I was about to get it cut for a while but every time some charming sage said something like, "Get a haircut, fag!" in a YouTube comment that made me put it off for like a week so as not to appear sensitive to pressure from basement-dwelling thirteen-year-olds.
But who am I kidding, I LIVE for the approval of basement-dwelling thirteen-year-olds.
(Matt took picture. He is the person at right.)
The taciturn Finns, keen on all mobile gadgets, have wholeheartedly accepted text messages as a tool to communicate even in most private matters.
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen recently made tabloid front pages after reportedly having broken up with his girlfriend with a text.
Viva Scandanavia! Now I know where I get my love of txting: it's part and parcel with my Norse emotional remove.
I want to text message everything. Someday I will text message my death rattle. If you are sitting in a movie and your phone starts vibrating, you look and you have a message that reads "Huuhrrhrhrhruuuuuhhhhbleeeehhhhhh," you will know I have left this life. It will be difficult, but please try to enjoy the rest of "Norbit."
I am reading Brideshead Revisited for class. It's pretty good. But I'm not enjoying reading Brideshead Revisited so much as I am enjoying being SEEN reading Brideshead Revisited.
Still, if anyone asks, not only will I say I'm loving it, I'll say "You think you love it the first three times, but it really reveals itself upon a fourth reading," and then she will remove her glasses and we will make out right there on the circulation desk.
On that note: Library circulation desks have a strange force field that makes just about any girl behind them attractive to me. A similar force field is emitted by acoustic guitars and record store cash registers.
1) During the Trinity Head start Program, sort of a welfare based kindergarten/daycare program I attended when I was really young, and my parents were REALLY poor, I met this kid named Allen, and this kid named Jason, who I found out later was his adopted brother. Allen was white and Jason was black. One day on the playground, I was singing a sesame street song to myself because I was afraid of a lot of the other kids and out of nowhere Jason and Allen jump me. Like, jump on top of me and start kicking my ass, I can't scream cause one of them's covering my mouth, but I can see the teacher. So I'm crying and trying to scream and finally the teacher comes over and pulls them off. I'm pretty much hysterical. And then the teacher makes them apologize and proceeds to MAKES them be my friends, which I want nothing to do with cause they tried to kill me. So from that point on, and a little bit till this day, whenever I see black people and white people getting along together, I think something's up and they're planning to get me somehow. So when I watched "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" in the 6th grade and "Dangerous Minds" in the 11th, I experienced something different in class than the rest of you.
2) I don't know my 12 times tables. In class we had to learn all of them till 12. When you did, you got an ice cream cone. I remember memorizing all of them up until 10, cause 10 and 11 are so easy (11*6=66, 4*11=44. etc.) I get up to do my times tables to the teacher and realize I can see through the sheet in her hand. So I straight up cheat and eat ice cream like a pimp. I also don't know the difference between greater than or less than symbol (< >). I learned the simple trick of "the alligator's mouth wants to eat the bigger number" So the open end just want more food (9>7) see? I'm sure I could sit down and learn….but fuck that, I'm a grown ass man.
3) I went to a lake made to look like a beach when I was about 8 with my family and some family friends. I went into the water and was hopping along the bottom, letting my foot kick of the bottom of the lake and push me back up. Suddenly, there's a drop and there's nothing below me and I sink. I panic and try to swim to the top but I can't swim. I struggle for like 30 seconds and suddenly I just let go. Something told me to give up, and I could see the sun through the water and I KNEW I was about to die and I was so okay with that. It was such a crazy feeling. Suddenly, the son of the family friend grabs my arm and pulls me to shore. I throw up some water and say I'm fine because I was embarrassed. I don't think he knows/knew he saved my life.
4) When I was in kindergarten at Kelly Lake Elementary I had my first actual feelings for girls. There was a girl named Kelly who was in the room next to us that was separated by a bathroom, but you could see right to the next room. During nap time I would choose to put my mat near the bathroom (even though it smelled horrible cause kindergarteners can't pee or shit right) and softly sing to Kelly, again, sesame street songs like she could hear it. Then one day, without explanation, she moved. Her dad was this big guy with a jerry curl and shades who, I thought because of films I'd seen, he was a drug dealer, cause of the shades. I though they moved because of drugs. Then I wrote a poem about a turtle and the teacher said I should read it over the intercom, I didn't wanna but she sent me up there and the principal talked me into it. Immediately, I had this huge crush on the principal and thought I had impressed her thoroughly with my poem about a large turtle. That lead to my first, that I can remember, erection. And about three weeks later, the principal committed suicide. No one really knew why.
5) My parents met on the subway in the Bronx. When I go visit my grandma in the Bronx, I always look around at the stop they met and think "maybe I'll meet my wife here" then I immediately look in the subway to find some hideous girl reading the Da Vinci code or something and pretend like there's that love music that they play in cartoons, and I laugh really hard, sometimes out loud, and look crazy. When I get to my grandma's house, there's a corner where this guy got killed and it creeps me out. She lives in the straight-up hood and I feel cool walking down the street cause I'm like "oh, this is what rappers mean". Then I feel gross cause people are not happy around there and I feel like a yuppy or some shit. My cousin, who lives up there, was telling me about how "if you know everyone up here, they won't jack you", so I thought of a sketch where a guy runs for mayor and everyone knows his face, just so he won't get jacked. Then I thought, besides a weak premise, no one's gonna get that sketch really. Then these guys came up to me, but saw I was with my cousin, and kept walkin. Just goes to show that in any world, it's all about who you know.
Eliza Skinner tagged me and now I have to tell you five things you don't know about me.
- The first rap song I ever memorized was "Hypnotize" by the Notorious BIG. I was probably a sophomore in high school. It was not by accident, I up and decided "I am going to memorize this song," so I listened to it over and over again one night and then recited it in my head all the next day during my job at the grocery store, or out loud, when I was out in the parking lot collecting shopping carts. Side note: I really liked collecting carts. Every one of us bag boys (and the occasional bag girl) would have to "do carts" for a pre-assigned portion of our shift, usually a half an hour twice a shift, and I would often try and convince other people to let me take their cart duty. Being out in the parking lot was a good time to be alone, say filthy rap lyrics aloud, think of ideas for one-act plays, and push the carts really really fast and crash them into the curb. This last thing was not encouraged on Sunday mornings, but on Tuesday evenings nobody gave a fuck.
- For the longest time, I thought the word "debris" was pronounced "der-bis" because I had only read it in books, never heard it said aloud. Or maybe I had heard it said aloud, but I didn't associate it with its printed form and thought they were two different words. I had a similar problem with "hors d'ouvers." Also on the childhood misapprehension tip, I was convinced that non-English speakers were thinking the English words in their head and translating them into their native tongue on the fly. Also, I imagined the genesis of the English language as George Washington and a secretary sitting in a log cabin, George holding up objects, thinking of names for them, and the secretary writing them down.
- I was a rabid Phoenix Suns fan for most of my childhood. My favorite player was Jeff Hornacek, and when Danny Ainge replaced him, he became my favorite. The Phoenix Public Library summer reading program was a thing called Hoopmarks, the more books you read, the more purple bookmarks with Suns players on them you got. I liked reading even more than I liked the Suns, so I was in heaven. In 1993 the Bulls beat the Suns in the Championship, I was heartbroken, and pretty much stopped liking basketball. I still like reading more than I like almost anything.
- I played the saxophone all through middle school, because if you were in band, you didn't have to do PE. I was in marching band for one semester in high school, while also trying to do theater. Marching band you had to wake up early for and I wasn't any good and didn't want to practice and didn't like anybody, theater you got to stay late into the evening and people thought I was funny and I loved it so much I wanted to do it all the time and I thought everybody was amazing, so I quit marching band at the end of the semester. My final act as a member of the Mountain Pointe Pride Marching Band was to fall onto my ass in the last five seconds of our performance at the state competition. I didn't mean to but it was a pretty accurate summing-up of my time in band. I left my sax in the band room and as time went on, the idea of going back for it got more and more awkward, so I never did. Please don't tell my dad, who paid for the saxophone.
- I met my best AZ friend Trevor in fourth grade because we were in the same spelling class and I noticed he had a comic drawn on the inside cover of his spelling book. The comic was called "Druids," they were these little magical dudes in hoods whose faces you couldn't see. We ended up making the comic together, getting through one full issue, though we had grandiose ideas of full story arcs. Their enemy was a dragon named Inferno, whom I will still draw upon request, because he is a dope fucking dragon. We had all kinds of merchandising schemes, and one day we played the football game Five Hundred with a bunch of our classmates, and, instead of calling out point values, we would assign each throw a certain amount of theoretical Druids merchandise. We still owe several Esperanza Sharks alumni a bunch of t-shirts, hats, and back issues.
I will tag Justin Purnell, Donald Glover, Sarah Sylvester, and send this thing out Arizona way by tagging Alecia and Jack.
Speaking of Eliza, I wrote a thing for her very cool group-blog Hello Hilarious. It is about The Pipettes and it is here. Go there. The Pipettes are cute. The people who write HH are cute. It's a veritable cute-fest over there.
In other me-in-other-places news, I was interviewed on NYU's radio station about directing Hammerkatz NYU. I managed to be both long-winded and imprecise, AND I got bleeped! You should listen if you've never heard my intricate, unsubstantiated ideas on comedy. (If you've never heard my intricate, unsubstantiated ideas on comedy, that means we've probably never been drunk together.) I did the interview back in November, it was really fun. Thanks to Darren Levy for having me on. It's here.
This post is from the future. I met you in the future and you told me these were your favorite songs.
Rich Boy - "Throw Some D's" - According to Donald this is all the hotness in Atlanta right now. If the wet fliers advertising this record that I saw on the ground the other night were any guide, it is soon to be all the hotness everywhere. It deserves to be.
MCDJ - "Carnival" - Speaking of Donald, this is a leak from his new album. If you are like me, you often think, "Dance music would probably be my favorite kind of music if so much of the dance music I hear wasn't so terrible." If you are like me, you will like this song, because it sounds like the ideal dance music in your head, not the horrible dance music they play at the gym.
True Love Always - "Modesto" - All the best bands are defunct whiteboy bossa nova bands from North Carolina. All the best songs have dueling male/female vocals. I think this song is simple and perfect.
Los Campesinos! - "Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks" - All the music you liked in high school had sex with all the music you like now and they gave birth to this song. I found it via the ever-awesome Idolator.
New DERRICK video. Can't stop, won't stop.
If you like it, send it on to another knuckhead.
Dear boyfriend/girlfriend synthpop duos of Brooklyn,
please stop being so adorable.
please stop being so cool.
If you could just for a second
quit being so effortlessly unironically cute
so achingly unimpeachably in love
If you could untie your irresistible boy-girl harmonies,
take off the multi-colored scarves you've knitted for each other,
remove your kitten from your EP cover
and your button from the purse of the girl I have a crush on,
I would really appreciate it
because you're killing me here.
I cannot sing
and I cannot dance
and I sure as fuck cannot play the synthesizer.
I can love, but not in such a deliciously photographable
sort of way.
And like all fans of candy-coated pop melody,
I have a small black heart
that pumps only envy.
My only solace,
boyfriend/girlfriend synthpop duos of Brooklyn,
is that you're probably nowhere near as adorable
and not by a damn sight as cool
as the husband/wife dancepunk duos of Portland.
For the past couple of months they have been doing construction on my dorm building.
Our room is on the second floor, at the corner. The construction is taking place on the room on the first floor, at the corner.
The construction begins at 8:30 AM and is usually very loud, the sort of loud where it sounds like someone is in your room doing their best impression of the apocalypse. I am almost always out 'till very late working or at a rehearsal, and then I stay up even later watching DVDs or reading, because c'mon. On a normal, construction-free day I wake up around one, refreshed and ready to conquer what's left of the day.
It has often felt, on mornings where the jackhammers and power drills jar me from sleep, like someone is attempting to drive me mad. Not crazy, MAD. Bug-eyed Victorian insanity. It feels like an Edgar Allen Poe story. It feels like a much less graceful Amadeus where, instead of trying to drive the protagonist to his death by getting him to compose a requiem for his father, someone is trying to drive him to his death by getting him to grumpily sit in his underwear checking his e-mail and fucking around on the Internet with headphones on all morning, debating whether or not he should leave the house when any second the workers could go on break and he could hop back into bed for an hour and a half before going to class.
I thought it would help if I mentally named the construction workers whose work I was hearing. "Good morning, LaVon! How are the kids?" I could think upon waking. "Drill's hummin' like a dream, Lem, did you just oil it or what?" This did not work. I ended up mentally threatening to use Lem's drill to ritually slaughter LaVon's kids if construction did not cease, pronto. I wrote invective-filled letters to everyone I could think of. I staged protests. I sabotaged their tools. I did all of these things in my head while twisting in my sheets and cursing at the daylight on the ceiling, so it had all had very little cumulative effect.
I complained to anyone who would listen. Oh, the complaining! If I had focused the energy I spent complaining into just leaving the house and doing something productive with that usually-unused first part of every day, the latter part of my year would've been an exhausted creative frenzy rather than an exhausted depressing one. But I am stubborn and my compulsion to put a Netflix disc in the mail every day far exceeds my compulsion to get things done. And also, I was goat-shit test-pattern CRAZY from sleep dep.
The purpose of the construction is to build a wheelchair ramp. The building is very very new and already has a wheelchair ramp, but apparently it was built at a slightly incorrect angle.
Today, they jackhammered out the old wheelchair ramp. On my way out of the house this morning, I saw the men who very well could be Lem and LaVon loading it piece by piece into a wheelbarrow. The new one is already in place. The end is in sight. I damn near beamed with sweet relief on my way to sleep at the library.