Wearing Yellow in Winter

My sister Lindsay* was in town recently.  Whenever she visits, she does her best to help me—to save me from myself—during her brief stay.  This time, the most dire situation was in my closet, so we headed clothes shopping to beef up my stale wardrobe.  Though she's five years my junior, upon entering the clothing stores, we seamlessly assumed our familiar shopping roles as mature adult woman and bitchy eight-year-old boy.  We embarked upon our journey through Tim's personal hell, buying some shirts and a pair of jeans, and overall, everything went smoothly.  All set for the next 12 months.

But after the whole ordeal, she said something that threw me for a loop.  One of the shirts we bought is a yellow button-down shirt.  As I was hanging it up back in my apartment, she mentioned, "You know you can only wear that in the summer, right?"

Wait, what?

"That's a summer shirt—it's yellow—you can only wear that in the warm months."

Oh for god's sake.  The world of clothing is already mind-boggling enough, and now I have to think about which shirts are in season??

A few days later, I mentioned this new disturbing fact to my friend Eve, and she was extremely mean to me about it.

"Yeah, obviously—you don't know that you can't wear a yellow shirt in the winter?"

She rolled her eyes.

This is totally new information for me.  I have never heard of this before.  So I started asking her more questions about which colors are ripe when, and she continued to be abusive.

I defended myself, suggesting that most guys probably weren't aware of this, and she was all like, "No, everyone knows this."

So there we have it.  Apparently there are "seasonal" "colors."  (Those are air quotes.)

In any case, the good news for me was that I was about to head to LA for the week, where it's always summer.

And indeed, that's where I spent my last 10 days—my first time returning to LA since leaving six months ago.

It's really funny getting used to New York for awhile and then heading back to LA.  Once you accept New York as the real world, LA seems like some absurdly calm, pleasant little island in the sky.  It was pretty jarring.  The best thing I can compare the transition to is that scene in Roger Rabbit when that grumpy main character guy is in his car and driving in his mean, cold city, and then goes through that tunnel and suddenly he's in cartoon land and all the trees are singing and the sun is smiling and shit.  That's what going from New York to LA feels like to me.

Anyway, it was good to see LA. The breakup was mutual six months ago, we've both moved on, and it was nice to see that we can be pleasant friends moving forward. And though I have no regrets about my decision—I'm happy with my new chick (that cold, witty little bitch)—it was a little painful to be reminded of how hot LA is.  I don't think she dipped below 80 degrees the whole week.  I wasn't outside much, but even minimal exposure to the sun after six months in the dark has left me with a slight tan.  Like, 15% of a tan.  But everyone is so incredibly pale in New York by late March that now, back in New York, everyone's looking at me like I'm Fabio. 

Speaking of whom, I have no idea who Fabio is.  Like, who the hell is Fabio?  And what does he do?  The only thing I know about him is that he has long hair.  I think he also has a large penis.  Right?  Is that a real rumor, or is that just something that I assumed is a rumor?  But like, is he a model?  A porn star?  A lion tamer?  I'm unclear about Fabio.

And now I forget where I was heading with the first part of this post.  The Fabio thing has completely thrown me off.

I'll try to gather myself and continue.

Okay so anyway, I rode JetBlue (obv) on the way back from LA, and I watched delicious basketball on the plane.  The lowlight of the flight occurred when I was flipping around during commercials and came across what I think was Pirates of the Caribbean.  So there's Orlando Bloom, and he's walking cautiously through some old shack—and then suddenly this goblin or something jumps out at him—which caused me to jolt in my seat like an idiot.

You know when you're startled in a movie and you jolt?  It's not that big a deal because other people are jolting, and even if they're not, they understand why you did (some people are more susceptible to jolting than others—my father jumps six feet every time his phone vibrates in his pocket).  But on a JetBlue flight, jolting is very, very embarrassing.  As soon as it happened, I had that moment like, "Did...did anyone notice?"  And out of the corner of my eye, it was clear that both of the people sitting in my row were looking at me.  "Play it cool," I thought to myself, and I did an intentional smaller jolt as if I had to straighten my pants out and the only way to do that would be to do a second jolt like the first jolt I had just done a second ago when I was beginning the process of straightening my pants out.

And it just got worse from there.  Normally, Winston picks me up at the airport, but he had an art class that afternoon, so I was on my own upon arrival.  And after checking my bank statements recently and seeing a hideous $700 worth of cab rides in the last six months, I placed a spending freeze on cab use.  So I spent 45 minutes heading from the gate to the terminal to the airtrain, took the airtrain to the subway, and waited for the subway to arrive before realizing I had forgotten to get my checked luggage at the airport.  It nearly broke me.  It's quite a moment, standing there, as it soaks in that in 90 minutes you'll be standing back at that exact spot after having gone back to get the bag.

The one solace was that clearly you were gonna end up hearing about it.

Incidentally, this is one of those posts where I'm not really sure what's happening.  Like, was that one long intro into one of my lists?  Or is that the whole post?  I'm not really sure.  I keep looking around for someone to ask, but the only people nearby seem to be having sex in the apartment above mine, and it would be pretty weird if I went up there, knocked on the door until they finally stopped having sex and came to the door, only so I could ask them what the hell was going on in the blog post I was writing in the apartment below theirs.  No, that's not a good plan at all.

And you're all useless, as usual.  The whole above paragraph was a cry for help and all of you are just sitting there silently.  All the shit I do for you, and in a moment when I really need help—silence.

So what I think is gonna happen now is what often happens when I have some more stuff to say but I'm not really sure what's going on in the post I'm writing.  When all else fails, there are always "thoughts."

Some thoughts:

- I was talking to my father the other day, and we got talking about an old friend of mine who lives in Boston, which caused my dad to say, "When you're back in town, you should look him up."  This warranted abuse.  What is this, the seventies?  I should look him up?  I made him feel very bad about himself for saying this.

- I asked for directions a few days ago on the street, except the person I asked seemed very unsure of herself and she was pretty icky and untrustworthy-seeming, and while she was telling me where she thought I should go, I decided that whatever she was saying, it was likely to be wrong.  So I walked away in a different direction than she had pointed me. It was uncomfortable for both of us.  It's a special and unique awkwardness—ignoring the directions someone just gave you because you're pretty sure they're wrong.  It's like when you ask the waiter for a suggestion and he makes a suggestion and then you order something else, which is basically saying, "I don't trust your judgment."

- I watched the second season of Lost.  It was pretty addictive, kind of scary, and I enjoyed it.  Then I stopped watching it—and have had to endure like seven years of people talking about Lost since.  Nothing is more annoying than hearing continuously about a show you don't watch.  This is half the reason I watch American Idol (the other half is to watch my identity die a slow, slow death).  I can't even imagine how irritating the Jersey Shore phenomenon must have been for everyone who didn't watch it.  Back to Lost—didn't the show end already?  Or am I making that up?  I really thought the show ended like four times already.  Is this the last season?  Please?

- A show I most certainly will watch is Life.

- Why is it okay to type a four-paragraph email to someone but weird to leave someone a four minute voicemail?  If you want to catch up with someone you haven't spoken to in awhile, it's totally okay to send them a long email.  But this is annoying—typing a long email takes a long time.  Who wants to type out all their thoughts?  On the other hand, a long voicemail is easy, it can be done while on the go (and listened to on the go), and it's much more personable.  But other than a few select people in my life who have accepted that long voicemails from me are going to be a part of their existence, if I leave a four-minute voicemail for someone, they're going to think it's weird.  You should be able to dial a number that is just for a friend's voicemail and leave them as long a message as you want.  Why is this not something that happens?

- Watching March Madness, one thing always strikes me—a lot of college basketball coaches seem like very bad, bad men.  Like Bo Ryan (Wisconsin).  And Frank Martin (Kansas State).

- While we're here, filling out brackets and entering a pool is stupid and pointless.  You follow all your first round and second round games and you're all happy when things are going well—and none of it matters.  All that matters is getting the Final Four right or close to right and picking the winner.  It's a bad format.  Two much better ways to do it are drafts (2-4 people pick teams in a snake draft and wins in each round are worth more points as you go; person with the most points wins), and auctions (everyone starts with 100 fake dollars and you go through all 64 teams one at a time and people bid for each of them—at the end everyone has a 3-10 team squad and the squad with the most total wins takes it).

- Further, what's with the round two TV schedule?  There are eight games Saturday and eight Sunday—but instead of putting two on at a time for eight straight hours of games each day, they start with one game, then they put four on at once, then three on at once.  This happens every year in the second round.  What could be the reasoning behind this?

- Who knew that the Big Ten logo had a huge 11 right in the middle of it?  (Because there are 11 teams in the Big Ten.)

- And then there are commercials.  I never watch commercials anymore because of DVR—the one exception is big sporting events.  So during the Olympics, or the MLB playoffs, or March Madness, I'll suddenly become upsettingly familiar with the same 12 ads that appear the whole time.  (This has to apply to a lot of people, which would make me think that commercials during sports must be way more expensive than commercials during TV shows—right?)  A few comments on March Madness commercials:
  • As usual, the UPS Whiteboard commercials are intensely clever and aesthetically pleasing, and the guy is as rad as ever.  I stop whatever I'm doing when one comes on.
  • Old Spice has managed to accomplish a rare feat—hiring an ad team that's actually funny.
  • The Lexus hybrid commercial about their "head start" kind of gives me the chills.
  • That horrid Stephen Baldwin airplane commercial makes me furious, because it means that he's making money.  I really hate that guy.
  • The phone commercial with all the autotuned voices is the most annoying commercial that has ever been made.
  • Ad agencies are locked in some pretty tight social boxes.  If there are 10 commercials about planning for retirement involving a white guy and a black guy, in 10 out of 10 the black guy will be the one with his shit together and the white guy will be the bozo who hasn't planned ahead.

*It's funny bringing Lindsay into my posts.  Because I know that somewhere out there, in the next few days, Lindsay will end up reading this post, and upon seeing her name in the first sentence, will gasp and read on, petrified about what's to come.  The good news is that me embarrassing her in this blog is kind of her problem and not mine.


Anonymous said...

A totally valid point. Who exactly IS Fabio?

James Hammer said...

I enjoyed that. You are funny.

Anonymous said...

i would love to know exactly were you stand on this american idol debacle. you seem to be having fun with the teenagers and stalkers and shit.

but then you come here and you bitch about it.

and i get seeing the positive side but this is kind of throwing me off. get your shit together.

no idea how on earth were you able to see the 11 in the big ten logo. genius. i might or might not need glasses.

Sallie said...

Here's the thing, Timothy. You forgot to mention that you tried to wear said yellow shirt on St Patrick's day.

Yes. You thought maybe you could convince us that it was GREEN -- when in fact we now have proof that you knew all along that it was easter-canary YELLOW.

Unknown said...

The airline movie jolt was hysterical!!! I could picture the whole thing! That auto-tune commercial is horrible!

Tim made it on the tour! If you need someone to blame, blame vote for the worst and their many followers (I'm one of them)!

Tim said...


[said like Jerry says "Newman!"]

amica said...

Funny Americans, with your strange colour customed habits...I mean that with love, and not in a patronising British way.

Allison M said...

Do you still have your tutoring company in NY?

Anonymous said...

warm colours for summer, cool colours for winter. that's.just.how.it.is

perhaps you can hide the yellow shirt under a nice sky-blue jacket


Anonymous said...

This is the last season of Lost and worth watching.

Did you know that Bo Ryan is the best ham bone player of all coaches in the ncaa.


Anonymous said...

Thoughts:I knew Renuzit aka
'renews it' would be ironic
one day.

Glad the AI Tim/A Tim drama
over soon,an insult playing
2nd fiddle considering the
Turning Home album , anyone
who 'gets' the title track
especially can barely even
listen it's so powerful.All
50 seconds of it.

Also , Y 3 weeks w8 between
blogs now?!I mean fuck.

Sandra Bullock ...

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Sallie.

Tsk Tsk, Tim! *Shakes head*

Jebbica said...

This may be the rambling-est post I have read in awhile. I guess it doesn't have to make sense though, because I laughed.

A few things:

Long voice messages vs. long emails? Seriously? You would probably hate me, but I rarely even listen to voice messages; I just see who called and call them back. If you read a short email or a long email, it costs the same. If you're on your cell phone and you're listening to a 10-minute message from someone, that's probably gonna cost you. Overall, I think it's just a personal preference, and you just have to accept your friends and their preferences (or just get friends who do all the same things that you do). Some people can express themselves better out loud, and others can with their fingers.

Still having to deal with the Tim Urban American Idol thing? Think how Andy Garcia must feel!

Wearing yellow in winter is wrong? That's stupid. We were talking at work today about how "wrong" it was when women wore white heels in the winter. Everyone is different and everyone wears what suits them and if someone's life is so boring that they have to criticising other people for being different from them, then they seem pretty lame to me. Hey, I know! Let's just all get matching cover-alls and then we'll all be in style!

I'm pretty sure the autotuned voice thing is a Budweiser commercial, not a phone commercial. Unless there are two autotune commercials, then boo.

Well, I think my comment is about as long as your post. Sorry! I am trying to imagine saying this to someone's answering machine. It seems a little loony to me. But hey, whatever floats your boat!

Jebbica said...

Oh, and I'm not quite sure who Fabio is either, other than he was on the cover of some romance novels, a bird attacked him on a roller coaster, and he 'cahn't be-leeve it snot butt-ahh'.

Newman said...

A few thoughts of my own...

- Whenever I hear the name "Fabio," all I can think of is when he wrote a roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA and a bird flew into his face (look it up on youtube...pretty hilarious).

- I do the "jolt" all the time and then try to fix it by shifting quickly or pretending like I have an itch.

- Last super long phone message I left was in college when I was an RA. Instead of sending them an e-mail, I decided to leave a voicemail. When I realized I was too long, I actually apologized to anyone that listened to the end of the message.

- Hopefully the AI Tim Urban will be gone soon.

Anonymous said...

Got the iPad?

enteka said...

your blog is funny and very witty :)

and the whole american idol thing reminded me of this http://timurban.blogspot.com/2005/12/my-quest-for-urban-domination.html


Wait But Why said...

Your posts are somehow hilarious and intriguing at the same time, you have mastered a skill that way too few people have in this world