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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

If the Vibe Jibes, Ride the Vibe

(News, news, news! Like clockwork, Secondhand SCIENCE marches on. This week’s hot science take is on laser capture microdissection, which is at least as awesome as it sounds, probably.

Also, I’m uber-pleased to report that a short play that Jenn Dlugos and I wrote has been accepted by Theater@First in Somerville for their “Fractured Fairy Tales” festival this summer. Come out for all the plays, which are sure to be fantastic — and if you’re local (and you hurry), you can even audition for a part!

Finally, there’s another project Jenn and I (and now, a whole host of hilarious people) have been working on, Magicland. It’s not just Toledo, Ohio’s third- (or fifth-, or ninth-)favorite local family-owned lizard-themed 24-hour amusement park. It’s also a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, an upcoming web series, and possibly more. Stay tuned, and don’t miss out on the magic!)

Apparently, I give off a certain vibe.

I guess that’s okay. It’s better than giving off a certain odor, anyway. Or a certain electric shock, which would also probably be frowned upon.

I’ve been aware of this vibe for a while. It’s a sort of “hey, man, don’t complicate me with societal routines and conventions and stuff” kind of vibe, and frankly, I don’t mind emanating that a little bit. If I could have oozed a similar sentiment in the direction of certain former bosses and corporate event planners and professors scheduling 8am classes, my early adult years might have gone a little smoother.

(Of course, there’s always the possibility I was vibing at those people, and they just didn’t care. If I’m in public before nine in the morning, who knows what the hell I’m oozing?)

Anyway, there are a lot of “norms” I just don’t get. I’m not trying to be a dick about them — unless it’s before 9am; I think we’ve established my position on that — but I truly just don’t understand the rationale.

“You might as well strap Homer Simpson around your neck.”

Neckties, for instance. Those are preposterous. And not just because they’re “formal”. At least a suit jacket has pockets for stuff and keeps you warm in the winter, maybe. Ties have no purpose. They exist only to choke you and to attract mustard and gravy stains. You might as well strap Homer Simpson around your neck.

Ditto for birthdays. Those were great as a kid, sure. But the whole concept is a little wacky. We celebrate something that every one of us did, but we had no part in aiding and were too young to remember. And we commemorate the event every time the calendar says a certain day, which it only does because we came up with this oddball system of telling time with twelve sets of mostly 30-ish days, but not always, and we have to cram an extra in every four years or eventually Christmas falls in the summer. Which is probably more appropriate, but nobody’s interested in that because Santa would sweat his bowlful-of-ass off in the middle of August. Wacky.

Then there’s the workday. Eighty percent of the people with office jobs setting the same hours, so they can all sit alone in cubicles for most of the day, then herd into a conference room for an occasional meeting. Or a TPS report update. Or somebody’s birthday.

For the past several years, I’ve had the tremendous good fortune to enjoy flexibility in these areas, and a few bewildering others. My particular profession is fairly free of dress codes, and, within reason, able to support flexible schedules.

(They haven’t done away with birthdays, but nobody’s perfect. And we all know corporate birthday acknowledgements only exist as an excuse to eat afternoon cake. Which I totally understand.

I mean, the British just called it “tea time” and did away with the charade, rather than making sure every company hired someone with every possible birthday on the calendar. That seems cleaner, but what do I know? I don’t even wear ties to work.)

Anyway, I can’t exactly complain. And I don’t! I’ve got it pretty good in terms of maneuvering around the things that don’t make much sense. And I even follow a few conventions by self-policing — because you can’t be a complete anarchist about these things, or people will start to whisper about you. And since you don’t go to the birthday meetings in the conference room, you won’t even realize. Very dangerous.

Still, I must give off the vibe of having little patience for unexamined routines, because every once in a while someone will just assume I don’t follow any of them. Like earlier this week, when I was walking into work and ran into a fellow employee coming out of the office.

(Because we work on different schedules. Praise current flexible employer!)

He noted that it was finally getting warm around Boston again, and as he went on his merry way, he remarked in passing:

Guess you’ll be back to wearing shorts soon, eh?

Now, that’s not an entirely out of place comment. I’ve worked at jobs where I’ve worn shorts in the summer. I and many of the other employees, in fact. It’s another thing that to me just makes sense: if it’s really hot, and you’re not flinging dangerous chemicals or bacteria or saw blades around, then what’s the point of long pants, really? This isn’t Wall Street. Be comfortable. Do work. Breathe a little cooler; life is short(s).

However.

I started at this company a few years ago, in the winter. And — outside the odd outfit change to hit the gym or a lunchtime jog — I’ve never seen anyone at this place wearing shorts. I watched, that first year, waiting to see whether shorts would emerge. Emerge they did not. So I didn’t wear mine. I’m quite certain of this. I have the ass sweat to prove it.

So I can say with confidence that this coworker who commented has never once seen me in a pair of shorts. And yet, the assumption is, I’ll soon be (“back”) into them, as the temperature climbs. Why? Because I’ve got the vibe.

I think I’m okay with that. As misconceptions go, I’m pretty fine if all the ones out there are about things that I would do, but I just haven’t happened to have done. It sure beats the hell out of people thinking I’m an Armani hound. Or a morning person. Or itching to sing them “Happy Birthday” in Auxiliary Conference Room B.

Honestly, most of the cakes are even store-bought. What’s the appeal, man?

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Highlights
Me on Film 'n' Stage:
  Drinkstorm Studios


Me on Science (silly):
  Secondhand SCIENCE


Me on Science (real):
  Meta Science News


Me on ZuG (RIP):
  Zolton's FB Pranks
  Zolton Does Amazon


Favorite Posts:
30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
Blue's Clues Explained
Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
Grammar, Revisitated
How I Feel About Hippos
How I Feel About Pinatas
How I Feel About Pirates
Life Is Like...
Life Is Also Like...
Smartass 101
Twelve Simple Rules
Unreal Reality Shows
V-Day for Dummies
Wheel of Misfortune
Zolton, Interview Demon

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Selected Clips:
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  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
  12/11/04: Emerald Isle
  09/06/04: Connection

Boston Comedy Clubs

 My 100 Things Posts

Selected Things:
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  #7: My Name
  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
  #36: My Skydives
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