Fashion Tip for Middle-Aged Men: Hair to Dye For

Fashion Tip for Middle-Aged Men: Hair to Dye For

I’m 63. By the time most men reach this milestone, they have more than a touch of gray, like me. Some men have gone completely white on top. And in the case of my older brother, there is scant evidence he ever had hair.

But then I noticed at my yoga class that the women didn’t seem to have this problem. Their ages range from 50 to 75. And yet, not one of them has a single gray hair. The obvious takeaway is that women have a much easier life than men.

Then it struck me like a thunderbolt – their youthful-looking hair was a dye job. I know this to be so because I conducted a survey of the class  – and now none of them will speak to me.

That gave me an idea – perhaps I could look younger too if I colored my hair. What’s the worst that could happen? So, I did it. I would like to pass along to other men just how simple the procedure is. The whole experience will take years off your life, I mean, off your appearance.

Below is the exact step-by-step method I followed. You might want to take notes. 

Step 1: Get out of your comfort zone and do something daring. Realize that your past efforts to “pray away the gray” have been futile. Take the plunge and decide to dye your hair.

Step 2: Choose your desired hair color. Be bold. If you’re thinking purple or green, stop! I said be bold, not be a circus clown.

Step 3: Go to the pharmacy and decide which brand you most identify with: Just for Men, Manly Guy, or Natural Instincts. Look at the photos on the packaging. Choose the one whose picture most closely matches your vague recollection of your former self – the HAIR color, not the ruggedly handsome face on the box.

Step 4: Accidentally purchase a color two shades darker than your natural tint. Fail to notice this until it’s too late.

Step 5: Apply the dye. Get distracted by a radio broadcast about a seven-year-old in Nebraska with the world’s largest bunny rabbit and inadvertently leave the goop on your scalp for nine minutes instead of the recommended maximum five. Continue reading “Fashion Tip for Middle-Aged Men: Hair to Dye For” »

Welcome to Portland

Welcome to Portland

[The following is a message from the Portland, Oregon Visitors’ Bureau.]

Welcome to Portland, Oregon, America’s Most Livable Liberal City.

If you’re planning to spend a few days in the Rose City, we at the Portland Visitor’s Bureau would like to offer a few friendly suggestions to help make your stay as pleasant as possible.

First, we might as well get this one right out of the way. In Portland, we’re slightly left of center in our politics. If you’re a lifelong Republican or you accidentally voted for Donald Trump, no need to apologize. But, you might want to rethink your travel plans. We hear Tulsa is a place you might enjoy, with its expansive plains and oil rig fields.

But if you’re someone who thinks Hillary should have been our 45th president, or better still, Bernie, or even better yet, Spider-Man, then you’ll feel right at home here. Our city’s motto is KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD. In case you thought that was Austin, Texas’ motto, you’re right. We don’t mind sharing.

One of our more iconic residents is The Unipiper. He can be seen pedaling around town on his unicycle, donning a Darth Vader helmet while playing the Star Wars theme on his bag pipes, as they shoot flames. In most cities, such a sight might be a bit unnerving. Here in Portland, we just wave and say, “Hi, Brian.”

We’re extremely laid back about most things – that’s because at any given time, roughly half of us are stoned. We don’t mind if you’re a couple hours late to work, so long as you remember to buy a latte for a co-worker when you stop at Stumptown Coffee on your way in. Continue reading “Welcome to Portland” »

Side-By-Side Comparison of the Roomba vs. the Timba

Side-By-Side Comparison of the Roomba vs. the Timba

Recently I ordered one of those cool robot vacuums called a Roomba. It’s pretty amazing. It will quietly clean an entire floor while only mildly terrorizing the cats. And when it’s all done, it returns to its charging station and goes to sleep.

We’ve had it now for a couple weeks. In the interest of science, and to my great chagrin, my wife decided to do a side-by-side comparison of the Roomba and her previous ‘Go-To’ method of vacuuming – her humanoid husband, Tim. For purposes of this peer-to-peer product review, my wife’s once indispensable husband will henceforth be referred to as “Timba.”

Design

Roomba: Elegant, smooth, circular shape. Compact. Less than 24 inches wide. Has rotating soft but powerful whiskers that brush dirt into the machine, which then sucks it up. Great along walls and corners.

Timba: Also comes with a circular shape – mainly around the belly. Has two-day old extremely abrasive whiskers (because it couldn’t locate its razor). Tends to skip walls and corners, which it figures will go unnoticed.

Reliability

Roomba: Like clockwork. Can even be programmed to repeat the cleaning process daily. 

Timba: Like a broken clock. Not noted for its reliability, often responding to multiple chore reminders with the phrase, “I know. I’ll get around to it. Stop bugging me.”

Maintenance required

Roomba: Minimal. Comes with one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Receives 4.5 stars on Amazon customer reviews. 

Timba: According to a focus group consisting of its wife, the Timba is high-maintenance, especially when it’s hungry or didn’t get its usual ten hours of sleep. Requires regular infusion of pizza and peanut butter to stay focused. Needs constant reinforcement from the wife for accomplishing the bare minimum on the ‘to-do’ list.  Continue reading “Side-By-Side Comparison of the Roomba vs. the Timba” »

The Amazing Happiness Diet

The Amazing Happiness Diet

I’m excited to announce that recently I went on a diet and have lost forty-five pounds (true). I didn’t follow any of those silly fad weight reduction schemes like the Mediterranean or Adkins or Weight Watchers or even serious programs like the Just Eat Cake Diet (still not sure how that one works). It’s actually a regimen of my own invention. I call it The Happiness Diet. And it’s incredibly simple because it requires only two steps.

Step One: Write down all the foods that give you happiness. (Take your time. Be thorough.)

Step Two: Don’t eat anything on that list.

That’s it. No other restrictions. If you follow my Happiness Diet exactly as outlined above, you’ll lose a lot of unwanted pounds (as well as any reason for living) – guaranteed!

Let’s practice how it works, okay? Let’s say there are two food groups. In Group A we have a slice of pepperoni pizza, cookie dough ice cream, a bag of Pepperidge farm cookies, and a glazed donut. In Group B we have kale, broccoli, lentil and carrots.

If you determined that Food Group A gives you more happiness, congratulations. You’re a normal, honest human being. However, if you indicated that you prefer the items from Group B, then you are – how shall I say this? A BIG FAT LIAR! Get off your high horse. Who else are you lying to? Your spouse? Your kids? You disgust me.

Here’s the important takeaway for my patented Happiness Diet. You must strictly avoid all foods that give you any pleasure – unless you’re training to be a Sumo wrestler. Then by all means, have another sleeve of Double Stuff Oreos. Or, if you’re the lead in a theater production about President William Howard Taft, who tipped the scales at 350 lbs., and for whom was built the largest porcelain tub ever made for an individual, then sure, you have my permission to hit the nearest Dairy Queen for breakfast.

Continue reading “The Amazing Happiness Diet” »

My Action Plan for Today: Just Don’t Do It!

My Action Plan for Today: Just Don’t Do It!

Most days, I try to live up to that inspirational Nike slogan: Just Do It! I answer my email. I do the chores – sometimes with only a few irreparable mistakes. I even exercise. Today, however, was not one of those inspired days. Today was a Just DON’T Do It kind of day.

I started with the best of intentions. Last night I wrote my goals for today – because I read somewhere that people who write down their goals are far more likely to accomplish them, succeed in life, bear attractive children and win the Nobel Prize than people who don’t. I had visions of forsaking watching The View and powering through my To Do list, even making dinner for my wife. Then I woke up.

Below is my original action plan for today, followed by the results I achieved. Well, maybe “achieved” is overstating it a bit. Let’s just say that my Nobel Prize is looking increasingly out of reach.

PLAN: 6:00: Out of bed. Shower, shave, brush teeth, etc.

REALITY: Turns out the snooze button taps out at 10 smacks. Skipped shower, shaving, etc. Rationalized that good hygiene is overrated – plus, saved on my water bill.

PLAN: 6:30: Make a healthy breakfast of fruit and low-fat yogurt. Maybe a kale shake.

REALITY: Maybe NOT a kale shake. Way behind schedule. (I blame Westclox, inventor of the snooze clock, circa 1959). Healthy breakfast preempted by a need to Google “Inventor of snooze alarm.” Scarfed down a frosted apple-cinnamon pop tart and a slice of cold pineapple-topped pizza. On the positive side, met my daily fruit requirement.

PLAN: 7:00: 45 minutes on the elliptical. Lift weights. Continue reading “My Action Plan for Today: Just Don’t Do It!” »

A Husband’s Burden – Clothes Shopping with Your Wife

A Husband’s Burden – Clothes Shopping with Your Wife

Marriage is one of the most wonderful experiences in the world, second only, some would argue, to not being married. All marriages have their ups and downs. If you ask me, the key to a long, happy marriage is to be patient, keep the lines of communication open, and at all costs, not to get sucked into shopping with your wife.

Nowhere are the fundamental differences between men and women more pronounced than by how we shop. There are two ways of going about this: the way women do it and the correct way. When men enter a retail store, the purchasing experience usually goes something like this:

Man: Do you have these sneakers in size 10?

Store clerk: Yes, we do.

Man: Great. Here’s my credit card.

The entire transaction lasts roughly the length of an Old Spice commercial.

For women, on the other hand, shopping involves a complex journey through countless retail stores on a quest for the elusive Hope Diamond of outfits. If you’re obliging enough to tag along, buckle up, buddy. You’re in for a long, exhausting ride. And if your wife insists on bringing your seven-year-old twins along for some new outfits, well, not to sound overly dramatic, but there’s a 10% chance you may not make it out alive.

Let’s back up. If your wife asks if you’d like to accompany her to the mall “to check out some sales,” there is, of course, only one correct answer: Over my dead body. I’d rather have a root canal. Now, to be clear, I don’t actually suggest you utter the aforementioned phrase verbatim. You might want to say it in code, such as, Oh, I would hate to get in the way of your fun afternoon. How ‘bout you call your friend Charlotte and have a girls’ day out. If that fails, follow up with, Here’s my credit card. This day is on me. I love you, Sweetie.

Continue reading “A Husband’s Burden – Clothes Shopping with Your Wife” »