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I can’t believe I didn’t start doing this before…this morning I combined a couple of my morning routines, and the result was something even better. A synergism of efficiency and productivity. It reminded me of the good ole’ college days when I would hop in the shower before going out for the night. Everybody knows that feeling fresh makes the night that much better. Of course, the best thing to do back then was to bring a drink in to the shower so that not only can you feel fresh, but you can add to that freshness with a nice little buzz.. Nothing better, right?

These days, I’m a little too old to be continuing those college activities. Also, I shower in the morning, and I’m pretty sure that drinking before work would not be conducive to maintaining a career. However, this morning I discovered the adult equivalent of the drink in the shower.

Having a nice, aromatic, freshly brewed cup of coffee in the shower before the day gets started is simply amazing. I step out of the shower ready to tackle the day. In fact, I’ve been so productive today, that I’ve even had time to write this post. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring me after my new morning routine.

I have noticed a few incidents recently in which I have become angered over things that wouldn’t normally get under my skin. The other day I was at Union Station in Washington, DC trying to find where the buses depart from so that my girlfriend could depart unhindered. The only available employee to ask for assistance was a very plump female sitting behind the Amtrak counter. Of course, I know that the buses are not run by Amtrak, but I figured that since she works at Union Station that she would have a much better idea of where things were. When I politely asked her for help, she did not say a word and merely pointed her plump index finger toward the Amtrak sign behind her. I suppose she was too tired of working so hard to answer in words that she did not know. Then I realized that her lack of verbal communication was not due to her working hard, it was because she did not want to be distracted from the game of ‘Angry Birds’ that she was playing on her cell phone. This annoyed me to a small degree that she was refusing to help a fellow human who was in need of direction. When I inquired further about her knowledge of the facility that she was working at, she got very upset and loudly explained that she works for Amtrak. I didn’t recall asking her where she worked, but none the less this irritated me even further. I told her that I’m sorry for interrupting such a diligent, hard worker from playing the game on her cell phone. I then walked away before I told her how I really felt.

It is these incidents that pinch a nerve in me and it becomes hard to dissipate the anger that is created. The Roman philospher, Lucious Seneca, spent much of his life dealing with angry people, rather, one angry person that eventually ordered him to kill himself (Nero). It is Seneca’s philosophy that I have been recently introduced to that helps to prevent these situations from stirring anger within my loins.

Seneca states that when one’s expectations of a situation are too high, then those expectations are likely to be hacked at, thus causing frustration and range within that person. Thus, to have low expectations throughout life you are less likely to be let down, therefore causing less frustration in your day.

He goes on to say that anger and frustration are irrational responses to these high expectations being broken. The only way to asage this negative response is to remain calm and understand that things go wrong (shit happens – Forrest Gump). Seneca believes that it is the suprise of having something go wrong which causes the frustration. Thus, being aware that your day may be filled with these setbacks may be the best way to handle them. It sounds like a pessimistic way of dealing with one’s life, however I have noticed that having low standards always makes me pleasantly surprised that things actually go smoothly throughout the day.

If you feel so compelled, I think you should try it and see if it works for you as well. Alain de Botton does a great job of explaining and summarizing Seneca’s work.

Ben Goldacre is a well-respected psychiatrist in the UK that has grown tired of the misinformation that is presented as fact and the degree to which money is having an effect on the treatment of a patient. He is a man of skepticism, and is using this personality trait to empower the listener with the tools to be able to see through the pharmaceutical (and other medical propaganda) manipulations of research AKA lies. Below is a 15 minute lecture on healthcare research/delivery that I feel every person that considers themself to be scientifically oriented should watch.

In this lecture, Ben Goldacre strives to get the listener (the listener includes everybody from the patient to the doctor) to see through the pharmaceutical sunshine to the depth of understanding the jaded research that pharmaceutical industries choose to report, and more importantly, to not report to the public.

Interestingly, on November 3rd, 2011 the large pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, settled a lawsuit with the American FDA for $3 billion dollars (article can be found here.) The lawsuit that was in action against the company was for illegal marketing of a diabetes medication (Avandia) that had been restricted after being linked to heart risks. During the case, it was determined that GlaxoSmithKline had been paying doctors and was manipulating research in order to promote the drug. This very recent example depicts exactly why Ben Goldacre is working so hard to educate the consumer and healthcare worker.

Ben Goldacre: writes a column in the UK Newspaper, The Guardian, called Bad Science. He has also written two books, ‘Bad Science,’ and “The Drug Pushers,’ which can be found on his webpage.

We see it every day. We run in to it while shopping in the store, walking in the park, dining at the restaurant, or dancing at the night club. And it’s not just restricted to the heterosexual community, as the term ‘rice queen’ refers to a non-asian male that desires asian males (you can probably assume what ‘potato queen’ means).

Much like yourself, I often times contemplate what attracts the white guy to that asian female. I refuse to passively accept the simple argument that it’s due to physical appearance alone. There has to be something deeper at hand that influences a white guy to subject himself to a lifetime of being judged and degraded by his significant other’s family. Many asian families, particularly those that have a false sense of superiorism (i.e. Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean) will never accept their daughter’s choice to be taken away by a culture that has values similar to the mildew that grows between the tiles in the shower (their thoughts, not mine). And if there isn’t a more reasonable explanation for this phenomenon, then it may just very well be that the white male seeks a lifetime of punishment, much like the relationship of a masochist and a whip. Below, I try to elaborate my thoughts and reasoning on this subject. I’m sure there’s something I have not included, but such is life. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

The most obvious argument, as mentioned above, is that white males find asian women more beautiful and attractive than the competition. This is a reasonable argument, despite that many women often don’t want to admit it, because ultimately a male’s decision to seek a particular mate is largely determined by physical aspects. We know this not only by controlled sociology studies, but more easily we know this by taking a look in a magazine for men. Maxim Magazine does not put centerfolds of women that have lines and curves that are not absolutely perfect. However, the reason that this argument does not hold water for asian women is because as a whole, they are no more beautiful than white women. If you have ever traveled to Chinatown in NYC, then you will understand why I say this. The average asian woman is not beautiful, she is not dainty, and she is not physically attractive.

An argument for pro-asian that I’ve heard and discussed with others may be even more superficial than the first argument. There is a belief out there (I must preemptively say that I’m sorry for being vulgar, but this is a legitimate argument some white men believe in whole-heartedly) that asian women are tighter than non-asians. If you don’t know what I mean by ‘tighter,’ then think more sexual. If you still don’t understand, then don’t concern yourself with it. I am personally not one who believes this argument. I think it’s a misconception that stems from the fact that asian men are not as well endowed, which leads many white men to falsely assume that asian women are therefore smaller in the same respect. And if you’re a white guy who believes said idea, then you should probably stop dating white girls that have been with more dudes than you have appendages. But who knows, maybe one day a scientist will develop a caliper tool for this purpose.

I ponder the thought of whether or not an asian woman is more attractive to a male if he believes her to be obedient, and along the same lines as that, submissive. This usually does not pertain to any generation after the first, as subsequent generations are influenced by western culture that is not oppressive such as the environment their parents knew. In a relationship with a submissive other, the man can express his authority with less resistance as compared to being with a white woman. It does not take a genius to understand that most males appreciate a girl that listens to him and beckons to his every desire. Thus, many men should thank those asian cultures for having such an authoritarian society as to produce these domesticated beings. It must be like getting a puppy that is already trained to do everything you want and you don’t have to deal with the frustration of re-training it (using a dog here as an example can be thought of as degrading, but at least it’s a cute puppy. No?).

Of the reasonings I’ve had and discussed with others, possibly one of the more optimistic of them is that a mixed white/asian child is simply way more cute. I haven’t met a person that can say they know a mixed child that is ugly (of course there’s always exceptions to what I write). It takes the best of both worlds and combines them into a better whole. There are many layers to why we would find a mate attractive, but I will use skin color as an example here. I personally don’t like the pasty pink/white color of my skin. I also don’t like the jaundice-yellow color of asian skin. However, I would like my offspring to have something in between the two extremes. It all comes down to what I feel would be evolutionarily beneficial for my offspring to be reproductively successful so that my line of genetics will be carried forth in the future. This is of course the name of the game and is the same technique that farmers have been using to produce livestock that are more ‘fit’ for their environment.

The last argument that I sometimes hear from people who don’t usually put much thought in to reasoning is that, we want what we can’t have. This idea is silly for multiple reasons. As an individual that was raised in a capitalist western society, I know that I can get anything I want in this world (within reason). If I want to date an asian girl, then I’ll go out and find one to date. There are plenty of asian girls that are more than willing to be swept away by a white guy. A caveat to the previous sentence is that an asian girl will not be impressed if you are in your thirties, still living at home and still working a dead-end job. These are not credentials that they are looking for.

In conclusion, my interest in dating an asian girl would probably fall in line with evolutionary reasons. You may ask, well what about the argument of physical attractiveness? While this is something I look for in a significant other, I can find physical attractiveness in any ethnicity, it is not limited to asians. And you may wonder, what about personality? Much like physical attractiveness, personality is not limited by culture, I can find an amiable personality that I enjoy in any person I see fit.

Like I said, feel free to leave your comments. I am earnestly curious to hear other people’s thoughts. And yes, I am currently dating an asian girl.

I recently had my braces removed after nearly 4 years of torture.  They were on for so long that my tongue can’t comprehend why the surface of the neighboring teeth are now smooth.  Thus, a new diagnosis must be created and named ‘phantom braces syndrome.’  Much like a lost appendage, my tongue can not make the connection that the braces are no longer a part of my teeth.  And although my eyes physically witnessed the braces being removed, my tongue has not been informed of the situation.  If there are others that suffer from this tragedy, please know that you are not alone.

Why is it that when I come home from the store I must carry all of the groceries inside in one trip.  It’s like there’s somebody on my shoulder that’s challenging me to grab that last bag, even if it means that my fingers will turn purple from strangulation causing them to look gangrenous.

Picture from Flickr user graemenewcomb

And if there are stairs that have to be ascended along the journey of overloaded groceries traveling to the regrigerator, then it will make me all the angrier.  And I know I’m not the only person who does this.  Not only have I seen my siblings do it, but I’ve also been a witness to it when roomates come back from the store loaded with 10 bags in their arms barely able to open the front door.

I ask innocently from the couch, “do you need any help?”

“Do I look like a wuss!? I just carried every grocery in my trunk up five flights of stairs.  I’m the man,” is the roomate’s response.

I always enjoy these exchanges because while I’m offering to help, what’s really going on in my head is that I’m hoping he’ll act like a tough guy declining any help from scrawny me.  It’s a win for both of us.

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