Why I Hate Football Season

football-stadium-colorado_3571_990x742I look forward to football season about as much as I look forward to visiting the DMV, or renewing my Visa. I fucking loathe American football. Knowing that football season has begun its long and painful journey of 256 games makes me want to crawl under a rock until mid January. I like sports in general, and I love sports movies, but I can’t stand watching sports on TV. Especially football. How can people enjoy the NFL when they KNOW the NFL are liers and money grubbing assholes? Because Football Fans don’t care if players are getting hurt or getting brain disease caused by concussions! Because FOOTBALLLLLLL!  … Don’t get me started on fans. Fans ruin everything for everyone.

  1. Americans insist on calling it “Football”. In a game that asks you to throw the ball, catch the ball, and run holding the ball, it amazes me that we still insist on calling it FOOTball. As for as the rest of the world is concerned – football means soccer. Shouldn’t we just hop on board? I mean the rest of the world uses the metric system and says soccer – we need to learn to just go with the flow.
  2. Live games suck. The last time I attended an American Football game I decided it would be my last. Ever. Maybe there are people out there that enjoy overpriced BudLite, and over priced nachos. Maybe there are people who don’t mind being sandwiched between the face painted dude and the overly aggressive woman who acts like the face painted dude. Maybe there are people who don’t mind huge crowds of grown frat guys. I saw one dude punch another dude because he was wearing the opposing teams colors. Seriously. Grow up.
  3. “Football is my passion. I love football”. Yeah, I had someone tell me that once. We’ve since divorced, but I still think about that statement when football season rolls around. I’ll tell you what I told him – If you really love football, if football is truly your passion, then stop watching other people do it. Get out there and play. But I guess playing actual football isn’t the same as playing it on your game system. Just admit it, you don’t love football. You love getting drunk while watching other people do athletic things.
  4. Bars stop being fun. Anyone who has tried to have a good time at a bar when a football game is on knows what I am talking about. Bars should have designated safe rooms (panic rooms!) for people who are there to have a good time sans sports. And don’t tell me to just go to another bar. I’ve tried. I’ve been to many bars during football seasons and inevitably some asshole and his friends come in demanding to watch The Big Game. Go watch at home, asshole. Annoy your wife and family. They signed up for you, I didn’t.
  5. The “WE” factor. This irritates me to no end. Have you ever listened to someone talk about “Their” team? My team won. My team is going to the finals. It’s all “we” and “us” when the team in question is winning, but when the tide turns so does the language. It goes from WE to THEY real quick. WE won. THEY lost. The main point to understand here is that there really isn’t any “we”. No matter how much you love a team, your love and dedication won’t make you a part of the team. You are not playing. You are not winning. You are watching other men play and win and make money for doing it.
  6. The NFL is an EVIL corporation who lets their employees get sick and die. Seriously. Brain damage since the 1970’s and they don’t give a shit. They cover it up. They lie. You know, what they do every time one of the players hits a woman or kills someone. And yeah, it’s happened more than once. What other multimillion dollar company would not only allow it, but cover it up and encourage more? THE FUCKING EVIL NFL. Thats who. Read this awesome little article and learn more.

That’s all I’ll say on the matter. I don’t want to fight about it, and I certainly am not interested in hearing people defend football, or the watching of it. If that is how you want to spend your free time – go for it. Enjoy your crap beer and your foam cheese head. Just try to do it a little more politely. Just because the team you like is winning doesn’t give you the right to act a fool.

Things I’m Loving – Right Now

Hey all! Summer is in full swing here in Texas, and here is what I am loving right now!

  1. The Killing (AMC) – usa-killingIf you haven’t tuned in for this stellar show yet, then you are missing out. This show just started its 3rd season and I am already anxious to see what happened next. Unlike GoT which is action packed, “The Killing” is a slow burn. It unfolds slowly without giving too much away, and always leaves you wanting more.The first two seasons cover a single case: Who killed Rosie Larson? I just started re-watching from season 1 with my sweetheart and I am hooked all over again. It’s refreshing to watch a mystery show that I can’t figure out in the first 10 minutes.
  2. Swimming Pools
    Barton Springs Pool, Austin

    Barton Springs Pool, Austin

    As much as I love Prague in the summertime, it was always lacking one thing for me: Swimming pools. There is a huge swimming complex at Podali, but you have to wade throngs of people, dozens of screaming kids, drunk assholes, and all of the American dudes who go there just to stare at the topless ladies. No thanks. When I go to a pool I would like to be left alone and actually be able to swim. Being back in the states has reminded me of just how much I like laying in a deck chair in the hot sun. Alone. With just my book and my tunes. I also just bought a big yellow floatie that I am excited to sit in while wearing my new bikini.

  3. Gay of Thrones – I watch Game of Thrones. I like it alright, but what I like better is Funny or Die’s recap series called “Gay of Thrones”. It is a stylist recapping the last episode for you, and his current client. It’s hilarious. The dude speaks a language I can understand. I mean, GoT has so many characters (all with crazy names) that it’s kind of hard to keep track of who is who, and who killed who. The dude in Gay of Thrones uses clever nicknames to help dopes like me keep track of the action. He calls the Dragon chick “Christina Aguilera”. He calls Rob Stark’s wife “Winterfell Lady Gaga”. It’s perfect. He says everything I am thinking. I don’t have a gay boyfriend in Austin, so he is the next best thing. http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/5766ea13c1/gay-of-thrones-game-of-thrones-ep-7-recap
  4. Summer Reading List – SN856895The very best part of summer is making a dent in that huge stack of books I bought to pass the time by the pool. I also love looking at all of the reading lists on other blogs, or sites like NPR or PBS. I just started “Duma Key” by Stephen King and it’s a whopping 789 pages long. I had better get moving if I want to get to the rest of the books on my list. The one I am most excited about is the brand spanking new Zadie Smith book called “NW”. Can’t. Wait. 
  5. Jeff Goldblum – I have loved this man since I first saw “The Big Chill” and “Buckaroo Banzai”. Mr. Goldblum is a true original. He has a very unique acting style. He stands perfectly still while delivering lines and just moves his eyes. It’s rad. Anyway, I just now found out that he is on Law & Order: CI! I mean, I thought I was excited to see him play one of Rachel Berry’s dads on “Glee”, but I nearly fell over when I saw his face in the opening credits of Law & Order. I just want him to tuck me in and read things to me. And maybe tell me a couple of jokes and then explain quantum physics. So Mr. Goldblum if you are reading this – I know you play jazz piano and I sing so… match made in heaven? Yes! You know where to find me. 

I’m So Over… Spring Edition

SN856851It’s that time again. Time to clean out the closets and let my readers know the stupid stuff that is getting on my nerves at the moment. And of course, to bring balance to the universe, the next post will be a Spring edition of “Things I’m Crazy About”.

  1. Allergies – Although Austin apparently fell 38 spots on the worst places in America for allergies list, it still sucks. People who don’t suffer from allergies normally will be a sneezing ball of snot after a week here. People here talk about the Spring being “amazing” because of the weather, (beg to differ) but forget to mention the constant stream of polan in the air. I have never suffered from allergies like I have here. Yet one more reason to leave Austin in my wake. 
  2. Wine is the new Cupcakecougartown_240Can someone please tell me when women in their late 30’s had a meeting to decide that wine was the new accessory of choice? It’s really embarrassing. All over my FB, (and on TV) I see women embarrassing themselves by talking about how many BOXES of wine they are going to have. And then doing it. Courtney Cox even has a show about drinking wine in your 40’s called “Cougar Town”. Yeah. I know. I for one don’t want that association. Please don’t think that all women are that silly. I don’t want to look like a 40 year old lush who uses my shitty job, my boring husband, or my wonderful children as my raison d’être. It’s not a classy look for an adult. These are the women who get together at restaurants in order to pick at salads get drunk. Oh, and talk shit about their husbands/boyfriends. I know, I used to serve them. Gross. Cut. It. Out.
  3. Pictures of your shitty meal – Maybe we could all agree that not every meal we make, buy or happen to see deserves to have it’s picture taken, hm? This goes for pictures of the inside of your freezer or what your cat ate.
  4. Austin, TX320954-austin-texasYep, not a fan. It’s funny. I have lived in a lot of different cities, states and a few countries. When I say a place doesn’t cut the mustard, I have a wealth of personal experience that it is based off of. Most of the people I have met here who “LOVE IT” have never lived anywhere else. I’m not shitting you. I hear “It’s the greatest city in the world” from people who haven’t been outside the state. It’s really frustrating to try and have a constructive conversation with folks here about the city’s vast problems because nobody wants to hear it. My fella (who is from Texas) feels the same way. This city feels dated and unwelcoming. The division between the yuppies and the rest of the population is startling. Anyway, y’all can have it. I’ll be outta yer hair next year. Til then I will keep on letting the folks of Austin know that they are behind the times on just about everything. Disagree? That’s what having your own blog is for…
  5. Guns: I think we should find a remote island. Or maybe just reclaim one of the Dakotas. But we should have a place where all of the nice freedom loving gun assholes can go live and be free with their guns. Did you hear about the little boy who shot his sister while he was PLAYING with his rifle? The rifle was a gift he received for Christmas from his family. So now… how are guns a good idea again, or is this kid another terrorist.
  6. Calling your kid “Monkey”: spider-monkey_719_600x450I’ve got news for you – Just about every parent calls their kid “Monkey”. I see it at work, I see it on FB, I saw it in Europe and I see it in the states. I see it on TV and in movies. I guess it’s not that big a deal, but I assure you, if I ever have a kid I will not call them “Monkey”. Or “Bean” that’s another popular one. People go out of their way to come up with original names for their children and then just call them “Monkey”. What a waste. For those of you without kids (Yet?) – may I suggest some of the following, less used, adorable nicknames for babies: Stinky, Tank, Gus, Chief, Speedy, or Smigel.

Oscar’s Highs & Lows

url-2Last night I watched the Academy Awards for the first time in seven years. I was excited. I used to have huge parties with themed food and drinks, guests dressed up for the event and I had prizes and trivia. It was fun. This time I went low-key: just me, my pj’s and some fresh-baked cookies.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Seth MacFarlane & LA Gay Men’s Choir sing “We Saw Your Boobs” – What a great way to open the show. Honestly, I was cracking up the entire time. I know a lot of people thought it was tacky and not right for the Oscars, but what did you expect when you asked the creator of Family Guy to host? He was just doing what the public likes him to do. I loved the light-hearted tone it set for the rest of the show, and also it let people know that Hollywood was not going to take itself seriously tonight. 
  • Meryl Streep – Not only does she get to announce best actor Daniel Day-Lewis, she didn’t skip a beat in doing it. “And the winner is Daniel Day-Lewis.” Done. Like a boss.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis acceptance speech – url-3Isn’t DDL adorable? I just want him to be my sexy excentric uncle. Anyway, I loved how gracious, sincere and funny he was. He toyed with Ms. Streep and joked about them switching roles at the last-minute – Lincoln for Thatcher – it was brilliant. He could have a second career as a stand up comic. He is a humble man who is amazing considering the amount of talent he has. I love you DDL.
  • Ben Affleck acceptance: Unlike DDL, Ben isn’t a pro at these things. He is just coming into his own. He showed last night that all of Clooney’s tutelage hasn’t gone to waste. Ben has learned to be a man’s man. His words to his wife left everyone in tears. Well played, Benjamin.
  • All of the musical treats – Yes, I could have done without the full cast of Les Mis getting on stage and performing, but whatever. It was fine. I loved Catherine Zeta Jones, and Jennifer Hudson looked and sounded fierce. But, what was better than that was the “you’re going long” music. Every time a speech started to run long the “Jaws” theme started to play. LOVE.
  • All things Tarantino – I jumped up and clapped when Christoph Waltz won, and I thought QT gave a great speech about how, more than anything, the actors should be heavily thanked for bringing his crazy, badass characters to life. I was happy to see him up there. Maybe one day the Academy will let him have a best picture statue. Ha.
  • Babs & BasseyShirley Bassey performs on stage at the OscarsShirley Bassey OWNED the stage. That is until my girl Barbara got up there and killed it. Both women showed the world that age don’t matter – it’s all about talent. And both have it. I loved that Ms. Bassey wore gold, skin-tight sequins, and Barbra was apparently paying homage to her 1970’s self with her hair, gown, nails and make up. It’s not every performer who can stand still on a stage and just sing and keep you totally entertained. Were you taking notes Gaga? PS – I also very much enjoyed when Ms Bassey grabbed her boob.

LOWS:

  • Red Carpet drivel: Has it always been this bad? I don’t think so. I mean I guess. I seem to recall Tyra Banks in a huge purple prom dress, speaking like a hood rat to nominees on the RC. It was sad. But it seems like there is an array of idiots with microphones out there now, all asking insipid questions. I saw one woman ask Zoe Saldana how she prepares, not for a role, but for getting into her dress. I wanted to punch that stupid woman in the nose. 
  • Kristen Stewartdaniel-radcliffe-kristen-stewart-oscars-presentersIs it too much to ask for you to comb your hair before going on national television at a black tie event? That girl looked like she just got done snorting a line in the bathroom with 4 hookers and Jack Nicholson. Seriously. Girl looks used up, torn up and trashy. If you resent the Oscars, then just don’t go. But don’t show up looking like a an after picture on “Faces of Meth”.
  • That 9 year-old: Yeah, I mean that cute little girl who was nominated for best actress. Her. She was super-duper obnoxious. Mom? You need to have a little talk with Princess Pomposity about humility and its role in the lime light. You need to tell her it isn’t cute, nor is it ok to “fist pump” at a black tie event. And it doesn’t hurt to say “Thank you”. Stay classy Quvenzhané Wallis.
  • Les Mis Cast sing-a-long-Les Miserables love Les Mis, and I thought the film was alright, so I mean this with the utmost respect: SHUT UP. Shut up! Please? That wasn’t just painful to look at, but it was painful to listen to. Anne Hathaway is a lovely person with an alright voice, she didn’t need that extra push from the sound man. It worked on-screen because she was in character, crying, and dying. The whole gang just seemed overwrought and sad. I was glad when it was over.
  • Michelle Obama85th Annual Academy Awards - ShowI was just as confused as poor Jack. He seemed genuinely high or totally confused about the presence of the first lady, and so was I. Why did that happen? And why wasn’t she there in person? It wouldn’t have felt so cheap and strange if she had been there… or been in a movie. Just sayin’. I love Michelle just as much as the next guy, but that was wacky.

The 5 Best Shows You Aren’t Watching

I don’t own a television. I haven’t owned one since 2005. It’s not that I don’t like T.V shows, it’s that I don’t like having to pay cable companies in order to watch them. So I don’t. I watch the shows I like on-line. That way I can keep up with American Idol, Downton Abbey and The Biggest Loser commercial free, cable free, and hell, just free! It also makes me very mindful of what I watch. I can’t just turn it on and see “what’s on”. I have to make a conscious decision to watch television. After I decide what I want to watch (if anything) I have to find it online, and then stream it. It’s still super fast and easy, but I don’t end up wasting time on crap TV like The Real Housewives of Who the Fuck Cares, or Zooey Deschanel in “The Zaney Adventures of a 33-year-old Woman Desperately Trying to Convince the World and Herself that she is 25… Which is also a rip off of Three’s Company”… or whatever it’s called.

You can stream all of these shows on-line. Or on TV or whatever you do to watch shows.

  1. Anthony Bourdain: The Layover (The Travel channel) – url-2Take Anthony Bourdain, give him a film crew and a 24 hour layover in a cool city and see what happens. It’s awesome. It not only inspires you to check out new places in a city you might already know (or live in!), but you get to feel super cool if he talks about one of your favorite places. He spends time talking to locals about their favorite spots to take visitors. He asks cab drivers where to get the best street food. He gets wasted at a tiki lounge with another chef. It’s all very good fun. Check it out.
  2. Shameless (Showtime)????????????????????You think you have a fucked up family? This show (starring William H. Macy as “Frank Gallagher”. The world’s worst, and I mean WORST, alcoholic/drug abusing father. Ever.) gives dysfunction a whole new name. And that name is Gallager. But this show isn’t for the faint of heart, or folks who can’t stand to hear toddlers drop the F-bomb. And that’s saying nothing about the nudity, violence, barf inducing filth or, graphic sex scenes between any number of people of any varied race, gender, age or sexual orientations. I’ll just say there is an awesome lack of dignity in this show, and I love it. It’s funny, over the top, and even sweet at times.
  3. Louie (FX) – This show is like walking inside Louie CK’s mind. It’s funny, sweet, sad and often times uncomfortable. Louie tackles every subject you can think of: kids, single fathers, drinking, working, sloth, dating, assholes, pizza, crazy people, New York City, religion… You get the picture. If you are not a fan of Louis CK yet, then you haven’t watched this show.  Here’s a little bit. 
  4. King of the Nerds (TBS)22588_001_0358_R (1)That’s right, NERDS! It’s a reality based game show that pits nerd against nerd in wacky nerd based challenges like life-size chess, and live gaming. They all live together in “Nerdvana” and compete to see who will sit atop the Throne of Games! I know! Of course there are some totally hate-able and obnoxious freaks who you hope get voted away quickly, but the show also has contestants who work for NASA and are brain surgeons and shit like that. It’s a show that let’s the “nerds” show off their unique talents and show us that they are more than just characters in a silly movie. Speaking of which, the show is hosted by Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine. If you don’t know who they are, then you don’t deserve to be called a nerd.
  5. The Taste (ABC)la-dd-the-taste-recap-20130129-001Yes, another cooking game show. I know. But this is my first! I never got into Top Chef, and I occasionally check out Iron Chef, but nothing solid. This show has a twist. Four “Mentors” blind taste each contestants food and judge it purely on taste. With ONE BITE. Only. They don’t know if it is a man or woman, pro chef or home chef – they just get one bite, and that’s it. Only after they vote do they see who cooked it. It’s pretty good fun. It made me both hungry and want to cook, so that’s good. And the “mentors” are Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre, Anthony Bourdain and Brian Malarkey. The banter is good, the food looks good and the competition is fierce.

Guns Don’t Kill People, WE Do

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I am not going to enter into a debate on US gun laws because as far as I can tell, there is no room for debate. The US has a problem with guns. We are not a responsible enough people to be allowed to use them. We have shown that time and again. We are not responsible enough to own and operate the gun, and we are not responsible enough to our own citizens to protect them from the fucktards who are allowed to use them. It is our own fault. If we want to be angry at someone about the most recent tragedy, all we need do is look in the mirror.

I don’t want to hear about how “regular” gun owners don’t do these things, or it is just a crazy person with a gun. If that is true, then we have even bigger problems. First, we make it easy for anyone to get a weapon. Second, we don’t take care of our mentally ill, allowing them to easily get a gun. Then we send them to jail (for a time), put them on meds and walk away. It was obvious to me a few months ago when that man went on a shooting spree in a movie theatre, that we had a problem. This young man (who is so obviously not well) was easily able to get guns. Plural. He was able to kill more than a few people. And It happened again yesterday. We sensationalize shootings like these and wonder, “Why does this keep happening?”

I think Roger Ebert explains it best:
“Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.” – Roger Ebert’s review of “Elephant” in 2003

As long as it is easy to get a gun and the media will make you famous, I think we can expect more mass murders. If we want anything to change, we have to take action. Write letters to your congressman. Write letters to the President. Sign a petition. Look at your state and local gun laws and see what groups are doing to get more regulations. Guns are not the problem, WE are the problem.

I’m So Over…

Here is a short list of things I am so very tired of hearing about, seeing, or doing. I will post a counter list of “Things I’m Crazy About” next, so you can keep your “Why are you so negative?” comments to yourself. Thanks. Enjoy!

  1. Hangovers – Thanks, but no thanks. You’d think after seven years in the Czech Republic I’d be used to hangovers. But here’s the thing: most Czech beers don’t leave you with a hangover. True story. So, fast forward three months and give Alicia some American beers, whiskey and one night out on the town and I’m over it. Done. Spending the day feeling like I want to barf, poop and die all at the same time isn’t very alluring for me. For that matter either is getting shit faced drunk. There are plenty of other ways to have a good time.
  2. People who use the words “Fail”, “Brosef”, “Amazing”, “Genius”, “Shaming” – Please stop. You are only hurting yourself. I know it seems cool to jump on the Trendy Bandwagon, but it isn’t. That bandwagon is full of other people JUST LIKE YOU who think they are being clever and witty and original when in fact they are just regurgitating phrases they heard on SNL, Twitter, Facebook or Buzzfeed. You are better than that and you know it. Stop trying so hard, because it just makes you look sad.
  3. Bad SportsmanshipI can’t tell you how completely exhausting it is to play games with children who haven’t been taught how to lose. It is an elegant skill that seems to have been totally forgotten in this country. We are teaching our youth that they should expect to win, that if they get bored (read: they are losing) they can just quit, and that whining when they lose is acceptable. Where do they get this? Oh, right… grown ups. Just look at the Presidential debates of this last month. The President of the US was condemned for not being aggressive enough in a debate when I thought he showed poise and grace. Contestants on reality shows whine or cry when they lose. Teaching people that if they follow the rules of the game they will win is not a good idea. Just because you lose doesn’t automatically mean the other guy is cheating.
  4. Women who use ‘The F word’ excessively, and give ‘The Bird’ in pictures  My fella and I went into a little shop yesterday. Within five minutes of speaking with the female clerk I was ready to leave. She dropped the F Bomb at least ten times in that five minutes. Classy. I don’t like it when men do it either, but I feel a special kind of gross when I hear women do it. It doesn’t make you cooler to talk like a trucker. It doesn’t make you look like Johnny Cash when you throw up the middle finger in a party picture. It makes you look like an idiot. A cliché. Kristen Stewart. Excessive cussing coupled with tongue out, middle finger up pictures are no better than the stupid looking “duck lips” photos that ladies are ever so fond of. Please stop. You look like a tool.
  5. Owls, Sloths, and other animals that look like Zooey Deschanel I know, animals are cool. And the baby ones are super cute. I get it. But maybe we can all decide that just because Kristen Bell is into sloths doesn’t mean I have to be. Just because Zooey Deschanel’s stylist decided that owls were hip, doesn’t mean you have to go along for the sad ride. Just because H&M is selling printed screen T’s of owls playing with kittens doesn’t mean it is a good idea to wear it. Why? Well, because everyone else already is. Yeah, you are so off the beaten path, so totally not mainstream with your owl ring that everyone else has. Le sigh…
  6. GLEE I tried really, really hard to stick with Glee. I suffered through love triangles, John Stamos, and even a horrific retelling of The Rocky Horror Show. But I stuck with it. Why? I am a musical theater geek. I admit that proudly. I love movies and TV shows that have singing and dancing. But Glee jumped the shark this year with the introduction of Wade “Unique” Adams – a cross dressing, singing and dancing, pro equality character who looks like a cross between Tyler Perry and Patti LaBelle. The dude is talented, no doubt. He can sing. But why, WHY do I have to watch that? I get it, Glee is a show about including everyone, and a show that promotes gay equality. YAY! But putting a teen kid in drag and having him sing Beyoncé songs doesn’t further your platform. It makes your platform look like a joke. Glee made a few wrong turns this year, but none as wrong as Unique.

5 Freaks who Inspired Me

I had a truly inspired underwear dance party last night. My mood was great, partially due to the awesome mix I had made, and partially due to the.. uh… mood enhancement I was partaking of. As I sipped my IPA, and got down with my bad self I was forced to realize that the super cool chick I had become was the direct result of being exposed to the right Freaks in my formative years. Without the Freaks, I might have ended up a boring, normal woman who thinks that creativity begins and ends with scrapbooking.

I want to give props to the brave people who paved the way for me to be the me I am. Without their total lack of concern for what society thinks about them, I might be a sheep.

1. Edward GoreyWhen I think of my childhood, I see it in Gorey pictures. One of my favorite books as a kid was “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” – the alphabet book for the rest of us. Nothing against the good Dr. Seuss, but I was far more attracted to the macabre rhymes and drawings in Mr. Gorey’s world. In my world, A is for Amy Alicia who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears… Oh,and the man loved cats, which is awesome.

2. Klaus Nomi – Without Klaus Nomi there would be no Lady Gaga, no David Byrne, Katy Perry or maybe even Madonna. Klaus Nomi took being weird and made it into a career. I have always admired his courage and strength a little more than his music, if I am going to be perfectly honest. Yeah, the man had a (literally) amazing vocal range, but some of his stuff doesn’t do it for me. But that isn’t the point of his music. If you are just listening to Nomi, then you don’t get it. He was one of those rare creatures who knew he was born to stardom, which unfortunately means he was to lead a very sad, and isolated life. But he lived it. His alien persona, his baked goods, and his beautiful arias serve as a reminder to me not to be afraid of being different. Espically if being different is being myself. 

3. Truman CapoteCapote was both one of the most hated and celebrated men of his time – while he was alive. People desperately wanted to know him, and be part of his inner circle. But once they got there, they were shocked at the pure meanness they saw in him. And that’s the irony, I guess. People KNEW what type of man he was, but still wanted to be near him. I find that fascinating. Don’t be surprised when a shark bites. But he was a talented man, a genius writer, and a walking, talking scene. Being around Capote meant you had made it. Much like Nomi, Capote was a sad man who lived and died very much alone. Sometimes fame is a lonely place, but for some it is worth the price. Capote is directly responsible for me wanting to become a writer.

4. Oingo Boingo – With obvious influences from Mr. Nomi, Oingo Boingo took new wave music and added drama and edge. I love it. If you don’t know of Boingo, you know of its founder and front man Danny Elfman – who is awesome and weird in his own right. I heard of “The Mystical Knights of the Oingo Boingo” when I saw the film “The Forbidden Zone” the awesome cult movie starring the band, and Herve Villechaize. It is weird, uncomfortable, funny and so totally different that you can’t help but enjoy yourself. I still have a crush on Danny Elfman’s voice and they are often the soundtrack to my underwear dance parties. But, I like weird. 

5. Ann Magnuson You probably don’t know who she is, and that’s ok. You might recognize her face from TV shows like “Anything But Love” or maybe from “Desperately Seeking Susan”, or possibly as the front woman for the band “Vulcan Death Grip”. Or maybe not. I have had a crush on her since I can remember. I actually got to see her do a live performance back in LA oh so many years ago. She is a cool performance artist and actress who is so smart I am kind of afraid of her. But she isn’t afraid. And that is why I admire her so much. You can have your premeditated Lady Gaga with her stylists and team of experts. I’ll take Ann Magnuson.

* SUPER PROPS to David Byrne, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Warhol, and Gonzo the Great, as well. There just isn’t enough time in the day to honour you all. 

10 Things I think are Cool – Right Now

A few of you have made comments, or sent emails to me accusing me of “hating” everything, and asking why I always seem to find the negative in everything. While I take offense at the mere idea of me actually hating everything (see the tab on this blog called “My Favorite Things“? Yeah, that’s a big list of shit I DON’T hate…) I will admit to being down on a lot of stuff I see lately. Maybe it’s the reverse culture shock. Maybe it’s the fact that a lot of stuff is stupid and deserving of harsh criticism. Or maybe it’s the fact that most of you seem to enjoy my critical posts… a lot. Whatever. To appease the masses, here is a list of 10 Things I think are Cool… RIGHT NOW.

1. This Guy

2. American Ninja Warrior: If you haven’t seen this, get ready to be wowed. These guys and gals are super badass, and compete in the world’s most difficult obstacle course. It’s so hard that no American has ever completed it. One Japanese dude did it last year. The Olympics have nothing on this. Check it out. 

3. Major corporations backing Gay Rights/Marriage Equality: This is a no brainer. I think more companies need to come out of the closet and start speaking out for civil rights. For those of you who think the whole “Chick-Fil-A” thing was a little much, think about it like this. What if the owner of said restaurant had made the same statement – except instead of gays he was talking about minorities. Would that be alright? No, it wouldn’t. It’s no different from the civil rights movement of the 60’s. We need to stand up for ALL people, not just the people who look like us, act like us, and go to the same church as us. Would you eat a restaurant that forced black people sit in a separate section, or claimed that it supported segregation? Of course you wouldn’t. So don’t support places that are anti-gay. It’s the same thing.

4. Breaking Bad:  If you are not watching this show you are missing out on some awesome television. Screw “Game of Thrones”. If I want to see battles and kings and small folk, I’ll just watch LOTR. Watching Walt (Bryan Cranston) feed his ego and his greed gets better and better with each episode.

5. MILKSHAKES:  I don’t know if it’s because the Czech Republic is severely lacking in milkshakes, but I can’t seem to get enough of them. Actually, the Czech’s don’t really know how to make them properly. Most places don’t even use ice cream – just milk. Nope! The better the ice cream, the better the milkshake. So far I have enjoyed a strawberry shake, a vanilla shake, and an extremely delicious espresso-chocolate-something shake. I don’t know what all was in there but it was divine. Do yourself a favor and have a milkshake today. You’ll be glad you did.

6. The Obamas:  Just so that there is absolutely NO confusion here, I am a Obama supporter. Has he been perfect? No. But I bet you aren’t perfect at work either. All in all I think he is a stand up guy who is trying his darndest to point America in the right direction. And I adore Michelle Obama. How can you not? She is smart, sassy, sexy, funny and totally down to earth. The best part about them is unlike other Presidential couples, these two people seem to actually like and LOVE each other! That’s the best example a President could possibly set.

7. Toddlers & Tiaras: As both my boyfriend and former flatmate can attest to, I love this show. I love everything about it. I love the crazy moms and dads. I love the crazy kids who may or may not enjoy getting dolled up for a beauty contest. I love the way the show edits Mommy telling the camera what an angel her little girl is while showing footage of that little angel screaming her lungs out. This show should be watched by all parents as a “What Not To Do” example. And I have to say, I feel really awesome about the way I live my life each time I watch this show. 

8. This Aphttp://www.unbaby.me/ It takes all those pesky baby pictures from FB and replaces them with pictures of cats – or whatever you want. YAY!

9. Hamburgers:  I have a theory. When you live in Prague for long enough you just convince yourself that the food you are eating actually tastes better than it does. Prague is a great city for a lot of things, but food just isn’t one of them. As much as the foodie culture is trying to catch on in the CZ, it never will. Why? Because Czech’s don’t really give a shit about good food. It wasn’t until I had a hamburger at Beaver’s in Houston that I realized I had been lying to myself for the last six years. I missed GOOD hamburgers.

10. Goats: Specifically goats screaming funny things. My friend rachel and I have spent several hours watching youtube videos of animals doing funny things, but none are ever as funny as the goats. Watch this video twice and listen for the second goat.