If You Liked It Then...

Sometimes when I invent something that amuses me, I like to check how many other people thought of it first. Answer in this case: 59. Admittedly, it's a bit late to try to make this song parody happen now.

But whenever I think of my lost love, Beyonce, this song runs through my head. Regrets, I have a few...


10 Major Oscar Nomination Snubs & My Picks

10 Major Oscar Nomination Snubs & My Picks

1. Best Picture - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
No joke, this was my favorite film of 2010. It’s slick, witty, and visual candy; a delight from start to finish. Those who decided they tired of Michael Cera before this film quit too soon. In fact, I’d put a couple other teen-oriented films in my top ten as well: Easy A and Kick-Ass. I didn’t anticipate liking any of these films before seeing them, but I was surprised to find that they all outperformed most of the year’s adult fare.

2. Best Directing – Ben Affleck, The Town
If you had told me that I’d be demanding more accolades for Affleck a year ago, I’d have laughed. But Affleck has managed to make a terrific action/thriller complete with depth and quality; I think it’s safe to say that his directing outshines his acting.

3. Best Actor – Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
This film was an emotional rollercoaster that asked for everything from its leads, and Gosling was up to the challenge. Thankfully, Michelle Williams was nominated for her even better performance in this film. I know Portman will win because she’s cute and fertile, but if the Oscars were genuinely about talent, Williams would win… and Gosling would have one to match.

4. Best Actress – Emma Stone, Easy A
She may be young and it may be a comedy, but Stone proved her star power with this film. Rather than awarding a laughable role (Natalie Portman, Annette Bening), why not credit a laughable role that was intended to be laughed at? One day soon the Academy will recognize Stone’s charm and lather her with nominations.

5. Best Documentary - The Lottery
Everyone is wondering how Waiting for Superman got snubbed, but The Lottery, which addresses many of the same subjects about the public education system, deserves the bigger outcry.

6. Best Writing - Original Screenplay - City Island and Please Give
Both of these darker, slice-of-life comedies are among my favorite films of the year. I get that there were a lot of good movies made this year so they can’t all be up for Best Picture, but each of these films deserves credit for their complex, humorous story-telling.

7. Best Actor - Aaron Eckhart. Rabbit Hole
The wrong lead of this movie was nominated. True, Nicole Kidman had more screen time, but she’s had so much work done on her face that it no longer emotes, which is an especially big problem in a role devoted to emoting. Meanwhile, Eckhart had no trouble showing a range of feelings, single-handedly carrying this complexly emotional drama.

8. Best Picture - Restrepo
Though a documentary has never been nominated for best picture, it is well within the rules. This touching portrayal of army life is so raw and entertaining it deserves credit for being a great piece of cinema, not just a documentary.

9. Best Supporting Actor – Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg has been heaped with praise for his role in this film, but when an awkward guy plays an awkward guy, that’s not good acting, that’s good casting! The real standout performance was… Justin Timberlake. Kidding, it’s Garfield. Without him as the film’s emotional center, it would be a lot of pomp and circumstance

10. Best Supporting Actress – Rebecca Hall, The Town
While Jeremy Renner is getting all of the acting attention for this film, Hall had the most challenging role. Without giving away the story, it is crucial for Hall’s character to come across as believable and sympathetic; fortunately she succeeds and then some.

Okay, enough about people who won’t be winning Oscars. Of those who were nominated, let me tell you who should win:

Best Picture: The Kids Are All Right
Best Directing: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: James Franco, 127 Hours
Best Actress: Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Best Writing – Original Screenplay: The Kids Are All Right
Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay: The Social Network
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Documentary – Feature: Restrepo
Best Original Score: Inception
Best Original Song: “Coming Home”, Country Strong
Best Sound Editing: Inception
Best Sound Mixing: Inception
Best Art Direction: True Grit
Best Cinematography: Black Swan
Best Costume Design: The King’s Speech
Best Film Editing: The Social Network
Best Visual Effects: Inception

As for who will win, everyone already seems to have the same predictions, so what’s the point?


Cum Trees

Mother Nature has a dirty sense of humor. How do I know this? Look - or smell - no further than the Bradford Pear.

In college, we affectionately called Bradford Pears "cum trees." When they bloom in the spring, they emit the distinctive smell of semen. As if we didn't face enough of that odor in the dorms, it was always unpleasant to get a sudden whiff of that outside en route to class or the dining hall.

Since our arborist had a peculiar sense of humor (you learn these sort of things at a small college), I always figured that he planted the cum trees for kicks and that no one else would choose to plant these jizzy stink bombs.

My section of Los Angeles, however, is all about filling the air with ejaculate, apparently. The sidewalks of the main street are lined with Bradford Pears. From a visual perspective, I understand: when the trees bloom, they are beautiful to look at. But no flower is pretty enough to supersede the fact that the community now smells like a spent condom.



Hey, American adults! Have you heard of the Holocaust? If you think that's a dumb question, have I got a story for you!

Someone made a Nazi reference as a joke, and a guest at my house, a twenty-something female with whom I was not well-acquainted, asked what a Nazi was. I didn't think she was serious at first, but when she said, "Well, like, I've heard of it before, but I don't know..." I realized she wasn't just playing dumb.

"Well, you know what the Holocaust is, yeah?" I asked.
"Ugh! That's something comedians reference all the time, but I don't get it," she said.
"You don't know the Holocaust?"
"It's something really bad, right?"

She figured that out from context clues, so it's not like she's a total moron. That's when it hit me.

"Did you go to California public schools?" I asked.
"Well that explains it."

As a former California public school teacher, it is my professional opinion that she is pretty fortunate that she can string a sentence together. Her response to this backhanded compliment?

"Oh yeah, we didn't learn anything. My Spanish final was to watch Patch Adams in English. Then we had to write a paragraph about it... also in English."


Failing a Drug Test

I had a job interview a month ago that went terribly. I didn't get the job because I failed the drug test. And that wasn't even the worst part!

The drug test I failed didn't measure my blood or urine; I would have passed that. No, the drug test was a quiz of my general knowledge of marijuana. After demonstrating my relative ignorance, I was told that my inexperience with pot would count against me.

What kind of job expects me to be a weed connoisseur? A position at a marijuana magazine. I had a resume that meshed well with the job description, but little understanding of the product being sold.

I tried to salvage the interview by explaining how 420-friendly I am. It's no stretch to say that I've lived with stoners for most of my adult life. My references to recreational use did not please my interviewer, however.

"Look, there's something you need to know: I'm dying," she said. "I have terminal cancer and I rely on medical marijuana to ease my pain. I take my advocacy very seriously, and [here she lists a number of organizations and positions she holds]."

I don't care how a good of an interviewee you are, I dare you to try to recover from an "I'm dying" bombshell. I guess I had unknowingly offended her by referring to the fact that some people use the drug for fun. I genuinely respect her activism and dedicating her life to an issue, but let's get real here: most of the readers of this magazine are looking for a weekend diversion, not something to ease their last few days. And although they claim to cater to people with medicinal marijuana cards, if you've ever had insomnia, anxiety, depression, a migraine, etc., or are willing to tell a special doctor that you are paying that you have experienced one of these symptoms, you can get a card in California with no trouble whatsoever.

I voted to legalize it, but there are causes nearer and dearer to my heart, and probably jobs better suited for me. I have another job interview tomorrow that hopefully doesn't require me to be a drug user. In fact, I bet they might even prefer that I'm not!


Daily McBeal

Hey, I started a new blog called Daily McBeal, a daily dose of Ally McBeal.

I went back and watched the entire Ally McBeal series in the past few months. Since it was one of my favorite shows as a teenager, I was curious whether it would hold up. At the time, I remember thinking that Ally was my ideal mate. No, it had nothing to do with her stick thin body, I just related to her openly neurotic tendencies. I'm proud to report that somewhere over the years I've lost my attraction to people who are fucked up. Thanks maturity!

But the show is still funny! Well, the early seasons anyway. At its best, though, Ally McBeal is great, even inspiring me to want to go to law school. Once I reflected on the fact that no real court cases are as whacky and profound as those that the characters faced on a daily basis, I thought better of this aspiration.

I've come to discover that a lot of people consider themselves bloggers without creating any original content, instead reposting others' words and images. These blogs are even often the most popular. Who really likes reading more than a sentence, anyway? So as a sort of grand internet experiment, while also fulfilling my nostalgic side, I've created Daily McBeal.

I don't know whether to be upset that Daily McBeal is finding an audience even more quickly than this blog (or my personal Tumblr - same content as here, different site) that I put actual effort into, but whatever. I took screen captures of the show and transcribed some of my favorite quotes as I watched, so the hard work is already done. I can't imagine the readerships of Daily McBeal and Kevin Babbles will have much of an overlap, so don't feel obligated to follow it if it's not your thing. But if you prefer photos of Lucy Liu and Robert Downey Jr. to my babbling, you might want to check it out!


Happy Birthday?

Kid: (running up to me) It's my birthday!
Me: Oh, Hap...
Kid's Mom: No it's not! He just says that 'cause he knows he'll get attention.
Kid: (running up to another stranger) It's my birthday!
Kid's Mom: I can't wait for this phase to end; his teacher didn't believe it when it really was his birthday.


Getting His Fill

A: So your roommate moved out?
J: Yeah.
A: Did he get his fill of West Hollywood?
J: I don't think so - he brought home a different guy every night the last few days.
A: Ah, so he did get filled, so to speak.

The two people having this conversation continued after that last line without so much as a pause, unfazed, as if they had been talking about the weather. Meanwhile, two of my friends and I sitting nearby listening to this conversation all immediately reacted in disgust. Generally I enjoy a dirty pun, but the combination of shock and inappropriateness left me with my mouth hanging wide open. Soon the conversers stopped to acknowledge our nervous laughter and looks of horror having no idea what would have elicited such a response. So I've got to ask: funny or too far?



This comic strip is yesterday's edition of Momma. I'm not easily offended, but the "joke" legitimately made me upset. I can't be entirely sure of Momma's stance on the Egyptian revolution because the comic doesn't make a lot of sense, but it appears that writer Mel Lazarus isn't in favor of peaceful, popular uprisings against an oppressive dictatorship. Also, the use of the phrase "good, old-fashioned American" comes across as some ignorant supposedly "patriotic" rhetoric. The Americans should have gone in there with force and plowed them down just because we could!

When I read the comics religiously as a kid, Momma was easily my least favorite. Not only was it consistently unfunny, but its characters were deplorable. My opinion was hardly unique: at one point, my then local newspaper, The Hartford Courant, held a poll to eliminate one strip from the funny pages and "Momma" handily won the ouster. Perhaps that's why a callous tyrant like Momma has no respect for the will of the people.

After reading this dismissal of Egypt's quest for freedom, it got me thinking of other unpopular opinions Momma probably holds...

How else might Momma be on the wrong side of history?


For Your Pleasure

Megan took this photo at the Inglewood Target on Valentine's Day. In another week, I'm sure all those pregnancy tests will be gone, too.


Indecent Proposals

Happy Valentine's Day! Looking to turn your current relationship into a lifelong burden? I'm not all that romantic, but I can tell you how three people I know proposed. I'm leaving names out of this post for reasons that will soon be obvious, but I swear that these are true manners in which couples became engaged.

1. Guy proposes with, and I quote, "I'm going to marry the fuck out of you!"

2. Couple does ecstasy together. Unpremeditatedly, guy proposes.

3. Guy kisses his girlfriend in the morning, then says, "Ew, you have bad morning breath, go rinse your mouth out with some Scope." Girlfriend goes to the bathroom and discovers an engagement ring sitting on top of the mouthwash!

Just thinking about these proposals makes me swoon! All three couples are still together, by the way, so if you're looking to have a successful engagement, you might want to consider one of these approaches.


Adult Slumber Party

Ilana had an awesome way of celebrating her birthday: an adult slumber party. Everyone showed up in pajamas and was able to drink as much as they wanted because then we just passed out while watching rom-coms in her living room which had been converted into a giant fort with cushions and blankets.

The best part, however, was the goody bags. Nothing tops alcohol, a shot glass, (candy) cigarettes, condoms, a porn DVD, and a baggy of what might have contained either coke or sugar. But you know what they say: if you can still tell the difference between cocaine and sugar, you haven’t done enough cocaine!*

* I hope no one actually says this.


Movie-Themed Valentine's Day Cards

As a kid, I loved buying boxes of cardboard valentines that featured my favorite TV show characters along with hearts and cheesy slogans. While I've spotted Hannah Montana and Pokemon varieties at the drug store, I'm disappointed to find that there are no grown-up valentines in this vein. Since I know there's a market for adult-targeted pop-culture cards, too, I created ten valentines inspired by the Best Picture nominees for the Oscars.

You're probably going to want to print/cut these out to distribute to your friends.


Shopping Tip

People say not to go to the grocery store when you're hungry, and I've found it to be good advice. If I go while my stomach is rumbling, I act like a squirrel gathering acorns before a winter of hibernation.

Today I tried going to the supermarket immediately after eating. While full, however, nothing seemed appealing. I walked down all twenty-something aisles yet I could not be bothered with even foods that I normally enjoy. After having made my way through the entire store, I realized that the only item in my basket was kale.

So tonight I ate kale. And tomorrow I will have to go back to the grocery store again because I need more food than kale. Moral of the story: have a light snack before grocery shopping.


On Being Supportive

"Don't you hate it when you really want your friend to fail at something, but they succeed anyway?" - N


The Bitch Finger

Some people told me that my decision to root against the Packers yesterday because of a grudge I hold against my fourth grade pen pal was a stupid reason, but I disagree. Since when has sports fanaticism been about anything BUT stupid long-held grudges? I'm just trying my best to be a typical American male.

In an honest effort to be that red-blooded American male, I watched the Super Bowl with some dude friends yesterday. We're not the most macho bunch, which is not to say that we stuck around to watch Glee afterwards, just that if you were to make a list of guys who are stereotypically masculine, we wouldn't be near the top. Still, for this afternoon anyway, we drank beer, cursed animatedly, and cared about a sporting event.

Following this hyper-masculine activity, I think we all were subconsciously more sensitive to how men are supposed to behave. Preston asked whether you could call a guy a brunette. We thought society would prefer us to just call a guy "brown-haired" or even better, not describe a fellow man physically at all. [Note: The dictionary says the male version is a "brunet".] Soon after, remarking on his pinky injury, Alex asked, "Can a guy use the word pinky?"

Though we had never thought about it before, "pinky" is a pretty girly word. Dudes should not have a body part that effeminate, so I suggested that we acknowledge it as our weakest appendage instead. Alex countered that we should call it the "least badass" of our fingers. Then Preston devised the best monicker of all: the bitch finger. You know, it's just along for the ride.

If you're a bro or a manly man, it's time to take that "pinky" shit out of your vocabulary. It's embarrassing enough to have something that scrawny attached to your body, let alone have to refer to it by that name. In calling it your "bitch finger," you're acknowledging its inferiority, labeling it derogatorily, and maintaining the masculinity that the rest of your body lives up to.


Why I Won't Be Cheering for the Packers

In fourth grade, my teacher informed my class that we would all receive pen pals with a kid in another class. Because having a pen pal was an activity romanticized in many a young adult novel, this news wasn't a dreadful ongoing homework assignment - it was a dream come true! Not only was I excited to have an opportunity to write about myself (clearly some things never change), I was eager to make a new friend in another part of the world - at the time, Green Bay, Wisconsin seemed pretty foreign to me.

After receiving the first letter from my new pen pal, Jimmy, the thrill overpowered the fact that we didn't have too much in common. Jimmy liked video games. He didn't like school. He liked playing football. More than anything, he loved the Green Bay Packers. I determined this fact because he wrote GO PACKERS in capital letters, while the rest of the letter lacked so much as an exclamation point. The only question he asked me was, "Do you like football?"

Even though his initial letter was boring, I wasn't going to let that stop me from developing an awesome pen pal relationship. My response was supposed to be one page, but I had so much to say that I wrote three. I started by addressing Jimmy's one question: yes I liked football (lie!) and sometimes I played at recess (true, but only because my friends played and I didn't know what else to do.) Then I took command and shared anecdotes about myself, peppering it with all sorts of questions so I could learn more about him.

Jimmy's next response was even shorter. He did not tell me his favorite book or TV show as I had asked. In fact, he did not respond to any of my questions; it was as if he hadn't even read my letter. In his sparse sentences, Jimmy spoke almost exclusively of football. Again he asked me, "Do you like football?" as if I had not already addressed the topic in my letter. He concluded his missive with a "P.S. PACKERS RULE."

I decided to stoop to his level and talk more about football in my next response. I pretended that I had watched a Packers game on TV when I had really just seen the score in the sports section. My hope was that by showing an interest in Jimmy's interest, I could then get him to like me and talk about the other things I asked about, too.

Jimmy's next letter again didn't answer my questions. He said a little bit about the Packers, but did not even acknowledge the affinity for the team I had demonstrated. At the very least, I had expected him to say that that was "cool." Jimmy's teacher seemed even more displeased with his efforts. While my teacher didn't read our letters so as not to invade our privacy, Jimmy's teacher actually graded her class' before they were mailed to us. By the time I received the letter, it was coated in red ink that fixed his spelling mistakes and instructed him to "write more" and "ask your pen pal more questions."

Some of my other classmates were having much more success with Jimmy's classmates. One girl was writing to her pen pal's home address because they didn't like the few week lag time between the letters. Another friend actually made a long distance call (remember when that was a big deal) to his pen pal so they could have an actual conversation. These people had awesome pen pals and I was stuck with Jimmy.

Still, I didn't give up. My next letter would be a direct appeal to him. I wrote a bunch of Packers facts that I learned for the sole purpose of the letter. I drew a picture of a guy wearing a cheesehead. I even learned how to spell "Brett Favre" for crying out loud. Alas, it was all for nothing. Jimmy's subsequent response was four sentences tops, made no acknowledgment of my Packers effort, shared no new facts about himself, and showed no interest in me. At that point, even I, who could write for days, was done with this exercise.

I don't know what became of Jimmy - it goes without saying that we didn't keep in touch. But if I were going to bet one thing about Jimmy, it's that he is still a rabid Packers fan. And because Jimmy was the worst pen pal ever, I hope his team loses the Super Bowl today. I hope that this game means the world to Jimmy and that he ends up being immensely disappointed, just like I was with the pen pal assignment. Fuck the Packers and fuck you, Jimmy.


A Comment on Commenting

A quick housekeeping note: as my blog continues to grow, I find myself more susceptible to spam comments. I’ve previously never enabled the “word verification” option, which requires commenters to type in a series of letters and numbers as it is obnoxious, but things have gotten out of hand. Hopefully this extra step will not discourage you from commenting; rest assured, you can still comment anonymously.

Though this precaution will probably not eradicate the spam comments altogether, it’ll hopefully make the problem more manageable. That said, I will miss some of the spam. While most of the comments are gibberish, links, or in foreign languages, some of them are downright hilarious.

There are the semi-coherent comments attached to posts that weren’t the least bit informative:

Excellent type. I am just seriously happy for your good information

I ascertain this material very important. Thanks a lot for the precious information and insights you have consequently furnished at this site. Keep writing!

Others went so far as to tell me that they used my content for a college assignment. The best was a response to my former student’s horrible How to Make a Paper Airplane essay. I almost hope it wasn’t spam:

Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.

There are spam comments (I think) warning me about other spam comments:

I love your site, but honestly tell you that you need more for him to monitor those who commented with your records

There are others that use highly provocative search terms that, in turn, lead lusty Googlers to my site instead of the site they link to:

hot horny guys
girls getting their pussy cherries popped
tall blonde milf
british asians sex videos
les strip club Houston

There is this brief one that showed up dozens of times without an accompanying link; I’m still not sure it wasn’t a friend playing a trick on me:

i love big fat cocks uk

There is one comment that can’t decide whether it wants to be inspirational or WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE:

A friend of mine mentioned 2012 last night to me and it's the first I heard about it so I jumped on here out of curiosity. I think it's kind of sick and sounds like a bunch of skeptical jargon.
I choose to live every day like it is the last because let's be real, WHO THE HELL KNOWS what is going to happen or when it's your time to go on. The past is history, the future is a mystery and now is a gift, thats why it's called the present. It's not healthy to sit around and trip out about when you will die. Stop wasting your time you have now.

And one of my all time favorites is this lengthy piece of fiction. I’m not sure whether to be aroused or cry:

For now, we rely on Jarak and hope Savous and Hyle get back in time. Dirt and grime smeared his skin, and his sleek hair was a knotted, tangled mess. He nodded, slid an arm about Irins shoulders, and led his truemate from the room. But the vetriese… Irin paused. He hadnt used that soothing tone for many nights. He pulled her into a hug. She shook her head. She grinned at Eyrhaen, smoothing a hand over the white patterns etched in Hyles chest. They had always done all they could for her, even when she was difficult. I…didnt realize until recently thats what Id done, but its true. Tykir had a warmer heart than that. Tykirs soft words stopped her. Thoughts rolled over one another in her head. Three sets of eyes focused on her as Tykirs cock hovered at her pussy. Tykir shook and shattered, eyes closing on a heartshattering moan. She collapsed into a gooey, shuddering heap. He tilted his face back up toward her. But the look on your face tells me theres more. Sex is one thing —which he very well knew— actual children is another. I havent the time nor the inclination to come up with a spell just now.

Good bye, spam. I'm sure you'll find nice homes elsewhere on the internet.



Well, they were right.


Why I'm Completely Caught up in the News out of Egypt, and Why You Should Be Too

Make no mistake, the world is changing. I'm often guilty of ignoring international news myself, but I can almost guarantee that the developments in Egypt will have huge ramifications affecting all of our lives. The world is about to become less safe - but perhaps a whole lot better.

Admittedly, part of my draw to the Egyptian conflict is how exciting it is. We're witnessing a populous movement in action, people who are standing up to their government to declare that a dictatorship disguised as a democracy is not democracy enough. It should tug at the heartstrings of anyone who has passed an American history class to see the Egyptians acting to secure deserved freedoms. Those who don't understand this need have been privileged to be born into a nation whose forefathers already fought to secure them a more just government.

As a quick aside, I'm not saying that Americans should be complacent with their government. Democracy needs constant maintenance to keep it functioning properly. But at least Americans have the rights to vote, appeal, and protest to fine-tune a governance in line with its wishes. The Egyptians, who have not been permitted to assemble or form opposing parties, have had to take more drastic measures just to get to a point where they might be represented fairly.

What's even more exciting is that this dissent is primarily a youth movement. Although Egyptians of all ages and backgrounds are participating in the demonstrations, Egyptians under-30 are largely responsible for spearheading this movement. I honestly wish I could be there to be a part of something so signficant. Using technology like the internet, they have helped to mobilize a mistreated country's people to reclaim their rights. "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" is right - Egypt has cut off stations that aren't showing either pro-regime or unrelated fluff, so the internet has been a valuable tool in rallying the people. As it turns out, the revolution will be Tweeted; Egypt's mass shut-off of the internet proved too little too late, much like President Hosni Mubarak's promises to be less of a tyrant.

Already it's bigger than Egypt: the ripple effect has begun. Just as Tunisia before it and perhaps Pakistan after it, Egypt is just one of many countries, several of which are in the Middle East, who have democracies in name only - and populations that are prepared to fight back. It won't always be pretty and, unfortunately, it won't always be peaceful, but it will be righteous.

So why is this an American issue? Whether or not it wants to be, the United States will be in the middle of these affairs, not only because it is a superpower, but because of the relationships it has formed with these nations' leaders. For decades, the United States has essentially been complicit in validating and strengthening these regimes by allying with them. Many of the weapons the Egyptian government is using against its own people were furnished by America. When the nations' people ultimately prevail against their fascist leaders, we face the unknown. The good relations we've constructed will no longer be relevant as we wait to see what new political structures develop. Will they hold it against us for befriending their oppressors?

I can't actually criticize the U.S.'s diplomacy with these countries over the years because I'm not sure what a better solution would have been. These decisions seem primarily motivated by a sense of security and centrism. America meddles enough, it wasn't the country's job to start "freeing" everyone from less-than-ideal political climates. Still, America surely looks hypocritical for thus far taking a hands-off approach to the Egypt situation where the people are clearly against their government who won't admit defeat, while forcing the issue in certain areas ("Operation Iraqi Freedom," anyone?) for a reticent population just because we have a grudge with its leader and an economic interest.

The world is about to face an extended period of instability and insecurity. America's international relations are in jeopardy. But with Egypt and subsequent countries, the American people should support - even if only symbolically - and applaud their democratic aspirations, trusting that, in the long term, the world will be safer for it.

Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution - Tracy Chapman


Hoarder Party

I love a good themed party, and I've been kicking around an idea to have a Hoarder Party for a while now.

Here's what I'm picturing:
* My living room filled ceiling-high with stuff and trash
* My kitchen filled ceiling-high with stuff and trash
* My toilet dismantled so that people have to crap in plastic bags

Okay, probably not that last one, but it's something to aspire to. Basically, there will be no practical space for people to party in. They'll be forced to sit and stand amongst heaps of junk, pushing their way through the piles in order to move.

The problem is that this party isn't actually practical. Firstly, I'm not sure that it'd be fun. I mean, I'd get a real kick out of watching people have to endure that, but asking people to try to have fun while lounging in trash might be asking too much. Secondly, I don't have nearly enough stuff to fill my house. If I did, it would already look like a hoarder house. Friends have suggested that all attendees could bring stuff to contribute to the hoarder piles, but mere armfuls won't be enough. I'd have to ask guests to fill their entire car with junk and then move it into my house. Thirdly, there's the issue of the clean up. It's annoying enough the morning after a party to dispose of the cups and beer bottles, I can't imagine the torture involved in clearing a house that was purposefully jam-packed with rubbish. Fourthly, it's got to be a legitimate fire hazard. With exits blocked and a sea of flammable materials, it could be a recipe for disaster and, what's worse, embarrassment. I can already picture the Darwin Award article commemorating the drunk twenty-somethings who died in a mock-hoarder celebration.

As it stands, it looks like I have to abandon my Hoarder Party. If you have any suggestions, however, of how to turn my dream into a reality, it would be greatly appreciated.