The Irritable Man Remade

10551-485-500I was cruising around the net and came across something that made me laugh and go Oh Yeah at the same time: IMSIrritable Man Syndrome.

Did you hear that?

It was the noise of female eyes rolling combined with a little to the ceiling head movement. Probably there is a faction that opines IMS is a condition not unlike ADD. Sure, it has a name now, but in the old days it was just “fidgety”. Irritable man? Redundant.

Now, I THINK the article was sincere, but I just snickered and headed over here with a thought to write about it. I didn’t read the whole thing. If you want to, Go here.

I’m sure there are lots of scientific and medical justification. I don’t know any of that. I’m just a man, I’m irritated, and while some problems are caused by things like socks that are too constricting, stores inconveniently closed when I want to shop and cable television in general, nothing stirs the hornet’s nest like attributing all irritations to women, and so, reaching into the bottomless grab bag that is my life, I will now describe for you why everything that makes me remotely annoyed to insanely angry originates with women.

Now, if you are reading this, are in or have been in my life, and feel you recognize yourself in something I’ve written here, I assure you, it’s not you. It’s someone else.

    • Symptom: Chronic Fatigue – I used to sleep well. Very well. Late on Saturdays. Then I dated The Sleep Jackal. Settling down for the night, she’d listen for the tell-tale signs of my breath slowing and then just as I passed over into the Land of Nod, she’d ask me something. The first 40 or 50 times each evening I’d be polite and do my best to answer. After that I’d get irritable.
    • Symptom: Confusion – “Men are such pigs.” We hear that a lot. For those of us who aren’t, we hear it anyway, feel it imposed upon us like a toppling cinderblock wall and we become more piggish in a Can’t Beat ‘Em So May As Well Join ‘Em kind of reaction. And the next time a woman in a low cut top bends over to ask me a special favour in a little girl voice, if she has issue with my visual appreciation of her décolletage, I will get irritable.
    • Symptom: Depression – Nothing is worse than checking the balance of your joint account and finding it leaner than the Leaf’s playoff chances. Well, maybe it’s a little worse when you listen to boasts of restraint, of not spending more than $50, then seeing 10 separate purchases of $49.99. Irritating.
    • Symptom: Uncommunicative – I have never been literally blue in the face, but I frequently get there in a figurative manner. It doesn’t help that I have a compulsion to be clearly understood. That only makes the end result more frustrating. I take Great Pains to be clear. My ability to put it into writing probably stems from just this. So any time something diametrically opposed to my words and intent is presented starting with “Oh, I thought you meant…” I know, deeply and purely in my heart, that I was never listened to in the first place. Me? Not communicating? If I don’t, it’s because there is no point. And that is incredibly irritating.

With all the tribulations that women have rained down upon me it’s probably no wonder I’m single. Of more wonder is my dissatisfaction with being single, so there is likely a flip side to this story that I am conveniently ignoring here.

And true, if women get on my nerves so much, I could just hang out with men more often.

But you know what? They’re irritating.

Advertisements

North to Alas-k-k-k-ka

kenny_south_parkReports of an early spring are gone from Timmins, where I’m heading later this week. Still light on the snow side, but temperatures were down to –20° Celsius (near California-like conditions to some readers), so looks like the tight packing situation of the trip up just got tighter with the addition of  The Parka.

The Parka is an addition to my wardrobe that dates back to my time in Winnipeg, where Men are Men and testicles are retracted to prevent Brass Monkey incidents. Minus 40° is the same in Celsius and Fahrenheit, an interesting bit of trivia that so fascinates Mother Nature that she leaves the thermostat there frequently in Manitoba. Apologies to Johnny Horton and the title of the blog, but Winnipeg’s average temperature in winter is quite a bit lower than Alaska. It just seems colder with all that extra dark to stumble around in.

The Parka is a very efficient warming device, so much so that it has seen use in Ontario only when skiing, and even that was a mistake as the exertion to get myself up off my ass had me sweating before I could say “bunny hill”. I don’t know that it remained zipped that day. I seriously doubt it. It has not been zipped since, and we are talking about 9 years. I recall shoveling snow in The Parka in Winnipeg, unzipped, no mitts, no hat, then coming in and realizing it was –15°C.

The garment itself, despite its 12+ years of tenure with me, is in great shape, two tone blue, very little wear and tear, mostly just from being shoved around in the closet around other less insulating garments. I thought briefly of consulting with Kathryn about how to incorporate The Parka with the rest of my wardrobe, but then it occurred to me.

At –20, everything goes with everything. Preferably at once.

Update Friday

The lethargy of the holidays has created a backlog of Things That Need Doing and new work has jumped on top of that resulting in fewer posts this past week. A couple of updates today to tide you over until either a) I have something relevant to say or more likely b) I spout off irrelevantly in greater detail.

The Impartial Wardrobe Evaluation Project has come to an end, as I have closed down my photo profile on a popular dating site, disappointing thousands of single women, I’m sure, if only they knew. However, I still have the electric blanket on my bed to simulate Other Body warmth, so it remains a research project only. As you may recall, the earlier profile, pre-wardrobe consultation, produced responses from a group whose average age was about 60, a high percentage of whom were interested in and/or owned motorcycles. As I am a decade younger and gave no indication of bikerly tendencies except inadvertently through my photos, this was somewhat shocking.

Conducted under more stringent scientific method, with results audited by the firm of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, the follow up research produced well in excess of 400 views of my profile, about 100 a week. Of those who responded to the profile the median age dropped startlingly to 46.4 years and not a one mentioned “Harley” anywhere. Officially, Kathryn’s Makeover of Me can be declared a success.

venus-embrace-canada1This blog first came about after a post I made on my other blog, the one about the Venus Embrace razor. To read that one, go here. I have been using the original cartridge on my face since the start of November, an unheard of life for any razor. As I received a 4 pack of replacement cartridges as a gag gift (ha!) for Christmas (more or less) I decided to change to a new blade, though I was still quite happy with results from the original cartridge. There was Very Little Difference, if any at all, from this new cartridge.

AN OPEN LETTER TO GILLETTE, A DIVISION OF P&G:

I may have become your worst nightmare. I have discovered that the Venus Embrace is the ultimate whisker removing tool for men on the planet, and probably in the universe, though I am wary of speaking beyond the scope of my experience.

There is no similarly constructed instrument available and marketed to men. I believe you know this. I believe also that you know that the 4 cartridges I received will last me all of calendar year 2011 and it scares the shit out of you due to losses in sales if it becomes known that this blade configuration is not designed to clog with whiskers on first pass like all other men’s razors.

Like too many greedy corporations you are more concerned with selling at all costs rather than engaging in the more ethically sound practice of giving people a quality product without misleading them or building in planned obsolescence.

There is only one thing to be done: Hire me. $40K annually with benefits will guarantee my silence about the wonders of the Venus Embrace as a Men’s Grooming Device. I may even throw in a little writing for you at that price. But I’m not giving my razor back. Once my inner Goddess got out, she decided she liked it.

And that is all for Friday.

Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 10:17 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , ,

No Biz Like Show Biz

It’s one of those days that I’m not sure what I want to bore you with. There’s still a bit of Holiday Hangover going on, coupled with a hint of excitement about the World Junior Hockey Championship game tonight, Canada vs. Russia. The sun is out, a winter day that doesn’t require running away (though I am accepting offers if you need a valet and are heading south).

No, me, I have it backwards. I’m aiming at Timmins next week. FR040806Not vacationing, but working, I haven’t totally lost it, despite popular opinion. There’s also a chance to visit with some family and renew old acquaintances. In a past life I was a road musician, a pocket rock god playing what we called the Arctic Circle Tour. Only in Canada can that joke fall flat, because there actually IS an Arctic Circle tour and it’s a thousand miles north of anywhere we were. Scale… man, that’s everything sometimes.

This trip has some unique challenges. First of all, I’m subbing for a country band. I haven’t played much country the last couple years so I have a pretty steep learning curve here, getting tunes together. Cheat sheets are a must, because challenge number two is: no rehearsals. Not only that, I won’t even meet the guitarist until we’re a couple hours into the trip. I’ll hit the stage without sharing a note with this configuration of the band.

Challenge #3 will be existing for the other 20 hours a day, as it always is on the road. Scouting report on the bar we’re playing is that the rooms are typical road accommodations, that is, Pretty Scuzzy. A sleeping bag of known origin will be packed. Which brings Challenge #4: Packing.

20467_1333306139444_1434755936_30927322_3215422_nThe usual foibles of a weekend trip are all in place, what to wear, how to pack it, toiletries etc. but with a couple of unique spins. First of all there may or may not be bathing facilities on the floor of rooms we will occupy. If we’re lucky there will be running water in each room. If we’re REALLY lucky, there will be hot water too. Let’s pack a hat in case Bad Hair Days are the norm.

Further complicating things is the detritus that a band needs, in this case a couple amps, a couple guitar cases, whatever drums we can cram and three of us in an ironically named Honda Fit. Suffice to say this is not the roomiest of the Honda line. At least it’s four wheels and not two. Rumour has it the guitarist has a bigger vehicle which we will switch over to on the way.

Of course the lure of the stage is enough to imbue some optimism, at least on the inward trek. On the homeward side that optimism is gone. The task is over. With soap and hot water willing we won’t smell like the elephant trailer of a departing circus. That reminds me of a joke: Avram had been with the circus for 30 years, faithfully spending his days scooping up elephant shit. Time had passed for any sane person to retire, yet still Avram followed the elephants, day in and out. His family implored him, Avram, why do you retire? Rest. You’ve had a good life, you don’t need to work.

Avram said, “What? And quit Show Biz?”

Red Carpet Bound

All right, back into the swing. I have to say that getting dressed was pretty easy over the holiday season. Not only were things Kathryn advised me on very mix-and-match, I even remembered enough to spot some things that work in the rotation. You might have picked up here and there that I’m a bit skeptical in nature (no! really??) and so suspicious of how long the silk purse will last after the makeover shows release the sow’s ears they’ve transformed. Since I rate pretty much everyone’s shopping abilities above mine, I suppose there is hope for the world, if I can retain anything.

This is kind of an open challenge now, as we move forward (oh, Kathryn, are you listening?). As it happens I am up for a couple of awards and as such I have two awards galas coming up before the end of the month. Early in February, there is an opening night pending also. All three events are theatre related, therefore artsy and offbeat. As it happens I have Lovely Accomplices scheduled for two of these three events, and even an outside chance at a PAIR of Lovely Accomplices for the third event. Call me greedy, eva-green-and-daniel-craigbut Mr. Bond and Mr. Hefner would both approve, I think.

Now, despite the sophistication of these events, I’m likely a long shot to win an award as I am new on the scene, not an established name like my co-nominees, and I am just rather amused by the awards thing anyway, tickled to be involved. However, if I am going to go, Go Big, right? I recall a scene from Casino Royale where Eva Green says to Daniel Craig, “There are dinner jackets and there are Dinner Jackets. This is the latter.”

While I would swoon if Eva Green so much as called me a drop of donkey spittle, not even for her would I go out and buy more clothes. Come ON. I have my limits. However, Going Big requires an entrance (for which I have been tutored in a networking sense) and no longer happy with simply fitting in, I have the urge to make a Grand Statement, if only to improve my chances for next year.

So, the challenge is thus: a) Lovely Accomplices deserve a more streamlined me. What can we accomplish in a month? And b) how can I make three Grand Statements at three separate events within a three week period, where many of the same people will attend each? And no, I have NO BUDGET.

Of all the times to be caught without a tuxedo.

Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 9:20 am  Comments Off on Red Carpet Bound  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,