2010-12-31

50 Best Songs of 2010

Yay! It's time for my annual Favorite Songs post that a handful of my friends love because they get to download new music, while everyone else complains that all the music files make my blog near-impossible to load. You're welcome!

I think it's worth your perusal considering that last year I was ahead of the trend on Mumford & songs and the xx. Not to mention that my #1 song, "Bulletproof" by La Roux actually became a genuine hit in America... a year later than it should have taken. Will I be as prophetic or just pathetic this year?

After compiling this list, I've made three observations: 1) There are fewer indie bands and more mainstream acts than in the past. 2) There are more R&B leaning songs than it usual. 3) I'm really into dance tracks. So does this mean that the dance-y, mainstream R&B tracks released this year are better than usual or just that my taste has skewed that way? Probably some of both.

You can either download all fifty songs at once HERE or sample and download them individually. Or go out and buy the music. Yeah, maybe you should do that.

50. Crutch and Cane – Peter Wolf Crier

Pitchfork called this song “as airy and breathable as gym shorts.” Let’s all take a moment to laugh at their review, and then acknowledge that none of my descriptions will be much better.

49. Go On – Basia Bulat

I’ve been enjoying Bulat’s music for a few years now, and I’m always happy to discover she’s consistent without becoming monotonous.

48. Down by the Water – The Decemberists

A new Decemberists album is coming early next year, and this is the one song they’ve leaked thus far. Here’s hoping for a CD full of equally good songs.

47. Sprawl II – Arcade Fire

Admittedly, I’m not as big of an Arcade Fire fan as most people I know. But this one has been growing on me as of late, and I’m sure I’d regret not including it on my list later on when it has more fully latched on to me.

46. Bully – Lissie

I’ve followed Lissie for a while as a great cover artist, and I’m excited to finally become familiar with her original work. She’s quite a songwriter in her own right.

45. Get Some – Lykke Li

After making a name for herself with a sweet, soft voice, Li has pulled a 180 with this song. If the ferocious drums weren’t enough of an indication, her declaration of, “I’m your prostitute, you gon’ get some” sure is.

44. Crash Years – The New Pornographers

I love the New Pornographers, and while I found their most recent album a bit of a letdown, it’s mainly because I hold them to such a high standard. There are still great songs like this one, though.

43. Hello – Martin Solveig & Dragonette

I’m often guilty of only dancing to songs I know. Here’s a song that’s infectious enough that it prompted me to dance even on the first listen.

42. VCR – the xx

If I hadn’t exercised restraint, probably ten of my favorite songs would have come from the xx last year. As this was the last single from the album, I’m throwing it on this year’s list.

41. All Summer – Kid Cudi & Bethany Cosentino & Rostam Batmanglij

This song may be a blatant attempt to be a “summer” hit, but I’m a fan of anything that Kid Cudi touches – certainly the talented artists he’s collaborating with here don’t hurt either.

40. Bed Intruder Song – Antoine Dodson

Most people might be too ashamed to count this viral video turned autotuned smash amongst their favorite songs, but I’ll take Antoine’s lead and hold nothing back. Don’t get raped, y’all.

39. Go Outside – Cults

My only hesitation in liking this song is that kids who are legitimately enslaved in a cult are being kept to sing catchy songs like this one.

38. Dynamite – Taio Cruz

This song exploded on mainstream radio this year. Admittedly, it rides the line between “catchy” and “annoying,” but more often it falls on the correct side of that battle for me.

37. Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

I don’t listen to much country, so I’m definitely late to this song – something I can best describe as a twangy version of a drunk dial. It got me, though. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a threesome.

36. You’ve Changed – Sia

Sia’s taken a change of tone toward from a more gentle songstress to a singer who fully embraces a dance-y background track. I personally like her either way, but I’d be in for more songs in this style.

35. Include Me Out – Robyn

All hail the queen of dance pop. To many, Robyn is mere a footnote in 90s pop culture, but those in the know understand that she’s consistently putting out great tracks.

34. California Sunrise – Dirty Gold

I haven’t been able to learn much about this band, but I like its sultry style.

33. Older Brother – Pepper Rabbit

While folk-rock has made quite a comeback this year, Pepper Rabbit comes across as a band that is helping to lead the trend rather than following it. Good chill music.

32. One – Sky Ferreira

“I’m not a robot, but I feel like one.” An apt lyric for a song that blends elements of electronica with dance/pop. It’s like if Daft Punk had a kid sister.

31. Awake My Soul – Mumford & Sons

I was all over these guys last year, and my interest has yet to wane. You’ve got to get the whole album, none of it disappoints.

30. Rich Girl – The Bird and the Bee

Not many artists would dare release an album consisting entirely of Hall and Oates covers, but the Bird and the Bee managed to not only do it, but do it well. Take it from me: you don’t have to be a Hall and Oates fan to like their interpretations.

29. The Only Exception – Paramore

Previously, my impression of Paramore was a screamy Evanescence clone. Not my thing, but there’s a market for it. This song, however, is a vast departure, a stripped down love song… which is also not generally my thing, but let’s call it my only exception.

28. Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner

I didn’t want to like this song initially, but there’s no denying… it’s cooler than me.

27. Vesuvius – Sufjan Stevens

Stevens has become a mainstay as a indie artist with overly-orchestrated, experimental sound, and this is my favorite song off his latest album. It’s also my favorite song of the year that was named after a volcano.

26. Holidays – Miami Horror

I’m not sure what this Australian group has against Miami, but they can sing whatever they want about America as long as they set it to catchy music.

25. Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Buble

I know, I know… I’ve been suckered in by a crooner. I feel like such a suburban mom in admitting I enjoy this one, but ‘tever!

24. One Day – Kings Go Forth

This band is ten members strong and you can hear each of them. More is better with this funk tune.

23. Excuses – The Morning Benders

This song received a lot of deserved buzz early in the year before finally hitting the indie jackpot by scoring two commercials with both Sony and Reese’s.

22. Crave You – Flight Facilities

Beautifully smooth, this song sets the mood for relaxation… and perhaps even seduction. I feel sufficiently seduced after listening to it, anyway.

21. Rude Boy – Rihanna

On my first listen, I found the lyrics to be so raunchy that I blushed… because obviously she’s singing about me – the rudest boy of all.

20. Everybody Knows – Alex Lambert

I’m not normally in the habit of downloading songs performed on American Idol, but I love this John Legend cover for reasons I can’t entirely pinpoint. How this Lambert got cut early while (no relation) Adam Lambert could become a household name demonstrates a skewed perception of talent.

19. OMG – Usher & Will.I.Am

Though fun, I’ve always thought Usher’s mega-hit “Yeah” was overrated. On the other hand, “OMG” has the beat to back it up. I first heard this song three times en route to Las Vegas – radio selection is limited in the desert - and it cemented itself as my new party anthem.

18. I Want the World to Stop – Belle & Sebastian

Although Belle & Sebastian were my dance band of choice in college, I haven’t paid them much consideration since then. Finally the band has a new track that demonstrates some restraint, while still making it impossible to stay seated.

17. Soldier of Love – Sade

Thank goodness Sade is back. She is a wet dream come true. The title track from her most recent album is the epitome of fierce. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another decade to get new music from her again.

16. In My Head – Jason DeRulo

It’s the ultimate club song… about being in a club. Whatever, it doesn’t need to be deep to be good. Catchiness trumps.

15. I Need a Dollar – Aloe Blacc

With magnificent horns and soulful vocals, on my first listen, I assumed this song was recorded decades ago rather than a new release. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because it’s timeless nature is great.

14. Tighten Up – The Black Keys

If I could sing like Dan Auerbach, I’d do nothing but perform. When I put on this song, I break into a strut – it inspires confidence.

13. Fight for this Love – Cheryl Cole

Evidently this song was huge in Europe last year; thanks to a solid cover by Vampire Weekend, I learned of it belatedly. Deceptively simple on first listen, the song could be a major hit in the States if promoted, I believe.

12. The Cave – Mumford & Sons

It’s a wonder that the repeat function on my car CD player didn’t wear out with this song. I certainly tested its limits.

11. Pumped up Kicks – Foster the People

I don’t know much about this LA band… they don’t even have an album out yet, but after stumbling across this solid song, I’m looking forward to hearing more.

10. Satellite – Lena

Eurovision is probably the best (or cheesiest… the two are synonymous in my world) phenomenon that America is oblivious to. In this televised event, every European country sends a musical artist to compete and all of Europe votes for their favorite songs. Most of the songs are laughably horrible, but this year’s winner is legitimately cute and catchy.

9. Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

If I had only learned of this fantastic band sooner, surely “40 Day Dream” would have been on this list last year. Better late than never, however. Playful and unforgettable, this duet released as a single early in the year is a standout.

8. Whip My Hair – Willow Smith

When I heard Will Smith’s nine-year-old daughter had a song out, I put it on my mental list of things to avoid. Fortunately, this song was unavoidable, and I succumbed to its charm. I may not have hair to whip around, but it never stops me from trying.

7. Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine

I was fortunate to learn about Florence after the xx covered one of her songs last year and it’s been love ever since. The power and crescendos in this song, a re-release from a couple of years ago, make it impossible not to smile.

6. The High Road – Broken Bells

I think it’s fair to call this song one of the strangest of the year. Going through several stages, “The High Road” is like a tiny, subdued opera wrapped up in under four minutes.

5. Runaway – Kanye West & Pusha T

Sure Kanye’s a douchebag, asshole, scumbag, and jerk-off, but in this song where he cops to it, he won me over again. Do I wish someone as cocky as him didn’t have the talent to back it up? Sure, but there’s no denying that this song is a masterpiece. Judge him, but you’re only depriving yourself by ignoring his new album.

4. Hang with Me – Robyn

I’ve sang Robyn’s praises earlier in the list, now listen to her sing her own. After previously releasing an admirable acoustic version of “Hang with Me.” she jazzed it up with her trademark style for a tune I find amazing.

3. Giving up the Gun – Vampire Weekend

As much of a Vampire Weekend fan as I am, even I expected the band to suffer a sophomore slump. Though their second album is hardly perfect, a song as strong as this one shows me they have staying power.

2. Tightrope – Janelle Monae & Big Boi

If you can resist dancing to this song, then you’re probably not human… which would probably be okay with Monae given her android image. No song oozes cool more effortlessly than this one.

1. Fuck You – Cee Lo Green

Green proves that his genius is boundless with this incredibly fun track. I love the interplay between the perfectly imperfect lead vocals and the silly background singers. Honestly, who doesn’t need to sing/scream a chorus of “Fuck you” from time to time?

Download all fifty songs at once HERE.

2010-12-29

A Sticky Situation

Did you read the news about the woman who accidentally put superglue in her eye after mistaking the bottle for her eye drops? That woman is my aunt!

Okay, that specific woman who made headlines is not my aunt. But it might as well have been because the exact same thing really did happen to my aunt. My aunt was just fortunate enough not to have her family report her story... until now!

Earlier this year, my aunt took her glasses off while crafting, then blindly reached for eye drops. Mistakenly, she grabbed the similarly sized superglue bottle and squeezed it into an eye. Immediately, she realized her error but was helpless to do anything as the glue hardened on her eye. She screamed and the only other person home, her daughter, called 911.

When the young EMTs arrived, my aunt, a teacher, noticed with her good eye that they were former students of hers, which added embarrassment to injury. Moreover, these EMTs appeared to be paying more attention to her underdressed daughter than her eye.

At the hospital, they flushed her eyes out and she escaped with no permanent damage, which is great. However, I do wish that since she managed this "impressive" feat before cyclops Irmgard Holm did, she received some of the notoriety, too.

2010-12-26

Ugly Christmas Sweater


The dress code at my recent Christmas party: ugly Christmas sweaters. I scored this awesome Santa sweater at a thrift store and loved it so much that I wore it again yesterday on Christmas Day, much to the chagrin of many of my relatives. But really, what's worse: making a fashion faux pas or only wearing a sweater you paid $2.99 for only once?

Though I received a lot of teasing for my attire, my grandma actually insisted that she didn't think my sweater was ugly at all. So suck it, haters! Ugly Christmas sweaters 4 life.

2010-12-24

Baby Jesus Piñata

Yesterday, I attempted to reach out with good will to Jewish people this Christmas. Upon further reflection, I take it all back.

For my recent Christmas party, I made a baby Jesus piñata because that is a popular Mexican tradition. (Which is to say that Mexicans play with piñatas on Christmas, not that they beat the crap out of Jesus, you racists.) Really, I just wanted to paper mache something, as I haven't done that since I was in elementary school, so making a baby Jesus piñata seemed like a perfect (if not blasphemous) party game!

Anyway, with conflicted hearts, Allison and I had also invited several Jewish people to our Christmas party, assuming they would be on their best behavior. But shortly after hanging little Jesus from the ceiling, Jenna (Jewish!) approached the little guy and trouble followed.



Immediately, Jesus's leg fell off. Jenna claimed she didn't really touch the piñata, which I took as an insult to my shoddy craftsmanship - we can't all be a skilled carpenter like Jesus.

Staring at the dismembered Jesus, however, I knew the truth. It must be as genetic as Tay-Sachs: when Jewish people see Jesus, they can't help but attack. Jews have an innate trait to destroy Christ at any cost, and Jenna was helpless but to fulfill what was ingrained in her.



Fortunately, she didn't foul up our game entirely. Later in the night we burst open the baby's body and candy flowed from him like the love that God hath promised. We feasted from it as if it were a communion ritual.

But lesson learned: no Semites at next year's Christmas party. Clearly, you can't trust them not to kill Our Lord and Savior. Happy Birthday Eve, Jesus.

2010-12-23

Hristmas

I'm now going to say "Hristmas" instead of "Christmas." This pronunciation alteration is an effort to be more respectful to Jewish people, who can't seem to say the "C" on "Chanukah." Maybe they would celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Hrist if we made our holiday more friendly to the Hebrew language. Remember: Silent "C" for the "Silent Night."

Anyway, to help introduce the Jews to our sacred holiday, I'm going to post one of my favorite tracks from the Hirstmas CD Allison and I recorded: a medley of songs from the Nutcracker. It contains no words... and you might be surprised to learn that there are no instruments either! Yup, all of those noises were made by our talented mouths. Someone should definitely hook us up with a recording contract. Is that why I'm suddenly sucking up to the Jews, the same people who control the entertainment industry? I will not confirm such an accusation!


The Nutcracker - Allison & Kevin

2010-12-20

Poop Quiz!

Before a guest arrives at my house, I realize that I'm out of toilet paper. Do I:

A. Make a trip to the store to purchase some toilet paper?
B. Ask her to pick up some toilet paper on the way to my house?
C. Ignore the situation then rush to her when she finally uses the bathroom and pass her some napkins?

If you didn't choose C, you clearly are unaware of what a classy host I am. At least this time I had a toilet to offer up, unlike in previous times where I instructed all guests that they had to urinate outdoors.

Baby steps!

2010-12-19

Cute/Adorable

Kevin: It looks cute on you.
Matt: I'm not cute, I'm adorable!
Kevin: What's the difference?
Matt: Cute sells cards, adorable sells calendars.

2010-12-16

Mistle/Cameltoe



Every Christmas party needs some Mistle/Cameltoe. There's nothing more romantic than pulling your soulmate under this holiday delight to share some affection.

True love!



I can't personally say I found genuine romance under the Mistle/Cameltoe, though I was assaulted by a few free-spirited (emphasis on the spirits) tongues beneath the doorway, most notably by a friend whose boyfriend stood no more than three feet away from us. I don't think he cared; maybe he understood that all that peppermint schnapps I was chugging made my minty mouth irresistible for her to kiss.




Feliz Navidad - Allison & Kevin

2010-12-15

Merry Christmas, Grandpa


My mom recently unearthed an old Christmas card addressed to me from a pile of junk. Though I'm not sure when it was sent, I know it's old because Grandma and Grandpa have been dead for more than four years now.

No time to be sad, though, since there was still $10 in it! Woo-hoo! Although I think Grandpa seriously underestimated how bad inflation would get by the time I actually opened the card several years later. You try seeing a film in Los Angeles for $10. Then again, he did put "holiday movie" in quotation marks, so maybe he knew I'd just spend the money on porn anyway.

2010-12-14

Allison and Kevin's Christmas Album Release Party


Allison and I hosted our Christmas Album Release Party this past weekend and I've reached one big conclusion: I am a better party planner than a party executor.

Don't get me wrong, the party was great. Everyone had a lot of fun, and the place was packed; had the Christmas lights malfunctioned and started a fire, there would have surely been fatalities.

But we went so overboard on promises before the party that we couldn't deliver. Each of the TWELVE days before the party, we sent out a new announcement promising a new exciting element to the party. While this succeeded in creating a hype (people were talking!), it was practically impossible to run a game of White Elephant, organize a group singalong for charity, and have everyone dance like the Peanuts amidst a standing room only crowd.

For the sake of completion, once the crowd thinned to the last drunkies standing (and in some cases, leaning) at about three AM, we did rush through all of our promises. But that doesn't make us good hosts, just hosts looking to get by on a technicality.

If you want a copy of the album Allison and I recorded, we've still got some extras. Either we didn't do a good job of telling people to grab them, or people decided to forego the freebie for the sake of their eardrums. Below are three tracks in case you want to sample/download them:


O Come All Ye Faithful (featuring Macomputer)


Carol of the Bells


The Chipmunk Song

2010-12-13

Blog Resurrected

Hey friends/readers/pedophiles-who-understandably-don't-realize-this-blog-is-written-by-an-adult,

I have a backlog of things I've been wanting to post lately, but that'll have to wait, because today I almost lost a dear friend... this blog.

As some of you may have noticed, my blog disappeared. This weekend, my Google account, which hosts my blog, was compromised. Hackers then used this password to delete my blog entirely.

When I discovered the situation, I wanted to cry, but I couldn't. I didn't even know how to process it. Yeah, it's just a blog, but I've poured more than five years of effort into this thing, and losing that much of my writing is devastating. Though in the previous year I've begun backing up some of the posts, the vast majority of it was gone.

Thankfully, after I wrote them for assistance, Google was able to retrieve my data. I can't even express what a relief this is. Losing it, even briefly, made me realize just how important Kevin Babbles is as an outlet for me. Lately, I can't honestly say I've given it my all, but it's not because I no longer care.

Apologies that this post isn't remotely entertaining, but I did want to thank all of my readers for being supportive and giving this place some validation. Though I tell myself that I mainly maintain this site for myself, I'm sure I would have quit long ago were it not for the number of hits and your positive reinforcement; it means a lot to me. I'll be back tomorrow with a better post, hackers willing.

Oh, and on that note, fuck a hacker. Hackers shouldn't be so mean to strangers. That's my job.

2010-12-09

#1



Don't post this on Facebook if you don't want me to ask for a baby.

2010-12-08

Ten Most Overlooked Cartoon Characters

Well, no one has cartoon characters as their Facebook images anymore, which I guess means that child abuse has been conquered! Yay!!!! Kids can finally accept candy from strangers without fear.

Still, I'm disappointed that the cartoon fad is over because there were still so many animated gems that were yet to be properly commemorated. Here are the ten cartoon characters most unjustly overlooked:


10. Chicken Boo - Animaniacs
As his theme song dictates: "You wear a disguise to look like human guys, but you're not a man, you're a Chicken Boo." When he wore a hat, people mistook him for a person, yet when that hat fell off, they screamed as they discovered he was but a giant chicken.


9. Martha Generic - Bobby's World
Bobby may be best remembered for being voiced by Howie Mandel (yes THE Howie Mandel!), but the real standout voice belongs to Bobby's mom, who had a folksy accent to rival Sarah Palin, dontchaknow?


8. Dr. Werner Lipschitz - Rugrats
Lipschitz was a child psychologist who cared more about hawking products than the welfare of kids, though entranced parents still blindly followed his advice.


7. The Buddy Bears - Garfield and Friends
Eternal optimists, the Buddy Bears never ceased to sing about team unity. Their annoying perkiness was the perfect foil to Garfield's curmudgeon tendencies.


6. Mrs. Beakley - DuckTales
Matronly and fairly useless in the face of d-d-d-danger, Mrs. Beakley was a loyal grandmother to Webby and nanny to Huey, Dewey, and Louie. She's also been known to polish Scrooge's moneybags, if you know what I mean. (I mean that she was his maid.)


5. Hoggish Greedly - The New Adventures of Captain Planet and the Planeteers
There's nothing this piggish villain loved more than depleting limited resources and slaughtering endangered species. Though he snorted when he talked, Hoggish should be commended for keeping those do-gooding Planeteers on their toes.


4. RUDI - The Jetsons
He was George's work computer that did all of the actual work. Stuck in the office, RUDI was lonely and severely depressed; he would have surely killed himself if only he had been programmed to know how.


3. Denver - Denver, the Last Dinosaur
It's not easy being the last existing dinosaur considering how many researchists would like to exploit him for science. Fortunately, a group of young friends found him first and kept him safe. Much like Chicken Boo, with a simple baseball cap and t-shirt, Denver could pass for a human boy.


2. Irma Langinstein - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The clumsy best friend of April was not only super dorky, but also super boy-crazy. Alas, despite a crush on Donatello, she never managed to bag a turtle. Perhaps they weren't attracted to Jews.


1. Bud Dink - Doug
In the spirit of Wilson, Mr. Feeny, Kimmy Gibbler, and Urkel, comes another whacky next door neighbor character: Mr. Dink. He spent his time creating unsuccessful inventions, but at least it was a better way of keeping his hands busy than, say, molesting Doug.

I looked hard, and not even one was referenced on Facebook. How did you forget all these classics, Facebook? You should be ashamed - even more ashamed than the child abusers themselves.

2010-12-06

Forced Buffness

Kelly: Would you call that guy muscle-y?
Jared: No, anyone can wear an extra small t-shirt.

2010-12-05

Cartoons and Child Abuse

I changed my Facebook picture to a cartoon. As a kid, I would have given anything to be a Rescue Ranger, particularly Chip, the stern, fedora-wearing chipmunk detective, so I figure it's never too late to make dreams come true.

While most people are changing their photos under the guise of "child abuse awareness," I'm participating because I never turn down an opportunity to get nostalgic. In no way will my picture deter a ChiMo. (ChiMo is the shorthand my friends use for child molester... it's necessary because we talk about them so frequently.) Considering ChiMos often misrepresent themselves as younger on social networking sites to lure kids, by concealing their efforts amongst a sea of animation, we've actually just made Facebook a safe haven for abusers.

In fact, I firmly believe that cartoons CAUSE child abuse. It was the source of my indiscretion, anyway, at the age of six. Yes, I was a child child abuser; do not underestimate the epidemic that is child-on-child abuse.

I had just watched an episode of one of my favorite cartoons, Duck Tales, that featured the characters traveling back in time and encountering CaveDucks. CaveDucks were primitive creatures that beat each other with clubs while shouting "ooga-booga." It seemed so fun that I reenacted the scene with my three-year-old sister. As we "pretended" to beat each other senseless while grunting, I shoved her hard, causing her to fall down and strike her head on the edge of a rocking chair.

Blood, blood, blood. Then my sister had to be whisked to the emergency room for several stitches. Suspecting her of the abuse, the doctor questioned my mother several times about the injury to see if her story was consistent.

But it wasn't my mom, it was me. Turned callous and violent by cartoons, I was a bona fide child abuser. I don't watch cartoons anymore... and I also no longer abuse kids. And you know how they say correlation equals causation, so, like, proof!

In short: Facebook, you're doing it wrong.

2010-12-02

Tell Him - The Exciters



I've always thought this song was great, but this video pushes it over the top to amazing-ness.

Considering there's no context for it, setting the video at a zoo in itself is amusing, but then serenading an angry bear with a love song... that's inspired.

Who's more out of place: the Exciters in formal wear at the zoo... or the guy in the girls' group? I'm not convinced he wants to be there.

And why would he with all that awful choreography? (Not you, animals, you moved beautifully.)

2010-12-01

Tears in Heaven

My teenaged cousin, a budding musician, played "Tears in Heaven" on the guitar for my family. It always makes me snicker because my roommate does a standup routine about the song, which Eric Clapton wrote after his toddler plummeted to his death. The punch line is basically that he's not accusing Clapton of pushing his kid out the window, but he does find it suspicious that he had a hit song about the incident ready to go so quickly. I shared the joke with my family, but, finding it distasteful, they just groaned.

It was frustrating because I wanted the joke to kill every bit as much as Clapton did. So when we were at the bowling alley later and "Wonderful Tonight" came on the speakers, I decided to bring it up again. "I can't believe they play that baby killer here." This time the joke received some chuckling.

Later another cousin of mine said he would never have more than two kids and if his wife were to become pregnant with a third, he would kill it. My aunt objected to the thought, but I pointed out that he could write a #1 song about the experience and become a big success. "You're not letting this one go, huh?" someone commented amongst the decent amount of laughter.

While browsing the dinner menu, I decided to go in for the final strike: "I heard Eric Clapton ordered the veal here." This time, everyone laughed heartily.

The moral of the story: Don't give up on a joke. Also, Eric Clapton killed his baby.

2010-11-29

Stains

While shopping, my mom mentions having recently bought pants for an elderly family member of ours. "We can only buy him dark pants now: blacks, grays, and browns. You know why that is, right?"

I freeze instead of responding. He's an old, extraordinarily flatulent man, so I get where she's going. But I'd rather not have a confirmation that he poops his pants. That's a piece of information I don't mind being left in the dark about.

As my mom begins to answer her own question, I brace myself to hear the worst. "It's because he's always working in the yard and gets dirt all over himself. When he wears light khaki pants, you can see all the dirt stains on them when he goes out later."

Oh. DIRT stains. Really glad I kept my mouth shut and didn't answer what I thought was a rhetorical question.

2010-11-26

Canned Food Drive

Before descending into a pitiful pit of unpopularity in junior high, I was considered to be reasonably cool, smart, and likable by my elementary school peers. This personality combination was my ticket to getting on student council. Thought it was a big deal to me at the time, I can't really remember what we actually were responsible for as representatives. I'll be damned if they let ten year olds actually make substantial school decisions, and it's not even like we had dances to choose themes for at that age.

One responsibility I do remember, however, was drumming up excitement for the annual food drive. As a sixth grader, I volunteered to present to my former first grade teacher's class. I used to really like her, aside from the fact that she would tease any kids she saw picking their noses, which was problematic considering how much I excelled at that activity at that age.

Knowing first graders to be pretty dumb, I figured it might help to bring in a canned good as a visual aid when I explained the process to the little nose-pickers, so I brought some Spaghettios from my cabinet at home. As I started presenting, my teacher cut in to give a preemptive lecture to her students: "And remember, this is for Thanksgiving, so think about the kinds of food that you would want for that. Don't just bring in anything in a can like Spaghettios."

At this point, the Spaghettios can was still stuffed in my pocket, protruding a bit. Maybe my teacher was just being a bitch, but I don't think she noticed that I had brought them in as an example. There was, however, a kid up front who had noticed the can. I want to say that I remember this kid's face clearly, but I also want to describe him as both wide-eyed and Asian, and like not to be racist, but I'm doubting my recollection for this reason.

Anyway, when the teacher made the Spaghettios comment and I tried to shove it deeper into my pocket, this kid up front made two sudden movements. One arm shot straight up in order to get called on, while the other hand pointed straight at my pocket with a firm index finger. This kid was going to rat me out for being insensitive to the poor's holiday dietary needs. Doesn't he have better things to do with his hands like shoving them up his nostrils? To silence him, I gave him a condescending head pat, and made a quick exit from the classroom.

Ashamed to have brought in the Spaghettios in the first place, rather than donating the can, I brought it back home and ate the contents. It was great. Anyone who thinks they're too good to enjoy some Spaghettios for Thanksgiving probably doesn't enjoy the finer, simpler things in life... like nose-picking.

2010-11-23

Insecurity

It's official: I'm ugly.

After all of this talk about the new TSA security measures, I was skipped over at LAX this past weekend. Here I was waiting to either be patted down or full body scanned, but neither occurred. Am I to believe that, despite having permission if not legal obligation to sexually harass me, the agents declined to take advantage? The closest I came to being propositioned was when someone asked me to remove my shoes.

How will they ever know that that's not a weapon in my pocket without investigating further? Surely I'm hotter than that morbidly obese man and the housewife wearing mom jeans and a visor, both of whom warranted a closer inspection.

It is a great irony that, after passing through security, I've never felt so insecure.

2010-11-22

Activism

"GIVE PEACE A CHANE"

- The large graffiti message Alice painted on a wall following a 2003 anti-war rally. She was pretty dejected when I pointed out that she left out a letter because, more than a mistake, it looked like a supportive reference to Dick Cheney, the biggest warmonger of them all.

2010-11-17

Chasing a Butterfly

At recess in second grade, I had to pee - though at that age I called it "tinkle" - but didn't want to go through the lengthy process of asking permission then walking all the way inside. My first instinct was to run to relieve myself in the woods, but the lady on recess duty was always diligent to shoo people away from there because, like in Grimms's fairy tales, forests meant trouble. Instead, I ran out to an open field, kept my back turned to the other kids, and watered the lawn like it were my job.

As I finished up, I noticed the recess supervisor walking in my direction. I began to act like I had been playing and running around by myself, but she was on to me. "Were you just going to the bathroom?" she asked me directly. "No," I told her. "I was chasing a butterfly."

She bought it. More likely, she just wasn't feeling up to following through on disciplining me, but at the time I thought I was some evil genius... a wizzing whiz kid, if you will.

I was reflecting on this time today and realized that one day I'm going to be detained on a public urination charge (my friends will tell you it's inevitable) and I'm going to instinctively reach for the same excuse. The I-Was-Chasing-a-Butterfly defense holds up in court, right?

2010-11-15

Address Me Accordingly


I love when I get mail addressing me by both of my middle initials.

The only thing funnier than being known as Kevin "VD" Ma[redacted] is that Pitzer thinks I may be interested in giving a gift of $100 a month.

2010-11-14

Sisters United in Love



Saturday Night Live's "The Kissing Family" sketch may seem farfetched, but I used to live with two adult sisters who would put these actors to shame. They were not only emotionally close, but super affectionate, hugging and kissing constantly. They would go so far as to tell their boyfriends that they could never love them as much as they loved their sister, and the boyfriends would just have to accept this weird dynamic and watch their girlfriends cuddle.

One time, a bunch of us broke into teams to play a board game, and the sisters decided to be a pair. After brainstorming a team nickname, one finally shouted, "SISTERS UNITED IN LOVE!", an idea they both loved, prompting them to hug for a long time. They have since made matching shirts with this slogan on them.

Just like in the James Franco skit, the sisters were no strangers to communal bath time, often showering together. On one such occasion, my dad was in town. As we had a conversation in my room, we could the sound of running water, kissing, and the two ladies repeatedly saying how much they loved one another. Part of me knew I should explain how unbelievably close they were, but the rest of me felt too awkward to address it. I continued to say nothing when they walked out the shower wearing only towels and holding hands.

Later in the day, while making reference to my roommates, I referred to the girls as sisters. Surprised, my dad asked, "Wait, they're sisters?" At first, I didn't get why that was so astonishing to him. They were showering together and saying "I love you" - how would you not think they're sisters? Only then did I realize he must have assumed they were lesbians, which, if you think about it, is a way more reasonable assumption than incestuous sisters united in love.

2010-11-11

Danger! High Voltage


Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage (2003)

Though I've heard this song at many a party in my college days, I have never seen the music video until this week. Ohmguh, it just might be my favorite thing, perfectly capturing the 80s in sound and aesthetic. All at once, it is both the sexiest and unsexiest thing I have ever seen, from his cheesy 'stache to her oversized glasses and mouth. And when we reach the uncomfortably long makeout scene, part of me wants to vomit, while the other part of me is forced to acknowledge that if I had electric genitals, they'd be glowing right now.

Also, let's give credit where credit is due: Electric Six pulled off "I'm on a horse moose" years before Old Spice.

This song just catapulted from forgotten tune to lifelong jam.

2010-11-09

Found Dog


"Hi, I'm calling about your sign."
"Oh, did you lose your dog?"
"No, he's still right here next to me, but I figured since you're going to be finding him in the future, I'd give you my contact information now to save us both some time."

2010-11-08

Who's the Whore Now?

The Erotica Book Club met this past weekend. In addition to feasting on Christine's homemade penis-shaped pumpkin bread, we discussed two short stories that could best be described as sensual fantasies for women. The literature wasn't of high quality, but it led to some interesting conversations about the genre. In spite of all the hot sex scenes, it seems the readers' real satisfaction comes from the lovers getting married and living happily ever after. Whatever!

To summarize, here are my six favorite quotes of the night. The first three were shared aloud by group members, while the last three are quotes taken directly from the texts:

1. On the matter of whether it's fair to call a character who is an occasional prostitute a "whore" when she also owns her own business; Lena: "It doesn't matter, she could be a ninja even. But if she has still has sex for money sometimes, she's still a whore ninja."

2. On a prostitute who pays a man for protection, but also insists that he has sex with her so people assume he's her boyfriend and not a bodyguard; Greg: "Who's the whore now?!"

3. On a woman who walks in on her fiance cheating on her on an expensive Edwardian desk she bought him for his 40th birthday; Lena: "That's rude."

4. After a woman is stabbed, her doctor gives her lover some sound advice that is ignored not a full minute later: "She may be more fragile than usual in the next few days... She'll need care, not to be hounded by your desires."

5. In one story, a woman, Terri, accidentally travels back in time to 13th century Scotland where is held captive in a nunnery and her abductor tries to impregnate her. Make sense? Maybe my favorite line by Terri, in which she reveals her true identity will help: "Perhaps [Terri] is a bit androgynous, but it is my name, and I am from the future, whether you choose to believe me or not."

6. The best scene that depicts the sexual differences of a 13th century Scot and a modern promiscuous woman: "Her finger brushed against his puckered hole. A place no woman had ever touched. Yet she did, her slender finger sliding into him. Unaccustomed to the strange sensation, he pushed her away, his cock sliding from her mouth."

Our next book will be better or, failing that, trashier.

2010-11-07

It's the End of the World as We Know It

Kevin: Ack! I have a new credit card that expires in 2014.
Eric: You don't want a credit card?
Kevin: No, 2014 is just so long from now, it scares me. I can't even begin to picture my life four years from now.
Eric: I know.
Kevin: Isn't the world supposed to end in 2012, anyway? Because the way I'm living my life, I'm kind of banking on that happening.
Eric: Yeah, that'll help tie up a lot of loose ends for us.

2010-11-06

Murder Mystery

Last night, I attended Clare’s murder mystery birthday party. As a lover of mysteries and games, all my life I’ve wanted to participate in an activity like this one, and it finally came true!

The mystery was set in the 1920s with a lot of stereotypical characters. There were shady mobsters, shadier politicians, and every woman was a whore. There wasn’t a woman there who(se character) wasn’t fucking multiple men in the room. For example, I was engaged to marry a woman who was already engaged to one of my business associates, as well as secretly married to another one of my business partners. I played the boss of the mob bosses, making me very important. At least that’s what I told everyone.

Going into the game, I told myself I was going to play super hard, interrogate well, and take detailed notes so that I could solve it. This plan was quickly derailed by the fact that the mystery took place in a speakeasy. By golly, the booze really got in the way of the sleuthing. I didn’t end up jotting any clues down, but if shots were notes, my notebook would have been full.

Consequently, I wasn’t able to play the game as slyly as I had hoped. My dossier had secrets that I was supposed to reveal as well as those that I was supposed to keep to myself, but I kept mixing them up and just sharing everything. I was the most loose-lipped mob boss the world has seen; every conversation I had was as if I was speaking with my psychiatrist given my penchant for indiscriminately telling people everything I knew, as well as what I ascertained from others.

Though that’s not how the game was supposed to be played, everyone was so ridiculously drunk, that we really had to drop any pretenses of being subtle and just read our clues to each other off the clue sheet in order for any information to be exchanged.

Partway through the night, after the first person was killed, there was a scavenger hunt to find a weapon so that you could kill someone else. I had no interest in offing anyone (what a lame mob boss, huh?) but I searched hard out of self-preservation, as I had ascertained that several characters stood to benefit from my death. Picture an intoxicated bunch of people in 20s getups frantically opening drawers and behind books for weapons: the house look ransacked.

Someone was soon killed, but I got lucky, and it wasn’t me. At the end of the night, we had to write down who we thought the two murderers were. I was disappointed in myself because I had hoped to be a better sleuth, but I used the evidence that I knew to make two semi-educated guesses. I spent all night wooing a woman and not suspecting her, but when I reconsidered her motives and accused her. As it turns out, I was the only guest who actually fingered both killers accurately. Looks like I’m not such a bad drunken detective after all!

It was a lot of fun, so I want to play again – next time sober. Although maybe if I had been soberer this time, I would have over-thought the game and guessed incorrectly. I know a lot of people think I dumb lucked my way into my victory – and maybe they’re right – but I will gladly wear this badge of honor until the next time a murder needs solving.

2010-11-04

My Mom Has Been Killing It on Email This Week


What does this mean? Does my mom think I'm a prostitute?

In small town Connecticut, any break from the monotony, even vandalism, is worth cheering for.

I was going to explain that it would make no sense for AOL to abruptly cut off the only people in the world who actually still pay for its services, but then I got this...


My mom has only six email contacts, and half of them are Nigerian princes. "duh. All set! No worries." I can't get over how cute my mom is.

2010-11-03

Sexy Amelia Earhart

On Sunday, I went to my very first West Hollywood Halloween. I was under the impression that it would be some wild gay orgy, and though it was more flamboyant than your average affair, it was really just a fun dance-y and costume-y time with tens of thousands of people publicly drinking in front of police officers who were laughing too much to intervene. I had a great time.

In addition to the sexy chimpanzee and sexy Roman solider I was hanging out with, one of the new people I met was dressed as a sexy Amelia Earhart (an aviator jacket and hat and little else). She was cool, but had trouble when she tried to be “in character,” referencing that she died in a train wreck. On the first occasion, I let it slide because she was nipping from a bottle of Jack, but when she mentioned it again, I couldn’t help but make a joke.

So that’s why they never found Earhart’s body! They kept looking for plane wreckage rather than searching for her on a locomotive. They should have known a woman could never fly around the world without cheating for a portion of it. To her credit, Sexy Amelia Earhart laughed off my teasing of her “train wreck” comment.

But as I was increasingly discovering, train wreck might have been right. The girl was a mess.

Sexy Amelia Earhart tugged at my arm to show me her pocket watch. “Is that part of your costume?” I asked. “I don’t know, it just looks cool,” she said. I started dangling her pocket watch in front of her face, asking if she believed in hypnotism. “My ex-husband is a hypnotist,” she said. It turns out that, even though she’s in her early 20s, she was married for four and a half years and only recently divorced. “My parents say he hypnotized me into marrying him,” she added. I asked whether she thought that was true, and she sighed, “Probably.”

Shortly after participating in breaking the world record for most people dancing to “The Time Warp,” the sole of Earhart’s shoe broke off, causing her to have trouble walking. When she inquired whether anyone had any tape to repair it, I knew that I had some pieces of duct tape inside my pants taping back my pockets. Chivalrously, because I had tights on underneath my pants, I pulled my pants down to pick at the tape. Accidentally, however, I yanked the tights down, too, exposing myself, surrounded by thousands of people. Here I had stereotyped West Hollywood and thought I’d be seeing penises all night, but the first penis everyone saw? My own. What’s worse is that in my haste to pull my pants back up, I ripped my nice twenty-five dollar reversible belt in two. My friends said they didn’t even know how that was physically possible, but I guess I’m capable of Herculean strength in the face of embarrassment. Consequently, for the rest of the night, my tattered pants kept sliding down.

Who’s the train wreck now, Kevin?

2010-10-31

Bangarang!


My Halloween costume: Rufio.

As in "Ru-fi-OOOOOOOOOO"
As in "Looky looky, I got Hooky"
As in "I wish I had a dad like you" ::dies::

But if you even needed clarification as to what my costume is, you suck at nostalgia. And life.

I usually have trouble taking compliments, but I've been accepting all lauds for my costume this year. I don't always try so hard at costumes anymore, but since Halloween occurring on a Sunday essentially means three days of partying, I invested a lot of time and money into my Rufio getup this year. And the satisfaction of hearing strangers across a party chanting Rufio has made all of the effort worthwhile.

P.S. Did you know Hook is now 19 years old? It's frightening facts like that that make me have to dress like a Lost Boy so that I don't feel like an Old.

2010-10-29

2010-10-27

Halloween in the Halls



In college, the single project I worked the hardest on wasn't even a school assignment, but a giant installation art piece.

Each year, kids who didn't have a safe place to trick-or-treat were invited to collect candy throughout the dorms, and residence halls were encouraged to compete to see who could decorate the best.

Since our hall was packed with artsy types, we decided to go for it and turn our hall into a giant monster. With no budget and little time, I thought this was an impossible feat. Fortunately, I've never seen a team synch up so well together, and we managed to collect nearly every material by dumpster diving.

The kids loved the experience of walking through a monster's body.
We even created had that thing that dangles from the throat.


The heart.


The ribs.


And the guts.


In a vast oversight, I failed to take a picture of the monster's butt that the kids had to spread the cheeks to escape from. If that doesn't sound juvenile enough, there were also a bubble machine and fart noises playing.

For our efforts, we actually won the contest and earned a $100 Root Beer Float Party. We never cashed in on this prize, however, preferring to attribute the money toward the fines we amassed by getting paint and trash everywhere. Regardlessly, it was easily one of the best college and Halloween memories I've ever had.