Come On In

"I like to think that, in Connecticut, even the burglars are friends you haven't met yet." - Andrew


Sprayed by a Skunk

In an effort to be a healthier me, I try to go jogging a few nights per week. It's a struggle though, because every time I don't make myself jog, that's a night where, well, I don't have to jog! That always sounds appealing, so it's amazing the excuses I'll find for not going out to do it. But even my creative mind couldn't have made up the best excuse I found yet: skunk attacks.

I don't know why I didn't think of the skunk excuse previously, actually. I'm aware of a skunk living in my neighborhood as I've smelled it a few times. I even saw it cross the street once from the safety of my car - guess I should have run that fucker over when I had the chance.

While jogging last night, I saw what I thought was a cat a bit ahead scurrying away. Since it was trying to avoid me, I didn't change my course. As I passed it, I realized that it was a skunk, and out of the corner of my eye I saw its tail go up. I sprinted faster than ever to avoid a disaster, and although I could smell it, I felt pretty good that I managed to outrun its spray.

I continued jogging, but I also continued to smell the skunk. I figured the scent would dissipate the further I got away from the point of origin, but the stench lingered. That's when I had to acknowledge that the skunk got me.

Once at home, I threw out my clothing and bathed and scrubbed for what felt like an eternity. Today, I don't smell skunk on myself at all, but I'm still paranoid. Since I work from home and my roommate is vacationing, I have yet to have face-to-face human contact. It seems extremely possible that I still reek but can no longer tell. I'm actually afraid to rejoin society tonight. Oh, and this is not going to be one of those times when it's acceptable for you to be like "psst - Kevin still smells, but let's not tell him because it's funny." IF YOU'RE MY FRIEND AND I SMELL LIKE SKUNK, YOU NEED TO TELL ME, OKAY?

As for jogging - I don't know what I'm going to do about that. Clearly, Mother Nature wants me to be obese, so like, who am I to argue?


White Houses

Look, I like Vanessa Carlton, I'd walk a thousand miles for her even, but I can't help but laugh at her 2004 minor hit "White Houses" whenever I hear it. I actually keep it on my ITunes for the express purpose of having something to giggle at it when it come on during shuffle play. I don't know how else to react to an over-the-top, metaphor-filled song about a teenager losing her virginity. White houses, guys! Isn't it ironic that she was coaxed into having sex in a setting the color of purity? Some lyrics:

"I sneak into his car's black leather seat
The smell of gasoline in the summer heat
Boy, we're going way too fast
It's all to sweet to last...

And I put myself in his hands...

My first time, hard to explain
Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain

On a cloudy day, it's more common than you think
He's my first mistake...

And you, maybe you'll remember me
What I gave is yours to keep
In white houses"

Today, for the first time, it occurred to me to look up her video. I was hoping for a melodramatic reenactment of the narrative, but I found something much better: a melodramatic interpretive dance! With one pant legged rolled up (which my Dad always assumes means said person is in a gang), one Vanessa performs some ridiculous dance moves, while another Vanessa sings, at times with her head resting against the piano despondently. The Vanessas never make contact, presumably due to the fear of intimacy, but those dance moves take this song from comical to hilarious.

I read that MTV censored this video because of the sexual nature of the song. Way to take a stance against a songwriter whose lyrics read like an emo high schooler's livejournal poem, but air a bunch of scantily clad ladies shaking their tits in hip hop videos. "White Houses" isn't inappropriate, it's absurd - don't deprive us of this magic!

Oh, and I think it's safe to bet that Vanessa Carlton never ever had sex again.


How R. Kelly Helped Me Earn My Masters Degree

My last assignment in grad school was for my Race & Education class. The professor wanted us all to present on the history of American schools for our own ethnicity. While there were plenty of White, Asian, and Latino students, for the first time in all the years my African American professor taught the class, there were no black students, so he asked for volunteers to be in the black group. My hand shot up (because what did I care which group I presented on?), and then the professor actually thanked the people who didn't try to switch groups and took pride in their own culture. Here I was trying to help the professor out, and then he kind of implies I'm a race traitor. Awesome, whatever.

Things got worse when he said that each group would be expected to creatively incorporate their ethnicity's heritage into the presentation. While my group was diverse racially, none of us were black, and each idea we brainstormed to make our presentation seem "more African American" had potential to be taken offensively. I felt like we were being set up to fail or get picketed by the NAACP.

Finally, I quit trying. I was already checked out and ready to graduate, so if the professor wanted me to do something I found objectionable, I would make an even bigger mockery of the assignment on my own terms. No, that didn't mean blackface, but it did mean incorporating a famous black figure who I doubt most African Americans would choose as representative of their culture: R. Kelly.

My thought was that I could rap my presentation in honor of the hip hop roots of African Americans, except that I can't really rap, so that's why I switched over to R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" as it gave me license to ramble, use half rhymes, and cram as many words as I wanted to into one line without worrying much about the beat. I downloaded an instrumental version of the song and sang my way through one hell of a presentation:

The first crusade for black education in the south took place during and after the Civil War
While the second crusade occurred from 1910 to the 1930s

The second crusade was really quite chillin'
It finally created schools just for the black children

Before it could get off the ground and really make a splash
To make segregated schools, they were gonna need some cash

So they got do-na-tions
From private foun-da-tions
And many black citizens
Provided the benjamins

Now here's a question that i know you're gonna ax
These black people still had to pay their normal tax

Meaning they paid for the white schools
As well as the black schools
That's right, it's quite whack fools
But those were the quack rules

In fact the government kept raising the tax amount
But it went mostly to the white kids, they wouldn't help a brother out

Ultimately black citizens owned 44% of their own schools
Since the U.S. wasn't helping, they had to provide their own tools

And so this creation
After much dedication
Spawned a sensation
A cause for celebration
And even elation
For the black population
Of that generation
Fine-ly a formation
Of a good education
But there was some frustration
Because there's still segregation
And the U.S's discrimination
Offering little affiliation
'Til the blacks found motivation
The 50s led to a termination
Of the unfair situation
And allowed integration
And equal edu-ca-tion-ca-tion-ca-tion-ca-tion...

While I don't think I was any more "black" while giving the presentation, I definitely wasn't white: I blushed my whole way through the song. I wanted to stop to pinch myself and ask, "Are you really singing 'Trapped in the Closet' for your final major assignment before earning a Masters Degree? Is this what educated people [of any race] actually do?" Instead, I kept my eyes on my paper so I wouldn't be deterred by any disapproving glares. But by the time I faded out with "ca-tion ca-tion ca-tion...", my professor gave me a standing ovation, saying he loved the song choice.

I don't know how many professors out there are R. Kelly fans, but I sure lucked out in that regard. My intention was to show my disdain for the assignment (as well as my senioritis), but then he declared it one of his favorite presentations ever and awarded me an A. So hooray! Thanks for being you, R. Kelly, and thanks for helping me to become a better, blacker, more educated me.


The Poke of a Toothpick

One of my favorite dive bars ever is called the Hi-Brow. It's anything but highbrow, however, so either the owner has a sense of humor or he's oblivious to the atmosphere he's created. The fact that someone tried to sell my friend meth in the restroom leads me to believe it's more of the latter. I love it for the cheap, stiff drinks and the fellow patrons who are hilariously... well... "white trash" is considered a racial slur so I won't use it, but in a community where whites are a minority, this bar's clientele is both Caucasian and trashy.

On one visit, my friends and I sat near an amorous couple. A woman, whose bejazzled tank top didn't quite cover her protruding belly, plopped herself down on the lap of a much older toothpick of a man. I call him a toothpick of a man not just to emphasize how scrawny he was, but because he had a toothpick in his mouth. He even left the toothpick in while sucking face with the woman. That seems like a dangerous activity, but these two clearly lived on the edge, which they demonstrated by trotting out to the parking lot together.

I don't know how much time passed, but it couldn't have been much considering the jukebox hadn't even played two full songs by the time the woman re-entered the bar. She scurried toward her friends and screamed loudly enough for the whole bar to hear, "I just got fucked in the car!" while beaming with pride. One of my friends did a spit take, and I'm sure I would have done the same were I currently sipping my drink.

I don't know what happened to Mr. Toothpick, but the bejazzled and freshly-fucked woman got herself another beer and tried to make some new friends on the dance floor. When she started shimmying in my direction, my first instinct was too flee. It wasn't just that I didn't know where that crotch she was gyrating toward me has been, it was that I knew exactly where it had just been... the backseat of a car. Ultimately I decided to playfully grind against her for a song; it might not have been highbrow, but it was definitely hi-brow. Sometimes you just have to embrace moments like this and remember to shower later.


Sister Hazel Necklace

I'm honored to be named as one of Molls' Five Favorite Things of the Week. It's genuinely flattering to receive support from someone like Molls who I respect for her talent, hustle, and wisdom. It's an even bigger honor to be named her "second favorite blogger" (after Caragh, which duh, no one's going to dispute that), considering that she's like a Countess of the Internet.

So yeah, I finally met Molls, and gave her the spiffy necklace she shows off in the video. (I'm referenced in the first segment, but if you keep watching, Molls shows you her bra, so there's your incentive to watch through the end.) It was originally a party favor at a Bar Mitzvah, and even though I never wore jewelry of any kind, I figured if I got a foot medallion (which I think was the most "masculine" option) inscribed with the name of my then-favorite band, maybe I would use it. Well, I never did, and it's a wonder it never got thrown out after fifteen years, but I'm glad Molls can give it a new home. (Said my mom, who I had track it down in my childhood bedroom: "Your friend knows it's not real gold, right?")

Also, I don't normally give jewelry to people the first time I meet them. Let's just make that clear so I don't end up upsetting future first dates or whatever.

I was about to say I had fun playing with Molls' dog Wagandstuff, but looking back I'm pretty sure he was actually playing with me. Even more than cute, Wag is an in-charge kind of pup, and I like that. It was also great spending time with Molls and experiencing her no-nonsense humor in the flesh. It's weird to know a lot about a person and then try to "meet" her. The same goes for Sasha, who was also hanging out, who I often view as more of a cyberbully than a friend. But color me shocked: she's not as rude in person as she comes across on the web. In fact, she might actually be pleasant... sorry if that gossip ruins your internet cred, Sasha. Don't worry, you can still leave insulting comments on my blog/Facebook.

Since Molls blogs about painting nails on the daily, both Sasha and I "got our nails did" by her. Molls chose a sea-foamish Justin Bieber polish for my fingers, and it was when she was nearly done that I started to worry about how I would get it off seeing as I don't own nail polish remover. Sasha suggested I just buy some at the drug store, but that would mean going into a drug store with painted nails. And don't say people might not notice - there's no way when a man buys nail polish remover that the cashier doesn't check out his nails.

That's when I came up with a brilliant solution: I could take a sharpie and scrawl the word PENIS on my forehead. That way, when I went to the drug store people who saw me would assume I had passed out drunk the night before and my friends played pranks on my unconscious body. I mean, sure, it would probably detract from the fact my nails were painted, but I'm going to blame that I even briefly thought that this was a good plan on all of those nail polish fumes I was inhaling.

Update from Sasha:

Zing! There's the bitch I remember.


Tears Dry on Their Own

Okay, I'm not quite crying, but the news of Amy Winehouse's death has shaken me.

The writing has been on the wall for a while; what else can you say about a singer whose breakout hit is about refusing to go to rehab? And while I'm all into schadenfreude, I took no pleasure in watching Winehouse's self destruction. Her voice gives me chills, and I wanted her well-being to be as solid as her talent.

Condolences to widower "Blake, incarcerated", the subject of my favorite Grammy acceptance speech shout-out.

As a sign of respect, I'll be dancing to "Valerie", Winehouse's collaboration with Mark Ronson, for the rest of my life. (This isn't a big gesture, I would have been doing it anyway.)



No matter who the host is at bar trivia each week, Ilana inevitably gets in a fight with him because she has a big mouth. And a big nose. Actually, she doesn't have a big nose at all, but I'm trying to find a way to segue into the fact that she's Jewish. Don't get offended yet - it gets worse.

So the very first trivia question of the night is about the "skull caps" of Jewish people, and the guy pronounces the answer, yarmulke, phonetically because Hebrew is a difficult language. Ilana heckles him and his lack of Yiddish knowledge, and he apologizes for being Mormon. I mean, I think he was fake apologizing just for being not Jewish, but maybe he was actually apologizing for being Mormon. You'd have to ask him.

Later, Ilana gets in another disagreement over a question with the host, and she calls out that he's an anti-Semite. This accusation led to a little bit of tension, but the game pushes on.

Finally, it's time for the last question, and the host announces that our team is going to love this round: name the top ten countries that have the greatest number of Jewish people. Now it's time for Ilana to put her money where her big mouth is and cough up some answers, which she's pretty good at, but she argues that Germany doesn't have many Jews following the Holocaust. I, however, disagree and say the accidentally most offensive thing I've ever said: "Yeah, but the Nazis didn't kill enough of them."

For the record, I meant it like "The Nazis didn't kill enough Jewish people to remove them from the top ten," but of course it wasn't interpreted as such. So now I've been labeled an anti-Semite, too.

When the answers were read, Germany was in fact in the top ten. So I was right! And yet so, so wrong.



Today, Kat forwarded me an email in which someone had misspelled the word "hamster". Ever since I teased her years ago for making a sign about a lost "hampster", she's been a bit defensive about the whole thing. Indeed, I know that a lot of people think hamster has a "P" in it. Look no further than Your Open Book, which allows you to search the statuses of people who don't put restrictions on their Facebook pages. It turns out that even people who love "hampsters" have no idea which type of animal they own.

I should probably censor their names, but there's no use in protecting the dumb. I say that not just because they misspell hamster, but because they don't utilize their Facebook privacy settings.

Remember this helpful learning device, friends: If you put a P in hamster, the hampster will pee on you.


8 Thoughts I Had During the World Cup Final

1. Just because I served my friends edamame as a snack during the game doesn’t mean I’m a “traitor” as they accused.

2. Aren’t they supposed to take their shirts off? A little more sports bra action would help to hold my attention.

3. The Japanese women have an unfair advantage. Post-Fukushima, they probably have third legs to kick with.

4. How tacky is the sign in the audience that says “Wambach is the bomb”? ix-Nay on the iroshima-Hay eferences-ray.

5. The broadcaster says that the First Family has been “riveted to the television”. Let’s hope she doesn’t mean that literally, or surely our nation is under attack.

6. Even if I were Japanese, I would never wave the Japanese flag with pride. It looks like a zit. Whoever Japan’s version of Betsy Ross is was a lazy fuck. “Hmm, let’s slap a red dot on this and call it a day.”

7. Anyone in America who even considered cheering for Japan’s team should be interned.

8. Did the Japanese athletes not dump Gatorade on their coach’s head out of fear that it would trigger tsunami flashbacks?


It's an Abortion

My friend Amy came into town last night and she mentioned that she was famous on Tumblr. At first I was like, "You have a Tumblr?" She doesn't, but a photo of her has been making the rounds, accumulating 2,714 notes. After just one look at the photo, it was obvious why.

To clarify, no, Amy didn't have an abortion, though the party was meant to cheer up someone who had had an abortion five years prior. Also, Amy claims the "Kill" shirt was a mistake. It's her favorite shirt so she wears it all the time, and she didn't even realize its tacky nature for the occasion until after the photo hit the internet. Granted, that sounds like a pretty big accident to make, but so is an unplanned pregnancy.

As for how it started getting circulated on Tumblr, your guess is as good as hers. She only found out about it hundreds of reblogs later when her friend saw the photo on the blog of an out-of-state friend who didn't know Amy. It's a small world after all; even smaller after reblogs... and abortions.

I'm getting a kick out of reading all of the comments. Many think it's hilarious, many others think it's hilarious but wrong, and still others think it's fucked up. I'm partial to the comments that label her a dyke who had an abortion. You know how lesbians are always having abortions!

I'm not sure that I'd want to be famous for something like this photo, but I'm so proud to know someone who is!


With Arms Outstretched

I just found out Rilo Kiley broke up and I'm kind of devastated. I mean, sure, it seemed as if the band's better years were behind them, but people probably said the same of them after they were child stars in Troop Beverly Hills and Salute Your Shorts, and, through music, they managed to prove their merit once again, so I'm not ready to let go of that hope for more great things.

Not that the news is that much of a surprise: Rilo Kiley has been on a "break" for years now. The media often compared Rilo Kiley to Fleetwood Mac, not just because of their catchy pop music, but because of their behind-the-scenes personal drama. When a band is led by a pair of exes, it's obviously going to have a shelf life. But throughout what must have been years of tension, they put out some beautiful songs full of truth and wit.

Consequentially, I'll be playing Rilo Kiley on repeat for the near future. Here are my five favorite songs:

1. The Frug

2. With Arms Outstretched

3. A Better Son/Daughter

4. Silver Lining

5. Go Ahead


The Change-Up

From Welcome to this Blog, Bitch:

Sure, this movie has been done a hundred times before, but this time the characters accidentally trade bodies by urinating in a fountain at the same time! Adam and I saw the trailer for The Change-Up before Bridesmaids, and when it concluded, we both said “wow” simultaneously. For half a second, I was afraid that maybe we would switch bodies after making identical sarcastic comments in unison. Imagine the hilarious antics that would ensue.


He Died Doing What He Loved, Part 2

As I've shared before, my friend Andrew has long said that, no matter how he dies, he wants his tombstone to assert that he "died doing what he loved." Although I hope Andrew doesn't die anytime soon, it is fun to imagine the many ridiculous ways he could die, while still giving it a positive spin.

Andrew died doing what he loved: jaywalking on a busy street.
Andrew died doing what he loved: taking a nap in the bathtub.
Andrew died doing what he loved: hugging a grizzly bear.
Andrew died doing what he loved: dehydrating.

However, even my creative mind couldn't come up with anything as perfect as this CNN story, which is easily the best real life (and death!) example of someone dying doing what he loved:

I mean, it's sad obviously. But we can all take comfort in knowing that Philip died doing what he loved: not wearing a motorcycle helmet.


Face Painting Fun

Here are three things your friends will face paint on you after a long day of BBQing [drinking].

A bloody nose in honor of being the only person who wanted to dance to Andrew W.K.

The Twin Towers. It's not tacky because it's in memoriam. All right, maybe it's both.

If late in the party you playfully bite someone so hard that your tooth falls out, you will be branded with "RIP TOOF"

At first I was going to offer these photos up as examples of us really knowing how to party, but I'm pretty sure it's the opposite. We clearly don't know how to party.


That's Ruff

“I’m a dog groomer and a behavioral aid for kids with autism. People don’t like to say it, but they’re pretty much the same job.” - Interesting things acquaintances tell you at BBQs


Lost and Found

Still have unclaimed clothing from my party. Do these belong to you?



North Korean Heir Tries to Look Like Grandpa

Not gonna lie, I wrote this article primarily so I could reference my favorite fun “fact”: Kim Jong-il scored five holes-in-one the first time he ever played golf.