Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hay Gays, Once You're Past Twenty-Two, You're Not a Boi, You're a God Damn Man

That's all.


It's the weirdest thing. Ever since I've gotten back from South Africa, I've been getting along better with my parents. I no longer feel trapped eating dinner with them. I no longer bristle when my mother tells me a hot piece of Jewish gossip I really never wanted to know about. It no longer makes me sad that my Dad quotes Seinfeld compulsively. I laugh instead of cry when my Mom asks me, "Can I please tell you something about the holocaust!?" and then goes on to describe some list she found online about her great grandparent's deportation to Auschwitz. "Isn't that a bit of a morbid thing to look into?" I asked my mom, and then we laughed (literally laughed) about how over-played the Holocaust is in Jew School. We laughed...

I'm not sure you recognize the gravity of this anecdote.

You see, for the longest time, my reluctance to be part of the Jewish community in Seattle was one of the Great Tragedies of our family. Not only was I gay, but I didn't like going to Shul. I didn't want to have dinner at our orthodox friend's house. I was sick and tired of being asked when I was going to finally go to Israel.

But now, something has seismically shifted. I blessed the shabbat wine last night without rushing through to the end of it, and I didn't mind when my mother placed her hands on my head to bless me (which is part of the shabbat ritual). It's like I've internalized the teachings of Kal Penn in "The Namesake." He left for Soho too! He came back with a newfound appreciation for his culture! This brings up another issue- my inability to appreciate a life that does not have a symbiotic relationship to some sort of Hollywoodized narrative. But we can talk about the relationship between life and art some other time...

I'm still trying to figure out how this all came about. Was I finally able to buddhify my relationship to my family? Was it because I escaped, because I left for South Africa, that I am now somehow able to come back and really fully integrate myself? Or am I over-embracing all of this because of some romanticized narrative of a jewish boy returning to his faith. Perhaps the propaganda of Jewish summer camp suddenly penetrated the most inner parts of my brain. Or maybe, most likely, I just now somehow don't view my mother as a threat anymore. She's no longer trying to control me. Or, perhaps, I've just figured out how better to control myself.

Buddhists say the places that scare us are the places that bring up all of our old baggage, and the most fearless thing one can do is to place oneself in these uncomfortable nomad lands, where you can't easily say what's right or what's wrong because everything is so shaky and ambiguous and you have nothing to hold on to.

In the past, I always viewed those scary places as places far away from the city where I grew up, places where I'd have to face the harsh reality of being gay, or having AIDS, or something else really scary. But, all along, the scariest place was really my parent's house, because it brought up so much baggage. But again, for some reason, the house no longer scares me.

Last night, as I was drinking the shabbat wine and grabbing fistfulls of Grateful Bread challah, I looked at both of my parents (I believe my mother was on one of her exciting tangeants, this time about a book I gave her based on the movie Charlie Wilson's War)...but instead of seeing my parents, I saw a man and a woman, each with their own charms, and passions, and all the character traits they no doubt passed down to me. The humorous traits, the bookworm traits, the socialite traits, and the neediness, and passive aggressive traits as well. But for the first time in ever, I didn't resent any of these traits.

There's a particularly powerful moment in "The Namesake" when Kal Penn's character arrives at the airport, before he's about to go to his father's funeral. Penn is just back from Soho or Martha's Vineyard or somewhere distinctly culturally anglo-American, and he's shaved his head. He comes and sits down with his mother and sister, and for the first time, he actually looks at them. He doesn't try and disassociate. He connects.

I balled while watching this part of the movie.

It takes a lot of maturity to do this, to really accept your parents for who they are, and I don't think I'm there quite yet. But, for some reason, I feel like I'm a lot closer.

There's definitely a strong anti-assimilationist thread that runs throughout Jewish culture (even in Seattle) and if you ask any older Jew how they feel about where Jewish American culture is going, they'll likely tell you it's going to shit. We've become too obsessed with money, we're inter-marrying too much, we're not supporting Israel enough, we're embracing a cold intellectual stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is harmful to the existence of Israel. But whenever an older Jewish person would talk to me about these things, I was quick to label them an alarmist. They were refusing to look at the case of the palestinians, they were failing to recognize the human rights of all people, they didn't realize that Jews succeeding in America was a good thing. Intermarriage wasn't killing Jewish culture, it was including non-Jews who were interested in the faith. We needed to stop being so xenophobic and stop trying to so righteously protect our outsider status.

I still believe all of these things, and so I am sensitive in understanding that by reclaiming my Jewish culture, by embracing many of the things about my family I used to hate, I am lumped back into the category of Jews who are Jewish. And, as the queers and feminists of the world love to say, I don't like categories. Jewish is still a category, and categories can repress.

So don't complement me for coming back to my faith, or any of that nonsense. I still want to be a Jewish agitator, demanding reform both within and outside the Jewish community, but I finally feel mature enough to "accept the things I cannot change." Things like my parents. They will never change. And that's coo.

Friday, May 30, 2008

"Closing Of Homeless Shelter Leaves College-Application-Padding Students With Nowhere To Turn"

The Onion hits close to home.

The Social Surplus

An interesting essay that reminds me of the book "Everything Bad is Good for You."

This is something that people in the media world don't understand. Media in the 20th century was run as a single race--consumption. How much can we produce? How much can you consume? Can we produce more and you'll consume more? And the answer to that question has generally been yes. But media is actually a triathlon, it 's three different events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to share.

And what's astonished people who were committed to the structure of the previous society, prior to trying to take this surplus and do something interesting, is that they're discovering that when you offer people the opportunity to produce and to share, they'll take you up on that offer. It doesn't mean that we'll never sit around mindlessly watching Scrubs on the couch. It just means we'll do it less.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The World Without Us

Fareed Zakaria says Americans are missing the point; the new global order is something to celebrate.

The Youtube Aesthetic

Weezer appropriates Chris Crocker. And others.

Everyone Hearts Frustrated New Yorkers Who Wear Nice Clothes and Eat Lots of Salad

Sex and the City comes out tomorrow. In preparation, New York Times vomits up a whole multimedia thang.

Canada +1

Susan Sarandon pledges to move far far away from America should McCain win.

"Can I Get Confirmation on that Pleeaaassseee?"

When strangers add you on Facebook....

"How did we meet?"
"We met at school."
"Okay, but how about we say we met on an OIL RIG and we were LOVERS for FIFTY YEARS!"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hey Jews: Do We Trust Adam Sandler to Make a Funny Movie About the Israeli Palestinian Conflcit?

I just saw a preview for Sandler's new movie (directed by Judd Apatow?!) "You Don't Mess With The Zohan" and I didn't laugh so hard that no one could hear me laughing because that's how much I wasn't laughing. This film looks terrible. I just read about three paragraphs of a Times article about it when I

Sandler: where did we go wrong with you? Your gay hairstylist routine is such a tired and ugly caricature. You make me want to cry.

Emily Gould is Not a Terrible Writer

Okay okay, I have to say something about Emily Gould, the former editor of Gawker and the featured cover story writer for the newest New York Times Magazine.

Her article, in case you're one of the five people who didn't already read it online and blow it to smithereens in the comments section, was about revealing too much of oneself in a blog, and the reprocussions of doing this when you're saying not such nice (or true) things about people on a blog everyone reads and living alone in New York City. Emily started having panic attacks after she realized people were recognizing her on the street from her blog, and then quit Gawker, and is now very very confused and depressed, but not so confused that she couldn't crank out a ten page essay on her life's melodrama.

Oh and for the love of god don't watch this interview with her on Larry King, because then you will hate her and not want to read her article.

But, let's get serious- the people who are furious Gould snuck this piece of bloggy self-indulgent writing into the Times Magazine (which, they claim, is supposed to be all about bearing witness to Al Queda or talking about the Human Genome or something) are really just jealoooose. I'll admit it, right here, right now, I read her article and then I read it again. I liked it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

People Falling on Seattle Monorail

The monorail was packed today, 'cause of folklife, and when the engine started, an Indian man who was standing behind me fell down on to someone behind him.

He was okay, and laughed a little bit at himself. Then a woman next to him, who was wearing a tie die shirt, spent the rest of the ride complaining about how there were no handlebars on the monorail. She was sorta talking to the reflection of herself in the window, because most people weren't paying attention to her.

It seemed she had a reasonable complaint (the people that were standing were gripping the cracks monorail's ceiling with their fingers and positioning their feet like they were snowboarding), but then I realized there are probably only 4 days during the year when people have to stand up on their monorail, because, you know, usually there's no one on 'em. But..yeah...handlebars or more poles would make things safer.

Wii to Me: "You're a Fat Ass"

Wii, apparently, really wants to be my personal trainer. But, I dunno, how much cardio can you get from pretending to ski down a mountin? And what if I don't want a computer telling me I'm fat in really nice shiny graphics?

Vampire Weekend

Heard it. Loved it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is this a bong-apple?

I saw this book in the Ravenna Third Place:

Is that an apple that has been made into a bong? Is this book trying to tell me that people who make bongs out of apples are bad people?


First of all: making an apple bong seems like a smart good thing to do. It's easily compostible! Hell, we should all be making apple bongs!

Second of all: Okay, if that's not a bong, I still don't get it.

Get the Fuck Out of My House

The Avenue Q Song, "There is Life Outside Your Apartment" has rarely seemed more relevant.

"There is life outside your apartment! There's a pigeon squashed on the street!


There's a girl passing by! -No I think that's a guy!- And a homeless man who only wants to buy something to eat!"

I sit down to write and bam: the chorus begins. "There is life outside! There is life outside! There is life outsiiiiiiiide."

I need to stop reading Joan Didion right now, and go outside. Joan Didion! I'm reading about how grief appears in waves. No one in my family has even died. I do not currently feel empathetic for Joan Didion. I feel like I don't care what Joan Didion's husband had in his pocket when he died. I also do not care why Joan Didion wants the New York Times to publish an obituary for her husband, but not the Los Angeles Times. Joan Didion: seriously..the minutia! Oh okay, I'm sorry, you're husband died, you can talk about minutia.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Violent Xenophobia in South Africa

Some royally fucked up shit is happening in South Africa and I'm sadly not entirely surprised by it. For years now, immigrants from Malawi and Zimbabwe have been absorbed by South Africa and have taken jobs for less pay. Now, black, poor South Africans have been taking out their rage against the immigrants they feel are taking away their jobs. They've burned homes and beaten immigrants to death. At least 22 people have been killed so far.

The xenophobia against immigrants is very intense. One of the principals I met with in Port Elizabeth told me he doesn't like to talk to Nigerians; he thinks they're all criminals. Other people told me to steer clear of any immigrant neighborhoods downtown because that's where most crime happens.

Police were slow to respond to the attacks. This also makes sense, since very few South African cops actually patrol townships. Much much more money gets pumped into protecting the rich from the poor. Many of the people I met in the townships wished there was more of a police presence to protect them. I met a lot of kids who told me they wanted to grow up to be policemen and policewomen so they could help ensure the safety of their neighborhood. It was crazy to think; their parents likely spent much of their lives running away from the cops during the Apartheid regime. I wonder how they felt about their children's career aspirations.

With little police to patrol the violence, I'm concerned what will happen next. There's so much hatred against immigrants boiling under the surface of black South African culture, especially among poorer blacks who've received little from the government since the end of Apartheid, and I can see this hatred spilling into townships outside of Jo'berg. Until Mbeki's government starts to provide more jobs and build more houses for poor South Africans, they will continue to resent immigrants who move into their townships.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Minnesota Homosexual and Cultural Theorist Scott Artley Studies Irony and Gets Sad About Boys Sometimes

Scott is a gay man living in Minneapolis. We went to school together way back when. We first met on then later we realized we had an Anthropology course together. I interviewed him this morning, and this is what happened:


My boyfriend broke up with me yesterday.

Oh no! How long were you guys together?

Since January. It hasn't been that long but it seems like it's been so much longer, which I guess is how everything feels when you're 21. Time is different at this age. Everything takes forever and it goes by so fast.

Were you in love with him?


I'm sorry, Scott.

I'm eating for the first time in three days. McDonalds. I have to feed my need for trans fats and all that great stuff.

What did you order?

The #2 cheeseburgers. I didn't eat red meat for a long time and the only thing I had cravings for was McDonalds Cheeseburgers. I really wanted a flattened amorphous beef product.

What have you been doing since the break up?

I've been watching Star Trek. It's the best mix of every genre, because they can use science fiction which usually makes comments about human society by transposing them on alien civilizations. Like yesterday I was watching something about a species that doesn't have gender. But it also has mystery and action and romance and it's just a mixture of all these genres but at the end everything comes back to stasis, the normal way of living. People pretty much stay the same. It's really comforting to come back to the same characters season after season. I think that's why people watch television.

Are you still going to France?

No. Right now I'm in the middle of an identity crises. When you have diabetes it's really hard to think about things like going abroad. I decided I was going to go to England so I applied for a scholarship through the University of Minnesota. I was going to try and do cultural studies in the UK, which is where cultural studies was born, and I was going to do my thesis on youth dance music cultures, because there's a lot of work that's been done on that. So I applied for a Fullbright and I didn't get it. Then I applied for a Marshall scholarship and I was asked back for an interview which was basically the worst experience of my academic life.

What happened during the interview?

I was put in this room, and it was really uncomfortably hot which is weird for Minnesotta, and I had to wear nice clothes so it was even hotter. There were seven faculty members in the room and they basically grilled me on academic things and I had to have an opinion on everything which I don't think is usually part of the undergraduate experience, and they wanted to see what I thought about the history of Anthroplogy as a discipline, so they started grilling me on my work studying white middle class youth leisure and they said it was continuing the legacy of white anglo american domination or something. Basically they said "why would you study white middle class youth lesure when you should be studying black kids who need a voice." For someone to say someone needs my voice, I thought was problematic but I didn't feel comfortable disagreeing with them.

How did you react?

Well, my blood sugar was really high so it was hard for me to think straight. But everything I said was like 'what about the working class' and they were like 'well what IS the working class?' So I sort of just shut down in a way that I wish I hadn't. It was the apex of me realizing I didn't want to join academia because its so beaurocratic.

Tell me more about what you wanted to study.

I'm interested in subcultural theory and how a youth culture might resist a parent culture, and what it means to make that resistance in the sphere of aesthetics. I'm studying hipsteres which sounds so absurd but I really think its a fascinating culture that has its own set of discursive features. Like irony. I'm studying irony.

How do you study irony?

That's been a really big question and I'm not sure how to engage with people sincerely about something they're being ironic about. I'm still in the process of figuring out how I'm even going to talk to people about irony. I don't know if I've made any progress in that area. But my thinking thus far is that irony and kitsch are ways of thinking about culture outside of mass-produced ideologies and what does it mean to hip hop that white kids consume it with this ironic distance? Does it implicitly marginalize hip-hop cultural production? Does it reinforce the distance between the white suburban middle class youth and urban black youth? Does it politicize it by saying 'I appreciate this as a kitsch value' and does this reinfoce a certain power relationship? My theory is that it does.

What's the difference between kitsch and camp?

Kitschy objects are objects that were made in poor taste for cheap, and camp is sort of an attitude toward performance that's over-the-top, fully aware of itself as over-the-top. Did you just hear my kitty purr?

No I couldn't hear it.

Oh. Listen.



That's loud.

Yeah he's a really loud purrer. My mom has two. She's a cat lady now.

Last time we talked you were going to a BUTT magazine party.

A BUTT magazine party! That was like a year ago! I went to see the creator of BUTT give a speech at the Walker Contemporary Art Museum. There was a slideshow of BUTT magazine photos behind him. I was going to start a gay zine called "Sir!" and it was going to be all about gay men with pictures and raunchy articles on power relations. I didn't end up doing it because I broke up with the guy I was going to collaborate with.

Why don't you do it alone?

Oh I don't have the energy. I've been doing less and less. I want to do things. People tell me I need to do things. But it's frustrating because I don't know what I want to do.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Want to Feel Like You Write For The Slog?

Download this myspace application and let the whole interweb talk shit about you on your myspace page.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Remember This Image?

It was the promotional image used by the Folsom Street Fair in 2007, and it came under fire from some religious fundies when it was released. You may remember this piece on it.

I just used the iconic imagery as a centerpiece in an academic essay I wrote for my Anthropology of the Body class.

Here's an excerpt that's too long...

The language used by anti-gay groups like Concerned Women for America leverage a shock value that is wildly disproportionate to the image produced by the Folsom Street Fair. Such language, when used correctly, has a chilling effect on the receiving population. Too afraid to engage in sexual activity that might be labeled deviant by those in the moral majority, kinksters are forced back into the closet, and must fulfill their kinks by looking at porn, or with prostitutes. Dan Savage, a sex columnist based in Seattle, has long documented the fate of kinksters forced into the closet by a misunderstanding spouse, or by larger sociopolitical or religious forces, and the kind of language used by CWFA no doubt has this effect on the reader. With no access to kink fairs like Folsom Street Parade, and the visibility and de-stigmatization such public events provide, kinksters who write to Dan from heartland America find it tough to string together a support system, or people with which they can safely talk about their sexual desires.

Taboo-busting, de-stigmatizing public displays of sexual affection like Folsom Street Fair have a lot in common with other counter-normative performances in other places in the rest of the world. The specific roles given to third-sex members of the native American community, within ritual settings, and the annual sexualized street parades in Brazil come first to mind. These are hyper visible instances in which sociocultural support allows those with alternative and stigmatized sexualities to start to regain control over their own bodies, and ease the burdens systemic to dominant definitions of the forbidden realm.

As Foucault is happy to enumerate, our bodies are constantly under control; by our government, by our consumer culture, by our workplaces. Sexual acts, thus, often include roles for submissive and dominant, one who is in control and one who lacks control, because these are roles systemic to our culture, arguably present in every social interaction. These roles are often negotiated within the sexual act itself, sometimes through words, sometimes through bodily cues, hopefully agreed upon, but not always of course. The Folsom Street Parade shines a light on these relations of power, and encourages a “safe” celebration of the diverse sexual interests inherent in our very genes. Because all of the people portrayed in the festival are there by their own choosing, participating in sadomasochistic acts that bring them pleasure, their autonomy is threatening to those that find such acts “despicable” or “morally-offensive.” Their freedom is labeled “harmful” to American culture, and detractors are quick to use the slippery slope defense (“first whipping, then animal fucking. Just you wait!”) because such defenses further a moral panic over sexuality where the dominant culture is legitimated and upheld through its representations of sexual “otherness” and sex is maintained as a certain kind of intercourse between a man and a woman.

The Concerned Women for America operate on a plane that defines certain kinds of speech and sexual acts to be “coercive” (Rubin 1997: 306). Sub textual to their sexual hate-speech is the brain wash theory Rubin illuminates which “explains erotic diversity by assuming some sexual acts are so disgusting that no one would willingly perform them….[they] must have been tricked or fooled.” (Rubin 1984: 306). The sexual acts on Folsom Street, according to this logic, must be a visual representation of coercion. The coercion argument has been used for decades against homosexuals, who were portrayed by mainstream American media as sexual recruiters, coercive and dangerous to have around children, who may end up “switching teams” lest a homosexual present a persuasive reason. “No way someone would actually want to be tied up and publicly humiliated on a San Francisco street” goes the reasoning.

Already marginalized by dominant narratives, it was hard for a small non-profit like Folsom to defend itself outside of its local sphere of influence. California state speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a statement that simultaneously distanced herself from the sadomasochistic community while questioning the motives of the CWFA, chose to focus on the iconic imagery in question rather than the homophobia inherent in the message of CWFA. She said I'm a big believer in the First Amendment. I do not believe Christianity has been harmed by the Folsom Street Fair." The statement cast the debate over the image, rather than over the sexual freedom the image represents. In an era where the sexual freedoms of politicians are constantly being questioned, its understandable that Pelosi would try and grasp for un-controversial language and peg the story as a tiff over freedom of speech, not sex.

Fox News unsurprisingly cast CWFA as the victim, including a quote from the president of CWFA, at the end of the article intending to incite anger in the readers at Folsom for its anti-Christian agenda. “When you take something that is sacred to somebody, you turn it into the profane and you use it for your own good," Morris said, in relation to the DaVinci parody. "That's bad for society." The moral compass of the article is thus grounded in the opinions of the CWFA, and those who accepted the story as the truth (or common sense) of the controversy, were made to think that the Folsom Street Fair was a radical and dangerous group of sexual minorities bent on harming American culture, instead of a stigmatized group of kinksters rallying for a bit more political power in a dominant culture terrified of its own sexuality.

Stealing Lunch at Whole Foods

Around noon, Whole Foods is teeming with bright-eyed high school students, the compost trash bins are teeming with soiled brown napkins and half-eaten ciabatta sandwiches, the employee's brains are teeming with thoughts of exhaustion and death and there is free food teeming everywhere.

Free Spinach Dip

(located on a little plate on top of the ready-to-serve items)
The yogurt in the spinach dip tastes thick and creamy, there's a notable taste of chives and garlic. The pita chips, however, have been mashed by greedy hands, and the dip hangs precariously from the tip of the chip, threatening to to drop on my shirt. A quick bite saves the drip from such a fate.

Free Roasted Pepper and Hummus Dip
(also located on a little plate on top of the ready-to-serve items)
The hummus in this dip is pastey. I could not taste the tahini, lemon juice, salt and /or garlic. A pita chip carried it nicely to my mouth. Said pita chip had a nice note of sea salt.

Free 1/34 slice of a goat cheese and red pepper pizza
(located on the counter next to the pizzas being warmed by a warming light)
I think I tasted goat cheese, and something nutty. The bread was soggy but did not taste over-salted. Pagliacci does better for less.

Free piece of shortbread cookie
(located on the glass above the pastries)
The shortbread cookie was a bit harder than I'd like a shortbread cookie to be. It sort of snapped when I bit into it. Smelled buttery, but tasted floury.

Free water
(located next to the biodegradeable spoons and forks)
Water tasted neither hard nor soft. Noted absence of chlorine and or mineral taste. Water tasted like water. Needed ice.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Although Currently We Are Straight, Do Not Let This Discourage You"

My friend Gavin found this creepy ad for female roommates on craigslist.

From the listing (in an attempt to explain what it feels like to live at the house):

The best way to describe it is:
The atmosphere that you have experienced while attending
a baby or wedding shower.

There is a synergy which creates an effervesance that
lifts everyone’s spirit. It is a type of joy.

Laughter while sharing the events of the day is the
atmosphere at the Manor.



25. Do you accept no for an answer: Yes /_/ No /_/.

Update: the ad has been deleted by the authors.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Advil Cold and Sinus

Yesterday I had a nasty sinus headache so I went to Bartell Drugs to buy a pack of these babies..

I had to go to the pharmacy counter, of course, to pay for them and fill out a form because, you know, I could easily grind one of these and mix it with Robitussin and lighter fluid and sell 'em in dark alleys in Portland or something. But I wouldn't do that, even though I'd love to be in an episode of Frontline. No seriously.

Anyway so I take one of the pills on the walk home, with a chug of bottled water and I'm just walkin' along the Ave down to my house and I start to get the jitters. My hands shake, I get some restless leg action going on, and I look like I'm totally spazzing out. No one looks at me, though, because hello? it's the Ave. I could be pulling my hair out and screaming "babies!" and no one would look at me.

My heart is racing. I open the door to my house and start pacing around the room.

"My movies are late! I need to rent new movies! I want chocolate! I want Lindt Chocolate! I want to write a screenplay! I want to write a business email to Tina Fey!" I think to myself. I grab my car keys and drive to Blockbuster, where I return my movies, buy chocolate and rent the third disc of the first season of this show...

"Hey, I like that series," says the man at the desk.

"Hey me too mister! Tina Fey holds it all together like glue! She's such a great straight character! Sometimes I feel like she's actually me!"

I drive home and sit in the front of my house with my chocolate and watch 30 rock.


Then I realize I don't know where my chocolate went. My Lindt Chocolate. I look in my car. I look in my room. I take everything off the dining room table and look under it. I look in the cupboard. I throw everything out of my backpack. I take out the couch cushions and look under them. I look under my comforter.

"I'm looking for my chocolate!"

I never find the chocolate. I watch more 30 rock and sing along loudly to the theme song. "Duh duh ba da pa dee do bop ba doo ba dee bo bo!"

My french roommates (whom I never talk to) come home and I turn on the subtitles and make them watch an episode.

"Isn't it just so great?! Do you want any pasta? Do you know where my chocolate is?"

Tristan, my other roommate comes home and I make him watch 30 rock as well.

"Isn't it just so great?! Do you want any pasta? Do you know where my chocolate is?"

I analyze every character's motivation. I analyze the theme music. I analyze Tina Fey's hair. I analyze Tracy Morgan's big huge face.

Gay subplot with the funny looking always-happy Christian dude and the magician guy from Arrested Development?! Scandal! A 9/11 joke?! On TV? On a show set in NYC? SCANDAL! Cleveland?!? AHAHAHAHA

Around 6:30 I crash and fall asleep.

Is this what its like being on meth?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

How to Talk To Depressed People

Ever since I've been back from Seattle. I've been interacting with a whole lotta depressed people. I'm not namin' names, they know who they are. And I love them. Even when they're sad.

But there is an art to talking to them, and it's very important to understand unless you want to stop interacting with depressed people which, quite frankly, is completely impossible in Seattle.

So here are a few tips to keep in mind when you're talking to people who are depressed:

1. Don't talk about anything fun. Fun things make depressed people even sadder. Hide your happiness from them. Your hapiness, however fleeting, could make them realize that they too could be happy...someday. And that's some scary shit for a depressed person. You don't want to scare people. The more happy things you talk about, the less they're going to want to hang out with you. Can you deal with that? Oh. Maybe you can.

2. Talk about impersonal things, things that have nothing to do with either of you, so you can avoid how uncomfortable you both feel.Hillary Clinton? Check. Gas prices? Double check.

3. Casually mention a therapist. Example: "I'm meeting my friend Dr. Harold Bloomberg for lunch. Oh, why, I think he's actually a head doctor actually you know who those are? I do. How's your head? Really? I think not. 207-650-4567. That number just plopped out of my head. I don't know how. Call it. See what happens." Be SUBTLE.

4. Talk about shit as if it's going terribly, and then laugh. If you love your job, say you hate it. If you love your new boyfriend, say you hate him. Depressed people eat that shit up for breakfast.

5. Tell them they should probably make a baby. Babies make people less depressed.

6. Don't push pills unless they're like totally bugging. Also- don't talk like you're Cher from Clueless unless you want to be viewed as awesome.

7. Don't tell them to write on a blog. Depression blogs are depressing and cause more people to suffer from depression blogging.

8. In the course of researching this list, I just googled the word "depressing". I found this quote: "The secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven." - Mark Twain. Mark Twain wrote depressing things, and he's like really famous, so tell your depressed friend not to worry.

9. That quote just, like, really affected me. Let's skip to 10.

10. I'm going to quote someone else now. "The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy." - Jim Rohn. I give up.

11. Now I'm depressed. Thanks a lot, internet.

Steven's Retail Drama Continues...This Time at American Apparel

Today I decided I would buy a new pair of underpants, so I drove over to the American Apparel on the Ave. Then I walked in and instantly forgot why I was there.

There were so many new things, new colors, new shiny jackets, and oh-what's-this dog clothing!?

Without meaning to, I found myself face to face with the wall of underwear, and remembered oh..yes..I need to buy one of these. There were so many different colors to choose from. Did I want my crotch to be the color of a forest, or a lake? What size was I? I didn't even remember. 30? 30 sounded vaguely familiar. I picked up one bag of underwear and studied it. It looked so hip. So painfully beautifully hip. I couldn't tell you why. Maybe because of the white lines which ran up and down and around the crotch sack, which looked like ribbons, perhaps adorning a present.

Above the little baggies of colored underwear was a picture of a man who looked very tired, wearing the same underwear before me, and sitting against a wall with his head bowed down. He looked hungover, like the photographer had burst into his room the night after a party and found him against the wall vomiting on the floor. The vomit wasn't pictured though, it was implied.

I bought a pair of underwear and a lackadaisical man with a big arm tattoo rang me up. He handed me my receipt and I left. I got into my car and opened up the underwear package. Here comes the climax of the story; the underwear was huge! It looked like a pair of long johns. I imagined myself walking around town, my underwear bunched up in my butt and people asking me if I had a "problem back there?" And I couldn't just go and return was underwear. You can't return underwear. Who knows what you could have done to it in the time it took you to return it! No one wants your pubic hair all over their products.

But I had to return the underwear. It was freakishly, comically large. So I put it back in the ziploc bag, stepped out of the car and went back to the store. I took deep breaths. It was important I appear calm, and assure the manager I hadn't worn the underwear around town, but that I needed to return it because it was too large.

When I went back, there was a different man behind the counter. A gay man.

"I have to return this pair of underwear," I said to the gay man. "It's.." I stammered as I realized what I was about to say, "It's too big."

I expected something. Maybe a cracked half smile.

"Oh that's no problem," the man said to me, and allowed me to pick out a new pair of underpants. He seemed utterly calm, as if he had just shot up in the back. Of course he didn't smile. Expecting a salesclerk at American Apparel to express emotion is like expecting Gotchalks to one day stop "going out of business." It just won't happen.

I am now wearing the smaller pair, as I'm typing this sentence. It feels too small, but I am definitely not going to try and return it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Last Hair Cut at Rudy's

Me: "So, how's it going?"

Hair cutter at Rudy's: "Doin' good."

Me: "Cool. Are you from around here?"

Hair cutter at Rudy's: "Nope."

Me: "Oh. Where from?"

Hair cutter at Rudy's: "Oregon. You?"

Me: "I was born in Seattle. Yup. Went to high school here. Went away for college. To the east coast. Didn't like it. Now I'm back. Just takin' classes. Hanging around. What are you doing?"

Hair cutter at Rudy's: "Well. I cut hair."

Me: "That's cool. I really like what you're doing on the top there."

Hair cutter at Rudy's: Silence

Me: "Yeah, I never know what to do with it. Sometimes it grows out too long and it looks like a penis. Or at least that's what someone told me in middle school. Embarrassing."

Hair cutter at Rudy's: Silence. Tumbleweeds.

Me: "And my sideburns curl out if I don't cut 'em. Just like a hassid. That's yiddish for a really orthodox person. You know, the ones with the curly sideburns. It's a stereotype, but it's true. With me at least. Kind of."

Hair cutter at Rudy's: A short grunt.

Me: "Yeah. I also used to have really bad dandruff (laugh). Oh man! Becky, this bitch on the bus when I went to Jew school in Bellevue, she used to be like, 'Make it snow! Make it snow!' So mean! Right?"

Hair cutter at Rudy's: "Mmhmm."

Me: "But all that's cleared up. I think. I hope. I don't really check, you know. I mean I guess if it was caked all up in my hair I'd notice and be like ew, but that usually doesn't happen....This is FUN."

Hair cutter at Rudy's: "Tip your head please."

Me: "How do you like working here? What's your favorite song? Is it playing right now? It's really loud. I can't hear myself think. I can't even see myself with all these pictures on the wall. Is that a penis? Can you really put that up there? That's amazing. Your shoes are dirty. You don't really care about me. Let's be honest. You're really not listening to me right now. I have four nipples. Martha Stewart is my mother. I made myself pregnant."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

When I Google The Words "Cell Phone"

I get this:

Mobile Gay
Find Gay Singles Online
Browse our Profiles Free!

Since Google's algorithms know I'm gay (I read the Slog, and I looked at Barak Obama's stance on LGBT issues today) my "sponsored" links seem to always be somehow related to homosexuality....even if what I'm searching for is something as neutral as a cell phone.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Topics Your Book Must Explore To Be Featured in the Urban Outfitters on the Ave

Your messy room mate
How to make paper art that looks like a penis
Other people's secrets that were mailed to you but only if they were composed in a graphically interesting way that kinda alienated you
Sex, drugs, with the occasional cocoa puff eating interruption
Blank lined paper
Pictures of cats, preferably taken mid-expression, that make said cat look humanistically angry, sad, astonished or drunk.
Passages you can read without getting "sucked-in" or "getting off the toilet"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Mother Has Six Friends on Facebook

But no wallposts.

P-I Readers Prefer Out-of-Focus Terrifying Pictures to In-Focus "Calm" Photos

This is the top reader rated photo on the P-I site. I think it's two people jousting. It reminds me of The Ring and it makes me want to scream.

Have you ever been to new york city?

If the answer is yes, perhaps you stopped by the H and M while you were there. Did you? If so, you possibly have clothing no one else has in Seattle. Maybe it looks like something from Gap but there's like a purple stripe on it, or holes for your thumbs. It feels good to have holes for your thumbs, huh? Betcha feel real special. Enjoy that feeling, because soon everyone in Seattle will be wearing H and M and everyone will have shirts with holes for their thumbs and no one will feel special.