Welcome to Man Town, Bitches.

One of my friends who reads my blog gave me an early birthday gift this past Saturday because she won't be around this coming weekend. Thanks to her, as I'm typing this, I am surrounded by the scent of Mandles* in (believe it or not) car air freshener form:

So I am here to give you the lowdown on each of these fine scents, but I have to type really fast because all of them together like this is making me a little sick. To encapsulate what I am smelling right now, it's almost like I'm cutting my grass behind the wheel of a leather upholstered, wood trimmed John Deere lawn tractor, and George Clooney is riding bitch.

That will make more sense in a bit, trust me. So without further ado, here's my opinion on each of these masterpieces:

2x4: I figured I'd start with this one because it's the biggest letdown. Sadly, it smells nothing like a 2x4. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it smells nothing like any sort of wood whatsoever. If you really stretch, you might say there is something reminiscent of pencil shavings in there somewhere. I can't exactly place the scent, but in my head I'm picturing a vending-machine vanilla wafer stick dipped in old spice and then shoved up an oompa loompa's ass. But that's my problem, not yours. Just know that it smells bad. Really bad. Like being trapped inside your grandmother's coat closet for three hours. (Also my problem.)

Riding Mower: This one smells like grass. A little too much like grass if you ask me. What do I mean by that? Well, I like the smell of cut grass as much as the next guy. I like the golf course, or when the windows are down in the car and I drive by someone mowing their lawn. It's generally a fleeting, pleasant smell. Now picture yourself being knocked unconscious and waking up here:

That's what it smells like. Overpowering. It smells like when you lift the lid on that giant garbage can full of grass clippings that has been sitting in the sun for three hours at the end of your driveway. Definitely not my favorite. Maybe not as bad as 2x4, because at least this smells like what it's supposed to, but that's still probably comparing oompa loompas to oranges. Although come to think of it, those little bastards were as orange as the cast of Jersey Shore, so maybe that's a bad example.

First Down: My Honda Fit has new leather seats now. At least, if you close your eyes and forget you're in a japanese tin can it does. If you've ever wondered how they get that pricey new car leather smell into pricey new cars, I will bet money that it's put in after the fact with whatever this thing has been dipped in. It smells like a new baseball glove, or a new leather sofa, or a new Lexus. (Or how I imagine a new Lexus to smell, since they generally see me coming and won't allow me on the lot.) This one is not bad at all. I have no idea if the actual mandle smells like this air freshener or not, but I would probably buy it on sale and then light it in the room where I have my cheap pleather couch. It won't stop your thigh skin from being torn off if you get up too fast on a hot day, but it'll make the experience much more olfactorily pleasant. It makes me feel like this.

Man Town: Here is a sentence I never thought I would say. Take me to Man Town and drop me off. This smells like the cologne I could never afford. When you get your first whiff of this, you immediately picture someone in a Brioni suit, flashing an understated Platinum Pearlmaster as they pay for their Grey Goose martini with their Centurion AmEx. In other words, you picture Bruce Wayne. Or George Clooney. But don't picture George Clooney playing Bruce Wayne because that was just total shit, regardless of how you think it might smell.

So I actually like this one. Man Town. Go figure.

My wife: What's that smell? Have you been rubbing that Man Town on your face again?

Me: What do you mean, again? It was only that ONE TIME. And no, I'm not a complete idiot. Even though it's ten times cheaper than that cologne I like, I wouldn't continue to rub a car air freshener on my face, day after day. That would be stupid.

My wife: Yes, it would.

Me: I plan to keep it in my back pocket from now on.

My wife: Man Town deserves you.

*shout out to Domestic Goddess for the totally awesome name that Yankee Candle missed out on. Check out her blog and tell her Johnny sent ya.


These are real.

I found out today that Yankee Candle is now selling candles for men.

I don't even know where to begin. This is either a fantastic idea or the stupidest thing I've ever seen. I guess it depends upon how well they're implemented.

Take Riding Mower, for instance. It's clearly not just the smell of freshly-cut grass, or they would have named it "Freshly Cut Grass." No, this is Riding muthafukin' Mower, so my guess is that it has a more testosterone-y* smell to it. I'm betting this one has a top note of cut grass, however the middle note is probably gasoline and warm beer. They have to throw some realism in there, or it won't work. They can take it too far though, and that's what I'm worried about. If it were really realistic, ten minutes after you lit it, it would suddenly start smelling like you just chopped up a fresh pile of dog shit by mistake.

As a woodworker, one of my favorite smells in the entire world is the smell of freshly-planed pine boards. So I admit to you all that if this 2x4 candle smells anything like that, I'm buying a case of them. Of course, they do cost $27 each, which is not cheap for a candle. I could just go out to my shop, plane some pine boards, stuff the shavings into an old tube sock and hang it on the wall with a nail, but because I have a wife I will (probably) not do that. Not more than once, anyway.

But I'm willing to bet they screwed this up. Knowing Yankee Candle and their propensity toward making candles that smell like various baked goods, it probably smells mostly like wood, but eventually you'll notice the subtle undertone of Keebler Elf sex and underage gingerbread men.

"First Down" has a picture of a football on it, so I'm probably not qualified to judge. I haven't been forced to throw a football since high school, and every one of them smelled like a combination of dirt, wet leather and body odor. I can't imagine this scent would be appealing to anyone, but you never know.

Lastly, there's one they left out of the group shot:

I can't even imagine what this one smells like. Unwashed ass? Athlete's Foot? Moldy jock straps wrapped in a wet towel? In my experience, the whole point of lighting one of the Yankee Candles that smell like Keebler Elf sex is to to cover up anything that smells even a little like "Man Town."

Either way, I'm curious as to how these will do. In the meantime, I have another idea for them -- I call them "Complementary Scents."

So if, for instance, you cooked haddock last night and your house now smells like fish, instead of trying to get rid of it, you can just light up this candle and BAM! - you're good to go:

I'm tellin' ya, it can't miss.

*Testosterony - the other San Francisco treat


Come on over. We'll watch The Voice and have some soup.

I don't generally watch reality TV, but this season I watched a little bit of the Voice. I've learned the best way to watch it is via DVR. That way, I get to skip (a) commercials, (b) background stories I don't give a shit about (c) the long, drawn out, artificial suspense of the actual choosing process, built-up by saying "And the winner is..." and then NOTHING AT ALL for a solid 60 seconds while suspenseful music plays in the background.

So I fast forward until I see someone singing, listen for a few seconds to find out if it's a good performance or a song I like -- and if it's not I fast-forward again. When they're doing the actual cuts, I just fast forward until someone jumps up and down really fast, then I stop it to see who got picked to stay. It's amazing how quickly you can watch a two hour program this way.

I stopped watching it a couple of weeks back when the guy I liked best got cut. I can't remember his name, but he was some older black dude with a great voice. I'm sure someone knows who I'm talking about. I think Christina let him go and kept the opera singer who made every rock song sound like it belonged in a Disney movie. Anyway, my wife told me who won last night, and she asked me if I wanted to see them choose the winner.

So I watched it, however I was not adequately prepared. I mean, I already knew who won, so I was prepared for that -- but what I was not prepared for, not even in the slightest, was the sheer, gut-wrenching roller coaster of emotions I experienced when I saw Christina Aguilera's big sparkly diaper.

What the hell was that thing? I could not look away. At first I thought I was looking at the commander of the Vl'hurgs after someone said "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle." Talk about your terrible miscalculation of scale. I tried not to imagine the horror of three low-paid assistants with plungers desperately attempting to tuck all that ass up into what looked to be some sort of adamantium chastity belt, but I failed. It was like the Klein Bottle of underwear, with no inside and no outside. It was just all over the place and nowhere all at once.

And while I'm on a rant about this show, am I the only one here who thinks Cee Lo sucks? He really cannot sing. I mean, granted, he sings marginally better than I do, but then again, nobody is paying me crap-tons of money for doing something I suck at (contrary to what most of my co-workers probably believe). His voice has the timbre of a dull circular saw cutting through sheet metal and just goes to prove that the music biz is mostly all about luck and who decides you're going to be a star.

At any rate, I couldn't finish watching it, so I wandered out into the kitchen to find something to eat. I was looking for cereal in the pantry, but I saw a little box in the corner that caught my eye. It was a memory from my childhood that I haven't thought about in a really long time. It was this:

When did my wife buy Maypo? I thought, pulling it off the shelf. I haven't seen this stuff in years.

It turns out that was a very good question, because when I asked her, she said she didn't recall buying it. When I looked at the box, I immediately discovered why this was:

Yes, that is a 13-year-old box of Maypo you're looking at right there. Clearly I need to watch less reality TV and do more cleaning shit up. Incidentally, this one was the winner, if such a contest can even have winners. The runners up consisted of about ten cans of soup, a few boxes of crackers, some blueberry pie filling, three full boxes of instant oatmeal, 2 cans of breadcrumbs, a package of chocolate made for dipping fruit, and some unidentifiable dried things that I think used to be raisins or cranberries. Maybe both. Or neither.

Basically, what we had here was an evil pantry of horrific death, because the most recent date on this entire batch of carefully preserved botulism was -- believe it or not -- 2009.

I did take great pleasure in throwing out the Lentil soup though. I hate those filthy little skin-covered bags of sand.



I promised (the one person who asked) that I would post this.

Let the ridicule begin. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!



I'm not sure what's up with me and writing these days. We don't seem to like each other anymore. I feel like Hank Moody, except without all the sex, drugs, money, fame, bad luck and worse decisions. OK, I'm now aware that I should have picked a better example, but you get my drift. I feel I've been walking around in a black cloud of unfunny the last few weeks and I don't know why. Normally, shit just happens, and I write about it, but that technique has been failing me lately so tonight I decided I would just start writing and see what pops out of my tired head.

In other news, I quit the Draw Something, and it appears I'm not the only one. I spent way too much time on it that would have been put to better use writing. It was really fun, and got me (sort of) drawing again. As a result, I'm asking for this for my birthday, but I'm done with the game, at least for now. I think I got burned out on drawing the same things over and over. I'll have to share some of my masterpieces with you and see if you can guess them.

Speaking of things that popped out my head, check this bad boy out:

Not only is it completely grey, but it's insanely curly. And it just appeared out of nowhere this morning. Yesterday, nothing -- today, my head has one of Morgan Freeman's pubes growing out of it, and I have no idea how it got there. If this is any indication of the future I am going to be forced to shave it all off. No way am I walking around looking like this. That's just bad for business all around.

My wife and I have been trying a new coffee brand from Maine called Wicked Joe, and I think we like it. It comes in a black shiny bag, and it's pretty easy to find in your local grocery store. They have a dark roast decaf she likes and it's cheaper than Starbucks. The other day we had this conversation:

Her: "I really like that new decaf coffee I bought the other day."

Me: "Oh yeah? Which one?"

Her: "The Big Black Bag of Joe."

Me: "I'm pretty sure that's not what it's called. However, you have a bright future ahead of you in the field of product marketing."

So now that I've stopped drawing stuff, I find I have all sorts of time to write and no excuses. Your job here, if you choose to accept it, is to bug the shit out of me if you find I haven't updated in a while. It'll keep me honest. Just pretend you're Mick, and I'm this guy:

I went to a musical reunion of sorts last night, and holy shit, it was like the 80's never died. Or a better description would probably be it was like the 80's died, then came back to life looking for brains. I'll tell you all about it this week.