How to be Cool in High School

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High school is traumatizing.  Since you’re going to be there for four years, you might as well run with the popular kids, get all the ladies and dominate your school.

Master these steps and become the Dylan McKay of this century:

  • There will always be one dominate sport within your school’s athletic program. Find the captain of that team and cold cock him.  That’s right lay him out like Sly vs the Russian in Rocky IV.  Since high school runs on a primal hierarchy, by taking out the alpha male of the tribe, you will become the lead silverback without hours of practice or needless competitions in some school sponsored sport.  Congrats, you just reached “lone-star, big dog, king of the mountain, ally ally oxen free” status of the jocks.
  • Dating in high school is a hot bed of juiced up hormones coupled with a general lack of self-esteem.  You should be hitting on the hottest girl in school.  “But I don’t have a chance,” you say.  Listen here pimply-faced young Jedi.  Since your peers lack confidence, no one would ever consider asking out the hottest person in school.  The real hot people are faced with what they consider rejection.  They believe they are ugly and therefore willing to date someone like you.  This is where you strike like Sammy Sosa’s corked bat.  Play off these insecurities and land yourself an authentic ‘10’.
  • Dating Part II:  By dating a hot girl who doesn’t run with the popular crowd, you will elevate her social standing to “popular”.  You will also give her a greater chance of dropping out of high school, landing a starring role on “I am a Teen Mom”, or enjoying high school so much that she becomes a guidance counselor preaching to every freshman, “these are the best four years of your life.”
  • Everyone wants to turn 16 so they can drive all their friends home.  You are not a chauffeur.  If they need a ride, they can take the yellow limo.  Pick up a two-wheel suicide machine.  Chicks will dig you because their daddy will tell them, “You can’t ride on Billy’s crotch rocket.  You also can’t ride on the back of his motorcycle.”
  • Have a party.  We’re not talking about three of your loser friends hanging out in the basement playing spin the bottle.  Bring in a pro.  Go a major university, not the local JUCO, and recruit a member of a fraternity that recently got booted off campus for partying.  Give him five hundred bucks, a stack of Hawaiian shirts, and ten cases of Mad Dog.  The next time your parents go away for a weekend, he will have the entire school at your house chanting, “[your name] is the greatest” while that jock you knocked out earlier in the semester is one of bearers of your palanquin.
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Be this guy.
  • Compromise your integrity.  Winning the title of prom king, pulling off the best senior prank, and dating three girls trilaterally is a feat only achievable by forgoing your true self.  Transform into something you’re not and take down anyone who stands in your way.  You’re trying to be Nada Surf Popular, and if that means means rigging the ballot box, throwing a buddy under the bus, or becoming a psychopath to make your lies flow smoothly, you will be head of the class.

If all of this advice fails you and you’re stuck in the role of average schmo, just transfer to new school and try again.

*Special thanks to Humphery Humberto for his contributions to this article.

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How to Lose Weight—the Real Way

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It is fun to eat.  People like to sport a six pack on the beach too.  You can’t pound down a Chili’s Old Timer Hamburger with loaded potato skins and a half-a-dozen Classic Margaritas and expect to flex on all the honeys poolside the next day.  The world doesn’t work that way.  Here are some popular, and wrong, ways to reach your weight loss goals and the not as popular, and proper, Skiing In Jeans way:

Diet

  • Weight Watchers-If you like eating and math, this is your diet.  Everything you eat has a point vaue assigned to it.  Cheese stick-8 points.  Slice of cake-10 points.  That is your breakfast and you’re already over your point allowance for the next two days.
  • Vegan Diet (AKA:  the ‘Tofu and Salad Diet’ or ‘Reverse Paleo Diet’)- Nothing says tasty like sucking down your fourth cheese-free salad of the day washed down with a Double Super Big Gulp of Coke.  Apparently, overdosing on sugar is OK for your body because it doesn’t harm Porky Pig.
  • Atkins Diet-“Eat meat, not bread.”  When this diet started waning in popularity, CrossFit lunkheads rebranded this as the Paleo Diet and cattle prices reached an all-time high.
  • Tapeworm Diet-During the Roaring 1920’s, tapeworm pills were marketed as an easy way to shed pounds without diet or exercise.  Eat a tapeworm. Once you lose the weight, pass the tapeworm.  Given all the other idiotic diets on this list, you know this one is due for a revival.

Exercise

  • 8 Minute Abs-If it really took 8 minutes to look like David Beckham before he joined the Spice Girls, everyone would look like the Eloi from The Time Machine (the 1960 version).
  • Thighmaster- When used with a Shake Weight, the results are extremely negligible.
  • CrossFit-Lift weights like you’re a NFL Lineman, but without the million dollar paycheck. When you’re 40 and the cartilage in your joints has eroded away to the point where you need a motorized scooter to get around your house, don’t say I didn’t warn you when you.
  • Any DVD Exercise Program-this includes Sweating to the Oldies, Tae Bo, Jane Fonda, and P90X.  If you’re too lazy to drive over to the gym or run around the block a dozen times, there is no way you are working out in the living room while a TV yells at you.

The Skiing In Jeans Health Plan

Reduce the amount of food you eat.  I don’t care if it is corn or candy corn; just eat less food.  If you are eating ten pounds of McDonald’s a day, cut back to eight pounds.  It is that simple.

Increase your activity level.  By “activity”, or “exercise”, I mean anything other than sleeping or sitting.  Walk, make out with your girlfriend, or pogo stick over to the redlight district.  Just get moving.  No one expects you to play in the NHL or run the 100 yard dash in the Olympics, just do something that makes you break a sweat.

Here is a simple pocket guide that you can print out and carry with you.  Please send me $19.95/month until you reach your target weight.

Weight

As an added bonus this month to all my loyal Skiing In Jeans subscribers, please check your real mailbox for a special gift.

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Spring is Here; Let’s Get Ready To Protest

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After five months of sub-zero weather, half of America breaks out the placards and megaphones to fire up chanting and rioting all in the name of fighting the perceived wrongs in the world.  Welcome to the start of the ‘2015 Protest Season’.  Do the three months around the winter solstice yield a time of peace and tranquility void of all inequalities?  Or was everyone in preparation mode?  As soon as outdoor seating stars showing up at restaurants, everyone thinks they are Che Guevera rallying the masses to force change via their right to assemble.

The Protestors Are So Impassioned, But Why?

“Exercising their freedom of speech” is the common response.  When I ride my Schwin around the block, I don’t get a fancy yellow shirt for winning a stage of the Tour de France like that drug addict Lance Armstrong.  I just sit my butt in the couch and finish watching The Talk while I tell myself I am a winner.  I only exercised my right to work out.  No one else notices the results and no one else cares.  Just like no one says to a protestor, “Great job waving that sign and avoiding the tear gas.”  Congratulations to that protestor who showed everyone that they are a moron for missing a day of work so they could get out and exercise their first amendment right.

What Are They Fighting For?

Armed with poster board, crayons, loudspeakers and the occasional bass drum, these do-gooders take to the streets.  They have their chants, their leaders, and their human chains.  I am sympathetic to many of the protests, but for many I don’t see what they are trying to accomplish:

  • Treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay—If you want one of these lunatics to bunk up in your spare bedroom, go ahead.  Please invite them to your second home in Antarctica—not to my homeland.
  • ”Save the Earth”/Greenpeace hippies:  I don’t think the earth is really listening.  It has been here for five billion years.  400 people singing “We are the World” is not going to prevent global warming.
  • Any group with an acronym instead of a proper name—If your own protestors don’t know what the letters stand for, no one else does either.
  • Most PETA protests—If a new eye cream is going to cause a nasty rash, I would like the monkey get it first.
  • 1% Protests (Occupy Wall Street)—If they succeeded in removing the 1%, wouldn’t the next 1.0101% become the new 1%?

In Conclusion

Pick your cause, post your bail money in advance, and enjoy the season.

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Creating Life and Dropping Names

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Sorry you work at a cubical job. Despite playing the occasional game of laser tag and reminiscing about that one time made out with Kristy Cedarson in fifth grade, your overall life rating is hovering around a D-.  Your failure as a human doesn’t mean you need to send your kid down the same path, but it is up to you to start them on the right track by naming your child correctly.

Here are some helpful tips on proper naming to set your child up for life success instead of living on skid row (NOT “in the band ‘Skid Row’”-which would be awesome):

1)  Jedidiah, Christabel, Cillian:  If you, as an educated adult, need to take a ‘Hooked on Phonics’ course to learn how to spell your newborn’s name, your kid will be repeating kindergarten until they are ten years old trying to pass the ‘spell your name’ test.

2)  Bill, Ronald, John, and Barry:  Stick to naming your boys after US Presidents.  Barry–a US President?  You bet he is.  Before Barack Obama was balls deep in pension for life elected position, he went by “Barry”.  You can read about it here.

3)  Don’t go all ‘Coldplay’ and name your kid after a fruit.  If you created a human life with Gwyneth Paltrow, go ahead and name your kid after a Yugoslavian auto part if you want.  However, you knocked up your neighbor who supplements her disability check by selling prescription pills, so stick to the naming rules.

4)  Take a hint from George Foreman.  Naming kids is hard, and Foreman knew after years of punches to the cranium and burns by his own grill, he was incapable of such a momentous act.  George Foreman named all his boys and one of his girls after President George Washington.

5)  Crystal, Misty, Serenity, Destiny, Lexus, or any other bank teller name.  Bank teller is the career path of the retired stripper, but tellers don’t get free tanning and cash tips.  I’m sure you have some obtuse reasoning for these names, such as ‘Summer is my favorite season’ or ‘I always wanted to go to France, so I’ll name her Asia’, but when you’re old and pumped up with Viagra, you don’t want to avoid “$1 Dance Night” at the local strip shack because your daughter is working.

Just like that awful tramp stamp you got in college, this is a lifelong decision.  Don’t screw up your kid’s life by taking a flyer on their name.  Put down the Allen wrench that you are using to assemble the baby furniture and put some real thought into your child’s future.

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How to Find a Suitable Spouse When You’re In the Top .001%

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Life is easy.  You park your Range Rover on the street because your Ferrari is in the garage.  You say things like, “When it comes to life insurance, I self-insure.”  You invest in tract housing developments; you do not live in them.  When you go to a Clippers game, you refer to the players as “your employees.”  You are ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ rich, but one thing money cannot buy is true love that will not drain your bank account in a divorce like this guy.

oil-tycoon-harold-hamm-sent-his-ex-wife-a-check-for-975-million--she-rejected-it
You think he would have rounded to the nearest billion.

For all those people who consider being in the bottom half of the Forbes 400 a failure, skiinginjeans presents a helpful guide on finding a spouse.

Your Image—SEAL Snipers Don’t Wear Adidas Track Suits In The Jungle.

Ditch the chauffeur and multilevel penthouse suite. Forget you own yachts in each of the major oceans, and learn how to change the spark plug in a lawnmower.  It is time to go slumming as you downgrade your image and blend in with everyday normal guys.

You may not know this, but not all cars come from Germany or Italy.  Purchase a car made in America or Japan, and keep the price under $30k (yes, they actually make new cars that cheap).  Ask the car salesman about financing options (you need to learn how payments work, so you can pretend to empathize with your date when her car is repossessed).

Buy a one-bedroom apartment in the city.  You are not required to live in this postage stamp house while you search for your soul mate; you can always visit your Central Park tri-level when the commoners are trading blood for dollars in the daylight hours Monday through Friday.  Whatever you do, do not refer your temporary apartment as a “pied-à-terre” or your cover will be blown like a Paleo dude chewing on a rib eye at a vegan convention.

Forget the ‘Pretty Woman’ fantasy.  If you pay someone $3,000 to hang out with you for a week, you paid for sex.  If you drop three G’s at one of those restaurants where the chef comes out of the kitchen to grandstand about how his out-of-the box Kraft Mac N’ Cheese is worth the price of dinner for four at Chili’s, and then you get laid, you may be on the path to a real relationship.  There is a fine line between prostitution and dating.  If you go to the doctor for Valtrex, you crossed the line.

The Approach— “If a Date is Below Your Standards, Lower Your Standards” (this is one of my better plagiarized quotes)

Unfortunately, to find an acceptable spouse, you will be investing significant time in this project.  This is different from when your dad acquired a multinational company in Greece so you could get citizenship to sit on the beach for the summer.  Gone are the days when your security introduced you to a room of models, you flashed your veneers, flew a girl out to a fjord for the day and then repeated the process the following day.  Now you need to work for it.  We are talking about half-off Monday night drink specials, going dutch, and golfing at 3-par public courses.  These are the Everyman’s tools of dating.  When you reach into your pocket to pay for the non-supersized #4 on your second date, make it appear as if that is the last $5.89 you will ever see in your life.  Sorry buddy, money is now a limited resource.

Hit on everything that moves; your publicist is not allowed to help land you dates.  With quantity, quality will emerge.  Although it may seem awkward at first, you will get use to rejection.  If you are not turned down nine out of ten times, you are not trying hard enough.  In time, a person more pathetic than you will agree to your request.

Coming Soon… Part II of “How to Find a Suitable Spouse When You’re In the Top .001%”

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How to Make Your Own Craft Beer

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The stalwarts of alcohol have failed the United States of America.  The nation’s drinkers no longer reach for Bud Heavy, Coors, or our south of the border friend, Corona.  The masses have turned to micro and nano beers such as Fred, Donkey Punch, or Blithering Idiot to raise their BAC and lower their inhibitions.  These new beers, known as craft, or “hey mom, look what I just made in the bathtub,” are spreading across our country like measles in both the pre and post vaccination era.  After careful research consisting of two Google searches and overhearing the endless conversations of guys talking mindlessly about waiting in line for fourteen hours for a two pack of craft beer, Skiinginjeans will show you how you can be a true player in the craft beer scene.

Your Image

Being a brew master is more than just making a sub-average beer.  It is about projecting an image as a brew master to your legion of devoted followers.  These worshipers will not look to a deity with a custom suit, a MBA from Wharton, or a jaw line so square that Office of Weights and Measures will use it as the mold for T-squares.  Hide your country club membership card and put your Tesla in storage.  Your disciples demand a heavily bearded, overweight, flannel-wearing dude complete with one of those gas station mesh trucker hats.  You must guide your people to a place where homemade beer, no matter how awful, doesn’t seem as commercialized you’re trying to make it.

The Product

Beer is beer.  Some of it is dark and some of it is light, When your mom catches you puking in her bushes after a late night at McGillicutty’s, you can be rest assured that the beer did its job.  It really doesn’t matter what you bottle, just shoot for an alcohol by volume level of at least 10%.  Even though you are dealing self-proclaimed beer experts who liken their ability to the best sommeliers, they just want value for their money.  After a long night of drinking your heavily fermented, $8/can concoction, if they find themselves waking up next to a hipster chick who has not shaved her armpits since the Clinton administration, you did your job.

When to Sell Out

There is a very good chance you will go out of business before every netting dollar one.  Your product is like a viral meme; once everyone has seen it, no one cares for a second look.  In the slightest chance, a buyer does approach you and you do sell your brewery, make sure you include your used bathtub and strainer—that is where the real value in your company lies.  When you finally address your finicky customers to tell them that you sold your company, you are never to say, “I sold this company.”  Words like these will only turn off your beatnik zealots because you traded in years of wasted time for a handful of Lincolns and maybe a couple of Hamiltons.  Tell your followers that you have turned over a new leaf in your business and by partnering with a major brewery, you can seek out new adventures by moving to Colorado and opening a legalize drug operation.  They will respect your devotion to a new cause that, unbeknownst to them, is on pace to have a larger market than beer.

The Future

If you want to see what the craft beer industry will look like in twenty years, look at the current value of baseball cards from the 1990’s.  They are worthless.  This craft beer fad is on par with Ty Warner’s Beanie Babies (Warner is currently on probation for tax evasion), Hyper-Color shirts (Generra, the company that produced the shirts, went bankrupt in 1992), and Ralph Macchio (no commentary needed).

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A Short Lesson in Pronouns

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I was in your office last week and I overheard this conversation between two co-workers:

“We smoked them last night”

“They did a great job running, but we just couldn’t punch through their defense”

“You’re right; we lost that game because he can’t coach.  Next year they need to focus on their back office and not on our franchise guy”

“You played a great game, congrats on the ‘W’!”

Confused?  Both of these guys walked away thinking the conversation was transparent.  In reality, one guy was talking about his kid’s debate team and the other was talking about an amateur jai alai match played in 1992.

More heart attacks occur on Monday than any other day of the week (We site sources here at skiingingjeans.com).  I once flipped through the pamphlet “Diabetes and You,” so I am qualified to tell you that listening to conversations like the one above is the primary reason you will end up in the supine position on a gurney headed to the hospital.  Your brain overloads with so many synapses firing to attempt to understand the ill-connected pronouns that your heart implodes.  On the way to the hospital, some nineteen-year-old, pre-med EMT trying to become the next Doogie Howser will break your ribs doing chest compressions while slipping you the tongue as he treats you like a Resusci Anne doll.  This near death experience is much more enjoyable than listening to Chuck tell you how he threw for 350 yards, went 12-15 from the line, scored an empty net goal, and held Derek Jeter to only one hit over the weekend.

At the hospital, you will probably overhear two doctors having a similar, pronoun filled conversation that you just had with your co-worker.  You will fall into another cardiac arrest and the staff will run for the defibrillator.  They will yell “Clear!” and bring you back to life like Mark Ruffalo in Just Like Heaven.  Please note the medical team doesn’t yell, “You get clear,” “We got clearance,” or “They need to get clear so y’all can blast him.”  They just yell “clear.”  No pronouns are used and it is crystal clear, right?

Newsflash:  You are not on the team.

If “your” team wins the championship and you do not receive a trophy, ring or other item that will later be hawked on eBay when you’re headed for bankruptcy, you are not on the team.  Yes, the owner, the players, and the groundskeeper all say, “fans are a part of the team.”  That is marketing 101.

Aside from the fact that you are not on the team’s payroll, the logic of claiming any type of ownership is bewildering.  Next time you’re at the ballet try to catch yourself saying, “We almost stuck the landing in the third act, but that fall probably cost us the rest of the season.”  In both cases, sports and ballet, you are the consumer.  You expect to be entertained for the money you pay for a ticket, but don’t expect any fanfare for you when they do well.

No sane person will venture outside to get the newspaper with wind chill levels reaching sixty below zero.  However, lunatics, using ice picks to break up frozen beers while losing fingers due to frostbite, will gladly fork over $150 a ticket to watch twenty-two meatheads play catch in an arctic blast.

“Being a Packers fan is in your blood, hereditary even.”

In your blood?  Flight or fight is in your blood.   Wisdom teeth are in your blood.  Sickle-cell anemia is in your blood.  Cheering for a sport created a hundred years ago is not an evolutionary feat.  Until hockey players grow gills and live underwater, sports are still a fad in the annals of man.

Save yourself a trip to the hospital for cardiac arrest and keep your fingers intact by avoiding pronoun abuse.

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Hello Baby New Year: Here is Your Resolution

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With 2015 starting up, it is time to pull out that list of 2014 New Year’s resolutions.  You casually cross out “2014” and change it to “2015”.  If you’re like most overweight Americans, you have “Get in shape” or “Lose XX pounds” on this list.  Instead of writing some vague statement like “I’m going to be less of a fat ass than last year” or “On Sundays, I will take the stairs instead of the elevator” on your 2015 resolution sheet, why don’t you write something quantifiable like “I’m going to run a 5K in less than 25 minutes.”

Here are some pointers for running your first 5k:

1)   When you sign up for your race, you will get a T-shirt with the name and date of the race on it.  You wouldn’t wear a “Boy George 2015 Revival Tour” shirt to The Brass Rail bar in Fort Wayne, Indiana to watch the has been singer belt out “Karma Chameleon”.  Don’t turn your first 5K into amateur hour by sporting the crisp, new race day shirt of the race you’re in.

2)   Never run the entire 5K distance in training.  Marathon training rules apply here.  Let’s face it, a 5K is your marathon; this is probably the most physical activity you’ve had since you ran the mile in seventh grade gym class.  Keep it simple; one mile here, two miles there.  There is no need to pull a hammy a couple of weeks prior to your big Chariots of Fire moment.

3)   If the race you’re in is big enough, you will be assigned a starting corral.  Since you have no race history, you will be assigned the last corral.  Everyone has to start somewhere, but when you start the winner of the race will be crossing the finish line at the same time.  Your corral will be behind the people with walkers and dudes almost as lame as you.  Pay no attention to your assignment.  Get to the front of the race, and come out guns blazing.  There is a chance that you will be the race leader for the first fifty feet before some Kenyan blows past you.

4)   Carb loading is not just for marathoners.  The night before the race, go out and eat.  Don’t limit yourself to carbs.  Eat everything you can get your hands on.  No french fry is too small, no beer has too much gluten, just eat and drink.   When you’re running almost four miles (I rounded for your ego boost) the following day you’ll be grateful you have the internal fuel to carry you through.

5)   Water stations.  Seriously?  Do you pause your Growing Pains collector DVDs so you can rehydrate while watching Carol learn about the dangers of drinking and driving?  You’re not doing the Bad Water Ultramarathon, you’re doing a warm up run disguised as a race.

6)   The last thing you need to go with your sore quads and strained calf muscles are bloody nipples.  Marathon guys are always chaffing and bleeding in weird places.  Don’t take chances.  Get some lube and apply it liberally like Burt Reynolds in Striptease.

7)   Babies poop themselves and so do winners.  If you’re struggling at mile 1, the last thing you should do is take a break to relieve yourself.  Face facts:  If you sit down to poop, you may never get up and finish the race.

It is better to be an embarrassed winner than a clean cut loser.
It is better to be an embarrassed winner than a clean cut loser.

8)   Stretching is for people who do yoga.  Don’t confuse your body with poses and saying “namaste”.  Any time you waste stretching, is time you are not running.

9)   This is the point when most running literature says you should consult a doctor before training.  I know a guy who use to be a doctor (that’s a nice way of saying “lost his license without admitting guilt”); he said that running through the pain is the best way to be a winner.  Ignore those shin splints, cramps, heart palpitations, and asthma attacks.

10)  If you get lapped by the 10K leader on your 5K run, just pull off to the side and cheer on the real athletes.

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Tis’ the Season…For Wasting Money and Time.

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Carolers, mostly people rejected by the gratis church choir gig, are quickly shooed off your stoop so you can get back to your eggnog I.V. drip before passing out on the family sofa. Your family sings “Happy Birthday to Jesus” then attempts to blow out 2,000 candles on a birthday cake.  Your aunt pumps so much sugar candy into your nephew that he hurls all over the green bean casserole saving everyone from pretending they like those goofy fried onion things.  These things are all good Christmas.  The biggest problem with Christmas is the gift giving, and this ruins the entire holiday.

Children are the only group of people deserving of gifts.  They have no money.  Their parents are in the process of going broke paying for their travel baseball teams, guitar lessons, and college applications. Buy them something cool like illegal fireworks, a used Porsche 911, or some other age inappropriate toy.  You will piss off their parents, but the kids will deify your forever.

Adult gift giving is a waste of money, and more importantly, time.  If you want to see the holy light, read this Bloomberg article.

SIDENOTE:  If anyone needs a gift, it is Michael Bloomberg.  That guy was mayor of a one of the biggest cities in the world for over a decade and was only paid $13.

How many times have you re-gifted a banal gift?  Think of all the time that was invested in thinking of that gift.  Then there was more time tied up in going to some tchotchke shop to buy it, figuring how to wrap the thing, and finally having the audacity to hand you something that you should have never unwrapped and simply scratched out your name and written “Uncle Louie” on it and re-gifted.  Wouldn’t it have been easier just to give you a twenty-dollar bill and saved everyone hours of time, an uncomfortable exchange of “thank you” and forced smiles.

Sure, cash is a little tacky.  It is rude and informal in the eyes of the gift pushers, but it gets the job done.  Find someone that would rather get an in the box, never-been-used fondue set (value of $100 plus the aforementioned time suck) over a crisp Jackson right out of wallet and I will show you a schizophrenic.  If you receive a fondue set, you’re going to put it in the basement next to your other unused fondue set that some guest bought for you off your wedding registry fifteen years prior.  Keep the fondue set on the Wal-Mart shelf and make it rain right into my wallet.

White elephant gift exchanges are great.  I rock at those.  I’ve given away 2,000 pennies (stolen immediately), toilet paper (seriously, aside from people who wipe with their own hand in some third world country, everyone uses this stuff), and an Obama Chia Pet (this one goes out to all you Republicans).  Practical gifts with real world applications are the secret to winning these exchanges.

Don’t get creative and think that someone really wants a never been used Dada themed appetizer tray you found on page fourteen of Craigslist.  That thing is getting tossed out the car window as soon as the husband clears Grandma’s driveway on the way home.  If you spend more than two minutes trying to think of a “great” gift idea, you overthought it and your gift will be as appreciated as a virgin Manhattan.  If you must give a gift, stick to the basics of alcohol, cash, or toiletries.

“It is the thought that counts.”  These are the six dumbest words ever strung together.  If the thought really counted, no one would give physical gifts, everyone would just telepathically send you positive, up-lifting messages.  Your head would echo with Tony Robbins on repeat until you gave yourself a lobotomy to stop the voices.

Christmas is an obligatory time of seeing relatives you only see on December 25.  Keep Christmas simple:  Don’t gift.

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Trials and Tribulations of the All-Inclusive

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You finally got away from your 9-5 job.  The warm ocean breeze brushes against your face as you saunter up to a grass hut bar, where a Tom Cruise (go to 3:00) looking bartender awaits your arrival.   You exchange non-committal, witty banter laden with major sexual undertones.  He slips you his number.  You rendezvous with him later.  Life is just grand.

Sorry, this isn’t Cocktail; this is a cattle call for US vacationers.  Instead of Tom Cruise, whose career peaked in that classic 80’s movie, you get a guy who makes IBM’s Watson computer seem slow compared to this little drink dispenser.  There is a line of people twenty-five deep and the poor bastard, Jorge, needs to serve all of them before his boss comes back from break and fires him for incompetence.

We will forget Jorge has ten times the productivity of his counterpart in a first-world country.  Since Mrs. McGriddle, who only eats at buffets even back in the States, was served a Rum Runner instead the Strawberry Daiquiri she ordered, the manager sends Jorge back to the village.  Keep eating McGriddle.

After pounding watered-down, bottom-shelf island drinks there is a greater likelihood of a major sugar crash than a room-spinning headache, but now you are ready to get your blood pumping.  You head to the activity shack and hit up some Spanish lessons.  The locals laugh at you behind your back as you butcher words like “cerveza”, “el queso está viejo y pútrido,” and “ponche burro”.  Now that you’ve successfully embarrassed yourself in front of all of Mexico, you’re ready to challenge your mind playing bingo with old ladies wearing one piece bathing suits complete with those frilly dresses that attempt to conceal their FUPA’s.  B-27 sucka.

Unproven fact:  More people develop Type 2 Diabetes after a weeklong all-inclusive trip than years of drinking pop.

The all-inclusive vacation is really a summer camp for adults.  “Hi, I’m Chuck from NY, this is my wife Cindy; Chuck and Cindy or ‘CC’.  Get it, carbon copy?”  Spending a weekend catching falling knives is more fun than fifteen minutes with this power couple.

Try to avoid the stalker couple that clings to you the entire trip.  You can’t shake them.  They pop up all the time, like that butler in the Adam Sandler classic Mr. Deeds.  Just when you think, you’re going to sit down and start that over-due library book, there is the poor man’s ‘Brangelina’ sitting at the edge of your Chaise lounge asking if you want to play Ping-Pong or one of those ridiculously oversized chess games.  I don’t know about you, but I always use a wheelbarrow to move my knight up two and over one.

Everyone at these resorts should be required to take a vow of silence.  It is cruel and misleading to associate with people who you are never going to see again.  After your college years, you don’t make new friends; you have ‘couple’ friends and acquaintances.  Sure, some of people will stick with you until the day you die, but you will not be able to laugh about the time you chased Roger Staninson all over the playground when he confirmed all speculation that he was into Zoophila because he named his cat ‘Squeeze Box’.  Do the overly tanned guy from Hoboken a favor and shoot him down with a stern look of superiority and solitude before he considers naming you the godfather of the kid him and his wife conceived yesterday in cabana that you are currently sitting in.

All-inclusives are great, but so are Thursday nights at TGIF’s sucking down Double Berry Mojito Shakers while gorging yourself on the Endless Appetizer Special.

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