"1. It ain't over till it's over. 2004. Red Sox down 0-3. If Mariano Rivera can let one slip, think how your buddy Phil's bladder quivers as he prepares to shank the serve on match point. On the flip side, when you're 1 point from victory, it's no time for experimentation. End it.
2. Do unto others. It doesn't guarantee reciprocation, but you'll never lose. No one's going to scoff, "You delivered as promised? Congrats on being elected mayor of Chump City!"
3. You can't save someone from himself. You can try - and you will - but you'll fail. Your belief that you know what's best will always be trumped by his belief that he knows better. Treat his crash-and-burn like a good New Year's party: Enjoy the carnage, but offer to stay and help clean up afterward.
4. Always consider the source. So Captain Bitter calls you a suckbag behind your back. Go ahead, internalize. Worry that he's right. Always a good use of your energy. Or realize that he's just trying to find someone to hang out with.
5. Life isn't fair. If it were, the boss's kid wouldn't have been promoted to Senior Executive Suckbag, and John Mayer would in no way be bigger than John Hiatt. But it's not, so the only thing to do is . . .
6. Shut up and play. Vent? Sure. Reflect? You bet. Whining has never been a "turn-on" choice in an online-dating profile for good reason. Everyone, though, clears a path for the guy who makes Plan B look better than Plan A.
7. Surround yourself with good people. Bad taste in pants can be forgiven. Bad taste in friends cannot.
8. Sh-- or get off the pot. There's nothing less captivating or inspiring than watching a man ponder. Heck, even Thoreau eventually stopped staring at the pond and wrote a book.
9. Think before you speak. Five seconds. 1... 2... 3... 4... 5. Just turn over a thought and inject it with a trace of reason before you open your mouth (or hit send, for that matter).
10. There's no pleasing some people. These folks also take no joy from air hockey, puppies, or Spinal Tap, and should receive minimal contact.
11. Get over yourself. The curing-cancer story is a nice résumé builder and good for about 5 minutes of party talk. After that, all anyone wants to hear is a good joke.
12. Stop thinking with your other head. Oh, yes, you do. For proof, take this test: Count on one hand how many times getting a little action has been as blissfully uncomplicated as it seemed. Still have five fingers doing nothing, right? You know what to do with them.
13. Die trying - to put your teeth back in after sex with twins at your 100th birthday party."