Poo Cake

My mom made my sister and me a belated birthday cake in the shape of/frosted as Winnie the Pooh. I didn't think anything could top Lisa's Banana Stand cake, but my mom really went for it. I gifted my mom the Cake Wrecks book for Christmas and I fear she might have taken it personally. She is clearly very creative and I meant it only as a source of amusement, not criticism.

But better than the decoration are the accidental poop puns that have resulted from the cake.

"Who wants pooh?"
"Did you eat any more pooh last night?"
"I think pooh tastes better cold."

When my mom excitedly told my neighbor that she made a cake "that looked like pooh," his face read of utter disgust until provided with additional context.

I have laughed every single time, like a ten-year-old. So if you were wondering, "Aren't you too old for a Pooh cake?" I think that clears up that concern.



If I have two friends named Alec, do they make an Alex?


Mental Age

As any of my friends will tell you, I have a Peter Pan complex. Sure, growing up and dealing with responsibilities is inevitable, but I will do everything I can to ignore this fact.

Because my mental age runs significantly younger than my biological age, I try to work that to my advantage. Last year, Anna and I crashed a college's freshmen orientation pool party/dinner. We successfully obtained a free meal, but all of our friends thought this was an audacious move since we looked well over eighteen. Sure, I think we looked a bit on the older side, but amongst a group of strangers, who was going to call us on this?

I also put my internal age to use with solicitors. Whenever I receive an unwanted sales call, I say, "I'm sorry, my dad cant come to the phone right now, can I take a message?" Obviously, the solicitor has no message and the conversation ends promptly. Plus, I get a kick out of pretending to be a kid.

Recently, my neighborhood has had an influx of door-to-door solicitors. After a couple of awkward encounters where I had to be a "grown-up" and pointedly say that I wasn't interested, I decided to revert to my old method of feigning youth as an excuse. About a half dozen times in the past few months, I've opened the door part way and said, "Sorry, my mom won't let me talk to strangers when she's not home."

On the last occasion I tried this, Jocelyn was at visiting at my house. After I shut the door on the salesperson, she proceeded to laugh in my face. "You have facial hair!" she accused. It's true, I'm twenty-seven and don't look like someone whose parents forbid him from speaking to strangers, but I honestly forget that I can't get away with it as easily as I do on the phone. That said, I'm not going to stop. I'm going to tell solicitors that I'm not allowed to talk to strangers until I'm 80. What's the worst they're going to do: contradict me?


Pasadena Chalk Art Festival

Katy and I checked out the Pasadena Chalk Art Festival this past weekend. I intended for it to be a frivolous midday diversion, but wound up being mighty impressed by the event. These weren't your average playground chalk endeavors. The event set a Guinness World Record by attracting 600 artists - professional and aspiring - to create large chalk murals on the sidewalks.

I was fascinated not only by the technique, but by how much effort was going into something so ephemeral. A lot of the beauty was in the process; I loved watching artists sitting amidst a self-created dusty mess, their skin tinted with unnatural hues. They did it for the love of community and art for art's sake.

It wasn't all chalk drawings, though. Of course, there also had to be dozens of antique cars. Do we really need to see them at every single community event? I know their owners live to show them off as often as possible, but who cares? I'll probably be driving my Corolla until I'm 80 (or until hovercrafts are invented), but that will be out of stubborn frugality, not a desire to impress passersby. Go get a real hobby or do drugs or something. People could have been drawing where those cars were parked!

But the art was always great. Sometimes political, sometimes provocative, sometimes funny. Heck, the worst one might have been the portrait of Sookie. But even that was awesome because it was, well, Sookie. Even the kids' amateur efforts were appreciated.

For as much crap as I talk about Los Angeles, there's a lot of great sights and activities to be enjoyed. It just requires cutting through the artifice. I'll take a sidewalk covered with chalk art to stars with celebrities' names any day.


Tough Choice

Part of me wants to pretend I merely "overheard" this conversation, but I know "A" & "B" as well as anyone. These aren't their actual initials, but, as you'll see, P/C wouldn't exactly work in this context.

A: It's to the point where I've started thinking if I were to have a kid with a disability, what kind I'd want it to be.
B: Autistic?
A: No, I'd want an MR.
B: MR?
A: Mentally retarded. They're just so happy all of the time.
B: Yeah, yeah. Hmm. Does a crack baby count?


So How About Them Lakers?

My three favorite parts of the game (with video):

1. Kevin Garnett flies into the stands and Jack Nicholson is all, "Kill my son, just don't hurt me."
2. Announcer Jeff Van Gundy, who has been an incompetent boob the whole series, has a ChiMo moment and claims that Jennifer Garner's kid is so cute that he would "babysit for her tonight after the game."
3. Ron Artest ignores the reporter's post-game question and instead does an extended shout-out, thanking his "hood" and his psychiatrist.

None of those have to do with the game itself? I was hoping you wouldn't notice.

Look. I follow college basketball, but not the NBA. I like to say that the NBA is where good players go to die. Truthfully, that's where they go to get rich, but they're dead to me. The professional league is more about commercialism. Why do people who make millions of dollars need for me to cheer them on as they throw/kick a ball? It's just another medium for billion dollar corporations with questionable ethics to market themselves with. Sure, the college game has some of these elements, but to a lesser extent, so I find it purer.

So the Lakers. If I lived in a different home, I probably wouldn't care. However, my roommate is obsessed with the Lakers - he has more purple and yellow clothing than most males our age - so I ended up tuning into most of the games. My inclination was to root for the Celtics actually, because I'm an East Coaster with a tie to Boston sports, a former Ray Allen fan, and someone who grew up disliking the Lakers.

Nevertheless, I opted to root for the Lakers. Not gonna lie, this decision was fear motivated. If I cheered for the Celtics, I'm afraid I would become the victim of domestic abuse. That's kind of a joke. As emotional and vocal as my roommate is about the Lakers, I'm sure he wouldn't beat me senseless if I rooted the other way. At the same time, I wouldn't want to put that theory to the test.

Win or lose, however, Los Angeles was bound to face some violence of the non-domestic sort. This city is full of idiots; to say that that anyone "predicted" riots is silly since it was basically a given. I don't understand people who "celebrate" Los Angeles's team by destroying the city's property. Presumably, we're all Angelinos and we all should be happy for our team. But it's hard to do that when fellow fans are flipping our cars and setting fires around town. Heaven forbid anyone have the gall to defend their own property because the mob beats them unconscious, sending them to the hospital.

If commercialism is one thing that has turned me off of sports, the prevalent mob mentality is another. People get so worked up about a team, screaming as if any of it really matters. It's excusable when it's harmless fun, but then these same fans maintain this mob mentality when they leave the arena and they're hellbent on annihilation.

If you've got that kind of rage in you, at least attach it to a cause. I'm not in favor of destruction, but at least the LA race riots were a way of bringing attention to injustice. But for sports? If this is how it is going to be, Los Angeles doesn't deserve to have any winning teams. We're clearly not responsible enough.


Birthday Attire

Someone asked me what my shirt said in my birthday photos. That's a funny story, so allow me to show you.

A few days before my party, I found this orange shirt at a thrift store:

Instantly, I fell in love. I'm really into self-depricating lunch lady humor. Plus, the art is pretty good for this shirt considering there couldn't be a commercial market for it. Did someone have this custom made?

Because it's awesome, I decided to make the shirt's debut at my party. Everyone was all "LOL what is that?" but a couple of hours into the night, Allison revealed her gift to me:

Ahhh! It's a t-shirt with the slogan I had said I wanted on a t-shirt! Amazing! Without hesitation, I threw it on over the orange shirt, which I have a feeling you'll be seeing that again a lot around Halloween (and several times in the interim, let's be honest.) Alas, in that moment, nothing could be more perfect that than the "limp penis" shirt. Consequently, most of my birthday photos feature me looking like some deranged, impotent veteran (admittedly, I don't generally need my wardrobe to help achieve that appearance), but I was too elated to care.

I'm not sure how many occasions I will have to wear the Limp Penis shirt. I'm a pretty ballsy guy (perhaps ALL balls if the shirt is to be believed), but even I would feel self-conscious wearing it in public. The day after my party, I woke up still wearing the shirt. Along with the others who had crashed at my house for the night, I was going to go to the local eatery's World Cup party and tried to work up the confidence to keep my flatulent fashion on for the occasion. Then I realized that the shirt was stained with lots of alcohol and frosting so there was no way I could wear it out, as if the soiling was the actual embarrassing part.

But I will find an occasion to wear it again. Mark my words, or I'm not someone with PSTD (post-traumatic stress dick).


Chicken Dance Birthday Party

My birthday party this past weekend was a blast. I couldn't ask for a better time or nicer friends.

Arrested Development Chicken Dances - Watch more Funny Videos
The theme was Arrested Development chicken dances. Everyone who came had to do a dance. I was concerned that this might annoy some people, but all of my guests were actually game to make fools of themselves. Here's a sampling of some of the dances:

Let the record show that my dance photo is the worst. I could have posted a less embarrassing one, but it's only fair to accept the humiliation after forcing it on everyone else.

My friends were extra thoughtful. Melinda made me Banner, as inspired by the show, and Lisa even baked me a Banana Stand cake. It was so good and thoughtful, the perfect surprise.

Is it silly for me to want this to be the theme of my birthday party every year from now?


Nice Shoes

While I try to avoid talking to people I don't know when I don't have to, my friend Joan has no fear chiming in with her opinion to strangers, no matter the situation. Freshmen year of college, we were at one of those typical gross dorm parties where your feet stick to the ground because of all the spilled liquor. We pushed our way through the writhing masses who were freak dancing to Top 40 songs toward a corner where we hoped to find a seat on a couch. Though we spotted a couch, it was otherwise occupied with a couple who was hardcore making out.

I saw Joan stare at them, and became instantly frightened as I heard her say, "Hey!" I wanted to tell her to leave them alone, but the words didn't come out before Joan repeated, "Hey!" The kissers were far too caught up in each other to even notice, so Joan resorted to tapping the girl on the knee and saying "Hey!" yet again. Finally, the girl came up for air to determine what was going on.

Now that Joan had her attention, she smiled sweetly and said, "Nice shoes!" "What?" the girl asked.
"I like your shoes," Joan responded.

I had anticipated Joan asking them to shove over and make room for the rest of us, since that's well within her character, but apparently, all Joan wanted to do in this instance was let the girl know she had nice shoes. Delivering this compliment to a stranger was so important, it was worth interrupting her hook-up.

This is why Joan is awesome.


Shear Joy

For as much as I'm on the computer, sometimes I get bored with the internet. After looking at the nineteenth picture of a cat and a cheeseburger, I can't help but say, "Sure, sure, cute internet - but what have you done for me lately?" And the internet is like, "WHAM! Look at this!" and I fall in love with it all over again.

Case in point: the other day when I wrote a summary of In God's Country, I intended to mention a scene where Kelly Rowan dramatically chops off her long sister-wife hair in what is a transparent symbol of gaining independence; subtly isn't Lifetime's strong point. In referencing this moment, I wanted to compare it to some other epic haircutting scene from pop culture, but I couldn't think of another point of reference, so I turned to Google for some assistance.

That's when I discovered Hair on Film AKA the Internet Hair Database. It "contains a list of haircuts and headshaves in movies and TV." An entire archive, and it's updated frequently! I never knew I gave a damn about cinematic haircuts, but I found myself so fascinated by the notion that a community of people were so devoted to such a strange thing that I kept clicking around, trying to take in every last freed follicle.

Though there's nothing that specifically says it's a fetish thing, I get the impression that it might be, at least for some people, based on the use of excited language when describing scenes featuring "forced" haircuts. Regardless, I'm so caught up in its ridiculousness, I just want to kiss the internet on the lips - or maybe in this case trim its bangs.

If I were going to point you in the direction of one clipping clip, I'd suggest the Jenna Jameson one. I promise that it's not pornographic, just thoroughly campy, and made me want to watch the rest of the film, even though I'm sure it wouldn't make any more sense even in context.

Oh internet, you never fail to surprise and amuse me.


I'm Not Feeling Much of Anything

Does the fact that I never click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button when I'm using Google make me a pessimist?


Polygamy on Film

Molls posted this and I immediately echoed her sentiment as a lover of bad, melodramatic media. Not only does the TV movie focus on polygamists, people I've been obsessed with ever since almost getting a tattoo to commemorate a polygamist cult, but it is a Lifetime movie! On Last Comic Standing this week, comedienne Paula Bel opined, "Lifetime: television for women. Every time you turn it on we're getting beaten, raped, and stabbed. Whose lifetime is this?!" I think that pretty much sums up the appeal.

Another reason I was compelled to In God's Country is the casting. What a bold decision to have the lead in a polygamist story be an African American! Actually, there wasn't a black person in the whole film, I had just confused the name Kelly Rowan for Kelly Rowland, hence mixing up the alcoholic mom from The OC with the Destiny's Child member who must have kissed Beyonce's ass the most since she was the only one to never be replaced.

In the cult, Rowan faces adversity. One sister wife tells her, "Must be terrible not having an infant of your own, I'd die of shame if I only had five children." That is some SMACK TALK for a polygamist. Later, her twelve-year-old daughter is injured and nearly raped by an older man in the congregation. Rowan actually keeps the incident pretty quiet, but since she doesn't, like, invite the man back over to her house for another try, her husband excommunicates her along with her five children. It's a good thing, since just after "God" tells the minister that all of the 12-year-olds should be married off to old men to keep them in line.

Rowan's oldest daughter steals a story line from Liesl from Sound of Music who whines that she wants to stay in Nazi Germany because she's in love with this guy who is 17 going on 18 or whatever. The polygamists tell "Liesl" she can marry her boyfriend if she returns to the compound except that they switch out the groom to her own stepfather at the last minute at her wedding because the polygamists firmly believe that young pussy is meant for decrepit old men.

Meanwhile, things are also difficult for Rowan in the real world. Her body can't stand that ungodly drug caffeine and she can barely work the cash register at the grocery store where she found employment. It's okay because her goal is actually to become a teacher even though she never made it past seventh grade herself. A local cop, who totally wants to get into Rowan's shapeless dresses, actually encourages this dumbass to pursue that path. Look, Mr. Flirty Cop, Rowan may be the only single woman of a certain age in that small town he polices, but she just left a cult, escaped from a burning building, started a new job, and filed a restraining order against her husband, so it's a little too early to be throwing it out there like that, especially for someone with more baggage than an airplane.

And then there's that twelve-year-old daughter; if she would have just shut up and gotten molested, none of this mess would have happened in the first place. She starts to like school more than religion and exalts the word "hypotenuse" like it is the name of Jesus Christ himself. My favorite scene in the whole movie is when she goes to the liberry to learn about astronomy (heathen!) and the liberrian tells her "520s." When the girl returns a confused look, the liberrian repeats "520s" before slowly saying, "Dew-ey-dec-i-mal-sys-tem" like the girl is a total idiot. I know the point of the scene is to show that the girl is uneducated from living with the cult, but the majority of kids her age are not going to know the Dewey Decimal System, so there's no point in being an asshole. I was once certified and paid to teach kids the Dewey Decimal System, and I doubt more than a few of them know Dewey as anything more than a character on Malcolm in the Middle.

In God's Country is set to expire on Hulu in the next week or so, so I recommend watching ASAP if you're interested. But when a movie includes dialogue such as "I am not your mother anymore, I'm your sister-wife and you're a grown woman, so behave like one!" I don't think you're going to want to resist.


Playing in the Sewer

Remember play dates? Your mom would arrange your social life with fellow mothers and suddenly you would find yourself stuck at some other kid's house for the afternoon whether or not you liked him.

One day in kindergarten, I had a forced visitation with this kid Alex. Alex was a little shit, and I ascertained that before I even knew the word "shit." Still, he had a boatload of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures, which made him cool enough in my book. We played outside just long enough to appease his mom before retreating indoors for some prime Turtle ninjaing. The best part was that he had this awesome homemade sewer that the turtles could live and fight in. Looking back, it was essentially a dollhouse, but since it was a sewer, that made it pretty masculine. Alex told me that his mom had made it for him. When he suggested we play Nintendo Duck Hunt an hour later, I thought he was crazy for not appreciating the sewer play-place more; I could have been content to continue playing with it for several more hours.

When my mom came to pick me up, I made her get out of the car and come see the sewer since I wanted her to make one for me. My mom came inside and asked Alex's mom to see the sewer as an example. Alex's mom expressed embarrassment before explaining that she had constructed it by cutting apart about a dozen wine boxes.

My mom never made me that sewer play set. But I also never had to play at Alex's house again, so thank goodness for transparent alcoholism!


The Real Housewives of New Jersey

The best thing I saw on television this past week was The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I find myself wanting to talk about it all of the time! Here are ten things that made it awesome.

1. Baby Clothing
Teresa, speaking in the third-person: "Teresa only raises divas, not tomboys."
If you don't believe her, check out the hat she put on her two-day-old.

2. The Birthday Party
Teresa decides that since Gia is so "high maintenance," she needs to throw her a lavish ninth birthday party in order for it to be memorable. First she buys Gia an ATV, plops another daughter haphazardly on the seat behind her, and lets them go for a speedy, untrained ride without helmets. Her only concern is that they don't drive through puddles since she doesn't want their clothes to get wet. Gia's party is at a children's spa treatment facility, complete with facials, which about a dozen of Gia's friends travel to via pink limousine. Teresa admits that everything cost her a lot of money, and then literally pats herself on the shoulder for a job well done.

3. Blackfacing
After causing a minor controversy by saying she would never marry a Jewish man earlier in the season, Gia upped her bigot quotient by applying blackface to the amusement of her friends.

4. Gabriella's Emotions
For this whole season, she's always either crying or about to cry. I think that's a product of living with her family. Buck up, though, Gabriella, you've already won the genetic lottery by miraculously avoiding the troll-like appearance that your parents and siblings have inherited.

5. Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Jacqueline meets her daughter Ashley's boyfriend's mom for the first time to discuss their kids' relationship. They express concern about their kids having sex and drinking alcohol, all while drinking enough wine to decide that doing this might be a good idea:

6. Mob Ties
The Manzos have had to publicly deny being involved in the mafia, and then patriarch Albert sits behind a desk in a suit, calmly delivering orders. Maybe if he wrung his hands a little less, the denials would be more convincing.

7. Good Choices
Though 18-year-old Ashley's whole family is concerned that she is making poor decisions since she moved out of her house so that she can drink, avoid a curfew, and have sex with her 23-year-old boyfriend, Ashley sees it differently: "I'm on birth control, so I make good choices." Ah, okay. At least she won't be having a kid with...

8. "Baby Cancer"
Some infant in the New Jersey community is said to be suffering from "baby cancer." I know it's inappropriate, but I laughed every time someone used the phrase "baby cancer." While I don't doubt that the child in question is actually sick, I have Googled fairly extensively to find out exactly what "baby cancer" is, and have come up with nothing. Anyway, somebody thinks it's a good idea to invite certified head-case Danielle to a fundraising event to help raise money and awareness for "baby cancer" and I legitimately giggle uncontrollably as I realize the season's dramatic climax will distastefully occur at a "baby cancer" event.

9. The Entourage
Since the "baby cancer" fundraiser is occurring on her rivals' property, Danielle opts to bring some extra guests for "protection." Because, you know, "baby cancer" events are pretty dangerous. Her posse consists of an old lady socialite Kim "G"... if that is her real last initial,

a Hells Angel, a few mobster looking guys like this eerily silent one

and most importantly, Danny, who served a five year prison sentence for reasons Danielle is not at liberty to discuss. The man is clearly deranged, but I dig that he has a supposedly intimidating stare that he likes to call a "30-to-Life":

Kim "G" might actually be scared, though, after the conversation she had with Danny upon meeting him earlier.

Danny: We'll have no issues tonight.
Kim "G": Drink to that!
Danny: I can't drink yet, but in six days, I don't even gotta get permission.
Kim "G": Oh... Why, why do you wait six days?
Danny: I'm on parole.
Kim "G": [this non-verbal response]

I don't think Kim "G" knew she would be joining a bunch of ex-cons when she agreed to support Danielle at the charity event.

10. The Drama
The "baby cancer" fundraiser was sponsored by a local hunting club and turned out to be a little more lowbrow than Danielle and co. dressed for. The club was raffling off weapons to raise money, which made the presence of multiple ex-cons even funnier. Unfortunately, they didn't get to stay, because they were last minute additions not on the guest list and seats were not available. This led to a lot of conflict; Danielle felt unwelcome and *surprise* she managed to make the "baby cancer" event all about herself. The "baby cancer" parents had to have known this would happen when they invited her and the Bravo cameras, right?

I am suddenly way more hooked on this show than I care to admit, but, like, this is TOO good.


Sushi Menu

My friend Briel spotted something funny on a sushi menu. Can you spot it, too?
I'll give you a hint: Engrish.


Children Fighting to the Death

I'm obsessed with children fighting to the death.

At least that's the realization I've had after two of my favorite recent pop culture experiences: Battle Royale and The Hunger Games. The premises of both are strikingly similar: groups of children are forced by their tyrannical governments to go to a desolate location armed with weapons of differing usefulness. Whoever is the last man child standing is declared the winner and gets to return home to his or her normal life.

It's twisted, but captivating. Perhaps it's the disgruntled former teacher in me that attracts me to young teenagers' brutal deaths, but more accurately this taste can be attributed to the same quality that draws me to reality television. My favorite narrative is one where X-number of people are thrown together and only one can come out victorious; the self-cannibalization is enthralling. Some argue that the same thing happens every series, but I disagree. A new cast of characters brings something different to the table every time. Unfailingly, people must wrestle with issues of strategy and morality; and the decisions are rarely easy. These decisions are only amplified when the participants' lives are at stake.

Battle Royale is a ten-year-old film that I previously avoided for being too gory and subtitled. (I don't like blood and since I like multi-tasking different films, it makes it difficult to also read the screen.) At Melinda's insistence, however, we watched it, as well as played the The Battle Royale drinking game. The game has just one rule: each time someone dies, you take a drink. With 40+ deaths, that's a lot of drinking, especially the massacre scenes where multiple kids are taken out at once. That much drinking is the kind that results in barfing on your friends' floor.

Not that alcohol would be necessary to enjoy the film. These kids are all hours away from dying, yet their primary concern remains who has a crush on whom. Check out the last words of the girl who went on to play Gogo in Kill Bill in the picture. Maybe there was a translation issue there, but I hope not because that cheese is delicious!

And then there's The Hunger Games. I don't care that the book is aimed at preteens, adult fiction only wishes it could be this suspenseful and entertaining. Katniss, our heroine, is one of the richest characters I can recall in a young adult novel. Though her struggle to survive against her friends and foes is often predictable, it's no less of a page turner. Like Battle Royale, there is also a love story: even a hardened tomboy like Katniss gets swept up in a romantic plot. While it's less cheesy than the aforementioned film's approach, I still can't believe that people look for love when it can't possibly thrive in a kill or be killed environment. Focus, young ladies and gentleman! For a more thorough review of the book, I defer to Stacy (but WARNING, it includes spoilers). I'd say we both feel the book isn't without its faults, but well worth the investment.

I've learned that both the film and the book have sequels, so my next step is to quench my thirst for child blood by indulging in them in the near future. Granted, it's a pretty gross guilty pleasure, but if that shows immaturity, I don't want to grow up. In fact, these slaughtered kids are fortunate that they don't ever have to!



Why did I go to a "Jeopardy" message board when I don't even watch the show?

Some thoughts I should really learn to keep to myself...