Ask Bark: How To Replace A Long-Term Love

That’s right, bitches (I only call you bitches because I don’t know your names individually), Ask Bark is BACK! I have a gazillion emails sitting in my box, and I have this nifty website that I can use to answer them, so why not? Plus, since this site is not designed to generate anything resembling “clicks,” I can ramble on and on about whatever I want, and I’m not obligated to pick something “interesting.” Also, here’s a cool picture of a Bronco. Yay!

Let’s kick this off with a letter from an actual female reader who’s looking to replace her tired ‘Lude.

Jenica writes:


I’m attempting to look for a reliable car within my preferred ($8000 or less) budget, that’s a little sporty. I’m about ready to break up with my faithful partner of about 10 years, at over 200k miles, a ’98 honda prelude. A manual is a must, and a coupe is quintessential. Of course within my budget, the only cars I like (ie: have style) with less than 100k miles on it come with a sad salvage title. I’m having some trouble weeding out the ones that will last as long as my current partner without numerous major bills. And as much as I would love to own an s2000, I do need something with some semblance of a back seat. I live north of Sacramento, Ca in the Chico area.

Looking forward to your reply,


First of all, congrats on having a cool, unique name. Also, congrats on being a woman who drives a manual transmission and would love an S2000. Now, let’s get to the answer—it’s not as simple as either of us would like.

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The Media Will Show You All The Pictures You Need To Have An Opinion

Oh, that crazy Donald Trump. He’s at it again with more racist policies. This time, he’s signing an executive order to double the minimum salary for H-1B workers to $130,000, making it impossible for those poor Indians to come over to America and take all the tech jobs.

Facebook is enraged. Every public post on the subject has said that Trump is a moron/racist/sexist/idiot.Well, he might be all of those things, or none of them. But one thing he certainly is not is a Democratic Congresswoman from California named Zoe Lofgren.

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Nothing Says White Privilege Like A Good Protest

These are interesting, unprecedented times, to be sure. After all, who could have guessed that someday we’d have a president who would put a temporary travel ban on Middle Easterners? Well, I mean other than that time that Obama did it. This president specifically put a ban on seven Muslim countries—unthinkable. Hold on, I forgot about that time that Obama identified those same countries when he removed them from the Visa Waiver Program. But this president wants to indiscriminately prevent all people from an hispanic country from coming here. What? Obama did that, too? Damn. At least he didn’t strand and detain people at the airport…oh, FFS, let’s just move on.

No, the real story here is the sheer volume of protests. I mean, for real. Dude’s been president for, like, a week, and I’m guessing that some people have just been bouncing from protest to protest. And there’s been something interesting about the protests, something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on until today.

“I have learned something this morning,” my friend wrote to me via Facebook Messenger early today. “White people love to protest.”

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That Moment When You Realize That You’re Fine With Being A Soccer Dad

In recent days, there’s been much discussion among my fans/haters (who are really just fans under a different name) comparing my dear brother and me. Frankly, this is a stupid comparison, and it wouldn’t exist if we didn’t share both a name and a blog. We have had remarkably different lives, separated by six years, eight grades in school (Jack skipped two grades, and when the school wanted to do the same with me, my parents declined, with my father saying that advancing Jack was the “greatest mistake of his life”), and nearly completely different interests.

In fact, there are only four things in which we’ve ever shared an interest.

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I Have An Obligation To You

Let me start by saying this: To anybody who’s ever read a single word I’ve written, thank you. Even if you think I’m an idiot, a fool, and “a mere shadow of my brother,” I’ll still say thank you. Over the last five years, I’ve written nearly half a million words that have found their way into publication, and if weren’t for the people who both love and hate what I have to say, none of that would have been possible.

As such, I have an obligation to you. But it might not be what you think it is.

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Merry Christmas, Bronchitis, Retrospective, Blah Blah

WordPress isn’t working well right now. Assume a really cool photo here-Bark

As 2016 draws to close, I’m entertaining a guest who always seems to visit me around this time of year—bronchitis. I felt it coming on at the end of the day yesterday, hacked all night to the point where I pulled the muscles on the right side of my ribcage (which meant that I was now coughing up a lung and in severe muscular pain every time that I did it), and I’m now on my second dose of Mucinex for the day. Oh, well. I’ve been getting bronchitis since I was a child, and I’ve survived every other bout with it. No doubt this one will end up with the same result.

However, my desire to do nothing other than sit on a couch and drink fluids means that I’m going to get my 2016 retrospective in a few days before everybody else does. Yay, me!

So what did 2016 mean to me? Oh, man. As any of the professional athletes giving insightful interviews after games might say about what that most recent win meant to them, It meant everything. 

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Busman’s Holiday


It’s one of my favorite English (as in Merrie Olde England) phrases: busman’s holiday. As a child, I was able to elicit the meaning from the context in which I normally read it: to take a busman’s holiday is to work, or at the very least to visit your workplace, on your day off. But what is a “busman”, and why do they work on their days off?

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