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Jun 8, 2005

Advice Column for June 8, 2005

Daaamn, only like one guy wrote a seven-page letter this week! Unfortunately, it sounded like he really actually needed help because his girlfriend was using his money to do all this pointless Michael Jackson-style cosmetic surgery, just slowly chipping away at herself, always finding some new part to be unhappy about. I could have helped that guy. If only he had written a letter in a succinct manner and it did not have at least five paragraphs. Don't make me edit your letters for print, people, cause I'm bad at that and I leave important parts out, like about how the person you're married to shoots you with a BB gun to wake you up and then I go and advise you on websites where you can buy BBs cheaper. You see?

It is My Chochacho to Serve You,

Listen to the theme to Ray's Place, by Milwaukee Youth Children's Choir, aka MC Frontalot

I have a question for you about getting to know seafood. Most of my life I haven't really liked it that much, and I've limited my fish-eating to salmon and maybe some crab, if it's all mashed up with some cream cheese and there's something deep-fried in or around it to make it crunchy (this is not very healthy). [R]ecently I've been trying to expand my horizons in this regard, but I don't know where to start. Oysters and clams are probably pretty good, but they kind of gross me out visually and also when I think about where they live and what they eat- same with octopi, lobster, shrimp etc. Can you help me get over this? What would you recommend to a non-seafood lover to get them started?
Sushi-less Sara

Dear Sara,

Most folks have a seafood issue because parents don't feed kids top-quality [i.e. more expensive] fish, and the kids end up choking down rancid hateful salmon which the purveyor carried back out of the grocery store at gunpoint and sold to your elementary school cafeteria for pennies on the original asking price. Ever wonder why your lunch ladies were so grumpy? Because they got up at four AM to buy terrible fish for children they hated who would hate it. Talk about your circles of life.

Anyhow, ain't you even think about starting with oysters and clams. That is blue square territory. We want to get you goin' safely into green circle, here, which means a couple different things. First, you got to try fish and chips. Sure, this is fried and unhealthy, but on the inside is cod, which is a gateway fish. Once you have had cod (use the provided vinegar and tartar sauce to dip and even out any strong fish flavor), you are ready to move on to a little sassier of a player, namely monkfish. Monkfish has the firm texture of poached chicken, a light flavor, and is only served at expensive places so you know it will be cooked right. This dish should cost from $18 to $38, depending on whether or not you live in Manhattan.

After you eat on some monkfish, I want you to turn in a circle and shake your own hand, 'cause you are approaching blue square territory. Your next step is to take a breather and just eat some delicious grilled shrimp. I ain't talkin' about the ammonia-marinated sea jerky you find in won-ton soup, I mean somethin' fat and grilled, the size of a three-knuckle thumb or better. Find these at an Italian dinner restaurant which doesn't allow shorts. You'll know you're in good hands.

I'm glad I could help you get to the next level in your seafood appreciation. It's all about baby steps, slowly getting friendly with an enemy your young body (rightly) told you would kill you. It might help you to think of that big first piece of fried cod as Amnesty International, and maybe you could draw a candle surrounded in barbed wire on it using a squeeze bottle of tartar sauce. Just a thought.

I've been working in a place for over 3 [three] years. In this time, it has become more clear as time went on that the people I share an office with are complete ass hats. See I work in a college for 14-19 [Correct: fourteen-to-nineteen] year olds and the dudes I work with can't stop drooling over these ladys. [Sic - shame on you, land of Ladies!] (Not that they are remotely attractive.) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav for examples.

What should I do? Go and squeal to some higher power about these freaky shenanigans? Or quit while going down in a blaze of anti-pedophilia glory?
-- Sam from Southampton, England.

Dear Sam,

It sounds to me like men in your office enjoy looking at profiles of wayward girls and making water cooler talk out of them as a way of creating a social bond based on both masculinity and common experiences. I wouldn't be surprised if you dug a little bit deeper and actually found all sorts of scandals. If you played your cards right, you could sell your story(ies) to Dick Wolf for the next season of Law & Order. They're getting pretty played out with the whole North America thing, it's time they went to jolly olde England and put the cuffs on a cad who rogered a child.

I am troubled by people who eat noisily. The problem is, almost everyone I regularly eat with seems unable to chew quietly, making gaps in conversation intolerable. What should I do about this?
AC, England

Dear AC,

Computer companies can be a tough place to make a living, man. I feel you. A little while back I sat on the board of e-Communities, this place that said they were gonna do something about virtual communities and JPEGs and stuff. Needless to say e-Communities is now just an extremely large carpeted room with a lotta keyboards stacked in the middle, but what I took away from that experience is that people who are extremely good at computers can often be gross, revolting, depressing, and have horrible clothes on.

I think the main thing you can do if you are surrounded by people who grunt and snorfle and otherwise wiggle down into their own pleasure-worlds while they eat is, well, not have lunch with them. I guess I helped you?

My lady has been pestering me lately to buy her a Sybian. I'm not insecure about her loving the toy more than my cock - I am just turned off by the price - they're like 1500 bucks! That's a little expensive for a sex toy if you ask me. I don't want to dissapoint [sic] my lady, though. So I was thinking about building a Sybian myself. I was just wondering if you might know what sort of materials I should use to build a proper Sybian.
Some guy in Maine

Dear Maine,

You are right, the people who build the Sybian charge an extraordinary amount for something you can easily build yourself out of a couple simple pieces from Home Depot and Williams Sonoma.

For those of you who don't know what a Sybian is, it's kind of like if an ottoman morphed with a horny duffel bag, and pointing up from the zipper was a male part. The internet has movies of this item being used. I am not exactly the person you need to tell you about how Google works.

Anyhow, I went kind of Alton Brown on this question and drew up some schematics. Since I spent so long on the 'R&D' to this, I'm going to need to ask for a little bit of scratch up front. Email me if you really want a bonch-rockin' "Sybianissimo" at 1/5 the price.

* 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. Not for readers under 18 years of age.