Category Archives: Ruminations

Issue #179 – “The Rest Is History” – November 15th, 2010

-Despite all my snide remarks and bluster, when one of my buddies gets married, I’m secretly envious. For one thing, the wedding is an entire weekend that revolves around him and his fiancee: I’m jealous of the spotlight. The experience itself is a rite of passage, a tradition passed down for generations of men: I’m jealous of this connection. It also signifies that my friend has found a soulmate and partner-in-crime: I’m jealous of their bond. As I stand on the periphery of the party, single-minded and double-fisting, I picture my own wedding. The image is hazy – besides my groomsmen being introduced like the 1996 Chicago Bulls – but one thing is clear: I have a lot to live up to. If I ever get married, it will be after a career of trashing weddings. But I’ve also been taking notes. If only to make sure that when I walk down the aisle, the only thing that’s trashed is me.

-I will not have a band at my wedding nor do I even understand the concept. You know what’s better than a ten-piece orchestra playing Jay-Z? A DJ with a MacBook Pro playing Jay-Z. Cover bands should remain where they belong: drowning out the conversations of frustrated drunk people at dive bars.

-My buddy Rob, who is recently engaged, asked me in all seriousness what I thought about having his bachelor party a few weeks after his wedding, just in case he couldn’t get it organized in time. “Dude,” I responded, “that’s like gathering around a loved one’s deathbed after the funeral.”

-I’ve been told that most weddings are followed by a brunch in the morning. I, however, have never been to one of these mythical brunches. If you’re in good enough shape to attend brunch the day after my wedding, then I will not have accomplished my goal. Bagels and Bloodys will be served around sunrise for those left standing.

-I maintain an Excel file of every wedding I’ve ever been invited to, whether or not I attended, what I gave as a gift, and when I received a thank you note. After studying said spreadsheet, I’d like to promulgate an addendum to the rule that you have one year to give the bride and groom a gift. Effective immediately, it is now also a rule that if the couple does not send a thank you note within a year, you get the gift back.

-The couple often seems bewildered after a wedding when no one has taken home the gift bags they prepared for the guests. Um, that’s because they were put on an unmarked table on the far side of the hall some time between dessert and my ninth cocktail. Besides, what could possibly make you think I need a wine stopper filled with sand?

-Fortunately, three of the weddings I expect to attend in 2011 – for a high school buddy, a fraternity brother, and a Wall Street colleague – figure to be some of the drunker nights of the upcoming year. I, of course, will be stationed at the ever-shrinking singles table, taking notes and taking shots. No misstep will go unnoticed as I silently conceive every aspect of my own nuptials. The only thing missing is a bride. But I’m confident I’ll be able to get her on board with all of my ideas. I mean, obviously we’re not going to have a band. Otherwise how will we afford the smoke machine?

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

-The only times I ever use the very respectful terms “sir” or “ma’am” are when I’m trying to be as derogatory as possible.

-One of my agents turned thirty-two last weekend. He received wrapped gifts at his birthday party. Wrapped gifts! Since when are we exchanging birthday gifts with people older than toddlers or younger than grandparents? I turn thirty-two next year. If you give me a wrapped gift I will probably ruin it because of all the shots my normal friends buy me.

-My alma mater has a branding problem. People are always confusing Penn (Ivy League) with Penn State (Joe Paterno). But the University of California is even more confusing. When people tell me they went to “Cal,” I immediately think of Jason Kidd. When people tell me they went to “Berkeley,” I think of dirty, Birkenstock-clad hippies. It blows my mind every time I realize it’s the same place.

-How do postal workers feel about delivering junk mail? At least sanitation workers are performing a valuable public health service by carting away garbage. But postal workers are literally just transporting dead trees that no one wants from place to place. While wearing beekeeper hats and what look like denim-colored slacks cut into shorts. I’d say these poor souls deserve their own commemorative stamp, but that’d be just rubbing it in.

-I left my BlackBerry in a cab on Halloween. Luckily, my buddy had ordered the cab using a fancy iPhone app, so I had all the relevant data, right down to the taxi’s medallion number. I spent most of the night calling the cab company while futilely trying to figure out how to perform complicated tasks on the iPhone such as “redial.” Two hours in, I realized I had become so fixated on the goddamn app that I never even tried to call my own phone. I finally did, the cabbie picked up, and I had my BlackBerry back after twenty minutes (and a $50 tip). The moral of the story? iPhones are stupid.

-And, finally, I’m not sure who was getting married when I first recognized the prevalence of a certain pattern in bridesmaids’ speeches. But I quickly noticed that at every wedding, a woman, usually the maid of honor, would stand before the guests, clutching a creased piece of paper or never-ending stack of index cards, and recount the story of how the bride and groom met. In rare, cringeworthy instances, she would attempt to rhyme. And after conveniently glossing over a few sordid details, she would inevitably conclude her tale with the phrase “and the rest is history.” Cue polite applause and beelines to the bar. I began discussing this phenomenon on stage, and it eventually became the framework for my entire stand-up act. Along the way, though, I discovered that the phrase can be applied not just as a humorous poke at wedding tradition, but also as accepted shorthand for our ADD-addled, Wikipedia-fied world. “I had a few beers, decided to create an online facebook, and the rest is history.” “My contract was up, the weather in Miami is nice, and the rest is history.” That’s really all the explanation our generation desires or demands. “The rest is history” is the new “yadda yadda yadda.” With that in mind, I hope you will tune in to my Comedy Central special “Aaron Karo: The Rest Is History” this Friday. I’ve tried to capture the unique dating and mating rituals that me and my friends and you and your friends experience. And I only dropped forty-five bleeped out F-bombs in the process. How do I know? I created a spreadsheet for that, too. F#%& me.


Issue #178 – “Sick” – November 1st, 2010

-Last week, I woke up the morning I was scheduled to have a flu shot feeling absolutely horrible. By the time I got to the doctor’s office, I could barely move, so I canceled my shot and got a check-up instead. Turns out I had strep throat. My usual doctor reads this column and comes to my shows, so she knows what I’m all about. She wasn’t there, though, and I’d never met the doctor who examined me. After he reviewed the results of the throat culture, he asked me if I had any idea how I could have been exposed to strep. Imagine his surprise, then, when I answered, “Well, either rampant promiscuity, or flip cup.”

-The last time I was sick was over two years ago when, as you might recall from Ruminations #133, an acupuncturist misdiagnosed my liquor-swollen liver as “emotional pollution.” So being the mature, thirty-one-year-old man that I am, the first thing I did upon finding out I had strep was call my mom. Unfortunately, she and Dad were on vacation in Italy at the time, so I had to BBM them. Let’s just say a mother’s love does not translate via instant message. She wrote: “Too bad. The wine is great. Talk later.” and then didn’t respond to any more of my messages. I made some bland microwaveable chicken soup and cried myself to sleep.

-Luckily, strep is easily curable with penicillin and gargling with salt water. The latter treatment is where I gave this new doctor a run for his money. I just can’t comprehend how anybody could comply with the order “gargle with salt water” without asking any follow-up questions. “Should the water be warm?” I asked. “How warm? How much water? How much salt? How long? How many times a day? How many days?” Through what I perceived to be gritted teeth, he answered each and every one of my inane questions…but I could just tell he was secretly wishing I was allergic to penicillin.

-The doctor said I could also take over-the-counter medications to help relieve my symptoms. Once again, though, I’m a bachelor and thus have no such provisions. My medicine cabinet consists of the following: Centrum Performance Multivitamins (to boost my performance of sitting on my ass all day), the same bottle of Dolce & Gabbana I’ve been using since 2003 (one spritz is all you really need), a stick of female deodorant (in case a surprise overnight lady guest needs to go directly to work in the morning – I’m telling you, the Dolce is irresistible), Benadryl (because one thing I am deathly allergic to is shellfish), and, of course, three types of Purell (because I hate touching…anything). So you could say I’m not exactly prepared for a full-fledged first-aid emergency.

-There’s never a good time to fall ill, but the timing of my infection couldn’t have been worse. My buddy Claudio was visiting from New York and I couldn’t go near him. I couldn’t drink to the Yankees in the playoffs (R.I.P.) or the Giants on Monday Night Football (woo hoo!). I even had to miss an early Halloween party where every girl was under twenty-five and dressed…well, you know how they were dressed. Instead I remained quarantined alone in my apartment, taunted by visions of slutty Chilean miners getting wasted without me.

-Modern medicine is a wonderful thing, though, and thankfully I’ve fully recovered. I’m even going to finally get my flu shot this week. My mom apologized for being curt, explaining that she just isn’t familiar with BBM, and brought me a new wallet from Italy as a peace offering. Hopefully I won’t see the inside of a doctor’s office until my next physical. And when that happens, I bet my regular doctor won’t even bat an eye when she checks my chart and it reads: “October 2010 vitals. Temperature: 102. Glands: swollen. Fragrance: intoxicating.”

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

-I think American Airlines’ slogan “We Know Why You Fly” is creepy. Actually, you don’t know why I fly. And maybe you don’t want to know. I do some weird shit.

-My BlackBerry is so old that it’s gotten to the point where I’m ordering individual parts to replace the stuff that’s just broken right off. I have like plastic side pieces that don’t even match the rest of the phone. You know that mismatched car with the plastic bumper that you try to avoid at all costs on the highway? That’s the look I get when I use BBM.

-I love when I go out with a buddy who’s just had a bad break-up, and I catch that glimmer in his eye as we enter a bar and he realizes the world is full of new chicks he can bang. He’s like a kid in a candy store. A kid in a candy store who doesn’t even realize I’m ringing up crazy amounts of drinks on his tab.

-My sister called me up the other night and we had a pleasant chat. After about twelve minutes, she abruptly said she had to go. Turns out she had two shows recording on DVR simultaneously, and needed to kill some time before starting to watch one without commercials. That’s what I am to her: filler.

-I just read an article about how pigs make great pets because they’re clean like cats and fun like dogs. I hate cats and despise dogs. Ergo, pigs are the fucking worst.

-I mentioned this back in Ruminations #89, but a lot of people don’t realize that, in the entertainment industry, the assistant of the person you’re talking to you is usually listening in on the call – either to take notes or just learn the trade. Because of this, I now assume that all of my friends’ assistants in other industries are listening in, too. I was talking to my buddy Pat the other day, and telling him quite the graphic, sexually explicit story. The whole time I was thinking, “I can’t believe he’s letting his assistant hear this. Pat is one nasty mother fucker!” Turns out Pat doesn’t even have an assistant.

-While sick, I asked the doctor what I should be eating. He said I could eat anything my stomach could handle – implying I should stick to the basics. I, however, took this as a challenge, and tried to eat literally anything my stomach could handle. Conclusion? 3.5 Gorditas.

-And, finally, the throat culture to test for strep is an awful procedure where the nurse jams a giant cotton swab down the back of your throat. As the nurse came at me, I instinctively recoiled, which caused her to ask, “Oh, do you have a bad gag reflex?” I remained silent because there’s really no appropriate way to answer that question. But it did take me back to my fraternity days, when we were instructed as pledges to drink to capacity, “pull the trigger” (make yourself puke), and then drink some more. Concerned my old training might manifest itself, I steeled myself and took the cotton swab like a champ. “Nah,” I stammered to the nurse, eyes watering, “my gag reflex is just fine.” “Great,” she chirped from behind a surgical mask, “because I’ve got two more swabs.” Fuck me!


Issue #177 – “The Revolution” – October 18th, 2010

-The New York Times recently reported that, for the first time in over a century, there are more people between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-four who aren’t married than are married. That’s right, folks, the battle is over and we won. Single people have taken control. But how will this country fare, you might wonder, now that a minority of young adults are married and the majority are fucking awesome? Much better than you might think. Now that single people rule, change will finally sweep across America. The time has come for a revolution. And it starts just as soon as we’re done with happy hour.

-Obesity is one of the greatest challenges affecting our country. Let’s face it, as soon as the borderline anorexic, pre-wedding ritual of trying to get skinny enough to fit into your tux or wedding dress is over, the first thing married people do is let themselves go. And who can blame them? What’s the point of being healthy or attractive if you’re stuck with the same person for eternity? But with a new majority now in charge, gyms will be packed with single people motivated solely by a desire to impress the opposite sex. I mean, restaurants wouldn’t even offer salad if it wasn’t for girls ordering it on first dates.

-A more pressing concern is the economy, which in my opinion as an economics major is in shambles because of marriage. Have you ever seen married people spend money? No. They’re always saving for a house they’re never gonna buy or contributing to a college fund for kids they don’t even have. Single people are the engine of this economy because if we don’t spend money, we don’t get laid. Now that we run things, expect booming sales of alcohol, condoms, and those shirtdress things all the hot chicks are wearing.

-The way things are headed, it’s only a matter of time before we elect the first single president since the 1800s. For one, the easiest way not to become entangled in a tawdry, career-ending adultery scandal is not to have a wife in the first place. More importantly, though, it’s much easier to climb the political ladder if you don’t have a significant other demanding quality time. You can stay late in the office without qualms. Plus I’d relate to a politician much more if he dispensed with the rote talking points about campaign finance reform and just told us if he was a tit man or an ass man.

-The preponderance of single people now will lead to decreased divorce rates in the future. As I posited in my last book, being single is an excellent opportunity to discover what you need from a relationship. Twenty-five is way too early to get married. You’re three years out of college and fucking clueless. How can you know what you want in a husband or wife if you don’t even know yourself? If I had gotten married six years ago, I’d long since be divorced. Luckily, all my ex-wife would have gotten in the settlement is a lot of IKEA furniture, my VHS collection, and 400 Bed Bath & Beyond coupons.

-To be fair, though, the Times article also states that the recent decline in marriage could be explained by more people in serious relationships just choosing not to officially tie the knot for financial reasons. What always amuses me is when women claim they are comfortable with this arrangement. Bullshit. If your broke-ass live-in boyfriend suddenly got down on one knee and proposed, you’d say yes in a heartbeat. After all, marriage may no longer be trendy, but embarrassingly small diamonds will always be forever.

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

-I hate when people tell me how expensive dinner was the last time they ate at a particular restaurant, and then qualify it by adding, “But we had a bunch of drinks.” Um, do you know me? Massive alcohol consumption must always be assumed and thus calculated into the price.

-It baffles me when people found a company, are the only employee, and give themselves a title in addition to President. One of my buddies owns a t-shirt company, and his business cards read: President & Director of Brand Initiatives. Another friend runs a consulting firm and lists herself as President & Creative Strategist. Why? You’re already the top dog! Perhaps your inane titles are the reason you have no other employees.

-Every day, I watch two shows on ESPN: Around the Horn during lunch and Pardon the Interruption during dinner. The only problem is, my DVR absolutely refuses to record them automatically, so I’m forced to do it manually every single day. All of my series recordings work except for those two. Why does Time Warner Cable discriminate against my penchant for bickering sportswriters? Plus my Internet is slow as shit and my digital landline service is spotty at best. I swear dealing with Time Warner is like a hardcore adult film: I’m getting triple-teamed and fucked.

-My med school friend just referred to infertile lady parts as “baron.” First of all, you can’t be an OB/GYN if you can’t spell “barren.” Second of all, how do you confuse a vagina with the guy who tries to shoot down Snoopy’s airplane?

-I’ve developed a bizarre wasted activity lately. Instead of drunk dialing everyone in my phone or eating disgusting late night food, I’ll just walk all the way home from the bar no matter how far it is. Last weekend I walked over two and a half miles while nearly blacked out. Let me tell you, the best exercise is the kind you have no recollection of.

-I’m even having technical difficulties with my dishwasher. All of a sudden, it’s turning all of my black spatulas white. Googling it reveals that it’s a common problem among people with too much time on their hands, and is often caused by certain dish detergents, which makes no sense since I’ve been using the same kind forever. Then I asked my dad, who hypothesized that maybe my water is “too hot,” which immediately reminded me of that scene from Major League when one of the fans illogically claims a home run ball is “too high.” Taking all of these erudite suggestions into account, I made an informed and logical decision: I just went out and bought some new fucking spatulas. Hey, at least I finally got to use one of those Bed Bath & Beyond coupons.

-And, finally, about a month ago I half-jokingly mentioned on Facebook that I was thinking about joining The comments rolled in at a furious pace: some sharing success stories, even more sharing horror stories, and others suggesting that it would at least make for some good material. I did end up signing up just for the hell of it, but I never paid so I don’t even have a profile. I do, however, get a daily email containing “compatible matches” in my area. I’m less interested in the photos, though, which are in most cases predictably ambiguous and misleading, than in what these girls write. Decades from now, their profiles could serve as historical evidence that explains why unmarried women began outnumbering married ones. Ladies, the men you claim to desire do not exist. I’ve never been described as “chivalrous.” No guy has. I’m not saying your standards are unreasonable. But perhaps they’re just a bit…too high. Fuck me.


Issue #176 – “Revenge of the Daycrawlers” – October 4th, 2010

-When I first coined the term “daycrawler” in 2006 to describe freelancers, the self-employed, or anyone else who spends most of their day at home, we were looked upon with curiosity by some and scorn by others. It’s not a real job, critics scoffed, unless you have an office, an unflattering ID badge, and a thermostat to fight over. But as the economy has tanked and gas prices have risen, careers that entail working from home are now seen in a new light. Thirtysomethings across the land are discovering what I’ve known for years: wearing nothing more than boxers increases productivity, taking mid-day naps boosts morale, and it’s hard to be accused of sexual harassment if there’s no one around to sexually harass. Our day has finally come. This is the revenge of the daycrawlers.

-Working from home requires discipline, especially where I live. If I walk downstairs to get my mail from the lobby, I usually pass other daycrawlers at the pool. These daycrawlers being out-of-work actresses in bikinis. It takes every fiber of my being to continue back upstairs to my apartment and resume whatever I was working on. If the talent warrants it, though, occasionally I’ll stop and flirt for a bit. That’s what the self-employed call “networking.”

-I haven’t had a boss since I left Wall Street in 2002, and the concept remains foreign to me. Occasionally I’ll look someone up on their company’s web site, and their bio will indicate whom they report to. I just can’t fathom having to report to anyone for anything. Even if I had a superior, what could I possibly run by him or her? “Hey, boss, I’m having a little trouble with this script so I think I’m just gonna spend the next three hours watching Jake and Amir videos and then maybe rub one out. Cool? Also, do you mind if I expense all these beers?”

-To me, being a daycrawler is an art form. In that respect, I pride myself on going as long as possible without leaving my apartment. Since I order almost everything online, including groceries, cook most of my own meals, and work out at a gym in the building, I’ve gone days without leaving. My friends are concerned that I’m becoming borderline agoraphobic. But I can assure them I’m fine. I just hate traffic, human interaction, and wearing pants.

-I’m friendly with a few people in my building, and since they know I rarely leave, I’ve become the trusted source for local breaking news. When there’s a blackout, or a water shut-off due to repairs, I inform my non-daycrawling disciples with breathless real-time updates. As they stew in their offices, ruing the fact that they’ll be returning home after a long, hard day of work to no running water or electricity, I smile at my good fortune. That is until I realize I’m filthy and sitting in the dark.

-Daycrawling does of course have a few drawbacks. For me, the most distressing aspect is that there’s no defined end to my workday. I can’t just pack up my things at five and leave the office and my worries behind. When I’m on the couch at night trying to relax, I can still see my desk and my computer, taunting me, trying to guilt me into getting some more writing done. But then I consider the fact that I haven’t been clean-shaven in nearly four years, and remember the girls downstairs in bikinis, and I know it’s all worth it. I don’t need an office. There’s plenty of opportunity for sexual harassment at the pool.

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

-My buddy just told me that he never goes to the ATM because his wife regularly checks his wallet to make sure he has enough cash. If he’s running low, she’ll go to the ATM herself and then replenish his wallet without him knowing. That seems like a perk of marriage that’s just not necessary. It’s like when the dealer tries to sell you an option on a new car that you definitely don’t need. No thanks, but I’ll pass on the racing stripe and do my own banking, thank you very much.

-The gear that I lug to the gym has reached bizarre proportions. Besides the requisite iPod and water bottle, I bring a bath towel that I roll up underneath my arm in order to do my shoulder rehab exercises. I also wear a knee brace because I have patellofemoral syndrome, a condition Shermdog explained in Ruminations #158 as “usually only found in twenty-five-year-old chicks.” Then I have my own foam floor mat to do abs and push-ups because I once read the communal ones in the gym can give you a staph infection. And last but not least, I also use weight lifting gloves. Not because I lift anything particularly heavy, but because I’m too obsessive-compulsive to touch the weights directly and my hands are oh so soft from never having done a day of manual labor in my life.

-Why do television interviews conducted via satellite always end so awkwardly? The banter goes great, but as soon as the anchor wraps up the interview and says thank you, the guest just sits there in awkward silence for three seconds. Why have you all of a sudden lost the power of speech? Just respond, “You’re welcome; thanks for having me,” so they can cut away from you and we can all get on with the rest of our lives!

-My personal favorite treat, Auntie Anne’s, closed down in the mall near me. How could this be? Auntie Anne’s is an integral part of every mall, along with obnoxious teenagers, confusing maps, and one outrageously loud Steve Madden store.

-I’ve started to get reminders in the mail to schedule a flu shot, but it’s blazing hot in LA. I know the temperature has nothing to do with whether you catch the flu (at least I don’t think it does), but it just doesn’t seem right to get a flu shot while everyone is still in tank tops and flip-flops. My motto is, “If there’s girls in bikinis, you don’t need vaccine-ees.” Catchy, right? I’ll even let the CDC use it if they want.

-And, finally, a few weeks ago I was in Santa Barbara, getting ready to officiate my buddy Chi’s wedding. As I was putting on the one suit I own, I made a startling discovery: the collar of my shirt wouldn’t button around my neck. It’s been so many years since I’ve worn a tie and had to button my shirt all the way up that I never even thought to try it on before I packed for the trip. After briefly panicking, I just tied the tie knot high and tight so you couldn’t tell my top button was unbuttoned. A crisis was averted, but I interpreted the whole situation not as a harmless oversight, but rather a sign from the cosmos: I was not meant to wear a tie. It’s my destiny to be a daycrawler. The universe wants me to be free from the shackles of cubicles and corporate America. Well, either that or my neck just got fatter. Fuck me.


Issue #175 – “Third-Life Crisis” – September 20th, 2010

-The mid-life crisis is a well-known phenomenon – you turn fifty, buy a motorcycle, and realize you’re closer to death than you are to birth. The quarter-life crisis has been documented more recently – you graduate college, move back in with your parents, and realize you have no marketable skills. (This is also known as being a whiny bitch.) What gets much less exposure is the third-life crisis – when you hit your thirties, start getting invitations to your friends’ baby showers, and realize your job is slowly destroying your soul. In a way, the third-life crisis is most devastating because it occurs when you’re still young enough to do whatever the hell you want, but just old enough that people look down on you for it. After all, a lot is expected of the thirtysomething generation, but many of us seem content to just get really drunk and disappoint everyone.

-Your first few jobs after college don’t really mean shit – you’re trying to figure things out and are just happy to be getting a paycheck. The hard part is when you turn thirty and realize you still haven’t figured anything out yet – and that paycheck barely covers your newly acquired taste for expensive vodka. You know you’re having a third-life crisis when you’re debating between going back to grad school and going back to Popov.

-I think one of the reasons the third-life crisis is a relatively recent phenomenon is that celebrities are getting younger and younger these days. I mean, how old is that Justin Bieber character? Twelve? No wonder thirtysomethings everywhere are freaking out. When I was as young as some of these “celebs,” my parents wouldn’t even let me have a toy Power Wheels, let alone a real Lamborghini.

-Your thirties are when dating goes from a lighthearted, let’s-see-what-happens pastime to a full-fledged, all-consuming quest. The crisis here is that women can’t date guys my age because we’re flight risks who won’t commit, but if they date older men they could end up having children with a guy who’s already had two knee replacements. And just when single women start to believe all hope for meeting a normal guy is lost, they resort to dating web sites – which only confirm their suspicions.

-The third-life crisis is compounded by the fact that our parents’ generation did everything earlier than us. By the time my parents were thirty-one, they had given birth to me and purchased a house. How can I possibly compete with that? I’m thirty-one, rent a one-bedroom, and am terrified of purchasing a new iPod in case a cooler one comes out the next day.

-Ultimately, the third-life crisis may merely be a function of the massive amount of flux that naturally occurs at this age. I just did a quick mental inventory of my buddies and realized that one just had a kid, one is pregnant, and one is trying to be. Two others just got engaged and a third just got married. Two more just got out of five-year, live-in relationships. Another left a high-paying shitty job for a low-paying awesome one, and yet another is working on his second, completely unrelated graduate degree. I, on the other hand, have done exactly none of those things. Does that make me better off or worse? I guess only time will tell. But if your twenties are about finding yourself, then your thirties seem to be about undoing all those poor decisions you made along the way. Maybe that’s not a crisis, though. Maybe that’s just life. Or maybe I’ve just had too much Popov.

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

-I’m such a cock tease at the ATM because I have two cards – one for my business and one for my personal account. Once I finish a transaction and take my card, I can sense the footsteps of the person behind me in line, followed by a sigh as I insert my second card and continue. Sorry, buddy. I didn’t mean to give you banking blue balls.

-I was hitting on a girl recently who told me how her job takes her around the world, and that she finds travel “exuberating.” As we continued talking, I discreetly tweeted that this wasted chick had just made up a word by combining “exuberant” and “exhilarating.” Only later when I Googled it did I realize it’s actually a real word. Now, granted, given the situation, I’m 100% positive that she stumbled upon it and did not use it on purpose, but nevertheless I feel humbled. I guess the world can learn a lot from slurring drunk chicks.

-I love watching hipsters move – their spindly, flannel-clad arms can barely lift a box.

-I’d rather you respond to none of my emails than one out of every five.

-How come the GPS navigation lady only interrupts during the best parts of the song?

-If you call it a “curriculum vitae” instead of a resume, don’t bother applying.

-Last month, I ran into an old friend in LA whom I hadn’t seen in a while. He informed me that not only had he just gotten engaged, but that he met his fiancee at one of my local stand-up shows. A few weeks before that, I got an email from one of my fans in Boston. At a show I did there last year, he got the phone number of the girl sitting behind him. They just moved in together. Quite frankly, I’m flattered so much “rumidating” is going on. Still, I’m a little concerned that no one is paying attention to me when I’m on stage.

-One of the best parts about writing this column has always been reading emails from my subscribers. Besides those that inform me I somehow played a role in two fans getting married (which, honestly, I’d rather not be responsible for), some of my favorite emails are from people who used to read this when it was merely a forward floating around the Internet in college, and recently discovered I’m still writing. In fact, this issue marks the thirteenth anniversary of Ruminations. Words cannot express how it feels to have received such an incredible amount of love and support from the RumiNATION over the years. So I’m just gonna go with “exuberating.”

-And, finally, sometimes it’s refreshing to get a little dose of your own medicine. A bunch of my buddies from back in New York – including my famously tongue-tied former roommate Brian – were in California last week for a wedding, and we went wine tasting. As I observed the guy at the vineyard prepare a glass for red wine that had previously held white wine by swishing some red around in it and then discarding it, I had an epiphany. “What if,” I said to Brian, “we invented some sort of liquid that could clean the glass without wasting all that wine? It could be huge!” “Karo, that already exists,” he replied, shaking his head smugly. “It’s called water.” Fuck me.


Issue #174 – “Orientation” – August 30th, 2010

-It’s hard to believe it’s been thirteen years since I moved into the freshman dorms. I remember it was a tumultuous few days – exciting, nerve-wracking, and hot as fucking balls. As millions of kids across the country begin their own college journey this week, I can’t help but wonder how different their experiences will be from mine. My room didn’t have air conditioning, I didn’t own a cell phone, and Facebook was an actual, physical book with pictures of all the freshmen printed in it. Still, I think there are some words of wisdom my generation can share with this year’s incoming class – wisdom those snot-nosed punks will no doubt ignore as they go back to tweeting while on their school’s brand-new rock climbing wall.

-First lesson: your major does not matter. I have an Econ degree but I’m an author. Back when I worked on Wall Street, the guy crunching numbers next to me had an English degree. The only majors that employers notice are Communications and Sociology – both of which signify that you learned nothing in school except how to drink yourself into oblivion and never go to class.

-College relationships are not built to last. You may envision life after graduation with your boyfriend or girlfriend but it’s not gonna happen. The real world is filled with bills and taxes and careers and responsibility. Trust me, that sophomore who fingered you at the black light party is not the man of your dreams.

-Are you a surly meathead who wears wristbands even when not exercising? Congratulations! You are now a bouncer at the campus bar. You don’t even need to fill out an application.

-No one at school is more stressed than the kid with the 4.0.

-Fraternities and sororities are the stupidest things ever – unless you’re in one, in which case they’re the greatest things ever. Don’t bother trying to plead your case to someone on the other side, though; you have a better chance of achieving peace in the Middle East.

-I never learned to funnel a beer in college and still can’t. So as soon as you get to campus: practice, practice, practice. Regret is a terrible thing to live with.

-It’s very important to respect the non-students who live in your college town. Only drunkenly piss in flowers that need watering, and always blast music that the townies may not be familiar with but you think they might enjoy. They’re sure to appreciate it.

-In the end, I think every generation believes their time in college was the craziest. These days, full-on frat parties at my alma mater are a dying breed. But when I was at school, they were all the rage. And the generation before me partied at a bar in the center of campus – not near campus, not down the street, I mean literally next door to a classroom building. At that rate, it’s not hard to imagine students in the 1960s blatantly sipping cocktails in the middle of exams. Most likely, of course, Sociology or Communications.

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

-My wireless router isn’t working so I’ve been connecting the Ethernet cable directly from the modem to my computer in order to get online. It’s the exact same Internet, and it’s probably even faster, but for some reason it bothers me to no end that I can’t get it wirelessly. I haven’t moved my laptop from its spot on my desk in months, but I still want the ability to sit on my couch and surf the web while casually sipping coffee, even though I’ve never done that in my entire life – and don’t even drink coffee.

-Please don’t jam a lime into my Corona. I’ll do it myself; your thumb is disgusting.

-Since I go to physical therapy three times a week to rehab my surgically repaired shoulder, on those days I don’t go to the gym. Surprisingly, it didn’t take much to convince myself that laying on my side, checking my BlackBerry with my good arm, and doing three-pound curls with my bad one, is just as vigorous as my usual workout.

-You know you’re in a shitty restaurant when the wait staff barrel toward you while you’re on your way to the restroom instead of politely stepping aside and letting you pass.

-I went to the car wash recently and it was a ghost town. There was no line and I zipped right through. Twenty minutes later, it started pouring. Now clearly the car wash employees knew it was going to rain, and knew I didn’t know it was going to rain. Don’t they have some obligation to clue me in? Come on, guys, it’s Los Angeles; I haven’t checked the weather report in five years.

-I hate the fact that when the people who live above me fuck up their plumbing, I’m the one who has to deal with the leak. The handyman always asks me, “So, how long has it been dripping?” “I don’t know,” I want to answer, “why don’t you try asking my upstairs neighbors when they started jamming avocados down the fucking garbage disposal!?”

-I’ve seen a guy down the block from me walking a dog so big it looks like a bear. I mean, it’s fucking huge. I’m telling you, this dog is so big and it’s so white, I honestly think it could be a polar bear. The ice caps must be melting faster than we thought.

-Instead of writing a post about how you’ve been too busy to update your blog, just delete your fucking blog.

-And, finally, last week I received a reminder from Penn about my ten-year college reunion, which will take place next May. Where does the time go? I remember throwing up in my shoes freshman year. I remember explaining to my parents why there were handcuffs chained to the radiator in my room in the fraternity house (the previous occupant put them there, I swear). I remember realizing I had gained the Junior 15 and it was time to hit the gym for the first time ever. And I remember my final act of college: speaking at graduation. I envy those attending freshman orientation this week. They have so many memories ahead of them. Memories they’ll share via Facebook in their air-conditioned dorm rooms – complete with wireless Internet. Fuck me!


Issue #173 – “Meet the Have-Knots” – August 16th, 2010

-When my single buddy Jeff returned home from a wedding last week, I asked him if he had any more coming up. He said no. “This summer?” I asked. “No,” he clarified. “No more weddings at all. Literally everyone I know is married.” Because Jeff is three years older than me, it struck me that I will soon meet the same fate. After all, it was 2006 when I first described the growing rift between people who are already married or about to tie the knot (“the Haves”), and those of us who are too emotionally insecure and sexually adventurous to even consider settling down (“the Have-Knots”). Since I hit my thirties, the conflict has only grown. Have-Knots are a dying breed. Our habitat – the singles table – is being wiped out. Our only hope is to recruit a new generation of forward-thinking, unattached individuals (after trying to sleep with them first, of course).

-I feel like my recently married female friends are suddenly supportive of my lascivious ways. The reason, I’m convinced, is that women don’t want other women to be happy. If I’m sleeping around and being a dick, I represent one less prospect – and my married girl friends can bask in the knowledge that they got hitched when the going was good. It’s so depraved I’m actually a little impressed.

-Two of my best friends, Chi and Cat, are getting married next month. Chi sent an email to the wedding party, informing the guys we would be wearing tan suits. No one has a fucking tan suit or wants to buy or rent one, and so a flurry of hateful reply-to-alls ensued. Chi eventually acquiesced and is now allowing us to wear black suits instead. It was the first successful Groomsmen Rebellion in recorded wedding history.

-Last year, one of my fraternity brothers called me the week his wedding invitations went out to inform me I would not be getting one. He was actually doing it out of courtesy and not to be a dick, and I took it as such. Plus, it was the best news I’d heard all day, since I saved so much money by not going to his wedding. Basically, my buddy wrote me a check for $500 and then said he was sorry about it. No need to apologize, my man.

-One no-brainer in any wedding ceremony is to have a cute little ring bearer or flower girl. Even I can’t help but smile at that. But the cutoff is when the kid is too young to fucking walk. No one wants to see a newborn get pushed down the aisle in a stroller. Get a child actor. If I have to rent a suit you can certainly bring in a ringer to toss rose petals.

-I’ve had the same cleaning woman all five years I’ve lived in LA, and she told me she was going to send me an invitation to her upcoming wedding, but I never got anything. I was disappointed because she’s Guatemalan and I feel like it would have been a great experience and a total blast. I’m also a little offended. I mean, it’s not like she doesn’t know my address.

-Ex-Girlfriend, the chick I dated back in New York, got married this past weekend. So, essentially, if I had continued on that path, or not moved to LA, I could be married right now. It’s weird how life is like one of those old-school “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. One fateful decision means the difference between becoming a Have or a Have-Knot. (And I guess divorce is when you cheat, skip back a few pages, and choose again.) I’m happy that Ex-G is happy; she deserves it. But I shudder to think how easily I could be the one picking out tan suits and imperiously uninviting people. I chose wisely.

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

-The pedals on the exercise bike in my gym are marked Left and Right. Think about that. It’s an exercise bike. There’s no way you can get on that shit backwards.

-Can’t find that crucial document you were just looking at? You left it in the copy machine, every time.

-Please remove the plus sign from in front of the phone number in your email signature. No one is calling you from overseas. You share a cubicle with two other people, one of whom does not even possess a high school diploma. Your phone probably doesn’t even have long distance. Your pathetic delusions of grandeur amuse me.

-I love when an Out-of-Office auto-reply informs me that the person in question doesn’t even work at the company anymore. It’s just so dramatic, right? “The employee you are trying to reach will not be available…ever!” Every once in a while I’ll get one where the person has merely set their OOO to the latest possible return date. It’s like, “Jane Smith will be out of the office until January 1, 3015.” Whoa!!!

-The sound a blender makes when you first turn it on never seems right.

-Is it bad that I think I’d like to be in a relationship just so I can have someone to clean up the hairline on the back of my neck every couple of weeks? With that taken care of, I could potentially go years without a haircut. It might even be worth the monogamy.

-The Genius Bar in Apple stores is no different than an auto mechanic. The dude could tell me anything is wrong with my computer and I would have no way to verify it. Plus, the “geniuses” are such weirdoes. The other day I had a guy literally press my MacBook Pro up to his ear and listen to it like the Laptop Whisperer. Listen, Jeremy, I don’t need your fucking earwax all up in my trackpad. Take a bath for God’s sake.

-I overheard a woman at the bank bragging how her eighth-grade grandson downloaded tons of books onto his Kindle to take with him to summer camp. I wondered if she realized just how many pieces that Kindle was mostly likely already smashed into.

-And, finally, next month, when my friends Chi and Cat get married, I will be participating in a way I never imagined. They’ve asked me to officiate their wedding, meaning I will be sworn in as a Deputy Civil Marriage Commissioner in Santa Barbara County, and actually perform the ceremony. It’s a great honor for sure, and one I do not take lightly. I’ve taken it upon myself to write the greatest service ever, and eliminate everything the priest or rabbi usually blabs on about even though no one gives a shit. Although I’m accustomed to speaking in front of hundreds if not thousands of people, I’ve never felt more pressure than this performance. When Chi and Cat put the rings on each other’s fingers and I pronounce them husband and wife, it promises to be a moment they will remember forever. And as soon as I hit the open bar, one I’ll quickly forget. Fuck me.


Issue #172 – “I Hate LA” – August 2nd, 2010

-This past Saturday was the five-year anniversary of my move from New York to Los Angeles. I’ve even experienced the five stages of grief since leaving Manhattan – though somewhat out of order. First there was denial: “I’m not moving to LA, I’m just visiting for a while.” Next there was bargaining: “Okay, I’ll sign a one-year lease, but then I’ll go back to NYC.” Then there was depression: “If I see another palm tree I’m gonna shoot myself.” That was followed by acceptance: “Who am I kidding? I’m never leaving.” And last but not least, I’ve entered the final stage: anger. Quite frankly, I hate LA.

-My car has a navigation system that shows you real-time traffic. Every time I pull out of my driveway in West Hollywood and turn it on, little red and yellow cars that signify traffic jams pop up on every single street within a five-mile radius. It’s totally pointless. I keep expecting the nav’s robotic voice to say: “Make a left, then another left, then another left, then another left back into your driveway and never leave the house again.”

-There is no place to get a normal fucking sandwich here. I don’t want Quiznos, I don’t want Subway, I don’t want to spend more than eight bucks, and I don’t want to go anywhere “famous.” I want a single deli counter with a rickety ceiling fan and a grumpy guy in a paper hat who doesn’t take any guff. Is that too much to ask? And while we’re at it: no, I would not like avocado jammed into every fucking meal. It does not belong!

-Strangely, the thing that a lot of my friends hate most about LA – the people – is the one thing that doesn’t really bother me. Sure there are hordes of douchey agent types, but they’re no worse than bankers in New York. And there are certainly many stereotypical hot-as-balls but dumb-as-bricks actress wannabes, but they’re kind of fun to try to fuck. I’ve actually met some great people out here. If you think about it, LA is a little like college. As I wrote in Ruminations #2, during freshman year a close friend was someone who had an industrial-sized fan and a grilled cheese maker. In Los Angeles, he’s the one who knows where to get a decent turkey sandwich and the quickest route to LAX.

-LA is a great place to be in a relationship but a shitty place to be single. There’s cool stuff to do at night if you’re a lame couple, plus you always have a designated driver, and last call is at 1:30am anyway so that’s really the latest you’re forced to stay out. Of course, all of those attributes work against single people. There’s nothing like the lights going on when you’re just getting a buzz going and then having to navigate a three-cab, two-car hullabaloo just to get everyone home safely. Sometimes getting laid in LA seems to require endless patience, a breathalyzer, and a degree in city planning.

-When people visit LA, they always ask me where they can spot celebs. I try to tell them, trust me, you don’t want to see any celebrities. For one, who gives a shit? Plus, you’re just gonna get trampled by TMZ cameramen as soon as they catch wind of it. And most importantly, it will only make you question your life choices and the future of America. I was at a bar this summer when the cast of Jersey Shore rolled in. People lost their fucking minds. Personally, I’d rather hang out with the mannequin from the movie “Mannequin” than these clowns. (Not Kim Cattrall; I mean the actual mannequin.) As I left the bar, reminded once again how much I hate LA, I noticed one guy who no doubt disagreed with me. Sitting in the corner, being completely ignored in favor of a bunch of reality show meatheads, was a very happy Leonardo DiCaprio.

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

-I’m attracted to successful, ambitious women, but I never know when to call to ask them out. Too early and she’s annoyed I blew up her cell at work. Too late and she’s already in bed, exhausted from a long day. Listen, I’m all for women wearing the pants, but how am I supposed to get in them?

-Why do hotels allow you to cancel on a whim up to 24 hours beforehand instead of charging you up front like airlines do? It seems like hotels are missing a vital opportunity to fuck us. Stop being such a pushover, hotel industry.

-The five sweetest words in the English language: “This is not a bill.”

-There is a small but growing tear in the cushion of my leather couch. Both Google and the store where I bought the sofa tell me that there’s not really much I can do that won’t be very expensive or make it worse. Apparently, a minor rip is the furniture equivalent of a terminal illness. I guess the only thing I can do now is make sure it’s comfortable, which shouldn’t be too difficult. You know, because it’s a couch.

-I went to Comic-Con in San Diego last weekend. It’s so crowded and so weird and so awesome. You’ve never seen so many fat Princess Leias and virgins dressed as Iron Man. The only attendees I felt bad for, though, were the little kids who were forced to dress up with their parents. Listen, Mom and Dad, your child doesn’t want to be a Klingon. Why don’t you just beat him up yourselves and save his classmates the trouble?

-Stop sending mass emails apologizing that your email account was “hacked into.” You’re a fucking nobody. No one hacked into your account. You have a virus. Probably caught it from stupidity.

-Since I’m still recovering from shoulder surgery and my activities are restricted, I’ve taken to riding the exercise bike at the gym. One thing I’ve noticed is that…the bike isn’t plugged into anything. It gives me an electronic onscreen readout, but there’s definitely no power cord. It is possessed? Does it run on batteries? Or am I merely powering it with my pedaling like some sort of giant hamster wheel? I’m going with possessed.

-And, finally, the obvious question about my five-year anniversary of moving to LA is, “Karo, why don’t you just move back to New York?” Well, simply put, I can’t. This is where the entertainment industry is. In between the books and columns and stand-up shows that you guys have seen, I’ve also sold a bunch of pilots and met every studio and network executive who will have me. That can’t happen unless I’m here eating avocado. In fact, the name of the web site TMZ actually comes from the term “Thirty Mile Zone,” which is the union-designated area of LA where most TV shows and movies are produced. Once you exit that area, you’re as irrelevant as if you moved to Canada. So in a way, LA is like “The Truman Show,” only everyone is aware they’re being filmed and no one tries to leave the bubble. Though that might be just because of the traffic. Fuck me!


Issue #171 – “Lord of the Slings” – July 19th, 2010

-Prior to having it repaired earlier this month, I protected my injured left shoulder with a CVS brand sling to prevent it from spontaneously dislocating. After surgery, I was given what I call the Lord of the Slings – a monstrous sling contraption complete with a separate pad that straps around my waist to cushion my arm. Having surgery and being stuck in a sling for six weeks and counting has been a trying experience – as in I’ve spent a lot of time trying not to drunkenly re-injure myself. I’m confident, though, that as soon as I’ve recovered I’ll rejoin the fray with abandon. After all, it’s damn near impossible to reach for the stars when your arm is velcroed to a pillow around your waist.

-Since my shoulder started bothering me, I’ve been consulting with my two fraternity brothers who are now orthopedic surgeons – Shermdog and Triplet #3. And by “consulting” I mean calling them wasted at 5am after my shoulder pops out yet again. They are both always eager to help, but what depresses me most is that drunk dialing my male doctor friends is the closest I’ve come to a booty call in quite some time.

-I waited for several hours in pre-op before my surgery, during which time I befriended a twenty-year-old college kid who looked exactly like Shia LaBeouf and was having Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm. I shared some sage wisdom with him, namely that if you’re a twenty-year-old college kid with a bum elbow who looks like Shia LeBeouf, quit the baseball team immediately and concentrate on laying as much pipe as possible. He’ll thank me someday.

-In the operating room, the anesthesiologist asked me what music I’d like to hear while he put me under. I requested Jay-Z, not realizing that there’s no need to get pumped up for something I was going to be unconscious for. I don’t remember which track he put on, but I do recall that it was explicit to the point of being inappropriate and everyone in the OR seemed uncomfortable. In other words, exactly the environment you want going into surgery.

-The procedure was a success and I got the external stitches out last week. Since the surgery was arthroscopic, I’ll just have two one-inch scars on the front of my shoulder, and one in the back. The only other scars I have are on the inside of my right knee from falling off my bike about seventeen years ago, and in my belly button from an appendectomy in 2001. So basically I have the least cool collection of scars ever. Even my options for lying are limited: “Oh, that there in my belly button? Yeah, tickle fight accident.”

-I don’t start physical therapy for another couple of weeks, though I’ve been told that’s the hardest part of recovery. This being LA and all, I bet my odds of getting an attractive female therapist are quite strong. This is important because when attempting to lift a five-pound weight makes me cry, I want to be sure I’m in the presence of a beautiful woman.

-What I didn’t realize going into surgery is that the anchors used to reattach my labrum (the shoulder ligament I FUBAR’d), are not dissolvable. So I’m gonna have these sutures inside my shoulder for the rest of my life. While I’ll never feel or notice them, I hope they’ll serve as a silent reminder of what I just went through. I’m not invincible. And I’m definitely not a twenty-year-old college kid anymore. I merely act like one.

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

-I consider myself a sports fanatic, but under no circumstances would I consider going to the airport to greet my team after they’ve won a championship. I try to spend as little time at the airport as possible. There’s gonna be a parade, right? Let them come to me.

-Fact: on June 27th, I met the dumbest person alive. She was sitting next to me and asked if I knew where to find the restroom. We were on a plane.

-What the fuck do people do to the computers in hotel business centers? Spyware, viruses, taskbars half the size of the screen, it’s ridiculous. All I want to do is print my boarding pass but apparently my fellow travelers have other ideas, like downloading 400 versions of Internet Explorer and spilling honey on the keys.

-The same week my little cousin Matthew gave me some of his Silly Bandz, I was at a barbeque and got “Iced” for the first time. It just goes to show that you’re never too old to sample a rapidly dying fad.

-If I email you, requesting that you ask a mutual acquaintance a question for me, don’t just forward on my original email to that person. There’s a reason I’m using you as a middleman, but now you’ve played me for a fool.

-There’s no need to have a giant pitcher, water bottle, or jug on your desk that you drink from all day long. Nobody needs that much fucking water. You’re creeping everyone out.

-The good news is that the surgeon said, “You’ll be back on your feet in no time.” The bad news is that he was operating on my shoulder.

-Whenever a member of my family calls and I don’t pick up, they make sure to mention in their voicemail, “You’re probably sleeping.” There are many reasons why I might not pick up the phone. True, this particular time I happened to be sleeping, but don’t assume!

-I sincerely hope the trend of businesses placing hand sanitizer everywhere soon extends to ATMs. I can’t imagine what diseases the slobs who use my ATM are carrying – considering they can’t even bother to either take their receipts or successfully throw them in a garbage can that’s six inches away.

-And, finally, two topics I’ve written about extensively over the years are the extravagant birthday pub crawls I used to organize every summer in New York, and my philandering frat buddy Shermdog, who’s now a surgeon. In 2006, Shermdog hooked up with a girl he met on one of my crawls and began dating her. Last week, he texted me that he had returned to the bar where they met and was about to propose. And so, in one fell swoop, two of my fondest memories – the legend of Shermdog and the debauchery of my pub crawls – were tarnished forever. Although I’m glad Shermdog has found his soulmate, and I know my shoulder couldn’t handle another pub crawl anyway, the vestiges of my twentysomething life continue to disappear. Soon all I’ll have left are memories, and a lame belly button scar. Fuck me.


Issue #170 – “31*” – June 14th, 2010

-There’s a great scene in 61* – the movie about Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chasing Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record – where Mantle tells Maris that he’s too hurt to keep playing. “He’s all yours if you want him,” Mantle says of Ruth, “You go get that fat fuck.” As my thirty-first birthday approaches on Friday and my ailing shoulder continues to hamper me, I feel a little like Mickey Mantle: plagued by injuries yet still chasing tail and boozing heavily. I also feel a little like Roger Maris: pursuing elusive goals despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Thus I’ve decided to give my own upcoming birthday an asterisk. My first year as a thirtysomething was no doubt eventful, but I still believe the best is yet to come. Success, love, happiness, and health are my Babe Ruth. And I will continue to chase that fat fuck.

-My first encounter with mortality came two weeks ago, when I got an MRI on my shoulder, which has dislocated nine times in the past eight months. Being in that scary little tube really makes you ponder your existence: Why is this happening to me? When did I get old? How much is this going to cost? And where the hell are Olivia Wilde and Omar Epps with their witty banter?

-This is the first time in six years I won’t be holding my notorious birthday pub crawl in New York. I don’t do anything half-ass, and each year’s seven-hour, nine-bar crawl featured drink specials, maps, and souvenir cups. It’s not that I’ve gotten too old for all that drinking, it’s just that it’s really far to walk.

-My online grocery store delivered the wrong Healthy Choice meal the other day and it really made me feel immature. Partly because I’m almost thirty-one and still regularly eat microwaveable dinners. But mostly because the meal was called a “Beef Steamer” and the sexual innuendo made me giggle.

-I think the older you get, the harder it is to figure out what you want for your birthday. The things I truly desire these days are either very expensive or completely intangible. My mom asked me last week what I really wanted and I replied, “A new car or for my upstairs neighbors to stop being so loud.”

-I got my first gray hair on August 18th, 2005 (I know this because I wrote it in my calendar). Now I’ve got about a half-dozen on each side of my head, right above the ear. I used to pluck them or shave them off but I recently just gave up. Some guys’ graying hair is characterized as “salt and pepper” or “distinguished,” but mine is better described as “spotty” or “indicative of no longer caring about one’s personal appearance.”

-So after months of hemming and hawing, I finally decided to schedule shoulder surgery for a few weeks after my birthday (I want to make sure I’m completely recovered from the subsequent hangover). Oxymoronic as it may be, it’s considered minor surgery. Still, I consider it a wake-up call of sorts. I’m not indestructible after all. In my thirty-one years on this earth, I’ve worked hard and played harder. And now, for the first time, I’m paying the price. But when I wake up from the anesthesia, the first things I plan on asking the doctor are: When can I type? When can I drink? And can you recommend an attractive female physical therapist? Because once I’ve recovered, Babe Ruth better watch out.

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

-People who reply “every day is different” when asked about their job should just respond truthfully and say that work is one giant pain in the ass.

-I recently went to exchange a broken remote control at a Time Warner Cable payment center in LA. When I left the building, I noticed there were marks to measure your height on the doorway. I thought, oh, that’s cute – while their parents are waiting in line, little kids can play around and see how tall they are. When I got to the parking lot, it struck me that the marks are actually for police to better identify the height of suspects on security camera footage as they flee the store after robbing it. So I guess Time Warner is a “glass half empty” kind of company.

-This is LA for you: I went to a ‘90s themed barbecue over Memorial Day weekend and I swear it took me an hour before I even realized people were in costume.

-Since I do all my grocery shopping online, I have very little concept of how much food is supposed to cost – unless it’s alcohol. Show me a thumbnail of a green pepper and I couldn’t tell you within two dollars what a reasonable price might be. But click over to the virtual beer aisle and I could win The Price is Right with my uncanny accuracy.

-There are very, very few locations in this country where it’s acceptable for your Facebook to list Hometown and Current City as the same place.

-I hate when people email me, skip a line, write “Thanks,” and then let their email signature serve as their name. I get it: you’re busy, you’re a vice president, and you’re using your middle initial now. But don’t tell me you’re above typing out your own name.

-Every time I’m asked to sign a Privacy Statement at the doctor’s office I feel like it just consists of a list of different methods in which my privacy will be violated.

-I just spent the whole day with a good buddy of mine. We grabbed some food, walked his dog, and watched the game. It was only as I was getting up to leave that I noticed he had been wearing jorts the entire time. I was completely stunned that I hadn’t noticed this beforehand, but didn’t hesitate to remind him that the ‘90s party was last week.

-And, finally, one thing I’ve realized about turning thirty-one is that the age of blowout birthday parties is probably over. At twenty-one, twenty-five, and thirty, my friends and I celebrated with authority. But no one gives a shit when you turn thirty-five. And, forty, well, at this rate I’ll be the only single, babyless guy around. Plus I don’t think fortysomethings are legally allowed on pub crawls. So for my birthday this year I’m just gonna celebrate quietly with a few dozen drinks with friends on both coasts and hope my shoulder doesn’t pop out in the process. I need that arm to comb my gray hairs. Fuck me.