Friday, December 30, 2005

Refunds Please

If there's one thing that's annoying about the after Christmas affairs it's taking clothing gifts back.

When Santa gets the size wrong it kinda ruins the gift a little... especially when you can't get the size you want in the style and colour that was purchased.

Not to mention the fact that Santa needs to leave a receipt behind to redeem your purchase! (I'm only worth $10???)

So, today I went back with a mate to redeem some Christmas purchases and wouldn't you know it - I ended up getting the same chic that helped me with some of my purchases on Wednesday!

HER: Hi, back again?

MATE: (looking at me) Back again??

ME: (to her) Ah, so you remember?

ME: (to mate) Jo-Ann helped me with some tops I bought on Wednesday. She helped make sure I didn't buy any pink tops.

MATE: Oh.

I could see my mate's mind ticking over. Obviously there was more to the story, but... what happens on tour stays on tour.

HER: Yes, that's right.

ME: Well I'm glad you remembered - I'm an unforgettable kind of bloke!

HER: (laughs) What can I help you with today?

ME: I'd like to get a refund on these items of clothing I was given for Christmas - they're the wrong size.

HER: Ok, no worries.

HER: Would you like to exchange your items for something that might be your size?

I searched around prior to exchanging my articles and found nothing in my size... I think it has something to do with where the clothes were made: China. It seems that "XL" sized gear is good if you're 5'10", but no good if you're someone like me standing at 6'3"... and no they don't go to XXXXXXXL!

And before I go on...

WHAT IS IT WITH PINK???

Everywhere I turn in the MEN's section I'm surrounded by pink!? It took me awhile to know which side of the stores such as Jay Jays, Live and Cotton On (etc) were male and which were female?! And with pink coloured T-shirts coming back into fashion now I'm completely confused again.

And what kind of bloke wears pink??

Eeek!

Okay, back to my reply...

ME: Nah, I couldn't find anything in my size. (cocked eyebrow) I'm going to have to stop working out so hard.

She laughs. A nice laugh. Nice smile.

Class.

ME: I'm serious... I'm getting too huge. I'm probably going to struggle getting through those double doors in about a week's time.

I point to these extremely large automatic sliding double doors, she steals a quick glance at them and continues to laugh.

Golden.

Unfortunately though my "mate" decided to add his "humour" into our conversation and abruptly told Jo-Ann to ensure the refund was cash!?!?

You know that sound you hear when music is playing on the old vinyl records and someone pulls the needle off from playing and it makes that rip-like sound... I could hear that sound loud... and... clear.

What do you think she's doing?? I thought, looking at him with an angry face, Refunding me with fish?? I was *this* close to slapping him... he broke my routine!

The smile on her face soured and she glared at my mate and promptly went about her job refunding the money. I couldn't muster anything after that... the mojo was gone... no amount of CPR or paddling brought it back to life.

*sigh*

What are friends for, eh?

*sigh*

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Applying Sunscreen

If there's a reason as to why Aussie males are high risk for skin cancer you only need to look at how they apply sunscreen for their mates... or the LACK of applying it for their mates!

But before I begin, just allow me to stretch out a little here and...



Oh oops, what are these...



Oh my goodness...



Where are all these photos of Port Beach coming from?



;op

Okay, so I like to rub it in a little for those in colder climates, but you'll get the last laugh today...

Like I was saying there's one thing Aussie blokes (and I'm assuming most straight blokes) don't like doing to their mates, and that is:

Applying sunscreen

This is where a woman generally comes in handy. Heck, I'd even prefer my own grandmother to apply sunscreen on my back than have one of my mates apply it on!

So, what does one do when they are faced with such a predicament when travelling to the beach with two male mates?

They either apply the sunscreen on themselves, or... they don't apply it all.

And which did you think I chose today?

Well, would you want any one of these blokes rubbing sunscreen on YOUR back?
(only blokes can answer that question)



"Oh Paul... lower... yes... keep rubbing until it's all in."

Eeek!

No thanks... I'd rather die of skin cancer.

And, the consequences??



Yep.

So, have a guess where my back would like to be right now?

Yep... on the snow.

;op

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Can You Entertain Yourself?

It seems as though Santa had some things wrong with the gifts I was given this Christmas (which really makes me wonder if he indeed did have my order right?).

I had watches that were too loose, bordies that were too tight, and there was no Kate Beckinsale.

So today I set about reconciling one of the above two items...

The watch.

Walking into the store today I presented the chic behind the counter with the warranty and informed her that I would need to take off a few links to ensure a more comfortable fit.

HER: Okay sir, if you could just try the watch on for me.

I slipped the watch on and when it passed over my hand and sat on my wrist she saw how scrawny my wrist really was.

HER: Looks like I might have to take off three links.

Having now been made the center of attention from all chics throughout the jewelry store I quickly flexed some wrist muscle and piped a "Just two".

HER: Okay, no worries then. Now are you able to entertain yourself for about an hour while we get this fixed for you?

Are you able to entertain yourself? I echoed. I don't think anyone has ever asked me that before...

"Have you seen my blog?" I bumbled without having my mouth pass through customs. Oops.

HER: (A little shocked) Your what??

ME: (quickly recuperating) Never mind.

HER: So, an hour then?

ME: Umm... oookkaayy. Should I just count to 3600?

HER: (puzzled) What?

ME: (smiling) Well you've got my watch should I just could 3600 seconds?

HER: (laughing) Oh, would you like us to give you a watch in the meantime?

ME: Nah, I'm a bloke. I can tell the exact time just by looking at the sun.

HER: (laughing) But what if it's overcast?

ME: Thankfully men created mobile phones (revealing my phone).

She filled out a slip and wrote down my details... my instructions were to come back in an hour where my watch would be ready.

Now... what was a bloke to do to keep himself "entertained" for an hour. Especially in a large shopping mall where every shop has emblazoned the deadly four letter S-word that turns every woman into a ravaging salivating heat seeking missile...

SALE

Hmm... well I suppose I could check for some more clothes.

Big mistake.

If there's one thing a colourblind person should never attempt to do BY THEMSELVES it's to go clothes shopping... especially considering the fact that PINK is coming back into fashion in men's clothing and certain shades of PINK, to a colourblind person, looks like WHITE.

Yes, big dramas!



Okay, so these were white... I think... and that photo's just for Jen - for product review. ;op

But even after selecting a few non-pink t-shirts to buy I asked the chic behind the counter whether or not any of them *were* pink.

One was!

I couldn't believe it... I could have sworn it was white!?

Oh well. T-shirt shopping done and that took a WHOLE 10 minutes.

Great... 50 minutes left.

And I was already buggered... I don't know how chics do it.

So, I decided to get a hair cut, I knew that would take at least 30 minutes... if there was a long queue... and indeed it did.

Still 15-odd minutes to burn.

What's a bloke to do?

Food.

If there's anything that can burn time faster its food.

After downing a light meal it was time to pick up the watch... my shopping day was over.

HER: Ah yes, Ryan.

ME: Sorry I'm late, I only learned to count to 12!

She laughed and asked for my hand.

ME: But I hardly know you.

She pulled out the watch and cocked an eyebrow.

ME: Oh.

After trying the watch on all was good and done. I quickly escaped the shopping center and am now in full recovery mode for the next strenous attempt sometime this week.

I don't know how chics do it.

Thanks For The Sun


Ryan
Perth, Western Australia
Australia


28 December 2005


Santa Claus
North Pole
Earth


Dear Santa,

I'd like to thank you for the gifts you brought on Christmas day, however, I think there may have been a slight mix-up with my order.

Please note that I am extremely thankful for the classy watch you gave. I had no idea that you would provide me with something that I *really* needed, I just hope this new watch doesn't follow the path of its predecessors by sprouting legs and going on walkabouts.

I'm sure this one wont.

But, moving on to more pressing issues... what happened to Kate Beckinsale?

I received the Underworld DVD that stars Kate Beckinsale (in leather too!), but this was not what was requested...

I want the real thing!

And as for the cook, why did you give me a copy of Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook? What am I going to do with it? Roast it??

*sigh*

I suppose it wasn't all *that* bad, although you do have me wondering whether you dropped the right package at the right place, considering someone ELSE won the $30-odd million dollar jackpot.

Oh well.

I had fun, and the weather was fantastic without being too hot. So, apart from slight mishaps on your end, I'm prepared to meet the new year and will look to be an even gooder boy for next year.

Just don't forget where I live next time.

Your good little Aussie vegemite,

Ryan

PS - you forgot to eat your apple... this has me concerned about your weight.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Who Am I And What Do I Attract?

I was a little bored this morning as it's a public holiday here in Australia (Boxing Day) and nothing is open nor is it hot enough to go to the beach. So, when I'm bored I'll usually do something crazy, like personality/match-making type tests to try and find out more about myself and the woman I'm likely to be more attracted too.

Today's tests were down in Yahoo Personals where they have three tests on:
  • My Personality

  • My Love Style

  • Relationship


(It took about an hour to do all three.)

And just what were my results??

Here they are, starting with...

My Personality



Your Personality Type: Idealist
Opening the world to new possibilities

* As an Idealist, your mission in life is to make the world a better place. You bring a unique combination of skills that make you a capable diplomat, advocate, and champion of those in need. You care about big ideas and big issues, but you're also dedicated to the lives of the people around you.
* In many ways, you're the ideal friend or co-worker. You have great empathy skills. You give sound advice, but more importantly, you know when to just listen. At work, you're a natural leader, facilitator, and energizer. You have a gift for promoting harmony and cooperation at work. In fact, few things bother you more than conflicts at work.
* Your hopes and dreams are very important to you, so you take other people's dreams seriously, too. Your friends and family know they can come to you for a booster shot of support and optimism, whether it's for pursuing their dream job or dream man or woman. Similarly, you can motivate teams and organizations to pursue more meaningful objectives.
* Most people have goals and dreams, but you're more likely than most to actually achieve them. You have a clear idea of what you want in life. You anticipate and plan around obstacles, and you're a sharp problem solver. Plus, it's pretty darn hard to discourage you.
* Idealists come in many varieties, from the academic to the applied. You have the capacity to balance both the ideas and the pragmatics. Only you know what you'll do with your many talents. Ultimately, whether you touch the world, your community, or simply your closest friends and family—it's Idealists like you that give us all the inspiration to dream and strive for something more.


Note the words: "many talents" in that last point - spot on! ;op

How Many Men Are Like You?

This chart compares the percentage of men with your personality type, or a similar one, with men who have dissimilar or opposite personality types.

* Exactly Like you (16%)
* Very much like you (10%)
* Similar (50%)
* Dissimilar (6%)
* Opposite (18%)


I'm a rare breed of male.

What Sets You Apart?

* You're an ambitious person who enjoys competition and the thrill of victory. You like to win so much that you also know "the agony of defeat."
* You're smart and insightful. Over time, people will increasingly see you as "wise" and visionary.
* You're overly modest at times and tend to sell yourself short.
* You're a very stable and secure person.


All those points in the above block were actually fairly accurate... I'm amazed.

Alright, let's move on to the next test...

My Love Style



Your Love Style: Sensible
You're looking to fall in love with a lifetime companion—someone who'll share the good times and the bad.

* You take love and commitment very seriously. To you, love is a partnership. It's an extreme form of friendship. Dating gives you a chance to learn what you like and don't like and who you would get along with best. However, once you know who you're looking for, it's a waste of time to pursue a relationship and risk falling in love with someone you know is incompatible.
* Yours is the most practical and reasonable of the love styles. You don't expect love at first sight. Liking someone is a good start, and as comfort and closeness grow, love can emerge. Of course, Sensible lovers have to be prepared for the possibility that it may not work out this way. When we "fall in" love, we "fall away" from the routines and rules that define our day-to-day lives. It's this extraordinary emotion that motivates us to re-arrange our lives and priorities to incorporate someone else. Paradoxically, it's the irrational part of love that helps us deal with all the pragmatic and logistical challenges of committing to someone.
* Even after a passionate stretch, chances are your approach to love will return to a more Sensible style. Most lovers, regardless of how they start, evolve more into companions over time anyway.
For now, your "style" of loving has these common features:
* Love means sharing your life completely with someone. Her friends and family become your friends and family, and vice versa. Love requires sacrifice, and at times this means giving up parts of your own life so you can share a life together.
* Like the song says, "If you want to know if she loves you so, it's in her kiss." You want passionate kisses and won't settle for anything less. The two of you will probably be instantly attracted to each other. Sexual chemistry isn't everything, but it's a great way to connect body and soul with your partner.
* Both partners have to decide when they're ready to make a commitment and at what pace. Rushing into a commitment only adds to the pressure of forming a relationship. The two of you have to find the type and level of commitment that makes sense given your feelings and how long you've been together.


Nice. I agree with everything above.

Love Styles

This chart shows the percentage of men your age within your love style.

14% Sensible


Yes, most men aren't sensible.

Idealists in Love

Your Idealist personality clashes in many ways with your Sensible love style. Idealists are typically romantics at heart, but you take a more pragmatic approach to love. This may have been an evolution for you. Once you've had your heart broken, a straightforward approach to love and compatibility can make a lot of sense.


Wow, this is spot on... almost freaky.

Good and Bad Fits

* It's important to be compatible not only in how much you love each other, but also the way the two of you love: A man who values Sensible love, for example, will be most happy with women who share the same approach or who have a Destined love style.
* However, you'd probably be frustrated trying to connect with women who seek Spontaneous or Passionate love, because they're seeking a more casual relationship.


Yep, agree with all that.

The next section of the Personality & Love Style report talks about...

Your Biggest Challenge

Your Biggest Challenge Is:

How can you promote harmony and still allow healthy conflict?

* Idealists go out of their way to promote harmony at work, in their families, and among their friends. You're a natural peacemaker and take it upon yourself to mediate disputes. And whenever possible, you try to prevent them. On more than one occasion, you've probably asked: "Why can't we all just get along?!"
* Yet conflict doesn't have to be destructive—there is such a thing as healthy conflict. Even heated exchanges can be useful as long as both of you play fair.
* Part of your challenge is learning to tolerate uncertainty and being disliked. As a creative person, you know that some of your best ideas come after long periods of frustration and feeling "blocked." You may find that some of your relationships are blocked as well, and require "creative conflict" to move forward.
* Asking an Idealist and peacemaker to have more conflicts is admittedly ambitious. Still, one of your strengths is that you're always open to new ideas and trying new things.
In that spirit, here are some other areas you might want to improve:
o You have a workaholic streak. You're constantly taking on new projects at work and home. It's hard for you to say "No." Yet, you have to break the cycle of creating more and more ambitious ways of winning everyone's praise and proving your own worth.
o You can be a perfectionist. You set extremely high standards for yourself and others. Yet you consistently undervalue what you accomplish. Nothing you ever do is quite "good enough." You have to resist the temptation to focus on details, especially if you lose sight of the big picture by sweating the small stuff.
o At times you can be a little too serious and restrained. You need to get in touch with your "silly side." Discover what makes you laugh and do more of it. Let someone else be sensible for a while and let yourself be a kid again.


Okay, I'll agree with the first two of those last three points, but I disagree with that last point - I love making fun of myself (you've only got to read this blog!!).

Romantic Stumbling Blocks

Romance presents its own set of challenges. As you search to find the right partner, here are a few to watch out for:

* Your trusting and generous nature can make you vulnerable to being taken advantage of.
* Fitting your relationship into your busy life will always be a challenge. Time with your partner has to be scheduled on the same playing field as all your other commitments.
* Although your rules and routines work well for you, they probably won't work for your partner. Hopefully, you can create new routines together.
* Relationships are not always fun. So you have to be ready to weather periods when the zest seems to go out of the relationship.


The first point I agree with, but the next two I would disagree on, and the last is kinda obvious.

Finding a Compatible Partner

Finding a compatible partner is one of the biggest challenges in life. You need a woman who is similar enough to understand you, but different enough to keep things interesting.

* Idealists like you are usually most comfortable with women who are Creators.
* Creators bring curiosity, insight, and passion to bear on real-world and philosophical issues. A "big picture" thinker, she understands both the emotional and analytic sides of things. Though she cherishes the talents that set her apart, sometimes they isolate her. So she seeks out like-minded friends and avoids ignorant and closed-minded people.


I wonder if Kate Beckinsale is a "Creator" type?

Now we'll move onto the last test...

Relationships




Your Favorite Type: You Seek the Giver

The qualities you found most appealing fit the Giver personality type. Idealists like you are often drawn to these kind and generous women.

Will the attraction be mutual?

If you went out on 100 dates at random, how many do you think would result in a mutual attraction? This chart shows the percentage of dates where the two of you would be mutually attracted. Given your traits and the types you find attractive, the chart also shows the percentage of times neither of you would be interested and the times when one would be interested but not the other.
You Like Each Other (16%)
You Like Her (10%)
She Likes You (50%)
No Interest (24%)

The most important thing to a Giver is helping her loved ones be happy and successful. So you'll be the object of a lot of love and attention. She'll see the best in you and help you bring it out. Because her heart is open, she'll always inspire you and others to open their hearts, too. She'll be hard to resist in many ways:

* You'll appreciate her unshakeable loyalty. You know she'll stand beside you no matter what happens.
* You'll be drawn to her genuine warmth and compassion.
* You'll be impressed by how organized she is and how she manages to do so much and help so many people.
* She can be the reliable and stable force you crave in your life.

In return, you can help balance and expand her world as well:

* She'll enjoy talking to you. Your conversations will float naturally from topic to topic.
* She'll love your kind and sympathetic heart and the way you try to reach out to people who are in pain.
* She'll be impressed by your intellect and inventiveness.


Nice. But does such a woman exist?? I like the 100 random dates chart - out of 100 women 76 would find me irresistably attractive (I thought it would've been higher, but I'll be humble). ;op


Clashes with the Giver

Giver and Idealist personalities often make good matches. Still, there are enough differences to keep things interesting. So while we recommend you offer Givers a try, here are some potential clashes to watch out for:

* At times, you may wish she were more assertive and less of a "pushover."
* She's so nice you may worry too much that she'll get hurt if things don't work out.
* She may secretly think you're too unorganized and, in a nice way, start organizing your life.
* She can get so caught up in her work and helping others that you may feel like you have to compete for her attention.


Ok.


Like You, But Different

Let's take a closer look at some of the specific qualities you find appealing. You're looking for a woman who'll be like you in some key ways, but who'll be different from you in others. Here are two examples of each extreme:

Idealists
and
Givers

* To you, intelligence is sexy, and you want to find a woman who'll be equally turned on by your intellect.
* You're drawn to women who, like you, are curious and imaginative by nature.

* Perhaps because you have a somewhat suspicious nature, you're drawn to women who are the opposite—who are trusting, charitable, and extremely generous.
* You're drawn to very ambitious women. Although you shy away from competition, you've always been drawn to real go-getters.


Pretty good. I agree.


Best and Worst Fits
You'd Be a Better Fit with the Creator

Sometimes a personality type we wouldn't normally consider can make for the happiest relationship. The Creator is a little different than the type you would typically notice, but here's why we suggest you give Creators a chance:

* You'll be excited to find someone who shares your creative and artistic interests.
* You'll always have something to talk about, given your many shared interests.
* Like you, she has a philosophy of life that she tries to live by.

With the Creator you may also avoid some of the clashes and bad dynamics that can emerge with the Giver types.

* Givers try to keep everyone happy, while Creators are more Individualistic like you.
* You can speak your mind with a Creator but have to be careful with Givers to avoid hurting her feelings.
* If you want a partner with an active career, Creators will be a better fit. Givers prefer to support you in your career than focus on their own.


Duly noted.

Creators' Imperfections

As you already know, nothing's perfect. You'll still encounter some challenges with Creators because:

* Her head can be in the clouds sometimes, when you need help making practical decisions.
* You may be frustrated to find she starts lots of projects but rarely finishes them.
* At times, she can over-analyze situations, when it's best just to move on.


I thought women were supposed to be perfect?


Your Worst Fitting Types

It's true that sometimes opposites attract. However, for the most part, the following types would typically clash with your personality and preferences:

Traditionalist:
She's a Traditionalist, bringing order to the world with practical skills, high standards, and common sense. Loyal and trustworthy, she's a source of strength and stability to everyone. She's a hard worker, who would do anything to help and support her family and friends.

Rebel:
She's a Rebel, challenging the status quo with her proactive, defiant, and stimulating style. Seeing herself as the exception to most rules, she's about being a free thinker who follows her "bliss," perhaps bringing others into her life who are pursuing theirs.


Duly noted.

Connecting Sexually
You Need Passion on Every Level

For you, a strong mental, emotional, and spiritual connection set the stage for sexual passion to grow.

When you make love to your partner, you want it to be an expression of the deep connection you've already established on other levels: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You need a partner who will feel the same. You want to spend your nights enjoying each other's company and not fighting her off.

You need a woman who enjoys the sexual "basics," and does them well! You're not as adventurous as some, so your partner should enjoy the intimacy more than a particular act. Other things to watch for:

* One of your challenges is knowing when to move ahead sexually with a woman. You probably feel pulled in two directions, with part of you wanting to be impulsive and spontaneous, while another part of you can be too cautious.
* You are very patient sexually and don't put either you or your partner under a lot of pressure to "perform." Most women you'll encounter aren't as secure as you are in this way. So they'll be relieved to be with someone who just goes with the chemistry without any preset agenda.
* Be honest and open about what you like and don't like sexually. It's unfair to expect your partner to "figure it out" or read your mind. In the process, your partner can start feeling rejected if she's having to please you by trial and error.


Ok.


How to Have Great Sex With Your Types

You have the potential to attract very different types of women with different sexual styles:

Your favorite personality type, Giver, approaches sex as a way to please you and make you happy. It's hard for sex to be anything but a caring, emotional expression.

The personality type we recommend, Creator, approaches sex with imagination and emotional depth.


Ok... moving on...


Who You Attract
You're attracting women with the qualities you like...with a few important exceptions.

Personalities are like magnets. They draw some personality types close and push others away. Your inner magnet appears to be drawing women that have some, but not all, of the personality traits you find most attractive.
Here's what we noticed about who you're attracting:

* You're attracting women who are emotionally stable and "low-maintenance."
* Although you don't have a strong preference one way or another about it, you're attracting women who are creative and insightful.
* Contrary to what you want, you're attracting women who are stubborn and difficult.


No, I don't want the stubborn ones - they remind me of my sister! Eeek!

Your Ex's Type

The Ex you described appears to have been a Protector. She offered a safe harbor to the people in her life. They counted on her to be calm, reasonable, and reliable, even in a crisis. For whatever reason, people felt safe and secure when they were with her. She was the type others trusted to keep secrets, manage their money, or run their companies.


Interesting.

How to Attract the Women You Want

You seem to be attracting women who are either missing some of the qualities you like or have a few of the qualities you really dislike.

To turn this pattern around, you might want to try some new approaches. Here are some ideas:

* Be cautious with women who make suggestions for "self-improvement," especially on early dates, when you'd expect someone to be able to tolerate you just as you are.
* Give special attention to women who have an accepting and forgiving nature.

Here are some additional strategies to consider:

* Be cautious with women who talk very negatively about their past partners or Ex's. Chances are that's how she'll talk about you some day.
* Give special attention to women who are still on friendly (but not too friendly!) terms with their Ex's.


Will take that onboard.


What Are Your Hot Buttons?
What you clearly don't like
Compatibility is as much about finding a woman whose personality quirks you can tolerate, as it is about finding a woman with qualities you find enthralling and sexy. Ruling out from the start women who eventually are going to drive you crazy anyway, can save everyone a lot of heartache.

So, what personality characteristics can you simply not put up with? Here's what appear to be your hot buttons:

* You're not interested in women who are against religion or lack any firm religious beliefs.
* You're turned off by neurotic women.
* You're not attracted to women who are stubborn or difficult to deal with.

Your personality type is actually fairly easy to get along with, as long as you're not terribly mismatched. Even if a woman unfortunately sails into your hot button zone, you're usually able to point it out calmly without attacking her.

The biggest challenge for you is knowing which of her habits you can try to influence and which you'll have to accept. The truth is most quirks aren't going to go away. As a rule, if a habit has gone on for a long time and there's little variation in how it's done, it's going to be hard or impossible to break. Plus, imagine if she asked you to change one of your beloved quirks in exchange!


Ok, so beware of neurotic women... always knew I should stay away from nurses.

What Buttons Do You Push?

I know it's hard to believe, but sometimes you can be irritating, too. It's usually our most extreme personality traits that people react most strongly to, both positively and negatively. Here are a few possible button-pushing traits and how women might react:

* You may seem overly confident and even "cocky" to some women, who are insecure and lack confidence.
* You may seem a little too "together" to women who hate structure.
* Women who are somewhat emotional would see you as being too rational.
* You probably work too much for some women, who'll want your career to come second to her.


Me? Irritating? NO! Must be wrong.


Breaking Past Patterns
You need to find a less critical and neglectful partner.

All serious relationships bring a mixture of good stuff (such as caring, support, and acceptance) and bad stuff (such as criticism, neglect, and manipulation). In the test, when you looked back on your last relationship, you recalled giving more good stuff than she did, while she gave more of the bad stuff (see the chart below).

Specifically, you often felt ignored and neglected by your Ex. She was probably a very independent woman who needed a lot of "space." However, based on what you described, it sounds like she intentionally excluded you from her life at times and put up emotional barriers, too. You probably came to feel very lonely, even when the two of you were together.

It's easier for a couple to weather bad stuff when they also share a lot of good exchanges. You gave a lot to your partner, for example, in the form of practical help and support. By helping her with household chores, errands, or other tasks, you tried to make her life a little easier. Love to you obviously means doing whatever you can to make your partner happy.

Old patterns can easily repeat themselves. Our brains are wired to seek out and create familiar situations. That's why we often find ourselves having the same types of exchanges over and over again with each new partner. Familiarity is comfortable, and our minds would rather be comfortable than happy. Every time you repeat a relationship pattern, it becomes deeper ingrained and harder to break.

To avoid being in another relationship where your partner is too critical or neglectful, watch for early signs of these behaviors. Most women are on their best behavior during the first several dates. So, if she's critical or cold toward you (or someone else, like a waiter) then, imagine how she'll be when she's not consciously trying to make a good impression! You can choose to either weed her out now, or at least be up-front with her about the pattern you're trying to break.

Avoid repeating your past patterns and search for personality types that are a better fit.


Ok.

How to Stop Repeating the Past

The only way to stop repeating past patterns is to recognize what you're doing to create them. Here are three steps you can take to break the cycle:

* Figure out her WIFM: What's In It For Me? She's calm, stable, and successful. It's a relief to meet a woman who's not crazy! Only later do you realize that she's overly critical, analytic, and insensitive. You look up one day and you're married to a female version of Mr. Spock! Welcome to the trade-offs of being attracted to rational thinkers. The only solution is to think like she thinks: What's her incentive, or WIFM, to stop being so judgmental and critical? What's her WIFM to give you the support and help you want? Think of it less like romance and more like business. Sit down and talk about your relationship "contract." Map out what you expect and need from her and what she gets in return.
* Try being a squeaky wheel. Easygoing people like you are often overlooked when it comes time to hand out caring and support. It's true that the "squeaky wheel gets the grease," and since you don't "squeak" a lot, your partner may wrongly assume that you don't need or want support. For women who want to take care of the one they love, you're going to have to be more up-front about your needs to make her feel needed.
* Learn to control the control freaks. You're drawn to organized, disciplined, and successful women. Unfortunately, these same women can be demanding and judgmental at times. You may be drawn to each other because of your differences and contrasts, but once you're in a relationship she may insist things go her way. The simple solution is to weed out the control freaks early on. Be especially cautious with women who think there's only one way to do things: Her way! Otherwise, your best strategy is to beat her at her own game. She likes structure, so set new ground rules for your relationship. Let her know which topics are off limits for criticism and where you're open and strictly not open for change.


Squeak. Squeak.


Emotional Intelligence

You can read what other people are feeling, but don't always understand your own emotions.

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, refers to your ability to recognize and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of the people in your life. As the chart on the right illustrates, you have a diverse set of EQ skills, with above average scores on 2 of the 6 areas we examined.

Specifically, you showed promising skills in these three EQ domains:

* You manage stress reasonably well. You manage stressful situations pretty well. You know how important it is to keep a good attitude and avoid letting the situation wear you down emotionally and physically. At your best, you approach stressful events as an opportunity to prove yourself. Even when you feel angry and are tempted to lash out, you try to stay calm and focus on getting around whatever obstacle is in your way. As much as possible, you try to channel the influx of energy and emotions into solving problems and being productive.
* Being able to read what other people are feeling can sometimes create problems. You've always been aware of the gap between what people say and what they really feel. You notice the subtle emotions in people's eyes, posture, and facial expressions and often trust nonverbal communication over what people say with words. You've put your skills to good use in being a better friend, partner, and leader. However, this level of sensitivity can also be a burden. With so much emotional information pouring in, it's easy to over-analyze or misinterpret what's going on. That's why it's key to check out your assumptions and ask people directly what they're really feeling.
* You could probably learn to be more empathic and sensitive to people's emotions. You certainly care about what your loved ones are feeling and why they feel that way. However, it's not always easy for you to be in tune with your friends' emotions and inner thoughts. At times, they may even think you don't care or are just ignoring them. The best way to improve your empathy skills is to ask more questions. No one should expect you to read their minds, but they'll appreciate having someone who's genuinely interested in what they think and feel.

Like most people, you still have room to improve your EQ. For example:

* You're not especially skilled at doing "emotion work." You're not especially skilled at reading people and situations or modifying your emotions and behavior to fit them. And since you hate being "fake," you haven't put much energy into learning these skills either. Still, good actors are often at an advantage in careers that require a lot of "emotion work," such as putting on a happy face for customers or pretending to be passionate about something when they aren't. Depending on how much of this is expected in your career, you may have been frustrated at times to see less competent employees get ahead simply because they "put on a good show." The same is true socially, where people who are more style than substance often find it easier to make friends and get dates. So, there may be some advantage to fine-tuning your skills for adapting to different situations and doing the emotion work. It's nice to have the skills to call on if you ever want to.


Well hey, I'm a bloke... if I had perfect EQ I'd be a woman!

Practice Empathy on Your Dates

The key to empathy is good listening. So to be more empathic with your next date (or your current partner), talk less and listen more. Try these steps recommended by other men:

* Ask questions about the thoughts and feelings behind your date's story. Your questions can move the conversation from a surface level to a deeper and more meaningful level.
* Talk face-to-face. Most emotions are communicated through facial expressions. Even though men are usually more comfortable talking side-by-side, without eye contact, you're missing the emotions of the conversation. Plus, your date can't see your attentiveness or emotional connection.
* Repeat back what your date says, but repeat it as a question. It sounds silly to be saying the same thing over again, but it communicates that you're listening and want to know what happened next.
* Listen to understand, not to respond. Let your mind picture the story your date's telling. Try to avoid preparing for your story or rebuttal in the background.


So how are you feeling?
So how are you really feeling?
So how are you really really feeling?
So how are you really really really feeling?
...


Can You Pick Up on Her Signals?

You appear to be more tuned-in to what other people are thinking and feeling than you are to your own inner thoughts and emotions. (See the two charts below.) Your natural sensitivity and empathy will serve you well in a relationship.

Hopefully, you'll find a woman who'll be as tuned-in to your needs, as you'll be tuned-in to hers. If not, you risk being in a one-sided relationship, where your needs go unnoticed.


If I wear a T-shirt with a word that expresses my current emotive feeling does that mean she isn't tuned in?


Communication Style

You'll bring very good communication skills to your next relationship.

In the section of the test where you saw couples re-enacting various conversations, your choices suggest that you have very good communication skills. In fact, your choices were similar to the answers offered by relationship experts.

Your choices point to communication skills such as:

* You boost your partner's self-esteem. You compliment her and point out her positive qualities, especially when she's feeling down or uncertain.
* You communicate with your partner like a good friend. You know that the key to a healthy romantic relationship is a deep friendship that has to be nurtured every day.
* You convey caring and emotional support. You send comforting and caring messages, especially when your partner is stressed out.

No one's perfect. For whatever reason, you may struggle with other communication skills, such as:

* You may give in too quickly. Because you don't like conflict and want to keep people happy, you may give in when it would be better to stick with the conversation.
* Your communication can slip into a pessimistic tone at times. Even in difficult discussions, it's best to convey optimism and hope.


Yep, I agree... and I think the pessimism probably stems from my father - as much as love my father I hate his negative attitude to life/situations.

Three Hidden Topics

Given your very strong communication skills, it's time you moved up to the advanced level! Your biggest challenge is often trying to understand what your partner is really looking for. The real reason for the conversation is often hidden below the surface. So next time your partner or a friend doesn't know what she's upset about or what she wants, ask yourself:
(1) Does she feel included? We all want to feel involved and important in our partners' lives. Without this, she'll show signs of anger and shame.
(2) Does she feel in control? Without a sense of shared control in your relationship, she'll feel helpless and become depressed.
(3) Does she feel liked? If she thinks you love her but don't really like her, expect her to stop liking you. Use these three questions as a guide to exploring the hidden meaning of discussions that keep popping up.

You Have Very Good Communication Skills

Notice the percent of men who also have very good communication skills.
Excellent (11%)
Very Strong (22%)
Strong (33%)
Moderate (23%)
Needs Work (11%)


I thought I was perfect? Something must be wrong.

And now for something that might shock people...

You Have a Masculine Viewpoint

As you know, men and women often approach disagreements differently. Looking at the section of the test where couples re-enacted disagreements, your choices were often more in line with a woman's approach than with other men's choices. Of course, neither perspective is right or wrong. Your choices simply suggest you may have more insight into how women view relationships than is common among men.

Here are two ways your choices were similar to women's perspective:

* Like other men, you were comfortable with apologizing and moving on. When the couple argued in the car after the party, for example, you were in line with men who were willing to apologize for "being too sensitive" about "innocent flirting." Women worried this was avoiding an important discussion.
* Men saw fewer topics as being reasons to fight. For example, men like you said that they'd rather return the purchase than fight over spending their vacation money. Most women didn't like the idea of returning their purchase!

Here are ways you can balance both masculine and feminine perspectives:

* Women tended to be more aware of underlying issues, while men tried to find the most efficient solution.
* For example, when faced with having to leave the party, you and most other men saw it as a short-term problem and tried to find a possible compromise or "quick fix." In contrast, women worried about what their choice might mean for how they were going to deal with each other long-term.


AHA! See... note what was said - Your choices simply suggest you may have more insight into how women view relationships - I do know a lot about women!


Handling Conflict
Your Conflict Style is Expert

You balance being assertive with trying to find common ground and ways to compromise.

At your best, you approach conflicts in a tough minded and assertive way, but still try to find a compromise you both can live with. You see conflicts as a challenge and a chance to find a fair, win-win solution.

Your Conflict Approach: Assertive and Compromising

Notice the percent of men who typically use the same positive approach to handling conflict as you do.
Assertive and Compromises (30%)
Assertive Only (15%)
Compromises Only (8%)
Mixed (47%)

Other times, you simply try to accommodate your partner and ignore that a disagreement even exists. You'd rather do nothing than potentially say or do something that could hurt your partner or scare her away.

What would it be like to have an argument with your favorite personality type?

Givers can't stand conflict and want everyone to be happy. You'll have to encourage her to talk openly about things that bother her. She needs permission to be selfish sometimes and ask for what she really wants.

Regardless of her personality type, any partner will appreciate your ability to talk rationally about problems and your willingness to find compromises. Your biggest risk in this arena is ending up with a partner who's less skilled than you. Don't assume you can do all the emotional and negotiating work when you and your partner disagree. You deserve a partner who's equally skilled or at least motivated to become so.


Well I'm an expert in many things really... not *just* conflict.

Your Conflict Skills

You appear to handle conflict very well as long as you apply your strengths, which include:

* You know how to assert your point of view in a positive way. You can talk about your beliefs without dismissing your partner's beliefs.
* You don't take criticism personally. As long as the feedback is constructive, you don't see it as a threat.
* You avoid saying provocative things when you argue. You don't insult your partner or "add fuel to the fire," by bringing up other hurtful issues.

On the other hand, your test results also point to some possible weak points to keep in mind:

* You need to take a break when emotions get too intense. You need to be able to take a step back, calm down, and then return to the disagreement.
* You're prone to take criticism personally. It's hard for you to take feedback without feeling hurt.
* You should try using humor to ease tension and prevent conflict. It's often easier to laugh off a remark than take it personally.


I disagree with that last point... when it's appropriate I use humour all the time in conflict.

Find a Woman Who Can Pick Her Battles

Couples often differ in how much negative emotion they feel comfortable with. Some couples enjoy intense exchanges, while others avoid them at all cost. You need a partner who wants to keep conflicts to a minimum—who doesn't have to resolve every issue or discuss every hurt feeling. In fact, most ongoing disagreements that couples have center on compatibility and are not easily "fixed." So you need a woman who, like you, wants to accentuate the positive, solve problems when she can, and accept the rest.


Agree.

Seven Steps to a Lasting Relationship
You are on the Storming step of your relationship readiness.

Weathering the Uncertainty

In the Storming stage, you step into a period of uncertainty, where you question whether you're right for each other. All the differences that made her so interesting now drive you crazy. Plus, you finally feel comfortable enough to be a jerk around her and watch to see how she reacts. Having doubts is normal. In fact, you can't fully commit to each other unless you both have honestly addressed your doubts. It's not uncommon for a couple to take one step up and one step down between Forming and Storming several times before they can move forward.

Since you don't like conflict and uncertainty in general, it's not surprising that you'd hate the Storming stage and feel anxious when things get bumpy for the first time.

Here are a few ideas to make things a little easier and improve your chances of getting beyond Storming:

* Look for the underlying themes. It's a good idea not to read too much into little disagreements. However, if the two of you seem to have the same conflict over and over again, you should probably shift your focus from the details to the deeper thoughts and feelings that surface when these issues come up. Studies have found that repeated conflicts often center on issues of affection, wanting to be in control, and wanting to be included in each other's lives.
* Understand the story behind the situation. It's common for a couple to argue about a situation, but be talking about very different things. If you can work on only one thing in this stage, spend more time listening to how your partner is describing the situation. What about the situation is provoking strong emotions? What exactly did you say or do that had the most negative impact? What was your partner trying to do in the situation? How did the two of you get in each other's way?
* If necessary, leave in style. It's not uncommon to love someone but discover that you're just not compatible. Just because you can't make it work or get past the storming stage doesn't mean that your feelings for each other aren't real or that either of you is a bad person. It's important to work through your conflicts, but it's also important to recognize when the gap between you is just too wide to bridge.


Storming? Is that why we've had so much rain over here??


Stumbling Blocks

Don't let your date see that you're analyzing her.

Before you dive into another relationship, take some time to think about what worked and what didn't work in your last one. Here are a few obstacles that could get in the way of finding and building a great relationship:

* No one likes to be analyzed. Smart people often find dating especially challenging. Dates are very complex experiences, and there's a lot of information to process. So for someone like you, who loves a mental challenge, your date can probably see your mental wheels turning. Most women will enjoy your insights—as long as they aren't the focus of your critique. So, certainly never play dumb, but also avoid asking probing questions or making insightful observations about your date's life and psychology.
* You're afraid that conflict will destroy your relationship. When you've only seen the very destructive side of conflict, it's hard to imagine that conflict can actually improve a relationship and bring the two of you closer together. Research suggests that chronically avoiding conflict is typically more damaging than openly disagreeing. Fortunately, there are a variety of books and tapes that teach how to have healthy and productive conflicts. If you and your partner can agree to a set of ground rules, and continually try to stick to them, you'll probably feel safer having open disagreements.
* It's hard to turn off the inner critic and perfectionist. When you set high standards for yourself, it seems only natural to expect only the best from the one you love. Rationally, you may want to allow her to be "human." However, we tend to be as strict with the ones we love as we are with ourselves. It's hard to turn off that inner critic, but just because you hear that voice doesn't mean you have to listen to it. Many of us have to come to terms with being chronically "unsettled," but it shouldn't prevent you from being loved by a woman who feels comfortable with herself (and you!), warts and all. You may have to bite your tongue till you bleed, but the less you give the inner critic a voice, the less power it'll have over you and your relationship.


Ok.

Your Baggage is Light

Everyone comes with some emotional "baggage" from earlier relationships. Still, compared to other men your age, you appear to be traveling relatively light. A quick inventory suggests you're ready to start fresh in a new relationship:

* You've put your last relationship behind you and aren't carrying any "unfinished business."
* You've forgiven your Ex and don't harbor any serious resentment.
* Sure, you wish things would have gone better, but you're not carrying any major regrets.
* You're still hopeful and optimistic about finding true love.


Agree. And last but not least...


What's Your Weak Spot?

Based on your test results, the way you manage your emotions could be a pivotal factor in the success of your next relationship. See the section on Emotional Intelligence in the Your Skills section of this report for more details on your strengths and weaknesses.


If I improve my EQ my Y-chromosome will drop off.

*phew*

Quite a lengthy analysis wasn't it? What's yours?

When I searched for women with compatible qualities such as mine around Perth, what did I get?

ZERO.

Oh well.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Letter To The North Pole

Ryan
Perth, Western Australia
Australia

24 December 2005

ATTN: Santa Claus
North Pole
Earth


Dear Santa,

I would like to inform your office that I have been an extremely good boy throughout the year.

I know that my "naughty or nice" meter would indicate a heavy leaning towards the nice side, but I would like to take this special moment to quickly draw your attention to one particular act that may have been possibly labeled as "naughty".

I'm hoping that by clarifying this item I will be able to receive many of the Christmas gifts that I have posted to you throughout the year (I have noted the major ones at the bottom of this letter in case they have been misplaced).

Okay, the "naughty" item that I would like to draw your attention to is: my blog.

I would like to say that the blog I created back in July drew the attention of between 2 and 3 billion people from all over the world - mostly just 2 though (myself being one of them, and the other probably my mum!). However, on this web site I said some things that may have been construed as being "naughty" (especially content that was targeted at blondes and/or women), but for the record I would just like to tell you that all that stuff about blondes and women is truth.

I decided to expose the truth, because the alternative (such as telling a lie) would have seen my "naughty" meter tick up to dizzying heights, making it virtually impossible for me to do any good acts to balance the "naughty or nice" meter.

So, if there are any "naughty" ticks in reference to my blog could you please check to make sure that no blonde female employees were marking me on those items.

Apart from that the last piece of information I need to give you is on procedures.

There are two chimney sweeps in this house. One is only about 6 inches in diameter the other about 2 feet wide. While I always wondered how on earth you were able to travel down our 6 inch in diameter chimney sweep back when I was a kid in my old parent's house, I would like to guide your attention to the 2-foot wide chimney.

I have chosen the 2-foot wide chimney for several reasons, two of which include the ability to get your fat self down it quicker, and the other so you can also get some of those large gifts I've been wanting easier and without scratches. If you want I can coat the inside chimney walls with vaseline to help speed up the "delivery" process.

Also, as I know many other children are likely have chocolate, candy and all other forms of junk food ready for you, I have been a little more considerate of your health knowing that you've spent the last 12 months burning off last Christmas' fat, therefore I will leave an apple at the base of the 2-foot wide chimney for you.

Here is a photo illustrating where it will be:




(Please don't forget to take the apple core with you and dispose of it thoughtfully.)

I hope that by taking into consideration your overweight problem my "naughty" meter would have been reduced to zero and that most of my Christmas wishes come true.

To make sure you have an up-to-date list I diclose my most important wishes here...
  • Kate Beckinsale - I understand that she's married and has a heavy "naughty" meter, but if you could possibly search around for a clone or cleaner version of Kate and pop her in the bag that would be greatly appreciated!

  • Ferrari Enzo - I understand that getting this baby down the chimney will be a little difficult, but if you could just pop the car in the driveway and leave the keys down at the base of the chimney that would be fine!

  • A machine that allows you to lose all body fat, give bulging biceps, abs of steel, trim legs and other such muscle all without lifting a finger - I'd give you the product name and code, but I'm yet to find one. If you happen to come across one in your travels I'd love for you to send one down the hole.

  • A good cook - while I'm thankful of those great friends and family that cook for me, I'd be greatly indebted to your service if you happen to provide a good cook - especially if it's female and look's like the person mentioned at point 1 above!

  • More hot weather - please don't take any of the weather with you when you come down here. There has been nothing but cold and wintry weather down here since summer started, if you can collect a few clouds on your travels please feel free to do so.

  • A winning lottery ticket (preferably the Christmas lotto one that has a jackpot of $30-odd million) - I've asked for this many times but every time I think you've either placed it into the wrong household. Please check my double check my address before putting it down the tube.


I could go on with hundreds more, but I think they're the main ones.

If you have any hassles please don't hesitate to contact me anytime between now and midnight.

I thank you for your wonderful service and look forward to seeing what you've left me at the bottom of the chimney tomorrow.

From your good little Aussie vegemite,

Ryan

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Shopping

If there's one time during the year where my creative genius goes bonkers, yet at the same time fails me it's Christmas... sometimes I can think of great ideas, but they never necessarily amount to anything that could be used as a gift!

Today I decided to START my Christmas shopping... yes, that's right, START.

See, I figure that most people (especially smart ones) try and avoid the rush by getting their Christmas shopping done early. So, by the time Christmas actually draws near (say 5 days away) the shopping malls are all empty... and that's where I come in!

I call this way of thinking oopsie-daisy reverse psychology ("reverse reverse psychology" would sound like I'm having a stuttering fit)... and I'll admit it works only some of the time.

Anyway, today I started... and no sooner had I entered the men's clothing section had I become swamped by women from all angles asking me to take my clothes off and to try these pants, these shorts on, these boardies on (etc)!

I couldn't believe it!!!

I mean what ever happened to common courtesy and decency?

Did I hear anyone ask please?

Nope, it was just, "Clothes off - NOW."

So, being one to never say "No" to women hell-bent on getting their Christmas shopping done in 5 minutes whilst carrying a tonne of shopping with their small finger, nor one to leave a woman in distress, I decided to help all these women that were desperately looking for the right article of clothing for their man.

When the dust settled and the women made their selected decisions I thought to myself

I wonder if this happens over at the boxers and briefs section??

So I quickly skidded over to the underwear section and waited...



...and waited.

I even started flashing a few pairs around hoping that by doing so it would spark some chics memory to buy a pair for their man, but all I got was an elderly lady asking me where the male G-strings were!!

I quickly high-tailed it out of there!



(Can you believe that this store has mirrors right near the men's underwear section?? What?? Are men supposed to strip right there in public and try these articles of clothing on and look in the mirror to see whether they've got the right size???)

I can't ever go to Garden City Shopping Center without at least going through one of my favourite stores: Freedom Furniture. While I may never buy anything from here, I sure try and get some ideas for what I'd like my future home to have.

So, as I walked aimlessly through I suddenly had a flash of brilliance... why not test some of the dining room furniture by eating my lunch and dinner here!

Sure, it might be the longest Subway and McDonald's meal I'm ever likely to have as I "test" eating my meal at each piece of furniture, but it will allow me to reach an informed buying decision... just like the female furniture fit test!

Brilliant idea, eh?

In fact, I don't know why FF have their own cafe or lunch bar inside so that people can actually dine out on the furniture?? ... Man I'm full of good ideas today - tis a shame I can't think of one thing to get my mum.

*sigh*

But... if there's one thing that frustrated me a little bit while perusing through FF it was this "art"...



Have a guess how much these babies retail for?

AU$279 EACH... yep, for all three you're going to need to shell out a cool AU$837.

All for just some green lines that looks as though some two year old drew over a white canvas!?!?

Heck, I'll do it for 10 bucks... and for all three!! I could even find you a two year old that could do it for a lolly!

After walking through some more stores to gather more "great" ideas my phone beeped and I received a text message from none other than my mum.

I opened it and all the message read was a frightening...

"I'm watching u"

O CRAP!

I quickly dropped to the ground, stayed low, and slowly crawled out of the "Bras 'N Things" store. If I was going to explain myself I was going to think up of a good excuse - maybe I could tell her that I was buying something for her in there, but even THAT thought made me repulse!

*gulp*

I quickly called.

An evil witchy voice answered the phone and screechily said, "I can see you."

"Umm... hi... mum... where are you?"

As lady luck would have it she was getting her hair cut in one of the bigger department stores that I had browsed through only moments before.

*PHEW*

;op

Okay, moving on... the last stop of my Christmas adventure, before embarking on another tomorrow, was to purchase some men's shampoo.

Alright, so it's not an actual gift for someone per se, but I needed it... and boy did I have a hard time finding some! In fact, it was so hard there were none in the store whatsoever!

I even had two staff chics bamboozled!

In the end they told me that all shampoo was the same and that I should just buy the normal stuff.

"Normal stuff?" I said, "You mean the stuff that makes me smell like a flower?"

They just stared at me.

I continued, "I don't know whether you've noticed this, but... I'm a bloke. Smelling like a flower will likely see my Y-chromosome flop off."

"Well how about this fruit flavoured shampoo?" they asked.

I looked at the label and the flavour of this shampoo was "Mango and Passionfruit".

"What is this? A drink?"

"You can hardly smell it," they whined, "here... smell my hair?"

I moved closer to one of the chics who presented me with a section of her hair, I sniffed it and let out a noxious cough.

"Oh man! That's bad!"

Her jaw dropped in shock horror and she quickly grabbed her hair and smelt it herself, making sure that she did actually wash it this morning... she knew I was playing and laughed.

In the end I had to settle for second best so I bought a "Peach and Kiwifruit" shampoo... I'll just have to make sure I use it very lightly.

And to think that the chics then tried to sell me on purchasing some conditioner!

Conditioner?

What the heck is that???

I just want to wash my hair. Not nourish it, and moisturise it, and ex-foliate it or whatever the heck that stuff does.

All a bloke wants is something that makes the dirt in his hair to leave - that's all!

Nothing more, nothing less.

I suppose if I had a million dollars I'd set up my own men's shampoo business, and possibly call it Shaypoo ("Shay" is how my surname is pronounced). I can even picture the product's jungle now:

"Shaypoo - for men. No flowers, no musky flavours or fruity loops - just pure 100% Shay-poo!"

Ah Christmas...

Oh well, tomorrow will be round 2.

(Did I mention that I get sick of hearing those Christmas jingles?)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Being Unpredictable

If there's one thing that I stress to most blokes when they date a woman, it's...

DON'T BE PREDICTABLE

It's very very VERY dangerous.

See, if a woman can predict what you are doing and where you are at any point in time she can MORE than likely read what you're thinking too!

And that ain't good, because nothing will be sacred and the relationship will get...

BORING

Heck, if she knows how you tick then she won't need to ask you any questions or spark up an intelligent conversation with you. Why? Because she already knows what your answer will be! Duh!

I can remember a relationship I had with a woman where she knew me SO well that whenever I'd have a boy's night out she'd be able to recite everything that I had done.

It was so accurate most of the time that it was downright freaky! So much so that I thought she had been stalking me, but she didn't.

Eventually it got to the stage where she even knew what I'd order when I was out and even decided to take over the ordering process!!

Eeeek!

Again fellas: this is NOT good.

If you go to a restaurant with your woman and SHE orders for you, then you know you've been licked.

So what do you do?

Well, thankfully I'm here and I'm in a giving mood.

Here are some tips...

If your woman orders for you, after when she has ordered and the waiter is ready to collect your menu, say,
"And for ME, I'd like [and insert some bizarre menu item, like fish livers and octopus eyeballs]."

She'll look at you quizzically and ask,
"But you've never eaten fish livers and octopus eyeballs?"

Of which you should respond something like,
"I eat them ALL the time... "

Roll your eyes and add,
"I thought you'd know me by now."

Now be careful here fellas.

If you're eating a strange meal that you really never have had before and you soon discover that fish livers and octopus eyeballs aren't your thang then protest that this is the worst fish livers and octopus eyeballs you've ever had... possibly re-order another dish like sea urchin innards and fried black seaweed.

You can't whatsoever order the main that she picked out... not matter how loud your body screams for it!

You can't be predictable.

Etch it on the inside of your skull - it's very important.

Variety is the spice of life, and the spice of your love life too.

You've been warned... go now and do some random spontaneous act of... something!?

Do it.

Taking Advantage Of A Wussy Summer

Today Perth hit a maximum of 28 degrees.

After having so many cold and rainy days today's 28 felt like 35, so, to take advantage of today's summery conditions I decided to take advantage of it, because God knows I've demanded a refund so far!

And for your enjoyment I took my camera and went to an old beach that I once travelled frequently to... Woodman's Point.

***WARNING TO THOSE LIVING IN COLD CLIMATES - THE FOLLOWING IMAGES MAY CAUSE YOU AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS TO MELT! VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED!***

Woodman's Point is notorious for its jetty (seen here) and... its... point (duh! which will be shown a little later).




The beaches of Woodman's Point and Coogee are not only notorious for their jetties and their point, but also their exotic beach, which is infamous for its jellyfish! Unfortunately when I was a young one I had the privilege of learning about this the hard way when our parents took us here for vacation swimming.

Coming back here reminded me of that day so clearly - as if it had happened yesterday. My group had the honour of having someone who was now a retired torture specialist. Our first order was to jump off the end of the jetty into the water and "skull" (for those unfamiliar with swimming terminology this has nothing to do with quick alcohol consumption, rather the exact opposite: staying afloat). Upon jumping into the ocean some of the boys began screaming at sudden red lashes appearing on their body.

Amidst the screams the teacher instructed us to swim to shore, "a measely 100 meters" he yelled. If only he knew how difficult such an instruction was when all you could feel was sandpaper-like stings being rubbed against the very arms and legs responsible for getting you TO shore.

As we lashed and kicked our way to shore in the fastest possible way our instructor screamed at us to do breaststroke. We couldn't understand why until we safely made it to shore. I mean, why do a stroke that feels as though you're taking two steps forward and one step back???

When we reached the shore he doused many of the red lashed victims with vinegar and gave us an important lesson we never forgot...

Whenever you're caught in a jellyfish swarm don't ever put your head underwater, and NEVER open your eyes. Not only that, to alleviate stings use breaststroke to part any jellyfish cluster.

Wise words amidst the pain. I wondered what our next lesson was going to be? How to fend off killer sharks??

No worries, just throw us into the nearest local tiger shark tank!

Anyway, here's the view of Woodman's beach from the start of the jetty (looking right then left)...



As you can see it wasn't very packed today... we didn't hit 30 degrees (the official beach weather temperature)... even the pelicans had enough room to grab a tan (I think one of them was going to ask for my phone number!)...




Now we're looking back at Woodman's Jetty from about half-way up the beach...



Looking back at the whole of Jervois Bay (that's the fancy name for the beach that houses Woodman's Jetty)...



As you are no doubt aware Woodman's Point has a point, therefore there is a beach on one side and another beach on the other side (duh!). Unfortunately the other beach is more popular for those who have a dog as anything from seaweed to industrial garbage to dead marine life to whatever-the-heck-that-blob-is rocks up on these shores (although the beach isn't altogether THAT bad... windsurfers and kitesurfers love it when the cool southerly breeze howls in)...





Okay now for the point. I don't know whether this is offically the point (as there are two?!), but here's the glamorous public parking spot one (fit with "art on a pole" - hmm, maybe I should have done some exotic dancing on it - for practice!)...




As you can see once you get beyond the "art" it doesn't look too glamorous...



And now we have a small bay between the two Woodman's Points (or whatever the real name of each point is??). I don't know what this small bay is called, but it was notorious for seagulls on steroids that swooped when I jogged past this area - and I thought seagulls were tame animals! Not Woodman's Point ones!



Now this is what I believe is the REAL Woodman's Point. It might not be glittered with "art", but I like it...




At the end of the point is a view of Carnac Island (you can probably JUST see it) - an island that houses many varieties of poisonous snakes... not particularly one you want to stay on or go for a walk through. Apparently the reason for how the snakes got on the island was due to a researcher who devoted his life to studying snakes, unfortunately his wife was bitten by one and she passed away so he gave it all up and left the island with it's hazardous snakes never to return.



To the left of Carnac is Garden Island. This side of Garden Island is great for crabbing and squidding, whereas the ocean side of Garden Island (the other side) is great for fishing and snorkelling. Apart from that it's also a top secret military base. Shhh, don't tell anyone...



Looking back from Woodman's Point...



If you're not as colourblind as me you would have noticed that the sand here is not as white as my previous beaching experience, that's because of dredging that is done by Cockburn Cement. The crap they suck up from the ocean floor is dumped to this area and all of the crap they sucked up is then spread around to the neighbouring beaches, giving them all a dull grey look.

Here's one ship coming in about to dump its load...




One of the most scary places when I jogged along Jervois Bay was this half-fenced area here...




Nearly every day there would be an elderly bloke who decided Jervois Bay needed an "extreme makeover"... he wanted to change it into a nudist beach! Any time he'd see me he would go scooting into the bushes and quickly put clothes on, some days he would wait for me to go past before doing the deed. Sick man. Unfortunately there was another elderly man not far from this spot today that has no doubt been trying to keep the tradition alive.

Anyway, behind me and no more than ten meters away was a lone dolphin (which I thought was strange considering that they rarely swim alone)...



BUT, all this exercise has made a grown man hot. So it's time to throw off the slacks, put down the towel, get naked (well half-naked anyway) and get wet...




Okay, the water was friggin freezing again and certain body parts shrank, so I quickly covered up and regained normal body temperature...



Now for the trip back to...

Sorry... what... was... I... talking... about... again??? (*ahem*)



;op

Man, I love summer.

Except for those annoying graffiti artists...



Outta here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The House Of Mirrors

There's a freaky place in Perth that is known only to close friends and relatives as the House of Mirrors - and I'm one of a select few that are unfortunately related to this person (I therefore had no choice!).

Why the label House of Mirrors I hear you ask?

BECAUSE THE PLACE IS FULL OF FRICKIN MIRRORS!

I mean, who goes to an auction and buys one hundred mirrors for $1 each?

To a normal sane person you'd think if you bought 100 mirrors you would need those 100 mirrors for something important, but did this person? Nope.

Is this person vain? Nope.

Does this person have a fear of vampires? Nope.

So why did this person buy 100 mirrors?

BECAUSE IT WAS A BARGAIN.

Does that explain everything now. I hope it does.

So what does one do with a bargain? Do they take advantage and sell it making a little profit? Nope... they just gloat.

A year ago my grandfather bought a crate load of mirrors and had no idea what to do with them, so he placed them all around the house - especially in his small backyard on the back fence. Now the place looks twice as big!




So why do I come to this place?

To check out my sexy legs?



Or to perfect my golf swing?



Nope.

I only come for one thing...



A BACK MASSAGE!

Besides cooking I think women should know how to give a good neck and back massage (and head scratch!)... it goes a long way with a bloke.

BUT, being single requires sacrifices, thankfully gramps has got the goods...



So... just... give... me... a... few... minutes...