Ted asked, "How close do you think I can get to that bird?" I figured he couldn't get close at all, so I was surprised when Ted was eventually able to actually sit down beside it on the rock without it flying away.

However, that's not the point of this story. You see, starting from 20 yards away, Ted kept inching closer to the bird without it noticing so he could take photos of it. The bird was oblivious, so he was pretty proud of his stealth photography skills.

But then things got funny when a strange old man came up behind Ted. He began taking photos of Ted taking pictures of the bird, and slowly crept up on both subjects as well. At one point, he was just a few feet behind Ted.

Later, we asked Ted what he thought of the old man behind him. He didn't know anything about the man and didn't seem to believe there was someone behind him until we showed him photos. Ted had no idea he was being photographed: he was so caught up in being sneaky, that he left himself vulnerable to being snuck up on himself. The hunter became the hunted!

Except that I'm obviously the top hunter here because I took photos of all three of them without their knowledge. What a weird cycle.


Why Gay Marriage Is a Threat

I should have expected that by posting a fairly trite (though sincere!) article about gay marriage on the internet that it would attract a lot of crazy commenters, but it hasn't stopped shocking me each time someone angrily responds that eternal damnation, the deterioration of society, and humans marrying dogs will surely follow. Like, that's real? People actually use these arguments still?

Also, I'm not even pro-gay marriage, I'm just pro-marriage equality. If marriage equality were to mean that NO ONE could get married, I'd be just as (if not more) supportive of that. (Attending weddings, ugh.)

Honestly, gay marriage seems nearly as stupid, boring, and heteronormative as straight marriage. Granted, if some people have the right to make that decision than everyone should have the right to make that decision… I'm just not prepared to advocate for that decision. I don't trust the government, so why would I want it defining my personal relationships for me?

For real, gays: it's a trap! When same-sex marriage is legalized (and it's inevitable and almost certainly super soon), the best response is, "Thanks, but no thanks." Just because African Americans are now allowed to join most country clubs doesn't mean black people should go get a membership. 'Cause fuck that nonsense.

Gay marriage IS a threat. Not to family values, but to the queer identity. The radical, political lifestyle that intentionally positions itself outside of the norm, rejecting the traditions and societally pressures. Though sometimes the queer identity is an attempt to model desired change, it is also important as a form of resistance to monoculture. There is no freedom if we're not permitted to deviate.

Homophobia is a political tool. It has been imposed on society to obtain power. How many people have voted against their self interests for candidates who slash the education budget, squash unions, and further wealth disparity just because he or she (most likely he) defined marriage as between one man and one woman? It's an issue intentionally wielded as a distraction from society's real problems. Convince people that gays are destructive and they'll become blind to other more important issues.

Now, public perception has changed and the majority no longer fears homosexuals. As you can see from the unprecedented corporate and political support in my article, those in power know that they can no longer use homophobia to their advantage as effectively. So it's time for a new tactic: bring on the gay marriage. Mainstream homosexuals. Turn them into traditional consumers who become complacent, non-questioning members of society.

I know some gay people have waited their whole lives to feel normal, and if gay marriage helps them to achieve that, I'm happy for them. Just remember that the same establishment that felt it could dictate who you can love was using you before… and with this impending "progress" plans to use you again.


The Beacontown Beavers

This season, each of the dodgeball teams in our league named itself after an 80s movie reference. I had two stellar suggestions if I say so myself.

In fact, I did say so myself with St. Elmo's Fire Crotch. Apparently, my teammates weren't ready to do more than shake their heads at the thought of portraying an alleged pedophile as angelic. Plus the team's redhead wasn't wild about it. Fair enough. But Elmo is a fire crotch if I've ever seen one, so it wasn't entirely inappropriate.

When Harry Met Sally Jessy Raphael was much better received. That's three 80s references in one! Despite getting the most support from my teammates, our captain overruled (booooo).

So instead, we're the Beacontown Beavers. That's a reference to the basketball team in the Michael J. Fox movie Teen Wolf. It's not so bad being a beaver:

I had on my full yellow garb and short athletic shorts in honor of dodgeball playoffs last night. The Beacontown Beavers did pretty well last night, no thanks to me. I couldn't catch for shit last night, gosh dam it, but hopefully my sexy legs at least distracted the other team.

I'm optimistic about our team's chances in the finals next week because it's basically been foretold. Not just because our shirts already read "Champions" (boy, wouldn't that be embarrassing if we were wrong?) but because Teen Wolf's theme song is "Win in the End." With a boring tune and lyrics that a second grader could have written, I've really come to like how awful and 80s that song is:

"Win in the end. I'm gonna win in the end."


Rape Culture

I do feel sorry for these boys. And not only because they will be put in cages that will not make them any better. I also feel sorry that two 16-year-olds are capable of the things these boys have been found guilty of doing. That makes me deeply, deeply sad. ​That we have created a world in which, at just 16 years old, and even younger, boys can already hate girls this much. That they can already dehumanize and degrade them. That misogyny is so insidious and so effective as to make 16-year-old boys incapable of respecting this girl, of seeing her as a human being with the right to make her own choices, even when drunk, and the right to remain unviolated, even when passed out. I am sorry for these boys that, at 16, some of their humanity is already gone. The cruelty of kids is not new, and I guess it should not shock me, but this specifically gendered cruelty, at such extreme levels and at such a young age, is shocking to me. And I do feel very sorry for these boys. Just not as sorry as I feel for the girl they raped. - Mia McKenzie, Black Girl Dangerous
This blog post is great. As outrageous as the media's response to the Steubenville rape convictions was, there is some room for some sympathy for the young rapists… just not at the exclusion of the rape victim, which is the despicable stance the mainstream media adopted. They are minors after all, and as such it is both tragic and alarming that teenagers - people their community considered good students with bright futures - were capable of such thoughtless evil.

These young rapists should have known better, but they clearly didn't. So first, shame on them. Next, shame on a society that led them to believe this wasn't a reprehensible act. Then, shame on a society that led them to believe they could do something like that and face no consequences. And finally, shame on everyone who tried to downplay the gravity of the rape, whatever the motivation.

If there's one positive to come out of this controversy, it's a clear illustration of rape culture. A lot of people don't understand what that term means and think it's some feminist exaggeration. But no. When the public faults a girl more for underage drinking than her male rapists (who were also underage drinking, mind you), that's rape culture. When teenage boys don't realize it's unacceptable to violate a young woman while she's unconscious and unable to consent, that's rape culture. When the media attempts to excuse the rapists behavior and pities them more than the victim, that's rape culture.

I once underestimated the extent to which rape culture exists, too. I ignorantly believed that I didn't know anyone who had been raped. Throughout my adult years, however, I've come to learn that a startling number of my female friends have been either raped or sexually assaulted - and there's probably more that I'm not aware of. Just because they haven't mentioned it doesn't mean it didn't happen - there are some women have only admitted their secret after about a decade of friendship and trust. And why would they talk about it? Particularly when women are explicitly and implicitly told that the rape was their fault and something they should have tried harder to prevent.

We all need to make a concerted effort to fight the perpetuation of rape culture. Because whether you realize it or not, I guarantee that women you know have been victim to it.


When Drunk People Help You Clean Up Your BBQ...

... it shouldn't surprise you to find the lighter fluid in your shower.


Good Friends

"We should hang out more. I feel like we could be really good friends."

- someone I don't want to be even sort of good friends with



This is how my roommate pays rent.



Six obnoxious things I wanted to say when I met someone who went to art school for photography:
  1. Oh, you majored in Instagram, how trendy.
  2. Tell me all about fisheye lenses.
  3. Is it still art if every idiot with a cell phone does it?
  4. Your selfies must be the best.
  5. Anne Geddes: Great or really great?
  6. Do you know how I can get a job creating stock photography?*
I didn't say these things, however, because I do respect photography as an art form. Granted, I know plenty of "professionals" who are shitty at it, but that just goes to show that it takes more knowledge/talent than clicking a button. 

* Except that #6 is legitimate. If anyone knows how to get me my dream job of art directing/posing scenarios like "world's greatest mom", "teenager who loves reading", and "romantic couple without PDA", then help a blogger out. 


Human Meat

When you have a conversation about cannibalism, someone inevitably poses the hypothetical: Would you eat human meat?

  • Everyone (initially): No! No! That'd be wrong. No.
  • Everyone (a moment later): Although… I can't say I'm not curious. Like, if someone were to offer it to me now, then definitely no, but I can't honestly say never ever.
  • Everyone (after another minute of deliberation): Fuck it, if someone had some right now, I would try it. I want to try it!


The Worst Human Beings He Ever Met

Ted (to Wes): "[Redacted] used to do stand-up. He was great and even organized a show each week, but he stopped because comedians are the most narcissistic assholes. Like, the worst human beings he ever met… [turns to me] That said, Kevin, I still think you'd be really good at stand-up comedy."

If I ever were to try standup again*, I might have to start off with that story. Better yet, Ted should really take up comedy if he's got jokes like that. He can claim he didn't mean it in that way all he wants, but that is easily the best, most cackle-inducing backhanded compliment I have ever received.

* I only tried it once while in college, but I really liked it. (Funny how that sentence could apply to so many things.)


The Pope Party: Perhaps The Most Offensive Thing I've Ever Done

The departure of Pope Benedict XVI reminds me of one of the most offensive things I’ve ever done: throwing a giant Vatican-bashing bash on the day Pope John Paul II died.

To be fair, it wasn’t intentional. Well, not entirely intentional. Allow me to explain.

At my college, the Suites Around the World party was one of the most anticipated annual traditions. All of the recycling money collected from the student body’s empty cans and bottles (so obviously we’re talking serious $$$) gets redistributed to the students to buy more alcohol (in some sort of circle of life for alcoholics) for this international affair. About 10 suites in the dorm would volunteer to pick a country and serve customary booze and food. For example, Mexico would serve Tecate and tequila, Japan would serve Saki, and Germany would serve various German beers.

I should note that this is a progressive liberal arts school, so don’t equate it with those supposedly “cultural fraternity/sorority parties” that turn into black-face and offensive stereotypes that you read about in the news. Generally, the Asian exchange students would represent their home country, the Chicano students would host Mexico, and the white kids would do something boring like Australia or Ireland. Yes, the party was primarily an excuse to get drunk. I also won’t claim I “learned” much about the countries from these parties. And I won’t argue that nothing about the party was problematic, but I stress that it was about traveling to the different suites to taste the different spirits and foods, not put on costumes and do bad impressions.

My suite, however, did become super offensive… even though we were only trying to be semi-offensive. A month and a half before the party occurred we had to select a country, and we wanted to choose something funny. After searching a map, my suitemates Kurosh and Alice thought it would be amusing to pick Vatican City. It was approved by the school administration, and I was told by a friend on student council that the deans had chuckled at the idea.

A few weeks ahead of time, we received the recycling money and started preparing. We bought red wine for “Communion” and Sprite and vodka to mix as “Holy Water.” Our snacks were crackers, cookies, cheeses, breadcrumbs… anything that was small and round that could stand in as Communion wafers.

We made trips to the local Family Christian store and bought religious paraphernalia to hang on the walls. I printed out a poster-size photo of John Paul II. We dressed the mannequin up as a priest (though on his bottom half, he still wore a speedo – his signature attire). We put red curtains up over the shower stalls to turn them into confessionals. Alex rigged a sound system to play Gregorian chants in the bathroom. It was an amusing set up and we were psyched for the party.

A few days before the party, Alice announces, “Wait, did you guys hear that the Pope is sick?” There were questions about whether it was appropriate to have the party while he was seriously ill. But here’s something you have to remember about John Paul II: in his last several years, he was repeatedly “gravely” ill. I kind of figured they kept exaggerating that nonsense so it seemed miraculous each time he recovered. “He’s not going to die! He’s always supposed to die but he never does!” I argued. We continued putting the finishing touches on the party, all while keeping an eye on the news… just in case.

On the day of the party, the Pope did in fact die. As ironic as it was, the best we could muster was nervous laughter. We had been planning this party for six weeks, back when John Paul was still fine, but most people who attended wouldn’t realize that. There was a major crisis of conscience and we considered cancelling the party. Some tried to quickly formulate an alternative country for us to do. In the end, since everything was already decorated and purchased, we just decided to accept eternal damnation and move forward with the party. One friend wrote “In Loving Memory” over the Pope poster.

I know some people who boycotted our suite that night because they found it offensive. Others came in and toasted to the Pope. But, sadly, a lot of people who attended had no clue what was going on. College kids who live in a dorm aren’t necessarily aware of current events on a Saturday. I remember a conversation between two drunk girls who were holding on to each other for support: “Wait, didn’t the Pope die today?” “I don’t think so.” “Oh, okay.”

As if things weren’t disrespectful enough, by midnight things got pretty debaucherous. I can’t imagine the Pope would be too keen to see people grinding against each other as Missy Elliott played. The Communion wine was getting chugged. Some people (not me) started hooking up in the makeshift confessionals (okay, maybe me.) Even I had to do some Hail Marys when I spied someone do a line of cocaine to the echoes of the Gregorian chants.

Years later, I still think back and shake my head at the party that turned more tasteless than a Communion wafer. It’s the kind of party you would never get away with if you actually planned for it… so I appreciate the 11th hour Divine Intervention that helped turn our night into a tacky-fest. Y’all can judge us for going forward with the party anyway, but it’s not like we covered up chronic pedophilia, so let’s remember to keep the sinning in perspective, okay?