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raging out at... shots

I hate Christmas. I genuinely despise nearly everything about this stupid holiday. I don't know where the wonder and magic of December 25th went, but wherever it shipped off to, it certainly bought a one way ticket. The only reason I even still celebrate Christmas instead of converting to some religion where tradional Christmas is banned is, it's a great day to get drunk with my favorite family members. But as tonight ended with me letting loose a shrill war cry in the direction of my brother and his girlfriend banning them from speaking to me again for the remainder of the night, I seem to have lost what was left of my holiday joy.

Today I walked into a home filled with family I haven't seen in over 9 months, since I picked up and moved cross country. I was welcomed by my dearest cousins with whipped cream shots of 43. Right down the hatch they went and thus the drinking commenced. I attempted to slow my pace down with an only slightly pinkish cranberry and vodka, but my cousins were having none of that.

My internationally renowned champion drinker cousin Peg entered the Ring O' Christmas bearing shot glasses that were actually MADE of candy canes. Being that "no" is probably the least used word in my vocabulary, this was just catastrophe waiting to happen.

Now I would like to state for the record that I am NOT, in fact, raging out at the candy cane shot glasses. I am in fact applauding their very existence and brilliant power to make vodka taste much like a liquid Starburst of goodness. And it is not their fault that their variety of flavors caused me to throw back a shot from each glass; that would be my own stupidity. But, come on, look how cute they are. It would take will power of pure wrought iron to resist.

What I am angry at is shots in general. There has never been a time in my 10 years of drinking where I have woken up the next morning and been like, "Well, thank God we did those shots. The night surely would have been entirely doldrum without those Patron shots." Never. I would imagine no one ever has. Shots are without fail always a terrible and ungodly mistake, but again this very basic life truth has yet to stop anyone from partaking in a round or 12.

Shots have been the cause of a good chunk of the pie chart of my life's tribulations. Because of shots, I have endured headaches sent straight from hell. Because of shots, I have kissed boys whose hairlines receded to nearly the back of their necks and ignored boys who may have been Prince Charming. Because of shots, half the pictures of me in existence look like the one above.

Oh, and of course, every year there is the Christmas tradition of the picture of all the cousins to be framed and displayed for the next year. Here is what this year's looks like. I'd like to thank the many, many candy cane shots for ensuring my classiness and low alcohol tolerance be one for the books. [Note: Stars is the drunken pile passed out in the corner.]

Which reminds me... Orion, you and I have a special shot to take that's been years in planning. I have not learned my lesson yet.


grievance: annoying children "actors" ruining my christmas

Why does the romanticization of Christmas necessarily produce the most annoying breed of children possible? I pose this question to you not only because I have no possible explanation. I pose this question to you because I am personally offended.

Annoying Children - Instance 1: I went to see "Wintuk," the new Cirque du Soleil which is posed more as a cohesive story than their traditional stagings. There are feats of acrobatic wonder, of course, but they are streamed together via a young boy whose intense (and absurd) facination with snow has caused me to name him "gay for snow." He spends the entire two hours of the "play" saying "wow, that thing you guys have trained to do for years is pretty cool, but there's something missing!". "Where's the snow?" "I want it to snow!" "Snow, snow, snow!" "I want to make love to a snowman in a snowbank with Bing Crosby singing 'White Christmas,' while snow falls all over my gay-for-snow head!" (Fine. He didn't say that. But he may as well have.)

This kid was so offensive that I actually no longer like snow. When "snow" fell on the audience, I was disgusted. Get over yourself. You're not Mother Nature. It will snow soon enough.

Annoying Children - Instance 2: I watched a movie called "A Grandpa For Christmas" last night (which was followed by a movie called "A Boyfriend For Christmas" - gag). Note: I did not watch this lame ass holiday-movie-for-lonely-chicks.

This total brat was the main character. And later on, she sang and danced... So my only theory to reconcile this awful casting is that they chose her based on THOSE abilities. However, in a holiday movie, it's pretty much a hard-and-fast rule that you've gotta at least empathize with the main character.

I did not empathize with her.

I wanted to light her stupid pigtails on fire and slap her in the face with them.

I would much prefer to actually LIKE the character whose journey I am on and have the producers find someone else' track to which she can lip sync. Nobody sings live anymore anyway.

So, essentially what we have is a kid who is gay for snow and a brat who can sing and dance, both of whom I hate.

Good luck to the children I will someday have. If they act up, they may end up buried in snow with their grandpa.

Merry Christmas.



grievance: friends and hardware

One-Question Survey:
Is it acceptable to have friends who call you at 4:15 A.M., to tell you that they are stuck on a Manhattan rooftop?

See "raging out at... unacceptable locking doors."



raging out at... drunken camera work

Wouldn't this have been a much better video if the Camera Ginger hadn't had 90 drinks of assorted varieties?


raging out at... unacceptable locking doors

So I suppose there comes a time in every blogger's life where you have to give up a little too much personal information in order to properly make your point. And I suppose that time for me has come now.

Being back home in New York for the holidays should be a time for friends, family, warmth, love and giving. For me, it is a time to be trapped on a rooftop in TriBeCa at 4:30 in the morning. I'm slowly developing hypothermia as I write this, and drinking the half a beer that I had to pretty much channel my inner Jet Li to obtain, so please excuse my normally impeccable rationality as it slowly spirals into psychosis. God, I feel like the guy from The Mist slowly writing his way towards his impending doom. If the last of my memoirs is this tale, I suppose it is only appropriate that this be the legacy I leave.

One of my very favorite people in the whole world (although he is losing points by the minute as he taunts me with his full beer and the other one I KNOW he's got in his pocket; Either that or I chose the absolute right person to be trapped with) lives in this beautiful apartment in downtown Manhattan. I decided to bundle up like an Appalachian hunter and trek in to spend the night playing cards and drinking beers with this lovely man. Fast forward to a few hours later, we are both long past a light buzz and someone is wearing a feather boa and someone else has donned both elbow and knee pads. I will leave it up to you to determine which one is my outfit of choice. Both are very good guesses.

So in our not at all inebriated states of mind, we decide that we should go have a few drinks on the roof to enjoy the view. Now packing for the roof was an episode in and of itself. We could (and should) have gone to Tahiti for a week with what we took up here. We made sure we were plentiful on brews, blankets, Tostitos and for reasons I'm still unclear on, a laptop. Someone's a workaholic and if you guess me, well then you haven't been paying attention.

So let's fast forward to a little later. More drinks in the hole and we're downing them cuddled under a fuzzy blanket. It's sort of sweet, actually. But then comes the Stars catastrophe. Being that my quitting smoking went swimmingly, I panic when my lighter falls over the edge of the roof (even more so than I panicked when a hoodie I lived in for a while went down). I get up and walk over to the stairwell where my purse had dumped over on our way up, praying some matches went renegade and were laying abandoned on a stair somewhere. No luck, of course. On my way back up, I successfully drop my cigarettes behind me and go to pick them up without moving my legs. Why? I don't know. I truly wish I did but I do not and am sure I shall regret it for a long time to come. On my super graceful return, the door slams shut and locks on its own by virtue of nothing I've done wrong whatsoever. (Popular retelling of this tale will tell you that I kicked the door shut then slammed against it and laughed uncontrollably for 10 minutes, but this is why I'm clearing it up now.)

So after 20 MORE minutes, the doormen arrive to rescue my drunken companion and me. But now the door is jammed. So I sit here writing my blog, nursing what may be my last beer ever and I'm still laughing through my rage.

Why do the doors have to lock from the outside? We are a million damn flights up. If someone's spidey skills have enabled them to make it on top of this building, let them on in, I say. They earned it. And to be perfectly frank, I'm sure If they can scale 26-story Manhattan buildings to land on the rooftop, I have no doubt in their skills to pick a lock to get into the building. Have you ever known a criminal to concoct a lever and pulley system to soar through the air and perform professional level acrobatics to land unharmed upon a rooftop to then look at a door and be like, "Oh crap, it's locked. F this." Yeah, neither have I.

Please use the comments section to send prayers for my blue extremities and to share tales of your own follies with things that lock when they aren't supposed to. Fingers crossed that someone has a chastity belt story.



shit that sucks - social networking overload

So I was an early adopter of Friendster, and I was obsessed with it. Then I transitioned to MySpace. Loved that, but it was totally crushed by Facebook, where everyone on the site is actually real, and you're not getting spammed by wannabe porn stars and getting comments about $50 Macy's cards. I am also a member of Buzznet, Twitter, VIRB, iLike, and, mostly just to see what all the hype is about. And I'm glad all of that all of those millions of social networking sites exist, I guess. I mean they do no harm and if you want to join them and maintain 75 profiles and keep updating your status on each one, and uploading photos to all of them, and keep adding and inviting the same friends to them, more power to you.

My issue is this - every site needn't have a social networking component. Today Google announced the integration of their new social networking platform into their web apps, and Netflix asks me to import friends from my e-mail address to see their recommendations, and a=Amazon wants me to upload a picture. Why? This doesn't make my experience better. It just sucks.

-orion's belt buckle

raging out at... american driving laws

Why can I not drive a tank along the streets of Los Angeles, but everyone can drive their ridiculous SUVs which are just as much a death trap anyway? I would bet good money half the drivers I speed past on the daily have at least medium, if not heavy, artillery in their cars anyway. I would take an oath in front of good Governor Schwarzenegger to never load the guns and to plow over only people who really deserved it if he would just let me drive my tank.

Tanks are perfectly allowable in the UK. See you bastards in Europe.

Here is the tank I would like (in case you have me as your Secret Santa this year... no more problems figuring out what to buy!):
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


raging out at... my smart bank

For the last several years, every single time I deposit a check, I tack an extra zero onto the end hoping one day someone will fall for it. It has yet to happen and now I think they might be on to me. I plan on continuing this idiot tactic anyway.


shit that sucks - mainstream indie films

Zach Braff invented the Shins, and possibly also the mainstream indie flick. This is why I hate Zach Braff - that and the fact that Scrubs isn't really funny, and he hasn't really done anything else. Ever.

I just got home from seeing Juno; you may know it as the "sleeper hit of the season." Everyone's talking about how edgy it is - meanwhile I felt like I was watching a made-for-Lifetime movie on a big screen. Just because she's sixteen and pregnant doesn't mean that it's gonna be controversial, and just because she's like a live action version of Daria Morgendorfer doesn't mean it's gonna be edgy - see also Little Miss Sunshine.

But what pissed me off more was how everyone in the theater felt uber-cool going to see this art house film, which starred Jennifer Garner. The multiplex in Union Square is not the Angelica, and if you are seeing a movie there, realize that you're not in on some awesome secret.

Lastly - the soundtrack. Just because you have an indie rock soundtrack doesn't mean you have a real indie gem. Sonic Youth, the Kinks and Cat Power weren't just uncovered by your music supervisor. Face it - you just want chicks in legwarmers who just got off work at American Apparel to talk about how brilliant the soundtrack was. Face it - it wasn't.

Glad I got that off my chest. Feel free to use the comments section to list other overrated mainstream indie films.

-orion's belt buckle


grievance: attempts at clever plays on words

There is a store on 14th and 8th. A shoe store. It is called "Shoegasm."

Shoe doesn't sound like "or."

If it did, "Shoegasm" would be clever.

Dane Cook called his comedy tour "Tourgasm." Not "Showgasm." Because that's not funny. Nor is it clever.

Apparently the genius minds behind this shoe store are hanging out with Geoffrey Chaucer in 14th Century London...

"Rede in his almageste, and take it there.
Dame, I wolde praye yow, if youre wyl it were,
"(The Wife of Bath's Prologue [the meaning of which I have NO idea])

... because while they seem to think "shoe" rhymes with "or," Mr. Chaucer has rhymed "there" and "were." Thank you Great Vowel Shift. (1200 to 1600 A.D. must have been a WILD time for miscommunication.)

The "ooh" (like "moon") sound in Modern English sounds very much like how it would have in Middle English. The "oh" sound in "orgasm," however, is traced back to having sounded like "ehw" (as in "new"). I find it senseless to use IPA here; this blog is already technical and gratuitously erudite enough. Thus "shoe" and "or" would have rhymed as well as "there" and "were" did.

That said, Shoegasm owners: if you were alluding (VERY backhandedly) to pre-Great Vowel Shift pronunciations of English, I laud you. I will begin buying "shores" at "Shore"-gasm immediately.

What's my point? If you're trying to be clever, appropriating 14th Century pronunciation for the name of your West Village shoe store ain't gonna fly.

Sub-point: I'm going to name my shoe store (that I now have to open solely for the purpose of PROPERLY effectuating cleverness) "Chaucer." His last name comes from the French word "chaussier." What does it mean?




raging out at... people who take away messages seriously

Obviously with the infiltration of IMs, texts, and e-mails in our daily lives, communication has gotten a little muddled and there are all new sorts of life etiquette rules to be learned. I've gotten into more all-out wars with people I love (read: "the idiot men I date") than I can even recount because of someone taking the cyber-written word the wrong way. But today I learned that cyberspace has figured out a new way to make my already handicapped relationships eligible for the Special Dating Olympics... the away message.

I've been laid up feeling pretty sick the last week or so (and don't worry, there's a rage on my unnecessary need to have an appendix in my body coming) and I've had away messages up more than usual as I've been more unavailable than my norm. So in putting these things up, 9 times out of 10, they're bitching about something or in direct correlation to something a friend and I had recently been laughing about. Now if I were to write "Doing crossword puzzles with Dick Cheney" as my current status, a normal logical person could probably ascertain that I am not, in fact, engaging in word games with our jackoff Vice President. However, if you live in Hollywood and have a slight history of the occasional non nun-like behavior, well then let the rage and accusations fly.

So I'd like to clear up a few things.
1) Almost backing over Shia LeBeouf with my car and having to have him guide me out of a parking spot so he can remove himself from the deathtrap I nearly put him in does NOT mean he was inside me at any point during the day. He did not offer his services. I would have accepted.
2) If you know me well enough to be obsessively checking my away messages, you should know my behavior well enough to know when I'm being tongue-in-cheek.
3) Again knowing me that well, you should know (and by you, I'd like that to again read: "the idiot men I date") that sometimes I write these things to make you angry. It isn't rational or acceptable but this is what I do.

So the point here is this: don't take what I say to be serious. It most likely isn't. And please know if ever I do have Shia inside me, I will take out a full page in the New York Times to announce it. News of that nature is worthy of something more grand than my away message.


grievance: converse without laces

A couple years ago Converse started making All Stars that look exactly like their originals, but without laces. From what I understand (which is only a conjecture, as I have never owned such atrocities) the tongues of the sneakers are in some way adhered to the rest of the shoe, creating a faux-slipper situation.

I'm cool with it if you want to go out of your way to wear shoes that slip on. I really am. You're a lazy fuck. But I am.

But then wear shoes that actually are intended to slip on. Don't wear shoes that USED to need to be tied that have been SEWN or GLUED (again, just a conjecture) together. These shoes still retain the SAME EXACT structure of their lace-conscious counterparts. I remember learning in AP Biology about homologous structures: some structure in a living thing that came from the same ancestor as another; one uses the structure for something (a tail, or some shit) and the other doesn't use it for shit but still has the stupid thing. What if we started sewing fake tails onto animals that never had them? That's the closest comparison I can think of that best exemplifies this insanity. (Great analogy, right? Except... what the fuck was a tail used for in the first place? Viz. "The author's reasoning is flawed in that she... A. fails to acknowledge that a tail may have been useless in the first place. [Whoops. I already wrote a blog about the LSATs. Shucks.])

Okay. So we've (and by "we" I, of course, mean "I") come to the conclusion that the lace-holes are not necessary. Now to address my other issue: Converse are already slip-ons. I've had the same pair of Cons since I was 14 and haven't untied them once. Thus, the laces are not necessarily an OBSTACLE to slipping the shoes on and off.

1. If you are going to remove laces from a shoe's design, remove the lace-holes as well. Velcro anybody?
2. If you are going to design a shoe that is more conducive to ease of removal than the original shoe, make sure the original shoe's design isn't INHERENTLY slip-off-able.
3. Don't sew and/or glue tails to animals.
4. Don't reference AP Biology in a blog about sneakers.
5. This shoe is so fucking ugly I could cry.



grievance: the lsats

"The reasoning above most closely conforms to which of the following principles?"
"Which one of the following most accurately expresses the conclusion of the dietitian's argument?"
"If Malpighi's delivery is first and Leacock's delivery is third, then which of the following must be true?"
"The phrase 'scholarly monographs that sap the vitality of history' in passage A (lines 6-7) plays a role in that passage's overall argument that is most analogous to the role played in passage B by which of the following phrases?"

Read that garbage for 2 hours and 55 minutes straight. And then write an ESSAY. You've just taken the LSAT.

How did our society allow us to get to the point where we, as a whole, are administering, and taking, this test?

The Law School Admission Test is just that. "Admission" being the key word. It doesn't purport to measure "aptitude" as the SAT does. Its pursuit is that of admitting people based on some criterion decided by the LSAC. And apparently that criterion includes "logic games."


I'm sorry. Is the LSAT a test you take to go to school to become a detective? Didn't know that.

After taking my test, I had a conversation with a gentleman who had also taken it. In discussing logic games, he argued against my claim ("logic games blow and I want to punch them in the eye") by saying that he honestly thought that it made sense for that to be something that is tested for aspiring attorneys. His premise for this argument was that "you've gotta be able to think on your feet in court if someone brings up some shit you've never heard before... you gotta be like 'oh if M can't be HERE, L must be here.'" This theory is crap. You can't be surprised by the opposing side in court with surprise evidence. You can't withhold shit and try to surprise your adversary in court. So that theory is complete junk.

However, that is the most valid explanation I've heard. My issue is the fact that the LSATs shouldn't be testing stuff for which you need to learn a technique to be successful. My LSAT tutor told me to "stop fucking thinking" about a hundred times. Apparently I'm supposed to turn into a machine for those 2 hours and 55 minutes and throw rationale out the window. So what is this test really even testing? Your ability to make yourself completely and utterly brain dead? If that's the case, I should have taken an LSAT before I took my LSAT. Nobody should be asked to concentrate on an excerpt about strawberry mites after 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Fuck strawberry mites. They're a bunch of assholes and I don't want to know about them.

Yes. I did study for the SATs as well. But differently. I learned vocabulary words. And now I have a bigger vocabulary. And that helped me in college. Is law school going to be about figuring out how many possible line-ups there are for clowns exiting a clown car based on a specific set of rules that some random person made up? If so, COUNT ME IN! (That was sarcastic. But only because clowns scare me.)

This test makes me angry about the law.


Comment worth posting from my friend Steve who is an attorney: "I can't tell you how often I'm standing in Court, doing oral argument on a substantive motion and have to say:'Your Honor, with the Court's indulgence, I'd like to draw a diagram, illustrating how Mr. Green, Mr. Red, Mr. Blue and Mr. Yellow typically line up when taking turns fishing in a canoe with only three seats.'" (He, too, is being sarcastic. But only because he hates canoes.)


grievance: abuse of the english language part deux (english 102)

I've gotten tons of responses about my "English 101" blog. However, most were simply of amusement. The rules I outlined then are still repeatedly offended by people who have read it. With that said... I don't care. You're all getting a D and barely passing. So now onto English 102....

1. This rule is near and dear to my heart and offending it makes me so wildly and insanely angry that you really should heed the warning. In a written, yet informal conversation, à la AOL Instant Messenger or e-mail, actually READ the words that your fellow interlocutor has written. I've made it absurdly clear (in other ways other than this series of blogs, incidentally) that while I may make typos, I pay a great deal of attention to spelling things correctly and formulating grammatical functions as they are intended to be formed. So, instead of CORRECTING people when they offend these rules, I simply say it or write it back to them, correctly. And yet, people ignore what I've said or written and continue to say or write what they please. I am SO personally offended by this irreverence for language that I have named this my CARDINAL SIN. Especially when the word in question is the name of a friend of me (note rule 8) or my name. The first time someone speaks to me and calls me "Jen," I'm okay with that. When I say "Jenn" back to him or her regarding myself, and then am then called "Jen" again, I'm liable to break the darling's face. Just PAY ATTENTION.

2. While "better than me" can be used correctly, it's seldom the case. Used correctly: "he hit her harder than me," as in "he hit her harder than he hit me." But this goes back, in some ways to the "who"/"whom" bit with using the correct cases of words: "she's smarter than me" is COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE. Constructed correctly: "She's smarter than I." I do understand that this sounds austerely stuffy. An easy way around it? "She's smarter than I am." And that flushing out tells you EXACTLY why it ain't "me": "she's smarter than me is"? The holy gods of grammar frown upon you, young word-abuser.

3. "A whole nother." Really? REALLLLYYYYY? The reason there is an "n" between "a" and "other" when contracting to "another" is because "a other" sounds like garbage. Know what else sounds like garbage? Your face. No. I kid. "Nother" sounds like damned garbage. The "l" at the end of "whole" functions as the "n" does. It's just unnecessary and... (let's hear it, everybody, for my favorite word) gratuitous.

4. Stop using "that" because you're too lazy to put together a construction like "which" (I know, real hard that one) or "who." You sound like a five year old.

5. Commas ALWAYS go inside quotation marks. As do periods. It doesn't make sense. But you HAVE to do it that way. Tough shit.

6. "Quote" is not a noun. It's a verb. "Quotation" is its noun form. "I was reading some of her quotes"? That sentence makes me want to hurl. On your face. Which, according to rule number three, also sounds like garbage. Yes I just used a quotation of my own.

7. "CD's from the 1980's." = my worst nightmare. Apostrophes never ever ever ever ever denote pluralization. They have two jobs: contractions (like "it's") and possession ("Mary's" ). What the holy hell made people start doing this? I'm actually curious as to what spawned this sheer idiocy.

8. "S"s (not "S's") and apostrophes have a complicated relationship. For that matter, possession in English is a little complicated. So allow me to indulge myself in a full explanation of some things you may not know about this strange system:
Rule 1: When making something possessive that ends in an "s," you have two choices. You can either add an apostrophe AND an "s," like so: "Marcus's." Or you can simply add an apostrophe: "Marcus'." IMPORTANT NOTE: if you decide to use "Marcus's," you must, when speaking, say "Marcus-iz." If you decide to go with "Marcus'," you must simply say "Marcus." No "iz." Either is totally acceptable as long as you maintain some kind of consistency between the written word and spoken.
Rule 2: The add-an-apostrophe-but-no-"s" rule also applies to words or names that end in "s"-sounds, such "Maurice," or "Liz," or even "instance," becoming "Maurice'," "Liz'," and "instance'." Or you are welcome to put those "s"s in if you'd like and get "Maurice's," "Liz's," and "instance's" (which is DEFINITELY different than (not "then") "instances." However, you must maintain the way you speak these words based on rule 1.
Rule 3: Making nouns that end in "s" plural: ALWAYS add an "es." As simple as that. The family of Mr. Jones is "the Joneses." If you want to make THAT plural, as in, belonging to the Jones family, you can go with "the Joneses's," or the "Joneses'." And this is why I ALWAYS go with NOT adding "s"s after apostrophes. "Joneses's" must be pronounced "Jones-iz-iz." WHAT! No, no, no... (just like Destiny's Child said).
Rule 4: Alternate ways to manifest possession: the "of _____" construction. An easy way to avoid this "Joneses's"/"Joneses'" nightmare is to simply say "of the Joneses." However it is not "of the Joneses's" or "of the Joneses'." That is just silly. You're essentially doing possession TWICE. So if THAT's the rule, why would you say "a friend of mine"? "A friend of me" or "a friend of myself" is what should be there instead. Same goes for "a friend of Katie." N.B. I understand that saying "a friend of myself" sounds like a vouchsafeing tactic, so I don't actually expect anyone to SAY that in informal talk. But if you're writing, you'd better watch it, bitches.

9. "He"/"she"/"they" and "his"/"her"/"their" are making me want to throw things. Let's get this straight for the last damned time: if you are talking about a single human being, "he or she" CANNOT be referred to as "they." He or she must be referred to as "he or she" or "he" or "she." "They" is used to describe a collective group. "People are stupid. They don't know how to speak proper English." (Low blow, I know.) "There is a person reading this blog who is an idiot. He or she does not know how to speak proper English." 'Nuff said.

Can someone, just ONE person, who reads this at least pretend to try?


raging out at... people who may or may not be dead

It can't be explained as to why, but nothing (and by nothing, I mean most things) enrages me more than not knowing if someone is dead or not. I hate that I have to sit there, wasted at a bar, and google things such as "Betty White dead." Nearly all of my drunken googles are for either song lyrics or finding out if someone is, in fact, dead.

And to be honest, I am mostly pissed at myself for this one. Someone will pass a remark about someone such as Abe Vigoda and then someone else will ALWAYS chime in with, "Aren't they dead?" I immediately become devastated and start in on the "Dead Inquisition." As my slow Sidekick loads up "Abe Vigoda dead," I attack the party who felt Abe was dead. "When did he die? Are you sure? What happened? How come I think I saw him in that new Macy's commercial? Oh, that was Usher. Whatever. I don't think he's dead. You're wrong. You're dead. Why would you say a thing like that about Abe Vigoda if you weren't sure??"

Now if the allegedly dead celebrity meant that much to me that I would attack a friend, shouldn't I have been up on whether or not they were dead in the first place? And why in the hell does everyone think everyone is dead anyway? 9 times out of 10, the person in question isn't dead.

Don't tell me someone's dead and crush my spirit unless you are sure.


shit that sucks - vending machines

An incorrect haiku.

I'm really thirsty.
I have no cash in my wallet.
I'm a debit card kind of guy.
I'm really thirsty.
There's a vending machine outside.
Why don't you take debit cards?
Why vending machine?

-orion's belt buckle

raging out at... abraham lincoln

I don't care. I hate Abraham Lincoln. I hate him with every fiber of my being.

Now, maybe my sheer disdain for Old Abe isn't necessarily his fault. It might be more fair to say I hate the pedestal people have put him on with total disregard for the fact that he was an opportunistic bastard with a stupid beard. To prove my point, I would like to provide you with some basic Facts de Lincoln which I will then irrationally rebut.

Fact 1: Abraham Lincoln had a massive ridiculous beard. Beards were a sign of status and are regarded even today as a symbol of stature. (Is this true? I made it up.) So Abe gallantly wandered around stroking his beard to show people that he, in fact, was a public figure to be respected.
Rebuttal 1: Abe had Marfan syndrome.
Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that manifests itself in a typically tall stature and disproportionate limbs and other really creepy abnormalities. Abe had crooked creepy Shannen Doherty face and grew a massive beard to hide it. He could have truly been a man of the people, let his real face show, and given hope to others who were affected. But did Abe do that? Nope. There's a role model.

Fact 2: Abraham Lincoln was largely self-educated and spent most of his time reading to better himself.
Rebuttal 2: Neighbors of Abraham's reported the belief that Lazy Abe spent most of his time reading to avoid doing any manual labor whatsoever. He was 700 feet tall and strong but was such a slothful bitch that he wanted no part of helping around whatever farm or plantation or wherever the hell he lived.

Fact 3: Abraham Lincoln cheated at a duel. There's no need to even rebut this one. The man CHEATED at a duel. Aren't duels supposed to be for defending honor and all that? You kind of lose the point of the combat when you fricking cheat. Abe was challenged to a duel by James Shields pretty much for anonymously talking shit. Abe was such a man that he felt the need to throw around his smacktalk secretly. Yeah, that's who I want running my country. You want to talk shit, do it up. Don't be a little ass-bearded bitch and do it anonymously. So because Abe was challenged by Shields, Abe was permitted to select the weapon of choice. Abe, being a sneaky little hoe's beast, decided they should both wield the largest swords imaginable. He was a giant ogre with disproportionately long limbs!! That sort of weapon could only create a fair fight between Abe and Andre the Giant. Uncool, Abe.

Fact 4: Abraham Lincoln was notoriously anti-war because of "unnecessary bloodshed."
Rebuttal 3 (yes, I screwed up my numbering): Abe had zero combat experience. ZERO. The commander in chief's only experience with battle was when they let him help bury bodies from battles already fought. Great, the head of all military probably couldn't shoot a gun or strategize or even wrap a wound like Florence Nightingale. But if you wanted a creepy middle of the night body bury, you could totally hit Abe up.

Fact 5: Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves because of his great love for justice for all humankind.
Rebuttal 4: If you don't know that entire platform and declaration was done for financial reasons and not reasons of actually giving a shit about people as a whole, I don't care to explain it. Look it up.

Fact 6: According to recent theories by historians, Abraham Lincoln may have been a homosexual.
Rebuttal 5: Go back to rebuttal 1. Be proud of who you are and don't hide behind the beard like Tom Cruise. Hmm, now I am wondering if that is actually wear the term beard comes from. I may have just solved a great mystery.

Fact 7: Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. See this quote from John Diggins. "Lincoln presented Americans a theory of history that offers a profound contribution to the theory and destiny of republicanism itself."
Rebuttal 6: Thanks for that.

So in summation...
I hate Abe. I hate his laziness and inqualification to run the military. I hate his false politics and the facade behind which he lived. But mostly, I really hate his beard.


shit that sucks - peacocks

Everyone's favorite network with the xylophone scaled sonic branding ending their deal with iTunes to sell on and their own proprietary website.

First of all - NBC has the best original programming with the exception of F/X and HBO. Chuck, The Office, 30 Rock, and Las Vegas are some of the most brilliant shows on the air today. But, like everyone else in the modern world, I stopped being down with appointment television with the advent of TiVo (okay really just generic Time Warner DVR). Then, the iTunes Music Store added television series and I could put them on my iPod and plug that into my TV and watch whatever I wanted even if I'd forgotten to TiVo (read: DVR) it.

This is how I discover most shows. I'm a pop culture addict - it's what I do.

Long story short, NBC pulled the plug on iTunes because it wanted more money. What they don't understand is that TV shows have no value really. DVDs of TV shows are purchased because they are physical products. Consumers are purchasing the box to place on a shelf because it is representative of their tastes. When people put The Office DVD on their shelf they are doing it so when they have guests they can say "oh, you like The Office?" Or else you watch the episodes once through, and put the box back on aforementioned shelf. In fact, if you notice most people lose at least one of the DVDs that come in TV show boxed sets. Go open your friends Lost Season 2 - tell me if Disc 3 is in there or if it's sitting under the couch scratched up like a cat toy.

So why not be happy at making 1.99 for a TV show that you were otherwise making nothing for. Advertisers aren't going anywhere yet. Use iTunes as a promotion - in fact it is credited with launching The Office into the mainstream. Let clips sit up on YouTube, you can't really monitize 30 second clips (don't get me started on ringtones). Let fans be fans and share their enthusiasm of your product.

So now there's a writers' strike, so I'm preparing for new TV to disappear to make room for America's Best Choir (yes - there is a real series coming with that premise this January). So in celebration of my new iPod Touch I bought Season 1 of Heroes, a show I'd always wanted to start watching. So now I'm hooked on that, and almost through with it (even though new episodes of programming are still airing and I'd meant not to start watching Heroes until the strike was affecting my life - I have no self control). So, I want to get episodes from Season 2 - but they're not on iTunes. They are available only on's Unbox service - which of course isn't compatible with a Mac and can only be viewed on a PC in Window's Media format (can't be played on the iPod) - or it can be viewed on, another PC only website which isn't even open to the public - it's in invite only beta.

Thanks NBC. Way to get viewers to your shows.

Shit sucks.

-orion's belt buckle


grievance: washing new york city streets

Who thought it was honestly necessary to start washing New York City streets? Please tell me I am not the only one who has pondered this question or, at least now that I'm bringing it up, can get on board with my confusions, because this is totally whack.

Okay, yes, I live in a REALLY nice area of the city whose community issues I've become pretty well versed in and it's become offensively obvious to me that the people who live here are so affluent that they have nothing to complain about but absurdities. So, it's certainly predictable that there would be maintenance men of my building and those around me washing down the streets in front of the buildings on a daily basis... but that doesn't detract from the sheer silliness of it.

I DO understand the desire to have the area in which you live be nice and attractive, but THESE ARE STREETS. Why are apartment OWNERS paying thousands of dollars in maintenance a month to pay for people to clean the surrounding areas, i.e. the EARTH, near which the buildings in which they live are situated?? This is my big problem: yes, sidewalks are essentially "man-made," HOWEVER they are still OUTSIDE, and a part of the earth, versus the marble floor of my building's hotel-like lobby, which I assure you, I believe needs to be cleaned. But like, ummm... UMMMMMM HELLOOOOOO, this is the earth. It has its own built-in cleaning mechanism, namely the RAIN.

Furthermore, I find this practice completely futile... no matter how much you hose down the CONCRETE STREETS, they're still going to be disgusting. And what is this trying to effectuate? BECAUSE it is concrete, it looks the exact same when it's "clean" and when it's "dirty." So are the boards of buildings deciding to do this so that pedestrians can SIT on the street? Or lie down?

With all of that said, I'm not big into getting into people's business unless it directly effects me... and this is how it DOES effect me: in keeping with the theme of my blog about wearing sandals and shorts in the rain, I DO NOT WANT THE BOTTOMS OF MY PANTS AND/OR SHOES TO GET WET. If it's raining, fine, I have to deal with that and either wear appropriate clothing or deal with the decision I've made if it HAPPENS to rain. But why am I forced to look like a COMPLETE ASSHOLE, holding my pants up from the thigh as I walk over certain patches of New York City streets?!?!?!?! So effing stupid.

Dissatisfied, Water-Hating New Yorker



grievance: clubs

Clubs. Explain the allure here.

I went to a going-away party tonight for a gentleman with whom I went to high school... so naturally, after some time, I felt the need to leave.

"Why?"... one might ask. Because my friends wanted to go Stereo (whatever the fuck that is) and pretend to be cool inside a room with no windows, where you have two options: to sit around and scream over Sean Kingston (or whoever the fuck... Shauna mentioned him today to me, so he must be the new hotness when it comes to hip-hop and whatever it is the kids are listening to these days) or to try to get fucked by some random person who's already at aforementioned fenentre-less room.

I was considering going to stupid Stereo, after being promised free drinks, provided my buddy agreed to kick any dude's ass who touched my even remotely inappropriately, to which he agreed, really only because it was a friend's last night in New York... but I STILL could not bring myself to do it. We were at a rooftop bar/restaurant, with moderate, yet lively, volume and we were leaving to... wait, why were we leaving? I have no freakin' idea. The kid who was leaving New York didn't even want to go.

I used to go to clubs. When I was 16 and thought I was THE SHIT for being able to get into places people wanted to be in. But I'm sorry... I can't subscribe to the ideology of going to a place because it's hard to get into... I don't think it's cool in any way. But apparently PEOPLE do.

Maybe it's 'cause I don't like to dance.

But "dancing" apparently means getting drunk and jumping on velour couches screaming "oh my god, I love you so much!!!" while you try to get fucked by the next douchebag over wearing a pink polo shirt with his fuckin' collar popped and your mess of a friend ends up with a cocaine-induced bloody nose. Ok then.

Am I crazy for not understanding this phenomenon? I just want to TALK to my friends... is that a ludicrous request?



grievance: guys in bars

If you've spoken to me recently, you've probably already heard my rant about this, but I think it ought to be addressed.

When did bar etiquette completely go out the window?

A couple of weeks ago, I was bartending, and two nights in a row something similar happened in which the end result was the same. I was told I was ugly.

Okay. Night number one... old mess of a guy left over from happy hour. Sober enough to ask me for a drink and talk my ear off. Then he went downstairs for a party and one of my fellow bartenders, I can only assume, didn't realize how drunk he was and got him absolutely hammered. He then proceeded to try to hit on me for several hours. He was unsuccessful. Thus, he felt it was appropriate to become hostile and angry and... I guess, try to use reverse psychology on me because I was unreceptive to his luscious lips and raw sex appeal. And by "reverse psychology," I mean give me the finger, tell me to fuck off, and tell me I was "ugly, anyway."

Okay. So this was an old pathetic dude. But the next night, I was working downstairs and a bunch of kids that worked at Apple were out to see their (god awful) friend with an acoustic guitar play bad songs. They were young and semi-attractive and sweet boys. It was one's birthday at 12, so they all got pretty drunk, but it was also the day before the iPhone launch, so they all had to cut out pretty early. So after having PLEASANT conversation with me all evening, he decided to wait for me upstairs while I finished up downstairs. I had no idea. So I went upstairs after about an hour of sitting in the office with one of my bosses, making fun of bands on MySpace. And he was waiting for me... alone. He then asked me to stay and have a drink and I was too tired and didn't feel like dealing with a drunk douche. So when I tried to leave, he asked me if he could ask me "a small favor." The favor was to STAY AT MY APARTMENT because he lived in Brooklyn. When I gave him an answer he didn't like, he followed us down the street yelling like a lunatic about how I'm a "cunt" and I'm "ugly, anyway."

What gives? I understand the whole drunken psychology behind "I hit on a girl and she rejected me so I'm going to be a dick,"...... I guess. But like, calling girls "ugly"? What are you hoping to elicit with that? All of a sudden I'm going to change my mind about sleeping with you? Or you're protecting your "pride" in front of... nobody?

Moral of the story: don't call random people ugly when they won't sleep with you.

Better rule of thumb: don't hit on bartenders. We don't want to hang out with you. And by deductive reasoning, you can pretty much figure that we don't want you inside us. Calling us "ugly" will NOT change that.

Thank you.



shit that sucks - journey

Dear Music Supervisor for The Closer,

As a music fan I have embraced the fact that the studios behind TV's one hour dramas have decided to go green and reduce the number of pages in episode scripts by eliminating dialogue from the last five minutes of a show and replacing them with a montage. Often the music chosen is quite good and a few artists are even crediting these license opportunities with jump starting their careers, and for that, I applaud your work. But really, have new artists stopped sending you demos, or were you so inspired by the series finale of the Sopranos that you decided you just HAD to close your show with "Don't Stop Believing" as well?

I refuse to believe that an equal emotional response couldn't have been triggered from the use of a piece of music that wasn't just chosen as the soundtrack to what may just be one of the most controversial moments in the history of television.


-orion's belt buckle


grievance: iphones

This is my one and only complaint regarding iPhones:

I really, really, really, really, really, really want one.




grievance: overpopularization of "don't stop believin'" et alii

Okay... this is in some ways a dual blog wherein I purport to microcosmically use "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey to exemplify a larger problem. But the particular problem with what will be referred to as "DSB" hereupon is very real and I am VERY serious about it.

No. I don't watch The Sopranos and if one more person asks me, I will, in the words of "stars" "wipe [him or her] off the face of the earth." I'm sure it's a great show... blah blah blah. But come on. Articles in newspapers about the HORROR of the season finale? There are plenty of Washington scandals that could be filling that space. Or matters of war... oh that silly war. Clearly Whoever Soprano is more important.

As much as that annoyed me, it is the slowly trickling aftermath creeping into bars that is really getting under my skin. Apparently EVERYONE is obsessed with Journey now? Journey is so good that I love it with all of my body, including my pee pee (see Real Ultimate Power) and it makes me super angry that now that it's been used in this LIFE-ALTERING season finale of an HBO show, everyone thinks they're the shit.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not one of those elitist music-listeners that gets angry when a band she loves becomes super popular and then accuses them of "selling out, dude, that's so whack," especially in this case because Journey is clearly not an underground band. My problem is that everyone makes fun of me for liking cheesy music. And Journey is the cheesiest of all. And now apparently cheesy is in vogue.

Such crap.

This brings me to the "cosmic" part of the microcosm... an extrapolation of people's distaste for the music I like. What the hell is wrong with liking music that sounds good? "Ugh... I hate pop." What is that? It's POPULAR for a reason. Good songs are good songs. It's not like they become less good when more people like them. Before that music became "pop" it was simply LIKED by its listeners. Par example, Maroon 5. Well, maybe not the best example because I think they pretty much blow now... but still. Way back in.. er... 2003... when they were OPENING for local Long Island bands, playing to NO ONE at the Vanderbilt, they were viewed as edgy and funky and so DIFFERENT. I was proud to say I liked Maroon 5, and try to introduce everyone I knew to them because it was quality music... well, Songs About Jane was a quality record. And now they have no credibility because they're super popular. I don't even want my hoodie back, Frankie, but thanks for being so on top of that. Although the Used DVD would be nice. All of my friends who loved rock music were NUTSO about Maroon 5. Now, the idea of waxing optimistic about them is impossible because no one would ever take me seriously. But the fact remains...THEY ARE GOOD. What does that have to do with anything else?

My major problem isn't with the trend toward hating popular music. It's with people secretly liking popular music and pretending they don't. This is why I defend my music taste viciously... because it's constantly being assaulted by people who project themselves as interested in strange chord progressions and time signatures. But how can you hate on pop and then claim you love the Beatles? Really. Seriously. REALLY.

I was at work the other night working with the bands and there were these three hardcore bands. Screaming. No melody. Just screaming. I don't get it. That doesn't sound GOOD. It just doesn't!!! Vocal melody (and harmony!!) is an INTEGRAL part of a song. Someone explain the allure behind that kind of music, please.

Anyway, my point is essentially that music is supposed to be pleasing to the ears! Why do people pretend they don't like pleasant things?

Also, stop playing DSB in bars. Play Journey. But not that. At least until some other show uses Livin' On A Prayer for its season finale. Oh god. I'll just kill myself if it becomes cool to like that song.



grievance: people "hating" country music

While watching a self-created Scrubs marathon, drinking very spicy Virgin Mar... Marys ? Maries ? Whatever... horseradish is the shit... I decided it was necessary to address this general problem with people's self-proclaimed music tastes.

Why, in response to the question "what kind of music do you like?", do most people respond "everything but country"? Well, I'm assuming an inverse reaction from southerners, but as far as people with whom I come into contact, country has a bad reputation and my purpose here is to debunk the myth that country music equals bad music.

Okay. As I understand it, there are three types of people, with two of the three very-closely related in an important way. The first (and silly) group is people who are passive music listeners. These people are the most inclined to ONLY listen to rap, and go to clubs to dance around. I have no problem with people connecting with music with their bodies (like PROFESSIONAL DANCE) but bumping up against people you find mildly attractive in the dark while Lil' Jon screams "yeah" is not connecting with music. It's connecting with sluttiness and... well, grossness.

The second and third groups are made from people who actively listen to music. Within this group there are people who hook onto lyrics as their connection to the music (which one would think the group I fall into as I'm obsessed with words, but is not the case) and the smaller group who either barely pay attention to lyrics, or see lyrics as secondary to the music and are interested in the melodic and rhythmic composition of songs. To me, it's only natural for this second category to be my home, as I grew up listening to and playing classical music, which either has words in German or Italian or none at all, but I can understand how "normal" people would connect more with the lyrics. And that is why a lot of people claim that some of the music I listen to is "bad." And I'm OK with that... because it's really not. Hanson rules.

Now with that said, I return to my proposal of country music NOT sucking and being angry that people drag it through the mud. Well, the people in the first group can just go to hell, because their taste in music has no real meaning to it. So go ahead. Keep "hating" country because you can't pick up chicks or dudes with it playing in the background.

But for the people in the two groups... I can't get behind this irrational hatred for ALL country music. Yes. I will admit there is some silly, silly, silly stuff out there about beating up your wife, driving your pick-up truck and hating the gays. But how about the normal people who sing and write and play country music? ...Whose lyrics are about love, and the innocence of childhood, and its loss' pain, and love, and understanding death, and... well... love??? Isn't that what all good pop, rock, and (ughhh) R&B music is about ? (Again, I can't acknowledge most rap as legitimate music.) So if you're looking for great, eloquent, beautiful, heartfelt lyrics... they're there. And if you're looking for beautiful melodies and great voices (that incidentally are NOT auto-tuned like most pop and rock music is, because they can actually sing) with beautiful instrumentation with whole ORCHESTRAS sometimes, you've got that too.

So what gives ? Give me a legitimate reason why you people don't like pleasant sounding music or STOP saying "everything but country" with a wry laugh as you agree with each other and respond "OMG me too!" It's old.

Go listen to Deanna Carter's "Strawberry Wine" and tell me that's not a perfectly constructed song.



grievance: politicians on myspace

What is this all about? The area on the log-in page entitled "Cool New People" has always pissed me off, mainly because these people are not really cool, and I have no desire to be friends with them. First of all, why are you automatically "cool" because you just signed up for MySpace? Whatever.

In any event, it only mildly offended me until I started seeing people like Barack Obama and Dennis Kucinich appearing in this area. I understand that the only worthwhile tacit purport of MySpace may be as a marketing tool, because clearly Myspace is a waste of time for others of us. So when MySpace started offering "band profiles," and then "comedian profiles" that were tailored to these needs, with calendars and music players, I was fine with that. But now, bands are so hell-bent on promotion via MySpace that a lot of bands that I know don't even have their own webpages anymore, and just rely on MySpace for that.

But I have a problem with politicians on MySpace. I'm sorry. I just can't do it.

This is not going to solve the problem of the youth of America not voting. Especially because the youth of America is majorly a Democratic base. And as David Keene so succinctly stated, "if the Democrats can't win in 2008, they'll never win."

With that said, I'm not sure that this MySpace propaganda is solely for Democratic appeal, so I'll at least give them credit for using innovative ways to try to appeal to this heavily Democratically-stained youth for the primaries (which I think is crap, incidentally... but I won't get started on my negativity regarding the merging of Conservativism/Republicanism/Religious Right and Liberalism/Democraticness... somewhere, despite his lack of qualification for the job, Giuliani's got it right - I don't understand why I can't hypothetically adhere to a socially liberal platform [I do love the gays] and support Republican fiscal policy]). So okay, they're trying to appeal to the MySpace generation. This is just total fucking crap. Has anyone realized that we are quite a ways away from election? I know all genres of voting come down to something of a popularity contest, but how many people who claim to be on "Team Hillary" or whatever actually even know her policy? Come on. It's the equivalent of someone liking a band 'cause the lead singer's hot.

All I'm saying is that I don't want my future president running for office the way a band tries to get teenage girls to come to their shows. Like, what... is John Edwards going to comment me saying "Thanks for the add!" if I friend him? Or some flash image with sparkles and stars saying "Have a great day!"? It just makes me feel gross.

Politicians spend most of their days raising money for campaigning. This is what they're raising money for? Staff to sit on MySpace all day? Can't wait for whoever eventually grabs this office to send out weekly blogs updating their agenda on health care and foreign policy. Terrific.

I'm moving to France.



grievance: shorts in the rain

What is people's problem with other people wearing shorts in rain? And flip-flips for that matter. If anyone can provide me with a counterargument to this of any value, I will stop wearing aforementioned articles of clothing in hostile weather.

Today was a horrendous rainstorm. While choosing proper accoutrements for my valiant journey to school, I opted for a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops.

On the street and on the bus, I was assaulted with inquisitive and perplexed looks.

It was 85 degrees today.

There is just NO way that I am the only person on the planet that is intensely bothered by the bottoms of my pants and/or shoes and socks getting soaked, and then sitting in an air conditioned room. There's JUST no way.

Did my sandals get soaked? Yes. Did my legs get soaked? Yes.
But my sandals are SANDALS and don't contain my feet in any way, thus I was not subject to the hostility of cold wetness. And my legs dried instantaneously.

My point: what the hell is wrong with all of you people? And stop looking at me because I'm smarter than you.



grievance: valentine's day wishes

There is no M in the word "Valentine's"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

People say "Valentimes."

It makes me angry inside.