Tag Archives: funny

Cheese

30 Oct

Realizing I’m lactose intolerant is really putting a strain on my relationship with cheese. I’ve suspected my dairy sensitivity since I was a kid and didn’t ever want milk with cereal, or even cookies. Milk has never been my thing, but cheese is a different story. A hearty slice of an extra sharp cheddar on a thick slice of grained wheat bread, or some brie mixed with strawberry jam, even a chunk of bitter blue cheese with some strawberries, all qualify among my favorite snacks even though my gut disagrees. People with a lactose intolerance cannot digest the sugars in milk, especially cow milk. This can result in a calcium deficiency since dairy products are usually where people receive their daily dose of the vitamin. Not having the proper amount of calcium results in weak joints and bones, height shrinking, and spine and back problems. Beans and greens got your back though and can give you the sweet calcium your body craves.

But let’s get back to cheese. In addition to being delicious, cheese is great for your teeth. The calcium makes your teeth strong, and the low lactose levels help prevent cavities. If you’re a vegetarian, cheese can be a prime source of protein, because let’s be honest, tofu doesn’t always get the job done. The older the cheese is, the lower the levels of lactose are in the cheese, so if you’re lactose intolerant you might be able to get away with eating cheeses like aged cheddars and bleu cheese. Also, everyone loves cheese. Nearly every country and culture has figured out how to make nasty milk into a totally groovy cheese product, you dig?

While Americans consume thirty pounds of cheese annually, America is not the chief consumer of cheese, in fact America barely makes it in the top twenty consumers. Europeans take cheese consumption much more seriously, but this might be because America isn’t on board with the stinkier and moldier of the cheeses and the way meals are designed in Europe emphasize snacking on cheeses and breads more than the typical breakfast-lunch-dinner pattern we see in the States.

I leave you with this slideshow of grilled cheese sandwich porn, complete with a seductive voice actress to tell you of the glories of Wisconsin Cheddar. It’s legend, wait for it, dairy.

 

Haircuts

24 Jul

 

Image

I make the best birthday cards

2 May

I make the best birthday cards

I really do

Shinny Shin Shins

25 Apr

It was early, an uncomfortable early where if I fell back asleep I wouldn’t get a sound night sleep, but not so early that I could start my day. I couldn’t sleep. It seems I never sleep anymore. I rolled over and checked my phone and the glow reminded my eyes just how long they had been staring into darkness. I heard scuffling in the quad and people giggling. It then dawned on me what day it was; April 20th, 2012. “HAPPY FOUR-TWENTY!!!” shouted a bodiless voice. “420” is Christmas for stoners, so of course giddy Mary Jane enthusiasts were up at 4:20am to commemorate . I can only imagine the sheer look of glee as they snapped the first of many bowls to be smoked that day.

The origins of 420 are vague at best. I find it hard to believe that a group of stoners coordinated to meet up after school at 4:20pm, and that the tradition of that evolved into one of the most recognizable icons for cannabis culture. But, stranger things have happened. If you go on Wikipedia and look up “420”, there is actually a picture of the Porter Meadow full of people partaking in the toking, so it is safe to say that “420” is kind of a big deal here. Each year, thousands of people pour into the Porter Meadow, and at 4:20pm a visible cloud of smoke rises up from the redwoods before dissipating into the air. I actually missed the initial lighting up since I was on the opposite end of campus. I got to the meadow as quickly as I could. I passed an older couple holding hands. The man was bearded and weathered.

He was shaking a feather at his companion, “Just think about it! Think about the memory we will always have when we like, look at it.”

“Exactly”, she nodded in agreement.

The scene at the meadow was ridiculous. Thousands of people were walking away from the main clearing and a few handfuls of late people were fighting the crowds to head towards the festivities. There was a police officer leaning against his cruiser who seemed to have given up on any notion of controlling this unsanctioned event. A troupe of students started blundering through the brush near the officer and he halfheartedly mumbled, “Watch out for ticks”.

One of the students turned to their friend as they walked away and remarked, “Bro, you’re gonna get Lyme disease”.

Weed followed me this weekend. I went to see The Shins at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, which is an indoors venue. This did not stop people from lighting up right in front of the stage. What I found to be more disturbing than the blatant pot smoking was the over-saturation of iPhones in the audience. People had them out as flashlights, cameras, modern lighters, video recorders, texting, calling friends to let them know where they were in the crowd, etc. which is remarkable. The crowd was pretty docile for a rock show, but it was The Shins show, so it makes sense.

Well, with the exception of one short, terrible, person. A taller man stood in front of her and she took the opportunity to open her mouth and unload this hateful dribble on him, deeming him an “inconsiderate asshole” for being tall. Being tall myself, I was personally offended by her slanderous attacks on the vertically endowed. The peaceful Green Giant eventually moved, primarily because of how uncomfortable her ranting was making everyone in a 10ft radius. Even after he left, she continued to complain to her friends about his ‘rudeness’. She was bumming out the mood, and I didn’t pay $32.50 to be bummed out. I called out how ridiculous she was acting. She got huffy at first, but then everyone else around piped in in agreement and she grew quiet.

Randy Newman knows what's up.

The Shins were a delight to see live. My favorite song of the night is off of their new album, Port of Morrow.

I never noticed it before, but James Mercer, the front-man for The Shins, looks like he could be Kevin Spacey’s little brother, or cousin.

<3

<3

There was a beautiful moment when “The Rifle’s Spiral” was playing where the smoke from the fog machine on stage was mingling with the smoke from the crowd. It was illuminated by the orange and purple light of the stage lights and lazily rose upwards to the ceiling. Great show, great weekend.

Real Good

30 Mar

I return! For this post, I’m gonna share my final paper for AMST 102 with y’all, a lot abridged from its 11-pages, and COMPLETE WITH DRAWINGS.

 

Reality television is the most unpretentious genre of popular entertainment currently around. It does not pretend to be anything other than the emotionally-jarring, backstabbing, hysterical, hyper-exaggeration of reality, shit-show that it is. It has no grandiose fantasy of high-culture standards or obtaining prestigious awards for its groundbreaking footage of the Spring Break culture. It satiates a voyeuristic fascination with how strangers live their lives, and most importantly how these strangers react under pressure. Reality TV is supposed to be life with the addition of a camera, yet the viewer knows that reality TV is actually highly formulaic. This is apparent in the exponential growth of reality TV shows that are on the air. In 2010/2011, half of the most watched shows in the United States were reality television.  Reality TV is a form of mass culture, and with that comes a cheapness and thoughtless consumption that makes its viewers vulnerable to manipulation and easily influenced by the message being projected. Even though viewers of reality television recognize that there is an element of exaggeration and insincerity to the programming, it does not seem to make a difference in whether or not people watch it. Most importantly, it does not make a difference in whether or not they are influenced by the messages being spoon-fed to them.

 

When  naming dating reality shows alone, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, Next, Flavor of Love, Elimidate, Parental Control, Temptation Island, Friendzone, The Fifth Wheel, More to Love, Blind Date, Married by America, and a slew of others come to mind. All of these shows have similar premises; they are trying to find somewhat compatible, if not predictable, partners for the participants while providing entertainment for the viewers. These shows are homogeneous and offer little authentic insight into the complexity of human relationships and love. Understanding romantic relationships is not the goal of reality television; the goal is cheap entertainment and a pacifying effect on its audience. It does not matter if the situation at hand is absurd and clearly scripted, viewers enjoy it. While the situations are insincere, the emotional response to the stress is real. That sliver of authenticity is enough to warrant attention from the audience. It does not matter that the characters on the show will only last a season (The Jersey Shore providing a notable exception to this), the viewer is invested. In Chuck Klosterman’s novel, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, Klosterman analyzes his favorite aspects of popular culture. Klosterman says, “…[Reality TV] is an extension of your own life, even though you never tried to make it that way…”.

 

Reality shows become popular when the contestants are memorable. They become akin to a wayward member of the family that is rarely spoken of, but whose antics are welcomed with sympathy and schadenfreude. Reality TV is influential. It is also degrading in its quality and complexity, as noted by Klosterman. “…The reason [The Real World] flourished is because its telegenic humanoids became less complex with every passing season. Multi-faceted people do not translate within The Real World format…” . The result is a low-culture interpretation of people and society. This flattens the perceived complexity of the individual, because individualism is no longer a valuable asset. Reality TV restricts the desires of the individual. There is nothing to pursue beyond the first rung of Maslow’s hierarchy in the world created by reality TV, besides perhaps one-on-one time with the camera in the confession booth, and mojitos .

Male participants do not cry; men are stoic in their resolve whereas women are expected and often goaded into shedding tears. The rise of The Jerry Springer Show is a superlative example of programming that flourished because of emotional appeal. Contestants are brought on and goaded into what can only be described as emotional blood sport. The bouncers half-heartedly restrain the contestants as they rabidly claw at the object of their distress and humiliation.

The cacophonous verbal argument that ensues is punctuated by the bleep of the censor. There seems to be a notion that a willingness to throw down gloves at the slightest provocation translates into strength and not emotional instability. Reality show producers purposefully choose contestants that are powder kegs. The catalyst can range from snide comments about another contestant’s genitalia (That’s Amore, S:1, ep:6), to a suspicious passing glance (The Jersey Shore S:1. ep:1). The lust for conflict creates palpable tension on the stage of reality TV shows, especially in programs that feature communal living over long periods of time.

 

With the title of ‘reality television’, it is important to remember that it is reality second, and television first.

I’ll be back soon!

Sha-sha-shaman

7 Jan

Oh q-tips, the box says no, but my ears say yes!

I have no regrets.

A few days of conversations entirely composed of “Huh?” and ”What? Speak into my good ear” made me realize that this might not actually be one of those things that just work itself out on its own, and getting an ear trumpet was not gonna fly.

While sitting in the ER waiting to be scolded by a doctor, I decided to see what else everyone else was in for, hoping it would make me feel less silly about being there because as a grown adult I couldn’t resist the temptation of ramming a cotton swab in my ear canal. The reading material provided was lacking, so I decided to people watch. There was a sheet separating me from the two patients on either side of me. The guy on my left kept complaining about a headache or something. Patient pain level : 3. Interest level: 1

I turned my attention to the guy on my right who had been mugged and was now worried about the wounds he has sustained during the attack. The nurse started to explain to him that it looked like he should get a tetanus shot at which point I started to reconsider the interest level of the first guy, when suddenly the guy said “Oh no, I don’t believe in your medicine. You see, I’m a shaman..”

Oh, hell yes. The shaman went on to explain that he didn’t believe that he needed medicine, seeing as how since he was empowered with shamanistic abilities, he could stop any infection with his mind. Poor doctor lady tried to reason with him, pointing to the bright red rash forming around the wounds he had tried to wrap himself. I had to admire his outright refusal of her medical diagnosis. I mean after all, he was a shaman, he knew what was up.

Well, except for the whole being able to heal a potential staff infection with his mind. They rolled him off to get an x-ray of his leg to see if his leg was broken, which was met with a disappointing level of acceptance. The nurse that rolled him away did not seem to be as fascinated with her charge as I was and as he was rolled out of the room, I could hear him mention to the nurse “you know, as a shaman…”.

After his room was vacated, it was temporarily filled with a man who’s chief problem seemed to be vomiting, and that he couldn’t stop. I missed the shaman.

I had lost all hope, when suddenly my useful ear picked up on the melodiously scratch of my shaman lecturing a nurse on the value of homeopathic remedies and bird feathers. Shaman pain level: 3. Nurse amusement level: -8.

The shaman started to bother anyone who came by his corner about the results of the x-ray. Finally the lady doctor returned and before she could say anything, the shaman said “Do you mind if we turn off these lights? I don’t like to waste electricity because I’m a..”

“…an environmentalist”.

Oh shaman, you are so full of surprises. The doctor was visibly annoyed and started to not so gently prod the shamans leg to see if it caused him pain, and to prove that as a doctor of modern medicine and not a doctor of shenanigans, that she probably knew what she was doing. The shaman started to visibly wince, and I could hear the doctor smirk through the thin hospital sheet. He mumbled something about willpower and how bacteria got nothin’ on him. When another nurse came over with his Motrin, the shaman was incredibly suspicious of it.

“Will I be able to drive after taking this?”

“It’s Motrin, same as Tylenol. You’ll be fine.”

“Could you get me some lukewarm water? I only drink water that is lukewarm or hot.”

Nurse amusement level: -73. Shaman potential for pain level due to irritating the fine folks at the ER: 9.

The nurse kindly told the shaman that he could wait if he wanted the water to be lukewarm, and the shaman begrudgingly accepted this answer.

The whole time this has been happening I have had no idea what the shaman looks like. The privacy sheet between us made it so that all I saw of him was his feet. When I left I tried to sneak a picture of him with my photo. However since I was trying to avoid being cursed by the Shaman, the photo ended up having a big-foot conspiracy quality to it.

I will never know your face, shaman, but I feel like that is how it was meant to be.

Hand Turkey

18 Nov

Thanksgiving’s a comin’.

Seeing as how my classes have virtually no work until December, I have been making hand turkeys left and right (handed). They are pretty sweet.

Did I mention Thanksgiving is also my 21st birthday? Because it is.

Yeah turkeys!