[Note: for purposes of this conversation, you should imagine my voice sounds like the bass dude from a mid-90s R&B boy band]1


you (collectively): hehroh?

[Wait; stop.  Cut post.  I forgot to mention I imagine you say “hello” like Scooby-Doo.  Okay.  Let’s start this from the top.]


you: hehroh?

me: hey. it’s Effbee.

you: yeah, right. i’d recognize that voice anywhere.

me: look, we need to talk. you might want to sit down for this.

you: it’s not mine.

me: what?

you: the baby you’re about to tell me about. i don’t have time for a–

me: i can’t even have babies. you know i’m a dude, right?

you: …

me: the point: we’ve been cool for a while now. like, over a year.

you: yeah..

me: but i have a secret. i feel like i’ve been living a double life. my name isn’t actually “f.B” or “Franco Beans.”

you: excuse me while i struggle under the weight of my surprise.

me: you knew?

you: if you are asking whether i knew your parents didn’t put a name with a period and blatant miscapitalization on your birth certificate, i’m saying “yes.”

me: and you didn’t say anything?

you: i figured you’d tell me when you were ready.

me: well, i’m ready. it’s Brad.

you: B-Rad! like that wack-ass dude in Malibu’s Most Wanted!

me: no. stop that.

you: then “Brad” like the brunette chick on Hey Dude?

me: nonotlikethatbrunettechickonHeyDude!

you: whoa.

me: sorry. childhood nomenclatural trauma. anyway, the thing is, it hasn’t been a total secret. some of you knew and some of you didn’t. so i’ve been kinda going behind some of your backs, giving up the real name goods.

you: wait. who’s “you?” am i “you?” or is there some other “you?” this is getting confusing.

me: you you. well, some of you, you. you’re a collective.

you: whatever. slut.

me: what?

you: just felt right.

me: i guess that’s fair.

you: …

me: …

you: so is that it?

me: yeah. i guess so. it doesn’t sound nearly as momentous as it did in my head.

you: because it wasn’t. like, at all.

me: oh, well. it was nice to finally talk to you and not, like, at you.

you: we done?

me: huh? oh, yeah. sure.

you: cool. holla.



1Yes, even if you know better.


no, i insist


credit: Megan L. Nell

“No, I insist.”

I say this three different ways:

1. No, I insist.
2. No, really, I insist.
3. Doitforchristssake.

I’ll explain how this works.  Each is situational.

No, I insist.

My momma didn’t raise no fool.  Well, obviously she did.  This blog’s archives are all the proof of that you need.  But at least she taught me how to be a gentleman and I remember those lessons pretty regularly.

If you are near an open door, or the sidewalk is narrowing, or there’s an empty seat at the bar and you are not — or at least don’t appear to be, if we’ve never met — a hemorrhoidal asshat, “No, I insist” is how I let you know that it would be my pleasure to be nice to you.

No, really, I insist.

The tension is growing, here.  I’ve already told you that it was okay to walk first or sit down.  But maybe the gesture caught you off guard.  Maybe you are dumbfounded that I, unlike most strangers, opened my mouth and didn’t hit on you, insult you or just scream unexpected-crazy about how THE PURPLE LADY ALWAYS TUESDAYS WHEN I CHEESE, or something.  Or, better yet, maybe I’m saying this because you said “No, I insist” back to me.  In that case, brilliant.  We’re all getting along and living Rodney King’s dream.  However, no, really, I insist.


I think you know what this means.  This is reserved for a special class of people: those unable to take hints.  There are subsets of this class: really, really old people; parents with strollers that carry 37+ babies at a time like some sort of Fetal Utitilty Vehicle, but who just can’t seem to decide if they want to go right, left, forward or turn around and then make me miss the light; morons.

Luckily for them, if I am saying this, it is almost always internally; you know, using my thinking voice.  My eyes are like Shakira’s hips, though: they don’t lie, so you can be sure that I am trying to send eye-lasers at them like Cyclops.

If we are at this stage, you are dwindling my hope for humanity.  I am thisclose to spearing you or giving you a stiff-arm to the forehead and feeling great about it.  As a rapper might say, I’m a patient man, but I’m not a patient, man.  I do not have time to sit in the waiting room that is your indecision and read the outdated magazines, that are your facial expressions, while you struggle with the epic choice of “should I stay, or should I go.”

Just doitforchristssake.  I have places to be.

[Note: this post may appear in short form on telephone poles, street lights and storefronts near you.]

10 things you’d hate about me

Last week, Carissa so so generously tagged me as an Honest Scrap.

Wait.  Am I using “scrap” correctly?  Can I be one?  Or is it just like a shield of honesty that I hold?  I don’t know.  Let’s assume anything is possible.


I tweaked the rules a little and went with ten honest things that risk me looking like a tool in your eyes.  So, here’s a list guaranteed to make you remember Smash Mouth’s Why Can’t be Friends?1

10 Things You’d Hate About Me

1. I don’t know much, but I know I argue. Really. Me: not that smart about a lot of things. But sometimes I like to argue just to see if you are.

2. I don’t really like chocolate. I mean, I’ve always eaten chocolate chip cookies and I will drink Swiss Miss with a smile. And I’m coming around in the last few years with some desserts. But I’ve never even had a chocolate bar; of any kind.

3. Attention to your detail. Ladies: I will probably know if that matches (though, I admit, maybe not why). Dudes: if you try to convince me the New Orleans Saints play in the NFC Central, I will remind you the Central is now the North and then list all 32 teams by division.

4. I gets deep, yo.2 I was a high school debater, a philosophy major and then a law student. I can’t help it. Sometimes I really do want to talk about things like race and gender. And so I might ask you a question that makes you uncomfortable. I just hope you’d know I do it with the hope that you’d do the same for me.

5. I’m a morning person/not a coffee drinker. Aside from one shot of espresso at the Empire Diner, I’ve never had a full cup of coffee in my life. And, no: not really that curious.

6. I’m a doer. I have things to do. What things? Good question. I don’t know. But I need to get them done. I say things like “I’ve got so much to do today” without any idea what they are. I just struggle with being idle.

7. I take ignorance very seriously. I don’t like excuses for it and don’t forget it easily. So, for instance, I haven’t seen an episode of Seinfeld — a show I used to love — since Michael Richards opened his mouth too widely at the Laugh Factory in 2006. The sight of him makes me sick.

8. I think Megan Fox is so obviously unattractive-with-the-face that there must be some media conspiracy to convince us otherwise because everyone seems to disagree with me.

9. I think we’re all at least amateur mind-readers. So maybe you don’t know exactly what I’m thinking.  But even dogs know “sad,” “happy” and “afraid,” so I’m thinking we can figure out some silent communication, too. If I have to produce a report detailing how you possibly could have offended/hurt me every time you do, well, I will take note of that but don’t actually expect any memos after the first time.

10. I fill empty space with opinions. If you don’t have a plan or opinion, then I will just make one up and keep moving. Life is short, kids. It’s not that I even really believe my idea is a good one. It just sounds better than sitting on my hands.


1Or maybe not, since after listening to it for the first time in years, I have no idea what that song is actually about.

2That’s what he said.

I turned 27 yesterday.  It had been one whole year since my last birthday.  One whole year.  It felt like less.  This last year has gone by fast.  How fast?  [insert adverb] fast.  And that’s fast.

Until last year, there really was only a small circle of people who knew when my birthday was.  I didn’t even have it visible on Facebook — the measure of all things social.  I’m almost never a fan of attention.  Even with this blog; I look at it as (hopefully) entertainment for you, more than a stage for me.  So a whole day of celebrating me?  Well, that has always seemed like way too much spotlight.

But last year, on a whim, I decided to break the mold a bit and admit a closely-guarded secret: I was born, on a day.

Groundbreaking.  I know.

This year, I took another step forward towards being a full-fledged member of society and when the clock struck midnight on my birthday, I happened to be at a bar.  With other people.

Earth-shattering.  I know.

Quick recap?  I thought you’d never ask.

The night started brilliantly when, while washing my face before we headed out, I threw my name into the mix for an honorary Darwin Award.  I hit my forehead on the cabinet over the sink and forcibly removed an inch long chunk of skin from my face.

Verdict: Ouch, but hygiene still worth it.

Sporting a glob of Neosporin, a band-aid and a hat to hide it all, I stepped out with m’lady to cash-in on an invite to meet some new and some familiar faces at an oddly favorite spot: a wonderfully uninterested-in-being-awesome bar.  It was sexy.  Dim mood lighting and folk songs sung by a man as old as Ireland itself.

There were some notable personal achievements that evening:

1. As an homage to Always Sunny, I salted Maxie‘s cleave.  That’s an understatement.  But I can’t do the scene justice, since it wasn’t my nips.  You should ask her.

2. Maxie salted me back with a vengeance.  How much salt did she throw at me?

salt stainYeah.  I know it’s DC, but that’s not coke that spilled from Marion Barry‘s pocket.  That’s a salt stain on the sidewalk.  That’s what bounced off of me.

3. After a long period of retirement, I jumped back into the gum-chewing arena and produced many successful bubbles.  Below is my best work.

bubble gum4. Someone said “Asperger’s.”  I misheard because I listen poorly.  Ergo, I wanted to know how you could get “ass burgers” and whether they were as itchy as they sounded.

5. Thanks to the miracle of TV, we watched Jahvid Best nearly break his neck, during a California vs. Oregon State football game, from every conceivable angle, a dozen times.

But to everyone who texted, called, tweeted, wrote on my Facebook wall, wrote on the wall of my house, and such and such: thank you.  I’m still adjusting to being cool with taking one whole day out of the year and making it call me “daddy,” but I so appreciate that you took time to help me dominate the day.

Maybe next year I’ll grow a pair and actually have a birthday party.

This is doubtful.

The party, that is.

The pair is–

I should just leave.

as previously seen…

Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.


Okay. So I’m utterly confused by WordPress’ failure to execute tonight — or last night — including prematurely publishing a scheduled draft. Hopefully not, but there may be draft-like content in your reader, or a post that only somewhat resembles this one. Sorry about that. It kind of makes me want to go back to Blogger and have a legit reason to play around with Google Wave.

But whatever. It’s hard to be that upset at anything while listening to Sam & Ruby, which is exactly what I’ve got for you today. They’re not new, but they’re growing, by leaps and bounds. And thanks to Sam at It’s the Little Things, I’m kind of in awe of them. Actually, in awe; no need for a mitigator.

For a studio version, go here.

But the business: this week’s FVF is a continuation. And a conglomeration. A cohabitative collaboration, celebrating the collision of chorusticular contemplation.

I apologize. I just always wanted to talk like Don King or Jesse Jackson.

The moment has passed. Moving right along.

The verse is a little of this plus something new, written to the instrumental of a song I submitted in a contest a few years ago. So it is at least a continuation. And I think it’s a little bit of growth, because a song that started by asking to be part of something, now has a chorus asking for something in return. But it’s still, as seems to be a trend lately, a work in progress.

Happy Friday. Go make some bad decisions.

“center of your universe”

close your eyes.
spin around me.
let me be
the center of your universe.

all i’m asking for
is the chance to be
your dream come true
and everything you deserve.

but before my heart strings pop
a smile breaks
and i fall head over feet,
i want you to stop me
and say you mean it.

’cause i’ve been oh so close
with a front row seat
just to watch it slip away,
so i want you to stop me
and say you mean it.


It’s not what we are; it’s what we appear to be.  This is our currency.  This is what we exchange.  I don’t get to see whatever it is you actually are.  I don’t even really get to see the you you wear by design.  None of that has anything to do with my eyes.

I’m like a fun house mirror.  What I see in you depends on how I’m situated; where I stand.  If my history was different, my vantage point would be, too.  But all I’ve got is this angle.  And I know that does you no favors.  I know that you’re likely aware that perception is king and that you, like all of us, often feel impressionable under the gazes of others.  Little things, like walking into a crowded room, are almost scripted as our wondering whether we’ll make a good impression actually in and of itself changes our behavior; changes the exchange.  I get it.  Each time we walk out of our front doors, we all feel a little like we’re standing in front of fun house mirrors.

So I realize I might be being unfair when I say that I see you as an unfortunate birth.

I imagine that what I see when I look at you is the reflection of your parents.  But, I suppose, like good people make bad decisions, good parents can make bad babies.  So maybe it’s not their fault.  Maybe you strayed from the flock to live the kind of renegade life that would make Lorenzo Lamas proud.

I don’t know.  My purpose in life is not to figure you out.  Trying to get to the heart of the matter with you would probably be like journeying to the Land of the Lost; except less funny because Will Ferrell wouldn’t be there wrestling a T-Rex.

What I see in you is your overreaction to situations.  You don’t even wait for them to become uncomfortable.  You jump the gun and take them there yourself.  You do all the dirty work that absolutely no one else would even think to do, because, well, it’s entirely unnecessary and wholly counter-productive.

Or maybe it’s the way you say exactly what you’re thinking when the situation calls for diplomacy.  I certainly enjoy the refreshing surprise of an explicit thought that goes against the comfortable grain.  But the problem with you saying what you’re thinking is that you seem incapable of thinking for yourself.  The result?  Garbled insults out of context.  The image of you as an asshat impressed upon my cornea.

I don’t know what the answer is.  And, honestly, if I thought saying this to you would get us anywhere, I’d do it.  But my patience has worn thin and when my patience tires, my motivation wanes.

Besides, why would you care what I see in you?  I’m sure I don’t look much like a masterpiece in your eyes, either.

the best car for your jeans

So, um, I don’t know much about cars.1 I know this is a shocker.  Everything about this blog says I should be well-versed in automotive technology.  But I was raised by a parent who leased rather than purchased and so took the car right back to the dealer for it to worry about if something went wrong.  Everything I know about cars comes from having watched Mona Lisa Vito’s critical testimony in My Cousin Vinny.

All that said, I think I know more than the guy whose testimonial is featured in one of the latest Ford commercials for its 2010-model Flex.2010 Ford Flex | Official Site of the Ford Flex | FordVehicles.com

The dude is all excited that the Flex has keyless entry, which comes in handy if he locks his keys inside.  But then he spends the remainder of the commercial — a clear majority of it — praising the Flex’s comfort level for dudes who wear skinny jeans.

Skinny jeans.2

The guy is excited that he can leave his keys in the car and still get in and out of it, thereby allowing him to wear skinny jeans when he drives.  Obviously, if he had to carry his keys while wearing skinny jeans, they’d create a bulge in his pocket and press against his thigh and who wants that?  Obviously.

And we needn’t even talk about just how good of an idea skinny jeans are for men generally.  Why stop at slim fit jeans when you can just squeeze your balls like oranges?3 Nothing says “confidence” like self-induced eunuchism.  But far be it from me to tell another man what he should wear.  I used to think that fashion only played a role in choosing a car if you were a) vain or b) “wearing” a prosthetic leg or a wheelchair.  Now, I know better.

Naturally, I’ve now added “whether it will allow me to commit fashion errors” to the top of my wishlist for car features.  Actually, I should probably go call Zipcar and thank them for making all of their cars so skinny-jeans-friendly, since I can unlock them with a card or my phone.  I’ll remember to complain, though, that their seat belts wrinkle my ties.


1I do know everything about hovercrafts, though — hoverbikes, hoverboards, whatever.

2Is making commercials really this easy?

3passerby: “Hey!  That guy pissed himself!  Look at the wet spot on his skinny jeans!  What a tool.”
guy in skinnies: “Huh?  No; it’s cool.  Just juiced m’scrotes.”