Saturday, January 31, 2009

Social Tip #13 - Listening

When I need to look like I'm listening to someone, I fix my eyes on theirs. Then, in the privacy of my mouth, I trace my teeth with my tongue. It's a little way to retain control in a world full of sad gossips and rule followers.

I started this practice when I was in elementary school to escape from the information being shoved in my face. I would tongue the inside of my mouth and think, you can make me attend school, but you can't me want to learn. You think that I'm thinking about the branches of government, but really I am thinking that only I decide what I think about. I wonder how much spit I can collect?

Another trick shutting my eyes and mashing them with my hands to create phosphenes. I pretended they were the red walls of a never-ending tunnel to hell. It relaxed me. Of course, eventually a teacher would think I was sleeping and tell me to wake up and I would be back in class. Maybe the tunnel never ended, but I was sure hell was on one side of it.

I wouldn't recommend going down the tunnel of hell during conversation. Most people can tell when the person they are talking to is poking fingers in their eyes. If they can't, then you can probably just leave.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Social Tip #12 - Relationships

The other night my boyfriend asked me a question while I was staring off into space. He caught me off guard so I told him the truth.
Boyfriend: What are you thinking about?

One of these days I'm going to kill you.
Cold stare.
Boyfriend: You are? Really?

No... why? Are you?

Of course not.

Great. Now all the mystery is out of the relationship.
I like the mystery in my relationships to be a murder mystery.
Me: Hey! What are you doing with those candle sticks?

They're for our romantic evening together.

Oh. Then what are you doing with those ropes?

They're for our romantic evening together.

Oh. Then what are you doing with that lead pipe?

That's for later when I cut all of your hair off and clog the toilet with it.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Social Tip #11 - Mormons

The other day I met a fellow comedian while waiting backstage to perform. He told me that his life had changed a lot since he moved from Utah. Then I did this:
Me: Man. That must have been terrible. Performing for Mormons? Those people are nuts.

(polite laugh) It wasn't so bad.
As he said this it dawned on me: goofy face, blond hair, horse teeth... this guy was a Mormon. By the time my brain processed his Mormon-ness he had already left to go on stage. I turned to the other people in the room.
Me: That guy's a Mormon, isn't he?

Other People:

The Mormon comedian bound back in from the stage, flaunting his Mormonosity. Here was my chance to make amends.
Me: Hey. Great show. I'm sorry about what I said about the Mormons, you're probably a Mormon, aren't you?

Yeah, I am. It's fine.

No, it's not fine. It was stupid of me. Of course you are Mormon, why else would you live in Utah? I really didn't mean to offend you.

Don't worry about it. There is nothing you could say to offend me.
Nothing I could say to offend him? what kind of Mormon garbage is that? His faith prohibits my words from entering him as though they were caffeine or homosexual thoughts? If he can believe a stupid book then he can believe a live thinking human. How dare he assume that I am not creative enough to offend him!
Me: I don't even know why I said that. I guess it is just because every Mormon I've met has been really crazy.

Where are you from?

And hypocritical. I'm from Arizona and all the Mormons I went to school with were like, "I'm too good to drink caffeine," and then they would end up all drunk and pregnant. They were always the most troubled kids at our school.
This was not true. I mean, yes, they did abstain from caffeine. And, yes, they were the biggest boozers I knew, but that was only because I didn't have many friends that drank because I wasn't cool enough to drink and I didn't have that many friends. But none of them became pregnant. And they were usually all reasonably nice. But fuck this guy.
Me: This one kid was caught killing all the cats in our neighborhood. Apparently everyone's cats had been disappearing and then someone found their heads fixed on broomsticks in this Mormon kid's bedroom. He said that god told him to do it.
That was a true story, but about an Satanic kid my sister's boyfriend knew in San Diego. Still, close enough. The Mormon guy just looked on, confused.
Comedian: That's terrible.
Me: I know.
Mykas: 1 Mormons: 12,868,606

Monday, January 26, 2009

Social Tip #10 - Cops

I do not like cops.

It isn’t just the cops, it is the whole system. I hate that I am obliged to live by a set of rules that were created before I had a chance to agree to them. It is not just an imposition to me, but an offense, that cops exist to blindly enforce those rules, and my only choice is to follow along or endure punishment. Yes, I know I have the right to change the rules, but I must first learn what all of them are, wait until I am old enough to be considered relevant in the political arena, and then spend the rest of my life pursuing those changes when I should have been able to live a more natural course.

Society was built to disrupt my natural course, and cops ensure the disruption.

Last night I took the subway. On the platform I saw what looked like a security guard booth. I looked inside and there was a full-on cop in uniform, leaning in a chair with his head back, his mouth wide open, completely asleep. He sat in front of a TV making fuzz noises. It was beautiful, I could have done anything I wanted to him. And rare to have such an advantage. It was like seeing my boss leave a Planned Parenthood in a wheelchair.

I looked around, but no one else was there to witness this. As quietly as I could, so as not to wake the beast, I whipped out my camera phone and took some pictures, but I was too far away and they turned out terrible. I decided to go for it and got much closer to the glass. This was one of those defining moments in my life where I felt like I had to do what must be done and damn the consequences. Taking a photo of a cop sleeping on duty felt not only warranted, but responsible. Not that I care if anyone is a hard worker or not. I could give a shit, I am all about minding my own business. But this uniform thought he had the right to tell me what I could and couldn't do. If I fell asleep on the subway, this guy would arrest me or at least harass me, and here he is, asleep and getting paid for it. If I was going to be forced to live in a hypocritical society, I was going to take fucking pictures.

I marched right in front of the glass and was so determined to frame the shot correctly that I didn't notice he had woken up.

Cop: Hey!

Fuck. The cop busted me busting him. I quickly tried to save the last photo and put my phone in my purse.

Cop: You can't do that! Come here! You can't take pictures of me!

I wondered if that was true. Was it illegal to take a picture of a cop, or a sleeping person? Or maybe it's only illegal if it's both at the same time. I walked around to the side of his booth and stared into his ham-head meatface.

Cop: Did you take any pictures?

Now, if I was any kind of a smart person, I would have responded with something like, "I wasn't taking pictures… I was looking for a number on my phone," or some other lie, but at the time it seemed like if I admitted to a little bit of it, the rest of my story would seem more convincing. Plus, fuck him.

Me: No, but I was trying to.

Cop: Why were you trying to take pictures of me?

I gave him my most honest answer. I think we both knew the truth.

Me: Because it was funny.

I don't know what possesses me to talk to cops like that, but it is always the same, even though my last encounter ended up in my arrest. I got caught smoking a joint with my friend on Bowery, and was so amused and unthreatened by the experience that I asked the squad car driver if he would stop at Yaffa Café on the way to the precinct because I had the munchies. I think he would have been into it if he didn't have a quota to fill.
Cop: Well, I don't think it's funny. You think it would be funny if that photo got into the newspaper and I had to tell my wife that I got fired?

I resisted the urge to tell him that he really should have been more careful about behaving like a hypocrite. Why should I care about his problems? If the tables were turned, if he had caught me doing something wrong and I told him my life could be ruined, would that deter him from arresting me? Hell to the no. Uniforms don't ever consider personal matters where the law is involved. If anything, this was karma at play.

Of course, I would never publish the photos just to get this guy into trouble. He hadn't done anything to harm me, and I'm against all kinds of punishment in general. I was only in it for my own amusement. I said as much.

Me: I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't expose you.

Cop: Then let me look at your phone.

Me: Fine.

Wait. That couldn't happen. I wanted to keep those motherfucking pictures.

Me: I don't have pictures of you and I don't want you looking through my phone. You don't have a right to do that.
Cop: But you just said I could.
Me: Well now you can't.

The cop and I had a stare-down. He was in the unenviable position of being subjected to civilian status. He was the only one who had broken any laws.

Cop: Okay, I'll trust that you don't have a picture. I mean, I know I shouldn't be sleeping, but I've been working for hours down here.

No way! He actually admitted culpability. And he trusted me. Once vindicated, I felt bad for him and offered some distracting empathy.

Me: It must be hard to be stuck in here.
Cop: Yeah, its rough. I've been working for hours and look at what I do all night.

He beckoned all the way inside his cage where I see that the tiny TV screen shows a footage from a camera focused on the train tracks.

Cop: I watch this all night. Its so boring.
Me: Why are you watching on camera, isn't that the track right behind you?
Cop: Yeah, basically.

The way he said this made me think that it hadn't occurred to him before. What must it be like to never question anything? It probably feels the same and being stuck in a cage and facing the wrong direction.

Cop: Yeah, well. Where you coming from? You look nice, coming from a party?
Me: Oh yeah, I guess, hours ago.
Cop: Oh, out bar hopping?
Me: No, I was writing with a friend of mine.
Cop: Oh, you're a writer?

Shit, now he was going to think I would write about this experience and try to take my camera again.

Cop: Cool. Where can I read your stuff?
What an idiot.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Social Tip #9: That Sounds Funny

Comedy is the prism that focuses the confusion of truth. Bad jokes focus the confusion of stupidity.
Other Person: You can hang at my brodown*, if you want to inspect my itchy zone!
Me: No.
Humans are like dolphins, rewarding their behavior encourages it. As such, faking a laugh encourages the production of friendship poison.
Other Person: ...and he thought I was the one who spelled his name wrong!
Me: (Laughing time?)
Train the dolphins. Reward the good behavior, ignore the bad.
Other Person: I told her I could definitely fuck a ho in those shoes!
Me: That sounds funny.
Saying that sounds funny without laughing afterward subtly acknowledges that a joke has been attempted without remuneration. The other person gets to sound like they're funny, and I get to sound like I'm not about to excuse myself from the conversation by pointing to a destination far away and then walking in the opposite direction. Dolphins.
Other Person: Eeee! Eeee Eeee Eeee! Eeeeeeeeee!
Me: That sounds funny.
*Brodown - n. As in a hoedown, but with your bros.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Social Tip #8: The Baby Cemetery

Want to make friends but the dog park is full of losers who own dogs? Do what I do:

Go to the baby cemetery.

The people who hang out there are Lone-ly.

Plus, they are great at knitting tiny gloves and hats and have no one to give them to. Of course, I have tiny hands and head. If you are normal sized maybe you should go to the grownup cemetery.

Social Tip #7: The Dog Park

Don't go to the dog park.

Healthy people love dogs because they love dogs.

Other people love dogs because they love people. These people go to dog parks. Avoid these people.

Don't go to the dog park.

Dog parks only offer people who miss their homes in Montana. These people will tell you more than one horror story about poop. These people will tell you about Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated war dog of World War I.

Make no mistake, I love dogs. But if I owned a dog that inspired weirdo strangers to come up to me, that dog would have to go.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Social Tip #6: Paying a Crazy Tax

In the past I have faked friendships in order to improve my life in some other way, like getting an introduction to someone who lived in the Trump Tower. I paid a Crazy Tax.

Crazy Tax - n. a tax on deceit, paid in sanity to a person who is crazy.

I don't recommend deceit, but if it is going to happen it is better this way than taking advantage of someone who is in love with you. Deceiving a hostile person is just; they want you to lie to them.

I befriended an alcoholic narcissist because she had a room to rent in Gramercy for under $500. She sat poolside with magazines, cutting out celebrity noses to show to her plastic surgeon. The pile of noses she didn't like was much larger than the ones she did. She required me to spend time with her.
NARCISSIST: I am not successful because I don't compromise my intelligence, right? I think it is horrible how people hold it against me that I am more talented and thinner than they are. Don't you think? Aren't they jealous of me?
Yes, of course. They are just jealous. Don't let them hold you down.
NARCISSIST: Are you just saying that because I told you to?
ME: No.
NARCISSIST: I think you should go to my plastic surgeon to have your forehead sculpted. No one will ever take you seriously if you don't do it.
ME: Oh, I hadn't thought of that.
NARCISSIST: Don't talk to me like I'm being an asshole. No one else will tell you the truth like I do.
WARNING: (1) You can never pay a crazy tax halfway. If the person you are paying the crazy tax to determines that you are a fraud (and this is likely, hostile people can be very sensitive to bullshit), then all of your efforts will work against you doubly. (2) Associating with a crazy person for gain might lead others to think you are equally crazy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Social Tip #5: Meeting People for the First Time, Again

If you're like me, you are going to meet a lot of people not worth remembering. If they're important, or interesting, or I want to have sex with them again, I'll remember.
Past Person: Myka! Remember me? We met at Jonathan's party.
Me: No, but don't feel bad. I was probably really drunk and keeping my eye on an antique vase.
I don't want to lie, but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or burn bridges because I might discover that a person is important.

A lot of books will recommend taking note of particular facial features to associate to a name when meeting people. Unfortunately, I've found there can just as easily be a "Big Nose Brian" as a "Big Nose Brandon," and all I've succeeded in remembering is that I meet a lot of people with big noses, a fact I will easily remember when meeting them again. Likewise, "Oozing Zit Suzie" does not always have an oozing zit, and "Shaved Eyebrow Sherman" regrows his brow. Of course, some are easy, but the "Burn Scar Bettys" and "Sloppy Crotch Veronicas" come too few and far between.

Don't bother trying to remember.

Here's what I do:
Past Person: Myka! How are you? Remember that we agreed to adopt a highway together?
Me: No. [Wink]
That's when I point to my eye and wink. Now that person thinks I remember it so well that to suggest otherwise is a joke. Or, I remember but am not at liberty to talk about it at that time, and now we are in on some exciting secret together!

Later, if the person comes up to me again, here's what I do:
Past Person: But seriously, you have to remember. We took that road trip to the middle of Arizona and drove over a condemned bridge... twice.
Me: Of course! [Wink]
And I'm out of it again!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Social Tip #4: Oh, I Hadn't Thought of That

Sometimes I meet people and it turns out that I am not crazy, they are.
Crazy Person: You know what you should do, Myka? You should gain a lot of weight and then take a picture of yourself. Then when you lose it you can show everyone how much weight you lost.
Me: You're retarded, I hope your baby falls down a well.
It is always a mistake to fight crazy with crazy, you will only end up with a crazy enemy, and those are the worst kind (after ghost enemy, those are the scariest). It is safest to end the conversation quickly and politely.
Crazy Person: I love Shakespeare, the way he describes things is really good.
Me: Oh, I hadn't thought of that.
This makes them think that I am thinking about it now. But I'm not. I'm thinking that I should stop making eye contact in the subway (public transportation... I should stop going to the sandwich shop entirely).
Crazy Person: The only time I get fucked is when I give a fuck. Hello? Are you listening to me? The only time I get fucked is when I give a fuck. Those queers are ruining Chelsea.
Me: Oh, I hadn't thought of that.

Crazy Person: You know what you're problem is, you think too much.
Me: Oh, I hadn't thought of that.

Social Tip #3: Avoiding Awkward Moments

Do not do this:
Me: "I think (opinion), everyone else can take a dump in a box."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Social Tip #2: Crashing a Party

I like to party and I am poor, so I've found it is best to crash rich people's parties because they have a lot of booze and have nice things to steal. Inevitably, though, what will happen is that you will run into invited guests who want to know who you are and why you are not also wearing a black sequined tank top. Before honing my social skills, the conversation may have gone something like this:
Invited Guest: Sooo..... how do you know Jonathan?
Me: Who's Jonathan?
Rookie mistake. Jonathan is the host, that is why the invited guest wanted to know how I knew him. This is how it should go:
Invited Guest: Sooo...... how do you know Jonathan?
Me: Jonathan and I contribute to the same charitable organization.
Invited Guest: Or really? Which one?
Me: Poor people... reading... to children.
Saying that you contribute to the same charity works because it makes people think that you are rich enough to give your money to strangers. Also, it is hard to get caught in this lie because even if the invited guest knows that Jonathan is a prick and doesn't care about other people, it is impolite to say so to a stranger.

You will find your charity can be useful as the conversation continues:
Invited Guest: Isn't that Jonathan's wrought iron fire stoker?
Me: No, we have the same one. They were given to the top donors at the "Teaching Poor People to Read to Children Semi-Annual Gala." Where were you?
Note: it is important to pick a good charity that is beneficial without question, like teaching poor people to read to children. Don't go out on a limb with anything rich people might find controversial, like finding a cure for AIDS.

Social Tip #1: Starting a Conversation with Strangers

I have always had a lot of trouble talking to strangers. What should I say to ensure they don't hate me right away? I decided to start my social progress by talking to women because they tend to be the people I have the most trouble with. Probably because I hate my mom. I read in a book (I will not say which because I don't want you to read it and become better at making friends than me) that a great way to start a conversation with a stranger is to give them a sincere compliment. This is a direct transcript of my first conversation with a stranger:

Me: Hey, those are some snazzy boots.
Woman: These aren't boots, they're leg braces.

Woops. Now she thinks I am stupid.

Me: I knew that. I just didn't want to bring up your depressing, depressing leg braces.
Woman: (No response)

Recovery not successful. Abort mission and leave.

Me: Get out of my way, I have a marathon to finish.
Off to a bad start but learned an important lesson: Sincere compliments do not work when they are not accurate. Later, I tried again:
Me: Those are some really ugly leg braces.
Woman: These aren't leg braces. This is a wheelchair.

Final Thought: Sincere compliments are not helpful when strangers are disabled.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

it begins.