Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I Want to Date a Magician

I've been single for a quite a long time, and choosing to be without a gal on muh arm can be fairly stressful for a Chicago celebrity on the rise. RedEye won't stop running stories about me being "The Most Eligible Diabetic Bachelor in Chicago"...At bars, girls try to use me to get them drinks and then snap a photo and throw it on Twitter to say they're dating has asked me to be their spokesperson like at least 15 times...

It's a lot to handle.

I've also told myself I've simply been waiting for the right girl to come along, and that I have a standard I need this woman to fulfill on all levels. However, defining my personal standard has always been a tad hazy. At first, I wanted to only date a girl who was Jennette McCurdy...then I went through a phase where I only wanted to date a girl who was Keira Knightley so we could have Super Keira Knightley kids...then I had a couple of months in there where I refused to date anyone but the entire main, female cast of "Mean Girls." This ever evolving standard has made picking out the perfect girl and forcing her to date me very difficult.

Until now. 

I finally realized what I really need in a woman. I seek the perfect girl just like any guy. I want a woman who is smart, witty, gorgeous, deep, cultured, open minded - who sees and loves me for who I really am. BUT there is one key element missing from my love equation that I recently became aware of that will make me fall head-over-heels for a girl:

I want to date a magician.

Yes. A magician. Card tricks, costumes, velvet capes, successful entertainment career - a rare breed to say the least. Female magicians are overlooked and difficult to find - and that's why I want one. And, no, I've never met one before, but I can't imagine why the magician factor isn't what's been lacking in every girl I've taken interest in before...Many have been wonderful girls, but they've never been able to mesmerize me with optical illusions.

So, I'm sure by now every non-magician female out there reading this is about to throw their computer/smartphone/tablet at the wall, and their internal rage has built up to the point of developing a jealously brain aneurysm as they think, "WHAT THE HELL DOES A MAGICIAN HAVE THAT I DON'T HAVE?!" And I apologize, ladies, but I can explain through the list below of why having a magician girlfriend (MGF) is more beneficial than the average girl.

1.) Free doves*

Romance out of thin air
Doves are romantic and can be made into very good chocolate with cute messages inside the wrapper. Doves also represent many things - love, peace, the Holy Spirit, a metaphor - likewise, magicians have access to an unlimited supply of doves they store in a magic dimension where doves breed around the clock in order to fulfill their supply and demand quota.

Outside of having a never ending source of dove meat, doves could bring excitement to any day or traditional, household situation. For example:

It's the morning after my MGF's big show at IHOP, and she asks me to cook her some eggs for breakfast. As an experienced cook, I warm up the pan, crack a few eggs but suddenly...something goes wrong. As I reach to add a little oil to the eggs, the pan catches fire quickly, instantly scorching the eggs. My MGF swiftly comes to my rescue and slams another pan over the burning breakfast to extinguish the fire. We look into each other's eyes as mine glare with remorse for ruining her well deserved meal. Then there is a twinkle in her eye, she pulls a magic wand from her magic sack (connected to her belt) , strikes the top  pan twice with the wand, removes the cover...and a white dove flies out of the once flame engulfed pan and into the ceiling fan - killing it on impact. Dove breakfast at last.

2.) I like a girl in a sparkly vest*

So powerful but so sexy
Underrated. Absolutely underrated. Sparkled vests go with almost any outfit and will complement my Rhinestone Cowboy ensemble at formal events. Beyond the instant beauty of a woman in a sparkly vest, although not proven, the sparkly vest is thought to be the source of a magician's powers. Thus, the vest must be worn at all times, because magic powers can be handy in nearly any situation.

For example, a simple trip to the bank would be much more valuable with a female magician. She can request a withdrawal from our account, take the money from the teller, quickly wave her hands over it and make the money disappear. She then will convince the bank teller she never received the money and receive another sum of cash. This situation will continue until my MGF has vanished enough money to purchase the first 19 seasons of "The Cosby Show." When we get home, I'll begin slicing lemons to make lemon pie, and in the center of each lemon will be the once vanished bank money from earlier.

Magicians can also catch bullets while vested, which will make trips to the market on the bad side of town much safer.

3.) Getting past that awkward introduction to my parents will be easy when you cut me in half at their personal magic show!

Parents are determined and have a success rate of 98% in making their first introduction to your significant other impressively uncomfortable. Whether they are excessively relaxed or exceptionally stiff and formal, the initial encounter is generally a pretty awful experience.

True story - I was getting pretty serious with two of the Olsen Twins at one point in college, but after I decided to bring them over to meet my rents and my parents refused to talk because there was a "Baby's Day Out" marathon on BET - they left me. THIS is when a woman magician counterpart will display one of their strongest benefits.

I will be able can take the power out of my parents hands by asking my MGF to hold a small, personal magic show for them. You can learn a lot about a person by witnessing how they escape from a water-filled tank. Can you imagine how swooned my dad will be when his head is placed inside a metal box with swords plunged through every side and he comes out unscathed??

And when my mother and my MGF need to have "the talk," there is no better way to have this momentous conversation than in two wicker chairs...SUSPENDED IN MID-AIR!

4.) Super kinky bedroom antics

Arguably, everything about a magician is kinky. It's part of their mysterious lifestyle and DNA. So, just think about all the crazy mischief that will go on in the bedroom!

"Is this the condom you thought you were wearing?" she'll ask confidentially as she pulls it out of her top hat.

"Can't get it up? Well, I'll just tap it with my wand and say the magic words...." - instantly stiff as a horse.

"Do you recall that sword I swallowed at dinner? Watch as I remove it from your urethra."

I assume most of our bedroom antics will begin with her upside down and suspended in a straight jacket - my number one turn on.

Now that you understand my reasoning, all I have to do is wait for some female magicians to submit their resumes to me through Twitter by tweetin' at me (@StephenSchu). I will also except video resumes through YouTube if the video involves you beginning by being locked inside a small trunk and then reappearing in my bedroom moments later.

* = initial idea by @sethwanta

Monday, January 21, 2013

What's Stephen Been Reading?

I've been on a literature binge recently. I received a Kindle Fire 2 HD for my birthday and not only have utilized its porn viewing capabilities, but I've ACTUALLY purchased books through it and ACTUALLY read them and NOT colored on the screen with a permanent marker or SPAGHETTI sauce. And, since I'm likely more interesting than anything you are doing right now, I thought I would share my reading pallet with you (no sexual pun intended).

THAT IS ALL by John Hodgman

If any book has ever made me seem more out of my mind and less attractive to random women - it's That Is All. There where multitudes of occassions where I found myself laughing uncontrollably on the train ride to and from work in Chicago. I inevitably had to stop reading the book in public. You may remember John Hodgman as the living Window's PC guy from those old Mac commercials. You may also not remember him at all. One thing you should remember after reading this blog is that he is a phenomenal and hysterical author.

That Is All is a satirical almanac and the third part of a trilogy of "COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE." One review said, "There is just enough true in the book to be alarming," and that's the book in a nutshell. While combing facts and fiction, you realize so much is so true and his commentary is so bizarre and witty you can't handle it. A review in the New York Journal of Books said it best, "Not a page goes by, not a paragraph or a sentence, without a joke. Some are elaborate and take entire sections of the book to pay off. Others, leave the reader reeling with laughter - often really not knowing why."

A personal favorite I recall was from the section, "$999,999 Ideas." The idea was to write the following:


  • Call it: The Box Car Children"

Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Braughtigan

I find Braughtigan incredibly intriguing (and hilarious), but I feel you need to be in a certain mindset to truly appreciate his work. He is out there - to say the least - but his satirical, dark comedy literature cannot be beat.

Braughtigan is more wildly known for his book Trout Fishing In America (amazing) and for being part of the 1960s counterculture movement. I didn't even know who the guy was until my senior year of college, and I regret never reading him before then.

Regardless, Braughtigan is brilliant. His style of writing is simple, straight forward but unique. I've never quite read an author whose use of literary devices is so odd, unrelated and entertaining - yet, the unusual set up doesn't ruin the image but rather provides a hilarious way to extend the portrayal. The series of short stories in Revenge of the Lawn range from 10+ pages to less than one. He is noted to be a very naive writer, but there is often something deeper going on in the text. Take the short story "Coffee" (which you can read here) for example and the following quote:

"Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords."

I loved the book and read it in only a few days. What a ridiculous dude.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho was on my "to read" list for far too long and was also my first experience of Bret Easton Ellis. This is another one I felt odd reading in public due to the intensely graphic, sexual and violent scenes. However, those insane scenes written through a stream-of-consciousness narrative and broken up by random chapters on 1980s music were what kept me so glued to the book.

Part of my strong interest to American Psycho is around the lifestyle the main character and narrator, Patrick Bateman, lives. On one level, he is a successful investment banker in his late 20s. You become fully involved in his intense descriptions of weekend evenings at nightclubs with co-workers, status getting into establishments and constant, specific description and critique of everyone's clothing/fashion and etiquette while out - something a younger, much less successful yuppie living in a big city like me can relate to. However, the book soon becomes less and less relatable...These standard and relatable daily excursions are then mixed in with heavy drug use, vivid murders and degrading description of women. Oh, did I mention Bateman is the main lunatic and serial killer? I would not recommend this novel to those who are easily offended or are squeamish. 

As for me, I will read this one again and likely more work by Ellis. Intensely entertaining.

I am No One You Know by Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is the author of one of my favorite short stories, "Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?" - which is also one of the most powerful short stories I've ever read. I've only came across so many readings that have stuck with me for days at a time. My previous experience with Oates persuaded me into purchasing I am No One You Know, a series of short stories

Oates is an incredibly gifted writer who has the ability to take the most unusual events and make them painfully familiar. Publisher's Weekly stated, "In Oates's precise psychological renderings, victims are as complex as villains and almost more interesting." - which is what I wish I was smart enough to say...but, yes, that's exactly it. The internal monologue and description coming from the victims of such terrifying events are often more compelling than the actual action of the stories.

You can feel the tension, horror and raw emotion in the text. Oates's edgy topics such as adulterous relationships, murder, rape, abductions, love and racism are disturbing but grounded to reality. I can't say I was in love with all 19 stories, but I far from regret making this purchase. 

Dubliners by James Joyce

I was in a heavy debate between Ulysses and Dubliners as my next book purchase. From my years as a school boy, I am more than aware the difficulty of Ulysses - so, I took on Dubliners. After taking a few British literature courses in college I came across Joyce and instantly became blown away by his writing. Dubliners didn't fail to be everything I expected it to be.

Dubliners is a series of 15 stories, which offer a look into the lives of ordinary Dubliners - and portrays an image of Ireland at the turn of the last century. I love the history and culture in every story, and only wish I had a more extensive knowledge of Irish history to have a further understanding. Likewise, I found coming across British words I was completely unfamiliar with even more inviting to dig deeper into the text. Joyce's lack of dramatic resolution is also something to note when reading Dubliners, which I personally enjoyed for its uniqueness. 

I have a soft spot for Joyce and other British authors. I actually cannot pick which story I enjoyed the most, since they were vastly different coving an array of subjects such as religion, politics, young love, deaths, music...All so so good.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why I've Been Watching 'The Hills' So Much

If you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter (@StephenSchu), you likely have noticed many of my "Hills" themed updates. You then conceivably did or contemplated unfollowing me....or you are one of the girls who continuously "likes" the posts - and I thank you for your support. Regardless of your opinion, everyone is probably wondering, "Stephen, you're one of the most intelligent, clever and cultured guys I've ever met - why are you watching something as lowbrow as 'The Hills?' Plus wasn't the show super popular like 4-5 years ago?"

Yes, I will admit "The Hills" is not a very good show; yes, I am late on the scene and missed the series while it was at its peak popularity; and yes, I am super intelligent, clever and cultured - you just forgot to mention how pretty I am.

However, I haven't been into the series as long as you would think.

It all started one Saturday at my apartment in Chicago. I was very bored, and we do not have cable - but I needed to waste some time before I left for the evening. I saw "The Hills" on Netflix and thought it would be funny to turn on. I watched one episode and was done. During the viewing session, my roommate noticed what I was watching. To be funny, I watched one more, and I pretended I was SUPER into it and COULD NOT BELIEVE the things Heidi and Lauren were up to! LOL <3

Furthermore, this is when I began my latest long-run series of jokes. You may be familiar with my dad, babies, diapers, Keira Knightley, horses, Simon Birch and owl themed jokes. "The Hills" quickly became my new "thing." I started using social media to portray I was dangerously stressed out about the series. I changed my cover photo to the main, female cast. I did just about anything to convince everyone that "The Hills" and I were no joking matter. Realistically, I had only seen three episodes, yet, somehow I knew just as much about the show as those who know the entire series. This proves how simple and horrible of a show it really is - and why it's so great...

NOTHING ever happens!

Oh, LC... :)
Seriously, nothing of decent significance ever happens. 85% of the scenes are two people sitting down for lunch, exchanging four sentences total, which is followed up by 20 seconds of awkward stares and music - the show then cuts to various shots of the greater LA area in transition to a different location with the same scene structure but with different people. You can give the show 1/5 of your attention and still know exactly what is happening.

Eventually, I did get embarrassingly caught up in the show. I started making so many jokes about LC and the gang that I thought, "Maybe I'll watch a few more." Before I knew it, Season 1 was long gone. But before that even happened, I had other reasons to watch more - take this scenario as an example:

At a family event a few months ago, I was conversing with my 1500 relatives when I started having difficulty holding a conversation with my cousin's girlfriend. She was being oddly shy and just wouldn't open up. In an attempt to engage her I said, "You know what show I've been watching a lot of recently? 'The Hills.'" My cousin's girlfriend suddenly looked up with interest. So, I continued.

"I mean, I know Spencer is a total d-bag and Heidi is a bitch, but I honestly can really relate to their relationship. And I know I am a lot like Lo...but I totally wish I was like Audrina! She is SO gorgeous."

My cousin's girlfriend's smile grew from cheek to cheek with enduring eyes as I chatted away about how much I admired Lauren Conrad. As the excitement built in my cousin's girlfriend's face, she cut into the conversation with an about to explode amount of enthusiasm.

"You know who I really like on that show?"

"Who??" I grinned and asked.


Now, first realize this, Whitney is definitely the worst character on the show - she is by far the least attractive and least interesting. Second, I had only seen about four episodes at this point - none of which included Spencer or Lo. Regardless, somehow knowing a tiny bit about this terrible TV series created an "in" to allowing this girl to be comfortable with me.

Like knowing about Coach bags from my sisters, this obscure and useless knowledge became more and more valuable when talking to girls. Soon enough, I was watching more. However, the initial purpose of developing a tactic to talk to women soon became overpowered by ignominious desires - I was hooked. Let me remind you, the episodes are only 21 minutes in length - you can cruise through the cast's  drama-filled lives in no time. Additionally, there is a large comedic factor, which keeps me engaged.

Everyone on the show has unrealistic amounts of money but only a few of the cast members are shown actually working. They have so much money, so many nice cars and go out so often that you become oddly envious of their lifestyles. I mean, I could TOTALLY handle Brody and Jason being mad at me if it meant I could live in a sweet house and go to Malibu whenever I wanted. With that being said, you simply can't take anyone on the show seriously - I laugh very hard when they cry; I giggle when their toughest task for the month is going out to dinner with a new boy they met at the club; and I enjoy when there isn't enough drama that the producers randomly throw in old "Laguna Beach" cast members into the mix to shake things up.

Likewise, the show's concept is so stupid but so genius I wondered, "How did they even find this ridiculous cast of people?" I was aware "The Hills" was a spin-off of "Laguna Beach" focusing on Lauren Conrad's post-high school move to LA - but that still didn't answer where the hell this idea came from. Apparently, MTV was looking to create a reality series around wealthy teenagers - after tons of field research up and down the Cali coast - Laguna Beach High School is where they landed...and now creators and producers Liz Gateley, Adam DiVello and Tony DiSanto have made upsetting amounts of cash.

Nothin' but trouble
"The Hills" reminds me a lot of many MTV shows - such as "Jersey Shore" - they are awful TV shows but very entertaining television. You begin to wonder, "Why Do I care about Lauren Conrad's internship or Audrina's relationship?" And the answer is, you really don't. You are just mesmerized by their unrealistic lifestyles, and the fact they have their own TV series about it. Sadly, many people idolize the cast members - and the show obviously went to some of the character's heads (Spencer + Heidi) and was a launching career for many others.

The biggest downside to watching "The Hills?" Definitely the other shows Netflix has decided I would be very interested in - i.e. "Keeping Up with the Kardashians, "The City," "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami." I don't quite understand individuals quickness to judge my viewing of the show - as if they are so innocent. Take you for example, reading this right now - how many episodes of "Dawson's Creek," "Teen Mom," Gossip Girl" or "One Tree Hill" are you failing to admit you've seen? These shows are guilty pleasures - like listening to Ke$ha - it's not good, but you find yourself doing it anyway.

I'm not sure how much longer I will keep up with "The Hills" - it's a lot of stress to deal with. The funny thing is, I've definitely watched other TV series on Netflix more, but somehow I feel like I've been watching "The Hills" for an eternity - mainly due to nothing eventful ever taking place...and there was no reason for Season 3 to be 28 episodes...good Lordy....However, it's good to know on a lazy Sunday LC and her entourage will always be there for me. My future with "The Hills" is kind of like staring at a blank page, but I guess we'll have to just find out - 
'cause the rest is still unwritten. :)