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Showing posts from December, 2010

My New Year's Eve Curse

Now begins the time of year I dread.

Whereas most people feel a sort of apprehension when it comes to the holidays, I actually enjoy them.  It's only when they start nearing an end that I start feeling nervous.

And that's all because of one awful night.

New Year's Eve.

I don't know if my ancestors opened the tomb of a mummy on New Year's Eve a hundred years ago, or if everybody just has one holiday they don't enjoy, but I can't seem to ring in the New Year right no matter what I do.

Every year on New Year's Eve, I find myself in some sort of awful predicament.

It all started my freshman year of college--the first year I was actually able to go out and do something fun for New Year's Eve.

I had three parties lined up and a date for the night.  I was good to go.

Until my car broke down at the first party--the party I only wanted to spend five minutes at because I didn't know anybody there aside from the host.

I was supposed to pick my date up at t…

The Pop Culture Guy

"You can't possibly think that Rubicon deserved to be canceled.  Have you watched that show more than once?  You have to watch every episode at least three times before you understand the brilliance of it."

This is my friend Daniel, or as I call him, Pop Culture Guy.

In some ways, Daniel is everything I want to be in life.  Since I was a kid, I've been fascinated with pop culture.  Whereas most teenagers have dreams of being athletes or participants in an MTV reality show, I dreamed of being a culture commentator on shows like "Best Week Ever" and "I <3 the 1920's."

When I was younger, I used to absorb pop culture like a sponge made out of a People magazine.

I had every album in the Top Ten, I'd see at least two movies a week, I'd watch endless hours of television, and what I missed, I'd tape and watch later.

Weekends would be spent watching DVD's of old movies and entire seasons of television shows that were canceled before…

Christmas with Satan

"This is what we get for being charitable."

If there's one thing my stepfather loves to do, it's remind everybody that being a good person is a bad idea.

That's why the Christmas of 1999 was an especially joyous time for him, whereas for the rest of us, it was filled with terror.

Our next door neighbors had decided to go to Miami for Christmas, and they had asked us to watch their dog.

Admittedly, we hadn't seen much of them or the dog until they showed up at our front door wearing Hawaiian shirts with a taxi idling on the street.

I guess they figured if they made it look like a last-minute emergency, we'd have no choice but to say "Yes."

"No way are we watching that monster," my stepfather called out from his spot in the living room.

My mother just laughed as if my stepfather was being humorous, and told them to bring the little guy right over.

They didn't bother correcting her for using the word "little," and soon, we w…

One-Stop Christmas Shopping

A few years ago, I figured out the secret to Christmas shopping--

Theme Gifting.

Here's what happened:

I was at the mall looking for a present for my mom, and I came across three beautiful music boxes.  I couldn't figure out which one she'd like more, and I was panicking because I still had to buy gifts for my aunt and grandmother before the stores started to close.

Then I realized that the other music boxes would be the perfect gifts.

The friend I was with wasn't so sure.

"Doesn't it seem a little tacky to give three similar presents to three different people?"

I was a little worried as well.

Would it look like I was just being lazy by doing all my shopping in one store?

Luckily, my relatives loved the similarly-themed gifts.

"Usually I'm the one who likes the gift somebody else got," my Mom said, "So this is a perfect idea."

My aunt thought it was nice that the gifts connected the three of them.  My grandmother jokingly asked if …

The Day That Facebook Ran My Life

It seems like so much of my decision-making process lately has become all about the input of my "friends."

By "friends," I mean the people I'm "friends" with on Facebook--some of whom I don't even know--but who seem to have strong opinions about my life.

The other day, I actually found myself not going to see a movie because I posted a status about going to see it and I had ten comments in under an hour about how awful it was.

I suppose I could be grateful that people wanted to save me the money and trouble of seeing a bad film, but I couldn't help thinking that a bunch of people on a social networking site shouldn't be determining my weekend plans.

That got me to wondering--

What would happen if I let Facebook run my life for a day?

I decided that for one day, I was going to put up every decision I had to make for public viewing, and see what responses I got.

The results were...interesting.

Status:

Should I eat breakfast today?

Comments:

&…

David Letterman: Terrorist Fighter?

The WikiLeaks have become the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season, as the bigger news from the scandal (embarrassing diplomatic relations, secret missions, etc.) have given way to smaller stories that are, well, sort of uplifting...kinda...

I should explain.

I grew up on television, and I've always been a pop culture fanatic.  This is not always an easy love to defend, as television over the past ten years has turned into something resembling the Roman colosseum.

So it was nice to check the news today and find out that television may actually be keeping America safe.

The WikiLeaks have revealed that television programs depicting positive aspects of Western culture may actually be helping to change the way young Muslims in other countries view America.

Not only are they helpful, but the reports show that they're more helpful than al-Hurra, a pro-American news program designed to do what reruns of Desperate Housewives is apparently doing without even trying:  Creating …

Broadway's Big Fiasco

Up until this year, whenever you wanted to reference a theatrical flop, you used one word:  Carrie.

The musical version of Stephen King's novel arrived on Broadway in the 80's, and it was one pricey disaster.  So much so that books have been written about it.

But now, a new King of Flops has emerged on the Great White Way.

Spiderman.

From the moment the show was announced, the theater community was disdainful.  Julie Taymor, the director, is a well-respescted revolutionary who won a Tony for her visionary production of The Lion King.  Aside from that, all the other elements seemed a bit...misplaced.

Between U2's Bono taking his first stab at writing music for the theater, and the fact that superheroes aren't exactly a mainstay in the theater, everyone was curious to see Spiderman.

Unfortunately, they'd be waiting awhile.

The show was postponed so many times that it lost most of its leads, and when exactly it would open soon became a running joke.

Now, it's fina…

10 Ugly Girls Talk About Getting Laid

After discovering the magic that was Nerve.com's article on what guys wear to get laid, I simply had to address their counterparts.

Here's the feature:  http://www.nerve.com/love-sex/ten-cute-girls-on-what-they-wear-to-get-laid

Here's my response:

Girl #1:  The Stocking Stuffer

Wendy likes to kick things off with an over-sized t-shirt.  I sympathize, Wendy.  I'm a recovering plaid button-down addict, and every once in awhile, I still get cravings.  It's when she talks about not wearing pants that I feel the urge to run for the hills.  Apparently all Wendy needs to do is throw on some stockings and explain to whatever boy is talking to her that she's not a lesbian, and she's a regular minx.

Girl #2:  The Sheer Sucker

Katie kicks things off by telling the fellas to get her drunk.  If you're not sure whether or not she wants to get liquored up, make sure she's dressed like she's going to a funeral.  That's how you know she wants it.    Unlike W…

10 Ugly Guys Talk About Getting Laid

On the front page of Nerve.com, there was a feature entitled "10 Cute Guys on What They Wear to Get Laid."  I found this hysterical because none of the guys were cute, and most of them claimed to not wear anything to get laid because they're hipsters and they're, like, way more progressive than that, plus sex is, like, so passe.


Here's the feature:  http://www.nerve.com/love-sex/10-cute-guys-on-what-they-wear-to-get-laid


Here's my response to the feature:


Guy #1--The Loafer


This guy hates sneakers.  He also hates smiling, letting people know he's balding, and attempting to grow chest hair.  Apparently t-shirts and baseball hates are inappropriate for going out, but a dirty polo and a Newsies cap is perfect for getting photographed in.


He looks like the trumpet player that kills the lounge singer in some independent movie set in Los Angeles circa 1972.


Guy #2--The Lesbian


He wears jeans that are ripped from the pockets down.  So basically...jean shorts.


The moral?…

My Agnostic Amusement Park

With the announcement that Kentucky is wooing the creators of the Creation Museum to build a Noah's Ark amusement park, there's been an uproar over whether or not a state government creating incentives for a religion theme park violates the separation of church and state.

The governor of Kentucky has said that he's only doing what he has to do to create jobs.

As soon as I read that, I knew I had to help the Governor out.  After all, if he thinks Noah's Ark could pack people in, then he's not seeing the bigger picture.

Oh sure, religion can be thrilling, but you have to take the right angle on it.

That's why I've sent Governor Beshear a proposal to build an agnostic amusement park in Kentucky called "Religion Land:  The Scariest Place on Earth."

Think about it.  People love being terrified.  Why else do we go to amusement parks if not to be scared out of our wits when a roller coaster flips us upside down or  when a free fall goes plummeting to the…

The Great School Vacation Debate

It happened every year.

My mom and my aunt would get into an argument because my aunt was going to take my two cousins on vacation.  The issue was never where she was going or how much she was spending.  The issue was always that my aunt would take my cousins out of school a week before Christmas vacation began.

Some of you with children may recognize this as one of the great parental divides.  Those, like my aunt, who add extra vacation time to their children's school year by taking them out of school early or adding time onto their vacation, and those, like my mother, who believe these people should have their children away by social services.

Both sides obviously make compelling arguments.

My mom would argue that three weeks of vacation during the year, plus holidays, plus summer vacation, is more than enough time without having to remove kids from school thereby setting them back in regards to their schoolwork.

My aunt would counter that if you go on vacation when everybody el…

The Friend Purge, or How You Know Someone on Facebook Doesn't Want to Have Sex with You

Despite the comprehensive nature of my last two notes, people are still writing to me saying--"Kevin, I think people are trying to have sex with me on Facebook, but what they're doing doesn't fall under the criteria listed in either of your two notes!"

To which I usually reply, "Grandma, get off Facebook."

Even so, I figured I'd write another note to give you all a little more help.  This time, however, I'm taking a
different approach.  I'm going to show you how to figure out if somebody doesn't want to have sex with you.

Because let's face it, there are way more of those people.

Let's begin:

If--You've been defriended as part of a "friend" purge.

Then that person is saying--I'm pretending that I'm just keeping people I know, when really I'm keeping everybody I want to have sex with and deleting all the people I don't want to have sex with, including some people I know.  That means some people I don'…

Money, Karma, and My Car

When she gave me the check, I handed it right back to her.

I physically put it back in her hands with a laugh, a sort of chuckle, as if to say--Nooo, you don't want to give me that much money.

The money I handed back was for my car.  Someone had side-swiped it while it was parked on the street where I work, and the driver's side mirror had come right off.

I was fully covered by the insurance, because I had taken a  loan out on the car and so I had to get the complete coverage package.  This included uninsured motorists--basically designed for hit and runs.

Before we go any further, I should mention that a missing driver's side mirror was actually the least of my car's problems--at least from a visual perspective.

The car was an eleven-year-old Buick and it had seen its share of bad days.  I won't say I'm the worst driver in the world, but I'm definitely the worst parker.  I'd backed into so many poles and cars in that car, the exterior of it looked like…