I'm in Saco. We own a house in Sanford where we were our first two years. I'm not a fan of living in Maine, though I grew up spending summers near Bethel and will always consider our summer place there as close to the ideal as anything gets.
My parents moved to Akron when I was in college (late 80s) so I don't know any of the spots. As for places I love in Mpls/St. Paul it depends entirely on what sorts of mood I was in. I lived near Cedar Lake for a while, then mostly in Uptown. My old best friend lives in St. Paul. All the names of places are escaping me. If I had to be stuck away from a coast again, I'd definitely move back there, though.
Go watch your movie!
Okay, fair enough… except my “movie” is a 22 minute weekly sitcom. But I should go spend time with the wife.
Where does your twitter/tumblr name come from? Also, I've seen you mention that you want us to know you're not totally "out of your league" with your wife (that she's hotter than you deserve) and I'd like to know more about that sense/concern/idea. (It had to do with you dating in college or something, I don't recall...)
I grew up in Cleveland, OH and now live in Saint Paul, MN. Except for the two and a half years I lived in Maine (Vacationland), I’ve lived in the Great Lakes region my entire life—Midwest if you live on the coasts. I hate to tell you though, but I’m more of an east coast liberal than many. The whole “flyover” thing is a play on stereotypes. I’m not a Midwesterner in the way most people assume we are… Neither is my wife, neither are my friends from Cleveland, nor are my friend in Minnesota, and I have yet to meet someone from my wife’s Iowa Law School program that is some slow talking redneck. The truth is, both coasts have a lot of misperceptions about us folks and it makes me mad. The name is a parody of that perception.
Question 2… My wife is a very very cute redhead with problems of her own. My “out of my league comments” actually tend to stem from the “doughy white Midwestern sitcom hero that has married out of his league.” It’s more picking on me for being a Middle-American Caucasian joke teller. That being said, The Wife is a very cute redhead with all the freckles and if she talks to her British parents enough, an accent. Also, undergrad degree in Economics from Princeton, an M.A. in English from UMaine, and editor of the Law Journal at Iowa where she kicked everyone’s ass in Law School. So, when I win an argument my little old rhetoric degree skips a beat!
I am going to watching Raising Hope with the wife, but then I’ll be back to answer questions. I like answering questions because it allows me to be flippant while still focusing on giving a real answer that means something.
Seriously, quit fucking up the concept of deconstruction you amateur academic hacks. If you spent three weeks “deconstructing” your paper topic, you fucking didn’t. You just placed your subject matter within a historical context or perspective and didn’t really derive any alternative or deeper meanings from something that your local FOX affiliate couldn’t have pulled out of the air during a piece on kitten adoption. You didn’t deconstruct it. Deconstruction is more than just some lazy piece of crap historical analysis without really understanding why it got that way. Edwin Black might be the shit at historical placement and contextualizing ideas. But he wouldn’t call his work deconstruction.
If you can read any book by Foucault and understand it, then you are the fucking MAN when it comes to deconstruction. Otherwise, go back to getting an A- in pop culture in your half-assed history department.
Well, it’s taken me 10 years to get that shit off my chest.
On LinkedIn, people want you to schedule lunch. On FourSquare, people tell you where they went to lunch. On Facebook, people post pictures of mundane lunches. On Yelp, people review their lunch. On Tumblr, people describe in exquisite detail their favorite lunch. On Twitter, people tell you about the hour they spent in the bathroom after lunch.
Depends on the restaurant and if my wife and I are sharing or not. If it’s up to me, I get garlic chicken (extra spicy) with fried rice. There’s this place in Solon, Ohio in a strip mall that makes amazing garlic chicken which GIANT pieces of broccoli (it seems like some of the best places to get Chinese are in suburban strip malls, and that makes no rational sense). I pretty much dig anything with a metric shit ton of heat, chicken and garlic. I might experiment with something different at a fancier place, but I think we are talking red checker table cloth and paper box carry out, right?
Chinese Vampires won’t come within 300 yards of me after a good garlic chicken meal although the werewolves come up real close and lick my arms out of curiosity.
I’m not particularly much of a fruit/meat guy, so it makes things difficult sometimes with Fiona and decide to share dishes.
…..and don’t even get me started on “Hawaiian Pizza.” Pineapple and ham is a travesty… but that has nothing to do with Chinese food, does it?
Please tell me three things you love about yourself and three things you hate. Go.
Let’s see here….
Loves 1. My hand eye coordination. I know that sounds funny, but it keeps me active in a multitude of sports—which gets me the hell out of the house. Also, at parties I catch a lot of beers before they hit the ground…I’m like the Neo of beer drinkers.
2. I’m generally a pretty good judge of character…this has allowed me to develop some pretty amazing friendships and helped me to freeze out assholes. So over the years I’ve become pretty comfortable saying, “it’s not me, it’s you. You are a prick.”
3. I have the ability to tie together completely unrelated things into something that makes their unapparent connection obvious. That’s why I have a master’s degree in rhetoric. And if it wasn’t for heading to the frosty tundra of Maine, I wouldn’t have met the wife… Also, it makes for interesting conversation when everyone at the table has a “what the fuck are you thinking” look on their faces for the five minutes it takes me to make a point.
1. I can’t keep off this damn belly fat. Seriously, my whole body is a reasonable size except for this beer belly. And with my extra long torso, I really do look like a keg on stilts.
2. I procrastinate too much, and while I do get everything done, I often generate too much stress for those around me (even if I’m focused and not stressed at all).
3. I am engaged in a metric shit ton of activities each week. I really spread myself thin, so all too often I find myself forgetting about things or more importantly not paying the proper attention to a family or friends. Maybe that isn’t true, but it’s my perception.
What has been the happiest moment of your adult life?
There are three answers to this question, but two are related to the wife so please grant me this extended answer.
1. The day I got married to Fiona is the easiest and most honest answer.
2. The day Fiona and I can honestly say we got back together. We dated in grad school at the University of Maine for about a year and a half. When grad school ended, she went to law school at Iowa and I moved back to Cleveland. As you can guess, that relationship was destined to fail. We kept in touch with the occasional email (all hail the power of the internet). I’d send her ecards on her birthday and she’d email me when the Buckeyes would win the Big Ten title. After law school, she moved to KC and we started talking on the phone again. Then she took a job in Minneapolis with a big law firm. We were talking on the phone almost weekly at that point. She called me to let me know she had a deposition in Cleveland and asked if we could get together for a meal before she left town—it literally was a situation where she arrived in the morning and had to fly out to Phoenix in the evening. I agreed and we made plans to meet at Key Tower in downtown Cleveland in the afternoon. Her meeting ran late, I spilled an entire large latte because I was so nervous waiting…. and her meeting ran over so much she actually ran out the building looking for me while she was dialing me on the phone. But we connected. Less than 45 minutes because I had to drive her straight back to the airport, because the depos had run so far over. Although, in the 45 minutes I’d like to think we both truly realized what we’d lost when we split up.
3. In a non-wife related story would have to be my birthday in 2003. It just so happened that my all-time favorite band Johnny Socko played a show in Cleveland on the night of my birthday. I have about 10 really amazing close friends back home and we all went to the show together, partied like rock stars, and just had the most amazing time. Two of my close friends, Dave and 6’5” black dude, and Amy a 5’2” inch pasty white girl, were dancing on the speakers on the front of the stage like mismatched yard-sale bookmarks while everyone else just had the right amount to drink that night. WE all loved each other and while at the time were all struggling liberal arts grads; we had the world in the palm of our hands that night. Anything and everything seemed possible all at once. There wasn’t anything amazing that happened that night that really stands out (although see below), it was just this amazing feeling of closeness and a future where everything seemed like it was going to be alright. It felt like the musical montage at the end of a film where all the characters made peace, and you knew in the author’s mind that everything had ended the way we wanted it to.
An interesting aside to that night… My friend Chris (who now owns a major rock club in Cleveland and was the best man in my wedding) walked up to me apologetically when we got back to his house. It seems he wanted to get me a Johnny Socko bowling shirt as a birthday gift, but they didn’t have one in my size. “So I got you something better, Johnny Socko toothpaste” he drunken slurred at me. And yes, he gave me a completely used tube of crest with a Johnny Socko sticker over the Crest label. I still have that fucking tube of Crest and it is a wonderful reminder of the best night of my life that doesn’t revolve around my wife.
What is the one question that you do not want anyone to ask you?
Wow…. That’s a hard question to analyze and respond to. Of course, I never want someone to ask me where I’ve hidden the dead bodies. Frankly, that’s something none of us what to ever examine again. Or what I think about my ex-loves. Basically, I try to avoid anything about my dark side as well. There’s this perception that I am a pretty nice guy, and while I do have enough edge to not be a push over, I like to think I get along with everyone pretty well.
The honest answer is more general. My wife has commented several times that I don’t like to talk about school growing up. While I have parents that I love and love me dearly, I really don’t want to talk about growing up, ever. I had a lot of pretty miserable experiences from say 2nd grade through my junior year of high school. We had a really awkward moment earlier this year when my dad made a comment about how much fun I had in school.
So the short answer is that, the one question I don’t want people to ask is: What was growing up like for you and did you enjoy it?
Are you wearing comfy slacks today or going straight for the gray sweatpants.
Well my friend that is an interesting question. Considering I play soccer, broomball, curling, kickball and bowling you would think I have a plethora of comfortable sweatpants. However, and probably somewhat sadly, I don’t have a pair of polycotton blend elastic waist band athletic sweatpants to don when I (never) go to the strip clubs. I wear comfortable slacks to work—why yes I am that guy that wears flat front Dockers to work…but at home I throw on jeans or shorts. Or in the evenings, I have several very stylish pairs of plaid flannel pajama pants I might adorn. I do have quite of few pairs of Adidas track pants for my outdoor winter events. But where I really rock it is with my giant monkey head slippers. They always freak the cat out and bring me hours of entertainment—especially when the cat is wasted on nip.
I couldn’t figure out how the hell to reply to your upcoming 30th birthday post, so you get your own dedicated post in my stream—lucky for you!
So the “only in my 20’s thing is bull, you can get away with just as much stupid shit in your 30’s as you do in your twenties—the hangovers just hurt more. I’m 36 and I do things that are just as stupid now, just not as often. You can always ask my wife.
Instead of doing something crazy every day for the next 30 days, I’ll recommend something a little different. Instead of trying to punch out some “old lady bucket list” draw up a list of things you haven’t done that you should. More of a Ferris Bueller’s Day off list… it doesn’t have to be crazy, just the things you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t. Aren’t you in the Northern Virginia/DC Metro Area (I think if memory serves you’ve complained about the capitol beltway)? So, what haven’t you made time to do, or thought you’ve have your entire life to do? Be a tourist in your own city…go to that play or museum you’ve never made time for….those types of things. Have an old friend you haven’t seen in years that you’ve meant to have brunch with? Schedule it now.
Because what you’ll find is not that you don’t want to still do the crazy stuff in your 30’s, it’s that you’ll find you have less and less time to do it. The day to day crap takes over your life and all of a sudden you find that you don’t have the time or the energy to do the things you’ve been putting off…so don’t.
Take the 30 days and make time to do all those things you haven’t done.
I think you’ll find it a much more worthwhile and enjoyable experience than waking up naked in a dumpster in Connecticut.
Your mileage may vary, especially since I’m just a cranky old man preparing to tell kids to get off my snow covered lawn.
Cheers and really enjoy your birthday and whatever you decide to do!
Have you yet heard the musical stylings of The Suburbs, PIL, The Replacements, The Radiators or The Gear Daddies? I have a hunch you'd get the theme and would enjoy the "flyover" tunes.
I love PIL, The Replacements and The Gear Daddies. I’ll have to check the others out ASAP. I noticed the amazing love for the Replacements and Bob Mould when I moved to the Twin Cities and I LOVE the commitment of the city to both of the artists. I mean it’s easy to love Prince, right?
I even like early 90’s Paul Westerberg.
I’ve been feeling very status quo about my music lately…I’ve just been going through the motions. The Wife and I did very much enjoy Frank Turner who opened for Social Distortion last month. Check out his live song Photosynthesis on Youtube. Also, if you did 3rd wave punk/ska you should give Johnny Socko a whirl.
If you are not doing anything what are you most likely to think about?
So my brain doesn’t ever stop running, it’s rather maddening and I don’t sit still very well. However, if I am just chilling out I’m typically listening to music at a very high volume and just trying to escape the brain. It’s like a non-stop adventure in there that I do tend to find extremely tiring—like I dog that never seems to get tired of chasing a stick.
But honestly, if I’m just thinking I try to tie things together. Academically and professionally my favorite thing to do is to bring together unrelated things into a cohesive understanding—I like to problem solve. It’s fun for me, so I typically I’m trying to think of interrelationships to drive my wife nuts.
If you had to choose tumblr or twitter, which would you give up? Why?
The short answer is I’d have to choose Twitter. I love getting to really know people on Tumblr. I mean the posts here are really intimate and I get to deeply understand where people are coming from and I love it. For me Tumblr is a challenge because I have so many great ideas - but it’s difficult for me to put myself out there. There’s a level of emotional commitment that makes me uneasy.
Twitter on the other hand, allows me two things. First, I can throw out the most ridiculous things in my head that I have no other outlet for like silly robot overlord tweets and stuff. Second, the challenge of telling a story in 140 characters is really appealing to me. I’m in awe of people like Shebanggs, TheBosha, Juskewich, Blue_Crab and AngelaHelga who can take me from beginning, to the middle and then the end in one or two sentences.
Also, the editing is less challenging.
That being said, both mediums are really fun and it would hurt to give up one of them.
Also, I can take a day off from Tumblr and no one notices, which is nice.
I won’t be home for the holidays this year. Staying home for Thanksgiving because I already went to Cleveland in September and November and the wife and I will be in England for a wedding at Christmas.
It is a little disappointing, but I’ll survive. We’ll be seeing Fiona’s parents very soon and I got to spend some quality time with my family very recently.
The one thing I won’t miss out on is holiday traditions. I’m an only child and have very few cousins, aunts and uncles. So we would get together, but it was more of a get in and get out type event.
So we never wassailed, had traditional gag gifts, or any of the other random holiday activities. It’s always been more of a go through the motions of the enforced festive requirements.
Actually this isn’t quite true; we do have one holiday tradition.
We’ll arrive at my parent’s house on Thanksgiving at eleven for a one o’clock meal that gets delayed until three in the afternoon for no obvious reason. While the house smells wonderfully of cooking turkey, my father tortures our drooling and hunger driven quivering bodies with non-stop episodes of “The History of Food” on the History Channel – the only time of the year I wished they would focus on their core programming of WWII and Nazis.
Many of you have buttonholed me to canvas my views as to how not to get followed back on Twitter. Some have even been so bold as to ask how to get dropped or even blocked. I applaud this can’t-do stance. I salute this regressive thinking. Just like the nasty little man in The…
Okay, so there are two problems with me trying to tell about why today was a really amazing day for me. One is that I’m going to have to explain what I do for a living and the other is that I don’t know how many of you actually care about books the way I care about books. I can’t do anything about…
I just sent the following email to my Cleveland Browns Avidity contact—I’m the President of the Twin Cities Browns Backers and I HATE Flash Intros. If you want to know why I have a bee in my bonnet, I suggest going to www.clevelandbrowns.com and see what I mean.
As my liaison to the inner organization of the Cleveland Browns, I don’t actually need you to do anything with the following email other than to route it to the individuals responsible for this website-design travesty. Also note that while my email is written with my tongue placed firmly in my cheek, I really do mean it—minus the hyperbole.
Let’s start with the following premise: Flash Intros on websites are like babies on a plane. No one wants to see one unless they created it.
So imagine my surprise this morning, when I went looking for a list of Browns’ Backer Clubs in Kentucky for a friend, I hit www.Clevelandbrowns.com and the website was moving slower than an offensive lineman fumble recovery. I’ve now loaded the page twice; that first time it took nearly two minutes for the orange helmet to load and the second time it was close to 90 seconds. Some might ask if the helmet is half-full or half-empty, and I say it’s time to go to a different website.
Now that I think about it, why do the Cleveland Browns have a flash into to the website anyway? I love the Browns because of nature and nurture and not because of a website. I honestly just want to get my information from the site and move on with my day. I highly doubt anyone has thought, since you’ve added the flash intro, “you know, I don’t really know who to root for in the NFL, but the Browns held me captive with a useless flash into, so I think I’ll root for them.” Actually, now that I think about it, you might lock down the social media gurus with that mind set.
However, there are two things that are worse than having a flash intro. The first is that once it is done that I actually launch to another page to get into your site. How about that link at the beginning so I don’t have to wait for it to load? And more importantly, there is no “skip intro” button. I’m not sure, but when the torture memos came out, I’m pretty sure no “skip intro” button was also mentioned along with waterboarding. Honestly, what is so important about your video that I was forced to watch it? I wouldn’t know because I don’t turn my speakers on unless I actually want to hear something.
Finally, much like when a Hollowood writer’s perception of the CIA includes removing every trace of a burned spy, I suggest you do the same with those who suggested the Flash Intro. Cut out every trace of the decision like infected flesh. These Flash Intro folks are a scourge of web design.
Again, I don’t mean this to really be taken seriously.
But get rid of the damn flash into. Seriously, people hate it. At least add the skip into button so you can see how many people click though immediately.
Interesting question! In many ways, I have a daily battle with the concept of becoming a “man” in the John Wayne sense—so it’s probably better to focus on the sense of becoming an adult. In this sense, I’ll define adult as someone who makes decisions related to their future rather than just focusing on immediate gratification.
So there was this guy, who had no luck with dating or girls being interested in him until he got to college. In his fall semester of his freshman year, when he was really focused on rum and keeping his GPA above a flatline, he met this girl named Amy during a theater production he was acting in. Now Amy was a perfectly nice and bland girl. She wasn’t going to move the earth with her personality, but she was pleasant enough. This young man and Amy got on quite well for several months. She didn’t mind he went out partying and he didn’t seem to mind that she was rather boring. But honestly, they weren’t a match. It was just a “we have nothing better to do situation.” At least in the young man’s mind. Then one day about two months into the relationship something happened that doesn’t appear in the fairy tales. Apparently, within a few weeks of dating Amy had already written down their one year anniversary on her calendar—you see this was before smart phones or Gmail Calendar so this shit couldn’t be hidden. The young man freaked out because he’d never been confronted with his future before and the true implications of his actions. He actually had to take time to understand and analyze his future and think about what might happen based on decisions he made. Understandably he was massively freaked out by a date on a calendar, which seems irrational until you understand what it represents.
After a little soul searching, the young man decided to break up with Amy—which blind-sided her and was pretty emotional for both parties. In reality, it was the first adult decision I had to make and then actualize. It was hard. I’m sure most of us have been in this situation.
The funny thing is that I got so good and comfortable and breaking off intimate relationships that in my senior year, I had a different young woman have a complete melt down because she was so much more bothered by a split she initiated than I was. Either way, that first break-up is the initial step to becoming a man or a woman, but since it happened a bit later for me I think it was significantly stronger in the way character building and actually lead me down a path that now makes me the corporate bearer of bad news.
And fuck that…Not everything that doesn’t kill us and makes us stronger is enjoyable.
Sometimes I like to drop an extremely esoteric tweet that requires Googling. This is only to remind you that I’m not the “midwestern tubby hot piece of ass guy who married a woman way out of his league” that you are used to from shitty sitcoms produced in LA where they’ve forgotten what the middle of the country is like.
I read an article today that Sears is now going to be open on Thanksgiving with early “Black Friday” specials. Reading this really pissed me off. Maybe I’m just a traditionalist, but on Thanksgiving the only things that should be open are gas stations, airports, grocery stores (in the morning) and bars (at night). Other than that, give people the day off to spend with their families, eat turkey and watch football. Yes, the stadium staff has to work, I know. But beyond that, have the essential services folks work and be done with it. One day isn’t going to kill the economy.
There is a list of topics that I haven’t tweeted about thus far. They are…
Bacon Roofies Ed Hardy Pro Tips (any topic) Lemons (from life) Nickelback (Greatest Canadian band ever!) Fucklulz (no idea what this means) Fucktards (again, no idea) Zombies (I know what they are) Current status…
In no particular order, I don’t claim these to be the best comedies of all time, just my favorites.
1. Major League - Not the greatest movie ever made but by far my all time favorite comedy… I don’t think a week goes by that I haven’t quoted this film. Plus, Cleveland wins. 2. Dr. Strangelove - I could watch this over and over and over and over again and ALWAYS laugh. 3. Better off Dead - Seriously, I love this film… 4. Real Genius - Remember when Val Kilmer was a comic actor before the Doors flick? With films like Real Genius and Top Secret? 5. Holy Grail - Yeah it’s cliche and makes me a dork, but I still love this movie—although I hate how it makes me miss taking drugs. 6. Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz - Shaun of the Dead blew my mind. I watched it on-demand one Halloween weekend about 15 times. Ask my roommates. Hot Fuzz is just freakin’ hysterical. 7. Role Models - Great, Great Movie and the best surprise ending of any comedy, ever. 8. Some Like it Hot - What is not to love about this film? 9. Three Amigos - Isn’t this the last funny SNL movie made? 10. History of the World: Part 1 - I do enjoy Mel Brooks, I actually got burned out on Spaceballs as a kid it was on so much. 11. Animal House - Genius 12. Caddyshack -nanananananananananananananananananananana 13. Ghost Busters - Nothing new to add here 14. Goonies - Have you seen the Psych parody episode of this? So well done. 15. The Big Lewboski - My life wouldn’t be complete without the Dude, White Russians and fond but fuzzy memories of certain illegal substances. Also, “he’s a good doctor and thorough.”