Category Archives: Ruminations

Issue #189 – “Degree of Difficulty 2011” – June 27th, 2011

-Congratulations, Class of 2011, you’ve just received your college degrees! After four years of virtually worry-free existence, you are now being thrust into the unforgiving reality of adulthood. Some students are understandably apprehensive about leaving campus behind, and in my annual message to the nation’s graduates I’d like to address those concerns. You’ve been told that the job market is terrible, the economy is in the toilet, and your degree isn’t worth the parchment it’s printed on. Let me assure you that all of those things are, well…true. But it was also true in 2001 when I graduated. So I’m here to prepare you for what lies ahead: frustration, disappointment, and bills addressed to you instead of your parents. Enjoy your degree of difficulty.

-One thing that college definitely did not prepare me for is just how dumb the general population is. You ever reference a relatively well-known historical figure or event in conversation and you can just tell from their glassy-eyed demeanor that the other person has no fucking clue what you’re talking about it? I could have used a freshman seminar on how to resist punching those people in the face.

-The latest trends suggest that going to college is no longer even worth the investment. One argument is that since so many people go to college these days versus fifty years ago, the value of higher education has been diluted. But that doesn’t take into account the common knowledge one gains during the college experience itself. For instance, if you and I are attending a sporting event, and we both went to college, it is assumed we’ll start drinking at least three to five hours beforehand. You can’t put a price tag on that.

-The irony about today’s shitty job market is that you can be fired or laid off at any moment, yet are still expected to give notice if you choose to leave on your own. I have a buddy who gave a month’s notice when he quit his job as a waiter because he didn’t want to burn any bridges. I didn’t even know there was a protocol in place for waiters in LA to give notice. I just assumed you don’t show up one day and your slot is filled by an identical replacement.

-I had my ten-year college reunion last month and got together with some of my buddies to play beer pong. (If you recall from way back in Ruminations #13, my fraternity plays pong with paddles, as opposed to throwing the ball, which we call Beirut.) Competition was heated at times, but it was a total blast, especially considering many of my friends are now doctors, lawyers, and captains of industry. It made me believe that many of the world’s conflicts could be solved with beer pong. Imagine if both sides simply stopped, chugged a beer, chugged another beer, and then repeated until they forgot what they were arguing about in the first place.

-For this year’s newly minted graduates, like those before them, the feeling of nostalgia will be overwhelming. The first thing I wanted to do upon leaving college…was go back to college. But as each homecoming weekend and reunion passes, that desire slowly diminishes. I had a great time at my reunion, but by the second day I was ready to go home. You may think college is the best life is ever gonna get. Fortunately, that’s not the case. The real world is harsh, annoying, and full of morons. But it’s also a blast in ways that college can never replicate. So, Class of 2011, welcome to the party and drink up. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Why can’t the plugs for all of my electronics just have surge protectors built right in?

-One of the problems with ordering my groceries online is that I occasionally misjudge the size of items. A few years ago I accidentally bought a twelve-ounce bottle of hot sauce. That’s fucking huge. I’m still working my way through it. It’s become an obsession to put hot sauce on everything. This was definitely not worth the $3.99.

-I wish people would stop saying, “Oh my God, you look like you’re right out of Mad Men!” any time a guy wears a suit.

-My buddy got pissed at me because I sent him like ten texts in a row, but he has a super old phone so each text showed up one at a time and cost him like a nickel. I’m sorry, but it’s not my fault. I didn’t realize my messages were being sent into the past.

-I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but while on tour this spring I developed a taste for mocha frappuccinos. Which is unfortunate because I enjoyed life a lot more before I was regularly using the phrase “venti mocha frappuccino.”

-My car has a little button that lets me change from regular mode to “sport” mode when I’m on the open road. I have no idea what that means and am terrified of hitting any button that close to the gearshift for fear that it will somehow destroy the engine and/or make the sound my garbage disposal makes when I turn it on without realizing there’s a bottle cap in the drain.

-My new TV obsession is Game of Thrones but it’s definitely more difficult to follow than my last one, which was LOST. At least the characters in LOST had normal names. The main people were Jack, John, and Kate. In Thrones everyone has an intricate back story, looks the same, and has a frustratingly similar name. One dude is a bastard child and he’s just called “the bastard” – but he’s also the nicest guy. That shit is confusing.

-Recently I drove a rental car for the first time in a few years. I got onto the highway, hit the gas, and maxed out at 27 mph. Panicking, I called the rental company and figured out that I had the car in “M” instead of Drive. M!? What the fuck is M!? When did cars get so unnecessarily complicated?

-And, finally, when I was back at Penn for my reunion, I got the chance to just stroll around and see what had changed on campus. There are tons of new buildings and dozens of acres of new land. I felt surprisingly jealous of the current students, with their fancy gyms and futuristic classrooms. Then I realized – that’s why college is so expensive. Maybe if we stopped spoiling college kids, costs would come down, and more money could be put toward, say, engineering scholarships. I mean, who knows? Today’s freshman could be tomorrow’s built-in-surge-protector inventor. Fuck me.

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Issue #188 – “Forever 31” – June 13th, 2011

-When they’re about to hit a milestone age like thirty or forty, many people jokingly decide that they’re merely going to keep celebrating their last birthday over and over again. “Third annual 29th birthday party!” the annoying Facebook invites announce. I usually hit “Respond” and “Remove from events” then question why I ever accepted that fucking friend request in the first place. But as my 32nd birthday approaches this Saturday, I’m beginning to realize that being stuck in the past isn’t such a bad thing. Turning thirty was traumatic and thirty-two is starting to border on dude-you’re-way-too-old-to-be-in-this-bar territory. Therefore I’ve decided to halt the aging process here and now and proclaim myself Forever 31.

-When I turned thirty-one last June one of my buddies noted that, since the earliest you can earn Social Security is sixty-two, technically I was halfway to retirement. I should probably start socking away some cash now because I doubt the government’s actuarial tables account for income spent on sushi three nights a week, last-minute trips to Vegas, and over-tipping because the waitress was hot.

-There are some vestiges of my twenties I refuse to give up, no matter how immature they may seem now. For instance, I was telling a friend that my former frat brother and current orthopedic surgeon Shermdog is getting married this fall. To which my friend replied, “Karo, aren’t you a little old to have a friend named ‘Shermdog’?” “Fair enough,” I said. “Dr. Shermdog.”

-When I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday earlier this year, she said she was feeling a bit down because she’s getting older and she’s worried she may never see her grandchildren get married. Grandchildren get married!? Mom, why don’t we start with son gets married. Or how about son has second date. Better yet, how about son sleeps with girl whose last name he actually knows.

-West Hollywood, where I live, is a tough place to have a birthday party because every bar is literally the worst bar ever. There used to be some neighborhood-y joints you could always count on in addition to the velvet rope-y places that were a total nightmare. But now they’ve all morphed into the same hipster-infested, douchebag-bouncer hellscapes. I’m seriously considering having my party at IHOP. I know I can get a table there.

-I’m pumped for Saturday, though, because I have a buddy I don’t get to see too often flying in from Miami to party. The only thing is, he asked if I could pick him up at the airport. So you want me to spend my birthday getting chased by cops as I circle LAX waiting for you to land? Sure! Why don’t we stop at the fucking DMV on the way back?

-In reality, if you’re single, no one gives a shit about your birthday after you turn thirty. Unless you’ve got a significant other to make a big fuss about it, thirtysomething birthdays are a joke. They don’t make cards for thirty-one-year-olds. No one gets a surprise party at thirty-two. It’s just a slow, inexorable march to forty. Which is totally fine by me. I plan on spending the next eight years like I did the previous eight – partying hard, opening up tabs, and shutting down bars. In fact, at this rate, by the time I actually turn forty…I’ll probably still be halfway to retirement.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-My buddy got his girlfriend pregnant and said to me, “I don’t know what to do but my roommate thinks we should keep the baby.” I’m not taking sides, but on the checklist of reasons not to keep a baby, “Father still has roommate” must be high up.

-Every once in a while I’m reminded how big a role alcohol plays in the lives of me and my friends. The other night I was the designated driver. When we got to the bar, I ran into a girl I know and she asked me if I wanted a drink. “No thanks,” I replied, “I’m sober.” She gasped and exclaimed, “Forever!?”

-As with everything in my life, the satellite radio presets in my car are meticulously organized. But then Sirius went and fucking rearranged all the channels. What used to be the 90s station is now like death metal. There’s a one-step process to change each preset. So, long story short, I’ve been getting pretty into death metal.

-I met a girl on tour this year who told me “Fuck Aaron Karo” was one of the items on her bucket list. Now I’m all for helping a fan achieve her hopes and dreams, but let’s just say she wasn’t my type. Fortunately, I was able to cross off something on my own bucket list, namely “Meet someone with ‘Fuck Aaron Karo’ on her bucket list and reject her.”

-It’s much simpler to just split the check for dinner evenly among friends. But if someone orders shellfish for the table, which I’m allergic to, I think I should be exempt. Why should I have to pay for something that I can’t eat and could possibly kill me? In fact, you should be compensating me for having to sit here and watch you slurp up oysters like an animal.

-Every summer I breathe a sigh a relief that I was not maimed over the winter in a heating lamp accident at an outdoor bar. Could there be a worse idea than putting giant flaming torches in a crowd of wasted morons? And people always tell me those things have a kill switch, so that if it tilts over the heat shuts off and you have a chance to get out of the way. How is that helpful? When I’m ten beers deep I don’t exactly have catlike reflexes.

-And, finally, I started maintaining a calendar electronically, as opposed to in a pen-and-paper planner, right after I graduated college. And even though I’ve gone from a Palm Pilot to Outlook to iCal, I’ve always migrated all of the data so that I now have an incredibly detailed record of what I’ve done every single day of my life going back to June 2001. Some of the early entries are totally outdated, like “pick up new glasses” (I got LASIK in 2003). Others are comically vague, like “date with Rachel.” I guess that date didn’t go very well because I have no fucking clue who Rachel is. There are some heavy moments in there as well, such as funerals, September 11th (which I left blank), and September 12th (in which I just wrote: “day off.”) As I turn thirty-two, it’s bizarre to look back on what my life was like a decade ago. Wearing glasses, working on Wall Street, dating some chick named Rachel – I feel like a totally different person. That is until I noticed the entry for June 19th, 2001 – the day after my 22nd birthday. On that day – which was a Tuesday – I simply wrote: “hungover.” Some things never change. Fuck me.

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Issue #187 – “Travel Ragency” – April 25th, 2011

-Upon choosing an idea for a column, the first thing I do is try to come up with a clever pun for the title, such as Lord of the SlingsAs the World Interns, or my personal favorite, Manifest Destiny’s Child. This week, when I decided to write about how air travel makes my blood boil, I came up with Travel Ragency. I Googled the term and, much to surprise, discovered I was the first person in the history of the Internet to use it. The one thing that truly unites us in this country is our hatred of the airport, so you’d figure someone would have come up with this mediocre pun before me. I guess not. So as your very first Travel Ragent, please buckle up, return your tray tables to the upright position, and prepare for the always delayed, totally uncomfortable, horrible-in-every-way ride.

-If you put your jacket, by itself, in the overhead bin, I will destroy it with my suitcase. This isn’t the fucking trunk of your car; this is a public stowage area. Believe me, you don’t want to know where my rollaboard has been, but you will as soon as I go wheels first into your blazer, you selfish prick.

-It’s gotten to the point where I actually feel worse for flight attendants than I do for strippers. The safety demonstration might as well be the last dance before lunch on Tuesday at the gentlemen’s club.

-If you’re actually at the counter at an airport, you better either be over the age of ninety or have had something horribly wrong happen to your plans. The counter is where impatient, soulless airline personnel deal with exasperated, dim-witted passengers. It’s hell on earth, complete with phony smiles and dot matrix printers.

-Can we come up with a better delivery mechanism for the paper towels in the airplane bathroom besides jamming one thousand of them into a slot the space of a deck of cards?

-I’m not a big fast food eater, but if your airport doesn’t have a major chain in its food court, you’re not a real city. I’m exhausted, hungover, and have a twenty-minute layover. I want a fucking Big Mac, not slop from a place that serves both bagels and spring rolls.

-I put my liquids in a clear plastic bag just in case I get called out for a random check, but I don’t even bother taking the bag itself out of my luggage like you’re supposed to. Guess what? No one has ever noticed. If it’s possible to take down a plane with the contents of a two-ounce bottle of conditioner, we’re all fucked.

-Common courtesy suggests that if you’re in the middle seat and the person in the aisle gets up to use the restroom, you should use that opportunity to go as well. Because if you ask me to get up again within twenty minutes of my returning, I will end you.

-It seems to me that if you have a problem with the TSA, either you’re overly sensitive or you’re actually a terrorist. I’ve been frisked and patted down a billion times. Is it pleasant to have a high school dropout in latex gloves roam perilously close to my junk? No. Do I mind? Not at all. Honestly, whatever keeps this line moving and maintains the fragile illusion of security. Hell, I’ll let you touch it for real if that gets me into Zone 1 – and onto the plane before that douchebag and his precious fucking jacket.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I love the looks on my wasted friends’ faces when the bill comes and I remind them that we should tip on full prices even though it’s happy hour. You’d think I just asked them to prove the Pythagorean theorem.

-I was looking at a photo spread of some uber-airbrushed starlet in Maxim and noticed that at the bottom of the page they list the brands of the clothes she’s wearing. Which was convenient because I’ve been in the market for some garter belts.

-It’s never a good sign when you’re blacked out drunk, the bar bill is getting passed around to the most sober person at the table, and it ends up in your hands.

-My friend says there’s nothing strange about moving in with a guy she’s been dating for only a few months. Her rationale: “It’s not like I’m twenty-five anymore.” Really? I wasn’t aware your age had anything to do with how well you know another person.

-My friend thought a customer service rep’s voice sounded cute, so she Googled his name, found his profile on LinkedIn, discovered that he actually is cute, and that he lives in Michigan. After telling me this entire story, she said she had a question for me. I said okay. She said, “So…could you see me living in Michigan?” And here I thought her question was gonna be, “Is it weird to stalk strangers on LinkedIn?”

-It used to be that you knew you’d made it as a rapper if you had hot cars and bling in your videos. Now, you know if you’ve made it as a rapper if you have a full-on symphony horns section in your song. Bonus points for violin and/or harp in the chorus.

-It’s been proven as fact that an accent makes a girl at least one point hotter. But if she both has an accent and stumbles on an English word, that’s at least two points. It doesn’t matter what she’s actually trying to say, I just want to press my finger gently against that French chick’s lips and go, “Shhhh, don’t you worry. I’ll get you that green card.”

-If you used to be too poor to go to the club and now you’re buying the bar, that’s a legitimate rap boast. If you used to be too young to go to the club and now you’re buying the bar, that’s just being a dick.

-And, finally, while I’m normally ambivalent about celebrities, flying into LAX so much does make for some interesting sightings. Like recently I saw Jack McBrayer (Kenneth the page on 30 Rock) on a flight from New York and they actually played 30 Rock on the flight. I couldn’t help but wonder if he hoped no one would look at him or if everyone would look at him. But the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me was when I saw Michael Emerson (Ben from LOST) board my flight from O’Hare. However, when I got on after him…he wasn’t on the plane! I swear I checked every seat on way my down the aisle and all the bathrooms were vacant. It’s like he disappeared into thin air. My first thought: Ben’s still got it. My second thought: even he wants to skip the safety demonstration. Fuck me!

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Issue #186 – “A Decade in the Real World” – April 11th, 2011

-Next month, I’m returning to Penn to celebrate my ten-year reunion. Ten fucking years. It’s amazing how quickly life changes. Nervously moving into the freshman dorms became reluctantly moving to Los Angeles. Protesting a ban on alcohol on campus became picketing the studios during the Writers Guild strike. Speaking at graduation became performing at comedy clubs. I long for those carefree college days when not every decision revolved around the question, “How is this gonna affect my health insurance?” As I look back on the past decade, though, I’m nostalgic about my time at school yet oddly at peace with the responsibility the real word requires. Filing tax returns doesn’t seem so bad when you realize there was a four-year period when your only expenses were fraternity dues and forties.

-At my five-year reunion, the lives of my classmates were relatively uniform. Most were unmarried and many were still at their first jobs. Five years later, though, the spectrum has widened greatly. Most of my friends have succumbed to marriage – some with multiple kids – while a handful are already divorced and a hearty few like me have remained proudly single. They’ve plowed through multiple companies and several graduate degrees. I expect there will be a lot more to catch up on at this reunion – meeting babies and hearing about new jobs. I’ll be muttering, “That’s adorable” a lot – though less about the babies and more about claims that being a lawyer is interesting.

-In the run-up to the reunion, Penn just mailed its annual list of those in our class who made donations to the school in the past year. It’s actually broken down by donation size, with a handful of my classmates dropping $10,000 or more. This of course leads me to extrapolate their total income, curse them silently, and then hide the once proudly displayed sticker I received for making my own relatively minuscule donation.

-The most unbelievable aspect of spending ten years in the real world is that my classmates who have contributed the most to society – those who slogged through the MCATs and med school and residency to become doctors – still earn less than anybody else. Some of my surgeon friends who have chosen to specialize can barely pay their rent. And they’re fucking surgeons! You know what those people who gave giant donations specialize in? Pushing numbers around in Excel. Obviously they’re the real heroes.

-Last week, one of my frat buddies sent around an email concerning the reunion that was of utmost importance. He asked whether our friends were interested in skipping most of the university-sponsored events in order to have a beer pong tournament instead. We unanimously agreed – hitting ping-pong balls into keg cups and chugging beers until we puke is priority one. Plus, if anyone gets alcohol poisoning, three of my brothers are doctors. Finally their poorly compensated, underappreciated skills will come in handy.

-My reunion will not be spent solely with members of my class. My ex-girlfriend will also be on campus, celebrating her five-year, and one of my best friends has his ten-year reunion from Penn Law. I’m excited to kick it with both of them – even though I didn’t even know them as an undergrad. Ultimately, I think that’s what reunions are about: the people. Campus changes. Jobs change. Life goes on. But it’s the people college brings together that has the greatest impact. Sure some of us are more successful than others. But until a law degree or $10,000 donation counts for points in beer pong, we’re all in the same boat.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-If you’re sick, don’t offer me a fist bump or elbow bash instead of a handshake. Just don’t fucking touch me at all.

-I met this chick in a bar last weekend, and as we were exchanging digits, she noticed we both had BlackBerrys. “Check this out,” she said, and proceeded to pull up a bar code on my BlackBerry, take a picture of it with her BlackBerry, and sync all of our contact information automatically. In a dark, crowded bar, this entire process took about ten minutes to get right. Is anyone out there working on cancer research, or just unnecessarily complicated ways for me to get the numbers of chicks I’m never gonna call?

-Baseball players must get bored out of their minds in April. I don’t care how much money you make, it can’t be fun to stand around in leftfield all day knowing there are 155 games left and literally nothing you do right now is of any consequence.

-A buddy moved into my apartment complex and was coincidentally assigned the parking spot right next to mine. I can’t stand the fact that now he knows whether I’m home or not, and I feel like I need to justify my whereabouts. I’ll pull in as he’s pulling out and he’ll ask me where I’ve been. “Panda Express,” I admit. Don’t judge me; I was hungover!

-I just read that the Internet at Google headquarters is fifty times the speed of the average broadband connection in America. That’s fast enough to download an HD feature film in two minutes. That’s so fast, Facebook loads before you even realize you want to procrastinate.

-For the past few years, I’ve been making this hairy, pretty much blind left turn in my neighborhood. About three weeks ago, I just gave up and decided to start making the turn two blocks away where there’s a light. There’s only so much “Wait, wait, now! No, wait…now! Wait, wait, no…wait, now! No? Aw, fuck it.” a guy can take.

-I had a question about my credit card bill and the options American Express lists to contact them are via phone, email, or Twitter. Why on earth would I want to publicly tweet AmEx a sensitive financial question? I don’t want the entire world to know about my exorbitant Panda Express charges!

-And, finally, I very conveniently scheduled a stand-up show in Philadelphia the night before my reunion weekend, so I’ll actually be in town for four days instead of three like everyone else. I’ll use that extra time to…probably do nothing. You see, Penn grads – like, I suspect, many people who went to college in a major urban area – tend to brag about the culture and convenience their nearby big city provides. But the truth is, most of us never left the confines of campus. Sure I ran up the Rocky steps once and ate my share of cheesesteaks, but I can’t say I ever really explored Philly. And having spent the ten years since graduation living in New York and LA, nothing impresses me much anymore anyway. Still, I’m excited to return to the city where I lost my virginity and learned to play beer pong. That alone is probably worth the donation. Fuck me.

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Issue #185 – “Selectively Social” – March 28th, 2011

-I’ve been documenting my dating escapades for nearly fourteen years. I regularly travel the country and perform for thousands of people. If there’s a pub crawl, road trip, or bachelor party, I often claim the MVP award. Yet recently my friend Matt was talking to a girl in LA, and my name came up. The girl didn’t know me personally, but knew of my exploits, and asked Matt if I’d be joining him at the bar. When Matt said no, the girl asked why. To which Matt replied, “You see, Karo is kind of…antisocial.” The thing is, he’s right. But how on earth can someone so fun loving, so gregarious, so…well, social, also be antisocial? The answer is that I only like dealing with people on my terms and my schedule – at which point I’m the life of the party. Otherwise, I’m cranky and withdrawn. That might sound curmudgeonly, or even bipolar, but I prefer “selectively social.”

-A lot of people claim to live by the motto “Go hard or go home” but I follow it to the letter. If I start boozing, I go full throttle and spend the next day sending a raft of apology texts. But if I don’t go out, I literally don’t go out. I won’t leave my apartment. I don’t want to “have a drink,” “grab a bite,” or “play it by ear.” That’s too half-ass for me. I’m either hitting on everything at the bar that moves – or making sweet love to my DVR.

-Another friend describes me as “a people person who hates people.” That’s also true. People are interesting; I like to observe and analyze them. It’s what I do for a living. The problem is, people aren’t lab rats. They’re complex, sentient beings. And that’s annoying. Just because I like the idea of people doesn’t mean I actually want to talk to them. Rare is it that I run into someone and think, “Gee, I’m really glad that happened.” Instead, I’m usually wondering, “Who the fuck was that and how did he get off his hamster wheel?”

-The downside to being selectively social is that it doesn’t lend itself to spontaneity. If I’m gonna go out – and thus go hard – I need to prepare myself beforehand. In addition, not only am I self-employed, but everyone I know is getting married. So I’m sorry if I can’t drop everything on a whim for you. I’m committed to attending myriad bachelor parties and weddings across North America, and when I’m not, I’ll be home taking care of business. Last minute trips are for chumps with direct deposit and breadwinning spouses.

-Despite being aware of my reclusive ways, my buddies – bless their hearts – still try to lure me out of the house, even when I’m dead set on watching House instead. What’s amazing to me is that they still haven’t realized their continued pestering won’t work. The more you ask, the less likely I am to change my mind. I just don’t like being told that I “should” do something. I’ll be the judge of what I should or shouldn’t do. And right now what I should be doing is figuring out why Amber Tamblyn’s character on House is allowed to run riot in the hospital if she’s still in medical school.

-Although it often rubs people the wrong way, in the end I think being selectively social is the best approach for me. I’m by no means a hermit – I’ll probably party in more cities this year than most people visit in a lifetime. But, to quote The Fighter, I’m no MTV girl either. Another buddy of mine has raged at more rock concerts in the past year than I’ll ever attend in my lifetime. I don’t know how he does it. So I guess it all evens out. Society is probably better off without my presence seven days a week anyway. I know my bank account is. The way I drink I’m lucky it’s my DVR that’s getting cleaned out – and not my wallet.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-My current supply of underwear is the largest batch I’ve ever owned, and they all seem to be getting old and worn out at the same time. They’re like the baby boomers of boxer shorts.

-If I’m in a dry spell and want to energize my qi, sometimes I’ll rearrange my stockpile of condoms. The older ones always get rotated into the slots I’m least likely to need. Generally that means going from my wallet to my nightstand to my medicine cabinet to my car. Ladies, a guy’s glove compartment is a latex graveyard. Always check the expiration date before getting frisky in the backseat.

-I put my friends’ wedding invitations on my fridge, just like people hang their kids’ awful drawings. The sentiment is really the same: I love you but you’re a fucking moron.

-When I worked on Wall Street back in the early 2000s, they gave us golf umbrellas with the company logo on it. Amazingly, I still have the umbrella. I guess I look at it as the last remaining link to my previous career. Unfortunately, it’s been raining so much in LA lately that I’ve actually had to use it. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like clutching a symbol of your gloomy past during a torrential downpour to ruin a perfectly good day.

-My cousin has a mohawk, plays five sports, and just schooled me in something called “Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike.” I’ve never been so intimidated by a nine-year-old.

-As my rapid descent into old age continues, I’ve begun to develop back problems. I went to a physical therapist for an evaluation, and after she recommended some stretches and other remedies, I asked her what exactly was wrong with me, so I could tell my mom. The therapist was like, “Oh, is your mom a doctor?” And I said, “No, she’s just a regular mom. But she’s definitely going to ask me that so I’m trying to stay ahead of the curve.”

-The “signature cocktails” page of the drinks menu should just be titled “women’s section.”

-For the sake of Packers fans everywhere, I hope the NFL work stoppage doesn’t cut into any actual games. I vividly recall when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994 and a lockout delayed the start of the next season. I remember it so clearly because it’s the last time I ever watched hockey again.

-And, finally, my antisocial behavior sometimes manifests itself in bizarre ways. For instance, if I’m on tour and my buddies want to trek from a nearby city to see me, I often discourage them. What they don’t understand is that I’m on a business trip. When I’m onstage, I’m making a presentation. When I’m hanging out after a show, I’m networking. When I’m trying to get laid, I’m, uh…creating synergy. The point is, no one loves their friends more than I do, but I need to separate work from play otherwise neither is fun for me. In that respect, being selectively social is simply a coping mechanism that allows me to both do my job and, if I’m lucky, clear out my glove compartment. Fuck me.

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Issue #184 – “Number One” – March 14th, 2011

-Over the years, my dad has passed down to me many sage words of wisdom, including “Women don’t even understand women,” “Always keep your options open,” and “Don’t be a hero.” But perhaps the most useful piece of advice he’s ever shared with me is “Look out for number one.” What he means is that all too often people spend more time worrying about others than they do about themselves. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for “number one” – yourself. While selfishness isn’t usually looked upon as a virtue, I think it should be. Selfish people are happy and selfless people are secretly jealous of them. Sure, altruism may help you sleep at night, but so will fucking the prom queen.

-Let me clarify one point right away – there’s a big difference between looking out for number one and being an utter douchebag. You should obviously take care of your kids, be a good wingman to your buddies, volunteer, give to charity, and generally be a decent human. But there are certain decisions in life where we could all stand to be more selfish. If the opportunity arises to ditch your crazy roommate, quit your shitty job, or dump your layabout boyfriend or girlfriend, jump on it. Don’t worry about whose feelings might get hurt. Those people are only pissed off because they didn’t think of it first.

-Just as a matter of biology, men generally have an easier time being selfish than women. Every guy has been stranded in the middle of nowhere because his buddy thought he had a chance of hooking up and split. But girls are always looking out for numbers two, three, and four – their annoying fucking friends whose towering heels make it impossible to keep up. A group of girls slows to the weakest member’s pace. A group of guys slays its weakest gazelle if he represents even the slightest obstacle to getting laid.

-In my opinion, the primary reason many people choose not to look out for number one is that they fear conflict. And that’s understandable. No one enjoys breaking up with or firing someone and it’s certainly uncomfortable knowing that somewhere out there is a person who hates your guts. But if you’re gonna avoid conflict your whole life, you won’t get far. Conflict leads to change which leads to growth. The affable guy in the office who’s been at the company twenty years probably doesn’t have an enemy in the world. And look what it’s gotten him: a weird mustache and a cubicle next to you.

-It’s kind of funny, looking back on it, that my dad would so fervently remind me to look out for number one when I was growing up. Most fathers encourage their children to play nice and share. Mine taught me to put myself before others. My mom, for her part, tried to temper Dad’s message with more traditional values like respect and caring. I like to think I ended up with a good mix of both outlooks. As an adult I’ve been known to be kind and generous. You know, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience me in any way.

-I’m no expert. Hell, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life half the time. However, in the emails that I receive from advice-seeking readers around the world, I recognize one constant: inertia. One of the hardest things of all to do is alter your routine or dig yourself out of a rut. All I can recommend is that you spend one day being selfish. Fuck what your friends or your boss or your parents say and just do what you want to do. I think you’ll find that looking out for number one is quite liberating. You can get a lot done when you only care about yourself. Screw numbers two and up. You’ll deal with them tomorrow.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I can’t stand the post wedding weekend avalanche of friend requests. Yes, our mutual friend just got married and we spent much of the past thirty-six hours together. But let’s face facts: our relationship has already peaked.

-No matter how small the bar, there should always be more than one bartender on duty. I don’t care if it’s Wednesday at three o’clock in the afternoon, there’s nothing more frustrating than a solitary, fumbling bartender. He’s the human equivalent of the one car that stalls and backs up traffic for miles.

-There seems to be a growing amount of dog-on-dog crime in my neighborhood. Every day outside my window I can hear two dogs being walked in opposite directions and then snarling and attacking each other when they cross paths. Jesus, people. Either keep your pets on a shorter leash or just let them go at it Michael Vick-style.

-My mom wants to upgrade to a BlackBerry so that she can BBM my sister, my dad, and me. I said, “Mom, you don’t even text.” She said, “But I’d send BBMs if I could.” To which I countered, “But on the new BlackBerry, texts and BBMs are exactly the same.” She pondered this for a moment and then asked, “What if I got an iPhone?” Wrong direction, Mom. We’re shooting for less complicated, not more.

-Mom is also considering coming out to LA for the weekend to visit me. Though I’d like to see my dad too, it will be a lot less stressful without him. Moms are easy to please. She just needs one museum, one outdoor excursion, and one obscure historical landmark that no one else on the fucking planet cares about. If Dad comes, we’ll have to do all of that anyway, plus I’ll have to keep him happy to boot. There’s not enough beer in the city.

-My parents are in good health – knock on wood – but they’ve recently become adamant that Caryn and I know where their wills and other important documents are located. Apparently there’s a file cabinet in the basement organized using a very sophisticated system. Doctors’ bills are located in the “D” folder. Health insurance, on the other hand, is located in the “H” folder. I asked my mom if the title to the car was under “A” for auto or “C” for car. She said she didn’t know. And this woman wants an iPhone.

-And, finally, in my past few columns, I’ve mentioned my friends’ new babies several times. In the midst of simultaneously congratulating them and mocking them (my friends, not their babies), I was informed that you’re supposed to buy a gift for your friends from their baby registry when they have a kid. I honestly had no idea there was even such a thing as a registry for babies. And, quite frankly, I’m drawing the line here. Nobody is getting a gift from me if they pop out a kid. Sorry, that’s just how it’s gonna be. I get the point of a wedding registry. It says: “You’re making an enormous mistake. Here’s a stainless steel corkscrew to numb the pain.” But if you’re merely taking part in the natural circle of life by giving birth, you’re getting squat from me. Plus, there’s one particularly brilliant aspect of my plan: I won’t be having kids for so long that by then my friends will probably forget I stiffed them. When Karo Jr. is rolling in presents, it will be the perfect opportunity to teach him about looking out for number one. Fuck me.

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Issue #183 – “The Legend Continues” – February 28th, 2011

-When I interviewed my then ninety-seven-year-old Grandma Zelda in Ruminations #145 (“The Legend of Zelda”), it was one of my more popular columns in recent memory. Now that Grandma is ninety-nine, I thought it would be a good opportunity to interview her again. So off my sister Caryn and I went to Grandma’s nursing home, armed with a ream of pre-printed questions because she can see fine but can’t hear for shit. Caryn held up the questions while I logged the answers. We had to work quickly as it was already 5:30pm and nearing Grandma’s bedtime.

-I’ve never seen one myself, but I’ve been told that some people have a cash bar at their wedding these days. This seems ridiculous to me so I asked Grandma what her wedding was like. She said that hers was definitely open bar, confirming my belief that my family has always known how to party. Then she added that her late husband, my Grandpa Sam, didn’t have a bachelor party and that their honeymoon was in New Jersey. Still, one out of three ain’t bad.

-I then asked Grandma what was the most money she ever earned. She said she made $20 a week as a typist for the department store Montgomery Ward in 1932. I didn’t have the heart to tell her Montgomery Ward went bankrupt ten years ago, and that AutoCorrect and T9 have rendered typing a lost art form. But the fact that $20 is the most she ever earned in an entire week certainly does explain why she gets so excited about winning 25 cents at Bingo.

-Grandma has never been shy about voicing her opinions on my love life (or lack thereof), and this day was no exception. I asked her what kind of girl I should look for and she replied bluntly, “A good-looking one.” Grandma obviously has no faith in my game. “I agree,” I said, “but how do I meet the right girl?” “Just be nice,” she advised, then looked me up and down and added, “and lose the beard.” I shaved that night.

-Zelda and Sam moved to Queens after their wedding and she recalls seeing the Dodgers play at Ebbets Field, crying in the subway upon learning of FDR’s death, and celebrating the end of World War II in Times Square. Grandma was born in Romania and did a stint at a retirement community in Fort Lauderdale, but other than that she has spent much of her ninety-nine years in New York. When I tell her that I won’t see her for a while because I’m going back to Los Angeles, she always looks confused. I can never tell if it’s because she can’t hear me or because she doesn’t understand why anyone would ever live in LA.

-I also asked Grandma about her views on prohibition, since she lived through it. She said she was opposed to it, even though she never drank much. I applaud her for not wanting to ruin the party for everyone else. She also said she never smoked, but did often play poker for money, so she wasn’t completely vice-free. Now I can’t help but envision her sitting at a cards table in Queens, throwing her $20 check from Montgomery Ward in the pot, and proclaiming, “All in!”

-Soon it was time for Caryn and me to wrap up the interview. Grandma was getting tired and when she told us the person she most wanted to meet growing up was Cary Grant, I couldn’t bear to tell her today’s most popular celebrities are Charlie Sheen and someone called The Situation. My final question before she drifted off to sleep was, “What are you most proud of?” She smiled, pointed at me and my sister, and simply said, “You.”

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I was on my laptop at my parents’ house recently when my mom asked if I could look something up for her. When I agreed, the first thing she said was, “Okay, go on the Internet.” Yeah I got that part, Mom. Just tell me what the hell to Google.

-Channel four on Sirius is “40s on 4” – as in music from the 1940s. Fact: no one who listens to big band owns a satellite radio. I mean, even the logo for the channel is an old-school wooden radio with knobs. They’re practically taunting their target audience.

-My buddy Rob got married in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. I showed up late but no one saw me sneak in just after the processional. Later, during the reception, Rob said to me, “Karo, I can’t believe you missed the beginning of the ceremony.” Busted, I stammered, “How did you know?” “Well,” he replied, “just before I went down the aisle, I looked at the table with the place cards. Yours was the only one still there.” I hate weddings.

-While I was in New York, I visited Triplet #1 and his newborn daughter, Triplet #1A. As I was holding her, she shat something awful. Figuring there’s a first time for everything, I asked if I could change her. But when I opened up the diaper, there was no poop. Turns out she had merely farted the worst smelling fart of all time. It takes a lot to impress me – but that was fucking impressive.

-I loved Trip 1’s candid explanation of why he definitely wanted to find out the sex of the child when his wife was pregnant. “If it’s a boy,” he said, “then it is what it is.” “But if it’s a girl,” he continued, “then I need to prepare myself mentally.”

-As I mentioned in Ruminations #181, now that they have a kid, Trip 1 and his wife are moving from Manhattan to the suburbs. When I pressed him on why he was leaving NYC behind, he said, “I’ve been living in the city for ten years. I don’t even take advantage of it anymore. I actually feel kinda bad. I’m just sitting here on the couch. It’s like I’m taking someone else’s slot who could be out there raging.” It’s an understandable sentiment I guess. I just hope whoever takes his “slot” is young, hot, and female.

-Before I returned to LA, I ran into another friend who recently had a kid. I could have sworn something was different about her. I was like, “Did you change your hair?” After much interrogation I realized that her boobs – which were already big – were now enormous due to breastfeeding her newborn. I mean, I’ve seen that kind of transformation in LA, but it’s usually the result of implanting something into the body, not popping something out.

-And, finally, Grandma has been in declining health recently, which is distressing in and of itself and also because she’s so close to her 100th birthday on 11/11/11. She remains in remarkably good spirits though and still plays cards – but has traded poker for gin rummy. Some things are certain: she’s led a remarkably full life, seen her great-grandchildren grow up, and maintained a sense of humor I hope to have inherited throughout. Legends don’t last forever, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Zelda did. We can all learn a lot from our grandparents. I’ve learned to trim my beard, “be nice,” and only court attractive women. Wiser words have never been said. Fuck me.

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Issue #182 – “And Guest” – February 14th, 2011

-The wedding I’m attending in June has three things going for it. First, it’s in Newport Beach, so instead of hauling my ass across the country to New York as usual, I can just take a quick drive down the coast from LA. Second, the groom is one of my oldest friends, so I’ll get to see a lot of my childhood buddies. And third, the couple is loaded so I’m expecting lobster stuffed with more lobster and served atop naked virgins. It’s fortuitous, then, that the Save the Date I received was addressed to “Aaron Karo and Guest.” I’m thirty-one years old and this is the first time I’ve ever been invited to a wedding with a date. The question now becomes – with only four months until this elaborate affair…who the fuck am I gonna take?

-My first instinct, of course, was to eschew taking a date altogether and prowl the wedding with my game face on. However, a reconnaissance mission at the engagement party proved disappointing: pickings at the wedding figure to be slim. If I don’t find an acceptable “and Guest” in time, I’ll have to resort to hitting on the caterers. This may be difficult, though, as I’m assuming they’ll be preoccupied with attending to the lobster encrusted virgins.

-Since I don’t have an office job, finding a date for an occasion has never really been something I’ve worried about. As near as I can tell from my friends and from sitcoms, the only time a date is required is for a work event like a dinner party at the boss’s house. I assume this is because employees with significant others project an air of stability, and also so said significant others can fake food poisoning and help you get the fuck out of there as early as possible.

-While I’m happily single, I have had several serious girlfriends. My last relationship ended in 2007, though, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the primary factor deterring me from entering into a new one is that I do not possess the loneliness gene. It’s true: I never get lonely. In fact, I’m happiest when no one is around. I prefer to drive, watch TV, and eat by myself. I suppress these feelings in order to get laid, but besides that I’d rather be alone for almost every other activity. When people use the phrase “It got so bad they were sleeping in separate bedrooms” to describe a failed marriage, I can’t help but think, “That sounds awesome.”

-Manhattan is the place I spend the most time when I’m not in LA, but it would be crazy to fly a chick in from New York to attend a wedding in California. Besides, too many women in NYC have what I call a “Herman Miller ass.” Girls in LA spend approximately 55% of their time working out – yoga, Pilates, some sort of yoga/Pilates combination that also involves a bo staff like Donatello in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and lots of running and hiking outdoors. Their asses are perfect. But women in New York spend so much of their time at high-powered jobs sitting in fancy Herman Miller chairs that eventually their asses just mold to that shape. Unacceptable. My “and Guest” must have an ass that implies chronic unemployment, not thousand-dollar ergonomic seating.

-As the summer slowly approaches and my quest for a guest continues, a few of my buddies have informed me that they’ll be attending the wedding alone because their wives can’t make it. But I’m not as excited by this news as I thought I’d be. I guess hanging out with a bunch of guys who are partying like Spring Break meatheads just because they’re free from the bonds of marriage for 48 hours is getting kind of old. I’m on a mission to make this wedding count. All I need now is a date who won’t mind sleeping in my hotel room’s second bed.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Why are all DirecTV subscribers douchebags? I’m sorry if I don’t have the East Coast feed of all the channels and can’t watch my shows three hours in advance like you. And no, I haven’t seen the final season of Friday Night Lights yet. But on the upside, I’m not a cock.

-I found a picture – taken from the DJ’s perspective – of the massive, full-on shit show New Year’s Eve party I went to, and I posted it on Facebook. The only person who commented was my mom, who simply wrote, “OMG.” I’ve never felt so weird and ashamed at the same time.

-If I have to zoom out three times or more in order to orient myself upon entering your address into Google Maps, you officially live in Bumblefuck.

-I was out recently with the younger brother of one of my buddies. He was gawking at this chick across the bar. “Dude,” I said, “she’s like thirty-five.” He turned to me and said, “Karo, you’re like thirty-five.” Ouch.

-It’s Valentine’s Day, which means last week tens of thousands of casual relationships ended with awkward conversations because one or both of the parties didn’t want to go into the holiday on uncertain terms. As I’ve always said, the only thing worse than breaking up with someone is breaking up with someone you weren’t even going out with in the first place.

-In fact, I actually think it’s much easier to end things with someone you’ve been dating for five years than it is to end things with someone you’ve been fucking for five weeks. If you’re in a serious, long-term relationship, at least there’s just cause. You can say, “Listen, we’re just different people who want different things. You want to move in together, I’m not ready. You want to learn to ski, I want to bang other chicks.”

-And, finally, there’s basically two ways to end a casual, non-exclusive relationship. You can either tell the other person, or just never contact them again and assume they’ll eventually figure it out. Now most girls will say that they want to know – at least show her the respect of giving her a call. What I don’t understand is how any part of that call can be considered respectful. I mean, essentially what you’re saying is, “Thanks for the blow jobs. They were consistently above average. It’s been nice texting with you for the past month or so. Unfortunately, this was only a temporary position. However, I’m gonna keep your information on file just in case anything opens up. So don’t be surprised if you hear from me in a few months – most likely when I’m wasted at three o’clock in the morning. Oh…and I’m sorry I had to leave this on your voicemail.” Fuck me!

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Issue #181 – “Babies” – January 24th, 2011

-My agenda is typically the same every time I head home to New York for the weekend to visit: see my parents, try to hang out with as many friends as possible, and get obnoxiously drunk. My most recent trip, however, was quite unusual. I still saw a lot of buddies, but most of the visits were during the day and, regrettably, sober. That’s because I was fulfilling an obligation that all thirtysomethings inevitably encounter: meeting my friends’ babies.

-My first stop was to see my childhood friend Danielle and her and her husband’s five-month-old son Henry. Henry is cute as shit and I wanted to just eat him up. Danielle was my first friend and grew up around the block from me – we actually met when we were Henry’s age. It’s hard to believe that thirty-one years have passed and now she has her own child. I hope Henry remains as close with his first friends as Danielle and I have. That way when he’s an adult, he too will have to visit them and feign interest while their fucking babies sit on a blanket staring into space and do nothing of interest but drool.

-My next stop was my fraternity brother Adam and his and his wife’s three-month-old daughter Ella. Never in a million years did I suspect that any of my frat buddies would have legitimate children. But they did, and Ella is a cute little munchkin I wanted to devour whole. Adam and his wife are both doctors, so they’re very clinical about the whole experience. They even showed me an extraordinarily graphic video of the birth. As fraternity pledges, Adam and I had to do some horrific shit. But nothing came close to having to watch a full-on crowning shot in slow motion.

-My third – and mercifully, final – stop, was my high school buddy Triplet #1 and his and his wife’s five-day-old daughter Emma. Trip 1’s wife, as you guys know, is also a triplet, so I think they were just relieved they didn’t have octuplets. Emma, whom I’ve officially nicknamed Triplet #1A, is a cute little lump I wanted to peel and eat like shrimp. During my visit, though, Trip 1 admitted to me he’s looking to leave Manhattan and move his family to a ritzy suburb on Long Island. “So basically 1A is gonna drive a BMW to high school and be a total bitch,” I joked. “Oh yeah,” Trip 1 admitted. “By that time her sunglasses will be as big as her entire head.”

-I learned a lot on my whirlwind tour of my friends’ babies. For instance, I had no idea that baby monitors have video now, let alone night vision. It’s like watching the kids version of Paranormal Activity. Also, babies are incredibly weird. Adam’s daughter will only fall asleep to the techno soundtrack we played in Acapulco on Spring Break. Her nursery is like a nightclub from 2001 – complete with incoherent people sucking on pacifiers.

-Unfortunately, this trend is not ebbing and I’m informed on a nearly weekly basis that one of my friends is pregnant. Another one of my doctor friends is currently in her first trimester. She recently begged me to suggest some YouTube clips for her to watch because she’s so bored from sitting around bloated all day. “Wow,” I joked, “you really are pathetic.” Her response? “Hey, at least I have a real job and can maintain a healthy relationship. You’re probably gonna die alone!” “Holy shit,” I replied. “Why are you being so mean?” “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’ve just been having terrible mood swings lately.” I let it slide. After all, I can handle a few more months of hormone-induced disparagement. As long as when the birth is all over she doesn’t show me the video.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I was having lunch with a friend recently when the hostess informed us that our waitress had just been fired – mid-meal no less. We never found out the reason but I knew something was up when she said she’d be back in a minute with water for the table…and we never saw her ever again.

-In commercials for services that can be accessed across multiple devices – like DirecTV or a home security system – at least show a modern cell phone capable of streaming video. No one is gonna believe they can check their baby monitor on a StarTAC.

-If you have a dog, you forfeit your right to ask me to take my shoes off when I enter your apartment. Your dog walks around outside and steps in who knows what, yet you let him on your bed. My Chuck Taylors are pristine compared to that filthy animal’s paws.

-Why is it illegal to drive while texting but seemingly perfectly legal to drive with a fucking dog on your lap? Also, have you ever glanced at the side view mirror of the car in front of you and seen a dog instead of a person? That’s gotta be the most terrifying and confusing three seconds of your life.

-There’s a certain poetry to maintaining a budget in Excel, entering the =SUM function at the bottom of the spreadsheet, and having no idea if the resulting figure will mean you can afford to go to Vegas for the weekend, or that you can’t even pay your rent.

-I always assumed the proliferation of cell phones would make every TV storyline prior to 1995 obsolete because now the characters can just call each other from anywhere. Instead, characters are getting into the exact same predicaments as before, but now it’s preceded by the obligatory “I don’t have any service” line.

-My friend just asked me if I watch “Behind” the Actors Studio. I haven’t, but God knows what goes on back there.

-I told my buddy Jeff I can’t figure out why I seem to be getting allergies lately. He said there are a couple of possible causes. “The weather for one,” he said. “And also age.” Age!? Fucking age? I’m thirty-one. Age can’t be responsible for anything yet…can it?

-And, finally, I’ve long maintained that, as a guy, once you get married, you can no longer truly be a good friend. Sure you can still keep in touch and join the boys for the occasional beer, but for all intents and purposes, you’re legally dead to your single buddies. Having a kid is just the final nail in the coffin. Some dudes are in denial about this, but many are simply resigned to their fate. A few days before his wife gave birth, I was hanging out with Triplet #1 and he was excitedly telling me and the guys his plans to get drunk that weekend. Someone interrupted, telling Trip 1 we’d never set foot in the shitty bar he’d carefully chosen. You should have seen the sad little look on his face. “But guys,” he pleaded, “this is my last night out…forever.” Fuck me.

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Issue #180 – “Year in Review” – December 13th, 2010

-When I dislocated my shoulder – mid-sex no less – in January, it did not bode well for the year to come. I was planning on starting the new year on a positive note, and instead began it on the floor, writhing in pain. However, as winter turned to spring (which in LA is about a two degree difference), things began to look up. From the Colorado River to Comedy Central, and the operating room to officiating a wedding, 2010 was a tumultuous year of firsts for me. Some memories I hope to recapture, others I wish I could forget, and, as usual, most I was too drunk to remember. This is my Year in Review.

-In March, I embarked on a camping and whitewater rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. As an avid indoorsman, it was the last thing I ever imagined doing. But I persevered. For ten days I slept under the stars, bathed in the Colorado River, and shat in the woods. The trip leader recently sent an email asking if any of us would be up for going again in 2011. I deleted the email, then permanently deleted the email from my trash, then blocked the sender’s address. God forbid I should ever be tempted to leave my apartment ever again.

-In July, after nine dislocations, I finally had my shoulder repaired. As a Giants fan, I had mixed feelings going into the procedure because my surgeon also operated on Tom Brady’s knee in 2008. When I awoke from the anesthesia, he asked how I was feeling, to which I replied, “Tom Brady sucks!” Last month, during my final post-surgical follow-up, I apologized for the outburst. He just smiled, but I swear he seemed rattled. The fact is, if Tom Brady ever gets hurt again and needs surgery, I’m totally in his doctor’s head.

-In September, I officiated the wedding of my friends Chi and Cat. They’re not very religious and wanted a more personal ceremony, so they decided to hinge the most important moment of their lives on whether or not I could stay sober for twenty minutes. Being sworn in as a civil marriage commissioner was the weirdest part. I had to go to the county courthouse the day before the wedding, raise my right hand, and swear to defend the Constitution and all this other weird shit I definitely did not sign up for. It’s bad enough I joined a couple together in holy matrimony, now I gotta fight terrorism too?

-In November, I was fortunate to have my first one-hour stand-up special premiere on Comedy Central. The best part was reading all the reactions. My favorite email came from a long-time fan in Jersey who got a nose job the day before the special aired, and then literally popped a stitch from laughing. She had to go back to the doctor the next day to have it fixed. The only way her story could have been better is if it was a celebrity plastic surgeon, and she woke up after the procedure and yelled, “Fuck Megan Fox!”

-As 2010 comes to a close, I find myself once again in the unenviable position of trying to figure out what to do on New Year’s Eve. In past years I’ve rampaged New York, Hollywood, Vegas, Montreal, Australia, and Uruguay, so I’m quickly running out of available locales to have an overpriced, overhyped evening of debauchery. This year, I’ve decided to keep it somewhat local and head north to San Francisco to hang with Chi and Cat. I mean, I did marry them, the least they can do is feed me and let me crash on their couch whenever I desire. Hanging out with married people goes against everything I stand for, but they’re a pretty good wingcouple. After all, getting hammered and laid on New Year’s Eve is my duty as an American, and I did swear to defend the Constitution.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I recently stayed in a fancy hotel where the mini bar was called an “honor bar.” Yet they still took inventory and charged me accordingly. A real honor bar would be one that said right on the price list: “Listen, we’re fucking you.”

-I test the bounds of early check-in when I travel. I once got to a hotel so early in the morning that the clerk tried to check me out before she realized I was actually checking in. She almost seemed disappointed that a room was available. Like I’m the big winner because I finagled an extra three hours of $12 Internet and a nap on a dirty bedspread.

-Nine times out of ten, when I get off the phone with one of my best friends, my first thought is, “Holy shit; he is clinically insane.” I can’t remember the last time I had a normal, human conversation with one of my buddies. I guess that’s why I love them.

-If you’re new to your job and you copied the template for your email signature from a co-worker, make sure you update the actual mailto link underneath. Otherwise, if someone clicks on your email address, it will actually send a message to your co-worker. If that message is “where did you get this stupid email signature?’ then you’re in trouble.

-I’ve never once been completely satisfied with dry cleaning. I’m not even talking about stain removal. I just want to get my shirts back without any weird creases or crinkles. This isn’t rocket science. It’s not that hard to iron a shirt. I’d do it myself if I knew how.

-Whenever I see one of those crazy showers with like twelve nozzles, I think: I can’t wait to just waste about 500 gallons of water right now. Environment be damned; I’m about to get clean in some places I didn’t even know existed.

-While on tour, I received a voicemail from the comedy club stating that “someone” would be picking me up from the airport in a Nissan Versa. Height, weight, or other physical description might have been helpful. Or naming a car I’ve ever heard of.

-I just realized that Solo cups (aka red keg cups) have been redesigned. They’re now square on the bottom for stability and have grooves on the sides to make them easier to grip. So basically a 75-year-old, multimillion-dollar corporation totally revamped their signature product just to improve its performance in beer pong. Best. Company. Ever.

-And, finally, the other day I called my buddy Brian, and as soon as he picked up I asked, “Are you a shaft shaver?” Crude I know, but it’s my favorite line from this season of “The League” on FX. Brian hung up immediately. Two hours later he called back and explained that he had been driving with his mom and picked up my call on the car’s Bluetooth. I had no sympathy. “Brian,” I said, “that’s on you. You know I say something disgusting every time I call.” To his credit, he conceded this point and admitted he was at fault. Those are just the risks of being friends with guys who are clinically insane. You can trust them with speaking at your wedding – but not with speakerphone. Fuck me.

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