Chelsea Clinton

Surely I wasn't the only schoolboy whose locker looked like this.

I'm not saying that I'm crying now that Chelsea got married today, but is hard to watch another childhood fantasy become unavailable. At this point, all I have left is the Feather Duster from Beauty and the Beast, and she's an animated inanimate object. I'm can't pinpoint what attracted me to Chelsea: perhaps it was the power, or perhaps it was that she was the only person who had an awkward phase that could rival my own. All I know is that I wanted to run my fingers through her friz and have our braces interlock mid-kiss.

Oh well. I'll never give up hope; infidelity runs in the family.



Lately, I've found myself missing INOJ. Remember her? She was a breath of stale air in the late '90s. Don't get me wrong, she has a sweet singing voice, but each of the three singles she released was a cover song. Songwriting is hard, y'all! Almost as hard as saying INOJ's name. I always said it phonetically, but apparently it's pronounced "I Know Jay."

INOJ's first single was "Love You Down," originally by Ready for the World. It's a beautifully romantic song, as you would expect any ode to statutory rape to be. Next she hit the Top Ten with her version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," a song that's still my jam. Afterwards she tried a cover of Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell," but it failed to chart when Americans sighed enough is enough.

The catalyst for writing this post was actually to reminisce about how much I love INOJ's song "My Boo." But in researching for this post (by which I mean using Wikipedia), I learned that "My Boo" is actually recorded by the Ghost Town DJs. My ITunes had that wrong, but apparently half the internet incorrectly attributes "My Boo" to INOJ, so I'm not alone. Maybe everyone just figured she covered it since that's her thing, or perhaps they just assumed a recording artist ought to have at least one original song and did some covering (up) of their own.

So while my intention was to come here and say that INOJ's only original song was her best, this was a misconception. Maybe it's actually the Ghost Town DJs that I miss. I may Know Jay, but it's like I don't even know INOJ anymore.


More on The Real Housewives of New Jersey

It’s been a couple of months since I wrote about The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but the drama rages on. I previously stated that the series’ climax occurred at the fundraiser for the dubious cause of “baby cancer,” but things actually peaked a little later when Danielle was bullied/assaulted at the local fashion show. (Why does every lady of every Housewives franchise obsess over fashion? In addition to being dipshits, I think the only prerequisite to become a member of the Housewives family is to be gaudy, so they have no business being at these events.) I’m taking Danielle’s side on the heated incident. While I agree with the other women that Danielle loves playing the victim, the way to handle that is not to legitimately victimize her and validate her histrionics.

In short, Teresa chased Danielle through a building while shouting expletives and then Ashley, Jacqueline’s 19-year-old daughter, ripped some of Danielle’s weave out. (As one of my all time favorite America’s Next Top Model clips demonstrates, if you want to start shit with a girl with enhanced hair, don’t yank her weave, bitch, pour beer on it!) Ashley is really proud of the incident, despite facing criminal charges. Ashley is fast becoming a mess; she understands the conventions of reality television and knows that she can earn favor by outrageously picking on everyone’s favorite target, Danielle. Jacqueline, who used to be the relatable one, acts like a helpless mother who can’t figure out how to control her kid, even though it’s clear that the only way to fix Ashley’s progression toward destruction is to take the cameras away. Jacqueline, like Dina who recently quit the show, could stop participating for the sanity of her family, but it looks like she would prefer to continue the insanity at the cost of her daughter. Good mothering.

Speaking of mothering, how did Danielle end up with the best kids? Ashley is prison-bound. Teresa’s four little Gremlin extras are spoiled brats with years of therapy ahead of them. Caroline’s three kids consist of a beauty school student, a law school flunky, and a guy whose professional goal is to run a carwash and strip club. To be clear with that last guy, those are not two separate businesses, but one singular company that combines all of your automotive and hormonal needs. Mommy must be proud. Meanwhile, Danielle has seemingly normal, beautiful teenagers. They seem pretty ambivalent to the cameras and a bit frightened of their mother at times, but who wouldn’t be? I wish those girls well, but I hate watching Danielle repeatedly take credit for raising them well. Against all odds, Danielle hasn’t fucked them up beyond repair yet, and her daughters are going to need to maintain that tenacity in the upcoming years.

Let’s face it, Danielle is a wreck. She decided to wear her old engagement ring that she hasn’t worn in ages to a party that her ex-husband and his new wife were attending. She swears it has lost all sentimental value and was just a nice piece of jewelry perfect for the occasion, entirely unrelated to flaunting it in front of her ex and his wife with an inferior ring. Entirely unrelated.

Let’s move on to Kim “G”. Yes, they’re still putting the “G” in quotations, so I’m still not sure whether that’s her real last initial. The viewing public overwhelmingly hates Kim “G”, but I love the woman. People call her two-faced because she’s pursuing friendships with two feuding parties, but I don’t see a problem with this. Haven’t we all stayed friends with two people who had a falling out and don’t speak to each other anymore? You don’t have to always pick a side. Plus, I don’t think she’s the big faker people are making her out to be. She has confronted Jacqueline on what she thinks Ashley has done wrong, as well as Danielle on the unacceptable behavior of her recently incarcerated friends at a social function. When she sees something wrong, she’ll call you out on it. Thus far, she’s been a rare voice of reason.

A lot of the reason I like Kim “G” is because she is well past her prime, but still runs around town like some sort of debutante in age-inappropriate outfits. She’s just a desperate woman trying to interject herself into any storyline she can. For the purposes of the show, someone has to be friends with Danielle, and since no one else is willing to do that, newbie Kim “G” is stuck filling that role. Consider it an initiation ritual, no less cruel than most fraternity hazings.

But Kim “G” isn’t the best part of the show. No, the best part is deluded Teresa and her tendency to spend money as if... she has any. In the most recent episode, she admits that her husband has fallen victim to economic setbacks, but still insists on lavish anniversary gifts, which include a large diamond ring and a private helicopter ride. As Teresa will repeatedly tell you, it’s expensive, but she “deserves” it. I’m so happy to know that Teresa believes that people get what they deserve, because the recent news that Teresa’s family is $11 million in debt could not have happened to a better person. When I read that her home and belongings are being forcibly auctioned off to recoup some of the debt, I exclaim, “You deserve it, Teresa!”

Knowing how it pans out for the spend-happy Teresa, the editors are having fun telling the story of a woman living beyond not only her own means, but all of New Jersey’s means. Watching it is like porn for someone who believes in karma or just likes a concrete example of cause and effect. Since I’m a lover and not a hater (nah, I’m pretty much just a hater, which I guess makes me two-faced… just call me Kevin “B”), I’d like to offer Teresa some financial advice that goes beyond the obvious of not treating herself to things she can’t afford: Professional Table Flipping. No, really. I say she hires herself out to appear at people’s private dinner parties, Thanksgiving feasts, corporate events. At some point during the evening, she’ll scream “Prostitution Whore!” and flip the table. Honestly, she’ll never top that moment, so she might as well profit from it. People would love to watch the crazy troll lady recreate her infamous outburst live and in person; several thousand flipped tables later, and Teresa will be on her way to paying off that debt!


Not My Precious Cologne!

"At age sixteen [Joris-Karl Huysman, 19th century French novelist] sought out and received sexual initiation from a prostitute, who apparently took not only his virginity and her pay, but also his precious bottle of cologne."

I love when a scholarly article slips in a funny quip while still maintaining its academic tone. Most people go for crassness when making a sex joke, but the most amusing are definitely understated and slightly prudish.



I don't care how cool his hair is, I am not inviting a guy named Roofie-o to my party.

At a bar last week, Melinda excused herself to the bathroom and asked me to hold her drink so it wouldn't "get roofied." Though it seemed a little arrogant that she thought herself worthy of a date rape drug, Melinda pointed out that since she was the only Asian girl in the bar, if that was someone's type, she'd be the prime target. Besides, Bob Saget was at this bar (for realsies), so I guess you can never be too careful.

I don't know if Melinda went to take a dump or get better acquainted with Mr. Saget, but she was gone quite a while and my hand was getting tired - you know how I feel about manual labor. At that point, I decided it might be best to roofie her drink. My intent would not be to harm her, but teach her a couple of lessons, namely not to trust me or ask me for favors. When Melinda returned, I confessed my intentions to her and she argued that it would only prompt her to trust me more, since she knew I'd be a gentleman about it and get her safely to bed.

The conversation diverged from roofies for a while, but returned when Melinda recalled that she, Allison, and I had scripted an as-yet unperformed comedy sketch at lunch a year ago involving a would-be rapist. The rapist is in the market for roofies, but winds up encountering a shifty drug dealer (is there any other kind?) who secretly sells him meth instead. Unknowingly, the rapist slips meth into his target's beverage, which causes her to become super alert and aggressive. In this state, she handily kicks the rapist's butt when he makes his move. See, it's not just a dark comedy, it has a moral. I'm not sure why no one has agreed to stage this for us yet.

Changing the subject, Andrew recounted a recent situation when he found himself stuck in an awkward conversation. Though he wanted to leave, he couldn't determine how to extricate himself from the situation. Melinda interjected that Andrew should have roofied this acquaintance's drink, pointing out that they're the perfect tool for an escape. Rather than having to awkwardly excuse yourself, you can easily slip away as they're passing out. She brings up a good point: roofies have this awful stigma attached, but they don't always have to lead to rape. As we learned that night, they can be quite useful as a sleep aid, joke punch line, trust test, community theater plot, and diversionary tactic.

Bangerang, Rufio!


Traumatic Experience

Just had one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.

I was meeting a few friends for lunch at a local burger dive. Since it is only a mile and a half away and a nice day, I decided to walk and meet them there. Even walking, I beat the other three and pondered whether I should go inside and get a table or just wait on the corner for the others to arrive. I called Lisa to see how close they were to the restaurant, but our conversation was abruptly interrupted by a little boy, approximately eight-years-old, who ran up to me frantically.

I dropped the phone to my shoulder mid-sentence because something was clearly amiss, and the boy asked me if I had seen a white chihuahua run by. I told him that I just arrived and hadn't seen one run this way, but that I would help him look. As I did a quick scan to see if I could see a little white pup scampering around anywhere, I spotted a white dog about fifteen away and pointed saying, "Oh, there!"

The word "there" didn't even finish escaping my mouth before my jaw dropped in remorse. The dog was laying on its side in a way a dog wouldn't normally do unless it was... Before I could react, the kid screamed, "My dog!" and dropped to his knees in a dramatic fashion, sobbing inconsolably. Even though I'm a former teacher, I don't always know how to deal with kids well, especially in a situation like this. I bent down and started patting his back as he cried. I would have given anything to revive this kid's dog, but it was clearly no longer breathing.

For a few minutes, I tried to hug/console the kid, unsure of how I should deal with an unattended child and his deceased doggy. I actively hoped that my friends would arrive so that our collective minds could determine the best course of action, but before they showed up, a white van pulled up beside us. Inside, a man who I assume was the kid's father asked the boy what happened. As soon as the dad saw the dog, he started crying and screaming as well.

At first, he yelled at me. I guess since I was standing there, he assumed I was in some way at fault for running the dog over, but I told him that I had walked there. "Who is responsible? WHO KILLED MY DOG?!" he screamed at me. He was truly frightening, but I'll forgive him given the circumstance. There was a car parked right next to the dog and he wanted to find the car's owner, but I hardly doubt if someone were to run over a dog they'd proceed to park right next to it. I'm no veterinarian, but I don't think the dog was run over at all, seeing as there was no blood or sign of external injury. It's a hot day, so maybe it suffered from heat exhaustion or heart failure while running away.

Since I was unable to offer any clues, distraught dad scooped up the chihuahua and rest its limp body in his front seat. The still sobbing child hopped in the back seat and managed to say "thank you" to me out the window between his tearful heaves as the car pulled away. Promptly, I inexplicably dropped to the ground myself. As I sat on the sidewalk, I could better appreciate the kid dropping to his knees, because you know what, sometimes life is just too heavy to stand up. I was already dehydrated from my walk, but I managed to shed a few drops from my eyes.

Did I really have to be a part of that? Did I have to be in that exact right spot at the exact right time? Couldn't I have at least registered that the dog being dead before pointing it out to the child so he didn't have to discover it in that manner? If my friends had arrived on time, I would have missed the incident altogether. If I hadn't been walking briskly in order to stay ahead of a garbage truck so I wouldn't have to walk beside it the whole route, I also would have missed the incident altogether.

Finally my friends arrived, expressing some concern because during the whole episode I failed to hang up my phone, allowing them to hear a child crying and the subsequent screaming. From the sound of it, their best guess was that I had assaulted a child. Thankfully, they did a good job of cheering me up afterwards, but COME ON life, we've got to stop meeting like this. Quit fucking with me!


True Beauty

Tonight we bid adieu to the prettiest show on television, True Beauty. The series is from the celebrated, collaborative minds of Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher, so you know it's got to be brilliant. The premise is that a bunch of people are told they are competing to find out who is the most physically attractive, but - TWIST! - secretly they are judged for their inner-beauty.

This season, the contestants believe they are competing to be "The Face of Vegas," a phony distinction. At first I figured they were going for the irony angle to have the City of Sin host a pageant in kindness, but they have yet to make reference to this aspect, so perhaps the irony is lost on the creators. The magic of the show lies in the hidden camera challenges, which test the participants' morals without them knowing they are being critiqued for their behavior. Some of the tests make sense, like whether they will steal or cheat, but others were more questionable, including would they let a drunk, fat, sweaty stranger hug them or confront a pregnant woman who is drinking? It can be frustrating, because they can be good people and have respect for their own personal space and minding their own business, but the show rips into them for "not being truly beautiful" when they fail to act in the way the producers want them to.

This season had two standout characters. First, there is vile Liz. Some of the tests were so basic that you didn't even have to be a good person to pass them, yet Liz found a way to fail every single test except for one. It's as if she went out of her way to be evil at every possible turn and made the show a lot more interesting. The other amazing character is Amy, who should be commended for defying the Asians are smart stereotype. This poor woman is can't read/can't count dumb. She couldn't even determine whether she was safe at an elimination ceremony after they told the other girl she was "going home."

You'd figure the judges for this show would require a renowned reputation, but that's not the case. Queer Eye Carson who has made a living on making catty comments, yet acts appalled when anyone talks behind someone else's back. "Erika seems nice, but she called Liz a bitch!" This following the judges already deciding that Liz is, in fact, a bitch, so hello Hypocrisy City. His counterpart, Beth Stern, seems like the nice, boring judge, but it turns out that she is the wife of Howard Stern, which should automatically disqualify her from being a judge of anyone's moral character.

But the best part is Vanessa Minnillo, queen of such awkward faces that she has no business hosting a beauty contest. Since she hosted the first season, she never appears with the contestants out of fear that they'll figure out the ruse. This fear is unfounded, however, as made evident by the weekly "dramatic" reveal. Each episode, she steps out to the eliminated contestant, in such a way that you'd think they suddenly get that this was an inner-beauty competition all along. Not only do they rarely grasp the true premise (they often go home saying they'd still make a great "Face of Vegas"), but not one person has shown any recognition for Minnillo at all. Instead they're like, "Who?" Seriously, Lindsay and I were two of seven people who watched the first season (mainly because we needed a sobering up activity after Margarita Mondays), so I think they could have left her as the show's host and none of the people would be the wiser. Her main claim to fame is dating Nick Lachey (whose similar claim to fame is marrying Jessica Simpson), and I doubt even Lachey knows who Minnillo is.

As bad as this show is, it's provided a lot of laughs, and I will miss such gems as "My favorite asset is my whole body", "I'm an actor and a model and NOT the other way around", and "I've never had any plastic surgery, on my face, whatsoever. As far as the boobs..." I can't wait to see a new TRUE BEAUTY crowned.


Ten Fav Internet Statuses

Hate to break it to you, but I'm not the funniest person in the world. I'm not even the funniest person I know. In case you aren't friends with my friends (or have the great misfortune of only knowing them in real life rather than in a social media context), I'll share some of my favorite laugh-out-loud quips here.



My British Television Debut

Not sure what you're doing with your lives, but I was featured on British national television tonight.

Don't be jealous, I swear I'm still pathetic. I have this awful vice where I'm addicted to the show Big Brother. Not the US version, I haven't even seen any of this season's episodes yet, but Big Brother UK. It can be a pretty boring show, especially because they air an hour show every single day, but part of what fascinates me is that it features a lot more simple conversations and the mundaneness of life than your usual reality fare. Clearly I know something about the mundaneness of life since I'm devoting several hours a week to another country's reality television show that I have to seek out on the internet. It has such a profound effect on me that sometimes I find myself slipping into a British accent. My friends assume I'm doing on purpose, but really I'm just being subconsciously influenced by the media I'm consuming. I retroactively forgive Madonna: secondhand accents are real.

Anyway, one of my main gripes about Big Brother UK is the public's sexism/racism. It's not overt, but any time one of the black female contestants is nominated for eviction, the public will vote her out, regardless of whether her personality is vile. Such was the case today with Ife. Granted, she was up against two other fairly nice people, so it wasn't exactly criminal for her to be the public's least favorite, but the public unjustly reamed her. They booed Ife upon her exit, an act generally reserved for awful people, while Ife came across as slightly dull at worst. I felt bad, since I considered Ife a sincere, funny person, so I was motivated to tweet in to the show and let her know she's not awful.

My tweet: @bb_bigmouth Please let Ife know she is funny and beautiful and well-loved. If she weren't up against two equally nice people, she'd stay.

It was in the heat of anger that I typed that, I just felt like someone should stand up for the lass. I don't normally gush, and I can't even claim to be a big fan of Ife's. Generally I watch reality shows to hate on the people's deplorable actions, so this was an uncharacteristically nice moment for me.

So within minutes of me sending it, some bald guy read it aloud on Big Mouth, Big Brother's after show. I hated hearing it back, because it doesn't even sound like I wrote it, but I did it in the hopes of being one positive voice for a woman who was undeservedly booed by the public at large, so mission accomplished.

You can watch the segment where I'm quoted at the 6:23 mark of this video.

Notice how he kind of shakes his head when reading my name "KevinBabbles" as if it's ridiculous. Bite me. And then when a few people in the audience gently say "yeah" to my comment, he dismisses it with a slightly mocking "aww." Then he reads a more nasty comment directly following mine and the crowd erupts in cheers. Go ahead, hate the well-intentioned black woman like you always do.

Oh well, looks like I couldn't conquer racism by tweeting to a reality show. Maybe next time. But more importantly, I'm famous. Only in the UK though, so fortunately I can still walk the streets here in LA in relative anonymity.

In all seriousness, the number of new Twitter followers I've acquired after my televised shout-out: Zero.

But that's okay. I tweet only random throw-away lines that aren't good enough for a Facebook status (is it sad that I have a social media hierarchy?) so I'd actually deem you a bit of a sucker for Twitter following me. You've been warned.


Toy Story 3

It took me two attempts to see Toy Story 3. The first time, the line went all the way down the block (go home, kids!) and sold out both showings for the night before we got to the front of the line, but I guess that's what you get when you go to the neighborhood $3 theater. A few weeks later, I thought the same thing was going to happen, but it turned out we were waiting in the Eclipse line: no one cared about the toys anymore. Make no mistake, this theater is HOOD. There are stains on the screen, the seats are sticky, and you have to push away the previous patrons litter since no one cleans between showings. But, again, it's only $3, so obviously it's still my favorite theater.

Unfortunately, it's also a favorite of new mothers. Apparently, the local mothers don't think twice about bringing their newborns to a 10 pm showing. When the baby in the row behind me first started crying, I laughed it off because it was during a daycare scene where lots of kids were screaming and wailing, so it would be hypocritical for me to object when there were equally as obnoxious noises on the screen. But then the baby started crying during the quieter scenes, too. I kept waiting for the mother to carry her infant out of the theater, but she didn't, instead just letting it cry out as if it weren't disruptive to anyone. After exhibiting saintly patience, my friends and I finally turned around and gave those "do something" stares and the mom just stared back, as if to say, "Who gives a shit? You paid $3 to be here, you're lucky my kid's not throwing up on you."

Besides, the babies weren't the only criers: I know a bunch of people who admitted to tearing up during Toy Story 3. I wasn't one of them, however; the closest I came to crying was when I heard the opening notes of the first Randy Newman song and remembered that I was going to be subject to his awful music. I can't stand Randy Newman and his cutesy, bouncy piano ditties about friendship that all sound alike. He sings as if he just had a dental procedure and his tongue is still numb; if I passed him on the street, I might say "Aw, look at that homeless man trying to sing," but unfortunately someone gave Newman a record contract to score a bunch of kids' movies rather than some spare change.

Though, I didn't cry, I did find Toy Story 3 to be fairly emotional. At some points, it even had me feeling bad about abandoning my old toys in my closet until I remembered that the only personality my Mr. Potato Head had was the one I imagined for him. Much of the movie I had trouble enjoying, actually, because I was in a constant state of agitation. Except for the playful opening scene, which I think was the movie's best, the characters were in never-ending peril, always fleeing and unhappy. In that sense, it succeeded as a thriller, but I was hoping for a few more laughs.

Nevertheless, I liked it overall. I'm not sure how to compare it to the first two, since I haven't seen the first two Toy Story films in the past ten years, and Toy Story 2 I've only seen in Spanish in my high school Spanish class. Maybe I'll figure it out by the next one, now that they have left room for yet another sequel. I know the franchise has effectively written out Andy, the toys' original owner, by sending him to college, but if I had my druthers, Toy Story 4 would forget the toys and follow Andy's new dormitory exploits. It's probably a good thing that Andy didn't bring his toys to college, because then they'd have to watch him experiment with drugs and girls, which sounds a lot more interesting, truthfully. Call it Sex Toy Story*. I guarantee that even that wouldn't deter the moms from bringing their tearful toddlers.

* A quick search for "Sex Toy Story" shows that this is hardly an original concept. Yup, there's a porn parody for everything - google at your own risk.


The Jewish Wedding

Hey, don't worry, I didn't wear a fur diaper to Cecilia's wedding. I did wear a yarmulke, though! At the door, there was a basket full of the little hats, so I assumed that all the men were expected to wear them since that was the custom when I was a young teen hitting the Bar Mitzvah scene, though that ended up not being the case. I accidentally stole it, too, after putting it in my jacket pocket and inadvertently bringing it home. Fortunately, I think it's still kosher. By that, I do not mean edible to Jews (don't eat the yarmulkes! talk about a faux pas!), but that it was acceptable to keep it as a souvenir of sort. Guess I'll find out in purgatory.

It was a lovely wedding, and nice to hear funny stories about Cecilia and Jeff and see them shake their tushes to the klezmer band, who to my astonishment, played Yiddish-style covers of Lady Gaga and Nirvana. Everything looked great, thanks in large part to the wedding planner Teissia, who not only wrangles pigeons, but is an event planner... what can't she do?

I learned a lot about Jewish customs. Before the ceremony there was the signing of the tuba. Actually, it turned out to be the signing of the ketubah, some sort of marriage contract, which though important, seems significantly less fun than the mental picture I had of the couple using a sharpie to autograph a large brass instrument. During the reception, I discovered that Jews love dancing in concentric circles. I loved that, too, as it turned out. The only religious part that kind of threw me off as a Gentile was the part of the ceremony where the rabbi reminded the couple that the Jews were still waiting for their savior, and as good Jewish parents, that might give birth to the Messiah. Whoa. I don't know if that's a customary part in Jewish weddings, but I was guilty of laughing audibly at that part; to their credit Cecilia and Jeff made scared faces at that part.

Anyway, I wish them both well for their union and potentially birthing the Second Coming the Coming(?) in the upcoming years... no pressure! Given our fascination with Siegfried and Roy, I made them this wedding card that I believe sums up my sentiment. The inside includes the message "In the words of Siegfried, 'Go get em, tigers!'" which I think might be the funniest thing I've written in ages.



If this sign were posted more frequently, my uncle might still be alive today.

Received a REALLY important email about this post that is necessary to share.

I'm so glad that she is not as insensitive to my wheelchair-bound uncle rolling down a hill and being eaten by a crocodile as I had initially assumed. Apology accepted, Steph!


My Wife Is Getting Married

My wife, Cecilia, is getting married today.

I first noticed Cecilia in my English class because she was clearly friends with our professor who I was smitten with. Professor O was this amazing combination of hot, funny, and smart, and I had like an elementary school crush where I would stare at her the entire class, write her name, and doodle her and her boots. I'm not one to generally take notice of people's foot fashion, but they were some sexy boots. Since Cecilia had this amazing rapport with Professor O where she'd joke with her throughout class, I was jealous. I was even more jealous when she gave an awesome performative final presentation that prompted Professor O to say that it made her "wet." I realize that might sound inappropriate, but coming from her, I would have preferred that grade to an A.

During the annual music festival, Arts Collective sponsored a thrift store fashion show where they bought a bunch of strange secondhand articles and people modeled them in between bands as a funny diversion. I agreed to participate at the last minute and the pickings were slim. I found this funny piece of fake fur fabric, which I fashioned into a sort of fur toga/diaper with safety pins. This outfit evidently excited Cecilia, because she walked up to me as I wore it and said, "Let's be friends." I very slowly and awkwardly make friendships, so I wasn't used to someone being so forward with me, let alone from someone who I thought was too cool for me. She had this confidence, and while there was no way I was going to say no to her suggestion, I almost didn't feel worthy.

But friends we were! We both enjoyed being odd, so it worked out. After looking at some pictures of Siegfried and Roy (pre-mauling), we admired how they so blatantly stuffed their pants and enhanced their packages. We followed their lead and exaggeratedly stuffed our crotches and went around town all day enjoying the stares. At some point, we started referring to each other as "hubby" and "wifey," and it stuck ever since.

But now Cecilia is getting married for real. Though I might be jealous if she were sealing the deal with Professor O, I am emotionally okay with letting my wife become a legitimate wife. Nonetheless, I did have one objection (maybe two) which I voiced on my RSVP. I realize it takes a lack of etiquette to write jokes all over a fancy RSVP card, but never underestimate my ability to take a formal event and turn it tacky. Hence my current contemplation of wearing a fur diaper to the big event later this afternoon. If I also wear a jacket and tie, do you reckon it might still meet the dress code?


Shabby: Lindsay Lohan 2.0

Now that Lindsay Lohan will be spending time in the slammer, it’s time we pick a new emotional train wreck to give attention disproportionate to her talent. I nominate Shabby Katchadourian, star of the UK’s Big Brother, in part because Shabby and Lohan were the final two kids being considered for the lead role in the remake of The Parent Trap, the part that projected Lohan to stardom. So just think, if Shabby had snagged the part instead, we could have spent the past decade reading about Shabby’s lesbian histrionics rather than Lohan’s. Interestingly, their trajectories have been frighteningly similar – was the Parent Trap role cursed?

Watch this video to see spitfire Shabby a compilation of Shabby in action, but skip the interview. Then check out this chart I made (which you can click to enlarge!) comparing her life to Lohan’s. You might not love Shabby, but you will love to watch her self-destructive tendencies.


I saw Howl before you!

Paul works for the box office at Outfest and got a bunch of us comp tickets for the steerage class of the Orpheum theatre's special screening of Howl. The only downside to having a seat in the "rear balcony" was not the seat itself, but having to hear the lispy usher near us make "rear" jokes for forty minutes to everyone who entered. "Are you a rear boy?" "Do you like the rear?" We get it, you're cheeky, now shut up.

Before the film, the festival's organizer asked everyone to get out their phones and text "outfest" to a number to donate $10. I was thankful that my phone was dead so that I had an excuse not to be charitable, but a lot of people obliged, including Jessica to my right, who told me her text bounced back as invalid. Indeed, at the end of night, they handed out slips of paper explaining that the number that was on all of the signs was incorrect and gave us a corrected number to try texting again. That's a pretty big fuck up, but as Stacy pointed out, at least the donations failed rather than ending up at the Christian Coalition. I'd be curious to know how many people originally tried to donate when in a peer pressure situation and then chose not to without a whole audience of people watching.

Also before the film, Jane Motherfucking Lynch received some award for being an awesome gay or what Amy Poehler referred to as Jane's "Gay Bat Mitzvah." She was great, her speech was even better than Howl itself.

Speaking of which, I should probably get to reviewing Howl since that might actually be of interest to everyone who has to wait two more months for it to "come out" (hey-o!) I actually liked Howl, but I didn't love it. The film attempted to interweave three things: poet Allen Ginsberg's life story, the trial that determined whether his work "Howl" was obscenity, and Ginsberg's poems. For this reason, there was no consistent narrative and you had to deal with its form or it was going to be a problem.

The court scenes were the most compelling, perhaps because they had an actual narrative arc. Mary Louise Parker and Jeff Bridges had funny yet brief scenes as critics who testified that "Howl" had no literary merit, while Jon Hamm played Don Draper, if Don were willing to defend Sal in court rather than toss him aside.

James Franco (who you might know from General Hospital) did a pretty good job as Ginsberg in the biographical portions. As for the poetry, I'm glad that they found a way to feature it, and I enjoyed the animation that they paired with the poems, but Franco's voice has a strange cadence, so I found it annoying listening to him read lengthy poetry excerpts. We didn't need quite so much of the poetry anyway, since we've all either read the poem or will read the poem now that we know that some labelled it "obscene," but the directors stretched the material past the point of necessity and entertainment in order to make it feature length when it would have worked best as no longer than an hour piece. I did learn a bunch about Ginsberg, though, which is nice. Embarrassing disclosure: Up until more recently than I'd care to admit, I thought that Allen Ginsberg and Alan Greenspan were the same person. I would think, a lauded poet and our nation's foremost economist - what can't this man do?

My review of liking it all right is far kinder than a lot of the audience. At the after party, most of the people I encountered were griping about the film. Some people had shown up drunk and couldn't handle such a somber film, others found it terribly boring, and still others were just plain disappointed that Franco didn't take off his clothes.

The after party started out fairly lame, but at least the drinks were free as long as you ordered it with Absolute vodka. The music was awful, which is not to say that the music was gay, but rather not gay enough. If you're not going to play good music, play campy, fun pop songs that everyone knows the lyrics to, especially with this crowd, not wordless techno. Halfway through the DJ either switched or got a clue, because then the Whitney, Journey, Gaga, and La Roux began, but not before half the crowd had already cleared from the place out of boredom. I started chanting "Homos go home," not as hate speech, but because I wanted to clear room for some personal space since I was now ready to "Absolute"ly boogie. My friends and I danced for a good hour, during which I kept hoping to "accidentally" back my ass up into Jane Lynch, but alas, no dice. Still, it was a fun time, and I'd recommend you see Howl if you A) like poetry B) are boring like me or C) are stoned.



While playing tennis, when I reach the score of "forty-love," I can't help but think of Hole's lead singer.

There I am, just one point from winning the game, but I distract myself with thoughts of "Malibu," drug rehab, and Cobain's suicide. Before my mind stops wandering and I regain focus, I'll find myself at deuce, now having to compete for the game rather than easing into victory.



Chris Harrison Is a Tool

I've never seen Jake & Vienna's Bachelor shows, but I was compelled to tune into their much hyped break-up interview after hearing about the claims of abuse, infidelity, and abstinence. The most I've seen of Jake is in the last few minutes of Dancing with the Stars before Lost would come on, on which he'd smile like a douche and wear some glittered V-cut revealing a lot of man cleavage, so I do not have an informed opinion on their relationship. Other people sure do, however. So Jake is an insensitive bully? Seems like it. Vienna is an annoying bitch? I'm inclined to agree from the little bit I've seen.

But can't we agree they both are crappy fame whores who don't deserve further attention and direct our vitriol toward someone who deserves a proper reaming? Chris Harrison is television's biggest tool. He is such a tool that he orders screwdrivers when he is at a bar. He is such a tool that his favorite animal is a hammerhead shark. He is such a tool that he goes home and sleeps in a toolbox at night.

First of all, Chris is an awful host. He facilitated the interview so poorly that it was difficult to discern even the slightest narrative as to what went wrong in their relationship. As best as I could tell, these were the problems in the relationship:
1. Vienna was forced to live/trapped in her L.A. apartment like some modern-day Rapunzel even though Jake knew she hated L.A. and even though she intends to continue living in L.A. post-break-up.
2. Vienna invited a "single man" over to their apartment. Apparently, he was gay, BUT STILL.
3. Vienna asked Jake for directions, and then used a GPS anyway.
4. Vienna wanted to rearrange bedroom furniture. (Feng shui is real!)
5. Vienna had a sick dog in Florida that Jake wouldn't allow her to see. Though this seemed like it might be a legitimately important issue that could have caused a riff between the two, this is the one point where Chris interrupted by saying, "We don't really care about the dog." Actually, we do care about the dog, Chris, but thanks.

At the conclusion, Chris thanked them both for their honesty, even though with contradicting stories (including even something so basic as who broke up with whom), they couldn't both possibly be honest.

On a more nitpicky level, Chris failed to make a string cheese joke when Vienna asked for a "polly-o-graph" test or ask her when she called Jake a "fake liar" whether that meant he was actually a truth-teller. Which is not to say he was protective of Vienna, he seemed pretty bias against her throughout. Chris's main beef seemed to be that Vienna sold her story to the tabloids, which he considers to be distasteful. I fail to see how a relationship that he contributed in making highly public requires a private break-up. No, Chris's actual agitation stems from the fact that she was exposing the whole relationship as a sham rather than splitting amicably and quietly while no one is paying attention so that the next season can air with its reputation intact.

You see, Chris Harrison is a shill. His job is to make people believe that true love is real and can easily happen on a contrived television show. As the public figurehead for the ABC franchise, he makes frequent media appearances in which he misleads the public into thinking the show is about romance while knowing damn well that it is anything but. For fourteen seasons, his behind-the-scenes access affords him a unique understanding of precisely why this social experiment could never work, yet pats himself on the back for facilitating an opportunity for deserving singles to find happiness.

Do you know how many of these men are still with the women they chose at the end of The Bachelor? Zero. For a show with the premise that a single man will be well on his way to marrying a woman at its conclusion, it has been an utter failure.

In the end, it doesn't really matter whether Jake or Vienna is a bigger liar. The biggest liar of all is Chris Harrison. His soft-spoken, emotionally-invested hosting shtick is one big pile of phony. He deludes susceptible Americans into thinking his show is the epitome of romance while simultaneously giving them false expectations of what love really is, all in the name of job security. He is a despicable, phony tool who should be ashamed of himself. If I had the opportunity, I'd say that to his face. And then I'd punch him in it.


Russian Cousins

Jenna has a history of cousins coming out of the woodwork. Sabrina, a distant cousin who Jenna wasn't aware existed, randomly ended up at the same college as Jenna, and now they're close friends. I didn't know family reunions could work out that easily or well, but I guess it can happen.

While I still haven't had any long-lost relatives pop into my life, it happened again for Jenna. A family that emigrated from Russia found Jenna via Facebook almost two years ago and announced they were her family. Not only did Jenna not know they existed, but her extended family didn't either, as they weren't a part of the family tree. Immediately, I was intrigued by the story. Is it possible that these Russians are posing as her family for some ulterior motive? Jenna dismissed this notion, explaining that they lived in Russia so it made sense that the familial bonds were broken a few generations back.

I pointed out that it would only be natural for her to be suspicious and worry that they were using her. She insists that they've been nice and haven't asked for anything in the past two years. Then she showed me her new laptop that the Russian cousins bought her as a graduation gift. Noting its expensiveness, I said "So it's not even as if they're using you, if anything, you're using them?" "Yeah!" Jenna responded, maybe a bit too cheerfully.

The Russians are now a full gift-giving, reunion-attending part of the family and they've been accepted in, documentation be damned. Well, accepted by everyone except for Jenna's grandma, who is totally wary. She just doesn't believe that her deceased husband would have never mentioned a Russian family if they were to really exist. Recently, the Russian family took Jenna's grandma out as a kind gesture and attempted to get to know her better. Making conversation, they asked her questions about her hobbies and what time she woke up in the morning. Jenna's grandma LIED in response to every question because she didn't want them to know anything about her since she doubts their authenticity and worries they're out to harm her.

Okay, yeah, grandma sounds crazy, but I might be on Team Grandma all the same. After the third year of casing Jenna's family, the Russians will probably go around robbing and murdering their American "cousins" by using all of the intel they've acquired. Everyone will fall victim except for Jenna's grandma who will already be awake at 7 while the Russians think they have an extra hour to catch her while she sleeps. Or maybe they'll be unable to locate her at the garden club meeting because she's really off playing bridge. You can never be too careful of these Russian spies who use those confusing computer things to infiltrate innocent families' lives.



I was just listening to the local oldies radio station when the jockey announced they were in the middle of an All-American weekend, meaning they would only be playing American artists. At first, I wondered how that would alter the station's playlist from any other day. Upon second thought, however, I realized that removing foreigners meant no Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elton John, ABBA, Queen, Joni Mitchell, or Rod Stewart.

So I switched the station.

It's not just an oldies thing. My favorite musical artists of the moment are the xx, Noisettes, Mumford & Sons, and New Pornographers. That's British, British, British, and Canadian, respectively. In other words, I probably won't be celebrating America's independence musically this year, considering our former oppressors are still doing it better.

But I promise to eat processed meat at some point this weekend - that's patriotic, right?