Clothes and the Man: Some thoughts about how I dress

The clothes make the man.
This is a statement that I have heard numerous times-a word that sounds like a lot, but truthfully only means more than one- but I’ve can’t recall a real life example of hearing it.
Is it true?
If I had to use myself as an example I would say yes and no. I say yes because I’m someone who I believe dresses very well. A ridiculously accurate comparison would be that nine out of ten times I am wearing a button up shirt when the situation doesn’t call for it. I enjoy wearing blazers and nice, but most of the time uncomfortable, dress shoes. I enjoy dressing up. I enjoy looking as best I can according to the standards I have probably been brainwashed with.
I would say no, because it might betray my character. I am in a fraternity. A fraternity I contribute a large amount of my time to, and love very much for what it has done for me. Also, a fraternity I helped prevent from dying and turn into a successful organization.
I am not what one might call a bro. I don’t fit into a traditional fraternity stereotype. Though, by the way I dress, at first glance I might betray that. As I write this paragraph I am wearing a button up shirt, khaki shorts, and flip flops. Not exactly the spitting image of a Chaco-wearing Edgar Allen Bro( that reference alone should get my point across.). I only wear t shirts at the gym or an event that would be ridiculous and impractical to wear a button up. Even then it is usually something socially acceptable like a fraternity/sorority shirt or something with a socially-approved brand such as Patagonia and PFG which I couldn’t care less about.
Why? Why am I more willing to drop more than two dozen dollars on a shirt that only holds the logo of a brand I don’t otherwise wear, than something I actually enjoy, such as one of my favorite movies or television series? Other members of my fraternity don’t feel the need to conform to these standards. What’s my reason?
Insecurity. I have more confidence now than I ever had, I have come a long way from my emotional unstable high-school self. Despite that fact, I am still human. And a human who has a past of anxiety and depression, at that. The depression is pretty well-managed; I have a lot of people in my life who understand and help me work with it. And then there’s anxiety, the ever-present evil, the mind killer. I know that Frank Herbert referred to fear as the mind killer, but I consider fear and anxiety different sides of Harvey Dent’s half-charred coin. See what I mean when I say I don’t fit the stereotype?
I sacrifice comfort for vanity because I am still quite insecure about my physical appearance. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. I am disgusted whenever I look in the mirror and the anxiety of my shape floods into my mind through my eyes. I feel like if I wear these nice shirts I can cover up myself and act like I don’t have those extra forty pounds that are haunting me like an hateful ghost.
Though, that said, I will still continue to dress up. Even if I lost all the weight I need to I would still do it. It gives me confidence I didn’t previously have. It enhances my personality. I love being the guy who can dress in a blazer and then school anyone in a field of fandom they didn’t expect I could.
At one point I was ranked on Mass Effect trivia on Quizup. I’m still a bit of a film snob from my wannabe movie director days, and my film knowledge rivals most anyone outside the film and entertainment industries.
The question that keeps coming to mind-knocking and then running away like a lonely, mid-pubescent tween-is: Am I doing the right thing?
A question as old as Spike Lee’s career.
Is the impracticality of insisting on wearing a button-up on a rainy day, or to a service project as I have to admit, something I need to change? Or, is it simply one of the many quirks that makes up normal person? We’ve been force fed this idea of the ideal personality that can be contradictory. Be charismatic, but be very humble and not loud; be well dressed, but don’t be too well dressed unless you’re at a wedding;-
(Just to interrupt. Why the hell are weddings to damn special? Why is that the life landmark where we pull out all the stops? Where people who probably don’t even like the bride and groom have to drop hundreds of dollars to conform to the dress code and implied bullshit gift that the newly married couple will probably throw away, regardless. Rant over.)
I find stereotypes and social standards interesting. I am studying psychology, after all. I’ll keep wearing the clothes I like to wear because it’s what makes me comfortable in my skin under my clothes. What makes you comfortable? Then do that. I guess that’s really what I’m trying to say. Huh.


Why I Write: A flash fiction challenge

(This is my submission for the flash fiction challenge due on this date. Less than an hour from now. I am procrastinator, delayer of responsibilities!)

Why do I write? I spent about fifteen minutes writing a quite unfunny opening with questions like “Why is the sky blue?”
The truth is I write because I’m terrified of what will happen if I don’t. I’m about to be a senior in college, and my major doesn’t have anything to do with creative writing. I just recently got published for the first time in my college’s literary journal with a story about a religious serial killer. It felt like a big step for me, but I’m secretly terrified that I’ll be looking at that short story twenty years from now wondering where it all went wrong. Or, more likely, where it didn’t go at all.
I also write because my head is filled with images that have haunted me since a very young age. I write in order to get these characters on to paper. To develop them so that they seem more like real people and less like voices in my head.
The truth honestly is that I don’t write enough. Isn’t that what this whole blog really focuses on? Chuck is successful because of his work ethic. He writes harder, motherfucker. He churns the shit out of the old leaky word machine in his head until the screeching of its gears make the sad go away.
Or so I presume.
I talk about writing quite a bit. I refer to myself as a writer, especially since I’ve been published. You published a twelve hundred word short story on a small college’s literary journal. Well, holy roman shit, you must be the next Truman fucking Capote!
I’m also very hard on myself, and always have been. I start to pump out a few paragraphs and quickly shoot myself down. “This was shit, that was garbage, and what the fuck is that supposed to mean?” I read books from my favorite authors like Wendig, McCammon, and Gaiman and think, “You will never get a glimpse of the talent these men have.” I’m feeling that way with The Harvest right now.
But then I rethink the sky being blue at all. Not always. Sometimes it’s orange and purple. The image reflected in my eyes stirs my creative core, and I want to write it down. I write that on some fictional evening the sun was setting on the horizon. That the sunset resembled a gentle flame caught within the glass of a candle scented with lilacs. That it wraps around the ongoing Earth like a father on return from duty would his children. I picture scenes from my childhood when my own father returned from such. These memories are very vivid, and I think about writing them down as well.
I write because it is therapy. I write so I’m not alone with my thoughts. My memories and my experiences reproduce with the unreal and the fictional to create a beautiful in-between. I write because I have a voice I feel others will relate to. I write because I truly believe that relation is one of the grandest parts of the human experience.
The truth is honestly that I don’t write enough. But that’s why I’m writing this, isn’t it? Chuck is successful because of his work ethic. He writes books that I love with characters and stories that have pushed me into this chair and onto this keyboard. His voice is one that I like the sound of, one that I find familiar. I write because I believe that my own old leaky word machine is ready for some churning, and it’s time that the sad went away.
Of this, I don’t presume.

You’re Next(2011) Review

A good poster for a good movie with a shitty ending.

A good poster for a good movie with a shitty ending.

     You, know I really enjoy a good slasher film every now and then. I adore smart horror movies like Compliance and TheBabadook for challenging the genre, but occasionally I enjoy something that works with the clichés. A horror movie that doesn’t necessarily do anything new, but still creates a solid experience. It’s the same reason I’ll watch almost anything with Jackie Chan. A lot of his Chinese stuff doesn’t do anything new for its genre, but he’s always a good time to watch.
You’re Next starts off as any basic slasher. A couple played by Sharni Vinson and AJ Bowen are on the way to meet Bowen’s character’s family in the idle for the woods for some kind of family reunion type deal-I don’t really remember and it doesn’t really matter-in an old house in the middle of the woods. Perfect place for a bunch of animal masked psychopaths to go all murder happy on the unsuspecting family. And that’s’ the basic gist of the film. You’re Next continues one of the horror tropes of the badass survival girl, and does a pretty damn good job. Sharni Vinson shines as the badass girlfriend, Erin, who is really the only person who seems to hold her own. Everyone else in the film is passable, though the casting for certain characters that have more dialogue than others is questionable. The film had an interesting techno bit in the score that surprisingly fit the scenes it was played over well.
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Compliance(2012) Review

Almost sexual poster giving you no idea what the movie's about. This is not Nymphomaniac part 3.

Almost sexual poster giving you no idea what the movie’s about. This is not Nymphomaniac part 3.

Horror films have become stuck in a specific mindset. The idea that horror must be an exclusive list of certain things. The idea that horror must be violent, or bloody, or disturbing. The industry has become stagnant with unimpressive to downright awful slasher pics and over the top torture porn. That said, I just watched a film that completely challenges those ideas and succeeds greatly.
Some people might argue with me that Compliance isn’t a horror movie. Like I said, it isn’t that violent, and there isn’t a body count. Compliance substitutes those things with the mundane, and creates one of the scariest movies I have seen a long time.
The bare bones synopsis, to avoid spoilers, involves a police call to a fictional fast food restaurant. A woman is apparently at the police station accusing one of the employees, played by Dreama Walker, of stealing from her. Unable to get immediately to the restaurant, the caller tries to speed up the investigation by convincing the manager, played by the terrific Ann Dowd, to do things that may be against her better nature. The situation eventually spreads to more people, and the tension continues to rise.
That’s about all I can tell you about the plot without spoiling too much. Don’t read the description on Netflix if you decide to watch, as it gives away a very cool spoiler.
Before any actors show up on screen we’re given the words “based on true Continue reading