I've only made good on one New Year's resolution in my life: To stop making empty promises to myself every year. Only setting myself up for disappointment, right?
Besides, I've found it's much more fun to make resolutions for other people. So here are the first annual Tommy Mac New Years Resolutions:
Barack Obama: To resist the temptation to show off the pecs and abs by always wearing a shirt at press conferences. (Topless press conferences? What if Wolf Blitzer misinterprets that phrase? Talk about a wardrobe malfunction.
Rod Blagojevich: To sell a vowel. To the highest bidder. Or maybe a consonant. You know, the letter J is 8 points in Scrabble? Supply and demand baby!
Sarah Palin: To increase her foreign policy experience. She will be adding an additional floor to her house so she can see Canada from her rooftop. And maybe meet Santa that way too. Russia, check. Canada, check. North Pole, check.
Dick Cheney: To keep his enemies closer. Maureen Dowd, PLEASE decline his hunting invite.
George W. Bush: To find bin Laden -- in less than 3 weeks!
Joe Biden: To return to obscurity.
Joe Lieberman: To firmly commit to the principals of one major political party. Maybe the Whigs this time.
Caroline Kennedy: You know, to stay true to the, you know, political legacy of, you know, the Kennedy name, you know.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: To limit adoption to only two children in calendar 2009
Nicole Kidman: To finally use that tanning bed that Tom bought her all those years ago.
Katie Couric: To return to a job that takes advantage of disingenuousness and sugary sweet tones. If only that damned Yolanda Vega would just disappear!
Bill O'Reilly: To find even more creative ways to tell people it's okay to hate Obama without using the n-word.
George W. Bush (that's right, you can't get rid of him that easy): To make even more money by cashing in on a "Hit the Moron With and Old Pair of Shoes" carnival game. But only in blue states.
Michael Bloomberg: To write his long-awaited memoir: "How to Get Sh-t Done Despite Being a Nasally Whining Vertically Challenged Bostonian."
Hank and Hal Steinbrenner: To spur the economy by burning $1,000 bills rather than measley 100-spots.
The Mets, the Jets, and Iona College basketball teams: To find new and creative ways to build up the hope of one loyal blogger and then crush his heart in even smaller pieces than the previous year.
Eliot Spitzer: To exhaust any remaining influence to secure the number 9 on his prison garb.
So let's hope our famous friends can do what's necessary to stick to their 2009 resoultions, Tommy Mac style.
Happy New Year to all and if you have suggested resolutions, leave them in a comment.
I love when I'm right. It happens so rarely that I need to bask in the glow when it does happen. I saw on TV this morning -- The Today Show no less!! -- that romantic comedies are BAD for your relationship. And this wasn't just Kathie Lee and Ho-ho-ho-ta Kot-bee just talking out of their oversize butts, this was a real academic study. Matt Lauer told me so!
Researchers at Heriot Watt University's Family and Personal Relationship Laboratory in Edinburgh (that's in Scotland you know) found "that problems typically reported by couples in relationship counseling at their counseling center reflect misconceptions about love and romance depicted in Hollywood films," according to a story in Time magazine. The Time story did not indicate if the Scottish researchers were drinking whiskey during the study, or if they showed favoritism towards movies that included bagpipe music during love scenes.
Dr. Bjarne Holmes, who lead the research, said: "...We are saying that it would be helpful if people were more aware and more critical of the messages in these films. The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realize."
By "some of us," he means people with vaginae.
One example from the study: a group of over 100 volunteers watched the 2001 romantic comedy Serendipity while another group of the same size watched a David Lynch drama. Viewers of the romantic comedy were found to be more likely to believe in fate and destiny. (They could not determine what the David Lynch group thought. Those volunteers apparently made a pact to jump off the tallest bridge in Scotland and arranged to have their bodies hidden in tall weeds, where they will not be discovered until the 2014 British Open golf tournament.)
Okay, so this notion of Hollywood providing unrealistic expectations (who would have EVER guessed that) might be setting the bar too high for men. That's not a huge surprise. But then I thought more about that point. Unmotivated, miscommunicating buffoons are setting the bar too high? So on the Great Female Relationship Expectation Chart, I'm somewhere behind John Cusack, Hugh Grant and Richard Gere? (Actually Mr. Gere likes me back there. But why does he keep calling me "Mr. Nibbles"??)
Researchers said viewers of the romantic comedies are coming away with the notion that if you are truly with "the one," then you will not have to communicate your feelings, needs, or even the fact that you're running out of milk -- your mate will just "know" what you require and destiny takes care of the rest. And you won't have to use that chalky creamer in your coffee tomorrow morning.
I guess I need to become a bumbling English chap whose hair is unkempt while I wear one black shoe and one brown shoe while struggling to make my friend's wedding on time, like Hugh Grant might do. And then I get to violate Andy McDowell's body. Actually that's a bad example. She's as dull as Hugh Grant, and he would be as satisfied sleeping with the ironing board in his hotel room. But you get the idea: the girls gets the goofball as long as he is adorably discombobulated and makes one awkward attempt to communicate his dying desire to be with her, and only her.
And then they bang.
Maybe romantic comedies are sending just the right message after all.
Well if you excuse me, I have to go get some milk, My soulmate and I are apparently miscommunicating.
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope Santa brings you all you hope for. If you don't celebrate Christmas, have a peaceful day. Maybe go to a movie, but not a romantic comedy -- then you'll never enjoy a fulfilling relationship!
I have this theory -- You can boil everyone's life down to one telling fact. If that's the only thing you know about them you essentially get their "essence."
I also think you can undo all the work of your life with one fateful action.
As proof, I give you "Wonderful Christmastime," that nauseating Paul McCartney carol. And by carol I mean piece of holiday dung. Call it egg log.
I ALMOST made it through the holiday season without being subjected to that ear poison. Then on a snowy Friday afternoon in Bradford's (yes a bar, not a department store) in downtown Stamford this week, I threw up in my mouth a little.
Barkeep, can I have a root canal? Or a gun?
Let's break this down.
Here's how the song opens...
Ding, dong, ding, dong Ding, dong, ding, dong
The mood is right The spirits up Were here tonight And that's enough Simply having a wonderful Christmas time Simply having a wonderful Christmas time
This sh-t makes James Taylor sick. Paul McCartney wrote f---ing "Hey Jude" for cryingoutloudgodsakesareyoukiddingme???
I mean, just cover an existing carol and "make it your own." Springsteen did "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" and people eat that up. He actually had some fun with it. You can hear him laughing in the song.
Nobody in his posse could say "Uh, Paul. You f---ing wrote 'Hey Jude' cryingoutloudgodsakesareyoukiddingme! Maybe we do Frosty the Snowman. Frosty could be code for blow or some other drug, like we used to do? Remember Lucy?"
I think he's just angry. Not about being less talented than Lennon. But because - as Craig Ferguson likes to point out -- that he has finally become Angela Lansbury.
I admit, I'm not the biggest Christmas guy going. I've been called a Scrooge on more than one occasion. It's a wonderful time of year, but overly schmaltzy carols and movies (see "Life, It's a Wonderful") make me crazy. Why can't we be as focused on how good life really is from January through Thanksgiving instead of the opposite?
Gifts. Crowds. Traffic. Bad Weather. Intricate family planning. Weight gains. Even a harbinger of our nation's - and global -- economy. That's a lot of stuff.
We don't need "A Wonderful Christmas Time" to add to our holiday woes. I'm hoping Obama can ban it. He certainly should pardon Paul McCartney for making our world a crappier place for writing it.
Everyone -- sincerely -- do please have a great holiday season. Be safe, be happy, be loved and give love. As my good friend Kelley Taylor says "Make Every Day a Holiday."
In the last blog, I revealed that my Mom was my English teacher in the 5th grade. A friend of mine reminded me (trust me, I blocked this out), that I had my mother for several subjects that year, including one painful unit.
My mother was my sex-ed teacher.
You wold think this is a situation that could be avoided. But in my Catholic school (sex is for married people only!!!! If you disobey this rule....you remember the story about the locusts, right??) there were only two homerooms in 5th grade. Of course I was in the other homeroom, with Miss Fadus. But for Chapters 5 and 6 in the "Family Life" course (the sex chapters), you really had to separate the boys and the girls for "the filmstrip." (".....and that is called an orgasm....BEEP!")
Now Miss Fadus was um, about 14 years old. A rookie teacher, and a bit naive. When the discussion of the sex-ed chapters began, Miss Fadus pronounced the word "scrotum" as if it were a broiled entree on a menu: Scrod-um. Okay, she can't teach the boys, but she's a fine locust-free Catholic girl.
So the job of teaching the boys fell to my mom. I wasn't really freaked out at first, although my mom loved to use the chalkboard. She would write everything, illustrate everything, and she would use every available inch of the blackboard. First she diagrammed the female reproductive system. I was unaffected. In fact, I thought it would make a great logo for a rock band.
Then she drew....the penis.
That's when the room got warm. Did I mention she used every inch of the board? My dad was never so proud.
Then she cranked up the film strip. It was mostly clinical and I can't remember how they described "the deed." But I remember thinking.....Oh. My. God. That means my mom. And my dad. They did that? Do they still do that? Is their bedroom directly above mine? Ew.
So I'm now sweating. After the film strip my mom opens the floor for questions.
Now picture this....25 fifth-grade boys getting to ask about penises, gonads, semen and orgasms...It was like a White House press conference, minus Helen Thomas (thank god). With each question I'm gettng more and more squirmy and sweaty. I needed to do something. I had to ask a stupid question. "What if you're 'doing it' and you need to pee," I ask, just to stop thinking about friction and if my mother was multi-orgasmic. I'd much rather think of my father urinating. Or Helen Thomas doing just about anything.
My mom's answer? "There's a little lever that shuts off the urine until a couple has, um, finished."
At dinner I asked my mom what the "lever" was called. Everything had a clinical name and I was sure the lever was not called the lever. So when I asked my lever-follow-up question, the rest of the family looked at me like I had three heads and broke up laughing.
Liar! My own mom lied to me. About sex. In front of other boys!
No wonder I scammed her in the Great Book Report Scandal of 1982. She deserved it!
Twenty-sex, er, 26 years later, and a stack of therapy bills that could choke a .... okay, bad analogy.... I think I'm finally recovered.
But I still twinge when I see a blackboard. Thank the Lord for dry-erase boards.
The blogosphere is a strange place. All kinds of attention-seeking "creative" people make nice with each other, pretend to like each other's blogs, and occasionally play silly games in the spirit of community. It's like an AA group, except there is no bad coffee, chain smoking, or silly steps.
This blog entry is one of those silly games. Last week I was "tagged" by J., another blogger/writer I met last year, and perhaps my most loyal reader. J writes the blog J-Two-O, in which she has forms (usually funny, always interesting, and often lightning quick) opinions about the day's news, sports, or whatever is on her mind. She also owns a Jets thong. Need I say more? Yes, she's hot.
Last week she "tagged" me (and not the way the married J surely wishes) -- in kind of a high school chain letter fashion, I need to tell six random things about me. I think I'm supposed to pass it on. At the risk of all of you NOT winning a million bucks from Disney, or at the expense of one of Sally Struthers children (Sally, that's a child, not a malomar), I will not be "tagging" anyone. (As usual)
I will limit it to things I have not yet written about in this blog. Okay, here goes:
1. I like to eat lemons. No, I don't mean squirt some juice in a piece of broiled scrod (why does that sound dirty?). I mean, when I get a lemon wedge in my drink, I like to eat it. The whole thing. Rind and all (Hey, lemon peel is sold as a seasoning so it must be okay). Whenever those above-acceptable-levels-of-fecal-matter-in-your-salad-bar news stories hit the papers and airwaves, I always get an e-mail from someone that reads something like this. "Dude, you gotta stop eating those lemons in the restaurants. It's like someone wiped their ass with them before they put them in your iced tea. But if you die, can I have your Pathfinder?"
2. I passed up an opportunity to meet Ray Charles. In the late 90s when I was a reporter, I interviewed him a couple of weeks before giving a concert in Stamford. It was the coolest 30 minutes of my life. In fact, I might have peed myself. It's not always you get to talk to your total true life idol (yes, I wish I was blind and black. It must have been soooo easy for him!). At the end of the interview he invited me backstage on the day of the show. Seeing as I attended the show with about 7 other people, I thought it would be rude to say "Excuse me, kids, I gotta go say hi to Ray." It might have been the only self-less moment of my life and I regret it. Thinking back, I could have gone backstage -- with all of them....Just walk really really quietly!
3. I pee in the shower. I'm not even sure why this is frowned upon. Urine is actually quite clean. It HAS to be cleaner than the crap I'm cleaning from my body and all that soapy discharge, right. I'm not a clean freak (okay, "slob" is the right word), but I am pretty fastidious about cleaning the shower. I think we all do this but for some reason we think we are not supposed to. (Note to friends: I do not employ this bodily habit when I shower in your showers. Even though I'd bet you guys pee in the shower, too, I think you'd find it gross to have my pee somewhere in your pipes.
4. My Porn Name is Snowflake Tuttle. Funny, I know, for a fair-haired, fair-skinned boy. If you don't know the game, it's the name of your first pet then the name of the street you grew up on. The family cat was Snowflake. We lived on Tuttle Road. Today, my name would be Fumbles Bedford, which sounds more like Jim Carrey character than an adult film star. My favorite porn names of all time using this method? Cornflakes Lorenzo and Vodka Cox.
5. I'm very competitive. Many of you know this, but I have something to admit that I've never told anyone. It's my express ticket to hell. My mother was my 5th grade English teacher and she had a reading contest in which the two students who read the most books and filed short book reports won some kind of nominal prize (a candy bar or some other thing I could nag her for after school anyway.)
So the geekiest girl in the class was the clear winner, with over 100 books. I'd hate to think where she is now, but I'm pretty sure she's not on the pole. So there was a fierce battle for second place. I was competing with Susan Molnar, my total fifth grade crush (and I think 6th and 7th grade too). I knew I had to pull out all the stops. I liked reading the Encyclopedia Brown series of books, so I did what any true competitor would do. I cheated. So I made one up. Yes, I wrote a book report about a book that was never written. By "one" I mean ten. Maybe 12.
I try not to think about defrauding my mom and sticking it to the girl I wanted to, well stick it to. I'll save a seat in hell. But the Whatchamacallit was deee-lish!
6. The (state) attorney general, at a news conference, said he wanted to tailgate at a Jets game with me. When I was a reporter, I also wrote a humor column. The column this particular week aimed to explain the male ritual of tailgating before sporting events. Eating chili and quickly disposing of cases of beers in 20 degree weather before a football game. So Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Attorney General then, and now, started his press conference by saying "Before we get started, let me just say I wanna tailgate with That McFeeley Guy this Sunday. Sounds like more fun than what we do here everyday." I didn't know quite what to do, as I had to explain to the other reporters in the press corps that I also wrote a humor column. This of course, in their eyes, gave me the credibility of someone writing for Mad Magazine. But at least I found out how many Coronas it takes to get Dick Blumenthal to strip down and paint his torso Jets green. (Of course he didn't do it, we didn't even tailgate. Damn politicians and empty promises!)
So that's a dirty half dozen things you may not have known about me. If you'll excuse me, I have to pee before I run out of hot water.
My birthday sucks. Born four days before Christmas. I came home on Jesus' birthday for Chrissakes (blasphemy intented).
I haven't had a birthday party since I was 5. (Okay I had one at age 30, but it was on New Years Eve and I don't remember much of it -- and it's more dramatic to wait 32 more years.
When I tured 21, only one friend was around to go out, so I was denied the rite-of-passage experience of having alcohol poisoning and visiting the ER on that landmark birthday.
Even my first niece, Erin, was born on my half birthday. Eleven years later, I'm happy to say, she's not as selfish.
My grandparents forgot my birthday when I was 10.
Get it yet?
I waited 37 years, but finally I've found a perfect gift for me. Especially all of you who have ever wrapped a birthday gift in Christmas paper or who forgot to call a December baby on their birthday.
December 21 is "Global Orgasm Day." The mission of the day is ... and I quote "to effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy."
So.....(ladies only -- or guys who have amazing single female friends....Okay, unhappily married will be considered too!)....here is a gift that keeps on giving.
You can show a humor blogger what he means to you. You can get an amazing orgasm (or two, pending any Christmas miracles) for yourself. YOU can change the Earth's energy -- maybe it can and save some work for President-Elect-Savior-Sage Barack Obama. He's got economic concerns to deal with (maybe we all have orgasms on April 15 too?)
Technically you're supposed to have the orgasm at the time of the solstice. I think I know what time that is, but I could schedule several "miscalculations" that are considerate of your schedule.
And -- it's a Sunday! You can go out for "a last minute gift" and not be lying to pesky spouses, friends or your special guy. (The Jets do play at 4 p.m. so brunch-time encounters preferred, though there is a "halftime slot" open around 5:30 p.m.). I wold recommend the 7:30 p.m. slot, because if the Jets win or lose, I will have considerable adrenaline to exchange.
So you can help save the Earth, have fun of your own, and provide a most welcome birthday gift for an oft-overlooked birthday boy. Refreshments will be provided.
I can promise you it will be the most rewarding 2-and-a-half minutes of your life. Merry Christmas, Happy holidays and Happy Birthday to me!
So I'm watching TV this morning when I should have been looking for clients, invoicing others, or paying the rent..."It is December ALREADY?"
Yes, kids, it is December already. I've seen the Christmas commercials to prove it. (I know, Christmas ads begin running just after Easter. Humor me, I needed a segue.)
Now we know it's an unusual year and retailers need to be increasingly creative with their pitch to the consumer. ("You won't get trampled to death here!" just didn't test that well with focus groups apparently).
So the first commercial I noticed was for Kay jewelers. An attractive couple sits in front of both their Christmas tree and a fireplace. The woman is deaf and the man is struggling to communicate through sign language. My immediate thought was "If he can't sign that well, they obviously haven't been together very long or he is one dumb ass." Then I decided she was just a deaf trolip about to voraciously consume him on the living room carpet of some hard-working woman who, besides having all of her auditary faculties, was hard at work in some office tower to make sure her husband would get his Lexus this Christmas. That's just more fun.
(By the way, doesn't deaf trolip sound like a Christmas cookie -- "Come here kids, Mommy made a plate of deaf trolips to leave out for Santa to eat. Want a taste? Yummy!")
Then my mind wandered. I tried to think of the advantages of dating a deaf woman. If a deaf woman nags a man with sign language and he's not there to read it, is it still really nagging? You could listen to old Stones CDs as loud as you wanted. Marlee Matlin is pretty hot. And then there is silent farting, if you can master the Silent But Deadly variety, or blunt her olfactory senses too.
And I wonder why it's tough to pay the rent, me thinking about farting around deaf mutes, I mean mates. Deaf mates.
About 20 minutes later (when my deaf advantage list had reached "She won't hear strange sounds in the middle of the night and wake me up for nothing..."), Best Buy's Geek Squad joined the Very Special Christmas parade. The commercial is a Geek Squad employee talking about an installation of a big screen television he recently completed for a man who is legally blind.
The man had memorized the room and "felt" a perfect spot for the TV. They set up the TV and taught the man how to operate four different remotes by feel, counting the buttons that control the TV and (I assume) a stereo system which he could enjoy (but not his deaf daughter who was out boning some peace-loving philanderer).
And suddenly I think: a TV for a blind guy? If he can't see the remote in his hand, how will he possibly enjoy the $2,000 flat screen. I hope they didn't con him into buying the HD package. How does this make any sense? For $2,000 he can have a neighbor come over every day and do the hand-puppet thing against the wall. ("Is it me or are there more and more black actresses these days?")
I was waiting for the Geek Squad guy to tell me he had lots of iPods for deaf trollips, scratch and sniff stickers for noseless children, and powerful microwaves for those without taste buds.
I understand retailers wanting to appeal to our softer side by demonstrating that Christmas can be special for all of us. I think it's a little bit of a cheap trick, like bringing your girlfriend's mom flowers they day you meet her. Or servicemen wearing their uniforms in bars, eliminating any hook up chance for mere civilians. We would all do it, but it's still a little bit cheap. Frankly I would prefer the ads to be a bit edgier, saying things like: * "Bose sound systems are so kick ass that Blair's cousin Geri from The Facts of Life rocks out too!" * "Make it a very special Christmas, if you know what we mean..." * "If your kid likes rocks, wrap up some gravel for the little bugger and spend more money on that sparkling diamond ring at Kay!"
But alas, I write only this blog, not touching Christmas advertisements for leading retail companies. So we will be subject to the heart-warming portrayals of capable Christmas.
I prefer to think of myself as a great thinker, a brilliant mind of my generation, but as soon as you type your thoughts, they label you a "writer," so OK I'm a writer!
When I do write, I have:
* Been a weekly humor columnist for The (Stamford) Advocate and Greenwich Time
* Had my weekly columns on the L.A. Times Syndicate
* Been a regular contributor to the Palm Beach Post
* Had freelance and Op-Ed columns published in The Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Baltimore Sun, Newsday, L.A. Times, The Detroit News and probably your grandmother's beloved weekly newspaper
* Was weekly columnist for Tout Wars (experts fantasy baseball league)
* Contributed to ESPN The Magazine (My byline was not TOM The Writer)