Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Lists: Reasons to Visit Atlantic City

  • Fell into a wormhole, ended up in a time before Vegas
  • Deadbeat dad convention!!!!
  • To prove how well you're coping with the breakup
  • You wonder what happened to all those business assholes from college
  • Someone has a gun to your head and is demanding you drive them to Atlantic City
  • Casinos sometimes have free lemonade
  • Someone needs to dance in these waist-high bubbles

Friday, February 11, 2011

How to Survive Valentine's Day and other banal titles

Now I’m no scientist, but I don’t think there's ever been a successful Valentine’s Day in the history of mankind.  As a single person your only options are righteous indignation, apathy that is perceived as righteous indignation, or the Self-Loathing Triathalon; crying inconsolably, binge eating, and texting your ex.  If you’re in a relationship, you will inevitably end up disappointing or being disappointed by your partner.  “But I’m a postmodern feminist!” you shriek, man-hating harpy that you are.  “I don’t buy into Hallmark’s bullshit propaganda machine!”  We’ve all told ourselves that, but when ten o’clock hits and he still hasn’t sent you so much as a Facebook Gift of two robots holding hands, all the Virgina Woolf in the world won’t spare him your wrath.

In an effort to lessen VJJ Day anguish, here are some tips on how to weather the holiday with aplomb.  If you’re lucky, it’ll just be another day of obligatory, soul-withering existence.  And if you're emotionally honest and in a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship?  In that case I'll kindly ask you to take your business elsewhere.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Mad Men" Freaks Me Out

I'm not saying it's bad! Don't worry! I've never even seen a whole episode. But I can't get past how this one time back when I was living somewhere where I had cable, which was so long ago that Mad Men was not yet a phenomenon/mania/cultural touchstone, I saw a minute or so of it and I promptly stopped watching. I changed the channel. It happened. What the fuck, right? I was watching at Don (or somebody, I didn't know characters at the time) stare suggestively and uncomfortably silently across his desk at Joan (again, could have been someone else) and I just...changed the channel. It was making me uncomfortable.

Then today there's this essay about how this fellow watched the entire series and came to the sort of unbelievable conclusion that it sucks. And reading it, I realized what my deal was exactly. Everything seemed unduly sexy in those 30 or so seconds I saw. The guy was probably holding a bourbon and the woman was standing all curvily in front of him, and the show seemed to be saying, "Yeah, once you could drink at work even though that's a retarded idea and women used to be sexually harrassed way more and kept in subordinate positions because of institutionalized misogyny, and isn't that sexy?" And I thought, "Nope! It's not!" and changed the channel.

I still haven't watched it and I probably just need to try again. Although I'm pretty bad at watching TV that isn't comedy, so odds are slim that I would do this on my own unless someone directed me to a site to watch it and recommended an episode that has very few long silences filled with vacuous, steamy stares. But two things still sort of scare me about Mad Men. First, I'm afraid I'd watch it and not like it and become a social pariah. But I'm even more afraid that Mad Men is actually bad. What if that guy was right, and everyone else in the world is wrong? What does that say about us? My God, what if the smartest members of our society were bamboozled by period dress and everyone smoking sexily all the time? The whole idea freaks me out. I hope for everyone's sake that it's actually really good, and I'll probably continue to not watch it. I'm too scared.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Lists: Real New Yorkers

  • Pretend not to know the words to "Empire State of Mind" but end up drunkenly shouting them out
  • Are rich. Or desperately poor.
  • Have been taken down a notch after accidentally referring to the NYT as "The Times" in front of people back home
  • Have cockroaches that scare their Roombas
  • Close their eyes at the Rockefeller tree lighting
  • Have "signs of bedbugs" in their recent Google searches
  • Lean against the doors. Bitch.

Bad Haircuts I Have Had

I hate my hair. It's curly without being truly wavy or without being a jewfro. When I sweat (and I sweat a lot), it sticks down to my bangs and makes me look like a big sweaty geek. Sometimes I end up having to wear a do-rag so that it doesn't get all over my eyes.

And the do-rag makes me look like a goddamn moron. Do you see what I'm doing there? I have no idea if I'm trying to do a limp-wristed Thriller dance or pretending to be a limp-wristed cat or just being a limp-wristed moron.

But I digress. My hair is pretty much the worst. "So, J. Schechner, why not get a haircut you love and learn how to maintain that style?" Well, first, I hate learning new things and especially hair things. Secondly, I can't fucking get a good haircut to save my life. Never could, never will.

Some of this might be because I get physically ill if I spend more than $20 bucks on a haircut. But I think it's a result of years of follicle abuse.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl commercial predictions

To anyone not familiar with the rules of football, the Super Bowl means three hours of confusion.  Why did the ref throw that flag?  Who the hell knows and shut the fuck up.  For non-fans, the only moment of clarity comes during the halftime show.  But if you're not into watching your idols destroy their legacy in one fell swoop, seek solace in commercials.  And anyway, no one gives a shit about the Steelers-Packers match-up so you might as well settle in with our predictions for this year's lineup.

A commercial that equally pisses off gays and straights
In a classic example of self-cannibalizing pop culture, news sites have been covering the release of Doritos ads which feature strong gay overtones.  While any idiot could see that the ads are a cynical ploy for free publicity, these same idiots have taken to the message boards to protest the homophobic/pro-homo ads.  Here's a hint: Doritos' only agenda is to sell Doritos.  No matter what appendage is put in which orifice, they want to see nacho cheesier dust all about your face hole.

Something that makes me feel like a lesbian
Whether it's NFL cheerleaders or Heineken reminding me that I should like shoes more than I like beer, female sports fans are always faced with a conundrum: Do I give in and wear this nice fashion jersey to accentuate my curves?  Or do I just put on a Viking hat, smear some eye black, and avert my gaze from every pair of sweaty breasts I'm confronted with?  Search me.  The point is, if I'm just really invested in the narrative of this commercial and want to see how it ends at GoDaddy.com I'm going to fucking do it.

A real puzzler of a conundrum

A product which has absolutely no reason to market itself anymore
Look, Snickers, I'm fully aware that you still exist.  But I'm also aware that high fructose corn syrup exists and is really, really bad for you.  Or is it?  Anyway, until Al Gore lets me know I'm going to have to pass.  Wait, what?  Snicks Peanut Butter?  Jesus H.

A talking baby or talking animal
If we're lucky this year will feature precious, wonderful puppies and zero babies.  I cannot deal with that H&R Block baby talking down to me anymore.  I may not know what a hedge fund is but at least I can wipe.

Vague, morality ad by the Christian Right
Maybe it's the two weekly hours of MTV programming, but I've been seeing a lot of ads for Values.com.  Just for good measure, the LDS Church will buy ad space to remind us exactly how wealthy, powerful, and mysterious Mormons are.  But mostly it'll just remind me of this Xtr3me billboard I saw in Florida and make me giggle.  A lot.

Subtlety is a dirty slut.

And you'll miss it, because you'll be peeing like a dumbass.  That'll teach you to be a slave to your bladder.

A 180-minute ad for women's crisis centers
Or in other words, the Super Bowl.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Conductor's Note: Socialize With Us

Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud that you are witnessing the latest step of the lanky, vomiting toddler that is Insufficient Fare. If you take a gander at the column on your left, you will see that not only do we now have a Twitter account you can follow for instant comedy, but we also have a Facebook fan page. So you can like this, and then all your friends will see that you've got more taste than you know what to do with.

And a big "Thank you!" to the IF IT Team for setting all this up.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dear stranger who may have disabled my bike's brakes:

Hey, settle down! Take it easy! I'm not saying you did it one way or another! It's possible that when I was locking up my bike, the brakes were bashed too hard against the metal fence I locked it to and they detached of their own accord. That's very possible. Hell, anything's possible! Anything in the world! It's totally possible that fitting the bike a little too snugly to the the fence as I locked it totally dislodged my front brake and partially detached the rear so that I had only one functional brake as I started riding. That is, until the rear completely crapped out so that I found myself with no functioning brakes as I was zooming towards the roundabout north of the park. That's very possible!

It just feels like I've locked it to a lot of things in the past, and this has never happened. And by "feels like," I mean, in reality, it has literally never ever  happened. But it's a crazy old world! Really crazy! I mean, the opening on the metal piece that holds the brakes together is just so tiny and is so hard to undo and reattach, it's nutty that it was undone at all, let alone accidentally!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday Lists: Unnecessary Sequels

The other ninety minutes are even better.
- Lord of the Rings 2: Just An Hour And A Half Of Dancing Hobbits
- Jurassic Park 4: There's Another Island Full Of Dinosaurs, Again
- The Happening: A Thing Happens
- After Ever After
- Every Disney sequel
- Epic Movie II: Some Shit Your Dumb Ass Will Probably Watch

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cookin' With J. Schechner

I really like to cook, and I think I'm not too bad at it. A lot of the thanks goes to my mother, who always let me watch her when she was preparing dinner and put up with my questions. Even the questions about whether or not bleach was an acceptable substitute for clear broth.

So, as a treat for all you readers, I'm going to share one of my recipes. Hope you're ready to eat like royalty tonight!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Sports and You: If "you" are the token fat kid

Looks like a trophy to me.
To a fat kid, there’s nothing more treacherous than winter sports.  Athletics are enough of an exertion without ice make an enemy of your own body, lunging you into comical displays of ineptitude.  While field hockey might make you look clumsy, ice hockey ensures you’ll go sliding at breakneck speed through a cluster of knotty pines.  It's like your mom said: "It's all fun and games until someone kills a Kennedy."

The only exception to this rule is sledding.  As one of the less strenuous winter activities, sledding is a sport in the same way that car racing claims to be: You won't sweat much, but if you don't know what you're doing you will wipe a bitch out.  Also, because of the added speed your weight brings, sledding is one of the few sports in which portliness is an asset.  (Incidentally, NASCAR's sponsors include an "official cheese-filled snack.")  Moreover, the sledding uniform of snow pants and mittens means your body will be virtually indistinguishable from those of your thinner, more agile peers.  With everyone dressed like an asshole, you can steamroll paths in the snow without a thought to self-consciousness.  Look at that!  A third similarity to NASCAR.

So while everyone else’s mom is making them hot Shredded Wheat, let dad sleep off the drunk and toast yourself some Pop-Tarts.  What the hell?  Go ahead and butter them like they were Bagel Bites.  After all, YOU are a winter warrior.

Until the snow tube pops.  That's definitely your fault, tubs.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ways I Might Enjoy This Super Bowl

No thanks!
I like watching football. And I like spectacles even more. It's why I watch the State of the Union and the Oscars and the Super Bowl every year. But what if you hate both teams and also the halftime act in the Super Bowl? I'm pretty sure it's a crime against my Viking ancestors to support the Packers, but I'm also having a hard time rooting for a maybe-rapist. And on top of that, God help us, the Black Eyed Peas play in the middle of it all. I'll probably end up watching it anyway. And will cringe any time anyone scores. It would take a lot for me to enjoy the whole thing. Like, for instance:

The game starts and five interceptions are thrown in a row because players on both teams are in yellow pants and no one can tell who's on their side. So officials suspend the game so the players can all go home and change their pants. After a while the cheerleaders have gone through every routine they know and the footage of referees and coaches looking at their watches is getting repetitive, so Fox just starts showing classic Simpsons episodes in between commercial breaks. Then the players all finally get back to Cowboys Stadium, but it's 9:30 CST already and Fox has to show the new special episode of Glee, so the game goes untelevised and people who care look up the score online in the morning.

Or maybe the Packers win because the Steelers have to play without Roethlisberger after a group of women he's wronged storm the field and run him out of Arlington on a rail. The commercials are also miraculously all misogyny-free.

Or possibly the Black Eyed Peas, on their way to Texas from a series of tour dates in South America, have engine problems with their private jet and have to make an emergency landing on an unexplored island inhabited by a tribe of cannibals. Cannibals who prefer indie folk and who find the Black Eyed Peas' offering of bland, trite hip-hop underwhelming. As a result, the Black Eyed Peas have to miss their appointment to play halftime. Bruce Springsteen and Prince are both asked if they can fill in. They end up both saying yes and are both flown in last minute, and the halftime show ends up being 15 minutes of the Boss sliding crotch-first into cameras onstage while Prince makes shadow puppet penises with his guitar in the background.

Then I would love it. I would love it almost as much as I would have loved rooting for the Jets or Bears against the Steelers or Packers.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Lists: Favorite Desserts

...this might actually just be fruit.
  • Every dessert in the world all mashed onto one platter. Now available at Applebee's.
  • A big old fucking bowl of nothing, I'm on a diet
  • A sundae with so many toppings it's inedible now
  • Hot chocolate powder with just enough water mixed in to make it sludgy so you can eat it out of a cup with a spoon
  • Shredded newspaper clippings (you're a hamster)
  • Turducaken

Monday, January 24, 2011

Run Tweet That

After months of declaring that I would never use Twitter, I broke down recently and signed up. I gotta say, it's kinda fun to be able to launch my incredibly mundane thoughts out into the virtual ether at the click of mouse. At the same time, I find it difficult to keep coming up with tweets worth sharing (not that it really matters). Nobody wants to hear about the fart I just released at work or the funny face my cat just made. But once in a while, I do come up with something worthwhile and less than 140 characters. My goal is to increase the ratio of pithy witticisms to cat fart tweets.

I admit, it was weird that my desktop was a Twitter logo although I refused to use the service.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Earth-friendly fail

I found this website a while ago that told me that there are maybe-toxic chemicals in things like my shampoo and shower cleaner and most everything else I use, eat and own. Since then I've been on sort of a green kick. Did you know you can clean your house with nothing but vinegar? I didn't, until several websites for food companies that peddle vinegar told me so!

Did you also know that you can just straight-up stop using shampoo? And that you can just make your own deodorant and shit? Like out of baking soda? What a world, am I right? So I wondered, since my conditioner is apparently causing "immunotoxicity," can you just make that, too? Internet hippies say yes. Here are the more surprising options. Keep an open mind.

"Mmmm...egg salad."
Option 1
Calls for: 1 sm jar REAL mayo, 1/2 an avocado
Smush these together. Smooth into your hair. Leave it there -- no, seriously, -- for 20 minutes. You're supposed to wear a shower cap, hopefully that would keep you from vomiting continuously for 20 minutes from the smell.

Option 2
That last one wasn't a joke. Neither is this one.
Calls for: 1/2 c REAL mayo. Nothing else.
Use as directed above. No, I'm serious.

Option 3
Calls for: 1 tsp baby oil, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 c water
Mix. Put on your head. Rinse out right away, mercifully. Who are these people that just sit around conditioning their hair for a half hour?

Option 4
Calls for: xanthan gum or guar gum
Right, so fuck this one.

Option 5
Just pour a beer through your hair.

I guess I have guilt about buying products with bad chemicals. But you know what would really make a sick feeling form in the pit of my stomach? If I were wasting beer because I was pouring it out in the shower. We don't waste that shit, not in my house. That's sick. And there it is, I got the self-satisfied feeling of superiority I was hoping to get as a result of all this go-green research. Thanks, internet!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Lists: Reasons to be Excited for the Premiere of MTV's "Skins"

"Does this bow tie make me look cocksure?"
- You are Terry Richardson
- So you can watch the sneak preview of My Life As Liz right after!
- Have to do something to bolster your misanthropy
- Lost track of whether watching MTV is ironic
- Saw those sexy 14-year-olds in the subway ads, hoping to see more!
- If you shoot your TV with a gun you can sue the producers for damages
- Looking to have more insecurity trips about how I wasn't getting any in high school
- Finally, a show that depicts teen life like it really is
I'm a social conservative looking for more stuff to be filled with righteous anger about

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cataholism: The Fluffy Killer

My name is J. Schechner, and I'm a cataholic. I love cats. I especially love my cat. That's right. I'm here, and I love furry felines. Get used to it, traditional standards of masculinity!

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's read this blog before. I talk about cats a lot. One of my favorite blogs is about a kickass cat. I even added this collection to my Netflix queue because I hoped that there would be some cool exclusive clips of funny and cute cats.

But, you know what, there are some cat lovers out there who can even put me to shame. I want to share some of these warning signs. If any of your friends exhibit two or more of these symptoms, please get them help. Except if they're me, because I swear to god, anyone who steps to me and says I love cats too much will get SLAPPED THE FUCK DOWN.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Jersey Shore: An SEO title if ever there was one

No contest; we breed 'em right in Amurca.
Good news, everyone!  My roommate is getting progressively more British.  Within the past week he has made shepherd's pie, used the word "whingeing," and made repeated attempts to find the 'loo only to have me direct him to the bathroom.  While I'm happy about the development, it should be said that Paddington** is not of the lovably sardonic British variety.  Rather than Monty Python, he gets off on plundering your homeland for natural resources before colonizing the shit out of you.  So you can imagine my surprise when he joined me on the couch last night for MTV's third installation of Jersey Shore.

As I was enjoying and he reviling the season premiere, he mentioned that there's a similar show in England. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Again? There oughta be a law.

4 is the loneliest number
Brett Favre is in trouble again! I keep hearing news stories about how teens need to learn to be careful about what they put into text online/on phones, but I think that famous people need that lesson more. But these new texts from Favre, they didn't even sound that lewd. He was implying that he wanted to have a threesome, and that was about it. Weirdly, at first I thought, "Whatever. Is this even harassment?" I guess it is, though. I'd be pretty upset if I was working with someone and they texted me late at night hinting that they wanted to have a threesome with me. Or without me, in fact. I don't need to know that much about people I'm working with.

What makes it seem like not that big a deal is that 1) there was no picture of a penis, so it's already way below the grossness bar the earlier texts set so high and 2) people working together have sex with each other all the time. This is true, I've seen TV shows. It seems possible that someone working with Brett Favre might want to have a threesome with him. Probably not anymore. But like a year ago, maybe. Does he just have to wait for the girl(s) who wants to have the threesome to bring it up? That doesn't seem fair either.

I think there should be some kind of rule for this. A Propositioning Coworkers Rule. Maybe a federal law. Maybe you should be able to solicit people you work with, not in a lewd way, in a polite, respectful way, once a year. You get a shot, annually. How about for both dates and also sex. A man could ask his cute coworker if she'd like to go out to coffee. He has one shot a year. She can say no, please don't ask again, and he has to wait a year. A woman could politely inquire as to whether the guy with a good body at her office would like to join her in a threesome. And he can say yes or he can politely say, "No, thank you, that's flattering, but I'd rather we kept things professional," and that would be that.  Everyone could mark their calendar to remember when they get to take another crack at it or when the person they turned down is going to be able to proposition them again. It would be like remembering your annual review. And if the person who turned the propositioner down changed his or her mind, then s/he can do the propositioning. I just think it would keep things more organized. Then determining sexual harassment is neat and easy. Was he suggestive at you within 12 months of the last time he was suggestive at you? Well that's against the law. Easy peasy. I don't know why this isn't already how things are.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday Lists: Reasons to Be Jealous of Cats

Also, free watermelon
- Voiced by Nathan Lane in Stuart Little
- The fatter you are the more you're loved
- Nobody can understand what they say, so you can talk so much shit
- Lack of opposable thumbs is a convenient excuse not to do anything
- Night vision without cumbersome goggles
- Really high jumping!
- No one's yelling at them to answer every goddamn little email and instant message every goddamn second

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone. I wish I had an actual piece prepared, but I don't. Because I was too busy celebrating the birth of our lord 2011 by watching television on Netflix.

If I was trying to impress you, reader, I would've claimed that it's because of my MASSIVE HANGOVER that I got from drinking champagne with hot models and famous rappers in a 3 day long New Year's party. But I'm not. I spent Saturday and Sunday watching Bones. I like Bones.

Not these bones. Also, I don't know why it's on its side. Just tilt your head.
I also watched Psych, and The Good Guys, and probably something else that I'm forgetting. But it was okay. It was a nice, low-key way to spend the beginning of the year. I think people too often get wrapped up in the idea of 1/1 as a new beginning, and if this fresh start doesn't go perfectly, it's okay to throw up your hands and go "fuck it!" So my solution was to not do anything.

And it worked out for me. I feel perfectly fine about the New Year. It's another 12 months of opportunities for me to take or leave. Sure, I have dreams and goals, but I'm not setting a hard deadline. I'm just going to keep on keeping on, and see where it takes me.

Oh! It was Family Feud! We also watched Family Feud!