I gave up Christianity for Lent

Lent is about sacrificing vices. It’s about giving up that which you rely on most to see if you can hack it without your addiction.

So, i thought to myself, what am I most addicted to in life? What do I rely on the most?

It wasn’t that hard to figure out. I grew up in Texas, in a highly religious family. We went to mass every Sunday, sometimes multiple times a week. God was my rock. Any time I had a problem, I just gave it up to God, and He solved it for me. Anytime I saw something bad, or negative, or anti-Christian, I gave it up to God. God will Take Care of Us All And Solve All Our Problems. He solved all my problems. I prayed to Him to keep my family safe. He did. I prayed to him to let me into graduate school. He did. I prayed to Him to not let me be pregnant. He did!

Wow!God gives me everything I want!I thought.I wonder if I can hack it without God? So I decided to give up relying on God for Lent.

Week 1 was hard. I saw two homeless people begging for money. One of them had a dog. I couldn’t ask God to take care of them.  But if God wasn’t going to take care of them, who would? So instead, I bought them hot dogs. The dog too. That’s not cannibalism, is it?

My parents were flying somewhere for a vacation. Oh no! i can’t pray to God to keep their plane safe! I paced in circles, terrified that the plane would crash without God’s assistance and constant oversight. I constantly refreshed cnn.com’s homepage, certain that they’d die. But no. They landed safely. Weird. Someone else must have been praying.

A few other minor things happened. My dogs didn’t run away, nobody died, I didn’t get cancer, I didn’t fall down the stairs and break my neck, my car continued to run, I didn’t lose my job, and they even renewed Breaking Bad for another season!!!!!!!!!!!

Week 2.

Things were going okay without God’s intervention. I had a sacrilegious thought of ‘what was the point of even praying to Him, if He was going to do all of these things anyway.’ But i realized it couldn’t be sacrilegious because I’d given up God for Lent. How great! I wonder what other things I can do?

That weekend, I got really drunk and danced in a cage suspended from the ceiling at Shooters II, a classy disgusting bar for college students in Durham. Because you know what, God wasn’t going to punish me! Because i’d given him up! Ha God! Take That!

The next morning, as I knelt in front of the Porcelain Gods, I was sure that other God was punishing me. I thought about praying to God to not let me die, please not let me die, and I’d be a good Christian every day, but i didn’t pray. I resisted the urge. Because I am nothing if not strong willed. And guess what. In spite of my non-prayers, I didn’t die. The tequila stains even came out of my skirt after only one wash cycle.

Week 3.

I started to actually listen during Biology 101 instead of trying to figure out whether the world was 6,543 years old, or 6,547 years old. (There is a line in Genesis that is unclear). This week was on Evolution.HA! SACRILEGIOUS FRIPPERY! CARBON DATING IS BULLSHIZ!But wait. I’ve given up God for Lent. I opened up my mind to Science.

My brain did a flip flop when I allowed the evidence to seep in. Evolution was real. Wow. There were no non-religious, science based arguments against it. Wow. I was speechless. My mouth hung open a little bit. The fossil record….current evidence of geographical separation causing speciation….carbon dating……it was all real……….

I couldn’t stop thinking of those homeless people. God wasn’t going to take care of them. I had to do something. So I built a homeless shelter and a soup kitchen and got some of my rich friends’ parents to endow the shelter so it could run for 10 years. SNAP. Several of the residents had severe, untreated medical conditions. God wasn’t going to take care of them, so I got them medical insurance.SNAP. Who needs you, God, anyway?

 
Week 4

The doctors found a tumor on my shoulder. I thought about breaking my lenten promise and praying to God, since science and medicine is all bullshiz anyway, and then decided not to, and I allowed the medical team to remove my tumor. I was pronounced cancer-free, without God.

Hmmm. My life seemed to be pretty much the same without God. Better, actually. What was God’s deal, anyway? He didn’t really seem to care if I prayed or not. Then I had a perspective shift.

Maybe it wasn’t that he was doing all those things anyway. Maybe it was just that he wasn’t ever doing anything, at all. Maybe God was just a big lazy fathead playing in the clouds and inhaling plane exhaust. Maybe he was just this selfish dude who demanded everyone worship him or he’d send them to Hell, and did nothing in return. Maybe he used to be able to handle everyones prayers, when there were only like 10 of us, but now it was just too much to handle. 7 billion is a lot, yo, even for an omnisciently omnipowerful God, and our prayers must contradict each other a lot. Maybe he was addicted to Jersey Shore and Downton Abbey and the X Factor and he’d just gone AWOL for the rest of us.

 

Or Maybe God doesn’t exist.

 

 

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Addiction is a terrible thing

I’ve always said I don’t have an addictive personality.

As it turns out, this is false.

It all started on Saturday night on the original Vegas strip,  at the Golden Nugget – one of the original Vegas casinos. Shiznit is beautiful. Beautiful. Classic lights, all still done up in 1950’s era classy arrogance, just gorgeous – it feels like you’re stepping back in time, to when corporations and casinos actually cared about creating something that might last longer than 15 years.  (i heard someone on the airport shuttle later say it was cheesy and I totally judged her for having no taste and a bad hairdo)

There’s a huge golden nugget inside the casino. Literally. It looks like someone tried to shred a golden presidential bust. It’s huge. Also, across from the mangled golden bust, there is a vending machine.

Vending machine?, you ask. That doesn’t sound very Vegas-y.

Expand your mind, fellow readers. I’m not talking about corn-syrup based vending machines. I’m talking about a Vending Machine of Gold. YES. YOU CAN LITERALLY PURCHASE BARS OF GOLD FROM A VENDING MACHINE INSIDE A HOTEL NAMED THE GOLDEN NUGGET in Las Vegas.

So I sat down to play a little Blackjack, and while my friends lost somewhere around $3000 in thirty minutes, I made $15 bets and won 80 bucks! what! yeah! oh yeah! I stood up giddily a few times when I was up by $50, and then when I was up by $75, and ran around in circles muttering, “i need to stop while i’m ahead stop while i’m ahead,” and then I would run around the slots, trying to resist going back, but I always went back until I yelled at Peter to get up we needed to leave and he said okay okay okay, all in, then he pushed $400 worth of chips in and lost them all at once (OH MY GOD I DESPISE RICH PEOPLE) and then we left and went to this other place that I shall not speak of in a public forum such as this.

Meanwhile, the next morning, I woke up and everyone’s flights had left. I had about 8 hours to kill. I meandered by the blackjack tables on my way out to the pool, even though my room was on the 24th floor and the pool is on the 2nd floor and the casino is on the first floor (meaning i had to go out of my way to meander by the blackjack tables) and I felt that $80 begging to be turned into more, more, more! It was literally burning a hole in my pocket. So I swung by, and circled around, and peered over peoples shoulders, and resisted the call, and resisted, until the dealer started giving me the evil eye, and so finally i sat down. I was just gambling profits, right?

I pushed three red chips into the circle and waited. The card lands on my spot. It’s a 5. Terrible card.  Dealer comes back around, I get a 10. I’m at 15. Not good. Dealer shows a 10. Awful, awful, awful. I stay, out of pure intuition, even though all rules say hit. Dealer flips her other card, its a 2. Yes. Deals another card, its a 2, deals another card, it’s a 10! woo hoo! she busts! I win $15, and it’s all over.

Next thing you know, i’m up $75, and I’m breathing through my mouth because my nose can’t take how much Win Spice I’m breathing, my heart is going a million miles an hour, and I’m feeling SO much better than the old Korean dude sitting to my left who keeps religiously checking his pocket chart (which he is actually wearing on a string around his neck) every time he decides to hit or stay. I think Korean dude is down a few hundred dollars. I wonder if we’re cousins.I get up and leave. Too much is at stake here.

I walk around the casino in circles, feeling invincible, undefeatable, like the luckiest person in the world. I was Evil Knievel, I was that woman who’d won the lottery 20 times, I was the HOTTEST thing that Casino had ever seen!! (Which is hilarious because $155 is literally like the casino throwing pennies in the garbage dump and me diving in and scrounging around for the abe lincolns.) The right side of my mind was saying, go to the pool, go to the pool, go to the pool, and the other part was saying, go back to the table, go back to the table, you can pay for your whole trip! You can spring for Chinese at the airport on your way back! You could order a whole beer (beers are $16 at that hotel)! Reason warred with emotion. The dealers were looking at me strangely as I paced nervously back and forth in front of them, at 11:45 am, looking like a psycho who’d lost everything she owned, rather than a winner struggling to keep her winnings.

I went back.

And lost $135 of the $155 i’d so luckily won. Clutching my last $20 in profits, i went back to the pool.

I took a chair in the shade and hugged my knees and hid underneath a stack of complementary beach towels. I was a loser. Literally. I’d thrown away $135 to feed an addiction i didnt even know i’d had. i was a miserable failure. I had no luck. i was destined to fail at life. i was infertile. grad school was going to call me up and revoke my acceptance. Hell existed and i was going. Then I read the rest of Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour and i felt a little better. The lifeguard was staring at me. i was fully clothed. The day before, my friends and I had just had a conversation about how fully clothed people by the pool in las vegas are creepy. Now I was creepy.

I still had $20.

I went back.

I turned $20 into $350 in about forty five minutes. It was so unbelievably awesome. I tipped the dealer $10. He was annoyed with me because every time it was my turn I’d cry out, “wait wait wait i’m sorry sorry!! hang on!” and then change my bet by $5 or $10, depending on how lucky I felt (SO STUPID).

And then I had to leave to catch my plane. I am so thankful gambling is illegal in all other states. I would so not be able to resist. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so strongly about something so terrible before.

I vowed to myself that i’d never gamble again.

Except today at work, when i convinced my office mates to go in on an office pool for the $500 million lottery that is happening on Friday.  Yeah. I did that.

 

i need help.

 

 

(On a totally tangential note, I used to work for this really awful human being until I figured out I wasn’t a slave and I quit. There was this guy who used to work for him before I did, let’s call him Lee, and my boss, let’s call him Jeb, still contacted Lee every once in a while to talk to him about papers and stuff. When Lee quit, he told Jeb that he was going back to China to take the Civil Service exams so he could work for the government, and so Jeb thought he was in China. When Jeb scheduled phone calls with Lee, he always had to work around Lee’s schedule since Lee said he was in CHINA which is approximately 15 hours ahead of us, depending on where you are. So you can imagine there is a very tight window to contact. And every time Jeb got off the phone with Lee, Jeb’d sigh and say, oh it’s too bad that Lee hasn’t passed his civil service exams yet; his parents must be upset, blah blah blah. Everyone thought he was in China. Well, turns out the guy is still in Durham, and has been in Durham since the day he quit!!!! bahahahahha! He was so scared of Jeb that he lied and said he was moving to CHINA, and continued to lie, so that he forced Jeb to schedule phone calls around the fact that he was in China! hahahaha! I love knowing that other people hated Jeb as much as I did.)

all the new things!

I recently turned 27. It sorta sucked a little bit. If you haven’t done it yet, I strongly advise you to go ahead and not do it. You basically leave your mid twenties, land of the free and irresponsible, and enter your late twenties, where you become a real adult and your mother starts nagging you about not making enough money. And so does that little voice inside your head. Anyways.

To celebrate this entry into adulthood, Evan and I are about to buy a house! Yippee yaay yeehaww!!!! I am so super duper completely totally excited! I haven’t been this excited about anything since I met Evan! It’s at least twice the size of our current tiny little one bedroom apartment. It has a huge kitchen with a giant serving bar/island thing and we won’t ever run into each other in the kitchen, and it has a big yard with a fence for Puppy, and it has THREE WHOLE BEDROOMS and TWO WHOLE BATHS and all these trees! And a two tier deck in the back! OMG ITS SO AMAAAAAAZIIIIIIIIIING. Okay we haven’t closed yet, we close in 11 days, but I think it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. Unless our loan gets rejected. But It’s Totally Going To Happen. I Think. Fingers Crossed.

ahh so cute! even cuter on the inside!

Also, we are going on House Hunters? How did that happen?

And then, let’s see. Evan and I bought a scale, and we weighed ourselves for the first time in years. It was not good. It was also not good for Puppy, who is a little fatty and weighs 10.5 pounds. Yeah. Teacup Yorkie my ass. “It’s all muscle,” he says. Pffffft.

Furniture is so expensive. I hate it. I am never, ever, ever, going to buy new furniture. Ever.

***

Even though it’s not New Years, I have two new goals in life. One: get good at cleaning. Two: become the scrabble master.

1) is difficult. I always told my mom she was silly for cleaning all the time, and that she was wasting all this time when she could be watching tv shows with me, and she’d just get mad at me. Now I understand. Her floors were clean enough to eat off of. I’m nervous to walk on mine in bare feet. She never let the dog on the couches, and they were in pristine condition. Our dog, however, is up and down, and he tracks so much dirt and dog things onto them that they’re disgusting. She cleaned our bathroom every week with a gallon of vinegar and bleach. She was so freakin’ GOOD AT IT. So, I too, want to be good at it. I’m going to get good at it. I will.

2) Scrabble master — i’m on my way, peeps, on my way.

 

 

let’s talk about awkward moments, shall we?

My life has always been embarrassingly awkward. However, I was never self-aware of being embarrassingly awkward until one day in seventh grade, when I tripped and frantically reached out for something to hold onto, and successfully grabbed onto my teacher’s butt. Yup. Right before I smacked face down into the ground. And then he said something like, “You know, there’s easier ways to get my attention.”

And then I forgot about my disability until the rehearsal dinner at my wedding, where my best friend from childhood busted out a secret notebook she’d been keeping for the last fifteen years and discussed all of the terribly nerdy things I’d ever done, in front of 100 of my closest family and friends. Like how I’d worn Doc Marten boots to every middle school dance. Or how I wore the same two shirts from 5-7-9 every day of my sixth grade year. Or how I danced with my two index fingers out and my head moving nerdily side to side (yes i still dance like that). Yep.

oh, oh, or how about this one? First day of college, sitting in general chemistry next to a nice looking young boy:

Me: Hi, I’m Melissa

Brad: Hi I’m Brad

Me: oh, look at that guy’s funny little hat <points to the back of another boy’s head sitting a few rows in front of me>

Brad: <stares incredulously> Are you joking?

Me: no, look, it’s such a funny little hat! I wonder why he’s wearing it?

Brad: <continues to stare incredulously>

Me: what?

Brad: That’s a yarmalke.

Me: What’s a yarmalke?

Brad: <double take>

 

And..now, I won’t fill you in on the background, but allow me to recount a conversation I had with my father on the phone about an hour ago.

Dad: Hey Melissa, how’s that hurricane treating you?

Me: Oh, nothing’s happening. Just some wind, couple of rain showers. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Dad: <disappointed> Oh, that’s too bad

Me: well I’m pretty happy about it.

Dad: I thought i was going to call you and it was going to be all crazy and your power would be out and you’d be running around all frantically…

Me: well, you don’t have to sound so disappointed that i’m okay.

Dad: i was just hopin’ for some action. Texas is all dry.

Me: <hopefully> I felt the earthquake.

Dad: WOW! That’s so awesome! Did anybody get hurt? <super excited>

Me: Uh, No. No, nobody got hurt.

Dad: oh. <pause> You know, your brother and I have a bet that the hurricane is going to pick up Obama-long-a-ding-dong and whisk him away to sea and drop him in the middle of the ocean.

Me: …

Dad: so, did you go to the doctor?

Me: no, dad, it stopped. it went away.

Dad: you know, you should really go to the doctor. Your Grandpa has really bad hemorrhoids, your mom has really bad hemorrhoids. Oh, it is just awful.

Me: uh..well, yeah, i mean, it went away, so I don’t think I need to go.

Dad: your grandpa’s hemorrhoids used to be so terrible. When I was growing up, anytime I ever sat down, he’d be all like, ‘boy! don’t sit down on that rock there! You gonna get hemorrhoids!’ and then I’d get up and move to another rock, and he’d just say it again, ‘boy! you gonna get hemorrhoids! move!’ And you know, I never got hemorrhoids. And I was always sittin’ on rocks. But man, your mom…she’s got ’em real bad. Real terrible. Nothin’ she can do about it. Never went away. Real terrible, those hemorrhoids.

Me: Dad I really don’t want to hear about Grandpa’s hemmorhoids.

Dad: Boy oh boy his hemorrhoids were terrible. Yup. Your grandpa’s got em, your mom’s got em, you’d better go to the doctor. Even if they went away, you should probably still go to the doctor, cause you’ve probably got ’em. I don’t, though. I never got hemorrhoids. Even though i was always sittin’ on those rocks. Man, Grandpa had ’em somethin’ awful. And your mom – <breathes out heavily> it’s just terrible. Hemorrhoids are terrible.

Me: Okay Dad, i’ll go to the doctor

Dad: yeah, even if you don’t have ’em, they can probably load you up with creams and gels and stuff, you know, to prepare yourself for when you do have ’em.

Me: okay

Dad: and even if it’s not hemorrhoids, you should still go to the doctor and figure out what was going on. Cause it’d be scary if it wasn’t hemorrhoids.

Me: uh huh

Dad: but hemorrhoids are pretty terrible, so it’s probably be just as scary if it was hemorrhoids. Woo, you’d better go to the doctor. Promise me you’ll go to the doctor.

Me: I promise I’ll go to the doctor. So, Dad, as great and fun as it is talking to you about my butt health, what you say about switching the topic?

Dad: <silence> <clears throat> <decides to forge ahead> Your grandpa’s hemorrhoids are real bad. Real bad. So, Evan still in California?

Me: <extreme relief at the change in topic>…

 

 

that is all.

A Radiolab Advertisement

(You guys, my neighbor asked me what my secret was for my tomato garden. This confirms it. I am a locally famous tomato raiser.)

Occasionally when I’m at work, doing something that requires minimal brain concentration, I’ll put on the ol’ headphones and listen to Blitzen Trapper or some other hipster artist on grooveshark or pandora. At some point last week, I realized that I could be listening to the news. So I headed over to NPR, where they stream all of their content on their website for FREE (NPR is one of my favorite things, right behind brown paper packages all tied up with string), and I started listening to the news. The News gets me all riled up, and it makes me sweat, and sometimes it makes me cry. So it’s not a good thing for me to listen to, as I just tear off my headphones and rage around the office. It’s very unproductive.

Then I discovered Radiolab.

And the Heavens sang. The great thing about Radiolab is that it is completely politically neutral. 100%. And it’s as rewarding as reading The Onion, or a passionate article on the NY Times, that is all about how Republicans are destroying the country in the wake of failed leadership by Obama.

Here are some mindblowing things I’ve learned on Radiolab:

If you tell people to remember a two digit number, and then tell them to go to another room and repeat that number back to an experimenter, and then a nice lady interrupts them in the hallway and asks them if they would like a snack of fresh fruit or chocolate cake, they are more likely to pick fruit. If you tell people to remember a 7 digit number, and then tell them to go to another room, and then a nice lady interrupts them and ask what they would like, they pick chocolate cake. WHAT! That story is here. They also show that people who lie to themselves more often tend to be happier, better functioning people than people who are more honest with themselves.

And then I learned that the nation’s best ultra runner (ultra runners are crazy people who run for days without sleeping. Ultra-runs range from 30 to 100+ miles) is a woman who is recovering from epilepsy. She had part of her brain removed by doctors to prevent seizures, and after that, she became a champion ultra-runner. Incidentally, the part of her brain that was removed is the part that deals with visual-spatial skills, and also deals with time. Yep, ladies and gentleman, when she’s out on a run in the Yukon, pulling dog sleds through the snow, she has no idea if she’s on day 4 or day 9. So she just keeps goin’. Basically, she doesn’t know when to stop.

There was this very, very, very cool story on how language shapes thought, and I can’t even begin to explain how awesome this podcast was. Even my grandpa liked it, and my grandpa and I can not agree on ANYTHING. Nothing. It was the most awesome thing I’ve ever listened to.

And there’s this musician who can memorize and replay symphonies in their exact tempo back in his head. He can keep track of four musical symphonies at once. Mind blowing.

Meanwhile, Bachelor Pad is going to be very satisfyingly trashy. Vienna is a horrible human being.

God needs to come back and stop abandoning the Jews

you guys, you guys. (first of all, nothin against Jews, i love jews. Their curly hair and delicious…uh…delicious…uh…food….ummm….OH I KNOW, their awesome little hats! make them okay in my book!)

Evan has always told me that circumcision is weird. But I never really bought it until I was driving home from work yesterday and I was listening to an NPR conversation about hardcore modern-day-leftist Jewish people from California wondering if they really and truly wanted to mutilate their baby boy’s genitals for some crazy forgotten promise made by God a billion years ago.

So basically some schizophrenic prophet-type thought that God said, “Genesis 17:9-10 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.”

For those of you not properly versed in God-Speak, essentially God said, “You can be my people and be saved and shiznit, as long as you CUT THE FORESKINS OFF OF ALL OF YOUR MALE BABIES on the 8th day after their birth. Right after you stone all the gays and the divorcees. With big, jagged rocks.”

When I heard that on NPR, I just started giggling uncontrollably. I mean, I’m all about free religion and believe-whatever-you-want, but just the thought that in order to go to Heaven the tip of your foreskin has to be missing was just hilarious to me. I’m pretty sure that Abraham, or whoever it was, had a hearing problem. Seriously: Abraham also thought that God wanted him to sacrifice his first born son on the mountaintop, so he brought him up there, all ready with a crazy sharp knife and some rope, and then God was all, “JK, LULZ, HAHA, SUCKA!!!!!! Just a test! Go back down the mountain and write a poem about this.”

So, pretty sure God didn’t do that. I mean, LOL wasn’t even invented until 1992 A.D., and then LULZ wasn’t invented until 2008 sometime. Must have been Abraham misinterpreting his voices. I bet God actually said, “I’ll save all y’all, as long as you are CIRCUMSPECT in your decisions regarding your penii.”

If you don’t get that, please go to http://www.dictionary.com and draw your own conclusions.

But, since Abraham was a crazy motha, he heard what he wanted to hear, and then wrote it down in his personal diary, and somehow it made it into the history books, and as a result, billions of poor Jewish baby boys had their foreskins removed for the next several thousands of years.

Let’s just engage in some modern-day comparisons for a moment, shall we?

So, let’s say there was some psycho cult in western Iowa. And, let’s say that one of them really and truly believed that God came and spoke to them. And then let’s say, that God told them they were all saved, as long as they cut off their female babies’ labia on the 5th day after they were born. And let’s say that all of these people started doing this.

Okay.

I am pretty sure the NAACP, the ACLU, slate.com, and women in general would all be like, “OH HELL NAH,” and then they would descend like a crazy hornets nest on the cult and denounce them for the psycho crazies that they were.

And it would be called GENITAL MUTILATION and they would be ordered to stop doing it. So. How is penile circumcision any different (other than the fact that it is an effective preventive against the transmission of HIV/AIDS, but thats another story)? Well, penile circumcision does happen to be a million years old or whatever, whilst labial mutilation would only be like, two weeks old. Still. Does the age of something make it okay?

People. Everyone needs to rethink why the mutilate their child’s penii. CIRCUMCISION IS WEIRD. WE DO IT BECAUSE SOME CRAZY DUDE THINKS GOD TOLD HIM TO DO IT A BAZILLION YEARS AGO.

This is not okay.

Also, while we’re discussing Jews, wasn’t what happened in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s way worse than what happened in Egypt in, like, 2000 B.C. ? Isn’t it time that God reappeared again and renewed the covenant, with something like, “oh hay Guys, sorry I abandoned yall for that decade, I was on vacay on Galaxy 91350EXYTI, IT WAS DA BOMB, falling stars all OVER the place! but my homies in the New World saved yall, so we cool? we cool! be fruitful and multiply, amigos! Oh, P.S., I really didn’t intend for anyone to cut off anyone’s penis, SORRY BOUT THAT.”

That’s what should happen. srsly. If God exists, he should really first apologize for abandoning his people in the mid 20th century, and then he should stick around to clarify a bunch of stuff. Like, what was the point of turning that poor woman into a pillar of salt? Why was Jesus so nice, but everyone in the Old Testament was such a freakin a-hole? How come he invented McDonalds? Why do Jewish people wear those silly little hats?

i have a million other questions for God. If he shows up, you let me know. I’m gonna go Alex Trebec on his ass.

27 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg ate his womb-twin. Now he eats his employees for breakfast.

Ladies and gentleman.

Yesterday I was alerted to a horrifying new development in Mark Zuckerberg’s infamous pursuit of eccentricity.

Apparently, one of Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite pastimes is committing to a project for an entire year. These have included: wearing a tie every single day, learning Mandarin Chinese, and this year, apparently, he has committed to only eating meat he has killed himself.

It started out innocently enough. After watching Food Inc from the safety of his leather-encased home mega-theatre and in the ironic company of a bowl of Orville Redenbachers Ultra-Buttery popcorn, Zuckerberg, like all good liberal American 20 somethings, quickly began to feel shame and remorse about eating meat and non-organic vegetables and grains. Later, he overheard one of his coworkers talking about Eating Animals, and he was even more perturbed about the horrific slaughtering of the food that he ate off of his quadruple-gold-platinum-titanium clad plates and flatware every day.

unjust slaughtering of wilbur

Naturally, this was anathema to Mark. You see, Mark had grown up friendless, with only Disney characters to keep him company. You don’t get to be CEO of one of the world’s hugest companies by being friendly. No. The Social Network taught us that. (Poor Winkelman twins.) Anyway. One of Mark’s most favorite imaginary friends was Charlotte, of Charlotte’s Web, and since Charlotte’s most favorite friend was Wilbur, Mark thus also loved Wilbur. All of those years of his eating meat, he never made the connection between meat and dead animal — totally understandable, since when you go to the store, you don’t see pictures of dead animals, you just see packaged raw meat. WHO KNEW THAT STUFF CAME FROM ANIMALS BEFORE FOOD INC CAME OUT? When he finally figured out that he had been EATING his MOST BESTEST childhood friend all of those years, he puked in his mouth a little bit. And he resolved to himself not that he would stop eating his most bestest friend, but that he would only eat his most bestest friend if he could kill it himself. Because this is how Mark Zuckerberg’s mind works.

i know there are several things wrong with the perspective of this picture but you'll just have to use your imagination

And thus Mark developed a taste for killing.

Unfortunately, it soon started to grate on him. What kind of a person was he, that he could kill his best friends and then EAT them? He started having nightmares. Wilbur came to him in his dreams, crying, asking “WHY? WHY? After all of those years, and those songs! oh!” Mark started showing up to work with bags under his eyes, his hoodies on inside out, and mismatched flip-flops. People were worried, but nobody wanted to ask. Weeks went by, with Mark shut in his glass-encased super-mod office, where he brooded over his unjust killing of his best friends. Silently, he alienated those who were closest to him: Mary, who brought him coffee, Charlie, who stood in front of him in the lunch line, and Bertha, who cleaned the bottoms of his Armani flip flops. Even the Taiwanese dry cleaning lady noticed a hunch in his shoulders when he picked up the one suit that he owns.

It was when Mark started watching Season 3 of Dexter that he finally realized the problem. You’re supposed to kill your enemies, not your best friends! With a new, discerning attitude, Mark swept his eyes around the office. A young brunette in Accounting who’d previously spurned his late-night sexual advances laughed flirtatiously with John in Customer Service. Teresa in International Product Development gossiped with Mary in Public Relations, their heads bent together secretly, confidentially. And the CFO and COO whispered together about something, frantically waving their hands. They were all against him. Mark knew it. Nobody was his friend. Nobody whispered with him like that. Nobody laughed flirtatiously with him. Mark pounded his fist on his table. The world was black and white to Mark: if you weren’t his friend, you were his enemy. He heard the word “google plus” drop out of the conversation between the CFO and COO, and he knew they plotted to overthrow this company he’d crafted with HIS OWN BARE HANDS.

Well, they were about to see what else he could do with his own bare hands.

The reasoning went thus: why was it okay to kill your best friends and then eat them, but if you killed your enemies, you had to bury them? This made no sense to Mark. Instead, he reasoned, let your best friends live, and eat your enemies! The general social antipathy towards cannibalism was unfounded, Mark thought. It made sense to eat those who opposed you. It was just evolution, but more advanced. Mark silently praised his own out-of-the-box thinking, the same thinking that led to his domination of the world social empire. This, he thought, would revolutionize food, save animals, and rid the world of lesser human beings.

As the days passed, Facebook employees started disappearing. The bags under Mark’s eyes started lightening up. The dry cleaning lady noticed a general perkiness in his attitude. His personal flip-flop cleaner stopped thinking about going back to school and started taking pride in his work, working for a man with such a congenial attitude. And the lunch line was filled with laughter again.

Mark never knew the true reason behind his ready acceptance of cannibalism. You see, if you look very closely at his right shoulder, what he has always thought to be a protruding freckle is actually a tiny fetus penis, leftover from 27 years ago in the womb, when he ate his twin fetus, gaining dominion over the womb and setting him on the path to greatness.

schmeeple.

peeple, schmeeple.

Know what I heard on the radio the other day? These people were talking about how Jon Huntsman, former gov of Utah and former US Ambassador to China under the Obama administration, has recently declared his run for 2012 Republican Presidential bid. So, Jon Huntsman seems to be a pretty decent guy, as far as Republicans go. Unfortunately, the radio show I was listening to seemed to indicate that maybe “pretty decent guy” isn’t what Republicans want. Ha.

“Jon Huntsman made the announcement from the same place Reagan made his presidential bid announcement back in 1980. There, he declared that he was committed to taking ‘The High Road’ during his presidential campaign. The question is, do Republicans really want someone that’s going to take the High Road? Lately, it seems that Republicans have really been clamoring for ‘Red Meat Politics’…”

whaaaaaaaa? If that’s true, that’s effed up, and it just shows how dismally pathetic our nation’s politics have become. Nobody even wants to take the high road anymore. PATHETIC. And what does Red Meat Politics even mean?

In other news, USA and a bunch of other countries are going to release oil reserves to combat the price of rising gas — which is fantastic (SARCASM). Yes, let’s just prolong the painful death of our reliance on oil, and retard the progress of our movement over to solar, wind, geothermal, ethanol, etc. If you haven’t heard this argument, it’s basically that without expectations of prolonged higher prices of oil, investors aren’t willing to sink money into expensive alternative energy projects if they won’t be competitive against oil. This means we have to live with expensive gas for a little bit while we make the switch, unless the govt decides to sink in loads of unsustainable subsidies to get alt energy off the ground. Even still. NO PAIN, NO GAIN, SCHMEEPLE.

And, finally, in local politics, Evan and I went to revolution again last night. For those of you unfamiliar with revolution, it is a stark white, pseudo modern restaurant on Main street, where they don’t capitalize their sentences and their appetizers are called “small”, their main dishes are “big”, and their cold dishes are “cold”. And it’s ‘spensive. We’ve been before, back when we were rollin’ in the dough, but they sat us in the bar and completely, totally ignored us. This time we got to sit with the real people in the normal dining area, and they treated us pretty nicely. The food is excellent, and their waitstaff was nice. That, my friends, is the only thing Revolution has going for them. Didn’t we abandon stark white walls and uncomfortable chairs in 2002? Ugh, I hate the way that place is decorated. It’s awful. I much prefer comfortable grunge to uncomfortable stark modern whiteness. It’s so laboratory. Also, i have no idea where the name “revolution” came from. Revolution against…comfort? against…ambience?

While at dinner last night, we reaffirmed that our favorite local eaters are still Bali Hai (for me) and Chubbys (For Evan). Nothing beats cheap, fast, and delicious, in a comfortable atmosphere.

THAT IS ALL.

(One of) The Most American Thing(s) You Should Do

Join Costco. Seriously.

There are several things in life that scream,

“Americana!!!”

These include: guns, lifesavers, obesity, diabetes, reality TV, heart attacks, really overpriced medical care, fast food, golden retrievers, cowboys, underpaid Mexicans, Texas, tacos (this would be ironic, but Mexico and America are actually supposed to be the same country), baseball, racism, extreme wealth gaps, ranches, Sarah Palin, idiocy, nuclear weapons, Las Vegas, ignorance, camping, being unilingual, whitewater rafting, and a desire to return everything back to the way they were in the 1950s. Oh, and, hypocritical old people is sooo classic Americana. They’re all, “don’t you dare touch my social security or my medicare! back off, you young whippasnappas!!! We are entitled to our entitlements! Oh, poor black people need some help? well, EFF THEM, they should go get themselves a J-O-B!”

Anyway. Some of these things are terrible, some of them are awesome. At the top of the awesome list is Tacos, Texas, golden retrievers, lifesavers. And, you know, I really like Sarah Palin. Now that everyone thinks she’s a nutcase and she has no chance at becoming president, she’s got that accent, and she tries so hard to be American; it’s very entertaining. I loved reading the news stories about her RV trip across America. Shes a TRUE AMERICAN. Not like that Muslim impostor, Barack Hussein Obama (you have to say that in a very southern accent). Conservatives universally hate educated people. Not sure what that’s about…

ANYWAY. There are lots of things that are equally American, or equally adopted/loved by Americans, but not considered to be uniquely American. This is because people in other countries  also have these things. These include: hybrid vehicles, friendly people, vegetarians, homosexuality, electronics, marijuana, booze, good literature and artistic expression, and progressive ideals.

However. The one thing that really stands out amongst American awesomeness, is Costco.

Here are some interesting facts about Costco:

1. 80% of your fellow shoppers are obese, which is guaranteed to make you feel better about yourself. Especially when you compare your kart-contents, and you look down at your spinach and fish fillets, and then look over and see they are purchasing a pallet of diet cokes and Twinkies.

2. Free food before 5 pm. This includes diet cokes and twinkies, spinach and fish fillets, coffee, vitamin water, berry smoothie, YOU NAME IT, they’ve offered it as a free sample. Superbowl weekend is the most fantastic weekend of the year at Costco. I’m thinking about actually hosting a pre-game party next year at Costco.  Last January, they had this huge wing table set up, with like ten people working on cooking wings, and all the different flavors laid out with celery and carrots and several different dipping sauces, and you could just grab a plate, and pile it with as many wings as you wanted! oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

3. The ceilings are, like, one mile high. You can’t even see the top. But you can see the huge pallets from across the store. There’s nothing that makes you feel like an American more than a 10′ by 10′ pallet labeled “5 HOUR ENERGY DRINK,” stacked on top of pallets of dog food for your golden retriever. While we’re on the subject of 5 hour energy drink, can we discuss the last word in the name? I thought the use of the word “drink” was just a substitute for juice – like, Orange Drink, or Grape Drink (Dave Chapelle did a hilarious piece once on the merits of grape drink). Are they trying to insinuate that “5-hour-energy” is some kind of fruit? Or were they initially trying to appeal to the demographic that consumes lots of Grape Drink? Also, whats with those commercials? Were they shot by a 5 year old who doesn’t know how to alter the color perception of their video camera? And why would you want to forgo coffee in favor of 5 hour energy drink? I LIKE supporting Honduran coffee workers every morning at 8 am. I feel at one with the world. Also it’s the only time of day I consume dairy, so I can’t switch to 5 hour energy drink or I’ll get osteoporosis. And cancer, probably–who knows whats in any product that contains the word “drink” ?

4. You can not buy anything in less than one gallon quantities. And the majority of the time you must buy at least two of any one item. This is okay if you have several freezers with lots of space.

5. You can get a hot dog for $1.50. With sauerkraut and mustard and onions and ketchup, and i swear its one foot long. Or a slice of pizza for $1.99. Or an entire pizza for $8.

6. They do not accept any credit cards except for AMERICAN EXPRESS. See that? See? I should have started with that one. Last year, American Express sent us several hundred dollars in cash back rewards. It was fantastic. (Chase Freedom is better, but thats a topic for another day).