Category Archives: MANuary

"Great dress babe, but who’s the stiff in the skirt?"

I’ve found that you really can meet some interesting folk out here in the ether of the webverse. The next couple of posts are inspired by my obsessions with.. you guessed it, Twitter and blogging BUT I’m tossing in a cinematic reference here too. Can you tell me what it is? I’ve got some lovely gifts for the first one to get the common threads between the title of this post and the next three guests of honor (leave comments on ALL 3 posts to be entered to win, whatever it is I end up giving away). For now however, I now give you over to the loquacious stylings of today’s manly MANuary man of the day. (FYI my 2 cents can be found in the fine blue print) 
So Lara got in touch recently and told me about the MANuary concept. A platform by which to air the manly views of many a manly man…. a splendid idea I thought as a brief break from the world of ‘mummy bloggers’. Although I do have fears about what the subsequent months hold FABruary? (um, yes I’ve pilfered this one already. Next month will indeed be FABruary and you all have HIM to thank for that!) go APEril? Augustofwind? (<—This could get “interesting”)
Anyway, I’m Kieran – good day to you. As you may have noticed from my use of the term ‘mummy’ I’m not from your shores (I’m assuming I don’t share the same time zone with most of you). Rather than suggesting that there is a rabble of bandaged ancient Egyptian skinny assed zombies occupying the blogosphere I was merely giving it its UK spelling (although judging by frequency that Lara appears at the break of dawn for her 1st twitter hit of the day I don’t think i’d be too far off with the Egyptian sense of the mummy term),
I used the UK spelling….for I…. am a Scot
I suspect that has brought many images flooding to mind. Normally they entail some combination of Groundskeeper Willy playing golf with Mel Gibson’s Braveheart whilst their caddies who are none other than Scottie (taking a break from beaming folk up… and being American) and Sean Connery, are swilling Whisky and discussing how Ewan McGregor swings a light sabre like a nancy boy.
We can wait for the stereo types to play through……
I did a quick Google image search for “Scottish” – admittedly it was on Pg.5 but I love the fact that this came up. Go on admit it – did this image come flooding to mind? (I’m the one on the left)
I’m not casting aspersions that stereotypes may immediately come to mind. I’m a big fan of stereotypes, the more I travel the more they seem to come true. I won’t lie to you, I own a kilt, I have a beard, and I have hair that in certain light looks ginger (do you guys call your red heads ginger? I’m not quite aggressively ginger like my father ‘old fanta pants’, I’m one of the ‘day walkers’ that’s only got a smattering of ginger but can still go out in daylight)We prefer Carrot Top to Ginger, but The Weasley Family has us familiar with the term.
Right, further distractions aside. Like I said I’m Kieran. I’m a product designer who’s currently trying to squeeze as much out of his last year in his 20s as possible as official middle agedness beckons. When is it middle age starts? I’m presuming I just made lots of folk spit at their computer by suggesting that 30 is middle aged. Either way I definitely don’t feel grown up enough to be 30 in 11 months. I’m putting together the ‘things to do before you’re 30 list’ at present and I’m open to suggestions (bearing in mind I have a budget that won’t stretch to buying a set of golden golf clubs and going for a round with Kim Jong Il on the moon). 
I’m from Glasgow in the UK, apparently the name means ‘dear green place’ but the recent cold snap had it looking like something out of the ‘Day after tomorrow’ – the pictures were incredible…and real, it wasn’t Jake Gyllenhaal photoshopping.(yeah you lost us a Gyllenhaal, we just can’t quit him)
We’re not far from the toytown of Edinburgh (can you detect the local rivalry). We’re its harder bigger brother with much cooler new toys. It’s a good place to be a designer – we’ve got a good pedigree for design and innovation. Scots (not the Scotch – whilst we may on occasion smell like it we are not a beverage Nor are they tape, but that’s a sticky subject. da dum dump Thanks I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waiter) have got history when it comes to new inventions, we’re responsible for a couple of doozers (we won’t mention that on this side of the pond THIS 
is a DOOZER. Maybe they aren’t hip to goings on down at Fraggle Rock over there)  including the TV and Telephone as well as a good few others… ultrasound, pneumatic tyre (must be some kilt accessory huh?), steam engine, pedal bike, radar, hypnotism, fax machine, MRI scanner, I’ll stop going on… although apparently we invented the concentration camp???? Wtf!! Wikipedia throws up a good few surprises from time to time, I think I’ll choose to believe the good bits and ignore any mentions of camps (guess that means we won’t hear about.. this one time, at band camp).
I’m trying my hardest to maintain the Scottish legacy (not new innovations in concentration camps) but in design and innovation. I’ve designed a funky new beast that takes your hydration down a whole new avenue. It’s bottle insulator and it’s called Quiver.
The Quiver Aeropoint.50 is an insulating sleeve. You can throw in our RO.50 reusable bottle (that may look a little like Darth Vader’s rude bits) or your own 20oz bottle of water or soda. We’re aiming to launch it here in March.
Ok, gratuitous plug over…. sorry but it had to be done.
This world of blogging and twittering didn’t come naturally to me. I’m generally a chap that doesn’t feel the need to chat for the sake of chatting. But we’re working at launching a new product and there are few things more valuable to a designer than feedback. All this twittering and blogging is a great way of reaching out and touching people (in a nice way – get your collective mind’s out of the gutter). It’s how we started talking to Lara and hopefully it’s how we can start chatting to some of you.
If you like what we’re doing or you think it’s on a par with the invention of the chocolate teapot, or even if you just want some more Scottishness thrown at you get in touch. Get tweety @kieran_mccrorie or bloggy on our asses.
Right, I feel I’ve wittered on enough, I’d better let you get back to your normal lives (doesn’t know us very well, does he?) . Thanks for having me.
Toodle pip <— I don’t know if that’s “See ya later”, some sort of meal served within the boiled belly of a farm animal or a suggestion as to where we might “put it” but it sounds so Brit I get all “quiver-y”. I’m sort of an Anglophile (hey look it up before you go there okay) as long as we’re talking Scots. 

Quiver AeroPoint.50 from Quiver on Vimeo.

Single+living in LA+owning a cat = ?

Seems there were a few confused Nuggets, I guess, considering I got an email about this. So for the record, when you see blue font it’s me adding in my two cents cuz I can’t shut the heck up. This should help our next guest out when we get to the portion of this post where the word “swoon” is inserted IN BLUE.. meaning I said it not him. I’m not saying he didn’t think it. How would I know? (wink wink) Who am I to judge? Please welcome Lance Carter

My name is Lance and I’m an actor here in LA. I’m not married (never been), no kids and have a cat. 

Since I’m originally from Maryland, going back home is fun. Last time I went back, I found out something really interesting. Apparently, I’m gay. I had no idea.

See, I was at my high school reunion mingling, talking to people, and just having a really awful time. The minute I’d walk away, I would turn see them whispering about me.

Eventually I go to the bathroom. I’m standing there peeing when the former captain of the football team walks in and stands at the urinal next to me.

I haven’t talked to this guy since like the 10th grade when he shoved me in a locker. And I think the extent of that conversation was me saying, “ow.”

He looks at me and says, “You’re gay?”

Now, all of a sudden he wants to talk? You’d think he would at least start off with a “What’s up?”  Nope. He’s asking me if I’m gay while both of our hodads are in our hands.

Me: What are you talking about?
Him: You’re an actor.
Me: Yeah.
Him: You’ve never been married.
Me: No.
Him: And you don’t have kids.
Me: No…

 Then he looks at me, like all of a sudden he’s like a redneck Nancy Drew. “You’re gay, right?”

“No, jackass. I live in LA. No one is married in LA. No one even WANTS to be married EXCEPT the gays. Now if you’ll excuse me while I put my heynow back in my pants.”

I swear to you this happened.. ok, except for the last part. I didn’t say that but believe me I wanted to. (I actually thought of that while I was on the plane home to LA).

Things is, I get this whenever I go back to MD. No one ever accuses Matthew Perry (um nobody? Really?) of being gay. Not Jeremy Piven (hack who owes his career to —>), John Cusack (swoon). Nope. You know why? Seriously… do you know why? Cause I have no idea.

Maybe they’re jealous? I mean, I felt bad for the Football Captain. His wife used to be so hot. She was the prom queen. Now she looks more like Larry King. Thanks! I’ll be here all week.

Is it that all married people want me to be as miserable as they are? Believe me, I’ll be as miserable as you eventually. Its just that, part of the reason I don’t want to get married yet is because I still feel immature. I still feel like I’m 18. I drink too much. I daydream all the time. I still fantasize about a radioactive spider biting me.


Lance is the mind behind the awesomeness of where you can find everything from musings of Indy Directors like Zak Forsman (I’m a total Indy flick chick) to interviews with industry insiders like actor Armin Shimerman (ooh Quark I’m SUCH the Trek dork!). He is also a gifted actor, writer and does what I hear is a great stand-up bit. Thanks Lance, and for the record Clay called and said though he thinks you are way hot you are so not gay. 

Sometimes I think I live in a different world

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world… is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”
And now I give you Always at Home and Uncool author and Dude du jour Kevin!

WARNING: At-home Dad approaching
I’ve seen you.
I know you’ve seen me.
You’ve just never formally acknowledged my presence.
At holiday time, I’m the only penis-carrying parent helping the elementary schoolers make gingerbread houses. Frosting in a can, baby. Deee-lish.
On pleasant mornings, I’m the guy walking the Lab and singing off-key along with his iPod who you whizzed by en route to Pilates class. BTW, Lycra becomes you.
Or perhaps you spotted me, three days of stubble on my cheeks, checking the nutritional labels on Campbell’s Select Harvest soups at the Safeway on a Wednesday afternoon. Remember? I was the store’s sole male customer under age 73.
That’s right. Out of the corner of your eye that day. You DID see me.
And you thought, “Poor fella … unemployed and all.”
No worries. Happens all the time.
Which reminds me of how Lara and I met.
She rammed my shopping cart one day, right there in the pork and beans area, leaned in real low and close, and said those words I’ll never forget:
“Wanna come back to my place and hunt squirrels?”
I’m more of a bird healer and dog mortician myself, but some offers you don’t refuse.
Especially not at $9.50 an hour.
Unfortunately, I’m awful at understanding metaphors. That’s how I ended up here. It’s a condition of the “hold harmless” agreement the arbitrator made Lara and I sign.
Yep, that’s the life of an at-home dad. If you’re not being mistaken for a shiftless bum, you’re having to fight off the housefraus, soccer moms and mommybloggers with a sharpened spatula. Back — back, you recipe vultures!
And if you believe that, I have tickets to an exclusive Joe Jonas solo concert on April 31 to sell ya.
Actually, most of my days are spent like yours: avoiding household chores by blogging, Facebooking and Tweeting (that’s @homeanduncool), catering to my dog’s every whim, and worrying about how badly I’m screwing up my kids psychologically (frickin’ little emotional terrorists — I love them, I loathe them).
The catch?
I do it with even less support from my peers than you and absolutely no recognition from Oprah.
O-praaaaAAAAAAAAAH! Skype me, girlfriend.
Also, unlike you, I never perform these tasks in silky lingerie and fuzzy kitten heels while balancing a glass of wine in one hand. I’m strictly a cottony boxer briefs and beer guy.
(Speaking of beer, go back and read Brad’s awesome guest post then repeat after me, “Yuengling.” Makes you feel a little naughty saying that in public. Imagine what drinking it is like.)
So next time you see me out there, alone or with spawn in tow, smile and give us a solid “I understand you” nod.
That’s how we guys do it.

Kevin McKeever blames it on a sheltered suburban childhood consisting of Mad magazine, 8-track tapes of The Knack and the pathetic teams fielded by the New York Mets in the late ’70s and early ’80s. After a momentary flirtation with a pretentious Ivy League college, he took the road more frequently traveled because it led him to the one of the last places in America where the drinking age was still 18. Having been saved from corporate drudgery by a Midwestern girl on her own, he is now an at-home dad of three: a daughter battling both the rare autoimmune disease juvenile myositis and the more common “Daddytakemeshopping” Syndrome; a son battling evil  Pokémon and Bakugan; and a dog in search of a better bully stick. When not contributing to DadCentric he writes his own blog Always Home and Uncool, makes stuff up for Polite Fictions and also poses as a non-syndicated columnist for his local newspaper.

(PS the first Nuggetier to comment telling me what the common thread in the title of this post, the opening quote and the title of Kevin’s blog is wins some sort of fabulous as yet to be identified prize)

Sound the drums!

Hi, I’m Rodney Howard – Professional Sideman Drummer (for many artists), Husband (to a hot latina friend of Lara’s) and Father (to mixed-species siblings Moxie and Zachary; Cairn Terrier and human, respectively.)
When Lara asked me to be a guest blogger for Manuary, I assumed I should avoid two things: Profanity and the temptation to soapbox. (oh he don’t know me so well do he? in her best Elmer Fudd voice) After witnessing Ed The Destroyer soundly thrash assumption #1, I decided to dispense with assumption #2 as well.
Hopefully you the readers, who I assume are also parents of some sort, can recognize what I perceive as a nationwide epidemic.:The complete proliferation of Laziness, Entitlement and general Dumbass-edness of almost every young American I encounter. And it’s our fault.
As  “Sean Hannity” as that sounds coming out of a rocker type like myself, consider this: I make my living being plugged into, and LOVING much of current youth culture. I’m not a hata and I’m not Larry David. I tour the world, party a LOT, do what I love for a living, and am witness (and occasional  happy participant) to a good bit of hedonism. And from that vantage point I tell you this:
90% of the American teens I meet make The Sex Pistols look like motivational speakers.  I can rarely get a kid at McDonald’s to find the picture button that would successfully complete my order. I have to repeat my coffee order 3 times before it gets understood. I have young musicians asking me how to get manager before they can even play at beginner’s level. I know of BIG up-and-coming bands who can’t even play the notes you’ll hear on the radio because they assume the producer can “fix it in ProTools”. (I personally witnessed a young, good looking bass player blow an audition for a major artist- the BIGGEST opportunity of his lifetime and possibly his last – because he never learned the songs.) And don’t even get me started on the parade of deluded assholes I see every season on American Idol. Hell, even Paula Abdul, a fucking judge, was well-known for having NOT actually sung her tracks!
My point?
We have created this reality for our kids: You’ll always win, or at least get kudos for participation. You are destined for greatness, and the menial task at hand is just a place-keeper. Your online opinion is valid, regardless of your ability to articulate or spell a simple sentence, simply because you own a computer or cell phone…  And you will all be famous!  If not for your mediocre skills or talent, then for your willingness do anything on a reality show a la “For The Love Of Ray J”  or screw someone more famous than you in a sex tape.  You deserve success, regardless of your efforts or care toward that goal…. And everyday we, their parents, help solidify that reality. When we buy gossip mags, read crap internet “journalists”, give meaningless soccer trophies just for showing up, advance them through school regardless of merit, or watch Crap Reality Show Du Jour, we are propping up that trend with our attention and approval.
I’m not suggesting all our kids become PBS nerds. What I AM saying is that we need to highlight to our kids the famous/edgy/successful people for whom stupidity, self-importance and laziness haven’t become badges of honor. (And maybe stop legitimizing those who create NOTHING).  Tell them that the Jonas Brothers work their ASSES off. Tell them how Dave Grohl (Lara swoons, “oh how I crush on Dave!”) is the one of the smartest and most polite dudes out there. Kelly Clarkson, Fergie & Rhianna are absolute sweethearts.  Hell, Marilyn Manson is smarter than most of my high school teachers. These things I know from personal experience.
So let’s ease up on the ass-patting, trophy-giving love of the self-involved mediocre. Tell ’em they can do better every now and then. Tell ’em that to BE great you have to BECOME great. And stop giving your eyes, ears & dollars to to the useless, no matter how much they entertain you.
 We’ll never end apathy & stupidity. But we can make it at least make it unfashionable.
Can I get a HELL EFFING YEAH?!!! I can tell you this about Rodney, in all impartiality, he can back his shit up. He is an amazing artist who works as hard on his music as he does on being a decent human being.  I count myself not only honored to know him but to have him take time out to come hang with the Nuggetiers. Thanks R!

That’s what HE said

Thanks once again to my “minor” obsession with Twitter (it’s getting so bad The DH suggested that I forgo the Swine Flu vaccine and opt instead for the Bird flu version) I’ve found a really great guy to feature in this little stunt I call MANuary. I’ll confess when I first started following his tweets it was a “girl” thing. Our guest today is, Ted Rubin (@tedrubin) CMO of e.l.f cosmetics. If I recall correctly I was trying to win something from the gang at @askelf or maybe I was just begging for help with my James-J-Braddock-esque under eye circles. As the story unfolds though I find that following Ted’s tweets is anything but makeup chatter.  Sure he tweets about work related stuff but with a heaping helping of wisdom (Chicken Nuggets of WISDOM, hello!), a sharp sense of humor and an obvious pride in being a parent. I figured I’d hit him up for an interview, after all he seemed the perfect mix of what a girl wants and how a guy thinks. And he did NOT disappoint! GENTLEMEN and ladies (remember it’s MANuary) I give you my interview Ted Rubin…

We all strive for balance in our lives. I’m sure that is no different for you as a dad or as the Chief Marketing Officer of a wildly popular cosmetics company. What are some of the things you do to help you strive for that ever illusive balance?

With very rare exception, I never miss time with my daughters. I stay connected to my work but my time with my girls is my off-line time. Working out often is a key component in striving for balance. Being involved in social media is a great place to meet new people, keep in touch with friends and build on friendships. All of these things help to balance the hours spent working.

Life sometimes takes us down paths we could never have imagined we would travel. Did you start out with the goal of being the CMO of one of MY favorite cosmetic brands? (Ted starts out this answer with a really great laugh)

No, I started out in investment banking. From there I moved to a working with Seth Godin in a burgeoning new field called online marketing which has led to a whole new world of Social Media. 

I love the sheer joy that you exude when talking or tweeting about your daughters. The joy you get out of being a dad translates even in the twitterverse. What would be a perfect day for you spent with your kids?

I love to take them skiing. It’s not just the fun you get from the activity I enjoy though. When I take them skiing it’s a time that is just all ours. I lived in Aspen for a few years and love to ski. When I take my girls they look up to me because I have this special skill. That really is a great feeling, especially as they are hitting their teen years now. 

If women are from Venus and men from Mars, does working in an industry built around women make you feel like less of a Martian?

I think I have a better view of Venus from where I sit. I really enjoy working with women, especially Mommy Bloggers, which I don’t think is a bad term by the way. Women really own social media, they know what they like and don’t like. They aren’t afraid to tell you what you are doing right and where you can improve. I think Venus and Mars only really run into problems in romantic relationships.

One of the reasons I created MANuary was to give my female readers some insight into the mind of the MAN. Being in the beauty industry and a pioneer in social media you have what I think is a very unique perspective. So tell us, is there something that men find beautiful that might surprise us?

Well I can only speak for myself on this one, but I like muscle on a  woman. I’ve known women who were really very fit but avoided any kind of toning exercises because they didn’t want to get cut or buff. A woman with great tone and shape, I find beautiful. As for some of the deeper issues, I think most men can agree on a few of these. Understand we need alone time too. Give us some space when we get home. Don’t ask me what I want for dinner, just make it and I’ll enjoy being with you to eat it. I love it when a woman does the planning, I show up and we both have a great time. For me it’s more about the company than the activity. One thing I don’t like and I doubt any guy does, is a last minute cancellation.  Don’t call me at 4 o’clock and tell me you can’t make the 5 o’clock dinner reservation. 

Being that it is MANuary here at the Nuggets of Wisdom I feel obligated to ask you a “guy” question. And being that I have NO CLUE what the heck a “guy” question would be I’ll ask my girlie version. What would be an ideal date? One geared just for what a guy like you likes?

Anything I don’t have to deal with, make it easy, relaxed and don’t over plan it. Not everything has to be scripted. If we can manage expectations everybody has a great time.

So Nuggetiers what great truths do we walk away from this interview with, besides the fact that Ted is AWESOME? Well I say it’s this. Stop over planning, let a few things go, don’t cancel plans, find balance, don’t be afraid of a little buff, go skiing and wear great makeup! Great advice to be sure. Thanks Ted!
Ted also writes a personal blog that is a great read as well.