What kind of Sexual are you?

Disclaimer: This is not a post about SEX. If you arrived here looking for a post about SEX, I’m sorry you’ll have to look elsewhere. But please be sure you subscribe to my blog first.


Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of sexual I am. I’m not talking Heterosexual or Homosexual or Bisexual or even Asexual. I’m talking about these vague terms that describe the way we men-folk look and dress. Have you noticed, more and more frequently, there seems to be popping up (pun intended), lots of ways to describe men as “________sexual”.

Terms like Metrosexual and Ubersexual.

So I set out to do some research on what kind of sexual I am. I’ve often joked on this site about being a little bit Metrosexual. My nickname amongst my group of friends is “Metro” so I guess maybe I show some signs of fitting that bill. In small town Michigan I probably am a little bit Metrosexual. Put me in Manhattan and I’d probably be labeled frumpy.


Exhibit A: Metrosexual

According to Dictionary.com Metrosexual is defined as:

A heterosexual, usually urban male who pays much attention to his personal appearance and cultivates an upscale lifestyle.

Okay, that sort of works. I am heterosexual and I do often pay attention to my personal appearance as evidenced by the amount of hair product I go through every year. But I’m not really an urban male although I was for a little while many years ago. I guess sometimes I try to cultivate an upscale lifestyle although mostly I prefer my simple small-town lifestyle.

Maybe I’m more of a displaced Metrosexual, more of a Pastoralsexual.

I went looking for other possibilities and came across the category of men-folk classified as Ubersexual.

According to Dictionary.com Ubersexual is defined as:

A man who exhibits traditional masculine qualities as well as the caring nature of the New Man.

Huh?!? What does that even mean?!? I moved on.

Upon further research I discovered that a few months ago the category of men-folk classified as Lumbersexual started to become part of the vernacular. Now granted, how the terms “lumber” and “sexual” fit together is a stretch to most of us unless you want to make lots of jokes about hardwood. But I checked it out and it’s such a new concept that the term does not yet appear in any Dictionary.

But I found this tidbit on Gawker.com

To facilitate an easy discussion, it might help you to think of a Lumbersexual as a foil to the Metrosexual, the alleged nadir of masculinity from last decade. So, instead of slim-legged pants, envision pants with a little extra leg room (see: “regular cut”). Rather than be clean-shaven, the Lumbersexual has an unkempt beard. The Metrosexual is clean and pretty and well-groomed; the Lumbersexual spends the same amount of money, but looks filthy. Sartorially speaking, a Lumbersexual is a delicate tri-blend of L.L. Bean, Timberlake, and Sears.

Okay I thought, that sounds pretty good. Kind of a more rugged and manly metrosexual, an LL Bean type, who is allowed at times to be filthy. That sounded like it might be right up my alley, so I tried it out for a bit.


Exhibit B: Lumbersexual

It was all going great, I was feeling manly and filthy and lumbery.

Then one day a couple of weeks ago, I read about a new kind of man-folk called a Spornosexual, another exciting breed of masculinity sprung from the roots of the Metrosexual, and named from a combination of the words “sports” and “porno” and “sexual”.

Esquire Magazine described a Spornosexual as this, while referencing Brad Pitt’s appearance in the movie Fight Club:

The spornosexual is a more extreme breed of man than his metro forebear. He is just as plucked, tanned and moisturised, but leaner, buffer, more jacked and obsessed not just with “looking good” in the abstract, but with the actual physical proportions of his frame: the striation of his abs, the vascularity of his biceps, the definition of his calves.

WOW! That sounded exciting. Lean, buff, jacked, and looking good with striated abs and vascular biceps, whatever that stuff means. So I ripped off the heavy flannel shirt, took three showers to clean off all the accumulated filth, shaved the beard and started working out, three, four, sometimes five times a day. I’d finally found my calling. I was gonna be a “Spornosexual”.


Exhibit C: Spornosexual

I had done it, I had found the kind of man-folk I wanted to be. I felt good, like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.

But then it all came crashing down. I was burnt out from trying to be something I wasn’t. I just wanted to just be a regular guy again, a husband, a Dad, a friend and a blogger. I wasn’t a Spornosexual or a Lumbersexual or a Ubersexual or even a Metrosexual.

I just wanted to be a regular guy. Because who needs labels anyway?

So, that’s what I did.

And you have to admit, there’s something sexy about that!


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A Valentine’s Day Song

So I’ve been working on a song for Valentine’s Day. This is a pretty big Valentine’s Day this year. It doesn’t often fall on a Saturday, plus with the whole Fifty Shades phenomenon going on should be lots of fun for couples.

It’s called “On Valentine’s Day You Don’t Get No Say”.

I think it’s pretty good, kind of a love song, country western kind of tune, you know, from the guy’s perspective.  This is just a draft. Let me know what you think!

I have to give some credit to Ross Murray at Drinking Tips for Teens for a little inspiration on this whole topic with his recent, very funny post about Valentine’s Day and Fifty Shades.

You can and should go read it here!

And if you liked this post, or even if you didn’t like this post, you might really like this Valentine’s post from a couple years ago: A Conversation Heart Conversation


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Going Home

I get to go home tomorrow.


Assuming the weather cooperates.

I’ve been on the road for five days. If all goes well I’ll get home late tomorrow evening.

Five days is probably peanuts to a lot of the “road warriors” out there that travel for their jobs, but I’m ready to go home. I drove to tonight’s stop for 2.5 hours through a mixture of blinding, white-out snow fall and slick dangerous roads, to short periods of sunny skies and clear roads. It would switch from one to the other about every couple miles, typical of Michigan or probably any other place in North America in the winter these days.

I’m in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for the night. My knuckles are still white from the two hour grip on the steering wheel as I tried to avoid sliding off icy roads. For dinner I ate a McDonald’s Southwest Salad and I’m drinking a cheap bottle of wine scored at the local Wal-Mart a ½ mile away. ( I suddenly wonder how often the word “wine” appears in my posts?!?)

‘Cause remember, work travel is a romantic and sophisticated thing!

The blood is slowly flowing back into my knuckles.

Not to get back on the local motel thing, but I’m in the most adorable little local motel I’ve ever stayed in. I may have to get on Trip Advisor and leave a five star review. Outside there is an epic snowstorm, crazy, blinding, accumulating snow… at least the last time I looked. In the back of my mind I’m thinking if there were anywhere to be stranded for an extra day this would be a fine place.

But I’m ready to go home.

I’m seriously ready to go home.

I want to sleep in my bed. I want to hug my wife. I want to see my kids. I want to see my goats.

In a few days I’ll have forgotten anything about this trip like so many before. The next one will be on the horizon to prepare for. This was a successful trip and the next one will be too.

That’s what I do.

The hardest part for me is the leaving, the walking out the door.

Sometimes I have to talk myself up, like Stuart Smalley.

“You’re good enough, you’re smart enough and doggone it people like you.”

Once I’m on the road though, literally five minute later, driving down the road, the salesman shows his big handsome face and I’m like “YEAH BUDDY LET’S GET THIS SHIT DONE!”

So I get it done.

Can you say “Jeckyl and Hyde?!?”

A loud dose of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” through the car stereo helps. There isn’t a set of car speakers out there capable of playing this song at an adequate volume.

When I’m gone, I don’t think it’s easy at home. My wife definitely notices, suddenly a single parent for several days. My kids? With their crazy teenage lifestyles, sometimes I seriously wonder if they know I’m gone.

I hope they do. I really do.

But when the time comes I’m always ready to come home.

To sleep in my bed. To hug my wife. To see my kids. To see my goats.

I get to go home tomorrow.



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Weathered Barns and Corn Fields

I’ll take you to the city:

We’ll walk around cobbled sidewalks while pretending not to glance into the street level Brownstown apartments. We’ll stroll down busy streets and stare at the bright lights and neon signs. We’ll dress up in nice clothes, like we belong there, then we’ll go out to fancy restaurants and eat sophisticated, delectable food and drink martinis and expensive wine. We’ll visit museums and ride the elevators in skyscraper buildings and buy overpriced cups of coffee. We’ll go listen to the symphony or watch Broadway level theater productions or maybe see an opera.

I’ll take you to the mountains:

We’ll lace up our hiking boots over our thick wool socks and we’ll hike through beautiful wilderness and canoe on rapidly flowing rivers. We’ll swim in lakes and shower under flowing waterfalls. We’ll pitch a tent and sleep with the crickets and the coyotes and the bears, or maybe we’ll sleep underneath the stars if the weather permits. We’ll take photographs of bald eagles and rows of pine trees and epic rock formations. We’ll visit rustic buildings built from hand hewn logs. In the winter we’ll ski down crisp white slopes, or snowshoe through deep snow. We’ll take full breaths of the cleanest, most refreshing air and feel as if we’ve experienced the fountain of youth.

I’ll take you to the tropics:

We’ll stand under palm trees with their thick coconuts ready to be harvested. We’ll sit on sandy beaches and bathe in the warmth of the sun. We’ll let our skin turn from pale white to dark red to an appealing brown. We’ll float in the ocean surf for so long that when we lie in bed we’ll still feel that motion of the moving waves. We’ll eat tropical fruits and drink margaritas in front of a roaring beach bonfire. We’ll wade through the ocean surf in our bare feet with our khaki pants rolled up to our knees like the Kennedy’s. We’ll collect shells and beach glass and bring them home as souvenirs. We’ll watch evening sunsets and morning sunrises and not worry about whether we’re getting enough sleep.

Then when it’s time to come home.

When it’s time to leave the city or the mountains or the tropics.

I’ll take you back to weathered barns and corn fields.

We’ll walk out our door and stare across the dirt road at the latest crop that we’ve been given the honor and privilege to watch grow through another robust, Midwest summer. We’ll drive down a rural road and pull to the side and admire an old abandoned barn, long past its usefulness, with its damaged, weathered wood. We’ll imagine the many amazing lives of people just trying to survive, that have passed through those barn doors. We’ll roll down the car windows on a late summer day and listen to the soothing sound of rustling corn stalks as a warm breeze blows. We’ll hear the tsk, tsk, tsk sound of an irrigation system pumping water as it slowly creeps around a field of crops. We’ll smell the precious smell of manure spread as fertilizer on a growing field.

Because that’s what really soothes my soul.

And that’s where you and I are supposed to be.


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Remember that time I was Freshly Pressed?

I’m sitting here in an old school motel in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, near the Northern shores of Lake Michigan. My eyes dart from the words on the computer screen that I slowly type on my old laptop to long periods of staring out the window of my room as ghostly apparitions of blowing snow race across the empty parking lot. My toes are cold and I can’t seem to get them to warm up even though they’re wrapped tightly in heavy wool socks. The desk where I am sitting is next to the window that faces out to the parking lot and I can see my car parked in front of the door to my room, some parking lot lights and the brightly lit motel sign. At the bottom of the sign in bright red neon, the word VACANCY calls out to the few passing cars though no one seems to heed the call.

I have the blinds wide open but I’m not worried about privacy because I think I might be the only guest here tonight. I have no concerns about someone walking by and staring in my window. What is likely a thriving little motel during the summer and fall tourist months is pretty much a ghost town on this frigid cold February night.

The old couple that owns this particular motel where I will rest my head tonight have to be in their 80’s. They live on site and the place is spotlessly clean. This is the third year in a row I have stayed here and each year I walk in and wonder if the old women who checks me in will remember me. But she doesn’t and I’m not really surprised considering the number of people she sees every year. But as always, as I signed the credit card receipts and passed them back to her she asked me:

“Do you drink coffee? I’ll have coffee made in the morning.”

“I sure do you” I replied, then added, “I know, I come up here every February on my way to Houghton and I always stay here.”

She glanced up at me with proud eyes that sparkled like the bitter cold snow outside and with the brightest smile she said “thank you.”

I added, “I really like this place, please don’t ever close it down!”

“We won’t, as long as we’re around” she offered.

I took my key and settled in to room 17.


I stay in small motels like this all the time when I travel for work. I’m self employed, no company credit cards, no expense accounts, no perks. Every dollar I spend on accommodations or meals or gas for my car comes right off the top. So I do my research and I find the places that are clean and well kept and affordable.

But there’s more than that.

Yes, these motels are unquestionably no-frills, and I’ve had a few objectionable nights over the last few years where I wished I had chosen the local chain hotel.

But the homey, small town places that I find, that I consistently come back to are all privately owned businesses that the owners take pride in and work hard to keep their guests happy. As someone who spent almost 20 years working in a family business I respect that to no end and will do what I can to support that work ethic.

Plus the people are interesting!

There’s the 80’s something couple where I stay tonight.

There’s the Vietnam era veteran with the US Marines baseball cap who always says “I’d put my rooms up against any place in town!”

There’s the lesbian couple who own a place called the “Triangle Motel.”

There’s the macho guy who is a retired police chief and who always has his little dog with him.

There’s the guy who is always drinking from a can of “Miller Lite” while checking in guests.

These places are remnants from a bygone era, like the old Route 66 motels that families stayed in while driving across the country many decades ago. Sadly, these days, for every thriving motel you find that is worth the $50 room rate, there are two or three more that are sitting abandoned along rural routes that folks no longer choose to drive along.

So… what does this have to do with being Freshly Pressed?

Two years ago in February, 2013 my post Old Barn Coat was featured on the WordPress Freshly Pressed page. It happened during this same road trip that I am on now. I started writing the post while I was at home, but I finished it while sitting in the same motel that I sit in now, while sucking down a bottle of wine, on a similar, bitter cold Saturday February night.

I posted it the following Sunday.

It was a great post and I knew it at the time. It wasn’t my usual sarcastic, silly, juvenile humor. I remember struggling to figure out where and how I was going to tie everything together, but when the last line, the culmination, finally appeared to me, I knew I had come up with something good. I don’t remember thinking about the post being “pressed” but I knew it was something special regardless of the number of likes and comments.

Freshly Pressed is the closest most of us will ever get to something we write being “published”. Sure, no one is paying you for what you wrote but it is an example of someone who you don’t know, someone who doesn’t follow your blog, someone who isn’t your friend , either face to face or “electronically”, noticing something you’ve written and deciding it’s good enough that thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of people should see it. That’s an honor none of us should take for granted.


The words are flowing out now like an open tap. It’s funny how that works, one minute you can’t think of anything to say, but a few struggling, forced paragraphs later, you’ve lost track of time and you have to force yourself to stop typing.

I’ve glanced up from the screen and noticed some of the parking lot lights are off and although the VACANCY light still screams out to passing cars, I know that motel office hours are only until 11:00 and there won’t be much traffic tonight. Blowing snow still dances across the parking lot and I’m glad I’m in a warm room.

Tomorrow morning I will go say hello to the old lady at the front desk. I will turn in my key and share some of the coffee she has made. We will likely talk about the weather and life and why I’m visiting the area and I trust her eyes will sparkle as much as they did tonight when I told her I was a repeat guest.

The coffee will taste better than any cup of Starbucks Coffee bought on any corner of Main Street USA.

Because it’s not about the coffee, its about the people you share it with.

Freshly Pressed or not.


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Let’s Have a Super Bowl Party!

Hey all, its Super Bowl time! As you know, the Super Bowl has become the only sporting event that is celebrated like a National Holiday. Hopefully you get the opportunity to enjoy this amazing event with family and friends. At Brown Road, we always celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with some new tailgate style recipes.

Here’s this year’s menu. We’ve thoroughly tested these recipes over the last week or so to be sure everything runs smoothly and so we could confidently share them with our readers. These recipes can be served with your choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.

1.Bill Belichips

1 lb bag corn flour
2 cups snake oil
Red and blue food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put corn flour, snake oil and 12.5 drops each of red and blue food coloring in a large mixing bowl
Quickly and discretely remove 2 drops of red and blue food coloring
Mix thoroughly
Once mixed place flour on counter top and spread thinly with a rolling pin
Cut into triangles and place on baking sheet
Place into oven for 30 minutes
Serve with your favorite salsa or guacamole

2. Pinocchio Breadsticks


Go to the local Fazoli’s restaurant, order the cheapest thing on the menu and score as many free, unlimited breadsticks as you can carry in your pockets or hand bag

Bring them home and serve in your favorite Pinocchio breadstick dispenser

3. Seahawk Soup

1 large onion diced
3 large carrots diced
5 stalks celery diced
1 large live Seahawk (you can catch these at the local landfill, they’re really just seagulls)
8 cups water

Mix all ingredients except live seahawk in a large pot and bring to a boil
Bring temperature down to a simmer
Place live Seahawk in pot and cover (similar to how you would cook a lobster)
Let simmer for one hour.
Serve with Pinnochio Breadsticks

4. Crotch Grab Croissants

1 tsp yeast
½ cup milk
1 tsp sugar
2 cups flour
1 seagull egg
1 tsp each Green and Blue food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
Reach down between your legs and hold your junk for 30 seconds like Marshawn Lynch
Without washing your hands, mix all ingredients in the bowl
Shape dough into croissant shapes and place on large baking sheet
Place in oven for 30 minutes
While croissants are cooking, stand in front of oven holding your junk again and repeating over and over “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.” This last step is important to ensure that the food coloring morphs into the proper imagery.

5. Tom Brady Brownies


Any box brownie mix will do
8 oz premium marijuana

Prepare brownie mix per instructions on box
While preparing brownie mix, smoke one or two bongs of the marijuana
Place about ½ of the remaining marijuana into the brownie mix
Cook brownies per instructions on box
Continue smoking the marijuana
Tom Brady will magically appear on the brownies
Eat all of the brownies
Eat all of the rest of the food in the entire house

Hope you enjoy these fine recipes! Happy Super Bowl! Have fun and as always don’t drink and drive.


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Where did all my BILFs go?


When Brown Road Chronicles was at its peak back in late 2013 before I took my fourteen month-long sabbatical, I had a long list of BILFs. This list was an extraordinary compilation of BILFs culled from many intensive years of blogging, liking, reading, and commenting. Sometimes even just a quick glance at a blogger’s avatar and I instantly knew that they’d be a strong candidate for my list of BILFs. More importantly, a timely, well thought out blog post or comment, full of voluptuous and shapely words that exemplified years of writing experience was sure to get a blogger on my list of BILFs.

So, what had once been a short list of BILFs when I had first started blogging had over time grown into a long list of about seventy-five BILFs.

What was I going to do with all these BILFs? I could barely keep track of all of them. I felt overwhelmed.

Several times I tried condensing my list of BILFs. But it was challenging and complicated because once you’ve determined a blogger is a BILF it’s difficult to just scratch them off of a list.

Plus these were all BILFs who wrote words that were fresh and polished and sexy. These were BILFs who wrote words that exuded sophistication and competency. These were BILFs who were no doubt seasoned and mature, full of deep metaphors and profound thoughts and humor.

Especially humor. Because, although a blogger can dress their site up with lots of fancy imagery, a good sense of humor is one of the primary means of becoming one of my BILFs.

But something had to give.

One day I dug down deep and found the strength. I fired up WordPress and sorted through the long list of BILFs, hour after hour, contemplating whether each was really still a BILF or if I was hanging on to old memories, remembering old posts, focusing on days gone past. Some of the BILFs had long since abandoned their sites, given up, stopped trying. Those were the simplest BILFs to say goodbye to. They weren’t BILFs anymore and they were easy to cross off the list, although there were a select number of these inactive BILFs who were my very first BILFs and who I decided should always remain.

Then there were the BILFs who were still around but who just didn’t have the same appeal as when we had first met. They had become old and stale and boring and with some clarity of thought I was able to determine that they were no longer BILFs either and they were removed from my list. It was a long process but I was able to narrow the list from about seventy-five BILFs down to about fifty BILFs.

That’s about how many BILFs I have now, approximately fifty. I have met a few new BILFs since I reopened Brown Road Chronicles at the beginning of the year and I am looking forward to getting to know those BILFs better. But on a recent scan through those original fifty or so BILFs I discovered that only about twenty, at best, are still active. Perhaps it’s time to sort through the list of BILFs again.

Now let’s be frank here, in this widespread community of talent there’s certainly no shortage of BILFs. And now that I’m back at this on a pretty steady basis, I’d definitely like to discover some new BILFs.

So here’s your job.

If you’re a regular here, you should have a good read on my personality and sense of humor. In the comments section, please recommend one or two of your BILFs… bloggers that you like to follow… that you think I might like to follow as well.

I’ll take a look and perhaps they’ll become one of my BILFs too.

My Bloggers I Like to Follow….

What did you think I was talking about?!?


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