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Half-Baked Advice

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What up? Here goes... I'm doing lots of renos at the moment and it's occurred to me that I've become a little obsessed with 'bettering' my place, I'm starting to feel a little shallow. Every HGTV show you watch people are doing the same thing: putting in hardwood floors, putting in granite counter-tops, installing a new faucet (there was a show on yesterday where the guy suggested that faucets were the "jewelry" of your kitchen---and I LOVE jewelry). I've become that girl who throws out perfectly good clothing because it's last year's styles, except it's not my jeans it's my faucet that's hitting the curb (I should add that there's nothing wrong with the one I currently have, it pours water after all).

So my question for you is this, should I be like everyone else and buy a new faucet so that I can wow everyone with my kitchen's jewelry? And my other question for you is, why do all faucets (especially the new ones with the big heads) look like penises? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't wear a penis around my neck.

—Got to Go, "House Hunters" is on.

You're right GtoG, most faucets do indeed look like penises. But honestly now, have you ever tried to wash your hands in a vagina?

You're also right that you have become shallow, not that it's completely your fault. HGTV is designed to generate revenue for the reno industry so they wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't make you feel the need to go out and spend your hard earned cash on a million things you don't really need. I love HGTV, I have to admit, but it has it's flaws. In the beginning it appealed to the environmentalist in me. The concept of restoring existing homes and beautifying our surroundings was refreshing in this age of disposable living. But like so many other pseudo-environmental initiatives it has actually been about getting folks to sacrifice their paychecks in a losing battle to keep up with every other sucker caught in the same trap. Most of us have come to believe that we deserve the best of everything. RIGHT NOW!!!! I watch people on TV scrap perfectly good materials while renovating their homes from attic to cellar just because someone has dictated that only the best will do. In olden times (like when our parents were our age) people planned and saved and worked towards their dreams. Today we have become convinced that we not only have the right but that we are entitled to a ridiculously high standard of living. Standards set by the industry that rakes in the coin once we're hooked. To be honest, I love my maple hardwood floors and take pride in them. But the granite counter tops (and the whole kitchen reno) are slated for a couple of years down the road. Sure, I insulated the crawl space and the new windows are so much less drafty. But the second bathroom will happen down the road. I'm all about customizing your home to suit your needs and make for a better quality of comfort but don't buy into the evil plot just to line the pockets of an industry.

So here is my advice. Slow down! That way you will be more focused in the decisions that you make. When the day comes to do our kitchen I sure don't want to be distracted by trying to figure out what tile I need in the bathroom or where the new skylights are going upstairs. I want to be able to focus on the kitchen. Besides, if you scrap your house from top to bottom then you're gonna have to do the same thing in a matter of time just to keep up. But if you limit your plans to a project or two every few years then at least one area of your house will be cutting edge at any given time.

And please don't presume that what isn't good enough for someone as shallow as you is necessarily dump worthy. If you can salvage anything from your house that is usable (even if it's not to your exaggerated standards) find out if there is a ReStore in your area. Restore sells new and used building materials to generate funding for Habitat for Humanity. (and if you don't know what Habitat for Humanity is then I just give up). So the ReStore decreases the rate at which our landfills are overflowing, provides funding towards the creation of affordable housing for those in need, and is just the most fun place to shop when you're looking to freshen up your own home on a budget.

The sad thing is that even though we're all driven to go 'high end', in no time we're all going to have the hardwood floors & the granite counter tops and then some HGTV designer will come along and say "That's so 2010, it has to be gutted" and we'll jump right back in with both feet and a blank cheque.

Hey Mr. Baked Beans,

Quick question. What do you think about girls who don't give blow jobs? ...I mean, ever.

—I Could be a Lesbian.

What do you mean COULD be? Sounds like you've already completed half of the requirements towards your merit badge in lesbianism. Let's see, what DO I think about girls who don't give blowjobs? I don't think about them at all.

Is it the THOUGHT of doing it that makes it unappealing? Or is it the actual act? Are you sure you know how to do it properly? Is it that you DON'T give blowjobs or that you WON'T give blowjobs? Some people are not into oral sex because they don't really know how to do it and it's not like you can sign up for a class in head. There are lots of people who had one or two bad experiences and never spent the time developing a technique that works for them and their partner. Some people think they have to be gagging or the guy isn't gonna enjoy it. Not true. Try different things. Trust me, even if you spent fifteen minutes just licking around down there your partner will be thrilled. It's not all about gagging and face rape. I little bit of mouth with some hand action goes a long way and don't forget to pay some attention to "the boys," it's a package deal if you want your beau to be impressed enough to be telling all his buds about it. Or is that the problem? You just don't want to be known as a mouth whore. I decided to ask some of my closest female friends how they felt about sword swallowing and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they all love giving head (dirty mouth whores). You might just be hung up on the myth that good girls don't do nasty things like that. But if you talk to some of your girlfriends you might find out that they actually enjoy playing the skin flute. Then you gals can share tips and swap stories and you'll probably be heading downtown like a pro in no time.

S'up half baked?

Help me out here. I like to think of myself as a pretty sane person but every once in a while I seem to get really caught up wondering how other people see me. Not that anyone has any real reason to dislike me but sometimes I wonder if I come across as flaky or overbearing or corny or irritable or considerate or lazy or mellow or grumpy or dependable or ...

The other night a few friends were over (so we were three NTC contributors and a pot head) and one of them said to another "what three words would you use to describe me." After some consideration he replied "ambulatory, ephemeral and perspicacious." And we laughed and we laughed. And then someone said "what's ambulatory?" And we laughed even harder.

And here are the actual definitions:

Ambulatory: adjective
1 : of, relating to, or adapted to walking; also : occurring during a walk
2 : moving from place to place : itinerant
3 : capable of being altered
4 : able to walk about and not bedridden

Ephemeral: adjective
1 : lasting one day only
2 : lasting a very short time

Perspicacious: adjective
1 : of acute mental vision or discernment
2 : keen

Point is, each of us was surprised by the chosen adjectives. Not the three I would have picked at all but valid none the less because each relationship within this group of friends is unique. Now what does it tell us about the person who asked the question? Absolutely nothing. So I am sure that if you polled everyone you know their responses would be so varied that you might be thrilled and saddened and flattered and surprised and resentful and offended and proud and perplexed and appreciated and …

Don't even waste your time thinking about it, just be yourself and quit fretting. I like you (but you shouldn't care if I do or not).

Mr. Baked,

I'm still not sure about you. You hand out advice like you know what you're talking about but sometimes I think you just use other people's problems to give you something to makes wise cracks about. Do you have any credentials? Is your advice actually good advice?

—Just Asking.

Wow, so you're doubting the validity of advice from a columnist who goes by the name Half Baked? So what do you think my credentials are? I don't think my advice is the same you would get from a licensed professional, I just try to be the friend people would go to with their problems if they didn't have to worry about their friends thinking they were nuts. Sure I tend to make funny but only as a way of letting people know that most of our hangups are really not as serious as we make them out to be. We all have to laugh at ourselves sometimes just to put things into perspective.

Dear Half,

Thanks for the review of books you've read in the past year. Some of the titles brought back fond memories and others are now sitting on my bedside table waiting to be read. Quite a few I had never even heard of and I like to think myself well read. So my question is, what has everyone else at the NTC been reading lately?

Signed, I Wear Glasses Because I Read So Much (not because I masturbate).


Email Half-Baked AdviceGlad I could recommend some good reads for you, Glasses. I'm not sure what the rest of the NTCers have been reading but I will see if I can get some of them to share their faves and hopefully they'll have a few suggestions in time for my next article.