Blog Fail

Hi guys,
Sorry I have been MIA. I've had crazy week upon crazy week and am hustlin' like Lil Wayne, so I haven't made the time to blog. Please accept my humblest apologies, and look forward to regular posting starting next week.


Getting an Early Start

I have another funny story from my past to share with you. It's coming to you secondhand because I actually have no recollection of it (as is the case with much of my life). When I was in Indiana laughing with my parents over past hilarity, my father told me this story:

When I was in first grade, my dad, a police officer, always made me lunch when he got home from working the night beat. One morning, he came home as usual and packed me something I loved: a tuna salad sandwich. But a short time after he went to sleep, he woke with a jolt and the frightening thought that he had forgotten to put a drink in my lunchbox. So he stumbled out of bed, half-asleep, to the darkened breezeway, where my family keeps the pop, bottled water, juice boxes, +c., grabs a drink, and tosses it into my lunchbox. Presumably, I wake up, eat some cereal, have my mother give me a hairstyle (my younger brother always threw a tantrum if she just left it alone), and take my lunch to school.

The next day around lunchtime, my father receives a telephone call from a woman he knows at the principal's office.
"Do you know what you packed your daughter for lunch?"
"Uh, a tuna sandwich, some carrots, and probably a cookie or something."
"Anything else?"
"Oh, a juicebox."
"That wasn't a juicebox," she says. "That was a single-serving box of red wine."
Dad's first response: "Red wine with tuna?!" After realizing the magnitude of the event, he offers to come pick it up.
She laughs and says, "It's already been taken care of."

Can you imagine such a scene happening in our modern era? If my father hadn't known the school faculty so well (he volunteered for the Chili Festival, shifts at the school cafeteria, room parenting, and a lot more to embarrass me, or so I thought at the time) and if this happened today, the school would have called Child Protective Services.

So if you've been lucky enough to witness the way I handle an alcoholic beverage or even to get iced by me, this should explain a few things.



'Tron Tuesday 6/15/10

Hello! Hola! Bonjour! Greetings, Earthlings! I want to tell you how fabulous the past week has been for me: very. Now let's get down to brass tacks and tackle that beast we know as the Intertron:

1. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is exactly what it sounds like. Each entry makes you go, "Awww, bummer," and then you laugh because you realize how apt it is. My only complaint: Please organize it alphabetically!

2. This site is merely a feed of tweets from tea-partiers, but the name cracked me up.

3. The beautiful Agent Lover has a great post on the shoe pyramid (like the food pyramid, only with shoes and also upside-down). She is a fancy lady who wears high heels all the time. I feel a bit embarrassed because I can't figure out where most of my shoes (T-straps, non-Ugg boots, slip-on flats, Chuck Taylors) would fit into the triangle; I sure hope it ain't with the rest of the comfy ones, i.e., "you better go barefoot like Brit Brit in a gas station bathroom before you wear those nightmares."

4. I know I plugged it last week, but this is actually the week my friend and co-worker AF's show opens (Thursday!). Get your fly self down to Noma Gallery, and see his marvels. If you're rich, buy something -- Lord knows he could use the money.

5. Do you appreciate kittens' capacity for evil? Or do you just love cute things? Then watch this:

Show me something I haven't seen, good people of the Intertron!



Don't Be Afraid to Sing

I need to ask y'all a personal question: Do you like to sing karaoke?

Rats, somebody beat me to this million-dollar idea.

Because I do. A lot. Last night, I went to a karaoke bar for a bit, waited for them to play my song, got bored, and left. But when there isn't an enormous queue, karaoke combines a few of my favorite things: singing at the top of my lungs, dancing like a maniac, and drinking copious amounts of booze.

True karaoke lovers are hard to find, and most of them are actually decent singers. Folks who don't have a professional-level voice tend to be embarrassed or even intimidated when they attend karaoke, so they require more drinks than seem humanly possible for them to consume before they can get onstage. But anyone who has ever heard me talk knows that my voice is not suited for anything, so I would like to share with you my professionally unqualified tips for enjoying your karaoke experience without needing to incur serious liver damage:
  • Choose your setting carefully. How comfortable are you singing in front of a bar filled with strangers? Not very? Try one of those Japanese-style karaoke lounges where you pay an hourly rate to rent a room with only your friends (or still strangers, depending on your typical going-out modus operandi). Also hit up this kind of establishment if you can't decide which song to sing: The remote-controlled system makes it easy for you to choose many songs and then skip or delete them later if you want. You can graduate to onstage performances in crowded bars further on down the road.
  • Pick a song everybody knows and loves. This increases the likelihood that no one will hear how awful your voice sounds because the audience will be singing along, plus you'll know most of the words and the tune. In my opinion, you really can't go wrong with any '80s pop song. Later, when you feel more comfortable (or drunker), you can choose a more obscure song. Here's my list of go-to karaoke songs:
    1. Journey: "Don't Stop Believin'"
    2. Michael Jackson: "The Way You Make Me Feel"
    3. Meat Loaf: "I Would Do Anything for Love"
    4. Madonna: "Open Your Heart"
    5. Britney Spears: "Womanizer"
    6. Guns 'n' Roses: "Sweet Child of Mine"
    7. Def Leppard: "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
    8. Heart: "Crazy on You"
    9. Sir Mix-a-Lot: "Baby Got Back"
    10. Prince: "When Doves Cry"
  • Put on a show. Nobody is judging you, and if someone is, they have not consumed enough beer yet. Have fun with it. Dance if you feel like it. Yell into the microphone. Send a shout-out to your mother. Laugh. Pretend you're a superstar; this is your chance (unless you make it big in reality television)!
So get out there, and sing your heart out! Maybe I'll see you from the stage...



Tin Can Alley

At my small Catholic grade school, we had a more or less yearly event called "Pioneer Day." The boys put on flannel, suspenders, and straw hats, and the girls got dressed up in their mothers' skirts (so they would be long enough) and old baby bonnets. During the day, we rotated through such pioneer-themed activities as candle making, leather tooling, square dancing, and taffy pulling. It was at least more interesting than class.

We had almost this much fun.

In second grade, one of the educational activities was playing kick-the-can with an actual tin coffee can. Now, I've never been athletically inclined, so I'm half-running rather aimlessly and occasionally waving my foot in the direction of the scuffle (to make it look like I was participating, see) in the midst of a bunch of rambunctious kids hyped up on taffy, trying to hit their feet against a hard metal object with sharp edges. Great idea, right, Parent-Faculty Association?

So I'm shuffling around, growing a bit excited as the can comes close. I make my move to kick the can and proceed to trip on my mother's long skirt. I fall flat on my face as the can-kicking continues around me. As I lift my head to get up from the ground, Brent Rayford kicks the can right into my forehead.

Did it hurt? A little. But the shocker came once I stood up: I felt sweat pouring down my face, so I go to wipe it with my hand, but it's not sweat -- it's blood. I faint.

I wake up in the nurse's office. They've called my dad and are having him come get me. He takes me to the hospital, where I get three stitches. Dad doesn't think I should go back to school, but I want to -- to show everyone how tough I am and how they are all pansies for switching from a can to a soccer ball as soon as I was injured and also to receive the apology I knew Brent Rayford would give.

That apology never came. We spent six more years at that school together before parting ways, and although we were on civil terms, I still have not forgiven Brent Rayford. If I ever see him again, I'll show him my small scar and then punch him in the face.



'Tron Tuesday 6/8/10

Hi! Here is a really, really truncated 'Tron Tuesday. I'm under lots of deadlines at work, and I'm going to see a show tonight, so I only had time today to come up with two things:

1. My buddy AF is part of this art series. Find him at NOMA in a couple of weeks until the middle of July! His work is really awesome and interesting, and -- excuse me for tooting my own horn here -- he has asked me lots of questions for inspiration.

2. My dear friend RG says the "R" must stand for "real" because nobody keeps it real like R. Kelly:

The good news is that going back to Indiana this past weekend gave me loads of fuel for posts this week, so you'll be hearing more from me as early as tomorrow!



Use Your Words

The Wernicke's area is the language G-spot in your mind. It's the part of your brain that processes written and spoken language coming from outside your body (its counterpart, the Broca's area, is linked to your own speech production). The Wernicke's area is linked to how you understand, recognize, and interpret language and semantics. It normally looks like this:

Mine, however, when I'm listening to someone speak or reading a piece of writing, looks like this:

I should have majored in linguistics, probably, but at least in my current field, I'm able to come into contact with language and fellow language-lovers on a daily basis. It used to be that I wrote and edited because I was good at it and I knew all the rules. Now, I love digging into how language works and why it works, and lately I've been a lot looser about those restrictions. Language is a living, breathing, sacred, constantly evolving entity to me.

I have an issue with language. It affects every part of me -- my mood, my outlook, my muscular control. When anyone speaks or writes in a repetitive, cliched, uninteresting way, it makes me want to punch him or her a little, even more than when I spot a glaring comma error or a misspelling. But when someone uses language cleverly, be it with an unusual noun modifier, a large vocabulary, or an outdated expression ("everything's jake," "what's the rumpus?" etc.), it turns me on. Just reading the Wikipedia article about the Wernicke's area gave me a brain boner: "unimodal auditory association in the superior temporal gyrus anterior to the primary auditory cortex"?! I don't even know what that means, but can we make out? Give me those big, rarely used words, those complex-compound sentences, baby. Use a gnarly bit of slang in an otherwise prim and proper sentence. Put two mismatched words together. Give me a synecdoche, a hysteron-proteron, a zeugma. Yoda, speak like. Whatever, just get creative with what comes out of your face!

Is my Wernicke's area simply overactive, or does language have a similar effect on you?


Blowing... Something, I Guess

Last week, I went to the Walgreen's across the street from my apartment in search of razor blades and cat litter. I procured the blades and on my way to the pet aisle stumbled across this:

It's a bubble blower.

Its shape did not enter into my decision to purchase it. I had to have it because, as you may or may not know, I have a serious penchant for all things with Hello Kitty on them:

Courtesy of the awesome SE.

Since this past weekend held Memorial Day and barbecues are just asking for bubbles to be blown at them, I busted out this bad boy more than a few times. Every time, I had to field the question, "Is that a Hello Kitty dildo?"

A few things:
1. These are Hello Kitty dildos:

Technically, they're vibrators, so it's perfect for when I'm fantasizing about Keroppi.

2. If I were putting something this large inside me, something would be seriously wrong:

This is my forearm. I'm 5'9.

3. I would not leave something like this lying on the coffee table for all guests to see as they walk in the door, and I most certainly would not bring it out of my house to an outdoor event.

My other favorite thing about this Walgreen's is that one of its cashiers is named Ulysses. I think I'm in love.



'Tron Tuesday 6/1/10

The smartest business idea ever?

Hi, this is going to be a text-light post because I am feeling like crap today.

1. I already knew this, but if you're not convinced, read the 10 reasons it would rule to date a unicorn. Reason #7: They make okay parachutes.

2. A whole Tumblr full of hot guys reading books. You should submit a photo of you or some hottie you know reading a book. And by "submit," I mean "send to me so I can put it in my private porn stash with the photos of men's shoes."

3. If girls don't want to get with you and you're convinced it's because you're a "nice guy," you probably aren't. On a related note, SAC UP.

4. Cooking for Assholes is priceless even though the writer hardly makes a single thing that I can eat. The description of the blog (I added the asterisks):
"You suck at cooking. You f*ck up rice. You think Cayenne is that fat b*tch from around the way and Old Bay is the piece of sh*t that keeps calling the cops on you and your boys. Don't you think you would get some major action if you were able to pull off an edible culinary concoction? Follow these easy recipes and you will be swimming in the sea of love before you know it. Dap! "
5. Hilarity on Twitter. And also sadness. But if we can't laugh at sad things, life is not worth living.

Fill me in on your Intertron adventures! For now I am going home and going to bed.