The Cards Against Humanity Theory

I love Cards Against Humanity.  It involves creativity, understanding of obscure culture, reading people’s responses, and while there often isn’t a clear winner or loser there is a definite sense of victory whenever your card is chosen, plus the fact it is normally played with a gaggle of close friends while drinking makes it even more fun.  The worst part of CAH is when you play a card and then draw a new one only to find that it is the perfect card for the situation and you will never be able to play it.  This happens multiple times a game and normally results in leaning over to clandestinely show the person sitting next to you so that hey can share in your enjoyment of what might have been the perfect match of cards.  This is the basis of my theory of life, the Cards Against Humanity Theory.CAH

Life is much like Cards Against Humanity, lots of things can influence success and failure, but timing in the most important thing.  Last weekend I signed a lease on an apartment and the next day got a call from another landlord offering my a better apartment for cheaper, in the same way that once I accepted my new job I got an offer for a better job soon after.  I had already committed to things and wasn’t about to change up just for a slight advantage, but knowing that I missed these opportunities definitely hurt I guess it is like Alanis says “the free ride after you’ve already paid.”  In the end you need to accept what you have.

When playing CAH you can’t just rely on timing, you need to manufacture your own success.  Relying on your own humor is a risky bet, especially when playing with people that you don’t know.  Being able to read people and make assumptions about their life experiences and viewpoints and how they will react to things is an extremely useful skill to have.  When performing you need to read the audience and give them what they want, you can be perfectly happy doing your own thing, but the fact is that you are here because they are the ones paying you and you need to live up to their expectations.  I have spent a fair amount of time reading psychology material and while I am not an expert I have been able to develop a hit list of factors that can influence how I deal with any person and situation.  Playing a game of CAH is a great way to train yourself to pick up on the subtle clues that help unlock a person’s personality by playing the player rather than the game, plus it is a fun way to meet new people.

I have a very active imagination, which is why I can’t watch scary movies.  Imagination is a hugely important thing when you are trying to be creative, you need to envision a final product when just starting out.  Playing CAH requires you to be imaginative while trying to put something together.  We have all played with someone who takes things only at face value and doesn’t put any thought or imagination into whatever cards they are choosing, and it is a total buzzkill.  As adults we are told to be realistic and rational, but there is no reason why we can’t be reasonable and imaginative at the same time.  Imagination leads to creativity which leads to innovation which leads to change, why bottle up our imaginations when we can unleash them to create positive change in our lives.

We are constantly being barraged with information, and we are reaching the point of saturation.  About a year ago I read an article that there is more data being added to youtube than there is being consumed, hundreds of hours of video are uploaded every minute, and that all goes into our heads.  CAH is comprised of hundreds of cards and expansion packs all of which are pretty random.  I have played dozens of times and still have no clue what heteronormativity means but I get the card pretty much every time.  You need to select what you are going to play based on your knowledge of the subject matter and an assumption that the selector also knows or understands that random tidbit.  It is not unlike an improv show where random things are suggested by the audience and you are all of a sudden supposed to create a scene around something that you know nothing about.  Pushing yourself to learn more and find out about new things is a great way to grow.  Plus I hear that once you wikipedia all of the pages they give you a crown and make you the king of the internet, or at least some sort of Nigerian Prince.

I think it is a stretch to say that CAH has made me a better person, in fact it has made me accept myself for the horrible person that I really am, and I am ok with that.  It has pushed me to be imaginative and learn about new material and new people, while also allowing me to laugh and make others laugh.  The greatest lesson that I have learned from Cards Against Humanity is that in the end it is just a game.  You can’t dwell on things in life, even though something better comes along, you just need to move on and play out the cards that you have been dealt, especially if I am picking an you have the “Zesty Breakfast Burrito” card.


September 2015 Challenge

After taking a month off for August it is now time for me to get back on the horse and try to enact some change.  In the past I have spent the month of September doing a spending freeze in order to make up for the extra money I tend to spend during the summer months as well as to declutter and reduce my footprint.

The Challenge: Do not buy anything during September that is not readily consumable and will be gone by the end of the month.

  • Why?: Beyond the nostalgia of taking “Spending fasts” during the month of September it actually makes a lot of sense.  I am not planning on traveling much, the weather is between seasons so I won’t need to buy new clothes, and I don’t have much planned so I won’t have to buy any special equipment.  Beyond that I haven’t done much decluttering since my January Challenge and I want to stop my acquisition of stuff since I will hopefully be moving during the next few months.
  • The Benefits: It is pretty great to save money, and not have to worry about buying anything.  While I can buy food this will also push me to use up the things I already have on hand rather than buying more freezer furniture.  This will hopefully make it easier to move since I do have a tendency to go a bit overboard when shopping for bargains and tossing them into my chest freezer.  During my January Challenge I found it to be very liberating when getting rid of things, hopefully reducing my intake will also help make me feel good about my space.
  • The System: It is pretty straightforward, don’t buy anything.  If there is something that I think I need I can wait a few weeks and then buy in during October, but I find that I will probably not want it by then, so it will be a great way to prevent impulse purchases.

I am at the point in my life where I need to transition more from having stuff to having things.  I spent all of college picking furniture out of people’s trash and buying things at closeout stores, and I was gradually able to break myself of those habits and purchasing higher quality stuff.  If something costs more money you are more likely to take better care of it and won’t be so apt to throw it away, reducing my carbon footprint while allowing me to have nicer things.  I guess that now it is time to grow up a bit and invest in having nice things.  Breaking myself of my nihilistic views on having nice things will be hard, but then again I am always up for a challenge.