DeflateGate Fallout: 5 Thoughts & 5 Things That are “More Probable Than Not” For the Patriots in 2015


Oh, hey, that Wells Report thingy came out today. You remember it, right? That super serious investigation into whether or not the Patriots knowingly deflated footballs before the AFC Championship in January. It seems like we’ve been waiting on the results of this report for months. And with May being a slow news month for the NFL after the conclusion of the Draft, you had to figure it was more probable than not that the report would come out soon.

Rather than listen to ESPN’s stable of ex-NFL players who have an axe to grind with the Patriots produce a lot of hot air about this topic, I decided to write out some thoughts for anyone who wants a rational take on all this. Here are five random thoughts about the news that broke today and five modest predictions for the Patriots’ 2015 season:

  1. I can once again rely on the pulse of all my Patriot-hating friends to decide how bad this looks for New England. Because without a doubt, if there is even a minor shred of evidence that somebody cheated, these people will come out of the woodwork with a thousand nasty things to say about the Patriots, Brady & Belichick’s legacies and the legitimacy of past Super Bowl wins. And you know what I’ve heard so far? Nothing. Not. A. Thing. It’s been hours since the story came out and all I’m hearing is crickets.
  2. If you did take to Twitter to laugh at and takedown Pats fans, that just tells me that you didn’t bother reading any of the report. You simply saw a headline that said “New England ‘probably’ deflated footballs.” But if you read the report, you’d notice that the general gist is that they couldn’t find any true evidence of tampering or anyone of significance ordering the balls to be messed with, but they can’t imagine it happened any other way so they just assume there’s foul play.
  3. Is “more probable than not” the weakest stand someone can take on a matter? When picking a side, is refusing to pick and staying neutral more of a stance than saying “more probable than not?” They couldn’t say things like “we strongly believe” or “there’s overwhelming evidence” because they have absolutely not conviction in the result they came up with. This is the SOFTEST conviction in the history of convicting.
  4. Listen, when the Patriots were found guilty of taping opponents’ sideline signals in ’07 (an act that had only become illegal a few months prior to that incident), they may not have agreed with all the results of that investigation but they stood up and took their punishment, and didn’t cry foul. Obviously they have no intention of doing that this time, assuming Belichick, Brady and everyone else follows the blueprint their boss just laid out for them.
  5. Remember when I wrote that the NFL purposely let the DeflateGate accusations leak and did nothing about it after the AFC Championship game because they wanted to own the news cycles during that week off before the Super Bowl? Well here we are again. Why did this report take 100 days to come out? Because this was the best possible time for the NFL to use it to keep dominating the news. A week ago we had the NFL Draft to take up all our time. The week before that was the Greg Hardy suspension news. If you go back week by week to the end of the playoffs, you’ll find that significant news or rumors have come up on an almost-scheduled basis so the NFL never went away for long. Well since the draft is over and people have moved on from reading post-draft material, it was time to get us all to turn back to the NFL Network or click on’s fresh takes on this news. Any sort of punishment coming from this report will take about a week, I’m sure. As soon as the collective media’s most recent erection over this topic starts to soften, the NFL will take action.
    1. And let’s not sleep on the fact that the Patriots are now so polarizing that the NFL gets its biggest villain in a long time for an entire season. Even Patriots/Jaguars and Patriots/Titans will draw huge ratings and interest during the 2015 season. This is the most perfect result possible for the NFL. How convenient.

Predictions for the season:

  1. The ceiling has been lifted on the upcoming Patriots’ season. The Broncos set the record for most points in a season with 606 in 2013. I’m predicting a modest 950 points for the Patriots in 2015. I know a lot of times we pump up the concept of athletes going into Eff You mode more than they actually follow through with it, but remember that there’s an exact precedent for this when it comes to the Belichick/Brady Patriots: 
  2. Don’t expect Patriots fans to be even remotely rational this year. We’ve tried to use logic & reason with you people over the entire 14 years that you’ve hated New England. But no more. We’re going to meet your irrational stupidity with our own irrational stupidity. The Patriots are going 19-0. They’ll outscore every opponent 60-0. Tom Brady is Jesus. Bill Belichick is god. Our team has the undisputed greatest QB of all time and greatest coach of all time. Even with the league office, the referees and every fan base conspiring against them, the Pats will be hoisting Lombardi #5 next February.
  3. I may exaggerate slightly with my predictions on how many points the Pats will put up in 2015, but whatever you do, please, please, PLEASE make sure you clear your schedule for Sunday, October 18th, at 8:30pm Eastern. That is when the Patriots will take the field in Indy for the greatest revenge game in sports history. If the Patriots are favored by anything less than 28 points, I’m putting everything I’ve got on them. Only two games in NFL history have featured a team scoring more than 70 points. I think the Patriots make it three on October 18th.
  4. The biggest losers in all of this are the Pittsburgh Steelers. They were already dealing with playing against the Patriots in New England on opening night when the Super Bowl banner will be raised and the fans will be frothing at the mouth over the start of Super Bowl run #5. Now you also have to be the first team to face a pissed off Patriots team?
  5. The NFL won’t dare to seriously punish the Patriots. Sure, NFL, you could punish the Patriots for all of this circumstantial evidence, but do you really want to provoke them any further? You screwed with them during the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl (which, by the way, they won behind 4 Brady touchdown passes against the best defense in the league) and now you’ve soiled their reputation with this nebulous report. If you don’t want your 2015 season ruined by a runaway train known as the Eff You Patriots, you’ll stop short of any real punishments. I think you should heed the advice of my favorite TV villain: 

As inappropriate as it would be for the league to suspend Brady for a game or two at the start of the season, I almost want this to happen so that when Jimmy Garoppolo leads the Patriots to a 2-0 start behind a pair of blowout wins, the rest of the NFL can freak out about how good New England will be even after Brady retires in 11 years.

The Brilliant Questions Americans Are Asking Google

Umm, guys? I think we need to talk about some of the results on this map. Apparently, a cost-estimating website, created this map based off a common question people are asking google these days: “How much does [BLANK] cost in [BLANK]?” The first blank is the item people were looking for information about, and the second blank is the location. And the word on each state represents what was searched for most frequently in that state.

Some of these popular searches seem pretty normal. How much does a liquor license cost? (South Carolina) Or how much does a passport cost? (New Hampshire)

But plenty of these results are either baffling, comical, confusing or play into some stereotypes. So let’s dive in and talk about the ones that stood out the most:

  • Oregon: How much does water cost?
    • Well, some versions of water are free. Others are the bottled kind and cost usually in the $1-2 per bottle range. Are you wondering what your water bill is going to be? Seems like there are a few too many factors for me to tell you with one simple google search. You know what? Maybe Oregon is just trying to find this out so it can exploit California when my state inevitably needs Oregon’s precious water in ONE YEAR!
  • California & Virginia: How much does a facelift cost?
    • Of course this would be California’s most asked question. But Virginia? That one doesn’t make sense. Is there a Real Housewives of Virginia franchise that I don’t know about? (My fiancee just told me that a Real Housewives of D.C. does exist, or did exist at one point.)
  • Arizona: How much does a vasectomy cost?
    • So is that what all the snowbirds are doing now? Moving to Arizona while making sure they don’t accidentally have another kid to drain those retirement funds? My guess would be that all these old men are ditching their old wives for younger, hotter girlfriends, but those girlfriends want to make sure they don’t accidentally get pregnant with this 70-year-old’s kid (since they’re only in it for the money, obviously).
  • Colorado: How much does weed cost?
    • First of all, it’s very interesting that only one of the states where recreational pot is now legal has this as its most asked question. The other state where it’s legal, Washington, has “How much does a passport cost?” as its question. I guess in Washington the people wanting to get into Canada outnumber the pot smokers?
    • Secondly, Colorado, you’re doing it all wrong. Look over at New York for some guidance from now on…
  • New York: How much does a pound of weed cost?
    • Bingo! Something a little more specific. You guys are so much better at this than Colorado. Now, I’m a little concerned at the amount of pot you think you need, New York. But if prices are still the same from my college days, then you’re looking at almost $5,000 for a full pound of marijuana. Don’t smoke it all at once!
  • North Dakota: How much does a minor cost?
    • This just took a turn. At least Nevada and Connecticut went with the general prostitution question. These scumbags up in North Dakota want to know how much a minor costs? Dude, that’s on another level of illegal and disturbing. Do not be googling around about paying for sex with a minor. I actually just checked to see if NAMBLA’s main office is in North Dakota, but it’s not. No excuses, Peace Garden State. Find people your own age to sleep with.
    • Full disclosure: It appears that “a minor” is actually North Dakotans searching for how much it’ll cost if a minor gets arrested due to alcohol possession.
  • Oklahoma: How much does a breast lift cost?
  • Arkansas: How much do breast implants cost?
    • How could these bordering states be so different? Is it as simple as Oklahomans having good-sized boobs but needing a little lift once they get droopy while Arkansawyers are born with tiny boobs and need the full implant? Either way, the women in these two states are really concerned about their breasts. In unrelated news, I need a vacation. Arkansas is beautiful this time of year, you say? Sold.
  • Louisiana: How much does succession cost?
    • When I first saw the word “succession” on Louisiana, I thought it said “secession” and I thought, fine, Louisiana, don’t be part of our country anymore, but please leave New Orleans behind when you depart.
    • It turns out the succession Louisiana is talking about has something to do with a person’s estate when he or she dies. BOOOORRRRRRINGGGG.
  • Mississippi: How much does a DNA test cost?
  • Alabama: How much does an abortion cost?
    • By far my favorite pairing. In one state, the men want their accidents taken care of before they become a bigger problem, and in the other state, the men are like, “See, told ya, not my problem.”
    • I hate to tell ya, Mississippi, but I think the DNA tests in your state cost a little more than the national average because the doctors have to try to figure out how the baby is also your uncle! (boom, roasted)
  • Tennessee: How much does a DNA test cost?
  • Florida: How much does an abortion cost?
    • What is it about the Southeast corner of our country that causes everyone to either abort their unwanted baby or try to prove it’s not theirs? No idea, but I’m guessing most of the guests on Jerry Springer and Maury Povich are from these fine representations of America.
  • Georgia & Minnesota: How much does a taxi cost?
    • Jesus, guys, get with the effing program. It’s Uber or Lyft now! This is why I have to live in a progressive, technologically-savvy state for the rest of my life. If I was still dealing with the hell known as taxi drivers, I’d just give up on life.
  • West Virginia: How much does it cost to drill a well?
    • How about $0.00 because in the 21st century there is this thing called plumbing. You install pipes into your home and they deliver water to all of your faucets. It’s a novel approach to getting the water you need, I know.
    • My god, is there anything more depressing than living in a state where the most frequently asked question on google is how much it costs to drill a fucking well in my backyard?
    • Wait, do you think this question is asking about an oil well, not a water well? Either way, I’m guessing the second most asked question is, “How much does a bag of crystal meth + a gun to kill myself cost?”
  • Vermont: How much does a cord of wood cost?
    • Aww, Vermont, YOU’RE SO CUTE! But it kinda feels like you’re cheating on Maple Syrup a bit with this question.
  • Alaska: How much does a gallon of milk cost?
    • Without knowing a thing about Alaska, I’m thinking there aren’t many cows up there. Which means I’m guessing a gallon of milk costs about $76.54 after tax. I’ve never seen Ice Road Truckers, but is that show based on the dangerous lives of milkmen delivering their goods to all the people of Alaska?
  • Massachusetts: How much does the T cost?
    • I’ve recently heard that waiting for the T to show up in Boston is like waiting for a unicorn to knock on your door. I really thought my home state’s most burning question would be either “How much does hosting the Olympics cost?” or “How much does the Patriots Super Bowl DVD cost?”

I noticed that nobody’s top question was “How much does hiring a professional blogger to make fun of our proud state cost?”


How I Choose To Remember Robin Williams: A Perfect Day in 1992


One of those unavoidable truths of growing up is that other people will die. Of course the truly devastating losses are the people you actually know and love…family, friends, coworkers. But sometimes the death of a well-known person who you never came close to meeting, yet still gave you some incredible memories, can be equally jarring.

It can happen any time, but for me it feels like the age of 25 is when some celebrities who were big influences on my childhood started passing away. To name a few: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Adam Yauch (MCA from Beastie Boys), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Kelly from Kris Kross and of course, the Ultimate Warrior.

But none of those unexpected deaths, not even The King of Pop himself, stopped me cold and brought my day to a halt quite like Monday’s stunning news about Robin Williams.

My plan for Monday night was to get home from work, turn on the TV and immerse myself in all the NFL preseason games I taped last week that I hadn’t gotten around to watching just yet. I wanted to do a ton of football prep and writing.

I got as far as turning on the TV. That’s when I saw the news about Williams. For the next 90 minutes, I sat at my computer, looked through Twitter, and watched every clip that every person on my feed linked to. There were so many: snippets from Williams’ movie performances like Good Will Hunting, Awakenings, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, and then a bunch of clips from his standup routines and appearances on late night TV through the years (amazing that his career spanned five decades and he was only 63).

You gotta hand it to Twitter. For all the negative that comes from social media, we get access to an immediate oral history whenever something tragic like this happens.

I’m not writing to pretend like I was the biggest Robin Williams fan. I’m not able to rank all of his performances because out of his 102 acting credits that I just reviewed on IMDB, I’ve probably only seen 15-20 of them. I grew up in the 90s so movies like Hook, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji and Good Will Hunting were in my Robin Williams wheelhouse.

Of all his incredible, pioneering performances, I think Williams’ Genie in Aladdin was my favorite. There are two reasons for this. First, because if you think about it, he was born to be a cartoon. I bet if you asked him his biggest complaint with acting, he’d say that it sucks to have physical limitations with your body. You can only disguise yourself in makeup and prosthetics so much. You can only contort your face in certain ways. Same with the rest of your body. Animation gives your acting a kind of freedom that the real world could never do. And Williams, more than anyone, lived for that physical side of performing.

The second reason Aladdin is my favorite in the lengthy Robin Williams Canon is because of the memory I have from seeing it in the theaters. I was nine years old in 1992, the right age for that movie. My two older brothers had no interest in a kid’s movie so I went to see it with just my parents. In a family of three brothers all born within five years of each other, there were almost never any “with just my parents” moments, so this was special. I sat in between them with the gummy bears on my lap (fuck popcorn). Part of me thinks I could go back to that very movie theater in Leominster, Massachusetts, and find the exact three seats we sat in. The memory is that vivid.

Aladdin was an incredible movie, probably my favorite Disney movie of all time. And while the other main characters were fine (Aladdin voiced by D.J. Tanner’s boyfriend, Princess Jasmine with a body that nine year olds wouldn’t even know what to do with), Genie stole the show. It was his movie and everyone else was just along for the ride. It was scary how much you could see Robin Williams in the Genie.

So really, that day at Loews, it was me, my Mom, my Dad and Williams. One detail I can’t remember is whether or not I drank a Diet Coke. If I did, it was truly a perfect day.

What especially bummed me out on Monday when I heard the news was that none of the good memories from Williams’ years entertaining us came immediately to mind. Instead, I couldn’t help but think of how much I had dismissed him in the past 10 years or so. For whatever reason, he had turned into that annoying guy who’s always doing that schtick where he talks in a million voices, doesn’t make very good jokes and is showing up on crummy TV shows with Sarah Michelle Gellar.

For you sports fans out there, isn’t this the way it always happens? We don’t remember the 1990s version of Brett Favre who led the Packers to a Championship. We remember the interception machine from the mid 2000s who permanently ruined the concept of gracefully retiring for everyone else. We don’t remember how Nomar Garciaparra was THE BEST shortstop in baseball for those first few years of his career. Instead we recall how he became ornery with the media, got unceremoniously shown the door in Boston and then had his body betray him until he retired as an afterthought in 2010. Even with a guy like Michael Jordan, I sometimes find myself focusing on his Washington Wizards days and his failure as an NBA owner more than the prime of his career that earned him Greatest Of All Time status.

I wish it didn’t have to happen like that, but that’s how our memories work. Unless you go out on the very top of your game, we’re going to diminish your greatest moments in our heads.

I can’t imagine even Williams himself would say he went out on the top of his acting game, but that doesn’t mean I should penalize him for that. Instead, I’m choosing to remember him for that perfect day he gave me, capped off by the best two minutes and 30 seconds of his best movie:

We also do humanitarian work here at the blog: Solving the “babies in hot car” dilemma

baby in car

I’ve had some pretty terrible ideas in my lifetime, but  I gotta give credit where credit is due. I just solved the “accidentally leaving babies in a hot car until they die” epidemic we’re currently experiencing as a society. And it took me all of five minutes.

I’m joking when I call it an epidemic. Only 40 or so children die from this each year. There are plenty more deadly accidents suffered by babies and young children. But I’m not joking when I say it’s something that should be easily fixed.

When it comes to modern technology, you always want to think about an elaborate solution that includes motion sensors, cameras, electronics, etc. But I’m going with the super simple route this time. I say if you have children, you simply activate a setting in your car that causes the radio system to automatically play a three second baby crying sound every time you open the driver’s door.

Tell me this sound wouldn’t snap you out of whatever daydreamy zoned out state of mind you’re in when parking the car:

Radios can already do things like automatically adjust its volume depending on the presence of other noises and continue playing audio after the car has been shut off. It’s plenty capable of being programmed to emit this sound when you open the door.

And if a child dies because the driver didn’t have that feature activated (or ignored the crying sound), lock ’em up for life. Only if you wanted your kid to die (like these people) would you choose not to activate it when you first get the car.

OK, so there’s at least one product on the market that strives to do what my awesome invention would do, but it’s overly complex.

Equally bad is the idea that I’ve heard that requires you to keep a stuffed animal in the backseat of the car and then move it to the front seat whenever your child gets in the car. That gives these same mindless people another opportunity to forget the thing that’s supposed to help them not forget the child.

There are probably some very obvious tweaks to be made with my idea—such as having a way that the sound is only made when a child is actually in the car, rather than every time you open the door even when the child’s absent—but I’m more of a big picture guy. I get the ball rolling. Without the original idea, there’s nothing to tweak or perfect in the first place.

So when every new car from here on out has this nifty little security feature, you’ll know who to thank for saving your baby.


Public Service Announcement: Rooting For the “Hangover” Characters To Die In A Nuclear Blast

It’s easy to tell when I’m no longer entertained by a TV show or movie. Anyone who’s been around me enough knows that when I’m sick of something that we’re watching, I start rooting for all the main characters to suffer horrible deaths. It’s especially telling when I’m watching a comedy—a genre where there is typically no violence or serious plot lines like death—and I start hoping that one character’s going to pull a gun on another and shoot him in the head. It’s my way of saying “Can this please end as quickly as possible?”

The following is more of a Public Service Announcement than an actual blog post.

While watching The Hangover Part III last weekend, I wasn’t just rooting for all the characters to shoot each other. I was rooting for a random nuclear bomb to fall from the sky and land in Ed Helms’ skull. It was THE WORST COMEDY I’VE EVER SEEN. And I’ve seen Little Nicky, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Evan Almighty, Caddyshack II, The Cat In The Hat (Mike Myers version) and even The Hangover Part II.

My apologies to Ed Helms because his character wasn’t the only insufferable one in this movie. Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong’s characters were also pathetic and uninspiring. Ed Helms just happens to be who I pictured when I decided I wanted a bomb to come crashing down and split one of the characters’ skulls open (right before detonating and wiping out the rest of the characters obviously).

What set it apart from all the other gigantic comedic failures I mentioned above? The fact that it wasn’t even a comedy. It didn’t even try to be a comedy. It tried to be an action/adventure movie with Zach Galifianakis wandering through each scene trying to say or do something inappropriate. Not one other character in the movie said or did a funny thing the entire time. I realize the first Hangover installment was such a hit partly because of the unexpected genius of Galifianakis, but you can’t just recycle the same setups and punchlines that surprised us in the original.

And if you’ve decided to screw us by becoming an action movie, then we’re going to pay more attention to the plot and the realness of the whole thing. For instance, it’s tough for me to buy that this group of adults is trapped inside the basement of a house with no way out when one of them is holding a giant sledge hammer and all that stands in his way is a standard wooden door. Interestingly enough, these same characters think up and execute a crazy scheme later in the movie when they tie a bunch of bed sheets together and repel down the side of the Caesar’s Palace Hotel in Las Vegas…but they can’t figure out that the sledge hammer lying right next to them might be able to bust through a door?

If this was a comedy, we would ignore that type of ridiculousness. But since the creators of this movie decided to jump into a whole new genre, we can’t help but pay attention to the details.

How many more ways can I say this movie was horrific?

The actors weren’t terrible; the material they had to work with was terrible.

There were a couple funny parts, but they were all delivered to us in the trailers and previews. Galifianakis driving around with a pet giraffe and later singing with the “voice of an angel” at his dad’s funeral could have been a couple very funny, unexpected moments in the movie. But we already saw those clips over and over during the months leading up to the movie’s release.

I saw this movie for $5.50 (apparently the going rate for a matinee movie in Fitchburg, Massachusetts), and I still felt ripped off at the end.

Do yourself a favor: Save your money now and spend it on a comedy that might actually make you laugh later on in the summer, like Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups 2. I guarantee Sandler’s awful comedies will at least be comedies.

Expanding the “3 Strikes & You’re Out” Law to Include People Who Can’t Help But Go To Jail 3 Times In A Week

This may seem drastic, but I’m calling for life in prison for a guy who hasn’t killed, raped or kidnapped anybody. He’s not a terrorist of any kind. He’s never even caused significant property damage as far as I can tell.

But former NFL player Titus Young deserves life in prison just like any other criminal who demonstrates that they have absolutely no self-control.

For those of you unfamiliar with the wonder that is Titus Young, he’s a 23-year-old former first round pick of the Detroit Lions who’s played two years in the league and has shown at times that he could at least be a serviceable wide receiver and make a modest career out of it.

Detroit Lions Training Camp

But if you just became aware of this person in the last 10 days, then all you know is that he’s been arrested three times in the past week. Three times in a week! I usually get arrested less than three times a year!

It gets even better. On May 5th, he was arrested twice in the same day! First, he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, and then 14 hours later he was arrested for trying to steal his car out of the impound lot, where it was being kept because, you know, the guy was in jail earlier that day for drunk driving. Seems like the guy’s got a combination of balls and stupidity not seen around these parts since Johnny Knoxville and his “Jackass” cohorts were in their heyday.

And the icing on this ridiculous cake is Young getting arrested on May 10th for attempted burglary, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

I know the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law in California is aimed at people who commit felonies, and more specifically, violent crimes, but I’m proposing expanding it to any crimes, especially if all three crimes happen in the same goddamn week.

Criminals should feel lucky that they even get second chances. I think it’s absurd that some of them get third chances. But fourth chances? No way. I don’t care if a six-year-old was caught committing three crimes in a week (let’s say stealing a candy bar, exposing himself to his little girlfriend and punching a kid in class). I think I’d want that kid locked up for life.

But we’re talking about an adult who presumably has a fully formed brain. Why would he ever get the benefit of the doubt from society that he can be free and not keep fucking up? The dude lives in SoCal. I don’t want this fucker on the loose. He’s as dangerous as a serial killer at this point.

Even though these are technically his only three crimes, I’d like to add two more reasons this jerk should be locked up for life:

  1. Disrespecting the game of football (aka The Greatest Sport on Earth) – In his two-year NFL career, he sucker-punched a teammate for no reason, lined up in the wrong place on the field repeatedly to sabotage his team, and added “Sr” to the back of his jersey as in “Young Sr.” Apparently just to be a wiseass and mock people who have “Jr” at the end of their name or something.
  2. Ruining What Could Have Been An Easy Life – Titus Young was never going to be a Pro Bowl wide receiver, but in the NFL, you can make a good living as long as you keep playing. It looks like Young made about $900K last year. Even if he never got a raise, he could have carved out a six-year career and made in the range of $5-6Million minimum. That’s not “buy three beach houses and never lift a finger again” money, but it’s a damn good start to your life, especially when we’re talking about a person in his early 20s. But instead he’ll probably never make another dime playing football. But I’m sure he’ll turn to legitimate means to get by…

The moral of this story is that sometimes the combination of criminal activity and mind-boggling stupidity should warrant a person being removed from our society for good.

I think Titus Young Sr. getting life in prison would serve as a great example for all the future criminals who are thinking about getting arrested three times in a week.

Part 2 of the “50 Things Men Should Be Able To Do By Age 50” Blog: I’m in the 80th Percentile

In case you missed yesterday’s Part One of the “50 Things Every Man Should Know How To Do By 50” blog, you can find it HERE.

Out of those first 25 things I’m supposed to be able to do by age 50, I honestly think I can do 21 of them. The four that I struggle with are: Making myself vulnerable, Changing a tire, Sewing a button, and Breaking up a fight.

Let’s see what the final 25 on the Huffington Posts’s incredibly disappointing list produces:

26. Change a diaper – Not yet, but something tells me I will soon. I owe my brother one full day of babysitting my 10-month-old nephew because of a football bet gone wrong. One of three things is going to happen: I’m going to suck it up and change the diaper, I’m going to avoid changing the diaper and tell my brother that the kid didn’t pee or shit the entire day, or I’m going to delay paying off this bet until the kid is potty-trained.

27. Babysit – I’ll have you know that when I was 12 years old, my mother forced me to take a babysitting class at Leominster Hospital where I was the only boy out of about 25 students. So it seems parents can make gigantic mistakes and still have their kids turn out OK.

28. Perform CPR – I don’t know how to do it properly. The other day my dog was so hot & tired after the park that she decided to play dead on the sidewalk near a busy street. I started giving her fake CPR just for the hell of it…just waving to horrified people driving by in their cars as I pounded on her chest. So I think in a pinch I could figure it out.

29. Avoid a hangover – Finally, in my 15th year of consuming alcohol, I’ve learned that if I just drink beer, and only beer, I won’t be hungover the next day. Strangely enough I know a guy in his 30s who suddenly became unable to get a hangover, no matter how hard he tries. He is the envy of everyone I know.

30. Have a long-term retirement plan – I don’t even have a short term “how I’m going to pay next month’s rent” plan.

31. Show affection towards a male friend – If you mean “show affection towards a football team with a male friend,” then yes, I can do this.

32. Be faithful to their partner – Yeah, because an unemployed 30-year-old with a gray afro has a lot of opportunities to be unfaithful.

33. Recommend restaurants – This one’s even more ridiculous than “be able to make a dinner reservation.” Do I have the ability to recommend a restaurant? This is when you start to think that the writer could only come up with like 46 legit items and had to put in some stretches to make it an even 50.

34. Have a platonic female friend – I wouldn’t go out of my way to make a platonic female friend because they don’t have much to offer me, but they exist in my world because they are my friend’s girlfriends or my girlfriend’s best friends…but the idea of being more than platonic friends is always circulating in my head.

35. Stand up for themselves in a respectful way – Sure I can, but for the right amount of money I’m willing to never stand up for anything I believe in again.

36. Make a signature meal that’s more complicated than Easy Mac – Julie says my grilled chicken is to die for. I’m more partial to my peanut butter & banana sandwiches. There’s an art to the width of the banana slices and the amount of banana on each sandwich.

37. Give themselves a clean, good shave – Once again it would be strange to meet a 50-year-old guy who didn’t have the slightest clue about how to shave. And yes, once a week I shave the peach fuzz off my face.

38. Keep their ear and nose hair in check – If I was single, I’d probably pay attention to my nose hairs more, and if I ever find hair growing out of my ears I’ll probably just stick a gun in my mouth and end the whole damn thing.

39. Wash the dishes – One of the many househusband chores I do each day. Being one of the top dishwashers in the world as a white person is probably as rare as a black NHL star, but I totally knock down the artificial color barriers in the kitchen.

40. Spot when a woman is interested or just being polite – I’ve only had one woman be interested in me in the last 10 years so I’m probably pretty rusty with this.

41. Give to a charitable cause – Of course. I give free laughter to people in need every day probably.

42. Invest wisely – I barely know how to invest stupidly, but at least I have 20 more years until I really need to master everything on this list, right?

43. Cry without embarrassment – I can do this. I’ve never thought crying was embarrassing, just unnecessary.

44. Drive a stick shift – Drive one, teach someone how to drive one, put an ugly metal skull on the top of the stick and pretend to be a badass. I’ve done it all.

45. Comfort someone – There there, Huffington Post. It’s not your fault that this list is terrible. Here, have a tissue.

46. Buy a great present – Being able to buy a great present depends entirely on the person you’re buying for. Some people are just so obvious in what they want and need, or their personality just lends itself to coming up with fun ideas for gifts. And some people basically get the same gift card from me year after year.

47. Choose scotch/whiskey – I choose Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey over any other liquor in the world. It didn’t say anything about choosing a good scotch or whiskey.

48. Erect a tent – Went camping a few weeks ago and actually had a guy tell me I was the best Tent Erector he had ever seen (once again, cue up the penis jokes, the gay camping jokes and anything else you can think of that involves erections, pitching a tent, etc).

49. Dance, at least a little – Julie and I rate each wedding we attend purely on the amount of dancing. We suck at dancing, but at a wedding it feels like our duty.

50. Impress their partner’s parents – I think I’ve made an impression on them. Is that what this means? Not only is their daughter shacking up with an unemployed guy with a pipe dream of a career, but Julie’s mom, who’s a nurse, gets a call from her about once every four months asking how we should handle a freak injury that I brought upon myself. So, yeah, I’m pretty sure they’re “impressed.”

It appears I’m currently unable to do five items on this half of the list: numbers 26, 28, 30, 40 and 42. That means I only have nine total things to work on over the next 20 years to be able to say yes to this list before my 50th birthday. I guess this means I’m 82% of a man?

I know, I know, this list was a bit disappointing. I guess what they say is true…If you want to follow a set list to live your life, you have to make the list yourself. Maybe we’ll do that as a separate blog post some time in the future.

“50 Things A Man Should Know How To Do By 50″…If I Can Do Them All By 30, Do I Get Bonus Points?

You may remember a blog I posted about a month ago making fun of my girlfriend’s delusional claim that she could hit 70% of her free throws from official foul line distance. I get the sense that Julie says she can do this because she thinks the average person should be able to hit most of their shots from the foul line. After all, she keeps reminding me, it’s not that far away from the basket.

But this constant smoke she’s blowing up my ass about her basketball abilities got me thinking about other things the average person should be able to do (hitting 70% from the foul line isn’t one of them). That led to some Google searches, which led to a bunch of websites with lists titled “50 things everyone should know how to do”.

After reviewing all my options, I decided a Huffington Post article from April titled “50 Things Every Man Should Know How To Do By 50” was the right list for me to fully investigate.  After all, I could realize I don’t know how to do any of these things and still feel good about having 20 more years to master them.

I’ve taken the time to seriously consider each item on this list and come up with a legitimate answer on whether I can currently do that thing or not. Men, you should read this blog carefully and think about where you’re at with these things in your life. Women, you should read this blog carefully because you’re half the population and therefore half my page views.

Let’s split this up into two and tackle items 1-25 today. Check back later in the week for items 26-50.

  1. Please a woman – BOOM! What a way to start. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this HuffPost article was written by a woman. Anyway, this first item is open to a lot of interpretation. But if I’m interpreting it right, then yes, yes I can please a woman.
  2. Clean up after themselves – Yes, plus I sometimes have to clean up after my dog and my co-habitant who I affectionately refer to as “Hurricane Julie” (seems a hurricane hits our apartment every time a wardrobe decision needs to be made).
  3. Make small talk – It really isn’t that difficult and unless you’re an absolute hermit you’ll probably have to make small talk every day for the rest of your life. I have friends who despise small talk, chit chat, exchanging pleasantries…you name it. But the alternative is to ride up 20 floors in an elevator with your boss and stand in silence. Awkward.
  4. Take care of their health and go to the doctor regularly – This is an oxymoron, right? If I’m taking care of my health then why would I have to go to the doctor so often?
  5. Say “I’m sorry” and mean it – I try to only say it when I mean it, but sometimes my girlfriend will say, “What are you apologizing for” and I’ll say, “Because I’m sorry you’re obviously upset about something.” Apparently the fact that I don’t know what that something is means I’m not being genuine.
  6. Do laundry – I’ve been doing my own laundry for about 12 years, but just the other day I said to Julie in all seriousness: “Wait, so if I were to separate my clothes and only wash my white stuff, could I put bleach in there and it would help my socks stay whiter?” She looked at me like I had asked her “Will I be less tired in the morning if I go to sleep at night?”
  7. Listen wholeheartedly – Sometimes I get lectured by my girlfriend for not making eye contact while she’s telling me a story. Because she’s a speech therapist with training in behaviorism, she’s constantly pushing crazy theories on me like “70% of listening is done through the eyes.” My response is that I’m trained in the art of efficiency so if I can listen to your entire story while watching TV or giving my dog a belly rub, why wouldn’t I multi-task?
  8. Be nurturing to their mate – Uh oh, the woman who wrote this list is starting to lose credibility. She better start coming up with actual things men should know how to do. The definition of nurturing is “to care for and encourage the growth or development of.” Yes, I care for my “mate.” Why did you have to say that in such a complicated way?
  9. Make themselves vulnerable – OK, third item in a row that makes it obvious a woman with an agenda created this list. Let’s go back to the definition strategy. Vulnerable means “exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.” So why the fuck would someone want to make themselves vulnerable. Ugh. If “work yourself into an unnecessary rage” is an item on this list, I can certainly check it off.
  10. Dress themselves well – Three things working against me here: 1). I don’t have a job or a daily hobby that forces me to go out in public and interact with people. 2). I’m trying to save money for necessary items at this time. 3). You know how you’re never surprised when new parents walk around with ratty clothes covered in spit-up and green diarrhea? Well owning a dog isn’t entirely different…so much hair, drool and treat crumbs get on my clothes each day that I’ve given up and now I wear the same pair of cargo shorts and a shitty t-shirt 5 days a week.
  11. Change a tire – Haven’t done it on my own. Always seemed like one of those “easy to figure out the moment you’re thrust into that situation” kind of things.
  12. Unhook a bra – Hands, teeth or feet? Pretty sure I can do it in under 10 seconds in each scenario.
  13. Say “I love you” and mean it – While saying “I love you” and not meaning it gave me a lot of positive results in college, I now only say it when I mean it…which is probably why no one’s heard me say it since college.
  14. Properly put on a tie – Yes, thank you, Catholic School…unless we’re talking about a bow tie, in which case I have a story about 12 guys panicking before a wedding because the bride & groom decided we needed to tie our own bow ties. One person had done it before. He ended up doing it 12 more times that day.
  15. Sew a button – Would rather throw out the shirt or pants in question and buy a new one than learn how to sew.
  16. Iron clothing – Learned out of necessity when I got my first sales job in San Francisco and spent all my money on new fancy shirts. Couldn’t afford dry cleaning so I taught myself how to iron. My two older brothers, to this day, think that ironing the shirt while you’re wearing it is the proper technique.
  17. Shop for clothing – Easy. Walk into Old Navy and buy one of everything that doesn’t look douchey.
  18. Make restaurant reservations – Look up the restaurant on Yelp, click the “find a table” button, reserve table through the Opentable functionality. Easy peasy. Wait, can you imagine someone not knowing how to do this after 50 years on the planet? Is there a more self-explanatory thing than making a reservation?
  19. Approach a woman – I do this the only way I know how…dress in a dark hoodie with the hood up over my head, sunglasses on even if I’m indoors, keep a very serious straight face, and put one hand in my pocket as if I’m holding something, and then whisper to her “I think you better come with me right now.” Works 0% of the time.
  20. Make a bed – Wait, does this one mean construct an actual bed out of raw materials or is it talking about the useless act of covering the mattress with sheets and a comforter every morning? One of them I can’t do, and the other I’m unwilling to do.
  21. Ask for help – I’d rather die. No, joking. Yeah I ask for help all the time, probably too much. I have no shame in getting someone to do something for me that I could have done myself.
  22. Break up a fight – Oh, no no no…you see, I’m the ultimate instigator. I hate fighting myself, but I love seeing my friends stick up for me and fight the person I’m antagonizing. It’s seriously my patented move.
  23. Lose an argument – I know how to, but I don’t like to. I’m a “get the last word in” kind of guy. So even if I’ve lost the argument, I’ll go down throwing out every theory possible until you get sick of hearing me talk.
  24. Set the table – Some of these items should be on a list titled “50 Things Every Man Should Know How To Do The Moment He Emerges From The Womb”.
  25. Firmly shake hands – I never pay attention to how firmly or limply I’m shaking someone’s hand because in that moment I’m always trying to either remember his name or think of something funny to say. I bet I’m average on the limp-firm scale (insert penis joke here, ha ha).

I hope this list was both insightful and a waste of time for everybody who read it. I’ll be back tomorrow with the second half.

Kriss Kross, In Memoriam (Regardless of How Badly My Brothers Laugh At Me)

Over the years many people have assumed that me and my brothers fought a lot while growing up. Three boys in the family separated by only five years in age, I totally understand the thinking. But the truth is there weren’t many physical altercations between us because none of us were that aggressive (Neil’s probably shaking his head as he reads this, the same head that was on the receiving end of an Aaron tennis racket toss once upon a time).

Rather than beat up their little brother, my brothers simply used their slight intellectual advantage to wage psychological warfare against me whenever they got a chance.

The reason I bring this up is because the sad news of half of Kriss Kross dying yesterday brought back one such torturous memory from my childhood.

Based on Kris Kross’s mega-hit “Jump” being released in 1992, I’d have to guess I was nine years old when it happened. As we were about to leave our house for a party at my grandparents’, my a-hole brothers went to work convincing me to put my jeans on backwards because that was the new cool fashion trend that Kris Kross had started.

As you can imagine, a nine-year-old trying to fit in with his teenage brothers doesn’t need much prodding to do something incredibly stupid. Fast forward 20 minutes and I walk in the front door of my grandparents’ house and get laughed at by my Aunt immediately. I wish I could say I stood up for my wardrobe choice that day, but no, I sheepishly ran to the bathroom and turned my jeans around like every other boring kid.

I’ll always think that day marked the beginning and the end of me being a fashion early-adopter.

But as mean as my brothers were on that day, at least they only made fun of my backwards jeans for the next decade or so.

Now that I’m older and have no shame, I don’t mind doing something that might get laughed at. Especially if it’s to honor one of the great singer-songwriters of our time. So Chris Kelly, today’s outfit is for you:



Black Hat, White Hat, Underappreciated Robots and Tracking a Manhunt From 3,000 Miles Away

At 10PM on Thursday night I was shutting my laptop to go to bed, but decided to refresh my Twitter feed one more time. That’s when I saw a bunch of tweets about a shooting at MIT and a possible car chase and shootout in Watertown. Even though no one was claiming a link between these incidents and the Marathon bombings at that moment, I just had a feeling that the shit was about to hit the fan.

I turned on CNN and they were interviewing someone involved in the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion (a horrible, horrible incident that’s clearly getting no attention right now because of Boston). My girlfriend asked me to change the channel because it was difficult to watch this guy being interviewed count up the number of friends he lost in the fire. I told her I had a feeling CNN was about to break into this coverage with the situation unfolding in Boston.

About 90 seconds later, CNN made me look like smart in front of my girlfriend. As you’ll read throughout my post, this wouldn’t be the last time in the next 12 hours that Twitter would be feeding us information far sooner than the slow-moving TV media.

The next time I looked at the clock it was 12:45AM and I was exhausted. I had gone from “ready for bed” to “I’m riding this out all night til they get these Fuckers.” There were so many conflicting reports flying around (One of the bombers is dead and the other is on the loose! No, they’re both alive, but one is in custody! But there’s a third guy who the cops made get fully naked before they threw him in the back of a cruiser! But he was an innocent bystander!).

I ultimately decided to go to bed, fully assuming that by the time I woke up at 7AM the suspects would be dead or caught.

I woke up at 5:50AM Pacific Time to see the situation wasn’t resolved. So I did what any other semi-employed, too-much-time-on-his-hands American would do…I setup shop in my living room assuming I’d be glued to the couch for the foreseeable future.

Step one was finding a couple knowledgeable people in the Boston area who would be providing constant updates on Twitter and to start following them.

Step two was to turn on CNN or MSNBC, hoping I’d get some updates but mostly for the unintentional comedy they always provide.

Let’s fast forward to 7:45AM Pacific Time and go through all the important moments via the running diary I kept:

7:45: The only positive that these two assholes have given us is the complexity of their first and last names. Rather than learn how to pronounce their names, CNN is going exclusively with “black hat” and white hat.” Works for me.

7:51: CNN just filled about 90 seconds by explaining all the different ways a person in this situation might commit suicide. The possibilities included shooting himself in the head, blowing himself up with explosives, slitting his own wrists and filling up a bath tub and drowning himself. Could you imagine this guy with all these guns and explosives taking the time to fill up a bath tub and then trying to hold himself under water until he’s dead? I’m not convinced, CNN. Maybe we should dive deeper into the suicide possibilities.

7:59: I’m already considering my food delivery options for the day. It just doesn’t seem like this is ending soon and I’m not leaving the couch til it does.

8:09: Getting bored by the lack of action and suddenly a friend sends me a link to a website where I can listen to a Boston police scanner live….O M G, I’m gonna be peeing into a bucket near my couch for the next few hours.

8:13: First legit thing I hear on scanner: “We’ve got a EOD robot that’s gonna try to take his jacket off”. These poor robots. They’re the real first responders. When this is all over, I wanna see a robot throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game in honor of all the good robots we lost in this battle.

8:23: I just sent menacing texts to Julie about how I now have access to a scanner and it must suck for her to be at work. She really didn’t want to leave the couch this morning. Can you blame her? She wastes all her time watching “Real Housewives” and “Say Yes To The Dress,” and finally a true reality show comes on and she can’t stick around to watch.

8:35: The scanner was just interrupted so the website I’m listening to it on can throw an Old Spice ad at me. Really?

8:37: You probably already guessed this, but yes, I took my computer into the bathroom for my morning bomb-dropping. I refuse to miss a second of this action.

8:40: I already have to charge my phone today even though I woke up with it fully charged. That’s how hard I’m working right now.

8:44: I’m kinda of owning Facebook and Twitter right now. Throwing out “Game of Thrones” jokes and jokes about the TV media’s turtle-like pace. My synapses are really firing on all cylinders.

8:48: A Ryan Lochte reality show promo interrupting the scanner website? COME ON!

8:50: Above all else, this week will go down as the official end of me ever going to for breaking news. Thank you, Twitter.

8:54: I’ve always wondered about those weird people who own physical police scanners and just constantly have them on. Those weirdos with the scanner chirping away while they eat dinner and smoke their cigarettes. Now I understand. You basically get to be part of the team, hear all the locations they’re searching, what type of teams they’re bringing in (SWAT, EOD, detectives, etc), and you can even grab some Cops’ cell phone numbers if that’s the kind of thing you’re into.

8:56: On a semi-serious note, I do worry about what one or two people are able to do to an entire city and the rest of us that are glued to the TV and internet. They’ve brought a large Metropolis area to its knees and they’ve become the focus of an entire country. Two guys. That’s worrisome.

8:59: I should put on pants now while there’s a lull in the action. Never know if I’ll have a chance the rest of the day or not.

9:03: Huge, HUGE day for robots. Every third word on the scanner right now is “robot.” Whatever the robots’ salaries are, double it.

9:04: Would hate to be an attention-seeking criminal today. Just imagine a guy who had this elaborate bank robbery plan that he was supposed to pull off today. Poor guy won’t be getting any coverage. Anyone looking for their 15 minutes of fame, I’d recommend you choose a different week.

9:22: The twitter flow is slowing. I think all of the Boston people who I was following since last night finally decided to get some sleep. Bummer.

9:32: Press conference from Watertown coming up. I’m concerned that all they’re going to do is recap everything I already learned on Twitter over the last couple hours.

9:39: After one of the most pointless press conferences ever (continue staying in your homes, continue praying for our police officers), I decided if I do nothing more today, I’m going to get my exercise in. I’m off for a five-mile jog (it’s what the marathoners would have wanted me to do).

10:51: Just returned from my run to find out….ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST 70 MINUTES!

10:55: The bombers’ Aunt is on TV now live from Toronto. To paraphrase: “They are smart guys. I brought them here in 2001. Yes, they liked their lives here. If they didn’t, they’d leave. I’m a lawyer with an abrasive edge.” Let’s stick with the semi-crazy Uncle as the family’s official spokesperson, please.

11:08: Not that the Red Sox game is a top priority right now, but I couldn’t help but think of them. Remember how in my blog a couple days ago I mentioned that baseball players are creatures of habit? How do you think their typical routines are playing out today? Don’t come to the ballpark, stay in your homes. The game’s probably cancelled. No, we haven’t cancelled the game yet. Be ready. But you can’t come to the park to workout, take batting practice or anything else. If they play tonight’s game, I have no expectations for how it’s going to go.

11:11: CNN correspondent informs us things are slowing down at the Watertown scene. Jesus, they’re even behind the rest of us when it comes to reporting that there’s nothing to report.

11:20: On MSNBC, they’re still referring to one of the brothers as “dark hat.” I guess seven hours isn’t enough time to master the pronunciation of someone’s name. Which leads me to ask, what would they be calling these two guys if neither had been wearing a hat on Marathon Monday? Large Nose and Regular Nose?

11:58: You know things have really slowed to a crawl when the media’s now trying to make a connection between the younger brother’s actions and the fact that he became a U.S. citizen on 9/11/2012.

11:59: Here’s hoping the Bruins don’t have any games that go to a shootout the rest of the year. I don’t think Boston needs to see any more headlines that read “Boston Involved In Another Shootout”.

12:00PM: Out of all the brilliant tweets and Facebook posts I put out there this morning, I cannot believe nobody commented on or “liked” my “Game of Thrones” reference. I thought that was one of the finest moments in my comedic history. Just nailed it. Guess I don’t have a good handle on what my followers find funny.

12:03: Glad to see CNN isn’t even attempting to spell this fucker’s name right at this point:


If you’re gonna take letters out of his first name, just go back to “white hat”.

12:13: “Someone framed them. I don’t know who did it, but someone did.” An exact quote from the father. Umm…that theory probably went out the window the moment these guys started tossing explosives out of a car at the Boston Police during a chase.

12:22: If this area in Watertown that they’ve put a perimeter around ends up not producing Joe (that’s what I’m calling the living bomber at this point…CNN already started slowly Americanizing his name by taking out letters, so why can’t I just go with Joe?), things are going to get a lot crazier and scarier in all of New England.

12:25: Here’s why I would be a terrible member of the judicial system: My first thought on how they should punish this guy if they catch him alive was that he should be locked in a jail cell with his brother’s rotting body, and if he wants to eat and stay alive, here’s a knife, there’s your bro’s body, go to town, Fucker.

12:27: I’m going on hour seven of nonstop watching CNN, listening to police scanners, refreshing Twitter every two seconds, basically freaking out. And I look over to check on my dog to make sure she’s handling all this news OK, and here she is:


Just doing her “play dead” sleeping on the couch, nipples and vag up, not a care in the world. I’m so jealous of her right now.

I’m posting this at 1:15PM Pacific Time and I’m still tracking every move out of Boston, but in case this goes on for another 36 hours, I wanted to post the first part of my day. There’s a very good chance I come back with Part Two later tonight.

I know I made a lot of jokes that make light of the situation, but that doesn’t mean I’m not taking the situation seriously or hoping they catch this guy ASAP. And I’m so thankful this isn’t happening in LA because the Grilled Cheese Competition I’m participating in tomorrow would probably be cancelled.

Fine, I’ll Be The First To Say It: The Boston Tragedy Couldn’t Have Worked Out Better For The Red Sox

Leave it to me to think about who makes out best from the Marathon Monday Bombing. But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t think beyond the immediate tragedy and the people who got injured. I can’t help thinking about who benefits most from all of this.

The way this thing broke for the Red Sox was perfect. They got to leave the city for a three-game road trip in Cleveland before they return to Boston for a 10-game homestand. What if they had been in the middle of a long homestand when this happened? There’s no way they would have played at Fenway during the week following the explosions. Not only would the city of Boston be missing the welcome distraction of watching baseball, but the players’ routines would have gotten majorly screwed up. And we all know how much baseball players are creatures of habit.

Instead they get three road games in mid-April that suddenly have a ton of meaning for them and their fans. Then when Boston’s had a few days to absorb what happened and begins to move on, the Sox ride in and save the day. How crazy is Fenway going to be on Friday night? What if I told you their dramatic return to Boston might coincide with David Ortiz’s dramatic return to the Sox lineup? I’d be spending $30 for a ticket to that game if I was in Boston.

With Kansas City, Oakland and Houston visiting during the homestand, couldn’t this team realistically emerge from their next 12 games with a record of 18-7 and a little extra motivation for the rest of the season? Knowing the Red Sox organization, I’d be stunned if they weren’t marching people out for ceremonial first pitches who somehow represent the marathon, the victims or the heroics that were on display Monday. The players are going to get daily reminders of what they’re playing for.

And if we want to go even further on how this might benefit the Red Sox, there’s this:

I was 12 days into my freshman year of college when the hijacked planes took down the towers in New York. I know firsthand what it’s like to live through a national tragedy with a group of strangers you’re forced to be around every hour of every day. The friendships I made during those dark days of September 2001 are some of the strongest and weirdest friendships I still have to this day. That group of people I bonded with back then is the only group I know who gets together for a yearly reunion. And it doesn’t even matter that all of our significant others have protested the sketchiness of a mixed-gender, supposedly-platonic group of 30 year olds meeting up for a weekend getaway every year. We do it anyway.

The point I’m trying to make here is that all the players and coaches on the Red Sox just had to spend the last 48 hours processing the Marathon explosions together, stuck on a bus, a plane, in a hotel or in the locker room…together. Helping each other get through it. Talking about why someone might have done this. Brainstorming on what they can do to help the community. As of Monday morning, I’m willing to bet some of the players were still getting to know each other. After all there are a bunch of new guys on the team this year. But as of today, I’m willing to bet there’s no locker room in baseball that feels like a family quite as much as the Red Sox do.

If the Sox needed something to rally around and carry them through the intolerably boring summer days, they just got it.

Here’s hoping they save a couple of the feel-good ceremonial first pitch candidates for the World Series in October.

If This Blog Distracts Even One Person From The Horrible Boston Marathon Explosions, Then I’ve Done My Job

Here are three universally understood events: a marathon, a baseball game, a holiday. But non-New Englanders could probably use some educating on the annual phenomenon known as Marathon Monday.

I wrote those two sentences on Sunday night when I was preparing a Boston Marathon blog. Sadly that last sentence could now read “But non-New Englanders just got educated on the annual phenomenon known as Marathon Monday…”

Imagine an entire city throwing a gigantic block party that doubles as your own secret little holiday that no one else in the world gets to enjoy. The weather’s almost always great, bars open by 7am, the Red Sox game starts at 11am, and we all show our blind love of camaraderie and sporting events by rooting for thousands of strangers to run faster. Call it a cosmic peace offering for Bostonians having to deal with the yearly misery known as Winter. It’s a day that promotes so much optimism: “The weather’s turning…finally Spring is here!” “The Red Sox are 8-4…this is their year!” “If these 23,000 people can run a marathon, why can’t I?…screw it, I’m getting in shape and running it next year!”

As with most people who grew up in Massachusetts, I have plenty of Marathon Monday memories. Here’s the simplest way I can describe my personal Boston Marathon history:

  • Childhood: Went to a family friend’s BBQ ever year in the suburbs to watch the runners go by. Back then us kids probably just viewed it as another day to run around and play outside with our friends, with the bonus of getting to hand cups of water to these seemingly-important athletes (something that the public’s not allowed to do anymore, probably partially because of me and my brilliant idea as a kid to put pebbles in the cups of water for the runners).
  • Advanced Childhood (aka College Years): Typically cracked my first beer at about 7:30am at my apartment, walked down to Kenmore Square while discreetly drinking beer out of a 7/11 Big Gulp cup, went to a house party (the years before I turned 21) or a bar (once I was of legal age), and then stood on the sidewalk screaming for people I’ve never met before to keep running.
  • Adulthood Part 1: Spent my second Marathon Monday in California trying to replicate the festivities as best as possible. Got to my brother’s apartment at 7am, cracked a beer immediately, started watching the Red Sox game at 8am, and then went out on his front porch and cheered for runners going by his apartment…extremely confused runners who were out for a San Francisco morning jog. It wasn’t as good as the really thing, but probably the best Marathon Monday celebration in all of California.
  • Adulthood Part 2: Ran the marathon in 2011, finished in 4 hours and 46 minutes, had an incredibly supportive group of family members and friends cheering me on from those same sidewalks I frequented during my college years.

Each of those versions of me deserved a carefree, relaxing and happy day. The eight-year-old Ross should be allowed to fill cups with rocks until his heart’s content; the 20-year-old Ross should have only one concern on his mind: not getting arrested; and the 28-year-old Ross should be smiling as he approaches the home stretch of a huge accomplishment, regardless of the size of the blisters on his feet.

I feel terribly for all the people who were trying to do these same mostly-innocent things in Boston today and now have a horror show to remember instead of the good times that Patriots Day promises. The little kid who was just getting the hang of yelling out the correct cheers for the runners only to be pulled away from the course by parents who feared more explosions were coming. The college student who went from the euphoric haze of partying hard on a Monday afternoon to the sobering reality of a day gone terribly wrong just a couple miles away. The first-time marathoner who didn’t get to run down Boylston Street, the proverbial exclamation point to the world’s most famous marathon. (Needless to say I feel the worst for the people who were either directly injured or had loved ones injured in the explosions.)

Everywhere you look around the web or on TV, there are people better than me at putting this stuff into words. So I’ll let them do their jobs. I’ll just leave you with a couple pictures. If these pictures distract even one person from the events of today and put a smile on his or her face, then I’ve done my job:




After all, if a dog wearing human clothes and a baby wearing sunglasses can’t cheer you up, what can?

Stay Strong, Boston.

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Movies: Handicapping the Oscars & Your Guide to the Best Movies of 2012

It’s February 15th and that means The 2013 Oscars are looming. It’s that time of year when all you people who didn’t see a single movie in the last 12 months—because you were too busy holding down a job, raising your kids, spending your time and money on something more fulfilling than “sitting in a theater while consuming 4,700 calories of grease, butter and sugar”—start scrambling to watch as many Oscar-nominated films as possible.

If you’re someone who thinks “Life of Pi” is a movie about the mathematician who came up with that confusing 3.14 number, or you think “Amour” is a romantic comedy about a man and a woman falling in love at a yard sale where they both tried to buy an antique piece of furniture, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

With so many different films and actors nominated it’s impractical to try to see it all. So which movies do you prioritize? Lucky for you this article includes a worst-to-best ranking of the 19 movies I saw in 2012. I have great taste in movies so just follow my list blindly and you won’t be disappointed.

But Oscar season isn’t just about seeing as many good movies as possible. It’s about predicting who will win each major award even though none of us know the first thing about acting, directing, adapting or costume designing. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun to argue with a friend that “Tommy Lee Jones should never win any award because he’s such an asshole in real life.”

For the readers who are gamblers at heart, you’ll be happy to know that many betting websites allow you to bet on who will win each of the major Oscar awards. So of course in this article I’ll provide you the odds of the favorite in each category as well as a long shot that I like.

So let’s rip through the important Oscar categories real quick so you know what films to see in the next nine days, either by going to the movie theater or re-organizing your Netflix queue. I’ll make some very subjective comments next to the movies I’ve seen, and perhaps next to some of the movies I haven’t seen. (Disclaimer: I haven’t seen all the movies that are relevant to the Oscars. I’ve only seen the ones I thought I might actually enjoy.)


  • Amour: I haven’t seen it. When “elderly” and “love story” are used in a movie’s synopsis, you can just about guarantee that I’ll never watch it.
  • Argo: A great movie where the story is a lot more memorable than the acting. Awesome job mixing in some light, humorous moments in an otherwise very serious plot. If there was a “fan favorite” Oscar award, this would probably win (or be a close runner-up to “Silver Linings Playbook”).
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild: This movie arrived via Netflix over a week ago and it’s been sitting on my coffee table gathering dust ever since. I just don’t think I’m going to like it very much. I hear the little girl who’s nominated for Best Actress is incredible, but I don’t typically watch movies for just one individual acting performance.
  • Django Unchained: During the first 30 minutes of this movie, I was worried it was going to be one of Quentin Tarantino’s worst films. It turned out to be one of his best. There’s no other way to describe it other than to say “it was just a fun movie to watch.” Such an enjoyable movie with some awesome acting performances (which we’ll talk about it in a minute). I’m rooting for this one to win even though I know it won’t.
  • Les Miserables: I can’t even correctly pronounce this movie’s name, and I heard a crazy rumor that it’s a musical. I doubt I’ll ever see it.
  • Life of Pi: Another movie I haven’t seen, mostly because in the previews the tiger on the raft didn’t look real enough to me.
  • Lincoln: I heard that the Academy would only allow one Lincoln film into the Best Picture category this year, and Spielberg’s “Lincoln” only narrowly beat out “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” All jokes aside, this movie was surprisingly great. I say surprisingly because it’s essentially 150 minutes of 19th century politicians blathering on about amendments and slavery. The fact that this film held my attention should automatically put it in the lead for Best Picture.
  • Silver Linings Playbook: Loved it. It might be the movie I re-watch the most out of all the Best Picture nominations. But it’s pretty much a romantic comedy (even if it is a well-disguised romantic comedy). I don’t want “Silver Linings” to win and set the precedent that if all of Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson’s future movies just include a few more plot twists, they’ll suddenly be Oscar worthy.
  • Zero Dark Thirty: Better than “The Hurt Locker,” which was Kathryn Bigelow’s previous movie that won Best Picture. But up against much tougher competition than “Locker” faced in 2010. Best edge-of-your-seat, hold-your-breath story of all the nominees. And c’mon, it ends with the killing of bin Laden.

Odds-on favorite to win according to gambling sites: Argo (1/5 odds)

Long shot that I might put a bet on: Amour (100/1 odds)…Because the Oscars love picking the boring, stuffy, old people-bait movies. Just like “The Artist” did last year, an “Amour” win will set movies back 100 years.

(A quick side note: How interesting that this year featured three movies where the audience knew the ending of the story with 100% certainty before walking into the theater (Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty). And yet, they were three of the best movies, and one of them is probably winning Best Picture. Somehow these movies were able to keep me in suspense the entire time even though there was zero chance for a surprise ending. Incredible work by everyone who made these three films.)


  • Michael Haneke (Amour): I don’t have a goddamn clue if he did a good job directing.
  • Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild): I’m going to assume he did a good job because he coaxed a Best Actress performance out of a nine-year-old.
  • Ang Lee (Life of Pi): Apparently there’s an unspoken rule in Hollywood that says you should stay away from using children, animals and large bodies of water in your movie. Something about any of those three variables making things much more difficult. And yet all three were major players in “Life of Pi.” I haven’t seen it yet, but if people voted in this category based on “biggest headaches overcome,” I bet Lee has a great chance to win.
  • Steven Spielberg (Lincoln): Spielberg isn’t quite the lock for directing as his lead actor is for that category, but he’s probably going to win his 3rd Best Director Award on February 24th. Regardless of “Argo” being the frontrunner for Best Picture, Spielberg has the inside track here because Ben Affleck somehow didn’t get nominated for the directing category.
  • David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook): Adding to my “this movie is just a dressed-up rom com” comments from before…anybody who can mask a romantic comedy as well as Russell did with “Silver Linings” deserves a ton of credit. Trickery or not, the movie was still an A+.

Odds-on favorite to win according to gambling sites: Steven Spielberg (1/4 odds)

Long shot that I might put a bet on: David O. Russell (14/1 odds)…If this really is a “fan favorite” year and “Argo” wins the Best Picture, then it makes sense for David O. to win for directing. I promise you it’ll be the movie you stop the channel surfing on most often when you see it pop up on HBO or Cinemax over the next few years.


  • Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook): In 12 years this guy has gone from playing the gay dude in “Wet Hot American Summer” and the asshole villain boyfriend in “Wedding Crashers” to a bona fide A-list actor who can carry a movie. He’s legit and deserves to be recognized for that. Unfortunately this year he’s up against a guy who seriously made me question whether Abraham Lincoln had actually risen from the dead to play himself in a movie. Thinking Cooper will get his Oscar due eventually. I don’t think this will be his last nomination.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln): Just the man I was talking about. The Lead Actor category is not a competition this year. If ever there was a situation where someone shouldn’t bother preparing an acceptance speech, it’s the other four men in this category. I’m pretty sure Day-Lewis could murder the head of the Academy tomorrow and they’d still feel obligated to give him this award. I wasn’t alive when Abraham Lincoln was doing his thing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a recording of the big man Presidenting it up, but I honestly believe he looked and sounded exactly like what Day-Lewis brought to this movie. This is one of those movies that’s worth watching purely for one man’s performance.
  • Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables): Didn’t see it so I have no idea about his performance.
  • Joaquin Phoenix (The Master): Ditto.
  • Denzel Washington (Flight): I actually watched this today. It was my first ever rental from a Red Box machine because I really wanted to see if there was any chance Denzel could unseat Mr. Lincoln. It was a solid, dramatic performance, but I thought the movie was a little boring. Washington had some very memorable scenes, but I knew I’d never take this movie seriously when I saw the trailer for it months ago and a plane was flying upside down.

Odds-on favorite to win according to gambling sites: Daniel Day-Lewis (1/50 odds)…That means you have to bet $50 just to make $1 of profit. Normally I wouldn’t recommend this, but if you’ve got $50,000 to spare, I guarantee you’ll make the $1,000 profit off of it.

Long shot that I might put a bet on: Bradley Cooper (40/1 odds)…It’s a waste of money, but maybe the Academy has a lot more white supremacists who are still irked by Lincoln’s freeing the slaves than we imagined.


  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty): Not to take anything away from her performance, but I think the intense storyline and the emotional appeal of hunting Osama bin Laden carried this movie much more than any single actor did. She was damn good, don’t get me wrong. But if you threw Heather Graham into Chastain’s role as the CIA Agent in this movie, I don’t know if the film would take that big of a hit…and Heather Graham is an awful, awful actress.
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook): She would certainly win if we were voting for which actress we most want to see up on stage on Oscar night. But I don’t know how she wins Best Actress without Bradley Cooper winning Best Actor. He was a bigger piece of the movie and probably carried a lot more scenes than her.
  • Emmanuelle Riva (Amour): Didn’t see it.
  • Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild): Didn’t see it, but hopefully I will by Oscar night.
  • Naomi Watts (The Impossible): Didn’t see it.

Odds-on favorite to win according to gambling sites: Jennifer Lawrence (4/7 odds)

Long shot that I might put a bet on: Quvenzhane Wallis (50/1 odds)…Because I’m lukewarm about the two performances I saw, and it would be awesome for someone this young to win while watching whoever presents the award try to pronounce her name.


  • Alan Arkin (Argo): Basically him and John Goodman should have been co-nominated for “Argo” because they were in the movie almost equally and both were hysterical. Good performances from both guys, but not Oscar worthy in my opinion.
  • Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook): The problem here is that De Niro’s character is supposed to be a bookie in the movie, and I know far too much about sports to buy into his performance as that bookie.
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master): Didn’t see it so let’s just assume he won’t win.
  • Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln): I came out of the theater after seeing “Lincoln” and all I could remember was Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance. Everything else in this movie seemed like background noise. TLJ was actually really good in his role as Thaddeus Stevens (especially with the twist at the end of him wearing a wig!), but I’d only be rooting for him if he’d never won an Oscar before. Oh, and I hear he’s a real asshole.
  • Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained): Just like Waltz steals the show in Quentin Tarantino’s last film, “Inglourious Basterds,” so too does he steal the show in “Django.” In “Basterds” he was opposite Brad Pitt. This time he shared the screen with Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. Quite a feat to overshadow all of those guys. He might have given my favorite performance of the year in the non-Daniel Day-Lewis category.

Odds-on favorite to win according to gambling sites: Tommy Lee Jones (+110)

Long shot that I might put a bet on: Christoph Waltz (+140)…OK so it’s not really a “long shot” in the traditional sense, but I don’t care. He’s not the favorite and he should be.


  • Amy Adams (The Master): Didn’t see it, but I like her moxie.
  • Sally Field (Lincoln): If you can win an award like this based on one scene, then Sally Field should win for the scene in “Lincoln” when she talks circles around Tommy Lee Jones’ Thaddeus Stevens as she’s welcoming him to a dinner party. Great scene, but that’s all I really remember from her performance.
  • Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables): You already know I didn’t see it. I assume she’s going to win, but I hate her new short haircut.
  • Helen Hunt (The Sessions): Is this a real movie? Haven’t heard of it.
  • Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook): I saw this movie so long ago now that I barely remember her role as the Mom. I know she tried to break up the fights between Bradley Cooper’s character and Robert De Niro’s character, but I’m struggling to recall any other pertinent details.

Odds-on favorite to win according to gambling sites: Anne Hathaway (1/50 odds)…Apparently she’s as much of a shoo-in as Daniel Day-Lewis is.

Long shot that I might put a bet on: Jacki Weaver (50/1 odds)…Because it’s one of only two supporting actress performances I’ve seen and I’m a sucker for the big long shot.

And now, here’s my arbitrary, subjective and illogical ranking of the 19 movies I saw that came out in 2012:

19). Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

18). Snow White & The Huntsman

17). Wanderlust

16). The Campaign

15). Men In Black III

14). Prometheus

13). The Amazing Spiderman

12). The Hunger Games

11). Flight

10). This is 40

9). Ted

8). The Avengers

7). Dark Knight Rises

6). Lincoln

5). Moonrise Kingdom

4). Zero Dark Thirty

3). Argo

2). Silver Linings Playbook

1). Django Unchained

Happy Birthday To The World’s Fastest-Growing Blog: Highlights and Lowlights

What a great day for celebration! This is definitely my favorite day of the year. And no, I’m not talking about Valentine’s Day. If you read yesterday’s V-Day Post, you already know I don’t celebrate the day of lovers on February 14th.

Today we’re celebrating the Will Blog For Food Blog turning One Year Old!

My friends and family know I’m a modest man so I didn’t have big plans for celebrating this milestone, but the staff at Will Blog For Food had other ideas. This morning they presented me with a surprise anniversary celebration, complete with a candle in my favorite dessert, Peanut Butter Cups:


Photo on 2013-02-14 at 08.41

You’re probably asking yourself, “What the hell is he celebrating? He constantly mentions how his stretch goal is to get 45 page views in a single day.”

C’mon, you know that’s just my self-deprecating way of making fun of my own failures before someone else beats me to the punch. If the website that hosts my blog, WordPress, is telling the truth with all its stats, this has in fact been an extremely successful year. Let’s take you through some of the highlights in number form:

  • 16,606: Number of views my website got in its first year. And no, I don’t think the 16,603 times I clicked on the blog myself counted towards that stat.
  • 551: Number of views my site got in its first month alive. Not bad, right?
  • 2,551: Number of views my site got in its 12th month alive. I dare you to find another company who grew its customer base by nearly 500% in one year. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
  • 112: Number of countries where at least one person has clicked on my blog.
  • 193: Number of countries in the world that the United Nations recognizes.
  • 58: Percent of the world’s countries that I’ve “captured in one year. If blogging was a game of Risk, my friend Ben would be screaming and flipping the board over because it’s not fair how easily I’m rolling through all the countries.
  • 12,000: Number of views out of the 16,000 that the United States has accounted for. Still love ya, U.S.A.
  • 239: Number of views that the non-English-speaking country with the most views of my blog has accrued. That country is India.

Clicks and Pageview stats are nice, but what about the most successful individual blog posts? I’m glad you asked. Out of the 180 posts on this website, here are the five best that I’ve written based on the number of views they’ve received:

  1. A Thorough Examination of Bird Poop Being Good Luck: I don’t know what it is about this blog, but it’s singlehandedly putting my kids through college. This particular post gets a minimum of 25 views per day. I think it’s due to the fact that there’s no good info on the web about why people say being shat on by a bird is good luck. After monitoring the success of this post for the last nine months, I walk around all day praying to get bird diarrhea all over my head. I want a reason to write a second post about this topic. It might take my monthly views from 2,500 to 25 Million.
  2. Perfectly Good Excuses For Leaving Work Early: What does it say about the American work ethic that this blog post has been at the top of the standings since I wrote it 10 months ago? I guess people hate their jobs enough to be googling for excuses. If you hate your job like I did, stop making excuses and quit. Then move to a really expensive city, adopt a dog that racks up twice the amount of expenses as you were expecting and continue to plan vacations long after your money has run out. Worked for me.
  3. My Life is Complete: Boo Urns!: Pretty self-explanatory, right? People love The Simpsons. People love reading about other people who love The Simpsons. I never thought seeing that license plate on March 23, 2012, would be such a life-changing moment.
  4. Bob Costas is Literally Murdering the London Olympics: If I was making an “Editor’s Pick” for favorite blog post, this might be it. I still LOL and LMFAO when I think back to how awful Bob Costas’ opening monologue was on the NBC broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies. In my entire history of blogging, that goes down as the quickest turnaround from when I saw something blog-worthy happen to when I posted the blog. I literally ran to my computer when I heard him defecating all over the London Games. Well done, Bob.
  5. Adoption Process Complete: Announcing Our Little Bundle of Joy: I think there was an initial spike in views on this blog post because people saw the title and freaked out over the possibility of me adopting a human baby. Luckily I have no interest in raising a human baby. This blog also tugs at the heartstrings of every dog lover out there. Posting about Molly has always been an easy pageviews boon and I will continue to exploit her for my own success. By the way, anyone who has seen Molly in person in the last few months and knows how big she is, go back and look at the pictures in this first Molly blog. Unbelievable that we chose a dog who went from 23lbs to 90lbs in six months.

As far as the lowlights from year one, I’d say any time I allowed a guest blogger to write something it was an unmitigated disaster. I’m not saying I’m the only person capable of successful blogging. I’m just saying the particular people I chose to feature on my blog throughout the year never really found the tone I was looking for. Submissions are still welcome by outside bloggers, but this year I’m going to be a lot more cutthroat about who has what it takes.

So what’s coming in year two of the fastest-growing blog on the web? Probably a lot more of the same. But maybe I’ll start to delve into some entertaining childhood stories. After all, you guys haven’t heard about the time I ran face-first into a parked car and knocked all my teeth out (silver lining: I got to eat only McDonald’s milkshakes for days) or the time my parents gave us a puppy only to maliciously take it away from us three weeks later and return her to her original owner (I was so scarred from this that I wrote multiple college papers on this traumatic period of my life). There’s also the time my asshole brothers convinced me to wear my jean shorts backwards to a family event because I’d be “as cool as the guys from Kris Kross.” Or how about the time that I thought my older brothers and their friends were saying “condoms” when in reality they were saying “condiments.” I ran home to Mom and Dad and told them about the bad words they were saying. I’ve also given my Mom at least two near-heart attacks by convincing her that my brother Aaron was failing out of high school and dead (two separate pranks that went a little too far).

See, there are plenty of shenanigans from my childhood to write about in order to milk more page views from my readers. I’ve just barely gotten started. Thanks for all of your loyal reading and don’t be shy about spreading the word.

Monopoly Month at McDonald’s Coincides with my Annual Attempt to Morph into a Defensive Lineman

I don’t even know where the closest McDonald’s is to my apartment. But you can bet your ass I’ll be google mapping the five closest MickeyD’s to my place now that Monopoly has returned. It seems like this Monopoly game at McDonald’s has been going on for 20 years, and as an adult, it’s the one thing that causes me to buy fast food over a one-month span every year.

So from now until October 22nd when the game ends, I’ll be doing my best to transform into this guy:

My favorite part of Monopoly Month is how on certain days I try to pretend like I’m not going to eat a Big Mac, Fries, a Diet Coke and two Apple Pies. But while planning to eat a healthy lunch, I just delay eating for hours to the point where it’s so late in the day, I can justifiably say to myself, “Ugh, I’m starving. I just need to eat something right now, anything will do…oh look, there’s a McDonald’s…”

FYI, there are TWO Boardwalk pieces this year…the first time they’ve done that (usually there’s only one). So double the chances of winning the $1 million prize. So excited I could eat three DQPWC’s right now! (that’s the acronym for a double quarter-pounder with cheese that us fast food gluttons use)

Good luck, fellow Fatsos!

P.S. If I get stuck with like 47 Kentucky Avenue game pieces like I always do, I’m going to flip out on a McDonald’s employee, or maybe even Ronald himself.