Category Archives: Entertainment

Hi, how are you?

Are the news channels now talking about something other than the hurricane? If you experienced the hurricane, I hope you’re doing well. If you’re dealing with other issues in life, I also hope you’re doing well. If you’re dealing with issues and dealing with the hurricane, yes. Basically I hope everyone is doing well.

I have six minutes of battery left on the laptop. I got out of bed to write an e-mail to someone I think I did wrong. I don’t like feeling that I did wrong to anyone.

Anyway, with the remaining power, I thought I’d share a video from my new TV series. It’s not really a TV series. It’s only a TV series in my mind.

I love Hugh Jackman, but…

This looks like the silliest movie ever:

I can’t wait.

The Woodstock of Poetry!

Because I now believe in poetry and all of its possibilities and because I spent many years being oblivious to poetry, I’ve created a new website!  My ultimate, ultimate goal is for people far and wide to say, “Poetry is fun,” “poetry is relevant,” and “poetry is pop.”  Because even if all of it’s not, there’s plenty of it that is.  Like this (to give an extreme example).

If you’ve ever been saddened by having to dissect a dense, ancient poem in school, PoetryStock.com aims to make you happy again!

If you’ve ever wanted to write a series of haikus about the pH level of shampoo (or something), PoetryStock.com wants to hear them!

If you’re up to this challenge that Nietzsche poses — “A subject for a great poet would be God’s boredom after the seventh day of creation” — PoetryStock.com will smile.

And he will, too.

There are plenty of places to post your poems on the internet, but Poetry Stock is different because there will be an annual poetry celebration connected to it. Also, there will be a podcast that gives poets a chance to read a poem they’ve posted on the site and talk about it (or whatever they want) for a few minutes.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing this month. Lately it’s always something other than this blog…but I love this blog. This blog was the first real outlet I ever had to express my thoughts and try to craft them into something people would enjoy. So I’ll always be grateful to this blog. And even if I don’t always put regular blog posts on it, I’ll at least let it know what I’m up to.

P.S. This child is smarter than I’ll ever be:

Three things

If you’re at all interested in matters of comedy or depression or life or human beings, this episode of this podcast is worth listening to:

http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_190_-_todd_hanson

And if you’re at all interested in poetry or rap or people who have sex with Beyonce, this clip is worth a view:

And if you’re at all interested in where I’ve been the last three months, this explains it (to a certain degree):

http://www.helpmebacon.com

Tell me I don’t have to have sex out there.

A group of boys, who look no older than fourteen, talk on a crowded New York City subway car—loud—about bitches, and fucking, and fucking bitches.  They carry tennis racquets in zipped cases.  I assume they’re teammates.  The loudest and youngest looking one says, “I could’ve fucked two bitches the same night.  I had them both at my place.  But I didn’t, because one of the bitches was on her period.”

I look around, wanting to see if anyone else’s ears have unwittingly become victim to this conversation.  Some people have headphones on.  Some people might not know English.  I make eye contact with one woman, but her neutral expression doesn’t change.  If anything, she seems to communicate, “Are you really upset?  Are you really surprised or offended?”  Yes.  I am!  I’m upset that these boys boast and talk about female peers that way as if it’s okay.  Or, knowing it’s not okay, making it more appealing.  I don’t care if they’re insecure pubescent boys just making things up or repeating overheard things.  I’m upset that I sit with my book open on my lap, not reading it, listening to them instead, saying nothing.  If girls they have sexual feelings for (if not romantic) are called bitches, what would they call me—some 24-year-old girl scolding them?  Surely they wouldn’t politely apologize.  How would that boost their apparent status as big, sex-havin’ men?

Yesterday was one of distasteful sex-related happenings that made me question the world and the people in it.  Everyone’s entitled to say what they want, do and think what they want.  But that freedom can seriously hurt others.  It can make you think, Man.  This is how so many people approach sex, this is how the media makes sex out to be?  I don’t want any part of that. It’s scary.  Who really wants to be the subject of a nonchalant recap between buddies—“Yeah, I fucked her.  It was all right.”   

When I woke up late yesterday morning I had a notification that I’d received a Facebook message just after 8 a.m.  It started, “Hi, how’ve u been?”  But the sender’s name was one I didn’t recognize, so I assumed it was a spam message.  Someone trying to get me to attend an event, or buy a product, or support some cause.  Turned out to be something very different.  The message was from someone I did vaguely know—a security guard of all things.  You know.  Someone whose job is to make you feel more secure.  I’d forgotten that this man and I were connected on Facebook at all.  He guards a building I used to regularly enter and was someone I would say hello to and small talk with occasionally.  I stopped the small talk, though, after we bonded about our mutual interest in making music and he invited me to see the recording studio he uses—inside of his apartment. 

I hadn’t thought about this person or heard from this person, and then, all of a sudden, a message.  It’s pretty crude stuff and the only reason I’m sharing it is to make a point.  Skip it if you don’t want some graphic imagery in your head.

Hi, how’ve u been?  I don’t mean to be forward, but seriously I’ll like you to know that it’ll be a pleasure to munch on your shaven apple pie haven. If you give me a chance I promise I’ll lick and suck every drop of crease all around and inside of it like no one has ever done b4.

Now am guessing u might have a boyfriend and since I wouldn’t want to be that guy that comes between you two, for the fact that I wouldn’t want the same to happen between me and my girl, that is why I have requested for this alone and nothing else.

However if ever you turn the opposite cheek to this once in a lifetime opportunity, I’ll also like you to know that I will hold no grudge against you and I will still cherish the moments of friendship we shared at [omitted]. Take care and bye for now.

[Name omitted.]

P.S.. Let me be that very private guy in your life that turns u into that glowing mature woman every girl wants to be like…

How kind of him to not hold a grudge against me if I turn down his “once in a lifetime” proposal.  How unselfish, too, to consider my boyfriend (and his girlfriend) in this arrangement!  And how opposite of presumptuous of him to suppose how I groom my “apple pie haven” or that I need to be transformed from a girl into a “glowing mature woman.” 

Granted I probably shouldn’t have even allowed myself to be connected online to this semi-stranger.  My mistake.  I can be naive.  It just wouldn’t occur to me that people might take the time to craft such a message. I would never think of this as everyday, normal fare for a man to send a woman at 8 a.m. on a Monday. 

I’ve watched a lot of romantic comedies in my day, which, admittedly, have probably given me some skewed ideas about heterosexual sex and relationships.  But after watching Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks ride off into the sunset, or Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, I’ve never approached a male love interest and said, “Hey, how’ve you been?  Will you meet me on top of the Empire State Building and kiss me long and passionately and marry me and raise my babies?”  Maybe some people do hold those expectations.  And maybe some people develop their own expectations after regularly watching certain porn, listening to certain music, or talking to certain people.  Just like kids playing violent video games makes them more likely to shoot people, right…?  It’s more than possible that a person would predominantly see inappropriate or unhealthy social and sexual behaviors and use those cues in their own life.  Because inappropriate and unhealthy can be relative concepts.

I told a male friend of mine about the Facebook message.  He advised me to use the block function, but to first send the guy a picture of STD-ridden female genitalia.  “Speaking of which,” he said, “there’s a guy I know who’s HIV positive.”  He went on to say that the person, before settling down with a partner, claimed to regularly have unprotected sex without broaching the subject of any risk.  And apparently, if questioned, would outright lie. 

There’s a scene in When Harry Met Sally after Harry and Sally have sex with each other for the first time.  Neither are satisfied with how it went.  They individually call their best friends, Jess and Marie, who pick up their individual phones from the nightstands of the bed they share as a couple.  Jess listens to Harry.  Marie listens to Sally.  When they hang up, after hearing their friends’ most recent dating disappointments, Marie turns to Jess and says, exhaustedly, “Tell me I never have to be out there again.”  Jess looks her in the eye and firmly responds, “You never have to be out there again.” 

Yesterday, after the things I was told and the things I overheard and the things proposed to me, I felt similarly exhausted.  Out there felt like a scary place.  A place that will compromise physical and emotional health.  A place where women are just vaginas and men are cads.  A place where very few ride off into the sunset.

Pigeons, Mike Tyson, and me

There’s an ambiguousness to this blog.  For a whole year I think it had a tongue in cheek tone to it.  And more lately it’s been pretty personal.  More contemplative and serious even.  But something that’s remained constant in its two and a half years is pigeons–and how much I love them.

The About page has described me as “a pursuer of creative outlets with a deep love and curiosity for all things pigeon,” which I think sums me up pretty well.  If I could only tell people two things about myself, I’d feel pretty satisfied if they only knew about my creativity and my feelings for pigeons.

All this is on my mind because I’m in countdown mode for the new Mike Tyson show on Animal Planet that debuts THIS SUNDAY, March 6th–“Taking on Tyson.”

“The first day I fought I must’ve been a ten year old kid.  This is the most frightening day of my life.  The reason for the fight was because the guy ripped the head off my pigeon.  This is the first thing I ever loved in my life.”

I don’t want to get too excited for this show.  I don’t know a whole lot about pigeon racing.  I don’t know a whole lot about Mike Tyson.  But I think this show is going to be an interesting look at a sensitive, provocative man.  Probably a lot of people will tune in because it’s a little strange and funny–but that’s okay.  The things we laugh at have truth in them.  And often the things we make fun of are the things we don’t want to take the time to consider–because they challenge something we’ve always held to be true: fighters are mean, men like Mike Tyson are tough, pigeons are just stupid birds.  I don’t think any of those things are true.  And that’s why I’m excited to watch.

Life and the Academy this year

I really love awards shows. In the past few weeks I’ve watched the Golden Globes, the SAGs, part of the Independent Spirit Awards, and last night the Oscars.

Last year I posted part of an acceptance speech that inspired me.  This year I  recorded the broadcast, but I couldn’t bring myself to fast forward through any of the speeches because I kept thinking of last year and how if I had fast forwarded through the Best Original Score category, I would have missed something pretty great. 

Pretty great this year was when David Seidler won for Best Original Screenplay for The King’s Speech.  He’s an older gentleman and when he got to the stage he had to ask Josh Brolin where the microphone was.  And one of the first things he said was, “My father always said to me I would be a late bloomer.  I believe I am the oldest person to win this particular award.  I hope that record is broken quickly and often.”

He went on to mention his own struggle with a stammer.  I think I loved his speech even more than Tom Hooper’s when he thanked his mom for making The King’s Speech happen.

After I finished watching I thought for a moment about why I love awards shows so much.  I find myself smiling through most of the 3+ hours.  If you haven’t placed monetary bets on the winners, most people agree that these shows of excess and ego are boring.  So why do they leave me feeling so…good?  I mean, I even love the In Memorium segment–honoring deceased people I usually have never heard of.

If I’m really honest with myself, the reason I love these Hollywood awards shows is because I think I’ll be there one day.  I don’t particularly have a plan on how that will happen.  And I won’t be bitter or resentful if it doesn’t happen.  I don’t want to live a life of excess or ego or celebrity, but I do want to live a creative life and a passionate life.  So, you know.  Why not.

Fun and games

“You killed me! That’s not fair! I was about to shoot you in the head.”

These words from my five year old cousin Ryan as we played a video game with the objective of repeatedly gunning each other’s avatars down in post-apocalyptic settings. He’d been playing the game alone in the basement for hours before coming upstairs looking for opponents. My father was his first choice, but he refused to get up from the recliner and the Fox News pundits, so I would have to do.

Ryan led me downstairs to the finished basement apartment he shares with my aunt. He rattled off what the square button, the triangle button, the circle, the R1 trigger, the R2 trigger, and both tiny joysticks do. It took me a moment to realize that his little boy voice was telling me information I’d need to know. Next it was on to selecting the optimal location for our looming bloodshed. “The abandoned amusement park is my favorite, but it’s locked.” He explained that he’d have to kill many before its fun and games would be available to him.

As we began the battle I realized I had made a mistake. I hate video games. I hate them because I’m bad at them. It’s one thing to be bad at Mario Brothers, with its flying squirrels and princesses trapped in castles. It’s quite another to be bad at a game with impressively realistic graphics and noises, down to the crisp sights and sounds of shells flying and blood splattering.

In addition to my cousin’s experience and my utter lack thereof, I also had the added challenge of my aunt excitedly showing me clothes and accessories she’d just unboxed from an eBay purchase. “Isn’t this handbag great?” “Do you think these flares fit?” On one side of me pink and silver saccharine things, on the other, war and guts and masculine gore. And there I was in the middle: “That’s so pretty! Wait, which gun should I use?”

After one round I accepted that I was less navigating the muddled waters than drowning in them and politely took my leave. My cousin was disappointed. “You’re not fair!” he whined before he turned back away to reload a solo game.

Mannequins and MTV

This is the best thing I saw today:

If you can’t make it out, that’s material knitted to resemble my favorite thing–a pigeon! I like that it’s a fake pigeon pecking what appears to be a real plant. This is exactly the kind of window display I would put together if that were my trade.

Here’s the first image that comes up when you do a Google search of “worst window displays”:

I was expecting something worse than that, to be honest. There’s nothing all that shocking about it. Though the mannequin on the right looks a lot like a Canadian man I once knew.

Here’s “bad window displays”:

I appreciate that the smallest mannequin’s eyes are being covered. I hate when tender-aged mannequins are exposed to explicit sexual acts.

That reminds me of a newspaper article from today’s New York Times about the new MTV series “Skins.” There have been ads ALL OVER the subways the past couple weeks. I didn’t catch the premiere Monday night, but I suspected that the show involved teenagers doing drugs and having sex. And the article confirmed that and then some, saying, “In recent days, executives at the cable channel became concerned that some scenes from the provocative new show ‘Skins’ may violate federal child pornography statutes.”  That’s because all of the actors MTV gathered are under 18, the youngest being 15, and they’re filming scenes featuring “simulated masturbation, implied sexual assault, and teenagers disrobing and getting into bed together.”

I don’t care if it is a realistic portrait of life for modern day teenagers.  It still upsets me.  It mainly upsets me because I was not this breed of teenager.  I was not wild and adventurous, trying new substances and boys at every turn.  I was naive and confused and awkward.  The kids in these ads plastering the subways are sexy and confident and know how to apply makeup so well.  Is this realistic?  Or is this just the reality that MTV wants to sell and attract impressionable viewers with?

The Media Ruins Everything, or, Take that elderly woman home!

You’ve probably heard about Ted Williams, the guy with the “golden” voice who the media has jumped over almost as much as Jared Loughner, whose terrifying face is on the cover of every newspaper I’ve seen today.  I know Loughner is responsible for a tragic shooting, and the nation and the world deserve to be informed of that…I just wish the media didn’t scoop these things up like candy. Or crack.  I can just hear the discussion: “This guy’s picture has traumatized every speck of my being.  Let’s take up half the front page with it and see how many copies we sell.”  

Anyway, back to Ted Williams.  He got noticed through a YouTube video that featured him panhandling on a corner and showing off his impressively professional announcer’s voice.  In light of all the hits it received, yup, you know what happened: the media.  And I was really digging the story.  He’s been sober for two years, he’s just trying to get a job doing what he’s qualified to do.  He praises God.  Cool.  But then I saw this video on CBS’s website, and I instantly soured toward the whole thing.

You’ll see what I mean toward the end of the video.  It features a CBS Early Show reporter accompanying Ted Williams’ 90something year old mother to the airport to reunite with her son after ten. years.  It’s TV gold.  Too bad it feels so forced and awkward.  I feel bad for this woman, picked up by some TV producer, forced to spend a whole day talking about and anticipating her son’s arrival–ONLY TO BE STOOD UP AT THE AIRPORT. 

It’s awful.  The reporter says that Williams was immediately overwhelmed by other media outlets at the airport and that’s why there was no reunion that day.  Mother and son have since had their reunion and it was tear-filled and hug-filled and nice, but it doesn’t make up for this:

(Why do they hate embedding so much?  Watch it here.)

Seems to me, that in a rush to be the show that first captured the reunion, the Early Show didn’t nail down all the details.  Or, Ted Williams chose the media over his mother.  Either way, it doesn’t make me feel good about the world.