Monthly Archives: February 2012

Leap Day! It’s a real holiday, Jack!

Leap Day is rarer than Christmas. That makes it valuable…not quite as valuable as Nintento Campus Challenge, but it’s still right up there.

So don’t let your Leap Day pass you by. LIVE! Eat some chicken. Hit on a moderately attractive person (you know, kinda sexy but not to that “no chance” point). Read some one-liner jokes on the internet and tell them to your coworkers like they’re your own. This is Leap Day people! Put some creamer in your coffee!

And enjoy this low-budget, low-volume video about this low-budget, low-volume holiday.

Hidden Hotties: Marriage Material

This girl was found at of all places. There’s a few simple point to make about her worth and we’ll leave it alone.

  1. How is this a functioning website with decent traffic when is an unoccupied URL?…. “My web guy says that there’s no sense in paying a few hundred extra when we can just put hyphens into the name and get it for $17 per year. And he’s the same guy who advises and, so he knows his stuff.”
  2. Am I wrong in thinking this site should be marketing to women instead of men? I know if I went diamond shopping for my girl and it showed some sap feeding grapes to a bejeweled fiance, I would not be nearly as enticed as I would by this ad campaign from Family Guy. I’m just saying.
  3. I know we’ve only got a partial view of this hottie (most of her is, yep, hidden), but she definitely has a bit of that Emma Stone quality about her. Nice find from Thomas Cooksey, a man with an eye for talent.

Ok, so it turns out I only had zero points to make about her worth. I feel like eating some grapes now.


The Male Playbook – “The Gangbuster” was a tongue-in-cheek blog I authored when I was 23 years old.  I was pleased with it in terms of followers and reaction, but when I started a new job, I discontinued it. Now, the 40+ plays in The Male Playbook will be making appearances in Writing Bareback over the next year. Enjoy.

We’ve all been there. Outnumbered and shamefully intimidated by the “fairer” sex–not named for their methods of social interaction. “The Gangbuster” is a knife in the back of females’ group dynamics. The recipe for success is equal parts moxy and shamelessness. We’ll use a group of five girls in this example. Here’s the breakdown:

Step 1: Assessment. Use a relative ranking system to sort the girls from 1 to 5 with 1 being the girl that’s most likely to be the group ringleader (usually the hottest and bitchiest in the group) and 5 being the girl that’s most likely to inherit the earth.

Step 2: Action. Go talk to a girl that is a ranking below the least attractive girl you would want to be seen on a public date with (whenever in doubt, always pick girl 4). Don’t waste any time with the hottest girls. They’re used to getting hit on, and they stomp on male egos because they need to prove to their female acolytes that they’re SO fabulous. Actually, this need is the best thing you have going for you. It’s the beginning of jealousy. Talk to the lower level girl. You have to make her believe that you’re sincerely interested. You have to put the “act” in action. Win an Oscar.

Step 3: Hang out. The reason female friendships don’t last is because of their attention-based class system. If a girl is cute but always hangs with hotties, she and the hotties will assume there’s something wrong with her within two months because she’s not getting enough attention. Anyway, this lower level girl will welcome your attention. For once, she’s getting the free drinks and over-bearing eye contact. The longer you can hang out, two things will happen. 1) You’ll become “safer” and more accepted by the entire group. 2) The hotter girls, not used to being ignored, will become more desperate for your valuable attention.

Step 4: The Switch. The group now accepts you. You made your “in” by preying on one girl’s waning self-esteem. During the “hang out” phase, you should have slowly been opening your focus to the entire group. Now it’s time to narrow that focus to a hotter girl in the group that is feeling attention withdrawals. Converse for a while, attempt to get some distance from the group and go for your own personal close (“I’m going to call you sometime.”; “Want to get out of here?”).

Don’t ask if this really works. If you don’t succeed, then you’re not doing it right.

You’re Welcome,
Dustin “I’ll go out in riot gear” Riedesel

Man Up: Buy a suit that fits you

My esteemed colleague, Dustin Riedesel asked 2 things of me last week:

  1. Come up with a running topic that I can write on consistently
  2. Use proper grammar and punctuation, damn it!

This is my attempt to kill two whales with one harpoon (I go big – plus, who still throws rocks at birds?) My goal here is to write on stuff that, as a man, you should just do. Some of these things will be stuff my dad has taught me, other is stuff I’ve learned along the way, and some stuff I’ll just make up hoping to see someone do it one day.

Today we’re talking about getting a suit that fits you. Spoiler Alert: You can’t just buy it off the rack and think its gonna fit – you’ll need to visit a tailor. The suit doesn’t have to be the most expensive suit on the planet. In fact, if you pay more than a few hundred Benjiman’s for it, and you don’t make over 200K/year, then you probably spent too much. When you’re trying it on try to think more more Mad Men and less Michael Douglas in Wall Street. Even though he kicked ass in that movie. Here are the specs of the suit

  • Two-Buttons (why the hell do they even make 3 button suits any more?)
  • Narrow Lapels (this is the part leading up to the collar)
  • Stops at your wrists (or higher)
  • NO PLEATS IN YOUR PANTS. Unless you’re 85 lbs over-weight or 70 years old (+ or – 5 years).
  • Don’t let the pants go much further beyond the top of your shoe

So now you’re asking, “Why do I need a suit? I don’t dress up for work.” To that I say fooey. If you have a nice fitting suit of some quality, you can successfully pull off the same suit at multiple occasions through the year. Let me just list the places where a suit is appropriate.

  • Wedding
  • Vegas
  • Church (even if you just go on Easter and Christmas)
  • Dinner with your woman
  • Business meeting
  • When you feel like lookin fly as hell!

If you have a suit that fits you well, you’ll not only look like a well put-together man, but you’ll probably get a few compliments from the ladies – which is ultimately why you do anything anyway. Plus nothing says “I’m the Alpha Male and I’m here to kick some metaphorical ass” like a man who looks like he means business.

Be A Man,


Next up: Man Up – Wear a Pocket Square

Is Eastbound and Down actually an important show?

I honestly can’t explain why it matters so much to me that Kenny Powers is successful in his fictional comeback. Only a disillusioned idiot would think the character is anything other than a low-grade blend of arrogance and ignorance that shouldn’t be allowed to continuously unload his pain on those who would care for him.

But it does matter to me.

The first episode of season three gave me exactly what I’ve come to expect and appreciate from Eastbound and Down. It hilariously celebrated the racist and amoral underbelly of white American culture, and it did it while showcasing more than enough soul to make me think, “This is an important show.”

Is it really? I don’t completely know yet. I know that it’s a show that gets brought up repeatedly by my peers in the 20s and 30s demos. I know that Kenny’s most defining quality is his stubborn adherence to a false confidence that unwaveringly hides a fear of reality’s burdens. And I know that I’m a little bit scared about the implications of those last two sentences. So yeah, if I had to choose, I’d say this is an important show.

I hope that I don’t root for Kenny to complete his comeback because I relate to him. I don’t want that to be true of me. However, I’m coming to terms with it. I’m a believer in the God-sized hole in people’s hearts, that every person needs redemption in some form or another. Eastbound and Down didn’t even try to be subtle on this point:

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God zombie….My story is the story of a raging Christ figure who tore himself off the cross and looked at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said, “My turn now, c***suckers.”

The formula is simple. I get it. We’ve seen the story of struggle and renewal a thousand times. I just don’t get why I’m so desperate for it to work out this time around. Don’t screw it up, Kenny.

Blogging Failure – The Hangover Mix

So I had this great brilliant orgasmic idea to create “The Ultimate Hangover Playlist” for the small but loyal readership of Writing Bareback. It was to be a collaborative piece with Dr. Tom.   I even humbled myself to the role of “Nurse Diesel” as he suggested. The idea was that we’d have this thoughtful back-and-forth about how a song can be simultaneously regenerative and painful, about the strength that can bloom from a wounded soul, and about the runny poo that only a mix of beer, bourbon and shame can create. Here’s how it turned out:


Dr. Tom,

I’ve been into Johnny Cash’s “The Beast in Me” lately. It’s a soothing ointment on the restless and reckless wounds of my soul. Got me thinking about doing a “My Hangover Playlist” article for the blog. Obviously, I bow to you in all things musical, so let’s tag-team it. I think we gotta cap it at 10 tracks, so feel free to make additions and subtractions. I know you’re going to nix some of these, but my initial recommendations are:

  1. The Beast in Me, Johnny Cash – an unassailable track on this playlist. If you try to cut this, I’m going to cut you. I’ll cut you so bad that you’ll never be hungover again because you’ll be staying constantly drunk to cope with your “more than handicapped” life.
  2. Morning Song, The Lumineers – Your gift to me, and I thank you. As I told you, it feels painfully beautiful to me, like watching Natalie Portman open her wrists up.
  3. Sunday Morning Coming Down, Johnny Cash – A song that inexplicably makes a hungover person want to start drinking again….or maybe that’s just a sign of addiction.
  4. Springsteen, Eric Church – A song about the beauties of the past. I’ll admit that I’m mostly just in love with this song. I’d probably include it on any list. But isn’t a hangover mostly about dealing with the past? This tune gets me thinking about the girls I used to love (even though I didn’t know what love was yet) and the dreams I could still achieve (but didn’t….yet). Thinking about that stuff when you’re eyes feel like pods of Nickelodeon Gak is hangover gold.
  5. Some Devil, Dave Matthews – I have to have something from the solo album….it was precious to me once.
  6. Whiskey Tears & Distant Shore – Dierks Bentley…can’t have a hangover mix without Dierks (I know we differ on our taste for country, but nobody does pain better than Nashville…emo can’t feel past its 21st birthday). I can post these two tunes together and live with it because there’s no way I’m listening to one and then not listening to the other….since I’m channeling my 21-year-old self right now, here’s a MUST on the hangover playlist…
  7. Angels Like Her, Trent Tomlinson – “The sunbeam hit the Jim Beam” is the single greatest lead-in ever to a hangover song. This whole song leads me to start talking to myself with questions like, “What makes you drink, wounded soul?”…but overall, it gives an uptick to the hangover mood that can be beneficial.
  8. The Lengths, The Black Keys – A contribution from my buddy Michael D. It’s got a quality important to hangover tunes, which is that if it played on a loop for 89 straight minutes, you wouldn’t even notice. You’d just be spaced out like well-fed zombie for 89 straight minutes.

That’s my start…give me some help here. Additions? Cuts?

Nurse Diesel

That’s a running start to a great collaborative piece if I’ve heard one. What does Dr. Tom hit me back with? This:

these are just some titles that i’ll write about later:
The Honorary Title: Cut Short
Fun. : The Gambler
Ryan Adams: A Kiss Before I Go
Butch Walker: Cigarette Lighter Love Song

And that’s it. That is the sum total our collaboration. Tommy claims to be ‘busy’, but as infamous sales personality Andrew Lewis likes to say, “Busy just means you can’t manage your time well”…I’m trying, America.

Under-appreciated music nurse,

Hidden Hotties: The Inaugural Post

Ruth Stafford Peale–who was the wife of the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, author of “The Power of Positive Thinking”–is credited with the quote “Find a need and fill it”. It has come to the attention of Tommy and myself that there is a sector of celebrity that doesn’t get nearly enough run. It’s the nameless hotties that are hidden in the obscurity of untraveled internet space. You might find her as the pitchgirl for a tax shop or a pest controller. She might be the fan in the background of a phenomenal highlight. Who knows. The point is, we’re stepping up to fill this need.

You can send us ones you’ve found at, or you can tweet me at @dustinriedesel or tommy at @tcook6strings. Currently, my personal criteria is that a google search for “who’s the girl on [insert where you saw her]” comes up with nothing close to a clue. But it’s always evolving

Our inaugural girl is the headline model at And while she looks more simple than smart, she professes that filing your taxes online can be both. I made an effort to find out who she was, but came up empty.

I think my favorite meathead tagline is “I’d let her review my assets”…but I’m not putting too much work into it.

Who and where she is remains unknown. She is a hidden hottie.