The Things I've Learned

I did not learn how to artfully crop pictures.

1) Public Bathrooms Are Pretty Much Okay

I mean, use common sense of course, but there comes a time when you’ve got to lose that high school mentality of, ‘I have to poop but I’m going to hold it until I get home because all public bathrooms are full of AIDS.’ You’re going to hurt yourself if you try to live that way at the University of Oregon. If it looks clean, you use a seat cover, and the bathroom in question isn’t in a place that hobos can easily get to, you’re probably golden.

Lillis and LLC South have the best bathrooms on campus, followed by Allen Hall and Willamette. The EMU and library are iffy. You’d be healthier going to the bathroom inside Chernobyl than in the bathroom at Rennie’s Landing.

2) It Isn’t Stealing If They Left It In Your House

If you’ve gone to the trouble to throw a house party, anything that you find there the next morning is yours to keep. Those beer cans people left all over my floor? They’re mine now. And generally, I choose to throw those new possessions in the recycling.

That half-full fifth of vodka that you left in the kitchen? That is also mine, and I choose to put it in my liquor cabinet, with all of the other liquor that is mine. If you call me asking if I found your vodka, I’ll say no, because I didn’t – I found my vodka. If you want it, you can come over and clean the house and I’ll go to bed.

(If The Ex Girlfriend is reading this, the aforementioned rule only applies to alcohol in post-house party situations. I want my DVDs back.)

3) Drunk People Never Know When They’re Going To Throw Up

It’s not like when you’ve got the flu and you can feel it coming. With drunk people, the terror alert level goes from green to red in probably one second. Every time you ask a drunk person if they’re going to throw up, they’ll say, ‘No’, and that word is immediately followed by their vomit.

If a drunk person looks suddenly concerned or preoccupied, you have a choice to make: Are you going to be a hero and swiftly move that person into a bathroom or out of the house, or are you going to get the hell out of Dodge and watch the fireworks from a safe distance?

(Protip: If it’s a girl, ask her if she has a hair tie. Then you don’t have to hold her hair back and can concentrate on finding a place to empty out her garbage can when it’s full.)

4) 80% Of Men Are Slobs

For three days I watched hundreds of ants swarming a big chunk of hard boiled egg sitting on our kitchen counter, spread on there so thick and dense that the whole thing just looked solid black. When I finally asked my roommate who’d made the potato salad to clean up the ant infested chunk, he took a look at it and said, “Oh, gross! I didn’t even notice that!”

The same goes for the roommate who drank milk in the shower or the dormmate who preferred to shit in plastic bags rather than walk down the hall to the (reasonably clean) bathroom in our dorm. 80% of men are slobs. That’s why my roommate didn’t notice the ant laden hard boiled egg, and that’s why I put up with it for three days before saying anything about it.

5) End Your Day With Taquitos

Yes, it’s unhealthy to eat a deep fried tortilla wrapped around melted cheese and red meat within an hour or two of going to bed. Of course, if you were that concerned with your health, you wouldn’t be eating something at 7-11 anyway, would you?

If you’re going to have a taquito, you’ve got to do it at the end of the day. Eating a taquito is one of the best things that can happen to a person; if you start your day with that, you’ll be hard pressed to top it, and then you’ll probably be bitter that your day peaked at breakfast.

6) 80% Of Women Are Late To Everything

I recently sat down with a pen and paper and tried to calculate up the total amount of time I’ve spent waiting for women in my life, and the answer I came up with was exactly seventeen hojillion years. It’s gotten to the point where I’m thinking about just saying, ‘Meet me at 7:30’, so when I show up at 8:00 I only have to wait 15 more minutes for her to get there.

I get it, I get it – a lot of women are more concerned with their appearance than men and take longer to get ready. All I’m saying is, people compliment my hair every damn day and I got here early.

7) FinalCut Pro Works Better When You Eat Candy

One night two years ago, Mike and I were set up in one of the edit bays to cut together an episode of Writers. Mike, a wizened veteran of digital video editing, turned to me and proceeded to teach me one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned about the creation of electronic media:

“This is going to take us awhile,” he said, and then produced a crusty, wrinkled $10 bill from his equally crusty, wrinkled acid wash jeans and shoved it into my hand. “You need to go to the vending machine and get us a candy feast. There should be Almond Joy in there, somewhere.”

Did I utilize candy in all of my FinalCut work this past year? No. The videos where I didn’t eat candy are the bad ones. The good ones were brought to you by Reese’s Pieces.

There’s a historical precedent for this:

Clearly, the inferior film technology of the 1940s required a lot more candy. And maybe some deep fried pork chops, too.

Truman Capps also learned that list based updates are a great way to circumvent writers’ block.