Sunday, August 31, 2008

Three Things That Always Happens When You Go To The Movies: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

My girlfriend Ramona and I love going to the movies. It's the "couple" activity that we do. Action films, sappy films, dumb films; we see all the mainstream nonsense, and even a couple of crappy indie flicks that she drags me to.

Now, every time we go to the theater, three things tend to happen, like clockwork. No matter what time of day you go to the movies, regardless of which show you see, these three things are always reliable. Tell me if you experience the same:

Movie Thing That Always Happens # 1: Having the ticket-selling person stare at your 10-year-old student ID for five minutes to determine whether you're really still a student.

Look, movies are expensive. Your average theater ticket can run you a good $11, and that's just insane. That's why, for such financial dilemmas, I carry with me my old student ID from my alma mater Cal State Northridge (Go Matadors!!). Now, being that this photo was taken in the late 1990s, the ID is a bit faded (i.e., you can't read any of the ID text) and the picture looks nothing like me. It is this ID that I always show to the movie's ticket-selling person to save $2.75.

And really, it's become quite funny watching the person's reaction to the ID. They look at the ID, they look at me. They look back to the ID, and quickly dart their eyes back onto me. Back and forth their eyes go, fast and slow in a seeming rhythm of ID checking scrutiny.

They want to ask the question. They want to call me out on it. But for some reason, they never do. They always hesitate. Maybe they're afraid of me yelling at the top of my lungs. Maybe they're afraid I'll give them a beatdown (probably the former). But they always ending up selling me the cheaper ticket, both of us continuing this constant, never-ending lie.

But like I said: It saves me $2.75. :-)

Movie Thing That Always Happens # 2: Getting stuck in front of somebody at the concession stand who has no idea what he or she wants, and ends up ordering $57 worth of stuff.

Movie snacks are expensive. When Ramona and I go to the movies, we buy a large diet coke and split it. That's our little splurge. But regardless of whether she or I go to get the beverage, we are always stuck for six or seven minutes behind someone with two or three bratty kids who act like this is a Sizzler and end up ordering every damn thing off the menu.

And it always happens the same way.

First, the person looks at the menu really, really hard.

And decides to get a hot dog.

Then, after the concession stand person gets them said hot dog, they look really hard at the menu again.

And order nachos.

Then one of their bratty kids screams, "I WANT POPCORN!!"

Popcorn is ordered.


The parent and child argue over this fact.

The large popcorn is ordered.

Then, having one victory under his or her belt, the bratty kid will ask -- not scream, but ask -- for an Icee.

The parent, relieved that the child didn't scream, orders the Icee.

The the parent, rewarding him or herself for the trials and tribulations they just went through, decides to get junior mints.

Followed by another hot dog.

And then:

"Where's my soda?" the parent asks the concession stand person.

"Oh, you didn't order a soda," the worker replies.

"Doesn't any of this stuff come with a soda?"

"No," the worker replies.

"You charge all this money for food, and none of it comes with a drink?" the parent asks/demands.

"Would you like a soda?" the now-scared worker asks.

"I'm not paying for it!!" the parent decrees.

And really,why should he/she? After all, they've already spent the bratty kid's allergy medicine money on nearly $60 worth of food and drink, 75% of which they won't consume. Kudos to them for taking a stand and insisting that they won't pay an extra $4.50 for a carbonated beverage.



I'll let you guess what happens next.

Movie Thing That Always Happens # 3: Having to go to the bathroom when the movie first starts.

It always happens. The Student ID tickets are paid for, the drink is bought after an indeterminable wait at the concession stand, and you're all settled in your seat when the lights go off, the coming attractions are over, the movie starts and...

"Damn it, I have to pee," you realize.

It doesn't matter if you went to the bathroom 10 times beforehand. It doesn't matter if you haven't had a drop of liquid for 12 hours. Once the lights go down, nature always calls.

And you find yourself left with two options:

1) Miss the beginning of the movie and risk not understanding what the hell's going on for the remainder of the film.

Or 2) Stay there and slowly suffer for what seems like 17 hours as you will the movie to go faster, no longer caring whether the lovable loser gets the girl or the James Bond action hero type saves the hostages. Just so long as the credits start rolling so you can hightail it to the nearest restroom.

I always opt for option B.

Suffering in silence.

It's why I cry during every film.

And now for this week’s:


At my work, this new game on my co-worker Rachit’s iPhone has become all the rage. It’s a math game and it gives you 20 basic math questions-and-answers. As fast as you can, you have to determine whether each one is right or wrong. For each wrong answer, five seconds is added to your overall time. We play it constantly to establish our office cred.

I currently hold the record at 9.54 seconds.

Yep, I’m so cool.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Debunking The Myths Of Organic Food: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

My dad has become a real organic food nut over the last few years. Go into his freezer and you'll see organic meat. Go into his fridge and you'll find organic vegetables.

"Hey Dad," I said while over at his place recently, "mind if I pour myself a glass of milk?"

"Help yourself," he replied. "It's organic."

Of course.

Well, let me tell you something about this organic trend:

Organic food is nothing more than a creation by the food, vegetable and dairy industries to charge twice as much for the same products that you consume on a daily basis.

There. I said it.

Now, many of you organic freaks feel that consuming such products improves your health, helps the environment and promotes your objection to the inhumane treatment of cows.

As usual, it's up to me to expose the truth:

Myth # 1: Eating organic food contributes to the improvement of overall health. Let me tell you all something about cockroaches. You know why they don't die? Because they eat crap all day. Everything they consumed is filled with pesticides and hormones. And you know what? Even a nuclear blast can't kill those suckers.

People, we have consumed pesticides for years. Our bodies are so used to foreign chemicals that we've become borderline-invincible. By switching to organic food, not only are you not helping your cause, but you may very well be contributing to your demise. Why? Because your body can't handle the change!! It's too much of a shock to the system. If you start going organic, you're weakening your body's defenses.

So stay healthy. Eat crap. That's my advice.

Myth # 2: Eating organic food helps the environment. OK, let's ignore the fact that there are about a million other things killing my good friend the ozone layer. Pesticides and hormones makes food grow bigger and faster. So if everything became organic, sure we might help Mother Earth...

...but we'd also starve!!

People, do you like those hefty cuts of meat? Well, guess what? It ain't natural material that helped to get it that size. You're used to big portions. You need big portions. Without those big portions, you'll waste away to Mary Kate Olsen levels.

And ladies, that's not a look men find attractive. FYI.

Myth # 3: Eating organic food helps promote the humane traffic of cows. Here's a fresh little nugget of information for you: What's the one similarity between a cow that roams the pasture eating nothing but grass, and a cow that's bunched together with other cows being pumped full of steroids?

Both cows get slaughtered.

Listen, I love cows. They're cute and they moo. But all cows you eat, organic and non, get killed. Besides, in these tough economic times, we all have to ask ourselves the following question:

Am I willing to spend twice as much to eat a steak that comes from a happy cow?

If your answer is yes, you're not just stupid...'re fiscally irresponsible.

Shame on you.

And now for this week's:


The following is being said to finalize a fantasy football deal I made:



(thumbs up!!)

Don't ask.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trying To Find My Inner Homosexual: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

As you all know, recently I started a Project Runway hater blog ( Now, since many of the show's audience is gay, much of my readership on that blog is gay. And because I've been straight for all 29 years of my life, there can't help but be a bit of a mind-set gap between myself and my gay brethren.

With that in mind, my girlfriend Ramona suggested to me that -- in an attempt to better understand this audience -- I find a way to tap into my inner gay spirit that she believes all men inherently have.

Needless to say: I was dead-set against this. There are just certain things I don't want to discover, certain places of my soul I don't want to go to. I'm an "on the surface" kind of guy. I get twitchy when dealing with "deep feelings."

I'm straight. It's how God made me. Why must you judge?


"I AM NOT WATCHING GAY PORN!!" I announced to Ramona.

Luckily, that's not what she had in mind. So after much back-and-forth, recently she took me (i.e., dragged me) to see the movie "Mamma Mia", where men who like men can watch various topless men sing and dance for no apparent reason.

And even with that, it was extraordinarily difficult to tap into my inner homosexual. At one point in the movie, Amanda Seyfried was sliding chest-first across the sand in this hot-as-hell one-piece bathing suit. Now, a little straight-man info for gay guys and straight women: In this bikini- and G-string-clad age of ours, it is ridiculously difficult to get a man foaming at the mouth wearing a one-piece. But Amanda Seyfried pulled it off like she was wearing nothing but pasties.

In fact, it stuns me that she plays a Mormon daughter on HBO's "Big Love." Were it not for the fact that I was in a happy, committed relationship (and/or didn't believe in bigamy) I'd leave my current life behind and become a grad student at BYU.

But despite these and other obstacles, I managed by the end of the movie to find a little of my deeply buried gayness (which, for the remainder of this blog, I will refer to as DBG) and made the following discovery:

If you put a loaded gun to my head and said I had to sex with a man if I didn't want my brains blow off (and came to the conclusion that this was not a fate worse than death), the man I'd choose to avoid this fate would be Pierce Bronsnan.

After all these years, the man's still got it. He's got those piercing eyes (no pun intended) that just look right through you. He meets my DBG height requirements, he's not bulky (my DBG isn't into the huge muscular look) and he still pulls off the whole "open collar, no tie" look that you just don't see anymore.

And when he took off his shirt at the end of Mamma Mia, my DBG joined the female members of the movie audience in the chorus entitled:


Besides, Pierce also passes the "alley test."

The alley test is a test that straight men give in the rare (rare!!) times we judge the sex appeal of other men. The thinking is this: If you faced the man in question in the back of an alley, and you weren't afraid, then he ain't right for your DBG.

Brad Pitt? I could beat him senseless inside of 12 seconds. He fails the alley test.

John Stamos? Something tells me he can't take it to the body. He fails the alley test.

George Clooney? Close. But he's a bit too metrosexual. I can take him. He fails the alley test.

But Pierce Brosnan? Man, I gotta admit: I don't know. He's the thing that a lot of men fear most: The guy who doesn't look all that tough but nonetheless has a look about him that says, "I know something you don't." Pierce in an alley would make me think, give me pause. And I believe he'd use that to his advantage and ram my head into a dumpster and take my wallet.

And according to my DBG: That's sexy.

So congratulations, Pierce. I would consider having sex with you if my life depended on it.With that in mind:

I'm off to find doctored nude photos of Amanda. Cheers.

And now for this week's:


On June 18, my good friends Elly and Jeremy welcomed a baby boy into the world named Max Orion Treat. Though not even 2 months old, my man Max has already shown himself to be a future raging heterosexual. Apparently, although the kid still isn't quite the age where he can always focus both his eyes on the same object, there's this picture of a hula girl in the living room that little Max is fascinated by. With everything and everyone else, little Max's left and right pupils are all over the place. But with the hula girl, he's locked in, undressing her in his mind and thinking:

"You just wait till I can crawl, sweetheart."

Speaking of Max, his parents have entered him into a cutest baby contest, where the winner will receive a $20,000 college scholarship. I ask that you vote for Max to ensure that he undresses hula and other varieties of girls with his eyes in a post-secondary environment.

To vote, go here, click on the letter "M" halfway down the screen and choose Contestant 40. Then, just enter your e-mail address at the bottom and verify your vote in your Inbox.

Five easy steps. Less than half of an alcohol program. No problem.

So sometime between now and Aug. 17, vote for male heartthrob Max. With your help, his gifted mind will one day go to college and find the cure for cancer.

Or a way to make firmer, longer-lasting breast implants.

Either way, the world's a better place.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Turning 29...And We All Know What Comes Next: The Annual Nevin Barich Birthday Blog

I got my new driver's license photo the other day. During my latest renewal process, I was required to come into the DMV and thus a new photo was taken, replacing the the license photo I had carried for the last 10 years.

I looked at the photos, putting both side by side. There were many similarities. The sparkling eyes. The adorable dimples. And that smile. God, I got great teeth. (thank you, braces) But though both photos looked at me with youthful exuberance, one thing was clear:

I was getting older.

Perhaps it's not completely noticeable to the naked eye. My hair isn't gray, I'm too young for wrinkles, and aches and pains -- last I checked -- aren't captured by the camera.

But I can see it. Little, almost imperceptible signs that age has begun to slowly creep in. A line or so around the eyes. The littlest dash of weariness. A look that says, "I haven't been 'there.' But I've been somewhere."

New driver's license photos never lie.

Today, Aug. 6, I turn 29. One more year of being in my 20s before...


Here's something interesting I've discovered about being a year away from 30. Sympathy... is nowhere. People who have passed 30 have been there and done that, and are jealous that you still have some of your 20s left to enjoy. Younger people see a glimpse of what's in store for them and avoid you like the plague. And people your age ... well, they're wallowing in their own self-pity and thus have no free time to wallow in yours.

My 20s are nearing an end and I'm alone. Just me and my driver's license photo.

So as I enter my last year of "younger than 30", I reflect -- as I often do -- on previous years. My 20s were not nearly as wild as some people, but nor was it dull and filled with shuffleboard and iced tea. Among my 20s memories:

---Traveling to Europe.

---Speaking in front of 1,000 people.

---Getting into physical altercations at not one, but two Subway restaurants.

---Falling in love.

---Getting heart broken.

---Falling in love again.

---Heart rebroken.

---Getting it right eventually.

---Sitting at the 50-yard line of a Raiders game.

---Meeting Oscar De La Hoya (I'm taller than him).

---Being threatened by a pro boxer because his girlfriend smiled at me (true story).

---Playing $100 hands of blackjack at The Mirage.

---Being asked by a hooker if I wanted her for dessert following my McDonald's dinner (I politely declined).

---Walking on the grass of Dodger Stadium.

---Discovering DVR.

---Getting my own apartment.

And finally.

---Learning to make eggs.

These memories, and many more, have been accumulated during my 20s. Who knows what other memories I'll incur for 29? Perhaps I'll learn to make omelets.

And as I begin my final younger-than-30 year, I recently found myself wondering: Could I still do it? Could I, at 29, still handle -- mentally and physically -- some of the things I went through over the past nine years?

And the answer came to me during a recent visit to my local In N' Out.

I went to refill my diet coke cup when I accidentally bumped into someone 10 years or so my junior. Some of the soda in his own cup got onto his pants; no big thing, as accidents will happen (plus, his pants were black). But this kid, no older than I was during my previous driver's license photo, wouldn't let the matter drop.

"Yo, you spilled on my pants!" the lad declared.

"Sorry about that," I said. "It was an accident."

"You gonna pay for my dry cleaning?" he demanded.

"Am I what?"

"Gimme some money to pay for this, boy."

This kid wasn't even 10 when I was turning 20, and yet I'm "boy." But, based on previous Subway restaurant experience (where I ended up sprawled on the floor courtesy of a left hook to the jaw. At least, I think it was a left. The whole incident is a bit hazy) I wisely decided to walk away.

But the kid wouldn't let up.

"Where's my money, punk? Where's my money? Hey, I'm talkin' to you, %$*^%$."

I stopped.

I don't like being called %$*^%$.

So I turned around.

Took a sip of my diet coke.

Walked right back up to him.

And said:

"Do I look like I give a damn about your pants."

I didn't ask it.

I said it.

At my age, you learn to say things.

And this kid.

Backed the %$*^%$ up.


I could still do it.

Score one for a line or so around the eyes.

And now for this week's:


I'm turning 29. In a year, I'll be 30. What the %$*^%$ do you want?

( Where elders like me are respected and revered.)