Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

If you don’t have anything nice to say…

Posted: August 28, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Advice, Life, Observations
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We all know the parental cliche of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”  Actually, I’m not even certain that it is still a parental cliche.  I see lots of either apathetic or overly indulgent parents these days.  I’m sure the latter would never say anything like this to their precious little darlings, and the former just don’t care.  Also, my upbringing was very foreign to what children must contend with these days.  I went outside without supervision, I got spanked, and (gasp) my parents and teachers actually said “No” to me.  It’s a wonder I survived.
The sentiment of that cliched expression is nice I suppose, but I also wholeheartedly disagree.  I think if you have something negative and entertaining to say…shout it out loud my friend so that the cynicism can echo through the hills and valleys.  Just think of all the clever and funny quips, complaints, insults and observations we’ve heard in our lifetime.  Surely we are better off having heard them and laughed at someone elses expense, OR if they were directed at us, we took pains to change, or took steps to pain the person who said it.
Look, I’m all for being positive and sensitive.  I’m just saying that being less than pleasant or nice has an important place in life too.  Who wants to live in a sweet sunshine and strawberry pie, my little pony-world?  Not me.  If not for people saying the occasional less-than-nice thing we wouldn’t have South Park, The Sex Pistols, George Carlin or any comedy for that matter.  I think the term needs to be updated.
“If you don’t have any thing nice to say, at the very least be a creative and witty asshole” 

or maybe telling Junior 

“You know, if you keep saying things like that, you’re going to run into an angry and thin skinned fellow who will almost certainly inflict a great deal of physical pain upon you”.  In my opinion, that is an important bit of wisdom for a 5 year old.

The world needs mean people and mean statements so we appreciate kindness. There is a new anti-bullying craze going on now.  This is the backlash from a poor girl from Ireland who got picked on mercilessly to the point of suicide. When I read that story or when it comes up I get very upset.  It happened near where I grew up so my mother followed the story.  I saw pictures of the teenage girl.  She was so pretty and there was an intelligence behind her sad eyes.  She was from Ireland and moved to Hadley, MA.  She must have felt so alone.  I was bullied as a child and did my share of bullying.  It taught me to be both sensitive to others and develop a sense of empathy, while also making me stronger and tougher.  I fear that the anti-bullying campaign, like many well intentioned things will go too far.  My solution would be to arm the smaller and weaker kids. 

“Honey, here’s your lunch, your Ritalin and your chemical mace, now give mommy a kiss and have a good day at school” 

Fast forward to lunch time.  “Gimme your milk money fag” 


I should probably pursue a career in early childhood development.

Bad Valentine’s Day Ideas

Posted: February 14, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Advice
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Let’s face it, for most of us Valentine’s Day pretty much sucks. Certain holidays are just precursors to depression. Here are a few helpful hints to insure your Valentine’s Day lives up to its suckitude.

Drink 2 bottles of wine and call all of your ex’s. Cry, accuse them of ruining your life, then ask if they have any plans for tonight.

Pay a bag lady or homeless man to sing “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” to you.

Buy yourself 6 huge overpriced  heart shaped boxes of low quality candy. Eat all of it while listening to Nine Inch Nails “The Downward Spiral”, then place a mirror across from you, take off all of your clothes and sit amidst all of the chocolate wrappers and stare at yourself.

In lieu of a date take a cousin of the opposite sex to an expensive dinner.  Drink too much and then confess that you always “thought they were kinda hot.”  This will also insure a miserable and uncomfortable Thanksgiving. Actually this would also work with a cousin of the same sex.

Hire a prostitute and pay them to pretend to be your Valentine. Make them write a “love poem” for you.

Spend the day at Wal-Mart, reading all the cards until you are asked to leave the store.

Call your parents and ask them if you’re ugly.

Buy a dermatology textbook. Drink 4 double espressos and look at the skin disorder photos while listening to Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”

Go to a karaoke bar alone and sing “Feelings”.  Repeat until people throw things at you

Stay Positive, People Hate That

Posted: September 9, 2010 by S. Trevor Swenson in Advice
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This week my friend Rachel closed an email reply to me with “Stay Positive, People Hate That.” It’s such a great quote that it totally made my day. I went on Google to see where she’d gotten it, but I couldn’t find it there. If she came up with that one; I am in awe. It’s so true and so relevant to my life right now. After a serious tough love lecture to me by a friend regarding my overall attitude last winter I have been trying to stay positive. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, but as much as I hate to admit it, I think it has made me a better person and maybe even a little happier. The beauty of the “Stay Positive, People Hate That” quote is that I also love pissing people off. It is probably my second favorite hobby, right after coin collecting. Now if I can piss people off, without actually being a bastard . . . that’s even better. Not that I ever intend to entirely give up my bad behavior. It’s too big a part of me.

I have been thinking of positive ways to deal with the annoyances that I constantly rant, piss, bitch, moan and rave about. Instead of having fantasies of savage beatings of the people who feel it necessary to walk slowly in front of me and text message, perhaps I should tap them on the shoulder and with a big friendly grin ask, “Hey, who are ya texting, Can I see?” The next time a loud and intrusive beggar gets on my subway with an invasively loud monotone pitch for spare change . . . ” Ladies-And-Gentlemen-I-Am-A-Homeless-Person-Living-On The-Streets-I-Have-Lost-My-Job-Because-Of-My-Eight- Children–I-Am-Sorry-to-Disturb-You-At-This-Time . . .” Maybe I will smile and get in on the act with a loud and intrusive monotone of my own rather than just sitting there and turning up the volume on my iPod in an attempt to drown out their voice. “Ladies-And-Gentlemen-I-Am-A-Poor-Commuter-Who-Is-Trying-To-Get-From-Point-A-To-Point-B-Without-Being-Annoyed-Mugged-Or-Solicited . . .”

After being turned down by another bar that only hires female bartenders, instead of getting angry, I shall dress in really bad drag and re-apply.

When I am on the phone with a customer service rep in India, I shall use it as an opportunity to practice my Hindi.

Where there are screaming and badly behaved children, with oblivious parents, I will just scream along with them. I’m sure I will find it therapeutic in a very primal kind of way.

I will write inappropriate love letters to politicians who once gave me ulcers.

In regards to my daily irritation of the Dunkin’ Donuts shift supervisor with the creepy lazy eye who always gets my coffee order wrong. I won’t correct her as she makes it, I will simply smile and keep sending it back complimenting her every time she has to remake it ” Good try, you almost got it”, “Great . . . you’re getting warmer” ,”Oh I really thought you were going to get it this time . . . so close . . .”

When little old ladies take entirely too long in grocery store and bank lines in front of me, I will politely ask to see pictures of their grandchildren. Then someone in line behind us can assume the role of ‘Negative Nancy’ and yell at us to move along.
I shall become the biggest and most outspoken fan of Paris Hilton, The Kardasians and reality TV. . . maybe if a middle aged dork like me seems to like these things, their popularity will wane.

While waiting 2 hours past my appointment time to see a doctor or dentist, I shall use that time to write down my medical ailments in a clever, yet cryptic haiku for them to puzzle over for hours.
I shall find out the home phone numbers of the financial aid workers at my school and call them at home with my inquiries, rather than subject them to my ill-tempered and impatient questions. People are generally more relaxed at home evenings and weekends anyway.

I will ask the young men who wear their pants tightly belted at the base of their asses to show me how they do it, because it’s such a great look, that I just have to get in on it.

Who’d have thought being positive could alleviate so much stress.

Supermarket Fun

Posted: May 19, 2010 by S. Trevor Swenson in Advice
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I would be willing to bet that a person could shoplift and not get in trouble if they did it in a highly entertaining manner. I think it would be fun to go into a supermarket with brightly colored, extra-large sweatpants (yellow, red or purple come to mind). Go to the frozen food section and just start stuffing food down your sweatpants. Frozen peas, broccoli with cheese sauce, TV dinners etc. Be VERY blatant about it. Saunter over to the meats and then keep filling up your sweatpants. Then attempt to dance your way out of the store. If you’re stopped just act surprised. Refuse to take anything out of your pants, but tell whoever stops you “They’re welcome to peek inside” My bet is you’d get away with it.

Here is another fun supermarket prank, although I’m sure it could be done in a big chain drugstore, or maybe even a Wal-Mart. Run at top speed into the supermarket. Tear ass up and down the aisles pushing other people’s carts out of your way. Act very frantic. Run up and down the aisles doing this until you reach the Health and Beauty section. Go up to the DEPENDS undergarments and grab a pack, then run to the cashier. If there are people in line in front of you just gently push them aside saying “excuse me, coming through, sorry, need to get by”. Reach the cash register/cashier and start digging violently through your pockets looking for money. Then . . . wet your pants. Sigh heavily, say “Dammit” and drop the pack of DEPENDS and slink out of the store.