Saturday, January 14, 2012


I started writing on this blog in December of 2006. I was really, really bad at writing back then. I just went back to try and read some of my first posts and was kind of repulsed. Hopefully I'm a little better now, and if I am, writing here has been a large contributor to that.

I've had a lot of fun writing this blog, and sharing it with my friends and family. It's time to put it to sleep, though. This will be my last post here. The reason for this is not because I'm stopping blogging — I don't think I'll ever stop blogging, actually, even if I fail as a journalist and writer and end up living out my years as a murse or postal worker. I'm just moving to a different website, where I can provide a more comprehensive area for my blogging and other online writing. I hope you'll continue to read me there, at One cool thing about the wordpress format is you can subscribe to my blogs via email, if any of you would like to do that.

Thanks again for reading. Keep fighting the good fight.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gearing up for 2012

Wintertime in a resort town is a desolate time, and desolate times call for introspective measures. Tonight, I’ve been sitting around thinking about the year that’s coming up. I’ve realized  a frightening amount of what will happen will most likely be completely out of my control (like if the world ends). Other stuff will be at least partially out of my control (like if I’m groping a woman and screaming “World Motherfucking Champions” from atop a tall building at the precise moment the world ends, if/when it does). Some of the stuff, however, will be completely in my control (like how many times I high five or daps random strangers or sign businesslike emails with “XOXO” before the world ends). I want to take control of the things I can; I think that will help me better cope with the other things that might dissatisfy me or throw me for a loop. So, I made a list of some things I'd like to do/accomplish, in an effort to take the power back, or to at least better myself.

Here are some of them:

—Stop worrying so much about the future. I’ve been a worrier my entire life. I worry about things that are plausible, and things that are so unlikely they’re just ridiculous to worry about. For instance: I spend a lot of time worrying about how I will react to or withstand a hostile alien invasion, but I spend almost no time worrying about falling in the shower and injuring myself when I live alone. I try not to worry, because it’s often a waste of time, but every time I tell myself this, I find myself getting all worried again about the same thing or something else about 15 minutes later. If I spent half the amount of time writing that I spend worrying about not writing adequate things often enough, I probably would have something pretty shitty that equals out to the approximate length of War and Peace. If I substituted writing time for the amount of time I spend looking at porn and combined that with writing during the time I spend worrying, I would be a literary force worth noticing. Or maybe Stephenie Meyer’s heir apparent. It could go either way, but the point I'm trying to make is I won't know until I stop worrying so much and address my burgeoning pornography addiction.

—Make out with a woman in a movie theater. People my age don't seem to do that anymore, because we have homes where parents don't live. But I want to do it. It'll make me feel young in a romantic sense, which is something I've been wanting to feel for the last week, ever since I got the feeling like I was out of place because I didn't get engaged this month. Thanks a lot, Facebook.

—Be more of a man. I’ve never put much of a prize on extreme masculinity, because I feel like in this day and age it’s becoming less and less rampant and maybe even less necessary in most cases. I don’t need to hunt, because I can shop. I don’t need to start a fire, because my apartment has an HVAC system and a television I can use to put on that fake fire channel. I don’t need to camp because, like I said, I have an apartment and pretty much anywhere I go will have hotels or friends with an open couch. The extent of my manliness is I read "The Art of Manliness" newsletter, wear flannel and have chest hair. Still, though, just because I don’t need to do these things doesn’t mean learning how and embracing them on occasion wouldn’t enhance my life in some ways. I don’t need the iPod I’m listening to right now, but I think ingesting music adds to my quality of life and overall well-being. The same could, and probably does, apply to chopping firewood or making your own jerky.

—Quit getting drunk and watching YouTube videos until the wee hours of the morning. I’m not going to quit getting drunk, but the video thing. I always come home and do this shit, when I could be getting some sleep or doing something more productive than watching The National perform “Terrible Love” live for the 958,000th time. It's not like I need to rediscover that Matt Berninger drinks a lot of white wine, and watching these things repetitively is not going to make me any more or less emo than I already am. Staying up until the sun rises when you’re drinking can be cool in the right circumstances, but when you’re sitting staring aimlessly at a computer is not one of them.

—Do more random things I think will be fun, and I want to do them for no real reason. I want to yell “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts,” at a bar or gathering of people and then overzealously connect with anyone and everyone who yells “Can’t Lose!” back. I want to hang up the phone without saying goodbye to people, and then tell them that’s how they do it in the movies whenever they call back all pissed off. At 4:58 p.m. on Fridays, I want to queue up “Born to Run” on my work computer and sprint out of the office as it plays.

—Meet and spend some time with some of the people I sort of know, but don’t know In Real Life. Since I’m so far away from the vast majority of my friends and family, I spend more time alone. I also spend more time entrenched in the technological world than I otherwise would. These two things are certainly related. I've also been lucky enough to meet some people who have wanted to talk to me about things I've written online, and then we gChat and Tweet at each other and become pals on Facebook, so that I'll know when it is their birthday and can creepily browse through their photographs and interests. I value these people, and want to make more of a proactive effort to be around them. I need to get away from the computer and go out and actually do things, like high five a girl and then go to a Zumba class with her. (I told a girl I know, but not IRL, that if we ever met by chance at a gym that I would do those things.)

—Walk up to a random girl in a bar who I have never met and I will talk to her...USING ONLY PROPER NOUNS AND LYRICS FROM NELLY SONGS.

—Run 13.1 miles, because I've forgotten what it's like to physically exhaust myself while doing something I really don't even like in the first place. Apparently, doing only what you want when you want outside of the workplace is not the healthiest way to live, especially if your favorite things to do include eating as much as you possibly can.

—Light a cigarette for Sloane Crosley.

—More than anything else, I'd like to stop dwelling so much on the past. There are things in my past I've spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about. These are usually things I wish I could get back in one sense or another, but they are things I cannot reacquire. In some cases, they're things I look nostalgically back on that, if I was being truly honest with myself, I wouldn't want to reacquire anyway.

—Start writing a book.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Facebook status sparked a defense of dudes

There's a rumor going around that says boys are stronger then girls [sic]! Oh Please! Can you carry a 7lb baby in your stomach for 9mths [sic]? Can you cook, clean and talk on the phone @ the same time? Can you burn your forehead with a curling iron and not complain? Can you walk all day in 5" heels? Can you cry all night then wake up the next morning like everything is okay? Remember guys, women are only helpless until their nail polish dries :) Put this on your wall if you are PROUD of being a WOMAN!!!

I first saw the above passage a few nights ago on Facebook. A girl who is my virtual friend who I’m pretty sure I don’t even know in real life posted it as her status. Since then, I’ve seen it a couple more times, posted by other girls who I don’t think I really know (instead of writing this I should be cleaning up my friends queue, I guess). On any given day, I see probably at least 20 absurd statuses that make me shake my head with perplexion, but that’s usually the only action I take. I realize I often put up statuses that probably spur a similar reaction from many others, so I try not to be too judgmental.

But I couldn’t let this one go by. Before I go any further, I have to say that I love women, and I do respect them. Many of my closest friends are girls, and I am all about gender equality. I make lots of chauvinistic jokes, usually about how women shouldn’t leave the kitchen, but those are simply in jest. I don’t really mean that. Women need to leave the kitchen for myriad reasons, like to run the sweeper throughout the entire house or to drive cars so automobile insurance has a reason to exist. (Those were also jokes.) I also often comment that I hate women, but I only say this out of spite for a few who have slighted me. I know it’s not fair to generalize, and the fact that I do makes me a douchebag.

When I watch episodes of Mad Men, I’m always astounded at how women were treated mere decades ago, and I’m glad things aren’t the way they were back then. There’s no doubt in my mind that I would be a completely different person that I am right now if my Mom had been like any of those women, and I’m certain my personality would be different in a negative way. The only thing I wish had kept its force from the era in which that show takes place is the commonplace acceptance of drinking hard liquor all day long while at work.

Just because I dig females doesn’t mean I’m going to sit here and let them trample all over me and say they’re better than me for reasons that are, for the most part, purely subjective. So, I’ve prepared a rebuttal to this Facebook status, which is split up into segments and can be viewed right here:

There’s a rumor going around that says boys are strong THAN girls!

--If we’re speaking of physical strength here, then you should know it’s been pretty much proven that men are stronger than women. This is just a genetic thing. Sure, there are exceptions, like Chyna, Marion Jones and this chick who used to work out at the gym I went to in college. And all of these cases are pretty much moot, since I’m almost certain all three have used performance enhancing substances.

Oh Please! Can you carry a 7lb baby in your stomach for 9 MONTHS?
--No, no I can’t, because it is physically impossible. If you’re wondering if I can carry around an extra seven pounds in my abdominal region for nine months, then the answer is yes. In fact, I’ve been doing just that for longer than nine months, like since my sophomore year of college. And I don’t even have back problems yet. Some women constantly use the pain experienced during giving birth as a reason they should be a borderline martyr. I am aware it’s not a walk in the park at all, but there are upsides. You get to eat as much of anything you want that isn’t sushi or alcohol-infused, for one thing.

I have it on good authority that the birthing part hurts like hell, but there’s no way to tell if it’s the most painful thing in the world. Guys don’t know, because not one of us has ever actually done it. I do know, however, that my Mom scared the piss out of me a week before I got my tonsils out at age 21 by saying two of the women she works with (they’re nurses, too) had gone through that experience at the same age, and had also later experienced childbirth. Both told her that the tonsil removal was a more painful experience. I acknowledge that these opinions may be skewed, because it’s not out of the question that a woman might remember less of the pain from having a kid after she ends up with a beautiful baby, whereas getting your tonsils out just leaves you on the couch for two weeks in a constant state of trepidation because you think the stitches might burst and you could die choking on your own blood.

Can you cook, clean and talk on the phone @ the same time?

--It’s called multitasking. Any child of this generation can probably do this simply because, thanks to an overexposure to technology, we’ve learned to do a bunch of different things all at once. Right now, I’m writing this, drinking wine, periodically text messaging and watching a baseball game on television. I can cook, clean and talk on the phone, so I think if I really wanted to I could do all three at the same time. I’ve cooked and talked on the phone plenty of times, but I’ve never added cleaning into the equation. There are two reasons for this: A) It doesn’t make a lot of sense to clean while cooking. It’s a fool’s errand, because once you’re done cooking you’re going to have to clean all of the utensils you used anyway. You may as well do it all at once, maybe even after you eat so you’re better sustained for the cleansing. And B) It’s blatantly irresponsible to leave things cooking in the kitchen to go clean other parts of the house. You know who taught me that? Women like my Mom and my eighth grade Home Economics teacher. This is only acceptable if we’re talking about crock pot use, which is kind of not the same concept as actively cooking. It’s like Han Solo putting the Millenium Falcon on autopilot and going to the back of the ship to bang Princess Leia, then telling all of his friends later at the Mos Eisley Cantina that he made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs while he was making love to a woman of royal cloth.

Also, is it really necessary to write an @ instead of "at"? It's just one more letter, and if you're dedicated enough to cook, clean and talk on the phone at the same time, you can at least take the time to tap one more key.

Can you burn your forehead with a curling iron and not complain?

--If I ever found myself in a scenario where I was using a curling iron (you never know, my hair’s getting kind of long), I’d make sure I knew how to use it properly first, and would take extra care not to burn my forehead or anywhere else with it. Especially not my neck, because then everyone would be slapping me on the back when they saw what they thought was a hickey that I really got one night when I was playing dress-up alone in my apartment. I know lots of girls who have made that mistake, but they don’t often complain about it; they usually don’t say anything about it until you ask them about the mysterious mark on their body, because they are embarrassed they burnt themselves with a tool that’s supposed to make them more aesthetically pleasing. When Tara Reid had botched liposuction surgery, she wasn’t running around lifting up her shirt and being like, “Son of a bitch, they really fucked up that cosmetic surgery,” because things like that are just something you generally don’t want to draw attention to.

Can you walk all day in 5" heels?

--I’ve never tried this, but challenge accepted. I’ll let you know the next time I play dress-up. I stand taller than six feet, and since I assume the reason for wearing heels is to make yourself seem taller, I really wouldn’t ever have a reason to rock them unless I was going on a date with Brooke Shields. If you’re a woman and you’re reading this, you should know it’s not really a deal breaker if you don’t wear high heels. I mean, if we get to know each other well enough, I’m eventually going to be around you when you don’t have them on, and will know your true height. If you think you’re with a guy who is going to break things off with you because you’re three inches shorter than when you’re wearing some shoes that seem pretty uncomfortable, then maybe you should burn him with a curling iron while he sleeps.

But to answer the question: Yes, I think I could.

Can you cry all night then wake up the next morning like everything is okay?
--Yes. I’ve done it. Contrary to popular belief, crying is not something only females do. Neither is rallying to a point where you can completely hide that something is very wrong in your life. It’s called having a gameface, and gamefaces are unisex just like that pair of canary yellow Ray Ban wayfarers I bought earlier this summer.

Remember guys, women are only helpless until their nail polish dries :)

--If this is truly the only time women are helpless, whoever originated this diatribe has done a great disservice to the female population. You just put out in public the best time for a serial killer to break into your house and murder you.

Put this on your wall if you are PROUD of being a WOMAN!!!
--You can probably display your pride in other ways. I suppose I’m happy I’m a man, but not particularly proud of it, just like I’m not particularly proud I have Irish ancestry. None of us have even the slightest control over those type of things, so how can you be proud of something you had no hand in accomplishing?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Me, Myself and Irene

A lot of wild things have happened this week. My work desk shook for 15 seconds Tuesday afternoon from an East Coast earthquake. My Mom got a BlackBerry. Jada Pinkett Smith apparently had sex with Marc Anthony. 

And now, on top of all of that action, Ocean City has had a mandatory evacuation for the first time since 1985, in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

I’m still here, though, in my apartment about 100 yards away from the shoreline. I’m staying to cover the impending natural disaster for the local papers, because covering Ocean City for the local media group is my job. The opportunity to ride out a hurricane on this peninsula was a pretty difficult one to turn down. Just a few weeks ago, my uncle and I were talking about how we’d always wanted to weather a hurricane-level storm. I said that shit was on my bucket list, but you know what? So is making out with a cute Asian girl and high-fiving Ryan Gosling. Can you guess which of those three is the one I am the least adamant about actually experiencing? (It’s the hurricane one.) Serves me right for being that annoying ass dude who always puts up Facebook statuses telling everyone he loves thunderstorms, and for naming my blog “The Calm During the Storm.” We will see how calm I am tomorrow when I’m experiencing floods and wind speeds higher than 100 mph. I’m probably going to piss my pants more than once.

Everyone was supposed to be out of town by 5 p.m., and most were. I woke up from a nap a couple hours after that, and ventured outside to see the sunset and to feel out the vibe of a town that is almost completely deserted. It was the first time since I moved here almost six months ago that I’ve heard crickets. I really wasn’t aware they even inhabited Ocean City, I suppose because they’re typically drowned out by the noise generated by the 250,000 or so people in town during the summer months. Tonight, though, people had gotten the hell out of Dodge, an expression I've heard at least 85 times since Thursday morning. (I had no idea what it meant until I Googled it.) It's kind of a shame, because it was one of the most beautiful evenings of the summer so far.

If you ever want to know what it feels like to be alone, go stand in the middle of a six-lane highway in an evacuated town. I took a few pictures with my phone, then I turned around and walked out to the beach, which looked completely normal except for some waves of the rougher-than-average variety. I took some more pictures, and didn’t know what to do, so I did what I would do on a normal evening: I drank some scotch and I made dinner. A 20 ounce steak my neighbor had given me before she evacuated. She was cleaning out her freezer and hooked me up. Honestly, I don’t really eat red meat that often anymore -- I've got the cholesterol of a 60-year-old fat guy -- but I felt like I needed to amp up my impression of myself as a manly man. Also, my normal dietary principles are out the window until the storm is over and I have electricity back. Last night I bought Vienna Sausages and Cheese Whiz, and I didn't buy those products to look at them.

Now, I wait. That’s the worst part, for sure. This is one of those things you just want to come as quickly as possible, so you can get it over with. I can now empathize with those vapid women who get engaged to Hugh Hefner and have to have sex with him. I’m scared, that’s for sure. I’m not going to deny that, but I think I’m more anxious than anything.

I wonder what it’ll be like when it’s over, what it might look like if I walk outside on Sunday morning when the worst of the storm has passed. It could be the wildest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m also interested in what I’ll hear, though. To my knowledge, crickets can’t really withstand a hurricane. They might get blown away, and then what? What do you say when you walk outside and it’s so quiet you don’t even hear crickets?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If you run, they will yell

If you’re ever having one of those days where you’re feeling like you’re extremely sexually irresistible to women and are also very smart, go for a jaunt in some running shorts in an area densely populated by a younger crowd. You will be called a “faggot” and “Forrest Gump” an average of like 35 times each.

These two seem to be the go-to “jokes” for anyone trying to poke fun at a guy who is wearing short shorts in an effort to avoid chafing while he exercises. Sometimes, you don’t even have to have the shorts on. People will just yell, “Run Forrest, Run!” and then cackle like one of those hyenas  from “Lion King” with those other kids they’ve become friends with during their five-year tenure together at George Lopez’s School for Kids Who Can’t Joke Good (and Can’t Do Other Things Good, Either).

Friday, June 10, 2011

LeBron gives two

LeBron James gives two fucks. Separate ones, actually. He gives a fuck about winning, but it’s becoming more and more apparent (judging by his finals performance) that he also gives a fuck about the thing he led us all to believe he didn’t give a fuck about last summer.

I remember when he first made “The Decision.” I remember the ensuing days, when he seemed to genuinely not care about the uproar his choice had caused, which got more media coverage than lots of other, more worthy stuff (that I guess I’m feeding into by writing about him yet again — I hate myself). I remember a point during the season, when the Miami Heat were in a slump and he started Tweeting stuff about how his team was something similar to the armed forces. (If he’s really into comparing the two, then I’ll go with it: Some dudes from the armed forces recently stepped up and performed in what had to have been one of the most pressure-filled and important portions of their careers by offing Osama Bin Laden. James didn’t even reach double figures in an NBA Finals game.)

During all of that, I was under the impression that James’s arrogance prevented him from either realizing that everyone hated him, or from really caring. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


If you reach a point in your life where you're coaching a porn star in anything more than how to win back their father's respect and admiration, it's probably safe to say you made a wrong turn somewhere along the way. It's even worse if you're coaching them to lie about something, because I'd bet a few bucks most porn stars have lied at least once or twice about their profession, by calling themselves actresses or performers or something. If you're coaching a porn star to lie in an effort to prevent yourself from getting into some serious type of deep shit, well then you're probably already at least wading in it.

Anthony Weiner allegedly found himself in that last position recently, when people started finding out he was apparently writing sexually-charged emails to  former porn star Ginger Lee that may or may not have included pictures of his dick, like the ones he seems to enjoy taking with his cell phone and sending to women who are not his wife. Weiner gave Lee some pointers on how to address questions about the scandal, and also offered the assistance of his public relations team. Because his team's plate wasn't full enough after their boss accidentally posted a picture of an outline of his junk to Twitter.

Weiner is apparently just like Brett Favre and myriad other famous dudes who don't seem to realize that most people -- especially famous and/or wealthy ones -- really need to use a dick picture to get laid. Especially not when they're sending them to a former porn star or Playmate, respectively. (Those women have probably seen dicks before. Lots of them, like enough to form a pipe organ made out of cocks with their mind's eye.) How anyone can honestly think a straight-up picture of their dong is really going to get them very far with a woman is completely beyond me. To the point I'm not going to even try it, and I'll try almost anything to get laid.