Cougar Life

Okay, this whole Cougar fad has reached new levels of absurdity.

Have you heard of CougarLife.com? It's a dating website that pairs older women and younger men for, um, "dating." I learned about it last night while listening to the radio (98.7FM in LA) at some point past midnight. An advertisement came on that shook me to the core. No seriously, you've got to listen to this.

(Follow link at the end of the post if this player doesn't work for you.)

Initially, I found the ad risque yet ridiculous, but by the time the song kicks in halfway through, my mouth opened wide. Experiencing genuine shock, I considered pulling my car over, afraid that I might get in an accident from the way I was reacting to the advertisement. It takes a lot to make me blush, but this spot was unexpectedly obscene enough to do it.

While searching for the commercial audio, I also found this similarly over-the-top television commercial:

All right, all right, I'll sign up!

(Audio track originally posted at Mark Edwards 3.0)


The Power of Christ Compels You

...to watch this video.

I enjoy this way more than I should, especially because I think she's having a seizure, though I suppose she might just be caught up in a moment of divine rapture.

That never-ending prayer is all sorts of nutty. Though a lot of it offends me on a basic level, the part where she criticizes people for "worshipping the intellectual mind" really gets my goat. This is a college graduation! If you are not in support of learning and intelligence, why go to college? I'm sure there are some great religious organizations that will be willing to take a comparable amount of money from you and do all of your thinking for you.

But my favorite part of this video is the reaction (or non-reaction) of the school official. The man's nonchalant request for an ambulance is great. Things get downright comical, however when, while she's still writhing on the floor, he says, "We've heard the benediction, now let's begin the processional." They all put on their hats as if nothing else is happening, which is exactly how you should respond to a fanatic.


I's Gonna Be a Lady Someday

Here is the first post in an ongoing series I'd like to entitle "Allison Introduces Me to Country Music." (I don't know whether this will actually become an actual series, but if it does, we all will be blessed - blessed, I tell ya!)

First, a little background. I don't know much about country music. I know and love a lot of musical genres, but country isn't one of them. At the same time, I strive not to be that cliche wherein I describe my music taste as "anything but country", so I am open-minded. Meanwhile, Allison was raised on country. Granted, she's a good LA-girl now who now follows Gaga and indie, but after being raised in Texas, she still has that twangy music in her bones, bless her heart.

So we're in the car and she has one of her country mixes on and, in between conversation, I can't help but get caught up in the lyrics of the song playing, "Fancy." As I listened, I discovered that the song was about a poor mother forcing her young daughter into prostitution.

The song is nothing short of epic and the video doesn't disappoint. I suggest reading the full lyrics, but here are my two favorite verses:

She handed me a heart shaped locket that said
"To thine own self be true"
And I shivered as I watched a roach crawl across
The toe of my high heeled shoe
It sounded like somebody else that was talkin'
Askin' "Mama what do I do?"
She said just be nice to the gentlemen Fancy
They'll be nice to you

I knew what I had to do and I made myself this solemn vow
That I's gonna be a lady someday
Though I didn't know when or how
But I couldn't see spending the rest of my life
With my head hung down in shame you know
I might have been born just plain white trash
But Fancy was my name

Ohmguh, this is some of the best, most hilarious storytelling I've heard ever. Bravo, Reba McEntire. I always figured she had slept her way to the top, but I didn't know she sang about it, too.


British Child Abuse

Andrew was recently in London, much to his displeasure. He doesn't like London because he feels that people are terrible to children there. This seemed like a ridiculous criticism, so I asked for an example.

Andrew was in a public restroom - probably pooping or something, I didn't ask - and there was a small child in there crying loudly. The kid was by himself and terrified, clearly separated from his parents and lost. Everyone ignored the kid and walked by him, except for one man who gruffly shouted to no one in particular, "Can someone control this child?!"

That was pretty bad, but hardly indicative of an entire country, so Andrew shared another story.

Andrew was out at lunch and there was a cute little kid running around the tables being friendly with strangers. He ran up to one elderly couple and said, "Hi, my name is Damien, what's your name?" The old man shot the kid an evil stare and meanly stated, "I'm not going to tell you my name. You wouldn't remember it if I told you." And then the kid burst into tears.

Okay, that story breaks my heart. Maybe England really is full of cranky, unsympathetic child haters. I trust Andrew's opinion on the matter since he suffered some cruelty at the hands of his grandmother.

Boycott London!


Siamese Rapunzel Twins

My friends did this while chatting at a party.

Previously, I’ve never been interested in having hair longer than shaggy, but clearly I should rethink this.


Lane Bryant

Stacy came across this vintage ad today. Come and get it, chubbies!

Two Decembers ago, I asked my sibling what she wanted for Christmas. She requested a gift certificate to a clothing store (since I couldn't be trusted to pick out an outfit itself), but didn't specify which store. Standing in the mall, I looked cluelessly at the directory trying to pick a store, before deciding to just call her for an answer.

When she didn't pick up, I initially wasn't going to leave a message since I was already at the mall and had no intention of coming back later. I marched to the nearest store, but when I still hadn't hung up at the sound of the beep, I improvised a message. "Hey, I'm at the mall buying your present, but I couldn't remember what stores you liked. It's okay, though, I'm pretty sure you mentioned Lane Bryant, so I'll just buy that."

Within a few minutes, I received a panicked call from my sibling. Rather than wasting time with a greeting or pleasantries, she said, "DID YOU REALLY BUY ME A GIFT CERTIFICATE TO LANE BRYANT?!" "Yeah, is that okay?" "KEVINNNN!! That's a store for fat people!"

Ah, but you see, I hadn't actually bought her a gift certificate to Lane Bryant. The nearest store had actually been The Gap, a store from which she owns clothing. I knew that, given my lack of fashion knowledge, she would assume I didn't know what Lane Bryant is and would believe my ignorance. (Thanks to The Onion's Jean Teasdale, however, this was knowledge I had acquired.) I had just said Lane Bryant because I knew it was a plus-size store and that she would be insulted and freak out.

Nothing like pranking your superficial sibling just in time for the holidays!


Porn for the Blind

Blindies have needs, too.

It would be hard to count all of the things I absolutely love in this two minute news clip, but I'm going to try:
1. CNN borrowing footage from Fox News to make an unfunny joke.
2. The reporter getting really excited to find the author's raised naked image.
3. The author becoming indignant when the reporter declares that it "isn't sexy."
4. Watching blind people fondle 3D naked bodies: it feels like I'm intruding on something they should be doing in private.
5. Blind people can be... GAY?!
6. The blind girl is super funny and adorable. Surely she doesn't need this smut because she can get the real thing.

I'd actually argue that I know some non-visually impaired people who would enjoy this (to the fullest, if you catch my drift), but I'm glad blind individuals can have some wanking material. Blind people need a release, and there's only so much a seeing eye dog can do to help before it is considered abuse.

For the record, porn for the blind isn't exactly a novel idea, as it can already be found at http://pornfortheblind.org . According to the site "Porn for the Blind is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to producing audio descriptions of sample movie clips from adult web sites." Volunteers watch pornographic clips and record dry, clinical descriptions of the action as MP3 files. You're more likely to emit laughter than fluids, but it's great nonetheless. There are no pictures or videos or pop-up ads, so you have nothing to worry about after clicking the link. If you're curious, or just looking to donate your time to a worthy cause, check out the site.


Steak in My Pocket: A Trip to Vegas

Bullet points are a lazy way to write. But I just got back from Vegas and I AM lazy, so I'm going to run-down the highlights without worrying about complete sentences and transitions.

* Bought a vodka tonic at the Encore lounge. Was asked if I wanted Stoli or Grey Goose. I requested to just have the house, and was told that Stoli and Grey Goose ARE the house options. I get it, Encore, you're too classy for me.

* Found a sleep shirt in a gift shop that read DO NOT DISTURB LAST NIGHT'S COCKTAIL QUEEN. Allison bought it "as a gift for someone else." Doubt it!

* Circus Circus literally smells like poop. You only wish you could blame it on the animals, but they don't actually have any. It's just stinky.

* There are expensive arcade zones for children to play in since they can't gamble. Instead, they a lot of money to play games for the chance of winning tickets to redeem for over-valued prizes. How exactly is this any more healthy than gambling?

* Stayed at Hooters Casino because it's cheap. It was more ghetto than the last time I visited with disconcerting stains on the carpet and the kind of hallway that people get murdered in.

* Met a girl who was staying two doors down from me. She assumed I was "foreign" for some reason. She had driven all the way from Iowa to Vegas. Most importantly, she was wearing a thin bikini and was holding two packs of cigarettes in her cleavage. I think she was trying to get a job there.

* Hit an all-you-can-eat buffet way too hard. Though it's not uncommon to feel like puking from alcohol in Vegas, it's a little ridic when it comes from overeating. (Six kinds of meat, y'all!) I felt so ill that I wanted to go to bed at 9PM, but powered through.

* At the end of my meal, I couldn't finish this nice piece of steak and didn't want it to go to waste, so I wrapped it in a napkin a put it in my pocket "for later". For the next several hours, I had a steak in my pocket, and I walked that thing all over Vegas. My plan was to take it out randomly while playing at a table and eating a couple of bites, but my friends were too embarrassed to let me when I tried at about 2AM.

* Had one of the best times ever at a craps table next to these senior citizen sisters. They had never gambled before, and one of them had a forty minute roll (which is crazy lucky/impressive if you're not familiar with the game) and won me a bunch of money. She was like hundreds of dollars richer and dumbfounded, just all sorts of old lady giddy.

* Woke up smelling a little like steak.

* Crashed the Encore's fancy pool. It is a "European Pool" which means the women can be topless. Not enough of them took advantage of these rules, however. Still, there was one notable moment where a lady jokingly started playing with her topless friend's boobs. The topless girl retaliated by pulling off her friend's top. Hooters only wishes it had that kind of naked lesbian action. Maybe that's why the Encore costs three times as much.

* A blackjack dealer openly laughed at the extent of my misfortune. Allison then said my favorite quote ever: "It's time to go back to a place where we don't get ripped off, except for parking structures and street cleaning tickets." And with that, we returned to Los Angeles.


Carlo Gesualdo the Murdering Musician

So I think I've said this to people in "real life" and not here: my friend Ted's blog of musings is one of my favorite things to read. It probably helps if you know Ted, but what better opportunity to get to know Ted? I like it so much, I'm going to blatantly rip off one of his posts (with attribution, granted, which I suppose makes it more legit than 80% of other Internet postings.)

Ted commented about how he wanted to like classical music more, but that it's hard to take seriously because he's "already heard [it] so many times in the context of stupid pop culture - pork commercials, Home Alone movies, etc." That's a brilliant observation: how irritating is it when one of your favorite songs is used in a commercial? Suddenly, it takes on a new meaning and context. Most of the classics have been co-opted in some form, so you already have associations that mar just enjoying the music.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, Ted goes on to reference a new favorite composer of his, Carlo Gesualdo. I kind of like the music, but I really like his Wikipedia page. There is one whole section of it titled "The Murders" because, in addition to being a musician, Gesualdo is a murderer.

Gesualdo found out his wife was having an affair with a duke so he brought some servants, caught them fucking, and not only killed but mutilated them in bed. Then he doubted his kid's paternity and proceeded to "swing the infant around in his cradle until the breath left his body." He also allegedly killed a nanny trying to protect the child and his father-in-law as further retribution for his wife's dalliances. Wikipedia is careful to say "allegedly" to those last murders since the documentation on the incidents isn't as concrete as the first slaughters and they don't want to be sued for libel against some long dead composer or something.

Because Gesualdo was a nobleman, he wasn't subject to any punishment, so he just got to go on writing music. He even married again. (Seriously? It's like those women who date O.J. -- come on!) Surprisingly, their marriage floundered: he abused her, so she moved out. "She seems to have been a very virtuous lady... for there is no record of his having killed her." Oh snap, random historian!

In his later years, Gesualdo was so depressed and guilt-ridden, he had his servants beat him. Well all right! You just need to read his whole biography, because it's awesome. The next time someone tells me what an interesting life story Beethoven has because he was deaf, I'm going to say, "Bitch, please, and who did he kill?"


A Little Fresh Air

Chris: It's stuffy in here.
Katie: No! Don't open the door, it will be cold.
Chris: It's too hot.
Jessica: I'm cold.
Chris: Too bad, I'm opening it. Besides, a little fresh air never hurt anyone.
Me: Except for the Boy in the Bubble.


Cat Safety

My friend in Chicago inherited a cat when her sister went on an extended road trip. She was good-natured about the babysitting even though the cat would wake her up at night and sometimes even sneeze on her. I realize that's how feline leukemia spreads, but kitten sneezes sound cute.

Once her sister finally returned to her home in Los Angeles, my friend began making arrangements to return the cat. Then, last week, there was an earthquake and now the sister doesn't want her cat back because it's not safe. She is convinced Los Angeles is facing imminent disaster and wants her cat nowhere near it.

I told my friend that it sounds like her sister is just crafting an elaborate excuse to pass off responsibility of the cat, but she insists that her sister is genuinely freaked out by earthquakes. Look, I'm all for earthquake preparedness. Have your flashlights ready! Store some water, y'all. But sending your pet to another state is pretty extreme.

If she thinks LA is that much of a deathtrap, maybe she shouldn't be living there herself. Plus, Chicago also experienced an earthquake recently; you can run, but you can't hide. I told her to slap a helmet on that cat and Fed-Ex it back to California pronto. Initially, we laughed at the notion of cat helmets, but then we realized it could be a MILLION DOLLAR IDEA. I did some preliminary google searching, and there doesn't seem to be a legitimate product of its sort.

Cat owners are notoriously crazy. It wouldn't take much to convince them that they need to protect their critters' skulls. Furthermore, the craziest can owners have like dozens of them, so that's a lot of potential helmet sales.

Anyone want to invest in my business? No? How about if I throw in this killer tag line: Cats May Have Nine Lives, But You Only Get to Share One of Them. Yeah, that's right. Start throwing money at this genius.


Hot Bowl of Dicks

Oh, snap! Crass comeback for the win.

Though I believe Aimee Mann is the superior musician of the two, Ice T is definitely the better actor. Case in point: Aimee's performance in Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry" music video.

I used to misunderstand the lyrics echoing the song's title as "This is scary." Pretty apt.


Lucky Love

Lucky Love - Ace of Base

Remember when this song was the jam? Just kidding, it was never the jam, but only because America has no taste. So much #1 potential here. I say that as my high school’s Ace of Base fan club president.

That sounds like a joke, but it's not. In high school, Leener and I headed up an Ace of Base fan club. It was hardly "official" but we would show our support to the band by breaking into impromptu harmonies of "Don't Turn Around," particularly the line "She's the hunter, you're the fox." We had a few interested friends, and even more friends who wanted no part of it, but we counted them amongst our members anyway. Nothing big ever came of the club, though I did consider adding it to my college applications to pad my extracurriculars.

If America could have only one Swedish export, I’d still choose Ace of Base over Ikea even though that’d mean I’d no longer have a bed. Yup, I’d sleep on the floor for “Lucky Love.”


Voicemail Lady

Matt's phone: Please enter your password then press pound.
Kevin: (imitating) Please enter your password then press pound.
Matt: Don't make fun of my voicemail lady!
Kevin: She's my voicemail lady, too.
Matt: So?
Kevin: So I'm not making fun of her. That'd be like making a "Your Mom" joke when we're brothers.


Dancing with Dolly Parton

While Stacy sang Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" at karaoke on Saturday night, there was this obscene couple grinding against each other on the dance floor. I've chaperoned a high school dance before, so it was not the act itself that was off-putting, just the timing. The dance just did not correspond with the music. The pair was pressed against each other, the woman rigorously writhing her butt on the man's pelvis. It'd be one thing if they had already been doing this dance before the song started, but they had actually got up once the song started.

"How can they dance like that?" I asked Bianca.
"Yeah, that's just not appropriate for a Dolly song," she agreed.
I nodded and pondered the situation further. "Or maybe it's entirely appropriate," I suggested.

As I see it, Dolly Parton also probably has to dance with her ass against her partner. There's just no way she can dance face-to-face, she'd have to leave about two feet of space between them with those breasts. Those boobs might bring all the boys to the yard, but she doesn't have any room for those boys once they get there. Unless they approach her from behind. That's the only way to snuggle up close to her. Pull a reach around, if you must, but there's no other reasonable way to dance with Ms. Parton.

That probably goes for sex with Dolly, too: it's a situation most realistically approached from behind. Her boobs are a blessing and a curse. They're attractive, but more or less obstacles when it gets down to it. Imagining the difficulties, Bianca hypothesized that it would require "a lot of right angles." If you think about it (which I don't blame you if you don't want to), she's correct.

Anyway, I want to thank that inappropriately dancing couple for leading us down this enlightening line of thought.


Black Kevin

So I'm in a bar bathroom. Don't picture something skeezy, because even though it's a dumpy bar, the bathroom is disproportionately fancy and immaculate with marble, new tiling, and gold trim. Someone earlier had made a joke about having sex in the bathroom before claiming to be "too classy" to do that, but I pointed out that having sex in this bathroom would not be as gross as a scenario at another establishment since it's so well kept. Honestly, the bathroom would probably be a nicer place to hook up than a lot of the clientele's bedrooms.

But my bar bathroom story is not about sex. Or bowel movements, for that matter, sorry to disappoint. I am using the pretty porcelain urinal when the dude peeing next to me momentarily breaks Guy Code© to compliment me. Before you get the wrong idea, I performed some karaoke moments earlier, and this guy is impressed with my rendition of "Breakfast at Tiffany's." I thank him and we both resume our obligatory silence for the next ten seconds as we finish peeing. While we wash our hands at adjacent sinks, he starts the conversation again, saying that he "dig[s] my energy" while singing. I ask him if he will be singing, and he says he is looking forward to performing some Rick Astley soon. The whole time we talk, we are basically over-doing it with the hand washing. Because we are both hyper-aware of the other's actions, neither of us want to appear unhygienic so we lather to the point of excess.

Finally, we both move on to the paper towels and wrap up our conversation. "Well, good to meet you," the guy says. He sticks out his hand to shake mine, but then pulls it back. "Ah, I'm sorry, that's gross, you don't want to touch the hand of someone you just met while peeing." I smile and shoot out my hand anyway. "Actually, we just watched each other scrub our hands for like a full minute. Our hands are as clean as they're ever going to be!" He agrees, so we shake rigorously while laughing. "I have never felt so confident in the cleanliness of a handshake, this is great!" I add. (In the moment, this really does seem like a remarkable accomplishment and a time to treasure, but I'll at least partially chalk this up to alcohol.)

We laugh again, and he says, "I'm sorry, Kevin." "How'd you know my name is Kevin?" I ask. "No, I was saying sorry that we hadn't introduced our names yet, and that my name is Kevin," Kevin says. "And you're Kevin, too?" "Yes, my name is Kevin, too," I tell him. "That's so funny, we have a lot in common."

All right, at this point, you readers probably think the two Kevins are becoming a little too familiar and that this story does in fact end in bathroom bar sex, but, no, it's not like that, it was just an uncharacteristically friendly moment that ended there.

At this point, I return to my friends' table and I tell them I just met a nice guy in the bathroom who has the same name as me, and I gesture at him from across the bar. "Which one?" Lena asks. "The black one," I say, adding, "He's Black Kevin."

Lena, and a couple of other friends at the table, are black, and they hastily get on my case and ask why he has to be "Black Kevin." Immediately, my liberal guilt kicks in, and I insist that they're right, that's not fair and that I should have to be referred to as "White Kevin."

I'm overly sensitive to this, perhaps, because five years ago, I was at this house party and this Asian guy looked a lot like my friend Preston who was also in attendance. We called the guy "Asian Preston," and he eagerly accepted this monicker, but I always wondered why they guy was so willing to defer to being the copy, and why he didn't counter with the suggestion that Preston should be called "Half-white/Half-Mexican Jim." Jim wasn't actually his name, I don't think we ever learned his actual name since he was so down to be called "Asian Preston," but you get my point.

So at first I'm willing to accept "White Kevin" as my nickname, but then I think better of it and deliver an impassioned speech to Lena and crew. "His friends -- his friends should call me White Kevin. That makes sense and that's only fair. But my friends should just call me Kevin. I shouldn't have to be 'White Kevin' when you don't even know this other Kevin. To you, he is 'Black Kevin' and that is that!" Just like the germ-free handshake, this issue seems very important in the moment. Fortunately, my friends agree with my stance and I earn back the distinction of just being called "Kevin" again.

As for Black Kevin... well, I don't know really know much else. But he does do an impressive baritone cover of "Never Gonna Give You Up," so I'm pleased to call him my black namesake.


Totalitarianism at the Roller Skating Rink

I went roller skating this past weekend to celebrate Dan's birthday. It was a really fun time, in spite of all of the rules. As we skated around, Dan asked, "When did skating become so totalitarian?" There was this dude in a ref shirt sitting in a glass booth overlooking the rink. He had a microphone and used it incessantly to yell at his minions. No cellphones! No holding hands! No grabbing on to the wall! Get up after you fall! I circled the rink in fear of being chastised by the grand overlord.

At one point, Big Brother shouted a new rule: "No skating with sweaters tied around your waist!" Boy, they're regulating everything, I thought. Not even a full minute later, the Voice from Above, expressing irritation over having to repeat himself, again instructed about no sweaters around the waist. I scanned the crowd to see who had the illicit sweater - who dared defy the Supreme Entity? - to no avail. Within a minute after that, the music stopped abruptly and the voice instructed everyone to stop skating immediately. "This is what happens when you don't listen," he said. "If you have the sweatshirt around your waist, you need to get off the rink right now."

It's at that point, I discovered that the offender was my friend Clare. Everyone was staring, upset over having to momentarily stop. Apparently, wearing a sweatshirt around her waist was equivalent to spilling marbles all over the rink in some sort of cartoon villain fashion. IT'S FOR SAFETY! Even though The Dictator was being a massive prick, he had brilliantly deflected the rage that should have been directed toward him toward Clare, his disobedient subject. I'm still not sure why she didn't immediately obey the voice the first time she heard the instruction (I would have been too scared not to), but good for her, damn it!

When Big Brother wasn't punishing us, he was advertising some low-rate modeling school that had a booth set up in the corner. There were a few games throughout the night where we could "win" a partial scholarship to the school. What a deal! You still have to pay them the majority of the tuition to mislead you! The "models" manning the table were cute, but also way too short and ill-proportioned to have a legitimate career. I'm guessing that by working, they were paying off their own tuition. They kept approaching vulnerable adolescent girls with "You're so pretty. [They weren't.] Have you ever thought about modeling?" This racket will continue as long as people fall prey to their own vanity.

Speaking of vanity, I was pretty pleased with my own appearance. While everyone else there had to borrow standard orange skates, I had brought my own. Five years ago, I bought a pair of sneakers with wheels attached to them at a thrift store, definitely one of my best finds of all time. Even better was that one of the wheels lit up with rainbow colors when it spun. Granted, it was only one wheel out of eight, but that was still 12.5% cooler than anybody else. Though I rarely have reason to wear the skates anymore, I was excited to have an opportunity, and got a kick out of the people who kept glancing at my flashy skates. That's right, I was the flyest guy on the rink. I'm surprised no one approached me about modeling.


Hot Tub Time Machine

Just saw Hot Tub Time Machine. The best part is Craig’s sweater. I need that sweater. Granted, I’d need to be black to pull off that sweater, but if a hot tub can be a time machine, I’m sure we can figure that part out.