Monthly Archives: January 2013

Win A Chipotle Gift Card for Naming Writing Bareback’s Male Bag (working title)

I know you didn’t miss the classy filigree added to the Writing Bareback’s parent menu. But in case you did, I’ve added this image of when “The Male Bag (working title)” was magiced down from the heavens to its digital Bethlehem.

The Male Bag Intro


Only a click away, this slightly overhyped, messianic feature is ready for the loyal readership of wise men and women on Writing Bareback to come pay tribute. Or more accurately, to contribute with questions, ideas, articles and links that need to be disseminated to the rest of Writing Bareback nation (which is growing faster than Evan Baxter’s beard). From what I can tell, some of our readers are smarter than Tommy and almost as smart as me, so it only makes sense to get them involved.

Male Bag Question

The first order of business, let’s get a decent name for a page that will house the dozens of inquiries and thousands of compliments of this site’s readers. We’ll accept any idea as long as it is backed up by a convincing argument (or is just flat-out funny). Whichever idea that Tommy and I decide is our favorite will have earned one of two trophies: $10 Chipotle gift card, or the picture of the ideator’s choice heading the soon-to-be-named page.

So hit the new feature, and start throwing some ideas at us. Nothing is off limits, and know that your name will not be published with your submission without your written permission. Cause we’re classy.

On Romantic Tipping Points and Dating A Manic Pixie Dream Girl

The best and worst moments in life are when you get exactly what you want.

 I was speaking with an ex-girlfriend the other day. She’s dating someone who, by all available evidence, is a fantastic guy. She’s been seeing him for over a month, and everything has gone absolutely perfectly. In spite of that, she finds herself nervous about the adolescent stages of her romance. “Do you ever feel unreasonably anxious when you start to see someone? Like nothing is wrong but you just feel edgy? I kind of feel like I’m always waiting for something to go wrong.”

Malcolm Gladwell describes “the tipping point” in his book of the same name as, “The moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” Tipping point moments are recognizable in most walks of life, but probably most universally experienced in romantic relationships. In these cases the tipping point is recognized as an emotional investment. It’s the time period where a couple is either going to break through or be defeated. Because of its pivotal nature, this period is automatically more stressful than the beginning, when little is invested in the romantic interest, and it’s also less stressful than being further along, where both partners have shown commitment and been through some fires. Most people understand relational tipping point moments, and anyone who’s ever watched The OC definitely understands.

This idea of the relational tipping point dovetailed nicely with a type of character I’ve thought about a lot recently, the manic pixie dream girl. Defined by film critic Nathan Rabin as, “That bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” Examples in movies are Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown, Natalie Portman in Garden State, and Zooey Deschanel in anything. Existing in my personal dating history are two MPDGs, both avatars of my once diminishing boyhood, one from my high school days and one from my college days. I don’t think I saw them as dream girls when I knew them, and I haven’t physically seen either of them in a very long time, and those two statements are probably directly related. No one ever physically sees their dreams. If you do, then they’re not dreams anymore.

These ideas dovetail in the sense that I never reached a romantic tipping point with either of my manic pixie dream girls. You can’t, actually. Because only by never reaching a relational threshold is a love interest free to live on as fantasy, a perfect romance for the person we don’t become. For me, I like that my MPDGs exist that way in my mind, forever young. Of course, if I ran into either one of them today, I’d probably invite her to get a drink, maybe make some bad decisions. I’d push it until we were a thing or we weren’t. I’d demand a tipping point. No HIMYM drumrolls for me. I’ve decided that the romantic tipping point won’t scare me because it’s a fact that I’ll go for it even if it kills my dreams. I want the tipping point.

And if I get what I want, who knows? It will be the best or worst thing that could happen.

This was just too good to NOT write about it.

Sometimes when you’re stumped and having trouble deciding on what to write about, a piece of comedic genius falls right in your lap. My little brother, G, sent me this video with the simple message, “’nuff said.” (You may have to sign in to watch it, but trust me, its totally worth the 15 seconds it takes you to type it in).

I could just end it with that, ’nuff said. But in true Writing Bareback fashion I feel the need to break this down a little bit. For starters, what the hell is Peer Pressure? Is it a music group? Dancers? Rappers? A chess club? For the first 15 seconds I have no idea and I’m left on the edge of my seat.

Now enter “Relentless” (the only member who doesn’t announce himself by his alias) lifting one dumbbell in an over-sized cut off tee. Still, no idea what’s about to happen. Then at 32 seconds…umm WHAT???? A dude alone in a poorly decorated living room humping a poorly placed ottoman. At this point you’re thinking, maybe this is just a guy working on his “technique” and like Peyton or Brady, he’ll take it into the film room later that night to perfect his craft.

Then 52 seconds. STOP IT!!!! There’s no way these guys are going to both violate that poor ottoman…..oh, but yes. X2C (Noun: ex-tuh-see) steps in to show Alan P what he’s all about. Overcome with euphoria, Alan P violently rips off his over-sized cut off and proceeds to do the vertical worm.

This parade of wife beater, gym short wearing dudes step in one by one, announcing themselves and having their way with the ottoman. All until Alan P slowly worms his way back into the frame followed by the rest of Peer Pressure worming their way all into the frame and showing off their moves.

A few things I want to point out here:

  1. No one ever offered to buy the ottoman a vodka cranberry. That’s rude. Vodka cranberry is both delicious and healthy.
  2. How do all 5 of Peer Pressure not so much as crack a smile during all of this? I watched and literally lol’d the entire time. My only theory is they’re so caught up in their own flow, that they’re blind to what the other member is doing.
  3. How did they decide order of entry? Draw straws? Numbers in a hat? Did the have a vertical worm dance-off?
  4. When their parents have their feet on that ottoman later tonight and find this video are they going to burn the ottoman or keep using it and pretend it never happened?
  5. Is this what kids are doing these days? We used to lower the basketball rim and video tape from a low angle so it looked like we were dunking the ball on a 10′ rim. I blame MTV, liberal media and YouTube.
  6. Really glad they end the video with THE END annnnd roll credits. Great film editing. This should be entered at Sundance. Oh and it was “Chorographed by All of us.” Shame the video editing software didn’t come with spell check.

Why are you still reading? Shouldn’t you be chorographing your own dance moves and posting it to YouTube?


The Music Alley: No that’s not Woody Harrelson in The Lumineers.

Last night The Lumineers, whom Dusty and I saw in early 2012 in front of 200 people (slightly bragging), were the featured band on Saturday Night Live. It’s pretty awesome to see a super talented music group, like The Lumineers, who self-released their debut album in April 2012 spring board from anonymity into the national spotlight.

As a result of their SNL debut, the masses begin to ask similar questions about the group like I asked when I first listened to them (if you recall, I predicted their explosion in a post on March 28th). Questions like, is that Woody Harrelson in a fedora and suspenders with a white t-shirt playing a tambourine? Today I noticed a major uptick in traffic on our site and found that there were 150+ searches for some rendition of “Is Woody Harrelson in the Lumineers?” I’m guessing due to last nights SNL debut.

For everyone searching, it isn’t inconceivable to think that Woody (who seems to pop up in the most random movies as random characters) but the answer is no, it isn’t Woody Harrelson in The Lumineers. His incredibly close doppelganger is actually Jeremiah Fraites from New Jersey and as far as I know is in no way kin to our favorite weirdo, Woody. Although, when I look at pictures of them side by side, damn it’s hard for me to even believe my own words that it’s not him.


Not Woody.

Now that we got that out of the way, in the spirit of of sharing new music with you, if you haven’t purchased their album yet (wait, you haven’t? Oh let me guess, you spent your last $7 on the Creed greatest hits album) here’s your chance, go get the album. Below is the encore song they played on SNL last night which I’m assuming they’ll put out as their next single to follow up on the smash-hit “Ho Hey.” My favorite line from the song speaks moves me no matter how many times I read/hear it, “It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all. The opposite of love is indifference.” Have a listen, your ears will thank me.


Images: {Dawgs Saloon; Philly Burbs}

The Dusty Television: 80s Dating Video Montage!!!

Yeah, it’s Youtube, but I’m counting it towards The Dusty Television. What did I glean from this particular video? That my exclusive method of asking girls out from now on will be sending them a VHS of me talking in over-adrenalized cliches to the camera’s unblinking eye. I’ll inform them of my magazine subscriptions and let them know that I’m kind of into well-shaven legs, but a few days growth isn’t a deal-breaker. Am I into heavy petting? If it’s on the menu. Also, I’m bilingual in the languages of English and love.

I mean seriously, if a VHS with the sender name of “Your Next Lover” and a return address of “69 Golden Street, Heaven” appeared in your mailbox, you’d track down a VCR and be seduced by something very similar to this:

Non-Style Guy: The Problem With Raleigh Women’s Fashion

Confused by the picture? Me too. But a “Raleigh women” search gets what it gets. Let’s try “Raleigh girls“…

…better, but still not exactly the perfect showing for females of Raleigh on Google images (but FYI, the Hooters off of Airport Blvd in Morrisville is top notch!). Now on to the post.

What’s below is a chat I had recently with a former female resident of Raleigh (referred to below as Tricksie, which is the computer-generated, American Gladiotor name of my little sister, who will undoubtedly not love being dragged into this even in the most disconnected terms). She talks about the way girls dress and their mindset in doing so. In true chauvinist fashion, my primary takeaway was that girls are being boring…Whether you agree or disagree, it’s an interesting topic. Check it out (references to real people have been edited out…except for me. It’s really me here).

Tricksie: How’s life?

Dusty: I’m doing good in every aspect except relationally. Career, physicality and the writing hobby are all at highs, and relationally’s not terrible. I’m just at a point where having a choice of four 7s to call on a night is less desirable than being able to call one 9.

Tricksie:  Haha, I like the way you put that. Well.. maybe go out and meet some 9’s. Are there none in kickball? I know that’s dumb, but kickball was always a great place to meet people.

Dusty:  [edited before ellipses] All the of girls on my kickball team are 9s, and they’re all taken, especially the married mother of two, Katie Waters. It’s like she lives in a constant emotional foursome..I’ll run into one eventually. I haven’t really even had a full month of complete singleness under my belt.

Tricksie: I feel like the girls in Raliegh aren’t as good-looking as the girls in Kansas or Texas. or maybe they are, but they’re really… sorority, or all the same or something. The guys too. I found dating there really difficult. Not in terms of finding someone…There were a mess of available 20-somethings, but in terms of finding someone laid back and different from everyone else there.. and good looking.

Dusty:  It does seem that there’s a lot of trending to the middle here. I don’t get wowed very often when I’m out.

 Exactly. And ladies there tend to dress for other women (trendy, expensive, etc.), instead of for men (classy T&A).

Dusty: “Classy T&A” has always been my favorite way for women to dress. I just didn’t know it until this moment.

I’ve looked at my NC going out clothes now that I’m back here and I feel almost Mormon. Actually, I went out one night and had on some adorable hippie looking jeans– higher waist and flared a little bit, totally cute Calvin Kleins. I wore them with these great wedges that women love. I started drinking with a table of guys and they flat out made fun of me. I semi-appreciated it, because they’re right, they weren’t going out clothes here, but hell, I don’t own that shit anymore. I need to step my game back up.

Dusty: Hahaha….This is truly enlightening for me, the kind of thing I just assumed I didn’t understand because I’m a guy. But you’re totally right. I might copy and paste this into the blog (name withheld to protect the innocent: you). Excellent points.

Tricksie:  Go for it. I think Raleigh natives just don’t know any better. You see normal going out clothes at trashy places like whatsthatplace under Sullivans?  The Red Room (R.I.P.) or something like that? But as far as a middle- like T&A on Fayetteville St- where is it?  And Five Points- psh, that’s all trendy shit for women, little to look at for men.

Dusty:  Equality is misrepresented when it hides the differences that opposite genders appreciate. I don’t think women want to see a man with lifted shoes and makeup, unless your some kind of 80s rockstar.

Tricksie:  And they don’t need to be trashy- but Raleigh women should learn that guys like a woman’s body, and not that they should show all of it, but flowy layers of crap do nothing to attract men.  Give them a little bit of what they want, cover up the rest in something that is flattering and hides the rest, but gives a good indication of what’s there, and call it a day.

Dusty:  Going-out gospel.

Tricksie:  But it’s something about understanding that what is trendy on style blogs and boutiques and with your girlfriends is nice… but it’s not typically flattering in the way a man cares about. You can get a long way with men, your bank account, and maintaining self respect in a good pair of jeans and a nice fitted white v-neck T. And a flowy tank can get you far, but it needs to hug the ladies in the right places. Flowy for the sake of flowy just makes a guy wonder if you’re hiding a bad figure under there.

Dusty:  I’ve definitely voiced those wonderings on multiple occasions. Jeans and a fitting white v-neck might be my fav thing anyway.

Tricksie:  I think they think it’s trashy, but hell- who is out at bars not trying to impress the opposite sex?  Either you have someone and you want them to like what they see, or you’re looking for someone and you want them to like what they see.  Anyone who says it’s a “girls’ night” is full of shit.  No female goes out just trying to impress her girlfriends, though many dress like that’s their intent.

Dusty:  Why do they do this? Is it insecurity with their bodies? Is it fear of being chastised by girlfriends?

Tricksie:  I think it’s fear of their friends thinking they’re trashy. When we had that Jersey Shore party, I had on a black t-shirt and some baggy, ripped, cropped jeans.  My makeup looked like a hot mess, but I wasn’t showing too much of anything (the girls looked nice, but the pants were baggy enough to compensate, but still had shape).  Anyway, I met a guy out at Five Points, something I wouldn’t have dared doing in those clothes had I not just left that party. I got the absolute trashiest looks from the girls.  They shied away from me in the bathroom and one B scoffed at me.

Dusty:  What a B!

Tricksie: The guys, however?  I was talked to left and right.  One guy bought me a drink the instant his girl went to the bathroom.  A guy tried to talk to me while I was holding my guy’s hand.  It was madness.

Dusty: Raleigh men are stranded in a non-provacative desert. You walked in like a sexy glass of water. I get it.

Tricksie: Raleigh men are begging for women who look confident, low maintenance, and sexy.  I wouldn’t even say that I’m those things, but in Raleigh, I felt like the bar was set pretty low and I could fake it till I made it on those three.

Dusty:  So basically girls from Raleigh are playing in the minor leagues when it comes to winning male attention.

Was my last comment dangerously sexist enough to scare off our Raleigh female readership? I’ll let you know if either of them unfollows me on Twitter.

Wearing jeans and a t-shirt for the ladies,

A Raleigh Man’s Musings Never Let You Down

There comes a point in any man’s life where he’s tired of wanting more and starts wanting what is best. This takes many forms, but it happens to every man at some point. You just have to see the symptoms. Maybe it’s having 4 of the exact same black, Nike Dri-Fit t-shirts because it looks and feels better than any assortment of brand and colors. Maybe it’s always going to Isaac Hunter’s when you end up on Fayetteville Street, or only ordering the same buffalo chicken pizza when you’re at Ruckus in Cary. Variety, the spice of life, is a pretty overrated when you’re comparing it to quality, the sustenance of life. Why do you think that almost everyone gives marriage a shot at some point in their lives, even if it only has a coin-toss chance of success?….Cue the smart-aleck comments about trying marriage because it’s a new, varied choice from single life. Touche!

I say all that so I can share this hilarious picture, even though it doesn’t relate at all. But isn’t stringing someone to a place they don’t expect really what getting “Rick Rolled” is all about? You’re welcome.

Rick's Favorite Movie

[Courtesy of]