Like James Gunn, I’ve attempted to be transgressive or provocative when I write jokes. I was also an edgy teen before that. There are too many posts for me to ever sanitize. “Rape” and “retarded” tossed around flippantly. The n-word spelled out to make (unnecessary) rhetorical points about censorship. Sure, sexually-tinged jokes at the expense of minors.

But I also can’t and won’t ever be the director of a globally-popular superhero movie series. I doubt I’ll be recognized at a county-wide level, unless I fall down some stairs in a particularly funny way. So, like, sorry you didn’t consider your trajectory, James, when you took some shots at social mores. Society likes to shoot back.

On the positive side of comedy, today the New York Times contains a profile of Hannah Gadsby. If you haven’t watched Nanette yet, do so. It didn’t rock my world, but I’m swamped in progressive comedy and I dwell on it often. (I think I was most tickled by her cerebral, historically-evidenced line of material on Van Gogh.) The show she’s created is important and it’s accessible. Hannah demands her humanity and succeeds.

SIMULTANE STORY RESPO

Is the opposite of a red flag just a green flag? Why don’t we have a fair opposite to “red flag?”

I don’t think we talk about green flags enough. Because reluctance is a big part of conversations about dating, right? “Yeah, she seems cool, I guess. We’ll see where things go.” I think most of the time we’re falling in love with folks who are merely Okay, like they’re hot enough for you to fear losing them but they’re just generally Acceptable, and a big part of Accepting them is the comfort that they feel similarly about you. Then the red flags are the worst bits of them, the parts that make you say “what if he’s Unacceptable though?” Thenfor fair, healthy reasonsthey’re overlooked in the hopes that they aren’t planted too deep.

But shouldn’t love be about enjoying another person and then seizing onto the qualities that push them above and beyond? When I think of the women I’ve caught feelings for, it’s because I really like them, but then they’re also blowing my mind and making me laugh with these incidental phrases and body language and thoughts. Raising green flags left and right. Sure, shit may be unrequited, but I don’t really get bothered given that I’m excited to feel anything that shoots past my amiability toward all folks.

And dashing out “simultane story respo” off-the-cuff: massive green flag. I admit there’s probably some context missing, that you don’t know her personality and, even if you do know mine, you’ve got no idea how they interplay. Too bad; this is the most erogenous DM I’ve ever received.

I work with a stuffed animal distributor. I hate that they don’t refer to their warehouse as “The Bearhouse.” It’s such a simple flourish that might engender some anger. But to those whom it really matters, like myself, it’d be kind. It’s a kindness.

I came back into the office from fetching the mail at about 3pm today. If you don’t know, Los Angeles is weird, where we always have this breeze going even if the temperature is in triple digits. Something to do with the beach leading into the desert stretching into a  sprawling wasteland, I’m no gustologist (which almost certainly a better term for a food scholar more than a wind scholar.)
Point is that often in mornings, it’s cold. Sometimes in the shade during the summer, there’s a chill. But I strolled into the sun and the breeze was gentle enough that it landed nicely. I did want to curl up on the asphalt; it’d be worth inconveniencing others.
I came back into the office and told my co-worker, “it is so nice in the sun this very moment.” She asked me, “nice in a good way?” I puzzled over this and can only figure she was thinking nice like a Nice Guy and now I cannot stop picturing the sun in a fedora, expecting us to thank it for always hovering, doing us the favor of sweat.

June 2018

I heard “Don’t Bring Me Down” at the roller rink and it instantly kindled the flame, which is a surprise considering I’ve watched this more than one hundred times.

There’s a load of pop on this one; filling space like cotton candy yet dense as a jawbreaker. Hayley Kiyoko makes several appearances, including “Curious” and a remix. Did the same thing with GIRLI’s “Not That Girl.” What can I say? When I like a song, I like a song.

I’m pretty frustrated that Janelle’s “Screwed” isn’t a music video yet after the aural/visual joy of both “Pynk” and “Make Me Feel,” but I’m holding out hope. Glades’s “Do Right” kept me afloat the entire month, the Golden Rule of the title expanding into my surroundings. And “Duck Duck Goose” by cupcakKe had something else expanding I’ll tell you what! (My appreciation for cupcakKe, of course.)

Jump in, the water’s fine. But it’s music. Can you breathe music? Let’s find out. In a controlled environment with lifeguards maybe.

June 2018

Today at the park, I was standing on the shaded baseball bleachers browsing my phone. A talkative little girl arrived, holding her mother’s hand. As they passed, I heard the girl yelp “why’s he- he’s not allowed to stand up there!” Mom replied “he’s allowed to stand up there. You aren’t.” I put on my best gracious suitor voice and said “thank you for your permission!” Me and mom laughed. The girl scrunched up her face with frustration.

Tonight, leaving Pizza Hut with my dinner, I set the box down on a chair to check its contents: I’ve been burned before by wrong toppings after the walk home. As I popped the box open, I heard the cashier–one of several who know me by name–behind me, saying “personal, rectangular…” and I turned to laugh at his reading of my inner monologue. But he continued with “garlic knots, bread sticks…” and I realized he was reciting his way through a stock check.

April 2018

I cannot, for the life of me, keep the titling format of these playlist posts consistent.

And yet the yams remain yammin’, the slams keep slammin’.

Big months for Janelle Monáe, Death Grips, and dudes named Danny. “Make You Feel” and “Pynk” both impossibly sensual and funky, I can’t believe I haven’t bumped the whole album yet. On the flip side of things, I had six hours of transit early in the month and burned through the entire Death Grips discography. Weirdly enough, I only found the special sauce on their latest full release, Bottomless Pit (but new single “Streaky” is exciting me, it’s way bleep-bloopier than previous work).

And finally the Danwich features buns made of Harle, but they don’t measure up to the purestrain pop of Sunshine. “Never Thought” reads so basic but feels so euphoric.

Little sidebar for Alex Cameron here too– “Marlon Brando” is the highlight of an album that I never expected to enjoy. I don’t even know who recommended it to me. His crustpunk Springsteen crooning almost coerces me into belting “f*ggot” right along with him. (Don’t worry, he gets reflective on his word choice even before reaching the end of the song.)

Also for like three days straight I couldn’t stop listening to Anna Kendrick’s rendition of “Cups.” I cannot be trusted to guide my own life.

First half shredded, back half aesthetic. Love it. May’s gonna be huge.

April 2018

February 18

I warned you! I warned you it was slamming into your life hard n’ fast! EVEN IF YOU CAN’T LOVE PEOPLE, YOU CAN LOVE SONGS

A lot of top-notch selections here. The “Come First” remix may be my favorite Terror Jr. so far. The new verse by fake-Kylie is as much gasoline in my veins as the gasoline she’s slurping down. “BOOGIE” just barely didn’t make it into last year’s Best Of, because I was still sorting through that entire BROCKHAMPTON album (which also landed two other tracks on here). “Ouagadougou” is super cute but also makes me feel racist? Why is this white band doing a whole Africa song??? Still cute. And then dimber with their album damber: a rollicking 15min EP and “Manges Tes Morts” has been a fistpumping throatshredding repeater for me. Aryay’s “Never Gonna Leave” is a Pretty Lights-esque banger that mek me cri every tiem because it’s about dying kids. “Passenger Side” is killer pop with evocative lyrics, enough so that we got the original and a remix on here.

And then I ruin it all with a serious block of Undertale remixes. Sorry. That’s more for me than you. For sure.

Feb 18