Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Oh, oh, oh, Boeh-nie's crying!"

Van Halen reference, btw. If you get that one, congratulations! You're old like me. And you also read his name the way he insists on pronouncing it (BAY-ner). I'll concede that it may be a German thing; I used to know a girl whose last name was Goebel and she pronounced it like "Gable," rather than GO-bel, and she was German.

But I prefer "BO-ner." Yes I do. That's the American way to say it! All right, Johnny? America rulz! And so does the class of '92!!! WOO HOO!

Class of '92-gether 4-ever!!!

Oops! Sorry. Got carried away there.

Sooooo many things to pick apart about his dumb 60 Minutes interview that it makes me tired. But I'm obviously made of sterner stuff than Boner (heh), so here I go.

1.) "I've got thick skin."

Um, no. No, you don't. My sweet southern belle of a grandmother cried less than you. She was a HELL of a lot tougher than you are, too. (She was tougher than most people. Miss you Gran!) And on the subject of your skin, Mr. SOTH...it is rather...orange. And I'm not the only one who's noticed. Maybe orange skin is inherently thicker? The Oompa Loompas had orange skin, and I guess they were tough. Sort of. They were also pretty disturbing. Not as disturbing as a leaky Boner, though. Right, fellas?

2.) (Sniff!) "Makin' sure that these kids (snuffle!) have a shot at the American dream....(flail)...like I did...(snarfle snuffle sniff sniff sniiiiiifffff!) is important." (BHAAAWAAAAAAHOAOAAAHHHHH BOO HOO HOO HOOOOOOOOO!)

Oh go cry in your cocktail, Boner. You are SOOOOO full of it. Any journalist with half a brain could smell your horseshit a mile away. Unfortunately, Leslie Stahl doesn't seem to be working with that much, judging by the way she eats this up with a spoon. She does crack me up during the bit with his wife, around the 4:50 mark: "What set you off that time?" Then (to Mrs. Orange SOTH): "He cries all the time?" Heh. That's our Boner!

3.) "He's going through an emotioable (sic) period..."

"Emotioable"? Okay, Mrs. Orange. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, since I mis-speak all the time. I've always said that I'm better at typing than I am at talking. But I don't slur my words as much since I kicked booze. Just saying.

4.) This gem, also from Mrs. Orange: "He was a janitor on the night shift when I met him. He's come a long way."

Oh SHUT IT. You're not Bernadette Peters, and he's not The Jerk. He was not born a poor black child. He was a janitor when you met him because he was working his way through college. A lot of students work crap jobs to get through college. Like, thousands upon thousands of students. Boner's not unique in that way, I promise you. Okay, so it is a quite a long journey from mucking out toilets and sprinkling sawdust on vomit to being Mr. Big Time Speaker of the House. (Actually...nah, I'll just let you insert your own joke there.) But there's no denying it, Boner's come a long way from Reading, Ohio. In fact--much like us modern ladies and Virginia Slims--you might say he's come a long way, baby.

And speaking of ciggies, it just so happens that Boner looooooves the tobacco industry with every bit of his crusty orange heart. I think the tobacco industry probably loves Boner even more, since he's so willing to get down on his knees to service them, no?


Awww, somebody needs a nap! Give him a 6-pack of Schlitz and a pack of Newports. And his blankie.

And feel free to call me if he wakes up!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I predict these two will have no problem getting pussy now that this video is a hit. Men who like cats are HOT!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Received this cheerful little news item in my inbox today:

Man accused of conning two girlfriends out of £18,000

A man has appeared in court accused of swindling two girlfriends out of £18,000.

Simon Reid, aged 44, allegedly borrowed money from women claiming he could pay them back using his business interests in the US.

But prosecutors claim that he had no such assets.

Reid is charged with two counts of fraud by false representation.

He allegedly obtained £17,000 from one woman between August 31, 2008, and August 1 this year, and another £1,000 from a second woman between December 31 last year and August 1.

Reid, of Embankment Lane North, Prince Rock, Plymouth, indicated "no plea" to both charges.

Soo Jackaman-Hall, prosecuting, said: "The defendant entered a relationship with four women and told them that he had businesses and assets in the US. He obtained money from them, saying he would pay them back with the proceeds of the assets. The sum total of what he obtained was £18,000."

But she claimed that there were in fact no assets abroad.

Magistrates ruled that the case was so serious that it would have to be heard at Plymouth Crown Court.

Reid was released on unconditional bail to appear back before magistrates again on January 19 next year.

Don't drop the soap, asshole!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Found the following note, carefully printed in my handwriting on an index card and stuck between the pages of a long-forgotten book. It was obviously a quote I'd copied from somewhere, but I don't know the source. It's rather beautiful, though.

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between her work and her play, her labor and her leisure, her mind and her body, her education and her recreation. She hardly knows which is which. She simply pursues her vision of excellence through whatever she is doing and leaves others to determine whether she is working or playing. To herself she always seems to be doing both.

An excellent thought, no matter where you are on your creative path.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh, good Lord.

There are a several dozen things about this video that make me stabby. Somehow, I've managed to narrow them down a bit:

1.) The sheer hypocrisy of "Do as I say, not as I do" -- a disorder that I think we can safely call The Palin Syndrome. In fact, I'm all for campaigning to get it listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

2.) "B-Palin"

3.) "Sitch"

4.) "Oh snap!" (Did I fall asleep and wake up in 1998, and no one bothered to tell me?)

5.) These two will not be fading into obscurity anytime soon, will they?


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Post-election day blues, and I find this sentiment extremely apropo:

More updates later, my sweets. Love to you all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


It's weird how the public, the media, and most of the free world seem to have just "discovered" that bullying--particularly the bullying of GLBT youths--is a problem. Bullying has been around for thousands upon thousands of years: at least since ruthless, insecure assholes became bipeds, and perhaps even before. It's always been a problem, it's always sucked, and it's always been minimized or virtually ignored by most school officials and other adults in positions of authority over children.

The rash of recent suicides of kids who were bullied relentlessly for being gay or "perceived" as being gay is truly horrifying; it is equally horrifying to realize that their tormentors, in part because of their status as minors, will likely face zero consequences for their actions, despite the fact that they were at least partially responsible for another person's death. Another sickening thought? As of this writing, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei--the gruesome twosome who secretly recorded and publicly outed Rutgers student Tyler Clementi--haven't even been expelled for the crimes they committed. I sincerely hope that they do hard time for this, instead of a light tap on the wrist and some bullshit probation and/or community service.

Along with other measures, like teaching--actually, make that ENFORCING tolerance in schools (policing and punishing children who engage in ANY sort of bullying behavior, etc.)--I would like to posit that we use a little creativity in making examples of nasty little bullies like the ones mentioned above. Below are two of my best ideas.

Yes, I am totally going to go there.

1.) "The Running of the Bullies"

Round up a healthy cross-section of bullies from schoolyards across the country, (including the tormentors of Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, and other evil little fascists who've caused needless pain and misery to their peers). Rescue all the bulls used in the cruel annual Pamplona "festival." Turn the bullies loose on a city street (any city with narrow, treacherous roads will do). Give them a 20 second headstart. Release the bulls. Watch the fun!

Bonus idea: Line the streets with a healthy cross-section of bullying victims from across the country. Give the victims bags of fresh bull manure to hurl at the fleeing bullies, thus giving the bullies a taste of their own bullshit--literally! True poetic justice.

*Note: The bulls will then be taken to live out the rest of their years in a cow sanctuary. Any surviving bullies will be sent off to work camps to live out the rest of their years.

2.) For Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei

Strip them both naked and stick them in a dank prison cell. Force them to have awkward sex with one another and broadcast it live on pay-per-view. Donate the pay-per-view proceeds to GLAAD.

Afterwards, just keep them in the prison cell (but sterilize them both, so they don't breed any noxious offspring).

If you have any suggestions about creative ways to punish bullies, send them to daizycakes at gmail dot com.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Posting this in honor of John Lennon's 70th birthday.

Poet, artist, lover, dreamer, rebel.

Well my instincts are fine
I had to learn to use them in order to survive
And time after time confirmed an old suspicion
It's good to be alive
And when I'm deep down and out and lose communication
With nothing left to say
It's then I realize it's only a condition
Of seeing things that way

Monday, October 04, 2010

God, I fucking loved this magazine.

From 1985 to 1989, Star Hits magazine was my BIBLE. It was a music mag aimed at teens, but it was far from a typical teen magazine. You wouldn't find Menudo pin-ups or Jack Wagner Q&A's lurking between the pages of Star Hits. No, Star Hits was way cooler than that. They ran stories on artists like The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Siouxsie Sioux, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, the Eurythmics, and (my beloved) Duran Duran. They did contests like "Win an interview with Howard Jones." The writing was intelligent, snarky, and often very funny. It was a brilliant magazine that defined everything I loved about the '80s.

Of course, it was too good to last.

Somewhere around 1988, Star Hits changed its name to Smash Hits. That's when things started to go downhill. In an effort to diversify and attract mainstream music fans, they started running stories on Top 40 American bands like Bon Jovi and Whitesnake, which greatly pissed off their core audience. The beginning of the end was when they featured an in-depth interview with generic mall-touring pop star Tiffany, a move that predictably outraged its loyal, new wave-worshipping readership. In 1989 the magazine folded, and--although a lesser version of it has resurfaced in England (Avril Lavigne, blechhh!)--there has never been another magazine like it.

In a way, it's good thing Star Hits died when it did, instead of going the Rolling Stone route and championing tripe like Britney Spears, Jonas Brothers, Gossip Girl, et al. To quote the famous lyric, it's better to burn out than to fade away.

Here are some covers I was able to unearth through the miracle of the internet.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yes kids, in the '80s everyone was doing so much coke that making Pee Wee Herman do an anti-crack PSA--completely in character--seemed like a swell idea.

I'm sorry, I can't take this seriously.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When I was four years old, The Wizard of Oz was my favorite book. Not the actual L. Frank Baum novel—-this picture book adaptation. I couldn’t read yet, but my parents read to me nightly, mostly Dr. Seuss classics like Hop on Pop and Fox in Socks. In fact, I made my mom, dad, and older sister read me those particular titles so often that they memorized them word for word. But the books that intrigued me most at that age were the ones just out of my reach. Although this version of The Wizard of Oz was condensed and simplified for the kiddies, I was just shy of the target age range (5 to 9, as noted on the cover), so there were a lot of words and phrases that went a bit over my head. I loved the pictures, though. The illustrator’s renderings differed quite a bit from the movie; Dorothy looked to be “big kid” of about seven, depicted as a redhead with long pretty braids, apple cheeks, clad in a very girlie frock with black patent leather shoes. At four years old, I assumed the Cowardly Lion was a girl, what with the ribbon in the mane. (I was quite confused when I saw the movie and found out that she was a he.) Scarecrow and Tin Man looked pretty feminine as well in the pictures (and now that I’ve shed my innocence, downright gay), but it’s all good. It was a great adaptation and the illustrations were amazing.

I don’t have this book anymore. My mom is the opposite of a hoarder; her mindset is “if you haven’t used it in a year, it’s going in the donation/trash pile.” Thus, I own very few of the childhood toys and books that I loved as a kid. It’s the books I miss the most. After a lot of searching, I managed to locate a copy on abebooks. I’m ordering it, dammit. I deserve it.

Childhood is calling.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New post coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy this filler...

More spam! Yay!

The malice is of evanescent nature, born of narrow escape. There are
some shops, respectable if not imposing, and a goodly supply of inns; a
fine church and a notable old Cornish manor-house. But all the time one
has a sense that the real life of the place is the river behind these
houses; even the leisurely little railway station does not seem of much
consequence, though it acts as a feeder of the boats that busily ply
here. Quite obviously this is no resort of mere pleasure, and it is all
the more pleasurable for that; it has set itself to live sturdily, not troubling to attract the idler and the luxurious. Fowey is not altogether content to repose on its
memories, though these are great. Generations of those who laboured on deep waters
have nestled in these riverside homesteads, these nooks and corners and
precipitous byways; they were lusty fighters and dauntless smugglers; they rose for
their old faith, they fought loyally for their king, and they molested
his enemies when he was at peace with them. In general they were a tough
and independent lot, with a considerable scorn of those who
live "in England"--that is to say, beyond the Tamar;
and to this day an Englishman from the shires is very much of a
foreigner with them.

Favorite part: "...they were lusty fighters and dauntless smugglers; they rose for their old faith, they fought loyally for their king, and they molested his enemies when he was at peace with them."

If only I could get someone to molest my enemies.

Not that I have any.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Music videos That Scared the Shit Out of Me

A companion article to the popular feature
Shit That I Didn't Get (1980's Kid Edition)

Greetings, modern 8-year-olds! Does Lady GaGa frighten you? With the whole alien-hooker image, buttloads of space glitter and upsetting shoulder pads, I can see how she may creep out the average second-grader.

Let me tell you something though, kids: I came up in the seventies and eighties. You don't know from creepy.

Take a look at what I had to deal with:

Split Enz
"Dirty Creature"

I love Split Enz. Not as much as I love Crowded House, mind you, but as far as I'm concerned, early-80's quirky new wave kiwi pop doesn't get any better than these guys. They were awesome. "Message To My Girl" is one of my favorite sorta-love songs ever. And when I saw The Finn Brothers for the first time in 2004, Tim's goofy, spastic rendition of "I See Red" gave me a new appreciation for a song that until then was my least favorite of the Enz tunes. And speaking of Tim, I've met him. Yes I have. Twice! In fact, the second time I met him (after the Finn Brothers show at the Vogue, the one I attended with the great Marcus Waye), Tim gave even gave me a once-over and an approving "how you doin'?" smile and nod. Okay, it doesn't sound that impressive on paper. But trust me, we shared a moment. You had to be there.

It's funny now to think that back in 1982, when I was an impressionable 8-year-old watching MTV with my older sister in the basement of our beloved house on Sherman Drive, I wasn't at all charmed by Tim and the boys. Honestly, their video for "Dirty Creature" scared the holy hell out of me. The whole clip is creepy, but the worst part happens around the 2:35 mark, when the titular dirty creature leaps out of the water and beheads Tim with a giant sword. Yep, lops his melon right off. Sure, now it looks like a cheap editing trick in a low-budget music video. But to a sheltered 8-year-old who was severely spooked by the jerky stop-motion special effects in Clash of the Titans, the sight of some poor guy being decapitated by a cloaked figure (and Tim's eyes are still open when his head hits the ground! TIM'S EYES ARE STILL OPEN!), it was the most disturbing thing I'd ever witnessed.

My 8-year-old self would never have guessed that over twenty years later, I would one day flirt with this man. She also would have been surprised to learn that I didn't marry Ricky Schroder and go on to become a world famous horse trainer.

"Stone Cold"

This was another video that conjures memories of hanging with my older sister. I remember parking myself next to her on the basement couch, watching MTV, munching potato chips and drinking Welch's grape juice (no soda in our house!) while she gabbed on the phone to her friends. Then this video by Rainbow--one of Ronnie James Dio's many bands, as it turns out--came on. I remember staring at the chick in the video. Something about her wasn't quite right. I turned to my sister and asked "What's wrong with that lady's face?" My sister looked up, squinted at the TV screen, and replied, "Nothing, she's just ugly." She then went back to her phone conversation, which was probably with her friend Kathy K. from down the street, and was probably about the new Police album or one of the bitchy cheerleaders at her high school.

Luckily this video was on heavy rotation on MTV, so I had another chance to study the ugly girl's face a few days later. That's when I realized that it wasn't her face that was so revolting: she was wearing a clear plastic mask, the kind bad guys in cop shows use to rob banks. The mask was made even more hideous by the make-up artist's decision to paint mascara-ed eyes and pink lips on the mask to crank up the creepiness factor. Ew.

From then on, I hauled ass out of the room any time that video came on. I still find it fairly icky. I mean, what is up with that fucking mask?

Meat Loaf
"You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth"

In fourth grade, I had an insane teacher. Her name was Ms. Beard and she was a neurotic basket case who had no business being anywhere near children. The bitch was nuts.

One time during indoor recess, this girl Shonda got sick and barfed into the trash can. Typical fourth-grade barfing kid chaos ensued: children plugged their noses and made retching sounds, the janitor was called to haul away the trash can and Shonda was quickly ushered down to the nurse's office. When the smoke cleared, Ms. Beard made us sit down at our desks and called the class to order.

She paced in front of the classroom, all pinched-faced and fuming.

"What just happened with Shonda?" she asked us.

We sat in confused silence for a few moments. Then a kid named Kevin raised his hand.

"Um, she puked?" Kevin offered timidly.

Ms. Beard turned the full force of her fury on him.

"NO!" she howled, eyes blazing. "We do NOT use that filthy word." She scanned the rest of the class. "Who knows the right word to use when someone gets sick?"

Another kid raised his hand.

"Uh, is it upchuck?"

Ms. Beard hurled a chalkboard eraser to the floor in disgust.

"NO!" she spat. "That's disgusting, filthy language!"

We cowered in our chairs, hoping she wasn't going to start systematically beating us one by one. You never knew what was going to set her off. The woman was extrordinarily high strung, perpetually angry, and (probably) very sexually frustrated. It was a fucked up class.

Ms. Beard took a deep breath. "When someone is sick," she began, folding her arms, "they do NOT 'throw up.' They do NOT 'puke.' They do NOT 'upchuck.' The word we use," she paused, staring us down, "is regurgitate. That is the only acceptable word. Re-gur-gi-tate."

Really, she actually sounded it out like that.

Then Ms. Beard then launched into a half-hour long rant, raging against TV shows, movies, comic books, video games--pretty much anything that she felt to be filling our heads with perverted, satanic "filth." These included (but were not limited to): Michael Jackson, "Diff'rent Strokes," Casey Kasem's Top 40, break dancing, "moonwalking," parachute pants, "Star Wars," Cyndi Lauper, "The A-Team," the band KISS, Batman, Spiderman, cable TV, MTV, Pac-Man, Centipede, and--for some damn reason--the C.S. Lewis "Narnia" books.

I'm guessing that most of us blew her off. I know I sure as hell did. As scary as Ms. Beard was, she was still just another clueless, deeply uncool authority figure. Plus, I couldn't trust someone hated everything that made being a kid in 1984 enjoyable. I mean, come on, what did she have against Casey Kasem? Sure, he was a bit weird looking, but perverted? And how could MTV be satanic? Was Martha Quinn satanic? Was Alan Hunter satanic? They were about as satanic as Ms. Beard's twisted self-righteousness.

Fuck Ms. Beard, I thought. I was an impressionable kid, but I still knew bullshit when I smelled it. And she was full of it.

A few weeks later I was at home, sick with the flu (probably a bug I caught from that puking, upchucking Shonda kid!). I lie on the couch with a tray of 7-up and Saltines, watching MTV, thankful to have a day off school.

Then this video came on.

I didn't know who the hell Meatloaf was. If I'd known he was just some harmless seventies holdover with a tendency toward campy, overblown love ballads, this wouldn't have fazed me. But I was still just a kid, a kid who frequently endured bizarre rants about satanism from a bi-polar 45-year-old vigin who clearly hated children.

And after watching this weird intro where a guy in sillhouette shrieks at a frightened looking girl: "ON A HOT SUMMER NIGHT WILL YOU OFFER YOUR THROAT TO THE WOLF WITH THE RED ROSES?" I have to admit, it made me re-think the whole MTV = Satanic debate.

But then the next video came on, and it was something completely benign by Phil Collins. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Seriously though, what is up with this intro?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NOTE: For the following meander down Amnesia Lane, I should clarify that I went to a girls-only boarding school in rural Indiana for all four years of high school. It was sort of like Facts of Life, only way more awesome.

The Chimp Diaries

When I was a junior in high school, I had the biggest, asshole-iest boyfriend on the planet. His name was Trent. He was a despicable, dumb-as-a-sack-of-doorknobs stoner who constantly "borrowed" money from me to buy weed and booze. He slept around behind my back, cutting a wide swath through an impossibly homely legion of inbred-looking townies (I had the pleasure of meeting one of them when she approached Trent and me at a high school volleyball game and demanded that he return her Metallica T-shirt). Trent also composed horribly misspelled love letters to me that I treasured enough to tie up in a neat bundle with a yellow ribbon like I was a damn war bride. (If I ever come across any of his saccharine, hackneyed missives, I'll post them here so we can all have a good laugh.) The guy was a loser. A loser who had a sexy baritone voice and looked like a young Harrison Ford, which was enough—-for about six months—-to make me turn a blind eye to his encyclopedia of personality flaws. Hey, I was a typical adolescent: shallow, obsessed with appearances, chock full of hormones and bubbling over with displaced romanticism. Don’t judge.

When Trent and I were about three months into our stormy love affair, my friend Angela started dating a guy named Mike. Mike and Trent were sometimes friends, sometimes enemies in that odd, dysfunctional small town sort of way. In the looks department, Mike was just sort of...okay. And the dude definitely wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. In fact, he made Trent seem like an intellectual by comparison. But Mike treated Angela a hell of a lot better than Trent treated me (which isn't saying much, but at least it was something). Angela and Mike's romance lasted roughly four months, ending rather abruptly when Mike sat Ange down for that time-honored “I love you, but I’m so confused, let’s take a break,” speech, which he evidently already had down pat.

In the meantime, Trent and I also called it quits. Or, rather, at the urging of my friends, parents, and virtually everyone else who recognized Trent for the cruel and emotionally-stunted halfwit that he was (i.e. everyone but me), I summoned him to our special secluded make-out spot on the campus of my boarding school and tearfully informed him that we had to break up. I also gave him a well-rehearsed “I Will Always Love You”-type speech that I won’t go into here, because (to quote the great Paul Feig) just thinking about it makes me want to build a time machine, set it to 1991, hunt myself down and kick my own ass for all the preposterous bullshit that I spewed that night in the name of twisted teenage love.

But it didn't end there. For any of us.

Soon after our break-up, Trent and I embarked on a bizarre quasi-"friendship" that saw me spending countless hours glued to the phone, listening to him bitch about how miserable he was since I gave him the boot. He even passive-aggressively threatened suicide on more than one occasion, a ploy that I (naturally) fell for each time; angst-ridden, drama-addicted teen that I was.

While I enabled Trent's whiny douchebaggery by lending a codependent ear, Mike decided that he and Angela could still go out on dates together—maybe see a movie or go on a picnic at Patoka Lake—as long as it didn’t mean they were, you know, “back together” or anything heavy like that. In other words, Mike wanted all the benefits of a girlfriend without all the pesky obligations that come with actually having a girlfriend. He also didn’t want anything to distract him from his new favorite pastime: getting shitfaced with his friends. This was, coincidentally, the same hobby that caused Trent to stand me up on more than one occasion when he and I were supposed to meet at the local pizza joint to try and “talk things out.”

One day when Angela and I were sitting around the lunch table with our high school posse and bitching about our respective sort-of-boyfriends/sort-of-exes, we had a breakthrough that would forever change the way we looked at Mike and Trent. I made a comment about how much both of them liked to hit the sauce. Then our friend DeAnna (who, like the rest of our group, harbored a palpable disdain for the Terrible Twosome) offered up this sage observation: “You know, alcohol kills brain cells, and those guys don’t have that many to begin with. If Trent and Mike keep it up, pretty soon they’ll be nothing but chimpanzees.”

Angela and I stared at DeAnna. Then we looked at one another and burst out laughing. Both of us were so addled with frustration and hurt feelings about these lame alcoholics-in-training that we loved and hated with equal intensity; both of us so tormented by unanswered questions (why did these men-children treat us like emotional tetherballs? And why did we let them?) that we pounced on DeAnna’s chimp metaphor like two starving pit bulls on a plate of raw meat. After months of enduring figurative poo-flinging from our onetime paramours, we finally had an explanation for their selfish, asinine behavior: Mike and Trent weren’t figurative poo-flingers, they were literal poo-flingers. They had recklessly slaughtered so many of their own brain cells that they had actually devolved, and only their most primal instincts remained: sleeping, eating, shitting, fucking, and (especially) drinking.

And thus began something I like to call The Chimp Diaries.

Our entire posse—but particularly DeAnna, Liz, Angela and I—fully embraced this miraculous new theory that explained exactly why Mike and Trent sucked so badly. We made grunting jungle noises when we passed each other in the school hallways. We bit our tongues and choked back laughter in science class when Mr. Lawrence made reference to anything remotely simian-related. Angela and I even took to calling each other Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall* and frequently exchanged greeting cards featuring chimps on the cover. DeAnna stoked the flames of our gleeful mockery even higher by claiming that she was “working with” Mike and Trent in an attempt to develop their higher brain functions.

“I talked to Trent on the phone today, and he said he was eating a banana,” I told her. “I think he peeled it with his feet!”

DeAnna nodded knowingly. “Yes,” she replied. “He’s making progress.”

DeAnna’s scientific “study” of Mike and Trent also inspired a memorable prank phone call. Immature? Absolutely. Funny? Oh God yes. The four of us gathered in DeAnna’s room while she dialed Mike’s number. His father answered, and DeAnna put on her best professional-sounding adult voice:

“Hello, may I please speak with Michael?”

“Eh, he’s not home right now,” said Mr. Mike’s Dad. (We’d been expecting this answer, guessing correctly that Mike was out painting the town with his merry band of primates.)

DeAnna cleared her throat. “All right then. May I leave a message?”

“Sure thing.”

“My name is Jane Goodall, and I was calling to check up on some research I did with Michael,” DeAnna said, while the three of us huddled around her, laughing into our pillows. “Will you be sure to tell him that I called?”

“Will do hon. Bye.”

Angela never heard anything from Mike regarding a message from the mysterious Ms. Goodall. I’m guessing that Mr. Mike’s Dad hung up the phone, shrugged, cracked open another Coors sixteen-ouncer, and went back to Wheel of Fortune.

One of us (probably Liz, who was quite resourceful) got hold of an old cassette featuring a track called “Tarzan Boy”. It was a 1980’s song by Europop one-hit-wonders Baltimora, most notable for its ridiculously catchy “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh” chorus. (Fun fact: aging Gen-Xers may recall that the tune was later used in a 1992 Listerine commercial.)

I remember Angela and me joyfully singing along with the song’s goofy refrain and bouncing off the walls of my dorm room like…well, like monkeys. Considering Mike and Trent’s callous treatment of us and their laissez-faire attitude toward life in general, the lyrics were oddly prescient:

Jungle life
You're far away from nothing
It's all right
You won't miss home
Take a chance
Leave everything behind you…

Looking at the words now, I’m reminded of Angela’s epic poem, inspired by “Tarzan Boy.” Her sweeping sonnet “The Chimp” was penned one day when she was bored in study hall. She passed it to me in class and I loved it so much that I kept it for a few days so I could read it over several times before giving it back to her. Sadly, the bit below is all that my mind has retained of Angela’s half-sincere, half-mocking verse:

Swinging through the trees
Never knowing
Never caring
Where the branches will lead him...

I remember that there were several stanzas; it actually filled an entire page. I don’t know whatever became of it, but I’d sure as shit sell the gold out of my mother’s mouth for a chance to read that thing again. I’m hoping that Angela still has it safely stashed away in a box somewhere, waiting to be rediscovered.

Meanwhile, just as our chimp obsession was peaking, our junior year of high school came to a close. Angela, Liz, DeAnna and I went back to our respective hometowns for the summer. By the time we returned to boarding school for senior year, we had (thankfully) left our Tarzan Boys in the dust. Although Angela and I were able to move on and eventually upgrade to better boyfriends, we still occasionally shared a laugh over our wasted efforts with “the chimps.”

EPILOGUE: Angela is now a happily married mother of three, Liz is a middle school teacher in Chicago, DeAnna married Ian Shane last year and is now a therapist in the Twin Cities, and I am, well, ME.

*I don't mean to detract from the work of these two amazing women. Also (in hindsight), calling Mike and Trent "chimps" is an insult to chimpanzees; a highly intelligent and complex species. See Goodall's excellent documentary Chimps: So Like Us.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Coming very soon, so soon you can practically taste it:

An actual, bona fide, brand new blog post. A fabulously andie-tastic post sure to make you laugh, cry, and ponder the existence of a benevolent God.

To keep you sated, here is something else from the brain of yours truly, updated today!

Chapter 3 Steppin' Out (short excerpt)

Try not to piss yourself with excitement.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

'Tis the age of self-promotion. I gotta do my part until someone does it for me.

I've created a blog for Jordan Lockhart. Jordan, as some of you may know, is the protagonist of my novel Thanks, That Was Fun. I did have a website for my novel at one time, but that has since been suspended until further notice (i.e. until the novel is published. Stay tuned for details). Plus, blogs are just more fun. Jordan will be updating the blog frequently with excerpts from the novel, along with other fun stuff.

In the immortal words of Judge Reinhold in Fast Times at Ridgemont High:
Learn it, know it, live it.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One-Word Movie Reviews

Pressed for time? Check out these reviews of films I've seen over the past year or so. The good, the bad, and the stinky.

Into Temptation: Heartbreaking

Adam: Sweet

The Room: Transformative

Paranormal Activity: FUUUUCK!

Get Him to the Greek: Fun

Pirate Radio: Disappointing

Avatar: Blue

500 Days of Summer: True

Transformers 2: Retch

Twilight: What?

Twilight: New Moon: Seriously?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pimpin' my new piece for Praxis! Preview below, then follow the link to your heart's content.

8 Rules For Romantic Comedies
by Andie Ryan

Character Names

It is important that the two leads have charming, bite-sized first names. Acceptable names for male protagonists are Jack, Sam, and Max. These names work regardless of the character's age, personality, or profession. The rules for naming female characters are a bit more complicated. Is she quirky? Go with something cute like Lucy or Annie. Is she edgy? Go with a unisex moniker like Alex or Jesse. Is she hilariously old-fashioned? Go with a traditional name like Sarah or Kate.
Read the rest here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shit That I Didn't Get -- Part II

When I was about seven years old, there was a public service announcement on TV about the dangers of high blood pressure. It was a pretty dramatic ad; a shot of man’s naked torso with a ticking bomb device strapped to it. Then a solemn voiceover is heard, warning viewers that ignoring high blood pressure is akin to—-well-—ignoring a ticking time bomb strapped to your torso, which seems like a difficult thing to overlook. As the announcer goes on, the camera slowly moves in for a close-up on the time bomb. Then the voiceover finishes with a dramatic flourish (something along the lines of “Don’t let it happen to you”), the clock on the bomb stops ticking and the screen goes dark, implying that the bomb went off and the poor guy was blown to smithereens.

Needless to say, this ad scared the shit out of me. It also taught me that high blood pressure can make you explode into a thousand tiny pieces and die a gruesome death.

I started asking my mom a lot of questions about high blood pressure. When I asked what caused it, she replied with something like, “Oh, I think people who eat a lot of salty foods get that.” I then became the only seven-year-old on my block to express concern over my daily salt intake, shunning the savory snacks I loved like French fries and potato chips. This phase was short-lived, as I pretty much forgot about the horrors of high blood pressure and spontaneous human combustion when the ad stopped airing. I don’t remember it being on TV for longer than a few months or so: perhaps the Ad Council started getting complaints from parents of other impressionable young children who were freaking out over the possibility of getting blown up if they ate the wrong thing.

I tried like hell to find this ad on YouTube, but no dice. If anyone out there manages to get hold of it, be sure send me a link. Perhaps seeing the ad again will have a similar effect on me, now that I’m at an age where I actually should be watching my salt intake. However, I did come across a PSA that aired on TV around the same time. It is a lot more family friendly—no one blows up and dies in this one—but watch for the creepy clown who makes an appearance at 00:07 and again at 00:38, respectively.

Seriously, what is the deal with that clown? And what is he doing riding with the kids on that Tilt-a-Whirl thingie? I find that pretty disturbing, and I don’t share my generation’s near-pathological fear of clowns. I find clowns to be mildly unsettling—-that scene in Poltergeist where the clown doll attacks the big-toothed kid and drags him under the bed caused me a few sleepless nights when I was a wee one—-but overall that fear hasn’t really carried over to adulthood. I’m not as frightened by something as overtly creepy as a clown. A vacant-eyed oil executive in a $3,000 suit? Now that’s fucking scary.

Aside from the weirdness with the clown, I found this ad to be pretty damn heartwarming. I mean, look how happy that family is. And it doesn’t come across as a fake-y TV commercial sort of happy; they all seem genuinely happy to be together. This is the kind of family that every kid secretly wishes for, the kind of happy family that simply doesn’t exist in real life. It didn’t then, and it doesn’t now. But it is a nice thing to see, isn’t it?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Shit I Didn’t Get (1980’s kid edition)

The video for Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is”.

It was 1985, and radio-friendly rockers Foreigner were starting to wear out their welcome. It was an era dominated by comparatively edgier artists like Madonna, Billy Idol, and Prince, so Foreigner was getting in touch with their softer side, probably to attract more female fans (for a similar example, see REO Speedwagon and “Can’t Fight This Feeling”). Foreigner pulled out all the stops with this power ballad, complete with lots of keyboards, croon-y vocals, and super sensitive lyrics: “Now this mountain I must climb/Feels like the world upon my shoulders/Through the clouds I see love shine/It keeps me warm as life grows colder”. The capper was the gospel choir they trotted out to belt the chorus mid-way through the song, as Lou Gramm lets loose with “I wanna feel what love is, I know you can show me…” (um—no thanks, dude).

I was 11 years old when this song and video were in heavy rotation. While 11-year-olds in post-Britney 2010 are considerably more advanced than we were back then, I was pretty naïve, even for the time. Although I was officially a pre-teen—-the annoying term “tween” hadn’t yet been coined—-I was a very young pre-teen. Most of the other girls in my fifth grade class had discovered eye shadow, curling irons, and boys, but I was still a horse-crazy tomboy, climbing trees, running around barefoot outside, and obsessing over reruns of “The Adventures of Black Beauty” on Nickelodeon. In other words, I had quite a ways to go before I caught up with my peers. My emotional immaturity probably had a lot to do with my complete misinterpretation of this video’s storyline, making all the nuances about singer Lou Gramm’s romantic woes (as you’ll see) fly right over my head.

The video starts off with a very constipated-looking Lou Gramm in a recording studio, laying down some vocals. We also get shots of Mick Jones, the band’s guitarist, rubbing his face a lot and appearing vaguely concerned. Then comes footage of some city folk going about their day, including a black construction worker who lifts a beam onto his shoulder in slow motion. Then, in a dark room somewhere, a girl wakes up, gets out of bed, and takes a shower. Cut to a black woman working in a restaurant or a dry cleaners (can’t tell which, but it’s a very steamy room). Lou Gramm sits at a desk and talks on the phone with the aforementioned girl, who is now all blow-dried and dressed and silhouetted in a dimly-lit room. They appear to be having an argument. Then Lou Gramm rides in a car and stares gloomily out the window. An apathetic looking Mick Jones is sitting next to him, staring out the window on his side. A lot of black people—-including the construction worker from before and the woman from the steamy room-—board some bus and greet one another warmly. (Note: the black working-class people in this video are a lot livelier and seem way happier than the rich white rock stars. I think that’s intentional.) The glum white musicians and the cheery urban people from the bus converge at another recording studio somewhere. There are hugs and handshakes all around, and the white musicians’ moods all seem to lighten as they get down to the business of recording the chorus of their sensitive hit single. Cut to the girl from before, who is dressed like Mary Tyler Moore for some reason. She walks—-then runs—-down a city sidewalk. At the studio, the white rockers seem much happier now as they play their instruments and Lou Gramm sings along with the assembled choir. Everybody's feeling it. The girl appears at the top of the stairway and gazes down at the recording session. She spots Lou Gramm, who also notices her. The song continues and the girl runs down the stairs towards Lou, who’s suddenly so into the song that he doesn’t see her coming. She runs over and throws her arms around Lou, literally shoving him away from the microphone. He seems surprised but not irritated that his girlfriend has interrupted this important recording session. He hugs her tightly, and then…freeze frame.

My interpretation of the video now—-one that I think is pretty much in line with the director’s vision—-is that Lou Gramm and the guys are getting bogged down with all the stress that comes along with being rich white musicians. Lou Gramm seems to be experiencing some additional emotional turmoil, what with arguing over the phone with his lady, who probably doesn’t understand the pressures of being in a famous rock band. The band’s troubles are forgotten when they start jamming with the upbeat working-class gospel choir, proving that music—-as Madonna would later sing—-makes the people come together. Then Lou’s girlfriend comes to her senses and forgives him for whatever they were arguing about earlier. The End.

My interpretation as an 11 year old: Lou Gramm’s girlfriend is prejudiced against black people. (I thought “prejudiced,” by the way, because the term “racist” wasn’t thrown about as freely as it is now and I don’t think I'd even heard that word at the time.) Prejudiced people are icky, which is why Lou Gramm looks so upset about spending time with black people while the mean woman he loves hangs around the house being mad at him for it. The band goes to the studio to record with the black people, who turn out to be really nice. The girlfriend walks the streets and thinks about things for a while, then she comes to the studio and sees how cool the black choir is. She runs down the stairs and hugs Lou Gramm, because she isn’t prejudiced anymore. The End.

Fun Fact: Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones is the stepfather of Samantha Ronson, the popular club DJ best known as Lindsay Lohan’s lesbian squeeze.

Next time: More shit from my childhood that I didn’t get. Check back soon, my memory is long and I’m feeling inspired.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My friend Angela Boone died suddenly last week. Her passing has been a great shock to her family and friends, and I am still coming to terms with it. I hate that she’s gone. I try to be all spiritual and philosophical; lighting candles in her honor, spending time in peaceful reflection, and all that hippie stuff that’s engrained in my heart and head from my childhood and the books that I read now. I tell myself that Angela is still with us, that no one really dies, that energy simply changes form, she is still alive in our memories, ad infinitum. But it only helps a little. I hope that in time I will find peace and accept her passing. I probably will. But for now, it sucks. I really miss her.

Angela was funny, generous, kind, and wise. She was a voracious reader; a true lover of the written word. She was a big fan of Stephen King, and even named her (female) cat after him. (Her other cat—also female—was named Paul Anka. I never found out why, but I’m sure there’s a story there.) I once had a discussion with her about MySpace—back when people still used MySpace—and I admitted to her that I had a fake profile I’d set up to spy on old boyfriends. Angela laughed and told me that on her MySpace she’d claimed to have won the Nobel Prize. That had to be most awesome and ambitious MySpace lie I’d ever heard. After all, if you’re going to lie on your MySpace profile, you might as well go all the way.

Angela is survived by her partner Erik and her sixteen-year-old daughter—a talented budding chef—and a whole slew of family and friends who were absolutely crazy about her. In fact, I initially met Angela through her best friend Leah, also a dear friend of mine. My favorite memory of the two of them is the time we all hung out at the Blue Nile for a spoken-word event. Although Leah and Ange unfortunately didn’t get their names on the waiting list in time to read their work, I had a great time hanging out at the bar with both of them and—when the club closed for the night and they kicked us out—drinking vodka in the parking lot and listening to the assembled bohemian types strum their guitars and butcher Dylan songs. It ranks as probably my all-time favorite Minneapolis memory.

So here’s to Angela Boone: artist, poet, mother, daughter, friend, Nobel Prize winner, and all around bad-ass chick. Rest in Peace, sistah.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

This is an early birthday shout-out to my writer's group friend Becca: a classic video featuring her (ex-?) boyfriend William Shatner.

Funny, funny shit. I would have loved to be in the audience during his performance. Preferably stoned out of my mind (in keeping with the spirit of 1978, natch).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Because I adore this guy, I'm posting this. The Foo Fighters was one of the few bands from the nineties that I could get into, and Joshua does an amazing rendition of their song, "Everlong."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Dan Kennedy's book, Loser Goes First: My Thirty-something Years of Dumb Luck and Minor Humiliation is tied with Paul Feig's Superstud as the funniest book I've ever read. I first came across a copy of Loser Goes First in 2005, read it three times in a row, and recommended it to everyone who didn't run away screaming. Kennedy's second book, Rock On: An Office Power Ballad is a hilarious account of his brief stint as the Director of Creative Development for Atlantic Records; a scathing report from the trenches of the dying record industry. Now he writes for GQ and McSweeney's and is a regular performer at Stories at the Moth.

Another awesome thing about Dan Kennedy? He let me interview him for Praxis.

AR: Can you give us little background on Stories at the Moth, and how you came to be involved with the project?

DK: George Dawes Green started The Moth in 1997, in his living room here in New York , and it grew from there to what it is today. I got involved with them in 2000. I called the office, I think I was just that sort of simple or naïve – I had heard about it and just thought: “Hmm…I guess…I'll just dial them up and tell them I want to try it?” Basically, I was just some guy who was unemployed, I had stopped partying, I was trying to figure out what the hell I could do with my time, I needed to make new friends, I was just…probably a little mental. So like some giant child I just called them up and left a message with someone: “Hi, yeah, um, I'd like to do the story thing, please?”And then weeks went by and it became painfully apparent that this is not the way to go about it. But then, still weeks and weeks later, oddly enough, I got a call back from Joey Xanders. She was the Creative Director back then. Anyway, I had this story about my days spent learning by trial and error on the 90's music scene that I'm really not good at trying to be a musician. They put me on the bill for this mainstage show and I told that story. The Moth didn't feel like a scene to me. It was just this overwhelming feeling of finding a place where you finally felt like you fit in; like you could actually kind of do the thing that everyone there was doing – it might have been the first time in my life to have felt like that. Joey told me much later on that the reason she had returned my call back then was completely random; she had been talking to her therapist about how guilty she felt for not having the time to return all of the calls from the phone messages that were piling up -- and her therapist told her to just take baby steps and return one phone call; just close your eyes, pick one message off the stack, dial the number. So my phone rang in this little tiny apartment I was living in without any furniture, I picked it up, and ten years raced by.

AR: In your memoir you talk about being a kid and getting a journal for Christmas (instead of the coveted black Gibson Les Paul guitar). What was the first thing you remember writing?

DK: The first thing I ever remember writing was when I was twelve. It was a punishment for talking in class or something and I…it's a long story, but basically I wasn't talking in class, I made a look, just to myself, at something the teacher said. But everyone started laughing, and this teacher, Mr. Kisner, totally had it in for me, and so he punished me for something I didn't do – and he said I had to write a one thousand word essay about why I shouldn't talk in class. So I wrote this satire of him and his broad, simple rules, handed it in to him the next day. He read the first few sentences and threw his stapler across the room at the wall and it opened and all the staples went flying everywhere. I just kind of thought: Jesus, writing is pretty powerful -- he read, like, three sentences, turned bright red, and starting throwing shit. I didn't write anything humorous again until I was twenty-six...To read the rest of the interview, go here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And because I got nuthin' today, I thought I'd share some more delightful spam. This determined little bugger actually landed in my inbox. It's apparently from Elsie Craft--which doesn't sound like a fake spam name at all, no way.

Subject: The theatrical movie business was on the rise for its third weekend in a row, thanks largely to Alice and audiences'
Monday, March 29, 2010 5:38 PM
From: "Elsie Craft"

Operations Centre. Emergency response teams were in place.
Half a million homes remained without power across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region on Sunday, as rain continued to pound states from West Virginia to Connecticut for a second day.
officials to their counterparts in Pakistan.
"fantastic pressure" since losing about half of its top 20 people in the past year.

Seems to be a brief stream-of-consciousness writing exercise that starts with a report on "the theatrical movie business" and Alice In Wonderland and then, it just, sort of...goes off the rails a bit.

Overall it was an admirable effort, Elsie. And you tricked me into opening your weird gonzo spam, which--cheers, I guess.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

If you've ever wondered what sort of emails Villarreal Creekmur composes in the dead of night, wonder no more. He (she?) was up at 3:45 crafting this eloquent spam email, just for me. It makes no fucking sense whatsoever, which (after being bombarded with thousands of ads for Viagra/Cialis/Dick N-larger pills) makes it the best kind of spam to get, if you're going to get spam.

Check out Villarreal. (S)he's got a lot to say:

Ed out nigh three hundred claims, and every one a blank; That's
followed every fool stampede, and seen the rise and fall Of camps where
men got gold in chunks and he got none at all; That's prospected a bit
of ground and sold it for a song To see it yield a fortune to some fool
that came along;

That's sunk a dozen bed-rock holes, and not a speck in sight, Yet sees them take a
million from the claims to left and right?
Now aren't things like that enough to drive a man
to booze? But Hard-Luck Smith was hoodoo-proof--he knew the way to lose.
'Twas in the fall of nineteen four--leap-year
I've heard them say-- When Hard-Luck came to Hunker Creek and took a
hillside lay.
And lo! as if to make amends for all the futile past, Late in the year
he struck it rich,
the real pay-streak at last. The riffles of his sluicing-box

were choked with speckled earth, And night and day he worked that lay
for all that he was worth. And when in chill December's gloom his lucky
lease expired, He found that he had made a stake as big as he desired.
One day while meditating on the waywardness

of fate, He felt the ache of lonely man to find a fitting mate;
A petticoated pard to cheer his solitary life, A woman with
soft, soothing ways,
a confidant, a wife. And while he cooked his supper on his little Yukon
stove, He wished that he had staked a claim in Love's rich
treasure-trove; When suddenly he paused and held
aloft a Yukon egg, For
there in pencilled letters was the magic name of Peg. You know these
Yukon eggs of ours--some pink, some green, some blue--
A dollar per,

assorted tints, assorted

flavors too.

I suspect that this may be some kind of plaigarized song or poem but--deep down--I sincerely hope it's an original work. I would hate to think of Villareal Creekmur as dishonest.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Yet another YouTube clip fest today, but this one actually has a purpose. I had the pleasure of interviewing Juliette Danielle of The Room for Praxis, and she is more awesome than I could have imagined. If you haven't seen the cult phenomenon that is The Room, here is a quick primer. Then watch the following clips, cause they're hilarious. Then get thee to a midnight showing (see The Room's official website for a screening schedule). If it's not playing at a theater near you, the DVD is available on Amazon, and it comes with a Q&A with writer/director/producer/star Tommy Wiseau (giving one of his infamous WTF? interviews).

Here are some of my favorite scenes from "the Citizen Kane of bad movies."

"You think about everything!"

"Well maybe you should have a girl, Mark."

"A man like that! With a gun! My God!"

I love this scene because it makes no sense whatsoever. I'm not talking about the football thing, what puzzles me is Mark's "Underwear? What's that?" Huh?

Pizza and scotchka! "Don't worry about it. It's good for you."

And if you're still not convinced, here is an audience reaction montage. But don't take their word for it...experience The Room for yourself.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Time for some shameless self-promotion!

With the help of some writer friends, Ian Shane and I have launched an online literary magazine! It's called Praxis (the name comes from a Greek word meaning "to learn by doing"). Our first issue is now up and running. Below is an excerpt from my short story, Right Here, Right Now. It's fiction...except for the parts that aren't. (The Jim incident really did happen. Ew, I know--right?)

In the summer of 1991, I was seventeen years old and proudly unemployed. When my junior year of high school ended in May, I informed my mother that instead of getting a part-time job, I'd be taking the summer off to relax. My reasoning was that I needed a chance to get my head together before my senior year, a year that Sister Jane Ann had warned “would be no picnic.”

“Are you planning on doing some extra studying?” my mother asked. Her question caught me off guard.

“Yeah,” I'd answered, with as much conviction as I could muster. “I'll be studying. Out by the pool.”

I had yet to realize that my mother wasn't quite the idiot I'd taken her for. Like most teenagers, I'd decided my parents were completely brain-dead around the time I hit puberty.

Looking back, I now know that my mother was just highly adept at picking her battles. Unlike my friends' parents, she didn't get uptight about small things like black polish on my toenails, or my penchant for rolling the waists of my school uniform skirts so that the hem hovered well above the knee. She saved her freak-outs for special occasions, like the time she caught me smoking in my bedroom, or when she discovered that the boy I'd dated the previous summer was a 21-year-old college student....Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sneaking in just under the wire (while it's still January).

My "End of Decade" list.
2000 - 2009

Remember when you were a kid, and "the year 2000" sounded really awesome and mysterious and futuristic and cool? Well, it wasn't, and neither was the decade that followed it.

The '00 Decade: Shit That I Didn't Get

In no particular order....

"Dick in a Box"
This stupid Saturday Night Live bit with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg was one of the unfunniest videos I've ever been forced to watch.

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell's popularity makes me feel even more out of step with mainstream America than usual. And I'm sick of the go-to stock character that he's been milking for years, the tantrum-throwing, petulant manchild, as portrayed in Anchorman, Dodgeball, Step Brothers, Kicking and Screaming*, Blades of Glory, etc. I mean, doesn't Adam Sandler have the patent on that character?
*(Side note: I watched the first half-hour of Kicking and Screaming on an airplane. It was so awful that I switched it off and stared at the back of the seat in front of me for the rest of the four-hour flight. Yes, that movie was so abominable that I stared at a seat cushion rather than finish watching it.)

Reality Television
Survivor, The Biggest Loser, Project Runway, Big Brother, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, American Idol, The Hills, Who Wants To Marry A 35-Year-Old Failed Actor? The Amazing Race, Flava Of Love, The Real Botoxed Housewives of (Insert City/County), Clean My Disgusting House, Watch These Skanks Fight Over Bret Michaels, Drunk 20-Year-Old Pricks (The Real World), Drunk 20-Year-Old Pricks In New Jersey, Paris Hilton Is Dumb, Donald Trump Fires People, Date This Asian Midget...ad nauseum.

But The Surreal Life? That was cool.

CSI and every one of its bastard step-children.

The Lord of the Rings films.
All forty-seven hours of them.

Britney Fucking Spears
Jesus H. Christ, when will she go away????

The Kardashians. All of them.

Who knew that the (now dead) lawyer who defended O.J. Simpson would turn out to be the least odious of that bunch?

Christian Bale and the Batman re-boots
I miss Michael Keaton.

He was sexy. Shut up.

The Presidency of Dubya

And everyone who voted for him again in '04!

Asscrack Jeans (complete with butt-cleavage and visible thong)
I don't care if you're a 95-pound Victoria's Secret model; buttcrack is never sexy, kids.

I have just one question...