Tag Archives: movies

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XVI

1 Jul

We’re going to change it up a bit this week.  Instead of waxing poetic with one long answer to one great question, I’m going to do rapid fire answers to some recurring questions.  Sound good? Here we go…

Grown Man,

What’s your favorite movie?

James
Asheville, North Carolina

The Godfather II. Next question.

Wait, wait, wait, I don’t care if this is rapid fire, you’re not allowed to be lazy – WHY is The Godfather II your favorite movie? Isn’t it full of things you talk about men not doing? Also, why II and not I or III?

Fine, here’s why.  It’s awesome.  There’s no moral high ground, there’s nothing redeeming, Michael and Vito aren’t heroes, the mafia killed people, everybody treated women poorly, and any logic used by any character was almost certainly flawed.

However…

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were stunningly good as Michael and Vito Corleone.  Not to mention the clothes, music, cinematography, depth of storytelling, editing, sound design (listen to the train in the Sollozzo and McCluskey scene), and casting are all perfect.

“He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.”

And to your point about liking a movie that’s not very Grown Man-ish, to that I say, who cares? I’m not looking for movies, television, or music to impart some moral high ground, I’m looking to be entertained.  These things aren’t meant to raise us (or our kids) they’re meant to light up our minds.  So…you can read this blog for sound advice or, if you’re lucky, you can ask your awesome grandpa what being a Grown Man means.  But no matter what you do, don’t blame the messenger.  You are the owner of your influences and your actions.

Finally, regarding  your point about I and III.  The original Godfather wouldn’t be as great without the sequel, and the fact that you would ask about The Godfather III makes me angry.  You are on a one month suspension from reading Grown Man.

GM,

Where have you been?  You disappeared for over a year – and now you’re back!?  What’s with that?

Sincerely,
About A Million People

Short, true answer: Mrs. Grown Man and I busted out some kids.

Long, amusing answer: You need to start thinking about the You’re A Grown Man blog like you think about the McRib. Sometimes it’s there; sometimes it isn’t.  Why don’t they just keep it there year round? Nobody knows.  Why is the Filet-O-Fish always available but the McRib isn’t? It’s the greatest mystery of our age. However, what we do know is that when the McRib is on the menu, it’s a delightful morsel that satisfies our every desire.  When it’s gone, we remember how awesome it was and eagerly await its return.  Right now, the McRib is on the menu – go ahead and supersize it.

Hey Grown Man, I know you won’t answer this question, but why don’t you use your real name?  Why are you anonymous?  Also, your blog is amazeb*$#s.

Jeff
Scottsdale, Arizona

Thanks for the compliment, Jeff.  No, I take that back.  I do not thank you for the compliment.  I hate that word so much, and I am begging the folks who read this blog to create and sign some sort of petition stating that they’ll never say that word again.  Jeff, I’ve taught you better.  Gross.

To your question though, here’s why I’m anonymous: The guy who actually writes this has a name, a career, and all kinds of flaws.  Sometimes he writes GM for you – usually he’s writing it for himself.  If that fella lets GM do the talking, we all benefit.  Believe me, you don’t want to hear from the guy with a name – he is BOOOOOORING (but quite handsome).

That’s all for now, thank you all for asking such great questions.  Until next week, ask away…

I know it was you Fredo,
Grown Man

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XIII

8 Nov

Hey Grown Man,

I love the outdoors and everything about it. My idea of “a good time” involves kayaks, climbing harnesses, tents, and Wyoming.

My question is, what does this mean for my (hypothetical) lady-friend who doesn’t dig the outdoors? I can put up with cuddling on the sofa watching the Notebook, but enough’s enough.

Advice?

-Mountain Man

Mountain Man,

First, I’d like to publicly chastise you for coming up with your own nickname.  How dare you sir, how dare you indeed.  As the proprietor of this here blog, I take great joy in reading a question like yours and coming up with an oh-so-witty salutation.  For instance, I might have started this reply with, “Dearest Timothy Treadwell” or “Guy Who Secretly Loves the Notebook and is Seeking My Approval for His Nicholas Sparks Obsession.”  However, you did come up with a passable nickname, so… I forgive you.  On to more pressing matters.

At least the documentary was awesome

How is a man of the wilderness able to coexist with a woman of worldliness?  Oh no, wait, here’s a better one: How can a gentlemen of the outdoors love a woman of shopping mall stores?  I should’ve quit on the first one.  Anyhow, it’s a tough question.  Because really, there’s no silver-bullet that will somehow help you and this hypothetical woman co-exist in a perfectly balanced tent and town-house life.  The real question is: To what extent are you willing to compromise? Answering this question will go a far way in solving your initial query.

Here’s what I’m talking about.  Relationships aren’t meant to change or define, but rather to refine.  It’s a fine line but one that must be guarded at all times in order to avoid resentment from either party. While a dream scenario may be to get her to completely convert and become an REI shopping, Kavu wearing, get lost and love it type of person — she just may not be wired that way. Certainly you can understand, can’t you?  You aren’t wired to enjoy an evening of window shopping, dining at Chili’s, and cuddling at home in front of the latest Julia Roberts project, “Eat, Pray, Dying Career”.  But, even though you’re not going to redefine each other as individuals, you can still meet somewhere in the middle.  So, here are your options:

1- Compromise. If this woman is worth giving and taking a little bit for, do it.  Do your best to show her what you love about nature without overwhelming her but also suck it up a bit and learn how to give a crap about her world.  Compromise is key — for both of you!

2- Cheerlead. Sometimes, there is no middle ground and you’ve got to take a sideline, cheerleader, approach.  For instance, Mrs. Grown Man likes to run marathons. I, conversely, really like to not run marathons.  Therefore, I’ve got a job to make her feel supported without directly participating in what can only be described as 26.2 miles of insanity and torture.  So, I go to the races and clap with the rest of the wise non-marathoners and I make sure to tell her how amazing she is at least 50 times for each mile she’s run.  Mountain Man, Uptown Girl may not be able to get stoked about your world and, additionally, you may not be able to get jazzed about hers.  But, can you at least be excited and supportive of the other person. Right?

3- Be done. Everyone, you need to pay attention to the next statement: Marriage doesn’t fix anything that’s busted in dating or engagement — it only magnifies it.  Therefore, Mountain Man, if this is a big issue that no amount of compromise or cheerleading can fix, you’ve got to both ask each other if this is a relationship worth keeping.  I know this is an extreme response to a difference of interests, and I really hope you guys can find a way, but if you can’t and this is a big deal, it’ll only get bigger post-nuptials.  Sorry, bud.

So as I see it, those are your three options.  My encouragement to you would be to be bold in finding which of them works for you guys and pursue it with gusto.  Also, you really should move to Wyoming — it’s freaking beautiful out there, man.

Into the Wild,
GM

carry cash.

23 Aug

The more I write this blog, the more I realize my grandfather may be the coolest Grown Man I’ve ever known.  And, even though he has an aversion to wearing a tie, eating any form of bean, and The Pope (I don’t share his disdain), he is typically my go-to Draper-in-residence (without all the skirt chasing and domestic violence).  So today, I’m thinking about my grandfather as I begin to talk about Grown Men carrying cash.  Why?  Because that old dude typically has a wad of cash in his sweat pants pocket that would make even the most seasoned of Chamillionaire jealous.  For real, I’m pretty certain that he’s been to K-Mart a number of times with a grand in small bills — not kidding at all.

So, why should you carry cash?  Because, like the Boy Scouts say, you’ve got to be prepared. Young men reading this blog, imagine the following scenario:  You’re on a date with a lovely lass when she spots one of those awesome Catholic (sorry Tilt-A-Whirl Of Lovegrandpa) church carnivals in the distance.  Without warning, your plans for a movie and some making-out have been thwarted and your evening will now look more like funnel cakes and Ferris wheels.  Bummer.  However, she wants to go and you quickly realize that you might be able to get some of that sweet kissin’ action on the Tilt-A-Whirl, so you concede. But wait, you’ve hit a snag, the movie theater is more than willing to accept credit cards for purchase, but the carnival is doing some serious IRS dodging and will only accept cash or cigarettes for rides.  Oh the embarrassment!  Oh the Tilt-A-Whirl!

Our society has become completely plastic (no offense to Joan Rivers) and we no longer require cash for a majority of our transactions.  I believe this shift came in 2004 when our greatest national export began accepting credit at all 1.8 quad-trillion golden arch locations.  Yep, that’s the year that McDonald’s got sick and tired of subjecting their 14-year-old register kids to men fumbling around in their wallets and holding up the line while begging money off their friends.  Until that time, we knew that even the most basic of American needs (Big Macs and those awesome apple pies) would necessitate even a dollar-menu’s worth of green.  But when they jumped ship, so did the fat country.  Now, we’re stuck at the carnival with a pissed off girlfriend and an ATM walk of shame.

Gentlemen, you’ve got to be ready for whatever comes your way. From carrying a pocket knife to having at least $30 in your wallet at all times, there are just some necessities for navigating this concrete world.  Back in the day, and I mean really back in the day, a man wouldn’t have left his cabin without a gun, some water (whisky), and a hat.  He knew that with these three things he could eat, sleep, be safe, and look tough as hell.  It’s time for us to reclaim that duty as men and make sure that we’re always well equipped with the bare minimum.

But Grown Man, what if I get robbed?  If they steal my wallet and I don’t have cash, all I have to do is cancel credit cards!

I love the “getting robbed” excuse for being ill prepared.  Because truthfully, most people don’t get pick-pocketed.  If you live in Compton or something, maybe you should consider not carrying a grandfather-wad of money. But most of you live in Generic City, USA and carry a $250 mini-computer in your pocket without giving it a second thought.  Are you really that nervous about not carrying anything valuable? I don’t think so.  Additionally, $32 bones given to some armed bandit isn’t going to break the bank — hopefully.  If it is, you’ve got bigger fish to fry and should probably consider becoming an armed bandit yourself.

That’s all for today, go to the ATM on your lunch break and enjoy the Tilt-A-Whirl.

You’re a Grown Man, carry cash.


know how to cook.

21 Jul

Being a foodie is so hot right now.  Oh yes, we love saying things like, “Mmm, that was amazing, a perfect mix of savory and sweet!” and “Oh my gosh, I found the best farmers market!  They have organic Swiss Chard!”  Oh Lord, you love you so much, don’t you? Yet, while we are entrenched in an era where culinary know-how is readily available and oh-so-chic, many gentlemen continue to not know the difference ramen and ricciutelle.  Oh no, wait, I’ve got a better one, between Boyardee and Bourdain.  Now that’s comedy gold.

Grown Men, you need to know how to cook.  And, while I shouldn’t have to write hundreds of words about this, I know that for you to turn the corner and actually get your Foie gras on, I’m going to have to do some explaining.  First,  the why

The why is simple.  You like good food and you are (or should be) an independent person. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely on others to provide that good food.  And when I’m talking about relying on others, I’m referring to  your mom, your significant other, or a restaurant.  None of the aforementioned are responsible for you, and none of them should carry the weight of Hamburger Helping you eat better.

The fact is, men are losing the ability to make their own way in life.  We no longer mow our own yards, we don’t consider fixing the broken appliance, and we assume that a fancy feast must be acquired – not made.  And while it’s fun to have a dining experience, it shouldn’t be the default.  Hear me say this, it’s fantastic when your special lady-friend hooks you up with a nice meal.  And, there’s nothing like going home and eating a plate full of mom’s homemade nostalgia.  But those experiences aren’t the norm and you, Grown Man, should be able to create meals that are enjoyable and out of the box.  Well, not literally out of a box, more like motivational office poster out of the box.

Alright, alright, Grown Man, I’m convinced!  I’ll substitute one of my three All-You-Can-Eat-Wing nights for something I cook on my own.  Oh, but wait, I can’t cook anything.  Guess I’m ignoring your advice again.

Good segue, “fake person who I created to help me move between thoughts rapidly”.  Now that you know the why, let’s talk about the how.  Because the truth is, a ton of guys just don’t know how to cook.   I’m always shocked at the number of really good fellas whose ability is limited to grilling something terribly (every guy thinks he can grill, few of them can, that’s a future post) or limited to “cooking” a bowl of Captain Crunch.  Oh Captain, my Captain, mmmmmmmmm.  Anyhow, here are some easy ways to start learning.

1- Start with basic stuff.  Learn how to make a good pancake, a passable chicken dish, and some common sides (mashed potatoes, green beans, etc.).  Starting basic and learning the properties of food will naturally lead you to more complicated dishes.

2- Find out what cookbook your grandma uses and buy that one.  My grandma uses The Joy of Cooking and The Betty Crocker Cookbook.*  Both of these cookbooks are the quintessential Cooking 101 textbooks.  They’re not going to give you the worlds best recipe for a soufflé, but you’ll make a killer apple pie – which is a great and delicious start.

But I’m a man, I don’t read directions and I’m sure as hell not going to read a recipe!

Here’s a freebie, You’re a Grown Man, either read directions or be a lot smarter than you are. Back to the post…

3- Spend some time with people who you know that can cook.  Nothing works better than an apprenticeship.  If your buddy is inviting you over for some succulent sockeye on Friday, offer a high-quality, independently brewed, six-pack in exchange for peeking over his shoulder as he preps your dinner.  You’ll be swimming up-stream at first, but then it’ll all start to make sense.

4- If you really get into it and want to learn a ton of great techniques, recipes, and tricks, check out Rouxbe, an on-line cooking school.*

Grown Men, give some thought to your food and start raising the bar on what you can do for yourself.  Even if you crash and burn a few times, the effort will be noticed (yes, by girls) and appreciated.  Bon Appetit!

*None of the mentioned books or sites are advertising with me and, likely, have no idea who I am.

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. III

1 Jul

“Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.”  There were so many awesome questions this week (and I wrote for freaking ever in response to them), that we’re doing a two-part Ask A Grown Man.  Part one, here we go…

GM,

How does the Grown Man have the “DTR” talk? (define the relationship) Does the gentleman initiate the conversation, and what should it entail?

Thanks for keeping us in line and reflecting on how to stay a step above the rest.

-Anonymous

Mr. Touchy Feely,

Ah yes, the fabled DTR.  For those of you readers who don’t know what a DTR is, allow me to explain.  A DTR is a conversation between a man and a woman where they Define The Relationship.  DTR’s usually serve one of three purposes: to solidify a budding romance, to take a relationship to the next level, or to break up.  Research shows that DTRs seem to happen in the middle of the night, at random places, with little forethought and a ton of overly dramatic conversations like:

Budding romance

Woman: “So what are we? [gaze into each others eyes, kiss for 2 hours, talk about dad issues]
Man
: “I guess we’re [tears well up]…I guess we’re –  us.”

[vomit]

Taking it to the next level

Man: “So, um, well, what kind of guy are you thinking you’ll want to marry someday? I mean, I know you’re not there now, but someday, would he be somebody that’s, I don’t know, like, cool? Or maybe…[trails off]
Woman:
“I like you.”

Oh shiz, son – it’s ON!

Breakup

Man: “I just feel like I’m not ready to be married right now.”
Woman:
“But we’ve only been dating for two weeks?”
Man:
“I love you too much to hurt you down the road, I care about you enough to end things now before I hurt you anymore.”
Woman:
“Thank you?”

Anonymous, if that is your real name, a Grown Man has a few very important responsibilities within the parameters of the DTR.  First, if he’s going to open that door, he’s got to walk through it.  If you’re going to DTR a budding romance (yes, that’s proper grammar), make sure you’re willing to actually date the lady in waiting. Guys have an insatiable appetite for the hunt and they freaking love knowing that a girl’s on the hook. However, all too often they stop after […kiss for 2 hours, talk about dad issues] and leave the now exposed (get your mind out the gutter) woman waiting for a reply.  Not cool. If you’re going to go there – go there.

Second, make sure that these conversations don’t get out of hand.  Relationships, like Mogwai’s, really shouldn’t be fed after midnight. And while I know you can’t always stop the train, just do your best to keep it from leaving the station.  As a rule, try to avoid DTRs when someone’s sick, sad about something else, tired, or generally not 100%. When we get deep during an already stressful time, we end up tacking on other emotions that have nothing to do with the actual relationship.  If you’re lucky enough to have this conversation at a time where both of you are in a good head space, the harvest will be bountiful.  Also, don’t get water or sun on the Mogwai – just a helpful tip.

Finally, don’t DTR every freaking day.  DTRs become a drug, a drug that fuels our ego, low self-esteem, and desire to be wanted.  DTRs, and I mean the good, long, DTRs need to be reserved for times when the ball is actually going to be moved forward in the relationship – not when you need a hit of self-confidence.  There’s a fine line between DTR and STR (smothering).

Anonymous, I hope this helps.  Thanks so much for submitting a great question!

Bright light! Bright light!,
GM

What should a woman do about a man who refuses to talk on the phone and only communicates via Text messages? I’m not sure if you’ve already touched on this subject or not, but I’d surely like your opinion!

-Anonymous

OMG,

Run.
And while you’re running, try to dodge his girlfriend or wife.

I’m not kidding,
GM

More tomorrow, thanks for reading!

you’ve got to read books.

24 May

I’ve spoken to a number of men who don’t read books, which is crazy.

But Grown Man, what’s the point of reading a book? Can’t I just watch TV/go to a movie and get the same information? Furthermore, it only takes two hours to get through a movie instead of a whole month for a book!

Here’s the difference: an I.V. versus a cheeseburger. Got it? OK, I’ll explain.

An I.V. gives you the nutrients you need but is completely void of taste or experience. A cheeseburger allows you to truly enjoy the process of nourishment with each chedder-ie, meat-ie bite..mmmmmmm, cheeseburger, mmmmmmmm. When you watch a movie you turn your brain off and ingest for two hours. Then, you clean the butter and Raisinets residue off your hands and leave the experience in the past. It’s very rare to find a movie that leaves you thinking and engaged.

However, a book takes you somewhere and lights up that gray mushy space that’s so often occupied by boredom and Rock Band. A book gives you some of the information but forces you, subconsciously, to fill in the blanks. When Hemingway talks of Spain, you find yourself sitting on a cobblestone street sipping Absinthe (don’t drink Absinthe, you’ll go nuts) and feeling the warmth of San Fermín.

Men, you need to awaken your mind. We spend many days doing the same thing over and over. It’s in our nature, it’s how we make money, serve our family, and do the job of being a grown man. But the mind becomes still – and then it gets restless. Not good.

But Grown Man, I don’t have enough time to read!

Here’s some simple math that proves you’re terrible at managing your time:

Here’s some good places to start:

1- Guy books: Tuesdays with Morrie (dad issues), Jurassic Park (dinosaur issues)
2- Classic, American, male authors: Hemingway, Vonnegut, Twain, Steinbeck, etc.
3- Biographies: Einstein, Truman, Adams, Lincoln
4- TIME Top 100 books of all time
5- Sports Illustrated Top 100 Sports books of all time
6- Magazines don’t count, they’re great, but more like a plate of sliders rather than the full cheeseburger.

Congrats, you just read 374 words.

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