Terri's Day

Happy Terri's Day!

You're celebrating, right? Terri's Day honors the vegetative life of Terri Schiavo. If you'll recall, Terri was just like Elian Gonzalez in that they were both innocents exploited for political causes, except that she was a comatose woman and he was a Cuban boy -- the jury's still out on who was cuter. Oh, Florida, what ridiculous, overhyped controversy will you think of next?

Seriously brain damaged and unable to stay alive without the assistance of machines, Terri unwittingly became the symbol of a pro-life crusade. Political pundits including President George W. Bush insisted that the hospital keep her hooked up because "all lives are sacred" (unless they live in different countries and we can invent some excuse to bomb them, but I digress.)

On March 31, 2005, after fifteen years of being in a vegetative state, Terri was MURDERED. I'm not sure whether Terri would have preferred to be kept alive under these circumstances, but considering that her comatose state was incited by her severe anorexia, I think it's safe to assume that she'd support her husband's decision to remove her feeding tube. It was going straight to her hips anyway.

Though the media coverage of this controversy was almost unbearable, my friends Celeste and Lindsay almost made it worthwhile by holding public demonstrations in her honor. They perfected the vacant stare, titled head, and gaping mouth that our dear Terri was known for.

Miss you, Terri! Gone too soon! You had so much more unresponsive "living" to do!


A Judgmental Glare

While eating at a pizza restaurant with some friends, I got on the topic of a great but not-entirely legal band, Smoosh, who I've blogged about before. "They're cute," I commented. "In all the wrong ways."

They're cool, talented, attractive, and successful... in other words, too good for me, so don't think I'm getting any wrong ideas.

Stacy asked whether they were still around, and I told her that they are still putting out new music, touring, etc. I noted that they even added a new member, their little sister. "You know, to appease their pedophile fans."

As soon as that joke left my mouth I could feel a judging glare coming from behind me. You know how you can sometimes sense an angry head turn in your immediate vicinity without actually witnessing it? The expressions from my friends on the other side of the booth confirmed that I had overstepped some bounds. I remembered that a family with small kids was sitting immediately behind me, a thought that had slipped my mind when making the comment.

I slowly turned around to face the consequences. I expected to see an upset parent staring me down, but instead it was a tiny three-year-old child giving me a dirty look. According to my friends, it was that kid that whipped his head around and shot daggers as soon as I uttered the word "pedophile."

To my credit (?), Lexi said that she has never before seen me look so embarrassed. See, I'm not entirely shameless. But I am concerned. It was probably a coincidence, but how does a 3-year-old know that the word "pedophile" is so inappropriate?

This concerns me. Maybe I should have called Child Protective Services. Then again, maybe they should have called Child Protective Services on me.


Sober Enough for That

Remember the "offspring" party I referenced? Here's a conversation from that night:

Host: Hey, I didn't know you were coming!
Guest: I didn't either, I thought we'd be sending my husband as the representative, but by the time I got home tonight, he was already too many beers in.
Host: Well, it's good to see you anyway!
Guest: Yeah, [husband] sends his love and wanted to come, but he was way too drunk to drive, so I made him stay at home with the baby...
[awkward pause]
Guest: Oh, but he's not too drunk to watch our nine-month-old... I guess...

Yo, parenthood just started seeming a little easier - bring it on!


No Child Left Behind

As a former teacher, people often ask my opinion of No Child Left Behind. The public education system needs a major overhaul, and while NCLB is a nice sentiment, it's not always practical in the existing system. I not only left kids behind, I shoved some out a moving vehicle just so I could get the majority of them to our destination. Metaphorically, obviously.

Last night, my friends and I brainstormed this awesome t-shirt design. If I were still teaching, I'd be rocking it each and every casual Friday, and I bet I could market it to a million disenfranchised teachers. It'd also probably be a hit with mean school bus drivers.


March Madness

Forget Christmas, THIS is the most wonderful time of the year.

I have fallen victim to March Madness in the worst way. I rarely waste my time watching sports, and yet I sit on the couch all day long watching basketball for the entirety of the month. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving it. Especially now that my favorite team, UConn, has made the Final Four. It's all about Kemba Walker, folks. Learn that name even if you don't care about sports, because he'll be on Sprite commercials in a few years, mark my words.

And then there's Butler, the team I fell in love with last year, upsetting everybody to make it back to the Final Four, as well. Those scrappy kids are for sure America's sweethearts. I don't make a habit of calling people who disagree with me terrorists (which may in itself make me un-American), but if you don't love Butler, you are a terrorist. Simple as.

If UConn and Butler face each other in the final game, I don't even know what I'll do. I'll just cheer for them to go into over-time infinitely. As that amazing game never finishes, I'll slowly waste away on the couch - but with a smile on my face!


Sexual Harassment

For reasons I won't ask about (probably ass pinching), Melinda had to undergo an online sexual harassment course. As you might expect, some of the content of the training verges on ridiculous. Take this poor gentleman in a wheelchair for example:

Yeah, coworkers, quit being so presumptuous! What makes you assume that he's heterosexual? Or that his penis still works after the accident?

What's your opinion on the matter, Leering Larry?

Uh, never mind.



Kelly: The invitation says the party starts at 6, but you don't have to come that early. That's just for our friends that have to leave early because of offspring.
Kevin: Offspring? Your friends are going to an Offspring concert?
Kelly: No, offspring, like kids. They have kids and can't stay out late.
Kevin: Oh! Ohhh... oh.

This conversation was an important reminder that people my age get married and procreate. I tend to avoid people like that - really gets in the way of partying, evidently.

At first I judged the hypothetical people who spent money to see a band sing "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)," but even that seems like a better alternative than having to get home to a toddler.


Harold and Maude

I almost didn't enroll in my first college writing class out of intimidation. The other people I knew taking the class had more impressive credentials, and I worried that I had no business mixing with real writers. Fortunately, from the first day, my professor took a liking to me and my writing. She joked with me in class, complimented my work, and even used it as an exemplar for my peers. I came to find out that not only could I hold my own with these students, but that a few of my classmates talked a bigger game than they could write.

Meanwhile, a funny bond emerged between my professor and me. Despite the fact that she was pushing seventy and I was not yet twenty, we had a good rapport, which did not go unnoticed by my classmates. One of them likened my relationship with my professor to the title characters in Harold and Maude. Knowing that it was a classic movie that I should have been familiar with, I just nodded and accepted the comparison.

While at home for spring break, my friend and I perused movie rentals. Spotting Harold and Maude on the shelves, I told my friend about the comment my classmate made, and we agreed to watch it. Imagine my mortification when Harold and Maude quickly end up in bed together. My friend cracked up: "This is what you're like with your professor?!" Before seeing the film, I had envisioned some platonic bond that transcended generations, not a great-grand-MILF romance. Not only had I humiliated myself in front of my friend, I hadn't even attempted to dispute the charge coming from my classmate.

But no, I did not have a sexual relation with my professor. All groping occurred over-the-shirt. I kid... I totally second-based that! There wasn't much I wouldn't do for good critiques on my writing. You know what they say about grades... if you want to get a 95 on your essay, you gotta do a 95-year-old.



I'll know I'm a grown up the day I stop waving to my poop as it flushes down.


33 Fine Brews

While trying to decide what to have for dinner, I thought of this 1945 ad from Life magazine that I came across while zine-making. Next time I go to a fancy restaurant, I'm going to bring this advertisement to explain why it's acceptable for me to order a PBR and nothing else.

Besides, they make a good point: vegetables are basic. Looks like I'll be making the healthy choice and just drinking for dinner tonight.


Seat Filling - Pants-less Edition

When I first moved to southern California as a teenager, I enlisted myself as a seat filler for Hollywood events. I've already blogged about the award show where I confused Frankie Muniz and flattered Jessica Alba, but I haven't talked about the time I literally made an ass of myself.

One show that I attended as a seat filler that wasn't particularly exciting was a Motown Christmas televised special. While we saw some good performers like Brian McKnight, India.Arie, whatever new old men call themselves the Temptations these days, and Stevie Wonder, who had on an outfit so ugly that only a blind man with an evil assistant would wear, there were really no celebrities in the crowd. The biggest star I encountered was Maria from Saved by the Bell: The New Class; I didn't put on a tie and penny loafers for Maria.

Unable to hobnob with celebrities, I brainstormed another way to keep myself interested. Here I was in Kodak Theatre, the place where the Oscars are held annually. I was sitting in a seat that Meryl Streep may have sat in before... or would soon after.

That's when it occurred to me: I could leave my mark. While still seated, I covertly tugged down my pants from behind just enough to expose my bare butt against the chair. Then I rubbed it vigorously. Next time the Oscars were held, someone like Tom Hanks might be sitting on a seat that I rubbed my naked bottom all over. I liked this thought.

Each time I changed seats that night, I pulled the same routine. I don't think I was leaving skid marks or anything, but just to know that I was declassing one of the classiest venues in Hollywood. And ever since, I have the reoccurring joy of wondering whether Dame Judi Dench is sitting on one of the seats that I scooted all over. You may have been Kevin-Assed, Dench!


A Note to My Future Biographers

"He put on his shoes. After taking a few surprisingly breezy steps toward the door, he realized that he had forgotten that he wasn't wearing his pants yet. So he took off his shoes, put on some pants, and put his shoes back on again, a little less confident about taking on the day."

Note to my future biographers: no book about me would be complete or accurate without this passage. You might also want to mention that I actually go through this routine every few days or so, but I'm clearly in no position to tell you how to do your job.


Trickle Down Education

I'm getting sick of everyone standing up for their “rights.” Education shouldn’t be a right. Let the richest people who can afford an education get one, and then they can tell the rest of us what to think.


Dramatic Much, Entertainment Weekly?

For a year now, I've mysteriously been receiving an Entertainment Weekly subscription that I don't pay for. As of a few months ago, I started getting letters telling me the magazine would stop arriving if I didn't pay to renew it, which was fine by me. Though I do regularly read their website, the magazine itself only gets flipped through while my roommate's on the john.

Despite repeated warnings that "this could be your last issue!", it still hasn't stopped coming. But as time passes, the notifications are getting increasingly more dramatic.

The subscription I never asked for is about to "drop dead" and they are greeting me with an "{Expletive Deleted}"? Talk about some histrionics. Part of me feels like I should just comply and let them know I'm yanking the cord, but I also feel like I could find a way to put a "Let it Die!" sticker to much better use.


Homoerotic First Aid

I went to a zine-making workshop at Meltdown Comics a few weeks ago. My first attempt looked like a shitty collage, so I decided to focus on a clear concept and limit myself to fewer source materials: Uno cards, pieces from a board game for preteen girls called Heartthrob, and a Boy Scout safety manual.

With just these three items, I created "Homoerotic First Aid." Now if I could just figure out how to mass-produce it, I'd have a million dollar publication on my hands.


The Princess and the Pea

"The Princess and the Pea" makes no fucking sense.

In his search for a wife, a prince sets up a ridiculous test which involves putting a single pea beneath twenty mattresses. A "real princess," he decides, will be able to feel the pea and have difficulty sleeping as a result. He finally finds a princess who complains of being bruised by the lump in the mattresses, and promptly proposes to her.

Nothing about this woman makes her an ideal mate. She's a whiner and probably an insomniac to boot. Plus, anyone who can feel a pea through that much material is obviously extremely frail. When she has children, they will almost certainly be weaklings after inheriting her willowy traits.

What kind of man wants a woman who is hypersensitive to even the most miniscule protrusion while lying in bed?

Wait, I think I just figured this fairy tale out. It's not really a story about a princess and a pea, it's a story about an insecure prince with the world's tiniest penis.


Urban Iditarod 2011: Oregon Trail

What happens when you and your friends dress up like frontiersmen and women and push a covered wagon down the Venice boardwalk? You end up having to literally flee from the cops. And that is a really sweaty and difficult thing to do when you are drunk and in full costume.

The event is the Urban Iditarod. It's a secret pub crawl in which a few hundred people form teams, "borrow" a shopping cart, dress in themed costumes, get inebriated, and make a spectacle of themselves in public. Since I'm good at all of those things, I participated in 2009 and 2010 as well.

My team chose Oregon Trail as our theme this year because it's nostalgic, cholera jokes are the best, and my friends are creative enough to make a rockin' covered wagon out of a shopping cart with just a sheet, some cardboard, and hula hoops. In addition to a lot of pioneers, we had a couple of Indians ("No offense" Ben's shirt read), an ox, and a buffalo. Even though there are no official "winners," the other teams were declaring us the winners because of how slick we looked when we reached the starting line.

Unfortunately the cops, who are wise to our ways after the years, were also waiting at the starting point and started issuing tickets before the event even began. I don't blame the police entirely. They'll give you some leeway when there's some plausible deniability; for example, our team consumes all of our beverages from soda and water bottles. However, when you are openly shotgunning Bud Lites next to the cops, they're going to ticket you, and if you give them guff for it, they're going to cuff you.

Rather than running between pubs like in the past, we ended up just fleeing from the police. We ran down random alleys and barely had a proper chance to catch our breaths. At one point we were trapped between a deep puddle and an oncoming police car and the other teams were shouting at us to quickly "calk the wagon and float it across." It was exhilarating in that sense, though I personally wasn't too worried about being arrested. Cuz let's get real here: more than racial profiling, cops douche profile. When they randomly start citing people, of course they're going to go choose the guy with an lewd statement scrawled on his wifebeater or the girl with her boobs spilling out of her outfit. If anyone were to ask, we were just a bunch of historical re-enactors who got mixed up with the wrong crowd.

Since other people had already quit, gotten lost, or in a few cases been apprehended, we no longer had the benefit of "safety in numbers." Once people started getting ticketed for stolen shopping carts, we dropped out of the race and made a beach day out of it. We stayed in costume and danced jigs to the bluegrass cover songs we brought and made a spectacle of ourselves all over again. In a way it was actually better once we were separated from the other teams, because we looked even nuttier to people out of context.

I love all of my fellow Oregon Trailers, and I'm glad to see that none of us fell prey to dysentery, snake bites, or even the police for that matter. Though we made it to the Pacific Ocean, we didn't quite make it to Oregon. Maybe we'll try again next year, but I'm going to need a year to think about it.


Attention Fat Black People!

Check out this billboard located on the 110 freeway:

I can't promise the Lap Band will shrink your stomach, but I feel like its advertising has successfully shrunk my brain. More than offensive, the billboard is stupid. Who is this supposed to appeal to? African Americans who are moved by the fact that Lap Band is "honoring" their ancestors? Guilty white people who consider themselves progressive and don't know how else to commemorate the month?

Now that it's March, shouldn't we be acknowledging Women's History Month instead? (They weren't called great figures in women's history for nothing, ladies.) I don't expect Lap Band to mention the fact that it's also National Nutrition Month.

Next year's billboard: "Her name wasn't Harriet Tubbyman."

(Photo credit: Bite Me TV)


Hook - Blues Traveler

Quick, name some comedic, dorky, white guy bands: Tenacious D, the Barenaked Ladies, Flight of the Conchords. Did you even think to name Blues Traveler? Probably not, but you should have, though, because they're witty and hit it big before these other bands.

Let's be honest, if "Name Something You Associate with Blues Traveler" were a Family Feud category, "harmonica" and "morbid obesity" would be the top two answers. But "witty" should be up there, too. Maybe answer #4 after "questionable fashion."

I realized Blues Traveler's cleverness recently while listening to the song "Hook." As a preteen, I thoroughly enjoyed the tune, and assumed it was a sincere love song. But there's a line in the song that outright states, "I am being insincere." It's not a love song, it's a critique of pop music masquerading as a hit song that was so successful that it legitimately became a hit song. The lyrics tease the listener for being predictable and not paying attention, yet I never picked up on that.

Seeing now that the message wasn't even veiled, I have to admit I was a sucker. The same sucker who Blues Traveler is addressing. It's an epiphany that has literally blown my mind. There is so much mind dribbling out of my ears right now that I had to insert cotton swabs in order to maintain enough brain matter to compose this post.

But you've got to relisten to "Hook." I've posted a video featuring the lyrics so that you can more easily follow along and see how you were hoodwinked a decade and a half ago. It's also possible that you were a smarter kid than me and "got it" all along, in which case just go take your intellect to a higher-brow blog while the rest of us revel in the fact that we were duped by a harmonica-playing fat man.


No One Believes That I'm Pregnant

My friend works at a hospital where it is her job to work with mentally unstable people and nurture their souls with dance therapy. From her stories about patients who swear and shit themselves, however, it seems that there are some people so crazy that no amount of the Macarena can cure them. (Note: I'm not trying to trivialize dance therapy, I just prefer to imagine that people are Electric Sliding their way to mental clarity.)

Her experience that I find the most hysterical is one that involved a patient who was literally hysterical: a woman suffering from hysterical pregnancy. I hadn't realized that this was a real disorder outside of a Glee plot line, but apparently there actually are women who think they are pregnant when they are not. Their psychological belief can be so strong that it'll trigger hormonal and physical changes that mirror a pregnancy even though there's no fetus in there.

This lady with hysterical pregnancy seemed to resent having everyone tell her she's crazy even after she was showing signs of her imaginary pregnancy. While in my friend's dance therapy class, she set out to clear her name. Instead of rationally stating her case, however, she lunged at my friend and screamed, "NO ONE BELIEVES THAT I'M PREGNANT!" emphasizing her point by spraying breast milk on to my friend. Cornered and lactated upon, my friend impulsively said, "I believe you! I believe you!"

I'm with my friend here. If she's crazied herself to the point of producing breast milk, what isn't she capable of? I'd just agree with her claim and see if I could settle her down with a couple verses of the hokey pokey.