The Rape Whistle

When Melinda worked for a production of the Vagina Monologues, she received a black t-shirt with pink text reading "Vagina Friendly." Since she is antagonistic toward female genitalia, she thought it would be funny to gift the shirt to me. I'll wear it around the house occasionally, but I'm not brazen enough to wear it out in public. I accidentally brought it with me while camping this past summer after forgetting that I was wearing it beneath a sweatshirt. Without a change of clothes, I found myself in a jam when our camp site was literally ten feet from a group of Girl Scouts and their mothers and I worried that I'd be arrested for general lechery.

Because of this incident, I am careful as to when I wear the Vagina Friendly shirt. After showering on Friday afternoon, I slipped on the shirt on a temporary basis before deciding what I would ultimately wear when going out that night. Earlier than I was anticipating, however, Terri, Lady Garza, RJ, Wes, Andrew, and Alice arrived at my house and we began to chat and play board games. Soon after, Stacy and Stacy's mom (like the song - except that she's more of a conservative churchwoman) showed up and I found myself feeling uncomfortable in my Vagina Friendly attire. After playing host for a few minutes, I excused myself to my room and changed into my referee shirt for a change of pace. I wanted something loud to hopefully overpower any previous impressions I might have given and it worked.

Someone joked that I needed a whistle to match my ref shirt and I lamented not having one. Excitedly, Alice reached in her purse and handed me one. "Is that for rapes?" I asked.

Stacy's mom made a surprised expression, so I tried to cover up by explaining my line of reasoning. People carry rape whistles around for protection. In fact, we all were given one on our first day of college. We were also warned that you could be fined if you blew the whistle in the case of a non-emergency. I gambled that I was more likely to goof around with the whistle than be raped and decided to preemptively remove the temptation by smashing the whistle with a hammer. Once the whistle was broken, I could blow into it to my heart's content and it barely emitted a sound - certainly not one that would help save me from harm.

Look, this is not a unique problem, even Arrested Development's Buster can't help but have fun blowing his rape whistle:

In the subsequent season, the rape whistle is upgraded to a rape horn, as seen and heard here. Unfortunately, that quick clip leaves off Buster's hilarious retort, "Yeah, like anyone would want to 'R' her!"

My mention of the rape whistle incited a whole conversation about rape and the sexual safety talk delivered during orientation. They warned of a girl who was joking around by blowing her whistle and then watching helplessly as her boyfriend was beaten up by a pack of protective jocks. In order to hold their attention, they also apparently went to pains to explain how men can be raped, too, like some former student who was sodomized by two women with a beer bottle. Despite it being "mandatory," I skipped this meeting because both of my roommates did and I didn't want to be "uncool" by going to the sexual assault talk. I had only known them for 24 hours and I would later learn they were both just as dorky as anybody at school, but it was a funny first way to be peer-pressured in college. Afterwards, I was so nervous about being caught for not attending, I asked my dorm-neighbor Shannon a lot of questions about the event so if I were questioned, I could recite facts as if I had been there. This proved to be unnecessary paranoia on my part, but my over-eager interrogation of Shannon on the issues of rape prompted her to say, "Dude, you're creeping me out," and walk away. Consequently, I spent the next few weeks trying to demonstrate to her that I was not some psycho rapist before finally earning her friendship.

We all continued to share these rape-related stories for an inordinate amount of time even if we hadn't been trying to censor ourselves around of Stacy's mom, so I'm not sure how we managed to let that awkward conversation go on for so long. As Stacy would later ask me, "You couldn't wait more than a couple of minutes for my mom to get comfortable with the situation before bringing up rape?" It was a legitimate gripe, but I can say I honestly tried to avoid the awkwardness by changing my shirt in the first place. Inappropriateness just seems to follow me.



Quit being modest! For what it's worth, the remote really did land there and she really was proud. Ecstatic even.


Helping on the Holiday

It's Thanksgiving. But you probably already knew that. You never let me deliver the good news.

I "volunteered" today for an organization serving meals to the homeless in the park. I put the word in quotation marks because I don't really feel that I helped much. I was initially excited to participate, since this is the same park I used to eat my lunch in four years ago and had to actively avoid homeless people taking/eating my food, so finally being able to share food seemed like an important cycle to fulfill.

The problem with this holiday meal was that it was too well organized. I know that sounds like a funny complaint, but there were at least two volunteers for every diner, which was wholly unnecessary. When I give my time, I'd prefer to be useful to standing around awkwardly trying to find some way to assist. I'd honestly have felt better if the place was mismanaged and needed me to run around to make things happen.

Now I know that volunteering shouldn't be all about me and what I prefer. It shouldn't be about what made a better experience for me, but the homeless people, and I understand that. But when you have so many people there trying to be useful, it can be counterproductive. Take the clean-up process for example: it started an hour before it was supposed to just because of the eager workforce. Hundreds of people were steal eating their meals, but so many people wanted to be of use that any chair not being sat on was stacked and moved and any plate that looked done was snagged off the table. I helped in this process, despite feeling uncomfortable. We were taking these things from right beside people who were still eating, and I felt like I was being rude and rushing them, which wasn't really the intent, but definitely the end result. There was also a surplus of food left over, so they kept trying to get people to take more, all while making it seem like the feast was over.

Oh well, it just motivates me to volunteer again soon in a setting where I am not a nuisance.

In the meantime, enjoy the holiday with this amazing clip from Addams Family Values that the funny Lewis reminded me of.

Oh Christina Ricci. So creepy yet attractive in your youth.


Wedding Advice

I don’t much like going out for drinks in Los Angeles. Sure, there’s “atmosphere,” but when the price of two drinks is equivalent to a whole handle or twenty-four pack, it’s hard to justify the cost. On my trip to Kentucky, however, I found the bars to be amazing. First, they stay open until four a.m. Second, they are a short walk from one’s home (granted, that is probably not true for everyone, but it was true in my case, so perfect!) Third, even on weekend nights they sell beer for $1.25 and well drinks for $2.50, making drinking affordable. Fourth, you meet some interesting people.

I met an older woman, “Cindy,” at a bar when we both went to use the jukebox at the same time. We decided to collaborate on song choice (generally I just conceded to her preferences since our tastes didn’t align) and struck up a lengthy conversation from there. Her sister was the “designated driver” (a drunk one at that) and was ready to leave. Cindy, however wasn’t done drinking and listening to her songs yet. Her sister ran out of the bar in a huff. Cindy told me she would run out to stop her sister, but she received a public intoxication citation outside this bar recently, so she’d rather stay indoors. She explained that her sister was just moody because she was in the process of getting divorced, but that things would probably work out with her husband since no one else could stand to be with them and they’d realize that soon enough.

I thought Cindy was flirting with me, but after half an hour she mentioned her own husband. Speaking of which, as a married woman, she had some advice she wanted to give me to the bride before she walks down the aisle. It wasn’t advice so much as a drunken rant. She rambled about the problems she has with her husband, but how that doesn’t matter, because as long as they’re married, she will never be lonely. Cindy doesn’t love her husband, the only person she loves in this world is her six-year-old daughter, but she still needs a partner like a husband, even if they aren’t speaking to each other. The reason she married her husband was because she knows that he is the one person in the world that will never divorce her, never leave her. Cindy can be difficult sometimes, and she knows most people wouldn’t put up with that, but her husband is a pushover that will not leave, and that makes him the best partner. And that’s what I should tell my friends! Tell them to pick someone who will never leave, it doesn’t have to be about love, but it should be about commitment. She actually made me promise to tell Jocelyn and Ben this before the wedding. I promised, but I kept it to myself. I’m not even saying this woman is wrong entirely, but these are, at best, words of wisdom to be given at lower points in the marriage, not in the romantic early phases. How this would make their big day any more special is preposterous.

Finally, Cindy’s sister came back. “I thought you left!” “I could never leave my sister!” They kissed each other on the lips, each had one more drink “for the road,” and then offered me some marijuana, which I declined. She then took my phone number and immediately text messaged me the name of the chicken shack that she works at that she suggested I stop by to see her at before I left the state. I never did that, but it was a nice gesture, anyway. On her way out, Cindy handed one of my friends a huge nugget of weed without saying a word.

When we left for the night, my friend took the weed to give a family member of the wedding party who he knew would appreciate the drugs. From his drunken hazy memory, he remembers delivering the substance. When this exchange was discussed the next morning, the relative denied being given the drug, meaning that somewhere, someone had lost a large amount of drugs. There were two rules in the guesthouse we were staying at: no drinking and no smoking. The drinking rule was blatantly disregarded, but there was no reason not to just take any cigarettes (or other smoking devices) outside. There was an intense search for the weed, but it never turned up. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the stuffy guesthouse owners find a lump of drugs in their house and flip out. I’d also love to be a fly on the wall in Cindy’s house, watching the dynamics of her perfectly loveless marriage in action. That woman is a riot.


My 1,000th Post

WOOOOOOOOO! Kevin Babbles is now 1,000 posts old. It's taken a lot of work to get this far. A lot of work indeed. In fact, it's the only job I've got going.

I am unemployed. It's not awful because the government provides me with some financial assistance. Then again, the government's action/inaction/dumbassery is at least partially responsible for the lack of jobs, so I'm not too thankful either. I'd rather be doing something than doing nothing, so let me know if you have any employment leads that might suit me. Also, I could always write things for you! Yes you, friends and random internet strangers alike. Just email me.

In the meantime, I'm consistently looking for opportunities, which are sadly limited, and writing countless cover letters that seem to go unread. Sigh. A couple of people have advised me to move out of Los Angeles if I want to find work. Check out this map to see the nation's unemployment trends. (Seriously, click the link - it's good for a laugh if you enjoy chuckling at tragic things.) Looks like I'd be screwed everywhere. Except perhaps the midwest, but I concur with Lucille Bluth's sage words:

Nowadays, I can't even give a job to get a job, if you know what i mean. Help a blogger out.


Performance Art: So Much Nudity

Performance art has quite a reputation for being ridiculous and pointless. I haven’t seen too much of it myself, and though I figure a great deal of it is absurd, I’ve believed that its reputation was somewhat exaggerated. Last weekend, however, I attended a performance art show and was horrified at, if not scarred by, the sick, outrageous things I saw. These things included nudity, bodily-harm, butt-plugs, pooping, and an adult man having his diaper changed. Disgusted yet?

Let’s start at the beginning. While making plans for the evening, Terri mentioned that she had met a man at a bar the previous night who dresses up as the baby Jesus and nails himself to a vagina. She wasn’t willing to give him her phone number, but she would gladly accept the flyer to his event. I wasn’t sure that it would be a good show, but I figured it would be an experience of some sort. Stacy agreed that this guy’s shtick would at least be entertaining. Though we were put off by the fifteen-dollar tickets, Terri argued that it would either be the best or worst fifteen bucks we’ve ever spent, so we accepted the gamble and went to the show.

Upon entering the performance space, a man dressed as a female nurse approached me and asked if I would like a “crotch shot.” I wasn’t sure what that was, but I was the designated driver and not interested in drinking alcohol, so I declined. The “nurse” told me I was missing out and proceeded to find someone else to participate. Curious, I watched the crotch shot in action. As it turned out, there was no alcohol involved, just some strange thing that involved the nurse placing his head between the volunteers’ legs and nuzzling his face against their crotches. After seeing that, I was glad I didn’t agree to participate; I can only imagine what would have happened if I had thought I was receiving a drink and was sexually harassed instead.

But that was just the pre-show entertainment. Soon after, we were moved to a large room for the show; there were no seats so most people just took a seat on the floor. The first act was some sort of skit with three men wearing elaborate pumpkin-monster costumes. There was almost no dialogue, but a lot of exaggerated crying and dying amongst the characters. With a lack of narrative and deeper meaning, it was like watching third graders perform a skit. Plus, the damned thing dragged on for nearly fifteen minutes. As I asked myself “why is this still happening and what is going on?” I decided to calculate what percentage of my weekly income I had spent on this ticket. In essence, people could do anything on a stage and call it “art” and these people were taking full advantage of this fact.

The next act was a pair of men, one wearing a robe and one in nothing but his underwear, with a variety of props. They used half a roll of packing tape to attach a sharp blade to the microphone and I winced the whole time at the possibilities. If they were going to sing and talk into the mike (which they did plenty of), there was a good possibility of slicing their faces open. I guess the real reason for the blade was to create some excitement. There was a box, taped shut, attached to the ceiling. One of the guys held up the microphone stand from the bottom and used it to try to cut open the box. Slicing the box open proved difficult, requiring literally dozens of attempts, including a couple botched attempts in which the guy would lose control of the mike stand and it would start falling – blade first toward us sitting in the audience. If the objective was to terrify me, it worked: I was pretty sure someone was going to be impaled. Finally the box opened, and about fifty bouncy balls fell from the sky. It was exciting, but the anticipation of what was in the box (as well as potential bodily harm) outweighed the actual event.

From there, the men did whatever they felt like. Bouncing balls, eating bagels, singing metal songs. Periodically, they would mention that we had paid a lot for these tickets and rhetorically asked if we felt like they were giving us our money’s worth. It was like they were thumbing their noses at us, laughing at the fact that we agreed to give them artistic license to do whatever. They also made reference to the fact that it cost a lot to have this show because the clean-up costs alone are astronomical since blood and shit stains are hard to get out. Unfortunately, I don’t think this was a joke. The guys continued to do random activities, most notably the one in just underwear fried an egg on a hot plate, then afterwards put his own head on the hot plate, which was still operational. I’m not sure what he was trying to prove. Though I didn’t notice it myself, Terri later claimed he became visibly aroused while doing that, so maybe it was a sadomasochism thing.

We were moved to another room for the next piece, which had mazes of upside down golf tees set up all over the floor. These props were secondary to the toilet in the center filled to the brim with fertilizer and a naked man in the back corner pooping into a bucket. A butch woman came out and spoke about the maltreatment of people afflicted with mental health conditions while plunging the “soiled” (get it?) toilet. She mentioned some kerfuffle of a schizophrenic with a police officer than resulted in pain and passed around the evidence in a ziplocked plastic bag. When I was handed it, it looked like hair and blood, and I decided I didn’t even want to know for sure what was inside, so I passed it along quickly. This story was supposed to make us mad, apparently, and the main performer (as opposed to the man pooping on the bucket – still pooping on the bucket, might I add) encouraged us to pick up a golf tee and chuck it at the wall whenever we got mad during the piece and she showed us by example. Not one person throughout the piece threw a tee; I’m not sure I was ever “mad” as much as I was disturbed.

Anyway, there was more of the same for a while, but here’s where things really got weird. The woman got bare-ass to correspond with the pooping man and the two of them took pieces of floss that had books tied to one end and stick it in their teeth, leaving the books dangling from their mouths. They then got down on their hands and knees and very slowly crawled toward us in the audience, knocking over the golf tees in their wake. I grew uncomfortable as they approached me, trying to shift backward into the audience so that they wouldn’t end up brushing against me. Still, nothing was quite as disturbing as when they passed by me. It wasn’t until then that I realized that each performer had a butt plug in his or her bare ass. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. They pair continued to crawl toward the door, which had a dozen rolls of toilet paper sitting in front of it. I figured something dramatic would happen once they reached the paper, but instead they just pushed passed it and proceeded to exit through the door and crawl around outside.

Right next door to this performance space is a more traditional gallery that was hosting its own opening. It featured nice, traditional paintings and a lot of people showed up, many of whom were standing just outdoors to smoke, drink wine, and have conversations. They were most likely unaware of what was occurring next door… that is until two naked people with butt plugs crawled outdoors. Fortunately, there were windows in the room that allowed us to peek outside and watch all of this unfold. It’s one thing to know you’re going to watch a non-traditional show and another thing to have the non-traditional show ambush you. Watching the art-goers oblivious smiles turn into horrified expressions once they noticed the naked duo was immensely enjoyable. Terri said that this part was worth the price of admission alone, but I’m not sure I’d go that far. Still, that was my favorite moment of the night. I guess the point of this piece was to make sure to take better care of people with mental health conditions… or they’ll put on this show for you!

I should probably mention that I openly laughed pretty frequently during all of the acts. No one else was doing it, but if you’re going to put weird shit out for me to interpret on my own and not offer an explanation, if I find it funny, I’m going to laugh and not apologize. Put your genitals away and make sense if you feel differently. The rest of the audience was largely artsy unaffected twenty-or-thirty-somethings that stared emotionless as if they see this sort of thing all the time. Maybe they do and maybe that’s why they’ve been rendered emotionless. My favorite person in the audience, however, was a middle-aged woman who was most definitely a mom that did not ever go to these types of events. From the beginning, her jaw was wide open in shock at what was occurring around her. It was often horrifying, so I didn’t blame her. But by the end of the show, she was just laughing. I think she finally realized what a joke all of this was and just let loose, openly laughing at it instead. I loved watching her transformation more than the actual art.

From there, we moved back to the first room, now cleaned of all props, and saw a nude woman standing in the center. Again with the nudity. On one wrist she had a handcuff with about one hundred pieces of paper attached. She began telling a story about how her dad raped her and she is now a lesbian, but then stopped. The rest of the story was written on the pieces of paper attached to her handcuff. She walked around the audience and we were all to tear off a sheet of paper and read the bits of story aloud to make it more interactive. The order wasn’t important, and the voices could read simultaneously. Afterwards, we had all been provided with markers. She invited us to come up and write on her skin. Only one person did. I actually wanted to go and write on her naked body for the novelty of it – like behind her knee or somewhere tame – but since no one else was doing it, I felt weird being that guy. I don’t know that the piece was successful since the audience did not participate in the way she expected, but at least I understood what the greater symbolism (we, too, could “rape” her body) and feelings she was trying to convey. Still, it was weird.

And then finally the night ends with the Jesus guy. The lights go up and there is an obese man wearing nothing but a diaper. He is made to look like Jesus and is crucified on a nine-foot tall vagina. A band in the corner, costumed as Roman soldiers, begins to play and Jesus sings cover songs like some sort of lounge act. Eventually, he breaks free of his vagina crucifixion and gives us party favors – baby rattles and pacifiers. We shake the rattles as he sings and explains that this piece is about a breakup – a breakup with his mother. It’s clear that at least Jesus is not taking this as seriously as everyone else and is having fun with it. Nevertheless, he’s making people uncomfortable as he crawls and ambles around. He had greased himself thoroughly with baby oil, so whenever he would brush against someone, they would essentially be slimed with the stuff.

He sang to us for a while and then laid on a makeshift changing table just feet away. One of the Roman soldiers came and changed his diaper, providing us with a full, naked view. There was a whole lot of baby powder utilized, which then wafted in the air. Though it smelled pleasant, I knew that that powder had just bounced against his naked butt and I didn’t like the particles falling all around me. The previous night, this man had told Terri that he had waxed his entire body for the role – including his asshole – because there was a “diaper change” in the act. We interpreted this to mean a costume change of some sort, not a real live diaper change.

And so concluded the night. There were actually two acts listed on the program, but apparently the artist involved pulled out of the show after the previous night. In some ways, I was thankful, because I really don’t know how much of this I could have handled. But one of the acts was to feature someone eating dirt, while the other involved someone submerging himself in a vat full of Gatorade. They seemed a bit funnier in concept than some of the other acts, so I do regret missing out on them a bit, but as I figure, they’d probably find a way to make those gratuitous and un-watchable too, so it was perhaps better to just get out of there.

I can’t un-see what I’ve seen, but I can make a point not to experiment with experimentation again. This night might have ruined art for me – not just performance art, but water colors and ceramics, too. It’s all art and it’s all disturbing. One thing is for sure: I will probably never have a reason to see anything even resembling these acts again, and that I can be thankful for.

Take care. And beware performance art.


Mr. Yoko Ono

Priscilla: I made you a mix CD.
Eric: (pretending) Oh, it's the Starbucks collection! It has all my favorite artists: John Legend... John Mayer... John Mellencamp.... uh...
Corey: Jon Bon Jovi.
Kevin: Johnny Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls. He'd be on there.
Erica: Oh come on, there's a lot more singers named John. Like how about John Lennon?
Kevin: John Lennon? Who's that?
Adrian: Any relation to Julian Lennon?
Kevin: He's not that guy that ruined Yoko Ono, is he?
Eric: Yeah, I think he broke up the Plastic Ono Band.
Adrian: Ugh, he's awful.
Kevin: Someone should shoot him.


Photo Booth Phun

One of my favorite things at Jocelyn & Ben's wedding was the photo booth at the reception. It was a fun diversion for the guests and provides some amazing keepsake photos.

I love Erika's narrative.
So much fun!
With some quick maneuvering, everyone has facial hair.
And once Jocelyn leaves for her honeymoon, Erika tries on her dress. Shh!
Even the lady paid to pour wine slipped in for some fun.
But this one is my absolute favorite. I've been told I make good, animated facial expressions, and seeing this spread, I actually believe it.
1. Sexy but earnest
2. Surprised
3. Picking my nose with my hook, yet still maintaining eye contact
And 4... Keeping a smile in spite of the pain.

No really, the key to the fourth photo is the close-up. Stephanie suggested, "Let's kiss Kevin," which sounded great in my book, so I flashed a huge smile and then Jenna decided to elevate the photo to the next level and chomp on my cheek. Can you see how much of my skin is between her teeth?!
It was a few seconds between the pose/bite and the camera's flash, but I stayed committed to the happy expression, because that's what a professional, dedicated model I am. After the flash, however, I yelped in pain and pushed her. But I'll be damned if I wasn't going to pull out a good photo first.


A Socksy Dream

Some people sleepwalk, some people sleep-talk, and I just take things several steps further. I thought that calling someone on the phone while sleeping once might be as weird as it got, but last night I actually acted out what I was dreaming and found the evidence to prove it this morning.

First, allow me to briefly explain the dream. Apparently, there was some massacre occurring. Some opposition party was killing everyone except for people who surrendered, which people indicated by displaying a white flag. I didn't want to surrender, but I didn't want to die. The next thing I knew I was being woken up (still in a dream state) by a man with a machine gun screaming at me that I was about to die. Terrified, I told him that I had surrendered. He told me that only people who were displaying white flags were considered to have surrendered. Thinking quick, I improvised a solution: I took my white sock off my foot and waved it around to indicate surrender. I then hung it on my wall. The militant man accepted this gesture as surrender and let me live. More importantly, I got to go back to sleep.

When I woke up (for real) in the morning, I remembered having the dream, it seemed especially vivid as far as my dreams go, so I tried to determine what it was all about. As I pondered, I noticed that I was only wearing one sock. While it's not unusual for me to remove my socks during the night, it is strange to take off just one - the lack of equilibrium isn't comfortable. Did I really take off a sock when I dreamt I took off a sock?, I wondered. I looked under my sheets to see if I could find the missing sock to no avail.

I did finally find the sock, however. A few feet above where I rest my head in bed, there is a poster taped to the wall. My sock was partially tucked behind this poster with most of it left dangling. Evidently, in the night, I had actually taken my sock off and hung it up as a "white flag" in an effort to save my life. There's no way a sock could possibly accidentally end up there. I'm going to assume that there wasn't actually a man with a machine gun in my room, but it's still crazy that unconsciously through the influence of a dream, I took those actions.


How to Really Love Your Child

One of my favorite new blogs, Awful Library Books, featured the book How to Really Love Your Teenager today. I immediately recognized it as a sequel to a book I own, How to REALLY Love Your Child, and I was inspired to revisit this gem. I picked this book up from a discard pile, mainly because the title made me laugh. While I comprehend the intent of the book, when they emphasize the “really” part by putting the word in a different color, it’s difficult not to think that the book might be championing incestuous pedophilia.

Though I brought home the book with that joke in mind, I figured it would be tame and banal at best. I did not actually believe that author Dr. Ross Campbell would advocate anything inappropriate. And yet, as I skimmed through the book, I found that sometimes his suggestions were seriously disturbing. Take these three paragraphs from the book. I initially abbreviated them, but then decided to just put them unedited so that you can see I’m not manipulating the text or taking it out of context. Just read this and see if the described behavior between father and daughter seems not only healthy but beneficial to you:

A girl gets her sexual identity at that age primarily from her father, as long as he is living and especially if he is in the home. If a father is dead or otherwise removed from relating to his daughter, a girl must find other paternal figures to fill these needs. But when a father has any viable relationship with her, he is the primary person who can help his daughter be prepared in this particular way for adolescence. What a great responsibility!

A father helps his daughter to approve of herself by showing her that he himself approves of her. He does this by applying the principles we have discussed thus far—unconditional love, eye contact, and physical contact, as well as focused attention. A daughter’s need for her father to do this begins as early as two years of age. This need, although important at younger ages, becomes greater as the girl grows older and approaches that almost magic age of thirteen.

One problem is our society is that as a girl grows older, a father usually feels increasingly uncomfortable about giving his daughter the affection she needs, especially when she becomes pre-adolescent (about 10 or 11 years old). So as a daughter arrives at the age when she needs her father’s affection the most, a father feels more awkward and uncomfortable, especially with physical contact. This is extremely unfortunate. Fathers, we must ignore our discomfort and give our daughters what is vital to them for their entire lives.

That’s right, fathers! It might seem wrong to affectionately touch with your daughters, but you’re doing it for the betterment of them! And what about the sons, you might ask? Well Dr. Campbell’s got that covered:

The first example is drawn from Rusty, a very dear friend of mine who is mean, tough, “all man,” and a drill instructor in the U.S. Marine Corps. He and his wonderfully warm sensitive wife have four boys, “stair steps.” Rusty decided his boys were going to be like him, tough and rugged men. He treated them like Marine recruits with strict and rigid discipline, no affection, unquestioned obedience, and no questions.

The last time I saw these boys each one was extremely effeminate. Their mannerisms, speech, and appearance were those of girls. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I see it every day. Boys with rejecting, harsh, non-affectionate fathers generally become effeminate.

You think that molesting your kids is a homosexual act? Well maybe it is on a temporary level, but if you don’t do it, they’re bound to be homosexuals forever. And that’d be awful! I wonder if Dr. Campbell’s “very dear friend” Rusty appreciates this representation of his children.

To Dr. Campbell’s credit, he does think there is an excessive extent to which someone can, uh, touch his kids:

A seven-year-old girl was seen at a psychiatric clinic for frequent masturbation and poor school performance. The evaluation disclosed that the child spent much time fantasizing (day-dreaming) her mother’s death and living alone with her father. It was also noted that her father spent much time holding the child, caressing and fondling her in such a way that seemed to bring sensual enjoyment to both father and child. When these facts were gently shared with the father, his response was, “Oh my word! I just realized that when I wash the soap off of her when we’re showering together, she reacts like a mature woman.”

I would pay good money to witness a man suddenly reaching the realization that his daughter responds like a “mature woman” when he touches her in the shower. You should really love your child, but maybe not really really love her.

Still, the absolute best part of this book can actually be found on the back cover, which features a photo of Dr. Campbell’s family. Pay close attention to the caption:

Perhaps this book should be re-titled How to Really Love Your Child… Unless She Has an Intellectual Disability, in Which Case Get Rid of Her. They can’t go visit poor Cathy and take a picture with her? It’s not prison – or, well, it shouldn’t be a prison anyway. As far as I’m concerned, even if this book were filled with decent advice rather than nonsense, this photo gaff is enough to entirely discredit the contents. It sounds like Dr. Campbell needs a lesson in sensitivity from one of my other favorite books, My Brother Steven Is Retarded.


New Couch #2

Most of the furniture in my house is gone. That's a long story in itself, so for simplicity's sake, let's just say I was robbed at gunpoint and move on.

Anyway, my housemate, Dan, and I found ourselves without so much as a place to sit. My temporary solution was going to be to borrow lawn chairs to fill the empty space and have a slightly more comfortable and significantly more hilarious living environment until we had the opportunity to replace the furniture. Dan was a bit more practical about the situation and quickly found a couch on Craigslist that the owner said we could pick up for free. She had promised it to some other Craigslister first, but whoever it was bailed, so we had next dibs. Dan specifically asked about the moving conditions and the lady suggested that he bring someone to assist since the couch needed to be moved down the stairs. Considering how much fun I had picking up a free couch the last time [that's one of my first blog posts ever!], I was game to help.

So we rented a U-Haul which is always a nightmare to drive. They're just a little too big and unwieldy to feel comfortable operating, especially on the freeway. I still think the most impressive high speed chase I ever watched (they're practically a daily televised event in California) is the woman who stole a U-Haul and weaved it through traffic and across medians to evade capture. How did she do it?

After a twenty minute drive, we finally located the street of the couch owner. The house was located on a street that was steep even by Los Angeles standards. At the bottom of the hill (which looked like a full-on mountain) were three signs: one cautioned us to proceed at only 10 mph, another told us the road was windy, and a third warned us that there were no turn-arounds on the street. That sounded like a recipe for disaster to try to bring a U-Haul up, so we just parked at the bottom of the hill and began walking up to the address. It was practically a workout going up that street, treadmills can't even provide you with that kind of incline. We passed a few sporadic houses on the way, but we were still hundreds of numbers away according to the address provided. It would be a nightmare to try and carry a couch down that hill for that long of a distance, so we chose the other nightmarish scenario of returning to the U-Haul and driving it up the hill.

No joke, it was terrifying and the only redeeming element was the idea that it would become a funny story a year later about the time we crashed a U-Haul off of a cliff, or perhaps even sooner when shared at our respective funerals. It might have been nice had the owner warned us that it would be nearly impossible to bring a U-Haul up that hill, but whatever.

Finally we found the house and there was no room to wiggle around. Dan executed what he called a "twenty point turn," which meant inching forward and backward repeatedly until the large vehicle was finally turned around.

The house was huge and fancy; it was apparent that the family we were taking the couch from was quite affluent. This was good because the couch was in great condition, as opposed to most free furniture you'd find on the internet. The family was upgrading to a nicer couch because they could afford to, not out of necessity, and we reaped the benefits.

Well, sort of. First we had to get the couch down the stairs. Never did the owners specify how difficult a task this would be. In this fancy house, it wasn't just a normal case of stairs, it was narrow and wound around with a landing in the middle. Squeezing it through would be no easy feat in itself, but that the owners threw in another obstacle: "Oh, and if you could make sure the couch doesn't touch the walls, we just had them painted last week." There was maybe a few inches of clearance for the couch with the space allowed as it was, how were we amateur movers going to be perfect. There was a point while lifting the couch over the banister where we came close to accidentally dropping it through the hole and watch it crash two stories down to the ground, but fortunately that didn't happen.

On our way out, I made a passive aggressive comment about how difficult the road was to maneuver on, but the couch's previous owner just said "yeah, and there's lots of deers (sic) that jump out, so watch out for that." Great. Driving back down the hill, we did not encounter "deers," but the drive wasn't much easier. We speculate that the first people who came to pick up the couch bailed because they realized it wasn't worth the effort. Suckers! Fifty dollars in U-Haul rental and a couple of near-death experiences later, we now own a "free" couch! It is nice to have a place to sit in your own home. Plus, it's way more comfortable when you've worked so hard for it.


Ostrich Enchilada

I ate ostrich tonight. An ostrich enchilada, to be exact. When you live in Southern California, you're bound to eat Mexican food at least twice a week, so I took the opportunity to mix it up and have a new twist on an old classic.

One of my friends asked if I was an adventurous eater, which is not the case - I'm definitely pickier than most.

Another friend asked if it tasted like chicken and although that's a cliche question, I have to say it sort of did. Maybe a bit more like turkey. It tasted like a bird at any rate, which makes complete sense.

A third friend asked why I ordered ostrich. I think what it ultimately boiled down to is that I was asserting my dominance on the food chain. That's just one more of God's creatures that I have destroyed by devouring. Besides, ostriches had it coming: they don't fly, their eggs are too large for one person to eat, and they spend their days with their heads underground. Maybe if they weren't so lame, I'd give them a pass. As it is, they deserve little more than to be eaten.

Please do not send this link to PETA.


Fingers Crossed

When I was at Ben's childhood home, [Ben is perhaps best known in these parts for his smashing smooshing skills], I found an amazing piece of artwork than Ben made especially for his mother. Oh, adolescent insecurity:

Now there's a kid who knows that nothing, not even love, should be unconditional.


Baby, You Paralyze Me

"He looks like a stroke victim... in a hot way." - Allison

This was Allison's critique of Logan, the token cute guy, while watching Project Runway tonight. Both she and Melinda seem to think that one side of Logan's face, as well as the corresponding eye, droops. Rest assured, they both still find it attractive. I've heard of some interesting fetishes, but stroke victim... well, there just may be hope for us all!

I looked for the Logan's reported droopiness, but I don't really see it. To be fair, however, I am sort of oblivious to these things. A few weeks ago, I was at a fabric store. (I was there while a friend shopped for a Halloween costume - I don't want to mislead people into thinking I'm some sort of seamster now that I watch Project Runway and go to fabric stores; I still can't reattach buttons to my pants when they fall off.) While browsing the shelves, I came across the book Quilt with Confidence. In addition to finding the title amusing, I was taken aback by author Nancy Zieman's facial expression on the cover. It was a pretty unflattering photo, so why wouldn't they just use another shot in which she didn't look as though she were simultaneously farting and coping with the smell?

I took a picture of the book, but it didn't come out too well, so I'd tried Google searching to see if I could find a clean copy of it. The image search revealed something I honestly hadn't anticipated: Zieman's face looks similar in every photo of her. Here I thought it was funny because I had assumed someone had made a bad design choice for the book's cover art, but as it turned out, I had been mocking someone afflicted with Bell's palsy. Nice one, douche!

Deservedly, I felt like an asshole, and I probably wouldn't have even shared this story with anyone, except that now I know that paralysis is considered "hot" by some. For all I know, someone might be masturbating (with confidence) to Zieman's book cover. After all, beauty is in the lazy eye of the beholder.



I love palindromes! Forward or backward, they read the same!

Initially, I chalked up my love of palindromes to my mild dyslexia, but I can actually trace it back to the moment I was first enamored. In first grade, my teacher taught us what palindromes are. As an example, she pointed out that the then current year, 1991, is a palindrome. Then she challenged us to figure out when the next palindrome year would be, which we determined to be 2002. According to my teacher, we were very lucky because that meant we would be alive during two palindromic years, because many people don't get a chance to see a single one, let alone two. Prior to 1991, the previous palindrome year was 1881, and the next one after 2002 would be 2112. They only happen about every 100 years, except at the turn of the millennium. How lucky I was, indeed! Suddenly, I loved palindromes!

In 2002, I was a college freshmen. During that year, I would periodically remember that although it was early in my life, this was my last palindrome year alive. As 2002 neared an end, I panicked that I hadn't properly celebrated the occasion, so I enlisted my new friends to throw a party on 11/11 2002, seven years ago today. Not just any party, but a Party Trap. (It's a palindrome, see?) We made flyers for the event, which began at 10:01 pm (also a palindrome!) and we promised snacks, music, and, most importantly, words that could be read both forward and backward!

One friend, Ginny, had two people in town at the time that we agreed to make the Party Trap's special guests: her MOM and her boyfriend, MIKE KIM. To my recollection, neither of them actually showed up to the Party Trap, but we honored them for their palindromic names anyway. We also listened to palindrome-themed songs (like the They Might Be Giants tune available at the end of this post) and made a giant poster to illustrate our favorite palindromes. Here are some of the drawings from the poster:

And to think, that last palindrome came before Arrested Development and the genius Banana Grabber characters were ever conceived!

If you didn't celebrate 2002 appropriately, you better look at these pictures, choose some favorites, and repent, as you probably won't live to see 2112, barring any advances in modern medicine. Then again maybe LONELY TYLENOL will stretch our mortality to see a third palindromic year!

"I Palindrome I" - They Might Be Giants


Bus Stopped

Did you watch the premiere of George Lopez's new talk show last night? I didn't, and I had five people practically beg me to watch it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking away from Chicago's Navy Pier. The last time I visited this spot, it was mobbed with people, but as it was a cold, rainy day, I had the sidewalk to myself. Suddenly, a woman stepped off a bus and asked if I would be interested in coming on the bus. She promised snacks. If I were a kid, that'd sound like a recipe for molestation, but seeing as I was cold and wet, I figured why not.

Upon entering, I noticed that everything inside was decorated with pictures of George Lopez. I had walked onto some sort of promotional tool, but since I wasn't in a rush to be anywhere, I decided to hear out the pitch.

"Are you hungry? Can I interest you in some snacks?"
"Okay," I said. There was an array of choices: chips, pretzels, popcorn, candy, even Red Bull, and each package was labelled specially with George Lopez's face; I was encouraged to take whatever I liked. After I put several snacks in my backpack, the employees pounced on me. There were five employees on the bus and I was the only visitor, so I was bombarded by questions from all directions.

"Do you like TV?"
"Do you have cable?"
"Yes..." I neglected to mention that we technically steal the cable, but whatever.
"Do you know who George Lopez is?"
"Yes, he's... a comedian," I said. I almost said that "he's funny," but that was disingenuous, so I edited on the fly.

The questioning continued. Did I know that George Lopez was going to have a hilarious late night talk show on TBS that I should totally watch? That there would be celebrities and comedy and that I would love it? I wasn't aware, I said.

I stopped short of promising to watch the show, but I did indicate that my visit to the bus had heightened my interest. They were satisfied, so I began exiting the bus. "Tell your friends!" one employee shouted. In my head, I thought, of course I will, you've given me a water bottle with George Lopez's face on it, so I'm bound to make fun of it to them, but I only said "I will!" as a reply.

I had quite a stash of snacks, most of which I gave to panhandling homeless people I passed on my way to a train station. I would have directed them to the bus itself, but experience tells me that "non-TV viewers" would not be given complimentary food.


The Matchbook Girl

I have a friend, who we'll call Nina, who has some magic powers. She is a force to be reckoned with - when she lets loose, there is no ignoring it. All of this is a delicate way of saying she has some devastatingly stinky farts. Nina can clear a room without even trying. She's aware of it though, owning up to her odors, as well as attempting to find ways to limit its potency against others.

Nina and I were recently guests at Jocelyn and Ben's wedding in Kentucky. We stayed with many of the other twenty-somethings of dubious employment statuses in a communal guest house. I had never previously met one of the fellow guests and guest house dwellers, Stephanie. Stephanie was remarkably funny and also had the distinction of being the wedding's flower girl. When I asked her how someone in her mid-20s was granted the role of flower girl, she retorted, "I'm the most retarded of all of Ben and Jocelyn's friends." She had a point.

Stephanie and Nina hit it off, but Stephanie was taken aback one night when Nina's flatulence made an especially grand entrance, for which Nina apologized. Despite being in a large house, she couldn't find matches anywhere, which were generally one of NIna's best weapons in harnessing her odors, so she vowed to buy some.

Later than that, Nina stopped at Walgreens to buy some matches - more for everyone else's sake than her own. Amusingly, the smallest amount of matches she could buy was fifty books, or 1000 matches. Though it cost only a little over two dollars, that was a lot of matches for a weekend vacation, even for Nina. She joked that she could eat whatever she wanted with that many matches in hand.

Although Nina solved one problem by being able to mask unpleasant scents by lighting matches, she now had a new comical problem: what to do with fifty matchbooks? I'm pretty sure trying to bring dozens of matchbooks back home on an airplane constitutes terrorism. We brainstormed uses for that many matches, but all of the initial plans involved a lot of fire and, hence, danger.

Ultimately, however, I think I came up with the perfect solution: if there could be a grown flower girl, why not add Nina into the wedding procession as well? Start a new tradition: the Matchbook Girl. At some point before the bride takes her walk, Nina could toss books of matches out to the adoring crowd. The guests fortunate enough to catch a book could then light a match during the ceremony in solidarity with the couple as a symbol of their love. We wouldn't have to tell anyone that the matches were originally bought to cover up the smell of feces.

I offered to pay Nina a lot of money - or, well, enough money to buy 2000 matches - if she would go through with the plan. It'd be even better if Nina didn't seek permission, but just took it upon herself to jump into the line at the last minute and throw matches around as if it were an appropriate gesture, much to the befuddlement of others. She'd be the talk of the reception, and we could just tell the Kentucky rubes that it was a "Jewish custom" or something... you know how they love their Menorahs and all.

Alas, Nina didn't go through with it, but the mental picture is enough to make me laugh still. If I ever get married, you can bet I'm going to have a Matchbook Girl as part of the ceremony.



Looking back, I was destined to be a writer. In first grade, we had centers we had to rotate between, some fun and some academic. Whenever we had a free choice, I would choose the writing center. I was the only one who ever willingly selected writing over coloring or playing with blocks, but I enjoyed writing little stories by myself.

I was always encouraged and complimented on my stories at the time, but as I read them back nearly twenty years later, I am embarrassed. I mean VERY embarrassed. I mean SUPER very embarrassed.

Here's a story I wrote in second grade. Should I be concerned that my teacher couldn't spell "adoreable" (sic)? I didn't know the difference between "to" and "too" still, so it probably didn't matter much.

(click the "essay" to enlarge)
I mean, I mean, I mean. I meant a lot of things apparently. Also, it's quite clear that this story had no real point and I just ultimately wanted to tell a joke that I must have found funny at the time.

If I were to rewrite this story today, there is a lot I would change: grammar, character development, incorporating some sort of actual plot, etc. But if Today Kevin could only edit one thing about Little Kevin's story, it would obviously be the punch line to the joke:
Q. What do you call two witchs that live together?
A. Dykes.

NOW it's ready to be published in The New Yorker.


Mole Station

While having a conversation with a friend about celebrity couples with large age discrepancies, we disagreed over whether we would enter a relationship with someone of a radically different age. I couldn't see myself doing it, but my friend wouldn't rule it out for herself.

"Love is love. I don't think age should matter. I could find love with someone way older than me," she said. "Like they say, age ain't nothing but a number."
"You sound like someone who's been molested," I joked.
"Actually... I was," she confessed.
"I, uh, uh, really?" I stuttered.
"Yeah," she said. In response, I made nine million facial expressions at once.
"Awkward," said a third friend, present in the room, who had incidentally been privy to the secret.

I had known and been close to her for years, but this was a new revelation. I would have never guessed, which just goes to show that I am walking a dangerous line when I make offensive jokes to people because I figure it won't actually hit close to home. I tend to assume that my current friends had common childhood experiences: playing Little League, coloring books, watching Ninja Turtles, and not being molested. I mean, I know it happens to some kids, but it didn't happen to me, and I'd like to think I was cute enough at that age!

Anyway, starting now, I'm probably going to lay off the molestation jokes for fear of repeating that mistake. Just because people aren't actively twitching in their twenties from the effects of sexual abuse doesn't mean it didn't happen.

That said, I do have a molestation joke idol, Tig Notaro. She manages to address the subject matter in a hilarious yet inoffensive manner. I'm taking notes and I recommend you do the same:


Celebrate Bryan Adams's 50th Birthday with His 10 Most Ridiculous Songs

Happy 50th Birthday to Bryan Adams! Why it seems like only yester-decade that he took the music scene by storm with his dulcet Canadian ballads. In order to pay tribute to an unforgettable half-century of Bryan Adams and better understand his invaluable musical contributions, I feel it’s only fitting to countdown his ten most ridiculous songs.

10. “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” (1991)

When I first watched this video, my initial reaction was that it is quintessential 80s, jam packed with all of the eighties MTV clich├ęs, stopping just short of dancing Robert Palmer girls. Then I realized it was released in 1991 and it made sense: Bryan Adams is timeless. By which I might actually mean that he is way behind on the trends. So long as he’s making videos like this one well past their expiration, I don’t care. And just when I thought the video couldn’t get any funnier, Adams appears riding a giant guitar like a bucking bronco. I honestly hope that’s how he’s celebrating his big 50th; that’s how I intend to picture it anyway.

9. “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991)

No single song defines Bryan Adams’s career quite like this obnoxious ballad. It wouldn’t be nearly as offensive if it were half as long; its full version is six and a half minutes long: that’s not a song, that’s a vanity project. Or something by Meat Loaf. Same difference. Packaged with excessive instrumentation and repetitive lyrics, it’s clear that Adams wanted to create nothing short of epic. Just when you think the song can’t possibly crescendo anymore, he takes it to even further, though wholly unnecessary, heights. I’ll admit, I cry a little bit each time I hear the song, but it’s only because it reminds me that I actually sat all the way through Prince of Thieves.

8. “When You’re Gone” w/ Melanie C (1998)

Adams established enough of a name for himself to record some duets with some pretty big names: Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt, and Barbra Streisand. It doesn’t much matter that none of the songs were good, it was a status symbol in a lot of ways. That’s why if I were Adams’s manager, I would probably caution him against recording a song with Melanie C, a woman who more than a decade later is still best known as Sporty Spice. Still, I stop short of calling this song a mistake. The real mistake was in 2005 when he rerecorded the song for his greatest hits album with Pamela Anderson. The woman is known for a lot of things, well, two mainly, but her voice isn’t one of them. It’s as if Adams asked himself, “What is the one thing I can do to make this song even worse?” He even tried releasing the second recording with the former Mrs. Lee to radio, but it didn’t catch on for reasons I can only imagine. I have scoured the internet for the track, but have turned up unsuccessful. If anyone can find me a copy, I’d appreciate it, even if my ears wouldn’t.

7. “Let Me Take You Dancing” (1979)

There’s no music video for this little-known song, but it is Bryan Adams first single ever, recorded when he was just eighteen. In order to turn it into a disco hit, the track was sped up, giving Adams’s vocals a nice chipmunk effect. That, or puberty hadn’t set in. It’s easy to hear why even Adams would attempt to distance himself from this part of his career, yet all the better to bring back out on his birthday to roast him with.

6. “18 ’Til I Die” (1997)

The video was shot shortly after the release of Independence Day and its influence is apparent. Adams wishes he wrote the theme song to that one. On that note, it’s been a funny career trajectory for Adams. He peaked in the early 90s as an adult contemporary superstar, a role usually played by men who qualify for senior discounts and then later tried to backtrack and reclaim his youth with misguided “cool” “rock” (both in quotation marks) songs. This approach alienated his devoted mom following and this song made his laughable transformation transparent.

5. Let’s Make a Night to Remember (1996)

If the video is any indication, Adams has a thing for coke whores. With the ladies he’s touching, the night certainly won’t be hard to remember, given that gonorrhea is a nice permanent reminder. I know it’s a difficult task to pick the worst of Adams’s lyrics in a sea of pure cheese and sexual innuendos, but I’m going to nominate this song as the worst offender. “Let’s make out/Let’s do something amazing/Let’s do something that’s all the way/’Cause I’ve never touched somebody/Like the way I’ve touched your body/Now I never want to let your body go/Let’s make a night to remember/From January to December…” Really? Does that work on anyone but coke whores?

4. “All For Love” w/ Rod Stewart & Sting (1993)

- Watch more Pop Videos at Vodpod.

Forget the song for a moment: the “unscripted” banter between the stars at the beginning of the video is ridiculous in itself. Having already made a fortune from “Everything I Do,” Adams then mined for gold in the same spot by writing the theme for yet another historical fiction flick featuring tights and vigilantism, The Three Musketeers. He took the Musketeers’s motto and added a twist: “All for one and one for all all for love!” You’ve got to throw “love” in there somehow to appeal to the forty-something mom crowd. Not that the moms weren’t already creaming their pants – with a trio like Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting, there was something for every mom. Just one of these men single-handedly can perform a ridiculous song, so with their powers and harmonies combined, they were an unstoppably ridiculous force.

3. “Summer of ‘69” (1985)”

In addition to the fact that Adams would have only been nine-years-old during the summer of ’69, this song is just a little too genital tongue in cheek not to be referencing oral sex. Adams’s lyrics take us through his sexual initiation starting with masturbation (“played it til my fingers bled”), failed conquests (“real hard… shoulda know we’d never get far”), and finally getting down to business (“we were young and restless and needed to unwind”). I’ll even give him credit for being somewhat clever with the line “Ain’t no use in complaining when you got a job to do.” Hmm, what sort of job?! The only people more ridiculous than Adams are the people who adopt this song as a pure anthem for growing up in small-town America; there should be no mistaking when he blatantly screams at the song’s conclusion, “Me and my baby in 69!”

2. “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” (1995)

The song in which Adams questions his sexuality. “Have you ever really, really, really, ever loved a woman?” sounds like a question from someone who protests too much. Regardless of what he was going through here on a personal level, Adams returned to his tried-and-true formula of writing a light, saccharine love song for a movie. Look, I’m not calling him a sell-out; I’d only feel comfortable saying that if he had a respectable music career otherwise. This is Adams’s shtick. As for this video, it’s all sorts of awkward. but it does answer the question, “What happens when you go to a Mexican bar frequented by old men, give them masks and a free round of tequila, and tell them to act more sexually attracted to Bryan Adams than the few models we slipped in to spice up the shoot?”

1. “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You” (1996)

Even if the title weren’t so unbearably long, it’s just plain unbearable. It’s a pick-up line that doesn’t seem possible to say with a straight face, let alone sing it. Go ahead, I dare you to try it at a bar; it’ll probably score you a free drink… splashed in your face. Adams even seems to acknowledge that this song is crap by sitting on a toilet throughout the music video. Someone should warn the hyper-sexualized unattractive extras in this video that either Adams is trying to have sex with them or skin them alive to wear as coats. I’m not sure which would be worse.

Again, well wishes to Bryan Adams! Some say 50, but I say he’s 18 until he dies! And here’s hoping he’ll actually make it to 51! (I’m looking at you, Michael Jackson.)


Boyz II Pig

CNN is on top of all the important stories:

Is the caption as unintentionally hilarious as I find it? Because that's funny. Boyz II Men will soldier on!

From the picture, I guess it's safe to assume that the swing flu has already killed the weakest of the four Boyz - you know, the one with the cane. That or maybe he finally made the full transition to Man and isn't still trying to eek out a career with a boy band that was popular in the early 90s.

In researching for this post, I learned that Boyz II Men is releasing a new album next week. Coincidence? Or PUBLICITY STUNT?! Sounds like someone is willing to be in the news at any cost.


Candle in the Wind

En route to Margarita Monday, LarGar revealed that Elton John is in the hospital suffering from the flu and E. coli. Like with any famous musical artist (e.g. Michael Jackson), I don’t care much about him or his health. Look, I’m sure Elton’s a nice guy and all, but I’d prefer to look out for the more obscure musicians. Call me when some dude from Chumbawamba gets shingles.

Despite not much caring, I did inquire whether Elton was dying, because celebrities have not been having the best luck at staying alive lately. That, and I had some selfish motivations. I have a brilliant idea on how to become an instant Internet celebrity that is little more than me posting a video of myself singing “Candle in the Wind” while crying. If Elton can make a hit out of that song twice, surely I can do the same just once; it’s no more than half as exploitative as Elton ever was, do the math. The problem is that this video is only a recipe for success if Elton dies, so if this hospital visit heals him, I’m out of luck.

Also, I acknowledge that this idea isn’t particularly original. It’s fairly obvious to eulogize Elton with the same song he eulogized others with. The thing is, most people aren’t even thinking of that yet, which is why if I’m prepared, I can be first, which is often just as important as being creative. I figure if I prerecord my version of “Candle in the Wind,” I could be ready to upload it to YouTube the moment he is declared dead. Grief-stricken fans would see my tribute first and herald it (or ME!) a hit and, depending on how many millions of views I get, I might even be invited to sing at Elton’s real funeral. After all, if publishing companies can pre-write commemorative biographies about famous figures they anticipate kicking the bucket any day so that they can literally (or literarily?) go to press before the wake even occurs, why can’t I get in on that racket, too?

Unfortunately, Elton John might not even die anytime soon. Heaven forbid, say he doesn’t pass away for two more decades: I can’t just use a recording of me singing “Candle in the Wind” now 20 years later. People will realize I prepared this song in advance and might consider it “tacky.” I need it to look current, so every so often, I’m thinking every Leap Day since it’s kind of like a bonus day anyway, I’ll rerecord my Elton John death tribute in order to have it ready. Still, it’d be more convenient if I only had to prepare it once. Is this pig flu killing anybody yet? I mean, come on, live up to the hype!

In the meantime, text me if you hear that the “worst” happens. I can’t be Twitter-searching for Elton John all day every day.


Orphaned on Halloween

Yesterday, I posted a Halloween costume from the past, but now it's time to look at this year's costume. I enjoyed going as a popular movie character last year, so I decided to stick with the theme. (Fun fact: My roommate and I both dressed as Michael Cera in Juno last year and that was before we had ever met. We had had a discussion about wearing our tiny gold shorts at the same time, yet we failed to discuss the reason we both owned tiny gold shorts in the first place.) This year, I feel there was no "better" (assuming the word "better" is fairly meaningless) movie than Orphan. If you recall, I lovvvvveee Orphan, as it is a special, special film.

I bought a plaid jumper, wore ribbons in all the right places, trimmed vampire fangs to create a set of veneers, put on yarn pigtails, and carried around a bloody nun-bashing hammer. While people said it turned out great, I wasn't as confident with it so I also put a picture of who I was on my chest. At the party, a few people heckled me for "cheating" by making it obvious who I was. One mermaid told me that it took away the fun of mingling with strangers about who or what I was. Guilty as charged: I really didn't care to chat with strangers about what my costume was, that picture was supposed to ward mermaids like her away.

Some of my favorite costumes belong to Clare and Dan who were an ear of corn and Wooly Willy, the old toy with movable magnetic facial hair, respectably. Homemade and creative!

My two favorite exchanges at the party:

1) Allison: I like your snake costume.
Daniel: I'm not a snake, I'm a dinosaur!
Allison: All right, it's a mediocre snake costume, but a great dinosaur costume.

2) Eric: What are you dressed up as, Steve Urkel?
Paul: Uh, no, I didn't wear a costume.

To Paul's credit, he didn't look anything like Urkel so I'm not sure where that interpretation came from, but that was amazingly awkward!