Category Archives: opinion

I’ll Fight A Whedon For You (Ode To Maurissa Tancharoen)

The first time I saw you in pony tails,
that Horrible Doctor’s fan,
I knew by your groove when you sang that tune
that I wanted to be your man.

But then your Commentary
made me Asian Aware-y
and I knew what I’d have to do:

I’ll fight a Whedon for you:
Zak, Jed, or Joss,
Yeah, you know that it’s true.
There’s more a chance
I’ll see DOLLHOUSE renewed
But it’s true:
I’ll fight a Whedon for you.

Echoes remain from that song that you sang
as Kilo the cutest Doll.
I’m too poor for STARZ or for SPARTACUS,
but you know that I’ll give you my all.

No, I’ll never yield; I’ll back AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
until Agent Coulson dies (I mean, again, like, for real this time)
You’re Pretty In Pink, I don’t care what they think
Then I saw you with another guy.

Even though you have lupus
I thought we could this
but then werewolves devoured my heart.

But I’ll fight a Whedon for you:
Zak, Jed, or Joss,
Yeah, you know that it’s true.
There’s more a chance
I’ll see DOLLHOUSE renewed
But it’s true:
I’ll fight a Whedon for you.

Did you know that our birthdays
are one day apart (except
plus or minus ten years)?
And sure, Jed is hot —
what’s he got that I’m not?
(I mean, other than a career)

So Mo, won’t you go
with me, baby, you know
we’d be cool (ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)

But I’ll fight a Whedon for you:
Zak, Jed, or Joss,
Yeah, you know that it’s true.
But I’ll still be here
after S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2
’cause it’s true:
I’ll fight a Whedon for you.

Poem For Amanda Palmer

you don’t know that there are ways of responding to tragedy without being narcissistic and self-serving

you don’t know how a national crisis and the death of at least three innocent people could not be about you

you don’t know that you don’t need to take advantage of every single situation by turning it into another outlet for arrogant self-promotion that excuses itself from criticism by somehow pretending to be quote-unquote performance art

you don’t know how to stop

you don’t know what it’s like to live without the comfort net of privilege that has supported you your entire life

you don’t know why you have to keep explaining your art to people who just don’t get it

you don’t know how to explore the mind and perspective of an alleged killer in a provocative or intriguing way but you still insist on doing so

you don’t know that this isn’t about you

you don’t know that this isn’t about you

you don’t know that this isn’t about you

you don’t know that this isn’t about you

This Is Not Creative Writing

As you may or may not know, today is Patriot’s Day, a holiday that is only celebrated within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the state that I call home. This holiday, observed on the 3rd Monday in April, commemorates the Battle of Lexington & Concord, the inciting conflict of the American Revolutionary War. In the Boston area, it’s recognized as an official state holiday, closing all businesses (and causing lots of complications on public transportation).

This has less to do with the Battle of Lexington & Concord, however, and more to do with the Boston Marathon, which sees every single citizen of the Greater Boston Area pay tribute to the occasion by intensely daydrinking along the race route.

And so “Marathon Monday,” as we locals so affectionately call it (because of the marathon daydrinking, of course; not because of the race), is one of the most highly anticipated days in the Boston calendar. The city descends into utter chaos as everyone commits themselves body and soul to the celebration of booze and America, and also booze.

And so today, free from the scheduled restrictions of my day job, I planned to accomplish a number of things, including write for this website, rather than my usual Marathon Monday routine of drinking 27 PBRs at various locations along Beacon Street throughout Brookline. Unfortunately, my plans for the afternoon were derailed once I came across the news that two bombs had been set off near the finish line on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, claiming the lives of (at this point) 2 people (including a god damn 8 year child) and injuring more than 50 others.

This all less than 4 miles from the house that I own with my partner.

So, you know, I’m rather flummoxed, to say the least. Bevin and I are safe within our home, but we are both rather freaked out right now, in a way that I have never felt before (certainly there have been greater American tragedies within my lifetime, but none so literally physically close to home).

And so I am submitting this entry because the time it takes for me to type these words offers a very momentary respite from the heartbreaking horror of what has happened here in my home city. The plans I had for today’s post shall hopefully make their way into the world next week, but for now, I hope that you and all of your loved ones are safe and well, and I (ever so agnostic despite my heavily Catholic upbringing) pray for the good fortune of those who have been directly affected by this horrible act.

In Which I Note My Reactions To Chicken & Waffles Lays, Chip By Chip

Chip One: I expect a blast of fetid, artificial syrupy-ness to hit me in the face as I open the bag. This is not the case. It smells like a bag of potato chips…and then there’s the slightest hint of maple. Like the base note of a gourmand fragrance. Or something. The first chip is not bad. It actually tastes like chicken and waffles. There’s barely a potato to be had.

Chip Two: This one I give to my husband. He has a similar reaction, except maybe without the comparison to perfume.

Chip Three: I want these chips to win! I check the bag to see if I can vote for them on Facebook. I honestly don’t want to live in a world without Chicken & Waffles potato chips. I can’t believe I am thinking like this.

Chip Four: I’m starting to wonder just what I’m eating. I mean, I’m not hyper-vigilant about my food, obviously, since I have willingly purchased these chips and am eating them as my husband and I walk across the parking lot and get back in the car. But I have to wonder what they’re doing to make these chips taste like chicken and waffles. I read the ingredients aloud. There’s nothing I don’t recognize. But my husband points out that “chicken flavoring” is pretty fucking suspicious-sounding. I am forced to agree.

Chip Five: I was really looking forward to the film version of Les Misérables. I didn’t want to see it right when it came out, because I didn’t want to deal with crowds and lines, so I waited a bit, knowing that it would be just a little more special for my having waited. And then a bit of a ways into it, I started checking my watch (well, my iPhone that I use as a watch) to see how much longer I was going to have to sit there. I guess what I’m saying is that this is how I am now feeling about this bag of chips.

Chip Six: It’s not entirely accurate to refer to this as the sixth chip. What I am facing here are a bunch of umber-dusted chip fragments, which I am forcing myself to eat while thinking that once upon a time, in my twenties (which was about twenty years ago), when I was smoking prodigious amounts of totally non-habit-forming marijuana, these would have been UTTERLY AMAZING. Now I can feel my forty-something body, with its increasingly sensitive digestive system, setting itself up for revolt. Do we still have Pepto in the bathroom cabinet? Think, girl…THINK.

Chip Seven: I hand the rest of the bag to my husband and await lower intestinal oblivion.

What Your Favorite #Instagram #Filter Says About You

Normal — You’re an actual photographer. Just kidding. You actual have #NoFilter, brah.

Amaro — Your nostalgia is European, a supercool pretentiousness that’s incomparably aloof, just like that great regard you hold for places that you’ve never been.

Mayfair — You like it when people consider you an artist, and lucky for you, you’re smart enough to realize that a little added shadow and saturation looks dramatic enough to half-do the job for you.

Rise — You refuse to believe that any good music has been released since 1978, even though you yourself weren’t born until 1987.

Hudson — You’re self-conscious because you’re worried that your friends are going to figure out that all you do is use the Mayfair filter, so you feel the need to switch it up.

Valencia — You own a different flannel shirt for ever hair in your beard, which is one for every song ever written by the Decemberists.

X-Pro II — You listened to more rap metal growing up than you’re comfortable admitting, which is why you’re still a sucker for anything with a totally awesome “X-” in front of it.

Sierra — You have a dog, or some other pet that you won’t stop taking photos of.

Willow — You feel like you’re supposed to be using Instagram for things but you’re too self-conscious and afraid that you’re not doing something right simply because you don’t “get it,” so you default to black-and-white so you feel like you’re doing something (even though you’re not).

Lo-Fi — Garage rock bands and the Elephant Six Collective were just as good to you in art school as they are today.

Earlybird — You’ve lived your entire life basking in sun-soaked sepia, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sutro — You care less about pictures and more about telling the world about the totally cool concert / restaurant / tourist trap vacation spot you’re currently at.

Toaster — You’re a Cylon.

Brannan — You’re a challenge-seeker, always looking for something new, so congratulations, you got this far in the filter list, instead of settling for the moderately-less-shadowed Mayfair. So maybe you’re a little darker, too.

Inkwell — You’re trying even harder than that Willow guy to figure what the hell this whole Instagram thing is supposed to be about, so you dig deeper into the filter list, hoping that later filters are cool like deep album cuts.

Walden — You still quote Transcendentalists in your Facebook profile.

Hefe — You’re the boss. Of Instagram, anyway.

Nashville — You’ve never been down South, and you’ve never owned a Polaroid camera, but you think it’s cool when other people have.

1977 — You don’t even care that punk’s not dead, you just want find a filter that no one else is gonna use ’cause you don’t wanna be like all them other poseurs.

Kelvin — You’re rough around the edges, enough that you probably do things like write lists of What Your Favorite Instagram Filter Says About You when you’re not already busy bitching about Thought Catalog.

Set List For A Washed Up Rock N Roll Band

1. Open up with a deep cut from the first (successful) album. Let the crowd know that you know that your first album was totally fuckin’ awesome, even though you wrote all those songs when you were like 20 and now they’re kind of embarrassing.

2. Poorly received single that is still loved by diehard fans.

3. The 3rd best song on your 3rd album, which was a return to form for the band but an absolute critical failure that got you dropped from your major label deal.

4. Lead track off the 4th album. Not that anyone gives two shits about your creative output past the first album, but now that you’re in your 40s and married you might as well play that song you wrote that one time when you were actually sober about the woman who would later be your wife, right? Which totally won’t alienate your crowd at all, I swear.

5. Third track from the 2nd album which was a miserable failure as you tried too hard to capitalize on the success of your first album by releasing some contrived over-produced pop bullshit, but the third track still stands out as being a half-way decent effort despite how terribly Disney-fied it sounds on the record.

6. Bring it old school with an updated version of a song from your debut EP, or other slightly obscure work that pre-dates your mainstream success. Make sure you mention that “We’re gonna bring it old school right now” in the introduction to the song.

7. Drop in a live favorite, something that’s enhanced by the crowd, preferably with a sing-along or clap-along section. You know your fans love the clap.

8. Lead single from the 3rd album. Dammit, that really was a good record, looking back on it. Too bad it didn’t take off the way you wanted it to.

9. Now is a good time to play that new song you guys just wrote that no one in the audience has heard yet. They’re in a good mood, so they’re more willing to forgive the miserable ennui they’re about to experience for the next 4 minutes.

10. Ease the crowd out of their nap with either a re-worked version of an acoustic song that builds in dynamics, or a quiet version of one of your more rockin’ hits that doesn’t actually get rockin’ again until the very end. They’ll be that much more excited once the good part finally happens.

11. First track off the first successful album. This is an abusive relationship between you and your fans, and it’s time to remind them why they love you.

12. That Other Good Song From The 4th Album

13. A cover song, but not one that you’ve previously performed. Try an ironic cover of a presently popular song, or a real old school throwback to your influences’ influences that you used to lie about being influenced by but now that you’re older you actually listen to them.

14. A fan-favorite B-Side, or maybe a song that was only released on a soundtrack or something.

15. That Other Good Song From The 2nd Album

16. One more gem from the 3rd album

17. Just play the god damn single already, that’s all they wanted to hear in the first place and by now they’ve put up with enough of your narcissistic bullshit that you may as well give in.

Haiku For A New Year

To 2013:
I thought this was the future,
so where’s my jet pack?