Thursday, May 31, 2012

Things That Go Nom Nom Nom in the Night

Here are some things I'm afraid of:

Small spaces
Falling off the subway platform
Being buried alive

I never thought I'd see the day where I'd be adding "someone eating my face off" to this list.

What the fuck, world.

Today on the subway, a crazy got on the same car as me.  He stood by the doors and casually poured a bottle of water on the floor of the train.  Ok.  He started yelling, and I had my headphones in so I don't know what he was yelling about.  But then he started pointing at me while he was yelling.  If this had happened 2 days ago, I probably would have just felt the normal amount of uncomfortable.  But today all I could think was, please don't lunge at me and try to eat my face.  Never imagined I would think that thought.  No longer walking past Otto's Tiki Bar after sundown.  At least not with my face exposed.

I read that the face-eater's mom is pissed that people are calling her son a zombie (which is actually a pretty generous label given the circumstances).  She has defended his honor by citing the fact that he gave her a Mother's Day card (doesn't excuse face-eating) and has argued that the cops didn't need to shoot him when they could have just used a taser.  When someone is eating the face off of a living person there is no such thing as excessive force for the individuals putting a stop to the face-eating.  This is coming from someone who hates guns.  Super anti-guns over here.  See the above list.  But one face eaten is one face too many.  Use all the guns to shoot all the face-eaters.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The More You Know

Here are a couple of interesting facts I learned about coconuts today:

On average, 150 people are killed every year by coconuts falling on their heads.
Coconuts can be classified as either a fruit or a nut or a seed.  If you care for specifics, they are a one-seeded drupe.

The more you know.

I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to benefit from a top quality education.  My parents put me through private school first grade through high school, and then I got my bachelor's degree from the greatest university of all time (do not question it), Notre Dame.

I learned a great deal through my formal education and now I continue that tradition of learning with my Google devices (aka my iPhone/iPad/MacBook - the holy trinity of knowledge).

Where is the "back" button on this phone.
I'd rather be looking at the Braveheart leper
Here are a handful of things I have searched on the Google in the past four days:

- How many people are killed by coconuts on a yearly basis? (obviously)
- Is a coconut a fruit? (obviously)
- Leper from Braveheart (because sometimes you need to make sure someone else will never be able to unsee that face)
- Can you do a strikethrough in an iMessage? (finding new ways to use champion the strikethrough. Someone please make an app for this)
- Willow Smith (to prove to someone that not all of Will Smith's kids are cute)
- Aaron Paul + fiance (FYI "activist" is not a real job description. I'm not impressed.)
- Watch [insert name of TV show] free online (duh)
- Alphabet Cafe + milkshakes (the answer is "yes")
- Jennifer Nettles (making sure I spelled her name right so I could lambast her on the Twitter #Duets)
- pedicure east village (time to accept that it's summer and do something about my goblin feet)
- Family guy + the more you know (this was recent)

This is not the first of these lists I've been involved in putting together.  In college, my roommates and I loved McSweeney's lists.  Junior year we submitted our own: Actual Questions That Appear in our Roommate's Search History.  For those of you that haven't seen this, prepare to be amazed by Mikaela Droz's thirst for knowledge.  For those of you that have already seen this, read it anyway.  I promise, it's still funny.

This guy.
Who won the vice presidential debate?
Who won A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila II?
Who is on the dime?
Who does the voice of Brian on Family Guy?
What is the rate of return of the S&P 500?
What are electric costs for a 1,000 square foot apartment?
What kind of dog was the one in Old School?
What is the highest MCAT score?
What is in P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps?
Why does Padma from Top Chef have a scar?
How much does an insulin pump cost?
How much does Tyra Banks weigh?
How much do cruise liners weigh?
How many words are in a 5 minute speech?
How to perform an exorcism in an apartment?
How do you clean non-athletic shoes?
How long can a baby with two faces live?

Won't stop until the truth is uncovered.
Here's a list for you, McSweeney's.. Most devastating, dream-crushing e-mail I've ever received.  Oh wait.. there's just one:

Hi, Mikaela, Andrea, and Mariel -

I'm afraid we're not going to use this one, but thanks for considering us for it. Hope you guys will keep trying.



Dear Chris,

In case you were still regretting this decision three years after the fact, I just wanted to update you on the goings on in my life.  I haven't checked McSweeney's lists in at least eighteen months.  Hope you'll keep being terrible.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Voicemails from Dad

"Hi, I'm so glad I've reached Mariel [referring to my voicemail greeting]. Thanks for wishing me happy birthday. I'm so glad you remembered all on your own." Here is the first minute of the conversation that occurred when I called him back. Dad: Hello, Bluebird Diner. Me: Oh sorry are you at breakfast? Dad: Yes, we serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Me: Do you serve turds? Dad: [no reaction to the previous statement] Are you on a train?

Happy birthday to The Utmost Righteous Dad.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Texts from my Brother

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Ain't No Sunshine

Given the recent gloomy weather here in NYC, here's a picture to remind us of how lovely springtime can be in the city. You know, when it doesn't smell like wet cardboard (there are a lot of homeless people in our neighborhood. It comes with the territory).

I took this on my way to Central Park a few weeks ago. Come back to us, sunshine.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jumping the Megalodon

I asked Andrea to request a topic for a post.  She sent me the following video:

This is fantastic.  Andrea suggested I use it to write about bad special effects or maybe about how my favorite TV shows could hypothetically jump the shark but let's take a moment to appreciate the video itself.  That guy at 0:15 clearly never saw Titanic because you are most definitely not supposed to steal life preservers from women and children.  Chivalry is dead and in five seconds, so are you.  Blonde lady, that jerk just stole your life preserver so why are you upset that he dove directly into the Megalodon's mouth?  That seems like karma.  I'm pretty happy about it and I'm not even the one who got her flotation device poached.  Get mad.  Megalodon can swallow a raft of 6 adults without even chewing.  Megalodon is to humans/rafts/jet skis as my brother is to deviled eggs.

That being said.. Here are a few of my favorite TV shows and some suggestions as to how they might jump the shark:

Parks and Rec

The obvious:  Leslie and Ben have a baby.  April and Andy have a baby.  Ann and [name a male character on the show] have a baby.  I hate child actors.  I rarely appreciate their addition to one of my beloved TV shows.  Word of advice to show runners: feed these shark-jumper babies to Megalodon before they end your careers.

The not-so-obvious: Adam Scott takes a hiatus from the show to film Party Down: The Movie.  Leslie and Ben break up.  Leslie and Ron have sex.  I'm sure there are creepy fan fiction writers out there that have already played this scenario out in one of Ron's hand-carved canoes.  Gross.  Can you imagine if Mary Tyler Moore boned Ed Asner?  Gross.  FYI, fan fiction writers, your ideas are the worst.

30 Rock

The obvious: Liz and Jack sleep together and/or Liz has a baby.  

The not-so-obvious: Jack Donaghy announces that NBC is dissolving as a network.  The next day, it happens in real life.  There are worse things.


The obvious: Well, they fired Dan Harmon this week so imagine Fonzie on a Big Wheels clearing two Megalodons stacked on top of each other and that's pretty much the level of shark-jumping going on here.  You know how after Aaron Sorkin left The West Wing, we kept watching because it was still really good, but now when we re-watch the series every three to four months, we only re-watch the first four seasons because those were the ones that were actually really really good?  Well, kind of like the way we want to remember the fictional White House as Sorkin's fictional White House, we want to remember Greendale Community College as Harmon's Greendale Community College.

If you aren't a West Wing fan/don't re-watch the first four seasons every three to four months/don't have a girl crush on Allison Janney, here's another analogy:  Paula Deen has been baking cookies for you every Thursday for the last three years.  You try to share with your friends but most of them have heard that her cooking doesn't meet widely accepted health standards so they aren't interested.  A few of you indulge and after three years, you're obsessed with these cookies.  Every week you've gotten a different flavor, and never have your taste buds been disappointed.  Friday mornings you find yourself scouring the internet for other people talking about these cookies, analyzing them, praising them.  There are more of your kind out there, and you want six seasons and a movie three more years and a storefront.  This week, though, Dr. Greenblatt told you that you have to cut Paula Deen out of your life.  "Eating healthy will make you more popular, and friend ratings are important," Dr. Greenblatt tells you.  "You can still eat cookies but they're going to have to be sugar-free.  We want your friends to eat cookies with you and they'll agree to eat cookies as long as they're diet-friendly."  Oh my god, fuck those people.  I don't want friends.  Dr. Greenblatt continues, "And instead of baking cookies for you on Thursdays, we're going to deliver them to your apartment on Friday nights while you're out a bar with your friends.  It's part of the diet.  This way, we'll eventually wean you off cookies forever." OH MY GOD, I don't want friends, I don't want sugar-free cookies, I don't want to watch NBC's new fall line-up my weight.  I want Community Diabetes.

The not-so-obvious: Chevy Chase quits the show out of loyalty to his dear friend Dan Harmon.


The obvious: Hmm... this one is going to be tough but I'll take a stab at it.  Finn and Rachel get engaged?  Sue Sylvester gets pregnant?  They give Kurt the greatest American-flag-bandana-ensemble of all time and then give it an inexplicably insignificant amount of screen time?  Oh wait...  I'm a little behind on Glee - I've only seen up to the Whitney Houston tribute episode which I actually thought was pretty fantastic.  But other than that, you've sort of shit the bed this season, Glee.  Thanks for that shower scene featuring Darren Criss and Darren Criss's back, though.  We needed that.

The not-so-obvious: Artie walks.  It would still be less ridiculous than that mattress commercial.

Mad Men

The obvious: I really don't think it's possible for Matthew Weiner/Mad Men to jump the shark.  It's just too good.  Even the crazy stuff (the British guy's foot getting cut off by the lawn mower, Don's secret identity, Roger's LSD trip, etc) is brilliant.  I guess the only way for the show to bring on an untimely demise would be to fulfill the Don-falling-from-the-23rd-floor-of-SCDP prophecy because the show would obviously spill its guts all over Madison Avenue alongside Jon Hamm.  But that will not happen (until the series finale) so I'm not concerned.

The not-so-obvious: I'm a big fan of Mark Lisanti's theory that Sally Draper is a serial killer in the making so... Sally enlists Pete Campbell to help her push Don out the window of the 23rd floor of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  Then she stabs Pete in the stomach with Grandpa Gene's war helmet.  Glenn plants a lock of Betty's hair and a couple of Bugles at the scene of the crime.  

[ed. note: I received the following text from my brother tonight... "Response from dad after i called him a turd... T.U.R.D. The Utmost Righteous Dad"]

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What Don Draper Saw at the Bottom of the Elevator Shaft

One of the things I look forward to each week after watching Mad Men is reading Grantland's Mad Men Power Rankings and recaps.  This weekend I watched the episode from two weeks ago, and in one of the recaps Mark Lisanti says he can't wait for a "What Don Draper Saw at the Bottom of the Elevator Shaft" meme.  Here are a few of my theories:

A hungry hungry hippo

A bald Don Draper

A cat in a bidet
Sally Draper's collection of weapons
Puppies that have crossed Bert Cooper
Bat boy
Helga's shrine to Hey Arnold


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Most Likely to Have Hillbilly Teeth

Before I begin, let me just start by congratulating my brother Nicholas for being a monster on the track, finishing the 10K with a personal record of 32:01.  After he finished, we were talking and I told him he had a poppy seed stuck in his teeth.  He picked it out, looked at his finger, said "that's a bug," and just carried on like a boss.  When you end up with bugs stuck between your teeth, you know you're running fast.

Just awful.
Alright, so about the Greyhound bus.  I know I throw around the term "the worst" often, but when I use it to describe Greyhound, please know that I do not use this expression lightly.  First of all, it departs from the Port Authority, which is one third of the worst-places-in-New-York trifecta (accompanied by Penn Station and Times Square).  I drank all of the whiskey gingers one night at a bar in the Port Authority with a few of my co-workers and as far as I was concerned, it blew up the next day and I would never see its hideous, Jack-and-shame stained face again.  But alas, Springfield-bound, I begrudgingly returned to this hell hole an hour before my bus was scheduled to depart per the directions on my online order confirmation.  This was unnecessary. Never get to your Greyhound bus more than 20 minutes ahead of time. Save yourself. Protect your sanity.. and your general health.

At our gate, the waiting area was divided into four lines by boarding number (1-10, 11-20, etc).  There were 12 people in the 1-10 line.  Not surprised.  Already mad.  When a Greyhound employee showed up to herd us onto the bus he asked if anyone in line spoke English (??) and then repeatedly asked everyone to check their tickets for their boarding number.  I grew increasingly angry at whichever two idiots in line 1-10 were not getting this.  Oh wait, Greyhound man says, sometimes in order to keep things efficient and affordable our online system ends up assigning repeat boarding numbers.  Uhhhh... how is your shitty ticketing software keeping things efficient and affordable for us?  Ok sure, I didn't think it was possible but I officially hate you more than line 1-10.  Oh wait, two bossy black ladies are on my side and are now telling this jag-off that Greyhound is NOT affordable.  This is true.  This round trip ticket cost me $66.  To go to SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS.  They don't even have a Chili's there.  Ladies, you're my favorites.  If you sit in front of me and recline your seat, I won't be mad.

There is an art to avoiding other human beings while riding public transportation.  My cousin Eddie told me he likes to put his headphones on and turn some abrasive music up super loud so people won't want to sit next to him.  Some people spread their bags across the seat next to them.  Some people bust out food (there is nothing more offensive than a tuna salad sandwich).  But when a bus is sold out, you've just got to hope for the best and plead with your eyes when you see a normal person creeping their way down the aisle, scanning for you, their normal-person soulmate, to sit next to.

I am not a normal person, though, so I usually end up with the crazies.  This time I got a fat lady who sounded like Uncle Frank from Mrs. Doubtfire.  I think she sneezed out a carton of cigarettes.  At one point, given her girth, she didn't have room in her seat for her giant Pepsi, so she shoved it in my seat next to me, thinking I was asleep?  Nope, not happening.  I picked it up, handed it to her, gave her my best grimace, then went back to fake sleeping.

Here are some more terrible things about Greyhound.  If you need to change your ticket, you can't do so over the phone or online (hang on a second.. ok, yeah, just wanted to make sure this was 2012).  You have to physically go to a Greyhound station to change it.  After paying $66 for a service 50x worse than Megabus, I now had to spend 45 minutes navigating the worst automated phone system of all time before pressing "4" for an "emergency" just to speak with a human being the devil's minion who told me that I would have to haul my irritable ass to the Greyhound station in Springfield to pay $15 to change my ticket to a bus three hours later so that I could attend the meet on Sunday with my dad.  For $81, I could have ridden Amtrak with the rest of civilization. Total bullshit.  Also, when my dad dropped me off at the station on Sunday, I walked inside and asked the dispatcher which gate the bus to New York was going to depart from, to which he replied, "Gate 1. And another thing, if you're ever going to ride this bus again, you will not enter from the back door here.  Cars are only allowed in the front of the building to drop off."  I said, "Don't worry.  I'm never riding this bus again."

Before I get to the Bill highlights of the weekend, you should know that there was a ladies' barbershop quartet competition happening in Springfield, and our hotel room (#1115) was next door to the party room.

And finally.. #MyWeekendWithBill:

- My dad picks me up at the bus station and there's a whole pineapple wrapped in a newspaper in the front passenger seat of the car.  "Who needs an air freshener?"  Totally normal.

- I asked him if he'd been following The Voice, which he claims is not as good as American Idol (LIES), and then asked him what he thought of TheRealXtina cutting Jesse Campbell.  For those of you unfamiliar with #TheVoice, Jesse had what should have been a winning combination of a killer voice and unbeatable sob story - his wife left them because he wasn't making enough money and he and his daughter were homeless and had to sleep in his car... Are you crying yet?  No?  How about now?  After singing crushing Beyonce's "Halo" while pictures of his daughter were projected on the stage (obviously I wept), Xtina rudely eliminated him because she wanted a team that had the most potential for growth.  YOU DON'T NEED TO GROW WHEN YOU'RE ALREADY THE BEST.  I can't talk about this anymore, I'm getting angry.  Anyway, I told my dad I thought Ms. Aguilera was high on prescription drugs.  My dad just matter-of-factly responds, "I'm telling you.. Christina Aguilera is a lesbian."

- While my brother was warming up for his race, my dad yelled "I've got my money on the kid in red" and then followed that with "I like it a lot" in his best Lloyd Christmas impersonation:

- He asked me if I remembered seeing the space shuttle launch when I was in high school (we happened to be in Florida at the time).

     Do you ever feel bad that you were video-taping it when it blasted off?
     No... why?
     I don't know, I worry that it distracted from the overall experience for you.  That was so cool seeing the space shuttle lift off.  Do you feel like you missed it because you were holding the camera?
     No.  Where did this come from?
     Just something I think about sometimes.

- He referred to this guy as "Captain Amherst"

Tell me, what's the catch of the day?
- I was wearing an elephant pendant necklace that Kelly gave me for my birthday and my dad asked me if it was a Brooks Brothers emblem.  Sure, because what 23-year-old female isn't a Brooks Brothers label whore?

- After Nick ran, my dad kept asking him if he was going to celebrate that night.  He then kept reiterating that he should only be drinking a light beer to stay in shape for summer training.  We went to dinner that night and my dad - a notorious lightweight - had a beer called Rye on Rye which was 11% alcohol.  He apparently decided light beer was no longer an option for young Nicholas and texted him that he hoped he was drinking the "sweet nectar of the agave plant."  Bear in mind it was Cinco de Mayo.  Then he said, "I wish Devin was here," referring to Nick's bff who went on vacation with our family last summer.  I asked where that came from and he said something to the effect of "Devin gets me" or "Devin would get it" and then just left it at that.

- I had forgotten to bring toothpaste and asked my dad if I could borrow his.

     Dad, can I use some toothpaste?
     You didn't bring your own?
     ... Ok, I'm taking your toothpaste.
     Don't use all of it.
     (Later on)
     Dad, where's the toothpaste?
     Oh my GOD, seriously?
     Oh my GOD, SERIOUSLY?  How much toothpaste do you think I'm going to use?!
     I don't know.  You could use the whole tube on one of your hillbilly teeth.

[ed. note: flabbergasted]

[ed. note: my dad is a dentist. He has a box with a hundred travel-size toothpastes under his sink at home]

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Texts From My Roommate

Carolyn: Some homeless guy asked if he could be my roommate. #alreadyhaveone #alsohomeless

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

Here is a little preview of what my next post is going to be about..  You'll have to wait until Sunday night but just prep your brain for this one:

I have always imagined Greyhound buses as being frequented by meth addicts.  And I can only
imagine how much meth addicts love Slurpees.  So actually, this makes a lot of sense.  #BizznassSmarts

After making sure my tetanus shot is up-to-date, I'm boarding the Greyhound to go see my brother run the 10K at the Atlantic 10 Conference Meet in Amherst, Mass. this weekend.  With my dad.  That's right.. I'm taking a Greyhound.  And spending 36 hours with my dad.  See you on the other side.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

28 More Years

If you haven't seen the above "Woof PAC" video from the White House Correspondents Dinner, you are paws-itively missing out (I went there).

As you know, I have wanted to be friends with this man for awhile.. Just wanted to remind you why. I have the utmost respect for people who are able to laugh at themselves.  That's what you have to do when you're most likely to have bad hair.  Not that you have bad hair, Mr. President.  In fact, 100% the opposite.

Watch the full Correspondents Dinner 2012 video here.