Happy Gnew Year All Ye Gnerds!

As Gary Gnu would say: “Happy Gnew Year all ye Gnerds.”

Make no mistake — we Hominid’s have a lot to be proud of. 2012 was like some Remo Williams obstacle course forcing us to leap from and balance on one wobbly doom-beam after another:

A moon-sized asteroid hurtling toward earth, Iran’s nuclear threat, the Mayan apocalypse, the fiscal cliff, homicidal maniacs on shooting sprees, Honey Boo Boo, and most ruthless of all, Pizza Hut’s proposed pizza-scented perfume.

AND then, Master Chiun sheepishly turns off the lights and makes us do it all again, from the beginning:

But here we are. Stronger than ever because we survived, standing at the cusp of a brand new year ready and able to kick ass and take names. And, while I used to think New Year’s resolutions were a cheap marketing ploy invented by the health club industry —

I’ve come to see a grocery list of life goals to attain over the next 360 or so days as good, plain mental housekeeping.

So, without further adoodley do — here are my resolutions for 2013:

– Get Carl Kasell to the do the home voice message on my answering machine.

– Meet the Click & Clack Brothers

– See any or all of the following animals LIVE in their natural setting:

grizzly bear, mountain lion, elephant, sugar glider, Tasmanian devil, giant land sloth, barrel owl, humpback whale, wild boar, gecko, glow worm, gray wolf, and wooly mammoth, the last one requiring…

woolymammoth– Build a time machine

– Live in the present

– Eat more leafy greens

– Learn to play the hurdy gurdy, ukulele, air guitar, spoons, and or kazoo

– Sharpen my survival skills; read: increase my survival skills from NIL to at least 1. This may include, but is not limited to:

building a fire out of 2 sticks, charming a snake, jarring my own jam, pickling my own yam, learning to read a NON-digital wristwatch.

– Believe in the positive, except when it involves the results to a pregnancy, breathalyzer, and/or STD-test

– Consume fewer things that are wrapped inside other things that are then deep fried

– Stop looking up the extended weather forecast on my smart phone while driving

– Have more patience

– Download “Patience” on iTunes

– Take pleasure in the little things: flea circuses, sea monkeys, hotel shampoo, airplane mini-bottles.

– Stop watching “Dexter” before bed

dexter– Dance more; this does not include pretending to sweep, mop, vacuum, wash the windows, and/or walk on a treadmill while on the dance floor. I’m talking learning the Pasodoble here.

– Stop being scared of the following:

soft pretzels, toe shoes, Costco, Siri, removable shirt collars, ear wax candles, potpourri, AND the untapped, underlying animal madness buried deep within all human beings.

– Stop buying items with any or all of the following attributes:

Has squirrel, robot, dinosaur, Voltron, or MacGyver stencils; is a tea towel, is a tote bag, is crocheted, macraméd, shrink-y-dinked, or etch-a-sketched; is made out of legos, paint chips, colored duct tape, coconut shells, or old soda cans.

– Join my local Quaker chapter for the monthly “Artist Way” meetings

– Become a working member of the local co-op

– Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.

– Get up on stage to perform in front of a LIVE audience; this does not include standing on my bed with a hairbrush microphone and reading aloud to my cat, however constructive his feedback may be.

poppyaudience– Give up the ghost on a “My So Called Life” reunion OR of ever finding out what Bill Murray whispered in Scarlett Johansson’s ear at the end of “Lost in Translation”

– Become a mystery shopper to satisfy spy fantasies

Befriend more people with beach chateaus

Befriend more people with country chalets

Befriend more people with any French-sounding second homes

Befriend more people with second homes in France

– Stop Googling at the dinner table

– Be more adventurous: Going to bed without putting my retainer in is not the equivalent of girls gone wild.

– Start my anti-foodie magazine called “LARD.” It takes the “petite” OUT OF Bon Appetite. First issue columns to include:

Feedbag fashion, buffet etiquette, and Why Buddha is Always Smiling: Because He’s A Tubby Tub

– Memorize all the words to “We Didn’t Start the Fire”

– Get more serious about working out. Eating a Cliff bar and sitting in my gym’s sauna does NOT qualify as an anaerobic exercise.

– Stop measuring my life against the monthly Anthropologie catalog. In the real world, it wouldn’t be feasible to place your wrought-iron bed at the base of the sea shore ANYWAY. Can you say rust erosion OR rogue wave?

That about does it for now. Wish me luck!

Mailbag Monday

Shabazz! I’ve decided to designate the first day of each new week as “Mailbag Mondays” — the day I reach into my digital postbox and address a randomly-picked comment. (By “random,” I mean intentionally chosen for strongest audience appeal.)

mailbagI fished today’s comment out of the “Spam” folder – which I’m beginning to realize is WordPress’s way of shielding me from any negative feedback. But I say any publicity is good publicity. So without further adoodley-do:

The comment is in response to my August 10 post “Dumbroll, Please.” Said reader writes:

Honestly, if you had received those “clever” emails from a guy, would YOU have responded? They don’t sound real enough to bother. They sound like a chat bot wrote them. …They are not stupid enough to answer!”

There’s a lot going on here so I’m just going to dive right into the main argument of – “Would you have responded?”

My “Honest” answer: ABSO-FRUITLY!, and without question. Have you not read my blog? Any guy that is going to nab my attention is going to do so via his sense of humor.

WORDPLAY is my FOREPLAY! Commuter folding bikes and puns do to me what sports cars and rippling biceps do to the Jersey Shore girls. You show me your glue gun and backlog of Tiger Beat magazines and I’ll show you mine. You stimulate my brain, and you stimulate everything else.

Across the board, the guys who have won me over in their emails fit into this “clever” category, with several of them actually evolving from digital pen pals to dating partners. One guy — who I believe to this day is the secret love child of Macgyver and Martha Stewart — emailed a miniature box likeness of me constructed out of cardboard paper and pipe cleaners.

On our third date, we made a small army of these 3-dimensional figurines and went around town, leaving them on random door steps with sweet messages like, “You put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop”  — AND — “Work your cares away, down at Fraggle Rock!”

Another guy introduced me to the strange and fantastic craze of Mexican Pointy Shoes:

mexican pointy shoesHe and I spent a full week in back-and-forth emails brainstorming everyday activities confounded by said shoes. Partial list reprinted here:

Playing hacky sack, running a 3-legged race, playing the piano, pole-vaulting, bobbing for apples, walking on stilts, decorating the top of an Xmas tree, trying to slide down the chimney as Santa, scuba diving with flippers, playing hide and seek, using an airplane bathroom, walking a tight rope, lying inside a magic saw-in-half box, rowing a boat, walking up a mall escalator, trying to get off a moving sidewalk, being buried in sand on the beach,  blowing up a balloon, climbing a tree, mounting a horse…

So the answer is YES! I would respond to those kinds of “clever” emails.  I have responded to those kinds of “clever” emails. And I will continue to respond to them.

An important CAVEAT:  There is a very fine line between charmingly corny and criminally creepy. I have received my fair share of match.com messages that motivated me to foster a Rottweiler and take up Krav Maga. 2 particular examples:

  • “Hey gorgeous. I’m in town for the weekend from New York. Staying at the W Hotel. Come by and lets listen to the Cure in my hotel, room 343.”
  • “I think I saw you in the produce department at Publix. I was the one in handcuffs being escorted out of the back by the store cop. Where will you be in 9 months to a year?”

The Meetup that spawned a revolution… or, not

Enough was enough. My fear of choking to death all alone in my apartment — only to be found 9 days later after my cat had eaten my face off and the stench of my decomposing body finally forces my next-door neighbor to call 911 — had reached a point where I started cutting my food into tiny, baby-sized bites.

poppycock the cat

Tastes Like Chicken!

I owed it to myself and all social retards like me to create a safe place to come together and revel in all the dorky entertainment we could find. So, I crawled out of my hermit shell and organized the “Nerdy Romantics” Meetup. Here is the survey for qualifying members:

If you can answer YES to the following questions, this Meet Up is for you:

1. Are you single or single-ish (i.e. still claim ‘0’ dependents on your W4) WHILE all of your closest friends have either joined the rat race, moved away, gotten married, and/or squeezed out a litter of rugrats — SO that on the off chance you do, in fact, get together, their minds are preoccupied by thoughts of breast pumps and butt paste AND not the new, hip farm-to-table bistro?

2. Are you newish to the city and find that your coworkers or classmates are not people you’d want to meet in a dark alley behind a convenient store — all the while, the already established circle of friends are about as easy to penetrate as the Heathers?

3. Have you tried event planning sites but find most of them host activities far outside the city and at peak traffic hours during the weekdays?

4. Has your Match Dot-Com Bubble burst?

5. Are you somebody who doesn’t mind going out to a movie or dinner alone, but is finding it harder and harder to appreciate other interests without the company of others? Examples:

  • You can’t feasibly run a three-legged race with your shin tied to a crash-test dummy.
  • Going white-water rafting with just yourself makes for a death-defying uneven weight distribution.
  • And finally, nothing is sadder than getting stuck in mid-air after trying to ride a see-saw solo. Take it from me!

6. Are you someone who prefers backyard bocce ball games to smoke-filled bars – AND — picking apples in North Georgia to picking off squirrels with your sawed off shotgun?

7. Have your past four weekends included watching re-runs of Downton Abbey in search of rare, historically inaccurate idioms?

8. Are you one “Teach Yourself to Crochet” You Tube video away from eating cat food out of the can and reviving your old Angus Macgyver Fan Club?

9. Do you go on “The” Facebook primarily to play Scrabble? Do you still wear “Sneakers”? And, did you use the phrase “Bob’s your uncle” recently in casual conversation?

10. Are you tired of coming to the realization that cutting your cookbook recipes down to accommodate ONE single serving turns Rachel Ray’s tuna casserole into a baboon’s ASS-erole?baboon ass

In less than 2 months, Nerd Rom’s have grown to 225 members. Yet, in the 2 events I actually organized, only 1 other person actually attended, and that was my already-existing friend, who I bribed with free cookies to go.