I Found God

I found God today.

He was hiding under the couch.


Fired Up

Before moving to California, I was warned about the earthquakes. I was warned about the traffic. I was even warned about the illegal Mexicans. (No, really… some people are racist.) But no one stopped to warn me that every year half of California burns to the ground.

Even though fires are an annual tradition, I forgot it was the season. I wouldn’t say I was lulled into a sense of security, more so I was distracted by California’s other devastation: crippling debt and unemployment.

Originally hailing from New England, when I think of mountain views, I imagine picturesque colorful rock formations topped with green trees or snow. From my window in California now, however, I see the mountains ablaze. The glowing orange is sort of beautiful, though the resulting thin layer of soot on all of the cars isn’t very attractive. On top of that, the air reeks. I tell myself it’s just the scent of a campfire because then it seems pleasant rather than threatening. I also try to pretend the copious smoke is just concentrated clouds, even though the sky is empty aside from the air surrounding the mountains.

These factors aside, I’m not too worried about my own safety yet. The good thing about having so many freeways around is that I’m practically enclosed by them. The fires would have to jump the freeway before reaching my home.

Several years ago, the fires were so close to me that homes were evacuated just up to a few blocks from my dorm. We were encouraged to leave the area if we had somewhere else to go, advice that about half the students heeded. The rest of us lived like we were in some apocalyptic state. It was dark outside 24/7 and we wore bandanas around our noses and mouths even indoors to help filter the air. A few kids even had legitimate gasmasks. Nevertheless, my nose was literally running with ash. Also, each time I coughed, black specks would come out of my mouth. I considered taking up smoking just to breath healthier air.

As if the air quality weren’t already bad enough, last weekend my house was fumigated. When I finally permitted to return, I was told that my eyes might sting and water for a while upon re-entry and that that was “normal.” That doesn’t sound normal to me, but I was glad to at least have the warning, since I did periodically cry for no reason. Otherwise, I might have thought I was just having an emotional response to the insects that lost their lives.

During the fumigation, I stayed at Allison, Melinda, and Stacy’s house. I don’t want to overstate the extent of our friendships, but I really prefer their company and hospitality to that of toxic chemicals. Still, I really wanted to see my house while it was tented. Since fumigation tents look like big, fun circus tents to me, I’m always tempted to run inside and play. I realize in reality I probably won’t find too many clowns and acrobats in there, but it’s alluring nevertheless.

On the drive over to my tented house, I saw smoke billowing overhead. My first thought was, oh no, the fumigation has gone wrong and the chemicals are escaping into the atmosphere. Fortunately, we found the house to not only be tented sufficiently, but beautifully. Doesn’t it look amusing? Does anyone else want to jump around inside that in spite of your better judgment, or have the pesticides just gone to my head?

As for the smoke, we quickly spotted its source: a brush fire just down the street from me. I thought I had a sufficient buffer between my home and fire, but I did not take into account the fact that my own street was susceptible to fires of its own. California is so flammable, I’m surprised they don’t outlaw matches altogether.

It was scary. Jessica called 911 to report the fire and she was put on hold for seven whole minutes before they took her call. Way to go, Los Angeles police. Next time I’m being stabbed, I’ll know to just roll over and die rather than calling for help. Fortunately, the fire department did arrive before any houses were burned.

Why do I live here, anyway? I’m not saying it’s hell, but it’s sure looking like it more and more each day. Maybe I should have just gone out with a bang in my “circus tent” rather than waiting for the fires to get me.



A couple of weekends ago, my friends threw a party to commemorate three occasions:
1) A Housewarming
2) Allison’s Birthday
3) Ben Affleck’s Birthday

Affleck didn’t show. Prick.

The invitation cleverly concluded: “Allison likes presents and costumes and beer. Keep that in mind.” To accommodate I brought booze, put on tiny yellow shorts, and set about making a present for Allison. I wanted to celebrate Allison’s humor so I tried to think of the funniest thing she’s ever done or said. The first thing that came to mind was the quip she made about necrophilia.

Then I had to figure out how to incorporate Allison’s quote into a full-fledged gift. I decided to make her a hat, which seemed simple until I realized I had no clue how to just “make a hat.” Fortunately, I found a cute crafty lady at eHow who taught me how to erect a hat out of construction paper and a paper plate:

How to Make a Paper Stovepipe Hat -- powered by eHow.com

Once the hat was complete, I had to decorate it with Allison’s quote. Since text alone is boring, I opted to add an illustration. Of course, using a graphic to accompany necrophilia is automatically asking for trouble, so I decided to fully embrace the mischief and depict Allison engaging in necrophilia with, to enhance the party’s theme even further, a dead Ben Affleck. Here is the result:

Best birthday present ever? Yeah, probably. Be sure to let me know if this is not what you want for your birthday, because I think otherwise this has become my go-to gift. I’ll even use the dead celebrity of your choice!


What Have You Changed Your Mind About?

I just finished the book What Have You Changed Your Mind About?: Today’s Leading Minds Rethink Everything. The book features 150 brief essays by notable figures sharing when and why they altered their perspective on something. Though I love the concept, I’m not crazy enough about it to recommend it. Most of the chapters dealt with science and technology, so while they explained how they had come to reconsider some aspect of the human genome, I was often confused.

One thing I won’t change my mind about is how important it is for people to change their minds. Not willy-nilly, of course, but we should all do it when it’s warranted; there’s no prize for being stubborn. I like changing my mind because it means that I have learned something new and used this information to challenge the beliefs I previously held. There’s nothing more frustrating to me than people who are so set in their views that they won’t accept opportunities to learn, grow, and adjust accordingly.

This topic always makes me consider the downfall of John Kerry after he was labeled a flip-flopper. It was frustrating to watch as someone was criticized for changing his opinion. Don’t get me wrong, Kerry kinda sucked and I’m not prepared or willing to defend him on the whole, but I will defend a flip-flopper, so long as he can cite reasons for the change.

As a high school teacher, I once used what was essentially the book’s title as a journal prompt to see if I could get a better picture of my students’ thought processes. The assignment wasn’t too successful as I received many short paragraphs about deciding to go out for the football team rather than soccer because more of his friends were doing it.

Consequently, I changed my mind about my profession. I wanted something deeper, but that was par for the course: I always wanted something deeper from my students. In retrospect, they were too young; they couldn’t very well change their minds about significant issues before forming initial opinions on the matters. It’s funny to look back at how I felt at their age.

I used to consider myself a Republican.
I used to believe in God.
I used to be opposed to gay marriage.
I used to support affirmative action.
I used to understand love.

Over time, life experience and new knowledge led me to alter these views. My mind has changed and I feel I’m a better person for it. That said, I can’t promise my mind won’t change again, perhaps reverting back to some of my preteen perspectives. As long as it’s based in wisdom rather than nostalgia, I think that’s beautiful.

What have you changed your mind about?


Organic Junior Water Beverage

On our way to go camping, Jessica, Andrew, RJ and I stopped at a bougie grocery store for some snacks to bring. I worried that the food at this particular market was a bit too fancy to constitute “roughing it,” but I didn’t realize to what extent until I discovered a new product:


No, really, they actually sell something called Organic Junior Water Beverage. As far as I can tell, it’s basically lightly flavored water in a super tiny juice box (only 4.23oz per container.) It’s a disgusting amount of plastic packaging for what amounts to a couple of swigs of water… errr, sorry, organic junior water beverage.

Hansen’s slaps a picture of Clifford on the front to make it cool. Obviously not Pokemon cool, but as cool of a mascot as Organic Junior Water Beverage can obtain, no doubt.

When is water not organic, by the way? I suppose when it is technically a “water beverage” – whatever that means.

The whole product strikes me as a big waste of plastic and money. Whatever happened to a glass full of tap water? Maybe that’s just not organic, junior, or beverage-y enough for kids these days.

Ultimately, we didn’t buy Organic Junior Water Beverage, though I did consider purchasing some to bring to a boil to cook pasta in over the campfire. Surely you wouldn’t even dream of cooking with normal water.

I’m about to go out for dinner and I think I know what I’ll be ordering with my meal: a box of Organic Junior Water Beverage. This restaurant better have it in stock. How else can I be expected to stay hydrated and sophisticated simultaneously?


G.I. Joe: A Feminist Critique

Look, I didn’t go into G.I. Joe expecting it to be a feminist film, but it didn’t need to be so egregious on so many levels. I’d like to pretend that a film based on a franchise of dolls for boys (“action figures” is a euphemism to placate dads) would in some manner defy gender norms. Then again, in many households, G.I. Joe was frequently married to Barbie, who is practically a symbol of anti-feminism, despite being empowered enough to at various points in her life be a dentist, firefighter, veterinarian, and astronaut. I’ve applied for countless jobs lately and I have trouble even getting an interview, so Barbie landing so many careers is impressive. I’m tempted to accuse Barbie of sleeping her way to the top, but that would be a pretty un-feminist assumption.

Ah, but not nearly as un-feminist as the chase/fight/explosion-fest, G.I. Joe. Sienna Miller, best known for being jilted by Jude Law and taking her top off in a couple of movies, plays a character that is all sorts of problematic. She’s a hot brunette as the movie plays out, but a hot blonde in flashback sequences (nearly half the movie is comprised of flashbacks which are about as relevant as they are entertaining,) allowing the audience to see the best of both hot worlds.

When her character first emerges from a hovercraft with the villains, Miller is depicted as the leader. Progressive! you say. Sure, except that while her cronies wear impenetrable body armor, she fights in a spandex getup that showcases her cleavage. Later, while Miller fires a machine gun at civilians, she pauses to tell a fleeing woman, “Nice shoes!” HAHAHA IT’S FUNNY BECAUSE SHE’S A WOMAN, GET IT?! The way the scene is framed, we don’t even see the shoes in question, by the way.

Ultimately, we can’t even give Miller credit for being a leader or villainess because the whole time she’s been under mind control. She does have the distinction of being the only character in this situation to have her own will override the mind control, but unfortunately it’s because she’s in love. Her love for Duke, the all-American hero hunk, the same asshole of a man she was engaged to until he disappeared without saying a word after her brother died, is so strong that it defies all scientific research. She was manipulated into killing thousands of people, but show her a heartthrob with dimples and suddenly she has her priorities straight.

The only other female lead is Scarlett, the red head, no doubt a foil to Sienna’s blonde and brunette. Scarlett is the top of her class in the special forces, but when it actually counts and her life is on the line, she needs a man to save her each time. This scenario reflects real life in which many young women graduate at the top of their classes, but never receive the same career success as their male peers.

Scarlett doesn’t believe in love because it’s not scientific yet predictably falls for the predictable charms of Black Guy because he is the only one who objectifies her sexually rather than just treating her like one of the boys. Black Guy, by the way, is a walking stereotype: an affable, jokester sidekick whose lust for women outweighs his lust for life. He is accepted into the G.I. Joe program because when they average his scores with his impressive best friend Duke’s, he qualifies. Three cheers for affirmative action!

That’s not the only alarming racial component. Here’s a dialogue I’ve imagined between the scriptwriters:

Scriptwriter 1: What should we put into this movie in between explosion scenes?
Scriptwriter 2: How about some character development or a scene that helps make our muddied plot make sense?
Scriptwriter 3: Or… martial arts!
Scriptwriter 1: I vote martial arts. But let’s make sure to have a white guy be the superior fighter over the Asian guy. You know, just to avoid it being racially problematic.
Scriptwriter 2: Doesn’t that just make it racially problematic in another sense?
Scriptwriter 3: Not if we make sure the Asian guy is super evil and the white guy is super good! You know, like real life.

Anyway, I swear that the movie barely made sense, though I did chuckle a bunch of times, but never for the right reasons. My favorite part came just after an advanced weapon was launched in Paris resulting in the destruction of the Eiffel Tower and the deaths of thousands of people. In briefing the U.S. President on the incident, his aide announced, “The French are pretty upset.” Haha, you don’t say? Talk about an understatement.

This film is unwarrantedly hungry for a sequel. Although everything seems under control at the end, the last scene reveals that the U.S. President is now under mind control, too. I can’t believe they’d leave their sequel contingent on the worst actor in the entire film, which is really saying something. I can’t wait to be offended again!


A Penny for His Thoughts

"I was at the Lincoln Memorial today and this guy was selling these really cool round copper things with Lincoln's head on them for just 50 cents!" - Jef delivering part of his standup act, during which he distributes "souvenirs," better known as pennies, to the audience

"Then I started telling my September 11th jokes and the crowd threw the pennies back at me." - Jef recalling the horrendous end to his standup act


Dyslexia? em ton!

I suspect I'm mildly dyslexic. I want to be careful not to overstate it, since I'd say in no way am I afflicted by my condition, though it does perhaps cause me to be a little bit weirder.

For as long as I can remember, when I look at a word or short series of words, I'm just as likely to read the words backwards as I am forwards. I don't have trouble reading a book because it's easy to just keep myself reading in one direction, plus once a word starts not to make sense, I automatically know to just look at it the other way. That said, when I glance at a sign, I might see TRAM LAW before WAL*MART. At a restaurant, I can read the paper advertising "NOW ON TAP" just as easily as "PAT NO WON (one)," which isn't half-bad advice, really.

This condition explains my love of palindromes. When a word is the same forward and backward, I can't lose! Also, it might explain my success at Scrabble since anagramming is almost second nature to me. In researching for this post, I've learned that words that form other words when backwards are called ambigrams. (Or "smargibma"... just kidding.)

At any rate, this "dyslexia" - if I can even call it that - has minor yet funny consequences. When I see a jar asking for TIPS, I quickly recoil picturing a jar full of spit. While watching news reports, the top left corner of the television often says LIVE, which I see as EVIL, which is generally appropriate since breaking news is rarely good. And when Michael Michael moved to Miami and tried to talk me into going too, I had to confess that I think of "I Maim" when I hear or see Miami, which is a pretty negative connotation on top of everything else I don't like about the city.

My favorite idiosyncrasy stemming from this tendency is that I refuse to drink bottles of Evian water. Not just because I hate bottled water, but any liquid that brands itself with "Naive" - even if backwards - is probably not something you should drink.



I was invited to a friend of a friend's birthday party a few weekends ago. It was held in a warehouse, which sounded hip and Warholian, so I was down.

The warehouse was off the beaten path in a sketchy area. As I described to my roommate, the other closest establishment was a gentlemen's club. This euphemism was generous, since it was trashy; the sign read Live Nudes: GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS!

We weren't even fashionably late to the party, yet it was already in full swing. The running joke was that I was going to pick up a hottie that night, but that Melinda was going to have to ID them first. Indeed, the crowd was young. Like underage young. The most common age was probably late high school/early college. It seems that somehow word of this shindig spread via MySpace.

If it were my call, we would have bailed immediately. I may only be a recovering high school teacher, but I still instinctually try to avoid and prevent the corruption teenagers. At the same, it's not my place to grab red cups from children.

But whatever, we made the most of it by people watching and making snide, elitist comments about how much better us mid-twenty-somethings were than people there for the free, un-carded booze -- even if we were perhaps more pathetic for staying there. When the booze ran out fairly quickly, we decided to stick it out, assuming that that would be cause enough to whittle the young crowd down. Unfortunately, it must have still been before curfew, because the crowd never shrank.

We knew the DJs, who were spinning good music, so we danced as if nothing were awkward, interrupted every few minutes by the overpowering, unpleasant gust of a fog machine. Aside from the fog, I found myself having a good time, embracing the ridiculousness of it all.

But then the music came to a halt. The host announced that the police had shown up and that all people were going to have to pass through a check point, so that all underage kids needed to stop and sober up quickly! Uh, easier said than done.

I panicked. If the police were going to look for someone to hold responsible for this mess, it might well be the oldest people in the room: my friends and me. Fortunately, it didn't come to that, but we still had to do the walk of shame as everyone filed out. Apparently, the "checkpoint" was just a manufactured scare tactic. I counted eleven police officers standing along the wall on the walk out and ten patrol cars parked just outside the warehouse. If I was embarrassed earlier, I was doubly mortified by this point.

I've got to be a bit more wary of invitations I accept... and even more wary of social engagements in warehouses.


Archie Arcs

I have a lot of friends who read comic books, but I don't. I usually explain that I didn't grow up reading comic books, but that's pretty dishonest. Still, dishonesty sometimes beats admitting to X-Men and anime fans that I grew up reading my mom's Archie comic books from the 60s. Not only were they readily accessible, but I genuinely liked them. It catered to my naive sensibilities by featuring teenagers who forget to bring their homework to school and asking one another out on dates to the malt shoppe.

Archie is not a serial, you could pretty understand everything you needed to with no context, making it easy to just pick up sporadic comic books out of order. Likewise, nothing of consequence ever occurs in Riverdale. Hurt feelings and lessons learned are completely forgotten by the next strip.

I think Archie has the same appeal as Saved by the Bell. Not only does it have similar characters experiencing trivial matters in a high school setting, but nothing that happens in one episode can't be erased by the next, with rare "to be continued..." exceptions. Remember when Zack suddenly was in love with Lisa, his best friend Screech's lifelong crush? Lisa and Zack dated for an episode and Screech just had to "deal." What seemed like it would have lingering consequences was never so much as referenced on another episode, which makes no sense.

Meanwhile, Archie was in the news a while back after announcing that Archie would be proposing marriage to Veronica. A lot was made out of the fact that it shows that men prefer brunettes to blonds, but Archie is hardly some kind of allegory. If this were reflective of real life, no one would be attracted to Archie, a ginger.

Kim mailed me an article about a comic book store owner who sold his rare first issue of Archie in order to protest Archie choosing Veronica over Betty. I think this guy is an idiot. Not for liquidating the comic book, that's probably a smart move, but how can he be upset about a story line that will quickly pushed aside for a new version of reality? Nothing is permanent in Archie, even marriages meant to stir up sales.

Of course I like Betty. She's the nice one and the blond one, to boot. But Betty needs to lose the crush on Archie as it does her no favors. Why should we cheer for Betty to have Archie when we could just cheer for her to meet someone better? 70% of Archie plot lines deal with Archie waffling between the two objects of his affections. He has probably bailed on Betty literally hundreds of times since the comic book series began. Sure, Veronica is an awful snot, but then why is Betty her best friend half the time?

If I were Betty, I'd start reconsidering that charming Jughead fellow. If it doesn't work out, it won't ruin their friendship anyway.


A Degree of Honesty

"I didn't come to college to go to class.  I came because I didn't want to decide what I want to do with my life for another four years." - Jo 

(Jo didn't make it to year two)


A Doggone Good Time

When friends traveled into LA from Chicago, D.C., and San Diego this past weekend, it was cause for a party. Though I've been reluctant to drink much lately, I decided the occasion called for the cheapest rum money can buy.

In spite of the presence of many esteemed guests, the party was really all about Otto. Otto is Melinda's dog and he always makes his presence known. If Otto had one fault, it would be that he "loves too much." Seriously, the pup is unflaggingly affectionate. Otto lives to lick and hug, but he's so big and aggressive that it can be problematic, even though he means well, kind of like Lennie from Of Mice and Men.

Nevertheless, Otto is adogable, so I took several photos of him. Here he is hanging with the gang.

Here is he getting frisky with Allison.

And here he is getting really frisky with Adam.

After, Melinda started screening some television series, but I couldn't focus on it enough to follow, so instead I put myself in Otto's cage. I latched it shut, then being an idiot, couldn't manage to open it again. I moped until Allison came to my rescue.

Once I was freed, some people wanted to make a trip to the taco stand. I agreed, but felt that my referee shirt was not nearly fashionable enough for such an excursion and demanded a hat. Fortunately, Allison obliged and constructed me a hat out of tinfoil. I look ravishing if I do say so myself. (I realize that I do say so myself.) Some people gave me funny looks, but I suspect they were just angry that they were unable to read my mind.

The fun crept to an end at 4:15 in the morning. As everyone else found a couch or floor to crash on, I thought it would be a good idea to walk the three miles home. In retrospect, that might have been a little dangerous, but I had a fun-filled walk back. First, I stopped to pee behind a wall, only to realize I was only ten feet from a homeless person, who I woke up. Then, when I was at the last stretch of my route, the downhill portion, I spotted a shopping cart and decided to ride it down. When I tell this story, people picture me getting inside the cart to ride, but if that were the case, I would have never made it home alive. Instead, I stood on the back bar and let gravity and acceleration do their things as I coasted down a car-less street. I never would have guessed a trip home could be so amusing. I'm glad I trusted my gut on that one... a gut full of cheap rum.


Backyard Buffet

Playing "Would You Rather"

Annalily: Would you rather have a dump in your backyard or a cemetery in your backyard?
Jessica: Dump because I'd always have something to eat. (Brief pause) No, cemetery, because I'd always have something to eat.


"Ow, My Leg!"

Alex made an amazing observation the other night: Injuries are funnier when the victim shouts out, "Owww, my [body part]!" A scream of pain can be unpleasant, but quickly following it by "My leg!" is inexplicably comical. Not to mention just inexplicable in general. Is it really necessary to scream the afflicted body part? Does crying "My wrist!" legitimatize the injury?

Anyway, I decided to test Alex's theory out by searching YouTube videos to see if people loudly, verbally indicating the area of pain does indeed make things funnier. The following clips are like an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos, but better because they don't feature Bob Saget doing annoying voiceovers.

"Ow, my eye!"

"Ow, my balls!"

"Ow, my belly!"

Though this kid initially neglects to mention where he is hurt, he finally remembers to point out the obvious.

That clip inspired me to formulate a new theory of my own: Maybe people screaming out where they are in pain is an innate survival quality humans have. Suppose you've been shot in the leg and are about to lose consciousness. You want to make damned sure the people coming to your aid know good and well where you have been injured so that you don't wake up with your arm amputated instead.

It's clear the "Ouch, my...!" trend is legitimate since even the media portrays it. The most famous example comes from The Brady Bunch.

But I have to say that I'm partial to this snippet from Yugioh:

"Ah, my finger!"

Of all the clips I searched through, however, this one takes the cake. Listen carefully to what our skateboarding friend exclaims after falling.

"Ah! My wrist! I mean my ankle." This guy knows he's supposed to quickly report the location of his injury and does so before he even correctly registers where he's hurt. Good try, friend.

When you get hurt, scream it loud and proud. The next time you fall on your butt, make sure that everyone knows that it is in fact your butt that aches. Even if blood is visibly pouring from your skull, your friends will appreciate hearing, "Owww, my head!"


A Convenient Solution

A: You still have the eight-person tent?
B: I had sort of a falling out with Cesar*, so I just kinda have it.
A: He doesn't want it back?
B: Probably, but we haven't talked. I still have a bunch of his stuff, actually.
A: Like what?
B: A laptop.
A: For a Communist, he sure has a lot of stuff.
B: Well, he gives it all away, I guess.
A: Do you even use the computer?
B: No, but I might use it to watch movies.
A: Will you give that back?
B: I'm going to wait until he asks for it. I mean, he still has my contact solution.
A: Ah, so tit for tat?
B: Exactly.
A: He'd have to have fifteen gallons of your contact solution for that to work out.


Teenage Mutant Ningay Turtles

I was looking through some of my first grade artwork and I found a picture I drew of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oh, but it's not just any drawing of the Ninja Turtles, it is the gayest drawing of the Ninja Turtles that ever was.

Not only are the Turtles all skipping and holding hands, but they appear to be watching their enemies Bebop and Rocksteady engage in anal sex.

Bebop and Rocksteady are NOT amused:


Happy "Birthday," Mr. President

Happy "Birthday," President Obama.

I bought him a present, but he'll need to show a birth certificate before he can obtain my gift. I'm not being silly, I apply the same standard to all of my friends.

Look, I'm not a birther, though, as a child, I did want to be a midwife when I grew up. That or a firefighter. Other children want to grow up to be the President - but they can't because foreign good-for-nothing impostors fake their citizenship and take that job!

Hmm... taking a job from real (read: white) Americans... has anyone checked whether Obama's birth certificate is from Mexico?

People have this controversy all wrong. I believe that Obama was born in Hawaii as he claims, but that only makes him half-American at best! Hawaii is the baby state, and I use the term "state" loosely. As the newest state, it should still be subject to hazing before we fully initiate it. Just because Eisenhower won Hawaii in a poker game, doesn't mean we have to let it join our club.

How do we know that Obama wasn't dropped on Bama-Mama's doorstep by a kamikaze instead of a stork?

And what's with having only twelve letters in their alphabet?
Words that the Hawaiian alphabet cannot spell: American, democracy, patriot,
Words that the Hawaiian alphabet can spell: hell, kill, pimp, wino, lame
I'm not saying, I'm just saying...

"Only eligible in the continental United States" is common text in the fine print of contests. I'd like to argue that that should be extended to the U.S. Presidency as well. If we kept it continental, we'd be able to wash our hands of Sarah Palin, too. Don't tell me that's not a fair trade-off.

And if you still need proof that Hawaii is not a real state, look no further than America's Next Top Model. Each year, the models travel to a foreign destination for some worldly experience. This upcoming season, the girls are going to Hawaii. Tyra Banks knows what's what.

I've laid out some damning evidence. Obama is unconstitutionally our President and, like, turning us socialist. I literally feel socialism inside my body. It's worse than swine flu.

On the other hand, if Obama is socialist, that means he has to share everything with us. -- even birthdays. So Happy Birthday to us all!


Orphan: It'll Scare You Parentless

Have you seen Orphan yet? It’s like the Citizen Kane of our time, except instead of a sled, there is a homicidal adopted child.

You should see this movie. Not only did I enjoy Orphan, but I knew I would enjoy it because I was spoiled. My roommate’s friend reads scripts for a living and he read the Orphan screenplay a few years back. He says he is shocked it was actually produced since it was one of the five worst scripts he’s ever read, which is saying something for someone who does just that day in and day out.  I agreed to be spoiled since I figured it was a film I would never actually take the time to see down the road, but after hearing the plot and gimmick, I knew I had to see it.

For this reason, I’m just going to spoil the whole damn thing below. If you’re willing to take my word and stop reading, good, just go see the film. But I figure in this case it doesn’t hurt to just tell you everything that happens, because knowing just made me actually want to view it even more.


So we start with Kate, the film’s protagonist, who immediately experiences a bloody miscarriage. It’s exaggeratedly gory since Kate’s merely having a nightmare, but apparently it happened a while back in real life, which is important to note since it sets up the ongoing character trait of Kate being a failure of a mother. I mean, she can’t even give birth right, you know? On top of it all, Kate is a recovering alcoholic, takes anti-depressants, lost her job, and her daughter almost died in a pond due to her neglect. SHE IS DOING THE BEST SHE CAN!

At least Kate has a seemingly supportive husband, John. Yes, that’s right, their names are John and Kate, which, intentionally or not, foreshadows the state of their marriage. Kate has two living kids aside from the stillborn. There’s the son, Danny, who pretty much does nothing, and Max, the deaf daughter, played by Marlee Matlin, I think. Max loves to have Mommy Kate read her the story about the time she miscarried and her sister went to heaven every night before bed. So Kate has to use sign language to convey her tragic tale, and Jesus, that would drive me to drink and deaf Max laughs like it’s the best story ever. Consequently Kate is a wreck, but she wants to adopt to fill the void left from her flawed vagina, show the world she can raise a kid that won’t nearly drown, and replace the obnoxious handicapped dud she already has.

So Kate and John go to the orphanage where John spots a snowman and calls it a “snorphan.” It’s the movie’s only joke, aside from the running miscarriage gag, and is kind of funny, if not out of place. He takes a quick liking to the strange Russian orphan, Esther because she is a brilliant painter. They figure they might as well adopt a child with preexisting gifts and talents since they can’t otherwise raise one on their own.

Anyway, Esther is totally weird because she lies, injures her classmate, uses the F-word, and won’t let her new mommy see her naked. Kate starts to have concerns. Then a nun from the orphanage shows up at the house to announce that she is finding some disturbing facts in Esther’s history, so Esther secretly follows the nun and bashes her head in with a hammer. Murdering a nun with a hammer is now totally on my bucket list.

Esther is afraid that brother Danny is suspicious and puts a knife to his crotch and threatens to “cut off [his] hairless prick before [he] even know how to use it.” That part is awesome and it shuts him up. Then Esther desecrates the stillborn memorial Kate built, which is evil, but probably necessary. She also tries to kill Max by taking the car out of park and letting it roll down a hill. Kate suspects Esther is evil, but can’t prove it, and everyone is all like “Oh, Kate, you’re just being you – a bad mom, why don’t you love your new daughter?” Then Esther intentionally breaks her own arm in a vise to make it seem like Kate is abusing her. And John wants a divorce!

But then Esther sets fire to a tree house while Danny’s in it – should have neutered his hairless prick while she had a chance – and he is hospitalized and even though Esther removes his life support and suffocates him, the doctors ultimately say “he will be okay” as if there was never cause for alarm, mainly because he’s boring and we don’t need him in the story anymore.

Kate knows Esther is responsible and freaks out until she needs to be sedated because she is the worst.mother.ever. Back at home, Esther dresses like a child whore and tries to seduce her drunk father. He doesn’t fuck her, so she stabs him to death.

Meanwhile Kate gets a call from a mental institution. Apparently, and THIS IS THE BIG TWIST: Esther is not a child, she is a 33-year-old insane woman from Estonia with proportional dwarfism posing as a child to infiltrate families and kill them. No, really, she’s done it several times before, even!

Now the deranged dwarf whore is stalking the deaf child to kill her, too. But a medicated Kate gets back in time to have an epically bloody battle. And every time you think it’s over, Esther is still alive because midgets won’t die! Finally, though, the film ends with a showdown on the frozen pond between Esther and Kate. Losing the fight, Esther reaches out and says, “Help me, Mommy.” Kate screams, “I am not your fucking Mommy!” and kills her in the pond, even though she promised not to let her kids die in the pond anymore. Way to be a bad mom again, Kate. At least Max can suddenly hear again! Okay, no, that’s a lie, but Kate did manage to get rid of that dumb shit husband without wasting money on a divorce lawyer.

If being a good mom means saving your children from homicidal little people, Kate is the best mom of them all! And they all lived happily ever after! Well, except for the dead and maimed characters, and the stillborn. But, you know, at least we all learned a valuable lesson: never ever adopt. That’s just asking for trouble.


Happy Fourth Birthday, Kevin Babbles

WoOoOoOoOoOoO!!!! Happy Birthday, Kevin Babbles! This blog has survived four years on the internet. Let's celebrate by looking back at the 20 most memorable posts of the past year.

20. The time I struggled to learn how to do laundry.
19. The time I watched a young girl attempt to kill herself in the grocery store.
18. The time I saw a TV show where a character killed her father by having premarital sex.
17. The time I committed identity theft against myself.
16. The time I fathered siamese septuplets.
15. The time a strange married Indonesian man might have propositioned me for sex over the internet.
14. The time I ranted about people who breed like it's a hobby.
13. The time a sign persuaded me not to attend a blood drive.
12. The time my student wrote an unintentionally hilarious essay about abortion.
11. The time I was sexually harassed by a crazy, toothless dyke.
10. The time I argued with Mormons about gay marriage for days.
9. The time I read a liberry book that taught me to avoid "retarded" children.
8. The time I listed my favorite infomercials.
7. The time I took advantage of a passed out stranger in Las Vegas.
6. The time I dressed up like a monkey and ran around Los Angeles drunk while pushing a shopping cart.
5. The time I was locked out of the Museum of Tolerance, then joined the protest efforts against the institution.
4. The time I explored my blond identity.
3. The time I uncovered a vast left-wing conspiracy.
2. The time I honestly thought I was possessed by a ghost.
1. The time a recalled doll ate Meggie's hair.

Thanks for coming to Kevin Babbles' party. Don't forget to take a slice of cake on your way out!