Challenge Update #2

Now that I’m back home in New York after our American Road Trip, beyond catching up on missed news stories (I hardly knew ye, Carlos Danger), it’s time to get back in the swing of the regular manly challenges.  It’s also the perfect opportunity to look back at the last eleven challenges and see what has actually become part of my repertoire.

Week 11: CPR and First Aid

Despite my MANtor Andrea’s mention of always finding herself in an emergency situation after recertifying in CPR, I still haven’t had an opportunity to use my newly learned first aid skills in the real world.  Though I haven’t been truly tested, I was delighted to find this in my mailbox a few weeks after the post went up:

As you can see, it went right on the fridge, so each visitor to our kitchen will feel comfortable chewing their food as haphazardly as they wish, knowing that they are in the presence of a certified Heimlich Maneuver giver.

Week 12: Self Defense

Maybe I need to force myself into actionable situations after the challenge is completed?  This is yet another manly challenge where I’ve learned the techniques but have had no opportunity to use them.  However, if I were to use my Krav Maga in the real world, it would have to be under very specific circumstances:

“I’d be happy to give you all my money in one moment, sir, but would you mind doing me a quick favor first?  Just put down your knife and then come at me from behind at half-speed, raising your arms as if you are about to choke me.  Is that all clear?  Great.  Please continue with the mugging.”

Week 13: Gamble

While we were in Las Vegas, I managed to win about fifty dollars at the blackjack table, but Q more than doubled me in winnings on her first try.  So I continue to be more of a lucky charm to my gambling companions than myself.  So yes, I will join you on your next Atlantic City getaway, thank you for asking.

Week 14: Wear Cologne

I didn’t bring my bottle of Soyez Homme along for the road trip due to its (assumed) powerful bear-like pheromones, so I haven’t had much opportunity to wear it this summer.  On the few occasions I have worn it, it’s still proven to be a secret confidence builder.  I now firmly believe every man should have his own scent, if only because the world is crying out for some Carlos Danger cologne.  I’m just saying, if the whole politics thing doesn’t pan out, he’s got some options.

Week 15: Grill

I suppose making skirt steak on the camp stove in Northern California is the closest I’ve come to grilling since my original lesson with MANtor Uncle Bryan.  Though I wasn’t as meticulous as I could have been, the steak turned out quite well considering our limited supplies.  I’m hoping that I can play grill master at least one more time before Labor Day rolls around.

Week 16: Eat Meat and Create a New Signature

Though I’m happy to report I’ve since ordered and enjoyed steak closer to medium rare, I’ve faltered on the second part of challenge severely.  Q and I are moving to another part of New York this fall, and in signing the lease and other paperwork required for a new rental, I noticed my signature getting exponentially worse on each page.  By my sixth signature, my John Hancock was starting to look more like a 6.2 on the Richter Scale than a legible name.  I might have to return to MANtor Matt for a remedial penmanship class.

Week 17: Public Speaking (Stand-Up Comedy)

To the delight of comedy fans everywhere, I haven’t returned to an open mic since my first attempt.  But after a coworker expressed her interest in trying out an open mic herself, it’s certainly possible I could find myself in front of a brick wall in the near future.  I think I would have to cut most of my original routine, but on the plus side, I can probably get away with using half the deodorant this time.

Week 18-21: Road Trip

In the weeks since our trip ended, I’ve relished being a homebody and rediscovering the joys of my own bed and Netflix.  However, my delight at remaining stationary does not diminish my lessons learned as a nomad.  I haven’t camped since, but I’ve found falling asleep in buses and cars to be much more comfortable than it once was.  I haven’t had to bribe anyone else, but I’m now a much more confident tipper.  And I haven’t talked to any more prostitutes, but I’ve discovered a whole new appreciation for Pretty Woman.  Q and I keep telling people that it was a trip of a lifetime, though we’re both hoping to return to the road to check off the states and landmarks we missed this time around.