Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gifts Abound

While many Americans celebrated Christ’s birthday with an orgy of consumerism and contempt for their extended family, I celebrated Christmas by reading the inspired works of fiction my students submitted as alleged final exams. And although some of you may feel your bounty of gifts included some real “crap” you can’t wait to return, I bet few of you received self-identifying crap like these essays:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jamie Lynn Spears: Pregnant, Fucked

Today, Jamie Lynn Spears, sixteen year old sister of Britney Spears, announced in OK! Magazine that she is indeed pregnant. Self-proclaimed devout Christian Jamie Lynn played cum dumpster to teen-boyfriend and fellow church-goer Casey Aldridge (pictured shirtless). Shockingly, Kevin Federline was not implicated as the father (yet). One source cited Spear’s reluctance to “give up the brown eye” and “mistaking Tic-Tac mints for contraception” as contributing factors to her pregnancy. Aldridge did not return Facebook messages left by *The Life and Times, although he did update his status to “royally fucked.” No comment yet from older sister Spears who managed to avoid teen pregnancy through abstinence and visits to Planned Parenthood. Critics say this move may help bolster Britney Spear’s tarnished image merely by association, especially if Jamie Lynn accidentally kills her own child by leaving it in a parked car while in rehab. Meanwhile Britney’s publicist confirms Ms. Spear’s Christmas card this year will feature a photograph of her two children with the caption “At least mine aren’t bastards, y’all.”

Friday, December 14, 2007

Day Four: Evacuating

It's now day four of the Mr. Shain has no power campaign. Let me assure you, I've given up and moved to an undisclosed, powered location in Oklahoma City (with the dogs of course). However, digital cable is still out at my safe house so don't think my situation is without its misfortunes. The tipping point came when the local meteorologists predicted 6" of snow and highs in the low 20's. While discussing the plight of middle American families with my mother, she told me, "I'd rather freeze to death in my own home than sit in an emergency shelter with 800 people." I think this really explains a lot about how my brain was distorted as a child.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day Three: I Can See My Breath

Where the fuck is FEMA? Just because I’m not a black grand-mother of twenty in the Super-dome doesn’t mean I don’t need help too. Oh wait, I guess things didn’t work out so well for those folks either. Well replace New Orleans with Oklahoma as FEMA’s latest victim by stupidity. Do you know what the FEMA officer brought to my door today? Electricity? No. A generator to make my own electricity? No. Bottled water? No. Hot chocolate and spiced cider? Hell no. He fucking brought me a chainsaw. What the fuck? Am I supposed to take this out into the woods to collect my own firewood? Or am I supposed to volunteer to start removing trees from the city’s streets? Will that keep me warm tonight? I politely told the FEMA man I wasn’t in need of a chainsaw. He looked at the two trees laying in my front yard and wished me luck. I said, I don’t need luck, but if you’d like to use your chainsaw to get this debris out of my yard, that would be a big help. He pretended to laugh and walked away. I pretended to use the make-believe generator he brought me. I can still, however, see my breath in the house now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day Two: Still No Power

*The Life and Times of Mr. Shain is still without power after 48 hours. The fun has really, truly worn off. The house is quite cold, despite the fire I’ve been stoking non-stop all day. I, along with every piece of clothing I own, smell like Malibu (think about it…). Have any of you ever tried to grade term papers by candlelight? Well it blows, let me tell you. I would have killed myself if I were born in the middle ages (for several reasons, but mainly due to the lack of central heat and air). Oklahoma Gas & Electric issued a statement saying that it could be seven to ten days before power is fully restored to neighborhoods with downed power lines (like mine). As a result, a line of customers trying to buy generators formed at Home Depot and wrapped around the entire building. I did not buy a generator; I was only there to pick up caulk and potting soil (unrelated). However, I may have purchased sweaters for the dogs on the way home. They're argyle.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice, Storm, Target

Today I woke up very cold. It was because the heat was off. The heat was off because the power was off. It seems that overnight we had a bit of an ice storm causing every fucking tree in the state to topple over under the weight of the ice. We all awoke to cold toes and the cracking, popping noises of branches breaking. The neighborhoods looked like war-zones with debris covering the streets and yards and all the houses dark, powerless. Here is my street.

Bees-spot and I braved the storm to buy emergency provisions at Target. It was like a bank run. People we grabbing and pushing and buying everything in sight. We attempted to secure hotdogs, but the only thing left was pepperoni (picture forthcoming). However, they did have Toblerone, Saint-GĂ©ron bottled water, cashmere mittens, and bagged ice (for our gin and tonics). Thank God. Afterwards, we meandered through town and took jaunty pictures of ourselves, which we do every Monday night. Usually we can’t show people, but here’s one, just this once.

It’s about 10:30 pm now and we still have no power and my house is very cold. Please send gas-powered electric blankets. Target had none.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Intellectual Property

Recently I’ve experienced a minor surge in traffic on *The Life and Times. While my ego appreciates the attention, my brain wants to know why. While investigating the source of my new popularity, I serendipitously came across another blog (which shall go unnamed, unlinked), which had reposted my “Short Fat Toddler” story without a byline or any reference to my blog. Although the blogger didn’t claim authorship of my work, I thought that his preface, “From a link from a link from a link link link” left something to be desired in terms of blogademic honesty. Honestly, I felt a little cheated. It raises the question: What are the normative standards we ought to observe in this world of weblogs? I wish I studied ethics. Or not so much.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Jenna Bush on Ellen: Daddy Time

On Tuesday Jenna Bush, first daughter of the United States, crossed WGA picket lines in Los Angeles to film a guest appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show in order to pimp out her book (or something, I don’t really watch daytime television). Having the daughter of the President cross picket lines pissed off some writers of course, as it should. But what are you going to do about it? Her father could have you killed.

What I found even more disturbing, however, was what happened when Miss Bush unexpectedly called home to talk to her parents during the taping of the show. After negotiating the family assistant who picked up the phone, Jenna was transferred to her mother, Laura Bush. When Jenna asked her mother what she was up to, Mrs. Bush answered, “I’m just sittin’ here with daddy.” Was she referring to the corpse of her dead father Harold Welch? No. She was of course talking about Jenna’s father, George W. Bush. Laura Bush calls her husband, the President, “daddy.” Am I the only one who finds this repugnant? No, because it’s a normative fact. Here are some discussion points for the comments section:

Do you think Mrs. Bush likes to ask for a spanking from “daddy” while making love?

Does President Bush refer to himself in third person as “daddy” during cabinet meetings? E.g. Daddy knows best, etc.

Has the president ever confused himself with Mrs. Bush’s actual biological father?


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pimping Juno (Movie) & Diablo Cody (Writer)

It's rare that I spend any time talking about other people's successes on *The Life & Times. However, when I find something that is so good and so unreasonably distributed by Fox Searchlight, I just have to pimp it out on my blog. Today, December 5, Juno opens in theaters in select cities nationwide (read, no where in Oklahoma). I had the privilege of seeing Juno two weeks ago at the DGA screening, and I loved it. Juno is a wild, surprisingly honest story of a girl, a guy, their unborn baby, and the couple that wants to do adopt it. Zaniness and heartbreak ensue as Juno decides what to do with the baby, how to talk to the father, and where to find the couple that would be the parents. Written by stripper cum writer, Slackmistress look alike, and fellow blogger Diablo Cody, the story springs between the irreverently comical and impossibly awkward. Allison Janney, Juno’s stepmother, steals the show. If you haven’t see Drop Dead Gorgeous lately, rent it. But before you do, find Juno and see it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I Am a Horrible Human Being

But you already knew that, so enjoy...