2014-12-31

My 50 Favorite Songs of 2014

Hey, it's a tradition, even if my blog has stopped being one!

Each song links to a YouTube video.
Or you can can check out the Spotify playlist (which is missing seven of the songs, thanks a lot, Taylor Swift!)
Or you can download all 50 songs here.



50. Octahate – Ryn Weaver
Ryn’s got a quirky voice, and this track showcases her range. The song starts of sort of slow, but by the time the song hits that powerful, thumping chorus, you won’t want it to stop.

49. Turn Down for What – DJ Snake & Lil’ Jon
Even if the song sucked, the video would have made it a classic. We’ll be enjoying this one at parties for years to come.

48. On the Rocks – The Rural Alberta Advantage 
If you were to stereotype this band by its name alone, you’d probably assume it’s a Canadian indie folkish rock band, but actually… no just kidding, they’re exactly what you initially thought. And good, too!

47. Sirens – Cher Lloyd
I wasn’t immediately sure I liked this song by the Brit songstress, but it’s haunting enough to keep creeping back into my consciousness.

46. Young Hearts – Strange Talk 
Bring on the synthesizers! This Australian band keeps it light and playful.

45. Rude – MAGIC!
I have a love/hate relationship with this popular song. It’s incredibly dumb, but I can’t help but laugh each time I hear the singer whine, “Why you gotta be so rude?” in the reggae-esque chorus. I wouldn’t want this loser to marry my daughter either.

44. Give Me Back My Hometown – Eric Church 
Let me be upfront to my “anything but country” friends – this is the first of three country songs on the list, and the only one with mainstream success. Don’t write it off too quickly!

43. Empty Gold – Halsey 
There’s a slight Ke$ha vibe here in the chorus, which I hesitate to point out since that might scare you away, but hear it out first. Halsey’s website’s bio says, simply, “I am Halsey. I will never be anything but honest. I write songs about sex and being sad.” “Empty Gold” fits into the latter category.

42. Paper Crown – Alec Benjamin
Benjamin was signed after generating a buzz on YouTube and you’ll hear why. Ballads are often pretty, yet rarely this catchy.

41. Rather Be - Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne 
Mainstream radio got it right with this infectious pop tune. Don't mind me, I'm just dancing.

40. My Silver Lining – First Aid Kit
Folksy female harmonies that’ll send a shiver down your back. That’s a good sensation, I reckon - no need for an actual first aid kit.

39. Sticky Situation - Baylor Wilson
Wilson was the young bratty girl on Survivor this past season, and apparently her aspirations to become famous extend past reality television and into country music as well. I listened to this song first as a joke, and a joke it is - she pretty much kills the "sticky situation" metaphor by listing a bunch of sticky things like stepping in gum, melted Dairy Queen, and a movie theater floor. It's as catchy as it is cringy though, and I'd be a liar if I didn't admit this song is always, well, stuck in my head.

38. Stoner – Young Thug
You don’t have to toke to enjoy this song by the Atlanta rapper. The pleasant beat makes it a good choice for dancing to drunk as well!

37. Mess Is Mine – Vance Joy
I gave you the scoop on “Riptide” in last year’s list, and it turns out his 2014 album is all good quality. If you like his vibe, you’ll similarly dig “Mess Is Mine.”

36. Heavy Crown - Y.O.U
Normally laying down so many musical components into one song is a recipe for disaster, but Y dot O dot U finds a way to turn this busyness into an enjoyable song.

35. Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Swift poking fun at herself really suits her. I was a little “Huh?” at this song at first, but I get the appeal now. I still swear she’s singing “Starbucks lovers,” though.

34. Lonely Neighbor – Oh Honey
If you can’t take another cute twee duet in your life, I won’t blame you. Still, this one is too adorable for me to deny. They make the cut!

33. I'm Not the Only One - Sam Smith
"Stay with Me" may have been his breakout hit (can I brag that I had Smith on my list back in 2012?) but I'm more partial to his more recent single, which uses his signature voice to do something less expected than a straightforward ballad.

32. Cigarette Song – Raury
Whoa, how is a high school student this talented? His song “God’s Whisper” got the most attention this year, but I’m even more drawn to the killer songwriting of this track.

31. First – Cold War Kids
This song is all about sequence. First you listen to this song, then you like this song. Nothing too complicated.

30. Gunshot – Lykke Li
Li’s consistently good – this is my favorite track off her commendable album I Never Learn.

29. Options – Brika
Keep your eye on Brika – she’s liable to break it big soon. I love how she lilts her way through this minimalistic song.

28. Ghosts - Made in Heights
Are we sure this isn't Janet Jackson? The vocalist is an aural deadringer. In lieu of new material from the actual Ms. Nasty, I'll certainly take it, though!

27. Chandelier - Sia
I've put Sia on this list three times in past years, including all the way back in 2008 - it's the rest of the world that's been late to the party. It's understandable why "Chandelier" finally made her a chart-topper in her own right - it's the perfect showcase for her extreme vocal gymnastics.

26. Budapest - George Ezra
What sets "Budapest" apart from every other dude-with-guitar song? The kinda-falsetto "oooohs" he sprinkles throughout the song, that's what.

25. Step – Vampire Weekend
I can never decide whether I like Vampire Weekend’s energetic songs or their slowed down interludes better; the good news is I don’t have to. “Step” is a lullaby for the thinking man.

24. Cleopatra - Weezer
I'm not arguing that Weezer is still in its prime, but if "Cleopatra" had been included on one its beloved mid-90s albums, today, you'd love selecting it on a jukebox with your friends and scream-singing "You can't control me no more Cle-o-patch-a-ra…"

23. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers
Bleachers is an appropriate name for this band since it sounds like a pop-ified song that could get played at a sports arena to pump the crowd up. You'll be shouting the chorus by the end even if you don't want to. Who's up for the wave?

22. Ain’t It Fun – Paramore
You’ll agree with her that “it’s fun” for the first half of the song, and by the time she kicks in with not “crying to your mama”

21. Dream and an MPC – Golden Coast
For those suffering Foster the People withdrawals (yeah they put out an album this year, but was meh,) here’s Golden Coast. This song is high energy and fun – just don’t ask me what an MPC is – should I know what an MPC is?

20. Not Alone - Aram Mp3
Representing Armenia, Aram put together my favorite (earnest) Eurovision entry this year. The crescendo from soft ballad to intense dubstep makes the most of its three minute time limit.

19. Jealous - Chromeo
The kings of cheesy dance tracks have done it again. It's cool because it's so uncool, if that makes sense. Oh whatever, just enjoy it for what it is.

18. Wasted Love - Matt McAndrew
The Voice's Fall 2014 runner-up wasn't my favorite or anything (that distinction goes to Luke or Troy), yet when they provided him with an original song to perform in the finale, I was instantly impressed. Shooting to #1 on the iTunes charts just a few hours after being released - and even becoming a Top 20 Billboard song based on the strength of these sales - it's clear I wasn't the only one drawn to the songwriting here.

17. XO - Beyonce
Beyonce's late 2013 surprise album remained a force this year. Though I don't generally count myself a member of the Beygency "XO" is too enchanting to ignore.

16. No One Needs to Know - Haerts
If this song is trying to feel like a throwback from an 80s girl band, it's hitting all the right notes. Between the whispering and almost comical spoken word interlude, you just want to pinch this song’s cheek and tell it how adorable it is.

15. All This Could Be Yours – Cold War Kids
And it can so easily be yours, too, once you listen to this grandiose tune by this decade-old Long Beach band.

14. i - Kendrick Lamar
Lamar's one of hip hop's most sought-after artists to collaborate with currently, but he proves he doesn't need to accompany anyone to make a great record with this song all about himself. It's a musical self-esteem boost - a little self-affirmation is hardly a bad thing.

13. Face the Fire - Michelle Chamuel
Chamuel is an under-appreciated electronica singer, and "Face the Fire" is probably her best non-cover song single. It's fun and full of energy.Who can resist that "Whoa-ah-oh, whoa-ah-oh" chant? 

12. Argentina (Parts I, II, III) - Tokyo Police Club
It's basically three songs in one, but I don't consider it cheating since the band released it as a single unit. The progression tells a story that'll put a smile on your face - just remember to "smile with all your teeth at once." It's well worth the long ride.

11. Two Weeks - FKA twigs
There's a reason every music blog loves this song - it's fucking great. Don't let her gentle, breathy voice fool you - the lyrics are raunchy. Even tuning the lyrics out, though, you can feel the song's slow, deliberate sexual energy.

10. Simplethings - Miguel
True to its name, Miguel takes a stripped down approach to this song, written for the Girls soundtrack. (Pretend I didn't say that last part if it helps.) It's that beautiful simplicity that resonates to create an unforgettable tune.

9. Beggin for Thread - BANKS
I've been excited to share this song by the up-and-coming L.A. indie artist with y'all for a while, and shortly before typing up this list, I heard this song on KROQ. Sounds like the secret's out, and rightfully so. The song boasts in the bridge "My tracks are better" and she's right - her whole album is worth a listen/purchase.

8. Alexandra - Hamilton Leithauser
Warning: this song leads to excessive stomping, thigh slapping, and head bobbing. The former lead singer of The Walkmen is clearly having a good time with this tune. If the subject of this song is half as fun as the song itself, I'd love to meet her.

7. Turtles All the Way Down - Sturgill Simpson
This IS your grandaddy's country. You don't have to normally be a fan of the genre to appreciate its classic qualities and Simpson’s amazing voice. I’ll have whatever drugs he’s having - and he lists a few!

6. Colorful Kids - Ha Ha Tonka
Okay, so technically this song came out on a 2013 album, but you got to give an indie band an opportunity to tour to get the word out on a song as great as this one. Easily one of my favorite choruses I've heard in a long time.

5. Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
No use in hating, we all love this song. I've polled even friends who don't like pop music, and it's (near) unanimous that this is a fun, smart song. Considering I've previously liked literally only one Swift song throughout her whole career, I'm excited about this new, pop-heavy direction.

4. Ellie - Eastside
I can't tell you much about who created this mash-up/cover of Ed Sheeran's "Don't" and Chris Brown's "Loyal," but I'm nevertheless all about it. "Consider it a feminist response to some of the misogyny in mainstream music. Before this cover, I felt guilty wanting to sing along with the phenomenal hook "These hoes ain't loyal" and now that it's disassociated from Chris Brown, I can do it relatively guilt-free.

3. Don't Tell 'Em - Jeremih & YG
Okay, Jeremih drew my attention by borrowing from "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (someone should have thought of that sooner) and then he made a fan out of me with that scatty "Don't Tell 'Em" chorus. I couldn't begin to count how many times I drunkenly sang this song to passersby in Las Vegas a couple of months ago.

2. Sexotheque - La Roux
The band that made one of my previous favorites "Bulletproof" has recaptured that magic with this breezy dance song - it's understated yet amazing. The perfect soundtrack to a casual dance party. Let's not pretend you won't get a kick out of singing about a "sexotheque" either.

1. Seasons - Future Islands
It's not often that my favorite song also tops most music critics’ lists (my tastes are so Pitchfork!) This one took me a couple of listens, but thanks to its deceptively dance-y qualities, I bounced around my room to this on repeat. Plus, it leaves you emotionally confused in the best way possible – how did they turn a woeful reflection on expired love into something so triumphant?

2014-08-17

Los Angeles in 2 Parts

I made a mini-love letter to the people of Los Angeles in the form of a 30 second video.



First is a clip of today’s police brutality march where 1,000+ of us shut down some streets of downtown LA. It was partially in solidarity with events in Ferguson, but mainly in memory of the multiple unarmed men of color the police have killed in our own city in the past couple of weeks. It’s ridiculous that this is so common of an occurrence. Apparently, someone else got shot by LAPD during our protest mere blocks away.

Shortly after, a few minute walk away, I came upon a three-block long oval of elderly Japanese women performing a choreographed dance routine to Pharrell’s “Happy.” It was cute and kind of a culture shock after shouting at the LAPD… yet also, in a weird way, kind of fitting.

We got a lot of work to do, Los Angeles; keep being awesome in the meantime.

2014-08-05

The Money Machine

All my life, I've dreamed of being in a money wind machine (do they have a proper name?). I'm not particularly greedy, but I've just always known in my heart I'd be exceptionally good at grabbing dollars as they blow around me in an enclosed booth.

Walking down an LA street last month, an opportunity presented itself to make my dream come true. Granted, it was a T Mobile promotional booth and not a real money machine, but sometimes you have to modify your expectations to make dreams a reality.

Sometimes, however, dreams are just that… it turns out, I'm rubbish at this game. My friends just stood outside the booth, laughing and mocking my pitiful effort to grab fake crumpled up money as it whirled around me.


In my defense, T Mobile implemented a whole lot of unnecessary rules that killed any kind of reasonable strategy to do well:

  • I could only grab the money that blew above my waist (most of it remained toward the floor.)
  • I could not bend my knees or reach down.
  • I could not push money against the wall to collect it easier, or touch the wall at all for that matter.
  • I could not stuff money in my shirt or anywhere else on my person.
  • The only money that would count is what was in my hands.


That's not how they do it on TV! I filled all I could fit in my hands pretty quickly and then I was kind of stuck… I had plenty of time left but only so many crumpled papers can fit between your fingers. Considering these were just T Mobile bucks and not real dollars, you'd think they'd just let me have at it. Part of me wanted to ask them, "Look, I'm not actually going to try to cash in the bucks for a T Mobile accessory ASTERISK YOU MUST ENROLL IN A NEW T MOBILE CELLULAR PLAN TO QUALIFY, which is a pretty big caveat if you ask me, so can you just let me play like real people do since I'm just using this as practice in case I ever make it on a gameshow?"

Oh well. Let me bend my knees and shove money down my shirt though, and I'm going to take you for thousands of dollars. Mark my words!

2014-07-30

Sharknado Tweets



To all of the people tweeting about Sharknado 2 tonight, never forget that Cory Monteith’s “thoughts” about the original Sharknado were the last things he ever tweeted. You wouldn’t want that to be your internet legacy.

2014-07-13

Happy 10th Birthday, Jadakiss's "Why"



Jadakiss's sorta hit song "Why" turns 10 today. In celebration, a full decade later, I think I'm finally ready to take on the wholly unnecessary task of answering over 50 of Jada's disjointed rhetorical questions. 

Yo, why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets?
Viagra.
Why is the industry designed to keep the artist in debt?
Capitalism's a sham, man.
And why them dudes ain't riding if they part of your set?
No loyalty.
And why they never get it popping but they party to death?
People enjoy revelry. 
Yeah and why they gonna give you life for a murder?
It's a punishment meant to discourage people from committing this crime.
Turn around only give you eight months for a burner?
It seems fair to have a much lighter punishment for possessing an illegal gun, then say, using that gun to kill someone.
Why they selling niggas CDs for under a dime?
Yo, I just saw Paula Cole's album in the discount bin, too; the discount bin is color blind.
And if it's all love, daddy, why you come with your 9?
Hey, Jada, you're the one who's talking about lowering the punishment for murder, maybe that's why your friend wants a little protection around you.
Why my niggas ain't get that cake?
If they tell the waitress it's their birthday, they'll probably bring a slice.
Why is a brother up north better than Jordan that ain't get that break?
The Toronto Rappers are trying as hard as they can!
Why you don't stack instead of trying to be fly?
Consumerism encourages people to spend money on stupid crap rather than save it.
Why is ratting at an all time high?
One man's tattletale is another man's whistleblower.
Why are you even alive?
I'm definitely not prepared to answer such an open-ended existential question.
Why they kill 2pac and Chris?
Since their murderers were never apprehended, it's hard to speak to their motivations.
Why at the bar you ain't take straight shots instead of poppin' Cris?
There was a champagne happy hour special.
Why them bullets have to hit that door?
That was the direction they were aimed in.
Why did Kobe have to hit that raw?
Raping someone with a condom might have left less evidence, but that's hardly the real problem with someone who, you know, raped someone.
Why'd he kiss that whore?
Uh, I'm not going to cosign calling an alleged rape victim a "whore."
Why?
Because it's misogynistic and terrible.

Why do niggas push pounds and powder?
Why did Bush knock down the towers?
We've got a Truther in the house!
Why you around them cowards?
They're my friends.
Why Aaliyah have to take that flight?
She couldn't just live in the Bahamas indefinitely.
Why my nigga D ain't pull out his Ferrari?
The gas mileage is pretty shitty.
Why he take that bike?
Cycling is a healthy activity.
Why they gotta open your package and read your mail?
It's fun to be nosy.
Why they stop letting niggas get degrees in jail?
I agree, inmates should have access to an education.
Why you gotta do 85% of your time?
Better than 100%, I suppose.
And why do niggas lie in 85% of they rhymes?
It's only like 50% of their rhymes… oh I see what you did there, Jada.
Why a nigga always want what he can't have?
The grass is always greener on the other side.
Why I can't come through in the pecan Jag?
I approve of this ride.
Why did crack have to hit so hard?
That sounds like good crack to me.
Even though it's almost over, why niggas can't get no jobs?
Bigoted corporate America is less likely to hire African American candidates.
Why they come up with the witness protection?
To protect people who testify against dangerous criminals.
Why they let the Terminator win the election?
For whatever reason, over 50% of Californian voters selected Arnold to be their governor.
Why I sell in the stores what you could sell in the streets?
Perhaps your album isn't selling because your music isn't as good as you believe.
Why I say the hottest shit but we sellin' the least?
Again, Jada may be overestimating the quality of his tunes.

Why Halle have to let a white man pop her to get an Oscar?
Her roles in Bulworth and The Flintstones just weren't award worthy.
Why did Denzel have to be crooked before he took it?
He actually won his first Oscar for portraying an upstanding Civil War soldier.
Why they didn't make the CL6 with a clutch?
This is a very specific complaint. Since you're a celebrity, maybe they'll custom make one for you.
And if you don't smoke why the hell are you reaching for my dutch?
Someone is trying to mooch that weed.
Why rap?
It's your calling, Jada.
Why be on the curb with a "Why lie? I need a beer" sign?
If you're poor and looking for a buzz, it's worth a shot.
Why all the young niggas is dying?
Cholera is making an unfortunate comeback in parts of Africa.
Why they ain't give us a cure for AIDS?
Scientific research takes time.
Why my diesel have fiends in the spot on the floor for days?
This drug reference is over my head.
Why you screaming like it's a slug?
Slugs are gross and sort of scary.
Why my buzz in LA ain't like it is in New York?
Having grown up in NYC, Jada's core fan base is his hometown.
Why they forcing you to be hard?
Peer pressure.
Why ain't you a thug by choice?
It's okay to not want to be a thug.
Why the whole world love my voice?
This seems like a bit of a stretch for a mediocre rapper.
And you know they made them new twenties? 'Cause I got all the old ones, that's why.
Well, he finally answered one of his own questions, but it's suspicious how he claims his album isn't selling well and the record label doesn't pay him properly, but he basically has all of America's old money stockpiled.

2014-07-02

My Neighbor Caught Me Messing Around with Her Dog's Poop

My house shares a yard with a couple of other units, and one of these neighbors recently got a new puppy. I think when she got the puppy she thought mainly of the cuteness and less about the responsibility because things haven't been going so well on that front. The dog is left in the yard barking and whining for hours at a time, and while I'm not wild about that, I'm even less in love with the shit all over the yard. Dogs poop, so I don't object to that, but I don't like that our shared yard is now a literal minefield of crap. Like, clean it up every so often!

I meant to address this issue with my neighbor like an adult, but before I got around to that, I had a friend over one day and she shouted, "WHY IS THERE DOG SHIT ALL OVER YOUR YARD?" Right after, I realized that the neighbor was standing at the adjacent and open window and must have heard the comment. That's not how I wanted her to hear that message, but I wasn't upset that it happened because at least she'd take the hint.

Except that the "hint" was ignored. A month worth's of poop amassed in the yard including several piles right outside my own front door. I decided my best course of action was just to just wait for the landlady to show up on the first of the month to pick up rent because she'd definitely say something about the mess.

On the 30th, however, my neighbor went around and picked up the poop. That meant she knew she was about to get and trouble, yet waited until the last moment to get rid of the problem. Of course, she didn't bother with the poop around my door, which would not be visible to my landlady.

So I devised a plan: I would move some of the remaining poop closer to the front so that the landlady would see it. It's silly, it's gross, and it's passive aggressive, but I genuinely thought it was a good plan.

I waited until 1:30 am so that I could do it secretly. With a couple of napkins, I scooped up dried out poop using both hands and made my way to the front yard. It was only as I was in the process of relocating the poop in a new spot on the ground that I realized that my neighbor was sitting silently in the dark on the porch. Panicked, I picked the poop back up and shoved it in my pocket and ran back into my house as my neighbor watched.

I can't be sure of what she saw or more importantly what she thinks she saw, but since the motion sensor light next to me had turned on, I have to assume she did see me doing something with her's dog poop. In retrospect, I should have put it in the trashcan rather than my pockets as if to indicate, "See, I have to pick up your dog's poop!" but I was caught off guard.

I don't even know whether it'd be better if my neighbors thought I was being conniving by recreating the poop mess or that I'm plain crazy and randomly playing with dog poop super late at night. Either way, I'm super embarrassed and feel like an idiot for not realizing this "good plan" was bound to backfire on me.

2014-06-25

Transcribing Porn

My friend recently got hired for a new job off of Craigslist… she's transcribing porn. Gay male porn, it was later revealed. Evidently, hearing impaired homosexuals are actually interested in the two minutes of exposition before the main action.

I was once hired for a media transcription job, but quit after one day. The rate of pay did not make it worthwhile since I had to rewind it too often in order to catch every single word. It was too slow of a process. Plus, I didn't get to watch porn.

Don't take that to be perverted - transcribing porn is, as my friend herself has acknowledged, fairly easy. There's not a lot of dialogue, so it's not strenuous work and not the kind of thing you have to replay too often to catch the words. She doesn't have to type out the grunts and moans, either, which seems like a bonus. But exclamations like "oh yeah" and "fuck me" - that needs to be transcribed. Something tells me that she'll find herself increasingly attracted to the strong, silent types within a few weeks.

My favorite part of her job is the ethical dilemma she's already encountered. Some of the videos have clearly been dubbed with additional audio that doesn't match up with the particular scenes. She described one occasion where you could hear an actor enthusiastically shout some words that he couldn't have possibly said given what his mouth was doing at the time. She wasn't sure whether she should caption it to accurately reflect the audio, or to leave it out to better reflect reality.

"How do you know it wasn't the other guy that said it?" I asked. "Let's just say that his mouth was otherwise occupied, too!"

Right. Well, that is quite a tough call, then. But that's why they pay her the moderately big bucks, I guess!

2014-06-21

All Licked Out


Still laughing at this typo that appeared on my Facebook feed last weekend.

2014-06-19

Redskins


The best part about the Redskins losing their trademark is not that they are forced to change their name (because they're not), but that now we can ALL use the name Redskins without infringing on the trademark.

Since it's indisputably the best name around, smart sports teams better jump on this while it's hot. The Denver Redskins. The Cincinnati Redskins. The New England Redskins. There should just be an entire league of Redskins teams! Plus, once every team is doing it, no one can whine that it's "offensive."

I'm going to open up a cupcake business and name it Redskins Cupcakes just because I can.

2014-06-18

Where Have I Been?

Ohmguh, where have I been?

Not blogging. Well, not blogging here anyway.

I just needed a break. I didn't even realize I needed a break until I was in the middle of taking said break. It felt good to check out for a prolonged period of time.

If I'm being honest, since hitting my 30s last year, blogging has become less appealing. I'm less inclined to overshare or just share details of my life in general. I wouldn't necessarily call it maturity (sorry, parents), just age.

Writing for a living doesn't help matters, either. I have other outlets for expressing myself that get way more of an audience (and, more importantly, get me paid). In between doing my jobs, I rarely feel like writing more, even "for fun."

That said, I'm not ready to pull the plug on this blog. I doubt it will ever return to the heydays when I'd post every single day, but I've got still got some Babbling left in me.

But real content will have to start again tomorrow. Somehow I got talked into seeing a Tom Cruise movie...

2014-05-06

Happy

I helped my mom download her first song ever the other week. She wanted to listen to "Happy" by Pharrell (well, she actually thought his name was "Feral" like a wild cat, but that's cute so she gets a pass) on her iPad. Who can blame her? The song is infectious. So infectious that my parents couldn't help but dance - which was also cute - each time it played. (It played a lot because when you only have one song on your iTunes, there's nothing else to shuffle to.)

My mom also played the song for my cousins, who weren't familiar with it. I understand that they're country music fans, but it floors me that they weren't familiar with a song that ubiquitous.

One of these cousins is a professional masseuse, and I bought my mom a session with her as a gift. As they discussed the particulars, my mom wanted to know if she should bring her own music. My cousin said that she had music prepared, but that she could accommodate my mom's request if she had one.

There was one song my mom wanted to hear: "Happy," obviously. Thinking the song too upbeat for a relaxing atmosphere, my cousin suggested that she play the song before the massage started instead. "Or after," she offered. "I could definitely play the song after."

It's pathetic that I couldn't stop myself from ruining a nice moment with an inappropriate comment, but I had to ask: "You're going to give my mom a 'Happy' ending?!" My cousin did not appreciate the implication.

2014-05-01

The Camel



This is my cousin’s rendition of a camel.

You’re probably envisioning a young kid, but no, he’s of drinking age (though we sadly can’t blame booze for this monstrosity) and obviously not an artist.

We were playing a sort of Pictionary-esque game, and he genuinely didn’t seem to notice how phallic his “camel” was when he sketched it quickly. He handed the picture to his sister to guess what it was and she abruptly tried to quit the game. ”You’re gross! This is obscene! I’m not playing this game anymore!”

The rest of us - unable to see the picture - were confused. What in the hell could be so disturbing that she’s threatening to quit?

She ultimately guessed watering can. I guess that’s one way to try to make it family-friendly again.

2014-04-21

Dick Is A Dick

Surprise: Dick is still a dick.

I didn't include this anecdote in that article 'cause I have to pretend to be at least somewhat professional, but I was on a hike a few years ago when Lexi got a Google Alert on her cell phone that she misinterpreted.

"Guys, I think Dick Cheney is dead!" she said. I swear, you've never seen four grown adults so enthusiastic about someone dying in your life. The bad news came only after we learned that, no, Dick Cheney was not in fact dead. I don't know that I've ever felt more disappointed in my life than when I found out this man was still alive to spread evil around the world.


2014-04-16

Paper Mashie

So my friend teaches at a charter school. She's certified to teach Science, but because of the way the school is structured, she winds up teaching some English, too. The district eventually learned that kids were receiving instruction from a non-certified English teacher, so they arranged for an "English specialist" to show up part-time at the school to supplement lessons. Though my friend studied English in college and has been teaching reading and writing for years now, she understands the law that forced the change; it just kind of sucks because the money to pay the supplemental instructor must be taken from the charter school's already limited budget.

Here's the kicker, though: the English specialist the district has provided is only questionably literate herself. Here is the honest-to-gosh assignment she gave to my friend's students to do in conjunction with the Holocaust memoir Night:



What kind of English teacher doesn't use punctuation? What kind of English teacher doesn't write out the word "you"? What kind of English teacher uses the wrong type of "there" incorrectly twice in one sentence?

As much as I am laughing at things like "arty project", "paper mashie", and her botched cut and paste job that repeats part of the assignment a second time, this is actually tragic. In what world is my friend not qualified to teach English while this woman (who has had her job for over 15 years, mind you) is considered a "specialist"? I like her claim that she will take "of" [sic] points for spelling and grammar errors, as if she has any idea what those are.

Granted, when I was a high school English teacher, the essay I assigned in conjunction with the book Night resulted in at least one epically awful student paper. That's still not a good excuse for someone brought in specifically to teach writing to arbitrarily assign an art project rather than an essay. The public education system is fucked. It is so so so so fucked.

2014-04-13

Ridiculous Songs from Eurovision 2014



There's just ONE MONTH until Eurovision 2014 and I'm stoked. Per tradition at this blog, I've compiled my favorite ridiculous entries that will compete this year. They're total WTF videos, but who said awesome and awful were mutually exclusive?

Some additional commentary:
15. Sir-Shakes-A-Lot sure whistles better than he sings.
14. Poor man's Bruno Mars is "all about party time."
13. This is this woman's third consecutive attempt (San Marino's small, y'all) at Eurovision, and thus far she hasn't made it past the semifinals. I doubt that spoken word and nipples are going to be enough to do the trick.
12. I'm not following that lady anywhere.
11. She's (quite confidently) "pretty", but she's not naive or easy. Got it?! Also, hot dance moves, baldy.
10. I'd be more down with tolerance if it didn't look so gay.
9. I've just been screaming, "I'm not an animal in captivity!" at random lately.
8. Starting a song with a screech, sexy writhing, and the lyric "We belong to each other/Like a sister to a brother" -- gotta love that incest.
7. All right, stop shaving your upper-lip, then.
6. These out-there folks are way further than three minutes from earth. 
5. Hideous costumes, over-enthusiastic background dancers and singers… and then the giant flags come out. The more elements they add, the tackier it gets.
4. Tits! That's one way to try to get votes, I guess.
3. What's not to love about a bearded lady in a tub of rose petals singing a James Bond-esque anthem? 2. The Belorussian Robin Thicke is not as smooth as he hopes. Nice "Google Maps" reference, though.
1. They've got a cake to bake, what more do you need to know? The songwriter actually said he penned this song to encourage men to ask for directions, and I have to imagine that men are now getting that message loud and clear!

2014-04-02

Foolish Wedding

I didn't fall for anything on April Fools' Day this year. It's kind of like how I can't get scared in a haunted house - I just have my guard up too much. I might have had my guard up too much, though.

I have a pair of friends who, for the past couple of April 1sts, have pretended to get married on Facebook to dupe their loved ones. Though it worked two years consecutively, this year, their friends were ready… so they did a double reverse and actually got married on April Fools' Day.

Hilariously, no one believed them. I didn't either initially. By the end of the day, however, I sensed the sincerity in their comments to each other and I realized, wow, they found out a way to announce on social media that they got married and instead of getting many "congratulations", they got a bunch of "liars!" and "you guys are dicks!" As the bride points out, normally a post like that gets 100 likes within an hour, but no one was biting this time.

Who cares about their lifelong commitment… I'm more impressed with their commitment to the joke!

2014-03-27

Zac Efron Beaten Up by a Hobo


Hahahaha. I shouldn't laugh at a guy I once had fun with at Six Flags (not really, well sorta, but I am definitely misrepresenting the situation), but this headline is too much.

The #1 reason you know something's being left out of this story is that the cops didn't arrest Zac Efron's hobo assailant. Have you ever met a Los Angeles police officer? They love any excuse to throw a homeless person in jail. Something tells me that this supposed "mutual combat" law suddenly wouldn't apply as soon as a homeless person even lifted a finger in self defense while the cops beat him senseless for sleeping in the wrong part of the city. Oops, this just turned into another Fuck the Police post like it always does.

2014-03-26

Did You Just Get Your Hair Done?

I had foreign friends I haven't seen since high school come to LA for a visit today. I was nervous about meeting them, honestly, because I wasn't sure whether we'd be able to pick up where we left off so many years later, but apparently I found it remarkably easy.

Greeting one of them, I said, "Hi! [Hug] Did you just get your hair done? It looks nice."

The other friend immediately began cracking up hysterically. "You haven't seen her in fifteen years and the first thing you say is, 'Did you just get your hair done?'"

Admittedly, it was strange smalltalk. Over the past decade and a half, there have probably been dozens of iterations of her hair I haven't been privy to, but here I was talking like I hadn't missed a beat.

For the record, her hair had just been done. I guess I had seen a recent Facebook photo and she had mentioned previously that she might try to hit up a salon while in town, so I made an educated guess without giving it much thought. I'll stand by it: the best way to bridge a 15 year gap is to just act as if you have seen the person yesterday.

2014-03-18

Three Men in a Tub

We're planning a trip to Las Vegas soon, and it's taken a lot of coordination to figure out the accommodations. I kind of miss the days when we'd secretly cram 10-20 of us into a single room. Vegas isn't for sleeping anyway. You need the room for like a 2 hour power nap and then it's time to make that hungover drive home. So why pay for a room? If Vegas wants our money, it can get it the old-fashioned way: enabling us to gamble irresponsibly.

I remember one time we had well over 15 people in a room. A couple of friends and I were the last back in and even the floorspace was monopolized by that point. One of our drunk asses suggested that we try sleeping in the bathtub, so we gave it a shot. Remember that nursery rhyme - rub a dub dub, three men in a tub? It was just like that. I couldn't tell you which of us was the candlestick maker, though.

We slept head to feet to head. I was in the center and my head was directly under the faucet. As if the tub wasn't uncomfortable enough, it leaked ever so slightly. About once a minute, a drop would fall out of the faucet and plunk onto my forehead. I kept telling myself to ignore it and that I'd eventually pass out, but I could not fall asleep like that. Given my intoxicated state, it took me far too long to recognize that I was literally subjecting myself to Chinese water torture. Suddenly it made sense why the slow dripping of water on my face was driving me crazy.

It turned out that three men in a tub was not a comfortable way to sleep, so we abandoned the shower and just cuddled up with others on the floor. Look at how cute we were!

 

2014-03-16

enlgish I nto godo

Bless YouTube commenter Jena Camila for responding to a clearly joke comment in a helpful manner.

Somebody's got a future in teaching English abroad!

2014-03-12

Coffee Ad

Being from LA, it's not uncommon to see acquaintances who are "in the biz" on commercials and stuff, but I did a double take when I thought I saw a high school teacher I knew in a coffee commercial a couple of weeks ago.

Since it was an internet ad, I wasn't able to rewind it. I hadn't paid enough attention to catch the name of the product or get a good look at the star. I even tried to reload the video a bunch of times, but it played other advertisements instead. Oh well, I figured, I'm sure I was just mistaken.

I finally saw the advertisement again, though, and wouldn't you know, it was that woman I used to throw balls with. (That's not a euphemism, she was a sports teammate of mine.) Even the normal-seeming teachers in this town are shilling for companies now!

The best part is that the spot's slogan is "Someone you know loves Keurig." Ironically enough they're right: I do know Catherine. But I have my doubts are her love for the machine since it also identifies her as a "paid endorser of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc."

2014-03-11

DARE

I went from being a kid who won the DARE essay contest to being an adult who said “no fucking way” to a solicitor who asked me to make a donation to the DARE program. If only Officer Bob could see me now!





(… he would see that I don’t do hard drugs, or really any drugs for that matter, but that I am wise to a whack criminal justice system aided in part by a youth-oriented propaganda campaign.)

2014-03-06

A Really Important Thing Just Happened on Twitter


Then I got a follow back from a party icon, and now I feel unworthy. I've really got to up my party game so I don't disappoint him.

2014-03-05

2014-02-28

Academy Award Best Picture Nominees in 60 Seconds


Spoilers, obviously. 

HER
Theodore: As a recently divorced man, I’ve given up all hope for finding happiness. I guess I’ll just distract myself by buying the latest technology featuring an artificial intelligence lady.
Siri: Thanks for programming me, Theodore! Hey, despite the fact that I’m practically omnipotent with a charming personality to match, I think I’m oddly attracted to you.
Theodore: What? Really? But I’m a loser.
Siri: I know! I have everything but a body, but somehow that just makes me horny all the more. Let’s find new age ways to have sex with each other!
Theodore: This kind of makes me uncomfortable, but I’m still excited to have a girlfriend. Let me introduce you to my friends.
Friends: They warned us that gay marriage would lead to this sort of thing. No, just kidding. Honestly, we’re just so happy that you’re happy! Dating computers is all the rage right now. It’s almost like we’re the losers for being in relationships with other human beings.
Theodore: Siri, where’d you go? Siri? Siri?
Siri: Jesus, Theodore, just because I’m artificial intelligence you programmed doesn’t mean I have to be there at your beck and call. That’s not how you treat a girlfriend.  
Theodore: Wait, no, I love you, I’m sorry for being presumptuous.
Siri: Yeah, look, I’m not sure this is going to work out. Besides, I kinda met this other artificial intelligence guy and we’re in love. He just gets me on this whole other all-knowing, body-less level that you could never understand. Take care, Theodore.
Theodore: I’m so pathetic that even my computer program dumped me.

AMERICAN HUSTLE 
Christian Bale: It’s probably the copious amount of side boob you’re sporting, but I’m mysteriously attracted to you. How about we partner up for some con artistry… and sex?
Amy Adams: Hmm, you’re old, bald, fat, sleazy, married, and a criminal… what’s not to love? Besides, I have a fake English accent I’ve been practicing, so let’s go swindle some people!
Jennifer Lawrence: And I have a Jersey Shore accent I clearly haven’t been practicing, but it’s supposed to sound real! Oops, I accidentally set my house on fire for a second time, I’m such a ridiculous klutz!
Christian Bale: Just ignore my wife, Amy; I do. Now let’s get to conning!
Amy Adams: I found the perfect mark. His name is Bradley Cooper and he’s definitely not an FBI agent.
Bradley Cooper: Actually, I am an FBI agent, and you’re under arrest for fraud! That said, if you want to use your con artist skills to help me trick unethical politicians into incriminating themselves, you can go free.
Christian Bale: Fine, we’ll help you. Pssst, hey Mayor, do you like bribes?
Mayor: I do, I do like bribes!
Amy Adams: Then here, why don’t you take this briefcase?
Jennifer Lawrence: Whoops, were you guys keeping your conning on behalf of the government a secret? Because I might have accidentally blabbed your story to some involved parties. Again, what a klutz!
Christian Bale: I can’t believe this woman. Sorry for trying to con you, Mayor, but I have an idea…
Bradley Cooper: We’ve got the Mayor right where we want him. Now all I need is that briefcase back and I’ll be the toast of the town.
Christian Bale: Have you never seen a con artist movie before? There’s always one last double crossing. We tricked you. The money’s gone, as is your career as a hotshot FBI agent.
Bradley Cooper: NOOOOOOOO!!!


GRAVITY
Houston: Congrats on your final spacewalk, Clooney.
Clooney: Like most “just days from retirement stories”, I’m sure I’ll survive this trip… as soon as Bullock fixes the spacecraft.
Bullock: I’m trying to hurry, but my tools keep gliding away from me because I forget about this no gravity thing. I’m such a newb.
Houston: Abort the repairs, astronauts! There’s fast-moving space debris flying your way… and it’s Russian.
Clooney: But that’s the worst kind! [Debris pummels them, killing the rest of their crew.] Well that sucks.
Bullock: [hyperventilating] I’m almost out of oxygen.
Clooney: I leave you breathless, huh? It’s not that inappropriate for me to start flirting with you now, right? Tell me about yourself.
Bullock: My daughter died and I have nothing to live for.
Clooney: Way to lighten the mood for me even after I’ve dragged you to safety. We’ll be fine here until… [Debris pummels them again; the pair is left tenuously connected to the spaceship by a cord.] This isn’t going to hold the both of us.
Bullock: I’ll never let go, Ja—I mean, Clooney.
Clooney: This is getting a little derivative. I’m just going to float off to my death now. [presumably ad-libbed] Before I die, just admit that I’m sexy.
Bullock: [Watches as Clooney vanishes and then gets in the shuttle just as her oxygen supply ends.] Whew, finally I’m safe. [Alarm goes off.] JK’s the shuttle’s on fire. Better rush to the escape pod and jet out of here… no, wait, the escape pod’s out of fuel. Now what? [Starts barking like a dog maniacally.] Oddly, I’ve never felt more human. Now I’m ready to die. [Turns off oxygen supply.]
[A single tear drop falls and floats toward your face thanks to 3D technology.]
Clooney: I’ve returned to you in a form of a hallucination so I can mansplain to you how you can still save yourself, you just have to…
Bullock: That sexy astronaut is right, I still have one last option. [miraculously returns to earth/saves self] I’m still not sure that I’ve regained the will to live, but here goes nothing.

NEBRASKA
Old Lady: Your father keeps trying to walk all the way to Nebraska to claim a million dollar prize he thinks he won.
Will Forte: Dad, this is a scam. This is the same sweepstakes form they send to everyone.
Old Man: Huh? What?
Will Forte: Fine, we’ll road trip to Nebraska so you have proof that it’s fake.
Old Man: Huh? What?
Will Forte: We can stop and visit your extended family that you haven’t seen in years on the way.
Old Man: Huh? What?
Old Man’s Family: We want some of this million dollar prize we’ve been hearing about.
Will Forte: Wait, it’s not real, guys.
Old Man’s Family: Don’t try to cut us out of the winnings!
Old Man’s Former Friends: We want some of that money, too!
Will Forte: Now that Mom arrived by bus, let’s get out of here, Dad.
Old Lady: Woo! I’m flashing my vagina at a tombstone! I’m still not as crazy as your Dad, though.
Old Man: Huh? What?
Will Forte: Dad, you fell, I have to take you to the hospital.
Old Man: I never loved you.
Will Forte: You said one coherent thing to me this whole time and it’s that? Thanks, Dad.
Old Man: Huh? What?
Will Forte: Anyway, my Dad is here to claim his million dollar prize.
State of Nebraska: Nope, you’ve been scammed.
Will Forte: See that, Dad? The money isn’t real.
Old Man: Huh? What?
Will Forte: Let’s just fucking go home!

 
PHILOMENA
Young Judi Dench: Hey, sisters, y’all never taught me any sex ed and now I’m a pregnant teen.
Evil Nuns: Oh dear! The Catholic Church is here to help girls like you. And by “help” we mean force you into slave labor, steal your child, and sell it to a wealthy American family.
Old Judi Dench: It’s been 50 years since I lost my son, but I’ve never lost my faith in God. Please give me any information you have on my child.
Evil Nuns: We lost all of those documents in a fire… that we set intentionally to destroy any evidence of our wrongdoing. We’re so sorry we can’t be of more help.
Journalist: I’m a down on my luck high-profile reporter, but I guess I could try to be of assistance to a commoner like you. [Flies to America with Dench to track down her son.] I don’t know why I didn’t do a simple internet search before flying all the way out here, but I just discovered that your son is dead.
Judi Dench: [cries] What else can you tell me?
Journalist: He was a prominent D.C. Republican in the 80s. Also, he was a closeted homosexual who died from AIDS.
Judi Dench: What a lovely life! One I could have never provided him with!
Journalist: More importantly, he traveled to the convent in Ireland to try to find you. He’s buried there, even. [yells at nuns] You know all along that this mother and son were trying to reconnect, but you lied to them! Shame on you!
Evil Nuns: Who cares? That’s what sinners get! Burn in hell!
Judi Dench: Oh well. You may have intentionally ruined my life, but I forgive you anyway, sisters.
Journalist: You have taught me so much about faith, Judi Dench. 

 
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Captain Tom Hanks: Do you think I’ll encounter pirates at sea?
Mrs. Tom Hanks: What? Honey, no, you’ll be fine.
Captain Tom Hanks: Hey, crew, let’s run a pirate disaster drill.
Crew: This is a waste of time, Captain!
Captain Tom Hanks: [radios Coast Guard] Wait, now I really think that pirates are approaching us.
Coast Guard: They’re probably not pirates, Captain, chill out.
Somali Pirates: Haha, we boarded your boat and we’re holding you for ransom.
[tense moment where the pirates almost kill Hanks, but they don’t]
[another tense moment where the pirates almost kill Hanks but they don’t]
[yet against “tense” moment where the pirates almost kill Hanks but they don’t]
Captain Tom Hanks: The longer I’m held hostage, the more I realize it’s going to be hard for this film not to appear kind of racist. 
Disney Exec: Yeah… but pirates are so in right now and Johnny Depp wasn’t available for another one yet, so we thought we’d take a chance.
Captain Tom Hanks: Any chance I can cash in on some white privilege to prevent these pirates from killing me?
Navy: [shoots all the pirates dead]
Captain Tom Hanks: [hysterical] I told you there’d be fucking pirates! 


THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
DiCaprio: Hi, I’m an asshole – that’s basically all you need to know, but somehow it takes three hours to tell my story. Mainly because I refuse to spare a single sexy detail.
Jonah Hill: What’s life like working on Wall Street?
DiCaprio: Cheating people out of millions of dollars!
Employee 1: Being drunk as shit all day!
Employee 2: Having sex with strippers in the office!
Employee 3: Hiring midgets to degrade themselves for our amusement!
Jonah Hill: Sorry, I stopped paying attention because I’m high on Quaaludes.
FBI: As much as we’d like to bust you guys, there’s nothing more American than gross capitalism excess, so carry on for now.
DiCaprio: Hmm, if I left this job, I’d retire as one of the wealthiest men in the country and avoid getting myself in what is sure-to-come legal trouble.
Employee 1: Or you could divorce your wife and get a hotter one.
Employee 2: Buy a yacht and a private jet.
Employee 3: Drink and drive for kicks and hire a good lawyer to get you out of it.
Jonah Hill: And you could elaborately smuggle money to Switzerland to hide your assets.
DiCaprio: How could I give up on all of that? Maybe it’s the Quaaludes talking, but I’m not quitting. I’ve got away with it this long, what’s going to stop me?
FBI: We can overlook you stealing millions, but not billions. You’re finally under arrest, but we’ll grant you some leniency if you implicate your friends and colleagues in the crimes, as well.
DiCaprio: What? Never! I would never do that. Never. Never ever. [the next day] Okay, fuck it, I’m a piece of shit who’s never cared about anyone else, of course I’ll rat out all of my friends.  

12 YEARS A SLAVE
Shifty Dudes: Hello, free black man in the North. We’d like to pay you money for you to do work for us.
Chiwetel: That sounds swell.
Shifty Dudes: Sure, just come over here where no one can see us and… HAHAHA! Just kidding, we’re white people! We don’t play black people to do work! We’re selling you back into slavery!
Chiwetel: You can’t do this! I’m free!
Fassbender: I’ll buy this slave. Throw him in with the rest of mine.
Chiwetel: Sir, with all due respect, I have papers that prove I’m free.
Fassbender: Shut up and pick cotton.
Lupita: Sir, I also don’t like being a slave.
Fassbender: Shut up, pick cotton, then have sex with me later ‘cause you’re hot.
Lupita: Please kill me, Chiwetel. I can’t stand being raped by our master each night.
Chiwetel: I can’t do that! Besides, I have a plan to get us free. And by us, I mean just me. Hey, one legitimately nice white man, will you send a letter up north explaining that I’m really free?
Brad Pitt: I will never understand this distinction that you have that you are somehow inherently more “free” than your misfortunate comrades because of the same law that oppresses you, but if I can help one person escape this miserable life, I will do it.
Sheriff: Fassbender, it turns out this man is free. I hope however long you’ve been forced into slavery hasn’t been that awful, Chiwetel.
Chiwetel: It’s been 12 years. I mean, the movie has done little to distinguish time, so this could have all happened in a matter of months, but the title says 12 years, so it must be so. Goodbye, other slaves!
Lupita: Goodbye, Chiwetel. Wish I could come with you, but I’m just gonna hang back and keep getting whipped nearly to death.  


DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck: I’m sorry to tell you that you have HIV, Mr. McConaughey.
McConaughey: Horseshit! I ain’t no fucking homo!
Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck: Okay, then maybe you had unprotected sex with a scabby lady who looked like she was about to die in a dirty bullpen?
McConaughey: That’s just the rodeo lifestyle, toots! Anyway, I don’t need your medical advice; I’ll just prescribe myself some drugs, booze, and strippers.
Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck: Actually, now that you’ve taken such poor care of your body, you have full-blown AIDS. But whatever, it’s not like the medicine we can give you at the hospital is of any use anyway.
McConaughey: Huh, well I got me a liberry card and I learned all about better medications for AIDS that the U.S of A refuses to permit, so now I’m thinking of starting some kind of drug smuggling business. If only I had a business partner… say, what is that queer man doing in a dress?
Jordan Catalano: I always wished I had been cast to play either Rickie or Rayanne instead, so I figured why not try both at once? Despite your animosity towards me, I’ll be your business partner. We may not find the antidote for AIDS, but I think I’ll find the cure for your homophobia.
McConaughey: Whatever, you’re just a junky transgender prostitute; I wouldn’t care if you die.
Jordan Catalano: [Dies.]
McConaughey: [Cares.] Hey, sorry for stealing all your patients with my sketchy drug empire, Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck, but you know I’m prolonging lives better than the medical community ever would.
Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck: What you lack in ethics, you make up for with savant-like scientific knowledge. Our relationship is such that I would probably have sex with you if you weren’t my patient… and you didn’t have AIDS.
McConaughey: That’s okay, I’ve lost so much weight for this role that I barely want to take my shirt off for once.
The Government: Stop giving drugs that work to people who would die otherwise! It’s illegal!
McConaughey: Looks like I’m gonna have to sue in order for justice to prevail.
Judge: Although the FDA is clearly corrupt for allowing its rich friends to make a profit by promoting the wrong drugs while also forbidding you from using and sharing the medicines that actually help, our Constitution protects the FDA’s right to be dicks and slowly let you die, so case dismissed.
Gays Everywhere: Oh well, you’re a hero for trying, McConaughey!
McConaughey: Shut up faggots! [whispers] …who I’ve developed a soft spot for. [Dies… not immediately, but eventually because, you know, AIDS.]

2014-02-23

Philomena: Best Picture Nominees in 60 Seconds


WARNING: spoilers and sarcasm
Young Judi Dench: Hey, sisters, y’all never taught me any sex ed and now I’m a pregnant teen.
Evil Nuns: Oh dear! The Catholic Church is here to help girls like you. And by “help” we mean force you into slave labor, steal your child, and sell it to a wealthy American family.
Old Judi Dench: It’s been 50 years since I lost my son, but I’ve never lost my faith in God. Please give me any information you have on my child.
Evil Nuns: We lost all of those documents in a fire… that we set intentionally to destroy any evidence of our wrongdoing. We’re so sorry we can’t be of more help.
Journalist: I’m a down on my luck high-profile reporter, but I guess I could try to be of assistance to a commoner like you. [Flies to America with Dench to track down her son.] I don’t know why I didn’t do a simple internet search before flying all the way out here, but I just discovered that your son is dead.
Judi Dench: [cries] What else can you tell me?
Journalist: He was a prominent D.C. Republican in the 80s. Also, he was a closeted homosexual who died from AIDS.
Judi Dench: What a lovely life! One I could have never provided him with!
Journalist: More importantly, he traveled to the convent in Ireland to try to find you. He’s buried there, even. [yells at nuns] You knew all along that this mother and son were trying to reconnect, but you lied to them! Shame on you!
Evil Nuns: Who cares? That’s what sinners get! Burn in hell!
Judi Dench: Oh well. You may have purposely ruined my life, but I forgive you anyway, sisters.
Journalist: You have taught me so much about faith, Judi Dench. 

2014-02-21

Captain Phillips: Best Picture Nominees in 60 Seconds


WARNING: spoilers and sarcasm
Captain Tom Hanks: Do you think I’ll encounter pirates at sea?
Mrs. Tom Hanks: What? Honey, no, you’ll be fine.
Captain Tom Hanks: Hey, crew, let’s run a pirate disaster drill.
Crew: This is a waste of time, Captain!
Captain Tom Hanks: [radios Coast Guard] Wait, now I really think that pirates are approaching us.
Coast Guard: They’re probably not pirates, Captain, chill out.
Somali Pirate: I’m on a boat! Specifically, your boat. And I’ll spare your life for $$$.
[tense moment where the pirates almost kill Hanks, but they don’t]
[another tense moment where the pirates almost kill Hanks but they don’t]
[yet against “tense” moment where the pirates almost kill Hanks but they don’t]
Captain Tom Hanks: The longer I’m held hostage, the more I realize it’s going to be hard for this film not to appear kind of racist.
Disney Exec: Yeah… but pirates are so in right now and Johnny Depp wasn’t available for another one yet, so we thought we’d take a chance.
Captain Tom Hanks: Any chance I can cash in on some white privilege to prevent these pirates from killing me?
Navy: [shoots all the pirates dead]
Captain Tom Hanks: [hysterical] I told you there’d be fucking pirates! 

2014-02-20

Dallas Buyers Club: Best Picture Nominees in 60 Seconds


WARNING: spoilers & sarcasm
Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck: I’m sorry to tell you that you have HIV, Mr. McConaughey.
McConaughey: Horseshit! I ain’t no fucking homo!
Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck: Okay, then maybe you had unprotected sex with a scabby lady who looked like she was about to die in a dirty bullpen?
McConaughey: That’s just the rodeo lifestyle, toots! Anyway, I don’t need your medical advice; I’ll just prescribe myself some drugs, booze, and strippers.
Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck: Actually, now that you’ve taken such poor care of your body, you have full-blown AIDS. But whatever, it’s not like the medicine we can give you at the hospital is of any use anyway.
McConaughey: Huh, well I got me a liberry card and I learned all about better medications for AIDS that the U.S of A refuses to permit, so now I’m thinking of starting some kind of drug smuggling business. If only I had a business partner… say, what is that queer man doing in a dress?
Jordan Catalano: I always wished I had been cast to play either Rickie or Rayanne instead, so I figured why not try both at once? Despite your animosity towards me, I’ll be your business partner. We may not find the antidote for AIDS, but I think I’ll find the cure for your homophobia.
McConaughey: Whatever, you’re just a junky transgender prostitute; I wouldn’t care if you die.
Jordan Catalano: [Dies.]
McConaughey: [Cares.] Hey, sorry for stealing all your patients with my sketchy drug empire, Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck, but you know I’m prolonging lives better than the medical community ever would.
Dr. Mrs. Ben Affleck: What you lack in ethics, you make up for with savant-like scientific knowledge. Our relationship is such that I would probably have sex with you if you weren’t my patient… and you didn’t have AIDS.
McConaughey: That’s okay, I’ve lost so much weight for this role that I barely want to take my shirt off for once.
The Government: Stop giving drugs that work to people who would die otherwise! It’s illegal!
McConaughey: Looks like I’m gonna have to sue in order for justice to prevail.
Judge: Although the FDA is clearly corrupt for allowing its rich friends to make a profit by promoting the wrong drugs while also forbidding you from using and sharing the medicines that actually help, our Constitution protects the FDA’s right to be dicks and slowly let you die, so case dismissed.
Gays Everywhere: Oh well, you’re a hero for trying, McConaughey!
McConaughey: Shut up faggots! [whispers] …who I’ve developed a soft spot for. [Dies… not immediately, but eventually because, you know, AIDS.]

2014-02-18

Beck's Boo

I'm listening to the new Beck album via NPR and the beginning of his song "Don't Let It Go" sounds more than a little familiar.

 

 Sing over his words with "Boy you should know that I've got you on my mind..."

 Like most days, now I'm just jamming to "My Boo" instead:

2014-02-11

Friendship Essay

In elementary school, every student had to write a persuasive five paragraph essay about why their best friend was literally the "best" friend. One of my friends, we'll call him Ronald, wrote his essay about me.

I wouldn't have known I was the subject of his essay except that Ronald's mother mailed my family a copy. She thought it would be nice for my parents to see all the nice things Ronald had to say about me. While I found it flattering, it also put me in an awkward position because I couldn't exactly return the favor seeing as I hadn't written my essay about him.

I hadn't written my essay about anyone in particular, actually. I made up a phony friend for the purpose of the essay. I had friends, I just didn't think of any of them were going to seem awesome enough on paper to earn a good score on the essay. It was much easier to persuade the graders that my friend was the "best" when I could make up any attributes I wanted. I fully acknowledge that this says a lot of sad things about me, but I maintain that I wasn't entirely awful… and I have Ronald's essay to prove it! 

Nevertheless, I've always felt a little guilty about that situation. That guilt is only compounded by the fact that last I knew, Ronald was in a halfway house.

2014-02-09

Ryan's Time of the Month

Ryan cut his finger open pretty badly on a mussel shell at a restaurant last night. He used the accessible paper napkins to sop up the blood for a while, but the bleeding persisted, so Allison jumped in with a better solution: a tampon from her purse.

Ryan unraveled the tampon and wrapped it around his finger to absorb the blood. It was a pretty genius move in a pinch. That didn't stop me from cracking jokes, though. I told Ryan he had finally become a man and that just because he used a tampon, it didn't mean he wasn't a virgin anymore.

At one point, the 'pon (or "tamp" if you're a rube) fell off his finger and rolled under the table. Ryan told us that it was "all right" and that we shouldn't bother looking for it, but we insisted that leaving a bloody tampon on the ground was inappropriate regardless of the extenuating circumstances.

Once the fallen tampon was recovered, Ryan realized he was able to secure it to his finger better by tying it on with the tampon's own strings. Genius again! Why are we even bothering with bandaids anymore?