26 April, 2011


My awesome friend Brian designs promotional posters for his and other blogs. He emailed me this the other day, saying that I didn't have to use it, but was welcome to.

Duh. I totally love it. Thanks Brian!

25 April, 2011

Happy Easter!

I gave up treats (cookies, cake, candy, etc) for Lent. I didn't blog about it at the start, because I wasn't sure how it would go.

Fact: it was successful. I kept to my goal the entire 40 days except for two exceptions:

1. At the Seattle Bike Expo my friend handed me a Smartie from the candy basket at one of the booths. I popped it into my mouth and then realized what I had done. After I spit it into my hand, he ate it.

2. I also took a Swedish fish out of another friend's mouth at a dance party.

So apparently, I am really good at avoiding eating sugar as long as it doesn't involve someone else's mouth. Heyo.

18 April, 2011

Greetings from the Phoenix airport!

I woke up this morning at 5 AM with this song stuck in my head.

Your explanation is as good as mine.

16 April, 2011

Not all famous Mormons are people I am ashamed of.

Know what's cool? Being smart, and being a writer, and being a Jeopardy champion WITHOUT being a giant pretentious douchebag. Also, being a Mormon who doesn't make me cringe every time someone mentions his name (I'm looking at you, G. Beck).

Although I could be talking about my buddy Alison, currently I am talking about Ken Jennings, who is from the same general area where I now live and maybe was at Emerald City Comic Con when I was also there. I didn't see him, but I saw pictures later.

Ken Jennings did his crazy Jeopardy-defeating streak when I was a freshman in the dorms at BYU, and lemme tell you, we were FREAKING OUT. I was on the Honors Floor, though, so we were kind of nerds.

Anyway, Ken was on Reddit (which I infrequent) answering questions, and he was so charming and real and high-fiveable I just wanted to share some highlights. If you have lots of time you can read the whole cotton-pickin' thing here, but it's awfully long. It's worth it, but if you read the whole thing you may or may not be late for whatever you are doing next.

Here are some screenshots that are just funny:

Click to enlarge!

See how funny he is? In such a inclusive way. His humor has a little bit of something for everyone.

This bit, I think, was my most favorite, and summed up quite accurately how I feel about the disconnect I sometimes feel between being "a Mormon" and being myself.

Who could say it better? Only Jesus.

Here are some other choice Mormon jokes/comments. All well done.

This is the kind of stuff that should be on Mormon.org.

I just like this guy so much. The End.

15 April, 2011

Results are in!

Good news, guys. Nobody who reads my blogs wants more drugs. This is a good thing, because I don't know how I would satisfy them. Maybe write about the one time I was on morphine? I took valium once too. After an oral surgery. CRAZY.

However, 60% of the 10 people polled said they would like to see some drugs in conjunction with sex and rock and roll. They may or may not be in for some disappointment.

I think I am going to put some other widget in place of these polls.

The Perfect Vagina

The perfect vagina from heather leach on Vimeo.

Remember a few years ago when it seemed like everyone and their mom was getting a bikini wax? I thought it was weird that the current standard of beauty for women's genitals is apparently to look as prepubescent as possible. I still think that's weird. Clearly I don't watch enough porn.*

Anyway, so on Mormon Therapist the other day I found a link to this documentary which details an even disturbinger new trend: VAGINA PLASTIC SURGERY.


And in this case we're not talking about women with birth defects or harrowing trauma from a vaginal birth gone wrong, or a Frida Kahlo-esque freak accident. We're talking about women who feel insecure enough about the size or shape of their clitoral hood or labia minora to be willing to be PAY TO HAVE SOMEONE TO CHOP IT OFF.

This is not cool, you guys.

This documentary has some graphic imagery, but if you can handle it, please watch it. It has a pretty empowering message. Also, British slang.

*or any porn. Let's be honest.
**specifically, surgery on the clitoris and labia, not on the vagina itself. I am keeping with lexical trends in using the word "vagina" to mean "the female genital area."

P.S. I am pretty excited to see what google searchers will be directed to my blog because of this site. VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA.

14 April, 2011

Ask me how it feels to be right.

Answer: it feels delicious.

You may recall my tongue-in-cheek review of a certain rip-off known as "Your Baby Can Read." The title alone gives it away. Babies can't read! Neither can they drive. Their legs are too short. Not a big deal, just one of those things.

Now a bunch of parents are suing the company for being deceived. Lesson learned: EVEN DUDES WITH PHDS CAN LIE.

I don't want to say, "I told you so," but--wait a minute. Yes I do!

Here's another blogger's amusing commentary on the lawsuit. I do not know him personally, but I read his blog. Is that weird? Do I care?

13 April, 2011

Things that made me cry today.

1. A radio ad about breast cancer.

2. The end of The Land Before Time.

10 April, 2011

2011 Books: the books I didn't like edition

Buy-ology by Martin Lindstrom

I admit to enjoying a Malcolm Gladwell book every once in a while, but often those "entertaining non-fiction" genre pieces turn out to just be one massive exercise in stating the obvious. This book claims to revolutionize our ideas about why people respond to advertisements the way they do, and some of the brain studies he mentioned were kind of interesting. But he seems shocked to learn that people lie. Duh. Of course people aren't honest about why they buy things, because the real answers are usually pathetic. I know this, and I am neither an advertising expert nor a scientist.

Additionally, in his afterward about the 2008 financial crisis, he mentions that since the recession, condom sales have gone up. Lindstrom postulates the reason for this is that in times of stress, people find solace in their sexuality. Or maybe people are just worried about getting pregnant during a financial crisis? Sheesh. Idiot.

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Remember Twilight? Of course you do. This is 80s Twilight for the sexually deviant. I hated this book, but I had to finish it because it was part of my banned books project AND I DO NOT ABANDON MY GOALS JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING SUCKS.

I wish I could articulate all the reasons why this book was so awful. The writing was cheesy, and incredibly repetitive. I don't know where/if Ms. Auel got her English degree, but apparently she missed ALL THE LECTURES on showing vs. telling. Here is an exemplary paragraph, written by me:

Krum glared at Ayla, his eyes filled with rage. He was furious. Ayla was sad. Tears ran down her face. She knew Krum was angry. She thought he did not love her. He had told her he loved her before. But maybe now that he was angry, he did not love her anymore. The thought broke her heart. She sobbed.

Imagine 468 pages of that kind of repetition. Hopefully you know understand why this book made me want to claw out my eyes.

Also, in Jean Auel's crazy universe, cavemen did not know that sex makes babies. Somehow, they know that when animals mate, the lady animal gets pregnant, but they have not extended that logic to themselves. Which is basically just an excuse to write a bunch of uncomfortable rape scenes.

Bad writing + bad history + sexual deviance = I will not be reading the rest of the series.

2011 Books, part two

Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

I didn't realize this until after I bought a copy of each volume, but there are only two volumes in this series and they are more often sold condensed into one book. Art Spiegelman was apparently approached by people who wanted to make his books into movies, after-school specials, etc. I'm glad he didn't.

One of the best things about this series (and about a lot of autobiographical graphic novels, more so than other biographical works, in my opinion) is its unflinching honesty. Spiegelman is very blunt about his flaws and his father's flaws, and it makes the entire work much more humanizing. Whereas sometimes we continue to dehumanize those that survived the Holocaust by refusing to acknowledge their human flaws, this does the opposite. These books are incredible.

Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Dooland

I don't read a lot of this type of non-fiction, but I've been following Dooland's Unclutterer blog for a long time now and I really appreciate what she has to say. I think she does a great job of having a proven system without insisting that it's the perfect fit for everyone. I really like her work.

This book was really fun and a quick read. Not all of it was applicable to me right now because I don't work in an office, but I still liked it. I think her suggested system would be practical to accomplish in one week. You know, if one didn't live with a compulsive hoarder.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord

This might sound weird--actually, I know for a fact this is gonna sound weird, but I have lots and lots of memories of browsing through my teacher's library in fifth grade, and this is one of her books that I always noticed but never picked up, probably because I wasn't much of a baseball fan and assumed that's all it was about.

Apparently, my family has a copy as well. Probably because my younger brother loved baseball? I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I kept putting it down for a few days, but I always came back to it. This book tells the story of Shirley Temple Wong, who immigrates with her family to Brooklyn from China in the 1940s. It describes her assimilation into her school, into the apartment house she lives in, into her neighborhood and community in general. Baseball is a big part of that for her. It's a very sweet story, and it stayed interesting even for someone like me who doesn't love baseball.

A History of Violence by John Wagner

There are some graphic novels where I know that a movie exists but I am not positive I want to see it. Even though graphic novels can be disturbing, violence or cruelty in a inked-out panel is just not as harrowing as violence on a screen. I wish I had gotten to Ashley and told her to read Watchmen BEFORE seeing the movie, but sometimes these things just happen. Sorry about that, Ash.

Anyway, I liked this book, but there is NO WAY I am going to see the movie. I do not care how many awards it got or how handsome Viggo looks. Do I even need to explain why I don't want to see this? The story is violent. I don't like seeing movies about mafia dudes torturing people. No thanks. But the book was fairly interesting. I didn't hate it.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Part of my banned books project. I think this book was even in the top ten. It only took me a few pages to figure out why.


Anyway, this book was really great. A little slow at times, but the characters were amazing. Some decent redemption at the end, along with a lot of tragedy. Reminded me a lot of Precious, with a slightly happier ending. I think people should read this book.

Wire Mothers: Harry Harlow and the Science of Love by Jim Ottaviani

So the funny thing is, I found this via library browsing and had no idea what it was really about. Turns out, it's about a famous study I've read about a number of times that demonstrated the importance of parent-child emotional bonding. Really short, but cool book. SCIENCE!!!!!!

Darth Vader Quotes

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Andy Warhol Art of the Day