I find it impossible to write fiction that's set after 2002. Not because I'm a Gen-Xer waxing nostalgic about relaxing to Morcheeba on a distastefully stained sofa I found partially torn apart by a dog in an alley. (Oh, the glamour.) It's just that it's inconceivable to depict contemporary times authentically without including interludes where characters stare at their cell phones instead of advancing their plotlines – their lives – towards some conclusion. Which is, as a thing to read, mind-numbingly dull. Unless I write "and then his Galaxy 4's battery died" no one can ever get lost, forget an important fact, meet a partner outside of a dating [...]
It's that time of the year again when new indie renditions of syrupy holiday songs are shared by music snobs who wouldn't touch Harry Connick's Auld Lang Syne with Michael Bublé's Mele Kalikimaka. There are definitely some strong releases to be discovered including Sufjan Stevens' latest holiday collection, Silver and Gold, though, admittedly, you’ll feel so twee listening to it you’ll hallucinate rainbow-colored snowmen. Still, do we really need to hear Arcade Fire cover "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" or Neon Vulva's chillwave take on "Sleigh Ride?" Regrettably, most of the alternative holiday songs shared around this time of the year rival the traditional schlock in corniness.
Everyone remembers their first. The slow burning excitement. Wondering with anticipation if your advances will be followed. The anxiety about whether you’ve chosen the right person. We refer to the first person you decide to follow on Twitter.
The first follow is a tiny window into a personality. Comedian Tracy Morgan’s first follow, for instance, was his personal assistant Kenny Pierce—a fitting choice for a man who needs supervision.
CATEGORY: Feel-good + Sports Comedies FILM: Strike (also known as 7-10 Split) YEAR: 2007 NETFLIX SUMMARY: "Realizing that his chances of becoming a movie star are increasingly slim, aspiring actor Ross Vegas turns his focus to bowling, and before long he's anointed as the PBA's newest rising star." HELPFUL USER REVIEW: "As a professional bowler, I admired the realism of this film portraying the sport that has given me so much over the years… The drama made me remember such sport classics as Hoosiers, Rocky 1,2 and 3, and of course, She's the Man." CATEGORY: Goofy + Buddies & Gal Pals FILM: Sex Pot YEAR: 2009 NETFLIX SUMMARY: [...]
With the NFL playoffs underway, multitudes of jock-averse women and effeminate, girlie men (like me) find themselves facing a challenging predicament over the next couple of weeks. On one hand, forgoing a “Millionaire Matchmaker” marathon on Bravo to watch a playoff game at a sports bar seems excruciating. Still, missing out on the camaraderie and, more importantly, the gluttony of the playoffs is even more upsetting. After all, nothing’s more fun than gorging oneself on well-prepared wings, burgers and quality beer, activities which can make any sporting event—even basebal!—entertaining.
The question, of course, is where can New Yorkers go to make the experience bearable. Those who are disinclined [...]
As crazy as it seems now, when I was a freshman in high school I was convinced that my life was going to end, healthy and unadulterated, sometime before December 31st 1988. Of course it’s common for sensitive teens to consider their mortality during those tumultuous years when the hormones start to kick in. But I was different. While other kids pondered death in the conventional fashion—that is, contemplating suicide while listening to the Smiths’ “Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now”—I came to terms with my mortality the old fashioned way. I learned about it in church.
The specifics of my doom were revealed to me when I was fifteen, [...]
Christmas is nearly upon us and, with all its commercialism and saccharine rituals, it's all too easy to forget the true meaning of the season. Thankfully, the sanctity of this glorious holiday is still appreciated in parts of Germany and Austria where good, hardworking folk remember that Christmas isn't merely about the gifts; it’s about dressing up like a cloven-hoofed demon, terrifying children with violent, demonic folklore and drinking 180-proof licorice-flavored liquor until you puke.
Last night on "Three's Company," there were hijinks. Hijinks, wacky scenarios and sexual innuendo. And, spoiler alert, somebody overheard a conversation while standing outside of a door and misinterpreted it as somebody else having sex. (Well, that happened!) In fact, the whole episode was a comedy of errors.
After months of all of us devoted recappers being stuck watching "Rhoda" reruns and nonstop hostage hysteria-and are we the only ones who think the way Jane Pauley whistles the s's in Syed Ruhollah Moosavi Khomeini is sexy?-America welcomed the return of its favorite platonic trio: Jack Tripper, Janet Wood and Chrissy Snow. Wait a minute, let me adjust the [...]
Fashion was a pretty straightforward matter for me until 1980. I was still in elementary school, and up to that point my wardrobe decisions generally involved finding the matching giraffe, monkey or elephant tags on my Garanimals outfits. I was too young to take notice of the other animal that was beginning to show up on the left breast of some of the older kids' shirts, an alligator, or to pay attention to a new book that had just come out that year, The Official Preppy Handbook, a compact little handbook that foreshadowed the clean-cut conservatism of the decade that was to follow.
As preppy culture trickled its [...]
I remember the first time I heard the term "supergroup." It was 1981 and my older brother Kevin, an avid Styx and Kansas fan, had just brought home a copy of a record with a blue sea monster on the cover. He was sitting on the end of his bed checking out the lyric sheet, the album jacket resting on his stonewashed jeans, and nodding his head along to "Heat of the Moment." He kept a badminton racket beside the stereo for occasions that demanded heavy riffing. And this was most assuredly one of those occasions.
Given the passion expressed for girl music on this site, I suppose it's not too much an affront to my masculinity to confess my obsession with the admittedly unmanly band Girls. Their debut record "Album" is forty minutes of melancholy bliss, late night break-up songs that will make you feel like a teenager suffering from a his first encounter with heartbreak. My introduction to the band's back-story came through Pitchfork (shut up!) whose review featured a little biographical information on the band's leader, Christopher Owens: "Christopher Owens grew up in the Children of God. His older brother died as a baby because the cult didn't believe in medical [...]
One of the familiar-looking strangers in my shared writing studio thinks I enjoy watching videos of barefoot women pumping gas pedals with dildos attached to them. I can't blame her since said video was on my monitor when she walked by this morning. I contemplated telling her I was researching a weird phenomenon known as pedal pumping, but realized this would sound about as plausible as suggesting that men read Black Tail for the articles-which incidentally are excellent.
Just when I'd "discovered the magic" of Celtic Thunder and become certain that nothing could more effortlessly succeed at making my ears bleed, a friend sent me a link to North Carolina's WinterBand-the most disturbing Christian rock band since, well, since ever. If you're a geriatric, hobo-wizard, Jesus freak with a dirty mop-head hanging from your chin, it's probably not the best idea to be too critical of others. But that doesn't stop WinterBand's namesake, Steve Winter, from attacking Catholics, Muslims, democrats, women and countless others for the intolerable sin of being outside his confusing comfort zone.