Tag - gentleman

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Time To Talk Beer
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Why do we forget the bad…
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A List of Things Men Must Know
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Time for Some New Shoes: Get Your Kicks!
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Your Signature Drink
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Fix your face!
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Your New Happy Hour Shirt
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Divorced Dads: It’s time to get your swagger back
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Do shoes make the man? Heck, yes!
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The $100 Freaking Four-Foot “Hunka Love” Teddy Bear

Time To Talk Beer

Beer

So this blog is a really fun way to pass along stuff I find interesting, fun, and helpful.  Lately I have spent a great deal of time writing about eating right and getting in shape.  I still say EAT RIGHT AND GET IN SHAPE.  However, I have neglected one of my favorite topics, beer!  Let’s take a big step back and peek into my only vice shall we.

Live Global, Dial Local, Drink Around Here

I may have that saying wrong but I am certain there is local beer near you (thus the term local).  No matter where you live there is a brewery somewhere close by.  I have a warm spot for Schell’s in New Ulm. schell's beer I also and new warm spot – The Mankato Brewery.  My apologies to those who do not live here, I get that this blog should be big picture and not about what happens in my little village, but you can figure it out.  Try, just try to put yourself at your locally brewery and open your mind up to the experiences that come with small breweries.  Let this be an example of how things can go.

Beer Flights

beer2I just read an article on Esquire or some equally as snooty site about craft beer.  I often scoff at the fashion advice and “trend of the day” writing but, this guy was spot on.  I witnessed it first hand.  He made an impassioned plea to quit asking for samples.  His point was simply that time is wasted and there is a basic truth is being ignored.  It is beer!  You cannot tell from a sip, buy the damn beer and drink it.  If you don’t really like it, don’t buy it again.   You don’t see people asking to sample the steak, or have a thimble of scotch.   Back to my observation.  This cozy brewery offers 4 – 6oz samples with a cool little carrier for $6.00.  You just got your samples.  I am sure it is a break even at best for the home-town-hop-team.  The idea is for the common slob to try a mitt-full of beer and look like you are not a knuckle-dragging mouth breather.  Here is what is sitting in my craw:

…. this woman and her friend in front of me, IN FRONT OF ME, insisted on little sample cups of beer  and stood there chatting:

“oh, did you try the blah blah blah nonsense?”

“no I didn’t, what is it like?”

“I don’t know, they say it is an amber beer, it looks brown to me?”

“oh really, I am a mouth breather, what does that mean?”

“it means people hate us.”

This crap went on for, what seemed like eternity.  Meanwhile, in the real world, a line of us were growing impatient waiting to BUY BEER and support these blokes.   Finally I was overcome with common sense, mixed with  testosterone, and stepped between them and ordered a beer.  No one cheered, no one even gave me the nod, but I knew deep down they muttered the word hero.    On a side note, I saw the aforementioned crazy woman ranting about her beer later as she stormed off to the biffy.  I hate to say it, but I knew that would happen.  You can lead them to the beer but cannot make them emotionally stable.

The point of that story is DON’T BE THAT PERSON!  Have  tiny bid of common sense and spend a few bucks.  If you are too cheap to buy a beer, don’t waste the precious time of a small business.  Go to Sam’s Club and get the 72 pack of whatever water/beer is on sale, go home, and bathe in it.  Get out of the way.

The Cool Stuff

Here is what is almost a fun as drinking beer, looking at swag.  These small breweries often have the best stuff;  hats, glasses, live music, space for events, stainless steel things, and fun people.  Saturday was the third trip to this establishment for me.  I have not had a bad day gathered about the bar yet.  The beer is cold and fresh.  The staff members who pour my libation have been unreasonably pleasant and patient.  I think they need to be patient.  One day a group of men were there on bikes.  These are vintage bicycles, not motorcycles, bikes.  They ride bikes all over the state and visit beer.  That my not be exactly the goal of this rag-tag bunch of oddities, but I am certain is was crazy old dudes on bikes.  The bar keep gladly explained the mission and hopes of the brewery for, what was probably, the 50th time that day.  Gladly they marshaled on, preaching about beer and, well beer.  Hopefully these men left with a smile on their face.

mankato brewery

The really cool thing about a business entrenched in a local market is the humanity they bring to the ecosystem.  The brewery is open to hosting events and fundraisers.  My most recent visit was a local Pride group raising money for the upcoming parade.  The brewery had a stage, power, tables, and a tolerant spirit that bodes well the future of the business.  It is important to be part of something bigger than money and a product.  I will stack up local businesses like this against corporate events any day of the week.  I may be off topic, but you can do more with less, when the people who are making the world a better place live right in the very world they serve.

Back On Topic

I would be remiss if I did not mention the beer.  I always struggle with this part since I am not a beer judge.  I know what I like and what I mostly like.  I have read all sorts of beer reviews that have categories and grading scales and science behind them.  I am not quite at that level.  I went to a winery in California called Concannon a few years ago.  It was quaint and perfect when you drove up.  I was with a guy who had never really consumed wine that was not in a box or refrigerated.  It was a lucky day for all of us when we stumbled up to the tasting table and started a conversation with the wine dude.  This guy explained the history of the place and gave his background.  He was a retired high-power lineman from Montana.  He was the Glen Campbell song!  When my co-worker opened a vein and confessed his fears about looking foolish at the winery his words were met with kind understanding.  This old guy simply said that there are four kinds of wine:  red, white, good and bad.  If you find something you like, drink it.  Simple and true, loved it!  That is how I feel about the beer I drink.  My favorites are Haymaker and Duly Noted.  Both are pale ales, my current beer of choice.  I like my beer like my women, cold and bitter.  I also had a porter and some more traditional ales.  All was well,  I was drinking beer and listening to live music.  Two tipsy thumbs up to the day.

You may not like all of the beers they sell.  Just buy one and drink it.  After you are done, buy something else…  please.

The next beer message will brought to you by the good people at HOME BREW!Home Brew

Let’s Go!

 

Why do we forget the bad…

selfie

The human affliction is an amazing thing.   I am not sure why, but our past either is demon from one the seven levels of hell or it was the most epic event ever.  Is it not possible to just remember a picnic as a place where you had some food?  Was it really a chance meeting with Robert Plant during a whiffle ball tournament while wearing a burka.  I want to know if any of us had a regular up bringing?  I want to know why we generally forget the bad and look fondly at history stripping away the reality?

Part I: That wasn’t so bad…

The blog is going to be multi-part.  I struggle with the key points because there is so much material here.  So for now, “take a bad song and make it better” goes first.

I talked to a friend the other day who had a rough experience.  A trip that was supposed to help drive business, re-connect with people, and explore life ended up being a let down.  The seminar was not epic, friends that should have re-connected were human after all, and the social events were too much chaos.  Early poll results showed a disappointed voter base on many fronts.  Weeks later there was new energy that came from memories, came from new information, came from getting a better understanding of the soul.  The point is why, or how does time twist memories?  Do we need to defend our fragile ego or maybe we have a need to explain things in a format that matches our expectation?

The checklist

Everyone has their own mental checklist:

Old boyfriend – he was a psycho but we had fun times

Old girlfriend – she stole all of my best vinyl but she was a great lover

First apartment – the heat didn’t work but damn did we live large

Even that little stock picture of photo shopped attractive kids shows it.  The women probably hate that dude, he probably hit on both of them and mooched off of them.  But they will look at that stupid selfie one day and ask “what ever happened to Zippy Johnson, he was so fun”.

I bet you a run through your photo albums would make my point.

A rough version of a conclusion

I think that idea is universal.  We need to survive, justify, grow, learn, advance and protect ourselves.

A number of studies were cited in an article by the BBC News regarding this topic.  The article titled, Why good memories are less likely to fade, discusses at length the human mechanism that helps us survive.

Dr Tim Dalgleish, a clinical psychologist from the University of Cambridge, tries to help those with serious depression to access positive memories.   People need good memories and will often go to great lengths to manufacture them.

I am certain there is always clarity that comes with time.  The saying goes something like time heals all wounds.  Tell that to the guy mauled by a bear.  We look back at the process and find that one little gem that popped out of seminar was germane to a current event.  We pick out the memory tied to endorphins released by laughter.  Your right brain has battled to find an answer and there it was the entire time, in the wee recesses of your bad memory.  The emotional connection is tied to everything.  Not so manly to talk about the emotional part (which is a lie – emotions are insanely sexy and manly).  We strip away facts and remember the way we felt, or even wish we felt.

I suppose if you are a pre-disposed optimist this process is inevitable.  You look for the good and try to grow from it.  I don’t know a lot of pessimists, maybe I am surrounded by them, but,  ironically my optimism has reframed them  as positive people in my mind.  I surmise many of those people will likely fixate on the crappy stuff.  I am not writing to them, they would not be able to see past my rambling writing style, it pisses them off.

I know this is one small example but it does intrigue me.  I am glad for this example because it gives me hope that we can become better people.  I usually write to men.  I have been told that I need to include women.  We all know that all of my writing includes women.  I am technically writing to men, but most women want men to be better people.  I am guessing that most women want to understand men better too.  Ladies, you are welcome.  I won’t tell anyone if you are reading this, you are still right, and we are still wrong.  I think that is probably a falsehood too but that is also another topic.   We will delve into a  discussion on people who see every event as a bad memory.  I am not too excited about that since I don’t have a frame of reference and I am naive.  So in the mean time… Let’s Go!

 

 

A List of Things Men Must Know

 Things Men Must Know

A List of Things Men Must Know

I generally dislike obligatory lists of lists – but there is a need here to have a core description of gentlemanly things all men must know.  This really isn’t a list, just thoughts disguised as a list.   Listen, you don’t have to believe me, go look at anybody that is successful or tall or who is able to communicate with women; they have a rudimentary grasp on these things.    No list is complete, this one is not either so please sit back,  gloss this over, and help me add to it.

Sartorial Splendor

Every man needs to know how to iron a shirt and tie a tie.  This is listed first because it is a mandatory item.  The dry cleaner is always anhow to tie a tie option when you need a pressed look.  It will cost a couple bucks and planning is required.  What if you end up in a hotel with a wrinkled shirt or at home preparing for a last minute meeting?  Get out the iron and fix that shirt.  The tie is just as important.  If you have a zipper tie or a clip on tie that is just fine, if you are ten.  It is not hard to learn and is a staple of your wardrobe (once I figure out how, I will add video evidence).  The other simple thing that is a must are well polished shoes.  Again I will beg off the details on how to polish them, but you can be sure I will cover that topic soon.

Epicurean Delight

Dude needs to cook.  This blog littered with recipes that are easy and can make you look suave.  Guys that cook are sexy, that martiniis the word on the street.  Breakfast should be more than eggs and bacon.  An omelet is so easy and it has great curb appeal.  Manage the grill, cook a steak, make any food that does not come in a can or a box.  The bottom line is a cooking class may be in your best interest.  I am a Midwest guy, raised on casserole (or as we simple folk call it, hot dish).  Hot Dish will do in a pinch, much like spaghetti or chili, any dolt can make it.  Get to a couple go-to meals and you will be ahead of the game.

This category includes some drinks.  We have already discussed the whiskey play.  You also need to know how to make a martini.  The “drink it” section will be your friend , I promise.  In the mean time a classic shaken martini with olives is the rule to live by.  Splurge on the vodka for this one (2 oz. Ketel One mixed with 1/2 oz. dry vermouth shaken over ice poured into chilled glass with two olives).  There is a direct correlation between the quality of the Vodka and the suffering of the people who make it.  Swarthy Polish people make Belvedere, they have suffered and the Vodka is righteous.  For the same reason I generally avoid Grey Goose, the French, come on.  You can use any crap in a Bloody Mary or a Screwdriver because the mix is so strong, but the Martini gives you no where to hide.  That reminds me, Bloody Mary recipes are coming!

Train The Brain

It may seem like a small thing but you need to get your mind around communication.  Every man needs to be able to have a conversation with a child.  It is a great exercise in joy and patience to talk to children on their level.  Nothing moves the fairer sex more than seeing a man and a young one in a deep conversation.  Don’t do it to just look good, do it because it is tonic for your soul.  On that same bent, have a book handy to read.  You can use the Kindle, an app on your phone, or even read an old-fashioned paper book.  This can help you build that organ you need to use more, the brain.  Not just the brain stem that demands food, sleep, sex and wants you to fight.  It builds the advanced frontal lobes.  It helps you communicate with that delicate child.

Get Past Your Past

If you ever want to be a whole person you will have to eventually realize that you can neither ignore your past nor can you change it.  It is stuff you did.  Sure you can spin it and justify your behavior but, eventually you have to face the fact, it is the path you took.  Every man needs to respect that past and grow from it.  Even if that past is littered with figurative, or literal, skeletons you must reflect and grow.  I realize this is along way from getting a good knot in a tie but, that tie looks better on a self-aware neck.  I have said it before and I will say it again – every man needs to talk to someone smarter than them about emotions.  Many of us did not even know we had emotions let alone recognize experiencing them as manly.

And Of Course

•travel   •get a firm handshake   •listen to classical music (not The Rolling Stones – Mozart)   •Have ten different music mixes on your Spotify   •volunteer for something   •go to the gym (you will thank me)   •look people in the eye   •be a gentleman (especially with women)   •put your phone away when you are engaged with someone   •build a fire  •do something outdoors  •laugh   •learn to tell a joke   •no really laugh (don’t take yourself so seriously)  •and find a passion  (scratch and claw and dig to find something that moves you) Perhaps the list should just be that last bullet point.  Everything else will become a detail if you find your passion. That is all for now Let’s Go!

Time for Some New Shoes: Get Your Kicks!

cool shoe

You should buy these shoes

It’s Friday.. and that means it is time to get your fashion fix.  At the risk of seeming like I have a foot fetish, let’s grab a pair of shoes,  I’m thinking these Bostonian Men’s Pavillion Oxford are the perfect fit.

Three Tips for Buying Shoes

TIP NUMBER ONE:  Stay on a budget but don’t be dumb about it

Shoes are not a place to go total bottom dollar.  You can get some shoes that look awesome on the sale rack at Marshall’s only to have sore feet and a bill for new shoes in a few months.  Find a brand name you have heard of, a brand name of a company that actually MAKES SHOES.  I saw some Van Heusen shoes that looked nice, but they probably don’t even make them.  Even worse, shoes made by Apt 9?  That sounds more like a place you would see the Law And Order team searching for the murderer!  You are going to wear them a lot so be frugal but be savvy.  The shoes I have listed above are ones I just ordered.  About $80.00 fetched me some Bostonian Oxfords.  This is a brand that has a great reputation and I have bought them many times in the past.

TIP NUMBER TWO:  Get a versatile shoe

If you’re on a budget and need to buy things like food, Internet, and green fees make sure one shoe can do the work of two.  You have already bought a better quality shoe so you should get greater wear.  This shoe will look great with your Khakis at work and will dress up your cool jeans after work.  There are different shades, but the darker brown will be more functional if you need to go with a suit and tie at some point.  This little number is dressy and casual.  It is your little black dress, Mister.  Later, as budget and creativity allows, start adding shoes with different styles, tints, hues, and funk.  For now, get a good utility pair.

TIP NUMBER THREE:  Take care of them

I will have a post coming soon where I enlist a shoe care expert to give the details on what polish, cream, brush, and processes to make those puppies both last and look smashing.  A few bucks worth of TLC can save you looking ratty and can save your beer money.  We will add to this tip in a future post since it needs a fair amount to time dedicated to it.

There it is, do something about it…

Let’s Go!

 

Your Signature Drink

Your Signature Drink

I AM SO FIRED UP!  I have been writing all sorts of nonsense for the last few weeks and money shot is finally coming.  I get to write about having a cocktail!  I can barely contain myself.

Here is some background information.  I have owned a couple bars and still work as a bartender, sooooooo I know a bit about this topic.  OK, more than a little bit about this topic.  I also have a drinking problem (Alright, that last part is subjective — Sorry, Mom).  Here’s what I do know:  It is so lame for people to come to the bar say one of these things: “What kind of drinks to you have?” or “What’s on special?” or “What kind of rail vodka do you use?”  Basically all of the questions are interpreted as: “Why am such a big pussy?!”.  One of the best places to assert you manhood is the BAR.

Here is what you need: a signature drink.  Don’t go in to a bar without a plan.  I am all for a Captain coke or tap beer once in a while.  But c’mon… those drinks have no moxie.  NONE.  You need to have a drink that represents you, something that you can throw out at the bar without looking like a clown.  Let’s get you cool in the bar, Big Fella.

My first recommendation is whiskey water on the rocks.  I don’t care if you don’t like whiskey, it isn’t about that.  It is what Whiskey represents: confidence, bravado, testosterone, and flavor.  You can work your way to a brand you like best, however, don’t go all obscure either.  That can backfire and usually ends up making you look like a snob.  Ask for Crown, Jameson, Windsor, or Jack… something that every bar will have.  By choosing a quality standard you won’t have to stammer and argue and make everyone wait for you to grow up.  Part of being the man is bar etiquette, more to come on that…

Don’t overthink this.  Just get some whiskey (beer is cool too, but that wrecks my entire post and it doesn’t have the same vibe).  You have confidence, you have a plan, you look larger and you seem smarter.  All that makes it worth learning to drink whiskey.  Cheers.

Let’s Go!

 

Fix your face!

Facial Hair GuyAll day, every day on every social media platform, and somewhere on every website, there are unkept men talking about women and focusing on every detail.  We expect women to look perfect for us in all aspects, but don’t demand the same of ourselves.  GO GET A MIRROR. Don’t get me rolling on the clowns that used to have the “no fat chicks” bumper sticker.  Most would be lucky if the female that would actually spend time with him didn’t live in the barn!

Here comes a rant:  We watch the red carpet interview at the Oscars where brilliant, beautiful women are whittled down to who they are wearing.  Endless magazines and talk shows rate these women as “10 Best” and “10 Worst” without a single mention of their body of work – just the body.   Don’t misunderstand.  As a big fan of the body, I am just certain this is quite #sexist.  Here is the rub: Some knuckle-dragging sasquatch of a man lumbers up and we ask him about his philosophy on life.  We don’t even notice his bushy-ass gross eyebrows or ear hair that is just a smidge longer than the chest hair curling up from under his collar.  WTF.  How about who he is wearing?  …Duck-frickin’ Dynasty?

DON’T BE THAT GUY!  You are not a Hollywood heart-throb.   You are plumber, a sales rep, a dentist, a rodeo clown and hopefully much more evolved than that.  This is all part of having your game.

Go and invest a few bucks in a detail trimmer to at least fix the face.  It is not hard.  Eyebrows, beard, neck, ears, nose.  Do it in that order for reasons that should be obvious.

Some tips to help you:

  • Use the little tiny comb that comes with it to ensure you don’t slip, and take a chunk out of your eyebrows
  •  If you have fears, have a stylist do it the first time and then you will have a template
  •  If you keep a little stubble (or even a manly beard) use the detail trimmer around your lips to catch the strays
  • Clean rogue hairs regardless of location: The long one on the cheek, neck nonsense, or even that mullet growing out of your ears
  • Do the nose hairs last, and don’t be gross — clean it when you are done

Wahl razorThis is all part of the mix, guys.  Women are watching you as much as you watch them– and the attention to detail is critical.  They notice, trust me.  They notice.  So your choice is leave your face a grizzled mess and live a desperate life of can cheese and crackers or… eat a giant T-Bone with your manly hands as women swoon – swoon I sayYou will have to beat them off with a stick.

Look:  You can even buy this Wahl 5545-400 Wahl Ear Nose & Brow – 3 In 1 Trimmer for about $10.00 without even having to go to the mall!

Let’s Go!

Your New Happy Hour Shirt

Happy Hour Shirt

Try this on for size

It’s time to go to Happy Hour.  I beg you to not look like a tool, please?  You need a cool happy hour shirt.  This should be all I need to write, but I hear the clamoring for details.  Ok, ok…here is a good rule of thumb:  If any female, any female (I don’t care if it’s your mom – insert joke here) compliments the shirt, you are heading the right way.

A couple key things to consider when you are getting dressed:

Ditch the t-shirt.  If are thinking a trying to match your baseball cap, you should stay home.  You need to try a little bit.

Let’s grab a shirt with buttons, run a comb through your hair and be somebody.  Here’s a shirt I think is cool and REASONABLY PRICED.  You don’t have to break the bank to look like you have a checking account at the bank.

Iron the shirt – I’m not gonna go into that now – another post is coming for those who are challenged in that area.

Start with a simple step, get a shirt.  You can purchase this Tom’s Ware Casual Shirt on Amazon for less than $30.00 so you have money left to buy a drink.   Cheers!

Divorced Dads: It’s time to get your swagger back

Get your swagger back after divorce
Source: Tapiture

Many of you are just like me. You used to be somebody.  You were a kick-ass dude with his life tightly pulled together.  Of course,  we all know you are still freakin’ awesome. But now, it’s more like the watered-down divorced kind of awesome.  The after divorce kind of awesome.  And that doesn’t feel the same at all.  You work hard, fall behind, miss out on great events, and you doubt yourself.  Divorce is a crazy thing for everyone. Everyone. I know because I have firsthand knowledge.  It’s my story too.

There is an endless stream of shows, articles, books, and resources to help newly-divorced women learn to cope without a man (as if they need the help).  I’m sure you’ve also heard people yammer on about the virtues of putting the kids first.  BTW… if I had a dollar for every clichéd “I am doing it for my kids” line of BS I would be a sitting on a giant pile of cash instead of this office chair.  But there is deafening silence when you bring up a discussion about how Dad should deal with the mess that’s left behind after divorce.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s time to recognize that it is not a sign of weakness to want to be a man.  I am not talking about chopping-wood-in-your-flannel-shirt-while-drinking-whiskey man.  I am talking about a man who is part of the experience.  A man who has a heart and a soul, a man who doesn’t have to measure his worth in machismo.  Don’t misunderstand, it is bad ass to chop wood while drinking whiskey– but it’s so much more than that.  You are not a criminal if you fight to be a great dad.   You are not the bad guy if you fight for more time with your children.  You simply need to GET YOUR SWAGGER BACK.

Here is a cursory list of things you can do to get your emotional swagger back. 

Go to a counselor

This step was critical for me.  I waited until I was in a really bad place before I went to a professional.  Do not delay this step!  Most psychologists are wicked smart about what you are going through.  You would not sit at home and stew about your car not running, you would go to a mechanic.  Dr. Perrin was my mechanic.  I don’t think there was any magic, he just showed me a path.  Maybe he just listened with no pre-conceived notions about me.  Maybe he was a safe place for me to be honest.  Whatever it was I cannot stress this enough.

Show your kids the real you

You can shed a tear at your kids first dance because that is major life event.  Your kids need to know you are fully engaged on many levels.  It is very hard to understand what is going on in their minds.  They are generally younger than you (right) and don’t have much life experience with emotions.  Hell, as grown men we have not generally been given permission to even have emotions let alone understand them.  It is critical that they hear from you about life.  Not to preach or even teach but to remind them, even subconsciously, that you care and are interested.  There could be terribly inaccurate information pouring into their brains daily from well intended people about your relationship with them.  They are smart, they know what you say and what you DO.

Don’t forget all this stuff!

Or course you can hit the gym and regain your body which helps your confidence and all that goes with that.  You can be super effective at work and solidify one part of your life.  You can get a grip on your budget (or at least try).  Don’t forget to read a book, a non-fiction book.  Build some great play-lists on Spotify and shut off the TV.  And… you can share a beer with your inner most doubts, in your garage, and explain why you can’t hang out anymore. Send that stupid inner voice packing and be awesome again.  

This is the first of many posts that point toward potential fixes.  Life goes on after divorce.  It can be better than ever, but it does take time and effort.  I am not a PhD in “manology” nor do I have a team of psychologists backing my research.  My degree in divorce is from the school of hard knocks.  I am a divorced dad who struggled mightily with my place in the world and still do.  I am a regular working guy trying to make ends meet and reset myself.  Most importantly I am currently busting my ass to get to a great place.

There will be no vitriol and hate, no low-hanging fruit pointed at former spouses or blaming the system.  This is a place to grow, think, love, and come up with some cool shit.  Stay tuned for a long-running dialog on being somewhere between functional and a rock star after divorce.   Jump on and come along for the ride.

Let’s Go!

Do shoes make the man? Heck, yes!

Do shoes make the man?  Shoes and SocksDo shoes make the man?

Be honest.  No really.  BE HONEST.   You look at people who rock differently than you look at slobs.  I can hear the naysayers now, “But it’s what is on the inside that matters!”  Bullshit.  Don’t tell me you would go to The Avengers if the cast was made up of 4 fat dudes in sweat pants and a woman with crazy eyes who uses the moped to travel.   We totally dig people with swagger.  Swagger is a freaking cool-ass thing.  Swagger rocks and swagger comes in all sorts of forms.

Let’s break this down into one little chunk for brevity.  I had a man-crush on a dude’s shoes and socks at a meeting the other day.  Straight-up teenage vibe, you know, like a little girl watching that stupid vampire series.  No, I don’t have a poster of his feet.  However, I did take the picture when he wasn’t looking, sneaky style.  (Full disclosure: I eventually told him so the photographic evidence of his footwear has been given the full approval to publish.  He wasn’t even troubled because HE KNEW he was awesome.)

So does it matter.  Heck yes, it matters!  Shoes do make the man.  Studies even back this up. A study conducted by Researchers at the University of Kansas back me up. Respondents accurately judged characteristics such as age, income, and political affiliation of an unknown person, based solely (pun intended!) on his shoes.  I kid you not.  I feel validated.

Your kick-ass shoes give you credibility.  They are an indication of your self-respect. If I am listening to someone yammer on about a topic they love and they have stupid shoes, I tune out.  To me, shoes are an easy way to say he cares.  You don’t have be rolling in cash to look good.   Just care.  Regardless on income, any guy can consciously choose to keep them polished and pick out some cool socks.  You cannot mail this one in.  Trust me when I tell you shoes are critical.

I am not totally in the dark.  If he was an idiot and spit while he talked and the shoes were cool he would also lack credibility.  I am a fan of language, ties, smooth conversation (conversation is sexy), posture and rock-hard abs.  But the shoes are the foundation.  Take that first step, fellas.

Next week we talk about your damn creepy eyebrows.

Let’s Go!

The $100 Freaking Four-Foot “Hunka Love” Teddy Bear

The $100 Freaking Four-Foot “Hunka Love” Teddy Bear

I just saw a Valentine’s Day commercial that made me freeze in my tracks.  While I’m not going to dive into the commercially made-up holiday that is Valentines Day, I do think this advertisement deserves a little discussion.

A beautiful woman gets a teddy bear for Valentine’s Day from a great looking man.  A FOUR-FOOT TALL FREAKING TEDDY BEAR.  She is sooooo happy and the look in her eyes clearly demonstrates that she is in an amorous state based on her feelings towards “Captain Thoughtful” and this amazing romantic gesture.

Oh wait,  it gets worse.  Then, they show a hottie in a spaghetti-strap tank top turning up her nose at a box of chocolates because you, the stupid man, are trying to get her fat.  How dare you give her chocolate?  How insensitive.  Don’t you know that her silicone is very new and there could be a dangerous reaction?  Dude, you are an ass.

Flowers – Ha!  DEAD in a week, just like your love life.  Clearly, no woman wants flowers because if they don’t last forever they’re no good.  Isn’t that why people don’t want pets or kids?  No woman wants anything that doesn’t live forever.  Insert perfect gift NOW.

Vermont Teddy Bear HunkaThe four-foot teddy bear will, and I quote, “…take care of her when you are not around.”  What?  Is this stuffed menace also anatomically correct?  Is it a twisted, yet erotic, combination of Ted and Chuckie?  I mean, I like a teddy bear as much as the next guy, but for $100 this fluffy guy should do something to earn his keep.   Surrogate Phallic Teddy never fails, and you Zippy, fail all the time.

I wonder how long the relationship will last?  Sure ,Teddy never comes home drunk or gets fired for hitting on the bosses wife.  Sure ,Teddy never says anything stupid in front of that special someone’s parents.  And of course you would not catch fur ball “accidentally” locking the cat out of the bedroom.   The good news is that I think that will wear off FAST.

There will come a day when Teddy does not take out the garbage or will not be around for the toilet seat blame-game.  He will be laying there like a dolt in the corner when one of her friends was passive aggressive on facebook and she needs to talk about the two-faced bitch.  And Teddy, flawless Teddy will commit the ultimate sin by not noticing the new haircut.  BOOM! You’re back in, my friend.  You take the fall for the seat indiscretion, you call out the former friend, and swoon over the cut.  Back in.

I realize there is no perfect gift.  I have some very real and irrational fears about this 99.99 “Act Now” parasite, but there is great hope in it as well.  Sometimes it takes great evil to see great good (or at least average good).  Eventually when Teddy lets her down, she’ll realize that you are not a giant buffoon.  She will realize that you are just a flawed monkey.  Her monkey.  Had you bought her flowers or some transitory junk there would have never been such an epiphany.  It took the $100 Fur Ball of Evil to teach her that.

My final advice is to never buy a human-sized beanbag.   Maybe buy her flowers?  Doesn’t sound like much advice, but it is.  You can do so much more by being home now and then, noticing her haircut (and lie about it if you don’t like it – bonus advice!), be anatomically correct yourself (even if not perfect) and see how that works out.  Plus, that hundred bucks could buy some pretty damn good scotch.

Of course don’t take my word for it, buy the bear, and then let me know how it works out.  That’s why I have a comment section.

Let’s Go!

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