(back to ask max)
Archive for December, 2009
Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
Every year I make New Year’s Resolutions, and you know the story: I stick with them for a week or two, and then my resolve falls apart and I go back to my old habits. I really want to make some permanent changes this year. Does anyone actually make a New Year’s Resolution that sticks? What’s the secret?
- No Stick-to-it-ive-ness
Dear No Stick:
You’re not alone. According to a resolution study I found on Wikipedia (What? I don’t sleep all day), 52% of participants were confident in their goals, but only 12% actually achieved them. (Way to go, Jon Gosselin. See? “Become the most unlikeable person in America” wasn’t so hard to achieve after all.)
How can you improve your likelihood of being in the almost-one-in-eight? That depends on whether you lift a leg or you – um, I mean, it sorta depends on your gender. The straight poop: Men achieve their goals 22% more often when they set specific goals such as “lose a pound a week,” rather than “lose weight.” As for women, they succeeded 10% more when they made their goals known publicly and got support from their friends. So consider that.
As for me, I keep my resolutions simple, and they always work out. Let me look over the past year’s list, and how I did:
Max’s 2009 Resolution No. 1: Stop snarfing down every morsel of food that lands on the floor.
Resolution accomplished? YES. (I now ignore anything that’s not meat-based. Just like Aretha Franklin.)
Max’s 2009 Resolution No. 2: Stop spinning around, chasing my own tail.
Resolution accomplished? YES. (Now I only spin around to chase that tiny furry thing that keeps hanging out right behind me. Damn, that sucker’s fast.)
Max’s 2009 Resolution No. 3: Look ridiculously cute an extra three times a week.
Resolution accomplished? YES. (I know. Let’s be honest. It happened more than three times a week. I was trying to be humble.)
Max’s 2009 Resolution No. 4: To respect our nation’s heroes, stop peeing on fire hydrants.
Resolution accomplished? YES. (Now I pee everywhere.)
I have been telling people how adorable I am for so long that I’ve begun to believe it.
So my questions are:
1) Is it possible that I am not quite as adorable as I think I am?
2) How can I be more adorable?
3) Whatever happened to that chick who played Lisa on Saved By The Bell?
Dear Adorably(?) Canadian:
The best way to be adorable is to own it. If you truly believe you’re adorable, you are. Granted, it helps that I’m actually, objectively, adorable. If you look up “adorable” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of me. Well, you’ll find one if you look in my mommy’s dictionary, anyway. She uses pictures of me as bookmarks. Why? Because I’m adorable, of course.
While it’s possible you’re not as adorable as you think you are, it’s still better than the reverse. There are too many humans out there with low self-esteem already. These people keep makeup companies, sportscar manufacturers and Botox technicians in business, and we only tolerate them because L.A. would grind to a halt without them. Someone has to appear in VH1 reality shows, after all.
It’s cliche to say you’re as beautiful as you think you are, but there’s a lot of truth to that. Have you ever seen a dog with low self-esteem? Doesn’t happen. When we hit you with the puppy-dog eyes, we know you’re going to feel like a monster if you don’t share a chunk of that warm, juicy roast beef. (And in truth, you are a monster if you don’t share. Hook a brother up!)
So never doubt that you’re adorable. If I can dig through a trash can looking for a paper towel to rip to shreds and still be adorable, you certainly can too. Plus, you’re from Canada, so you must be adorable. Oh, Canada, the home of such adorable stars as Ryan Gosling, Sandra Oh, Mike Myers and Shania Twain. We’ll look the other way on Céline Dion, because clearly her being Canadian is a fluke.
Finally, as for what happened to the chick who played Lisa? I sniffed out what information I could. Lark Voorheis — no relation to Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees, or so she claims — is still acting, though mostly small roles in movies and TV. Unlike the other main ladies of Bell, Ms. Voorhies didn’t go on to star in either Showgirls or Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth. So she gets props for that. Even better, she played no role in Screech’s sex tape. Tragically, Screech did play a role.
That’s what I hear, at least. Mommy doesn’t let me watch that sort of stuff, though apparently I hear there’s a great one starring my favorite canine coquette, Brittany Spaniel.
Rock, paper or scissors? If you only have one shot, that is? And if, say, you had a lot riding on this bet you made with Steve, who’s going to hold you to it, that bastard?
- I Really Shouldn’t Have Made This Bet
What you really should have done was come up with something that made a better acronym, like “Don’t Understand Moronic Betting.”
So you have a lot riding on a game that’s only slightly more strategic that a coin flip, and you’re in a state of panic. That’s cool. I freak out whenever there’s a thunderstorm, so I can empathize. Still, you humans never cease to amaze me.
Since your opponent is a guy, and it’s a one-shot deal, your best bet is Paper. There are two reasons for this: One, guys tend to throw Rock most often because it’s supposedly “manly.” (Silly man-humans.) Second, regardless of gender, Scissors is thrown slightly less often that the other two options: 29.6% of the time, according to the World RPS Society.
Side note: Let’s all take a second to consider that there actually is a “World RPS Society,” devoted to dumbest game in the world with the exception of Deal or No Deal. Seriously, “fetch” works on about 17 more metaphorical levels than Rock, Paper Scissors. And yet you act like dogs are dumb when we start to run after the stick even when you pull it back. (Not cool, by the way. You’re not Peyton Manning. Cut out the pump fakes.)
Okay, back to our example. If you throw Paper, the likelihood (70.4% of the time) is you’ll either beat his Rock with your Paper, or you’ll both throw Paper and live to fight another day.
Me, I always throw Paw. I’m pretty sure that’s why my canine chums and I always end in a tie.
I’ve somehow survived the holidays without introducing my new boyfriend to my family. But he’s starting to think I’m purposely avoiding it (which I am) and I don’t know what to do. It’s not that I’m embarrassed of him. Or my family. I’m just not sure if worlds should be colliding yet.
Dear Collision Course:
I get that. Mixing a romantic partner with family can be a dangerous proposition, especially in the early stages. I wouldn’t bring just any lassie home to Mommy. Well, unless that lassie was Lassie. But I digress.)
If your boyfriend really is new, it makes sense to want to wait. There’s nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that you’ve neglected to explain that to your boyfriend. Now he’s suspicious about your motives for hiding away the kinfolk, which leaves him to postulate all sorts of worst-case scenarios, like your mom is Cruella de Vil or your dad is Michael Vick.
(Okay, so maybe that’s my worst-case scenario. But you know what I mean)
I’m a dog, and dogs are obvious and direct about what we think and feel, which — despite the occasional humpage of your boss’s leg at a cocktail party — is a good thing. You should be just as straightforward. Talk to your boyfriend. Explain that you didn’t think the time was right, tell him why, and impress clearly that it’s no reflection on him.
Give him the puppy-dog eyes — that always works for me. If that doesn’t break him down, do the eyes again, this time resting your chin on his thigh. (That always works for me, and it will definitely work for you, even if it’s not for exactly the same reason.)
If he’s a decent guy, he’ll understand. And if he doesn’t, let me at him. I’ll tear him a new one. And by that, I mean I’ll actually tear him a new one. Just call me Dog the Bounty Hunter. That name’s not taken, right?
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
I’m a blogger – I won’t say I’m famous, but do I get a lot of hits on my website – and lately women have been sending me marriage proposals via email after I post a blog they like. Now, as a single guy, I’m flattered…but also curious. Do you think they mean it? I know they don’t mean “let’s get married tomorrow” but should I be considering asking these girls out?
- Hitting on the Hits
Welcome to the club, pal. It’s nice here, huh? Forget Taylor Lautner – nothing stirs up the ladies like writing a popular blog. If I had a piece of cheese for every furry female who wanted to put a ring on this claw, I’d be set for life.
It’s flattering to get proposals, my friend. I’m sure you’ve heard from more than one admirer who wants to rub your belly exclusively. (Okay, maybe I’m projecting a little here.)
I’m sure at least a few of these ladies seem intriguing. (Like me, you’re probably sniffing a “but” coming up.)
But it’s a bad idea. Here’s why:
As soon as social media became universally popular, women suddenly became incredibly well-versed in Photoshop. Most guys don’t care to finesse their pictures any more than they care to clean their paws after tearing up the neighbors’ garden. But many women spend hours on hair and makeup before even taking a picture, much less the lengthy “post-production” process.
Suffice it to say: The would-be bride who appears to be a dead ringer for Blake Lively might, in person, turn out to look like Robert Blake.
Spend a little less time on your blog, get out, and socialize. Your winning personality will be just as genuine in person as it is on your website, and your potential partners will be much more genuine.
What are you hoping for for Xmas and what are you getting your owner? (It’s OK to reply; she doesn’t read your website.)
She doesn’t read my site? Say it’s not true!
My mommy is proud of everything I do, from my advice column…to my 8-Track collection (I really do think they’ll make a comeback)… to the 750 hours I’ve logged toward my pilot’s license… to my delicious Spanakopita recipe… to me tearing up her new curtains.
Okay, so maybe she’s not proud of everything I do. But hey, she’s aware.
What do I want for Christmas? Good question. I probably could use some more entertainment options, since that YouTube video of the cat getting caught on the ceiling fan is finally starting get old.
Call me corny, but I have everything I need. I have a wonderful Mommy who loves me so much she lets me continue to give advice to wonderful people like you, even when the advice occasionally turns out wrong. (In retrospect, “eat all the asbestos you can find” might have been poorly considered. I may have been hungry when I wrote that.)
What will I give Mommy? Exactly what she wants: Complete loyalty, unrelenting adoration, 4.5 carat white diamond earrings, and many nights of cuddling.
Or at least three of the four.
Why is it that every holiday season I can count on at least two of my exes suddenly crawling out from under their rock to “check in?”
- Holiday Love Skeptic
This could be entirely coincidental. The holiday season is when everyone finally gets around to “checking in.”
You get Christmas cards from people you never speak with. You get Christmas cards from people you forgot existed. You get Christmas cards from people you thought were long dead. And it occurs to you that the reason you’re not close to these people is they keep forgetting you’re Jewish.
(That was just an example, mind you – I’m not Jewish. Mommy says I’m Chinese. But I’m not sure what holidays they celebrate over there. I’m guessing I Ching Eve, and maybe Wu-Tang Day.)
You know the deal here. This time of the year brings everything you have – and everything you don’t have – into high relief.
If you love whom you’re with, you love that person even more right now. But if you have some concerns, you’re even more concerned right now. For some people, it’s the most wonderful and romantic time of the year! For others, it’s the time when there’s a big spike in breakups…and suicides.
Well, that got dark, fast. Let’s lighten up a little shall we? Now, you said these exes are “crawling out from under their rocks.” I’m guessing that means you’re not interested. But most things I find under rocks are things I buried there in the first place because I wanted to find them later so it gets a little confusing. Still, even if you think they should turn around and crawl right back under those rocks, try to be gracious. Because the truth is, you should just be flattered. To these exes, you might be the one that got away…
What is the proper etiquette when you step onto an elevator and you are assaulted by bad cologne or perfume? I’m talking a “you-can-barely-breathe-level” assault?
– Why Bathe In Your Nasty Cologne
Dear Why Bathe:
It was “Why Bathe,” right? Because we are in solidarity on that idea, my friend. Who wants to bathe?!?! I keep giving Mommy the same “why bathe” line, but she’s awfully insistent on it. And she’s bigger than me.
Personally, I think I smell wonderful all the time, but I might be the wrong critter to ask – I find that “freshly covered in mud” scent far more appealing than, say, potpourri.
But back to your etiquette question. Sure, we’ve all been in enclosed spaces with fragrance freaks, who not only pour it on heavy but always choose something gruesome, like “Old Spice” or “Axe Body Spray” or “Dropkick by Steven Seagal.”
As bad as that is, it could be worse: We know these people have no common sense and smell artificially awful. Imagine how bad they smell for real. Do you really want to experience that bicycle messenger’s actual scent?
Resist the temptation to ask your fellow vertical traveler whether the CIA has formally classified his body spray as an airborne toxin. If he’s clueless enough not to know what he smells like, he also might be seconds away from having to yell, “Don’t tase me, bro!”
So what should you do? Take the stairs. You have to work off those holiday pounds somehow, and your expanded lung capacity will come in handy next time you have to take the elevator.
Monday, December 14th, 2009
My boyfriend has the worst taste in music. It’s embarrassing! How do I get this point across or at least get 50% control over what we listen to when we’re together?
- Maybe Music Snob
Dear Maybe Music Snob,
Some examples would have been helpful, but given that you said “worst,” I’ll just have to assume you mean he rocks out to some mixture of:
The sound of Girl Scouts being skinned alive / Nickelback / a million fingernails raking across a million chalkboards / Kathie Lee Gifford / incessant farting / Air Supply / Rachael Ray / cats meowing / Kenny G.
Which means you have your work cut out for you. Here’s my answer, in all sincerity (why not, ‘tis the season): He doesn’t expect you to like all the things he does, any more than you expect him to like all the things you do. In a healthy relationship, you should be able to be honest with each other about what you like and what you don’t.
So tell him, in a friendly way. Don’t say his music is awful (though I’m sure it is). Just tell him it’s not your thing. Own up to a few of your favorites that you know he won’t like, to even the playing field. You might find there are a few areas where your interests overlap. If so, boom, there’s your together-time soundtrack.
And if that doesn’t work, do what I do when I hang with my bitch: Put in your noise-canceling earbuds and crank up your iPod. Bow wow wow, yippie yo, yippie yay.
My dogs wonder what is going on while I am reading Family Affair. Since they do not understand or read English too well, I was hoping that you might do an audiobook in Woof so that they could also enjoy the story. Any chance Caprice might do an audiobook? Thanks for being there.
Your dogs “do not understand or read English too well?” How about Spanish? Hopefully they’ll be able to understand the Taco Bell Employee Manual, because “yo quiero” is about all they’ll be qualified for if you keep letting them fall behind in their language studies like that.
Come on, Jay! Dogs in India are learning six different languages by the time they’re two years old. (Granted, that’s like 14 to you humans.) Dogs in Japan spend twice as much time designing microprocessors as they do barking at the squirrel in the driveway. And dogs in Korea are…well, dogs in North Korea are getting eaten. Let’s just not discuss North Korea.
Anyway… I would love for Mommy to do an audiobook, because reading glasses tend to slide off my snout and I can only listen to Ayn Rand and Danielle Steel so many times (don’t hate me for my guilty pleasures). But here’s what she tells me: You have to be asked to do an audiobook, and Jay, sadly, you’re the first person who’s ever asked.
So, hold your water. I’m sure that eventually, you and your canine companions will be able to enjoy my Mommy’s brilliant work recited to you everywhere you go.
Well, everywhere but North Korea. The only dog to make it out of there alive recently is Bill Clinton, and he’s got mad game.
Who should say “I love you” first?
- In love but scared to say it
I know how you feel. Every moment you’re apart, you feel that yearning. You know you’re perfect for each other, that you’re fated to be together. All you want to do is to show how you feel, that you’ll say anything, do anything, be anything to capture your one true love’s heart. And then she eats a lipstick she finds in the purse, pukes it up, and then eats the puke. And you think that’s just adorable.
What’s that? Oh, I’m sorry. I guess we weren’t talking about Tinkerbell Hilton. Sorry, my bad.
So you want to say those big three words, huh? Funny how those words get people so crazy. The only thing I can compare it to is the three words my mommy says to me that get me in a frenzy: “Are you hungry?” (The answer is YES!)
Here’s the thing, if you’re scared to say it, there’s probably a reason. If you’re really in love, you probably already know whether he/she feels the same way. That said, tossing out the ol’ “I love you” is the best litmus test of all. But is that something you really want to find out now, before the holidays? You might consider seeing how things go — this time of year is a pretty good relationship litmus test itself — before dropping the “L” bomb.
But what do I know? Feed me, rub my belly, feed me, let me sleep on the bed, feed me and show me between 1 to 7 hours of attention every time you come home, and you won’t ever doubt that I love you.
They say all babies are beautiful but really… all babies are not beautiful. What do you say to parents when they introduce you to their ugly baby?
Dear Baby Horror:
Interesting question. This situation hasn’t come up often, as many parents seem loath to get their newborns too close to a Shih-Tzu with a Shihtzy attitude.
Of course, word might have gotten out about the last aggressive, tail-grabbing baby who crossed my path. Suffice it to say, when his parents play “This Little Piggy” with him these days, they run out of piggies to count at “roast beef.”
You do have a point about ugly babies, though. And notice there’s no such thing as an ugly puppy — plus, we’re born in litters, so you’d expect at least one Carrot Top in every bunch. Nope, we’re all adorable, and some (such as yours truly), just get better over time. Much like Benji before he started hitting the sauce — but that’s a story for another time.
Regardless, you can’t very well tell parents their new baby is ugly. You have to B.S. harder and faster than Tiger Woods on Valentine’s Day. I don’t care if that kid is the unfortunate progeny of the Elephant Man and Susan Boyle. Act like that baby’s going to grow up to be the next Halle Berry/Johnny Depp/Tinkerbell Hilton.
(What? So I have a thing for Chihuahuas. Sue me.)
Sunday, December 6th, 2009
Is it just me or do those Kay Jewelry commercials scare you?
-Kill also begins with “K”
Commercials don’t scare me. I’m like everyone else. I’m scared of the usual things. You know, bigger dogs, loud noises, Rachael Ray.
Sure, the “Every kiss begins with Kay” jingle is a bit strange, considering we know most kisses actually originate with vodka martinis or Mind Eraser shooters.
However, Kay’s tagline is better than “He went to Jared,” which brings to mind Jared from the Subway commercials. It’s never romantic to think of a man who lost 240 pounds, yet appears no likelier to get laid now than he did before.
I’ll assume you’re referring to the new Kay “Love’s Embrace “commercial with the couple hanging out in the dark cabin in the woods. So I guess you noticed that:
· The man resembles Jeremy Sisto, who has acted in films with titles such as The Dog Killer (not cool, buddy), Dead & Breakfast and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.
· His voice sounds like that of Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs.
· And while lotion and baskets are never discussed, the commercial does include the line “Now you can surround her with the strength of your love.” Like you, I expected the line to end with “the strength of your duct tape.”
Does this scare me? Of course. But only because, like everyone else, I’m terrified of commitment. And retail prices.
Why is it appropriate to be drunk before noon in Vegas but when I try to use this logic with my boss he tells me I’m fired?
– Drunk and Unemployed
Dear Drunk and Unemployed,
The issue is not that you’re drunk. Everyone knows the only way to handle the constant stress and tedium of most jobs is to do them drunk. Just ask any of the characters on Mad Men or my Mommy’s friend Dave, the school bus driver.
Here’s the problem: You tried to use logic with your boss. This is not something a boss can handle. Logic is for people who accomplish things.
And about your boss: In all likelihood, he/she already was drunk on scotch/vodka when you told him/her that you’d indulged in a shot/liter of bourbon/lighter fluid. Unfortunately, your boss also is a mean drunk, which is why Russell Crowe/Amy Winehouse no longer employs you.
Be consoled that you’re doing the right thing: The pain of being unemployed and eventually homeless is greatly alleviated by whatever bottom-shelf booze you can still afford.
And remember what my Mommy always says: I’m not a drunk. That’s past tense. I’m a drinking.
I’ve been dating this girl for only a few months and what do you know…the holidays are here. I’m feeling pressure to get the right gift. I want it to be something special that says, “Hey, I dig you a lot and I put some thought into this.” But I don’t want it to be too over the top since we’ve only been dating for a few months. What should I do?
- Holiday Pressure Cooker
Dear H.P.C. (Sorry, bud, that abbreviation sounds like an STD),
There’s nothing more beautiful than young love. Well, unless it’s between ugly people. In which case, pretty much everything’s more beautiful than young love.
You’re dealing with an age-old problem: How do you show her she’s not like every other skank you used and tossed aside when you got bored, without making her think you’re a needy, co-dependent freak who’s terrified of growing old alone with no one but your Hump Me Elmo?
(What? You can tickle Elmo all you want. I’m a dog, dammit.)
Here’s my advice: Dump her. This not only removes the pressure on you to buy her a gift; it also frees up your dough for a fresh batch of Xbox games.
She’ll be upset, certainly, but she’ll be upset anyway. You can’t win. No one ever does. The golden rule to life is that no matter where you think you two are in your relationship, she thinks you’re somewhere else.
If you get her something she thinks is nice, her self-worth will skyrocket, she’ll decide you’re not good enough and bang your brother. If you get her something she finds unimpressive, she’ll think you didn’t care enough about her, so you certainly won’t care if she bangs your brother.
See? No matter what you do, you’re screwed. Just like Elmo.
Even though making fun of Ed Hardy clothes is now as unoriginal as Dane Cook people still seem to wear them with zero shame whatsoever. What gives?
- Ashamed of Society
We live in a world where millions “read” James Patterson “books” – in public, even. They kept “According to Jim” on a major network for eight seasons. They listen to Nickelback, and no one even knows what that nickel’s worth, because it’s Canadian. And they are willing to spend hours on Twitter ensuring that #uknowimmaplayacuz is a trending topic.
Anyone who’s halfway coherent knows these activities range from inane to insane. But here’s the thing: People are stupid. Maybe not eat-your-own-body-hair stupid, or screw around with a multitude of social climbers when you’re the world’s most famous golfer stupid, but stupid.
Think of it this way: Most people on earth have an IQ around 100, perhaps a little above or below.
These are the worst people on earth.
Smart people are fun, because someone has to create awesome apps for your iPhone. Dumb people are fun, because someone has to appear on VH1 reality shows.
But the Middle Majority? Worthless. They’re just smart enough to think Ed Hardy clothing is cooler than, say, Dickies, without being smart enough to see how shallow and obvious (and over) it is.
So what can we do? Nothing. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Face it, when you can lick your own privates, what more do you really need? I gave up enjoying anything esoteric, challenging or even vaguely interesting long ago.
Now leave me alone. Leno’s coming on.