Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Announcing Tune in Tokyo, the Audiobook, and a Giveaway at Goodreads!

Hello illiterates! I bring you good news. (Have your wet nurse/probation officer/12-step buddy read it to you.) My book, the partially acclaimed Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries, is now available as an audiobook. It is read by the handsome voice actor dreamboat MacLeod Andrews, whom I don't know but am now a big fan of.

To celebrate this edition I'm running a giveaway over at Goodreads. Enter and you can win a free copy that I'll send to you with my landlady's signature on it! You'll also get some leftover turkey and stuffing and half a slice of pumpkin pie that my cat threw up.

Don't deny yourself the joy of hearing my words read into your ears constantly, for like nine hours. It's Christmas!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Summed Up in One Photo

The only way this picture could be more perfect would be if it was the cover of a Ted Nugent album.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Whoever Slapped This Poster Onto a Random Scaffolding Wall in NYC Is Basically the Next Nate Silver

This is one telling flyer. It's been up for a few weeks and in that time I've watched it blossom into supernova of multicolored chewed-up gummy gnarliness, aka, a gorgeous reflection of our great democracy at work. Obama clearly won this iteration of the popular vote up here at 35th and 6th, and I do believe this data comports with the actual vote tallies in this area. So the point is, whoever's idea this was is the next Nate Silver and should be given a bunch of poster board by the New York Times so he can expand his gum-data campaign into the country at large and continue to give folks the most precise reading of the electorate in the midterm elections of 2014.

In the future we will all vote with our gum.

And voter fraud will be accomplished with taffy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Nervous Breakdown Essay: And Gimpy On Strings

Kids, I've got a new post up over at The Nervous Breakdown, which you should click over and pretend to read immediately. Here's a teaser:

Children of the world, don’t believe your parents, your shrinks, or your imaginary friends: worst nightmares sometimes do come true. Sure, many humans can get through their entire lives without falling out of an airplane, having a leg eaten off by a shark, being kidnapped by a tiny car full of saber-toothed circus clowns, or being awoken at 2 a.m. by a group of drug-crazed hippies wielding ice picks and chanting “Kill the pig, acid is groovy.” But some don’t. We all have these fears and they are perfectly rational, so watch out. [continue reading]

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Cat Stella Is Pretty Bummed That Romney Lost

My regular reader might remember that a few weeks back I got the devastating news that my cat Stella was voting for Romney. I, of course, was fit to be tied, and I tried and tried to talk her out of it, appealing to her rational side using charts and graphs and endless videos of Rachel Maddow breaking things down. But Stella is as stubborn as my mother and she was not swayed. So Tuesday night she was thoroughly bummed out and has been doing nothing but sleeping and gorging on corn dogs and watching daytime TV and giving herself baths and just sitting in the corner for hour upon hour ever since. She's not even reading her Us Weeklys anymore.

Lest she be quietly entering Victoria Jackson or Donald Trump territory with a hilarious Twitter explosion imminent, I sat down with her this evening to get a sense of how she was doing and if I needed to worry about her waking me in the middle of the night shouting about socialist Muslims under the bed.

"Stella, how you doing? Feeling okay?"


"Pretty blue, huh?"

"Voter fraud."

"Oh, God, Stella, it really doesn't exist, are you kidding me?"

"New Black Panthers."

"Stella, there was one guy in a beret and sunglasses at a polling station opening doors for old ladies." 


"Stella, I don't think you know what that means."

"Skewed polls."

"Gah, the polls weren't skewed, Stella, and it doesn't matter anymore anyway because the election itself has confirmed that the polls were pretty much right."

"Chris Christie."

"His state was underwater! He said a few nice things about Obama! What was he supposed to do?"


"Ugh, that's it, I'm cutting off your Fox News."


"And no more Drudge Report, Red State, or Breitbart."

"Binders full of sadness."

Monday, November 5, 2012

"I WILL SURVIVE!!!!!!": A Word from Valerie Cherish

Hey kids, have you about had it up to here with your mother's crazy declarations that Obama is a secret Muslim whose religion is more of a danger to the country than his challenger's weird cult religion that has anti-black racism written right into its fundamental documents? Have you been hitting your head against a brick wall over and over again over the past few years dealing with the increasingly paranoid beliefs of someone so close to and beloved by you? Are you increasingly fearful that this whole national carnival of crazy actually won't be over come Tuesday owing to the desperate attempts by state officials in Ohio and Florida to cockblock the vote and make the electoral results questionable at best? Are you about ready to slit your own throat in mortal frustration?

Take heart! And take a cue from Valerie Cherish, who feels your pain and, in the above video, sets it to music. Careful, though. Angry hurts your throat.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gruesome Video of the War Against Dying in Hurricane Sandy

God, we were lucky. Really lucky. Had no idea how lucky we were during the filming of this video. (Thoughts and agnostic prayers go out to all in Staten Island, lower Manhattan, New Jersey, etc.) The sounds outside were scary, but at least those sounds didn't decide to invite themselves in and bring their friends, Wind and Rain, who were both hella spastic and angry that night. So, some uncomfortable, frightening moments on Monday, but, hey, it's me and Jimmy, our relationship is made of uncomfortable, frightening moments (usually involving our cat Stella's litter box). God bless NYC.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Cat Stella Purrs in the Face of NYC Snowricane Horror

Yes, despite the fact that this is our last night on earth, owing to the spastic flailing devil's storm that is right now barreling toward NYC, my cat Stella couldn't stop herself from just stone cold sittin' on Jimmy's lap and purring her ass off. I got it on this film, which is awesome, because I'd wanted to capture a tiny little fragment of what our last night on Earth was like, and this pretty much sums it up. Here's what you will hear: my loud-ass voice, some Stella purrin', and then a god-awful ruckus that is my reaching into the Dorritos bag to get a few more chips because I was hungry. Sorry bout that last thing, but the rest is golden.

 Anyway, I thought, you know, we live in the big city and everyone will want to see our mad crazy hurricane blowout, so you're welcome, see you in heaven, we'll be the shirtless ones wearing the powdered wigs and Bugle Boy jeans.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Truth-Telling Stickers Dept

Sometimes bumper stickers fall short: "Don't blame me, I voted for XXX," for example. What a smug, irritating message to paste somewhere. Or "Romney/Ryan 2012"--what a smug, irritating message to paste somewhere. But sometimes bumper stickers distill wonderful truths into tiny bite-sized nuggets of pure wisdom. "My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student," for example.

Well, the above sticker, which some armchair philosopher hobo slapped onto a pole on the Williamsburg Bridge, is in the latter category, I'd say. Because is there any doubt that folks like Elvis, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, and '80s Joan Collins are indeed at least a little bit closer to Christ than the rest of us? The answer is no, there is no doubt.

And you know what this means, right? Yes. Jo from The Facts of Life is getting into heaven, and you're probably not.

It's also a little sad for all the balding/bald/thinly haired folks out there, because they're at a distinct disadvantage. But buck up: this is precisely why God invented wigs and weaves.

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Camera Phone Will Not Be Denied: Morrissey at Radio City

Can you believe that I'm almost 40 years old and I haven't ever seen Morrissey live? Wait, let me ask that again. Can you believe I'm almost 40 years old? Isn't that crazy? Like completely bonkers? Like you can't even make heads or tails of that fact? Can it be possible? I know, I know, it doesn't make any mathematical sense, but still, you can't really argue with the mathematical sense it truly makes.

Anyway, listen to this magical story: I was just lamenting the other day, after realizing that I'd just missed bumping into Morrissey at the Strand bookstore a few Sundays ago, that I'd never seen that charming man live. How could that be? Then, out of the blue, I get a text from my dear friend Laura asking me if I had any interest in going to see La Mozzer at Radio City on Wednesday. What are the odds? Of course, I was all "Yes, yes, a million times YES!"

I was a little worried that his voice would be weak from all that hard core vegan eating he's been doing (I heard that he's got a pretty bad arugula habit), but he sounded robust and flawless. He began the show by immediately throwing us sycophants a bone with an exquisite rendition of the timeless Smiths slowjam "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me."

It was nice to see Oscar Wilde make an appearance between songs.

It was less nice to have to sit through the interminable PETA agit-prop snuff film played during my least-favorite Smiths song "Meat is Murder." There's really nothing like watching cows and chickens and other farm animals being slaughtered on the big screen for your viewing pleasure. Nothing like it. Feel good movie of the year. I wasn't surprised that Morrissey went there--he's a strident little thing in his old age--but gah.

Another complaint: too many new songs. I know, I know, he must get tired of being told to shut up and play the hits, but all I wanted from him, really, was "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side," and it's a bummer that he couldn't have swapped out one of these forgetable new tunes to make room. Sure, I probably would have wet my pants if he'd played that, but that's why I wore my Queen is Dead-brand adult diapers.

Still, the man delivered a fine, fine performance, and pretty much everyone in the house was beside themselves with adolescent joy, particularly the fellow in the row in front of us who I'll call "Ducky from Pretty in Pink," who was going all in on the fey hand stabs and the new wave hair tweaking.

You wanna know what hits he played, so as you can be more jealous of me? Okay: "Shoplifters of the World Unite," "Every Day is Like Sunday," "Still Ill," "Speedway," "Spring-Heeled Jim," "Ouiji Board," "I Know It's Over." Could you be more envious? Yes, of course you could, but the fact that you harbor even a tiny amount of psychotic envy makes me not only happy but downright smug.

In conclusion, enjoy this blurry and off-puttingly low quality video of Morrissey getting bum-rushed during "Still Ill."

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Camera Phone Will Not Be Denied: Dina Martina at the Laura Beechman Theater, NYC

Jimmy and I enjoyed a night at the theatah last night, because we are urban sophisticates who sometimes find something we both want to do on the same night. I recently discovered Dina Martina thanks to my secret conservative extra-marital boyfriend Andrew Sullivan and his blog. Andrew started featuring Ms. Martina on his web series Ask [Someone] Anything, in which he gets a prominent person--usually a political or cultural pundit--to sit down and field questions from readers. Dina Martina is a nice "lady" singer Andrew loves who performs all summer in Provincetown, where he summers like a big old gaywad, and so when she landed in NYC to do a stint of shows, he asked her to sit and preview her show/field questions from the unwashed Internet. It was her insightful and edumacational answers that convinced me that Jimmy and I could not spend our Sunday night doing anything more meaningful than basking in the glamor and clammy glow of La Martina.

She did all sorts of stuff from the great American songbook, from "Genius of Love" by the Tom Tom Club to "Legal Tender" by the B-52s, from the theme song from "The Love Boat" to a song for children that she'd written on a crumpled up piece of notebook paper she appeared to have found in a public toilet. It was, as Mitt Romney might say, "marvelous." She's on her way to London, so London peeps, she's playing at the Soho Theater from October 23 to November 3, get your tickets, it's good clean American comedy, like the Osmonds but so much better.

Jimmy darted out before I could force him to take my picture with her, but that's okay because I just took one myself, minus me, plus a nice woman with electric red hair.

Below, watch Dina take a question. You'll learn something, maybe.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Why Is This Sexy Mannequin in the Window of the Adult Store Constantly Trying to Seduce Me?

This mannequin won't leave me alone, I swear to God. Every day I walk past her on my way to Sixth Avenue to get a coffee or an Atkins bar or an apple or a hit of acid, and there she is, dressed in her sexy skivvies 'n chains 'n leather wristband thingies, giving me that come hither look. As if. Come on, mannequin, you've been around the block. Surely you know you are barking up the wrong tree. I don't even like wristbands! And how do you stand like that in that position day after day after day? It's not natural, mannequin, to put your arms and hands in that position for long stretches of time. Who taught you to do that, Anna Wintour? Give yourself a break and sit down for a while or something.

In conclusion, while I admire your confidence and your swagger and your dead, dead eyes, you've got to just give it up and start focusing on those who will be more receptive to your message. Because let's face it, unless you've got a hot gay surfer friend behind that curtain, I'm just not interested, okay?

Wait, you do? And his name is Chad? Hold on, let me put my wristband on.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Missed Connections Dept

Well this is kind of a bummer. Turns out I was this close to recently running into potato-faced misanthrope Morrissey at the Strand bookstore here in NYC. As reported by Queerty, Mozzer was apparently minding his business and perusing photography books when an elderly woman collapsed near him and he leapt to her aid like the SuperVeganMan that he is. The takeaway from this story is, of course, that I was at the Strand that day, too. Mozzface left soon after the incident because he's so sensitive and camera shy, which means that if it hadn't been for this selfish old lady I might have had an opportunity to sneak up and slap him on the arse with a copy of the Picture of Dorian Gray, which would inevitably have prompted him to ask me out to his favorite vegan eatery, probably called Grass or something.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm Confused By It: "Mitt Romney" at Herald Square

 Okay, I didn't get a great picture of this person because he (I'm going to just assume it was a dude) wouldn't freaking stand still for longer than a millisecond, but the sign he's holding says "I AM MITT ROMNEY". So the question becomes: "B'scuze me?" Or maybe just plain old "Huh?"

Now, we all know I'm not always the sharpest tool in the tool container, but am I missing something? If this is satire, what is being satirized? Filthy rich plutocrats who secretly love wearing red spandex, look fake pregnant, and wear spooky serial killer masks? I'm confused by it.

When I first approached this person to snap a photo, he stroppily held out his hand and shook his head as if to say, "Uh-uh, you want a shot, put a dollar in the pot" or some such. When I wasn't immediately forthcoming with cash, the guy turned around so as to ruin my picture, then held up his sign toward the oncoming traffic on 34th Street, apparently hopeful that a passing car or taxicab would pony up some sweet dosh for some sort of explanation of this nonsense. This is not how capitalism works, amiright?

Or maybe it is, I don't know, I'm poor, gimme some money for writing this dumb blog post.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Busking Report: An Impromptu Duet

Sometimes when you get off the F train at 14th Street you are simply forced to turn off your iPod because otherwise you are a jackass who misses out on a beautiful little number performed by a dude with a piano hanging around his neck. And you would also miss out on a young lady with an umbrella passing by, stopping, and joining in for a few gorgeous seconds.

Of course, sometimes a train announcement interrupts your moment of zen, but never mind, the music will still be there when it's over.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wonkette Drinkie Thingie, Rudy's Bar, NYC

Everyone knows that Wonkette is the single best source of news about political idiots, snowbilly grifters, and buttsecks jokes. They have also twice linked to this here blog because SeeTimBlog is the single best source of news about angry teabagger illiterates and how best to talk to your gay baby about awful breeders. So I was thrilled when I saw that editrix Rebecca Schoenkopf--who is in the midst of a little RNC- and DNC-inspired jaunt along the east coast, during which she's taken in Tampa, Charlotte, Philly, and maybe some other places who cares--was going to be stopping by Rudy's Bar in Hell's Kitchen here in NYC in order to meet her public and buy us pitchers of beer.

I tried to rope in a friend or two to accompany me but got no takers (thanks, NYC Facebook friends, I'm unfriending ALL OF YOU), so I had to show up by myself. I got a beer and made my way to the back yard space where the shindig was happening. On the far wall a giant screen was showing the game. (Which game? The baseball game. Which baseball game? The one that was last night.) I stood on my own for a while pretending to watch this "the game" and trying to see if there was anyone who looked semi-approachable that I might beg to talk to me. Then I saw Rebecca talking to some folks in the center of the space. I figured if I was just going to walk up and interrupt someone's conversation it might as well be hers.

So I stepped down and squeezed into her general area. Then I just stood there watching the folks around her talking, waiting for my moment to strike. In the mean time I introduced myself to a tall gentleman next to me and asked him if he was with Wonkette.

"Blowjobz1258," he said.

"I don't know what that is," I replied. Then I realized: he was introducing himself by his Wonkette commenter moniker.

"Are you on Wonkette?" he asked incredulously.

"Oh, no, I mean, I read it religiously, but I don't comment."

He was done with me by this point, pretty much, getting on his phone and pretending to text as he stepped away. I turned around and there was a tiny man standing behind me who had just come down the stairs. He looked up at me and said hello. I shook his hand and introduced myself.

"Hi Tim, I'm Zaltar," he said with an indeterminable accent.

"Zaltar? That's your name? Your real name?"

"Yes," he said. "Zaltar. It's Turkish." (I think he said Turkish, he may have said Klingon.)

"Wow, you do realize that's pretty much the best name ever, right?"

"Yes, I do."

At that moment, I saw Rebecca turn away from the older gentleman she'd been talking to for a few minutes. Here was my chance. Her eyes met mine, she smiled, and I introduced myself. She was nice! I told her that I'm SURE she doesn't remember but that she linked to this blog a while back when I tried to start a meme based on John Derbyshire's hilariously racist riff on The Talk that black parents have to have with their sons about living in a white world, which we all learned about in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting. (Mine was the gay version of The Talk. The meme did not take, sad face.) She said she remembered, that it was the first post of the morning and that she remembers just being really lazy and block quoting me and then linking to my post. I thanked her for doing it and told her that was just fine because click-through are click-throughs, amiright?

There was a guy standing next to her holding what looked like a Jack on the rocks and who looked about twelve years old. Since I'd already made it with Rebecca I thought I'd go ahead and throw caution to the wind and insert myself into his life, too.

"Hi I'm Tim, what's your name?"


"Jack. Jack Stuff?!"

"Stuef, but yeah."

That's right, it was Jack Stuef, my favorite ever Wonkette writer, dearly departed. I showered him with flattery, because I'm such a starf*cker.

"I was devastated when you left," I told him.

"Uh, really?" he said. He was not buying my schtick at all.

"Yeah. Well, okay, I might be overstating it. I was incredibly sad for days and thought I might never be able to read the Internet again."

Soon after this he excused himself to get another drink and get as far away from me as the venue would allow. Oh look, there's blurry Rebecca (my camera phone had had a few drinks by this point).

I then moved on to take over someone else's life and found two young folks off to the side who had friendly yet sarcastic faces that I felt really drawn to. They were Mwaanza and Lillie and they were both born in 1990, isn't that weird? I didn't realize people could be born after the eighties, but whatever. Here's a great picture of them.

We talked about what irritates us about everything for the rest of the night, the end.

In conclusion, this place had free hot dogs. Free hot dogs! Communism is delicious.


A hawt photo of yours truly is posted over at Wonkette, feast on it below and check out other nonblurry photos here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Creative Busking Dept: Theremin Magic Show!

This just made my heart all squooshy when I got off the F train today at 6th Avenue. It was a li'l Japanese theremin-maker just stone cold standing there and conjuring sounds like a dang sorcerer's apprentice or something. Doesn't it make you feel boring and useless that you can only play musical instruments that already exist in time and space and that have to be plucked or picked or bowed or blown and that can't just be gestured at? Yes it does, but there are other reasons you are boring and useless, so don't worry too much about it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Devastation: My Cat Stella is Voting for Romney

I'm just beside myself. I knew that Stella was a fiscal conservative--she's always been a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of kittycat. (Sure, she's never worked a day in her life, but neither has Ann Romney!) And yeah, she did kind of have a soft spot for Sarah Palin back in '08 because, as she put it at the time, "that woman is a grade-A c*nt." (She was impressed!) But, really, I thought Stella and I both agreed that the Republican Party had gone absolutely bonkers in the past few years and in no way did they deserve to be in the White House again.

So when Jimmy told me that Stella had told him that she was a Feline for Romney, I was aghast. I went straight to the cupboard, took out the DentaBites, shook the packet, and into the kitchen she ran, at which point I scooped her up, took her into the living room, and sat her down to give her a talking to.

"Stella, what's this I hear about you planning to vote for Romney? You do know that he's a congenital liar, right? And that he's just going to bring back Bush-era policies that will screw the middle class? And that he's going to try to get rid of Obamacare? Stella, you do also remember that your daddy is a type 1 diabetic, which, in the parlance, is a preexisting condition?"


"Stella, Obama is not a socialist, Jesus."


"Stella, if Mittens wins you know what he wants to do? He wants there to be a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage, which means your two daddies would be forcibly divorced and I would lose my damn health insurance."

"Birth certificate."

"Stella, let's be clear: Obama was born in Hawaii, and Paul Ryan is in the tenth grade. Tenth graders can't be vice president!"

"You didn't build that."

"Argh. Okay, Stella, listen, if Romney is elected president, daddy's probably not going to be able to buy you Fancy Feast anymore. How does that sound?"

"Secret Muslim."

"Stella, do you spend all day on Breitbart.com? I'm going to have to start putting some parental controls on the Macbook."


"Girl, that poor dog is supposed to be a reason not to vote for Mittens."

"White is right."


"Liberal fascism."

"You're making less sense as this conversation goes on."

"Eh, tired, bye."

"Stella don't you dare walk away. Stella! If you go under that bed I swear to God I'll..."

"Can't hear you. Purring."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This Doll Is Gonna Eat Your Face While You Sleep

My one regular reader might remember that my mom loves dolls and Christmas things/figurines and giant terrifying Santas. She collects these things, snapping them up wherever and whenever she finds them, be it a terrifying year-round Christmas shoppe, a mail-order catalog, or a friend with extras she wants to get rid of.

Apparently that's how the above doll in a box came into mom's possession. My blood ran cold when I saw it in the garage on my recent visit down to North Carolina because it looked exactly like THE DOLL OF ALL HUMAN NIGHTMARES. Let's take a closer look.

Yep, that's the one.

"Isn't she precious?" Mom asked/told me.

"Yes," I whispered, lower lip quivering. "P-p-precious."

Then I moved in closer to see what message was printed on the front of the box in a cutesy scribble to convince me that this doll was not stolen from the devil's secret stash.

Once upon a time there was a doll created by a coven of witches with an agenda and it scratched your eyes out on your birthday, the end.

Sorry, Internet Meanies, Lana Del Rey's Album Is Actually Awesome

Okay, okay, I'm late to this Lana Del Rey party, I admit it. Or rather, I was all over the pre-party--drinking down all the tasty cocktails Ms. Del Rey served to us slobs at the open bar of the Internet last year. They were all lush drinks with hifalutin names like "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans" and "Born to Die," and each had an epic, dramatic, sugary sweep to it (and a mango-coconut aftertaste). After that hella good pre-party, I was ready for the main event, a full album.

In these early days, Ms. Del Rey, of course, had her critics--plenty of them, all over the interwebs. Folks who hated her because she was beautiful and she knew it, like that woman from Weird Science, or hated her because she was "inauthentic," having changed her name from Lizzie Grant to Lana Del Rey and allegedly gotten lip implants or some shit, or hated her because... oh, fuck it, just because. The tug of war between the lovers and the haters meant that by the time Our Lady of the Immaculate Lip Augmentations was ready to release an album and start pimping it, the Internet was ready to self-destruct and it would only take one measly little trip wire to make this happen.

My Lana's appearance on SNL the weekend before the release of her album Born to Die was that measly little trip wire. Things got mean and a little weird. Though the songs she sang, "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans," should have sold themselves with ease, her performance was wobbly and unsure. I figured she'd just been thrust too soon into the spotlight and hadn't honed her stage craft enough. And, like any human, she was probably nervous. It seemed the Internet, which predictably exploded with hatred and mockery in the wake of the appearance, came away with an altogether different impression about the quality of Lana's music. But the criticisms were already locked and loaded long before Del Rey was booked on the show: she's a fake, a cynical creation of managers and record labels, the Twitter trolls said. And, ha, look, she can't even sing live, so we were right all along.

Then, like clockwork, upon the album's release, the nation's critics came stampeding from their outhouses, clutching to their breasts their feverishly typed diatribes about how Born to Die was a barely alluring failure, a style-over-substance catastrophe, a big glitzy red carpet leading to a fancy porcelain toilet with a big golden turd in it. Pitchfork was first out of the gate with a dismissive grade of 5.4 out of 10 (this from a site that had hyped Del Rey from the very beginning). Bloggers shot their wads all over the place, engaging in Big Conversations about how Lana Del Rey was a fraud, an empty vessel, a talentless hack, as well as a bad role model and a terrible development for feminism, girl power and self esteem. The Village Voice even managed to compare the beats on the album to those of '90s trip-hop also-rans Sneaker Pimps. That's not at all a fair comparison, because if you've ever listened to the Sneaker Pimps you'll know that you always came away from their music feeling molested to within an inch of your life by their loud-ass beats, whereas Lana's are classy, clipped, and easily swept over by all the lush orchestrations. But anyway, congratulations, VV, on your Googling skills. Even the Onion's AV Club, usually a level-headed bunch, lost their damn minds, giving the album a D. A D! What? I got a C in high school chemistry and I was terrible in the lab. (And I had no lush string accompaniment.) Props to NPR and the New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones for their thoughtful reviews of the album, but they were really alone in the wilderness on this.

And I'll admit: after reading so many headlines about how awful the music was, I shoved Ms. Del Rey into the back of my head and figured I'd revisit her at a later date, after the dust had cleared. That later date came just a few weeks ago and I'm now officially aghast--aghast, I say--at the treatment this album received upon its release. Because I'm just gonna say it: Born to Die is second only to Beach House's Bloom as my favorite album of the summer. It's true!

It begins with the title track, which is all glossy lament and breathy drama, enveloped in a thick swirl of strings. Then there's "Off to the Races," which has been criticized for the white-girl rapping, but I think it's just nifty. (Coincidentally, "Nifty" is my street name.) Then more drama on "Blue Jeans" and "Video Games" and "National Anthem." None of the songs sticks around for too long, which is an unusual choice for an album of, basically, torch songs. But there's also pop: "Lolita" and "The Lucky Ones" and "Diet Mountain Dew"--all smashing, with heavy doses of moxie and just enough Betty Boop squeak. Basically the album is a sumptuous mess of strings, coos, and hooks, hooks, hooks. "Radio" is the most effervescent pop tune I've heard all summer, accept for this one by The School, which just might make you smile for days.

Okay, yes, Lana Del Rey has a few hiccupy vocal ticks that will grate on some folks' nerves. And yes, she sometimes has a sad, irritating face in some of her videos. And okay, she might sing too much about loving up on hot boys and needing them to be her hero. But her reference points are just retro that way, and she's got an elegant way of matching her voice perfectly to the turns of phrase she's spouting--turns of phrase that are largely pretty sharp. (High-pitched squeal for "Gimme them gold coins, gimme them coins"; low, deadpan delivery on "Says it feels like heaven to 'im.") And if her videos of swimming pools and naked hotel room getaways and pet tigers are any indication, she's having a blast. So let her have her fun, because her fun is your fun, even though you're not hooking up with hot boys, you're just sitting there eating Chee-tos, listening to her sing songs about how she's doing it all the time, forever. It's still fun, though. She doesn't nail everything she attempts, but she shows she's got bigger balls than most pop starlet wannabes with the chances she takes, so I can forgive her her sometimes irritating face.

Finally, regarding the dumb debate about authenticity, I'll just say this: In the "Born to Die" video, we have a bombshell beauty with a lazy, languorous voice, singing a sultry torch song while sitting on a throne in a Sistine Chapel–like cathedral, wearing a crown of blue flowers, and flanked by two lounging, mirror-image tigers. How do you even begin a conversation about "realness" when faced with such a tableau? The answer is: you don't. You can't. It's not possible for a thinking person to do that.

So what you should do instead is say, "huh, this bitch is cranking the elegance and drama up to 11 in a hilariously rarefied way and so should be worshipped, probably."

Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm Going to Need To See More Explicit Photos Before I'm Comfortable Saying That Anderson Cooper's Boyfriend Has Been Caught Cheating

Oh, Coop. See, this is why you should have been sitting on my lap at the gym during those weekend workouts instead of lifting, squatting, sweating, and etcetera, all over the place, with your hot boyfriend Ben Maisani, who has allegedly now been busted with his hands all up in the gay cookie jar by the queerballs over at the Daily Mail, even though these photos look incredibly staged, for whatever reason.

I, for one, refuse to believe that someone could do this to America's Silver Fox. And especially with such a dumb-looking meathead. There's a time and a place for dumb meatheads, and that time and place is not in Central Park, during the daylight, where any idjit with a camera phone can record your love. (The time for dumb meatheads is pretty much any other time besides the time I just mentioned.)

Poor Andy, he's in a tough place. I mean, his boyfriend clearly deserves a spanking, but at the same time, he doesn't deserve one from our Anderson, you know?

In conclusion, Kathy Griffin will step in to beat Ben with a standing rib roast, which Ben will never recover from because it will be televised on the 15th season of My Life on the D List.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Been and Gone: David Rakoff

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Ugh, this is just terrible. David Rakoff?! I knew he was fighting cancer but for some reason I thought he was in the clear. It just never made sense that he could actually die. What a sad, sad thing. I remember seeing him hanging out at the UCB Theater one time soon after I moved to NYC and felt like I should probably resist the urge to say hello and declare my devotion to him because, hey, it's New York, and folks are more sophisticated here. I've since realized that NYC is just as full of stone-cold starf*ckers as any other place and I should have totally just jumped in his lap and whispered my name over and over in his ear and it would have all been fine. I really wish I'd done that now because at least then I'd be able to say I once talked to one of the most hilarious writers of our time.

What a loss to the world. And guess what boneheads are still alive across this great nation. That's right: all of them, Katie.

I don't even know what to say, this is so sad. But, hey, let's take comfort in this quotation from the man's very own adorable mouth nozzle:

“There are many things in this world that are an outrage, to be sure, but death at our current life expectancy doesn’t strike me as one of them. Maybe I sound like some Victorian who felt that forty years ought to be enough for any man, but one of the marks of a life well lived has to be reaching a state of finally getting it, of not needing more, and of being able to sign off with something approaching peace of mind.”

Wow. Words to shoot for. RIP, Rakoff.

Where I'm At

Even though they haven't inquired or even betrayed any interest, I know that both of my readers are wondering where I've been and why I've interrupted my strict schedule of intermittent blogging. Well, the answer is in the above short film: I've been busy making funny videos of my momma going down a water slide in Atlantic Beach, NC. After we finished at the pool, of course, I explained to her all about the Ryan plan to change Medicare to a voucher system, but that video didn't turn out as well.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Fun Q and A with Yours Truly at the Brooklyn Eagle's Brooklyn Book Beat Blog (Blang Blong Blurgh)

It's Monday, and all y'all are probably on a desperate search for something to read, to fill up those long hours until your lunch break. So here's a little something for you to enjoy, an interview with me, an "author" that you've never heard of. Go on, live out loud.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Been and Gone: Gore Vidal

The great Gore Vidal, a spectacularly talented screenwriter, novelist, and hilariously bitchy critic of American politics and culture, has died, so See Tim Blog has a sad today. There'll never be another like him--he lived nine lives and was a pioneer in, as conservative icon William F. Buckley would put it, being an enthusiastic apologist for the homosexual "affliction."

Below is a snippet of an interview with him for the film The Celluloid Closet, in which he discusses how he got Charlton Heston to unwittingly play a big old gay homo in the movie Ben Hur. The whole movie (Celluloid) is a must-see, especially the exquisite few seconds where Vidal describes a Disney exec as "looking not unlike Mickey Mouse."

Also, read Myra Breckinridge. It's a hoot.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sarah Palin Needs Some Attention, You Guys

Okay, okay, Sarah, we understand that you are feeling a little bit ignored these days, what with Mitt Romney off saying dumb shit all over the "small island" of England, which is what you should be doing! It's not fair, truly. Obviously, if Jesus hadn't been murdered by Obama in November 2008 you might be making these foreign trips as the current Vice President, rearing your head at 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace and Harrod's and Hogwarts. So how are you supposed to maintain your relevance when the only people paying attention to you are the house-bound hoveround ALL CAPS EMAIL crowd who are constantly fapping to the photo albums on your Facebook page?

The answer is you must choose the latest culture war battle and visit the troops on the field! So get yourself and your dumb husband down to the Chick-Fil-A, where all the best Christian soldiers get their waffle fries, and have one of your poor kids snap a picture of you proudly holding just-purchased bags of delicious stomach cancer so that you can upload it and catapult yourself back into the national conversation about gay marriage and fried chicken sandwiches. Pay attention to Sarah, everybody!

So here's a picture of Sarah Palin being a sassy bitch. War photography by Piper Palin.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There's No Saying "No" to an Offer This Good

I had to go get passport photos made the other day, and while I was waiting for them to be spat out of the machine or whatever, I noticed the above note taped to the wall of the charming little shop I went to on 14th Street. Now, I don't generally need computer editing done--I'm an editor, after all, so I can edit my own computer, thank you very much. But if I were in the market for such a thing, I don't know how I'd be able to turn down such an amazing offer.

In fact, I'd say this almost beats the "buy one cone get a second one free if you buy a third one for twice the price" deal I got at the ice cream shop that time.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

By the Way, the Dance Marathon is Over There

Hey, hold on, you're looking for the dance marathon, right? This is the wrong door. You need to go that way and you'll find it over there somewhere.

Are you really wearing that for a dance marathon? Hmm. No no, it looks great, it just seems like an Elmo costume will get really hot after a few hours of doing the Twist. Oh, you're supposed to wear a costume? Well, I myself would have dressed as a pole dancer, but then, I sweat like a hog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Snack Tips from a Type 1 Diabetic

So, thirsty scholars, are you looking for a tacky taste treat made from stuff you just have hanging around the house? Well you've come to the right place, because I am, too, and I'm a type-1 diabetic so you know it's gonna be good! Today's recipe: Root Beer Whip-Its. This is a fizzy, creamy beverage that will soon be the next national drink. What you do is you get a pint glass out of the cupboard, then retrieve some Diet Root Beer from the fridge. Pour some of the latter into the former, then go over to the freezer and get some Cool Whip out of that thing. The Cool Whip will not be totally frozen but it will be hard, so just carve out a few ice cream shovels full of it and padonk 'em in the glass. Then plunge a bendy straw into it and hark, the stars will align, angels will sing, and you'll be young and beautiful again, standing there with your golden locks cascading down your shoulders and holding in your hand a creamy, fizzy sweet beverage that will tingle your taste buds and cause your friends to openly laugh at you when they realize what you spend your time doing.

You know, sometimes you just want to drink something weirdly delicious that's also fun to look at, and this beverage hits both targets. And don't worry about the Cool Whip, diabetix: it only has 1 gram of sugar per two tablespoons, exactly the same as half and half. Sure, there's some fat up in there, but you're going on a long bike ride later, so you'll burn it off, easy.

So drink up!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Anderson Cooper Can Now Freely Do Gay Things Like Getting a Spray Tan on Teevee

Well, it's finally official, thanks Andrew Sullivan! My secret boyfriend Anderson Cooper (or "Coop," as Jimmy and I like to call our life-size clay model) has finally admitted that he's totally gay for boys. We in the New York media (yes, See Tim Blog counts as that) have known this for a long time, because we've got sources in high places. In my case, I was my own source, in one high place.

As both of my readers might remember, back in the days when I was gainfully employed I used to go to David Barton Gym in Chelsea, truly the gayest gym in all the land. So gay that you were always twice as likely to see a hot dude twirl and high-kick between sets of squats as you were to see him not do that. Walking onto the main floor of the dimly lit hardbody wax museum always felt like entering a Lady Gaga backup dancer green room, or a porno set, or a Tom of Finland live action film shoot.

ANYWAY, there was one day of the week (not gonna say which one) that Anderson was always there with his super-mega-hot boyfriend pumping iron, being handsome, and pretending to completely ignore me as I sat at the bench press next to him reading an upside down New Yorker. I was not fooled!

I guess what I'm saying is I have seen Anderson in his underwear in the locker room and you have not.

In conclusion, Anderson Cooper is sexy, famous, rich, and now officially gay. Congratulations, Anderson, can you now please give me one of those first three things, for freedom?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Whoops, Forgot to Post This!

How did that happen? Did I forget my blogger password or something? Anyway, you might remember that last week the video of my mom singing at my wedding party went semi-viral thanks to it being posted on Andrew Sullivan's blog. Well, I wrote back to them to thank them for posting the video, and they asked if I had a photo of Jimmy, me, mom, and her new husband at the party, because they wanted to run my letter as a follow up. So here's that post they did.

Mom's video now has over 16,000 views, but it appears to be stalling, sad face. So, no Today show yet, but maybe we can get on The Soup?

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Photo Dispatch from Ball Sack Beach

Well, it was the first official weekend of summer, ladies and gentleman, and we all know what that means: that's right, it was time for a two-hour bike ride to the one and only Ball Sack Beach at Fort Tilden. The water was delightfully freezing, the weather was spectacular, the hipster titties were swinging, and the ball sack sacks were just everywhere. One would have thought that, this being Pride weekend in NYC, all the best ball sack sacks would have been in Manhattan on some hilarious float made out of pink and purple bottles of lube, but no, quite a few of them were catching some rays in Far Rockaway, just stone cold ball sack cradlin'.

The most exquisite ball sack sack I saw, though, was that belonging to the above gentleman. It was a sight to behold. From its best angles, it seemed not just to cradle his actual sack luxuriously in its silky bed--it actually seemed to inflate it to its maximum capacity, giving it the appearance of an accent pillow meant for a baby's crib. I wish I'd just thrown away all caution and taken a picture of him when he was awake and brazenly laying on the beach, leaning on his elbows, one bent leg up, the other bent leg stretching toward the sand and allowing his sack to fully receive the sun's hella warm kisses. It was an immaculate/disgusting display. Click that thing up top to make it bigger and then hide yourself in the bathroom and weep that you missed seeing it face to ball sack sack.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just So You Know: My Momma Is a Micro-Celebrity

So, the other day I posted a video of my mom singing a Puccini aria at my wedding party a few weeks ago, which you've no doubt viewed and gasped over, because OMG, right? Incredible. Anyway, I sent this video to my favorite blog, The Dish, written/curated by the mighty Andrew Sullivan, as a "Mental Health Break" candidate. You see, his blog is mainly concerned with politics, but once a day he posts a fun video as a pressure release, and I sent in a link to the video along with a note giving context. He posted it a few days later, and momma's gotten almost 9,000 hits on youtube since!

The point is, when is mom's album coming out? Because this is going to be the cover:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gay Nuptials Dept: Jimmy and I Celebrate Our Hilarious Coupling

I know that all three of my readers are dying to see some photos from me and Jimmy's wedding party, which took place last weekend, so here we go. Just to review: Jimmy and I have been together for fifteen years, but we just tied the knot this February and finally celebrated on June 9. The above shot is one of our "official" wedding photos, because we are wearing the required T-shirts. Here are some candid shots from the event!

Cutting the cake, just like the breeders do.

Listening to the toasts. It's fun to be glorified!

Enough said.

This cake was sickeningly good, made by our good friend Rachel Roth. We're still making our way through it. One serving has a full day's supply of Vitamin Q.

Who makes a cutiepie groomsman? Who does? Who? Who makes a cutiepie groomsman? Who is it? Really, kid, what's your name? (Just kidding, it's Colin and he was the cutest boy at the party.)


Our guestbook, gift table, and photo spread.

Pizza and pasta from Carmine's in Brooklyn, our favorite restaurant. Tons of leftovers and that's fine because you haven't lived until you've had meat lasagna for breakfast.

When wedding photography gets artistic...

Okay, here is a moment to cherish. Friends asked my momma to sing a song, and so after some cajoling she was persuaded to entertain us. She sang a Puccini aria and floored everyone. It was the most amazing moment of the day (one of the most amazing moments of my life, actually), and I'm so happy I got it on film. The reactions of my friends Sarah (flower dress) and Neal (lilac shirt) are priceless.

This will be the cover of her first album, obviously.

We had to be drunk for this one, because we're usually not very good at PDAs. This was taken a few hours after the party at Metropolitan, a gay bar down the road from Carmine's. Just goes to show you that if you give us enough vodka we'll give you a show.

Stella was pissed that we left her at home and all she got was this bouquet of flowers.