Wednesday, November 26, 2008


A lot of attention has been given to turkeys this week, above and beyond their normal duties as post-dinner couch-crashing football-watching stomach distenders. Thanks to Governor Palin, we've all had an intimate look at just how they make their way from idyllic farms to that weird Butterball netting. And, as always, there's the presidential pardon.

Look, despite the title of this post, and where you may think it's going, I'm not some pinko leftie vegan blood-throwing PETA member. I'm just a pinko leftie. But in talking about current events, the illustrious Amy and I came upon this point: what the hell is the purpose of the presidential turkey pardon? Doesn't it only serve to emphasize the fact that we're killing and eating thousands of turkeys while heads of state arbitrarily postpone the deaths of a handful of turkeys so those turkeys can go to Disneyworld (no joke)?

Meanwhile, I'm thankful for my girlfriend, and my awesome friends and family, and not having any money invested in the stock market, and having ample time to sharpen my Halo skills, and all that great crap, etc etc.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Questions for the People

Hello People, how are you? I have some questions that I would like answered, if possible.

1. Why are you spitting? I never spit. Is your mouth different from mine? Do you have some sort of weird glandular thing happening in there? Also, what are you doing that produces so much phlegm in your throat? Again, not a problem I have. Am I a superhuman mutant? I'm confused.

2. Why are you talking so loudly on the phone? Do you have a problem with your hearing, or perhaps a cold? Do you enjoy it when other people near you yell loudly about how much their dog eats? Perhaps you are not aware of how much telephone technology has developed. Gone are the days when you had to yell at the operator to connect you with KLondike5-5782. Now, there are tiny microphones in the device, rather close to your mouth, that pick up the sounds you make and translate them into a signal which is then re-translated back into sound close to the listener's ear. I'm sorry, you look confused. Let me try again. STOP YELLING. THEY CAN HEAR YOU JUST FINE.

3. Why are you standing in that doorway/gate/turnstile? That area in which you are motionless is an entrance/exit. By definition, entrances/exits exist so that people may move through them. By standing still there, you are acting against the very definition of that entrance/exit. How would you like it if someone acted against your very definition? There are a variety of places here that you may stand, wherein you will not be violating ANY definitions. Walls, pillars, these would be fine forms of support. And also you're in my fucking way.

3a. Why are you standing so close to me? I applaud you for not standing in a doorway/gate/turnstile, but now you're four inches from me. I have a funny personality quirk in which I do not like to feel someone whom I have not met breathing on me. Also, if I am not mistaken, you had Indian food for lunch. I love Indian food. I would prefer to discover through conversation that you ate Indian food today, as opposed to smelling it coming from your pores. Which I can see.

4. Who are you talking to? You seem to be alone right now, and you are not making eye contact with anyone, yet I believe you are talking. Are you aware that sound is coming out of your mouth? You appear to have dressed yourself this morning in some form of shelter, so I can only assume you are neither mentally challenged/disturbed, nor homeless. This leaves me at a loss. Do you hear responses to what you are saying? If you wish to address the public at large, I think it would be in your best interest to speak up. And form your sounds into words.

4a. Why are you singing? I remember that song. 1993, right? Interesting. I did not care for that song then. And in this age of honesty and armchair criticizing, I feel it is imperative to tell you that you are a very bad singer. I am listening to music right now as well, rather loud music actually, and as moving as I find it I am not compelled to sing right now. Why are we different?

5. Why are you making out with that person? I love my girlfriend very much; however, I don't have her pinned against a wall licking her face. Does that mean you love that person more than I love my girlfriend? I doubt that. Even if you do love that person that much, could you perhaps muffle the wet smacking sounds? I find it very distracting, and I have never been bulimic so I have a problem with vomiting.

Thank you, People, for your time. That's all I have for now. I'm sure I'll think of a few more things in the near future.

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Office Coffee Politics

I'm temping this week at a reception desk. A woman just leaned over my desk to look at something on my computer and in the process unwittingly put her hair in my coffee. She didn't notice and I didn't say anything just to spite her for putting her hair in my coffee. I assume she has coffee dribbling down her shirt right now.

I'm still gonna drink the coffee.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obligatory Post-Election Thoughts

Look, this situation is largely speaking for itself, so there's not a lot that a random jackass in Brooklyn can really add to the dialogue. So it's a good thing no one actually reads this, I guess. But I probably won't be able to post anything else until I talk about this, so here it is.

This is the first time in my life that the candidate I voted for was elected to the top position in the country. That, and the history of the occasion, are overwhelming, but I'm having a hard time really enjoying it. I guess the biggest feeling is just relief, but I'm already worried about 2012 because anyone would need at least two terms to turn things around here. It's still disheartening how divided our country is, that a "mandate" comes as a result of a 53-46 win. And I'm just putting my head through hard surfaces over the bigoted measures that got passed in Arizona, Arkansas, California, and Florida. I'm aggravated at "the news" for not having the sack to call a bigot a bigot and point out the blatant contradiction of electing Obama while telling homosexuals that they just don't matter as much as the rest of us.

But those are all negatives. I can't imagine how I would feel right now if McCain/Palin were lining up their cabinet. I suppose I see this election as a beginning that was inevitable to me, because it's my generation that put Obama up there. I'm so excited that kids growing up will see a black man in the White House, because that does more in the name of equality and civil rights than any bill our Congress could pass. There's no soapbox high enough to rival that statement. Historians will look at politics in two sections: before Obama was elected President, and after. And I get to see it all.

Someone, someday, will get to see the distinction between gay and straight marriage eliminated. This is truth, simple and undeniable. I know this like I know my name, which is exactly why I am so frustrated at the situation. The "liberal" cause has always prevailed. It was a liberal idea to free the slaves, give them the vote, give women the vote, even to form our country. Why can't people see this, and get out of the way of the human race? And those are just the principles behind the idea, not the law itself. On what basis can we possibly deny such a basic right to any law-abiding citizen, after all we've been through, after all that's been fulfilled with this election?

Congratulations President Obama. Thank you. And good luck.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008


Somewhere in my lower GI tract now reside the remains of no less than seven different animals. I have reason to believe they will still be with me on Election Day. The last 18 hours have been quite a rollercoaster of endurance. Allow me to explain.

Yesterday I helped a friend move, and in return I was treated to an excellent dinner with him and his parents. We went to Churrascaria Plataforma. This was a new experience for me, and one that I ultimately enjoyed, but for a price. If you haven't been to a churrascaria before, I'll explain the system.

We started off at a salad/appetizer bar. This bar had a greater variety of food than I've eaten in the last month. Green salad, chickpea salad, mixed vegetables, cheeses, shrimp, sushi, calamari, beets, etc. I was told to pace myself here, so I did my best. Upon finishing these plates, they were whisked away, and the real fun began.

Each of us had a small disk, one side red, one side green. As long as your disk was green-side-up, waiters would routinely come by offering meat. Meat fresh from the fire. On a sword. They would announce the meat (our first was sirloin), begin cutting a section with an amazingly sharp knife, and you'd take it with the supplied tongs as he finished the cut. This continues with a wide variety of cuts from as wide a variety of animals as you could expect, until you surrender and turn your disk to red. The cuisine and service is a Brazilian import; the disk system, a truly American addition. The whole thing is for a fixed price. It's a lot like Shoney's, without the fat rednecks and dirty children.

At first I kept pace with the service. I would make a good dent in the previous cut before the next was offered. The waiters saw my plan and doubled their efforts. Meat began piling on my plate. I would forget what animal I was about to eat before another was carved fresh for the table. I had sirloin, tenderloin, pork loin, chicken, pork sausage, tenderloin wrapped in bacon, turkey wrapped in bacon, lamb, more sirloin. There was ribeye, flank steak. I lost track. Side dishes were brought to the table, but I barely touched them.

As we turned our disks to red one by one, we were chided by a man whose sole purpose seems to be to goad people into eating as much meat as they can physically fit into their bodies. This is counterintuitive to everything I know about the restaurant industry, yet here the man was, in a well-tailored suit and conservative glasses, mocking us for our inability to continue.

Fifteen or twenty minutes into the meal, I became lightheaded. The Meat Euphoria was upon me. A few minutes later I lost the capacity for speech. As waiters continued to bring meat, I could only nod or shake my head at their offers. My thought process slowed, so that one waiter was left staring at me, politely waiting for me to take the meat with my tongs. My vision blurred. When the dessert cart came around, I somehow raised a finger at what might have been a chocolate cappuccino fudge cake (or was it a hallucination?), but I certainly can't imagine that I fed myself.

We parted ways outside the restaurant, and I stumbled to the subway. On the platform, the Meat Euphoria began to subside. I could see more clearly, and was amazed that I'd made it to the correct train. While waiting, the next stage hit me: the Meat Sweats. By the time the train finally arrived, I was drenched, and everyone on the car gave me a wide berth. I can only assume they all thought I worked in some twisted butcher sweatshop, and that I was going home after a grueling sixteen-hour shift of hacking away at carcasses. If they only knew. The Sweats turned out to be the longest phase. I got home and managed to slip into bed without waking Amy, and dozed fitfully. I woke in the middle of the night, cold pork fat oozing from my pores. Amy rolled over, semi-conscious, and asked what I was cooking. I told her to sleep and spread a blanket on the floor. I rode out the worst of the Meat Sweats there. I'm going to have to burn the blanket.

When I got up this afternoon, the Sweats had subsided, replaced now by the Meat Shakes. I cooked a little bacon with my breakfast, trying the old "hair of the dog," or pig in this case. It was just a temporary fix. By now the worst of the Meat Shakes seems to have passed. I'm only experiencing a few tremors now and then. I believe the last phase is finished.

The only conclusion I can draw from my experience is that the churrascaria is a Brazilian invention wrought to bring about the end of American influence in the western hemisphere. No country could willingly subject its own people to such an orgy of delights and terrors. The chiding man at the restaurant must be some sort of government liaison. I will now travel to Brazil to find the answer to this problem. If I can't find a churrascaria down there, then we know. If I do, well, may God have mercy on me.

I've seen the face of Death my friends. It's made of meat.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008


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Friday, September 19, 2008

The Financial Economy Subprime Crisis Market

Look, I'm an actor, so I make no claims to understanding economics. By and large, performers are exempt from trends in the market and unemployment, because we're always broke and our job market always sucks. In a way, it's sort of freeing. It gives me a lot more time to focus on more important things, like comic books. But in the latest downward trend, I've started to notice some things that really concern me.

Everyone keeps talking about "confidence." Consumer confidence, market confidence, whatever. If people's confidence level in our country's economy sinks, then the economy sinks. Since when has our savings been at the mercy of an intangible set of ideas with the temperament of a pregnant woman in her third trimester? "The economy" gets depressed about its fat ankles, Lehman Brothers collapses and we as a nation have to spend the next year convincing the economy that it does not actually resemble a Macy's parade float.

The economy is man-made, yet we are completely at its mercy. In the few hundred years of capitalism, we have yet to figure out the nuances. This thing that we have put on a pedestal as one of the engines of man's progress is completely dependent on the trust of literally the most irrational creature in the known universe. It is dependent on a species with members who will not travel because that specific day has a number assigned to it that they don't like, who won't pick up a coin because it's laying on the wrong side, who throw a crystallization of sodium and chlorine over their shoulder because they spilled some on the table. Because of this very same sort of behavior, people are losing their houses, they can't finish college, they're getting rid of their pets because they can't afford them.

Why have we put ourselves in this position?

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why You Should Watch Ultimate Fighter

The Ultimate Fighter is a reality show on Spike TV (is it officially Spike!? I refuse to type that) sponsored by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the first and leading mixed martial arts organization in America. For anyone that's dumb, mixed martial arts (MMA) is a competitive sport like boxing in which two contestants fight it out in The Octagon (tm), an octagonal (hey-o) fenced-in ring. Fights usually consist of three five-minute rounds, and you can win by a knockout, tapout, ref stoppage, or decision. The rules were initially very loose (such as fish hooking being "frowned upon"), but after almost being shut down by Congress they cleaned up their act. The best fighters are good at both striking and grappling (usually jiu-jitsu based), but almost always specialize in one area.

So in the show, whose eighth season started Sept. 17, sixteen guys live in a house together and over the course of several weeks, through challenges and fights, all are eliminated but two, who will fight in a live event to determine the champion. That winner receives a contract to fight professionally in the UFC, but much like American Idol the best fighters usually end up fighting as well.

The show is awesome, and I'll tell you why. Most reality competitions are filled with people hoping to get their face-time in front of America and later launch a movie career and auxiliary perfume line. These guys are fighters, and they're trying to fight. Mostly blue-collar, they've been fighting in gyms, basements, bars and backyards for food and experience. They've come to the show to get coached by two of the best fighters in the organization, and to prove themselves to the president, Dana White, who has taken over hosting duties. There's very little bullshit involved, and the fact that White offers $5000 to the winner of a fight that does not go to decision keeps everyone on the ball.

You watch guys train, get beat up, cut 20 pounds in less than a day for a weigh-in, and inevitably wreak havoc on the house they all share. It's a typical reality house in that there are approximately 38 bedrooms and a steady supply of booze, which few of the cast are stranger to. With that many alpha males things are bound to get hairy (HA), but more often than not it's just entertaining. You'd be surprised at the amount of humor these guys have. But it wouldn't be a reality show without that one guy that spouts a steady stream of smack talk, or picks on guys to alleviate his boredom, or generally tries to take over the show. And this is where the beauty of the setup comes into play: you spend eight weeks hating the guy, then you get to see someone hand him his ass in the ring. How much better would The Apprentice have been if you could have seen someone throw some body blows to Omarosa, then turn her lights out with a good cross to the jaw? I'm certainly not condoning violence towards woman, because she is clearly some sort of mutant horse-human-Satan hybrid.

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Sex and the City: The High School Years

Teen novels about Carrie Bradshaw to be released.

Carrie and Miranda sat at their usual table in the cafeteria noshing on Wednesday meatloaf and Jello surprise. They were discussing the latest in a series of lackluster dates. Snapping into a carrot, Carrie said, "You would think after dating the top two-thirds of the upperclassmen, we could have found someone that understood us. But no. It's like all they care about are video games and superheroes. I get it. You're a clan leader on Halo 3. When can we talk about something that matters? Like shoes?"

Miranda shook her head in mutual disgust. "I've been trying to get Peter to grow up a little bit. Maybe get some culture in his life. But could he stay awake for the senior production of Our Town? So embarrassing. All he cares about is soccer, like that's going to get him anywhere."

Charlotte sat down with her brown-bag sushi. "What are we talking about today girls?"

Miranda rolled her eyes. "The state of unrest in the Middle East and the Iron Curtain. What do we always talk about? Boys and how they define us. Speaking of which, we're going to Peter's soccer game after school. Wanna come?"

"Oh, I can't. Young Republicans meeting."

"But I need you guys there! I feel so awkward at those things."

"You'll have Carrie right?" Miranda nodded. "Besides, I think Langdon is going to ask me to prom today."

Carrie laughed. "I just don't know what you see in him. He's so straight-laced."

"That's exactly what I see in him! He's such a gentleman! And he's going to be president someday."

Miranda said, "I thought he was already president of the club."

Charlotte shook her head. "Oh no, he's going to be president of America. His dad went to Yale. He made a lot of friends there. Anyway, he's perfect and I don't care what you guys say, he can be very romantic. Where's Samantha? I thought she'd be here by now."

Just then Samantha entered the cafeteria. She made her way to the table in characteristic heels and a miniskirt. As she sat down, Carrie said, "Where've you been?"

"Oh, Mr. Johnson had something to tell me after biology. And let me tell you gals, he definitely knows his anatomy."

Charlotte dropped her chopsticks. "Samantha, he has a wife! And children! And he's a teacher! That is so illegal!"

Samantha grinned slyly. "Calm down dear, we can both keep a secret."

A thought crossed Carrie's mind. "Wait a minute Samantha. You're like 31. Why are you still in high school?"

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Friday, September 12, 2008

The Man

He says it better than anyone else.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Riddle me this...

I forget, in political paper/rock/scissors, does a young black man and an older white man beat a much older white man and a MILF? Just curious.

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I totally just made this.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Melting Pot

Since its founding, if not before, America has been hailed as a melting pot. In few places does this apply now as much as NYC.

I'm not sure I buy it.

I think it's a great concept, and obviously one can't deny that there are major concentrations of different cultures in the five boroughs. But for the metaphor of a melting pot to apply, those cultures would have to mingle and integrate in such a way that a new culture emerges. This is where the process breaks down.

We've got Chinese immigrants in Chinatown, African-Americans in Harlem and Bed-Stuy, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in Washington Heights and Inwood, and Hasidic Jews in Borough Park. Oh, and stupid white kids in Williamsburg. Everyone speaking their language of origin, eating the food that fed them in the womb, listening to the music they're supposed to listen to. I don't see a lot of fusion of these groups (tostones sashimi? klezmer mariachi funk?) or any new languages emerging.

Please understand this isn't coming from some weird right-wing xenophobia. I have no problem with all these different groups being here, and I think it's absolutely ridiculous to try to legally assign an official language to everyone here. Everybody's going to figure it out. If we have to speak Pig Latin to communicate, then we'll all learn Pig Latin. We'll be fine. So what's my point? Excellent question. I guess I'm trying to understand human nature, as always, and also appreciating some irony which I will explain in a bit.

I think it all shows that we love familiarity and tend to stick to our own (unless our parents tell us to). If anything I think being in a situation like this makes us identify even more strongly with where we came from. I'm from the South, and damned if I don't like a country accent and some good biscuits from time to time. I absolutely hated country music growing up, and while I certainly can't say I'm a wholesale fan now, after I moved here I started to appreciate it more and even have a few albums.

And now, the irony. Follow my logic, if you will. America is very often identified as a melting pot. This is often done in a benevolent light. Who most vocally sings the praises of this country? Conservatives. Who most vocally would love for non-white, non-English-speaking people to no longer live here? Conservatives. For a more succinct explanation, just imagine Ann Coulter living in a fifth-floor walkup in Washington Heights.

You're welcome.

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Child Prodigies

I don't much like child prodigies. It doesn't have anything to do with them personally (for the most part (I think)), but moreso just the effect of their existence. Any endeavor you want to pursue, any hobby you want to take up or anything you think you're good at, there's some adorable little prepubescent kid somewhere that's already better at that thing than you can ever hope to be before you die. Trying to learn guitar? You can't even get an F-major chord to sound anything remotely like music, but that little kid in Japan can shred like van Halen (and I don't think he even knows who that is).

When I was a student I was always in advanced or gifted classes. Calm down, I'm not bragging, I'm just providing some perspective. I was particularly good with words and stuff. I always read ahead of my grade level, and pretty quickly just left the grade levels and read at an adult level (thanks to Mom's library and the awesomeness that is Stephen King). I won a lot of spelling bees. What good was that when there was always some Indian kid that still wore Velcro shoes, but knew how to spell triskaidekaphobia? In junior high I was in PASS (Program for Academically Superior Students--how Aryan does that sound?), but what did that matter when other kids my age were starting their freshman year at Cal Tech? I would use the mental balm of telling myself that I had more friends and knew how to have more fun than those kids, but let's be honest. No one enjoys the years from 13-19, and everyone feels like some kind of freak with fingers for eyebrows. So why not feel that way while pursuing a Ph.D. in Sanskrit?

Alright, fine, I admit it. I'm jealous of prodigies. I'm jealous. Is that better? Before I was aware of them I was one of the smartest kids I knew. Then I was just above average. Then began the systematic destruction of my standards. In junior high I dropped out of PASS. In high school I slept through my AP Latin exam. In college I downshifted from a Physics major to Communications, and then finally to Theatre. Now I'm temping.

Thanks Doogie. You asshole.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Genius or Madman?

Today at the 53rd and 5th subway station, a homeless man loudly announced to no one in particular that "They don't get HIV because they don't spread their legs. HIV looks bigger in the mirror."

I thought that only applied to anorexics.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Internet Arguing=Futility

Like any geek I'm legally required to be active on at least one message board. I choose to frequent some of the boards on IMDb. In doing so I've discovered some things.

If you like something, do not go to the board for that thing. For example, are you a fan of SNL? On its board you will find many posts like this: "This show hasn't been funny since (insert year in which user turned 17). They should just cancel it." Or better yet, "yo this show totlly suxxx cept when jt hosts he is so fine i like madtv better." Posts like these are often followed by replies of fans, who make some attempt to explain why they think the show is funny. Remember the first time someone showed you a Monty Python skit, and when it was over and you hadn't laughed they explained why you should have? And even though you understood them perfectly, you still didn't laugh? Yeah. Comedy doesn't really work that way.

Similar arguments can be found on the board for There Will Be Blood, which I happen to think is an excellent film. Many people come to complain that they thought it was boring, too long, didn't like the ending, etc (statements I'm sure you can find for most films). I don't understand what these people are hoping to accomplish. Only worse are those fans that respond by saying, "You just don't get it." Not only does this enforce the stereotype of the film snob, but it just pushes the objector further away.

Another common argument you can find is related to IMDb's Top 250 list, based on a film's weighted ranking. People live and die by this list like it's the fifth Gospel. And god forbid some young brigand (ahem, Dark Knight) should just jump up on the list like he owns the place. Hell hath no fury like a film geek scorned.

I am a reasonable, logical person, probably to a fault. If I encounter someone I disagree with, I usually explain my reason for thinking as I do, which is then met with something along the lines of accusing me and those that think like me of being responsible for the slow decline of the country. Or "u r teh ghey."

As a reasonable, logical person, the first and last act of physical aggression in which I was involved was in 7th grade (hint: I won, but I still cried). However, on multiple occasions, my interactions with people online have left me wanting nothing more than to smash their head in a car door repeatedly, or to enter the Thunderdome with them (hint: I'd use that bigass hammer).

Trying to convince someone of a film's worth, or a TV show's hilarity, is like trying to tell Pat Robertson that maybe homosexuals weren't responsible for 9/11. You mostly just get a blank stare in return.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

People or farm animals?

This video epitomizes a lot of what I don't like about people:

Granted, things here in NY aren't that bad (unless you have to use the ONE subway line on the East Side (the most worthless of the Sides, I must say)), but what you're seeing is a result of the same asinine stupidity concentrated on a much denser population.

You'll notice that although it takes some squeezing, more and more people keep fitting onto the train. This means people centered between the doors inside the car aren't moving in to let others on, even though it's pretty clear there are a lot more people that will be getting on the train. Plus, the cooperation of the conductors and the docility of the people being packed like Spam demonstrate that this is a daily occurrence at this stop. These people know this will happen every time, yet they still don't get it. They still don't make room until the staff are forced to push them together like self-important little lambs carrying briefcases.

You know what I'd do if I was on that train? I'd wait til the doors closed and we started moving, and I'd totally cut the loudest fart ever, then immediately start yelling at people for being so gross in public.


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New York New York

Sometimes I just can't escape the feeling that this city doesn't want me here.

I know, I know, that's totally illogical and not at all in line with my normal mode of thought. It's probably just a case of living in a less-than-ideal place (for my standards anyway), in order to pursue my career.

But I can't help but feel like I'm on the receiving end of a willful aggression when I'm walking in this city during a rainstorm, and that stupid, constant, crushing wind pushes against my umbrella and completely negates its protection.

Or when I'm waiting for a train at 42nd St. and the express roars in, screaming against my eardrums.

Or when I'm forced to look at any of the shouting headlines of the Post or Daily News while dozens of people read the garbage during their commute.

Or when the cave dwellers next to my apartment are out at 2 AM hitting things with sticks (I do not exaggerate).

These things go beyond unpleasant to the point that I feel a malignant force pushing against my daily routines here.

Or maybe I just need to lay off the peyote.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

General Musings on The Real World

A few months ago I saw previews for the new season of The Real World, set in Hollywood this time. In the past few years I've seen some of the challenge seasons, Gauntlet, whatever, but I haven't watched an actual season of the original show in a long time. I think actually San Diego might have been the last one I followed. So I thought, Why not? One of the myriad reasons I've avoided it is that I always come in late, so I don't know what's going on, plus I now have DVR so it'll be easy to do.

This season hasn't been too bad, I suppose, considering the sharp nosedive the show has taken. I've stayed away ever since a commercial for the Las Vegas season almost gave me herpes. I know this ground has been covered elsewhere, but I have to say that it seems like the type of people they recruit, and the type of experiences they shoot for, has much more of a spring break feel than back in the day. I don't know what the first season I watched live was (perhaps London, one of my favorites), but remember the marathons they'd have all weekend? Through those I've seen all the early ones at least a few times, and there's just no comparison. You got a bunch of eager young people that wanted to join this experiment and push their own boundaries, as well as those of their housemates. And since this was before "reality" TV made every no-talent douche think they could be part of the pop culture landscape, these people had no further ambitions than simply getting to partake in the experience. Cut to the Hollywood season where they've completely abandoned all pretense and specifically found people that want to pursue entertainment careers. At least they're being honest, I guess.

So now they're about to start filming in Brooklyn. Hearsay tells me they've narrowed it down to Williamsburg or Park Slope. Surprise surprise. I think they'll go with Williamsburg, because the housemates will fit right in with all the other tools and they'll be a short cab ride on MTV's dime away from Manhattan, where they will surely go every night to drink on MTV's dime and pick up sluts using MTV's rep. I wonder what their "job" will be this season. To really make them live the Williamsburg experience they'll have to give them a lot of money they didn't work for and force them to perfect their completely ridiculous wardrobe while pretending they don't enjoy anything.

What I want to see is Real World: Omaha. Put these a-holes in a house in Middle America with no crazy night life and stop paying for their alcohol. See what really happens then. See what happens when seven people have to drop all their bullshit defenses and spend real, sober time with each other, actually have to talk to each other and (gasp) learn about each other.

When I was a kid I thought the people on Real World were the coolest. I was so jealous because they seemed to grow so much, and stretch their personal horizons and partake in this thing that so few people got the chance to do. Now I watch children learn life lessons that I had pretty much nailed down by the age of fifteen.

All of this is symptomatic of the disturbing trend MTV has been on in the last decade of forgetting that they've been the dominant social force for teenagers since 1981. They're sitting on a cultural goldmine and it's like they don't even know it. I happened to remember that another music video channel exists, Fuse, and I turned it over there during their 1995 Video Yearbook. I was both terrified and amazed at what I saw. Michael Jackson at the end of his relevancy. The Foo Fighters making fun of Mentos. People over the age of 25. Do you remember a time when kids said "I want my MTV!" and they meant it? When Corey Haim moved to his grandpa's house in Lost Boys and upon seeing no television, said to his brother Mike (Jason Patric pre-Keifer Sutherland backstab) "No TV? You know what that means? No MTV." The channel recently turned 25 and everyone talked about it except them. No best-video-of-every-year countdown. No interviews with Martha Quinn. No retrospective on Beavis and Butt-head. Just eight straight hours of Pimp My Ride and Cribs.

So where have all those videos gone, that were made solely to be played on MTV (back when VH1 only showed "adult contemporary" crap like Celine Dion)? They're locked in a doomsday vault with Puck, The Spin Doctors, and Jesse Camp. All these things are lost, like tears in the rain.

Or like the classic Real World virgin's dignity.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dear Texas,

I know it's been a while since we've seen each other, but I hope it's OK with you if I drop a line and see how you're doing. I heard a few things from some friends that worried me a little bit, but I didn't want to jump to any conclusions without talking to you first. We've had our ups and downs but if anything that's brought us a little closer, right? So I think we owe it to each other to keep ourselves in check.

I'll cut right to it. I guess it boils down to the company you've been keeping and the sort of things they're telling you. I know Joe Horn isn't the kind of guy I'd hang out with, but if you two got along then that's great. He just seems a little misguided, is all. He always has the best intentions, always tries to help out, but don't you think he can be a little aggressive sometimes? Maybe a little stubborn? I know you guys have that whole "gun culture" thing in common, which I've never really gotten, but again, I won't judge you for that alone. But it did freak me out a little bit when I tried to surprise you that one Juneteenth and you pulled a .357 on me when I jumped out of the bathroom. That's just not like you man.

My other big point of contention is this materialism kick you've been on. You've always been a scrappy, independent kind of guy and I really dug that about you, but lately it seems like all you care about are things. Plasma TVs, cars, stereos. They're nice, but aren't there more important things? Isn't life a little more important than stuff you get at Best Buy? I was just really surprised to hear that about you, that's all.

Look, don't take this the wrong way. I don't want this to ruin our relationship. I know you're close to Amy's family, even my family has some connections to you, so I'm just looking out for you. I don't trust that Horn guy. I'd hate to see you get stabbed in the back.

Or shot.

Your bud,

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

PedEgg in the news!!!

See my original PedEgg post.

PedEgg's filthy ruination of human lives and slow march to world conquest continues.

This morning I was partaking of some fine cat photos at when I heard the-foot-scraping-device-that-must-not-be-named mentioned on CNN. Turns out two of the actors in the commercial (who happen to be married, and also finished second on a season of The Amazing Race) are suing the ad agency responsible for that nightmare of a commercial because they were misled about the usage and how they would be featured in the commercial. They thought it would be an internet-only spot and that it would only show their hands and feet. Production actually used "horror makeup" on their feet to get that "I've been walking on fiery swamp water all day" appearance. So they're worried about how it makes them look and how bad the commercial is. And they only got paid THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS for this disaster. For those not in the know, that is an absolutely awful amount of money to get paid for a national commercial like this.

It was pretty clear from the interaction between the anchor and reporter for the story that the PedEgg was a big joke in the CNN newsroom for a while, and they were really amused at the whole thing.

Amused my ass.

Will you be amused when you wake up on a stormy night and turn the lamp on to dispel your nightmares, only to find the cord's been sanded apart by the teeming mass of foot scrapers surrounding your bed, ready to grind down your very soul?

Didn't think so.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sooo...being a woman is hard.

I spent a good portion of this weekend in a wig and makeup (don't ask--it should be explained in the next six months or so) and good god, that is uncomfortable. I understand the wig is somewhat warmer than actually having hair that long, but it kept blowing into my face and getting stuck in my lipstick, which my lovely girlfriend Amy tells me is a regular occurrence, and why she doesn't like breezes or wearing lipstick. The lipstick dried out my lips and generally felt gross and my eyes burn from taking off the eyeshadow and mascara. I felt like I couldn't touch my face for hours.

Not to mention the looks I got. I thought people in Park Slope were a little more progressive-minded than that.

The things I suffer for my art.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

True horror...

Here's another transplant from my old blog:

The other day, while enjoying a DVR-ed episode of Reaper, I was treated to a particularly horrific commercial break. I was just about to fast forward, but this dreaded harpy sunk its claws into my brain before my thumb could act, and just as in the case of the fabled car wreck I could not avert my eyes.

I know the face of terror and it is Ped Egg. The first image that stopped me was that of a young woman's horned and jagged footskin tearing through her delicate hose as she tried to put them on. I was then treated to another young lady journaling in her teenage bedroom, but once the camera caught her hobbit-feet in its frame she became mortified and covered the lens with a pink bunny pillow. The final horror (so I thought) was that of a woman not unlike my grandmother sitting on a closed toilet attempting to shave the death from her soles with an array of surgical tools, but alas her Parkinsons/Alzheimer's/SARS prevented her from maintaining the steady hand she needed.

Then I was shown the solution to these indelible nightmares: the Ped Egg. A small egg-shaped (surprise) piece of plastic with a cheese grater on the bottom. A cheese grater. For your feet.

My shrieking brain was briefly calmed by shots of women (and one dude) gently caressing their feet with this miraculous product, lovingly flaying the hard dead skin cells off their toes, heels, eyelids, you name it. Just as I had relaxed and was once again prepared to fast forward to see how Sam finally nailed the soul of the week, Ped Egg delivered its deathblow.

With all this skin sanding, one might expect a small amount of debris to accumulate. Ped Egg has the answer. Ped Egg has all the answers. Behind Ped Egg's innocent cheese-grater-for-your-foot face lies its terrible secret, its black hole, its annex to one of Dante's circles of the netherworld. Simply crack open the egg and dump all your footshame into the nearest trash receptacle. Of course they show this. Twice. Twice I bore witness to the same shot of a model's hand dumping into an open can enough shredded skin to cover the spaghetti tray at Mr. Gatti's. I retch to this day at recalling the image.

How does one explain this can full of foot remains to company? "Oh, that's just filth I scraped from the bottom of my feet with this instrument of evil. I got two for the price of one, would you like to try it?"

And what are these people doing to accumulate so much foulness on their heels? I took karate for three years, which involved a lot of barefoot scooting-about on hard-nap carpet. I've also been running for at least ten years. Not once have I have had need for a piece of unholy metal to lay waste to the evil collected on my walking surfaces. Maybe they're all professional fire walkers. Or they work in industrial waste dumps in third-world countries. Or they're double-arm-amputees and have become accustomed to opening cans with their feet. God himself does not know.

And now you know what you're getting for Christmas.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Unabashed Stupidity in the Public Eye

I'm going to do my best to avoid discussing anything political or even moderately relevant here, but sometimes I just can't help myself. This is one of those times.

I'm talking about this story right here. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and general d-bag, is accusing Obama of skewing the Bible in a speech Obama made two years ago, in which he questioned the wisdom of governing with the Bible when considering some of the silly laws in the Old Testament that have no practical basis any more. Firstly I'd like to recognize the brass tacks it took for Obama to address that in a public speech. Second, I'd like to state that I think Dobson actually has a point about Obama's theology.

Theology aside, Dobson says this: "What he's trying to say here is, unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe. What the senator is saying there, in essence, is that 'I can't seek to pass legislation, for example, that bans partial-birth abortion, because there are people in the culture who don't see that as a moral issue. And if I can't get everyone to agree with me, than it is undemocratic to try to pass legislation that I find offensive to the Scripture. Now, that is a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution."

Yes, Mr. Dobson, it is indeed undemocratic (not to mention unconstitutional) to pass legislation that not everyone agrees on. Actually, we need at least a majority vote on almost any bill/law, if not 2/3 or 3/4 depending on the circumstances, so if something were to get passed with a minority in favor, you would be violating not only our laws but the foundational principles on which those laws were built. That's sort of the whole purpose for the structure of our government.

It's also unconstitutional to govern based on Scripture. First amendment, jackass.

How do people say things like this without getting laughed into submission?

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Inauspicious Beginnings

So I've had a blog at Myspace for a while but I like the interface here way better, plus it feels more official, so I'm gonna bring over a few things from that blog as well as add new stuff when I feel like it. So this is one of my previous posts, and I thought it was a good one to start with.

I was a very lame child. It's true, and I've come to grips with it. And for the sake of comedy, I'd love to tell you all about it.

I was not in touch with popularity, both in culture and in my personal life, for a long time. I didn't start listening to the radio or watching MTV til well after all my friends did. No, most of the music I listened to came from soundtracks. The quality of the music varied greatly, and often depended on the time period of the movie we were such a fan of. I say "we" referring mostly to my mother and I. Oh yes, I was, am, and will be a mother's boy, which of course contributed largely to my lameness. Mom was a stay-at-home type, so she drove me everywhere. In doing so she put me at the mercy of her tastes. I distinctly remember dozens and dozens of listenings to the soundtracks of Dirty Dancing (highlight: Swayze's "She's Like the Wind"), Miami Vice (highlights: theme song and Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight"), Lost Boys (highlight: Echo and the Bunnymen covering "People are Strange," which of course I did not know was a cover), Good Morning Vietnam (highlights: "What a Wonderful World" and interstitials of Robin Williams' radio riffs), and the finest work of Kenny Loggins: Footloose and Top Gun. Highlights here? Tough. Footloose I'd probably pick the title track and "I Need a Hero," which got me pretty pumped. Top Gun? "Playing with the Boys" (I am absolutely amazed that I'm attracted to women after hearing that song as much as I have) and the instrumental theme song, which was the last song on side B. These were all cassettes. Mom knew how much I loved the theme song and would have it cued up for months when she picked me up from school. It also pumped me up immensely, but as a lame 9-year old I had very little to actually be pumped up for.

I missed some huge pop culture moments while living in soundtrack-cassette-world. I had no idea what this "Ice Ice Baby" song was all about, but you can be sure I knew who Vanilla Ice was after he appeared on the soundtrack to the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (Secret of the Ooze) with the Ninja Rap. I did, however, know the song he sampled for "Ice Ice Baby," which of course is "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen. See, my dad had Queen's greatest hits on cassette, which I stole when I shed a few layers of lameness, and I knew it well. I'd never really heard or seen the New Kids but I could rock out to "Fat Bottomed Girls." Thanks mom and dad.

Mom liked Air Supply, Billy Ocean, and George Michael's Faith. I heard "I Want Your Sex" a lot when I was a kid. I, being lame, had no idea how strange it was for a young boy to listen to this with his mother all the time. Mom, knowing full well how lame a child she'd produced, clearly wasn't worried. I also didn't understand why Mr. Michael was friends with someone whose pet monkey would not let that person go ("Monkey"), nor why he was so unhappy about it. I did understand that "Father Figure" was about a woman that he probably wanted to be more than friends with, which brings me to an interesting point. I was aware that there was something different about George Michael. I thought he either wasn't very interested in women, or that he was really interested in women. I don't think I was actually alone here. Everyone knew how gay he was in Wham!. It was just obvious. And everyone knew how gay he was in the 90's, because he tried to touch/get touched by a few male police at different times. But somehow he fooled everyone in between, during the Faith years. I clearly remember Dana Carvey playing Michael on SNL as a straight, kinda rugged Englishman. Women swooned over George's tight jeans and leather jacket, his calculated stubble. How did he fool us like that?

Anyway, I remember a girl in fifth grade asking me what radio stations I listened to. I literally didn't know any. She didn't understand, and neither did I. What was on the radio? I just thought they played old songs our parents grew up on. I finally just told her I listened to soundtracks, and named a few. She looked at me funny and didn't talk to me much for the rest of the year.

I began to discover my own tastes late-fifth grade, early-sixth, so this was around 91-92. I believe the first CD I bought was Def Leppard's Hysteria. I honestly have no memory of discovering who they were or why I wanted that album. Then in 92 I went on a trip with school to a camp for a week. While there everyone kept playing the same song out their windows, and it was all you'd hear as you walked through the camp. That song sounded unclean, repetitive, and completely unintelligible, and its name was "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I had an absolutely terrible time that week, being as lame as I was (one specific memory is someone I considered a friend laughing loudly, publicly, and for a long time at my matching striped flannel button-up pajamas), and that song became strongly entwined with my misery. When I got home, I couldn't get it out of my head. I tried to understand it more by tuning regularly to channel 25, which I wasn't very familiar with. That was MTV. I finally saw the video, and I believe it actually frightened me. But I couldn't stop. I tried to watch that video as often as I could. Mom finally walked in once when I had it on, and I felt the need to distance myself as much as I could. "I don't actually like this, really, it's just that everyone else does so I guess I should watch it," which is really the reason that everyone turns on MTV. Suddenly I was aware of bands that other people knew as well. I sheepishly started looking at music at the Sound Shop in our mall, when mom would take me every Saturday. I recognized some of the names I saw. With guilt I started buying cassingles. Remember those? What was the point of that? But I did it. I went overboard. I bought every popular song I could find, which was quite silly considering how often you heard them on the radio. "I'm Too Sexy" (little-known fact: the B-side is the same song in Spanish). "Jump" (the words were too fast; I had no idea what most of it was about). And yes, "Informer" (which noone understood). I went whole-hog into the scene and very quickly regretted most of the things I got. I would listen to a tape once or twice and never hear it again. I finally narrowed my vision down to the field of hard rock, with Guns N Roses and Metallica (still a die-hard fan of all GNR, and Metallica's Black album), and made a slow progression into discernment.

On the flip side of my musical journey, I was watching stuff like RoboCop, Predator, and Twin Peaks at age 9 or 10, which is also when I began devouring Stephen King's entire catalogue. If I'm not mistaken my fifth-grade English teacher began fearing me when I walked in with mom's 500-page hardcopy edition of Skeleton Crew. That year I also read Cujo, Tommyknockers, and It, if not more. Strangely this still managed to convey a certain image of lameness to my peers, though I can only imagine mom encouraged my consumption of this material to counteract my sad, sad musical tastes.

In the next installment, I discover girls through Married...With Children and comic books.

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