Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jews Love Christmas (Pass It On): A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Note to all of the non-Jews of the world, young and old:

All Jews love Christmas.

Jews love Christmas. We celebrate Christmas just like you. We have trees, bust out the lights, deck the halls, drink Egg Nog, listen to carolers, and listen to Christmas music like there's no tomorrow.

All Jews love Christmas. Even the orthodox ones. Oh sure, they say they don't. But orthodox Jews are just the Jews who were so scarred from not having Santa Claus when they were a kid that they rebelled by becoming really Jewish and trying to pretend that Christmas doesn't exist.

It's OK. I'm Jewish. I can say these things. :-)

Why do Jews love Christmas? Simple. Because Jews, my non-Jew friends, are just like you. We like presents. We like lots of presents. And we like food. And family. And time off of work and school. We like snow. We like twinkly lights. We like sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what we want for Christmas.

My name is Nevin Barich. I'm a Jew who loves Christmas. I am just like you.

And that's what this week's blog is about, really. Bridging the gap between Jews and non-Jews. During this time of year, we are exactly the same. There are no differences. We both love the same things and think the same way. Embrace the sameness. Embrace Jews this holiday season and every holiday season heretoforth.

And when I say anything related to Christmas from here on in, please don't say some kind of "Nev, you're Jewish" statement in response. Man, that gets old.

Aren't you Jewish?

Nev, you're Jewish.

Jews celebrate Christmas?

Jews don't celebrate Christmas!

Didn't you already have your Chanukah?

You know who Santa is?

You know how many "Nev, you're Jewish" statement I got this holiday season?


I am Jewish.

And I celebrate Christmas.

Pass it on.


And now for this week's:


Lindsay Lohan was accused of attacking a worker in the rehab facility she's in.

My guess: The rehab worker tried to step in after finding Lindsay trying to smoke one of her socks.

That's my theory, anyway.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting A Barbershop Shave: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

There are many things in life that a man needs to do at least once. Among them: Backpack through Europe. Visit Fenway Park and pretend to be a Yankees fan. And eat a fried Twinkie.

And over the weekend, I found another one to add to the list:

Getting a barbershop shave.

Recently, some friends and I visited the good people at The Art of Shaving in Las Vegas, and treated ourselves to what's called "The Royal Shave." As a part of royalty, you get the works: Hot towels, straight razor, lather, facial massage, the works. You sit for 45 minutes as the hands of experience sculpt your face in a way a plastic surgeon never could.

Honest to God: It's heaven on Earth.

I mean, when you walk in the barber lies you down, invites you to put your feet up and take your shoes off, and proceed to make you feel like you are the only person who matters in the world. For 3/4 of an hour, you feel like the king of the world as you treat yourself and your face to tender loving care that you previously only got from your wife, with the added benefit of Italian opera playing in the background.

It's very Godfather-like. It makes you feel like Moe Greene, right before he got clipped through the barbershop window.

Here's the way I see it. Women have their facials. Women have their manicures. Women have their pedicures. Women have their spa days. In fact, when you think about it, women have just about every relaxation method offered to them under the sun!! What do men have that's both socially acceptable and won't get them in trouble with the wife to enjoy? (the second part eliminates both strip clubs and lap dances) If you think about it, the barbershop shave is man's only release. Where a man can be a man and talk to other men about men things, like sports and cars and action movies and "these kids today" and "in my day" and "look at the ass on her" and beer.

Seriously, the experience couldn't be any better if they had bowls of pretzels and Guinness on tap.

So mean: Add barbershop shave to your bucket list. Enjoy the experience of your face feeling like a baby's bottom.



And now for this week's:


Tony Romo is engaged to a pageant queen.

I'm sure this is a marriage built to last.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Playing Beer Pong For The Very First Time: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I'm not a drinker. Never was. It wasn't because of any real moral issue, dilemma, or parental fear. The reason is far more simple: I hate the taste. Beer. Vodka. Gin. Rum. It all tastes like piss to me.

As such, I had never taken part in a certain game, a certain ritual, that symbolizes youth, the feeling of invincibility, and stupidity:

Beer Pong. :-)

Beer Pong. An American drinking game involving beer and ping pong balls. I'd heard about it, read about it, and if I felt inspired, I'm sure I could've found videos on it. But I never did. I never played. Because I didn't drink beer. I hated the taste. Piss, remember?

However, recently -- during tailgating of the USC-UCLA football game earlier this month -- my friends began setting up for Beer Pong and encouraged my participation. And after thinking about it for a bit, I thought: Why not? There's not a lot of beer in the cups, I'm not driving, and I liked the idea of bouncing ping pong balls into cups (it sounded oddly thrilling).

It was time to pop my Beer Pong cherry.

So I began playing Beer Pong with my friends. And let me tell you: I was awesome!!

I mean, I was good. Really good!! One minute, I'm forced to admit to that at age 31, I have no idea what the rules of Beer Pong are (kind of like a 20-year-old admitting he doesn't know how to tie his shoes). The next minute, I'm fooling the competition with sudden bounce shots and hitting 20-foot fadeaways.

I was in the Beer Pong zone.

I don't often impress myself, but on this fall Saturday afternoon in the Pasadena Rose Bowl parking lot, I found out that I took to Beer Pong like Forrest Gump took to ping pong. There were guys I was going up against who claimed to have never lost a Beer Pong game. And they fell to the might and determination of Nev.

I played five games. Of those, my partner and I won four. And the fifth game really shouldn't count, because I was kind of swaying back and forth at that point. But it wasn't just about the victories. It was about knowing that if push came to shove, if someone put a gun to my head and said "Play a credible game of Beer Pong or I'll blow your brains out," I could rise to the challenge.

Although after five games, the beer still tasted like piss.


And now for this week's:


From TMZ:

Pop star Miley Cyrus has been known for making hits, but a new video shows she’s also taking some.

TMZ posted footage of Cyrus taking a hit off a bong at a party in her Los Angeles area home just five days after she turned 18 on November 23. In the clip, the singer gets the giggles after she smokes what is allegedly salvia, a natural herb with psychedelic qualities. Possessing salvia is legal in California.

After inhaling, Cyrus imagines seeing her boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth. “Having a little bit of a bad trip,” she tells the camera with a laugh.

According to TMZ’s source, Cyrus’ friend shot the video, but it was allegedly stolen or copied from her camera.

Miley Cyrus: Becoming the new Lindsay Lohan.

By the way: What is the deal with people filming one another doing drugs? I mean, is it the new trendy thing to do? What possible good can come from this?

And then the video always gets "stolen."


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Going Back To My Podcast Roots: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

It's been a very crazy week, so I had no time for a real blog post. However, recently I went back to my podcast roots and posted a new podcast with my buddy -- and cousin-in-law -- Michael Feldman. You can listen to the 10-minute podcast here.

We talk about MILFs.


Next week's blog: I have my first beer pong experience!!

And now for this week's:


Queen Elizabeth II's underwear will be going on auction to the highest bidder in Miami.

Some SOTAs...just write themselves. :-)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Going Through Airport Security: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Recently, I hopped on a plane for a 36-hour trip to Northern California to see my first-ever Stanford-Cal football game (Cal fans are psychos, by the way. They're like Raider fans, without the style and creativity). And as part of the plane-riding process, I had to go through one of life's less-enjoyable experiences:

Airport security.

Now please understand: I completely get and respect the reason for more airport security. The September 11 terrorist attacks were absolutely horrible and tragic, one of those events where everyone alive at the time will remember the exact moment that they heard the news. Having said that: Airport security is not only ridiculously annoying, but absolutely confusing.

Sorry to say, I am one of those people at airport security that others get stuck behind because he doesn't know what the hell he's doing. I mean, I am always baffled when I go through airport security. First, every time I grab a bin, I have trouble separating the damn things. I mean, everyone around me and their mother seems to be able to separate the bins with ease, but mine always seem to be stuck like glue. I can feel everyone else's eyes rolling as I struggle.

Then there's the shoes. I always forget to take off my shoes. And when I do take them off, I never remember whether I'm supposed to put them in a bin or not. For that matter, it's the same with laptops. When I take out my laptop, I put it in the bin and then put other stuff in the bin. But for some reason, you're supposed to keep the laptop separate in the bin. Otherwise, I guess, the X-ray machine won't be able to spot the bomb blueprints I have on my desktop.

When it's all said and done, I end up with eight bins, each of them filled with my own separate items because I'm all confused, a line has formed behind me, and the security guy is looking at me like he'd shoot me if he didn't fear God or the law.

And that's me and airport security in a nutshell.

Total time it takes me to go through security: 37 minutes.

Not including the time it takes to pat me down if I'm determined to be a terror risk.


And now for this week's:


Former NBA star Dennis Rodman received oral sex during a recent radio interview.

There's even audio.

And the funny part is that Rodman was the guy who called in.

I'm sure the radio host would've forgiven his tardiness.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Restaurants That Post Nutritional Information: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Earlier this week, I visited my good friends at Chili's Restaurant in Northridge, meeting up with a couple of old high school chums for dinner. And as we were catching up and reminiscing on old times, I started looking at the menu and noticed all of these damn numbers next to the food items.

The nutritional information.

Now: I understand the reasoning behind this new phenomenon. In today's restaurant society, there are -- quite frankly -- some fattening food items out there. And no doubt some big wigs from the health food industry got together with some head honchos from the fat farm factory and conspired to pressure Congress to make people feel bad about the Texas cheese fries they want to order.

Fine. Whatever. But I have news for those who hatched this evil plan:

It doesn't work.

No one loves fattening food more than me. Now I'm not fat and I work out daily, but I'm still a prime target of health and organic food advocates. They want people like me to feel guilty. To take stock in what I'm eating and ask myself: "Is it worth it?" They want to get me to take a good, hard look in the mirror and ponder serious life changes.

Yeah, good luck.

I'm like a smoker: I don't bother reading the warning labels. I know this food is bad for me and I don't care. Why? Because it tastes good and it makes me happy. When I eat it, I smile. And I like to smile.

Just being honest here, people. :-)

My point is: I already know that the fried onion and jalapeno stack that my friends and I ordered at Chili's as an appetizer was loaded with tons of fat, calories and sodium. But it didn't stop us from ordering it. We ignore warnings. We're Americans!! We think we're indestructible!! And if we get heart problems later on, it's nothing a little open heart surgery won't fix.

Plus: Bad food is cheaper. You ever see a value menu of health food? No. Why? Because health food costs money. And times are tough. Bad food is cheaper and I like to save.

To sum up: I am winning the fight against the evil health food and diet tyrants. This whole "Hey Nev, those steak nachos from Baja Fresh you're about to order contain 108 grams of fat in them, which is about 1 1/2 days' intake" campaign is failing. And as long as I continue to eat this food, it will continue to fail.

It's a war, people. And I'm doing my part.


And now for this week's:


As if "The Hangover" franchise couldn't get any cooler.

Bill Clinton has reportedly just filmed a cameo for next year's "The Hangover 2."




Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting a Big-Screen, HD TV: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I was at work the other day when my wife Ramona sent me the following text message:

I'm buying us a TV! 42-inch LG LCD with Internet connectivity so you can use your Playstation 2 and we can get movies from Netflix!

Hand of God: I have never loved Ramona more than I did at that moment.

As I write this, I am in front of my new TV -- which I named Bessie -- watching the movie Old School, awestruck at how the frat parties are so much clearer in HD. I mean, you can really see the detail on the beer bongs. It's practically life-like.

I am among the last people on Earth to have an HD TV. If you know me, this shouldn't be surprising. It's not that I don't like TV. I love it!! Ramona and I are huge TV watchers. But I'm also a creature of habit, easy to please. I mean, I don't need much. I'm cool with paper plates, 16-bit Super Nintendo, flip phones with no texting keyboards, and until recently, a 20-inch box TV.

I'm loyal to things that serve my needs well. I still have socks from the 1990s. I wear shoes until they disintegrate. I'm not particularly fond of changing brands of toothpaste. So it wasn't easy for me to just jump right into an HD TV. I was used to boxed TVs. They were cheap, sturdy, and had a good picture. What more did I need? Sure, all my friends laughed at me, made fun of me, and called me "1960s Guy", but these are also people that would trade in their loyal, loving older dog for a brand new puppy.

Luckily, my wife stepped in and made the hard choice I couldn't make. I'm Vito Corleone -- who couldn't bring himself to order his daughter's husband killed even though he was responsible for the death of son -- and Ramona is Michael Corleone, the one willing to give the order.

Ramona got the new TV and killed the old one, making her man happy...and allowing me to view my HD without guilt.

Damn, this picture is clear.

What's my point here? No point. I mean, I have a flatscreen TV. It's big, it looks great, and tomorrow I'm watching the Manny Pacquiao fight on it.

Life is good.

Especially in HD.


And now for this week's:


There's a bacon candle on the market!!



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Women's Obsession With Cool Cars: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Earlier today, I was visiting my good friends at ARCO, filling up my car with gas, when I saw in front of me a Lamborghini. Now a Lamborghini is going to stand out no matter what, particularly in the San Fernando Valley, where we don't see very many cool cars. But it wasn't so much the fact that the Lamborghini was there, but rather the interesting reaction the Lamborghini received from a woman nearby.

This woman -- who was with her boyfriend in some normal two-car black Honda -- was busy snapping pictures of the Lamborghini with her iPhone. She was looking at it, salivating over it; I seriously believe that if her boyfriend wasn't around, she would've gone to the Lamborghini and licked the hood. She had a look on her face that said:

God I would look good sitting in that car!!

And it made me ponder the following question:

What is it with women and picturing themselves in cool cars?

Seriously, this is a female thing. It really is. I mean, sure guys buy the cool cars. But you know why? Because it attracts women to them!! Men don't think to themselves, "Man I look great in this car." If anything, they think that the car itself looks so good that it will cover up how ugly he is!!

But women are different. They picture how they would look in the car. They think that they look better as a result of being in the car. They believe that they and the car are one.

And here's what's funny: Women aren't naive. They know why guys buy these types of cars: To get laid, pure and simple. But despite this knowledge, women simply opt to pay this price in order to be in the car and fulfill their "Damn, I look so good in this car!! fantasy.

It's like they're whoring themselves over a vehicle.

That's right. I said it.

Look: I'm not trying to judge. I'm really not. It's just that I simply don't get it. I don't get the obsession of being in a cool car or looking good in a cool car. I don't get why when a woman sees a Lamborghini at a gas station, she flips out her iPhone, takes tons of pictures, and looks at it longingly enough to practically have an orgasm.

Her poor boyfriend. He's probably a good guy. He probably works hard, has a decent, job, treats her right. I bet he buys her flowers for no reason. Does the laundry and dishes at home. Is a good listener.

But all that pales in the face of a $200,000 sports car.

I bet the next time the couple has sex, the woman will be thinking of the car.

I just hope, for her boyfriend's sake, she doesn't say the word "Lamborghini" in the heat of the moment.


And now for this week's:


A 10-year-old girl from Romania has given birth in southern Spain, officials in the region have said.

The father of the baby is also believed to be a minor, aged 13, who is still in Romania, Spanish media have said.

Things like this...just make me sad.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Carving My First Halloween Pumpkins: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Halloween is tomorrow, and to help us get into the spirit, earlier this week my wife Ramona brought us pumpkins for us to carve.

And another "first" in my life was about to begin.

I had never before carved a pumpkin. Not once. Why? To be honest, I couldn't really tell you. I didn't really grow up in a pumpkin-carving environment. It wasn't that we didn't celebrate Halloween. We did. We put up some decorations outside, we wore costumes, and we went trick-or-treating and so forth. But the celebration simply never extended to carving pumpkins.

Ramona, however, comes from a pumpkin-carving clan, and she felt that us carving pumpkins together would be a good husband-wife activity.

She was wrong.

I found out within about 15 seconds that pumpkin carving, to me, is one of the dumbest exercises in the history of mankind. It's not the carving part that's so bad. That's OK, I guess. But it's all the prep work.

First, you gotta cut the top off the pumpkin. That's annoying. Especially when there's one of those big green stems that blocks your cutting path. And one of the pumpkins that Ramona bought was about as soft as concrete. Even our good knives had trouble penetrating it.

Then there's the scooping of the pumpkin seeds. That's just ridiculous. I smells!! Plus, the inside of a pumpkin looks like the surface of some planet you'd find in the Star Wars Galaxy or an Aliens movie. It's just creepy. And why the hell do some of you save these seeds? What the hell's the matter with you? What good are pumpkin seeds for? They suck in pie, they don't taste good, and they're slimy with pumpkin guts.

And then there's the carving itself. Pardon me if my pumpkin eyes aren't complete symmetrical. I don't know what the hell I'm doing!! It's not like I took a class. Besides, how can I focus after scooping out the damn thing of its seeds? There must be seedless pumpkins out there. Or pumpkins you can buy that are ready to carve. Or maybe I could pay someone $5 to scoop out my pumpkins. Hell, I can find someone to rake my leaves for $5. How difficult can finding a pumpkin scooper be?

Oh, and there's the Pumpkin warts too. That's definitely on the "WTF" list.

In the end, we have two homemade carved pumpkins that we're displaying this All-Hallows Eve. But they weren't carved with love. They were carved reluctantly, with annoyance, and with disgust.

And for any of you who are rolling your eyes at me right now...

...I'm going to drive up to your house on Halloween...

...and throw pumpkin seeds at your windows.


And now for this week's:


A “Gentlemen’s hair salon” in Sydney, Australia is now offering topless haircuts from four confident female hairdressers.

Simply put:

Greatest. Idea. Ever.

And with the women having Aussie accents, it's even more great.

I simply don't see how this business venture will fail.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Being Nice To Solicitors: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

On the front door of my house, there's a sign on there that says "No Soliciting." We didn't put it on there; it was on the door when we bought the house. Not that it matters, because it's a sign that solicitors completely ignore. At least once a week, we get a loud knock on our door from someone selling security systems. Or pest control services. Or Jesus. The "No Soliciting" sign has no power, it seems.

So when one of these folks come knocking on my door, I'm admittedly not the nicest person in the world. I don't mean to be, but I just have no desire to hear what you're doing or selling. Honestly, I just want the salesman (or woman) to spontaneously combust, but to do so in a way that won't get any internal organs on my door, plants or lawn. S

Case in point: This morning, I got a knock on my door from this couple. Here was the conversation:

Couple: Hi, we're high school teachers and we're going door-to-door talking about your local representative who's running in your district.

Me: Uh-huh.

Couple: Are you a registered voter?

Me: Yep.

Couple: Do you vote?

Me: No.


Couple: Well, (so and so) candidate is an advocate for education.

Me: Uh-huh.

Couple: Do you have kids?

Me: No.


Couple: Well, we have this brochure...

Me: Great, thanks.

And I close the door.

So when my wife Ramona heard all of this, she chided me for being mean to these solicitors. But admittedly, it's a catch-22 situation. If you're nice to them, you encourage them to keep talking, which makes them stay longer. Which I don't want.

Nonetheless, what the wife says, husband does. So earlier this evening, another solicitor came knocking:

Solicitor: Oh man!! Is it cold out here? But don't worry, I'm not trying to sell you anything!! God bless you, and high five!!

(we exchange high fives).

(Note: This is not an exaggeration. This is literally, word for word, how this conversation began.)

Solicitor: I want to tell you about this product that gets our car scratches!! Works great on colors!! Look, I'm black and I spray it on my arm!!

(he sprays it on his arm)

Solicitor: HA HA!!! HIGH FIVE!!!

(we exchange high fives)

Solicitor: That your car in the driveway? How'd that white paint get on it? Let's use the spray!!

Me: Um...well...listen, I appreciate you stopping by...

Solicitor: You do? That's great!!! Because I don't want to be annoying!! Cuz I ain't sellin'. I just want to tell you about the spray!! Works great on colors!! Let's go to your car!!

Me: Well, it's not the best time...

Solicitor: I got the spray right here!! We'll get it done right now. High Five!!!

(another high five exchanged)

Me: Look, I'm really sorry, but we have company over right now. But I do appreciate your time. Do you have any information you can give me?

Solicitor: It just takes five minutes!!

Me: It's just not a good time.

Solicitor: We can fix your car!!

Me: I think the car's OK.

Solicitor: What about that white paint?

Me: I...I don't see any white paint.

Solicitor: You don't see any? Of course you see it!! It's right there!! C'mon, let's spray!!

(he sprays his arm again)

Me: Listen man, I'm sorry. I just can't do it right now.


Solicitor: Works great on colors!!

Me: I know, man. I know.

And finally, after 1 more "God Bless" and two more "High Fives!!!" I got the guy to leave.

Had I simply slammed the door in his face, as is my nature, this would've gone a lot quicker. But instead, I had to be nice. And he kept jabberin' on. And spraying his arm.

The solution, I think, is to split the difference.

I'll answer the door.

Give a big smile.

Slam the door in their face.

Then say:

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

That's nice, right?


And now for this week's:


Mel Gibson's cameo in next year's The Hangover 2 has been canned.

Apparently, some of the cast were discontent with working with Mel, who has a recent history of antisemitic remarks and physical and verbal abuse toward women.

All understandable. But still, this is the same cast that had no problem working with Mike Tyson in the first movie.

I mean, all Tyson did was get convicted of rape.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Preparing For My First Tailgate: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

First things first: I totally have to give a shout-out to Verizon Wireless Internet cards. As I write this, I'm in the backseat of my buddy Howie's car -- me, him and our friend Fawzi are meeting up with another friend of ours, Rachit, for the Raiders-49ers game in San Francisco tomorrow -- and I'm getting a wickedly good signal. Thank you, Verizon!! I can write my blog, check sports scores, and entertain everyone with sports factoids at the same time. :-)

And it's this trip to San Francisco that I want to write about, for it will bring about a "first" in my life. No, it's not my first Raider game (come on now). No, it's not my first trip to San Francisco (I've been there about a half-dozen times). And no, I'm not writing about my first visit to Candlestick Park (although I have never been there and am super excited).

This weekend, I'm tailgating for the very first time.

Allow me to explain.

It's not that I was ever against tailgating, or had some moral or ethical code against the idea of tailgating. Honestly, it always sounded really cool to me (despite the fact that I really don't drink, which any tailgater will tell you is a huge part of the tailgating experience). It's just that, quite honestly, I never had an opportunity to experience it. I didn't go to a ton of football games growing up -- I mainly attended Dodger games, where tailgating isn't allowed -- the college I went to, Cal State Northridge, didn't exactly have a football team seeped in tradition (and the school eventually axed football in 2001), and a lot of my close friends didn't put tailgating too high up on their to-do list.

So tailgating became one of those things where I would say to myself: "There's plenty of time for me to have a tailgating experience. I'm young. It will happen. I don't have to make it a priority right now."

And before you knew it, I was 31 years old, with a wife and a mortgage.

Where has the time gone?

So as I write this, I am mere hours away from popping my tailgating cherry. And I'm doing it right: I got a good group of guys -- one of whom, Howie, is a tailgating expert. This guy even has a tailgating BBQ travel kit!! -- we got the grill, the drinks, the food, the cooler, and we're doing it at a Raider game, where you're bound to find crazy drunks brawling across the parking lot.

Truly, I am jumping in the tailgating ocean with both feet.

As I progress through my 30s, I've come to realize that life is all about the experiences, the moments -- past, present, future -- that shape our lives. And this weekend, my first tailgating experience will truly shape me in ways I can't even fathom. Sitting in a parking lot, grilling hot dogs, bundling up against the cold, drinking beer (soda in my case), listening to football on the radio, talking to Raider fans, yelling at Niner fans and threatening to bludgeon them in the back of the head "if you don't get the f**** out of my face, you stupid motherf*****ker!! Yeah, I'm talking to you b****h!! Got a problem? Do you? Huh? Huh? HUH?!?!?!?"

My first tailgate.

I can't wait.


And now for this week's:


Kim Kardashian was recently spotted bowling in high heels.

Not that I should be surprised. But know?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Arguing With The Wife About Fruit-Flavored Tea: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Sometimes, a random conversation with my wife Ramona leads to a good blog. :-) Observe our conversation from today about fruit-flavored tea:

Ramona: Hey, you want me to buy you any of that fruit-flavored tea?

Nev: Nah, I don't like it.

R: Really? They have all different types of flavors.

N: Yeah, but it all tastes the same to me.

R: Nev, surely we can find you a flavor you like. There's blueberry. There's pomegranate...

N: OK, one day someone is going to have to explain to me what the hell a pomegranate is. I mean, I woke up one morning and all of a sudden pomegranate was in every single beverage in America.

R: Pomegranate is a fruit, Nev. It's been around forever.

N: Babe, I just don't understand this whole fruit-flavored tea thing.

R: This fruit-flavored tea thing?

N: Yeah. I mean, when did tea become fruit-flavored?

R: Um, like 300 years ago?

N: No it hasn't. Tea was never fruit-flavored. It was just tea. Simple, direct tea. Then one day someone put it in a fancy lookin' can, added some pome-whats-it, tripled the price, and now you think you're drinking something healthy.

R: Nevin, tea has been fruit-flavored for centuries. India, for example, has been flavoring their tea with fruit for years.

N: India? What the hell do they know about tea?

R: Nev, they were part of the huge spice trade.

N: Wasn't that about salt?

R: And when I went to Turkey a few years ago, I had apple-flavored tea. And it was great! It tasted like hot apple cider.

N: Well there you have it. You were drinking apple cider.

R: No, Nevin. I was drinking tea.

N: No, Ramona. You think you were drinking tea. But in actuality, the folks in Turkey don't know what tea is, so they call cider tea, and they made you think you were drinking tea when in fact you were drinking cider.

R: Nevin: Fruit-flavored tea is great.

N: You only think it's great. But in reality, you have been so bamboozled by fancy labeling and marketing and PC fanatics, that you no longer have any idea which way is up and what fruit is real!!

R: Nev, stop talking about things that you have no clue about.


N: But what fun would that be?


And now for this week's:


A devout Michigan State football fan called timeout before doctors could install a pacemaker in his chest Thursday, deferring the procedure until after the school's football game this weekend against rival Michigan.

Major Hester said he was willing to risk death so that he could watch Saturday's game in Ann Arbor on television. The Spartans are ranked 17th in the country and the Wolverines are ranked 18th.

The 69-year-old retired office supply clerk said he put off the procedure until next week because he can't risk something going wrong on the operating table that would prevent him from watching the game.

God forbid.

In case you were wondering: Hester's risk of life was not in vain. His beloved Spartans won 34-17.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Having A Teenager Stay In My House: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I currently have a brooding teenager sitting in my living room.

Actually, I don't know for sure that he's brooding. I'm assuming he's brooding. He's sitting on a sofa chair, staring at a TV that isn't on. He doesn't want anything to eat, doesn't want anything to drink, doesn't want to watch TV, and has said 5 words since he arrived 12 hours ago.

And when I say 5 words, I mean 5 words.

He has said the following:

"I got it."



That's it. That's been the extent of our verbal correspondence.

This weekend, my 15-year-old cousin Jack, along with his brothers 10-year-old Little T and 6-year-old Draven, are staying with me and my wife Ramona. The younger ones haven't stopped talking since they've arrived. We've talked about video games, computer games, Spongebob, cereal, The Godfather, and sweeping up the leaves in my backyard.

But Jack has been silent. Wordless. I mean, this kid barely blinks. It's weird. I know this is common in teenagers, but when me and my sister Blake were growing up, we didn't go through this stage as teenagers. Ramona didn't either. The three of us all spoke to adults at age 15. We didn't go through a brooding stage. So to be honest, it's hard for me to relate.

I'll tell you another thing: It wasn't too long ago that I was young enough that these brooding teenagers thought I was cool enough to talk to. When I was in my 20s, I wasn't considered anything close to being a parent. Thus, I was OK to converse with in the eyes of teenagers.

But then some things happened. I got married. I turned 31. I bought a house. All of these scream "adult" and thus make me uncool in the eyes of a teenager. These are some of the qualities that they see in their parents; thus, I'm a pariah. It doesn't matter that I can still talk to them about music, girls, video games, high school; nope, they don't care. I'm in my 30s. I'm a loser that they'll never, ever become.

And thus, the teenager broods.

As I end this blog, the teenager rises from his chair. He looks for, and finds, the cereal. He can't find a spoon.

"Hey Jack," I say, "look left." It's in that drawer.

He goes to the drawer. Finds a spoon.

He smiles.

Nonverbal communication.

I'll take what I can get.


And now for this week's:


Remember Back To The Future II?

Remember the power laces?

Now they're a reality.


Power laces? Far out!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Babysitting My Two Little Girl Cousins (The New Adventures): A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Last July, I wrote about how I babysat my two little-girl cousins -- 9-year-old Cora and 4-year-old Aya -- the first time I was ever asked to babysit girls. All in all, despite a few hiccups, that adventure was a success. The kids were happy, there were no trips to the emergency room, and my house and its belongings more or less stayed in one piece.

So when the girls came to town again this week and their father Jesse asked me if I would mind donning the babysitting hat for his daughters once more, I quickly said yes. After all, I figured, I now had some girl-babysitting experience to call on. The first time it was the great unknown, but this time around I knew the lay of the land a little bit better.


Except there were a couple of new challenges this time around:

1) I would be babysitting the girls on not one, but two separate occasions -- on back-to-back days -- with one of those days being another sleepover at my house.

And 2) This time, I had to take the girls to public places -- e.g., restaurants. So if one of them threw a tantrum because their macaroni and cheese was too hot, or threw up on the floor, or starting knocking on the heads of the people in the booth next to us, then when the patrons in the restaurant started looking to see what kind of idiotic baboon of an adult would allow these children to behave in such barbaric fashion, they would be looking straight at me.

How'd it go? Take a walk with me. Each babysitting day had its own story...



That was the battle cry of Aya -- the 4-year-old -- when I came to get her and Cora on Thursday for babysitting duty No. 1. My first task was to take the girls out to eat, and both of them wanted to visit my good friends at the International House Of Pancakes. And it was while we were loading the kids into my car that their dad Jesse gave me the following parting words:

Nev, I told the girls they can order whatever they want.

OK, now clearly Jesse did not think this thing through. It's not the "the girl can order whatever they want" part that was necessarily idiotic. It was the fact that the adult who would be supervising them this afternoon -- me -- is the complete opposite of what one would call "health conscious." I love cold pizza for breakfast. Diet coke is my coffee. Extra cheese and mayo are common staples on my burgers.

He might as well have told a heroin addict that he was allowing his kids to "sample a little taste if they want to."

But luckily for me, Cora and Aya are surprisingly level-headed for their age. When we went to IHOP, they simply ordered pancakes -- blueberry for Cora, and one of those make-a-face ones for Aya. All was well...

...until each of them got the 5 types of syrup on our table, poured it all over their plates, and started licking the syrup with their tongues like dogs.

And it was here that I asked myself:

Am I setting a good example?

But then I looked around.

No dirty looks from restaurant patrons.

And happy faces on the girls.

No permanent damage done. :-)



It was during babysitting duty No. 2 on Friday that things got choppy. See, Aya loves The Lion King. She brought the book with her and I've literally read it to her six times in a four-hour span. And with the girls staying at my place for the night, Aya made me promise that we could watch the movie as well. "Fine with me," I thought. "It's a good movie and it will keep her relatively entertained for 90 minutes."

But then a problem occurred.

"I am not watching The Lion King again. End of discussion," Cora declared.

And I'm gonna tell you something: When Cora makes up her mind, she is a stone. Unflappable. The girl simply would not budge. I tried everything.

I offered to play games with her while the movie played simultaneously in the background.


I tried to bribe her with Baskin Robbins.


Even her mom got on the phone and tried to convince her daughter.


Nothing worked. And then, Cora made an offer unlike any other...

Hey Nev, do you have video games?

And a deal with the devil was suddenly on the table.

See, here's the thing. Cora has never played video games before. And I knew she wanted to play video games. And I knew her dad would kill me -- very very slowly -- if I allowed her to play video games.

But as I looked onto my other shoulder, onto evil-conscious Nev...

...putting Cora in front my Playstation 2 would solve this problem. Cora plays, me and Aya watch The Lion King, and everybody's happy.

I almost did it. So help me God, I was this close. This Lion King argument went on for three f*****king hours. I actually asked myself: "What's the worst that could happen if I let Cora play Grand Theft Auto? Sure, she may pick up some colorful new phrases like 'Move, bitch' and 'Cap in yo ass' but by the time her parents find out, they'll be several hundred miles away and the problems I've caused will be theirs."

A sweet sweet offer, but I ultimately said no.

"Sorry Cora, my Playstation 2 is busted," I replied.

She sighed. I sighed. Aya waved The Lion King DVD around us for all to see.

Eventually, after much deliberation, discussions, yelling, screaming, crying and fighting, we all ended up watching Bolt.

Aya was happy.

Cora rolled her eyes once or twice but said no more.

And I went on my laptop to research vasectomy procedures.


And now for this week's:


A Bill and Ted 3????



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Going To Bars And Not Drinking Alcohol: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Earlier this week, my oldest friend Josh -- whom I've known since I was 6 years old (25 years; wow) -- took me out for a belated birthday dinner at this Italian restaurant in Northridge not far from my house. We decided to sit at the bar so we could watch ESPN while we ate, and it was in this situation that I remembered the problem with me and bars.

See, here's the thing, which I've said many times on this blog: I rarely drink. I don't like beer, vodka, wine, hard liquor in general; I like girly drinks -- Kaluha and cream, mudslides, and so forth. So at the bar, I don't order booze. I usually order a Pepsi or a diet Coke.

And it's at that point that I might as well put on the "I'm Irrelevant. Don't Bother Acknowledging That I Exist" sign to the bartender.

I am the worst possible person a bartender wants to see at his or her bar. I won't order 5-6 beers in a 60-minute period. I won't rack up a huge tab. I won't be enamored with a female bartender chatting me up the entire time pretending to think I'm interesting, and then have that same female bartender find an excuse to jump up and down at some point during the night so I can see her boobs jiggle, enticing me to give her a big tip. Hell, I don't even earn "chatting up" status.

See, this is how the scenario goes:

Bartender (often female, often very cute, often smiling): What can I get you?

Me: Diet Coke.

Smile fades. Diet Coke given. No words for the rest of the night. I have to practically throw the empty glass at her head for a free refill, and when I get it, it's handed to me with disdain and disgust.

And honestly, I can't blame these people. I am a cancer when it comes to bars. You won't make money off of me. Why should I be spoken to? Why should I be treated as an equal? Why should these hard-working bartenders waste their time giving me my free refills?

When it comes to bars, they don't want me there. They should put up a "No Nev Allowed" sign up there. I'd understand.

Having said that, I have friends who drink -- like all of us do -- and when we go out, they should have the freedom to sit at the bar if they want. Why should I stand in their way? And if they get chatted up by the female bartender and they can find a way to use my lack of alcoholic drinking toward their goal of having sex with her, more power to them.

Female Bartender: So your friend doesn't drink?

Nev's Friend: Eh, no.

Female Bartender: Wow, what a loser.

Nev's Friend: Yeah, seriously.

Female Bartender: Cool people drink.

Nev's Friend: Yeah, like me.

Female Bartender: Yeah.

Nev's Friend: Yeah.


Nev's Friend: Wanna f**k?

Female Bartender: Sure!!

If a friend of mine can pull that off, knock yourself out.


And now for this week's:


In the world of drugs and celebrities:

Lindsay Lohan failed another drug test.

Paris Hilton was caught with cocaine and yet will walk away with a slap on the wrist.

And one of my favorite boxers to watch over the last 10 years, Ricky Hatton, was caught on video on a cocaine binge.

At the risk of sounding preachy and high-minded, WTF is the deal with celebrities and drugs? I mean honestly? I mean, it's not news that these drugs are not only illegal, but they're only going to hurt and destroy everything and everyone that matters to you (and that's not even going into the damage you're doing to yourself). How many times do we have to see people -- celebrities and non-celebrities -- throw their lives away over drugs before would-be druggies get the message?

I just don't get it. I really don't.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Texting: Shifting The Balance Of Power From Women To Men: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Earlier today, I was enjoying a lazy Saturday at Borders bookstore in Northridge, doing what I normally do there -- looking through the latest sports-related novels and trying to see if there are any new "Harry Potter-like" book series -- when I overheard two college girls having the following conversation:

Girl 1: So last night, I finally heard from him.

Girl 2: What, he called?

G1: No, he texted.

G2: Texted?

G1: Texted.

G2: Well, what did he text?

G1: Yo.

G2: Yo?

G1: Yo.

G2: Whoa.

G1: Yeah, that's all he wrote. I mean, what's that about?

G2: Did you write him back?

G1: Well, I waited two hours, but yeah I did. I wrote him back hello.

G2: And then what?

G1: He wrote back what's up.

G2: And what did you say?

G1: I said nothing. So then he asks me if I want to hang out.

G2: Oh my God!! Seriously?

G1: Seriously.

G2: That's so weird. You don't hear from him for all this time, and now all of a sudden he comes out of nowhere. So weird.

G1: So weird.

Not weird.

Understand something about texting: It was created by a guy. Texting, without question, is the best thing that could've happened to men on the dating scene, and the worst thing that could've happened to women. Texting singlehandedly changed the power structure of the whole dating dynamic. Before, women had the power. It was the guy who had to put himself out there: to make that phone call, to seem witty and charming and cool and manly, all while he's quietly freaking out inside that the girl is going to reject him.

But then texting came onto the scene and everything changed. Suddenly, guys didn't have to call. Hell, guys didn't even have to e-mail!! All they had to do was be given the ability to type words into a phone and press send, and suddenly they're in control.

I mean, take the following common scenario:

Guy goes out with girl, guy has sex with girl, guy doesn't call girl for days, guy decides he wants to have sex with girl again but in order to do he needs to make contact with the girl and risk facing her wrath.

What does guy do?

Well in the olden days -- aka the 1990s -- the guy would have to call the girl on the phone. And this gave the girl all sorts of power. And she knew it too. See when a guy calls, he needs to do something difficult for him:


This is difficult, particularly in the scenario previously mentioned above. See here, a guy needs to put himself out there. He needs to make himself vulnerable. He needs to think quickly on his feet. These are all things he's bad at, and women know this. They're the ones in control.

But when you involve texting, suddenly everything changes. The guy doesn't need to call. He doesn't need to talk. He doesn't need to put himself out there. He doesn't need to do anything!! Just text!! He doesn't have to worry about rejection or thinking on his feet. If the girl doesn't respond, no worries. If she does respond, then he's over the biggest hurdle. It's win-win for the guy.

And lose-lose for the woman. For now she's on the defensive. She's confused, unsure, no longer holding the cards. She's wondering what's going on in his head, not the other way around. And suddenly, the guy is now the one with the power.

So back to the bookstore. When I overheard this conversation between the two college girls, I went up to the first one -- the one who received the text -- and asked her if she wouldn't mind hearing a little perspective from a married guy (by the way: one thing I've discovered about being married is that it automatically gives you legitimacy with other women. If they see the ring on your finger, they trust you immediately because they figure you're mature enough to be with just one woman and they assume you're not trying to have sex with them, because if you were, you'd take the ring off before you talked to them).

I talk to this girl about her situation, explaining how the use of texting favors the guy. I broke down how this was putting her on the defensive and even gave her some insight as to what this guy may be thinking. I gave her some helpful hints on how she could combat this and assured her that there wasn't anything wrong with her and that true love and happiness with somebody did exist, whether it was with this particular guy or not.

You know what she said?

Well, the thing is that he's a Scorpio and I'm an Aquarius. And that's the worst possible match you can have. But the thing is, I have a Leo moon. So that changes things.


And with that, the shift in power from woman to man is complete.


And now for this week's:


This is either totally disturbing or totally brilliant, depending on your view.

The Olde Salty restaurant in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, is banning screaming babies from its facility.

“Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!” say placards posted at the restaurant. And while the signs may seem to be telling some parents their patronage is unwelcome, restaurant owner Brenda Armes said it’s actually been a business boon.

“It has been a good thing for us,” Armes told NBC affiliate WECT. “It has brought in more customers than it has ever kept away.”

Of course it has.

No publicity is bad publicity, after all.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

How The Dodger Game-Going Experience Has Changed: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

As a lifelong L.A. Dodger fan, I've gone to dozens of Dodger games over the years. Ever since I first laid eyes on Dodger Stadium when I was 7 or 8 years old, I still think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. At night, when it's all lit up, there are few places in Southern California more breathtaking than Chavez Ravine.

But while the game still stays the same all these years later (baseball changes its rules as often as Al Bundy changes his underwear), the baseball-going experience has certainly changed, as I learned while attending last Friday's game.

Here are a few examples:

1) Think Dodger Stadium will ever have a "Nevin Barich Night"?

Neither do I. But it's more possible now than ever before. In the past, Dodger games had -- at most -- one special "night" per game (if that). These days, however, each game is full of special "nights." Last Friday, for example, was both "Pancreatic Cancer Night", "L.A. Police Valor Night" and "Recognize Our Team Photographer, Who Has Worked With Us For 25 Years Night."

Well why stop there? Let's also see "Breath, Blood Or Urine Testing Night." "Ode To Fat Women Who Eat 5-7 Dodger Dogs A Game Night." "Great Test Or Less Filling Night." "Broken Families Night." "Glee Night."

So why is a "Nevin Barich Night" so beyond the realm of the possible? It's not like anyone would care. Hell, it's not like anyone would notice!! What do you give a damn if I get to throw out the first pitch?

Oh yeah, that leads me to:

2) Remember where there was only one "first pitch"?

Major League Baseball games, for those of you who don't know, always have someone throw out the ceremonial first pitch before every game. It's a very cool honor, and several high-level folks -- from famous celebrities to Presidents of the United States -- have partaken in this tradition.

And it's still very cool...when there's one first pitch thrown.

But these days, Dodger games have three or four first pitches every game. Last Friday, for example, the cancer survivor threw a pitch, the police chief threw a pitch, and the team photographer threw not one but two pitches (because his first pitch sucked).

And you know what the best part is? They give the first pitches different names. "The honorary first pitch." "The ceremonial first pitch." "The warmup first pitch." "The first pitch you should actually give a damn about first pitch."

When did the first pitch need to be multiplied by 6? Whose dumb idea was this? At least change the name. Don't call it "first pitch." Call it "first throws" or "warmup tosses" or "waste of time" time.

Ya know?

And 3) Margaritas.

Check this out:

While waiting in line last Friday for some nachos (don't worry, I got some Dodger Dogs later on), I was right in front of a woman who had a drink in her hand and heard her tell her friend the following:

Oh my God, this margarita is terrible!! What the hell? Dodger Stadium makes the worst margaritas ever!!

OK, two things:

a) Why the hell is Dodger Stadium serving margaritas? I mean, isn't there a law against this or something? Shouldn't there be? Baseball games should only serve the following:

Hot dogs.





Cracker jacks.

Ice cream.

And cotton candy.

Everything else is nonsense.

And b) Of course it's the worst margarita ever!! It's Dodger $#@&%$# Stadium!! What the hell did you expect?!? You got people working behind the counter who give you a blank stare when you ask where the napkins are, and you expect these same people to make you a decent margarita? Have you forgotten where you are? Do you not realize you're at a ball game? Is beer suddenly not good enough for you even though it's been serving the rest of the baseball-watching population just fine for more than 100 years?!?

I'm just sayin'.

So overall: While the game stays the same, the experience -- for better or worse -- has certainly changed. But if there ever is a "Nevin Barich Night", fear not: I don't expect you to pay attention as I throw out the fifth "first pitch" of the night. Feel free to use it as an excuse to head out to the concession stands.

Margaritas are $8.


And now for this week's:


I got busted. :-)

In last week's blog about my first (and most likely last) wine tasting experience, I wrote about how my wife Ramona and I visited the Tolosa Winery in Edna, Calif. (population 1,600; located in San Luis Obispo's wine country). In the blog, I wrote the following:

The guy with the moccasins -- Greg -- explained each wine to me. And honestly, it was jibberish. He talked about sommeliers and tanins. He mentioned lighting rings and crystals. He talked about bonding with the wine and letting "your pallet engulf your spirit."

Well guess what? Greg got wind of the blog -- no doubt through the power of this connected, technological world we live in -- and actually responded:

Well I remember you and your wife, who did seem to enjoy her wine. You did go through the motions, swirling, dumping, but you made no faces or appearing to be drinking piss. I by the way do not have your culinary experience in that category. And for the rest of you out there there was do discussion of lighting rings or crystals, but what the heck he writes a clever line. Finally, "your pallet engulf your spirit." did not come out of my mouth.

I love it!! :-)

Now, in fairness to Greg, he's right: He did not say "your pallet engulf your spirit." That was my line. I take creative liberties sometimes. There, I admit it. And I'll say this also: The Tolosa Winery is a beautiful facility. Pretty views, it's nice inside, and for those of you who come there as part of a group and are tasked with being the designated driver, Tolosa's got some Martinelli's apple cider on tap. Plus, Greg is a cool dude. Nice guy, very mellow, the kind of person you'd hope to find working in a winery. Plus, he gave Ramona a good price on some wine she bought, which she very much appreciated.

But Greg: You did talk to me about lighting rings and crystals. That's something I couldn't make up if I tried.

Regardless, next time folks in So Cal have the hankering for wine tasting, visit Tolosa. Say hi to Greg. Tell him I sent you.

He'll love that.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Going Wine Tasting: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I hate wine. Always have. Nothing against wine, but I'm not a drinker in general (I have maybe 3-4 drinks a year, and when I do, it's your "girly" drinks like Kahlua and cream or mudslides) and simply never developed a taste for wine. Red, white, dinner wines, dessert wines, religious booze like Manischewitz; it's all the same to me.

So the idea of wine tasting, quite frankly, always bored me. I simply have no desire to go to vineyard after vineyard, regardless of the view and pretty plants, drink battery acid (which is essentially what wine tastes like to me) and pretend that I'm cultured.

Conversely, I have no desire to go to vineyard after vineyard and simply get plastered.

So at either end of the spectrum, there's simply no place for me.

That said, recently my wife Ramona and I spent a lovely few days in Pismo Beach, Calif., celebrating our one-year anniversary. Pismo Beach is right outside of San Luis Obispo, home to some of Southern California's most picturesque wine country. Ramona likes wine, and a happy wife means a happy life, so I agreed to take a trip with her to nearby Edna (population 1,600) to see our good friends at the Tolosa Winery.

When you walk into Tolosa, it's like you died and went to the movie Sideways. I mean, you got your wine glasses hanging upside over the bar; you got your huge room of barrels; you got a guy behind the counter wearing silk shirts and moccasins, talking about fermentation, temperature and crispness. All that was missing was Sandra Oh.

I tried seven wines: Pinot Gris, "No Oak" Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Legacy Sweet Viognier, and Viognier.

I have no idea what I just said.

The guy with the moccasins -- Greg -- explained each wine to me. And honestly, it was jibberish. He talked about sommeliers and tanins. He mentioned lighting rings and crystals. He talked about bonding with the wine and letting "your pallet engulf your spirit."

And all I wanted was a Pepsi.

I did what the guy said. With all seven wines. I examined each in the light. Saw nothing. I swirled. I'm an excellent swirler. I sipped and held each one in my mouth, letting it go over and under my tongue for full effect. It was like gargling with Listerine, without the plaque-fighting element. I spat into cups. One time, I slightly missed.

In the end, I discovered what I already knew: That wine tasting wasn't for me. Maybe if I had smelled something other than bad apples in one of the wines, I'd feel differently. Maybe if I found a wine that didn't taste like piss, my mind would change. But for now, I'll leave the wine tasting to the wannabe wine snobs and the folks who just want to use wine tasting as an excuse to get drunk.

For either group, I'll be your designated driver.


And now for this week's:


Did you know that there is fantasy sports insurance?

I mean...


Saturday, August 21, 2010

My One-Year Wedding Anniversary: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Marriage is like pizza.

That's the best way I can describe marriage.

Like pizza.

Pizza, in my opinion, is always good. It's never bad. I can never recall a time I've ordered a pizza and thought to myself: "This sucks." It's always been good. Oh sure, some pizza has been better than others. Some pizzas haven't been all that great. There have been "bad pizza days." But all in all, as a whole, the pizza in my life has been very, very good.

Like marriage.


This Sunday, Aug. 22, is my 1-year wedding anniversary. For myself and my wife Ramona, it has literally flown by. So much has happened over the course of a year. Our jobs have dramatically changed and given us more responsibility and success; we bought our first house; and we're talking about dogs.

Lots of things, folks.

But the actual "marriage" part? Once you get used to calling each other husband and wife and wearing the ring, it really is like a Meat Lovers Plus pizza from Pizza Hut. Always good, never bad. Oh sure, some days the Meat Lovers Plus pizza is particularly meaty and you think to yourself: "Damn, it doesn't get better than this." Some days, the meat toppings seem a bit skimpy and you think to yourself: "This isn't what it could be." But always, in either scenario, you eat the pizza. Because the pizza is good. It makes you happy, familiar, comfortable, warm, occasionally surprises you, and always knows just what to do to make you feel better.

That's marriage. That's pizza.

Ramona and I were together for more than eight years before we got married. So the "pizza" concept was already very much in effect before we said "I do." And once we got married, everyone was asking me: "So how does it feel being married? Is it different? How different? Do you feel more adult now? Are you two stronger than ever? Is your bond now officially, now and forever, unbreakable?"

And here's the thing: It's not exactly like that right away. Don't get me wrong: It's not that things are bad at the beginning; the Meat Lovers Pizza hasn't been replaced by one of those organic veggie pies. It's that the Meat Lovers Pizza is still the Meat Lovers Pizza. The recipe hasn't changed just because you've now made a commitment to Meat Lover's. So at first, nothing really feels any different.

But it's only after some months have passed that you realize what the difference is: You've grown to appreciate the Meat Lovers Pizza more than ever before. You've grown to realize how much you appreciate it -- both its strengths and its flaws, it's great meat and cheese, its occasional too-oily crust. You've grown to understand just how great of a pizza it is. You've come to understand that if you replaced the Meat Lovers Pizza with another type of pizza, it just wouldn't be the same.

That's pizza.

That's marriage.

Always good.

Always getting better.

One year already.



And now for this week's:

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE now has more than 5 million registered members.

Said Moses Brown, president and founder: “The phrase ‘booty call’ has made its mark in pop culture and we were thrilled to trademark such an iconic term.”

Some SOTAs...just write themselves.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Going Purse Shopping For A Friend's Birthday Gift: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

My friend and co-worker Tiffany had her birthday a few days ago, and in anticipation of the day, I had our other co-workers chip in so we could buy her a gift. Now I'm someone who really likes to get gifts that I know the person will like, so to ensure of this, I asked Tiffany's mom for gift idea's for her daughter.

Mama Tiff's response:

Well, she mentioned to me that she wanted a black Guess purse from Ross. You could probably find one for $50 or $60.

So I went online, saw that there were 3 Ross stores in a 6.5 mile radius of my house, and said to myself:

How hard can it be?

And thus, an adventure began.

Now before I begin my purse-buying experience, know the following:

1) I have never bought a purse before, for any woman.

And 2) I did not enlist the help of my wife Ramona in this endeavor. Now, although hindsight will show us that it would've been wise to enlist the purse-buying wisdom and experience of Mrs. Nev (and Ramona and Tiffany are friends) Ramona likes to shop for hours at a time. I like to shop for 4 minutes. So it's hard to find a middle ground.


I had never been in a Ross store before, and this is the lesson I learned:

In order to get what you want, you need to be willing to push the old lady in front of you out of the way, onto the ground, and even – if necessary – bash her head in repeatedly on one of the metal bar racks.

This way, she won’t grab the purse you’re looking for.

5 women died in the search for the purse.

So when I went into the first Ross store, needless to say I was ill-prepared. I mean, these places are zoos!! It’s like being in a Hippo cage at feeding time!! All the purses are in one place and there’s no rhyme or reason as to what brand is where. I was pushed around, bounced around, stepped on. I simply wasn’t ready for the war zone I was about to enter. Finally, some poor customer service kid looked at me in pity, went through all the purses, and saw they were out of Guess.

So onto Ross store # 2.

This time, I was more ready. I harkened back to my teenage fighting days and decided on a strategy:

I went low.

These women go high, I duck and dodge and shuffle on my knees. I managed to get right in there, going through purses like a 75-year-old who is waiting at 3 a.m. for the store to open for a day-after-Thanksgiving sale.

I even found a Guess purse!!

The problem:

It was zebra.

And my friend's mom said:

No Zebra.

So onto Ross store #3.

And by this time, I thought: “To hell with it, I’m going right into the line of fire.”

So I pushed down a woman looking at the Tommy Hillfiger purses.

“MOVE BITCH!!” I yelled.

I gave an elbow to a 60-year-old looking at the Nine West rack.

“OUT OF THE WAY, SEA HAG!!!” I declared.

I gave an 80-year-old a knee to the stomach.

“Because I just have a bad feeling about you,” I told her, hovering over her hunched body.

And after all of that…

No black Guess purse.

So instead, I just bought a Visa gift card.

My friend can find her own damn purse.


And now for this week's:


Southern rapper Birdman recently bought a $2.1 million Bugatti Veyron, a European sports car.

The car requires $300,000 worth of annual upkeep, can get up to 267 miles an hour, but at its top speed the fuel runs out in 12 minutes and the tires start disintegrating after 15.

But on the flip side, the key is shaped like a Swiss army knife.

That's something.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Turning 31 Years Old: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

When I turned 30 last year, I admit I was a bit surprised that I really didn't fret about it in any way shape or form. I mean, I didn't freak out, I didn't search my face for wrinkles or gray hairs, I didn't even put on an exaggerated sad face that my 20s were over with.

You see, when I turned 30 last year, I felt exactly like I did when I was in my 20s. No different. No changes. In a way, I was 30 in number only. My heart, my spirit, my physicality remained in their 20s.

Last year, I simply couldn't figure out why turning 30 wasn't a big deal.

Turns out, I had to turn 31 to figure it out. :-)

For those of you who don't know, this Friday, Aug. 6, is my birthday. I will be the ripe old age of 31 years old.

And it made me realize something:

You know why 30 was no big deal? Because I was still close enough to my 20s. I was close enough to be in my 20s; to remember what they were like, what I did, how I felt as a younger man. Sure, if I looked ahead, all I saw was 30s. But if I looked behind -- a few days, a few weeks, a few months -- the sunshine of my 20s was still very much in my sights.

In a way, it was like moving out of your parents' house and into their garage. Freedom...without the real responsibility.

But then something happened:

I'm turning 31.

And the sunshine that was behind me is a lot harder to see.

Now, I am officially in my 30s. I'm not just 30. I've added an "s". I look ahead: 30s. I look behind me: 30s. And if I look far enough back, I can still see the Nev of the 20s. But his face is covered in shadows, and the expression on that face is one of sadness, knowing I'm never to return.

My dying. :-(

Now several good things have happened since I've entered the 30s realm. I've gotten married to an amazing woman. I bought my first house. I'm watering plants and they're not dying. My 30s have been kind to me thus far, and I have no reason to suspect they will not continue to do so otherwise.

But it's hard to say an official goodbye to 20s Nev. We were together so long, had so many laughs, that it's difficult to just turn your back on that relationship and move on. There's history there.

So I'd like to say a few parting words to my 20s self:

Live on. Live on in spirit. Live on in memory. Live, 20s Nev. Live for me, your 31-year-old blood brother who has no choice to grow up. Be carefree, have fun, get into fights with random strangers at Subway restaurants (it happened not once, but twice). Chase the ladies (during the period in your 20s when you weren't dating your future wife), blow money in Vegas, get in trouble!!

Because I'm 31 now.

And my 20s are covered in shadows.


On the other hand...

31-year-old Nev owns a house.

And a backyard so he can now get a dog.

I like dogs.

"Floppos" is on the short list for names.

20s Nev couldn't think about getting a dog.

He lived in an apartment.

You know what?

I guess 31's OK.


And now for this week's:


Meet Antoine Dodson.

Just trust me.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Action Movies Vs. Chick Flicks: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Here's one of the great dynamics my wife Ramona and I have: When we go to the movies, we both like the films that the other gender typically favors. I like a lot of the chick flicks she likes. She digs a lot of the action films I enjoy. It's a nice overlap, making for a pleasant experience for when we're deciding what movie to go see.

But last night as we were walking out of "Inception" (great movie), we came across a huge display for "The Expendables", an action movie with a distinct 1980s-ish feel with a crazy star-studded action star cast (Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, among others) that's coming out Aug. 13.

"Oh yeah, we're definitely seeing that opening night," I said to Ramona as we walked by the display."

"Or," she replied, "that weekend we could first see 'Eat Pray Love.'''

Now I didn't say anything at this point, but my lovely wife had just committed a cardinal sin of marriage: Suggesting a chick flick over a movie starring Sylvester Stallone. I mean, no good comes of this. The man's not happy because he's seeing a chick flick over Sly. And the woman's not happy because the man, ultimately, becomes less of a man before her very eyes.

Nonetheless, I had to play caring, attentive husband. So I asked the Ramona the following:

"What's 'Eat Pray Love' about?"

Well, it was originally this great book!! See, this woman was married, wasn't happy, and so she gets a divorce and...

And I have already checked out of this conversation. While Ramona goes on about this woman divorcing a guy and trying to find herself by doing yoga in India, I think to myself: I can't believe I am seeing another movie starring Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren in my lifetime. Hell, I thought Dolph was dead!! Damn, are we living in exciting times.

And so then the woman goes to Italy to learn about food. Then she goes to Bali to learn about balance...

You know what me and my buddies need to do before seeing "The Expendables"? See a bunch of Dolph Lundgren movies. We'll call it "Dolph Fest." It will get us in the proper mindset.

And then she goes back to India and does more yoga!! And then she thinks: 'I should write a book!'

Preliminary "Dolph Fest" movie list: Rocky IV (obviously), Universal Solider, and "Showdown In Little Tokyo", where Dolph plays a big white guy who's a ninja.

And it's all a book, Nev!! She use her book advance to go to all these places. Isn't that amazing!?!

I'll tell you what's amazing: That Ramona thinks I've been listening this whole time. And that "Expendables" also stars both World Wrestling Entertainment legend "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and UFC star Randy Couture. How were they able to co-exist on the same screen? Does Couture respect pro wrestling or put it down as fake? Does "Stone Cold" give props to mixed martial arts, or think that one of his patented "Stone Cold Stunners" would put Couture down?

I wonder if the two of them fight in the movie. That would be sweet!!!

So what do you say, Nev? How does Eat Pray Love sound?

And I turned to my lovely wife:

"Like a movie you should go see with your mom."

Because I'm going to see "Expendables".

And I've got "Dolph Fest" to plan.


And now for this week's:


This is just wrong.

The New York tourist hot spot Serendipity 3 has made it to the Guinness World Records for the world's most expensive hot dog: a rare truffle-slathered sausage priced at $69.

The dog is grilled in white truffle oil and it's served in a homemade pretzel-style bun that's brushed with truffle butter. This hot dog is topped with duck foie gras, caramelized Vidalia onions, black truffle Dijon mustard and homemade heirloom tomato ketchup.

Problems? Let's review:

1) The price. That's obvious.

2) Duck foie gras.

I shouldn't have to explain the issue there.

3) Fancy onions, mustard and ketchup.

Why the hell would anyone want to pay ridiculous prices for fancy condiments? Furthermore, why the hell would anyone want to pay for condiments in the first place? This is insane!! Last I checked, you would get regular onions, mustard and ketchup -- AMERICAN onions, mustard and ketchup -- for free!! But some fancy, trendy New York craphouse has to try and upset the balance of power with truffle butter.

Hot dogs and the wheel: Two things you leave alone.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The One-Year Anniversary Of My Bachelor Party: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

(Nevdogg Note: One year ago today, my buddies Kevin, Joe, Jeremy, Carlos and Evan took me to Las Vegas for the male ritual of rituals known as: "The Bachelor Party." Today, as I fondly reminisce on the event, I've decided to re-post my blog from July 23, 2009, the night before we were to leave for Vegas. I remember being super excited, borderline giddy, and unable to sleep. As fun as the bachelor party was -- and it truly was the best time I've ever had in Vegas, and I've probably gone nearly 20 times -- the excitement the night before was just as much fun. I even remember having fun writing that blog, the words came so easily. :-) Hope you enjoy!!)

When I got engaged last August, one of the first things I did was tell one of my best friends Kevin the good news.

And Kevin -- one of my oldest friends, who has seen me through many ups and downs in my life (and vice versa), and who has met the love of his life and gotten married himself during the course of our friendship -- proceeded to ask me one of the most important questions that a good friend asks upon hearing the news that one of his closest buddies is planning to tie the knot:

Bachelor party in Vegas?

And that's why he's my best man. :-)

As I write this blog, I am mere hours away from joining Kevin and four other good buddies to participate in a tradition that has spanned across the world throughout the generations: The bachelor party. A chance for a man about to get married to enjoy one last romp of single-dom; to drink, to gamble, to see naked women, to be stupid in general with his equally stupid friends.

All to celebrate the fact that I'm pledging my love to a single woman for the rest of my life.

It makes no sense. None whatsoever. And it's OK. Because it's a bachelor party!! It's supposed to be mindless!!

And this weekend, it's all about me me ME!!!!!!!

I'm a little excited. :-)

The bachelor party. My father before me, and my grandfather before him, are among the many men who have participated in this ritual of rituals. I've heard their bachelor party stories, seen the light shine in the oldest of eyes as they retell the stories of their own bachelor party experiences. I've even been a member of the experience, but always on the outside looking in, someone planning it rather than living it.

And now, it's my turn. Men young and old, living and deceased, all waiting for me to join this prestigious fraternity, ready to say:

Welcome, brother. This is your moment.

I'll just admit it right now: I'm gettin' misty. And I'm not ashamed.

Know this about me:

I consider myself a nice guy. I try to be a good person. I do my best to be a good friend, a good fiancee, someone who listens and tries not to judge. I was never into wild parties, drugs, or heavy drinking. I was a good student in school and have worked professionally since I was 17. I never caused my parents any real trouble and have done my best to become a responsible adult.

I guess what I'm saying is:

I've earned the right to act like a %$#*&^$# idiot for a couple of days. :-)

Bachelor party in Vegas?

Could we possibly have it anywhere else?


And now for this week's:


Betty White has unveiled a new clothing line.

Next week's SOTA: People are buying Betty White's clothing.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Feeling Fat In An Airplane Seat: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Last Friday, I went to California's Burbank Airport to catch a plane to meet my wife Ramona in Las Vegas for her birthday weekend. And as I boarded the plane and sat down, I found myself asking the following question:

Am I getting fat?

Now I'm 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, and more or less have been that since I graduated college. So I was fairly certain that my size was not the problem. But the problem, I realized, was that airplane seats had gotten far smaller, to the point where I -- a relatively thin fellow -- felt packed in like a sardine.

I mean, I feel for fat people in this case. I really, truly do. They must be miserable when traveling in economy class. How, I wonder, do they not get stuck? Are they allowed to bring butter on the plane to grease themselves before and during the flight so they can slide right off when needed?

I'm not trying to be mean here. I'm just posing an honest question.

This is just one of many things I don't understand about today's airplane industry.

Here are two more:

1) The size of the bathrooms.

Now airplane bathrooms have always been small. And honestly, you don't really need it to be all that big. What I never understood is how, given the size of the lavatory, people have been able to join what's known as The Mile High Club.

Every guy in their life has been asked 100 times over the course of his existence by his fellow man if he is a member of this exclusive club. And to those who have answered yes, I say to you:

You're lying.

I mean, you must be. I can barely fit in there. How the hell can you fit both you and one other person know, position yourselves?

I mean...are you midgets?

Because that's the only explanation I can think of.

And 2) Having to pay for airplane food.

Now this stuns me. Airplane food was never good. In fact, unless you pay thousands to sit in first class, you've probably never tasted good airplane food. I'll never forget how, on my way to Philadelphia in 1998, American Airlines handed me a bag of food on the way onto the plane, because I was no longer deemed important enough for them to serve me my food.

Well apparently, I'm now no longer worthy enough to be given this food free of charge.

I mean: $3 for chips? $5 for cookies? $10 for a ham and cheese croissant? Is the airplane industry hurting that bad? And why the hell would you pay $10 for a croissant? Are you that hungry? Do you not realize that if you eat too much, you won't be able to get out of your seat?

Unless, of course, you grease yourself with butter.


And now for this week's:


Jon Bon Jovi recently tore a calf muscle while playing a concert at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey.

Bon Jovi.

Getting old.

That's gotta be one of the seven signs of global doom, don't you think?