How To

Interior Defamation: 3 Tips For Painting a Room
Updating a room with new paint? Here's how not to end up with an Avocado Green-spattered dog.


It is a well-know fact that nothing adds value and freshness to old, stale decor than the new carpet you have to buy after you spill paint on the old carpet when you were trying to add value and freshness to your old stale decor by repainting a room. So, while you angrily bask in that new carpet smell, let’s revisit some valuable tips you should have learned before your room remodeling budget ballooned.

Just Do What She Says and No One Will Get Hurt

[pullquote type=”right”]The first step in updating any room with a fresh, new paint color is deciding what your sex and marital status is.[/pullquote]The first step in updating any room with a fresh, new paint color is deciding what your sex and marital status is. If you are a married male, be advised that no matter what color decision you make, it will most likely be wrong, as the Tasteful Color Sensor organ in most males is hidden behind the “I Just Want To Get This Done Because the Cubs Come On At 3” organ. So, if you are wise, you will let your wife decide whether “Pale Pre-Cambrian Aruba Sunset Allure” or “Post-War Parisian Festooned Mango Melt” will be the color you have to stare at in the bathroom for the next 5 years while you try to read your Sports Illustrated. If you are a single male, go back to watching that rerun of “The Rat Patrol” you’ve seen 6 times already; what are you doing here? If you are a female: yes, dear.

Crushed Twilight Plum: Choosing Colors

But before you can choose a color you will need a requisite visit to your local Home Improvement Establishment, where miles of color swatches await you, conveniently arrayed in helpful rainbow rows, from dull, dusty dirt colors to super-fashionable-retina-burning-latest-style hues. Most home decor magazines, afraid of being “boring” and “gauche” and “not selling magazines”, will challenge you to make a “bold” statement by choosing “aggressive” color palettes you’ll have to “repaint” in 2 years because your neighbor who you thought was your “friend” made an offhand yet still somehow catty comment about how “Vermillion Tahiti Salsa” was no longer the best red to choose for dining nooks and recommends “Crushed Twilight Plum”, which was the color Angelina Jolie used in her $100,000 kitchen remodel she just saw on “Good Morning America” last Tuesday when you were probably sleeping. So be prepared for a weekend painting a color you most likely will need to apply while wearing sunglasses. The alternative route suggests a more soothing palette of subtle grays or tans, which, while decidedly boring, will complement any decor, and will be much easier to apply, because it is the color you already have on your walls.

Lap Marks and Sticky Gunk: Preparation

As any professional painter knows, preparation is the key to success, but, since you are most likely not a professional painter, you should prepare for something less. Here’s how:

  • Remove all outlet plates, making sure you accidentally touch the live, exposed plug to remind you that electricity, while yet invisible, can still make you curse.
  • Use only quality, expensive, hard-to-find green masking tape specially designed for taping off areas you don’t want paint to get on, such as door trim or the dog. Do not be tempted to use that old roll of dried up masking tape you found in a box of 1970’s magazines from your dad, even if it is free. You may use duct tape if you enjoy extending weekend projects into repeated visits to emergency psych wards.
  • Completely remove all of the sticky gunk your daughter used for her One Direction posters from the walls, while making sure to conveniently lose those posters in next Monday’s trash pickup.
  • Fill the door knob hole in the wall left when your son shoved it in anger because you took away his Zombie Bikini Apocalypse 4 game because he drew mustaches on his sister’s One Direction posters, even though they are pretty annoying (the posters, not the children). Use as many tubes of caulk as necessary.
  • “Lap marks” are caused by rolling wet paint on an area of paint that is too dry. To avoid these, only paint walls that are 18 inches wide.
  • Paint the room in this order: trim, ceiling, dog, carpet, angry wife, your best pants, antique dresser you forgot to cover, dog again, and walls.
  • Use cotton drops cloths, not plastic. This way, you can see reminders of your past mistakes the next time you paint.

And, as with any home improvement project, always leave room to pause and enjoy the results of your hard work and dedication. So take a break, step back, and realize you just put your foot in the paint tray.
[feature_headline type=”left” level=”h6″ looks_like=”h6″ icon=”book”]This column is featured in the book Home Improvement Survival Guide for Men[/feature_headline]

Photo Credit: Jonathan_W (@whatie) cc

How To Talk Sports Even When You’re A Sports Moron
An effort to try to help guys who are not total sports geeks not sound like the total sports geeks they inevitably are.

We all know the guys who sleep, breathe, and sprinkle sports on their Wheaties, who, in February, after the final second of the Superbowl ticks off, will immediately begin discussing the men-on-base weekday-only away-game slugging percentage of an obscure minor league player who might be drafted in the 23rd round by the [insert favorite team here; it doesn’t really matter] if they trade McClowski but not if they keep McGurkowitz unless he’s REALLY re-injured his achilles eyebrow in which case they should trade Fedorowitz for a small ocelot and a player to be named later, unless that player is Durbowitzoski, because he SUCKS am I right?!? These are the guys that make it hard for the rest of us not to sound like idiots when we’re just trying to remember if a dropped 3rd strike means you can legally punch the catcher or not.

[feature_headline type=”left” level=”h6″ looks_like=”h6″ icon=”asterisk”]You might also like “3 Tips to Understanding International Sports (If You’re a Clueless American)”[/feature_headline]

You may, however, find yourself in situations where talking about a sporting event is unavoidable, such as at a work party, father-in-law’s house, or a bar mitzvah being held in Yankee stadium during a rain delay. It is here that you must rely on generalities and distraction as your method of avoiding looking like a complete sports moron.

“Shantzenheimer is a Bum!”

[pullquote type=”right”]If your buddy says, “Shantzenheimer is a bum!”, agree quickly that he is, indeed, a bum, and also question the validity of his parental heritage.[/pullquote]First, always agree with whatever opinion your companions seem to favor. If your buddy says, “Shantzenheimer is a bum!”, agree quickly that he is, indeed, a bum, and also question the validity of his parental heritage. If the interaction is in the form of a question, such as “Nameless Golfer A should have used a fungo wedge with a lower torque on his variegated upswing, right?”, say something like, “I’m with you there, friend; he should have fungoed the variegation out of that thing!”. If he looks at you quizzically, don’t panic, but proffer a distraction, such as, “My dad once saw Brett Favre in a Piggly Wiggly buying Slim Jims!” Also consider memorizing one or two obscure sports facts that you can throw out in emergencies, such as “Did you know Babe Ruth’s on-base percentage was in direct correlation to how many hot dogs he ate for breakfast but only if it was a home game?” Be careful with this tactic, as there eventually will be someone who also knows Babe Ruth’s base-on-balls/hot dog consumption stats and will want to engage you in heated conversation.

Uncle Charlie is a Yakker?

One of the problems in keeping up with the sports Joneses is that sports terminology, like women’s shoe styles, changes almost daily. A home run one day is called a “dinger” and the next a “four bagger”, then the next month a “downtowner”. Just knowing the slang for one sporting action is a feat. In baseball, “Uncle Charlie,” “the yellow hammer,” “yakker,” “Public Enemy No. 1.”, and “the deuce”, are all nicknames for a curveball, and not, as you junior high boys are already thinking, hilarious names for going to the bathroom. Our suggestion in these cases is to make up your own sports slang and use it as if everyone else should already know it, if they were as cool as you. For example, if you are watching football, you might say “He really spanged that one on the boomers,” and wait expectantly for someone to nod in agreement. If you’re watching baseball, wait for the pitcher to throw a bad pitch, and exclaim, “why did that shanking cardswark think he could gollywalker that with a yellow hammer?”, and immediately go to the kitchen for more Cheez-its. And, if you’re watching soccer, you must live in another country, which we’ll get to at another time.

So until next time, keep your yakkers on the deuce, don’t forget to variegate your upswing, and remember: Durbowitzoski sucks.
[feature_headline type=”left” level=”h6″ looks_like=”h6″ icon=”book”]This column is featured in the book Dubious Knowledge (Book One)[/feature_headline]

Photo Credits: zzazazz cc, unspeakablevorn cc,, wikipedia, Photo Extremist cc, erik jaeger cc, B Tal cc

This %$#@! House
For those of you who want to experience the thrill of

Hello, and welcome to the world of Home Improvement, a world filled with muttered curses and the exact wrong wrench for the job!

This week, we’ll look at the first steps you novices need to take when starting on the long, dusty, rusty-nail-sticking-out-of-the-board-and-poking-into-your-foot-because-you-forgot-to-wear-your-boots-like-your-wife-told-you-to-but-no-way-are-ever-going-to-tell-her-THIS-happened road of starting your home improvement project. First, go to the bank and get a loan. We’ll wait.

Got it? Okay, now double that, go to another bank and mortgage your car and your dog.


How do I pay for it?

[pullquote type=”right”]However, we know some of you want to experience the thrill of “having done it all myself” and “knowing the fastest way to the emergency room”…[/pullquote]Most people choosing a home to fix up will spend countless hours poring over home improvement books and house plan websites in order to determine what style, age and cost-in-body-parts-type of house best fits their needs. This could waste many valuable hours of loan interest accruement. Instead, use this simple three-point plan: 1) Win the lottery. 2) Force your home loan officer into bankruptcy. 3) Move into his house. However, we know some of you want to experience the thrill of “having done it all myself” and “knowing the fastest way to the emergency room”, so this is a good time to mention our book “This %$#@! House!” which is available in paperback, or check out our new video “This %$#@! House Is Alive!”, which features a unique musical approach to home improvement, featuring such hits as “$22 A Square Foot?!?”, “Honey, I Think I Dislocated My Heart”, “Shake, Rattle, and Leak”, “I Got A Saber Saw Kids, So Get Out Of The Room!”, “Metric Conversion? We don’t Need No Stinking Metric Conversion”, “We’ll Fix It With Putty”, and “CALL THE PLUMBER NOW!!”

And now, some letters

D. Branhurst of Newport, Connecticut writes:
I have a Williams/Shank busling-type pipe joint on my refurbished Winkmeister oil-burning Sharnot-filler (with retro-shot bevel-dropped nipples on the intake and a 4-barrel dual carb with a Hemi and 4 on the floor and let me tell ya that baby really roars!) My question is, should I re-fit the blast retorsion wing-type brass woolcock hand-held mini-lasers, or send out to the Federal Government for a grant to develop a simple in-home fusion reactor?”

Dear D: Yes.

R. Newport of Branhurst, Connecticut writes:
We’ve been waiting four weeks for the plumber to come back and replace our kitchen sink, and my wife is tired of washing the dishes in the shower. Any hints?”

Dear: R: Try the toilet.

C. Connecticut of D. R., Connecticut writes:
If I had a hammer, could I hammer in the morning?

Dear C: Yes; you could also hammer in the evening, all over the continental United States. Keep in mind, however, that if you wish to hammer about Justice or Freedom, you should check with your local zoning office for the proper permits, and some states may require extra fees for any Love Between Your Brother and Your Sister.

So tune in next week, when we’ll be showing you more practical home improvement tips, such as how to reconnect your heart monitor after seeing the bill, how to scratch under your new cast with a screwdriver, and how to tell your spackling job from a hole in the wall. Now we have to go look up our loan officer’s home address.

Photo Credit: farenough cc

How to Twitter Your Hashtag Into A MyFace Blog
An attempt to help you understand the latest trends in — oh, look! A funny cat photo!

If you’re like me, you’re kind of bald, but since that has nothing to do with our topic today, we won’t be addressing that issue, so I’m not sure why you would bring it up, since it is such a sensitive topic for most men with this condition. Please, let’s talk about “Social Media” instead.

“Social Media” is the common term used by internet marketers to describe their latest books, such as “Holy Cow, It’s Social Media!”, “Here Comes Social Media!”, “Social Media And Goiter Prevention”, and “Social Media: How You Can Use It To Buy My Book”. If you looked at the world around you this morning, you probably noticed that it had computers in it, which are very important to our topic, as the Social Media expert book authors need you to use one in order to order their book. So let’s set off on the merry road towards Social Media literacy.


[pullquote type=”right”]These days, having a MySpace page is likened to wearing plaid pants with a striped shirt; something you did in the 70’s because everyone was doing it and you had no idea how uncool you were, which is to say, very uncool.[/pullquote]MySpace is now considered the festering left earlobe of the social media world, and no self-respecting media expert would touch it with a ten foot computer, unless that computer happened to be resting on top of a copy of their book which they were trying to sell you. But at one time MySpace ruled the online world, where, if you were in a band named “The Atomic Mushroom, Part II”, the first thing you would do, even before practicing, would be to start a MySpace page so your bassist’s girlfriend could “like” it, right before she dumped him and took off with the guitarist, leaving you with the bill for the band t-shirts. Today, having a MySpace page is likened to wearing plaid pants with a striped shirt; something you did in the 70’s because everyone was doing it and you had no idea how uncool you were, which is to say, very uncool. These days, any self-respecting marketing expert would just as soon put a diseased gerbil in their triple-mocha venti double-espresso decaf white mocha latte rather than have a MySpace page, unless the gerbil was buying a copy of their book (“21 Ways Social Media Is Like A Diseased Gerbil”).


Facebook was invented by Mark Zuckerberg in that movie I didn’t see called “The Social Network”, which also starred Barry Livingston, who was also in “My Three Sons”, which was an old TV show about, I think, three sons, which I never really watched a lot because it was probably on at the same time as “Lost In Space”, which had a LOT of computers in it.  Anyway, Zuckerberg apparently was looking for a way to tell all of his friends what he just had for lunch, and that it was both “yummy” and had “veggies” in it, because that is pretty much what I see on my Facebook page, which is coincidentally called a “feed”. Since its beginning, Facebook has grown to over 1.23 billion users, which means it has probably fomented a world-wide uprising of Spanish Spinach Quiche with Caramelized Shallots (yummy!) lovers by the time you’ve read this.


Twitter is the newcomer to the Social Media block, much like the neighbor that moves in across the street and seems pretty nice but then immediately asks to borrow your hedge trimmers and you’re thinking “What the heck? I don’t really know him that well yet”, but you do it anyway because you’re a nice guy and the next thing you know you notice your mailbox has been knocked sideways and you think he did it with his truck but you can’t really prove it, plus he hasn’y given the hedge trimmers back. Twitter has risen in popularity in large part do to the use of “hashtags”, which used to be the number sign, but apparently Twitter is so cool it can change the laws of language without telling anyone. This sign (#) was invented by two social media authors who became so bored waiting for their books to sell (#buymybook) that they couldn’t even finish a game of tic-tac-toe (#bored), much less draw the squares vertically (#lazy).


If you have a 12-year-old girl, you are very aware of what SnapChat is. If you don’t, omg, lol, (insert duck lips photo here), rotfl, #omgdidyouseewhatshewaswearing you have no idea what I just said.

There are, of course, many other social media outlets that allow you to share with your friends the vast, uplifting world of cat photos, including Digg, Dugg, Dagg, Reddit, WantToReadit, RedditSawTheMovieButTheBookWasBetter, StumbleUpon, StumbleOver, FallOverStubYourToeAndCurse, and Rashtag, a site devoted exclusively to describing your current worrisome skin condition.

So there you have it, a complete guide to help you navigate the cat-photo-filled waters of the ocean in the world in the universe that Social Media lives in. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash my hair. #ForgotHeWasBald #Moron #Sad
[feature_headline type=”left” level=”h6″ looks_like=”h6″ icon=”book”]This column is featured in the book Dubious Knowledge (Book One)[/feature_headline]

Photo Credit: rishibando cc