7 Life Lessons Learned from JASON DERULO

Jason Derulo! It's a name you can't forget, mainly because he starts each one of his singles by reminding you what it is. Smart! And that's just one of SEVEN important life lessons I've learned from - sing it - Jay-sonnn Derulooooooooo:

1. If your girl catches you cheating, becoming rich and famous is the best way to win her back. (Source: Whatcha Say)
2. Once you get her back, however, you'll realize what a burden she is and drop her so that you can "do you." (Source: Ridin' Solo)
3. Dance clubs are for people looking to hook up. There is no other reason to be there. (Source: In My Head)
4. A great pick-up line is "This is the first I've seen your face, but there's a chance we are soulmates." You can always limit it to a one-night stand by chalking it up to a hypothetical the next morning. (Source: What If)
5. In order to have a hit song, borrow the chorus from a preexisting popular song, thus tricking fans into liking your song when they really just like the same song they always have. (Source: Whatcha Say and Don't Wanna Go Home)
6. Don't over-think the song writing process. If you trying to avoid cliches and rhyming words with themselves, you're giving too much credit to the music-buying public. (Source: All of his songs)
7. When your pop music career has an obvious shelf life, start your songs by singing your own name to maximize your name recognition. Also, make sure it's autotuned to add a sense of authority. (Source: In My Head, Whatcha Say, and Don't Wanna Go Home)

Expect each of my posts to start with a chant of "Kevin Babbles" from now on. Just building my brand, yo. Thanks for the advice, Jasonnnn Deruloooooooooooo.


The Surprise Party

I went to a friend's surprise birthday party this weekend. We almost ruined the whole thing because when she walked in the door, no one was ready to yell "surprise!" Instead, we were all standing around having conversations and missed her entrance. I think she screamed, "Oh my god!" before anyone noticed her and let out a belated "surprise!" The good thing is she was genuinely still surprised, due in large part to the fact that her actual birthday is two months away. No one expects a birthday party that far in advance, no matter how suspicious the circumstances might be.

But she wasn't the only one surprised; I was surprised, too. When it came time to blow out the candles, they called out the names of three other people whose birthdays were soon, sooner than the girl we were actually celebrating, anyway. I was one of them. And as much as we insisted that weren't interested in taking away the "birthday" woman's spotlight, an old man, a pregnant teenager, and I were serenaded by all of the guests.

The pregnant girl and I made "this is awkward" faces at each other as the song went on. I felt especially bad for her because people had been accosting her all night. By that, I don't mean they were giving her a hard time for being knocked up at a young age, but they were going up and patting her belly frequently. I realize she's not pure, but that's somebody's body, you should ask before you touch.

The strangest instance of this involved the birthday woman's boyfriend's mother. First she patted the pregnant girl's belly (they were not acquainted), and then ran over and lifted the birthday woman's shirt to rub her slender stomach while saying, "There should be a baby in there soon! I can't wait for a baby! I'm putting baby juices on you!" A room full of people silently watched this weirdness unfold, and I couldn't help but cringe. And that's how a party goes from a surprise to downright shocking.


Reason #767 That LA Is Absurd

A friend of mine who works in the television industry (i.e. makes all of her lots of money from TV shows) has this sticker on her fridge. Pretty sure that fridge would be empty if everyone were to take this advice to heart.


Hey, Ladies

You know that cliched scene in movies where the goofy but likable protagonist is walking down the sidewalk, and then spots two ladies he's acquainted with walking twenty feet behind him, so he turns to wave and say hello, but since he is no longer watching where he is going, he walks into a hole in the sidewalk and falls over, prompting the ladies to laugh at him and be all, "Smooth move!"?

Evidently, this is something that happens to me. Except that I'm not in a movie following a script... I am just a genuine, real life loser.


I'll Be Famous on TV

I'm having a 90s-themed birthday party next weekend, and as I continuously edit the playlist for maximum quality, nostalgia, and danceability, there's a handful of songs I can't cut, despite my better judgment.

As a kid, the local music store sold some cassette singles for 49 cents. At that price, knowing the song was more important than liking it, even, which is probably how I ended up acquiring "Mouth". Consequently, this song's bouncy beat has been in my head on and off for the past 16 years.

I know the song wants to be alluring and a bit naughty ("Would it be my fault if I could turn you on?"), but the way Merril Bainbrige describes kissing makes it sound remarkably unappealing. (Maybe that's why I put it off for so long.) She might as well quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers and scream, "Suck my kiss!"

So yeah, "Mouth" is stupid, but I'm keeping it on the playlist because I'll be darned if it's not catchy. It's so wrong that it's right, and what better way to describe the '90s? And while it may not turn me on, I can't be positive it won't arouse others... and I'm willing to take that chance if it leads to a possible make-out party.


How I Prevented the Apocalypse

I've made a lot of jokes in recent days about the end of the world, but allow me to get serious for a moment:

On Saturday, I prevented the apocalypse by converting to Mormonism.

Okay, converting might be too strong a word, but I did spend my afternoon dressed as a Mormon missionary. I got talked into participating in a charity dodgeball tournament and my team chose Mormon missionaries as our costume theme. Other teams were things like Black Jesus, Heaven and Hell, and Victorious Secret Angels (who sported a lot of T&A). One other team also showed up dressed as Mormons, and we joked that we would see them in the finals.

It didn't take more than a couple games worth of sweat for us to change out of our long slacks and bike helmets. While I didn't play awesomely, I didn't embarrass myself, which is what matters to me most as one of the newer players.

Since the world was about to end, other teams were playing super competitively. Part of the reason I joined the league was because the motto is "Don't Be a Dick" and I admire that. When you have adults playing a kids' game, it tends to attract a lot of assholes, so I liked that this league emphasizes fun first. Unfortunately, the dicks all showed up anyway. The constant fighting and swearing made the whole atmosphere uncomfortable.

It got so bad that I was actively praying that our team would be eliminated so that I could go home. But like a true Mormon, I learned that your prayers aren't always answered. Unfortunately (?), my team was surprisingly strong and we kept eliminating other teams. I never thought we'd be there for the full six hours, but our chants of "Utah!" "Joseph Smith!" "BYU!" "Bicycle!" and "Polygamy!" carried us all the way to the finals where we faced... the other Mormon team. TELL ME that's not divine intervention. If you're thinking of choosing a new religion, consider Mormonism - it's clearly God's favorite.

Before the championship game, both Mormon teams came together and vowed to be happy for each other to override the poor sportsmanship that had prevailed throughout the day. "Throw with love!" we chanted, and in that moment, I truly felt like they were all my sister-wives. While the other team ended up winning, I think it's safe to say that Mormons everywhere won that day, and I consider myself an important part of that victory.

More imperatively, we stopped the apocalypse. I can only speculate as to why God changed his mind about ending the world on Saturday, but I'd be willing to bet it had everything to do with us Mormon teams showing love and decency toward one another. Seeing that, God realized that he had some wonderful followers and that humanity deserves a second chance.

Let's all just be thankful that none of the players accidentally pegged God in the nuts with a ball, or this planet would be in shambles right now.


Ross Is Dead

While skimming through entertainment news this morning, I misread this headline as "David Schwimmer Is Dead". Then, when I reread it correctly, I was actually disappointed. What awful things does this say about me? Better question: what awful-er things does this say about David Schwimmer?

I hope they name it Ben.


My Secret Ascension

Shhh. Can you readers keep a secret?

I've gone into seclusion and cut off all other forms of communication. No texts, phone calls, emails, or face-to-face contact. After a prolonged period of my absence, people will start to wonder where I am.

"I haven't heard from him since Saturday evening," someone will say.
"It's as if he vanished off the face of the earth," someone will wonder aloud.
"If I didn't know better, I'd guess he was raptured," a third will chime in.
"Yeah, but the rapture didn't happen," the dick of the group will say.
"But if anyone were to be called to heaven by God, it would be Kevin," someone will defend.
"He is the most righteous and amazing person I have ever known," someone will agree.
"You're right, Kevin was probably the only person on earth deemed worthy of rapturing," the dick of the group will concede.
"Glory be to Kevin," they will chant in unison.

Not only will this well-timed absence do wonders for my reputation, I'll be a folk hero when I magically reappear. I'll claim that God un-raptured me as a messenger, and write a bunk book about my time in heaven like that asshole little kid. And rather than using my stature for fame, fortune, and evil like most religious extremists, I'll share "controversial" messages, like that God loves peace and homos and would prefer that you spend more time doing good things for other people than praising Him.

Okay, remember to keep this scoop on the down-low. I'll see you on the other-other side.


Hoping for the Rapture

Am I the only one who actually hopes the rapture occurs today?

No, I don't believe it's going to happen, but what an honor it would be to experience the end of the world. Everyone dies, but not everyone goes out by way of apocalypse, and I think the thrill of it all would push "peacefully in my sleep" and "drowning in a tub of caramel" to two and three on my Ideal Ways to Die list.

More than anything, I'd just love to have a concrete answer. Think of how many people live and die with even having the slightest idea of the meaning of life and the existence of higher powers. If the rapture were to occur, I'd be surprised, but at least I'd have an answer. I'd be the first to congratulate the doomsday Christians I once branded crazy for having a worldly understanding that I was never privy to, and it wouldn't just be an effort to gain last minute acceptance.

I don't mind being wrong. As an agnostic, I admit that I don't know. But I definitely want to know. So if the rapture is the answer, bring it! In a weird way, all would seem right with the world, even when everything in the world is going wrong.


Dreams Are Visions, Man

I can't tell you how nice it is to finally have this figured out. My life has been so directionless up until now.

My only question is will the adults playing children be like 90210 where they're supposed to pass as mature teens, or are they very obviously adults, and that fact is played up for comedic effect? I guess I have to make some decisions on my own, it is my future after all.


Show Us the Birth Certificate!

Relax, this has nothing to do with Obama, though I am still skeptical on that matter. This time I refer to Arnold Schwarzenegger. I know he's bravely openly Austrian (the new gay), but I demand to see the birth certificates of all of his kids, legitimate and otherwise. Isn't that just like an immigrant to abandon the children he fathers and leave them to live off the government teat?

Like other great politicians before him (e.g. John Edwards, Thomas Jefferson), Schwarzenegger has allegedly hasta-la-vista-ed a baby with his hired* help. I have a lot of respect for a woman who defiantly keeps the baby of a man named the Terminator. Then again, I lose a lot of respect for a woman who sleeps with a man named the Terminator - unprotected, no less. Hasn't she seen Junior? Men don't get any more fertile than that.

The media insists on calling the kid a "love child." The kids he had with his wife are just children, but the baby he conceived during an extramarital affair -- that's love. I suppose it's better to use the euphemism than "bastard", particularly in this instance when when everyone will be referring to his dad by the same term. I'm sure Maria is no exception - you know how seriously the Kennedy family takes fidelity.

I'm pretty excited to see some egg on Schwarzenegger's face again, mainly because he handles it so well. In all sincerity, he will never be able to lose 100% of my respect since getting hit with an egg by a protester in 2003. "This guy owes me bacon... you can't just have eggs without bacon!" is the best retort ever.

Now stop fertilizing eggs and serve some breakfast to your kids, Arnold.

* To be fair, Sally Hemings was not "hired".


The Flight Attendant

So I participated in the world's youngest chain gang again this weekend. (It's volunteer, not court-mandated, but thanks for asking.) This time, I didn't find any car deeds or hypodermic needles, but I did encounter a life-size cardboard cutout of a flight attendant.

As much as I would have liked to keep the whole thing as a souvenir, I just settled for bringing home her head.

For the record, she was already decapitated. Attribute all kinkiness to whomever brought and abandoned her on the highway median.


13 Ridiculous Eurovision Songs

Tomorrow is the Eurovision final, an event which charges each European nation to submit its best song for competition. If you think you'd find an impressive array of culturally diverse music, you've made the wrong assumption. Eurovision is full of nonstop dance/pop monstrosities with misguided costumes, embarrassing dance moves, and strange displays of patriotism. It may not be good, but it is certainly entertaining.

I compiled the above video to commemorate the most ridiculous songs entered into the contest. Who thought that any of these songs were the best their countries had to offer?

The show is available for streaming tomorrow at 3 eastern/12 pacific, and you're going to want to tune in - if not for the camp appeal, then to just feel better about the mainstream American music scene. I personally enjoy trying to comprehend the muddled "English" lyrics written by non-native speakers. They rely heavily on song cliches like "hearts pounding", "birds soaring", and "sun shining", and yet they still manage to mangle them somehow.

I'll be rooting for Hungary, Ireland, and Serbia. Admittedly, all of them could have been included on the ridiculous list, but they're also on the right side of catchy. Meanwhile, I'm still upset "I Love Belarus" didn't make the finals. It might have been thinly veiled propaganda, but damn if I won't be singing that chorus for the rest of my life.



I hear ya, Elmo.

("With big flaps for little hands")


The Penguin and the Mechanic

When I was in junior high school, my clock radio alarm went off every day at 6:30, coinciding with local DJ Gary Craig's joke of the day. Though the jokes were sanitary enough for the radio, they were sometimes racy for a 7th grader, which inspired me to commit them all to memory.

I shared these jokes with only one person: Katie, the shy girl who sat next to me in Home Ec. Each morning, Katie would thread my sewing machine for me because I was too stupid (and manly!) to ever manage to do it myself. As a sign of my gratitude, I told her the daily joke. Being prudish, Katie would always beg me to stop telling the jokes, but I would finish them anyway, because my favorite mode of flirting at that age (and maybe sort of still?) was to try to prod a shy girl out of her shell.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure Katie genuinely didn't enjoy these jokes. It probably didn't help that half the time neither of us had the sexual knowledge to understand them. One joke in particular stuck with me because I couldn't fathom why the punch line would be funny. Today Gawker posted that very joke, which I will abbreviate as I remember it in my own words here:

When a penguin went for a road trip through the desert, he had to put his air conditioning at full blast to maintain the appropriate body temperature. However, mid-trip, his car broke down, leaving the penguin in quite a bind. Fortunately, a mechanic came to his rescue, promising to fix the penguin's car. He suggested that the penguin go into a freezer at the nearby grocery store to stay cold while his car was being fixed.

The penguin did just that, and while he waited, he helped himself to some frozen treats. An hour later, the mechanic found the problem and went to tell the penguin.

"Well, it looks like you blew a seal," the mechanic said.

Wiping his beak, the penguin explained, "No, that's just vanilla ice cream."

A few years later, I finally figured out why the penguin joke was funny, and it became my favorite dirty joke. I matured just enough to understand it, but then wasted this maturity by immaturely telling this joke to anyone who would listen. Haha - the penguin thought that the mechanic thought that...

As for Katie, despite my prior tormenting, she agreed to go to prom with me several years later. For the record, neither of us had vanilla ice cream.



Yesterday's Rhythm post had me on YouTube more than usual. While I typically ignore the comments section out of fear that stupidity is contagious, I couldn't help but look at the top rated comments for each song. Let's start with Gloria Estefan's "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You":

I can't help but laugh at the image of "raping the hell" out of search engines by typing "OH AY OH AY!!" Cybersex: you're doing it wrong.

I was legitimately appalled by the homophobia in the two top comments attached to the video for AC/DC's "Girl's Got Rhythm."

If you browse through all the comments, you'll realize that even gay people don't talk about gay people as much as AC/DC fans do. Maybe if the music was actually good, you would have to bully people into liking it.

But every once in a while, you find a legitimately funny comment, like this one on DeBarge's "Rhythm of the Night":

I mean, sure, the person misspelled "mustache", which is unfortunate because there is already more than one acceptable spelling, but like, yay for being less stupid than 90% of YouTubers!


10 Songs That Prove "Rhythm" Is Evil

There is no word in the English language that is worse than “Rhythm.” Not only do even highly educated people have trouble spelling it, but it is also needlessly deviant. If it would just conform and include a proper vowel or two, we wouldn’t need rules like “and sometimes Y”. Poor Y probably suffers from gender identity confusion.

Obviously, no group of people is more familiar with Rhythm than musicians, and fortunately, recording artists are on my side on this issue. Just listen to a few pop songs and it becomes instantly clear what a monster Rhythm is. By the end of this list, you’ll be steering clear of Rhythm, too.


1) … ROOFIE!
Rhythm Divine – Enrique Iglesias

“You fall under my spell.
I will catch you in my arms now.
Where the night will take us, no one can tell.
All I need is the rhythm divine.
Lost in the music, your heart will be mine.”

At first listen the song might sound romantic, but the whole “all I have to do is slip you some ‘Rhythm’ and then I’ll have my way with you” sounds pretty date-rapey to me. I especially like the part where she falls, presumably unconscious, into his arms. I’m sure he was a gentleman and took her straight home. As the song concludes, Enrique asks, “Can you feel the rhythm burning, burning?” I wouldn’t put it past Rhythm to be an STI as well.

Rhythm of the Rain – The Cascades

“Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
telling me just what a fool I’ve been.
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain,
and let me be alone again.”

After getting dumped, the last thing you need is for someone to tell you how much you suck. But here comes Rhythm to kick the Cascades while they’re down. Just because Rhythm derives pleasure from others’ pain doesn’t give Rhythm the right to rub it suffering people’s faces.

Rhythm Is a Dancer - Snap

”Let the rhythm guide you, guide you,
sneak inside, you set your mind to move…
Let it control you, hold you, mold you.”

Snap may be able to fool some people by attaching its message to a funky dance beat, but there’s no way I’m going to let a hypnotic parasite like Rhythm take over my brain. Never concede your free will. For the record, however, if I could redo my high school yearbook quote, I’d change it to the lyric “I’m serious as cancer when I say, ‘Rhythm is a dancer.’” It doesn’t get much more poignantly ’90s than that!

Rhythm of My Heart – Rod Stewart

“Oh, I’ve got lightning in my veins
shifting like the handle of a slot machine.
Love may still exist in another place.
I’m just yanking back the handle,
no expression on my face.
Ah, the rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum.”

It’s not just mind control, Rhythm will also mess with your circulatory system. Ever since letting Rhythm into his heart (love had to move elsewhere, apparently), Rod Stewart appears to have a looming cardiac arrest.

Rhythm of the Night – DeBarge

“To the beat of the rhythm of the night,
dance until the morning light.
Forget about the worries on your mind
to the beat of the rhythm of the night.
Oh baby, I’m crying.”

I’m awake! I’m alert! I’m happy! I’m, I’m crying… Not since Jesse Spano’s dalliance with caffeine pills has drug abuse been portrayed so memorably. Meth may seem fun, but when the sun comes up and the high crashes, who’s going to be there to pick up the pieces? DeBarge, who look like the gay love children of Prince, Lionel Richie, and Oates of Hall and Oates, can probably finagle their way onto Celebrity Rehab, but most Rhythm addicts start the habit with fun and dancing and end it in a pit of despair.

6) … TRAMP!
Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s

“We may only have tonight,
but ‘til the morning sun, you’re mine all mine.
Play the music low
and sway to the rhythm of love.”

Hey there, Delilah, you might want to get tested. It looks like your long-distance boyfriend, Plain White T, had a one-night stand with Rhythm. And don’t assume it was some isolated moment of promiscuity because Rhythm is also a…

Girl’s Got Rhythm – AC/DC

“You know she moves like sin
and when she lets me in
it’s like liquid love.
No doubt about it, can’t live without it.
You know she really got the rhythm,
she’s got the backseat rhythm.”

Well, Rhythm, you’ve earned yourself quite a reputation. Have you no shame?

Don’t Upset the Rhythm – Noisettes

“Don’t upset the rhythm, though.
Don’t upset the rhythm.
Don’t upset the rhythm, don’t you dare.
I told you, don’t upset the rhythm.”

If the Noisettes know one thing, it’s this: don’t piss off Rhythm. Given that they sing this message repeatedly throughout the song, it seems like they have firsthand experience with getting on Rhythm’s bad side. You don’t even want to know what Rhythm is capable of!

Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson

“People of the world unite.
Strength in numbers, we can get it right.
We are part of the rhythm nation.”

Spitting in the face of democracy, Janet is calling for radical political upheaval. How many must die in the name of Rhythm? What leads us to believe we can trust this new overlord? Rhythm strikes me as a tyrant.

Rhythm Is Gonna Get You – Gloria Estefan

“At night when you turn off all the lights,
there’s no place you can hide.
Oh no, the rhythm is gonna get you.”

While you’ve probably already decided to stay clear of Rhythm by this point, good luck with that. As Gloria Estefan points out, Rhythm is also a creepy night stalker. Rhythm will break into your home and violently murder you. Many suspect that Rhythm was the intruder in Antoine Dodson’s home. Go ahead, try to hide ya kids, hide ya wife, but as Estefan threatens: Rhythm IS gonna get you.


The Larger the Belly...

When a friends' mom is showing off her new home decor, maybe I should resist the urge to compliment Buddha's glowing boner.


Finding a Lecture

A couple of weeks ago, I heard about a lecture that interested me occurring at a nearby college. I don't think it was open to the public, but it didn't say it wasn't open to the public, so I decided to crash it. I've always been pretty liberal with helping myself to a free education.

I had looked up the building on the map before hand so I wouldn't get lost, but I still got really lost. I found the building with a common name - let's say it was "Jackson" - and proceeded to look for room 200. I went around the whole building, and none of the rooms were numbered. I even wandered into the cafeteria where I wasn't supposed to be without an ID, so I apologized and scurried out. Finally, I asked someone where room 200 was, and she said she didn't think such a room existed in this building.

Ready to give up, I found that there was a second building called "Jackson" not too far away. I understand that colleges want to honor the donors who give them the money to erect these buildings, but you've got to diversify the names a little more. Already about 15 minutes late to the lecture, I ran up to the second floor.

And there was Classroom 200. Students were still milling about, so I was glad to see I hadn't missed anything. There was a giant submarine sandwich that had been sliced up, and someone handed me a piece on my way in the door. I took it and found a seat in the back. After a minute, a professor thanked everyone for attending the first of several final presentations for the senior seminar on Gender and Philosophy. While it sounded like an interesting topic, that definitely wasn't what I had showed up for. I was in some senior class at a small college where everyone probably knew each other.

So I had a decision to make: stay and watch this other class, or awkwardly sneak out. For a moment, I resigned myself to staying. I already had a sandwich in front of me and the first girl had already started her presentation. Unsure of how long I'd be trapped there, however, I decided to bolt, leaving behind the untouched sandwich behind. I received a lot of confused stares, but none of those people knew me, so whatever.

On my way to the building's exit, I encountered a different room marked Auditorium 200. Evidently - there are not only two buildings named Jackson, but in one of the Jackson buildings, there are two rooms numbered 200. For a college that prides itself on being smart, someone should really point out how dumb this setup is. Although more than 20 minutes late, I took a seat in the back and enjoyed my time now that I was in the right place.

I always miss being in college, but nothing has made me feel this pang quite as much as being on an actual campus. You get to learn new things, there's free food, and your friends are never more than four minutes away. I don't care whether this college I don't pay to attend sets up a whole labyrinth to deter me next time - I'm still going to come back.


Rest in Pieces, Bin Laden

You guys, I think we all owe a certain bumbling former president an apology. He's wiser than we ever gave him credit for. Perhaps it's no coincidence that pathetic sounds so much like prophetic.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for al-Qaeda to release a video of bin Laden claiming responsibility for his own death.

Anyway, I'm glad that Osama's death resulted in uniting our people last night. I'm so sick of those liberal losers always whining, "But why are we bombing these innocent people..." At last, they were rejoicing a violent American smack-down. Bloodlust is patriotic, y'all.

But for real - who are we going to kill next? We need a new common foreign enemy to keep this momentum going. My top nominee is Russell Brand. Hands off our Katy Perry - and off with his head!



2 Legit

I always love a 90s reference. Keep that sense of humor, Los Angeles.