Thursday, October 21, 2010


In general, I like to know where I’m going, be it a drive, a project, or a piece of music. Jazz fills me with agita. I don’t know when it’s going to end, I don’t know what the squirrelly fucker is going to pull next.

I have to say, I’m kind of blue about this. Unlike PT Cruisers and mimes, I want to like jazz. I want to don a beret and sit in a dark club, nodding my head and saying things like, “Yeah, man” and “Dig that smooth groove.” I used to think I wasn’t smart enough to get jazz. Now I feel as if all the cool kids know the secret Herbie Hand(cock)shake and left me out of the Felonious Monk Memorial Clubhouse.

This only fuels my anger, which is swelling to the point where I want to give the David Brubeck Quartet a serious time out and inflict some damage on David Sanborn’s reed. Scat needs to scram. You dig, Dizzy?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Handlebar moustaches

Back in the days of Victorian gents and Wild West outlaws, dudes waxed the ends of their bushy moustaches until they could poke a cowpoke in the eye. While an excellent way to mask a questionable cold sore, these crumb-catchers and coat-hangers have no place in modern society. We now have ample access to napkins, so I have to deduce that you’re trying to make a follicular style statement.

You are definitely making a statement, Wyatt Twerp, and it doesn’t say “steampunk.” It says, “steaming pile of oh HELL no.” Trim that fucker down into a lustrous Magnum, PI or I'm going to go Sweeney Todd with a straightedge. Now, that's steampunk.

And don't think you're off the hair hook, mutton chop sideburns, I'm coming for you next.


Friday, October 15, 2010

TIWTPITF: The Indian version

TIWTPITF goes international today. My friends Kathy and Dustin have been traveling through India and have compiled the following list of things they want to punch in the bindi. Namaste.

1. Indian light switches. You have to press them in a counter-intuitive way to turn them on, they're not marked so half of them do nothing, and there are a million switches on one plate. Well, maybe 8. But we counted 38 switches just in our room. You can't just plug something into an outlet. You have turn the switch to the outlet on. Otherwise, you'll be charging your camera battery for 8 hours and it won't do a damn thing.

2. Amul Butter. This is a popular company (and probably a monopoly). The butter comes in little single serving packages—you know, like at the pancake house. They're on the table for breakfast. The only thing is you can never open the fucking things. Wouldn't you think that the design to open them would be a no brainer? Usually one of the servers comes over and opens it for me. The helpless American.

3. Car horns. Obviously there is no regulation. They all sound differently: duck quacks, farts, musical, and screeching. It's the last that is the most horrible, especially when you're riding in an open tuk tuk and the horn blowing maniac is right next to you. They show no restraint or control.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Face tattoos

I have nothing against tattoos or the people who have them. Really. But I do have to question someone’s intellect or blood alcohol content when they put their face under the needle (and I’m not talking about Botox).

A face tattoo doesn’t read “cool,” “edgy,” or “intimidating.” Nope. You know an inked-up face is really saying? “Unemployable.” Unless you’re a Maori warrior or Mike Tyson (who can pretty much do whatever he wants to his mug), a facial tat indicates that you’re independently wealthy and don’t need a job…or that you really, really, really like checkers.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Regional stereotypes

I once had a friend—a bright guy with a phD—who tried to school me on Middle America. The problem was that he was also an East Coast snot who had never been to the Midwest and maybe not even a red state, unless you want to count a connecting flight through ATL.

I’m from the Midwest and those were my people about whom he was pontificating and, let’s be honest, judging. He needed to put a cork in it, stop thinking he knows it all because he reads the fivethirtyeight blog, and actually book at flight to somewhere that doesn’t come with a coastline.

If I bought into the gross regional stereotypes that abound, I’d believe that:

  • San Francisco is only populated with sex-crazed homosexuals in leather chaps and hippies who smell like 1969.
  • New Jersey residents are tanning-bed orange goombahs with mob ties.
  • The blindingly Caucasian Pac Northwest hugs trees while drinking coffee and wearing Birkenstocks.
  • Midwesterners love Jesus, potlucks, and red meat, not necessarily in that order.
  • New Englanders are frosty, repressed folks who never met a Polo shirt they didn’t like.
  • And, oh yeah, everyone from Texas is a gay-bashing redneck in an F150.

For every yahoo who fits neatly into a stereotype box, there’s another person standing by to debunk the myth. As much as Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives would have us believe that people are cardboard cartoon cutouts, most of us are a lot more interesting and multi-layered than that. I like potlucks AND I hug trees AND I’m curiously drawn to pickup trucks and anything Lacoste. I don’t have leather chaps, but I sure wish I did. The next time you want to judge someone because of where they’re from, just remember: Snookis are people, too (at least I think they are). Don’t hate The Situation for being from Jersey. Hate him for his atrocious performance on Dancing with the Stars, or because he's banking $5 million this year.

What misconceptions do people make about you?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Convertible pants

These days, versatility is key. I know this. I am on board, at least in theory. But you know what? When I buy something that does double or triple duty, like, say, a lipstick that doubles as a blush or a coffee table book that turns into a coffee table, I always end up using it in just one way. Take fug convertible pants, for instance.

Weekend warriors who spring for a pair of pants that convert to shorts by unzipping the legs always end up wearing the half-assed pants around town. This is gear, not clothing. If you’re living out of a backpack, throw those fuckers on. If you’re going to the farmer’s market or out to dinner, put something on that’s not in the middle of an identity crisis.

Neither stylish nor complementary, convertible pants are an example of least-common-denominator design. They are designed to be functional for everyone but universally unflattering. When wearing the pants, the zipper seams cut you off at the knees—if you’re lucky; more likely, they encircle your thigh—surely the feature we all long to showcase—at the widest point. If you do actually step out in the shorts, you’re likely to be asked to give a wildlife tour around the neighborhood, since you’ll be masquerading as a park ranger.

Stow these REI-sores in your 70 pack and instead pull out a pant or short that suits you. Just keep away from the Utilikilt.