Monday, April 27, 2009

30 Rules to Being 30+ (Rules 16-30)

For those that didn’t read Part I (Rules 1-15), please click on the link

Things start to change as a man gets older. Here’s Billy Crystal’s abbreviated take from City Slickers:

"Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you're a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, "What happened to my twenties?"

Life changes once a man hits the big 3-0.

Without further ado, here is the rest of the list.

30 Rules to Being 30+: Rules 16-30

#16 Realizes Drinking Games are Unhealthy

Back in the day, man will drink anything, anywhere, anytime. He partakes in ice luges, keg stands, beer bongs, century clubs, power hours, 40’s nights. He also competes in a number of drinking games including quarters, kings, flip cup, and the mother of all games: Beer Pong or Beirut.

(For those who don’t know Beirut, click on this link to learn more:

But once the man hits 30, he starts to question how sanitary some of these games really are. Every time a shot is missed in Beirut, the ping-pong ball rolls onto the floor and collects dust, mites, bugs, mystery fluids, germs, and more germs. The player cleans the ball by dunking it in warm water for 3 seconds. Men under 30 are completely satisfied with this method. But as the man gets older, he realizes this does absolutely nothing. He mine as well be licking the floor.

As a result, the 30+ male is more apprehensive about taking part in drinking games such as Beirut. But since the game is so amazing, there are times when he cannot resist from playing. But as he plays, he knows he will have to be on antibiotics in about a week.

#17 Drinks Whiskey or Scotch

This tends to happen in the mid-thirties. To be sophisticated, the 30+ man must drink whiskey, scotch, or something equally terrible. (“Glenlivet/Glenfiddich/Glenmoragne...Anything with a Glen in it." ) And it’s got to be on the rocks or straight up; no mixing because that makes it taste better.

#18 No More Experimenting With Drugs

Experimenting is for high school, college, and the 20’s. Once the man is 30+, he’s too old for that kind of stuff. Plus, if there’s a bad outcome (OD, arrest, etc.), he has no excuse. People will be very disappointed and say: “You’re 30+ years-old; you should have known better.”

#19 Can’t Deal with Hangovers

When men are in college, they can recover from hangovers in 1-3 hours. They take an Advil, drink a Gatorade, take a nap, and they are back to normal. The 30+ male can only reminisce how easy it once was. It can take the 30+ man up to one week to recover from a hangover. He will be a mess at work, home, and social functions.

As a result, the man must monitor his nightly consumption of booze. He cannot afford to have a hangover because that could ruin his entire week.

#20 Attends Cocktail Parties

The evolution of parties is really quite interesting. In high school, the man parties anywhere: a vacant parking lot, the pond across the street, a condemned warehouse. In college, it turns into dorm rooms, fraternity houses, and cheap apartments. After college, it’s house parties and birthday parties at lounges and bars. Once the man hits his 30’s, the parties become much tamer. If he is attached, he will no doubt be attending cocktail parties.

The cocktail party will consist of a handful of couples. The 30+ man will take part in a series of boring conversations while sipping on whiskey or scotch. He hopes the TV will be on so he can watch the game. If it is, he is content. If not, he must swallow his anger, and participate in the board game Cranium.

#21 Talks About Money

Most 30+ men love talking about money because they are getting older and must think about the future. They focus on the stock market, real estate, and costs of weddings. Most men memorize 3-5 facts about money or finance so they can seem intelligent at cocktail parties. If a 30+ man knows very little, he will use a phrase like: “The market is killing me.” The 30+ man usually complains about money because he wishes he had more.

#22 No Longer Likes to “Rough It”

When man is younger, it was cool to “rough it.” It was a way of impressing other people and showing them that he could survive with very little.

Now that the man is 30+, he has more money and less people to impress. He wants to stay in a comfortable hotel (not a hostel) and have a real suitcase (not a backpack.) Every once in a while he will “rough it” (go camping) to show that he is still young, but he’d really rather be sitting by a pool and getting pampered.

#23 Wears a Brace During Sports

The man in his 20’s scoffs at the old man athletes and their ankle, knee, and elbow braces. It looks like they’re preparing for a battle. But that man will soon hit 30 and understand why. Without those braces, the 30+ man is an injury waiting to happen. Thirty years of wear and tear has left the man fragile and vulnerable. The braces are like Elmer’s glue for the 30+ year old body. Without them, he will literally fall apart.

#24 Suffers from Tendonitis

The 30+ man will feel pain in his ankles, knees, elbows, and any other joint you can think of. When he visits Dr. Greenberg, the doctor will explain that it’s just tendonitis. When the 30+ man asks what that means, Dr. Greenberg will simply explain: “You’re just getting old.”

#25 Likes Being Part of Facebook

Facebook is a perfect place for the 30+ man to catch up with old friends. Since he has been around for three decades, he has friends from all over the place: high school, college, graduate school, summer camp, old jobs. At first he is vehemently against joining, but once he is on, he cannot stop adding friends, updating his status, and posting picture albums. He will also use the term Facebook enthusiastically at least once a week in conversation. For example, “My old college buddy Facebooked me last week; we’re gonna meet for drinks this weekend!”

But the 30+ man really loves Facebook because it’s a perfect place for stalking ex-girlfriends and the girls that got away.

#26 Enjoys Reading Books

For most of his young life, man is in school and is forced to read books. He associates reading with stress, anxiety, and boredom. Plus, he thinks like Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School. Read? Who has the time? He’d rather see the movie…he’s in and out in two hours.

But once the man hits 30, he craves reading. He’s watched every possible thing on TV a million times, and wishes he had another outlet. In an epiphany, he recalls that reading could actually be cool sometimes. So he picks up a book (usually a Best Seller) and finishes the entire thing. Afterwards, he feels a sense of pride. There’s something rewarding about starting and finishing something. As a result, he feels really smart. He refers to books in everyday conversation, and asks others to recommend more books for him to read.

#27 Gets Fatter

Before the man hits 30, he has a magical metabolism. He can eat whatever he wants, and somehow doesn't gain weight. But once his body is 30+, that magic metabolism just shuts off. The man gains weight, and wonders if he should change his daily intake of Oreo cookies, ice cream, beer and pizza. He tries to watch what he eats, and attempts to excercise more often. He becomes intrigued with scales and weighing himself. Some men have the resiliency and work ethic to stay fit. But most 30+ guys can't do it and just get fatter.

#28 & #29 Gets Married & Has Children

Men may not have biological clocks, but they are well aware that the 30’s are for getting married and having kids. If you ever receive a phone call from a 30+ man, and he has something exciting to tell you, it means: He is getting married or having a kid. The 30+ male who is not married/doesn’t have kids pretends not to care. He claims how much he loves the single life, but in the back of his head, he wants to be whipped/tired/have no life just like all of his married friends.

#30 Still Acts Like a Big Kid

When men were boys, they couldn’t wait to be old. Now that their older, they wish they were young again. This is the main reason you see the 30+ man acting silly, immature, and goofy. He can’t be young again, but he can always be young at heart.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

30 Rules to Being 30+

People say age doesn’t matter, but once you hit your 30’s, life starts to change. Now that I’ve reached that milestone, I’ve noticed there are certain things that I just can’t do anymore. There are also certain things that I should be doing because I’m in my 30’s.

I’ve been working on this list for a while, but I admit How I Met Your Mother’s recent episode, “The Murtaugh List”, also inspired me. For those who didn’t see the episode, the characters made a list of things that they’re just too old to do anymore.

Here is their “I’m just too old for this stuff” list: Get Ear Pierced, Go to a Rave, Crash on a Friend’s Futon Instead of Staying at a Hotel, Do Laundry at Mom’s House, Put off Going to the Doctor, Drinking Shots with Strangers, Laser Tag, Use a Beer Bong, Pull an All-Nighter, Eat an Entire Pizza in One Sitting, Hang posters on Your Walls without Frames, Leave an Annoying 2 Person Message on Your Answering Machine, Help Someone Move out in Exchange for Pizza and Beer, Dye Your Hair a Funny Color.

Here are my 30 rules to being 30+. They are not steadfast rules and I'm sure there are exceptions, but within my circle of friends, they tend to ring true.

This is how life changes once a man hits the big 3-0.

#1 Starts Using The Term: “When I was young…”

The 30+ man cannot resist reminiscing about the good old times. He looks back to his 20’s and often recites the phrase “When I was young…” and then follows it with something fun. “When I was young I could play sports all day, party all night, wake up early, do the same thing all over again, and still feel great!” The man then enthusiastically tells a series of entertaining stories of how fun life used to be.

#2 Hesitant About Saying His Age

When man is in is 20’s, he doesn’t mind stating how old he is. But once he hits the 30+ mark, there is a short pause before he announces his age. This is because he feels old. This commonly happens when speaking to those in their 20’s especially women. The response is usually sympathetic: “That’s OK.” Or “You look much younger.” But the 30+ man does not want sympathy; he just wants to blend in with everyone else.

#3 Tries to Play Golf

The 30+ man must play golf because that’s what adults do. He takes lessons, and hopes one day it will come in handy on a work retreat. He will buy outfits, clubs, and follow Tiger Woods. Despite putting much time into the sport, he is still awful.

#4 Pretends to Know Wine

The 30+ man pretends to know wine so he can seem more mature. This is the same man who drank boxes of wine in college. But now things are different. He’s watched Sideways and has gone on at least one wine tour. Now, he smells his wine before he drinks it and is quite sophisticated.

#5 Fear of Adventure Sports

When man is young, he has no fears. He zips down a double black diamond ski slope full speed; jumps out of airplanes; surfs in shark infested waters. Then he comes to a realization. “These activities could kill me.” Once fear sets in, those sports don’t seem so appealing. Some men may still participate in them to prove their youth, but they’re either scared shitless or in serious denial.

#6 Realizes He Will Never Be a Pro Athlete

Every boy’s little dream is to be a pro athlete; baseball, football, basketball, etc. Most learn at a young age that this is impossible. But some play sports in high school and even garner an athletic scholarship to college. In their 20’s, they could bounce around on a few club teams. But once they hit 30, and have not made it, the dream is over. The next step is usually coaching at their old high school. Once again, most men realize this when they're much younger, but all know they're officially done if they haven't made it by 30.

#7 Can’t Learn New Video Games

You give a 30+ man a classic Nintendo, and he’s in heaven. His eyes will light up when he sees Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Contra, Mega Man, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, Double Dribble, Tecmo Bowl, Baseball Stars, Ice Hockey, and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out. He remembers all of the tricks and feels young again. (For example, Contra: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, select, start or Mike Tyson's Punch Out: 007 373 5963.)

You give a 30+ man an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 for the first time, his response is: “Why are there so many buttons?” The 30+ man struggles to understand the game and after dying quickly, walking into a wall for 2 minutes, or getting crushed in a sports game, he quickly gives up. Then he reminisces how great Nintendo was.

(*The only exception may be Nintendo Wii because some of the games you can play by simply using 1 or 2 buttons.*)

#8 Believes New Music is Loud and Terrible

It’s one of the biggest clich├ęs, but it’s so true. “Keep that music down” is a term 30+ people start to use. They wonder how kids can listen to that garbage, and then try to lecture them about where real music came from. Teenagers could care less, and the 30+ man feels old.

#9 Tucks in His Shirt

Once man is in his 30’s, he must look more mature. Therefore, his shirt can no longer hang loosely in front of him. Even though this is much more comfortable, he must tuck it in. This makes him look well put together and successful. As the years progress, the man lifts his pants higher for the automatic tuck.

#10 Goes Running

It takes man about 30 years before realizing that he likes to run. He can do it by himself, it keeps him in shape, and it’s free. It also gives him time to think about life. Plus, when people ask, how much did you run today, he can respond proudly and modestly: “Just a few miles.” Lastly, the 30+ man can run for charity. This gives him a sense of accomplishment.

#11 Needs Sleep

Back in the day, a man would sacrifice sleep for anything exciting. For example, if a girl offered to come by at 3 am on a Tuesday, he was in even if he had to wake up at 6 am. There would be no hesitation whatsoever. Now that he’s in his 30’s, the man weighs his options. If the girl comes by, he will lose sleep. If he loses sleep, he will be a mess at work, and then the next day is ruined. Then, he might get sick. Then, the week might be ruined. Is it really worth it? No man below 30 would ever think about these things.

#12 Pick-Up Basketball Isn’t Fun Anymore

Pick up basketball used to be so much fun. The man could go alone to the courts and be included in a game just by saying: “I got next.” But once the man hits 30, he starts to see the negative side of pick-up. Most of the men playing are angry, bitter, and annoying. There’s the guy who thinks he’s great, but is terrible; the guy that yells at you; the guy who calls a foul for everything; the guy who argues every call; and the guy who hasn’t been laid in a while so he wants to fight everyone.

The 30+ man is tired of dealing with all of these characters. He just wants to exercise and enjoy some healthy competition. As a result, he joins organized leagues, or plays only with friends. Pick-up just isn’t fun anymore.

(*The only exception to pick-up is when the man is a “regular” at the courts. As a result, the man is treated with respect because of his seniority and can enjoy his time there.*)

#13 Needs to Stretch

It’s not until 30 when the man realizes, if he doesn’t stretch, he will hurt himself. He knows he looks like Woody Harrelson from White Man Can’t Jump, but it’s for his own safety. While stretching, different parts of his body crack that he never knew could.

This precaution has to occur before even the most basic activity: basketball, air hockey, getting up in the morning. Sometimes, the 30+ man will stretch for no reason at all just to make sure everything’s working. If the 30+ man chooses not to stretch, the consequence is injury and embarrassment. The limping man must then explain how he pulled his hamstring playing whiffle ball.

#14 Can’t Seriously Date Girls in Their Early 20’s

Most 30+ men have tried it, and it just doesn’t work out. It’s confusing at first because it seems so perfect. The early 20’s girl is fun, fit, and attractive. She likes to hook up; she likes to go out. What’s not to like about that?

The problem is that the 30+ man starts to analyze the situation and realizes something is off. The hooking up is fun, but everything else is painful. The early 20’s girl tends to have an extremely short attention span. She is the best texter around, and cannot breathe without her phone (lol.) Her eyes dart to and fro her cell phone during conversations (brb.) She rarely listens to the 30+ man, and all conversations revolve around the girl or her job (:)) He realizes that he could say something offensive and shocking, but it wouldn’t matter, because she’s not listening anyways (ttyl.)

Furthermore, the 30+ male cannot endure spending time with her friends who wear too much make-up and go to trendy clubs. The final straw occurs while drinking red bull & vodkas and trying to converse with the other boyfriends: early 20’s douchebags.

The 30+ man feels out of place and finally thinks to himself: “What am I doing here?”

He’s just too old to date girls in their early 20’s.

#15 Gives Advice to Younger People

The 30+ man has been there and done that. Now that he is wise and glorious, he will mentor/lecture those younger than him. The younger people will receive the guidance whether they asked for it or not. It takes time, but the 30+ man eventually realizes that he is turning into his father.

Since I am getting older, I can only write so much at a time.

So the list continues next week…

Rules 16-30:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So You're Saying There's a Chance!

Even though I was Undeclared for most of college, I always knew I wanted to be a writer.

Unfortunately, I've encountered many struggles on my quest. Literary agents have never taken me seriously. I’ve never had a mentor. Nobody has ever taken me under their wing and shown me the ropes.

As a result, I’ve had to do it all myself. I’ve had to be creative. I’ve had to be proactive. I've e-mailed successful writers and asked for advice. Most haven't written back, but when they do, it's positive.

I promote my work on other blogs, message boards, movie forums, fan sites, and facebook. I’ve been kicked off a number of sites for mentioning my blog. But I don’t apologize…I put time and effort into my writing. I just want people to be exposed to it.

I feel like it’s the only way an ordinary guy like me could ever garner more readers and progress. Sometimes, I daydream that if I meet the right person with the right connections, I could be a professional writer.

I just need to get my foot in the door. Last Saturday night, the door opened slightly.

A young, talented, successful, Famous Comedic Actor/Writer was invited to the same party as me. From his movies and interviews, he seemed like an ordinary dude; someone that could be approached; someone that would take the time to help an aspiring comedic writer like myself.

The party started at 4 am, so I slept from 11-3am so I could prepare. When I rose at 3am, my eyes were sealed shut, and there wasn’t a chance I was leaving my warm, cozy bed. But then my mind started running wild. I had the chance to meet a comic force, and I couldn't pass it up.

I zipped quickly down the streets of New York. My ipod blasted in my ears, and I felt a surge of energy. It was nearly 4 am, but I was feeling pretty good.

When I entered the party, the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer had yet to arrive. The bar was busy and smelled of liquor, cigarettes, and Pineapple Express.

To pass the time, I made small talk with 2 Canadian girls. We spoke for a good thirty minutes about education and the Canadian government. It wasn’t riveting, but at least they were nice. I explained my man-crush on the guest of honor, and how I naively hoped he could help me as a writer.

A few minutes later, the nice Canadian girls found some friends, and quickly ditched me.

I mingled and chatted with a few other partiers. There were good looking people, cool people, Funny People, and a few Freaks and Geeks. The highlight had to be speaking with Crazy Legs Conti; a competitive eater who hailed from Belmont, MA. He provided me with enough entertaining stories for several blog entries. He was explaining the secret to downing 100 hot dogs when the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer entered the bar.

It was time.

I let the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer relax and do his thing before pouncing on him. I was definitely nervous. I had less confidence then a 40-Year Old Virgin. I felt like I was trying to hit on the hottest girl in the bar. But he was just a guy. Why was I so nervous?

I finally gathered enough courage to speak with the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer. I stepped in his direction when I noticed who joined him at the table; the 2 Canadian girls form earlier. This would be perfect.

I approached the 2 Canadian girls and said hi. They barely acknowledged me. I explained that I was gonna say hi to the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer, but they warned me that it wasn’t a good time. He was in a bad mood. I rolled my eyes and thought to myself: “Ok. I’ll just chat with him next month…are you kidding me? I’m not here just to Observe and Report. I’m here to take a chance.”

I decided to heed the girls’ advice and drop by the bar for another drink. I gave the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer some time to get into a “better mood.” I started getting nervous again.

As I doubted myself, someone Knocked Up into me, and jarred my concentration. I looked up and realized it was 5 girls I knew. They were all very friendly, and they were all hot! This boosted my confidence immediately. I could talk to five attractive girls at once; why the hell couldn't I talk to this guy?

Without hesitation, I introduced myself to the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer.

Me: Hey…I’m sorry to bother you while you’re with your friends.

Famous Comedic Actor/Writer: It’s OK.

Me: I’m a big fan of your movies. I actually work at a low-income high school, and a lot of my students like you. If you’re ever around, and would like to volunteer or something, we’d love to have you.

The Famous Comedic Actor/Writer avoided eye contact and had no intention of complying to anything I asked of him.

Famous Comedic Actor/Writer: I don’t like high school. I dropped out. It’s stupid.

He may have been joking, but it felt more like his attempt to send me away.

If he thought that was bad, wait til I got to the writer part...

Me: Well…I’m also a comedy writer. I wrote my blog on the back of my card. I know you’re busy and this isn’t the right time. But if you ever have a chance, maybe you could check it out. It would mean a lot to me. Thanks.

I slid my school business card across the table.

Famous Comedic Actor/Writer: There’s VERY LITTLE CHANCE that I’ll ever be doing that!

I’ve been rejected before, but ouch! I felt like I’d been stung by the Green Hornet.

And to make it worse, the 2 Canadian girls that I befriended earlier completely ignored me. I regretted telling them that I looked forward to meeting the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer. They probably labeled me as just another “crazy fan.”

All I could come back with was...

Me: It was nice to meet you. Your movies are funny.

It was over. I hung my head as I trudged away.

That’s when I realized: I have nothing to feel sorry about. I told an artist that I appreciated his work and asked for advice. I imagined what a teacher, doctor, or architect would do if someone said: “You’re good at what you do. If you have time, maybe we can chat sometime.”

But I guess the timing just wasn’t right. No matter what I said, it was going to be a SuperBad experience. The Canadian girls were right; he was in a bad mood.

As I retell the story, I'm in good spirits. In fact, the more I think of it, the more excited I am.

There's very little chance he'll ever look at my blog. Do you realize what this means?

He's saying there's a chance!

When I hear from the Famous Comedic Actor/Writer, I'll be sure to let you know all of the wonderful things he has to say.