Friday, December 24, 2010

Grog some 'nog and sleep until New Year's

Like any kid, I used to spend the whole year waiting for Christmas.  On Christmas Eve I would wake up around 3AM and, unable to control the adrenaline flowing through my diminutive person, re-enact the prison cell-workout scene from Cape Fear again and again.  After three hours of chin-ups on my Barbie coat rack, my parents would collect my sweaty, lifeless corpus from the floor and lay me gently under the tree.  When my hummingbird of a heart regained its rhythm, I would awake to a forest of rocking horse wrapping paper, pine needles, and presents.  Christmas was here again.

Within the past eight years however, that trend has reversed.  My mom now imposes a mandatory wake up for 11AM, at which point my sister and I tromp to the living room to open gifts.  Although I never intended to experience Christmastime with the lifeless cynicism of a Target cashier, I now realize that the shift is inevitable.  For the first time, I can sympathize with Lewis Black's aimless rage.  I can almost understand why Jewish families wouldn't want to eat Chinese food for the umpteenth time...almost.  Still, in an effort to combat those forces which atrophy the holiday spirit--aging, crowds, spending, the sound of my boss's voice--this year I sent out greeting cards.  I encourage you to do the same, and offer the following excerpts as suggestions.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Half-assed presents to get your parents

Sick  of Christmas stuff?? I'm not! Ever! I'm actually serious!

Except for Christmas shopping for your parents. It's the fucking worst thing in the world. Everyone else you can get a pan for making giant cupcakes or a He-Man sword that makes smashing sounds when you hit things with it, and they'll love it! But not parents. What can you buy for the disapproving person who has everything and is also much richer than you?

If you live in a family where you can just get your mom a nice vase and your dad a tie and that's acceptable, then you've got it made. But what if you don't? What if your family is the kind of family where everyone gives incredibly thoughtful gifts because they remember things you said you wanted or needed months ago in phone conversations you don't even remember and it's Dec. 22nd and you're clicking through Amazon in a panic at work hoping something will just leap out at you?!

Then you're fucked. Wave the white flag. Here are a few options just to keep from showing up empty-handed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday List: Santa's Biggest Goofs

  • Inspires deadly amount of whimsy in child, settles out of court
  • Fred Claus
  • Delivered toys for the population of Kansas City, MO to Kansas City, KS
  • Forgot to close the wolf gate one year, only eight fastest reindeer survived
  • Didn't bring me the fucking Lego set I asked for when I was five, so keep laughing, fat man, because I'm coming for you
  • Gawker finds out about his hot gay Facebook friend and his sexy all-boy Thanksgiving
  • Should've used Preparation H!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meowy Christmas!

The Schechner family doesn't have many holiday traditions. We don't gather around the television to watch Rankin-Bass specials or sing carols around the piano. We don't cook a Christmas goose or go on magical adventures through time with three temporally assorted ghosts. Yet there is one event that, without fail, always comes around every holiday season: we buy presents for our pets.

When I was young, we had a dog and a rotating cast of cats to shop for. Dog gifts were easy to find - a steakbone, some chicken scraps, a ball that makes noise and you throw it and the dog runs across the house to get it and messes up all the carpets and shit. Cats, as is their wont, are often pickier. Maybe they won't eat the chicken. And if you throw a ball, a cat will just turn and look at you, as if to say, "Well, you better go get that."

But then you give them a paper bag or a cardboard tube and they go crazy. I love cats, but I'll admit they're not easy to shop for. Yet an entire industry has sprung up around cat gifts, designed for Cat Enrichment or Cat Activities or Cat Pooping or whatever. And this shit is expensive. Probably not as expensive as medical bills for a dog whose entire genetic makeup is seemingly designed to kill it (see: pugs), but still incredibly pricy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Mini: A Laughable Tribute Album

That's right, this is a real thing! I didn't make it up or nothing. Buy it on Amazon!

Happy Holidays from Jimmy McMillan!

I got Jimmy McMillan's holiday card, and I wanted to pass it on to everyone! Season's Greetings! And support the Rent is 2 Damn High party!

Look close and you'll notice he's wearing a jacket and tie with a t-shirt. Rent is 2 DAMN high!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Lists: Resolutions

  • More shenanigans, less tomfoolery
  • Stop sending messages to Obama via every time I drink
  • Get my drinking budget lower than my grocery budget, and not just by buying more ice cream this time
  • Finally teach grandparents about DVD, HDTV, DVR and DVDA
  • Apply to police academy, make cutoff for elite Boner Patrol
  • Go to a party where I've only blown one of the guests
  • Find the exit to this fucking hedge maze

Monday, December 13, 2010

Late Night TV and Me

           We don’t have cable in my apartment. 
           Yes, yes, I know, it’s a First World Problem. It’s right up there with “My iPad won’t connect to my wi-fi” or “My smartphone broke when I took a picture of my cute kitty cat”. It’s still kind of a bummer. People with cable get to dig through tons of shitty movies or reality television when they can’t sleep at night.
           I’m stuck with crime procedurals.

L to R: computer dork, minority, world's most boring man, cute blonde girl, brunette, cute guy (no homo)
            Over the past four and a half months, I have seen more episodes of Criminal Minds than anyone ever should. I am inundated with serial killers, pedophiles and Mandy Patinkin. When I’m sitting at home by myself, I hear boring white people discuss UnSubs and look around… but nobody else is there! When I’m reading blogs, I picture every commenter as a “curvaceous” quirky blonde.
            “So change the channel, dumbass!” you’re probably shouting at your computer right now. You think I didn’t think of that? I’m all about changing the channel. We even have the remote nearby (no more throwing things and hoping the channel changes on its own for us!).
            If we change the channel, we run right into something so much worse: Tyler Perry’s House of Payne or Meet The Browns. It’s the Scylla & Charybdis of television.

"Now you know you don't compare a brotha to Greek mythology!"
            So we stick to Criminal Minds. And, I’ll admit it, there are some parts that are okay. Like the bank robber who makes people have sex and is also an ace motorbike driver. Or the horribly scarred guy who blew people up for some reason… maybe because his head looked like what I think a turtle’s penis would look like. But for every one of those, there’s a pedophile ring walling little boys up inside their homes or a guy who makes a group of girls kill one of their own.
            But here’s the one thing I can say with confidence: all of those shows are still better than The King Of Queens.

"Preach it!" or "Who invited black Thing to dinner?"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Mini: Shirt Designs!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The Bumble
Maybe the best TV-related reason to love or at least tolerate the holiday season is that Rankin/Bass' stop-motion Christmas specials are all back on the air, thanks to ABC Family's 25 Day of Christmas. God bless the people at ABC Family, who will apparently air these forever, regardless of how outdated and bizarre they are. And the ones made after the original classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ARE bizarre.

Sadly, I no longer have cable and all my friends who do have TV-recording capabilities are actual real-life Grinches who refuse to watch these, so I won't be catching my favorite specials. Let's reminisce about them here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Lists: I'm a certified sex-haver, according to...

  •  My cameo in Orgymania XIII
  •  This Victoria's Secret bra I'm wearing
  •  Half the guys at Buffalo Wild Wings
  •  Half the shirts at Spencer Gifts
  •  This nifty badge on my lapel
  •  Dat ass

Friday, December 3, 2010

127 Hours with James Franco

I received a voice mail recently saying, "I'm watching 127 Hours with James Franco.  It's just gotten to the part where he's sawing his arm off with a dull blade and it reminded me of you."  My mistake here was twofold; enrolling in an improv class, and subsequently giving out my number.  Regardless, it left me wondering: How would I feel after five days with America's indie darling, James Franco?

Like his ambiguously-oriented predecessor, James Dean, Franco became the fascination of my AIM profile nearly a decade ago.  Yet however charming and roguish he was, I couldn't bring myself to trust him.  His cloying smile is precisely the kind that would incite you to go on a rock climbing adventure only to wind up a thrice-limbed freak with PTSD.  His default face is "Cheshire Cat on a heroin jag, right before he throttles you to sell your liver on the black market."  Franco's probably prettier than he is talented, and I can say with total certainty that he would have been a complete asshole to me in high school.  There's no doubt in my mind that he would've called me "Hillshire Farms" in gym only to cheat off me in physics.  And I would have let him.  Every goddam time.  I probably would've called my pillow "Jamie" when I practiced kissing even.  Conflicted.

Luckily I was able to conduct a shorter version of the "127 Hours Hypothesis" during an elevator ride two years ago.  Though Franco only rode to the sixth floor I nearly asphyxiated in the interim.  Within thirty seconds I had devolved from self-satisfied NYU douche to a simpering preteen, my skin temperature increasing dramatically.  As he exited the car I crumpled to the floor, nursing the wounds left by the flock of doves persistently surrounding him.  It was exhilarating, adrenal, and exhausting--but ultimately, more trouble than it was worth.

Sounds like camping to me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday Mini: Zooborns, and their awkward captions

Here's the caption from a Zooborns post called Baby Tiger Gets a"Bath":

Checking back in on the Sacramento Zoo's Sumatran tiger cub, we discover that mom has an enormous tongue and uses it to powerful hygienic effect on her tiny cub.

In case you haven't heard of Zooborns, it's exactly what it sounds like: awesome.

Here's a video that's way better than the one that caption was about.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The pat-down lady didn't even touch my vagina

What should have happened
On the way to my parents' on Thanksgiving day I went through airport security really easily. I only went through a metal detector and didn't even see any full-body scanners in the security area. On the way home, I headed for the metal detector and was told by a security man that I had to go into the full-body scanner instead. Without metal detecting first. I went in the scan box and stood there for about 2 seconds before I was told I needed to go stand in the pat-down area. It was baffling. I had nothing in my pockets. I hadn't set off a metal detector because I didn't go through one. It didn't even seem like I'd been in the scanner long enough to be scanned. I had even offered to take off my sweater before the scan and go in in my tank top and they had been like, "No, that's fine."

I asked the lady why I was getting patted down when I'd heard you only got them if you refused the scanner. I was a little foggy because it was 5 am, but I honestly think she said something like, "There's always a chance you might get one. There's never a chance you're never going to get one." I stared at her enraged because I get angry when people confuse me, and then she said, "I'm going to have to touch your breast area. Do you want to go to a more private room?" I was all, "No, have at it."