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Friday, May 26 2017 @ 08:59 AM MDT

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THE Greatest Online Store Ever

BlogSometimes, the jokes just make themselves. Like THE82 Store on Cafe Press.

In case you don't know, people at Ohio State University make a big deal out of calling the place THE Ohio State University. Of all the words to emphasize, they pick THE. As Jimmy Johnson would say, Duh-umb.

Anyway, they also like to talk about their football team, which was knocked off in the BCS Championship game by Florida. They didn't just lose, they got killed, amassing just 82 yards on offense with the Heisman Triphy winner playing quarterback for them. So THE82 invites you to "show your love and appreciation for THE greatest football game in THE history of ever."

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I've Got the Moose in Me

BlogOne summer, a few of my friends from college lived in Myrtle Beach. They worked all day laying sod at a golf course. Over the weeks, the novelty of living together wore off, and they started to get on each other's nerves. One guy (let's call him Under) was apparently particularly annoying because of his efforts to suck up to one of the older guys on the trip.

Anyway, they usually went to Hardee's for lunch each day. Because of their hard work out in the sun, they would get the monster soda cups from there with the company's Moose mascot on the side. Under was apparently always flirting with the teenage girls working there so the other guys concocted a plan for their lunch trip one day.

One night the group started talking about a new promotion that they heard was starting at Hardee's the next day. They convinced under that if you said "I've got the moose in me" while ordering your meal, you got a free drink or something like that.

So they go to Hardee's the next day and the others make sure to take their time so Under is the first one in the door. The plan worked to perfection.

Under: I'd like the Double Cheeseburger, large fries and an extra-large Coke. (pause) And I've got the moose in me.
Teenage girl: What?
Under: I said, I've got the moose in me.
Teenage girl: (stares blankly)

By this time, the other four guys are almost on the floor laughing, and Under muttered something, paid quickly and moved along. He then swore the group to secrecy, and they promised to never tell anyone.

Then at the first fraternity meeting of the year, one of them stood up and told all 60 of us the story. Under then became known as Moose for his final two years of college.

No reason for the story. Just popped in my head and wanted to share.
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All Hail the Throne

ColumnsSometimes, I am so proud to live in this country, I get a little misty-eyed. That feeling came over me recently when we started on plans to renovate our bathrooms.

Technically, our house is listed as having 1.5 bathrooms. Thatís being a bit generous.

Iím not knocking our downstairs facilities because I love the setup. I just think calling a commode sitting on a raised platform in between the washer and dryer a half bath is a little fib.

Yes, our downstairs toilet is a real throne, sitting about a foot off the ground with a shower curtain around it to offer privacy. I wouldnít trade it for the world.

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Pillow Talk

BlogI think sometimes, we are too harsh on Canada. With nicknames like "America's Hat" and "The Evil Northern Land," we give the impression that nothing good comes from up there.

Stacey Case has changed that.

Case (he's a dude) is a musician and t-shirt printer who has developed the Pillow Fight League, which has drawn crowds of around 500 to Toronto bars and which comes to New York today and tomorrow.

Unfortunately, "it's not hot blonds in negligees," says Case's business partner Don "The Mouth" Lovranski, who serves as the ring announcer for the fights. But a bunch of chicks pillow fighting in front of everyone stills sounds pretty cool. They fighters do have costumes and personas, but the fights are real. Trashley, in the picture is one of the competitors.

We Americans will just have to work on that whole hot blondes in lingerie thing. Case was a former director of Naked News, so I think he can find a way to work it in.

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Love Monkey

BlogWhen CBS showed the new series "Love Monkey," starring Tom Cavanaugh," I was immediately intrigued. First of all, he's one of my favorite actors. Secondly, Jason Priestly was a co-star. And third of all, the plot sounded interesting - 30-something record exec rebounding from being dumped.

Well, they made the mistake of scheduling the thing against "Boston Legal" or something, and we only had one DVR at the time so I never caught it before they canceled the series after eight episodes. The shows ran on VH1 and i recorded them, but I never got around to watching them.

Well, I got the next best thing for Christmas - the book that spawned the TV show. While some facts are obviously different - the main character is a journalist, not a record exec, and he wasn't dumped, he just has a hard time finding the right girl - but I enjoyed the book as much as I thought I would enjoy the show.

The book moved really quickly and covered a lot of territory. But one of my favorite parts was the interview at the end of it with Kyle Smith, the author. He listed four books that he recommended, and I had read two of them. He pointed out that most people wouldn't know them because his favorite authors aren't 23-year-old blonde women with degrees in fashion.

He's right. There is too much chick lit out there and not enough for guys. Some of this complaint comes from how hard it is for someone like me to get my fiction noticed, but I find it funny that the British market has no problem accepting authors like Mike Gayle and Nick Hornby, but guys like Kyle Smith and Tom Perrotta are unknown.
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I Found My Calling

ColumnsOver the past week, I think I have found my true calling. I should find work as a professional juror.

I have spent the last week on jury duty for the first-time ever. I had never received a notice to serve before and greeted the envelope from York with disdain when it came last month.

Now, I realize how foolish that reaction was.

I could seriously do this gig all the time. I honestly donít know why people grumble about jury duty. Sure, the pay stinks, but the fringe benefits are fantastic.

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Dreamgirls

BlogWe got our first chance of 2007 to go to the movies and didn't find a lot that interested us. But we settled on Dreamgirls, which turned out to be a great decision.

I can see why this movie has developed some Oscar buzz. Not so much for the movie itself - I'd find it hard to nominate a converted Broadway show for some strange reason - but for the acting and the music.

Beyonce did well even though I had trouble getting Foxie Cleopatra out of my mind especially in the parts where her character was supposed to star in a movie about Cleopatra, but Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Keith Robinson and Jennifer Hudson blew me away.

Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy have an incredible talent to play characters in different stages of life very convincingly. I found it uncanny, especially with Murphy. Since one of the previews was for Murphy's upcoming Norbit movie (I liked it the first time when they called it The Nutty Professor), he seems to have settled into this niche of playing roles that emphasize his ability to defy time and space.

Foxx continued to establish himself as a top-notch star. I thought they could have framed the growth of his control of his stars a little better, but it's the difficulty of transferring things like that from the stage to the screen that make me fault the movie more than the actors.

Robinson will probably not win anything since he'd go up against Murphy in supporting actor categories, but I loved his understated performance as C.C. I had trouble placing him, but IMDB reminded me that he played Carter's friend in ER more than five years ago. After a few episodes, he tossed himself in front of a change because he couldn't handle the pressure. I (heart) IMDB.

I went into the movie not knowing a damn thing about Jennifer Hudson because I can't stand American Idol, but she absolutely blew me away. After reading up on the history of the stage show, she's exactly the kind of actress envisioned when the play was developed. She really brought Effie to life.

Go catch the movie - you won't regret it.
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The Bourne Identity

BlogI have spent the last two days on jury duty, which has allowed me to do a whole lot of nothing. Well, except read. I received three books for Christmas, which was good because I knew I would have this week free to work on them. The first was "The Bourne Identity," by Robert Ludlum.

I have only seen the movie once, but have seen "The Bourne Supremecy," the sequel, a bunch of times, I had commented to Maria a bunch of times that I was interested in seeing how the books stacked up to the movies.

I was slightly pleased. The book was gripping - there's no doubt about that. I thought the whole thing could have been shorter because Ludlum is very wordy, but it didn't turn me off. Even though I kind of knew the plot, I enjoyed the twists and turns it took to get there. I don't remember a whole lot about the movie because we saw them out of sequence thanks to Blockbuster, and we saw the second one a million times, thanks to Starz.

I don't know if I would pick up another one of the Bourne books, but this one definitely kept me entertained. The whole backstory really fascinated me.
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Well, Duh!

BlogSo the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the 2007 class, and R.E.M. was on the list. The inductees had to have released their first single no later than 1981, and "Radio Free Europe" came out in July of that year.

The news shouldn't come as a surprise. It doesn't mean that much to me - I love their stuff regardless of what accolades or awards they get - but it is kind of cool.

The only thing that I'm concerned about is whether Bill Berry joins them when they play at their induction and what songs they will play. If Bill gets behind the kit, and they play "Radio Free Europe," I just might crap my pants.
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Snowzilla Lives

BlogA dude up in Alaska has built a monster snowman, dubbed Snowzilla. The thing is 22 feet tall and has beer bottles for eyes (Alaskan Amber for those keeping score at home). So you can understand my interest in this project.

Unfortunately, he has a pain in the ass neighbor who is pissed that people are coming by to see Snowzilla.

I know I would feel differently if someone built Snowzilla in my neighborhood, but this dude needs to lighten up. First of all, you're in Alaska. How many people can really come by and bother you. Secondly, it's a 22-foot snowman. That totally kicks ass. They had to use scaffolding to put the thing together. They used the last remaining piece from last year's 16-foot Snowzilla to start the process.

You can't hate Snowzilla. That's just un-American.