Tag Archives: Partying

Where Am I?

The question isn’t is this embarrassing. No, the question is one of degree.

Just how embarrassing is it to get lost in your own “hometown?”

Even worse, this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me. I’m beginning to think I might have a problem.

The first time was when I was in junior high school. (For those of you unfamiliar, that was the school between elementary [k-6] and high school [10-12].)

We had some friends come in from out of town. They wanted to go to Six Flags over Texas, which was just outside of the small suburb of Dallas where I grew up.

We managed to make it there all right, with only a few minimal disruptions. The problem came when we headed home and there weren’t any more signs leading us to our destination. This was (way, way, way) before cell phones or the like, so we were on our own. The older kids from out of town didn’t know which way to go and they looked to me for answers.

I turned around to see who they were looking at behind me. I had a vague notion of the direction to go, but it wasn’t all that good of a vague notion. I was asked — repeatedly and forcefully — how I could live in a town and not know my way around it. Mostly it was because I wasn’t driving yet and spent most of my car time with my nose buried in an actual paper book.

We didn’t starve to death. We eventually found our way home (hours and hours after curfew, but the parents had been too busy partying to really worry) and all was good.

Until the last weekend when I got that horrible flashback feeling. My friend, Pitt (who I’ve known since high school and who recently moved here from Pittsburgh) and I were headed to a fundraiser put on by the P Strong Foundation to raise money to support research into rare cancers.

I was in the driving seat, a position with which I was intimately familiar considering I’d been driving for more than three decades. I thought I knew my way around Charlotte. Turns out, I was wrong.

Pitt, who’s been here less than two years, knew where the event was. It was Pitt who knew where to park and how to get from the parking garage to the Bal Masque Gala at the Marriott City Center.

The first one I can blame on youth. The second time? I’m still going to blame that one on youth. Not my own, of course, but my young dudes. See, I’ve been so busy rearing the young dudes since I came to Charlotte fifteen years ago that I never got a chance to really know my way around the city. Unless you counted the areas around the Chuck E Cheese and other young-dude attractions.

That counts, right? You dudes are buying that, yeah? Right?

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This Is Your Brain On Love

by Richard

Love is a drug. And while I’m pretty sure you can’t get an accurate metaphor for how your brain on love is like someone using a frying pan to smash up a kitchen in an orgy of misplaced violence, I do feel pretty safe in saying love gonna mess up your brain something fierce.

In a good way, of course. I meant that in a good way, darling.

Look, dudes. I mean this in an actual scientific sense. Being in love can actually, physically cause changes to your brain. It can alter your brain’s chemistry, your body chemistry, and alter the way you see and react to outside physical stimuli. If that’s not a drug, then I wasted all those years in college. (With the studying, not the partying. I’m not going to confirm I actually used drugs while in college. I mean, come on, dudes. My dad still reads this. [He’s retired and bored with nothing better to do. Yes, I do pity him])

Anyway.

A RELATIVELY new field, called interpersonal neurobiology, draws its vigor from one of the great discoveries of our era: that the brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life. In the end, what we pay the most attention to defines us. How you choose to spend the irreplaceable hours of your life literally transforms you.

As the most social apes, we inhabit a mirror-world in which every important relationship, whether with spouse, friend or child, shapes the brain, which in turn shapes our relationships. Daniel J. Siegel and Allan N. Schore, colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, recently discussed groundbreaking work in the field at a conference on the school’s campus. It’s not that caregiving changes genes; it influences how the genes express themselves as the child grows. Dr. Siegel, a neuropsychiatrist, refers to the indelible sense of “feeling felt” that we learn as infants and seek in romantic love, a reciprocity that remodels the brain’s architecture and functions.

Does it also promote physical well-being? “Scientific studies of longevity, medical and mental health, happiness and even wisdom,” Dr. Siegel says, “point to supportive relationships as the most robust predictor of these positive attributes in our lives across the life span.”

The supportive part is crucial. Loving relationships alter the brain the most significantly.

Just think about how much learning goes on when you dudes start looking for a mate. When you fall in love, you start looking at the world though her eyes; you start doing the things that he wants you to do, rather than what you want to do; you start looking at the world in an attempt to try and divine what she wants to do next. All of these things are your brain learning that it is not alone.

When two people become a couple, the brain extends its idea of self to include the other; instead of the slender pronoun “I,” a plural self emerges who can borrow some of the other’s assets and strengths. The brain knows who we are. The immune system knows who we’re not, and it stores pieces of invaders as memory aids. Through lovemaking, or when we pass along a flu or a cold sore, we trade bits of identity with loved ones, and in time we become a sort of chimera. We don’t just get under a mate’s skin, we absorb him or her.

I was going to just go over this for today, but there’s so much going on with this great Opinionator piece in the New York Times by Diane Ackerman, that I had to give it another day. This is some good stuff for you dudes. Learn it.


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Be Nice To The Crazylady

by Richard

Today is the bigger day for our — admittedly a little bit kooky — family. It’s the culmination of more than a year of work, sweat and not a little blood. It’s the end of a long, lonely period of time when there were only dudes in the house for a majority of the day. It’s the day that my crazylady competes in her first (and, please FSM, only) iron distance triathlon. That means she’s going to swim 2.5 miles, cycle 112 miles and then finish it all off with a nice, relaxing 26.2 mile run. That’s right, she warms down with a marathon.

So, yeah, crazylady.

Right now, we’re in Wilmington, NC, ready for the Beach to Battleship Triathlon. She’s going to exercise for approximately 15 hours and end up propelling herself 140.7 miles.

I was trying to be helpful a couple of days ago when I told her that, heck, I could drive that far in a little over two hours. I’d be glad to take her there and back and it wouldn’t take nearly as long. She just looked at me, long and mean. I decided to quit while I was only a little behind.

Anyway, we’re all going to be out here cheering her on every couple of hours, when she passes by where we’ll be camped out. We’re not following her. What? Do we look crazy? The little dudes, my in laws and lots of her friends and I are all going to be here and we’ll all be yelling. For about 37 seconds as she passes by. Then we’ll wander off and try to find something to keep us busy for a couple more hours until she gets ready to come by once again. So, yeah, it’s going to be a lot of fun for us.

We’ll try to survive the boredom. I mean, when did she think about us? We’re going to be out there all day with nothing much to do. That’s hard. I mean, really hard. It’s not like she’s. . .  Oh, right. Yeah. The whole marathon thing. Never mind.

So. Go, crazylady! We’re all cheering for you, if only so she’ll finish earlier and we can get some serious partying in. Well, I’m sure we will. I’m not so sure about the crazylady.

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