Category Archives: VS!

Vs. AVOCADOS!

VS Avo

I despise avocados. I hate the taste and whenever my mouth comes in contact with that weird texture, my gag reflex is immediately triggered and I have to keep myself from throwing up for the next ten to fifteen minutes. True story.

You may ask yourself what’s so important about my beef with avocados to merit a post? Nothing, really, as from the segue I’m about to make: I feel there is something to be said about some of the reactions I get to revealing this little taste of Trystin Trivia. People’s eyes bulge and their mouths hang open and things like “No way!” or “What is wrong with you?!” or “How could anyone not like avocado!” are shouted into my face, which brings me to my point: People need to get a life.

How many times have you witnessed a reaction to something that was so unnecessarily over the top that you could have sworn you missed something? Something that leaves you saying, “Um, you do realize I said that I enjoyed LOST more than Battlestar Galactica and not that I just stabbed you mom to death and fed her corpse to sewer rats, right?” Seriously. We live in this ultra-connected world where we are constantly being pelted with other people’s exaggerated lives (via social media) or things that have been made to look really interesting by the media. This has lead to over-the-top being the norm. Most of we mere mortals don’t spend our days surviving hurricanes or with PR teams or paparazzi blowing up our every move to God-like proportions so we’ll take some menial little piece of our world and grow it our minds, obsessing over it until, to us, this comic book I started reading is on par with the discovery of life on Mars or a terrorist attack. And so, if someone speaks for or against it in any way, our reaction becomes crazily overblown.

The avocado reaction becomes a problem in that human beings are only capable of a certain spectrum of emotion. If we consistently tap into our high passion when it comes to things like kale preparation and Miley Cyrus’ new single, it not only lessens the largeness of truly earth-shattering events but it also holds us back from recognizing those events for the impactful things that they are. This is especially true when dealing with our own sense of self-worth and -expression. Investing too much of yourself in the menial and material can purposefully or inadvertently create a barrier that causes you to define yourself by your interests instead of who you are, effectively slamming on the emergency brakes of your growth as a person (though your encyclopedic knowledge of history of the New York Giants may be beyond compare).

I’m not trying to seem like some emotionless automaton or someone who is against enjoying the little things. Be excited as much as possible. Be happy as much as possible. Embrace the material aspects of life you love…even if it is an avocado. Please. Just don’t use that as an excuse to not be constantly seeking out new things and bigger things, tangible or otherwise, in the external world and within yourself.

And for everyone who thought this would post actually be about avocados, here are some fun facts!

  • They’re climacteric, which means they mature on a tree, but ripen only when plucked off
  • People call them “alligator pears” because why not
  • They’re fruits, not vegetables (Don’t believe everything you read in children’s books. Just ask eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers).
  • The term “avocado” comes from the original Aztec term “āhuactal,” which means “testicle”
  • Just so you know, I LOVE guacamole (I’m not a monster)

 

Up next in Vs.: Sports!

Vs. RACISM!

VS Logo

A few years ago I worked in a very conservative, very white, very well-off community on Long Island. My commute involved two subway lines, the Long Island Railroad, and a twenty minute walk through this community. As far as colored folk go (or any folk really), I look pretty tame: slim bootcut blue jeans, casual shoes, glasses, a colorful graphic tee and hoodie. Or vest. Or hooded vest. Though my appearance never did stop the people of that community to lock their car doors, stop everything they were doing and scowl, or even call their kids to them as I drew nearer.

What I’m saying is that there’s racism. I get it. I’m aware and everyone should be because it’s real and it’s a problem.

The lady who glared at me as I heard the power locks click into place doesn’t know me. We’ve never met. Her sense of hatred, fear, disgust is based in something that is not at all because of me, but instead a generalization imposed on me because of my skin color. Why does she feel this way? Maybe it’s how she was raised. Maybe it’s the media. Perhaps it’s due to personal life experiences. Probably all three, each one fueling the other in some raging racist cycle.

As I, like many entities of the universe, enjoy some good cosmic balance, during the time I worked on Long Island I also lived in Harlem. Low-income, black, dirty Harlem. Basically the opposite of the community in Long Island. Interestingly enough, walking around that neighborhood dressed as I am, I would get nearly identical looks. Narrowed eyes and expressions that seemed to say, “You are different and therefore unwelcome.” People would snigger under their breaths when I walked past or mutter the word “faggott,” which, it turns out can be defined as a black person who dresses or acts “white” (granted, I’m also a faggot faggot but let’s not worry about that right now). Needless to say, I was feeling real loved that year.

What’s a dude to do? Look at the bigger picture, of course. It’s so easy, SO easy, to dwell on their negativity. Negativity sticks, you know. The all-knowing “they” says that it takes five good deeds to make up for one bad one. Sometimes I think it’s far more than that. For every person in my life that’s walked to the other side of the street, herded their kids away from me, or made fun of me for not “acting my race” (one of my favorite flavors of racism), there have been hundreds (family, friends, co-workers, strangers on the street) of all colors who have shown nothing but kindness or in the very least total indifference. The moment you let someone else’s hate create in you a generalized reaction based in hate, is the moment you become a part of the problem. Period.

Stay tuned for Round 2 of Vs. RACISM!

Up next on Vs.: Avocados (seriously)

Introducting VS…

VS onlyHiya, folks! It brings me great pleasure to introduce “Vs.,” a sort of sub-blog to my main blog posts that offer quick (or quick-ish) glimpses into my opinions on various subjects; everything from Death and Abortion to Avocados and the Lion King. Pretty much anything I’ve ever had a concrete opinion on, many of which I’ve never written about or even had the opportunity to squeeze into a dialogue before. And if the subject is big enough I’ll be following the initial post up with subsequent rounds (I’ve already started Round 4 of Vs. Racism so that’s fun). The goal here is to keep these short and sweet, but effective and release one every single week for the rest of my life. Ha. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, thanks and enjoy!

The first “Vs.” is RACISM! (round one).