to be comfortable, the more uncomfortable they get. Like if you adjust your ass in a chair so much that eventually you've got burn marks on your cheeks.

I'm not going to stop being considerate or going out of my way for people. I'm not planning to start behaving like my opinion is the only one that matters. That's just not how I am. But anytime I get that instinct to blurt out "I'm sorry" I'm going to try to think twice. We'll see how that goes.

That and I need to eat better and start going to the gym.

May I can keep 1 out of 3 of those resolutions. If I don't... well I'm not sorry!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

8 Random Things

I'm really good at starting new blogs to neglect. Not so good at keeping them up. I've decided to do a Smoke Eaters blog at to keep track of all things Smoke Eater. It's all ready linked on their website without me asking.

I'm going to Prince George and Quesnel this weekend for hockey. Also, we recently had our Mountain FM Christmas party. It was a good night. There some pictures on my facebook if you're on there.

OK, so....

Loxy tagged me over at and apparently I have to discuss eight random things about me. There are pretty much a million random things about me. I'm not sure where to even begin. I guess whatever comes to mind.

The rules: Each player lists 8 random facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 4 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog. (I hate tagging people to do things like this so I'm not sure if I'll bother. I like to BE tagged...)

1. When I was a kid I used to play fake sporting events in my yard. For example, in the summer I took a deflated soccer ball into the backyard and created fake baseball games. This was all pretty involved. I had written line-ups and kept track of the stats. I'd even do substitutions and everything. So when the "game" was over I could tell you that Expos third baseman Tim Wallach went 3-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Oh, and of course I would loudly broadcast these games and create fake crowd noise. The nice thing about the deflated ball was that I could drill it as hard as I wanted with the bat and the furthest it would ever go is over the trees into my neighbour's yard. We had combined back yards so our dogs could run free. I don't know how many hours I spent doing this. I had another version of the game when I visited my grandparents in Gaspe. They had a big wood pile in the middle of their huge backyard and instead of me hitting a deflated soccer ball I would pitch at the log pile. However the ball would come off the rock pile would determine what happened to the "hitter." So if the ball got past me it was a single, if it went over my head it was a double, if it went into the larger grass it was a home run. Of course often FINDING the ball in the larger grass was a problem. I'm not sure I should be telling people this. I had versions of this game for street hockey as well. Some how I was able to recreate a 2 on 1 in street hockey with only one person. Don't ask. People on my street must have thought I was insane. "Messier takes the pass from Lowe, breaks in on goal... oooh he SCORES *crowd noise* What a goal, did you see that one, Harry?"

2 . I have lived with a lot of different animals at different times. When I was born my parents had a female black lab named Lady. They had to give her away when we moved to a rental. We then got a couple of mutts named Bo and Pete. We had to give them away when they kept running away and we felt they outgrew our small bungalow. When we moved to Blackburn Hamlet we got a cool terrier named BJ. Yes, his name was BJ. My brother insisted on naming the dog Brown Jr. (I can't even begin to figure out where he got that idea) and to appease him my parents settled on BJ. We were too young at the time to know why that name was so funny. He only lasted a year though.

After BJ died we got Sheaman, the most amazing dog I can ever imagine owning. He was a large pure Golden Retriever whose father was a British champion show dog named Shea O'Shea if I recall correctly. Anyway, Sheaman was a big ball of fur who was simply the kindest, smartest dog I can ever imagine. He had the biggest smile. He used to love laying on his back in the grass and twitching around until we'd rub his belly. I used to wrestle him and pin him but my brother always claimed Sheaman won anyway. He used to let little dogs walk all over him despite being much larger. Sheaman was the calmest dog imaginable. The only times I've ever seen him mad were when our neighbour's dog stole his bone and when one of the fathers on my hockey team would visit the house. He hated this poor guy. Mr. Cumming was the nicest man too, I don't know what our dog's issue was. Sheaman also used to escape our fenced in backyard to go cruising for chicks. He never gave away his secret for escaping even when we tempted him with a walk or cookies. Our neighbour eventually spotted him jumping onto his dog house and leaping from it to the fence. Smart cookie. He died a few years back.

When I first moved out it was to downtown Ottawa with a girl from my friend Ryan's class named Laura. That was an interesting experience. She had two cats that she never cleaned up after so I had to do it. I used to HATE cats, but they grew on me. I forget their names now, but the orange one always used to climb onto my shoulders and stay there no matter how long I was walking around. I thought that was kinda neat. After that it was a couple of years without a pet until Amy came to live with me in Owen Sound for a while. She brought her dog Tinker with her for the summer. Tinker was in love with me. I used to scratch her for hours and no matter how long it had been she would still keep poking me for more. "The poke" become a source of much amusement. What an interesting little dog she is. That was also when I bought my first pet. Mowgli is a mix of a Westie and a Shitzu. He became my companion through my break up and my move to BC. It took quite a while to train him properly, likely because I wasn't hard enough on him, but he is a great dog. He loves to sit by the window and watch people and cars. He also loves to bury himself under my blankets and sheets by my feet to steal my warmth. Mowgli now lives with my parents and their dog Rileigh in Ottawa because my work schedule takes me on road trips too often to have a dog by myself. I miss the little guy a lot.

3. I had a date for the prom but wasn't allowed to bring her. This girl I knew was a friend of a friend. She was really quite hot actually, but I hadn't found a good in with her yet. I don't know how it came up when we were all hanging out, but she heard I didn't have a date for my prom and said she'd go. I like a girl who is willing to invite herself if I'm being too much of a chicken shit. Anyway, I went to go and get my extra ticket for her and Lisa refused to give me one because I was a couple of HOURS past the deadline. First of all, I had no idea this deadline even existed. Secondly, it was mere hours! She easily could've made it work but was just being difficult. As a result I went to the prom by myself and actually had to get pictures done in Scott's back yard with him. I guess Fitzsimmons was my date! We then had to play bodyguard for Aaron and Lea while their parents snapped endless pictures along the way to the prom itself. Then I got really drunk and made out with some girl I didn't know in Hull. Great night!

4. I remember the very first time I was ever on the radio for something more than a song request. Even when I was a youngster I used to listen to talk radio. I was a loser no question. I was listening to Steve Madely on CFRA in Ottawa. This was when his show was on from 9 to noon. Now he does the mornings. Anyhow, they were discussing changing the school year. The proposal was to split up summer break into several smaller breaks. So you'd have like four smaller breaks all throughout the year instead of one big summer. My objection was that if we had part of our break time in the winter we couldn't use our bikes. This was a big problem for me since I was at the age where I would be allowed to stay at home alone, but I wasn't near being able to drive. Bikes allowed me to go to any friend's house, to the mall, to the movies, to the store, to the fast food joints... this was an essential part of the summer. They didn't really subscribe to my theory about the importance of biking to a good school break, but I still think it had some merit!

5. My favourite colour is orange. I have no idea how this happened exactly, but it has influenced me in a number of ways. For example, my favourite sunglasses that I ever had were orange. I can remember how upset I was when I broke them. We replaced them with red Transformers sunglasses, but I was never as satisfied. I also always prefer orange flavour. Whether it's a popsicle or some kind of candy, orange is always my preference. Don't really like _oranges_ but I do like orange juice. I also had this wicked pair of orange pants once. Actually I used to get badgered about wearing them quite a bit. I think they were relatively in style at the time. Probably couldn't get away with wearing them now. Finally, my favourite hockey team used to have orange in their colour scheme. But the Oilers dropped the orange for copper. How many Stanley Cups have they won since that change, huh? Now I'm the play by play voice of the Trail Smoke Eaters. Their colours? Orange and black.

6. My middle name is my Mom's last name. People always have a hard time with it. Especially when I'm telling them my e-mail address. My name is Shawn Sams Mullin and so my e-mail is but whenever I explain this to people they always seem to think it's Shawn Sam Mullin. Sams isn't that common a name to begin with. I actually am really proud of my name in that way. My mom kept her last name after getting married. It's something I really respect and I think I would prefer that if I ever get married my wife would do the same. I dunno, it honours your family I think. To link our name to mom without doing the hyphen thing, our middle names are connected to her family. For me I got her last name as my middle name while Kyle's middle name is Stewart... my Grandmother's maiden name. I think it's a good tradition to start and a great way to honour every part of my family.

7. I've had an eyebrow piercing twice. The first time I did it years ago when my friend Sarah was visiting Ottawa and we decided to do it together. I can't remember what inspired this decision, but it was a pretty radical thing for me to do given how suburban and generic my style generally was. Now I don't consider it remotely radical, but then it sorta felt like it was. I've always liked how it looked. However, when I got a job working at Securitas I had to take out both my eyebrow and ear piercings. I thought that was kind of lame considering at Securitas we didn't do anything close to resembling work. We would sit at desks and monitor things. We would also walk around and monitor things. If anything actually happened... we called the real police and were ordered to do nothing. My friend Chris' father works for Securitas. Well he did, I think he still does. He works at the National Art Gallery which is the one place I refused to work. You literally had to stand there for hours and hours and hours in one or two rooms making sure people didn't touch art. You couldn't even sit down. I liked the jobs where no one was around most of the time and I could listen to the radio or go on the computer. I also enjoyed working security at Parliament Hill where we looked after the gallery for question period. Once we got everyone inside I was able to go and watch question period every day. For a political junkie that was actually pretty entertaining.

Anyhow, several years later when I moved here to Castlegar I decided I wanted to get the piercing done again. I wasn't on TV anymore (which I was for a while in Owen Sound) and so I figured it was fine. I tried to plan to go with some friends several times and it never worked out. Finally I just went on my own to Nelson and got it done. For whatever reason this time it took forever to completely settle. Now it's fine. It's not quite in the same spot as last time, but I like it. I don't know how long I can keep an eyebrow piercing until I'm too old for it, but I figure I've got lots of time yet.

8. I sometimes give the wall a high five. Actually often it's more of a side five. I can't really explain this behaviour. I've been doing this for years. I'll walk by a corner of the walls in my house and just like... slap it. But not in a violent way, in a "high five" kind of way. Don't ask me to explain this I have no idea why I do it.

Well now that I'm done that I don't think anyone will ever want to talk to me again!

I'm supposed to tag people but I really don't think I have enough people who read my blog to bother so sorry Loxy I'm gonna skip that part.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why I'm Here

An old friend of mine from middle school commented on my facebook profile picture yesterday. It's a picture of me broadcasting a hockey game. I'm going to re-post what he said here:

"Dude it's your dream! your DREAM !!!!!!! Remember from Grade 6? I'm so impressed"

I need to remember that. Not that I'm totally depressed about life here, but I get bored. It's evident enough by the fact that whenever I post or talk to people from home it comes up that I'm sick of my miniscule social life.

Well it's good to be reminded why I packed everything up and moved here. I've wanted to call hockey games since I can remember. It was my dream and I am getting to do it. How many people can say that? So in return for doing that I have to spend most nights alone... ok. I could be at home working in a government office. For me, that would be just as bad or worse. At least with the situation I'm in now I know that in time things will change, and when they do, I'll have built up experience in a job I love. Even if I don't get to do it for the rest of my career, I can say that I took the chance to follow my dream.

That's worth some alone time.

As soon as I get right with that reality, the more I'll be able to find more things to do and people to hang out with. Lets face it, if you're not confident and you're pushing it... well it's like hockey. If you're trying too hard to score, gripping that stick too tight, you're never going to get it. Once you just start playing your game and not worrying about the goals, that's when they start to happen.

The problem is it's really hard to lighten up... so it's great when someone helps take that weight off even if they didn't realize they were.

P.S. --- I don't HATE Castlegar or the Kootenays. It's gorgeous here. There's lots of great people. I respect so many people I've met through work and in other places. The problems I have here are more about the schedule I work and finding people to hang out with outside work. I could very much see me making a life for myself in BC. In a small town? Less likely, but still possible. It's more circumstances combined with my own stuff. Plus you know, fewer people around doesn't help all that.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Just stop trying so hard

I've been thinking today about my dating history. It kind of proves one of those old sayings. If you want something too much you're not going to get it.

I consider myself a relationship guy. So how many have I had? I've dated a lot of people but only one person has been with me for longer than at most a couple of months. Usually it's just a few weeks. I don't know the exact number of people I've _started_ dating but honestly Amy is probably the only one that I would say lasted. I'm hovering at about like 5% here.

I don't blame anyone I've gone out with really. Either you want to be with someone or you don't. It's no one's fault and no one should feel guilty for how they feel.

I deny all the time that I am actively looking for or wanting a relationship, but what's the point in lying anymore? Ultimately when I'm out there dating people, meeting people, I hope that if I'm attracted and interested in someone that it turns into a relationship. I don't want someone to be my girlfriend the moment I meet and am interested in them. I'm not planning the marriage after two dates. However, I just don't like or want to date around. It's not me and it's not what I feel comfortable doing.

In my last couple of months in Owen Sound and since I've come to Castlegar I've had more first dates than I ever imagined having. I actually like first dates usually. It's almost impossible to have nothing to talk about on a first date. I mean if you think about it there's an entire life of topics to discuss. You must have enough good stories for a couple of hours, right? So that's fun enough I guess. I just can't enjoy it. I don't enjoy going to bars and trying to meet someone. I think I could have a decent conversation with anyone, but I've never ever felt comfortable just walking up to some person for no reason and talking to them just becuase they look good.

Basically the whole single life thing, I don't like it. I'm not even bad at it per say. I get dates, I've had some more casual relationships or whatever you want to call people who aren't your girlfriend. I know enough guys who would love if that's how things were for them. No commitment, have some fun with people hang out here and there and move on. Plus when you don't really care that much, you don't reek of it and I think it makes you more desirable. You know, there's a little more of a chase.

I'm bored with it.

I don't want a wife or anything, but it'd be nice to be secure enough in something. That you wern't always wondering about the next move and what something means. I admit I analyze stuff too much as it is. There's just a nice bit of emotional security in knowing you have someone you can count on that way. At least for however long it lasts.

But here's the thing that I think is happening with me. I think my interest in finding a steady relationship is bleeding through everything I do or say. I try not to _say_ things that would be construed as pushing someone or being too intense or serious. That's not all there is to it though. I'm an open book, at least so I've been told. If something is bothering me or I'm feeling something I'm not even remotely good at hiding it. So I think I'm giving off that vibe to people.

The other aspect of things here is that I have so little social life that if I'm not working I'm almost always available. I guess I could try to hide it, but the bottom line is that it's not like I have trouble fitting someone in to my little black book. "Gee Shawn, do you have time for me this week?" "I dunno babe, maybe let me take a look... I dunno on Sunday I was planning on staying in my appartment playing video games. Not sure I can fit you in."

I mean I don't do anything. I work until 11 all week and am often at hockey games on weekends. Even when I have days off I rarely have any plans. The people I hung out with in the spring and summer I hardly ever hang out with now. The only male friends I have in pretty much the entire region are work related friends with different lives and schedules.

So here's the deal... if someone offers me a glimpse of a social life, and they are interesting and I have a good time, I'm gripping onto it with both hands. I'm not trying to, but I think it's obvious enough that I am.

When I talk to friends about it they usually blame the girls or say "ah it's just the wrong person, they wern't right for you" or it's just the situation or whatever. Ultimately I have to look in the mirror and ask if I'm living a groundhog day, there's only one person who is in the story each time.

Still I am who I am. Do you pretend to not care? Do you pretend to have plans when you don't? Do you act like you're only somewhat interested and sometimes blow a person off? I don't play games and I am not interested in pretending to be somewhat I'm not.

Recently on facebook I got an honesty box message that said:

"JUst stop trying so hard and what u want will come 2 u when you least expect it!"

Seems logical right? You'll find what you want when you least expect it. Don't try so hard, don't overthink things, just take it easy and relax.

It's fine to say it, but how do you do it when you've never done it. I've been hearing the same messages for most of my life but things never change.

I'm not comfortable these days and I'm not sure how to change that.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Some TV Watching

I love the internet. My schedule doesn't really permit me to watch shows as they actually happen. Who wants to keep track of that shit anyway? However, the internet allows me to watch things when I want and often times all in a row. For instance, thanks to a website called TV Links I just watched the whole second season of Veronica Mars that I missed. Excellent stuff, that show being cancelled just sucks. The nice thing about early graves for shows like it, Arrested Development and others is that they never "jumped the shark" so at least I'll only have good memories.

Anyhow, a couple of shows I think people should watch that my wise young friend Lindsay turned me on to.

Californication: David Duchovny stars as a cliche (writer who has writer's block) stuck in Hollywood on a booze and chick bender after being dumped by his long time quasi-wife with whom he has a kid. Fun characters and dialogue. It's got some cheezy stuff in there, but I was entertained enough to watch 7 consecutive episodes in one night. I recommend it.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A group of old friends who own and operate a moderately successful bar. Again it's a cliche concept but it's a fun show that I've enjoyed. Characters and dialogue are more important than originality of concept IMO.

Chuck: I've only watched one episode of this show so far, but it was a good one. Quirkly characters and a pretty original concept. We'll see how far that carries it. One show isn't enough to say it'll be good, but it's worth watching.

Also recently rented the first season of Battlestar Gallactica after being told how good it was forever by my friends from back home. It was as good as they hyped it to be. I'll have to catch up on the rest of the series now before they cancel it.

Don't forget the old more recent classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Veronica Mars, Arrested Development... those are avaliable on DVD now for you to enjoy. Or the website I linked to. Either way.

Anything you've been watching that is worth passing on?

Two posts in a couple of hours, I'm on fire! If anyone remembers to check...

Long time...

Hey, long time no talk. I'm too ambitious. Whenever I make plans for one of my blogs I expect them to be huge great things like a whole story of my move instead of just saying it in less detail. It's a curse really. I expect too much and so instead deliver nothing. Ultimately I've been horrible at keeping in touch with my friends back in Ontario.

The update? I now have a sports talk show from 6pm to Midnight every weeknight. I am also doing play by play for hockey games now. Anyone who has known me for a long time realizes it is a dream I've had since I was a tyke. Getting to do it just feels right. I've got a great reaction for it so far too. Of course I have lots of room to grow. I'm not great at it yet, but a good response from people helps me realize this is something that I can and should do. It makes me feel like I made the right decision to take this risk and come out here.

If you're interested there are audio clips of much of what I've done on our website

Just browse through the audio section and you can find interviews from my show as well as summaries of my play by play. You can also go to the BCHL website and sign up for their fan zone. It's free and has live streams of my broadcasts of Trail road games as well as archives of them.

Lately though I've kind of fallen into an old hole of mine. With late hours I stay up late and do nothing. Spend so much time in my house or at work. So little time out in fresh air doing things with real people. It's hard. Everything shuts down here after 10pm when I could get off work. People are asleep and places are closed. How do I find myself a social life to keep me sane so I don't fall into a huge personal funk outside of my work life? That's my battle right now. Weekends also seem to get filled up with hockey games (which I of course am enjoying) so there isn't a ton of time or space for a social life. Plus some changes in things around here... well anyway the social networks I started building can't really function the way I hoped they would be able to with my new job and other changes that went on here. So it's tough. I like to think I'm easy to get along with but seems like since I've moved from Ottawa friends having come as easily as I hoped they would. Not to downplay or downgrade the ones I do have, because I have mae some good ones... just I find there are way too many days where I have nothing to do and no one to see. Guess I have to put more work into it, eh?

I did have a nice thanksgiving dinner with Cassie and her boyfriend Chris. One thing I find whenver the holidays come around I seem to know people cool enough to want to make me feel like I'm not alone. Thanks to them for that.

Kind of a short update but there it is.