Don't Be a Ball Bag
Advice and the musings of somewhat who isn't a Ball Bag

Apr
10

Hey guys something slightly different today, a recommendation of a sitcom a recently watched and managed to get through every episode of it in one glorious weekend. That TV show is Community a US sitcom (I’m not sure if its made it over here to the UK yet) set in a community college and around the antics of a spanish study group that is formed when the arguable main character Jeff Winger tries to get into the pants of Britta Perry.

The main thing that makes this sitcom unusual it isn’t particularly focused on romantic relationships, obviously such plot lines exist but it’s mostly about friendship and building a very unorthodox family from those friends. This is illustrated mostly through Jeff, he’s a former lawyer who had a fake degree and is now coming to community college to get a real one so he can get back to his real life as he sees it. Eventually his selfish nature is worn down (mostly by Annie who Jeff has trouble disapointing as it’s like “choking the little mermaid with a bike chain)

The real winning part of this sitcom as far as im concerned however is the most epic of bromances between Troy and Abed. They just perfectly personify a geeky bromance: silly in jokes, declaring others are jealous and the best high five i’ve ever seen and subsequently stolen.

Over all it’s a stupidly awesome tv show i think everyone should watch

Til next time don’t be a ball bag :)

NaBB

Mar
21

There is a kind of relationship that i haven’t really ever covered, the one that never starts. Seeing as i received  request for tips on how to turn someone down without being a ballbag about it i thought i’d also cover how to be turned down without becoming a ballbag as well.

I’ve never really had to do the turning down myself, i’m going to assume this is due to the fact that girls tend to be asked and us guys tend to do the asking and not attribute it to my ridiculous head. If i were however to turn someone down i think the first rule i’d follow is i would avoid even sounding like i was pitying them, i imagine this would be a rather horrible experience that would make the person suffering it wish to stay inside for a fortnight and never approach anyone romantically ever again. Or at least have a stiff drink Dependant on the robustness of their ego.

If you aren’t interested in someone romantically thats perfectly fine, no one is going to judge you for that. The important thing to remember is that the person your not interested in needs to know this too otherwise they may end up on The Hook which is a cruel thing to do. Equally just because you have to be clear doesn’t mean you have to crush them. Make it abundantly clear that you aren’t interested and you won’t ever be but also be clear its not because they are a horrible miserable speck of a human being. (It’s all about balance)

From personal experience please remember this very important lesson, don’t say that you are willing to be friends with them if this is total BS, you have to remember that this person is likely going to still be romantically interested in you and its going to take them a little time to move past that so you’re going to have to be patient and understanding. If you’re only saying it to blunt the blow then you won’t be able to patient and understanding and 3 months later its going to blow up worse.

If you are the one being turned down don’t get offended or annoyed, you have no business being. It’s fine to be a bit gutted, so get your wingman and a couple of bros together have a couple of drinks and meet some new people. Don’t shout, bitch and moan all thats going to do is prove to the other person they’ve made the right call.

This is the most important lesson for all of you out there who’ve been turned down:- Move the fuck on. Blunt? Yes. Here’s why, if you don’t you are going to be a creeper of epic proportions, constantly asking this person out or just hanging around them in an unwanted fashion and just making pretty much everyone around you want to mock you at best and urinate over your footwear at worst. There are worse things in life than being single, being a creeper is one of them

Hopefully there are some helpful tips in there and if there are any areas of life that you want some advice on handling without douchery let me know

 

NaBB

Mar
17

Well i’m back to blogging it seems after a colossal break and rather than offer any real explanation other than life happened i thought i’d jump right back into giving people some advice they never asked for! I thought id offer my updated advice on breaking up with someone based on my recent experience in this area.

I touched upon this realm of possible ball-baggery when i posted about Relationship Chicken but with this new perspective i wanted to add a few tips.

First of all spend some time thinking about what you are going to say, i know i spent quite a few days thinking over and ordering my thoughts trying to find the right words for how i felt. In the end it all ended up to be abit of a waste of time but it did help be settle in my mind that i was doing the right thing and that confidence was a huge help. Plus being sure will ensure that you can avoid future doucery of trying to win them back.

It’s also vital to remember that you are going to have very little luck in predicting the reaction and so its best not to dwell too long on it, all you can do is speak your peace and hope for the best (if you are dating someone a little unstable an escape plan or stab proof vest might not be a bad idea as well) if you are very very lucky you’ll end up with the other person being in the same place and can perhaps save yourself a friendship. If things go badly just keep your cool and remember you can always say something later, it’s a lot harder to take something back once it has been said.

The simplest and best advice i can give you is to do it in person if it is at all possible ( i held off on my break up for nearly 2 months to make sure i could do it person) it shows that you do care for the person and that you aren’t callously tossing them aside now you’re done with them. The words “it’s just not working, and really it’s not your fault” sound more convincing face to face than facebook to facebook. Honestly if i were going to give you a Pro-tip for not being a ball bag it would be “Always end a relationship face to face, it’s the classy thing to do”

Well that’s all i have to say on that matter, i’ll try to keep the gap  between this post and the next much shorter than they’ve been recently. I’m sure if i do a little looking i can find some new sources of ballbaggery i can criticise

Till next time Don’t be a ballbag.

 

NaBB

Jul
30

I spend a significant amount of my time on the internet in debates, discussions and occasionally arguments on various issues, mostly things of a skeptical nature. It has appeared to me that there seems to be a really strange occurrence amongst those people who disagree with me that they don’t understand evidence in general.

Part of this issue i find is a lack of understanding of what science is and the nature of science in general. People seem to think that science must always have a constant belief, that if the scientific consensus ever changes it invalidates any of the opinions that they hold. Firstly i would say that the beliefs of science very rarely dramatically change and secondly far from the changing opinions of science being something the weakens it position it is an incredible strength to be able to say “we we’re not quite right, we’ve adjusted our views based on the best available evidence and we are now closer to the truth.”

The other major issue I’ve seen with debating skeptical issues is people seem to be unaware who has to provide the evidence. This is a rather important point but it is really quite simple, if you make a positive claim (i.e. Homeopathy works) then you have to provide the evidence of that claim. It is difficult to make a testable negative claim and as such are unhelpful and best ignored.  This is why in the arena of atheism for example it is not down to the atheist to prove the non-existence of a god, the position of an atheist is not making a claim, it is a belief the burden of proof has not been met for the existence of god.

The final problem with debating these issues comes down to an individuals belief they have a right to an opinion on some given matter. In many arenas one persons opinion is entirely as valid as another, there are many subjective debates where this is the case. However in science not everyone is entitled to an opinion, far from it. There are verifiable facts in science, it doesn’t matter what your opinion is on the effect of gravity on a pen in your hand but if you drop it it will fall regardless of  how strongly you hold the opinion that it won’t.

If you are going to get into a debate on a skeptical or scientific issue then i very much recommend knowing the evidence and accepting that sometimes your opinion doesn’t matter,

NaBB

Jul
25

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted to this blog, which is a shame as i really enjoyed writing the posts  so now my life has finally calmed down somewhat I’m going to begin writing again. I have however decided that to both make it easier for me to think of topics and so i can enjoy writing posts even more I’m going to dramatically broaden the topics i shall be writing about. Hopefully the 2 or 3 of you out there who have ever actually read this won’t mind the slight change,

NaBB

Apr
10

Apologies for my long absence from posting,  I’ve just been swamped lately. I hope you enjoy this latest instalment of How not to be a Ball Bag.

So we all know a few creepy people because to a large degree what is creepy is very subjective trait but there is also universal creepiness and it’s that kind of creepy that can lead to someone coming across as a Ball Bag when it’s entirely possible they don’t mean to be.
I’d also like to point out that sometimes creepy people aren’t even slightly Ball Bags and are in fact pretty awesome, this is usually because their brand of creepy doesn’t make other people creepy, or its the non-intrusive kind of creepy that you can decide if you want to deal with.

So what does the kind of creepy that makes people think your a ball bag involve and what should you avoid?

1) Invading Personal Space – Some people are incredibly touchy and others really like their own space, sometimes it can be kind of obvious what is appropriate but sometimes you can totally mis-read the situation, if your unsure of your position play it safe, high-fives and handshakes aren’t creepy, hugs aren’t creepy if you offer or are offered, its the point where you just grab someone where the hug becomes creepy (unless its someone your really close to or who you know doesn’t mind)

2) Pressure – although it’s the passive ability of many legendary pokemon when used amongst the people you know it makes you seem really rather creepy. It can be as small as pressuring someone to hang out with you a lot or to have one more drink all the way up to trying to pressure someone to being in a relationship with you, it makes people uncomfortable and all that’s going to happen is your going to end up with the opposite of what you want.

3) Know what qualifies as TMI – There are some things that just aren’t ok to share and some things are fine regardless of the situation and along side these are the the things that you can get away with in certain company and will disgust a different group of people, in these situations it comes entirely down to knowing your audience. It’s always better to play it safe with this creepy brand, no one ever lost a friend by talking about their penis too little.

So i hope these tips help you make sure that your friends want to be in your company and aren’t considering vomiting or pissing on your shoes,

NaBB

Mar
04

This weeks brand spanking new How I Met Your Mother named a phenomenon that i have myself experienced once but i wasn’t aware of it’s name nor of its prevalence and it was called being on the Hook.

Basically the idea is this, sometimes in the relationship world you are either on someones hook or have someone on your hook. This person you have no intention of ever being in a relationship with but having them around makes you feel quite good about yourself. Apparently occasions such as this are usually accompanied by the phrase “right now” as in ” I just can’t be with you… right now” or “it just can’t work out… right now”

When i experienced the phenomenon i was on the hook, i liked someone and they told me they reciprocated and then they instead decided they liked the look of my best friend a bit more and therefore kept me on the hook while pursuing him. It was indeed the behaviour of the common Ball Bag and seeing as my friends are Awesome it was pointed out to me, he then put her on the hook for a while in the spirit of retribution.

So have you ever been a Hookee or Hooker? (please resist the easy joke, i’ve managed to :P) Are you aware of the phenomenon?

NaBB

Mar
03

I have always been the kind of person who can get really rather irritated with people who hold a particular view, in these cases it tends not to be an area which is particularly subjective and most of the time they related to science. Recently the area that has really started to irritate me is Homeopathy, though you may have already guessed from my less than subtle title.

Now I don’t know how common the knowledge of how Homeopathy “works” but it is very well explained by James Randi in this clip:-

If you don’t feel like watching a 10 minute clip i’ll try to sum it up quickly for you:

1) Like Cures Like :- The basic idea of Homeopathy is that something that causes certain symptoms in a “healthy” person will cure a person that already has the symptoms

2) The more diluted the stronger! :- They don’t give the person with the symptoms the actual substance, no they dilute it in water to a point where there isn’t a single molecule left of the original solution ( the more diluted it is the bigger volume of water you would need to find this single molecule increases)

3) Its ok if you shake water it has memory! :- Now this could be my favourite claim about anything ever, water has memory but only of this one small atom and only if you shake the water (in the correct way of course it has to be a magic kind of shaking.) Doing this doesn’t cause it to remember any of the impurities in the water though, no water not only has a memory it has a selective memory!

So perhaps you can see from that the ways in which Homeopathy doesn’t really fit with everything else we have observed in science and if we had some randomised, double-blind trials (if you’re unfamiliar with these terms i really must recommend Ben Goldacre’s Book – Bad Science) that showed the efficacy of Homeopathy then there would be some really intrigued chemists and physicists. The problem is when you look at the good data from trials without gaping methodological flaws and the meta-analyses then it becomes painfully clear that Homeopathy works no better than a placebo. Regardless of how blue in the face, angry and upset the Homeopaths may get while showing you all their “evidence” that it works that they have so carefully cherry picked (The effort is almost endearing, but not quite)

Now just believing you’re right in the face overwhelming evidence to the contrary is kind of Ball Bag behaviour but some Homeopaths even manage to act even more scrotal with suggestions you use water instead of vaccinations to protect children from disease, I mean water doesn’t have any side effects it must be better! They’re also peddling their quackery to people with AIDs and Cancer and quite frankly that inflates them to a level of Ball Bag that has not yet been covered here in this blog before.

Now i don’t know if this blog will attract any Homeopath attention, it isn’t exactly well read but just to pre-empt the possible “it worked for me so it must work” anecdotes, the “look at this report” cherry pickers and all round deluded people i have something very simple to say to you:  Science is never set in stone and is indeed open to debate, the scientific method is based on critical appraisal of evidence. The thing is not everyone has a valid opinion and unfortunately if you think Homeopathy works, you don’t have a valid opinion on the matter.

Mar
03

A Friend of mine suggested I could expand somewhat in what I write here. If not being a Ball Bag isn’t enough for you here are a few tips on how to be Awesome! Granted I’m not universally Awesome but i have it on reasonable authority im occasionally Awesome so i can provide some insight.

I just wanted to show you the Awesome way to deal with the passive aggressive notes i mentioned previously in “How to avoid being a Ball Bag”. Within in the Last week a housemate of mine posted a fantasticly bad passive aggressive note that prompted me to write about how it was the behaviour of a Ball Bag, but myself and another Awesome housemate decided to send the note into Passiveaggressivenotes.com and in a moment that was so brilliant we walked to our local 24 hour Asda and bought a cheap bottle of Cava to celebrate they posted the note!

When you have 100+ comments from people on the internet who agree with you it is a pretty Awesome experience, it’s well worth trying if you get harrassed by a Note Writing Ball Bag,

NaBB

Mar
02

I recently watched an episode from season 5 of How I Met Your Mother (incidentally the best sitcom for most lessons on relationships) and it involves the main character Ted deciding if he was ready to continue his hunt for “The One” this led me to consider how it is necessary to sometimes to take that risk that you’re gonna get your emotional ass kicked.

This comes up also in Scrubs with the fantastic line “nothing in life worth having comes easy” and this applies no where more than relationships. The reason i believe this stems from basically the idea of fairy tales that end “Happily ever after” There are many people who are searching for what they may or may not call their “Happy ever after” and there is something about that which is noble and also something akin to amnesia.

Why does no one remember that in order to have the happily ever after you have to fight a dragon, climb a tower and trick a witch in order to get it. All of these things happen in one form or another. Perhaps the dragon is the distance between where they live from where you do, perhaps the tower you have to climb is your own insecurities and perhaps tricking the witch is ignoring the overpowering voice in your head and taking the chance and doing what feels best.

Hopefully knowing this might help,

NaBB

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