GUEST POST: ODT TEAM RIDER KC DEANE

ODT team rider KC Deane checks in with a story from the trip to Japan that landed him on the cover of Skiing Magazine’s annual photo issue:

SkiingMagPhotoAnnual

Arriving in Japan is an interesting experience.  Groggy from the red eye flight you roll off the plane to symbols and no comprehension of what is being said. I feel it’s different than any other place that I’ve travelled to ski before. Making your way to custom, mandarin symbols grace most of the signage and some of the last english that you will hear is people about to embark on their own journeys, just as we were about to begin ours. We grabbed our bags and the crew that consisted of myself, Grant Gunderson, Adam U, Sven Brunso and Carston Oliver headed out of the airport headed by bus to catch a train from the outskirts of tokyo into the central train station.  Dragging more gear than should ever be packed by one person we navigate through hundreds of thousands of people in the subway. Within 3 hours you can be in the bustling center of Tokyo, then in the middle of the mountains in a small town.  After much pointing smiling, and a seemingly short game of charades, we are pointed in the right direction and make our first train to the Nagano Prefecture which is roughly 3 hours outside of Tokyo. As Sven Brunso put it, “The train station was a sea of humanity. I felt like a Salmon swimming upstream. Everyone seemed to be going in the opposite direction of where I needed to go. You eventually have to just walk against the flow and people eventually move at the last minute. ”

We stepped off at the small station of Myokokogen to cold clear skies, and the smile of local Bill Ross.  After years of coming to Myoko it was the first time we had showed up and not been instantly covered in snow upon our arrival.  Loading Bill’s van we pack in like sardines and make a short drive to Hotel Korakuso which would be our home for the next 9 days.  Bill gave us a quick briefing of the conditions and to our surprise they were expecting day or two of clear skies to welcome us and for Sven to get a lay of the land. He also mentioned that it hadn’t snowed in almost week, which is quite uncharacteristic for Japan. Arriving at our hotel, half a world away, we had arrived at our destination tucked in the Kubiki Alps, Myoko.

4 am, jet lag has taken full effect and everyone is beginning to rouse.  As the sun peaks over the mountains and into the Myoko Valley  we head to the lobby we find Gunderson and Brunso already suited and ready.  Sven is clearly anxious and buzzing with excitement to get out on the hill. “No need to rush. The snow isn’t going anywhere. Even the lift served terrain here never gets tracked out, so soak it up and take your time.”, reminds Adam as we pull our boots on.

The bottom of the ski hill is just a quick five minute walk through the one main street in Myoko, and you are at the base of Akakura Kanko which lays in the shadow of Mt Myoko. The resort is a small area with 4 lifts that access 2,600 vertical feet of the most amazing trees you’ve ever skied, and with a quick 30-40 minute tour you find yourself perched above Akakura and the Myoko Valley open with spotted Dakekanda trees, or in america known as Erman’s Beech.  As we ascend Sven is blown away by what he sees, and for me as well I am happy to find that even though it hasn’t’ snowed in nearly a week, the trees are nearly void of tracks and our own seemingly private ski area is just as we had left it. Dropping in I heard Sven ask, “Why there aren’t any tracks? Has it been closed? Can we ski here?.”  I just laughed and said welcome to skiing in japan as I dropped in. With the sun out we took advantage of the visibility and set a skin track from the top of the resort.  Even if the snow is not deep it is good to take advantage of seeing the sun.  In Myoko, and the Nagano prefecture they average only 8 days of sun a year, which is good for skiing deep snow but tough to do long tour missions up high above the valley, and for us shoot bluebird powder photos. Typically touring consists of smaller adventures with short 30 minutes skins to access the large amount of terrain above the ski area as well as the terrain above the small town of Tsubame which sits just to the north of the ski hill in a small valley.  Laps from the top of the ski hill drop you down 2000 feet into the town, followed by a quick 15 minutes traverse back to Akakura onsen resort. From the top lift of Akakura Kanko, or Akakan we made our way to the peak of Maecyama which is a sub peak below Mt Myoko.  As we gain elevation Mt Myoko comes into view and you can see the steep and rugged mountain, with giant sulfur gas vents protruding from it’s flanks.  With our first day coming to a close, Gunderson tucks his camera away to log some turns of his own.  Before the rest of the crew knows it, Grant is laughing and throwing plumes of snow as he disappears into the trees.  Arriving at the hotel, Gunderson is there, beard caked full of snow grinning at Sven, “Welcome to Japan buddy! Oh and did I mention that this isn’t even good yet?”

The following morning the clouds hung low in the valley as we slowly made our way through town. After 3 days of skiing our crew had hit so many of the features we were in need of a reset, usually it snows so much that it isn’t and issue. By mid day snow flurries came and the light snow had arrived.  With the faint smell of sea salt the flakes came down and began to blanket the hill. Snow flakes began to get bigger and bigger and within a few hours it looked as if white leaves were falling from the sky.  As the day came to an end there was almost half a meter of new. Sven said,” I looked at the forecast the day before we left and it showed scattered snow showers for ten days. I was pretty bummed out. The first day was totally bluebird and I was confident that there wasn’t going to be the deep powder I came to Japan in search of. Three days later clouds were socked in and by morning we had a meter.”   This went on for 4 days before we saw the sun again. Finally we awoke to the clear skies, meter upon meter of fresh snow and the mountains basking in the early morning light.  We had all pretty much lost track of time at this point.  The days melted together in a haze of deep snow and jet lag. Free from the race to the powder that you experience at home, you begin to relax an settle into a different pace and as we walked to the hill, sun shining, fresh snow, no one raced to get the first chair.  As we headed up the now familiar lifts it seemed as though you feel as if Akakan has become your second home.

4:30 am, wide awake to the drum of heavy equipment. It was only sunny the day before.  Pulling myself out of bed I peaked out the window to see it dumping yet again. A great part about Japan is with the frequent snowfall it doesn’t give much time for the snow to sit in the sun creating a very solid snowpack.  Digging a 3 meter pit to the dirt we found no hard layers.  It was as if you were brushing down the side of cement wall.  The stability is great because it gives you confidence to work into some of the more exposed lines. In Japan it is really easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when there is a ton of snow and you’re skiing hot laps in a ski resort.  Sometimes pulling off the groomer into that gully with all the rad pillows in the wrong place, even just 20 meters uphill or downhill of where you thought you were going, can be the difference between a mellow pow lap and realizing halfway down a pillow line that it doesn’t go, and then having to scratch around to find the one place that doesn’t air 50 feet into an uphill gully wall landing.  Every year it feels like with the deep snow it gives you confidence that you can jump anything, and with the stability, ski anything.  With at least 4 meters of snow that had fallen Carston Oliver and I wanted to ski some of the more rowdy lines we had looked at when it was clear.  Within the ski resort there is a narrow canyon that although it is only about 300 vertical feet is steep and has all sorts of lines with spines, mandatory cliff drops at the end.  Confident that I had our line picked out I dropped in and skied to a safe point to wait for Carston.  Ripping steep pow turns we were hooting and hollering, Carston made it down and as I took a few turns I quickly realized that we were off our lines.  Holding onto a small tree stuck into a 50 degree spine I realized that we had dropped in too early and were cliffed out on top of a 60 foot drop that Carston had hit the previous year.  Considering our position there was no way we were backing out and getting up 50 degree slope in this deep of snow.  Confident in the depth of the snow and the fact that  Carston had hit this before we both made the drop for our exit.  Although we came out unscathed it was a quick reminder of how fast you can find yourself in a serious situation.

As the trip comes to a close I find myself bathed in sunshine and skiing deep snow yet again. Seems like ages ago that we were in the hustle and bustle of the Tokyo subway as we stand over the valley watching the sun dip low in the winter sky.  As I watch the crew drop one after another I find myself standing solo contemplating my last turns here in Japan.  The air is crisp and cold as I tip into my run, my first turn I drive my skis deep into the snow and cover my face in an ice blast.  The sound of my breathing, and the rustle of my jacket is the only thing that finds my ears.  This is skiing in Japan.

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Agenda NYC

Agenda1

“Where are you going, sir?”  An arm reached around me and gently shoved me forward, jolting me out of this weird little internal debate I was having with myself about whether or not monkeys would get any enjoyment out of chewing gum.  I had been in the taxicab line at JFK for about a half an hour, and apparently, according to this man in some sort of official uniform, it was my turn.

“Brooklyn,” I mumbled.  It was really early, and as far as my mind was concerned I had little business attempting to function in society at the moment, hence the monkeys/ chewing gum thing (Apparently they love it).  I was hustled toward one of a lineup of cabs at the curb.  Someone grabbed my bag and threw it in the trunk, I climbed in the back and before I knew it we were barreling off down the street like we had just lifted a Rembrandt from the Metropolitan.

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Agenda5

Fifty bucks, four or five middle fingers and several detours later we arrived in Greenpoint, where I would spend the day and evening with a friend from college before heading over to set up the Agenda show in Manhattan the next morning.

We went bowling.

We went bowling.

Thinking in terms of efficiency and ultimately flawless logic, I decided to hop on the subway in the morning during rush hour to make my way to the show.  Given the general lack of subways in Los Angeles I was immediately unaccustomed to this strange sort of science experiment that New Yorkers put up with every day.  At each stop more and more people crammed themselves on, into spaces just simply not capable of accommodating their forms, however pliable they may have been.  The general strategy here, I soon realized, was to avoid eye contact at all costs, rotate about a quarter turn and then go ahead and snuggle up to the nearest stranger like your first prom date.  Deodorant was apparently either not a requirement or people needed a little more instruction on how to effectively apply it.  I’m not saying LA is really any better, as apparently we seem to prefer this.  To each their own, or whatever.

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Agenda14

Wandering off the subway in SoHo, I made a bit of a pit stop at the Burton retail store to drop off some signage for our display there.  They informed me that they’d already sold out of Turtle Shells and were ready to order some more.  Not a bad way to start off the day.  We shot the shit a little, mostly about snowboarding in Vermont, maple syrup, and monkeys chewing gum (you have to admit, it’s intriguing) and I bid them goodbye and went to go set up the booth.

ODT/Burton set-up

ODT/Burton set-up

Agenda2

Agenda’s generally a street wear type of show, but you never know what you’re going to find there.  On the surface, it can look more than a little superficial; the majority of the population there is dressed from head to toe in the latest, most trendy shit to pop out of the toy machine.  If there’s some new kind of cigarette, they’re smoking it; a new upper, they’re doing it, a new haircut, they’ve got it.  As you can probably imagine, all of that can start to bleed into a running river of inability to grasp what’s actually good and real pretty goddamn quickly, but fortunately the show embodies some pretty good characteristics as well.  It brings people of all shapes, colors, sizes, and backgrounds together and unites them over common interest.  Nobody thinks twice about shaking your hand because of your race, sexual orientation, religion, whatever, but everyone maintains the idea that if you’re going to run with this crowd, you better own it.  One guy I met there last year told me that he loved it because no matter who you were and what you wanted to do people would grant you the chance to explain to them what you were all about and why you could help them.  That can be a valuable thing in this day and age of attention spans that are whittled down to a matter of seconds and people that seem the most interested in trying to train their pet llamas to do push-ups surrounded by Navy Seals in rocking chairs stroking tranquilized lap rabbits in an effort to go viral and cash out on Youtube.  (If you actually do this and it works I expect royalties…see what I did there?).

Privates

Privates

At any rate, we were here to show our new stuff, most notably the Privates touch-control wireless headphones.  Fortunately Agenda had picked up a coffee sponsor for the New York show, so before long my blood was a quarter dark roast and everybody I talked to sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks, so I was easily blabbering on right on about pretty much anything.

Stoked

Stoked

Everyone was stoked on the Privates’ touch-control interface that allows for track-skipping and volume-changing with the swipe of a finger.  Keep an eye out for their debut early next month.

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Agenda11

Agenda13

Before I knew it the show was up and I was sitting in JFK again, handicapped by a 2-hour flight delay and about halfway through my second $13 Jameson & ginger.  The shroud of Agenda was gone, replaced by regular old society sitting around a rectangular bar outside of New York City, all eyes glued to a TV barking out the latest on a particular case in Florida.

Til next time.

-Ben

(Shout out to Civil Clothing, Han Cholo, Transworld Business, Creative Recreation, Obey, The Decades, Akoo, Crumpler, Burton, Moss, Endless Ammo, and everyone else for the good vibes)

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MAKE MORE SENSE

“Be thy labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”

-Chinese proverb

…And this, my friends, is how one does it well.  This is a Budnitz Bicycles Model No. 3 City Bike, fashioned by a company started, owned and run by none other than Paul Budnitz.  It is equipped with a six-pack beer carrier by Colorado-based Topo designs, and, yes, a Turtle Shell wireless boom box and Turtle Claw handlebar mount by Outdoor Tech.  It is clean design, simplicity, music, beer, and beauty all mashed into one glorious package as equally suited to 5 o’clock after-work jaunts through the city to a friend’s place as weekend cruises through tree-lined parkways towards a picnic in the hills.  Sure, you could do either of these things aboard a seventh-hand, rusted-out Huffy that has been stuck on one cog for as long as you can remember and suffers from faded, two-tone graphics that didn’t look right even when they rolled onto the local department store sales floor sometime back in the early nineties.  But that’s not why designers get up to go to work in the morning, and that’s not why we stare at the ceiling every night, trying to figure out how to make things look better, work better, and make more sense, even in the last few minutes before we fall asleep.

For those that don’t know, Paul Budnitz is a living legend in the vinyl toy, street wear and design industries, as well as the creator of Kidrobot, a company working to bring different artists’ visions to life in the form of toys (www.kidrobot.com).  His latest venture is Budnitz Bicycles, an effort focused on “…creat(ing) the fastest, lightest, and most beautiful city bicycles in the world” (source: www.budnitzbicycles.com).  Do they do this well?  Well, check out their website and have a look for yourself.  Budnitz is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a C+ sort of guy, and we were honored when we got the call from him to participate in building this ultimate city machine.  Of course we wanted to help create the greatest two-wheeled transportation ever to grace the stretch of sidewalk in front your favorite coffee shop.  That is why we’re here; we are Outdoor Tech, and we make stuff to compliment your adventure, whatever that adventure may be.  Stuff that makes sense.  Stuff you probably want.  Budnitz came calling with an opportunity to help us achieve that goal in yet another way, and we were happy to do it.

Maybe the best news to come out of this is that this bike, complete with the Turtle Shell and beer carrier, is being given away.  You can enter to win it at the link below, and if you do, you’ll soon be cruising to the local house party at 10 o’clock on Friday night, tunes pouring from the Turtle Shell out into the warm night, full beer case clinking softly, ear-to-ear grin across your face.  There’s plenty to smile about:  Tonight, tomorrow, and every time you ride that bike, there’s no one doing it better.

Enter here:

http://uncrate.com/stuff/budnitz-x-uncrate-limited-edition-bike/

 

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SLEEP

A good friend of ours, NYC comedian Sam Rubinoff, checks in with a guest post from Brooklyn:

Everyone in New York City is sleep deprived. Most of us are clawing at a dream while struggling to stay afloat. Last week, my roommate and I eyed a storm creeping up the East Coast which promised good waves. The plan was to leave from Brooklyn on Sunday at 5am to catch low-tide on Long Beach, Long Island. That morning I got back to my apartment around 3:30am after performing a couple stand-up comedy gigs. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. I was too excited about the forecasted swell. For the next hour I flipped through infomercials and thought about buying a Snuggie.

On the drive to the beach I was sleepy and a little delirious. Taillights were blending together and I pounded a coffee to stay awake as navigator and DJ. We arrived as the sun was rising over some sexy waves. And as I dropped into my first wave I wondered how anybody could sleep though this.*

*I wrote this while dozing off at my day job.

Follow me on twitter @samrubinoff

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The Stunt Double: A Love Story.

See the whole commercial feature presentation here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/krissman/outdoor-techs-turtle-shell-rugged-wireless-boombox

It was a hot July morning at a skate park in East LA.  On the set for the Turtle Shell commercial, we had our new spokesman John Ennis, our pro stunt double, and our professional, super-hot model.  The goal was simple: make a short film demonstrating all of the glory of the Turtle Shell, and have some fun while doing it.

What developed instead was a testosterone-fueled competition for the affections of our lady friend- an action sports tour de force of sorts.  Captured on camera by Angela Boatwright, this is a photographic record of the ensuing debauchery.  Find more of Angela’s work here:  http://angelaboatwright.com/index.php/portfolio/category/C9/

For some reason, John wanted to do his own stunts after she showed up.  We shrugged and handed over the bike.  His childhood talents were still intact, but that was about where it ended.

He stuck around the set, though, if only because he was real into the Turtle Shell: the go anywhere wireless boombox, built for action.  It got him a bit of attention.  Here it is in detail:

The stunt double proceeded to do his thing though, taking the Turtle Claw handlebar mounting accessory through its paces.  It was a tough act to follow, to say the least…

…maybe too tough of an act.  John tried another approach while our femme fatal dialed up some house beats via our Adapt bluetooth transmitter.  Find that here: http://www.outdoortechnology.com/Shop/Wireless-Audio/

 

But who won the girl?  Well if you’re asking that, you clearly didn’t click the link at the top of this article and didn’t watch the film we spent all day making, so shame on you.  If you did, then you know before you even started reading this…so I guess that killed some of the suspense; but regardless, it was a good time, right?  We think so, and we’re pretty smart.

Since I’m such a nice guy, here’s the link to the whole commercial feature presentation again.  You don’t even have to scroll back up:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/krissman/outdoor-techs-turtle-shell-rugged-wireless-boombox

Or, if you want, download our entire catalog here:

http://www.outdoortechnology.com/OT Catalog ’12-13 for web.pdf 

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1% For The Planet: The Boise Bicycle Project

In keeping with our mission to donate annually to the 1% For The Planet Foundation, we have selected the Boise Bicycle Project in Boise, Idaho as our 2012 recipient.  In their own words:

“Boise Bicycle Project (501c3) is a community-oriented effort to promote the personal, social, and environmental benefits of bicycling. It functions as a bicycle recycling center as well as an educational workspace in a diverse and non-threatening atmosphere. Through education and access to inexpensive bicycles we strive to build a stronger bicycling community.”

BBP is helping to put bicycles in the hands of kids and adults alike whom might not have had the chance to ride otherwise.  Their team includes over 3,000 volunteers and have recycled and reused over 5,000 bicycles, in addition to donating thousands of bikes to children in need.

OT’s commitment to cycling runs deep.  We are proud to support the Boise Bicycle Project in 2012 and beyond.

Check out the BBP in more detail here.

 

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Kickstarted

It seems like it’s always a long road.  The harder you work, the more there is to do.  My mother (probably like a lot of mothers) always used to tell me that the only way to get anywhere near completion of anything was to take steps.  Just put one foot in front of another, she’d say, day-by-day, do the best you can.

The Turtle Shell Wireless Boombox, our latest and greatest product, has been one of those roads.  Over a year in the making, bringing it to production has meant countless hours of designing, testing, thinking, rethinking, traveling…you name it.  It’s finally here, in all its bike-mountable, water-resistant, dust-proof glory.  You can pre-order it, and it will be in your hands by October.  Get it here, it’s our final step:

kickstarted

Fortunately, we will soon have new roads to travel.  To all our fans, promoters, athletes, family and friends, thank you for your continued support.  Much love.

-OT

 

 

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I see pride, I see power.

Grinding away at a sport, an art, or a craft is only part of life as a whole.  It is something that many of us love and understand.  I remember growing up I would spend every second I could riding bikes and dirt bikes, skating and surfing.  All afternoon.  All weekend.  I would push and push and push myself and go as long as I could.  Eventually, though, every session would come to an end, and as it turned out, I began to realize that there was a whole other life that took place when my legs were too tired to keep moving.  A big part of that other life was hanging out with my people.  Naturally, hanging out with your people evolves into the dating thing.  We all do it, and it’s tough to navigate.  Luckily, our good friend Meg has shed some light for us on the whole idea, because let’s face it: catching waves is way easier.  Dig it:

(Check out more of Meg’s hilarity at http://leftoversfromfriday.com/)

I am pretty and boys like me (or how to be a relationship ninja)

Welcome.

……to the first ever published documentation, column, essay, word document of my (Meg’s) 10 commandments of dating/relationship/general advice you should apply to your life in regards to the opposite sex and pursuing them.

Please print and put on the nearest wall in direct relation to your cubicle, bedside, kitchen counter, toilet seat and washing machine.

(for all you freaky types)

…I don’t do this very often.

In fact, you all are very privileged to experience what may be the first ever time, I share full disclosure my advice in regards to talking to, thinking about, attracting the opposite sex.

Some disclaimers before I continue:

1- First and foremost, I’m not Megan Fox. I’m not Kate Upton. I’m not Adriana Lima.  I am not a model, actress,  international pretty person. In short, like all of you— I must work with what I have and what I have isn’t necessarily always top-shelf. However, what I lack in exotic breath-taking beauty, I make up for in common sense and an incredibly smokin’ personality. Also, a really, really hot sense of humor. See? You’re smiling.  Notice what I did there? You already want me.

2- Probably even more importantly than point 1- There are exceptions to every commandment below. What I say from now on occasionally does not apply in various situations. I’ll try to keep my thoughts simplified and generalized for the most part for this very reason. Because really, what I don’t want to hear from this post is this: “But (Love-doctor) Meg! This boy said this and that goes against what you said in your 5th commandment point right under line 87 and blahblahblah.”

…Please people. Use your brain. I am only human here. And even I, in all my infinite wisdom about the opposite sex, still find myself stumped from time to time.

In short my pupils (fun word to say out loud. try it) –this is simply a guide.  Some helpful instruction. It is not the Bible. I am only the messenger. A baby beardless Moses. Not Alpha and Omega. Not God. Because come on- Jesus Christ, Mary and Bieber, don’t you think if it were that simple I would be hooked up with this guy by now?

…On the other hand, I’d like to think that if my first disclaimer wasn’t a reality.. sigh (AKA I looked like this?) Maybe I would have Ryan Gosling. I don’t know. Attraction is a very complicated thing.

And I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday. And you’re all in luck because this baby is going to absolutely blow your mind. It’s going to make fireworks show up in front of your eyes. You’re going to go straight over the moon with this one.  It’s going to tie you up, and hold you down and push you against a wall and….. Woah. Sorry. Distracted. What were we talking about?

Anyway.

Meg’s 10 commandment montage of miscellaneous men advice:

or how to be a Relationship Ninja

(Because completely categorizing what I am about to share

would be unfair and limiting to my Attention Deficit suffering creative genius)

10. Thou shalt be aware of the hormone Oxytocin.

Yep, the good ‘ol love hormone.

While many may attribute the plot of the Notebook to fate and soul mates and passion and true love– I believe it is pretty much soley Oxytocin’s fault that Allie was in love with Noah several years later EVEN AFTER being engaged to a smoking hot McDreamy character.

….which is why I will also give you the cold hard truth in that the hormone Oxytocin is also the reason you tend to become a clingy, needy, pathetic shred of a woman after hooking up in the back seat of last night’s prince charming’s 2001 Honda Accord. Classy. 

Now, I’m not a doctor (though I firmly believe Grey’s Anatomy has lent me a solid wikipedia guide of medical terminology that I use pretty regularly when I go out to bars and pretend to be a Stanford med student) but basically, the way I see it- is that it is THIS EVIL HORMONES fault that I’ve seen girl after girl after girl get stuck on loser after loser after loser and convinced herself that he was equivalent to some god-like Justin Timberlake James Franco character when he was really just some asshole who had bad taste in shoes and used terrible grammar in text messages (gr8 catch gurlz!). Furthermore, it is my understanding, that men produce little to no oxytocin where as women produce large amounts of it following intercourse (Like how smart do I sound right now?) and therefore, is why men can have casual meaningless sex more often/frequently than women can.

So. What’s my point? Well sadly, there’s really nothing we can do here women. It’s a hormone your body produces and thus, it is my understanding, that you can’t really turn it off (if there was a way don’t you think I would have figured it out by now?). However, maybe you’ll think about this next time you have one too many jager bombs and you find yourself about to get handsy with some guy who refers to himself as The Chad and has the mouth of that small creepy fish that lives in the abyss of the ocean that scared Dory and Marlin in Finding Nemo.  Oxytocin is blind ladies. And also-you’re welcome for your new mantra to explain yourself when you don’t listen to me and fall for The Chad regardless.

(from the female version of the famous Ice-T quote):

….Hate the hormone, not the girl.

 9. Thou should utilize being a “damsel in distress” to thou’s best ability.

Sure, guys can typically do a lot of things girls can’t do. But instead of encouraging you to try to compete and challenge that- I’m going to ask you to try the opposite. Use your own weakness as a strength. I mean if we’re going to be the “gentler sex” we might as well go balls to the wall with it, to use a male anatomical cliché to aid our supposedly female vulnerability here. What am I saying? I’m saying if you’re going to be a damsel in distress, do it right dammit.

Twirl your hair. Bat those eyes and say things like:  ”but I just don’t get it” and “can you maybe help me please?” and “I’ve never done this before, I feel like you’re so much better at this than me!” and fan those testosterone masculine driven flames like a champ. Then? Kick back, relax and get away with countless shit you just couldn’t do if you didn’t have boobs. Anatomy is a wonderful thing if you know how to use it. So is acting like a stupid girl. Tee-hee.

Oh.. sorry! I’m not supposed to park here? But I’m only going to run inside for a

quick second. Can you just make a little exception just this once? 

8. Thy neighbor’s girlfriend is probably prettier than you. Thou shalt get over it before thou’s friends attack thou with duct tape and shove thou in the trunk of a car. 

For the love of everything Bieber-related, can we please stop peering over pictures of (insert pretty person banging your ex-boyfriend here) and asking your friends, “But… I’m prettier than her. Right?

Take a clue sister. It doesn’t matter if you’re prettier. Smarter. Cooler. Funnier. All of the above. He clearly likes someone else better. Otherwise… he would be with you. It’s actually a pretty simple concept. Don’t overcomplicate this. She could look like the inside of a vacuum cleaner and if he’s calling her to come over and not you, you could be the biggest catch who walked the earth and it wouldn’t matter. You can color your hair dark because he likes brunettes. You could lose 10 pounds cause he likes skinny bitches. You could start wearing 10 inch heels and dress like Princess Leia and IT. WILL. NOT. MATTER.

Have chick flicks taught you nothing? The very basis of every rom-com stems from the fact that the fake, unnatural, plastic girl always loses. So stop comparing yourself. The fact is you aren’t whoever you so desperately desire to resemble. You’re you. And if you want your life to be a chick flick so badly, well stop acting like the evil mean plastic girl type and start behaving a little more like the girl next door. Oh and for the record– Kristen Stewart looks like a crack whore. I realize this is slightly irrelevant and out of left field but I need to say this and I don’t think I’m going to be able to slide it in anywhere else. Moving on.

7. Thou shalt shut up about thy high-maintenance-ness.

Guys are visual. They see you all put together and they think, “MMMMM Damn girl. You lookin’ fine.” (or whatever) …And we’re all like yeah, duh because it cost me 40o dollars to get my— WOAH, WOAH WOAH. Stop. What do you think you are doing right now?  Under no circumstances, do guys want (or really need in my humble opinion) to hear about all the maintenance it takes to look that good. They don’t need to hear about all the waxing, plucking, shaving, dying, painting, brushing, scrubbing, rubbing, ridiculousmanipedifacial routines that goes into your beauty regimen. So stop over-sharing.  Think of it like this. Guys supposedly think about sex like 500 times a day right? Do you need to know about every guy who pictures you naked? Do you need to think about the last time that they washed their hands? Do you need to know the specifics of every dirty thought that crosses the mind of every male you’ve ever spoken to? No. No, no you do not. They have theirs and we have ours. He doesn’t want to hear about your latest blow-out. You don’t want to hear about his latest blow job. Life is beautifully symmetrical like this sometimes. So please, don’t mess with the order of the world and keep your waxing horror stories to yourself.

6. Thou aren’t a virgin. Thou aren’t a whore. Thou are somewhere in between. Thou needs to chill. Thou is a fun word to write. 

The fact of the matter is, there is a double standard in society that says you reach a certain number of people you have slept with and you should start lying about said number. This could be anywhere between 5 and 15. Guys can brag about this number. They can make it higher than it actually is. They can even say they’ve lost count and people pat them on the back like they’ve discovered the cure for world hunger. Girls do the same thing and they get the look:

The societal girl-code understanding is that you do not want this look. “The Look” is pretty much synonymous with the modern day Scarlet letter. ‘The look” is associated with judgement and shame and regret and too much tequila/vodka and

OH MY GOD IT WAS ONE TIME!

..Look, I get it. You made a mistake here and there. And the truth is, the numbers game isn’t going to actually stop. And you’re going to keep lying about your tally. And all of that is actually fine in my non-judgemental book. Really my only point is that, you’re own worse critic. And because of that, you are the only who really needs to care about this game. So stop beating yourself with the same stick. Adopt a new philosophy. Own your number. I applaud you. Who wants to go through life a celibate nun? (Edit: I looked up statistics and apparently, there are actually a lot of people who want this. But still.) Good news–You’re not a whore.  Whores get paid! Too far?  …Well, at least you’re not Kristen Stewart.

This also brings me to my next point…

5. Thou should stop waiting for some guy to decide if what happened last night was indeed a “one night stand”

Alright. This is the situation:

So and so (friend/sister/ miscellaneous girl-type) comes home around 11 AM Saturday morning looking like… well, she’s looked better. You ask her about her night. (I will subtitle her response):

“Well, I’ve been talking (texting) to this guy for a little while now (probably about a week) and he invited me over to hangout last night (cough cough booty call) and well, it went really well (He dropped me off this morning and sped off with a fist pump and a see ya never honk). He wants to hangout again maybe again (right. I believe that.) sometime this week (wow, yawn. How cliche can you be Mr. Guy?). I don’t know (Yes.. you do girlfriend.), he seems pretty cool (Define cool. Cool like he’s never going to call you again or cool like maybe he will around 3 AM next Saturday night?)

Anyone know EXACTLY what I am talking about? Yep, you do. Whether it was you or not, we’ve all seen this occur. Unless you are this woman, then the guy is banging down your door begging to hang out with you ever hour on the hour.. or at least that is what I am told. My point is, when the hell did it become the guy’s decision how a relationship will unfold? What if I just wanted a one-night thing? What if I want a like 3 times a week thing? What if I wanted a completely physical relationship for like 6 months and then I become your girlfriend? What if I want to give you my house key and make you dinner and get married and have 3 red-headed babies with you?! When did I lose my ability to have a decision here!? Can we just cuddle?

… Sorry, that’s the Oxytocin speaking.

Anyway, what I am saying is that most of the time, most girls get into a physical “relationship” with a guy with the hope it will go somewhere, but also with some stigmatism that ultimately, it’s the guy’s decision if the relationship goes anywhere. And I hate that that’s the case. So you know what? Next time? We’re staying at MY place. And I’M dropping YOU off. And then I’M going to get YOURnumber. And then you know what? I get to decide if I want to call you or not. And maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just add you to my tally and kick ass and take names. I don’t know. That’s not my point. My point is I live my life like a relationship ninja. I advise you all to do the same.

4. Thou should never underestimate the power of having the opposite sex as a wingman.  

A guy wingman (or a wing-girl if you are a guy) is something I firmly believe to be a “game-changer” in any kind of bar (or wherever) prowling experience. Really Meg? You may be asking yourself. How can this be? They could be working against me by keeping all the hotties at bay! This could be disasterous to my game.

And to this I say NO! Because as long as you and your wingman are working for eachother, you can be an unstoppable tail-catching dynamic duo force!

And I will now tell you why.

This is because your opposite sex wingman actually thinks like the opposite sex. They can give you insight that you wouldn’t normally get from a girl or guy friend. They can also approach a “POI” (Person-of-Interest) without the risk that said person will become attached to your wingman instead of you. They can tell you if the  POI is a skeeze, or a slut or remove the drunk goggles that have lodged themselves to your skull. In some cases they can even literally pick you and carry you fireman style from a situation that would make you cringe with dignity stripping humiliation the following day (I’ve actually been in this exact situation. It’s a little alarming and you’ll be a bit upset but you’ll thank your wingperson later.)

An opposite sex wingman is an invaluable asset to your arsenal. Trust me here. It’s like the golden gun in the James Bond Nintendo video game. Except better. Because we aren’t 10 or trying to kill international animated assassins and also, analog controllers are like so 1997.

3. Thou should avoid getting weekend blue balls at all costs. 

I think it’s normal/fun to go out looking for the opposite sex. But to let it ruin your night because you don’t meet that one guy or girl is sort of insane and also really depressing. I call this syndrome SMBB or “Sunday Morning Blue Balls“.  Basically, you go out with the hope that either

A- you and a certain guy will finally hit it off-

or

B- that you’ll meet that guy you’ll finally hit it off with and thus proceed to point A.

When you build your night up around this 9 times out of 10- it will typically end in disappointment/frustration.. and in some cases, a Wendy’s Baconator with a side of large fries. It’s shitty. And I know this because I’ve been there. Not the Baconator part since I’m a vegetarian, but the whole building up the night because you think the stars are going align and be #bestnightever status. Because as Murphy and his law tell us, the night typically goes horribly off-base when you do this. The really crappy thing about SMBB, is that you can’t really control it. You can’t help but get your hopes up sometimes.

So put on your party pants, don’t over-drink and most importantly, under no circumstances allow yourself to be driven to a fast food restaurant when the night doesn’t go as planned because there’s probably nothing worse than waking up feeling like a rejected beached whale.

…Unless of course you wake up looking like Kristen Stewart.

2. Occasionally, thou shalt do it for the story. 

I’m a sucker for a good story. I don’t think that will come as any shock to any one. There are some things I have done in the past and I will continue to do so in the future for the sole fact that it provides me with an interesting monologue to share after whatever happens has been given enough time and distance to really appreciate. This stems from my belief that a good story is better than no story at all. I know it will sometimes  usually go badly. I know that it might end in embarrassment (usually my own). I know that I potentially will get in a little bit of trouble. That this probably isn’t the best idea. But the world is full of people playing it safe. And they get to sit back and read and see other people’s lives from their couch. Me? I’d rather lose all my dignity temporarily than miss out on the thrill of saying I’ve done something.

I’m not saying to go home with a complete stranger when he offers you candy people. What I am saying however, is that with great risk comes great opportunity.  And goes hand in hand with great experiences. With great memories. And at the very least… great stories.

 And my number one piece of miscellaneous man advice?

1. Confidence. That’s all.  (Thou can thank me later)

Regardless of your goals, whether that’s to get your Mrs. Degree to Mr. Trust-Me-I’m-A-Divorce-Waiting-To-Happen-I’m-A-Doctor or just find a kindred soul to walk to the local Planned Parenthood with tomorrow morning– Own it. Yep, I said it.

Confidence.

Self-assurance across the board is sexy. Stop fishing for compliments. Stop looking for ways to garner more attention. Just walk into every room you are in with the confidence of someone who knows how to run their way around it. And then do so.

And that’s really it. That’s my biggest and most important piece of advice. Confidence may not get you the person of your dreams every night. It may not be the answer to making every relationship work out. It won’t prevent you from getting pregnant. It won’t guarantee you a date for Valentines day, or your birthday or your 2nd cousin’s bar mitzvah. But.. let me refer you back to my second disclaimer all the way at the top when I say.. Hey, maybe it will.

So whenever you’re feeling vulnerable? Here’s a semi sac-religious tip. Look in the mirror and say to yourself. “Hmm. What Would Meg do (WWMD)?”

Simple. I’d say:

I am pretty. Boys like me.”

And believe it.

Now get out there and go get ‘em ninjas.

M

 

 

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