#85. From toe to head.

If eyes are the window to a person’s soul, shoes are the window to a person’s personality.

When sizing a person up, specifically the opposite sex, we naturally go from head to toe.  This is logical, seeing as most of us will be interacting in some form or another with a person’s face and not their feet.  Most of us.  The shoe though, is an underratedly clear identifier of a person’s personality.  Let us analyze how a pair of shoes enters someones life, and what a shod foot really means.

When choosing a pair of shoes, the average consumer must consider how said shoes will hold up over time as well as through changing tastes. This forces the consumer to access both their aesthetic and logical senses.  In addition to this, on average, a pair of shoes draws the most cash spent of any item in a persons wardrobe.  This forces the buyer to consider yet another factor.

There is also this.

While they are our most expensive and often most ornate items, their true purpose is to protect our feet from the ground.  Marrying these differing necessities and desires is a task managed by many of our most basic qualities.  Both our logical and whimsical selves are employed in the purchase of a shoe. How we marry our desire for attention with our view of necessity, whether that means owning two pairs or twenty, is extremely telling.

The type of shoe is also telling, but that, hopefully, is quite obvious.  To truly extract a bit more information from peoples’ shoes, consider how they relate to their outfits.  It is just one more way our shoes give off much more than we think.

#85. Invest in the theater.

Unlike Mc-film, a prepackaged treat of controlled volatility and ‘emotion’, the theater supplies a real experience.  It calls on the imagination, one of our most under utilized muscles.  Underratedly, theater requires our attention as well- our real, unwavering, chances-are-you-won’t-be-able-to-handle-it-because-you’re-already-too-deep-into-the-social-network-tech-media-instant-satisfaction-rabbit-hole type of attention.  The theater is a chance to challenge yourself.  To sit in a comfortable chair and not lose yourself in the spoon-fed, seemingly intellectual but surprisingly accessible monologues of most box office hits.

Theatrical monologues are shouted and spat, rolled off the tongue, whispered and gestured.  They require dedication from the audience during the performance, and dissection by the audience thereafter.  Bolstering this onslaught of heady verbiage and up-close emotion, is the fact that no matter what the production quality, from Broadway to off-off Broadway, the feeling that something can go wrong at any time, the live action, the potential for failure to deliver a scene as intended, is intoxicating.  Sustained anticipatory schadenfreude.

Yes, there is a notable difference in price between movie theaters and theater theaters.  If you are a bit crafty, you can snatch lower priced ($20-$40) tickets.  Again, this is putting  more effort into an event, something that goes a long way to develop you as a person.  If you are truly strapped, wait until that next 3-D blockbuster goes to DVD, and voila!  You will have the cash for a ticket to live theater.  At the very least, understand that you spent a pretty penny on this event, and if for that reason alone, work to get the most out of every performance.

No, musicals do not count. Seriously. Not one. Zero.

(Exception: Paul Simon’s under-acclaimed 1998 classic The Capeman)

#84. How to: Vintage.

Tired of feeling like one of the (J.) crew?   Want to Express yourself? Distance yourself from the boring (Banana) republic of mass produced fashion? Levitate above the sheeple?  Oh yes. The answer lies in vintage.

Sure, there are a plethora of companies that have cashed in on the vintage craze, sucking every Urban kid into their pre-distressed denim vortex.  However, that doesn’t mean that A. it is acceptable to shop there and B. real vintage is dead.

If you are not already a loving, caring grandchild, you now have reason to be.  Grandparent clothing is some of the highest quality, cleanest, free-est vintage clothing you can acquire.  Smelling of nonchalance and decades of country club lunches, these sweaters, belts, and Borsalinos, are a finely aged testament to quality and class.

For those who understand that it takes real effort to assemble a truly unique wardrobe, there are two words for you.  Salvation Army.  Dotting this fair country from west to east, the Salvation Army amasses discards that, with a thorough wash, polish, and alteration, become wardrobe staples.  For the low price of $1 to $10, vintage Ralph Lauren blazers and classic Brooks Brothers ties become part of your aesthetic legacy.

For those of you who do not associate with them, please leave your grandparents’ contact information in the comments section.

#83. Self worth = Job. Right? (Are you fucking crazy?)

What do YOU do?

Have these four words come to define us? (or) Do we resort to this verbal quartet when striking up conversation because that is how we define ourselves?  In this writer’s humble opinion, it is the latter, with a heavy asterisk.

That paradoxical machine that provides us with what we need to survive (money), while taking away the one thing we need to experience ourselves (time), has become us.  This is very bad.

We must not hang our self worth on the hooks of necessity! We are not tingled by the thought of our professional duties.  We beg of time, the only free and most elusive concept in our lives, to speed itself, to die more quickly! You think you are not of this ilk? Ask yourself the following: Does your excitement for Wednesday parallel your excitement for Friday?

Do we not deserve more from life? Have our souls prostrated to an obviously diaphanous social structure of money over self?

You can fix this.

Place your profession in perspective. If you are working solely to pay your bills, understand what that means! Jobs do not merit emotion.  Save your beautiful, pulsing, rich, swift emotion for you.  You are an entity teaming with health, a body bustling with trillions of neuronic fizzling jolts.  Work hard, yes, but always have one mental foot out the door.  You are not your job. Your job is not you.  You and only you can create and destroy you.

Remain transient! (Work is not life. It is a part of life. How big a part is up to you.)

#82. Cater to the extremes.

The word HOST conjures up images of Kennedy-esque sailing galas, dinner on the veranda, and Wednesday night S & M parties, snacks and box o’ wine included.  While all of these are forms of hosting, we must consider ourselves hosts in all endeavors we instigate. By extending any invitation, one immediately assumes the role of host, whether it be to get drinks, play in a softball game, or participate in a living situation.  As a host, one must always care for whom they are hosting; one must always remember to cater to the extremes.

Needs exist in both positives and negatives. Religious standards, monetary restriction, dietary necessities, or social angst, are a few of the myriad preconditions that may exist when inviting someone to enjoy time together.  It is never acceptable to guess on the comfort of your friend or guest.  A true gentleman always puts his guest before himself and plans around his guest’s needs, even if it means putting his own ego and comfort aside.

This necessity extends to those peers within the group who may identify another member as uncomfortable.  If attention is not brought to their discomfort in a discreet manner, if one chooses not to alleviate their albeit potentially minute social suffering, they are as much at fault for ruining that person’s time as the host.

If everyone cannot afford to eat or drink somewhere, find somewhere else to celebrate.

If the temperature of the room makes them uncomfortable, fix it.  If that does not work, vacate the premises.

If you think this rule does not apply to you, you are most likely infected by the underbelly of capitalism.

And I will never hang out with you.

OlderBrothersAdvice is back on the press.

Hello my loyal and intelligent friends.  I left all of you quite abruptly six months ago and you deserve an explanation.

Writing this blog is one of the most fulfilling undertakings I have conceived in my 23 years on this planet.  From finding a medium to express my views, to advantaging society as a muse for creativity, this blog gave me a reason to reach beyond my usually introverted self and connect with a group of people that listened, commented, and cared about what I was writing.  All of you forced me to reach deep into my bag of thoughts and fish out the most interesting nuggets.  That pressure was the reason why the blog was wildly successful; it also served as its downfall.

After six months of writing four posts every week about a different and, most importantly, interesting topic, I started to run low.  I found that I was pulling on similar concepts of prior posts, and I was arguing with myself more than I was writing.  I refused to let the quality of the topics dip.  It was then that I decided the blog needed a rest.  Funnily enough, I just started receiving over 100 views per day, no small feat for a blog that existed for a mere six months.

As I write this, I am brought back to a very happy place and I plan on moving back in for one day a week.  OlderBrothersAdvice is officially operational again.  I will be posting entries once a week, perhaps twice if the mood strikes.  I know that consistency in blogging is one of the secrets to large numbers, but I have realized that it is about getting the written word out there that really turns me on.  The hit counter is secondary, possibly even tertiary.

I look forward to all of you swinging from my brain branches once again!

#81. Enjoy this weekend.

Spring is wrapping its fingers around our orb.  Birds are resuming the chirp.  Buds are beeing themselves.  ‘Indoors’ is not an option this weekend.  This weekend is a celebration of physical interaction with and mental stimulation by way of nature.  Commit to the bosom of the natural.  Find no complacency in climate control and televisions.  Surrender all hand held devices.  Join with friends and family.  You have time to make plans.  Do not hold this weekend as you do other weekends.  Pick up your telephone now.  Plan a memory.

Drink in the coming of a new season.