One man's attempt at literacy

Category Archives: Art

After my last post describing the history of the game Maryann and I invented, I didn’t write for awhile. I was quiet while waiting for the results of the contests I applied to, and the results were mixed. Sort of.

For the competition I was most concerned with, Boston FIG, I received my rejection and, as you could guess, was a bit dejected. But then, about two weeks ago, I received their feedback on the game, and it was… All positive. Literally. The curator who gave me the review said things like, “This is a great party game, best played with people you know well and aren’t afraid of acting foolish in front of. Would make a great drinking game, too” –the last of which is exceptionally fitting since it was originally solely a drinking game. It was also described as, “Easily learned and quite intuitive.”

Most importantly, though, was that the review included one sentence which so perfectly stated a sentiment I’d been grasping with describing ever since the game concept really was solidified back in January:

“[The game is] totally fair or completely unfair, depending on who is playing, but that’s kind of the point.”

After all this jabber, and now that I have some renewed vigor after hearing such great things by people who aren’t completely obligated to be nice to me, let me actually tell you about the game.

LogoPremise

You and your “friends” are all in Dictator Preschool. Your goal is to learn how to undermine and arbitrarily impose rules on your peers, while doing your best to avoid having to follow rules yourself. The more conniving you are, the better supreme leader you will make. Every turn, one player – “The Dictator” – pits other players against each other in challenges to vie for their approval. This game isn’t fun for the whole family, but it’s exciting and hilarious for anyone who enjoys the chance to let out their inner dictator.

Gameplay

Summary: Players compete in Playground challenges, doing their best to avoid getting Punishments while imposing Punishments on others. Punishments are rules that players must follow or else suffer a consequence. To start, everyone draws a Tyrant card and agrees on a consequence for breaking rules. Every round, someone becomes The Dictator and draws a Playground card, which gives a challenge to other players. After they compete, The Dictator arbitrarily chooses a winner, who gets to arbitrarily make another player draw a Punishment card. The game ends when one player has 7 Punishments in front of them, or
when everyone’s lust for power is sated.

jDHprWXtoPLY7M90FBgfD20OiD2wTqfLLzca2aLklxk  Starting the Game: The game starts when people agree on an easily completed but suitably harsh consequence for inevitable rule breaking (e.g., take a drink, do a sit up, etc.). Then, every player draws a Tyrant card, and the Tyrant with the highest Tyrant Level goes first. After this, Tyrant cards can be ignored though acting like Hitler for the remainder of the game is, of course, encouraged. Play continues clockwise. Sequence of Events: Each player becomes The Dictator on his or her
turn as soon as they draw a Playground Card. The Dictator, as the supreme ruler of the land, does not have to follow any rules. The Dictator has two jobs: first, they get to decide how long the players have to complete a Playground Card; second, they decide the winner of that challenge. There are three phases to a turn:

1. The Dictator draws a card from the Playground deck and reads it out loud. After the card is read, the players listed on that card must vie for The Dictator’s approval by completing the challenge associated with
the category.

2. The Dictator chooses a winner of the round by whatever standards they want.

3. The winner gets to make another player of their choosing (EXCEPT for The Dictator) draw a Punishment card, which is read
aloud and placed in front of the person who drew it.

Playground FrontPlayground Cards: Playground Cards are divided into four categories, all of which are shuffled together.
● Tantrums: These cards require two players of The Dictator’s choosing to argue that they are the best or most likely to be
something. Whether it is something they want to be the best at or not, players must argue in favor of themselves.
● Tattle Telling: The Dictator reads a sentence on the card, which includes a blank. All other players must write down how they think The Dictator would most likely complete the statement.
● Acting Out: Each one of these cards has a category written on it. The Dictator chooses a word or short phrase that fits the category and then choose two other players to simultaneously act out the chosen word or phrase silently.
● Fingerpainting: Fingerpainting cards consist of questions. If the Dictator draws a Fingerpainting card, he reads the card out loud and then answers the question however he wants. The other players then draw The Dictator’s answer.

Supreme Judge: The Dictator chooses a winner of each challenge based on what he liked best. For instance, in a Fingerpainting challenge, The Dictator could choose the picture he thought was prettiest, or the one that best depicted his sexy abs, or give a pity win to the worst artist.

Punish BackPunishment Cards: Punishment cards are rules (e.g., “End every sentence with ‘Amen!’”), with a penalty enforced for rule breaking determined by the players at the start of the game. Most of the time, the player who draws a Punishment card places it in front of himself and has to follow that rule for the rest of the game, even while competing in Playground challenges. There are also four special types of Punishment cards, which are explained directly on the cards. If any Punishments seem to conflict, do your best to follow both. All Punishment cards are shuffled together into their own pile.

Ending the Game: If you are a stickler for tradition and feel that the game must officially “end,” you can choose to declare a game over when someone has 7 Punishment cards in front of them. Whoever has the fewest doesn’t win so much as they lose the least.


Do you like being evil? Acting like a child? Competing in various ridiculous challenges? Then you just might like the game I have sort of made and done nothing with!!!

I am not a good salesman. But I do think I’ve done something good.

In October, my friend Maryann and I decided to finally run with one of our many, many (like, infinite) ideas, and make a card game that we had had an idea for. The original concept was a judicial themed (no joke) card game tentatively called Crime and Punishment, which was a mash up of trivia, debating, and filling in the blanks. It was a lot like Cranium… But evil.

Evil!!!

Evil!!!

See, at first the important thing we focused on was not just the actual game play, but the fact that this was a game that — you might have guessed — hinged on punishments. Specifically, punishing other players, by making them follow rules. Think King’s Cup, the drinking game (in fact, originally this WAS a drinking game), where there are rules to follow and you must drink if you forget them, only in our game there aren’t simply four rules at most for the whole group; there are countless rules that can affect one or all the players. The point of the game was and always has been to wait until one player is crushed under the weight of all their rules.

My friend and I are cruel.

Eventually, Maryann and I scrapped the drinking component of this, because even when we played it ourselves for the first time we didn’t all want to drink. Plus, marketability! We also debated what to call it, deciding that, not only did the name not fit, but we didn’t need to involve Dostoyevsky in our terror. For a while there, our very proper friend Chloe suggested DGBF *coughcoughdon’tgetbuttfuckedcough* (something you want to avoid in prison), which we used as yet another tentative title. During this time, we also realized that trivia was not a good category because it simply wasn’t replayable, like our other categories: the answer to who won the World Cup in 2010 won’t change unless Doctor Who intervened (new game idea!!!). Plus…writing trivia is hard.

Amid all these talks of change, Maryann and I did something very appropriate for us: we dropped it. About two weeks after we played our first test round of this in November, we stopped planning it, figuring it would never amount to anything, and feeling like we could spend our time better — like watching Lightning Point, an Australian show about aliens who love surfing.

Thankfully, Joe exists.

In January, I began debating what to get my boyfriend, Joe, for his birthday. Unfortunately, I was practically broke at that time, and on a (short-lived) path to being utterly broke. So what could I get for his 30th birthday that would be worthy? Well, there was one idea I had that wouldn’t cost too much. See, Joe Maryann and I have all these truly fantastic — I mean, FANTASTIC, right!? — ideas, but we never followed through and really finished any, and Joe said he wished we would. So DGBF was the perfect opportunity to do something for Joe and even something productive.

I kidnapped talked Maryann into resuming the game, and she agreed, reluctantly happily. We resumed by adding new categories, but, mostly, focusing on making the game more unified. What we decided was that the game wasn’t just about challenges and unrelated punishments for the loser, which may or may not be decided by others, but instead ALL challenges and punishment recipients would be decided by someone. More than that, there was a new emphasis on replayability, with the person who decides the winner of each round also having more control over what happens during the challenges.

We were set, so close to making this game ready to play, not just as something that two nerds created in their spare time (by spare time, I mean “at work on G-chat and sometimes in between eating Pommes Frites, bahn mi, and Big Gay Ice Cream in rapid succession), but something they actually thought about to excess. We just had one problem: the theme and the name. Our game was still DGBF, a game vaguely about the legal system and jail, but we weren’t happy with it. Then I had an epiphany.

I’m a bit of a control freak, sometimes. I am the kind of person who likes things a certain way, and thinks way too much about things, and when other people act in a way I like to let them know why I think they should do things the way I have painstakingly determined was best. Basically, I’m a control freak. This intermittent action eventually led Joe to call me a tyrant, and, one day, while thinking of this after the fact, I thought, “I’m not a big tyrant… I’m a tiny tyrant.”

Logo

In that instant the heavens opened up, and naked, winged babies flew around me, singing hymns. We had a name, and we had a theme: our game was now about Hitler. Or rather, young dictators through the ages. Given this, the challenges became kids testing each other in horrible ways, and the punishments and rules were, well, what happens when you are in a room of dictators, even preschool-aged ones.

Once we had this, I begged my father — a kind, loving man who is too nice to his kids — to make me some art, and he gladly did. Tiny Tyrants was finally printed out and ready to play roughly four hours before Joe’s birthday party. Ironically, we didn’t play the game because people showed up over the course of two hours, but we did draw pictures on the white boards for it.

IMG_1694

Even after the birthday, Maryann and I continued making the game, and did some more play testing and fine tuning. We now have four delightful categories that test people’s  willingness be creative, funny, earnest, and/or ass-kissing. Similarly, more and more control has been given to The Dictator, the person in control each round, who can literally decide the fates of others on his or her whim. No longer is it just a game of high replayability with some rules to follow, but it’s a game that is unique in that players get to control how they “score” and even determine how much time they have to complete their challenges.

Two weeks ago, I submitted this game to the Boston Festival of Indie Games, today I sent them a prototype because they requested it (and my bank account feels it, eek!), and on Friday I’ll be entering Tabletop Deathmatch, a competition created by the makers of Cards Against Humanity. If nothing happens with any of these, or other competitions that may come up, I may do a Kickstarter. Even after eight months of work, this game is still not really anything more than a few cards on my shelf and way too much time spent thinking of everything I’d want to experience in a party game, but maybe, one day, you could see Tiny Tyrants in the stores, and that’s pretty cool to think about.

-13


People who have read my blog for awhile know that I love bad TV. Love it. To the extent that when I see a bad show on Netflix or Hulu, I will call people up or post on their Facebook saying “WE MUST WATCH THIS!” And then look even more awkward than normal.

It really is as good-bad as they say!!!

But the secret I don’t talk about that often, except with the people I watch bad TV with, is that there’s an art to making bad TV good. For instance, in Christmas I started at least twelve terrible Christmas/holiday movies, and only completed three of them. The other ones just weren’t badly good enough to be enjoyable. It turns out there is quite the science to making something that is as amazingly terrible as, say, Sharknado.

In this vein, I want to share my newest obsession: Breaking Amish. Breaking Amish is a TLC show — the same network that brought you My Big, Fat Gypsy Wedding, so you know it must be quality entertainment — about five young Amish adults (technically, four Amish and a Mennonite, which is slightly more progressive) who decide they want to experience the real world by moving to New York for various reasons.

At this point when I was explaining the show to my boyfriend, he said, “so it’s about their Rumspringa?” And I say, “What’s that?” He responded, “Well, the Amish are often encouraged to go experience American culture in their teenage years.” I looked at him blankly.

No, it’s not about their Rumspringa, Joseph! That’s not dramatic enough! It’s just them being rebellious and angsty because — well, just because! Anyways, it’s not about their Rumspringa. End of story! They’re just… They just decide to all go to New York at the same time! When there happen to be a film crew there! Duh. Stop being silly!

The first episode of Breaking Amish explores the five characters and why they decide to leave their community. I didn’t actually see the first episode, but you really don’t need to because most of these people will explain their motivations over, and over, and over every episode. The characters are as follows:

Rebecca: Rebecca is a young, insecure girl who hates pretty much everyone and wanted to see New York because her father was English (what they call non-Amish people). Or her mom was. I don’t know. She’s pretty boring, but she makes up for any hobbies or interesting quirks by being extremely judgemental and easily offended. Also, she has dentures.

Kate: Kate is a very pretty girl who seems sort of fun and completely insane. She likes to drink a lot and also likes to break into tears. She especially loves to do both of these things simultaneously. Her goal for leaving is to be a model, even though she seems to despise English people — though she had to leave the Amish community because they think that trying to be beautiful is bad and prideful, to the extent they have super creepy faceless dolls.

Not creepy AT ALL.

Abe: Abe is boring. I don’t know why he left the Amish community, but I’m assuming it was to stalk Rebecca, because, despite being awkward and quiet, he is also kind of a pervert. We’re talking if he lived in Japan he’d be buying panties out of a vending machine.

Sabrina: Sabrina is Puerto Rican. She left to find out more of her culture, which she does by working at a restaurant in Astoria, an area in Queens mostly known for having a lot of Greek people, so that makes sense. She is the Mennonite, so the journey is a little less daunting to her. Does she have a personality? Well, she’s funnier and kinder than the rest — which is not saying much. I suppose the best way to describe her is she is the most human of all of them.

Jeremiah: Jeremiah is the other male, and he is also a pervert. He likes boobs, and I’m sure he’d like monster trucks.

They all have plot arcs that develop throughout the season, too. Sabrina hires a PI to track her parents, which is full of lots of juicy tidbits that conveniently pop up every week or two; luckily, she only has drama at her job when she doesn’t have drama concerning her parents. Rebecca and Abe start dating each other; they are perfect for each other because their most defining characteristic is their mutual contempt for everyone besides themselves. Jeremiah quickly turns into The Situation from Jersey Shore. Kate does something with modeling, but mostly she cries a lot because she needs mood stabilizers.

As you can probably guess, this is all terribly, terribly convenient. Too convenient. So convenient that if it wasn’t scripted I’d say God has a plan, and his plan is to make people’s lives into hilariously bad television shows. But with so many reality shows being overtly scripted — I had a friend who knew someone on the Real Housewives of Some Place who said they made them redo scenes liking flipping over a table — the fact that Breaking Amish can embrace the fact it’s all being thought up by someone being paid in spare change and Oreos at the TLC headquarters actually makes it better than all the terrible scripted “reality” shows that have come before it. When Abe’s mom comes in the second episode to ask him back, we don’t roll our eyes; we cheer, because that same plot very well could’ve happened in last week’s Grey’s Anatomy.

As it stands, Breaking Amish has perfected the scripted-reality show formula because it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. There are no boring plots that demonstrate these are real humans because — admit it — at the time of this filming they are not; they are Amish dolls (with faces, thankfully) who are being paraded around for our entertainment. As long as we remember that, I am all too happy to eat a gallon spoonful of ice cream in front of the boob tube.


Thanks to the wonderful Jules at Go Jules Go, I became aware of something wonderful, the Pi Day Pie Challenge. The short is this: Pi Day is March 14th (3.14). A pi pie is a pie made in honor of Pi Day, and it is extra delicious because it is the tastiness of pie with the awesomeness of math. It’s practically algebraic!

Not so pretty yet, but I swear this will make your socks fly off in pure happiness!

Not so pretty yet, but I swear this will make your socks fly off in pure happiness!

Prior to this I had only made about four pies in my life, and only the last — a pumpkin pie I made for a dinner with friends that had fresh, garden-grown pumpkins — was a success, so I immediately was wary going into this. However, I had something on my side: Pushing Daisies, and a pie discussed in that show, a “tart apple pie with gruyère baked into the crust.” Gruyère, for those who don’t know, is a wonderful cheese. Pushing Daisies is — well, let me explain.

Pushing Daisies copyright ABC etc.!

When you see this poster you might think, “Oh, now an apple pie with cheese sounds a little less unusual.”

Pushing Daisies was a show that aired a few years back with a short first season, that was cancelled in its second season. And it was magnificent. I will not deny that the second season wasn’t nearly as good as the first, but that’s partly because the first seasons was practically perfect. It was the story of a pie maker and his childhood sweetheart, whom he could never touch because it would kill her (again), as they assisted a private detective solve murders, often aided by the pie maker’s single employee who secretly loved him. Sound weird? It sort of was.

Pushing Daisies had everything; romance, comedy, drama, action, and mystery, and instead of being overloaded by any of these elements it came together to form a cohesive and unexpectedly wonderful creation (like a cheese, apple pie!). It somehow managed to be better at any of those aspects than 90% of the television that focused on merely one or two of them. More than anything, it had heart and it had magic. If there was a reason the second season failed it was because it tried to force what seemed to come so easily to the first. The first season of Pushing Daisies is probably my favorite season of any show ever because of how amazingly well crafted and thoughtful it was.

In the show, the sweetheart has two aunts who are recluses that love cheese, and she can’t see them so she tries to help them by giving them pie laced with homeopathic mood enhancers and, more importantly for this, cheese baked into the crust. I used this crust recipe but augmented the filling so it was a bit more substantial, plus I only had winesap apples, which are actually not tart. The end result was this: the filling was fine, but the crust is delicious. It’s so good. Even the dough was so delicious that I couldn’t stop raving about it, and the smells that wafted from my oven as it cooked were intoxicating.

The dough alone to this is so lovely. It's everything you love about cheese combined with everything you love about butter.

The dough alone to this is so lovely. It’s everything you love about cheese combined with everything you love about butter.

You know how when you’re in grade school the most common retort to something like, “I love this pie!” is, “If you love it so much why don’t you marry it!”? Well, I would marry this pie crust. I would. It’s basically like the flakiest, moistest, most perfect cheese puff pastry I’ve ever had.

It's basically like everything you love about a salad with oil, croutons, apples, and gruyère minus the stupid green things in a salad!

It’s basically like everything you love about a salad with oil, croutons, apples, and gruyère minus the stupid green things in a salad!

This pie is an ode to pi and a requiem for Pushing Daisies. It’s the Pushing Daisies Pi Pie. It’s simply heavenly. And because it’s so delicious, it will, like the show, probably not be around for long, but my life will be better for having experienced it.


This elbow might be worth more than your house.

This elbow might be worth more than your house.

In the immortal words of starlet and my idol Jenna Maroney, “Listen up 5s, a 10 is speaking.”

As you probably know, I’m a world-class supermodel – and if you don’t, shame! My face has appeared in Vogue, my abs have appeared in inStyle, and my elbows have appeared in SkyMall.

But I’m not just a sexy, amazingly smart, world famous man of mystery; I’m also a philanthropist — but leave your hands off my millions, I need that to buy a third yacht. No, what I offer you is worth so much more than my money; I give to you my brain thoughts.

So, listen up: do you want to be so sexy that no woman/man/thing can resist you? Do you want to project an air of confidence and unabashed fearlessness? Do you want people to swivel their heads and cower before the sight of your amazingness? Then heed the following Fashion tips, which are sure to make you the it of everyone’s dreams.

1. Always wear more colors

Some people say you shouldn’t overdo it with color: those people are nothing more than conservative school marms in disguise. Remember that color theory is just a theory. All colors look good together, always, all the time.

Being afraid of color is like being afraid of a tiger. Why would you be afraid of something so majestic? All you need to do is tame it with a simple snap of your fingers, and it is yours to do with as you please. I should know; I own five tigers.

So remember, you must always put on more colors. If you’re wearing only two colors you’re not a real human and you will never be a success.

I am Fashion.

2.  You can never wear too many pairs of sunglasses

Sunglasses make you look sexy. It’s a scientific fact. Nobody wants to see the eyes of another human, because you might get lost in them, like a maze, or my house-sized walk-in closet.

The conventional way to wear sunglasses is to wear one pair at once. But who wants to be conventional? Not I, nor anyone who hopes to take the world by storm and become a fierce fashionista! So how do you spice up sunglasses, you ask with your pathetic, whining voice. Simple: wear more sunglasses. It’ll make any look as memorable and exotic as a peacock that has been set on fire.

3. Change your hair every time you leave the room

One of the keys to being remembered is to be memorable; remember that. One of the ways to do this is to create an air of anticipation around all your actions, and the  quick hair change when you’re out of sight is the perfect way to do this.

Fauxhawk

Leave the table as Greg, return to the table as Faux Greg.

Imagine you’re on a date and you have to use the little model’s room. The thing you’re on a date with will have to wait for you, and this immediately puts it in a bad mood because no one ever likes to wait. Does this mean you train your bladder to hold gallons of fluids at once? Perhaps. But the other option is to turn a problem into an opportunity to be captivating.

While you’re in there, change your hair. With a little water, a comb, some hair gel, a blow dryer, shampoo, conditioner, and a tiny gay man named Alfonzo waiting in a stall for you, you can turn your trademark faux hawk into an inverted perm with highlights in two hours flat. Your date will see your skills and your suave and forgive the short wait.

4. Food is Fashion

If you want to be truly sexy, you must remember that food is the enemy. But like any good enemy, you must keep it close to you if you want to win the battle for fame and fortune. This leaves only one option: make your food into your Fashion.

Here’s a simple outfit that’s sure to stop even the most reluctant of glamorous gourmands: create a corset for yourself out of fruit leather and a skirt out of intricately braided red vines. Use frosting to glue skittles to your exposed neck, and salmon wrapped around your feet with kelp and sticky rice will make a perfect cushioned shoe that lifts you a few inches off the ground. Use a single cinnamon dough nut as a bracelet on your right wrist, and two peeps would make excellent earrings that draw attention to your hair, where you use a mix of mousse and pins to elaborately turn an entire fried chicken dinner into an irresistible hairpiece.

5. When in doubt, go nude.

Sometimes picking the right outfit for an event is such a hassle. Ever spend 8 hours in front of a mirror debating which ascot to wear with which bowler? Everyone’s been there. That’s why my motto is, “When in doubt, go nude.” It’s the ultimate statement that you’ve been liberated from the strict social paradigm of clothes-wearing. It’s also easy, cheap, and fast.

That said, there are some limitations. First, of course you need to make sure you’re in tip-top physical form, like me, before you go nude. No one wants to see Queen Elizabeth II decide that her birthday suit is what she wants to wear to her meeting with Canadia’s prime minister, president, dictator, or whatever they have. Second, you must make sure not to overuse this outfit, just like any other article of clothing. I limit myself to one naked excursion a year, lest it become blasé.

Well, munchkins, now that I’ve given you all the advice you need to succeed in the world of high fashion, I hope you go forth and spread the Gospel of Greg. Be fierce, be strong, and always be fabulous.

You are the future of glam warrior.


New York is known for a few things: wonderful and innovative food; the world’s best art and fashion; and terribly, horribly rude people who are always in a hurry. Coming from Montana the mere mention of New York will set Ma or Pa off on a tirade about how “them people dun’ know how ta just settle down an’ be nice for one gosh durn minit!”  Even people who have never been in New York nor really interacted with a New Yorker will discuss at length with you the problems of those awful East Coasters and their refusal to act with a modicum of politeness.

And to an extent, they’re right.

Property of the Village Voice The thing is, if you move to New York you are often in a rush, and you do get a bit ruder. You have to. But it’s not because you get sucked into some sort of respect-stealing black hole, or because the city is located on top of a portal to Hell, a la Buffy; the problem is that so much of being in New York is about waiting.

Let me explain: when I lived in Montana I lived seven miles out of town. This means that to drive to me (and pretty much everyone I know had a car or had access to a car) took roughly 15 minutes — maybe 30 minutes if they lived on the opposite side of town and it was snowing and there was traffic AND they happened to stop and watch a group of deer grazing on the way. Living where I did, I often had friends tell me they didn’t want to come over to my house because it “took so long to get there.”

Fast forward a mere month to New York, where I discovered that the first apartment I moved into was a mere 15 minutes away from the first friends I made in the city and we all did a little dance, because, suddenly, being 15 minutes away was amazingly close.

So, you see, New Yorkers don’t rush because they are self important; they rush because they waste so much time not moving at all. Meeting a friend for a quick cup of coffee doesn’t really happen in New York because getting to that coffee shop often takes twice as long as the meeting itself, and who wants to do that?

When we discuss why New Yorkers rush, we must discuss the rudeness — ah yes, the signature trademark New Yorker attitude. The rudeness is born not of spite but of futility. If you have never lived in New York or an equally bustling metropolis you will never understand the fury that overcomes you when two people with suitcases decide to waddle down the sidewalk, side-by-side, at the speed of molasses on a Canadian winter day. Sometimes walking through the streets of New York make me feel like I’m in the labyrinth and have to get past the minotaur, only there isn’t a single minotaur; there are seven million immensely slow hulking creatures blocking my path and ensuring my loss of sanity.

Property of Unspoken Cinema (?)

This is what the population of New York looks like to me now.

It’s like Chinese water torture: one slow person, ten slow people, you can deal with, you move past them without a second thought. But at some point, maybe around 6,723 humans that seem intent on being nothing more than fleshy roadblocks, someone moving slower than my grandma does in her walker is liable to make the bile rise up your throat and into your eyeballs.

And what about stopping in the street to check your directions? If you need to find out where to go, I don’t begrudge you for pulling out your map or smartphone to check your location — I once got lost for two hours shortly after moving because I thought I was going south when I was going east — but if you’re going to do that, do it while leaning against a wall, not at the top of the bloody stairs!

Every New Yorker tries to exert some sort of force over their own transit-fate because, ultimately, they are powerless. Finding the worst place to stand in the entire department store and slowing everyone down isn’t done out of ignorance; it’s raising your fist at the heavens and shouting, “You see? I can do that too!” And then desperately sobbing.

Property of ModDBWhile we’re on this subject, let’s talk about honking, a side effect of the fact that sometimes automobiles seem to lurch slower than a senior pushing a shopping cart down the sidewalk. Only, when talking about honks we must talk like Yoda. “Honks lead to anger; anger leads to fear; fear leads to the Darkside. Born of the Darkside, honks are, and lead to the Darkside, they do. Only causing more honks, honking does.”

The truth is New Yorkers are ruder sometimes, yes. We can’t deny it. This is not because of some miasma of anger lurking in the streets; it’s just because getting around this city is such a pain in the butt.

Property of Howard University Library.

“A New Yorker doesn’t rush because it has a destination, it rushes because the lady in front of it has just gotta move.”

I know why the New Yorker Rushes

And gripes and sneers at windows,

Empty Starbucks in his hand.

No taxi in sight again and

The Q train has not arrived in so long.

She wishes for freedom

A way to escape these endless avenues.

Perhaps a turquoise Vespa,

or even a lawnmower.


In my continuing series of terrible movie ideas I bring you my second Christmas movie, and the weirdest of the four I will bring you. It is, however, also a very realistic plot, as evidenced by shows like Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives, which I will admit I watched half of. For those you you who enjoy the stranger, gay-touch, I present:

Christmas is a Drag

Christmas is a Drag is a fabulous new movie starring drag superstar and she-legend, RuPaul. In this adventure, Ru is joined by two freshman draglebrities, Rich Sommer (Mad Men) and BD Wong (Law and Order: SVU), to save Christmas from the evil Santa Bear and his army of beauty-stealing Christmas cubs.

Ru has just returned from a whirlwind modeling and singing journey around the world to sher’s girls, Sasha Lamorr (Rich Sommer), a shy, big-boned drag queen who just wants to find her knight in shining armor, and Nina Fierce (BD Wong), a sassy drag queen with a little too much attitude but all the right moves. When the girls are attacked early Christmas Eve by a group of scary, hairy Christmas cubs, they learn that the most glamorous of holidays is in danger from dirty, old Santa Bear, who wants to steal the beauty from the season and ruin it for all the little ladyboys.

This is the closest thing I could get to an evil Santa Bear that wasn’t actually an animal.

As with all things drag, Christmas is a Drag is a wild ride, with plenty of puns and glitter to appease the most dour of divas. “Tuck” yourselves in this holiday and get ready for an unforgettable ruventure.