Monday, May 28, 2007

Dude, Where's My Car?

Until the week of May 21st, I thought “Dude, Where’s My Car?” was just the name of a bad Ashton Kutcher movie (not to be confused with all of his high quality films…). How naïve of me; I quickly learned what a shortsighted fool I’ve been. On Monday, May 21st, just three days before my birthday, I came home from a late volleyball match and some partying at midnight. Like with most Chicago residents, it can be a real adventure to find parking in my neighborhood, near Diversey and Clark. I may spend up to thirty minutes on my quest to find a vacant spot. Fortunately, I don’t have to drive much. The last time I had driven my car was on Saturday, May 19th. Imagine my surprise to have found a spot open on my own street. Typically, I have to park a few blocks away. As Chicago drivers know, it is necessary to check on your car every few days, to make sure street cleaning signs have not been posted or temporary “no parking by police order” tow signs have not appeared, where you parked. While I parked on my own block Saturday, I had not passed my car since then and decided Monday night, walking home from volleyball, was a good time to check up on my vehicle. I wasn’t exactly sure where I parked; just the general area where I parked. I went to that area. Hmm; my car wasn’t there. I must have parked it a little further down the block than I remembered. Nope; still not there. I went even further. Nothing. When I reached the end of the block, I became very puzzled. My car wasn’t anywhere on the block.

I did what any reasonable person would do and walked up and down the entire block, frantically, searching for my car. I did this several times. My mind began to play tricks on me. You must have parked it a block over, on Burling (Burling, Oakdale, and Surf are the only places outside Orchard where I park my car. When you can’t find your car, you hit all the places where you normally park, sometimes actually forgetting where you left it until you see it.) I headed over to Burling. It’s a long block, I walked all of it, and still no car. Oakdale. I trekked up there; nope. Clearly you parked on Surf. No signs of my car on Surf. F$@*! Where was my car? I knew you parked it on your block. Oh shut up, mind!

This was quite a quagmire. No way would someone steal my car. There are dents and scratches all over it. The driver’s front parking light is busted. The windshield is divided into two halves by a long crack. The driver’s side view mirror is gone, courtesy of some schlep who walked down my block one night and busted out all the driver’s side view mirrors on cars parked on the east side of the street. The crème de la crème are the two bungee cords holding the bumper to the front of the car. See? There’s no way in hell someone would steal my car; it would be like mugging a vagrant. (By the way ladies, I’m single, if you can believe that.)

The only other option was that the city of Chicago towed my car. But why? I didn’t owe any money for parking tickets on the vehicle, had not been parked in a tow zone, and had the proper zone permit for my area (which is punishable by ticket, not tow). I went home and checked online. I found where I could search for my vehicle by plate, to see if it had been towed by the city. “There are no records for this plate” was the response onscreen. Okay, I’ll check by VIN number. “There are no records for this VIN number.” I called 311. The operator verified that my car had not been towed. Again, what the f$@*! I did a little more research and discovered one last option—apparently, the city sometimes finds it necessary to relocate vehicles when they have to do some emergency utility work. I remembered seeing a ComEd truck on my block earlier that day and breathed easier; surely, my car had simply been relocated. I called 311; nope, my car had not been relocated.

Now I really began to panic. I was a comedian for nearly ten years and drove all over North America in the several cars I’ve owned. Having a car stolen was like losing a limb or a best friend. I actually felt bad because I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to it! Plus, I had one hundred copies of my book “God is a Woman: Dating Disasters” in the trunk, which the publisher would make me replace by paying the printing costs, at six dollars a book. (When you live in a studio, your car trunk comes in handy for storage. Remember, still single, ladies!) I also had a bunch of tools in the trunk, including a set of socket wrenches which my father gave me, who has since passed away.

Tuesday, May 22nd, I called the city’s tow and relocation numbers again; there was still no record of the city doing anything with my car. I went to a police station and reported it stolen. When the police found out I drove a ’95 Toyota Corolla (yes, still single! Can you believe it?), they told me it was a very popular car for parts. At that point I came to the realization that my car had been stolen. Everyday, three times a day, I still called the city’s tow and relocation numbers, figuring at some point the car would be junked on the street and the city would tow it. Perhaps I could get my books and sentimental-valued wrenches out of the trunk. My birthday on the 24th came and passed; still no signs of my car. During this time I began speaking with a friend about buying her car, which she is selling because she is moving to New York. She wanted five grand for it. I really didn’t want to spend five grand when I don’t drive that much but I like having a car and I do need it.

On Sunday, May 27th, nearly a week after my car was stolen, I decided to take another hike around the neighborhood, looking for it. (I had already taken several throughout the week.) I walked several blocks away to the old owner’s apartment; maybe he stole the car. I walked up and down eight blocks before I came to Oakdale, a street I had already checked. After contemplating for a few minutes, I decided to head down Oakdale again, just in case some moron was driving my car around the neighborhood and was stupid enough to park it on the street in plain view. I was four blocks away from home. As I walked down the street, I saw a Corolla in the distance. More importantly, I saw a familiar reflection on its windshield; the reflection only a crack across a windshield can make. I got excited and hastened my pace. Yup, it was my car. I checked it over and got in. It clearly had not been driven. I opened the trunk; all of my copies of “God is a Woman: Dating Disasters” and the tools from my dad where still there. Whew! I drove it home and found a spot in front of my place, thinking my ordeal was over.

Upon calling the police, I learned I had to stand by my car and dial 911. An officer came out and wrote up a report, so that I wouldn’t get arrested driving my own car. He shook his head when I told him the story; clearly, this was not the first time he had heard such a thing. Just for kicks, I called the city after he left. They swore, once again—for what had to be about the twentieth time now—that my car had not been towed or relocated. In reality, the city of Chicago had indeed relocated my car, not just once, but twice! (Remember, I checked the Oakdale block the night my car went missing and it was not there; the city relocated it to that block later in the week.)

So, if your car goes missing, don’t worry; the city of Chicago will not have a record of stealing it (which is essentially what happened). You will not have any idea where it is or where it went, whether it was stolen by a criminal or whether Mayor Daley just took it to get detailed. What does Chicago expect you to do when they steal your car and park it some place else? Why, just wander around aimlessly for days or weeks looking for it, until you happen upon it. Just for kicks, they might move it more than once. Isn’t that fun? Hopefully, you don’t need your car daily or foolishly go out and buy a new one; that would screw up the game. Why would you want to do that? Isn’t it fun to wander around looking for your car, thinking important personal items had been lost, not to mention your car? He he he, what a blast! I can’t wait for the next time Chicago decides to play, “Dude, Where’s My Car?” with me! I hope I don’t have to wait until my birthday next year and I thank the city for giving me such a wonderful birthday gift. I love aging five years worrying about my car on one birthday, instead of just the normal one year of aging!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Bungee Cord Has Been Stolen!!

I have a bungee cord. I leave it outside. I went out this Monday to check on it, only to find that it was gone. I marched up and down the street four times, looking for it, thinking I had left it some place else other than I remembered. I then even checked nearby streets. Still no sign of the cord. I was very baffled. I can't imagine anyone would steal my bungee cord. Oh yeah, did I mention that the bungee cord holds the front bumper to my car? A car with a cracked windshield and mild body damage. A '95 Toyota Corolla with IL plate 460 7880. I cannot believe someone stole my car just to get my bungee cord. It still hasn't hit me because I can't imagine anyone would do such a thing to this car or bungee cord. But someone did. Actually, I feel bad for that person. How much must your life suck for you to steal my bungee cord, complete with car attached?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Review From Legal Pub

Legal Pub, a good writer with a humorous style and a knack for choosing intriguing, off-the-beaten path news topics, recently posted a review of "God is a Woman: Dating Disasters." You can read it here:

Or, he gave me permission to repost it here. I encourage you to read it at his link, though, because you should check out his own writings (lots of good stuff) and because there are some interesting replies forming a discussion of the book.

Needless to say (but I will), I am very flattered he liked it, and honored that he took the time to both write and post a review.

God is a Woman... (This is mature subject matter for adults.)

Who said you can not judge a book by its cover? When I first saw the title, I asked myself why Ian Coburn was writing a book about my fiancée. The book is great but I do have a complaint that the cover ought to have a place to insert the photo of a man's significant other just under the title. That way, "God" could be everyone's significant other!

Ian Coburn is a promising comedian who foreshadows in the first chapters his skills as an accomplished author. He provides imagery of what not to do when the near perfect woman falls into your lap. For those readers who are “naturals”, it answers the ill fated question of "I'll bet you do this all the time?" Or "You probably have a girl in every city." Ian provides a roadmap to deflect the negativity by exaggerating the woman's preexisting belief to the point of nonsense. Most women want to be right. Ian suggests that men let them be right. Women sometimes search to justify and explain their behavior with phrases like "I don't usually do things like this." By exaggerating the response to the question, it may create a bad boy imagine in an otherwise nice guy. David D. and Neil S. believe that by capitalizing on the good traits of bad boys (and leaving the abusive traits behind) attraction is magnified. Ian suggests that humor may be a kinder more effective way to magnify attraction.

The book reminds the reader of what they should have learned in the scouts. Be prepared. Necessary tools for every man to have at his disposal include an opening line that promotes common interests. Another is good transportation. A third is good protection. The book advocates being a confident risk taker. Only those who are willing to fail have a chance for success. Being an interesting communicator maximizes attraction. Props may be useful but be wary of mysterious packages in elevators... God is A Woman advocates avoiding women who follow the crowd as they are immature and unlikely to make independent decisions. Not only is a man not likely to be successful with such an individual, but the author actually demonstrates how group mentality can be damaging to the reputation of the pursuer. For legal eagles, a distinction is correctly made between healthy pursuit and stalking. There are too many “fish in the sea” for a man to become obsessed with any one woman.

Coburn introduces the reader to refreshing vocabulary such as “trixie.” Through humorous stories sharing his own personal failures, the author educates the inexperienced man as to how to navigate the minefields inherent to the pursuit of women. This is not just another “how to pick up women” book. It is a refreshing, humorous attempt to advocate improved interpersonal skills and better interaction among the sexes. While the book also attempts to provide female readers with some insight on men; admittedly, most men are so one dimensional in their pursuit of women that no manual is necessary.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

My New Radio Show! Well, Maybe...

NPR is having a contest in a search for a new host for a new show. I think my column "Lunch is Not a Date" would make a great show... of course. More importantly, it's another way for me to reach, help, and entertain people about dating. Here's the link you can post in your browser to hear my entry. Feel free to check it out and if you like it, cast a vote. You'll have to register but it only takes a second. Also, there are plenty of other entries there for you to listen to, too. Thanks!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Amazon in Canada and RedEye Article

I just found out there is an Amazon for Canada. Are you kidding me? I had no idea. Why doesn't anyone tell me these things...? Please feel free to post your reviews from to, as well, if you get a chance. We are slowly reaching more and more readers.

For those who don't live in Chicago, a big paper here, with 600,000 daily readers, used me as an expert for a dating article. This isn't quite as detailed as it was in the paper but here is a link to out-of-towners who might want to read it:

I have begun looking to put up solid dating advice via my column "Lunch is Not a Date" weekly, as opposed to monthly. I will keep you posted... Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Top Two Idiots in the World

There are a lot of stupid people out there in the world. That being the case, you'd think it would be virtually impossible for the two biggest idiots to ever be in the same area, let alone meet. Alas, I was there when it happened.

Over the weekend I went to get my car to go play some tennis. I like to play on the outskirts of the city, where there are plenty of empty courts and where my opponent and I can play for as long as we like; as opposed to playing in the city, where courts are crowded and you can't play for more than an hour. I usually pick up whoever I'm playing and we head out for up to a four hour bout.

I got out to my car. Like most cities, parking is hard to find. You can spend thirty minutes looking for a spot on any given day. I started my car as a parked-illegaly SUV backed down the street, wanting my spot. Another car pulled up behind me. They met at the mid-section of my car and refused to move. I was boxed in. I yelled at them. It didn't matter. Forget that I couldn't get out of the spot and neither of them could park in it, they weren't budging. I threatened to call the police. Nothing. It wasn't until I actually dialed the police and started talking to them before the SUV pulled away. Clearly the two top idiots in the world.

Just FYI, I will be on Spain's largest English speaking radio station tomorrow ( Should be fun. I go on around 1:40 CST and the show is aired online, too. For anyone who wrote a review on Amazon, please feel free to put it up on, too, as that's where Europe buys books online. Thanks. Here is part of an article for a popular Chicago newspaper I was the expert for in today's issue (the sidebars are missing and only available in the hardcopy version).,0,4613636.story

Feel free to check it out. Gotta run; off to move my car for street cleaning. Ugh!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Count Mouse Droppings

I read in the paper today that a restaurant was closed because the city of Chicago found over three hundred mouse droppings in the establishment. That must be a great job, to count mouse droppings. Poor schmuck probably can't use the restroom without thinking about work. A few things come to mind:

Why do they have to count the number of droppings?
What is the cut-off for droppings? Is one hundred okay? Fifty?
Did anyone actually see a mouse? Perhaps rats are bringing the droppings into the place to frame mice, in which case the place shouldn't be closed.

What happens if they find 1000 or more mouse droppings?

Are the mouse droppings in any shapes? For example, is the a dropping in the shape of Mary? That's what we really want to know.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Amazon Spam

This is a difficult subject for me to discuss, and I need to be tactful, which I'm not always good at. Please know that I mean no offense, so if I offend anyone, my apologies. At the same time, it is an important topic.

A fan of "God is a Woman: Dating Disasters" emailed me today to let me know that there has been a lot of spam about the book on Amazon. I have not been on Amazon in some time; I've been far too busy with various articles and other items to help people and get the word out about the book, which in turn helps people more, while entertaining them (always my goal). Speaking of which, here is a blurb I managed to get on that was published tody:

I figured it wasn't really spam but rather some zealous fans chatting up the book a little much. So I went to Amazon to check it out for myself.

Holy crap! There is tons of chatter about the book which does indeed look very much like spam. I can't stand spam myself. The problem isn't mentioning the book in a review of another book. That's totally cool and Amazon even has a product link for that now, I noticed. If you read a book that relates to another book, you should mention it. It is how word of mouth spreads about books and word of mouth is tremendously important to the success of books, especially ones like mine. But I found mention of my book in reviews of books that it has nothing to do with. I also found it mentioned on discussion boards for other books. Those boards are intended for the discussion of those other books. There are general discussion boards on Amazon where you can post about books or books of certain genres but not on boards for other books, please. If a discussion occurs on one about the best comedy books or dating books, etc, sure, okay, that's totally cool.

So what do I mean exactly? Take today for instance. I do tons of articles, columns, and work tirelessly to get reviews of this book out there. This morning I posted about a review I received from a popular PUA site. I put up the link. Now that link is all over the place on Amazon, on discussion boards for other books. It's the placing of such a link or comments in numerous places that becomes spam. I didn't post the link here for it to be placed everywhere. Sure, it's fine to put it up on Amazon on my book or in a relevant discussion for it. But what does it have to do with The Professional Bachelor or The Game? Nothing. There in lies the problem.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the praise and word of mouth about the book. Please make sure you are respectful about it to other books, though. I realize some of you are defending the book and me from skeptics, and while I appreciate it, it's not always necessary. Unlike many authors, I work my ass off to get exposure for this book. If people think that word of mouth and any recommendations thereof are just bs, so be it. Don't let it get to you. If they don't get that me doing two radio shows last week, getting a review up yesterday, a blurb in an article today, an upcoming blurb in "Glamour," creates fans and word of mouth, so be it. There will always be negative people, trying to pick arguments about everything; that's the way the world works.

There are other ways to mention the book on Amazon, which are non-intrusive and that's the key. When people read about a certain book, they don't want to read arguments about another book, you know? That's intrusive. But if they want to search for types of books, they can peruse listmanias and search for keywords. So, feel free to add keywords for searches for the book and mention it in listmanias, but please be more careful about keeping your zeal from appearing like spam.

Thanks everyone and thanks again for all your support. The book has been very successful and I owe most of that to reviews from readers. While its Amazon sales have dropped off some lately (it was in the top 1000 for a couple weeks a few weeks back), bookstore sales have picked up. So, it all comes out even.

Thanks again and if anyone wants to discuss this further, you may email me at Also feel free to contact me if you feel offended by this post in some way. Thanks.

PUA Review,PUA's in General, and Lifetime Gig

There is an ever growing PUA (Pick up Artist) community, which I find very intriguing. To oustsiders, especially women, it may appear as a cold community, what with all their terms used to discuss how to be successful with women. In truth, they are just giving each other pointers on how to be successful with the ladies. Sure, some are probably jerks using the information inapproriately but having been exchanging emails with a few for a while now, I find they are 90% just really good guys who have found a way to help out those less fortunate with women be successful, including themselves at one point. In reality, I think women are meeting better guys via them than the typical guys women might meet at a club on any given night. It's kind of like the movie "Hitch." A lot of these guys are just good guys who need to have the playing field leveled better to compete with the jerks and pua books and forums are helping them. If you check it out and become more interested, I suggest you pick up a copy of Mystery Method to understand their terminology.

I was honored yesterday to have one of the forum heads give my own book a big thumbs up in a review, which you can read here:

Also, I don't know if I mentioned this already, but starting in June I will be answering questions for women on the Lifetime Network Website as part of a panel of experts. Should be a lot of fun! I've already starting answering questions, which I really enjoy doing. Feel free to send me yours, as well, to

I also wanted to take a moment and thank you again for the reviews on Amazon for the book. I recently discovered there is a separate Amazon-UK, where you can post reviews, too. Who knew? I found out when I started answering dating questions from a guy in Sweden and another in Norway.