Friday, February 27

New Bag: Big Shopper

One afternoon while Colby was babysitting I went to Fran Prix grocery store. [I've started cooking so much that I will probably be starting a What I Ate For Dinner blog with Josh Brown and one of the Mike V's in my life.] I bought olive oil and something else that came in glass. French supermarkets do not utilize the tool that holds plastic bags open so you can pack your groceries while you're being rung up; they simply leave a small pile of bags near the end of the counter, most of which are attached and clinging, keeping the situation as inconvenient as possible. On this day there were only two plastic bags available. My French being what it is, and the environment suffering as it does, and a line forming steadily behind me, it only seemed right that I pack my things in one bag.

I bought vegetables at a market and when I was a block away from our apartment the olive oil broke through the plastic bag and smashed on the ground. And as usual, I was not dressed incognito, so I had no choice but to cross the street and hide in a store [in which I could replace the olive oil]. I also had to buy a buy-two-get-one-free pack of Buenos to keep from crying.

And so I have invested in a reusable grocery bag. The first time I saw the Big Shopper bag was on the subway. A homeless guy was passed out near the train door, and under some plastic bags he carried around was a filthy Big Shopper bag. I knew I had to have it. I found it later at a hardware store near our apartment for 4€50.

God Knows I've Fallen In Love

Thursday, February 26

Sex Over The Phone

The police officer, who also appeared as a Navy Commander for the In The Navy video, was the only member of the Village People who was openly straight. Victor Willis was the lead singer but left the band in 1984. He had a revival in 2007 with his Victor Willis Dance Tour, and his autobiography, probably titled Just A Gigilo, is due out this year.

The last Village People album, named Sex Over The Phone after their final single, was recorded with a replacement frontman. Attempting to fill the heterosexual void created when Victor Willis left, the band hired sexually-charged women for its music video, and sometimes pretended to call them for phone sex.

Monday, February 23

Treat Me Rough

For someone endured adolescence with internet access and digital cable, I actually listened to the radio quite a bit. For thousands of mornings my clock radio would awaken me for school with the Howard Stern show. Often if I somehow stayed asleep, I would dream for a few seconds that Howard, Robin Quivers and I were on an adventure together. After school ended I would go home and listen to Cool 96.7, a now-defunct radio station that exclusively played doo-wop and other genres of mega-uplifting oldies. Evening rush hour was the best time to listen to college radio stations, and on Sunday nights I would turn on Fordham's Big Band Broadcast and make cutesy illustrations of the lyrics I found to be particularly clever.

Other than the Big Band Broadcast, weekend radio was usually the weakest and worst, more so in the mornings; college radio broadcasts were either Celtic music or medical talk shows and the rock stations would play the same songs as the classic rock stations. I started listening to the main Top 40 station in New York, which would syndicate Casey Kasem's American Top 40 Countdown. The songs were all contemporary garbage with interspersed old-timey trash, like David Cassidy or tracks off the Grease soundtrack.

There was something about Casey Kasem, from his impossibly fake name to his exceptionally positive and corny sentiments, that for me was so uniquely different from the way everything else was packaged and marketed. He had obviously been doing the same show for such an extremely long time from the biggest radio station in Detroit, Michigan, that his position as Shaggy on Scooby Doo and the Muslim first name he used to have had all but melted away. The way he speaks, so gentle but just hoarse enough to be masculine, was as awkwardly tempo-ed and varied tonally with as little regard to the content of what he was saying as a quintessential Christopher Walken-impression.

Ryan Seacrest now hosts the American Top 40 Countdown, and clogs it up with celebrity guests and other attempts to fool people into listening to the radio. I looked up some Ryan Seacrest quotes on Casey Kasem, which included statements on how Casey Kasem was the famous person who made him most nervous and the celebrity to whom he had looked up to for the longest. I read up on Casey Kasem, who has publicly endorsed Nader and Kucinich for the past 9 years, and also published a pamphlet entitled Arab Americans: Making A Difference. I realized that I could probably say those adoring things, too, about Casey Kasem's impact on my creative life; I would just need to be a little liquored up, first.

Tune in tomorrow to AUP Radio for my show Treat Me Rough at 4pm EST [22h - 23h in gay Paris]. This Tuesday's broadcast will include a long distance dedication to Josh Brown, for making the flier you see above. Until then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Sunday, February 22

Getting Bent In Historical Gent

We've been staying in the student apartment of Colby's childhood friend Libby. I'm grateful but sometimes he [fake] makes fun of me because of the way I look. They never had MLK in Belgium, so there's no MLK Day, and in turn the zero tolerance policy is in effect. His room is full of treasures though.

Friday, February 20

Greetings From Belgium

The second installment of my radio show, Treat Me Rough, aired Tuesday night on AUP Radio. Delete the last radio show from your iTunes to make room for the new 57 minute MP3 today!

Sunday, February 15

Why Do Good Things Happen To Dumb People

A lot of people have been posting Youtube videos of children on their Blogspots and the children have either been exceptionally adorable or surprisingly, unintentionally clever. Charles possesses neither of these qualities, and while news of his two-faced kitten was chain-emailed from cubicles to home desktop PCs across the nation in 2007, his level of comfort in front of the camera adds a new sensation to the story. Enjoy this inbred innocent as he tries to make sense of his position as miracleworker.

Saturday, February 14

'Tis The Season

Friday, February 13

Shorty Right There Is A Ten

The first celebrity sighting I had in Los Angeles, if you don't count the Ruff Ryders without DMX, which I don't, was Peter Dinklage AKA the Station Agent, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love A Shorty. I could see him through the window of a restaurant near our apartment at the time and recognized him instantly, so I stopped and stared at him. He noticed me and looked away uncomfortably, and I worried that he thought I was staring at him because he's little. Little does he know, he's so hot! I was watching him eat the way a girl with limited interests might stop to watch Ryan Seacrest eat. But whatever his interpretation, I was probably making him feel as though he was in the zoo, so eventually I looked away and walked home.

Wednesday, February 11

Touch That Dial A Lot!

Last night my radio show, Treat Me Rough, premiered on AUP Radio at 22h [roughly 4pm EST]. For those of you who missed it, you can catch up with me by downloading the 58 minute MP3.

The second episode of Treat Me Rough will premiere next Tuesday from 21h - 23h [3pm - 5pm EST], streaming live on

Tuesday, February 10

Never Had This At Cheese Club

Monday, February 9


Combining two words to make a new fake word in order to describe a cultural phenomenon hasn't been funny in a long time, especially after the Taco Bell ad campaign [not the one where they pretend that their steak is passable] wherein Americans slur "crunchy" with "chewy" around the office. But in Paris, outside of a handful of American Apparels, it's impossible to find a hooded sweatshirt. When I first landed here, Colby's friend Nealy told me that, instead, people regularly wear weird sweater hoodies. So, for lack of a better word, danger-seeking Parisians never leave home without their Swoodies.

A few Sundays ago, Dave brought us to a strange D-I-Y venue in Belleville that does not really have a name but hangs a giant sign that reads Chez George. [Chez George is a popular bar near the Seine river, so we theorize the sign was stolen from the bar's dumpster.] Most days they have hardcore shows [which I'd actually love to see, especially if they yell in French] but on Sundays they have free jazz shows. The shows are split into two parts; the first part is a competent group's performance, and then after a short intermission, there's a jazz open mic. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join strangers on stage to jam; this portion is reliably bad.

The week we went, one of the improvised groups included a free-styler, who walked the line between embarrassing rap and embarrassing reggae. The group also included a blond, middle-aged woman in a jean skirt who had brought her saxophone, but you could hardly hear what she was playing and most of the time she bobbed her head arhythmically and pretended to smile. The free-styler looked insane, and yelled hopes of equality for random nations and ethnic groups, using English terms when he knew them. For all intensive purposes, we will assume that he was trying to look hard, or at least knowledgeable of life on the [Parisian] streets. And so, appropriately, he was wearing a Swoodie.

Friday, February 6

Thursday, February 5


When I make my triumphant return to America, I really want to make more redneck friends. The hope is that one of my new compadres will own a paintball gun.

Being in Paris, surrounded by old-country styles, I really want to get a big fur coat. However, unable to live with myself wearing a dead animal, even if it's second-hand, I would need some level of redemption. I would need one of my redneck friends to shoot me with red paint so that I could pretend I had been hazed by animal rights activists.

Then when I go to shows, drunk assholes will yell, "Hey, you got something on your coat!"
And I'll whip around, examine the stain and groan, "Fucking PETA."

Tuesday, February 3

Baby Animals Just Wanna Have Fun

Monday, February 2

Ethnic Smells

Sometimes when I cook I'm reminded of the upstairs neighbor in High Fidelity who eventually fucks John Cusack's girlfriend; he listens to world music, wears a handful of thick rings, and all of his cooking sends powerful, "ethnic smells" into the stairwell. The staples of our diet right now are garlic and curry, so I envision that if I should ever meet one of our neighbors, or overhear them talking about our apartment unit, that they would say something about, That New Indian Couple On The Fifth Floor.