Step one to romantic cuisine: Insert beer can into chicken cavity

Meimagen, by their very nature, are grillers of food. If you follow me on Facebook, then you know I love grilling everything from steak kabobs to bacon-wrapped bratwurst. This is because grilling, aside from providing men with a legitimate excuse to drink beer and play with fire, is actually a sign of romance and affection dating back to the discovery of fire itself.

We know this thanks to recently discovered cave paintings depicting what archeologists believe is a romantic meal prepared by a Neanderthal named Glork soon after the discovery of fire.

According to archeologists, the sequence goes like this:

Painting one: Glork makes a small fire using a careful mixture of embers, dry leaves, and an assortment of twigs. He then douses it with liberal amounts of highly flammable liquid, creating a massive fireball that scorches the roof of his cave.

Painting two: Glork adds a marinated pterodactyl drumstick to the fire and begins drinking an unidentified beverage.

Paintings three through six: Glork continues drinking a lot more of his unidentified beverage.  Continue reading

Finding the good in rejection (especially as a writer)

Keep your tank full; you don't want to run out of gas here.

Keep your tank full; you don’t want to run out of gas here.

When I fell for Sarah Getlost in the fourth grade, I was taking no chances. My father explained to me that women couldn’t resist a man in uniform. He told me this while wearing a white T-shirt, Bermuda shorts and drinking a beer, so I had to take his word for it. My plan was to wait for our little league candy sale and go to her house dressed in my new baseball uniform.

In theory, it was a good plan.

In reality, Sarah Getlost answered the door wearing her new cheerleader outfit, effectively neutralizing me. So, to impress her, I gave her my candy, a new baseball and all of my money. Although I wasn’t immediately rejected, it came swiftly once my mother found out and forced me to return to Sarah’s house to ask for all my stuff back. I don’t remember exactly what I said, only that it was awkward and involved a lot of gulping to keep the bitter taste of rejection from coming back up.

Although I think all that chalk I swallowed in the second grade helped a little.

Rejection is a part of life, particularly for writers. We set ourselves up for potential rejection every time we send out a query, have an article published online or in print, or post something to our blog or social media page. Thanks to the digital age, we have more ways than ever to receive rejection!  Continue reading

Eight years ago tomorrow, I was exactly where I was meant to be

imageEight years ago tomorrow, I stood at the altar, watching as my wife crossed the courtyard toward the church. I remember smiling so much my cheeks hurt; I remember the pride and appreciation I felt knowing I was about to be her husband; and I remember a momentary breeze lifting a strand of hair away from her face, like God’s finger gently brushing it aside as she entered the chapel.

As with any rare occasion when we don’t enter a room together, our eyes found each other immediately. So much was said to each other during that long walk to the altar, not in words, but spoken between our two hearts — in a language we had been fluent in from the moment we met.

Oct. 28, 2006:
My search for a red rose after making the hour-long drive to Salem for our first date had put me behind. Coupled with the fact that I hadn’t been on a real date in nearly 20 years, had lost 23 pounds since my divorce several months earlier, and was driving a Plymouth Voyager mini-van, I technically had four strikes against me already. Plus, after several weeks of chatting together on Match.com and long evening phone calls, she had finally posted her profile picture. When I saw it, I realized I wasn’t only in danger of striking out before our date even started:

Heck, I was batting out of my league. Continue reading

Consequences you can expect from horrible pick-up lines I overheard

image I’ve been ridiculously happily married for almost 10 years now, so the singles bar scene is a long-forgotten memory. Or maybe just a deeply repressed one.

At least until yesterday.

That’s when a friend came to town and invited me out for a quick beer. As we began catching up over Dos Equis, we couldn’t help but overhear a series of pick-up lines being exchanged by a group of 20-somethings who — at least in their minds, and thanks to several happy-hour pilsners each — had assembled a list of clever lines “no woman could resist.”

Their words, not mine.

In a moment, you’ll understand why.

As a service to single men everywhere, and in particular to that group of 20-somethings once they’ve sobered up, I felt obligated to jot down some of those “fail proof” pick-up lines and explain — through a “trial” and “error” format — what they can expect should those lines leave their mouths in the general direction of an actual living female, intoxicated or otherwise. Continue reading

I promise this is the last time I’m going to be ‘sexy’

 

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Being chosen among 100 men to participate in The Public Blogger’s “Who Is the Sexiest Number” competition was hard enough for me to understand. The fact that it has come down to Thomas Lemke and myself during tonight’s finals round is even harder to fathom.

Not the Thomas part.

He’s definitely sexy.

In fact, if I wasn’t a ridiculously happily married heterosexual, I’d be all over that guy.

But me? A humorist nearing 50 who has already traumatized most of his readership after wearing a red thong? Then again, considering what is happening with this year’s presidential elections, it just goes to show anything can happen.  Continue reading

Male culture makes instilling healthy sexuality in our sons more difficult

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I saw my first naked woman when I was 9, thanks to a kid named Jimmy, whose father had a collection of Playboy magazines under the bed. While his parents were at the grocery store, Jimmy yanked out a copy and with practiced ease flipped to the centerfold.

“Your mom has one of these,” he said, pointing between the legs of Miss August.

“No WAY!” I said, unwilling to accept that my mother could possibly have anything on her body that, in my mind anyway, looked like a piece of our cafeteria meatloaf. I left soon after, convinced that Jimmy had shown me a magazine of female freaks. When our class began studying the human reproductive system later that spring, Jimmy turned to me and winked when Mrs. Flunkem used her ruler to point out the vagina being projected onto the chalk board.

“Your momma,” he mouthed.

Years later, that feeling of embarrassment was something I was determined to spare my own sons. The truth is, women are much more aware of their bodies and sexuality, and at a much younger age, then men. The male culture communicates about sexuality in much the same way it does about sports: through stats and stories. Anything deeper than that, and the shoulder punching begins. However, it was important to me that my sons not only understand the physicality of reproduction and, unlike me, never find themselves shocked by a vagina, it was just as important that they understand sexuality is not a statistic or story to be told — it’s how we communicate love beyond our words.

*shoulder punch*  Continue reading

How married men can benefit from watching ‘The Bachelor’

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Tonight, I will be watching The Bachelor. With my wife. Truth be told, I used to hide my Bachelor/Bachelorette watching…

“Hey Ned, how about that Trailblazers game last night?!?”
“Yeah, man! They really dominated the paint!”
“What are you talking about? They LOST!”
“Oh, right. Uh, I got tapped out for a house fire and missed the second half.”
“Was everyone ok?”
“Yeah, but the girls who didn’t get a rose were pretty upset.”
“Wait… what?”

I actually watch very little television. The shows I do watch are because of personal interest. I watch Chicago Fire because I’m avolunteer firefighter; The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour because I’m a journalist; Hell’s Kitchen because I was a chef for 10 years; The Bachelor because I don’t ever want to be one again. As a ridiculously happily married man, I can tell you the benefits of a good marriage far outweigh the initial discomfort of watching Chris Harrison — week after week — inform everyone who didn’t pass kindergarten math that there’s only one rose left. You also have to get past the three main types of contestants who appear each season:  Continue reading

Because sometimes love can overlook a man who drives a mini van

imageNine years ago tonight, I had my first date. I was 40. It’s not that I hadn’t been on other dates in my life. It’s just that, from the very first moment we took each other’s hands, none of the others seemed to matter anymore.

Because nothing compared to this one.

The best one.

The last one I’ll ever want.

Both of us were recently divorced after long, unhappy marriages. We both had two children at home. And both of us had joined a dating website a month earlier within a few days of each other. Fate, it seemed, had already set things into motion. Nine years and one pair of wedding rings later, I’m still thanking fate each and every day…

Oct. 28, 2006:
My search for a red rose after making the hour-long drive to Salem for our first date had put me behind. Coupled with the fact that I hadn’t been on a real date in nearly 20 years, had lost 23 pounds since my divorce several months earlier, and was driving a Plymouth Voyager mini-van, I technically had four strikes against me already. Plus, after several weeks of chatting together on Match.com and long evening phone calls, she had finally posted her profile picture. When I saw it, I realized I wasn’t only in danger of striking out before our date even started:

Heck, I was batting out of my league. Continue reading

Nose whistling is the heart and soul of any great relationship

image It’s one of life’s little mysteries, the fact that I can fall asleep in front of the television during a documentary chronicling man’s loudest explosions, yet be kept awake by the sound of my own nose whistling. In my defense, this was a new phenomenon, and something that, under any other circumstances, would have been amusing. However, at 1:30 in the morning, having your nose emit a solid C-major every time you exhale is just plain annoying.

What made matters worse was that I wasn’t alone in my musical endeavors. My wife was also blowing her horn — I’m guessing in E-flat — which, between the two of us, sounded like a pair of jug blowers trying to tune up for the spring dance. Instinctively, I grabbed the earplugs from the nightstand and inserted them. As I quickly discovered, this is a little like covering your ears so you can’t hear yourself sing. I then contemplated the idea of inserting the plugs directly into my nostrils, but decided against it for two reasons.

First, I would be forced to breath through my mouth, which would lead to snoring and bruised ribs.

Secondly, should my mouth somehow fall shut during the night, the resulting pressure would create a pair of high-velocity projectiles ricocheting through our bedroom without warning — the mere thought of which would keep me awake. Continue reading

Today, I’m getting personal with The Sisterwives

image Many of you are probably familiar with the logo to my right.

Hold on — You’re right! It’s my left!

Uh… Right?

Anyway, in terms of being a beacon representing truth and justice, not to mention insightful writing and humor sharp enough to split an atom (I came close to splitting a Twinkie once, just saying), The Sisterwives logo is like the Bat Signal of the blog-o-sphere. Unlike Batman, however, The Sisterwives aren’t vigilantes. No. They team up and collaborate with others.

They’re also a lot more curvy than Batman. I’m also betting the nippled Batsuit has nothing on this group.

But I digress.

Today, I’m joining fellow male bloggers Art and Matticus as guests at The Sisterwives for this month’s edition of The Man(di) Cave (similar to the Bat Cave but with curtains and carpeting), when each of us answers three questions offering a male perspective on the female gender. Keep in mind that if the actual Bat Signal appears at any time, our answers were indeed incorrect.

So please join Matticus, Art and me at The Sisterwives HERE.

Because I don’t think even Batman would be willing to come save us…