Kindergarten Likes and Dislikes

In kindergarten, Wes's teacher instructed the class to make a collage. On one half of the paper, the students were to paste/draw pictures of things they liked, while on the other half of the sheet, they were to do the same with things they disliked. While the other students busily filled their papers with a variety of objects, Wes took a minimalist approach:

like: pumpkins
i don't like: George Bush (senior - though we didn't refer to him as such at that point)

Look at that little liberal in the making. I mean, what else is there to say really? Sure, Wes could have included pictures of puppies and spinach, but he is a man kid of refined taste. Let's cut the crap and get to what matters: pumpkins and politics.

If you know Wes, I think this picture sums him up perfectly.


Sorority Row Row Row Your Boat

First, SPOILERS. You’ve been warned.

I finally got around to seeing Sorority Row. The preview was too over-the-top to resist! It was no Orphan, but it was awful in it’s own right. Here’s the premise: There’s this sorority sister Megan who had a boyfriend, Garrett, who cheated on her. She wants revenge so she has another sister slip Garrett fake roofies so that he can rape her, at which point she will pretend to die. It seems pointlessly cruel, but then again for the scheme to work, Garrett is agreeing to rape his former girlfriend, so maybe he does deserve it? ‘tever. During the prank, Garrett freaks out and kills Megan, who he already believed to be dead. Everyone agrees to hide the body and keep the incident a secret. Months later, however, someone starts killing everyone who knows what really happened that night.

I contemplated giving Sorority Row a no feminist critique, like I did with G.I. Joe, but it seems a little too easy of a target. I mean, the director claims to have included nudity “to pay homage to the tradition” of horror films – and for no other reason, I’m sure. Besides, Sorority Row is a film that’s very existence relies upon exaggerated stereotypes of women, and men, for that matter. The sorority girls are almost uniformly catty, shallow, slutty, and hedonistic. The one main exception is our protagonist, Cass, who “wants” to do the right thing, but always finds an excuse not to. If the movie has a moralistic message, it would be the repeated quote that “you are judged by the company you keep.” It’s hard to feel bad for our heroine since she associates exclusively with killers and assholes.

In addition to Cass we have Jessica, the head bitch in charge; Ellie, the brain who gets to be the popular girls’ friend because she does their homework; and Claire, the Asian-American friend, who the other sisters keep around for diversity’s sake. That’s not just my take, they actually come right out and say it.

Oh, and then there’s Chugs who warrants mention separately since she’s more of a caricature than a character. In a house of slutty boozers, Chugs is the sluttiest and booziest. Chugs will fuck you out of boredom, for drugs, or because she’s on the drugs she just fucked you for. It’s uncomfortable how awful she is. When a guy rejects her sexual proposition because she tastes like vomit, she says, “Whatever, it’s not my fault you’re gay.” At another point, she comments that “Roofie sex isn’t that bad – you get laid and you get a good night’s sleep.” As far as I can tell, no one needs roofies to get in Chugs’ pants, so she just must be taking them recreationally. Even though Chugs is the first sister murdered by the serial killer, it still isn’t soon enough.

Other characters include Carrie Fisher, who I feel bad for. Not because her character dies, but because she’s in the film at all. There’s also Maggie, the sister of the deceased Megan, who tells the sorority girls that she has decided that next year she will attend the same college and pledge the same sorority as “closure” for her parents. It seems remarkably unhealthy to have one daughter assume the life of the presumed dead daughter, but maybe I just don’t know how closure works.

The movie made me cringe and jump a lot because I don’t much like gore and the unsympathetic characters met some disgusting demises at the hands of the killer. As far as I could tell, there were two reasonable suspects throughout the movie: Jessica’s boyfriend, Kyle, a Senator’s son who might stoop to anything to keep the secret and protect his dad’s political career or Cass’s boyfriend, Andy, who served no purpose and therefore must have some involvement. Here’s how the movie dealt with it: they’re both the killers! Or at least I think so. First Kyle was the killer, then Andy comes back and kills Kyle and declares himself the killer. So they’re both the killers? Did they work as a team? It is never explained and it left three of us watching it – three people who are far more intelligent than this film’s intended audience if I do say so myself – confused as to who did what. I’ve consulted some message boards to figure out how we were intended to make sense of that, and I guess the prevailing wisdom is that Kyle wasn’t the killer killer, but after being caught cheating, he went into a blind homicidal rage and became a killer in his own right. Just not the killer. Misdirection, you see. Or sloppy script writing.

Which leads me to the film’s portrayal of men: violent, crazy, stupid. The three main male characters (Garrett, Kyle, Andy) are not only all killers, but pretty pointlessly so. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if that’s the only alternative, I guess I’d rather be a sorority girl. Or Kyle’s dad, the Senator. In his one scene, he says ridiculous things like, “I don’t like surprises. When I pick up a book, the first thing I do is read the last page.”

Speaking of the last page, let’s just wrap this up, shall we? We finally get a moment where a sister legitimately helps out a fellow sister by saving her life and using the “that’s what sisters are for” convention. I had been waiting for that the entire movie! The last scene shows a few of the girls escaping from the burning sorority house. Rather than fleeing from a building engulfed in flames like any normal person, the girls strut in slow motion, baring their cleavages like empowered femme fatales. They may have survived, but they should still be going to jail for their previous crimes. Alas, that part is not depicted; instead the film skips ahead to reveal that the Theta Pi house has been rebuilt and is going strong. You’d think recent multiple homicides would be enough to close the chapter, but I guess not. We also see that Maggie, biological sister of the first dead sister, has indeed joined the sorority. Why the hell would she even subject herself to that mess? Is that part of the closure?

Ah, but we can’t get closure because there is a gardener at the sorority house’s yard. He has slit wrists! The implication is that it’s Garrett, who we believed to be dead after being hit by a car, and that he’s back to seek revenge on the sorority. This makes very little sense on a lot of levels. Firstly, though we did see him cut himself a while back, Garrett’s wounds should have healed “fifteen months later,” unless he’s slitting his wrists on a regular basis now. If he were going to have some lasting scars, it’d probably be from being run over by a car repeatedly. Secondly, Garrett has no reason to have beef with these women. All of the sorority girls he interacted with have graduated, and moreover all of the girls who actually scorned him are dead. But you do that, Garrett. You pretend that there might be a sequel.


Aspiring Soccer Mom

A year ago, I had an old friend from high school who was going to be visiting nearby. Would I be available to meet up? Sure. Did I mind if another friend of hers joined us? Of course not.

We all sat down at the restaurant and each gave a brief update on our lives. Or rather my friend and I gave brief updates of our lives. The friend of a friend, Lucy*, had a nervous breakdown. She revealed that her boyfriend of nine months had broken up with her recently and she was having a rough time.

As she cried, I initially felt bad for her. Though it was certainly awkward for her to be unloading in front of a stranger, I was fine lending a sympathetic ear. But the longer she sobbed and tried to convince us that her boyfriend was an idiot for leaving her, the more she incriminated herself.

Lucy had recently graduated from college. As a senior, she began dating Samuel*, who was a freshman. After graduating, she had put the pressure on Samuel to propose. If he really loved her, he would do that, you know? And Samuel said he would one day but that he wasn’t ready yet so Lucy would ask when that would be, but he couldn’t give her an answer! It seemed to me that Lucy had unreasonable expectations in believing she can coax a boy about nineteen-years-old who is not even a college sophomore into marriage.

Anyway, I guess the proposal shit scared him away. Samuel told Lucy he was too young to be in so deep and wanted to live a normal college life. Could we believe the nerve of him not to make mature decisions? To choose partying with his friends over her? My friend and I could not… well, we could not reply, really. Do you tell a loon the truth? Meanwhile, Samuel won’t return her calls, but she is still in contact with his mom and sister who both agree that they are perfect together and can’t believe he would give her up. If someone called my family to convince them to convince me to reunite, I know I’d appreciate the gesture!

Sensing how uncomfortable I was, my friend finally tried to change the subject. It worked for a minute or two before Lucy redirected the conversation. “I’m ready to be a soccer mom, is that such a bad thing?” When you’re 21, it’s at least atypical, if not semi-bonkers. So far, all of her questions were rhetorical, but now she wanted my take on her situation “as a guy.” This put me in quite a spot. Honesty probably wouldn’t be appreciated. Moreover, I didn’t feel like I owed Lucy, a stranger, such frankness, although I still don’t like to lie. I struggled to find some diplomatic words, explaining that it must be hard for Samuel to handle such an intense commitment when all of his friends are so young and have different priorities. I thought I had done a good job of not condemning either party, but Lucy just responded, “Yeah, but that’s stupid.” Um, okay.

From lunch, we went to the beach. En route, I had picked up a newspaper to distract myself from the unending self-pity-fest. Since it was just a few months before the election, I used an article on McCain to prompt a discussion. As it turned out, Lucy was super conservative. She hates abortion and doesn’t understand why you wouldn’t love your child, which is easy for an aspiring soccer mom to say. Lucy also didn’t think that Obama should be President because he’s black. She asserted that while she wasn’t racist, plenty of Americans are, so it wouldn’t be good to have a President that many people couldn’t respect. If I hadn’t realized that her logic was so fundamentally flawed earlier in the afternoon, I probably would have pointed out that that rationale is a disgusting argument to never allow minorities to have leadership positions, but I wasn’t about to debate someone who was so clueless.

When Lucy brought up Samuel again, my friend asked about the softball team instead. Lucy hated her last year of softball because all of her teammates were lesbians and caused a lot of “dyke drama.” Also, they were all super jealous of her and her boyfriend. So, apparently, all of these lesbians wanted her boyfriend – that does sound like some dyke drama! And a bunch of bullshit. About this time, I made my exit. I had plans for later in the night that magically moved to sooner. There was a quick discussion of how Lucy and I should hang out sometimes since we live so close, but I made sure that no numbers or contact info were exchanged to prevent that from actually happening.

I recently saw my friend for the first time in a year, and she apologized for the whole incident and acknowledged that Lucy seemed “crazy” and an “emotional wreck.” I’ve held this rant in for a long time, but now that I know my friend felt the same way and can both call a spade a spade, I want to let you know that people like Lucy exist. I’m sure she’ll make a great nutty soccer mom one day who’ll switch her kid to another team if the coach is a Hispanic guy.


RIP Crazy, Toothless Dyke

Whoops, I caused a bit of a stir on the Internet today.

I was feeling a little nostalgic for the crazy, toothless dyke. Often people, myself included, are quick to dismiss people as crazy for various reasons, but having interacted with this woman, I can honestly say she is a bona-fide lunatic. While I think she means well and the state of her mental health isn't her fault, it still wouldn't take much to have her institutionalized.

I wanted to put a picture of Toothless Dyke on my Facebook account, but since the photos were six months old, I figured I'd spruce them up a bit so they at least seemed new to look at. Using special effects tools, I turned the photo black and white and framed it with a glow. After doing so, I realized that it kind of looked like a memorial photo. Pondering it further, I decided that it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to learn that she was now dead, so I put some text on the photo to make it "official."

Then I posted this photo on my Facebook. Quickly it received reactions. First two people "liked" it, which I figured meant people understood the humor. But then several people expressed legitimate concern in the form of all capital letters and excessive punctuation (?!?!?!?!).

So yeah, I'm sorry if anyone got emotional over the situation. That said, if anyone I know had more than a "That's too bad... for her" reaction, I don't understand it. None of us are friends with her. We knew her as a nuisance who was off her rocker. We call her Crazy, Toothless Dyke for crying out loud, we're not even sure we know her real name.

I just felt like killing her. To clarify, Carol did nothing to upset me, I have no ill will, and sincerely wish her well. May she live a long fruitful fruity and nutty life if she is alive, which I very much doubt. However, since she is really just a mere character in our lives, an anecdotal figure from our pasts, I thought it'd be fun to have her die. You know how television shows will kill off a tertiary character for a ratings bonanza? She's getting a better sendoff posthumously than she would otherwise.

As it stands, I'll almost certainly never see or hear from her again. She calls people on her "invisible phone." Plus, we no longer live in the same area - or freeway underpass as it were - so there are no run-ins. Toothless Dyke wasn't even a regular at the bar we met her at, so even if I were to revert to my old life and habits, I'd probably never see her again. Last time I paid a visit to the lesbian karaoke bar, I had asked Bev, "Does the crazy toothless dyke come here anymore?" and Bev deadpanned, "Which one?" Touche, Bev!

So, yeah, she's dead. Call it a gut feeling. I honestly feel it's a reasonable assumption. Given her lifestyle and mental health, her days are numbered at the very least. If Darwin was even remotely accurate in his Survival of the Fittest theories... if you believe in evolution... or even Intelligent Design for that matter... the odds are stacked against Carol from every angle.

But her memory lives on. Having received many an unwanted toothless kiss and slap to my butt, I can promise that I will never forget her. Godspeed, Crazy, Toothless Dyke! You were a rare treasure! I hope they have Jack Daniels hats in heaven!


Baseball Blunder

When I played baseball – wait, allow me to rephrase – when I participated in Little League (I generally stood in the outfield aloofly, looking for four leaf clovers and chewing on my mitt), my dad was supportive. He came to most of my games and even volunteered at some by serving as the umpire. I had thought this position could be a conflict of interest for him, but I distinctly recall one time when he called a third strike against me while I was at bat. I was his kid, he couldn’t just call me out! (I should have swung.)

One day close to the end of the season, my coach pulled me aside. “Does your dad drink beer?” he asked. I froze with concern. Did my coach think my dad was showing up to my games drunk? Did he think he was doing such a poor job at umpiring that he must be drunk to make such calls? In order to defend my dad and squash that rumor, I lied and said, “No. Sometimes non-alcoholic beer.” My coach thanked me and that was the end of that – or so I thought.

At the last game of the year, my coach arrived with a 24-pack of O’Douls non-alcoholic beer, which he gave to my father. It was a thank-you gift for having umped several games that season. Immediately, I remembered that previous conversation I had had with my coach. He wasn’t accusing my dad of anything, he was just trying to be nice. Nevertheless, my paranoia prevented him from getting real beer.

Sorry, Dad.


Ethnic Ethics

My next screenplay will include this exchange of dialogue:

A: "What ethnicity are you?"
B: "Eurasian."
A: "No, YOU'RE Asian!"


Konyay West

Have you heard about this guy Konyay West? He's a famous wrapper who wears glasses that make him look like he's in jail, but he's not, LOL!! What's not LOL is that his mom died of plastic sugary a while ago so you have to feel bad for him. She should of loved herself the way she is.

N E way, Konyay is in the news now because of something he did. Earlier this week, VH1 had their annual music video award show and people say he ruined the whole thing! I guess that means he wrote all of the host's penis jokes.

I heard he showed up to the show drinking alcohol which is just asking for trouble. Then later, Carrie Underwood won an award for best music video not by a man and thanked her country. But then, guess who interrupts Carrie's big moment?! Well if you need me to say... Konyay!!!! Konyay came up and STOLE the microphone from Carrie's hands. He wanted to say hello to Beyonce and remind everyone that Beyonce had one of the best music videos ever.

Konyay is right. Beyonce's video had hot women dancing, which is pretty much what music videos have always been, which is why it should be the best video. Award shows are important so we can't just let them pick anyone as a winner, no offense Carrie!!!!!

So Konyay tells it like it is and meantime, Beyonce makes surprised faces because she didn't win. She needs a award because no 1 even remembers her after leaving Destiny's Kid. Carrie just stands there and doesn't know what to do because she's just a teenager. I felt bad for her, it wasn't her fault people thought i'd be funny to give her a award like Cuba Goodin' Junior.

I think Konyay shouldn't of done that. Beyonce should of gone up herself to take the award. 4tunately, no one will forget who Carrie Underwood is now that this happened.

On his blog, Konyay says he is sorry 4 what he did. Konyay is a good blogger cuz he types in all capital letters like hes shouting cuz he means it. In late 2008, Konyay also blogged about "Fresh Kid" Ellen Degenerous. I'm glad he introduced me to her cuz she is sooo funny.

This isn't the first time Konyay made a controversy. After Hurricane Catrina (why didn't they name the Hurricane Sasha Fierce?!?!?!) Konyay told Austin Powers that the President doesn't care about black people. Um, NEWSFLASH, Konyay! The President is black so that's a pretty dumb thing to say. By the way, President Obama called Konyay a jackrabbit. hahahahaha Burn!

From now on, all awards should be given to Beyonce to avoid problems!!


Robbing Full House

Recently, I was listening to the "new" (apparently, it's been out since May and I'm that out of touch) Green Day song, "21 Guns," in the car. I liked it even, but when the song progressed to the guitar solo, I did a double take. That sequence of chords wasn't new to me; instead, it made me think of Full House.

It's funny because, just prior, if you had asked me to hum the Full House theme song , I couldn't have done it. Yet suddenly I was ready to accuse Green Day of ripping off a TGIF show, which I recognized was ridiculous. Surely I was just misremembering and had the TV series on the brain since I had just visited the Full House houses a few days earlier in San Francisco.

Look, here I am dancing in front of the house!

And here are my friends. Three blond sisters: JUST LIKE THE SHOW! I guess that makes Lindsay both Mary Kate & Ashley.

At any rate, after my car ride, I found "21 Guns" on YouTube and re-listened to the guitar solo before comparing it to the Full House intro. I was shocked to find my intuition was on the money: the two songs were nearly identical. I needed to alert everyone by blogging this immediately! I did a google search to see whether anyone else had recognized the similarity and found that I was not the first to catch on.

You can hear a good side by side comparison here or watch this video:

Sigh. Being a discoverer is hard work -- someone else is always going and discovering good stuff first. That's why I have such beef with Christopher Columbus. I could have done all that, he just had a several century head-start Plus, I never slaughtered Native Americans. One Native America, granted, but certainly not plural.

At least I'm not as pathetic as Green Day. Did they think no one would notice? For better or worse Full House is a classic; even my former sixth grade student watches the show on a regular basis. What's next, sampling some notes from the Family Matters theme?

Actually, what's next is ELO. While looking for the above clips to share, I also discovered this video that demonstrates how "21 Guns" chorus is remarkably similar to ELO's "Telephone Line."

The Electric Light Orchestra? Really? That's probably more bottom barrel than Full House, truthfully; if you're going to steal it, at least choose from music that has some credibility.

In the meantime, Green Day, you've got some 'splaining to do! Plagiarism is not cool, just ask Helen Keller. As future meth addict Stephanie Tanner would say:

"How Rude!"


Frisco Fashions

It’s been about ninety degrees just about every day in Los Angeles, so I only packed t-shirts for my trip to San Francisco. I failed to remember that it is significantly colder in the Bay Area and the lack of warmer layers proved immediately problematic. Before heading out to dinner the first night, Phoebe offered me a sweatshirt. To be specific, it was a purple sweatshirt stained with cum. In reality, the white stains were probably toothpaste, but that’s not what people were going to assume when they saw it. I’m pretty free-spirited when it comes to my outfits, but even I was hesitant to wear something purple and cum-stained. “When in San Francisco…” I figured, ultimately resolving to wear it with pride.

That said, my patience for that sweatshirt was limited. The next morning I ambled until I found a thrift store. I was willing to purchase anything warm and cheap. My first inclination was a ridiculous Cosby sweater, but those were $5.99 each, so I searched for something cheaper. And there it was: a jacket so ugly it was beautiful. This hooded jacked didn’t know whether it was a windbreaker or a fleece; it was located in the “husky boy” section, but I figure that’s a pretty accurate description of me. At $1.99, I couldn’t go wrong.

The jacket was the perfect accessory. Even if it weren’t cold, I would have worn it everywhere I could. Plus, it had this awful pouch, in which I stored everything I could find, short of a joey. I love this jacket so much that it’s going to be part of my LA wardrobe, too, once the temperature cools down after all the fires are extinguished.

The last piece of clothing I acquired was a t-shirt. Originally, it was a gift for Kim’s birthday from her dad. His gifts tend to fit into the “it’s the thought that counts” category. In addition to a gift certificate to a hunting and fishing store (she participates in neither activity), she received a set of liberrian-themed t-shirts. You see, Kim is studying to be a liberrian, so she obviously needs several sassy shirts announcing this fact. The one she hated the most was an ill-fitting men’s medium in a shade of yellow that flatters no one. The shirt reads in the ugliest font: “It’s hard to be humble when you’re a librarian.”
If I saw this shirt at a thrift store, I would chuckled and buy it, so when Kim offered it to me, of course I accepted. Moreover, I promised to wear it all day on the day of her party. All of Kim’s worst fears about the shirt were confirmed when I wore it to a street festival. The two absolute most nerdy people in a sea of thousands approached me to talk about my shirt. A socially awkward guy with glasses and a long, frizzy mullet asked me if I was a librarian. “Studying to be one,” I lied. “Do you know Joselyn?” he asked. I made a confused face. “She’s my friend, she’s a librarian, too.” Because, you know, all liberrians know each other. I must have made another critical face because he finally picked up on how strange he was being and apologized hastily and walked away in an even more awkward fashion. The next fan of the shirt was an old woman with a fanny pack who read the shirt and giggled before declaring, “That’s right! Librarians rock!” Thanks, lady!

I’ll see y’all on the runway.


Sock It to Me

It’s an age-old college tradition: put a sock on your doorknob to alert your roommate that you have a guest over and would like some privacy.

I was reading in my dorm room when my next-door neighbor Colin came over.
“Can I wait in here for a while?” Colin asked.
“Sure, why?” I replied.
“Ted put a sock on the door.”
I oohed like a preteen. “Who is he in there with?”
“I don’t know.”
We speculated to no avail. For the next half hour, we chatted, waiting for Colin’s room to open up until Ted finally dropped by my place.

“What have you been up to?” I asked, fishing for some gossip.
“Class,” he said.
“Really?” I asked, hoping to break his cover.
“Yeah,” he said, so nonchalantly that it was convincing.
“You weren’t in the room?” Colin tried.
“No why?” Ted asked.

We led Ted to the door and showed him the sock. He admitted that it looked like his, though he denied putting it there. Cautiously, they opened the door and found the room empty of people – amorous or otherwise. Colin was sexiled for no apparent reason. But why?

Later that evening, a bunch of us were eating dinner.
“Did you get the sock I left for you?” Desiree asked.
“You put the sock there?!” a confused Ted asked.
“You left it in my room,” she replied.
As it turned out, Desiree had never heard of the sock-on-the-doorknob symbol, she just thought it was a convenient place to leave it for him. Unwittingly, she had managed to keep people out of their own room. She called it a mistake, I call it a sockcess.


9/11 Is No Day to Be Insensitive

It’s September 11th. You know what that means: Sorority Row premieres!

Just kidding. Well, I am going to see it. But I know what anniversary this day marks. In spite of my 9/11 pick-up lines, I’m not as insensitive about the tragedies as it may seem.

Insensitive is my physics teacher. While all of my other classes at my high school cancelled their lesson plans on that day to watch history unfold live on television and discuss our feelings about the events, my physics teacher decided we would learn equations involving gravity by calculating how long it would take for someone who jumped from the 100th floor of the Twin Tours to hit the ground.

That’s not a joke or an exaggeration. Suddenly I don’t seem like such a rotten teacher, huh?

It’s worth noting that I actually commemorate 9/11 every day. It is the subject of my favorite piece of art, which hangs in my dinning room.

For some context, I often decorate my house with strange things I find in thrift stores. Most people who purchase similar items just use the frames and get rid of whatever picture is inside, but I like displaying them in the condition I find them, “found art” of sorts. This 9/11-related art was quite the find, really. Check it out:

This picture appears to originally be some sort of dumb email or MySpace forward. It’s rich with grammatical errors like misspelling “everyone” and incorrectly pluralizing “life.” Nevertheless, someone was so touched by this graphic that ey not only printed it out, but ey also framed it. Some people… I swear!

So, yeah, I mostly like it because it makes me laugh. Maybe that is a bit insensitive. But at least as long as it hangs adjacent to where I eat every day, I can claim I will never forget.


Breaking up Isn't Hard to Do

Breaking up isn’t that hard to do, apparently. At least that’s the impression that I’ve developed after being stuck twice in a matter of days on transportation with a couple breaking up. If that sounds like an awkward situation to be in, you don’t know the half of it.

The first incident occurred on an airplane. After I took a window seat, an attractive young yuppy woman asked if the seats next to me were taken. I said no, so she and her equally attractive young yuppy boyfriend sat beside me. They were both engrossed in their fancy phones long after they were told to turn them off until a flight attendant intervened. The boyfriend rudely dismissed her, but she stood her ground and he complied when he was good and ready, but not before making an irritated groan.

Shortly after taking off, the discussion began.

“So are we going to talk about this morning?” she asked.
“Not unless you want to apologize,” he said.
“I’m not apologizing, you’re too sensitive.”
“You don’t respect me!”
“I do respect you!”
“It’s not respectful to call me pathetic.”
“Look, it’s not just me, all my friends call you pathetic, too.”
“I don’t care what your friends think!”
“Fine. I won’t call you pathetic anymore.”
“It’s not just calling me pathetic, I don’t want you to think I’m pathetic.”

And so on. They went back and forth for about half an hour; the conversation was peppered with “Are we breaking up?” Sure sounded like it to me. I wanted to not listen to the argument, but I was trapped beside it. Toward the beginning of their disagreement, they kept looking over at me annoyed that I was eavesdropping, as if it were my fault that they chose this location with me strapped adjacently. Feeling uncomfortable, I finally closed my eyes and pretended to sleep just to avoid eye contact.

My favorite part is when she abruptly halted the argument to say, “I’m done, I’m going to read!” just before taking out and slowly looking through about fifty wordless cards bound together of a model wearing the same dress in slightly different poses. I’m not sure what you’d call that, but it’s probably not “reading.”

Once we landed and it was time to disembark, the boyfriend stood up in the aisle and started playing with his phone again. As soon as planes land, passengers have one objective: getting off the plane as quickly as possible. Boyfriend, meanwhile, blocked the aisle while he typed a message. His girlfriend encouraged him to move along and he screamed at her to shut up and added that “these fuckers can wait.”

I hope they end up staying together; no one else should date them.

A few days later, I was on a train with my friend Joan. Behind us sat an ugly, trashy meth-addicted couple. Their conversation started out decently enough. She had made thirty dollars before and succeeded at only spending ten on booze the night before, mainly because she knew he would “hit” her if she did. He was still upset that she had spent ten, but he said it was okay, because he remembered he had store credit at some store where they could score some cigarettes. She practically swooned – what a provider.

After they made out in an obscene fashion, he pulled a 180 and yelled at her for talking to some guy at the phone at 5 am. That phone call wasn’t anything, she swore. He accused her of cheating and she couldn’t deny it, but did claim that she loves him still. Tears were shed and he told her that it was over. He still loved her, but from now on he was going to have to “love [her] from a distance.”

Fortunately, we arrived at our stop and I didn’t have to suffer any more of this.

Dear couples: get a room! And break up in privacy.


Some Things Should Stay Taboo

Playing Taboo with the word "hickey"
Anna: If I suck on your neck, you get a...
Me: Hard on!


You Wouldn't Believe What Happens at an 8th Grade Dance

I’ve been reorganizing some old documents, and I came across a copy of an AMAZING autobiographical narrative essay that I received from a 9th grade honors student during my student teacher days.

The student’s essay is ridiculously informal. She writes in a tone that you’d expect to find if she were writing a note to her friend, littered with exclamation points. It’s amateur, but not awful. The thing that makes this essay so memorable and problematic is one specific sentence.

Rather than just handing you the sentence (it’s worth it, I promise it), I’m burying it here. I think it makes it all the more shocking when you read it in context:

My 8th grade dance is definitely one of the moments I will remember in my whole life. It was just a great day! The boys and the girls were getting dates, everyone was buying a dress for that special day, oh it was just great! Finally, the Friday came, all the girls were all whining, “Uh, we only have 3 hours to get ready and I have to go and get my nails done, and my hair and…” well you know the rest…

As soon as we finished with our delicious dinner, one of my friends said, “hey lets dance”. They had some really crappy music (I hate rap!). I stayed quiet because I didn’t want to ruin a great night and accepted it. I was so happy to see the dance floor full of teenagers getting wild. Some of the teachers said, I had never seen any 8th grade dance as fun as this one. Even the teachers went wild!

When we see a screen scroll down and music starts playing again, but it wasn’t jut music, our favorite 8th grade teachers had made a movie about us all the three years we were at [school name]! All the teachers started cheering and applauding like if there was no tomorrow. Then once I saw pictures of me and my friends a tear came running down my cheek! I started to cry because most of the people in that picture were moving and I wouldn’t see them in [town name] or find them in the street like always! In one of those pictures there is one with me and a very close friend I know since the beginning (known as: my twin, stoop1d, or Mrs. Michael Jackson), comes up to me and hugs me really tight and cries with me. We couldn’t stop so we went to the restroom to cry there. We were crying like if someone really important to our family had died. Our tears were practically having a race down our cheeks. Once we calmed down and were able to go in there without any evidence, we walked in and felt like if everyone in that room was either raped or hit really hard!

Did you catch that last sentence? Really? I don’t want to discourage figurative language, but let’s be reasonable here. I don’t exactly like the mental image of a room full of eighth grade rape victims. Moreover, to put rape and being hit really hard at the same emotional level… I don’t even know. It sounds like someone’s never been raped before – which is a good thing!

The essay in its entirety is super long, so I abbreviated it above, but if you’d like to see it in full, as well as some of my comments on this first draft, click on the documents below.


I Still Despise the Duggars

I know I shouldn’t find this news surprising, but I am appalled nonetheless: the Duggars are pregnant again!

If you don’t know who the Duggars are or why I despise them so intensely, please check out my previous post.

I got the news via Celeste’s Facebook status update this morning.

It’s a cruel sentiment, yet deserved. I also appreciated her follow-up:

Oddly, it’s a contentious topic. A debate broke out amongst Celeste’s friends as to whether the Duggars are bad people. I’ve been in a similar situation: in January, I had a mild argument with an old friend in response to my previous Duggar post. She thought my condemnation was harsh. I conceded that the family members weren’t evil, but I am opposed to everything they stand for, so I am enraged that they have a platform that glorifies their lifestyle. When you put yourself in the public spotlight, you are inviting judgment; I am judging harshly.

It’s vain. It’s excessive. It’s irresponsible. It’s all about attention. (By which, I don’t mean the children receiving attention – that clearly can’t happen.) Have we even heard about the Duggars since they popped out the least one? No. That’s why within months they set to work on brewing up another fetus so they could get back on the Today show, as seen here:

Meredith alludes to my point by joking, “Let me guess, you’re getting a puppy?” The Duggars are famous for breeding and only breeding. They are hardly the intellectuals of our time – not that you expected any more from someone named Jim-Bob. Many people condemn strippers for earning a living off their vaginas, but how is Mama Duggar any different?

These folks are creepy. Do you see how they all uniformly stare directly into the camera and smile for the entire segment? That’s not natural, that’s unsettling.

And the implications that the next generation is on a similar path are downright frightening. Their eldest son has one in the oven and is already eager to make countless more. Have fun with that, new wifey.

Allow me to illustrate how irresponsible the Duggars are. I did some math. You know, the respectable kind of multiplying that occurs on a calculator and not in a womb. The Duggars have 19 kids and are teaching each of their children to reproduce in a similar fashion. If their 19 kids have 19 kids, and their resulting 361 grandkids each have 19 kids, and so forth, it only takes four more generations of this pace of breeding before we have approximately 2.5 million Duggars. And if it only takes the Duggars 20 years to have 19 kids, that means we could reach this number in just 80 more years. As a point of reference, 2.5 million is the approximate population of the state Arkansas. The Duggars will single-handedly double the population of their state. Not only will they take up too much space, they will have a powerful vote bloc and can use their uneducated viewpoints to ban contraceptives and teach only intelligent design in schools – and that’s just the start.

And think – if just a few other families try to follow a similar trend, figuring that fame and fortune is sure to follow (everyone else with lots of kids is getting a television show!) then you have tens of millions of extra people. People that this earth can’t sustain. We already have an overpopulation epidemic, folks! There’s plenty of science and research to show that we are essentially killing ourselves by breeding so quickly, but isn’t it convenient to hide behind “God’s will” and assume that he wants us to have all these children and will take care of us and the consequences?

In the meantime, shut up, Duggars. I don’t want to hear about you again unless you hit menopause or that big bus you all travel on flips over. If you can’t keep your legs closed, at least do so with your lips. Just put a cork in it. No really, put a real cork in Mama Duggar’s vagina. Plug it up entirely.

Clearly, I still despise the Duggars.