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Back in the Game! (again)

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June Eighth's Advice, man!

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August 26, 2003 - Advice.

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Advice - August 12, 2003

Advice Aug. 5, 2003

Advice Column July 29, 2003

Advice - 7.23.03

Advice Column, July 16

Ray's Advice Column for July 9

Ray's Advice Column Jul 2, 2003

Ray's Advice Column June 25 2003

Ray's Advice Column #2

Ray's Advice Column #1

My Date With Crystal

Man, I Had the Greatest Day!

I Have Just Had Italian Food

What is with Tequila Shooters?!

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Jul 2, 2003

Advice Column for July 2, 2003

Ray continues to answer* actual reader questions. Got an issue? Need some advice? Email ray(@)achewood.com. Serious inquiries only, please.

H E R E   W E   GO !
Listen to the theme to Ray's Place, by Milwaukee Youth Children's Choir, aka MC Frontalot

Ray, I have worked with many a she-bartender, and I can tell you that those girls have to be ready to straight up immasculate [sic] a guy at any given moment. They're not only dealing with men, but drunk men that are dumb enough to pay for Budweiser. Now, I'd say you come off as one slick son of a bitch, so [Beachview Bartendress’s] attitude was more than likely just defensive instinct kicking in. So don't feel too bad about it.

Dear Dawa,

I always find lady bartenders kind of kinky. You know they have to deal with all kinds of nasty “shit” what with people who fight and throw up and have relations in the bathroom before leaving and stuff. I like a woman who can hold her own in those situations.

I guess this is not really advice so much as me saying that I like tough, kinky women. Thank you.

I am a pretty decent cook, but unfortunately my recipe canon is limited to "pasta" and "more pasta" and "things that taste like pasta." And "dessert." I am cooking for an upcoming date, and would like to try something different. You have many signature drinks; do you also have a signature recipe I could attempt to duplicate for this occasion? Thanks for your help.
Kitchen Bunny, PA

Dear Kitchen Bunny,

I think I can set you up. Pasta is pretty easy and pretty versatile, so a lot of cooks sort of use it as a crutch when they’re cookin’. You know what I do that is pretty fun? I hella just cook up what I call “childhood food”! If you have a date comin’ over, don’t try to impress him by like baking a whole sea bass in a salt crust with Mario Batali’s face all carved into the salt like Mount Rushmore. Have some fun, show your sense of humor! Make grilled cheese sandwiches, Campbell’s tomato soup, and Strawberry Quik! I guarantee you a dude will love this food and in time he will grow to love you for who you really are.

I am in love with two people, I think. They are both very smart, funny, wonderful people. One is my highschool sweetheart, one is a guy I met in college. I have been seeing both of them, simultaneously, for about a year now. Does that make me a horrible person? I feel kind of bad about this and should probably choose one of them- I have a lot of history with my highschool boyfriend, obviously, but the college guy buys me flowers and indulges all my kinks. Which should I go for? Of course, I am still young and cute and carefree, and they live 500 miles apart, so I could conceivably keep seeing both of them. What do you think?

Dear JD,

I think at the core of your situation is the so-called Phrygian knot. Both relationships are irredeemably infected with the deception you have perpetrated, and like a mother bird you should dash these hopeless eggs to the ground before they mature any further. I am sorry to be the one to tell you this but perhaps in the future you will think more about the lives you are hurting in pursuit of free flowers and two minutes of insincere cunnilingus.

Sometimes writing a song can be troubling and difficult to start. […] Sitting in front of all the drum machines and 'puters and robots get me down when I really want to say something personal and write a song that tugs on the heartstrings of all the [etc]. But with all the cybernetic implants and firewire cables it takes for me to make music, it seems that i should "Man-Up" and learn how to play the guitar. Any words of wisdom?
T.D.o.B.W in Allston Rock City

Dear TD,

I think I see what you are saying. You are sad that you need computers and other “dishonest” digital equipment to make music. Music should come from a more meaningful place than an “Apple Macintosh G4 Qube.” Music should come from the heart and ideally use an honest, real-time instrument such as a simple wooden guitar.

One time I thought I would try to be like all this romantic poet and I went out in the woods with a nylon 6-string and a bottle of straw Chianti, all planning on writing some beautiful song...I didn’t know what I was doing and I fell down and broke the guitar, but I know what you mean.

Since I never really got the hang of the guitar I asked Téodor to give you some advice. He said that the most important thing you can do is develop an articulate right hand? Is that right? He went off on some sort of “telephone essay” about cellists and emotion and shit but I think what he means is to focus on your right hand. Did this help? Man, I’m sorry. I don’t know what in hell he meant. Maybe he should have like a “Guitar Corner” here. Crap.

Lying on the floor of my bedroom is a bottle of Jim Beam my cousin gave me for my 21st. I'm not a drinker of wide experience but it turns out I hate bourbon. I'm now 22 and short on funds for what I DO like (scotch, guinness.) So how do I get this damned bourbon down me as pleasantly as possible?
Anonymous, Internet

A-ha! You say you hate bourbon, but you do like Scotch! I think we have the keystone which will unravel this puzzle.

Jim Beam is a good bourbon which you can drink straight, along with the other name brand American whiskeys such as Jack Daniels, Knob Creek, Ancient Situation, etc. I’m guessing that if you like Scotch but don’t like bourbon you are turned off by its relative sweetness. Certain palates find the extra sugar in bourbon medicinal. Drinking it over ice reduces this sensation somewhat, but if you still find that you can’t stomach its extra sugar we’ll do something counter-intuitive and mix it with three parts of cola. I think you’ll find that anyone on earth can enjoy a nice, sweet bourbon and Coke.

I DEFINITELY helped you with this advice.

A couple of months ago, I got over a depression that has been with me for three years on and off now. To get to the point, I am scared that I'm going to get depressed again. Any advice?
—Pathetic in CT

Dear PCT,

First of all, I am glad to hear that you have defeated a long-standing depression. I know that must have been quite an ordeal, based on my experiences with friends who also suffer from depression. You are to be congratulated. I am wondering how your depression was alleviated, be it therapeutically, chemically, “spiritually,” or none of the above. I guess my advice is not to suffer alone with this problem and to seek the help of someone who is trained in treating it, as it will definitely recur. I mainly deal with the subjects of mixed drinks and aggressive sexual conquest.

Hello Ray, it's me again. Lonely Outcast from Buffalo. As far as what's wrong with me, I have no clue at all. I'm not that dumb, not that fat, and not that ugly (at least I don't think so). You can catch a glimpse at me here:


I'm 16 in that picture, and I got a short normal looking hair cut now but you get the idea. I'm a little shy, like with starting conversations, but once they get going I can be real easy to talk to. Sorry I can't be more descriptive, but I don't even know what to look for and like you said, I don't have anyone to ask. Any advice you have would be much appreciated.
Thanks in Advance, Lonely Outcast, Buffalo, NY

P. S. It's okay to link that picture, my host can handle it and I don't mind.

Dear Lonely,

By all accounts, you look like a young Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is one of the most famous people in the world, so no foul there. And it doesn’t seem as though there is anything particularly problematic with your appearance, if in fact you are telling the truth when you say that you went and got an actual normal haircut.

Listen, guy. I am gonna take you under my wing and we are gonna do one of those “Actual Hollywood Makeovers” via the Internet! Each week you and I are gonna consult on a particular area and we are gonna make you into a Honeymoon Hero! I am not saying that you will get married or anything, but maybe at least we can pinpoint what’s going on with you being so lonely.

My first tip is to get way better glasses. Send in the latest photo and we’ll work from there. Also good would be a darker shirt; women hate a man in a white shirt.

I used to be a big vodka martini man (Belvedere or Grey Goose [are] my preferred labels) but I've moved to another country where it's tough to get anything better than Absolut, which I personally find very over-rated. I like gin and tonics, and am considering a move over to gin martinis, i.e., with Bombay Sapphire or some other top-shelf brand. Is it possible - or wise - to make such a big switch? I love the whole martini experience, but won't do it without top-flight hooch.
-JM, Sydney

Dear JM,

You would be surprised to hear how many people scoff at such a question. Not me, though. It’s all about the sugar, and boy do I hate a big-bodied gin or vodka. Crisp is the name of the game, and I am ready to slap anybody who does not belong in the game, completely slap them on their faces and the sides of their heads/ears. I will slap them.

It sounds like you’ll need to move over to an extra-dry gin martini, and the down-low on gin is that the ~80 proof Plymouth or Gordon’s are the best ones going. Tanq and Bombay are way too strong at like 95 proof, tasting too harshly of alcohol. Either way, take these shaken with a twist in a chilled glass.

I'm having lady trouble. I fear that I am now in the deadly "friend" category with this foxy girl I know, when for the last week or so I thought I had been getting signals. […] She's even bringing me a home-cooked meal at work! I fear, however, that I have just been relegated to "friend" because her ex-boyfriend is putting the moves on her, and she's been talking more and more about him lately. […] That said, what's a guy to do? At the very least, how does one extricate himself from the "friend" list?
Thanks much, J. B.

Dear JB,

Okay, it sounds like you are having trouble interpreting the signals this lady is giving you. Her signals show that she is interested in her ex-boyfriend. Her act of bringing you food at work shows that she is trying to be good to men in general (i.e., a useful woman) while she is unsure of how she actually feels about particular individuals. The food act is probably a generalized symbol of atonement. It is a strong indicator that she has a functional sense of moral obligation, but essentially you have no chance of scoring.

Who would win in a fight, a Polar Bear or a Walrus?
N.S., Internet

Dear NS.,

Polar bears are larger and much more powerful. There is no chance that a walrus would ever win a fight with a polar bear on dry land. If they were under the water the polar bear would abandon the fight and there would be no clear winner. Hope this helps.

As a popular and sentient cartoon cat, and therefore as fine a candidate as any for a democratic presidential nomination, what is your stance on the current curtailing of American civil rights? I know this is a forum for asking questions about alcohol mostly, but I could really use some insight into how and why we are all being led by fear towards an Orwellian state where Big Brother is always watching. Please advise.
-J.H., Chicago

Dear JH,

Your letter makes a lot of assumptions about my political leanings. In fact, it’s mainly kind of a jerked-up advertisement for college-style thinking! In reality, you just pay your taxes and they are misused sometimes and used properly some of the time. No one ever guaranteed anyone a life in Utopia, so just go suck on your “college lollipop” until you realize that your “wonderful childhood” is “over.”

For the last week, I've wrestled with a regrettable priapic condition - I've had a five-day stiffy [sic] and no matter what I do, I can't bring it to heel. My dong is strictly average in length, but it's freakishly thick, and when engorged, its girth is very, very noticeable. I've gotten so many smug looks that I've begun waiting til everyone's left for lunch to use the men's room. You seem to have gotten over this hangup we call "modesty". What's your secret?
Yours Truly, Jumbo in Colombo.

Dear Jumbo,

Alright, alright, I didn’t need to know about the thickness thing. Man, actually I think you are making up this letter so that you can be weird. On the off chance that you aren’t, you should see your nearest doctor because this sort of condition can permanently damage your (admittedly gross) cock.

I used to be friends with this girl who lives far away, and we used to write letters back and forth. I haven't written her back in a year and a half, and I don't know why, probably just depression. What does a person write in a letter after that amount of time. […] And don't say "write anything, it doesn't matter" because that's BS and you know it. Even if you were happy to get a letter, it would still be in the back of your mind.
H.D., Internet

P.S. If you don't feel like answering this for the column, I will straight up pay you to write the letter for me.

Dear HD,

You sound kind of angry at me, but that’s cool. Maybe we dated before and I forgot? I don’t want to be a jerk to a woman who has become a lesbian after dating me. I think lesbians are among the greatest people to talk to, because they are strong and humorous and most of all, honest. So if you are a lesbian woman, just know that I totally respect you, and that we’d probably have a great talk over a beer or chai sometime. Maybe we can catch up soon. -- Ray.

Ya know, Ray, you must get frustrated sometimes, everyone all writing you with "what should I drink?" and "How do I get with the ladies?" and such. Like alcohol and copulation are the ONLY vices in which the true gentleman can indulge! Personally, I would like to know your views on fine cigars. Do you smoke them? If so, what country/brand do you swear by?
Macanudo Man, NJ

Dear Macanudo Man,

I don’t actually smoke cigars. I find that they completely dull the palate for at least 24 hours. I really don’t understand the tradition, in fact. I like to get a smooth post-prandial buzz off some quality tobacco smokes such as Nat Shermans, smokes which I can taste as well as mellow out on.

Surely B.F. shouldn't be double-bagging the "franking priviledge;" [sic] the condoms will rub against each other, increasing the likelihood of catastrophic breakage and "waking up with 'AIDS.'" B.F. wants one of those "extra-strong" condoms made for "anal sex" if he's particularly concerned.

You probably already know that, and I know you've got the disclaimer and all, but the multibagging thing is a dangerous meme to propagate. Everything else is fine.

Dear Reader,

Thank you for bringing up this point. I would like to reiterate that anyone who does anything based on what I, a cartoon cat, says, holds me in total eternal indemnity, because I was joking, and also I am fake.

I was reading a book about dolphins, and there was a chapter on dolphins that seem to seek out the company of humans, like 'Opo' in New Zealand or the Monkey Mia dolphins in Australia. And there was a description of a bottlenose dolphin off the coast of England who likes to swim and play with people, and get this, he quite often sticks his penis out and tries to get it between their legs.

In your opinion, is it bestiality if the animal started it? And should we maybe stop swimming with dolphins if we are giving them the wrong impression? I don't want to lead anyone on.

Dear Sarah,

If a dolphin wants to have sex with you then you should probably just go back on the beach.

Sup ray hows it goin chief. Now boss man i got this major beef with my mate Tom u see this guy is one stellar bloke but his bitch has got him under her thumb, dude im talking sum major leash action here like how Schwarznegger owns that Achillion dudes ass in The Running Man. So anyway comrade,Toms now bitchin abt how he can no longer go out on the sauce or partake in the herb coz his missus says so i mean fuck sake man wots a mate to do i mean he IS gettin his bone on but fuck sake man he aint drinkin no more man dude hes been sober for almost 2 weeks now it hurts inside man u dig?
Big G , Scotland

Dear Big G.,

I love the way you talk! You are like how Russell Crowe probably would sound if he had any friends. Unfortunately, he is an angry little "brown pebble" and I should probably just end this here.

PS You can’t change this guy’s life so don’t try, the old days are unfortunately over for him.

On the 25th of June, a reader by the moniker PM asked if eyeballs were soft (like a grape) or hard (like a jawbreaker.) I believe I can help. I once had the ate a [? -sic] rabbit's eyeball, and it was more like a grape than a jawbreaker. It had a sort of skin or shell, which, while soft, was not as soft as the inside.

As far as why I ate it, it had been a week and a half with no food, and they're full of electrolytes (which give you a bunch of energy when consumed in mass quantities.) I hope this hellps PM and PM's friend, while keeping them both with two eyes.

Dear Eyeball Eating Person,

Thank you.

Do you have any suggestions for a really tasty vegetarian entree? Something kind of nice, you know, for impressing ladies or special occasions. I used to make this orange pepper risotto but I'm kind of tired of it now and looking for something really good to feed my vegetarian friends at my next dinner party.

(I hope you're not one of those snotty meat-eaters that won't even try a vegetarian dish.)
Thanks! — SPS

Dear Vegetarian,

I guess I do eat meat but I can still think of some things which you may like to cook, even though you have pre-emptively insulted me. A Nicoise salad without the tuna, a gardenburger with grilled onions and sharp cheddar cheese…you know what? Fuck you vegetarians. It’s like, every time you write in for help you’re actually just looking for another opportunity to push your retarded agenda. Meat is part of the diet. Did you see those sharp teeth in the mirror the last time you pretended to smile? Eat it in moderation, buy it from responsible sources. Don’t go flappin’ your pussy lips in my face just because you misunderstand your place in the food chain.

I hate that shit.

* A Gentle Reminder (“Disclaimer”): This is advice from a cartoon cat, and should not be taken seriously. We are not responsible for anything you do based on what Ray says, or otherwise. Do not commit suicide or otherwise interrupt the lives of others. Continue on with your life as though you had never read this column. Erase your browser history.