Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Blog About Controlling A Vibrator Over Wi-Fi

Your new iPhone wallpaper, tan edition.
I made eyes with a cute puppy on my run and ran into a tree branch. I made eyes with a hot girl on my run, but realized later it was because my face was bleeding from running into said tree branch. It’s just the way it is. 

I recently have been turning down sex for no other reason than the fact that I like to be in bed by 9 p.m. And before you roll your eyes and mutter to yourself, "How much sex can someone get that they feel obligated to turn it down to be a grandpa?" It's really not that much… at all. 2015 has been a dry year for me, or to put a positive spin on it, I've been more qualitative than quantitative as I've progressed into my late 20s. But the opportunities have been there... it’s just that I've been incredibly lazy. Also I got mad diarrhea from ceviche in Peru two weeks ago and am just now not smelling like zinc oxide and Gold Bond. So maybe I am a grandpa after all.

My 2015 virginity was taken about a month ago on an ordinary Sunday that also happened to be a drunk brunch in NYC. Normally I work on Sundays, but the gays had invited me out and since it was a slow day in news I figured I could at least indulge in a few Bellinis and an egg white omelet. (Admittedly that sounds pretty gay.) But Calvin had other intentions when he picked the brunch spot because his friend Daphne was bar tending and he wanted me to meet her.

The best sex is the unexpected sex. And I don't mean rape. It's like what Mary Schmich said in her address to the class of '97 that was made famous two years later by Baz Luhrmann in Wear Sunscreen: “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.” It's the same for sex, except instead of getting blindsided at 4 p.m. on an idle Tuesday it's blacking out at 4 p.m. on a drunk brunch Sunday. I don't know much about what happened and don't get like that very often anymore, but sometimes I need to remind myself that I'm 27 and while having a mortgage and a Roth IRA is great, the amount of time I have on earth doesn't accrue just because I spent it responsibly. I’m dying, and maybe this idle Tuesday will be it for me. Who knows?

One other thing I didn't know that Daphne told me later was that she decided she wanted to take me home when I walked into the brunch place. Which is something I still can't wrap my mind around. Here I am, bumbling and wanton, being a dumb, stupid guy and somewhere in her mind she had already made the decision that she wanted to fuck me. Louis CK has done a standup routine about this but the subject continues to baffle me. (Cut to 4:55 in the video to the right.)

“But what was it I said?” I asked her the next morning in her bed in Brooklyn.

It was how I knew I got drunk. I had made the (un)conscious decision to go home to Brooklyn with Daphne. That was like Oregon Trailing it from my place in Jersey. I could die on the way home. Maybe this was the idle Monday I would get dysentery or choose the wrong mode of transportation to cross the Hudson.

“I don’t know. My friend and I were arguing over you and—”

Get in line, ladies.
“Wait, more than one girl there wanted to fuck me?” I asked in shocked disbelief. I was a late bloomer in every aspect of my life and it warped my mind that people, more than one, found me attractive. Exhibit A: the photograph of twelve-year-old me to the left. I still felt I looked like that and that I had something to prove, even to the high school jocks that used to tease me long over a decade ago. Now here I was blowing up Facebook and Instagram with photos of hot babes like Daphne and I imagined them saying as they went back to changing oil at my hometown Jiffy Lube: “Aw dang, Sam Prince is so much cooler than us now” and, “Man, did you see that total babe he is totally boning!” And while my vernacular of 2015 suburban Minnesota may sound oddly like Beverly Hills circa 1995, we can't forget that the Walsh family did emigrate from Minnesota to Beverly Hills for a reason. And I was in New York for the same reason.

“Yeah, I mean… you're attractive, Sam.”

The App Store has everything.
It turns out Daphne had a crush on me, which was really poor timing because I was leaving in two days for South America. And while I wasn't particularly interested in dating her—she was an actress so she broke my 2015 rules of dating—there was a connection of some sort. But maybe it was the hazy recollection of her going down on me in the back of a taxicab on our way to Brooklyn the night before and the fact that I was incredibly sex starved.

It was when she messaged me while I was digging into some free Wi-Fi in Lima, Peru that things got interesting. She wrote: “I have this fun vibrator that you can control over wifi. If you ever feel like it. You have to download OhMiBod and friend me on Google+.”

If I ever felt like it? Abso-fucking-lutely. Every fucking second of every goddamn day I did.

I responded coolly: “When I have some good Internet I'll definitely download it.”

I downloaded it the next day but my lack of cell phone service/consistent Wi-Fi proved difficult in me remotely controlling a vibrator from South America for a girl in New York City. But it was okay because Daphne and I kept each other entertained in other facets.

But when I got back to New York, that’s when shit got weird.

Daphne played coy and proved elusive to making plans. And this is where I know I’m getting older and more mature. Old Sam would have been pissed that a girl had led him on so much only to reply to a text asking to get a drink with a "maybe." But I had learned a lesson about myself and women like her because I had dealt with myself and women like her. And oddly enough it was thanks to the vibrator remote control app that I was able to be reminded of it.

When I downloaded the OhMiBod app to my phone, there were two options for whose vibrators I could control over Wi-Fi organized by who else had the app in my address book: Daphne and my ex Carissa, who I wrote about in the post before this.

So when Daphne finally responded about getting together now that I was back in town with: “Annnnd I’m rain checking. I thought I could but I can’t.” I didn’t get mad. I didn't get even. I didn't even respond. I now knew the kind of woman I was dealing with and knew I was too smart to coerce crazy. But there was still the emotional side of rejection, and fortunately I had dealt with that with Carissa enough so I knew where to turn.

Instead of getting pissed or trying to change Daphne's mind, I changed my mind. I turned to A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. It was a book that had helped me cope with all sorts of shit like the break-up of my first love and the death of my grandfather. And whenever I opened it I always happened to turn to the exact page I needed. That day was no different. It read: “I had been stood up and I felt the kind of blow to my self-esteem that starts in your gut and shoots emotional black ink through all your veins… The first thing I had to deal with was my own judgment. As long as I was not at peace, my behavior would carry the energy of my conflict. Conflicted behavior cannot bring peace. It can only produce more conflict. First I had to deal with my own perceptions. The rest would follow.”

It's not that I wanted to date Daphne or even really wanted to go out with her, it was just that that I liked being in control. And having someone else call the shots wasn't something I took well. But taking control of yourself instead of trying to leverage a situation always works, and it was a pleasant reminder to do so. Daphne started to subversively nudge me via social media a few days later with Instagram likes and Facebook notifications, but I had already moved on. I avoided that rabbit hole like the fucking plague. Sex is great, but I'd rather sleep.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Blog About How Religion is Bullshit

Sam I Am: Swimsuit edition
I'm having trouble connecting to Peruvian Wi-Fi and I’m trying not to be a diva about it. Especially because I passed tin house lean-tos on my cab ride into Lima and my lack of Wi-Fi connectivity pales in comparison to the fact that while some Peruvians try to figure out if they have enough money to eat tonight, I just want to see what the more affable locals look like on Tinder.

I flew down to South America about a week ago with my ongoing band gig, landing in Santiago, Chile with a final destination of Panama City with stops in Peru and Ecuador along the way. And all along the way I had seen the same thing: brilliant city centers of colonial vintage skirted by slums of tin-forged housing inhabited by the ruddy-skinned natives.

I had seen it before in other places I had been lucky enough to travel to for work: American Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, the Caribbean, southern Spain, and other places where I had ventured off on my own accord, mainly Eastern Europe. But there was a stark difference between the poverty of those nations and their New World counterparts: every city I ventured into in South America had a huge crucifix planted ostentatiously on the highest hillside above it to cast its glare on the city below like the Eye of Sauron.

Of course traveling to these crucifixes was one of the more low-cost ventures to do for a traveling musician, so I visited all these designated holy sites more for a view of the outlying area than any sort of Haj. Since my break-up with my last girlfriend, Carissa, I had come to terms with the fact that despite the good it could occasionally offer, organized religion is for the most part utter bullshit. And it’s not for want of religious opportunity: my mother was raised Jewish by her father and mother, but her mother was raised Southern Baptist and was also the granddaughter of a Cherokee shaman, while my father was a recovering Catholic, leading to my raising in Presbyterianism then my dabbling in Judaism, Buddhism, and ultimately, agnosticism.

Carissa and I had attended a Pentecostal Manhattan church together, her because she was outwardly professedly Christian, and me because I have a deep admiration for liturgical music thanks to my attending a Methodist university. It was a great relationship for us on that front; except for the fact Carissa was also a major female dog. But then again I was blinded by the fact that she was an ex-NFL cheerleader and a current NBA dancer and I thought that was a pretty cool pin to wear. And for her, you'd think for a Christian who worships a Jew she would have treated me better. I'm probably related to Jesus somewhere down my line.

But I remember the exact church service Carissa and I attended where after enjoying a
Dog-bro I befriended.
long set of worship tunes, the pastor informed us that he was so thankful for the band because they all volunteered their time, effort, and talents. And it obviously wasn't for lack of church funding: the church we attended was a hip and trendy midtown Manhattan one that lauded over its famous athlete congregants and whose clergy always looked like they were dressed for New York Fashion Week while in queue for their next tattoo session. As a person who spent four years of his life studying music, hearing an Adam Levine lookalike praise these obviously professional musicians for donating their time, effort, and talents while wearing the official outfit of a Williamsburgian douche made me want to punch him in the throat. My dusty Oklahoma, salt of the earth congregation could scrape together at least $125 a month for a broke ass college baritone, why couldn't these New York elite?

It was the same here in South America, except with more dire results. I knew that the New York musicians were not starving. Rent may sometimes prove difficult for them, but that was part of the New York experience. Here in Chile and Peru, there was no rent; there was Darwinism and there was the church. And the church vehemently denied that the former existed.
As I walked through the shanties towards the top of the hill in Coquimbo, befriending a stray dog along the way like Saint Francis of Assisi, I reached the peak and was ironically greeted by copper statues of Jesus preaching to the poor. Inside the church at the base of the crucifix, inside thick glass cases, were vestments and sacraments of gold and silver undoubtedly recycled from plundered Inca gold.

A quote came to my mind that I had read in Universal Unitarian preacher Eric Butterworth’s book Discover the Power Within You. It reads: “Every man is innately good. Every man is a potential Christ. But only a few know this, and an even fewer number succeed in expressing any marked degree of the perfection of Christ indwelling.” I walked out of the church and gathered the dog that had followed me all the way to the hilltop, poured out some water in a bowl I found for him, and realized that the further I walked away from the cross, the more Christ-like I felt.