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Dang has it been nearly a month?

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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

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My Date With Crystal

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I Have Just Had Italian Food

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Jul 18, 2005

Advice Column for July 18, 2005

Hey, Avocado-head!

Just kidding. Man, did I have some good guacamole today. Any time you munch down on that tasty green ambrosia, remember to mentally pour one out to the Nahuatl people who invented this divine appetizer. Want to say “guacamole” in Mexican? It’s “aguacate,” from the words “agua,” for water, and “acate,” which describes the condition of having chunky wrists. The Mexican language is truly poetic, and is used much differently than English. For example, in English we might name a new housing development “Willow Glen,” but in Mexico a new housing development would be called something more like “...And She Cried, And The Wind Rose, And It Carried The Name Of Her Distant Lover: Trujillo.” See what I mean? No American would buy a house in a place named that, but in Mexico they’d be getting out their checkbooks and loading up their U-Hauls.

Don’t just assume that everything is the same everywhere.

Oh, PS: don’t email me any problems for a while. I got way of a backlog goin’ on from last week. If you have a problem, just try to do the best thing.

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

I need some advice on picking nice wines and beers. In college I was happy to subsist on kegs of Natty Lite and bottles of cough syrup, but now that I'm going to grad school I should probably know how to entertain polite company. I don't wanna swish wine samples at restaurants and make douchebag comments like "this has a light nutty flavor with lots of bounce and hints of acetylcolene." Just some good stuff to keep around the house that says I have decent taste but I'm not trying to show off. Oh and beers too. The Mike's lemonade is a little too girly sometimes.

Dear ~p,

Okay, most of my readers know that I am sick of answering booze questions but it’s actually been a while since I advised on settin’ up a beginner’s drink stop, so here goes.

Liquor: Keep a clear and a brown on hand at all times, e.g. Ketel One and Jack Daniels. Buy the handles, as economies of scale come into play (are you in Econ grad school? Then you know what I mean).
Wine: Keep a red and a white on hand at all times. When choosing wines on the wine aisle, use this simple rhyme to make your selection: “Closer to the floor, is meant for the poor / closer to the lights, is more like for if Bono comes over”
Beer: Just keep a little six-pack of ale such as Sam Adams around. If people get into your beer then they are much more likely to recruit a couple other dudes and run to the corner store to pick up more.

[R]ay, I'm in a fraternity and I need your help! there are a few guys in my house that just don't get the whole social scene, and every time ladies come over they see these guys on the soda, watching japanese violent cartoons or playing video games. And this does not look good on the reputation of the rest of us, no sir! How do I convince them to join the real world, and stop making me look like a nerd? I've tried talking to them, but they're hard-core un-cool! They need your help, if anybody ever has.
Alexander in Chicago

Dear Alexander,

I know what it can be like, to see fellow dudes “on the soda.” Simple white athletic shoes, simple denim pants without considered styling, perhaps a noncommittal sports T-shirt or patterned short-sleeve button-up over a printed T. Often the baseball cap is backwards, and at dusk a quick Taco Bell run is made.

You’re not going to change these dudes. The easiest thing to do is move their TV and gaming consoles to a side room or other area where women will not observe them. They won’t care. Do you see? Also, there is a thing where you can kick people out of your fraternity (read the IFC Handbook).

I have difficult hair. It is thick and puffy and frizzy and my head is a bit on the big side. So I have to gel it down or cut it short. In the past I've had it cropped close, which felt nice and was easy, but I looked like I was going to steal something all the time. I am at an age where I need to look professional. But I don't want to look like a dork all the time, too. So what would you advise a guy like me to do with his hair? Now, it's fairly short, about two and a half inches on the top and front, and two on the sides and back. Looks decent but damn it is hot (like I said, thick and puffy) and I have to manage it with a ton of gel all the time so I don't look like I have a round animal atop my head. If I cut it too short it stands up and I look like I'm a 4 year old with a giant head. The haircut people at the $10 haircut place don't have good ideas. Do I need to go to an expensive place to get good hair advice? What should I do with my hair?
G, Internet

Dear G,

You already know what I’m going to say to you, and that is that you cannot pay ENOUGH for a good haircut. Once your stylist establishes your lines, maintenance is a breeze and you are set for life. No longer will you be a slave to gels and mousses. You know, Pat always goes in for the cheapest discount haircut he can get (Vietnamese $6 Sunday special, Supercuts, Flowbee demonstration at the department store) and he is constantly furious about how bad he looks. Take it from me: make the investment.

Lately I’ve been real, real happy with this guy Thaddeus who cuts down at Satori. He’s got my line all established and just deals out the hits, time after time. Sure, it’s $175 to plop down in his chair (plus a little sumfin’ sumfin’ for the shampoo girl), but the dude has invested almost two decades in understanding the feline head and he oughta get recompensed. If you amortize my haircut over the course of the month, it’s only about six bucks a day, and honestly, don’t we all spend at least that much at Starbucks every afternoon? It’s all about perspective.

Me and my friend have been living in our swanky house for a year now and had a pretty cool house warming party last July. We haven't had a party since and want to celebrate our 2nd year in style and I want a 'ray-esque' theme. It looks like it might be a weekend in July, the same weekend that England and Australia contest the ashes in cricket (a boring sport hence the drinking of alcohol) so I wanted an Ozzie theme - BBQ and Ozzie lagers and the like. We're all Welsh so its not un-patriotic to "get Ozzie with it." Our housewarming was a bog-standard everybody get drunk affair but I want this one to go with a bang and want to know what you recommend being the master of cool parties where even the strangest of fellows can score a tugjob.
Gareth, Cardiff, UK

Dear Gareth,

An Aussie theme, huh? Sounds fun! I guess the main thing to do is point to your best friend and go, “Hey, you’re Bon Scott! Go die in my car!” That should get some laughs and people can start to cook the shrimps and lamb and crack open their New Zealand “Export Gold” lager (a horrible-flavored beer that is banned by the New Zealand government as soon as fermentation is complete). The main thing is to make incredible wisecracks all evening, so people will always be wondering what you’re going to say next, and they’ll be thrilled when you open your mouth. Be a little bit risky, and don’t be afraid to work blue. Aussies *love* foul words said real loud.

Hello from Jakarta where it is hot and sticky and crowded. There are a lot of cats in the place where I stay, and I know you guys in Achewood are always hanging out in your underground, living your feline, dog-excluding lives. I always see the cats here ducking into all of these storm drains, and I was wondering if there was an underground in Jakarta, or any other places in the world for that matter? What's your favorite underground overseas?
-M, Jakarta

Dear M,

Yeah, there’s an underground in Jakarta. I didn’t even have to look it up, because anywhere there are non-human animals they usually manage to climb down a drain and get something going. I ain’t gonna say much more than that, though, ‘cause that would be a betrayal, and the main rule is that you don’t go blabbin’ on the human Internet about how to find the underground. In fact, I’d better stop here, ‘cause nobody wants to get ostracized to the outside world of sittin’ on some old lady’s couch, all havin’ no nuts, eatin’ Pedigree-brand fish aortas for the rest of their life.

* 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.