Several Celebrity Deaths for the Price of One! (+ Shipping and Handling)

"Did you hear Billy Mays died? I feel bad because I muted him the other day." - Ant Chrissy


But They Go to "School," Right?

Alice: At the aquarium near me when I lived in France, they had books about how to cook fish in the gift shop.
Kevin: Aww... no one stands up for the fish. Why is that? Why are so many people who won't eat meat willing to be pescetarians?
Alice: I don't know, are they just considered stupider in general?
Kevin: Pescetarians?
Alice: No, fish!

Okay, maybe this conversation demonstrates that I'm the stupid one, but I was pretty willing to buy that pescetarians are stupid for not recognizing a life while eating it. Siding with the, "No, Kevin, you're the dumb one" camp is the fact that two minutes later we saw a sign for the Salvation Army and entered the building for some thrift store shopping, only to find it was a soup kitchen. Oops! After admitting our mistake to a volunteer, Alice muttered, "That was a yuppy moment." Perhaps a guppy moment even. I wonder if they're serving fish. I hear it's brain food and that couldn't hurt right about now.


But Who Will Dangle Blanket out a Window?

R.I.P.M.J. The King of Pop is dead. At last, Meat Loaf can finally ascend to his rightful throne.

The news of Michael Jackson's death yields profound results. Everywhere, children's genitals rejoice. I'm sorry: allegedly, everywhere children's genitals rejoice.

Where were you when you heard the news? I was just finishing watching A Very Brady Sequel on Comedy Central when my sibling read people's reactions from off the computer.

I had an emotional reaction, but not for Michael Jackson himself. I'm not really fan, but I do have a couple favorites: "Rock With You" and the Free Willy theme "Will You Be There?" The latter I like mostly because it's absolutely ridiculous, but as far as my strange taste goes, that's pretty much equivalent to being good.

No, my emotional reaction was mostly for a couple of friends who are huge Michael Jackson fans.

First and foremost, Ramin. Ramin is an activist in every sense, and he commits himself to causes and pursuits of social justice in ways the best of us could only wish we did. He's also the world's biggest Michael Jackson fan. As I got to know Ramin, I had trouble reconciling these two big facts as they initially seemed incongruous, but it all made sense over time. When Jackson announced his impending performances, I actually even wrote to Oprah on Ramin's behalf in the hopes of her helping him achieve his lifelong dream of seeing Jackson perform live. I assure you, I don't just go writing to Oprah willy-nilly.

Check out Ramin's dance moves - dude can moonwalk:

And he's been a ridiculous fan since he was tiny, as evidenced by this adorable home movie (Ramin is front and center, obvs):

Ramin wrote an online eulogy for Jackson tonight, which was actually quite moving as he rationalized what the man meant to him and the world. He paraphrased author/scholar Michael Eric Dyson, explaining that people fear Jackson because he couldn't be boxed into an identity and "somehow resembled all of us at the same time: male/female, black/white, young/old, innocent/shrewd, etc." It's a perspective I've never really considered before and was definitely food for thought.

Coming in a close second is Lindsay, who would scream about MJ all day long if you let her. My favorite MJ-related Lindsay incident came after she obtained this awesome MJ jacket. Good costume, Lindsay, but you're missing the black face! Just kidding, that's not appropriate, even though I came close when I attended the Snakes on a Plane Hollywood premiere.

I think it was the Y2K party when Lindsay put on the MJ jacket to show people, she discovered something in the pocket she hadn't previously noticed: a miniature replica of the same jacket that would fit on a doll. Because she was drunk and elated, Lindsay literally shrieked and laughed at the find in what is one of the most amazing candid reactions I have ever seen in my life.

And with that, though I may kid, I extend sincere condolences to my super-fan friends. You'll be missed, Michael! At least you didn't die of anal cancer. (I could probably learn to say "anal cancer" with a straight face, but where's the fun in that?) Speaking of Farrah Fawcett, who has the unfortunate distinction of having her own death coverage interrupted almost instantaneously by a bigger star, let me now share my two friends who are diehard fans of Farrah Fawcett... Just kidding, I don't know any, but like any young boy of the era, I definitely rocked the Fawcett haircut as a tyke. I will remember Fawcett forever for her "artistic" endeavor/pay-per-view special in which she stripped naked, covered herself in paint, and flung herself at a canvas. Bravo!

And people think MJ was crazy? All right, he's kinda crazy, too. Go play at that site for a career retrospective. My favorite clip is, of course, "There was doo-doo and feces thrown all over the walls." May the walls in heaven be doo-doo and feces free.


Mark Sanford: A Foreign Affair

Since I perversely enjoy the antics of crazy politicians, I've been following the Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, for a few months now. Sanford first hit the national news when he was one of a handful of governors threatening to not accept federal stimulus money earmarked for helping their states. Sarah Palin was another such governor, but she dropped the issue for more "legitimate" press by insisting that David Letterman shouldn't make "rape" jokes about her daughter, presumably since her daughter would have to pay for her own rape kit, and that is no laughing matter. Sanford, however, stood by his stance... or he did until the last minute where he buckled and accepted the federal funds. At that point, his actions were confusing, but now it makes sense: when you're cheating on your spouse, you like to pretend you have principles and integrity, even if they're phony.

And boy did I get excited again last week when Sanford appeared (or disappeared as the case may be) in the media again since he had gone missing and even his staff had no clue as to his whereabouts. It's pretty irresponsible and unheard of for a state's leader to just vanish without warning. Even better was that no reporters or officials ever indicated that Sanford was in danger, but, without saying it explicitly, implied that he was crazy.

Why is he crazy? Apparently, even as a millionaire, Sanford's frugality puts mine to shame and he does strange things like dig holes "to unwind." While digging seems like a fairly harmless activity, it did become a problem when a young black girl entered his property and fell into a pit and died. Whoops? According to the previously linked article, in addition to digging holes, Sanford also likes to build coffins, so at least he could be of use. And be crazy.

Sanford's wife finally told reporters that while she didn't know where he was, he was "writing something and wanted some space to get away from the kids." Sounds feasible -- everyone likes to write their Battlestar Galactica fan-fiction in peace. Later, however, Sanford's staff announced that he had actually gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is like the Oregon Trail, but with less cholera.

Since hiking the Appalachian Trail made no sense, it actually made sense in a way. What's a loony thing to do? Throw responsibility aside and go for a secretive long walk in the woods. I've never met someone with a walking stick who's not at least a bit off eir rocker.

While I daydreamed of the on the lam governor walking with a bag of trail mix in one hand and binoculars in the other, news broke that, actually, Sanford was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Appalachian Trail is long, but not intercontinental. As Sanford's whereabouts got more confusing, the story gets more amusing. Why the mystery? When I heard Sanford would hold a press conference this afternoon, I made sure to plunk myself in front of a cable news network and watch the shit show go down.

Sanford talks about his love for the Appalachian Trail for a few minutes before apologizing to everyone he can think to apologize to before even explaining what exactly it is he has to apologize for. He then nonsensically babbles about God, religion, and sin, and we still have no idea where he's going. Not until about eight minutes in does he finally quit stalling and admit he's been unfaithful to his wife. At first, he says he has been cheating with a gender-neutral "friend," so I assume it's a gay affair, because he's a Republican, and that's what Republicans do, but I guess it's a lady after all, which is fairly boring and typical. Can you just be crazy instead and yammer about the Appalachian Trail again and how it was reasonable for your staff to think you were there since you were considering going there until an apparent last minute change of heart where you flew to South America to get laid instead? Yeah? Good. Thanks.

Sanford joins the ranks of Bill Clinton, John Ensign, Larry Craig, Eliot Spitzer, amd John Edwards, to name a few, as politicians who commit adultery. Even John McCain admitted to having affairs while married to his first wife, Carol, but she had been disfigured in a car accident, so I think even the Bible says that's okay. Frankly, I'd rather ignore their personal lives, but it's hard to dismiss them when many of these same politicians quote scripture and push legislation based upon some higher morality that they don't even begin to live up to. Also, don't go banging your mistresses on the taxpayers dime. That doesn't sit well.

Anyway, Sanford wants you to know that he's really sorry, even though he doesn't really commit to whether he'll try to reunite with his wife or continue flying to Buenos Aires for sexy fun times with his friend. He swears that he spent the last five days in Argentina "crying," which is an awkward way to admit that he cries during sex. Plus, you know his wife is all like, "Bitch, Don't Cry For Me In Argentina." I like that she didn't show up to this press conference and sing "Stand By Your Man" like so many other jilted political spouses before, most notably the wife of New Jersey's former gay governor, Jim McGreevey. He tells the world that he's gay and cheating and his wife just beams behind him the whole time as if she's receiving good news. Like, come on, no one's going to blame you for slapping him and storming off.

Sanford's actions break my heart, especially coming just two days after Jon and Kate announced their own divorce. Is marriage even sacred anymore? I blame the homosexuals. And the slutty Argentineans. And having too many children - now there's an argument for population control. I'm tempted to also blame cheating spouses, but that'd be unfair.

In the meantime, I'm going to go hike the Applachian Trail. Take that to mean what you will.


A Cut Above

I have a lot of anecdotes, which is pretty much why I blog, but few of them top the infamous tale of the time I pulled a knife on my friend Allison's grandmother. (Seriously, if you don't know that one, familiarize yourself now.)

It goes without saying that I haven't been able to live that moment down, particularly with Allison's family. Over the past two years, Allison says they still refer to me as "the nice boy with the knife." Case in point, this amusing message I got from Allison today:

I was having dinner with my parents this weekend, and we were talking about some kind of host/announcer. My mom said, "Your friend Kevin would be great at that" to which my dad replied, "Is that the nice boy with the knife?" stabbing the air with his butter knife. That shit's like 9-11, we'll never forget.

I take it as a compliment that they believe the charming aspects of me qualify me to be some sort of host, superseding my knife-wielding tendencies. This incident just goes to show that while you can never erase a first impression, you can improve upon it. Oh, and Allison, you know what else is like 9/11? Your face!


Uglier Than Ahmus

In my first month of attending Pitzer College, I met a lot of new people with a lot of new names. By new, I mean names that are considered cultural or unique. Growing up in Connecticut, my peers almost uniformly had traditional anglo names, so it was one of the first times I met people with names with minimal vowels and that didn't litter The Bible. Though I didn't have a knack for pronouncing these names, I was still excited to try.

At some point during that first month, I was chatting with a new group of friends about other students who we were getting to know.

Someone commented, "Ug, he's uglier than a moose."
Not knowing the person to whom the comparison was being made, I asked naively, "Who's Ahmus?"
The friend responded, "What? No, a moose. Like the animal."
"Oh, I thought Ahmus might be Pakistani or something."

Yup, in my attempt to be completely PC and hip to kids from different ethnic backgrounds, I basically made up a name. There was a good laugh at my expense, followed by a pact by about ten people present for the conversation: we'd all name our firstborns Ahmus. Since it's a made up name to begin, we'd all have the freedom to apply it to either gender and invent our own cultural origin/meaning to it. At our twenty year college reunion, we'd all come back with our families and our kids, our little Ahmuses, would interact and for the first times in their lives meet someone else who shared their name. Then they'd meet another one. And another one. Soon they'd recognize that they received these names as part of some stupid college inside joke. Then the Ahmuses will resent us parents even more for giving them that name. Whatever, though, they were going to be moody anyway... I mean, who's going to ask an "Ahmus" to prom?


Is There Slime on Your House?

I've been looking through old school work and I found a creative Halloween assignment from second grade that instructed me to write down five questions that I would want to ask a witch.

It's too bad witches are so evasive or I might finally have answers to the questions that have plagued me for nearly two decades now. Kudos to Mrs. Butler for encouraging me with "What clever questions to ask a witch, Kevin!" I must agree that "Why don't you wear white?" and "Is there slime on your house?" are pretty genius. They're certainly better than the questions I thought up in grad school to ask a raccoon.


How I Committed Identity Theft Against Myself

I’ve heard plenty of terrible tales stemming from trips to the DMV, the majority of which involve long waits, but last week I had an experience at the DMV that actually reduced me to tears.

Through another whole crazy sequence of events, I managed to lose my license a while back, so I needed to get a new one from the DMV. I put off obtaining an ID until after moving again two weeks ago so I could have my updated contact information.

After waiting forty minutes and filling out some paperwork, I finally had the chance to meet a DMV employee face-to-face. As she began processing the paperwork, she told me that there was a problem: I had been red-flagged. “Uh oh, why?” I asked. The computer didn’t tell her anything beyond that I was on a do-not-process list, so she went to get her manager. The manager also couldn’t immediately determine why I had been red-flagged and asked me to guess a possible reason to expedite the process.

Why would Big Brother be concerned about me? I proceeded to go through my sordid traffic/criminal record in great detail, which was kind of embarrassing especially since I don’t exactly brag about my past tickets. After talking through everything I could think of that I’ve ever done wrong, including some things I’ve never been caught for, and totally venturing into too-much-information territory, the manager finally cut me off and said none of that would be reason for being red-flagged. At first I regretted saying so much, but then I worried: so it’s something worse than that? I don’t think I’ve done something worse than that!

The DMV employee took my passport, I guess in case I decided to suddenly run knowing they were on to me! In the meantime, the manager got on the phone to call the state office to see if they could identify the source of the red-flagging. I sat waiting nervously for another hour until she got back to me. “Have you ever lived at [my college address]?” “Yeah, I went to college there,” I explained. “Well, for some reason, that’s the problem,” she said. She was still on hold for a further explanation, so I just had to wait nervously some more.

I never had any traffic infractions while at college, but I did do a lot of stupid shit, like any college kid might. But why would my college report me to the DMV? Oh, I sure hoped they didn’t tell the government about my drunken antics.

Another half hour passes, and it comes to light that Big Brother is concerned that I am either the victim or perpetrator of identity theft. Now the burden was on me to prove that I was, in fact, me. Did I have legitimate identification? No, I had come to obtain identification! Attempting to prove that I am who I say I am was an overwhelming process, because when it all came down to it, I couldn’t really do it. Here I was trapped in the DMV under suspicion of stealing an identity… my own identity! I nearly broke into tears as I voiced my frustration. “I haven’t had an easy life the past year! I’m unemployed and [allusion to some of the issues I unnecessarily explained to the DMV employees either]! If I was going to steal an identity right now, it wouldn’t be my own!”

After a more thorough search was conducted, I learned that my nomadic tendencies over the past few years had finally caught up to me. The reason it looked like I – or someone – was committing identity theft was because:
  • I’m still registered to vote and actively vote using my college address.
  • I’m registered to collect unemployment benefits from the government at my last apartment, a second address.
  • My missing driver’s license lists a third address, the house I lived at six months ago.
  • My only legitimate photo identification has me living at a fourth address in Connecticut.
  • I am currently requesting a new ID for an entirely new fifth address.

Hell, after recognizing all of the incongruities, even I thought maybe someone was stealing my identity. Except that all of those personas were me, and there was no one committing voter fraud or defrauding the government of money as they suspected.

Ultimately, I was allowed to sign an affidavit claiming that I was all of these people, or rather, that all of these people were me. One employee, before signing off on my extensive paperwork said, “You’re so nice, why so many problems?” in a thick Ukrainian accent. Indeed, at this point, this random woman knew more about my life’s woes than many of my friends, and I could only shake my head. I posed for a new photo and can expect to get my ID in a couple weeks.

On the drive home, I started simultaneously laughing and crying at the absurdity of the entire ordeal. It was just too much. Plus, I found it ridiculous that after worrying that I was some sort of con man trying to obtain a new ID to continue my rouse, all they required me to do was sign my name that I was who I said was. I could so easily steal my own identity!

My name’s not really Kevin, by the way. I’ve been pulling over an elaborate hoax for years now, and they were this close to finally catching me.


Kevin Babbles of Love

If Tila Tequila can turn her internet celebrity into a dating show, I figure I can do the same. Check out the contestants on my new show, "Kevin Babbles of Love": (stretch your browser or click the photo to see the full image)
Just wait'll you see them in a hot tub.

This picture gives me so many boners. Like many boners at the same time. Don't ask me to explain how that works, it's kind of embarrassing.

(This is a photo I found at a flea market in San Francisco like so many other photos posted before. )


Rome If You Want To

When in Rome, remember that it wasn't built in a day.


Comfort Wipe

Oops, it looks like I wrote my Five Favorite Infomercials post prematurely. Just months later comes a new strong contender: The Comfort Wipe.

Let's face it: even the best wipers among us slip up from time to time and get crap on our hands. Then once we've quite literally done a number on ourselves, we have to, like, actually wash our hands rather than just pretending to do so. It's annoying! Surely there must be a better way. (And don't you dare suggest using a bidet or you are clearly a homosexual.)

Fortunately, some genius with a squeaky clean anus invented the Comfort Wipe. It's my birthday tomorrow is all I'm saying...

  • "The first improvement to toilet paper, as we know it, since the 1880s." Wait, what happened in 1880? I genuinely want to know.

  • Comfort Wipe may be as easy to use as a shower brush, but make sure not to mix them up or you'll have shit on your back.

  • It's not the toilet paper that's disgusting, it's the poop. Find a way to eliminate that and I'll personally invest.

  • I wish that the self-proclaimed "big guy" would expand on what the supposed advantages of his girth are. Funny that his arms can't seem to reach his ass but have no trouble reaching his mouth.

  • If that old lady is getting someone to wipe her ass for her, I hope she comes to recognize it as fortunate rather than shameful. That sounds pretty romantic to me.

  • How is it possible to claim to have "dignity" while appearing in this commercial?

  • If your motor skills prevent you from wiping well, why would you be any better at controlling a stick? What's to stop you from accidentally sodomizing yourself?

  • There's no way that stick won't acquire bacteria and fecal matter after each use. Sounds hygienic to me.

  • The complimentary Grip-a-dee-do for getting out of the tub is pretty worthless. I'd just use the Comfort Wipe as a cane to prop myself back up.

On a personal note, I don't wipe my ass as it is. If God put hair around my butthole, clearly he meant for feces to get stuck there during its escape. Sometimes, however, I'll have my manservant, Herbert, do it for me. I'd consider purchasing the Comfort Wipe for Herbert, more out of concern for my own sanitation than his -- I don't know where those grubby hands have been before rubbing off my dingleberries.

Video found via Best Week Ever


Night at the Holocaust Museum


This is the number of people who died in the Holocaust, the most recent occurring today when an octogenarian white supremacist fatally shot a security guard at the Holocaust museum. Before I start making all sorts of off-color jokes, allow me to earnestly state that the guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns, is definitely a hero for protecting the visitors and sacrificing his life. At least he'll meet Anne Frank in heaven. She's probably a MILF by now. (Yeah, so obviously the earnestness didn't last more than a sentence, but it's still sincere.)

Taking after Eric by hastily devising a movie pitch in the face of tragedy, the first thing I thought when I heard the news was, ohhh, Night at the Holocaust Museum! I googled my idea to see if anyone else was making the joke, and found that someone had made a fake trailer for it two years ago. Aw, shucks.

It's not even worth watching, truthfully. You get the idea without even having to see it.

My pitch would be better. Night at the Holocaust Museum would be more of a suspense film and have less physical comedy. Mel Gibson would be the antagonist, of course. Denzel Washington would be the FBI agent (he's always best as those) on the outside trying to secure the museum by communicating with his agent, Ben Stiller (A JEW!), stuck on the inside. Better yet, Stiller's fired, and we go back to the series' physical comedy roots and just put Paul Blart Mall Cop in for more whacky hijinks. Surely, if he can accidentally foil armed robbers he can prevent another genocide, too. You can do anything on a Segway, I'm pretty sure. Despite my immense dislike for him, I suppose I'd let Robin Williams still be in this sequel too, seeing as he needs the occasional big budget film to support his meth habit, but his character would definitely have to be one of the casualties.

Movie aside, a year ago I moaned about how unnecessarily intense the security at the Museum of Tolerance (the Holocaust Museum for the west coast) is, which given today's events suddenly seems legitimate. Holocaust deniers are real, as preposterous as it sounds. As a teenager, I devised a plan to be totally normal and rational in all aspects of my life (as if I could pull that off!), but then randomly claim the Holocaust was a hoax. At someone's suggestion, I researched the issue and realized how many people actually believed this and quickly eliminated this idea for being thoroughly unfunny. That said, nine years later this Onion article is still one of my favorites, and I often mentally quote the headline, "Did Six Million Really Visit the Holocaust Museum?"

Oh, and if any of this post offended you, I promise none of it is as offensive as my student's essay about the Holocaust.


Alumni Reunion

As usual, this year’s Pitzer College alumni reunion was a fun mess.

I was hesitant to come this year after making an ass of myself at the reunion the previous year. Full disclosure (something I probably do too often here): I blacked out for only the second time in my life (the first being this infamous trip to Vegas) and ended up becoming a public spectacle while throwing up in the bushes by the dorms. With an endless open bar, I had been pretty steadily drinking since 4 pm, and it showed when I approached some “grey foxes” (women who graduated from college in the 60s) on the dance floor and they cleared out in fear that I would knock them over. The ladies weren’t that far off considering I then proceeded to accidentally bump my friend Phoebe onto the ground. The next morning, I woke up next to Kat who had also gotten ill the previous night. On the sheets between us was an earring, a nicotine patch, and some vomit. The first two belonged to Kat, but we never determined who was responsible for the puke on the bed. In a sense, it didn’t really matter.

So yeah, considering I never really had a night that bad when I actually was in college and could chalk it up to youthful indiscretion, I really didn’t want to become “that guy” at the reunions. It helped that I had other plans and didn’t show up until about 11 pm this time, sparing me an additional seven hours of obliteration. So while I maintained reasonable behavior, I can’t say the same of many other people in attendance, which was certainly fun to watch.

It seems that when people return to their alma mater, they feel compelled to live up to their glory days. So even if they’re well into their thirties and forties, they get drunk and stoned like they were half their age. On multiple occasions, I was invited to go back to someone’s temporary dorm room to do some drugs, including one guy who had a bag with some sort of gas to inhale that he couldn’t even identify, so I was just like, “Ummm…” I hope I’m not anywhere close to being that guy at my 15-year reunion.

One of the funnier aspects of the evening was that my friend Devin brought two coworkers along to the party to for the free booze. They were friendly and pretended to have graduated from the school. The thing is, at a school of less than 1,000 students, you do tend to remember most people, at least by sight, from your graduating class, so they had to invent stories as to why they weren’t memorable. One of Devin’s friends told people he had gone to Wisconsin then transferred to Pitzer for his last semester of school, so he didn’t really meet many people. It was a laughable story, because I don’t think it’s even possible to transfer for just your last semester of college, plus you probably wouldn’t bother coming to the reunion if you didn’t actually know anyone, but people apparently bought it. Blame it on the alcohol. The story wasn’t as successful later when the second non-alum coworker, now thoroughly inebriated, had forgotten what his fabricated history was and proceeded to say “Uh, same as him,” after the first guy told his story. “So wait, you both transferred from Wisconsin in your last semester?” “Uh… yeah…” Their cover was blown, but by that point in the night, it didn’t really matter.

I was excited when someone I had a crush on my freshman year recognized me and struck up a conversation. Everything about our dialogue made me realize how I would never have a crush on her now, but it did feel like I fulfilled a six-year-old goal when she brought me back to her after-party with her “cool” friends.

Meanwhile, I ran into Christine. Though the bar had closed at this point, Christine had received a bottle of beer, but was struggling to remove the cap. She tried to flip it off between two boards of wood, yet only managed to break the bottle and leave a jagged neck, from which she tried to drink. Recognizing the danger, I found her a used red cup to pour the beer into; though the cup was dirty, it seemed better than drinking straight from the broken bottle. As she poured the beer, I watched pieces of glasses flow into the cup, so, out of concern, I insisted that she slurp slowly from the top so she wouldn’t ingest the glass. Then, demonstrating my commitment to safety, I walked away, leaving her unsupervised.

An hour later, a bunch of us walked home. While crossing the street at 2 am, a car pulled up to the stoplight, from which someone shouted something that I couldn’t understand. Drunk, Angel flipped him off, which prompted the car passenger to get out of the car with a bat that he swung in our general direction. Christine shouted something insulting, which I personally wouldn’t have directed toward someone with a weapon. The car then started speeding by us. After participating in the aggression, Angel and Christine ran and hid while the rest of kind of watched in fear. Apparently, the two were afraid there would be a drive-by, but I kind of figured if you had a gun, you’d pull that out of your car to intimidate people before a baseball bat.

Alcohol, deception, flirtation, and danger – it was quite a reunion. Anecdotally, I heard of even more scandalous actions that went on after I went to bed, but alas, those aren’t my stories to share.


Hulu Recommendations

Did anyone know that there’s porn on Hulu?

After I watched the latest episode of The Daily Show on Hulu one morning, I wanted something else to put on in the background while I washed a huge pile of dishes, so I went to the “recently added” television episode section to see what else was available. The newest content were episodes from a series called The Red Shoe Diaries. It looked to be like some sort of cheesy soap opera from the 80s, so I gave it a shot in the hopes that it would yield a laugh. Ten minutes in, I wasn’t laughing or even paying much attention, but then I looked up from the sink and saw a lot of breast and simulated sex on the screen. I guess since I was already logged-in to my Hulu account, I didn’t need to do some sort of age-verification and WHAM! Surprise! Soft-core porn. It’s one thing if I’m seeking that sort of thing out, but to have it appear without warning is a little disconcerting. I ultimately found it amusing, of course, but I imagine there’s plenty of people who accidentally stumbled upon it as well and found the content offensive.

And yeah, I understand if you’re thinking, “Sure… you ‘accidentally’ found porn” (which, notably, I’ve done before), but that’s really how it happened and it caught me off guard. After drying my hands, (I was washing dishes, remember!) I researched The Red Shoe Diaries and learned it was an erotically-themed show with ties to Playboy. Better yet, each episode is introduced by David Duchovny!

I showed my discovery to Lindsay later that night, and we chose to watch an episode featuring Matt LeBlanc, aka Joey from Friends. Alas, LeBlanc does not have sex in the episode, but it was still delightful to see him in some low-budget porn, which I’m pretty sure was once a plotline on Friends. Ah, art imitating life. Despite being outlandish, it’s still fairly boring, but if you’re intrigued, check it out:

Hulu’s selection of movies is notoriously awful, but I continually check back to see if something good slips through the cracks. I first found The First Time by looking through the Horror and Suspense genre, where it clearly has been incorrectly categorized. Before I gave up on it entirely, however, I read the description: “At a summer resort, some teenage boys are drawn to a woman without a passport, whom they mistakenly identify as a prostitute. Under the imagined spell of her ‘allure,’ they help her cross the border.” From what I assumed about the film, it seemed like it could be wildly offensive. Of course the boys would figure that an attractive Mexican woman was a prostitute! As a southern California resident, I was mostly curious about how a film from 1969 would portray illegal border crossing, especially while simultaneously having an American Pie slant, so I gave it a shot. Unfortunately, my assumptions were pretty off. The tamed down American Pie part was correct, but the boys actually help an ambiguously Russian woman cross through the Canadian border, which was not scandalous enough for my taste. I suspect the tourism board for Niagra Falls made this film since half of it features montages of the characters engaging in local tourist activities while waiting to get laid.

Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t much recommend this one either, but if you want to see something dull and bordering (pun!) on campy, you could give it a try:

For something that is actually campy and legitimately fits into the horror/suspense genre, I have two real recommendations for you:

Frogs is one of those early environmental pieces where nature, as a singular entity, fights back against the big bad polluters who also happen to be a wealthy plantation family, so, you know, they’re doubly evil, and really deserve having wildlife attack them repeatedly. If you’re wondering how ravaging frogs could possibly be frightening, that is precisely what makes this movie so enjoyable. If you’re into a minimal storyline with countless undeveloped characters dying in ludicrous ways while the family’s patriarch insists that everyone continue to celebrate his birthday no matter how many of their relatives croak (another pun!), then Frogs is for you.

Empire of the Ants is another great Hulu-found B-movie where creatures attack. Have you ever wondered what would happen if large mutant ants killed and enslaved the human population? Duh. The special effects are nothing short of laughable -- take this screen grab of ants boarding a boat as an example. WE CAN’T EVEN ESCAPE THE ANTS BY SEA! The token old couple, lamenting an impending death by ants, utters my favorite line: “Sigh. All we wanted was to enjoy what was left of our lives. Is that bad?” Yup, that’s bad. There’s no time to enjoy retirement with ants on the loose!

In short, skip Hulu’s pornographic content and go straight for the cheesy “horror” movies you could never find in a video store. There’s a reason they’re practically giving the rights away to Hulu: they suck... AND these films are too amazing not to be shared.


The Patron Saints of Animals

It was when Teissia and Kat shared an apartment together that I first realized that they had a way with animals. Although the building manager at their place had enclosed their balcony with netting in order to keep pigeons out, a pair of pigeons still inexplicably managed to find a way inside and get trapped. Kat and I tried to shoo them out to no avail, instead getting swooped and shat at. When Teissia returned home, however, she gently spoke to the birds and coaxed them out a small opening she created in the netting. She had a remarkable way with the creatures.

Shortly thereafter, Kat moved abroad and Teissia moved onto a houseboat. When Kat returned to the United States for a visit, more bird drama followed. She arrived at my house and before even greeting me, she requested a net and/or brightly colored flowers. Evidently, she had stopped to pick up some cola at a nearby liquor store, whereupon a hummingbird flew inside and couldn’t find its way back out. Armed with some flowers, we returned to the liquor store hoping to woo it back outside. Though the bird was far clearly far too frightened to be concerned by flowers in the store’s confinement, Kat stayed until the hyperventilating hummingbird finally was lured outside.

On the ride home, I noticed dozens of “FOUND HAMPSTER” signs in the backseat of Kat’s car. Apparently, Kat and Teissia had been hanging the signs all around the marina where Teissia lived, or was docked, as it were. The marina’s manager had found the hamster and was going to dispose of it, so Teissia agreed to temporarily house it, feed it, and find its owner. Since hamsters aren’t native to docks or, well, just about anywhere really, she assumed that it must belong to someone nearby; hence she made the signs.

Despite the spelling error (there’s no “P” in “hamster,” but that is a common mistake), after a few days, Teissia did receive a call from someone who thought the hamster might belong to his son. The father came to verify and confirmed that it was his hamster, yet admitted that he sort of wished it were dead as he had earlier believed. Evidently, his four-year-old son had allowed the hamster to crawl out the window from the fourth story of a building. What followed was not only a lesson in responsibility, but about death. The kid had never had to grasp the concept of death previously, so this incident became a rite of passage as he grieved for his pet and learned about the permanency of death. Of course, this understanding was all about to be undermined, as the hamster that was “dead and gone forever” would now return to the house as a plaything again.

How the creature even survived a fall like that is a wonder, but with the Patron Saints of Animals watching over, it was bound to survive, I reckon. Some veterinary school really ought to award these two a pair of honorary degrees.


Pirate Ship

"I didn't play house growing up, though I did play other pretend games like 'Pirate Ship.' Looking back, I spent a lot of my childhood enslaved." - Amy


America's Favorite Pastime: Gluttony

It's been a while since I've been to a professional baseball game, so I was eager to join Adrian, Eric, and Corey for a Dodger game Tuesday night. For $25 a pop, we bought tickets in the all-you-can-eat section, which seemed like, if done right, could be quite a deal. Determined to eat my money's worth at the game, I ate only celery with peanut butter all day leading up to the event.

Arriving at the stadium, before even finding our seats, we found the concession stands. The options included hotdogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, soda, and salad. I'm just kidding, of course there's no salad. I grabbed a few things and was so consumed in my own consumption that I didn't even notice the game had started until two players were already on base. At the start of the second inning, I returned to the concession stand for round two. The intention was to replenish before each inning and stay well-fed. Apparently, I aspired to morbid obesity, so long as I could recount what a bargain it was for me to have purchased this ticket.

Alas, reality, in the form of a stomach ache, set in. After two innings of stuffing my face, I had to sit the third inning out entirely. About this time, Andre Ethier hit a home run into right field (video here), the section where we were sitting. Once we heard the crack of the bat, we all stood up, at which point I realized I couldn't even see the ball. I figured if it were to come at my face, Eric would make an attempt to catch it and save me. The ball hit the stands two rows back, literally less than ten feet from me, with such force that it proceeded to bounce almost to the end of the stands altogether. At this point, Eric shared that he had reconsidered attempting to catch the ball given its speed since it wouldn't be worth breaking his hand over. Ah, so I wasn't safe after all. Nothing compliments nausea like a head wound.

As much as I wasn't interested in eating anymore, I was less interested in blowing this opportunity, so I returned for more food. I continued chowing down until the sixth inning when I had to put myself on the disabled list and retire from eating. At this point, the scoreboard read as follows:
Diamondbacks- 5
Hotdogs- 3
Nachos- 3
Soda- 3
Popcorn- 1
Peanuts- 1
Dodgers- 1

In the eighth inning, the Dodgers fought back from a 5-1 deficit to win it 6-5. As exciting as it was, I found it difficult to jump up and down to cheer sufficiently with a gutted gut. Plus I was distracted: I couldn't help but notice that while most of the fans are in seats, our section was comprised of bleachers, undoubtedly to accommodate our fat asses. I texted RJ about my experience and he informed me of an LA Times article about people overindulging in the all-you-can-eat section at Dodger stadium that ran on Tuesday morning. So not only was I an idiot that ate too much, I was an idiot that ate too much on the same day that hundreds of thousands of people learned about this phenomenon and were judging idiots like me.

Next time I go to a baseball game, buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks, but then let's call it quits.


Ewe Bit Me!

Once upon a real time, I wanted to get my photo taken with a sheep. I gave Travis my camera and slowly approached a sheep, hoping it would trust me enough to hold still and pose for a picture. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, and without a warning from Travis, another sheep crept up behind me and bit my butt.
This photo (click it to enlarge) Travis snapped just as the sheep nips at my behind yet before I react by running away frightened is a magical example of how sometimes a picture can happen just the right moment, like when Allison fell while attempting to mount a statue.

For more on my sordid sexual activity with sheep, click here.


The Blond Identity

As a tyke, I had bright blond hair. I don't know that I felt "beautiful," but I was often told both explicitly and implicitly how special it was to have blond hair and blue eyes. This was Connecticut, not Nazi Germany, so it wasn't a matter of life and death or anything, but it made me feel good to have traits that were considered desirable. I relished being able to use a yellow crayon to complete the top of my head in childhood self-portraits.

But then my body started to change! Don't worry, this isn't some TMI puberty tale. Long before that, actually, my hair started getting darker. While this flux wasn't exciting, it wasn't exactly a deal breaker either. Us blonds have a term for this condition: dirty blond. I was willing to accept the sloven association, so long as I could remain a blond. I adjusted my elementary school art class self-portraits accordingly: a base coat of yellow crayon with some brown scribbles thrown in to match my hair.

As the years passed, the dark highlights of my hair continued getting darker. I had reached an age where I was too old to regularly color self-portraits, but even if I had been assigned to do so, it would have been hard to admit that I needed more brown than yellow. Granted, my blond hair was dirty. Really dirty, even. I would even tell people, "I have very dirty blond hair." It's so ridiculous in retrospect, but I was grasping at straws. It's like someone who gains 50 lbs. and still thinks of emself as that skinny person ey was a year previously. "I mean, maybe you could say I'm pleasantly plump..." I was born a blond and I'd die a blond, damnit.

When I was about twelve or thirteen, I went on vacation in Maine. We planned to go fishing with some family friends, so I had to obtain a temporary fishing license. I filled out the form asking for my vitals. Eyes? Blue. Hair? Blond. After I returned the paperwork to the woman who processed the license, she glanced over the boxes I had checked. She gave me a concerned look, then said, "Honey, you're not a blond."

It was so pointed! And mean! No one had ever called me out on my hair like that before. Clearly, people in Maine are stupid and blind and can't even recognize a blond person when ey's standing right in front of them. I was too flabbergasted to actually respond, but a lot was running through my blond-topped head. My hair might be the dirtiest blond you've ever seen, but it was still definitely blond. There were still hints of gold in there... somewhere. Kevin may be a lot of things, but he sure is not a brunette.

Once I received my Maine fishing license, I noticed that the woman had taken the liberty of changing my hair color to brown. Sure, the license would expire within a week, but this slip of paper had much longer ramifications. It was official: I had brown hair. When I maintained a "dirty blond" status, I was fooling no one but myself. Sure, it may have been dirty from infrequent showering, but the blond part was just a delusion formed by me unwilling to let go of the identity I had already established.

I don't recall whether I caught any fish that trip, but I did return home with a couple new things: brown hair and the realization that I was now just as ugly as all my dark-haired cohorts. At least I had several years of blond glory before losing it all. Also, I can confirm that blonds do have more fun. When I was still a blond, there was playtime every day, yet as a brunette, I'm faced with responsibility and stress.

Don't worry, I've come to terms with having brown hair. To this day, however, I am still unwilling to draw a picture of myself. I'll save my brown crayon for sketching things like trees and poop, thankyouverymuch.