My wife is a teacher, so she went home to see friends and family in California for the week while it’s snowed like three times in New York. I’ve used the time by myself to embrace bachelorhood, which for me means tossing my clothes on the floor, ordering takeout, and working an extra four hours a day. But don’t worry, I’m going to let my hair down tonight: happy hour drinks PLUS going over to a married couple’s’ apartment to play Settlers of Catan. We might even play TWICE! I’m sorry: I cannot slow this car down, as it doesn’t have brakes.

The most exciting thing that happened this week was after midnight on Monday night, when there was a huge crash in the apartment next to mine — like a door being kicked down, or a heavy piece of furniture getting overturned. Then shouting between a man and a woman. Then two more crashes, not as loud.

The walls between apartments in my building are barely more than drywall because the owners are stingy as hell and divided one large apartment into two cramped ones. So I put my ear to the wall — STRICTLY TO SEE IF I NEEDED TO CALL THE POLICE, OF COURSE — and I got to hear almost an ENTIRE break-up. It was fascinating. I genuinely couldn’t tell whether the guy was a psychopath or just got sick of the girl being a melodramatic harpy, and I was reminded that it only takes one crazy person in a relationship to make both people crazy. I’m so happy they broke up. Now they just need to “figure out what to do logistically.” That’s what the guy said after they both calmed down. And that, my friends, is why you don’t move in with someone unless you’re pretty goddamn sure you want to spend the rest of your life with them. 

Anyway, today’s mailbag is a bit short because we didn’t get a ton of submissions (email us!), but we do manage to cover a range of subjects, including condoms, keepers, draft position, wayward friends, and — yes, the header photo applies — how to pick up bitches.

Dear KSK,
FF: Lot of WRs on the move in the past few days, which guys of Welker, Wallace, Amendola, Harvin, and Boldin do you think have become more/less valuable fantasy-wise?

Welker takes a slight dip but remains very valuable, especially in PPR leagues. Wallace takes a big step down; Amendola a big step up, though his durability gives me pause. Harvin takes a big step up, but keep in mind that the Seahawks are a run-first team — last season it was common for the team’s top receiver in a game to only have like four catches (of course, Harvin will do some running as well, but I’d still temper my expectations). Boldin I’m not sure about — it seems like Kaepernick has a good connection with Crabtree, who’s a similarly built possession receiver. Throw in Vernon Davis with that mix, and I’d say Boldin takes a step back.

Sex: Haven’t gotten any in awhile, I’m gearing up for some with a new lady. I am looking for condom recommendations. I haven’t had much sex overall, and when I have it’s been with girls on birth control or flat out unprotected because I make really solid decisions all the time. Can you recommend any brands/styles that are reliable and don’t reduce sensation as much as possible?
-Jimmy H.

Go with thin and lubricated. I’ve never exactly kept notes on different brands and styles, but I was always happy with Trojan Ultra Thin Lubricated, or, as I called them in the drug store while avoiding eye contact with the cashier, “the, uh, Trojans in the gray box. Yeah.”

ALSO: seriously, wear a condom every time until you’re in a monogamous relationship and both of you have been tested.

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Dear KSK,
No question, just a thanks for the insight and entertainment. Here is a picture of Christmas Abbott, because she is awesome.
-Sean

Yup, she’s great. For those of you who are unfamiliar, you can learn more about her over at my old site With Leather.

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Dear KSK,

Football first: Our league is finally old enough that life events (weddings) will be in full swing in August and there is no way 12 of us will be able to be in one location for a live draft. Is it worth it to try and get a live draft in late July or should be just do an online draft in August or early Sept so we are closer to the season. Bonus option: What about a draft after the 1st Thursday night game but before Week 1 Sunday games (soooo Friday or Saturday night). No one is drafting a player off 1 game anyways right? It’s like the first week of waivers where someone bids 50$ on a player they drop 2 weeks later.

No way. Awful idea. People will overvalue whoever plays awesome in that first Thursday game. Remember last year? Kevin Ogletree would have been picked in the third round by some poor fool. And yeah, bad on that idiot, but it would still skew everyone’s decision-making one way or the other.

Just do an online draft. It’s quick, efficient, and there’s a chat window for making fun of whoever gets Chris Johnson. Not as fun as hanging out with everybody in person, but still a good time.

Ladies: What is the better approach to ask a girl “out” that you have met a 1 or 2 times, have mutual friends with, facebook friends, but you probably aren’t going to run in the city…facebook message or have a mutual friend re-introduce you.

I like that you put “out” in quotes. “So I want to ask her ‘out.’ You know, like ‘out-of-doors’? I understand that’s part of your Earth mating ritual.”

I think we’ve reached a place where a Facebook message is acceptable. Still, though, nothing’s as good as meeting face-to-face, so the best move is to USE Facebook to figure out and event you’ll both be at (you can have a mutual friend set up some bullshit bar meet-up if need be), and then casually bump into her there. She’s powerless to your machinations!

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Dearest Uff,
Fantasy First: 12 team relatively standard scoring (no 6 point passing TDs, 2QBs or any other terrible rules), keep 3 players where they were drafted, waiver wire pickups are a last round pick (which both sucks and rocks). Anyways, a bit of a wealth of potential keepers that I need to weed down (for now at least). Who do you like of(Round picked in parenthesis): Gronk (2nd), Harvin (4th), Torrey Smith (6th) Ridley(12th), Morris (14th), Moreno (Waiver), and Danario Alexander (Waiver)?

I’d probably go with Gronk, Harvin, and Morris depending on where you pick. I’d keep Gronk for a late-second rounder, but if you’ve got the 13th pick, I might drop him for the value of Ridley in the 12th.

On to the (lack of) sexy stuff: I’m a PhD student, just came out of consecutive relatively long-term relationships, getting back out there after a period of self-improvement, confidence building and the like, and man do I suck at it.

This might be largely because I refuse to go to the normal places a man would go to “get back out there” (bars, clubs etc.) or at least go there with that intention.

Bars are lousy places to meet anyone of worth, especially if you’re emotionally developed beyond college and not getting totally wasted.

I’m a relatively smart guy, been told I’m at least reasonably attractive, and have a great social circle. That being said, I can’t break the ice in your everyday social scenarios to meet a girl and engage in a reasonable conversation. Once people get to know me they generally like me (I’m polite and rarely late) I swear it wasn’t this hard a few years ago… Any advice for successfully breaking the ice in otherwise uncomfortable social situations (elevator rides, grocery stores etc.?) I can only make so many jokes about melons before they throw me out.

Thanks for your many many distractions from my learning,
Rabbert Klein

It’s easy. All you have to do is not give a shit about what anyone thinks. Actually, that’s really hard. But it’s true: if you sincerely don’t give a shit if a woman says no or that onlookers might hear you asking a stranger out, then there’s no pressure at all. Not that I have some great history of success with hitting on strangers, but I always enjoyed just saying deadpan or stupid shit that I found entertaining or funny. If the hot stranger in the elevator happens to laugh, then you can introduce yourself. “Hi, I’m Rabbert. Let’s get drinks, I’m way funnier after you’ve had some wine. Better-looking, too.”

Or whatever works for you. Let’s face it: since you’re a PhD student, you’re probably not very funny. So you’ll just have to target girls holding books or Kindles and ask what they’re reading. Be inquisitive. Girls like it when you’re interested in what they think about.

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Hey Matt,
Football first: Putting aside your Seahawks fandom for a moment, if you had the number 1 pick in a ten team no keeper PPR league, would you consider drafting Percy Harvin? Not drafting again until 20/21 means you definitely won’t have a shot at him otherwise and you could still pick up a good QB/RB combo there, say Luck and McCoy? To me that makes a pretty fearsome big three, but maybe I’m believing too much of the hype on Harvin.

I don’t have to be a Seahawks fan to tell you that’s an awful use of the #1 pick. I think Harvin’s going to take a solid step forward in fantasy value, but I also think he’s going to be overvalued in 2013 fantasy drafts (and your email is now anecdotal evidence of this). I just… I just don’t even want to break down how bad of an idea that is. Just let go of the idea of having to get Harvin. He’s not a #1 overall pick.

Also, you think you can get LeSean McCoy at #20 in a Chip Kelly offense? Let me know how that goes.

Relationships: Not my own, which is always murky waters but here goes. My wife’s best friend since college, Tina – they graduated ’07, both 28 – recently broke up with her great boyfriend of 4+ years – after taking a break to “get herself in order” – and is now dating a douche bag loser. Tina recently moved into a new apartment and has no furniture, no job, no prospects, and two bum shoulders that require surgery and also scare potential employers for even the most basic of jobs.

Um, are employers allowed to ask about medical issues during the interview process? I don’t think they are. So unless Tina is walking around in two giant arm casts or telling employers how badly she needs surgery (not advisable), I don’t see how that’s hurting her job prospects.

Her ex is a good dude and the new DBL is moving out of his mom’s house into an apartment down the street from her, “to be closer to Tina” as he put it, and they’ve only been dating for a few months. Not moving in together, I know, but the wife and I already dislike how attached he is and don’t like where this is going.

I genuinely like Tina so I’m pretty disheartened to see the direction her already pretty directionless life is taking. It’s not my definition of getting oneself in order but my general philosophy is that you can’t live other people’s lives so I don’t know how to/don’t feel right telling her to wake the fuck up and ditch the DBL and actually figure her shit out, not just give the idea lip service. Is there a way to tell her that her new boyfriend is a DBL and hopefully get her going on a productive path?

Thanks and I hope your bracket’s not already busted.
-Dude St. Jude

Have you considered the possibility that Tina’s dating a douchebag loser because she’s a kind of a fuck-up herself? I mean, I respect that your girl and Tina are best friends, but people can (and do) change a lot over the course of six years. Or, in some cases, people who should change don’t take the correct steps to mature as an adult. Whatever the case, Tina’s decisions are her own, and taking her by the shoulders and yelling “GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER” while shaking her will probably do more harm than good, what with her bad shoulders and all. And, as we’ve covered many times in the mailbag before, warning someone that their significant other is a loser only drives that person deeper into the loser’s clutches.

If there’s any way to help Tina, I’d posit that the best route would be to help get her a job. Probably not easy given that her resumé has barbecue sauce on it, but hey, you asked.