Monday, May 10, 2010

The Virgin enters the Cone Zone

#41 Never Have I Ever: Seen Conan O'Brien live

Foreplay: As mentioned in a previous post, I've been... hmm, how should I put this... I've been completely head-over-heals in love bordering on slightly obsessed for a short phase with Conan O'Brien since I was 13. He has shaped my view and attraction to tall, self-deprecating men who make weird noises during awkward social situations (people who know me in real life and thus know my dating history can attest to this).

"Go see Conan O'Brien live" clocks in at #2 right after "backpack through Europe" on my original hand-written bucket list that I made at 15.

In high school, I'd watch him practically every night after listening to Love Line. And although I couldn't continue my devout viewership in college, I made sure to tune in whenever I had a chance. I even followed him during his move to the Tonight Show. In fact, I was ecstatic that he was in my city now! I was determined to finally go see him live when I could take a day off work.

And so I was heart broken when he left NBC. Although it was a shame that he was gone from TV, I think I was more so upset at the fact that my bucket list would have one less check mark to claim.

That is, of course, until Conan announced his "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television" Tour via Team Coco.

The Down and Dirty: Um. UM!!! Conan is just as funny, if not more so, than I imagined. Without the FCC breathing down his neck, he was able to be as inappropriate and curse-laden as he wanted to be. And let's just say, seeing and Conan say "fuck" was pretty magical.

He brought back Andy Richter, the Masturbating Bear, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. But he also had a few guest stars up his sleeve: Seth Green, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Jonah Hill, Jack McBrayer. But his biggest guest, by far, was Jim freakin' Carey.

More variety show than stand up comedy, it was so stimulating that even shrooms couldn't have made it funnier. Coco joked, sang, danced, and even flew at one point. More importantly, he stole my 13 year old heart. Sigh...

The Afterglow: I will be framing my poster and ticket very shortly. You think I'm kidding but I'm not.

Bonus: I work in the same space as Seth Green's company and although I see him almost everyday, I've never had the nerve to say anything to him. However, while sitting at my desk the next day still basking in the glory of Coco, Seth Green skips out wearing his Team Coco shirt.

We lock eyes for a moment and he says hello. I return the salutation and then quickly add, "I like your shirt."

He pauses at the door and smiles. "Oh yeah?"

Stay cool, DV. Stay cool. "Yeah, I was there last night."

"Oh, cool!"

And then I blurted out, "Yeah, it was so mind blowing!" Followed by a thumbs up.

I am no longer allowed to talk to celebrities.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Virgin pwns newbs

#40 Never Have I Ever: Called someone out (who I know personally) on Facebook

Foreplay: I loathe the "Suggestions" feature on Facebook. It has never been kind to me. It's alerted former employers, random schoolmates, and, most recently, inquisitive family members to my profile. And with my plethora of morally questionable photos, status updates, and wall postings I am not exactly the profile you want to bring home to mom.

However, this particular case centers around this one bastard who went to high school with me. We weren't friends. I don't think we spoke more than 10 words to each other. But we shared a couple classes during our four years in hormonal Hell.

This dude friended me on Facebook a few months ago. I barely remembered him but Facebook told me that we had 54 friends in common. Well, shit. I guess I have to accept his friend request when it gets into the double-digits.

His profile picture was a self-portrait of him releasing a mouthful of skunky smoke. Classy. He'd post trite, misspelled musings and rants every now and then on his status that would then show up on my News Feed, most of which went ignored.

But just a few months ago, he started throwing out the word "faggot" and taunting the men of the rock/indie/hipster fashion genre. He even went as far as to give himself the middle name "Mendontwearskinnyjeans" on Facebook. Riiiight...

I've been meaning to defriend him this whole time but never really set about it since... well, I never thought about him.

Until today.

The Down and Dirty: Shoveling food into my gaping maw at my desk (read: lunch), I took a few minutes to mill about the Internet at my leisure -- something I hadn't done recently. It was like emerging from a dank cave after a decade and rediscovering sunlight -- so much stimulation that it almost hurt. Oh, it hurt so good!

Until your corneas burn off or something.

While opening Facebook, the bastard's status update was at the top of the list. This, like Camus' sun, was a sign. I'll let the photo below do the rest of the talking.

The Afterglow: Comment. Defriend. Cackle loudly. Done and done.

It was like he was asking for an ass whopping. Or should I say ass "whoopen".

Welcome to the Pwned Shop where the special of the day is a brand spankin' new can of Whoop-Ass. Prepare to be served.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Virgin eats her weight in cheese

#39 Never Have I Ever: Been to the Grilled Cheese Invitational

I don't know how someone discovered cheese (I assume someone saw the floaty bits in sour milk and thought to themselves, "Hey, that would be pretty tasty on a cracker!") but it is delicious on basically everything. Baked potatoes, tortilla chips, spinach omelet, Mexican rice... man, I can go on listing off the awesomeness of cheese-based foods a la Bubba from Forrest Gump all day long.

But you know what's weird? It wasn't until college that I tasted a grilled cheese sandwich.

I'll let you digest that for a second.

I grew up super sheltered from food and have spent most of my adult life making up for it. It was a spiritual experience the first time I ate macaroni and cheese at Warped Tour when I was 16 (oh god, I can feel the acne and teenage angst resurfacing as I type this). I've never had fondue, cranberry sauce, or casserole. I still don't know what the hell stuffing is nevertheless eaten it.

But man do I love me a simple grilled cheese and tomato sandwich browned to perfection with a side of warm tomato basil soup. Goddamn...

The Down and Dirty: Daywalker, Gemini, and I lined up 30 minutes early for the 1st 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational in downtown Los Angeles. Hundreds of people were already waiting on this absolutely perfect sunny Californian day itching to get their hands greasy and stomachs happy. I donned my obnoxiously bright yellow skinny jeans for the occasion but I later learned that I was not the most ridiculously dressed attendee there (who knew that costume contests were not only applicable but practically required at cheese-themed events?).

Although we didn't get a chance to register as judges for the amateur grilled cheese competition, there was plenty of processed curd to go around for a price. Tons of vendors were selling their own cheesy concoctions including the Grilled Cheese Truck where I snagged a melt-in-your-mouth Southern Mac N Cheese Sammich. Daywalker and Gemini snagged a "Band Camp" sandwich from "5 times fucking grill cheese champions" Hot Knives. Made with aged cheddar and apple butter, it was an interesting twist to apple pie.

After a while the crowds got too intense in the vendor area so we swiped a cup or six of free tomato soup and all the free grilled cheese sandwiches we could carry (sharp cheddar and sourdough, mmm) courtesy of Tillamook, the cheese sponsor of the event, and sat ourselves in the lovely grassy shade.

We finally left after a couple hours when we discovered that yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We lethargically waddled out of there, hearts pumping laboriously and stomachs calorically content.

The Afterglow: Bread, butter, cheese, victory! -- no substitutions for victory.

We ate our $10 ticket's cost in free samples so I'd say it was worth it. I wish we could've judged the competition -- or at least been spectators. But there were a lot of entertainment otherwise like the cheese-based poetry competition. Or a musical performance by Mike O'Connell.

As we were waddling out of the venue, I suddenly heard a madman sing the following and just knew I couldn't go just yet:

[fast forward to 2:55 to see/hear what the hell I'm talking about]

And with his last strangled, high-pitched scream, we made our exit. It was the perfect cheesy ending to our happily bloated adventure.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Virgin pumps it up

#38 Never Have I Ever: Consistently gone to the gym

Foreplay: As you know from my last post, I'm seriously trying to get back in shape. Mostly because:
  • Running up a few flights of stairs leaves me panting like a fat puppy
  • I'm tired of the not-so-subtle jabs by my tactless family; "Oh, look at your cheeks, haha! Have you gained weight? Better put down that margarita, haha!" [Note: Don't ever tell me what to do with my booze. I will tell you when I've had enough.]
  • For the first time in my life, I couldn't fit into something in my wardrobe -- not because I had outgrown it, but because there was simply too much junk in the trunk
I need to come to terms with the fact that my metabolism isn't what it used to be (and the most exercise I get during the weekday is frantic speed walking from the parking lot to my office when I'm late). After years of chowing down with the nutritional recklessness of a teenage boy, my body is finally rebelling.

Body: Of course you realize that this means war.

The Down and Dirty: During the last couple weeks I've:
  1. Joined a gym for the first time in my life
  2. Used a personal trainer for the first time ever (and got my fat ass thoroughly handed to me)
  3. Gone to the gym at least 5 times a week
  4. Spent over an hour during each visit working on cardio and weight training
I am so serious about getting back in shape. Although I've been at a consistent weight for the last few months, it's been uh... redistributed to less desirable areas.

I was so ambitious about exercising that on the first day of my brand spankin' new gym membership I spent a good 2 hours on the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike while blazing through my borrowed copy of Water for Elephants. It was awesome -- I was burning hundreds of calories, getting some long overdue pleasure reading done, finally feeling physically and mentally productive... when I pulled a muscle. Badly.

I limped and squeaked in pathetic pain the whole walk home. I couldn't lift my left leg more than 3 inches off the ground. Putting pants on has never been so painful. Erm. Yeah.

I still forged ahead on the fitness front but abandoned the treadmill in favor of the less impacting elliptical. Everyday I dragged my body to the gym after a long day at work and put it through the wringer for at least an hour. I huffed and puffed until I felt the slow drip of sweat making its winding course down my shirt. Sexy, I know.

But what do you know! I started feeling more energized, more upbeat -- I felt better. I sleep better at night and put more effort into getting dressed in the morning. I don't mind going to the gym. In fact, I look forward to the coke-rush of endorphins now. I anticipate the first break of sweat and push myself towards that moment. And um... TMI WARNING but putting my pants on is difficult in a whole different sense now. Um. Yeah. Ahem...

The Afterglow: I'd say this is a resounding success. I don't know if I can actually keep this up though; 2 hours at the gym each day is a lot of time to dedicate. Work is piling on (10+ hour days aren't so bad, right? ...Right?) and I find myself finally sitting down to dinner at 10:30pm, in bed by 1:00am, and then repeating it all after 6 hours of sleep. And I don't even drink coffee.

On top of it all, my injury was two weeks ago and my leg still hurts. I know I should stop putting stress on it, but I can't help it. I'm stubborn and impatient and I want to be healthier NOW! Plus, I'm sure this is another tactic my body is using to prevent me from being active and in shape. Stupid body. I'd kick myself if my leg didn't already hurt so much.

Alright, Body, in the wise words of Homer Simpson: You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Virgin feasts like a super model

#37 Never Have I Ever: Counted calories

Foreplay: Without getting too deep into my history with body image, self-esteem, and general mindfuck with food, I would say that for the first time in years I'm struggling with my body and weight.

Now that I'm out of school -- away from a large variety of relatively healthy meals, free access to a gym, and long walks back to and from my dorm room -- I've gained a noticeable amount of weight. Even though I eat relatively healthy, a sloth and I shamefully have more in common than I'd like to admit.

During the last month, I've joined a gym and made an effort towards portion control but everything came to a head when I calculated my resting metabolic rate and discovered I was consuming an extra 500 CALORIES A DAY! Dude. That's a hell of a lot of calories! No wonder I'm no longer a secret fatty but a reluctantly honest porker.

The Down and Dirty: I downloaded a calorie counting application on my Android to help me keep track of everything cause lord knows me + math = adlkfdslhgybrnqrbre4.

I programmed my RMI -- age, weight, height, activity level (...sedentary), and goal (lost 1 lb/week). It gave me a 1500 calorie limit per day. Ok. I can deal with that.

With this new calorie counting shenanigan, I was also implementing a new habit of eating small meals every 2-3 hours to keep up my metabolism and curb snacking. I went into work the next day and had a small breakfast of butter & jam on toast with a cup of English breakfast tea. 200 calories. Not bad, not bad.

30 minutes later someone brought in a schmorgesborg of bagels that shot my morning blood sugar to hell. Half a sesame seed bagel with whipped cream cheese couldn't hurt, right? Another 200 calories. Holy crap, it's not even 11am and I've almost fulfilled 1/3 of my daily caloric intake.

I held off on eating anything else for the next 3 hours. I was practically sweating bullets the entire time. I am a hardcore snacker. I'm a sucker to my tastebuds and give into their every whim. Walking back to my room with a couple gummy worms, a banana, and a handful of potato chips isn't weird at all. I was chugging water like no other to convince myself that I wasn't hungry. And it worked!

Later that night, Daywalker asked for my accompaniment to see the L.A Philharmonic at St. Thomas the Apostle. I debated it since I worked a 10 hour day and it would throw off my eating schedule. Fuck it. I've let food take over my life before and I wasn't going to let it happen again.

But you know what can boss me around? Dino's. That dilapidated chicken shack that serves the tastiest garlicky, citrus chicken and fries that $6 can buy. It's crack chicken. No lie. It was practically mandatory that we stop in for a quick bite when we realized Dino's was only a few blocks away from St. Thomas. It took a lot to stop stuffing my face when I was no longer hungry. And if you've ever had Dino's then that, my friends, is called will power.

The Afterglow: Being accountable for everything I ate helped me make healthier eating choices and deter my rapid snacking habit. Did I really want to scarf down that stale sugar cookie? Or did I want to wait 30 minutes to enjoy my chicken and broccoli pasta?

I think this is something I'm going to stick with for a while. Although I don't condone avid calorie counting, it reminds me to stay in a healthy ballpark. I still enjoy "bad" foods, but now I ask myself if it's worth it. Usually, it helps. Usually...

It wasn't until later that night that I broke. 11:00pm and I was in pajamas. I knew I would be asleep within an hour but fuck it -- I wanted some crack chicken. I allotted myself a very small plate of chicken, fries, and rice -- practically guilt free! But when I entered it into my phone I was over by 200 calories for the day.

So after some uh... thought and consideration (read: convincing myself that I cannot live on 1500 alone as I licked my fingers clean of the secret crack sauce) I decided to change my application "goal" to "lose 0.5 lb/week". 1700 calories.

My will is weak.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Virgin goes eye to eye with Bill Nye the Science Guy

I'm back! Because of bad decisions, long work hours, and what can only be crappy karma, I was hit with a combination of allergies, a cold, and losing my voice -- the latter through smoke inhalation nonetheless. Needless to say, I did nothing but drink tea and sleep last week. But I'm back with a vengeance with my most memorable DV task so far!

#36 Never Have I Ever: Met Bill Nye the Science Guy

There is no doubt that I am ruled by the right side of my brain. Mathematics and science simply elude me although I admittedly make no attempt to gather them.

However, there's no need for any of that mumbo-jumbo anymore since I learned everything I ever needed to know about science from one my few childhood idols.

Honestly, my list of childhood idols is quite short:
  • Conan O'Brien
  • Adam Corolla
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy
Now, does it makes sense to you why I am the way I am?

The Down and Dirty: A glorious email from my alma mater invited me to come hear Bill Nye the Science Guy speak. There was no question in my mind that I was going to be there bright and early that morning.

Daywalker and her sister saved me a seat in the surprisingly small lecture hall when I arrived 30 minutes before the talk. Although the space wasn't completely full yet, there was no way it was going to be able to house everyone who wanted to see Bill Nye. And I was right. People were sitting in the aisles, crowding around the back, and -- no joke -- climbing over the back hall ledge to peek over the seats. There must have been at least 250 people in there.

The whole room was buzzing in anticipation. I could practically feel the child-like excitement vibrating from every twenty-something year old who had grown up watching the science show.

Finally, Bill Nye ran through the crowded aisles in his pressed suit and bow tie. The dude does not age! It's like he was cryogenically frozen next to Walt Disney, only thawed out to give hilariously enthused speeches in front of starry-eyed students.

Bill Nye's talk, titled " Our Planet Isn't What It Used to Be, So Let's Change the World!", was -- to put it simply -- absofuckinglutely astounding. He was charming, brilliant, and hilarious all the while focusing on astronomy, global warming, and power consumption. There was never a dull moment during his 2-hour presentation and it made my heart sing to see that Bill Nye still possessed the ability to present the most convoluted information in a fun and coherent way. Most of all, he made us feel like kids again -- blindly optimistic that we could actually make a difference.

The Afterglow: After the talk and subsequent Q&A session, a large crowd gathered around the man himself to shake his hands and snap a picture. I was obviously no different.

Daywalker grimaced at the mass of people but I was determined to fight my way up there to get a photo and tell Bill Nye that although he wants us to change the world, he has already done it himself. After staggering around for 10 minutes, I used my newfound assertiveness to force Daywalker and her sister up for a picture before stepping up to the stage myself.

Unfortunately, there was no time to pour my 8-year-old heart out to the man who made me build a make-shift seismograph out of bottle caps and kill a handful of my mother's white roses by tie-dying them. Instead, I gave him a half hug for my picture which he returned and offered a general thank you. I practically skipped out of the lecture hall.

It was an amazing experience to finally meet a figure that so strongly shaped your education and outlook on life. And not just you but probably 1/3 of your peers, too. Although I didn't pursue science in the long run, I still have a love for discovery and global impact.

I think that's why Bill Nye the Science Guy is so beloved by those who grew up watching the kooky bow-tied scientist and his antics: he made us enthusiastic that we could make a difference and change the world. He made me feel like a kid again.