Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Day After Drinksmas

Twas the day after Drinksmas,
And no one was in bed.
The guys were asleep
but on couches instead.

Aaron still in his polo
and Tom in his Twins cap,
Didn't bother to change
before this long winter's nap.

All of a sudden
There came a great noise.
Loud enough in fact,
It awoke all of the boys.

The door swung open
just shy of noon.
And Mike, Joe and Ben
strode into the room.

Sweezy and Jon wondered aloud
What had happened to the three.
The night before was a late one
and memories were hazy.

"We were able to drive
and left you last night.
You guys were pretty gone,
Not a woman in sight."

The group reunited for football,
And Bakke said with a cheer,
"Merry Drinksmas to all,
And a Happy Brew Year!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Cutting Room Floor

I've had this blog for a few years now, and even though I go through spells of inactivity, I have made quite a few posts. Still, there are a couple I started and didn't follow through on until the end. I'm sure this probably seems impossible, since I clearly am not afraid to post something mediocre. Still, there are outtakes out there, still saved in the system, which I will share with you now.

The first was a very meta idea I had awhile back involving two of my favorite foils, Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson. It was going to be styled like a boxing match, except that points were awarded for being a bad person instead of a good puncher (Although, being a good puncher would be beneficial in this type of contest. Moving on.) Here is what I had:

Charlie Sheen is a crazy person with a stripper and cocaine affinity. Mel Gibson is a crazy person with an anger and alcohol affinity. Both men have ascended (somewhere near) the top of their profession, but more recently have made headlines for losing their shit. The burning question is who is crazier?

Before we begin, some of you may be thinking, "Wow, Tom, this article seems really mean-spirited. Why do you dislike these two so much? Why do you write stuff that no one is going to read anyway?" Look, I'm not poking fun at them because they are people with problems. I'm making fun of them because they are clearly terrible people who also happen to have problems. That said...

Let's get ready to RUMMMMMMBLE!!!

The Tale of the Tape

Fighting out of the Powder White Corner, Carlos the Conspiracy Theorist, the Christmas Day Criminal, the Cocaine Cowboy, the Awful Sitcom Superstar...CHAZ SHEEEEEEEEEEN!!!

Fighting out of the Beer Bottle Brown Corner, the Almost Australian Asshole, the Threatenator, the Homophobic Hammer, the Collossus of Kraut...MEL GIIIIIIIIIIBSON!!!


Round 1: Most Arrests

Chaz has been officially arrested twice, once on drug charges, and once for threatening his then-wife on Christmas Day 2009. Say what you want, but the man knows how to show his family a happy holidays! Gibby has a DUI under his belt, which isn't good, but was made miles worse because he went on an antisemitic rant while pulled over. He also (allegedly) threatened his girlfriend including saying he was going to (allegedly) plant her in the garden.

Sheen also was caught in a hotel room by the cops high on cocaine after causing $7000 in damage to his room, yet was not charged. I'm not sure what genie he porked to get all of this amazingly good luck, but I'd love to meet her (Although given Sheen's history, protection would be mandatory).

Since Sheen's arrests had violence and Gibson's had violence AND racism, the decision is:

Gibson 10 Sheen 9

Round 2: ...

You get the idea. The problem wasn't so much that this was a terrible idea, it was just a difficult one to pull off. Also, I generally prefer shorter posts so people don't lose interest, whereas that article would have gone on and on. I still think there's a funny idea in there somewhere, but I won't be the one to write it.

The other one was an article about Duluth. I was listening to Kanye West's "Graduation" CD awhile ago (surprising, I know) and the song "Homecoming" came on. It is a song where he alludes to his home town of Chicago the whole time, making references as if the city was a woman. I thought to myself, "That's an idea I can steal!" Here is what I got:

You've always been there for me, unconditionally. I've always been way into you, too. Almost to the point where I feel like Shallow Hal sometimes; I just don't understand why some people don't see you the way I do. I guess that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Not surprisingly, you are cold a lot of the time, then can be unusually hot, too (Fellas, you know how that goes, right?). No matter though. It's always easy to add layers, and the fan is never too far away.

I aborted that pile because it was unoriginal and unfunny. See, I can write worse things than the stuff I post!

Well, that's all I've got for tonight. Thanks for joining me on a behind the scenes tour of my mind.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Magic Box

I love TV; that's no secret. That doesn't mean it is perfect. Here are some gripes and suggestions I have for my favorite medium.

Cakes and Cakes and Cakes

I like eating cake. That said, I don't understand why there are about a dozen different shows about fancy cakes and the people who make them. These people are undeniably talented, but I have zero interest in people spending way to much money on an (albeit awesome looking) piece of food that will be eaten or spoil shortly, while I'm sitting on my couch eating food out of a box. A similar show is the one about the professional sand castle builders. I feel like that sentence speaks for itself.

Make it Stop, Tyler Perry

Admittedly, I have never tried to watch any of his terrible-looking movies or TV shows. The reason is they are all terrible looking. The all seem like small derivations of each other, one as bad as the next. I know I shouldn't judge without seeing one, but I tried that with "Allen Gregory", Jonah Hill's new cartoon. I like Jonah Hill, so even though I saw previews and was very unimpressed, I gave it a shot. It was every bit as bad as I had feared, probably even worse. Maybe the funny was trapped in the weight he lost. Say what you will about me, but I occasionally learn from my mistakes, so I will just say no to Tyler Perry. The other maddening thing is great shows get cancelled or never get a chance, but absolute dreck like this or "Yes, Dear" or "According to Jim" live for the better part of a decade. "Community" is on the doorstep of death while "Two and a Half Men" keeps chugging along. It's all about ratings, but it sucks.

Good Times

They have shows about fishing, mining, guns, moonshine, weed, hoggers and everything else. In this sea of reality, somehow I haven't run into a good show about a group of buddies traveling around, checking the cool spots in various cities and mixing it up with the locals. Dave Attell sort of did this with "Insomniac", but I think a show like that would be much more interesting with a group rather than an individual. Think "Insomniac" meets the most entertaining parts of "The Real World", but with creative, fun people instead of dumb drunk whores, meets "Man Vs. Food", but with nightlife instead of restaurants. I'm sure shows somewhat similar to this exist, but I haven't seen one done right yet.

The Wide World of Sports

I love watching sports, and do it often. I just don't understand the programming of a lot of it. If I wanted to watch the spelling bee or hot dog eating contests (which I don't), I just have to flip on ESPN at the right time. On the other hand, exciting real sports like college hockey or Australian rules football are either localized or aren't broadcast. I understand that I am biased because I am a huge fan of the (National Champion) UMD Bulldogs and I hate watching hot dog eating, and that they show what will draw well. I guess this is more of a complaint on what people are interested in that the programmers, but I still don't like it. I hear that Versus and the NHL Network are talking about showing some games, so at least there is progress and a home that makes sense for both.

I would list some more gripes and changes I would like to make to TV, but I have to getting back to watch TV. Catch ya later.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beast Mode

I started an insurance claim, made multiple important phone calls, and did laundry all without putting on real pants today. #BeastMode

I'm going to eat at least 3 full plates of food this Thanksgiving. #FeastMode

You will never guess who holds the all-time Major League record for RBI in an inning. #FernandoTatisMode

I'm craving some cinnamon raisin bread right about now. #YeastMode

Happy holidays to all my Spanish speaking hermanos and hermanas. #FelizMode

It will be funny to me that once my brother and/or sister have kids, I will be Uncle Tom. #NephewAndNieceMode

Greyhounds for life. #EastMode

I have some moments from my past that I could use atonement for. #PriestMode

I doubt the validity of most late night TV male enhancement products. #ProbablyNotIncreasedMode

This is a few pretty lazy posts in a row. #IWroteSomethingAtLeastMode

Monday, October 31, 2011

Word Play

Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time with me knows I enjoy words. I certainly enjoy word play. My blog is named Shefonomics and my terrible fantasy football team is named Mendenhall and Oates after all. Strangely enough, I have never particularly cared for Scrabble. I would like to take the time now to share with you some of my favorite words and phrases.

Hacked off: Canada has always amused me. I think it's funny that they have plum sauce instead of barbecue sauce, I think it's funny that they have money called Loonies and Twonies and I think it's interesting that absolutely everything up there is plastered in maple leaves. But my favorite thing about Canada is the way they talk, and not just their accents. The words they use tickle me and none more than when they say something "hacks them off". In all honesty it makes every bit as much sense as saying you're pissed off but it just sounds hilarious to me for whatever reason.

Indubitably: Because it is way longer than necessary to say when all you really need to say is yes. It makes me feel smarter and douchier when I use it.

Creme fraiche: Because of South Park. I'd link it but I'm typing on my phone. My laptop took a crap which partially explains why the last night of October is my first post of the month. I'm doing this because I love you all very much.

Snatch, domed and tubed: For steal, indoor football stadiums and pipes. Get your minds out of the gutter and pass the butter.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tomservations 2

It is not a good idea to relieve yourself in the pool. It is an especially bad idea to relieve yourself in the pool if you're wearing a white swimsuit.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...unless you hate yourself. Then just be nice.

After watching the VMAs and Lady Gaga's awful impersonation of a man, I am 100% convinced she doesn't have a hanglow. Oh yeah, and Britney Spears is really hot again. Noticed that, too.

If it's Saturday night, you are getting ready to go out and you don't have a beer in the shower, you just aren't trying.

The Twins are now 9-33 in their last 42 games. It's pretty awful that I envy KC Royals fans at this point. At least I won't have to watch the Yankees embarrass them in the playoffs yet again this fall.

I'm not sure if ladies' "time of the month" clocks actually do sync up, but roommates' laundry and shower ones absolutely do.

If something (or someone) seems way too easy, then it is.

The first time I've actually been excited to watch the Timberwolves play in over half a decade, and the NBA is locked out. I don't even know why I like sports.

I wish "In-N-Out Burger" was called "In-N-Out-N-In-Again" purely for comedic purposes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Summer of Tom: In Review

Back in April, I told all of you about my former ill-fated decisions to decree a series of Summers during college "The Summer of Tom", all of which were unmitigated failures. After much deliberation, I chose to roll the dice one more time.

As much as I loathe thinking that the Summer is over, the fact is, it is. While I love fall, most notably the return of football and Halloween, I am never ready for Fall. Summer is preciously short around here, and I'm lazy, so I invariably wind up wasting too many beautiful days even though I know they are in short supply. Oh well, it's time for me to move on. My friends, it is time to recap my adventure.

The three main categories I broke down originally were getting into sweet shape, becoming a lady killer and ruling the world professionally, the three cogs of any important endeavor.

As far as my body goes, it is still fairly mediocre but unfat. I have been horrible at making myself work out. I still eat a very unhealthy diet. By all rights, I should be a house, so I will call that a draw.

When it comes to the ladies, I had a girlfriend incredibly briefly (we all know how that worked out), and did reasonably well for myself the rest of the summer. Besides, I am still disease-free (which is the way to be, after all) and am almost certain I am childless still, so I will call that a squeaker of a victory.

Professionally, I still don't rule the world with an iron fist. I do not possess a corner office, a private jet or a mansion with a pool house...yet. However, my company treats me well, I received a promotion and I haven't been fired. Another win for Tommy Boy.

In a more general sense, I would say this summer went swimmingly. I made it down to the Twin Cities to hang with my buddies a few times, I had an awesome birthday, things have gone well at the new house and I've made some new friends. Yeah, I didn't play as much golf as I would have liked or gone out of town quite enough, but I never do. It was still a very fun summer.

I can honestly say, for the first time ever, The Summer of Tom was a success. Hmm, maybe I should predict "AuTom" next? Nah.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Conversation With My 15 Year Old Self

15 year old me: Whoa, are

25 year old me: Yep. I somehow aquired a time machine and decided to pay you a visit.

15: That's so cool! How old are you? 34, 35?

25: ...25.

15: Yikes. Looks like it's been some hard living for you the last decade.

25: Shut up. Do you have any questions about the future?

15: Hell yes! How is being an architect?

25: Um, I'm sort of not one.

15: What? But that's what I want to do!

25: Yes, you do. But after awhile, you sort of just won't want to be one anymore.

15 That doesn't make sense!

25: Please stop yelling at me. I'm nursing a bit of a hangover.

15: What do you mean? I don't drink.

25: No you don't. Stay golden, wonder-child.

15: Have you at least designed your own house yet?

25: I'm sort of renting still. The economy is going to take a nosedive soon. Lay off me, I've got a lot on my plate.

15: Whatever. So am I going to start doing better with girls soon?

25: I wouldn't hold your breath.

15: Well what about you? How are you doing with the ladies?

25: Better than you!

15: Like that's real hard! This has been so depressing so far. Why did you come here?

25: Because it is always important to remember where you came from.

15: Fair enough. Wait, you're from the future. What advice do you have for me?

25: Spend as much time as possible with family and friends. Enjoy every moment of organized sports in high school, because let's face it, we aren't Big 10 material. Don't be afraid to take chances every once in awhile. Oh, and never, ever sell insurance.

15: That all makes sense. Wait, though. Now that I know what's going to happen, I can just change it and the future won't be the one you have lived.

25: I'm afraid I can't let you do that.

15: Why not?

25: For one, I like my life. For two, it could end up just like "The Butterfly Effect" and...

15: What's that?

25: Oh yeah, it's a movie that doesn't exist yet. It's where Ashton Kutcher...never mind. The point is, it's impossible to know how much you could change by knowing the future when no one else does.

15: Yeah, well how do you plan on stopping me.

25: I have the brain erase zapper from the "Men in Black" movies.

15: Movies, as in more than one? Besides, that doesn't exist in real life.

25: This is my blog. Whatever I want to exist, does.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Embarrassment Scale

From the creator of "The Dating Scale", we now bring you "The Embarrassment Scale"!

Embarrassment is a fact of life. Even the smoothest people occasionally trip up. Not all faux pas are created equal though. I've never seen anyone try to quantify it before, so screw it, why don't I do it? This scale is slightly different than "The Dating Scale", because it isn't an aggregate, just a one-shot score. Blah, blah, blah, let's do this thing.

10 points: Sneezing and accidentally snot-rocketing; Tripping upstairs

Yeah, it will redden your face, but it's all forgotten 10 minutes later. (The snot rocket is the close cousin of being in customer service and helping someone when your nose starts to run and there's nothing you can do about it. Don't you hate that?)

25 points: A boner in sweatpants in public; Accidentally farting in confirmation class

This is where stuff starts following you a little bit. Not life-altering, but you will definitely be hearing about it for quite awhile. No one wants to be remembered for untoward actions such as these...oh, and I definitely never cut one during confirmation.

40 points: Your girlfriend leaving you for another guy

Or if you are a female, the opposite of course. This one sucks because it isn't necessarily your fault. Still, people will be talking, and you will be pissed every time you think about it. Also, more permanent than anything else lower on the scale. The only good part about it is everyone feels bad for you for awhile, which I guess helps.

50 points: Your girlfriend leaving you for a girl

Ouch. I'm not saying it's really possible for someone to "flip" someone else. Chances are, they are either into both or this is something they had inside them since forever. Still, the perception of some less educated people will be that you drove them to this. Yikes.

75 points: Being fired for embezzlement

This level is different in that it is thoroughly embarrassing, yet wholly that person's fault. This is my favorite part of the scale because the rest of the examples on this list are people you feel empathy for. Here, you can ridicule them relentlessly without remorse because they deserve it. I honestly can't figure out how people think embezzlement is ever a good idea. I realize that they are usually hard up because of a gambling problem or drug habit, but has it ever worked, even once? It can be hilarious though!

100 points: Being left at the altar

Both horribly embarrassing and completely devastating. Honestly, I don't know how people bounce back from something like this (Though, truth be told, I'm sure it's exceptionally rare, despite what TV and shitty movies might have you believe.).

Now, the rest is up to you. These are just examples on a sliding scale. Any act could fit in here somewhere, just depending on how bad it is.

The ol' blog is going dark for the rest of the weekend. I will catch ya next week sometime.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Turning Can't-Win Into Can't-Lose!

Sometimes, we find ourselves in situations that may seem like lost causes. However, when examined in the proper light, it becomes clear that the situations have been misunderstood, and they are actually opportunities to excel. Observe.

Getting to a Bar and Finding No Women

Sausage fests aren't ideal. All single guys (and some taken men) are always thinking about trying to pick up women when they go out. It's a fact. But think of it this way: If you go to a bar packed with eligible women and go home empty-handed (literally), you get mad and feel like a loser. At least in my experience, there is an overwhelmingly high probability of this being the final outcome. But, if you go to a bar where nary a girl is found, other than the ones with their boyfriends, there is no one to strike out with. No reason to get down on yourself! You can't take home a woman who doesn't exist. This scenario also allows you to concentrate on the important things in life, like beer, wings, beer, pool, beer, buddies, darts and beer. Doesn't sound so bad, does it?

Rain on an Off Day

I am like everyone else, so I like to make grand plans for my days off, including Sundays. The problem is, Sundays are also my day of rest, so I find myself on the couch in front of the TV on most of them. If it a beautiful, sunny Sunday, I hate myself for wasting it. If it's shitty out, I feel much better about myself. "I should be on the couch! Only an idiot would be out in this stuff." So, does golf or frolf or BBQing happen? No, but neither does crippling self-loathing.

Rooting for a Terrible Sports Team

Trust me, I've had plenty of practice. Obviously, I want nothing more than my favorite teams to win it all. At the same time, getting kicked in the stomach is much more painful than knowing your team sucks all year. The Vikings losing in 3 NFC Championship Games since 1998 has been excruciating. The Timberwolves being awful since 2005 has been annoying. Annoying is more palatable. Make no mistake, I still have better memories from those Vikings seasons than the Wolves ones, but at least the Wolves have inflicted less pain. This one is sort of a win by default, but who cares, it's my blog.

I'm sure there are countless more examples of this phenomenon. I may even share more with you someday. That's all I have for now though, because daddy needs his nap.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Closing Time...Almost

No, I'm not talking about the decent, but severely overplayed song. I'm talking about the summer. It isn't over yet, so I'm not quite ready to give my full recap of the Summer of Tom yet. Still, it's drawing near. It's that time of year where it is still awesome out during the day, but in Duluth, Minnesota, the nights and mornings have a distinct chill in the air. I actually kind of like it, because as a professional sleeper, the cooler air is conducive to me sleeping at an optimal level. Still, it is kind of depressing because I know my short summer is almost over.

I am always conflicted this time of year. I love summer and am never ready for it to be over. Also, when I was in school I always naturally dreaded going back every year. Now that I'm an adult, my life is always pretty much the same monotony regardless of the season (I like my life, but it's a fact). At the same time, falls around here are awesome too. Plus, it means football is back, which (in general and specifically the Vikings) are my first and truest love.

Perhaps the most depressing part of fall is all of the hot girls flying south for the winter with the birds. I'm sure they would claim they are still here all winter, but I know it's not true. It can't be possible that a sea of gorgeous women can only yield some snow bunnies if they are all actually still here. (Ok, fine. They are here all year and I'm a pig. Whatever. All I know is it's one more major point in the summer's favor.)

The other somewhat overlooked advantage of the summer is walking. No, I don't generally like to walk. Ever. However, I do like to go out, as has been well-documented on this blog. I don't like going to jail, so I avoid drinking and driving. That is much easier when all that is left between me and home is a pleasant stroll on a summer evening as opposed to plowing my way through snow drifts. Yeah, cabs are always an option, but I'm cheap and I always struggle with people stealing my cabs when I'm drunk. Then I get mad and walk home anyway.

The moral of the story is, get out there and take advantage of what little of the Summer of Tom is left. I'm definitely going to.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Weekly Five

Lord knows whether or not I will maintain it or not, but my goal is to turn this into a weekly post every week. I realize it's lazy, but it will serve a couple purposes. For one, it's fun to write, and I only write what I feel like. Also, it will essentially force me to post more, which despite my best intentions, always turns into a roller coaster of three posts in a week then nothing for two or more weeks. So without further ado...

1. Random Article of the Week

When I was a young teenager, I became a huge fan of wrestling, principally because of The Rock and Stone Cold. Forget how awesome The Rock is? Here's a reminder. Anyway, I stopped paying attention, because I grew up, and also because a lot of the new stars (John Cena, etc) seem inherently uninteresting.

So anyway, I haven't thought about wrestling much at all since, but I came across this article on Grantland by David Shoemaker. If you are into articles that use phrases such as "a human stake in the action", "an ungainly pastiche" and "a Pavlovian enterprise" when talking solely about professional wrestling, this is the article for you.

2. Song of the Week

The honors this week go to Kanye West and Jay-Z for "Otis":

Anyone who knows me realizes me picking a Kanye song for my first "Song of the Week" is like the Globetrotters beating the Generals, but whatever. It's my favorite song this week, so get bent. Plus, tearing around in a chopped up Maybach looks like the most fun thing ever. Oh yeah, and Aziz.

3. This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse

As background, I don't believe in mediums, and don't necessarily believe in ghosts in general. I do think there's an afterlife, but ghosts are like Bigfoot to me. If they really exist, why do so few people see them, and why are most of such a stereotypical mold? Still, there is a Kindergarten in California who has been training divination for 38 years. I'm sure it makes perfect sense to some, but it seems like the fast track to a messed up childhood to me.

4. Vid of the Week

To kick things off, I am going with a classic Johnny Carson monologue:

I was about to turn 6 when Mr. Carson's last "Tonight Show" aired. However, starting in college, I became a huge retroactive fan. I find retroactive fandom fairly interesting. I think it proves that certain figures ("The Beatles", Richard Prior, Babe Ruth, etc.) were ahead of their time. Why else would they resonate with so many people who never had the chance to see them live as their contemporaries have?
Besides that, he's just extremely funny, so there you go.

5. Sports Stuff

My brother Dan is a huge fan of Miami Hurricanes football, also known as "The U". I've never been a big fan, but I can at least appreciate that they changed college football forever in the late '80s and early 90s. However, they are now on death row. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! blew the lid off of the whole program this week. Time will tell how serious it becomes, but it certainly seems like it's poised to blow OSU's jerseys and tattoos off of the face of the map.

So there you have it. This has been the first, and possibly last weekly(?) installment of "The Weekly Five". Hopefully it didn't completely suck.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Greatest Story Ever Told

There have been a lot of stories in the news lately about journalists, authors and university deans fabricating stories out of thin air or without citations and presenting them as fact. A problem as old as journalism itself, really. I'm not a journalist (obviously) so I'm not even sure why I brought it up. I would, however, like to tell you all about my day yesterday.

I had the day off, so I started it as I always do on a day off; with a 10 mile run as the sun rose. Along the way, I came across a baby on the side of Superior St. I said to it, "This is no place for a baby! What are you doing here?" He said, "I'm a baby, I can't talk." I don't have a lot of experience taking care of babies, but I know right from wrong. I scooped up the little tyke, took him to the police station, and they reunited him with his family.

As I continued my run, I went past a house ablaze. A poor cat was trapped on the second floor. I'm not a huge fan of cats, but deep down I love all of God's creatures. I scaled the exterior of the home, rescued the cat, and descended back to the ground. The fire department eventually came, and my work was done.

I had hardly run two blocks when I saw a thief steal a purse from a little old lady. I don't have a lot of hand-to-hand combat experience, but I do believe in truth, justice and the American way. I sprinted to catch up to him, tackled him, put him in a sleeper hold, retrieved the purse, returned it to the woman, and walked her safely the rest of the way to her home.

A little while down the road, my phone rang. It was the President. I gave him my number solely for emergency purposes and pick-up basketball games. He told me that even though the government came up with a short term fix for the budget, he needed my help to avoid long term ruin. I'm not an accountant, but I know my way around numbers. He e-mailed me the entire national budget, I crunched a few numbers, sent the solution, and bid Barry a nice day.

Towards the tail end of my run, I came across an absolutely gorgeous young woman, who was distraught. I asked her what was wrong. She told me her husband just left her for another woman and didn't know how she could go on. I'm not a gigolo but I can't leave a woman in that state. I took her home, calmed her nerves, then we made love that would move a mountain.

Then I ate lunch. So that was my Monday morning. How was yours?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Dating Scale

If you ever watch TV (which I do, extensively), you've seen commercials for eHarmony way too often. They use "29 Dimensions of Compatability" to try to set people up. If you ask me, 29 levels seems outrageous. I have devised a scale to help you figure out whether someone could be the one for you.

The way the Shefchik Scale works is simple. I have attached a point value to different facets that make up a relationship. There is a total of 100, and you need to score at least a 75 unless you want to be miserable with someone. Sounds fun, right?! Also, it's not Binary. Everything is on a sliding scale. For instance, if you would rate someone's physical attractiveness as an 8, they get 16 for that category. Let's get started.

Level of attraction: 20 points

Let's face it, someone could be nearly perfect for you in every way, but if you don't feel a twinge below from looking at him/her, you can be best friends but that's about it. I realize 20 points may seem steep, but hey, I'm shallow.

Eating habits: 10 points

Sneaky important. For instance, I grill about 5 times a week in the summer. Because of that, it would be extremely hard for me to ever date a vegetarian. Oh, I'm sure there are meatless things that can technically be tossed on a grill, but I don't want to destroy the sanctity of my beautiful barbecue. I't a meat-only zone. Also, it would make it really hard in other ways. Buying double groceries, having a tough time choosing restaurants to go to. A headache I'd rather live without.

Common hobbies/nightlife habits: 20 points

How can you date someone if you can't find anything fun to do together? Being able to find stuff to do, movies to watch, TV shows you both like, etc. Also, if you like a lot of the same things, you will have more to talk about too. It gets pretty awkward if you are with someone and you spend the better part of your time together sitting in painful silence.

That being said, it's kind of nice to have some differing hobbies. The one time I tried to take a girlfriend golfing was the least fun round I've ever played. She was miserable, which made me miserable, which made me play even worse than usual. Because of this, I have no problem with a girl who doesn't golf. I will just play with my buddies and she will do whatever it is that girls do. Perfect.

Sports allegiances/interests: 10 points

This one is simple. If the significant other roots for the same teams, it's a perfect 10. Root for a random team you don't care about or don't care about sports? 5 points. Root for your favorite team's biggest rival? 0 points, and may God have mercy on their soul. I've gone on dates with Packers fans, and it is no fun. Plus, what if things got real serious, I ended up with her, had kids, and they rooted for Green Bay? I would freak out, grow a beard and drink milk straight from the carton.

Their family: 15 points

Nothing they can do about it, but still of vital importance. Can't stand their parents? Sounds like Christmas won't be so merry if you end up with him/her. Plus, who wants to start a family with someone who will make crappy grandparents/inlaws.

Another important point. Looking at how your significant other's parents age gives a window into the future. Hopefully she's a MILF!

Whoreishness: 25 points

A tough one, because there's no good way to ask someone, "Hey, are you a whore?" Still, it's on a need to know basis. For one thing, it's no fun climbing into bed with someone and feeling like you just slept with the entire Big Ten Conference. The other reason it's so important is loyalty. A relationship can't work without trust. That's why I've put so much emphasis on this category. It's essentially pass/fail.

Ok, that's it. Now, for the fun/terrifying part. Do you have a girlfriend/ex/slampiece? Tally up your points with them and see where they land. For your sake, I hope they are over 75.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Me and Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is back, Jack! He's almost certainly not going to win this week, but it's good to see him out there again, playing fairly well at that. The point is, I'm just excited to watch him again, and I will explain why.

My following of Tiger has taken a long, winding road. When he exploded onto the scene in 1997, I hated him. I think I know why. Kids are obsessed with things being fair. To 11 year old me, it was unfair how damned good he was. My boy Tom Lehman and the rest of the guys just couldn't compete when he was on his game.

The worm finally turned my freshman year of college, when this happened. That is still so exciting 6 years later, I just peed. That whole final round battle with Chris DiMarco was incredible, and my respect and admiration for both of them increased dramatically (Then DiMarco disappeared off of the face of the Earth. Oh well, he's rich from playing golf.).

The only other moment that was even greater, in my opinion, was the 2008 US Open. Tiger was playing on a broken leg, wincing after most shots. He came to the 18th green, gave himself a birdie putt to put himself into a playoff, then this happened. Naturally, Tiger won thhe playoff the next day.

Then his world fell in shortly thereafter. He took time off to heal. His wife found out he had been cheating on her with every female with two arms, two legs and a face he could find, he crashed his Escalade on Thanksgiving, then everyone knows the rest.

Let the record show I hate what he did. Anyone who knows me well knows one of the things that bothers me more than anything else is someone cheating on someone else. Why be with someone if you're going to cheat on them? It is the ultimate betrayal and display of a lack of respect for someone you're supposed to care about.

The thing is, when I'm watching him golf, I don't care. I never have and never will know Tiger Woods personally. Whether he is a good husband or not doesn't affect the way I watch him play golf. Yeah, maybe it would be more fun to root for him without the baggage, but maybe not. I have always been huge Michael Jackson and Kanye West fans, which obviously has had drama attached to it also. As far as I'm concerned, if you're great at what you do, I don't care if I would like you behind the scenes or not.

It has been years since Tiger has won a tournament. I still want him to win more majors and break Jack Nicklaus' all-time record. I still think he will. What I know for a fact is that I'm glad the chase is on again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mount Beermore

Lately, I have had a lot of pretty dark and depressing posts. What can I say, it's been a weird, rough month. That's not what this blog is about though, so fuck it, let's talk about beer.

This is obviously a subject I have touched on in the past (I mean, this blog was once known as "Brews and Balls". Anyone remember that? Nope? Ok.), most notably in The Beer Index. This was Volume 1, and this was Volume 2. I enjoyed doing the Index, but the idea felt played out, which is why I haven't done it since.

One of my favorite writers is Bill Simmons from A few years ago, he touched on Mount Rapmore, the Mount Rushmore of rappers. I decided that would be a perfect new way to attack the beer angle. So here we go; my four favorite beers of all-time.

George Washington: Miller Lite

The old standby. Miller Lite has been with me through thick and thin. Some of my favorite memories from my time at the Main U were playing Tiger Woods golf in battlemode against my buddy Jon, and eating a pile of pretzels. Naturally, the pretzels made us thirsty, so we chased them down with can after can of Miller Lite. Don't believe me? Here's the proof:

Yikes. At least I had hair! Not only that, but Miller Lite has been worn on my chest proudly at softball for years. Pitchers on top of pitchers have been consumed by the squad, at a tidy $5.50 each. So, like George Washington, Miller Lite was there first, comes through when it matters most, and may have owned slaves at one point.

Thomas Jefferson: Grain Belt Premium

PREMO!!!! It is probably my favorite type of suds to enjoy on a hot, sunny summer day. One of the best days last summer was spent on Jon's fishing boat with Aaron, Sweezy and Nate, cruising down the river on the way to the casino in pursuit of strippers and cocaine (Ok, in pursuit of blackjack tables and Marb Reds, but you get the idea). What accompanied us the whole ride down? A cooler full of delicious Premo.

I get tired of the whole "Minnesota Nice" thing, but Premo's slogan, "The Friendly Beer" is fitting. It's a great beer to snag a case of and have at a barbecue. As far as any similarities to Thomas Jefferson go, I can't really think of any. Point is, it had to be on my mountain.

Theodore Roosevelt: Summit Pale Ale

Pound for pound, probably my favorite overall beer. I love the rich, hoppy taste. It's one of the few "heavier" beers I don't mind drinking during the summer because while it is a hearty brew, it still goes down smooth. Plus, the shit will get you fucked up!

I was introduced to Summit by Mr. Jeremy King during bowling league. (Yes ladies, I bowl. I know you want some of this.) During league, if everyone but you marks in the 5th frame, you have to buy the team a pitcher. Since I suck, I've purchased many pitchers over the years, a great deal of them being Summit. Getting beer framed wasn't necessarily a bad thing for me, as I bowl better -unk than I do sober. On the other hand, the wheels completely fall off if I get drunk, so it's a fine line.

Teddy was the Rough-Rider himself, and Summit is the most aggressive beer on my mountain...although I don't believe it has ever overtaken Puerto Rico.

Abraham Lincoln: Fitger's Apricot Wheat

I can hear the cat-calls already: "Tom, you have a beer with the word 'Apricot' in it in your top 4? What, do you prefer the company of men?" No, I do not. Nor do I believe Abe did, despite what you might read (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Say what you will about Apricot Wheat, but it's just a good Goddamned beer. It's rich, flavorful, and stronger than one would expect. One of the best ways to enjoy it is to pick up a Growler and bring it home. A word of advice, though: If you decide to go the Growler route, make sure you drink it all in a couple days. Once the vacuum cap is popped, it goes flat pretty fast.

Looks like that just about does it for good ol' Mount Beermore. I'm sure I will write about beer more (See what I did there?) as soon as I find a new gimmicky way to do it. Peace, bitches!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Death of a Friendship

I always try to be the bigger person.

To him: When you needed a place to live, I welcomed you into my home without question before we were even close. When I needed a friend after the worst break up of my life, you were there for me with an understanding ear. When we both needed a laugh, we were there for each other with goofy nicknames or funny videos or whatever other dipshit thing we were into at the time. When you needed plans for the 4th this year, I had you over to spend it with my girlfriend and our other friends. When I needed you to explain why you were talking to my now ex-girlfriend, you were completely silent. When you could have at least had the decency to let me know what was going on, you remained silent. When you already started seeing her, it was way too late.

I always try to be the bigger person.

To her: I honestly don't have much to say. To say our relationship was a whirlwind would be an insult to whirlwinds everywhere. You chose to come into my life and leave it just as quickly. We were never together long enough to form any real bond. Still, for you to go behind my back and start chatting up one of my (former) best friends is just plain wrong. To say you wanted to be my friend when knowing full well what you were doing was even worse.

I always try to be the bigger person.

To both: I honestly don't really want to say anything more after this. You aren't worth my time. You both say you want me to forgive you and be friends again. I always try to forgive, but I truly don't believe it will ever be possible. Why even try? I have so many much better friends who I can actually rely on and trust. Once my trust and respect for you is gone, there's really no going back. I realize this probably means very little to both of you, but I felt the need to say it anyway.

I always try to be the bigger person.

To everyone else: I don't want you to worry about me. I'm already fine. A girl who never meant much to me and a guy who never should have are both out of my life. I am the better for it. I know that someone who wants to be with me is out there. I also know I have a group of friends who would never, ever, do anything like this to me. Same how I would never do a friend like this.

I realize I'm not being the bigger man today, but I can wake up knowing I am the better one.

Congratulations Joe and Danielle. You certainly deserve each other.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Dissatisfied User

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing due to my horrific experience using In order for you to appreciate how bad it was, some background information is necessary. My wife Julie and I have been married for 15 years and have a 12 year old son named Flip. Both my wife and I were abandoned we were born. Growing up in foster homes, we both beat the odds and thrived. I went to Colgate and became a lawyer; she went to Vassar and became a pediatrician. When we met, we felt like kindred spirits since our childhoods were so similar. Plus, we both have dirty blonde hair and blue eyes; everyone we encounter say we are the perfect looking couple.

While we loved our lives, we saw a commercial of yours and got curious about our backgrounds. Neither of us have ever known anything about our parents. We each felt a hole in our otherwise perfect lives. Who doesn't want to know the parts that make up their whole? We decided it was time to find our family trees.

The problem? It's the same damn tree! My wife is my sister! Obviously I thought it was strange that Flip was born with a third arm growing from his head, but he has always been healthy otherwise. Besides, he is an amazing climber which is kind of cool.

Not surprisingly, my wife and son left me. Every time we looked at each other we felt physically ill. I am quite certain I will never achieve an erection again. Had we never checked your damn site we would still be living in blissful ignorance in our huge house with our special son. (He's only 5'7" but his head arm can dunk a basketball.) I lost my job. I'm a social pariah.

I miss my wife. I miss my son and his incredible hugs. I miss my job. I hope you all rot in hell.

Chad Stephenson, former member

P.S. Your site's navigation is clunky at best.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Losses That Bind

Anyone who even kind of knows me knows I am an absolute sports fanatic. Hell, I'm watching a repeat of the British Open 2nd Round and am about to go to a Huskies game as I type. Anyway, I've noticed that the losses my teams suffer hurt way more than the wins they collect.

The best way to appreciate this is to compare to rooting occasions from the last couple years. The first was the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game 2 seasons ago. The other is the UMD hockey team playing for the National Championship this spring.

Both occasions were similar in many ways. Buddies and drinking were involved. Leading up to both games, our balls all tingled in anticipation (don't ask me how I know their balls tingled). It feels like the first time you're about to make love into a new woman, but have to take a dump at the same time. Like going for a job interview, but then the woman interviewing you is incredibly hot and wearing a revealing blouse. Like rain on your wedding day. Like you feel sick to your stomach, but never more alive.

Both games were extremely intense. Both wound up in OT. The Vikings could have won easily but couldn't get out of their own way. The Bulldogs played well but scoring was hard to come by. Where the games diverged was when Brett Favre threw that awful, horrible, inexcusable INT right at the end of regulation. I went from thinking the Vikings were going to the Super Bowl to knowing they were going to lose. Someone could have punched my in my fat face right then and I wouldn't have even felt it I was so numb. The hockey game never had a crushing blow like that.

We all know how things ended. The Vikings lost, the Bulldogs won. Make no mistake, we were all ecstatic when the Dogs won it. Homoerotic ass slaps and bear hugs were shared all night long. The thing is, that level of elation just was not on the same level as the crushing pain after the Vikes game. After the Vikings game, we tried in vain to find an open bar, drove through a snowstorm to gamble, I spun off of the freeway, and we finally gave up on life being fair that day.

Granted, we do care more about the Vikings. Personally,it's fairly close for me but the Vikes are my first love. Still,I think for whatever reason most people take something bad happening harder than they get excited about something good happening. I know I do...maybe because I hate myself, but I know I'm not alone in this.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Page Turner

So, today sucks. Actually, this has been the first bad day in what has been an awesome Summer so far. Right now I kind of don't feel like doing anything. Not the general laziness I've been known to succumb to. More that I'm really not sure what I would even want to do (other than this I guess).

But just because today sucks doesn't mean that tomorrow has to. Something I feel like I'm getting better at is not letting what could have been ruin what still can be. There's no sense in worrying about what won't happen when there's still plenty of things that can and will happen. I used to beat myself up pretty badly when things went wrong. I feel like I'm better at handling adversity than I used to be. I suppose that's because I've had more practice going through it.

Some people like to say "If you can dream it, you can do it." I don't believe that to be true because a person's will is only one of the many factors that determine success and happiness. Still, I do believe that if you lose something it should harden your will to find something new and better. Maybe you can't make yourself be happy, but you can certainly prevent it by wallowing in self-doubt and sadness.

So yes, today sucks and tomorrow might too. But I know it will stop sucking sooner rather than later. Something to look forward to.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Quick Look Back

I've decided doing this blog is one of the best decisions I've made. Growing up, I always hated writing but only because I was being told when and what to write, which sucks. I'm not particularly artistically inclined and I'm musically retarded, so this is a nice outlet for me.

That's not to say everything I've done on here has been good, or even decent. This sucks, this sucks, this is depressing. I would never delete any of it though (unless I drunkenly made an anti-Semetic joke about Jeremy or something). This thing is a progression and it's interesting looking back every now and then.

The hardest part of doing this is actually making myself post often enough. I love doing it but sometimes I just don't have anything I feel like writing about. It seems to come in waves; I won't have any ideas for weeks (like now; which is why I'm doing a post that is essentially about nothing) then I will do 3 in 5 days. If I was smart, I would write a bunch when I had ideas but wait to post them until when I didn't, but I've never claimed to be smart.

Anyway, what I said at the outset of the Summer of Tom still stands. I still plan on writing as much as possible and I still hope to be adding some new wrinkles. We will just have to wait and see whether or not it actually happens.

Friday, July 1, 2011

U.S. of Eh?

As another Independence Day is nigh, one of my greatest pet peeves comes to mind. As a lifelong Minnesotan, I realize we have a bit of an accent, some of us more than others. It isn't that bad though. Someone needs to tell Hollywood that we are Americans, not Canadians. Believe me, I've been to Canada twice; it's insane how different it is from Minnesota. Plum sauce instead of sweet and sour? Whaaaa? Gravy instead of ketchup on fries? Delicious, but what the hell? My buddies and I were wearing golf shirts, and not particularly spectacular ones up there. They immediately knew we were Americans because we, "look(ed) like you came from a Gap catalog."

Yet, almost every time a movie based in Minnesota, they make all the characters sound like assholes. Remember Fargo? I demand reparations Coen brothers! You too, William H. Macy.

Look, I realize there is an anti-twang in our voices. I get it. But to go that overboard ridiculous with it is, well, overboard ridiculous. Even worse? Places like this who exploit this nonsense for profit. I'm sure they would call it pride but I call it perpetuating a stereotype.

I'm sure there are plenty New Yorkers, Bostonians, and Texans who feel my pain. It's easy to exaggerate. All I know is, I'm proud to be a Minnesotan and proud to be an American. Happy 4th!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 of the Most Traumatic Experiences of My Life

I feel like I'm fairly open on my blog. I've touched on job hunts, party habits, sports allegiances, but never some of the most awful things that have happened to me. Since I consider you all my friends, I'm ready to share some of my deepest, darkest secrets.

5. Asking a Girl Out for the First Time

As I've freely admitted, I'm not terribly awesome with women. That being said, I was horrifyingly bad with girls in elementary school. I didn't talk to them. Ever. Why would I? Still, I had a new crush every month or so.

When 4th grade finally rolled around, I was finally ready to strike. By strike, I mean meekly write an "I like you" note, cross my fingers and hope for the best. I tried this with 2 different girls (Not at the same time; even then I wasn't that dumb.). I didn't get bad results. The reason? I got no results at all. They got the notes, told all their friends, then said nothing to me about them. Ever. What the hell? At least tell me, "I don't like you or your fat face." The silence cut like a knife. Oh well; bitches gonna be bitches.

4. Nearly Drowned...Twice

My lovely grandparents took the kids from my mom's side of the family on a camping trip to Big Sandy. The campground had a lake with a large swimming area. To paint a picture, I'm still a terrible swimmer. My best stroke isn't the breaststroke or backstroke, it's the struggle and sink. Somehow, my brother and I ventured out a bit too far, and started fighting for our lives. My grampa saved my bro and my cousin saved me. Later that trip, we set a tree on fire trying to make torches with sap. My poor grandparents.

Fast forward to the summer before 8th grade. I was on a sailing trip to the Apostle Islands with my family. We approached the first island, and anchored with my parents' friends' boat. Their son was slightly older and swam like he wasn't wearing concrete shoes. He decided to swim in. I decided to, too. Luckily, he decided to save me when I freaked out halfway and nearly drowned...again.

3. The 1998 NFC Championship Game

Clearly, I've always hated myself, because my first love was the Minnesota Vikings. Some of my earliest memories are of watching heartbreaking Vikings games. The '98 Vikes were different though. They were the best team the NFL had seen in years, they damn near went undefeated and they had Randy Moss in full-on Freak mode. This was going to be the team that finally brought the Super Bowl championship to Minnesota.

Then they didn't. They choked against the rotten, overachieving, stupid dancing, no-good-nothings the Atlanta Falcons. I was devastated. I threw a shit fit in the back room of my grandparents house (Those poor, wonderful people.). I was roughly 5 years too old to cry about a football game at that point, but it sure didn't stop me. Oh well, at least the Vikes have made up for it since. Damn it.

2. Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Again, I'm not real great with women generally. However, one was seduced by my bullshit to date me for about a year. The problem was, we were in college, she went home for the summer, and things went south quickly. Honestly, we were both miserable at the time, although I wasn't ready to admit it then.

Finally, she broke up with me. We decided we would give it two weeks to see if anything would change. I like to think my crisis management skills are much better now, but here's how I coped during those couple weeks. I:

-Grew a Beard
-Drank heavily nightly
-Threw up off the front porch
-Got tossed from a slow pitch softball game

By the time we talked again, I was mostly just relieved it was all over. Eventually, I shaved, the drinking lessened somewhat and I haven't been thrown out of any more games. Yet.

1. Birthday Party Surprise

When I was in the 1st grade, I went over to one of my buddy's birthday parties. His family lived in an awesome house down on London Rd. As I recall, it was quite the event. Games were played, cake was served, I sharted my pants, presents were given. This was such a traumatic experience, I don't even remember how I got out of there. I know I tried to clean myself up and hid in the bathroom. I imagine my mom picked me up and I never spoke to any of them ever again, though I can't say for sure.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the trip into my dark past. I'm sure I'll write about beer or something again very soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lazy Sundays

Sundays are the best. Other than my sisters grad party, this has been a pretty usual Sunday for me. It's Father's Day, so I got my old man a card and all, but I don't have any legitimate children so it's not like I'm getting any presents today.

One of the best things about my new job is we are closed on Sundays, so I'm always off (obviously). Saturdays are my favorite night to go out, so I usually feel like a sandwich that was left on the counter all night when I wake up on Sunday. After awhile, I move from the bed to the couch, flip the TV on, and sleep some more. Golf and baseball are my nap companions this time of year. Fast food is a regular Sunday staple too, because if there is one thing I dislike, it's cleaning, but if there's another thing I dislike, it's preparing food. It seems like it would be cool to learn how to cook, but I have fantasy baseball and this stupid thing to concentrate my "talents" on right now.

Once Nap #2 is over, I'm usually feeling less terrible, so instead of napping through TV, I actually watch TV. If I'm feeling especially nimble, I may watch TV and surf the internet all at once. Sunday TV is great, even when football is over. Family Guy, River Monsters, and now Whale Wars is back again! Holy shit what a hilarious show! Don't get me wrong, I'm not pro-whaling, but watching those bumbling pot smoking morons "fight" the whalers is fantastically pathetic. It harkens me back to "Grizzly Man", which is the best comedy I've ever seen. He named the bears, he felt like he was one with the bears, then he was digested by the bears. Maybe some people don't see the humor in someone invading the habitat of a group of bears, thinking they care for him then beaing eaten by them, but I do.

Believe it or not, sleeping all day makes it tough to go to bed early, so I'm usually up pretty late. I think the reason Mondays are so shitty is that it's so hard to get my body clock back to that time frame. Anyway, this was a pretty pointelss post. I was almost too lazy to even do it. I'm being way too productive for a Sunday right now. TV time for Tommy Boy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why I Hate the Canucks

I'm a Wild fan, but short of them winning a Cup, watching Vancouver meltdown and blow the Cup on home ice is about as good as it gets for me. For one thing, they are one of the Wild's biggest rivals but it goes much deeper than that.

Let's start with their fans. Until last winter, I had always felt a kinship with Canada and hoped they did well in international sporting events. That all changed in the Olympics last year when Vancouver fans booed Team USA hockey no matter who we were playing against like we were the villains. Same continent, bro! Then last night they booed throughout the trophy presentations and destroyed their own downtown. Canadians are really eh holes (thanks Aaron).

As for the team itself I've hated them ever since Todd Bertuzzi almost committed murder on the ice on the cheapest play the NHL has ever seen. Yeah, it was the act of one man but violence begets violence and maybe that never happens if he is in a different locker room.

When the Wild made their magical run in 2003, coming back against the choking Canucks was especially sweet. Well, let's face it, ending Patrick Roy's stupid career was awesome too.

Fast-forward to this year. The Canucks went up 2-0 in the series along with Burrow's bite and Rome's cheap shot. The thought of them hoisting hockey's Holy Grail was enough to make my stomach turn. Luckily for me, Vancouver is the least clutch team in hockey and Roberto Luongo is a whiny douche who comes up small in big moments. Oh yeah, and the creepy Sedin twins are regular season champions who don't come through when it matters most.

Whew, that rant felt good. Baseball anyone?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't Call it a Comeback

I've decided something. If you choose something you really like doing, just Nike it and go for it. For instance, Ke$ha fell out of the terrible singer tree, hit every branch, landed, then had the tree fall on her. That didn't stop her from "singing" and it inexplicably hasn't stopped people from liking her music. Mel Gibson has the whole world telling him to stop being an anti-Semite and to stop abusing women, yet he presses on.

Life is too short. You gotta do what you want to do. Even though I realize my blogging has been as prolific as LeBron in the Finals lately, I will do better. Well, probably not better, but at least more often. Quantity isn't quality but I can aim for one and at least score one.

I've been computerless lately but this is being typed on my phone, so I won't keep that as an excuse anymore. I enjoy doing this too much to not post more often. I also have at least a half dozen readers that are mildly amused by them to worry about too.

The plan is to post more, and hopefully have a couple cool new wrinkles this summer too. I hope the Summer of Tom is treating you all well.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Typical Night Out

As I'm sure you've already noticed, my buddies and I like to go out for some drinks and merriment. Instead of writing about any specific tales, I will encapsulate every night we've had out in one post. Ready...go!

Guy 1: Where should we go tonight?

Guy 2: I don't know. I don't make it up here much, so maybe we should go to the same bar we go to every time I'm here since it's our favorite.

Guy 3: Yeah, maybe. We always go there though. Switching it up could be cool.

Guy 4: Let's just finish our game of Tiger Woods/NHL Hockey/Dance Central and figure it out after.

Guy 1: Deal.

(4 drinks each later)

Guy 1: Shit it's getting kinda late. Same bar we always go to?

Other 3: Yup!

Guy 2: I'll call a cab. Make sure you watch for it.

(30 minutes later)

Guy 4: (In an awful Pauly D voice) The cabs ahh heeeehhhaaa!

Guy 1: But I just opened a beer!

Guy 3: Why? You knew they were coming.

Guy 1: ...I'm an idiot. Screw it, I'll take it with.

(After traveling at the speed of light through town.)

Guy 2: Anyone else have cash?

(Deafening silence.)

Guy 2: Damnit.

Guy 1: I am absolutely drenched in beer right now.

(A few drinks are enjoyed and some sloppy shufflepuck is played. Then...)

Guy 1: Shots?

Guy 2: Nah. I don't want to go overboard tonight.

Guy 4: It's getting late. I'm trying to get on top of something. Who's coming with me!

Guy 3: ...fine.

Guy 4 to Random Girl 1: What winks and screws like a tiger. ::Violent winking::

Guy 3 to Random Girl 2: Your earrings are stupid.

(Painful silence. Both slink away without a word. More time and drinks pass.)

Guy 1: Shots?

Guy 2: YOU KNOW IT!!!!

I would keep going, but that's right around the memory cut-off time for me. The point is, there are many nights like many nights before them, but we always have a good time...except for the days after.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Double Standards

I've recently moved into a new house, and one of my new roommates has a cat. I like the cat, but every tiny thing he does drives me crazy. When he drinks out of my water glass or hops on the counter to get to the window sill, I can't take it. I don't want him knocking stuff over and getting his dirty cat paws all over the place I prepare my food. Since I'm home alone with him often, I think it behooves me (I'm behoven?) to keep him in line.

Contrast that to my sister's cat. I've known her for four years. Also, much of that time I didn't actually live with her and was never responsible for her in any way. Because of that, if she's on the counter when I come over, I don't think that's gross; I think, "Wow, she looks very regal up there." If I was a good person, I would help train her, too, but we already know that I am not.

The same goes for my city. Being from Duluth, I am allowed to rag on its weather, lack of activities in the winter, job market, etc. However, if an outsider starts bagging on my city, I want to tell them to, "Ride your polo horse back to your gilded mansion with your pool filled with caviar and jet skis and never come back! Dick!" Why? Because they don't also appreciate how awesome Duluth really is.

Friendship works in a similar way. When I go out with my buddies and one of us (oftentimes, me) gets out of line, we largely let it slide and it is completely forgotten the next day. One time at the U, a couple buddies told me I could go pleasure myself, left me at a party and locked me out of my own dorm room after the girl I was making out with tried to punch them for some reason. All we could do was laugh about it the next day. On the other hand, if a stranger looks at one of us the wrong way, we want to fight them. We generally don't because we don't want to get arrested or get our faces caved in, but still.

The point is, loyalty matters. In a perfect world, things would probably even out a bit between the ones we know and the ones we don't but...oh, my sister's cat is standing up on her hind legs like a ferret! She is HILARIOUS!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Me Hungover, Trying to Save Myself

(It is 1:32 AM, at the tail end of a night out just like many others before it. The following day, an extremely hungover Tom has acquired a time machine, and is attempting to prevent the inevitable sickness which is soon to follow.)

Drunk Tom: Jesus, you are handsome. Who are you?

Hungover Tom: It's me, you idiot! I'm you!

DT: Whoa...I didn't think I was that drunk. Usually my illusions are large women somehow looking small, but nothing like this.

HT: I'm not an illusion. I somehow found a time machine and I'm trying to prevent us from making a terrible mistake.

DT: Calling our exes?

HT: No...well, yes, don't do that, but that's not what I mean. Don't drink anymore tonight!

DT: Why not? I feel amazing! I'm impervious to the affects of alcohol!

HT: Yeah, well I feel awful. I feel like microwaved garbage. I feel like I was drop kicked into a pile of glass. Besides, do you even know what impervious means right now.


HT: Wow. Seriously, it's not worth it. You won't have any more fun, you will probably get angry, and you will pass out immediately when you get home.

DT: Nope. Imma keep drinking so I am confident enough to talk to some of the LAAAAY-DIEES!!!

HT: But you won't! You're going to play half a game of shufflepuck, lose your friends and walk home!

DT: Go away, you're no fun.

(In the background, "Shots, shots, shots-shots-shot-shots!")


HT: I give up.

DT: Where are you going?

HT: I'm going to go back in time and try to help College Tom get laid more than once in a blue moon.

DT: That sounds even more hopeless than this.

HT: True. Well, I feel like I'm going to throw up. Jackass.

DT: Love you, too!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Winning Time

As someone who has applied for and interviewed for numerous jobs, I have acquired some knowledge on how the game works. Since I'm nothing if I'm not giving, I thought I would take time out of my busy schedule to share some tips with all of you.

Bring it in For the Real Thing

Handshakes haven't been cool since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny effing Kaye. Companies fancy themselves as families, and you want to be a member of their family. When you stride into the room, bear hug the interviewer like he's the commish of the NFL and you're the number one pick. I guarantee all of the other douchers gunning for the same job will be doling out limp wristed clammy handshakes. You 1, Competition 0.

Avoid Eye Contact

Whoever (Whomever? Just kidding; I don't care.) is interviewing you is clearly in a position of power. They like the feeling of being in control. If you try to look them in the eye, they will feel threatened and offended. Look as meek as possible. You are the clay, and they have the able hands which will mold you into a dynamo. Never forget that.

References Count

Usually the person interviewing you doesn't know you personally. Choosing the correct references is of the utmost importance. Your bookie knows your reliable, your dealer knows you have discerning taste and your sponsor knows you can tell time. Use them.

Stand Out on Paper

Everyone does their resumes on stupid white paper. BOOOO-RING! Go with either bright orange or fluorescent green, the type of paper usually reserved for rummage sales flyers. Guaranteed you get noticed!

Follow Up

The process isn't over when you leave the interview room. Make sure you send a letter afterwards. An angry, threatening letter. Let them know you are serious about getting that position and if you have to, you can find out where they live.

I hope this helped. I know I have the brightest, best-looking readers on the internet, so I trust that you now know what to do. Grab the world by the plums and be all you can be!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that I've been doing this for awhile, some of my half dozen readers have questions about the blog every now and then. I thought I'd try to answer some of them tonight.

Q: Why do you write something that nobody reads?
A: It helps quiet the voices.

Q: Why so many posts lately?
A: I can't get my book published until there is enough material. Just kidding; I have a better chance of making the NBA than ever getting a book published.

Q: What inspires you to write?
A: Either a desire to make the world a better place or because I like making fun of Mel Gibson and talking about beer. I will let you decide which is the real reason.

Q: Is "The Summer of Tom" crap true?
A: Sadly, yes. I actually believed each summer was going to be "my" summer, and was sorely disappointed each time.

Q: Did you just link your own post?
A: Yes.

Q: Have you no shame?
A: No.

Q: Didn't you used to write about sports?
A: I did. I still love sports as much as ever, but way too many people write about sports already. Why read my thoughts when real-life qualified writers have thoughts on it? On the other hand, I don't see a lot of posts on the best beer to drink in the shower or poetry about Tim Brewster. Plus, this is more fun.

Q: How many of these questions have actually been asked?
A: Probably 2.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Honest Resume


Cell: 218-555-1234 (I only respond to texts)


University of Wisconsin (Party U!!!)
Degree: Communications
Major: Kicking Ass
Activities: Sleeping...eating?
Accomplishments: School-record keg stand, somehow graduating with only 25% class attendance, making out with that one hot chick from down the hall freshman year.

Work Experience

Parking Attendant, UW
Responsibilities: Naps, letting my friends park for free, occasionally doing homework
Reason for Leaving: I was fairly certain I was going to be fired real soon, so I jetted and beat them to the punch.

Store Clerk, Wal-Mart
Responsibilities: Stealing tons of food (seriously, I didn't buy groceries for a year), making fun of our customers behind their backs, hitting on the one fairly attractive girl who worked there
Reason for Leaving: I felt the work was beneath me. You have to let a bird spread its wings and fly, ya know?

Getting an Allowance
Responsibilities: None. I did nothing yet my parents still tossed me $15 a week. Suckers.
Reason for Leaving: Left for college, although I will probably go back if you don't hire me. Please hire me. Please?


"Supersize" Smith, roommate freshman year
My Mommy

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Day in the Life of an Unemployed College Grad

9:45 AM: He wakes up, rolls over, and checks the time. He really should get up so he can get an early jump on job applications. On the other hand, some more sleep sounds really nice…

11:37 AM: Zzzzzzzzzz….

12:59 PM: Time to get up. He would get started on those applications right away, but he is starving, so a quick Mickey D’s run is in order first. 10 CCs of Big Mac, stat!

1:47 PM: He checks the mail, only to find yet another “I regret to inform you” (Read: Go screw yourself; people more talented than you also applied for this job) letters from one of the jobs he has applied for.

1:48 – 2:37 PM: Shame spiral. Nearly an hour solid of self-loathing, consisting of: wondering why he isn’t good enough for any damned jobs, cursing his choice of such a generic major, thinking about going to law school, considering becoming a crab fisherman or ice road truck driver.

2:38 PM: Forgets all of his current problems once he realizes Steve Wilkos is on.

2:52 PM: “GET OFF MY STAGE!!!!!!!"

3:35 PM: Naptime.

4:47 PM: Time to finally think about some self-grooming. Contacts instead of glasses? Yes. Shower? Maybe. Shave? Absolutely not.

6:01 PM: He calls that girl he drunkenly met a week ago to see if she wants to hang out sometime soon. No answer. No worries though. He has tried calling her a couple times in the last couple of days with no luck. She’s obviously just been busy. He just leaves a witty voicemail ("You must be tied up because my stomach's in knots waiting for you to call back. Get it? Knots? Tied up? Anyway, I'm just chilling at the pad, so call whenever's good for you. Lates. T-Bone, signing off!") so that she can call him back and work something out. They hit it off really well that night. I mean, she said he should call her, right? Right?

6:45 PM: No callback yet. No big.

7:38 PM: Still no word from her.

8:04 PM: NOT EVEN A TEXT?!?!?!?!

8:57 PM: After swearing off all women forever, it is time for him to dive into an intense and potentially friendship-ending game of Tiger Woods golf on the 360.

10:32 PM: 18 holes, 8 beers, half a bag of pretzels and one sweet victory later, he realizes he still hasn’t searched for or applied for a single job all day. He can do that now, of watch Super Troopers for the seventy-seventh time.

10:38 PM: "You boys like MEX-EEEEEE-CO?!?!?!?!?!”

12:17 AM: Finally time to get down to business. “Get down to business” meaning quickly and half-drunkenly slapping together an application for a job he isn’t really qualified for and doesn’t really want.

1:57 AM: After some late night TV watching, it is time to hit the sack. He makes sure to set his alarm for 9:00 AM, because tomorrow is definitely going to be a productive day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Summer of Tom

Now that summer is just around a few more corners, I am reminded of an old ritual from my past. At the dawn of each new summer, for three or four years running, I would tell my buddy Aaron that the upcoming season would be The Summer of Tom.

Why? Well, I stole the idea from George Costanza. The Summer of George was an unmitigated disaster, so I'm not sure why this was the idea I chose to steal. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.

Predictably, the SOTs always were sorely disappointing. It's not to say that my summers were horrible, but when you name a season after yourself, you have extremely high hopes. How high? Lemme tell ya.

Jacked, Tanned, and Ready to Party

I dislike working out. Once I pull my fat ass to the gym, I'm fine. The problem is the whole forcing myself to go. The couch and 12 oz. curls are more appealing to me than a bench and 25 lbs. curls. Still, Duluth has Park Point and Park Point has scores of women. I wanted in on some of that action, but I needed some honey to attract those flies. Wait, that didn't sound right. I needed to look fly to attract the honeys. Yeah, that's it. Unfortunately, my goals of looking like this always turned out like this.

Pimpin' All Over the World

(Quick Tangent: I always loved the song and video for "Pimpin' All Over the World", but Luda picked the 50th best looking girl in the video. He's pimpin' ALL over the world! You can do better, Luda. Back to the nonsense.)

Even during the SOTs I was somewhat realistic about my prospects with females. Still, the season was named after me! I had to get somewhat lucky. Unfortunately, women don't flock to the golf course or my living room. Plus, the bar never works for me because I'm either too shy to approach anyone or too drunk to be coherent. It's less than ideal. Point is, I did not get any action. What did I think it was, November? (Inside joke.)

Ruling the World With an Iron Fist

I was in college during the SOTs, so I knew I wouldn't be thrust into an important position at a Fortune 500 company. That said, I figured I would finally score the internship which would lead to the full-time position which would lead to promotions which would lead to this. After all, I know what it takes to be successful in the corporate world. So what jobs did I have during those summers? I was a Bellman, a Guest Services Representative and a failed Insurance Agent. Damnit.

A few years ago, I finally gave up. Why set myself up to fail? I realize the Summers of Tom (Summer of Toms?) were a failure, and that I had much too high expectations for them. Still, I don't regret a thing. To be the best or to have the best, you need to want the best. George Costanza knew that, and so do I. At least I did.

This has been a good year, so I really shouldn't jinx it. Why tempt fate again? Ah screw it.

June-September 2011 shall be THE SUMMER OF TOM!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

First Date Tips for Dudes

Before we found out Mel Gibson is a racist woman beater fake Australian, he starred in a shitty movie called "What Women Want". In it, he could read women's minds. Luckily for you, because I'm here, you guys won't have to. As someone who has gone on half-dozens of first dates, I can help you out.

Talk About Yourself...A Lot

Women are forced to think about and talk about themselves all day. By the time you take them out to Applebee's, the last thing in the world a girl wants to think about is herself. Besides, she agreed to go out with you, so clearly she finds you fascinating. Collect misshapen rocks? Show her pictures of them. Have the high score on the mini golf video game at the bar? Tell her about every hole. Even though you have awesome eyes, you two don't know each other well enough to gaze into each others eyes in silence yet, so fill the silence by talking about everything you. Be sure to bring up ex-girlfriends a lot. How else is she going to know how she measures up unless she knows every detail about the women you've been with?

Drink Aggressively

First of all, you are too shy to begin with, and you get especially nervous around a girl you like. Liquid courage; ever heard of it? Also, she will be impressed that you are able to knock down 8 drinks in 2 hours. She wants a man, not a boy.

Wear Cologne

Loads of it. Clean smelling isn't good enough. You are courting her, not taking her to church. If everything in cologne commercials is true, wearing it will cause her clothes to fall off and her to fall into your bed. As far as I can tell, it also makes you dive into deep water and play polo (the horse kind, not the pool kind). Whatever, just concentrate on the first part.

Holy shit, you actually convinced her to come back to your place? Umm...ok, got it.

Watch a Gory Movie

Violence is an aphrodisiac and you're trying to get this pony in the stable. Some would suggest a romantic comedy (or "RomCom" as douchers would say) but that's dumb. She isn't having a pillow fight with her girlfriends, she is with you. The more blood and screaming the better.

Wow, she wants to stay the night? Unreal. Ok, make sure you do your move, then...

Weep Uncontrollably

Chicks dig a guy with a soft side. Nothing softer that burying your head in your pillow and making it face rain. Besides, making love makes you equal parts happy, sad and terrified. Ride the roller coaster of emotions, my friend.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh Wheels, Where Art Thou?

Hello friends. Join me in my DeLorean as we take it back to 1992. I'm 6, I'm hungry and I'm largely helpless. My wonderful mother has agreed to take me to Burger King. As fast food was (and sadly, still is) my favorite thing, I was over the moon. Even better, the King has a sweet group for kids that gives them toys and sends a (Monthly? Bi-monthly? Quarterly? Whatever.) magazine with games and stories starring the Burger King Kids Club. What a fantastic idea! The greatest character of the Club? Wheels.

Wheels is a young man in a rocket powered wheel chair. This leaves me with sooooooo many questions. Was he born paraplegic, or was he given his nickname after some awful accident? Where does he need to go so fast that he needs his chair to be rocket powered? Is he proud of his life and nickname, or does he secretly hate everyone and want to murder the person who first called him that?

What makes Wheels great is that the small window from the late '80s through early '90s is the only period in the history of time he ever could have been created. Before? No one cared enough about diversity to include the kid in the wheelchair. Since? The wheelchair kids are still in but there's no way in Hell they would ever name him "Wheels" in this politically correct world. We can't name characters with Parkinson's "Shaky" anymore than a kid in a wheelchair can be "Wheels". It's just not right. When the BK Club was in full-force, it was the perfect mix of wanting to be diverse but not really knowing how to appropriately go about it. All I know is, the unintentional comedy that it caused enriched my life forever.

Never forget Wheels. I know I won't.

Monday, February 21, 2011

These Are a Few of My Least-Favorite Things

Straight Guys Who Call Their Female Friends "Girl" or "Girlfriend"

It's completely acceptable for a girl to call a fellow female she is friendly with "girlfriend". It is also completely acceptable for a guy to call his girlfriend "girlfriend". Gotta call a spade a spade. However, when a straight man (or "man") calls a girl he is friends with "girl" or "girlfriend", it just seems...wrong. First of all, it comes off as kind of gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it does. The other problem with it is, as my independent and unscientific research has proven, the less manly a man's nickname for a given girl is, it is indirectly proportional to the amount of desire he has to bang said girl. That's tough to argue with; it's unscience. In short, it's creepy. I've provided a chart to illustrate my point (Click to enlarge).

Movie and Music Snobs

I have certain tastes. Everyone does. That means there are things I like, and things I dislike. That makes me exactly like anyone else. What drives me crazy is when someone asks if I really like what they really like, then I say no, then they go off on a 15 minute tangent on why I'm wrong. I'm not wrong. I just don't like it.

It's also not that I don't get it. For example, I think Nirvana was a fine band who made fine music. However, I do not think they are amongst the greatest bands of all-time. Just because you do and I don't, doesn't mean I don't get it. Here's a tip: If you want to look like a self-righteous prick that no one in their right mind would ever want to hold a discussion with, start telling everyone you know they don't get things. Get punched in the throat by someone, then go back to being a decent human being again.

Terrible Drivers

I don't consider myself a great driver or even a good driver. I simply consider myself someone who knows how to drive a Goddamn car. No tickets, no accidents caused by me (knocking on wood so hard my knuckles are bleeding), no problems. So what is the problem with some people? Everyone who passed their driving test knows how to use a turn signal, but some choose to ignore their's. This is probably because they have a sandwich in one hand and their phone in the other, but that's exactly my point.

Also, the left lane on the freeway is the fast lane. If you aren't going fast, stay the hell out of it. Every time I have to brake off of my cruise control because some jackass is going the speed limit and lane-blocking me from passing others in the slow lane, I swear to everything holy I lose a day off of the end of my life. The two things that get my temper up more than anything are awful drivers and golf. I can't stop driving and I won't stop golfing because I hate myself, so if you suck at driving, please get better soon. My life longevity depends on it.

Whew, feels good to vent sometimes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tom TV

Have you ever thought what a younger version of yourself would think if he/she watched a movie of your present-day self? For instance, if 21 year old Tom saw present-day me leaving work, driving home and crashing on my parent's couch, he would be...confused at least.

I'm not saying that because I'm not happy. I am. I also know I'm working towards making my life better than it is now. The thing is, people make these specific and sometimes grand plans for themselves all the time. If we are all being perfectly honest with ourselves, these grand plans rarely work out the way we expect them to.

All of us can end up in these day-to-day routines, or ruts even sometimes, for the longest time. Suddenly, our lives can flip 180 degrees seemingly out of nowhere, and nothing is ever the same again. People get new houses, new jobs, begin or end relationships, become sick, hurt or happy out of the clear blue.

None of this is to say we don't have control over our futures. It's like driving a car. We have no control of the outside conditions, but it's still our responsibility to get where we need to go. Some people are better drivers than others, and some have easier roads to travel than others.

That's what makes reality TV so successful (well, that and it's cheap as hell to produce, but whatever). Even boring people can be fascinating at the right time or in the right light. Some shows are entertaining (The Real World is a very guilty pleasure of mine). Others are exploitative and downright awful (There has been talk of girls trying to get pregnant to get themselves on 16 and Pregnant). It's also why some count people watching as one of their favorite activities. Nothing more that seeing what other people's lives are like.

How would a past version of you react to your present movie?