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2 Dozen Wrestling Fannies

During the 2015 Road to Wrestlemania Fantasy League, a lot of wrestling got watched. NXT, Smackdown, Raw, and whatever PPVs happened to fall within the months-long buildup were all diligently watched and scored. B did all the scoring work, MML and I only worked on the former. Over this time, it began to feel like we really knew the performers…most specifically, their backsides. And since MML already wrote about nips, it seemed like it was time for my own look at derrières. 

So as the WORLD gears up for this Sunday’s Royal Rumble, which every sport fan everywhere knows is the fantasy kickoff to 2016′s Road to Wrestlemania Fantasy League, Pretty OK is giving you the gift of asses. In no particular order:

1. Fandango 

Stupid butt. It might be alright, but I hate him too much. It’s hard to look at a butt when you’re rolling your eyes.

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2. Adrian Neville

Ork Butt. It’s tight and muscular - things that might lead you to think it would be a favorable fanny, but I can’t get over his face. Incredible performer, insane moves, super nice dude, and I love watching him wrestle…

Originally posted by wrestling-giffer

…but this is a list about aesthetics. And woof. I can’t enjoy his potential butt because of his face. And, yeah, I know; I’m the asshole.

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3. Miz

Cowboy butt - square and flat. It looks OK in that pic above, but generally that butt’s resting bitch face looks like it’s holding in a fart. Except it looks like that all the time. How is your normal clenched, Miz Butt?

But at the end of the day, Miz is all about the face. 

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4. Seth Rollins

Coward Butt. One of the better butts in the WWE. It’s narrow and well proportioned…the better to roll out of the ring and runaway with. It’s like two lil mushrooms hiding under some vinyl.

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5. Mark Henry

Behemoth butt. This butt does not play. 

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6. Kevin Owens

Candian butt #1. Big, round, and full of sass. I also love that it’s swathed in basketball shorts. Sass butt.  

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7. Sami Zayn

Are you kidding me with that mug?!

Canadian butt #2. Kitty face butt, which may as well translate to mediocre butt. There’s not a lot going on back there, which is why they had to draw a kitty face on his old pants…to trick viewers. New pants have forgone this and SZ’s backside is SUFFERING. 

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8. Curtis Axel

Out of bounds butt. He gets extra points for this. It’s hard to find images of this, but I’ve seen it in person. That butt is ready to party beyond his secret wrestling panties.

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9. Dolph Ziggler

For those of you not familiar, that *ahem* moon above is Dolph Ziggler. He’s just too good. I can’t exactly say the same for his butt. I think the tagline might be “It’s just pretty ok.” 

I have to give him points because I think I’ve seen more of DZ’s butt than any other ass in the WWE. BUT he loses infinite points for being in that dumb ass-kissing thing with Sheamus.

I am 100% not a fan of this BS 

***Don’t get me wrong, I love people kissing on each other in all the RIGHT/WRONG places, but this “punishment” was couched in homophobia and just a general assault-y vibe. Yeah, I know it’s not the first time this gag has been pulled, but I also don’t think it constitutes a time-honored tradition. So put this one to bed, WWE.***

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10. Sheamus

Heinous Sheamus. Glow-in-the-dark. Porcine pale. As with everything he’s involved with, I’m 100% turned off. League of Nations is a great name, but that’s all he has going for him. It’s certainly not his backside. 

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11. Brock Lesner

Originally posted by randomweas

Boss monster, Jimmy John’s butt. He’s the bus driver to Suplex City, so sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on back there. But I think he’s strapped two giant hams to his thighs.

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12. Big Show

Giant butt. Pretty simple. He’s a giant. And as such, his butt can suffocate you in a giant way.

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The New Day

Maybe it’s because there are three butts holding down the fort, but New Day features a really well-rounded collection of butts. Their butts also have the best senses of humor in the entire WWE. 

13. Kofi Kingston

14. Xavier Woods

15. Big E

The point is that these guys share an appreciation for booty. And I love that about them. 

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16. Cesaro

Cesaro is hot. His ass is frigging bananas good. I hate that he’s hurt. All of these comments have been endorsed and/or taken verbatim from Broc’s mouth while he wears a King of Swing t-shirt.

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PANTS-ERFERENCE

Some WWE butts are difficult to judge because they are hidden in disgusting cargo shorts/pants (John Cena*, the Usos [they may not have the pocket and be shiny plastic, but the effect is the same], Roman Reigns), jeans (Dean Ambrose, R Truth, Luke Harper, Braun Strowman), business trousers (Corporate Kane, kinda Bray Wyatt [although his ass looks like it’s swaddled in polyester sweatpants]). It’s not that I’m not looking or they don’t deserve individual notice, it’s just that wardrobe has made it really, hard for to objectify these men. I did the best I could despite the pants interference you see in the last 8 wrestlers (17-24). Pantserference.

17. Dean Ambrose 

18. Luke Harper 

19. Braun Strowman

20. Jimmy Uso 21. Jey Uso

22. Bray Wyatt

23. R-Truth

24. John Cena

*But there are other venues where you can learn about man mountains:

Frigging John Cena. Everybody loves this guy, even when they hate the schtick.

So Sunday - tune into the Royal Rumble. There’s obviously something for everybody.

Cry-Baby: January

As anyone who knows me can attest, I am quick to well up with empathetic tears. It doesn’t stop with people, though. Stupid and surprising things can move me for reasons I don’t understand. So I decided to track the things that make me tear up 2016.

What follows are the things that made me feel things last month.

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David Bowie’s passing

A lot has been written about David Bowie’s life. He impacted popular culture in immeasurable ways because his shared oddities were always inclusive. He welcomed all of us weirdos to join him because weird is cool. He gave us courage to creatively express ourselves. I can’t say it better than the ways it’s already been said, but I loved David Bowie and he meant a lot to me.

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Alan Rickman’s passing

Alan Rickman was one of my first crushes. What is it about him threatening to cut another man’s heart out with a spoon that opened little me’s heart? But there was always something about Rickman. I loved his voice. And in his performances, I remember being in awe that he could make me feel safe, scared, and/or despicable with a curled lip, raised eyebrow, or crinkled eye. 

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We started watching Dr. Who again…just in time for Netflix to take it off. Short-lived, but probably for the best because if I am watching Dr. Who, I am in one of three states: scared, crying, or scared and crying. 

 Lost time is something that always makes me and MML cry, so Dr. Who is pretty much a boobie trap for tears. And if you mix up love into that formula, well fuck me, I’m fucked. And Amy Pond and Rory consistently made me cry. We watched like less than five episodes and I cried during 4 of those. The one that got me the most, though, was “The Girl Who Waited.” Amy talking to Amy about Rory. I tried to re-tell this plot to someone and it made me cry A SECOND TIME.

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This raccoon. 

So yeah, this 7 second video made me cry because I. Get. It. 

I feel like that’s every big life plan I make. And I know, I KNOW we’re supposed to let go and like see where life takes you. But you know what’s more accurate than “Life happens when you’re making other plans”? Life happens when you’re trying to get some delicious cotton candy in your mouth and your own stupid tendencies cause that cotton candy to dissolve into nothingness.

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Koko the gorilla on climate change. Tears out of my eyeballs and streaming down cheeks at work. GD, I checked FB for under 2 minutes and had to excuse myself to go pull it together in the bathroom.

I know, I know. A lot of people suggest Koko can’t understand climate change (frigging haters always gotta hate). I think she gets the fucking gist. But you know what, just because she may not understand it doesn’t mean it’s not necessarily happening or that her opinion doesn’t or shouldn’t matter. Also, she’s a gorilla. A lot of human idiots don’t BELIEVE it, which is different. And worse. There are a lot of things affected by climate change that don’t have a voice, and that makes me super sad. I imagine every animal and plant would be like, “Please stop. Whatever you’re doing, stop it and make ethical choices.” Also humans are the worst.

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Someone at work sent me a Johnny Cash YouTube video and I ended up just letting the videos keep loading in the background. After several of just Cash, videos with June Carter started playing. So I clicked back to actually look at them bantering (instead of just listening like I had been) and they were just super sweet with each other. Yes, it’s likely part of the performance, but there’s this under current of affection that was so dang intriguing. 

I took it a step further, rather than just listening, I looked up more information about them. I mean, I’d seen Walk the Line, but maybe a quick Wikipedia search would reveal my hunch that they were super in love FOR REAL. Well, in my research jaunt I discovered that it certainly could be true. And I also learned that Johnnny died a few months after June’s passing. 

And I got all veklempt. At work. Again.

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Long-distance snacking. I sent MML a picture of this really yummy hummus I was eating because I thought she might like it. She asked where I got it. I told her. She sent me this picture when she found it:

And I burst into tears. I know. This one may be hard to understand. MML and I were roommates for six years. I miss the big stuff, but it’s the little stuff - like snacking or random conversations leaning on her door frame that were only meant to last a minute but went on for over an hour or just getting to see her all the gd time - that sometimes affects me the most.

 So, yeah, the fact that she got the same hummus was almost like we were hanging out and sharing a snack. Leave me alone. I’m crying as I’m typing this.

~~~

The end of Spotlight.

I mean, I wasn’t shocked by the way the plot parsed out. It was the fact that kids all over are still being molested all the time. And we can’t seem to get it together to put a stop to it in one area that it for sure is, without a doubt happening. That’s upsetting in the angry way, but tears is tears. Speaking of angry tears…

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The end of The Big Short.

Originally posted by syudah-kudugah

Kicked right in the ass. Again, the plot of this film was one that everyone in the theater should have been familiar with because it was based on events they 100% lived through and it was international news/affected a majority of the U.S. Anyhow, several people in the crowd gasped when it was “revealed” that nobody went to jail for their very obvious crimes. No shit. YOU LIVED THROUGH IT. And we’re STILL not holding people or institutions accountable, you dumb fucks. Gsus. 

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This otter in a bathtub.

Because it’s so cute I have to bite the insides of my cheeks or I will grind my teeth into powder. That face. That screech. 

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A bunch of people who I don’t know went to Disneyland because some guy who I don’t know was proposing to a lady who I don’t know.

And did I mention that I don’t know any of these people? Because I don’t know any of these people.  And I 0% understand the lure of Disneyland.

But it’s just so nice (the proposal). I like people coming together to celebrate something that has little or nothing to do with them. 

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My friend adopted Hampton Pawes (named after Hampton Hawes).

He’s polydatcyl, so obviously he’s full of magic. And. That. Face.

She was walking around the shelter and initially this little guy was aloof, but then he sauntered over and there was this moment where they clicked. You could feel the “meant to be” in the air. 

So I got a little emotional. In my eyeballs.

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I donated to the Kickstarter to bring back Reading Rainbow because that show totally shaped my relationship with books. I’m not going to say it made reading fun, but it showed me that books were a place you could get information - a way to access stuff that wasn’t in your immediate world. I loved every part of that show from kids’ recommendations to learning how cheese is made or traditions around Chinese New Year to having one book read to me. I can still vividly recall some segments. 

My library had a section of books from the show, and I remember coming in with specific books in mind that kids my age recommended. I was allowed to check out as many books as I could carry, and a lot of those were recommendations from RR. To this day find LeVar Burton’s voice super soothing. 

Anyway, the Kickstarter sends out updates, and this was a story told in the email:

“I found a video of LeVar reading a book for Reading Rainbow about (Martin Luther) King, so we sat down and watched. Towards the end of the reading, my 8 year old son turned to me and said, “Why is my face turning red?” I had to answer honestly because there was no shame in it.

“You’re crying, sweetie.”

He was very quiet afterwards, but turned to me suddenly as he climbed into bed to go to sleep, “Do you like him [MLKJ]?”

“Yes, I do. He made the world better for everyone.”

“Me, too. I love him.”

Me, too, kid. And I love Reading Rainbow.

~~~

So, yeah. That’s everything (for the most part) that I cried about this month. 

Why The Good Wife Is Great.

I’m not normally someone for a sometimes kooky/sometimes serious courtroom drama (I feel the same way about hospitals on TV, so it’s not a thinly veiled lawyer joke), but there’s something about The Good Wife (2009-present) that I effing love. Similar to MML, I am put off when I cannot explain why I love the things I love. So a list is in order…here are the things I love about The Good Wife.

1. Alicia Florrick’s quiet rage. 

I didn’t watch ER, so I wasn’t familiar with Julianna Margulies. She can act! My favorite thing she does, though, is seething. Given the series initial conflict, SPOILER…I GUESS…IF YOU HAVE BEEN UNDER A ROCK her politician husband is busted for having sex with a bunch of prostitutes and interns and whoever, you know there is going to be a lot of Alicia holding herself in check. At times this is frustrating to watch because some infuriating shit goes down. But it’s also great fun to watch someone negotiate tight spaces - and sometimes it’s watching someone not negotiate. She snaps very well, too.

I am not someone blessed with the ability to quietly react to bullshit (I wear it all on my face and have reaction sounds), so watching JM as AF is like a little tutorial on striving for diplomacy. Also, she’s left-handed, which I like (side note: there are a disproportionate number of lefties on TGW…I don’t know why, but it’s fun to track).

2. Elsbeth Tascioni.

You may recognize actress Carrie Preston from her multiple Law and Order (CI AND SVU) appearances or her recurring role as Arlene on True Blood. On TGW, though, she’s this amazing scatterbrained and fabulous lawyer. She’s like a hilarious savant. This season featured a fun look at how her brain connects these random ideas and how it gets distracted. Let’s just say I related. She’s also has a lil mutual crush action with Kyle MacLachlan, and, again, let’s just say I relate*. 

*obviously ours isn’t mutual so much as me loving Kyle.

3. Alan Cumming’s eyebrows.

Can you even handle those knowing brows?! It’s so much better than a shoulder shrug. I am a huge, HUGE fan of Alan Cumming. This guy does it all: stage, screen, author, fashion, cologne - he’s a regular Scottish one-man-band. It all started for me when he played the Emcee in the late 90s revival of Cabaret. Then I saw this appearance on the Rosie O'Donnell Show, and I was smitten.

And then Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and Josie and the Pussycats happened. I’m not saying Cumming is without faults…it seems he will accept any role. Like stuff that I’m like “Duuuuude. Necessary?” For instance:

The effing Flinstones movie PREQUEL?! Necessary? Spy Kids?! Necessary? Whatever. It’s fine. He’s amazeballs as Eli Gold. He’s a campaign strategist and crisis manager for Peter, Alicia’s husband, but really he’s so much more. 

And for those of you who do decide to watch, keep track of his hair. They were certainly playing fast and loose with gray streaks to silver foxiness to some effed up Pavarottie-shoe-polish-hair.

4. Diane Lockheart’s statement necklaces.

She favors a chain, folks, but she’s not afraid to do big beads either.

Christine Baranski is another actor on the show who I simply love (maybe that’s part of TGW’s appeal: fun, familiar actors that I already like…). My first encounter was on the short-lived 90s sitcom Cybill where she played this rich, bitter divorcee, Maryann Thorpe.

SO 90s. Regardless of the decade, there’s something about her voice and demeanor that carries through all of her roles. I had to study her performance of Helena for a high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (THEATER NERD ALERT - aka thespian), and she still carries an essence of dignity to a character that gets down and undignified in her crushin’. I think we could do with more Baranski on a regular basis. 

And it’s not just necklaces and sharply tailored suits. Diane Lockheart is so cool and collected. She’s the type of together woman you hope to grow up to be. Or at least I do. She’s a boss. She is defiantly and UNapologetically liberal. She has a picture of her and Hilary Clinton framed in her office. And there’s a lot of aplomb going on behind her frames.

5. David Lee’s candy.

David serves as the worst lawyer. He’s a caricature of lawyer stereotypes. He’s in family law. He’s conniving. He’s a sycophant and hates almost everyone. Whenever a client comes in for him or he’s involved with a case, he always brings these clear containers of candy or other snacks. It’s indicative of his field AND it’s great schtick. 

6. The fact that Alicia and her kids were watching Take Shelter on an episode.

I don’t feel like researching the ins-and-outs of who owns what. I’m sure there’s some financial reason that they used this particular film, but I choose to just revel in the belief that it was a shout-out to everyone who saw this incredible movie. Michael Shannon is a dream and Take Shelter (2011) is a nightmare of anxiety. See it. And then try to figure out why the hell it was featured kind of prominently in TGW

7. Kalinda Sharma’s bad assery.

Archie Panjabi plays this character incredibly well. Reserved, knowledgeable, and an incredibly adept flirt. They’ve also costumed her kind of modestly, which I am a super fan of. She’s sexy, she’s shown in revealing clothing/in compromising positions, but most of the time she’s pretty covered up. It’s like the sexiness comes from within, not just how she’s adorned.

And she’s queer. I don’t always like how her sexuality is represented, but it is pretty matter-of-fact and there haven’t been too many after-school-special moments, which I appreciate. And she is the kind of flirtatious I wish I could be.

Instead of this:

8. Lemond Bishop’s Suits and Dad Stuff.

Impeccable dresser and Chicago’s biggest drug dealer…ALLEGEDLY. Lemond Bishop is tough, but he is also a devoted dad. An episode in the current season had him cheering at his son’s soccer game and trying to balance being supportive and critical of his kid’s performance. I’m not saying TGW does the best job with representations of people of color. And I see what y'all did there, adding Taye Diggs as a new regular, but that ain’t a complete solution. 

Regardless, I really like LB’s killer suits and how he is with his kid. Also, Mike Colter’s performance of quiet rage rivals Julianna Margulies’s. 

9. Guest stars! Guest Stars! GUEST STARS!!!

There are so many. In fact, I’ve been asked to limit my, “Oh! He/She’s on The Good Wife!” Apparently not everyone likes their movie or TV viewing experience interrupted with information about who an actor was on The Good Wife. EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW!

Here are a few of my favorite guests (and a list within a list!):

Eric Bogosian

It was brief, but I’m hoping for more.

Gloria Steinem

…if she asked me to run for office, I would. I get it, Alicia. If Gloria Steinem asks you for something, you better goddam well get it for her.

Matthew Lilliard

Because Scream. I know MML gets it.

Martha Plimpton

This woman cracks me up. She had a great character arc in Law and Order: Criminal Intent, her partially shaved head rocked my world in Parenthood (1989), and she is effing hilarious in 200 Cigarettes (1999). I can’t quite get into her current show, but it’s not her fault. Raising Hope is just too maudlin for me. However, she is so good as Patti Nyholm.

Michael J. Fox

Louis Canning, MJF’s character, is a gd delight. His schtick is played so well. And perhaps it’s leftover love for Alex P. Keaton, but I feel burned every time he does tricky stuff, yet I’m back on board at the first sign of sweetness.

10. Colin Sweeney’s turtlenecks, artwork, and genuine creepiness.

Dylan Baker is rad. He is so good at making me uncomfortable. But Colin Sweeney has such a humorous edge that you find yourself laughing at terrible things. SPOILERS He’s definitely a murderer and he’s into some kinky sex stuff, but his episodes are consistently deeper than simple lasciviousness. Dont’ get me wrong, he’s a bad guy, but he consistently makes you question how bad is bad. There are always qualifiers.

Here’s that art I was referring to:

Really ties the whole room together. 

11. Checking in with 2 major loves from other shows.

Peter Florrick/ Mr. Big

Cary Agos/ Logan

12. The blatant distrust/dislike of technology.

I adore the begrudging relationship everyone on the show has with technology. Sure, it might save you some time or get you out of bind, but more often than not, the tech is going to dick your life over. Spy cams, wire taps, etc. But even answering phones poses a problem for some of the characters.

Zach, Alicia’s son, is the only reliable character who knows how to deal with technology. I mean…he has two computer screens, so you know he’s good:

Zach is not only a tech wizard, but he’s also a tech detective…a deTECHtive if you will. Above he’s SPOILER discovering that a photo of his pops was *gasp* photoshopped - it was NOT Peter smoking that crack pipe with a prostitute. Below, he is taking a picture of his ballot before voting. And you can be sure he happened to catch something in the background of this cell pic. This shit happens all the time.

So technology is for the youth and Alicia needs her son’s help to change her cell phone ring tone or to walk her through the basket of remotes required to stream a movie. There are other clues into the relative distaste for tech:

Chum Hum, the Google equivalent on TGW

There are A LOT of lawsuits surrounding the interwebs. And, to their credit, they pose some interesting quandaries. 

New terms for new tech

Teleconferencing

On the one hand, you’re glad they’re letting this working mom work from home, but the whole set up is pretty absurd. David Lee captures my feelings, too.

It’s depicted as a necessary evil, which I appreciate. 

So in summary, excellent performers, quirky plots, great accessories, impeccable eyebrows, surprising guests, and candy. These are all reasons I enjoy The Good Wife. I can’t think of another way to persuade folks to watch it. I get why you might not be into it based on the marketing or the fact that everyone’s pre-menopausal aunts are a major fan base. But I think you should give it a 3 episode try. It’s on Hulu. Borrow the first season from the public library. Obtain it through other *ahem* channels. But don’t write it off without even sampling.

Haikuesday: Valentine’s Edition

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Greeting cards may be

The reason for the season

But candy. CANDY!

~~~

Conversation hearts 

Need to be revamped because

Chalk isn’t candy.

~~~

Like at Halloween,

Reese’s is the gold standard 

Of budget candy.

~~~

Get out of here, Peeps.

You are nasty all year round.

Nobody wants you.

~~~

I don’t love Whitman’s,

Russell Stover, or Hershey.

But I persevere. 

~~~

Ferrari Roaches*.

So freaking fancy and gold.

Crunchy truffle yum.

* Dan Van Kirk goes onto the wonderful podcast Doug Loves Movies and plays as Mark Wahlberg - in voice and in answers. It is hilarious. At one point DVK as MW talked about being fancy and referred to Ferrero Rocher as “Ferrari Roaches.” It has stuck in our house. Here’s a sampling of how dead on his impersonation is:

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Thank you for reading

These ridiculous haiku

Be my Valentines!

~~~

This is literally me, though, all week.

Haikuesday: Where My Authors At.

It’s rhetorical, so I don’t need a question mark! The other day someone asked me what my favorite book was, and I was like

I never know how to answer that question. How can anyone answer that question?! It’s like Sophie’s choice. Have you seen how many books there are in the world? Fuck have you seen how many books are in my house!?! Yet this is a question that normal people seem able to approach without this happening

So I’ve narrowed it down to three fave authors. And while I still can’t answer what my favorite book is, I can now point people to these haiku to explain who I love and a little bit about why I love them.

~~~

I’m no zombie, but

Neil Gaiman’s delicious brain

Is first when I turn.

And while I’m there, I will eat up Amanda Palmer’s beautiful brain, too.

~~~

Margaret Atwood

Writes the human animal’s

Glory and defeat.

~~~

Hey, Murakami.

Your writing is like my dreams:

Fucked up fuckery.

Originally posted by stuffthatistrending

~~~

So if you’re in the market for a new read, I inherently trust these three authors to take me to unexpected places. 

The "New and Improved Fandango" Is Neither.

For those of you who haven’t watched wrestling this week, here’s what I’m talking about:

What you need to know before we even begin is that I am not someone who likes a love story tacked onto any plot I’m consuming. Don’t get me wrong, if a romance is treated like a real thing, I’m totally in. I appreicate a good pine AND moments of pure lust, but I don’t like it when they’re confused. For instance, there will be a single kiss in an action film as an excuse to toss in a buxom broad who does nothing other than serve as an object. This movie was about robots from space fighting monsters from the ocean,…let’s focus on what we’re here for. Not love or sexy time…we’re here for punching and shooting.

For me, it’s like sitting down at a restaurant only to open the menu and find pizza, Chinese food, and sushi. That’s too much stuff crammed into one restaurant. Those things are different and just because you know how to cook doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to cook those drastically different meals well. None of that is going to be good. Gordon gets it.

So to recap, if you toss in some pointless, lovey-dovey bullshit that does nothing for the plot, I’m basically Fred Savage from The Princess Bride:

So if you love Chinese food from a restaurant that specializes in pizza, then perhaps “new and improved Fandango” is just the WWE act you’ve been looking for. 

Here’s what bugs me, though. I can’t figure out who Fandango’s sexiness is supposed to be for. Are the straight men in the audience supposed to see him as a sexy-time guru? Are the men with sexualities elsewhere on the Kinsey scale supposed to find him appealing?

Are the straight women supposed to be thinking, “FINALLY, something for me.” And to them, my reply is HAVE YOU SEEN CESARO IN A SUIT?!?!?! Sexiest man in the WWE.

But the sexiness that Fandango is bringing is the kind of “sexiness” that shows up in male strip clubs. MML and I have both attended a male strip act in-person AND we watched Magic Mike together, so obviously we are experts. The live event was in support of a colleague’s fiance and it is one of the most awkward nights ever. Picture a chain comedy club “converted” for the Wednesday night adult act - so classy as hell. Also it was attached to a Fat Fish Blue…so smells of fried ocean wafting through occasionally.

In terms of performers, they did not look like the Magic Mike dudes, which was fine considering we were in Ohio and there was no expectation for that complete package of a face + body. There was a lot of noticeable self tanner, which was evident because some performers didn’t call a friend or have the flexibility to get tan in all the places the strings revealed. The smell of balls disguised by cheap cologne that almost certainly had the word “musk” in the title accompanied the fishy undertones. Aggressive dancing at/on the crowd - combined with performers not gauging women’s interest in grinding (I’m 100% sure I was not the only one who didn’t want friction from a cock swathed in purple velour on my person.). There was a lot of lifting women up in the air, too. I don’t exactly understand the appeal, but some women seemed thrilled and/or terrified…there really is a fine line between the two.

The thing that I left thinking about on the way home, though, was the bizarre themed costumes. Fireman, cowboy, salsa instructor (eh, Fandango), soldier, cop, construction worker, etc. Those are occupations. And a majority of the Village People, which I’m sure isn’t an accident.

Occupations ≠ sexiness. Not without some other qualities. Men stripping for (presumably) women is more like dress up and pretend time. I don’t think women need that kind of fantasy when you’re going to take your clothes off. Scratch - I’ll speak my truth - I don’t need all that bullshit. I’d rather you just come out naked and pose or dance. Leave out the tease and just strip. Frankly, the current formula of women stripping for (presumably) men seems a bit more straightforward. (Empowering or objectifying or possibly both, let’s save that for another conversation) 

But maybe it’s just me. I’d much rather just be naked than in one of those flimsy negligee things. As I’ve said, that shit is like those paper booties on the ankle joints (?) of a cooked bird: unnecessary. We came to eat, so let’s eat - no need to dress it up. The word “fuck” is interchangeable with “eat” in the previous sentence.

Anyfarts, back to Fandango. I just don’t get who all this contrived, bizarre sexiness is supposed to be for. The whole WWE experience, as Melinda has pointed out, is a lot about bodies on display. Whether or not the brahs want to deal with it, they are looking at men being physical with men. It’s sexy.

Now Rosa, I guess I kind of see based on who the WWE thinks their audience is.

And probably needless to point out, I fucking hate this. Not her, Rosa Mendes is fine (I mean a sort of crummy wrestler and I don’t know her as a person and MLL would have to fill you in on her Divas role, but I don’t want to direct this at her the person)…it’s her deal that bugs me. She’s on the stage and Fandango is on that chair, she does a little dance for him, he runs/slides to her, they dance a few seconds together, he lifts her (eh…), she slow slides up and down his body - all to a Latin beat. Then she wiggles off to the side while the fight is going on. And I’m not joking, she spends the match wiggling.

(I can’t with that choker) She’s not exactly a cheerleader and she’s not a tag team person and she’s not distracting the other dude. Why are you here? Arm candy and sex sells will NOT be accepted as answers to this question. And what’s with that weird hands/thighs, borderline I-have-to-pee dance?! I’m fairly certain that’s not sexy, it’s just uncomfortable to watch. I can’t find a gif of it, but it looks EXACTLY like this but slower, with pursed lips, and dressed up in sparkly red fringe:

I love that the announcers don’t know what to do with this either. All I can hope is that this stupid gimmick will unfold into a really compelling plot, I hope that it does…like maybe their dancing hypnotizes other wrestlers into losing (note: I said THEIR dance, NOT wiggle-central) OR maybe she’s the equivalent of Undertaker’s urn OR fuck it, let’s get biblical and do a Samson and Delilah thing. But, spoiler alert, it won’t because WWE doesn’t know what do with women in any capacity. You either get shrill harpy, bitchy/bad friend, bitchy/frenemy, or crazy - and all of these can be done sexily in a crop top and booty shorts. Did I miss any Divas tropes? 

Normally, I’m willing to suspend belief. I LIKE kayfabe, I like playing along, but you gotta draw me in and make it something fun or ridiculous. Once again, Fandango and Rosa are neither. 

So, in sum, if you’re going to keep up this awkward, confusing act, I want less of this:

less of this:

and more of this:

and this:

and this:

The sexiness is too awkward. So just go with awkward so we can all have fun. You can still do this:

but stop with the wrestling equivalent of this:

Be better, WWE Universe.

Haikuesday: The Side-Eye Chronicles

It is never, ever, ever too early to throw shade. I live on Shady Lane, y’all, so feel free to stop on by. This week’s haiku focus on annoyance. 

—-

Re: Apologizing to a coworker when you don’t feel bad

Sorry not sorry;

The worst thing I could have said

Is not “dumpster face.”

—-

—-

Re: Shit people say on The Bachelor

“Falling for you” isn’t

A declaration of love, 

According to Broc.

—-

Originally posted by trendingifs

—-

Re: Me being a shitty friend (AKA can you side-eye yourself?)

Thanks for calling me.

I don’t want to call you back.

Will a text suffice?

—-

I said “Chronicles” for a reason; we all know that this will be a multi-volume affair. Life is long. But my patience is short. Let’s get it all out through the magic of poet-tray. And with that, I leave you with the shadiest of queens:

Tearaway

I am not what you would call an early adopter.  On top of that, it takes me a long time to get around to things.  But I do take people’s recommendations seriously…just be prepared for me to follow through within 1-3 years.  My point with this preamble is to say that this game is not new, but I still need to talk about it.

Tearaway came out at the end of 2013 for Playstation’s Vita (it’s like a Gameboy, Gramps).  The aesthetic = construction paper craft table come to life.  You play as Iota, the masculine envelope-headed messenger, or Atoi, the female version.

These characters are trying to get a message to you.  Yes, you the player are part of the game as well.  You are referred to as “the You” in the game world, your face becomes part of the world (a la Teletubbies, your face is inside the sun), and your fingers do more than wiggle joysticks - they’re necessary for getting Iota or Atoi to their destination.

To do this, Tearaway utilizes all of the new fancy doohickeys and thingamabobs offered on the Vita.  I’m not the person who can really delve into technical marvel for you, but I’m totally impressed.  You tap the back to break through into Iota and Atoi’s world.  Your fingers can move big objects, squash enemies, and play enormous drums the characters are too small to do.  The Vita has a camera on the front that captures video of your face that is then featured in the sun.  You have to take pictures of your world (for me it was often my bedspread, Moshi, or other things in my room) with the camera on the back.  There are levels where you have to roll the character around using the Vita itself as the balance.  This trailer does a better job showing than telling, so give that a look:

Fun, right?!  Anyway, the point of the game is to fill their world with more stories and to do that, for whatever reason, Iota/Atoi must find their way to You in the sun.  (NOTE: I borrowed this pic from the interwebs, but this person’s face is so perfect!  I was consistently jarred by my pasty image popping out of the sun, but I wish I’d looked more like this kid.)

There are three main stories you go through: one narrated by a male voice but right as Iota/Atoi is about to reach the sun, the female voice declares she’s heard this story and snatches Iota/Atoi and puts it into a new setting and the second story.  The second story does get a narrative conclusion, but it’s only the end of that section.  You were never that invested in the plot or its conclusion, though, because you’d already been reminded of the construction of things when you’d been snatched the first time.  The third story is, in a way, unwritten.  That’s not to say you have free reign over what’s what - it’s not an open world, but the visuals are meant to capture the nebulous space of pre-recorded ideas.  

Compared to the first two stories/worlds, the third story feels loosy-goosey.  Rigid boundaries are gone and there’s a lot of galactic, unformed images.  In one sequence, a  character questions Iota/Atoi about “the You,” disbelieving in its/your realness, so the game prompts you to say something to the elk-looking creature.  I simply do what I always do when meeting someone new with something interesting on their head - I gave him a compliment.  So the words, “I like your horns” echoed through the screen.  The character accepts your existence, but then those words (in my case, “I like your horns.”) occasionally sound out as you play through the dream-like level.  Movement in this level was down, down, down - a difficult perspective to navigate but one that totally added to the vision-quest-in-a-desert vibe.  And when your voice rings out, the echo gets more and more distorted.

The “enemies” are called Scraps and they’re fun to fight, but the point of the game isn’t to beat a lot of little cardboard boxes.  There’s a real effort to bring you as a player into the game.  You control the avatar, your fingers are incorporated into the game, your face is in the sun, your room/cat/whatever you take photos of is brought into Iota/Atoi’s world, and you literally create some of the look of the game.

You must create things that are missing from the world out of construction paper on the drafting board.  In one of my favorite sequences, you have to design a snowflake.  I’ll be honest, I was doing the drawing with my fingers instead of a stylus and had some trouble getting exactly the ridiculous detail I wanted to include.  I made my snowflake pink, yellow, and light green.  When you complete this project and return to the world, your snowflake is falling from the sky.  To see your one multiplied into hundreds is pretty cool.  

To literally make the game tactile, you can create the characters from the game in paper - appropriately named Papercraft.  Throughout the game you collect how-to instructions for building them and making them a part of your physical world.

I can see Henry Jenkins having a heyday with the platforms and the blending of worlds here. 

My point is that you become part of the game in ways I hadn’t experienced before.  For me, this resulted in a strange protectiveness over Iota/Atoi and their paper world…because I had a hand in creating it and my fingers were so often thrust into it.  This becomes even stranger when you enter the newspapered lair of the scraps.  

This image above doesn’t capture it, but the one below does.  Your photos which had been taken for previous tasks in the game are strewn all over the floor and on the walls.  You are in their world - you’re not just controlling a character (although you are doing that, too), you’re not anonymous.  (NOTE: Again, the person pictured is not me, but you can see how his face has become part of the caverns motley decor.)

The tone shifts away from happy-fun paper land in the third story.  It is still beautiful.  Like I mentioned, there is a lot more play with paper that has yet to be given a purpose, books without words or pictures, and ideas not yet fully formed.  Space, movement, and time are different here.

You encounter a messenger who never got to deliver their message.  They’re trapped.  And they’re stuck in a little ball that you tip and roll through the level, but it’s like a ghost of Iota/Atoi - there is no dialogue exchanged.  Everything you learn about this lost soul comes from a squirrel.  And this haunting tune accompanies the level:

In general, the music throughout Tearaway is tremendously good.  Lots of accordion, fiddles and violins, and what sounds like a kazoo.  The folksy, holly-hobby-sounding music matches the aesthetic of the game.  But this particular song, that sad voice (which does sound like Iota/Atoi), and what it represents made me so sad.  And, as the You who has been guiding my Iota, I was upset that another You would leave their messenger behind.  I know.  What a sap.  It’s just a game!

Yeah.  The game got to me.  The ending gives you this retrospective from Iota/Atoi’s point of view describing his version of y'all’s journey.  Looking at your experience from another angle just further makes you part of this game world.  I lost it when Iota called it “our” story and told me how many steps he’d taken to reach me (the You in the sun): 88,314.  

The message that Tearaway makes a point to state at the game’s conclusion is that stories are important, and we need to be making things, creating and sharing ideas.  Not a bad message for a video game, but one I find very, very cool.  And not just for kids.  In fact, I don’t know if kids would enjoy the game.  Or maybe they would, but for reasons different than me (look out..maybe a lil Stuart Hall moment for EVERYONE!).  Play the game.  It’s real good.

Let's Talk about Dips - Super Bowl Edition

So as I have explained in previous posts, I have proven time and time again that I’m NOT the one with sports. Unless that sport is WWE, and then by gawd, I’m in. In fact, this Super Bowl Sunday I will be at a house show holding up a homemade Dolphin Ziggler sign.  

Yup. His name is Dolph Ziggler and I’m gonna put his hair on a dolphin. That’s my plan.

ANYWAY, the Super Bowl is always prime dip time, so know that I’ll be dipping in spirit. In honor of this magical day of dips, I’d like to share two bean dips with y'all.

I enjoy a bean. In addition to being delicious, they’re full of protein. A few years back, MML, a doctor of philosophy and not nutrition, taught me a simple equation. Beans = protein. Protein = good for you. Beans in any incarnation, alongside any junk food = healthy. We need protein or we die, people.

So first, a little bit of HOT - Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip. 

This picture and the recipe come directly from The Pioneer Woman. This is not a blog I frequent, but I have several friends who consider it a kind of mecca. I’m into eating, but I just can’t with blogs solely about food…unless I’m looking for a specific recipe that happened to be on the blog OR the blog contains the nastiest pictures of food, then I’m in for the afternoon. But it has to be said, Ree Drummond is a branding savant, and the lady does take great photos of food. She’s patient enough to do it at every step. Sometimes I need that kind of support. 

2 cans (14 oz each) black-eyed peas

½ whole yellow onion

½ C sour cream

2 C grated sharp OR pepper jack cheese (or both)

6 T salsa of your choice (hey, habanero lover, consider other guests if this is going to a party)

12 (give or take - whatever your butt can handle…some days you might need a tamed jalapeño) jalapeño slices

Salt & pepper

Mash them beans but not all the way, you want texture; mix everything else in; smoosh it into a glass baking dish; bake 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Murder that fucker with some tortilla chips. I’ve posted this warning before, but watch the burn factor. You’re going to want to put this in your mouth immediately and you shouldn’t. 

Can’t shame me. Now for the COLD - California Caviar.

I’ve been debating about whether this gif is racist or not…on the one hand it’s Joey from Friends voice I hear in my head saying “How you bean doin’.” On the other that bean seems to be accessorized with a sombrero, a gondola bandanna, and flip flops which just offer up a hodge podge of stereotypes. Certainly there’s a Mexican jumping bean essence here. I believe this to be racist, but will leave it here to inspire some serious dialogues about race at your Super Bowl party. Maybe after a Go-Daddy commercial or while Katy Perry sings about fireworks and fireworks go off in the stadium.

A lil heteronormative bean family palette cleanser:

Alright.

This next dip comes from Deana Gunn and Wona Minati's Cooking with Trader Joe’s - Vegetarian, You don’t need a TJ’s to do this dip (but you better find a version of the pictured salsa). It’s solid and a surprising crowd-pleaser. While I’m not going to tell you this is “healthy,” it tastes fresher and lighter than a lot of dip fair, but heavier than say a salsa. I think it adds a nice balance to a potluck. AND it’s vegan.

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed adn drained

1 (9 oz) pkg edamame (or aprox. 2 C - don’t forget to thaw…don’t add frzn)

1 (13.75 oz) jar Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa [This is essential. Don’t dick around and add regular ass salsa. Look at that picture…clearly it is different from regular salsa, and that is what makes this dip really stand out.]

1 ripe avocado, diced

Stir it all together and serve at room temp with tortilla chips.

I don’t have a pic of the final product because all the internet images look gross, but the actual dip is colorful and not heinous looking.

I know. I’m a hater. And you know…haters gonna hate. All the sports blahs aside, I will miss watching the Super Bowl with a rag tag group of graduate students. A certain Bostonian gentleman consistently threw the best Super Bowl parties - there were multiple TVs set up, one solely for featuring the Puppy Bowl; ridiculous gambling opportunities and a grip of folks ready to take you up on a prop bet; and a lot of laughter/criticism/snacking/rewinding Bruce Springsteen’s crotch sliding into the camera/laughing some more. A good time can be had at a Super Bowl party…especially if there are dips.

The Year in Review

RBF and MML have you covered on all the music, but what I know best is me. So this is some stuff from this year that made 2014 taste the way it did (SPOILER ALERT: the way every year tastes…uniquely bittersweet). In no particular order and in no way necessary, here’s a robotslovedinosaurs list of stuff.

New Table-Top Game: Smash Up

Typically the words “deck building” are all I need to hear to know that a game will be too much work/expense with not enough pay off, but Smash Up has made me reconsider. You combine 2 factions like wizards and carnivorous plants OR aliens and ninjas OR, MML’s fave, bear cavalry and, my fave, zombies. Each faction has different strengths and every game is legit different depending on the combination. You use your factions to take over bases and eff up other people’s plans.

There are a lot of cards (especially if you go for any/all of the expansion packs) and a few controversial bits of wording that inevitably cause some…discussion. All in all, though, this game is super fun and you can play with a bunch of people. Strategists will like it as will people who just like to watch the world burn (me).

Old Board Game that’s New to Me: Aggravation

I can’t speak to the newer editions, but this vintage, DELUXE version we obtained at a Savers is super fun. Yes, people will give you the “that game is old and won’t be fun” argument, but push through. The whole point of Aggravation is to get your marbles from the base to home - either by going around the board the long way, utilizing short cuts, or taking the occasionally back-firing jaunt into the middle space. In addition, this game is about messing up other people’s plans and sending them back to base. It is super fun and the kind of game where you can’t be too mad if you lose. 

Thing I Didn’t Realize Make Life Better: WWE Network

It’s fun. There’s a lot of content, there’s a lot of history, and there’s a lot of butts and nipples. For $9.99 a month, you can surrender yourself to the ridiculous plots and the even more ridiculous commentary. So good.

I don’t want to over-speak, but I believe B’s subscription to the WWE Network kicked off a chain reaction throughout an extended group of people creating a wrestling revival for several people. Join us.

Movies that Made Me Feel Things (not necessarily new…I just saw them this year):

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Lego Movie (2014)

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Moon (2009)

Cutie and the Boxer (2013)

Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)

(MML, Dr. Roz, and I created a Weird-Loves series that this film was part of. The themes were Frankenstein, dragons, and werewolves…can you guess whose weird love is whose?)

Sinister (2012)

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Manhunter (1986)

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011)

Podcast that Made the Morning Commute Tolerable: Serial

MML turned me onto this after former, amazeballs student Sarah introduced her. If you like true crime, then you’ll like this. I find an extra level of interest because the whole thing took place in 1999 with people who are my same age. Something about the set up has you questioning your convictions, which is a feeling I always like - we know nothing, we only make it up as we go, and that’s not always a good thing.

Best New Drink: Drinking Chocolate

Courtesy of Ryan and Allie, drinking chocolate is thicker than cocoa, but thinner than frosting. It is so effing good. Leave it to Portland, I guess. Topping off an evening of superb conversation with a cup of chocolate magic just added to an already perfect moment with these two.

Best New Veg-to-Go Food: Chipotle’s Sofritas

Haters gonna hate, but I am really into this. It’s tasty, it’s filling, and it’s not a burrito filled with multiple salsas and vegetables. No, you don’t need an additional protein since you have beans and rice in there, but it’s nice to have a little more choice at the burrito place. Granted, Qdoba’s free guac is a revolution, but sofritas is pushing Chipotle a bit ahead in the queue (I sat here for a several minutes trying to make a Qdoba/queue pun before giving up, but still felt the need to let you know that I tried. I TRIED.).

New Favorite Appetizer: Roasted Garlic

I understand that not everyone likes garlic as much as I do, but buzz off, pansies…this shit is the shit. And it’s ridiculously easy to make but looks fancy/rustic (is that a thing?…I mean it must be considering how popular those vintage filters are on Instagram…) so people ooh and ah at your contribution to dinner.

Here’s what you need: whole bulbs of garlic (however many you want - you know how much garlic you can eat AND you know your people best, so figure it out), 1 Tablespoon olive oil for each bulb, salt and pepper, crostinis, goat cheese (optional - we got a few kinds, sometimes the ones with a blueberry is way yum)

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the top off garlic bulbs, slicing across tips of cloves. Place each bulb on a square of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with s/p. Wrap the foil up and around bulb and toss into the oven, directly on the rack, for 30-40 minutes. Serve with bread, which you can basically smear the garlic onto, or smear some cheese and garlic all together. Basically, get ready to smear.

Top Shows of 2014 - so good I would recommend to almost anyone

Dum Dum Girls

We saw the Dum Dum Girls at Riot Fest at like 2:00 in the afternoon. It was hot and a really mixed bag of an audience, but you could feel the crowd get won over. That’s impressive for a day that included fans of Social Distortion, Bring Me the Horizon, and The Used. No disrespect to these bands, but their fan base doesn’t necessarily overlap into this genre. 

The music was so on point. Dee Dee’s voice - shit the whole group - sound just as good live as they do on the albums. More impressive, the ambiance of the albums (dreamy, melancholy, etc.) manages to come through without seeming like a put-on. Again, we saw them in the blistering midday sun - if ever there was a time for that NOT to work, it would have been then. They’re also so attractive that everyone creams their panties. 

The Drums

Another band where I wasn’t sure what to expect - Jonny Pierce’s voice is just superb on the albums and I wasn’t sure it would translate. It does. The energy is so unusual, just like the band itself. I’ve blogged about appreciating their mission to only write songs about the first day of summer and the moment you realize you’re completely alone in the world. The high-low comes through well in a live setting. I don’t know how but it totally does. 

Wendy introduced me to The Drums and it was Pierce’s dancing that initially drew me in. At times it looks like he’s not in control, but obviously he is. I kept saying, “It’s like how an angel would dance,” and “I think he’s keeping  a beat, but it’s not to this song.” There really is something hypnotic about his moves. And extra points to Jacob Graham for adding his own flavor to the stage.

Rural Alberta Advantage

This was a cozy show and I, once again, was really impressed with the consistency between album and live show. As with all the bands listed here, I totally get if people aren’t really feeling the sound, but I like Nils Edenloff’s raspy wailing and Amy Cole’s breathy backup vocals. The Hi Dive is a pretty small venue, so the coziness added to the entire mood of the evening. Toward the end, they literally unplugged, took a guitar, a snare drum, and their voices sans mics into the middle of the crowd. The closeness gave it the feel of a sweet/sad family sing-a-long. It was charming. It was the perfect way to spend an evening with Rachel, Iz, Wendy, and B.

Still lost my shit at this oldie: 

The Cure

Robert Smith’s voice is incredible. He was absolutely present and living for the crowd, which I wouldn’t assume is the case given The Cure’s long career. You always worry there will be some Mike Score moment where an artist admits they hate playing all of your favorite tunes. I shouldn’t even put The Cure in the same sentence as Flock of Seagulls, but that concern isn’t totally unfounded. 

Anyway, the show was killer. There was an excellent use of fog, which I’ve only said once before (it was in reference to the Pixies killer fog job). Smith looks exactly the same - his look is so iconic that it starts to feel like a caricature, but that’s that dude. And I get it, man, tight pants, loose top, big hair - it’s essential. 

Something I loved about Smith was how playful he was on stage. He seemed giddy and danced and laughed at his own jokes/lyrics. It made it feel less like a headlining show at a giant festival and more like a fresh moment with a longtime friend. And, in case you haven’t thought about how many Cure songs you know lately…their catalog is enormous. You know more words to their songs than you think you do. If you get a chance to see The Cure, take it. 

Best Dog: Petunia

Pack it up. She gets all the wins. It’s more than a so-ugly-she’s-cute thing. Tuna looks like Cerberus (minus two heads) and Toothless from How to Drain Your Dragon. Her nipples are prominent, her farts are potent, and her feelings are written directly on her face. She’s super sweet and her relationship with Bride of Pfundstein just amplifies all the good feelings. I miss these two and the way they welcomed me, even though I was unannounced 98% of the time. Petunia almost makes me think a dog would be worthwhile…but I think I’m saying that because she’s a cat in a dog’s body.

Best Cat: Moshi (duh)

Obviously. He also looks like Toothless, so perhaps Tuna and Moshi are related:

Best TV Drama: Fargo

Best TV Comedy: Broad City

They are SO funny. And it only improves with repeat viewings. These chicks need to be EVERYWHERE. Go get season 1 and binge to prep for season 2 - out January 14.

The Hardest Thing of 2014: Moving away from MML

I’ve moved a lot in my life and missed a lot of people. This is different. MML and I were daily facets in each other’s lives. We had routines and habits accommodating each other’s quirks. There were joint must-see TV moments. There were surprise cinnamon crunch bagels. There were pranks. There were dips. There were so many dips.

Yes, we live in an age where technology can bridge all kinds of gaps, but it’s just not the same as showing up with Nutella and graham crackers in order to binge on Are You the One? It feels like I’ve lost an appendage. Hopefully 2015 will be better…or MML just moves next door so we can keep a good thing going.

The Best Thing of 2015: Colorado Crüe

I am so lucky to have such a solid base of people who are always down. Whether it’s to toss some work my way/pretend to have work dates (Castles in the Sky) or pop my Neiman Marcus outlet cherry (demeter clarc) or engage in an ongoing discussion about the impossibility of time travel (JMB) or embark on a coat rack search(Nance) or sample new cheeses and get killer book recommendations (BK+L) go on an emergency jean mission (Lee Lee), I am surrounded by lovelies. I have gotten to get to know my god children better - they are the smartest, cutest, most interesting kids on the planet - AND they’re new kinds of friends. There are more and hopefully everyone knows how much I appreciate them…if not, private message me and let the compliments role (after a brief eff off moment bc, bitch, it was rhetorical, not a challenge).

There’s been a lot of heinous stuff in my orbit and these people make the burden lighter. I feel supported and protected. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people. They would dance battle any time.

~~~~~~~~~

I’m ready to bid sayonara to 2014, and welcome the Year of the Sheep. Happiest of new years to you all! And know that I’ll be doing this for the next 2 days straight:

  SO LET’S RAISE A GLASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's Talk about DIPS: S'more Edition

I’m always a little skeptical of jabronis who are like, “S'mores are too sweet for me. I can’t handle the richness.” When people say shit like that, I’m immediately imagining how sad their life must be and the fact that their tongue is covered by baby taste buds that can only handle the mildest of foods. I just want to be like:

And then I get angry because of their stupid baby taste buds. 

Wah…it must be so hard for them to enjoy what this world has to offer. 

I have similar feelings about folks on a diet. If you’re on a diet, don’t make this dip. Don’t try to make it light. Just wait until you want to hang out and then let’s party.


Anyway, this recipe is for you non-babies: S'MORES DIP


I’ve seen versions of this recipe all over Pinterest, but here’s who we followed (above photo cred goes to Megan as well).

1 ½ C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 - 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk

½ C marshmallow creme

Graham crackers (don’t go generic or light…just don’t do that to yourself)

Strawberries

Anything else you can think of to dip in there

Put the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Mic on high for 1-2 minutes until the chips are melted. For those of you skilled in the art of cooking in the microwave, you know to start with one minute, pull it out, check it, give it a stir, see where your chippies are at, and then put it back in. For those of you not-so-skilled, now you know. Then add dollops of the marshmallow creme on top of that mess. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Immediately stir and swirl it. Don’t go overboard (MML, I’m looking at you) - it looks cooler when it’s marbled. And then you get some killer bites that are mostly marshmallow if you angle your cracker just so. 

And may I remind you: don’t burn your tongue on this delicious mouth party.

Wait a minute. Test it with your finger. Then lick the spoon, lick the bowl…do what you need to do. 

And here’s where to get this AHmazing pillow.

Wisdom in a Pop Song

There are people in this blog collective who have good taste and a lot of knowledge about music. I am not one of them, yet here I am writing about music. So buckle in or scroll down to another post, idgaf.

Now that I’m employed, I have to commute to work. For me has meant a lot more time with the radio, which, in turn, has meant a lot more questions about what the hell is going on. I mean, just the other day, I had to frantically call MML because I actually listened to the beginning of that Fun song about toniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight and being young…I had never picked up on the weird stuff about scars and what I perceived as abuse, and I wanted to ask her if that was the point of this weird song. We really dislike the song, so we will never go back to further investigate, so the mystery will remain unsolved FOREVER. 

Anyway, MML pointed out that midst the bleeps and bloops, song lyrics have just become like fractal bits, never adding up to much of a whole (I think I’m getting the gist; these aren’t the exact words). And I suppose that is indicative of our post-postmodern times: looking for emotion or meaning or shared experience in an easily digestible snippet. And I know that 1984 warned us about the dangers of pop music (plays on your emotions, means nothing, not revolutionary) 

And I know what Mr. Adorno thought of pop music:

And, perhaps most hilariously, he compares pop music to a warm bath…

I’m not necessarily disagreeing with calling drivel drivel, but I can’t help but envy that rabbit’s bath-time vibe. I’m not willing to write off all pop music. Sometimes all it takes for me to be thinking about something is a turn of phrase or a certain chord change or the combination that creates a spark of meaning…or at the very least, it makes me think.

So I’m going to collect and share little moments of wisdom or feeling or something inspired by some aspect of pop songs in a series called the title of this blog. It’s up there. Go scroll on up and see and then come back down*.

*It’s “Wisdom in a Pop Song" 

And to controversially kick it off, I’m going to lead with U2’s new single, "Every Breaking Wave." 

Yeah, I know. Bono. Tinted glasses. Nominated for a Nobel Peace Price. Bizarre, invasive iTunes ploy that made people question the phrase "If it’s free, it’s me.” Edge. Same beanie or hundreds of similar beanies? Music you know most of the words to despite maybe never sitting down and listening to a song on purpose. Music featured on Friends…

For the record, I was I’m as surprised as you to find a lil nugget in here, but (2:08 if you can’t make it through) the following lyrics have had me thinking a ton:

“I thought I had a captain’s voice;

It’s hard to listen while you preach.”

As someone whose resolution this year is to be more forgiving (I know…it’s better than saying I’m going to lose weight, but I also have a practical one: turn my clothes right-side-in as I put them into the hamper to speed up putting laundry away…I try to be realistic, folks), being a better listener comes part and parcel with this goal. It also reminded me of times where I felt completely unheard by people who swore they had my best interest in mind and acted as if they were listening. I’ll be honest, I’ve thought about this so much, that I’m trying to engage more as a listener before piping up with advice or a story or a joke. 

I’m not proud that this is coming out of a U2 song, but I’m also not ashamed. Because there is value in pop music.

So check in with your local AM/FM stations and see what you find. I’d be interested to hear what resonates.

I don’t know why, but No Face from Spirited Away (Miyazaki 2001) has lingered as something that truly creeps me out.  Yes, I know it’s animated.  Yes, in the story it all works out.  Yet yes, I am still haunted by the eery presence and consumption that No Face exhibits. 

At times, I’ve pulled this character out as a description for seemingly innocuous individuals in a group who end up being attention gluttons eating up everything interesting around them to completely dulls-ville avail.  I’ve also equated No Face with portions of everyone’s personality - the ruiner part that comes in and wrecks things despite wanting to stop that force.  This is particularly poignant because I have been sick of myself for about a month now, but it turns out everywhere I go I’m still with me…telling the same stories, making the same critiques, and having the same thought patterns.  Gross. 

No Face may seem silly in this picture and it almost makes it less scary.  But I still won’t look at it after dark.