Tuesday, February 07, 2012

useful skills?

we all have skills.

most are common, some uncommon. some are completely awesome, others not so much. there are those found practical and used every day, while we wonder why we ever learned some in the first place.

most of mine are pretty rudimentary and lame. travelling far and wide, packing fast and light, speaking German (?), pretending i speak the local language, a commandingly fake interest in sports, large knowledge of comic books, a weird knowledge of 3 particular television shows (SBTB, SF, STTNG), using (+ cooking with) chopsticks, frying a mean omelet, driving stick, ironing shirts, cutting mixtapes, speedreading, picking up background music, sense of smell, eating fast, making drawrings, taking photos, and of course writing insanely awesome lists (and/or spreadsheets).

sure, there are others, but i like to keep a few tricks up my sleeve.

more importantly though, i've also put quite a bit of thought into those skills i've always WISHED i had. i'd like to share some of them with you, starting with the more benign, working our way towards the more...suspect. enjoy.

speaking Spanish.
it's the dominant language in ~1/3 of the world's landmass. i live in America (where it's pretty much language #2). i like Mexican food. i am brown. no habla escargo.

riding a motorcycle.
everyone in Vietnam, India, and Latin America can do it, so why shouldn't  i? this is one step above being able to drive stick. you can get around on the cheap and on the quick, period. where state helmet laws do not apply, darwin's laws do, so vehicular skull protection is a mandatory.

playing guitar.
the most practical, introductory musical tool (beyond our whistling or the tambourine, which  require pitch and/or rhythm). sure, the piano is a more common musical denominator, but is not very portable. the drums travel more easily, but doesn't really stand on their own musically. playing Rock Band guitar on hard/expert just isn't good enough anymore. the real thing looks way cool(-er than air guitar), and with the right axe, and amp, sounds cool. plus, then i could get that awesome lighting bolt guitar strap.

picking locks.
you'll never need to carry keys again. plus, you can get in and out of a jam like a ninja (without the smoke bombs, shurikens, or blades of death). i dunno, batman and all his buddies can do it, so why shouldn't i?

some runner-ups (that DON'T quite make the cut)? lip-reading. sign language. sleight of hand. magic. juggling. describing faces. CPR. backflips. base-jumping. climbing. hunting. darts. skateboarding. mad rhymes, yo.

i guess i could be more like Mark Z (less like Skee Low), choosing to master one a year. hm. he might just be onto something.

but you're probably asking yourself, "self, why would anyone require any/all of these skills?"

i've got 4 (compound) words for you:

undercover mariachi-band jewel-heist getaway.

you're welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure "master" is the right word, particularly in the case of playing an instrument. "Not make a complete fool of myself" is a more realistic goal for one year.

    locks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lock_bumping

    motorcycle: this one takes four years to master...one month to learn to ride, three years and eleven months to convince your wife to let you buy one!

    instrument: the only way to learn is to play in a band, so pick an instrument which will allow this. if you're going for guitar, learn to read real music (no, TAB doesn't count).


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