Blood Drive

Look, I'm all for blood drives, but there's a right and a wrong way to advertise them. Take this sign I found hanging at my college several years ago for example:

I'm no expert, but I can't imagine that using a picture of a man wielding an axe is the most effective way of convincing people to donate blood. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer using a needle. It seems a little less messy... and gruesome.

If that's the first image that comes up when you search for "courage" in clip art, use the second one.



This is the best Facebook-related anecdote since I sort of accidentally registered Ted as a child molester via Facebook.

The other day, Andrew posted a photo on Facebook of a man apparently named Cobra hula hooping while wearing a shirt that said: “GOD made Adam and Eve not ADAM and STEVE!!!” Not keen on the display of intolerance, I commented on the picture with “What’s with the shirt?” A short time later, Andrew responded, “Cobra’s wife bought that for him, and he thinks it’s a little funny. And he’s in Indonesia.”

Ah, okay, evidently Cobra is someone that Andrew met while living in Indonesia. Since Indonesia is an Islamic country, it might not be reasonable to apply my perspectives to someone living in a part of the world with radically different social norms, particularly when we haven’t even eradicated homophobia here in the U.S. yet.

To illustrate this point, Andrew once told me a story about how his Indonesian host dad watched Brokeback Mountain. Because a gay love story largely wouldn’t fly in Indonesia, this version of the film was edited to remove any overt traces of homosexuality, thus making the movie significantly shorter. I’m perplexed as to why it would be worth even repackaging a film of this nature, but apparently it proved successful: Andrew’s host dad loved Brokeback Mountain because it was, as he saw it, a beautiful representation of friendship. “They’re such good friends,” the dad said of the main characters to Andrew after finishing the film.

As for Cobra, he must have seen my comment on his photo, because later I found a Facebook request to be his friend. Not interested in being “friends” (even in the most superficial internet sense) with someone I’ve never met, I rejected the request. The next day I found that he had requested to be my friend again. This time it was accompanied by a message:

What? Then I noticed I had another message from him:

Confused, I did some research. “apa kabar?” translates to “What’s new?” which is an odd thing to ask someone you don’t know. You don’t even know what’s old about me, Cobra – or should I call you by your “cool” name, cobrarebel?

I texted Andrew to alert him that Cobra was now messaging me. Andrew’s reply was amusing, yet frightening: “It can’t be stopped.”

Still curious, I googled “manfreakintap” to see if it meant anything, or was just as sexually suggestive as it seems. Nothing came up whatsoever. My best interpretation of Cobra’s note is that he’d be down to, um, “manfreakintap” if we smoked a joint and drank kahlua first. But surely that can’t be correct. He’s married, he has kids, and he has that bigoted shirt. Ultimately, I rejected his request for friendship again and choose not to respond in any manner.

But as Andrew foretold, it didn’t stop. Within a couple of hours, he again requested to be my friend, this time with a new message:

Again, I’m not entirely sure what he’s trying to communicate, but “please come to my house” is pretty forward. Just because I passively indicated that I don’t approve of an intolerant shirt does not mean I’m down to travel across the world to meet a strange man for “manfreakintap.” (I might accept some Kahlua, however.) I’m sorry, Cobra, but we’ll never be friends, Brokeback Mountain style or otherwise.


How's Your News?

Like many kids, I grew up making fun of people with mental disabilities. I frequently impersonated the intellectually disabled and threw around the word “retarded” to indicate that I disapproved of something. (“Gay” is the new “retarded,” I reckon.) I did this in spite of actually knowing intellectually disabled kids. In fact, I shared an art table with two peers with Down syndrome and I was charged with making sure they didn’t eat the paste. Their affinity for glue gorging despite reprimand even inspired me to secretly sample a bit once. One of these students, Ben, was my friend outside of school, too. On one occasion, Ben came over to my house and we had a snack. From that point forward, I never drank out of the red cup that he had used again (though I did let my sister drink from it) because I was afraid of catching “retarded,” which just goes to show that I might have already had it.

Looking back, I recognize that my ignorance stemmed from a lack of understanding. Currently, I try not to use the R-word and I have a couple of friends that work for an organization that enhances and creates social opportunities for the intellectually disabled. Because of my relationships with people in the organization, I’ve often thought about involving myself with the cause, but continually shy away. I’ve never shared my reason why, because, if not awful, it’s certainly ridiculous: People with mental disabilities make me cry.

I’m not a super emotional person or anything, but I really do cry. Just the other day, I listened to the second story on an old This American Life episode that surprisingly got the tears running. Lately, I’ve been trying to challenge this reaction and I think I finally figured out why that is: as someone who doesn’t have regular interactions with the intellectually disabled, my main perspective stems from media representations. And when they’re not offensive, most stories involving mentally disabled characters are intensely melodramatic. Consider films like Forrest Gump, I Am Sam, Praying with Lior, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and The Other Sister (with the world’s most inappropriate theme song): they’re all tearjerkers, either because they’re utterly catastrophic or beautifully inspirational in showing an intellectually challenged individual persevering.

So while it’s very Hollywoodesque to surround the intellectually disabled with great tales of tragedy and triumph, it doesn’t allow for any sense of normalcy, which is why I’m very appreciative for MTV’s new show How’s Your News?

How’s Your News? follows a group of disabled adults traveling across the country to interview celebrities and common folk alike. The series has received some commendation, but also a lot of flak. The common criticism is that it’s exploitive to take disabled individuals to create a comedy show. Given MTV’s reputation, I understand the concern, but I find the program remarkably not exploitive. What’s exploitive is repeatedly presenting disabled people as something worth crying about.

What I love about the show is that it’s a platform to showcase intellectually disabled people without much fanfare. The cast is real and normal. Most importantly, it doesn’t make me want to cry. It does provoke me to laugh, but I feel pretty confident that most of the time I’m laughing with them. It doesn’t champion them as heroes or something extraordinary, but rather genuine, affable people who are a part of society. It demonstrates how people can have (relatively) normal interactions with disabled people rather than going out of their way to ignore them like we are essentially taught to do. Let’s face it: the interviews the cast members conduct are not the hardest hitting best bits of journalism you’ll see, that’s just not realistic. At the same time, they’re hardly the worst examples of that either (I’m looking at you, Barbara Walters). They are, however, entertaining, revealing, and refreshingly honest.

In case it provides any comfort, How’s Your News? has been around way before MTV got involved. I first learned of How’s Your News? on a different This American Life episode a couple of years ago. If you’d like some background on the concept, I recommend listening to it. (Yes, it made me mist up the first time I heard it, fortunately the television show doesn’t focus on the uplifting back story.)

Anyway, I’d like to recommend the show to you, you can watch the first segment of the premiere episode here:

You can find all of the episodes in their entirety at MTV.com. I’ve watched the first three and rather than leaving me feeling sad, I want to hang out with these people, I think it’d be a fun time. In not taking a sensationalist route, How’s Your News? becomes an important piece of media, advocacy that springs from not tugging at your heartstrings.


The Senile Senator

America's worst Senator is at it again. Jim Bunning, a baseball hall-of-famer and dementia sufferer, has an optimistic perspective toward conservatism in the upcoming months: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

Even most political opponents find it appropriate to wish Justice Ginsburg well since her pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Not Bunning, however -- he seems pretty overjoyed, according to this report at Deadspin.

During a wide-ranging 30-minute speech on Saturday at the Hardin County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner, Bunning said he supports conservative judges "and that's going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg … has cancer."
"Bad cancer. The kind that you don't get better from," he told a crowd of about 100 at the old State Theater. "Even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live after (being diagnosed) with pancreatic cancer," he said.

Forget about the tact -- where's the logic? In what bizarre-o universe will Obama nominate a conservative to the court? Oh, that's right, Bunning's. That one in which he is entirely tasteful and sane.

I've been a "fan" of the Kentucky Senator since his re-election campaign in 2004. At the time, I was in college taking a class on the electoral system and was assigned to write an essay on a race of my choosing. After having read an article about how Bunning was potentially legitimately insane, I chose to study his senatorial race against Dan Mongiardo. I had no idea I was in for the endless supply of entertainment that followed, however. Some of Bunning's greatest hits included:
  • Claiming that Mongiardo was in favor of 9/11 and said that he looked and dressed like one of Saddam Hussein's sons.
  • Admitting he doesn't keep up with the news and current events and when he does, he watches only Fox News.
  • Spending taxpayers money on increased security out of fear of Al-Qaida attacks, cryptically telling a reporter, "strangers may be among us."
  • Saying his wife was beaten "black and blue" by Mongiardo's staffers, but not mentioning it until months after the alleged incident.
  • Cheating at a debate by insisting on taping his part from a remote location then very clearly reading from a teleprompter.
  • Insinuating on multiple occasions that his opponent is gay.

So despite the fact that even the conservative publications were endorsing Mongiardo and pretty much everyone suspected that Bunning has Alzheimer's, Bunning still won the election, because it was Kentucky, where a mentally ill Republican is still better than a Democrat (even if said Democrat is pro-life and anti-gay marriage and more like a Republican in most respects.) If you'd like to read a more thorough analysis on how this transpired including even more of Bunning's nutty antics, I've posted my full essay on Google Docs. It's an epic tale of why democracy can suck.

In the present, Bunning finally released a lame public apology to Ginsburg in which he misspells her name. Ah, "Ginsberg" -- you could do more from your hypothetical deathbed than Bunning, who only seems to care about the use of steroids in baseball (AKA the biggest crisis our country is facing), could do in a lifetime of public office. Get well, Justice. You, too, Bunning. Please.


This Is Not Like Rihanna

A snippet from a cell phone conversation I overheard on Sunset Boulevard last night:

"Baby, this is not like Rihanna! I don't ever bruise you, I mostly hit you on the butt."

That, my friends, is a true gentleman. Perhaps we should give him this shirt.


Benjamin Button Blows: My Oscar Predictions

The Oscars are tomorrow, which means it's time for me to mentally prepare to watch all the wrong people win awards. I've made it a point to actually see almost every nominated film this past year, so my griping will be even more justifiable than usual.

Rather than waiting to be pissed off, I'm going to review the nominees in some of the big categories and give you my opinions, because it's my blog, and that's what I want to do, darnit. In each category, I put the nominees in order of my preference, then underline the one I think will win.

I'm also including this still from Benjamin Button to make it entirely clear why the film sucks donkey scrotum and hopefully accidentally get some web traffic off of people Googling "shirtless Brad Pitt." Disappointed? Not as disappointed as I was while watching the shitty film.

Best Picture
1. Frost/Nixon: Complex and nuanced, the best of the bunch.
2. Slumdog Millionaire: It was brilliant up until the last fifteen minutes when the over-glamorized, almost insensitive ending detracted from its other merits. It'll most definitely win, though.
3. Milk: It's good, but it's not outstanding.
4. The Reader: While I found the second half of The Reader compelling when the characters grabbled with issues of morality, I can't say the first half of the film when they just have a lot of sex and read books. Sure, Kate Winslet is naked, but we've already seen that in Hamlet, Titanic, Quills, Iris, and Little Children.
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: It has the most nominations, though I'm not sure why, as it is one of the most boring films of the year. It's three hours of a gimmick without a plot to accompany it.
Should have been nominated: Doubt: All factors considered, this is the best film of the year. It captivated me.

Lead Actor
1. Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon: He brings Nixon alive while offering up just enough humanity to counter his asshole nature.
2. Richard Jenkins, The Visitor: A good showing by a consistent actor.
3. Sean Penn, Milk: Am I the only one who thinks Penn turns Harvey Milk seem more like a caricature than a human?
4. Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler: If Rourke was "born" to play this role, it's only because he's talentless, washed up, and not deserving of praise. I don't buy into this movie's hype or see
5. Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Snooze. He might have gotten younger, but I sure felt like I had gotten older over the course of watching him.
Should have been nominated: Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road: I've never really fallen for his charms in his early career, but this performance was complex.

Lead Actress
1. Meryl Streep, Doubt: I've never even been a committed Streep fan, but this is one hell of a dynamic performance, and it's made me a convert.
2. Melissa Leo, Frozen River: Rourke could take some hints from Leo on how to play a poverty-striken character filled with inner-turmoil. This role I bought.
3. Angelina Jolie, Changeling: I like this film and I like her performance. It's heavy on the theatrics, but the script justifiably calls for it.
4. Kate Winslet, The Reader: Don't get me wrong, I find Winslet immensely talented and think she deserves her due, but this role is not the one she finally deserves raves for, even though it probably will win her the trophy.
5. Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married: While I enjoyed this film, I'm not particularly impressed by Hathaway's performance. Even though the script gives her a wealth of Oscar-cliche moments to work with, she's not believable with it, and many of the ensemble characters made even more of their parts.
Should have been nominated: Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road: Forget The Reader, the Golden Globes got it right -- Winslet is terrific in this role. The only performance that could rival Streep; you've got to see this film.

Supporting Actor
1. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight: I'd be prepared to deny the dead guy his due if I felt he hadn't earned it; heck, I actively disliked his work in Brokeback Mountain. That said Ledger legitimately scared me silly with this performance and I think, whatever the voters' motives, this'll be the winner and it'll be the right one.
2. Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road: He's crazy but he speaks the truth! This role is over-the-top, but unforgettable.
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt: I love this film, but I'd argue that all three females outshine him in their respective parts.
4. Josh Brolin, Milk: Meh, I didn't notice anything special about this performance.
5. Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder: Blackface aside, I'm not sure what's worth mentioning about this role or film in general. The Oscars notoriously snub comedies, then grant an exception in this particular case? Undeserved.
Should have been nominated: Brad Pitt, Burn After Reading: I've never enjoyed a Brad Pitt performance more. If you want to acknowledge Pitt and comedy, they should have recognized this hilarious role.

Supporting Actress
1. Viola Davis, Doubt: It's a small role, but it packs an unforgettable punch.
2. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona: I'd have a hard time explaining why, but I thoroughly enjoy this film, and Cruz acts the shit out of this bizarre role.
3. Amy Adams, Doubt: Adams does a good job, but can't really compete with the range Davis was called upon to demonstrate.
4. Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler: While Tomei is a bright (and often naked) spot in this overrated film, she's already won for a role that wasn't that that awesome.
5. Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Why?! I can't recall a single standout moment for her.
Should have been nominated: Rebecca Hall, Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Though a very different performance than Cruz's this role was also fleshed out and relatable.

1. Gus Van Sant, Milk: This movie was finely crafted, and you've got to give the director credit for that.
2. Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire: Though he will likely win, it could have been his call to clean up the ending.
3. Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon: Though I prefer this film overall, I attribute this mainly to the acting and writing, not the directing.
4. Stephen Daldry, The Reader: A good director shouldn't leave his audience bored for long periods of time - particularly during the sex scenes.
5. David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: A good director shouldn't have made this film.
Should have been nominated: Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona: He made an enjoyable film out of some pretty strange parts.

Adapted Screenplay
1. Doubt: This film packs a punch, thanks mainly to its finely crafted dialogue.
2. Frost/Nixon: I suppose it's not a surprise that the top two are based on theatrical scripts.
3. Slumdog Millionaire: I can't ultimately be on board a screenplay that relies upon a deus ex machina.
4. The Reader: Should have been shaken down to the heart of the story rather than prolonging the first portion.
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Was there more to the script than Brad Pitt aging in reverse?
Should have been nominated: Revolutionary Road: A stellar film based upon a novel.

Original Screenplay
1. Frozen River: Certainly the best original story of the year.
2. Milk: A good-runner up for this prize.
3. Happy-Go-Lucky: This one should go last, considering it is largely improvised. How, then, is the screenplay nominated, anyway? But I dislike the other two films even more...
4. WALL-E: There's almost no dialogue in this film. What does the screenplay feature, then? Another bad choice.
5. In Bruges: Not entertaining. It's not funny, compelling, or well-acted. I don't understand its popularity whatsoever.
Should have been nominated: Vicky Cristina Barcelona: I can't help but like it.

Other categories
Animated: I've only seen WALL-E and hated it (I know I'm the only one in America that feels that way, but it's boring), so I don't much care.
Documentaries: I haven't seen any of them, but I'm sad to see neither Young at Heart and Praying with Lior in the running. Both of those are in my top ten films (not just documentaries) of the year.
Various technical awards: Anything but Button, please.

Come back soon to see my report on how the Oscars went down. That is, unless they're horribly boring (which is highly likely) in which case I might not comment at all. But I will make it up to you by posting a humiliating story that demonstrates what a dumbass I am. And really, that's way better, isn't it?


Family Circus

While I no longer keep up with the daily comics, I still have hostility toward Family Circus. It's not clever, it's not funny, it's just coasted by for nearly fifty years solely on the basis of being "cute." It does have its audience, I suppose, consisting of knock-knock joke enthusiasts, the barely literate, and the elderly. That's right, many old people love Family Circus because it is offensively inoffensive and no thought is necessary to discern the joke, if a joke is even present at all. That is why I once made it a point to bring up Family Circus to Roy, the former minister with Alzheimer's who took a shining to animal homosexuality.

Yesterday, I received a card from my grandmother that inexplicably included a Family Circus cartoon. I ended up laughing a lot, but not at the cartoon itself.

In case you can't decipher the handwritten message below the comic, it reads: "We had blueberries under our refrigerator the other day."

Did she still want to eat them or something? Oh, Grammie, you're so much more adorable than Family Circus will ever be.


Heart-Shaped Balloon

While approaching a parking space today, I noticed an inflated but not airborne heart-shaped helium balloon wishing "Happy Valentine's Day" on the ground. It was resting close to where my tire should have gone, but I purposefully angled myself to miss it because popping it just seemed unnecessary.

Inside, I waited in a line for more than half an hour, standing immediately behind a PDA-obsessed couple. The guy would not stop kissing his girlfriend on the cheek. They were tiny pecks, but thoroughly obnoxious nonetheless. Every ten seconds or so, he'd lean in and plant one on her. It's like he had some oral fixation, and couldn't figure out how to satisfy it any other way while in line. I didn't appreciate being stuck behind this scene having to witness incessant kissing. I did my best not to look, but the soft sound of moisture on skin was enough to drive me mad. I think I would have been able to handle two people sucking face much easier, because then they'd at least look trashy and it'd probably be meaningless. Instead, each one of his gentle kisses to his lady friend felt like he was slapping me in the face. STOP BEING GROSS AND FAUX-CUTE! NO ONE WANTS TO WATCH YOU KISS YOUR GIRLFRIEND AT LENGTH IN PUBLIC! Maybe it shouldn't have bothered me so much, but it took every ounce of willpower not to say something or respond violently.

When I finally made it back to my car, you can be damn sure I purposefully ran over that fucking balloon.


It's a Nice Day for a...

I don't much mind sitting in the backseat of a car. Perhaps it stems all the way back to DARE when one of those blood-on-the-pavement drunk driving videos called the front seat the "suicide seat" because that is the place that people are most likely to die in car accidents. Or perhaps it's because I like to pretend I'm Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy. Either way, since I don't ultimately mind, I never play the "shotgun" game, in which whoever calls out the word "shotgun" first gets to sit in the front seat. Even when I think of it before anyone else, I still won't call it, because I just might be the nicest person in the world.

Last night, after boozing it in downtown Vegas, several of us headed back to the car to switch venues. En route to the car, Allison and Matt were singing their best rendition of Billy Idol's "White Wedding." Eager to join in on the harmony, I pre-emptively sang out the lyric that Idol so emotionally shouts in reference to his pregnant sister's poorly conceived nuptials, "Shot Gun!"

Melinda looked at me perturbed, explaining that ey was just about to say that. I was confused since everyone was allowed to sing. "You can have it," Melinda said. "Have what?" I asked. "Shotgun," Melinda clarified. It suddenly dawned on me: I had called shotgun. After years of never calling shotgun, I had just accidentally done so. As we reached the car, deciding it must be fate, I took my rightful place in the front seat, enjoying the prize I unwittingly earned.

Yet again, I owe countless gratitude to Billy Idol.


I Won't Lose at Love Again

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm heading off to Vegas this weekend, and invited Andrew to come along. He politely declined because he had Valentine's Day plans and said of Stacy and me, "oh you two will have so much fun."

Here is my angry emailed reply:

'tever, Andrew.

It was two years ago that I won your girlfriend FAIR AND SQUARE in a radio contest for her heart. Now you're rubbing it in my face that you have other plans for her on Valentine's Day AKA MY anniversary with her.

To quote you: "oh, you two will have so much fun" But I hope you fucking don't!

Excuse me while I tidy up this mess, my home has been wrecked.

For those of you who don't understand the reference, I competed on a radio dating show with Andrew two years ago. I "won" the show, but since Andrew was already secretly dating the bachelorette, I was never able to take my prize. If you're not familiar with how all of this went down, you should read the full details about it here before you go any further; I promise you'll like it, I've been told it's one of the best tales I've ever shared on this blog.

I'm not legitimately angry at Andrew or anything, all I'm saying is that since he and Nicole are still together, just think of how successful my relationship with her would be as someone who connected with her by answering trivial questions. We would probably have a lot of babies.

Anyway, I have a copy of the broadcast, and I figure in honor of this event's two year anniversary it is time to actually share the show with you fine readers, considering, or so I'm told, that tens of thousands of people heard it at the time.
(You'll need to go three minutes into the first clip before the show actually starts, apologies.)

Part One:

Part Two:

Or if you prefer to listen/download via Z-share, go here: Part 1 and Part 2

I took the time to re-listen to it myself, and had a good time. Going back, I have some new observations and comments.

1. Dan is hilarious, so I'm still not sure why if Andrew didn't win that Dan didn't win. My favorite Dan moments:
  • the slide whistle fiasco
  • "I try to diversify my portfolio of totally rockin' words."
  • Reference to a "space quake"
  • Comparing his college experience to a Backstreet Boys video set in a haunted house
  • "Justin Timberlake has a song, 'Cry Me a River' which is what I keep telling to people."

That last one is so clever that it not only caused me to snort on air, but actually snort again today hearing it back. Speaking of snorting:

2. My sibling Alison is the one who wrote in to complain about my snorting (I did divulge a lot of information about my tendency to snort) and my friend Allison is the one calling in with the technical-difficultied garbled voice saying something about my baby being on a stove. Other than that, I'm really not sure who was calling/messaging in to pick on me/us. Does anyone want to fess up?

3. The show is clearly dated. Andrew has cable now, and despite Dan bemoaning Fox not allowing The Simpsons and Family Guy on the Internet, they have since caved to Hulu.

4. With the internet's help, I have confirmed that "It's Gonna Be Me" is in fact an 'N Sync song, even though they almost didn't give me credit for it.

5. I feel bad about how hard I slammed Andrew. I really went for the jugular, but to my credit, I thought he was going to defend himself, look like a hero, and win his woman. I can't believe I won when I was being such an asshole. I picked on his lactose intolerance, his stealing of Dan's word, his refusal to support his hypothetical daughter in a failing marriage, and even gave the all-out slam "You're too sloth-like to rock" (which requires some context to understand just how cruel it is.)

6. The best out-of-context statement came from Andrew: "Everyone would have a really nice time in Andrew."

7. The best DJ quip: "Do you believe in Free Willy?" (Again, context required, so just listen to the show already.)

With this, Andrew, I demand a rematch. Another competition for your woman's affections, and this time, a fair one. It will be broadcast for the world to hear and maybe it'll involve a fight to the death, to make it more dramatic and decrease the chance of Nicole not sticking with the actual winner. See you in Rocktober, Andrew.


Might As Well Jump

I've mentioned previously that one of my favorite haunts, the lesbian karaoke bar, is in a sketchy place in the middle of nowhere. Allow me to now illustrate how in the middle of nowhere it is: When we visited last week, there was a giant tumbleweed in our normal parking spot.

"Okay, everybody, remember we parked behind the tumbleweed," I quipped.

Later, after a few drinks, Christine, imitated Atlas. Hot.

Ah, but the best moment happened inside the bar, believe it or not. Picture an almost 80-year-old man who seems a bit perplexed as to how he's made his way to a lesbian bar. I had noticed him seeming a bit frightened by his surroundings earlier in the night, so I was pleasantly surprised to see him when he was called up to perform a karaoke song, "Jump" by Van Halen.

If a confused elderly man singing Van Halen doesn't immediately strike you as the most awesome thing to happen, let me assure you that it was. He was adorably timid with his singing, but each time he sang the word "jump" he proceeded to do just that: jump. He jumped quite high even, if you take into account his age and brittle frame. I thought it couldn't get any better until "Buddy" decided to participate.

For context, Buddy is a regular at the bar. He comes dressed in a professional manner, then heads to the back corner with a shopping bag full of garish accessories including stockings, earrings, and skirts and changes. We like to speculate that Buddy has a serious job and is married with kids, then tells his wife he's meeting the boys for poker, and shows up for lesbian karaoke instead.

Probably similarly moved by the old man's performance, Buddy was motivated to approach the senior citizen mid-song and dance next to him. At the sight of a cross-dresser getting too close for comfort, the old man's eyes full-on bulged while the rest of his body froze. He was so petrified that he couldn't even jump anymore. Though I thought the performance couldn't get any better, this turn of events was even more awesome.

Unsurprisingly, afterwards, the old man left in a hurry. I hope he remembered where he parked his car; I should have saved him the spot behind the tumbleweed.


The Jessica Alba Incident

Though it's not on my resume, I used to be a seat filler. As an East Coast transplant who found myself going to college not that far from Hollywood, I practically felt obligated to have a few celebrity experiences to write home about. During my first year of college, my friends and I signed up to attend the VH1 Big in 2002 awards show. It wasn't a respected telecast by any stretch, with most of the award categories being farcical, but it was an excuse to bring together a bunch of B-list stars, and it was my job to sit in their seats if they excused themselves to the restroom.

I thought I was more than qualified to fill a seat given that I have a butt, yet the task was a bit more difficult than that. Since the show was considered a joke, most of the celebrities left immediately after their respective portions of the show were filmed. Consequently, there were a lot of empty seats, so the seat fillers were asked to fill up the additional space by spreading our bodies wide and taking up three seats at a time. Great, my TV debut, and I'm asked to look as fat as possible. The only celebrity who didn't seem to get the memo that it was okay to bail was Frankie Muniz, the star of Malcolm in the Middle. He stayed until the bitter end and was seated a few seats to my left. I had the opportunity to speak to him, but had nothing significant to say. Rather than stroking his ego, I figured that I'd get just as much of a thrill from having him stop and acknowledge my presence. For this reason, I began gyrating my body awkwardly in some sort of weird dance that should never be replicated. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied Frankie staring at me, (rightfully) confused. Hence, I got Frankie Muniz to pause and contemplate me and my behavior briefly. Mission accomplished.

The best of the night, however, is definitely the Jessica Alba incident. My friend Jef was sitting a few seats over in the row in front of me. The woman next to him was stunningly attractive, perhaps one of the most attractive people I had ever seen. Then I realized that I recognized her - she was the girl from the show Dark Angel, Jessica Alba. In 2002, Jessica Alba was not quite the household name that she is today, but she was famous for being a sex symbol, particularly for her one piece spandex outfit she donned on the show.

Jef seemed pretty oblivious to the fact that he was sitting next to one of the hottest people ever, so I felt it my obligation to draw attention to the circumstances so he could savor the moment. I whispered Jef's name and mouthed to him that Jessica Alba was sitting next to him, but he wasn't understanding. Since that didn't work, I tried to whisper the message to no success. "Who? Which girl?" Jef asked. During my next attempt to quietly communicate the news, Jessica Alba turned her head around to face me and gave me a knowing (and beautiful) smile. At some point, my frustration had lowered my discretion, and I guess I had talked loudly and repeatedly enough that while Jef still had no idea he was sitting next to Jessica Alba, Jessica Alba then knew that I was trying to convey that Jessica Alba was sitting next to him, and that I thought she was hot, to boot. I gave Jessica Alba a mortified smile back and to this day feel some schoolboy embarrassment about the incident. I'm willing to intentionally look like an ass in front of Frankie Muniz, but Jessica Alba...

When we were back home, Jef was reamed by everyone for not recognizing that he was sitting next to a goddess, but in my opinion he had already suffered enough punishment: Shortly after the Jessica Alba incident, Jef was instructed to switch to another seat where he spent the better part of the night stuck directly behind Creed.



Open your mind. Okay, now open it wider. Wider.

Are you ready for objectum-sexuals? These are people who feel emotional and physical connections with inanimate objects.

Even with an open mind, I must admit that it's bizarre, yet fascinating. This documentary (found via One D at a Time) shows its subjects a good deal of respect even when they're straddling the Eiffel Tower to gratify themselves. It's a good special and I promise that you'll laugh, be perplexed, and perhaps even question your own identity.

Watch Married To The Eiffel Tower [Part 1]  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Watch Married To The Eiffel Tower [Part 2]  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Maybe I'm too open minded, because my first thought after watching this was to contemplate objectum-sexuality in my own life. Like hypochondriacs that decide they have hepatitis once they learn about it, I wondered whether I might be an objectum-sexual.

So I started glancing around the room for objects that might strike my fancy, but nothing called out to me. I don't know, never say never, obviously, but I suppose if I've gone twenty-five years without knowing such an attraction was possible, it doesn't seem like a promising prospect. Plus, I'm pretty picky about mates being intelligent and capable of holding a good conversation, and that essentially rules all non-humans out. No offense, lamp.

Still, there is something appealing about being in a relationship with someonething that can't hurt or reject you, so I almost can't fault them for that. I do have some other criticisms, though:

  • Consent: Does that fence want to be mounted? How do we know?
  • PDA: Okay, you're in love, but I don't need to see it. If I heckle people who grope in public, it's only fair for me to give you shit for making out with a carnival ride, too, particularly when you do it on camera.
  • Star-fuckers: I feel that I'd be more understanding of this love if the objectum-sexuals weren't so fixated on famous objects, like the Eiffel Tower, Berlin Wall, and Empire State Building. Are they doing it for attention? The thrill of being with a celebrity? Will VH1 do a series called Golden Gate Bridge of Love in which fifteen scantily-clad objectum-sexuals vie for the orange structure's affections?
Regardless, in the name of sensitivity, it is no longer appropriate to have these types of exchanges:
"I love ice cream."
"If you love it so much, why don't you marry it?"

That kind of love is real. Don't belittle it.


Getting Goofy

I admit it, I'm late getting on the Miley Cyrus train. It was within the past six months that I learned that she and "Hannah Montana" are the same thing. That's just one character this multi-talented actress plays... for example, she can also play Asian:
Yeah, that's pretty offensive. Nearly as offensive as the fact that she blames Britney Spears for the controversy. According to Miley, this photograph would have been overlooked, but the media needs someone to pick on now that Britney has sobered up and isn't making an ass of herself on a daily basis. At least Britney's most incriminating photos were the type that revealed whether the drapes matched the carpet (or the oriental rug, if you prefer, Miley) and not passing off bigotry as a good time. While Britney has been known to make your ears bleed, she doesn't turn people racist. Although now that Miley mentions it, I have been having impulses to wear black face ever since Britney got back on the wagon... hmm...

Oh, but wait, it turns out that Miley isn't racist. She is "simply making a goofy face." Silly us, we were all so mean-spiritedly looking for something to criticize in this photo of a half dozen white people making slanty eyes around an Asian guy that we didn't recognize it for what it is: a sea of goofy faces.

Surely, Miley isn't the only person whose humor has been misinterpreted. I present to you six other people who are even goofier than Miley:

6. Don Imus

5. Mel Gibson

4. KKKid

3. Prince Harry

2. Goofy

1. Michael Richards

Hahaha! It's good to be goofy. Oh, and Miley, if you need a project that proves you aren't racist, consider signing on with my film Quince Dresses.


Margarita Monday Mayhem

A couple of people have asked me whether Margarita Mondays is still in action. While it's true I haven't posted about it as much lately, it's still a very important social event in my life. We have a more mature crowd now -- given that this week we discussed the intricacies of having sex in outer space, I really mean mature in terms of our ages only. Allow me to share a few anecdotes:

1. For as long as we've been margaritaing, there has been a large puddle that forms next to our table outside presumably because of the sprinkler. It's always been there, and while it can be dangerous (I know I'm not the only one to have drunkenly slipped in that stagnant water), it's become a permanent fixture. Recently, our waiter noticed the puddle, acted embarrassed, and said he would immediately get a mop to clean it up. We couldn't contain our laughter. After two and a half years, they finally wanted to take care of it? I insisted that he didn't, for tradition's sake. Besides, not many seats in the place afforded such a nice view of the water. Essentially, we have waterfront property, and we're not willing to give it up.

2. Rather than drinking responsibly so that I can drive, I've taken to riding my bike to MM every week now. This has worked out fine until this past week when, on my ride home, I got cold and went to pull my sweatshirt's hood up onto my head. Unfortunately, I pulled the hood a little too hard, right over my eyes in fact, thus blinding myself and causing me to crash into a bush and fall off the bike. Classy, but precisely the reason I ride on the road on the way there and on the sidewalk on the way back.

3. There's a new mascot at Margarita Mondays: an opossum. We saw it dart into the courtyard before realizing it positioned itself near people. In its frightened state, the opossum made a mad dash for it but was unable to find its way back out. We thought we could scare it back in the right direction, but it reacted to us by playing dead. Not wanting to scare it any more, we retreated and hoped that if we kept our distance for a while it would gather the courage to run for an exit again. Unfortunately, it didn't move. When the waitress came to clear our table at the end of the night, I mentioned to her that there was an opossum in the corner so that she wouldn't accidentally happen upon it and be scared. Alas, the mere mention of an opossum caused her to scream and run inside the building. I felt bad for scaring her, as that was not my intention, so we tried to make up for it by bussing our own table and bringing all of our own dishes inside. It was not just a nice gesture, I wanted to ensure that she didn't ask a manager to come outside and kill it -- for real. I don't think they're the kind of place to secretly serve opossum taquitos, but you can never be too careful. We're not sure what happened with the opossum, as it hadn't quit playing dead by the time we left, but we can confirm it had moved by the next week. Come back, opossum, we love you!


Kevin After Dentist

This video has been posted on every website on the entire information poop super highway, but it's so terrific that it deserves its rapid viral status.

We should give kids drugs more often if they're going to be this adorable. Thanks for nothing, DARE.

Seriously, I'll have what he's having, because that seems like fun, so long as you know what you're getting into. I sympathize with David as he asks, "Is this going to be forever?" because it's such a genuine response from someone who has no understanding that he is high.

No one explained to me that I was high when orthodontists gave me laughing gas a child. In fact, not until I watched this video did it occur to me that I "experimented with drugs" as a child. It makes sense, I reckon, since it would contradict with the anti-drug messages taught in school and home, particularly in the eyes of a child.

I loved my experience with laughing gas so much that I remember asking if I could do it again. I was a giggly mess. I can still recall the hygienist asking me a series of basic questions after administering the drug to verify that the laughing gas was working. I think I passed in record time. The best exchange went like this:

Hygienist: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Laughing-Gassed Kevin: Just one.
Hygienist: Is it a girl or a boy?
Laughing-Gassed Kevin: Who, me or my sister?

At that point I realized how ridiculous I was that it probably took a full minute to recover my laughing fit. Oh what I would give to have some intensive dental work done again...

Laughing gas wasn't the only substance I used in my youth. On multiple occasions, I also recreationally used smelling salts. My friend had found them in an old first aid kit, and we were curious. It provided quite a rush: suddenly we would be alert yet loopy. The lingering sensation was fun, but it never occurred to me that technically I was abusing a substance. If you had asked me at that age if I had ever done drugs, I would have adamantly denied it, and believed it even. I entirely bought into the anti-drug messages, yet for a few month period I semi-regularly sniffed smelling salts. How could smelling salts be considered a drug when they put it in a medical kit? That much ammonia must have killed a lot of brain cells, not that I any notion of that, however naively.

A successful drug education program must branch out from the traditional marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol focus to include the real adolescent gateway drugs like laughing gas and smelling salts. This is why I am a meth addict today.


Siamese Septuplets

When I ripped into the Duggars recently, I had no idea that I would be needing to save some of my vitriol for the new octuplet mama, Nadya Suleman. The octuplet birth was no accidental "miracle": Suleman underwent in vitro fertilization, implanting herself with an unconscionable eight embryos. At the age of 33, Suleman has a total of fourteen kids, yet no job, no money, and no partner. I'm no mathematician, but those numbers don't seem to equate.

And yet, they do. Suleman's "people" (and by that, I don't even mean the children) are already looking to fetch about two million dollars for her tell-all interview, as well as exploring a host of other paid endorsements and appearances. It's all for the kids, I'm sure.

I can't criticize too harshly, however, because I explored a similar ethical situation during my first year of college. At the time, there was an advertisement in our school newspaper seeking a young, healthy, smart, attractive, 5'4", brown-haired Jewish woman to be an egg donor. The ad described Betsy perfectly, and the $20,000 fee for donating her egg was mighty tempting. Evidently, there's a lot of money that can be made in the baby-making industry, and we wanted a piece of that action.

Over the course of the conversation, we decided that for the right price, Betsy would donate eggs, Brandi would be a surrogate mother, and I would donate sperm. Alas, by involving ourselves only in the birthing process, our money-making potential was limited. Surely, there was a more lucrative way to have children.

I knew then what parents still know now: multiple births = $$$. Figuring that septuplets would be instant media darlings, the new plan was for us to take seven eggs from Betsy, implant them in Brandi, and I would fertilize them. Still, septuplets had been done. We needed an extra gimmick, one that would guarantee us financial success: SIAMESE SEPTUPLETS.

We knew our plan was brilliant. Sure, none of us were too keen on being parents, but we were excited to exploit and profit. Siamese septuplets would be the world's most adorable freak show. Imagining the possibilities, I created an artistic rendering of what our paycheck babies would like.

Meet the Mutots (our affectionate abbreviation for mutant tots) -- they may be mutoted, but they sure are cute, huh? Look at how they all fit snugly into the uni-diaper (you know that's a bitch and a mess to change), in spite of their variously sized and positioned appendages. Learning to walk was especially challenging for the Mutots, but once we added the peg leg and bandaged the bloody stump, the task became significantly easier for the tykes.

As you can see from their shirts, we acquired several corporate sponsors, which the Mutots proudly display during all of their television appearances. The Mutots are the subject of a Saturday morning cartoon series, have their own cosmetics line at Target, and signed a multi-million dollar deal to pen their autobiographies, once their motor skills come through, that is.

The Mutots may be conjoined, but all have their own individual personalities. We call the middle one the "smart" one, not because of any sign of intelligence, but on the basis of his glasses. To his right is the "beautiful" one with a big pink bow. She's going to be a stunner by the time she hits puberty, assuming her breasts sprout near her and not on one of the other kids' torsos. She likes to gnaw on the ear of our "sleepy" child, who is never awake. (If we're being frank, the "sleepy" one didn't really survive the pregnancy, but it would be nearly impossible to separate him from his siblings, plus septuplets are much more marketable than sextuplets.) The runt is the "scrappy" one. The other three are pretty forgettable, but know how to ham it up in press photos.

Raising the Mutots is difficult; it's hard to find time to feed, bathe, and hold them with all the money counting we've had to do. Also, it can be challenging to love them sometimes (I mean look at them), so it's a good thing we have three parents, so that the combined love we offer them is about equal to that of two parents with non-siamese septuplets.

If you'd like to hire the Mutots for your party, Bar Mitzvah, business function, etc., please let us know. Our kids are not disabled, they're abled... and they're able to do anything... for a price.


Adages Your Mother Never Shared

Clare: Don't eat that, that's dirty.
Kat: That's okay, a little dirt never hurt anybody.
Cecilia: But a lot of dirt will KILL YOU!