Friday, August 27, 2010

Fitting In

This is actually a fairly good example how I feel around other people where I live. Most of the things I like are very niche genre. I like different music, I'm very particular about what type of art I gravitate towards, and in general I would consider myself a bit unique. Everyone is unique though. Unlike a large majority of people though I don't try to fit in by liking the same things as everyone else.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Being Big, New Clothes

When I was little my dad told me I was so trim and cut that you could see every muscle in my body twitching when I moved. Since we lived in the mountains of New York at the time I did nothing but run around outside and climb rock cliffs for fun. As I became older though and we moved to Virginia I had a whole lot less to do, no places to go, and most of my hobbies and activities became more sedentary. I became, as my mom described, very puffy. I didn't feel sick or lethargic from it though, just self conscious because my family picked at me for it. Later on I took tae kwon do as part of phys. ed. and after about two years I was slim and trim again. The bad part is that I felt sickly and always tired because I evidently didn't eat enough. After a while I just decided to eat a whole lot more and work out more vigorously doing much of the same things I learned while in tae kwon do. That same year I also bought heavier dumbells to do some basic weight training and I also started studying more physical exercises that didn't require weights, such as hindu push ups. After a couple months I noticed something disappointing...
I really liked that shirt. :(
Needless to say I was rather miffed over the fact my favorite shirt no longer fit, but I was rather impressed that I gained that much muscle mass around my arms for that to happen. I eventually went out shopping for new clothes at one of my favorite stores, Eddie Bauer. What I found out though is that because I'm short for a guy, that being 5' 8", but as broad as somebody who would generally be taller, I had a bit of difficulty finding clothes that fit the way I wanted.
I have this thing with long sleeved, button up shirts where I like to fold the arms up because the weather is fickle and can become excrutiatingly warm even though it was quite cool earlier in the day. Mom always told me it's because I'm part German and like to keep my sleeves tidy. Anyway, with short sleeved button up shirts the sleeves fly off the sides like little wings for some reason and it gets on my nerves. I eventually found that polo shirts fit me very well. I suppose this might be why rugby players wear them all the time. Later on I did find a new favorite shirt at Wal-Mart of all places. That didn't last though...

What's somewhat shocking about this is that this was an XL shirt from Wal-Mart. You know, that store that sells larger clothing, usually. I still wear this shirt, but I have to fold the sleeves up or I can't move my arms at all. This once again gave me reason to go out in search of some newer long sleeved shirts for the oncoming cooler months. I went to the Wrangler store at the Williamsburg Outlet Mall because they tend to have a lot of clothing I like on sale. I found this really nice plaid, size XL shirt that I wanted. I tried it on and found...
that I now need to buy XXL shirts to fit my chest and shoulders. Either the fashion industry has changed their standards for sizes and want people to be flat and weak looking or I've just acquired that much bulk to need bigger clothing. What's somewhat amusing is that the Big & Tall store was right across the hall from the Wrangler store. It's like it was laughing at me because it wants me to need to buy clothing from their store. I'm not quite that big, yet, so mock me all you want Big & Tall. I'm not ready for your clothes.
Time to clean out old clothes.

Since we're on the subject or large statures I'd like to mention that some cars were definitely not made for people with wider shoulders. A proper example would be my dad's car, a 1995 Geo Metro.
Dad fits fine in it as he is built like a bike racer, all legs and no upper body. Whenever I have to drive it I feel like a little kid inside a go-kart at one of those putt putt golf and games places. This issue doesn't just apply to me though. Whenever my family decides to all go somewhere together it's a dreadful(yet amusing) experience since my sisters and I will all sit in the back seat of our 2008 Scion xB. It's a wonderful car to ride in as long as you're only carrying four people or four big people and one skinny twig. But in our case it is not comfortable at all.
I can't even begin to imagine if I had to fit that many people in my 1994 Suzuki Sidekick. That will probably never happen though, thankfully.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Videogames are like Drugs?

My mom likes to play Dr. Mario on her laptop. But because the screen is small and many times she's not wearing her contacts or glasses she'll hunch over it and look like some drug addict trying to find his line of cocaine in a dimly lit room.
 I have the original OLD Nintendo system and game on the larger TV in the living room if she wanted to play it more easily, but instead she just hunches over her laptop playing the pill game looking like some addict getting his fix. I'm equally just as bad I must admit though. If there's a Tetris game around, my mind will tell me it wants to have a whirl at it. It's even been proven that Tetris has interesting effects on the mind the longer you play it.

If I can't have my Tetris fix I'll try other games to appease my addiction, but in some cases overdosing has occurred...
I'm suffering from cold sweats so it's time to end this. WHERE'S MY TETRIS?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Planned Careers

Have you ever noticed how a lot of parents seem to pressure their kids into going with careers they may not even enjoy, let alone be skilled at? I never was, but that might be why I'm not making loads of money, buying fancy sports cars, learning how to trade stocks, and being a general snob about it. To be honest I don't have a real job since freelance work is not steady at all, but that's why I make comics because it makes people smile and putting smiles on peoples' faces is fun. Now if I were only a dentist and being paid to say that.

Regarding the subject of planned careers, a friend of my sister's lived in Germany when she was little. She even went to the German school for a couple of years. According to her it wasn't a bad school. She learned to speak basic German while going there. But because she was a foreigner she was unable to really fit in fully. Why? From what she told us in Germany being that they have, more or less, a socialist system of teaching where you were in a way destined to be placed into a certain field of learning for what career they deemed you would be skilled in. She was destined to not stay in Germany thus not fitting in with any of the cliques of children who knew what careers they were going to be pursuing. Now I don't know how true any of this is since I've never lived in Germany at all, but the entire concept of deeming what a child's skill will be by a certain age seems a bit hasty and harsh considering most people don't figure out what they really like to do till later in life.

I still don't know what I want to do with mine. When I was really little I went to Cedar Point and witnessed the wonders of roller coasters. My mind instantly told me, "Yes, roller coasters are a truely amazing creation and you should create them" Being the inspired six year old that I was I attempted to create them, on paper.

Unfornately that's about all the further I got with it. I could only draw stickmen in theme parks in vain hope of one day creating roller coasters. The reason being is that I eventually learned how much work went into engineering one of the contraptions. My mind is definitely not geared towards doing math and having to use that much math to design a roller coaster would more than likely get me sent to a psycho ward screaming, "PI! PI! PI! IT MAKES THINGS LOOP-DE-LOOP! PI PI PI! SPIN! CORKSCREW! MUWAHAHAHA!" and I would never be allowed to step near a roller coaster ever again. I stuck to drawing them instead.

(On a side note, years later my dream did come true and the PC game Roller Coaster Tycoon was created. I still play the first and second one to this day.)

Back on subject. The fact that Germany supposedly tries to figure out what a child should do by the time they reach a certain age it made me wonder how exactly they do figure it out other than by their testing scores. It occurred to me that maybe they start observing them as babies and give them a game of some sort to see how well the perform while playing with it. Perhaps the put the shapes into the slot game would be a proper way?

Here we can observe the average baby learning from trial and error. We can assume by this that he will become an average citizen and perhaps succeed in a career such as a nurse, a dental assistant, or maybe even a stock broker.
Next we have the baby who obviously has a much higher IQ and prefers things to be done properly and effeciently. From this observation we can assume he will more than likely be technical and engineer cars, create architecture that defies physics, and possibly create roller coasters. I'm envious.
This baby right here is a hard one to figure out. Physically he's stronger and larger than the other babies. Heck, this one already has hair on his head! He wants things done HIS way and he will MAKE anything work. From this we can assume he could possibly become an engineer like the previous baby, except he won't be as perfectionistic nor as critical of effeciency. Careers he may pursure could be a mechanic, a warehouse manager, a carpenter, and perhaps even a stunt devil.

 The last baby we observe is any controlling teacher's nightmare. He is what is known as a free thinker. If he can obviously figure out what you're telling him he should be doing is something he doesn't like or he knows it's not advancing him in any way possible he will make it clear - so clear he may try to take over your authority and deem himself more powerful. We can assume from this behavior that he will probably succeed in just about anything he wants to because he's thinking for himself. That doesn't mean he's stupid and jumps into things, not at all. The free thinker will probably seek out anything that he finds interesting and master what he likes best.

In conclusion, the mentality of figuring out what somebody should go into before they know what they even like thwarts any form of creativity. Many of the best inventions and richest people in the world never finished high school, yet they still managed to succeed. It's a shame I'm not one of those people. :[

If you're from Germany and can verify or disprove what I was told, by all means do. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I will be entirely honest with anybody reading this. Honest enough to admit that I have never even created a blog before. Somehow an online journal(which I've had) doesn't seem to register in my feeble mind as blogging in my opinion. But what do I know? Anyhow, I will be planning to post comics and, I'm hoping, to amuse whoever happens to stumble upon this place.

What is panda advantage? It's the title for this site. Oh, you mean you want to know WHY it's the title of this site? Very simple. A long while back a friend of mine and myself were talking about what to do if you happened to find yourself in a situation where using brutal force to fight somebody off was needed. So I thought to myself, "You know, people tend to get black eyes in fights, but pandas already have them. Wouldn't that be in an advantage?" It just seemed like an absolutely brilliant and cosmetic upper hand to the aftermath of such an occurrence. I had to make a comic.

Awwww yeah, it'd be like having bragging rights saying I've never had a black eye in a fight because I'm already wearing them. Almost the same amount of bragging rights Rocky Balboa had by saying he had never broken his nose in any fight. He broke his nose later on in the sequals, I believe, maybe.

So, there you have it. More to posted later on.