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.