I try to talk to you, but words all come out wrong

1 – I don’t have many rules of life but the ones I do live by I consider important: always say “thank you” whenever you can, always over-tip, forget top-shelf booze unless it’s for a martini, (real, not that fruity shit), gimlet or you’re drinking it on the rocks, never leave empty ice-cube trays in the freezer, if you kill the pot of coffee make another.

Pretty basic.

But there’s another that I want to share that some may not have considered: the more the more hungover you may be when you go to work, the better you had fucking look when you get there.

Unless you have to interact with others, it may be possible to make it through the morning without others realizing you tied one on the night before. But for fuck’s sake man, if you smell like a mix of gin and shame then don’t be wearing old jeans and t-shirt! Hell, you’re probably not even safe wearing khakis and a polo.

Suit-up my friend. Remember to shave. Keep the eye-drops at arm’s length at all times. It doesn’t hurt to use a little aftershave. Mouth wash is an obvious necessity.

To be honest, it’s probably a solid idea to keep the above items in a drawer at your desk in case of emergencies.

Don’t worry about going to the coffee maker too many times if it means risking having to interact with someone. The coffee is worth the risk. But plop the headphones on at your desk and close the door or put a chair in front of your cube. Look busy, even if you’re just keeping your head down while you curse the girl who made you do shots the night before. That crazy bitch.

But again, the wardrobe is the key. You gotta go GQ. It’s a rule.

1b – If you think you can get away with it, a bloody mary over lunch isn’t the worst idea in the world.

2 – Last week Lane Kiffin left his job as head football coach at the University of Tennessee to take over as head coach at USC. It was a good move professionally. HC at USC is one of the top positions in college sports, and might be the best in college football.

What made this an eyebrow raiser was that Kiffin had only been at Tennessee for a year and him leaving at such a crucial time left many pissed. In the South and in the SEC conference they take their football seriously. The most important thing to a lot of people is their faith, family and football, and not necessarily in that order.

So the reaction to Kiffin leaving hasn’t been incredibly surprising. He’s received threats, he needed a police escort out of town, they’re trying to rename a sewage plant after him in Knoxville. The media is absolutely killing the guy. On Youtube there’s footage of the press-room at Tennessee ten minutes before Kiffin was set to announce his resignation (something that had been leaked hours earlier). The media in the room, reporters, TV news directors, radio personalities…they all detested Kiffin and all looked really fucking mad. These are adults, here. Professionals. And here they’re caught on tape calling Kiffin a snake. It’s a must watch.

But, and I think this is what’s important to remember here: every single one of them, you and I would have done the same thing if you were in Kiffin’s position.

He’s from southern California. USC was his dream job. He had already been an assistant there. They were also offering more money, obviously.

At the end of the day you have look out for #1 and your family. After all, and this is important, if you start to think there’s loyalty in the real world of business – forget it. Give up that notion. If it ever makes financial sense to your employer to let you go, they’ll do it in a heartbeat. If they can find someone to do your job cheaper, your gone. If they come upon a better, more qualified person, you’re gone. Had Pete Carroll or Urban Meyer expressed interest in Tennessee while Kiffin was still around, he would have been fired on the spot.

So when you get an opportunity to work for a better company in a better situation, don’t hesitate to make a change. Your boss, if they’re reasonable, will understand. They may not be thrilled but they can understand when someone has to move on because of an offer that couldn’t be turned down.

Reasonable people can take a step back and realize that what Kiffin did was the right thing. But then again, there aren’t a lot of rational and reasonable people in the South when it comes to football.

Or anything, really.

3 – I haven’t been doing a lot of blogging lately. For a while there I was cranking a new one out every three days or so. But since the year rolled over it’s not that I haven’t had things to say, it’s more that I just didn’t have a lot of time or energy. My workload has picked up significantly and when I get home I really don’t have a lot of interest in sitting in front of a computer.

But I consider writing important. I’ve explained why on here before. So in the future I’m going to try and avoid hiatuses like the last three weeks. Even if the blog is only a couple paragraphs, I’m going to try and get back to writing often.

4 – Speaking of resolutions, here was mine for the New Year: spend less, save more.

The differences between my brother and I are many, but this is one where I wish I was more like him. He doesn’t blow money on shit. He doesn’t own a ton, but he’s always going to have money in the bank. Myself? I can’t keep the check card out of my pocket.

I’m a single guy with disposable income. Typically, if I like something I’m going to buy it. My kitchen is decked out to the nine’s. When I cook I like to make nice meals. I love my home theatre set-up (though I could stand to have a bigger TV now). I own three computers. I think I have a pretty decent wardrobe. My golf clubs are awesome.

So yea, I have my toys. I like living well, I like the finer things in life. I like being able to golf six days a week if I want to, and last summer I basically did. And it was awesome.

But my savings account fucking hates me. Hates me.

So that’s what my hope is for ’10. Watch the spending. Don’t go out as much. Don’t buy New York strips when I’m in the mood for a great meal. Stop with the Johnny Walker Black and Bombay Sapphire. I don’t watch enough TV to make DirecTV worth it and Netflix has gone unused.

I don’t think I can give up the golf though. No sir.

4b – The new year hasn’t started off well in this regard. Two road trips to the Cities, another to Wausau. Tomorrow night I’ve got center court-side seats to see the Timberwolves play Chris Paul and the Hornets.

I can’t get out of my own way.

5 – Speaking of golf, another activity best done by yourself is one I would love to try again: surfing.

I love surf documentaries. If you want a good one, start with Of Wind & Waves – The Life and Times of Woody Brown. It’ll inspire you. Seriously.

But I watched another one a couple nights ago and it immediately goes up there on my list of favorite films of any genre. It’s called Riding Giants, and it’s awesome, especially on Blu-Ray.

Riding Giants

I don’t know if it’s on Netflix or at your local rental place, but it could be. It came out in 2006 and was fairly popular.

Here’s a jaw-dropping clip for you:

Surfing and the ocean are the reasons why I feel like I’m wasting my life up here for six months out of the year. It’s why, while I loved Stout and the people I met there, I regret not going to school on the West Coast. I wish I could go back in time and tell the 18 year old me, “Hey asshole. Would you rather walk to the bars in -20 degree temperatures or spend your evenings in the Pacific?”.

5b – I think this is where my uncles failed me. Or why I missed out on having an older brother or cousin. I think I should have been sat down and told that there isn’t some rule stating that I have to go to school in Wisconsin or Minnesota or Illinois.

I wouldn’t expect my parents to do this, but I think someone else of their age could have clued me in.

So add that to the resolutions list. I’ve got a shit-ton of little cousins and this year I’m giving college advice their parents will hate.

6 – As is probably evident, I go through spells where I listen to a select group of tunes until I’m basically sick of ’em. One playlist or album can last me a while, though.

This last week it’s been the [b]Monster Ballads – Ultimate Edition[/b] and I’m hear to tell ya…it’s so……fucking…………..awesome.

I challenge anyone listening at their desk to not bust out an air-mic when Sebastian Bach belts out “I LOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEEE YOOOOOUUUUUU!!!!” or Kip Winger let’s it rip on Miles Away.

6b – On a related note, the 80s gets a bad rap for their music. I love the hair-metal that ceased to exist once Grunge came around. You had the best real punk music. Industrial metal was created. New Wave sort of sucked but it certainly influenced a lot of great music today. Then you had the pop stars like MJ and Madonna.

If you’ve made it this far I’ll give you credit and some tunes. I did a (very) quick browse of my iTunes collection and grabbed 17 good 80s tunes. These probably aren’t my favorites, but there’s variety.

http://www.mediafire.com/?jzzjjtijujl

Don’t say I never gave you anything. Enjoy.

7 – OGT’s

I could go in a number of directions. There are really two big ones on my mind. I might go with both or just one. I don’t know it’s starting to get late.

Alright, the first…

It absolutely blows my mind when I consider the difference in the sexes when it comes to judging a friend’s romantic interest. It doesn’t matter how they’re connected, either. We could be talking someone’s spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, casual hookup, someone they’re seeing or even just a crush.

When a guy lets one of his boys in on who he’s interested in or who he’s seeing or who his girlfriend is, I’ll tell you the one thought that doesn’t enter their head: “What the fuck? What does he see in her?”.

No. It doesn’t. Why? Because we as men assume that there’s something about that girl that makes our buddy happy. It’s usually not even related to looks, though yea, it doesn’t hurt if she’s hot. No, we know there could be any number of reasons why our boy is into a girl. Just a few:

• maybe she’s into sports
• or she’s got a great sense of humor
• or she’s got an incredible personality
• or she’s just really fun to be around
• she’s sweet
• she’s independent
• she’s ridiculous in bed
• she’s funny

Who the hell knows. Maybe she’s none of those things, maybe she’s all of them. But we as guys understand that no matter what it is, there’s something and it was important enough to make our boy fall for her.

I’ve had friends in the past that have dated girls that, on the outside looking in, seem to be a little off, a little wrong. It’s something I might talk about with my other friends. But the conversation inevitably comes around to, “Yea, but [insert name here] is all about her so there’s got to be something great about her, and you know, whatever makes him happy”.

That’s why, when we find out that he’s interested in this girl or he’s going to move in with her or he’s gonna ask her to marry him, there’s only one response we can reasonably give: “Hey man, that’s awesome”.

You know what? It’s not even restricted to our boys. All of us have girls for friends and there’s a good chance they’ve dated or married guys that makes us a little confused. But, it doesn’t matter. Unless they’re an abusive fuck, there’s really not much reason for us to speak up. Again, we automatically assume there’s something about the guy that our girls find attractive. Maybe he’s stable, handsome, intelligent, thoughtful, caring or hung like a horse. We assume there’s something or she wouldn’t be interested.

Woman, on the other-hand, are complete opposites. If one of their girlfriends is into a guy there’s a great chance they won’t understand what’s so great about him and won’t understand what their friend could possibly see in him. It doesn’t matter if they can even spot a quality or two that makes him datable. There’s always a “but”. “But he stocks shelves at Wal-Mart”, “But he wears a gold necklace”, “But he’s got no hair”.

It’s bad enough between girlfriends. Where it’s ridiculously evident, though, is when a girl has a guy as a friend. Heaven-forbid he’s into someone, the opinions start flying.

“I don’t like her”
“I don’t know what you see in her”
“She’s so not pretty”
“She’s a complete headcase”
“You could easily do better”
“She’ll cheat on you, you know that right?”
“She’s only dating you because she’s a greedy bitch”
“She’s not a real blond, I just wanted to tell you”

Guys have heard it all, and it always comes from our female friends. I asked a couple friends about it recently. They’ll never hear the end of it when they’re into someone and their girl friends don’t approve. I talked about it with my brother last night. He’s been dating a girl for a while and he’s got a female friend who won’t shut the fuck up about how terrible she is.

You know what? Incredibly, we don’t like hearing that shit. Amazing, I know.

Women don’t seem to understand what guys learned long ago. There’s a “but” for us too. “But she makes me happy”. Fucking deal with it.

8 – OGT’s (the deuce)

Alright, I’ll go into the 2nd, and it’ll be a helluva lot shorter. Just more of a personal observation and I don’t know if it carries over with other guys.

Find me a random girl, or someone I just met that night, and flirting is a breeze. It doesn’t take any effort, at all. A few questions, a little conversation, a joke or two, some chiding, some eye contact. Mix with alcohol and dancing and it’s on. No sweat.

Now, if we’re talking someone I know? Had conversations and have hung out with before? If it’s someone I’ve got a legit thing for? I’m a goddamn train-wreck. Forget flirting. That shit is virtually impossible. By the time I’ve gotten to know her that well I’ve all but dismissed the possibility that she could be into me and making a move would be an awkward waste of time. Even if she’s holding up a sign that says, “YES, I ACTUALLY LIKE YOU JACKASS”, I’ll assume a misprint. Just the idea of nutting up and making a move is such a ridiculously foreign concept that it barely deserves consideration.

In theory it’s so backwards-ass that I don’t even know how I got here. I just know the way it is.

So. Where does that leave a pussy like myself? I wait to get hit in the head.

At this point in my life I’ve got enough experiences to look back on and see the parallels. When it comes to the good girls, the really down chicks that I’m glad to have known and been apart of their lives, it started with initiative on their end and disbelief on mine. I can look back and see signs that I should have made moves long before things got started between us, and when it finally happened it was more because of something they did as opposed to something I did.

That doesn’t exactly leave me with a feeling of optimism given recent events.

8b – Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

8c – New years resolution #3: Nut the fuck up.

9 – Alright, enough with the obligatory girl thoughts. Let’s move onto subjects more near and dear to the heart of the blokes that are probably reading this: shitting, jerking off and sports.

My friends, I have your holy grail: the Deadspin weekly mailbag.

A few years ago, at Footlocker.com, my dude-bros and I would anxiously await Bill Simmons’ weekly column, usually on a Friday, and if we were lucky it’d be a massive mailbag. He’d take questions about sports and pop culture and give answers. Most of them were pretty damn funny. The best part was they were usually long and a great way to waste 45 minutes of Footlocker’s cash.

Guys, I’m telling you he was AAA.

I won’t say much but read Deadspin’s mailbags. They speak for themselves. I’ll even throw you a bone with a handful of links:

http://deadspin.com/5406771/nicotine-valium-vicodin-marijuana-ectasy-and-alcohol–c+c+c+c+cocaine
http://deadspin.com/5416365/mailbag-taco-night
http://deadspin.com/5421803/the-biggest-dirtiest-poopiest-mailbag-yet
http://deadspin.com/5427253/mailbag-getting-old-blows
http://deadspin.com/5436578/the-mailbag-demands-you-name-the-brewer-baby
http://deadspin.com/5446600/go-for-the-thighs–your-open-mailbag-tuesday

Yesterday I spent a good half-hour reading about the different ways to, uh, proofread your work. After a while I was attempting to suppress so many tear inducing laughs I almost passed out. I’m dead serious.

10 – Hey, you made it. Your reward is Miranda Kerr.

I like to think I was out in front on this one. She’s been the #1 goddess in my eyes for a good long while. People have been going nuts for Marrissa Miller or Adriana Lima or that other Brazilian chick for years, but I’ve known what’s up.

Askmen.com released their Top 100 Women of 2010, and look who’s #10.

But that’s not why she’s getting a mention here.

Guys……my god.

A New Years entry, plus a good movie with a shitty ending

The Time Traveler's Wife

1 – Since late last night / early this morning, I’ve been meaning to put some thoughts into a New Years blog. I had some things I wanted to touch on, and I still do, but those thoughts have been hijacked by the movie I watched tonight.

An hour ago I finished the The Time Traveler’s Wife, I still don’t know what to think of it and that’s bugging the shit out of me.

From Wiki:

Based on the premise of The Time Traveler’s Wife, a Chicago librarian (Bana) has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel randomly. Though he often disappears from her life for long periods of time, he tries to build a romantic relationship with Clare Abshire, an artist (McAdams).

Henry, the librarian, meets his future wife Clare when she is only six years old. Chronologically, however, he meets her for the first time when Clare is an adult but Henry is only twenty-eight. At that point Clare has known Henry all of her adult life.

When it was over I jumped onto Rotten Tomatoes to see what the consensus was (critics didn’t like it). I read a few reviews from the big names and publications. They seemed to think the romantic leads, played by Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, lacked chemistry and spark. They thought that the romance never really materialized for the viewer and it didn’t allow people to truly care for the characters.

Whatever, that wasn’t really the issue I have with TTTW. For the majority of the time I actually liked the flick. The major issue I have is how completely fucking illogical the characters act in key moments and it has to do with the idea of time travel.

After I read the reviews I googled the title and ‘Logic’. I figured at least someone must have taken exception with what I thought were instances where nothing the characters did made sense.

Nope. Sure, there are reviews and blogs that poke holes into the fundamental principals of time travel in this movie, but that was mostly of the scientific variety. I’m thinking along the lines of basic human behavior.

I don’t think I’m gonna give away anything Earth shattering in the following paragraphs, but…

**STOP NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED**

So you’ve got this girl who’s known a time traveler nearly her whole life. She falls in love, and though he keeps jumping around in and out of her life, they try and make it work.

That’s the dumbed down version and for the most part I liked the movie. Hell, for a while I thought I was going to be able to say TTTW was one of the best flicks I’d seen this year.

Unfortunately, the last 15 minutes completely rob the viewer (and any logical thinker) of what could have been a good film.

First, Henry finds out from his daughter (also a time traveler but one that can control where she travels to) that he’s gonna die when she’s five.

Then, a short while later, Henry finds out the exact time and date he dies and that it’s from a gunshot wound. Not only that, but there’s a strong indication that he’s going to be extremely cold when he’s shot.

Now, at this point, don’t you think a logical move would be to prepare for this occasion? Maybe use his daughter to warn everyone of the circumstances surrounding his untimely death?

I’ll simply say that Henry doesn’t. When the date does come he lets his friend and wife in on what he knows and rather than saying, “Hey, there’s a good chance I’m gonna get shot in the next hour, so call some paramedics so they’re ready to assist”. No, he just tells his wife and pal that that it’s been nice knowing them.

Then he time travels and finds himself in the middle of the woods, and he’s next to a massive fucking deer. Now, were I in his position and knowing that I’m going to get shot today, I think a massive fucking alarm would have gone off in my head. As soon as they showed him and the buck in the same frame my inner-deer hunter thought, “GET DOWN JACKASS!”.

Nope. He just stayed there looking at the 12 pointer while a hunter put a bullet through his lung. Bleeding out he travels back to the present time where his wife and family are and he dies in his wife’s arms.

The flick ends shortly thereafter.

So. Instead of taking and appreciating the enjoyable flick I’d just finished watching, I’ve spent the last hour and a half analyzing why the ending completely sucked.

1b- I’ve never minded (and by “never minded” I mean “thoroughly enjoyed”) most chick flicks i’ve sat down to check out. Romantic comedies, tearjerkers, adaptations of chick-lit, etc…there’s a good number of them I like.

I guess you could say TTTW is one of them. Barely.

1c – I’ll probably read the book this was adapted from, though. Interesting story and concept and from the sound of it the movie leaves out a ton.

1d – If you’re interested in catching an adapatation of chick-lit done right, check out Atonement. Now that was a good flick.

2 – Speaking of the best films of 2009, I give you mine:

5 – Halloween 2
4 – Zombieland
3 – Inglorious Basterds
2 – Star Trek
1 – 500 Days of Summer

Honorable Mention:
Drag me to Hell
The Hurt Locker
He’s Just Not That Into You
The Uninvited

I loved Halloween 2. I thought it would be awful but it was the most interesting horror flick I’ve seen since Silent Hill or High Tension. Zombieland was just fun. Brad Pitt is the reason why I loved Inglorious Basterds. Stole every scene. Star Trek was the perfect blockbuster. 500 Days of Summer was just awesome all around.

3 – Last night was pretty fun. Saw my main dudes for the first time in a couple months and it was like we were all still living in the same town and hanging out regularly. It was like no one had ever quit Eastbay. We drank and fell into the routine of talking about friends, TV, sports, and women like it was natural.

It’s easily the best thing about these guys. With other friends that have come and gone the reunions can be awkward. Not so much with my boys from Wausau.

3b – I positively love that when I described one of our mutual friends having “out-kicked his coverage” they both knew exactly what I was talking about and I didn’t have to explain it to them.

3c – My only quibble was a couple girls that seemed good natured and fun at the beginning of the night turned into drunken messes of piss and vinegar once the clock rolled around to 2010.

I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve got a good idea, but it’s not 100%. Maybe a topic for another day.

3d – The only good thing that came from us leaving the bar early at the request of our wasted female acquaintances was I didn’t stay out late enough to get hammered. I woke up this morning a little wrecked but my memory was solid and I didn’t have an epic hangover today.

So cheers to that.

4 – 4:00 am. Been a long day.

Happy New Years, folks. I hope you have a safe and wonderful 2010.