Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Phone Calls - a Comparison

A guy phone call:

Intro – A “hello” followed by a question for which an answer is not expected, “What’s up?”, for example. At least one nickname must be exchanged.

Body of the call – This section goes in two directions. 1) Asking a question or getting an opinion about an important problem. 2) Telling a funny story. This portion of the call cannot, and will not, last more than 3 minutes. Also guys can usually get the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and SO WHAT of a call out of the way in under 2 minutes.

Normally at least one insult is exchanged DURING the call.

Joke – every call between guys will have one hilarious moment. If there has already been a hilarious moment, at least one semi-funny joke must be shared before…

The Exit – One word – “Later” works.

Total: Under five minutes. At all costs. If the male is in a car with other passengers, the call will not last over two minutes for fear of castration.

A female phone call:

Intro – A greeting immediately followed by a sentence that constantly gets higher in pitch. This flows straight into a twenty second period of both parties talking at the same time followed by laughter.

Disbelief – One side will tell a story the other side couldn’t possibly believe. “Oh my god, no she didn’t!”

Random Stories – I usually get confused and disoriented during this portion. I know there is normally two strings of conversation going at once and they somehow meet in laughter. It is like an episode of Seinfeld where each person has their own storyline going and somehow they intersect.

Apologizing - Before hanging up both sides apologize for not hanging out more and talk about how much they miss each other. They then make plans to not follow through on the plans they just made with each other.

Exit - Normally flirted with a few times throughout conversation - average time before first attempted exit and actual end of call is 7 minutes.

Insults are not exchanged until after the call.

Total: No man has ever paid attention long enough to get a final time - but rumors have been floating around that the average call is in excess of 28 minutes.

Like pop rocks and coke, me and sports or men and spandex, guys and gals simply don’t mix in phone conversations. It may have to do with guy’s short attention spans, it may have to do with the ladies’ ability to speak for 20 minutes without taking a breath, or maybe the way we look at phone conversations.

As a guy – I treat the phone as an accessory activity. I am not just talking on the phone; I am talking on the phone while I watch tv, shave, read the paper or take a nap. When guys talk we get the details out, “Hey – we are heading to the bar at 9 for the game.” Bar. 9. Game. CHECK.

Women seem to think of talking on the phone as a sole activity – not to be interrupted by other tasks. It is also a treasure hunt to find the important information in the conversation. Example: “I talked to Sandy and she said that she wanted to go with us to the bar but she had to get her hair done first – so I think I will go out to eat with Michelle and then meet up with Sandy when she gets done. I don’t want to drive because then I can’t drink but I know Michelle has a small car and is really weird about parking it downtown, so I KNOW I will end up driving. Ugh. But our reservations are at 7 and it should only take an hour and a half, then it will take me 15 minutes to pick up Sandy and at least 15 minutes to get all the way back across town to get to the bar. I don’t even know why we are going to that bar, I don’t really care about the game and its always so crowded, plus the music is SO loud. But whatever.”

I shouldn’t have to do math to figure out estimated bar arrival time.

Now I am not stupid. Ok I am stupid, but I still have figured out a FEW tricks. The reason some of you ladies talk so much is because you know that after 10-15 minutes you can lull us into an honesty sleep. It is the same as when you wait till we are JUST about asleep and ask important relationship questions. I have already started dreaming about zombies and – I have no strength to give the proper answer. So after a long convo on the phone you can slip in a quick question that the guy will answer without thinking. Sneaky. Very sneaky. Guys have no defense, and don’t have a long enough attention span to try the same trick back. It is flawless and genius. Bravo ladies.

Also, guys are always multi-tasking on the phone. It is better to just not ask what we are up to because you don’t want to know. If you hear a toilet flush – don’t ask questions. It’s better for everyone. Video phones will never fully take over because guys will never accept having to be acceptable on the phone.

Another point about guys. We are assholes. All of us – you know that one friend who is so nice and is always there for you? Nope. Still an asshole. In that respect, we assume girls call because they need to talk. Most guys will gladly sit on the phone and listen as long as there is no test at the end. Guys figure that talking on the phone is just something girls have to do – much in the same way guys have a natural instinct to burn things and high-five. So when a conversation starts to get long in the tooth – guys tune out and assume the girl will stop when she gets her fill. When we are quizzed about the conversation later, all we can think about is how we were watching SportsCenter and how bald Scott Van pelt is. Don’t feel insulted ladies, we thought we were doing a nice thing – and you have been around us long enough to know that we aren’t listening past 5 minutes.

Any additions that I missed – I know this is a touchy subject with guys – and one that we don’t normally get to vent about. So, fellas, if there is anything I missed please let me know.

PS - Special Thanks to Jason on this one - he helped add fuel to the fire and get me over the writer's block.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Top 5 Sitcoms

1. Arrested Development

One of the smartest shows ever. I still sometimes cry at night because this show was canceled.

2. Seinfeld

Who doesn't have Seinfeld on their top 5?

3. The Adventures of Pete and Pete

Why doesn't anyone else remember this show?

4. Ed (guilty pleasure)

Got sucked in to this one during college and I am still mad at TBS for playing reruns of Becker instead of reruns of Ed at noon. I even made sure I watched this while I was on spring break in Jamaica so I wouldn't miss the storyline.

5. Scrubs

I have seen every episode and still watch it twice (at least) a day. If I could do the Turk dance my life would be complete.

Lets hear em!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Odds are it Evens out

I must admit – I’m getting a bit antsy in my pantsy. 2008 is on it’s way and I couldn’t be more excited. Why you ask? My odd years are cursed.

I know that makes me sound crazy – but what is this entire blog about if not craziness?

I first noticed this strange fact in high school, and have since been waiting for an odd year to come out and prove me wrong. 2007 was close, in the way the Indians were close to winning the World Series. It lulled me to sleep with a few good months and better nights before pulling the rug out from under me. So as the sun sets on 2007, I am left with an extra 20 pounds, a late summer break-up, three cracked windshields for one vehicle, the Cavs and Tribe leaving me at the doorstep with a handshake goodnight, the Dolphins somehow playing even more embarrassing than their colors, and an overall hangover that only a prime number can deliver.

But it is November, mid-November at that, and the first few rays of 2008 are peaking over the horizon. Already things are getting better – a few great weekends, some amazing new music, new cute girls and a few extra coins jingling in my pockets. No more whining from this kid – raise your glasses and salute numbers divisible by two. Forget Thanksgiving’s food coma and Christmas’ hangover –it’s almost the New Year – don’t drop the ball.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Does This Mustache Make Me Look Older?

Random Friday Thoughts:

I am more surprised when I do things that make me seem young than old anymore. The first realization came when my roommate had to talk me into going to the bars to get wasted and talk to cute girls instead of sitting at home listening to vinyl records and drinking wine. The second, and slightly scarier, came when I was thinking of my Top 5 favorite shows on TV and realized that Fox’s local morning news was probably part of that mix.

If I ever have children (that I know about – kidding, Mom) I am going to immediately sign them up on It is impossible to lose anything that has been signed up with them. I have ordered flowers exactly once from them in four years, yet they send me emails and snail mail daily. Can I sign my car keys up? I feel like there is nowhere I can go that 1800Flowers can’t find me. Are 1800Flowers, Santa and George Bush tapping my phone lines to find out when I’ve been naughty and nice? Is there some circle of power that I don’t know about? I could travel to the middle of the Sahara and find a remote cave infested with rattlesnakes and there would be a coupon for Sweetest Day there.

I like to make jokes with big words in them, that way when people don’t laugh I can tell myself they just didn’t get it.

I have a lot of weird habits. Oddities noticed this week:
I always match my coat to my shoes
I only wear boxers with blue as the main color
I always fold paper towels perfectly in half twice before using them

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. It is centered around drinking, eating, football and naps. If sweatpants were mandatory it would be a holiday bingo.

I am not an Ohio State fan, and I refuse to become one until you Buckeyes get a better argument than, “But you live in Ohio!”. Yeah? So? I’m not an Ohio University fan? And I didn’t go to Ohio State, I could have gone to Ohio State, but I didn’t, so why would I cheer for them? That’s like voting for one candidate but cheering for another to win the election.

That being said, thank you OSU fans for giving me a reason to stumble down W 6th at 9am this weekend and drinking cold beer in 35 degree weather. Maybe I’m not acting THAT old yet.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


On the advice of a fellow blogger, today’s episode is the recipe to my perfect (read as: awkward or stalker) celebrity girl. Here are the rules – three celebrities, mixed together to make the perfect partner. Just to spice it up you are allowed a “pinch” of a fourth celebrity. I will do mine (heh, heh) but please leave a comment and let me know what turns your crank. I should also warn that I have incredibly weird taste and turn-ons – so read at your own risk.

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Samaire Armstrong (of The O.C. and Dirty, Sexy, Money fame).
I know, I know, terrible shows – but look at this girl. I’d watch “Everybody Loves Raymond” if she was on it. If she told me it would turn her on I would buy Nickleback’s entire catalog (ok – no woman is worth that). Mix that with my obsession with girls with a little style (especially of the punk rock variety) and you’ve got your first ingredient. I also have a weird obsession with girls’ quirks – and that weird sideways smile fits the bill.

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Tift Merritt ( singer / songwriter).
She fills two needs – Southern Belle and Tortured Artist. A lil twang in the voice and my pants are two sizes too small. I’m a redneck – cut me some slack. I am also pretty sure that she writes the saddest songs in the world. Sample lyric:
“I'm gonna have a good cry over nothin'
But a handful of cigarettes.
I'm gonna leave the windows open
When I feel like gettin' dressed.
I'm gonna think hard about leavin'
See if the afternoon can tell.
I'm gonna let him lie there sleepin'
Then I'm gonna love him well.”

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Winona Rider (of Girl, Interrupted and psycho-celebrity fame).
Now, she is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not why she is here. She fits my need for bat-shit crazy. Ever heard the stories? Johnny Depp had her name tattooed on his arm. Ryan Adams wrote 1,000,000 songs about her. She even had a stint in a psychiatric hospital. Bat-shit crazy I tell you – and I guess I am attracted to it for the same reason girls like guys with motorcycles – we all need a little danger.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand for my pinch…

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Bettie Page.
You figure it out.

Lets hear it, Reader - who floats your boat and why?

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Need A Hobby

The day had drug on in the excruciating way Thursdays do. The sweet aroma of Friday slipped through the cracks of my once focused brain, and visions of Crown and Cokes danced like fairies on my thoughts. Friday. In my work induced stupor I wasn’t sure if Friday was a real entity, or a dream I had created to help me wade through cell after cell of this spreadsheet. I was drowning, and no amount of formatting could make those columns small enough to hold on to. The 2:42 blues. Lunch was gone, long gone. 5 o’clock wasn’t in sight yet, though the shuffling and mulling about by the cohabitants hinted that 5 o’clock had called ahead to assure its arrival. I shared no such optimism.

My body had given up an hour earlier. Angry with a lunch of cold-meat sandwiches and popcorn, it had mutinied. I found myself sluggish and incoherent. My motivation had left long before the death of my body. I wish I could say it fought the good fight, but the mere hint of Myspace had swept it from me. As if boarding a moving train, I could only watch it wave goodbye as it shrank against the horizon of Youtube and I was alone. Alone in a sense. Alone in the sense that invoices and time sheets provide little company. No, I was smothered. I decided to act quickly, before it was too late and I missed the sweet taste of Friday.

To the popcorn maker. Oh god, the sweet embrace of its salty goodness would save me, if only for a minute. Sure, I had eaten popcorn for lunch, but these were desperate times. My motivation returned, if only to convince my body to move. I made the slow walk to the kitchen. Avoid eye-contact. No delays, no small-talk, no quick questions or favors. The kitchen neared and my taste buds tensed like the first brush of a virgin’s thigh. Even this awkward sexual reference couldn’t distract me from my goal. To the popcorn maker.

I wielded my cup like a weapon, and as the great gate of the popcorn machine was lowered my heart leapt from my chest. It couldn’t bear to be part of this defeat. Worse. To be defeated is to have fought. The popcorn machine was empty. I stood, ready for battle, but having forgotten to put the war on my adversary’s calendar. I was ruined. I stumbled to the vending machine, like a drunken call to an ex-lover, it was my last hope. Chocolate? No. My diet. I couldn’t cheat now. Wait - avoiding chocolate? Has anyone seen my testicles? Stay focused. I scan the delicacies as if they were a death sentence. HH for lethal injection. Too hungry to be witty. I am doomed. The day, nay, the weekend is ruined.

Wait. It can’t be. I look away. Someone is walking through. I speak in office tongues. “How’s it going? Yeah, this weather is terrible – typical Cleveland though!” What does that even mean? I look back. It is still there. The Bugles are still there. It can’t be. One red beacon of hope among a sea of sky-blue cool ranch. I must have you. Autopilot. Wallet is out, I have one dollar. Change machine. Why have there never been Bugles in the machine before? In a life of miserable irony where does this delicious surprise… OH MY GOD TAKE MY DOLLAR CHANGE MACHINE OR I WILL THROW YOU OUT OF THE FUCKING WINDOW! Finally the coins spill out. All nickels…good to see life is still having a good chuckle at my expense. All is well.

I scrape the nickels from the floor like Carson Daly scheduling guests for his show. They slide into the machine with a metal gurgle. Bugles are moments away. My fingers twitch in anticipation. Settle boys, you’ll have your big, beautiful, fake-witch-fingernail Bugles soon. The button is pushed. The circular device spins slowly, teasing me, taunting me. Finally the bag shifts and slides. It sticks. A moment frozen in time, the battle of excitement and fear reaches its climax in my head. Someone better get a towel. I hear the slow-motion click of the oversized clock on the wall. My face is twisted, my hands clenched around the metal prison. How do I feel trapped on the outside?

Another click, the bag shifts again. It pirouettes left, then right, and finally…

It falls.

Please realize there is a little exaggeration going on here. I'm really only about half this boring.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This Week In Crazy (The Herd Edition)

As has been well documented, I think girls are bat-shit crazy. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I am extremely attracted to crazy. I realize that this simple fact more or less makes me insane as well, and that’s fine, no one is arguing with you there, Reader.

But back on topic – crazy girls. This week’s Look At Crazy involves something I am very familiar with – the bar scene. Now I’ve been known to stumble into a bar now and again, and invariably, after a few beers, I end up talking to pretty girls. It is here that I noticed the difference between groups of guys, and groups of girls.

When I am at the bar with my friends and a cute girl comes to talk to one of my buddies, I will do ANYTHING it takes to help my buddy out. If he needs a few bucks to buy her a beer – no problem; wing-man on a fatty – it’s cool, I’m desperate; cut off a limb as part of a crazy magic trick to impress her – that’s gonna take some tequila, but I’m in. When a girl makes a big enough mistake to talk to myself or one of my buddies, we are going to make sure conditions are perfect for the lucky fella. Sure, the girl may not be as cute as a friend would normally go after, and maybe not quite as skinny, and maybe he has so much whiskey in him we had to hang the back of his shirt on the coat rack just to get him to stay upright – but it is his mistake to make, and I’m going to let him make it.

Do girls feel this camaraderie? This “all for one, and one for all” attitude? Oh, hell no (I just did the neck thing and snapped my fingers three times).

Cracking a group of girls is harder than escaping Alcatraz. I actually bring a #2 pencil to the bars because passing the “friend test” is harder than the goddamn ACT. I now realize what a poodle-schnitzer (or whatever those dumbass dogs are) that prance around at dog shows feel like. Before talking to a girl sometimes I jump over small obstacles and let her friends check my teeth and haunches to make sure I have approval to talk to her.

But why is this? Why don’t girls trust their friend’s judgment? I understand there are a TON of sleezeballs out there, really, I do. As a guy, I know all the moves, and I see them being implemented CONSTANTLY (how girls don’t see this still confuses me – perhaps a future post). But does this mean that you need to form an impregnable wall (make your own joke here, Reader) around your friend? Can’t you trust her judgment in guys?

Guys have exit strategies (ever hear of that Pres. Bush? (whoa was that a political joke???)). If a girl is getting clingy or trying to talk about Grey’s Anatomy, we all have signs to make our buddies get out of the situation. You either shoot him a look, or a text or smoke signals if it comes down to it. It isn’t that hard. I have gotten “the sign” and literally thrown a buddy over my shoulder and carried him away. Why do girls have to have a pre-emptive strike against potential suitors?

I don’t think it would be as frustrating if girls didn’t complain so much about how, “I never meet any nice guys” and “When I go to the bar, nobody ever comes up and talks to me – I swear”. Wanna know why? Because I would rather smash my hand in a car door than walk up to a group of girls and get the usual run-around of fake names and snide remarks. I get it, you are trying to protect your friend, how nice. At what point are you just sabotaging your friend?

My guy friends are (arguably) grown-ups. They can make decisions for themselves, and I trust that they know what they are doing (even when I am confident they don’t know what they are doing). Where is this trust in girls? Even if I am at a bar with girls and a guy comes up to talk to them, I don’t interfere until I get a sign that I need to step in.

This is the 90’s people, the opposite sex does not have cooties (wait – do herpes count as cooties?).

Friday, November 2, 2007

Top 5 Favorite Songs

Taking a page from a fellow blogger, Hot Coffee Girl (seems we have more in common than our good looks), I decided to do a music post. I hate to admit I am one of those elitist pricks who doesn’t listen to anything you hear on the radio and judges people entirely too much on their taste in music. If it is any consolation, my social life turns into a complete joke this time of the year, when records are dropping like panties on prom night, and most bands make a trip to spread some of that sweet lovin’ on the Land of Cleves.

Which brings me to today’s topic: Top 5 Favorite Songs. Top 5’s will start being a regular part of the Nook, as I am uncreative and obsessed with High Fidelity.

People’s favorite songs are always interesting in that they rarely mirror their favorite artists. I have slightly awkward man-crushes on Ryan Adams and Van Morrison, yet neither make my top 5 favorite songs. I would trade my right arm to bring Ronnie Van Zandt back to earf, but Skynyrd doesn’t make my Top 5 either. So below are my Top 5 Favorite Songs. Please feel free to dissect, ridicule and lose respect for me. All I ask is that you leave a comment with your Top 5.

1. Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On
2. Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man
3. Tift Merritt – Sunday
4. The Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden
5. Warren Haynes – I’ll Be The One