Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meet Me in the Megabus to St. Louis: There's a Story There

I'm not one to pass on a good bargain. So when I discovered I could get to St. Louis, Missouri for my friend Jason's 30th celebratory birthday weekend for the price of a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, how could I refuse? My primary concern was that it would be a 13-hour ride on Megbabus. But again, two bucks is two bucks and I was comforted in knowing that if it did turn out to be hell on wheels then at least I had 4 friends along for the ride to co-wallow in my misery.

The day I was all set to being the journey North did not start well. And by not start well, I mean I woke up just in time to throw up everything I had consumed the night before for dinner/bedtime snack. It was horrible and I'll never look at Fig Newtons the same way again. Kinda the same way I look at maple bars. As a kid they were my favorite treat, until one day I blew chunks after eating one and I've never had the stomach to indulge in one again. Some wounds just never heal. The remainder of the afternoon was spent worshiping the porcelain goddess/suffering from cold sweats/fantasizing about finally reaching my goal weight. After nibbling on saltines and small gulps of blue Gatorade all day I mustered enough energy to board the Megabus because God as my witness I was not about to let an upset stomach stop me from have having a gay ol' time in the 3rd most dangerous city in America! Spring Break with pepper spray wahoo!!!!

The fellow travelers on the Megabus were about what I expected. Young. Smelly. Loud. Annoying. Poor Bart got stuck sitting next to a girl who assured him within seconds of meeting that she wasn't a creeper. Her high pitched and constant laugh that resembled that of a baby sheep failed to back up her claim.  My concern the whole time was that I didn't want to throw up on the bus. Luckily some other guy beat me to it but unfortunately the sorority sister sitting next to him on her way to spring break ended up in an unplanned wet t-shirt contest at 3 in the morning. All 6 of us had boarded the bus at 7:45 PM in Dallas and 13 hours and half a bottle of melatonin later we arrived in St. Louis, AKA Nelly's hometown.

The next three days of middle America shenanigans proved to be chicken noodle soup for this weary Texas soul, dontcha know!? Few of us had ever spent time in the city so there were plenty of new sights and sounds to be seen. The architecture of the city was pretty cool with lots of old brick buildings and enormous catholic churches that looked like they had been helicoptered in from Europe. We took a free visit to the local zoo where we saw elephants, monkeys, and shitting penguins, oh my! Nearby we did a drive by of the 1904 World Fair Pavilion, which was surprisingly much smaller than it appeared in "Meet Me in St. Louis". But of course that didn't stop Bart and myself from bursting into a rousing rendition of Clank Clank Went the Trolley, Ding Ding Went the Bell!! We nailed it, and I'd like to think we done Judy Garland proud.

For Jason's birthday dinner we met up with his rather large family (his grandmother birthed ten babies) in one of my favorite chain restaurants ever. The Old Spaghetti Factory. There I got my first chance to try the St. Louis delicacy known as a toasted ravioli. Top that off with spumoni ice cream and bottomless strawberry lemonade and this guy who hadn't had a full meal in two days felt like Jesus must have felt having his first hot pocket after 40 days in the desert. Another delight and life fulfilling dream was sneaking into the restaurant's cable car with Kristin and pretending to be on a first date as we giggled and contemplated eating the leftovers from the couple who'd been sitting there. It took all the strength within me to resist finishing off the melted spumoni. After dinner we went to Three Sixty, one of the city's trendiest rooftop bars, where we were able to convince management that our friend Andrew was Zachary Quinto. The similarities really are uncanny, especially when he's wearing my glasses. Sadly it proved pointless because we still weren't able to get a table let alone a bottle of champagne even though he offered to sign autographs. Clearly none of the bartenders were Trekkie's.

Our final hours in the city were spent wining and dining on Bloody Marys, biscuits and gravy, and bowls of maple syrup while our elderly waitress Beverly took a smoke break every two minutes and talked to us about watching the arch being built. She really dated herself with that statement.  Afterwards we did the most touristy thing possible, which I am always down for on a trip, and went up into the city's infamous arch that has been coined "The Gateway to the West". It's something I've always wanted to do but I can't say it was exactly what I was expecting. Although you are able to get a nice view of the city there was no open-air deck, no gift shop, and the pod you had to ride to get to the reminded me of something off the show LOST. And word to the wise, if you suffer from any form of claustrophobia I suggest doing as my mom does at all amusement parks which is find a nice bench, hold everybody's jacket, and wait for your family to get off ride.

P.S. A special thanks goes out to Kristin for her St. Louis hospitality in letting 4 boys invade her lovely little apartment for the weekend. You're a treasure and a saint!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013


Over the past few years The Grammys have weaseled their way into my affections and become my favorite awards show of the entire year. Last nights show proved to be an interesting one since there weren't any artists who completely swept up all Grammys like my beloved Adele and Beyonce have done in the past two years. It was generous of them to spread the wealth because clearly there are lots of worthy musicians who deserve to be awarded for their musical efforts. Music is something that's always been a special part of my life and whether I'm hitting the stair monster, getting ready for a night out, or sitting at my desk working I almost always have music playing. These days I don't have as much time and money to keep up on movies but luckily my 10 dollar a month Spotify account keeps me up to date on what the whipper snappers are listening to on the radio.

Last night I debated doing an intensive live Twitter feed of the nights big moments but then I remembered that I only have 22 followers and half of them are probably robots so it would have been pointless. Although big shout out to Tamara for throwing me a few favorites and re-tweets. Love you boo boo! Thanks for making me feel a little less alone in the Twitter-sphere.

So the following is what would have been my hypothetical twitter feed if I was in fact twitter-famous....

Taylor “Uncle Sam” Swift. You realize you are no longer able to call yourself a country artist, right? Also, “ I’m sorry but I’m busy opening up the Grammy’s” might me the best “stick this in your pipe and smoke it” line I’ve ever heard #suckitharrystyles


Ed Sheeran. I have the biggest friend crush on you.  When I begin my music career would you be so kind as to pen a few ditties for me? #thanksboo #littlethings2.0

Elton John. I don’t really like it when you sing Ed’s songs. There’s not enough room on that tiny, circular stage for two gingers and while you could sing “Candle In The Wind’ all day long without a complaint from me, I’m really not feeling your take on the “A Team”. #sorryi’mnotsorry

Testicular Cancer/Valentines Day commercial. Really? Really?? I thought you were going to be just another K-Y commercial. You sure showed me. #livestrong

Katy Perry. You was robbed!!! Not by Adele because she actually deserved the best Pop Performance Grammy but aside from making my most listened to song of 2012, Wide Awake should have won an award for something!

Adele looks like she's wearing a couch cushion from an old ladies house which makes me love her more than I thought was humanly possible.

John Mayer. Your suit is glowing. Where can I get me one of those!?!?!

Miranda Lambert. Step away from the Bedazzler before you lose an eyelid.

Carrie Underwood. Everybody gives a shout out to God when they win a Grammy. But I actually believed you. #onwardchristiansoldier #thislittlelightofmine

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. You give me hope! And when did ya'll get so skinny!? #trimspababy

Fun. You’re leading me to believe that man-capris are coming back in style. Can you give me a firm confirmation that I can pull them off before I have all my current pants tailored?

Justin Timberlake. I’ve got a bone to pick with you. “Futuresex/Lovesounds” was flawless. FLAWLESS And since you dropped it in like 2007, I’ve waited patiently for 6 long years for you to drop a new single. I’m gonna be honest. Suit and Tie is not what I waited for all these years. But I have faith the rest of your album is going to make me a very happy man. #notimpressed #bringsexyback

Kelly Rowland. Did you not get the email from CBS? You know, the one about not wearing revealing outfits? Check your spam box. #iknowyougotit

What does Urban Contemporary even mean? All I know is I’m so glad that Frank Ocean won, even though your acceptance speech was awkward.

Adam Levine. You sound amazing on your albums. And if there was someone who’s recording voice I wish I had it would be you. But then you go and sing live and…..well…..it’s a good thing you’re pretty.

I pity the person who got stuck sitting behind Solange’s Afro. Seriously, most obstructed view in the house thanks in part to the fact that Gaga was a not in attendance.

I fucking love Kelly Clarkson. She is so genuine. So talented. Clearly surprised as we all were about winning, even though she clearly deserved it. #stronger

Rihanna. Spill. What did you cut out of your diet to get that body because seriously, I have a high school reunion coming up and I need to know. Also, you killed that performance. #thatRihannarainjustwon’tletup #stay

Love Frank Ocean. And love that he’s basically wearing the same outfit I wore when I gave a presentation on the Civil War in 5th grade. #A+

How is CBS still America’s most watched network?? Touched by an Angel Dr. Quin Medicine Woman has been off the air for over a decade!? America. Just tape The Big Bang Theory for once, for crying out loud! #tinafey #damnu2andahalfmen

Jack White. Get in touch with the person who does beyonce’s weaves. You can do better. You deserve better. #itgetsbetter

Best quote of the night goes to Katy Perry when presenting Best New Artist. "If you don't win, don't worry. I was never even nominated in this category and I have my own eyelash line,".

Fun. If you’re saying you’ve been doing this for 12 years then how the hell did you just win the best new artist award? #confused #idemandarecount

Why did none of my prom dates ever have Carrie Underwood’s light up dress?? #regrets

Gotye and his lady friend winning Record of the Year and getting all sorts of choked up when getting the Grammy handed to them from Prince was touching #I’mfeelingverklempt

Alabama shakes lady seriously looked like she took a time machine from the 1930’s to get to the Grammy’s and I love her for it. #vintage #oldsoul

Frank Ocean. Best entrance and exit of the night. #youcandonowrong #forestgump #seamless

What did Mumford and Sons say that was censored?? And am I the only person who didn’t know they were British? #so2000andlate

Monday, February 4, 2013

Beyoncé Bowl

It pretty much goes without saying that I'm not much of a sports guy. Lord knows the last time these baby hands of mine tried to unsuccessfully grip, let alone throw, a football. Truth be told I begged my parents before starting my Freshman year of high school to let all 105 pounds me try out for the football team. Like everyone else, I was a delusional adolescent with big dreams of being popular and having ripped abs. Clearly it wasn't meant to be. George and Cathy quickly shut down that teenage dream with a big fat "NO" which quite honestly probably saved my life. Since then I've shown little to no interest in the sport. Truthfully I had no idea which two teams were even playing in the Super Bowl this year until Alicia Keyes finished her 20 minute rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. How she took a song that my highschool choir could finish in 30 seconds flat and turned it into the length of a Laguna Beach episode is still blowing my mind.

Clearly the one and only reason I tuned in for this years game was for the much hyped halftime show. Or as it has been labeled, the Beyonce Bowl. The past years shows have been hit and miss with a lot of miss. Sure Madonna's was awesome and maybe the best ever, but it came after years of some pretty boring shows. Anybody else remember the less than rousing performance by Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers? More like Tom Petty and the Heart Pacers but that's neither her nor there. All I know is whoever his caretaker is should be ashamed of themselves for letting him up on the stage without a walker and oxygen tank. The man was clearly strugglin'.

Beyonce Bowl started off strong. Great entrance. Fierce pose. You really can't go wrong with a burning silhouette of yourself off in the distance as you rise from the darkness. Loved the lace and leather outfit which left little to no chance of a repeat incident known as Nipplegate, although I'm sure One Million Moms gave a collective shriek when she whipped off the leather jacket. Please. Give Beyonce a little credit. You know she probably used the equivalent amount of double sided tape that JLO has consumed in her lifetime just for that one outfit. Haters to the left to the left.

After loads of dancing, hair-flipping, and vocal runs (just to make sure the people at home knew she was singing live) came the big moment. The Destiny's Child Reunion. Even though I was never a huge DC fan I got a little giddy seeing them together again. My first thought was one of concern for Michelle Williams who as we all know has had problems with hand eye coordination in the past. Exhibit A:

As seen above, it's every woman for herself in Destiny's Child so it's a good thing Michelle was able to oh so shakily land on her feet after being thrown on the stage for her entrance. My focus then shifted back to the woman of the hour who for some unknown reason looked pissed beyond all get out.

My theory is she was jealous of how great Kelly's bangs looked.  What I say to that is "Gurl. You just got paid enough by Pepsi alone to end AIDS, cancer, and world hunger within 24 hours. Why you mad???!!!" If anybody had any right to be mad it should have been Kelly and Michelle. On top of getting thrown on stage by a linebacker out of a hole in the floor, their mics were obviously turned down to at least 30% volume. That's show biz kids.

I'm not convinced that the show topped last years halftime extravaganza and I think the ending could have used a little more oomph and girl power than "Halo" offered but it was worth the two hour wait just for those 10 minutes of pure pop bliss. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if JT had come out for a quick duet of "Till the End of Time". Had this dream become a reality I would have lost my shit. So it's probably for the best it didn't happen.