The Four Defining Characteristics of My Friendships


My friend TL posted this someecard on my Facebook Wall this past week. Since we’re both veggies, she noted that in our case vegetables could easily replace alcohol here. While nevertheless true, I’ve come to find that all four characteristics (and especially the final three) tend to define my friendships.

I’ve also found that somecards are a great way to share in your friendship with someone, especially if it’s an attempt to brighten his or her day. They’re way more creative and thoughtful than an email or lame Facebook message (and a smidge faster than sending a carrier pigeon).

If you haven’t checked them out before now, get on it. There’s one for essentially any imaginable situation.

And the inappropriate ones are obviously the best…

Racist Siri and Me


One of my friends recently mentioned she thought of me when she saw this “Funny or Die” video — I think she gets me.

If I actually had Siri (iPhone 5 release can’t come soon enough), I feel like this would be a pretty true-to-life life depiction of my relationship with her given that I’m a vegan, enjoy the outdoors, aspire to relearn a musical instrument (preferably the oboe or piano) and boast an awesome and equally lame running mix which actually hasn’t included any Coldplay in quite some time.

This cat’s style is pretty rad, too — cardigans & sweatbands: HOLLA.

The only irrelevant aspects of the vid are the parole officer and paternity test references. Now if we were talking about my brother, that’d be a different story.

Swag

Swag

Swag

Swag…

I thought your penis would be bigger.

Move Over Rebecca Black, Make Room for Julez


One thing I’ve always taken pride in is the people I’ve surrounded myself with in my life, so I’m always impressed and rarely surprised by the recurrent accomplishments of my friends and family members. The aforementioned was exemplified this week by my best friend, Jules (or shall I say “Julez”), who writes for Elle Magazine in New York.

As part of her job – and not many, including myself, can say this – she recently starred in a music video that Elle hopes becomes the next viral sensation (see Rebecca Black’s “Friday” which is currently approaching 25 million views).

When Jules first mentioned the concept behind this video a couple months ago, I was of course intrigued. And never once did I doubt the finished product would become a hit given that she is brilliant, super talented and has always associated herself with the right people. As evidenced in the vid, Jules can sing and play to the camera; this can clearly be attributed to her many years in theater… and in family variety show acts.

So, I’d encourage you to check out this gem of a video. Its divo (male diva) dancers and professional production definitely help Jules’ cause, but there’s no denying she’s one helluva lead – and damn fierce in that dress. The song itself is also incredibly catchy and could easily pass as some Ke$ha-esque diddy you’d hear blaring at a local club or being instantly memorized and constantly sung by America’s prepubescent population.

Needless to say, I’m proud of mah girl and look forward to the day when she brings me on as her publicist. And while I’m not sure any more music videos are in her future, a long tenure in the magazine industry and perhaps some late night club moonlighting most certainly are.

M-I-Z BEAT-k-U


My friend and fraternity brother (I use the latter loosely because I was the world’s worst member) Adam Hickey posted this shot of the Columns last weekend on his Instagram. Last Saturday was “Beat kU” Week at Mizzou, as evidenced by this sweet display on the Quad. The week of anti-Jayhawk festivities is always capped by our annual home Border War game against archrival Kansas, which the Tigers thankfully won in a 74-71 thriller.

With ESPN’s College GameDay in town for this year’s top-10 matchup, the game was hella hyped. I watched GameDay throughout the morning on Saturday and was very impressed by the student body’s showing. That, in addition to the victory itself, made me an incredibly proud alum. I actually rewatched the game the following morning and will keep it saved on my DVR for a long time to come.

As Mizzou prepares to make its move to the SEC (Southeastern Conference) next season, this may be the last time kU makes its way to Columbia. As the guys on College GameDay mentioned multiple times throughout the three-hour show, it would be a damn shame if the schools can’t come to some kind of agreement to renew the Civil War era rivalry on a yearly basis moving forward. While the Mizzou folks have already stated their willingness to continue the annual contest, the sentiment doesn’t appear to be shared by those in Lawrence.

This fracturing of longstanding conference rivalries is one major downside to the perpetually spinning conference realignment carousel present in college athletics nowadays. Nevertheless, my hope is that the two schools will arrive at a mutual agreement to keep the rivalry alive. Given that schools like Notre Dame and USC have been able to maintain their nonconference rivalry all these years, I believe us fans’ interests will prevail over conference politics and we’ll be seeing more of the Jayhawks for many years to come.

Note: Click on the photo above to see a collection of Saturday’s game day photos compiled by Mizzou Magazine.

(The Spot On) Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls


Franchesca Ramsey’s “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls” serves as a perfect follow-up to the “Shit Girls Say” video that went viral at the end of 2011 (see my Dec. 15 post). Her video, which she created after viewing “Shit Girls Say” and others like it, fits right in with the vids in its genre based on both its comic genius and accuracy.

Here, versus wholesale generalizations about women as in “Shit Girls Say”, her video depicts how White girls perpetuate stereotypes of their Black counterparts.

There are many White girls out there who are apt to use the expressions, mannerisms and such so often associated with Black girls. We all know at least one of these guilty gals. In fact, I’m sure a culpable friend or family member just materialized in your mind.

In my case, there are too many to count.

I’ll admit that White girls sometimes “act Black” (an ignorant phrase my sisters and I absolutely detest – much like “ghetto”) subconsciously given that doing so has become so engrained in our culture. And while I would suggest more often than not they’re fully aware of what they’re doing, I’d also argue their comments are mostly innocuous.

In certain cases it can actually be quite entertaining. I mean, as evidenced by this sample of spot-on lines from the video, what part of a White girl trying to identify with the Black culture isn’t amusing, right?

  • “Not to sound racist, but…”
  • “My best friend was Black. I mean, she’s still Black. And we’re not really friends anymore.”
  • “Oh my God, I’m practically Black!”
  • “He’s so cute for a Black guy, right?”
  • “Hollerrrrr!”
  • “I think what I like the most about them is that they’re not, like, stereotypical Black people.”

The point of this post, though, was not to climb atop my soapbox or rag on my White “sistas”, who make up the majority of my friends and fam and who I love very much.

I simply wanted to share this video so you too can enjoy how very perfectly it plays on this cultural phenomenon.

The First Annual VAG Talent Show


In addition to mass amounts of long overdue quality time with the Burri, one of the highlights of my holiday breaks is always going up to visit my best friend, Jules, and her family for a few days in the bustling metropolis of Unincorporated Des Plaines, Ill. (i.e. the Chicago burbs). After living with her fam one summer while interning in the Chi, this fun loving and quirky bunch has become the equivalent of a second fam to me.

This year, Jules and I deemed it prudent to have a talent show. I must admit that I was joking when I first proposed the idea in early December; but the more we talked about it, the more of a reality (and farcical notion) it became. So we ran with it.

Below are a few video samples of acts performed during the appropriately named “2011 Vadnal Arts Group (VAG) Talent Show”. I must say the first annual event was a smashing success, what with Jules rocking Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep”, Di doing a sweet self-created “Harry Potter” rap mix and me getting in on the action with Jerri Blank’s absurd “Packing a Musket” poem.

Enjoy the vids, ladies and gentlemen. I’m already tossing around ideas for next year’s second annual VAG show. Suggestions are, of course, also welcome.



Creative Cards and Crafty Friends


My friend, TL, knows me entirely too well. She posted this sweet note on my Facebook profile during the holidays, and I’ve decided to adopt it as my new 2012 earthy crunchy mantra. (The black and gold is an added bonus.) I’ve been resolute about practicing a few of these, but I know I can be better about them and others in the coming year. My new maxim will fit in well with my other New Years resolutions, too, which I hope to get around to blogging about in the coming days.


After returning to Richmond from the holidays, getting TL’s actual Christmas card in the mail was a very welcome surprise. The “X” is well played and definitely her. It’s without a doubt one of the most creative holiday cards I’ve received to date. Too bad her boys are “gangstas” though…


Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to give a shout-out to my friend, Tish, for sending me another welcome surprise in the form of this amazing personalized calendar. It has a ton of photos of us and our ND friends as well as a few stellar nature shots her budding photographer self took over the past year. My favorite month on the calendar is May because it includes some great shots of my visit to her second grade classroom last April when I was in town for the ND Blue & Gold game. Tish also did me a solid and included many of our friends’ birthdays on the calendar. Now I don’t have to rely on my memory… or Facebook!

Shit Girls Say (And Yeah, You Know You Do It)


I was listening to Ryan Seacrest this morning (…soooo I’m kind of a closet Seacrest fan), and he hyped the hell outta this YouTube video (above) in which a guy goes gal and spouts off “shit girls say”.

Like the “15 Things White Girls Love to Do on Facebook”, his feminine quips are hella on point (e.g., “Shut up!”, “I know, right?” and the jumping and screaming like a bunch of pre-pubescent banshees). His facial expressions and mannerisms throughout the video couldn’t better evoke the female stereotype either.

I think I may just put together a similar list in the near future, too, which I’ll undoubtedly proceed to prattle about. As if I needed another reason to watch TV… and to call out my friends and family.

All in all, a job well done, Mr. Humphrey and Mr. Sheppard. Thank you for the inspiration.

Bra burners, beware. Everyone else, rejoice and enjoy!

White Girls Do Love Them Some Facebook


There are a number of truths in this world, an undeniable one being that White girls love Facebook. And not only do they love them some Facebook, but they love doing certain things while accessing it. The latter is a realization I subconsciously came to long ago.

This banter probably seems pretty random, but it actually stems from a fellow WordPress blogger’s post I read earlier this week about “15 Things White Girls Love to Do on Facebook”, which has since blown up online. (Click the photo above to read the post and see how truly guilty the White girls in your life are.)

Given that a large percentage of my friends (and family members) are White girls and I’ve grown quite accustomed to their social networking ways, I believe I’m fully justified in concurring with the blogger. After reading her post, I’m frankly unsure how you can argue with the points she makes.

If you haven’t seen her post yet, you’ve gotta check this shit out. Each of her 15 points could not be more accurate.

So many White girls knowingly do these things and are obviously repeat offenders. But I can easily say that while White girls may hate being called out like they so glaringly are in this post, they’d loathe the idea of not posting meaningless statuses and pointless pics even more.

And while I know many of my White girl friends are guilty of most of these 15 offenses (several girls I’ve talked to have laughingly agreed), I will concede that more than a few of these points are applicable to Facebook users irregardless of gender, race, etc. Furthermore, despite my occasional White tendencies, I will also assert that it’s a rare occasion when I can be found guilty of these offenses.

My favorites are #1, #6, #8 and #15, although #3 and #5 are ALL too common among the white female race. And I honestly believe that #12 applies more to Twitter than Facebook. Let me know via a comment or the next time we talk what your favs are!

I’ve also decided that one of my holiday break projects is going to be finding examples of each of her 15 points, which I’ll then proceed to blog to prove how very spot on she is here… and for your personal enjoyment, of course.

See you on Facebook.

Little Sister, Big Stage Presence


One of the last things most older brothers want to spend their time doing is attending their baby sister’s musical performances. As a self-proclaimed theater geek, this couldn’t be farther from the truth in my case.

My younger sister Mary has a beautiful voice, which I’d describe as Beyonce meets Gladys Knight meets Mary J. Blige (because Mare can get down), and quite the stage presence. I’m not sure if she’d consider this an apt comparison, but I get a sense of each of these divas’ voices in her own, be it Mare belting it out on stage, in the car or in the shower.

On Saturday night, my fam and I attended Mare’s “Broadway Review” (It should have probably been referred to as a “Revue”, but who’s criticizing… besides me?) that featured both current students and alums of the school. My mom, who was also active in theater throughout her high school years and continues to play a quasi co-director role today, even had a cameo which can be found at 32 seconds into “No Business Like Show Business” (below).

Since my sisters Annie (in Anchorage) and Elizabeth (probably plastered in KC at that point) and many other family members couldn’t be there for the show, I recorded Mare’s numbers on my iPhone and wanted to share them here. If you’re wondering which one she is, she’s the only one who isn’t White (Oreo pride). I’m also including our friend Tori’s ditty below because she too has a tremendous voice. Enjoy!