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Posts tagged ‘beer’

The Path To Mancavedom

On the day we consume massive quantities of turkey, beer and 12 straight hours of glorious football it only seems fitting I celebrate the official grand opening of my very own man cave. My accountant would rather I call it my home office but calling this blog entry The Path to HomeOfficedom is super lame and I’m paying him good money so work on those tax write offs from the “man cave” investment.

You see man needs his own space and that was easy for him to obtain in his early days roaming the earth. But then man fell in love, married and created little men that eventually look over his home office sanctuary and found himself parking his ass regularly at Starbucks to get some peace and quiet and taking conference calls over endless hours of baristas making double shot skinny mocha latte frapacchinos . That life was getting old.

This path to mancavedom was not an easy one. It started as a vision years ago. became reality last year when the CFO of DonutMonday Inc signed off on the project (wife) and broke ground earlier this year. During this trail blazing journey to build his new castle I documented each milestone of the arduous process and I share that with you today.

Step 1 – Find a suitable location. I live in a modest home in Northern California where housing is expensive and general contractors are in high demand. So visions of a grand remodel adding square feet were not in the cards. Fortunately my property contains a shed in the backyard that was the inspiration for a number of horror movies ground zero for every child’s nightmares. Actually my wife keeps her off season clothes and holiday decorations in here so we’re good to go. Location secured. img_2710

Step 2 – Execute Operation Shed Crap Transfer. This is my dining room table. I think. I didn’t actually see it for almost 2 months because it was the interim staging area of where we stored all the crap we had in the shed. However this was a principal condition of getting the CFO financial green light so failure was not an option. img_2719

 

Step 3 -Knock that old mofo shed down. This was going to be the fun part of the project. Just me, a home depot special entry level low torque cordless drill with accumulated dust from non use and ingenuity. I may not be able to build but I can destroy! img_2708

 

Step 4 – 3 hours later, throw away the cheap ass drill, scrap the elegant de-assembly plan and just start sledgehammering with middle age dad anger. That worked way better. Eventually I was left with the final skeletal remains of the old shed. One i-beam remained holding everything together that required accurate precision to ensure full safety precautions and avoid any injury from walls falling in on the demolition crew.

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Unfortunately that plan did not work but the ladder and what was left of my dignity took the brunt of the collapse.

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Step  6 – Draw up your plans. This was the first rendition of the vision for what my man cave would look like utilizing cave man like drawing skills. Possessing no ability to draw a person from a sky view makes it look like I’m lying on the floor sprawled out face up on the floor with a beer in my hand. That’s entirely in accurate. I’m normally face down.

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Step 7 – Throw away that 1st grade level crayon drawing and hire a real outfit that can do the job right. In my case I went the pre-fab route and worked with a company called Modern Shed (www.modern-shed.com) These guys were great as was their design options and I’m not just saying that because I get $500 for every sales referral I send them. That said if you are in the market for a man cave/home office I highly recommend this outfit and I’ll give you unlimited use of my soon to be new kegerator which happens to be $499 on sale today at Home Depot. Weird coincidence on price. Did I mention these guys were great? So very great.

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Step 8 – Check your non-handy ass ego at the door and get out of the way. This is Jose and Gaspar. These guys know how to build and simultaneously silently mock me with real power tools which they leave scattered around my property to torment me.

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Step 9 – Find a suitable side project. While Gaspar and Jose did all the heavy lifting building out the cave I found a way to make myself useful by building out the storage closets that would house all of the wife’s clothes and decorations that previously resided in the horror house shed. Just look at the precision on how the cabinet doors don’t quite line up nor the 3rd unit on the right which is an entirely different sized storage closet I accidentally purchased and didn’t even realize it till assembly stage 14C.


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Step 10 – Pimp It out. That wall spackle is not even dry and I have the TV fully mounted. Boom! It’s the corner piece centralized universal of any certified man cave and mandated by the city permit that I did not secure when putting up this bad boy. But don’t tell the  city and for god sakes don’t tell that to my accountant.

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Step 11 – Invest in a wifi extender. I cut the cable cord and bought an Amazon Firestick to broadcast HD TV over wifi. Great plan on paper. Unfortunately my current home wifi did not adequately reach the outer confines of Casa de DonutMonday and watching impressively consistent levels of buffering on aforementioned TV in VHF display quality got old fast. So I invested in the titanium grade Sports-A-Saurus 3000 model to deliver 100MB grade HD delivery with the 1 click push button pizza delivery feature. Comcast is NOT getting my money today.

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Step 12 – Once Sports-A-Sauris is installed ensure you have your man cave built during MLB baseball post season, NFL, NHL and college football seasons for proper and thorough quality assurance testing.img_3072

Step 13 – Understand you will fall victim to purchase every ManCave themed shwag on earth.I tried to fight this but who can say no to a one of a kind Mexican license plate themed sign sold by ten thousand street vendors in Cabo San Lucas? I didn’t think so Judgey McJudger

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Step 14 – Equip your man cave. Check out this bad ass hand stitched Italian leather dual motorized reclinable couch imported directly from Florence for a mere $4500. Unfortunately that was not a CFO approved purchase so check out the plan B Costco sofa bed special that currently resides in the cave instead. img_3080

Step 15 – Landscape, paint and rejoice. My kingdom awaits and it comes equipped with full time child labor who will keep the beer fridge restocked knowing access to the Xbox relies upon completion of those duties. Pretty nice upgrade over the horror shed and packs a 140 SF of certified man themed punch on the inside.

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Long Live The Annual Guys Getaway

Mancation….Guys Weekend Away…Boys Trip. Call it what you will just don’t forget to call me if you’re putting one of these bad boys together. Since the beginning of time when Fred and Barney would take a road trip with their fellow Water Buffalo brethren into the prehistoric minivan and head off to Rock Vegas for to blow off some steam and throw down some bets (Did someone say b.b.b.b.bet, bet bet?) men have come to love the ritual of the annual guys getaway. It’s the only reliable environment where you can take  a collection of otherwise responsible set of dudes who are generally upstanding citizens and have them voluntarily subject themselves to photo documented acts worthy of extortion. For evidence I present you with Exhibit A.

Exhibit A

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These are men in full scale annual guy trip mode. Note their temporary departure from self pride fueled partly by brotherly companionship and partly by the 19 beers consumed by the time this picture was taken…at 11am. You may think this picture is an anomaly but I’ve trained this crew to willingly put on an umbrella hat in public during perfectly sunny days at major sporting events for 10 years running. Do not underestimate the alluring power of the annual guy getaway. That and 19 beers.

I used to think that guy trips were just something you only did in your college days but when you are that young with little or no responsibility your whole life at that moment in time is practically in constant guy trip mode. Your only concern when you return from a trip at that age is whether you left the beer fridge open while you were gone and whether you will get the damage deposit back on the house boat rental (You won’t). I suspect the allure of the guys trip fades for those in retirement age as well given the abundance of down time already readily available or because there is only a 78.3% chance you’ll survive the ordeal.

It’s actually us middle age dudes that truly embrace the guys trip and get the best return on our investment. We are in the sweet spot of life where downtime is rare and you don’t pass up the chance to break out of the normal routine. Nothing makes you step up your game and temporarily loose your mind on a testosterone filled excursion knowing that when the sanctioned debauchery ends  you will pack your bags to head home to start a 48 hour diaper duty shift, face a shit ton of work to catch up on and a get a freshly updated HoneyDo list from wife who’s looking to collect on all the man point credit cards you charged this trip to to get out in the first place, with interest. But that’s not for another 3 days 7 hours and 15 minutes from now and it’s time to live large.

Like most things in life there is a hierarchical pecking order in the various preferred formats of the annual guys trip. Any quality time away with the guys is a good thing but the first annual trip is always touch and go and the casualty rate is high. The rule of thumb for a first time getaway is invite 30% beyond trip capacity knowing some never make it past the budget talks, others get D blocked from the boss on a last minute conflicting business trip and then there is the rare occasion where a poor soul gets machine gunned on his front lawn within visual range of their target getaway vehicle by the wife who was never properly briefed on the original mission. We attempt to recover the body later.

Any guy getaway that makes it to year 2 is officially considered a tradition according to worldwide man code which instantly upgrades your weapons cache for counter assaults in subsequent years by aforementioned barriers to entry. Void where prohibited. The gold standard is the annual guys trip established before you even settled down to got married and have kids. This pre-nuptual agreement term was recently upheld in a challenge in front of the Supreme Court of ManJustice. You’re grandfathered in and can play the tradition card every year with no expiration date. “Honey you know I want to be home for Christmas with the family but we’ve been doing our annual guys Halibut Be Thy Name  Alaska fishing trip since 1986 and I can’t let the guys down.  The key is don’t miss even one year or you loose all your accrued vesting and we won’t see your ass on that trip again until the kids are out of college.

Annual girl getaways, while fully endorsed and encouraged by my fellow male brethren,  don’t come together nearly as easy. Women are much more polite then men and will try to work around everyone’s schedules to find a compatible time before an entire year has gone by and they have to start over for the following year. If they do actually agree on a  time there’s talk of what to bring, what kind of clothes to pack and pre-planning some excursions. No such silliness on guy getaways. Without prior notification or planning guys just show up in front of your house the same day each year, the car filled with beer based on a 24 bottles per person per day consumption rate and poker chips. No words are exchanged. For girl getaways, themes will change every year and there’s debate and discussion about what to do to “build on the experience”. Yawn. Men invite the same other men every year, wear the same shirt, order the same beer and sit in the same chair and if someone’s in their chair they will crop-dust  the area until the perpetrator is forced to exit from lack of oxygen. Don’t mess with tradition.

One final little tidbit on the subject of guy getaways. Contrary to what you see in the movies and outside of any excursion involving Charlie Sheen, most men I’ve seen don’t completely loose our minds on these kind of trips and do stupid shit. If  someone new is initiated into the excursion and shows up with hookers and coke they are quickly excommunicated from the group and shunned from existence. The fact is we’re not out to cheat and break laws. We just want to drink beer, shun responsibility for a few days and have something to look forward to next time around, which according to my calendar is a mere 187 days away and counting!