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Hi friends! I’m excited to be back in the advice game after some years off. I look forward to checking in with you on Thursday and please do write in with any and all problemos, dilemmas, quandaries, pickles, jams, melancholia, peckadillia, ups and downs, and pains in the tookus. I’ll give you my undivided attention and try to hook you up with some self help materials as well as sage advice from your favorite know it all.

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Dear Andrew Bucket,

I drink. A lot. It’s unhealthy and I know that. But I hate working out and I’m afraid I’m going to become gross.

Why do people like exercising and how do I become one of those people?

Please advise,
Feeling Bloaty

Hey Bloat,

I had this friend named The Goat in Fort Lauderdale and one night we really went hard at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (they love this place in Florida if you can freaking believe it). The next morning I was sleeping under his foosball table, wondering if death is imminent, and meanwhile, The Goat is stretching because he’s about to go for a run. I say to The Goat I says “Goat, how are you about to go running, we went to Margaritaville?!” and Goat says “It’s the only way to get that shit out.”

I later learned that The Goat would run for the duration of Van Halen’s 1979 self-titled debut album. It opens with the seminal hit “Runnin With the Devil.” I like to infer that The Goat felt an amount of poetry in beginning his hangover run with this song.

I am going to suggest you give yourself a similar task. You don’t have to join a gym, or buy a shake weight – just make an agreement that you will run for the duration of an album. It doesn’t have to be Van Halen, but you really could do worse. It’s jam packed with upbeat hits. Pretty perfect for running actually.

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This way you have an idea of when “exercise” ends and it’s like a quick little fix. Maybe you’ll get “into” working out. Or maybe you’ll just have The Goat’s method as a quality stand-by.

Andrew Bucket

Dear Andrew,

I’ve been very broke this month and I’m having a lot of apprehension about asking my parents for money. I know they would say yes, but I feel so lame about it. What is the cut-off age where it stops being OK?

Hungry in Brookland

Hi Hungry,

The short answer is: nobody knows. Some people make it their beeswax to be so responsible and independent that they never ask for help. Some parents make it their beeswax to financially cut off their spawn at 18. Some people make beeswax because they’re artisans of a bygone era.

My above thoughts also assume that the parents in question are better off financially than their son or daughter. Not always the case. I mean, that’s sort of the hope of parents anyway right?

Both positions seem extreme to me. Everybody needs help at some point, as the t-shirt says “shit happens.” But constantly being a mooch because your bar tabs are ridic, or you can’t stop Ubering to your booty calls – then get a grip, Aerosmith.

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You can try making a little money thru weird channels, such as selling some clothes to Buffalo Exchange. If you’re crafty: start an Etsy shop and sell planks of wood with ducks painted on them.

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This is real

Another thing is trying to embrace your respective poverty with a little bit of resourcefulness. Like this: try to make a dinner with just the ingredients in your house. You are down to eggs and pasta sauce? Helloooo, every heard of huevos rancheros? That’s totally a thing.

When I was 19, I used to make a dish called 8th century. It’s boiled potatoes and carrots with salt and butter. It’s what I imagined they ate during feudal times. I figured “I think I have it bad? At least it’s not feudal times.”

Yours,
Andrew Bucket

Dearest Andrew Bucket,
I cannot stand talking about politics with anyone. Even if you agree with the people you’re speaking with, it just feels moot and pointless. It plain annoys me when people try to steer the conversation that way. At the same time I don’t want to seem shallow or superficial. I happen to be very well read on current issues!

How do I subtlely bow out of any and all political conversations without making it seem like I don’t know anything about politics?

Thanks!
Un-Maddow

Hi Un-Maddow,

My eyes glaze over and I hear Yakety Sax in my head the moment that “the shift” happens. I’m referring to a shift in the tone of people’s voices when politics find it’s way into a conversation. It’s a lower register, with a non-regional accent (suddenly), and leaves no room for irony or silliness. It means “we are being grown ups now and talking about serious grown up things because we are serious people with very serious opinions.”

I personally find this whole vibe offensive. I mean, here we are just having some Corona Lights and laughing with each other and then here comes Mr. Adult Diapers with his Sarah Palin this-or-that, or his Obamacare this-or-that… start a blog you cretin. The moment this person tries to sully up my chill zone, I put him in the corner with a dunce cap. It’s easy, just tell that person they’re being boring– there’s a reason people don’t like to talk religion, politics, or money at the dinner table: it’s a shitty convo.

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Instead of bowing out gracefully, I would commandeer the conversation before it has a chance to go very far. Preserve the vibe with some jokes about this very serious topic that these very serious grown ups feel deserves their full attention.

If all that fails, I guess you have to wait it out. Eventually they’ll bring up Hitler. I heard it always comes back to Hitler.

Yours truly,
Andrew Bucket

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