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Jan 6, 2004

Advice Column for January 6, 2004

Happy New Year! I look forward to twelve more months of offering you the most cutting edge advice available anywhere. I don’t want you to have problems in 2004, but if you do, come to old Ray first!

Thanks Chochachos!
-=Ray=-
ray@achewood.com


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Dear Ray,

As of late, I've become close friends with a girl I know. Anyway, I found out that she kind of has a little thing for me. When I heard this, I realized how nice and pretty she is, and now I have a thing for her. For weeks it's been just like in a state of limbo, nothing really going on except harmless flirting. I talked it out with her recently, and she says she doesn't want to be with me, despite the fact that she really likes me. She thinks friendship is more important than a relationship, and it's deeper, and lasts longer and everything. I want to be her friend, but I'd rather be her boyfriend. I told her that I probably wouldn't be able to be her friend, because I can't really see her the same way again. As of now, we're just kind of stuck in this rut, and neither knows what to do. What should I do, Ray? What should I do?
Confuzed

Dear Confused,

I think it is high time that a guy faced with this issue got the straight skinny from a dude who has seen it all many times before. The world needs a definitive explanation of this “she just wants to be friends” thing, once and for all!

Listen. When it comes to men, women use the term “friendship” the way that a boss who is firing you says “best of luck in your career.” The boss knows you will never work there again, and actually doesn’t care if you have luck. He just wants you gone, but if you’re dumb enough to stick around for no pay, maybe you can sit and listen while he babbles about his relationship problems.

Sorry, chochacho. That is the soft dick* on the situation. Peace.

* “The soft dick” = a vantage point of wisdom and sagacity.


I'm living in a house with three friends: two guys and one girl. The girl is a close friend/former girlfriend. When we first moved in she was in a long term, long distance relationship. I had feelings for her then but she was happy with what she had and it looked like she would be in it for a long time so I respected that and left it alone. Now she's single again, and she's miserable but I'm in love with her. She comes to me for support and comfort when she's down, even sleeps in my bed with me sometimes, but once her misery passes we're back to being regular friends, like nothing had happened. She knows about my feelings and I don't want to pressure her because I know she's pretty screwed up right now, but it's getting hard for me to deal with it since I have to see her every goddamn day and act like nothing's bothering me. I know that when she needs me she'll come to me, but when she doesn't it seems that I'm nothing special to her. Should I just abandon this one-way relationship right now or is there a way to resolve this in my favor?
Waiting for answers

Dear Waiting,

What I want you to do is realize that you have a natural inclination toward relationships that you know won’t work. Hey, a lot of people seek out relationships which they know won’t work—it’s not an uncommon problem. Y’all do this because you either (a) are built to think that everything in life has to be difficult, or (b) don’t think you have the stones to make a relationship work so you start out with a broken one and limit your liability.

Remember, women and men are like snowflakes: there are about seventeen hundred zillion of them. This one–who happens to be conveniently located ten feet from your bedroom door–is just a blank canvas upon whom you have cast the contents of your psychological bedpan. The picture that the splash makes isn’t pretty, and now you know that.

My advice, therefore, is that you don’t just go for the lowest-hanging fruit all the time. Try meeting someone who lives in a different apartment.


i've seen you give a lot of career advice lately, maybe you can help me make some decisions here. i will be graduating in late jan with a BS in desktop publishing (graphic design but from a sucky school). i am thinking of going for an MFA at a design school (i live in NY, and would want to choose a school in the area.) do you have any idea which school is best, but yet would still accept me...i don't know if i'm all that great?

also, i think i should probably get a job first, since i am only working part time for the last while and am seriously broke. do you think i should go for the masters degree right away or try paying off some loans first? because if i get the higher degree i might get a better job, but i am sick of being so damn stony broke. also the job market here in graphics is pretty terrible right now, so maybe if i kill some time in school when i get out it will be all better?

am i just burying my head in the sand and need to choose another career?
Broke in Brooklyn

Dear Broke,

Okay, so it’s been a while since I told everyone to capitalize letters properly. I’m going to let you slide on this since, well, Christmas was only like a few days ago. But people: please use capital letters at the right places. If you don’t use proper grammar and punctuation then I take it as a straight-up personal insult, like you don’t care enough about communicating with me to use the language properly. It’s like if you went to the drive-thru at McDonald’s and were just all like “HEY YOU JACKASS CRAPSTATUE! TASTE MY SEAMS!” instead of asking for specific meal items.

Anyhow.

Brooklyn, the main thing I can offer is that you don’t pay off your student loans right outta the gate if you can’t even afford dried beans and salt. Pay that stuff off later. As far as going for a higher degree right away: a bad idea! Get some work experience and you’ll see what a joke higher degrees are. College is just a place where they let you pay them to tell you things you should be getting paid to learn on the job. True.

Don’t take that teat, baby. That is a raw tittie. College is a red raw areola, and instead of milk it releases highly acidic French dressing. [Note from editor: we originally wanted to cut this paragraph, but Ray really enjoyed the way it sounded.]


I just recently started reading Ray's Place and I came across advice that you wrote to M.R. on 06.11.03. You said: "In general, try finding new friends every couple of years - that way you can never tell if anyone's changing for the worse." This doesnt [sic] mean that your [sic] gunna [sic] leave beef [sic] and the gang in a couple years does it? *gasp*
Say it aint [sic] so, Orlando, FL

People, please check your letters for spelling before sending them in. You make yourself look bad, but more importantly, you make me look bad.


Does anyone in Achewood belief [sic] in GOD besides Philippe and Nice Pete? Does anyone embrace multiple religions simultaniously [sic], maybe Vlad?
Suhail "Mormon"

Dear Suhail,

Yeah, that’s pretty much a touchy subject. We all kind of know relatively where each other stands in terms of religion, but we don’t really talk about it. It’s the same way with politics: just a thing to argue about without getting anywhere, so might as well leave it alone. I guess religion is kind of like a bad painting that you paid a ton of money for: you’re gonna defend it no matter what anyone says, and you'll probably have trouble sleeping at night, at least for a while. Also, perhaps religion is like a watermelon sandwich: no one knows where it came from, or why it was made, but there it is, and you gotta behave, 'cause you don't know what the hell is happening.

Okay, I’ll see you all next week.


Dear Readers:

This is a sincere question from old Ray, and it is about computer security. Recently I was informed by Roast Beef that my Power Mac G5 probably was runnin’ all kinds of “Spy-ware” on it. Spy-ware is, I am told, malicious programs which record your website visits and also can do anything they want to your hard drive, such as delete all your files or email them to people. Spy-ware is distributed from such places as Trinidad, where the Internet has no laws.

I want to ask if you have any advice for me about Spy-ware. I downloaded some programs which said they would cure me of it but even after I downloaded them I noticed some really odd behavior. For example, I would visit one of my favorite Internet movie clip websites, and then the next time I started my browser my default launch page would be this bogus-ass “fastsearch.cc” or something. My computer launch-page had been changed without my permission!

Another time, after I had visited my favorite Internet movie clips website, I closed my browser (Roast Beef had walked into the room and I accidentally closed it, in the confusion). When I re-started the browser after Beef left, the default launch page was just a white background with a pink hyperlink that said this:

LESBIAN TIT BITCHES WANT IMMEDIATE CRAVVINGS irquhxky mb nxqqky

What was really disturbing is that on my hard drive was a file which contained a poem I wrote called “Immediate Cravings.” When I had originally saved the poem, I saved it with the filename “Immediate_Cravvings,” including the typo, exactly like was in the SPAM web page that automatically popped up! I was extremely worried that computer programs knew what was on my hard drive and were completely profiling me, as well as stealing all my personal poems/information.

If you are an expert Internet engineer, can you give me some advice on Spy-ware? If not, don’t worry. I usually get a different new G5 or whatever every month or so, and give the old one (hopefully not with too much Spy-ware on it) to a local shelter for kids who get punched by their dads.


Confidential to the Ghost of the Guy With Explosive Diarrhea: Peter, I have apologized repeatedly for ignoring your problem. I feel terrible about everything I did and did not do. Please stop wandering around my house, playing that mournful saxophone!


* A Gentle Reminder (“Disclaimer”): This is advice from a cartoon cat, and should not be taken seriously. We are not responsible for anything you do based on what Ray says, or otherwise. Do not commit suicide or otherwise interrupt the lives of others. Continue on with your life as though you had never read this column. Erase your browser history. Not for readers under 18 years of age.