Friday, March 26, 2010

No Advice This Week, Cause I Haven't Had a Chance to Come Up With Any Venom, So Here are Some Random Thoughts...

Dear Tracy Morgan: Was watching the second season of "30 Rock" this weekend and listening to your audio commentary. Were you CHEWING? Really? Seriously?! You couldn't save your snack for the half hour (less, actually, since commercials are edited out) that it takes to talk about the episode? Truly? No fooling, now?

Wow. That's just so annoying. Nothing in the world bugs the fuck out of me more than someone who takes their conversational duty so casually that they don't care what they sound like. Especially when it's THEIR initiative to do the talking. That's like calling someone you don't know and having food in your mouth. It's overly familiar and disrespectful. And since you agreed to do this commentary, you essentially initiated the conversation so to speak, so the onus is on you to have an empty mouth.

Swallow. Now. (This can't be the first time you've heard that.)


Many, many power plays going on in my world this week. I sure hope certain people take a shot of "humility juice" soon, or I'm going to have to give it to them intravenously. In a painful place.


My bandmate Taylor Joans just got a new kitty named Putzi (it's German for "cute little one"). She lives up to her name. Regard:

Is adorable, no? She's about four months old. He just got her Monday. I must have spent the first half hour of rehearsal last night petting her and telling her what a pretty girl she is. (Of course, we usually do this to Jennifer Joans at each rehearsal, too, so it wasn't a sea change in routine.)

That's all for now...have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice: March 12, 2009 Edition

DEAR AMY: I'm at an age where I'm eligible for Social Security and draw a pension.

I enjoy good health and still have the energy level of men much younger than me. I'm scared to death of going into my twilight years with nothing to look forward to other than carrying my wife's purse around cute little boutiques, playing cards and dealing with boring people.

I know this sounds selfish and I have a little guilt about it, but if I don't follow this dream, I'll never know what adventures might await me.

I intend to explore the possibilities of living on my own in South America, where my dollar will afford me a certain amount of freedom and luxury. Am I crazy? I know there are a lot of unanswered questions, but I have a dream and I want to see it through.



You’ve been watching “Romancing the Stone” again, haven’t you?

You’re damn right there are unanswered questions, and you’d better start asking them and finding out the answers “muy pronto.” (That’s Spanish for “fast.”)

Here are a few to start with:

What do you know about living in South America? What makes you think you can adjust to the environmental and cultural differences? Are you prepared for the critters down there? They have spiders in South America that can eat birds—did you realize that?? And let’s not even get started on the snakes.

And when you say “on your own,” do you mean literally leaving your wife behind and moving away by yourself? She might be glad for the peace and quiet, but isn’t that kind of rude?

And just what country were you planning on living in, anyway? Many South American countries are overrun with dangerous drug cartels, and you could get duped into being their drug mule and then get arrested and end up being Paco’s bitch in the laundry room. You’d beg to carry your wife’s purse around then, wouldn’t you?


DEAR AMY: Last week I was a guest at a party. I was seated next to a friend of my mother's, and I could not get up to move unless I made five or six people get up, so I was stuck. This woman proceeded to tell me a story and used two very offensive racial slurs.

I was so stunned that she would think it was OK to say these things to me, but I wasn't sure how to tactfully respond, so I ignored her the rest of the night. I was angry with myself for not speaking up, but I didn't want to spoil the party and make people uncomfortable.

The icing on the cake was at the end of the dinner when she made a racist announcement directed at the rest of the group. Is there a way I could have tactfully put her in her place?



Yes. Knock her chair backwards. Then tell her the wind did it. She's obviously too stupid to know otherwise.

DEAR ABBY: I work in an office where folks sometimes bring in birthday cakes, desserts and other goodies to share. “Dolores” is always the first in line, and helps herself to a large portion of the treats and says she’s taking some home for her family.

Last week, someone brought in an exotic dessert and I got out the dessert-sized paper plates. Dolores took out two regular-sized paper plates and cut off a quarter of the entire dessert! No one could believe it, but we didn’t know what to say or do. One time, she actually cut a huge portion of someone’s birthday cake to take home before the “birthday boy” even got a slice. This woman is not poor. What do you recommend?



I recommend telling this greedy bitch to keep her mitts off the goodies from now on. Lots of people would love to “take some cake home to their families” (or eat it in the car, as she probably really does, hence the quotes), but grown-ups don’t behave that way.

Since she’s already lowered the bar, however, try this: before she gets to the front of the line, each person should lick their finger and touch a different part of the cake to claim it as their own while she watches. See if she wants any then.

DEAR ELLIE: We met and married very young making strong, mutual agreements - no kids, much travel, pay our house off quickly, etc.

Twelve years later, I’ve recently moved out because I think things will never change. I’m no longer attracted to him and have lost respect for him. I feel I was too young to make those commitments.

I have a hard time telling him my issues, for fear of hurting him. We’ve basically stopped talking for the past year. Even if he changes his mind about kids I don’t want to be with him.

We’ve grown apart. However, I’ve agreed to see a counsellor together, as a way to close things. I’m excited for my own future, but he views counselling as a chance to fix things.

I’m getting flack from friends because of my prior uncommunicativeness (my moving out was a shock). I’m pressured to go back and try. When I listen to others, I change my mind. How can I get everyone to accept that it’s over?



Well, you’ve already moved out without telling him why, so it’s stupid to worry about “hurting him,” since I think that horse has already left the barn.

You can hardly complain about things never changing, when you both agreed at the start that they never would. That’s as much your fault as his. And let me guess: the house is now paid off, so you want to sell it, get your share of the swag (assuming it’s increased in value and not depreciated like most real estate) and then fly off to bonk some other guy in your “exciting future.”

I think you can leave off the "indecision" part. You sound just plain "crazy."

Don’t put this guy through counseling if you’re not really going into it seriously. Tell him it’s not his fault: sometimes people grow apart, even when one of them (like you) doesn’t grow up.

DEAR MARGO: I am an adult woman with three older brothers with whom I do not speak. My oldest brother has always treated me like an idiot child with nothing to say. He stopped even acknowledging my birthday nine years ago. My youngest brother only contacts me when he wants me to do him big favors. The middle brother told me three years ago that I am "dead" to him. He eavesdropped on a conversation I had with his now-ex-wife, where he heard me say that if he did what she was alleging, she was right to feel the way she did.

My problem is this: Although my parents say they're staying out of it, they bring up the issue periodically, which shows me it hurts them that their children do not talk. My brothers also rarely, if ever, speak to each other. Our parents are in their 70s, and a recent health scare with Mom has me thinking that when my parents do eventually pass away, I will have no connection with family anymore. I am not sure whether there is anything I can do to end the animosity between siblings, since most contact with them has been met with disdain. Do you have any ideas, or should I just cut my losses?



The second one, although I don’t know why you would consider those three oafs as “losses.” Frankly, they all sound like douchebags.

You need to gently explain to your parents that you are all grown-ups now (at least chronologically) and whatever problems you may have with each other, they’re not Mom or Dad’s fault. Tell your parents that you love them very much and always will, but can’t do anything else with regard to your brothers. You can’t have discussions with pigs: it wastes your time and annoys the pigs, as the saying goes.

As far as having no family connections someday, it sounds like that’s probably for the best where they’re concerned. Treasure the time you have with your parents now, and try not to stress too much about the day you eventually have to call The Douchebags when Mom or Dad passes away.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the correct response when people tell me to smile?

I am not at a photographer's studio or where photos are being taken. I'm just going about my business.

The other evening, I was waiting for my husband to bring the car around to the door to go home from a social function we had attended. An acquaintance was getting her coat at the coat check. We exchanged some pleasantries when out of the blue she told me to smile.

I told her that really annoys me when people say that to me. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, we bid each other goodnight.

This request to smile has happened to me more than once. I am a reserved person and not one who goes around grinning from ear to ear. I'm not sad or mad. I'm just me.

How should I handle this request? Am I obligated to give them a big toothy smile? Was I rude to my acquaintance? Do I owe her an apology? I am perplexed by this command.



I get this one all the time, too. WTF? Why this sudden interest in other people’s expressions? Did the Department of Homeland Security establish a Bureau of Face Police, and forget to tell us?? And if so, why haven’t they arrested Priscilla Presley yet?

The next time someone tells you to smile, the correct response would be: “Why? I don’t have gas.”

Monday, March 08, 2010

Because The Suspense of Not Knowing Was Just KILLING Us All...

(Photo courtesy of

Sean Hayes has stated in a recent interview that he's gay.

And you could have knocked the entire world over with a feather.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Aaron's Rotten Advice: March 5, 2010 Edition

DEAR AMY: My husband is nearly 70. He is handsome and fit and can pass for 55. He has smoked most of his life.

I am a nonsmoker and so are nearly all of our friends. I get tired of friends lecturing me on my husband's smoking.

One of my friends, "Shirley," who should know better, will say things like, "Your house smells like cigarettes — how can you stand it?" when she comes to dinner. I'm often at her home. She has two dogs and her house smells like dogs.

The dogs jump on me, and when I am invited for dinner I have to compete with the dogs for the food on my plate.

I can't stand that smell, but I've never commented on it to her privately or in a group.



You can tell her that if the smell bothers her so much, she knows where the door is. She should be grateful for the smoke aroma, because it probably draws attention away from her B.O.

And if you dine at her house again, remind her that the table is for humans and "doggie bag" is just an expression.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 48-year-old divorced man who has been dating a divorcee for five years. Last night I asked her to marry me, only to be told she was not ready and afraid of being hurt again.

Should I stay in this relationship, or stop seeing her and try to start another relationship? I’m afraid that staying in this one much longer will prevent me from finding someone else who would marry me.



After five years of dating, she doesn’t get to play the “Afraid of Being Hurt” card anymore. Surely she knows you by now. Don’t kid yourself. She just likes things the way they are—comfort, companionship and no commitment. Just like a man.

So treat her likewise—take her to the Justice of the Peace’s office and tell her it’s a football game. If he has hot dogs and beer, she might just fall for it.

DEAR ELLIE: What do you do with a guy who doesn’t grow up? We’ve been in a relationship for eight years and he seemed good-hearted, full of potential and sweet in the early years. We’re now both mid-30s.

We used to live together but he never had money for the bills and we were evicted. I was then too sick to work. He went back home.

He’s lived with his parents these past three years (a true Mama’s boy); he still can’t hold a job and keeps promising things will get better. Yet he asks for money from his parents for cigarettes, gas and phone cards.

My friends don’t like him and he’s severely damaged my relationships with my family and friends. He always wants to know where I am and hangs around my place on my dime.

I’ve now said that I’ll have my own personal days - my time and my business. I want to see if he’ll move on and if I can get rid of him. If I just try to leave completely, he won’t leave me alone. Is this the right approach?



Well, is your approach working? It doesn’t sound like it. So I guess the answer is no.

Forget this “personal days” bullshit—that’s like calling “time out” on a three-year-old, and it’s about as effective. You need to flick him away like a booger.

Tell him you don’t want his hot mess hanging around your place, wasting your dimes. He can go spend a penny somewhere else.

DEAR MARGO: Here’s a new one for you — I’m assuming, as it’s a pretty ridiculous situation. Two years ago, my husband begged for a tarantula, and after too many cocktails, I bought him one for his birthday. I am scared to death of spiders and have had buyer’s remorse ever since. I have nightmares about it getting loose, and even had a panic attack when I saw it molting. My husband won’t get rid of the thing, and I’ve learned to ignore that corner of our living room as much as possible. However … we just found out we’re expecting our first child, but my husband says he still won’t get rid of the tarantula, saying it’s no more dangerous than our dogs.

Our tarantula has fangs and can bite, as well as being able to fling its hairs, causing respiratory irritation, none of which should be an issue if the tarantula is kept secure in its cage. But I worry about a toddler knocking over the cage or removing the lid and reaching in. I don’t intend to let it go or die or anything. I just want it to be adopted into another home. So should we get rid of it or keep it? If you side with me, how can I possibly get my husband on board?



Who are you married to, Pugsley Addams??

What kind of grown man begs and begs to keep a tarantula in the house? What purpose does it serve? Is it intended to frighten away intruders? Spark dinner party conversation? “Before we have our crab legs, let’s go visit the cousin of the deceased.”

To answer your question, once the kid comes, the spider has to go. I’m sure it’s safe enough in its terrarium, but those things live forever (like 30 years) and once the kid gets old enough to start “exploring,” yes, he will get curious about the glass box and what’s inside, and there’s every chance he will reach in. By all accounts, tarantulas are fairly docile and don’t mind being picked up gently. But as we know, kids are not always gentle and if the thing doesn’t scare the living shit out of him just to look at (as it would have done to me at that age), then he might be dumb enough to play rough with it. This could result in not only a bite from the spider (which is not usually dangerous to adults but could be more so to small children, and is said to be painful in any event) but also injury or death to the animal after the kid flings it to the floor. And tries to stomp on it.

Maybe you should tell Svengoolie it’s time to grow up. If he persists in his fascination with creepy invertebrates, he can start a Bill O’Reilly scrapbook.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: As an educator of middle and high school students for 20 years, I have had my share of interesting comments and have learned how to handle the majority of them politely and appropriately.
However, one that I still struggle with is when students ask questions about my personal appearance, such as if I color my hair, for example. Of course I believe it is none of their business but have learned that answering as such only escalates their interest.

I feel that although, in the big scheme of things, they could ask much worse questions, part of my job is also teaching them life skills, and I want to respond in such a way that they understand the inappropriateness of asking personal questions of those they do not have a personal relationship with. Do you have any suggestions?



I sure do. Next time they ask if you dye your hair, ask if they stuff their bras (or the front of their pants, as the case may be). I don’t think they’ll ask about your hair again.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

No Country For Old Bastards

Senator Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky), the lone screw-loose holdout who was holding up unemployment pay to millions of cash-strapped Americans, finally backed down yesterday once a compromise bill was submitted with three concessions to the old dinosaur.

Now, I'm all for being fiscally responsible, and it's true that government spending is getting out of hand, but he was really attacking the wrong people here. (Maybe that's what happens when you get to be 100 years old and your eyes don't work so good no more.)

And if anybody says, "You damn liberal, attacking someone on the right just because he doesn't fall in line with the tax-and-spend policies of ObamaCare," I'd like to respond that a.) I don't agree with all of Obama's policies, either, but we're in dire straits now and there are no perfect solutions. Meanwhile, it's unconscionable to let fellow citizens starve when they've lost jobs through no fault of their own, not to mention withholding medicine to elderly people; and, b.)where were you sons of bitches anyway when George W. Bush was raiding our Social Security coffers to pay for his neurotic daddy's-boy-grudge-war in Iraq? No right-wingers uttered so much as a peep over that one. So shut the fuck up now.

Further, I think Bunning showed a lot of gall objecting to tax-supported jobless benefits and Medicare when he and his colleagues profit so handsomely from that same enterprise. The average Congressperson earns $174,000 a year--FAR more than a family of five on one unemployment check can expect to see. Not to mention the kick-ass pension and benefits the old bloodsucker will be drawing even after he retires to his outhouse in Lexington.

So I wonder just how he'll receive the proposal by freshman Senator Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona suggesting a five percent pay cut for Congress. Well, she's a Democrat and it wasn't his idea. Wanna take bets on that one?

I suppose a person can't blame him for being cantankerous. It can't be easy watching oneself go from this:

To this:

(Okay, rant over now. I feel better!)