I changed the "political views" on my Facebook profile since "liberal" didn't accurately reflect my desire to overthrow a system by and for moneyed interests and then Facebook decided to automatically hyperlink my stance to an NBC television show of the same name.

You're part of the problem, Facebook.


My (Earnest) Advice to Friends on How to Watch the New Season of Arrested Development Is the Same Kind of Thing You'd Hear a Youth Minister Tell Preteens about Sex

  • You've been waiting years for this, don't rush it before you're completely ready now. 
  • Hold off until you can share it with someone you love. 
  • This is a gift from God, a privilege not to be taken lightly. 
  • Just because all of your friends did it quickly doesn't mean you have to, too. 
  • You'll never be able to experience the magic of the first time again, so make sure it's special. 
  • If you get drunk and do 15 all in one night, you're going to regret it the next morning.


Live It Up

If eating "lightly sweetened whole grain cereal" is considered living it up, then I am living my best life!

Woo! Have some healthy breakfast with just a touch of sugar! Live it up!

I showed this picture to Melissa and she said, "That's how you know you're almost 30." That really stung. Takes one to know one, Mel!

But it's true. I miss those days of Lucky Charms. Not so much the taste, but the general recklessness of it it all.

I don't know what my life is any more... but I'm pretty convinced that I'm not living it up.


Hi, I'm Calling about Your Boobs

My friend "Tiffany" got a call from "Roger", one of her best friend's father. Since they don't generally have any contact, naturally Tiffany assumed something awful had happened. In a sense, something awful had happened, but it had nothing to do with Roger's daughter.

For context, Tiffany has a history of breast cancer in her family. In fact, her sister was diagnosed at an early age, well before the age of recommended mammogram screenings. As a result, Tiffany's doctor thought it would be a good idea for Tiffany to get screened.

That's where Roger comes in. He works for a health insurance company. Coincidentally, he was assigned to Tiffany's request for a breast cancer screening. And then he called her up! Gee, must be nice to know someone who can approve your procedure and give you some personal service for once!

Except that, actually, Roger was calling Tiffany to tell her that he had denied her claim. After all, his job is to reject paying for most medical care… that's how a health insurance company operates! Normally a customer wouldn't receive a call, but once he recognized her name, Roger wanted to call Tiffany personally to tell her her doctor requested mammogram would not be covered by insurance and that he felt really bad about it.

Aww, poor Roger. It's nice to know he cares. Not enough to, like, ensure Tiffany is healthy, mind you, but there's just enough of a guilty conscious for him to admit he dicked her over. It's not like early detection could save her life or anything! He found some excuse for rejecting the claim and went with it!

For fuck's sake, if you can't even get someone who knows you and your personal history which validates this particular medical exam to cover the costs, how can you expect the health insurance industry to ever take care of you?

Anytime your friend's dad calls you up to discuss your boobs, it's bound to be an awful conversation, but this might be one of the worst cases.


Eurovision 2013 Round-Up

Yesterday's Eurovision Song Contest was pretty bleeping amazing. Tell me this video of Romania's song isn't the most bizarre thing you've seen. Tell me, I dare you! It's been labelled "gay vampire ghost opera dubstep" and I suppose that's as good of a description as there will ever be for something that words cannot accurately describe.

But Romania was hardly the only WTF moment. Finland channeled her inner-bridezilla and ended her song with a lesbian smooch:

Greek men clad in kilts jammed and repeated the lyrics "Alcohol is free!" incessantly. (It's a message we can all get behind, anyway.):

This pretty Ukranian woman got carried onstage by an actual giant, sang about gravity, made weird hand motions to mimic a butterfly, and still ultimately finished in 3rd place:

Moldova screeched while wearing the most multi-functional dress you've ever seen:

And we picked up some "cool" "new" "dance moves" from both Belgium and Belarus.

About ten of us watched the festivities live together yesterday, and while Romania was obviously our collective favorite, our runner-up was the show's actual winner, Denmark:
I was smitten with the song within twenty seconds: a flute, those drums, a hot, purposefully disheveled young lady with perfectly messy hair and bare feet. All right, for me the appeal is admittedly half crush-based, but it's also half really catchy song. I might already own the MP3, even.

The runner-up was an astonishingly handsome man (hey, save some good genes for the rest of us) from Azerbaijan who probably had the best staging of the night. I don't care for the song, but I can't even make fun of it because I was just genuinely impressed with the effects:

I realize I write about Eurovision a lot for an American, but it is too funny/confounding of a ritual to not get excited about. Like, what was with this announcer who snuck in a plug for his new single and then gave control back to the main host who he referred to as "#MILF"? Man, I can't get enough: is it next year yet?

P.S., here are three honorable mentions that for obvious but not justifiable reasons were eliminated in the semi-final rounds:
  • Latvia (It's not an homage to the 80s, Latvia is just decades behind in trends.)
  • Bulgaria (She wails, she drums, she's awesome.)


Oh, Him!

"He has small features and a closed mind." 
- a friend describing someone to me


A Baby Is Born

So that my pregnant friend of mine who I said all the wrong things to met us at that same bar this week. I wasn't expecting to see her because she's literally nine months pregnant. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone expects to see a nine months pregnant woman in a bar.

Weirder still is when she said she was likely to come out again the following week… a day after her due date. That is, she stipulated, if she hadn't given birth yet. "What if you have the baby on the due date, will you still come out the next night?" "No." she said. See, this baby is already cutting into our friendship.

Luie said he'd grab towels "just in case." We tried to get her to agree to name the baby after the bar if her water broke while she was there, but she wouldn't agree.

My favorite moment, however, occurred between a married couple who are new friends of mine. After they were introduced to my pregnant friend and stared at her massive belly, they had a brief exchange: 

Husband: "That looks awful. I don't think I could ever do that to you."
Wife: "That's good, because I don't want you to ever do that to me."

Sounds like we can be friends for a good long while. Three cheers for the non-procreators!

Just 36 hours after that night in a bar, I received a picture message from my friend: it was her fresh-out-of-the-oven baby. Admittedly, it's difficult to reconcile the fact that we were hanging out and then soon after she was pushing a new human being out of her body.

I, again not saying the most appropriate things for the occasion, responded by sending this GIF of an even cuter baby performing CPR. (Seriously, I adore it so much, I watched it loop for fifteen minutes straight.) Accordingly, I asked the new mommy if she had bothered to teach her not-even-one-day-old resuscitation techniques yet.

She gave some lame excuse that the baby having enough difficulty learning to breastfeed, but whatever. This is about potentially saving someone's life! It's never too soon. Frankly, I'm not sure I'm willing to hang out with this baby until I know she could rescue me in the event I stop breathing.


Eurovision Is Here

The Eurovision semifinals start tomorrow, culminating in the finals on Saturday (come over to mi case in the afternoon, amigos!), meaning we are currently entering my favorite week of the year.

The Eurovision video I edited got blocked on YouTube due to a copyright claim. I plead ignorant - I wasn't aware people bothered to copyright songs that awful. But FINE. Two can play this game - I just uploaded it again to DailyMotion instead.

However, YouTube only blocked my vid for the U.S. and a handful of other countries. Europeans (in general the only people who know and care about this music) are still able to watch the video. As a result, I still receive a bunch of pissed off comments from them. How DARE I call their sacred competition "ridiculous". Here are my 10 favorite angry YouTube comments that show how seriously they take it:

Like, they WATCHED that same compilation and think I'm the one with no taste? Bless their hearts, for they are part of what makes this experience so comical.


Happy Mothers' Day, especially to UR MOM!

I couldn't resist purchasing this airbrushed hat for today's holiday. It just seems like a nice gesture to indicate that I not only appreciate my own mother, but ur mom, as well.

It was a great thrift store find. As was this t-shirt.

Weird kid, but I didn't buy it.

My mother will be pleased to learn that I decided against buying a shirt featuring an elephant's butt, too. I think it's a sign of maturity that I realize not every article of clothing can't be a joke?

But if the UR MOM hat wasn't enough of an indication, I'm still not that mature. For example, I couldn't resist buying this bejeweled BINGO WINNER shirt. Not sure when I'd ever wear it, but perhaps I can coax one of my friends into it.

In the parking lot, a homeless guy (not the one who peed in my car) asked if he could wash my headlights for a small donation. I gave him a few bucks and he told me that my "mama must have raised me right." There, Mom, you have something to be proud of… other than that fashion sense that clearly never developed.

Oh, and I also found this shirt: 

On the one hand, it's pretty stupid to put a greeting card message on a t-shirt, because on what occasion could a dad actually wear this? On the other hand, AT LEAST MY FATHERS' DAY SHOPPING IS ALREADY DONE. Plus, it was cheap and easy. Almost as cheap and easy as UR MOM.


The Millennial Problem

Ugh, fuck this millennial-hating and the Time Magazine article it rode in on. It’s a smear campaign to preemptively convince people that the problems people under 30 face are their own doing rather than inherited. What.Ever.

Lazy because they don’t have jobs… when jobs don’t exist. Never mind that those who do have jobs are probably working harder because they’re now expected to do the job that two people did not too long ago.

Yeah, fuck those young people who want “health care” and a “living wage” and “unpolluted air.”

A legitimate tendency, but also a learned behavior. What does our greedy, capitalist society teach us but to look out for #1 and hoard as much as you can for yourself. The 1% WANTS you to be narcissistic. If more people took the time to see outside of their own worldview, they wouldn’t stand up for the bullshit.

“Living with Their Parents”?
Want a job? Better go to college. Want to go to college? Take out $100,000+ in student loans. Want to move out? Nah, you now have to live with your parents because you are already super in the red and have a non-salaried job (if that). Good luck finding your way out of this system of debt slavery that we tricked you into.

Look, millennials have a lot of shit to work out, but let’s not pretend it has ever been a fair fight. If we’re ignorant, it’s primarily because we were raised in an underfunded, failing school system, a deliberate attempt to prevent an enlightened population from challenging the status quo. If we’re mindless consumers, it is because our supposed superiors have bred us to be just that, to find fulfillment in spending money and owning crap.

I’m mostly cynical, but as I wrote about recently, I have a shred of hope knowing that young Americans are more distrustful of American institutions than ever. Knowing the system is broken is the first step toward overthrowing it. Unfortunately, the enemy is mighty.

First they strip us of our money, homes, jobs, education, power, and autonomy. Then they have the nerve to scapegoat us for it, too? Fuck that noise.


A Homeless Man Peed in My Car Last Night

As I exited a bar in Pasadena, a handicapped homeless man approached me for help. He said he was sick and needed money for a place to stay the night. He sure picked the right mark because not only has my white guilt been working in overdrive lately, I made a promise to myself to start seeing homeless people as people recently and hadn't had a chance to put that into practice yet.

You can do only so much research about the criminalization of the homeless before you try to adjust your attitude. We're trained to look at society's least fortunate citizens as "lesser." I can't remember the last time I went to a comedy show where a homeless man wasn't the butt of someone's joke. (Heck, I keep contemplating leaving out the word "homeless" of this post's title, but I also know it'll be pivotal in convincing people to read… a homeless man was IN your car?) We purposely try not to see the humanity in homeless people because it is too awful to see a human suffering in that manner.

While I don't have the resources to help all of them, I do have the compassion to assist more such people in need rather than my using my standby inclination of avoiding eye contact and saying sorry to all of them. I knew I had exactly three dollars in my wallet, so I opened it and gave it all to him. He saw that I literally emptied my wallet and still asked for more. "There's an ATM over there," he told me. "I need $20 to stay overnight at the Y." My rent comes to just under $20 a day, so that seemed a little steep, and I informed him I would not be giving him any more money.

"Don't be scared of me, I need help," he begged. He then asked me if I could drop him off at a shelter a few blocks down the road. It seemed walkable, but admittedly not for a man who was hobbling slowly on a cane. I was conflicted as to whether I should let a stranger into my car, but I agreed. As we very slowly hobbled toward my parked car, he told me that he was dying from prostate cancer. That, until recently, he had been in jail for twelve years and didn't want to be released because at least they took care of him. Sadly, a desire/need to stay in prison for free health care/food/lodging is not uncommon and such a despicable commentary about our country. He was having trouble moving and I had parked far away, so I finally offered to come back for him. He didn't believe I would actually come back for him, so I looked him in the eye and shook his hand promising to give him the ride.

I shook his hand not only to reassure him, but to reassure myself. I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider getting in my car and driving away. That would be the easier thing to do. That would be the safer thing to do. But what I saw in this man was someone who needed someone to acknowledge and help him, so I came back for him. I can't promise if he were a younger, able-bodied man that I would have done the same. Knowing he didn't have the strength to physically overpower me certainly made it easier to let him in my car.

As we rode, he kept repeating that he wasn't going to rob me. I wasn't that concerned about that previously because he already knew I didn't have any more money, but the fact that he was bringing it up made me worry. Like, stop trying to make me nervous, dude. "If I thought you were going to rob me, I wouldn't let you in my car," I told him. He started talking about how the world is scared of black people. And now gay people, too! "Yeah, society's pretty fucked up," I told him matter-of-factly. He liked that.

Although we weren't in the car more than a few minutes, he managed to urinate himself during the short trip. He started crying out of embarrassment, explaining he couldn't control it because of the cancer. I started tear up, too, but I didn't let him see that. We soon arrived, and as he struggled out of my car, he thanked me. "I know you were scared, I know you ain't never had a negro in your car before, but you're a good person." None of those three statements were entirely true, but I wished him well.

Driving off is when my tears really kicked in. I wasn't crying because he peed his pants in my car or because no good deed goes unpunished. I cried because of LIFE, man. The world and reality became were far too intense, and I felt overwhelmed and confused. I left a dying, destitute man no better than I found him... I just moved him a mile closer to temporarily relief.

I know that a lot of my friends and family are going to say I never should have put myself in that situation. I don't know that I did the right thing, but I'm tired of doing nothing.



In elementary school, I thought I had an amazing rapport with one of my best friend's mom, mainly because she winked at me all the time. Pretty much anytime we exchanged words she'd give me a wink. It made me feel special because not only did she really seem to like me, but it was like we shared some kind of secret. Occasionally, I would wink back, but mostly I just smiled at her since it seemed a little excessive to wink after each sentence, even though I appreciated her commitment to the gesture.

By the time I reached junior high, I was a little wiser and more critical. I started picking up on the fact that she was not just winking at me, but everyone. It made me a little jealous that I might not be her favorite son's friend after all. I also found myself questioning the timing of the winking. Was me telling her what I was learning in English class really wink-worthy?

Then, while she sat at the kitchen table reading the newspaper, I spied on her from the next room. She was just sitting there winking at nothing. It was then - and sadly only then - that it finally dawned on me that she wasn't winking… she was twitching. And while it's not to say that she's not friendly, it was humbling to realize that I had invented a special bond between the two of us based on a chronic facial tic.

It may be for the best since since our bond was never meant to last. This same mom got herself into soap opera-like drama a few years later. That's not a story I'm willing to blog about publicly, but that doesn't mean you couldn't ask me for that gossip in person. WINK! ; )


Big Brother Canada's Big Oops

After watching reality television for well over a decade, I thought I had seen it all, but tonight's finale of the inaugural season of Big Brother Canada is easily and instantly one of the most memorable moments of all time. In a true clusterfuck, someone literally won the game by accident.

Let's backtrack. The season (which has been viewable legally via YouTube) has been controversial throughout. Production incorporated a bunch of "twists" at random points that would knock out good competitors due to no fault of their own. If you can say that reality game shows have integrity to begin with, Big Brother Canada's integrity was seriously compromised by changing its own rules repeatedly.

With just two weeks left, the show had a vote to bring back a previously eliminated contestant. Gary, a gay black male, won that vote. It's kind of impressive that the viewers rallied behind a man who would normally not be accepted by society. If I'm being honest, he was all sorts of annoying at first. He seemed a total caricature by hitting unprecedented levels of flamboyance and throwing glitter all over the house. But over time, he endeared himself to me, and the public clearly, by being unapologetically himself.

That doesn't change the fact that Gary's re-entry into the very end of the game was all sorts of unfair because not only was he already voted out, but he got to first learn crucial information from the jury members while befriending them. The show essentially rigged it for him to make (and win) the finals.

Topaz was Gary's best friend in the house. Nearly all of her screen time was devoted to her raving about how much she loved Gary and wanted him to win. Her vote for Gary was a given… so much so that she thrice said as she voted, "My vote is 150% secure" - a reference to a broken promise that chronic liar Jillian, the other finalist, made to her.

But her vote WASN'T secure: she absentmindedly voted for Jillian to win. What should have been a 4-3 vote for Gary to win instead went 4-3 in Jillian's favor. She accidentally gave her advisory $100,000 instead of her best friend. I mean, everybody makes mistakes, but to have a months-long show culminate in an erroneous winner makes the whole trivial journey seem especially trivial. There would have been an asterisk next to Gary's name if he won, and now there's one next to Jillian's instead, which is pretty lose-lose for the show.

Watching Topaz realize her error on live TV, only to interrupt the broadcast to try to switch the results had me cringing and laughing simultaneously. So did Jillian's victory speech, which is generally a moment of celebration for these types of shows: rather than being excited, she was confused and apologetic.

Anyway, way to go, Canada. This is why you're usually regulated to watching American reality shows secondhand.