Tag Archives: beer

have a hobby.

30 Aug

I brew beer.  Why do I brew beer?  Well, I’m not 100% sure.  Because really, if I stop and work the math (which I hate doing) it doesn’t add up.  You see, the raw ingredients for a batch of beer cost around $40 for two cases (48 bottles).  Now that’s some cheap and tasty beer!  However, here’s what ends up happening:  I walk into my local beer supply store and glaze over.  I begin to realize how screwed I’ve been in the past by not having a $30 device for aiding in the partial mash process — oh the humanity!  Then, I get a feeling that some of the fermentation problems and pronounced notes of hops I had on the last batch were probably due to not cooling the wort (pre-beer mixture) quickly enough — “Yeah, I should probably pick up some supplies for a chiller.” No big deal, just another $50.  You see what’s happening, don’t you?  I’m getting ready to brew my next batch of Cristal.  But man o’ man, do I love brewing beer!  And at the end of the day, the value of sitting in the garage with my friends for three hours and drinking good beer while we create mediocre beer can’t be underestimated.  Grown Men, you need to find a hobby.  Let’s talk it out…

Here’s our working definition of a hobby: A hobby is a way to spend time doing something you enjoy that does not necessarily provide any monetary income and has little discernible, tangible benefit (other than happiness) to you or those around you.  Basically, a hobby IS fun and ISN’T work.  A hobby DOES occupy your brain and DOESN’T stress you out.  A hobby is, in it’s purest form, old school, little kid, OshKosh B’gosh, playing.

Basset hound

Image via Wikipedia

I suppose it started when we were little guys, spending a copious amount of time in the back yard just goofing around with the wagon or constructing a ramp for the Hot Wheels to jump Beau the Basset Hound (actual event).  By the way, what happened to Hot Wheels?  They used to be small versions of regular cars.  Now, they’re all futuristic and messed up.  I want a Hot Wheel of an ‘84 Ford F150.  I’m just sayin’.

Back to the point: gentlemen, you need to have playtime. It’s ingrained in your masculinity and can’t be denied.  There is a part of our psyche that, even in a fulfilling relationship and wonderful job, just longs to mess around, goof off, kill time, build something, wreck something, tinker, or be creative.  All of us need that one thing – we’ll call it a hobby – that gives us a measure of margin in our life where we’re not connected so intensely to the adult world and the expectations thereof. Wow, that was heavy.

Here’s a final thought about having a hobby.  I’ve clearly been avoiding naming actual hobbies because there are about one zillion options for how to have big boy play time.  I brew beer. In the past, I’ve done wood block carving, biking (that lasted for about 5 minutes), blogging, and a ton of other random things.

Grown Man, don’t you blog now?  I mean, wait, I’m reading the blog.  So yes, you do blog.

Good point, Mr. Observant.  Here’s what’s important to remember, I started blogging as a way to make my friends laugh.  Now, I’m on more of a mission with this site and must do adult things like pace myself, maintain boundaries, and sometimes even not write in order to enjoy writing again.  In short, this blog has crossed out of the hobby realm and into the something I like to do a lot realm (sorta like a job).  It’s a fine but distinct line.  When you find a hobby, make sure you know when it’s a pure hobby and when it’s a mini-job.  Because a mini-job is great, but the little boy in you still needs some mindless Hot Wheel time.

You’re a Grown Man, have a hobby.

quit your job with class.

13 Aug

I rarely, if ever, weigh in on current events. And though I read news like it’s my job, the reason it doesn’t show up on You’re A Grown Man is because it rarely has any connection with the timeless art of mature masculinity.  Recently though, the story of Steven Slater has become big news and is in the process carving a new niche of acceptable behavior for men.  Gentlemen, we can’t let this happen.  Something must be done.

In case you’re not familiar with Mr. Slater’s story, here’s a recap of what we know – not what’s being reported and refuted, what we actually know:  He worked as a flight attendant for JetBlue.  Something (a bag falling, someone was rude, we don’t really know everything) got him mad. Then, he said some angry words on the PA, stole a few beers, and deployed/slid down the emergency exit slide.  He was later arrested for criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.  Now, the country is freaking out over him and going so far as to call him a “working class hero”.  This is insane, not to mention disrespectful to John Lennon.

Guys, at no point did Steven Slater do anything right.  From the moment he allowed his anger to win and then broke the law in some movie-like exit, he was shirking his responsibilities and taking the easy road, or slide, as the case may be.  The way a man leaves a job is not by losing his shiz and storming off as that’s what children do.  And when children have temper tantrums, we correct them – not praise them.  We quit with dignity, we quit without burning bridges, and we quit like Grown Men.

Here’s how you should quit your job:

1- Wrap your head around the fact that you’re quitting. Really, it’s okay to quit a job.  I’m not going to get into all the factors of how multiple jobs will look on your resume, as this is a different conversation for every man.  But what we must know is that very few of us go to work for “the company” and retire with a gold watch after 50 years.  There may be times in your life where leaving Company A for Company B is beneficial.  Or better yet, leaving Company A for Company Self-Employed!  In any event, you’re not disappointing your lineage by strategically quitting a job.  Sometimes, you’ve got to move on.

2- Set a meeting. When it’s time, you’ve got to do it as soon as possible.  Very few realizations will turn your stomach like knowing that you’re about to jump ship (airplane).  When you’ve given yourself the mental green light to be done, be done.

3- Thank your superior and get the hell outta there. There’s nothing else you need to do in this meeting other than say “Mr. Spacely, I have made a decision to leave my position here at Spacely Space Sprockets. I’ve enjoyed this opportunity and it’s been a pleasure working with you.”  Then, shut up.  Now, your job is just to reply – you don’t need to say anything else.  If she asks when you’re quitting, you reply with “I am more than willing to work hard for as long as you need to find a suitable replacement.  I leave it up to you.”  If he asks why you’re quitting, do not take this opportunity to begin trashing every co-worker, business practice, and poorly stocked break room snack bar.  You’re quitting and now no longer have any reason to change the business.  What you need to do is say something about moving in a different direction with your career and then, you guessed it, shut up and get the hell outta there.

4- Make eye contact and shake hands. This is just what men do.  And, in the midst of quitting, you need to be especially respectful, poised, and confident.  Leaving your bosses office with him or her respecting you (even though they may be displeased with you) is one of the hallmarks of a Grown Man.

Grown Men, it’s important that you quit your job with class.  At no point in the story of Steven Slater cracking did he do any of he aforementioned steps and, therefore, is not worthy of our adoration in this arena.  Listen, I know times are hard and many of you are reading this blog while in the midst of searching for a job.  And really, I feel for you – these aren’t fun days.  But gentlemen, at the end of the day, a “working class hero” is someone who keeps his composure, doesn’t steal from the company (the beer, remember?), and quits with forethought and class.

Steven Slater, I hope you’re reading.

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