The Written Word, Features, Top Ten

The Do’s & Don’ts for Labor Day Weekend

Comments Off on The Do’s & Don’ts for Labor Day Weekend 30 August 2016


If you’re like me you can’t put this summer in the rearview mirror quick enough. Am I right? Sweet Moses Malone was it a hot one! But fear not, sitting right in front of us is the perennial Gateway to Autumn. Ah, yes – Labor Day Weekend.

Now, I’m sure you’ve got lots of irons in the fire what with Back-to-School in full swing and Old Navy’s sale on jean jackets. SO, we wanted to put together a quick list of Do’s & Don’ts heading into the weekend to both help maximize your fun levels and help you steer clear of any awkward moments.

Here goes:


  1. Beat the traffic. The last thing you want to do is spend a significant amount of time in the car. Make a plan and get after it early.
  2. Bring a snack. The worst case scenario is you don’t eat it. Perhaps you could even feed a stray dog and really make his/her day?
  3. Wear sunscreen – and lots of it. It’s too late in the season to tango with a burn.
  4. Have a few regrets – it’ll give you something to think about over the winter
  5. Say something nice about Ryan Lochte. He really needs a friend right now.


  1. Eat anything new. Epipens are now 600 dollars. Stick to the basics, save yourself a bundle.
  2. Drive once you get there. The most common case of this is picking up a friend. Don’t. Tell that friend to screw. Cops are everywhere and have nothing better to do than watch porn in their cruisers or bust you for having a few casuals.
  3. Commit to weekend plans through September. Didn’t you learn anything this summer? You won’t keep them. You’ll never keep them.
  4. Wait to fill up your gas tank until the weekend. Prices spike on holiday weekends you dummy. Get it done now!
  5. Say anything remotely bad about Beyonce, regardless of how sick of her you are. People are nutzo about this. Seriously you’ll be cast into such a shitstorm you’ll with you kept your mouth shut. Keep it to yourself and it’ll be smooth sailing.

Be safe out there!


Sexy Memoirs, Top Ten

Top 10 Things To Do In February to Buck Up

Comments Off on Top 10 Things To Do In February to Buck Up 11 February 2016

February stinks. Football is over, Valentine’s day is depressing and/or expensive plus it’s got a smug, silent letter. It’s the only month where the number of days are mucked around with on a seemingly random basis. Speaking of – no leap year has been skipped since 1900 and no others will be skipped until 2100. Spooky.

What gives with this goddam month?

We don’t know either, but we’re 100% with you on having a case of the frumps. Staffers have been moping around the HQ doing the sad dad dance now for going on 2 weeks. SO, we called a staff meeting and put our heads together to come up with the Top 10 Things To Do In February to Buck Up:

10. Learn some swear words in Esperanto

9. Watch the Coldplay halftime show for like the thousandth time

8. Do Djokovic-approved squat thrusts

7. Use your finger in a way that maybe you haven’t

6. Try a new Salad dressing (salad dressing Raphael perhaps?)

5. Read Sexy Memoirs Chapter 5: Brown House with Pink Shutters 

4. Work on new candle scents like “post nasal drip” and “moldy box of playboys”

3. Start research for your cell phone upgrade

2. Celebrate a holiday you have never celebrated before and go big.  Maybe host a party?

1. Intertwine things you want with things you need

Features, Top Ten

The Shade’s Top 10 Answers to the question “What have you been up to?”

No Comments 11 October 2013


Aren’t people the worst? 99.2 percent of everybody is awful. They go slow when you want to go fast. They’re ugly, and quite a few smell bad.  But worst of all, people are BORING. Be honest, how many conversations do you have throughout the day where you catch yourself dreaming of your cat and wondering when you can stop talking to this person? If you’re like me it’s every single one.

The worst is the question “What have you been up to?”. Ugh, I don’t even care what I’ve been doing let alone having to explain it to some jerk. So, we got together and came up with some great responses you can try that will really knock the peripheral people in your life for a loop when they bore you with that question.

The Shade’s Top 10 List of Answers to the Question “What have you been up to?”

10. Working on the stink in my tennis shoes. What do you think so far?

9. Avoiding people

8. Trying to invent a new soup

7. Working on a good lather

6. Just got my tarsals and metatarsals structured to point forward finally

5. Preparing for my second round interview at The Gap. Boy do they take folding seriously!

4. Exploring the option of selling myself for money. What do you think?

3. Grouse hoarding

2. Finally met my pen pal

1. Watching reruns of my last appearance on Sally Jessie Raphael


Top Ten

The Shade’s Top 10 British Terms

No Comments 17 May 2013


A few things happened here at The Shade office over the past month that really inspired this Top 10. First, we realized that our summer reading list was woefully lacking (er, non-existent) so we decided to assign Anthony Burgess’ classic A Clockwork Orange to help kickstart a love of literature. Second, for our Tuesday Night Movie Mayhem Extravaganza the staff watched the cult classic Trainspotting. The two combined made 3 things happen:

  • It gave us an uncontrollable urge to ingest drugs….of any kind really.
  • Made us realized the brits are really talented at putting each other down – which we commend.
  • While they say the brits speak english…we were struggling for comprehension at every third word.

So we dove in and did some research and came up with our Top 10 List of British Terms.

10. Fag – used to refer to a cigarette, not a homosexual.  If a Brit asks if he can “bum a fag”, don’t be offended, this is not a question about said Brit’s sexual preferences.

9. Pants – used to refer to underwear, not pants.  Also used to refer to something that is stupid, as in “well that’s just pants”.

8. Skint – slang for being broke.  “Can’t go for a pint now mate, I’m bloody skint.”

7. Slag – used to refer to a woman of loose morals, or hooker.  However, can be taken to the next level by “slagging someone off”, which means speaking ill of a person.

6. Pissed – used to refer to being really really drunk, not angry.  Combined with slag you get; “I was totally pissed last night, and snogged that slag Allison.”

5. All fur coat and no trousers – someone who is superficial, with no real substance beneath.

4. Irish – something broken or ill thought out, as in:  “Don’t use the toaster this morning, it’s gone all Irish.”

3. Air biscuit – An expulsion of air from the anus, a fart.

2. Badly packed kebab –  The female genitals. The creativity behind this imagery deserves some type of award.

1. Bat on a sticky wicket  – To put oneself in a difficult and unfavorable position.

Top Ten

The Shade’s Top Ten Things We’re Currently Loving

No Comments 29 March 2013


Ok, so we went a little negative with last week’s Top 10 list. How can you blame us? Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing and it bums the shit out of us too. Last Tuesday I tripped over a frozen ice/snow mound on my walk to the bus and broke down in tears. A mess.

Moving on, we here at The Shade believe in a balanced approach to all things – which is why we, sometimes, eat our Rice Krispies with chocolate milk and never – EVER – condone malicious use of a cream puff.

It’s Spring Time! A time when we all shed the decay that’s been accumulating for the past several months and sprout anew. Its time to celebrate!  So, we wanted to highlight the things that are currently blowing our metaphorical skirts up.

Get yourself a raspberry lime rickey, kick off those weary dismals and help celebrate Spring’s bloom with The Shades Top 10 Things We’re Loving Currently.


10. Spicy buffalo style wheat thins – All you have to do is try them. Seriously.

9. Yoga pants – Seemingly ubiquitous these days they’re tough to NOT see .  It’s not that we stopped liking them but for some reason it seems to us that the Yoga Pant technology is increasing at a rapid rate.

8. Original Skittles – Spring time just seems like the right time to Taste the Rainbow

7. Sitting on a warm toilet seat – What’s better than sitting on a warm toilet seat after you’ve dragged yourself out of bed for a midnight #2 in a freezing cold house?

6. TV tag – Surprisingly fun to revisit. Now that you’re older your repertoire of TV shows will astound you when you dig in. And, you get winded easier so having that deeper knowledge will help YOUR tush not become ‘it’

5. Anything involving Dennis Rodman – We currently are not sure what the hell he has been up to but we are currently thinking he has his eyes set on World Domination. And that is fine with us

4. Arena rock (Pre – 2000) – AC/DC, Aerosmith & Black Sabbath…Yes! Fall Out Boy, The Killers & Animal Collective…Bad!

3. The Match Game reruns (specifically episodes with Charles Nelson Reilly). CNR never ceases to amaze us. Sharp, Quick, and always there when you need a laugh

2. New Socks – After a tough winter there is nothing like going out to Marshall’s and picking up a 12 pack of socks. Like little pillows for your feet and it is always fun to wash out those little cotton bugs from between your toes.

1. Songs that tell a story – See next weeks top ten but and if you have a favorite please send our way.  There is just something about being taken on a journey through song.  At the end of the day it may be The United States best export for over 50 years.  Current working list here:



Features, Top Ten

Top Ten List of Things We’re Sick Of Currently

No Comments 22 March 2013


Like you, we here at The Shade spend a disproportionate amount of our time thinking about how much stuff pisses us off. It adds depth and meaning to our existence. As the venerable Sigmund Freud once said “One feels inclined to say that the intention that man should be happy is not included in the plan of Creation. So wipe that puss off your face and fill my cocaine jar chop chop!”

As a token of our solidarity in wading through a pool of communal suffering we wanted to share with you the Top 10 Things That We’re Sick Of Currently. Perhaps we can give you some new things to gripe about but at the very least – hopefully – this can be another addition to your current list.

10. The Weather – especially business calls with people who insist on starting the conversation by discussing the different weather outside their fucking window at this time. And please stop complaining that its the first day of spring but it’s still cold outside.

9. Lena Dunham – I don’t know where you came from but go back there.

8. People who say they have no time to do x,y, or z – You’re not that important and neither is your life or anyone around you. So, ease up and eat a cinnamon scone from time to time.

7. PETA – Animals are going to die in crappy ways and so are humans. Let’s move on.

6. Vanity License Plates – See explanation for # 8

5. Turbulence – Come on science. Can’t you simply tell the plane when it is coming and gear up the shocks. That shit scares the bejesus out of us.

4. Dave Grohl – This upsets me but if we’re being honest….it’s true. Mark my words, in time we will all will be sick of him.

3. SXSW – This is what’s wrong with humans in general…we can’t leave well enough alone. At it’s inception it was a nice little music festival that showcased some new bands. Now it’s basically an industry complete with a massive tech conference the week before with shitbrain wanna be entrepreneurs running around like they just spilled hot coffee on their khakis.

2. Jimmy Fallon – Am I wrong or was he just never funny? In a few ways replacing Jay Leno with him seems so appropriate. Both were never, ever funny and kind of have this sniveling demeanor which, evidently, people find endearing.  Why not  just pair up Jimmy and Lena and send them on a never ending comedy tour to North Korea as a gesture of international relations?

1. Police Ticketing Quotas – If you need to meet a goal by creating a problem then you are the problem.

Top Ten

The Shade’s Top 10 Life Changing ‘Firsts’

No Comments 08 February 2013


A wise man once said that life is just a series of moments. As we all know some of those moments have more resonance than others. When The Shade staff got together to discuss such moments we realized 2 things. Many of the most impressionable moments we experienced had to do with private parts & none of us would want to live any of those moments again.

I don’t know if that speaks more to the gravity of these moments or the perversity of the staff. As a resolution we decided to order chinese.

This week we present you with The Shade’s Top 10 Life Changing ‘Firsts’

10. The first time you get rejected by the opposite sex (or really anyone for that matter) – It takes you down a peg. You start to look at yourself in a new light and new imperfections emerge.

9. The first time you discover your dad’s porn collection – Your parents become more human and – in a way – you can related to them more while looking at them from a new perspective.

8. The first time you get fired – The amazing feeling that you do not have to go to that shitty job ever again. And, life goes on.

7. The first time hearing a friend’s parents have sex (related to # 9) – Staying over your friends house and hearing his parents go to pound town. Always traumatizing but the first time you realize that parents are people as well.

6. The first time you get injured pretty badly – Feeling real pain for the first time immediately makes you recognize visceral emotions. You hurt, and want to get better. You also (if you have a brain in your head) start to become subconsciously more cautious.

5. The first time you visit a foreign country – You realize everything you’ve known is not the center of the universe. You realize you’re a small part of something bigger and you most likely eat much better food.

4. The first time you realized you were terribly, terribly wrong – When you realize that you totally fucked up and everything that is happening right now is all on you. Accountability starts to rear its ugly head.

3. The first time you cash a paycheck you earned – Bringing your first pay check to the bank. Putting $10 in saving and taking the rest to buy awesome shit like Ninja throwing stars.

2. The first time you have sex – This comes in levels. First hand induced, mouth induced, and finally private part induced. At this point this is really your first lesson in teamwork.

1. The first sip of alcohol – The first time you lie and say you are staying at Jay’s house but really stay at Jen’s and end up with a whole number of firsts. Not to mention a whole lifetime of bad decisions you’ll make as a result of that sip.

Music, Top Ten

Top Ten Songs over 10 minutes

No Comments 01 February 2013


As would be purveyors of righteousness we like to have an eye toward the future while being rooted in our past. As Ziggy Marley posits in his hit single Tomorrow People “If ya don’t know ya past, ya don’t know ya future”

We like the internet. We were pioneers of virtual reality back in the early 90s. But we also like leather bound books and extended periods of time in remote cabins with nothing but our wits and a 10 lbs bag of rice for sustenance.

We’re troubled at the lack of attention span with today’s youth. With the deluge of external stimuli easily accessible these days its not hard to understand why. So, with this edition of The Shade’s Top 10 we want to give our readers a reason to sit down for a spell, slow down and just relax. Without further adieu we bring to you The Shade’s Top 10 List of Songs Over 10 Minutes

10. Mozart – String Quartet No. 16 in E flat major: Exquisite and mind bending. Give it a good listen and you just might learn something.

9. Genesis – Supper’s Ready: Phil was really jelling with the rest of the boys during this period which was history suggests was their most tumultuous

8. Pink Floyd – Echoes: This epic speaks for itself.

7. Funkadelic – Maggot Brain – The last time the band would have all the pieces of the puzzle together this masterpiece shoots sonic laser beams right into your frontal lobe.

6. Fela Kuti – Expensive Shit: Fela is  just a powerful being and his power is manifested in this piece.

5. The Mars Volta – L’Via L’Viaquez: The Mars Volta used to do something no other bands were doing. Then they stopped for some reason. Thank goodness we still have remnants like this.

4. Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Heard It Through The Grapevine: I’m glad Fogerty decided to let his freak/soul flag fly for at least one track in his illustrious career.

3. John Coltrane – My Favorite Things: I was shocked/pumped to find out this tune (in its original format was over 10 minutes. Reason being I always get so caught up in the melody when I listen that time slips by.

2. The Doors – The End: It means something different every time you hear it. Also possibly the greatest song to play after breaking up with Jenny Bloomfield (Slut).

1. Maceo Parker – Shake Everything: I dare you to put this on and NOT start a party.

Features, Top Ten

The Shades Top Ten Best Brother Combinations

No Comments 25 January 2013


With the Harbaugh brothers facing off in the upcoming Superbowl we here at The Shade have been thinking quite a bit about brothers. Websters Dictionary defines a brother as:

….a male offspring having both parents in common with another offspring; a male sibling

Our in-house ideologue, T.W. Snicket, was astute enough to point out a brother could also be a black male and/or a monk. (to read his full soliloquy on the matter click here)

While all derivations are significant and worthwhile we’re focusing on the fraternal.

Brothers play a unique role in the circle life. They can be the source or subject of incessant noogies. They can be a sisters first exposure to males their own age and, therefore, be the kick-off to a lifelong developing frustration for the opposite sex. Or, they can be a great way to get booze while underage. All these things and many, many more.

So we took the time to put together what we think of as the most important brother combinations in the history of all time. We hope you enjoy and please feel free to rehash this subject at  your next dinner party.

The Shades Top Ten Best Brother Combinations

10. Zeus, Hades and Poseidon – Boy, talk about a successful family eh? I bet their mother was so proud when they decided to stop bickering about who should get the crackerjack box toy and defeated the Titans to rule the cosmos!

9. Alex and Chad Wagner – If you’re not familiar with the 1991 blockbuster Double Impact you might want to check your ego at the door and revisit. Not only does this film show the ‘impact’ brothers can have when the work together…it also shows the dynamism Van Damme displayed at his peak as he played both starring roles. Unreal.

8. Michael and G. O. B. Bluth/ The Brothers Karamazov – I put these two together because it is essentially the same story. For more information check this out.

7. The Wright Brothers – They messed around in the backyard and created aviation as we know it. It kind of makes those games of wiffle ball in the backyard seem trivial no?

6. Mario and Luigi– They kept the plumbing industry on its toes and still are pushing the boundaries on what their local union can and cannot protect them against as they continue their crusade against Bowser.

5. Gregg and Duane Allman – Icons of American rock and roll. Those brothers were the backbone of a sound that continues to resonate with old and new listener alike and still heavily influences contemporary music. Sadly, Duane passed on much too early in 1971 when the band was at the precipice of becoming massive. While the Allman Brothers Band persevered fans are only left to wonder what could have been.

4. The Wayans Brothers – I honestly think these guys rival Poseidon, Hades and Zeus in their body of work. Starting way back with In Living Color the Wayans showed a high aptitude for kicking ass. What’s remarkable is how Marlon and Shawn have come to the forefront as Keenan and Damon have sort of faded. I’m just looking forward to what their progeny bring to the table by 2030.

3. The Baldwin Brothers – The only family that can trump the Wayans in terms of star power is the Baldwins. Obviously Alec carries much of the load. BUT Sliver and Bio Dome just barely missed getting Oscar nods for best picture. Also, Alec would have been a shoe in for a best supporting actor Oscar nod in 1999 if the field hadn’t been incredibly competitive that year. (check it out)

2. The Kennedy brothers (JFK & RFK) – They could have shepherded in a new ideological age in America’s history. Could have.

1. Julius and Vincent Benedict (Danny Devito & Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1988 film Twins) – After comprehensive research we concluded that the relationship between the Benedict brothers exemplifies the power of fraternal love that can exist between two brothers. Given inexplicable odds two seemingly complete opposites meet, take part in an epic cat-and-mouse chase, develop a bond and reunite a family on the brink and find love. Truly an amazing story.

Top Ten

The Shade’s Top 10 Post Halloween Candy Trades

No Comments 02 November 2012


Our young readers really gave it to us this week. Take this email for Jim H. in Penobscot, ME

Dear Sirs,

Why does your website stink for kids so much? Me and my friends check it out after school almost every other day and all we see are dead people stuff. Get more stuff up there that we can talk about at recess. We love Norman though!


This was just one of many. Well, we hear you Jim and the rest of you little ankle biters. So we sent out a communique to our young readers asking for help. We wanted them to send us their best swindle story drawn from their post Halloween candy trading.  Man, these kids are vicious. But, here you go…

The Shade’s Top 10 Best Halloween Candy Trades

10. A large peppermint patty and 3 kit kats for a stale  three musketeers left over from last Halloween – Nessie, The Dalles OR

9. A candy apple for half eaten box of nerds – Bernard, Osh Kosh

8. I didn’t have to trade nothin, I stole my sisters. Ha! – Charles, Warwick RI

7. 3 pixie sticks for a mini 100 grand – Joel, Sausalito CA

6. 1 Bozo the Clown pez dispenser for snack pack of keebler elf cookies – Janey, FL

5. A king size reeses peanut butter cup package for my sponge bob action figure and gerbil. Woohoo! – William, Chicago IL

4. Economy size bag of pixie sticks for a snack size box of milk duds – Bernice, Las Vegas NV

3. 4 sour apple airheads for bag of circus peanuts – Paul, Columbus OH

2. A snack size whatchamacallit for a bag of candy corn – Thor, The Netherlands

1. 3 warheads, a roll of sprees, a box of lemonheads, a full size snickers and half eaten hershey with almonds for letting my brother out of a headlock – Vince, NJ

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